Disclaimer: I'm not laying claim to ownership of any characters in this story; give your character-worshiping praise to J.K. Rowling.
Rating: TEEN, for a tad bit of language.
A/N Please read: Some people are going to see this as mild slash, and some people will see it as deep friendship. It depends on your perspective and what you want to see, I suppose. I started writing it intending to make it a longer, Sirius/Remus story, but it's just going to be a one-shot now.
It was odd how he never realized what a valuable member of the group Remus was until Remus was gone. Of course, most things happened that way. You don't know how much they mean to you until they've disappeared.
Except Remus hadn't really disappeared. The three of them saw him every day in the halls, at meals, in classes. He was still there. The only things missing were his words, his soft jokes, his quiet, reassuring presence.
And the worst of it was that it was his fault. He had been the one who told Snape about the secret passageway into the Shrieking Shack, he had told him even knowing that Remus was there in full wolf form. He had only been thinking about getting revenge at Snape, he hadn't thought about what might happen to Remus. Well, he did, but that was only after it was almost too late. Thank Merlin for a quick-thinking James.
The whole incident hadn't blown over easily with James, and because of that Peter didn't let it blow over that fast either. Sirius had begged the two of them not to tell Remus; after all, what the young werewolf didn't know wouldn't hurt him. He knew that that wouldn't fly either. So of course, Remus found out a day later, after he had recovered a bit. And…he had freaked out. Sirius thought Remus had overacted a bit, but he also knew that what he himself had done was extremely stupid. The moment Remus saw him after James had told Remus about what Sirius did, Remus started yelling. That was the first time Sirius had ever heard Remus swear, and it hurt that he was at the receiving end of it: it hurt a lot.
And then Remus just didn't say anything to him anymore. If Sirius remembered correctly, the last words he had heard Remus speak directly to him were: "You completely idiotic, un-thinking, fucking bastard who only gives a damn about your personal vendetta and only cares about yourself! You didn't even give a fucking thought to what would have happened to me if I had killed him, did you?" The thing was, that had been a painfully true statement. And now, the Marauders were split in two. Sirius had pulled a miraculous act of confession and a string of truly heart-felt apologies that had convinced James, and thus Peter, to talk to him again, but even that didn't help him with Remus. So now James and Peter were running back and forth between Sirius and Remus, oh who refused to speak to Padfoot. The whole school could see the gap between the two boys after a week, just like they could feel the tension in the air whenever the two were in the same room.
Yet, Moony and Padfoot weren't in the same room unless it was a specific class that they had together because Remus avoided the common rooms now, preferring to sit somewhere by himself. Sirius had wanted to find out where Remus was going, but James disapproved of the idea.
"You are not going to spy on him Sirius! Dammit, don't you think you've screwed things up enough?"
And that comment had led to a small tension between the inseparable pair of Sirius Black and James Potter. And that led to Sirius sitting in the dormitory, staring vacantly out at the rainy sky.
Staring out at the same sky, only several stories above, were the hazel-gold eyes of Remus Lupin. Rain poured down on his head, thoroughly soaking every inch of his body and black robes. Disappointment in his friend flooded his eyes, as it had been for the last week. None of them had ever even breathed a word of his 'condition' to anyone before, and now…this. At least Sirius hadn't completely blurted out that Remus was a werewolf. And all for a stupid form of revenge, Remus thought, running his hands over his face and through his hair. He hadn't even bothered to find out just what Severus had been doing in order for Sirius to propose 'finding out for himself what was down there'. Remus didn't really want to know.
He found it odd how much he missed Sirius. He saw plenty of James and Peter now, but Sirius…well, he was irreplaceable. The original fury that had possessed him when James told him about what Sirius had had worn off; Remus was never one to stay angry for long anyway. But his stubbornness and pride made him turn away whenever Sirius turned his pleading, apologetic eyes on him. Remus knew how much he had hurt Sirius when he called him a bastard one week ago; he saw the hurt flash across Padfoot's eyes. Then, he was rejoicing that he had made Sirius feel that way. Now, he felt as if he should apologize.
"Moony?" At the sound of Peter's voice Remus turned around, swatting his dripping-wet hair out of his eyes.
Peter sat down next to him in an oversized yellow raincoat that would have been humorous if Remus was feeling in the mood for humor. Wormtail just sat there for a moment, staring at the stone floor before finally turning to his friend.
"James and Sirius are fighting now," The smaller, chubby boy commented. Remus rolled his eyes.
"What now?" He asked, exasperated.
"You." That was an answer Remus wasn't really expecting.
"What about me?" Peter shrugged.
"I don't know. I didn't want to risk getting hexed by either of them. They're just sitting there staring crucio at one another."
"Don't say that."
"It's true." Remus leaned back against the wall, his face turned to the boiling sky above him.
"Is that all you came to tell me?" He asked patiently, realizing that it wasn't really like Peter to come all the way up to the Astronomy tower just to tell him that Sirius and James were fighting.
"Not really," Wormtail answered. "Moony, this has gone on long enough. I don't blame you for your reaction, 'cause what Padfoot did was incredibly stupid, but the Marauders need to come back together."
