A/N: Hey, Gits! It's not slash! Julie, I'm sorry about that.
Disclaimer: These wonderful characters do not belong to me. They belong to JKRowling. I am merely torturing, er, borrowing them for entertainment purposes only.
Lily Evans led Remus Lupin none-too-gently off the lift and down the hallway, but he let her do it because, firstly, he was just as worried about the ones they were there to visit and, secondly, she'd probably hex him if he slowed her frantic pace.
"Which way?" she snapped without looking back at him as they approached an intersection of corridors.
"Left," he replied immediately.
He couldn't help but think his left arm had been pulled out of its socket by the way she yanked him around the corner. She heard his small grunt of pain, though, and threw a quick glance over her shoulder.
"Nothing," he answered, assuming it would mean nothing to her if his arm really was out of the socket. Besides, he'd spotted someone that she hadn't. "Padfoot!"
Sirius Black rose from the hard plastic chair in which he had been sitting and smiled tiredly. "Moony! Lily!"
"Where's James?" the redheaded girl demanded, obviously deciding that the fact that Sirius was on his feet and talking left him undeserving of another moment of concern.
Before Sirius's hand had completely risen to point to his left, Lily was moving away from them and into the room where her fiancé presumably lay, leaving Remus alone with his friend.
"Nice sling," Remus commented, eying the bright green material.
"St. Mungo's best," Sirius replied. He reseated himself and motioned to the chair next to his. "Have a sit-down, Moony."
"What happened, Padfoot?" Remus asked, taking the proffered chair. "I thought this was supposed to be a simple 'look and see' thing."
"It was," Sirius said, with obvious disgust. "And it still would have turned out fine until Moody hexed James."
"Moody hexed James?"
"Well, he didn't mean to."
"Who was he attempting to hex?"
"Well, I suppose he was attempting to hex James, but he didn't know it was James."
Remus blinked. "Sirius, that makes no sense."
"Well, if Evan Rosier hadn't kicked Moody's magical eyeball under a forklift, then he'd have been able to see that it was James behind him and not a Death Eater, and he wouldn't have hexed James."
"Rosier... kicked... Moody's... eyeball..." Remus repeated weakly. The image that Sirius' words had evoked made him suddenly want to shudder.
Sirius' face, however, lit up like a Christmas tree. "Gods, you should have seen it, Moony! Rosier's feet went right out from under him and he fell flat on his arse..."
"Padfoot, how did Moody's eyeball get out of its socket?" Remus wasn't quite sure he really wanted to hear this, but the story did seem to be shaping up to be slightly better than one of those jokes that began, 'A werewolf and a vampire went into a pub...'
"The boxes just knocked it right out of his head. Funny, that. He's got the thing charmed to resist being pulled out of his head by spells, but a sharp whack on the back of his head will send the thing popping out of his head by a good six feet." Sirius' uninjured arm copied the trajectory that apparently Moody's eye had travelled as it left the Auror's face.
Remus slowly closed his gaping mouth, took a deep breath, and then dived back into the fray. "What boxes?"
"Hmm? Oh, the boxes that he'd been hiding behind during the duel. Luckily they were only filled with pillows." Sirius grinned. "An eyeball rolling around on the floor would have been the least of Moody's worries if those boxes had been full of teakettles or books."
Remus ignored his friend's comment and grabbed hold of the one loose thread that he felt might bring this story together. "So he was duelling with Rosier..."
"No, no." Sirius shook his head. "He wasn't duelling Rosier. Benjy was duelling Rosier. Moody was duelling with Rodolphus Lestrange." He muttered a few uncomplimentary adjectives under his breath until Remus stopped him with the next question.
"And who were you and James duelling with?"
"I, mon chere Moony, was swapping spells with my mad cousin, Bella. James was holding off two Death Eaters, but I didn't see who they were. Not very experienced, I don't think. New recruits, I'd guess, because I didn't recognise their masks." Sirius' tone had sobered as he reflected on their experience.
Remus almost hated to ask, but ask he did. "In what kind of place were you that had boxes full of pillows and Death Eaters?"
"A Muggle warehouse, of course. Wouldn't need a forklift in a wizarding warehouse, now, would you?"
"Of course not. How silly of me," Remus said, getting to his feet and beginning to pace. He wondered briefly if this conversation would be easier to follow if he were drunk. "But what were you doing in a Muggle warehouse?"
