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Chapter Image by SwissMiss@ TDA

September 1st, 1977… 

Steam billowed around the busy platform of 9 ¾ as Remus Lupin stepped out of the magical barrier between platforms nine and ten. Normally, his parents would accompany him onto the platform but today they had a prior engagement that they needed to attend to, so they dropped him off at the train station and said goodbye before he even walked inside. He really didn’t mind though; his parents sometimes tended to be a little over protective. 

With a soft sigh, he parked the trolley that contained his school trunk and pulled a gold pocket watch out of his pocket. 10:45, he thought, checking the time, where are they? Normally, his friends would have already bid their parents goodbye and been waiting for him near their favorite compartment; but he saw no sign of them. Just a moment later, however, he heard a familiar voice calling his name over the rumble of the crowd. 

“Remus! Remus!” 

Remus looked up from his pocket watch and smiled at the tall, black haired figure that was Sirius Black. He stuffed the watch back into his pocket and waited as Sirius pushed his way through the crowded platform. “Sirius, good holiday?” he questioned when they stood in front of each other and hugged. 

“The best, as always,” Sirius replied with a large grin, sweeping his hair out of his face. 

Remus laughed. “Of course; so, you‘ve been staying with the Potters, yeah? Where‘s James?” 

Sirius looked around for a brief moment. “There he is, saying goodbye to his parents.”
Remus followed the direction of Sirius’s stare. About twenty feet away, James was laughing at something his father was saying while hugging his mother tightly. “I still can’t believe he made Head Boy,” he said with a small smile and a shake of his head.
“I know! Dumbledore’s got to be off his rocker to have chosen old Prongs,” Sirius agreed, “We both thought you were sure to make Head Boy; I mean, James isn’t even a Prefect, and he‘s always in detention for pulling pranks on unsuspecting younger students.” 

“Not to mention all the pranks and hexes the two of you pull on Severus,” Remus admonished lightly. 

“Oh come on, those are harmless.” 

“I don’t call him almost getting killed by me during a full moon ‘harmless’, Sirius,” Remus countered in complete seriousness. 

Sirius let out a chuckle and ran a hand through his chin-length black hair. “James saved his skin and you know it,” he said, “Besides, it’s not my fault the git can’t keep his greasy nose on his own face.” 

“You goaded him, Sirius.” 

Sirius scoffed briefly and shook his head. “Nothing happened, Moony, old friend so this argument is moot,” he said dismissively. 

“If James hadn’t been there, who knows what would have happened, Sirius,” Remus argued in a harsh whisper, “I could have killed him!” 

“But you didn’t so can we please forget about it?” 

“As long as you promise me you won’t do something like that again,” Remus told him, “If I kill someone during a full moon, it’d be my skin sitting in front of the Ministry of Magic with a one way ticket to Azkaban.” 

“All right… I promise.” 

“Good, now come on, we’ve got to get on the train before it leaves with out us… JAMES!” 

James looked over and nodded quickly. He then hugged his parents in a final goodbye and jogged over to his friends. “Hello, Remus!” he said with a bright smile. 

“James; you’re in an awfully good mood,” Remus said with a knowing smile, “Any particular reason why?” 

“Oh don’t act like you haven’t heard,” James said, narrowing his eyes playfully, “I know you’re in contact with Lily Evans.” 

“And your point is…?” Remus prodded, still grinning. 

“The two of you owl each other fairly often and you still haven’t put in a good word for me.” 

Sirius laughed. “You honestly don’t think ol’ Moony’s going to slip her a good word about you; do you?” 

James looked at Sirius incredulously. “It’d be the sort of thing any good friend would do,” he said. 

“James, I’m not going to chat you up to Lily,” Remus laughed, “I’ve told you time and again that if you want her attention you’ve got to stop being an arrogant jerk around her.” 

James looked almost flabbergasted as he stared at Remus blankly. “Me; an arrogant jerk?” 

“Don’t look so surprised,” Remus told him with an impish grin, “You know that Lily doesn’t call you that for just any reason.” 

“What’s that supposed to mean?” James questioned as Sirius did his best to stifle a chuckle. 

Remus shook his head and sighed with a small smile. “You’re always showing off around her; trying to be impressive,” he said gently, “Lily isn’t one that’s impressed by show offs.” 

