It was the pacing, really, that drove him mad. Whenever Sirius would get agitated, or worried, or over-tired, or he ate too much, he'd pace. Back and forth, up and down - as if wearing a rut in the floor would solve whatever ailed him. Normally James would just laugh it off, push him into a chair, order him to Sit! or such. But tonight, Sirius' pacing seemed to mark the madness of this situation.
"I don't belive you," James said finally. "You're - you're just jumping to conclusions."
Sirius had started shaking his head before James had even finished. "No, mate," his voice was broken and rough. "No, I'm sure. Do you really think I'd even think it if I wasn't?"
Another silence fell over the two. In the next room Lily was singing softly to Harry.
...When the wind blows, the cradle will rock...
James rubbed his eyes, leaning his head back. "How do you know?"
"Peter," Sirius said simply. "He looked into it. Turns out there were only three people that had the opportunity to divulge all the information that's been sold to Voldemort."
He paused, met James' eyes. "One was himself. Dumbledore, of course. And - "
"Remus," James sighed hopelessly.
...When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall...
Suddenly Sirius turned away from James, beating his fist futily against the wall. "We should have known, James! We should have seen it! He was our friend!"
A quiet surrounded the house. Sirius' hand was bleeding. James could sense Lily standing in the next room, breathless with waiting. Then Harry let out a choked wail, protesting the violence that had infiltrated his cozy world. Sirius flinched as if struck; resumed his pacing.
"We should have known," he whispered.
James' head was buried in his hands. His voice cracked. "He's a werewolf, Padfoot."
"He's Moony," Sirius snapped. "He's a marauder. A Gryffindor - a bloody Prefect, for Merlin's sake! He fought by our side, slept in our dorm. He's the reason we stuck together, the reason we became what we are..."
"He was our reason," James said.
...And down will come baby...
"What do we do now, Padfoot?" croaked James. "Tell me, please. Where the hell do we go from here?"
Sirius stopped pacing, looked over at James. Their eyes were shining with tears, their jaws set in resolve.
"We make Peter the secret-keeper," Sirius said finally. "We throw them off the scent."
James bowed his head. "They'll come after you, Sirius."
"I know," Sirius said. "But, James - "
"It's the only way," James sighed. "I know."
The two men stood, staring into a future that looked increasingly dim. There weren't any words to communicate what they wanted to say, what they needed to say. With a handshake and a brisk hug, James walked Sirius to the door. Lily called a soft goodnight from Harry's room. Sirius' voice broke as he said goodnight to Lily, to baby Harry, for what might be the last time.
The wind was freezing, blowing in the open doorway. James stood just inside, fingers clenched tightly and knuckles white. Sirius paused a moment, at a loss, then turned away. His cloak was pulled tight around him but the chill was from more than the wind. He looked back at his friend sillouited against the light.
"Goodbye, Padfoot," James said.
Disclaimer: All characters and situations belong to J.K. Rowling. Angst and woe belong to the world in general. I just type.
A/N: How I think they might have reacted to the news. Reviews warm the soul.