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Race You to the Stars by imperfectionist

Format: Novella
Chapters: 8
Word Count: 12,053
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Horror/Dark, Humor, Action/Adventure
Characters: Lupin, Sirius, A. Longbottom, F. Longbottom, Lily, James, Pettigrew, OC
Pairings: Remus/OC, Sirius/OC

First Published: 10/01/2009
Last Chapter: 06/28/2010
Last Updated: 06/28/2010

Now, if you would be so kind as to journey with me into this penseive to the depths of my slightly deranged mind, my story shall unravel.

Join Dorcas Meadowes into the world of the first war. Be warned, this will not end in happiness.

Chapter 1: Prologue: In a Cell
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It has been too long since I’ve seen the sun, so dazzling and promising of a new day. The coldness in this cell seems to have consumed every ounce of my existence replacing it with a black and white shell of the fantastic colors I once held true and dear. Does that even make any sense?

Perhaps it doesn’t. Perhaps I’m just crazy. Well, isn’t that the story of my life? It is, even if you don’t know it. Even I barely remember, it seems so distant I might believe it was somebody else’s life if you told me, but I do know that there was a time before this cell. I remember how the sky smelled. I remember laughing and crying and feeling despair and happiness but everything is so jumbled, like a strange puzzle scattered among the ocean and drifting away from each other.
Every night they have tortured me in this crude cell until I have forgotten my own name. It’s almost always the same questions, every once in a while a different one will be asked. All of the questions have one thing in common: I don’t know the answer.

The people they ask about, the secrets they want me to spill, the knowledge they hope to capture; all of it is nothing but a bunch of strange syllables and sounds. It’s agonizing not knowing anything anymore.

Something deep inside me tells me that even if I had the knowledge of the stupid and pointless things they ask, I also have the wisdom not to answer them, for they are the venom in everything beautiful and the black hole among the bright stars that I have not laid eyes upon for quite some time.

But the strangest thing is happening right now; there are shrill and bone-chilling screams that most definitely are not my own and a lot of shuffling above my prison ceiling. The screams are foreign to me; it has been so long since I’ve heard screams that weren’t ripping through my throat, making it raw and swollen and weakening with each note; a crescendo if you will, that never seems to stop. Though I know at least some of the screams I hear are coming from my tortures’ vile and evil mouths, I cannot bear to listen. Even as my hatred seeps from every sweat-soaked pore, I get no satisfaction from their screams, though they sure get pleasure from mine. I don’t understand how they can enjoy such a sound. What strange beings Death Eaters are.

The door is creaking open and pale hands deliver a bowl filled with strange swirly liquid with a note attached to it. The fingernails are jagged and slightly yellow tinged and the skin is kind of pulled over the bones. I cannot help but feel those hands are somehow familiar. Not necessarily a good familiar or even bad, just…familiar. Crazy? You would be too.

“This is a penseive, if you can’t remember the name of it. In its depths you may place your memories inside. Do you remember anything? You know not your name but perhaps you’d be able to remember if you tried. It will be a while before you are found. There has been an intrusion and the Order of the Phoenix has invaded. They will not find you, however. You will soon die. I thought you’d prefer to die knowing your cause and who you are. Good luck, Dorcas Meadowes”

Dorcas Meadowes. That’s… I remember my name. How strange. But who’s the Order of the Phoenix. It reminds me of a pizza delivery place.

Pizza………god it’s been so long since I’ve had it, or decent food at all.

Eating it with…..I don’t remember. I had friends though, I am sure of it. And we ate pizza with all the grease and cheese and pepperoni and vegetables. And there was that time that I argued about pineapples with…someone.

A face comes to mind. Gray eyes and a nice chin with black hair down a little past the ears……bad puns…..pad buns……..Pad……Oh god, it’s right there at the tip of my tongue….

And a wolf. Something about a rabbit and fur. A joke turned serious.
Sirius Black, padfoot, pineapples. And Remus Lupin, a werewolf and my love.

The Order of the Phoenix is not a pizza delivery place. Far from it. Ridiculously far.

James, Peter, Gideon and Fabian, Lily, Marlene.

How could I forget? How do I remember? I feel seriously fucked in the head.

The Order of the Phoenix was an oath that one would see through to death for a better world. I was a part of it, and my friends were too.

I do not know if I should be overjoyed that I have regained my memory, or terrified. They will find me, one way or another. The Death Eaters I mean. When they do, I will not see another day.

Of this, I am strangely (and calmly) sure.

Now, if you would be so kind as to journey with me into this penseive to the depths of my slightly deranged mind, my story shall unravel. Quickly now, I fear don’t have much time.

Chapter 2: What was originally going to be titled Pizza but now it's this.
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I think it would only make sense to begin our story on a rather life-changing day. Yes, I said “our” for, though it is my memory, this side of the story will show the changes throughout my friends, and maybe even some enemies, for the war affected everybody. What you are about to witness is the transition from being care-free teenagers to wary young adults…

The smell of the light autumn breeze wafted in through the open window with the thin curtains slightly parted in the middle, the garish light of dawn complimenting the crisp smell. I was the first one up, as usual, and was in a particularly delightful mood despite it being a Monday.

Today was Halloween, my favorite holiday. Admittedly, Hogwarts did disappointingly little in the way of Halloween. Of course there was a great feast every year and the ghosts did awesome enactments of whatever they felt like doing that year, but no dressing up was allowed. Well, people got dressed obviously, but no awesome costumes or anything. Being brought up a muggle, this disappointed me. It was understandable though, after the magical world did contain some of the myths muggles tended to dress up as. Such as vampires, werewolves and hell, I’m sure I saw a siren once in a small Egyptian magic village.

And let’s not forget the obvious, witches and wizards.

I stretched my lanky arms and bounded off my bed, eager to start the new (and spooooooooky) day. I ripped the curtains open wide only to receive curses and life-threatening threats from my fellow Hufflepuffs (who enjoyed sleeping too much in my opinion) and a couple of pillows lazily flung my way.

I bounced on Viper Besic’s bed, a dark skinned girl with honey brown eyes. “Good morning!” I sang happily, amused by the angry expression on the poor lass’s face. “I’m going to go get some delicious food!”

Viper growled in return and rolled back over. I glanced at the other girls and realized that they, too, went back to sleep. Expecting this reaction, I simply went to the Great Hall by myself.

The girls in Hufflepuff were great, really, but we were never the closest friends. We all got along, with the exception of Rose Embers (who was quite the snob) and would sometimes stay up late coming up with weird ideas but never went out of our ways to spend time with each other. Or at least, that’s how it is with me and them. I didn’t mind, actually. I had some friends in Ravenclaw and Gryffindor and usually spent my time with some of them.

Glancing around the Great Hall, I spotted Lily Evans, one of my Gryffindor friends, already eating an early breakfast and joined her. She seemed to be eyeing a group further down the ridiculously long table, which consisted of four guys. Some people might think she was looking that way because she was absolutely smitten with a certain raven-haired bespectacled young man or her Head Girl senses were sensing chaos and mischief.

