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Dirty Blood
James P. & Lily Evans P. & Marauders - Words: 253,389 - Rated: M - English - Humor & Romance - Chapters: 45 - Reviews: 174 - Updated: 30-07-2018 - Published: 07-05-2017 - by somethingquitepeculiar (FFN)

A/N: Hey guys! I wrote Remus the Werewolf this time around, which was... weird. I hope you guys like how I decided to portray them all in their animagus forms, I decided to just have fun with it. Let me know in a review!

Part of this chapter is... kind of NSFW? No graphic details, just casual mentioning of some things. This fic is M, nothing you guys can't handle if you realized that when you clicked on it.

LG14, thank you! I like Dumbledore and McGonagall when they just get to be weird coworkers, ha. ForeverACharmedOne, McGonagall's class would stress me the hell out, but I'd like to think most good teachers would be chill with drawing just because I like drawing while note-taking, oops. Totally possible to draw and listen at once. But yeah, I think I told you earlier, "Get a life, Snape," and "Dumbledore is not helpful" could both be taglines to the whole series.

"We'll give it one more minute. Just to be safe."

"Literally none of this is safe."

Chapter Five: Face The Strange

"Every smell in this room has been multiplied by ten," Remus groaned, burying his head beneath his pillow in an attempt to block out the smells in question.

"Aw, you're like a pregnant lady," Sirius cooed.

The comparison wasn't too far off. Remus' body ached. Smells were stronger. He got nauseous easily. His mood could change in an instant.

Oh, how he hated the moon.

"For fuck's sake, you guys, you don't even have to actually do your laundry, you just have to put it in the bin and let the house elves do it, why is that so hard?" Remus said, his voice still muffled by the mattress.

"Well, our strategy tends to be to wait until we've got one clean pair of underpants a piece," James admitted.

Remus groaned again, burying himself deeper into his bed.

"Why don't you go to the hospital wing if it's bothering you so much? I'm sure Promfrey would give you something, it's not like she doesn't know you're turning tonight," James suggested.

"I don't want to go to the hospital wing any sooner than I have to," Remus said. "I'm there every month, it gets old fast."

"Yeah, but you spent all day yesterday puking, moaning in pain, and then suddenly getting angry and penning letters to MacPherson that had swears I've never even encountered before," Peter said.

"Yeah it's a good thing we caught you before you sent them," Sirius said.

"MacPherson is a—" Remus started.

"We know what you think of him, you made that very clear in the letters," James said. "He already doesn't like you, let's not insult his mother in those very creative ways you insulted her."

"I am definitely tucking those insults away for later, though," Sirius nodded.

Remus groaned yet again.

"You know what you need," Sirius said, plopping down on Remus' bed so that the other boy bounced on the mattress slightly. Remus peeked out from beneath the pillow as Sirius dug in his pockets, finally pulling out a wrinkled cardboard container.

"You're an awful influence," Remus said.

"You know it's the only thing that blocks out the other smells," Sirius said in a sing-song voice. "Plus, you're the only one that ever smokes with me, Moon."

"Yeah well, I enjoy breathing," James said with a shrug. "And the one time Worm smoked with you, he got sick."

"Who would have thought that breathing in chemicals would do that?" Peter cringed.

"Yeah, yeah, smoking is bad," Sirius said, waving away James and Peter's comments as though they were simply an annoying fly. He held the pack of cigarettes before Remus' face again in a taunting fashion.

"Okay, let's go," Remus said, rolling off of his bed. He stood upright and immediately lost his balance, flailing his arms a bit to keep from falling over. He shook his head slightly before slipping on his shoes and heading to the door of their dormitory.

"Smoke buddy!" Sirius said triumphantly, following Remus.

"Hey!" James said before they could leave, pulling out one of the water bottles he used during Quidditch practice and tossing it Remus' way. Remus did not catch it. "Drink water at least if you're gonna go do that."

"Fine, fine," Remus said, fetching the bottle from where it landed and clearly annoyed.

"You know you get dehydrated easy at this part of the cycle," James said. "And you just nearly fell over."

"He'll drink the water, Mum," Sirius said, pushing open the door and heading out with Remus.

James sighed as the door closed behind them and after a moment, Peter said, "Up for some chess?"

"Yeah, okay," James replied.

After a quick discussion on the way down to the common room, Sirius and Remus decided that the Astronomy tower would be their best bet as far as secluded places to light up went. It wasn't a far walk, and during daylight on a Saturday there wouldn't be any classes in session. If it were any other time of the month they'd simply sit on the windowsill in the dorm with the window open and smoke there.

