A/N: I checked, and the only full moon while Remus was at Hogwarts was December 25, 1977, which would have occurred during their Seventh Year (1977-1978).

"Wait, what's this?" James whispered with an expression of faux shock.

"I… I don't know," Sirius whispered back, eager to play along. "Do you think he's ill?"

"Maybe he ate too much chocolate," Peter guessed and smirked at Remus who had finally put down his book and glared at his fellow Marauders.

"I know I'm going to regret this, but what the hell are you three nattering on about?" Remus demanded.

"You haven't packed yet," James pointed out. "You're always the first one of us packed. You usually help Padfoot pack."

"I usually pull most of the Zonko's products out of his trunk so that he can take at least one change of clothes," Remus retorted.

"Don't need a change of clothes if I spend Christmas break as Padfoot," Sirius countered.

"The House Elves would have a fit," Remus protested. "Remember when you shed all over the Aubusson carpet in Mr. Potter's study? And those muddy paw prints on the furniture?"

"You worry too much, Moony," James said with a laugh. "Come on, let's go get you packed. You don't want to miss the train."

"I'm not going." Remus avoided eye contact with all of them. Their dorm room became utterly silent.

"What do you mean, you aren't going?" Sirius' voice rose sharply and Remus winced.

"Just what I said, I'm not going. I'm staying here," Remus muttered.

"Why on earth would you-," James began in a bewildered voice. He trailed off into silence and turned to glare at Remus. "Are you kidding?"

"It's better this way," Remus muttered.

James scoffed loudly. Sirius frowned at James for a moment and then rolled his eyes.

"Oh for the love of… don't be an arse, Moony. You'll be fine," Sirius said with an encouraging grin.

"We'll be there with you," Peter added. He patted Remus' shoulder. "We'll make sure you're safe."

"It's not me I'm worried about," Remus argued. He turned to look at James beseechingly. "What about your parents? You said your Dad's health has been a little shaky lately."

James crossed his arms over his chest and set his jaw. "And what? You're afraid you're going to get werewolf germs on him? Don't be ridiculous, Remus. My mum and dad love you. We've got an old gardening shed that we can ward for you. Everything will be fine. Trust me."

"You can't honestly think that we're going to let you spend Christmas all by yourself," Sirius protested.

"You're stuck with us," Peter reminded him.

"Damn right," James added. "Marauders forever!"

"Marauders forever," Peter and Sirius echoed him at the top of their lungs.

Remus' lips curved into a smile against his will. He shook his head and threw a pillow at James' head.

"Marauders forever," he sighed.

"Good, now pack up your trunk or we'll miss the train and Mum will have a fit," James ordered.

"Fine," Remus agreed. "Fine. I'll go pack."

The other Marauders whooped with joy, and Remus' chest filled with warmth; having friends like the Marauders made all of it, all of the dragon shite that went with being a werewolf, worth it.