I Love You More than Myself Part One

Chapter 62

"It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them." - Agatha Christie

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*Tonks's POV*

I can't believe we're finally here, on the night of the beginning of our 5th year. It's crazy when you think about it; just five years ago, we were the nervous eleven year olds standing at the front of the hall, waiting to be sorted. We were the ones who looked so happy to have been sorted and found a family of our own. We were the ones who were so amazed at the magnitude of the feast and the ghosts and the Great Hall and everything. Now, we're the on-lookers, the veterans even. We've been through it all, and it's magical to watch the newbies go through it every year.

When the feast is over, prefects start popping up all around the hall, calling for the first years in their houses to follow them. I have to nudge Remus in the ribs to remind him. He looks over at me and smiles nervously.

"Go on, you can do it!" I encourage. He nods, then stands up.

"First years, follow me!" and along with Lily and the other Gryffindor prefects, he rounds up the first years. James, Sirius, Peter and I continue out of the hall and up the marble staircase to Gryffindor common room.

"How weird is it to watch Remus in charge like that?" I chuckle.

"So weird," James agrees.

When we finally arrive at the portrait of the Fat Lady, I notice an older prefect has been stationed here. We curtly say goodnight, then follow the throng of students into the circular tower, or as we call it, home.

Our favorite spot in front of the fire looks just as it did before we left last year; the chairs and couches look just as comfortable and squashy; the fire crackles gaily on the hearth, warming the room from its many months of desertion.

"Okay, I'm ready to party!" James announces. He stands up on a chair. "Welcome back, Gryffindors! Are we ready to have some fun?!"

A couple upperclassmen roll their eyes and go up to bed, but the rest of the common room looks up at James with rapt attention.

"Now, you all probably know me, James Potter, captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, and I hereby announce that this party is in session!"

The crowd starts to cheer, and Sirius turns on the radio that is never used. Music fills the room and immediately, people start to move furniture to make a dance floor. James jumps down and starts dancing, Sirius joining him. Soon, the whole common room is filled with students dancing and having a good time. I loose track of the time, dancing with everyone else, but I do notice Remus and Lily aren't here. They probably had to do something with the other prefects. I sigh as I watch Sirius and Scarlet dirty dancing together.

All of a sudden, a feel a pair of thin, warm arms wrap around my waist from behind. My face suddenly splits into a smile. We start to dance together at the edge of the throng of dancing students.

"Gosh Remus, are we going to become that couple?"

"Whatever do you mean?" he asks, kissing my neck ever so slightly.

"What I mean is…" I say, still squirming. "That one couple that always does cutsie things in public, like cuddling and kissing. And that one couple that people ask are they still together? Know what I mean?"

"Of course we will be," he says, turning me around and smiling; he places a quick kiss on my cheek. "We already are."

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*James's POV*

"Alright, tonight's the night, men. You know what that means." I take a pause to give an encouraging smile to my audience. My audience being Sirius, Peter, and a very, very exhausted Remus. It's 8 o'clock in the morning on the day of the full moon, the first time we will get to use our animagus forms around a werewolf. It could go terribly wrong, it could go amazingly well, we just don't know "We all remember the plan?"

"Yes, James," Sirius says, annoyed. They've probably heard the plan about fifty times in the past week. "We know the plan like the back of our hand."

"Good," I say, messing up my hair nervously. "So, at what time does Madam Pomfrey come for Remus?"

"Around seven," Peter says, leaning up against the post of his bed lazily.

"And where will we be?"

"Up here," Sirius says. "Getting under the cloak."

"Precisely," I say, nodding. "Then what?"

"We'll follow Madam Pomfrey and Remus down to the Whomping Willow, wait for the moon to rise, then follow into the Shrieking Shack," Sirius says.

"And?"

"We'll go from there," Peter says. "We don't know exactly what it's like in there."

"Very good," I say, smiling. "We're ready."

"We've been ready for about a week," Sirius mutters. "I'm hungry."

We all get up and leave the dorm to go down to breakfast.

"See you later, Remus," I call out the door. "We'll send Tonks up."

He grunts as a response.

When Tonks does make it down for breakfast, she doesn't look happy with us. I know she's still pissed that she wasn't let in on the plan. I would have never let her in on it anyways, just because I knew Remus wouldn't approve. She eats silently and refuses to look at us. I glance sideways at Sirius, and he just rolls his eyes.

Later that day, we're walking back up the common room during a free period, when Sirius turns to me and says;

"I've never known you to be so anal about anything before."

"I know," I admit. This was very out of character for me. "This isn't something that we can mess around with. If we get caught, we're going to be expelled. If something goes wrong, one of us could get seriously injured, or killed. I have to be anal about it."

Sirius nods, looking grim. To be honest, we're all nervous. I know Tonks is too, but she won't admit it. She knows how dangerous it is, but is too stubborn to show any emotion about it.

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*7 o'clock*

"All ready?" I ask, throwing the cloak over the three of us.

"Ugh," Sirius groans. "It's so cramped under here."

"We'll be fine," I mutter, checking my watch. "Alright, 7:01, let's go."

Very, very carefully, we all take a step forward and out of the dorm. This was going to be something we had to practice; making sure our feet didn't show, making sure we didn't make any noise. Peter is so big and clumsy, I am surprised we aren't caught going down the stairs into the common room.

Unfortunately, the tower is packed with students. I look over to the couch in front of the fire and see Tonks, sitting with her knees up to her eyes, staring into space. I turn to my friends and mouth be careful. They nod and we proceed.

