Author's Note: This fic was written for the Hideaway Halloween Contest. It is two chapters long. Warning: It will contain slash (Remus/Sirius) but don't expect a lemon. This is PG 13 and it's mostly rated for all the monsters and other grotesque and scary things...
Disclaimer: Everything recognisable belongs to J K Rowling. The rest belongs to me... which, sadly, is not very much.
The Monster Day of Monsters
written by Wuff
Remus had seen it coming. Every year, shortly before Halloween, the same letter arrived. Usually, he quickly hid it in his cloak and burnt it as soon as he was somewhere alone. He did not want other people to read the letter, least of all his best friends. Said friends, however, were very observant. How else would they have found out that Remus was a werewolf? How else would they have come up with such a crazy idea on how to help him during the full moons? How else would they have managed to secretly become Animagi – as fifteen-year-old schoolboys? Well, two of them had already succeeded with their Animagus transformations. The third one was currently hiding in their dormitory so no one could see his whiskers, furry ears and several tails which sprouted out of his body everywhere.
It had only been a matter of time until they would find out about the letters, too. Today was this day.
"What'd you got there, Moony?" James asked with his mouth full of toast and scrambled eggs, and curiously eyed the blood red envelope with the screaming zombie on it. Of course, Remus tried to subtly cause the letter to vanish under his cloak but James was faster. With reflexes so quick from years of excessive Quidditch practice, he snatched the letter out of Remus's hand and knocked his glass of pumpkin juice over in the process.
"Scourgify," Remus muttered and cleaned up the mess. Neither James nor Sirius could do the Cleaning Charm. They considered themselves above simple household charms. No, they were only interested in the most complex magic – like becoming Animagi.
"Wow, this sounds cool," said James, who had just finished reading the horrible letter.
"Let me see, let me see," Sirius, who said opposite James at the table, said excitedly.
James handed him the letter, and Remus felt more and more sick. This was too terrible to be true. His friends were not supposed to read that letter. What would they think of him?! Sirius, however, only chuckled while reading the letter. When he had arrived at the end, his chuckles had turned into that barking laugh of his.
"This is brilliant," Sirius said. "We have to show it to Wormtail!"
"No!" Remus protested. "Under no circumstances are you – wait!"
Sirius had just jumped up and ran out of the Great Hall, James on his heels. Defeated, Remus followed them slowly. He did not feel like chasing them to retrieve his letter. That was much too childish. Besides, the two boys were faster than him, anyway. Nonetheless, he caught up with them on the staircase to their dormitory. James and Sirius were so out of breath from running up all the corridors and flights of steps that they almost had to crawl up the spiral staircase now.
"I don't want you to show this to Peter," Remus said tersely.
"Why – not?" Sirius panted.
"Gonna be – fun," James added.
"This is not fun," Remus protested angrily. But he did not have a chance.
"Hi," Peter said distractedly. He stood in front of the mirror and his nose almost touched the glass because he scrutinised his reflection so thoroughly. "I think one whisker is gone," he informed them, sounding not so convinced himself, though.
"Listen, Wormtail, we got something great," James declared. He unfolded the parchment and began reading. Remus dropped down on Peter's bed and covered his ears with his hands. It did not help, however. James's voice could be very penetrating.
"Dear vampires, werewolves, hags, ogres, trolls, zombies, golems, gorgons, walking mummies and everything else which could be classified as monsters,
We invite you to our yearly Halloween Party 'The Monster Day of Monsters'. We would be delighted to see you among our usually numerous guests. It is a wonderful opportunity to meet your fellows once a year, swap ideas and hear what the others have been up to during the last year.
For your entertainment, we have booked a group of dancing skeletons. Furthermore, the Headless Hunt has agreed to make a performance. Refreshments will be served according to your tastes. We have had experiences with hosting monsters, so you will find nothing missing.
We await you at the Hog's Head on October 31st at midnight. You are welcome to bring company but remember that only monsters are allowed.
The (unofficial) Monster League."
Remus groaned, James and Sirius laughed loudly and finally Peter joined in their laughter, too.
"What is so funny about it?!" Remus snapped.
"…gorgons, walking mummies and everything else which could be classified as monsters," James cited, giggling madly.
Remus tightly pressed his lips together. Didn't they see that he did not want to be classified as a 'monster'? To them, it seemed just another brilliant joke but to Remus, it meant utter humiliation.
