Disclaimer: I don't own anything, other than the impossible plot.

Summary: AU. After the Willow incident, Ministry decides to get rid of Remus, whom they see as a potentially dangerous creature. Sirius doesn't react well to this. Darkfic, death and suicide. Slash RL/SB

WARNINGS: This fic contains SLASH, meaning male/male romantic relationship. Also contains semi-graphic death and suicide. If any of these offends you, hit the "Back" button now.

Rating: R for angst and death

A/N: I've always thought it's highly improbable that the Ministry bastards would have let Sirius, and especially Remus, out of the trap that easily. It's far more likely that they'd punish at least "the beast," if not Sirius. This is my picture of how it could have happened.

Yeah, angst and character death. You should know me by now. ^__^

*

The Tale of Moony and Padfoot

*

"James?" Sirius asked warily as his best friend entered the dormitory.

There was no reply. The other dark-haired teen merely walked to his own bed, opening his trunk and began digging into his stuff in search of something.

"James?" Sirius repeated, this time with a louder voice.

James still didn't say anything. He found the book he'd been searching for, closed the trunk with a loud thud, sat on his bed, and pretended to be reading. Sirius knew, however, that his concentration was anywhere else but in the book.

"James, look at me!" he yelled. His friend didn't, but he shifted his head a bit in a way that told Sirius that he was listening. So, the blue-eyed boy continued, "Did you ask him?"

"Remus doesn't want to talk with you," James snapped. "He doesn't want to even see you. You can't sneak to the Infirmary, Pomfrey'll never let you in. And even if you could, Remus promised to hex you if you go there."

Sirius's heart sank. Remus refused to talk to him. His Remus, his boyfriend of two years ever since their fifth year, wouldn't talk to him, wouldn't even see him! And it was his own fault. It was his own fault that Remus hated him and James and Peter ignored him.

He hid his face in his hands, tears flowing down his cheeks.

*

Sirius raised his eyes as he heard the dormitory's door open. James and Peter had once again gone to see Remus, who was still in the Infirmary. They would never talk to Sirius, but usually he could figure out of their behaviour how Remus was doing.

He was surprised as he saw the furious expressions on his two friends' faces. Before he had time to do or say anything, Peter had run to him and flung himself on Sirius, fury blazing in his eyes.

"You bastard!" Peter roared very uncharacteristically. "You utter, complete BASTARD!" He tried to hit Sirius, but Sirius caught his wrists first. Even when aggressive, Peter was still physically weaker than he was.

"What now?" Sirius asked, positively frightened. Other than the outraged glow in Peter's grey eyes, he saw clearly the still fresh traces of tears on the round face. He was positively frightened now. What had happened? Had something bad happened to Remus? "James?" he questioned, searching his other friend with his eyes.

James's hazel eyes were cold like ice as he turned towards Sirius. "I hope you are happy now, you fucking bitch," he said sharply, making Sirius flinch at his harsh words. "They've taken Remus!"

"WHAT?" Sirius exclaimed. Suddenly, he couldn't hold Peter's fists away anymore, he was too weak. It didn't matter, however. The smaller boy had broken down at James's words, and he now lay on Sirius's bed, crying like a little baby.

"The Ministry," James said, tears glimmering in his eyes as well. "They'd come in the morning and taken Remus away. They think he's too dangerous, and they're going to..." His voice trailed off. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and finished, "They're going to execute him."

Sirius's world shattered into a million pieces. So did his heart.

*

Sirius sat in the Headmaster's room, where he'd been called to just some time ago. He'd been to the room numerous times, ever since his first year, when he'd done something too bad for even the Head of his House deal with. Usually, he was there carefreely, trusting to his ability to get out of trouble easily.

Now, however, he was nervous. He was beyond nervous; he was almost panicking. His gaze wandered around the room, trying to stop on anything else but at the Headmaster. Where, of course, it stopped.

The old wizard examined him closely over the half-moon glasses. "I think you deserve an extreme punishment for your stupidity and careless actions," Dumbledore said sternly, with no twinkle in his now steely blue eyes.

