When they arrived and sat down in the Great Hall, Sirius was a little uneasy about the feast. Even with the increased rations over the past week, his appetite was still almost nonexistent. He didn't want his friends to worry about him, however, so he decided to take a bite whenever someone was looking at him and joke and laugh the rest of the time. He was really in a surprisingly good mood, even with his growing apprehension, and he wanted to just enjoy the company of his friends and housemates.
Once the sorting was over (Sirius had hardly noticed it going on except for his brother getting placed in Slytherin. Surprise.), Dumbledore stood and smiled to all the students. He seemed to stand there and soak in the feeling of having the castle filled once again with the children he so loved. Sirius could see it in his glittering eyes that looked upon him for a fraction of a second, but seemed to pierce through to his soul. Sirius knew that Dumbledore could tell at least one of his students was almost drowning in the love and caring that radiated off the old wizard.
"Welcome, students," Sirius shook himself as the wizard spoke, "to another year at Hogwarts. A few announcements before your stomachs are filled with food and your heads filled with dreams for bed. The Forbidden Forest is, as its name implies, off limits to any who wish to retain their life and limbs. Mr. Filch would like to remind students that magic is not allowed in the corridors, along with a growing list of items, which can be found on his office door. I believe no less than forty-three such items were added after last term." He glanced at the four prank-loving Gryffindors and winked. "I believe that is all I have to say at this moment. Enjoy!" If the tables weren't magically stabilized, Sirius was sure they would have groaned under the immense piles of food.
Taking small, but acceptable, portions of a few things, Sirius went about with his joking and laughing, eating slowly so he wouldn't get sick. He ate all he thought he could handle and was pleased to see most of his plate cleared away. For dessert he had a smaller piece of pie with a bit of ice cream on top. He finished and leaned back in his seat, feeling very content to be home at last.
"Hey, Padfoot? Are you coming up, or you gonna sleep here tonight?" Peter joked, holding a hand out in courtesy. Peter is so considerate. If only he wasn't so shy, he could have so many more friends. Well, he's got the three of us, and that'll be enough. I'm promising myself right now to make sure he is always included and always knows he's wanted by us.
"I'm coming, just thinking how great it is to be home again. You know?" He smiled and accepted Peter's hand and put a friendly arm around his shoulder. "So, Pete, what should we do tonight?"
Peter looked a little taken aback at being asked, as it was usually Sirius and James who did the scheming and Remus the actually planning. Peter just hung around for whatever came.
"I-I don't know. Maybe some games in the common room, then bed? I don't know about you, but all day on the train, then the big feast always makes me extra tired. What do you think James? Remus?" he asked catching up to the other two.
"That sounds like a good plan, Wormtail. I'm pretty tired as well," answered Remus. He did look tired, but then it was only a couple days until the full moon, and he always looked rather haggard around this time.
"Relaxation in the common room it is!" said James enthusiastically. Sirius snorted, then broke down in all out laughter.
"James, my boy, you can get so excited over the simplest of things. I can't wait till we get up there and you see Lily."
James blushed and mock punched Sirius on the shoulder. "Shut up, you prat. Besides, I'm done pining over her. I've decided just to ask her out. If she says no, I'll forget about her forever. Although, who says no to me?" he added conceitedly. They all had a good laugh at this and James pouted.
They reached the common room and found Lily chatting away with the other third year girls. She was also including a little first year girl, who must have been a muggle-born by the way her shy eyes lit up at everything magical she saw around her. After playing a few games of exploding snap and wizards chess, the four boys went up to the third year dormitory and got ready for bed.
"Hey James, I think you forgot something downstairs," said Sirius.
"Really? What did I leave? I have everything here, I think."
Remus, Peter, and Sirius all looked at each other and said in unison, "You forgot to ask Lily out." They laughed hysterically when James turned a brighter shade of red than the bed curtains.
"Just kidding, Prongs. I swear that I won't make fun of you for the rest of the week about Evans, if you ask her out by Friday. After that, I'll show no restraint in the Evans taunts," promised Sirius.
