Shocked, I look from Sirius to Snape, both of whom seem angry. Lupin releases my wrist and steps back a few paces just as Snape ordered him to.
"You're my Godfather too?" I ask, not expecting this at all.
Nodding curtly, Snape replies sounding angry, "Yes. I will discuss it with you later when you have finished explaining to me what is going on here."
Snape had his wand pointing at Lupin, making me feel almost scared for him. When Snape's been angry at me before it's been a wonder that he hadn't killed me, but given the situation I wouldn't put it past him to at least use some kind of horrible curse on Lupin. Through his fury, Snape smiles sickly, saying, "I bet you're wondering how I got here. While I was delivering Lupin his potion, I saw a map on his desk and thought it would be rude not to look. I saw Lupin run down a passageway and followed to find this! Oh, and thank you, Potter, this cloak was very useful to me."
He drops the cloak on the floor. Lupin glances at me then back to Snape, telling him, "Look, Severus, you can't possibly-"
"I've been telling Dumbledore since you applied and I'll tell him again; you've been helping Black in to the castle and here's the proof," Snape says.
Shaking his head desperately, Lupin says, "Severus, you're making a mistake, it's not like that, Sirius is not here to kill Millie or Harry -"
"How you had Dumbledore convinced for months that you were a tame werewolf, a good man, how wrong he was," Snape tuts.
Desperately, Lupin says, "Severus, is an old schoolboy grudge worth putting an innocent man back in to Azkaban?"
Bam! From the end of Snape's wand came thin cords, shooting towards Lupin and tying around his arms, legs and mouth. He falls to the floor and I hold back a scream, falling to my knees on the floor next to him, using one hand to try and undo the tight knots the cords had tied. Snape, meanwhile, has his wand pointed at Sirius' forehead.
"Give me a reason, Black, and I swear I'll do it," Snape threatens.
In a shaky voice, I hear Hermione say behind me as I manage to get the cords off of Lupin's mouth, "Professor, it wouldn't hurt to hear what they have to say, would it?"
Practically seething, Snape replies, "Granger, you, Potter and Weasley are already facing suspension from the school and Millie's close to it, now for once in your life shut your mouth and listen."
"Expelliarmus!" I hear Harry shout and Snape is blasted backwards in to the wall where he hits his head, blood running down his forehead. He looks to be unconscious. I continue to help Lupin out of his restraints and within a couple of minute he's stood up looking grateful.
"Thank you, Millie," He says and I shrug.
"Explain to me why we should believe your story about Peter Pettigrew. Explain it properly and we'll stick around. If not I revive Snape and we leave," I say.
Lupin nods, "That's fair. Millie, you know that Peter Pettigrew isn't dead. You saw him on that map with your own eyes. I promise you the map never makes mistakes."
Sighing, I ask, "And what makes you so sure of that? I don't know what to trust right now."
Lupin is the next to sigh, looking in to my eyes, his caramel ones looking sad. "Millie, you may not trust me or Sirius but I swear on both of our lives that the map isn't lying when it says Peter Pettigrew. If you give us a chance we can prove it. That rat has been in Ron's family for thirteen years, am I right? That's a little longer than the common garden rat is expected to live."
"We've been taking good care of him!" Ron defends.
Next Sirius tries to convince us, saying, "You may be wondering why I believe that rat is Peter Pettigrew. I was the secret keeper for James and Lily. At last minute, I convinced James to change to Peter because nobody would expect us to trust him with it. On Halloween I went to check up on him and make sure he was well and hadn't cracked yet. When He wasn't there, I knew what had happened immediately. I was too late to save Lily and James so I chased after Peter. He began shouting at me, blaming me, then he blew up everything within ten feet of us, chopped off his own finger and transformed, escaping through the sewers. I'm right in saying that Scabbers has a toe missing, am I not?"
Looking flustered, Ron replies, "That could have been from a fight with another rat! That means nothing!"
I, however, am beginning to believe their story, now all I need is the proof. I want them to show me Peter.
"I believe you," I say after a few minutes in silence. Lupin looks relieved and Sirius looks as though he'd just won the lottery. Meanwhile my friends were looking at me as if I were going crazy, which I probably am. "But I want the proof. Show me Peter and I will owe both of you the biggest apology ever. I just want the truth and I want it now."
