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Falling Star by Lioness06
Chapter 3 : Consequences
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 8


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Chapter 3 - Consequences

“Get up.”

Disoriented for a few moments, Sirius opened his eyes to see James towering over him.  The first rays of sun just peeking through the clouds streamed into the Tower right on the couch Sirius had fallen asleep on. Sirius was still in his school robes from the other day; he had not returned to the dorm after returning from Headmasters office.

A nights’ sleep did not seem to have softened James; he looked as humorless as he had last night. James was already dressed in his school robes and he appeared impatient, as if Sirius had slept in. “Remus will be awake soon.”

Glancing at the clock above the fire place, Sirius could see it was only 6:30 am. “It’s still early,” Sirius said

James gave him a hard look.

“Fine. Can I change robes? Am I allowed to get my school bag?” Sirius asked sarcastically.

“Do it quickly. Peter’s up there.”

Sirius rolled his eyes; as if Peter could make him do anything. He also wanted to tell James exactly where he could shove his order, but just mumbled under his breath, “Yes, sir.”

As Sirius stood up and stretched his stiff muscles – as comfortable as the couches were they weren’t meant for sleeping - two first years had ambled down to the common room. Only 11 year olds would be up this early; breakfast wouldn’t be served for another half an hour.

The first years looked at them with wide innocent eyes. Sirius was pretty sure the first years knew who they were and not to mess with them.  

“Mind your own business,” James told them gruffly.

The two first years blanched and quickly took seats as far as possible from the fifth years. They’d learned in the short few months of being at Hogwarts that continuing to bother James would only find them in the Hospital Wing with sprouted antlers or an elephant’s trunk.

Sirius felt James’s eyes on him, as he took the steps two by two. Peter was pacing nervously upstairs. He stopped when he saw Sirius. If the circumstances had been different, Sirius might have found humor in the situation. It was a waste of their time to watch him so carefully; Sirius wasn’t about to disobey Dumbledore’s orders to see Remus this morning. He didn’t know what to think of his friends’ treatment, but he had other things to worry about at the moment: Remus.

“Be quick or else,” Peter stated. Sirius bit his tongue from saying, “Or else what?” and instead said, “I know.”

Sirius threw on a clean black school robe, adjusting his tie. He didn’t bother to change his clothes underneath. He swept some books and papers into his bag – his mind too focused on what he’d say to Moony to wonder if they were the right books. Peter followed him downstairs, and there were now more students in the common room.

“Ready?” James demanded tersely. The tone of his voice alerted their fellow Gryffindors that something was amiss and a few glanced curiously at the trio.

Sirius ignored the attention. He could not let this treatment go without some comment. “Come on – isn’t this a little ridiculous, Prongs?”

“Don’t call me that. If those names meant anything to you-” James’s voice was strained.

“Let’s go,” Peter interjected nervously. James had gripped his wand and Sirius had followed suit. The onlookers were now watching avidly. “Everyone is watching.”

James lifted his eyebrows and Sirius sighed. He turned from them and walked out. He could feel their presence behind him, but he kept his head held high. After they’d covered the distance of three hallways, Sirius came to an abrupt halt.

James gave him a push forward. “Keep moving.”

Sirius swirled around, coming face to face with James and Peter. He folded his arms. “What are you two my guards?” Sirius demanded.

James kept his face impassive. Peter bit his lip.

“Well I don’t need guards! I’m perfectly capable of walking myself to the Hospital Wing,” Sirius continued hotly.

There was a trio of Hufflepuff girls with their mouths gaping open a few feet away from them. Sirius frowned; maybe he should have waited to say this in an empty hallway. The way things were going - the fact they were fighting was going to be all over the school before the sun was at its highest point.

Staying calm, controlled, and still very expressionless, James replied, “Remus is going to be upset. We want to be there for him.”

Sirius didn’t move. He could see James’s point, but still their actions were grating on his nerves. It still didn’t explain why they had to walk with him; they could arrive to the Hospital Wing separately. And he didn’t like this indifferent, void of emotion person James had become.

James sighed exasperatedly as if Sirius was a disobedient toddler. “I’d start walking if I were you. You wouldn’t want to tempt me,” James warned and he drew his wand once again. Sirius had seen this side of James before, but never directed at him.

Sirius eyed his mate’s wand. He could certainly take on James; they were evenly matched when it came to dueling. And it was very much in his character to go ahead and tempt James into a fight. Then Dumbledore’s warning rang in his head. He knew any further misbehavior could tip his punishment toward expulsion.  Sirius took a deep breath, stuffed his hands into his pockets, and strolled ahead. The girls scattered as the three of them passed.

