Chapter 9 : The Aftermath
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“Prongs what are you doing?” Sirius clambered out of bed.
“What does it look like? I’m sitting on Wormtail’s head,” James said matter of factly.
"But why? Get off him." Sirius pushed him off, and James stood up, glaring at Peter. “What’s going on?” Sirius inquired.
“This little rat doesn’t understand that mates don’t go after other mates’ girls.”
“What are you talking about? Wormtail did you scam on Lily?” Sirius asked, turning angrily on Peter.
“Not Lily. Jane! He tried to slip Jane love potion,” James shouted. Sirius’ eyes widened as he suddenly leapt at Peter.
“Stay away from her, you prick,” he said, pushing Peter against the wall.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. They made me do it.” Sirius stopped.
“Someone made you send love potion to my girlfriend?” At that moment Remus stood up straight and made his way across the room to where the others stood. “Who?”
“The Slytherins thought it would be funny. They told me that if I didn’t do what they said, they’d make me pay.” The boys all shared a look, and Sirius’ thoughts immediately jumped to his brother, and the way he had sneered at him the previous day.
“Why didn’t you tell me Moony?” asked Sirius with a hurt face, as they sat with James at the Gryffindor table, eating their breakfast. Peter was at the far end of the table by himself.
“Jane made me promise not to tell either of you. James only found out because he overheard Peter and I talking.”
“Why didn’t she want me knowing?” asked James in surprise, setting down his fork.
“I suppose it’s because she knew that you’d do something noble. Like sit on Peter’s head.” At that moment Jane walked into the Great Hall with Lily. She saw Sirius’ face and immediately knew that he’d found out. He swung around to face them as the two reluctantly walked over to the table.
“So when were you planning on telling me that my mate sent you a Valentine’s gift?” Jane felt horrible as she saw the disappointment in his eyes.
“Sirius-” He took her hand and pulled her from the room, leaving Lily with James and Remus, who was silently apologizing as he watched her go. Lily immediately turned her back on James, speaking only to Remus. The last thing Jane saw was James boredly putting his head in his hands.
Standing in the Entrance Hall, Jane turned to Sirius.
“Sirius, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you but I didn’t want to cause trouble between the two of you. Besides it was harmless, I didn’t eat any of them.”
“Jane, it was not harmless. It wasn’t some stupid little crush. The Slytherins made him do it.”
“Why me?” Jane looked as if her mind was racing at one hundred miles an hour. “Wh…why would they want me?”
“Well we both have a tendency to piss them off,” he replied. “Is it any wonder that they wanted to get us back?”
“Okay Sirius, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.” She wrapped her arms around his neck and planted a soft kiss on his lips.
At that moment, Severus walked past the couple. He gave Jane a polite smile over Sirius’ shoulder. Jane smiled back, curious as to how much he knew.
Weeks had gone by without another incident with the Slytherins, and Jane had finally convinced herself that she was safe from any further plotting. It was a warm March night, as she wandered the Hogwarts grounds, walking past the large Whomping Willow, as she watched an owl fly across the dark night sky. For several days following the prank on Valentine’s Day, she had been on edge. Especially since the day Severus had told her that he had seen Peter lingering around the Slytherin portrait hole. Peter had since been forgiven by his friends, who knew him to be a bit of a wimp and who had decided to forget about the whole Valentine’s Day incident. However Jane knew that in order to convince Sirius of Peter’s relationship with the Slytherins, she’d need to reveal her source, and she wasn’t quite ready to let her friends know about her alliance with Severus Snape. Suddenly Jane was pulled out of her thoughts by a rustling in the nearby bushes. Before she could reach for her wand, she was pinned to the ground, with warm breath against her face. She struggled underneath the great weight, scratching away at anything she could. As she turned her head, all Jane saw were sharp teeth before the creature was pulled off of her. She quickly sat up in time to see what looked like a stag and a very large dog facing what Jane could instantly see was a werewolf. The dog and the wolf were wrestling, their claws ripping at each other. Meanwhile, the stag was fixed in a stance as if ready to pounce at any moment. It stood between Jane and the furious creature; shielding her, as the dog continued to bite at the werewolf, its feet now planted in the soil. Suddenly the werewolf pounced at Jane once more, but the stag was ready. It dug its antlers into the werewolf’s side, causing a loud whine to ensue as the werewolf retreated back through the bushes, crashing into a large tree trunk before disappearing. The stag chased after it, but the dog remained planted to its spot. Its eyes watched Jane as she tried to catch her breath. It slowly approached, its eyes never straying from Jane’s. Suddenly there was a blinding flash of light and someone much taller stood in front of her.
“Are you okay?” asked Sirius Black, concern etched on his face. He had deep scratches across his neck and there was dirt on his face. Jane sat where she was, in utter shock. “Jane?” The voice was miles away. “Jane, are you okay?” he asked more forcefully.
“Yeah. Um, yeah I’m good,” she answered in a daze. Sirius laughed.
“I should probably see how James is going with Moony,” he said, nodding his head in the direction in which the two animals had just disappeared.
“Th-that was James and Remus?” Jane asked, amazed.
“Yeah,” he answered. “And Pete’s around here somewhere.”
