Sorry for the prolonged update. I've got too many in progress stories. Bla! Anyway here is the long awaited update.
The walk to Hogsmead was long but the three boys insisted on running there the whole way. At least they tried. As soon as Peter collapsed out of breath they slowed their steps and continued walking as fast as they could.
The Shrieking Shack stood lonely off to one side of the wizarding village. The boys made their way over there trying to stop their knees from shaking. Peter was failing that as well.
The Shack loomed before them. It looked eerie, old and creepy and even Sirius, who enjoyed taking risks, didn't want to go in there.
"Well," James said finally, "Let's go."
Silently the trio walked up to the door of the shack. Upon reaching it, Sirius lifted a hand to knock on the door. James hand snapped out and caught his wrist. Sirius looked at him quizzically and James shook his head.
Peter was oblivious to the silent argument his friends were having and before anyone realized what he was doing, he reached forward and turned the handle of the door. The whole building was ever so slightly tilted to one side and the big door was extremely heavy. Therefore, the only thing holding the door shut was the latch and when Peter opened it, the door swung open effortlessly and slammed into a wall on the inside with no little amount of noise. James and Sirius's heads turned to look at their friend who grinned sheepishly.
Sirius rolled his eyes and James released his friend's wrist and walked forward into the building. It was dusty but that was it. No ghosts. No ghouls.
"Well," Sirius said suddenly, making his comrades jump, "This is creepy."
"Shhhhh," Peter hushed franticly. James shook his head.
"No, I think Sirius is right Pete. Or at least what his sarcasm was implying. There isn't anything in here but Rem," James stated looking around.
The layer of dust on the ground was undisturbed however.
"Where did he come in?" Sirius wondered out loud.
Suddenly there was a bang from up stairs and Peter squeaked in fright. James and Sirius went ridged with fear.
Another bang followed. This time they heard a human yell accompanying it.
'Remus,' James mouthed to his friends. They relaxed but not much. The banging and yelling continued and Sirius led the way up the stairs, wand out and ready.
The Marauders reached the level the noise was coming from.
"Sounds like he's banging himself against the wall," Sirius whispered. He led them faster down the hallway toward the noise.
Suddenly Sirius stopped. Pete and James almost collided into him. There in the thick layer of dust was a paw print. Sirius stood frozen looking at it for a full twenty seconds. James and Peter peered around his shoulder. The paw print was huge! Just imagining the size of the wolf that fit it…
James shook the fearful thought out of his head, and then abruptly decided to help Sirius do the same. The thwack of his hand against the back of his friends head just happened to be in-between the crash-and-yell combination coming from the end of the hall. The pattern of it paused for a moment before continuing.
"He's only a werewolf, mate," James whispered and Sirius nodded, biting his lip, before setting his face and continuing.
When they got to the end of the hall and peered in the door they could clearly make out Remus's form and he was indeed throwing him-self against the wall.
Sirius huffed. The three backed up to decide their approach.
"The big drama queen," Sirius muttered as James pulled them down the hall.
"I know," James sighed. "I get why he would expect normal people to end a friendship over being a werewolf. But maybe he didn't realize that we aren't in the least bit normal."
Sirius and Peter chortled.
"I say we surprise him like we did on the train," Peter suggested. Sirius silently pumped his fist in the air, showing his approval of the idea. Another shuddering bang came from the room down the hall.
Remus growled as he plunged himself into the wall again and again. His despair quickly flashed to frustration and then despair again.
Why did they have to come with him early? Why couldn't they have just left him alone? Why a boggart? Why did he have to be bitten in the first place!? Why him?
All through out his frustrated blows at the wall Remus kept imagining what his friends would say if they could see him.
"Stupid, dog," James would say. "That creep has been lying to us for the last two years!"
But another, more practical James voice would say, "Remus, seriously, you're worked up over nothing. You don't even know what we think about this yet."
Angry Sirius would say, "I've been trying to escape dark magic and dark creatures my whole life and now my own fellow marauder happens to be a werewolf! You can't trust anyone these days!"