"Right. I will, and you'll be so jealous that I have the most beautiful girl in school, while you're sitting around by yourself," guffawed James.
"I have Moony and Wormtail. That's all I need," Sirius said wistfully. "Besides, you know I can have any girl I want. I'm just not sure how to narrow the selection as of yet."
"Ha ha ha, Sirius. Goodnight everyone."
"'Night, James. Sweet dreams about you and Evans." Sirius didn't need the lights on to know that James was blushing like mad.
After everyone said goodnight, they went to bed and three of the four fell asleep almost immediately. Sirius lay away for a while thinking about how lucky he was to be here and have them as friends. He drifted off into blissful dreams of which he had no recollection after waking.
The first day of classes was always full of chatter at breakfast as everyone looked over their timetables. Sirius noted that they would be starting a new subject today, arithmency.
"Good, something new. I was starting to get bored with the old classes. I wonder what arithmency is like," Sirius commented to the others.
Peter piped in, "I heard it's really difficult. I'm not taking it, remember? I have muggle studies at that time."
"Alright, the rooms are in the same corridor, we can walk together after lunch!" said Sirius. He was trying to keep his promise to himself to keep Peter included. "After classes we'll wait for you, or you wait for us, alright?"
"Ok, sounds great. We better get going so we're not late for transfiguration. Hey, with the Hufflepuffs, that's not so bad. Maybe I'll look good compared to some of them," Peter said jokingly, but with a hint of truth.
"Don't worry about it, Pete. You're as good as anyone. You just have different strengths," reassured Sirius.
Remus joined in, "Yeah, don't put yourself down so much. Listen carefully. You. Are. A. Great. Person. Friend. And wizard. Do you believe us? Remember, Sirius is never wrong, so you have to be whatever he says," Remus chortled good-naturedly.
Peter returned Remus's remark quietly, "Well, Mr. I-don't-think-I'm-worthy-of-much-because-of-something-I-can't-control, perhaps you should start listening to Mr. Padfoot too. I believe he has some decent things to say about you as well."
"Why thank you, Mr. Wormtail. I heartily agree that Mr. Moony should listen to us both. Don't you think so Mr. Prongs? Eh, Prongs? JAMES!?"
"What? Huh? Oh, sure, yeah. I agree with Padfoot." James was quite obviously not even in the same world as their conversation. He was too busy staring down the table at a certain red-haired, green-eyed Gryffindor third year.
"Right, let's go to class then," said Sirius holding back on any remarks. He would keep his word about not teasing James until next week, but if the time came and his best friend still hadn't asked out his obvious dream girl, Sirius was going to hold nothing back. He even considered asking her out for him, but thought that might get him in more trouble than it was worth at the moment.
The first day of classes went as most first days go. The teachers lectured on about what they expect out of their students, the students nod and ignore them, then a rushed first lesson in the last few minutes of the class. The only thing memorable about this first day was walking in to transfiguration to find McGonnagal in her feline animagus form. Sirius was almost exploding with barely concealed excitement at the prospect of learning about becoming an animagus. He only calmed down when he found out that they would just be studying the properties and some theory, not the actual practice of becoming an animal. Still, he paid attention more in that lesson than he had in any other lesson he could remember. She mentioned a few sources, of which he wrote every one down to look up later. He was a little disheartened when she told the class that it took the best witches and wizards at least a year to master. Sirius figured it would probably take longer for he and his friends, since they had relatively little background in magical theory as it was, but he had no doubts that they'd accomplish their goal of accompanying their werewolf friend on full moons.
The second day of classes was the day of the full moon, and Remus was quiet, as usual. The first class of the day was history of magic. Professor Binns, their only ghost teacher, managed to make extraordinary wars of giants, vampire, and goblins about as exciting as the squabbles between two Hufflepuff first years. Rumor had it that the man had gotten up to teach one morning and simply left his body behind. This had apparently happened a few years before Sirius and his friends had arrived at the school.
As history of magic let out, Sirius caught up with a pale looking Remus, "Hey, Moony. Are you feeling alright? I mean, considering?" Sirius didn't want to sound insensitive or anything, but he thought Remus looked a little worse than usual on a full moon day.
