For Bex, via GGE. Enjoy, my love!
He falls and falls and falls, but, God, that split second feels like an eternity. A moment of pure helplessness washes over him as time seems to stop, knowing what is happening as the Veil draws him and being unable to stop it.
His eyes search the room, finding Remus. He wants his lover to be the last thing that he sees. He wants to leave this world in peace.
But he does not see him as he is now. The scene seems to change around them, the Department of Mysteries fading and swirling into something new.
They sit together, smiling, holding hands. Sirius never thought he'd have this moment again. All those years in Azkaban, all that time on the run, the hell and misery. But now there is sky above him, and Remus is at his side.
"You're a free man," Remus says, and it's the first time in so long that his tired face shows signs of peace, as though Sirius' freedom is his own salvation.
Sirius laughs, his eyes fixed upon the setting sun, taking no notice of the Muggles that usher their children out of the park as night begins to creep in. He gives Remus' hand a gentle squeeze. "And I get to spend my days as a free man with you."
"Poor you. I'll probably bore you with books," Remus teases.
Sirius' lips twitch into a grin. "If I have to die, it best to be bored to death by the one I love."
Remus laughs. "We'll see if you feel the same in a few years."
Sirius kisses his cheek. "I will," he says, and he's never been more sure of anything in his life.
Remus scolds him. They're late again, and it's entirely Sirius' fault. "The Order isn't going to just wait for us," he sighs. "Why can't you take this matter seriously?"
Sirius smirks. "I take everything seriously. Or maybe just Sirius-ly."
Remus rolls his eyes, but the subtle upward quirk of his lips betrays his amusement. "You're impossible."
"You aren't pronouncing 'perfect and ridiculously good looking' right. I thought you were supposed to be the scholarly one."
Remus grabs him by the shoulder, urging him forward. "Come on, or you're sleeping on the couch tonight."
Sirius is reasonably sure that it's an empty threat, but he decides not to take the risk. "You don't play nice," he whines.
With a mock salute, he allows Remus to guide him.
"It's going to be a small wedding," Sirius explains. "With things the way they are now, Remus felt that it's best to keep it simple. Just a few friends."
Harry's eyes widen. "And you want me to stand as your best man?"
Sirius nods. "I was your father's best man. I had hoped that some day he would be mine…" He trails off, closing his eyes for a moment. "You are my godson, Harry. Over the years, you've become more like my family than my own flesh and blood. I would be honored if you would be my best man."
Harry throws his arms around Sirius, and Sirius smiles, gently patting his godson on the back. He had never wanted children. They had always seemed like too much of a hassle, and he's always been too childish to even think of raising one. But all he wants now is for Harry to stay in his life, to be his and Remus' family.
"Of course, I will, Sirius."
"I do," Sirius says, his eyes fixed on Remus, unable to fight the huge grin that spreads over his face.
War is slowly unfolding all around them. The world is growing darker each day. But here they are, hand in hand before their loved ones, finding a light in the darkness.
He understands now why James and Lily chose to marry during the war. Nothing is promised, and love should be celebrated. There should be something beautiful in such a terrible world.
"I love you," Remus whispers before they share their first kiss as a married couple.
Remus smiles against his lips. "I know."
"Oh, remember when we were newlyweds?" Sirius sighs as he watches Bill and Fleur share their first dance.
"That was only a year ago," Remus says patiently.
"Was it? It feels like forever."
Remus chuckles. "That's what happens when you get old. The years start blurring together," he teases.
Sirius grins before climbing to his feet, offering Remus his hand. "May I have this dance, Mister Black?"
Remus takes his hand, pulling himself up. "I thought you'd never ask," he says, wrapping his arms around Sirius' waist as a slow song begins to play.
He could stay like this forever, just dancing with his love, enjoying the closeness, the comfort of Remus in his arms. If only life could be this perfect all the time.
Sirius watches in horror as Dolohov raises his wand, a curse ready to fall from his lips.
Not Remus, he thinks. Dear God, not Remus.
He doesn't hesitate. He raises his wand, taking aim. "Stupefy!" he cries, and a wave of relief washed over him as the Death Eater falls.
"I don't need you fighting my battles," Remus sighs. "You let your guard down-"
"Something we're both doing now," Sirius points out.
Remus seems to realize this. He frowns before quickly pecking Sirius on the cheek. "Just… Try not to die."
"I promise, I'm doing my best," Sirius laughs, offering Remus one last lingering glance before parting.
They sit together in the Great Hall, both exhausted, bruised, and bloody, but alive. Sirius grins. "We won."
"Yes, we did," Remus says, a tired smile tugging at his lips.
"I wish James and Lily were here to see it," Sirius sighs. "It's finally over, and we're the only ones left."
Remus nods, his eyes heavy. He looks like he might collapse on the spot. "They'd be-" He covers his mouth, yawning. "They'd be proud."
The exhaustion seems to take over. Remus' eyes close, and he sways slightly before falling toward the table. Sirius throws his arms out to cushion Remus' head before it can slam against the wood. "Let's get you home," he laughs, climbing to his and pulling Remus into his arms.
"I've been thinking," Remus says.
"You're always thinking," Sirius points out.
"Hush. As I was saying, I've been thinking, and maybe it's time to… I mean, the war is over, and the world is safe again," Remus says, a rosy tint creeping into his cheeks. "Maybe we could adopt a child and start a family."
Years ago, those words would have terrified Sirius. How can he raise a child when he's still a child himself? But he's changed so much since then. His childish ways are still there, but looking after Harry over the years, he's learned to balance them out.
"A family?" he echoes, a sudden flutter in his chest.
He pulls Remus closer, kissing him gently. "I think I'd like to have a family with you, Remus."
"Teddy! Be careful!" Remus calls as their son stumbles down the stairs.
Sirius smiles sadly. Teddy is so much like Tonks, so clumsy and carefree, that it hurts his heart.
"Dad!" the little boy wails, laying in a pitiful heap on the foot of the stairs.
Sirius scoops him into his arms, kissing his nose. "Don't worry. When you're bigger, you'll have much worse injuries than that!"
"What? He's the next great Marauder, Moony. Isn't that right, Tedsy? Gonna be just like your Daddy Sirius, aren't you?"
"Uh-huh!" Teddy says excitedly, seeming to forget his scraped and bruised knees for a moment.
Remus sighs. "If that's the case, I'm not sure that I'll survive the next thirteen years. You and James gave me enough heart attacks."
The world comes back into view, and Sirius feels as though his heart is being ripped apart. A sudden sense of longing brings tears to his eyes.
"I'm sorry," he says, his voice barely a whisper, inaudible over the chaos before him. "Remus… If only we had more time."
He supposes it isn't the worst way to die. He can still see Remus as he falls, and that's enough of a comfort. His eyes never leave Remus' face as he falls, embraced by the Veil.