M'kays. So I'm finally back and just as ignorant as ever. That's right, people! I still haven't gotten my lazy a# to the library to read Harry Potter. Therefore, inform me of any horrific transfigurations in the plot which is going to be set over the summer break. All I can say is, poor Remus!

Chapter Five: Summer Brings Insanity

"Just think, Remy! We're back at Hogwarts for the entire summer. We can introduce Peeves to water balloons again! Or, or play Quidditch at one in the morning, or steal food from the kitchens or visit our old haunts and even run starkers through the teacher's quarters! Go into the Forbidden Forest and visit the spider or the Centaurs…Ooooooh, we can ride a Unicorn! Or maybe a Thestral. Wait, I can't see those…never mind. Hey, could we visit Hermione now? How bout Ron? No, no you're right. We should visit Harry! I should definitely spend some time with him. We'll make him into a real Marauder before long, a regular mischief maker! Remy….Remy, I'm bored. What can we do?"

Remus was trying so, so hard not to give into the urge to beat his friend senseless and instead let a small tic develop in his cheek. Sirius was driving him absolutely LOONY! Not for a second in the three days since all the students left had he been calm enough to read, write or even eat for fear of combustion. It had gotten to the point that in the rare times Sirius wasn't with him, he was as paranoid as Mad Eye. Constant vigilance took on a whole new persona when the eldest Black was involved. Sweet Merlin, maybe Peeves had been right to run away screaming at the sight of them! That's when you know it's bad…

Snapping back to the horrible reality, Remus caught the finger poking repeatedly at his side and said sternly, "Well, Siri, I am going to sit in the library and read a book while you sit in the corner and think about what we should do. Keep in mind that it can't involve running in terror, cursing whoever was unfortunate enough to be left here, dragging me to some god forbidden part of this bloody castle or visiting the Dementors in Azkaban. Also, no way in hell are we going to storm Lord Voldemort's headquarters. Now, any suggestions?"

It was almost predictable that after that little outline Sirius had no idea what he was going to do and after a second or two of gaping, slunk off to sit in his designated corner. It was rather a pitiful sight and Madam Pince must have thought so, too, because she tossed him a box of muggle crackers that were devoured in seconds. In the end, Sirius looked satisfied, Remus was annoyed and the poor librarian was shell-shocked. It was almost laughable if it didn't happen every day since third year. It was almost habit. Remus goes into library. Sirius and James follow him into said library. Within minutes, each of them are sent like naughty puppies to different corners of the room and told to entertain themselves. Someone tosses them food and becomes permanently scarred.

After three books, Remus finally took pity on his friend and dragged him outside into the balmy breeze. It was an instant change. Instead of moping, Sirius was flitting around and dancing in a manner reminiscent of classical Ballet yet somehow managing to look like a puppy in the springtime. The sweat making trails down his face and wetting his robes in the back wasn't exactly paradise for Remus to watch either, so he sat with his back against a tree to watch his friend and make sure he didn't die of heatstroke. A flash of pale blond caught his eye, reminding him that Harry's enemy Draco had remained at school.

However, he didn't much look like an enemy right now.

There were tears barely held back by his pale lashes as he read and re-read a letter over and over again. Lucius Malfoy's only son and heir looked so close to bawling his eyes out that Remus couldn't help but remember the time he'd caught the boy's father doing the same. It was only when he shifted a sleeve up that Remus could see the scars criss-crossing into a pattern that was all too familiar. Sirius had a small one on his leg that marked him as a pureblood. It was a cruel thing to do to a child but, as Remus reflected and Draco stretched, it was a whole other level of abuse when the kid's parents used the sign repeatedly.

There were markings all over his torso. Some overlapped in the same sharp pattern and some barely made themselves visible on the pale white skin. He noticed there were two patterns and although most, if not all of them, were the same there was also one overtop of his heart that was the twin of Sirius's. That of a Black's eldest child and heir. So, Remus mused, He is either Narcissa's son or Bellatrix's. But the witch bitch wouldn't let Malfoy touch her child. She'd torture him herself. So, Narcissa has become a Malfoy.

He turned to tell Sirius and by the look on his face, he'd already seen the markings and finished comparing them to his own. Before he could open his mouth to ask, he interjected, "Narcissa. It has to be. He'd have darker hair if it was Bella. I also doubt he'd be alive if she was his mother."

Sirius nodded and didn't take his eyes off of his second cousin. There was a familiarity in his eyes that brought back memories of the first day of school after he'd gotten the mark, bawling his eyes out and snuggling between James and Remus as they comforted him. Shivering at the memory, Sirius silently walked up to him and slipped the letter out of his pocket. Ignoring a shout and a very accurate stinging hex, he read the letter and turned to him with a look of pity. Seeing this, the young Malfoy turned grey and simply gave up, falling back against a tree. Nodding slightly, he stated, "So you are Sirius. The way my mother goes on about you makes me think you'd be a tad…cleaner."

