Chapter 34 : Werewolf
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It was half ten and Sirius lay on the dry burnt grass at the back of James’ house. His head was leaning on the palm of his hands, and he was staring up at the full moon thinking of Remus.
It was hard for him to think that he would never again be sneaking through the Womping Willow to the Shrieking Shack.
A night of the full moon would now be just like any other night. It would no longer be special, and it would no longer bring that shot of adrenaline that he was so used to.
Roxy was already asleep in bed, and James was in the kitchen ticking things off his checklist.
They had tackled the kitchen that day, and were less than halfway done. Most of the dirt and ash was gone, but most of the appliances needed to be replaced. James was due to receive insurance money for the damage any day now, so once he did, they were going to buy everything they needed.
His thoughts were interrupted when he heard the doorbell ring. He sat up, wondering who would be visiting them. Especially this late.
He listened as he heard James go to the door, unlock it, and open it.
“Hey!” he heard a voice say. He recognised the voice, but he knew it couldn’t be who it thought it was. Could it?
He looked up at the sky. No, it definitely could not be.
He jumped up and ran through the kitchen and into the hall. Sure enough, standing there, grinning from ear to ear, was Remus.
James was staring at him, open mouthed.
“Moony!” Sirius said loudly, running up to him and hugging him.
“Hey Padfoot!” he said, grinning even wider.
James was still staring at him.
Remus looked at the ground uncomfortably.
“What are you doing outside in the open?” James said suddenly, sounding angry, “Get inside!”
“It’s ok James!” Remus said happily.
“It’s not ok,” James said, pulling him inside, “You could transform at any second.”
“And did you not know Roxy was here? What if she got hurt?” James said angrily.
“You never know Remus! You know we have nowhere to put you don’t you? There’s no way we can hide this from Roxy now,” he said, thinking.
“We don’t ha-,”
“I know, we’ll lock you in Sirius’ room. We’ll try a few spells to keep you inside, and soundproof the room. But I don’t know how well get it d-.”
“JAMES! Would you shut up for two seconds?” Sirius yelled.
James looked at him, affronted.
Sirius was just about to ask him what was going on, when he heard footsteps at the top of the stairs.
Roxy came into view, rubbing her eyes sleepily.
“Who yelled?” she asked, yawning.
“I did,” Sirius said walking over to the bottom of the stairs.
“Why?” she asked blinking groggily.
“It was just James being an idiot. It doesn’t matter, go back to bed,” he said, trying to turn her around.
“Remus!” she said, as she spotted him standing by the front door.
She ran over to him and hugged him.
“What are you doing here this late?” she asked happily.
“I just needed to talk to James and Sirius about something,” he said nervously.
“You go back to bed ok?” Sirius said gently, trying once again to lead her back up the stairs.
“Oh,” she said, her smile falling away.
“I’ll be up soon,” Sirius said, kissing her on the head and pushing her towards the stairs.
She looked back at him, crestfallen.
He felt a pang in his chest at the sight of it. He hated when she was sad. Even though he knew she was half putting it on so she could stay downstairs.
“Stop,” Sirius said, “And shoo.”
He picked her up and put her down on the bottom step of the stairs.
She swatted him away angrily.
Remus sighed. “Fine, she can stay!”
Sirius whirled around to face him.
“Are you sure?” he asked apprehensively.
Remus nodded, “She’s probably going to find out anyway. I’m surprised you haven’t accidentally said anything to her yet Sirius.”
Roxy looked curiously from Sirius to James.
“Are you positive?” Sirius asked again. Remus had worked so hard to make sure his secret was kept safe.
Although Remus was right. There had been so many times when he had almost slipped up and mentioned it to Roxy. He was just too comfortable around her.
“Yeah. Sure, it’s only Roxy. I trust her,” he said, smiling warmly at Roxy, whose face lit up.
“So there,” she said, sticking her tongue out at Sirius.
“Ok,” he said nodding. He bent over and picked Roxy up, throwing her over his shoulder. She squealed and swatted at his back.
“Let me down!”
“I don’t like it!”
“You shouldn’t of stuck your tongue out at me then!” Sirius said, with perfect knowledge of how much Roxy hated being carried like that.
He dropped her down on the now clean and dry couch.
Remus and James followed them.
James, still looking angry, took a seat in his newly recovered chair.
Remus sat down beside Roxy, and Sirius sat down on the beanbag at Roxy’s feet.
“Roxy,” Remus said turning towards her with his face serious.
She looked up at him curiously.
“I am, and have been for many many years, a werewolf,” he said, rubbing his hands together nervously.
Roxy looked at him blankly. “O….k,” she said slowly.
Sirius rubbed her leg comfortingly.
“What?” she said, brow furrowed.
“I am a werewolf. There are only a handful of people in the world who know. So could you not tell anyone?” he asked, looking at her worriedly.
Sirius was almost positive she had yet to blink.
She shook her head to show that she wouldn’t.
Remus gulped nervously.
