Why?
Theme #23: Weak Heart

Author's notes: For the 30smiles LJ community. Kind of like thirty kisses, only, obviously, with smiles instead of kisses. It's a great community, I recommend it.

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He was weak, Sirius knew that. Had he always been weak? He couldn't be sure. He knew he was privileged, he was loved… at least he was at Hogwarts.

Now, he wasn't so sure. Hogwarts was gone. He was captured. He was a prisoner.

All around him he heard screaming, he heard crying, he heard whimpering, and he heard that disgusting, terrifying gliding of a dementor as it sucked out any remaining happiness that could have somehow plagued a prisoner of Azkaban. And he had nothing left, only that one thought of his innocence. That one, simple thought was the only thing that kept him from screaming and from crying like the rest of them.

Oh no, he screamed and cried, too, for sure. But it wasn't insane screaming and crying. Oh no, he only screamed for the things he regretted and he only cried for the things he lost.

In his mind, every time he awoke, he would wish he could fall back asleep again and never awaken. Surely there was nothing worse than this hell. To always see them. To always see their ghosts and know that he'd been the cause of this all. It was all his fault. To always see Remus and know he was the cause of so much pain.

Every little fight he ever had with Remus played in his mind. Every moment when he would snap at James played in his mind. Every moment he believed that Peter was a good person…

Why was this so painful?

Why did the dementors suck out all his happy memories and leave these painful memories in their wake? Why? Why?

He had a weak heart. His heart throbbed whenever he pictured Remus. He begged his mind to show him happy Remus, the Remus he wished to remember so well. The Remus who was smiling at him, laughing with him, thankful to have him in his life…

But whenever he pictured Remus he could only see his pained expression, those impossibly sad eyes. He was frowning at him. He was distressed.

Why had he believed Remus was the spy? Why had he doubted Remus for just one second? Wasn't their bond deeper than that?

Why couldn't Remus smile at him, just one more time?

'Don't frown…' he pleaded, 'Just smile for me. Please.'

But Remus would never smile at him again.

A dementor glided by and his entire world smashed to pieces, leaving only James' dead, vacant expression, Lily's tear-stained cheeks, Peter's victoriously fearful look, and the impossibly betrayed expression painting Remus' face as he was carried away to Azkaban without the privilege of a trial.

Sirius crumbled in his cell, grasping his hair and pulling on the greasy, dirty black locks as if that would break him away from this impossibly bitter pain.

'Why…?' his mind screamed at him.

He was sliding farther and farther downwards, his heart cracking with every level he reached. He was sliding into Hell, his own personal Hell.

He had a weak heart, and he feared it would not be healed until he saw Remus' smile again.