Rating: PG 13
Warnings: MALE/MALE things, angst, written in a post-modern style.
Disclaimer: Whilst I solemnly swear that I am up to no good with these characters, I'll give them back to Ms Rowling when I'm done.
Summary: Remus and Sirius question happiness and its many forms.
'Light up, light up, as if you have a choice,
Even if you cannot hear my voice,
I'll be right beside you dear…'
- 'Run' – Snow PatrolFirst Year
If someone were to ask Sirius Black if he were happy he would look at them as if they were crazy.
Happy? Of course he was happy! He would laugh, a grin breaking out across his face as his eyes sparkled gleefully. He had finally left behind the vipers called his family and was, instead, bonded to three close friends – sworn brothers. He had discovered that lessons were easier than he had anticipated and he was having the time of his life. Hogwarts was his new sanctuary, and it was here, he was sure, he would be able to finally become the person he wanted to be.
If someone were to ask Remus Lupin if he were happy, he would smile politely, clutching a large textbook to his chest.
Yes, he would reply, he was perfectly happy. To be given a chance to go to the best wizarding school in the world was more than he could ever have hoped for. He had friends, for the first time in his young life, and his education was growing in leaps and bounds. Yes, he was very happy, thank you very much, and despite the small flicker of wariness that always lurked in his eyes, he would enthuse for a long time over the library.Third Year
If someone were to ask Sirius Black if he were happy, he would laugh giddily, folding his arms across his chest as he spoke.
Yes, of course he was. He would smile then, affection plain across his face as he chanced a look at Remus, James and Peter. There wasn't another boy in the whole of the British Isles who was as happy as he, right then, he would state confidently. Then he would laugh again, probably fiddling with the strands of hair that had escaped his customary ponytail and raise an eyebrow. But anyway, he would ask, what's it to you?
If someone were to ask Remus Lupin if he were happy, he would look down at his work, a small smile gracing his lips.
Very, he would say, still polite. I am very happy. Then he would pick up his quill again; carefully absorbed in his writing and deliberately trying to hide the way his eyes flickered across to Sirius, the caution in his expression melting, just slightly. Very happy, he might repeat later to himself in the cold empty space of his own bed. I am very happy with what I have and I have no right to ask for more.Fourth Year
If someone were to ask Sirius Black if he were happy, he would beam, one arm slung casually around Remus's shoulder.
Ecstatic. He would grin and, perhaps, plant a small, tender kiss on Lupin's cheek. I couldn't be happier, not if I lived to be a thousand. He would laugh as Remus tried to shove him away, aware of the amused looks of their friends then remove his arm, grey eyes teasing. I think, he would say, quite confidently, that all my life has been leading up to this moment, and I can die a happy man. Then he would laugh again.
If someone were to ask Remus Lupin if he were happy, he would cough, looking embarrassed.
Content, he would say, gaze sliding away to glance momentarily at Sirius who would, no doubt, be standing close by. Content is the only way to describe how I feel. And yes, perhaps I am happy, too. He would hesitate, then smile, a brief flicker of expression across a normally neutral face. I feel hesitant to call myself happy, he might say, because my happiness is never long-lived, so I am content.Fifth Year
If someone were to ask Sirius Black if he were happy, he would snarl and look away.
I'm fine, he'd mutter, his stance defensive. Why wouldn't I be? But he would turn his head almost immediately, looking longingly at the cosy, exclusive group James, Peter and Remus now presented. I'm fine, he would repeat, looking away almost guiltily and giving a sickly grin. After all, who needs friends? They only hurt you anyway. He would laugh, then, but the sound would be almost a choke and he would walk off, expression grim.
If someone were to ask Remus Lupin if he were happy, he would nod, coldly.
Yes, perfectly, he would say, his voice a hard, icy lake. Why wouldn't I be? I have all the happiness I need. I have my friends, I am sound in body and mind – yes, I am perfectly happy. There's no reason for me not to be. He would wince then, as he accidentally stretched newly healed skin, and his bitter gaze would sweep the room, deliberately passing Sirius by, cruelly. Yes, perfectly happy, he would repeat, but his voice would be just a little too convincing, as though he were reminding himself.Seventh Year
If someone were to ask Sirius Black if he were happy, he would pause, looking thoughtful.
Not happy, exactly, he would say, waving his hands, as he was wont to do when trying to explain something. No, not happy, more…bittersweet. It's my last year here, after all. Ah, maybe I'm nostalgic. Then his lips would twitch, curving into a self-mocking smile. But I suppose things can only get better from here on in. He would laugh and pat James, who would be walking by, on the shoulder. Happiness, he would explain, watching James wave at him then continue on, is something I don't take for granted any more.
If someone were to ask Remus Lupin if he were happy, he would just shrug.
What is happiness? He would ask, then laugh at his own rhetorical question. No, I'm not happy, he would say, still smiling as he bent to pack his trunk for the final time. I can hardly be happy when I'm leaving my home of seven years. I'm excited. That's the best way to describe it. His fingers would linger on the leather covers of old books, before he picked them up, placing them in a patched up bag. I'm looking forward to the future, he would say, eyes bright, before he would turn to Sirius, still smiling.First War
If someone were to ask Sirius Black if he were happy, he would nod, amiably.
