Should Have Been

Note: This part is interesting…it's mostly Remus doing some heavy duty thinking, but we actually get into Siri's (the younger) head for a moment. And I love this Remus so much more than the Remus from the original version of this story. This one is a lot more grown up and…well, he's a little nutty, but mostly he's grown up. Originally Remus was a brat.

And Snape has this long-suffering 'God help me before I strangle this child' attitude that I can't help but love in him. It's so very…domestic.

BTW: I seen to recall one foot equals 30 centimeters. Snape's a bit over six foot, at a bit under two meters, and Chase is about five foot. I keep hoping he'll grow…Never mind. Ignore the rambling of the author.

Chapter Five

Late Night Ruminations

Siri padded out of his bedroom softly, but kept his ears strained for any noises from his fathers. He didn't hear anything, wolf type hearing was a blessing, and walked to his studio. This room was above the guest room and he could hear his…well, father tossing and turning. This wasn't new, Sirius stayed up almost every night since he'd arrived until around one in the morning.

He hadn't asked what plagued the man, as that would mean admitting that he was up late enough to know that he didn't sleep well and his dad would throw a fit. Especially if he knew why Siri was up so late.

He laughed at the thought was he pushed the window open. Yeah, he could see it now, explaining to his dad that he snuck out of the house every night to make out with his best friend. And then he could see himself being locked in the cellar until he was thirty.

He climbed out of the window, feet catching onto the thick knot of vines with easy. He climbed down as silently as he ever did and hit the ground. He scratched his head then looked up. Another two weeks before the moon and his dad transformation. He probably wouldn't stay this month, since his dad had Sirius with him.

Part of him cringed at the prospect of his father not wanting him around in favor of his…well, he wasn't sure what to call Sirius in relation to his dad. Logic dictated lover, but the idea in conjunction with his dad was a fairly icky one. Besides, the few almost…shy and chaste kisses he'd seem them share, the one from the first night, all told him they weren't sleeping together. And the fact he'd be able to smell them all over each other if they were also tipped him off.

He'd spent many a full moon beside his dad, just waiting out his transformation and being there to help him out of the cellar once the moon set. Not because he had to, his dad had kind of frowned on the idea when he was younger but no one had known how to make him stop (because he could throw quite the fit when he was so motivated.) but because he wanted to. It was what he had to do. His dad was a considerable amount calmer when he was present than he was without him. He didn't hurt himself like he used to.

He raked his hands through his hair, which hung loose from its usual braid. He didn't imagine he'd ever gotten it cut and, eventually, he'd have to remedy that. He knew his dad wouldn't be pleased, as the man was sentimental and fond of braiding his hair for him, but when Da wasn't around to help it with it was just a messy pain.

Chase liked it though.

He smiled wryly at the thought of his friend. Chase was, other than being his not-quite-boyfriend, his god brother and best friend. And he was…one of a kind. Safe to say Siri didn't know many boys who, in spite of having a father who was close to two meter's tall, were barely cleared one and a half-meters, painted their nails and got holes poked in their body when they were bored. (Some people found it odd that Chase's father would allow such erratic behavior, but Siri rather thought Severus found it amusing more than anything else. Much like his dad Severus just wanted Chase happy.)

His da said Chase was a lot like him when he was younger; rich, pampered, a touch jaded, and quite effectively bored out of his mind.

Truth be told Siri had a problem imaging his father as any of those things, excluding jaded, because his father was certainly a lot of that. But he had cause to be. From what Siri understood his dad had taken a lot of shit in his lifetime, but, after a momentary nervous breakdown, always got back up. Remus Lupin was pretty amazing that way. Nothing short of the apocalypse would stop him; or at least that's how Siri saw it.

He gave the man a hard time (He was, after all, a teenager. It was in his job description) but he was, honest to god, in awe of the of his dad. He did things Siri sincerely doubted he could ever do; putting up with the likes of him being the least of it.

