Disclaimer: I still don't owe anything (snif)!
Author's note: this is supposed to be my last HP fanfic. I will resist temptation and not put Lily Evans in it.
The tree was perfectly quiet while the two boys, almost men, panting appeared from between the roots. The boy with the untidy black hair and the glasses gasped for breath and the boy with the greasy, lank hair and the crooked nose leant with his hands on his knees. While the first sunbeams stroked the horizon, another two boys came running from the huge castle. They stopped for the two panting boys.
"James? Merlin- are you alright?" one of them asked quivering. His black hair fell gracefully in his eyes and he was a real pleasure to look at. The other boy, small and with watery eyes, had an anxious look on his face.
"I'm fine- fine," the boy with the glasses, for whom the question was meant, choked out. "Blimey- Snape! Has-has he bitten you?" he pointed at the boy with the crooked nose. Over his wrist there was a long, bleeding gash.
The boy, who had been called Snape, shook his head. "That- that was his claw."
"What now?" the small boy asked. Nobody had to answer, because at that moment the tree spit out another boy, who stumbled from between the roots and fell on the ground. His chest moved up and down and the red sun showed his pale, scared, exhausted expression, his torn clothes and the many visible, little scars everywhere on his body. He turned around, kneeling and shivering, and threw up.
"Remus!" shouted the handsome boy. He, the small boy and James hurried over to him and knelt beside him. Snape stayed where he was, a look of revulsion, hatred and fear on his face.
"Where- where's Snape? What happened?" Remus whispered, trembling while the three helped him up.
"He's alright- we all are," James answered, while he and the handsome boy held him still. They were clearly afraid he might fell down if they let go of him.
"I- he suddenly appeared. I almost- he- I-" Remus uttered and tears started to gather in his eyes.
"It's alright, Remus- it's alright," the handsome boy soothed. "What're we going to do now, James?" He looked worried.
"I- I don't know. Let's- let's go to Dumbledore." He addressed Snape. "And you come too."
He looked angry. "And who says that?"
"I do," the handsome boy said sharply, picking out of his pocket a wand, which he pointed at Snape.
"It's your fault this's happened, Black," Snape sneered.
Remus looked surprised up. "What does he mean?"
"Let's go," the small boy said nervous.
James and Black supported Remus, who leant heavy on them. Black kept pointing his wand on Snape, who looked still with disgust at Remus. The small boy led them to the castle. They went in a huge hall, through smaller ones, until they stopped for an ugly gargoyle. They looked at each other uncomfortably, except Remus, who had to close his eyes for a moment in order to stay erect.
"We don't know the password, do we?" asked the small boy.
"POTTER! BLACK!" They turned around. At the other end of the hall a severe-looking woman with a knot in her black hair had appeared. A small girl with brown hair appeared behind her, looking curious. The woman's mouth was just a thin line. "DON'T SAY- My goodness- Mr Lupin!" she ran over to them, just catching Remus while he collapsed again.
"I'm fine- fine, professor," he assured her while she helped him on his feet again.
She snorted. "Really, Mr Lupin, I don't recall anyone who's 'fine' almost fainting. We should get you to the hospital wing."
"No- no," he replied, while James Potter and Black caught his shoulders again. "I'd like to stay with James, Peter and Sirius if, you don't mind. We- we need to see professor Dumbledore."
"Oh, do you? And why in this unlikely-" she leered at Snape, "-company, may I ask?"
"He- he saw Remus, professor McGonagall," James explained softly. Professor McGonagall's eyes widened. "Thank you, Ms Leivi, you may go." The girl with the brown hair went away, still looking at the boys. Professor McGonagall turned brusquely towards the gargoyle. "Pepper imps." The gargoyle came alive and jumped aside, so a long, winding staircase was visible. They stepped on it. At the end there was a grand door. McGonagall knocked, and a voice answered: "Enter." They stepped in, Snape the last.
An old man, in a magnificent purple robe and with a huge white beard, sat after a beautiful desk. On his hand sat a huge bird in red and gold. "Minerva- and Mr Lupin -come over here, boy, you look like you need to sit- Mr Pettigrew, Mr Black, Mr Potter and –my, my, there must've happened something serious- Mr Snape too. Sit down, all of you."
They did. The old man, who was probably Dumbledore, gently guided Remus Lupin to a chair, where he fell down in, trembling violently. James, Pettigrew and Black sat down beside him, while Snape took the seat as far as possible from them. McGonagall stood behind Dumbledore's chair.
"Well, why don't you take something to drink, Mr Lupin?" Dumbledore asked, at the same moment waving with his wand, so a cup with water appeared for Remus. Remus took it and hesitated.
"Is there something wrong?" McGonagal said, observing the boy with an almost anxious expression.
"Could- could I open a window?" Remus whispered.
"Why?" McGonagall asked perplexed.
"I've- I've got blood in- in my mouth." Dumbledore stood up and opened a window, beckoning him to come. After Remus had spit the water out and had token his place again, still not looking at anyone, Dumbledore asked friendly what had happened.
The four other boys glared at each other and didn't speak a word. Dumbledore sighed. "Mr Lupin?"
"I- I was transformed, sir, so I don't know what- what exactly happened. All I know is, that sud-suddenly Severus appeared and- and that I think I've hu-hurt him. But I didn't bite him," he said suddenly. "And- and then James was there- and there was pain- then they were gone- and the next moment I had changed back."
