Right, I have apologies to make! Eh, I wanted to get this up earlier, but… I am the laziest procrastinator this side of England (coughapart from Hannahcough.) So, here we go, the next chapter, and apologies for lateness- and thanks for all the amazing reviews I've had! I love you all!
Usual disclaimers, blah blah blah, I wish, etc.
Walking with Werewolves
"Come, my honourable homeboys! We journey forth, onwards unto the Land of Books! That dreadful and accursed land known to all those who encounter it as- the library!"
Remus sighed, watching wearily as James leapt onto Sirius from behind in a desperate attempt to make him stop his dramatic monologue. In the tussle that followed ("Get off me Potter, you complete pillock!") Remus reflected sadly on the events that had led them to this point in the first place- and wondered if there was anywhere he could have done something to stop the madness.
Given that he was dealing with The Nancy Boys, he decided that was probably just wishful thinking.
After the three Nancies had finished their impromptu bout of revelry in the dormitory (a rousing chorus of 'We are the Marauders', stopped only by Lily and several other Gryffindor girls slamming the door back with murder in their eyes and wands in their hands) they had begun to get down to business. This can be translated to 'spending an hour in the bathroom fighting over the showers and mirrors, at least another hour trying to find suitable clothes to get dressed in, and finally one more hour in the Great Hall attempting to eat everything in sight.'
Of course, all of this progress was further hampered by Sirius transforming at random intervals and bounding around, licking people and just generally making a nuisance of himself. He had finally stopped after trying to sneak in on Remus in the shower, and getting soundly thrashed with the showerhead by the enraged young werewolf, who (as he later calmly explained to a soaked and thoroughly abashed Sirius) Did Not Appreciate His Privacy Being Compromised. This was a speech that was delivered at least once a week, and by now he usually had James and Peter idly mouthing the words along with him behind his back.
But to return to the matter at hand, the Marauders were now washed, dressed and full to the point of bursting with what was most of the contents of Hogwarts' kitchen- and on their way to the Library to try and find out some information about sleepwalking to help Remus.
As far as Remus was concerned, this could not end well.
He was torn from his doom-laden thoughts by a yell of triumph from Sirius, who had finally managed to get James off his back by slamming himself against the wall several times. As a result, the jet-haired boy was now hobbling and cursing furiously, leaning on Peter for support and shooting venomous glares at the jaunty Black heir, who had a casual arm slung round Remus' shoulder and was looking very smug with himself.
"So, tell me Remy," began Sirius, as they rounded the corner of the corridor and began descending the stairs, "what exactly are we hoping to find in this thrice-accursed devil house?"
"Assuming that by that charming title you actually mean the library," Remus said dryly, "We are hoping to find some information about sleepwalking- like what causes it- and thus hopefully some way of preventing said phenomenon. I imagine that at least some wizards have experienced it before, so perhaps they discovered a method of controlling it." The young werewolf rubbed a hand across his eyes tiredly. "At least, I hope so anyway."
Sirius tightened his arm around the smaller teen comfortingly, drawing him closer to his body. "It's alright Moony. We're going to help you, okay?"
The unexpectedly gentle tone had Remus looking up at his friend with a surprised and grateful smile. Perhaps there was a remote chance that this entire sodding expedition wouldn't be the disaster he was gloomily anticipating after all.
"C'mon Pete, I'll race you to the library! First one to hit the other one with a book wins!"
However, there were a few, rare and far-between occasions that our dear Remus had in fact been mistaken. He had a feeling that this was one of those times.
"'…perhaps the moste grievous and atrocious of all knowne Magikal maladies is the Affliction moste commonly known as Somnambulisme, a madness of the mind and unreste in the Spirit. The moste successful of all the remedies is to take the dewdrop of a Rose in the season of Midmay and to drip it thus onto the Eyelids of the afflicted person in question…' Moony, is this book even in English?!"
Remus couldn't help but grin at the wild-eyed expression James levelled his way, as the bespectacled boy brandished a furious hand at the offending tome lying innocently on the table. Peter and Sirius both ignored their friend, buried in their own research as James continued to rant, in a furious whisper-shout- something all four of the Marauders, even Sirius, had managed to perfect over the years, through sheer necessity. (The art of marauding is much better conducted with a certain air of discreteness, as proved by numerous detentions accumulated over the years.)
