Past Long Forgotten
Chapter 2 - A Werewolf At Hogwarts
It seems like only yesterday when that happened. First year went like a breeze; Sirius and James were surprisingly very good in all of their classes. But Peter always needed help, which he got from Remus. I don't really trust Peter - he's always sneaking out at night with excuses that I see right through.
Come to think of it, Remus goes out at night once a month, being a werewolf and all. It isn't his fault, really. I feel sorry for him - I hear the transformations are painful and it leaves Remus weak for days afterwards.
James, Sirius and Peter didn't find out until they were in third year, before me. I happen to find out from an inebriated Sirius and Remus after a night out at Hogsmeade. I was walking through the Charms corridor after previously studying in the library when I came across them.
Needless to say, Remus was horrified the next day to find out he and Sirius had told me. In my opinion, they deserved it.
Lily moodily hunched down the Charms corridor, a stack of books clutched in her arms from the library. She supposed her Potions assignment was going to take all week to complete - and Sirius was probably going to want to copy off her. She realised she was hungry, having missed the Hogsmeade trip and dinner while she was in the library, looking up various potions.
Loud laughter coming from one of the nearby rooms halted her and she pushed open the door, hoping she'd run into James Potter. Instead, she found herself staring at the two most inebriated people she had ever seen.
Sirius was draped over a chair, laughing his head off, a bottle of mead hanging limply from his hand. Remus, on the other hand, was lying on the teacher's desk, belching loudly. Lily sighed, and put her books down.
"Lily!" Sirius sang. "Lily! Lily!"
Lily sighed. "If Apollyon Pringle catches you two, I'll be surprised if he doesn't strangle you!"
Remus whipped up his wand (which had broken) and waved it around carelessly. "We'll hit him with the killing curse, then."
"Remus Lupin!" Lily scolded. "That would get you a life time sentence in Azkaban."
"'Snot that bad." Sirius giggled. "He'll just bare his fangs, won't you, werewolf?"
Lily looked over at him sternly. "That's not a very nice thing to say, even if you are drunk."
"It's true, though." Remus nodded solemnly. "I am a werewolf! I swear on this bottle of...bottle of...whatever that I am a werewolf."
Lily raised an eyebrow, but backed away all the same.
Sirius dropped his bottle. "And at the full moon..."
Sirius hiccoughed. "You know what Remus, I love you."
"You know what Sirius, I love you too."
Both linked arms and began dancing in a circle, taking extensive swigs from the remaining bottles. Sirius stopped and turned to Lily. "But you know what, Lily, James loves you! He told us last year that he was so desperate to get a date with you, he'd sell his Cleansweep Seven."
Lily firmly told them, "You're drunk, the both of you. I'm leaving."
But all the while, my heart was pounding. James liked me! Even if I couldn't trust the words of those pranksters, they'd said it! It got me a little worried about their antics. I hoped they weren't gay or anything.
I went to James that evening and asked him about Remus. James confirmed this, but was keeping quiet about it. I kept asking him about it and finally he told me how he found out.
"It's boring without Remus," complained Sirius.
James looked over at him. "But if his mother was sick, Sirius..."
"Wait." Peter thought about this for a moment. "Didn't his mother die last year?"
The Marauders thought this over. Sirius was the first one to speak. "I didn't know his mother died."
"You were in detention," Peter reminded him.
James looked out the window of the mostly deserted common room. "So what do you think is up with Remus, then?"
Peter looked out the window also. Sirius noticed what they were looking at and said suddenly, "It's a full moon tonight. Haven't you noticed, guys, every time his mother is sick it's a full moon?"
Peter whimpered. "Werewolves come out at full moon."
"Don't be a prat," Sirius told him. "No such thing."
James shuffled through his homework and brought out his assignment for Defence Against the Dark Arts. Slowly, he traced his finger along the parchment until he found what he was looking for. With ease, he flourished it at Sirius and Peter.
"There!" James was triumphant. "Werewolves come out at the full moon. Remus could be a werewolf, you know. In DADA when we tackled the Boggart did you notice how a moon appeared?"
