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Chapter one-Two’s Company.
AN: I donot own Harry Potter he is all J K Rowlings
James watched his two best friends mucking about on the grass, 'well three best friends according to everyone else,' he thought, 'I mean, I’ve never considered Peter a close friend. All Remus’ fault that, why’d he wana befriend rat boy anyway? It’s hard to stay mad a wolf boy though. He is far to good with the guilt trips when he wants to be and the crap he has been going through with these new nightmares make us all just want to protect him.' He sighed, thinking that they had best perhaps make it to at least one class today. "Oi, when you two pansy are finished wresting, we have a class to get to."
At James' shout Remus stood swiftly from where he had been wrestling with Sirius and winning easily. His shirt was untucked from his skintight pants and open at the neck to show his fine chest hair and a hint of his toned, tanned chest. His wavy, thick, soft brown hair was messy from his exertions, and here and there showed hints of red gold where the sun hit it. He looked down at James with smouldering ambers eyes, that were laughing just a little, showing no signs of his previous exhaustion, but if one looked deeply enough showing hidden horrors and chuckled."‘By Merlin," he said in mock surprise knowing that despite what the other thought James was really the sensible one of their little group, "is James Potter finally maturing?" He turned and looked at the boy still sprawled on the floor, waggling an eyebrow at him. "Come on Paddy, James is determined to be a spoil sport and drag us to potions." He flashed a smile showing a hint of his teeth as he did so. This unexpectedly caused the young black eyed, raven-haired Adonis at his feet to grin back. Making him expolate, "By the goddess Paddy! Don’t do that! Spoils the moody, mysterious look you've got going on, all the girls will stop liking you."
"Oh shut it Moony," came the drawled reply from the rumpled yet elegant young man on the ground, "so might my wrestling on the floor with you. They might thing I’m manly instead of just carrying on, mucking around and posing in front of the mirror." He stopped considering something, and flashed a smile at his friend standing over him. "Then again might make them think I’m gay…" here he was forced to stop as James was rolling around the floor in hysterics and grinning like a loony "What the devil are you grinning about Jamesie my boy!?’"he demanded.
"Nothing," replied James innocently, thinking his two close friends represented the best both ends of the spectrum for good-looking males at Hogwarts, despite them being so different in appearance. "Just that I know some people who wished you, how should I put it? Well batted for the other team… Oh and it aint scared off the ladies Padfoot, you’ve got an audience."
With a muffled oath Sirius sprung to his feet and dragged Remus off to potions with Peter trailing behind in confusion. James followed behind grinning to himself. He hadn’t failed to notice the slight blush on Remus’ cheeks nor Sirius’ start at what he’d said. Nor had he failed to notice that neither boy had picked up on the hearty approval in his tone. He fell even further behind the two boys lost in his own thoughts. So lost in fact he very nearly jumped clean out of his skin when he was grabbed by strong hands and pulled behind a solid oaken door that he could have sworn wasn’t there before. He turned slowly to face whoever had dragged him in here, and upon realising whom it was bit back a groan.
'Great' he thought 'just what I need today. If they touch me or start talking I might just dive on them, either that or kiss them, both bad' he tried to shake himself back to reality.
"You," snapped James, "What do you want?!" All the while continuing with his thoughts, 'just don’t look into their blue/silver eyes and you’ll be fine, those eyes surrounded by long, silver lashes, that make them look like pools of ice and Hoare-frost, nor the hair can’t look at the hair, makes you want to run your hands through its heavy, smooth gilded silver length. At this point in his mental ramblings James realised the other person had been talking to him for a while and was still doing so, albeit if rather rapidly and nervously. Guiltily James gave himself a mental shake and tried to concentrate on what they were saying, but instead the lush mouth and white teeth of the speaker captivated him. Without warning or fully knowing what he was doing, he leant forward and pressed a kiss on those lips. He was braced for repulsion and a barrage of curses and so he was more than pleasantly surprised when, instead of being thrown off, the kiss was deepened and he was pulled forward by strong hands on his hips. As the kiss intensified he stole his hands up the shapely form returning his kiss and tangled them into thick, heavy, silky hair, pulling them still closer as he did. Opening his mouth and sliding his tongue along those luscious lips, the kiss deepened and got hotter, both participants were breathing heavily and betrayed into uttering unmistakable groans. James felt soft hands undoing his tie and grabbing his shoulders with hidden strength at the same time as his own callused, Quidditch worn ones wreaked havoc on their white locks.
Then just as suddenly as he had started the kiss James pulled back and tilted his head to look up at the other's face. Taking in the mussed hair and swollen lips, he thought twice about spoiling the moment by talking. "Lucius," he groaned out, "What the fuck just hap…” He was stopped by an elegant finger on his lips and a shy smile. Lucius though breathing as heavily as James managed to gasp out, "Well that answers my question then" and with a quick and chaste kiss on James’ cheek he departed and headed along the corridor. Obvious heedless of his flushed cheeks, mussed hair, and the sparkle in his eye, nor the smile on his swollen lips. James stood in shock for several seconds before he rushed to follow. Finding the corridor empty he stamped his foot and turned to go to potions, realising how late the interlude had made him.
Remus and Sirius had made their way to potions, each wrapped in their own thoughts. Both boys had been given food for thought by James' last quip, so they didn’t notice James’ absence till they turned to talk to him. This made Sirius demand, in a voice that boded ill for James, what right Damn Potter had to drag them to potions and then bugger off. He received a shrug in reply from Remus and then fell into brown study, since Remus didn’t seem much in the bitching mood, and was frowning at their cauldron. Remus was just as angry as Sirius, if not more so, and wished very much to bitch, but if James found out, here Remus shuddered, well if James found out and was angry he knew one secret at least that Remus didn’t care for people to know. Especially the friend sitting next to him. He sighed and when the Professor walked into the class nudged Sirius carefully indicating that they would for once have to take their own notes since James was still absent. This did not improve his or Sirius tempers as they both used James notes more often than not and their friend had a brilliant potions mind. About fifteen minutes into the lesson the door opened and the late comer begged forgiveness from the professor and slid into a spare seat behind them. As they turned to berate him their jaws dropped, Causing James, who was heedless of the mutterings and whispers across the classroom to snap, "What!?"
AN: wish I owned Harry Potter, but I don’t they all belong to JK Rowling.
Chapter Two-Mismanaged Affairs.
James, had walked into the potions classroom headless of his appearance. Not realising he looked well and truly shagged. His dishevelled state was an unusual occurrence in itself, but when it was compared with the fact the good boy of the marauders had turned up late for a potions lesson and snapped at his closest friends was cause for a great deal of gossip. No-one was more interested in the reasons than his two friends and a dark haired boy sitting at the other side of the dark steamy room. This boy didn’t allow his gaze to linger on the other James however, as showing interest in the Gryffindors was unheard of from this side of the class. So determined to show his classmates how to behave, Severus turned his back on James and continued with his potion. This meant the class didn’t notice the grin flit across his features, nor how handsome it made him, preserving some of his reputation.
James himself was highly annoyed at the attention he was receiving. Being late for any class annoyed him, but he considered being late for potions unacceptable and he just wished to get one with his work, especially since it would take his mind of his ‘encounter.’ So ignoring his two closest friends, the rest of the class and the efforts of a red haired girl (he believed she was called Evans) to catch his attention, he turned his back, opened his battered and annotated text book to the correct chapter and let the soothing effect of creating a perfect potion wash over him. So involved was he in his work he forgot for a while his confrontation earlier and that the rest of the class was shooting sly glances at him and whispering. Unfortunately for him he also forgot Remus and Sirius had appeared highly annoyed at him
To soon for James the bell that signalled the end off classes rang. He sighed and putting the finishing touches to his potion looked up to find an empty class room. Well an empty class room apart from Severus Snape. Who was leaning back against his desk watching him with an unfathomable expression in his dark eyes. James, straightened feeling suddenly uncomfortable, and remembered with a slight flush the last interaction he'd had with a Slytherin. Then Severus did something that completely surprised him. The raven haired Slytherin walked calmly over to him, wisely ignoring James' flinch and stared down into the cauldron on the table. James turned to look too, wondering what was wrong with his potion, especially since Severus Snape was renowned as the best potions student the school had seen in a centaury and was rumoured to already have an apprenticeship with a potions master. He looked up at the boy next to him and was startled to see a large grin spread over his features. Severus turned to look directly at James with more than a glint of mischief in his eyes. He chuckled as he began to speak; "Well, Potter, seems like you've been hiding your light under a very heavy lead bucket, or do you just not want to appear clever than your friends?"
James growled at this, disliking the perceived dig at his friends and drew himself up to his full height, even so he had to raise his eyes to look Severus in the eye, Severus seemed to realise that he'd offended the smaller boy and so drawled out; "Relax will you Potter, t’was a joke. I was pulling your leg." He stopped for a second seeing the disbelieving expression on James' face then continued smoothly, "Yes well strange as that may seem coming from a Slytherin, we aren’t all poisonous snakes you know." He stopped again and shifted uncomfortably for a minute seeming to loose his cool. "Erm.. what I wanted to ask.. that is if you could bring.. oh sodd it Potter, work with me for the potions project please." Severus stammered out then rushed from the room, not waiting for a reply, leaving behind a very confused James Potter to ponder over how strange his day was becoming.
James walked slowly down to dinner, thinking of how for the second time in less than four hours he'd been left speechless by a Slytherin, 'well actually', he corrected himself with a grin,' left speechless by the two most fearful Slytherins being nice, mmmmm I wonder where Lucius is'. With this thought his grin grew dopey and he walked into the great hall looking like the cat that had got the cream and causing the rest of the school to start gossiping about him, rather than only his potions class.
Sirius and Remus sat through out the entirety of potions staring at James in disbelief leaving Peter to work on their potion by himself. Their sense of ill usage was written clearly across their features and occasionally one would twitch in an effort to control the need to prod James and demand an answer. Remus was grinding his teeth never fully having gained his legendary calm back after his nightmares and Sirius was repeatedly tapping his fingers on the work surface. To say they were annoyed was a very large understatement. Not only had he dragged them to potions, he'd then disappeared somewhere without them, turned up looking truly rumpled and then ignored them for nearly two hours. Silently they both agreed that this would not be allowed to pass and had left the classroom in a sulk neither noticing or caring that Peter had gone his own way. They watched James saunter into the great hall, with a stupid grin on his face. They were so annoyed that Sirius let out a Dog like growl that startled the poor first year sitting next to him. The young girl slid unobtrusively along the bench away from him, glancing at him nervously as she moved further towards his equally hot but less violent friend, unfortunately for her she would have been safer next to Sirius as for once, at least in public, Remus did not have control of the wolf. His anger pushed to breaking point, Remus pushed up from the bench, not controlling his strength, and sent a couple of third years to the floor as it crashed backwards. He stalked from the hall not noticing that his walk was that of a predator nor the worried look he received from Sirius, who at once forgot about interrogating James. Sirius couldn't imagine why this was annoying his normally relaxed friend so much, as he was normally so calm, in control and laid back.
Remus oblivious of the reaction of people in the hall, slammed out of the large heavy oaken front door of the castle, making it bounce loudly of the wall and nearly breaking its hinges. Once outside he began to run, till he reached an overhang of rock by the lake. Here he flopped to the ground like a rag doll whose strings had been cut out of breath and still considerably out of temper. His mind was racing as he seethed to himself. 'How dare he,' he fumed, 'he badgers me for hours to tell him what's bugging me, then when he finds out laughs at me, then holds it against me, and keeps making jokes, then he ruins my fun today to drag me to that godforsaken class, then argh........I hate him, what right does he have to keep a secret from me after that. We all tell each other everything.' He mental ranted conveniently ignoring just how much he had kept from his friends. ‘I mean he wonders why I didn’t tell him straight away. I mean come on if he teases me about this what would he have done had I mentioned that I think my wolf’s mate is somewhere in the castle and neither of us has a damn clue who it is. How would he have acted if I told him I am having interactive sodding nightmares. That I am interacting more with the wolf because of those stinking things. He wont even tell me who he currently likes but he expects us all to share our secrets with him. He’s not my alpha, nor is he my mate, he is my friend but that does not give him the right to be so two faced about secrets.’
Remus sprung to his feet and began pacing with angry jerky movements, so annoyed that he fails to see the dark haired, dark eyed boy watching him nor does he recognise that there's a throaty growl coming from deep with in his chest. He stops pacing, an angry knot still in his chest, and turning with inhuman speed slams his fist into the rock face behind him, heedless of the fractured knuckles he gains. He does this with the other hand before starting to run again, his strides long and rangy easily eating up the ground. The person in the shadows watches Remus' legendary loss of control, paralysed, partly with fear, partly with shock, to stop him spiralling into the dark depths he is heading. Then with Remus long gone gradually manages to shake off the paralysis and look round glad only he noticed this and not the other students. Realising he might be needed back at the hall he sets off at a run in the opposite direction from the extremely annoyed Gryffindor.
Sirius sits at the table in utter shock, his mind refusing to comprehend what just happened. He'd known Remus was mentally strong simply by how easy the other boy learnt things and the serious stubborn streak he could show, but how physically strong he was in human form, he'd never realised. It suddenly hit him that Remus had kept a lot from him over the years and so he too rose from the table and walked slowly as if in trance out of the hall and into the grounds of Hogwarts. Ignoring many people or in fact glaring right through them an action that caused many students and even professors to search their memories as to how they could have offended him and the rest simply got out of his way.
As it was by the end of Lunch Period the whole school was buzzing with the drama that was currently the Marauders. The gossip mill was so loud that even Slytherins were beginning to notice that there was discord with in this tightly knit group and many chuckled to them selves, some rejoiced, however two sat with a worried look on their faces. An ice blonde and slightly dishevelled midnight black head were bowed together in deep worried discussion and were overlooked by the rest of the hall, and so Lucius and Severus slipped out of the hall, leaving their dinner. Lucius looked over to the Gryffindor table as he left and registered that sometime in the melee James had disappeared.
AN: I don’t own Harry Potter or his friends they all belong to JK Rowling
Chapter Three-Tweedle Dee and Tweedle.
Severus was walking along quickly having escaped potions, and trying to hide his rosy blush (the one when teamed with his elusive smile made him quite cute) thinking furiously to himself, he was also with out realising rubbing a hand through his long hair making it appear high dishevelled.
'He knew he had never been stupid. He’d know for years what he wanted, he also caught on really quickly to what everyone else around him wanted, and been a Slytherin often used this a great deal to his advantage. That was one of the advantages of being quiet and occasionally a shadow. As it was he was the only person who’d caught the subtle hint of chemistry between his first friend and his long derived ‘enemy’. Not even Potter’s two closest friend (Yes he’d noticed that queer ’friendship’ between Peter and the rest as well) had shown the slightest inclination of guessing. On the other hand, maybe they were just in complete denial. They might well have an inclination now even if they had no idea what it was they had an inclination of.' Here Severus chuckled to himself, (-a deep throaty, sexily warm chuckle), causing a fifth year Hufflepuff to look up for this previously unknown sex god, and then when seeing only Snape, turning away thinking that what they had heard had been a ghost.
‘I mean’ the logical side of Severus' brain said ‘you wouldn’t even have noticed if it hadn’t been for that day at Quidditch practice. Poor Lucius normally so cool, collected, and poor Potter lost all his bravado’ Here Snape’s thoughts become highly disordered ‘Showers…. towels… blushed… hahaha.’ Severus realised his mind was wandering and calls himself to task before slipping into the great hall, a sullen frown back on his face as he thought again about the advice he’d given Lucius almost a month ago. He sighed as he sat down; Lucius had been his normal cautious self if a little jittery. Severus sighed again causing Lucius to look round in concern. Seeing who it was nodded a greeting that Severus unintentionally ignored as he was thinking hard. ‘I wonder what caused him to finally take my advice. I suppose stupid Potter didn’t make it easy for him avoiding him at all costs and being highly sarcastic when any anyone else was around. I wonder how he managed to seize Potter today. Obviously it was before potions because Potter turned up late for that and he’s never late for that, as well as looking well like he’d been thoroughly shagged and Luc’s sitting there with swollen lips messy hair and.. Oh god a smile… ’ Here Severus snapped out of his thoughts and slapped Lucius on the arm, earning himself some raised eyebrows from his surrounding Slytherins at his breach of what they -but not Sev and Luc- thought of as hierarchy. Ignoring them as easily as he normally did and having caught Lucius attention leaned over and whispered in his ear, “Stop staring at the clouds and whip the smirk off your face unless you want the whole school to….”
Here Severus was forced to break off again as Potter sauntered into the hall looking like the cat that had got the cream, with a quick glance at the Slytherin table turned his back, and sat with his friends. Severus risked a quick glance at Luc and groaned softly to himself, realising the iceman of Slytherin had a twinkle in his eyes and was practically drooling. Whispering indicated that across the hall a ruckus was taking place he dragged his eyes from the gorgeous blonde sitting beside him. Severus looked over at the Gryffindor table to see Sirius Black's lips curl back in a growl. That alone sent a shiver of lust through him and to make his situation even more dire Remus Lupin, with muscles bunched against his shirt and eyes flashing slammed out of the room. Severus nearly melted. He realised Lucius is trying to get his attention when he felt a sharp jab in his side, but ignored him and the hiss that followed him as he walked quietly out of the room.
“When you’re finished drooling over your erotic fantasy characters pay attention.” hissed Lucius as Severus walks off “this is going to cause far to much interest and what am I going to do if Potter doesn’t want anything to do with me after this,” groaned Lucius dragging up a very old argument, before realising he was being ignored and receiving some very odd looks from his fellow Slytherins. He muttered several curses under his breath and sunk his head onto his arms.
When Severus made it back to the hall after suddenly and guiltily recalling Luc’s words, he slumps next to his dejected friend and lays a hand on his shoulder for a second before replying to the despondent question, “Look Luc, it’ll be ok, he didn’t throw you off him today did he?”
Lucius chuckles and looking dreamy, stuttered out, “well no actually he dived on me.”
Severus sighed again and mental slaps his friend for being so bloody annoying when all he wants to do is sit and stare at Sirius silently smouldering, he also silently thanks him for stopping that happening, “ Well then what you worried about, I bet the only reason for this, whatever it is happened, is because he’s been a pain in the arse to Remus about summit and probably hasn’t told them about today, which will not have gone down well with Sirius being so protective of Remus and with something having happened recently to put a haunted look in Remus eyes.” His own dark ones narrowed suddenly, “Any way Sirius and Remus have the hots for each other so don’t call them my erotic watsits,” he added catching on. At this moment he also looks up and realises Sirius isn’t sitting at the table smouldering in fact he must have left before he'd even come back in.
Lucius still looks worried, so Severus stands up, “Come on mate we’ll go back to the common room and talk bout this at least there will be no annoying squirts there.” He takes Lucius firmly by the arm and drags him out of the Great Hall, not failing to see the glance Lucius sends over to the Gryffindor table and the despondent slump to his shoulders. Severus sighs to him self, realising he hasn’t even had time to figure out what -apart from the boy’s good potions skills- made him through caution to the winds and ask Potter to be his potions partner.
Chapter 4: The confessions of a lovesick Slytherin
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AN: I donot own anything Harry Potter related that is all JK Rowling
Chapter Four-Confessions of a lovesick Slytherin.
I still do not know if I can take Sev’s advice. I know Sev normally gives good advice, but he is about as knowledgeable as myself over all things love and relationship related. Sev thinks I should man up and tell him how I feel. I mean what if he laughs at me and throws it back in my face. After all, he is so righteous and I am well a snake. At least as far as he is concerned. I am so much below him in everyone's eyes but those of my own house. I very much doubt he sees that I do care for people or that I am very fragile sometimes and what he says brings tears to my eyes. It would be hell if he were to repulse me. I mean at least this way I can dream. This way I can still hope my life has some light to it. It is even dangerous writing these thoughts down. I mean I am supposed to be the prime example of my house aren’t I, and what do I do? I go and fall for the prime example of his house. The schools...well if not hero, at least Mr popular. Besides the amount of girls he goes through, he’s probably highly straight.
