Sirius was sitting on his bed in the dorm. He hadn't been able to get that letter out of his head all week. He had tried approaching Regulus but he had ignored him and Evie was too kind to say anything; she didn't want to violate Regulus's privacy any more than she had. So, naturally, he had played it off cooly but was now sat in the dorm letting his anxiety swallow him whole. The full moon was in two days and Remus wasn't doing great. This month it was worse than usual, he had barely been able to stand in the morning so James had all but carried him to the Hospital Wing, he had a high fever and was constantly shivering. They had been told he would be back to their dorm by the evening and that they will not be visiting during lesson time.
The boys had begrudgingly gone off to their lessons, Peter had to catch up with his Divination homework so he was meeting Mary, Marlene and Dorcas in the library. James hadn't offered much of an explanation to where he was going, just that he had something to do, and that's how Sirius had ended up in the dorm alone. After about ten more minutes of drowning in his own thoughts, Sirius heard someone walking up the stairs to their dorm rooms. And that's when the one and only Remus Lupin stumbled in.
He still looked awful; his skin was so pale that Sirius was sure that if he held up a white cat beside Remus, the cat would be darker, his hands were still shaking quite violently and his breathing seemed laboured. Sirius could see his chest heaving up and down from the other side of the room.
Why would they let him out in the state?
He didn't really have much time to think that over because Remus had swayed dangerously forward and Sirius shot up to his side. Remus's skin felt hot but now that he was closer he could hear his teeth chattering. Sirius threw Remus's arm around his shoulder and guided him to his bed. The werewolf opened his eyes and looked at Sirius. "Diolch yn fawr iawn."
Sirius just smiled down at him and said "Shut up, you pretentious bastard." Remus chuckled weakly and fought to keep his eyes open. "Why did they let you out like this Remus?" Sirius had started playing with Remus's hair, it was usually soft and curly but it was stuck to his forehead because of how much he was sweating.
"I insisted." He replied. Remus's ears had started ringing, it was getting harder and harder to keep his eyes open. Remus was determined to, purely for Sirius's sake; he knew Sirius would worry if he just passed out next to him.
Diolch yn fawr iawn. Those words kept echoing inside his head.
Thank you very much.
He barley heard Sirius sigh, it was muffled, all the sounds in the room were. It felt as if he had a sack over his head or was in a glass box.
Sirius looked down at Remus and said, "Right, we're getting you to the Hospital Wing." Remus opened his mouth to protest, to say that if he stood up he was sure that he would collapse, but before he could say anything Sirius had hauled him up and everything was spinning around him. Remus couldn't feel anything.
Sirius realised his stupidity as soon as he had lifted Remus up, because of their close proximity, he felt the exact moment that Remus collapsed. His grip on Sirius's arm went slack and his entire weight fell onto Sirius. Remus's body toppled to the floor and Sirius hadn't been quick enough to stop him. They both landed with a thud and Sirius felt panic course through him.
He pushed Remus up into a sitting position and brushed his hair away from his eyes. Remus's eyes were spasming behind his eyelids and his body was shivering even more.
"Remus please wake up." Sirius pulled Remus into his arms and tightened his grip on his body. "Remus please." His voice cracked under the weight of everything and a tear slipped out of his eye. Sirius buried his head into Remus's shoulder and continued to beg Remus to wake up. Eventually he did, Remus's body tensed suddenly and he jerked awake. The first thing he felt was Sirius's breath on his neck, then his hands that were holding onto him and finally the shaking of Sirius's body.
Remus realised he was crying. "Mae'n iawn." He croaked out.
Sirius pulled back and their eyes met briefly before Remus passed out again.
Sirius had been crying into Remus shoulder until Remus's soft voice had broken him out of it. Something in Welsh, but Sirius didn't care. Remus was awake. That's all that mattered. Sirius ripped himself from Remus's arms and their eyes met. Sirius could have sworn he saw a flicker of a smile tease at Remus's lips before his eyes rolled back and he collapsed again. Sirius placed his hand on Remus's cheek and turned his head. He prayed for James or Peter to show up soon so that someone could fetch Madam Pomfrey or help Sirius carry Remus to the Hospital Wing. Sirius was too scared to leave him alone, the fear that Remus would die the moment he left the room was so great that he couldn't bear to ignore it.
