Harry Potter and the ? (Prisoner of Azkaban)

Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs

Hooray for early updates!

Lily screamed when he reappeared with the two of them knocked out. Remus hurried forward at once, and grabbed hold of Sirius by himself, while Lily came on his other side and helped support his dad back into the living room.

“What happened” Lily demanded as she laid James out on the couch, much like Harry had been when he’d first arrived there. Remus had taken Sirius over and put him down on the other sofa.

“I don’t know,” Harry said miserably “I found them just like this, and I brought them back here.”

“You don’t think they’ve lost their memories now do you” Lily demanded, watching Remus prod at both boy’s gently, muttering a few spells over them “or worse” Lily continued, her voice continuing to heighten in fear “they were attacked!”

Before anyone could respond, Sirius groaned, rolling into the cushions of the couch and muttering something about the light being on.

“Sirius? Padfoot, can you hear me?” Remus prompted, leaning right into his friend’s face.

“Course I can hear you” he groaned, the words muffled by the pillow “you’re yelling in my face you twat.”

Remus couldn’t suppress the grin that came over him then as he prodded further “Alright then, sit up will you. Come on, please, just look at me.”

Sirius groaned before he really did roll over and give his friend a disdainful look and muttering “What?”

Then his eyes ghosted around the room, landed right on Harry, and recognition came back, along with the righteous fury that had possessed him to break his promise and leave. He sat up so suddenly, his head crashed against Remus’ but that didn’t stop him from lunging to his feet and looking to make his way to the door all over again.

“Wait” Harry said desperately, more prepared this time and making it there first “Sirius, please, just listen. I, I can’t imagine what you’re feeling right now, but just listen! I found you passed out, after you disapparated away from here! Something happened to you when you left, and what if it happens again?”

Sirius really did hesitate then, his eyes ghosting back to James as he asked “Him?”

“Same” Harry nodded eagerly, his tone still soothing as he kept his Godfather’s attention “he was just passed out. I don’t know why it didn’t happen to me, but I’m telling you, it has something to do with you lot leaving here. I just knew something bad was going to happen” he finished, trailing off into mutters.

Then James began groaning from the couch, doing much like Sirius and trying to roll himself into the cushions and looking like he just wanted to take a nap.

Sirius sighed, giving one last longing look at the door, but acquitted that there was nothing for it. If he truly was just going to pass out, then he would just have to take his chance and murder that blighter the next time that traitor came over here. That gave him pause for the cruelest smile Harry had ever seen, making him want to take an automatic step back.

After much the same conversation with James when he came to, they sat around for a moment and eyed the book like it was living poison. They all desperately wanted to keep going, but this turn of events was still plaguing them, so Lily finally found her normal voice again and asked “Don’t suppose you know why we can’t leave the premises then? Is it permanent?”

“No” Harry began with conviction, then dissolved into his usual stance of pressing his hand to his temple and looking agitated at being unable to explain more “I don’t know why, I just knew something bad was going to happen if you leave. I think-” he began, casting his mind around for an answer that wasn’t there “something about time magic or-” he choked off, then crossed his arms and just grumbled for a few moment’s about his inept mind.

The four of them exchanged world weary looks, not much appreciating what any of that implied, but what could they do? They most certainly weren’t going to stop now.

James still didn’t even believe this was happening! He’d gone after Sirius to try and stop him from doing something crazy, because of course that’s what it was. He wouldn’t believe Peter capable of this anymore then Remus or Sirius, not one of his friends. He didn’t like that he could not come up with a way out of this though. He had of course realized the exact same things as everyone else, the fact that Scabbers had a missing finger and that had been the largest bit of Peter ever found. How Remus had said they’d switched Secret Keeper’s from Sirius and hadn’t told Remus, well who else would they switch to but Peter? There was a member of the Order who was passing along secrets, someone who Dumbledore suspected was close to the Potters... and still he couldn’t fathom it coming from Peter any more than the others in this room. If Sirius had been forced to do those terrible things and been framed for it, surely Peter had the same thing happen to him!

