A/N: I hope many of you have decided to venture across from "Without you, I'm nothing" and won't be disappointed with what you find here.
It is a short one this one, divided into four parts. In the first part of our story it is the last time Remus and Sirius see each other before James and Lily die and Sirius is sent to Azkaban. Warning: Angst and some (in many ways) resolved tension!
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter so there is no need to sue!
The door was ajar when Remus returned and, instinctively, he drew his wand. There was no light from inside and, from somewhere outside, a car alarm began to sound. Using this noise to his advantage Remus pushed the door further open with one foot, all the while his eyes fixed on the space in front of him that was gradually increasing as the door crept open. A voice of the Muggle owner of the car could be heard shouting, cursing at the alarm that had woken him, before silence once more descended as Remus, very carefully, edged into the room.
Inside was bathed in darkness. Whoever it was that had forced their way in hadn't bothered with lights, nor had illuminated the scene before them with a wand. Remus held his breath, fearing that this could only mean danger, as he took another step into the room, allowing the light from the landing outside to creep across the floor. A table with books, mugs and papers lit up in the cool, gold light; everything appeared where he had left it. Remus could breathe a little easier as nothing appeared particularly disturbed, yet as he allowed himself to apply enough pressure to the door behind him to send it swinging shut, the room was plummeted into an opaque blue darkness, broken only by the sound of someone clearing their throat.
"Lumos!" A bright light pierced the sound and as Remus directed to the place that the noise had come from, he saw Sirius sitting in the low, squishy armchair beneath the small, square window.
For a moment the men surveyed each other as though they were strangers, before Remus lowered his wand only slightly with the words, "You should have knocked."
Sirius laughed shortly at this, one lag dangling over the chairs arm as he balanced his wand between his forefinger and thumb, allowing it to beat against his hand as he replied, "Somehow I had the impression that you wouldn't let me in."
"Is that surprising?" Remus' response was swift as he slowly made his way closer to the table, making absolutely certain that everything was there. His wand, although slightly lowered was no less of a threat, as he met Sirius' eyes as he said, "You shouldn't leave things lying around if you don't want people to read them."
The light through the Venetian blind that was tapping against the frame of the window that Sirius was sat before sent stripes across the room. Remus muttered "Nox" so that this was all that illuminated the room, before he replied, tight lipped, "I have nothing to hide."
"I don't believe you," Sirius said darkly. Remus had noticed that he was now handling his wand less casually than before, wielding it in a way that made Remus feel pleased that had freed his own for whatever might follow.
"You never did, Sirius," Remus tried to sound rational, but the pain of the words he was saying was clearly discernable. Through the strips of light Remus could see Sirius' mouth twitch. "You've never trusted me, not really. That's why you can't believe me now."
Remus shifted so his weight was on his back leg as he watched as Sirius slowly rose out of the seat, expecting him to advance towards him, wand raised. Yet Sirius was not moving, the cold wind of the October air that was blowing a draught through the rooms, catching the bottom of his robes.
"We've never been honest with one another, Moony," Sirius said in away that made Remus feel that the use of his old nickname was cruel. "If you're truly honest with yourself you'll understand that, and understand why it is that we can't trust each other now."
Remus could feel that he was trembling slightly; whether this was with the cold anger that was coursing through his veins or the freezing breeze he could not be sure.
"James and Lily deserve more than this…" was all that Remus could manage to say, causing Sirius to laugh, shaking his head, sending dark hair falling in front of his face.
"You're not wrong there." As Sirius said this, he took a step away from the inset of the window, his face plummeting into shadow. Although his wand was by his side Remus sensed that it would soon be raised. He did not move back. "That's why I'm here. I won't let you betray them. I won't let you do this to Harry…"
"If you can live with yourself knowing that it's you that's responsible," Remus managed to splutter, half furious half fearful. He saw Sirius' eyes glint dangerously as they emerged in a line of light. "If you can come here, ready to fight me, knowing that you have no-one but yourself to blame for what could happen to them…"
"Spoken like a guilty man," was Sirius' snappish reply as he, in one swift movement, raised his wand and moved to stun Remus. Yet Remus had been too quick, causing the curse to deflect away and smash the teapot on the table, as he quickly moved backwards, unwilling to cause real harm.
"Don't do this, Sirius," Remus gasped, seeing that Sirius was not listening as he once again prepared to curse him. Remus moved to the side and sent a hex back that caused Sirius to yelp and clutch at his right shoulder where he had been hit. "I don't want to fight you."
"But if it's my fault," Sirius said, half snarling through the pain of his injury. "If I'm the one betraying James and Lily, why wouldn't you want to hurt me?" Remus couldn't answer. His hand was gripping the back of the chair; his knuckles had turned white. Sirius laughed sourly at Remus' silence, sweeping his hair back from his face, which was manically alight. Remus straightened, preparing to defend himself, as he watched as Sirius lowered his hand from his shoulder, looking at the blood on his palm, before turning his eyes to him.
