Chapter 14 : A Full Moon
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The infamous April showers made viewing quidditch extremely unpleasant. Over the past few hours I had spent sitting here, the light, constant rain had slowly drenched my cloak in water. The wind didn’t make matters any better, and I could tell that the quidditch players were facing a rough time out on the pitch.
After Gryffindor’s loss to Slytherin, James had informed us all this morning that winning this match was a must. Losing wasn’t an option for him and the team, and McGonagall too, no doubt. He had slowly become more and more agitated as breakfast progressed, clenching his fist whenever anyone dared to speak to him. Being a werewolf proved to be useful to Remus for once, as he had to go to the Hospital Wing to prepare for tonight while we braved the weather and James’ annoyance about it during half time.
Remus wasn’t the only one worried about this evening. All my plans and preparations from January were finally coming down to tonight. Finally, Snape would get the revenge he long deserved. The note about how to get past the Whomping Willow had been deposited this morning by a house elf. Now it was simply a matter of waiting to see whether he would have the guts to appear or not.
He had looked over at us after reading the note and with an extremely smug expression on his face. I hadn’t signed my name on it, so I put it down to him looking at Remus.
Peter eagerly cheered next to me whenever James scored a goal against the Hufflepuff keeper. He kept sending me odd looks whenever I didn’t join in with him. This was what Peter and I tended to do at quidditch matches, after all, but the thought of finally being able to get back at Severus Snape was considerably more enjoyable to think about.
Noise surged from the Gryffindor stands, followed by a groan from the Hufflepuff side. “What’s happened, Pete?” I asked lazily.
“Johnson’s seen the snitch. He’s after it!” Peter cried out and waved his arms around in the wind.
“Great!” I let out a small cheer when Johnson’s hand lay just a few inches away from the snitch, so I didn’t feel too traitorous to my house.
I could see the Gryffindor fifth year girls a few rows in front of me. Thalia and Alice were the most enthusiastic cheerers of them all. Of course Thalia would be considering George played keeper and he captained the team, but I didn’t know how Alice could get so excited over Mary playing well today. Even Peter wasn’t that crazy over James; perhaps she liked someone on the team, I wondered.
When Anthony Johnson clasped his hand around the snitch, all the Gryffindors in the stands rose, cheering and hollering even louder than before. I could even make out McGonagall giving a little fist pump, in the commentator’s box.
The dismal weather didn’t deter anyone’s excitement, as a sudden surge of red and gold headed down the stairs and towards the pitch. Peter, rather forcefully for once, grabbed onto my cloak and pulled me into the tide of people.
Once we reached the pitch we headed over to James, who was currently in a group hug with the entire team. Due to beating Hufflepuff by over a hundred points, they had a good chance of winning the entire cup.
I could see a flicker of familiar brown curls out of the corner of my eye as Thalia head over to the brown haired captain. I watched as she tapped him on the shoulder and kissed him. How wonderful. James had been released from the group hug, so I could use him as a distraction.
“Well done, Prongs. Great match,” I congratulated him.
He grinned at me. “It’s all thanks to George.” Why did George have to keep on appearing? He had begun to get on my nerves today. “Ever since he put us on this new training regime we’ve been doing brilliantly, and having Macdonald back certainly improved our playing.”
Mary headed over to us at the mention of her name. “What’s that you saying about me, Potter? I hope it’s good things, because as much as you like to think you scored all the goals, I put in at least eight of those quaffles.”
“I would never dream of saying anything bad about you, Macdonald,” James replied affably. He glanced over to where Lily and Maia had been standing and began running his hands through his hair when he noticed them walking over. I scanned the crowds of people looking for Alice, and I saw her talking animatedly with Frank Longbottom. I never knew those two were friends.
“Alright, Evans?” James puffed out his chest. He looked like a prat if anyone wanted my honest opinion. I even had a bit more of an idea about how to get a girl; though my attempts weren’t that impressive. Anna blanked me when I attempted to say hi to her the other day, and any action on the Thalia front was non-existent.
“I’m fine, thank you Potter,” Lily replied, somewhat civilly. James’ face was agog with shock, and Peter and I couldn’t help but snigger at how ridiculous he looked. She didn't seem to notice as she turned to Mary. “Maia and I were going to head back up to the common room. It’s freezing out here, and someone mentioned there was going to be a party later on. Are you coming?”
