Recollections and Reflections

By K9


This story was written in 2004 before the events of Half-blood Prince or Deathly Hallows so must now be considered AU



There had been enough tears within the dark, dank walls of Grimmauld Place to last a lifetime. Time seemed to pass so slowly, and yet, it felt like a thousand years since Sirius had gone.

Remus handed Harry a cup of tea, and sat down beside him at the kitchen table. He felt so inadequate and inept at dealing with Harry’s pain, since he was making such a terrible job of handling his own.


“Remus?” Harry said suddenly.


“Yes?” Remus looked up and smiled. At least Harry was finally calling him by his first name, and not ‘Professor’.


“Tell me about Sirius.”


The smile fell away, and Remus felt slightly dizzy. “I, well…erm?”


“Mrs Weasley said that no one knew Sirius the way you did, you and my dad. I need to know him, to know my dad. I want to know why?”


“Why what?” Remus asked.


“Why so many things. Why were you all friends? Why did he and my dad get into trouble so often? Why did he survive Azkaban when so many people didn’t? What was it that made him so strong?”


Why did I survive, when they, who were better wizards, and finer men than I, are gone? Remus added silently. Rubbing his temples slightly, he sighed. Why not just ask for the secrets of the universe?

“Well, I think he survived Azkaban because he knew he was innocent, and the Dementors can’t remove your anger and resentment, only your happiness. As for why were we friends?” he began, “I don’t really know. How do people become friends? How did you become friends with Ron and Hermoine?”


“Don’t really know, it just sort of happened?” Harry replied with a grin.


“I suppose that’s what happened with us, really…”






He’d never been so terrified in his life. The Great Hall at Hogwarts was huge and imposing and the endless stream of students just intimidated him more every passing moment. Remus had always tried to avoid crowds, because of his condition. People soon fled in horror when they knew, and he was tired of the hurt it caused as friends and family backed away from him in disgust after they discovered his secret.

He stood nervously in the tumultuous gaggle of first years as they began to call out names.


“Sirius Black,” the Professor called, and suddenly a boy pushed his way forward. Remus watched in awe as the boy swaggered through the crowd, and leaped onto the stool.

“Hmmm,” the sorting hat began with a scowl, “Difficult choice. Definitely Slytherin in nature, bold and ambitious, sharp and cunning, but I feel that this boy has the heart of a…Gryffindor!”

Sirius slid off the stool and gave a huge bow to the cheering Gryffindor table. He positively reeked of confidence and clearly revelled in the attention.


How Remus envied him, he was everything that Remus himself was not. Sirius Black was handsome, and confident, but there was something in his manner that already smelled of trouble, and Remus found it intoxicating.

When the Professor called out ‘Remus Lupin’ he crept up to the stool, hardly daring to look down at the crowds of eager, anxious faces below, for fear that he might faint with fright and embarrass himself in front of the whole school.

“Gryffindor!” the hat yelled, and Remus allowed himself a glance at the Gryffindor table, where Sirius Black was cheering and whistling louder than anyone. Remus felt his face flush bright red and he scurried down to take a seat.

“Here, sit here!” Sirius shouted, and as if in a trance, Remus slipped into the seat beside him.

“Well done, old chap!” Sirius hissed in Remus’ ear, and once again, the flush ignited his face.


By the time the sorting was finished they’d been joined by several other students; James Potter, Ralph Luminos, Peter Pettigrew, Templar Beaversden, Lily Evans, Finella Drewitt, and Juno Proudfoot. The boys were led up to the Gryffindor common room by their house Prefect, and shown to a room. Remus had hoped to get a room to himself, but that wasn’t to be and he found himself sharing with Potter, Pettigrew and…Black.

He began to unpack his clothes, in the hopes that the sick feeling in his stomach might go away if he occupied his mind with trivialities, but his companions were having none of it.


“So, Lupin, what’s your story?” Sirius’s voice said suddenly close behind him.


“S…story?” he replied.


“Yeah,” James said, bouncing on his bed, “We all have a story. For example, I’m James Potter, I come from a good old fashioned wizarding family, who would have disowned me if I hadn’t been accepted into Gryffindor house!”


Sirius roared with laughter, “Oh mine probably already have, I was supposed to get into Slytherin. My mother is most likely sending out a cursed Howler right at this very moment!” he laughed, “But I’m already the white-sheep of the family anyway, so what does it matter?”


“White-sheep?” Peter Pettigrew puzzled, “Don’t you mean ‘black-sheep’?”


“You haven’t met my family,” Sirius chuckled, and James gave a knowing snort of laughter.


“My parents are wizards,” Peter added, “I come from Dragon hunting stock!” he said proudly.


Suddenly Sirius moved in close to Remus and slipped his arm around Remus’ shoulder. “It’s all right old chap, no need to be nervous, we’re all in the same boat here,” he smiled.


Remus felt his knees go weak and he tried to smile, but once again he could feel the heat radiating from his face.

“Oh, well, I...I’m Remus Lupin, my father is a Wizard, and my mother is a Muggle. There’s nothing really special about me,” he said desperately looking down at the floor.


“On the contrary,” Sirius grinned, “You’re very special, because you’re one of ‘us’ now!”




Harry grinned as Remus told the story of the sorting, and how they all ended up together sharing a room in Gryffindor Tower.

“I was terribly shy, but Sirius would never, ever let me get away with not joining in their mischief. His wickedness was positively contagious!” Remus laughed for the first time in months. “And of course, he was always encouraged by James, who was the only person with more natural talent for trouble than Sirius. I can still remember teachers shaking their heads in horror when Sirius and James strolled into class together, which they always did, of course. They took the same subjects, and were never apart. They were both also quite frighteningly talented wizards, which just made it worse, since no one could criticise their work, and force them to be parted. I simply wasn’t in their league, but they never would let me get away with remaining in the background.

James, I seem to remember, went through a phase of jinxing people who were simply walking along the corridors. He and Sirius had found an old book of jinxes one year when they stayed with the Black family for a couple of weeks. James was fascinated by some of the quite horrible things he could do, and Sirius found it hilarious.” Remus laughed and shook his head, “James was almost expelled for that, especially when he placed a ‘hairless’ jinx on Severus Snape. Dear old Prongs was such a bad boy when he put his mind to it, yet there wasn’t really any malice there, just an outrageous sense of fun. Now Sirius, he could be truly malicious when he had a mind to. He was a Black after all, and though he was a dear and loyal friend, he sometimes lacked the kindly common sense that James had.”


“Didn’t you ever try to stop them when they misbehaved?” Harry asked.


With a wash of guilt, Remus shook his head, “No, I didn’t, and over the years, I’ve really wished I had stepped in on occasions and tried to talk some sense into them. There are some things that might never have happened if I had,” he replied wistfully, “But my time at Hogwarts with James and Sirius were the happiest of my life, despite everything that happened.”


“If..” Harry searched for the right words, “If my Dad and Sirius were always in so much trouble, how come people keep telling me how popular they were?”


Remus laughed, “Well, the Weasley twins are very popular, aren’t they?” he enquired, “And yet they still manage more detentions in a week than most people do in all their years at the school.”


Harry appeared unconvinced, “I suppose.”


“My dear Harry, teenage boys, even the very best of them, are not paragons of virtue. Both James and Sirius were very likeable people; they had charm, intelligence, and a genuine heart. For all their boyish pranks, they would still go out on a limb to help a fellow student, and were as loyal as friends could possibly be.”


This appeared to satisfy Harry a little more, and he nodded, finishing off his tea and custard cream biscuits.





Remus sat alone in the dingy kitchen of Grimmauld Place after Harry had reluctantly agreed to go to bed, and pondered on the thoughts that Harry’s innocent question had raised.

He’d thought that losing James and Lily was possibly the most terrible thing that could have happened in his life, but he’d been wrong. What had hurt even more at the time was that it was Sirius who had thought that he, Remus Lupin, had betrayed them all to Voldemort. In the blink of an eye, he’d lost not only the best friends he ever had but also the trust of the only person he’d ever loved. Then, when Sirius had been dragged off to Azkaban, he’d felt betrayed and dirty. Sirius had lied to him, used him, and tried to make him into a scapegoat. How could he do that?


Trying to shake the memories from his mind, and remember that it wasn’t Sirius, it was Peter who had fed the mistrust between the Order back then, so that he could freely give Voldemort the secrets he desired.

