Sirius of Canis Major looks down at the humans on Earth with part fondness and part envy. Humans get to do whatever they want; Sirius has to stay in his place, always moving on an unseen track, never allowed to veer off-course. Sirius is so bored. He is the brightest star in the night sky, after all; much, much brighter than his brother, Regulus of Leo, and his cousin, Bellatrix of Orion.
Sirius knows that none of the other stars feel the same way he does. He knows that the rest of the stars in Canis Major –no, the whole night sky– are dull and boring compared to him. He knows they don't feel the exasperation, the need Sirius feels to get out of his endless, meaningless life as a star.
The other stars can't understand why Sirius needs to be more than a star, more than something moving around the Earth, more than just a marker of months gone by. They think Sirius is ungrateful. His father, Orion himself, had placed Sirius in his position because Orion knew Sirius' fascination with things outside star duties. The others tell him he should be more than satisfied with the fact that out of them all, he has the most contact with humans. He is, after all, the Scorcher, bringer of wretched heat.
Perhaps this is part of why Sirius feels as he does. He has more of an understanding of human lives and behavior than the others. He understands more than any other star what it means to be free to do whatever he likes.
Sirius doesn't do anything about his boredom.
Over time the humans start calling him the Dog Star. They even start sacrificing brown dogs to him to quell his wrath. He grows fond of these people, but soon even that becomes boring.
Then one day, Sirius' attention fixes onto a young human male (what do the humans call those? A man?). The man doesn't twinkle because he's human, not a star, but he looks –somehow– different. It's this difference that makes Sirius watch him as he breaks away from the rest of his constellation (or whatever the human equivalent of a constellation is, anyway) and hides far away from the other humans. It's just before dusk when he leaves, and no one seems to go looking for him. Sirius finds this strange– humans may not be on invisible orbits like stars, but they certainly get worried when they fail to locate one of their own.
Sirius just observes this different man. He watches as Luna, the moon, crosses what would be the horizon for this part of the Earth. She is full today, Sirius notes, and tonight only he and another few bright stars will be seen when she is near due to her radiance.
Suddenly the man's body starts to shake and twist and change. His torso grows larger, his legs stronger and a tail sprouts from his back. His pale skin turns into what Sirius has come to associate with 'hair', as the humans call it.
This special human is a wolf.
The wolf-man creature makes a long sound that gives Sirius the feeling of loneliness. He does it again and again, biting and scratching and making pitiful noises. He tries to escape the prison that he, as a human, had prepared for himself, but it proves to be a task more suited to human fingers than wolf claws.
Sirius slows down just a smidge on his endless route just to watch the wolf-man a little longer, even though he knows that Orion will be terribly angry with him when he finds out. Really, Sirius can focus his attention anywhere in the world – it's just easier when he's nearer to whatever he's trying to focus on.
Luna leaves to the other side of the Earth, and the wolf-man shrinks, shaking and making that long, lonely sound. He turns back into the man that Sirius had first seen. Sirius is fascinated, and he wishes he could go there and ask him what it's like, but soon it's time for Sirius himself to move to the other side of the Earth. He can feel Orion glaring at him in pure fury, and the rest of his constellation are urging him to hurry up, so Sirius resists the urge to stop and stare at the wolf-man, instead apologizing to the other stars and hurrying along.
Now when Sirius notices Luna is full, he focuses on the wolf-man and tries to figure out this interesting wolf-man. He is special, yet he never uses his talents to do anything. He only shuts himself away from his human-constellation and makes that awfully sad sound –howling, Sirius believes the humans call it– all by himself.
Perhaps there aren't any other wolf-men on Earth, Sirius realizes one day as he watches the wolf-man scratch himself and howl at Luna. (Luna smiles at him dreamily, not even the slightest bit startled, and goes on walking. Sirius rather likes Luna; she's his favorite object in the night sky apart from himself.)
Perhaps the wolf-man needs a pack.
Sirius feels cheered. If wolf-man needs a pack, Sirius can give him one! There have been so many dogs sacrificed to him already; he won't miss three or four. The dogs can keep the wolf-man company as a wolf and protect him as a man. Wolf-man as a man isn't the sturdiest man Sirius has ever seen, after all, and if wolf-man dies, Sirius will resume the mind-numbing boredom that was his life before he noticed wolf-man.
Right, Sirius decides. A pack for wolf-man.
If only he knew how to get dead dogs to the Earth.
Sirius tries to imitate a human sigh; Orion's right foot Rigel laughs at the whoosh of gas Sirius expels instead.
It's the night before the start of what the humans call the 'Dog Days of Summer', and Luna is full, so Sirius focuses all his attention on wolf-man and is shocked to find that the humans in wolf-man's constellation are holding wolf-man's wolf form down. Wolf-man tries to fight back, but there are too many humans for one wolf to overcome, and Sirius wishes he could have gotten wolf-man a pack sooner.