Like how well his da handled the blood, bad and otherwise, between him and Uncle Severus. They had, for quite a few years, maintained a sort of…civility that bordered on unwilling friendship. Last year however that'd kind of been shot to hell, but from what Siri understood they were slowly gaining that old civility back.

He didn't get himself. They were so similar you'd have thought they'd get along very well.

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June, 1992

"Have I mentioned how infuriating this is?" Remus asked, observing the portals before him. Snape turned and looked at him, gaze questioning. "I mean, we have five portals, five of them, leading to your various estates. And only one leading to my home."

"You're poor."

"I am aware of that." Remus muttered, crossing his arms over his chest. "I didn't need to be reminded."

"If you are already aware Lupin, perhaps you should whine less."

"It isn't fair. You're a professor and yet you're rich."

"I had the common sense to not defy my family until my parents were dead." Snape said, voice mild. "The same can't be said for you."

"My parents are still living you know."

Snape was silent a moment, then he nodded slowly. "That is bothersome isn't it?"

Remus rolled his eyes heavenward, staring at the stone ceiling of the cave they were standing in. Then he looked towards one of the six portals as a pair of laughing boys darted out of one only to run into another one. He sighed, shaking his head.

The portals were, to be technical, enchanted paintings of their home. (Or homes in Snape's case. Annoyingly rich bastard.) The paintings from inside of the cave lead to parts of their estate they were sure no one else would be able to find, and the ones on the other side lead back to the cave. Remus was loathe to admit it, but Snape had thought it up and it was turning out to be a pretty good idea. It saved on floo powder and the amount of whining Siri did when Remus wouldn't let him visit the other boy because he wasn't in the mood to deal with Snape. Now he could just send the boy off on his own and avoid the other man.

Though that wasn't really possible. Siri thought Snape brilliant and Remus had to admit that Chase was a very…intriguing boy.

"You didn't answer my question."

"Well, other than the fact I maintain a steady job, and my parents didn't disinherit me, two of those belong to Chase and his brother. I just keep them from falling apart."

Remus sighed. "I miss having money." Really he did. He missed the house elves, the servants, the people who did everything for him, and never having to think about a single thing in life; and when he did think it was never about bills and food and the like.

Snape quirked an eyebrow. "I suppose your freedom isn't worth it?"

"You're mocking me."

"Though it is one of my more enjoyable hobbies, no."

Remus was silent a moment then, before he could speak, his son tore out of one of the paintings and launched himself into his arms, giggling. Remus smiled, bemused, and wrapped an arm around Siri to keep them steady. Siri continued to laugh breathlessly while burying his face into Remus' neck. A moment later Chase ran out, ginger colored hair sticking to his head with sweat. He came to a halt before Remus and frowned.

"You're cheating."

"Yes." Siri agreed, grinning down at him. Chase looked frustrated for a moment, then shrugged, dismissing it.

"You want to come see my instrument?"

"Kay." And like that Remus found his arms very empty. Severus rubbed the bridge of his nose.

"Don't break anything Chase."

"Yes Father." Chase said without even a moment's hesitation and Remus got the distinct feeling he wasn't listening at all.

"Chase-"

"Yes yes, don't break anything." The twelve-year-old stuck out his tongue and Remus saw a flash of fang. Apparently Snape was annoying him. Remus snorted, but instantly became straight faced when Snape glared at him.

"He's become insufferable since he started going to school."

Chase would be going for his second year at Brookridge Academy in September. Siri had been decidedly miserable the entire time the other boy was gone. Snape couldn't send Chase to Hogwarts, as he was a member of the staff and no one liked the child of a professor, but had chosen Brookridge because it was, in his own words, the second best school in the world.

Which reminded Remus.

"I suppose you had something to do with the acceptance letter to Brookridge Siri got." Remus couldn't help but be a little accusing. There was no way in hell a place like Brookridge would even look at his son without some serious coaxing. He was, as Snape so elegantly put it, poor. He hadn't even had a home for most of his son's life.

"What would make you think that?"

