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Willow slammed the front door, her backpack slung sloppily over her left shoulder. She stared stupidly at the door for a few moments, then continued her way to the staircase. The Hogwarts express was coming today and she couldn’t miss it. Her mother, for some unexplained reason, was rather resentful that Willow was abandoning her once again.

All Hell broke loose when Willow reminded her that she was going to Hogwarts for an education that way at least one of them would have an honest job. Her mom made a good show of stuttering and tripping on herself, managing to actually bite her tongue saying the simple word “of.” It was at that point, Willow felt her point had been made. But they still argued for the better part of ninety minutes.

“Another wonderful start of a day, yeah?” Willow hadn’t even heard a door open, yet there was Remus Lupin was leaning casually on the railing at the top of the stairs, looking as if he hadn’t slept a wink in the past couple of days (which wouldn’t be surprising, Willow had been arguing with her mom more frequently).

“I’m sorry,” Willow cringed, “I hope we haven’t awoken you...again.” Willow was feeling very guilty that Remus had to listen to them through paper thin walls and also ashamed. It wasn’t very hard to put two and two together and figure out that Willow’s mom was a drug addict. She only hoped he wouldn’t tell anybody, she couldn’t bear to think of the twists rumors would have, that and she’s been trying very hard the past six years to keep it a secret and so far none have been the wiser. The exception, of course, was standing right in front of her, dragging his trunk down the steep stairs.

“Not at all,” Remus said, waving it off, “I don’t sleep on the day of going to Hogwarts, I get too antsy. In fact, I was just headed that way. Do you wish to travel?”

Willow blinked. She never took Remus as weird, but that comment just proved her wrong.

“Oh, um...sure,” she said quietly, wishing she could just become one with the wall. It was quite awkward, heading toward the train with Remus, but she had no reason to decline.

The walk to the local bus station was four miles away. Four miles in which Remus kept small talk, sometimes even monologuing while Willow stared at the ground, her big hazel eyes galaxies away.

She couldn’t help but feel her drunken mother’s words were huge boulders crushing her slowly and painfully to the ground. In a way, she really was abandoning her mother, letting them live the cruddy life Willow had been brought into. She wondered if there was enough food in the house for at least a couple of weeks, if she cleaned good enough. Why hadn’t she hugged her mother? Why did she just leave in such an angry mood? A thousand pessimistic thoughts entered her head and, as always, she had no idea how to end them. There was no stopping such thoughts, she tried often to drain them from her mind...

Remus’s mind was also galaxies away, though he had a better time hiding it. He did wonder though, about the brown-haired girl’s life who was walking right beside him. She had always been a sweet girl, quiet and reserved. He had conversations with her on occasions in class or in the common room as James and Sirius were flirting with girls or when one needed help with an essay, as they were both bright individuals. But he never would have guessed that her home life was not very... homely.

There was more than met the eye to Willow, and none had been the wiser. She was good at secrets, perhaps even more so than Remus (which was truly saying something).

On the bus to King’s Cross station, Willow started hyperventilating, her thoughts circulating into endless questions that overwhelmed the sleep-deprived girl immensely. Mostly, though, she wondered if her mum would make it till Christmas break.

“Your lass feeling alright?” An old lady asked Remus, who had zoned out looking out the window. He stared at the old lady stupidly for a second before realizing Willow’s head was in her hands and she was breathing heavily, her eyes shut tight.

“Willow?” He whispered worriedly. “Willow.” She nodded her head in answer. “Deep breaths, okay?”

“Sorry,” she managed to mutter while Remus was gently rubbing her back, trying to calm her breathing.

“About what?”

“Suc.....king.”

Remus blinked. He wasn’t sure if he should chuckle or ask what she meant by that, so he did neither, just continued rubbing circles on her back not know what else to do.



It seemed to take a great deal of time to get through the barrier of the platform when it was really only thirty more minutes. After Willow had managed to breathe right again, she would look at nothing but the ground and refused to be with three feet of Remus in shame and embarrassment.

“Willow!” came a voice from somewhere in the crowd. A mass of black curly hair bounding straight towards the two teens left no question as to who it was. Before Willow could open her mouth in greeting, she was on the floor staring into bright blue eyes.