Remus kept slipping in and out of consciousness for the next half an hour. Sirius didn't move form in front of him, trying his hardest to wake him when he was unconscious and trying his hardest to keep him awake when he was. Then James showed up.
James had been chasing Regulus for an hour after lessons finished, he needed to find out what had been on that letter and why he refused to tell anyone. In the end he had physically cornered him and forced Regulus to show him the letter. James's heart sank and he quickly apologised to Regulus who had just scowled and walked off. James walked briskly back to the dorm to tell Sirius what had happened but as soon as he walked in, all thoughts of the letter left his head.
A sickly looking Remus Lupin was propped up against the bed with his eyes closed and a very desperate looking Sirius Black was sat on his lap with his hand supporting Remus's face. "James, thank Merlin!" Sirius exclaimed. "Get over here." James ran over and Sirius shifted from Remus's lap. "Hold his head up, like this." Sirius guided James's hand to the side of Remus's face.
"If he wakes up, tell him I went to fetch Pomfrey. Ok?" Sirius looked into James's eyes and James nodded.
"Sirius what happened? How long has he been out."
"This time only a few minutes. He keeps going in and out. Just a very bad moon I think. He told Pomfrey he was alright to leave, absolute bullshit, staggered into the dorm and passed out not two minutes after." James nodded again and turned his attention to Remus. He felt Sirius linger for a second, gazing at Remus before he turned and ran out of the dorm.
After a couple of minutes, Remus's eyes fluttered open. "Sirius?" He asked, his voice barely a whisper.
"Nah mate, it's just me. Prongs. Padfoot told me what happened and Christ Moony, what were you thinking?" James chastised. Remus smiled slightly.
"Always mothering us Jamsie." And then his eyes closed again and the weight of his head fell back into James's hands. James frowned and willed Sirius to hurry.
Sirius was running through the corridors. He didn't care about the disapproving looks people kept throwing his way or that 6 different people had yelled at him for bumping into them. All that mattered to him then was Remus. His Moony. Remus needed something and Sirius could help him get it, as far as he was concerned, the entire world could burn so long as Remus got was he needed. That was until Sirius ran head first into Lucius Malfoy and his cronies.
Sirius stumbled back and tried to continue running before Malfoy grabbed his arm and flung him back. Sirius fell to the floor and growled, "Get out of my way Malfoy."
The group laughed and Malfoy stepped forward, "You are in my way, Black. And you have to be taught a lesson because of that." Sirius saw three of them draw their wands. and he pulled his own out. Sirius jumped to his feet just as the first curse was fired.
He leaned left and it narrowly missed him. Malfoy and the shorter one flicked their wands at the same time, Sirius cast a shielding charm and tried to throw a few hexes back at them. What he didn't realise was that a fourth person was getting ready to curse him just behind Malfoy.
"Stupefy!" The taller one fell.
"Crucio!" Sirius stumbled backwards and the curse flew past him.
"Flipendo!" It hit Sirius square in the chest and he was flung into the wall behind him as the wind was knocked out of him. He slumped down and tried to breathe in, find his wand, just anything. The ringing in his ears meant he didn't notice that Lucius was walking towards him until he was right in front of him. Malfoy pulled his foot back and kicked Sirius in the stomach. He groaned loudly and flopped forward.
Malfoy bent down and grabbed him by the hair, a brown haired boy from the group stepped forward and threw a punch into Sirius's face. Malfoy threw his head back into the wall. Sirius's could feel blood flowing from a cut on his cheek and the warm liquid was in his hair as well.
"Consider yourself lucky, Black." Lucius raised his wand and suddenly Sirius was at 12 Grimmauld Place.
Walburga was standing over him, her cruel eyes boring into his, a disgusting smile across her face. She tipped her head sideways slightly and her lips moved, although it was a male voice that spoke the spell. "Stupefy!" A red blast from her wand hit Sirius and the whole world turned black.