"Because Brookridge is the leading Pureblood academy in the world and Siri just barely fits the bill, with me being what I am. Everyone there is so rich they make most of the Pure students at Hogwarts look…well, poor. It's strictly people of your class, not mine."

Snape stared at him for a long moment then his lips quirked into what could be considered, for him, a smile. "That was quite the speech Lupin. You're right, as rare an occurrence as such a thing is, I may have pulled strings."

Remus glared. "I do not need your charity."

"It's quite a shame you can't live on pride alone. Never mind the fact I certainly don't consider you worthy of my charity. I assure you this is for my own peace of mind. Your son and my son will drive us both insane if we separate them and, considering our already fragile grasp on sanity, I'd rather not tempt the fates." That actually made sense. Remus could feel a serious blush coming on. "Besides, where would you send him? Toadstool, or Brewstroke?"

"Both of which are…decent schools." Remus muttered.

"The day I allow you to send my godson to a decent school will be an extremely cold day in hell." Snape's voice was almost emotionless, but Remus knew there was an underlying affection for Siri there. Snape meant it.

"Fine. But it says he was accepted because of his exceptional talents. What the hell are those?"

"How should I know? You're his father."

Remus closed his eyes for a moment. "Not to speak badly of my child, but he doesn't have any talents."

Snape nodded. "You should work on that."

"Yeah, thanks." Remus rubbed at his arm anxiously. "I wish he could go to Hogwarts." But of course he couldn't. At the moment as little contact between Harry and Remus, and by extension Siri, was what Dumbledore wanted and, considering everything the man had done for him, the least he could do was comply.

"We all wish a great many things Lupin. I wish my son would make friends, but he is adamant that Siri will be his only friend for the rest of his life."

"As long as they don't get married."

"I'll thank you to not joke about that kind of thing."

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Remus sighed, sitting up and shuffling over to his window. His son was really overly optimistic if he thought for an instant Remus didn't know when he was and wasn't in the house. He rolled his eyes, watching the teen run into the woods.

Remus may have been blessed with an intelligent child, but he hadn't gotten on with much common sense, sadly. He figured, in a general sense, he shouldn't have allowed the boy to run around like this, but it wasn't like he didn't know where he'd be. He'd be where he always was, with Chase. And, in spite of his lack of common sense, Remus trusted Siri to not do anything overly idiotic.

…well, actually, he trusted Chase not to do anything overly idiotic. Chase was an extremely practical teenager, which Remus could only assume had come from growing up with a father like Snape, who was nothing short of disgustingly logical.

Excusing his deep seething hatred for Sirius of course. While Snape and Remus could get along just fine when only the two of them were concerned, the moment you added Sirius to the mix hell was sure to break loose. It made sense of course.

Snape and Remus were similar, after a fashion, and may have made a nice pair, in a different world. Snape and Sirius, however were almost opposite ends of the spectrum. Snape dealt in absolutes, logic, what was and was not…anything else was simply something he didn't have the time to waste with. Sirius' had always dwelled in a world of possibilities, what may and what could be one day, and let his heart tell him where to go. Remus loved that, a person not concerned with image or what was accepted…Sirius had truly marched to his own beat.

Snape hated that. The carefree Sirius of old had driven him mad, because he just couldn't and maybe would never

understand that. Then again, Sirius could be carefree when he was younger, because he'd had nothing to hide.

Snape and Remus had a lot in common, as scary a thought as that was, and at the top of that list was the fact they had to hide their true natures. Of course Snape had been a bastard in school and did everything in his power to find out what Remus' secret was, but when it really came down to it, it had been less something Snape wanted to do (which wasn't to say he hadn't, because he was a bastard) and more something he was compelled to do.

Vampires were quite horribly obsessive-compulsive and Snape's obsession had been finding Remus out. He was almost flattered, in a weird, sick, twisted sort of way.

