Holding Out For A Hero: Chapter 8
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A/N: Wow. I... Next chapter? Here it is!
"Padfoot told me he tried to apologize to you," James said when they had both reached the dormitory.
Remus sat on the edge of his bed. "He did. I just didn't really want to hear it."
"Is there anything he can do to make you less angry?"
"I'm not angry."
James raised an eyebrow.
"I'm not," Remus insisted. "It's just…." He began picking at a loose thread on his sheets, thinking of how he might possibly explain to James his disappointment, the sense of loss he felt every time he thought of Sirius intentionally revealing Remus's terrible secret. Sirius, whom he had thought of quite as his best friend, knowingly putting Remus in danger of hurting another student.
Remus's stomach dropped when he imagined what could have happened if James hadn't followed Snape into the Whomping Willow that night. It was not lost on Remus that if this friendship were salvageable, it was due entirely to luck and James' presence of mind. If the wolf had gotten hold of Snape, Remus knew his relationship with Sirius would have been severed forever. Whatever petty argument had induced Sirius to act as he did, Remus could not have imagined it was worth the pain he was feeling as a consequence. "Things are just all wrong now, Prongs. I can feel it."
James looked at him hard. "Would things be as wrong if it were me or Wormtail?
He didn't respond at first. But when he looked up at James' eyes, brown and intent, he could tell he already knew the answer. "No."
Remus heard the defensiveness in his own voice and cringed. He expected James to look smug or triumphant, but his friend only nodded seriously.
"I know. So it's even more important that you let Padfoot make things right again."
Remus threw his hands up, weakly. "How, James? I can't just make myself trust him again."
To this, James had no answer.
It had been a long two weeks. Two weeks of almost speaking to Remus but not, and stealing furtive, anxious glances in his direction every morning at breakfast. Two weeks of talking to James and Peter, who were both good friends he would die for, but neither of them were Remus. Finally, he could stand it no longer. Waiting at the foot of the Astronomy Tower, he caught Remus on his way out from class.
"Moony, wait," he said, jogging after the light-haired boy.
Remus turned, adjusting his books in his arms. "Sirius."
"I'm sorry." Sirius put his hands on Remus's shoulders, speaking clearly as the stream of Astronomy students passed on either side of them. "I'm sorrier than I can tell you, about what I did."
Remus pushes his hands away. "I don't care."
Just then, Peter turned the corner at the bottom of the stairs and caught sight of them. "Oi, Padfoot! Skiving class again, huh? You know, you're-"
"Peter, you incorrigible sod." James appeared behind him and seized his wrist, looking pointedly at the other two boys. "Come on, we've got to… um… speak with the professor." He began dragging Peter back up the stairs.
"But Prongs, I'm talking to Pa- mmhf-"
James clamped a hand over his mouth, and they proceeded out of sight.
Sirius inhaled slowly. "Right, well. Listen here, Moony."
Remus observed him coldly, waiting for him to continue.
"You're being a right git to me, way I see it. If you're angry with me, that's one thing, and I could understand that much. I fucked up. But Prongs says you're not even angry anymore, now that Snivellus is sworn to secrecy and nothing bad's happened. And you keep treating me like I don't even deserve the chance to grovel for forgiveness."
Remus's demeanor fell slightly, but Sirius barreled on. "It's not like you, giving me the cold shoulder all the time, not even letting me apologize. This is more than just Snivellus, or one of your friends mucking things up." He watched Remus intently for a moment, and then stepped closer to him. "It's me, isn't it?"
Remus drew a sharp breath and looked away, taking a step backwards. "I- I don't know what you're talking about." He looked nervously about them; the corridor had completely cleared of students.
"Yes you do," Sirius said quietly, taking Remus's chin in his hand and gently forcing him to meet his eyes. "You're angry, because I fucked up…and because you want to be with me as much as I want to be with you."
With these words, Sirius kissed him.
Remus's eyes widened and his books tumbled to the floor, landing in a heap at their feet. Sirius's lips moved over his, and his arms encircled his waist. The smaller boy stood frozen, his hands at his sides. He could feel his own heart pounding, or perhaps it was Sirius's.
Then, closing his eyes, Remus raised his hands to Sirius's chest… and forcefully shoved him away. Sirius stumbled back, and stared. "Remus. Remus, I…." His quiet voice trailed off into nothing.
Remus placed his fingertips over his mouth, shaking. Then he lowered his hand, making an obvious effort to compose himself. Wordlessly, he kneeled to pick up his fallen textbooks. When he straightened again, his eyes were moist, and his words cool and angry.
"Arrogant, thoughtless ass." With that, Remus strode past him, turning his face from Sirius as he hurried out onto the grounds.
Sirius gaped after him, torn between following him and bashing his face into the wall. With a groan, he leaned his back against the stone corridor wall and dropped his head into his hands. How could he have been so stupid? Apart from Remus clearly not having the slightest interest in other blokes, he didn't trust Remus with last week's trash. What had he been thinking?
Sirius heard a muffled sound from behind the stairwell wall. "What's that?" he said aloud.
His two friends' faces peeked out from behind the stones, and looking sheepish, James pushed Peter out into the corridor. Peter coughed awkwardly. "So, um…how'd it go?"
"What the fuck, Prongs? Were you there the entire time?"
"Better question," James said, holding up an index finger. "How do you haul off and do something as rash as all that without consulting me first? I mean, we all love you for being reckless, but are you sure that was the most appropriate course of action? Given that he-"
"Oh, sod off, both of you," Sirius said, stomping off in the direction of the Gryffindor common room and grumbling to himself with his fists shoved deep into his robe pockets.
James watched him go, somewhat bemusedly, while Peter fretted.
"Are you sure we should let him go?"
"They'll be alright, Wormtail," James said, ruffling the stout boy's hair condescendingly. "That's probably just the first step to making up. I'm sure it only looks and sounds like Moony hates his guts."
Peter's ears began to turn pink at the tips. "Did you…did you see them? They were kissing."
"Something to think about later on tonight, eh, Wormtail?"
James laughed loudly and put his arm around Peter's shoulders, leading him out onto the grounds. "Just joshing. Now, about my twenty-five galleons…."
A/N: Haha. Yayyy. I know someone's probably reading this and thinking I have no idea where this story is going, but rest assured- I do! Kind of. A little bit. Next chapter: Return of the Slytherins. I mean, I think. Review, please! Later days :-)