AN: I can't believe I wrote this! It started as a crack idea that somehow morphed into an actual story. I apologize in advance if it's bad; it was written at two in the morning.
Sirius yawned, glancing at the teacher in annoyance. Honestly, class had just started, and he was already bored.
Honestly, we don't need to know about this! Werewolves change at the full moon, hate silver, and want to eat humans. What else is there?
The teacher, Professor Forworth of the DADA position, continued to talk, oblivious to his hidden critic.
"Now, what have you heard about werewolves? Don't be shy, there is no wrong answer." A few hands went up. He smiled, calling on them one by one, but when his gaze landed on two Gryffindor tables, his eyes hardened. Sirius rolled his eyes.
And another thing. Assigned seats? Really? We aren't twelve! Now I'm stuck next to Loony Lupin all term!
Lupin was a pale, thin boy with brown hair that hid golden eyes. He didn't talk much, and despite the fact that he slept in the same dorm as the boy, all Sirius knew of him was that he liked to read.
Which he was doing right now, completely ignoring their teacher. Sirius would be impressed if the book wasn't their Transfiguration text book.
"Mr. Lupin? How about you?" Forworth grinned triumphantly as the boy jumped slightly, looking up. It was a well-known fact that he didn't like Lupin, though nobody could quite explain it.
"What about me, sir?" Sirius glanced behind him, where James and Evans sat. His eyes met James, and they both grinned.
"What have you heard about werewolves? Surely you know something on the subject." Lupin's eyes were surprised, though his face showed no emotion. He breathed out quietly, then began to speak.
"They transform at the full moon…" Forworth was already shaking his head.
"No, no, something less obvious. And speak up; we can't hear you." Lupin breathed deeply, paused, then began again.
"At the full moon…"
"Louder, Mr. Lupin!" Lupin was a naturally quiet person. To speak loudly probably was torture. Whispers began as the other students speculated on Forworth's treatment, or simply laughed at his expense.
"Werewolves are the top sect of those with split personalities." Lupin's voice was slightly louder than normal, yet it carried. The whispering went silent.
"Yes, well, good. Now…" But Lupin surprised them all, standing up and continuing to speak.
"They cannot have a job near children, or the elderly, or the sick, or near people at all when they are unsupervised for a period of fifteen minutes or more. They also cannot work in political office, near Muggles without Ministry permission, or where food, Potions ingredients or medical supplies are created, stored or sold." He was about to speak again, when the teacher cut him off, glaring. Sirius wondered if Forworth was going to yell; he looked close.
"Enough, Mr. Lupin. Sit down now, so that I may continue the lesson." Lupin glared, actually glared back, before complying. Sirius laughed quietly as the lesson continued, with the teacher listing ways to recognize a werewolf, and how to kill them. He never mentioned anything Lupin had mentioned.
Maybe his family's big on werewolf rights, and Forworth is prejudiced or something. It would certainly explain this class, and why he seemed to hate Lupin. The other teachers seemed to like him well enough.
"And because Mr. Lupin so kindly mentioned them, I would like an essay on the Werewolf Codes, as well as your own input on why the laws were written. Two rolls of parchment, on my desk by Monday." Sirius joined the class in a groan, and glared at Lupin. He didn't seem to care, simply packing up his things and leaving when the bell rang.
Honestly, if he cares so much about werewolves, why doesn't he just become one? Sirius blinked, and then grinned. Hmm…
It wasn't until two weeks later that they found a suitable spell.
"Here! It's perfect, look!" James drew closer, grinning.
" 'The translupine spell will cause a person to go through the werewolf transformation, regardless of the moon phase. It is a simple casting, and was created by…', well, who cares, it'll work great! Here's in incantation…" Sirius absorbed the words eagerly, while James copied them onto a piece of parchment.
Peter Pettigrew watched them, biting his lip. He knew they were planning on pranking someone, and had a good idea who. Lupin had gotten them all an extra long assignment for smarming off to the teacher, and everyone knew that they hated extra work.
He wanted to warn the kid, but he'd nearly died writing that essay, only for Forworth to tell them he wasn't going to collect it. The day it was due. Honestly, he should've just taken it at that point! He had taken Lupin's though, not saying why. Lupin hadn't looked surprised, and merely handed over his paper.
In the end, he kept quiet. No-one had ever been seriously hurt in a prank before, and maybe it would keep him from getting them extra work next time.
They decided to do it the next morning. They went early to breakfast, knowing that Lupin was usually one of the first students there. In fact, he was usually gone by the time they came down.
This time, he glanced at them in surprise, before sitting down at the opposite end of the table and beginning to eat, reading a book with his opposite hand.
"Now?" Sirius whispered to James, eyeing Lupin as more people filtered into the room, followed by a few teachers.
"Not yet. Wait until he's leaving for class." By that time, most of the population of Hogwarts would be downstairs.
It was a dreary morning, thick rain clouds letting out a downpour. It would be freezing in the dungeons today.
Finally, Sirius aimed his wand, waited for Lupin's back to be visible, and muttered the spell, hitting him square as he neared the doors.
At first, nothing happened. Sirius was worried that he'd messed up the spell, and began to turn around and let James try. Then the room was filled with a deafening scream.