Sirius was beside himself, well past denial as the other things clicked together for him. That rat had been acting out of it since Sirius had escaped. He hadn’t been going after Ron at all, but the rat he kept on him! Those nights he’d snuck in with the knife, it’s no wonder he acted like a loon as his future self had clearly been trying to act on what was pulsing through him now. The only thing he still couldn’t work out was why he’d let himself sit in Azkaban for so long. If he could have turned into a dog and broken out at any time, why hadn’t he been hunting down the rat this whole time? He didn’t really care about the answers anymore though, he’d gotten what he wanted. The only thing stopping him from acting on it was the cruel world he lived in, which knocked him unconscious and only allowed him to wake up with a splitting headache when he was returned here!

Lily sank down into the couch, shaking white and feeling so cold and empty inside she was sure a dementor was lurking in a corner. Strangely though she couldn’t find the tears to go along, couldn’t really feel anything but shock at how betrayed she felt. Peter had been here less than two days ago, had held her son and hugged her goodbye. She’d even taken to calling him Wormy recently for the jokes from his friends of how much he’d been moving around and could never stay in one spot. She’d thought he was just stressed like everyone else in the Order, but never would she have spotted this.

Remus, didn’t really know how to put into words everything he felt. Insulted that he hadn’t seen this sooner, the clues had literally been staring them in the face since Harry met Ron. He wanted to go and curse that backstabber for literally being every source of trouble they’d had since they left school, and he was now going back and trying to count every instance of what all had gone wrong because of him! The only reason he hadn’t gone after James and Sirius in time was because he’d been stuffed with his own self-hatred that he’d somehow managed to put all of this on Sirius, still always thinking of himself rather than going to help them like he should. Sure it was a good thing he hadn’t now as Harry might not have been able to get all three of them back, but he still could not seem to do anything right by any of his family anymore.

Harry just sat there, convinced this had to be his fault somehow. He would trade away all of his memories all over again, give up anything if he could just understand how this all went so wrong. What had made such a good friend of his father’s turn around and have this happen? Was it because of Harry, had this family been much better off if he’d never been born? He got the feeling he never even got the full understanding of this either, was never given the reason for Pettigrew’s betrayal. He was the only one who seemed to want to keep going at this point, hoping there was still some way to change this, he’d bargain away his own life it that was what it took to make sure this never happened. He took another good look around the room and saw how wretched everyone looked, the book lay where it had fallen from his mother’s hands half under the sofa and he wondered if it shouldn’t just stay there.

No one looked even remotely prepared to continue, but he knew that there was more to come this night. Unbelievably, though the large amount of pain had left, there was still something inside of him urging him that there was another very important thing to happen this night. How could it get worse though, as he was sure that’s what it had to be. Another bad thing to come in a long list of his life. The compulsion eventually won out though, and he ducked down to retrieve the book that was currently poisoning his family’s life. He knew though, that it wasn’t really ever going to get better. They could sit here for the next year and still be in shock over what they’d just learned, so Harry decided the best thing he could do for them was push forward and try to get out the full story, try to end this dreadful year and come up with a real plan on how to stop this mess from ever happening.

Remus realized what he was doing first, and though he couldn’t even pretend at a brave face anymore, his voice came out in a ghost of his old joking tone “I think that’s mine, as Lily did cut me off.”

“Chapter was done” Lily mumbled back, her dark green eyes still vacant as graves but going to rest on her son with her hand out “so it makes it my turn anyways.”

Harry hesitated, he didn’t want to put this burden on anyone else, they all looked like limp soulless versions of themselves, but when he didn’t make to hand it over some life sparked back to Lily and she gave her son a challenging look, now holding her hand palm out and saying with real force “you heard me young man, we’ve had a good system going this whole time, no need for skipping now.”

He actually managed to muster up a smile for her attempt. He knew he didn’t feel a portion of the feelings everyone else in the room did, it just wasn’t as personal to him. He was more caught up in what he’d lost, whereas they were coming to terms with someone they’d known their whole life wasn’t who they thought; and still through all of that emotional wreckage as Lily went to find her place, the boys bucked themselves right back up. Each of them realizing that whatever they wanted to do or how they wanted to react in that moment, it literally had to wait until they could find some way to act on it. For now though, the story continued.