Sirius could almost hear the panic in him. He had no doubt that Remus was now convinced that he had ruined his friendship with Roxy, and she didn’t like him anymore. But Sirius knew Roxy better, and what was probably going through her head right now was pity rather than disgust.
“You poor thing,” she said suddenly, leaning forward and hugging him.
Remus looked relived.
“But, wait,” she said, moving away cautiously, “Isn’t tonight a full moon?”
Remus nodded, smiling brightly, “Yes, that’s what I came here to tell James and Sirius!”
He turned away from Roxy and looked at Sirius and then James.
“I got a visit form Dumbledore a few days ago,” he said, talking quickly, “And he had a scientist with him, called Dr. Mulroe.”
“I’ve never heard of him,” James said.
Remus waved his hand ignoring James.
“He came because he needed someone to test his knew discovery on,” Remus said, his smile getting wider with each word.
“A cure?” Sirius said, sitting up.
“Not a cure,” Remus said, “More of a temporary remedy. If I take it every day in the days coming up to the full moon, then I won’t transform!"
Sirius gaped at him. Could it be possible? That after all those years of Remus having to go through what he went through, it could finally be over?
“The potion makes me kind of sleepy, and Dr. Monroe said it would make my defences weak, so I’ll be prone to illnesses around the days I take it, but I don’t care! Anything’s better than the alternative!”
Sirius jumped up from the ground and jumped on top of Remus, crushing him.
“Moony! That’s so awesome!” he squealed.
James ran over, and took a running jump, on top of them both.
Roxy screamed, as James foot came dangerously close to her head.
“You guys are so immature!” she complained.
A hand came out from the pile of boys and began to tickle her. She wasn’t sure whose hand it was, but she bit down on it hard and it was quickly retracted.
“Ow!” she heard Sirius voice say from the pile.
With one big push, Remus stood up, causing Sirius and James to come crashing to the floor.
Sirius, who lay sprawled on top of James, scrambled up, rubbing his elbow and his arm where Roxy had bit him.
“Are you staying the night?” James asked Remus from the floor.
“If there’s room?”
Remus was the first one to wake the next morning. He carefully slipped off the edge of the bed, being careful not to wake anybody else.
He tip-toed down the stairs and into the kitchen. There was still dust everywhere, but compared to how James said it was before, Remus figured they had done a pretty good job cleaning it up.
The sun outside was rising, and light flooded suddenly into the room, filling it with a yellow glow. Remus glanced at his watch. It was 6.26.
He sighed and crept over to a cooler box in the corner of the kitchen. He pulled it open with great effort and took out a carton of milk. He opened the lid and smelt it, making sure it was still fresh. He went silently back out into the hall, where the food was being stored in a grocery bag. He rummaged through it until he found a box of Corn Flakes. He took a bowl from the pile in the corner by the door, and wiped it clean with a flick of his wand.
He sat in silence on the bottom stairs in the hall, eating his cereal and thinking. He still couldn’t believe that he was sitting here and not lying in bed, recovering from a night of were-wolfing.
He had been so worried when Dumbledore had told him he was going to visit him. There was no way he would ever have expected such news. It still baffled him.
At first he was worried that the potion wouldn’t work, since it was only new and had only been tested on one other person. But it had worked. He’d never forget the look of pure relief he saw on his mother’s face when she found out. She had burst into tears.
His father had just stared blankly at Dumbledore and didn’t say a word until long after he had left.
The moment Remus had found out, Sirius and James were obviously the first people he wanted to tell. He decided visiting them at night in the dark, with the full moon out in the sky, would have a bigger effect, and he definitely didn’t want to tell them over an owl.
So he had said goodbye to his parents and made his way over.
He never remembered ever being this happy in his life. Everything felt right.
And he was so relieved that Roxy did not treat him differently when she found out. She did not wince away from him, and she didn’t make him feel different.
She had infact, kept the three marauders up all night, asking him various questions.
She then had thousands more questions to ask Sirius and James when she found out they were animagi.
He heard footsteps at the top of the stairs and he whirled around. Roxy padded down the stairs in her bare feet and with a smile on her face.
She took a seat down beside Remus and yawned.
“Cornflakes?” Lupin asked.
“Mmm, yes please,” Roxy said sleepily.
Too lazy to get up, Remus took his wand out of his pocket and muttered ‘Accio’, summoning a new bowl for Roxy.
“You going to stay around and help us clean today?” she asked him.
“Well, I’ll probably stay around. I can’t guarantee anything about cleaning though,” he said, smirking.
Roxy laughed and yawned again.
“Scourgify,” Remus muttered, vanishing the dirt in the bowl.
“Oh my god!” Roxy said loudly causing Remus to jump.
“What?!” he said, alarmed.
“Scourgify!” she said, slapping herself on the forehead.
“What?” Remus asked again, bewildered.
“The cleaning spell is Scourgify!” she said exasperatedly.
“Yeah? It’s one of the first spells we learnt in school?” Remus said, raising his eyebrow. He knew Roxy never went to school before Hogwarts, but surely she would have had something as basic as the cleaning spell.
“So James and Sirius should have known it?” she asked.
Remus nodded bemusedly.
