The Marauders: solemnly together

Fighting

DISCLAIMER JK Rowling owes the wizarding world of Harry Potter

Last time: the four boys are back at Hogwarts so naturally the first thing they do is plan a prank. James, Sirius and Peter are worried about someone hurting Remus. Remus is worried about their new Professor who apparently doesn't like werewolves.

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Fighting

Sirius was sitting alone in the library very late because he had gotten an owl that morning. It wasn't a black owl like the ones he usually received from his brother. He had borrowed James' invisibility cloak just in case it was a trick from any slimy Slytherins.

Though Sirius was relieved when Regulus walked over to the corner, he had asked Sirius to meet him at. Sirius took off the cloak and sat down next to his brother without a word. He could feel Regulus' intense stare.

"How long are you gonna keep ignoring me?" his little brother finally asked.

"Until you say sorry" Sirius demanded.

Regulus sighed. "Sorry."

"You don't mean it" Sirius stated firmly and crossed his arms.

"You didn't tell me to mean it" Regulus fired back. They were both silent, Sirius was too stubborn to talk to his brother after what he did - or didn't do. Brothers are always supposed to be there for each other, he is the friend who will never leave you. "Please Sirius. I missed you when you were with Potter, and it hurt when you didn't reply to my letter."

"Oh," Sirius exclaimed offended. "Did it hurt when I ignored your letter? I'm so sorry, it's probably so much worse than Cruciatus Curse!" he hissed. Regulus bit his lip, but Sirius ignored it. If his brother wasn't here to apologize, then he didn't want to be here either. He raised himself.

"No please! Don't go!" Regulus pleaded.

"Then apologize" he exclaimed.

Regulus bit his lip but didn't answer. Sirius decided he couldn't deal with this. They used to be such great friends, but now everything was ruined.

"If you change your mind, you know where to find me," he said in a controlled voice and quickly turned around before Regulus could see the tears. When had he become such a softie? He wiped away the few tears that had escaped and quickly walked back to the Gryffindor common room and then his dorm.

Only Remus was awake. Peter was snoring loudly while James was snoring lightly. Remus was sitting on his bed with Lumos cast and a book in front of him, he looked up as Sirius carefully entered the room.

He noticed Sirius' expression. "Need a hug?" Remus opened his arms to offer it, the other boy nodded and gladly accepted. Sirius wrapped his arms around Remus and leaned him backwards, so they were laying down. He then snuggled closer. On the other hand, Remus had let go because he was so confused. "What are you doing?" he whispered.

"Hugging you" Sirius replied.

"You are cold!"

"You are warm."

Remus rolled his eyes and decided not to question Sirius further. After all his friend often did weird things without explanation, but when they had been laying like that for five minutes, he figured it was time.

"How did it go?"

Sirius sighed loudly to drag the time out. "You know how I'm not on good terms with my family and we had this big argument at Christmas last year?"

"Yes…"

"Well…" Sirius sighed again. "Regulus -my brother- took their side, even though I think he should have taken my side, and I won't speak to him before he apologizes, but he refuses to."

Remus thought for a little while. "Are you sure he should take your side? Is there any good reason he shouldn't?" he asked carefully and stroked Sirius' back as he thought his words would upset the other boy.

Sirius simply snorted. "Yes, I'm sure" though he could see why Regulus didn't want to. It wouldn't help him if Regulus got hurt, but on the other hand, he should have tried to do something for his brother. Sirius clearly had the wrong idea about what a family should be to you.

They were silent. Sirius didn't want to let go of Remus but knew it was about time. After just a little longer he finally let go and both boys sat up again.

"Why are you up this late anyway?" he asked.

"I'm doing homework" Remus gestured to the book.

"Why are you doing homework?"

"I couldn't sleep."

"Why?"

Remus shrugged his shoulders. Because the man who gave me the greatest opportunity of my life apparently doesn't like me seeing as he is hiring a teacher who hates my species. "I don't know. Just can't."

Sirius studied his face for a moment. "We'll go to the Hospital Wing to get some Sleeping Draught" he ordered and began dragging Remus.

"Sirius!" he whined. "It's late, and if we are walking outside, we'll just get caught and get detention!" Remus insisted and dragged the other way, but seeing as Remus couldn't use his full strength, Sirius won.

"No we won't. We'll just use the invisibility cloak" he smirked.

"You have an invisibility cloak?" Remus' mouth was open and his eyes wide.

"James has" he explained and pulled the cloak out from under his robes. Remus' eyes got even wider. Both of the boys walked downstairs before Sirius put the cloak over them.