"I don't need you to read it to me, thank you very much," he said in a dulled voice. "I get the letters once a year, I can practically tell them by heart."
"You get them once a year?" Sirius repeated and dropped down next to Remus on the bed. "Why didn't you show the letter to us earlier? We could have gone there all the years."
"What do you mean, 'could have gone there all the years?" Remus asked suspiciously.
"Well, we're obviously going to go there this year," James stated as if it was the most evident thing in the world.
"What?!" Remus said incredulously.
"What?!" Peter echoed nervously.
"'Course we're going to go there," Sirius said confidently. "This must be the best thing we've done this year – second to becoming Animagi, of course."
"No," Remus said firmly. "We are not going to go there."
"What, you want to go there alone and have all the fun for yourself?" James said indignantly.
"Fun?" Remus repeated. "Fun?!?!? What should be fun about it?"
"Well, you tell us. What was it like the last years?" Sirius asked curiously. "Are there really walking mummies?"
"I have no idea," Remus said through gritted teeth. "I've never been there, obviously."
"Why not?" James asked, nonplussed.
"It's not really the sort of entertainment that appeals to me. I don't particularly enjoy Halloween parties among monsters."
"But you're one yourself," James said uncomprehendingly.
This was it. They had said it. Remus could feel the tears burning in his eyes. Angrily biting his tongue, he stood up to leave. "Fine, I got it," he said quietly.
"Oh, for heaven's sake, Moony," Sirius said exasperatedly, grabbed his arm and pulled him down on the bed again. "Don't get upset, okay? He didn't mean it seriously. Prongs and me are much more monsterish than you, aren't we, Prongs?"
"Sure," James said lightly and threw Remus a slightly apologetic glance. "We do all kind of bad things and you're the nice one. So Sirius and me are very monsterish. We are the ultimate Marauder Monsters, okay?"
Remus shrugged nonchalantly and decided to forgive them for the moment. Maybe he really was a bit too touchy if it came to his furry little problem. He was glad his friends took things so lightly, after all. Just sometimes, it could be a bit unnerving.
"Okay, now that that's sorted out…" James said businesslike. He had switched to planning mode now. "I suggest we use the passageway that leads us into the Three Broomsticks. Honeydukes will be closed be midnight and so we can't –"
"Wait a moment," Remus interrupted him. "You are not really planning to go there, are you?"
"Of course we are," James and Sirius said simultaneously.
"But…" Remus trailed off. He desperately searched for arguments to stop his crazy friends from their crazy plan. "Only monsters are allowed to go there. No matter how badly you behave – that doesn't classify you as monsters in their opinion."
"Well, we'll have to dress up then, right?" Sirius said superiorly.
Remus saw he had no other choice but admit defeat. Sirius and James were already too committed to give up their plan. There was no use in stopping them now.
A few days later, the Marauders sneaked through the streets of Hogsmeade under James's Invisibility Cloak. Of course, there was lots of bickering and swearing and punching under the cloak, which was decidedly too small for four fifteen-year-old boys. Finally, they arrived in front of the Hog's Head. An indefinable noise, a mixture of shrieking, roaring, growling, snarling and hissing, escaped the pub.
Peter flinched. "Are you sure this is a good idea?" he asked nervously. "We're not monsters, everyone will know at once, and I have no idea how to behave monster-like. I mean, in there are real monsters."
Remus silently agreed with Peter. He would have preferred to just leave now, take a nice, hot shower (he had not washed and combed his hair during the last days to look more werewolfish) and then lie down in his comfortable four-poster bed.
"Don't panic, Peter," James told him reassuringly while Sirius wrapped the Invisibility Cloak around James's head and face like a too big turban, making him look headless. "You'll do fine. Tell me again, Mr Wormtail, how did you become a monster?" James asked the same question again to practise with Peter.
"I was a rat once but then was bitten by a werewolf," Peter recited in a slightly trembling voice and frantically pulled one tail which sprouted out of his left elbow. "So now I am a human most time of the month but during the day of the full moon, I transform into a rat."
"Very good," James praised him. He touched his own head and turned around once to let the others have a look at him. "How do I look?"
"Scary," Peter said, eyeing the headless James uneasily.
"Stupid as always, Mr Prongs," Sirius told him.
"I feel stupid, too," Remus complained, staring moodily down at his shredded cloak. They had bought a cheap second-hand cloak, had torn it thoroughly and decorated it with fake blood from Sirius's blood capsules.
