Chapter 22 : The Full Moon
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“Well?” Madame Pince stared down at the two girls who both shook their heads quickly. “Good,” Pince sniffed, “Because the library closes in ten minutes, so I suggest you two both get your things and head off to your common rooms.”
Lily and Melora both nodded and watched the librarian stalk off before beginning to pack up their belongings.
“I know we were both just dozing off, but I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep a wink if I go back to my dorm,” Melora admitted.
Lily sighed. “I know. Plus I’m worried we’ll sleep through the morning.”
“What should we do?”
Lily thought this over. “I suppose you can come back with me to the Gryffindor common room,” she suggested, “It’s almost curfew and I think everyone will pretty much be in bed, so no one will mind.”
“Alright,” Melora agreed.
The two girls headed back in silence.
“Lily,” Melora said right before they reached the portrait of the Fat Lady, “What do we do if Remus is actually a werewolf?”
Lily cocked her head, “What do you mean?”
“I mean,” Melora shifted uncomfortably, “Do we tell someone or…?” she trailed off.
“No,” Lily said immediately, “We talk to Remus first. He’s still our friend and just because he’s a werewolf doesn’t change that.”
They reached the portrait, but before Lily could give the password, it opened, revealing three boys, James, Sirius and Peter.
“What are you doing here?” All five asked simultaneously.
“We’re going to do Transfiguration homework!” James blurted out quickly.
“The library’s closed,” Lily pointed out.
The three boys exchanged glances.
“We were going to do it in the kitchens?” Peter offered.
“What are you doing here anyway?” Sirius said quickly before Lily or Melora could ask why.
“Charms homework,” Melora replied, “Lily’s helping me and we’d figured we could do it in your common room.”
Sirius frowned, “But you said you did the charms essay yesterday.”
Melora flushed, “I…lied?”
Lily sighed, “Okay, clearly none of us are doing homework. So let’s just come out with it. Melora was coming over to wait up with me. We were going to check on Remus in the Hospital Wing tomorrow.”
“Why would Remus be in the Hospital Wing?” Peter asked nervously, “He’s at home with his mum.”
The other two boys nodded in agreement. Lily and Melora exchanged a glance. “Oh really?” Lily said, “So if you’re not doing homework, where are you going?”
“We’re still sticking with the homework story,” James shrugged.
“Oh give it up!” Melora exclaimed, “We know that Remus is a werewolf!”
“Shhhh!” Four pairs of hands shot out at Melora, trying to cover her mouth. Melora flushed again, realizing her mistake.
“Sorry,” she mumbled when the hands were dropped.
“Give us a minute?” Sirius said. The two girls nodded and the Marauders took a step away, huddling up.
After a minute the boys broke apart and James looked down at his watch. “Girls we don’t really have time for this right now, but meet us tomorrow at the Hospital Wing and we’ll talk about it then, ok?”
Melora frowned, “Hold on, where are you three going?”
Sirius sighed, “We’ll explain everything tomorrow, I promise.”
Melora still looked unsure, but she and Lily nodded nonetheless.
The next morning, Lily and Melora woke up well before the rest of the Gryffindor house and made their way down to the Hospital Wing.
They had managed to fall asleep sometime around two in the morning. Although both girls admitted their sleep had been anything but restful.
“I had nightmares,” Melora said softly as they walked, “About confronting Remus and him turning into werewolf and attacking me.”
“Nothing like that is going to happen,” Lily said confidently, “Although I am a little worried about what James, Sirius and Peter were doing last night. I mean, you don’t think they go after Remus, do you? What if something happened to them?”
“The boys are reckless, but they’re not suicidal,” Melora pointed out. Lily nodded, but Melora could tell the redhead didn’t quite believe her.
After what seemed like an eternity, they reached the Hospital Wing. Peter was sitting asleep on the ground outside, head lolled to the side, snoring slightly. Melora giggled as Lily reached down and shook his shoulder.
Peter jumped a little, mumbling something about cheese and looked up blearily. “Oh you’re here. One second,” He stood up and stumbled into the Wing, poking his head out a few second later, “Okay, it’s clear, come on in.”
The girls followed Peter in and to the back of the room where Sirius and James were sitting by Remus, asleep in a bed.
He looked weak, his skin pale and his cheeks sunken. He was also covered in scars, most of which looked fresh.
Melora shuddered a little. “Is he going to be okay?” she asked.
Sirius nodded. “He’s looked worse.”
“How long have you three known?” Lily asked.
“We figured it out second year,” James replied.
“And you what? Wait for him here every full moon?” Melora tried to picture it, but it seemed odd to imagine the Marauders waiting for anything. But they wouldn’t actually go after Remus, would they?
“Not exactly,” Peter said.
“Then where do you go?” Lily looked confused, “I mean, you can’t go into the Shrieking Shack with him, it’s too dangerous!”
“For humans, yes,” James said uncomfortably, “But for animals, it’s relatively safe. Especially if you go somewhere with more open space, like the Forbidden Forest.”