It was hard to walk when they had to be so close. Usually the dark would have bothered Sirius, but when Remus was right next to him, he found that he wasn't afraid. It took a while and they had to stand still for a couple of minutes when some Prefects passed them.

Finally the two boys made it to the Hospital Wing. They knocked on the door and two minutes and twenty-three seconds later Madam Pomfrey stood in front of them with only night-robes and some matching pink slippers.

"Anything wrong?" the nurse asked, her gaze quickly fell on Remus for a second.

"Remus can't sleep, we were wondering if we could borrow some Sleeping Draught for him" Sirius used the politest tone he had.

Madam Pomfrey smiled before disappearing and reappearing with a bottle. "Anything else?"

"No. Thank you, ma'am" Sirius smiled before he and Remus walked back towards their dorm. When Madam Pomfrey closed the door, Sirius put the cloak over him again. Normally he would have forgotten it, but he knew Remus would want them to hide.

Once back in the dorm Sirius finally asked his question.

"Is this the first night you had trouble sleeping?"

Remus looked down, and once he realized he had to answer, he shook his head.

"Why didn't you tell?" Sirius asked worriedly.

"I didn't want to bother you guys" he mumbled.

"Remus you are so stupid" Sirius stated and pulled the smaller boy in for a hug. "You don't bother us with your problems. You can come to us with anything." The boys pulled apart. Remus still didn't like that they assured him that all the time. Of course it was great he could get help from them, but they constantly said it, therefore it seemed as if they knew something.

Remus fiddled with the long sleeves on his pyjamas. "We better go to sleep now" he turned around to get into his bed, only to find out Sirius was following him. He sent the other boy a confused look.

"I'm gonna make sure you fall asleep" Sirius smiled.

The tiny boy blushed but sat down on his bed under the duvet and prepared to take the Sleeping Draught. Sirius handed the bottle to him. Remus took a big gulp and Sirius took the bottle again. Sirius saw as Remus yawned and slowly got under the duvet. It took seconds before he started snoring, but right before he uttered a sleepy "G'night."

Sirius smiled at his friend's adorableness. He waited a couple of minutes to make sure Remus was really sleeping before slowly reaching for the other boy's arm.

The sight terrified him. Sirius only saw the lower half of the arm, but it was so filled with scars and bruises that he couldn't look at more. He wanted to vomit. How could anyone hurt such a nice boy as Remus? It wasn't as if he was a bad kid like Sirius.

He pulled down the sleeve again and walked towards his own bed. This made him even more determined than before to help his friend. Sirius took a gulp of the Sleeping Draught because he knew he wouldn't be able to sleep after seeing what he just saw.

….

Remus woke up feeling better than the other mornings.

Peter woke up feeling excited.

He had been practising the slide-charm and he could almost do it. That meant he would be able to make some slides too when the boys prepared Operation Slide. Peter had never been able to help in a useful way for pranks before.

It was Saturday and they would head for an abandoned corridor to practice the charm after breakfast. All of them would practice the charm. That meant him too. Peter just had to remember to breathe, imagine the spell working, and then do it. Just like Remus always told him to.

He ate lots of breakfast as usual. You can't start a day on an empty stomach. That's what his mom said at least. Also, it was hard not to eat a lot when the food was so delicious.

Finally they finished and headed for the corridor. Three of them would keep watch seeing as they aren't supposed to practice magic in the hallways.

Sirius started, and after a few attempts, he made a perfect slide. Peter was jealous of how good Sirius was. The boy slid down the slide, and James was the next to try. It took a bit longer, but James mastered it easily. Remus was next.

He took longer than both James and Sirius combined but yet mastered it in the end. Remus laughingly slid down the slide, then walked towards Peter.

"I know you can do it" he encouraged.

Peter nodded and walked towards the staircase. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and imagined the staircase turning into a slide just like all the others. Peter took another deep breath.

"Labour Lapsus." The staircase turned faintly into a slide before going back. He was filled with hope and tried another time. Every time Peter cast it, the staircase looked even more like a slide. And finally after having used the most time on it, Peter successfully turned it into a slide.

He let out a triumphant grin. Peter beamed as his friends gathered around him to congratulate him. They all knew he had a bit of some trouble with the magic, so when he mastered it, it was always a great thing. No one ever congratulated Sirius because he could do most things in first try.

"So tonight?" James asked excitedly.

"Tonight" Sirius confirmed.

