For the 2012 Hogwarts Games: BMX – Marauders Era, less than 2K.
Also for Gamma's OTP Boot Camp. Prompt 6: Carcass. Yes, this technically means it should be Remus/Sirius – I guess if you tilt you head and squint while wearing slash goggles it is?
Still don't own Harry Potter.
Remus stands awkwardly in the middle of the room, as usual.
"Good luck, dear," Madam Pomfrey says, her voice full of false cheer.
Remus smiles, knowing the matron never notices when it doesn't reach his eyes. "Thank you, Madam Pomfrey. I'll see you in the morning."
She nods and hurries out of the small, dilapidated room. She always hurries, no matter how much extra time they've given themselves. And Remus can't ever find it in himself to blame her for that.
He begins to shrug out of the tattered robes – because, really, there's no sense in ruining a set every month – but then he freezes at a faint rustle behind him. He whirls around, shifting the robe back onto his shoulders.
He should be surprised to see Sirius' arrogant smirk staring back at him, but somehow he isn't. No, he skips straight over surprise and gets straight to horror.
"What- Sirius, what the hell-"
"Oh, sure, just ignore the rest of us. We're not important, are we?"
Remus swirls to face the voice. "James?"
"And Peter!" Peter pipes from the other side of the room.
Remus' gaze flickers between the three of them.
"Um, guys? Is there something about bloodthirsty raving beast that you don't understand? Moonrise is in less than half an hour."
Sirius is still grinning like a madman as he steps forward. "Don't worry about it, Moons. We've got it all under control."
"Bloodthirsty. Raving. Beast," Remus says again, slowly this time, hoping Sirius simply didn't hear him.
"Yes, well." Sirius shrugs nonchalantly.
"Oh, I see. So you want them to find your mutilated carcass in the morning. Perfectly logical."
Sirius laughs his barking laugh. He takes another step forward, his breath ghosting Remus' ear as he whispers, "Trust me."
And then, suddenly, he's gone.
Remus looks around in utter bewilderment for a few moments, his brain refusing to believe what his eyes are telling him. A massive black hound has replaced his best friend in front of him, a large, elegant stag now paws the ground where James Potter once stood, and, though it takes him a moment, he notices a small rat in the place where Peter just was.
And Remus watches, eyes wide, as the black dog morphs into Sirius who is, of course, grinning like mad. "Impressed?" Remus hears that cocky note he gets in his voice when he knows that the answer is yes.
And without a word, without dropping his ever-present smile, Sirius nods.
Remus staggers backwards a step as the enormity of what this means truly hits him. Remus is a werewolf expert, because that's how it is; it affects him, and so he learns about it. He's been over every bit of literature on the subject – especially that pertaining to cures, from the days when his mum still held out impossible hope, but all of it he's read at some point or another.
The bloodlust of the werewolf is a specific one, applying only to the scent of human blood. For this reason, other creatures do not fear the werewolf; rather, they tend to get along better than a werewolf and the average wizard.
"Brilliant," Remus breathes.
Sirius smirks arrogantly. "I know."
Remus laughs once, shaking his head, bemused. "And you're sure, you're absolutely sure that this will work? Because I won't take any chances. Not with this."
"There seems to be an awful lot of that, going on, doesn't there?" Remus mutters dryly, but he is smiling.
As usual, this is Remus' first thought upon waking after a full moon.
His second thought, however, is atypical. He notices pressure – soft, but there – on his left shoulder.
A hand. There is a hand on the robes on my shoulder.
There are robes on my shoulder.
And memories come tumbling back. Animagi. That is crystal clear. Beyond that, the memories distort, fracture, as memories of his time as a wolf always do – because wolves don't process memories the way humans do, and so it's all a mess of scents and sounds and emotions and chaos to Remus' human mind.
But it isn't like normal. It's not a mess of rage and fury and frustration and painpainpainpainpian because the wolf wants him to pay for trapping it. Instead, it's an initial rush of confusion and anger that morphs into acceptance and home, this is home.
His leg hurts like mad and there's a dull ache in his shoulder but that's all. Never, ever has he escaped a full moon so… intact.
He smiles. His eyes flicker open and he finds that it's Sirius' hand on his shoulder – no surprise there – and Sirius is staring at him, sitting beside him, both of them propped up against the wall.
"Careful, Rem," Sirius murmurs. "That leg looks nasty. Are you going to be all right?"
And Remus laughs, because he can. Because he's fine, he'll be fine, Merlin, he's never been better.
"Madam Pomfrey will mend it," he says, and the relief is evident in Sirius' eyes. Sirius smiles, and Remus cannot help but smile back. "Speaking of," Remus says after a moment, "You three'd better vanish. She's never long after I wake up." He sees Sirius glance worriedly at his leg and Remus decides in that instant not to tell Sirius that it's usually much, much worse. Sirius has never seen him before Madam Pomfrey has patched the worst of it. "I'll be fine," Remus promises, and it doesn't feel like a lie or a simple placation. He will be. "Now go on."
Sirius meets his eyes for a moment before nodding. James stands from where he's been sitting at the foot of the bed, and Peter pops himself upright where he's been leaning against the wall.
"Visit?" Remus asks, his voice nonchalant. Sirius meets his gaze.
"Of course. Free period after lunch. We'll bring you something, yeah?"
"Don't need to, you know. House elves always do."
"No chocolate, though. Never any chocolate." Sirius grins, and Remus cannot help but smile back.
"All right, yeah," he concedes.
"You two are a bit ridiculous, you know. Do you ever speak in complete sentences anymore?" Peter asks, a bit of exasperation in his voice.
Sirius shrugs carelessly. "Why? Don't need to."
Remus smiles at Peter. "We aren't as bad as he and James, though, are we?"
Peter laughs. "Well, no. I still don't understand how you follow them when they get like that."
"Years of practice, Pete. Years of practice."
Remus shifts as though to get up, but Sirius jumps up before he can, offering a hand up. Remus gladly accepts, bracing himself on his good leg and trying not to pull too much on his shoulders. Pulled muscles, he guesses, and maybe a few spectacular bruises as well.
He hides the wince as he pops up, sitting on the bed. "Thanks," he mutters. Sirius is staring at him worriedly.
"Go on," Remus says again. "Not even you could come up with a tale to explain this one."
Sirius' eyes run over him one more time, as though reassuring himself that Remus is mostly undamaged.
"Yeah," he says. Still, it takes James clapping him on the shoulder for Sirius to finally turn and walk out. Remus' keen eyes notice the limp that Sirius will not mention, in the same way that Remus will never say how bad it usually is. A small lump of guilt settles in his stomach, but he knows better than to think he can talk Sirius out of helping regardless.
That doesn't mean he won't try to talk Sirius – and James, and Peter – out of helping him if it's hurting them. But it does mean that it isn't worth the argument now.
Remus settles himself against the headboard, content to wait. As he waits, he thanks whoever is listening for the friends he'd never thought he'd be lucky enough to have.