Disclaimer: Sadly, I do not get to choose who does and does not die in the Harry Potter novels, all those rights belong to JK Rowling (as well as the plot and all that good stuff). Please don't kill of Remus, Jo, please!!!
Note: This is the first fic that I ever wrote, but I haven't published it until now because I felt like letting you guys get acquainted with my slightly better work first. Yes, I know that there are a million fics like this out there (mostly written right after OotP), yes, I know the plot isn't something totally unique and great. But, hey, I love Remus/Harry father-son relationship stuff, so, knowing myself as well as I do, I had to write one for my own personal enjoyment. If you don't like it, then you don't like it, but if you do, thank you.
Cup of Tea
Remus Lupin's hands shook as he prepared himself a cup of tea. He remembered how often he and Sirius had sat at the same kitchen table in Grimmauld Place last year and told jokes, teased each other, and had fun. They had basically done what any two fun-loving bachelors would do. But that had been before Sirius's death, before that bitch of a cousin of his, Bellatrix Lestrange had killed him in the Department of Mysteries around a month ago now. . . .
Remus's thoughts were cut short as the kettle boiled and he went to pour some tea into a chipped mug. As he went to sit down at the table once more, he noticed that there was a picture of a Black Labrador on it. He smiled slightly, Sirius had always thought it funny how some people were so obsessed with their pets, so naturally had bought the mug in a Muggle shop a little while after James and Lily had been married.
Remus felt a tear trickle down his cheek. James and Lily had been killed around two years after Sirius had bought this, betrayed by Peter Pettigrew, a man who had caused so much devastation in the Marauder family. Remus thought it was strange how he thought of the Marauders as a family - a family where two brothers and a sister had been killed and another brother had stabbed all of them in the back.
Yet, Remus thought, if the Marauders were a family, then wasn't Harry somewhat of a son? Harry, James and Lily's son, the last reminder of the bond he'd shared with the Marauders, the boy whom this whole war seemed to rest upon according to the prophecy that Harry had told him and his other friends at the beginning of the summer. Remus could tell that Harry was just as affected by Sirius's death, if not more so than himself. Sirius had been the closest thing to a father Harry could remember and while Remus had spent more than half of his thirty-six years with Sirius, Harry had gotten three, three measly years to get to know such a man as Sirius Black. He had tried to get Harry to open up to him, to talk to him countless times during the summer but Harry had refused. The boy always wants to handle things on his own, Remus thought.
Almost as if Remus's thoughts had summoned him, Remus looked up and saw Harry standing in the doorway, still wearing the clothes he had worn that day.
"Harry, what are you doing up?" Remus asked. "It's the middle of the night."
"I couldn't sleep," said Harry, too tired or upset to make a smart remark.
Remus understood Harry's answer to mean that he'd had yet another nightmare about Sirius falling through the veil. Harry slept in Sirius's former room and sometimes Remus would drop in to find Harry writhing back and forth on the bed, repeating the events of that horrific night in the Department of Mysteries.
Harry sat down in the chair next to Remus, running his hands through his perpetually messy, raven-black hair that he had inherited from James. At closer inspection Remus saw that Harry's face was covered by a slight sheen of sweat and his eyes were bloodshot as if he'd been crying at some time during the night. Remus knew that Harry was turning sixteen at the end of the month but Harry looked much more like a man than a sixteen-year-old boy The two sat in companionable silence for a few minutes and then Remus asked, "Harry, would you like some tea? I just put the kettle on. . . ."
"No, I'm fine, Professor," said Harry. Despite Remus's many urgings to call him by his first name, Harry still called the werewolf, 'Professor.'
"Is there anything you'd like to talk about, Harry?" Remus asked gently.
Harry shook his head, seeming very interested at a knot in the wooden table.
"Anything at all?" probed Remus.
"I'm fine, Professor, all right?" said Harry angrily.
Remus nodded. Harry had had these outbursts at him several times when he had tried to get Harry to talk about Sirius's death. Harry laid his head on the wooden table, seeming to like the companionship even if he did not want to admit it. Remus sat next to Harry, drinking his tea, not leaving Harry's side, just in case he wanted to talk.
"Was that Sirius's?" Harry finally asked, pointing at the mug in Remus's hands.
"Yes, it was," said Remus, placing the mug on the table for closer inspection. He was hoping that Harry would finally open up to him tonight, this was the first time Harry had mentioned Sirius in over a month.
Harry looked at the mug and almost seemed to smile for a second before it left his face grim once more. Remus took back the mug and continued to drink from it. Harry lay his head down on the table again, seeming to contemplate something.
"Remus?" he asked.
Remus's eyes dropped to Harry. "Yes, Harry?" he asked kindly.
"I'm sorry," said Harry, in barely more than a whisper.
This was not what Remus had been expecting. "Sorry? For what?" he asked.
"Sirius was your friend and I killed him," said Harry, lifting his head from the table to look Remus in the eyes. "I'm sorry," he repeated.
Remus gaped at Harry. "Harry, I. . . ."
However, Harry cut him off. "You don't have to forgive me if you don't want to, it's okay," he said.
"Harry, I've never blamed you for Sirius's death, I. . . ." started Remus.
But Harry cut him off again. "Anyone could have died when I chose to go to the Department of Mysteries. Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville, Luna, Moody, Tonks, Dumbledore, anyone . . . but it was Sirius and it's my fault he died," finished Harry, seeming to have gotten something off his chest. Harry turned to go but Remus placed his tea on the kitchen table and grabbed Harry's shoulders, turning the reluctant teenager around to face him.
"Harry," he said firmly, placing a hand over Harry's mouth as Harry began to interrupt. "I have never blamed you for Sirius's death and I never will. It was Bellatrix who killed Sirius, Harry, not you. You went to the Department of Mysteries because you thought Sirius was in danger. That's love, Harry, that's loyalty, and Sirius did the same thing for you when he went after you and the others. He wouldn't have been able to live with himself if you were killed, believe me."
Harry nodded, finally seeming to believe what people had been trying to tell him since the beginning of the summer break. Remus could tell that Harry was fighting not to cry. He wanted to help Harry and before Harry could protest he had gathered the boy into a fierce and fatherly hug. And finally Harry let go, let go of all the pain he had been feeling since Sirius had died, and let a wave of love come into him instead, love from all his friends who had never blamed him for Sirius's death. He sobbed into Remus's shoulder, great, wracking sobs that shook his whole frame. Once he had cried until he couldn't cry any more, Remus let go of Harry, his own eyes slightly misty and with a lump in his throat. When Remus trusted his voice once more, he asked, "Is that all, Harry?"
Harry nodded, turning to leave the room, then stopped as if thinking of something. "Moony?" he asked.
Remus was startled by the name Harry had used for him. Harry had called him by the name that the Marauders had used for him at Hogwarts.
Harry seemed to realize that he had made Remus uncomfortable for he said, "Er . . . thanks, I . . . I needed that."
Remus nodded as Harry left the room knowing that although he, Remus Lupin felt pain, so did Harry and they could help each other through it if they were willing to accept it. They weren't alone, neither of them, they had each other.
Note: I love Remus, I mean, how can you NOT love Remus??? He's so . . . so . . . Remus-ish!