Nevertheless, I just can’t get that incident from the locker rooms out of my head. God he looked so hot I practically ran back to my dorm to shower. Let me explain, since I was too flustered to write at the time. I had just finished Quidditch practice and was heading back to the showers, after tidying away the training gear. Everyone else from my team had returned to the castle, and I was running late. So instead of checking if anyone was in the shower room and taking a towel in like I normally do, I stripped off in the changing room and dumped my training gear into the basket to be washed…poor bugger who ever has to do that. .. Anyway, I walked into the showers and was just soaping my hair when I thought I heard the shower next to me switch on.
Now this surprised me and I must admit panicked me a little, as I really don’t like walking around in front of people in the buff…no matter what people think I’m not an exhibititionist. Anyway where was I… oh yes well the shower next to me has just switched on, i was dithering like a girl, and I hear Severus shouting down that I'd (and here I quote) better hurry my arse because it looked like it was going to piss down (such a way with words that one). In the spirit of how my day was going, of course this startled me as much as the person next to me. Who, I’m assuming slipped and fell dragging the adjoining curtain from its rail. Well who do you think it was? Guess. Go on. Guess. Yep you got it in one Potter. In addition, he just stood there and didn’t say anything. Well I went bright red and goddess forbid I think I even swore. He just stood there I’m telling you not ashamed just all out there. Well I practically ran from the room. You can imagine the impression I gave can't you. When I got to the door Sev was just standing there laughing his head off, holding my robe. Git.
It has been a while since I confided in you and when I did I was quite rude at points. I apologise for that, you see it is rather hard being the ice king of Slytherin. I cannot be seen to be sensitive or deep or- goddess forbid- homosexual, there is no question of it. I shudder at the thought of some of my acquaintance’s reactions. Unfortunately, for my house I’m definitely one and quite often the others as well. I have rather a large secret, one that only Sev knows, a secret that would definitely get me killed off my father and probably most of my housemates as well. I’m in love with a man. Not just any man mind you but a Gryffindor. I’m not sure which of the three they’d be more disgusted with. I must say it’s a good job I write you in code. And aren't I been dramatic. NOT! Damn and blast it.
I had Quidditch practice today, I haven’t showered there since… well I digress. As I was saying, I had Qudditch practice today the third one this week since we're playing Gryffindor next match. OH Goddess I have to fly against Potter! Parkinson was being a pain and mucking about as usual, he just can not seem to grasp the importance of winning for Slytherin, and even I can pretend I get it even if I really do not.
That’s not news in itself I know but today he embarrassed me completely. Gah! It’s horrible …. We were out flying and with the weather being so cold they all had extra layers on the wimps. I mean really how are you supposed to fly well in five layers? Well I don’t feel the cold much, so I just had old raggy, faded dark blue t-shirt on, with a pair of tight black slacks, equally as worn (shocking I know, since everyone thinks I don’t own clothes more than three months old. But I refuse to wear new or good clothes to Quidditch) and my training robe, (plain black, with red piping if you must know). Shocking I just realised I can not colour co-ordinate and I was wearing red. Sorry I am going off on a tangent again, so back to the situation. We had cut into the Gryffindor’s practice time over much (which was my fault since I’d forgotten my watch), and they had been jogging (!) around the pitch for a while, when Parkinson suggested we should land. Well of course when we landed the ordinary insults commenced. I was standing there wishing they’d hurry up before Potter came out and saw me all sweaty, with hair like a haystack and in ancient clothes ( I had not realised about the lack of colour co-ordination or that I was wearing red, or the ground really would have swallowed me whole. Wait I just realised what house Potter is from so the red might not have mattered so much.) I didn’t realise he was already there until I saw the extremely toned chest, and long legs in pants that showed everything, fighting its way out of a jumper. Well as I explained before I had tight trousers on and being a seeker is quite exhilarating, so well you can imagine. I hate Parkinson! I will get my revenge! No one does that to me!
Guess what he did! He noticed my predicament and shouted at the top of his very grating ill breed voice that I looked like I needed an icy shower. I swear I tried to retain my dignity but I hate having such pale skin shows up every blush and Quidditch robes are NOT made for cover. Maybe I embarrassed myself? I think I definitely put the seal on the whole Lucius Malfoy is a selfish bigamist twat view of the Gryffindors. I should never have replied that what I needed wasn’t an icy shower but a willing bird. Then I realised Potter was staring at me clutching his broom in front of himself and looking like he wanted to hit something. I ran out of there so fast, my heart still hasn’t slowed down. I’m going in the shower now. Maybe I just shouldn’t leave my room until after the half term.
Sev convinced me to leave my room to go to Hogsmead. I almost wish I hadn’t, as not only was the weather awful but bloody Bella and her annoying little sister joined us (I will not apologise for my language concerning them they drive me insane). As I was saying I almost wish I hadn’t gone, but it was worth it. I got my revenge on Parkinson, with out even having to plot. He has fancied Bella for ever and she hasn’t paid the slightest bit of notice to him. Well she owed me a favour since I saved her from becoming embroiled in one of the Marauder’s brilliant pranks, so I asked her to talk to him and put him out of his misery. I’ve never seen her look so horrified. Revenge is sweet though. He followed her around like a lost puppy. Black of all people helped me get my revenge, while Lupin pinned Lestrange to the floor (I didn’t realise that guy was so strong, note to self do not annoy any of the Marauders if Lupin will hear of it). Potter wasn’t there though, which made me somewhat sad, but maybe in hindsight is a good thing although I don’t doubt the gruesome twosome will tell him. Ouch sorry Sev. Anyway Black waltzes up to Parkinson and demands to know what he’s doing behaving like a muckworm, especially since he has such a good example of how a proper king cobra should behave and jerked his head at me -Shock! Black thinks I’m a threat or something. Anyway Lestrange does not take kindly to people trying to mess with Parkinson and so without any finesse starts in and before you know it he’s face down on the floor with Lupin kneeling on his back, and fight though he will he just cant seem to move. I must admit I would have been quite happy to see just that, the guy is a bully. HMMM I'm not talking like a good little Slytherin, Oh well. Bella growls at Black and tells him when she wants the help of a traitor she’d ask him. So Black tells her a few home truths and Parkinson agrees with the bit that she looks like a muggle hooker in her get up, I don’t think he’ll be getting out of hospital in a while. Parkinson not Black. Bella and Black seem to trade insults like nothing else, without wanting to hurt each other, permanently at least, but goddess forbid anyone else joins in.
We walked past Potter when we finally made it back to the castle, apparently, Slughorn of all people had given him a detention and there everyone thought he loved Potter. I found out at dinner it was because Potter had upset that Evans lass. He looked very hot, with dark blue jeans, which made his legs go up to here, and a slack silvery, green shirt. Dreamy.
Sev says I should talk to him. Since at least then I’ll know one way or the other. He keeps saying that but I don’t see him talking to who he likes. I’m so confused. Bah, I hate not knowing my own mind. I mean I know for definite I have the hots for him, I know for definite he’s everything I could every ask for, I just don’t know if I can ever talk to him. oh i just realised, Potter was wearing Slytherine colours. Oh the shock. Goddess that's even more sexy.
Well I’m off to bed and I had better remember to put a silencing charm on the bed, I don’t want everyone to know my secret.
I did it I took Sev’s advice! Then all hell broke out. But let me proceed in order. I was up nearly all of last night worrying what I should do and so when I went down to breakfast I don’t think I was in my right min, because I begged Sev for James’ timetable. Now it was only in one of his lessons I had a free today and I’m in disgrace with all my lecturers this morning, bless them I was on planet lala. I think I may have scared my year group as well. Anyway, I ran out of my last lesson and went to a small classroom that is off the corridor for potions and waited for him. When he went past, I pounced and dragged him into the room. Well I stood like a ninny for several minutes and he nearly shouted at me well I was so nervous I just started spilling every thing out, no planned speeches or anything. I noticed he didn’t seem to be paying attention and had started to trail off, when he leant forward and kissed me softly on my lips. Well he seemed just as scared as me at that point and that and how soft his lips were made me stop caring who could walk in. I dragged him towards me by his hips and deepened the kiss. God he an absolutely fabulous kisser. As he slid his tongue over my lips, I felt his hands roam up my back and pulled him closer still, god if it weren’t so good I’d be ashamed to say I groaned when our hips touched. He slipped his hands into my hair and just as I parted my lips and felt his tongue slid into my mouth he dragged his nails over my scalp, I nearly exploded. I don’t know how long we kissed for but I was hotter than I'd ever been and more than willing to do anything he could’ve asked when he pulled back. No shouting or anything. I’m ashamed to say I left rather rapidly holding my robes over me.
And now for the not so fun part. At dinner I was sitting there and tried to catch Sev’s eye when he came in, he ignored me…bright kid that one. Well I must have looked like a puppy or something because he hit me, I’ll have a bruise tomorrow. Then all hell broke loose. James walked in and Sirius looked like a rabid dog ready to kill him, and Lupin well the less said about how afraid I was that he was going to lynch James the better. I was worried sick so poor Sev… it is always poor Sev, dragged me down to the common room and sat and talked to me for well over three hours (although apparently he only caught the end and beginning of the major display). I must be a large burden on that poor lad. I swear I am going to do something to help him if I get with James.
Just to show him that Sirius and Remus do not merely have eyes, ears, and whatever else for each other. I have seen some of the looks they give Sev, hmmm I see a plan if James will ever talk to me again. Mwhahahaha no it is not evil but I think a makeover is in option. For Sev I mean. Just a few touches and they will not be able to resist him. Although I maybe biased he’s easily one of the best looking boys in school.
I’d better go there’s an owl at my window, it’s got a note, oh my god it’s got a letter from James!!!!!
Sorry, the letter reads, ‘I enjoyed today. Do not worry overly much about my friends reactions Paddy and Moony were just being idiots. Did Sn…Severus know what you were planning to do? I want to tell you more but I do not think a letter is the best place in case someone else reads it. I have to go now as I have homework to do. Please say I can see you again and that today was not a joke. Btw you should wear clothes like what you had on at Quidditch practice the other day more often :P. oh and Paddy told me what happened at Hogsmead I’d apologise but since you and Sn…Severus didn’t kill them I assume it was all ok. Please write back James’.
OMG! I have to write him back! Pants the owls gone, I’ll use a school owl tomorrow mines too obvious, being the only black one in the school. Hmmm I wonder why he calls Black and Lupin them names, very strange nicknames.
Chapter 5: Of hissyfits and drama queens er kings
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AN: unfortunately I donot own Harry or friends they all belong to JK Rowling
Chapter Five Of Hissyfits and Drama Queens ...er Kings
It was the day after his explosion at lunch and Remus had spent the last two hours in the hospital wing, being clucked over and having the many fractures in both his hands repaired. His mind was elsewhere though, dwelling on vaguely noticed shocked and hurt smouldering eyes, two pairs of eyes. Apart from this lack of concentration, he was surprisingly wide-awake for seven in the morning despite having roamed the school grounds all night. He was brought sharply back to reality by a rap on his sore but no longer broken knuckles by Madame Pomfery. Summarily dismissed he wandered aimlessly down to the Great Hall, feeling slightly ashamed of his behaviour the previous day. The hall was quite obviously empty for such a time on a Saturday morning, except for one ice blond and one ink black head bowed in conversation at the Slytherin table. Remus made to walk past them but as snap shots of the day before filtered back to his brain, changed his mind and slid into a bench opposite the pair with a breezy ‘Good morning’.
He was greeted by a deathly silence, as both Lucius Malfoy and Severus Snape stared opened mouth at him. Taking advantage of this silence, Remus gathered his thoughts, since he had sat down with no plan in mind, however only one thought popped into his head. Thinking on this he grinned across at them, silently noticing the dark boy swallow and his eyes follow the movement of his Adam’s apple.
‘So…’ began Remus, while helping himself to a slice of toast, ‘I know you both have a secret’. Here he stopped and took a bite of toast. The two Slytherins now looked nervous as well as wary. Remus chuckled and continued, ‘All I want to know…is’ bite, chew, swallow, ‘one of you’. bite, chew, swallow, sip, swallow, ‘has the severe hots for Prongsie, oh sorry James, and by his reactions yesterday I think they acted on it.’ Here he stopped again and as the two boys opposite him gapped, chuckled deeply at how easily he had stunned the two most feared and to be fair hottest Slytherins, before going on with his act. ’Wait no that’s not it, I know who that is, so that must mean I know the other one has the extreme hots for Paddy, sorry Sirius and myself.’
Severus opened his mouth to refute this, to argue, but was interrupted by the appearance of a sleepy James and a glowering Sirius themselves. Both of whom forgot yesterday, or because of yesterday marched over and grabbed Remus by an arm. He shook them off and with a few low words gets them to back away to the Gryffindor table, where they sit looking puzzled. Just before he leaves the stunned Slytherins, Remus leans over the table and looks Severus straight in the eye. Then very unsubtly he trails his eyes over the other boy’s lips before licking his own. He leaned in closer and looks at both boys before whispering a challenge, ‘So what are you both going to do about it.’ Then winks and saunters off to join his friends knowing he has some explaining and apologising to do.
* * *
Sirius and James had entered the Great Hall in silence simply because James was not awake yet and Sirius still upset at both his friends, they were alone because Remus had not been in bed and Peter had mumbled something and pulled the covers over his head. When the entered the hall they had seen Remus apparently saying something horrifying to Malfoy and Snape. Concern for Remus’ behaviour made Sirius rush over; While James’ concern was torn between all three. Despite this it was Sirius who noticed the hunger in Snape’s eyes as they dwelt on Remus. He filed this knowledge away with contradictory feelings missing the equally loaded glance directed at him. While he was doing this James sent an apologetic glance at Lucius. Then all three Marauders sat down to breakfast, and since the other students were entering the hall tried to act like yesterday was forgotten. Over on the Slytherin table, across the hall Lucius and Severus sat in shocked silence. Not registering the greetings of their fellow Slytherins, which resulted in them both being given the space denied the Marauders. It would have been hard to say who had been most affected by the encounter. They had both been enjoying a quiet, civilised breakfast before they had been joined by an extremely wide-awake Remus Lupin who had proceeded to tell them their darkest secrets. Soon though their training and habits kicked in and they forced themselves to respond to those around them until Severus glancing up noticed the Marauders had left. He nudged Lucius and both boys were filled with a sense of foreboding. As soon as they could, they left the Great Hall and headed for a secluded spot to discuss these new developments. Not realising they were being watched by three pairs of eyes.
The Marauders, that is to say James, Sirius and Remus, had left the hall together to try and stop the questions, and were standing uncomfortably around the main doors when Severus and Lucius left. All three boys felt and urge to go after the two Slytherins but refrained knowing they had to sort their own problems out first. Remus was the first to speak.
‘Ermm.. .’ he stuttered, ‘we should probably go somewhere else to talk this through, walls have ears and all. And I don’t know about you but I don’t want anyone overhearing what I’ve got to say and spreading it around .’
The other two boys rapidly agreed with him and at James’ suggestion they walked out of the castle and down to their favourite spot in a clearing on the edges of the forbidden forest. It was a very long walk and one that they under took in silence, each so wrapped up in their own thoughts they failed to notice the others' apprehension. Remus was dragging his feet the wolf in him terrified of loosing it's pack and also slightly jealous that his two pack members had found their mates. James was chewing his bottom lip and prying they would forgive his deception of the last year. Sirius was worried, confused and hurt so strode ahead. Once he reached the clearing Sirius set up some wards so that none of the nasties of the forest or ‘annoying creeps’ could walk in on them. When he had completed this each boy took their favourite perch and an uncomfortable silence crept in. after a few nervous glances at each other, Sirius couldn’t stand the tension and started to pace. As he did images from yesterday and the rest of the term filtered through his brain suddenly everything clicked.
"Holy Crap", he barked out, causing Remus to nearly fall out of his tree -only his reflexes saved him Sirius noticed-and James to bang his head on an overhanging branch as he brought it up that fast.
"Dammit Paddy" they both shouted.
Then Remus took a deep breath, "No sorry Paddy it not your fault. Guys I wana apologise for my behaviour yesterday it was completely out of order." Taking an other deep breath he ploughed on before Sirius could butt in, ‘I also wana apologise for keeping things from you both, especially you Paddy as I know you hate people lying to you.’ Here he met Sirius’ eyes, but if it makes you feel better it was only the fact I keep my strength speed etc when I’m not fury and have big teeth.’ Remus shut his eyes so they couldn't see the lie in them and hope they thought he was gathering strength before he continued, "I want to admit something else as well,’ he muttered so low the other two had to strain to hear him, James blushes deeply and hangs his head as he realises what’s about to be said. Remus takes another deep breath and blurts out, "I bi-sexual, and I alsolikeSiriusandSnapesincethey are very hot and I can sense my mate in the castle but cant find them and it's pissing me off and I’ll understand if you want nothing to do with me after that admission Siri."
Sirius was standing in the centre of the clearing, stock still as what Remus had just admitted fell into place, ‘Holy crap,’ he muttered. Looking up he glared at Remus, ‘How the hell could you have kept any of that from me!’ he exploded, ‘We’re supposed to be best mates! Remember?’ then he takes a long deep breath, realising he too had to be honest. ‘No I’m sorry Moony, I’m not mad at you, much more at myself for being so stupid for not seeing it sooner. Look guys I wana apologise. James I was mad at you yesterday but I can kinda figure out why you didn’t say anything. Remus of course I still want something to do with you ’coz other whys I’d be a hypocrite. You see I think both you and Severus are hot and I am not bi I am completely gay." He sighed, ‘there I said it,’ looking up he catches sight of James’ dropped jaw, ‘dammit James your turn,’ then sits down again completely embarrassed.
James clears his throat nervously, still not sure were to start and decides apologies are a good place to start. ‘Ok look I’m sorry about yesterday but I was nervous and I didn’t know if what had happened was a joke, in fact I still don’t know.’ He pauses and takes a deep breath, ‘erm I erm yesterday you see, erm before potions I and erm me and oh dammit, yesterday before potions Lucius Malfoy dragged me into a cupboard and we erm well I think the expression is got off with each other, and erm I’ve liked him for a very long time.’
A long pause stretches after these admissions, a silence that stretched on, until Remus the first to see the hilarity in the situation burst into laughter. James and Sirius start to giggle to, and soon all three boys are in hysterics, which only ends when Remus falls off his branch with a muffled curse. Glad to be on speaking terms again, Remus ignores his fresh bruises only to have Sirius demand to know what the hell happened to his knuckles. Remus blushes as he accounts what little he can remember after he saw red the previous day. The both boys wanted to know what he had been talking to Lucius and Severus about to make them look so worried, Remus tried to fend off these questions. Finally after he could take it know more, he stuck his fingers in his ears and sang ‘la-la-la-la-la’ at the top of his voice. This seemed to work and the discussion changed to how they should spend the rest of the Saturday. They quickly agreed to go for a swim in the lake, since they didn’t know how long the Indian Summer would last and wanted to make the most of it.
A race down to the lake left two of the boys panting and the Remus grinning. Despite his winning easily Remus quickly stripped to his shorts and shimmied up the tree to use their rope swing, launched himself in the air and did an amazing piece of contortion by hitting the water in a dive. Sirius and James were left on the bank chuckling and entered the water at a more sedate leisurely pace, as they knew how cold the water could be. A game of tag and duck soon began with James often being the looser until he resorted to his party trick of being able to hold his breath for long periods of time and dragging the other two down by their ankles. When they tiered of this James summoned a ball and they played pass for a while, before hauling themselves out of the water and drying in the mellow heat of the sun. James and Sirius remaining almost white while Remus started to turn even more tanned. By unspoken consent they dressed and headed back to the Great Hall for tea, putting off another discussion for as long as possible.