But Remus needed to get a little further away from the dorms and the smells right about now.

"You're a bloody awful prefect, you know that?" Sirius said as Remus pulled out his wand and unlocked the door to the Astronomy classroom, letting himself and Sirius inside. Sirius tsked, shaking his head. "Breaking in to the astronomy tower to smoke cigarettes."

"Take it up with Dumbledore, he knew I was friends with you idiots," Remus said, leading the way up the steep steps that would take them to the outside, topmost part of the tower.

"But did he know you would succumb to peer pressure so easily?" Sirius teased.

"Well I mean you are exceptionally charming, remember?" Remus mocked, rolling his eyes. Wind ruffled his hair as he finally reached the top of the tower and he breathed deep. While the rest of the castle smelled better than the dormitory, it often smelled somehow both damp and dusty and was annoying in it's own way this close to the full moon.

The grounds were a vast improvement. He already felt better.

"Ah, yes, yes, that's true," Sirius nodded, handing Remus a cigarette before pulling out his wand to light his own.

Remus had no idea why the smell of cigarette smoke was preferable to all other smells that assaulted him when he was in this state. Perhaps it reminded him of his father's pipe and the nostalgia calmed his nerves. Perhaps it was the fact that the smell would linger just a bit and seem to tone down everything else.

Whatever it was exactly, Remus chose not to question it, instead lighting his cigarette and inhaling.

"Really it's a wonder you manage to have any free will at all, being around this much charm constantly," Sirius said, leaning against one of the ramparts.

Remus snorted. "Somehow I manage. It seemed like you had Marlene at least playing along a little while back."

"Bless her heart, McKinnon always plays along," Sirius smiled.

"What's the deal with you two anyway?" Remus asked, taking a drag.

"What do you mean?"

"Do you like Marlene?"

"Everyone likes Marlene," Sirius shrugged.

"Do you fancy Marlene?" Remus elaborated, taking a seat on the stone floor, cooled from the shadow of one of the ramparts.

"Everyone fancies Marlene," Sirius said, blowing smoke. "I don't flirt with her all the time for fun."

"You flirt with everyone for fun. James said you hit on Flitwick yesterday," Remus pointed out. "And you got detention for calling MacPherson a hot tramp."

"Okay, so I flirt for fun. She's just… a little more fun to flirt with than most," Sirius shrugged.

"Sirius has a cru-ush," Remus mocked. Sirius blew smoke in his direction, which was exceptionally ineffective as the wind shifted and the smoke drifted right back into his own face.

"Wasn't aware we came up here to discuss my love life, Professor Lupin," Sirius said.

"I'm ready to discuss anything that's not how much of a tosser MacPherson is or the fact that in a couple of hours I have to painfully transform into a dark creature," Remus said, flicking ash to the side. Anything beside those two subjects ought to keep him fairly calm. The cigarette was already helping significantly.

Sirius sat down on the floor as well, stretching his legs out before him. "Not much to talk about. We flirt. We've kissed like twice and it was mostly a joke. Not really sure how to transition from 'hey I want to snog you as a punch line' to 'hey I just kind of want to snog you.'"

"I guess just saying, 'hey, I just kind of want to snog you' is probably not gonna work," Remus said, taking a drink from the water bottle that James insisted he bring. He made a mental note to thank James later, as he'd certainly acted more irritated than anything about his friend fussing over him at the time.

"She would probably think I'm joking. It's not like I don't enjoy the joking, but now I seem to have boxed myself into a corner where that's all that's going on and I don't know how to not joke with her," Sirius said.

"So what you're saying," Remus said, his eyes lighting up, "Is that you don't know how to be serious around her?"

"Shit, how did I miss that perfect joke set up?" Sirius said, eyes wide and obviously disappointed in himself. Remus laughed. "But yeah. Basically."

"Write her a note," Remus shrugged. "That's probably what I would do if I dated."

"You can date, Moony, nothing's stopping you," Sirius said.

"Once a month I become a literal monster and leading up to it I get incredibly ill and irritable, I can't date a person," Remus said, shaking his head.

"Don't let the damn moon win, you deserve to go through the same bullshit the rest of us do trying to figure out how the hell dating works," Sirius said with a nod, exhaling smoke as he went.

"So, what, I ask a girl out, things go okay, we start dating and then? Then I lie to her about what I am? Then I expect her to trust me when I've given her no reason to? Or I tell her and hope she's not so hopelessly terrified of me that she wants to stick around and deal with all the baggage?" Remus asked, shaking his head. "There's no future with me. Why bother?"