Sirius nodded, swallowing. He agreed completely. The only point was that he couldn't even imagine anything that might be a punishment enough.

"I called the Ministry of Magic," Dumbledore continued, "and they said that usually this isn't allowed. However, after I explained the situation, they agreed with me to a certain... arrangement."

Sirius nodded again, slowly. He was beginning to get really, really nervous.

"As a punishment for your immature prank," the Headmaster said, "you are to witness the execution of your boyfriend."

Sirius stared at the old wizard in shock.

Then, slowly, very slowly, he sank back in his chair, with only one thought running in his mind.

'I deserve this,' he thought. 'I deserve this for getting Moony injured. For getting him killed.'

'I deserve to have my heart cut off my chest and torn apart.'

*

Sirius watched carefully the small cell in front of him. It was a simple one, with a shaggy bed as its only furniture. Only bars were separating it from the corridor. Only bars, thin enough for Remus to tear apart by his bare hands - if they just hadn't been covered with a thin layer of silver.

"I didn't know they have cells here, in the Ministry," he said quietly.

"They have to keep me here," Remus explained calmly. "They aren't allowed to put me into the Azkaban for waiting since I'm not even 17 yet. Otherwise, there's no doubt they'd surrounded me with Dementors."

Sirius bit his lip, trying hard not to let the tears fall.

"Don't cry," Remus said softly. The young werewolf tried to reach his hand out between the bars, but flinched as the back of his palm touched the silver. He stepped backwards, rubbing the burned place on his skin.

"How can you just forgive me?" Sirius asked, sobbing. "I got you into Infirmary, and now - and now I'll get you killed!"

"What's the point?" Remus asked back, then sighed. "See, Sirius, it's just the best. If I'm not going to see tomorrow, I'm Hell surely not going to spend my last day alive hating you."

"But this is my fault," the raven-haired boy said gloomily, trying to wipe the tears away. "Without me, you wouldn't be here. Without me you wouldn't be just about to die!"

"Yes, it is your fault," Remus said calmly. "But you didn't mean it. And whatever you did it for, I'm not going to die without forgiving you first. I'm not that cruel." He was quiet for a moment, then said, with almost inaudible voice, "Besides... Maybe this is just for the better."

"How can you say that?" Sirius exclaimed, tears still stinging in his eyes. "How can this be better? You're going to be executed in half an hour! You're going to die, for the love of Godric, how's this supposed to be the better?"

Remus sighed, this time in frustration. "See, Sirius, the fact that they can do this isn't the only unfair law against werewolves. Should I survive now, I'd however grow up being watched from every direction. I wouldn't be able to get a job, marry, adopt, or even have my own children. I would be like an animal in a cage, and you know that'd drive me crazy." He smiled a little, sad smile, then said, "At least, if I die, I can be free."

"Free to what?" Sirius asked, his voice raspy with all the tears he'd shed.

"Free to rest, of course," Remus said with a gentle smile. "And to roam the forest, as Moony. That's the only place where I've ever felt really free. The place where I could howl next to you. I, in general, remember nothing of my transformations, but that I do remember." He looked distant for a moment, then said, "The next time you go to the Forest... Howl for me, Sirius, since it was my duty to howl to the full moon and now I can't fill that duty."

"How do you think I can ever go there again without you?"

A sad glint in Remus's eyes made Sirius almost cry out aloud. Then the werewolf said, with a very quiet tone, "Maybe you could, since that's the place where you'd be nearest to me."

Sirius slipped his hands between the bars, as Remus was unable to do so. He reached for the smaller boy's hands, grasping on them. "If that's where your spirit is going to rest," he said softly, wanting badly to bring one of the hands to his lips but not wanting to risk that on Remus, "I'll be there to the last breath of mine."

"Don't overdo it," Remus said, smiling a little, sad smile. "Move on, Sirius. You're a handsome, nice guy, you don't deserve to be left alone. I want you to be happy. If someone else makes you happy, just know that you have my blessing."