Harry and Ron hardly had to exchange a look before both agreed the older men were both being ridiculous. Harry pointed out that Pettigrew was dead.

James felt bile rising thick and fast in his throat, desperately wanting to agree with them, but unable to get that image out of his head of his son’s face, the same one he always made when the proper memory had returned to him. Harry may not have the full memory back now as his thirteen year old mind was still agreeing with his friend, but something in Harry now was clearly telling him he’d been wrong and they were right.

Black agreed he’d meant to kill him, and he was going to now. He shot to his feet and made a lung at Ron, landing on his bad leg.

Sirius didn’t look like he felt bad about that here anymore then he had then, this was a kind reaction to what his hands were twitching to do. He was confident if he did still have a wand on him then, this problem would have been fixed already.

Ron screamed in pain but still managed to keep Scabbers safe in his arms as Lupin came forward and caught hold of Sirius, dragging him off and telling him he had to explain. Black snapped back they could explain later,

Funnily enough Remus didn’t look that way now, his clenched teeth and the murderous looks making it all to clear he’d rather hear about a body first and they could explain whatever they wanted later. Harry supposed that was because Professor Lupin had twelve years to stew and come to terms with what happend, had probably been waiting for an opportunity to confront who he’d thought to be the traitor all these years, and even if he’d come across the wrong suspected person this night, he still wanted his answers. Now Remus was getting the brunt of the emotion shoved on him now, and clearly wouldn’t be as cool headed.

his mad eyes still watching the rat squirm for his life, leaving deep scratch marks against Ron’s neck who was still holding fast.

‘Ron’s probably going to break his spine he’s holding onto him so hard’ James thought wildly, still forcing the image of an innocent animal, still adamantly refusing anything else until he had no other choice.

Lupin was still fighting him though, saying that Harry had a right to the truth.

That mellowed both of them out. They still didn’t look happy about it, but the one thing they’d both agree on is that Harry had more a right to know the truth then anyone, and Sirius only hoped he wasn’t so far gone he’d still at least recognize that.

Black stopped then, though his eyes remained on Ron who was holding his pet despite his bleeding hands,

‘Ron seems to be getting the most abuse from this’ Lily couldn’t help but think in pity for him, he was nearly as involved in this as Harry.

but agreed Lupin could say whatever he liked so long as he hurried, he wanted to commit the murder he’d been put away for.

That gave them all a horrible pause and flinch. They’d spent over twenty four hours now, looking to skin alive the fool who’d done this to Sirius, each of them convinced he’d been set up or in some way forced to do this, and now they had their man, and...and it wasn’t the satisfaction they’d been picturing.

Ron told them they were all being crazy and tried to get to his feet, but Lupin pointed his wand at Scabbers.

Lily was starting to feel really concerned that Remus was starting to act as psychotic as Sirius, pointing a wand at a child even if it wasn’t direct. Not that she could blame them one little bit, she reflected she wouldn’t be much better in that heat of the moment.

Lupin told him sternly Ron was going to hear them out so long as he kept his hold on Peter.

‘There’s a sentence I never thought I’d hear’ Sirius thought with something akin to insanity coloring the edges of his mind. He couldn’t ever remember being so angry in his life, that the word anger just wasn’t appropriate enough. Not when he’d run away from his parents’ house, not even when the other Marauders had turned on him after his horrid stunt involving Snape. The only comparable feeling was whenever he heard mention of those Dursleys and what had been implied they’d done to Harry, but this was still somehow worse, because that was only implications. Harry refused to tell what things were really going on there, so he was murder suspicious, instead of the red haze of blood he truly wished for now.

Ron screamed back it wasn’t Peter, it was Scabbers!

“Poor kids in denial” Sirius hissed with the blackest of disgust, not realizing his best friend would do anything to agree with Ron right then.

He lost the battle with his leg though, and sank back down onto the bed in pain. Harry caught him and made sure he was okay, before turning his attention back to Lupin and ignoring Black for now.

