Disclaimer: Harry Potter is not mine. So don't sue me, you dumbass.
A/N: Well, this update has certainly taken me long enough. I just want to thank those of you who have sent me reviews, telling me to get a move on just write the damn fanfic.Getting Over You: Free
"Don't be scared.
Don't believe you're all alone."
Andrew Bird – Don't Be Scared
Remus Lupin's PoV:
I grunted in reply, the abrupt awakening unwelcome. Christmas was not one of my favorite holidays. It involved too much family at once, too many secrets to hide.
"Get up, Remmy. Come on!" the voice insisted again, this time accompanied by a sharp prod in the ribs. "We've been waiting forever!" I cautiously opened my eyes to see Sirius's head framed by the light coming through the window, creating a halo effect. Angel my ass. I made some sort of unintelligible noise and sat up, pushing my hair out of my face. "Yes!" Sirius declared triumphantly, a huge grin on his face. "Present time!"
He bounded off my bed and pulled on my arm, trying to drag me out of it. "Let go, for Merlin's sake. I'm up," I mumbled grumpily. "We go through this every Christmas."
"Yeah, you think you'd be used to it by now." Sirius leaned patiently on the wall near the door leading out of the dormitory. James and Peter would be waiting in the common room, having already collected the group's presents. It was a well loved tradition, established over their previous years at Hogwarts. I threw a smile in his direction before I closed my eyes to stretch.
"Is anyone else downstairs?"
"No. Just the Marauders. Everyone else has been up for hours," he said with jealousy laced in his voice. I opened my eyes, laughing at him until I saw his eyes. He was looking at me with such warmth and adoration that I just wanted to be enclosed in his arms, to feel them encircling me and keeping me safe. "You're beautiful."
"Sirius, you can't mean that."
Sirius straightened and took a step towards me. I took one back and felt the bed behind me. Although he was few feet away, I still felt trapped. "I do mean it. Remus, you have no idea how amazingly stunning you are."
"No, you can't mean that," I replied with insistence, shaking my head. "You have a boyfriend, Sirius. James."
"I know I do," he said as he took slow and deliberate steps towards me, giving me the feeling of calculating entrapment despite the gentle look on his face. "That doesn't mean that I can't dream. That doesn't mean I can't remember what it felt like to have you in my arms, to have your lips pressed against mine. That doesn't mean that every night when you're sleeping a bed away from me that my entire body aches from wanting to climb into bed next to you, knowing that it's not possible."
Sirius stopped in front of me, his body inches away from mine. He lifted his hand and ran it gently across my hair. I clenched my fists at my side, afraid of what I might do with them and closed my eyes tightly, afraid of what he might see in them. "Sirius.." I said, ashamed to hear my voice come out husky and needy.
A tense few seconds went by as Sirius remained where he was before he stepped back with a sigh. I opened my eyes to see his back to me, his shoulders uncharacteristically hunched. He looked small and weak, and it made me want to take him and hold him in my arms. Instead I went to my dresser and got a t-shirt out. As I slipped it over my head with my back to him, I thought I heard a soft noise. "What?" I asked as I turned around, seeing that his back was still towards me.
"I – I'm sorry. I don't know what's wrong with me. I know I shouldn't be doing this, saying those kinds of things to you while I'm with James but I can't seem to stop myself. It's not fair to him, and it's not fair to you." He sighed and squared his shoulders. Looking over his shoulder, he smiled at me as if nothing had passed between us. "Now hurry up, I'm sure the guys are getting impatient."
He bounded out the door like an eager child, running down the steps. I shook my head and closed the door behind me. As much as I loved him, I had a feeling there would never be the day that I could understand Sirius.
Sirius Black's PoV
Why did I do this kind of shit to myself? Was I really, in some sort of subconscious way, a true masochist? Did I enjoy pain? With a sigh, I thought about Remus. He had looked a little detached and sad earlier, which wasn't abnormal for him around the holidays. He always seemed to get the Christmas blues, and it was the Marauders' job to cheer him up.
Well, I had really always done the cheering up. But this year was different. Things were just so awkward between us. To be honest, I was the one making it awkward. Whenever I came within four feet of him I would just be overcome with how much I wanted him. I couldn't stop bringing back the memory of that day in the book shop, no matter how hard I tried.
And Remus seemed to have no problem forgetting. Until I brought it up. He acted like his normal self. He was cool, collected, and gentle.
By Merlin, he was gorgeous.
"Couldn't sleep?" a voice said close to my ear, making me jump a little.
"Don't scare me like that," I said, with a small gasping laugh as James walked around in front of me.
He sat next to me on the couch, leaning his head on my shoulder. We sat there like that for a few moments, just watching the dying fire together in a comfortable silence. "Sirius, should I be worried about you?" James said, his voice a little strained.
