Disclaimer: Almost twenty fics later, I still don't own it but if I keep deluding myself, who knows?
A/N: I know I shouldn't be starting this but I had so many ideas whirring round my head that I could never put in 'Where Dwell the Brave at Heart', as avid a photographer as Remus is, there are some moments that would just be completely inappropriate to capture. These, ladies and gentlemen, are those moments.
There seemed to be an awful lot of blood. How was it possible to lose so much and survive?
The bed sheets were already developing a scarlet hue but the cuts themselves were soon healed with a flick of Madam Pomfrey's wand.
Shallow and raspy breaths seemed to take all his effort. His chest heaved and in his potion-induced sleep, he made distressed noises that could signal his pain as much as it could signal his displeasure at the presence of his friends.
Upon their last visit, Remus Lupin had covered himself with the duvet and buried his face in the pillow. His friends had only been able to get a decent look at his hair.
This time though, James Potter had been clever and shown remarkable restraint. The night of the full moon he had insisted that he, Sirius and Peter be in bed and asleep by half past nine. With a jaunty cliché, "Early to bed, early to rise", James had disappeared behind his bed curtains and was not to be seen until half past six the following morning when he had shaken Sirius into action and headed towards the Hospital Wing.
This time, Remus wouldn't even know they were there.
James was somewhat relieved that he and Sirius had been unable to wake Peter. Something told him that he would not have reacted in quite the same way. He imagined a minor panic attack at the very least.
Sirius had sat; jaw clenched, on the opposite side of the bed and locked eyes with James, refusing to look away, much to James' consternation.
"What?" James hissed.
"We shouldn't be seeing this," Sirius replied.
James frowned. "Madam Pomfrey said we could sit in if we wanted."
Sirius gave his friend a sarcastic smile, one rarely used on James. "It's not Pomfrey I'm worried about. Look, Remus doesn't want us here. You know how funny he gets about it."
James bit his lip. "He'll be okay with it. He doesn't keep anything from us anymore. We share things with him."
Sirius raised his eyebrows. "Not stuff like this."
James relapsed into the awkward silence and stared down at Remus' scarred body. They appeared to be everywhere. His arms had been a pulpy mess and he was sure he could make out bite marks along the inner forearms.
"We've got to do something," he mumbled, pushing Lupin's fringe off his damp forehead. "This has got to stop."
"What do you think we can do, James? We're thirteen!"
The light in James Potter's eyes clearly hinted at a plan and for once, Sirius was not eager to hear of it. James frowned.
"Werewolves are immune to animal blood, aren't they?"
Sirius stared at him. "What the bloody hell does that have to do with anything?"
James smirked. "What if we can trick it?"
"What are you-?" It dawned on Sirius. "Oh no! No way! One of us could end up with a permanent tail or something. We could be arrested."
James let out a mixture of a gasp and a sigh. "I notice Remus didn't worry about expulsion when he helped you cheat your Charms test last June. You'd have been held back if he didn't spend the whole hour whispering 'Leviosa' in your ungrateful ears."
Sirius rolled his eyes. "Oh please. He's Flitwick's Golden Boy, nothing would have happened to him."
James raised his eyebrows and shrugged. "He risked it though, to help you and he couldn't have gone anywhere else."
"Don't come it with me, James. I don't go in for guilt. I don't know what it is. You know that."
"He would do it for you," James snapped. "I don't care if I have to spend the rest of my life as a socially inept hermit. I'm going to become an Animagus."
"Keep your voice down!" Sirius sighed. "If I end up covered in fur for the rest of my life, Potter, you can consider yourself as good as dead."
James grinned. "See? I knew you'd come round." He leapt out of the chair and promised a comatose Lupin that they would see him later and even go as far as to make notes so that he could copy up.
"Okay, let's get some breakfast."
James shook his head. "Nope. Mornings are now study periods in the library."
Sirius snorted. "Dream on, Jamie. Dream on."