He whipped back to look, and his eyes widened.
Lupin was screaming, arms clutched around his sides in obvious pain. Then, as the entire school watched, he began to change. His arms shifted away from him, cracking loudly as the changed direction, fingers shortening and nails growing. His legs did the same, and he fell onto all fours. There was blood leaking through his robes onto the floor.
Fur began to sprout all over, becoming matted with blood as it grew. His face began to contort, forming a snout and pointed ears, while his hair shifted into tawny fur.
All throughout, his screams never stopped, even as they changed into howls of pain and fear. The wolf's body freed itself from the robes, revealing a long tail that had been hidden. Sirius now noted that the teachers had been running towards him, standing near with wands drawn. He also saw that there were bloody bandages within the pile of clothes.
The wolf looked at them, then at Sirius. It's eyes were still human. He stared back, until the wolf, Lupin, turned and ran out of the hall, leaving a light trail of blood. All was silent for a long moment.
"Mr. Black, Mr. Potter, to my office. Minerva, no, I will speak to them alone." He added, as she made to follow as well.
She nodded, before turning to the Hall.
"Finish eating and head to class, please. Ms. Evans? Will you take Lupin's things to his dorm?" She nodded, looking slightly sick, and did as she was told. Sirius and James followed Dumbledore out of the Hall.
Remus finished eating, and quickly stood up. He had no idea what his room mates were planning, but had learned that being nearby when it occurred was a bad idea.
He was almost home-free when a spell hit his back. He froze, feeling it happening.
No… He let out a wild scream, clutching his sides. No matter how many times he tried, he'd never been able to hold back that scream when it began. His insides were ripping themselves apart.
He stared at the ceiling, where the moon was still slightly visible. He glared at it, and felt a stream of an ancient language leave his mouth, unrecognizable as anything but noise.
"Traitor, betrayer! Liar and deceiver! Only on the full, only then! Not a sliver…" He lost his ability to speak as his face shifted to that of a wolf, howling his anger at the shining orb in the sky.
He finally stopped, forcing his way out of his robes, wincing as a gash on his leg opened up. He looked up, to find that the teachers had surrounded him. Through them, he could see Black and Potter watching him in shock. He felt malicious pleasure at their surprise.
See what I do every month? Bastards, never think. The teachers were getting closer, and he felt cornered. Giving in to instinct, he ran out of the hall, following what the wolf was saying.
Out of here, away, away. Outside, free, free. It was practically singing, not fighting his control for once. It was a weight off his shoulders, and he ran out the doors into the rain, feeling free and happy. The Forest called, and he went to it.
"Do you two have any idea what you have done?" Dumbledore's voice, like Lupin's, was quiet, yet it contained all the anger needed to terrify both boys. They both shook their heads.
"The werewolf transformation is one of the most painful experiences known to man. Every organ, bone, and piece of skin must shift or break to become a wolf." James meekly raised his head.
"I thought the Cruciatus curse was the most painful, sir." The headmaster's eyes looked at him over his glasses.
"It is not. I am told that it is thousands of times worse, and from what I just saw today, I am inclined to believe that it is not exaggeration." He sighed, and sat down.
"You two are in very serious trouble. I am half-inclined to expel you both." They looked at each other, shocked. Sirius opened his mouth to protest…
And stopped, remembering the look of pure agony on Lupin's face as he changed. And fear; raw terror that still unnerved him now. And that whisper of speech, hidden in the scream…
"Ah. I see that you are beginning to understand. I will say this; when Lupin is found-"
"Found, sir? What do you mean?" James asked, frowning. Surely it wasn't that hard to follow a trail of blood through the castle.
"Mr. Lupin ran outside as soon as the spell completed. As of yet, Professor McGonagall has not found him."
"Oh…" Outside? Why would he go out?
"Now, as I was saying. When we find him, I will decide what your punishment should be. You both shall stay here until I decide, understand?" They both nodded.
Remus fell asleep under a tree in the Forest, tail to snout. The rain fell around him.
He was awoken by McGonagall shaking him. He had no idea why she was there. At that moment, he had no idea who she was, and backed away, scared and defensive. He growled, and she jumped back. She then shifted into a cat.
Remus. Are you alright? He nodded, tilting his head.
Of course. Why wouldn't I be? She frowned at him.
That spell is incredibly dangerous. On a werewolf, it can cause the wolf to take permanent control. Are you sure you are alright? He froze, terrified.
What if he wasn't controlling the wolf, but becoming it? What if he was going to become one of those terrifying monsters he'd seen at the Ministry lock-up?
He began to whimper, and McGonagall turned to a human at once, walking closer.
"You'll be fine, I know it. You're strong, Remus, it won't take over, okay?" He nodded, but inside still worried.
Dumbledore was looking at the door. They both turned, to see McGonagall walking in, dripping wet. She frowned at them both, before looking at Dumbledore.
"We found him, Albus. We had to calm him down quite a bit before we came." She walked in, and Sirius was surprised to see the wolf that was Lupin following her, also soaked. He was limping, and had his eyes downcast.
