Disclaimer: Anything that I can write, JK can write better.
"Say cheese, boys," said Mrs. Potter. The Marauders smiled brightly. Just before Mrs. Potter hit the button on the camera, Sirius stuck his open hands on ether side of James's head, giving him the appearance of having antlers. There was a flash then a protesting "Hey!" from James and soon the two best friends were rolling on the floor.
Mrs. Potter rolled her eyes and started to walk away with an affectionate smile on her face. Remus suddenly got an idea. He ran up to her and silently motioned to use the camera. Catching on, Mrs. Potter handed it to him. The two boys rolling on the floor didn't even notice the transaction.
Quite as a wolf stalking its prey he snuck up on Sirius and James, armed with the camera. Peter watched the racket on the floor with a confused look on his face. He looked like he wanted to join but was afraid of getting hurt.
James now had Sirius pinned down, but Sirius got his knee propped up and managed two throw James off for a moment. Absorbed in their 'battle' they hardly noticed Remus sneaking up on them with uncanny silence and skill.
James had Sirius caught in a head lock and Sirius was attempting to bite James's arm and Remus was standing over them with the camera. Flash. Click. James and Sirius let go of each other to rub their eyes.
"Where in Merlin's pants did you come from, Mate?" Sirius said blinking rapidly. Remus took a pillow from the couch and threw it at a head of shaggy black hair. He didn't see which one it was though.
"I didn't come from Merlin's pants," Remus said.
Sirius stuck out his tongue. "Could have fooled me."
"That was amazing!" Peter said. He had been pretty much silent up till that point.
"Thank you," said Sirius, taking a bow.
"Not you," Peter said. Sirius gave him one of the fakest hurt looks. "I mean you were amazing, but I wasn't talking about that," Peter stuttered. A pillow came from somewhere and hit him in the face.
"Take it easy, Peter," James said. "You don't have to tell Sirius he's amazing just to make him feel better." Sirius took a dive for James, but with James's amazing reflexes it was hard even for him.
"Alright then, Pete," said Sirius, after failing another attempt to pin James down. "Who did what that was amazing?"
"Remus. Did you see him?" All eyes turned to him.
"What?" Remus said confused.
"We didn't see you," James said with an unnatural look of respect on his face.
"Well I didn't take your cloak if that's what you're thinking," Remus said putting his hands up in defense.
"Exactly!" said Sirius. "You didn't have the invisibility cloak and we still didn't realize you were there until you were right on top of us!"
Remus was confused. "Are you saying I can turn myself invisible?"
Sirius rolled his eyes. "No."
"All you did was sneak up on them! And they didn't even see you or hear you!" exclaimed Peter. "It was like you were stalking them! It was like you were a wolf-"
"I'm not a wolf!" Remus yelled. A deadened silence followed. Peter almost looked like he was going to cry.
Finally James broke the silence. "Ok, that was awkward." Sirius and James laughed and Peter made a noise that sounded like a giggle. Remus sat down on the couch and managed to force a smile.
The truth was Peter was right. He remembered he experiences during transformation, and the feelings of stalking during those times were very similar to the feeling he had had while he was sneaking up on his friends just then. The thought disturbed him. The thrill of the hunt was meant for the wolf part alone, not Remus. And especially not directed toward his friends.
"You okay, Remus?" James said. Remus looked at him. He felt like saying, "No, James. I'm not okay. I was just hunting you and Sirius. Really hunting. And to further that, I just lied to you. The two last things I ever wanted to do." They didn't get it. They could tell that something was bothering him but they had no idea what.
Sirius cleared his throat. "Well I saw we continue with the meeting, Gents." He said. "James has proposed that we have an all week meeting at his house August 24th. Then we'll all go to school after that."
Remus's throat went dry. That was the week of full moon. There was no way he was going to be spending the night of full moon with friends.
"I can't make it," Remus said quietly. Sirius made a face.
"Why not? Who plans anything a week before the school holidays?" Sirius said.
"I thought you just did," Peter said.
"I mean besides me, Pete," Sirius said.
"I'm just going to Hogwarts a week early," Remus muttered almost to himself. "So I won't be able to make it."
"What!?" Sirius shouted. "You're going to school a week early? Are you out of your mind?"
"No, I just have to go early, Dumbledore asked me to," Remus said. Actually it had been the other way around. He felt safer transforming in the shrieking shack then he did in the puny little shed his family had at home.
"Why does he want you there early?" Peter asked.
Remus stared at the floor. "Um. It's top secret. I can't tell you."
"You can tell us, Rem. We can keep secrets," James goaded on.
"I'm not afraid of you telling someone, James, I'm afraid of you finding out in the first place!" Remus yelled.
James looked slightly taken aback. Sirius turned to James, rubbing his hands. He looked plainly like he was going to try to find out Remus's secret at all costs.
"Sirius!" Remus said seeing the look on his friend's face.
"What? I can keep secrets but finding other people's secrets, that's the fun part," Sirius said looking at Remus like he was some kind of gold mine.
Remus collapsed onto the couch and buried his head in the nearest pillow. How ironic that friends were the last people he'd want to find out his secret and he happened to make friends with the nosiest lot in the whole school. Just his luck.
"Rem?" It was James's voice.
"Okay, I know it's hard for you guys," Remus said, "But this is a personal secret. One that would really suck if it was found out, especially by you guys."
"Why," goaded Sirius. "It's not like you're afraid that we wouldn't be your friends anymore if we found out."
Remus looked like he had been hit in the stomach. His eyes got big and he bit his lip as if to hold back something he really wanted to say.
"Remus?" James again.
"Yeah, I am afraid of that," Remus said quietly.
Suddenly Mrs. Potter came back into the room. "Remus, darling, your father is here to pick you up."
"See you guys at school," Remus said. Without looking at any of them he walked out of the room. Before long a faint 'pop' was heard indicating that he and his father had left with side-along apparation. Remus was gone now.
"The nerve of him," fumed Sirius, "thinking we wouldn't be his friends if we find out what ever stupid little secret he may have. We should find out his secret and still be his friends just to show-" James threw a pillow at Sirius, harder than usual. When Sirius looked up at his friend, James almost looked mad.
"What? Don't you think that's a good idea?" Sirius asked.
"No. Actually, I don't," James said.
"Why not? Do you doubt the strength of the friendship of the Marauders?" Sirius demanded.
"I didn't till just now," James said rising to his feet and jabbing Sirius's chest with his fingers.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Sirius shouted.
"Real friends wouldn't go snooping around where it's not their business," James shouted back.
"But we are the Marauders! Everyone's business is everyone's business; marauder rule number 24." James smacked his friend with the pillow again.
"Don't you think Remus knows that? If it wasn't so important why do you think he wouldn't have told us during the Secret-Telling-Meeting we had in our first year? It must be really important to him for him to beg us not to try to find out," James said.
"What if he's trying to hide something he did that was un-loyal?" Sirius stated. Once again he was treated to another smack from the pillow.
"If he did something untrustworthy and told us looking like he did just now, I would forgive him in an instant and you would too," James said pointing a finger at Sirius. "We are the ones not being good friends if we go snooping around somewhere where we clearly aren't wanted."
Sirius looked down at his feet. James was right. Remus wouldn't ask so much from them if it wasn't important.
"But we go snooping around where we aren't wanted all the time," Peter said.
"Yeah, but this is different," Sirius sighed. He looked at James then at Peter then at the door Remus had disappeared behind. "We at least got to let him know we're there for him and no matter what, we'd still be his friends.
a/n: Thoughts? Ideas? Questions? Love it? Hate it? Whatever? Siriusly. What do you think?