I Will Remember You

Lokaia

Summary:: Remus is lost in his thoughts, making only one or two wrong turns.

Disclaimer:: Anything and everything below does not belong to me besides the words and plots. Characters not mine.

AN:: I know the title is lame but I have this obsessive-compulsive little habit of naming all of my stories after song titles. Sorry.

Rating:: PG

-----------------

It hadn't been fair.



It had been cruel and heartless, and he hadn't even tried to stop it. Severus Snape had dangled, upside-down, high in the air, his robes over his head. James and his friends had laughed and even the one sitting away from it all had found it hard not to crack a smile. And, then, of course, Lily had come by and chastised James who, of course, merely used her presence as a way to bargain for a date.



Lily, furious beyond description, had stalked off and James had finally set Severus down. Being as miffed about Lily's reaction as he was, James had allowed himself to be led away by the rest of his friends.



But how had Severus felt about it all? How had he handled the rest of his day? How had the other children teased him?



How could Remus Lupin possibly be dwelling on such a ridiculous memory?



Curled up in an armchair before a dying fire, Remus found himself calling up every old memory he could get his mental hands on--besides the ones he should have had. A single thought towards the one he *should* have been thinking of brought back the memory of Harry's head in the fire, complaining about the incident with Severus and how his father had constantly messed up his hair, thinking it made him look dashing. Which was ridiculous. He didn't look dashing--he looked like he had yet to be introduced to a comb. But it was hard to convince him of that when Lily had finally submitted to his pestering and agreed to a date. Remus smiled as he remembered the hours of preparation James had put on his hair before picking up 'the lovely Miss Evans', as Sirius had called her.



Sirius...



Remus fought to keep that name in his mind. Fought against himself not to change to another topic, another memory--anything that was less painful than that single word. Anything that would make him forget that he was so utterly alone now.



There was a time for grieving, and a time for forgetting. And he had forgotten more than was necessary tonight.



He had held back his emotions in the beginning for Harry. Harry, dear Harry, who had screamed and fought as Remus held him, who had refused to believe what Remus was only beginning to consider. The face... James' face... that had glared at Remus and fought and screamed threats at the murderess of his godfather...



He had had to be strong for the boy. It wouldn't do to go sobbing in the corner--not then. He remembered fighting to keep a hold on Harry's arms as the boy had fought with every ounce of his strength to break free. He had no chance with a lycanthrope, of course, but the action was real, the threats were real, the anger and hate and pain in his voice, those were real as well...



Remus scolded himself. He had allowed himself to dissolve into another memory--*after* the fact. He closed his eyes and let himself sink into it.



His friend's laughing, taunting voice.



Bellatrix's wand, whipping forward in slow motion, and the spell that shot forth.



The surprise on the man's face as her spell connected with his chest.



The way his back curved, sending his entire body backwards.



His eyes glancing from one face to the next in stark surprise--Tonks, Moody, Harry... Remus.



The fear that had entered his expression as the eyes focused on Remus.



And finally, the dais, now holding one woman, one archway, and no man.



Remus found his eyes opening shakily. He had expected tears. Tears were something that hung around you as a constant reminder of what you had seen, how you felt. But his eyes were dry, the only change in his body was the shuddering that now clung to his breath.



Sirius. He had befriended Remus first. Invited himself into Remus' compartment on the train and spoke loudly to his black-haired, bespectacled friend, and inquired about the book Remus was reading and why he was so pale, and, oh, did he feel well, because he certainly didn't look it.



Looking back on it, Remus *should* have been insulted and annoyed at having his privacy interrupted. But he had smiled, answered the boy's questions, and introduced himself.



Maybe it was the eyes.



Sirius had always had beautiful eyes. They were such a clear, concentrated blue. The sort of eyes that were warm and friendly at all times. If they ever happened to become a hard, cold sapphire color, the best thing to do was run out of the way. Quickly. Immediately.



Remus had never been on the receiving end of such a look, but he recognized it from all of their interactions with Severus. He, Remus, had only been met with eyes that were laughing and mischevious and, above all, friendly.



