THREE

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L A U G H T E R
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The cloak was wrapped tightly around his tall, lanky body as he walked a few paces behind the woman inside the tunnel. It was a cold and unpleasant night for him, just as they all were, no matter the weather. His condition seemed to become harder for him to deal with every month, it really did.

The figure of the woman, Madam Pomfrey, turned as they neared the entrance to the shack up ahead. She nodded stiffly in his direction before telling him that she would arrive for him at dawn. Fear was sadly painted onto her eyes as she shifted uncomfortably. Remus was well aware the Madam Pomfrey did not fancy time spent in a dimly lit tunnel with a soon to be werewolf.

Remus didn't wait for her to turn back towards the castle. He stuck his hands in the pocket of the cloak that was more than likely going to be ripped to shreds later that night. With an unhopeful dread in the pit of his stomach, he opened the door to the shack and slid inside to await the transformation that was inevitably unavoidable.

As the last color began to fade from the sky, the door to the main entrance of the shack creaked as it was pushed open. To Remus's alarm, he heard the voice of one of his best mates, Sirius Black, coming from downstairs.

"Remus! Come here for a second!" he called.

"Shit! Get out of here!" Remus yelled while tugging on his hair from where he sat on the decaying wooden floor. Don't change. Don't change. Don't change. The two words repeated over and over in his mind that was growing slowly more insane as his condition neared.

"No can do, mate!" James called from downstairs. Remus grew more perturbed at the sound of another person he cared about near him when he knew he couldn't control what would happen next. "We didn't become animagi just for you to kick us out like we're rubbish! How rude!"

"You can't bloody talk if you're in your animagus form!" he numbly shouted.

He was barely aware of the sound of footsteps coming up the stairs. The grip he had on his hair grew tighter as his other hand ripped at his cloak. From the window he saw that the last wisps of purple had vanished from the sky, leaving nothing but the pale moon in its place. The glowing white orb that taunted him silently from its position in the night.

He could make the shapes of his friends out in front of him, but they looked like blurry figures . . . ghosts. James, Sirius and Peter watched as their friend's head slammed back in an unnatural position, the veins in his neck protruding wildly.

The last thing that he remembered was James's quiet mutter from beside the large, black dog that Remus barely recognized as Sirius, "Always surprised at the nice place you've got here, Moony."

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When he awoke he was shaking from head to toe, his arm had a huge gash in it and he was half clothed. A dog and a stag stood in front of him as he attempted to sit up despite the fact that his body was screaming for him not too. Outside the window he saw that the sun was successfully conquering the horrible moon that had cursed him for eternity.

The dog carried a black cloak over to him in its mouth and dropped it in front of the boy. He quietly managed to slip the fabric over his body despite the searing burn that had erupted in his arm when the cloth brushed over the open wound.

More scars.

The stag suddenly transformed into James, the dog into Sirius and not too long after, a rat - that was so small and unnoticed across the room - turned into Peter. All boys stared at the werewolf with concern in their eyes, as if they were worried that he would suddenly start attacking them again.

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