A young man burst into the dormitory. Having lived in such a room for nearly seven years, he knew the layout even in the darkness. Knowing that Remus would be there, due to a few points in the Common Room, he made a wide sweeping gesture, flopping onto the bed with a contented smile. Sensing the werewolf not far away, Sirius smiled lightly. He didn't, however, pick up on the tension that filled the room around where the other sat. It was suppressed, easily passed off as the anxiety that usually followed the werewolf around. But maybe it was his excellent mood that overrode his usually canine senses, denying and ignoring such feelings. Plus… it was probably nothing, right? Who could be upset at a time like this?
Today had been the last day of classes for the year, and since they were over, winter break had officially started. Finally. It was going to be their last Christmas here at the castle, and by golly Sirius was going to take full advantage of the situation. Most everyone was going home for the holiday, except him, Remus and… well, that's all who really mattered in his opinion. And he fully intended to take advantage of that aspect of the break.
Not only had this been the last day before break, it had been the day where the seventh years had a chance to talk with the heads of their houses on where they were planning to go. No reason one should be upset. Unless… you were obviously not smart enough to function in society, what did you have to worry about? One could either move on to a Wizarding University or straight into the magical working world. Plus, there were so many choices for someone like him. Even if he was a disowned child of the Most Ancient House of Black, his future looked good. He still had a small sum of money left to him from his uncle, and Andromeda was kind enough to offer him a place to stay till he got on his feet, same with the Potter family. But, that's not what the teen wanted. He wanted to be out on his own, paying his own way. The money from his uncle would be in case of emergencies, or just to get started. He fully intended to work his way to where he wanted to be. But that wouldn't be hard. Not. At. All.
"Do you think you could get a job being ridiculously good looking?" Sirius asked offhandedly, breaking the silence. "I think that would be the type of job for me." He nodded, shifting on the bed, placing his hands behind his head. The Black stared up at the hangings of the four poster, as if he wasn't actually talking to the other person in the room.
If he had been looking, he would have found a rather upset werewolf.
Even if Remus could contain his emotions, almost well enough to not let it show, on the inside he was boiling over. With anger, despair, and over all hopelessness. Emotions that had previously been present, but this moment, overwhelming. Remus, attempting to keep his temper with the unsuspecting friend across the room, placed his forehead on the cool glass of the window he stood before.
His silhouette was outlined in the light of the waning moon, glad that it could bother him no longer… at least for another few weeks. Outside the window, snow fell in gentle spirals and waves, coating the grounds with another layer of snow. A nice picture, at least it would have been if he didn't want to smash his face into the glass.
"That would be a model, Sirius." He said flatly, managing to keep most emotion out of his voice. "It certainly wouldn't take much talent though…" 'But I can't even do that… not that'd I'd want to, but…' He frowned deeply, clenching his fists.
"Huh. That might be a good idea… What about you? What did McGonagall say for you? No doubt something amazing! With your class credits and rank. You could be anything right?" He asked, sitting up and propping himself on his elbows. He was about to say more, but he stopped, finally noticing the tension in Remus' shoulders and frame. Furrowing his brow, he sensed something was amiss with the other.
"What? Minnie say you couldn't be something? Have to settle for lower, huh? Like the Minister of Magic." Sirius joked, raising an eyebrow attempting to get a positive reaction. "Come on. Can't be that bad right? I mean, you're top of the class! What's eating you?" Sirius slid his legs to the side of the bed, standing in one fluid motion, concern flashing across his face. He knew Remus beat himself up about things, but how bad could it be? The boy was a genius!
Remus resisted the urge to laugh, knowing a rather dark and cruel one would emerge. "I'm not going to be anything Sirius. Anything."
The animagus blinked a few times, confused. "What do you mean? Anything? Come on man, I know you might not like all the options, but still. What is it?"
"That's just it Sirius. I don't have any options." He slid his fists down the glass, gripping the windowsill. "I have no options. Unlike you, and practically everyone else, you know what McGonagall told me? That she was sorry. That if only I wasn't what I am. She could have referred me to the Ministry, I could have been practically whatever I wanted. I worked so hard Sirius… and it was all for nothing… NOTHING." He shouted the last word at the glass, his reflection that of anguish and self hatred.
