Disclaimer: Owned by JKR.
Notes: Exactly two-thousand words long, for no reason whatsoever. The title is taken from an Aristotle quote, "Probable impossibilities are to be preferred to improbable possibilities." And what is this situation, if not a probable impossibility?
Remus was awake before he came in. The window had blown open, startling him with an unusually sharp gust of wind for early July. The weather had been terrible, and the storm outside was just another indication that the world seemed to be responding to Voldemort's return.
Remus had rolled over and shut the window with one hand, seeing the moonlight glance briefly off the scars on his thin arm before clouds billowed across the sky and obscured everything. He hadn't been sleeping badly, and this worried him. He ought to be too upset for sleep. Maybe keeping some semblance of heath was a good idea, though. It was hard enough to deal with his new position with the werewolves, and with Tonks' advances.
He had promised himself he wouldn't worry about the werewolves just yet. True, he was probably in mortal danger every time he attempted to gain their trust, but it wasn't as though he had much to lose.
Tonks, however, was a different sort of problem altogether. She clearly cared for him, but his list of reasons why couldn't happen was far too long. He was dangerous, and he couldn't support her, and good lord, he was almost twice her age. . . There were other, more selfish reasons. He. . . wasn't sure yet how he felt about her. He hadn't considered her as a potential (mate) partner until she'd mentioned it. He'd never been good at spontaneous relationships, and he hoped that it didn't have anything to do with his wolfish instincts. Maybe she just doesn't smell right, he'd thought to himself, not really amused by the idea.
Remus was almost glad, at times, that there was so many obstacles preventing a possible relationship. He didn't want to have to tell her that he didn't want to be with her. "Sorry Tonks, I really like you, but I'm a raging pansy. Oh, and by the way, I was having a relationship with your cousin Sirius." He somehow felt that it might not go over well.
He cursed himself again for being so oddly numb to Sirius' death. Back when they were in school, or even during the war, he would have been in tears if Sirius had died. He had cried, of course, but only once, and he was worried that it might have only been from exhaustion.
I guess I'm just back to square one, he thought. One dead, one a traitor. And maybe that's why I'm not more upset. That, and I've always been good at controlling my emotions. Or just not having enough.
Sirius had always chastised him for not caring enough about things. "Aren't you worried, Moony? Well, why not?"
But Remus had already become used to the idea of losing Sirius, and he had certainly been lost more completely when Remus thought he had betrayed James than he was now, in death.
When Sirius had come to stay with Remus after the end of Harry's fourth year and the return of Voldemort, he'd been slightly different. Quieter, for one thing. He'd been less prone to joking, and although Remus didn't pretend to be able to read eyes, he'd been worried about Sirius. Gradually, though, Sirius actually recovered. He bounced back, becoming his usual cheerful self (with his usual explosive temper on the side), even though he was trapped in his hated childhood home.
One night he'd come to Remus, actually on the verge of tears, and begged Remus to get him out of there. "I can't even stand being in this place, and they're making me stay. Moony, I can't take it," he'd said. "You don't know what it's like. I can't even stand the smell." Remus shivered, under the covers, and wished that Sirius could have at least been happy before he died.
He had been happy, though, Remus realized. He'd gotten James back. Damn Harry for looking so much like his father. Sirius hadn't been able to separate the two in his mind, to treat Harry as a son instead of a friend. For all his bravado, Sirius was really quite naïve, and Remus had never failed to appreciate that. He'd been afraid that Azkaban would change Sirius, but it hadn't, at least not too severely.
When Sirius had fallen behind the veil, Remus had just shut down. The only person he'd even tried to talk to about it was Severus, but then there had been Tonks, and this new mission, and Remus was being forced to move on before he'd even had time to be upset.
He buried his face in the pillow, and wished he'd just cry a little more. Instead, he started to fall
The door opening is what made him sit up again. He wasn't sure, of course, and for some reason, he couldn't make himself come completely awake. Then the door to the bedroom itself opened. Remus didn't even have time to feel a twitch of panic at the intrusion before he realized that it was Sirius standing there. His robes looked as torn as they had when Remus had first realized that he was innocent more than two years ago. As hard as Remus tried, he couldn't seem to make out his face. It was as though there was a deep, gray, shadow covering it.
"Sirius," he whispered, just to make sure, every instinct in him screaming "Inferius."
"Remus." He sounded hoarse and choked.