"Hmmm." Dumbledore looked at the other boys. "Well, Mr Potter then. Let's not bother Mr Lupin anymore. Why don't you tell us what happened."
James looked nervous at Sirius and then looked at Dumbledore. "Well… Remus had gone to change, and- and when I came in the common room Peter told me that Sirius was gone with- Severus and that apparently they had a fight. So I went searching for them, but I only found Sirius, who- who told me that he -by accident- had told Sn- Severus how to get under the Whooping Willow-"
Snape snorted. "Really by accident."
Sirius started. "It was!"
"Yeah, right. I was there, Black, since you don't seem to remember."
"You were challenging me!" Sirius shouted with clenched fists. He turned to Remus who stared at him like he saw him for the first time. "I really didn't mean to, Remus. I swear that to you. it was out of my outh before I knew it."
"But you did." Remus' voice was suddenly very cold. He stared at Sirius with disgust. "You still did. What were you thinking? Let's see, what can I do this time with Snape? Oh, I know, let's set Remus free. That's gonna be fun."
"No! I didn't mean to, Remus!" Sirius took a step towards his friend.
Remus quickly stood up too and took a step backwards, away from Sirius. "Don't come near me."
"I almost killed him! I almost killed him, Sirius! And that's your fault!"
"Why don't you two take your seat again," McGonagall said quickly, looking severe at Sirius. Sirius gazed for a moment at Remus for he walked back to his chair next to James. Only when he was sure Sirius sat, Remus moved to his place again.
"What happened then, Mr Potter?" Dumbledore continued, like nothing had happened.
James hesitated, looking from Sirius to Remus, who both stared at the floor, and then resumed: "Well, I went behind Severus, sir, and when I was through the tunnel, I took him with me again. I had to put a spell on Remus, for he tried to k…" James gave Remus a quick look, swallowed whatever he wanted to say and added: "I took Severus back to the grounds. Sirius and Peter showed up some time later and then Remus appeared. That's it."
"Well, you are both lucky to be alive," McGonagall said finally. "We'll-"
At that moment a green-eyed girl stormed in, red hair mixed up and clothes dishevelled, who stopped in front of the desk. "Please Professor, I promise that, whatever they've done, they'll never do it again and that they didn't mean to hurt anyone! Leivi just told me what she had seen, but I know it isn't as bad as it don't expel those idiots- and Remus either," she added, gasping for breath.
Dumbledore looked at her with an amused smile while the rest just stared at her. "Well Ms Evans, I can assure you I was never planning on expelling them."
"Oh. Right." She became red, for the first time realising how she had acted. "Well… I'll return to my dormitory then, sir." She grinned embarrassed to the boys and left the room. James stared at the closed door with a strange smile, like he had for a moment forgotten where he was, and woke up with a start when Peter asked hopefully: "So you're not expelling anyone?"
"No, Mr Pettigrew," Dumbledore responded calmly. "And although I'm sure professor McGonagall wouldn't mind that I gave Mr Black detention, I won't." He raised a hand when Sirius opened his mouth to reply. "Please, Mr Black, I'm sure you don't need any help in punishing yourself. But to do you a pleasure, if something like this ever happens again, I'll be forced to expel you. So please, for the rest of the year and the next, don't bring other students in danger." Sirius reluctantly nodded.
"For you, Mr Snape," he turned towards Snape, "I hope you understand that you're not allowed to tell anyone what happened, or I'll have to expel not only Mr Lupin but you too."
"You- you let him attend school here, while you knew-" Snape looked with disgust at Remus. Sirius and James glared at him, making clear that every word he said would be one to much.
"Yes, I did, Mr Snape," Dumbledore said with a hint of steel in his voice. Snape didn't press the point. "You and Mr Lupin might want to let your wounds cured by Madame Pomfrey. You can go."
The boys stood up. Snape left alone. It looked for a moment Remus would wait for the others, but then his gaze fell on Sirius and he quickly left. James looked apologizing at Sirius and he and Peter left too. Sirius hesitated and walked to the desk.
"Yes, Mr Black?"
"I- I wanted to know- if you knew what I should say to Remus," the boy muttered, avoiding Dumbledore's gaze.
"You don't know, but you expect me to know?"
Sirius was silent for a moment. "I suppose I deserve it," he said against the desk, half hoping Dumbledore would say he didn't.
"You indeed do."
"I really didn't want to hurt anyone," Sirius continued against the desk.
"He knows that, Sirius. Now stop your self-pity and look at me." Sirius lifted his head and looked in the very blue eyes. His jaw tightened and he lifted his chin a little. There was a spark in his eyes. The person who gave Dumbledore a certain nod and left the room wasn't Sirius the boy, but Sirius the man, knowing he had made a fault and was ready to take responsibility for it.
Dumbledore smiled while he looked at Harry Potter. In his eyes was the same spark and his jaw was also tightened. James Potter looked at him with Lily Evans-eyes, while the Sirius Black in him came forward. A pity Remus Lupin couldn't see this.
"But if it is, I'll make sure I take as much Death Eaters with me as I can, and Voldemort too if I can manage it."
Spoken both like his mother and father's son and Sirius's true godson.
Alright, I did put Lily in. Sue me.i know those last things weren't very good, but what do you think of the rest? Pleaaaase let me know!