Remus began recalling the happy times, at Hogwarts, when life was so simple and he’d learned not to be so afraid.





Sirius laughed, that barking, deep down belly laugh that was contagious. As usual, it was James who had made him laugh, with some dry and pithy comment, and Sirius had grasped it, embellished it, and made it the stuff of legends.

Peter watched, visibly in awe of James and Sirius, and Remus secretly hoped that he never looked so damned dopey and infatuated as Peter.


They had been at Hogwarts for just over a year, and James was already in the Gryffindor Quidditch team. They’d asked Sirius to try out, but he’d insisted that he was a ‘lover not a flyer’ and preferred to bask in James’ reflected glory here on good old terra firma, with all of the pretty girls who gasped with delight as James soared over their heads.


“You didn’t!” Remus heard James say one evening as they returned to the Gryffindor common room after a particularly nasty Transfigurations class.


“Why not?” Sirius beamed, “She asked me to.”


James dropped his books on the table, and fell back into the chair, clutching his sides. Sirius simply shrugged, and smirked. “She’s a sixth year!” James sniggered, “She’s almost old enough to be your mother!”


Silently, Remus slid into a seat beside James, and glanced, puzzled, from James to Sirius and back again.

Noticing Remus’ inquiring glance, James elaborated on how Sirius had met a sixth year girl at the last Quidditch match, and they had ‘cemented their allegiance’ in the empty History of Magic classroom the same afternoon.


Remus’ mouth fell open.


“Oh, for Merlin’s sake, she’s a Gryffindor, it’s perfectly all right. It’s not like I’m messing around with a Slytherin!” Sirius declared dramatically.


This comment had simply caused James to fall into a further fit of giggles, and Remus to blush furious at the idea.




With a sixth year.


Sirius had always been the most mature of all the boys, and he’d shown more than an interest in the opposite sex since they’d arrived at Hogwarts. Even though he was only just over twelve-years old, he looked, and acted, considerably older. He was often mistaken for a fifth year by visitors, but Remus felt that was more to do with his attitude, than his looks. Sirius didn’t ‘walk’, he ‘swaggered.’ Plus, he knew that he was attractive, and he played on the fact that he could use a smile to wriggle out of trouble far more easily than he could use words.


Later that night, back in their room, James had brought up the subject again, and was eager to hear the juicy details, but Sirius wasn’t playing the game. He obviously knew full well that leaving it to James’ imagination was far more appealing than giving out messy detail.

“Jacinda Crupper asked me out, you know?” Sirius said suddenly.


“Is that the ugly one who plays Quidditch for Hufflepuff?” Peter asked, as he stuffed the last of a packet of Bertie Blotts Chewmungus Chews into his mouth.


“She’s not ugly,” Sirius replied, somewhat affronted that Peter should think an ugly girl would ask him out.


“So what did you say?” James asked.


“I said that my heart was already taken!” Sirius gushed, falling back onto his bed, clutching his chest.


“Well, something’s definitely taken now, thanks to that sixth year,” James chuckled.


Remus couldn’t help but laugh. He’d have given anything to feel that confident around girls.

Suddenly, Sirius bounced from the bed and advanced on Remus.

“Talking about ‘getting off with girls’,” he grinned, slipping down beside Remus on his bed, “Who did I spy with Lily Evans earlier today, hmmm?”


“Wha..?” Remus gasped, “She was helping me with my Potions homework. We’re partners for poisons.”


Sirius threw his arm around Remus and pulled him in close, “You fancy her, don’t you?” he said, “Have you asked her out?”


“No!” Remus replied, shocked at the very idea, “She’s really nice.”


“So, she’s really nice, and that’s a good reason not to ask her out?” Sirius teased.


“I didn’t say that!”


“I think we should ask her for him, what d’you say, James?”


“NO!” Remus grabbed at Sirius in desperation, “Please? Oh, James, tell him no!” Remus pleaded with James over Sirius’ shoulder, but James merely grinned. “Please Sirius, she’s really nice, and so good at Potions, and she’s the only girl who doesn’t treat me like a freak.”


“So he does fancy her,” James chuckled.


“I do NOT!” Remus growled, “I just like her as a friend.”


With a laugh, Sirius pushed Remus backwards onto the bed, and sat on him. Despite Sirius being considerably shorter than Remus, he was very strong.


“Come on Remus, admit that you fancy her, it’s nothing to be ashamed of!” Sirius chuckled, grabbing Remus’ arms, and pinning them over his head.


“No!” Remus insisted, struggling against the boy sitting on his chest. Suddenly he felt a stirring between his legs, as Sirius writhed on top of him. Embarrassed, and terrified that Sirius would notice, he turned his head away from that steady grey gaze, “Okay, I fancy her, but you’d better not say anything or else! Now get off me you pervert!”


Happy now, Sirius bounced off the bed and leaped at James, who rolled out of the way, allowing Sirius to fall flat on his face. Everyone laughed, and Remus did his best to clear his mind of the awful, disturbing, and confusing thoughts racing through it.




Remus sighed at the memory; young boys were possibly the most awful, cruel, and monstrous creatures on Earth, so much more terrifying than werewolves in his opinion.

It was very shortly after this event that James, Sirius and Peter discovered his secret, and changed his life forever.


One evening, just before dark, they’d followed Remus to the ‘hospital’ where he was supposed to be having his ‘treatment’. Dumbledore had provided secret passages leading from Hogwarts to the Shrieking Shack, via the Whomping Willow, to allow Remus to spend the full moon away from harm.

As he’d sat there, wrapped in a blanket against the cold, awaiting the terrible change, he’d heard footsteps.

The door had opened, and the three boys had stood in the doorway, looking puzzled.

He could still remember the look on their faces as he begged them to leave the shack, and the moon crept slowly into sight.




They said nothing, but looked at him like he’d gone mad. He was sitting on a dirty old bed, dressed in little more than a blanket.


“Please, please leave NOW!” Remus begged. He could feel the ‘call’ coming over him, that strange, misty feeling entering his brain, clouding his thoughts and leaving nothing but animal need in their place. With the outside entrances to the shack magically sealed, he would not be able to get out and hunt, he would simply pace the shack all night, howling and scratching, waiting for the morning to return his reason.

But, here stood his three best friends, watching, open-mouthed as he transformed. What could he do? He could inadvertently hurt them, or even worse, curse them along with him if they didn’t listen to reason.


“Remus, what’s wrong with you?” Peter asked, his voice trembling with fear.


“Please, you have to go, I’ll explain some other time, please, please go!”


“No!” Sirius insisted, “If you’re ill, we’re staying with you.”


“You can’t, Sirius!” Remus yelled, “You’re in danger! Go, now…it’s coming, I can feel it...”


“We can help,” James grabbed Remus’ arm, but he was quickly flung aside, as the darkness closed in, and everything became a dream.


When he woke the next morning, Remus felt sick with worry. What had become of his friends?

Suddenly, James’ face swam into view. He was clutching a steaming hot cup of tea, and a very jam laden muffin.


“I thought you might be a bit…well, peckish after…erm…well, afterwards?” he said awkwardly.


Remus sat up and a cloak slid down his body. He always woke naked, and usually had a spare robe left in the cupboard in which he could sneak back into school, but usually he was alone.

“Oh, Sirius covered you up once you, erm, well, once the fur disappeared. We thought you might be cold?” James explained.


“Did I hurt anyone?” Remus asked, clutching the cloak to his body.


“Oh no!” James perked up once he had something more familiar to discuss, “Pettigrew the prat hit his head when he fainted after you went furry, but luckily there’s not much to harm in that thick head of his. He’s fine, he’s gone back to Hogwarts to clear the way while we get you back inside.”


At that moment, Sirius rushed in, “James, is he…oh, you’re awake?” he said, eyes raking over Remus’ gangly, unclothed form. “You all right, old chap?”


“Yes, fine,” Remus muttered. He couldn’t face them, he knew what was going to happen; he’d soon find himself allocated a ‘private’ room, so that he could study more easily, without interruption. Mrs Black would see to that. There was no way she would tolerate Sirius sharing a room with a dirty, cursed little half-breed!