Madam Pomfrey was displeased to see him. She’d grown warmer towards Sirius, James and Peter over the years. She took her charge of Remus’s furry problem seriously and at first was annoyed by their monthly visits to the Hospital Wing the day before and after the full moon. Though after some time, she could not ignore the way Remus would light up when they visited and that they genuinely cared about his welfare. It helped that Remus had begun to fair better and she didn’t have to spend hours tending to his injuries.

“Professor Dumbledore told me to speak to Remus this morning.”

“I know what he said,” Madam Pomfrey said crisply. “He is not awake yet, and I will not wake him up for you to only further distress him.”

Sirius looked lost for a moment.

“Wait outside. I will retrieve you when Mr. Lupin is ready.”

“Ok,” Sirius relented.

James and Peter took station on the wall opposite where Sirius stood. James ran a hand through his hair and shared a look with Peter, who looked confused. The seconds ticked by slowly and it was disarming to have to deal with the inner turmoil of his mind under his friends’ watch. Sirius began remembering conversations they’d had with Remus – talks Sirius had even had alone with Remus. Hadn’t that been Remus’s greatest fear to bite one of them; to bite anyone? Inflicting on an innocent victim what another werewolf had done to Remus as a small child. Or worse taking someone’s life when he had no control over himself. Snape wasn’t exactly innocent but...his defense was starting to sound flat even in his own mind. What had he been thinking? Why had he only remembered now? It was easy for Sirius to forget what a terrible time the full moon was for Moony when it was filled with daring adventure for them. It was no excuse…he was beginning to see what Dumbledore and James had been trying to get at. He felt ill to his stomach realizing he’d been an idiot and then in his arrogant way he had barely apologized and showed no remorse. James had been right to shout to him about that last night. James and Peter had been whispering intently to each other oblivious to Sirius’s inner revelation.

“We’re going to breakfast,” James voiced.

“I won’t run off,” Sirius stated and there was no longer any challenge or sarcasm to his words. James noticed and his expression softened, but he didn’t offer to hide some toast or muffins in a napkin. It wasn’t like Sirius had any appetite and he stared down at his shoes.

It might have been five minutes after or twenty since his friends left, when Madam Pomfrey ushered him in. His stomach did an elaborate flip flop.

“Don’t upset him too much,” she warned. He gave her an exasperated look; that would be impossible.

Remus was lying down, his skin pale against the white sheets. An ugly bruise, deep purple in color was visible on his left side. Sirius approached the bed solemnly. Remus greeted him with a smile and appreciation, which made what he was about to say all the worse.

“Padfoot, you look worse than me,” Remus joked. Sirius hadn’t the most restful night of sleep.

Remus yawned. “Where are Prongs and Wormtail? I don’t know what happened last night – I haven’t felt this awful since, well you know.”

“I’ve got to tell you something,” Sirius said his voice hoarse.

Remus looked at him curiously, trustingly. Sirius hesitated. He opened his mouth, but the words wouldn’t come immediately. That was when Remus picked up on that fact that something was terribly wrong. Remus paled further, if that was even possible, and the fear in his eyes was not something Sirius would easily forget. “No-”

“You didn’t hurt anyone,” Sirius said quickly.

Remus did not appear to have heard him. He was still shaking his head. Sirius stepped forward and forcefully stated, directly in his friends face, “We’re all ok. No one was hurt.”

“I didn’t bite anyone?”

“No.” Sirius cursed and took a deep breath. “I did something terribly stupid.”

Remus waited.

“Snape knows.”

“Knows?”

“Snape knows about the knot, how to get into the tunnel, about your secret – everything.

“He couldn’t-”

“I told him.”

“No. No, you wouldn’t. You didn’t,” Remus insisted.

“I’m sorry, Remus. I’m sorry. It was all my fault. I didn’t believe Snape would follow my instructions. I never believed he’d get close enough to see you.”

“He saw me?”

“James ran in after…James got him out before – before you could get at him.”

“Get out.” He’d never heard Remus’s voice so deadly quiet.

“I-“

“Get out!” Remus was now yelling. He’d sat up; the pain of betrayal clearly on his face. Sirius stepped back. “Get. Out!”

Madam Pomfrey flung herself into the room to the rescue.

“Look what you’ve done. Please leave, Mr. Black.”

Remus had turned his body. Sirius could hear him groan from the movement. Without them his transformation would have been awful. Madam Pomfrey took Sirius roughly by the arm and pushed him out of the Hospital Wing.

