We Should Be There
A/N: If the idea of
two boys kissing bothers you, you might prefer not reading this story. Special thanks to Doctor Aicha
for encouraging me to write this (although we all know it was just because she
was tired of reading about Percy) and Aurelie for
Chapter One: Strength
voice broke the midnight silence in the almost-empty Common Room. “He’s quite strong, you know.”
only other student still awake, looked up from the thick stack of parchment he
had been revising. “Who is?”
leaning against the wall, his notes abandoned, staring out the window at the
full moon. “Remus. He’s stronger than he looks.”
snorted, stretching and absent-mindedly mussing his hair. “Yeah, well, he’s a werewolf, chum.”
rolled his eyes. “I mean it. He always looks so sick all of the time,
but—remember that time he and I had that row?”
“You mean when you almost had him kill Snape?” James asked dryly.
waved his hand impatiently. “Yes, that,
but I was talking about the morning after, when we went to see Remus in
grinned. “Oh, yeah. I’ve never seen him so angry, ever.”
nodded. “He knocked me down, James. Knocked me to the floor.”
small feat, is it?”
almost succeeded in suppressing his laughter.
“And I’m the one with the ego problem, eh?” he managed to say, covering
his face with his hands to keep from waking any of their housemates.
his arms. “Have you ever managed to do
it?” he asked pointedly.
James didn’t sober in the slightest. “That’s just because we’ve never had a proper
Sirius said, “unless you want one now, I suggest you shut it.”
pressed his lips together and nodded, a few additional giggles escaping.
“As I was
saying,” Sirius said, leaning his head against the window, “I’m quite a bit
taller, not to mention heavier, than Moony is, right?” James nodded.
“Well, he knocked me right flat, didn’t he?” James nodded again. “All I’m saying is,
he’s a lot stronger than he looks.”
Sirius turned away to look out the window again.
stared after him. “Sirius,” he said
after a moment’s pause, “Is something bothering you?”
Sirius started, then relaxed. “Oh…well…
we should be there with him tonight.”
his head. “You heard him. Not after that close call we had last month.”
straightened. “And what’s about that,
suddenly so concerned? He laughed about
it the day after, same as always, then suddenly this morning he tells the two
“Three of us, Sirius.
Peter didn’t leave for his great-aunt’s funeral until after Charms.”
us, then,” amended Sirius. “Why’s he
suddenly all Mr. Prefect on us?”
do have to admit, that was the closest we’ve come to something really bad
happening,” James said, adjusting his wire-rimmed glasses.
threw his hands in the air, exasperated.
Listen, just because you’ve been made Head Boy—“
James said, “You’re being… well, you’re being you, and you’re being annoying.”
his hand through his hair, thinking.
“Look,” he said finally, “All I’m saying is, I stopped him before he got
anywhere near that little Muggle boy, didn’t I?
Why was he so upset about it?”
James said slowly, “How old was Remus when he was bitten?”
know—four? Five? He never said exactly, but it was something
like that, right?”
nodded. “And how old would you say that
leaned back against the wall. “Oh.”
you understand. I guess you’re not third
in our class for nothing.”
snorted. “What do you mean, third? If I recall correctly, you’re the one who
choked on that last Transfiguration exam.
I believe that puts me ahead of you, mate.”
James smirked. “But you’re still behind
you? Proud of your
red-haired girl friend? Sirius said, grabbing an inkwell off a
shelf and lobbing it good-naturedly at his best friend.
James said, catching it deftly and throwing it back. “I am, actually.” The two boys grinned at each other. “Now, come on,” James said, “Are we studying
for N.E.W.T.s, or are you just going to stare at the
bleeding moon all night?”
turned to look out the window again. “In a minute. I’m
heaved an audible sigh. “Last time you
said that, I wound up an Animagus.”
snickered, but kept his silence, bent over his notes, until Sirius’s voice
broke the silence again. “How did you
looked up. “Know what?”