Remus bit his lip so hard he nearly drew blood to stop himself from making the joke he finally had proof Harry liked him more. That was his fall back after all, that was all of their default to make a joke when they’d much rather be screaming their head off, but Remus constrained himself for the sake of the story.

Harry pointed out the witnesses who’d seen Black kill Pettigrew, and Black snapped back that’s what they’d thought. Lupin agreed everyone had thought that, even he’d believed it,

Remus was clearly fixing to do exactly what he’d told off Sirius for doing, make a run from the room and bury himself in a hole if he didn’t feel so limp from delayed shock and disgust at himself for believing it.

The worst part was that James clearly wasn’t giving him any sympathy for that, he was still refusing to believe it of the friend who was being shoved into the spot, he couldn’t fathom how Remus had worked out this was ever okay. After everything they’d been through together, he found this nearly as insulting as what it was being implied Peter had done.

Lily and Harry wanted to stick up for him, protest and say that everyone had believed this and logically Remus shouldn’t be judged for it, but Sirius got there first. He leaned in and whispered something in James’ ear, and James jerked back looking outraged. He opened his mouth, clearly fixing to fight back, when Sirius hissed “it’s exactly the same.” Sirius had to inhale slowly to keep going in a steady voice, still throwing concerned looks at Remus to make sure he was listening “I did something stupid, I’ve regretted it the rest of my life, and you didn’t forgive me for that until I got hurt, badly, and if we’re being honest it was a stupid reason too forgive me because if you two hadn’t accepted my apologies before you shouldn’t have then. You might not have ever if that hadn’t happened.”

James didn’t look happy, but he didn’t argue the point anymore either. Instead he slumped into himself, just feeling tired. He was suddenly starting to feel as guilt ridden as Remus as he realized that all three of his friends, his brothers, had been pushed away from him, because of him. He’d been so horrid to Sirius after that accident with Remus, Sirius had avoided them for months, had nearly quit the Quidditch team and what if he was right? What if they never had made up for that fight and that game had saved them? Now he was doing the same thing to Remus, and it occurred to him that what if what Peter had done was his fault as well? Had he said something, done something to make Peter feel like he wasn’t worth being in the Order, that made him turn on his family? Had he finally found what had caused his death, his wife’s, and it was his own fault? He’d accept that blame, but it still wasn’t enough for him to believe it really had been Peter to give them up to Voldemort. Surely whatever James had done to him wasn’t that bad?

Remus’ jaw was still chattering so hard it was a wonder he could hear anything between that and the clear guilt eating him alive. Lily and Harry were at a complete loss as to what to do to help him either, because the only person who could have convinced Remus he shouldn’t walk out of here in shame was Sirius, and he was still watching James.

Sirius seemed to realize that he’d gotten through to James, who didn’t look mad at Remus anymore, but he looked about ready to burst into tears anyways. Sirius just thought that he’d finally caught up with the rest of them and had moved past denial, so no one was going to pressure him into saying more and Lily convinced herself it would help if she just got it over with.

until he saw the map tonight, and Peter on it. Harry looked at him then back at Ron. Both agreed this was impossible, that Black was clearly as mad as everyone had always said, but why was Lupin in on it?

“Cause he’s always played along with my games no matter how stupid he found them” Sirius said bracingly, reflecting on the irony for the moment that he was actually being the calmest of the group right now. He’d finally gotten his answer, and while he was in no little bit okay with it, he’d learned long ago how to bottle up anger in particular and let it out when needed. Right now as that was his dominant emotion, he found it much easier to play the role his friends had been trying for him this whole time, and be the support.

Remus’ eyes flashed wildly to him, hope warring with confusion as he realized from that little sentence alone Sirius clearly didn’t hate him like he should for his own betrayal in this tale. He wanted to say something, but couldn’t decide which would be worse, for Sirius to just be making a joke he didn’t mean, that he really hated and rightly now resented Remus, or that he really forgave him which Remus most certainly didn’t deserve.