Anyone who knew her well would realize it was a bit of both. She was, indeed, infatuated with James Potter even if it took her a while to figure out. I was always very amused by the bickering of the two of them, usually started by James making a cheeky comment (thankfully, the whole trying to get Lily to go on a date with him ended last year (his genitalia were on the line, or wand point if one wants to be specific)) and Lily throwing a tantrum, bless her redhead trait.

“That lot is up to something,” she muttered looking at her food and prodding it with her spoon.

The four guys were looking quite suspicious with two on each side of the table and their head put together as close as possible and butts off the bench. Really, one would think they were about to start a guy on guy orgy in the middle of their breakfast.

“Actually, that wouldn’t be so bad,” I muttered to myself.

Lily blinked at me, confusion swirling all around in her eyes. Not literally of course, metaphorically. “What wouldn’t be so bad?”

“Oh…” I trailed off, trying to think of an excuse to what I just accidently said. “You really don’t want to know what’s floating in my mind.” I went with the vague truth, unable to think of something else to say. It was true; she probably didn’t want to know what I just thought. I was protecting her virtue damn it!

Really though, the Marauders weren’t at all too shabby. I’d describe them to you, but since they’re so infamous, you’ve probably heard of them before.

“What do you think their plotting this year?” Lily asked, returning the topic to the plotting boys.

I rolled my eyes at her. “It’s Halloween, let ‘em have at it.”

She poked angrily at her hash browns, “I bet it has something to do with the Slytherins…”

“And the Slytherins generally have it coming to them,” I said, glaring at a third year Slytherin who just threw pineapple at my back as if on cue. “Oy, watch ya’self!” I shouted across the Hall as the third year’s eyes grew thrice his original size.

Snickering, I returned to my own breakfast as the Marauders slithered over to where we were happily feasting upon dead flesh. Lily made a weird noise of disgust in her throat as James sat next to her with a grin on his face. Sirius sat on her other side and tried to steal a piece of toast from Lily’s plate, who whacked him with her spoon.

Remus sat on my left and Peter took my right. Remus gave me a sideways smile as we exchanged pleasantries.

“So,” I whispered to him, “James trying to woo Lily?”

He chuckled, “More like trying to make civil conversation with her, without getting things thrown at him.”

“Brave of him, attempting so in the Great Hall…” I glanced around the table, spotting a pie cutter. Looking at Lily I made sure she was distracted before snatching it and placing it safely on the floor before she decided to wield it as a weapon on James Potter…again.

After a while of small talk, I frowned in concern, “Are you feeling well, Rem?”

Remus had a habit of becoming sick at the weirdest times. I figured it had something to do with genetics, for it seemed that almost every month he was visiting a sick relative. It was passing strange, since I’ve never heard him talk about family other than them being sick. He was looking rather pale this time and had bags under his eyes like he hadn’t been sleeping well.

“I’ve just got a bit of a cold. It’ll probably clear up soon.”

I put my hand on his forehead, “Perhaps…you feel a bit on the clammy side.”

“Did someone say clammy?” Sirius dangled a clam in front of my face, making it wriggle. I grabbed it from him and slapped his face with it.

“Ha ha ha, pun boy,” I said sarcastically as he scowled while cradling his beloved cheek.

“No need to get snippy,” he complained.

“Wow,” Peter mumbled. “It’s been over five minutes and Lily hasn’t tried to do James in yet.”

The four of us pondered the amazement of it for a moment.

“Miss Meadowes!” Professor Slughorn snapped at me. “If you don’t like my class, the door is open.” Potions class was a rather tedious subject to me and often bored me to sleepiness. It was understandable that Slughorn would get irritated with students falling asleep in his class if we were brewing, but today we were just getting lectured about….something or other.

“Night, Captain!” I saluted the class as I slung my bag over my shoulder and slinked out of the classroom, heading towards my common room.

Halfway on my humble path to a nice, leisurely nap (it was double Potions and right after that it was lunch) a rather raspy and demanding voice intruded my comforting thoughts of a nice sofa with pillows and fluffy blankets.

“Filthy Mudblood!”

I sighed and glared at the Slytherin. “At least I don’t have a filthy vag-”

Bethany Cross’s face turned several shades of purple, her anger looking quite ugly. Bethany had quite the reputation as a ugly as her face. She was a female built almost like a fridge and a wee little moustache was forming on her upper lip. She was mostly known for hexing anyone who merely glanced at her and physically beating Quidditch players on the opposing team with her bat. Pureblood maniac to the core, that was good old Beth. Most definitely not the best person to bump into in the corridor. Of course, I have the best luck in the world.

Before I could finish the sentence, right when she pulled out her wand, another voice intruded.

“Five points from Slytherin for trying to duel in the hallways.” It was almost authoritive sounding, but there was humor in it. Behind me was Remus Lupin who looked extremely amused but at the same time slightly tense, like a he was about to jump in the middle if need be.

“You don’t have the authority to do that!” Beth sputtered.

“Oh really?” Remus straightened up from his casual, slightly slouchy stance making them eye level. The seemed to have a glare-off before Remus stated, “Nice moustache.”

Right before she did a Bat-Bogey Hex, Remus casually muttered the disarming spell and then sent her wand all the way down the corridor.

Remus grabbed my wrist and pulled me away from Beth’s right hook and we ran, laughing all the while. That left Beth with two options: fight two Gryffindors who were both armed, or go get her wand before someone tampered with it. She went with the obvious choice and sprinted the other way, toward her wand.

We ended up running up three floors before collapsing on the floor, slightly out of breath from both from running up all those stairs and laughing ridiculously loud.

“That,” I managed to sputter while clutching my stomach, still laughing “was pure genius!”

Remus looked slyly at me, his eyes glinting with mischief, “If you think that’s genius, wait until tonight.”

“I better not be disappointed.”

Turns out, I most definitely was not disappointed.

For all the chaos they manage to inflict upon the school, the Marauders were very bright (if lazy in most cases) students. Some of the spells they tended to prank people with rather hard spells that I thought even some of the teachers were unable to cast. In their third year, they made a polyjuice potion and Sirius had a piece of Dumbledore’s hair that was on Dumbledore’s desk and while he was on a piss break from watching Sirius in his “detention.” The only thing that gave them away was Sirius turning into Dumbledore right as Dumbledore turned the corner a week later, heading toward McGonagall’s office. They never did reveal their whole “Turn into Dumbledore” plot to anyone, and I prodded them about it for ages afterwards.

Their final Halloween prank was a rather enthralling one, what with them wanting to make their last Halloween at Hogwarts a memorable one. They started off with simple charm work, making the floating candles all harmonize in creepy Halloween opera voices singing a silly old tune I scarce remembered after.

“With the werewolves howling and panthers prowling, we bring to you this night a goody bag full of fright” were the two lines sung before dungbombs appeared on the Slytherin table in place of the plates. As the dungbombs went off, a rainbow of colors started filling the Great Hall.

