So this is my very first fanfic! Ever. So please show me some love and leave me some comments.

AU. How incomplete would their lives be if neither had met but simply lived life as society expected them to? Set during an indeterminate point in time.
I own nothing. Nothing. Oh, except the OCs of course.

(Keep Holding On)

He saw him on the street. Just as he and his wife left the charity function at the museum. It was a simple brushing of shoulder against shoulder as they passed one another. The involuntary response - turn to acknowledge, apologize and move on in a glance, but that glance stopped him dead.

A flash of striking gold eyes enthralled his mind until a pull at his elbow brought him back, and just as quickly, Sirius Black slipped into the awaiting carriage and the image scored into his mind vanished into dark streets of Budapest.

What was it about ancient houses, Remus wondered, that they all had extremely narrow halls covered in extremely dark wallpapers?

In the course of his career, Remus Lupin had seen many such houses and they each maintained the same basic layout. There was always a large, sometimes gaudily decorated, receiving room which was invariably empty of anything to suggest it was lived in much. Next would be the dining room with the table large enough to seat four families, and he supposed in the circle of high society, one might have need of such a table, but no familial dining rooms ever seemed to exist. There were the kitchens, rarely seen and certainly never used by the family themselves. And then of course, there were the libraries.

The libraries, being really the only reason Remus was allowed to become so acquainted with the houses of the pureblood families. Remus Lupin was a librarian of a peculiar sort. One could call him a personal librarian, he supposed, although he never stayed with one job for very long. Generally, he was brought in to catalogue and order the ancient libraries that had a tendency to accumulate themselves in the houses of old money. And he supposed some of the aforementioned libraries were large enough he could almost stay on permanently, but as no one ever seemed to read any of the books whose care he was charged with, he rarely saw the point. Inevitably, he would move on, and strangely, there always seemed to be another family somewhere in Europe that would answer his add. He was never quite sure how it was he came to such a position, but there it was.

As for the constant travelling, well, his mother would say it had nothing to do with lack of occupation. She would say it was the Gypsy in his blood. His father had been one of the nomadic Roma and his mother, a young Parisian woman, had fallen madly in love with him one hot summer. Mere weeks later they had wed in India. But not love, marriage, nor family could keep his father in one place for long, and one day he had moved on again, leaving his young wife heartbroken and his small son with a difficult bloodline.

It was all very romantic, but Remus simply shook his head and called it nonsense. Really, it was just not logical for him to stay in one place. He had to go where the opportunities were and sadly, there were few opportunities for one afflicted with lycanthropy. And so it was that he, like his father, broke his mother's heart again and again, each time he left her.

The latest job for him was somewhat closer to home, however. The Black estate in the English countryside, and it was the halls of which he was currently navigating. Ahead of him, his hostess walked swiftly, confidant of her every turn through the mazelike place. Quite quickly they reached the library and Remus found himself very impressed. At a glance, he could already tell it was one of the premier collections in Western Europe and it saddened him knowing how unlikely it was that the family might ever actually read any of the ancient tomes.

"Well, I'll leave you to associate yourself with the library until dinner. My husband will be better able to tell you what needs doing, he can be quite… specific, in how he prefers things and I would suggest you don't begin anything until you've spoken with him." The lady of the house was quite young yet he could see she could be a formidable person indeed as her eyes held his in what was almost a challenge. She was slender with thin manicured eyebrows over quiet green eyes and complimented by pale brown hair, but in every movement and word she exuded a sense of determination.

"Of course," Remus replies, eyes still roving over the leather bound inhabitants of the room. He felt he should say something else to assure her he was not some lunatic she was about to leave unaccompanied in her home, but nothing came to mind. For a moment they stood together awkwardly before Mrs. Black turned abruptly and left.

With nothing else to do, he placed his small case atop an unoccupied desk and went off to familiarize himself with the stacks.

"Really, Reagan, what you think we need a librarian for, I cannot comprehend," Sirius said, pinching the bridge of his nose as he packed away the papers he had been staring at numbly for the past hour with a firm flick of the wand.

"My dear, it's so dreary up there and well, I know that Hélène and Jean have had someone in to catalogue their library and isn't ours much larger? Certainly it is in much more need of some attention."

"Yes, well, what do you care about the state of the library? When was the last time you stepped foot in there for anything more than to interrupt me with some inane question about decorating?" Sirius could see his wife's eyes narrow at that but he really wasn't in the mood to care about her hurt feelings. When she said nothing further, Sirius gave up assuming he had a say in how his house was run and asked "Well, when is this librarian to arrive then?"

"He's already here. I left him in the library, but don't get cross with me, I told him already that you were particular about it and that he wasn't to touch anything until you spoke with him at dinner," she retorted haughtily.

"You just left him upstairs."

"Yes, of course, what else was I to have done with him?"

Sirius sighed heavily, increasingly impatient with the woman. Perhaps there was something to be said for the pureblood families and their intermarriages. At least the prospective couples had grown up knowing what they'd be stuck with. Sirius' mother had insisted on a wife from one of the other European pureblood families upon hearing of the unfortunate and embarrassing incidence with Andromeda. Now, here he was, twenty-nine and attached to a woman he was utterly indifferent about and could hardly bring himself to speak to after seven years.

Reagan seemed to realise she would get no further conversation from him and so she disappeared to do Merlin knew what, with little no remark, as she was wont to do. Almost immediately Sirius relaxed but was at a loss about what to do with himself. Usually he would go off to his library but did not want to go up there and deal with the intruder just now.

Sirius soon found himself wandering the halls. His aimless stride carried him to the dilapidated tower rising out of the west wing. Without much thought to it, he ascended the spiralling iron stairway and climbed out into the cool evening air. He seated himself against the rough granite, letting the calm from the sleeping stone seep into himself. He sat quite still as the last vestiges of daylight raced from the sky and the stars awoke. He would not go down to dinner yet. He was waiting for her to come out first. His Johanna.

How was it that his life was so infinitely over before it had quite begun?

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