"But that's the whole point of the costume," Sirius confidently explained to him. "Werewolves are not supposed to look smart and decent."
Remus huffed indignantly. "You're one to talk," he muttered. "You're the only one of us who doesn't look like a complete idiot."
"Thank you very much, Mr Moony," Sirius said and flashed him a wide smile that revealed his long fake vampire teeth. "I'll take that as a compliment."
Remus only sighed again. He had done that a lot lately. It definitely was frustrating. He felt so ridiculous with the dirt in his face, at his hands and under his fingernails. Sirius, on the other hand… The vampire outfit really suited him. It perfectly fitted his pale skin and dark hair. The long and full black cloak and the dark-blood-red shirt underneath rounded out the costume. Remus's only consolation was that Peter with his many rat tails, rat whiskers and rat ears looked just as pathetic as he did.
James clapped his hands in anticipation. "Everyone ready?" his voice came out of thin air just above his headless body.
"Yes," Sirius exclaimed, bouncing up and down in excitement.
Not nearly as excited as the other two boys, Remus and Peter followed them inside the Hog's Head. Two gigantic trolls acting as bouncers looked down at them.
"Er, hi?" James's voice could be heard.
One of the trolls swung his club towards his invisible head as if to test if there was really nothing but air. Sirius quickly grabbed James's cloak and hauled him backwards.
"Heh, what're you doing?" he angrily told the troll.
"Doesn't have no head, see?" the troll grunted and swung his club again.
"Stop it nonetheless," Sirius told him (or her… you could never be sure with trolls). "It's rude to hit at people's missing heads. Besides, there's the phantom pain."
"He's a phantom, he's?" The troll blinked his beady eyes in confusion.
"Yeah. Come on." Sirius pulled James with him, and Remus and Peter quickly followed, ducking involuntarily under the trolls' big clubs.
"Welcome, gentlemen," someone suddenly addressed them. A very wild-looking man suddenly appeared behind one of the trolls. Remus stared at the man's ripped and dirty clothes and back at his own, and he concluded that James and Sirius had not overdone his outfit at all.
"May I ask who you are?" The man smiled widely at them. Actually, he rather bared his yellow teeth.
Sirius bared his brilliant white vampire teeth in return, Remus smiled shakily as did Peter. James probably smiled too but no one could really tell.
"I'm Remus Lupin, werewolf." Remus had whispered the last word. He was not used to declaring openly that he was a werewolf.
"Aaaah." The man bared his dirty teeth again. "Why so timid? I always say, we werewolves must be proud of ourselves. Remus Lupin, yes." He looked down at a parchment and obviously ticked a name off. "It's nice to finally see you here. Why didn't you come the last years?"
"Er, my parents didn't allow me to go," Remus said quickly.
"Hm." The werewolf eyed him with slight contempt. "You still live with your parents?"
"Well, Lupin, why don't you move in with us? We live together in a pack, we protect each other and hunt together. I'm sure you would feel at home among your own kind."
"No, thank you," Remus said, and he felt more and more that it had been a mistake to come here. "I'm still going to school and…" …and I have friends and want to stay with them… and I love my family… and I want to be human.
"Ah, you're a civilised werewolf then," the other werewolf growled and he could barely hide his distaste. "Well, who are these young men?" He pointed at Sirius, James and Peter.
"I'm Mr Padfoot, vampire," Sirius stated. The werewolf briefly looked Sirius up and down. Sirius's disguise seemed to convince him.
"I'm Mr Prongs," James explained. "And I lost my head."
"I can see that," the werewolf commented. "How come you're not dead?"
"Oh, a bad curse," James said in a suffering voice. "I can't die before I haven't found my head again. I've been looking for it for years, and I'm so tired of life, and I wish this agony would just end…"
"I'm sorry, Mr Prongs," the werewolf replied, and he even sounded a bit sympathetic. "And who are you?" he turned to Peter at last.
"Mr Wormtail, wererat," Peter squeaked nervously.
"I was a rat once but then was bitten by a werewolf," Peter recited quickly. "So now I am a human most time of the month but during the day of the full moon, I transform into a rat."
"Ah. Never heard of something like that before." He frowned slightly but, to Peter's and everyone else's relief, he accepted the explanation.
Author's Note: So... in the next chapter the party will really begin. The second (and last) chapter is almost finished and will be up on Halloween. Reviews would be great ;-)