"I mean, look at this thing! It doesn't even make sense! There is no such freaking thing as 'Midmay', and how in the name of Merlin's balls does dripping a freaking dewdrop achieve anything?!"
Remus, contrary to what one might have expected, was remarkably unaffected by James brief bout of hysteria. To be perfectly honest, he was actually impressed by how long the messy-haired boy had held out- he had expected him to break long before this. And as for Sirius- well, Remus was still slightly stunned that he had entered the library at all. Sirius hadn't set foot in the library since third-year, when he thought it would be amusing to stand in the middle of the library and shout "Accio book!", and had been hospitalised for three days as a direct result. Madam Pince hadn't forgotten about this incident either, if the way she was hovering near the bookshelves with a suspicious expression on her face was anything to judge by.
So, bearing this in mind, Remus just smiled comfortingly at his friend and patted his hand gently. "It's alright, Prongs- take nice, deep breaths, okay? That book is pretty old, so all methods will be quite outdated. To be honest," and here Remus sighed and closed his own book, "I'm not sure we're going to find anything useful in here. Peter, Sirius, have you found anything?"
Sirius shut his book with a snap and tossed it carelessly onto the table with a loud groan. "Not one blessed thing! Moony, I thought you said that books are useful!"
Peter nodded in agreement as he heaved his own book shut. "This is useless too. I'm starting to think that you're the only wizard in history who's ever suffered from sleepwalking, Moony."
Remus let out a small whimper and dropped his head into his hands, thus missing James smacking Peter furiously round the head with a copy of "The Weird and Wonderful Side of Magic". Sirius ignored the howl of pain that resulted and reached across the table to smooth Remus' hair down soothingly.
"Don't listen to that berk, Remy, of course you're not the only one! It just looks like you are, because the others who had it were too sensible to write a load of crap about it."
Remus lifted his head slightly to smile tremulously at his friend (and trying to ignore just how nice Sirius' hand in his hair felt.) "You think so?"
"Ha! I'm a Black!" declared Sirius, tossing his head proudly. "We're never wrong!"
There was a funny choking sound from James, and Sirius flung a quill at him without bothering to look round.
"Right!" The young animagus stood up and brandished his wand at his three homeboys, who were seated round a table in the corner of the library. "I, Sirius Orion Black, am calling an emergency meeting of the Sleepwalking Werewolves Prevention Society! All those present, raise your hand!"
"Aye- aye Captain!" chanted James and Peter, snapping their hands up into salutes and hitting themselves in the head. Remus just stared at Sirius incredulously. "The Sleepwalking Werewolves Prevention Society?"
Sirius pretended not to hear the furious whisper and banged his wand down on the desk with a business-like air. "Very well, I declare this court in session! Today's agenda: the sleepwalking of one Messr Remus John Lupin, Chief Werewolf Extraordinaire and Chairman of the Marauders."
"Objection!" shouted James, waving his hand in the air and nearly taking Peter's eye out. "I want to be Chairman!"
"Well, you can't be, because Moony is." Sirius nodded decisively. "Instead, you are President of the Marauders, Wormtail is Prime Minister and I am Overlord. Agreed?"
The newly elected President and Prime Minister banged their wands enthusiastically against the table and the Overlord held his own wand aloft in triumph. "Motion carried! Right, back to the list. We are tasked with not only finding out why our beloved furry friend is streaking in the night, but also how to stop him. Let the discussion commence!"
(It should be pointed out that by this point, Remus had returned to reading and was effectively ignoring the progress of the Society. This was actually easier than it sounded, as he had had plenty of practise in the past; the spontaneous formation of the We Hate Snivellus Club in first year had more or less taken care of that, as had the Down With Homework Group and the Salamanders Are People Too So Shut Up Evans Organization- don't ask- of third year. Remus had found that it was simply safer in the long run to ignore the three lunatics and let them run amok until they ran out of steam and/or hiding places. So until then he would simply continue reading and pretend that he didn't, in fact, have any idea who the three of them were, but keep an ear out for any 'trigger terms', such as 'Right! You go and get the paint then!' or 'There is absolutely no way this can go wrong' or, his personal favourite, 'Okay, but don't tell Moon- shit, is he listening?')
Meanwhile, back at the impromptu meeting, discussion was well under way, and so far Peter had been belted twice and James had had his chair yanked out from underneath him a grand total of three times. Nothing like democracy, eh?
