A/N: Missus Moony: Howdy from the Missus! Missus Padfoot: Sorry for the long wait - Moony and I here are in the middle of getting ready for our finals which are next week, so we've kinda been in over our heads. Missus Moony: Not to mention that our editor was out of town for a while and she still needed to proofread this chapter... so blame her if you want. Missus Padfoot: No, don't! We love her!!! Missus Moony: This is true... so, this chapter is really good for all you Remus fans out there like me!!! Missus Padfoot: Yeah, this chapter pretty much focuses on Remus, so yeah, we hope we portray his character correctly because we love him! ...Well, not as much as Sirius... Missus Moony: Speak for yourself!!! Anyways, enjoy, guys!
Chapter 29: Dragon Measles???
Remus Lupin walked out of his dormitory dizzily the next day and almost collapsed on the stairs as he made his way down to the Gryffindor common room. He was even more pale than usual, and his head throbbed like someone had beaten him over the head with a pewter cauldron.
“Damn the full moon!” Remus thought bitterly as he shakily held himself up by clutching the stone wall.
That night was the one night that he dreaded all month long – the night where he would be escorted down to the Whomping Willow and left in the Shrieking Shack to transform into the monster that he feared the most: himself. His werewolf self.
As he clambered down the staircase slowly, grasping the castle wall, he heard voices emanating from the common room. As he crept closer, he could distinguish some familiar voices amongst the babble and began to listen to their conversation.
“So where is that idiot brother of mine, Sirius?” the bored voice of Rebecca came resounding to Remus' ears.
“Search me!” said Sirius, and in Remus' mind's eye, he could just see Sirius shrugging his shoulders in the lazy way that only Sirius Black could do. “He's probably off snogging ol' whats-her-face in some dark corner of the castle... Oh, sorry, Evans, I'm sure you didn't want to hear that.”
Remus let a small smile creep up on his face. He was positive that Lily was glowering at Sirius by now.
“Well, that is where James goes all the time now! He's either with us or off with her!” Peter's squeaking voice added to the conversation.
“Not helping, Peter!” growled Marissa as Remus could hear a loud smack that he was sure was Marissa hitting Peter on the back of the head.
“Anyways,” said Sirius, quickly changing the subject, “how's the arm, Lily? Madam Pomfrey fix you up alright?”
“Oh, yeah, it's fine,” sounded Lily's petite, girlish voice. “She fixed it up in about two seconds.”
Marissa audibly shivered. “Yeah, one whip of the wand and 'POP'! Her shoulder was back in place. It was one of the grossest noises I've ever...”
By this time, Marissa had caught the sight of Remus entering the room and had trailed off with a look of concern on her face. Following her gaze, the rest of the group turned and looked at Remus.
“Oh, my god, Remus! Are you okay?” Lily exclaimed anxiously, getting up off the couch to walk over to him.
Remus grimaced as he slightly swayed on the spot. “Yeah, I'm fine. Just need to sit down, that's all.” He then stumbled as he tried to walk over to the couch.
Rebecca jumped up from her seat and caught him before he hit the ground, swung his arm over her shoulder, and, with Sirius' aid, helped Remus to the crimson couch.
“You're getting sick again, aren't you?” Rebecca said with a frown on her face. Remus winced – he knew that he should tell Rebecca and the other girls the truth, but he just couldn't bear it if they treated him differently.
“I'm just a little under the weather, that's all,” Remus said, not meeting Rebecca's eyes.
“Maybe you should go see Madam Pomfrey, Remus. You look awful!” said Marissa with a very serious look on her face.
“I agree! Sirius, you and Peter should help him down to the infirmary,” said Lily, adopting her “Head Girl voice” and taking charge.
“I'm fine, really!” said Remus, putting his hand to his head.
“It's a good thing it's Sunday and there's no school,” continued Lily. “Rebecca, you can get Remus' homework tomorrow, and I'll take really good notes for you, Remus!”
“That or you could just get them from a Ravenclaw...” muttered Marissa with a smirk.
Lily stopped and looked up at Marissa. “Not from Daphne he won't! How a dumb tart like her became a Ravenclaw I'll never know...”
Remus glowered at that last comment, whereas Rebecca smirked slightly.
“Ouch! Never thought I'd hear an insult like that coming from Lily Evans!” said Sirius with a laugh. “Well, I mean, aiming an insult like that to someone other than Prongs,” he added hastily after seeing Marissa's doubtful look.
Lily gave an exasperated click of her tongue as she decided to ignore Sirius' last comment. “Why are you guys still here? Didn't I tell you to take him to the infirmary?”