"Ah, Mr. Lupin, I'm glad we found you before you got too cold. If you will both follow me? Black, Potter, you stay." The three walked into his inner office. Lupin glanced at them once before the door closed.
"Um…" Sirius glanced at James, worried.
"Sorry if I got you expelled, mate. We prolly should've read more about that spell."
"Too right! Pulling that kind of thing on another student! Why, in my day, you both would have been in Azkaban for using that spell! Now with all these anti-werewolf laws going through, it's perfectly okay! Of all the nonsense…"
The speaker, a frumpy old witch on Dumbledore's wall, began to mutter to herself. The other portraits were silent, but Sirius saw his great-grandfather giving him an odd look. He tried not to analyze it, feeling sick. Had he just done something 'worthy of a Black?'
The door opened, and a now-dry McGonagall walked out, leading Lupin, who was still a wolf. They both left. Dumbledore followed, sitting down again.
"Sir? Couldn't you turn him back?" Dumbledore shook his head.
"Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, the spell cannot simply be reversed. We must wait until it wears off."
"Why would that be fortunate?" James interjected, glancing at the door behind him.
"The change back is just as painful, Mr. Potter. Two of them in such a short span of time could kill him. Now, as to your punishment…" They both tensed.
"You are not expelled. I also will not be writing to your families, nor to Mr. Lupin's, per his request. Instead, you both will be charged with keeping him company and taking notes for him until the spell wears off. If I am right, it should the night of the full moon, which is in two weeks.
"Added to this, you each will serve a week detention with Professor McGonagall. More if she sees fit." Sirius frowned.
"How can we stay with him all day if we're taking notes?"
"You should alternate. One of you with Mr. Lupin, the other in class. Whoever doesn't stay with him during the night serves detention. Understood?" They both nodded.
"Good. Mr. Lupin will be staying on the first floor. I believe this may be easier if you both stay there as well. Now come with me, we're going to see Mr. Lupin."
Sirius glanced around. There were two beds in the room, along with some kind of large cushion on the floor. A trunk lay next to each bed, and Lupin lay on the cushion. He looked up as they walked in.
"Ah, Remus. Glad to see you are feeling better. How is your leg?" Lupin cocked his head to the side, before half shrugging and letting out a light bark.
"Good, good. Now, I trust Professor McGonagall has explained everything to you?" He nodded.
"Perfect. Mr. Potter, you will go to class today. Mr. Black, you will be here. Beyond that, you are to decide between yourselves who does what. Your detention begins when the spell wears off. The elves will bring meals here, so you won't have to go to the Hall. Good luck." He left, and after giving Sirius a thumbs-up, James followed.
Sirius sighed, falling onto one of the beds. Lupin merely lay back down.
"I'm sorry, by the way." He looked up at him, ears pricked. Sirius almost laughed. The wolf face showed more emotion than Lupin showed in a week.
"For the spell. I shouldn't have done it." Lupin cocked his head, before giving him an odd shrug and lying back down.
Sirius woke with a start as two paws landed on his chest.
"What the-" He'd been having a good dream, too. Though he couldn't remember any of it anymore. Lupin sat watching him, having leapt off when he'd woken up.
"What is it?" He grumbled, annoyed at being awoken. Lupin whined lightly, gesturing at the door. He looked at it, and realized someone was knocking. He hopped up, opening the door quickly.
James was outside, arms full. He'd apparently been kicking the door.
"Finally! I've been trying to get you to open up for ten minutes!" Sirius shrugged, letting James in.
"I was sleeping. Lupin woke me up." James glanced at the wolf, who had lain down again, then at the door.
"Yeah, I could hear him at the other side. Sounded like he was trying to open it…" The door was covered in claw marks, though as soon as it fully closed, they vanished into the wood.
"Huh… So, what's with all this?" He gestured at the things James had with him.
"I went to the dorm and grabbed some things that the house elves didn't, is all. Then I went to the kitchens and got some food. Here's a roll." Sirius caught it, biting in and glancing at his watch.
"Nearly dinner. S'pose they'll send something up then…" He set about eating the rest of the food James offered, before pausing, watching James.
He'd stood up, holding an armful of food and walking toward where Lupin lay. Carefully, he set it down.
"Thought you'd be hungry. Here." He looked embarrassed, but grinned nonetheless when Lupin gave him a thankful look and began wolfing down the food.
Sirius thought on that as he ate. It seemed that Lupin wasn't nearly as reserved while a wolf. It was small, but maybe there was a good thing hidden in all of this? Kid did need to loosen up a bit.
Lupin fell asleep, curling into a ball and closing his eyes as though he always fell asleep with a tail. Sirius pointed this out to James, who shrugged.
"He probably got plenty of practice today. Now, I have notes for classes, and believe me when I say that history is even more boring when you're trying to pay attention." Sirius grinned at him.
"Well, we don't have it tomorrow, at least. You wanna do that, or should I?"
Three days had passed now, and Remus was just as much a wolf before. He glanced at the door again, before turning to Sirius, who was sleeping again. He was fairly sure that he was staying up all night talking to James while he was asleep.
(They'd decided that, to make things easier, Sirius would do the first week, James the second, and if he was still a wolf after the moon, they'd decide day by day.)