“What do you mean?” Lily’s confusion grew, but Melora’s eyes widened in understanding.
“You can’t have!” she exclaimed, “You’re too young! The Ministry would have never allowed! Unless…”
“Unless the Ministry didn’t know,” Sirius finished.
Lily frowned, “What are you talking about?”
“They’re unregistered Animagi,” Melora said, “That’s how they stay safe and keep Remus company.”
Lily let out a little gasp, “That’s crazy!”
“How did you even manage it?” Melora added “It’s advanced magic.”
The boys shrugged. “It wasn’t easy,” James said, “Took us three years, but it was worth it.”
“What do you turn into?” Melora asked.
Lily gave her a glare, but the blonde shrugged, “What? I’m curious.”
“James is a stag, I’m a dog, and Peter’s a rat,” Sirius said quickly.
“Prongs, Padfoot and Wormtail,” said Melora, “And here I thought they were just idiotic nicknames.”
“And Moony,” James added with a slight grin.
Melora looked down at the boy in question. “Did ask him if it was all right for you to tell us?”
Sirius nodded. “He only wanted you two to know though. Said not to tell Bea, specifically.”
“Can we go back to the illegal animagi thing?” Lily said sharply, “Do you three have any idea how stupid running around with Remus when he’s like that is? You could get yourselves killed!”
“Well we couldn’t leave him to suffer alone!” James shot back.
“So you’d put yourselves in harm’s way?”
“To help a friend? Yes!”
The couple glared at one another over the bed. “Sirius, you have a responsibility to Melora,” Lily hissed, her eyes still trained on James, “You’re the father of her baby. I thought you’d grown up enough to see that you can’t just go around doing whatever to please anymore. There are people here that care about you. That don’t know what they’d do if they,” Lily’s voice hitched and she turned away, “If they lost you,” she finished in a whispered voice.
James’ heated look softened. “Lily, I…” he trailed off.
Sirius looked over at Melora. “Sorry,” he said, “Remus told me I should stop when we found out about the baby, but I couldn’t, we couldn’t just leave him.”
Melora nodded. “Why don’t we talk about it later?” she said quietly, her eyes flickering from Sirius to Remus to Lily and James. James made his way around the bed and encircled his arms around Lily.
“I’m sorry,” he mumbled. Lily turned in so her face was against his shirt. Melora moved towards Sirius and Peter, feeling very much like she was intruding on a private moment.
“I, I understand,” Lily told him quietly, “I just…why do you have to be so damn noble?”
James chuckled and Melora looked at the couple fondly. She wondered idly if someone had told Lily two years ago she would be in this position, would the redhead believe them? Probably not.
A groan from the bed brought Melora’s attention back to Remus. Lily and James untangled themselves, although Melora noted James kept his arm around Lily’s waist.
Remus opened his eyes slowly and blinked blearily at his friends around the bed. “Hey guys,” he rasped, “What’s up?”
“Are you feeling okay Remus?” Lily asked, biting the bottom of her lip.
He nodded and sat up slowly, wincing slightly. “I understand if you girls don’t want to hang around me anymore,” he said, “Especially you Melora, with the baby and all.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Lily chided, “We’re still going to be your friends, right Melora?”
Melora nodded. “She’d understand, you know.”
Remus looked away. “I couldn’t put her in that sort of danger. You won’t tell her, will you?”
“Of course not,” Melora said, “It’s your secret to tell. But I’ve known Beatrice a long time, and I can honestly tell you, she wouldn’t care.”
Remus shrugged, “I’d care.”
Melora wanted to argue some more, but Sirius put a gentle hand on her shoulder and she swallowed her words. It wasn’t her place to tell Remus what to do, but now that she knew the Marauders’ secret, Melora knew it would be even harder to talk to Bea about the Gryffindor boy.
“We’d better go,” James said, glancing at his watch, “Madame Moffat will be in any minute. We’ll see you later Moony.”
Remus nodded and gave a little wave and the other five hurried out of the hospital wing.
“Will you show me some time?” Melora asked softly as she and Sirius walked behind the others on the way to the Great Hall for breakfast.
“Show you what?” Sirius raised a brow.
“Your animagus form,” Melora said, a slight flush in her cheeks, “It’s a dog, right? That’s what James said?”
Sirius nodded with a smirk, “He likes to say I should stay that way. Something about my disposition being sweeter as a dog.”
“He’s probably right,” Melora giggled.
“Oi, take that back!” Sirius protested.
“No,” Melora replied, sticking out her tongue. Sirius tickled her sides in retaliation and Melora shrieked, jumping away from him.
“Think of your child Black! Your child!” she cried, running to catch up with Lily, James and Peter.
Sirius smiled at her from behind. “I am,” he said to himself, “I always am.”
A/N- I'm not really happy with this chapter, but hopefully you all don't hate it. It focused a little more on James/Lily than Sirius and Melora, but the next couple chapters will be largely Sirius and Melora so...yep.
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