"Yeah, I'm alright. You know, just having trouble concentrating on classes or anything else right now. The stress of moving back and settling in again kind of aggravates the wolf, so this moon is going to be a little harder. But it's alright, I'll be back to normal tomorrow. Tomorrow. Today is yesterday's tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes. Sorry for rambling… concentrations problems. Did you need something else, Padfoot?"
Sirius smiled at his mind-wandering friend, "No, Moony. Just making sure you're alright. Do you want to work with me in herbology so you don't have to worry about lack of concentration? I haven't worked with you in a while."
"Sirius, it's the first week. Of course you haven't worked with me for a while. You worked with me last year in potions. Do you think we can work together again? Will the new professor give us options? Why did Professor Reynolds leave? Hey, have you ever noticed that if you switch the 'p' and 'o' in 'potions' you get 'options'? Er, you're looking at me funny… I'm doing it again? See, this is why I don't talk on full moons. Can't even follow a conversation." He sounded highly disappointed in himself.
Sirius laughed lightly, "Don't worry, mate. I like listening to your stream of consciousness. You can always talk to me on full moons. I don't care if you go off on tangents, ok?"
"Thanks, Padfoot." They walked in the third greenhouse and stood together at a bench next to James and Peter who had arrived a few minutes earlier, because of James tailing Evans.
Herbology turned out to be rather uneventful. They weren't working with any plants that poisoned, bit, screamed, or did anything remotely interesting. Needless to say, Sirius and the others were pleased to get to their next class, which was a new one – Care of Magical Creatures. Unfortunately, Remus wasn't taking this class. He said that many of the creatures they work with can sense the wolf in him and get frightened or aggressive, and either way wouldn't be safe for the other students. So, he had Ancient Runes at that time. They all had astronomy right before supper together. The midnight practical lessons would start the next week after reviewing theory the first week.
Sirius, James, and Peter bid farewell to Remus when he headed to the hospital wing instead of the common room after dinner. Sirius hated to see him have to go alone. He always looked so sad and distant. He hid his pain well, but for one who looked, there was a clear look of defeated acceptance in his eyes. Sirius decided that he should really start getting serious about his animagus explorations. As he got ready for bed, he made a mental note to go look for the books McGonagal had mentioned. He needed to figure out how to get into the restricted section of the library, because he was sure that most of those books wouldn't be readily available.
After a restless night's sleep, Sirius woke to find Remus in the dormitory. That's odd, he usually stays in the hospital wing until at least after breakfast, if not longer. He got up and was making his way to the bathroom when a sloppily written note caught his eye.
Please wake me up for class in the morning. I don't want to miss any classes the first week of school, even if I am half asleep. Thanks, mate.
Sirius looked over at the sleeping form of his friend and sighed. He really looked like he needed the sleep, but Sirius knew he'd be even more unhappy if he missed his classes.
"Remus. Hey, Remus, wake up. Come on, mate." Sirius gently coaxed his friend out of sleep and the werewolf looked up bleary-eyed.
"Yeah, you wanted me to wake you up for class. If you want to go back to sleep that's ok. I'll take notes for you."
Remus snorted, "Right, like you'd pay attention for a whole day of classes. I'm getting up." He stretched painfully and stopped short, trying to steady his breathing. Sirius could see lingering bruises on his exposed arms and legs.
"Hey, Moony, are you alright? Maybe you should go back to Pomfrey for a bit."
"No. No, I'm fine. Just a little sore. I'll be ok after a hot shower."
"Alright, then. But promise me you'll go back to bed if you feel too bad later, ok?"
"Sure, Padfood, but I'm fine. I always am. We better get going if we want any breakfast."
"You may always be fine, but you don't usually go to classes the day after, you know?"
After they were all ready, the four boys walked, rather slower than usual, to the Great Hall for breakfast. In the Entrance Hall, they unfortunately met up with everyone's favorite group of Slytherins.
Bellatrix was the first to speak, "Hello, cousin. How do you feel being the only blood traitor in the family? Even your little brother knows the proper behavior for a family of our status. Isn't that right, Regulas?"