Not that Remus minded, but the days inside had made him antsy. He'd resorted to running in circles around the small room to burn off the excess energy he always had. Today, though, he could tell the sun was shining, the wind was blowing, and it was a good day to run.
And he was inside. If he could just get the damned door open! Even as a human, he wouldn't have been able to resist the pull to run, but as a wolf with nothing to do? He could barely keep still.
He suddenly understood why the wolf gnawed on itself during the moon. He was close to doing it himself, in here.
He glanced at Sirius again, before running at the door, hoping to break it down. He'd already tried several times, and thought he might be close. Sirius had yet to wake up.
Wham! He stumbled back, a bit dizzy, looking at the door. It was still closed, but maybe if he wound up to the back of the room…
Sirius was woken rudely again as a loud bang filled the room. He shot up, looking all around. The door was open, handle half-broken, with a dazed-looking Lupin collapsed in front of it. He looked at the door for a long moment, shaking his head, before abruptly stopping and looking again, barking happily.
He broke down the door? Sirius watched as Lupin stood and ran out the door, before swearing and following.
He found himself outside, in the warm sunshine with a nice breeze filtering through the grounds. Lupin was darting around in the grasses around the lake, looking like a large puppy. He walked over slowly, still registering that the 'large puppy' had broken down one of the doors. Solid oak, magically reinforced doors.
"You're nuts, you know that?" Lupin paused, looking up at him guiltily. Sirius grinned at him, though, and sat down under the old beech tree. Lupin eyed him a moment, before barking and continuing to play.
"Black? What are you doing out here?" He looked up, to see Lily Evans watching him oddly. She was in uniform, and that was when Sirius realized he was wearing pyjamas. He shrugged.
"Watching Lupin. I think a better question is what you're doing out here, Miss Prefect. And during class, no less." She scowled at him.
"I have a free period now. And if you're here with Lupin, where is he?" He glanced back at the lake, where Lupin was now teasing the giant squid, who was partially beached in the sunlight.
"That's Lupin?" She looked surprised. He grinned.
"Yup." Lupin looked back at them, saw Evans, and trotted over, lying down by Sirius and watching the both.
"Jeez, all that for a few minutes play?" Lupin rolled his eyes, before rolling over on his back, and twisted around, either scratching his back or simply acting like a dog. Unbidden, Sirius' hand found it's way to his belly, scratching. Lupin froze for a moment, before continuing his earlier actions.
"He can still understand us, right?" Evans asked, sitting down next to him and hesitantly patting Lupin's head.
"Yeah, but good luck trying to get him to answer back. Closest I've gotten is him biting me." She giggled, tried to hide it, and ended up snorting. They lapsed into silence.
"This is the strangest thing I've done in a while." She remarked a few minutes later. Lupin was laying on his back now, and both were still petting him absently. He was chewing on a stick.
"How so?" Sirius had certainly done stranger things. This didn't get anywhere near the top of that list.
"I'm sitting with you, who I hate, petting Lupin, who is a wolf but usually a quiet boy I don't talk to all that much." Sirius nodded, before grinning.
"Could be stranger." She looked at him.
"he could be human right now." This time, she couldn't stop herself from laughing. Lupin snorted, before barking lazily.
"True, James could be here, too. With no fighting. That would be odd." Evans looked at him oddly.
"What?" He was unnerved by her look; it was true, she and James could barely be in the same room without him asking her out and her rejecting him.
"Did you understand him?" He blinked, pausing. Lupin turned to look at him. He was saved from answering by an interruption.
"Sirius! There you are; did you know the door into the room is broken?" They all looked over to see James running toward them. He stopped when he saw Evans, and bit his lip. Sirius met his eyes and shook his head.
"Yes, I know. I woke to hear it being smashed open. Lupin wanted to come out, I suppose." James sat down next to him, away from Evans, who looked like she was debating whether or not leaving.
"I would too, trapped in the same room as you for three days. Thank goodness it's the weekend tomorrow." He leaned back against the tree, before glancing at Sirius.
"You realize you're petting Lupin, right?"
"Kay. Just wanted to be sure." He leaned back again, seeming to fall asleep.
"Well, isn't this cute. It's the perfect family; a loser husband, a Mudblood wife, idiot son and family pet." They all looked up to see a group of Slytherins, with Bellatrix Black at their head.
"What do you want, Bella? Or has all your parents' Death Eater crap made you unable to do anything but make lame insults?" Sirius noticed she winced at the nickname.
"Just seeing if the rumors are true. It seems they were."
"And what rumors would those be?" She grinned at him.
"Why that you were so desperate for attention you began sleeping with animals." He didn't even see the first spell fly from her wand, but he felt it hit. In a sense.
Lupin leapt in front of him, taking the hit directly and falling into him. The others jumped up quickly, wands drawn.
James cast first, a bat bogey hex that somehow split and hit both Bellatrix and Rodolphus Lestrange behind her. Evans hit another with something he didn't recognize, but he was too busy trying to see what was wrong with Lupin to care.
"Lupin, you okay? What was the spell?" He barked, quietly.
Stupefy… affects wolves weird… be fine… sleepy… He fell asleep, just like that. Evans leaned in.
