Remus watched as the hands on the clock ticked forward slowly, he hated waiting.
Just as luck would have it, the full moon fell the day before school started again for the oncoming year. Dumbledore had invited Remus to come back to school a few days earlier for his transformation, so at least he would have Madam Pomfrey to patch him up and depending he wouldn't miss out on the welcoming feast. He always appreciated the headmasters kindness towards him and his condition. Now, he was stuck, waiting for his friends to arrive and maybe make him feel just a little less miserable. He sat up in his bed, listening as the doors to the infirmary opened, "Is he still here, Miss?"
"The bed at the end, and be gentle with him, boys!" He heard Madam Pomfrey warn.
"We will!" He heard a familiar voice chirp back.
Remus couldn't contain the smile on his face as his friends peaked out from on of the curtains, all of them grinning ear to ear. James rushed forward, pulling Remus into a hug that was a bit too tight but he didn't want to spoil the mood. He glanced over James shoulder at Peter who waved at him, his eyes too busy scanning the selection of treats he had brought with him. James pulled away from the hug and stepped aside, allowing Remus to see Sirius. He was stood smiling that notorious Sirius Black smile. He reached forward and hugged Remus, thankfully with less force than James.
"Don't tell me you're studying already, Moony!" James exclaimed, pointing to the potions book beside Remus's bed. Remus pulled away from Sirius, gazing over at James, "Missed you too, Prongs."
James smiled, jumping onto the foot of his bed, robbing a sweet out of Peter's hand, "Of course I missed you, we all did!"
Peter scowled at James before humming in agreement.
"Sorry for not visiting." Remus sighed, scratching the back of his neck.
"No need. Always next summer!" James smiled.
"How is your mum doing?" Sirius asked. A bitter silence filled the room. Everyone knew Remus mother was sick, she had been for a while now. They didn't know much about it other than it was some muggle illness and the treatment for it left Moony's mother weak and frail. They never pressed their friend more on the matter but from the letters they had received during the break, they knew it was bad.
Remus nodded his head, "She's doing better, said to say she missed you lot, and said to tell your Mum thanks for the pie, James."
"I'll be sure to tell Mum."
Remus lowered his head a little, gazing down at his fingers. Sirius sat beside him and nudged him a little, gaining the other boys attention. Remus gave him a weak smile, nudging him back a little. Remus eyes glanced at the clock on the wall and he furrowed his brow and looked back over at James and Peter, "The train isn't meant to be here for another two hours, how are-"
"Mrs McGonagall let us floo in."
"Well, we pestered her for about two weeks and we didn't really leave her much of a choice."
"Thought she was going to hex us."
"If it was up to us we would have been here yesterday but she wouldn't allow it." Sirius grumbled.
Remus laughed, before furrowing his brow a little, "So you're telling me, we have the whole castle to ourselves?"
"For a few hours, yes." Sirius hummed from beside him. Remus threw his legs out the side of the bed and stood up, "Careful Moony, Pomfrey will kill us if you hurt yourself."
"You send like your Mum, Prongs." Remus teased, stretching out his back a little before turning back to his friends, "Since I have a whole summer of mischief to catch up on, I think now is a good a start as any!"
Sirius pointed a finger at Remus, jumping off the bed, "That's our Moony!"
The group of boys laughed as they stumbled back into their dorm room after the feast, James falling on the floor in stitches. Remus sat down beside him, his back resting against the trunk of his bed as he held his stomach. It felt good to laugh, especially when it was with the people you cared most about. Sirius stumbled down beside Remus, his head resting on the other boys shoulder as he wheezed for air. Remus patted his back, "Can't have you dying the first day back, Pads."
Sirius eventually took in a deep breath and then exhaled, chuckling a little more before turning to Peter and James who were recovering on the floor, gazing up at the ceiling, "You're a dangerous mind, Pete!"
Remus hummed in agreement, James propped himself up on his elbows, "Did you see their faces? Merlin, we're going to be in so much trouble tomorrow."
"That was amazing!" Remus proclaimed. Sirius nudged Remus gently, "You should have seen some of the stuff we did during the summer, I thought James' Mum was going to strangle us."
"She nearly did."
"Wish I could have been there." Remus responded quietly.
"Believe me, they were nothing compared to what we have planned for this year!"