Lily Evans was walking through the corridors of Hogwarts. She turned a corner and was met with a horrific sight. Sirius Black was slumped against a wall with his eyes closed and a cut on his cheek. She ran forward and pointed her wand at his chest. "Rennervate." She muttered. His eyes fluttered open and she noticed his wand only a few inches away from his hand. It dawned on her that he must have been knocked out in a duel of some sort, maybe an ambush. She barely had time to process anything before Sirius had grabbed his wand and had sprang to his feet, running forward. Lily yelled after him but ended up running to catch him up. He turned a corner and ran straight into the Hospital Wing, into a very startled looking Madam Pomfrey.
"Remusisn'twellandheneedsyourhelphe'sinthedormpleasehelphim." He spoke so quickly that Lily was worried he was having a stroke. Madam Pomfrey placed a hand on his shoulder and tried to lead him towards a bed. He shook her off and said, "Didn't you hear me? Remus?"
The Medi-Witch smiled at him and replied, "I heard you quite clearly Mister Black, but you are bleeding and I suspect you are running on adrenaline. I am scared you will collapse any second." Sirius shook his head and started to speak again, "I'm fine. It's Remus. He needs-" He stumbled backwards into Lily.
She shook her head and firmly took his arm, dragging him to the nearest bed. He collapsed half way there. Luckily, Madam Pomfrey had her wand out and levitated him onto the bed. She sighed and looked at Lily. "Keep an eye on that one, would you Miss Evans? I know you're not fond of him and that group but-"
"It's ok. I'll do it. I think he was ambushed anyway. Not like Sirius to lose a duel." Lily breathed out, anxious for Remus to be tended to. Madam Pomfrey furrowed her brows momentarily before nodded and saying,
"Quite right you are Miss Evans. I'll fetch McGonnagall on my way back and have her look into it. I can't believe it didn't dawn on Black that he could levitate Mister Lupin here instead of running to fetch me. Sometimes I do worry for those children.' Madam Pomfrey walked out of the Hospital Wing and grabbed her medical box on the way out.
Lily perched on the edge of Sirius's bed. It's true, she wasn't fond of Sirius and James but that didn't mean she didn't worry for them. After a few minutes, Sirius's eyes shot open and he tried to sit up. Lily pushed him back down very firmly and told him, "Christ Sirius, why won't you just listen. Stay down!"
Lily only just noticed how frantically Sirius's eyes were darting around the room and how ragged his breaths had become. "Oh Sirius." She mumbled. "Sirius. Sirius, hey. Hey!" She managed to get his attention. "It's ok. Pomfrey has gone to see Remus. He'll be ok." Sirius still seemed panicked but once his eyes managed to really focus onto Lily, he felt instantly calmer.
Sirius didn't remember much from after the Stunning curse was shot. Just flashes, a pair of familiar and striking green eyes, Madam Pomfrey's face and the beds in the Hospital Wing. Only when Lily's full face came into view did he realise that he was safe. He was at Hogwarts, in the Hospital Wing and Lily Evans was with him. Walburga was nowhere nearby and he was alright. So much had happened that day and Sirius felt so helpless within it all.
Lily must have noticed the look on his face because she asked, "Is there anything I can do to help Sirius? I know we haven't been on the best of terms but you seem..." She trailed off.
"Can you hold my hand?" His voice came out small and child like. Lily's eyes widened in surprise before she nodded and slipped her dainty hand into Sirius's calloused palm. She wondered what had happened for the skin to become so rough but she didn't ask. The physical contact seemed to melt all the tension from Sirius's body and after a minute his voice sounded throughout the Hospital Wing, "Thanks Evans."
"Anytime Black." They sat there in a comfortable silence, Lily holding Sirius's hand until Madam Pomfrey arrived levitating an unconscious Remus Lupin onto the bed next to Sirius's being tailed by a very stressed James Potter and an extremely anxious Peter Pettigrew. James shot a confused glance their way but Lily didn't let go of Sirius's hand. For some reason she felt as if she couldn't, that if she did let go she would be breaking a promise. It didn't make any sense, she had made no promise to Sirius but she felt as if she owed him this much.
And for a second, she saw that godforsaken group for what they really were; just four boys who cared about each other more than anything else in the world and may as well have been brothers. She smiled for a second. Maybe they weren't really that bad after all.