Once a Month
James knew why Remus went home once a month. Of course he knew. How could he not? They shared the same dorm room, after all, and James was (apparently) far more observant than Sirius or Peter. After all, it wasn't either of them who had worked out Remus's big secret, was it?
Of course, when he presented his theory to the other two boys, they pointed out several flaws.
"Wouldn't the professors know, though?" Peter had questioned. "Dumbledore or McGonagall at least. And Madam Pomfrey. I mean, you know how often Remus ends up in the hospital wing. It's not the sort of thing you can hide from your healer, is it?"
James had to admit that it was a good argument, but maintained that maybe the professors and Pomfrey were going along with what Remus wished for the other students to believe. Peter thought that this was as good an argument as any – or at least, he didn't bother to counter it.
Sirius, however, was not so easily dissuaded. "James, think for a moment. If you were right, then there's no possible way that Remus would be sharing a dorm with us."
"But we never see him changing," Peter said in a quiet voice. "Who knows what he's hiding under his robes?"
"Exactly!" James said triumphantly. "It's suspicious, isn't it?"
"Maybe the poor bloke just doesn't like changing in front of others?" Sirius suggested, tone exasperated. "I grew up with a brother, Pete has three, and you have no shame whatsoever. Remus is probably just an only child with a sense of propriety that he'll grow out of eventually once he's shared a dorm with us for seven years."
James blinked at him. "Sirius."
"You're wrong, Potter. I'll prove it."
Sirius smirked at him. "You'll see."
From that response, James had been expecting Sirius to draw it out indefinitely until his curiosity snapped (or Peter's sanity gave out) and they begged him to let them in on his plan. He was almost looking forward to it (after all, surely his resolve was stronger than Peter's sanity).
But at that moment, the door opened to admit the subject of their conversation.
James had to concede that they probably looked pretty odd. They were sitting in a vaguely triangular attempt at a circle on the floor in the middle of the dorm and were, in his and Peter's case, at least, attempting to look innocent.
Sirius, however, beamed brightly and stood up. Remus took a wary step back after seeing the mischievous expression on the dark haired boy's face.
"Hello, Remus," Sirius practically purred.
Remus's eyes widened fearfully. "Whatever it is, I don't want any part of it," he stated firmly.
"Oh, it's nothing bad," Sirius hastened to reassure him. "I just need you to truthfully answer a little question for me. It's for a good cause."
"What kind of good cause?" Remus asked cautiously.
"Proving James wrong."
"Oh, fine. Ask away, I'll try to answer it for you."
"Great!" Sirius clapped his hands together. "Remus Lupin, are you a girl?"
Peter squeaked. James felt his jaw drop. Sirius just raised an expectant eyebrow.
Remus just stared, sputtering a few incoherent sounds as if trying to talk. "Wh-what?" he managed to finally get out. "Of course I'm not a girl! What the hell –" He turned to look incredulously at James. "What in the world possessed you to think that?"
James blushed, suddenly feeling sheepish. "Well…you go home once a month…my cousin Cynthia gets really bad cramps at that time of the month…I thought maybe that was why…and that you might be hiding out up in the hospital wing or something…"
"You're insane," Remus stated, sounding slightly awed. "Genuinely and utterly cracked in the head. We've been sharing a room for the better part of thirteen months now. Surely you know me well enough to have ruled that possibility out mere seconds after thinking it?"
"Um. I guess not, huh? But it sounded more plausible than my first theory."
Sirius turned and blinked down at him. "First theory?"
"You never mentioned that one," Peter added.
"Well, like I said, it's even crazier than the Remus-is-a-girl theory. After all, there's no way that our sweet little Remus could be a werewolf."
Peter and Sirius blinked at him. Remus made a few choking noises.
Sirius burst out laughing. "Remus? A werewolf! Ha!"
James laughed along with him.
"Wait, wait, I know!" Sirius forced through his chuckles. "He's a vampire!"
"No, a zombie!" James responded.
"A veela!" The two of them collapsed onto the floor, giggling helplessly.
Remus looked at Peter. Peter stood and gave him a wry smile. "They're not that observant, really, are they?"
"Um, I guess not?"
Peter shook his head in amusement, gazing down at the slightly hysterical two on the floor. "I wouldn't worry, Remus. They'll figure it out eventually – I mean, I did."
Remus blinked. "You…did? And you're not running away?"
The other boy snorted. "You're kidding, right? Even if you are a werewolf, you're still the utterly harmless, unassuming and slightly adorable Remus we met on the train. The most damage you've ever caused was to the Potions classroom and, as a result, Slughorn's sanity."
"Oh. Well, Slughorn was asking for it, really – wait…I'm getting off topic here…um… Well, thanks, Pete."
Peter shrugged. "You're welcome, Remus."
They both fell silent and listened to James and Sirius coming up with (and giggling about) even wilder theories.
"He's a leprechaun!"
"I know; he's a stripper!"
"No, an anorexic burgler!"
"Five Galleons on them not figuring it out till third year," Peter said suddenly.
"A superhero!" Sirius cackled.
"Snape's illegitimate lovechild!" James declared triumphantly.
Remus gave him a wry smile. "At this rate, I think I'd have to say fourth, at least."
"Wouldn't surprise me at all," Peter snickered.
I find it amazing that maybe forty or so extra words and a little shuffling of sentence placement caused me to stop hating the end of this fic so very much. I did, I truly did, which is why it was finished for several months before I committed said editing and deemed it relatively less crap.
So...hopefully it was mildly amusing, or something. Please review.