Sirius tore his attention away from Marissa to give Remus a searching look. “Yeah, you know, mate, you're looking really peaky. I think it's time you did go down to Madam Pomfrey.” His look then became very pointed.
Peter, just then, looked like something had just dawned on him. “Oh! Is it that time -” He was cut off by Sirius jabbing his elbow into Peter's side. “Ouch! I mean, er, it's about, um, time you caught that, er, bug that's been going around the school, Remus. Nasty sickness that is, those, um... Dragon Measles!”
The girls looked at Peter, all extremely confused.
“Dragon Measles?” repeated Rebecca blandly with a look of disbelief on her face.
Remus raised his eyebrows at Peter and mouthed behind the girls' back so that only Peter and Sirius could see, “Dragon Measles?!”
Sirius quickly jumped in. “Yeah! Of course! Don't tell me that you've never heard of it?” Sirius acted shocked as the girls all shook their heads incredulously. “Oh, well, it's awful! This epidemic has been sweeping throughout the school! I'm surprised I didn't see it before, Remus! I mean, you've got all the symptoms and everything!”
Lily shook her head again. “I don't think that -”
“Yep, that's what Remus has!” Sirius cut in. “We need to get you to the infirmary pronto, mate!” And with that, Sirius and Peter quickly ushered Remus out of the common room, leaving three extremely confused girls behind.
That evening while everyone was at dinner, Madam Pomfrey approached Remus, who was attempting to catch a little bit of sleep on one of the hospital beds. “Are you ready Mr. Lupin? We need to head out in the next few minutes.” Remus just sighed heavily before pulling himself off the bed.
“No, it's alright. I'm ready to leave now.”
The two made their way towards the main corridor, glad that Dumbledore's charm was always in place during the night of the full moon to discourage traffic in the hallways that Remus was going to be traveling on his was to the Whomping Willow. On the grounds, the Willow rose up like a sentry in the darkness, moving and twisting restlessly as it sensed the approach of Remus and Madam Pomfrey.
Raising the staff that she always carried with her when she accompanied Remus, Madam Pomfrey pushed the knob on the trunk, causing the tree to suddenly become still. Remus was always slightly unnerved with the sudden stillness of the Whomping Willow - it always seemed too unnatural.
Nodding towards the nurse in farewell, Remus headed down the tunnel towards the Shrieking Shack alone.
After the journey through the tunnel, Remus looked around the destroyed room that once sported a couch, which now lay in pieces, along with the remnants of a chair and table as well. At least, he thought it was a table and chair; he'd destroyed them both years ago during one of his many nights here.
Sitting down on the floor, Remus anxiously waited for the moon to appear. He hated the wait, the few moments before he transformed from a normal teenage wizard to a vicious monster that had almost no connection to his human mind.
Just then, the moon revealed itself from behind a distant mountain, flooding the room with it's rays and causing Remus' pale skin to shine like an ethereal being. After a moment, Remus felt the antagonizing pain of his transformation and, screaming, was no longer aware of anything...
Remus was awakened by a wet nose snuffling through the thick fur on his neck. Rousing himself off the decimated kitchen floor, Remus briefly acknowledged how his human side would have wondered how he had ended up so far from where he had last remembered being, while his wolf side barely even thought of it before turning its attention towards the large dog that was wagging it's tail enthusiastically, obviously glad to have his playmate awake.
Looking up, the werewolf spotted a rat poised on a counter, washing the dirt off its whiskers, and in the door way, unable to maneuver his antlers through the door jam, stood a proud stag, waiting patiently for the wolf to acknowledge him..
After greeting the dog and watching the rat scurry on top of its back, the wolf turned his attention towards the stag, and the two creatures leaned forward, sniffing each other warily before the wolf wined and head butted the stag gently.
The four animals, as one, headed towards the back door and waited until the lock had been pulled by the rat, allowing them all to escape the stifling house. As they started to explore the woods near the shack, they realized that the the world was now available for them to roam and claim as they saw fit.
Remus groaned as his body sharply complained from the movement of his waking.
“Did anyone catch the name of that troll that ran over me?” he complained gruffly as he sat up, rubbing his hand over his face wearily. He heard someone mutter a “reparo” to fix his shredded robes before handing them to him.
Grabbing his robes, Remus did a double take as he realized who it was that was standing in front of him.
James Potter couldn't help but grin at the dumbstruck look on his friend's face.
“What? How? Why?” Remus stuttered, trying to form a coherent sentence through his amazement.
“Well, to answer your questions - what? It's me, James Potter. How? I walked through this filthy tunnel; I'd complain to the management 'bout that one, mate.” James' demeanor became more serious as he continued. “Why? Because we've been friends for too long to let something like a girl ruin our friendship.”
