Cause you're a tongue tied talker with sleepy eyes,

that always gets the last word.

You're not broken;

you're just tired and it shows.

(Your Smile's Like A Drug, Patrick Park)

"I want to take your picture."

Remus allows Sirius only the barest of glances before turning back to his book and his lunch. It would be so simple to ignore his friend, who was now leaning across the table between them to stare intently at the werewolf. So easy, if it were not for the flash that Sirius keeps setting off on the camera around his neck.

"Reeeemussssss," he drawls the name out and continues until Remus pauses longer to look at his friend. "C'mon Moony," he tilts his head with a pout. "I want to take your picture." In that moment, the werewolf can easily see why Sirius' Animagus form is a dog. He can practically see the ears perked in excitement and the tail waving frantically behind him.

"Why?"

Leave it to Moony, the Prefect-logical-thinker that he is, to ruin a perfectly good request with one word (never mind only a three-letter word).

And leave it to Padfoot, puppy-dog-cheater-off-Moony, to reply with his own one word (albeit more letters).

"Because."

This must have been the right answer for Remus suddenly stood and dropped the book into his bag, which he threw over his shoulder. With a look at Sirius, he gave a friendly shrug and smile before letting the black-haired boy lead him from the Great Hall, waving his hands energetically as he described how he wanted the picture.

However, Remus quickly realized that he should have saved the friendly smile for the picture since he wanted to wring Sirius' neck by the time dinner rolled around.

First had been the lake. As cliché as a picture by the lake seemed, Sirius seemed to have some idea of what he wanted. He pushed and pulled at Remus, undoing his tie, stepping back to take the picture, and then moving forward to redo the tie once more when it didn't meet his criteria for the perfect picture.

After all, that's what Sirius wanted. The Perfect Picture of Remus Lupin.

As Sirius dragged Remus from the lake to the Whomping Willow (though not close enough to worry), he explained his plan in more detail than the werewolf even wanted.

"It has to be perfect, Moony! Think of it! A picture that we can look at when we're old and grey. I can pull it out from between some dusty book, because you know that you'll be using it as a bookmark by then, and we can show Peter and James and say, 'Do you remember those days?' and Peter will say, 'No' because he'll be so forgetful by then that he won't be able to remember what he ate for breakfast. But you'll remember and I'll remember.

I just- it has to be perfect."

As perfect as Sirius seemed to want this picture to be, Remus just wanted to curl up in the common room with a book. However, when he voiced the suggestion that Sirius just take a picture of Remus' favorite past time, he scoffed and told him that he must be looking at the camera, and they must not be in the common room as there were no "perfect memories" that came from the common room.

"Perfect memories don't come from a room that you share with a ton of people and the perfect picture won't either. A perfect memory comes from great surroundings and great people. Or person."

From the end of lunch until supper time finally came, Sirius had pulled Remus from one end of the castle to the other, both inside and out. Exhausted, Remus dropped into the seat next to James and dug into his food, ravenous by now. Sirius just stuck his chin in his hand and stared at the werewolf as he ate.

"Why so glum?" James reached over and knocked Sirius hand out from under him causing his friend's forehead to make contact with the table. Padfoot kept his head down, staring at the table below him trying to squint in a way that made the crack in the wood morph into a phoenix.

Remus sighed and took a sip of his pumpkin juice. "He's upset because he can't seem to take the perfect picture."

Peter sniggered into his pastry, coughing when Sirius suddenly sat up and punched him in the shoulder. "Ha, teach you to laugh at your friends," with that, he put his head back down, but this time he placed his chin to the table so that he could stare at Remus once more.

"You laugh at me all the time," Peter argued, wiping at his mouth with the back of his sleeve.

"Well, you deserve it. Here I am, trying to create the perfect picture of Remus so that we can look back on it with smiles on our faces," he smiles here for punctuation (leave it to Sirius to forget exclamation points and go straight for charming expressions). "We have enough pictures of James after that time Lily charmed a camera to follow him everywhere after he took a photo of her in the 'Embarassing-Moment-That-We-Promised-To-Never-Discuss-Or-Our-Tongues-Will-Rot.' Peter here already has a good photo from when he was five. Honestly, he was much more adorable back then than he ever will be, shush Petey, you know it's true." Sirius waits for Peter to laugh and nod before continuing, "And we all know that there is a stack of my portraits hidden somewhere in the girls dorm, which we will find sometime before we leave here forever, even if we have to search every single underwear drawer up there."

He adds a hand twirl just for the heck of it.

"So, in conclusion, we need a bloody perfect picture of Moony because it is unfair that we have had cameras flash in our face at least once in our lives while our pretty little friend here has not seemed to have had one!" Sirius uses the exclamation point this time since his expression, while still charming, doesn't add the necessary zing to his words.