It was the strangest thing upon exiting the Great Hall with the rest of the crowd. Before managing to slip away to the Gryffindor Tower, Remus grabbed my wrist and pulled me to the side and put his finger to his lips. He cocked his head toward the door and I saw the Slytherins exiting too, more than a little distinctive. Their skin was different colored, some green, some red, and different colors of the rainbow.

“How-??” I begun to ask him but we were running once again, this time toward the Tower and away from McGonagall, who was probably trying to spot the Marauders for questioning.

We met the rest of the Marauders, who had acquired firewhiskey and elven-made mead, in the Tower.

“Might I interest you in toxic fluids?” Remus asked, bowing as he offered me the alcohol.

I took it and opened it, “Bottoms up!” I said and the five of us started drinking.

We were all trashed within the hour. Remus and I were attempting leap frog and failing miserable while James, Sirius and Peter were playing a game called Fool’s Hair, a game they made up quite a while ago. One person was the “fool” and the other two people would magic hair on the blindfolded “fool” and that person had to guess where they put the hair on their body.

“Liiiiiiillllllllllyyyyy!” I called out after tripping over Remus for the thousandth time and running toward her.

“Hello,” Lily said, her eyes sparkling with amusement.

“I saved ya botter,” I stumbled over my words, offering her a bottle.

She just rolled her eyes at me. I’d only managed to get her drunk once. It was fun! That night was not a drunken Lily night apparently.

“Remmar!” I pouted to Remus, “Lily won’t take! Won’t take!”

“We’ll get her next time!!” He raised his fist in the air. My fist joined his and we drunkenly fell down to the floor with a great THUMP.

James and Sirius helped us up, finished with their game (Peter lost, revealing his nether regions to part of the common room claiming that they clearly put the hair…there, forgetting he had…well, you know). They had more tolerance than me and Remus had.

“Thank you, good chalk,” I spluttered to Sirius, giving Remus a high-five and stumbling some more. “I think I won leap frog!”

“No you didn’t,” Remus swayed, pointing at me, “you fell on me more than I did you!”

In the middle of our disagreement an owl had brought a letter, addressed to Lily who ran out of the common room after reading it.

The only who noticed was James.

A/N: What did you think? Too much? Too little? More of something, less of something?
Plague my brains.

Chapter 3: Angst, Angst and MORE ANGST!!
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How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop? If the world can’t figure that out, there’s no way to measure the distance from sanity Lily Evans put from her whole existence that night. Lily was known as showing her emotions a lot. She would laugh with happiness, cry with sadness or yell in anger. Never, though, did she ever have to deal with such a strong mental state as depression and she didn’t know how to cope with it. And that, my fellow crazies, pissed her off. Really, really pissed her off.

It was understandable considering the circumstance. October 31st, 1978 a small group of Death Eaters went gallivanting around muggle neighborhoods swishing and swashing their wands to and fro in a rather thoughtless (or too thoughtful) manner. Would you believe the irony that they just so happened wander into Lily’s neighborhood? Her poor mother, from the way it was told in a shaky letter from her dad, had been the unfortunate victim of giving out candy. Guess who’s sick and demented to ring the doorbell and say “Avada Kedavra?” instead of “”Trick or treat”? Only a Death Eater, who was probably Voldemort’s butt buddy. Lily’s father got back in time from getting brownie mix at a store to see his wife being murdered and her killer apparate from the porch. That was all in the letter Lily received from her dad, who wrote almost immediately after the murder. Have I yet mentioned her pissy mood?

“Get the bleeding hell out of my way!” A poor group of first years scrambled over themselves to get out of the way of the seventh year and flaming attitude, which fit the color of her hair. Two of them had fallen over one another and were struggling to get up from their entanglement.

Yep, Lily was a bright ray of sunshine today. What a day it would be. The marauders, minus Remus, and I spent the morning trying to snap out of her foul mood to no avail. Now we were headed to Herbology for a fun hour of getting strangled by evil plants. Green thumb? I think not.

“Lily, you should take the day off,” I looked at her sternly. Stupid perfectionist refused to take a day off. It was Thursday, pretty much two days since she had received the letter, and she has not taken a day off. We were all worried about her, she was put extra effort into everything she did (except sleep of course), which was saying something, considering she was one of the top students (along with the Marauders).

“No.” She stubbornly stated, crossing her arms. “I don’t want to get behind.”

“Behind? You’re ahead in everything!

She glared at me for a second, and then stared at the ground, her eyes glossing over. “I don’t want to think too much. If I focus on my studies, I won’t have to think.”

“You need time, Lily. Not more work.”

“I can get along just fine.” A defiant look came into her eyes as she walked in the greenhouse. She was a little too headstrong. Everything would catch up with her eventually and there will be Hell to pay.

I sighed in defeat and joined her in Herbology, where we met back up with the Marauders. I exchanged greetings with them, Lily was… somewhere in her own little world. After asking where Remus was though, they wouldn’t look me in the eye for the rest of the class, which made me rather suspicious. New prank, perhaps? Then again, Remus did say he wasn’t feeling very well, then he had alcohol.

Probably not the best combination. Well, shit.

“Hey, Lily!” Mary Macdonald, a Gryffindor, said to Lily, waving enthusiastically. Lily gave a weak smile, then zoned out. She looked at me questioningly, I just shrugged.

The rest of classes went pretty much the same as Herbology. While Lily went to the library, the Marauders asked me to go with them to the Gryffindor Tower. All of us sensed that Lily needed to have time to herself for a little bit. The Gryffindors were used to me being there; I was there quite frequently because I had more friends there than my own house.

We made a pit stop to the kitchens on our way up for hot chocolate. The house-elves gave us a platter of cups and a tea kettle that would always keep the hot chocolate in it hot. Magic owns all, or destroy it, depending on the person using it.

On the couch by the fire, we sat quietly sipping on our hot chocolates. The war was really happening. Death Eaters running amuck in villages was a sure sign of it. It was a very surreal feeling.

Soon, death would be an everyday thing, I could feel it in the marrow of my bones, in the tears of others and the fear that seemed to settle within the castle. Before this, it seemed so distant from us, like it was just a passing nightmare. It wasn’t. It was now. It would be the next day. Even a couple more grueling years filled mostly with pain, death and despair. The innocent would be tainted, the wicked known. No survivors without deep wounds, no little kid living a sheltered life. The pain of reality was suddenly heavy.

A bowl was lit and passed around and finally the silence was broken.
“I don’t know what to do,” James muttered, his eyes distant and slightly glossy. “This fucking sucks.”

“She’ll find a way,” I replied, knowing exactly what he was talking about, “it will be a hard and long road for Lily this year, but she’ll figure it out. She just needs to test the waters.”

It was then that Remus walked in. “I miss something?” he asked, having been absent when the rest of us found out about Lily’s parents. He passed out that night and the next day he was in the infirmary.

“Lily,” was all I could manage, staring into space, my mind trying to make sense of anything.

“What happened to her?” he accepted the bowl as he sat down.

“Her mom died on Halloween,” James said. Remus’s eyes got huge.“The funeral is Saturday.”

“…wow, that’s…harsh,” Remus was too stunned to say anything else really.

