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Chapter 1 : About Saturday
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Gryffindor Common Room
Remus sighed and put his head in his hands. Of course. Of course it was Friday. Knowing his luck, it couldn’t have been any other day. He wouldn’t have minded so much – a whole Saturday to recover, with no one asking why he wasn’t in the lesson – it would be great! But the problem lay in the date. And the moon of course. That bloody moon. But what was he going to tell Leanne?
A hand was placed on his hair. It messed it up before sliding down to sit around his shoulder. The hand was connected to an arm, which was connected to a smiling, fair-haired freckled girl. Her blue eyes sparkled at him. “Hey, Remus,” she said gently. “Is this the Charms worksheet?” She pointed at the abandoned parchment in front of Remus.
“Yes.” Remus squeezed her hand and picked up his quill. “How often does a Fwooper need to be Silenced again? Is it once every month or once every year? I can never remember.”
Leanne rolled her eyes and pulled the worksheet towards her. “Once a month, silly. You have a rubbish memory.”
I wish, thought Remus. He still had nightmares about That Night. The night that had changed his entire life; that had made him the person he was today. Remus shook his head slightly and slid the worksheet back in front of him. “Once – a – month,” he wrote carefully. “So, uh, Leanne. I need to tell you something about Saturday-”
Leanne gave him a one-armed hug. “I’m so happy it’s on a Hogsmeade trip this year! Do you want to go to Madam Puddifoot’s or the Three Broomsticks? I don’t think they do Butterbeer in Madam Puddifoot’s but they do it up really nicely for-”
“Leanne,” Remus said, quietly but strongly. She stopped babbling and took in his expression.
“What is it, Remus?” she asked. “Has something bad happened?”
Remus shook his head. “No, no. Well, kind of. I just…can’t…makeourdate.”
“What?” she asked, clearly confused.
“I can’t make Saturday,” Remus said, his voice stronger. “I’m so sorry, Leanne. I just can’t come.”
“Oh.” Leanne’s face fell for a second before she regained her composure. “That’s okay… I guess we could always do it some other time. What’ve you got, anyway? What’s more important-” Leanne blushed and started studying her fingernails.
“Nothing’s more important than you, Leanne,” said Remus gently. “You know I wouldn’t skip this unless I had no choice. It’s, well, I got a detention.”
Leanne looked up, an eyebrow raised. “Seriously? Remus Lupin, Gryffindor prefect, got a detention? You are kidding me, right?” Her expression told Remus that she very much wanted him to be telling the truth.
“Yeah. It’s with Maxwell. Sirius let off a Dung Bomb in the greenhouse and I was trying to clean it up… Maxwell caught me and thought I must be lying when I said I was trying to help.” Remus willed her to believe the lie, willed her to accept it as the truth like everyone else did. There was no way he was telling Leanne about his condition. He liked her very much, but he hadn’t been with her that long, and he was scared about anyone else finding out. No, it would be all lies he told her, for now.
“That old bat,” she said, and Remus mentally relaxed. “He’s more of a joy-taker than a caretaker. Now, let’s get started on this Charms homework.”
One hour later, Remus had finished most of his homework and was too tired to continue. As he walked up the spiral stairs to the common room somebody ran past him, almost knocking him over. “Sorry Moony! Lily needs me!” Remus recognised the shout. It belonged to James, and he was being absolutely predictable.
“Sorry about him, he’s going through another phase of his.” Remus looked up in the direction of the dormitory and saw Sirius descending the stairs, his long black hair hanging over his eyes, a wry grin on his face. “Apparently Lily needs him again.”
James’s ‘phases’ were well-known throughout Gryffindor house. He had at least five a day. Remus smiled for a second, but his thoughts turned elsewhere and the smile faded from his face.
“Remus, is something wrong?” Sirius asked with concern. He jumped a few steps to come to Remus’s side. “What’s – oh, it’s the you-know-what, isn’t it?”
Remus nodded. “I hate it. I hate that it’s on Valentine’s Day. I hate that I can’t spend a Hogsmeade trip with Leanne because of it. I hate it!” Remus’s voice rose and quickly he lowered it, in case anyone heard and worked out his secret. “I hate that I can never do anything. I hate that all my plans revolve around the moon. I hate that my life is centred on the full moon! You have no idea how many things I’ve had to cancel, how many trips and activities I’ve had to miss, how many lies I’ve had to tell all because of that – stupid – moon!” Remus glared angrily at Sirius through a wall of tears. “You have no idea what it’s like. I wish I were you. I wish I had a choice like you. I wish I was free like you!”
Sirius gazed sadly at his friend. “Remus, calm down. You’re letting it get to your head. There’s nothing you can do about it, so quit worrying.” After a moment Sirius chuckled. “You don’t want to be like me, trust me on that. I’m not free, whatever you think. Because of my surname people think they know me, my views, my beliefs. Because of what my family think, people assume I think that too. My family’s reputation goes before me, way before me. It’ll be hard to get a job with a name like mine – I’ll always be a Black before I’m a person. People judge me on what I am, not who I am.”