Hermione spoke first, trying to point out that this just couldn’t be true, while Lupin responded back perfectly calmly that why not?

It occurred to Lily at the same time it had Sirius, that Remus then was being perfectly normal about this situation then while here he was a mess. She still didn’t know how to help other than to keep going on.

Hermione argued back that Pettigrew couldn’t be an Animagus, she’d looked up all the registered one’s for her class,

“Of course she did” Harry muttered to himself with remembered amusement at just how much Hermione put into her homework, even this year.

and Pettigrew hadn’t been on the list. Lupin agreed that was true, because he hadn’t registered. Black was starting to get edgy as he snapped at Lupin to hurry up, he’d waited twelve years for this moment he didn’t want to keep waiting.

“I never was the patient one” Sirius nodded solemnly, little bits of ice nearly cracking from his voice he sounded so cold at what he couldn’t be doing right now. It really was a bleeding miracle he was letting Remus explain at all rather than acting on it, he sincerely doubted he’d have that same restraint now.

Lupin agreed he was getting to it, when the door opened behind them without anyone touching it.

“Err” Lily began, looking at the boys for confirmation that this was perfectly normal. None of them reacted to it much, still to stemmed to react to much of anything normally, but Harry’s face told her quite clearly he in no way thought that should be ignored, but he said nothing which meant it would be a bad idea to ask.

Lupin went back to shut the door with a frown while Ron said this place really was being haunted. Lupin disagreed, and said that the Shrieking Shack wasn’t haunted at all, those noises had been made by him. That’s actually where this really started, with his being a werewolf and how foolish he’d been.

That snapped James out of his own funk, for the time being at least as he gave Remus a scathing look. That made it sound like it had been Remus’ fault, when he’d been just a kid! The only person’s fault it had been was that original werewolf!

Lupin began by saying he’d been young when he’d first been bitten, and back then there wasn’t a cure.

“Does that mean there’s a cure then” Remus blurted out, his mind possibly catching on the one thing that could have jolted him back into the current story. That potion they’d been wondering about, was it really possible. He hadn’t even dared believe it before now, and he felt all the more selfish and guilty when he realized that what had caught his attention was again something all about him, but it had worked. He was now far more interested in listening to Lily then his continued self-hate.

Now there was a potion that Snape had been making for him once a month, that if dranken every day the week before the full moon it allowed him to still hold his mind while he curled up in his office as a wolf until the time was done.

Lily couldn’t actually read that without her eyes going so wide they nearly fell out of her head in shock. She glanced up with her mouth still half open and for the first time in hours she burst out in pure laughter at the look of shock on all of the boy’s faces as well. She actually couldn’t help it. While this in no way took away the pain and suffering they all still felt at the discovery of the betrayal, it was the first glimmer of hope and reminder that something good had actually happened, could still happen. Lily kept reading now in nearly giddy pleasure.

It was called Wolfsbane Potion, but before that he had turned into a monster once a month.

“I hope I smacked you for that then, you know damn well that isn’t true” Sirius grumbled without any real heat, still looking punch drunk from the swirl of emotions ranging from every kind of happy his friend seemed to have found something as close to resembling a cure as it could get, and the left over hatred he doubted would go away any time soon as he constantly remembered what all of this related to.

Remus didn’t reply, he used the term loosely to explain how he was during those times, and while yes he had believed it for quite some time before his friends half managed to convince him otherwise, he had a good feeling he’d gone back to thinking it without any of them around anymore.

He never could have been allowed to go to school around other children in fear he would attack one of them, but then Dumbledore became headmaster and gave him the chance. Dumbledore set up this house and the Whomping Willow to stop anyone from coming down here while he was dangerous. Harry didn’t see the point of this story,

Even though Harry did know the end results now, he was still listening with interest. Mostly to get rid of that annoying plague that he should have done something about that door opening, that he’d forgotten about something...or someone?

but was still listening curiously. Lupin explained how painful his transformation was, that without anything to attack he had been attacking himself and the noise it caused made the local villagers fear the place. During school though he’d made friends, Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew,

That name caused a reemergence of those same feelings as before. Sirius went back to muttering death threats and glaring at the front door like it was a pit of fire he’d be all too willing to jump over if he could have his end results. Remus had to close his eyes and pinch the bridge of his nose hard to stop himself from mimicking Sirius’ earlier words, that or get on his knees and beg Sirius to forgive him for making the worst mistake in his life in ever clearly thinking Sirius had been the one doing this. James still looked likely to vomit and shook his head furiously unable to picture it, to even properly form where that name lead until he had it shoved in his face and even then there had to be a good reason for it.

and Harry’s own father James Potter.