James and Peter had returned; stomachs full and still glaring.

“Well?” James asked, leaning against the wall. Sirius wanted to punch him.

“I told him,” Sirius said. “Happy?”

James frowned. “I think you should stay away from Remus for a while.” They must have heard the yelling.

Sirius flushed. “Gladly.”

Sirius stormed away from their disappointing gazes. He immediately regretted lashing out at James again. He could have thanked James for going after Snape. He could have explained how sorry he really was. Two things that he should have done last night and now failed to do again. Was there even a point? His friends’ faces swam before his eyes. They weren’t going to forgive him, were they?

***

Remus had spent a lonely day in the Hospital Wing. He was in pain; both physical and mental. The news Sirius had brought…just thinking about it turned his stomach. It had taken time and effort for Remus to trust his friends, and he had fully trusted them with his secret.  And Sirius had gone and told the one person in the whole school who hated the lot of them. Sure Sirius had shown thoughtlessness before, but never to this level.

Professor Dumbledore visited him late in the morning. No one else but Sirius had been allowed contact with Remus. Remus wished to speak to James and Peter, but at the same time glad to be lost in his own thoughts.

“How long do I have to clean my room out?” Remus asked hollowly. Snape would have surely told the whole school by now and even if he hadn’t, surely Dumbledore now saw he was a menace to student body.

“No one is forcing you to leave, Mr. Lupin.”

“But I almost killed a student!”

“You didn’t,” Dumbledore said kindly. “I will need your word that you were not aware of a plot to lure Severus Snape into the tunnel under the Whomping Willow?”

Remus started in shock before stumbling over his answer. “N-no sir.” Had Sirius tried to make it sound as if Remus had been in on this?

“Very good. Mr. Black, insisted you had no part in it, but I needed to verify it. Having watched you grow close to Potter, Black and Pettigrew, I assumed you had told them of your condition. I did not think you’d go as far to tell them about the Whomping Willow.”

“I’m sorry. I trusted them. I trusted Sirius.” He threw out his friends name with disgust. “They were so full of questions when they first found out that it seemed harmless to let them in on it. I was very grateful they hadn’t abandoned me, sir.”

 Professor Dumbledore nodded. “I have forbidden Mr. Snape to tell anyone about your secret.”

If Dumbledore hoped to reassure Remus he did not. “He won’t, sir,” Remus stated softly. “After I almost killed him? Why would he protect who I am?”

“I believe he will. I am suspicious he might have already known you were a werewolf before this.” Remus stared at the Headmaster, unsure of what he meant by that.  “Anyway that is all I can do. This is a consequence you will have to deal with.”

For trusting his friends? This was his punishment for putting faith in them? Hanging over the rest of his Hogwarts career the knowledge Snape could ruin his life with one word.

“There is another matter I wish to discuss: Mr. Black’s punishment. I would appreciate your opinion on the matter.” Remus shrugged. “Though I do not believe it will come to that, expulsion is on the table. As I am sure you are aware, the consequences of Mr. Black’s actions would have been terrible for a multitude of people if Mr. Potter had not stepped in.”

It would have been easy for Remus to tell Dumbledore to expel Sirius. He’d never have to see his friend again. He could forget this ever happened. They could remove his bed from the room, rummage the beds around; and it would be like Sirius had never been there. Remus didn’t know what to say. The word expulsion repeated over and over in his head.

“I don’t need an answer this moment. Mr. Potter will be here to walk you to my office tonight at 7 pm. Mr. Black and Mr. Snape will be there, and we will decide what to do with Mr. Black then.”

“Ok.” Remus’s stomach clenched. He didn’t want to face Sirius so soon, but he didn’t want to seem like a coward in front of the Headmaster.

After Dumbledore left, Remus had a restless day. He did not know what to do with himself. He picked up a book, but could not concentrate. Eventually the physical drain of the transformation took its toll and Remus fell into a deep sleep for a few hours.

James swung by to pick him up at exactly 6:50 pm. Peter was not involved enough to be present and was waiting in Gryffindor Tower. James looked grave and only attempted a half-hearted smile.

On the walk over James explained in more detail what had exactly had happened.

“Mrs. Black was here? At the school?”

James shrugged. “I don’t know details. It sounded like Professor Keenan invited her…I never got to ask him.” Remus could tell how hard this was for James. James and Sirius were practically brothers – never saw one without the other; and even if he was angry at him, James would be feeling the loss of brotherhood far more keenly than Remus. “He was such a thoughtless prat.”