“You go on, I’m going to head over to the changing rooms and I’ll meet you two up there.” Mary gave Lily and Maia a smile and began walking over to the door embossed with the Gryffindor lion.
“Shall we go up?” Lily asked Maia, who gave a quick nod and they began walking up to the castle.
“Bye Evans,” James called out after them. Unsurprisingly, Lily didn’t respond to his farewell.
“You’re on a roll today, James. First you win the match and then you somehow managed not to anger Evans,” Peter laughed.
“I know, all those times you guys said I would never get her and you were all wrong. Today was just a step closer to my goal.” James had a wistful expression on his face. Frankly, he looked like a soppy git.
“Yeah, yeah, you keep on dreaming, mate,” I replied. “Let’s go up to the common room. If there’s a party on, we may as well enjoy it before we have to help Moony out.”
“Yeah, we probably should,” James said and began heading in the same direction as the girls just went. I glanced over to where Thalia and George stood and saw them talking happily to one another.
It was the usual type of party going on in the common room. The butterbeer flowed around the room, Peter had begun to juggle cauldron cakes and James had been staring at Lily all evening. I would have joined in but my mind was entirely focused on tonight and the revenge I had planned.
I kept a careful eye on the window near to me, observing the sun’s slow descent. Once it had finally sunk I knew it was time. “Oi, Wormtail, Prongs, we had better get a move on and help Moony.” Peter dropped the cauldron cakes to the ground. A group of hyper third years who had been doing the conga immediately trampled on them, and they became embedded into the carpet. James’ eyes were still fixed upon Lily, and there was no sign that he was going to come out of this hypnotic state.
I grabbed hold of a flask of butterbeer on the table next to me and poured a little onto James’ head. “What was that for?” James scowled at me and did his infamous hand running through hair action.
“If you want to spend the entire evening ogling Evans that’s fine by me; just remember your dear old friend Remus needs us tonight.” I banged the flask against the table for good measure.
“I know, I know, I’m coming now.” James shook his hair and droplets of butterbeer flew out in all directions. He rose from his seat and stomped over to the portrait hole. At least his mood would brighten when he found out what I had planned for dear old Snivellus. He hated what happened to Mary, and I was sure that he would just as glad as I was.
“Let’s go Pete,” I said and followed James over to the portrait hole. We clambered through it and waited anxiously for James to pull out his invisibility cloak so we could scramble for cover underneath it.
“James you trod on my foot,” Peter whispered, after we had managed to conceal two boys verging on six foot under a tiny piece of cloth. It had become so cramped I was surprised that a worse injury hadn’t occurred.
“Sorry, mate, there’s not much I can really do about it,” James replied apologetically. “I didn’t even bring the map as that would make the conditions even worse.”
A feeling of relief spread over me. As much as the Marauders Map had helped us in the past, I didn’t want it brought today as Snape would show up on it and I wanted his arrival to be a surprise to the others.
The rest of the journey down to the Entrance Hall was mainly uneventful. The worst thing which happened was James stubbing his toe which resulted in him crying out in pain. With that and the soppy looks of love from earlier I did wonder whether he was a girl at times.
The door was open and we hurried over to it. I could faintly make out the silhouette of Madam Pomfrey and Remus walking over to the Whomping Willow. A few minutes later, Madam Pomfrey began walking back towards us and I still hadn’t seen Snape. He had better turn up. With all the rumours he spread about Remus being a werewolf I was certain that he would.
Once Madam Pomfrey passed us and headed back into the castle, James dropped the cloak on the floor and gave a little a nod. That was the cue for Peter to transform and run ahead to make sure we could get through. He gave us a brief smile before he shrank in size and hurried over to the tree. I went next and I shook my fur out in happiness when I caught sight of Snape’s slimy black hair in the doorway. He finally came then.
I decided I might as well lead him to the tree and then to shack after that. I ran down in my canine form meaning my scent had heightened, and I had to avoid sniffing at everything that passed me. I could hear the stamp of James’ hooves against the ground behind me and the softer patter of running feet which followed us.
I reached the tree and saw it was still in its immobile form thanks to Peter. I hurried down the tunnel and entered the Shrieking Shack. Moony’s body convulsed as it changed form to a more wolf-like state. His pale skin turned dark as fur grew all over and his nose turned to a snout like one. Wormtail licked his fur trying to get rid of a bit of mud, and I sat patiently waiting for Snape’s arrival. The thunder of Prongs’ hooves warned us of his arrival; he skidded into the room and came to a halt beside me.