"No. What do you mean?" Had he noticed? Had he noticed that I had begun to think about Remus even when it was just the two of us together? Had he noticed that I wasn't the same person I had been at the beginning of our relationship?
"You just…" James sat up and looked at me, concern on his face and deep in his eyes. "You seem to be a bit distracted. Even when it's just us, sitting together talking, I can tell that you're mind is somewhere else. Why don't you tell me what's going on?" His eyes stayed locked onto mine, searching for the answers.
I swallowed, trying to buy time. What could I tell him? What could I possibly tell him? "James, I just.. I think that.." Fuck. I looked at the boy who had been my best friend for so many years and wondered how we had gotten to this point. How we had developed into a couple, and how he came to matter more to me than I expected and less than he deserved. I ran my hands over my face, needing more time to think, more time to stall.
"Are we breaking up?" James asked, his voice mildly, and politely, inquisitive.
"Yeah. I'm pretty sure that's what I'm trying to do." I sighed and leaned my head on his shoulder. "I'm sorry, James. I'm just… no where near good enough."
James laughed and ruffled my hair. "Yeah, but who is? I mean, come on. I'm too much to handle." I laughed, relieved that he wasn't upset with me. "We're still friends, right?"
I sat up, shocked, and looked at him. "Of course! Nothing could ever change that."
"Well, in that case…" James smiled at me wicked, a leer in his eyes. "Well are you going to stop ogling at Remus and put a move on it?" He laughed at the surprised look on my face. "You're so obvious, Pads. I know you never really got over him. I'm not as thick as I appear to be."
For a few moments, I looked at him in stunned silence. Yes, we were best friends, but we had just broken up. What was this? None of my other relationships had ever ended on such an unexpected note. I shook my head, laughing a little. "I don't think he'd really want to. Before… Well, before we got together a little something happened between us. I don't know if he likes me." Even with the last time we had kissed thrown into the equation, I still had doubts as to whether or not Remus felt anything for me. Had he been using my relationship as an excuse so he wouldn't hurt me? Or did he really want me?
James looked at me for a few minutes, then laughed. "Wow. I can't believe how insecure you've become. Has being in a relationship with me made you more girly? Because, come on, we both know I wore the pants."
"Insecure? I'm not insecure!" I knew my face was starting to turn red with embarrassment. I was hoping my face couldn't be properly seen in the dim light of the fireplace. "And you were so the girl! I mean, you're still mooning over Lily!"
"Well, at least I'm head over heels for a girl, unlike someone I know." He laughed as I threw a pillow at him, successfully hitting him in the face. James put the pillow in my lap and laid down so his head was resting upon it. "Seriously, Pads," he said as he looked up at me, "what are you going to do about it?"
I sighed and ran my fingers through his hair, finding the mindless action soothing, and rested my head on the back of the sofa. "Nothing, I suppose. For a bit, anyway. How am I to know how he feels for me? He's so practiced at keeping everything inside that it's hard to see what's going on inside that delicious exterior. I suppose I'll just have to wait him out, let him make the next move."
"Are you sure?" James interrupted cautiously, the tone of his voice causing me to look down at him. "I mean, you know Remus. He tends to move at a snail's pace, especially when it's something important. He obsesses and overanalyzes until it's almost too late to do anything about it."
"Yes, I'm sure. I've made too many wrong moves with him as it is. I don't want to make him feel pressured or obligated. I want him to be sure of his feelings for me before he makes any sort of move."
"You've really put a lot of thought into this, haven't you, Sirius?"
"Yes, I have," I replied with a sad smile. "I'm sorry that I believed I could fool myself into getting over him and that I used you to help me do so."
James sat up with a smile and ruffled my hair. "No need to apologize. I was using you to get Lily off my mind. It worked for a bit, but we both knew our relationship was never meant to be permanent. Neither of us are to blame."
All I could do was stare at him for a moment before laughing. "James, this has got to be the most surreal break-up either of us has ever gone through."
"I would have to agree with you. Come on, Padfoot," he said as he stood. "I'd say it's time we got to bed. I know I'm bloody exhausted. And we're going to have to think of a way to tell Peter and Remus that we've broken up."
"Go ahead, Prongs. I'll be right up." James nodded and bounded up the stairs to the dormitory. I took the time by myself to think about what had just transpired before the fire.
The fact that I was now free to have Remus meant nothing. What if he didn't want me? How would he react now that the excuse of a relationship was no longer between us? Would he find some other reason why he couldn't be with me? Or would he confess his undying love for me? Or perhaps he would do neither of those things. Perhaps he would just sit upon his thoughts and never reveal anything.
"Merlin's beard," I said to myself with disgust, "James is right. I am the girl."