"Is he okay?" Sirius nodded, standing while still holding him. He was surprisingly light.
"He's fine. Asleep, now. Looks like it was a Stupefy; I heard they affect animals differently." He made up the last, not wanting to admit just yet that he might be able to understand Lupin's barks.
James noticed a slight change after that. Sirius now no longer seemed disappointed every morning when James left for class, for one. In fact, he seemed pleased. He often found both him and Lupin outside, appearing to spend the entire day there.
Lupin, he also noticed, seemed far happier now. He wasn't sure why he thought that, nor did he want to think about it. The whole thing was strange enough as it was.
"Hey, why do you think Dumbledore punished us both? He seemed to know it was me that cast the spell." James looked up from his dinner to Sirius, who was gazing at a wall thoughtfully.
"Dunno. Maybe cause I helped?" Sirius nodded.
"It's your turn to take classes next week, you know." Sirius nodded again, scowling. James wondered if it was just the prospect of going to class. He glanced at Lupin, who was fast asleep. He seemed to sleep a lot…
"Hm?" Shoot. How to bring this up…
"Well, erm… do you like hanging out with Lupin?" Sirius looked at him.
"Yeah, he's alright. Kinda funny, really. Too bad he usually never talks…" James frowned.
"What? Sirius, he can't talk at all now." Sirius froze, and James was shocked to realize he was blushing slightly.
"James… I think I might like him."
"What!" James stared, sure he'd heard wrong. But Sirius kept his gaze down, looking lost and confused.
"I do! He's funny, and I like talking to him, and…" he paused, before pressing on.
"And I can understand him. I mean, when he barks. What am I supposed to think of that?" James didn't know what to comment on first, and settled for gaping.
"Please don't hate me, I'm confused enough about this as it is." James stared some more.
"Are you that angry? I told you as soon as I knew; should I have waited?" Sirius had a tendency of overreacting, and one thing he was guaranteed to freak over was the thought of James not being his friend.
"Please don't hate me!" Oh, and babble. He was doing so now, and James cut him off as soon as the words 'run away to China' reached his ears.
"Sirius, I'm not mad, and I don't hate you. Now shut up." Sirius did so, sighing in relief.
"Sorry. Now, can you please explain what the hell happened to me?" James decided to disregard the 'understanding barks' bit, and focused on the bigger issue.
"You started to like him because you've been with him 24/7 for a week?" Sirius nodded.
"That could be it, I suppose. Does that mean it'll go away later?"
"Maybe. Better question is, do you want it to?" Sirius had no answer.
Remus wondered what was wrong with him. Not a week ago, he had done everything in his power to avoid being near Black. Now, he missed him.
It's just because he's the only one that can understand you. He tried to convince himself, but had trouble believing it.
James groaned, finally waking up. Sirius had already left for class, so it was just them alone in the room. James' eyes met his, and he sat up, rubbing his eyes and reaching for his glasses.
"Sirius thinks he understands you, but I highly doubt I can. So we'll do things this way. One tap means yes, two means no, kay?" Remus gave him a funny look, before tapping his paw. Was this kid insane.
"Good. You want to go outside?" Two taps. It was cold and dreary again today, and Remus would rather stay warm.
"No? Why?" He barked at him, knowing he wouldn't get it.
It's cold, you twat. James held up his hands.
"Right. Yes or noquestions… um, are you tired?" Two taps.
"Hungry?" Two again. Remus wondered if the entire week would be like this. Sirius and he would have wrestled, or 'talked.' He still had no idea how he could understand what he said.
"Urgh… um, the weather?" One tap. Remus realized that James had absolutely no idea what the weather looked like today when his face contorted in confusion.
"What about it?" Remus shook his head, thinking vaguely that if he had his wand, and could use it, he could have simply cast a Aquamenti charm to clue him in.
"Wha-" He looked up. James was dripping wet.
"It's raining." Well, that was interesting. Remus tried to do it again, but with no results. James dried his hair off with a charm.
"Well, that's that, I suppose. But what to do, then…" He sat and pondered, looking comical; thoughtful didn't suit him.
He was still pondering an hour later, when food arrived. Remus began to eat, wondering if James had even noticed. He didn't move, so he nudged him with his nose until the dazed look vanished.
"Hey, food!" He dug in, and Remus lay down on the cushion that was his bed. If this was how the next week was going to go, he was going to go insane.
First sign of madness: talking to yourself.
You don't count.
Er… you're my conscience?
Am I? Remus didn't answer; after all, talking to yourself was a sign of insanity.
Sirius wasn't used to taking notes. He'd never needed them, and really only bothered to write down homework assignments. So he was very thankful that he was sitting next to Evans in Transfiguration.
"Black. Stop copying my notes." She hissed at him. He didn't stop.
"They're not for me, and I have no idea what to write." He muttered back, finishing what she'd written and looking directly at her. She looked back, confused.
"For Remus, remember? He needs the notes." She blinked, raising an eyebrow.
"Since when do you call him Remus?" He blushed. Barely, but it was there.
Since I spent a full week in his presence? Please, help a guy out here, Evans." He gave her his patented puppy eyes look. She groaned quietly.
