Disclaimer: Not at all mine. Apart from the plot. Yes, I claim the plot.
Remus sat on the widow ledge in his dorm, staring out the fogged-up glass. His mind was drenched in shock, disbelief, hurt, and by far the worst of all, resignation. He was clutching a crumpled piece of parchment in his hand, the ink on it smudged from the number of times he'd screwed the letter up and then smoothed it out again. He'd read it so many times, he now had the contents memorized, but that still didn't stop him from unfolding it once more, just to see if the words had somehow changed. Parts of the letter jumped out at him as he reread it for the tenth, maybe twentieth time. However, no matter how many times he read it, the underlining message still remained the same.
We love you, son… it's not your fault… the wolf terrorized the Edwards's little girl… came so close to hurting her… might be best if you stayed at school over the holidays… it's better this way… we need to find a way to contain it better… you'll be safe at Hogwarts… we'll decide about summer when we come to it… we've spoken to the Potter's and they're more than willing to take you in if it comes to that… their mansion and grounds are private and extensive, with wards as strong as they come, much stronger then what I could produce… can't afford to buy them either… never doubt that we love you… this is easier for everyone until we find a proper solution…
He stared down at the words, mouth twisted bitterly. He knew that this letter must have been horribly hard for his parents to write. They loved him, they really did. But the wolf had been more than just his burden to bear. It had taken its toll on his family as well.
He'd been expecting it eventually. Everything they said in the letter was true; Hogwarts was safer and more able to house a transformed werewolf once a month. The Shack was a lot better than a cage in the basement, for both the wolf and its human counterpart, not to mention how easily the fully mature animal had been able to get out of it…
He shuddered as he remembered regaining consciousness the day after the Moon during Christmas break. It had been one of only a few times the Moon had fallen during a holiday that he'd been home, and he'd woken to shouts coming from the living room. He'd pulled himself from his bed and had stumbled into the room to see Mr Edwards, their next-door neighbour, screaming abuse at his father.
Who'd just been standing there and taking it.
This had proved to Remus more than anything that their quarrel was somehow his fault. He father was a strong, opinionated man who didn't take shit from anyone.
Unless it was about his werewolf son.
He'd been horrified when he'd found out that the wolf had escaped – the cage may have been able to hold the wolf when Remus was younger, but it was no match now that he was in fifth-year – and had gone after the Edwards's eight-year-old daughter. Lucy Edwards was a sweet, kind and caring little girl. She'd always had a smile for Remus, the neighbour's teenage son who no one had ever seen or heard from all that much.
She and her mother had been walking through the woods that separated the two houses – no one had managed to explain to Remus exactly why they'd been out that late – and had suddenly found themselves face to face with an enraged werewolf. They had, of course, run, and the wolf had done the instinctive thing – given chase. Going after the smallest and weakest, the wolf had come within inches of attacking the girl before his father had found them and Stunned it.
Lucy had spent the rest of the night and the day after in St Mungo's. She hadn't been hurt passed a few scratches and bruises, but she'd been suffering from panic attacks, nightmares and other signs of severe traumatization. Mr Edwards had known immediately who the wolf had been, as Greyback attacking Remus had been widely known within his hometown.
Everyone knew everyone else's business in a small town like theirs. They'd nearly had to move because of it when it first happened.
Remus had been extremely guilt-stricken and had tried to apologize, but Mr Edwards wouldn't have a bar of it. So, he'd come back to Hogwarts with it still sitting on his conscience, seeping and bubbling away under his skin.
His friends had agreed with his parents and had said that it wasn't his fault. Which did nothing to make him feel any better.
Now, the consequences had finally caught up on him. His parents had decided that it was safer for everyone if he didn't come home over Easter.
We've spoken to the Potter's and they're more than willing to take you in if it comes to that…
And by the sounds of it, they were also talking about him not coming home over summer as well.
He'd been kicked out.
He'd been kicked out.
The parchment trembled in his hand and Remus clenched his fists, crumpling it once more. His heart was slamming in his chest, making it hard to breathe. The room blurred as his eyes prickled. Remus quickly closed them and bore down, not willing to let the stupid, useless emotions take him over.
Though the rational part of his brain was shouting that that hadn't been what his parents had meant at all, the larger, more prominent part, the part that still saw his parents through young and innocent eyes, was wondering what he was going to do now. Where would he go? Sure, James's mum and dad would probably take him in, but why should they have to? Why should they have to put up with a homeless teenage werewolf, especially when his own parents couldn't even do it?
He was homeless. He'd almost killed a girl and had been kicked out because of it.
Merlin, he hated himself.
The sound of the door crashing into the wall as someone barrelled through it made Remus jerk his head around. Sirius bounded into the room, rushed over to his bed and threw himself onto his knees at the end of it, swinging the lid of his trunk open. So far, he hadn't seen his dorm-mate and friend, which Remus decided was a good thing as he quickly turned back to the window.