It must have been the eyes.



Not that the rest of Sirius was hard to examine. Other students had been envious of the boy's body, toned by insane amounts of time spent on the Quidditch field. Remus remembered waking up far earlier than he would have chosen to hear Sirius counting how many push-ups he could do. Then Remus would argue with the boy to go back to bed until one of them became too fed up for words and would tackle the other. This would escalate into loud, playful fighting that would eventually bring James running, tripping, and joining as well. And then the last bed would stir and protest and finally P...



No. It was the time for grieving and forgetting. Hating would come later.



It could have been the hair that drew him in, Remus mused. On anyone else, straight, pure black hair wasn't much of a commodity. It was startlingly normal, really, for such a boy as Sirius. But if somehow, some way, one managed to thread their fingers through it, they would notice how it fell like strands of silk. How it shone, bright and beautiful everyday, without so much as a wand to help it along.



Seeing Sirius on the floor of the Shrieking Shack, the laughter gone from his eyes, the shaggy, greasy hair lying limp and plastered against his head, Remus remembered fighting back the urge to use a cleansing spell on his old friend.



Oh, and how he had felt... alone, so alone for those twelve years Sirius was gone. Hating him... that was what hurt the most now, how much Remus had hated him. He had believed the lies. Not the first year, not the second. But the third... the fourth... the fifth... how long did it take to doubt your best friend? Not very when the rest of the world brought forth the most astounding evidence.



Realizing, finally putting the last bits of a puzzle long overdue to be finished together, had brought forth such emotions of guilt and happiness that Remus had nearly been torn apart on the spot. The only thing that held him together, he gathered, was the presence of Ron, Hermione, Harry, and... and the *rat*.



Grieving. Forgetting. Hating will come later.



After he had left Hogwarts, Remus didn't see his friend for several months. Something close to half a year later, Dumbledore had sent word to him that Sirius would be safest staying at a friend's for a bit. By 'friend' he meant Remus, and by 'bit' he meant year. At least until the Order had been properly established and they had been able to move headquarters to the tiny piece of Hell Sirius had called 'home' in his childhood.



When Sirius had first come to stay, Remus had been slightly worried. It wasn't that he didn't trust his friend, no, complete and utter trust had been bestowed on Sirius since the night in the Shrieking Shack with Ron, Hermione, and Harry. It was more that he didn't exactly trust himself. Once, when they could not have been more than thirteen, he and Sirius had thought themselves in love, romantically. Further experimentation led them both to realize that what they had was love in friendship, and a bond tighter and stronger than brothers. Physical infatuation, but not romantic love.



Remus remembered being scared to death that what they had done would tear apart their friendship. But Sirius had thought nothing of it. The 'experimentation' hadn't gone very far--Remus wouldn't allow it. Werewolves, like their wolf counterpart, mated for life. Thus virginity was something Remus held onto with the strength of a thousand giants.



Huddled in his armchair, Remus shuddered, thinking of the consequences of what might have happened if they had followed their hormones instead of their heads. The betrayal, or what he had believed to be betrayal, would have been the first cut. As the years continued to roll by, Remus would have found himself wasting away, even more so than he was now. The wolf would have pined for his mate, slowly losing appetite and energy until, finally, both man and beast would have died.



And Sirius would have had no one to turn to.



Like Remus had no one now.



But if he was going to think of Sirius, he was going to follow one train of thought at a time, and this was about when Sirius had come to stay with him. There was a bit of awkwardness for about a day before Sirius finally broke down and admitted his fears--that everything had changed and he and Remus could never be as they were.



Remus had smiled and sat beside his friend, absentmindedly stirring a cup of tea. He had assured Sirius that since the moment of understanding what had truly happened to James and Lily, Sirius had been completely absolved of all charges in Remus' mind. Everything was as it had been, or as near to it as they could get.



