A/N: And last, but certainly not least, the epilogue! Thanks for reading and I hope the ending isn't too horrible!
A prequel is planned for some time in the future.
Epilogue - A Fitting Farewell
Remus stood in black dress robes and looked out the window of his bedroom, watching as the wind blew around the loose leaves and dry grass. It was a particularly stormy summer day. It threatened rain, and smelt like it too. Remus loved the rain; he always had. The smell of the wet earth reminded him of his husband; of Sirius.
It had been two weeks since the tragedy at the Department of Mysteries. There had been no funeral, for there was no body to bury. Sirius was dead, but he was lost through veil forever. Remus still wanted to have some sort of services for his late husband, so he arranged for a memorial service to be held the week after the school year ended for Harry. There would be a headstone place beside James' and Lily's in the Godric's Hallow Cemetery for Sirius. That was where Remus was supposed to be heading soon, to start the service.
Harry. Hermione had written to Remus to assure him that Harry was doing ok, but he was so quiet and not himself. He wasn't devastated to hysterics, but he was not in any form of the word 'ok'. Remus' shattered heart ached at the very thought of it. Harry had come to stay with him at Grimmauld Place just until after the service, then he would have to return home to Surrey. He had been fairly withdrawn and quiet, but Harry had never been the loud rambunctious type either.
Remus himself hadn't left his and Sirius' bedroom for three days afterwards. He had curled up with Sirius' clothing and pillow after waking up from being stunned, sobbing uncontrollably. He cried until he could cry no more, then dry sobbed for many more hours. He could smell Sirius all around him, and he wished he could feel his warm, strong arms around his as well. He'd never feel Sirius hold him again, see him smile, hear him laugh, kiss him, hold him close…
Remus wiped the tears that had begun to stream down his cheeks away. He had never felt so very alone before, even when Sirius had been taken away to prison before. This was different – so very different. He knew before that there was a slight possibility that he'd ever see Sirius again, but now…now he knew for a fact that he would never see Sirius again. At least, not until Remus himself died, and then he would meet him again in the next journey.
There was a soft knock on his bedroom door. He turned to see Harry walk in, dressed in plain black dress robes with a small boutonniere pinned to his lapel. He walked over to Remus, holding out a similar one.
"I've got them all passed out, yours is the last one. Are you ready? It's getting pretty close…Looks like it's going to rain, too," Harry said quietly as he looked out the large window at the gray clouds.
"Thank you, Harry. I think I'm ready, are you?" Remus asked as he gently squeezed Harry's shoulder.
Harry averted his eyes, looking down at the carpet instead. He felt sort of numb about the whole thing. He missed Sirius, and he was definitely hurting from the loss, but a strange sense of peace had stolen over him. He was so calm, almost too calm.
"I miss him…but you must miss him more. God, Remus…I can't even imagine how painful this is for you," Harry whispered as he looked up at Remus, his eyes full of unshed tears.
Remus shook his head as he pulled Harry into a hug. "Of course you can, Harry. You're in just as much pain as I am. You loved him, right? So did I. Having a different relationship with him does not making losing Sirius any easier, for either of us. You're perfectly allowed to miss him, to be upset by his death. Don't ever think you have less of a right to grieve than I do."
Remus let Harry cry on his shoulder for a good ten minutes before Harry pulled away, wiping at his eyes with his sleeve. "Come on, we'll be late if we don't hurry."
"We're the guests of Honour, Harry; it doesn't start until we arrive," Remus said as he gave Harry one last hug before leading the way out of the room. He glanced back at Sirius' cloak, which was left hanging on the edge of the bed. He made a split second decision and walked back, picking up the cloak and swinging it around his shoulders. It still held a trace of Sirius' unique scent, which comforted Remus greatly. He smiled at Harry, who had paused at the door to wait for him.
"Now I'm ready."
The wind held a slight chill, but the clouds thankfully had held in the moisture so far. There were dozens of white chairs lined up in rows in front of a wooden podium, which sat next to an ornate marble headstone. The headstone was dark gray with pretty script writing. At the very top there was a shaggy dog etched into the marble, its head raised in a howl towards the sky.
'Sirius Orion Black'
October 14, 1959 – June 17, 1996
The Joys of Love Are Far Greater Than the Sorrows of Death
Harry sat in the front row on the left side, a seat open beside him for Remus, who was currently standing at the podium. Hermione, Ron, Ginny, the twins and the rest of the Weasley family, save Percy, were seated behind Harry and beside Tonks, Kingsley, Moody, and, surprisingly, Snape. Dumbledore was sitting on the far right in the front row, his midnight blue robes sparkling as the stars and moons glittered in the hazy sunlight. The rest of the Order and a few others were in attendance as well, including Hagrid, Madam Pomfrey, and most all of Sirius' past Hogwarts teachers.
Remus cleared his throat and took a deep breath before looking out to all the people who came to pay their respects to his late husband. It was both comforting and distressing at once. Remus caught a whiff of Sirius from the cloak he was wearing and felt himself relax.
"I want to thank you all for being here to help pay respect to Sirius' memory. Though we could not give him a proper burial, the least I could do was give him a place to be remembered at, alongside his best friend, James.
It has been only a few short weeks since I lost the love of my life. I've tried being angry with Sirius, hating him for leaving me, but I just can't do it. How could I possibly blame this on Sirius? I think the only person who isn't at fault here is Sirius himself. If Dumbledore wouldn't have sent me on so many long missions – if I hadn't accepted the missions and left Sirius alone, if Molly hadn't been so hard on Sirius, if Harry had been expelled from Hogwarts and come to live with Sirius, maybe Sirius would still be alive. Maybe Sirius wouldn't have been so irrational when he heard Harry was in danger, or maybe he would have been; that was just Sirius' nature. Maybe if I would have paid more attention to Peter Pettigrew back then, Sirius would never have gone to Azkaban for a crime he never commit. Maybe if Sirius had actually trusted me back then he wouldn't have suspected me instead of Peter as the spy. Be all that as it may, it doesn't change what happened and it won't bring Sirius back. Placing the blame on anyone is foolish, and Sirius would not want anyone to feel at fault.
It took every ounce of strength I own, human and wolf, to not dive through that veil after Sirius as I watched him fall. It was slow, torturous, and paralyzing. What kept me from going after Sirius, you ask? Someone had to hold Harry back, and I think he held me back as well. I realized then that I did have something to live for, even if I had lost Sirius; Harry. He was the surrogate son Sirius and I never got to raise, and I wanted to be here to watch him succeed, even if Sirius couldn't.
Sirius wouldn't have wanted me to give up, to follow him through that veil. I will never stop loving Sirius Black, no matter what may happen in the near or far future. He was – is – my reason for breathing, and I will continue to take breath until we meet again. There is often less danger in the things we fear – death, loss, and pain – than in the things we desire – love, happiness, and peace. However, in Sirius' words, 'A life without danger isn't a life at all. Why spend your time Lying Low when you could be out there standing up for what's right and defending your freedom?' So, Padfoot, I say for you what you cannot say for yourself –
A/N: This concludes my first chapter fic, Lying Low. I'm sad to see it end, but happy to have made it through without giving up. Please leave reviews and let me know your opinions of the story overall!