“Hey, Shan!” Willow brightly replied, “It’s good to see you again!” And it really was, Willow missed her friends a lot over summer, but couldn’t go see them.

“So,” Shannon Flan, fellow Gryffindor, said still atop Willow, eyes gleaming in mischief, “What were you doing with Remus, you crazy cat?”


“I am right here, you know,” came the amused voice from above.

“Oh,” Willow said, “he moved next door to me.”

“Oh?” Shan stood up and socked Remus in the arm. “You’re lucky! Willow here has kept her house a secret from us!”

“Stop being such a prude,” Willow laughed, “I told you, my mom doesn’t like people over when she’s gone. She’s usually out on business!” Her sidelong glance at Remus told him to keep his mouth shut.

“WillShan!” a Chinese voice squealed, “Good summer, yes?” Mingxia, or Ming as most people call her, had transferred second year and placed in Ravenclaw. She had thick black hair that ended mid-back and her eyes were a mystifying gray color. Both other girls nodded as the three gathered in a hug.

“Well, my good friends, the train awaits!” Shannon called, tugging the two girls behind her.

Remus watched them go, all seeming to be in high spirits. He jumped when he felt a hand on his shoulder. “Why so jumpy today, Moons?” Sirius Black asked, his mischievous eyes seeing what Remus was looking at. “Look at this, Prongs! Seems like our friend here has taken a liking to somebody!”

“I have not!” Remus cried indignantly, glaring at the two laughing boys. Something shiny on James’s cloak caught his attention. On closer inspection it was a badge. Remus snorted. “Head boy?!

“Yep,” Sirius said cracking his knuckles, “this year’s going to be a good one.”

Remus was thinking more on the weird side, but sure, let’s go with good...

---

“This is our best prank yet,” James gushed, just outside the Great Hall, where the Sorting Ceremony had just finished.

“Simple, yet, amazing!” Sirius agreed.

“Man, you really should do this with us, Moony,” Peter told Remus, looking very giddy.

“Uh, yeah, it really should be just a three person thing...I’ll just....you know, not watch.” Remus did like pranking people and the Sorting pranks were always the best, but he couldn’t bring himself to do this one for some strange reason. It couldn’t have been the stupidity of it.

“Pansy,” Sirius taunted as James stuck his tongue out at Remus.

“Pansy I may be,” Remus said, “but at least I have dignity.”

“No,” Peter piped up, “You’re just a nerd!”

“Merlin, the draft!” Sirius squeed happily.

“Alright,” James said as Remus grasped the handle to the door leading to the Great Hall, “3...2...1...go!” And off went three of the four marauders (as they dubbed themselves), completely skyclad.

Together, as one, the three boys each jumped on a table and bowed before music came on. With James on Ravenclaw, Peter on Hufflepuff, and Sirius on the Slytherin table, they all did The Hussle by Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony in perfect harmony. Some girls would say it was....quite big of them.

They received cat calls and jeers; wolf whistles and boos, a few girls even touched their hairy legs in ecstacy. They also, and proudly, got a whole month’s worth of detention and a hundred points docked of...each.

“That hurt more than it should have,” Peter said later, cupping his privates.

“Yes,” Sirius said lazily lounging on the couch, “that does happen sometimes. But it was well worth it.”

“Indeed it was,” James agreed, “You should have joined us, Moony. Honestly, you have as much modesty as a girl does!”

Remus threw a pillow in reply.

A couple female voices entered right as James was about to throw a pillow, but only voice registered through his head.

“You what?” Lily Evans, the horrible cliche of James’s heart and desire, laughed as she entered with her friend Rosa-lee, who was blushing horribly.

“You heard me,” she said shyly.

“And then you....” a weird hand gesture from Lily, a nod from Rosa, “And after you...” another nod, “But that means you....” they traveled up the stairs, Lily’s laugh reverberating through James’s head.

“Women,” Sirius muttered., unable to decipher the strange conversation between the two girls.
“Aren’t you supposed to be the master at knowing girls?” Remus asked, laughing at Sirius’s expression.

“Just enough to get into their pants.” Sirius said simply.



A/N: Sorry it was so long updating. I don't really know how I feel about this story. I might not have it exist if I'm still not happy next chapter. What do you think? Critique? Boring, plotless, too slow, too fast? Worse than burning pie? I would love to know what you humans out there think, and other beings too!

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