Disclaimer: See chapter 1
A/N: Thank you for the reviews. To those who have left comments on my writing style, thank for your input; I welcome any constructive criticism as this is how improvements are made. I would though, like to address some of these issues mentioned.
One reviewer commented on how I refer to both Sirius and Remus by their surnames in the text and that this is something that they would not do as close friends. I agree, however, if you read where I do this, you will see that this is only done so in the narrative/description of the plot and not Sirius or Remus referring/thinking directly to/or about each other. This is done merely to prevent the repetition of the same names over and over and it allows for the story/text to flow nicely. I feel this is necessary, due to the fact that both of the main characters are male and it's very difficult to differentiate between when switching between the two of them in speech, thought and narrative.
Another issue mentioned is that the last chapter was rather light, or lacked the depth expected. Also, there were a number of things not explained. I apologise if this seemed the case. After reviewing the chapter more closely, I can see how this opinion may have been reached as you, the reader, do not have my insight to where it was coming from. For this I apologise. On the other hand...you will notice from previous chapters that my writing style for this particular fic has always been to P.O.V each incident from both angles and as you read this chapter, you will see the missing bits (mostly) are included and explain this. Another thing to consider on this matter is how I have characterised Sirius from the start. He is as shallow as a puddle and Remus is the one with the depth, so the deep exploration of events and feelings has and will always come from the Lupin character. I hope this clears a few things up.
Anyway, with those issues now discussed, on with chapter 17.
8=~ 8=~ 8=~ 8=~
Remus tossed and turned restlessly in his bed later that night. He'd been depressed since his conversation with Sirius earlier. What the hell had he been thinking when he challenged him to make it right by making it as if this whole incident hadn't happened? It was impossible. Maybe that's why he'd done it.
Yes, Sirius was a talented wizard but he lacked the discipline and intelligence to research something of this magnitude! Hell, he'd even searched for an answer in between revising for his N.E. and found nothing even remotely promising. It was a hopeless cause.
Shit! How he wished that he could make it all never have happened. Remus wanted his life back to how it was. It simply wasn't fair, but it was just another unfortunate event in a series of unfortunate events that had plagued Remus Lupin's entire life.
Over the next few weeks, his spare time was filled with exam revision and his slumbering hours filled with both erotically charged dreams of Sirius and nightmares of at best being ostracised by wizarding society; at worse being euthanised by the Ministry for his lycanthropy.
And then finally, the week leading up to his transformation, his exams arrived.
As expected he passed them with flying colours and the day eventually dawned for him to leave Hogwarts. He spent his penultimate night transforming in the shrieking shack and his final night recovering in the hospital wing.
He and Mike had said a brief goodbye after breakfast that morning. Later, Dumbledore had walked with him from his quarters to the main entrance. He had told the young werewolf that he would always be there for him should he ever need anything and that all he had to do was owl him. On seeing that James and Peter were waiting for him there, the old headmaster left the friends to say goodbye to each other in private. What had happened next had surprised Remus no end.
"You won't forget to write will you?" James asked.
"No, I'll owl you in a few days, when I get settled back in at home."
"Okay then. Look..." James said furtively. "I need to ask you a big favour."
"Anything Prongs, you know that. After everything you've done for me, it's the least I could do."
"It's a reach put it that way. I want us to say our goodbyes here."
"I understand, you don't want a drawn out goodbye at the apparition point."
"It's not that Moony. I wouldn't ask otherwise, it's just that, well…he really is sorry and I believe him. It's just he aske..." James cleared his throat nervously, indicating with his head to the corner of the foyer, where stood a very nervous and unsure Sirius. "…he asked me if he could speak with you alone and say goodbye but you don't have to if you really don't want to mate."
He had not seen Sirius since their exchange in his new quarters. After a moment of mental contemplation, he nodded his silent consent to both of them and started to walk outside.
Sirius and Remus walked silently, neither breaking the uncomfortable silence between them as they walked towards the apparation point outside the school gates. Suddenly, Black spoke.
"I'm working on it you know? I haven't given up." Remus looked at him blankly.
"What you said back in your room." The animagus added. "About making it right; making it so it had never happened."
Remus continued to look at him for a while and then his vacant expression changed to one of exasperation as he realised what Sirius was referring to; his challenge to him of making the entire incident to have never happened. He was torn between his the knowledge that it was an impossible task that Sirius was wasting his time upon and anger that Sirius thought that what had happened could simply be wiped out of existence and all would be well between them again.
Did he really think that he'd trust him again after the depth of his betrayal?
"Don't waste your time Padfoot. I didn't think you'd take what I'd said so literally. You can't undo it; it simply can't be done. Time-turners…"
"Time-turners are limited only, to at the maximum 24 hours because of the magic they use and not an option. See, I've been researching it." He declared proudly.
"Don't you think I haven't thought about it myself? If it could be undone then I would researched it further." Remus said, ignoring him.
"So why did you tell me that if it's impossible? Oh, I get now. Stupid Sirius doesn't understand the fine art of sarcasm."
Remus watched a gamut of emotions pass over Black's face, from anger to resignation to silent acceptance. This disconcerted the young werewolf. He's expected a more volatile reaction from the old Sirius.
He was even more surprised when Sirius took his hand and looked at him deeply and with sincerity. He shifted uncomfortably.
"I'm so sorry Remus for everything. I know it's too little, too late and I just didn't realise it at the time and was just ashamed of my burgeoning sexuality. Black's aren't poufs you understand." Lupin began to interrupt him but was quickly stopped mid sentence. "I know, I hate my family and all that they stand for but please believe me, some things are harder to disregard when they are bred into you almost from birth. I was raised to believe that being queer is as bad as being a blood traitor or squib and I didn't want to accept that I was having those feelings."
He saw Sirius look away and swear under his breath. He followed Sirius' line of vision and noticed that was Mike walking briskly towards them from the school.
Before he could react, Black quickly kissed him. He felt disgusted at himself as he hardened from it.
"I love you and don't ever forget that. I promise you that I am going to find a way to right this Moony, even if it takes me until my dying day. All I ask is one thing."
Shocked from his heartfelt declaration, he could only nod dumbly at Sirius' request.
"Try and be happy..." Padfoot tilted his head towards the approaching Mike. "...even if it's with him." He said genuinely and then fled.
Remus didn't want to face a confrontation between himself and Mike about Sirius. He simply wanted to leave and think things over. Giving the Ravenclaw a brief wave goodbye he apparated away.