“Come on, Peter says that the coast is clear, we can get you back to our room without anyone seeing us,” Sirius moved forwards, and helped Remus to his feet. He swung the cloak around the furiously blushing Remus and smiled, “It’s all right, Remus, everything will be fine. A nice hot bath, and sausage and bacon for breakfast will have you feeling right as rain!”


James moved to the other side of Remus, and they helped him out of the room and along the corridor to the entrance to the underground passage.


“You sure I didn’t bite anyone?” Remus asked.


“Oh no, you just growled, and paced, oh, and scratched a lot,” James explained. “We watched you through the cracks in the door, just to make sure you didn’t hurt yourself.”


“Yes, I’d check for fleas if I were you, you were looking a bit moth eaten,” Sirius nodded gravely, wrinkling his nose. “Do you think werewolves get werefleas, or just your average, common garden variety?”


With a cough, Remus began to laugh; they were teasing him. His friends weren’t recoiling in horror they were teasing him about having ‘werefleas’.


“When I get my strength back, I’m going to thump you two!” he warned with a snorty laugh.


“Fair enough,” Sirius said cheerily, “By the way, I was dead impressed when you licked your own arse!”




Remus sometimes thought that his friends actually saved his life that day. Looking back, he wasn’t sure if he could have withstood a rejection from them, the only people he really trusted, at that time. Self-loathing came as part of the werewolf make-up. Being unable to control yourself was always alarming, but having the ability to pass on such an evil curse was terrifying for such a young boy.


Nursing his drink, Remus sat back in the chair and remembered how he’d begun to pack his things next day. When asked why, he’d told them his fears when their parents found out about his condition. At least this way, they didn’t have to ask him to leave.




All three boys were outraged at the idea, but most of all, Sirius was beside himself with anger.

“My mother has no say in who my friends are!” he snarled, “Anyway, who says we’re going to tell anyone else?”


James nodded, “It’s our secret. Each month, we’ll watch over you. To make sure that no sneaky, nosy little tyke follows you, and that way, you’ll always be safe,” he suggested.


“But why?” Remus asked.


“Because you’re our friend,” Peter said at last, still dabbing the bump on his head with Tea Tree and Gringlewood root.


Because you’re one of us, we’ve already told you that, remember?” Sirius said, pulling Remus into a hug.


Cheeks pink, Remus smiled, “Thanks, really, I mean it.”




It had seemed like life was perfect. Remus’ best friends didn’t think he was a monster, and Gryffindor were winning the house cup by three points over Slytherin. He sat under the Oak tree one sunny morning, swotting up on his Muggle Studies, and trying hard to ignore his friends larking around, trying to distract him.

“Hello!” a voice said suddenly. Remus jumped, he’d been surreptitiously watching James and Sirius broomstick jousting, and marvelling at their skills.


“Lily?” Remus smiled.


Lily Evans sat down beside him and placed her large bag on the ground. “Remus, I know you’re terribly good at Defence Against The Dark Arts, I was wondering if you could give me a hand with this weeks homework?”


Shocked, Remus nodded dumbly. Lily never asked, nor did she ever need, help from any student. She was a singularly gifted witch, who shone at everything.


“I think it’s the Grindylows, they just give me the willies!” she grimaced, “I’m not sure I can cope with having to actually touch one of them, I know it’s a terribly girlie thing to say,” she looked almost embarrassed, “Promise me you won’t tell anyone?”


“Of course not,” Remus replied.


“Especially them!” she said with an entirely different tone to her voice, and gesturing to James and Sirius who were currently hanging upside down from their brooms. “Why do you hang around with those two, Remus?”


“They’re my friends,” he smiled, “They’re not so bad when you get used to them.”


Suddenly James plummeted to the ground, and landed on his head with an ‘umph!’

Lily sighed, “Hmm, I’ll have to take your word for that, they look like idiots to me. Lucky Potter landed on his head really, since he keeps his brain somewhere else!”


Remus laughed despite himself, and glanced over to where James was groaning ‘Reparo!’ to fix his glasses once again.


“Meet me in the library after Transfigurations?” Lily asked.


“Yes, of course. I’ll be there,” Remus smiled shyly.

She stood up and clapped her hand on his shoulder, before heading back into school.


“So, what’s going on with you and Lily then, hmmm?” Sirius asked as they walked to Transfigurations.


“Nothing,” Remus replied.


“I notice she waited until you were alone before she sidled up to you to whisper sweet nothings in your ear. Nothing going on though, huh?” Sirius winked at James who sucked in a breath and shook his head.


Remus merely smiled enigmatically, “She waited until I was alone, because she thinks you two are idiots,” he stated, “And I have to say that I’m inclined to agree!”


The two boys looked at each other in amazement, gasped out loud, and promptly launched themselves at Remus. He shoved them both, and they all began to wrestle. James and Sirius eventually overpowered Remus and playfully began dragging him to the ground, and fixing him with a tickling jinx.


“It’s Potter and Black, sir,” a voice sneered suddenly.


There was a flash, and the three brawling boys flew apart, Remus still wriggling uncontrollably with the tickling jinx.


Sirius glanced up and snarled “Snape!”


Severus Snape stood pointing an accusatory finger and smiling coldly.

“You nasty, snivelly little ba..” Sirius growled dangerously, climbing to his feet and starting forwards to challenge Snape.


“That will suffice for today, Master Black,” Professor Pugh insisted, fixing him with a binding spell, which took almost a minute to wear off, “You three gentlemen will attend detention this evening after your next class.”


Remus’ heart sank, that was when he was supposed to meet Lily.


“But sir, it wasn’t Lupin’s fault, we attacked him!” James insisted, “He was the victim here, wasn’t he Sirius?”


“Yes Professor,” Sirius replied, “It would be most unfair to punish Lupin for what we did.”


“But…” Remus began, feeling slightly guilty.


“I jinxed him Professor,” James hurriedly spoke up to drown Remus out before he put his foot in it. “He couldn’t help what he was doing!”


Professor Pugh nibbled on his moustache for a moment, then nodded, “Very well, Messrs Black and Potter, you can report to me after class, where you will serve your detention cleaning out the Squirlypunk tanks.” He turned to Remus, “And you Master Lupin, should seriously consider finding yourself new friends!”


Remus nodded slightly, and looked away, but at that moment, he couldn’t imagine having better friends.


As they sat down for Transfigurations, Sirius sighed, “I hope you have fun off snogging with Lily Evans while we’re cleaning out Squirlypunks,” he grumbled, “They smell like rotten eggs and dirty socks!”





Drowsy by the open fire, Remus sighed as he remembered the feeling of finally belonging the day they’d discovered his secret. His friends accepted him, all of him, even the wolf, and they weren’t afraid, and just how wonderful it was when they stood up for him, and even took his share of the punishment.

It was possibly the only thing he was grateful to his lycanthropy for; the feeling of having a real bond to his friends. His secret became their secret.

True friendship is usually forged through adversity, and there were few friends truer than those he’d made at Hogwarts.


It was during this period that his friendship with Lily Evans had really blossomed also. He had developed quite a crush on her, at first, but that eventually cooled into a quiet and long-lasting friendship. She was beautiful, and so very clever, but most importantly, she was never judgemental. He’d seen her defend even the most loathsome of students, a certain Severus Snape for example, despite their open and obvious dislike of her Muggle background. She was a kind soul, and Remus always felt so very comfortable in her presence. He’d often thought that she would have made a fine ‘Marauder’ as the four boys now called themselves, if only she hadn’t developed an almost irrational dislike of James and Sirius.

It didn’t help that they made kissing noises and sniggered whenever she spoke to Remus, and made him blush bright red. But there were things she understood that his best friends simply didn’t. When, in later years, Lily had discovered his lycanthropy, she had nodded, and said ‘I always knew you were different.” And for the first time in his life, that made him feel special, and not a freak.


Of course, with the passage of time, came a new enemy for the beast within Remus; puberty and teenage hormones.

Like their Muggle counterparts, teenage wizards went through the misery that is growing up, but with the added fear of magic going awry, and uncontrolled emotions causing havoc.

Remus, had yet another problem, the hormonal surges he had, channelled through his beast, and made the werewolf almost uncontrollable. Several times, he’d almost torn the door off the room in the shack, and frightened his friends half to death.








“You need company, that’s the problem,” Sirius decided one evening.


“Company?” Remus said with a frown, “I’m not a lonely kitten, Sirius, I’m a werewolf!”