Once he'd lost sight of his son Remus returned to his bed, but only sat on the edge and looked around blandly. Like most of the first floor it was almost exactly the same way it'd been prior to James and Lily dying. Sure, he'd had three years to throw out Sirius' things (and he had, to some of them) but he'd never been able to bring himself to get rid of the man completely.

Mostly because he couldn't. He could never purge Sirius from his life while he had Siri; it was just impossible. They had too many similarities for him to even begin trying to do that. So he'd dealt with it all. The bookshelf that held Sirius' books had been moved into what was now the guest room, along with his clothes and things, and Remus had more or less sealed the room off.

And now, ironically enough, Sirius was sleeping there…with all of his things. Almost like Remus had done it in preparation for his arrival, as opposed to just trying to move some things from his sight. And maybe he had done it, hoping he'd been back.

He wasn't going to lie, he'd always…hoped that maybe it wasn't true, that maybe Sirius would come back to him. He hadn't been able to help it, something inside of him wanted Sirius with him no matter what crimes he may have committed.

It was an urge that was part human, wanting the man he'd loved more than anything and had given up his family for, and part the wolf inside of him. It'd never been official, but Sirius had been the one the wolf chose as its mate and it could never have accepted anyone else in his place. The only thing the wolf could accept as a reason Sirius was gone was death, and since he'd known Sirius wasn't dead (Because if Sirius died he would have felt it. If he was sure of nothing else in life, he knew if Sirius died he would know it.) the wolf couldn't accept.

And really, in a technical sense, the lose of a mate meant death for a werewolf. If Sirius had died, he may have survived because, all those warm fuzzy feelings aside, they'd never actually made it official. Never spoke about it, because they'd never thought they'd have to.

They'd had forever.

Really, Snape had never had a chance. And he'd probably known it; if anyone would understand about monsters under the surface and what they craved, it'd be Snape. Remus had thought, for a time, that he could be with Snape, because Snape would understand the beast within.

But the beast didn't care for Snape much, or, rather, it hadn't cared for anyone trying to take Sirius' place. But, like most things over the past few years, Remus chalked it up to a learning experience. Sirius was it for him and anything else he'd done was simply because he had, once upon a time, been completely unable to take care of himself.

He had the strange urge to smoke. He'd never smoked himself, but Sirius had gone through a phase around the age of twenty. Remus hadn't practically liked the smell of it, but he'd found he kind of liked the smoky taste Sirius had taken on.

That was probably his subconscious trying to tell himself. Well, unvoiced desires be damned, he was not going to Sirius' room. He was gong to stay put. He wouldn't give in to temptation, he was stronger than this, he knew he was.

It'd taken a long time to be strong, but now that he was he…he didn't want to just give it up.

He chuckled wryly, realizing what was holding him to this room. (Damn crafty subconscious. Always got him in the end.) He wanted his continued independence and he couldn't help but wonder if accepting Sirius back as his lover would crush that. (Certainly not on purpose, as Sirius would never set out to 'crush' any part of him. Sirius had just always been the more...dominate party in their relationship, though neither had every acknowledged it.)

When Remus needed protecting from the Slytherins, Sirius was there to protect him. When Remus' parents were harassing him, Sirius was there to act as his reason to oppose them. When the Ministry came sniffing around to be annoying, Sirius had been there to scare the hell out them. When life got hard, Sirius had been his buffer, smoothing out the rough patches.

Sirius had, in his own kind and well meaning fashion, helped keep Remus what he'd been his entire life. A boy, and eventually man, who relied on others to do what he needed. When he was growing up his parents had controlled everything, up until his being bitten. And after that little slip in their control, they never faltered again. Everything was carefully structured and planned and Remus lived in a goddamn bubble for so many years, with people waiting on him and never giving him a chance to make a decision, that he'd become disinterested and kind of…expected such things.

Hence his bratty behavior.

When Sirius had left him and been disowned, Remus had been envious. He and his parents had been at odds since he'd joined up with James, Sirius, and Peter. James and Peter had never really indulged him like he was used to, and Lily certainly hadn't once she joined their fold, but Sirius (and he realized this now) would have slain dragons and stormed castles to please him.