"Oh come on, you can date without making a lifelong commitment, no one's looking for a spouse—well, okay, I think Prongs has his wedding with Evans planned out already—but no one sane is looking for a spouse in school. It doesn't need to be that intense," Sirius said. "Just don't do what I did and base your entire relationship on joking so that when you want it to be real you have no idea how to do that."

"It's all a moot point anyway, I'm not really interested in anyone," Remus shrugged.

"No one?" Sirius cocked a brow. "No one's caught your eye?"

"Well, I certainly think Marlene is pretty but like you said, everyone does," Remus said. "Emmeline has pretty eyes. Alice is pretty. Dorcas is cute. So is Lily, but I'm sure Prongs would kill me if I even implied I might find her attractive."

"Probably," Sirius agreed.

"It's not like I want to date them, they're nice to look at," Remus shrugged.

"Lots of girls are like that. Lots of boys are like that. Just nice to look at," Sirius said. "Then sometimes you talk to them and they ruin it."

"I like talking to them fine. Emmeline started talking to me about comic books after MacPherson gave me a hard time, that's nice," Remus said. "But it's not like… I don't know, it's not like when Prongs talks about Lily, you know?"

"You don't have an unhealthy obsession?" Sirius smirked.

Remus snorted. "Nah, but I mean, he honestly thinks she's the greatest girl in this entire school, and you can tell it would make his year if she agreed to go out with him. Werewolf issues aside, my feelings are very… platonic."

"Wish my feelings for Marlene would go back to being platonic, life was easier," Sirius said, setting his cigarette to his lips again.

"Just don't end up like Frank and Alice, it's getting hard to watch," Remus said.

Sirius cringed, "If I ever end up like that with anyone, hex me."

"Just remember you told me to."

"I probably won't."

"Really, though, if anyone can figure it out, you should be able to… you've got the most experience with girls out of all of us," Remus said, referring to the Marauders as a whole.

"Not that it's even that much," Sirius scoffed. "But if you believe Bertha Jorkins, I've got a harem going."

"Oh, that's right, I forgot that most of Hogwarts thinks you've slept around quite a bit," Remus laughed. "To be fair, I mean, the whole thing did start truthfully."

Sirius groaned. "Yeah, okay. Jane Webster gave me a handjob. Why she told Bertha, I don't know. Before I knew it, James was telling me that apparently I had an orgy with the Hufflepuff Quidditch team."

"How quickly things escalate," Remus snickered.

"I was such a nice boy before I was corrupted, it was just a downward spiral from there," Sirius said dramatically.

"You weren't that nice," Remus said.

"I'm a delight, you twat," Sirius said, playfully shoving Remus in the shoulder. The pair laughed for a moment before settling back against the ramparts and flicking aside ash from their cigarettes.

"Hey," Sirius said, "Look at what I learned to do at a show."

Remus cocked a brow as Sirius took a deep drag from his cigarette. He rounded out his lips after removing the cigarette and one by one breathed out thick rings of smoke. Once he'd completely exhaled each ring, he grinned, triumphant.

"Impressive, Pads," Remus smiled. "You should add that to your resume."

"Special skills: smoke rings and puns based upon my own name," Sirius said with a nod.

"Don't forget charm," Remus reminded him.

"Yes, yes, charm and the art of seduction since I managed to somehow bed the entire Hufflepuff team without realizing it," Sirius said. "Everyone will be begging to hire me."

"Oh, yes. You're invaluable," Remus nodded, attempting to keep a straight face.

"I know!" Sirius said, as though it were obvious. "Also, mate, you've already got stubble since we came out here."

Remus set a hand to his chin, feeling the scratchy hair that Sirius referred to and groaned slightly. He'd already shaved twice today. Another annoying symptom this close to the moon.

"Maybe I should just let it grow. Give it a couple cycles and I'll be giving Dumbledore a run for his money," Remus said, unamused.

"Grow it out and sell it to Prongs and Wormtail, they can't grow facial hair to save their lives," Sirius said. It would take James months to grow a sad excuse for a mustache that really just looked like he had dirt on his face. Peter wasn't as hopeless, but his facial hair was strangely fair and patchy, and never looked quite right.

Sirius had little issue, falling nicely between the James Potter levels of not being able to grow facial hair and Remus Lupin, "I just shaved an hour ago, why is this happening?!" levels of very much being able to grow facial hair. He just tended to prefer the clean-shaven look.