"Why did you say it in that tone you perv." James groaned.
Sirius chuckled to himself gazing up at Remus, "So tell us, Moony dearest, what did you spend your summer doing."
Remus shrugged his shoulders, "Homework, reading, nothing exciting."
"Surely you did something."
"I think I went on a walk one day, saw a dog."
"A dog?" James scoffed.
"A cute dog."
"Bet it wasn't as cute as me." Sirius beamed. Remus rolled his eyes back and pushed Sirius away halfheartedly, "Anything is cuter than you and your fleas."
"I do not have fleas!" Sirius exclaimed. Remus chuckled and shrugged his shoulders, "Sorry to disappoint lads. I had no epic tails of finding a lost treasure or exploring caves. I sat in bed, reading books, sometimes saw cute dogs."
"That's fine, because I have plenty." James replied, Sirius groaned and threw his head back.
Remus sat and listened contently as James filled him in on his summer holidays. His early vacation to Paris with his parents and then the mischief he, Peter and Sirius got up during the summer. Peter then chiming in, telling them about his trip to Scotland and filling in a few things James had missed in his first telling. Remus smiled and turned to Sirius, "How about you?"
Sirius shrugged his shoulders and didn't reply. James cleared his throat, "Sirius is living with me now, Moony."
Remus bit the inside of his cheek, gazing up at Sirius. He had remembered just before they left for holidays Sirius had received a lot of letters from his mother. He had said how she was extremely displeased with his behaviour and how she kept saying his was a disgrace to the Black family, a traitor to their blood. Sirius, being Sirius just seemed to take it in his stride. Remus knew how much it hurt him though, knowing his family were more concerned with their reputation rather than their son. Remus recalled once they both couldn't sleep late one night last year and they hid up to the astronomy tower till morning.
"She sent another letter yesterday." Sirius sighed, gazing out across the Hogwarts grounds.
"Want to talk about it?" Remus asked.
"It was the same shit as always." He grumbled, looking at Remus. It was still dark but Remus could see the glint in his eyes, "I need to reconsider my life choices and my company. How my poor father would be disappointed in me, and yada yada ya. Just being her."
"I think shes just worried about you." Remus responded, picking at the skin on his thumb.
Sirius scoffed, "This is my mother. I don't think she's capable of feeling anything."
"She just wants what she thinks is best for you. Mind you, that might not be right, but I think her heart is in the right place." Remus muttered in response. He could imagine how worried she was when she found out that her eldest son had befriended a werewolf. Not only that, but a mudblood one at that. Quite a combo to befriend. Sirius laughed and shook his head, "I don't know how you do it."
"Find reason to everything." Remus chuckled and nudged Sirius with his foot, "One of us has to use their brain from time-to-time."
"She doesn't deserve it."
"Maybe not, but there's reasons behind every action. No one just does things for the sake of doing them, Pads."
"Can you stop being all logical and stuff, I'm trying to be moody." He smirked.
Remus tutted and shook his head, "Sorry mate, can't allow that unfortunately."
The two sat in silence for a few moments, gazing at the grounds while Sirius hummed a song. This was Remus's favourite time of day. It was still dark but you could see the sky brightening just over the tree line, casting long dark shadows everywhere. It was quiet. The birds had yet to wake up and the night creatures had mostly returned to their homes. It was calm. And in a world that was becoming increasing chaotic and fearful, the peace was a blessing.
"Thanks, for listening."
"So, Moony, who are you going to ask to the Yule Ball?" James asked, breaking the silence between that had fallen across the room and brought Remus back to the conversation.
Remus shrugged his shoulders, "Don't even know if I'm going."
"Of course you're going."
"Dances ain't my thing." Remus replied.
"It's not all dancing, and besides it's our only chance to go!" Sirius added.
"Hypothetically, if I did go, I don't think anyone would want to be my date."
"I disagree!" Sirius responded, straightening up and glaring at Remus with a scowl on face, "You could ask any girl in this school or maybe the others, and they would say yes!"
"As flattering as that is, I have to disagree."
"Well, we'll find you a girl then, won't we lads?" James stated triumphantly.
Peter and Sirius hummed in agreement, Remus just let out a small chuckle, "I think you have enough on your hands with Lily, Prongs."
"Ouch, Remus. Low blow."