“Do you think he meant for Snape to be harmed?”

James deliberated the question. “I’m not sure he fully understands what he’s done, but I don’t think he intended for Snape to be bitten or killed.” There was a silence with only the sound of the clicking of their shoes. “Doesn’t excuse what he did.”

“No, it doesn’t,” Remus agreed. “Does it warrant expulsion though?”

“I figured since he wasn’t expelled yet…that meant Dumbledore wasn’t even thinking about it,” James admitted.

“Well Dumbledore certainly is thinking about it and he wants my input.” It occurred to Remus that neither of them had said Sirius’s name yet; everything was still all too fresh in their mind.

“Bloody hell!” James ran a hand through his hair. “He wouldn’t survive you know – living at home-”

“I know,” Remus replied softly. If Sirius’s parents didn’t murder their heir because of the expulsion, there was a good chance Sirius would take care of it for them. But it was hard – even knowing this – for Remus to care about Sirius’s predicament. Expulsion would still be a better outcome than Remus would have faced if James hadn’t stepped in.

The two boys did not speak again before their arrival in front of Dumbledore’s office. Sirius was slouched in a chair under Professor McGonagall’s watch. James cleared his throat loudly and Sirius jerked his body up. Remus suddenly felt as if he was frozen to the spot and he couldn’t look at Sirius. Why couldn’t this all be handled without his presence? It was all too soon for the werewolf. And worst of all Remus wasn’t sure he’d be able to control himself if Sirius did utter word. Before anything violent could erupt, James tugged Remus’s shirt and they took the two chairs farthest from their former friend; leaving the last seat for Snape, which under the best of circumstances would have been dangerous.

Professor Slughorn and Snape arrived shortly after. Snape sneered at Sirius, and Remus wondered if he can tell there’d been fallout between them all.

As Snape neared closer, he hissed, “Werewolf!”

Remus winced at the word. Just as they always would have done both Sirius and James tensed at the same time; almost like everything was ok, but it wasn’t. Snape wouldn’t have called him that if this hadn’t happened.

“I’m sorry about last night,” Remus managed.

“Why are you apologizing?” Sirius asked.

“Because you haven’t!  Have you?” Remus accused.

“Boys! That is enough,” Professor McGonagall stated. “No one will speak until Professor Dumbledore calls us into his office, and you will only speak then, when addressed.”

To his surprise it wasn’t Sirius who was called in first, but Remus and Snape. Professor McGonagall didn’t look happy about leaving Sirius and James out in the hallway. For once Remus was pretty sure the two troublemakers of the school would be on their best behavior.

“How is everyone this evening?” Professor Dumbledore asked as they all took their seats.

“I will be better once I hear Black’s been expelled,” Snape announced. Slughorn sent him a warning look, McGonagall pursed her lips, and Dumbledore turned his full gaze on the boy.  Remus had been in that position before. A look like that would make any person squirm, and Snape did cower a bit.

Remus thought it was a bit strange for Dumbledore to seriously take Snape’s thoughts on the matter. Dumbledore knew they’d had a feud going on with Snape for years. After this incident Snape would want the worst of punishments. Then again Remus was supposed to be the best of friends with Sirius, and on any other occasion he would have done his best to lesson Sirius’s punishment.  Maybe Dumbledore hoped to balance out the extremes…

“Mr. Lupin, have you had a chance to consider Mr. Black’s punishment?”

Remus could feel everyone’s eyes on him. “I don’t think he should be expelled,” Remus said quietly. He wasn’t sure what his friend deserved, but having his Hogwarts education cut away certainly would not help Sirius learn any lesson. Maybe having to face what he did would.

“Of course,” Snape scoffed. “Still sticking by them Lupin! Even after all this!”

“I think the Professors can come up with a severe and suitable punishment that does not involve expulsion,” Remus replied.

“I agree, Mr. Lupin. The other Professors and I have already come to the conclusion that Mr. Black’s expulsion would serve no one. It would also complicate things. The Board of Governors would have to be contacted; everything would need to be explained. This would inevitably result in Mr. Lupin’s expulsion and I think we all agree Mr. Lupin is the most innocent party in all of this. It might also bring up things in your past Mr. Snape.”

“What? I’m just as much of a victim as Lupin!”

“We can discuss this later privately, Mr. Snape – but I think you know what I am speaking of.”