"I could never be happy with anybody other but you," Sirius said determinedly.

Remus shook his head, with a gentle smile on his lips. "Never say 'never,' Sirius," he reminded his boyfriend, then took one of Sirius's hands up to his mouth and placing a tender kiss to each one of his finger tips. "I love you," he said raspily.

Sirius nodded. "I love you, too," he said in return.

*

Sirius was sitting in a little room with two Aurors on his sides. His eyes wandered around the room, trying to avoid the empty stone wall in front of him. The wall where only markings were some remains of dried blood.

This was the room where the Ministry executed werewolves. Stand against the wall, get a silver bullet through your heart, die. Quite simple and easy. And very messy, he'd been told. The Aurors who were watching him whilst the execution had seemingly enjoyed describing the events to him - a part of his punishment, which he thought he deserved, but still so painful to him.

The door in the other side of the room opened, and his eyes flew there, expecting to see Remus. He was right. The other teenager walked in, two Aurors on his heels, wands drawn and pointing at his back. Remus's wrists were bound together behind his back, and Sirius could see the glint of a metal collar that neutralized his magical powers temporarily.

His heart hurt to see Remus like this. They treated him like a dangerous criminal, like a murderer or something worse. Other than even murderers were usually put into prison. Remus, however, was innocent, and still he'd get killed.

And it was all Sirius's fault.

Still, he felt something between pride and shame as he watched his lover. Remus kept his head up and his back straight. It looked like in the last moment of his life, the boy had got the self-confidence he'd always seemed to lack. Remus had maybe lived hiding, but he would certainly die proud.

"Do you want a blindfold?" one of the Aurors asked from Remus. From her tone Sirius noticed that even she pitied the young convict and his ill fate.

Remus shook his head. "I'd rather see what is coming," he replied calmly.

The Auror nodded slowly. Then she herded Remus standing in front of a wall. After making sure that the boy was standing steadily she stepped aside, giving Sirius a straight view to Remus's face.

Sirius searched for the golden gaze, wanting to see it properly for the one last time. His efforts were rewarded as Remus's eyes locked on his. 'I love you,' the gold-eyed boy mouthed to him, and gave him a small, only the tiniest bit shaky smile.

"I love you, too," Sirius whispered, too quietly to be heard by anybody nearby. Remus's werewolf hearing, however, caught the words, and he nodded briefly. Sirius kept looking into his eyes, admiring the knowing and kind light in them. He refused to look at the Auror who had stepped in front of Remus, a Muggle gun in his hand.

Then, there was a loud bang. Remus's calm expression didn't waver as the silver bullet sank into his chest just where his heart was.

Sirius watched in shock as blood spurted out of the hole in Remus's chest. The werewolf opened his mouth to a scream of pain but it never came; the silver killed him before the sound was formed. Sirius saw, horrified, as the small body of his beloved boyfriend slowly collapsed to the ground

Sirius heard somebody screaming. It took him a moment to realize it was he himself.

Then he fell into the welcoming darkness and knew no more.

*

"Sirius?" James asked testingly as he walked to the dormitory, finding his two friends there.

There was no reply.

"Sirius, mate?" the bespectacled boy tried again. "Geez, Sirius, look at me!"

Sirius didn't raise his eyes from his hands, which lay in his lap.

"It's useless," Peter said quietly from his bed. James turned his eyes to his plumpy friend, who continued, "I've tried to coax him out of his shell for hours now. He won't open up."

James glanced again at Sirius, watching closely the unmoving form of his best friend. He now noticed that it was the same position where Sirius had been as he'd left the room four hours ago. He didn't look like he'd move anytime soon, either.

James sighed and flung himself on his own bed. He'd forgiven Sirius - if Remus could do that, knowing what was awaiting him, why couldn't he, James, do the same? - and thought that he'd got more than enough of a punishment already. It hurt him to see his usually so overenthuastic friend this way, passive and depressed.