Ah, puberty.

Remus' eyes lit up, "Oh, we need to tell James that we overheard Lily say that she likes facial hair."

Sirius pointed to Remus as though he had just said something brilliant (which, he had). "Yes. Yes, we do. If Evans grows a sense of humor we might be able to get her to play along, too."

"We'll point him in the direction of hair growth potions," Remus added.

"Advise him that a well groomed mustache drives her wild, the ends must be curled," Sirius nodded.

"Let's tell him next week, though, when I can fully enjoy him scrambling around to grow a mustache quickly," Remus said.

"Absolutely, if neither of us forget by then. I already forgot what that charms assignment was supposed to be about and I went to the class yesterday," Sirius said.

"In the meantime," Remus said, rubbing at his stubbly face again. "Do I shave again or just accept that this is how it's going to be until the full moon passes?"

"You only have a few more hours," Sirius pointed out, pressing the butt of his cigarette into the stone floor to put it out. "I'd say just accept it."

The sun had barely gone down minutes earlier. James and Sirius crouched low near some bushes, hidden beneath the invisibility cloak. Peter had already turned into Wormtail, perched on James' shoulder. They all hadn't been able to fit under the cloak in their human forms since about second year. Sirius and James hardly fit without basically embracing and still nearly showing their ankles.

So, Sirius turned into Padfoot on the walk through the castle to fit a bit better. He had only changed back now to better communicate with James, who wouldn't fit under the cloak at all as Prongs.

"How much longer do you reckon we should wait?" James said.

"He said after dark, it's dark, I think we'll be okay," Sirius said, their eyes still fixed on the Whomping Willow.

James checked his watch. "We'll give it one more minute. Just to be safe."

"Literally none of this is safe," Sirius smiled. Wormtail squeaked in what they could only assume was agreement. They would understand him better once they transformed as well.

"We could go ahead and transform, I guess," James said, glancing around cautiously before removing his cloak. Sirius immediately morphed into Padfoot's large dog form. James carefully folded his cloak before stashing it carefully in the bushes and out of sight. He gently took Wormtail off his shoulder and set him in the grass before transforming.

He shook his head a bit as his antlers grew in. That part always seemed strangely uncomfortable, regardless of how many times they had practiced switching between their animal and human forms.

Padfoot let out a low whine. "You think you'll fit in the passageway, Mate?"

Prongs glanced at the tree. "I guess we'll find out soon enough."

"And you both made fun of me for turning into a small animal," Wormtail was squeaking boastfully.

Padfoot barked. "Well, go make yourself useful, Pipsqueak, we didn't go through all this to loiter outside the passage."

Wormtail nodded before scurrying quickly across the grass. Padfoot and Prongs watched as the tree's mighty branches swung low, missing Wormtail by a few inches each time.

"I bet if I scooted on my belly, I could get by," Padfoot bayed, lowering himself to his stomach and inching forward. The tree swung at him and he yelped as a branch swatted at the tip of his ear.

"Good strategy," Prongs bleated.

Wormtail pressed the knot near the bottom of the trunk and the willow stopped so suddenly that Prongs and Padfoot couldn't help but flinch. They eyed the branches suspiciously for no more than a few seconds before approaching the base of the tree.

"Nice work, Worm. Climb on, it'll be a long walk for a rat," Padfoot yipped, leaning low for Wormtail to climb atop his head. Keeping his head low, Padfoot slipped into the passageway easily. Once inside, he turned around so that he and Wormtail could watch as Prongs cautiously maneuvered his antlers into the passage.

So focused on not snagging his antlers, Prongs paid little attention to his feet teetering on the edge of the opening. His hoof slipped, leaving the stag tumbling gracelessly through the entrance before crashing on the ground before Padfoot and Wormtail.

"All right?" Wormtail squeaked.

"The majestic stag!" Padfoot mocked.

"I'm okay! I'm okay," Prongs bellowed, pulling himself upright.

"Let's go then!" Padfoot barked eagerly, leading the way down the passage. Padfoot moved with little issue, Wormtail content on his head. Prongs found himself occasionally having to duck as the ceiling would suddenly get a bit lower than it had been.

He hoped that over time, he would come to memorize where he had to duck rather than only realizing it once the point of one of his antlers reached the ceiling.

"It's a good thing that dogs have decent night vision, it's ruddy dark in here," Padfoot growled. Every now and again a small orb of light would flicker on above them, but it was always brief and dim, as though it was only enchanted to stay on as long as it took for them to pass.