"I want to hurt you Remus. I know that you're the one betraying us; you're the one that's sold out to Voldemort. I want to make you hurt the way that James and Lily are hurting; the way that Harry is hurting." Remus' eyes roamed to Sirius' wand which he had once again raised. Perhaps the question of defending himself was irrelevant; perhaps he had no choice but to fight. Sirius cocked and eyebrow, his lips curing malevolently as he looked Remus up and down before saying, very slowly, "I've never performed an Unforgivable Curse before…" Remus' stomach tightened as he watched Sirius face drain of the remaining colour that was detectable in dark light. "I'm told that you have to really mean it in order for it to work…"
In the moment that Sirius had hesitated Remus had yelled "Expelliarmus!" and sent his wand flying across the room. Sirius' eyes followed it, perhaps debating whether it was best to retrieve it, but almost instantly he had reached his decision. Without giving Remus time to perform another curse he had advanced, closing the distance between them, resorting to the only weapons he now had as his fist collided with Remus' face, causing his lip to slip and lights to burst in front of Remus' eyes as he fell to the floor.
Before he could think of a curse Sirius had reached down, pulling Remus to his feet by the scruff of his robes, pushing him back against the wall. His hand pinned one of Remus' wrists so hard that the wand he had been struggling to cling on to slipped to the floor. Instead of reaching for it, however, Sirius had kicked it away, back across the room to where his own wand was lying. Yet Remus had managed to gather his thoughts and with unexpected force managed, with his other hand, to push Sirius from him so he fell, knocking his already wounded arm on the corner of the table.
Sirius howled and Remus moved, hoping to reach his wand; hoping to make Sirius stop. Yet fighting through the pain Sirius had scrambled to his feet, forcing Remus backwards once more, his back slamming into the wall as Sirius held him there.
"You can't hurt me anymore, Sirius," Remus said, his voice breathless and bloodied. Sirius was livid, his eyes wide, his lip trembling as he applied, even more pressure, to Remus' chest. "There's nothing you can do to cause me anymore pain…" Yet as he had said this Remus' voice had suddenly caught in his throat; restricted by the lack of air and by something he had read in Sirius' eyes. All words of further warning failed him as the heat of fury engulfed him. He blinked and Sirius was still there, stationary, his mind processing the thought that Remus had glimpsed; his eyes unfathomable, his face now becoming unreadable as all was shrouded in emotion and dark.
Eventually, Remus found his words returning; knowing that if he didn't speak now than it would be his last chance to try and stop what was about to happen. Yet the voice that broke the uneasy silent seemed like it was not his own, the words he spoke were clearly uncertain and infused with fear as he said, shaking "If you kiss me now, Sirius, I shall never forgive you."
It came too late and before Remus could stop him Sirius had used the grasp he had on Remus' collar to pull him sharply into him. His mouth was unrelenting; unforgiving as demanded entry, and he bit down sharply on Remus' already injured mouth, causing fresh blood to appear, and for Remus to yelp as Sirius' tongue entered his mouth. He would not do this, Remus heard a furious voice in his mind screaming; he would not kiss him back. Yet the pressure Sirius was applying grew greater; the force of it causing Remus to be pinned so tightly that every breath he struggled to take was stolen by Sirius' mouth, and as Sirius bit on Remus' bottom lip again, taking pleasure in the blood that he drew, Remus suddenly found himself more angry than he had ever believed possible as he pushed Sirius from him, causing Sirius to stumble backwards before Remus to catch him, before punishing him with a kiss of his own.
Sirius didn't seem shocked as Remus' lips gained the force that they had so passively ignored moments before. He hardly seemed surprised that Remus had now turned the tables so that it was his tongue that demanding entry; that it was he grabbing Sirius by the shoulders, pinching the flesh of his skin hard. Wanting to hurt him as much as he could, Remus pushed his fingers through Sirius' hair, grabbing a handful and pulling hard. But instead of the signs of pain that he wanted, Remus' fury only increased as Sirius laughed against his mouth; his tongue teasing as it moved to lick away the trickle of blood that was trailing down Remus' chin.
Remus made a deep noise in the back of his throat; an indecipherable whimper which caused Sirius to once more place his lips on his mouth. As Sirius kissed him, Remus felt his hands on his back, holding him to him, violently, desperately; his nails digging into the tender flesh at the back of his neck. Sirius' superior strength was overpowering and Remus, exhausted, weakened, slackened his grasp in Sirius' hair; became limp in Sirius' arms. For a moment the kiss continued; teeth scrapping, mouths fusing, married by the mingling of sweat and blood before, with a soulless laugh, Sirius pulled away, panting; struggling to catch his breath.
Remus couldn't move. They were supporting each other; each of them still clinging, their foreheads touching as each of them tried desperately to breathe. Remus had had to close his eyes; he couldn't bear to look at Sirius' malicious expression. His heart was thudding in his throat; he was trembling as the pain and distorted pleasure held him captive, refusing to let him go; pushing him on to ask the question he couldn't stop himself from saying.
Remus had opened his eyes to see that Sirius was still barely inches from his. The sneer had subsided although his face was still a mask of disdain as his eyes roamed Remus' bleeding face. For a moment Sirius said nothing; couldn't answer the question that had been asked. But finally, after what felt like forever, Sirius moved, inching forwards, his lips pressing against Remus' in a kiss that was so unlike the last. The tenderness of it broke Remus, and he stifled a sob against it as Sirius raised his hands, placing them either side of Remus' face as he gently pulled away. He couldn't bear to look; he knew his heart was breaking, and Sirius' grey eyes shimmered for the briefest of moments before he gave the answer that Remus didn't want to hear.
"Because I hate you."
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