It hurt him even more because he knew what Sirius was capable of when he got too emotional. He'd kissed Professor McGonagall once when he'd been extremely happy. He'd proposed to Remus in front of the whole class when he'd been extremely much in love - thus bringing tears and a dreamy gaze to the eyes of every female in the class, including Professor Sprout. He'd led Snape to the Willow when he'd been too angry.

James didn't want to even start guessing what he might do in depression.

*

"He didn't get even a funeral."

James raised his eyes from the book, surprised. He was actually happy of the distraction, for two reasons.

One, he couldn't have concentrated on the book anyway - DADA reminded him too much of Remus. Shit, anything reminded him of Remus nowadays. Any subject, breaks, meals, people - everything seemed to be somehow related to their werewolf friend. None of the Marauders had attended to any classes for three days now after Remus's death. Nobody was even expecting it, however James was trying to read some of his homework, if not for anything else then because that had been what Remus had always been telling them to do - to read their homework. He'd never done it when the werewolf had been alive. He wanted to do it now, as if he could honour Remus's memory by that.

Two, it'd been three days and Sirius hadn't spoken. Not a word, until now.

"What do you mean?" James asked, curious and the tiniest bit worried. He of course knew who Sirius was talking about, but what did he mean, no funeral?

"They never gave him a proper funeral," Sirius said again, his tone bitter and raspy with all the tears he'd shed these past days. "They just buried him to the ground, with not a word about it. He didn't get a tombstone. The only thing to his memory is a placate to the wall where are mentioned all people who have died while still in the school."

"Oh, shit," James whispered. He hadn't even realized that the Ministry folks could be that much of bastards.

"Exactly," Sirius said, nodding grimly. He raised his eyes which, as James could now see, were again dwelling with tears. "Remus himself would be upset, too. He was the only one of us who wasn't an Atheist. He was the only one to whom all those ceremonies were more than just a tradition."

"And they didn't even give him a funeral."

"They didn't," Sirius said, his body now slightly trembling. "That much respect they held for yet another beast."

With that said, he broke into tears.

*

"Sirius?" Peter asked from the bed with closed curtains. "Sirius, are you there?"

There was no reply.

"Hey, Sirius?" James repeated Peter's call. "Why don't you reply?"

Still, not a sound.

The bespectacled teen frowned slightly. Even when Sirius hadn't been talking, he'd always responded with some kind of sound. He'd never kept quiet. And he would never be asleep at this time - the sun hadn't even set yet.

Yet, he hardly left their dormitory nowadays. And he didn't reply.

Slightly worried, James walked to his friend's bed, Peter right on his heels. Flipping the curtains aside, he looked to the bed.

Nobody was there. Instead, there was a parchment note.

His hands slightly trembling, he took the note. He already feared what it might say.

"James and Peter,

I can't bear it anymore. I don't want to live, not without Remus on my side. I can't even turn to Padfoot, it hurts so much to be a canine and not have Moony next to me. I'm just a half of a human without him. There's simply no point trying to go on.

When you receive this note, you have one person less to hate. Where it began, it shall end, too.

Sirius"

"Oh, fuck..." James whispered. "Peter, I think Sirius has done something very, very stupid. Or if he hasn't yet, he will soon." He tossed the piece of parchment to his friend and continued, "Read it on the way. Right now, we have to go and find some teacher!"

*

The edge of the Forbidden Forest.

The Marauders had been there, on a long walk during a break in the spring of their first year, when they'd at last confronted Remus, forcing him to confess just what was behind his regular disappearances.

They had also been there on an autumn night of their fifth year. It was when Sirius, who'd mastered the transformation at first, had turned into Padfoot. That day he'd shown Remus how much they'd done for him, how much they cared. That day he'd seen the loving glint in Remus's eyes for the first time as the young werewolf had seen a fellow canine.

This had been the place where Sirius had confessed his love to Remus, fearing to be rejected but surprisingly receiving the same confession in return. That day had been the happiest in his life; the day when they had become a couple, when they had become lovers.

