A/N: This was written for the Fanfiction Tournaments, edition May 2013, round 3 (write about someone from the Marauder Era).
Sirius walked into the fifth years' dormitory.
"Here you are!" he exclaimed when he spotted Remus sitting on his bed, his arms wrapped around his knees.
"Hey, are you alright?"
"These OWLs are horrible, aren't they? Luckily we only have Care of Magical Creatures and History of Magic left. Although I have to say I'm so not looking forward to History of Magic, I just can't seem to get it into my mind." With a carefree thud he set himself down next to Remus on the bed.
Remus nodded, still not looking at Sirius.
"We're rather talkative today, aren't we?"
"Remus, what the hell is wrong? You can tell me, I'm your friend."
Finally, Remus looked up, with bloodshot eyes. Instantly it dawned on Sirius.
"No way! I thought it wasn't meant to happen until the OWLs are all over?"
"It isn't. I just wanna run now and howl and…"
Remus looked agitated and Sirius impulsively placed a hand on his arm.
"I can talk to Dumbledore if you want?"
"I don't think that will help in the least, but if you must you can always try of course."
"I'll be back in a sec. You'll be alright up here?"
"It's not like I'll go chasing hares or anything."
That was their regular joke and Sirius was glad to see that Remus still had his sense of humour.
He sped out of the dormitory with the promise to return promptly.
But in the hallway he stopped dead in his tracks. How was he going to contact Dumbledore anyway? An idea hit him. McGonagall. She'd surely know where to find Dumbledore. So he ran towards the Transfiguration classroom and once he arrived, he knocked repeatedly on the wooden door.
"Calm down, I'm coming already," he heard her voice snap and seconds later the door opened.
He realised how stupid he looked with his hand still lifted in the air, so he hastily lowered it.
"Mister Black. Where's the fire?"
"I need to speak to Dumbledore."
Her mouth became a thin line and he knew he might have been a bit too bold. He took a deep breath. "I'm sorry Professor. I meant that I would like to talk to Professor Dumbledore, if that's possible."
"And why, if I may ask, can't that wait until dinner?"
"It's about our History of Magic OWL exam."
She raised her eyebrow. "Wouldn't you do better talking to Professor Binns?"
"Mister Black, you are not in trouble, are you? I hope you realise that OWL exams are vitally important and if I find out that some of my students are slacking…"
She didn't finish the sentence, but she didn't have to. Sirius had a fair idea of what she'd do if he failed Transfiguration or any of the other subjects he wanted to take on NEWT level.
"Don't worry, Professor. I think I've done all right so far. I might even have managed an O in Transfiguration."
He saw the slight twitching of the corners of her mouth and knew that he'd won the argument. He pretended not to notice and asked:
"Would you know where I can find Professor Dumbledore?"
Professor McGonagall hesitated a moment, but then she gave him the directions and the password. "No trouble Mister Black, right?" Her eyes pierced his and he shook his head.
"I promise not to do anything stupid, Professor."
She nodded. "Well, off you go then. I have work to do."
Not much later, he was standing in front of the door to Dumbledore's office. In contrast with the way he had banged on McGonagall's door, he was now hesitant. Wasn't it a stupid idea to talk to Dumbledore about this? After what seemed like eternity, he raised his hand to knock, but before his knuckles made contact with the wood, he heard Dumbledore's voice:
"Come on in, Mister Black."
Reluctantly, he entered. He wondered only briefly how Dumbledore knew someone was there, or how he knew it was him, but that was not why he was here.
"To what do I owe the pleasure?"
"Sir, I'd like to talk to you about our OWL exam for History of Magic and Care of Magical Creatures."
"What about them?"
Sirius hesitated, but then decided to be blunt. He had reasons to believe that Dumbledore knew about Remus' condition. "They are tomorrow and tonight is a full moon."
Dumbledore stayed silent for a moment and Sirius panicked. Had he made a mistake coming here?
Another silence. It was getting on Sirius' nerves. "Can't you move it?"
Dumbledore shook his head. "I'm afraid I can't. The dates are set by the Ministry, and asking for a different dates without a proper reason will most likely raise questions we'll not want posed."
He looked intently at Sirius over his half-moon spectacles and the implications of his words hit Sirius. If the date were to be moved, Dumbledore would have to explain that Remus was a werewolf and then the Ministry would undoubtedly remove Remus from Hogwarts. He did not want that to happen.
"I see we understand each other," Dumbledore said softly. "I wish there was another way."
"I'm staying with him," Sirius said and defiantly set his jaw.
He could be mistaken, but he could swear he saw a twinkle in Dumbledore's eyes and he heard a hint of amusement in the Headmaster's voice when he said: "I have a feeling neither you nor Mister Lupin, nor Misters Potter and Pettigrew for that matter, are going to pass that History of Magic exam tomorrow, am I correct?"
"I wasn't expecting to anyway," Sirius muttered under his breath, but Dumbledore still heard him.
"Can I give you one piece of advice, Mister Black?"
Sirius looked at him expectantly.
"Stop messing around."
He opened his mouth to protest, but Dumbledore raised his hand. "I wasn't finished yet. It's noble that you're sticking with your friends, and that is not what I meant. All of you are going to do NEWTs next year - yes, I'm confident you'll pass at least some subjects - and the things you learn here, might prove vital later on. These are datk times we're living in, Mister Black."
Dumbledore was completely serious now. "Feel free to pass my message to Misters, Potter, Pettigrew and Lupin."
Sirius was a bit baffled by the sudden change of subject and just stood there.
"Anything else, Mister Black?"
The tone indicated that he was dismissed and Sirius took the hint. "I'll pass on the message, Sir. I won't bother you any longer, I'm sure you're a very busy man."
"That I am indeed."
While he was walking back to Gryffindor Tower, he thought about Dumbledore's words. The conversation had not gone as he had imagined, but he knew what to do now.
"Remus?" he said when he re-entered the fifth-years dormitory. "Get your stuff, we're going to the Shack."
Remus looked up. "You don't have to do that," he protested feebly. "You have exams tomorrow too."
"Shut up," Sirius replied. "I'm spending the night with you, whether you like it or not."
Remus let out a bark-like laugh and Sirius immediately realised how dubious what he had said sounded. "You know what I mean."
"Yeah, I do," Remus said. "Thank you, that means a lot to me."
"I know. But that's what friends are dor, right? Now get your stuff, I'll go and get James and Peter."
As he walked down the stairs to the Common Room to fetch his friends, he heard his conversation with McGonagall in the back of his mind. "I promise not to do anything stupid, Professor." He was pretty certain McGonagall would classify staying up all night and running with a werewolf instead of studying for his OWL exams as 'stupid', but to Sirius, letting Remus go out alone was the real stupid thing to do. He was sticking with his friend, no matter what. And besides, he was going to fail History of Magic anyway.