Sirius nods understandingly, saying, "I'll need a wand to help Remus transform Pettigrew, could I borrow yours?"
"Don't give it to him, Millie," Harry warns me but I ignore him, pulling out my wand and throwing it to Sirius who catches it neatly.
Looking straight at Ron, Lupin says, "Now all we need is the rat to transform him."
Ron, however, wasn't believing a word of this whole thing, telling them, "No, you'll kill him!"
"Ron, the spell is harmless. All it does is force the witch or wizard out of their animagus form.If the rat isn't Pettigrew then it will remain well and unharmed," Lupin tells Ron.
I look Ron in the eyes, requesting quietly, "Please, Ron, give them the rat. We need to find out the truth."
Ron sighs, handing Scabbers to me. I walk over and hold him in place on a table, Sirius and Lupin pointing their wands at him. Scabbers is scratching and biting my fingers, making them bleed. I wince in pain. In unison, Sirius and Lupin shoot a red beam of light out of their wands at Scabbers who I release, standing back.
The transformation is quick but you can see him growing in detail. His body grows, his head bald on top and just tufts of blonde hair on the sides. He's short, ugly and fat, resembling a rat very well. His clothes are dirty and slightly torn, still the ones he must have worn when he last transformed thirteen years ago. At the mere sight of him my blood boils. He gets off the table, falling to the floor at Sirius' feet.
"Sirius, Remus, my old friends," He says in a slightly high pitched, scratchy voice.
Looking down at him with pure loathing in his eyes, Sirius spits, "It's been a while, Peter. How has hiding been for you? Too afraid to face your punishment for what you did? A lot of the people in Azkaban are very mad at you, they think it's your fault Voldemort's gone, that you double-crossed them. I hope they come after you and you get what you deserve."
Screeching nervously, Peter looks to Lupin, saying quickly, "Remus, he's going to kill me! He tried to twelve years ago and failed, now he's come back to finish the job!"
Lupin looks disgusted at the rat in front of his feet. "You'll be lucky if I don't help him kill you."
Turning around for help, Peter sees me and comes towards me, grabbing both my wrists, almost smirking when he hears me shout out in pain as he takes my right one.
"Millie, you're so like James, but with Lily's eyes. Your father knows it wasn't my fault, Millie!" Peter says. Tears in my eyes, I kick him as hard as I can in the stomach, making him release one of my wrists but he squeezes my bruised one tightly. Lupin's quick to walk over and pull Peter off of me, practically throwing him in the direction of Sirius while he protectively puts an arm around my waist, gently taking my arm and having a look at the damage done. The bruising is darker than before and a lot more painful, making me question whether it is actually broken underneath as well.
Angrily, Sirius shouts, "Why did you do it, Peter?"
Whimpering, Peter replies, "Because I was scared! You have no idea of the weapons he possessed, the army he led, the power he had!"
"We all knew that, all of it! We were in the Order, Peter! You're a pathetic excuse for a Gryffindor," Sirius spits. I agree with him.
Desperately, Peter cries, "What would you have done, Sirius?"
With courage and real feelings behind his words, Sirius shouts, "I would have rather died than betray my friends! It's time for this to end for you, Peter, I'm finally going to do what I was accused of doing twelve years ago."
He raises my wand but Harry stops him, saying wisely, "Don't kill him, I don't think my father would have wanted his best friend to become a murderer for that. We'll take him up to the castle and let the dementors have him. We'll go to the Ministry and you can get your name cleared. If you kill him you'll have to go back to Azkaban."
Sirius sighs, saying, "That's something your mother would have said, Harry. If you insist. It's a lot more than the rat deserves."
Ten minutes later, we're walking through the tunnel, nearing the end. I'm walking ahead with my wand pointed at Peter's neck, restraints around his mouth and arms so he can't escape. Behind me is Sirius using Snape's wand to move a still unconscious Snape, occasionally hitting his head on the ceiling. Harry and Lupin are strapped to each side of Ron to support him as he walks with his injured foot. Hermione is behind with them.
We reach the end of the passageway and Sirius hits a knot in the tree to make it stop moving for around twenty minutes on the outside. We climb out of the passageway and the cold breeze hits my face, cooling me.