That was when the quietness took over. All that could be heard was the odd whine from Moony. The transformation had entered its last stage and the monster had taken over Moony. He had become the wolf. He growled at us and started running around the room, sniffing at every object in sight. That was when the unmistakable noise of running human feet broke through his whining and growling.
James’ hazel eyes gave me a look of confusion before he turned and charged back down the tunnel. He would soon turn back when he saw who it was, I thought happily. The familiar pop of someone turning back into their human form could be heard and confusion took over. What on earth was James playing at? He knew the risks of humans being around Moony, so why on earth did he change his form?
Moony prowled near the entrance to the tunnel and whined. I head butted him out of the way. Even though I’d meant him to attack Snape in revenge for what he did to Mary, I didn’t want James to get injured too. Moony ran over and burst through the door the door which led to the lounge. I left him to occupy himself and hurried down the tunnel. I quickly changed into my human form as I didn’t want Snivellus to know about me being an animagus, just in time to see James pulling a loudly protesting Snape down the tunnel.
I followed furtively behind them, eager not to attract attention. Why did James go and do that? Perhaps if I had explained my reasoning behind doing this he would have let it go ahead. I lost sight of the pair of them as they had begun the ascent to the grounds. I ran ahead, eager to see what was happening, and when I reached ground level too, I could see Snape jabbering away with James trying to shh him.
“I knew he was a werewolf, I knew all along. Wait until everyone finds out I was right all that time,” Snape said gleefully.
“You are not going to tell anyone,” James hissed. “That could ruin Remus’ life. Do you want that to happen?”
“Why would I care if it ruined Remus’ life?” Snape asked bitterly.
James gave Snape a look of disgust. “How did you find out anyway? No one’s meant to know.”
They had been so caught up in arguing that I didn’t think they had noticed me standing there. I was surprised when Snape smirked at me and replied, “Your so called friend, Black, told me. He left me a note this morning kindly telling me to go to the Whomping Willow tonight and I would see that the rumour about Remus was true. I recognised the familiar untidy scrawl of his handwriting straight away.”
James suddenly turned on me. I didn’t think I had ever seen him so angry. In the darkness of the night he looked rather menacing. “Are you out of your mind? Did you not think about what might have happened if Snape got attacked? Remus would have probably been chucked out of school, that’s what. He wouldn’t be able to do anything and he would have to live with the guilt of what he did forever. Did you have any reason beyond your hate for Snape for doing this, Sirius, or were you just bored?”
I didn’t know how to respond. Not once while I planned this did I think of Remus. “I, er, thought he deserved to pay for what he did to Mary…”
James’ face quickly turned from anger to disgust. “You thought this would be a good idea for revenge? Honestly, I would have expected better from you.” He turned around so he didn’t have to face me. I really didn’t know what to do. I had always been so sure of myself so this feeling was alien to me.
“I’m sorry, James. I was stupid and I just wanted to make amends for Mary. I know now it was the wrong way to go about,” I whispered. I said it so quietly I was surprised that James managed to hear.
“You’re apologising to me? I think the first person you need to apologise to is to Remus. When he finds out what he might have done he’ll be devastated. What about Snape? You almost killed him Sirius and you haven’t said a word to him.”
I knew it was bad when James took Snape’s side over mine. We had always been united in our hate for him since first year. As much as it pained me to do it, I knew the only way I stood a chance at remaining friends with James was apologising to my enemy. “I’m sorry, Snape. I never wanted you to get seriously injured. I only meant to show you what fear you made Mary go through.”
Snape curled his lip. “Don’t think that saying sorry will mean Lupin is safe. I’m still planning to reveal everything. Your apology was hardly sincere. If you were seeking revenge, Black, you were choosing the wrong person to give it to.”
James suddenly took charge of the situation and turned around and faced me and Snape. “Let’s go and see Dumbledore. He’ll sort the matter considering he knows the details of the situation.” I knew that this idea didn’t sound particularly pleasant to Snape nor me. Either way, we would both land ourselves into a lot of trouble. It was the only solution to the matter though, so I might as well go along with it.