Another angry Sirius voice would say, "Darn it, Remus! What do you take us for idiots!? Like we would really just walk away from you because you're weirder than Peter."
Peter would squeak in fright often but sometimes he'd pat his shoulder and tell him he was still Remus.
Remus always ignored the second voices. He knew it was just his hope running away just to be crushed again when his friends shunned him when he found the guts to return to the castle.
"Ahhh!" Remus screamed one final time smashing his fists into the wall. Part of the walling crumbled with the impact. Remus stayed up against the wall with his eyes and fists clenched shut, breathing hard.
Slowly he opened his eyes. There were other marks made in the walling next to the one he'd just made with his fists. He ran his fingers over the deep scratches his claws had made the night before. Then he traced his hands over the indents he made with his fists.
Even when he was human he couldn't escape from what he was. He still destroyed. He still scared people. Wolf or human. His knees gave way and he sunk to the floor, still leaning against the wall.
"So what happened back there?" Peter's voice was saying. Hope was running away again. Remus did his best to ignore the voices.
"Hmmm… I don't know," James said disinterested, like his attention was elsewhere. Remus shook his head, thinking that he was losing his mind. Those voices sounded incredibly close.
"I think Remus turned into a werewolf or a who-wolf, which-wolf, when-wolf… a what-the-heck-is-that-wolf…. Whatever," Sirius responded also sounding distracted.
"Whatcha reading?" Peter asked the two.
Remus's head perked up. He hadn't heard that one before. The voices always involved his "monthly issue" as Professor Rizendale had put it so nicely. Sirius reading though, that was a stretch.
"Mmm…. Transformation text book," Sirius responded.
Now that was weird. He didn't even think that Sirius knew the words 'text book.'
"What!?" Apparently Peter didn't know Sirius knew those words too.
"We're planning the ultimate prank, Pete!" James explained. "When were in our seventh year we'll be transforming people into animals! Then during that whole class Sirius and I will talk, whisper, pass notes, whatever until McGonagall asks us to transform each other as punishment because we were so obviously not paying attention."
Remus listened harder. He had no idea where the James-voice in his head was going with this.
"Then," Sirius continued, "We'll do it! She'll be so surprised she'll give us points and shut up!"
"Or give you detention for distracting her other students," Remus muttered.
"Oh, but I'll give her my irresistible look!" Sirius explained.
Remus, humped, "How do you plan to transfigure each other if you are going to make such an effort of not paying attention?"
"That's the best part," James said. "We'll be Animagi! Did you know that someone in their Animagus form isn't affected by a werewolf bite?"
"Really? Awesome!" said Sirius. "Then we could come up here with Rem when he transforms so he won't have to be all alone in this stinky shack."
There was the connection. Die, Hope, Die! It's inevitable anyway. Remus banged his head against the wall.
"James," Sirius whined, "Moony is getting moody again."
"Moony?" Remus mumbled.
"That'd be you, my good friend," Sirius said simply. "Werewolf, Moon, Moony. Keep up with me here."
There was a long pause. The voices had stopped. Maybe hope finally died like it was going to.
"Maybe he though he was just hearing things," Peter suggested. Remus heard a smack like a palm against a forehead.
"That would explain it!" James said. "Come on Sirius!"
"GAH!" Remus screamed as suddenly two sets of hands grabbed his arms and hauled him back towards the musty bed in the room and threw him down on it next to Peter.
James and Sirius stood over him studying him.
"Have you lost your mind, Rem?" Sirius said.
Remus stared at his friends- well companions at least- maybe now he was hallucinating.
"Maybe," Remus said quietly. James rolled his eyes and smacked him over the head.
"We're really here," he said handing Remus The Map. The Map didn't lie. All four names of the Marauders were in the shrieking shack.
Remus let the idea sink in. His friends were here, they weren't scared of him, and by the sound of it they wanted to help! He cautiously let relief wash over him.
"Siriusly, Remus," Sirius said. "You're such a drama queen. Like we would really just walk away from you because you're weirder than Peter."