"Remus? What are you talking about? I don't understand…" Sirius took several more steps toward the boy, uncertain if he would reach out of comfort the werewolf, who was obviously very upset. He should have known something was wrong sooner… the way Remus looked when he left McGonagall's office. The smile he gave him, fake, not reaching his eyes. But the teen had ignored it, his friend's pain.
"Moony. What's wrong?"
"The whole bloody world isn't like you, and James and Peter, Sirius. They don't understand, except or even want to try. Because I am a werewolf, I can't get a job. Anywhere. Because of what I am, people discriminate against me. They won't hire me, regardless of how well I would perform at the job, regardless of how skilled I was, regardless of how smart I was. They take one look at the Ministry records, at the registry for people with Lycanthropy. People like me. Because I'm on that stupid list… I was told that because of what I am, I shouldn't even hope or try. If they were just going to tell me no, what was the point of letting me come here? Letting me try only to be spit on! Why?" He choked out the last word, willing himself not to cry. It just seemed… so cruel.
Sirius stood back only for a moment before embracing his friend from behind. "Remus!" He said, alarmed. Pulling his friend as close as he possibly could, he simply held him, unable to think of something to say or could say to something like that. Anger welled up in the wizard, causing him to grit his jaw and hold on tighter. How could someone say that to Remus? The one who worked the hardest, carried the most weight on his shoulders, the one who never did anything wrong. In all his life, Sirius had never met anyone so caring and careful. And they wanted to deny his friend the opportunity to shine and make something out of all the hours poring over books, doing essays and overall probably being one of the best students in all of Hogwarts history. Well, maybe not big, but still. How hard he had seen him work…
"It was all for nothing Sirius! Everything that I ever did… all those stupid books I read! And nothing will come of it! Nothing! How could… how could…" A cry finally escaped from his throat as he practically went limp in Sirius' arms.
Gently bringing himself and the werewolf into sitting positions on the floor, Sirius hugged him tighter, resting his chin on the shorter teen's head.
"I dunno Remus… I just don't know how they could do something like that…" The animagus said still shocked. These people, the mass of oblivious individuals, creating laws that banned qualified people like Remus from working and possible causing a positive change in the world! But he held in his anger, his hate for those people, focusing on the sobbing boy in his arms.
"What am I going to do? All that time… wasted. For nothing! And now I have nowhere to go…" Remus babbled on, clutching the arms of Sirius around him while tears stained his face. Tears that had been bottled up for the last few hours.
Oh how, before Sirius had walked in, oh how Remus wanted to throw himself through that window. That perfect window, into that perfect landscape, letting his imperfect blood stain the snow on the ground. To pool around him, causing no one else pain. His existence meaningless…
"You can stay with me Remus! You and I. Don't worry about that Remus, I'll take-"
"No!" Remus said sharply, his anguished face looking up into the other's. "No Sirius! I don't want to have to do that! I want to be able to pull my own weight in the world! To be someone! To contribute! Not… be a problem, a bother, a meaningless nothing! I don't want your charity. I don't want to have to be weak." He said firmly, his resolve unwavering.
And Sirius couldn't help but understand. That's what he wanted too. To be able to make a name for himself instead of being just another product of a wealthy family, not having to work a day in his life like he knew most purebloods did. He wanted the same thing. But that was being denied to his friend…
"We'll figure something out. It wouldn't be charity. You could get a job. We could move somewhere else. Forget the Wizarding world! There are loads of things we could do! Muggles wouldn't care, hell they wouldn't even know! Or maybe, we could start a business or something. Where we wouldn't have to answer to anyone but ourselves. We could Remus. We could figure something out!" Sirius, now rambling himself, wanted to do all of those things. If it meant helping Remus, easing his friend's suffering, he would do it. "We could do it. We don't need anyone else."
Rubbing his tears from his face with a free hand, Remus shifted, turning to face his friend. "You'd do that?"
"Course! Haven't you learned by now that loyalty is one of those pesky traits Padfoots' carried over? I wouldn't just leave you to the wolves."
"Bad joke. Sorry." Sirius said, smiling slightly, running a hand through Remus' hair. "But I would. And I mean it. Don't worry about those jerks at the Ministry. So what… things can change." He said, wanting to believe his own words. They could… in time. "Besides, I don't think you being here was pointless."