Remus stared hard at the ground, unnameable feelings swelling within him. “I suppose we have the same problems, then,” he muttered, and pushed past Sirius to go to the dormitory.
Too late, Sirius realised what he’d said. “No, look, Moony, that’s not what I meant at all – I know it’s a lot worse for you-”
“Look, Sirius.” Remus was in the doorway to their dormitory and he had a sad expression in his eyes. “I’m tired. The full moon is on Friday night and I’m getting a headache already. I know what you meant. Please, can I just go to sleep?”
“Sure, Remus.” Subdued, Sirius turned and slowly trudged down the stairs. Remus watched him, feeling a million years old, and then turned into the Gryffindor fifth year boy’s dormitory. He collapsed onto his bed, fully dressed, and fell into an uneasy sleep. The last thing he heard before drifting off was Sirius’s voice floating into the dormitory.
“Hi Leanne! Did Remus tell you about Saturday?”
Friday 13th February
Remus studied her face, lit up by the candles floating overhead. The dancing light gave most people’s faces an eerie quality, but on Leanne the effect was beautiful. It reflected her dancing nature, he thought, the way her thoughts seemed to go from one thing to the next in a graceful and thoughtful way. She was sitting with her friends and she was laughing. Her smile affected her whole face – her eyes lit up, the corners crinkling, the corners of her mouth lifted in joy and her nose scrunched in that funny way she had. Remus smiled to himself-
-and was immediately brought crashing back to reality by a wave of pain. His fingers flexed uncomfortably. He could feel his bones moving, the changes already starting. Remus grimaced and stood, causing quite a few heads to turn his way. “Hospital wing,” he muttered.
The heads turned back to their meals in understanding and the Marauders jumped to their feet. “Ready, Moony?” asked James, his eyes lit up with glee at the thought of another moonlit adventure.
“Sure thing, Prongs,” replied Remus. He tried to sound excited but the thought of another painful transformation was not a happy one.
They were halfway to the hospital wing when Remus had a thought, one he couldn’t believe he’d never asked before. His sudden halt made the Marauders frown with worry.
“What is it, Moony?” asked Sirius.
“Are you about to change right now?” Peter asked worriedly. “Do you want us to hide you?”
“No, no, it’s not that,” Remus said and waved a hand to brush away their concerns. He caught sight of his elongating fingernails and frowned. “I was just wondering – does it hurt when you turn into your Animagi forms?”
James cocked his head to the side, considering. “Not really,” answered Peter. “Well, growing a tail does. Aside from that, no. Why?”
“No reason,” answered Remus. The Marauders continued to walk to the hospital wing and were almost there when Remus stopped again.
“You know what,” he said thoughtfully, “I think I can manage tonight without you. I’ll stay in the Shrieking Shack like I used to, and you guys can run around and have fun or whatever by yourselves. You won’t have to watch out for a big werewolf like me.” Remus grinned and felt his facial muscles shift around, preparing to form a snout.
Sirius nudged James on the arm and James nodded. “If you’re sure, Moony.”
“Have fun!” piped Sirius. The three Marauders turned and sped away down the corridor, Sirius giving a jaunty wave as he turned the corner and sped out of sight. Remus turned and picked up the pace, rolling his eyes at Sirius’s comment. As if he could have fun turning into a werewolf.
A little warning bell went off in the back of his mind. He’d thought they’d argue more, that they’d insist on coming with him. By the time he burst into the hospital wing he had the beginnings of suspicion in his mind, but then Madam Pomfrey gave him a Sleeping Draught and all was lost in a blur of dark and pain…
Saturday 14th February (St Valentine’s Day)
Remus blinked and the world swam in front of him. He could make out three indistinct blobs and a lot of white. As his eyes focused, he made out the faces of Peter Pettigrew, Sirius Black and James Potter. The whiteness came from the ceiling.
“Moony’s awake!” crowed Sirius.
Immediately, Madam Pomfrey pushed them all out of the way and spoon-fed Remus a mixture of potions. “There you are, Remus. You three: keep it quiet. He needs rest. Don’t overexert him.”
“When do we ever overexert him?” James asked innocently.
Madam Pomfrey fixed her beady eyes on him. “Last month, you poured Itching Powder all over his sheets. He was writhing around in agony while you three were standing around laughing.”
“I was not writhing around,” grumbled Remus.
Madam Pomfrey opened her mouth, most likely to administer another warning, but she never got to. At that moment the doors to the hospital wing burst open and a student cam striding in. Remus heard shoes clicking on the polished stone flags, saw James’s troubled expression, but it wasn’t until the student threw aside his curtains did he see who it was.
“Leanne!” he exclaimed happily.
Her expression, however, did not match his. She wore a look of anger and confusion – Remus could see the emotions battling for expression. Finally the anger won and Leanne’s brow creased. “Terry said you were in here,” she said. “Would you care to explain what exactly was going on last night?”
“Leanne – what the hell are you talking about?” Remus glanced up at Sirius and James, both of whom wore expressions of nervousness and deviousness. He remembered his suspicions from last night and sighed.
“James?” he asked. “Please tell me what she’s talking about.”
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