"Hey, I think I've got it!" James announced triumphantly as he picked himself up for the fourth time and dragged his chair back to the table. "Ok, so we don't know why Moony's sleepwalking, but we should be able to figure out a way of stopping him, right?"
"This sounds promising, President Potter. What did you have in mind?" asked the Overlord, who was balancing his chair on its back legs and swinging dangerously back and forth whilst attempting to balance his wand on his nose.
"Well, we just need to make sure that Moony stays in bed and doesn't go wandering off, don't we? So why don't we give him a sleeping potion or something? He'll be too doped up to do anything but snore!" James said proudly, running his hand through his hair.
Sirius let his chair drop back onto all four legs with a dull thud as he leant forward, eyes gleaming. "Brilliant, Prongs! All we need to do is to try and keep Moony either asleep or in bed- or both!"
"We could hypnotise him!" suggested James, leaning forward as well.
"Or just try and keep him awake as long as possible- he'll be too knackered to walk around!" was Peter's humble offering, which was received with delighted exclamations from his co-nancies.
(By now Remus' ears had pricked up; it had been the 'Brilliant, Prongs!' that had alerted him this time, and he was now listening to the conversation with a mounting sense of horror.)
"Tie him to the bed!"
"Er, get the house-elves to guard him!"
"Set a trap just outside of his bed!"
"Enchant his bedclothes to stop him from moving!"
"Restrain him bodily!"
"Padfoot, why exactly do all of your suggestions involve bondage?"
Sirius was saved from answering James by Remus' sudden re-entrance into the conversation. "I'm sorry, what are you planning on doing to me?!"
Sirius turned to Remus with what he clearly thought was a jaunty, winning smile. "Remy! Don't worry, everything is under control- and we know have plenty of material to go on. Your sleep-frolicking will be over in no time!"
Remus was almost afraid to ask, but he felt he had to. "Sleep-frolicking, Siri?"
The handsome teen grinned. "Saying sleepwalking over and over again was getting boring. Anyway, that doesn't matter because we have a plan that is going to work!"
As Sirius said 'work', he slammed his hand down onto the table, knocking his wand, which spun a complete 180 on the surface on the desk before expelling a stream of flames and setting the nearest bookshelf on fire.
It was later agreed that no-one had ever seen the Marauders move so fast before in all their lives. It was also agreed, on a completely separate note, that it was probably this incident which finally sent Madam Pince over the edge, as decided per the utter screaming rampage she went on whilst extinguishing the burning books.
Either way, it wasn't talked about very much- at least, not in the library at any rate.
"Prongs, I'm sure I've already mentioned that this is possibly the stupidest idea in the history of stupid ideas, haven't I?"
"Yes, Moony, you've actually mentioned it about seventeen times now."
"Ah, good. Well then, I'm curious as to why it hasn't seemed to have sunk in yet."
James heaved an exaggerated sigh, leaning back on the bed. "Look, Moons, just give it a go, alright? I know what I'm doing!"
"You know, I fear that the book entitled 'Hypnotism for Beginners' begs to differ," Remus answered, eyeing the book in his friend's hand warily.
James coughed loudly and opened the offending object with a flourish. "Suck it up Moony, this is going to help you! Right, Padfoot?"
"No comment," the dark-haired boy replied, grinning, from where he was sprawled out on James' bed and watching the proceedings with great interest. "Although, it does mean we have some new entertainment tonight; to be honest, the house-elf marching band plan just wasn't working out."
"Only because we couldn't get a hold of enough kazoos," Peter pointed out reasonably, sitting comfortably beside Sirius and swathed from head to toe in his blankets.
Sirius and James both nodded in agreement, but Remus had no intention of allowing them to get side-tracked this time. "Sorry, can I just return us all to the matter at hand? How can you honestly think that using a galleon tied to a piece of string is going to accomplish anything?"
James sighed in a very patronising manner that made Remus want to maim him (but only a little bit, don't worry.) "Moony, relax, okay? Hypnotism works, you know! I remember my dad saying something about this guy he worked with getting hypnotised to stop him from eating carrots, or something like that. All I'm going to do is, er… 'lull you into a peaceful state in which the mind will be more open and susceptible to suggestions, thus reaching the root of your problems.' Alright?"
Remus' heated glare told him that no, it wasn't alright, and the lanky teen tried to hide behind his open instruction manual, feeling that it hadn't been as helpful as he'd thought.