So when Remus eventually left his parents, he'd known he'd have Sirius there to keep him safe and give him what he needed, because he was hopelessly incompetent. And when Sirius was gone he'd fallen apart, until Dumbledore had come along and tried to force him to be an adult.

He'd messed that up by making him live with Snape when the Ministry took away his house. Snape, due in part to being a vampire, had a sense of family and responsibility that almost put that of a werewolf to shame. He'd taken Remus in and had, quite effectively, put him back into a similar situation as when he'd lived with his parents, only he had the worlds loudest child to care for.

And he really hadn't done that well. He remembered the first time Siri started screaming at night and he hadn't known what to do. He'd eventually began to cry himself, utterly frustrated with the howling (and he meant howling in the literal sense) infant and the situation he was in.

Father of the year he hadn't been, to say the least of the matter.

Once things with Snape died he'd stayed at Hogwarts for a time then, finally, realized he had to take care of himself and his son. It'd been hard and frustrating, and he'd been sorely temped to crawl back to his parents and concede that there was no way in hell he could care for this child, he just wasn't strong enough to do it.

The thought of going to his parents, however, was so disgusting that he'd refrained from doing it until he got to a point where he could take care of himself, and would do it. He'd finally been able to do it himself and he hadn't needed anyone, and it had felt good.

For the first time he'd felt like…he was his own person. Liberated almost, able to make his own choices and raise his child and make himself a home (even if home was a hole in the wall apartment next to a prostitute, who frequently day-lighted as his babysitter.)

He didn't want to be the old Remus. And who was to say going back to Sirius wouldn't do that? He had the occasional lapse even know, wanting to cry out for someone to take his life and let him take a break because he couldn't bloody well do it anymore, who was the say climbing back into the arms of his former lover wouldn't be just the chance he needed.

Remus knew if he allowed it, Sirius would take everything out of his hands and work his damnedest to fix the world for him and make it perfect. That was just part of Sirius' personality. It was part of what Remus had been drawn to, and maybe fallen in love with.

He sighed and flopped back onto his bed, closing his eyes against the world for a moment. He didn't want to be that person again, but who was the say that things with Sirius would work if he wasn't?

Something inside of him said it would, but his brain was less than convinced.

Sure, he'd changed, and Sirius had changed, but who was to say that their relationship could handle such changes.

Well, you certainly won't figure it out sitting there will you? A voice that sounded a disturbing amount like Siri asked, mocking painfully clear.

Hearing voices was usually the first sign he was suffering a breakdown, or lapse in sanity. But, at least, no one could ever accuse him of not knowing when he was losing it.

And you have the nerve to call your son a slacker. Look at you, all of three meters from him and you're sitting on your arse analyzing the whole thing to death. It's no wonder you haven't slept with anyone in over ten years, you're a pain in the arse.

This was fantastic, a voice in his head was mocking him. He groaned and fell back on the bed, sighing.

He didn't remember when he lost his mind, but it became more apparent with each passing day that he had. Still, the voice had a point.

Naturally.

Remus rolled his eyes, but stood up again and, glancing out of the window as he walked past it, walked out of the room. He was sure the voice was smirking, having won the 'battle' but Remus decided it was best to ignore it, least he start speaking to himself out loud. He hadn't quite transcended that level of insanity.

He rapped on Sirius' door, feeling his stomach clench anxiously. Part of him snickered, because he hadn't felt like this since he was sixteen. Sirius called out to him to come in and Remus pushed the door open, wondering why the other man still seemed to be side awake.

Sirius was sitting in a chair at the foot of his bed, feet on the mattress, and staring…well, at nothing. There wasn't really much to look at in here, except the walls.

Remus considered his options for a moment, trying to think about the best way to go about this. Deciding he was going to fix what was going on between them, and actually doing it were a touch different. Sirius looked over at him, eyebrow arching just so.

