Chapter 1 : Run
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It’s JKR’s, inspired by “Run” by Gnarls Barkley
The dark room of the Shrieking Shack filled with moonlight as clouds shifted, revealing the celestial body in its fullness. Remus Lupin looked up at the sky and shivered, despite his body being hot and clammy. He didn’t know whether this was a reaction to the feverish symptoms he was experiencing or the dread he was feeling about what was to come. He was sitting in the bedroom of the shack. The furniture was all torn apart from his previous transformations, apart from the four poster he was sitting on. It was dark and dingy, apart from where the moonlight fell, and Remus hated it because of what it represented to him.
This was one of the worst things about his condition. The anticipation. Waiting for the feeling of his bones changing shape and the pain that resulted. Waiting for the loss of his humanity. One thing he could never understand about his best friends; Sirius Black, James Potter and Peter Pettigrew, was their complete acceptance of him despite knowing what he was. It didn’t bother them at all apart from their concerns for his well being. He knew they had been up to something the past year or so to ‘help’ him, but he had no idea what! Knowing them, he dreaded to think.
As he sat contemplating this, he heard footsteps. Whoever it was, they were making no effort to be in any way stealthy. Remus froze. It couldn’t be Madam Pomfrey or any of the teachers, they knew it would be too risky at this point. Snape again? Trying to get them in trouble? Possibly, but he was too careful to attempt that again. Now he knew what was at the end of the tunnel.
He heard a scraping noise as the door slowly opened, pushing against the splintered floorboards. A familiar head with messy black hair with glasses glinting in the moonlight appeared, grinning. Followed by another dark head and a blond one. Remus’ mouth fell open in terror. He did not want to risk hurting his best friends, which he knew would happen once the beast had taken over; he knew he wouldn’t know who they were, just see them as someone to bury his teeth into.
“What… what are you doing here?” He rasped, barely able to form the words, as his best friends stood in front of him. James grinned.
“We’re here to support you, Remus.”
“You can’t, you have to go!” Remus told them, thoroughly scared that they didn’t appear to be leaving. “Once… it... happens, I won’t know you, I won’t be able to stop myself attacking you. I won’t…. I won’t be me!”
“Well, Remus. We, being the geniuses we are…” Sirius began with his characteristic bravado, “Have found a way to get past that.” Remus shook his head vigorously. He could feel the beginning of the process, the deep ache in his bones as they prepared to change.
“No. You have to go. Please. Run. Run away. I can’t hold it back. I’ll hurt you, I may even kill you. I don’t want that!” He shouted. “I couldn’t live with it.” James and Sirius’ grins faded slightly, and Peter looked alarmed at the normally mild mannered Remus losing his temper.
“Remus…” Sirius began.
“Sirius, you have to go. I mean it, you have to leave. Run back to the castle and I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“No can do, Remy.” James said as Remus looked at them, furiously, knowing time was running out. As he stared at them, the air around Peter seemed to go a bit hazy and he disappeared. Remus continued staring as a large black dog and a stag appeared where Sirius and James had been standing.
“What…?” Remus stuttered, his confusion exacerbated by the speeding up of the process. The black dog seemed to grin as the Stag shook its antlers proudly. A squeaking on the floor made him look down to see a brown rat. And then he was aware of no more.
The following morning, Remus awoke on the bed in the shack. He lay still, mentally assessing his physical state. To his surprise, he didn’t feel as bad as normal. He looked down and saw fewer scars. He was completely baffled. Then he heard a rasping snore, and a creaking as someone sat up on the floor. Remus looked down and saw Sirius staring around him sleepily, while James and Peter still slept.
“Morning, Remus. How are you feeling?”
“Not too bad. What happened, Sirius? Why are you all ok?”
“We’re animagi. Been trying to work it out since the second year, then last week, we did. James and Me found it easier than Peter, but yeah. Told you we’re geniuses”
James began to stir, and stretched his legs out, kicking Peter in the back.
“Ow” Peter groaned.
“Sorry, Pete.” James yawned. “How are we all?”
“Not bad.” Sirius replied. “Those bloody antlers of yours are like Prongs, though. You kept spearing me with them!” He complained.
“That would be awesome nickname!” James speculated. “Prongs. I like it.”
“I want a nickname!” Sirius exclaimed, excitedly.
“Me too.” Peter agreed.
“HAVE YOU ALL LOST YOUR MINDS!” Remus shouted as the memories of last night returned, using up the little strength he had. They all stared at him. “Do you realise what could have happened? If you hadn’t transformed before me…”
“But we did.” James pointed out.
“But if you hadn’t…” Remus said again.
“But we did.” Sirius repeated.
“But we did.” Peter finished. “Can we go for breakfast? I’m starving!”
“Look, Remus…” James said, seriously. “We said we would find a way to help you, and we have. You feel better than normal, don’t you?”
“Yeah, I think so.” Remus told him, slowly.
“And you can remember at least some of last night?”
“Yeah, it’s coming back slowly!” He said, as an image of walking between the dog and the stag, with the rat riding on the dog’s head, and remembering he didn’t have as many wild instincts, and even managed a wolfish laugh at the sight. “How did you even manage it?”
“It wasn’t easy, not least keeping it from you.” Sirius said.
“We had to hold mandrake leaves in our mouths for a month!” Peter told him.
“When did you do that?”
“Over the holidays. Mum and dad were really worried when Sirius and Me were so quiet!” James grinned. Remus felt a lump in his throat at the thought of what they they had done for him.
“Thank you.” He said quietly.
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