James/Remus... sorta slashy Harry Potter stuff. Gory... kinda. Suggestions would be ever so helpful...
I Heard The Child Scream
Silence, like nothingness, hung in the air. It was a pall, a catharsis, a comfort to James Potter, who stood, barefoot, in the boys' lavatory and stared glumly into the mirror. He turned his head one way and then the other, scowling with displeasure at the face that stared back. After furtively trying to smooth the waves of his unruly hair, he grabbed the toothpaste and brush he'd brought with him, beginning his nightly grooming routine.
For a moment the silence was lifted; James scrubbed his teeth noisily, trying hard to see how much foam he could make with a minimal amount of the minty paste. He swirled the mixture of soap and saliva around his mouth, letting it slide between his teeth and tongue with a pleasant squishing sound. Finally, he began to spit into the sink, alternately swallowing handfuls of water from the running tap to rinse thoroughly.
As he was expectorating the final, lingering sweet taste, shooting the water almost directly down the drain, he heard the solid 'bang' of the shower room's doors as they were pushed open and the frantic patter of feet as they rushed across tile. Curious, he lifted his head; in the reflection of the mirror he could see his friend Remus jogging toward him. Instinctively, he opened his mouth to greet the other boy, but stopped when he realized that something was wrong. Remus' eyes were wide and wild; they stared past James, not recognizing or acknowledging him. And there was something odd about the way he was running. His gate was stiff, jerky, and almost lopsided. James could see that he was favoring his left arm, cradling it tenderly against his chest. He watched, confused, as Remus limped the final few feet to the porcelain sink and turned the hot water tap.
"Oh god, oh god, oh god," Remus' breathy muttered carried easily in the open space of the showers and toilets. "Oh please, oh god, oh please." James found himself opening his mouth again, this time intent on getting Remus' attention and asking him what was wrong.
But before James could make a sound, Remus lowered his arm to the sink and answered his unspoken question. Blood flowed freely from a deep, wide cut that nearly spanned the entire length of the pale boy's forearm. For a moment, all he could see was red, until Remus placed his wrist beneath the steady stream of water. Then the wound seemed white and bared, vulnerable and sickening. Remus scooped water into the palm of his other hand and dripped it over the part of his arm that wouldn't fit beneath the faucet. "C'mon," he whispered, "Oh please, just stop…"
"Remus," James' voice was a heavy and solid contrast; the sudden sound of it made the room seem full and comforting, as opposed to the eeriness of silence and whispers. Remus' head shot up, and he stared at James with frightened recognition. "Remus, what happened? What happened?"
The question made Remus flinch; he stared at James for a moment in utter confusion before looking back down at his arm, his interest so intent that it seemed to James that Remus hadn't truly been aware of his injury before that moment. His mouth opened. He began to scream.
It began as a low growl deep in the back of his throat, moved quickly into a moan, and finally crescendoed into a spectacularly high wail. Remus backed away from the sink, his right hand circled around his left wrist, and screamed and screamed and screamed. James felt helpless and paralyzed standing so far away. He took one step forward and then another, almost blown back by the sheer force of the noise escaping his friend's throat. Never having dealt with anything like this before, never having seen so much blood coming from one human being before, James was scared. But he knew, as he took the final steps to close the gap between the two boys, that Remus was in pain. Something was seriously wrong and, no matter what, Remus was still his friend. His sense of compassion and love for the other boy overcame his fear, and, within the barest of moments, James had thrown his arms around Remus, embracing and restraining him. Soon, the other boy's cries were coming in short breaths; he would shriek loudly, take a deep breath, and shriek again. James held him tightly and murmured, "Shh… calm down, calm down. Everything will be ok, don't worry."
And then Remus' legs seemed to give out on him; he sagged in James' arms, sobbing with a force that sounded painful. As gently as he possibly could, James kneeled and then sat, crossing his legs and pulling the tangle of limbs, robes, and blood that was Remus Lupin into his lap. "What happened, Remus? Shh… don't cry, don't cry. Tell me what happened; we'll fix it." He reached for Remus' left hand and uncurled the tight fist that the boy had unconsciously made. When he pulled the wounded arm toward him, the material of his white sleep-shirt was splashed with blood. He hissed inadvertently, carefully setting Remus' arm down and pulling off the soiled shirt as quickly as he could without disturbing the body sprawled across his lap. As soon as he'd tugged it over his head, he threw it across the seeping cut and pressed firmly to staunch the flow of blood.
"I'm sorry." The thin and reedy voice of a little boy met James' ears, and he looked up into a pair of watery brown eyes. Tears streaked their way down Remus' cheeks as he tried to speak. "It was an accident. I'm so, so sorry."