This is the third part of my Marauders series. If you're a first time reader, please go to my page and read Marauders: Year 1 before this. Thank you, and enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or the cover artwork. All rights to their respective owners.
Chapter 1: Unanswered Letters
How's life in the Black household? I hope it's not too horrible. It's been dreadfully boring at my house. My parents have gotten over their initial excitement at seeing me again and things are back to normal, meaning my mum's chewing me out every day to clean my room or reprimanding me for all my detentions at school. I don't think she liked it when I said I was quite proud of those detentions.
Peter's supposed to get here in a few days, but Remus can't come until next week because the full moon's coming up and his mom is nervous we'll find his behavior suspicious. He hasn't told her that we know, and Remus didn't want to push her. But we're all going to be here in a little bit; you need to join us NOW!
Please respond to this letter. You've been ignoring me for the past two weeks and it's starting to scare me. I talked to Remus and Peter and they said you haven't been talking to them either. What's up? Do you need help? We're going to launch a rescue mission if you don't send something back to us.
James wrote again to tell me you haven't been responding to him, either. I think he's going to have a panic attack one of these days, and truthfully so am I. Is everything okay?
I've had a nice break. It's relaxing to be at home, but too quiet for my taste. I miss you three. My mother's been doting on me. Apparently she's worried I'm not taking care of myself at school. Why on Earth would she think that?
Please respond. Or at least respond to James. He's going nuts.
Sirius Orion Black,
WHAT ARE YOU DOING? It's been three weeks and the only thing I've gotten was your first letter the day after break started complaining that your mother was chewing you out for all the detentions. Are you alright?
We're getting really worried. If you get this, write back.
I'm at James's house. He and his parents are going nuts. Write to someone.
Yes, I got your letter. I tried to talk my mom into letting me come over early but she won't budge. The full moon's in three days, and she'll let me leave three days after that when she's sure I'm well. So it'll be about a week before I come over.
I know you're wondering: no, Sirius hasn't responded to me, and yes, I'm extremely worried. We'll talk about it more when I'm at your house.
Say hello to Peter and your family for me. See you soon.
"Ugh!" James shouted, throwing his quill down. "What's the point? He's not gonna respond."
He and Peter were sitting in James's room trying to write another letter to Sirius, but didn't have anything to say. James had taken to sending him a letter a day, and he was running out of things to write.
"I hope he's okay," Peter squeaked.
"He'd better be," James muttered, "or I'm going to kill him."
It was the day after the full moon. James wished that Remus could come over now, but his mother was holding him captive because she didn't want the Potter's to get suspicious because he's so tired. James wanted Remus to tell her they knew, but Remus claimed that she would freak out and pull him out of the school if he did, so they had to sit tight until she let him leave.
"Maybe he's on vacation," Peter suggested.
"The owls would still be getting to him," James said. "No, he's either ignoring us on purpose or he can't respond." He buried his face in his hands. "Merlin, I'm worried."
Peter didn't say anything. He knew nothing he did would make James feel better, so he decided to remain silent.
"I wish Remus was here," James said, flopping back on his bed. "He would know what to do."
When Peter had first arrived James had been excited about pursuing their Animagus idea while Remus wasn't there, but worry about Sirius had overshadowed even that, and he hadn't said a word about it in days.
"I know," Peter said. "It's too bad he isn't allowed."
James frowned up at the ceiling, then sat up. There was a small smile on his face. "He isn't allowed to come," he said, "but that doesn't mean we're not allowed to go to him."
"James-" Peter said, but his friend was already off the bed and out the door. "James!"
He ran after James, finding him in the living room holding the box of Floo Powder. Mr. Potter was at work, and Mrs. Potter had gone out shopping, leaving the two boys home alone, and Peter found himself wishing they would get home and put a stop to their son's antics.
"James, his mom is going to freak!" Peter said, bouncing from one foot to the other nervously.
"Yes, but maybe we can convince her to let him come. Come on, Pete, we all need to be here so we can talk about rescuing Sirius. It's after the full moon now, it's fine."
Peter moaned as James tossed a handful of powder into his fireplace. A green fire roared up, making Peter jump. He rarely used Floo Powder, and when he did it always made him nervous.
"Follow after me, Pete!" James hopped inside, the fire flickering around him without burning him. "Lupin household!"
There was a curious sucking noise and James was gone. Peter looked around, half expecting Mrs. Potter to show up and yell at them. He had only been there a week and already he knew that Mrs. Potter was a force to be reckoned with. The house was empty, though, and eerily silent; with a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach, Peter grabbed a handful of powder.
"Lupin household," he said, hopping into the grate.