"Fine. But only if you promise to make it up to me later." He hated making deals like that (bad childhood experiences involving chores and poisonous reptiles), but nodded.
"Don't mention it. Ever."
James wished that he could trade with Sirius. Though the lack of classes was nice, and sleeping in was great, being stuck with a classmate-turned-wolf in a small room was painfully boring. The weather was still horrendous, so they were stuck inside the castle.
"And there's not much to do indoors when we can't talk to each other!" James muttered to himself. Lupin snorted in agreement, before abruptly freezing. He then walked toward the door, nudged it with his nose, and turned to James.
"You wanna go out?" Tap.
"What if I say no?" A glare, and from a wolf, that was scary. James took a moment to look at Lupin, really actually look.
The wolf's body was thin, almost abnormally so, but muscled. There were scars littered over his body, though the fur covered most of them. The fur itself was the same color as Lupin's hair usually was, now that the blood had been washed out.
James blinked, as the wolf was a lot closer than it had been a minute ago.
"Alright, we'll go out. Where you're planning on going, I have no idea." He barked at him, before trotting out the door. James hastily followed.
He had no idea where they were going. Lupin seemed to, at least, running down hallways and up stairs towards their destination. After a few minutes, James was fairly sure he was being led in circles.
Finally, they stopped in front of some old tapestry, and Lupin seemed to be lost, as he was pacing in front of it.
"Where are we?" Lupin didn't answer, instead walking towards the set of double doors across the hall.
"Were those there a second ago…?" James asked the empty hallway, before walking in after him.
They spent the rest of the day inside the Room of Requirement. Remus was pleased that James seemed rather lost, hoping he hadn't revealed his favorite location to escape from Black and Potter.
Are you still going to use it later?
Of course! This is only temporary! Remus noticed that his arguments were losing strength.
You like him~ He ignored the voice, denying that it had any hint of truth.
The Room was a large field at the moment, and James was practicing his Chaser skills high above him. He himself lay down, rolling on the ground to get at an itch before relaxing.
Sirius listened to James' description of the day carefully, trying to figure out where they'd been. Remus had led them in circles on the way back, so James was clueless as to where they'd been.
"But it was excellent! It was like the Quidditch pitch, only without the rain. I managed to get tons of practice in, which I need with all the regular ones I'm missing."
A snort from the corner registered Remus' opinion on that. Sirius grinned.
"What? What's he say?"
"Said you need a lot more practice." James spluttered, and Sirius laughed.
Later, when Remus was sleeping peacefully in the corner, James turned to Sirius.
"So, has the day away cleared your head?" Sirius shook his head.
"No. In fact, I think it's worse." Sirius didn't understand how, a week ago, he had barely known Remus, and now thought he had a crush on him.
"Maybe it's a real crush then." Now it was Sirius' turn to splutter incoherently.
"Well, that's what it seems like to me. Can you think of another reason?" Sirius tried to think of any other reason.
"What's his favorite color?" Sirius answered without thinking.
"Green. But what-"
"Chocolate, but I don't see how-"
"It's The Chronicles of Narnia. Why?"
"You actually know all of those things. Either you two became best friends in a week, or you like him. I'm leaning towards the second."
"Um… maybe it's… er…" James grinned triumphantly.
"You have no explanation!" He laughed, and Sirius sat silently.
"Hey, cheer up. It'll be fine, kay? He looked up again.
"Of course! I mean, I'm Sirius Black! Nobody can resist me!"
The week passed. James and Remus spent their time in the Room of Requirement, practicing Quidditch and watching, respectively. Sirius had been watching the lunar chart in Flitwick's class carefully, and noted that the full moon was tonight.
He was so distracted by wondering if this was Remus' last night as a wolf that he accidentally blew up his Potion, dredging the class in green sludge.
"Twenty points from Gryffindor, Mr. Black!" Slughorn called out almost happily as he cleaned up the last student. He didn't even protest, he was so focused on his thoughts.
His last class, DADA, was the worst. It was on the identification of the werewolf.
"They will become irritable closer to the full moon, and eat more meat to satisfy the wolf. Generally, a werewolf will have brown or gold eyes, and be thinly muscled. Ones still in puberty, however, often appear sickly. This is a ruse done by the wolf to avoid detection.
"They will have sharper canine teeth, longer fingers and toes, and sharper senses. A werewolf can often detect things such as magic, Animagi, and other part humans." Sirius tuned in, confused. Why did that all sound familiar?
"Werewolves can speak two languages, along with whatever native one they originally knew. One is animal speak, and also applies to Animagi. It enables them to speak to other animals and magical creatures." Didn't McGonagall use that to speak to Remus earlier?
"The other is known as 'Moon speak.' Strictly speaking, it is a direct communication between the wolf and the moon, but it can be used as a direct link to their mate as well. If a person is meant to be the werewolf's mate, they will be able to understand this speech.
"There is a theory that it is not actual speech, but a mental projection. No werewolves to date have confirmed or denied this theory." Sirius abruptly remembered Remus, screaming in anger at the moon, as he changed.
He couldn't be…
"Werewolves who already possessed magical talent go through an odd phenomenon. Ones who could already cast spells, as in, they'd already been trained, lose almost all their magical talent, while those infected before they are taught experience a growth in their power. It isn't known why.