Sirius sighed, “Yes, I know that, but part of the problem is that you’re caged and alone, and it’s sending you barking, old chap!”


James, who had been sitting reading for the past hour, suddenly spoke up, “I’m ahead of the lot of you, I’ve been thinking about this for weeks,” he said, “As humans, we’re in danger if Remus bites us, of becoming werewolves, and I’m not sure that even Hogwarts could deal with a werewolf pack, but…” he handed the book he’d been reading to Sirius, “This might be a way to help?”


Chewing his lip, Sirius scanned the page, “Animagus?” he said at last. “You don’t even get tested for Animagus talents until you’re a sixth year, then it takes years to perfect the technique?”


“Just because they don’t test you until you’re a sixth year, doesn’t mean that you can’t develop the talent before then. It’s dangerous, that’s why they won’t let you try out any earlier.”


Puzzled, Remus peered over the top of the book, “So, what does that have to do with me?” he asked.


James stretched his legs and smiled, “Because, in Animagus form, you’re impervious to werewolf bites!” he grinned, “That’s how wizards used to hunt down werewolves in the past; they’d change into horses, or large dogs, and run the werewolf down. If it turned on them, it couldn’t do them too much damage…well, except eating them, of course, but werewolves rarely attack non-humans.”


“How long have you been researching this?” Remus asked.


“Oh, a few weeks,” James replied, “After you almost bit through the door at last full moon, I thought it might be prudent to look at some alternatives.”


“Hmm,” Sirius was now reading with interest, “This gives you the incantations to prepare yourself for the change!”


“Yes,” James grinned a little wider.


“Where did you get that book?” Peter gasped.


James laughed, “I stole it from the restricted section, of course! You think they’d let just any little snot read this stuff?”


“You stole it?” Remus gasped, “Oh James, you’ll get into terrible trouble if Dumbledore finds out!”


Sighing, James flashed a grin, “He won’t find out, stop worrying, Remus. You’re such a girl sometimes,” he teased.


Sirius had gone very quiet, which was, in itself, unusual and worthy of comment. The three boys all turned to watch him, as his face grew more excited and fascinated with each passing moment.


“Sirius?” Remus said eventually.


“Oh, this is marvellous!” Sirius hissed, “I want to try this!”


“It’s dangerous though, isn’t it, Sirius?” Peter said with real concern, “What if it goes wrong?”


“What’s life without risk?” Sirius replied. “I want to try this, what about you, James?”


“Oh definitely,” James replied with equal glee, “Sounds like fun!”


“Fun?” Peter was still unsure, and simply not as brave as his two friends, “I’m not sure?”


“Okay,” Sirius decided at last, “We’ll give it a try, and if we get stuck in animal form, or blow ourselves to bits, you’ll know to give it a miss, right?”



For months the boys gathered the things they needed to practice the incantation, and studied the book carefully. James managed to steal another book on the Animagus from the restricted section and they compared the spells used to get an idea of which might be most use to them.

The danger only seemed to make it more appealing, and exciting, and suddenly the idea of becoming an Animagus seemed to take up their every waking hour.


“So,” said Sirius, “What kind of an animal do you think I’ll become? I rather fancy myself as a magnificent stallion!”


James groaned slightly, “Well that’s a surprise, isn’t it?” he teased, “I was thinking along the lines of a rabbit for you, actually.”


Remus and Peter laughed, and Sirius glared for a moment, before dissolving into laughter.


“You’re so cruel, Potter!” he sniffed, “What about you, what do you think you’ll turn into?”


“I don’t know,” James considered carefully, “How about an eagle?”


“I’d like to be a lion, or a panther,” Peter sighed, as he tucked into the last of the ‘humungous crispy nibbles’ that the house elves had left for him.


“More like a Tamworth Spotted if you ask me,” James guffawed.


“Hey!” Peter cried out, “That’s a pig, that is!”


“Well, look at it like this, Peter, a lion or a panther will be terribly noticeable around here, won’t they?” Remus tried to make the chubby boy feel better.


“And a pig might end up as bacon!” Peter wailed.


Sirius nodded, “He has a point. If Peter goes missing during this experiment, no one is to have bacon with breakfast, agreed?”


“Agreed,” James grinned.




Remus found himself laughing aloud at the memory of such good times. Peter Pettigrew reminded him of Neville Longbottom in so many ways. It seemed almost unbelievable, even now, that Peter could have betrayed his friends to Voldemort. Both Sirius and James were driven by such passion and intellect that it was just barely conceivable that they could be corrupted by the promises of power, but Peter was so inoffensive and gentle back then.


Wiping the thoughts away, Remus remembered the night they had all managed to form rudimentary animagi. It had been a very dangerous experiment, and was so far beyond the level they were studying, but they were all very determined students, and talented wizards.

James was the first to achieve his animagus…






Remus stood in awe as the change took place. James’ lanky form twisted and stretched and suddenly, there it was, a beautiful stag standing, tossing its head wilfully and shaking impressive antlers. It snorted, and butted Remus gently in the chest.

He reached out and stroked its nose. “Oh James, you’re beautiful!” he gasped.


Sirius grabbed his arm and shot him a wary glance, “Steady on, old chap, you’ll swell Potter’s head even more than it already is,” he said, prodding the stag with his finger like a laboratory specimen. The creature bent its head and shoved Sirius to the ground with its antlers. Sirius laughed out loud, and leaped to his feet, scratching the stag playfully behind the ears.

“You do look pretty impressive, old man!” he said finally, and the stag looked positively pleased.


“Oh my, James, how wonderful!” Peter looked on in awe, “Oh I hope my animagus looks only half as impressive.


“I wonder if this means you get a rutting season?” Sirius wondered aloud.


There were groans from the other boys, and Sirius looked shocked.

“I was only speculating!” he insisted.


“Do you ever think of anything but sex?” Remus asked.


“Of course I do!” Sirius replied with mock hurt, “I think about Quidditch occasionally!”


In the blink of an eye, James had returned to his normal form, and he sat gasping for breath on the floor.

“I couldn’t hold the form any longer,” he panted, “but it was pretty impressive, looking down at you all through an animals eyes!”


“I’m next, I want to try,” Sirius insisted. He stood and closed his eyes. He tapped his wand on his head, and mumbled the incantation. At first, nothing happened, but he screwed his eyes in concentration, and then it occurred…his body warped and changed, and suddenly, there stood a huge black dog, with a swishing tail, and slightly silly ears.

James guffawed and fell back onto the floor, “Oh Sirius, how perfect!” he laughed, “A dog, your intrinsic creature is a dog, how very, very apt!”


Remus was almost weeping with laughter as the huge hairy brute leaped on top of James and tried to bite him playfully.


“No leg will ever be safe again,” Remus chuckled, and large canine eyes turned to him. The dog, Sirius, bounded across the room, and jumped squarely on Remus’ chest, licking his face lovingly and growling in his ear, when he tried to push it away.

“Sirius!” Remus gasped as the dog flattened itself against him and nipped at his neck. Without warning, the change happened, and Sirius was once again a fifteen-year old boy, lying limply against Remus, but with a delighted smile on his face.


“That,” he gulped down air, “Was incredible!”


Remus pushed him back onto his feet, and grinning, the boys held onto each other for a moment. It was only when Peter’s voice broke the silence that they disengaged and turned to look at him.


“I have to try, I want to know what I’ll be!” he said taking out his wand, and concentrating, just as Sirius had. Slowly the change came, but instead of the snarling panther, or proud lion of his wishes, Peter grew smaller, and took the form of…a rat.


“Oh?” Sirius said, desperately searching for something positive to say about the change, “Well, at least you’ll be good at blending in around Hogwarts!”


In a matter of seconds, Peter had returned to his human form, and was looking rather unimpressed. “It’s not fair!” he bleated, “You two looked so wonderful, and all I got was a horrible, slimy little worm tail!”


Sirius grinned, “Worm tail?” he said with a smile, “That gives me an idea. How about we give ourselves animagus names, so we’ll know who we’re talking about when we’re in school?”


“Huh?” James frowned.


“Well, if I wanted to tell you that it was your turn to watch Remus, and I said ‘Oh James, when you turn into your animagus, you can spend the night watching Remus when he’s a werewolf, it’s a bit risky in front of everyone at school, but if we had secret names…”


“Oh I get it,” James grinned, “So, if we called Peter ‘wormtail’ we’d know it meant Peter’s animagus?”