Snape looked furious, but he said nothing. The three Professors then went to back of the room and talked in hush tones for several minutes. James and Sirius were then brought into the room. Though Remus didn’t believe it was done on purpose, the chair Sirius ended up sitting in was situated away from them all. The positioning of Sirius’s chair brought the point home that Sirius was facing this all alone. Despite looking downtrodden and as if he hadn’t slept the night (which he probably hadn’t), Sirius still managed to show some strength and defiance. It wasn’t an easy feat with Dumbledore, McGonagall, Slughorn, Snape, and James all glaring down at him. Remus was the only one not looking at him.

“Well let’s get to it,” Professor Dumbledore said gravely. “Mr. Lupin you have been cleared of all wrongdoings. I do not see a reason to punish you for something you had no control over. Mr. Potter you showed immense bravery last night, and I am awarding Gryffindor 50 points.”

James looked faint with surprise. Snape was looking rather livid, but he didn’t choose that moment to argue with Professor Dumbledore.

“Mr. Snape, you broke some rules last night as well. I have overlooked everyone being out after curfew, but I cannot overlook your approach to the Whomping Willow tree. It was made quite clear to the student body that under no circumstance was anyone to go near the tree. Whether you knew more about the situation you were getting yourself into, only you will know. 25 points off Slytherin.”

“Potter gets rewarded for getting cold feet, while I get punished?” Snape asked clearly unable to stay quiet any longer.

“There is no proof that Mr. Potter was any more involved in the planning than Mr. Lupin,” Dumbledore stated.

“Give Potter Veritaserum. Give them all Veritaserum.  You’ll get the proof you need, Headmaster.”

Remus’s anxiety spiked. If Dumbledore did give any of them Veritaserum, it was doubtful it wouldn’t be uncovered that there was three unregistered Animagi running around with a werewolf every full moon.

Before Remus could worry any further, Professor Slughorn intervened. “I am in agreement with the Headmaster on your punishment. You knew very well that Whomping Willow was out of bounds.”

Snape closed his mouth, but did not apologize. Snape’s deference to his Head of House was unexpected.

Professor Dumbledore cleared his throat. “Lastly we have Mr. Black.”

Sirius looked at Dumbledore pointedly – waiting to hear his sentence. Despite all the feelings Remus felt toward him he was still impressed (even if Sirius wasn’t doing himself any favors by not looking all that bothered) that Sirius could look so cool and collected.

“We only have a week before term ends. In this week you will attend all your classes, but all free periods and meals will be taken alone under supervision of a teacher or a prefect. After dinner you will have a detention – some task- and then you will be escorted straight to the dormitory and you will be expected to go straight to bed. We will rely on the prefects to let us know if you do not follow this.” There was no reaction from Sirius. “Do you understand so far Mr. Black?”

“Yes,” Sirius muttered.

“Sir!” McGonagall reprimanded.

“Yes, sir,” Sirius replied again.

“Also, your request to stay over break has been denied-”

“What?” Sirius spluttered.

“Sir!” McGonagall chastised again. Sirius ignored her and Dumbledore let it go.

“Mr. Snape has also requested to stay over break and under the circumstances we do not think it would be wise to have you both here.”

“You’re making me go home?” Sirius asked, and they could all hear how upset he was by the news. McGonagall seemed to have given up on making Sirius address their Headmaster properly.

“Yes-”

“I can’t go – please sir – I can’t go home,” Sirius pleaded. A smirk was forming on Snape’s mouth and Remus knew it must be difficult for Sirius to admit this in front of Snape.

“Unless you tell us that it is unsafe for you to go home – this is non-negotiable.”

“Professor – I swear – I won’t leave Gryffindor Tower. I won’t leave the dormitory – just let me stay.”

“Will you be in danger at home, Mr. Black?” Professor Dumbledore repeated.

Something flashed across Sirius’s eyes, but he just shook his head. Remus looked over at James. James knew the most about Sirius’s home situation. Remus knew Sirius hated going home, but would he really be in danger?

“Now when you return, the first three weeks you will be able to eat with your classmates and use your free time the way you please – with a detention every night. Saturday will be all day detention.  You will have a break on Sunday. Then for six additional weeks you will have all day Saturday detention. You have lost all extracurricular privileges; this includes Hogsmeade visits, Quidditch games, clubs and anything else that comes up. A hundred points will be deducted from Gryffindor, but it will only reflect 50 points after adding Mr. Potter’s earnings quietly.”

A few moments of silence passed as everyone digested the punishment.

“What are you going to tell my parents?” Sirius asked suddenly. “You don’t want them knowing that Remus is-“ Sirius met Remus’s eyes and looked away. “Trust me you don’t want them knowing what Remus is, and they aren’t going to believe I suddenly want to spend the Holidays at home.”