They had embraced and called each other 'brother' and life continued on. Letters sent to Harry were the light in Sirius' day and he had loved choosing the most random of birds to confuse and, hopefully, delight his godson into trying to guess where Sirius was hidden. Little did the boy know that it was barely seventy-five kilometers out of Little Whinging.



And, *oh*, some of the days Remus fought to keep Sirius from rushing off in his dog form to catch a glimpse of Harry.



It worried him sometimes--Sirius' devotion to Harry. It seemed sometimes that Sirius didn't want a godson--he wanted James back. James who had agreed and schemed along with every one of Sirius' plans. James who had been the greatest friend any boy, including Remus, could have had.



But Harry wasn't James. And the more Remus tried to convince Sirius of that, the angrier the other man became until he was forced to shout and yell and, eventually, sulk about it all.



We aren't children anymore, Sirius Remus had wanted to say, but held it in. He is no more his father than you are yours. You cannot expect him to join in on your pranks because he doesn't want a prankster--he wants his father back. And if not his father, than someone who can be one to him. Someone who can love him as his aunt and uncle never could and never would. That is Harry that you're looking at, Sirius. Not James. Never James again.



"Never James again". The sentence sounded odd now, as it had then, and Remus sighed at this execution of sentence structure. And yet, how easily the word 'James' was replaced with 'Sirius'. Never Sirius. Never Sirius again his unconscious taunted him. That was the worst. Taunting with sentence structure... and with his friend.



Would he never be free of the injustice of the world?



The scars that littered his body were proof of the first injustice. God, how could anyone call life wonderful when the very vivid memory of a werewolf's jaws clamping onto your collarbone was so embedded into your mind?



The second injustice left scars as well, but not physical. There, lying deep as well as shallow within his mind were the scars he had placed there himself. Sirius... it wasn't Sirius who was James' and Lily's killer... it wasn't Sirius who deserved the pain and emptiness of Azkaban...



Peter.



If he lived a thousand lives, Remus doubted he could ever say or speak that name without shuddering, without clenching his hands into fists. The urge to break something was strong and, as his flat was shabby enough, he detoured his mind to another thought.



James was gone but, oh, how good it had been to look upon his son. How alike they were, not only physically, but in their actions, even the way they spoke. Without looking at his eyes or forehead, Remus could swear it was James he was speaking to, not Harry. With Harry there to remind him of the past, James would never really be dead--never really gone. Harry was the living extension.



If only Sirius had a living extension himself. Some child, somwhere, with coal black hair and sapphire blue eyes. A child with the irresistible urge for mischief and, God willing, the same love of motorbikes.



Remus hated to fly and he had an idea that Dumbledore would skin him alive if he offered Sirius' bike to Harry. Perhaps when the boy was older...



If only...



Before discovering Sirius in the Shrieking Shack, Remus had small instances where he would look up from his desk to see Harry bent over a bit of work, writing away like mad, or staring off into space. It amused him that when Harry *wasn't* working at all was when he looked most like his father. And when that happened, when Harry and James became interchangable, Remus had the sudden feeling that he wasn't alone. His close group of friends, his *only* friends, weren't gone, hadn't betrayed him, weren't dead. They were alive in his memory and before him, in the desk, rubbing the quil against his chin and pretending to be deep in thought while his friend whispered a comment or two to him.



Remus hadn't had the heart to reprimand Ron about it.



So maybe it was selfish. Or stupid. Or ridiculous. But if Sirius had had a child who was as alike to him as Harry was to James...well... maybe Remus wouldn't feel so lost and alone in his little flat, with Harry only seventy-five kilometers away. Seventy-five kilometers was as good as seventy-five-thousand in this case.



Sighing, Remus curled into a tighter ball, drawing the shawl around his thin shoulders and trying to coax the fire into a brighter flame.



Sirius.



There was a time for forgetting and for grieving. A time for hating.



But tonight... tonight was only for remembering.



And as he settled down for what he could only assume to be a night of restless sleep, in a small house closer than seventy-five kilometers, a child with coal black hair and sapphire blue eyes was sleeping quite soundly, a small smile amidst pleasant dreams.