Remus sighs as he leans back on the bench, stretching silently before leaning back on the table. "Sirius, I have been all over this bloody castle. Why don't you develop those photos, and I'm sure you'll find what you would call the perfect picture somewhere in there."

Padfoot shakes his head, swinging his hair back and forth, "No." Petulant child, crosses Remus' mind before his friend speaks again. "It's not in there."

"How do you know?" Remus puts a hand to his head, a headache coming on.

"I just know."

In that instant, Sirius' stare makes everyone quiet. The four friends gaze at each other, each seeming to take in this information and then agreeing. Their friend, while sometimes hyper and sometimes stupid, could be determined and would know exactly when his job was done.

With a third sigh, Remus pushes his plate forward, stands, and walks out of the Great Hall, not even turning back to see Sirius watching helplessly as his friend leaves before getting up and racing after him.

Remus makes it back to their dorm room before Sirius catches up with him. "Short cut," is the only answer he gives to his friend's silent question.

They each sit on their respective beds. Remus pulls a book out of his bag, leans back, and begins to read, trying to ignore the fact that one of his friends is sitting across from him, staring at him, burning a hole right between his eyes.

As the werewolf reads, he finds his eyes getting heavy, and before he realizes it, he's asleep, the book falling onto his chest. His friend still stares on.

When Remus wakes, he finds himself alone for the first time all day. He can hear noise from the common room drifting up the stairs and knows that he should go join the fray, but when he stretches, he finds too much enjoyment in just lying there resting.

Just as he's about to drift off once more, Sirius comes through the door, trying to make as little noise as possible, believing that Remus is still asleep. "No pictures tomorrow," the werewolf yawns, rising to change his clothes for bed.

"No," Sirius shakes his head. His eyes turn away as he rushes to get his own clothes. "I already got the perfect picture," his smile is noticeable even as he avoids turning his face towards his friend. As he gets to the door of the room to head for the shower, he shrugs his shoulders, "Thanks."

"So, you took my suggestion. You developed them and found one?"

Sirius blinks, turning to look at Remus finally. "Huh- yeah. Yeah," he nods and rushes out, leaving his friend to sit there wondering what that was all about.

-----

Sirius never shows him the picture.

-----

"There's nothing you can do, Harry-"

"Get him, save him, he's only just gone through!"

"It's too late, Harry-"

"We can still reach him-"

"There's nothing you can do, Harry... nothing... He's gone."

-----

Before the next full moon, Dumbledore tells Remus to rest for there will be more work then ever now that the Ministry is finally on their side.

On the night of the full moon, before it's time to restrain himself, he finally walks into Sirius' old bedroom. They had been so close during his time at Grimmauld Place, with only a wall between them. When Sirius had nightmares of Azkaban or how he ended up there, Remus would climb onto his bed and hold him until the dream passed. He'd never stayed long enough to look around closely.

If he had-

Remus swallows hard, staring at everything he can lay his eyes on. Some of Buckbeak's feed lies in a dusty corner. Various books are strewn about; books that haven't been touched since Sirius di-

One cover catches his attention and he both smiles and blinks back tears when he picks it up. It's an old book, very old considering, with a picture of a motorcycle flying through the clouds on the cover. For their last Hogwarts Christmas, Remus had charmed two books, one on Muggle motorcycles and one on flying charms, together to make one book and gave it to Sirius with a note telling him not to get caught. The spell wasn't precise, but it seemed to be enough since Sirius had immediately set to work, getting a bike and testing each charm and spell within the book's pages.

As Remus flips the pages, he feels a piece of paper start to shift and fall. Before it falls, he catches it between his fingers and turns to see what Sirius had been using as a bookmark all these years.

Staring at the photograph in his hands, Remus feels his back hit the wall and slides down, resting his arms on his legs. Choking on his own sobs, he flips the picture over to see what is written,

"The Perfect Picture of Remus Lupin, taken by his friend Sirius Black, who has scratched out his plans to share this photo with anyone and will now be holding onto it himself. Ta."

It was so Sirius.

Looking at the picture again, Remus knows it was taken that same day. His picture-self sleeps soundly, an open book resting on his chest, one hand on the book while one is under his pillow. As Remus watches the photo, he realizes that there is more to it then just him. After a minute of watching, he notices the photo getting smaller as the camera moves closer. A hand reaches towards picture-Remus from outside the border to brush back the hair from his face. The hand lingers for a moment before pulling back, and the camera pulls back as well.

Tears fill Remus' eyes and fall down his cheeks, leaving paths in their wake for the rest to follow. As he cries, he realizes that this is it. There is no one here to dry his tears, to hold him close as he cries over his lost friend once more.

There's no one- no- Sirius isn't- he's…

dead-

Remus howls.