“Yes!” Sirius clapped James on the back, “Exactly! Now let me think, I could be…erm…Black dog?”


“Someone would surely think you were talking about ‘The Grim’ and have you carted off to see the Divination Professor,” Remus warned.


“Okay,” Sirius decided, “How about ‘Padfoot’? We once had a dog called Padfoot, fine and noble beast he was, loved to chase house elves.”


Everyone laughed. “James could be ‘Prongs’ with those impressive antlers,” Remus suggested.


“Prongs, yes, I like the sound of that!” James sniggered, making ‘antlers’ with his hands, and charging at Sirius playfully.


“But what about Remus?” Peter asked, “Shouldn’t he have a name too?”


Sirius grinned widely, “I think Remus should be ‘Moony’,” he insisted, ruffling Remus’ hair, “Because he’s always mooning over Lily Evans!”


Remus leaped at Sirius and wrestled him to the floor, pinching and tickling causing Sirius to shriek with laughter.

“You really are a quite revolting beast, Black!” Remus struggled to pin Sirius down then slipped some Zonko’s slime slugs down his trousers.


The howls of laughter echoed through the tower room, as Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs were finally born




Remus poured himself a cup of cocoa, and sat down with his book. Nostalgia was a wonderful thing, but it left him feeling so desperately alone.

He’d made a pact with Sirius that if anything happened, he would take care of Harry until he was an adult, and able to make his own choices. Sirius had even written it into his will that Remus become Harry’s legal guardian. He’d said that he’d prefer his godson raised by a werewolf than those despicable Muggles who treated him worse than an unwanted pet.

Harry didn’t know that yet, the time hadn’t been right to tell him, and he might not want to live with a destitute old werewolf, but at least the offer would be there.


It was so hard, suddenly living without Sirius, Remus decided. His years in Azkaban were bad enough, but since his escape, and the discovery of the truth about what happened that night, he and Sirius had grown even closer than in the past, if that was possible.

Still, very few people knew that Sirius and he were lovers, only Dumbledore, from whom nothing was a secret, and Molly Weasley had guessed.

Despite the fact that she and Sirius had locked horns on more than one occasion, she had been the first to rush to Remus’ side when the terrible event was over, and offer him comfort. He’d been so very touched by her concern and singular lack of moral outrage over their relationship that he’d begun to see her in an entirely different light.

In a strange kind of a way, she reminded him of Lily.


His own relationship with Lily had long since passed into nothing but warm and lasting friendship, when she’d discovered his secret.

Sirius and James were helping him back into school early one morning when she’d caught them. Since she was a Prefect, they were forced to answer her questions…




What are you doing?” Lily Evans demanded on meeting Sirius and James carrying a cloaked and exhausted Remus back into school.


“Erm…it’s Remus, he’s been unwell!” Sirius explained.


“Outside of school?” she glared, “Is he drunk?”


James huffed, “No he is not! Now please, we need to get him back to our room.”


“I should report this,” Lily said slightly unsurely. “He is a Prefect, after all!”


Remus raised his head wearily, and peered from beneath the hood. His face was white as chalk, and his eyes circled by dark shadows.

“Lily, I promise, we haven’t been breaking any serious school rules, I’m just not well…”


She reached out and touched Remus’ face, “Oh my, you’re clammy and running a fever, you need to see the Matron!”


“No, that’s not necessary!” Sirius demanded, “Now if you’ll just move and let us by?”


Immediately, Lily’s face hardened, and she moved to block their way. “No, I don’t think so. I think I’ll call the headmaster.”


“Lily, please,” Remus implored, “Come up to our room, and I’ll explain. I think it’s about time you knew the truth.”


“Remus?” Sirius hissed.


“No, Sirius, she has a right to know. We’ve been friends a long time it’s only fair that I tell her who she’s friends with.”


James shot Sirius a glare, and shrugged. “If Remus wants you to know, then maybe you should follow us, and we’ll explain?” he said shortly.


“This had better not be one of your pathetic tricks, Potter!” she warned.


“It isn’t,” James replied, “Not that you’re likely to believe me, but has Remus ever lied to you?”


Lily thought for a moment, “Well, no. Oh, all right, I’ll come with you, but this had better be good!”



An hour later, Lily was sitting on James Potter’s bed, listening to the story with awe. James was stretched out on Sirius’ bed, and Sirius sat beside Remus, periodically handing him a wet cloth to cool his still clammy face. Peter sat curled up on his own bed, watching Lily suspiciously from behind the curtain.


“A werewolf?” Lily gasped.


“I’m sorry,” Remus said quietly, “I always wanted to tell you, but it’s not the easiest thing to explain.”


“How long have you three known?” she asked, looking from Sirius to Peter, then James.


“About three years,” James replied.


“And you’ve kept the secret all this time?” she said with scepticism.


“Yes, of course!” Sirius replied with a slight huff, “He’s our friend, it’s our job to protect him!”


“I…” she was clearly at a loss for words, “I never thought you…” She blushed.


“You didn’t think us capable of such a thing?” Sirius said irritably, “Not ‘idiots’ like us?”


“Sirius!” Remus snapped.


Glancing down, Sirius reached out and wiped Remus’ face tenderly, “Sorry old chap,” he whispered.


At that moment, the bell sounded. Lily jumped; she’d been sitting there longer than they’d thought, and they suddenly realised she was in a boys room out of hours! If caught, she’d be stripped of her Prefect badge.


“Oh no, it’s later than I thought,” Remus sighed, “James, take Lily through the secret passages to the girls common room on the third floor. Use your invisibility cloak. If she’s spotted here, she’s in trouble!”


James leaped to his feet, and reached into his trunk.


“You have an invisibility cloak?” Lily gasped, “Aren’t they illegal in school?”


“Oh, do give it a rest, Evans,” James grinned, “Do you want to get back to your room safely, or not? Because if you’re happy to walk out of here with everyone out there thinking you spent the night in here with all four of us, then please be my guest?”


Lily’s eyes widened in horror, “Oh, very well!” she replied reluctantly, “I’ll see you in Dark Arts, Remus?”


“Yes,” Remus smiled weakly.


James opened a small panel in the wall, and gestured for Lily to follow. No one knew the secret passages in Hogwarts as well as James and Sirius, and Remus knew that she could quite safely get back to her room without being seen if James was helping her.


“Do you think that was wise?” Sirius said suddenly, still wiping the cloth across Remus’ forehead.


“She’s my friend, Sirius, just as you are. It’s only fair that she should know what I am.”


“Are you sure you can trust her?”




Sirius leaned back against the headboard and sighed, “I hope you’re right.”



Two days later, Remus bumped into Lily in the hall outside of Potions class. He waited nervously to see if she would be able to look him in the eye, but she didn’t disappoint him; her face lit up with a glorious smile.


“You’re looking better,” she said quietly.


“Yes, I’m fine now,” he replied shyly.


“Look, I’m sorry if I’ve been rude about your friends in the past, maybe I did misjudge them, just a bit?”


Remus grinned, “What, even James?”


Laughing, Lily shrugged, “Maybe, just a little bit. It’s quite unnerving just how many secret passages he knows around here!”


They both laughed a little conspiratorially.


“Thank you,” Remus said at last.


“What for?” she replied


“For not treating me like I’m a monster.”


Lily’s face softened into a sad smile, “Oh Remus, of all the people I know, you’re possible the least like a monster than any one!”




Remus glanced at the picture in the album, of he and Lily dancing at the annual ball, and smiled. That had been the night that James had kissed Lily for the first time.

Shortly after discovering his secret, Lily had become less harsh towards both James and Sirius, and Remus had noticed James’ interest in her blossom and grow into infatuation. He’d denied it quite vigorously at first, but it had quickly become quite obvious for all to see.

Sirius had, at first, been very resentful of Lily’s intrusion into their little ‘order’, but he’d eventually accepted that situations, and feelings change.

This seemed to be the catalyst for Sirius, the time when he finally realised that things around him were changing, and that his own feelings towards his friends were changing too.

In later years, Sirius would, one drunken night, admit that he’d had a crush on James for a long times. Nothing sexual had ever occurred, but the feelings he’d had for his best friend had always been confusing and worrying to him.