"Perhaps you should tell Dumbledore to install lanterns," Prongs bleated sarcastically. "Or a chandelier."

"Well, it wouldn't hurt to make this place a bit more homey," Wormtail squeaked.

"Exactly. It's a grim place, but must it look the part?" bayed Sirius. "It's still cozier than my parents' house, though."

The three paused, hearing a terrible sound somewhere between a howl and a scream, followed quickly by some scraping noises. Their hearts dropped at the noise.

"We're getting close," Prongs bleated softly.

They walked a short distance more before the tunnel grew lighter, light peeking in through a small entrance. Ever cautious of Wormtail on his head, Padfoot slipped through the opening into the room above. Prongs sighed, cursing his antlers again as he tilted his head sideways in an attempt to fit them through without getting his head stuck. This whole process would be much simpler if he could simply turn back into James until he climbed through and turn back, but as the strange howling continued to echo through the shack, Prongs reminded himself that Moony would be furious to know any of them chanced becoming human after entering the shack.

Once his head was through, it was much easier to pull the rest of his body in to the room.

"I can't believe you didn't get stuck, I figured we'd have to leave you there and get you in the morning," Padfoot bayed.

"We'll have to come back at another point in the month and make the hole bigger," James sighed. Padfoot nodded, nearly knocking Wormtail from his perch atop his head.

"Whoops, sorry, Wormtail."

"I'm okay!"

Padfoot started up the stairs and Prongs frowned. Or, at least he tried to, he wasn't sure if it came across on this face. He hadn't thought to practice walking on stairs with his hooves. He walked cautiously, feeling very much like he might feel walking on the tips of his toes as a person. He hoped he wouldn't slip as he went, staring intently at the stairs immediately before him.

He didn't notice that Padfoot was already at the top of the landing. Having let Wormtail off his head, the pair watched as the stag ascended the stairs ever so carefully. Each of them visibly winced at the next howl to echo through the shack.

Finally, Prongs reached the landing, eyeing the door separating the rest of them from Moony.

Padfoot was the first to approach the door. He let out a cautious bark. "Moony?"

There was a pause, then the sound of claws clicking on hardwood. Menacing growls began to sound from the other side of the door.

"Moony?" Wormtail squeaked.

"Moony, it's us," Prongs bleated gently.

The growling simply continued. The door shook on its hinges as Moony scratched violently on the other side.

"So, uh, ready, Prongs?" Padfood whined. Wormtail shuffled to the side, out of the way.

"As I'll ever be, I suppose," Prongs nodded, lowering his antlers and preparing for impact.

Padfoot jumped at the door, using his paw to push down the handle and shove it open. He immediately ducked down as the scruffy wolf inside leaped forward.

Moony missed Padfoot by inches and charged after Prongs. The wolf barked madly, scratching hopelessly as Prongs managed to trap him in his antlers.

Thank Merlin this went better than it did with Padfoot.

With every ounce of his strength, Prongs pushed the snarling wolf back into the room where Padfoot and Wormtail were already waiting.

Prongs shoved Moony forward and Padfoot jumped on top of him, tackling the wolf to the ground and away from the others.

"Moony! It's us! Moony!" Padfoot barked as he and Moony jumped over each other, clawing and biting. Prongs didn't think they were actually doing any damage to each other but it was hard to tell at the speed they were moving.

Wormtail shoved at the door until it finally closed so that they could keep Moony in the room at least.

Prongs charged at Moony again, Padfoot barely moving out of the way in time. He pinned the struggling wolf between his antlers and the wall. Moony howled that awful howl again.

"Moony!" Prongs bellowed. "Calm the hell down! We're your friends!"

It was several minutes of holding Moony in place before the wolf finally stopped struggling and simply let out a low growl. Prong's neck ached, but he held firm. If there was anything he had from years of Quidditch, it was stamina.

Padfoot approached Moony, tilting his head curiously. He barked, "Moony!"

Moony finally stopped his growling, eyes darting between the dog, rat, and stag.

"Moony?" Wormtail squeaked.

"Moony?" the wolf barked.

"Are you done trying to fight us?" Padfoot barked again, tail wagging. It was the first noise Moony had made that they had been able to recognize as communication.

Moony growled again, suspicious.

"We won't hurt you," Prongs bleated.

"Fine," the wolf barked sadly. Prongs finally backed away, unpinning him from the wall.

"Why do you call me 'Moony?'" Moony growled.

