The Sugar Quill
Author: Beth  Story: Full Moon  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Sirius Black sat in the Marauder’s usual corner of the common room, sucking on a sugar quill

Full Moon

Sirius Black sat in the Marauders' usual corner of the common room, sucking on a sugar quill. He was pretending to write his Care of Magical Creatures essay (discuss the righteousness of laws pertaining to the magical creature of your choice), but he’d finished hours ago. His topic had been werewolves, so he’d needed to do very little research for the paper. Remus hadn’t even helped, as the full moon had been approaching since it was assigned. Lupin’s alibi was detention with Snape, but Sirius and James knew that Peter was serving that detention alone. Instead of plotting their next prank, Sirius and James were staring at their crushes, best friends Lily Evans and Alexis Cunnings, waiting for the common room to empty out so they could join Remus at the Shrieking Shack. The boys were looking forward to this full moon; it would be a lot more fun without having to worry about harming the little rat.

With reluctant eyes, Black and Potter watched Lily and Alexis pack their books and head up the girls’ staircase. James took out a piece of parchment and drew a tic-tack-toe board. Sirius sighed, but he understood James’ ploy. Playing the stupid game would look like they were plotting something over that piece of parchment. Sirius played along until, 20 minutes later, the last group of first years went to bed. The boys stashed their bags under a loose floorboard in the corner, threw on the Invisibility Cloak, and made their way to the Shrieking Shack. It wasn’t long until Moony, Padfoot, and Prongs were on another midnight adventure.

Sirius stopped in the middle of the grounds to smell the crisp, nighttime air. Moony’s howl reminded Sirius that he was with a werewolf, in his illegal Animagus form, and the punishments for being caught were too harsh for even Sirius to risk it. He trotted with his friends to the Forbidden Forest. Tonight they only planned on running through the forest, maybe play with the Centaurs to see if they’d help Padfoot, the helpless pup, or just scare away small creatures. Nothing big. The trio headed deeper into the forest. Most students would’ve panicked by now—the deep parts of the forest were dangerous, and most would be lost here-- but after years of midnight adventures, their knowledge of the forest was second only to Hagrid.

Suddenly, the squeal of some sort of animal echoed through the forest. Padfoot and Prongs looked out around them, trying to figure out what had been attacked. Moony howled, drawing his friends’ attention to him. At first, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. However, it didn’t take Padfoot long to notice that one of Moony’s paws was lifted. Blood trickled beneath it, but stayed hovering in the air. Prongs watched as Moony tried to remove his paw from what appeared to be an invisible creature. Padfoot grabbed Moony’s leg with his mouth and tried to help him remove his forefoot. Moony let out a howl of protest, although he had been freed. The invisible creature made an even louder painful noise. Prongs kicked the dirt with his hoof, and Padfoot let out a soft bark of understanding. The adventure was over for tonight. It wasn’t worth the risk.

Padfoot and Prongs had enough practice controlling Moony that they managed to get him back the Shrieking Shack without a problem. James and Sirius stayed up in the common room, trying to figure out what went wrong.

"What did he attack?" James was at a loss, and it bothered him. He was used to being the top student, having all the answers. He shook his head. It just didn’t make sense.

"A demiguise?" Sirius suggested.

"They don’t live around here."

"Then what?"

James bit his lip. "I don’t know."

~*~

Remus spent Friday in the hospital wing, recovering from the ordeal of his transformation. The Marauders knew better than to ask Madam Pomfrey if they could visit. Since it wasn’t in their nature to do more work than absolutely necessary, the boys brainstormed pranks instead of trying to figure out what Remus attacked.

Remus was released from the hospital wing on Saturday. His friends greeted him heartily when he joined them in the common room that afternoon.

"You know you…" James began.

"Yeah, I know about the Thestral. We need to help it."

"The what?" Peter asked stupidly.

"I stepped on a sleeping Thestral and my claw got stuck. Didn’t they tell you?"

"They said you hurt something invisible, but they didn’t know what it was."

"Invisible? But I thought for sure Sirius had seen someone die."

Sirius shook his head. "My parents are pure-blood maniacs, but they aren’t killers."

"Who have you seen die?" Another stupid question. The boys ignored Peter. They all knew the story—Remus had survived the werewolf attack with only one bite. His little sister hadn’t been so lucky.

"What are we going to do?" Sirius asked.

"We need to get someone who can help," Remus said.

"Lily," James suggested.

"And who has she seen die?" Sirius questioned. James looked baffled, but couldn’t think of a comeback. "Could you do it, Remus?"

"I can try."

James led them back to where they’d found the Thestral on the night of the full moon. Remus looked down at it and turned away.

"What is it?" James asked.

"It’s…it’s…" he couldn’t get the words out.

"Dead," Sirius finished. He could smell it in the air. It smelled like number twelve Grimmauld Place.

"There’s bite marks—they’re not mine."

"So it’s not your fault," James tried to comfort.

"Yes it is. I made it vulnerable in the first place."

"No more midnight adventures?"

"I never said that, but…maybe not for a while."

"It was an accident, Remus. Everyone makes mistakes."

Remus nodded. "I think I need to be alone right now."

Peter, James, and Sirius headed back to the castle, their hearts heavy. Running around with a werewolf wasn’t all fun and games.

//
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