I am so sorry it has taken me so long to get this chapter up. I hope you enjoy it!
The frigid autumnal air nipped at Sirius’ face as he sat by his window looking out over the grounds. The full moon sat lazily over the lake, creating reflections of itself and mocking those who wished it would remain stuck in the middle of its cycle forever. Sirius shifted and moved his gaze again to the Whomping Willow, he had been sat here all evening, watching the giant tree for any sign of movement but it had only moved once, back when the full moon was just peaking over the mountains. He had scoured the grounds for Remus but saw nothing. Of course he wouldn’t, Madame Pomfrey always disillusioned them before walking across the grounds but that never stopped Sirius from watching every month, sitting out the full moon as it took one of his best friends away.
Sirius stretched and cracked various joints, it was almost midnight and the ledge he was sat on was not very comfortable. It was wide enough for him not to fall off but didn’t provide a very back-friendly seat. Every month he toyed with the idea of bringing a pillow or something to sit on but he never did. To make this comfortable would take the point from the exercise.
He stared angrily up at the moon. What right did it have to ruin so many good men’s’ lives? Why did it torment Remus? It was so unfair. Even the stars seemed in on it tonight; twinkling away, happy in their beauty and this made Sirius even angrier. The stars had always been the roof of the world to him, an unreachable artistry full of wisdom and innocence. Whenever he felt his problems threatening to overload him he would stare at the stars and the problems would become small and insignificant.
Tonight, though, they just reminded him how useless he was. The three boys had been working on becoming Animagi for what felt like ages now but none of them had been successful. Every time they waved their wands, nothing happened. James had once said that he felt a slowness in his mind but it had quickly passed and Peter had once screamed at the sight of James and Sirius and tried to run under a bed but Sirius had never felt anything. The book they had ‘borrowed’ from the Restricted Section said that to become an Animagus, the wizard would have to want it more than anything and be able to focus solely on the reason for changing. Sirius knew that he wanted it more than anything but the reason always slipped as he uttered the charm.
He sighed and got off the ledge, but as he climbed back inside a silver gleam caught his eye from below his bed. He knelt and pulled out the Transfiguration book. It fell open at the Animagi page, not surprising as James stared at it almost every night, trying to work out what it was they were missing. Sirius stared at the small writing, scanning but not taking anything in. He picked up his wand and thought of nothing except the full moon and what it meant, his mind was focused only on his friendship with Remus and he tapped himself lightly.
James was abruptly awoken by a heavy weight, running over him and dropping to the floor. He opened his eyes slowly, still caught in the midst of sleep and yelled when Sirius’ head suddenly appeared in front of his own.
“Aaargh!” Sirius grinned and he started jumping, on all fours, on James’ bed.
“James James James James Jamesy James! What are you doing? Why are you asleep? Do you want to play a game? I want to play a game. We could pay a fun game, what do you say? Huh? Huh? Huh?”Sirius stared at James, still grinning and started nodding his head very quickly. “What are you doing? Will you play with me? Can I lick you? Can I? Can I?” The word lick jolted James from his half sleep and he sat up, pushing Sirius off him. Sirius didn’t seem the least bit fazed and started sniffing the floor, powering along on all fours.
“Uh, Sirius?” asked James, running a hand through his hair and putting on his glasses. “Sirius what time is it?” Sirius spun around at the mention of his name and ran back to James, circling around him.
“Time? I don’t know. Night time! I like night time. It smells nice. You smell nice too. Do you want to play? Will you scratch my ears? Will you? Please?” James stared at his best friend. Sirius was currently hovering on all fours, apparently torn between the possibility of James playing with him and the insatiable need to explore.
“Sirius, what have you – ah.” James caught sight of the open Transfiguration book and walked over to pick it up. Sirius bounded over with him, grinning widely, his tongue hanging out unattractively as he ran. As James knelt down, Sirius barrelled into him, knocking him over. He scrambled over James and came to rest sitting on his legs, panting quickly into his face. He grinned again and licked him on the cheek.
“James James James James. Will you play with me now? Huh? Huh?”
“Urgh,” James wiped his face and pushed Sirius’ head away. Sirius abruptly lost interest and jumped off James, running full pelt at the final occupied bed where he had just smelt Peter. He jumped up and gambolled all over Peter’s bed. Peter shot up and stared, horrified, at Sirius.