Of course, he would say. But his smile would be a little too tight – a little too fixed and he would stare out of glassy, unfocused eyes. Yes, I'm perfectly happy. He would laugh, a forced, harsh sound with a strong undertone of hysteria. Happy as could be; why, should I be sad? The joke – if it can even be called that – would not be funny, but he would laugh again, desperation gracing his face as though he truly wants to believe his own words. Yes, completely happy.
If someone were to ask Remus Lupin if he were happy, he would frown.
No, he would state bluntly, I'm not. Happiness is very rare nowadays and for me to know happiness is rarer still. He would sigh and absently trace the length of his wand, which would be held, constantly ready, in his hand. Mistrustful is a more accurate description, he would say, then tap his wand against his palm, gold eyes half angry, half sad. If I could have my trust back, I would be happy.
He is not referring to trust, not really.Post First War
If someone were to ask Sirius Black if he were happy, he would laugh hysterically.
Happy? He would shriek, his voice a mockery of what it once was. Oh, yes! I'm very happy. Then he would laugh again, hugging himself as outside the guards kept watch. Why shouldn't I be happy? James and Lily are dead, Peter's escaped and the whole world, including Remus, thinks I've murdered all three of them. His breath comes in short, harsh gasps as he laughs again, and it is difficult to tell whether the tears rolling down his cheeks are from laughter or pain.
If someone were to ask Remus Lupin if he were happy, he wouldn't even look at them.
Instead, he would shrug, his eyes hollow and empty, as though it was he, and not Sirius Black, who was in Azkaban. Happiness, he would say, voice dead save for a never-ending weariness, is just an illusion. Happiness doesn't exist – not really. It's just another lie. Another pack of lies, he corrects himself. His arms are hugged to his body, as though against the cold, and he doesn't smile. Not once. There is no happiness.Post Harry's Third Year
If someone were to ask Sirius Black if he were happy, he would rake his hands through his hair, wincing as tangles made themselves known.
I'm not sure, he would say, expression thoughtful. I don't think I can really remember what happiness is. He would shrug, a ghost of a grin flitting across his face. Perhaps I'm learning to be happy again, though, I can certainly enjoy the sounds and smells of the world. He licks his dry lips, looking hesitant. And…and I feel a warm glow, just here, under my breastbone, when I think of Remus. He speaks softly, hesitantly, like a man who has forgotten how to form words and sentences, and is relearning with every sound. Perhaps that is what happiness is. He holds his hands out in a helpless gesture. Perhaps not, he says.
If someone were to ask Remus Lupin if he were happy, he would jump, surprise tempered by the guarded look in his eyes.
The look is one that he has yet to lose, although he is slowly learning. Happy? He would enquire, voice carefully neutral. Should I be happy? His posture would be defensive, unwelcoming, but there would be the slow burn of some fierce, secret joy that he can't keep entirely from his face. Sirius Black is still at large, he would say, expression serious, is that cause for happiness? Then he would laugh, at a private joke that nobody else understood.Post Harry's Fourth Year
If someone were to ask Sirius Black if he were happy, he would purse his lips.
Happy? He would mutter, unwillingly, well…I suppose I am. His hesitance is not surprising, although his sulky tone is. Everything would be perfect, he complains, a hint of a whine in his voice, if it weren't for the fact that I have to move back…home. The word is spat out with such venom that Remus, who is nearby, would look up, concerned. Ah well, Sirius sighs, and his mood vanishes without a trace, I suppose Moony will be there to keep me company. His smile is soft, awkward, his face long unused to the expression, but the grin is genuine and quite beautiful to behold.
If someone were to ask Remus Lupin if he were happy, he would nod.
Yes, he would say, completely unreserved for once. Having Sirius here has made me very happy. It seems that Remus, in the past couple of months alone, has learnt to be honest and open – to treasure his feelings and not hide them. Just being near Sirius, after all this time, is perfect. He would continue, expression honest and loving. It's enough for me – more than enough. Knowing he's here and that this is real makes me happy. I think, despite our past mistakes we are both finally learning to be open and honest, and to let go. He looks serene, confident and very happy.Post Harry's Fifth Year
If someone were to ask Remus Lupin if he were happy, he would smile tightly.
Of course, he would say, irritation evident in his voice. Of course I'm happy. I wish people would stop asking me that. He looks sick of all the voices that drop to a softer, sympathetic tone when he's around. His disgust of the knowing, sad looks and friendly hugs is evident. I'm fine, he says, closing his eyes and pinching the bridge of his nose. I never really got time to know the Sirius after Azkaban anyway, and I've already done my mourning for the Sirius I knew. He nods, decisively and one would almost believe he is speaking the truth until they look at the tight set of his mouth, the too-bright eyes and the way his hands are oh-so carefully clasped together so the trembling won't show. I'm fine, he repeats, looking as though he is going to be physically sick.
If someone were to ask Sirius Black if he were happy, he would not reply.
This is because the dead don't talk – at least, not so that we can hear them in the waking world. Instead, he is seen talking in Remus Lupin's head, saying all the things he didn't whilst he was alive. He comes to Remus in dreams.
He looks happy enough to Remus, because he's smiling, mouthing silently and waving. His hands reach out and it would be safe to say he is calling to the werewolf. This makes Remus happy, which in turn, he is convinced, makes Sirius happy.
They are both happy, until Remus wakes
And Sirius is gone.
Happiness, Sirius would say, is what you make of it.