I quickly untie Harry from Ron and he goes off to talk to Sirius. I begin to untie Lupin too while Hermione watches Snape and Peter. I manage to get their legs unties quickly and now it's only the shoulder supports I need to undo. But as I'm doing them, I hear a worried cry from behind me.
I turn to see Hermione pointing towards the clouds which are parting to show a full moon. I hurry with Ron's ties as Lupin sees the full moon. His eyes reflect it and I see true fear in them as is pupils widen.
I feel fear rush through me like a current, hurrying with the last tie. Sirius and Harry hadn't noticed yet and I continue to untie as quickly as I can, knowing that Lupin's transformations are beginning.
I finally get Ron free from Lupin and he hobbles over to Hermione while I stay with Lupin. Though his eyes aren't the same he's not properly transforming yet, giving me hope. I grab his shoulder with one hand, my other one held down by my side. I look in to Lupin's eyes, asking loudly, "Professor, did you take your potion tonight? Professor, stay with me!"
But it's too late. His transformation has begun. His clothes begin to rip off of him as he grows taller and taller, hair growing all over his body. I don't move, despite Hermione and Ron's shouting behind me. I stay close to Lupin, shouting over his cries of pain, "This isn't who you are, Professor! Think about who you are, please tell me you took your potion tonight!"
But I know he didn't. Snape told us when he delivered it Lupin had already rushed off down here and I know that means he'll have no control. But I have to try. I hear another voice shouting at me now; Snape's. "Millie, get back here right now!"
I ignore him as Lupin finishes transforming. He looks up to the moon and howls loudly, then looking back down at me. He looks curious.
"Professor Lupin, it's me, Millie," I say softly. The werewolf stares at me for a second, curiosity in its eyes, then it quickly turns to anger and it swipes its long claws across my stomach. I fall to the floor and hear Hermione, Ron, Harry and Snape shouting behind me. A large black dog jumps over me and towards the werewolf, drawings its attention away from me. The werewolf follows Sirius a few metres away and they begin fighting.
Using my uninjured hand, I feel my stomach and see there's a lot of blood rushing out of three long neat cuts. They seem pretty deep and I feel sick and weak already. I stand up and stagger back over to where I see Pettigrew (behind the rest where nobody seemed to have been able to see him) has my wand which I dropped on the floor on my way out. He gives me a sick smile, waves it and transforms, dropping the wand and disappearing in a pile of clothes.
I don't see where he goes after that. I stagger to get my wand, almost falling over. I reach Snape and he protectively puts an arm around me, making me sit down on the rock behind him. I feel the blood continue to rush out of my stomach. Hermione touches it and gasps, saying to Snape, "She needs to go to the Hospital Wing now!"
"Take her then, Granger, and you go too, Potter!" Snape says angrily.
"Where did Pettigrew go?" I shout.
Looking at me seriously, Snape snaps, "He's dead, Millie, he died twelve years ago! Go to the Hospital Wing now before you bleed to death!" I almost feel like crying; Snape hadn't seen Peter so now Sirius will have to go back to Azkaban.
Hermione pulls me up and begins taking me up to the castle but a howl makes me look at the scene a few feet away. The werewolf scampers off while Sirius transforms back looking very weak and injured. He stumbles down the hill towards where the lake is. Harry runs after him despite Snape shouting after him. With all the energy and strength I can muster, I ignore the pain and run after him, ignoring the two people calling my name.
I stumble down the bank towards where Harry is crouching over Sirius. I feel cold and see the lake turn to ice. I feel the happiness drain from me and all I feel is pain. My stomach continues to bleed as I struggle to stand up next to Sirius and Harry as the first dementor flies towards us. Harry attempts a patronus and it's only big enough to hold them back for a few seconds before it falters.
With my last burst of energy I point my wand towards the dementors, thinking of my parents and the happy events of tonight, shouting, "Expecto Patronum!"
A white wolf bursts from the tip of my wand, charging at the dementors. I feel weak as it repels some of them, my eyes almost closing as more blood rushes out of the cuts on my stomach. I'm determined to continue fighting them for one of my Godfathers and my brother but it eventually become too much for me and the wolf fades in to darkness. I feel the cold wash over me again and hear the familiar scream of my mother as I fall to the floor and everything fades in to nothing.