James remembered a much more pleasant time, like an hour ago, where he would have made a joking pout about having been named last. About how they all would have made jabs at each other for whatever order that had come out because they were such good friends it had always equaled out...and now he damn near sobbed that he’d come out last because his name had probably been the worst one to say for his friend, because he was the only one who was actually dead.

They had of course noticed Remus disappeared once a month, and when they figured out why they did something no one would have guessed. They became Animagi. Harry blurted out his dad really had?

That never got easier to hear, and James gave a wince all over again for the blunt reminder that his son knew virtually nothing about him, and he was learning it now of all times! He was the first to have the reflection that this was the vaguest form of answers as to why Remus had been avoiding Harry all year. Since Remus had believed Peter really had died by Sirius’ own hand, then talking about this would be the worst form of punishment to his friend.

Lupin agreed that all three of them had worked it out, but it had been dangerous. It was why the Ministry kept tabs on who became Animagi, the transformation was so complicated, and Peter had needed all the help he could get.

James made a sound in his throat like he wanted to protest that. Yes Transfiguration had been one of Peter’s worst subjects, but Remus made him sound daft. It sounded all the harsher coming from Lily’s icy tones like she was reading about Snape abusing Neville all over again, but James was truly finding it hard to come up with any way to protest this. He felt like he was alone on an island, trying to hold out hope this still wasn’t true, but the longer this went on the smaller that land was getting.

They had done it though, in their fifth year, and could each become an animal whenever they wanted. Lupin explained this had helped him because now that James and Sirius could turn into such large animals, they could keep him company while he was a wolf. Werewolves bites didn’t affect animals, only people. Black snapped at Lupin to hurry up again, still watching Scabbers with hunger.

“To be perfectly honest I think you about covered it” Sirius hissed, his face looking remarkably close to how it had then, Harry reflected, even if it was directed at a door now instead of a living thing.

Lupin agreed he was getting to it, while still explaining that his friends became rather drunk with their own power, now that they were such big animals they could keep him in check and roam the grounds and local village. They’d come up with the nicknames for the map after themselves, himself being Moony, Sirius being Padfoot, Peter being Wormtail, and James being Prongs. Harry tried to interrupt and ask what animal his dad had turned into,

“You couldn’t have worked that out?” James asked breathily, he was starting to feel like the oxygen in the room was running out but was still taking any tiny chance to keep his attention on his son. “How many animals do you know that have prongs?”

“I wanted a specific answer” Harry responded back with a light smirk, still trying to stay as calm as possible so no one would guess he was still turning over every detail looking for a way to change this and make it right. He knew that if any of them discovered what he was thinking, he had a very good feeling they’d try to convince him it wasn’t his fault, but he knew better. He’d heard the longing in Remus’ voice as he’d told this story back then, how close the friends all used to be and the only thing he could work out in his head was that it must have gone wrong when he was born.

but Hermione cut across him by telling Lupin off for how dangerous that could have been, he could have attacked someone. Lupin agreed that the idea still gave him nightmares of all the times that had nearly happend.

Lily couldn’t help a little bout of suspicious anger in her voice, they’d never told her of those parts of the stories, but since clearly nothing had happened or Remus probably wouldn’t have forgiven himself and spoken of it so lightly, she decided now wasn’t the time.

Lupin agreed they had been stupid, and just carried away with how smart they were. He’d spent all this year arguing with himself on whether to tell Dumbledore that he was the reason Sirius was an illegal Animagus,

“It was our decision” Sirius scoffed “you make it sound like you’d tied us down and forced us into it.”