“Welcome to the war,” Sirius said, accepting the pipe from Remus and inhaling.

James got up roughly after a while. Anger took over his expression and he punched a wall. All we could do was stare. “This isn’t fucking right! Of all the fucking things to bloody happen, it had to be that!”

“It would’ve happened eventually,” I softly replied, getting up and softly putting my hand on his arm. “It’s harsh, I know. And it wasn’t the way Lily’s mom should have died. But punching things isn’t going to solve anything. It won’t make it hurt any less, it’s not going to make it disappear. You need to stay level-headed. We all do. Lily needs us because she can’t do it alone. She’ll rely on us, even if she thinks you’re an arrogant asshole because she needs someone, James. She needs all of us. She needs more than us, more than the world because the one person she truly needs is dead and she won’t accept that for a while. Through her will, though, she’ll eventually accept it. Until then, she needs people to lean on.”

“Don’t spout your philosophy at me,” James grabbed my hand and roughly shoved it off his arm, making me stumble a bit. “I’m going on a walk.”

We all stared as he stalked off toward the portrait hole. I sat down again.

“You alright?” Remus asked.

“Yeah,” I muttered, “I wish I could say that about those two, though.” He patted my hand reassuringly.

“So,” Peter said slightly hesitant, “anyone up for exploding snaps?”

We mindlessly played Exploding Snaps for a while, which turned out to be five hours.

“Holy shit,” I muttered, looking at my wrist watch, “It’s already one in the morning. I should probably be off to my own common room.”

Putting on my top hat (that has a habit of disappearing when I take it off and reappearing when I want to put it back on) and jacket. It tended to get cold in the corridors.

“I’ll walk you,” Sirius said, getting up, “it’s not safe going alone at this hour. There is evil that never sleeps.”

I raised an eyebrow, “Such as you four.”

If I had been slightly more observant I would have realized two things that night: James and Lily still being gone could only mean one thing and Sirius was up to something. Being as late as it was though, and the events of the past few days, I was too tired to put two and two together. As it was, Sirius and I rolled a blunt and smoked before he saw me off to my common room.

A/N: Sorry this one took so long. I've been busy and couldn't decided how this chapter would happen. As it turns out, I am very unsatisfied with it. I feel like I'm making Dorcas Meadowes a Mary Sue, which she most definitely is not. Also, I was going to have Snape's Whomping Willow incident in a couple more chapters, but that happened a couple years previously according to the seventh book (I'm taking its word.)

So....tell me what you think so far?

Chapter 4: It's Going Down....
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Once again I found myself in the presence of the Marauders. This time, though, it was in the library. It is still beyond me how they even managed to make it in the door without spontaneously combusting and burning all of the books with them. I suppose if you want something that bad, you would do almost anything to get it. For the Marauders this was the most daring thing they’ve done all term.

“We really need your help,” Sirius told me, sitting across from me, barely peaking around all the books that engulfed the unfortunate table. Schoolwork was such a bitch.

“I can see that,” I said raising my eyebrows as Remus and Peter took seats next to me. “Where’s James?”

“Head Duties awaited him,” Remus said, chuckling. Really, James being Head Boy was worse than Remus being Prefect, and despite what the school thought Remus was just as irresponsible as James. Of course, there were times when he actually used his power….or abused it, depending on how one looks at it. He always said the hand of authority was meant for punishment. Without punishment, there would be no authority…let’s not even get started on James (though he was a mastermind at it).

“Oh, well, what was it that you guys needed help with?”

“Well,” Sirius said, making sure no one was around, “there’s this potion we have recently made….”

Yes, I could see the madness of scientists in the potion. With a drop of insanity and a dash of pickles and mwahahahahaaaaa!!!! Perfect! The glasses! They’d need the glasses with the thick lenses.

“And probably be electrocuted,” I muttered.

Remus raised an eyebrow. “What?”

I rolled my eyes. “For the hair. The wacky hair and the thick glasses……." my nose started feeling itchy, "did you guys add any erupment?”

“Yes, why?”

“Oh….no particular reason. I’m just a bit allergic is all. Which part did you add?”

The three marauders paled simultaneously looking quite guilt-stricken. After a few moments of exchanging rather amusing looks of awkwardness, Sirius finally spoke up muttering, “Exploding Fluid.”
My eyebrow went up. Way up. Erupment Exploding Fluid was rather hard to find around Hogwarts, I doubted we even had them in stock.

Erupments live in Africa and the Ministry of Magic keeps what little it has under tight control. The fluid could make the potion go awry if it’s not handled with great care. Too much of this shite and the Marauders could explode.

“I’m not going to ask where you guys got this,” I muttered, looking at my hands, which were turning a little purple. It wasn’t going to kill me, I wasn’t deathly allergic to it, but my skin would turn rainbow colors if I didn’t get an antidote for it. “Did you know the males explode each other during mating season?”

The three shot questioning glances at me before they came to a telepathic conclusion that I was going nutters and taking me to the hospital wing so I could get my sanity back. Really, though, I would have been fine. The Marauders just had strong maternal instincts.

“Will you get that mudblood to shut up?” Avery asked the Marauders, his hands to his ears, trying to escape my horrible off-scale keys of a strange song I just made up.

“Sod off Avery,” Sirius glared as he subtly gripped his wand and muttered something.

“Shut your mouth, Black, or I’ll do it for you!” His arm muscles moved as if he was trying to move his hands off his ears but fond that his hands were disobeying him. He then flailed around for a very amusing two or three minutes before threatening the four of us.

Silencio,” Remus waved his wand at Avery, who was glaring dagger as that point, and his voicebox went silent, though his mouth was still running with what could be assumed rather unpleasant pleasantries. We watched him stalk off, hands on ears and looking very pissed.

Emerging from the infirmary a couple hours later, I started telling the boys what they could do to fix their potion. The color was a couple shades too dark, which was a route I’d rather not have them activate. As cool as the explosion would probably look, there would be some casualties for whom the hospital wing would not be able to help.

“The wormwood properties should balance out the erumpent so that the explosion will be controlled. Just stir it half way clockwise, then counter ten times for three days and if the potion doesn’t lighten or changes colors, then you have royally screwed up your potion…”

“My God, woman!” Peter interrupted my intelligible knowledgular lecture, “how do you know this?”

How I actually know is because some girls were just really annoying and spent way too long in the bathroom. When a girl’s gotta piss, she’s gotta piss and I had to shit really bad that morning. You ever have to hold a shit for thirty-five minutes? If you have, then you understand that justice had to be swift and properly timed and executed. Justice, in this case, was the next morning when a certain Miss Sarah Fische was taking a nice, hot, relaxing shower. Though the batch I used was only a quarter of the vial, not one and a half.

“I pay attention in Potions.” Not the truest statement to come from my lips. I did tend to have a knack for Potions, the thought of mixing different chemicals to make explosions and other things intrigued me very much. I didn’t have too high of a grade in that class, mostly because I refused to attend Professor Slughorn’s stupid parties he had for select students. Way to encourage the other students and boost their confidence. Bastard.

