Before Harry Potter

Before Harry Potter, Lily, James, Severus, and their friends/enemies existed in what us Potterheads like to call the "Marauder Era". Read to figure out what happened when J.K. Rowling wasn't looking
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, or the drawings/Cover art

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9. The Wolf

     He’d woken again to the rapid beating of his heart.  Another dream, another moon, another memory lost among the stupor of the wolf.  It was nearly time, and the scars shone more prominently now than ever all across his body.  This was the first time in a year that he would face it alone.  
    “Sirius,” he tested the name out on his lips.  It was a dry taste that ached with familiarity, and it panged at his heart as he sat up with circles under his eyes from the tremors in his dreams; the constant waking and shaking, gasping for air as the blood ran down his matted fur, down Sirius’s sessile form, dripping over James’s glasses, and all over Peter.  Even Snape had been there, his greasy hair cast aside from his face as Remus watched the wolf-him-sniff at the torn flesh.  It was one of the many dreams he had leading up to the full moon.  Now he could see the silver orb peaking out even in the early hours of daylight, waiting for him.  
    Shakily, he lifted himself from his bed, feeling oddly aware of his body.  It was as though the numbness in his limbs was only for the  outside world.  Inside, he could feel the blood pumping too quickly through his veins, his head spinning slightly, and his bones felt like lead beneath his skin.  It had always been like this the day preceding the full moon; the symptoms would gradually increase throughout the day until a bustling Madam Pomfrey practically carried him down to the Whomping Willow, where they’d break out in a crescendo that was the final transformation.  Even pulling on his clothes was a task, his fumbling fingers gliding across the buttons as though glossed with a thick layer of grease.  He pulled on his socks with difficulty, and left his shoes untied because his limber digits felt too weary and numb to manage it.  Unlike muttering Sirius’s name, this familiarity was one that he dreaded.  He hoped that feeling never seeped into the memory of the lanky boy he’d befriended upon his first day at Hogwarts. 
It was as though he were listening to the soundtrack of a million songs slowed down as he moved down the steps of the Grand Staircase.  He could hear the sound of the students around him, but it was in such a way that their voices were almost indistinguishable, the words halting and unclear.           The wolf’s senses had already started to take over.  
He entered the Great Hall, muttering robotic apologies to those whom he accidently bumped into on the way in.  He felt a sudden surge of anger that he couldn’t quite explain as he felt a hand close around his upper arm.  He whipped around to see Lily.  She must’ve seen the extreme expression on his face, for she gazed more deeply into his eyes with curiosity.  
     “What’s happened?” he heard her voice, as if from behind a glass wall.  
     “Nothing’s happened,” he said, again in a robotic voice that wasn’t entirely his own.  
     “Surely something has,” she pressed on raising her eyebrows.  A sudden surge of nausea swept over him and he felt the overwhelming need to sit down.  Quickly, he turned away from Lily, and hobbled over to an empty spot along the far end of the long Gryffindor table.  “Dammit, Remus Lupin, don’t you dare walk away from me,” she yelled after him.  ‘Readheads…’ he thought with spite, as a sudden pain shot through his head at the extremity of her voice.  
     “Please, Lily,” he mumbled as he ran his hands through his sandy brown hair.  He could feel the wolf inside him burgeoning to take over.  He could feel it’s hearing beginning to override his own, sounds everywhere.  He could hear the scuffling of feet and the crunching of food under people’s teeth.  It hadn’t yet gotten to the point where all form of speech had become obscure but it was becoming increasingly difficult to suppress the wolf’s senses and replace them with his own to recognize the voices reverberating around the Great Hall.   
     “Remus,” Lily said with a frightened, but controlled voice.  “Remus, you’re shaking,” she said.  He raised his head from his hands and indeed, his hands were shaking with the tremors that hadn’t subsided that morning.  Like the residue of all his disturbing dreams, it clung to him.  Hurriedly, he stuffed them into his pockets so she wouldn’t see.  
     “It’s nothing,” he said hurriedly.  ‘You’re human, you’re human, you’re human,’ he told himself with a scrunched up face, doing his best to keep it to himself.  
     “Remus, what’s the matter?” she asked him worriedly.   
     “Nothing,” he growled fiercely.  Instantly, he felt ashamed.  ‘You’re human god dammit!  Stop acting like a bloody twat!’
     “It doesn’t seem like nothing,” she said.  
     “Please Lily, trust me, just leave it,” he said as calmly as he could.  She subsided into silence.  
     “If you need me, you know where I am,” she said.  He nodded to the emptiness as she vacated the table.  The sudden movement shot a scorching pain through his head.  There was silence for a moment.  Remus had closed his hands over his ears and shut his eyes so that he only saw the red of the inside of his eyelids and heard the subtle sounds of scuffling humans.  Humans… ‘You’re human, you’re human, you’re human.’  
     “Moony?”  he heard a voice that sounded warped and distorted from the muddled sensory perception mingled with that of his adamance to close of any sound at all.
     “Sirius,” he said shortly in reply.  Sirius cringed at the use of his formal name.  It felt like that single name used by Remus confirmed the severing of ties between them.  It was like an ice cube had dropped into his stomach.  Maybe a couple of ice cubes.  He pressed on anyway.  
     “Moony, please speak to me,” he said.  Remus was startled by the earnesty in his voice.  It was all he could do to not look up into the deep gray orbs that were the definition of familiarity.  His heart ached as he said-
     “-Please Sirius, just go,” but Sirius, true to his character didn’t listen.  
     “You’ve got to listen to me, Remus!” Sirius’s voice rose.  “I’m sorry, okay?  I’m bloody fucking sorry that I did something as stupid as I did!” people were beginning to stare, and Remus’s head was beginning to pound.  “I never meant any of it against you, Remus.  It was so daft.  I’m daft!  I’m a daft coward, okay?  And I’m so sorry,” he pleaded, but Remus had already stood up, and on wobbly legs began to walk away.  The noise, he had to get away from the noise, it would drive him mad hearing it in the two different ways all the time, like an echo ridden with guilt and self-loathing.  
     “Remus please!  I’m so sorry, I can’t express to you how sorry I am,” Sirius shouted after him as Remus ascended the stairs toward the landing that lead to the Grand Staircase.  He didn’t know where he was going, he didn’t know why.  All he knew was his head was killing him, and his knees were wobbling numbly under his weight.  
     “Sirius, just go,” he shouted back with a force that he only just managed.  He turned around to meet Sirius’s gaze.  He didn’t exactly know why, but he couldn’t resist any longer.  Blurred senses and a mingled urge to kill and cry all at the same time and collided into something that turned into a vast pit of emptiness inside him.  
      “But Remus I l-” he stopped abruptly, staring at Remus for a moment.  A thick gush of blood was rushing down his face from his nose.  Remus noticed the horrified look on Sirius’s face, for he raised a hand to his face, a coating of red issuing over his hand.  It came hot and thick, dripping down the front of his robes and onto the staircase.  He looked horrified back at his hand, and felt a warm feeling settle in his stomach.  It smelled good, like metal and meat and nourishment and….he breathed it all in.  He hadn’t realized how hungry he was, and it wasn’t the food in the Great Hall that he craved.  ‘You’re human, you’re human, you’re…’ the repeated conviction seeped out of him as his consciousness was obscured by a vague blackness that overlapped even the sight of the horrified eyes of Sirius Black above him, which he noticed, curiously looked like two moons.  

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