AN: Wish I did but i own nothing, Harry Potter universe is the baby of JK Rowling
Chapter Six Thoughts.
While the three Gryffindors were sorting things out between themselves, two very worried Slytherins were sitting on an outcrop of rock overlooking the lake. Neither boy was talking to the other, far too wrapped up in their own thoughts to converse for the present.
Severus was pondering the past couple of days and how everything could go so wrong and so right at the same time. He did not believe Remus would cause problems for Luc, but that parting comment had him worried. I mean dammit he thought what am I going to do about what? About the fact he knows? About Luc and James… I mean he does not know t’was me who told Luc to …. Actually no I did not I told Luc to talk to him not dive on the boy. Severus sighed, not noticing Lucius look at him speculatively, and leant back against a large boulder, soaking up as much sun as he could get, his thoughts unusually disordered continued meandering. Lucius got a letter off James I know that, and it must have been a good letter because he’s chilled out somewhat since yesterday, got a strange look in his eye though, had better keep an eye on him. I wonder if Remus was just trying to get a rise out of me by that little display earlier? Maybe he wants me to act on it so he can kill me. I did not realise he was that strong I mean he cracked that rock face yesterday, I did not realise he was that fast neither, must admit was rather scary although I have the hots for him even more now. Sirius was looking at me funny this morning, not hostile as normal just funny. I cannot place that look and it has me worried because I know I have seen him wear it before. Wait Luc is looking shifty again what’s he up to?
Lucius was sitting gazing out across the lake his shirt folded behind him to cushion him from the rock, thinking about the decision he’d come to yesterday, all other problems having being resolved for the present by James’ letter, the only thing worrying him was Lupin’s response that morning. It was a strange thing to do if he disapproved of James and I, he could have threatened us but he just hinted and taunted Sev. Maybe it is a lead up to blackmail or maybe he is seeing if I am worthy of his friend. Must admit way he wound Sev up was mean though showed me why Sev has the hots for him. Black was definitely being protective of him this morning, wonder if Lupin has told them anything? Lucius glances sideways and sees Severus leaning back against a rock, his skin gilded by the sun and he starts to think how he could get Severus to have a makeover. Well first thing is I cannot call it a makeover, that would be far too girly for Sev, cannot go about it slyly either he can see right through me. Hmmmm wonder if I can swap his shampoo and soap tell him his others are awful… No that is too mean… I could say my mothers sent me some stuff but the silly woman’s sent me stuff for dark hair rather than blondes, that might do it……here Lucius’ thoughts trail off as he hears shouts of laughter coming from below him in the lake.
Curious he leans forward to look over the edge, oblivious to the suspicious look he was receiving from Severus. When he sees James’s tousled head break the surface he draws a quick breath that sets him to choking. This snaps Severus to the present who reaches out to pat his friend on the back, at a shake of the head from Lucius, he follows the indication he should look over the edge. As he peers over he notices a pile of clothes on the bank further down the bank, puzzled he scans the surface of the lake and finding no sign of anyone looks at Lucius in puzzlement. When he gets no reply from his friend he growls slightly to himself, and pokes Luc in the ribs.
“What have I done?” asks a surprised Lucius, “can you not see them?”
“Can I not see who?” Sev grinds out, his brain too excited to think straight.
“Well James, Lupin and Black you silly, I think they’re talking again.” Luc looks at his friend and chuckles as he notices something. “Erm Sev, don’t eat me but you do know you’ve got a tan?”
“What?!” yelps Severus in disgust jumping up, and looking at his hands, “awww dammit,” he grinds out, “if I’ve caught the sun we better head back to the castle before you burn.”
Lucius winces as he stands up, “too late.”
An evil grin flickers across Severus’ features, and he starts jogging away from Lucius, he calls back over his shoulder “well you can always get James to rub some after sun on for you.”
He catches sight of Lucius' face and sprints back to the castle, Lucius chasing after him promising revenge. Sev races into the hall and runs smack into James who is standing at the bottom of the stairs looking up them with distaste. James turns slowly looking to see who’s ran into him, and catches sight of Lucius running into the entrance hall shirtless. His mouth drops open and he stares at the sight before him. Lucius has a six-pack he thinks to himself, before taking in the rest of the other boy’s appearance, while automatically reaching out a hand to help Severus up. Lucius’ hair was mused, lightened to almost white where it had caught the sun, there was laughter in his eyes, a smile on his face, and his cheeks were faintly pink where he had caught the sun.
This blush deepened even more as he catches James staring at him. He notices that on of James’ hands is still clasping Sev’s wrist and he appears completely oblivious to the fact. The moment is broken by Sirius and Remus barrelling down the stairs and Remus launching himself at James, stopping just before he knocks Severus to the floor again. “Sorry” he grunts hoarsely and noticing Lucius and James blush deeply bursts out laughing before he and Sirius run into the Great Hall. Snapped out of his trance James motions for the two Slytherin boys to go ahead of him, then giving himself a shake follows them. All five boys hungrily enter the hall oblivious to the other students staring open mouthed at the spectacle.
AN: I do not own Harry Potter, its all JK Rowling.
Chapter Seven the Start.
It was several days after the collision in the front hall and Lucius was still pondering how to get Severus to agree to a make over. He was also pondering what to do to forward his relationship with James. He was deep in thought and oblivious to the lack of noise and confusion going on around him. Across the table from him sat Severus starring across the hall, with a slight frown on his face and glazed eyes. They were again alone in the Great Hall, Saturdays not being know for their early risers, it was after all a boarding school. Settling on no satisfactory way to get Severus to co-operate, and no ideas presenting themselves in how to get James alone again Lucius forced himself to come back to the present. He glanced at Severus and noticing the boy’s distance look sighed to himself. A disturbance just beyond the large doors grabbed his attention, and against his Slytherin side’s better judgement, he abandoned his now cold bacon for a closer look.
Standing just inside the curve of one of the doors gave him a view of the entire entrance hall and the main stairs. What, or rather who was making the commotion, was Sirius and James arguing over Remus. Sirius had James in a headlock and James was elbowing Sirius in the ribs. As if aware of his presence, they stopped short and looked straight at him. Lucius cursed as he felt the blush rise up his cheeks, yet again, wishing he’d inherited his mother’s darker skin rather than his father’s alabaster tone. Involved in his embarrassment he failed to notice James’ greedy perusal of him, or Sirius’ dropped jaw. Lucius was saved from further embarrassment when the object of the argument itself, swept down the stairs and passed the three boys into the Great Hall, with out speaking to either of his friends.
“What the hell,” Lucius asked, unable to help himself in his embarrassment and confusion. “I thought you were all as thick as thieves again?”
Looking shocked at the semi-civilised comment from Lucius, Sirius was at a loss to answer him. James however grinned evilly, “Oh we are,” he answered sauntering over to the Slytherin and draping an arm around Lucius’ shoulders ignoring the other boy’s gasp and Sirius open mouth. “We however are being punished for waking him up far to early on a Saturday after a rather late Friday night. You see Remus likes sleep, he also likes to lie in bed and laze his days away, we,” he indicates at Sirius and himself, “don't. I see you and Sna…Severus don’t believe in lie-ins either.”
Lucius turned his head slightly in query and found himself eye to eye with the bespectacled boy next to him. His eyes traced to slightly aristocratic features and locked on the mouth. Oblivious to Sirius standing there he licked his own lips, and his breathing hitched slightly. James had leant in towards him, his lips parted slightly in expectation, when a shout from the hall snapped them back to their surroundings.
“You have got to be kidding me! You wake me up at some godforsaken hour, you make me gat ready and drag me down to breakfast and then you leave me in the hall with Severus Snape!” Remus appeared at the doors with Snape, he lowered his voice to whisper at the really confused Severus, “no offence man.” Taking in the scene in front of him, James’ arm still draped around Lucius, whose cheeks were rather pink, and Sirius standing with his mouth open in shock, he sighs. Lucius slips out from under James’ arm feeling the loss immediately. He moves slowly to stand by Severus but Remus stops him with a firm hand on his arm. Lucius tries to pull free, and is puzzled by the strength the boy can manage without any apparent strain. He looks up at Remus and is surprised to see a friendly gleam in his eye.
Remus nudges Severus, who had been standing muttering under his breath through out. Severus immediately looks guilty and quickly passes James a serviette wrapped parcel. James grins, grabs Lucius by the arm, and starts to pull him away from the group, to the open doors. The last thing Lucius hears from the group is Sirius wailing for someone to tell him what was going on.
After a few moments gathering his thoughts, Lucius turns towards James who was still towing him along by his hand.
“You do realise that Sirius and Remus will probably kill poor Sev?” he asks mildly shocked.
James stops and turns to look at him, eyebrows raised. Glancing round he pulls Lucius behind a tree and leans in close to him, leaving barely a gap of air between their bodies. Lucius feels his breath hitch again, his heart starts hammering and that flush creeps up his face again. He looks down at his feet, hiding his face with his hair. A strong hand pushes gently up on his chin, forcing his ice blue eyes to meet those of silver grey. The hand leaves his chin and a gentle hesitant finger traces down his cheek.
“Please don’t hide from me.” a voice croons, “please don’t think you have to wear your mask around me. I’ll let you in on a secret, that blush, that reaction to me, it’s amazing. I mean you always look fantastic, but knowing I can get that response from you, you have no idea what it does to me.” He moves his head and Lucius feels his breath on his ear. “As for our friends, do you honestly think now I have you to myself I’m going to worry.” he pulls back and seeing despite his embarrassment and longing Lucius is still worried. Lucius knows what’s written over his face but is powerless to hide, drawn in by James’ words, he’s so hooked he barely hears the next bit. “Besides they have both promised to be on their best behaviour, “he stops considering something. "Well Remus has promised for both of them, and he can keep Sirius in line.”
A couple of seconds pass and this slowly sinks in “What?!” yelps Lucius.
“You didn’t seriously think I’d let them hurt your friend did you?” asks James, looking slightly hurt but grabbing his hand again. He steps back and Lucius feels the loss again. James starts walking, pulling Lucius slightly along, “I care for you more than that. Or haven’t you figure that out.”
Lucius shakes his head in shook, “I’m a Slytherin, caring normally isn’t in our dictionary. I realise it now though I’m sorry I doubted.” looking around him puzzled, he quirks an eyebrow, “where are you taking me?”
James keeps walking only turning his head slightly; his smile knocks the breath out of Lucius. “Wait and see, if you don’t like it we can head back.”
Lucius gulps as James continues, “ I didn’t think you’d want anyone to know what happened between us so I thought you might wana talk some place away from people,” he stops as Lucius chuckles, “What?”
“ I was just thinking this morning how I was to find away to get us sometime.”
“I must admit I didn’t think of this Remus did, he even showed me the spot.”
“So Remus approves?” this was asked hesitatingly, “ I didn’t think he would”.
James pulls him through some trees before answering, “ Remus isn’t how everyone perceives him." He pauses considering his words again." Remus is different. In some things he’s a perfect student and in others well everyone has there secrets. We are all a bit wild in our own fashion." James stops looking guilty for a second, before waving a hand, "There what do you think?”
“James its brilliant. So peaceful, and shaded.”
Lucius frees himself of James hand and flops down on the rug with a careless elegance, again oblivious to James’ hungry look. Once comfortable he squints up at James, “You not joining me or you going to hover there all day coz it’ll give me neck ache if I have to pear up at you for very long. James chuckles and throws himself down next to Lucius.
“Well I mentioned to Remus you seemed to catch the sun very easily so he suggested hear, and this” James flourishes a bottle at Lucius. Who just looks at it blankly. “ I know you aren’t as anti-muggle as you pretend so don't freak out this is sun screen it helps protect you a little from the suns rays. Wont stop you burning if you stay to long though. Just thought might be useful if you wanted to go swimming.” in an aside that Lucius can't fully hear James mutters, "you'll have to let me rub it in though."
Lucius grins his teeth flashing white, stretching himself out he reaches out pulls James down, gasping as he lands hard across his chest. “Maybe later” he purrs as he gives himself over to just enjoying the day.
AN: I do not own Potter verse that is JK Rowling's baby.
Chapter Eight Lazy Day
Landing hard against Lucius’ chest James lets out a gasp. He quickly regains his composure and wrestles the other boy’s arms over his head, pinning them there with one callused, tanned hand, his free hand supporting his weight he lets his eyes trail down the other boy's toned body admiringly. He feels Lucius shiver almost imperceptivity and grins at the other boy. He can feel those ice blue eyes on his face and quickly averts it, rolling himself to one side so he is only partly draped across him. Lucius starts to squirm and James has trouble rearranging his face into a serious mien.
Looking up at the other boy, he takes a deep breath, “Look I’m sorry if you were truly worried about your friend. I did not understand that about Slytherin’s house, I just thought you all wore masks the opposite to everyone else. Guess now I know I’ll be forever looking over my shoulder.” he pauses for breath and after catching sight of Lucius’ eyes trained firmly on his mouth, feels a shiver of delight go through him, “ you want me to stop talking?” he queries.
He takes in the deep rosy colour spreading over Lucius’ face, and using his free hand gently tips the other boy’s face so he can see it. He is taken by surprise when Lucius, instead of speaking, merely closes the gap between their mouths and claims his with a hungry kiss. James feels the fire instantly ignite in him, drops his hand to the silken robe clad chest, and he deepened the kiss, their tongues battling. He can feel Lucius move under him and he lets go of the other boy’s wrists slowly dragging his finger tips over the delicate skin of one wrist feeling the other hand lock into his already messy hair. James gasps at the feelings running through his body and for the second time ever in his life throws caution to the wind. He runs the hand, which was still resting lightly on Lucius’ chest, slowly up and into the other’s hair. A tug of annoyance runs through him as he feels the resistance of the simple band Lucius wears. Wanting to feel its silken mass in his hands like before he tugs, snapping the band and hears a slight gasp from the boy beneath him. James pulled back, a worried frown in his eyes and worrying his bottom lip afraid he’d hurt Lucius. Instead of pain, he finds himself looking down into a pair of slightly unfocused ice blue eyes.
Lucius shakes his head slightly looking up at James and a mischievous smile flits across his face. In a move to quick for the other boy’s lust riddled mind to comprehend he flips James so he’s the one with his back to the ground. James’ groan of surprise and lust as Lucius straddles his waist, echoes around the trees and Lucius pulls back worried he has over stepped his boundaries. He starts to pull away an apology on his lips, when he feels a strong but gentle hand grasp his hip the other reaching to wrap into his hair and guide his lips back to the other boy’s. He gives in to the feelings running through his body, feelings he’d only felt properly for the first time when he’d pulled James into that disused classroom only a couple of days ago. He consigns his fellow housemates to the devil and the simply stops thinking. James’ hand wrapped in his hair had tightened slightly as his eyes fluttered shut, wishing never to move. Lucius was fully focused on the other boy's strong hand gripping his waist, fingers tugging on his hair and the hot mouth against his own. James swept his tongue over Lucius' bottom lip begging for entrance and the blonde boy opened his mouth in a gasp once more allowing the kiss to deepen. He arched into James when he felt gentle nails scrap across his scalp, causing the other boy the moan into the kiss and tighten his grip on Lucius hip.
They lay entwined, their kisses alternating between passionate and gentle, until, as if in union their stomachs’ protested about the passage of time. Both boys chuckle slightly and Lucius blushed, sitting up and trying to straighten his hair. James lay on the ground looking up at him, a tender smile at the other boy’s actions. Lucius when he noticed this blushed deeper, and stopped fidgeting. James chuckled to him self and pushed to his feet so quickly that Lucius just stared up at him gasping.
James looked at the ground quickly, “sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you, just you learn to move fast when your friends with Remus and Sirius, now what do you say about some lunch and a swim,” he stopped and grinned at Lucius, “I cant wait to see you with your shirt off again.” Lucius threw his head back and laughed, and it was James’ turn to be embarrassed “ damn sorry I don’t know what came over me I’m not normally so I mean you are really hot and…”in his rambling he had not realised Lucius had got to his feet and covered the short distance between them. He felt a gentle hand on his chin and raised his eyes to meet the one just above him, he felt a gentle kiss on the lips and realised Lucius was not mad at him. He smiled as the other boy whispered into his ear, “sounds like fun, show me how to forget who I am.”
AN: Wish I did but I don’t the Harry Potter Verse belongs to JK Rowling.
Chapter Nine-The start of things
While James and Lucius were enjoying a relaxing, private day by the lake, courteousy of their friends. Sirius, Remus and Severus decided to vacate the Great Hall. Mainly to avoid been seen by any of their fellow students. Without discussion, and some reluctance on the part of Severus, left by the large main front doors. All three boys walked silently. Discomfort showing in the set of their shoulders and the stiffness of their gait. Sirius and Remus walked automatically to their favourite spot at the edge of the Forbidden Forest, a clearing just hidden from the outside world by a narrow screen of trees. Severus walked along beside them fear and intrigue warring in his head.
When they reached the clearing, the three boys faced each other and shuffled their feet uncomfortably, avoiding looking at each other. Well in reality, Severus and Sirius were looking at their feet, while Remus was biting hard on the inside of his cheeks, to keep from bursting into laughter. He rolled his eyes at the shy actions of the two boys in front of him. The two boys who, in public, would rip each other to shreds without a second thought and who were, his wolf told him, destined to be mates, Remus thought the wolf sounded lonely when it told him that. Shaking his head and muttering to himself, Remus pulled out his wand and since Sirius was other whys distracted, started putting up the protective spells (because even this far out of the forest there were some right nasties) and alarm spells ( because this was definitely not a scene he wanted to describe or explain to others). Once done he walked back into the clearing and looked at the other to boys, still in the same place. They were both quite handsome, he decided, even if they could both do with a tan. Severus was the taller of the two, but Sirius was slightly broader so they were evenly matched. Out here, even in the dappled shade, their raven locks glinted with blue, dark grey-silver and blue-black eyes sparked with a hidden flame. Alabaster skin glowed; reflecting the gentle light around them, showing both boys had a flawless complexion. Their cheeks were gently flushed at the minuet, and both boys had a plump under lip caught in the grip of perfectly straight white teeth. No Remus decided he wasn’t immune to the picture they presented. He felt insecure around them though, a flash of his scarred, sun burnt skin flashed through the back of his mind. He relentlessly squashed the thought down, determined to enjoy the day. If Severus or Sirius had been looking at him, they would have seen him cock his head to one side slightly, a ghost of a smile on his lips and one eyebrow raised. Sirius would have recognised the signs of his fellow Marauder getting ready for mischief, and promptly run a mile especially as he knew Remus was better at the game than either James or himself, despite hardly joining in their pranks. Neither boy noticed however, so Remus decided to have a little fun and scare them.
He stepped back to retrieve his bag, and slung it across his chest. Checking it was securely fastened; Remus grinned, and kicked off his shoes and socks. He flexed his arms and then without checking the distance, launched himself across the heads of his companions, into his favourite tree. A yelp behind him, alerted him to the fact he’d been noticed. His grin deepened and oblivious to the picture he presented, his hands grasped the smooth bark of his favourite seat, and without a pause, he pulled himself up and perched looking down at his companions. From this position he presented a magnificent picture, if he’d realised it, he looked like Pan. His golden brown hair, mussed and full of leaves, showed red where the sun caught it. His shirt open at the collar showed the start of chest hair, and his well-fitted clothes hinted at the lean, but muscular figure underneath. His rolled up sleeves and bear feet only added to the picture, enhancing the thought that this was his true environment. The awkwardness and uncoordination that he showed in the castle had completely evaporated. Looking down, he grinned at the two others glaring at him, his teeth flashing in a wolfs grin and his amber eyes glowing.