Ironically, it was after he’d accepted that he was a little in love with James Potter that he’d admitted his feelings for Remus were of a similar hue.


Remus sat back and closed his eyes; it all seemed so long ago now, that first sweet time, that pivotal moment in his life, the one night he wouldn’t change for anything in the world. It was the weekend that James was away, attending his Grandmother’s funeral, and Peter had flu. Sirius had taken sole charge of Remus during full moon…




Remus woke from his fretful dream, lying on the dusty old bed in the Shrieking Shack. It always took a few moments for him to remember where he was, and what he was doing. Head still fuzzy, he glanced down, ‘Oh no! He’d grown another arm! He instinctively shrank back from the offending appendage.

At that moment, he heard a groan from behind him, and felt a warm body press against his back.

What on earth had happened?

He turned his head to find Sirius’ head snuggled in between his shoulders; his body spooned against Remus with the robe pulled tightly around them both.


“Sirius?” he said a little unsurely.


“Hnnuk?” came the unintelligible reply.


“What are you doing there?”


Sirius opened one sleepy eye, “Keeping you warm,” he mumbled, “You whimpered and whined so much last night that I climbed in with you, and as soon as I curled up beside you, you shut up!”


“You or Padfoot?” Remus asked drowsily.


“Padfoot, obviously,” Sirius sighed irritably, “Even I’m not insane enough to curl up in human form with a rampant werewolf.”


Remus grinned, “’Rampant’?”


“You know what I mean, now can we please just get a little more sleep before I have to get up, get cold, get dressed and walk all the way back to school?” Sirius yawned widely, “I was having a lovely dream.”


“What was her name?” Remus asked.


“You always assume that I’m thinking about women, don’t you?” Sirius replied slightly wounded, “I was actually dreaming about you and I. We were Aurors, tracking down the dark wizards, fighting the good fight, it was terribly heroic!”


It was that moment that something occurred to Remus, Sirius had said ‘get dressed’.





“Are you naked?”


“Yes, why?”


Remus felt his face flush slightly, “Oh, no reason.”


“So are you!” Sirius replied sulkily, and shifted position slightly, causing his naked state to become all too evident.


“Well, I can’t help it, can I?”


“Oh, okay,” Sirius began to pull his arm free, but Remus caught his wrist.

“I didn’t say that you had to move,” Remus sighed, “Just get some sleep, or you’ll be a real misery all day.”


Sirius needed no further encouragement, he burrowed back down against Remus and sighed, “You’re a credit to wizard kind, Moony old chap!” And in a moment, he was snoring softly again.


Remus lay there, thinking about the friend that currently nestled against him. He couldn’t remember anything ever feeling so wonderful in his whole life?

His condition meant that people had a natural fear of him, and even if they often didn’t know why, they were loath to get close to him. His father had explained that being a werewolf at such a young age meant that he hadn’t developed any natural camouflage, but Remus just always felt that people knew he was a monster, and were taking natural, and quite sensible, precautions.

Sirius, James and Peter were the first to ever simply accept him, and it was so wonderful. He could finally be himself, finally let down the barriers that kept the world at bay, and him so lonely.

He closed his eyes, and began drifting off to sleep, forgetting that he was still holding Sirius’ hand.


When he awoke again, he discovered that he’d turned over, and was now looking straight into Sirius’ face. Cheeky grey eyes were smiling at him, and he blinked a couple of times to get them into focus.


“You looked so peaceful, I was wondering what you were dreaming about,” Sirius said with a smile.


“Arthrimancy tests,” Remus replied, “I was thinking about the Arthrimancy tests we have this afternoon, and how I’m going to fail them quite miserably.”


Sirius pouted, “Oh Moony, you’re such an unromantic chap,” he sighed.




Suddenly, Sirius lunged forwards and kissed Remus squarely on the lips. Remus lay still, not quite sure what to say, or do.

“Mmm, I’ve always wondered what you’d taste like,” Sirius said licking his lips, “I must say, for someone who was chewing an old hambone a few hours ago, you taste very nice!”




“Do you mind if I do it again, you know, just as a test, to make sure the first time wasn’t a fluke?”


Remus shook his head, “No, I don’t mind…” he heard himself say, and it was then he realised that he really didn’t mind the idea of Sirius kissing him, not in the least.


This time the kiss was slower, and Sirius pressed his tongue against Remus teeth. Remus had never kissed anyone before, except for his Mother and his Aunt Martha of course, and he’d certainly never, ever used his tongue!

Sirius was moving closer, his hand was resting on Remus’ shoulder, and he was making low, breathy sounds.

Unsurely at first, Remus reached out his hand, and placed it against Sirius’ chest. He could feel the heart beneath his hand pounding so fast, he feared it might leap out and attack him. Sirius shuffled even closer, all the time his mouth was working harder and faster against Remus lips, pushing inside his mouth.

Sirius finally crawled until he was lying against Remus’ chest, and his hips were beginning to grind against Remus’ thighs.

Remus could feel Sirius hard against him, his own growing erection beginning to demand attention. Sirius’ hands now seemed to be everywhere at the same time. Remus could feel a hand against his face, sliding around his neck, pushing up into his hair, another grasped him hard, pulling him close.

A sudden sharp pain made Remus gasp, and he realised that Sirius had twisted his nipple, and was laughing as he kissed his throat.

Another sharp pain signalled that Sirius was nipping at his neck; Remus simply didn’t know what to do, so he just held on to Sirius, closed his eyes and let the pleasure roll over him in a crashing wave.

Sirius finally let out a low groan, and his nails dug into Remus arm for a few seconds before he released his grip.

When he could think straight again, Remus realised that he was wet and sticky, and his body was damp with sweat, from Sirius’ body as well as his own.


Dropping back against the grubby sheets, Sirius gasped, “Oh, that was wonderful! I’ve wanted to do that for ages.”


“You have?” Remus asked, suddenly feeling a little self-conscious in his total nakedness.


“Oh yes. I’ve fancied you for a long time; I just wasn’t sure what to do about it until now. I always felt a bit guilty, lusting over my best friend…”


Suddenly, a snuffly voice carried up the stairs, and both boys leaped from the bed, and grabbed their robes.


“Coasts clear!” Peter Pettigrew called with a heavily bunged up nose, “I thought I should let you know.”


“Be there in a second, Peter,” Sirius replied.


Remus fastened his robes, and tried not to feel so uncomfortable with what had just happened. He loved Sirius, he always had, but Sirius was not someone who fell in love, he was someone who achieved a goal, who pursued until he caught, then lost interest.

This time tomorrow, he’d be on the hunt for someone else, maybe a pretty sixth year, or the handsome Captain of the Ravenclaw Quidditch team.

Sirius’ philandering had always been a subject for scorn and ridicule at night, up in their tower room, but now, it would feel like a betrayal, each and every time.


“What’s wrong?” Sirius asked, his voice unsure.


“Nothing!” Remus replied with forced cheerfulness, “We’d better go.”

Before Sirius had a chance to reply, Remus set off down the stairs at a fast pace, his long strides causing Sirius to run slightly to keep up.



It had been an odd day. Sirius had looked lost without James in Arthrimancy, but had refused when Remus and Peter had asked him to join them with their experiment.

After lunch, Remus headed off to Divination, leaving Sirius alone to go to Herbology.

It was mid afternoon by the time he spotted Sirius sitting beneath the old Oak just outside the gates.

Tentatively, Remus walked down the slope and sat down.

“I…I wondered where you were?” Remus said softly. He was expecting some joke, or clever retort, but Sirius didn’t smile.


“Well, Moony, do you hate me now?” Sirius said at last.


“Hate you?” Remus gasped, “Why would I hate you?”


“Finding out that your best friend is a poofter isn’t always easy, you know?” Sirius said with a long-suffering sigh, and a very strained half-smile.


“Speaking as a werewolf, I’d say it’s pretty small stuff myself, as secrets go” Remus replied.


Suddenly Sirius gave a bark of laughter. He glanced around at Remus, and smiled, “Thank you, for not laughing at me at least.”


“Oh Sirius, why would I do that?” Remus placed his hand on Sirius’ shoulder.


“Because of what happened this morning. I know you were upset…”


“I wasn’t upset!” Remus insisted.


“You’ve barely looked at me since.”


“Oh Sirius!”