“Hang on. You’re a dog?” she questioned. Sirius let out his bark-like laugh.
“Yeah, I’m a dog.” He grinned. “Did you want me to walk you back to the castle?”
“No, you should catch up with them. I’ll be okay.” Jane lifted herself off the ground.
“Okay, well if you’re sure,” he said, uncertain. “Oh, and could you not tell anyone about this?”
“Don’t worry,” Jane insisted. “I am the sole of discretion.” She tapped her nose in what was meant to be a mysterious manner. “But wait, which one’s the werewol-”
“We’ll have plenty of time to talk about it tomorrow, I promise,” he said apologetically, backing away into the bushes and returning to the shaggy black dog form.
Jane was woken the next morning by Lily shaking her.
“Jane? Jane. JANE!”
“What?” she answered, still half asleep and grumpy at being woken.
“Sirius wants to talk to you and-” Jane swiftly sat up, jumping out of her bed and grabbing the closest item of clothing she could find. She quickly pulled off her flannelette pyjamas and pulled on a white dress. After several tries to get it on the right way, she had it on and ran down the staircase into the common room, where Sirius and Peter sat.
“Are you going to let me in on the secret now?” she asked, excited. Sirius laughed.
“Yeah, come on. We have to go to the Hospital Wing.” He saw the worry on Jane’s face. “Oh no, it’s okay. We’ll explain when we’re there.” Jane walked with the boys through the corridors up to the Hospital Wing. She had never been more excited to visit this room, but part of her still did worry about the reason behind the visit. “How’re you feeling after last night?” Sirius asked.
“Fine.” Jane smiled, covering the scratches along the backs of her arms. Sirius was still covered in scratches and he seemed to be walking with a limp.
As they reached the doors, Sirius opened it to allow Jane to enter first. When she entered, the room didn’t seem any different to usual. The beds were still stiff, the smell was still horrid and the only sound that was heard was the tapping as Madam Pomfrey’s feet hit the cold white floor. Jane felt a shiver go up her spine. Sirius led the way to the very last bed on the left of the room, it overlooked the large lake and the Quidditch pitch could be seen in the distance. As Jane approached the bed, she recognized Remus was lying in it, a pained expression on his face.
“Oh Merlin Remus, what’s wrong with you?” Jane asked, sitting at his feet. He was also covered in scratches, as well as a few bite marks and bruises. “You look horrible.” James, who was sitting on Remus’ right, laughed at Jane’s lack of sensitivity. “Oh, I’m sorry.” Jane tried to back track. “But I mean you do,” she admitted. Remus smiled sadly.
“Nothing I’m not used to,” he said.
“Used to? So, this is a regular occurrence?” Remus nodded. “Oh-” Jane started. “So that was you.”
“Yeah, that was me,” he said, looking down at his hands. “About that, I’m so sorry Jane. I can understand if you never want to speak to me again. I mean, this is definitely not how I wanted you to find out-”
“Hold your Hippogriffs, Remus John Lupin. What are you on about?” Jane interjected. James smirked beside her.
“Well I’m a monster.”
“Who told you that codswallop?” Jane asked. “You’re amazing, Remus. You’re funny, you’re really really sweet, you’re smart. You’re the perfect guy.”
“What does that make me?” Sirius interrupted. Jane ignored him.
“And Remus?” He didn’t look up. Jane took his chin in her hand and forced his face up. “Remus, look at me. Don’t you dare let anyone make you think you’re less than what you are.”
“Thanks Jane.” Remus smiled, as Jane held his hand in hers.
"Yeah Moony, we've all got secrets." James shrugged.
"That, we do," said Jane, ignoring Sirius who turned and looked at her curiously. “So, now that I’ve uncovered you’re little mystery. How about you let me in on the truth behind the stag and that really mangy dog I saw last night.” Jane grinned.
And so the Marauders told her the story of their Animagus figures. By the end of it Jane was on the edge of the hospital bed. “I can’t believe this. I want to be an Animagus,” she groaned.
“What would your form be, do you think?” Remus asked, a little happier now.
“Jane would be a chimp,” Sirius added. “Observe the moustache above her upper lip.” He pointed it out. “The vacant expression. And lastly, but certainly the most striking similarity; note the putrid odour that she releases.”
“I do not have a moustache!” Jane punched Sirius in the left arm.
“No, he’s right Glossin. You do look like a chimpanzee now I think about it,” James began. Sirius clutched his arm and tried to wave James to stop, but it was too late. Jane had already punched him in his right arm.
“Ouch!” James said, clutching his own arm. Remus and Jane laughed, and surprisingly so did Peter.
“That’s enough,” came a loud, high pitched voice. “You’re interrupting the other patients and visiting hours are over,” said Madam Pomfrey, shooing them away.
“Okay, okay,” Jane said, jumping up off the bed and bidding Remus goodbye with the others.
“See you later Moony,” Sirius smiled. “Let me know when you’re free for a rematch.” He winked, trying hard to hide his limp as he left the room.
AN: Hey guys, sorry about the wait. I hope everything is well. This chapter is pretty quick, I know. Initially it was much longer, but I decided to go all Warner Bros. and split it into two. But that means that the next chapter should be up in a jiffy, so stay tuned!