"The few that decide to keep themselves locked in, away from fresh prey, will often be covered in scars and cuts, as the wolf will attack itself to satisfy its bloodlust."
The teacher droned on, telling about the history of the werewolf, famous ones (they were all famed as killers), but Sirius wasn't paying attention anymore.
Remus fits all of those… that would explain Forworth hating him… and why Dumbledore was so angry at that spell. I mean, he would have just been recovering from the last moon. Sirius realized that he wasn't scared of the fact that he'd been sleeping in the same room as a werewolf for six years.
He's not dangerous, though. Except for tonight… he'll be locked up somewhere. Sirius shook his head, trying to clear it.
I need to talk to Dumbledore.
Elsewhere, Remus was thinking the same thing, and barked at James to get his attention. They were in their room, eating lunch. He looked up.
"Hm?" Remus nudged the door.
"You want to go somewhere again? We just got back!" He barked again, and James groaned.
"Fine…" he opened the door, making to walk out. Remus pulled him back.
"What? You want to go alone?" Remus nodded.
"Too bad, now I'm interested. Come on." He walked out, waiting for Remus. Remus shook his head, wishing that the boy wasn't so stubborn, but walked out, leading the way to Dumbledore's office.
"Here? Well, okay… lemon drop." They walked into the office, where Dumbledore was sitting, as if waiting for them.
"Ah, Remus, I was wondering when you'd come up. Hello, Mr. Potter." James nodded at him, sitting down and watching Remus pace over to the desk. Dumbledore began to mumble under his breath, simple yes' and nos. Remus was simply staring at him, tilting his head every once in a while.
"Was that all you needed today?" A nod from Remus. "Very well then. Please meet Mme Pomfrey at the Hospital Wing an hour before sunset." Remus nodded again, and trotted out the door. James hesitated, looking back at Dumbledore.
"Yes, Mr. Potter?" James almost didn't say a word. After all, it was Sirius' problem, not his. But…
"Did you understand Lupin just now?"
"Yes. I am rather skilled at Legilimency, the art of hearing another's thoughts. May I ask why you ask?" Somehow, he seemed to already know.
"It's just… Sirius can understand him, too, so I wondered if that was it." Dumbledore's eyes twinkled in surprise and pleasure.
"I believe there is another reason for that, Mr. Potter. In fact, I believe Mr. Black already has an idea of what it is."
Remus didn't leave Dumbledore's office. He saw that James was staying back, and slipped around the desk, hiding under one of the chairs. He wanted to stay away from Sirius before the moon.
Dumbledore gave him a look when James left.
"You cannot hide from them forever."
Just until after the moon. Dumbledore smiled.
"And after?" Remus had no answer.
"Remus, you area allowed to make friends, you know. Don't let the wolf rule your life." he would have said more, but there was a knock on the door.
"Come in." Sirius Black walked into the room.
Sirius wasn't sure how to start the conversation with the Headmaster.
"Ah, Mr. Black. Shouldn't you be in class?"
"Free period, sir. Erm, sir… where is Remus going during the moon tonight?" Dumbledore's eyes twinkled.
"I have arranged for someplace safe, outside the castle. I'm afraid I can't tell you more than that." Sirius nodded, not bothering to question the answer, nor the odd look that Dumbledore cast at the floor.
"That's not why you're here, is it?" Sirius shook his head, and steeled himself for the answer to his question.
"Sir? Remus is a werewolf, isn't he? A real one, not just under the spell." He already knew, though. As soon as he'd though about it, he couldn't deny the truth in it. He wanted confirmation, though. Dumbledore gave him a look. One that made it obvious Sirius was being tested for something.
"And if he is?"
"What?" He tilted his head, confused. What was that supposed to mean?
"If he is a werewolf, Mr. Black. What will you do?" Sirius shrugged.
"I dunno. I mean, it's not like I can do anything, besides tell him that I don't care, is there?" Dumbledore smiled at him.
"There may be more. You'd have to ask him yourself what they are, though. Isn't that right, Mr. Lupin?" He looked down again, and Sirius did, too. Remus was there, sitting slightly behind the desk, watching him with wide eyes.
"Remus?" Remus walked over to him, still staring.
You mean that? You don't care I'm a werewolf? Sirius grinned at him, remembering the lesson on 'Moon speak.'
Yes. I don't care. Remus' eyes widened, and Sirius abruptly found that Remus was on him, tail wagging and licking his face. After a moment, he jumped off, looking embarrassed. Sirius laughed, before looking at Dumbledore in slight chagrin as well. He simply smiled at him.
"You had better get to class, Mr. Black. Mr. Lupin, if you wish, you may head out early if you wish. I will be along later."
They both left. Sirius glanced at Remus, grinning.
"We'll talk after the moon, kay? Try not to hurt yourself."
I plan on it. Remus butted his leg, before running off down the hall. Sirius wandered back to class, a few minutes late.
"Black! Where were you?" McGonagall glared at him from her desk. She was one of the angriest at the spell nearly two weeks prior.