Remus hesitated only a moment then, deciding to be cautious some other time that wasn't today, walked over and bent down, kissing Sirius firmly. Sirius was still a moment, then returned the kiss and pulled him closer. In a matter of moments Remus was in the chair, straddling Sirius, and a hand, that he was almost positive wasn't his, was under his t-shirt. He reached up, burying his fingers into Sirius' hair and twisting the strands around his fingers.

Yes, he decided when blunt teeth tugged at his lip, that this was the perfect way to go about it.

Then Sirius drew back, taking a deep breath and Remus shifted and let his fingers drift over the other man's chest, tongue darting out to wet his lips. Then Sirius pushed him back and, taking the hint, Remus got up. He tugged the other man up and over to the bed, pushing Sirius back and climbing on top of him.

He kissed him again, tongue darting out to taste his lover, then sat up. "Sirius-"

"I swear Remus, if you decide this is a time to talk, I will kill you."

"And then you'll really be buggered, and probably not in a way you'd fancy." Remus said, voice sounding rough to his own ears. Sirius shrugged, apparently conceding the point. "And I just want to be clear on something before we do this."

"If this will move things along, then by all means." One of Sirius' hands was dancing over his leg, pushing his pajama pants leg up as he went. Remus smiled, but didn't protest.

"Things are going to change. Before I let you do everything and kind of came along for the ride."

Sirius blinked. "I wouldn't take it quite that far."

"Sirius I…I think I kind of grew up. I don't need you in the way I used to. Make no mistake, I still need you, but I don't want you to be my protector anymore, and I don't want to be some naïve kid you shield from the world. I want, and fully plan to be, my own person. I don't need you to hold my hand, make my plans, and decide what's best for me."

Sirius was silent for a moment, eyes looking over Remus' shoulder. Remus frowned, wondering if Sirius was upset, then the other man sighed.

"If this is a very elaborate way of asking to be on top, you could have asked years ago and I would have said yes. Variety being the spice of life and all that."

Remus laughed. "You're impossible!"

"Yes yes, I know. Scold me later."

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"I'll be sore for a week you know."

Remus snorted and rolled over so his back was facing Sirius. "You're welcome."

Sirius snorted and wrapped his arm around the other man, pulling Remus until they were pressed against each other. He nuzzled the brunettes neck, where the sweat was just starting to dry then licked the man's shoulder. Remus reached over and smacked him.

"Knock it off and go to sleep Sirius."

"Tired? Are you giving in to old age on me Remmie?"

Remus muttered what Sirius cold only assume were obscenities directed at him and, if he knew Remus, his entire genetic line. (Excluding their son no doubt.) Then the brunette sighed.

"You just wait, you incorrigible, insufferable, insatiable prick."

Sirius smirked against the other man's neck. "You have always said the sweetest things."

"God I hate you."

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KrazyKat: Well, to be fair, I actually like Snape. Remus/Snape is probably my third/fourth favorite pairing, after Remmie/Siri, Harry/Snape, and Ron/Harry. Plus, as you in this chapter, they relate to each other in ways I doubt Remus could relate to anyone else. (In this universe anyway…)

Siren: That was rather mean of him wasn't it? Calling the poor depressed werewolf a whore and all…but yeah. An extremely cute fungus… That's Siri. Scratches Siri behind the ears affectionately He just grows on everyone around him. Remus, Snape, Sirius…

Laura: Sirius doesn't feel that he has any place to protest what Remus may or may not have done while he was locked up. He's having self-worth issues at the moment, so he's trying to be accepting.

Moonglaze: It's because Remus is a werewolf. Siri is a half-breed, which is exactly what it sounds like trust me, and part of that is the ability to turn into a wolf pup.

Shadow: Aww. Thanks.

Mango: As always, glad you enjoy it.

Meh. It's done. I decided to break this stuff apart because after this chapter it takes a darker turn and it's less 'relationship' and more 'action' and…yeah. So Keep an eye out for the sequel.