The boy looked nervous, but didn't want to appear weak in front of his new friends and housemates, many of which were his relatives. "Of course. Everyone knows that a pureblood shouldn't be seen anywhere near a mudblood, but here you are. You know, mother and father will kick you out of the family soon if you don't associate yourself with the correct people."
Sirius laughed a wholly mirthless laugh, "If it were that easy to get away from our family, I would have brought home a troll my first year. Don't trick yourself into thinking you're better than anyone, Regulas, because if you give in to what our dear parents say, then you are no more than a puppet. At least I am capable of my own decisions. Goodbye, Bella, Reg." He ignored the rest and walked purposefully to the Gryffindor table with his friends close behind. He sat down and immediately started piling food onto his plate. His appetite was finally getting back to normal, and his rage served to further fuel his hunger. It was bad enough that his horrible cousins were here, but having his only sibling also telling him how wrong his whole outlook on life was, was just too much. He knew Regulas was a spoiled little prat who listened to whatever his parents said, but he'd always had some hope that he would see the faults of the family. It seemed all hope had drained from Sirius when he saw and heard Regulas with the other Slytherins. Eventually, Sirius stopped eating and pushed his plate away.
Remus leaned over and quietly asked, "Are you alright, Sirius?"
Leave it to Moony to see beyond my hot-headed anger at my relatives to know there is something actually bothering me. I don't want to annoy him with my petty problems though. I don't really even know what my problem is, other than I can't stand my family.
"Yeah, Moony. I'm fine. He's just an annoying git, eh?" I smiled a little at him and he smiled back, but I could tell he knew there was more to it. He dropped it anyway, because he seemed to know that was what I wanted. He's so in tune with everyone around him. How does he do that?
The group left for defense against the dark arts with full bellies and James and Sirius talking loudly. Peter followed slightly behind James and laughed at everything he said. Remus just walk beside Sirius, silent and calm, looking dead on his feet from his ordeal the night before, although with a certain air of awareness about him that the tired look could not vanquish.
After learning about a few dark creatures in defense against the dark arts, the boys went to divination. Sirius was a little excited for this class, because he knew some divination had to do with astrology and star charts, and he loved to see his name written in the stars, so to speak. He hoped Professor Kismet wasn't too much of a fraud; he knew that many who claimed to have 'The Sight' did nothing by burn herbs to give off fumes that befuddle the mind and make spooky horrible predictions. Sirius thought it entirely idiotic to tell someone that they are going to die. That seemed the most obvious thing, since mortal beings all die at some point . He just didn't understand why some people made up awful deaths, like murder or betrayal. He entered class with an open mind and left just over an hour later in a mixture of laughter and disappointment. The class was going to be easy, just make stuff up, but the down side would be not learning anything. Despite what most of the professors and other students thought, Sirius Black really did enjoy learning. He just tended to catch on to things very quickly, so he would get bored in class and make his own entertainment.
They had lunch next, and Sirius saw that Remus looked extremely tired. In fact, when he sat at the table he didn't even notice the food in front of him. He appeared to be willing himself awake and upright, and if his concentration wavered for a second he'd fall asleep right there in the Great Hall.
"Hey, Moony. Remus! You should go up to bed, mate. Don't worry about potions."
"Thanks, Sirius, but we have a new professor and it's the first day. I can't miss it. I'll be ok. I just need to eat something."
"Ok, but after potions you're going to bed. It's the last class of the day, and you don't have to get up for supper either. I'll go to the kitchens with you later and get something to eat. Agreed?"
Remus smiled softly, "Agreed, Padfoot."
They discussed the new potions professor. There were rumors that he wasn't actually that great at potions, but adequate enough to teach. Other rumors were going around that the old professor was called up by the Ministry to do research on some top secret project. Whether either of these were true seemed to be up to the listener, because the other professors wouldn't confirm or deny anything.
When walking to the dungeons, they ran into Lily in a corridor. She was smiling widely and had a package in her hands.
"Hello, guys," she said shyly.
