Author's Note: Here's part four! Hehe, even more mind boggling….
sorrows and regrets
Remus Lupin let himself in through the door, knowing it was unlocked. The owner of the large manor probably wouldn't have blinked if someone had walked in and stolen anything anyway – so it was pointless to raise the issue. Remus sighed, shutting the door behind him and rolling his shoulders slightly.
He went towards the living room, past the winding staircase, to find his old friend lying on a large couch and staring up at the ceiling chandelier, looking ever so thoughtful. Despite that, Remus could see the emptiness in the other man's eyes, and felt another sigh coming on.
Sighing. It was the only thing he could seem to do since that day.
He pulled around a chair and sat beside his friend, crossing his arms.
Sirius turned his face towards Remus, not bothering to follow usual hospitalities, but rather, flatly asked, "What do you want?"
"Only to speak with you."
"I'd rather not," Sirius snapped, turning his face back to the ceiling. "Just leave."
"Have you been eating well?" Remus asked dryly, not waiting for an answer before standing and heading towards the kitchen, on the other half of the large living room. "Granted, I can understand not wanting to eat the food you yourself make, but – "
"Shut up!" Sirius said, "just be quiet."
"Okay," Remus consented amicably, wryly nodding his head. In silence, he went on and opened the fridge, rummaging through the contents that he himself had put there, and took out a loaf of bread and cheese. Bringing it to the counter and making plain sandwiches, his eyes trailed back to the forlorn figure that was Sirius.
Taking the plate to him, Remus heavily sat down beside him and looked at Sirius with a profound gravity, and Sirius stared back at him, eyes empty.
"You mustn't do this to yourself," Remus said sadly, his words laced with grief. "I have lost one member of my family. I fear I'm losing the second."
Sirius's eyes still stared, still empty, and the sight made Remus want to fall to the floor and scream his frustration. Just as he was about to stand to go make dinner, Sirius began to speak, in a slow, quiet and emotionless voice.
"The boy that I loved is gone. He—he had given me the strength to escape Azkaban, the incentive to live, day by day—gone. He's gone, and nothing will bring him back."
Sirius turned his eyes away from Remus now. "I didn't want to believe it. I'd taken Fawkes and Hedwig out, following them as they flew. I asked them to find Harry. They were lost for days. We traveled continents—I apparated us, and we searched in other places."
Remus was stunned—he had never known Sirius went looking for Harry. He sensed the other man had more to say, so he waited.
"Sometimes we found boys that looked like Harry, and sounded like Harry, about the right age. Some had his black hair, some had his face, others had something resembling his eyes. I don't remember what his eyes were like anymore, Remus."
"Sirius," Remus said, and despite his willing to stay calm and collected, his voice cracked, "Sirius, when was the last time you went out looking?"
"Earlier this week," Sirius mused, his eyes still shining black and empty. "We found a boy—so much like Harry, green eyes and black hair. His face looked the same. But he ran away when he read the note. I'd still like to believe that was him."
"Sirius," Remus repeated, in shock at his friend. Had Sirius been doing this the past two years? Trying to find Harry, their poor dead Harry, with Fawkes and Hedwig? Remus couldn't imagine the pain of having to look young boys with Harry's features in the face—the memory was too painful, too much, for Remus to face.
"Listen to me, Sirius," Remus said, regaining control over his shattering thoughts. "Listen. Harry died for us. He died saving us. His last words were—"
Sirius's eyes were black, lead pools once more, and he had stood. "His last words to us were inconsequential! That boy died with Voldemort whispering his dark, filthy curses into his ear—he did not deserve that, Remus, he did not!"
"I know he didn't. We were all there; we saw it happen, Sirius. You cannot believe that any single one of us wished such a fate on Harry, but he did it for us." Remus watched his friend pace helplessly. "Can you not understand the sacrifice he made for us?"
Sirius stopped and faced Remus, angrier than Remus had ever seen him. "He cursed us. He cursed me, and maybe that is what no one else can understand. I can see the Weasleys. Dumbledore and McGonagall, the other teachers. The students—his classmates and his friends. You. They still grieve as well. He has cursed us all." He suddenly seemed deflated, and sat down again, his head hanging forward listlessly. "What I cannot understand is how I failed them. The three of them…one by one, by one…all to Voldemort."
"Only two were felled by his wand," Remus reminded his friend softly.
"And one felled by another," Sirius said wearily. "Remus, please leave."
Remus stood and shook his head, pushing aside his sadness in the face of his best friends' and preparing for the night. "No. It's much too early. I invited the Weasleys and Hermione for dinner. What shall I cook?"
* * *
"You've got to be kidding me," Kent said blankly. He turned his airplane ticket sideways. "What the hell does that mean?"
"It means that we're late," Harry said, annoyed, taking the ticket from Kent's hands. "It means we're going to miss our stupid flight."
"What's got you in a bad mood?" Kent asked Harry, looking infinitely cheerful as he did so, following his friend through the airport. Jewel and Caity followed them from behind.
"I didn't want to fly from New York to LA, Kent," Harry reminded him wryly as they walked. "I wanted to go in the opposite direction, to London."
"You'll get there soon enough," Kent scoffed. "Tokyo's going to be fun, Harry. Try to enjoy it while you can."
"As if New York isn't bad enough in the winter," Harry grumbled. LA was horrible. Of course there was no snow, but so much traffic! So many people trying to travel to their families to spend the holidays with them, even though there was still a couple weeks. Harry fought down a sigh—and found that fighting down a longing for a family was not as easy.
"Well, here's the gate. And we still have half an hour," Jewel said, plopping down. "Want me to pick up something to eat?"
"Save it," Caity said, sitting down beside Jewel. "I'm not hungry. Maybe thirsty."
"Same," Kent agreed.
"So what drinks do you guys want? I'm getting water, Caity—"
"I'll have water, thanks."
"No problem." Jewel went off to find a vendor.
Harry sighed, and sat down, wishing he was on the plane already. He liked the feeling of being very high up, and felt uncomfortable being jostled by the crowds. At least he felt warm and cozy. The black jeans were as normal as ever, along with his plain black casual shoes, but he had recently gotten a cotton, bottle-green turtleneck that he wore under his thick leather jacket. He was also wearing his sun-glasses, just for the sake of it. It made him feel better that people could look at him and he would be a blank slate to them. Anyone would clearly see into his thoughts through his eyes.
Jewel returned, handing each their requested beverage, and they waited and talked animatedly for the remaining ten minutes, when a voice over the intercom said, "Now boarding flight 342, Los Angeles to Tokyo. Now boarding."
Kent was staring confusedly at his ticket again, so Harry told him, "That's us. Come on, let's go."
sorrows and regrets
A/N: Hmph. I don't like that conversation between Remus and Sirius, it seems too melodramatic. And not really as emotional as it should be. Puh… I'm not writing very well at all. I'd like to hear your theories though. Some of them are quite interesting! Happy New year!
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~ Jedi Cosmos ~