"I thought that was cheese," Sirius commented.
It was impossible to tell if he was joking or not. Peter stared at him. "Cheese? Honestly, you're always thinking with your stomach."
James cleared his throat loudly. Peter and Sirius looked over at him, astonished to see him pulling out his Invisibility Cloak. James leant forward so no one else could hear. "Why don't we find out?"
"Yeah, but James," protested Sirius. "We don't know where he is."
"Look," James said softly, pointing out the window.
He didn't need to say any more. They could see Madam Pomfrey leading a heavily cloaked figure out across the darkening grounds. The Marauders knew that only one person wore that cloak. Remus.
"They're going to the Whomping Willow," observed James. "Let's go."
But he still watched, in case there was some important detail he might miss. He saw Madam Pomfrey press something on the Whomping Willow and it froze. James' eyes widened. Since when did the Whomping Willow freeze? It was only a young tree - three years to be exact - but it was dangerous.
"Ouch!" James heard Sirius mutter from somewhere behind him under the Cloak.
"What is it, now?" demanded James.
"Peter stepped on my foot."
"You poked me in the stomach!" protested Peter in a whiney voice.
"Shut up!" hissed James.
As they steadily approached the Whomping Willow, Sirius became quieter and Peter began chewing his already ruined fingernails. Slowly but surely, James grabbed a branch from nearby and began poking the flailing tree. Peter squeaked when a branch of the Willow missed him by centimetres.
Finally, the tree stopped, admitting the cowering trio.
They made their way fearfully down the long, dark tunnel. Peter was shaking while Sirius was muttering something incomprehensible to himself. James appeared calm, but inside he couldn't have been more scared. The reached the end of the tunnel in a stunned silence. As James reached forward to turn the knob, a howl ripped from inside. Sirius halted James. "Should we be doing this? We might die!"
"Mummy..." Peter whispered.
James knocked aside Sirius' hand. "We're doing this for Remus. We have to find out the truth."
"And kill him?" Sirius added helpfully.
The door swung open as soon as James' hand brushed the handle. There, towering yet hunching, was a monstrous figure almost out of a nightmare. His dark fur covered his body, drool hungrily dripping from its sharp fangs. His eyes burnt with intensity and fierceness as he scanned the open doorway.
He stooped forward, his snout sniffing out the suspects, suspects which he couldn't see. Peter whimpered, grabbing James' arm. Sirius' eyes were closed and his hands were clenched so tightly, his knuckles were turning white. He muttered something which sounded vaguely like a prayer. James stood tall and brave, but his knees were shaking and he mouthed wordlessly, unable to find words to speak. At that moment, a mass of clouds covered the full moon, throwing the Shrieking Shack into almost darkness, lit only by a lone lamp set against the wall.
The werewolf staggered to the floor, still trying to drag himself in their direction. But suddenly, he deformed into a panting Remus. His hair hung loosely over his eyes, painful blemishes and scars all over his skin.
At this, Sirius, Peter and James lost all their courage and ran out of the room faster than Severus Snape could draw his wand. T
The next day, James (who'd spent the entire night awake) wandered down to the common room and saw Remus huddled by the fire. Peter and Sirius followed James down, eyeing Remus cautiously as though he might explode.
Remus looked over and plastered a smile on his face. "Hey guys. I got back this morning. Did I miss anything?"
Peter whimpered, freezing on the spot. Sirius sat down far away, carefully keeping one eye on Remus. James, against his better judgement, sat down next to Remus. "Remus, does it hurt to turn into a werewolf?"
"What are you talking about?" demanded Remus, fear flitting across his face.
"We saw you last night at the Whomping Willow," Sirius said from his armchair.
Remus burst into tears. He was shaking and at this proclamation, turned his head away. Very quietly, he said, "It was nice being your friend."
"We're not going to desert you," James cut back firmly. "Friends don't do that."
With that, Remus turned his head back, a smile widening on his face. "You mean that?"