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Old July 4th, 2011, 9:36 pm
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Fifth Year
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Location: Scotland or wherever Remus is!
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It's quiet.

In the Gryffindor Boys' Dormitories-or anywhere in Hogwarts, really-this would be the cue for something of the utmost importance to dramatically strike, a smouldering yet silent signal of the Great Things No Doubt Soon To Come.

If everything was perfect, the quiet would be like this: a hushed, welcome expectation. Sirius could be whispering excitedly, "Moony, y'know your furry little problem? We've come up with a...well, not a solution but just watch." Or perhaps all four of the Marauders could be watching the Map unfold with such grandeur, the parchment slowly being dotted with intricate ink patterns, and James would soon exclaim boldly, "Let it be known that we are geniuses, lads, geniuses."

But, as ever nowadays, the quiet is altogether something unbearably different.


Lily is the first to leave the living room, mumbling about Harry needing fed and hurrying upstairs without looking at any of them. James follows soon after, not bothering to think of an excuse, knowing privately that in these circumstances, it's often better to say nothing at all. There's nothing to say.

Sirius is sometimes grateful when they act like this-his reaction varies, however. It is indeed, a kind of comfort to see this display of normality; parents optimistically looking forward for their child's future, but he often just wants to snap his fingers in frustration in front of them, maybe bellowing, "Oi! There's a war going on here!"

Instead, he's left in the suffocating silence- just him and Remus. Peter, absent, due to visting a sick aunt in Dorset, poor bloke.

On the other hand, Remus actually being here is becoming an alarmingly odd occurance. Sirius notices (as ever) and the cold fact near makes his skin prickle with irritation. The feeling grows ever stronger when he interrogates Remus (always a little too forcefully) about these frequent disappearances and Remus merely makes a vague, mild, "Hhm," noise and refuses to answer any more questions, evading them by quickly and expertly changing the subject of conversation. The typical actions of distraction remind Sirius of his first couple of years at Hogwarts and Remus- the Master of Subtlety and Slight of Hand: "Yeah, my Mum's ill, again...no, I don't think it can be cured- it's been going on for a while...Scars? Oh, right, I had an accident when I was really little, fell out of my treehouse, bit stupid of me, really..."

An explosion of discovery came in second year and Sirius, unable to contain himself, blurted out, "For Merlin's sake, Remus, we know you're a werewolf," soon after dinner, earning himself a clout around the ear from James.

Sirius is suddenly jolted out of his memories by the hiss and crackle of the Wizarding Wireless- they have all taken to leaving it switched on constantly, even though it sets James's teeth on edge. He never says outright, but Sirius knows-with the knowledge only one can gain from an irreplaceable, brother like closeness- by the way James's jaw shifts slightly and a tic starts throbbing; imperceptible, but there all the same. And he's instantly glad that James has left the room, so he doesn't need to hear the long, weary list of the dead being read out blankly- Fabian and Gideon Prewett to name a few.

Sirius was there when it happened and his shoulders tense subconsciously as their names are announced. Fabian had tripped on a loose floorboard (tripped, of all things, tripped) and that was all Dolohov needed. He remembers Gideon's gut wrenching screams, he'd never known a man like him could make such a grief stricken sound, and how he'd clung onto Fabian- refusing to let go. Dolohov grinned for a second time, before aiming, and then-

There's another jarring hiss as a song starts up: a Tribute to the Fallen. Barbers Adagio For Strings- an old orchestral Muggle composition- and too blatantly obvious a choice for these people, who were recently so full of life and blissful promises...They deserve better, Sirius thinks and fights back a scoffing noise with difficulty.

He reaches forward to turn the radio off, regardless of previous resolutions, and spots something out of the corner of his eye. He turns just in time to see Remus, sitting rigidly on the couch, back poker straight, hands clenched upon his knees as the song plays on, resolutely trying not to cry. Sirius instantly decides that the radio can wait, for now.


It is the next morning when Dumbledore informs them gravely that he has reasons to believe there is a traitor in their midst. Remus's usual chair is empty, and his absence speaks louder than anything, and Sirius feels a sickening twist of paranoia deep inside his stomach.

He then feels Peter lean forward discreetly, back from his whirlwind visit, his face pale (no doubt with shock), and he mutters hesitantly, "Listen, I've heard some things about Moony..."

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