The house fell silent as the flames disappeared, Peter along with them.
"Are you sure you're alright, Remus, dear?" Mrs. Lupin asked.
"Yes, Mum." Remus was dabbing at one of the cuts on his arms with a wet towel. The full moon had been pretty good to him last night; he had a few deep scratches on his arm and his wrist was kind of sore, but other than that and a bit of fatigue he felt fine.
He wished he could go over to James's right now, but his mother wouldn't hear of it. "Those boys have enough to get suspicious of at school," she had said when he had protested. "They don't need to see you tired and beat up over the summer, as well." Her heart was in the right place, but Remus was annoyed with the whole matter, especially with what was going on right now.
Remus hadn't told his mother about Sirius because he felt it was too complicated to explain, but he was terribly worried about his friend. He didn't like him at that house anyways, and now that he wasn't responding to any of their owls Remus was in a perpetual state of fear that something had happened to him. He wanted to do something, but he felt helpless, a feeling he had grown to detest. He just wished he was with his friends so he wouldn't have to be helpless alone.
"What do you want for lunch?" Mrs. Lupin asked, oblivious to her son's struggles. "I could make pasta."
Remus said that was fine, and set to work bandaging his many cuts. The kitchen fell into a comfortable silence, uninterrupted until-
A loud scuffle came from the living room. Mrs. Lupin dropped the spoon she was holding and it clattered to the tiles. Remus leapt up from his seat, frowning at the doorway.
Holding up a hand for his mother to stay put, he drew out his wand and slowly crept towards it. A thousand different scenarios rushed through his head- what if it was a burglar? A murderer? Was it one of the local kids, sneaking in on a dare?
He was unprepared for the sight that met his eyes. "James?" he asked when he had reached the doorway, dropping his wand to his side and staring.
"Remy!" James was splayed out on Remus's living room floor, looking dazed.
Remus didn't move to help him, still stunned. It was weird seeing one of his best friends in his living room, like two worlds colliding. He felt vaguely uncomfortable.
The fireplace roared with green flames, and another figure shot out and landed right on top of James.
"Oh. Hello, Remus," Peter said, blinking at his friend. He was sitting on top of James's back.
"Peter, get off me!" James said, his voice muffled by the carpet.
Remus shook his head, stunned. "What… what are you doing here?"
"Remus?" Mrs. Lupin was standing behind him. "Who is it?"
"Oh- oh, don't worry, Mum, it's just my roommates." Snapping out of his daze, Remus hurried forward and helped the two of them to their feet.
"Remy!" James said again when he was on his feet, throwing his arms around Remus in a huge hug. Remus winced and James quickly pulled away, an apologetic expression on his face. Then he turned to Mrs. Lupin, who was staring with wide eyes. "Hi, Mrs. Lupin," he said with a charismatic smile. "Terribly sorry for the intrusion, but we really needed to talk to Remus. I hope you don't mind."
Mrs. Lupin didn't seem to know what to say. She looked back and forth between all the boys. "Oh, well… of course not. But, Remus…"
Remus knew she was worried about his injuries. He hurried over and helped guide her back into the kitchen, waving his hands at his friends to make them stay put. "It's okay, Mum," he assured her, "really. I really need to talk to them."
He picked up the spoon Mrs. Lupin had dropped and tossed it into the sink. Mrs. Lupin nodded slightly. "Well… if you're sure," she said, her voice doubtful. "Let me know if you need help."
"I will," Remus said. Then he hurried back out to his friends, who were staring around at the tiny, dark living room. There was a pile of ash in front of the fireplace now.
"This is your house?" James asked, looking around curiously.
Remus flushed, embarrassed. It was nothing compared to James's mansion of a house, and he knew it. "Yes," he muttered. "Come on, let's go up to my room so we can talk."
He led them up the narrow stairs to his bedroom, one of two in the house. It was small, comprised of a bed, wardrobe, and a bedside table. His trunk lay in the corner, and books were stacked on almost every spare surface- old and new, collected over several years. There was a tower on his bedside table, and they were spilling out of his wardrobe, which was half-hanging open to show a row of neatly hung shirts and pants. Remus silently thanked everything out there that he was a naturally neat person and his room wasn't a total mess.
James whistled. "Planning to start a library, are you, Remus?" He hopped onto Remus's bed, followed by Peter. Remus wheeled a chair he hardly ever used out of the corner and sat down, uncomfortable. It was strange to see his friends sitting there on his bed; no one but him and his mother had ever been in his room before.
"What are you guys doing here?" he asked. "You nearly gave me and my mother a heart attack."