Sirius watches helplessly as the humans bind wolf-man's muzzle shut. He knows wolf-man is whimpering and snarling and scrambling to get away, but the humans are too strong. A few of the humans pull out swords and Sirius wants nothing more than to get down there to protect wolf-man. They're going to kill wolf-man because he's different, Sirius thinks in horror. Sirius struggles to get out of his orbit, to go down to Earth and keep them from doing so, but his nature as a star forbids him from leaving orbit. It's a habit too ingrained in his mind to break, even for a thing like this.
The humans bring wolf-man into a sheltered structure and one draws a special knife. A special knife made for cutting open sacrifices, Sirius realizes.
Sacrifices to Sirius.
The thought of this special creature, this one-of-a-kind wolf-man being sacrificed to Sirius just for being different makes Sirius burn brightly with fury. He burns and burns, bright, white-hot, and suddenly, just as the sacrifice-knife is being pressed to wolf-man's neck, Sirius descends to the Earth by sheer force of will.
The shouts and screams of surprise and terror around him are so clear Sirius can hardly believe it. He takes a moment to get used to the new sights and sounds, and his new human body, then says, "Put the knife down."
The man holding the sacrifice-knife drops it almost immediately, trembling in fear.
"I am Sirius," says Sirius, quite enjoying this 'speaking' business the humans use to communicate. In the sky, all thoughts were projected and heard, never spoken.
"M-My lord," stammers a nervous man, kneeling before him. "W-Why did you stop us from killing your newest sacrifice?"
Sirius turns his attention to the man. "You sacrifice dogs to me," says Sirius, his rage barely concealed in his voice. "This is no dog."
"W-Well, yes, t-this is a w-wolf," says the nervous man, well, nervously, "but we thought a b-bigger sacrifice would be more b-beneficial. It is still c-canine, my lord…"
"Lies!" snarls Sirius, causing the man to recoil in fear. "This is one of your own! This is part wolf and part man!"
"We have no need for him, my lord–"
"You will not kill one of your own kind just because you don't like him!" Sirius bellows furiously. "And you most certainly will not sacrifice humans to the Dog Star."
"Y-Y-Yes, my lord," squeaks the timid, nervous man. "W-Would you like us to find a new dog to–"
"Don't bother," growls Sirius. "You have angered me so much that any amount of sacrifices will not change the outcome of this summer. Burning, wretched heat and withered crops all around!"
All the humans present look disappointed, worried, fearful. Sirius hopes that the harsh summer will teach them a lesson.
"Now, leave me with your wolf-man," says Sirius. "I wish to speak to him."
"He will attack my lord–"
"Even a wolf knows the difference between friend and foe," Sirius interrupts. The humans leave, murmuring amongst themselves. Sirius waits until they are long gone before approaching the wolf-man and gently unwrapping his bindings. Wolf-man is still whimpering, as if he fears Sirius will harm him. "Hush," Sirius finds himself whispering to wolf-man as he strokes wolf-man's neck. "You're safe now."
Sirius leads the now docile wolf away from the other humans to a wide, open field of grass. The wolf doesn't fight him, doesn't even try to disobey him (save for when a human crossed their path, but Sirius kept him in line with a pull to the scruff of his neck), and when Sirius sits on the grass, the wolf lies down next to him and rests his head on Sirius' knee. Sirius rests a hand on the wolf's head and waits for sunrise.
It doesn't take long, and Sirius swears he sees Luna smile knowingly at him as she disappears, but he's so far away from her that he's not sure. Soon, though, wolf-man turns back into a man, and at this distance, Sirius can hear bones snapping and cracking as they rearrange themselves.
Sirius waits patiently for wolf-man to regain consciousness. He knows from experience that it doesn't usually take long, and that wolf-man will feel cold upon waking, so Sirius tests the newfound will that brought him down to Earth and manages to conjure up a warm fur cloak
Wolf-man stirs and Sirius helps him sit up before draping the cloak around his shoulders. "T-Thank you," says wolf-man tiredly. "Who- Who are you?"
"I am Sirius," says Sirius softly.
Wolf-man's deep brown eyes widen. "T-The God of the Dog Star?" he almost squeaks, but his eyes show no fear, only shock.
"Yes," says Sirius calmly. "What is your name?"
Wolf-man hesitates, then says, "Ioannes, my lord."
Sirius frowns. "Ioannes is… Greek, is it not?" he asks, recalling his knowledge of humans. "You are… Roman. The name Ioannes does not suit you. You shall henceforth be known as Remus."
"R-Remus, my lord?" Remus repeats. "After the founder of Rome who was raised by wolves."
"Yes," says Sirius. "I thought it fitting considering your ability to transform into a wolf."
Remus gives him a small smile, and somehow it makes Sirius feel warm all over. "I only transform during the full moon, my lord," he says humbly. "I don't consider it an ability as much as a liability."
Sirius laughs, and it feels so good to laugh when he hasn't for what seems like forever. "If you dislike the name Remus," he says, feeling a twinkle in his eye, "I can call you Moony instead."
Remus gives him a small smile and says, "I prefer Remus, my lord."
"Sirius," Sirius insists. "Call me Sirius."