Disclaimer- I am not JK Rowling...

Sirius Black was angry. No, pissed. He was furious, or incensed, or whatever you wanted to call it. He stalked through the hallway, shooting off random spells at younger children. As he walked, his anger transformed into grief, and the gravity of his situation finally sunk in.

He had been banned from home. His room had been sealed up, and he had been disgraced as the Black heir. His mother hadn't even had the decency to write him and tell him herself. Even a howler, screaming and shrieking Walburga Black's shame at raising such a terrible child, would have been better than Regulus' taunting smirk.

Somehow, Sirius found himself in the astronomy tower. Wishful thinking, he supposed. Grimly, he slipped into the rounded, shadowy tower, leaning against a window and scrutinizing the grounds below. The grass seemed black, and the lake a silvery mirror under the moonlight. It was almost a full moon. Slowly, it dawned on Sirius that Remus would be needing him soon.

Remus. Remus Lupin. James Potter was Sirius' best friend, but only because Remus was so much more. Not that he'd ever tell Remus that, he reminded himself quickly. He thought of his friend, the boy who had been burdened with lycanthropy at the tender age of five and a half. Sirius had had trouble believing it, at first. Such a sweet, kindly, shy boy could never possibly transform into a snarling, destructive monster, bent under the hypnotic will of the moon.

Of course, it made so much sense when he thought hard about it. The monthly trips to visit his sickly mother which, when carefully tracked, landed on the nights of the full moon. The quivering unwillingness to be touched, or stand close to too near other people. The scars he casually brushed off as clumsiness. Sirius and James had previously worried about domestic problems, until little Peter, in a rare stroke of cleverness, suggested that Remus only left on full moons. James and Sirius had been amazed he had figured that out, until he told them that Remus' presence in the dormitory helped him to sleep, and on nights when he left, Peter found solace in the silvery orb of the full moon. Really, it made sense that Remus reminded Peter of a full moon.

Then, there was his golden eyes, so wolf-like. They were fiercely intelligent, cunning, and yet proud and loyal. They were not pure gold, more of a coppery auburn. Still, they missed nothing, a fact made apparent when he silently reprimanded Sirius for hexing someone under the cover of the tables. His other senses were honed as well, but his eyesight, those darkly beautiful eyes, were what Sirius, well, loved the most about Remus.

His thoughts drifted slowly from Remus, a welcome source of comfort, to the problem at hand. He did not know where to go. He had no money saved up for after school, save a few extra coins he'd brought along for trips to Hogsmeade. Nowhere near enough to keep up a flat. Or buy his school books for the next year. A wave of anger washed over him. They, of course, didn't have the decency to lend him enough to survive. Blacks were above such filth as blood traitors.

His gaze shifted to the moon, a thin crescent. It's just a sliver, really, like the falcate of his thumbnail. He looked down at his hands, slender and pale. They were rough and calloused from Quidditch. He dug the tips of his fingers into his palms. Slowly, almost unwillingly, he pressed his fist into the dust on the window sill. When he pulled his hand away, he was pleased to see a paw print left behind.

He smiled, forlornly, slightly eccentrically. He imagined the paw prints left behind as he galloped through the Forest on the outskirts of the school grounds, carried swiftly on four black paws. He almost let the daydream carry him away. Almost.

He was dragged back to reality by the screech of some unknown creature in the forest, calling to him in a spellbinding, theatrical sort of way. It was not a wolf, although he would have liked to hear the call of a wolf to him right now. This hidden creature is probably some skulking, unforthcoming animal you would not normally come across. He did not particularly care to listen to it. Except, the cries brought him back to the gravity of his current situation. He still didn't know where he was supposed to stay.

Slowly, he thought of Diagon Alley. Surely the bartender, a toothy young man called Tom, would be friendly enough to him. Maybe he could stay there, work during the summer in exchange for a room. Yes, Sirius was sure that would work.

He bowed his head, hands hanging limply in front of him. He lifted them, almost unwillingly, to rest on the sill before him. Dust streaked his fingertips. He rubbed it off on his black robes, and slowly pushed the window open. If he couldn't think of a solution soon, he would think of Remus again, and his logic would melt into a puddle of child-like adoration.