Sirius and Severus had both been wrapped in their own thoughts, and so neither boy had noticed anything until a shadow had sped past their heads, a breeze ruffling their hair. With a yelp, both dark haired boys had stumbled backwards, Severus being lucky enough to hit a tree, Sirius however stumbled and with a grunt landed hard on the floor. Aggrieved they looked in the direction the shadow had passed and were greeted with Remus in full Pan mode grinning down at them. Severus slid silently down the tree that had been supporting him, unable to believe it. Sirius was scarcely less shocked; his knowledge of Remus’ condition hadn’t led him to believe that stunt was possible. Glancing away from Remus to Severus, he felt a flush steel up from his collar. He felt a bit embarrassed, although his anger at Remus over ruled this. James and himself had, had to fight to understand about Remus’ condition, and he’d obviously still hid things from them. And now he was showing off, making it more than likely Severus would guess. A quick glance out of the corner of his eye showed Sirius, that Remus was now sitting on his branch swinging his feet. Quickly Sirius rose and before he was fully standing, made a canine like leap at the swinging feet. The other boy was still too quick and pulled his feet under him on the branch. Not feeling like climbing around in the tree and knowing Remus could stay like that for hours Sirius growled. This turned into a smile, albeit through gritted teeth, when Remus pulled a book from his bag, and waving his hand in dismissal, began to read.
Severus sat where he’d slid to the floor during all this. Debating whether he should laugh or cry. He was alone with two of his supposed worst enemies and they were acting as if he’d been friends with them throughout school. They had even let their guard down around him. Remus dropping the mask entirely, a mask that up until this moment he doubted anyone but Potter and Black knew he wore. He risked a glance at the boy in the tree, who was reading. Sirius was grinning wolfishly up at him, a steely glint in his eyes. Severus shivered remembering that look to well. A small smile then flitted across his face, lighting it up. He supposed he should have been a true Slytherin and be storing information away to use later, or working out what Remus’ mystery was or how Sirius moved so smoothly. He was enjoying watching the two extremely attractive boys in front of him messing around though. He ducked his head, retreating behind a curtain of hair. He sighed to himself, he’d dropped the minor glamour he wore daily as soon as he’d stepped into the clearing, and now wondered if that had been the right thing to do.
Deciding he was going to need help at getting back at Remus, Sirius turned to look at the other boy in the clearing with them. He stopped to take in the sight of Severus elegantly sprawled in the place he’d dropped to, the other boy not having moved from the last time he’d looked over. Severus’ hair had fallen forward, hiding most of his face, but what Sirius could see was smooth, unblemished, pale skin gilded by the sun, and he frowned. The hair he mocked in public as greasy was down to the other boy’s mid back and looked silky and thick, and he longed to touch. As if sensing the Gryffindor’s eyes on him, Severus looked up. Sirius stepped back in shock, the boy in front of him looked healthy. No shadows under his eyes, no unhealthy pallor. The normal cold black eyes, glinted black-blue, and Sirius was captivated more than he’d ever thought possible. The Slytherin, unused to been the one watched, pulled back slightly, worry flashing briefly through his eyes, though the rest of his face remained immobile. Sirius felt a flicker of guilt, and was very conscious of trying to put the other boy at ease. Wondering how to go about it, inspiration hit. He grinned, and cocking his head at Remus, brought an elegantly, manicured finger to his lips. This caused the Slytherin boy to grin back in hesitation, showing a flash of white teeth, this grinned changed his whole face, and Sirius stared. Noticing the other boy grow uncomfortable, and slide his hands into his pockets, Sirius blinked and smiled gently. This caused Severus to quirk an eyebrow at him, and at Sirius’ answering chuckle he rose and walked cautiously over to him. Sirius noticed the slight hesitation in the Slytherin boy’s movements and mentally slapped himself. He perched on his rock and shuffled to make room for Severus. Seeing him hesitate he patted the rock next to him. Marvelling at how easy the other had become to read in the short space they had been here, Sirius failed to notice Severus moving slowly to sit beside him. A sharp poke in the ribs had him glancing up sharply, and as stormy grey-silver eyes met hooded blue-black eyes, he saw a spark of mischief to match any of the Marauders.
Remus looked down and saw the two dark heads bet together whispering and couldn’t help the grin that slid over his features, although he carefully didn't listen to them. A thought rose unbidden to his mind and with a sigh and a shake of his head he settled down into his book again.
It was about an hour later, a silent hour later that Remus glanced down again. His interest only raised from his book ‘Animagus: Rare and Natural Abilities’ by a slight cramp in his right calf that told him his injuries from last full moon hadn’t fully healed. Growling quietly to himself, he felt the wolf offer up an apology and firmly stamped it down. Shifting his weight to the left leg, he looked down at his two companions. He raised one eyebrow at what he saw. Sometime during his reading, the boys had moved from the rock to the forest floor, and were lying sprawled rather inelegantly, with sheets of parchments spread between them. As he watched them interact, Severus seemed to be disagreeing with something Sirius was writing. A potion worn hand grabbed the quill and rapidly started sketching. He looked more closely at the Parchment spread between them, it was all covered in sketches, and writing both in a neat, analytical, hand and curvatious, scribed hand. Watching the two boys intently, Remus noticed a grin on both face. Recognising that grin as a mischievous one on his friend, he became intrigued in spite of himself. Tucking his book carefully into his bag and pocketing his wand, he leapt lightly down from his branch. At this movement Severus looked up.
Seeing that they had Remus’ attention Severus touched the back of Sirius’ hand softly, and upon the other boy ignoring this reached out and slapped him around the back of his head. This was so like how Remus acted when he was ignore that Sirius jumped, glaring at Severus, who just chuckled and jerked his head in Remus’ direction, then went back to what he was writing. Sirius turned to look at his friend and very maturely stuck his tongue out. His mind filled with images and thoughts Remus tried very hard to squash, merely tipped his head at him. Sirius’ desire at getting revenge on Remus had evaporated when their Slytherin companion had started writing down pranks he had been working on but could not pull because of whom he was. He looked at Remus again and waved him over knowing his friend could find any flaws in the plans and could apply his brain to some of the sticking points they’d found. Remus quickly took the invitation and seemingly casually flopped to the ground next to the other to boys. Sitting crossed legs he reached out a hand and pulled some of the parchments towards him. Glancing down them his eyebrows rose and he looked at Sirius, who shook his head and pointed at Severus. Laughing aloud at the situation and startling, the others somewhat Remus threw himself fully into the discussion. As he read each plan, he noticed that several had been aimed at specific people rather than just a group of people. Added to this was the fact some of these pranks were too sophisticated compare to a typical Marauders’ prank. He frowned and explained this to the other. Who threw themselves into finding a solution. It was Severus and Remus combined who came up with a solution. They would pull the pranks without Peter, who Remus really did not like, but deny any claim for them. In return, the Marauders would pull another prank, back. The idea being to make the school think there were two pranksters in the school, and with some of the new pranks Sirius and Severus had come up with you could tell the dividing line. The two Marauders and Severus had a plan to rock Hogwarts.
Anyone watching, would have seen three friends laughing and joking, surrounded by schoolwork, enjoying a late hot day. A second look however would have shown subtle touches, shy glances and the beginnings of flirtatious conversation that interspersed the three plotting teenagers’ interactions. Regardless of the time, and forgetting that they had promised their friends they would be back in time for dinner, the three boys stayed like this until after dark. Not wanting to go back to reality and the acting, Severus cast a warming spell around them. Not wanting to go back to being watched and playing the game Sirius conjured up small light globes to illuminate the clearing, and these floated gently around the three boys bathing them in soft light. Remus the ever sensible one around others and fed up of what he called his freak show of having to act normal, pulled his bag towards them and pulled out a bottle. Three pairs of eyes met, as he held this out. Glowing amber eyes with flecks of green met stormy silver grey and hooded blue black eyes, as three faces split into identical grins.
AN: Harry potter and friends belong solely to JK Rowling, a fact I want to cry about.
Chapter Ten A Long Lonely Night
Night had fallen fully over the school and grounds of Hogwarts. The glowing moon casting a silver light over the stone castle and its undulating well manicured grounds. The students were supposedly all safely tucked up in bed, and all bar one of the professors had, with relieved sighs, returned to their rooms to enjoy a nightcap and an early relaxing evening. However, out in the grounds, in the wilds on the edge of the Forbidden Forest three students were rapidly becoming boisterous.
In the hidden clearing Remus, Severus and Sirius had decided; after their first shared bottle of the bottles Remus had stashed in his bag; to spend the night under the stars.
Remus was back on his tree branch, resting lightly on his haunches and grinning wolfishly down at the two raven haired Adonis like males on the grassy floor beneath him. The alcohol unlocking his wild streak that he kept carefully hidden in his human form. Snatches of an ancient bawdy drinking song slipped from between his lips, the timbre of his voice causing the rumbling to be unheard by his companions. His normally neat auburn touched hair curled gently at the nape of his neck ruffling in the warm autumn breeze, his amber eyes glowed in his shadowed face, and as he sung glimpses of brilliant white teeth appeared unnaturally sharp in the moonlight. His shirt had been discarded and still lay on the ground beside his rucksack and his deeply tanned skin glowed where the moonlight filtering through the boughs of the tree touched it. His slender, muscled well-knit frame staying easily on his perilous perch despite having consumed the better of a bottle and a half of hard liquor.
Sirius was lying on his back, head pooled on his arms gazing at the stars, the pale light reflected in the black depths of his eyes. The bare, pale skin of his face, forearms and throat seemed to shimmer in the gentle silver light. His black hair splayed out around him in a dark parody of a halo, caressing the grass as the gentle breeze shifted its ebony length. The alcohol had caused in him a giggly state, in stark contrast to his normally hard-earned reputation of a brooding, mysterious man. Every so often his full mouth would turn up in a wicked grin in the direction of his friend in the ancient tree and the Slytherin come Maurder across from him.
Severus was sitting regally on the flat rock at the side of the clearing, in full moonlight. His white skin, pitch hair and jet black eyes, along the taunt muscles visible on his forearms and (courtesy of his shirt being half unbuttoned) bare chest, and the length of his limbs creating the image of an immortal come to rest. In one hand he held a sheaf of parchments and held loosely in the other a half-empty bottle of amber liquor. He indolently eyed the other boys of the clearing, whilst whistling an almost haunting melody.
Across the grounds, on a hidden embankment overlooking a magnificent lake, in which the stars and the moon reflected with starling clarity, lay two other students. The blond boy’s head cushioned on the well-muscled, bare chest of a tussled dark haired boy, his pale hand splayed across the warm skin under it. He tilted his head to better hear the song falling from the other’s lips, and the white golden strands of his hair whispered softly and glinted with the moonlight. His ice blue-silver eyes were closed, and an expression of contentment, satisfaction and happiness lay gently on his features. An almost unnoticeable shiver and a sprinkling of goose bumps arose on his bare skin when a callused, Quidditch worn finger gently traced down his arm.
His pillow had his deep grey eyes open and as he had rested his head on his left arm before the golden head had rested on his bare chest, his grey eyes gazed softly down at the relaxed ice-prince Slytherin. Their depths flickered with tenderness unheard of in the stubborn golden boy of Gryffindor. A feeling of deep-seated contentment had settled over the Gryffindor and he found himself softly singing an old wizard’s love ballad. He felt the shift of his companion and ran a soothing finger over the arm his free hand had been resting on. The fingers on his chest flexed minutely and he repressed a shiver of lust not wanting to spoil the moment.
The two had reached an understanding earlier in the day and had agreed to face problems together, as they came and deal with the big lot of stupid coming from a never-ending source of idiocy they would face with maturity and calmness. Both boys knew they would face opposition from not only the students, but probably most of the teachers (bar one when she knew they were serious) and definitely their parents. James chuckled as he remembered trying to convince Lucius that his parents were nothing compared to the Potters. They had finally agreed that they would need back up to tell both sets of parents and to maturely delay informing said parents for as long as physically possible.
A shiver ran through Lucius’ now sleeping frame and James grabbed the nearest robe and pulled it tenderly over his bare back and chest. Tuning into a more comfortable position, he drew the Slytherin boy tightly to him and followed him quickly into the land of dreams.
In an undecorated, sparsely furnished room a female of unknown age sat on the cold flag floor before a roaring fire. She was dressed in skin-tight caramel buckskin. The colour of the pants, boots and jerkin drawing in the light of the flames to add to its warmth. Her unblemished skin was still unwrinkled and despite her daily occupation had gained an even golden tan. Her waist length, brown-black hair hung loose, down her back, the firelight glinting auburn where a strand had fallen unnoticed over her shoulder. Her figure was neat, but should she have risen an observer would have noticed her startling height and well knitted muscular shoulders. As she shifted into a slightly more comfortable position, muscles rippled down her relaxed arms, toned stomach and crossed legs. The light of the flames cast her face into relief. It was a well-structured face, with delicate cheekbones, smooth brow and a well-proportioned mouth. Across her knees lay a long blade. The two handed sword was still sheathed, and the dark red almost black leather seemed to absorb the firelight. Like the female it seemed a simple weapon at first glance, but with closer observation it would appear as a work of art. The blade itself was a well sprung steel, light but strong, and down its length were emblazoned several copper runes. Its sharp edge honed by years of experience and its metal untainted by flaws despite long seasons of heavy use. The hilt and guard were gilded in bronze, worn smooth and burnished over the years, no imagery or adornment had ever graced them, their simple but flowing lines needing no embellishment. The grip was bound tightly with soft, well-worn leather, the colour of which had become undistinguishable over time. The sheath itself was of dark red brown leather, banded simple with bronze. The weapon was a thing of deadly beauty, and the master of the castle would have been horrified by its presence and disappointed with its owner.
A shuddering breath passed through the seated figure and her eyes snapped open, their brilliant mercury depths gazing into the flames. She bowed her head for a fraction of time, an invisible internal struggle taking place within her breast. Her head rose again and she placed her palms flat to the floor and pushed up, the weapon swinging into place beside her left leg. She fastened the leg harness, and with a quick wave of her hand dimmed the roaring flames to an ember. Stepping back into the darkness she swept a quick glance around her quarters before slipping down a hidden corridor.
In his office Albus Dumbledore muttered to himself. His busy eyebrows drawn sharply together in a displeased frown. His normally cheery countenance clouded with anger and concern. Albus like to be in control. He liked to be worshiped, to be the one person everyone listened to, the person everyone came to for advice. He had his plans and people were supposed to play the game his way. At this present moment in time something had been set in motion that did not fall in with his vision, his plans, and his game. It was this, which angered him. His concern came from the knowledge that in this instance and for the first time in decades he had no notion of what had (was?) happening nor of what it meant for his plans. So it was the great wizard Dumbledore brooded in his tower alone and fuming.
In the clearing two of the boys had passed beyond the rollicking stage and were well and truly foxed. They now dozed in liquor induced slumber, leaving the other in his boredom to gaze down at them. Remus was still balanced in the tree, his actions and brain unclouded by the strong, old whisky they had been consuming. Below him Sirius and Severus had at some point in the night drawn closer together and were now wrapped tightly around each other. The Werewolf shook his head in amused tolerance, knowing he could not sleep and that he needed to stand guard. Being this close to the forest held many dangers, and under the moon his protection spells were strong, but the horrors in the night were stronger.
He shifted restlessly on his branch. There was a storm coming, he could sense it with a growing disquiet in the back of his mind. He shook his shaggy hair from his eyes and narrowed them at the trees surrounding him. Carefully and unobtrusively he sniffed the air. He growled gutturally. There was no smell of sulphur, no smell of rain. This was not an elemental storm gathering, whatever was coming was not natural. He forced his shoulders back and focused, his useless human eyes closed to allow his other senses free reign. The were dark whispering deep in the forest, the air was calm and balmy, and his nose picked up wisps of smoke following the trails of unmoving air. He shifted into an attacking stance as his brain worked through the clues he had picked up. The creatures of the forest were restless, like him they could sense something coming to, so far they seemed to be content with staying in their lairs. The air was too calm, too balmy for the time of year Remus decided, by now the nights should be cold and the beginnings of mist and frost should be forming. The smoke was old, overlaid by the damp earth and old wood surrounding him. He examined the smell more deeply. It was wood smoke, but a thicker, heavier more sinister smell was mixed among it. Remus shook his head unable to place the smell in the innocence that lingered in his soul despite his curse.
A prickling at the nape of his neck made him stiffen. He was been watched. Someone had broken through his wards, yet left them intact. He deliberately relaxed his shoulders realising he had recognised the scent briefly. A mixture of Honeysuckle, wood smoke, old books, dark chocolate and ruby port caressed him and he allowed himself a moment. He opened his eyes and the wolf gazed out from behind green flecked amber eyes, changing them slowly to pure liquid gold. He dropped lightly and silently from the tree, before launching at a hidden shadow to his left. Their bodies hit with a muffled thud, and his leap propelled them beyond his wards. As they fell the watcher twisted so she ended astride Remus as they landed. Inhuman eyes battled for a long moment, as dangerous hand fell useless to rest on her waist, his chest. Shapely, yet hard feminine hand smoothed up Remus’ naked chest and he arched to the touch, a purr rolling in his throat. The woman astride him leaned forward, her forehead resting on his, their eyes never breaking contact. Remus dared move and ran a hand up her back to tangle in the dark hair that had fallen as a curtain around them. He ran a worn thumb around the shell of a delicate ear gaining him a gasp. She flexed her fingers, scoring her nails against his chest. He growled and returning his hand to her waist flipped her, so their positions were reversed and he was lying between her legs. He braced his hands either side of her head, feeling the softness of the thick hair that had splayed around her. She ran her hands up to his powerful shoulders. Their lips finally met in an explosive kiss.
It was this kiss that brought them both to their senses. Remus leapt up and back in horror dropping instinctively into a defensive crouch. She pulled her knees to her chest and rested her head there for an instant to steal herself for hurting him. She pushed into a standing position and glared at him. He relaxed his pose slightly at that, though, she noticed, never enough to be taken by surprise.
“I have a warning,” she hissed, “I was supposed to deliver the warning and leave, never get involved, be seen, be heard or be touched.” she paused and looked at the wolf in front of her. “Can you get a warning to Dumbledore?” Remus nodded tersely and she continued, “Good. Tell him the storm is about to break. Tell him the people of Hellavan have finally understood their prophecies. He will know what this means. You will tell him you heard this in a dream. Yes? Good.” she turned and went to leave the clearing, something stopped her and she walked back to the young man, laying a gentle hand on his chest. Pain ran through her when he did not respond, just looked at her with liquid golden eyes. “I will tell you something for you also. There are people other than your friends you can trust in the castle. People other than you who hide their power. I am sorry young one after tonight I hope you will never need see me again.” she whipped from his sight stifling a sob.
It was long after she left when Remus finally unbent, his joints cracking with the movement. Last night he had felt so young, now he just felt empty. The wolf had found its mate and she had left him bleeding, broken and alone in the forest. He raised his eyes skyward and noticed the sun had started to rise. He hitched his student mask in place, and striding back to the clearing donned his shirt before roughly waking the two still sleeping boys.
AN: I do not own Harry Potter the Universe is the creation of JK Rowling.
Chapter Eleven-A Warning Delivered. Part One.
Inside the castle of Hogwarts students were stirring and preparing to go about their weekend plans. Minevera McGonagall winced as she stepped into the brightness of the Great Hall, squinting up at the sunny ceiling she thanked every deity she knew that it was a weekend and so, for the present, relatively empty. As she reached the raised dais the headmaster greeted her cheerfully and with that damnable twinkle in his eye, deciding there was safety in silence she ignored him and reached for a jug of black coffee as she sank down. The man would not be deterred though and was rambling on in-what was to Minevera-an offensively cheery manner, she raised her head to glare at him and was forced to blink. The man had the nerve to wear-on a Sunday morning mind you-a hideously vibrant purple robe trimmed with primrose yellow. Abandoning her glare Minevera closed her eyes in disgust feeling the colours burned into her eye, the pounding in her head return full force and her gut start rolling.
