Title: Count Your Blessings
Challenge by: vegetaztwin
From: Harry Potter
Word Count: 592
Edgy and pale, Remus woke up sharply. He blinked several times before realizing that the ceiling above him was not that of the Hospital Wing, but of the crimson balconies of the Gryffindor four-poster beds. Sitting up slowly, he carefully counted his various bruises and cuts, noting that, for once, they weren't of any real horror. Remus eased himself through the rustling curtains, planting feet on the cold floor. He swayed, dizzy.
"Careful, Moony." A warm tenor whispered. "You had a hard night." Remus absently smiled as Sirius steadied him. James was perched on the window sill, smudged glasses shoved up in his dark ruffled hair. He winked at Remus. A glance around the room told the groggy lad that Peter had long fled the dorm, leaving the three of them some small measure of privacy.
Remus hobbled over to the chair by the window, and Sirius drew him into a warm embrace, his head resting on his hair. Remus breathed deeply, relaxing as James joined them. He felt as if he were wrapped in a warm blanket. "Did anything happen?" He asked shakily. He dreaded that question, but he had to ask it every month.
James placed a soft kiss on his jawline. "Nothing, Moony." One of his hands was around Remus' waist, fingers linked with Sirius' hand. The other was gently drawing slow circles on Remus' neck.
"It didn't do anything." Sirius offered, pressing his forehead against Remus'. "Are you okay?"
Remus shifted, his thin shirt sliding unpleasantly across his bandages. "Yes. No. Sort of."
James drew back slightly to look at him. "What's that mean?"
Remus shrugged, but then winced as a muscle pulled. Both of the other boys immediately loosened their hold on him, and he felt abruptly chilly. "Nothing...just being gloomy." Remus pulled on Sirius' soft cotton shirt, leaning back into James. "It happens after the Moon."
Sirius eyed him suspiciously. "And Lucius is parading the halls in a bright pink jumper." Concern tinged his voice. "What's wrong?"
"Moony." James said softly. "Tell us."
Sirius fixed him with his best 'we-won't-let-this-go' look. "Tell us, or your chocolate stash goes to the 'stuff-thrown-at-Slytherins' cause."
"...Fine. I'm just tired, all right? Tired of being tired, tired of hurting and tired of waking up and not knowing what happened or where I am." Remus painfully yanked away from the two lads, staggering to his bed. He fell through the curtains again, and lie prone on the sheets. "I'm tired..."
James and Sirius shared a glance before joining the dejected werewolf. James laid a hesitant hand on Remus' arm, choosing his words carefully. "Are you tired of us?" He asked.
"Are you tired of Hogwarts?"
"Are you tired of being sexy?"
James gave Sirius a Look. "Padfoot, don't help me, here."
Remus gave a heavy sigh. "I just...it's hard doing this year after year... I'm used to it, but... It's like it's seeping through my bones and skin like a disease. It's...slowly washing me away."
Sirius and James frowned at the same time, knowing that they should say something to make it less true, but at the same time knowing that there wasn't anything to say. It had been five years and counting, and all they could do was try and make it better. Dually cradling the Lupin boy, the three of them huddled under the covers and counted their blessings until the sun shone in the window, and the bells rang for breakfast.