"You really don't know?" Wormtail squeaked, disappointed. Moony simply tilted his head, confused.

"And why is a dog running about with a rat and a stag?" Moony yipped. He approached Prongs, cautiously sniffing him. Prongs' ears twitched as he did so, feeling ticklish.

"We're your friends," Prongs bleated. "You said you wouldn't be yourself."

"I've never met you," Moony growled, backing away slightly, still suspicious.

"We're friends with Remus," Padfoot barked. "We've been planning to come see you for a while, Moony."

"So you wouldn't be all alone," Wormtail added.

"Friends? Friends of mine when I'm Remus?" Moony questioned, the look on his face gave away a racing mind. He approached Padfoot, sniffing him as well before moving on to a nervous-looking Wormtail and doing the same.

"Best friends! We call you Moony, I'm Prongs, and that's Padfoot and Wormtail," Prongs bellowed.

"You all… you all smell familiar," Moony whined. "It reminds me of… something. It's more like a feeling."

"What sort of feeling?" Wormtail squeaked.

"Like… chocolate and laughing and running and smoke and safety and coffee and music and secrets and jokes and promises and…" Moony seemed to consider this for a moment before barking and bouncing about merrily. "And friends!"

"Yes!" Padfoot barked happily, lowering his chest to the ground with wagging tail like a puppy hungry for attention and playtime.

"Friends!" Moony howled, the sound significantly less disturbing this time. He jumped at Padfoot and they tumbled over each other as they had earlier when they fought, but without the malice and entirely for joy.

"I've always wanted friends!" Moony barked, playfully batting at Wormtail as he scurried around their feet, eager to join the game.

"Gets lonely, huh?" bleated Prongs.

"So lonely. So boring. Nothing to hunt. I get so frustrated," Moony whined.

"Well, now we're here for you, Moony," Wormtail squeaked.

"How long have we been friends?" barked Moony, wagging his tail. "What am I like when I'm Remus? Tell me how we're friends!"

Moony let out another excited howl. If the others could laugh in this state, they would. They hadn't expected him to be so delighted at the notion of friendship.

Prongs frowned slightly, wondering if Remus was as excited the rest of the month that he had company. It seemed like just a given, company, and he suddenly felt as though he had been taking it for granted.

Wormtail was still lurking about Padfoot and Moony's feet. "We all met first year."

"First year of what?" bayed Moony, tilting his head.

"School!" Padfoot barked.

"School!" Moony barked in return. "Tell me about school! Am I good at school when I'm Remus? What's school like?"

"You're great at school, you're even better than one of the professors this year," bleated Prongs.

"You're a prefect and everything. Not as smart as me, of course," Padfoot strolled boastfully, as though he were a show dog.

"Take what he says with a grain of salt," Prongs gestured to Padfoot. Moony still appeared delighted, tail still wagging madly.

They continued their conversation the remainder of the night, filling in Moony on the life of his human counterpart. The wolf didn't once think about biting or clawing or hunting in general as the others relayed stories of their friendship and numerous pranks.

It wasn't until early morning they found themselves exhausted, curling up on the floor in a heap of fur and falling fast asleep.

It was transforming that woke Moony up once he moon was set. He clenched his teeth as they morphed back to their usual shape and urged himself not to cry out as his fingers stretched back to their proper length and his snout shrank back into a nose.

He couldn't help letting out a pained whimper every now and again, hoping the others wouldn't awaken to see him halfway transformed.

His claws thinned out into nails, his ears shrank back into a human shape, the fur covering his skin receded back to it's normal length and thickness.

Finally, sore and still exhausted, Remus Lupin sat on the floor where Moony once lay. He glanced at the others, curled up and breathing steadily. Even as a stag, Prongs snored.

Remus held his arms out before him, examining his old scars. There were no new cuts. He ran his fingers over his face to find the same.

He hadn't done any damage to himself the night before. He hadn't had the chance. Madam Promfrey had no new scrapes and bruises to tend to.

He smiled, though immediately regretted the gesture as his jaw and teeth were still sore from changing shape.

He watched the others again. Wormtail was curled up in the crook of Prongs' neck. Padfoot was on his back, legs spread and twitching, and lips falling open due to gravity. There was a vacant spot between Prongs and Padfoot where Moony had been sleeping.

Remus settled himself there, the floor still warm. Though it hurt, he smiled again.

"Thanks guys," he whispered, folding his arm under his head and shutting his eyes.

Maybe he could get a little more sleep before Madam Promfrey's owl would tap on the window to let him know she was here to collect him.

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