Pushing sharply to her feet caused her to have to grip the table for several seconds, when her equilibrium returned she left the Great Hall rapidly, neither noticing or caring that she nearly flattened Peter Pettigrew and Narcissa Black. As she reached the main doors to escape the castle, she was brought up sharp, receiving a severe shock. She closed her eyes slowly and then opened them to peer carefully at the illusion, it had not changed, James Potter and Lucius Malfoy had sauntered in, having obviously spent the night under the stars. Not feeling up to trying to understand this alternative arrangement she merely smiled at them, transferring the shock back to the twosome, and upon seeing their surprised expressions felt mildly better. Not, however, well enough to return to the Great Hall and face the headmaster again, his rambling or his robes. So nodding to the two still silent boys, she slipped from the main doors and into the extensive grounds of Hogwarts, a slender hand to her temple.
Since she was focused on her search for somewhere shady, quiet and undisturbed she failed to notice three male figures sneaking into the castle via a supposedly secret side door, her eyes been cast to the floor she failed to notice one figure stop and gaze after her momentarily. Her feet finally carried her to a clearing at the edge of the Forbidden Forest and to her surprise; she detected magic warding carefully placed around its perimeter. Relaxing slightly as the magic welcomed hers, Minevera removed her outer robe, leaving her standing in knee length boots, clinging leggings, and a double layered velvet and silk low cut tunic, heedless of the state her robe would be in she dropped it to the ground at the base of a large tree, smiling gently as she heard it’s beading clatter gently. With very little effort and in contrast to the image she presented she pulled herself into a tree and manoeuvred quickly onto a well worn but comfortable branch. Settling against the sturdy trunk behind her Minevera started to carefully uncoil her intricately plaited hair, feeling strands fall free and small glass beads clink as she unpinned it. She sighed in relief as the head and neck ache lifted slightly as the mass of waist length dark hair swung free, resting her head against the bark behind her she tried to draw it’s peace around her like a blanket and failed. She had passed an uneasy night and had woken up in the previous night’s clothes, memories foggy, loneliness in her heart, cramp in her back and hips, along with a pounding headache. That the ache in her heart had something to do with her foggy memories and a sense of loss and shame that had lead her to drink was all she really knew of the night before. To proud to ask anyone for help she had changed and left her quarters without taking a pain-relieving potion, determined she would cope. Her lips quirked in a mocking smile as her eyes closed, maybe some sleep will help she thought. Maybe when I wake I will not feel so lonely. Thinking of the warmth that had embraced her as she stepped into the wards she slipped into sleep, firmly supported by the boughs of the tree, and a lone crystalline tear trickled down her cheek.
Severus and Sirius had been awoken by a bleary eyed Remus and were embarrassed to note they had fallen asleep wrapped around each other. When their heads cleared a little they noticed that when he was questioned Remus merely shrugged and kept repeating the need to return to the castle. Sirius noticed his friend’s haunted look had returned and cursing the nightmares of the past three months questioned him openly, cursing mentally as they had all thought the nightmares had receded recently. Remus merely looked at him with a grim smile and asked if they could please return to the castle before he fell asleep where he stood. Severus was looking puzzled so on the walk back to the castle Sirius explained-in whispers-how Remus never slept outside, preferring to be awake in case anything happened, and how he’d been more edgy than ever these past months. Remus, walking ahead, heard every word and beyond smiling grimly and mockingly did not correct his friend’s assumptions. Remus’ plan was simple. Loose the other two, make his way to the headmaster’s office, deliver the message, make good his escape and then spend however long it took looking for his mate. When they reached the castle Sirius dragged them round to a secret entrance, just as he was about to duck through the door a sweet scent reached Remus. The smell of old wood smoke mixed with honeysuckle, and sweat caused him to draw up sharply, he looked around in anticipation forgetting the words he’d heard last night for a few seconds, seeing no-one but his Head of House his wide shoulders slumped and he followed the other two boys into the cool of Hogwarts. His minor distraction had gone unnoticed and with Sirius basking in Severus’ admiration Remus was able to slip away undetected.
It took the two boys several minutes to notice his disappearance and then they shrugged and made their way to the Great Hall thinking he’d meet them their. They luckily bumped into Lucius and James in the Entrance Hall and since no one else was present all four boys smiled at each other before the two Slytherins entered the hall just before the two Gryffindors.
Albus had been overjoyed to see Minevera that morning, as she was a great debater with an intriguing, if set mind. He greeted her with enthusiasm, hoping she would distract him from his worries so he frowned slightly at her snub before throwing himself into a topic she would not be able to resist discussing. After several minutes of his one-sided conversation she had looked up, seemed to glare in disapproval at his robes before flouncing from the Great Hall nearly ploughing through two students. Albus clucked to himself, he would have to talk to her about these dramatics, she was very touchy at the minute about everything. He drifted into a brown study again and so failed to register that his drivel over house unity was at work where three sets of students were concerned.
Albus had been sitting with his chin on his hand for several minutes when he felt his office wards chime and a charred piece of parchment landed on his cold eggs. his bushy eyebrows rose as he read the name. Remus Lupin had voluntarily gone to his office. He must have been doing something right as the boy normally avoided him at all costs, in fact had never come to him about anything. He rather suspected the Head of Gryffindor House deliberately made sure the brats in her care either went directly to her with their problems or were too independent. Albus whistled merrily to himself as he walked to his office. He had something else to berate Minevera about.
At the top of the moving staircase he rearranged his face into a more sympathetic mien. He pushed open the door and stepped into the room, looking around impatiently for Remus Lupin. He became annoyed as he noticed that the boy, despite clearly hearing his entrance, had ignored the door opening preferring to keep talking to Fawkes, the stupid phoenix. Albus cleared his throat and sat himself regally behind his desk waiting as the Lupin child muttered nonsense to the bird. The boy was, he reckoned, probably a savage so it was only fair to not expect him to have manners, but the phoenix belonged to him how dare it ignore him for the wolf boy. Albus was startled when the phoenix let out an angry trill and landed protectively on the boy’s shoulder, glaring at his master. Remus approached the desk and stood over the headmaster looking down at him coolly with amber eyes. Just shy I expect, thought Albus, missing Fawkes’ scoff.
He turned on the grandfatherly twinkle and beamed at the young Gryffindor. “Remus my boy.” he exclaimed, “what a delight it is to see you. Have a seat my boy, have a seat!” He gushed, “would you care for a cup of tea son? Maybe a lemon drop.” Albus trailed off noticing the young werewolf had neither moved nor responded to his prattle. In fact Remus was merely staring at him with those harsh golden eyes and gently petting Fawkes, who was still perched on his shoulder.
As Albus watched Remus’ face became as cold as his eyes and he leant forward, placing both callused hands on the headmaster’s desk. His presence cowed Albus and the wolf in Remus seemed to sense this as a fleeting sneer crossed his face. Fawkes crossly nipped his finger, causing the young wolf to chuckle, “Sorry Fawkes, just couldn’t help it.” The phoenix seemed satisfied, but Albus was left wondering what it was the young Gryffindor could not help. Remus wandered away to the Phoenix’s perch and coaxed him onto it with gentle words and soft whispers. He stood with his back to the headmaster, mulling over the advice he had received just before the man had wandered into the room. He gently ruffled Fawkes’ feathers in thanks and strode across to the headmaster.
AN: I do not own Harry Potter that right and privilege belong to J K Rowling.
Remus looked the headmaster over carefully, obviously weighing him up, and Albus bristled slightly at the caviller treatment. Before he could comment, Remus started to talk. “Right I do not really want to be here old man, but a promise is a promise no matter who it was made to or where it was made, so I will get this out of the way as quickly as I can.” Remus stopped when he noticed the headmaster’s triumphant gleam and resolutely bit back a growl, settling instead for a wolfish grin. He leant his knuckles on the desk and angled his body towards the headmaster, the wolfish grin showing white teeth never leaving his face and his eyes hard. “Firstly, headmaster” he sneered the title, “you will not be blaming Professor McGonagall for my not wanting to be around you.” Remus smirked at the headmaster’s expression, “I just do not really like you all that much. Well I really have not liked you since you went on to my mother about how big a deal it was for me to be accepted into Hogwarts and how grateful we should be to you. Strange how you then proceeded to charge her the highest rate of fees…those normally reserved for the richest ranks of wizarding society. Do not worry though headmaster I have revealed to no one how manipulative you really can be, the sad thing is my mother really is grateful for my chance. I need to ask though if you knew that there are only four adults in this castle I need to be grateful for? Did you know there are only four adults in this castle I am grateful too? I will even save you the trouble of guessing who. Madame Pompfry, Professor McGonagall, Mr. Filch and Hagrid.” Remus paused to allow this to sink in, snarling slightly at the incredulous look the headmaster was giving him. “No, old man, do not shake your head at me. It I those four and those four only who have shown me any compassion, kindness and occasionally even understanding. They do not pity or judge me, they see me for who I am and not just the wolf. All of the other adults-yes even including yourself-either fear me, are disgusted by me or pity me, occasionally all three. So no professor don’t you dare blame Professor McGonagall for my not wanting to see you."
Remus stopped, pausing to catch his breath and noticed Dumbledore was slightly grey. He sighed internally and conjured a cup of hot, weak sugary tea for the headmaster. Placing it in front of the old man, he repressed another sigh knowing he was doing this all for a ghost of a memory. He knew Fawkes, his head of house Professor McGonagall, the school’s med witch Poppy Pomp fry (he had trouble calling her Madame when she had seen him at his worst monthly for nearly six years) and many others he cared about would be highly disappointed in him if he allowed the headmaster to be taken by shock. Waiting until the old man had finished most of the tea, gave Remus time to go over his story again.
“Headmaster?” The old man looked up at him with sharp blue eyes, are you ok now?” The headmaster nodded and Remus looked him over carefully, “would you like me to tell you the real reason I am here?” the headmaster nodded again and Remus flopped with animal grace into a chair rubbing his hands distractedly over his face feeling two days worth of stubble. Aware of the headmaster watching his every move Remus looked up and fought back a grimace at the really, really bright robes the old man was wearing. He closed his eyes for a second to try and ward off the headache that was building at the back of his skull then began tiredly. He could hear his voice now dull, with out any hint of anger or emotion fill the room and focused on what he needed to get across. “I will start at the beginning then headmaster, it will make things easier for you at least. It all started about four months ago. The first month wasn’t too bad for anyone involved bar myself. It is after all easy to hide nightmares and dream shadows when you have practice of hiding darker secrets. The only one I think coming close to knowing something was wrong that month was Professor McGonagall, but that woman is highly unusual and did not bug me about it. I know she was keeping a close eye on me but she would not and has never interfered unless we need her. The nightmares and dream shadows were nothing new, but it was the subject matter and frequency of them that got me. I normally have nightmares about what my wolf could do. But the pain in these dreams was real. The silver sharp and cold, the flames hot and bright, the shadow dark and so, so real.” Remus shudder unnoticed by the headmaster, “yet I had a strange feeling it was not my pain or fear I was experiencing. The next moon-about three months ago- I was in the infirmary after the full moon and thought I had woken up. A young lady was there and she felt of copper and wood smoke. I called out to her desperate to find out what was going on, she turned to look at me, she was deathly white, and her eyes they were dead. They were the eyes of someone who has seen too much horror lived through to much. I became frightened when she did not move or speak and called for Po…Madame Pompfry as I was restrained. This seemed to reach something inside her for she reached a pleading, an almost comforting hand out to me before she started to fade and the blackness claimed me. I awoke the next morning to Po…Madame Pompfry fussing about me. Apparently my vital signs had gone haywire during the night and she hadn’t been able to wake me.” Remus frowned, “I really do not like worrying her headmaster and I felt so guilty, the woman has a heart of gold. The nightmares continued that month and the moon was terrible, however when It happened again the night after the full moon my respect for Madame Pompfry made me try to change my reactions to it. I lay stock still when I awoke and tried to keep my heart rate and breathing slow and steady.”
Remus paused for breath on a well timed sob, feeling his heart constrict and eyed the headmaster wearily. Dumbledore was leaning forward, both elbows on the desk fascinated by the story. Remus did not dare look at Fawkes and yet desperately wished the bird could sense his need for some comfort, some help in calming the distraught wolf. He drew a shakey breath before continuing, surprising himself when his voice stayed calm. “Sorry headmaster. It was worse that time tough. I could hear flames and see their shadows dancing on the walls. I could vaugely hear voices, but it was like a badly tuned radio and the kept fading in and out, I could not make out words but the voices sounded pleading. The young woman was there again, but her appearance had changed. Before she had looked pristine if terrified now she was dishevelled. Her clothes were torn in places and she had a smudge of ash across her cheek. The terror was still behind her eyes but they burnt with anger and longing. She looked as if she would give everything to protect something she cared for. She reached a hand to me and touched my face with cool fingers and I had merely seconds to notice she was trying to say something when a shadowy hand reached out of the darkness and pulled her away. Sir, it smelt wrong as well. Like burning, wood smoke, yet it had undercurrants of something darker, more acidic, more wrong.” Dumbledore flinched as Remus raised haunted eyes to his face, the wolf shining through and showing as much despair as the boy. “Every night since then my dreams have been filled with that smell, those pleading whispers, and shadows moving against flames. Did Madame Pompfry tell you I snapped my leg in the hospital ward the moon just gone, not in the shrieking shack.” Dumbledore shook his head, trembling and slightly grey. Remus flicked his wand impatiently refilling the tea cup. “Drink old man I am not going to continue until you do.” Remus watched the headmaster carefully, waiting until the trembling stopped and he had regained some colour. He allowed himself a moment to dwell on the young woman who had turned his world upside down the night before and wondered if she knew what she was asking him to do, wondered if she had been able to see the dreams behind his golden eyes, if she had known just what she had ripped from him as she melted away. He shook his head as he realised the headmaster was calming down, ruthlessly pushing any thoughts of his mate away.
Clenching his fingers around his wand he relished the feel of the rough wood against his palm and looked directly at the headmaster, “should I continue sir? Are you ok?” Watching Dumbledore nod in positive response to both questions Remus drew on the strength of the wolf, steeling himself to do what had to be done. “I dreamt about a storm that night sir. It was true it was raining and dark clouds rolled overhead, but this was a different kind of storm. The kind that has not been seen in any of our lifetimes, yours or mine. This was the storm of war, magical flames rose high consuming all in their path, the rain not quelling them and the wind whipping them to greater frenzy. Their violet, green and blue flames casting long shadows and illuminating scenes I never ever wish to see again. There was screaming both human and not, the sound of hooves, flashes of metal, and flashes of spells, all dying eerily into silence. Their was a great host of men in armour, the hooves of their steeds as deadly as their arms. A massacre, thousands of innocent lives must have been lost for the majestic fighting valiantly to protect them to the children caught in the centre of the storm. Whispers in my ear of a prophecy of sorts. I was in the middle of this all. The only dream I have ever left my bed. I snapped my leg trying to escape a rider sir. He was coming right at me. Even though deep down I knew it was a dream I had tried to help. I couldn’t not. Anyone who saw those scenes would have tried to help. Anyone. I had stopped to try and help children. Toddlers sir, maybe two or three years old at the most, the young woman I had been seeing in my dreams lay dead in front of them. Her throat had been slit, “Remus stopped, ignoring the tears running down his face, he felt his wolf growl deep in his chest and he straightened his back his voice turning deadly. “If I ever, I do not care if it was a dream or not, I mean this. Anyone who so much as raises a hand to an infant again when I am there to witness it will be lucky to walk away.” in that instant Remus looked every inch the dangerous creature the wizarding world saw him as, the wolf seriously annoyed at been unable to help even dream children looked out from behind the cage of human flesh and changes stared to occur unnoticed by the headmaster, but felt by Remus as talons started to cut into his palms. He shook his head and returned to the story. “I had picked the children up and made to run with them when I was caught up in the middle of a great many men with weapons I twisted to avoid them and staggered into the path of a mounted man who rode at me with murder and hatred in his blue eyes. I could hear those children crying and it broke my heart. I knew I couldn’t out run this horse but still I had to make an effort. It is kind of really blurry after that and I am somewhat glad. I don’t think I could have come back as myself if I had seen those children murdered in front of me. Whether they were really or not. I think Poppy’s dreading the next moon.” Remus paused to collect himself, as both he and the headmaster failed to notice the use of the school medi-witch’s given name. “I nearly hurt her that time sir. I did break Mr. Filch’s arm. Poppy was nearly hysterical and I broke down in tears when I came to. I cried over her like a homesick firsty”
Remus scowled remembering the cuff to the back of his head and Mr. Filch’s gentle mocking, showing him he was forgiven for this act. “the dreams stopped after that though sir. Well they had stopped up until last night. We’d all gone to bed quite late and I had for once fallen asleep almost immediately. It wasn’t scary this time, despite it looking like the same woman. I am ashamed to say I cursed at her at first but she some how managed to calm both the human and the wolf down. Said I had to get a message to you. I feel rather stupid for not asking more questions but I was so stumped that she knew who you were that I just did as I was told. She said I had to tell you that a storm is about to break. That the people of Hellavan-are they really a peoples sir?-have finally understood their prophecies. She also said you would understand any of what I just said. Please say you do headmaster because I am clueless.”
Remus stopped his recital, breathing hard. The headmaster looked ready to kill he thought. Standing he gathered the rest of his energies, “Sir? Headmaster may I leave now?” brilliant blue eyes looked with his and Remus’ mind instantly flew back to the rider in his dream, he pulled himself back to the present with effort and noticed the headmaster merely nodding in response so he fled the room. He noticed the sky turning to orange out of the large windows as he fled the room, and the dark mass gathering on the horizon. He reached the bottom of the stairs in record time and as the gargoyle closed softly behind him he leaned against the wall and scrubbed a tired hand through his hair. Deciding he was safer away from a murderous Albus Dumbledore, Remus pushed off the wall and staggered down the hall in search of the kitchens and the comforting presence of the school’s house elves.
AN: I do not own Harry Potter that is all Jk Rowling.
Chapter Thirteen: Time Suspended.
Albus sat unmoving for a long time after Remus had left. He knew he should care that the boy had repeatedly insulted him. He wanted to be angry at the boy’s obvious disgust but a cold hand of fear had gripped his spine with the child’s closing words. So the powerful wizard who was Albus Dumbledore sat alone in his office as night fell. A feeling of helplessness and rage washing over him.
Remus stumbled into the kitchens and was immediately surrounded by worried faces. He forced himself to smile reassuringly at his friends and greeted many of them by name as the group moved slowly towards one of the large benches. He had dropped all pretence at his humanity now and the wolf was the only thing keeping him upright. Yet even the wolf recognised these small, kind creatures as friends and made every effort towards them. It knew as well as the human part of his mind that they risked everything upon occasion to help him and that they did not fear or pity the human or the wolf, neither did they judge him. Instead they were helpful and supportive when they needed help, they had goaded Remus when he had not wanted to continue, they had calmed the wolf and supported him in mind and body. Remus collapsed onto the hard wooden benches letting himself relax slightly and ignoring a nagging doubt in his mind that he had missed something. He smiled chillingly up at the nearest House elf, who instead of recoiling merely chuckled and set down a large earthen mug of steaming, creamy hot chocolate in front of him. He could not help himself and chuckled back at her. “Thank you Vetch,” he croaked out, his throat sore from so much talking, “have I told you I love you.”
