Author's Disclaimer: I am sad to report that I do not own Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, James Potter, Peter Pettigrew or any of their aliases, nor do I own Lily Evans, Molly Weasley or 12 Grimmauld Place, and I definitely do not own Voldemort and his Death Eaters. They all belong to JK Rowling. Neither do I own "Come Sail Away," that belongs to Styx. I, in fact, own very little. So please don't sue me.
Author's Note: This is my first attempt at a song-fic. I hope it doesn't suck. And if it does, I hope you tell me so that I can warn others."Rock On, Remus"
Remus Lupin leaned back on his elbows, stretching his long legs in front of him. The temperature that night was perfect. He knew it was cool, but the air was so light he didn't notice. He flexed his toes, remembering how James used to talk about perfect weather, when you couldn't even feel it. That was tonight. Remus's shirt rippled as a gentle breeze passed, giving him goose-bumps on his arms and neck. He sighed, folded his hands behind his head, and lay on his back. The sky was clear, and the brightest stars could be seen despite the city's glaring lights all around him. He hoped no one would find him here. He'd sneaked away mid-dinner, praying the faint popping would not be heard as he apparated to the roof of number twelve Grimmauld Place. He didn't usually apparate when stairs were readily accessible, but when they were younger, Sirius had played a prank on him and Peter, and he'd not gone remotely near the attic of the house ever since. He chuckled imagining the reaction when Molly Weasley realized he'd gone missing; she'd probably tear the house apart, worrying that he'd done something drastic at last. She needn't worry. More than a month had passed since Remus had lost his last true friend in the world. The time for dramatics was over; quiet acceptance had settled over him like a heavy blanket. The acceptance was worse than the grief. When he had surrendered to anger and tears, he felt his whole body would shatter. Finally accepting the loss, he felt he would suffocate with the gravity of it all. His eyes burned, but no tears came. He had no tears left for his fallen comrades. He was out.
Music wafted through an open window of a neighboring house, and Remus closed his eyes, listening for a familiar tune. He didn't recognize the song. He smiled to himself, knowing that he probably wouldn't recognize any of the music coming from that radio. He hadn't actually paid attention to popular music since his twenties, as it seemed to get progressively worse. Bill teased him whenever Remus mentioned this. They weren't too far apart in age, actually, and though the eldest Weasley son appreciated Remus' tastes, they usually bickered over the radio whenever Bill was over. Bill followed music trends with feverish enthusiasm and tried to force Remus to at least acknowledge the universal similarities between the new and old. Sirius usually mediated these debates, finding great amusement in seeing the two men so adamantly defending their individual preferences. By the time they reached an agreeable compromise, no one ever really felt like listening to the radio anymore. Sirius took lighthearted advantage of this; once Bill and Remus stopped arguing, he usually picked the most obnoxious station he could find.
The moon was slightly more than half-full tonight. Remus eyed it with concentrated indifference. Full moons were once again a lonely experience for him. How strange then, that every phase was doomed to be just as isolating from now on. It was really not an unpleasant sight; he realized how little attention he paid to the moon as an entity in its own right, as opposed to that which turned him into a monster every month. He could see the rest of it cast in shadow. He squinted his eyes, trying to locate every crater. He'd never seen the man in the moon, but piecing together the craters hidden on the dark side, he could envision a face, maybe. His brow furrowed. If that was the man in the moon, Remus was feeling stupid for ever envying people who could see it. Peter used to walk around reciting a poem about the man in the moon; James would thump him on the head every time he started it. James didn't like the poem, Remus couldn't fully appreciate it, and Sirius could never remember enough to pick up where Peter left off. It didn't matter anymore. The man in the moon looked like a mess of craters and shadows. Not like a man at all. Not like a face, at any rate. Maybe more like someone's soul.
Remus's ears perked at the sound of a piano cutting through the night. He knew this song, he thought with relish. He lifted himself on his elbows to hear better. The introduction was really the best part, he remembered. He mouthed the words, grinning slightly.
I'm sailing away
Set an open course
For the virgin sea
He'd never been sailing in his entire life. Sirius used to talk about going, but they never had. James was afraid of the water. They'd tried to teach him to swim one year, but the giant squid kept messing with his feet, tugging him playfully under the water. James hadn't thought it funny at all.
'Cos I've got to be free
Sirius. Freedom was all Sirius had ever wanted. Freedom from his family, freedom from rules, freedom from Azkaban, freedom from being protected.
Free to face the life
That's in front of me
Remus stopped lip-synching. The amusement was fading as he listened to the words he'd so long forgotten.
Onboard I'm a captain
So climb aboard
We'll search for tomorrow
On every shore
He smiled vaguely, envisioning himself and his three old friends as teenage pirates. He smiled, envisioning Peter walking the plank. He smiled, envisioning him, Sirius and James discovering a deserted island. Discovering a purpose in something pointless. Searching for their tomorrows on treacherous shores.
And I'll try
Oh Lord I'll try
To carry on
Oh, Lord. He lay back down. I'm supposed to carry on without them, he reminded himself. It wouldn't be the first time. But he had had Sirius back. He had thought those times were over.
I look to the sea
Reflections in the waves
Spark my memory
Some happy, some sad
I think of childhood friends
And the dreams we had
"Why does my name have to be Wormtail?"
"We could call you Rat-Fink."
"Oh, shut up already."
"Why do you want to be a rat, anyway?"
We lived happily forever
So the story goes
"I commend you, gentlemen. This is brilliant!"
"Now, what should we call it?"
"The . . . the . . ."
"It should have something to do with us."
"The Completely Innocent Prowler's Guide to Hidden Hogwarts!"
"That's a bit long, Wormtail."
"How about the Marauder's Map?"
"We're not marauders, Moony."
"But anyone using this could be, dear Padfoot."
"Point taken, sir."
"The Marauder's Map it is, then."
"Prongs, this idea is genius."
"Yeah, I know."
"James and Lily?"
"Yeah, he finally convinced her to marry him."
"Poor girl. . ."
"They're gonna name me the kid's godfather!"
"Good for you, Padfoot!"
"Why didn't they pick me?"
"Because they like me better, Wormtail."
But somehow we missed out
On the pot of gold
"Dumbledore thinks someone is leaking information to the Death Eaters."
"So what are they going to do?"
"How do you hide from Voldemort?"
"Lily and James, Sirius! How could you?"
"THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE DIED! DIED RATHER THAN BETRAY YOUR FRIENDS, AS WE WOULD HAVE DONE FOR YOU!"
But we'll try best that we can
To carry on
There was no one left to carry on but himself. He'd try best that he could. His whole life had been spent carrying on. He'd never really lived until he met James, Sirius and Peter at Hogwarts. He hadn't really lived after their little utopia had fallen apart before his eyes. He was destined to carry on until the day he died.
Remus sat upright, bending to put his shoes back on. The rest of the song was meaningless, and he'd had quite enough of being alone for one evening. He stood, taking one last glance at the moon, and disapparated into the house. He didn't see the shooting star that had just streaked its way across the inky black sky.