Professor Dumbledore folded his hands carefully on the desk. “We will explain to them that the animosity between Mr. Snape and yourself has been escalating to a point that keeping you both here over the break will be too much of inconvenience for the teachers. Last altercation between the two of you was your fault, Mr. Black, which is why you are the one to be sent home. I will have to come up with something if they request more information. There will be no need to bring Mr. Lupin into any of it.”

Sirius nodded.

“I would like to add, Mr. Black that if you are involved in any further major disciplinary actions, you will be expelled. I expect exemplary behavior in your classes. I will receive weekly reports of your behavior and if need be we can extend your detentions. I also expect your grades to be kept up. Do you understand, Mr. Black?”

“I understand, sir.” Sirius’s voice wavered with the words.

Professor McGonagall rose to her feet; her mouth a thin line. “I shall escort Mr. Black back to Gryffindor common room.” It was clear Sirius’s every action would be carefully watched, and should he step a toe out of line there would be grave consequences.

Sirius stood up. He kept his head high; eyes dark.

“Wait-” Remus voiced. Everyone turned to him, but Remus only looked directly at one person in the room. “Sirius should apologize to Snape.”

Sirius looked back at him with disbelief. Remus stared back – he needed to stay strong. His heart was beating quickly; he’d rarely stood up to his friends. It was about time he did.

“Well Mr. Black,” Professor McGonagall chided. She looked eager to get this whole business done with. Snape wasn’t hiding his smirk and Remus ignored the guilt he was feeling. This wasn’t about Snape. This was about Sirius and his friend learning to take responsibility. Knowing Sirius – this would make more of an impression than weeks of detention.

“Sorry,” Sirius muttered.

“Was that satisfactory?” Remus asked politely. It took a moment for Snape to realize Remus was addressing him.

“No,” Snape stated crossing his arms, enjoying this all.

Sirius gave Remus a glaring look and then looking directly at Snape, cleared his throat. “I’m sorry, Snape. I apologize for my actions.” Sirius spoke each word with deliberate carefulness. By the end of the sentence, he was flushed from humiliation of being forced to apologize by one of his peers.

Remus looked at Snape again, who shrugged. “I suppose that was satisfactory.”

Professor Dumbledore gave Remus a nod of approval. Professor McGonagall smiled at Remus and her face turned grim as she turned her attention to her charge. Sirius had his hands in his pockets and he was led away.

 Professor Slughorn met Dumbledore’s eyes and said, “Glad that messy business is done with. Boys these days…”

“Well that is all, Horace. Mr. Snape is free to leave as well,” Dumbledore stated, though he still looked troubled.

“Good night, then.” Slughorn stood up and Snape followed his Head of House out.

 “Mr. Potter, would you escort Mr. Lupin back to the Hospital Wing. Madam Pomfrey wishes to keep you there another day. I insisted you be let out for this. I felt it was important this be dealt with swiftly.”

“Yes – of course, sir,” James agreed.

The whole meeting had really tired Remus. He wasn’t used to such terrible transformations and it had really taken a toll. Remus supposed he’d have to get used to them again. There would be no more Animagi joining him – Sirius had seen to that.

Their walk back to hospital wing was done in silence. James looked uneasy and Remus didn’t know what to say to him.

“Why would Dumbledore send him home?” James blurted.

Remus shrugged.

“It isn’t as if he’s going to start fights with Snape. I am pretty sure he’ll be avoiding him…it doesn’t make sense.”

“It’s a good punishment though – he doesn’t like being at home.”

“How would Dumbledore know that though?”

“I’m sure even the teachers know he doesn’t get along with his family. Anyway, he could have spoken up. His parents can be mean, but he isn’t in danger, is he?”

James shook his head. “I don’t think so. Maybe I should have said something – but – I don’t know. I don’t know how to act towards him, you know…”

“I can’t deal with him right now ...and I’d rather not talk about it.”

James nodded. “Yea – ok.” It was obvious James still wanted to speak more about it.

Remus bade goodbye to James and let Madam Pomfrey fuss over him. For once he was glad for his affliction. Tonight he wouldn’t have to face Sirius. He wouldn’t have to sleep in the dorm that held so many fond memories of the four of them. Remus gulped down the potion beside his bed; eager to fall into a dreamless sleep.

  ***

Author’s note: Thanks for reading! Recent studies have shown that people who review fanfiction live longer, happier lives! ;)


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