A soft whimper from the neighbouring bed had Remus turning round before he could stop himself, and the young werewolf found himself caught by the pair of pleading puppy eyes that greeted him. A large black dog now sat in Sirius' place on James' bed, watching Remus with pitiful eyes and whining gently. (This was a dirty trick, and one that none of the Marauders could stand up against- something Sirius was well aware of, and used to his greatest advantage.)
To no-one's surprise, Remus folded, and without any good grace whatsoever. "Alright, fine! But when I'm a gibbering deranged wreck in St Mungo's I'm taking you all down with me!"
(All three of the Marauders were dying to make a comment here, but hell, even they weren't that suicidal.)
James cleared his throat importantly, settling down cross-legged in front of his afflicted friend on said afflicted friend's bed and holding up his homemade medallion. (This was, yes, a galleon pinched from Sirius- who was now back in his human form and looking unbelievably smug- and stuck to Peter's old shoelace with some of Drooble's Best Bubble Gum- the Nancy Tribe are nothing if not inventive.)
"Now, Moony, watch the golden medallion carefully," James intoned in a deep and mysterious voice, slowly swinging said medallion back and forth in front of the tawny-haired boy's face. Remus, looking long-suffering, complied.
"Mooony… you are feeling sleeeepy… a feeling of soft acceptance is sweeping through your bo-ooody…"
Remus' face didn't change- his expression of long-suffering appeared to be permanently etched onto his face- but Sirius and Peter were both regarding James with the air of disbelief that they usually saved for when he was spouting declarations of love for one Lily Evans.
"Listen closely to the beating of your heart, Moony… try and think only of peaceful, calming thoughts… in fact, listen to that small peaceful voice inside of you… listen to your inner Buddha, Moony…"
It is probably safer to not describe the expressions on the faces of the freshly-formed 'We Worry About James' Sanity Organization' at this moment.
"Listen to your Buddha, Moony…breathe in and out, deep, slow breaths… that's right, just relax…"
Against all odds, James' voice had become surprisingly soothing and hypnotic, and Remus was beginning to visibly relax, his eyes heavy-lidded and shoulders comfortably slumped. Sirius and Peter, despite their own misgivings, were leaning forward and watching the scene before them avidly.
"Just let all of your fears wash away, Moony… all of your problems… all of your worries… just listen to your inner Buddha… can you hear what he's saying? He's opening his mouth… he's about to speak… he's sayin- HOLY FLYING MOTHER OF FUCK!"
Heart attacks, as the three teenagers were now discovering firsthand, were really not all they were cracked up to be.
"Holy crap!" James had leapt off his bed and was pacing round the room, running his hands feverishly through his hair and completely oblivious to his three hyperventilating friends. "I completely forgot about Quidditch practise tonight! Jackson is going to kill m- aaack, Siriusgetoffame!"
Sirius paid no attention to his friend's shrieks for mercy and proceeded to systematically beat the crap out of him, snarling furiously all the while. "Potter-(thud) you- total- dick- (thump) you scared- the –crap –out – of – us- (smack) I – think- you've- killed- Moony- (wachung) and- Wormtail!"
At first glance, this statement appeared to be perfectly correct; Remus was leaning forward with one hand on his chest, attempting to re-start his heart, and Peter was flat on his back on the floor, face an unflattering shade of yellow and unmoving.
James, squawking and shrieking, tried ineffectively to squirm free, gabbling apologies to his ex-friends as he went. Finally, Remus raised his head and spoke in a voice that was slightly more high-pitched than usual.
"Siri, let the miserable excuse for a human being up now, I think he's had enough."
Sirius smacked James' head off the floor once more before heaving himself up and going to put a gentle arm around the young werewolf, peering worriedly into his eyes. "Are you okay, Remy? That prat didn't hurt you or anything, did he?"
Remus smiled at his concerned friend, feeling a happy little bloom of warmth in his chest at the arrival of Sirius' protective side. "It's okay, Siri, I'm fine. Just… a bit tired, now, I suppose."
Sirius nodded and hugged him closer, resting his cheek on Remus' soft, tawny hair for a moment before glaring down at the crumpled heap on the floor that was James Potter.
"Oi! Potter! Get your arse up off the floor, it's time for bed! You too, Wormtail," he added as an afterthought, glancing at their motionless friend.