Indeed, Sirius wasn't exactly at the peak of personal hygiene at the moment. Not to mention the sweaty cloak hanging loosely from one shoulder, the hair that blew oh-so-majestically into his mouth every once in a while and the smell of his breath that was a clear indicator of having yet again lost his toothbrush. None of this took away from the look of awe on his face when he completely ignored the jibe and went straight for the boy's arm. After pulling up the sleeve and examining the incredibly beautiful marking made grotesque by the fact that they must have hurt like a bitch, he exclaimed, "You have even more than I do! What in the name of Merlin's fuzzy slippers did you do to get Malfoy that pissed off?…wait. Don't answer that. I'm guessing it's for associating with people below the old Pureblooded lines. That's what I got most of mine for."

Remus was a little bit lost. Sirius had more than just the one scar? Draco Malfoy was being punished for being a Muggle lover? And more importantly in Remus' mind, Merlin's fuzzy slippers? If he hadn't already known his friend was a whole lot less than right in the head, he would have had him committed for that sentence alone. However, first and foremost was the fact that maybe Draco didn't want to be Voldemort's right hand like his father and aunt. It was entirely possible that he was being threatened or even abused to keep the Malfoy name pure and sparkling silver. If that was the case, more power to the kid if he kept on trying to break the mold since by the looks of it, he'd been failing miserably for years. There was still a chance for him, a tiny spark of hope that once his little rebellion was encouraged he would go the same way Sirius did when he was sixteen.

Another thought demanded his attention that nearly toppled him over. Were all Slytherin children this way? Instead of a house for all the slimy, rotten, evil-minded children in the Wizarding world was it even remotely conceivable for it to be a house for misfits? Children who had gone so long without feeling their rich parent's love that it was almost a myth for them, who couldn't remember the last time they had cried without the fear of being slapped and punished with more painful means. Children who felt like they were alone and looking out from their high windows in a mansion far too large and wondering why they couldn't be normal, or why other kids didn't have a father who screamed and shouted after every success as if it were a failure.

It brought everything into a whole new light for Remus and he missed most of the hero-worshipping conversation because of it. Slytherins weren't cowards like he had thought when he was a child and indeed, five minutes ago. They were now simply people who had nowhere else to go and not a single person to turn too who wouldn't send them right back for the beating of their life. Draco managed to catch his eye and he felt a curious poke at the corner of his mind. Ah, so he was trained in legitimacy. Probably by his mother, who wasn't really all that bad and was rather sweet when Bellatrix could be dragged away from her. The woman had kept such a close eye on her youngest sister, it was a surprise she didn't just sit on her and be done with it.

Biting his lip, Remus sent a loud thought to Draco only to see him nod. The pressure in the back of his mind vanished and the boy mouthed, 'Got it in one'. He was good. Very good. He had to be since he was still speaking and responding to Sirius's ridiculous questions with even more absurd answers. Irrelevant things such as his favorite color, which turned out to be blue, and his childhood stuffed toy, a white Thestral named Neve. Snow. It really wouldn't have been imaginative if it hadn't been translated into Gaelic. Remus himself could speak three languages fluently. English, French and Welsh. Sirius, like all good Black heirs, could speak at least six and James had been able to speak over eight of them. As far as he knew, Peter and Lily had only been able to speak English.

Draco was patient but it was clear to Remus, who had once again come out of his daze, that Sirius was greatly testing it and all but dancing on the fine line between annoyance and death. So what did he do? Sighing and reaching into his pockets, Remus called, "Siri! I have the keys to the broom shed if you want to fly."

"Fly? Who wants to fly around on a lovely" It was starting to rain, "day like this? It's perfect Quidditch weather, don't you know? Oooooohh, is that a thunder cloud? Come on, Remy! I want to see if giants really make the thunder by clashing their cymbals!"

Never mind the fact that he had tried once before and nearly become less than bacon, it was the fact that he even remembered the old story Remus had told him that made him snicker. That had been a good day. James had ventured into the library to stalk his precious tiger-Lily and gotten lost, Sirius went on a date with some pretty girl he didn't even know and Peter had decided he was hungry and left to the kitchen to eat. For hours! None of them had thought to leave a note for poor Remus so as he thought about venturing into the Forbidden Forest to look for them, imagine his surprise when all three come up behind him and bring him to the floor in a three-way tackle. That was his little payback for the bruised knee he had received that day.

Dragging Sirius through the big doors, Remus couldn't help but wonder if the old days were really over. Fate definitely had more in store for the Marauders duo.

Gaaaaa! Soooooo long! Not the chapter, the time it took to get the nerve to update. It is official-I now pronounce 2012 as the year of tragedy. No words are needed to explain.