"Tonight what?" they all turned around to stand face to face with none other than Snivellus. James instantly turned mad. He didn't want that Slimy Slytherin to hurt his friend again. Any of his friends for that matter.

"Curious huh Snivellus? Why don't you get some friends yourself and try to have some fun?" James and Sirius stood in the front while Peter and Remus stood behind them, they didn't have the same fight-energy as their other friends.

Snape snorted. "You call that friends? A bloodtraitor, a squib and a goblin? I would rather not!"

Neither of any of the boys had their wands out, though they were prepared to grab it any second.

"So you would rather be friends with non-existing people?" Sirius asked taunted.

Snape's face turned red much to Sirius' and James' amusement. "Not that it's any of your business but I do have friends" he suddenly turned to look amused.

James snorted loudly. "Who would want to be friends with you?"

Snape crossed his arms and looked even more amused than before. "Lily Evans."

James was blank for a moment. "LIAR" he yelled. "Someone as perfect as Lily Evans would never be friends with a Slimy Slytherin like you!" The amused look didn't leave Snape's eyes, in fact. It seemed as if they turned more amused.

"Have you forgotten already? No wonder you are so dense at everything-"

"Forgotten what?" Sirius snapped. He wanted Snivellus gone as quickly as possible.

He smiled maliciously. "Last year. On the train."

Realization rushed over the two boys like a waterfall. How could they forget? The day the two boys met was also the day they met Evans and Snape. It had been when James decided he wanted to pull the last test on Sirius to determine if they could become friends.

James quickly got back on track. "So what? One friend versus three? Doesn't quite add up." He muttered an almost silent three under his breath. Sirius got ready beside him.

"I still can't believe you are calling that friends" Snivellus Snapped. James muttered two.

"You clearly can't recognize a good friend when you see one, maybe that's why you only have one!" he muttered one.

"What is it they say? Quality over quantity. Clearly I have taken the right-"

But Snape didn't say any more, because at that moment James whispered now to Sirius and each of them shot a spell at the Slytherin. James had chosen a simple tickling-charm while Sirius had gone for a more complicated one.

Anyways, three of the four boys laughed as Snivellus was now laying on the floor laughing. But he had a pumpkin head instead of his usual ugly one. It was an improvement really.

James and Sirius had been so distracted about laughing at the pumpkin-head in front of them that they hadn't been paying attention to what was going on behind them. It wasn't before Peter who had previously been laughing with them called out Remus' name and asked where the other boy was going that they turned around.

Remus was walking in the opposite direction of them, his whole body appeared tense and he didn't answer when Peter called once more. James and Sirius quickly looked at each other before casting the counter-charms on Snape and follow Peter towards Remus.

Sirius arrived there first and grabbed Remus' shoulder to make him stand still. Remus didn't look at him but stared stubbornly at the floor.

"What happened? Why did you walk away?" he asked confused.

"Why do you think?" Remus almost snapped, but he managed not to. When neither of his friends answered he let out a frustrated growl, then immediately regretted his action. Only animals growl. He wanted to walk away again, but James grabbed his arm.

"Please tell Remus. We didn't mean to upset you" James insisted.

"IT'S NOT ABOUT ME" he yelled. Remus took a few breaths to calm himself down, his friends seemed shocked by his outburst. Control. Control. Control. "Why did you have to bully him?" he asked in a controlled voice.

Peter suddenly felt bad for laughing with them. He hadn't done anything, and it had seemed as if justified it, but it doesn't. Those who laugh are just as bad as those doing the bullying. Peter knew all about being bullied.

"Remus that wasn't bullying-" James began.

"Then what was it?" he snapped.

"We defended you, Remus. He called you a goblin" James couldn't believe Remus was saying all of this. He had done it for his friends, no one could hurt or call them names. And especially not a Slytherin like Snivellus.

"And that justifies it? Snape started with words, it was you who attacked him with wands!"

"If we hadn't, he would have" James explained.

"Why do you care anyway? He is just a Slytherin" Sirius stated. Snivellus was a meanie and he deserved what had happened.

"Oh. So if I go attack your brother it's okay because he is just a Slytherin?" Remus exclaimed.

Sirius had no idea how Remus could think such thing. "No because he hasn't done anything-"

"WASN'T THAT THE PROBLEM?!" Remus couldn't understand how they couldn't see what he meant. He tried to calm down and quit yelling, but it also felt so good to let something out and not be the usual good boy as he normally is.

Sirius was stunned. He clenched his fists. "This. Is. Not. The. Same. Thing!" he tried to keep his emotions at bay. Keep it down as his parents always taught him to, never show any signs of emotion.