"We're here to take you back to my house," James said. "We figured if we actually showed up your mom would have to let you come. Ta-da!"
"I had no part in this," Peter said quickly when Remus looked at him with raised eyebrows.
"How do you feel?" James asked. He looked at Remus's arms, which were only half bandaged. Remus tried to hide them, embarrassed.
"Fine," he said. "Last night was pretty good, considering how worried I am."
"Ah. Yes. That's what I wanted to talk about." James leaned forward. "We need to go rescue Sirius."
"Yes, that's what I said. He hasn't been responding to any of us, and I'm officially worried. Come on, if we go now we could grab him and get back before my parents get home."
James's eyes glowed with determination behind his glasses, but Remus shook his head. "James, we can't- we can't just walk into the Black household. For one thing there's probably dozens of defenses set up, and his family would probably kill us. They hate your family because you guys like Muggles, Peter's a halfblood, and I'm a bloody werewolf. Do you realize how bad it would be if we just showed up?"
"Well, we can't just sit here!" James said, glaring at him. "I'm going crazy!"
"So am I!" Remus said, "But I'm not about to do something stupid!"
"Let me tell you something-"
"Guys, stop," Peter begged. "We need to do something."
James sat back, deflated. He stared at his lap. "I'm sorry, Remus," he said. "I know you're tired. I'm just… I'm scared."
"No, I'm sorry," Remus said with a sigh, running a hand over his face. "I'm scared, too. I wish he would just respond to us."
"What if he can't?" James asked, his eyebrows drawn together.
"Let's not jump to conclusions."
"I'm not! It's been three weeks without a word from him, what if he can't respond to us? Merlin, what if he's-"
"Don't, James," Remus said before he could say something none of them wanted to hear. He buried his face in his hands. "What do your parents say?"
"They're worried, too," James said. "They said they would give it another few days and then write to his parents- but I don't think that will help."
"James," Remus said, "I think it's best we just listen to your mom and dad. They know the Black family; they know what they're doing. What if we do something that just gets Sirius into more trouble?"
James opened his mouth to say something, then hesitated. "I hadn't thought of that."
Remus tried to smile supportively at his two friends. "He'll be okay," he said, not quite believing it himself but hoping to alleviate their fears a bit. "He's Sirius, remember?"
James drew his knees to his chest and buried his face in them. For a while none of them spoke; then, a knock at the door made them jump.
"Do you boys need anything?" Mrs. Lupin asked, poking her head inside. She looked worried.
James smiled as though nothing was wrong. "Oh, no thank you, Mrs. Lupin. My parents were just wondering if Remus could come over to stay with us now? I know he's supposed to come in a few days, but they found this really neat restaurant that we have reservations for tonight, and we wanted him to join us."
"Oh- oh, I don't know," Mrs. Lupin said with a frown.
"That would be awesome!" Remus spoke up. He turned to his mother, his eyes as wide and hopeful as he could possibly make them. "Can I, Mum?"
She hesitated, then slumped her shoulders, defeated. She smiled. "Yes, I suppose you can."
All three of the boys lit up. Remus got to his feet to hug his mother.
"Thanks," he whispered.
James and Peter helped him pack and they were done within ten minutes. Remus hadn't really unpacked from school, but had just been grabbing things out as he'd needed them, making it easy to throw the few things he needed back into the trunk. Soon they were standing in his living room and Mrs. Lupin was hugging her son goodbye.
"Have a nice time," she said as she squeezed him. "Write me at least once a week, keep me updated- and have a lovely term."
"I will, Mum," Remus said, pulling away. "Thank you."
James and Peter waved cheerily goodbye and then grabbed Remus's trunk before the tired boy could stop them. "Potter household!" They hopped in, disappearing.
Remus grabbed a bit of Floo Powder off the tray on the mantle. With one last smile at his mother, who was clutching her apron nervously as she watched her son leave, he tossed it in. "Potter household."
Remus stumbled out of the fireplace and tripped, landing on the ground. He squeezed his eyes shut, trying to stop the world from spinning. The trip had taken any energy he had left over from last night, leaving him almost unable to get up.
With a groan, he slowly sat up and opened his eyes to find James and Peter staring at him with wide eyes. Behind them, Mr. and Mrs. Potter were standing there, their arms crossed angrily.
"-don't know what you were thinking!" Mrs. Potter shouted at James. He, Remus, and Peter were seated on the couch, staring at their feet while Mrs. Potter paced back and forth in front of them. Mr. Potter was sitting in the armchair, flipping through the newspaper. He seemed to have gotten over the whole thing rather quickly, but his wife was just getting started.