"You three seem fine without me," Remus answered pathetically, not trying to gain sympathy from his friend, but just making a small comment.
"No, we're not. It's far too quiet and awkward. Sirius doesn't make jokes anymore." Remus had to laugh a bit at this, although it wasn't a happy sound.
"Peter, what do you want me to do?" Moony asked dejectedly, closing his eyes against the rain.
"Listen to Sirius, let him apologize, and forget the whole thing. I know it's hard, but really, Snape's not dead, and you're acting as if you had killed him." Remus sighed loudly, although he didn't comment, hoping that Peter would continue. The shorter boy seemed to realize this and kept talking. "We really miss you Remus, although I'm not the right one to tell you that. You need to hear it from Sirius, and really, he's all-too-willing to tell you. Please," Peter asked, his round eyes looking up at Remus pleadingly. It was hard to resist those eyes, even if they resembled a rat's eyes a bit too much. Moony sighed again, but nodded slowly.
"Fine. I'll listen to him; plus, I really do need to talk to him," Remus said. Peter beamed and leapt to his feet.
"Brilliant! I'll send him up! Or, do you want to go down there?"
"I'll come down, but I don't want an audience. I only want to talk to Sirius. Help me up." Remus extended his hand and the shorter boy grabbed it and yanked him to his feet. His stiff and cold muscles protested painfully, but Remus ignored them and began following his friend down the long flight of spiral stairs that led to the rest of the school.
Remus swung the door open that led to the boys' dormitory with a soft creak and stepped inside the room. He could see Sirius's sinewy form outlined in the window frame and walked up to him, taking a breath. Tentatively, he reached out and placed a thin-boned hand on Padfoot's shoulder.
"Sirius?" He whispered softly, startling the black-haired Gryffindor. When Sirius spun around to face his friend he froze, not even moving to brush the strands of hair that covered his right eye. Remus didn't take his hand off Padfoot's shoulder. It was the first word that he had spoken to his friend since that day in the hospital. Sirius gave Remus a weak smile.
"You're all wet," He said, his voice sullen and a bit raspy—not the silky tenor that Remus knew so well. Moony sighed and sat down on the bed nearest to the windowsill; Sirius didn't move, as if his friend would explode if he twitched in the slightest. Remus just waited, his golden eyes sinking into Sirius's gray ones which lacked their normal spark and energy. Two minutes passed in tense silence until Sirius dropped his head onto his knees, breaking their eye-contact. "I—Remus I—I don't even know what to say," Padfoot whispered, his voice tired and cracking with emotion. Remus thought he saw tear streaks running down his best friend's cheeks, but it could have been an odd reflection. Still, even though Sirius seemed speechless and almost like he really wasn't going to say anything more, Remus waited. And it was in those moments of silence that he realized he couldn't actually wait forever. He needed Sirius…and he missed him more than Remus thought was normal. "Maybe you hate me…maybe you should…but I—I can't even tell you how sorry I am. I could have—would have—fucked up your entire life if James hadn't been there. And I didn't—I wasn't even thinking about that then," Sirius looked back at his friend and Remus saw that those really were tears running down his face. He had the sudden urge to wipe them away, but he needed to hear Sirius finish. "I'm so sorry Remus…I'm so sorry. I'm not even asking for forgiveness…I just need to know that you understand I'm sorry, and that I would die to take back what I did. I—I miss you, Remus. I miss you so much," He choked out, openly crying now and leaning his head on the window, his shoulders shaking with his harsh sobs. Remus stayed sitting, watching his friend cry. All thoughts of Sirius's deed fled his mind as he stared at the tears dripping from Sirius's jaw, some hitting the window and streaking down the foggy glass. He had never seen his friend cry and his mind was screaming at him to make it stop. Remus finally stood up, slowly moving towards the distressed teen.
"Sirius, don't cry. Please don't cry," He whispered, giving into his temptation to wipe Sirius's tears from his face. "I understand that you're sorry," He said softly, tilting Sirius's head up so Remus could see those over-bright, gray eyes, "And I don't hate you at all, and I forgive you," Moony finished. Sirius's lips curled into a smile, and even though it was a small one, it lit up his eyes and Remus saw some of the old spark return.
"You do?" Sirius said, as if he didn't believe his friend.
"How could I not, Sirius? I've missed you too, more than you know," Remus said, reaching to hug his friend. He felt Sirius's strong arms wrap around his thin waist and pulled the slightly older teen closer, resting his head on Sirius's shoulder.
"I love you, Moony," Sirius whispered softly into his ear. Remus paused for a moment before he answered.
"I love you too, Sirius, I really do."
I'm SO glad I finished this. It's been sitting in 'my documents' for about six months, and I've been doing a bit of spring cleaning recently. I have about three more stories that are all unfinished, and I'll probably turn them into one-shots sometime over the summer. No chapter stories for a while, because I've just started my new story Track Season. After that, who knows!
Thanks for reading and I'd love you forever if you reviewed!