“What’s the potion for anyways?” I asked.

Sirius and Remus gave me vacant expressions while Peter fidgeted and side glanced at Sirius, trying to follow suit and have an unreadable expression. All of them failed at it though; the mischievous glints in all three pairs of eyes gave them away.

“Ah well,” I said, “I’ll just figure it out when it happens. I wouldn’t recommend in the Great Hall, though. If my food becomes nasty and I pass out on an empty stomach I will come and hunt all of you down.”

“How else could we make the explosion happen?” Sirius asked, completely confused (which tended to happen a lot) and slightly exasperated looking.

I reached in my pocket and threw the answer to Remus, not trusting Sirius or Peter with it; of them all, Remus was by far the least destructive. I grinned and walked away.

Lily was, understandably, still mourning the passing of her mother and the foul mood was still there, a redhead to the very end.

I was heading towards the library when I heard her voice a few octaves louder than her conversational voice. “Sod off!” Laughter followed, higher pitched, unmistakably female.

I turned the next corridor to see James holding Lily back, both looking pissed off at a Slytherin by the name of Bellatrix. You’ve probably heard of her. A mass of black hair circulating around her heart-shaped ivory face, eyes cold as her heart and a strong aura of authority and a slight hint of madness all made her notorious throughout Hogwarts, and in the next few years, outside of it.

“What’s wrong, mudblood?” she cackled, throwing her head back in a twisted merriment only she could enjoy.

As Lily lunged and James held her back, I dropped my messenger bag and charged at her. Hopping on her back, I brought us both down and we started beating the shit out of each other. It seemed to me we were evenly matched. I was more fluid and depended more on my dexterity whereas she was more solid and depended on strength and crazy. Every punch she got in on me, I got two on her, though her punches were more likely to leave wicked bruises than mine. Add in kicks and Bellatrix were having a hayday.

Unfortunately, a hand grabbed me by the back of my shoulder and hauled me off. Staring into grey eyes as familiar as his brother’s I knew that more Slytherins had arrived and things were about to get very violent very quickly with a lot of bloodshed and limbs in strange places.

The fight, unfortunately, was mostly a blur for more. A punch here, a kick there; cursing, swearing, bleeding, flailing, general anger and venting…the list goes on. Oh, and of course there was that mysterious bad-ass in the corner smoking a cigar wearing sleek black clothing with his hair in his eyes looking at the chaotic mass of flying appendages with vague disinterest. A brawl indeed.

Until, you know, some professors came to break it up, gave us all a long lecture, detentions and docked points off with Professor McGonagall holding a tissue to her nose, her infamous lips thinning. I swear I saw a black-hole where her lips were supposed to be she was so pissed off. I might gladly add that it was the fault of a Slytherin, who wasn’t watching where his fist flew.

Afterward, the Marauders caught up with me after their lecture. They popped up in the middle of the fight and busted a few figurative kneecaps. Except Sirius, he really did manage to bust a few kneecaps.

“To the Hospital Wing again?” The Basher of Kneecaps asked snickering.

“Yeah,” I muttered, holding my bleeding lip. “That Bellatrix is quite the work of art.”

“It looks like your nose is broken,” Remus said, halting me in my tracks to look at my face.

“Probably,” I said, wincing a little when he traced a cut lightly with his thumb, “It’s going to hurt like a bitch when all this adrenaline wears down. The adrenaline was still pumping fast in my veins giving me the urge to continue fighting and keeping me alert of everything, making Remus being around me more torturous than usual.

“I can fix you up,” he said, “the hospital wing is probably full. It’d take a while for Pomfrey to get to you.”

Half hour later, the only thing lingering was the pain. Remus had even set my broken nose. I should’ve wondered why he knew how to heal people so well, but it didn’t occur to me at the time, though it did after I found out that he had quite the secret kept hidden deep within him. It wounded him to the very soul, but taught as much as it destroyed…

: A/N:Sorry if this seemed kind of rushed, I wanted to get it out soon because I was feeling guilty that it's been a while since I've updated. I was originally going to start the next chapter with the actual fight, but decided to do it this way. Any opinions? I Love to hear feedback.

Chapter 5: The Blackest Child
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Bellatrix Black was one crazy bitch. Have I mentioned that? She’s been hunting me since the little brawl in the corridor. It was a week ago and the fucking hyena was still out for my blood. It’s a good thing the Marauders knew most of the passages in the castle, or my ass, and the rest of me, would have been broken by now. One little fight, and she’s all butt hurt. She did more damage to me than I did to her! Fucking CRAZY BITCH!

Okay, so I might be a little twitchy, and a little snappy; it was the paranoia of looking over my back every five minutes.

And yes, I will admit she kicked my ass. I, too, hurt her so it was kind of even. If she would stop hunting me down like a starving toddler who sees cake, I wouldn’t be so sour.

I jumped as a hand touched my shoulder on my way back to the Hufflepuff tower. Did I mention how inconveniently close it was to the dungeons, where the Slytherin lair is? Too frickin’ close!

“Didn’t mean to startle you,” Viper said lightly, her eyes dancing with amusement, “…okay, maybe I did. You just seemed too vulnerable. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.”

I glared at her, “You suck.”

“Pepper imp?”

“…Fine, you don’t suck.” I took a couple of pepper imps and put them in my pocket for later.

“Have you done your astronomy homework yet?”

“No,” I said looking at the ground, “I was just getting my things to do that. And get caffeine. Coffee was the best discovery ever!”

Have I ever mentioned my love for coffee? I loved it. The bittery bitterness of black coffee, the sweetness of flavored lattes, and the awesomeness of everything else just made me all jittery inside. And awake, allowing me to procrastinate until the night before the assignment was due. Coffee was the answer to school. Seriously, without it I would have failed so many classes.

After chatting about this and that, I soon found my star chart and other astronomized utensilish things and started the long journey across the castle to the Astronomy Tower, located all the way near the Gryffs. It was an irritatingly long walk sometimes. There were times when the walk was welcome; the castle was quiet, I was quiet, my mind wasn’t quiet but it tried to be. Other times, though, like right now, the distance was long. And no one was around to offer to walk me.

I’m jumpy right now, remember?

Man, Remus’s aunt was sick last night. Quite the shame that he had to go, he could’ve helped me on my astronomy homework, he was rather good at it.

So, merrily on my way I went; skipping and humming to go do homework, stay up until 3 a.m. with homework and have coffee as my buddy and mentor. God, school could be dreadful sometimes.

I’ll admit that there was no skipping and humming, or merriment. And coffee wasn’t my buddy or mentor. It was my savior. The 3 a.m. and dreadfulness of it all? That part was true. More true than I had known as I first non-skipped without merriment to the Astronomy Tower.

Really, I must have had the luck of a dust bunny in a house filled with people suffering from the severest OCD.

The way I usually would take required a password. The tapestry of an aardvark had a nasty habit of changing the password on whim, and it seemed only the Marauders knew when it changed the password. It made me a bit suspicious, but it wasn’t too surprising. They could get just about anywhere in the castle, no matter what precautions were in the way. Lucky bastards.