We have to be very careful not to trod on anyone's foot, not to run into anybody or anything. Once, we have to wait for a seventh year to pull her chair in, because there is no other way around it. Another, we almost get bumped into by a first year running towards the dorms with a mad gleam in his eye that reminds me of Sirius. Then, we have to wait for someone to use the portrait hole so we can slip out behind them. Thankfully, Oliver comes about soon, and we follow him.

Navigating the corridors is much easier than trying to get through the crowded common room. We meet almost no one, save Scarlet and May, walking back from the library. Sirius almost gives our position away, stopping right in his tracks and staring at her, but thankfully, Peter notices and grabs his collar to start moving again.

Unfortunately, we never catch up to Madam Pomfrey and Remus. When we reach the front doors, we have to wait for Filch to come around, and slip out after him. The grounds are dark and the grass is dewy. We hurry to get across the lawn in time. On our way, we pass Madam Pomfrey going back to the castle, looking glum.

Finally, we arrive at the Whomping Willow, and find a spot to stand a safe distance away. Remus is already inside, and the full moon is about to rise. We stand, waiting with baited breath in the chill, September night. Peter swallows and glances around nervously.

"What-"

"Shhh!" Me and Sirius quiet him. He looks shamefully at his feet.

We look up and see the full moon risen beautifully in the night sky, shining light over the entire grounds, so beautiful, yet so ominous. I feel my heartbeat quicken and my hands get sweaty and twitchy. I push my glasses up my nose and look at my friends.

"Go," I say quietly. I whip off the cloak and hide it under the rock I had scouted out earlier in the week. Then I close my eyes and become the stag.

When I open my eyes, I look around and see the dog and rat. They both look expectantly up at me, and I freeze. What am I doing? This is no place for a student. I am about to face a fully grown werewolf that could easily kill me with one swipe of the paw. I stomp my feet nervously. Suddenly, I feel a wet nose on my shoulder, and glance down to see the dog give me look like are you gonna go, or not? I shake my antlered head, and take a step forward.

The dog and rat follow me to the Willow, and I suddenly become aware of a major problem. How are we going to get past the Whomping Willow without being killed? This tiny detail my organized mind had been overlooked. I wish I had asked Remus how he and Madam Pomfrey get into the tunnel, but alas, I had forgotten.

I look over at the dog and rat, and see they have realized the problem too. The rat scuttles around nervously, and starts to head back to where we were hidden. I stomp my hoof with finality. We will not go back. The rat comes back and stands next to the dog.

I make a quick decision in my head: just go forward. If the Willow attacks, it attacks. We have no other choice. So, I take a step forward, and the rat and dog follow nervously. At first, we manage to dodge the whipping branches, but our luck turns to grief when the dog is side swiped off its feet. When our heads are turned, the tree gets its revenge and knocks me off my feet as well.

It is such a weird experience, trying to maneuver myself as the stag. Figuring out how to stand was a challenge in this new and interesting body. I stand gallop away from the trouble. I see the dog and rat have done the same, although the dog's side is bloody. I shake my head and advance again.

This time has similar results. We are thrown about and beat up by a tree. A fucking tree. How is it that we, the smart and brilliant people we are, are being beaten by a tree. I get mad and start to stomp my hooves threateningly. The dog whines and looks back at the hiding place with pleading eyes. No, we will go on.

On the third try, something miraculous happens. The rat is thrown towards the tree by accident and slams into the base of the trunk. While the dog and I are trying to get ourselves together again, we notice something. The tree has stopped. The branches stop whipping around, becoming immobile. We look at each other and realize what happened. We will have to remember this. The rat is already inside the tunnel, so we follow quickly.

The tunnel is dark and damp. It is hard for us to fit, but we manage, following the rat's squeaking up ahead. The dog's hot breath is always on my neck, but I ignore it, realizing how nervous he is, and remembering how nervous I should be.

When we reach the end, I stop and take a moment to prepare myself for what I'm about to see. We hear howls and thumps from the room ahead of us. I take one step forward, and nudge the door open with my head. And there he is.

The room is dank and musty. Overturned furniture fills the room, and the walls and floor have long, deep claw marks in them. There is also blood stains all over the floor and spatters on the wall. The windows are broken, so a slight breeze fills the room. And to make this picture complete, there is the werewolf himself.

Remus told us he didn't know what he looked like in wolf form. Quite honestly, if I were him, I wouldn't want to know. Standing around seven feet tall, he's a monster. He has grey, shaggy fur and sharp, pointed ears. His hands and feet are huge and have the longest claws I've ever seen on an animal, very sharp and dangerous. He hears us enter and turns, ever so slowly, to face us. His snout is long and menacing. When he opens his mouth to howl, he reveals a set of long, wickedly sharp teeth. I turn my attention to his eyes. They are the exact same color as they are when he is a man, still with the same passion. I recognize this wolf, and I will never forget the look he gives me. He takes a tentative step forward.

I take a step forward as well, towards this monster. He looks curiously at me, as though he's confused. I bow my head as a sign that I'm not here to hurt him. When I look up, he looks down at me as if he's… pleased. I don't think that is the right word, but it's the only one even close to it. The dog and rat do the same as I did, and soon, we're all standing idly around each other, the big, bad wolf as mundane and calm as the rest of us.

If others saw this monster, they would scream run in the other direction. But, I don't know if I would. They are always given a bad name, but really, he's quite beautiful. Long and graceful, this wolf wants no trouble. He looks at the three of us with Remus's eyes as if he were excited.

This is the beginning of something much more than it seemed. It is the beginning of a legacy that would last generations, and friendships that would last a lifetime. It would end the pain and suffering of one man, and begin a Golden Age.

Let the adventure begin.

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Well, I'm going to go eat candy now! Have a lovely week!

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