Title: Tainted
Rating: G
Spoilers: SS/PS, PoA
Summary: Who would have left Sirius in the picture of the Potter's wedding day? Would one of the Potter's friends really want Harry to see his parent's killer? Maybe...but maybe not.
DISCLAIMER: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author notes: Remus is a half-and-half, therfore, he has muggle things in his home.

Also, this is NOT slash, not even close.

And on a final note, I reread book three yesterday and was struck that someone would indeed leave Sirius Black in one of the pictures that they gave to Harry. Here's my take and who and what happened.


Just a little som'ing for him, ya know? He's had a hard year, that one...

Remus sighed as he read Hagrid's note for the twentieth time, once again trying hard not to cry as he thought about it.

Hagrid's right, Harry deserves at least something...and I can give him that....I can give him that...

Finally deciding to just do it, just get it over with, he stood up, slowly making his way to his closet.

He clicked the light on inside and began rummaging through his assortment of memories that were on the shelf. Finding the right box, he pulled it out from underneath a dusty stack of papers and another box full of more memories from his days at Hogwarts.

As he walked back over to his chair, he wiped the box clean of dust, wondering if he was really ready for this after all these years. He hadn't looked inside this box for over 10 years and he wasn't sure if that was long enough for what he had gone through all those years ago.

Gritting his teeth and setting the box down in front of him, he carefully took the lid off of the box and held his breath as he looked at the contents inside. It was filled to the brim with picture after picture of, them...of him and them.

The memories came pouring back, but Remus didn't cry as he picked up the top picture and just stared at it for a few minutes.

It was a picture of the four Marauders on their graduation day from Hogwarts. He cracked a small smile as he saw the four boys interact in the moving picture.

James was striking a manly pose, most likely because Lily had been taking the picture. Peter was smiling large and proud, holding out his diploma in front of him, though he still looked so small next to the three larger boys. Remus himself was the only one really standing still and seemed to be rolling his eyes at James and Sirius' antics...

Sirius...

Remus finally had to blink back the tears. The young Sirius in the picture seemed to be making fun of James' pose and they routinely jumped on one another, getting into one of their normal best friend spats.

Remus laid the picture aside and pulled out the others one by one...

James and Lily right after James proposed.

James and Sirius in their first bachelor flat together.

Peter after James and Sirius pulled a prank on him that caused him to spell out everything he said with his body.

Remus and Sirius in their bachelor's flat after James and Lily were married.

The Marauders proudly posing with their newest creation, the Marauder's Map.

The blackmailing picture of Severus Snape when James and Sirius managed to string him up above the great hall in nothing but his boxers.

Which one....Remus thought more and more as he searched through the pictures. Truly, he didn't really want to part with any of them, though he was surprised by how much he saw Sirius' face in his collection of pictures.

Growling low in his throat, Remus wished that he had taken the time to cut Sirius out of all the pictures all those years ago rather than having to go through all of this again.

He picked up the final picture in the box and smiled.

Yes...yes...this is it...

He blew off the remaining dust on the picture, and looked at it with a small smile, thinking about how much Harry would love this picture. It was James and Lily on their wedding day, grinning foolishly at one another, both of them looking remarkable in their dress robes.

But then, Remus saw Sirius peak his head out from James' right shoulder, both of the boys starting to laugh and give each other manly hugs as Lily beamed beside them. Then James turned back to Lily and put his arm around her waist, both of them posing again, Sirius still in the background with a hand on each of their shoulders, looking proud and grinning like and idiot. Remus looked closely and saw that Sirius even had a small tear going down his cheek.

What could that mean? Remus pondered. Surely Sirius was already a spy? Could he be regretting his decision? Could he actually be happy?

Remus wiped the thought away, along with the thought of giving this picture to Harry. It wouldn't do to have his parent's murderer in the picture.

Overcome with a surge of hatred, Remus reached over and grabbed the scissors that were lying on the table beside his chair. Bringing them up to the picture, he leveled them to cut it in half, but stopped short.

James and Sirius were laughing with one another again, pounding one another's backs and grinning from ear to ear. Remus paused with his scissors right about the cut.

He couldn't remember how many times he saw them both so happy.

He quickly pulled the scissors away and set them carefully down, trying to get a hold of his quickened heart.

He noticed that the scissors had made a little tiny jut at the bottom of the picture and for a moment, Remus worried that it might tear more. Pulling out his wand, he murmured the Reparo spell and carefully laid the picture back down on the table, looking it over again.

Harry knew nothing of Sirius Black. If Remus had his way, Harry would never find out anything about Sirius Black. Maybe, just maybe, Harry would envision this picture Sirius as his father's best friend, his father's best man and a man who loved him and his family very much.

He never needs to know...Remus finally decided. His memory will not be tainted like mine.

Gathering up the other pictures and carefully placing them back in the box, Remus picked up the one picture and took it over to the waiting owl at the window. Grabbing a small piece of parchment, Remus scribbled a quick note and hooked both the note and the picture to the owl's leg before watching it fly off.

----

Hagrid grinned as another owl flew into his window, a picture and note tied to its leg. He chuckled a bit as he saw it was from Remus Lupin, one of the Potter's best friends. He was glad that Remus had decided to send something, as he probably had the best pictures and memories of Lily and James.

He was, however, surprised to see the picture that Remus had decided to send.

Confused, Hagrid grabbed the note and flipped it open.

Hagrid-

Thank you for including me in this. And thank you for doing for Harry what I cannot right now.

I know you are probably wondering about my choice of picture, but I believe this is one of the happiest pictures I could have chosen for Harry to remember his parents by.

If you would, could you just leave it as is, not erasing anyone or anything in the picture.

I wish for Harry's memories to not be tainted.

-Remus Lupin