“Fine. He’s the headmaster so he’ll find out one way or another.” I followed the sheen of the moonlight on the path. I was too disgusted and angry with myself to even wait for the others. I couldn’t believe what I did. I was such an idiot. Right now, I doubted I could ever call Remus or James my friends again.
The silence penetrated everywhere. It was broken intermittently by a chirp from Fawkes, Dumbledore’s phoenix, but other than that we sat in solitude waiting to hear the answer of Dumbledore’s deliberation. A stern expression was affixed upon his face, and his eyes swept across the three of us every few minutes or so.
My parents’ disappointment about me being sorted into Gryffindor didn’t bother me, but the situation I was currently in bothered me very much. Dumbledore cared for all of his students. Seeing how disappointed he was with me when James told him what I had done was unbearable.
The only thing which kept me sane was the interesting objects he kept in his rooms. My eyes had been transfixed by the white swirling mist in the glass phials in the cabinet next to me. It looked like a form of goodness, something I hadn’t seen in a while. I had been in a lot of bad situations these past few months, but this was possibly the worst.
James glared at me throughout our whole time of being here. It didn’t look like he was going to forgive me anytime soon. I wondered how Peter was coping by being with Remus on his own. Snape had this merry glint in his eye and I dreaded to think what harm he could cause in the fall out of this.
We sat like this for about twenty minutes. Finally, Dumbledore reached a conclusion as to what to do with me. “Severus, I understand this must have been a very traumatic experience for you, but I command you to refrain from telling a single person about Mr Lupin’s condition. If you choose to do so, it will result in your immediate expulsion from this school. I am sure that someone as studious as you would not want that to happen.”
Snape opened his mouth but appeared to be unable to form any coherent words.
“I am glad that we can reach an understanding, Severus. You are a good person, so I am sure you will not go against this,” Dumbledore continued.
Snape found his use of vocabulary at this point and managed to pipe up, “But what about Black, sir? He could have got me killed, and he doesn’t even seem to care. He deserves to have a punishment too.”
“Rest assured, Severus, Sirius will receive the appropriate amount of punishment needed. I am not lenient in cases like this one. You may now leave and return to your common room.” Dumbledore gave Snape a little nod. Snape pushed back his chair and stalked over to the gargoyle which guarded the room, clearly displeased with the resolution.
The only thing I felt was relief. Remus’ secret wasn’t going to be unveiled to the entire school and he would hopefully manage to stay here if Snape kept to his promise.
“I am very disappointed in you, Sirius,” Dumbledore muttered quietly. His eyes were mixed with sorrow and guilt, almost as if he had made a similar mistake and hated seeing it being repeated. “Revenge cannot be done on a whim; otherwise it prevents justice and the truth coming about. I am sure you have evaluated your actions and seen the fault in them. However, though this is a great punishment for you, I must adhere to the school rules and give you another. You will serve detention every evening for two months. I believe this is a just punishment for the gravity of the situation.”
Another wave of relief took over me. I had been imaging being thrown out of the school and forced to return to my parents. By the way that my friendship with James had changed this evening, I wouldn’t be welcomed back to the Potters’ home. Having a detention almost didn’t feel like a big enough punishment for what I had done, but I didn’t particularly want to ask for something worse.
“I understand that now, professor.” I finally had enough courage to face Dumbledore and hopefully apologise. “I am so sorry for what I did. If I knew the consequences which would occur from it I would never have done it.”
“Yes, that is something a lot of people overlook. Acting rashly is never wise; it would be a good thing to bear in mind in the future, Sirius. Those who never ponder what damage their actions could do are often the ones who are punished most greatly.” He paused for a moment before continuing. “You may also return to your common room. I wish to have brief word with James here, in private.”
Dumbledore returned my brief smile. I tried to do the same with James, but he just continued with his glaring. I scrapped back my chair and hurried out of Dumbledore’s office. His words made me feel a little better about myself. Even though he was clearly disappointed in me he seemed to say that I was human and I would learn from my mistakes. I definitely was going to. This evening had been horrible.
A/N: Yeah I know I said to expect slow updates but I managed to write this so I hoped you liked the surprise! So this was Sirius’ revenge on Snape if you remember me mentioning it a few chapters ago. It’s all canon and I hope you liked how I wove it into the overall story :’)
Thank you to everyone who has reviewed this story so far it means so much to me. Another massive thank you to my beta pixileanin who has helped me so much! If you want to be brilliant you could leave a review :D
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