Sirius said unblushingly. “How’d you
know how you felt about her?”
shrugged. “Dunno. I always have, you know that. You tormented me enough about it second year
when you caught me tracing her initials in the margins of my History of Magic
smiled softly. “Was it hard,
though? Making the transition from
hating each other, to friendship, to—well, to coming back to the dorm with
lipstick on your face?”
dopey grin on his face, involuntarily moved his hand towards his cheek before
scowling, dropping his hand to his lap, and saying, “Look, what’s wrong with
shrugged. “What do you mean?”
being awfully serious.”
groaned. “I swear to Merlin, if you ever
make that stupid pun again—“
said, waving him off, “That was unintentional.
What I mean is, you’re being weird. Weirder than normal.”
it, Potter,” Sirius said, turning back towards the window. In a few moments, however, he said, quietly,
“I guess I’m just worried about Moony.”
looked surprised. “Why? You said yourself,
he’s stronger than he looks.”
just—well, he hasn’t made a transformation without us in almost two years, has
he? I mean, even over the summers, he’s
had either you or me, and both of us sometimes.”
turned away from the window, frowning.
“So, he’s had us to keep him from—from hurting himself. You remember what it was like without
us. How he’d be in hospital for whole
days afterwards. You’ve seen the scars on his hands, and on his back, and that
really deep one that runs right across the back of his neck—” Sirius slammed
his hand against the wall. “That’s it,”
he said, with a sense of finality. “We
have to go out there.”
his notes aside and stood up. “No,
James,” Sirius said, crossing the room to stand in front of him, “I know he
told us to stay here, but I absolutely cannot stand the idea of him having to
go through this alone. Do you know what
he’s doing to himself right now? Do you
know how bad he’s going to be in the morning?
Can’t you just imagine when Madam Pomfrey goes
in to get him and he’s lying there in a pool of his own blood, unconscious
because of the horror he’s just been through—“
“Sirius!” James exclaimed, reaching up to grab his best
friend by the shoulders. “Calm
down! He’s going to be fine!”
you been listening to me?” Sirius said desperately. “He’s cutting himself out there—biting
nothing we can do!” James said forcefully.
“Even if I thought we should go down there, we’d have no way of getting
past the Willow
without Peter being here.”
“So we use
a stick!” Sirius was almost
frantic. “If Snivellus
can do it—“
yourself!” James tightened his grip of Sirius’s shoulders and shook him. “You are practically hysterical. What in hell is wrong with you?” Sirius started to make a reply, but James cut
him off. “No. It’s your turn to shut it. Listen to me.
Remus made that transformation without us for ten years. That’s more than half of our lives. Are you listening? He doesn’t need us. Sure, we help him, and sure, he likes having
us there, and I know that we like being there for him. But he doesn’t need us, Sirius,” James
repeated. “He doesn’t need us.”
maybe I need him to!” Sirius blurted.
hazel eyes blinked behind his glasses.
“What did you say?”
“Nothing,” Sirius spat, trying to pull away.
him in place. “No, you said you need him
to. Need him to
need us? Is that what you said? You need him to need us? Why?
You don’t think we have enough responsibility, enough people idolising us?”
give a damn about us, Prongs! I
couldn’t care less if he needs you or Peter!”
voice was quiet, but strong. “So, you’re
saying you need him to need you?”
didn’t raise his voice. “What do you mean, Padfoot?”
“I—“ Sirius was far more hesitant than he had ever been. “I—I don’t know. I don’t know what I mean. I don’t know.” The words came out in a rush as he pulled
himself from James’s grip. “I don’t—I
have to go. I’m taking your cloak.”
said, grabbing Sirius’s arm, “You’re not going down there.”
Sirius said angrily, pushing James away from him. “I just need to go think. I’ll go to the lake or something. I swear, I won’t go anywhere near him
your word. As a
expression was solemn. “I give you my
nodded, and Sirius practically ran up the stairs to their dormitory. He returned in a few moments, the shimmering
material draped over his arm, and swept past James without another word,
swinging the cloak over his shoulders as he exited through the portrait hole.