Vetch stopped as she was walking away and turned to look quizzically at Remus, before placing both hands on her hips and smiling at him. “What are you whittering on about Master Wolf?” She squeaked, mischief written clearly across her features and yet only barely disguising her worry about the state of the young man in front of her. “You is crazy. Now stop talking nothings Master Wolf and let Vetch feed you up. We all be noticing you getting skinny. To skinny for wolf to be,” she grinned at him, “we was getting all upset and thought you had forgotten us Master Wolf. Then Pickles heard Old Coot you been having nasty dream shadows Master Wolf so we’s got in lots of your favourites for you’s when you felt you need them. Now Vetch going to get apple pie out of oven and make sure Pickles not burnt the custard.” She grinned toothily at the shocked expression and left to do exactly as she said.
Used to Vetch’s teasing Remus soon pulled himself together and happily devoured the pie set down in front of him by the motherly elf. She perched on the edge of the table opposite him and chatted merrily away, catching him up on all the kitchen gossip he had missed over the last month. Letting him know that Booty, who was an old elf and quite one of Remus’ favourites, had -despite been offered retirement by the Old Coot-stayed on and told him to leave him alone. Remus flung down his fork and rushed to the old elf pulling her into a huge hug, ignoring the squeaking protest to behave himself he burst into tears on the old elf’s shoulder. She instantly went into mother mode on him and cuddled him until he hiccupped into calm again.
A flash brought them out of Remus’ bubble of misery and they looked up at a solemn Vetch who was holding a camera, “What,” she squeaked, “it was sweet moment. Promise no one else will get picture master wolf.”
Remus smiled watery at her and after one last hug to Booty pushed to his feet unsteadily, the old elf laying a supporting hand on his knee. He stooped to hug Vetch and whisper a quiet thank you in her ear, before waving a subdued goodbye to the rest of the elves gathered in the kitchen. Stumbling slightly he turned his feet in search of the common room desperate for bed, and unable to ignore the headache pounding in his temples any longer. His vision started to blur and he was fighting the urge to simply lie down and go to sleep in the corridor. He reached the portrait and stumble through gratefully not questioning why she did not ask for the password before flopping face first onto the nearest couch, where he instantly fell asleep.
When Minevera awoke she felt slightly more rested, but the loneliness and headache remained. Scowling she slid from the branch, collected her robe and draped it over her arm failing to notice a gentle tinkle indicating one of her braids had come loose. She trudged tiredly back up to the castle and her quarters. Sighing in relief she as she finally stepped through her portrait hole, grimacing as she realised she hadn’t redone her hair into it’s usual strict looking bun to hide her braid she threw her robes onto the back of her chair with a sigh glad she had not bumped into anyone and accepting that at least there was no damage done to her reputation this time. She could feel herself relaxing slightly as the loneliness fled slightly with the return to her quarters, the heartache receding. However she realised that this left her to dwell on an excruciating headache and nearly overwhelming sleepiness. A snuffle drew her attention and she peered cautiously over the back of her couch. Her face softened as she took in the rumpled, tearstained form curled up defensively even in their sleep. Chuckling softly she shook out a warm blanket and covered them, before departing to her private rooms. She would let the poor thing sleep and if they wanted too, they could escape in the morning. She would not embarrass them for the world. Just this once she thought sleepily as she stripped off, just this once. Yawning she sank onto her bed and was asleep as soon as her head hit the pillows.
Filius Flitwick had had rather a trying day. He had awoken with a niggling headache, which in his usual good cheer he had assumed would go after a nice bacon sandwich and a peaceful cup of earl grey tea. However his plans for a peaceful breakfast had vanished when he reached the Great Hall and realised he had over slept and it was full of students. Sighing softly he made his way to the staff table thanking what ever deity he could currently call to mind that the headmaster wasn’t there and so he would be spared having to deal with the obnoxiously cheerful man and his distinct lack of taste in clothing. This luxury was soon overcast when he realised his good friend and colleague Minevera was not at the breakfast table and he would have to deal with over a hundred noisy children without her calming company. Disaster averted he had decided to go for a walk down to Hagrid’s cabin to visit his old friend and had promptly lost his balance on the top step and rolled the rest of the way. He had sat on the ground for a good ten minuets after that resisting the urge to cry and just go back to bed. Wondering where his sudden and unexpected despondency had appeared from he had persevered and made his way down to the large hut, deciding that at least the new aches and pains overshadowed his headache. He had waited at the hut for a good two hours before giving up in a huff and stomping back to the castle. He had promptly been weigh laid by Professor Slughorn and had spent two hours trying to escape the man’s company. He raced for his office when he escaped silently cursing himself for being far to polite and slammed the door. Sinking into his modified chair, he poured himself a large glass of his favourite muggle made whisky and knocked it back in seconds. Closing his eyes, he forced himself to calm before pouring himself another glass. One that he sipped this time. Feeling chilly, he got a fire going and pulled a stack of assignments towards him mind bent on getting some marking finished. Before he got half way through the first assignment he was asleep.
Hagrid was cursing his luck. He knew he should be thankful for even having a job but today he really just wanted to go back home, curl up in front of a fire-and yes he knew it was still warm out thank you very much but he wanted a fire-with a large bar of Honeyduke’s best whole nut chocolate, a large mug of hot sweet tea and one of those muggle romance books to pass the time. Instead he was in the middle of the Forbidden Forest arguing with a board looking centator-named Blaze or something-fighting a headache and backache. He fought down the urge to cry reminding himself that he was actually honoured that the centaurs liked him enough to interact civilly with him. This became harder and harder to do as they went round and round in circles. After five hours they finally came to an agreement on the harvesting of herbs from the centaur’s section of the forest and Hagrid headed home in a rather large huff. He felt battered and in no way wanted company yet when he spotted Filius tiny form heading back up to the castle he felt a rush of annoyance at the stubborn centaur and at Albus Dumbledore for forcing that job on him. He clattered about the kitchen and set the kettle on to the fire, his mood improving slightly upon finding his last lavender poultice and a large bar of chocolate in the dresser. Setting the poultice to warm by the fire he dragged a large chair into place, and dug out an untouched novel, he smiled as he ran a large finger down it‘s spine remembering Lissel‘s expression of disgust when she found out he liked to read them. The kettle was soon whistling and after pouring himself a large mug of tea, slapping the hot poultice on his aching back he relaxed into the chair, reading and nibbling until sleep over took him and the book dropped from his loose grasp.
Frank Longbottom and Alice Smith were relaxing by the lake watching the Giant Squid swim lazily in the sunlight. They were enjoying each other’s company as being from different houses they saw very little of each other. Frank was laughing at her slightly teasing her new hair cut and she was giggling, defending it from where she lay propped against his knees. She knew it looked strange to a pure blood but Frank was very accepting and his teasing was a show of this acceptance. She ran a hand through her short pixie crop ruffling it further and making the streaks of pink and violet catch the sun. Frank chuckled and pressed a kiss to her for head before leaning back lazily against a tree trunk his own fingers gently carding through her hair, lulling her to sleep.
Sirius, Severus, James and Lucius had met together at the Slytherins’ cliff top retreat after a hearty breakfast and were at first inclined to merely relax in each other’s company. Sirius and Severus were studious in avoiding the eyes of James Potter. James had not noticed this fact yet as he was carding his fingers through Lucius’ hair occasionally scrapping his nails along the blonde’s delicate scalp and chuckling as he tried to bite back his moans. Despite being distracted Lucius had noticed the two dark haired boy’s renitence and had started to grill them, soon all boundaries were down and they were all laughing and joking as if they had been friends for years. Lucius leaning in for kiss from James made Sirius stop and stare, but made Severus chuckle and relax into the side of the other dark haired boy. It was not until after dinner that they guiltily started to worry about Remus. They split ways after dinner with Lucius giving James’ hand a reassuring squeeze and Severus placing a gentle kiss on Sirius’ cheek. The two Gryffindors sat up late into the night waiting for Remus to show, due to their worry it was after three by the time they fell into a fitful slumber. Little realising that in the Slytherin dorms Severus and Lucius were in the same state. Their bonds even after such a short time strengthening beyond recognition.
Poppy Pompfry had had a relaxing Sunday. No one had gotten into fights in the corridors. Frank had not managed to injure himself. There had been no quid ditch matches or practices, so no injuries. It was not a full moon and the four marauders had stopped pranking recently. Yes she decided as she changed for bed it had been a relaxing day. She had strolled around the grounds, sorted her herb and potions cupboard. Organised all her notes and managed to read a medical journal. Yet as she climbed into her soft white bed, she could not shake an ominous feeling that she was w witness to the calm before a serious storm. One in which she would be in the centre of, one in which she would not see another day like this one and a storm that she was not sure she would come out of the other side unscathed. She ran a gentle hand over her smooth black hair and frowned down at the pale blue-white embroider on the white throw, remembering the day Minevera had presented it to her, and bit back a sob. A lone tear tracked down her face as her heritage threw yet more dark images at her. She straightened her back suddenly, fire burning in her dark eyes. Anyone who attempted to hurt those under her care would suffer. She would bring the storm to them. This thought calmed and comforted her and she finally slipped into an uneasy sleep.
Madame Pince was worried. She had had a quiet day but she was worried. She had watched the young Remus Lupin grow pale and quiet over the last few months. There had even been times she had fought against herself to go to Minevera or Poppy to demand that one of them helped the young man. Despite how strict she was she had a soft spot for the young lycanthrope and it had saddened her to think no one was doing anything to help. It was an occurrence two weeks ago that had stopped her from confronting those formidable women. She had made her weekly visit down to the Great Hall for dinner and had, due to her own suspicions caught their hidden apprehensive looks at the younger man, as well as Minevera’ s own look of mingled hope and fear. So she had held back. The next couple of weeks had seen the youngster improve and he had reverted to his pleasant, polite and rather mischievous self. She quite enjoyed her conversations with Remus and had started to look forward to her discussions on a Sunday with the lad. He had seen her as her own person, seen through her mask almost straight away in first year. Respected her privacy and drew her out into discussions on subjects he somehow knew attracted her. She missed her Sunday treat during the summer holidays, it was only ever the summer holidays she was alone then. The young man even dragging himself out of bed on Christmas day and the days after a full moon to come to the library and hold discussions with her. He even shunned spending snow days or brilliantly sunny days out of doors to spend his Sundays with a dried up, mainly bitter old woman that she was becoming. She sighed as she closed down the library for the night. Yes she was worried. Remus had not shown up at all today and after his decline that had finished just weeks earlier she had had the physically stop herself from causing a scene. Reminding herself that she was just the librarian and had no business embarrassing the lad she resolved to go down to lunch the following day to discreetly check on him. If he was ok then she would have to realise that she had over reacted. Yes she would be slightly hurt, but he was a teenager no matter how much older he acted at times. If he was not ok she would personally hunt down who was causing him pain. She hoped it was the first option but at the back of her mind and deep in her heart she had a shadow of foreboding.
Argus Filch sighed deeply to himself as he leant against the walls of Hogwarts enjoying a peaceful smoke. He was dwelling on one of the few happy moments of his life, and there were only a few to dwell on. His youth had not been happy, struggling under the weight of an impoverished family, nursing an ailing mother and drunken father he had turned down a sponsored place at Durmstrang. He had spent his teenage years teaching himself at the wizarding library until his sixteenth birthday when a fire at his home had destroyed what little life he had in the cold wastes. His mother, father and home had been destroyed in one fell swoop. He stooped to working in the muggle world, digging coal for a pittance. He had had his first happy moment not long after that tragedy. He received a letter from Albus Dumbledore and had come to Hogwarts to train as it’s handyman. He had trained alongside a grounds keeper called Hagrid and was pleasantly surprised by the other youngster. They had made fast friends and even now met up for drinks once a month to swap tales. Soon after that a young lady had joined as the librarian and he had fallen head over heels for her. She was aloof but had unbent enough to allow both Hagrid and himself into her confidences. Argus smiled to himself, his whole face softening, that woman was something. His third truly happy moment was when he met the young werewolf Remus Lupin. That boy was something else entirely. Completely loyal and warm hearted the youngster had instantly charmed Argus out of his grumpy state. Argus chuckled the brat had used it to his advantage often enough and wormed his way out of the trouble his housemates ended up in simply because Argus knew the young wolf respected him. The dreams the young lad had been having in the hospital wing worried him. As if the boy did not have enough to suffer under, and Argus admitted he was proud of the lad the way he held up, somebody was sending him stinking dream shadows. Drawing his lips back Argus snarled gutturally. It would no doubt amaze the students and half of the teachers, the ones who thought he was a squib, but he had always been able to sense magic and it’s intentions. The magic surrounding the young lycanthrope was friendly in it’s intent but it was causing his young friend harm and that Argus would not stand for. He threw the butt of his tab away and pushed off the wall, stalking away to lock the castle down for the night, worry gnawing at the back of his mind.
AN:I do not actually own Harry Potter I just wish I did, it actually belongs to J K Rowling.
Chapter Fourteen -So Tired.
Remus awoke the next morning feeling as if he was coming down with a severe case of flu. Knowing from experience how much sleep had helped him recover form injuries and infections in the past he figured it was the same with illness, he rolled over and promptly fell off the couch. He lay for a few minutes looking at the impressive parquet flooring in front of his nose before his sleep-hazed brain realised the Gryffindor common room had carpet floors. He unsteadily pushed to his feet, leaning on the back of the couch for support and clutching the warm blanket that had been covering around his shoulders. His bleary eyes took in the surroundings. There was a cherry wood desk topped with rich forest green leather and a carver chair behind it made of the same materials, and bronze looking studs holding the leather seat cover in place. The desk stood mostly empty, bar a row of neatly arranged coloured inks and a blue-green swirled glass vase filled with an assortment of quills. A cherry wood and brass coat and umbrella stand stood to one side of the door, currently devoid of any garments. Remus frowned as he took in the rest of the room. The top half was of what looked to be rough plaster and was painted in a pale golden green colour reminding him of light through a tree canopy, while the bottom half was clad in wood and painted a deep forest green. A thin rail ran round the top of the woodwork and that the door, and doorframe seemed to be painted in a cross between the two colours. Remus could feel himself relaxing slightly. The Parquet flooring was in a pale almost caramel coloured wood and had a gold and green embroidered cream silk rug lying on it in front of a large cream marble and green glazed tile fireplace and hearth. On the hearth stood a large deep green glass vase overflowing with delicately scented, pink and cream honeysuckle. A carved cherry wood side table sat between a green and gold embroidered cream velvet couch and chair. At the windows hung long lengths of creamy voile, with a green and gold leaf pattern embroidered on them. The curtain pole was bronze. His eyes swept the room again, noticing a crystal decanter sat on the side table filled with a deep, rich looking port, a full bookcase, (full of ancient looking texts that he was itching to examine despite his situation,) hidden behind another long curtain, similar to those at the windows. A robe across the back of the chair caught his eye, and he leaned in close to examine it. The robe itself was made of a crumpled, almost creased emerald died velvet, with peridot and malachite chips sown around the hems. Adorning the robes on the left hand side, where it would sit just above the heart was a golden and bronze broach in the shape of a thistle. Remus stiffened in embarrassment, shock flooding his mind as awareness came to him. His mouth dropped and he made a dash for the door, after a couple of seconds fumbling the latch gave and he rushed from the room, not realising he was still gripping the blanket tightly around his shoulders. He did not stop running until he reached the Fat Lady’s portrait, a stitch in his side letting him know that all was not well with him. The Fat Lady smiled indulgently at him and swung open with out waiting for a password all the while tutting gently to herself.
Luckily for his state of mind Remus made it through the common room with out being accosted. Although he noticed a red headed girl in his year raise her eyebrows in question at him. She was easily brushed off as he staggered up the stairs to his dorm room, praying his friends were still asleep. He had not counted on the latish hour of the morning and as he literality fell through the door, two pairs of hands reached out to catch him before he face planted the floor. His friends worried faces swam sickeningly in front of his vision for a few seconds as he pulled the blanket closer around his shoulders, tottered to the bed and closed his eyes. He was thankful that he was allowed to remain like this for a several minuets, letting the whispering of Sirius and James wash over him and sooth him down from his adrenalin rush. Without warning he felt his stomach revolt and he rushed into the bathroom dropping the blanket on his way. When he walked out nearly a full fifteen minuets later he winced to see his friends looking at him, with faces blank but eyes full of worry. Sirius was clutching the blanket that Remus vaguely noticed was a cream background shot through with green, gold and amber. James stood to one side holding a vial that he pushed into Remus’ hands, grunting, “Drink,” as he did so. Remus automatically followed the advice and instantly felt his stomach settle. Sighing in relief and feeling the world start to swim again he flopped face first onto his bed. Just as he was starting to doze off Sirius flopped on to the bed beside him and dug an elbow into his ribs. Remus wearily and warily turned his head and opened his eyes to look at his friend.
“Go away Siri,” he slurred, “am so tired and I feel like crap, and I am so tired.” he shut his eyes again, praying they would take pity on him and let him sleep. The bed dipped again and he reopened his eyes to attempt to glare up at his friends. Sirius had noticed the pallor behind the other boy’s tan and the glassiness of the usually alert amber eyes. He had in some way, with out making a sound conveyed to James that they should let him sleep.
Remus watched wearily as Sirius leant over him but the other boy merely tugged off his boots before covering him gently with the blanket, Remus thought he caught a faint whiff of dark chocolate and closed his eyes again when he felt Sirius gently run fingers through his hair. “Okay Moony. We will cover for you just this once,” James drawled as Remus felt himself be tucked in, “but we will want answers about or at least an explanation of your disappearance yesterday and all last night.” He stopped and Remus hoped beyond hope that they were going now, but he could feel James’ eyes studying him carefully. “Although if you don’t feel better by dinner, we will be dragging you to see Madame Pompfry, no arguments.” he patter Remus’ leg and left the dorm hoping to catch Lucius before class and let him know what was going on.
Remus could almost feel Sirius raising an eyebrow at him and bit back a sigh of relief as he heard the other boy move across the room to the door, and another one of irritation when he paused, obviously looking back with one hand on the doorframe. Remus opened his eyes and squinted across the room, as with a cheery wave and a “we’ll leave you to your sleep mate,” Sirius left the room to plague Severus, shutting the door behind him and missing, (Remus hoped), his own muttered “music to my ears.”
Ignoring the wolf’s upset at being called mate by some one who clearly wasn’t and to tired to really move Remus shucked out of his shirt and trousers. Pausing just long enough to pull the blanket firmly up to his chin before he slipped into sleep.
AN: I do not own Harry Potter and I want to cry about that fact, it all belongs to J K Rowling.
Chapter Fifteen-Too Tired
Minevera slowly opened her eyes, wondering what had roused her from her unusually deep, dream filled, but wonderful sleep. The sun shone brightly through her heavy lead crystal windows as she struggled to wake herself fully, it was she decided just too tempting to let herself slid back into dreams of rough kisses and moonlit woodlands. Before she could drift off again a small pop was heard from her study and as she struggled to her elbows, she heard a high-pitched voice saying, “Missus must’o been vey tired last night. Missus blanket missing and missus left her robe out…with her broach on.”
Sliding back until she could rest her head against her sumptuously padded, cream velvet headrest Minevera tried to call out but found her throat was to dry. She tried another approach, “Vetch,” she whispered, “Can you come here please?”
There was another small pop and a surprised looking house elf appeared next to Minevera’s bed. “Mistress called?” she asked, “Vetch is worried Mistress Minnie. Why is Mistress still in bed?”
Minevera smiled down at her house-elf and lifelong companion. “What do you mean Vetch,” she queried her voice still little more than a whisper, “it’s a Monday I always wake up at this time…” She stopped seeing her loyal house-elf shaking her head, ears flapping.
