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The Wolf's Wake
By Jamie K.

"All right, explain."
Remus Lupin snapped to attention. His faded bluish-brown eyes alert. "What?"

    Sirius sighed in frustration. But James remained calm. Remus started fiddling with his robes, then his shoelaces, then his Transfiguration book....
    "Look Remus, we know you're hiding something." James stated, forcing Remus to make eye contact. "You've been caught. Now explain."
    "I don't know what-," Remus began to lie nervously. He was bad at joking, and even worse at lying. Especially when it meant bluffing to the smartest third years at Hogwarts.
    "Come off it Remus!" Sirius groaned. "We're your friends. We never keep secrets from you," at this his eyes flickered for a moment. Was it guilt? Remus wondered. "You can tell us anything. Who're we going to tell, Snivellus?"
    Remus began to sweat. Cold sweat. He couldn't tell them. He couldn't! But he had to, they would find out anyway, it was better just to get it out. No! Cried a voice in his head. You've never had friends! Do you want to lose the best friends in the school? I have to.
    "Once a month, you disappear at night. The day of that night," began James, still making eye contact. "You're always ill. Always. In divination, Professor Trelawney always predicts you'll be ill every full moon. She's never wrong. Trelawney is a fraud, Remus. She never makes predictions that are true. Is it a coincidence, Remus?" James looked at Sirius quickly, then looked back at Remus. "Or are you hiding something?"
    Sirius stepped up so that he was even with James. Even Peter moved out of the shadows behind Sirius and James, so that he could see Remus.
    Remus suddenly felt very bad for the little white mice they transformed into lamps in transfiguration earlier that day. He closed his eyes for a moment, knowing it had to be said. Had to be done. Just tell them. They'll understand it's not your fault. No. Said yet another voice. Remus winced a little bit. They won't understand. They'll think you a freak. A subhuman. They won't want anything to do with you. But Remus shook his head. It was time.
    "It's not a coincidence." He croaked.
    "It's not?" James said softly.
    "No," Remus began, taking a deep breath. "I'm a Werewolf."
    Utter, complete silence.
    "Wow." Said James finally. He always broke silences, Remus though miserably. "Remus, mate," he continued. "It's not good to keep stuff like that inside."
    "W-what?" Remus stuttered. No, it can't be. He isn't, mad?
    "Yeah." Said Sirius. "Not that we didn't know, of course."
    "It's just nice to hear you say it." Added James.
    Remus blinked. "You knew?" They knew?
    "Of course we knew." Said Sirius, plopping down under a tree, and leaning against it.
    "We've known for a while. Ever since you made that excuse a month ago, what was it again, Sirius?" James followed suit, messing up his already distressed black hair.
    "Something about talking to Professor Curinus about retaking that Charms quiz?" Sirius joked. "Remus, we know for a fact you haven't gotten a bad grade on anything, anything."
    Remus was so relieved, he didn't even think about being embarrassed. "A Werewolf?" Peter suddenly squeaked. James frowned, Sirius raised an eyebrow. Remus panicked.
    "Is that a problem, Pete?" James asked sharply, looking at Peter suspiciously.
    "Because, you know, if it is, I know a pretty good hex that could change your mind." Sirius added quietly, but still glaring at Peter.
    "No! No, it's, it's not problem." Peter hastily yelped.
    "Good. Now, Sirius, I'm starting to get an idea." James nodded, satisfied.
    "Really? Because, James, so am I." Sirius started to grin.
    "Thank you!" Remus suddenly burst out. He had friends. They were his friends. His friends! They didn't care that he wasn't normal, they didn't care!
    Sirius looked surprised. James raised an eyebrow. "No problem." They said together.
    "Come on," James rose suddenly. "We have some work to do." He winked at Sirius, who nodded, and followed James.
    Remus leapt up happily, forgetting he wasn't normal. Forgetting the full moon was in three short weeks. He had friends. James Potter. Sirius Black. Great friends. He grinned and followed them. Peter stayed behind for a minute. Something stirring in his eyes. He wasn't smiling as he walked off to join James, Sirius, and Remus.
    As the library came into view, Remus gave a first thought to James's 'plan'. He gave a little laugh at what could be in store for the future.
    "What?" Sirius stopped to study him.
    "Nothing." Remus shrugged, and waited until Sirius's back was turned. "Nothing at all." He looked up at the sky. It was going to rain. But it didn't matter.

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