He didn't want to talk to anyone at the moment.
Alas, nothing escaped Sirius Black's attention for long. The wizard searched through his packed trunk, letting out an "ah ha!" when he found what he'd been looking for, and then jumped to his feet. He turned back towards the door and his eyes lit on the boy curled up on the window ledge on the other side of the room.
"Moony? Hey, mate, what you doing up here by yourself? James and Evans are having a rather intense row downstairs, which is really fun to watch. I swear the sexual tension between those two escalates every year."
Remus swallowed and chose not to answer, hoping that his silence would speak for itself. He should have known better.
"Come on, Rem, you gotta see this! We can hex Evans's hair to change colours and watch James insult her even further by laughing at her."
The werewolf sighed and angled his head a little towards the other boy. "No thanks, Sirius. I'm fine here."
"No, you're not. You're boring here. Come downstairs, Rem, and join the fun!"
"I said I'm fine, Sirius!" Remus snapped as his temper got the better of him, turning fully to glare at his mate. "Just leave me alone!"
Sirius blinked in surprise at the harsh tone and then actually started paying proper attention to the other boy. As his eyes ran over his friend, he realized that Remus was curled up, yes, but not because he was comfortable in that position. He was curled up as if he was hugging himself.
As if he desperately needed the comfort.
So, Sirius did the exact opposite to what Remus wanted him to do. He chucked his camera onto his bed and walked over to his dorm-mate. Remus turned back to the window and tried to ignore him, something the other wizard made extremely hard to do by plopping himself down on the ledge beside him.
"What's wrong, Remus?"
"Nothing," Remus muttered, his mouth buried in the arms that were folded around his knees, as he stared out a window that was impossible to see through. "I'm fine. I just want to be alone."
"Yes, and that's why you just barked at me for trying to get you to join your friends downstairs," Sirius said dryly. Remus flicked him a quick glance.
"You're the one who barks, Padfoot, not me."
"Too true, and what a fine bark it is," Sirius agreed, modest as always. He grinned when a small smile appeared on Remus's lips. "Is that what's got you upset? You're annoyed that you're not an awesome Animagus like me, Prongs and Wormtail? Well, more me than anyone else, actually."
Remus laughed quietly and Sirius's grin widened, happy to see some of the misery disappear from the werewolf's eyes. "But seriously, Moony- hey, me! Heh. Anyway, what's got your knickers in a twist? Come on now, tell Uncle Sirius."'
Remus sighed and turned away again. "It's nothing, Siri. Don't worry about it."
"Ah, ah, don't do that," Sirius said, shuffling closer to his friend. "It's obviously something, otherwise you wouldn't be upset. Tell me."
Remus looked over at his fellow fifth-year silently, the other boy meeting his gaze and cocking his head in question. His long, black hair fell forward, obscuring his gorgeous, stormy-grey eyes and Remus swallowed, heart beginning to pound for an entirely different reason.
He'd had a crush on Sirius since third-year, a crush that had developed into something deeper when the Black wizard had come to him at the start of the year and transformed for the first time in front of his eyes. He'd never tell him that, though. Not only was he the wrong sex, he was a werewolf, and now a homeless one on top of it.
Someone like Sirius Black would never be interested in someone like him.
"It's nothing, I just... got a letter," Remus muttered, looking down at the screwed up parchment.
"The one you got this morning but didn't open? What's it say?"
Taking a deep breath, Remus grimaced and then slowly handed it over, figuring that his friends would have to find out sooner or later. He turned back to the window as Sirius frowned, took it and began to read, resting his forehead against the cool glass. There was silence for a while, and then Remus's head shot around again as Sirius began to swear viciously.
"Bloody hell! Those fuckers! I'm sorry, Rem, but you're parents are idiots! How could they do this? Stupid gits!"
"They're just trying to keep everyone safe, Sirius," Remus said softly, jolting slightly when Sirius growled.
"Fucking bullshit! Do they not realize how you'd take this? The way it would come across? That to you, it would seem like they were getting rid of you, that you'd be…" he trailed off, suddenly realizing that he was probably just rubbing it in. Another curse escaped his lips when Remus finished the thought for him anyway.
"Homeless?" the werewolf murmured, and just like that it was as if the dam broke. His face crumbled and he turned completely away from the other wizard, hunching himself into the corner of the window as his shoulders shook, pain and despair finally overwhelming him.
Remus jolted again when an arm folded across his shoulder and tugged him back around, pulling him into a silent embrace. He tried to push himself back and away from Sirius, but the Black heir held on tight, not letting him go. He fought the embrace for a moment and then abruptly gave in, burying his face into his friend's shoulder.
They sat like that for a long time, Remus's shoulders heaving and Sirius offering him quiet, steady comfort. Neither said a word, which Remus was grateful for. If he hadn't been so overwrought, he would have been embarrassed by the breakdown. He found himself embarrassed anyway as he slowly got himself under control and pulled back, not meeting the Animagus's eyes.