"We were looking for Death Eaters! Honestly, Moony, are you sure the bloody boxes didn't fall on your head? You're not following the story very well."
"No, I don't suppose I am... Why would Death Eaters be in a Muggle warehouse?"
"They were looking for us."
"Sirius, that makes absolutely no sense. Why were you in a Muggle warehouse when Death Eaters would have absolutely no reason to be?"
"Moony, maybe you should sit down." The dark-haired wizard waited for Remus to shake his head before shrugging in a 'whatever makes you happy' manner and then continuing. "We were there because we were waiting to see if the Death Eaters would show up to find us there."
"But why would the Death Eaters even think that you'd be there?"
"Because Moody told them we'd be there."
"'Because Moody told them...' Sirius, you're giving me a headache. Why would Moody—?"
There was a mighty sigh. "He was getting some information from a man in a pub, but he had a suspicion that the man was selling off information to the Death Eaters about Moody. So, he told the man we had a tip about the Death Eaters attacking the warehouse, and we went there to see if the Death Eaters would show up."
"And they did." Remus flopped back onto the chair.
"And they did. So, obviously Moody's informant is trying to play both sides. Moody's not happy about that. At all."
"No, I don't suppose he is." Remus rubbed his thumping temples with his fingers. "Okay, let me get this straight. Moody was trying to test whether his informant is a double agent, so he told the man he got a tip about the Death Eaters, that they were going to be at the warehouse..."
"I just told you that..."
"Yes, I know. Just... listen. So, Moody, Benjy, you, and James went to the warehouse to see if the Death Eaters would show up. Because, if they did, then Moody would know the man had told them what Moody had said."
"Exactly. Oh, and Diggle went, too, but he left before the fight began."
Ignoring Sirius' additional comment, Remus gamely went on. "So, the Death Eaters showed up, you got into a duel with them, and during this duel, a stack of boxes filled with pillows toppled over, hitting Moody in the back of the head. His," Remus gulped, "eyeball flew out of its socket..."
Grinning madly, Sirius repeated the graceful arc with his good arm. "It was a thing of beauty, Moony..."
"Shut it," Remus snapped testily. "The eyeball came out of the socket and rolled on the floor. Rosier slipped on it." He spoke slightly louder to drown out Sirius' comment, "Fell flat on his arse!" and the subsequent chortling. "Rosier fell and the eyeball went under a forklift. Then, during the fight, James ended up behind Moody, but because he couldn't see well, Moody didn't know it was James, and that's when he hexed James, thinking it was a Death Eater behind him."
"Exactly," Sirius said, smiling angelically. "Isn't that what I said?"
Remus resisted the urge to punch his friend in the nose. "I suppose you did," he finally acknowledged with a heavy sigh. "But if I were you, Padfoot, I'd let James tell the story."
The other wizard's shoulders slumped. "Damn shame, really, but I don't suppose Moody will let us tell it."
"Why ever not?" It had to be the eyeball, Remus decided. Moody wouldn't want anyone to know it could come out that easily...
"Well, he's not very happy with us about this."
"I thought you were there—"
"He didn't really expect us to fight. We were just supposed to see if the Death Eaters showed up, see who they were, and then we were supposed to get out."
Remus' eyebrows lowered in confusion. "But if they saw you before you could get away..."
Sirius squirmed as he sometimes did when he'd been caught doing something that he really shouldn't have been doing. "They probably wouldn't have seen us if it hadn't been for James." Before Remus could ask, he went on. "He sneezed."
"Yes. And when he did, well, that's when all hell broke loose."
"For Merlin's sake, why didn't James try to stop himself—?"
"He tried, really, but I swear that feather was charmed to attack his nose," Sirius said, shaking his head sadly.
"Feather?" Remus' voice rose in pitch and volume.
"Where in the world—?"
"We were in a warehouse with pillows, Moony!" Sirius said with exasperation. "What else do you stuff pillows with?"
"But—" Remus clamped his mouth shut. Somehow, he did not want to know any more.
Sirius gave him more information before he could plug his ears, though. "Of course, the feathers might not have been flying around if James and I hadn't had a pillow fight..."
Remus was a Gryffindor, but he knew when retreat was the better part of valour. He fled before Sirius could mutter another word.
It was two weeks before he could look at Moody's magical eye without wanting to laugh hysterically.
If my little story made you laugh at least once, won't you tell me so? Please?