Chapter Eight –

Disdain (n):

a feeling of contempt for someone or something regarded as unworthy or inferior

to treat as beneath one's notice or dignity

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Remus woke with a start the next morning. His brain hardly registered that he was in the hospital wing before he was up and running towards Gryffindor tower. Without even a thought to how angry Madame Pomfrey was going to be, he bolted up the stairs and, after huffing the password out, slid into the common room and straight up the stairs to his dorm. Glancing around the room he was faintly relieved that Ethan was still nowhere to be found, and began waking his friends up in a matter of seconds.

"James, Sirius, Peter!" He shook each one, knowing that it would take several tries to wake them up if that was all he was to do, so, brandishing his wand, he pointed it firmly at each of them, and said "aqua!" three times. In several seconds the three teenage boys were wide awake. Cold, wet, and sputtering, but awake.

"Remus!" James was the first to process what was going on around him. "You- last night- we weren't sure-" He began, stuttering over his words and looking altogether uncomfortable and uninformed.

"It doesn't matter." Remus hastily quieted his friend. "It's fine, what could you guys have done?" He meant it as a way to ease his friends' worry, but briefly noticed the helpless expressions that crossed James' and Sirius' faces. Remus couldn't contain his enthusiasm though, and continued. "I recognize his smell!" He exclaimed excitedly, the smile stretching across his face.

"Really?" Sirius asked, anticipation causing him to wake up faster. "Who was it?" Remus frowned and shook his head.

"I can't place it. But it's someone I know. Definitely. I'll know him when I smell him." He said confidently.

"You think it's a student here?" James asked curiously, to which Remus merely shrugged.

"Has to be. Or a professor I suppose. Otherwise I wouldn't have smelled it so recently."

"If Rush wasn't in London last night, I would have said it was him." Peter said, laughing. "With that giant bite and all." Peter, still chuckling, headed to the bathroom to shower before lunch, while the three remaining teenagers all sat, frozen.

"It's got to be him. It must have been an excuse just like yours Remus." James said, eyes wide.

"Thank you for stating the obvious Prongs." Remus said flatly, the uncertainty and doubt he was feeling becoming obvious in his manner.

"This is mental." Sirius commented lightly. "Totally mental. Lets go to Hogsmeade and see if he's there." Even his charming smile was strained.

oOoOoOo

Ethan was currently cursing everyone and everything.

"Fuck this! Fuck him, fuck you, fuck, fuck, fuck!" He snarled at no one in particular. He was sitting in the Chamber of Secrets, the basilisk having long abandoned him to his moodiness. "What am I supposed to do now?" He muttered.

"I do not see why this is such a problem to you, snake-child." The deep rumbling hiss signaled Garissen's return.

"Because," Ethan hissed back, "now the school, or at least four too many students at it, will know I'm a werewolf. And that presents even more problems."

"Salazar never told me that hiding what you are is a rule you must obey at this school." Garissen hissed, the mock thoughtfulness coming across clearly in Parseltounge.

"It's not a school rule, it's a me rule." Ethancorrected drily, arms crossed in displeasure. "They'll ask questions I'm not prepared to answer."

"So inform them that they are not privy to that information snake-child. That would be the end of it on your part." Garissen replied calmly, tail circling the statues of the chamber in slow, lazy flicks.

"They wont leave it at that." Ethan responded glumly, absently waving one wandless hand and clearing some of the dirt off of Salazar's gigantic face.

"Then make them."

"I'll probably have to." Ethan agreed, a dark look clouding his face. "It's time for dinner Garissen. I'll come by soon again. Thanks for letting me stay here for a bit."

"Of course snake-child. It was nice to speak to someone, even if they were ranting about a silly human problem." Garissen replied disdainfully, to which Ethan snorted, but accepted it as the basilisk's way of saying good luck.

But maybe it wasn't.

oOoOoOo

As Ethan exited the chamber, saying goodbye to Myrtle on his way out, he forgot that he was in a girl's bathroom, and didn't think to check if anyone was outside as he left. Upon doing so, he wished he had.

"Well, Rush, I knew you were mental but I didn't know you were a girl too." Lucius sneered, flanked by Otto Nott, another seventh year, and Regulus Black, only a sixth year.

"I can't believe any Slytherin, even a abysmal one like Severus, tolerates your presence. You're an embarrassment to Slytherin, even if you are only half of one." Otto drawled as they blocked Ethan's way down the corridor, much to his chagrin.

"Hardly." Lucius scoffed. "This girl has no Slytherin in him whatsoever. "

"Listen boys, I'm not really in the mood to beat you guys senseless, so maybe we could do this another time? I could pencil you in for after lunch tomorrow." Ethan suggested, channeling an older Severus for the disdain in his tone. He was tired, bruised, hungry, and wanted to go fix all of those.

"Why, are you and Sirius going to be fucking till then? Now we know who's the girl in your relationship." Regulus said, a smug smirk curling his lips unpleasantly. Ethan's eyes widened, and his jaw clenched with anger immediately.

"Don't you ever talk about him like that!" Ethan snarled, shoving Regulus up to the wall and staring him down.