So, I had to take the forty-five minute way to do my homework. It was already ten at night, there was no way I was going to be in bed by midnight. My hope for sleep was once again banished from my mind.
On my way to the Astronomy tower I heard two people arguing from a corridor nearby. I would tell you that I wasn’t usually curious, but I would be lying horribly. I’ve always been quite the curious one, and it’s gotten me into trouble on a few occasions. So naturally, staying in the shadows, I got a closer look to see who was arguing and over what.

“You’re a fool to believe them,” a deep voice rumbled with unleashed anger laced with disappointment. It was a strange combination, but that’s what it seemed like; more disappointment than anger, but the anger was still there. Make sense at all?

“They have valid points, Sirius. Surely, you agree with them to some extent…” It was Regulus and Sirius, I realized. What were the both of them doing in the corridor this late at night? Surely it was not a coincidence.

“They’re stuck in their twisted ways of how the world should be. Their dreams are demented and fucked up, if you could call them dreams. Our parents are just proof that we’re in a shitty world filled with shitty people eating the shit that people feed them. Blind obedience will get you nowhere, dear brother.” Sirius’s sarcasm was thick enough to substitute syrup on my pancakes.

It was a moment before Regulus spoke again. “You left me with them,” he said in a quiet voice, looking at the ground.

I knew I should’ve left at that point, but I couldn’t. It was like a sick part of me wanted to stay and watch these broken brothers feud. Kind of like watching someone falling out of a wheelchair, it wasn’t meant to be amusing and you shouldn’t be watching, but staring was the only thing you could seem to do this. Don’t get me wrong, though, I found no humor. Just the inability to look away.

“Dammit, Reg!” The sound of flesh making contact with a wall resounded. “You don’t have to fucking do this! You need to stand up for yourself, grow a fucking backbone!”

“I’m not you!” Regulus’s voice was loud enough to match his brother’s.

“I can’t be so heartless and cruel! I can’t leave my family! I couldn’t stand the disappointment. You don’t know what they’ve been doing since you left, Sirius.”

Sirius adopted a menacing look, his face red as Lily’s hair. “The same thing they’ve done to me the past damned ten years, when I started getting my own opinions. The same thing that made me run away.”

“They burned you off the family tree, Sirius! This isn’t all fun and games as you seem to think it is!”

“You fucking think the scars on my arms are fun and fucking games to me? Well, whoop-id-dee-fucking-do! I had one hell of a fucking blast at home!”

Regulus glared at his brother. “In your way of trying to break away from your family, you’ve lived up to the family name. Black. You’re just as horrible as the rest of us, despite opposing our cause. You’ll never escape your blood.”

“Get the fuck away from me, Regulus, before I bash your pathetic head in.” Sirius watched as his brother took his advice and walked down the corridor. “FUCK!” he screamed, his fist wailing against the stone wall repetitively as he tried to get his aggression out. It was strange to see. I was almost tempted to stop him, but in his rage it probably wasn’t best to cross his path.

One hour later, after watching out for Bellie-boops, I was in the Astronomy Tower looking at my star chart frowningly. I’ve always wanted to be an astronomer, the stars have beautiful myths and I was pretty good at Astronomy. Remus was better, though, which is why I liked studying with him. His eyes were as deep as constellations. I suppose they still are, but the war has taken its toll on him. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Halfway through my chart I got distracted by the moon. It was so pretty and bright. I loved the full moon. It had an angelic feel to it. The way it lit up the world in a discreet way was very….intriguing…

Wait a minute.

Holy fuck!

The full moon….not someone’s ass, but the full moon.

Remus goes away every about every full moon.

That’s because he’s a werewolf!

Well, duh! It only took me about six years to realize this out. Wow, my blonde’s showing. SIX years! Count ‘em, six! Now count the days! I don’t wanna.

That’s a little bit weird…okay, really weird. It’s the weirdest thing ever. Anyone but Remus and it wouldn’t have been too weird. But it was Remus. That was just weird.

I suppose I should be at the freaking out stage, but I have an uncle who’s a werewolf. I don’t see him much, though. My mom was really a squib, not that anybody knows that (not that it mattered), but her brother was considered a “closet relative.” He was also a werewolf. The two were actually unrelated. He turned into a tap-dancing transvestite who sold his body for candy. He was amusing, though. And a good dance partner. He got killed by a kangaroo, bless his soul. Apparently, too much firewhiskey is a bad thing.

So, I’m not prejudice against werewolves. It’s just weird that it was Remus. Kind of hot, though.

Oh look, there’s weed in my pocket!

A/N: I know you love these end of the chapter readings. Sorry it took so long to get this one out. I was going to try to make the argument longer, but I couldn't brain enough, so I figured a page of arguing would be alright. It took a while to write because I wasn't sure if I should write this one or not; it's original service isn't going to happen (thank you, Deathly Hallows). It was going to play part in the whomping willow/ snape thing, but that didn't happen in seventh year, and I'm a nazi when it comes to timelines. JK's word is boss and I will not alter it. Thank you, and goodnight!

Chapter 6: The Girl Who Claimed Wolf
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The next day kind of melted together, at least, that’s what it seemed like to me. The evening had brought me wandering out on the grounds of Hogwarts trying to clear my mind. A harsh job that was, it hadn’t been clean in ages. I’m sure the little people in my head were trying to kill themselves with filing cabinets. Or maybe they were fish being sucked into the filter and clogging up the filter hole.

Actually, everything probably vacated the day I got hormones, leaving behind a void in which air would travel. Yes, that’s most likely.

Anyways, shall I go on about the sky, the sun started to fall below the horizon leaving behind streaks of red in the orange? A whole paragraph, maybe, about absolutely nothing except the natural beauty around me, and how the sun made them glow just right? I would, but we have all seen it and thought about it. Insert apathy here.

Getting to the heart of the matter, I was going to have to tell Remus I knew. Now, see my dilemma. Easy it may be for you to say I should just tell him straight out, but you’re merely the reader, and such delicate matters are predictable to you.

Lighting up a fag, I lied on the ground with my eyes closed; inhaling the intoxicants shoved in the tobacco as I contemplated life and all the cheesy metaphors representing the unfairness of everything, strength, and everything else that seemed empowering. Or, you know, just inhaling the cigarette. The former sounds a lot more interesting and purposeful, though.

“Smoking’s not very healthy, ya know,” a feminine voice said from a few feet away. I opened an eye to see the invader of my…general vicinity-ness.

“I’m alright with that, Marls,” I said, motioning for her to sit. “How is your world today?”

“It was a day,” she said sitting with her knees up and arms crossed around them. “Seems like you’ve been in contemplation.”

Marlene McKinnon was a Gryffindor, brave and strong to the end. She was tall with hair brown as moist dirt and eyes of a soft blue and bright, like the sky. She was also witty with a hint of sarcasm and could be quite pissy when someone really ticked her off. Once Avery tried looking up her skirt and she blasted him across the corridor, the sound of his head was quite loud. I wasn’t really close to her, but we got along.