Remus didn’t respond, and Sirius now understood how his friends had felt about him through this horrible story. He didn’t like how quiet they were being, it really scared him, but he’d just have to keep trying.

but he’d convinced himself that Sirius must be using something else to get into the castle.

“Well I praise Merlin for whatever stopped you” James said with forced happiness, putting everything he had that it must have been lingering trust that Sirius must have been up to something good, that Remus still wouldn’t betray him because something was telling him he shouldn’t.

He said it was because he was being a coward,

James flinched like he’d been slapped, but didn’t respond. He still believed his own line of thinking, as Remus was many things but never a coward. Whatever he was admitting to now was in the heat of a horrid retelling of his life, he would and should feel awful after having spent the past twelve years thinking about Sirius and so Remus would put himself in a bad light.

that if he had it would mean telling Dumbledore he didn’t deserve Dumbledore’s trust, which meant everything to him.

That caught Sirius’ attention more than the others for a different reason. They all knew how much Remus cared about Dumbledore’s opinion of him for this very reason, and Sirius couldn’t help but flash back to the stinging realization that Dumbledore had believed him corrupt. Had Dumbledore somehow convinced Remus of this as well? He still found it kind of hard to believe Remus would believe this of him even if Sirius didn’t blame him for it, but it must have taken something to make Remus see there was no other way. Why hadn’t they told Remus they’d switched? There’s no way James would have agreed to that, even now he trusted all three of his friends unconditionally. Did Dumbledore still have a bigger hand in this? He didn’t say anything though, because he still had no proof. It was just another one of those things like Harry’s first year where Dumbledore seemed to be doing something more with Harry’s life, their life, then they’d ever really thought.

Snape had spent the school year trying to convince Dumbledore he wasn’t to be trusted, and he now realized Snape had almost been right. Black’s attention was finally torn away from Scabbers to bark the name Snape in confusion.

“That would do it” Sirius muttered aloud, and the others took his garbled tone to mean that they thought he was still thinking on Pettigrew, not now thinking on someone else so no one asked.

Lupin explained that he was a teacher here, and explained for the students that Black had played a cruel trick on Snape that had involved Lupin. Black didn’t look ashamed one bit as he said Snape had deserved it.

“Glad to see how much you regretted it” Lily muttered to herself. She knew Sirius was much more focused on other things and bringing up someone he despised wouldn’t put him in any better of a mood, but he’d clearly not gotten any better about his careless comments.

Sirius hardly paid his own comment any mind now, still too lost in thought to show Lily he meant it anymore now then he had then.

Lupin explained that Snape had spent his school years in equal to theirs, and had spent much of his free time trying to figure out where the four friends went once a month. Black had gotten fed up one day and told Snape how to get into the Willow and he’d see what was going on, and Snape had fallen right for it. Harry confirmed that’s why Snape hated Lupin, he’d thought Lupin knew about the joke. A new voice answered that was right.

“The bloody hell-” all three boys began to shout in surprise, meaning Lily had to nearly shout the final sentence.

Snape was in the room, pulling off the Invisibility Cloak, his wand pointed at Lupin.

Harry groaned and shook his head furiously, he knew he should have remembered that! Sirius though looked outraged as he spat “pointed at Remus! Is he out of his bleeding mind! He’s been there the whole f’ing time, and I’m in the room, and all he’s heard was shit he already knew about Remus, but he’s got his wand pointed at him! He should be looking to me, not him!”

Remus dearly wanted to laugh that his friend was pissed off he wasn’t the target, it finally gave him some solid proof that Sirius didn’t hate him which he still didn’t even understand, but he was far too invested with worry. Snape was there, and they hadn’t really explained anything! Just stuff that they already knew, Snape couldn’t cut in there! Pettigrew could get away with his farce and Sirius, bloody hell Sirius could go back to Azkaban and get Kissed!

Lily was thinking exactly the same thing as she edged to her feet and shuffled over to hand the book to James. If Snape’s attitude was anything to go by, then his presence was only going to make things worse in an already tense situation.

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