“No. No. No. Mistress Minnie. You’s never sleep this late term time. Classes be starting in half an hour.” Vetch watched in alarm as her mistress and charge seemed to fade slightly against the headrest, “It ok though Missi,” Vetch comforted, dropping into old nicknames as she was worried. “Don’t you worry. Missi be letting Vetch deal with hassle and bother.” As she spoke Vetch swept around the room pulling out articles of clothing as she went. “Missi will get washed and dressed while Vetch fetches Missi’s breakfast. Then Missi Will eat while Vetch sorts out her day’s lessons.” Vetch looked at her mistress who looked ready to protest, “Missi Will eat,” she threatened, “Vetch perfectly capable of writing instructions on a board without been seen.” She pointed a long finger at the pile of clothes she had pulled, “Now get dressed Missi.” With that Vetch popped out, leaving a slightly more cheerful Minevera, a neat pile of clothes and a bowl of steaming water. Minevera smiled in remembrance and at the old elf’s antics. She knew she should argue but she was just too tired. She could feel the ache of exhaustion in her bones as she moved. Slowly she slid out of bed and began to get ready. Finished dressing she sat sleepily on a padded, cream velvet and cherry wood stool, trying to will herself to braid her hair. Before she could convince herself Vetch popped back into the room with a loaded tray. Clucking at her mistress she set this down and proceeded to simply plait the long heavy mass of dark hair, shaking her head at the loose braids and shooing helping hands away. She met her mistress’s eyes in the mirror, hiding a wince at the glazed look in her mistress’s normally beautiful eyes. That glazed look made them appear a bland grey and Vetch knew that it symbolised something was seriously wrong with her mistress. Ignoring a whisper of “too tired,” falling from the witch’s lips she led Minevera over to the table crooning softly. With a command to leave her hair alone and to eat something Vetch popped out to take care of the lesson side of things. Sipping on a black coffee and absentmindedly crumbling a piece of toast Minevera smiled sleepily to herself. Vetch could always be counted on to take care of her no mater what. Minevera sighed, the elf had even followed her to Hogwarts in her school days-under Albus’ very nose- and had been invaluable to a hormonal, homesick teenage trying her hardest to fit in despite her heritage and upbringing. How long she sat there day dreaming Minevera didn’t know, but when Vetch popped back in she sighed at the cold food, crumbled toast and cold coffee. Gently shaking her mistress back to the present, she straightened the royal blue velvet robes, attached the golden thistle broach to the left hand side, and handed her mistress the wire-framed glasses she used to hide her brilliant eyes. Before gently shooing her from the quarters Vetch issued a warning if she felt worse her mistress was to go see that nice medi witch no matter what.
Watching her mistress leave Vetch sighed. She hadn’t seen that glazed look in those beautiful eyes for close on forty years. It never boded well. The last time Vetch had seen that look was the day Minevera had received the news her younger brother and only remaining family had been lynched by a wizarding mob in Prague. The elf straightened, her large eyes shining with indignation. Her mistress had been through a lot and most of it could be laid at the door of a one Albus Dumbledore, a.k.a. the old coot. Her eyes narrowed in anger. She had watched, helpless, only yesterday as her young lycan friend broke down in front of her, the weight the old coot placed on him becoming too much. She bared her sharp teeth in a feral grin. If anything happened to Mistress Minnie she would show that meddling old coot just how dangerous those ‘lower’ members of magical society could be. First though she had a phoenix to speak to. Waving a distracted hand she returned the room to it’s immaculate state. Vetch popped away muttering about meddling old men and her mistress being too tired. Minevera made it to her first lesson being only five minuets late. Ignoring the whispers that followed her entrance into the room as her students commented on her tardiness and some of them noticed the length of her hair she swept to the front of the room and called the class to order. She was more than thankful that none of her classes that day would mix Gryffindors and Slytherins, until the final class of the day. She knew she would have to visit Poppy that evening, despite her dislike of worrying or putting things onto her younger friend. Although her stubborn backbone would not allow her to think it was anything a simple pepper up potion would not fix, deep down she knew better. She was simply to tired for it to be something simple.
AN: I do not own Harry Potter, he belongs to J K Rowling along with all the glitter and sparkles that go with him
Remus struggled out of bed with just an hour and three quarters to spare before dinner. He rushed through a shower trying to wash a lingering feeling of wrongness from his skin and forcing down his shivers through sheer will power. Dressing quickly he sat down and began to pen a missive to the lady who had destroyed the little peace he had found since the nightmares and yet given him so much hope at the same time. He smiled involuntarily as he remembered her brilliant mercury eyes and sweet smelling waist length hair. Shaking himself and forcing his still slightly feverish mind to concentrate he put pen to parchment ignoring her statement of them never seeing each other again with years of Marauder experience. He watched the dark green ink filling up the creamy-yellow parchment in his neat, curling handwriting. He simply explained he had done as she wished and informed the headmaster. He explained simply and without detail of his dreams, merely stating they were the reason he actually believed her and did as she asked. He described Dumbledore’s responses to her warnings. He finished simply with a wish for her good health and a statement of respect for her wishes. He placed the quill down gently on the table gazing unseeingly at the simplicity of her address. The Voice of Hellavan, he had written simple on the outside of the scroll. He hoped an owl could find her. Strangely he had had no argument from the wolf from not hunting her down, he supposed the wolf had to care for her as much if not more than his human side. He shook his head again realising how he had signed the letter. It was signed simply as Moony. It struck him in that instant that his human and wolf side were no longer separate entities. Grinning widely despite his discomfort and still feeling rather unwell, Remus pushed cautiously to his feet. He carefully pocketed the scroll and paused to check the time. Yelping he slowly made his way down to the Great Hall, realising he would have to send his missive later. He hadn’t realised it would take him so much time to write, he must have been daydreaming. Pausing just before the doors he plastered a smile on his face and forced his shoulders back. Confident he would pass muster with his other whys distracted friends he strode carefully into the Great Hall, unable to stop him self he walked with a prowl and attracted the eyes of many of the females present in the Great Hall. He ignored the waves of lust he could now smell, a gentle wrinkling of his nose an only indication he knew people were regarding him differently. He couldn’t help himself when he caught his head of house’s eye, she was looking seriously amused despite how tired she looked and Remus couldn’t help himself. He looked directly at her and threw her a large wink and a cheeky grin. She smirked back at him, seemingly brightening and he saw for an instant the shimmering of a glamour slip for a second over her features. She hitched it back into place effortlessly and he raised an eyebrow at her as he flopped into his seat, momentarily distracted from his general feeling of feeling unwell. She merely raised an eyebrow back at him and he chuckled, as he realised he was more like his Head of House than any one could or hopefully would ever guess. He shifted uncomfortably on the hard wooden bench, where he was sitting between his friends. They looked at him curiously and looked ready to launch into an inquisition there and then. James was definitely still focused on missing and ill Remus. Sirius looked torn between that and wondering at the change in his friend, the hall’s reaction to him and the subtle interaction between Remus and Professor McGonagall. Remus made a careful show of pilling his plate high, ignoring his rolling stomach as he did so, and the rest of Gryffindor seemed appeased that things were turning to normal and so turned back to their own conversations.
Resisting the urge to roll his eyes, as he didn’t think his stomach could take it, Remus kept his head ducked and pretended to wolf down his food, while systematically casting a wandless, silent vanishing charm. Think he was trying to escape them and give an explanation Sirius and James returned to eating. Taking a break from pretending to shovel food into his mouth Remus glanced up and noticed two Slytherins watching him with concern. Waggling his eyebrows Remus tilted his head towards the door, internally banging his head off the table at the annoyance of it all, but secretly proud of his pack. He waited only until he received recognition from one of the pair before returning to pretend to inhale his food. He caught Professor McGonagall’s eye again as he did so a choked down a laugh at the surprise he saw was written clearly on her face and was sure would be on his as they both noticed the other doing the exact same thing to the food on their plates. Remus furrowed his brow as he noticed his poor charms teacher sitting with his head on one hand merely poking at his food, and wondered at the incredibility of two Gryffindors being more Slytherin than the head of Ravenclaw house. Through all this he kept an eye out for Lucius and Severus leaving the Great Hall, returning their nod with a slight inclination of his head, he slowly laid down his cutlery and rose. The other two members of the Marauders rose with him and ignoring the staring from the females in the room the three left the Great Hall, following the footsteps of the two Slytherins. Remus stopped at the doors and looked back, he met Professor McGonagall’s eyes one more time, yet again unable to see their true colour through her glasses reflecting the torch light. A gentle nod answered the question only he seemed to be able to read clearly on her face. She smiled gently and he finally left the Great Hall catching Severus’ eye Remus again tilted his head and watched as the dark haired Slytherin linked arms with Lucius and led him down the steps. The Marauders followed behind, at a reasonable distance, to avoid suspicion, and Remus bit back a sigh at the stupidity of all the segregation and hatred. All five were unaware of being watched, and of a small sandy haired boy leaving the entrance hall to head down to the dungeons.
Severus led a very confused but docile Lucius down to the clearing he had been taken to only nights before. Settling the blonde on a rock, he was busy rebuilding the wards and alarms, as well as adding a few powerful ones of his own making, when the three Gryffindors showed up. When he lowered his wand Remus shoved James and Sirius to sit beside their mates, to busy keeping up a front to show his usual subtly. Standing in the middle of the clearing, bathed in silver moonlight, Remus braced his feet against a wave of dizziness and nausea, placed his hands in his pockets and stared at the four boys in perched uncomfortably in front of him. Checking he had their attention, and heedless of his similarity to Pan once again Remus began. It was an image the other four boys would remember later, with a mixture of bitterness and guilt.
“I apologise now to Lucius and Severus for being dragged into this, but you did both fall for Marauders.” He grinned wryly at them, “Now I am not sure if I am supposed to tell anything to any one, but Dumbles didn’t say I couldn’t. I think the old coot might be loosing his marbles slightly,” Remus stopped pondering something, missing the looks of shock on the faces of the other four. “I really don’t want to deal with him more than I have to so if you would kindly keep it quiet that I have told you I will try to tell you all the truth, if an abridged version since it took me nearly all bloody day the last time. Now any questions before I start?”
Sirius and James were looking at him with wide eyes, but they slowly relaxed and leaned against the Slytherin duo. Severus was opening and closing his mouth with no sound coming, with Lucius sitting beside him looking at him so shrewdly the Remus raised a questioning eyebrow at him fighting down the inappropriate laughter threatening to bubble up at the sight of a stupefied Severus.
Lucius cleared his throat, “I am not complaining that you want to trust us, although that is such a novel experience that I was going to ask why you do so, but I strangely find myself not caring. It is…” Lucius paused and smiled warmly at Remus, “It is nice to be trusted.”
Remus’ smile disappeared and he closed his eyes as if in pain, causing Lucius to wonder what he had said wrong. When Remus opened his eyes again everyone noticed they were pure shining gold, the green flecked amber completely irradiated. The Slytherins jumped as in sink Sirius and James took a sharp, unsteady breath and James grabbed Lucius’ arm in a death grip and Sirius grabbed Severus’ hand in both of his. The two Gryffindors were leaning towards Remus a question in their eyes. While the Slytherins mere sat looking confused and a small bit worried. Remus took a deep breath and started to speak. “Thank you Lucius but you may wish to hear me out first. I need to tell you something about myself for you to understand part of the story. I need to apologise to Pads and Prongs though.” Seeing the looks of confusion on the faces of Lucius and Severus, he elaborated. “I hid this from them for three years in the end they had to resort to researching it. They have spent more time in the library because of me than they would ever like to I think. In the end they confronted me on it and have sworn to find a way to help me. Maybe James and Severus can use this for their potions project.” Remus nodded at the two boys who were sitting gazing open mouthed at him, both obviously wondering how he knew about the yet unaccepted offer. Remus smiled weakly, “Sorry guys, getting ahead of myself a bit there. I don’t even know if the two of you will want to talk to me when you know.” Remus bit back another wave of nausea and bile, and turned his head slightly to avoid the two accusatory and two confused but interested looks he was receiving. “Now to avoid being yelled out loudly and for a long time because really guys it is getting annoying and you can stop looking at me like that because I have accepted it. I am Moony we are who we are and I don’t particularly care what the rest of the world think at the minuet I am only worried what our two friendly Slytherins think.” There was silence in the clearing as Remus paused for breath, he could feel the admiration and thanks coming from Sirius and James. It gave him strength and he really hoped he was not about to ruin the best thing that had happened to them with this announcement. “You two being Slytherins have probably noticed I am not in classes at least one day of the month. Severus has probably noticed how much I hate making certain potions and how I really, really try not to breath deeply during that class.” He stopped again seeing realisation replace the confusion in their eyes, they didn’t run away screaming, sneer at him or look at him in pity. They merely sat and looked at him, waiting patiently for confirmation. Remus was pleasantly surprised, but continued never the less, “I am a werewolf.” He looked at confusion at the two calm Slytherins, there was no smell of fear, disgust or deceit on the air, “and I really expected telling people to be harder than that. Anyway if you two want to leave I will understand.” Remus stopped again to allow them time to leave and noticed them both glaring at him. To his great surprise and relief Lucius slid to the ground to sit beside James, while Severus merely made himself more comfortable on Sirius waving a potions stained hand to tell Remus to continue. Remus merely stared at them all in shock feeling the pride for his pack and their mates well up in his heart. Then Lucius wave a well-manicured hand as an impatient indication to continue, Remus composed himself, feeling light-headed. Taking a deep breath he began to explain his missing twenty-four hours.
“Paddy and Prongs will back me up when I say I have had nightmares for years. Sorry guys,” he added seeing Severus scrunch up his nose in confusion, “Sirius is Paddy, Padfoot or Pads. James is Prongs. Right nightmares. It was different this time round though as I can’t say I have ever had recurring ones. Similar themed ones, yes. Recurring ones, definitely not. They started about four moons ago and the first month before the moon was not to bad, far enough I was freaked out more than normal but things didn’t start going wrong until the night after the full moon three months ago. I’ve been freaking Poppy out since forever, but this was bad. Yes Pads I call Madame Pompfry, Poppy, please get over it and let me continue. The first dream I had I though I was awake, but Poppy swears I couldn’t be woken and my vital stats were all over the shop. I had the nightmares or more precisely dream shadows every night between that and the next full moon, always on the same theme yet never a full-blown dream. The next moon was worse- I didn’t tell Dumbledore or anyone else up until this point, and neither did Poppy- but I stopped breathing for two minuets. I didn’t get much sleep between that night and the next full moon, people started to notice something that month I think.” Remus shivered at what was to come and was glad he wasn’t going into details. He eyed James and Sirius warily. From the looks on Severus and Lucius’ face they weren’t liking this either. “the full moon just gone was horrendous. I nearly broke all my restraints, I did snap my leg. It is a good job Argus Filch was there or I could have seriously injured Poppy. As it was I broke the poor man’s arm before Poppy could tranquilise me. I still cannot believe he forgave me for that.”
Remus stopped as his voice broke and he dropped to his knees feeling some of his forced strength leaving him. He was surprised when Lucius Malfoy of all people put a comforting arm around his shoulder. He leaned in to the embrace momentarily drawing strength from the warmth and support of his pack member. He controlled himself enough to meet Lucius’ eye and the blonde Slytherin merely scooted back to lie against James when his questioning glance was met with a nod.
“Sorry,” croaked Remus, his voice not liking the physical strain he had put on it over the last two days. “I just hate it when people I care about get hurt. It is even worse when it is because of me. The dreams stopped after that and I was so relieved they were gone that I pushed them to the back of my mind. Then on Saturday night,” he eyed Severus and Sirius beadily, “after you two fell asleep cuddling,” the other two boys eyed them with subdued grins. Glad of the minor lightening of tension the two raven-haired boys merely blushed and ducked their heads. “I stayed up after you two had, well I think passed out in an alcohol induced haze. As Paddy knew I would. About three in the morning I noticed something was wrong, I smelt wood smoke again and shortly after we had a visitor to the clearing. I’ve still got bruised shoulder blades to prove her reality.” Remus blushed slightly perking the interest of the other four even higher and shook his head, “she gave me a message to give to Dumbledore. Something about a storm approaching and that the people of Hellavan have finally understood their prophecies. She also said the old man would know what it meant. Before either of you two ask and since you don’t know I will say this I do not like Dumbledore, but my reasons why are my own. Prongs and Paddy don’t know anymore than that either.” Remus stopped feeling more exhausted than he had that morning, but he shoved it down, focusing on getting the story out, his steel backbone coming to the fore. He shook himself and focused on the other four through his headache. Now he was looking at them directly he could see they all looked puzzled. “I told Dumbledore that she only visited me in a dream. I really didn’t want to tell him she actually existed, I don’t know why.” Remus was surprised again when the other boys didn’t laugh but nodded in understanding. The interrogation gleam was in the eyes of the two Marauders so he wearily decided to give them more information, unable to face his too hyperactive friends at the minuet.
Remus flushed deeply, in fact his blush was so obvious that Lucius and Severus lost what little was left of their Slytherin indifference and leant forward. “When I first noticed her in the clearing I tackled her and she managed to flip it back on me. I have never been outclassed in a fair fight, especially not one in which I used my full strength and speed and I was intrigued as too what she would do next. We must have both been drawn to each other, I really don’t know any other way to describe it with out sounding sappy. Yet she has to have known what I was, that I have a wolf in may, nay I am a wolf. My eyes had changed and no human should have been able to detect her through her spells. I still want to know how she got through my wards.” At their disbelieving looks Remus again expanded, “The blade she was carrying was an alloy very rarely used. Enough silver added to the mix to make the weapon deadly to a werewolf or other lycanthrope, but not enough to soften or weak the actual blade. She also cannot have been fully human, but she was no wolf. Her strength and speed easily matched mine, if not outstripped it. Her eyes were also not human eyes, molten mercury eyes with cat like pupils. Yes Sirius we did kiss, no James it did not go any further. I don’t know if I will ever see her again Siri, yes she was my mate James I could tell by her smell. She smelt of honeysuckle, wood smoke, port, dark chocolate and old books, so I would imagine that is what I would smell with that love potion that Lily girl is forever going on about Severus. She tasted of dark chocolate and port Siri. No Lucius I really have no idea where she is now.” Remus smiled across at them, stamping down yet another laugh at their gob smacked expressions when he had predicted their questions. “Any other questions class,” he quipped, “or do you want to take the chance to grab some alone time?” He winked roguishly at them, wishing they would take him up on his offer so he could climb up on his branch and sleep. The four others stared at him for a moment before chuckling. They clambered to their feet, wincing as their joints cracked. As each boy left they clapped a hand onto Remus’ shoulder. Sirius chucked him a roguish wink in return as he left the clearing.
Left alone Remus could feel his façade slipping. Shivering he dragged himself to the base of his tree. His breaths came in sharp pants and shakes rattled his frame. He clenched his jaw against a scream as his powerful muscles clenched around his bones. He could feel his heart hammering in his chest, feel the pounding in his head, his hands clawed the ground, closing on a small sting of beads hidden in the leaf mould. The weakened fracture line in his right leg couldn’t stand the pressure of his contorting muscles and with a loud crack drove him into blissful oblivion. As the hours crept on, a sickly moon shone down on the unmoving and broken form of Remus Lupin. The clouds rolling across the sky not yet obscuring the sickly light and the wind whipped the trees causing the to cast twisted shadows, so like those in the boys dreams, around the clearing. The hours lengthened and the air grew damp, soaking his clothes and cooling his burning skin.
AN: You know the drill I do not own Harry Potter he is all J K Rowling.
Chapter Seventeen- Collapse.