"I had to talk to Professor Dumbledore." He grinned cheekily at her, before taking his seat, pulling out parchment and quill.
James looked at Sirius in confusion at dinner. They were sitting in the Great Hall because Remus was elsewhere.
"Did someone hit you with a Cheering Charm or something? What's with you?" Sirius smiled some more.
"Maybe I'm happy because there's pudding today."
"There's always pudding."
"I'll tell you later, okay?" James grumbled, but nodded.
"It had better be a good explanation, though, to make up for the wait."
Remus felt the change very differently today. It was a simple shift in mind set, letting the wolf take over, instead of ripping pain and torment. The wolf regarded itself in surprise.
No blood. Easy transformation today. Remus agreed. The wolf then looked around the room in surprise.
Where house? This field. Dumbledore had done a great job on the room, Remus noted with glee. Instead of a cramped room filled with old furniture, it was a wide meadow. An extension spell had done most of the work.
Human make field for Moony. Moony can play. Remus told him easily, slipping into 'wolf speak.' Moony, the wolf, looked around, hesitantly stepping further into the grasses. As soon as he realized it wasn't going to disappear, he shot forward, playing happily, just as Remus had earlier in the week.
Remus inwardly grinned.
The change back wasn't pleasant. Despite the openness of the field, Moony had still began to gnaw on his arm near the end, and Remus knew that his ankle was sprained due to an odd fall earlier in the night.
But it was easily the best moon he'd had.
Moony howled as he changed into Remus, but Remus wasn't screaming when he came back. He simply sighed as the change finished, stretching his limbs and reveling that they were human again. He was bloody, he couldn't help that when his flesh was ripping itself apart, but those cuts would heal quickly.
He smiled sleepily, before falling down into the grass and falling asleep.
Sirius was antsy, hopping from foot to foot and generally driving James mad.
"Sirius! Calm down! He'll be back to normal today, now sit down!" Sirius did so, but was still anxious.
"Can we go yet?" James shook his head.
"Wait ten minutes, okay? Curfew is still up, and I'm not getting any more detentions on top of this." Sirius sighed, but managed to stay still for the next ten minutes.
The moment the clock struck seven, however, he was out the door, running down to the Hospital Wing. James trailed after him helplessly, knowing that if Remus was still a wolf, he would have a lot of work on his hands.
They reached the doors, just as Dumbledore walked out.
"Well?" Sirius asked, eyes bright. Dumbledore smiled.
"He's fine, and human again. I believe he's waiting to see you." Sirius was already running inside. James stood still, awkwardly.
"Both of you, Mr. Potter." He glanced at Dumbledore, who was still smiling.
"I'm not so sure." But he walked inside.
Remus was lying on one of the beds, sitting and talking to Sirius easily, who was sitting on the edge of the bed. His arm was bandaged up, and one ankle elevated and bound. He smiled at him when he walked inside.
"'Lo, James." James sat down next to Sirius, in the chair.
"Morning. Jeez, what happened to you?" Remus looked at Sirius.
"You didn't tell him?" Sirius shook his head.
"What?" Remus bit his lip, before speaking.
"I'm a werewolf. The wolf wanted to eat my arm last night." James was glad he was sitting down.
"You're a… werewolf?" He nodded. James shifted, looking at Sirius.
"How long did you know?" Had this been going on for the entire time?
"Relax, I found out yesterday." Oh. So that's what that had been about.
"Forworth's lecture. I think that was the point, actually. He seemed to focus on how to identify werewolves the entire day." The last two weeks had been on werewolves, James remembered.
"He hates werewolves. So… are you okay with it?" Remus was watching him closely, looking nervous. Unconsciously, he drew closer to Sirius. James grinned at the look on Sirius' face. He'd noticed, at least.
"I guess. I mean, it's not like it's by choice, is it?" Remus smiled, and relaxed back into the pillows.
The next week was a mess of catching up in classes, moving back into their dorm, and awkward glances between Sirius and Remus. James had noticed, but with the detentions he had, it wasn't until the week was up, and detention served, that he could finally comment.
"Aren't you going to say anything to him?" Sirius gave him a look.
"You kidding? We just befriended him. How am I supposed to tell him I'm in love with him?"
"What?" They both turned, almost comically, to see Remus standing in the doorway, a pile of books in his arms. James backed away towards the door.
"I'll just leave you two to it."
"What did you say?" Sirius sighed, rubbing his head. He hadn't wanted to tell him this early, and certainly not by him overhearing it.
"Well… I'm in love with you." He said it quickly, trying to get it over with.
"That's what I thought you said." He set his books on his bed, before walking up to him.
"And did you mean it?" Sirius' eyes widened.
"Of course I mean it! I don't tend to lie about those kind of things." Remus smiled, and leaned forward, until they were nose to nose.
"Then it'll please you when I say this: I love you, too." Sirius didn't even think, closing the gap in between them.
Remus gasped, arms flailing away from him before settling in Sirius' hair. Sirius grabbed his waist, pulling him closer.
When they ran out of air (Sirius would have to tell Remus how to breath when kissing), Remus smiled at him.
I love you. Sirius smiled back.
And I you.
"Can we stop being so corny now, and continue snogging?" Remus grinned.