Remus woke up to a shock of pain in his side, arm, and in his leg, one he hadn't felt all year. A cool, morning breeze blew over him and all he could do was grimace in pain as it seemed to somehow agitate the wounds he acquired.
The events of last night were fuzzy in his mind, not everything piecing together yet. Distantly his mind wondered when Madam would come to get him, and then he moved to the faces of his friends apologizing for not being there.
Remus sat up with a start, regretting it quickly when a sharp stabbing pain landed on his side and he moved to grab it only for his arm to also burn with the same fire. His head swam with the pain and the sudden wake up.
Peter is guilty, he escaped. Sirius is innocent, he is still a criminal. Harry, the kids. Dear Lord, please tell me I didn't eat anyone, I can't be put down. I have something to live for now, to fix.
He moved his hurt arm to hold the side, feeling the stickiness of blood. The first rays of morning light were going through the trees and hitting him.
He had no clothes, he was bleeding, and he had no idea where the school was.
Still, Remus knew he had to get back to the castle. Get to his office, and get help after.
With a shaky arm he tried to push himself up, gritting his teeth when black danced in his vision. He couldn't pass out, that would be the least amount of help. What he needed was to at least get to Hagrid's house if he was close.
The half-giant would help, he was sure of that; and maybe even have information on where Sirius and the kids were. At least the students, and hopefully it was that they were alive.
With one final push of will he got himself standing, favoring the better leg so not to cause himself unnecessary pain. Slowly, and carefully the scarred and bloodied man started in a direction to what he hoped would lead him out of the woods.
He hadn't been walking long before he found himself near the edge of the wood, and came into the view of the hill that gave a view to the Whomping Willow, the great tree's limbs innocently moving in a casual way in the morning light.
The werewolf leaned against the tree and looked around trying to guess the time, it couldn't be more than five, maybe even six in the morning. Some students would be up and there was a confrontation he didn't need.
With his good hand still bracing himself on a tree he slowly turned so he was in the direction he knew Hagrid's hut would be. Gritting his teeth he began to make his way slowly through the edge of the forest, just far enough in to stay hidden.
He barely remembered much of the walking, only remembering bracing himself against Hagrid's door after he knocked weakly. The darkness taking him just as the door was being opened and he fell into the half-giant's home.
Remus came too for a few seconds, finding himself being carried in the large man's arms and an over-sized coat draped over him. His mind not fully functioning and processing what had happened.
He shapes and colors around him were just the stone of the castle, he felt like he should have told Hagrid to take him somewhere but he couldn't remember where. His brain just didn't want to work.
He remembered a white room as doors were pushed open before once again passing out.
Madam Pomfrey looked up from where she was working on the three students that had come into her care when she heard the doors burst open, having it in her right mind to tell the person off but the words died on her lips when she saw Hagrid hurrying in carrying a thin figure.
Compared to the game keeper the man in his arms looked almost like a young teen if it wasn't for the obvious lines on his face, and grey streaks in the light brown waves. Waves she knew all too well, and was hoping wouldn't have been brought in the day after a moon.
"Set him down back here, Hagrid, and let me have a look."
Her tone was stern, and emotionless to hide her worry. The moon's phase had worried her since she last saw the scarred boy in his seventh year, and now her worried were confirmed. As Hagrid set the man down gently she pulled the curtains shut around the bed.
"Thank you Hagrid, you can go."
The big man didn't say a word, just looked over the still figure silently for a moment and left.
As soon as he was gone, Madam set into work to fix the gashes, bites, and bruises as much as she could. Mentally thanking herself for being prepared since he was hired, every now and then she would pause and gaze at the scars that weren't there last time she healed him.
Carefully as she could she got him into some pajama bottoms and tucked him in when she had finished, the arm firmly in a cast and sling, the leg that always bothered him propped upright. She made sure the curtains were positioned just so the sun light filtered in but didn't get into his eyes.
The motions of the purpose of this visit slowly faded and she knew she should get back to Harry, Ron, and Hermione but she couldn't help but hesitate. The feel of this wasn't the same knowing that she was going to open the curtains and not see three faces smiling not-so-innocently back, arms filled with treats and eyes filled with laughter.
The weak voice brought her back to what was happening now and she turned to look at Remus, his eyes opened partially as he looked at her.