"Hi, Lily," responded Sirius, Remus, and Peter at the same time. James looked a little stunned. He recovered quickly with a 'hello' of his own and smiled at the small girl.
Remus was leaning almost imperceptibly on the wall, but Lily quickly noticed and saw how sick he looked.
"Remus, I don't mean to be rude, but are you feeling alright?" she asked politely.
Remus only smiled at her, "I'm fine, Lily. Just a little tired today."
She smiled again, "Good. Would you like a bar? My mother sent them to me. They're chocolaty delicious!" She giggled at her own comment, "Sorry, that's what my sister and I always used to say about them when we were little." She seemed saddened when speaking of her sister, but smiled brightly again when Remus said he'd be delighted to have one.
They each had a bar (Remus had three), and continued on to class.
Upon entering the dungeons, the new professor directed them to choose seats in groups of two. Sirius and Peter sat together and James and Remus sat right in front of them. Sirius was fairly good at potions, although he rarely gave much effort, but he did try to help Peter understand and get good marks. James was also not bad at potions, like Remus, but neither of them were great. They usually got the potions done correctly, but not anything spectacular, like Snape. It irritated James and Sirius that their main Slytherin enemy had such an affinity to the subject in which they both did most poorly. Of course, being the poorest subject for James and Sirius meant they were still in the top portion of the class, but that didn't mean much to them. They liked to be the top, not close to it. However, they didn't care enough to put any extra effort into it, so got very little sympathy for their complaints from Remus and Peter, who both studied quite a bit to get average marks in that particular subject.
"I am Professor Travis Peni. Today, we will be making a Wit-sharpening potion. I will select one person from each group to test the potion at the end of class, so you would do well to make it correctly. Instructions are on the board. Ingredients in the store cupboard. Begin."
Sirius and Peter began working at once. Peter was bringing ingredients while Sirius started cutting them up how they needed to be. James and Remus were also working quickly and accurately. Sirius thought Remus looked paler than he had at lunch, but decided it was the different lighting in the dungeon.
At the end of the hour, Sirius was selected to drink in his group, and James in the other. After drinking the potion, Sirius found his mind was able to follow one train of thought much easier than normal. He could change topics quickly in his mind, but nothing got jumbled in between. He thought this might be a nice help for exam time, even though he didn't really need the help. Maybe for Peter though, he gets so flustered during tests.
James, on the other hand, was laughing his head off.
Professor Peni walked up to their table and looked directly at Remus. "Why did you exchange knotgrass for aconite, Mr. Lupin?"
"I-I didn't mean to, sir. I must have picked up the wrong package by mistake. I'll clean this up and take James up to the infirmary, if you like."
"That won't be necessary. Mr. Potter, drink this." Between laughs James drank the solution handed to him. He sobered up quickly and looked around a little embarrassed. "The change of ingredients made this an inebriation brew instead of a wit-sharpening potion. Class, you might as well write that down. Now, Mr. Lupin, for your foolish mistake and for interrupting class, I would like you to sample Mr. Snape's potion. Perhaps with a sharper wit you will do better in the future."
Remus lost all remaining color at that moment, and drank the goblet full of potion handed to him by Snape.
The bell rang as he drank and the rest of class filed out of the room quickly. Sirius waited for his friends to gather their supplies. Peter and James headed for the door and Sirius got up to go, sure that Remus was right behind him when he heard a door slam. He turned around to see that the professor had disappeared into his office and Remus was sitting on his stool, seemingly trying to steady his breathing and focus his eyes.
"Remus? Hey, are you alright? What's wrong, Moony?" Sirius was getting worried at the lack of response.
"I – can you take me to Madam Pomfrey?" he asked weakly.
"Yeah, of course. What should I tell her the problem is?" Sirius was very worried at this point. Remus had never asked to be helped to the hospital wing before. Nor had he ever sounded so weak.
"Aconite – remember? Same as wolfsbane."
"Shit!" shouted Sirius as he finally put everything together. Even with the wit-sharpening potion, he'd forgotten that little piece of first year potions. Remus had just been poisoned. Wolfsbane was deadly to anyone by itself, but in certain potions it was safe. For werewolves, however, the plant was always poisonous in all known potions.