“Peter! Peter, the best guy ever. Do you want to play with me? Do you? Do you? You smell funny, like moths -”
James took a moment, while Sirius was occupied, to read through the instructions from the book. Apparently the charm had finally worked on Sirius, the animal side had come forth and was in control. Somehow, James needed to bring the Sirius mind back into play. He caught sight of another line and groaned, ‘Effect could last up to 3 hours.’
Peter was now out of bed and Sirius was running around the room on all fours, jumping at fallen books and dust motes. Peter turned to James, wide eyed and James held up the book for him to see. Peter nodded and turned back to Sirius, suddenly trying not to laugh. James cast his eyes around the room, looking for a way to bring Sirius back when, in a moment of freezing horror; he saw that the door to the dormitory was wide open. He shot forward and Sirius turned and looked at him in confusion. He cocked his head to the side and suddenly saw what James was running at, the open door. He ran for it too, the possibility of exploration too strong for him to resist and he was out. James shouted but Sirius was already running down the stairs, new smells intoxicating him. He came out in the Gryffindor common room, there were several people in there but Sirius had spotted a slightly familiar red head.
“Lily Lily Lily Lily Lily!” he whooped running towards her and her two friends, Mary MacDonald and Marlene McKinnon. Lily turned at her name and scowled when she saw who it was.
“Black. What do you -” she was interrupted by Sirius jamming his nose into her face and scrambling on top of her.
“Lily! Do you want to play? You smell nice. Like Lavender. James likes Lavender. He says you smell like it too. He likes you. I like you. Will you play a game with me? Will you? I like playing. I’m having fun but we could have more
“Sirius Black!” James shouted from the other side of the common room. Sirius stopped jabbing Lily with his nose and turned to the voice. He jumped off Lily and ran at James, his best friend ever James who was going to play a game with him. He smiled wildly at James but he looked very angry. Uh oh.
“James? What’s up? I feel strange James. Not myself. James. Will you play with me? Lily won’t play with me. She smells like Lavender. I told her you liked Lavender. And you like her. You tell us all
the time. You can be really boring sometimes. I don’t think she likes you. But I like you. Will you play with me now? Huh? I’ve been really good, I haven’t chewed anything important yet. And I haven’t -”
“Sirius, enough,” said James, with all the authority he could muster, “Bad dog.”
“B-bad dog?” asked Sirius, stopping abruptly, his eyes wide and full of sorrow. “Bad dog?”
“Yes, bad dog,” said James again, he felt cruel but it appeared that this was the only way to stop Sirius and his insane monologue. Sirius stared at him, a face full of reproach and remorse. Peter snorted and Sirius turned suddenly to him.
“Peter Peter! We can play a game. What if you throw something and then I bring it back and you can throw it again and I can bring it back again. It would be so much fun!” He ran off, intent on finding something to throw when he jumped up onto a chair, span around twice and fell instantly to sleep.
The common room was silent for a moment as everyone took in the sleeping form of Sirius Black, whose foot was now twitching convulsively.
“James,” said Lily warningly, “What the hell was that?”
“That was, uh, Peter’s failed attempt at Transfiguring Sirius into dog,” said James finally, shooting an apologetic look at Peter who shrugged.
“I got the mind but not the appearance,” said Peter slowly, looking at James for prompts. Lily narrowed her eyes but her friend Mary grinned and clapped her hands.
“That’s amazing Peter,” said Mary smiling. “We don’t do Human Transfiguration until 6th year or something. Isn’t that great Lily?” she asked the red head who just scowled at her.
"You know, I think I prefer Sirius as a dog," said Marlene thoughtfully. Lily laughed and the boys shifted nervously.
“Yes well,” said James, running his hand through his hair anxiously. He obviously feared an angry outburst from Lily. “We’ll just take Sirius upstairs and try to turn him back.” He nudged Peter who nodded and together they cast a hovering charm over the sleeping form of Sirius. As quickly as they could, they floated Sirius up the stairs and into their dormitory.
As soon as Sirius touched the ground he was awake again.
“Hey James!” he said running in small circles, deliberately light footed. “James James James. Look I can walk quietly, I can tiptoe, I can prowl, I can pad. Hey, I have padding feet. I bet I’m the only one with padding feet. We could have a competition. Do you want to have a competition? I bet I would win.” James slid wearily down the firmly shut door.
“No Sirius,” he said weakly, “you are the only one with padding feet.”
The next morning dawned far too early for Sirius. He lay, with his eyes firmly shut as James sing-songed his name right into his ear.
“Sirius!” he said grinning widely, “It’s time to get up!”
“Urgh no. Leave me alone. I’m tired,” he groaned as James sat on his legs.