“I have been,” I replied, watching a cloud shaped like a turtle pass by…or was it an octopus?

“That’s totally a ship,” Marlene said, pointing to the turtle/octopus.

“No way,” I disagreed with her shaking my head, “it’s an octopurtle.”

She gave me a weird look, “What?”

“An octopus turtle type thing. You know… tentacles with a hard shell.”

We argued for a few minutes over what the cloud really was and ended up in pain from laughter.

“So,” I said, calming down, “how’s Lily doing? I haven’t seen her around lately…”

Marlene flinched a little bit before replying. “She’s been studying a lot. Her and James are getting closer though.”

I smiled a little bit. “They just needed a push, though I must admit this wasn’t quite the push I was expecting.” I inhaled more
intoxicants, expelling the smoke from lungs before talking again.

“Death can do that, though, bring people closer. Tough times are coming, I can feel it.”

A strange look is all I got in return before her friend, Mary, called from a distance. “Well,” she said, “I best be off. It was nice talking to you.”

“Same. We should cloud gaze more often,” my eyes drifted upwards, “people don’t do it enough anymore.”

When my cigarette was down to the filter, I decided to man up and go find Remus. I wasn’t quite sure how I would go about it, but not telling him was not an option. It would be . . . with-holding the truth I suppose one could call it and it felt wrong not to tell him, for it was his secret that he guarded very well and put all of his effort into not being found out.

Ever try finding someone in Hogwarts? Particularly a Marauder?

Considering the size of Hogwarts, I spent a considerable amount of time hunting for that damned wolf that day. The WHOLE day. It was a long and grueling process, almost making me back out of telling him with my figurative tail between my legs. I was too stubborn, though, to prove myself wrong.

So, at 11 a.m. I had finally tracked down Remus by camping out in front of the Fat Lady….or voicing my opinion in a rather high octave that may have carried a hint of astonishment and great insult.

“I do not look like a beggar’s pet slug, you pink frilled, good for nothing pigmentation!”

The old hag scoffed at me, “I’ll have you know that we magical portraits differ from those pathetic still-frames muggles confuse for portraits. In fact just a few months ago I tried to hold a conversation with one….”

Really, who the hell would try to talk to a muggle picture? Or a picture at all?...I suppose that is what I’m doing now, isn’t it? What a strange world I have been brought to.

“…it’s always the handsome ones to give you the cold shoulder…” the portrait rambled on. I didn’t even know portraits had complex emotions. Let’s hope they can’t reproduce. That would be fucking creepy as all hell…

“Now these gentlemen know how to woo a lady,” the portrait snapped me back to reality from my pondering of portrait reproduction, which was definitely for the best.

“What?” I blinked and looked around to see the Marauders staring at me with amused expressions. “Oh yes, quite the erm…gentlemen.” And in my nervousness, I managed to shove my foot in my mouth and launch it out of my arse. It was not my fault, I got it from my dad.

During nervous situations we both had habits of making bad puns! “Some might even say they’re quite wolfish.” Spare me, I am now doomed!

A/N: So, this chapter was going to be the one with her and Remus talking about his condition, but I decided to be sadistic and leave it for the next one. My apologies for the shortness. So, next one shall be all dramatic and shite.

Chapter 7: Death To The Moon
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My big mouth landed us in an empty classroom somewhere in the gigantic castle, a werewolf with the most angry and confused look on his rather charming face, and the most awkward situation of my life at that point in time.

Remus opened the door and motioned me to walk in to the empty classroom. It was rather spacious looking without all the students crammed inside it, though I wasn’t sure which classroom it was. Silently I parched myself on a table and studied Remus.

He slowly closed the door; the only sound in the room was the small click of the door closing. Remus’s shoulders were slumped and his head was resting against the door, he had yet to turn around and look at me. The whole walk there had consisted of both of us staring at the ground in the most painful silence ever. I had tried, at first, to apologize to Remus for the pun and knowledge that I stumbled by. My apologies, however, were awkward on my tongue and came out baffled sounding, and the look Remus gave me told me to hold my tongue.

A sigh rose from his chest, his shoulders rising and falling with it. In that breath I could sense the emotions he felt; depression, confusion, hatred, awkwardness…and about fifty other things all equally negative and unhealthy to a werewolf….I mean hormonal induced boy! It’s the same…right?......Riiiiight! So, technically I could still get myself out of this one.

I wish I could have. Unfortunately, that wasn’t how things worked and that wasn’t how I wanted to approach it. Of course, I didn’t mean to approach the way my mouth did. Major Foot-in-Mouth Syndrome (MFMS) should have had pills to stop it from happening and I needed a very high dose of it.

When Remus finally looked at me, I suddenly wished I wasn’t around. His eyes were darkened with sleepless nights, his face was pale as one of the Hogwarts ghost and the way his robes were hanging made him look like he hadn’t been eating much lately. Pretty much, he looked like he needed a nice juicy steak and a long nap.

“Merlin,” Remus finally muttered, his hand covering his face, “I don’t even know where to begin with this one.”

There were a thousand words swirling around in my head and another thousand different solutions to make him feel better, but I just sat there, awkward as all hell, and did nothing. We were both at a loss as to what our next words would be, it was a thin line we tread on and our words had to be chosen with caution.

“I had an uncle once,” I stated, startling him a bit. “He was a closet relative, though. It wasn’t even because he was a werewolf.”

Or, you know, just whatever words strayed from my mind and invaded my mouth.

Remus raised his eyebrows. “Do I even want to know?”

“He was my favorite, actually. He dressed in muggle drag. Unfortunately, he got killed by a kangaroo.”

Remus burst out laughing then stopped abruptly, his eyes narrowed accusingly. “Wait, I thought you were muggle-born.”

“Eh, not really. It’s a long and almost confusing story,” I said. It wasn’t really, but you guys have already been told and probably don’t want to hear it again. “Pretty much, Mum’s a squib.”

Remus cleared his throat and sat next to me. “So how long have you known about my…furry problem?”

“Since last night,” I said, still unable to fully look him in the eyes.

“Oh,” he said, ruffling his hair.

I hesitated a moment before speaking, “May I ask how long you’ve been…what you are?” If curiosity was a virtue, I would have been set for life. Unfortunately, it usually wasn’t and I would dig myself deeper.

“I was fairly young when it happened,” he said, his eyes glazed over. “Fenrir Greyback was the one who bit me.”

I recognized that name. “Greyback…isn’t he in league with…” I trailed off, the name still awkward on my tongue.

“I think I heard something about that. He’s certainly demented enough to be. He has a . . . thing for biting little boys and I was an explorer when I was little.”

I shall save you the heartache I felt at that moment when his face turned still as stone and had an air of an old, wise man with many years of pain despite that he was merely a lad of seventeen years.

“R-R-Remus?” I asked hesitantly, bringing him out of the past, my hand reaching out towards him.
It was this moment that stuck in my memory the longest. It was the last one to go as every inch of my body was being tortured and my mind no longer belonged to me. Out of all the wicked and demented things I had seen in my short life, it was that night in that empty classroom that really irked my heartstrings and made my soul weep for the young werewolf, struggling to become somebody in a world that was full of hate and discrimination.