Sirius urgently helped Remus up to the hospital wing and was carrying him down the last couple corridors. He burst through the doors and saw Madam Pomfrey jump three feet in the air. It would have been very humorous if his friend wasn't dying in his arms.
"What happened?" the nurse asked upon seeing who Sirius was holding.
"Wolfsbane – aconite in potions," he panted out.
"Set him here. Do you know how much he ingested?"
"Er… I'm not sure. I don't think more than one leaf's worth… Should I go get Professor Peni? He's the one who made Remus drink it. He must not have been told about Remus's lycanthropy yet."
"I'm afraid he has been informed. I shall have to speak to the Headmaster about this. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that you are aware of Mr. Lupin's secret, considering how you tend to know things, and be places, you shouldn't all the time."
"Of course I know about Remus. It's kind of hard not to figure it out when you live with him, you know? Is there anything I can do for him? Will he be ok?"
"Actually, if you could go and fetch the Headmaster, I would greatly appreciate it. Do you know where his office is?" Sirius nodded. "Alright, the password this week is 'Fizzing Whizbees'. Please go quickly."
Sirius left the wing amazed that he'd been given the password to the headmaster's office. But he figured that could be changed at any time, so it really wasn't such a big deal. He thought it a bit odd that the password was a new candy just released this past year, but then again, Dumbledore wasn't exactly your average, everyday headmaster either.
He found his way to the stone gargoyle and went up when the passage opened. The door opened before he even knocked, because Dumbledore was just leaving it seemed.
"Sirius, what may I help you with?" he asked with his blue eyes sparkling.
"Sir, Madam Pomfrey wants you. It-it's Remus. He drank a potion with aconite…"
The sparkle dimmed and Dumbledore indicated toward the stairs, "Lead the way."
Sirius was relieved that he wasn't told to go back to his dorm. He led Dumbledore to the hospital wing and sat as close as he could to the bed Remus lay in, without being in the way or noticeable enough to send away. When Remus was stable enough to leave for a while, Madam Pomfrey and Professor Dumbledore went in her office to talk. Sirius was left with instructions to yell for her if anything changed with Remus. He gladly accepted the chance to help his friend and sat next to him. He didn't quite know what to do or what to say, so he started talking, rambling really, about anything and everything and nothing at the same time. He rambled on for about fifteen minutes when Remus began to curl up into himself. He was still unconscious, but looked to be holding his stomach like it was in pain.
"Madam Pomfrey! Something's wrong!"
She and Dumbledore rushed in to the room and she quickly started saying spells and administering potions. Finally Remus's body relaxed and the nurse looked up to Sirius.
"Has he had any contact with silver? Would there have been silver in the potion also?"
"No, I don't think so. There weren't any silver shavings out even. And the potion he drank was Snape's. That greasy git – I mean…er… anyway, he's perfect at potions. He'd never mess one up. I have the list of ingredients, but the only one Remus mentioned was the aconite. Why? Does he have silver in him too?" Sirius was much more aware of the threats of silver to the werewolf than the poisonous plant. Remus had a large scar on his left leg were a silver wire had gotten wrapped around it.
"I can detect some traces of it. It's not much, neither was the aconite, but the two combined seem to have a pronounced effect, especially considering what day it is. It is such a small amount, my first guess would be from food baked in silver-plated pans. However, Hogwarts discarded all cooking utensils containing silver before Mr. Lupin joined us. Well, that will have to wait for now. I will have to keep him here at least over night, possibly for a few days depending on when he wakes up."
"Madam Pomfrey, do you think I could stay with him? There's no one else in here, and he hates having to spend time here in the first place. I just think it might be easier for him if he wakes up I the middle of the night if I'm here, you know. I can tell him what's going on and –" he was cut off by a silencing spell from the witch.
"You're going to start hyperventilating, Mr. Black. I don't need another patient at the moment. If the headmaster approves, and you do not get in my way, you may stay until I tell you otherwise. But you must take care of yourself. You will go have meals in the Great Hall, go to classes, and bathe. I'll not have you sitting here for the next two to three days damaging yourself while your friend gets well. Do you understand?"