Head bowed, stripping grass stems with his nails, turning them a delicate shade of green Sirius sighed. “I know what you’re thinking, that I do that with everyone, that I did it to make a fool of you or something, but I didn’t. I swear to you, Remus, I didn’t! I would never do that to you, of all people. You’re the only person who likes me for being me, not for being ‘Sirius Black of the family Black’, not because my family frighten or intimidate you. That’s very important to me. I would never hurt you.”


Remus squeezed Sirius’ shoulder, “You’re the best friend I’ve ever had. Without you, and James and Peter my life would be so empty. I like you because you’re you, yes, that’s true, but I also like you because you deserve it.”


“Thank you.” Sirius said with some relief, and a slightly choked voice, “You’re the strongest of us all, you know that, don’t you?” he smiled, touching the hand that lay on his shoulder, “I envy you.”


“You envy me?”


“Yes, I do. I’m not sure that I could have been as strong as you, if I’d had your curse to contend with. And you’re always so damned sensible, even when James and I are behaving like idiots, you always see reason. I’d like to be that way, sometimes,” Sirius sighed.


“Maybe it’s just that I’m too cowardly to do the things you do?” Remus said sadly.


Sirius turned sharply, “NO! You’re most certainly no such thing! I won’t have you say that,” he looked sternly at Remus, who shrugged, “Not being an idiot like us, does not automatically mean that you’re a coward or a fool. I’m sure that James and I will pay for our wicked deeds some day.”




Such pleasurable memories only made Remus feel even lonelier now that Sirius was really gone.

After Sirius had returned from Albania, they’d spent a wonderful year together, and it seemed like everything was going to work out. Together, he and Sirius would work with the Order to defeat Voldemort, and Harry could finally come and live with them in safety.

For the first time in their lives, they would each have a real family, and maybe they could find a little genuine happiness.

But life wasn’t a fantasy, and Sirius was lost.


Remus Lupin died that day. The empty husk that remained lived on to provide Harry Potter with the only link to his beloved parents and godfather, and to fulfil a promise made.



Seven Years Later


Leaning heavily on his cane, Remus watched as Harry and Ginny apparated away to their new jobs, hunting down the remaining Death Eaters who had fled to Eastern Europe. With the help of Aurors from all over the world, the misery and fear would soon be vanquished forever. It was hard to believe that Harry was now twenty-two years old, and a fully qualified Auror. It was also a surprise that he’d married Ginny Weasley, much to her family’s utter delight. Yes, finally Harry had everything he’d always wanted; a family, and a job that really mattered.


As he turned to leave, Remus caught his breath, and a pain tore through his body, leaving him standing, clutching a nearby tree. This was why there were no old werewolves. The change every month, took an enormous toll on the human body, and Remus had withstood it since childhood.

Very soon he would find himself in St Mungo’s, waiting for his body to finally break down, and not change back into human form, and he would die shortly afterwards, insane and wracked with terrible pain.


At that moment, a hand gripped his elbow, and he looked up into the face of Albus Dumbledore.


“Are you quite all right, Remus?”


“No, not really,” he replied, “I have a favour to ask?”


“Very well, let us Portkey to my office, and I’ll have Dobby prepare us some Mickleberry Muffins and make us a nice cup of tea.”


It had been a few years since Remus had sat in Dumbledore’s office at Hogwarts, and he still felt like a student who had been sent to the headmasters office for some terrible transgression.

The house elf, with the shocking array of socks about his person, laid a tray of newly baked Mickleberry Muffins on the desk, and the scent made Remus feel like he hadn’t eaten in months.

Mickelberry’s grew in the Forbidden Forest, and were only able to be harvested once a year between May and July, and only then, if you knew the right incantations to stop the bush from eating you.


“Now, Remus, what can I do for you?” Dumbledore asked




When he reached home, Remus felt more contented than he had in so very long. He had a week before he was to meet Dumbledore at the Ministry For Magic for his special appointment in the Department of Mysteries, but that was time enough to get his little errands done.


He took the picture of himself and Harry from the shelf, and smiled; Harry had been trying to teach him Muggle roller-skating in this one, but to no avail, and with the only result being a very sore behind where he’d crashed to the floor with frightening regularity.

The last few years had been happy, despite everything that had happened in the past, and he’d come to think of Harry as a son. In his heart, he knew that Sirius would have been terribly proud of the man that Harry had become, and that James and Lily would have been grateful for the simple, but loving home he’d given their boy.

Now Harry was a grown wizard, with a wife, and he no longer needed a watchdog on his heels, so it was time for Remus Lupin to take his own life in hand, and settle matters once and for all.

Pulling a piece of parchment from the drawer, Remus set out to write Harry a letter, hopefully in which, he could explain his reasons and decisions, and also to set a few things straight. Harry deserved to know everything, though Remus often suspected that he knew a lot more than he admitted to.


Remus was tired, so very tired, and while he poured out his heart into the letter, he couldn’t help but recall the painful moment when Sirius finally broke away from his family, because he was in love with a half-blood werewolf.




September 1976


Remus woke to the sound of raised voices. It was disorienting to wake up in a strange house, but he soon remembered that he was at the Black family home in London, at 12 Grimmauld Place.

Curious, he dressed and tiptoed to the top of the stairs. By now, it was clear that one of the voices was Sirius, and the other his mother.


“I will not stand for it!” Mrs Black shrieked, her voice trembling with anger, “I will not entertain a dirty little half-breed in my home. You will remove him at once!”


“How DARE you speak to me that way, about my closest friend!” Sirius raged.


Remus winced and shrank back into the shadows. They were having this argument about him.


“Oh yes, and while we’re on the subject, Kreacher informs me that you were in the same bed as that filthy creature last night?” Mrs Black hissed, “You revolt me! You are definitely your father’s son on that score, he’d had more boys than the England Quidditch team when I met him, but I soon straightened him out, forced him to see where his duty lay, and you’ll do the same!”


“You mean become like you?” Sirius raged, “Over my dead body! And as for that nasty little house elf, I should cut his throat for him, still that venomous little tongue of his!”


Remus heard a squeal, and saw the house elf scuttle from the room below.


“You’ll do as I say when you’re in my house!” Mrs Black snarled viciously, “Now get that dirty little mudblood back on the train to wherever he comes from, and get back here before the dinner party tonight. Regulus is bringing his girlfriend, and I want to make a good impression, she’s from good blood.”


Sirius’ anger was almost tangible, Remus thought; he could feel the heat of it, from where he sat. “Good blood, is that what you call it?” Sirius’ voice had quietened, and this only unnerved Remus more. “She’s the daughter of a dark wizard, a traitor to our kind. If this is what my oh so proud family has become, I want nothing to do with any of you!”


“You walk away from me now, boy, and I’ll seal the door, you’ll never come back!”


“Promise?” Sirius snarled, and Remus heard him running for the stairs.


Scuttling back into the bedroom, Remus struggled to suppress the tears that were stinging his eyes. This was all his fault; Sirius was in trouble with his family because of him, because he was a werewolf, and because his blood was ‘dirty’.

The last part angered Remus a little, how dare anyone suggest that his mother was anything but a wonderful human being who loved him unconditionally, and raised him the best way she knew how?

So, they didn’t live in a fine mansion, he’d been brought up in a nice little house, in a nice little village, surrounded by his Muggle kin, who were the kindest of people. Of course, they never knew about his lycanthropy, they simply wouldn’t have understood, they thought that he had some kind of kidney complaint, and had to go away each month for dialysis, but they were generous, loving people. Why should they be considered ‘dirty’ or have less worth than his father’s family, who were pureblood wizard?

His father’s family were nice people too, though a little strange and eccentric compared to his Muggle kin. His Great Uncle Huber spent most of his life in frog form, insisting that the world looked better from a lily pad.


At that moment, the door burst open, and Sirius stormed in.

“Grab your things, we’re leaving!” he growled.


“Sirius, I’ll go…you stay,” Remus stuttered shyly.


The look on Sirius’ face belied utter shock. “You heard, all of that?”

Remus didn’t answer, but Sirius understood only too well. “Damn that woman, damn her to Hades!” he snarled, “I’ll never come back here again, never, not until she’s dead!”


Remus reached out and pulled Sirius to him, but Sirius was rigid with anger.

“Please Sirius, don’t say that, she’s your mother!”


