TITLE: How to Find a Mate in Less than Thirty Days [prologue/?]
AUTHOR: Samantha [kali_neba@hotmail.com]
DISTRIBUTION: Azkaban's Lair. Anyone else, please ask first.
SPOILERS: None. Takes place in the MWPP days at Hogwarts.
RATING/CONTENT: PG-13, Sirius/Remus, some James/Lily, minor language, very minor mentions of sexual situations
SUMMARY: Remus gets some bad news, and the Marauder's take matters into their own hands.
DISCLAIMER: Not mine. JK Rowling owns the lot of them.

Unravel me
a distant cord
on the outside is forgotten
a constant need to get along
and the animal awakens
and all I feel is black and white
-- "Black & White," Sarah McLachlan

Remus slumped down in his chair, pressing the heels of his hands against his eyes, trying to ward off a looming headache. He growled softly before turning back to the open potion textbook in front of him. He'd barely had time to focus on the bezoar's ingredients before the book was tugged roughly out of his hands.

"Are you still studying this?" Sirius asked, flipping through the book briefly before dropping it to the table.

"In case you forgot, there is a quiz tomorrow," Remus replied, "At least one of us needs to be prepared."

"It's midnight, Moony. James wants to make a run down to Honeydukes for some Sugar Quills for Lily."

"No, thanks, Sirius. I have no urge to get both suspended and arrested tonight," Remus said as he retrieved the potions book from where Sirius had dropped it.

"We're going to pay for the quills, you know," Sirius stated, dropping into the chair across the table. "C'mon, Moony, it'll a chance for you to get to Hogsmeade. Especially since...." Sirius trailed off as Remus met his eyes.

"I'm perfectly aware that the next Hogsmeade weekend falls on a full moon," Remus said calmly, rising to his feet and tucking the textbook under his arm.

"I can stay. I-If you want the company," Sirius offered.

"You don't have to stay, Padfoot. I'm perfectly fine spending the rest of the evening alone," he replied, turning and heading for the stairs leading to the boys' dormitory. "You should go though. Have fun in Hogsmeade." Sirius looked thoughtful for a moment, then grimaced.

"I'd rather stay if it's just going to be me and James and Lily. I don't really want to watch the two of them snogging in the tunnels all night."

"There's always Peter," Remus offered, glancing over his shoulder with a smile. Sirius snorted.

"Please. Peter refuses to leave his bed since Snape turned his hair green in potions," Sirius replied. Remus opened his mouth to reply, but a sudden pain flared in the back of his head. The stairs in front of him began to tilt as dizziness started to overwhelm him and the pain spread down his neck. He doubled over, his hands groping out in front of him, and he pressed his forehead against the cool stone of the stairwell.

"Remus?" Sirius called out, the sound seeming to come from a distance. Dimly, Remus felt his friend's cool hands on his arms as Sirius turned him over onto his back. "Remus, what's wrong?" He stared up at Sirius's face and couldn't find his voice as another stab of pain laced through his body. The edges of Remus's vision began to blur. "Go!" Sirius ordered, gesturing to the first year Gryffindors gathered around them. "Get Madame Pomfrey!"

That was the last thing Remus heard before unconsciousness claimed him.


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