“Breakfast time! I bet you know what’s for breakfast, I’m sure you can smell
it.” James and Peter started laughing as Sirius opened one confused eye.
“James, what in Merlin’s name are you going on about?”
“Ah you don’t remember, interesting.” James opened the notebook on his lap and jotted something quickly inside.
“What do you mean I don’t remember? What’s interesting?” Sirius sat up and pushed James off his legs.
“So you don’t remember waking me up, licking me, running down the stairs, making a fool of yourself in front of Evans and almost succumbing to tears when I called you a bad dog?” James asked, grinning again.
“James, I have no idea what you are on about,” said Sirius rubbing his face. He stared around the room and his eyes came to rest on a silver bound book. “I -” he gasped as the night came rushing back. “Oh Merlin.”
“Exactly what we were thinking last night,” chimed Peter. James laughed and nodded.
“You had us running around after you for three and a half hours.” Sirius groaned and fell back onto his bed.
“And I went into the common room?” he asked, afraid to hear the answer.
“Yep, Evans was down there with her friends Mary and Marlene -" Peter winked at Sirius, "and several other people doing homework. You told Evans you thought she smelt like lavender. And that I thought she did too,” James scowled, “I will be getting you back for that later.” Peter laughed and Sirius groaned again.
“There goes my reputation as the sex god of Gryffindor.” James snorted and Sirius shot him evils.
“Don’t worry, Sirius,” said Peter, “James told Lily that I was trying to transfigure you into a dog and failed. Apparently I only got the mind bit.”
“Into a dog?” asked Sirius frowning.
“Yes,” said James smiling proudly, “It would seem that your Animagus form is a dog, Padfoot.”
“Padfoot?” Sirius asked again.
“Yeah, last night you were exceptionally proud that you had ‘padding feet’, whatever that means, so we started calling you Padfoot. Dogs have padded feet as well so we thought it was a good nickname. It shut you up at least,” explained Peter shrugging his shoulders.
“Padfoot,” said Sirius, trying it out, “I like it.”
Breakfast was an awkward affair for Sirius. It seemed that the students who had witnessed Padfoot last night had succeeded in spreading the story throughout the whole castle. He felt eyes on him all the time and didn’t talk at all except to ask Peter to pass the eggs. The three boys were just about to leave as the familiar face of Remus sat down next to them. He looked tired and wan but there were no new scars and he was smiling. Sirius wondered if the transformation had been kinder to him than usual.
“What are you smiling about?” asked James as Remus helped himself to some pumpkin juice.
“I love Damocles Belby,” said Remus grinning. The name registered slightly with Sirius and he sat up.
“The guy Slughorn always used to talk about in Potions in our first year?” he asked. Remus nodded.
“He just invented a new potion, the Wolfsbane Potion, that allows me to keep my mind during, well..” Remus petered off and the boys nodded. “It’s basically like being an Animagus with a painful transformation and a few dodgy moments thrown in.” He smiled and rubbed a sore muscle in his leg.
“That’s great Remus!” exclaimed Peter.
“Dodgy moments?” asked Sirius. Remus’ face momentarily clouded.
“Well, even though I have my mind most of the time, the wolf occasionally breaks through and that is completely terrifying. To have consciousness and control and then lose it completely, its awful.” Remus took a sip and Sirius nodded.
“Yeah, I know what it’s like to have no control.” Remus frowned and looked at Sirius but before he could ask, James butted in.
“Sirius, why is Snivellus staring at you and Remus?” he asked. Sirius and Remus turned around and Snape dropped his gaze. “He keeps flicking between the both of you with this evil grin. He turned really pale at one point but now he just keeps smiling.” Remus frowned but Sirius grinned, unable not to make a joke.
“Ah I know what the problem is,” he said seriously, “Snivellus is deeply in love with me and he is under the impression that there is something going on between myself and Remus. He is grinning because he has found a way to kill Remus and have me all to himself.” James grinned and Remus rolled his eyes.
“Come, Remus,” said Sirius, turning back around to face Snape, pulling Remus with him. “Let us make a point.” Before Remus knew what was happening, Sirius was planting a big kiss on his cheek. “Not going to happen Snape!” he shouted across the room. The people around them burst into laughter and Snape turned red. He glowered at Sirius who waved and turned back.
“Now he is plotting to kill you, Sirius,” James said laughing.
“He’ll have to catch me first,” said Sirius grinning.
Everything recognisable belongs to JK Rowling.
I hoped you enjoyed it please, please review, it makes me really happy to see a new review!