PG-13, 1200 words
Summary: When a prank goes awry, Lily delivers a blow in more ways than one, and Remus has finally had enough with the temper of Sirius Black.
Wellymuck Day 14 – A Lack of Milk
‘Come on, Moony, stay strong!’
‘Think of toast, think of orange juice, think of bacon.’
‘Mm, ok, the bacon’s helping.’
‘You know, you could always just go without…’
Everyone stopped. There was silence.
‘Wormtail,’ said Remus very seriously. ‘You cannot have tea without milk. It’s an abomination!’
Peter cowered slightly. ‘Right, right, got it.’
The Marauders walked in to complete chaos. There were shouts and hexes zooming over from the Slytherin table, where many of the students looked somewhat different to their usual slimy selves, and all sorts of confusion throughout the Hall. Teachers were desperately attempting to control the situation, but they were overwhelmed.
McGonagall spotted the four, and judging by the speed of her movement to them, probably found a way to circumvent all rules and Apparate there. Remus tried a subtle duck behind James, and Remus found himself shoved out of the way by Sirius, to his bemusement.
Her eyes flickered around for a moment, before they fixed on James and Sirius simultaneously, which was impressive.
‘Who, us, Professor?’ tried Sirius.
‘Don’t even think about it,’ she snapped. ‘Believe me, you don’t want to make things any worse for yourself. I would hate to utterly dash our chances at the Cup, but believe me, Mr Black, I shall if pushed.’
James’ mouth opened and closed a few times, on the verge of a thousand Bad Ideas.
‘Mr Lupin, I sincerely hope you are not involved in this debacle in any way.’
‘No, Professor,’ Sirius jumped in, ‘he had nothing to do with it!’
‘We shall see. I doubt Mr Pettigrew had the capacity to pull off this admittedly impressive stunt, so I shall only be putting Potter and Black in detention. I don’t suppose you had the foresight to develop any sort of antidote? No, I daresay that didn’t occur to you. Well, rest assured Madam Pomfrey will put them to rights. Details of your punishments will be delivered to you shortly. Before that, however, I believe there is someone wishing to have a word with Mr Potter.’
James’ eyes went wide in horror as Lily Evans marched up to him and kneed him in the balls. The other Marauders winced in unison as James groaned and collapsed onto the floor. Then they turned their attention to Lily.
‘Ah,’ murmured Remus.
‘Oh dear,’ added Sirius.
Peter simply stared.
James looked up. ‘What? Oh. Shit.’
Lily looked… altered. Her skin had gone patchy black and white, her mouth was alarmingly pink. Sirius chanced a peek, just to check – yes, she had a tail.
‘Lily…’ James croaked.
‘Don’t talk to me, Potter!’ she yelled shrilly. ‘Just don’t!’
‘How did you not get the message?’ braved Sirius. ‘There was a note stuck on the back of the Fat Lady, you can’t have missed it! ‘To all Gryffindors, don’t have the milk at breakfast if you know what’s good for you’ – how stupid are you?’
‘I was on Prefect rounds this morning,’ she hissed. ‘I was already gone when you elected ever so kindly to give warning of your stupid bloody joke, and now look at me!’
Remus, who was the only one of them at all adept at picking up emotional signals, shuffled over to Sirius, whispering in his ear ‘Don’t push it. She will either kill you or start crying. Let it go.’
Sirius struggled for a moment. He could swear his loathing of Evans was growing with every passing day. Looking at James, who was in relatively serious if amusing pain, he longed to shut her up, just for once. But no, Moony was right, Moony was always right, which was actually quite infuriating when he came to think about it.
‘Alright,’ he said. ‘We’re sorry, Lily, we didn’t mean to get you too. Come on, let’s get you up to Pomfrey’s before the rush.’
Huffing, Lily allowed herself to be escorted up to the hospital wing, Remus trying to placate her as she went, while Peter attempted to get James up, sadly failing until Sirius leant a hand.
‘Alright there, Prongs?’ Peter’s anxious face peered right down at James, startling him.
‘Aah! Not so close, mate! Yeah, I’m alright,’ he said with a grimace.
‘Come on, let’s go and assess the damage to your chances this time, yeah?’ said Sirius, annoyed that the only person who would have appreciated his eye roll was already half way down the corridor.
After Lily was looking significantly less bovine, the Marauders attempted to make some sort of truce. Sirius tried to be bracing, Remus applied reason, James got a little too heated to really do any good, and when he’d put his foot in it twice Peter refrained from opening his mouth, after a glare from Sirius.
Eventually, Sirius held up a hand. ‘Marauders, enough. Plainly, she wants none of our attempts at friendship. Her loss. Come on, Prongs, just leave it!’
James looked decidedly unwilling to move an inch, and Sirius glowered at Lily. ‘Wish we hadn’t taken the spell off – being a cow? It suited you.’
To the four boys’ mutual horror, her eyes looked suddenly very shiny. On cue, they made a run for it. James stormed off the dormitory, hastily followed by Peter who was attempting to console him, with moderate success.
Sirius stayed pacing the corridors, walking faster and faster until he swore loud enough to rival Peeves and slammed his fist into the wall. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Remus hovering around in the shadows, staring at him.
‘And what are you looking at?’
‘You. What the hell is your problem? Please, let me know if you’re going to stop being an arse any time soon, because really, it’d be nice.’
‘What? I haven’t got a problem, what are you talking about?’
‘Oh come on. This entire year you’ve been yelling at anyone that so much as breathes wrong, did you know Pete’s scared to talk to you half the time?’
It went on and on, and Sirius felt himself crumble as Remus went through all of his inadequacies, all of his failings, and didn’t even realise it was all because of him. Then, very calmly and very lucidly, Sirius suddenly thought fuck it.
‘Sort it out, Sirius, for crying out loud! Nobody can take this any more!’
All the adrenalin that had been whizzing around aimlessly up until now directed its efforts right at Remus. Thought processes evaporated, there was no consideration for Remus’ feelings on the subject. Instead, Sirius just grabbed Remus’ shoulders and kissed him.
For a moment, there was silence apart from the hiss of surprised breath. Sirius felt the anger rush disappear, to be replaced with the very cold sensation of dread. He released Remus and backed away, staring.
Remus might as well have been Petrified. Then, slowly, he blinked.
Miserably, Sirius nodded. ‘Yeah. That’s why.’
‘Ok. Well, that explains a lot. Umm, Sirius?’
‘Yeah?’ His heart and now plummeted so much it was probably being molested by Snape in the dungeons. Bastard.
‘Christ…’ Remus muttered. ‘This is really difficult to say.’ He messed with his hands some more, then stared at the ceiling, then appeared to closely examine Sirius’ left ear. ‘Actually, I think your way might have better.’
Sirius didn’t get another chance to catch his breath before he found himself shoved into an alcove and kissed until he thought, rather vaguely, that he might have to die, owing to explosion of the heart.