“Sometimes,” Remus said quietly, his eyes still glazed over in distant pain, “I wonder how many little boys have suffered at his teeth and must live with the same fate as I. It’s so fucked up, you don’t even know!”

I tried to grab his attention, but my voice was stuck in my throat. One of the few times my words would have helped, they would fail me. I cursed myself slightly.

“The day before the full moon, I often think of how many people change with me, under the cursed moon. I also wonder how many are younger than I am, and what their stories are. Many of them, I imagine, will join with Voldemort for protection. I wonder how many lives get fucked over because of some sick werewolf’s desire of…little boys.” I put my hand sympathetically on his shoulder as he continued his rant. “The moon is a nightmare. All the beauty it once held, holds no optimistic meaning anymore. It’s a curse, a nightmare…

“It’s hard to believe sometimes…that I am a monster of the night. Even as my transformations take place, I can’t help but believe that it is nothing but a demented nightmare my subconscious keeps repeating…but then I wake up…it’s like reality doesn’t even truly exist,” he then looked into my eyes, and I saw reflected in his both vulnerability and strength. His vulnerability was the moon, but his strength was the battle with the moon. Did that make any sense to anyone but me? I had a feeling his other friends knew what I mean by that, but perhaps it was only them.

Finally, I spoke up, “The fate of those boys are not your responsibility. It’s horrible what happened to them, and to you, but you can’t think about them. I know it sounds horrible, and something I can hardly comprehend, but you have to think of the good. The war is getting stronger each day and it seems we’re all ready to fall apart. Remus, you simply can’t afford more guilt and horror than you carry around.” I gave him a hug and he latched on to me, like a boy latches on to his teddy bear to help him sleep through the nightmares of his subconscious.

But Remus’s nightmares didn’t stop when he woke up. They happened with each full moon and would always happen with each full moon. Unlike a little boy’s night terrors, his wouldn’t simply vanish. They would, however, make him stronger. And that strength, and fear, poured out of him that night as I stroked his hair, letting no words come from either of us.

It was the first and only time I had seen Remus have a breakdown. I doubt he even let his friends see that side of him, vulnerable and weak.

Much later, we broke apart and Remus had gained control of himself. His face turned bright red and he didn’t seem to be able to look me in the eyes. “I’m sorry,” he said looking at the floor, “I have not lost control like that before. You must think me a pansy.”

“Nah, not a pansy,” I said with a teasing smile, “Just human, and Post Moon Syndrome.”

Remus rolled his eyes. “Shouldn’t there be a twenty four hour rule?”

“For what?”

“For cracking jokes after you uncover someone’s deep, dark secret.”

“Oh, but it’s so much more fun doing it my way. Instantly poke fun. It makes laughter, which creates optimism. See? You’re smiling already.”

As he walked me to the Hufflepuff commons, I caught a glimpse of the unforgiving moon’s glow through a small window. I had the strongest urge to stick my tongue out at it in a childish manner, or close my eyes tightly and put my fingers in my ears so I wouldn’t know it was really there because I suddenly felt a newfound hatred for it.

Chapter 8: Bad Puns and Fist Bumping
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The next few days I may have spent purposely avoiding a certain sandy-haired werewolf by the name of Remus John Lupin for fear of awkwardness. I was also still avoiding Bella-boops. Scary piece of work that one. So, I stuck to the Hufflepuff table for meals. I’ve always supposed that since Hufflepuffs never had any noticeable feats, puns were a way of making up the sorry gap of sporadic attributes. They should have been called Hufflepuns. Believe you me, I am not exaggerating when I say their puns are the worst puns ever.

“Hey,” Viper said next to me, “what’s that under there?”

Oh Merlin, no. I am not falling for that one again. What year are we again? I tend to forget.

“Hmmm?” I asked, quirking an eyebrow. “What’s where?”

“There, what is under there?”

“To what extent
do you mean there? And be more specific of its whereabouts,” I said irritably.

“You’re not making sense!”

“Of course she’s not making cents,” Frederick, a happy little sprite, spoke up. “She’s not an American muggle!” Make that a soon-to-be-dead sprite.

As I smacked my head, he had the nerve to ask, “Orange ya glad I didn’t say—?”

Before he got to finish that blasphemous sentence, someone in a red cape rushed to the table and jumped on it. “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!”

I was vaguely wondering I was sitting there. Facing Remus, at least, wouldn’t be bad pun after bad pun, with each getting worse. My brain, it ran from its prison, bleeding all the while. This table was slow torture for it.

I pushed my plate aside and wandered off in the general direction of my dormitory, hoping to seek some form of sanity there. Of course, I never reached my destination. I fear that would be asking too much.

“Did you hear about Hogsmeade?” I turned around to see Amelia, one of my roommates.

“Uh…no, I haven’t actually,” I replied.

“Oh, well, it’s this weekend! I’m so excited. It was last minute, but we haven’t had one yet this year. I have some mad shopping to do! Hat shopping that is…”

Don’t say it, don’t say it!

“Because I’m a mad hatter!”

She giggled and continued her way with a slight bounce in her step. Yes, well she was always a strange one.

Hm, Hogsmeade. It had been a while since we’ve been there, I am in dire need of chocolate…Mmm, chocolate. I would go to Hogsmeade, raid the chocolate at Honeydukes then melt some in butter beer.

“You’ve been avoiding me.”

My fantasy of chocolaty goodness was sucked out of me. “God, Remus, you scared the bejeezus out of me!”

“You’ve been avoiding me.” The look he gave me made me feel horribly guilty. He was extremely pale and his hands may have been shaking a little.

“I-I…I mean, er…”

“Is it because of my illness?”

“No! It has nothing to do with that! Well, I mean it does a little, but not in the way you mean.” At that point, I felt like Elmer Fudd from the muggle cartoon. The scene where he ran off a cliff and turned into a donkey with the word “Jackass” on his side came to mind at that point. The right words couldn’t make it past the overly large teeth in my mouth. Remus simply raised his eyebrow as I struggled for the right words. “Just that it was a rather..sad mood last night and I wasn’t sure if you regretted spilling your soul to me like that. I mean, I didn’t mind but that used to happen to me when I was little, and I was always embarrassed, you know because, Merlin, my mind has always just kinda—“

“Would you like to go to Hogsmeade with me?” He cut me off mid-rant, which was probably for the best. Man, I can rant on and on sometimes. I’ve always tried not to do it, but I couldn’t help it at times.

“Only if we go to Honeydukes first.”

“It’s a deal.”

I held my fist out and he hit it. Yes, for our first date, we fist-bumped on it.

Sirius popped up behind us. "Don't mind Moony's wolfish manners. Sometimes he can't tell who's slippers he's chewing."

A/N: Sorry it took so long! And that the update was horribly short. Spring quarter involved so much writing I wanted to jump out a window towards the end. However, summer is here so I hope to update a bit more frequently. The next chapter should make up for it. I'm going to write on it after I update this.

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