Roxy rolled her eyes, “We’ve been cleaning most things by hand.”
By ten o’clock, both Sirius and James were awake and sitting opposite each other in the hall eating their breakfast.
“I can’t believe you guys didn’t know a basic cleaning spell,” Remus said, shaking his head in disbelief.
“Hey, I have an excuse, never really used magic before September,” Roxy pointed out.
Remus looked at her surprised. He had never realised she hadn’t used magic. He just thought she had been home schooled. She must be a genius to of been able to learn so much in such a short amount of time.
“And come on, let’s face it,” Sirius said, “When have I ever felt the need to clean anything before?”
Remus nodded in agreement, and turned his gaze towards James.
“I have no excuse,” he said, shrugging.
At that moment, an owl flew through the open window in the sitting room and into the hall where everyone sat.
Remus did not recognise the owl. It dropped an envelope on top of James’ head, stole a cornflake from his bowl, and flew off.
James put his bowl aside, and ripped it open.
“It’s from Lily!” he said, excitedly.
Remus grinned. It was nice to know that even though now they were engaged, he still got excited at the thought of seeing her.
“She’s going to visit tomorrow!” he said happily.
“Oh joy. Like we weren’t getting enough nagging from Roxy,” Sirius said sighing.
“Oi!” Roxy and James said at the same time.
“Lily doesn’t nag!” James said, offended..
Roxy glared at him James.
“Neither does Roxy!” he hastily added.
After James finally finished the last of his cereal, they got to work on finishing the kitchen. Since they cleared out all the debris the previous day, all they had left to do was get rid of the dust and ash.
“Scourgify,” Remus said, waving his wand at the nearest counter to him.
It sparkled clean.
He turned to the next one. “Scourgify!”
For the next few minutes, the room was filled with shouts of “Scourgify!” and then they all simultaneously ceased.
The surface tops were spotless, and the floor was dazzling clean. Even the air felt cleaner as Remus breathed in.
“Well that was quick,” Roxy said, “I really wish we knew that before we did the sitting room.”
“Maybe then my chair wouldn’t have had to go on it’s little trip,” James said.
Remus raised his eyebrow at him questioningly.
“Nevermind,” he murmured.
Remus looked around at his three friends. They all looked tired and worn out. James especially. He had black rings under his eyes, and his hair was in an even bigger state that usual.
“We should just make Wormtail come over and do it all,” Sirius suggested, sitting down on a nearby kitchen chair.
“Well, we could certainly do with the help when we get all the new stuff,” Roxy said nodding.
“I said to do it for us, not to help,” Sirius explained.
Roxy hit him on the back of the head.
“You had better start being nicer to him or one day he’s going to crack and try enact revenge on you for every mean thing you ever said to him!” Roxy said with her hands on her hips.
“Someone’s paranoid,” Sirius laughed.
“He wouldn’t have the guts,” James added, “I’ll send him a letter. See if he wants to help.”
He wandered back into the hall and returned with a piece of paper and a pen in his hand. He leaned on the counter and started writing.
Remus peered over his shoulder.
Wormtail. Come help us clean. Prongs.
“Straight and to the point, eh?” Remus said, grinning.
“Tammy!” James yelled out the open window.
A few seconds later, his owl appeared, sticking his leg out so James could tie the note to him. Just as he flew off, another owl appeared. It was a dark brown one, and there was an official looking symbol on the pouch tied to his leg.
James opened up the pouch and pulled out a small envelope. The bird, with its head raised up proudly, flew off in the same direction as Tammy.
James opened up the letter and read down through it. The others stayed in silence, watching him.
“It’s the insurance company,” he said, holding up a check, “I just hope it’s enough to pay for everything.”
By the next morning, Sirius’ bedroom was cleaned and free of any unstable furniture.
Roxy’s bed had fortunately been salvaged, which meant it was usable for her and Sirius. Roxy was relieved she no longer had to share a bed with James, who tended to snore loudly and constantly.
It was eleven o’clock and Peter had already arrived. He seemed very excited to receive a letter off James, claiming he had never gotten one off him ever before.
It didn’t seem to matter to him that the said letter had only been one sentence long.
They were all waiting outside James’s house, waiting for Lily to arrive.
James was jumping up and down on the balls of his feet apprehensively.
Roxy glanced down at her watch.
“She’s not supposed to be here for another five minute James, calm down!” she said, putting her arm on his shoulder.
“But I haven’t seen her in almost a week,” James said, peering down the street for any sign of her.
“You’ve been away from her for a lot longer than that before,” Sirius said walking over to Roxy and wrapping his arms around her.
Roxy spun around and buried her head in his chest. She noted that he smelt nice today.
“There she is! There she is!” she heard James squeal beside her. She ignored him and stayed where she was, in Sirius’s embrace.
“Hello,” she heard Lily say in a formal voice.
She reluctantly drew herself away from Sirius just in time to see James almost rugby tackle Lily to the ground in his eagerness to hug her.
“Oh Lord,” Lily said, straightening herself up, “What have I gotten myself into?”
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