"Why?" Remus insisted. "How is that different? What has Snape done that is worse than what your brother didn't do?"

Sirius was about to yell something back and defend his brother but was cut off by a loud yell.

"ENOUGH!" the four boys turned around to see Eckbird their Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor. He moved closer towards the boys and eyed them, Remus turned to stare at the ground again. "You two come with me" he growled.

Remus and Sirius silently followed the man, they ended up in an empty classroom where Professor Eckbird cleared the room for tables. He ordered Remus to stand in the one end and Sirius in the other. They were facing each other but didn't look. The boys had never been fighting like this before, they both wondered what this would mean for their friendship.

"In wizarding duels, you will have to bow to each other before starting to show respect" Eckbird began. Both boys looked up at the mention of a duel. Remus began shaking slightly, Sirius wouldn't duel him, would he? They looked at each other and bowed. "When I count to three you can either disarm, stun, injure or defeat the other in order to win." Professor Eckbird looked at them to make sure he understood. "The winner wins the argument."

"Sir? Duelling is not allowed" Sirius stated.

"I'm a teacher I can do what I want!" Eckbird growled. His expression softened but he still looked dangerous, he walked up behind Sirius. "I know exactly who you are Sirius Black, and if you are anything like your family I know exactly what you are capable of. So go do it, defeat him and win the argument!"

Sirius had a fierce expression, Remus began shaking rapidly, maybe even sweating a little bit. Whatever curse Sirius shot at him would hit him. Most of them would probably show his skin and if Eckbird saw his bite or even some of the scars he would know exactly what Remus was and have him expelled only because Remus couldn't control himself.

Remus still lifted his wand when Eckbird counted to three. He tried to breathe and concentrate on a spell to cast, but he couldn't stop his mind from going wild. There is no way he can beat Sirius.

Sirius' mind was racing as well, if he could knock Remus back, his shirt would most likely fall off and there would be scars, and then Eckbird could see them, tell Dumbledore and get Remus away from those hurting him. He could help Remus if he could just get his shirt off.

But Remus looked so scared and Sirius realized he couldn't do it. He wouldn't want anyone to find out his secret this way, it should be when he chose to share it, not when anyone forced him. This could help Remus, but it could also hurt him at the same time. Sirius would have to find another way to help his friend. He heard his Professor's word ring in his head. If you are anything like your family I know exactly what you are capable of. Sirius is not like his family.

So when Eckbird yelled now and expected the two boys to cast a curse at each other Sirius knew exactly what to do. Instead of doing what Eckbird expected Sirius turned around and hit the man with a knockback jinx. The older man hit the wall but wasn't knocked out, he got back on his feet fast.

"I WILL NEVER HURT MY FRIENDS!" Sirius yelled. His eyes were full of fierce and anger. How could any Professor ever think it was a good idea to turn friends against each other?

"I expected more of you" he stated coldly and walked out of the classroom without another word. Sirius felt like the biggest disappointment. But he had done the right thing, that's for sure.

Sirius turned around to again to see Remus still shaking and eyes full of disbelieve. He quickly ran over there and embraced his friend. Remus relaxed and wrapped his arms around Sirius as well. They stood like that for a little bit before letting go, the classroom seemed much lighter now.

Remus was still shaking slightly. "Sorry, I just… Fuck I really thought you were going to hex me…"

"I will never hurt my friends" he repeated and smiled shyly.

An awkward silence appeared.

"What happens when two friends yell at each other?" Sirius asked awkwardly.

"Uhh. I guess they say sorry" Remus stated just as awkwardly.

Sirius took a deep breath to prepare himself. His parents taught him that if you say sorry, it's a sign of weakness because then you admit you were wrong. But he wanted to keep his friend, so if that's what it took, he would do it. Remus said sorry before him though.

"I'm sorry I yelled at you" he looked down. "And said those things about your brother, I didn't mean it. I just don't like that you bully Snape the same way you did it to me last year, it feels wrong."

"I'm sorry too" Sirius admitted, and he actually meant it. "Me and James should have listened to you. And I promise I won't attack Snivellus again unless he starts. Though then it's not attacking but defending." Remus giggled.

"James and I" he corrected and hid a shy smile by staring at the ground.

Sirius rolled his eyes and laughed. "James and I then. Come on, we got a prank to plan."

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Ugh angst, I love it. Hope you enjoyed this chapter!

Please review! It makes me so happy and I just want to write every time I get one! :D