It was too late to think clearly, and he was too tired. His bones felt as though they were creaking as he leaned farther out the window, inhaling the crisp scent of the tower. He would do it, he decided. To Hell with his mother and father and all the rest of them. He grabbed the sides of the window pane and started to heave himself up and out.

"Sirius?" The voice that haunted his nightmares, and his dreams. The whispery, frightened voice of one Remus Lupin. Sirius nearly fell from his perch, and he turned to see his friend. "What are you doing?" He lifted a hand to scratch at his prematurely graying auburn hair with one long fingernail. Sirius jumped down, shrugging cheerfully.

"Dunno." He rubbed at his chin and forced happiness into his voice. "Just getting some- fresh air, I guess." He gestured vaguely to the window behind him. Remus narrowed his eyes.

"You could have fallen. Let's go back to the common room." He turned without another word.

"Right." Sirius followed obediently. "The common room." He stopped suddenly, putting a hand on the wall. Remus turned to stare at him, brows furrowed in confusion. "You go back." He said hoarsely. "I want to stay a little while longer."

"Sirius, is everything okay?" Remus started forward, and Sirius tripped over his own too big feet in his haste to get away. "What's wrong with you? Why are you acting like this?"

"I, uh, got kicked out." Sirius mumbled. "Mum couldn't take me anymore, I guess." He laughed, slightly bitterly, and turned back to the door. "You go on ahead. I'll catch up." Remus eyed him suspiciously, and Sirius just wanted to throw his arms around Remus' waist and sob into his shabby black robes. He twitched nervously, fighting the odd impulse.

"Sorry, mate." Remus said finally, shrugging for lack of words. "You want to be alone?"

The truth was, Remus had never liked social situations. It was one of the quirks that made the Marauders like him that much more, mostly because it was fun seeing him flounder at a party. It was likely he found Sirius' well-concealed grief, obvious to the astute lycanthrope, a bit disconcerting.

"Yeah, I want to be alone." Sirius flicked his dark hair from his eyes and retreated to the safety of the classroom. "I promise I won't jump out the window." He sat on a desk, the ancient wood creaking beneath him. Remus seemed a bit alarmed to hear that. "Come on, Remy. When have I ever broken a promise to you?"

If Remus thought hard, he could probably come up with a dozen different times. A hundred different times. But he didn't want to think. He wanted Sirius to be okay, except he didn't know what to say. He twirled a strand of red hair around his fingers in a way that made Sirius look away, and stepped forward, mouth open.

"I said I want to be alone." Sirius snarled, his nails digging into the surface of the desk. Remus stepped away and crossed his arms.

"Fine." He was gone in a whirl of patched robes, leaving only the smoky, animalistic scent to prove he had been there. Sirius stared at the empty doorway and mentally cursed himself.

Sirius was seventeen years old. He wasn't ready to live on his own. He wasn't ready to accept his pride had been smashed into infinitesimal pieces by the woman who had birthed him. He certainly wasn't ready to be a grown up. That was why, when Remus tried to help, he scooted as far into his dark corner as he possibly could. Because he knew that, is Remus offered a hand, he wouldn't be able to stop himself. The adult in him accepted this easily. The child in him was not so readily compliant.

He glanced wistfully to the window, but he had promised Remus. If nothing else, maybe staying true to his word would be something he could do for his friend. He swung his legs dejectedly, in part because of everything that had happened.

Also, because a major piece of him wanted to run after Remus and tell him everything he had ever felt and was feeling and would feel. God, he was so fucked. He could never do that.

He had just lost his family, much as he hated them. He couldn't lose his best friends, too. They actually meant something to him.

What he could do was wait a bit. Maybe- maybe one day, after his life had calmed down a bit and his hormones weren't twisting everything out of proportion, he would tell Remus.

Right now he needed to find a place to spend the holidays. He needed to think of something else, because the silver of the moon was distracting him. He closed his eyes and pushed all his emotions to the vault in the back of his mind, hopping off the desk and wandering into the hallway.

Yes, he could live through one more day.

I'm sorry if some were disappointed with the ending... i struggled a bit. reviews would be helpful... also.. i oddly made remus a redhead, which i always thought of him as and just recently learned he is blond... maybe dirty blond... i intend to keep his as a red head... this is just to clear up any "remus is actually blond" reviews, you know, in case you were thinking of mentioning that...