James ran a hand over the back of his head, making his jet black hair stick out even more than it already had been. “Well, it’s not like I intend to show off around Lily,” he said, slightly dejected. 

Sirius burst out laughing. “No, you just happen to show off whenever she’s around,” he joked. 

James gave him a playfully harsh look. “You’re no help at all, Padfoot.” 

“Oh don’t act like you’re all innocent, Prongs,” Sirius retorted, still laughing, “You know you’re always doing something to get Lily to notice you… the only problem is that nothing’s worked.” 

James was about to respond but Remus, feeling a friendly row coming on, interjected before he could speak. “Come on, we’d better find a compartment before they’re all full.” 

Sirius threw his arm playfully around James’s shoulders as they stepped onto the train and began combing the cars for an empty compartment. “You don’t reckon Lily will want to sit with us, do you?” he teased. 

James shoved him away a little harsher than he’d intended to and quickly gave Sirius an apologetic glance before muttering, “I doubt it.” 

Remus sighed as they came to the compartment they’d always occupied over the years, however, as he peeked through the glass doors, he found that there were already students sitting in it; First years, it looks like, he thought. “Well, lads, it looks like we’ll have to find another compartment this time,” he said, looking over his shoulder at his friends. 

“Yeah,” James agreed with a hint of sarcasm, “because we’ll get to sit there the whole time.” 

For the first time since they had met up that morning, Sirius frowned. “That’s right; the two of you will be in meetings and doing rounds most of the time,” he said sadly, “that leaves me with Wormtail.” 

James slapped his friend lightly on the back. “Aw, come on, Padfoot,” he said, “You know there’ll be loads of girls fighting to sit in the same compartment as you.” 

“Not as many as there would be if you were there, Prongs,” Sirius retorted with a small smirk. 

“At least you’ve got girls that want to be with you,” muttered Remus as they continued through the cars. 

“What was that, Moony?” Sirius asked with a knowing smile. 

Remus shook his head dismissively and said, “Nothing.” 

Sirius nudged Remus lightly in the ribs and chuckled. “Oh come on, you really didn’t think I wouldn’t catch that; did you?” he asked, “My hearing may not be as good as yours Moony, but I still heard you.” 

“Your hearing is nothing compared to mine, Padfoot,” Remus said, “and I really don’t care to talk about it.” 

James tried to stifle a chuckle as he patted Remus on the back. “Feeling out of touch with the ladies, Remus?” he joked. 

“I bet ol’ Prongs here could give you a few pointers if you’re interested,” Sirius teased, winking at a small group of girls as they walked by. 

Remus’s face went pink as he looked into a compartment and, finding it empty, opened the door and stepped inside. “That won’t be necessary, and I said I don’t want to talk about it.” 

Sirius and James looked at each other and burst into laughter. Remus looked between the two of them as he sat down. “I really don’t see what’s so funny,” he said, “It’s not like the two of you have any trouble with girls.” 

“I can’t get the girl I’m after to even say my first name; what’s your trouble?” James questioned in mock seriousness. 

“A whole lot bigger than a girl not saying my first name,” Remus said quietly, “that’s for sure.” 

Sirius looked at Remus seriously for a moment before saying, “It can’t be that bad, Remus.” 

Remus ran a hand through his thick brown hair and scoffed. “Not that bad? Not that bad? Sirius, I’m a werewolf for Merlin’s sake; I’d say that’s pretty bad,” he said softly. 

Sirius and James rolled their eyes. “Regardless of your furry little problem, I’m sure there are girls who are just bursting at the seams to be with you,” Sirius said. 

“Right; and I’m Father Christmas,” Remus retorted, his voice thick with sarcasm. 

“Remus, have you even tried a relationship with anyone?” James asked. 

Remus shook his head. “I’ve been too scared,” he replied, “I mean; I can’t just be with anyone. I’d have to be with someone I can trust enough to share my secret with.” 

“And you won’t find that someone unless you actually do some looking and dating mate,” Sirius pointed out, “You don’t want to be alone forever, do you?” 

“Of course not,” Remus snapped, “but how the hell am I supposed to trust people with my Lycanthropy when the whole world looks down on me like I’m scum?” 

“You don’t need to trust the whole world, Remus,” James said, “just one woman.” 

