24. Thicker than Blood
I woke up the next morning overheating and grumpier than usual. I groaned and opened my eyes. Sirius was sprawled out next to me with his hand covering the majority of my face. James was leaning against a wall as if he'd fallen asleep while watching over us. Peter was curled up at James's feet like a loyal dog. I shoved away the pillow I had been clinging to and lifted Sirius's hand off my face, setting it on his own. The window that shouldn't exist was a patch of blinding light on the wall and I figured it must be at least noon.
I sighed and stepped into a secondary room that appeared just as I thought about it. Inside was a shower fit for a king. I grinned. "Jenna, my dear." I called softly to the empty bathroom. I heard a small pop and turned to see my favorite house elf. "Jenna, could you fetch me my toothbrush and sunday clothes? You can take some candies out of the dish if you want."
Jenna beamed and threw her arms around my leg. She thanked me a couple dozen times before apparating away to fetch my things and raid my sweets. She came back with everything I might need folded neatly and packed into a backpack. She also had a satin bag (That I'd gotten for her and promised it wasn't clothes) filled with various candies from my secret stash.
"Thanks Jenna." I smiled patting her head. "Did you take the chocolate?"
"Yep." She grinned.
"Good girl." I laughed. "Rule 4: Always take the chocolate. It's the best in any stash."
"Miss Desari has the best chocolate though." Jenna nodded eagerly.
"I hope so, I pay good money to keep the two of us supplied with the best." I grinned taking out my things and lining them along the counter. "Could you make sure the boys have some clean things around as well, my little love? Then you'd better get back to the kitchens."
"Oh, Master Dumbledore doesn't mind Jenna spending some time with Miss Desari. He thinks Miss Desari is good for Jenna." Jenna smiled. "He also says that rule 4 should also include lemon drops, though Jenna doesn't care for lemon drops."
I chuckled. "Well, I'll have to send him some lemon drops then."
"I think he would like that." Jenna smiled and apparated from the room.
I rolled my eyes and climbed into the shower. An hour and a half of scrubbing, tooth brushing, and dressing in my comfiest clothes later I was back in the room with the boys. Peter was groggily sitting against the wall, looking like something out of the living dead. Sirius had rolled over, but was still out cold. James had disappeared somewhere.
"Went to get us some breakfast. Bacon is the only thing that gets through to Sirius on weekends." Peter mumbled, yawning. I nodded and sat down with my leather journal and colored pens. I closed my eyes for a few minutes drawing my dreams and hallucinations to the front of my mind before writing down everything I could remember. Taste of copper. Snow falling on my back. The burn of physical exurtion. A white paw with black claws. Rich, expensive chocolates. The howl of a lonely wolf. The smell of old books. The adrenaline in my blood as I prepared to fight for my life. Moony's eyes.
"I miss Remus. Does the full moon really have to happen so often?" I whispered more to myself than my company.
"I know how you feel, Dez." Sirius grumbled. "We worry too. We miss him. That's why we're here. We're going to join him. The question is; Will you be joining us as well, or are you just along for the ride? Follow up question. Does anyone else smell bacon?"
"I'm having trouble remembering things. I know I'm a large cat, but that's still an expansive list. Do you remember anything of use for yourself, Sirius?" I asked softly.
"I remember trees and the sound of nature, but I also remember what it feels like to fall asleep next to a warm fireplace. Black fur. The word "pack" was a reoccuring thought. I remember what it feels like to howl. It's a mournful, lonely emotion. Not one I would care to relive. It was cold, very cold, but not snowy. I was cold, scared, and very very lonely. It was like I'd... never be happy again." Sirius frowned. "Why on earth would I be thinking about dementors?"
"One of the herbs also causes visions of the future. Perhaps you become a criminal... or a prisoner of war. A few hundred years ago the dark lord of their time enlisted dementors into his army to keep prisoners in line. Azkaban was based on the same principals." I sighed. "I remember snow and Remus... well, Moony. I also remember feeling threatened by the approach of humans. You don't think I go feral do you?"
"It's entirely possible. Even successful animagi sometimes go feral when bad things happen." Sirius sighed. "And with a potential war on the horizon, bad things will certainly happen. We'll be there, though. All four of us will be right there if there's ever anything you can't carry on your own. We love you, Dez. You're a Marauder."
"Thanks, Sirius." I smirked and turned as James walked in with a platter of food, as well as thermoses of coffee and tea. Sirius and Peter soon descended upon him and I sat back to watch.
"You better get over here, Desari. You're one of us now, that means you have to fend for yourself or there won't be anything left." James chuckled, stuffing a whole piece of toast into his mouth. I smiled and reached between the boys taking toast, bacon, sausage and eggs to turn into a breakfast sandwich.
The boys and I lounged about for several hours. Occasionally, James and Peter would obsess over Sirius and I to check for signs of withdrawal. Sirius and I both had slight fevers, but there was no shaking, nausea, or paranoia. When the evening came around, Jenna brought us all steak, potatoes, and green beans for dinner. We happily ate and when we were done, we set up so we could let James and Peter meditate.
As soon as we lit the incense with our masks covering most of our faces, James and Peter fell into what appeared to be a light, but violently twitchy sleep. It was rather painful to watch, but Sirius and I sat together, talking through it all.
"So Dez, How did you really notice that it's always a full moon when he's gone?" Sirius asked, his voice soft and muffled through the mask.
"Well, I... I love the full moon. I always have. Since I was little the full moon has felt... special to me. It feels beautiful and important. I used to sneak out of my bedroom and go for walks in the woods surrounding our estate, until my father found out at least." I chuckled. "Now I sneak out and draw or write under the light of the moon. It's inspirationally beautiful."
"Really? It was always just another night to me." Sirius shrugged. "Must be an artist thing."
"I don't think so. I think it's just a Desari thing, honestly." I laughed.
"You never let anyone see your art, why is that?" Sirius asked lounging back in his bean bag so he could watch me and James at the same time.
I stared at Peter's twitching form for a few minutes. "Well, I guess you could say that I'm insecure. I don't really know why. I guess it's 'cause I prefer the muggle form of art and that's a big taboo with my father."
"Yeah, I could see your point. You know you don't have to hide anything from us right?" Sirius set his hand on my shoulder gently. "We're a family, Dez. A real family, not like that mockery you have at home. You kill someone, call us and we'll help transfigure the body into a rock so you can toss it in the ocean. If you're on the run, we have a closet you can hide in. Whatever you need, we will always be by your side."
"Lucius would do those things too." I grinned. "But he wouldn't eat all my food while he was at it."
"True." Sirius laughed. "But, Dez, Lucius isn't perfect. He would sell out anyone he had to to save his own skin. You, your father, even Narcissa. We wouldn't do that."
"If it came down to you or me, save yourself. I don't need any more blood on my hands." I sighed. "Lucius knows that too. I would die for him, and you boys, and Severus, and Lily. Hell, I'd even die for Abraxas if I could. He's my father, he's my blood."
"Some things are thicker than blood, Dez." Sirius whispered and the two of us fell into silence as we cut off the incense and gently tried to wake the other two.