Remus stared in shock as James then proceeded to help him button his robe while Sirius and Peter calmly waited for their two friends to finish.
“But why, James? You didn't have to come tonight. Especially with how I've been treating you lately.”
James sighed and finished the last of the button, smoothing out the wrinkles in the fabric, looking down at his feet before looking Remus straight in the eye. “Remus, I will always be there for you, no matter how much you hate me at the moment. I will always be there for you when you need it.”
Remus could feel tears welling up, and he turned his face away from his friends to quickly wipe them away. His werewolfness had always been a huge obstacle for Remus – coming to Hogwarts, he thought that he would never have friends who would accept him for who he was. That was until he met James, Sirius, and Peter – his true friends. Friends who would risk their lives for him just to make his rough life a little bit easier. Remus had forgotten how much James really meant to him until that very moment. He suddenly felt like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders, a weight he hadn't even realized he'd had.
Sirius laughed as he slung his arm around Peter's shoulders. “Well, Wormtail, looks like the Marauders are all back together again, despite the stubbornness of our two dearly beloved Prongs and Moony!!”
As the boys made their way through the tunnel to the Whomping Willow, where only Remus would continue, as the other Marauders needed to wait for Madam Pomfrey to leave with Moony so they could exit unseen, Remus nudged James and quietly muttered a small “thank you, Prongs.” James grinned and nudged Remus back, glad that there were no longer any rifts between the two of them.
“Dammit, Wormtail, you suck!” growled Sirius as he quickly cast aguamenti on his school robes to put out the small fire on his sleeve.
Sirius, Peter, and James were in the hospital wing visiting Remus after their classes later that Monday. Sirius and Peter were leisurely playing Exploding Snap on the end of Remus' bed (Peter was kicking Sirius' butt) while James was explaining to Remus his confusing Potions notes as they were slightly hard to read amidst all the games of “hangman” that James had played with Sirius during the lecture that day.
“Prongs, I can't even read this! What the heck is 'd.f.t.a.e.o.n.' supposed to mean?” complained Remus as he fished through James' notes as James laughed at Sirius who had just realized that the exploding cards had singed some of his hair and was now angrily yelling at a cowering Peter.
“Oh, that's just my shorthand for 'don't forget to add eye of newt'. It was just a little reminder for me because I always forget that step.” James took a better look at his notes. “Oh wait, no, that's just the rejected letters from one of the hangman games...”
Remus sighed in frustration as James flipped through his notes trying to find where the eye of newt really was supposed to be added to the potion.
“I really should get my notes from somebody else,” mumbled Remus, rolling his eyes.
“Hey, Prongs,” piped up Peter. “You have a Ravenclaw girlfriend – why don't you get the notes from her to give to Remus?”
Tension filled the room at the mention of Daphne, and Sirius smacked his forehead at Peter's denseness.
“You're such an idiot, Wormtail,” whispered Sirius.
“No, it's okay, Sirius,” Remus said, who noticed James looking at him tentatively. “Besides,” he looked down with a small grin on his face, “I don't think that Lily would like that too much...”
“What's that supposed to mean?” asked James with a slight snap to his voice at the mention of Lily.
“Oh, nothing,” said Remus quickly after receiving a dangerous look from Sirius that said, “not now.” Sirius and Remus had both agreed that James needed to figure out that Lily liked him on his own and that they should respect Lily's wishes by not telling James her secret. Unless the situation became desperate and James was too dense to figure out anything, they were going to be silent on the issue. But that didn't mean that Sirius wasn't still going to try and break James and Daphne up...
James looked between his three friends in curiosity as the conversation drifted off and Remus and Sirius avoided James' eye.
Before James could ask anything about Lily, Sirius quickly changed the subject. “So, Moony, I'm curious – why do you like Daphne anyway? What do you even see in her?”
James slowly nodded his head as he thought about the question. “Yeah, Remus! Why do you like her?”
Remus furrowed his eyebrows. “Well, why do you like her, James?” he shot back.
“I asked you first!” James said childishly with a slight laugh.
“Well...” said Remus slowly, trying to put it in words. “I don't know, she's really pretty, she's nice, fun, very smart -”
“Whoa, Prongs, that's your girlfriend you just snorted about!” Sirius said looking shocked.
“Well, it depends on what you call 'smart',” explained James. “Sure, she's smart with books and school, but other then that, well...” James trailed off.
“Do you really even know this girl, Remus?” Sirius asked skeptically. “I mean, you never hang out with her; do you even talk to her?”