Remus leaned forward and put his head in his hands. “Guys, really, I don’t want to talk about this,” he said, “It’s hard enough knowing what fate has in store for me without the two of you adding to it by trying to cheer me up about it.” 

Just then the three boys were joined by a very fat, rat-like boy of their year, Peter Pettigrew. “Hello Sirius, James, Remus,” he said to each of them in turn as he hoisted his rucksack into the overhead compartment. 

“Hello, Peter,” the three boys said in unison. 

It was odd that these four boys were friends. Two of them, James and Sirius, were so much alike with their good looks and knack for trouble that it was impossible to think that they would be anything other than friends. Remus, though very good looking, was not as popular as Sirius and James. No, Remus was the quiet one that almost always had his nose in a book, while Peter… Well, Peter was usually the odd man out. He truthfully didn’t fit in with the three boys and he knew it, although he was very happy that they considered him a friend. 

Feeling relieved of the stressful conversation that had just been taking place, Remus seized the opportunity to change the subject. “How was your summer, Peter?” 

Peter grinned. “Oh it was great,” he squeaked, “My family went to visit my Grandparents; oh the food…” 

It was at this point that Remus began tuning everything out. He honestly didn’t mean to be rude, but his mind was so overrun with thoughts that he couldn’t help submitting to them. It was several minutes later that Remus checked his pocket watch and saw that it was time for the Prefect’s meeting, which James would be conducting along with Head Girl, Lily Evans. “James, come on, we’d better get going or we’ll be late,” he said. 

James rolled his eyes. “Do we have to?” he whined, slowly rising to his feet and walking over to the compartment door, “I hate meetings.” 

“Hey, think of it this way, you’ll get to spend an hour with Lily,” Remus told him, “if not more than that.” 

James’s face lit up with excitement. “Ooh, good point!” he exclaimed as he slid the compartment door open and stepped out, “Hurry up then, Remus, we don’t want to be late!” 

“Well this is a new development,” said a soft voice from down the hall, “James Potter telling someone they don’t want to be late? What has this world come to?” 

Remus smiled at the red-haired witch. “Hello, Lily, good holiday?” 

“Better than previous holidays, as you know,” she replied, “and yours?” 

“A bit boring really,” he replied with a small grin. 

“Any more of those dreams about that girl?” Lily asked. 

Remus went pink as James, Sirius, and Peter all looked at him curiously. “Ahem, I’d rather… I’d rather not talk about that just now, if you don’t mind.” 

“Certainly,” Lily said in understanding, “shall we go?” 

“We’ll be there in just a minute,” James said, grabbing Remus’s shoulder as he began following Lily. 

Lily gave him a curious look but quickly shrugged it off and said, “If you’re late, Potter, I will personally see to it that your run as Head Boy is miserable.” 

James grinned widely. “We’ll be along shortly, Lily flower.” 

“Call me that again and I’ll hex you, Potter,” Lily sneered before turning and storming off down the corridor. 

As soon as Lily was out of ear shot, Remus whipped around, knocking James’s hand off his shoulder. “Don’t even think about asking me anything on the matter,” he hissed. 

Sirius narrowed his eyes on Remus and asked, “Why are we just finding out about this?” 

“Because I knew you lot would react just as you are right now.” 

James looked hurt. “Remus, this is the first time you’ve kept something from us,” he said, “Why?” 

Remus sighed heavily. “Listen, I’m sorry if you feel that I’ve hurt you; that wasn’t my intention, but this isn’t something that can simply be solved by my best mates,” he said, “Please, just let me deal with this myself.” 

Peter looked confused as he asked, “You’ve been dreaming about a girl? Is she someone we know?” 

“Peter, please just let it go,” Remus said. 

James sighed loudly, running his hand through his hair. “All right, Moony we should get to the Prefect’s meeting; but don’t think this has ended.” 

Remus groaned and let a soft growl escape his lips as the two turned and began heading in the direction Lily had gone just moments before. “Now don’t be angry, Remus,” James said. 

“You’re butting in to something that’s none of your business, James.” 

“Remus, you’re one of my best mates and I don’t like seeing you down like this.” 

Remus sighed heavily. “James, listen; I appreciate the fact that you’re trying to cheer me up and all, but it’s not your problem; it’s mine and it’s going to stay that way.” 

James shook his head, saying, “Sorry, Moony but as your friend, I’m not going to give up on this.”

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