There was a mutter from James' form that sounded an awful like "Screw you, you son of a bitch" but the Overlord of the Marauders graciously chose to ignore such profanity.
Of course, he was cheerfully and tunelessly singing a verse of "Gold" at the time, so he could be that he didn't actually hear James in the first place.
Remus was more inclined to believe the latter.
It is an unwritten law that no matter how many times you go to the bathroom before going to bed, you will inevitably wake up in the middle of the night feeling as though your bladder is about to burst its' way out of your body. Sirius Black was no exception to this rule, and so it was with many mumbled, incoherent curses that the teenager hauled himself out of bed and shuffled towards the bathroom.
As he was leaving the bathroom, feeling pleasantly lighter, he chanced a glance towards Remus' bed, which lay directly beside his and was illuminated by a puddle of moonlight falling through the half-curtained window across the room.
Said bed was surprisingly empty, considering it should have been full of sleeping werewolf.
"Aw, crap," muttered Sirius, suddenly feeling much more awake, and without further ado he sprinted across to James' bed and threw himself in it.
"I t'ink 'e's in 'ere."
"Oh, you think? Well, that makes me feel much better, thanks Padfoot!"
Apparently, James Potter isn't much of a middle of the night person either; or at least, that's what the large bruise now adorning Sirius' jawbone said. (He also didn't like people leaping on him when he was sleeping, particularly when that person was the one who had beaten several different kinds of crap out of him the day before.)
Sirius managed to stick his tongue out at his friend, despite the throbbing pain in his face, and grumpily started leading the way down the staircase into the common room. "Look, just keep a watch out for Moony will you Prongs? Seeing as your grand idea didn't work, we are now minus a werewolf!"
Whatever James was going to reply was forgotten when the two boys both spotted Remus at the same time. He was standing, same as the night before, in front of the fire and staring unseeingly into it.
This was step one of the problem completed; they had found their culprit. The remaining problem they were now facing was-
"How the hell are we going to get him back upstairs?" whispered James. He and Sirius were by now standing warily beside their friend, watching him carefully for any signs of banshee-like behaviour. Sirius shrugged helplessly.
"I dunno…at least we know not to wake him up though. Er, what if we just…"
As he spoke, the Nancy Tribe leader was reaching tentatively out to timidly touch the smaller boy's back. The Nancies held their breaths- but with a complete disregard for any kind of dramatic tension, absolutely bugger-all happened.
James exhaled noisily and nodded decisively. "Right, okay, no problem. What now?"
'What now' turned out to be alternating between gently pushing and coaxing the sleeping Remus back towards the boys' dormitories, with Sirius doing all the manoeuvring and grunt-work, and James 'directing'.
"Right, come one Padfoot- no, watch it, watch it- yeah, okay, gently does it…watch out, there's a step here" ("I know there's a pissing step there, Prongs, we're on a bloody staircase") "good, come on Moony, shhh-shhh, stay asleep, for the love of God don't wake up…"
(It was a great relief for all concerned when James, who was walking backwards in order to see how Remus and Sirius were doing, walked straight into a wall and spent the rest of the journey hissing curses of pain under his breath.)
Finally, the Nancies and their charge made it back to the dormitory, where Peter was still happily conked out and snoring away. Sirius wiped a hand across his brow, breathing heavily.
"Thank god that's over! Alright Remy, time for beddy-boes now, into bed…"
To his surprise, the teen didn't resist, but with the help of Sirius' guiding hand slipped into his own bed with no problem, laying his head on his pillow and finally closing his unusually dull amber eyes.
Sirius and James both stood by his bed, staring at the now-peaceful werewolf, before both sighing heavily.
Nancy Boys: 0, Sleepwalking: 1
It was going to be a long week.
*Dies* Oh my God I am KNACKERED! I have never written such a long chapter in my life! Haha well, I hope you all enjoyed it- I think this chapter was a bit more crackish then the last, but I was having such a good time writing it I couldn't help myself. Right then, you all know the drill! If you liked it, or if it made you giggle even a little bit- then please leave a review! I had such fantastic reviews for the last chapter, it really made me happy! So, if anyone adds me on an alert without reviewing- THEN I WILL PAIR PETER WITH THE GIANT SQUID, AND DON'T THINK I'M KIDDING!
Hahaha! Love you all, see you next chapter!
RinkyPink over and out