“Of course I talk to her!” Remus said with a small flush creeping up his cheeks. “At Prefects meetings and in the halls and such!”
“Yeah, but do you really know her?” James asked.
“Well, not as well as I would like to, but yeah, I guess!” Remus was getting flustered. “Okay, so I don't know why I like her – it's hard to explain! So tell me, James, why do you like her?” James was silent in thought. “Not an easy question to answer, is it?”
James smiled cheekily. “She's a good kisser!”
Sirius laughed heartily and smacked James on the back. “That's my boy!”
Remus rolled his eyes. “Be serious, James! I really want to know what you see in her!”
James sobered his laughter and was silent once more for a few moments before he said, “Alright, so I like her just for her physical attributes. I'm not dating her for her great personality, so sue me.” James started to doodle on his notes some more as he tried to avoid looking at his best friends who were all extremely quiet. “You know what, Moony? Daphne's not your type.” James said suddenly.
“What do you mean, 'not my type'?” scoffed Remus, who was slightly stunned.
“I mean that you can do so much better than Daphne Holmes. She doesn't fit you.”
“And what exactly is my type since you seem to think that you're Mr. Know-it-all today?” said Remus with a defensive air.
“You need to be with someone who has spirit!” said James who was getting all riled up. “A girl who's not afraid of anything, who doesn't take crap from anyone, one who's smart in all aspects of life, somebody who completes you! Cause I can tell you right now that Daphne is none of those things.”
“Kinda sounds like a female version of you, James...” said Sirius slyly.
“Yeah, well, it would help if she also liked chocolate like you, Remus, was slightly rebellious (cause lord knows that you could use a little rebelliousness in your life, and it's a miracle that we haven't rubbed off on you, Moony) and yeah, maybe someone with a lot of tattoos and piercings would be good too...” James trailed off, trying to seem innocent.
A light bulb seemed to have turned on in Remus' head. “What, you mean Rebecca? You think that Rebecca is my type?”
“No!” said James sarcastically in mock shock, both hands over his heart. “Did I say that?” He then flashed his lopsided grin.
“Jeez, first Marissa and now you guys!” Remus sputtered. “For the last time, Rebecca and I are just friends!”
Sirius tapped his chin with his index finger. “No, Moony, Prongs has got a point! I mean, not many friends will grope through each other's pockets all the time or fall asleep together on a couch that is notorious for being used for more ways than one...” Sirius grinned widely.
James shuddered. “Oh, great, now I can't do my homework on that couch anymore, Padfoot.”
“Like you ever do homework anyway, Prongs,” replied Sirius cheekily.
Remus shook his head and cut into the conversation before James could retort about how he did too do homework. “Guys, I can't like Rebecca, we're -”
“Friends, we know!” James interrupted. “But you know Rebecca better than any guy besides myself, you've been friends for 7 years now, and I know for a fact that you've looked at her arse every once and a while!”
Remus' blush became even more ruddy, if at all possible. Rebecca was a very pretty girl despite her gothic tendencies, which, in Remus' opinion made her all the more beautiful. Now that he thought about it, why didn't he like Rebecca? She was extremely smart, even though she didn't show it very often, she was a loyal friend, she at least cared about Remus, and Remus did find her personality to be extremely fascinating – she was such an oxymoron, you never knew what she was going to do next. And she always knew how to make him laugh.
Remus finally snapped out of his musings to realize that the other three Marauders were staring at him with huge knowing grins on their faces.
“Oh, you guys must be smoking floo powder or something! I don't fancy Rebecca!” Remus exclaimed, trying to brush them off, looking down at James' notes again.
“Riiiight...” said James and Sirius together, rolling their eyes at each other.
A/N: Missus Padfoot: Aw, James and Remus have patched things up!! Yay for happiness! Missus Moony: And now we just have to patch up Lily and James! Missus Padfoot: ...Which will take some time, guys, sorry. Missus Moony: Oh, but it's coming! And as for Remus/Rebecca... well, we'll just see about that one... mwahaha! Missus Padfoot: And just so you guys know, the next chapter's awesome, so just you wait! Heehee. Missus Moony: Now, don't forget to review! We know you all want to! We respond, we swear! ...Well, eventually. We kinda get backed up sometimes and its hard to answer them all, but we get around to them. Missus Padfoot: But yeah, we really want to know how we're doing? Do you love it? Hate it? Let us know! Please? *puppy face* Missus Moony: Oh, stop groveling. You readers are just AMAZING!!! We cannot believe we have over 600 reviews!!!!!! Missus Padfoot: We never thought we'd get this far and its all because of you wonderful people! So THANK YOU!!!!! Missus Moony: Ditto!
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