"Shush dear, rest. No need to worry about him."
She moved over and pulled the blankets higher, remembering how easily cold he got. The scarred face of the young man seemed to be scrunched in weak concentration and pain but all he could do was shake his head weakly.
Madam looked over with a pitying look and gently reached over for the calming draught she had brought just in case.
"Sleep now, dear. It is just a nightmare."
He didn't protest as she made him drink it, letting himself calm down and fall once again into unconsciousness.
Poppy brushed the waves from the scarred face gently after she put the cup back before leaving the bed silently to deal with the patience and the people that had just entered the Hospital Wing.
Remus woke up slowly, for what seemed like the third time that day only this time he was fully greeted with the white curtains of the infirmary, and the window streaming in just enough light to warm him and tell him he had survived to another day.
His mind was muddled with potions as he sat up and rubbed his eyes, waiting for the wise cracked joke of a certain bespeckled boy, or a stupid pun from Pete. He was greeted with silence, and it unnerved him.
Everything did catch up to him when he rubbed his face and felt the stubble, when he heard the whispered voices of kids he recognized as Harry, Ron, and Hermione coming from behind the protection of his curtain.
Sirius was probably lost, Peter had escaped, and he once again failed Lily and James because of his own stupid personal problem. If he had just remembered to take that potion, if h had just remembered the date everything would have gone better.
He was the reason it failed and now Sirius was surely to get the Kiss and Peter was as good as gone.
The werewolf buried his face in his hands, or at least the good one, his eyes too dry to cry. His body too weak to be angry at himself so all he felt was cold. Why wasn't he the one being sentenced to death? Why did he have to keep on dragging himself on?
There was no question Snape would let it slip now about his Lycanthrope, he might as well quit today. Exams were finished anyway and he got through the year, he would just try and get his job back at that muggle bookshop and live off what he could.
Remus jumped when a hand landed on his shoulder and he looked up in alarm, Madam Pomfrey looking down at him with gentle eyes.
"You shouldn't stress yourself, you didn't hurt anyone but the creatures of the forest as far as I can tell Got into a fight with a nasty beast though."
"Madam…Sirius…what happened to him? And the kids? Do you know?"
His voice was hoarse, and tone desperate, Poppy having to keep herself from imagining the boy that had woken up to being told that he almost killed a student so long ago.
"No one was hurt, and it seems Black has somehow escaped in the night. They went up to where they locked him up around noon and he vanished."
"Noon? What time is it?"
"I'd say three, you needed rest and every time you started to wake up you didn't make any sense."
She turned fully to him with a cup in her hands and a plate with buttered toast.
"Eat and drink, then sleep again."
"I need to speak with Professor Dumbledore, and I need to pack. I can't rest anymore, Madam."
"We are co-workers, Remus, you don't need to call me Madam."
Remus started to push himself up, the man fully intending on leaving the bed. Madam set down the plate and cup on the table beside him and pushed him back down with gentle hands that he relented to.
"No, you aren't leaving this bed, Professor Lupin, as long as I am in here to take care of you. If you are that desperate to leave you can eat, sleep some more, and I will debate about letting you out around dinner time."
She gave the man a look that made him shut up and take what was offered to him in silence. The tension hung in the air as Remus picked at the toast slowly, his eyes focusing on the plate, not really tasting.
"I wish you visited more this year, I would have liked to see you."
"Too many painful memories to recall," Remus sighed, "The past was the past, but it caught up to me eventually."
"You still could have come in here and let me help with that leg of yours."
"It was fine, I have dealt with it."
Remus heard her tutt and a ghost of a smile graced his lips, now fully getting what she had said. Sirius escaped again, he was safe. No one was hurt, and all he had to do to keep Dumbledore's position safe was resign.
Arms wrapped around him in a motherly hug and he was torn from his thoughts, looking up at Madam Pomfrey in confusion.
"You have been through so much, I just needed to do that."
Poppy let go quickly and straightened herself out; snatching the empty plate and cup when he was done heading toward the curtains.
With that she disappeared and Remus did just as she asked.
A/N: I have always had the headcannon that Remus ended up having to get treated by Madam after the events of that last moon. Either dragging himself here all battered, or getting dropped off there because a whole year without needing help after living thirteen years without it and now being back in the same position that he was in happier times is cute, and sad, and sweet, and ug I love it.