This was where the tale of Moony and Padfoot had begun. This had to be the place for it to face its end.

The sharp steel blade felt cold against the smooth skin of his wrist. He surveyed the feeling momentarily, then purposefully sliced across the wrist. He watched emotionlessly the blood smearing out of the wound, then switched the knife to the other hand and repeated the manoeuvre.

He watched closely his wrists, which were now smearing blood on a rapid pace. He began to feel a bit dizzy as the blood loss grew greater and greater. He smiled slightly, knowing that he'd succeed.

His sight was going dimmer. He couldn't tell whether it was the quickly approaching sunset or the fact that he felt like he was going to faint. He lost his footing momentarily, falling down.

He stood up again, feeling much better now. He saw a dark pile on his feet and frowned. Had he taken off his robes? At least he didn't remember doing that.

Suddenly, Sirius heard a loud bark behind him. The Animagus turned around and saw Moony, as clearly as in the middle of day. The wolf was waiting for him at the edge of the Forbidden Forest, his tongue lolling out, his tail waggling from side to side. His eyes were laughing the silent wolf-laugh that Sirius had never failed to notice.

Sirius turned into Padfoot and lowered his paws to the ground. Oddly enough, he didn't even feel the cold snow under his feet. It was like it didn't even matter anymore, like nothing mattered but Moony, Moony who was waiting for him to come and play.

With a cheerful bark and a waggle of his tail, Padfoot joined his old mate.

*

Two very quiet boys were walking in the Hogwarts grounds. The sun hadn't even risen yet, but they didn't care. They hadn't slept a moment that night, nor had they on the night before. They were still too shocked, too deep in mourning over their two best friends to even require sleep.

James had taken Sirius's death especially heavily. As much as he'd loved Remus, Sirius had been his best friend. Plus, he hadn't found Remus's dead body in the ground, cradling it in his lap and cried over him. Sirius's body, however, he had held, having found him first in the bloodied snow. This all had left him quite stunned, unable to even shed a tear over his best friend.

Peter wasn't any better, however. He'd also seen Sirius dead, he'd heard James's incoherent whimpers as the bespectacled boy had held the body tightly against himself. He'd also lost Remus, his best friend. It was only that he'd had more time to mourn over this great loss than James had had for Sirius, and that's why he appeared to be calmer than the only other remaining Marauder.

If it could be said that there was some benefit of this sorrow, it had brought them nearer to each other. The common sorrow for their two friends' too early cut lives and their abrupt ends had forced them to help each other. They'd learnt to lean on each other, support the other when he was too depressed to do on his own, to listen to teary confessions of longing and missing.

It was very probable that James was to Peter, and Peter to James, the only reason why they'd not chosen to follow the two dead Marauders, taking in Sirius's example of self-destruction.

James was extremely depressed. Sirius had only been buried the day before. He'd been buried next to Remus, like he'd asked in the will he'd left behind and which they'd found when they'd been looking through his trunk. This had required some special arrangements with the Ministry, as the little graveyard Remus had been buried to was only allowed to those Ministry'd executed, but Dumbledore'd stepped in and helped the will to come true. Like Sirius had also hoped, they'd held a funeral for Remus, with only a couple of words to acknowledge Sirius. Sirius had never given a fuck to anything even relatively religious, so he didn't have any problems with missing an actual funeral, the blessings to the grave and all. Remus, on the other hand, had been very fond on the Wizarding religion.

He felt slightly guilty of Sirius's death. He thought that he could have prevented it, that if he'd found Sirius sooner he could have saved him. Now, he had come too late.

He noticed that they were near the place where Sirius's body had been lying, and shivered. The snow was now clean and white, with no marks of the tragedy that had taken place just days before. There was no more blood tainting the snow, no marks of Sirius's body in the untouched surface of the snow. There were no marks of James, either; the pit he'd left had vanished as new snow had rained.