"Aww, protecting your girlfriend, Rush? Didn't think Sirius would need a girl to save his honor." Regulus snickered, not backing down. Ethan did the only thing he could think of. Pulled his fist back, and slammed it into the boy's face as hard as he could, enjoying the cracking sound as his skull bounced off of the wall behind it.

Lucius and Otto immediately drew their wands, eyes wide at the brutish display, and shouted curses.

"Sectumsempra!"

"Stupefy!"

But Ethan held up both of his hands, and with a muttered "protego" the curses easily bounced off his too strong shield. He glowered at the three as they stood frozed, his body shaking with hardly concealed rage.

"Fuck off lads." He roared, not noticing the four figures at the opposite end of the corridor as he strode determinedly off to dinner. He was fucking hungry.

oOoOoOo

"What the bloody hell was that?" James was the first to speak after they were witness to the slightly disturbing, but pleasant, sight of three Slytherins getting thoroughly thrashed.

"Bizarre." Remus said, eyes wide and mouth slightly slack. "Definitely bizarre."

"Why," Sirius began, eyes squinted in confusion, "did he go postal over me, not Gryffindors, himself, or Snape?"

"I think we're all wondering that." Remus said lightly, staring down the corridor to where the Malfoy and Nott were enervate-ing the younger Black, and helping him to his feet.

"I don't understand!" Peter whined, looking up at the other boys.

"Neither do we, Wormtail." Sirius said abruptly. "But I'm going to find out."

"Okay." James said as they began to walk to the Great Hall. "What are the possibilities?"

"Secretly has a crush on Sirius?" Peter suggested.

"Okay. That's one. Has a thing against siblings talking about each other?" James continued.

"Weird. Maybe he's reminded of someone else by Sirius?" Remus proposed.

"Is completely off his rocker?" That was all Sirius could come up with.

"I got it." James exclaimed as they neared the hall. "He knew we were there and wanted to make a good impression on us! Remember when he heard me the first day from across the hall? He's got great hearing."

"That could be it, but why would he leave Malfoy and Nott if he was trying to make us like him?" Remus mused. "And that was some good fake anger on Sirius' behalf then."

"Bugger these theories," Sirius muttered, "I'm going to ask the bloke, and get an answer."

oOoOoOo

He was sitting with Lily and Diana, scarfing down a copious amount of food, when he smelled the Marauders enter the Great Hall.

"Ethan, your food isn't going anywhere. You do know you can eat slower, don't you?" Lily said disapprovingly, reminding Ethan of a long gone friend that he once had. He merely grunted in response, feeling only slightly guilty at the look he earned from her. In his head he saw the same look, only with soft brown eyes, instead of the familiar striking green. Ethan paused abruptly, fork still in hand, and had to physically shake his head to clear his mind of the image of his long dead friend.

"Rush, we need to talk." He was only slightly surprised to see an unusually solemn Sirius standing directly behind him, as the Marauders all slid into seats around him.

"Talk." He grunted, continuing the steady flow of food into his mouth.

"We saw what just happened with the Slytherins." Sirius began, and when Ethan shot him a raised brow and a questioning glance, he continued. "Of course we wont tell, but I want to know something."

"And I want to eat my dinner." Ethan replied calmly, his food intake slowing slightly.

"You've had two at least already!" Lily threw at him from across the table, now slightly farther away as Peter and James had forced her to move down a bit. Remus sat beside Ethan, eyes wide and disbelieving as his earlier suspicion was immediately confirmed at the close contact.

"Why did you only go off on them when Regulus mentioned me? Why did you tell him never to talk badly about me?" Sirius demanded, falling back on his default emotion. Anger.

"Because you're a friend and he deserved it?" Ethan suggested, cursing himself for not paying attention to his surroundings earlier, only slightly relieved that this was tonight's line of questioning. He was sure that the other would come soon.

"He talked about Snape too and you didn't do anything! Don't try to talk your way out of this like a Slytherin!" Sirius was getting louder. "I want an answer Rush!" He was drawing the attention of the other houses, and the teachers, with his shouting.

"God damn, Black!" Ethan bellowed back. "Next time someone insults you behind your back I'll ignore it so I wont get the fucking Spanish Inquisition from you!" With that, seemingly unaware of all the eyes on him, he stood up and stormed out of the Great Hall, his stride long and his brow furrowed.

"What's the Spanish Inquisition?" Peter asked, beady eyes following the young man's form as he left.

"Even more important, why didn't he answer me." Sirius muttered darkly, stabbing his food.

"Hey." Remus interjected softly, leaning forward at the table. Whispering, he continued. "We were right. He's the werewolf."

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A/N: So I know it has been absolutely forever since I've updated this story. Seriously, I am so sorry. There was an incident with a missing USB port, but mostly I've just been ridiculous and busy. But not ridiculously busy. Either way, this is kind of a filler chapter I guess. I'm honestly not thrilled with it and might rewrite it, but I hope it's a good mollifying chapter at least, and that it isn't too off base with the rest of the story. Please leave a comment if you have one! Thanks for reading guys!