"Sorry. Sorry, I just-"
"Why are you apologizing, Moony?" Sirius interrupted, making Remus look up. "The ones who should be apologizing are your parents, not you. They should have known what that letter would sound like. Hell, they should have never sent the letter in the first place!"
Remus sighed and wiped his cheeks. "I can understand why they did. I can," he insisted when Sirius opened his mouth to protest. "I nearly hurt that girl, Siri. If Dad hadn't found us…"
"But he did and you didn't," Sirius said, reaching out a squeezing Remus's knee. "And even if he hadn't of found you, it wasn't you, Remus. It was the wolf. It wasn't your fault at all."
"Tell that to Lucy."
"She doesn't matter at the moment," Sirius stated, raising a brow when Remus's head shot back to him, shocked. "She doesn't, Rem. You are their son. They should be concerned about you. I'm a really bad example of a loving parent/son relationship, but even I know that. Now they've gone and given you the impression that you've got nowhere to go, which is bull, by the way." He snorted. "Like Charlus and Dorea are ever going to let you live on the street."
Remus looked down again and muttered something under his breath. Sirius narrowed his eyes at him. "What was that?"
"Why would they want me?" the werewolf whispered, chin tucked down so far, he didn't see Sirius astonished expression.
"Why would they want you? Bloody hell, Remus, who wouldn't?"
The blurted out sentence hung in the air between them as Remus went very, very still. Slowly, ever so slowly, he raised his head to meet Sirius's wide, startled and slightly panicky eyes. He watched as colour flooded the Animagus's face and travelled down his neck, before Sirius swallowed hard and his mouth firmed, as if he'd come to a decision. He hesitated for a half-second, then leaned forward and pressed his lips to Remus's.
As first kisses went, it was everything Remus had dreamed it would be. Sirius's mouth was warm, dry and very skilled. It started off innocent enough, staying chaste until Remus got over his shock and began to kiss Sirius back. Then it quickly descended into the heavy snogging arena, with open mouths, dancing tongues and hands touching whatever skin could possibly be found.
Sirius finally broke the kiss, nipping at Remus's bottom lip, drawing a moan from the other wizard, and then leaning back, resting his forehead against the werewolf's. They stared into each other's eyes for a long moment, both trying to catch their breath and settle their heart rates down. Eventually, Sirius spoke.
"I don't know how you could possibly say that no one would want you, Remus Lupin. I've wanted you for a long time now, and I don't see that going away any time soon."
Remus gulped, blinking rapidly. "Y-you have?"
"Yeah. Bit disconcerting at first, as I've only ever been interested in birds. You're just special, I guess."
Remus closed his eyes as those words washed over him, heart singing. Sirius wanted him. It wasn't anywhere near a heartfelt declaration, but it was definitely a start. He opened his eyes again to find Sirius watching him nervously.
"Hey, ah, if you don't feel the same, that's alright, I know you like blokes, but 'course, that doesn't mean you'd automatically fancy me-"
Remus kissed him quickly, darting forward and brushing his lips over Sirius's, the contact brief but intense. He pulled back and smiled shyly.
"I fancy you."
"Oh," Sirius murmured, a slow smile spreading across his face. "That's, umm, that good, that's really good. So, Hogsmeade's coming up, then. Wanna go with me?"
"Yeah. Yeah, I do," Remus grinned. Sirius's breath left him in a puff of relief.
"Alright then. Now, you gonna come down? Forget about this stupid letter and come join your friends."
"Okay," Remus answered quietly, feeling lighter than he had in a long time. He still felt guilty about Lucy, but he was able to put it to the back of his mind. It wasn't all he was thinking about anymore. "I've got the Transfiguration essay to complete anyway. I'll meet you down there?"
"Sounds good," Sirius agreed, hopping off the ledge and heading for the door. Remus smiled at his retreating figure and then moved over to his bed to grab his homework.
"Yeah," he replied, turning to see Sirius watching him from the doorway.
"You're not homeless. Your home's wherever you make it, just as your family is whoever you want them to be. You'll always have family, Rem, which means you'll always have a home."
Remus stared at him for a long moment and then strode over and captured the Animagus's mouth in a long, slow and incredibly thorough kiss. The Black heir blinked dazedly when the other boy stepped back, his hand resting against Sirius's cheek.
"Umm, hmm. Y-you're welcome."
The werewolf smiled gently, stroked his cheek and then stepped back. "We going down?"
"What about your homework?"
"I'll do it later."
Sirius's mouth formed a comical, exaggerated 'O'. He grabbed Remus's hand and spun around, taking off down the stairs and pulling his amused looking-very-likely-to-be boyfriend behind him.
"Prongs, Prongs, you'll never guess what Moony just said!"
Remus grinned as they got to the bottom and streaked into the common room. Maybe that muggle saying was true after all.
Maybe your home really is where your heart is.