He still remembered sitting there, Sirius's bloody body pulled to his arms. He'd cried like never before, cried for his best friend who'd died far before his time. He'd cried for Remus, too. For the two lives that had been abruptly cut too early, for the two lives full of plans and dreams that would never come true.

They'd planned to live together after graduating, Sirius and Remus. They'd thought of buying a little house together and living there. The two planned to get married, even, as soon as Remus would have turned eighteen. Remus had dreamed of having children, either adopting some Lycanthropic kids or having some of their own, or both. Sirius had full-heartedly supported this dream, saying that he wanted a big family, too.

Now there wouldn't be any house. No marriage would take place, there would be no "pitter-patter of little paws" like Remus had once said, smiling at the last word and making Sirius laugh. Remus and Sirius would never be Godfathers of James's and Peter's children, they would never send their own children to Hogwarts, never become grandparents, never grow old together. Their future had been broken in two short moments, in one pull of a trigger and one slice of a knife.

It was so unfair to James's mind. Sirius and Remus had deserved happiness more than anyone other. Their past had been so much of sorrow and disappointments, so much tainted with Dark, that they'd a thousand times deserved a long and happy life together.

Now it would never come, and for this James had cried more than anything.

If Peter hadn't been there, he'd probably killed himself, too. The kind eyes of his last remaining friend, the gentle words and the shared sorrow had kept him bound to life. Only the truth that Peter had been in as much pain as he had forced him to fight the urge to stop his miserable life.

He'd never before noticed some things of Peter. The boy had been so quiet, talking mostly to Remus, and trusting Sirius and James less. James had always thought of him more as a tag-along, never quite realizing just how close he had been to Remus. Now he'd noticed this, Peter being the only one he could talk to, the only one he could trust - and he being the same to Peter. Long midnight conversations, teary confessions, and shared memories had brought them so close that he had no problem telling anything to Peter. He now saw the little green freckles that marked Peter's otherwise sapphire eyes, Peter's little habit of sniffing his nose like his Animagus form, the one blonde lock that always fell to his eyes and wouldn't keep back.

Sometimes, when he was lying awake in the dead hours of night, all things again and again rolling in his mind, he thought that maybe Peter could be his new best friend... That maybe he could once love Peter, even.

He only hoped that Peter could love him, too.

James believed in life after death. He had to, being a wizard and having discussed the topic with many ghosts. He also knew that the spirit of a wizard could rest in the place they loved the most, and with whom they loved the most.

He hoped that it was so to his friends as well.

Suddenly, he felt a hand touching his arm. "James," Peter said, his voice oddly excited. "James, look at there!"

He looked at the place where Peter was pointing at, and gasped. In the edge of the Forbidden Forest, two large canines were play-fighting against each other, rolling around in the ground.

One of them was a large wolf. His fur was golden brown, long and shiny, and his eyes flicked golden in the dim light of the approaching morning. He was making little, barking sounds, obviously enjoying himself in the game.

The other was a dog, also much larger than any natural animal. He was the darkest hue of black, like a plot of ink even against the darkness of the Forest. There wasn't a hint of snow colouring his jet-black fur, despite the truth that he was all the time rolling in the snow, tumbling against the wolf in the happy play-fight. As he barked, he revealed a row of fangs at least as respectable as those of the wolf's. He was, however, also only playing, keeping sure not to hurt his playmate.

As the two boys warily walked nearer, they noticed that neither of the canines left footprints to the white snow.

James held his breath, knowing that Peter did the same. How many times before they'd seen this scene? How many times they'd seen their friends here, in the very same place, playing and rolling and barking like hyperactive puppies? Many, many times. Too many times to remember them all.

And somehow, they knew this was the last time they'd ever see it.

As they watched in fascination, the two animals seemed to notice them. For a moment they stopped, watching the two boys closely. The wolf's golden eyes held a bit sad glow, but the dog's deep blue eyes were glinting with mischief and joy. They waggled their tails, raising their muzzles to the last howled goodbye to their former companions.

Then the dawn came, and they vanished to the morning mist.