As Remus was composing his letter a pale but composed Minevera was sitting at the teachers’ table in the Great Hall. She had smiled only once since leaving her quarters that morning. Remus Lupin’s absence had made her worry more than normal as it was not a full moon and the young man never missed her class and in consequence she had forgone visiting Poppy to visit the Great Hall to check on him. She cricked her neck and rolled her shoulders trying to ease the tension and minor pain in them. He stomach rolled threateningly when her meal appeared, but she swallowed hard and instead of eating took a tentative sip from her goblet of water. Filius Flitwick, pale and noticeably tired himself had noticed her discomfort and to his concerned enquiry she pleaded a headache. Minevera though normally incline to like the young charms professor and the youngest head of house, tonight wished the man was not so observative, even when far from well himself he was caring. She shifted lightly in her seat, uncomfortable under her heavy velvet robes, but glad of their thickness due to the chill, which had invaded her muscles. She was thinking of giving up and going to Poppy when the doors open and Remus walked into the Great Hall. She bit back a smirk as she took in the reactions to him from the hall, sharing her amusement with him when he noticed. He kept her distracted through out his time in the Great Hall and she had just started to vanish her food so she could stay longer and keep an eye on the only charge she would put aside Vetch’s advice for when he looked up and caught her eye again. She felt his surprise as they both realised at the same time they were doing the same thing. She watched his interaction with the two young Slytherins with amusement and even went as far to ask him a silent question when he was leaving the hall. He actually answered her as well and she allowed herself a brief moment of reflection before brushing the idea off all together. The chill cut deeper into her bones when the smiling young man had left. Noticing and thanking that Albus was not present she decided she had stayed long enough. Making her excuses to her colleges she left the loud Great Hall gratefully.
Her skin now started to prickle and crawl, itching under the heavy robes, shaking herself she changed direction and headed to the hospital wing. Regardless of the worried students she passed Minevera reached out a hand to steady herself, allowing the cool stone to sooth and ground her. Her vision blurred as sweat dripped into her eyes and she raised shaking hand to wipe her brow, knocking her glasses off uncaring as they fell to the ground, she frowned as her hand came away with a sticky sheen. Her robes clung to her back, and stand of hair that had worked loose during the day clung to her pallid skin. Her steps wavering Minevera stumbled to a stop outside the hospital doors. Frowning she pushed them open, the effort taking more than it should. A band was tightening around her chest making it difficult to breath. Relief course through her as she spied the medi-witch only two beds in. “Poppy,” she croaked hating the pleading sound in her voice, “help.” The medi-witch looked up and seeing the state her old friend was in left the astonished student’s side. “Hurts,” breathed Minevera seconds before she fainted into Poppy’s arms.
In the Great Hall Filius felt something was off, he had been tired all day, his instinctive and wizarding magic taking more effort than normal. He staggered to his feet suddenly feeling punch drunk. To the startled dismay of his house and horrified eyes of nearly the whole school, the popular professor’s diminutive form toppled from the raised platform as he collapsed. The remaining professors sat frozen in shock and the hall broke out in confusion and alarm, so it was left to a mildly hysterical Ravenclaw prefect to collect himself and levitate his beloved head of house to the hospital wing. Upon reaching it he staggered through the doors, his disordered mind and swirling emotions placing an even greater strain than the spell on his magic. Poppy Pompfry stared in horror for long seconds before leaping into action. Her despair written clearly on her features she ordered the young prefect to lower the professor carefully onto a bed. Patting him gentle on the shoulder and struggling to keep herself under control, she congratulated him on his quick thinking, pressed a bottle of pepper-up potion and a bottle of calming potion into his hand and with strict instructions to drink the whole lot she shooed him from the ward.
Frank Longbottom left the medi-witch in a daze of nearly full magical exhaustion and suffering from shock. He leaned against a cool wall to down the potions and collect himself. As he waited shakily for them to take effect his eyes widened as Hagrid staggered passed him, the groundkeeper’s normally ruddy flesh a sickly white colour and his eyes glazed. The potions clicked in as a loud crash sounded from the infirmary. Leaping to his feet in horror as pieces of the puzzle clicked together in his horrified Ravenclaw mind, Frank raced back into the hospital wing. Reaching the startled matron he grabbed her wrist, forcing her attention from Hagrid’s unmoving form on the floor.
“Remus,” he panted out his worry crystallising, “Where is Remus Lupin?” The still stunned medi-witch looked at him with incomprehension, her mind obviously still with her patients and struggling under repeated shocks. Frank leaned in, trying to block their conversation from the only other student in the room, trying to speak in a calmer voice. “Think about it Poppy,” he pleaded, “Apart from being well loved, and bloody brilliant in what they do what do all the professors have in common?” He watched the comprehension dawning in her eyes, as he realised he had called Hagrid a professor and herself by her given name.
Before he could dwell she was grabbing his had desperately grabbed his hand. “Mr. Longbottom” she breathed, “how Slytherin of you.” Panic was slowly flooding her eyes, “Find Remus,” she begged, “bring him to me, the poor boy goes through enough.” She paused gulping and grabbed Frank’s arm again as he turned to leave, “Tell no one,” She warned he house instincts kicking in, “and Frank I may need your help to research this.”
Frank nodded and for the second time that day raced off, worry crawling through his chest. Luck was with him that night, Hogwarts, apparently angry at so many of her own being harmed, aided him so his normally clumsy feet traversed the ground smoothly. Around the corner of the Great Hall he literally ran into James Potter and Lucius Malfoy. Ignoring their flushed faces and guilty expressions Frank ground out, “Remus Lupin?” his breath was short and he had none left to spare for extra words.
Tilting his head to one side in confusion James replied, “we left him at a clearing but…hey where are you going?” he never finished his original sentence as Frank had taken off into the night the final words echoing after him into the darkness, with a whispered “Lumos” Frank burst through the main doors, leaving James and Lucius to agree that the Ravenclaw boy was slightly mental. Pushing himself harder Frank raced to the only clearing he knew, prayers to every deity he knew falling from his lips in pants. Taking no time to dismantle the wards he found there Frank merely hacked his way through, panic giving strength to his magic. He ignored the further drain this posed to his magic as his searching eyes found the still form of Remus. Seeing how still his fellow prefect lay, and the sickly pallor of his skin Frank swore under his breath and rushed to check to other boy still lived. Relief coursed through him and he gathered his wits to send a patronus message to Madame Pompfry. Levitating the werewolf’s body, Frank was surprised to notice the automatic drain on his magic. Putting it down to Remus being heavier than the diminutive Flitwick, rather than the extra-ordinary magic he had preformed in such a short space of time, Frank staggered to his feet and proceeded to make his way back to the hospital wing. The journey seemed to take a lifetime to Frank. The whispering of passing students echoed in his ears as each step drained his magic further. His mind reeled with the shocks he had received, his brain working overtime on the puzzle, and his body protested from the unused physical exertion. By the time he reached the hospital ward he was shaking badly and his magic down to its last final drops. He held himself together long enough to lower the prone form of Remus onto a free bed, sighing in relief as he noticed the curtain around the lone student’s bed. Frank felt his knees give out and he crumpled to the floor sobbing. He was never more grateful for Poppy’s brisk manner than when she helped him into a bed, transfigured his robes into a pair of pyjamas and handed his a cup of steaming tea that she helped him to drink. Frank felt his eyes closing and tried to protest, however Poppy stopped him with a gentle hand on his shoulder and a promise of tomorrow. Oblivion was calling and Frank finally gave in and leaving the trained adult to cope, he drifted into a deep sleep.
Poppy watched him fondly with a frown lingering in her brown eyes. The boy had nearly killed himself in getting Remus to her; he would be unable to cast without physical pain for a couple of days. Poppy felt a pang of regret and shame in sending him to fetch her young charge. Sighing she took a Pepper-up potion herself and turned to treat Remus’ battered body.
AN: I do not own Harry Potter, J K Rowling does.
Chapter Eighteen-Vetch and Booty Call
Across the castle, down in the kitchens the house-elves stopped working as one and turned in alarm at the sound of two agony-filled cries. Vetch had sunk to her knees fighting the waves of dizziness, pain and nausea that flooded along the link from her mistress. Unable to think or act she slowly curled up on the floor shaking with silent sobs. Her fellows watched in horrified fascination. Stunned into immobility, unknowing what was causing her pain. Consternation filled their ranks as an old elf, (and she was old even by their standards), pushed through those crowded around Vetch. Booty was herself fighting waves of nausea, had been all day, but she was a proud elf and had had time to accustom herself. Now watching her young friend shake on the floor, she pushed her own discomfort to the back of her mind and knelt to give any help she could to the stricken Vetch. Unlike the others, she had an inkling of what had caused Vetch to collapse. The younger elf had formed an ancient bond with the transfiguration mistress. A bond forged by unconditional love and respect from both sides and strengthened over the years. Anger welled up in her old heart and worry was written across her features. Tired eyes slowly flooded black as she forced down feelings from her own unique bond for over half an hour as she administered to Vetch. When she was sure she had done all she could for her young friend, she pushed slowly and painfully to her feet, her old joints creaking as she straightened her spine and looked disdainfully around the room. She snapped out an order and in response a young elf she could not remember the name of, rushed forward to sit by Vetch and the rest disbursed a little shamefacedly. Scowling and with her eyes jet black Booty began to fix a pot of strong, hot stew. She ignored her own shaking hands and thought over the signs she had both seen and heard. Hellavan, the name of that place haunted and thrilled her to this day. She thought about the bone weariness Vetch had been concerned about in her young mistress and the exhaustion clouding beautiful golden eyes. She thought about the untouched meals of the young charms professor and the worry written clearly across a normally stoic centaur’s face. The names of the potions Poppy Pompfry had demanded, without explanation, from the potions professor flitted across her mind. Her eyes grew even wider as she remembered the hysterical instructions from the medi-witch about which herbs she needed the house-elves to collect for her. The stew boiled over, forgotten, as she shook from head to toe recalling rolling clouds in the distance and the smell of wood smoke on the breeze. Wrapped in her own thoughts she failed to hear the gasp of alarm from Vetch as she suddenly sat up. Booty ignored the other elves as she reached the large trestle table to one side of the kitchen and drew parchment and quills towards herself. Feverishly she started making notes, deaf to all around her. She did not notice the worried mutterings from her fellow elves. She did not hear the loud argument between Vetch and the young elf watching her. She did not see the black smoke rising from the burnt stew. She did feel the sudden blaze of agony travel through her bond. She felt herself falling into blackness.
All motion stopped yet again in the kitchen as Booty cried out. The fear and pain in her voice cutting them to the core. They watched in horror as the grand matron of the kitchen collapsed catching a glancing blow from the corner of the table as she fell. They flinched as one as a wail of despair came from Vetch as she flung herself to her knees beside her old friend. They stared with tear-filled eyes as Vetch shook the old shoulders and begged her to wake up. They turned away to hide their grief and so failed to see the once strong but kind hands frailly reach out to Vetch and they failed to hear the broken whisper of “my cub” fall from her pale lips.
Vetch felt a sense of bone deep loss as she watched her old friend and mentor fall. She felt her control slipping as she heard Booty’s last words. With shaking hands, she closed the eyes of the only other who remained that knew. With a breaking heart she said a prayer of passage for the soul of the last true remaining member of the Ke’ tribe. She knelt and watched solemnly as brilliant white flames consumed the old elf in her mind’s eye she could see the old face, lined as though someone had draped it with cobwebs, break into a toothy grin. She bit back a sob as she realised she would never hear her friend laugh again. She watched as with a flash of blue, the flames stopped and all that remained of her friend was a blue stone, glowing with the heat of the flames. Ignoring burnt fingers, she tenderly scooped up the stone and pushed to her feet. She could hear the gentle sobbing of the young ones behind her and as she turned to offer then some comfort, several loud pops echoed through the subdued kitchen. A young elf pushed through the crowd and stood before Vetch, his own worry obscuring their grief from him.
“Vetch,” he as good as growled, “times not good. Mistress Minnie in the hospital wing. Brack and Sand tell me Master Filius and Friend Hagrid are too. Mistress Poppy in bad state. She trying to help and a boy find Master Wolf and they now both in bad way.” He broke off staring at Vetch and reached out a shaking hand to her, “Sister?” he queried in a wavering voice.
This broke her out of her trance and she gripped his hand in both of hers, pressing thee now cool stone into it. “Sol,” she whispered, “It now falls to you to carry the Ke’ story.” he looked down in pain and she hid a wince as tears tracked his smooth face. Vetch looked carefully around the room and felt her anger grow at what she found. Brack and Sand were curled together on the floor lost in their own world of grief and guilt. Young, startled, pale faces tear stained and showing open fear were turned towards her in hope and pleading. She looked finally into the heartbroken eyes of her youngest kinsman, now forced to be another tribe’s holder and felt her anger crystallize. Her brilliant eyes turned a deathly black and her tears dried on her cheeks. Magic crackled around her, reaching out comforting tendrils to sooth and its pressure sparking in the air and off the stonewalls. Drawing herself to her full height Vetch felt her back straighten and shoulders set as her advanced years fell from her with the growth of her wrath. Her hands curled into claws and she bared her sharp teeth at her own. Their hearts swelled and their own fighting spirits filled them. Her words did little to dampen the newfound feelings in them, fanning their belief into white-hot flames.
“Brothers. Sisters.” She ground out. “The storm has broken. The storm has once again come to our homes. It’s madness has once again claimed one of our own. Its blackness has once again attacked innocents. I stand against the storm.” She stopped and looked around, raising her voice slightly, emotion and intent filling every word. “I stand against the storm. I stand for Innocence. I will protect those who need me with everything I possess. I stand against the storm,” she roared, her voice changing from the well-known squeak of a house elf into the roar of a seasoned warrior. “Brothers. Sisters. Will you stand with me?”
The reply was deafening in the kitchen. A resounding battle cry filled the air, rolling around the room as its call was taken up by old and young alike. She smirked. “Taking Booty from us was the storms first mistake. Attacking innocents is its second. Its third mistake was rewriting history. Its fourth and final mistake, the nail in its coffin, the sword through its heart was forgetting about us. We are the protectors. We fight for innocence. We let the storm batter us and we will win.” She looked across at the faces eager to do their duty no matter what the cost, pride filled her. They did not know yet they still took up the standard of their forefathers. Her voice softened as she looked at Sol, “We will be avenged.” Silence fell in the kitchen as each elf swore a vow.
Above Hogwarts and across her grounds the storm broke. Rolling black clouds covered the stars and sickly moon. The wind howled across the grounds, rattling the windows and bowing ancient trees. The rain soaked her ancient stones, pouring onto the ground.
AN: I do not own Harry Potter, He belongs to J K Rowling.
It was a month after the four had collapsed and Poppy Pompfry was beside herself. Winter had come in with vengeance since that fateful October day, brought in by a storm of horrendous proportions. She let out a tired sigh and laid her aching head on her folded arms. The four of them were still in the hospital ward, unconscious, their injuries healed and fevers lowered but she just could not wake them. Albus Dumbledore had been less than helpful. In fact Poppy was beginning to suspect him of deliberately putting obstacles in her way. Albus had refused to allow Frank a pass from lessons and so the poor boy was splitting all his time between his studies and helping her find a cure. She was sure the poor young man’s grades were slipping and feared the young man was close to collapse. He was far to pale, had dark shadows under his eyes and had gone from being rather chubby to dangerously underweight. His girlfriend from Hufflepuff-Alice she thought the girls name was-may have been the only thing holding him together. She bullied him to eat, slipped him nutrient potions, made sure he was wrapped up and dragged him from his books to walk outside. The only thing she could not force him to do was sleep as Albus had tightened the curfew and removed several prefect privileges. The pair had been mocked by students from all houses, causing the young ladies temper to flair and Frank to become even more withdrawn. Poppy felt guilt for putting the two youngsters under so much pressure, she was exceedingly thankful and couldn’t bring herself to forbid Frank from researching. She closed her eyes against the weak light trying to creep past her arms. Her anger at Albus was causing her headache to worsen. He had refused to allow her any help, stating he didn’t want to panic parents who were already worried over Voldemort. Poppy ground her teeth as she remembered him stating that he was sure such a competent medi-witch as herself could have no problem in coping with only four untroublesome patients. She had felt like throttling the headmaster at the time, and the feeling hadn’t abated. In fact her ward had been busier than ever. She’d had most of the N.E.W.T and O.W.L students in close to nervous collapse having no competent replacement charms or transfiguration professor. She’d had several students from both Gryffindor and Ravenclaw suffering from exhaustion without a head of house to enforce lights out and to make sure they made it to meals. Several Slytherins had been brought into the hospital wing suffering duelling injuries-their gentle manipulations not being tolerated in the passed month. In fact, apart from the exam years, only Hufflepuff had managed to stay out of her care.
Poppy allowed herself a smile, thinking that at least some students were trying to helping fact she had been shocked into immobility when the four boys had appeared before her. James Potter, Severus Snape, Lucius Malfoy and Sirius Black had sworn a wizard’s oath to be of assistance to her. Poppy sat back in her seat and cricked her neck, eyes still closed. They had helped her as well. Putting any differences aside they had worked out a roster to watch over the unconscious four, leaving her free to deal with the others flooding in. Lucius had cajoled Professor Slughorn into allowing them unlimited access to the potions laboratory and store cupboard. Severus and James had then systematically provided her with calming droughts, pepper-up potions, nutrient potions and bruise salves. Sirius had been an all round drudge. He fetched, carried, filed, copied and even cleaned. He’d forced them all to stop, providing cups of tea and meals from goodness knows where, Poppy had been to grateful to care how he’d got around the house-elves. The four boys had also set up a study club with Frank so each boy could help the other. Alice had joined them upon occasion. She’d even heard rumours that they were helping Mr.Filch in looking after Hagrid’s animals. Poppy had to admit she was very proud of them. The sun went behind a cloud and Poppy dared open her eyes, only for them to land on Minevera’s still form. She frowned and ran her eyes expertly over the other patients, realising there had been no change her bad temper returned full force causing her head to throb. Dumbledore knew something of this she was sure. He was being very furtive when openly questioned and he was leaving the castle secretly. He’d sneered at her when she had related Frank’s idea, dismissing any research into that area as a ridiculous waste of time as only Remus was a freak.
Unable to take it anymore Poppy pushed to her feet and started pacing, her anger not allowing her to stay still. Frank looked up from his book in worry having not seen the medi-witch this agitated since they’d had to leave Remus on the last full moon. He was debating asking what was wrong when Sirius rushed into the hospital wing looking both worried and excited at the same time. He slid to a stop in front of the worn desk causing Poppy to stop pacing and Frank to loose his place. Noticing James, Lucius and Severus also sidle in and take seats quietly, Frank gave his research up as a bad job and turned a questioning face to Sirius.
Not pausing to catch a breath or explain anything Sirius burst out, “research Hellavan.”
Seeing identically blank looks on the faces of both Poppy and Frank he looked around at the three boys sitting by the door. Severus took pity on him and walked over to place a hand on the exhausted Gryffindor’s shoulder. Looking at Madame Pompfry and directly into Frank’s eyes Severus explained. “That Monday Siri and James had been worried about Remus. He was missing all of Sunday and when he returned to the dorm Monday morning he fell asleep. They told us,” he indicated at himself and Lucius, “and after dinner that night we all met in the clearing Frank found Remus.” Severus shifted guiltily, “He told us he had been to see Dumbledore on the Sunday, he explained about his dreams after the full moons and a message he had bee told to give Dumbledore. The only bit we can all remember is the name Hellavan. We’ve talked about it and finally decided it may have something to do with the professors’, Hagrid’s and Remus’ collapse. We also think Hellevan may be a group of people, but we cannot decide how we think this. Remus also mentioned the message giver was a real person and not just a dream…” Severus stopped, eyeing Frank’s excited face with worry. “I think Frank can enlighten us with what or who Hellavan is.”
Poppy picked up the scroll she had found in Remus’ pocket and waved it at the four boys. “Could this be something to do with all that?” she asked, “the name is a bit smudged but I think it could have something to do with that woman you said he mentioned. I’ve read it and it made no sense to me but if what you say is true then she ties in with all this.”