"Yes, ma'am. Thank you! Oh, right… er, Professor Dumbledore, would it be alright? I mean if I do everything she says?"
Dumbledore's eyes sparkled once again and he chuckled to himself, "I don't see why not. I'll inform your roommates as to where you are."
Dumbledore left and Madam Pomfrey coaxed another potion down Remus's throat. She muttered something about drawing the silver out of the blood, then left. Sirius wasn't sure what he should be doing, again. So, he went back to rambling on about anything that came to mind. A while later James and Peter ran in, matching looks of concern on their faces.
"Dumbledore told us what happened. Sirius, I think I know where the silver came from." James stopped to catch his breath.
"What? Where?" Sirius asked.
"Well, we were coming down here when I saw Lily with her bars again. Only this time they were out of the box and I could see the tray. Sirius, it's a silver plated tray. I asked her. She looked at me a little funny, but I obviously didn't tell her about Remus. She asked if I'd seen him and gave me a few more to give to him. I, er, ate one and Pete at one on the way here. Is he gonna be ok?"
"I-I don't know. I think Pomfrey thinks he will, but not for a few days. I think it has something to do with the timing, because he's already weak from the transformation last night, you know? So…"
"Hey, Dumbledore said that you're staying here tonight. Is that true?"
"Yeah, I just don't want him to be so confused if he wakes up. If I'm here, then I can tell him what's going on. Plus, you know how much he hates being here. He'd probably try to bolt the minute he realized where he was."
Peter asked, "Why didn't he say anything during class when he saw the ingredients list?"
"I don't know, but he did switch them, so maybe he thought it would be ok," answered James.
"That bastard knew what he was doing," spat Sirius.
"What?" asked James and Peter as one.
"Professor Peni, he knew exactly what he was doing. Knew Remus was a werewolf, and anyone with basic knowledge knows that wolfsbane is toxic for werewolves. I mean, where'd he think the name came from? Oh, just because he had it written up as 'aconite' doesn't mean anything. I'm gonna get that prat. When Remus is ok again, I'm going to get him."
"No, you're not. We all are. He can't go messing with one of us and expect the rest of us to just take it. He may be new, but he must have heard that from at least one of the other teachers." This vehement comment surprisingly came from Peter. Perhaps it was because he knew what it was to be picked on, and Remus stood up for him on numerous occasions, just like James and Sirius. This was more than just being pointed out in class though; Remus could have died from what that man did.
"You're right, Pete. We're all going to get him, but first let's make sure Remus is ok," added James.
The three of them sat around Remus's bed until supper when Madam Pomfrey shooed them out for food. Afterward, she let them stay until curfew, then made James and Peter leave for the night. Sirius had gone up to the tower right after supper and gotten pajamas for the night. Madam Pomfrey didn't seem too pleased that he was actually going to stay, but didn't say anything as he had the Headmaster's permission and he really was staying out of the way. Pomfrey turned out the lights and told him to go to sleep, then went in her office where she had a sleeping room.
Sirius crouched down by Remus's head and whispered, "Hey, Moony, I'm going to go sleep on the bed right next to you. If you wake up and need anything at all just wake me, ok? See you in the morning. Goodnight."
Sirius crawled into bed and fell asleep quite quickly, despite his worry. His sleep was wracked with visions of Remus screaming in pain from poisoning or being shot with a silver bullet. Then just the pale face of his dead friend. Sirius awoke with a start, but didn't make a noise. He was in a cold sweat and his heart was pounding out of his chest. He had to check. He leapt out of bed again and put his hand on Remus's warm forehead. He breathed a sigh of relief, and continued to watch the up and down motion of Remus's chest for a long time. Finally, he went back to bed and had no more dreams that night.
A/N: Hi, to the two people who may be reading this. I just wanted to apologize for any typos or glaring errors in this chapter. I didn't have time to edit it tonight, and I probably won't all week, but I wanted to get it up anyway. So, sorry about mistakes, but please review anyway! :)