“Not anymore,” he pushed himself away from Remus and began to throw his belongings into his trunk.


“Please, please, Sirius, think about what you’re doing?”


Sirius turned and his grey eyes flashed with anger, “I have thought about it, for a great many years. Don’t you see, Remus, I’m ashamed of my family! I’m ashamed that people know I’m a Black, because they’ll think I’m like that,” he pointed to the door. “I don’t care about the money, or the prestige, or anything else, I just can’t live like this, I simply can’t, not anymore.” Sirius reached out and hugged Remus tightly, “This isn’t your fault, old man, please don’t fell guilty about it. This is just the last straw that broke the old mutt’s back. Now get packed, and I’ll call the night bus. We’re due to go down to James’ on Thursday anyway, so a couple of days early shouldn’t matter.”


As usual, the Potter’s welcomed the boys with open arms. An old, established wizarding family themselves, they couldn’t have been more different to the Black family.

Anne and Harry Potter were a delightful couple who lived in an elegant little cottage in Godric’s Hollow, a tiny wizarding village in Wales.

Remus and Sirius were hauled in through the door of the cottage, and immediately fed until they almost burst. James, they were told, was in the village helping an elderly neighbour mend her leaky roof.


Mrs Potter fussed over the boys, and clearly showed great affection for young Sirius. The two families had been acquaintances for many years, so Sirius and James had been casual friends even before Hogwarts.

“Is something wrong, dear?” Mrs Potter asked, stroking Sirius’ hair softly, “You look upset?”


Sirius shook his head, but his whole demeanour screamed angry and overwrought.

“Had another argument with your Mother?” she suggested


Sirius’ eyes shot up to meet hers, dark and angry at first, which then softened to a teary grey. He shrugged.

“It wasn’t a hard guess,” she whispered, “You’re a good boy, Sirius, don’t let anyone tell you differently.” Mrs Potter hugged him and he finally smiled weakly.


Remus felt that this scenario had been played out before and that was why Sirius always fled to James’ home when things were bad. The Potters judged him on his own actions, not on those of his family, which made Sirius feel special, and untainted by the Black family name.


At that moment, the door burst open, and a very dirty James tramped mud through the kitchen doorway.


“Padfoot! Moony!” he beamed, “You’re early?”


“Yes, well, I had a few family problems,” Sirius replied darkly, “Don’t mind do you, Prongs?”


“Are you kidding?” James dropped down into the chair, dust rising from his clothes, “It’s fantastic!”


“James Potter, get out of my kitchen in that state!” Mrs Potter chided lightly, “You’re a disgrace to wizard kind! Get cleaned up, and remove that mud immediately...ah ha…not with magic, use a mop!”


James groaned, and rolled his eyes, but the exchange between him and his mother was so very different from that of the House of Black mother and son.


“What’s your Mother like, Remus?” Sirius said suddenly, as James ambled away to clean up his mess.


“What? Oh, she’s wonderful, why?”


“She’s a Muggle, isn’t she?”


Remus frowned, “Yes, why?”


“And she loves your Father, because he’s a wizard?”


“I don’t know about because he’s a wizard,” Remus replied, “I’d say it’s more like despite the fact he’s a wizard. She didn’t know when they met.”


“That’s what I mean, she loves him, the man, not the wizarding family he comes from. I want to always be with people I love because of who they are, not what they are, or how important or powerful they are. I hate that; I hate living like that, always needing to have someone bowing and scraping to me. It’s demeaning, and I won’t be a part of it!” Sirius had unshed tears of anger glistening in his eyes.


Remus put his arm around Sirius’ shoulder and squeezed slightly, “You’re not your family. You don’t have to be like them. Next Summer, you can come and stay with me, and my parents, and have a Muggle holiday, with absolutely no magic.”


Sirius grinned slightly, “Can I?”




“That sounds very exciting,” Sirius replied, and Remus smiled, because he really meant it.


Remus laughed, “Just wait until you have to use a ‘can opener’, you won’t think it’s exciting then!”




Folding the parchment, and sealing it, Remus placed it among the things he needed to take with him when he met Dumbledore.

He remembered fondly the following Summer, their last at Hogwarts, when Sirius had indeed spent two weeks with the Lupin family, and it had been the funniest thing Remus had seen in years.

Like most people from wizarding families, Sirius, for all his intelligence and sophistication, had no idea what went on in the Muggle world.

Remus’ family lived an almost exclusively Muggle existence, and even things as simple as the vacuum cleaner fascinated Sirius beyond words.


Remus took out the photograph album, and flicked through. There in the back were some of his favourite snaps of Sirius, and the one thing he took home from his Muggle holiday…a motorcycle.

Sirius had become obsessed with having a motorcycle after watching some youths roaring through the village on theirs one night.

He’d insisted that Remus go with him to Gringotts to change some currency, so that he could buy his dream machine.

Somehow, the motorcycle had suited Sirius. It was a little rebellious and infinitely sexy, which summed up Sirius Black perfectly.

Of course, Sirius hadn’t been satisfied with just having a normal, standard, Muggle bike, and he’d had it enchanted, so that it flew, and had an invisibility cloak fitted.

Remus always thought that Sirius loved that machine more than anything else on Earth.


After Sirius was arrested, Remus returned to find the motorcycle abandoned and in poor repair. Unknown to anyone, he’d gathered up the pieces, and had it repaired. He’d stored it in his family’s garage, where it had stood for thirteen years, until Sirius returned from Albania.

Under cover of darkness one moonless night, he had slipped Sirius out disguised as Padfoot, and taken him down to see the machine.


“Why didn’t you destroy it?” Sirius had asked, “You thought I’d betrayed you?”


Remus shook his head, “I don’t know, I suppose a part of me never really believed it, even with such overwhelming facts to the contrary. I couldn’t destroy the only link I still had to you…the you I loved?”


Sirius had wrapped his arms around Remus and kissed him, and at that moment, everything had felt right with the world.





Arriving at the Ministry for Magic with Albus Dumbledore was always an eye-opener. He swept through the corridors with an air of utter confidence, as Remus tagged along beside him, struggling on his walking stick. They made their way down into the vaults, and through the endless maze of doors, until they came to the ‘round room’.


“Here is where we must part company, my dear Remus,” Dumbledore grasped Remus’ hand.


“I can’t thank you enough,” Remus said, “But can I ask one more favour from you?”


“Of course.”


“Please give this to Harry when he returns, I wanted to explain to him, help him understand ‘why’.” He handed Dumbledore a piece of parchment with a red seal.

“I knew if I told him before he went, he simply wouldn’t go, but I’d hate him to feel any guilt over me.”


“Of course I shall pass this on. Well, goodbye my dear Remus, safe journey. Say hello to everyone for me?”


Nodding, and choked for words, Remus croaked, “I will.” He moved across to the door with a symbol that glowed bright green, and opened it. He’d been here once before, many years ago.


The archway stood in the corner as he remembered it. The veil that lay across it was fluttering in the non-existent breeze. Remus listened, and soon he could hear voices coming from beyond the veil.


“Remus?” a soft, almost ethereal voice echoed around the room.


He smiled, and placed his walking stick on the floor. “I’m here,” he said. Self-consciously brushing his hair back with his fingers, and straightening his jacket, he walked purposefully through the archway, without any hesitation or glance backwards. For a moment, it was so dark he felt suffocated, but soon, the darkness softened into grey light, then his eyes grew accustomed to the darkness and he could see the outline of an inn on a Winter night, softly lit with the delicate glow of candlelight.

It was then that Remus saw him, standing in the doorway.


“Sirius!” he smiled.


“Moony!” Sirius rushed forward and threw his arms around Remus, hugging him close.

Sirius no longer looked gaunt and haggard the way he had when he was released from Azkaban, but healthy and robust the way Remus remembered him of old.

When they parted, both men had tears in their eyes, and Sirius was smiling like a madman. He placed a hand on Remus’ neck and a tender kiss on his lips, and it felt like nothing else mattered in the universe.

“Come on, they’re all waiting for you,” Sirius gestured to the inn which had now fully appeared behind him, warm and inviting, and peppered with snowfall.

Through the window, Remus could see James and Lily handing out drinks, and he could smell the winter fare from where he stood.


Suddenly Sirius shoved him in the chest with his finger, and asked, “What kept you, anyway?”


The End