The werewolf thought for a moment. "No… I suppose it wasn't. Never would have met you."
"Yes. And where would you be without me?"
"Dead. Probably." Remus said truthfully, scared at how close he had been to losing it. But at least he had Sirius to pull him back before he fell, almost literally. "I just can't believe them though… how could they do that?" He sighed heavily, rubbing a hand over his face. "I guess the words of Martin Luther King mean nothing to the magical community."
"Who?" Sirius asked, puzzled.
"Never mind." Remus said, a ghost of a smile close to his lips. "I just don't… want to think about it right now. People can be so ignorant sometimes."
Sirius felt slightly guilty. "Sorry mate. I didn't know this had happened… those things I said…"
Remus held up a finger to his friend's lips. "You didn't know. It wasn't your fault."
"But, you are not ignorant in the way they are. You understand. They don't."
"I supposed…" But he still felt bad.
Remus laughed quietly, curling closer to Sirius. "Don't worry about it Sirius."
"Fine. But only if you don't worry about the other ignorant people and the stupid Ministry."Sirius compromised. He was glad that Remus was calming down, knowing that even if this was just a bandage for now; it would have to come off sometime. It wasn't settled yet… Although the dark haired teen was upset at what had been said, at what his friend had said, he still intended to make things right again.
"Fine then." Remus sighed heavily. "What should I think about then?"
"Hmmm…" Sirius said, shifting slightly and pulling Remus a bit closer. "Think about us. And where we should live. And how everything is going to get better, despite what other people say. Because… who cares what other people say anyway, right?"
"Right." Remus said firmly. "I like the way you keep saying 'we' and 'us'."
"Wouldn't have it any other way. You're lost without me anyway, remember?" Sirius commented confidently.
"Oh yes. How could I forget." The sarcasm was evident in Remus' voice, but with an added tone of gratitude and appreciation for the animagus sitting so close.
"I told you I wouldn't leave you, no matter what. I swore on the moon."
"And I, the stars." Remus said thoughtfully, remembering how they had indeed, both promised to stay together, regardless of what happened, if their relationship as friends… and even if it failed as something more. But it hadn't, not yet at least, and hopefully it never would. The werewolf was surprised that Sirius had even remembered. And they had even been in this exact room… Had that only been three years ago?
"So. I really hope you don't want a picket fence. That might be a bit too much for me."
Breaking out of his reminiscing, Remus chuckled. "That might be a bit too picture perfect."
"Yeah… might be. Good. I would have had to say no." He raised any eyebrow, thinking. "If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?" Sirius asked, glancing down at the face of Remus. As the traces of distress left the sandy haired boy's face, his mood brightened.
"I'd like to live…" Remus began thoughtfully, thinking about where he would like to live. "I'd like to live on the coast. Maybe… Yeah. I'd like to live by the sea. I hear it's beautiful. Nice weather too. But… I wouldn't know…I've never been there."
"What?! Never been there? You've never seen the ocean?" Sirius asked, frowning. "Really?"
"Really. I've always wanted to go though."
"Then that's where we'll go. Anywhere specific? Or just the seaside in general."
"In general, anywhere is fine." Remus said smiling. "Why do I have a feeling you are really taking this to heart?"
"Because I am! If that's what Remus wants, that's what he'll get!" Sirius said smirking.
"Yes really. And it will be picture perfect too. Aside from the picket fence. Other than that, anything you want. And we'll have chums over every Friday. Grow old together. All that jazz."
"Oh. Well then. I think you've won me over." Remus laughed at Sirius' picture. "Every Friday?"
"Sure! Why not? It'll be great. Wonderful. I'm really looking forward to—"
But what Sirius was about to say was cut off by the sudden presence of Remus' lips on his. The werewolf deepened the kiss, placing a hand firmly in the dark locks of the animagus. It was an interesting thank you, considering it was coming from Remus. But neither was complaining. When they broke apart, a wide smirk spread itself across Sirius' face.
"—forward to doing that again."
Remus hit him lightly on the head. "Later. You wouldn't want to take advantage of an emotionally rattled werewolf would you?"
"Don't give me that look."
Sirius laughed, leaning a bit closer, his nose touching the others. "You better finish what you started Moony. Cause… I don't know about you, but you don't look 'emotionally rattled'. In fact, if I didn't know any better…"