"We were just visiting Remus, Mum," James said.
"Without telling anyone where you went! You could have been anywhere! I got home and the house was completely empty, do you know what I thought? Do you know what's going on right now?" She stopped suddenly, her eyes wide. Mr. Potter looked up from his paper, shaking his head at her as though to remind her to be quiet.
All three boys frowned. "What are you talking about?" James asked.
Mrs. Potter glared at him. "Nothing. Now, what do you have to say for yourself?"
"I'm sorry, Mrs. Potter," Remus said quietly, feeling quite responsible for the whole matter. If James and Peter hadn't gone to visit him, they wouldn't be in trouble now.
Mrs. Potter's gaze softened. "Oh, no, Remus, dear, I don't blame you for any of this. You didn't ask for them to sneak out and visit you. They did it all on their own." She turned a glare back on James, who sighed.
"I'm sorry, Mum. I won't do it again."
Mrs. Potter huffed. "Good. Now, go on, help Remus unpack. And don't do this again."
James and Peter turned and hightailed it out of the room, grabbing Remus's trunk along the way. Remus got to his feet.
"Don't be mistaken, Remus," Mrs. Potter said before he could leave, "we're very happy you're here early. Merlin knows James needs you, he's been so worried. We're all worried." She frowned at Mr. Potter, then tried to smile again. "How do you feel, dear? I know last night was the full moon."
"I feel fine, Mrs. Potter," Remus said. "Thank you so much for letting me stay here."
"Of course, dear, of course. Go on, now, I'm sure James is getting antsy."
They spent the rest of the afternoon helping Remus unpack his stuff and discussing different tactics to rescue Sirius. James suggested mailing him a giant box and then telling him to ship himself to them. Remus had just sighed at that one.
To celebrate Remus's arrival Mrs. Potter cooked up a huge feast and they had a lovely dinner, letting themselves relax for the first time in a while. James perked up considerably now that Remus were there and they spent the evening stuffing their faces and then playing a game of Exploding Snap by the fire. Mr. and Mrs. Potter retired to their bedrooms early, and the boys only lasted a while longer before they decided to turn in as well.
"Night, guys," James said as they all slipped into their respective bedrooms.
"Goodnight." Remus shut his door and turned around, sighing. He was exhausted. Happy, of course, but exhausted, and looking forward to a good night's sleep before having to deal with what promised to be another crazy day tomorrow.
Remus felt quite at home in the guest room, as he had spent all his previous visits there, and changed into his pajamas quickly so he could crawl into bed. With a relaxed sigh, he pulled up the covers and shut his eyes.
The door clicked open. "Remus?" Peter squeaked.
Remus sat up with a start. He had dozed off and was now very disoriented; the room was pitch black, the only light coming from the cracked door. Peter was sticking his head in the room, and Remus could just make out very wide eyes.
Remus sat up with a yawn. "Peter?" he asked, rubbing his eyes.
"Remus, there was a sound from the living room," Peter whispered, sounding frightened. "I don't know what it is."
"It's probably Mr. or Mrs. Potter," Remus said, still half asleep.
"But what if it's not?"
Remus sighed, knowing that Peter wasn't going to relax until he was sure he was safe. Getting to his feet, he shuffled through the darkness and opened the door wider. Peter stepped back into the hall, staring towards the living room.
He was interrupted by a loud bang. Remus jumped, staring down the hall, and Peter moaned. "There it is again!" he said.
"What was that?" James's door cracked open and the boy shuffled out, looking barely awake. His glasses had been jammed quickly onto his face, and his hair was sticking up in all directions.
"I don't know," Remus said, his heart beating. "Peter woke me up."
"What if it's a monster?" Peter squeaked, hiding behind Remus.
"Don't be silly," James said, walking forward. There was a low shuffling sound and a groan from the living room and he stopped dead. "Remus?" he asked nervously.
Remus sighed and started walking forward. The other two boys followed behind him, looking as though they were going to be sick. Remus cautiously poked his head out into the living room to find the fire still going, pale orange and low in the grate. In front of it was a person, barely illuminated by the firelight, stooped over something. Behind him, Peter gripped James, swaying where he stood.
Taking a deep breath, Remus flicked on the light switch, lighting the room up. The figure hissed and threw its hands over its face. "Ouch!" it said.
Remus's breath caught. "Sirius?"
A/N: Welcome to Year 3! I have a lot of plans for this one, so I'm very excited. I'm also heading on vacation tomorrow so I wanted to get this one up before I leave just in case I don't have the cance to update there.
Please remember to follow this story to get new updates, and leave a review telling me what you think is going to happen. Thanks for reading!