Remus was on his feet before he could decide whether or not it was a good idea. He put an arm around Sirius and helped him to the bed. For all the questions he had, he couldn't seem to ask anything. And then Sirius kissed him.
Remus knew the he should say something, or push Sirius away, but he couldn't. It was a soft kiss, not angry, not asking for anything except maybe a hug. Remus wrapped his arms around Sirius and leaned back on the bed.
Rule #1 of bedroom etiquette, Remus thought, don't kiss your dead boyfriend. But for now, he just wanted to do what Sirius wanted, as if that would stop him from fading away. Remus curled against him, and wondered. It couldn't be Sirius. He was dead. All of his slightly heightened senses (the almost-full moon glared for a second outside the window before being engulfed by clouds) were telling him otherwise, though. Remus knew it had to be Sirius, it was too familiar not to be. He knew the smell. . .
They were fourteen, and Remus buried his face in Sirius' hair, smelling an odd combination of skin, sweat, and motorbike oil. He was trying hard to stop falling in love with Sirius. It wasn't working.
He knew the way his hair (so ragged for months after Azkaban) shone in the occasional flickers of moonlight. . .
They were fifteen, and Sirius was bouncing on one of the beds in the dorm, excited to try the transformation for the first time. Remus watched as Sirius' black hair glistened for a second, then became shaggy black fur.
He knew the sound of his voice, as Sirius muttered something which would probably have been nice if Remus had really been listening. . .
They were sixteen, and Sirius was yelling at James, his voice harsh. They were fighting about Remus, and something very, very stupid that Sirius had done. Remus had yelled himself. Somehow, though, a day or two later everything was back to normal, and Sirius was crooning in his rock star voice, singing some Muggle song Remus had taught him, and grinning like hell.
He knew the feel of the tiny scar on the back of Sirius' hand as he ran his fingers over it. . .
They were twenty, and Remus performed a healing spell, expressing astonishment that Sirius hadn't been hurt more severely. "I'll never let you near that bloody motorbike again," he'd admonished, but Sirius had just grinned.
And yes, he knew Sirius' taste, as their tongues (Too soon, thought Remus) met.
They were twenty-one. Sirius was kissing him, but he seemed distracted. He kept making Remus promise that he could really trust him. Remus could tell that all the rumors of a spy were making Sirius nervous. And that. . . had been that last time he'd seen Sirius before he was taken away, laughing like he had nothing in the world left to lose.
Remus realized that he was crying, and that Sirius had stopped kissing him. "Moony? What's wrong?" he asked, sounding for all the world like he was alive.
Remus shook his head. "You died, Sirius, you fell behind the veil."
"Yeah. They got me out," he said like it didn't make Remus want to die when he spoke.
"They? Who, Sirius?"
Sirius pulled himself closer to Remus. The thin wisp of gray over his face was dissipating, and Remus thought he might almost be smiling. "The Ministry," he said, sounding less hoarse now. "They didn't want me in there, what with everything that's going on, so I guess they pulled together a team to retrieve me. Didn't even give me a hot drink afterwards." He was definitely smiling now, and Remus could see his face clearly, the moon blinking out from behind a cloud to illuminate his grin.
"Oh, Merlin, Sirius." And Remus just curled up against Sirius and cried. When he finally managed to stop, he looked up at Sirius, to see him staring at him with slight puzzlement. "I'm happy," Remus choked out.
Sirius leaned back. "Ah. That's all. I thought you might be, I don't know, mad. Or something. I mean, not that you'd have a reason to be." He shrugged, and Remus felt himself break into a rare genuine grin.
"What was it like?" he asked after a second, snuggling against Sirius.
"Um. . . I don't know. Dark? I got knocked about a bit. It wasn't too bad. You wouldn't think they'd keep things like that there."
"Yeah," Remus said, losing interest already. All that currently mattered was that Sirius' hair kept sliding through his fingers in a very engaging manner when he touched it. "You did give me a shock, though," he said, recovering a bit of his scolding tone.
"Sorry," Sirius said, and it looked as though he was actually making an attempt to be. "I. . . I kind of ran off as soon as they brought me back. I needed to see you. I guess I was still a little caught up in the, you know, veilishness, or I would've explained myself better."
"It's fine," Remus said, slightly exasperated, but happy. "A little caught up in the veilishness" wasn't quite how he'd describe coming in like a ghost and making out with someone who thought you were dead, but Sirius never had thought of things like that.
Sirius nodded. "Good. I can't imagine what this world must have been like without me in it for a few months."