Chapter Seven: The End of Our Beginning
James yawned widely, bouncing on the balls of his feet in what he hoped was a soothing enough rhythm to put his son to sleep. When he'd signed up for fatherhood, he hadn't really counted on the late nights and sleep fights. He had thought his son would be a normal human being and smile in the mornings and sleep well into the night. He did not anticipate Harry to scream his lungs out at three in the morning or vomit all over James's nightshirt.
'That's it, love,' James whispered, rocking slowly, 'Go to sleep and then, poor ol' Dad will sleep too.' James was just about to go back upstairs, when the doorbell rang loudly. 'Shite,' he whispered when Harry squirmed uncomfortably. He quickly started rocking harder, while trying to walk to the front door at the same time. 'Don't wake up, son. Lalala…sleep while Daddy sings…lalala.' James grabbed his wand from the side table before opening the door. 'Fabian?'
Fabian smiled weakly, looking paler than the last time James had seen him. It was only spring but he was dressed heavily in a zip up jacket and a muffler twisted around his neck. 'Sorry,' Fabian whispered hoarsely, 'I just came to say goodbye.'
James frowned. 'Are you going somewhere? Is it for work again?' He moved aside to let Fabian in. 'Sit down. You look cold; I'll make you some tea. Wha-' James froze as he watched Fabian pull off his muffler.
'Vile, isn't it?' Fabian said bitterly, taking off his jacket as well. He wasn't wearing anything underneath and James could see the curse on his skin, starting from his hand and spreading out in rough, jagged edges to his jaw line. Fabian's entire right half was scorched black. His whole body was covered in beads of sweat and James noticed that Fabian was breathing much too hard to be considered normal.
'What happened?' James asked softly, extending one hand to touch Fabian's skin. He'd expected it to be rough, like burnt toast perhaps, but the skin underneath his fingertips felt smooth. It felt like skin, but it was a deep black. As it someone had just inked it. 'What is this?'
'Atonement for my sins,' Fabian whispered, looking down. 'I'm in a lot of pain, James…'
James took his hand away, but he couldn't stop staring at the stark contrast of obsidian against pale skin.
'There's something I want you to give to Remus,' Fabian continued, fishing out an envelope from his back pocket. 'I wanted to give it to him myself, but I…I couldn't. In the last minute, I…I didn't want him to see me like this. This ugly side of me…'
James was hesitant to take the envelope, so he set Harry down on the couch a good distance away from them before taking it. It felt heavy and even though James didn't open it, he could feel the shape perfectly through the thin paper. It was a ring.
'Don't worry,' Fabian assured softly, 'I've destroyed it. It won't cause any harm. But if Remus ever wonders about me or if he ever asks…this ring will give him the answers I was too much of a coward to give.'
James's fingers closed around the envelope, the outline of the ring digging into his palm. 'Where are you going?' he asked, feeling his chest tighten and alarm bells ringing in his head, telling him it was a question he didn't want answered. 'What did you do?'
Fabian laughed humourlessly. 'Can I have that tea? We need to talk.'
'At this point, I'll admit something to you,' Lily continued to a shocked Jane, 'we knew.'
'About Fabian and everything else that had happened,' Lily explained, her face growing steadily sombre. 'We didn't know Fabian was going to die. Neither of us even expected it. How do I say this?' Lily frowned. 'We look at everything from a very detached point of view. A lot of things happen to a lot of people; it's not unheard of. But we always think that we're the exception. That it won't happen to us. I think that's what happened when Fabian came to James.'
'What did you think then? About Fabian's curse…'
Lily shrugged, steering the car to the right. 'Honestly, I don't know what we thought. We thought he was just going to leave Remus for a while. I think we thought he would find a cure and come back. I really don't know…'
Jane nodded sympathetically. 'But why didn't Remus know? Fabian had clearly wanted Remus to figure out the truth. So what happened? How did it come to this?'
Lily sighed, slowing down a bit as a strange emotion overcame her. 'If I had to blame someone, perhaps it would be James and I. I think, to James, the illusion of Remus always needing him to be there was comforting in some ways. James didn't have any siblings and his parents were always too busy to pay as much attention. Me; I don't have any excuses except that I cared for Remus as much as I would, had I a brother. In the end, both of us overlooked Remus's feelings and underestimated him.'
Jane frowned. 'I don't understand…'
Lily smiled sadly. 'You see, Jane, the truth always comes out. And in the end, no matter what your intentions, betrayal is still betrayal.'
Remus stumbled, nearly tripping on the stairs. He swayed dizzily from all the sudden movement and rested his face against the cool wall. The button in front of him danced in white and gold, multiplying and then finally merging into one. Remus blinked, focused, then pressed the button; groaning in pain when the doorbell rang loudly.
Remus opened his eyes and smiled lopsidedly. 'Mornin', Lily.' He looked up at the sky and corrected himself. 'Nope. Evenin', Lily.'
Remus would have also commented on how pretty Lily looked today if she would stop moving around so much and stand still enough for him to look at her. 'Remus, are you drunk?' All five of her.
'No,' Remus replied, grinning confidently. Immediately, a bout of nausea hit him and Remus moved away to vomit all over Lily's lovely bushes. 'I lied,' Remus admitted, wiping his mouth and swaying slightly. 'I'm drunk.'
Lily rubbed her head tiredly. 'James mentioned you had a talk with Sirius. Fuck…' Lily looked back and Remus saw that she was exchanging looks with James who was playing with Harry inside. They did that a lot; look at each other and know perfectly what the other was thinking. It was as if they had some kind of telepathic powers. It annoyed Remus sometimes; just like now. 'James, can you take Harry inside and then bring some water over. It's Remus…'
For a moment, James looked directly into Remus's eyes from afar, as if reading into his mind. Then Remus's eyes crossed on their own and everything went a bit blurry. By the time Remus managed to shake his head and get things into focus, James and Harry had already gone into the kitchen.
'Merlin, Remus, it's only six-thirty. I can't believe you,' Lily chided softly, wrapping an arm around Remus's shoulders and leading him in. Remus didn't need her help to walk or sit on the sofa. He could do it just fine, even though his head still felt a little muzzy. He could do it, but Lily's arms were warm, so he rested his head on her shoulder instead.
'I'm sorry,' Lily whispered, stroking his hair lightly. 'This is my fault, isn't it? I pushed you into all this and now, all over again…' She hugged Remus tightly. 'Sirius is a bastard…'
Remus shook his head, stopping when his head pounded painfully. 'He's right. He's the one person who told me the truth.' Remus bit his lip as memories of the conversation he'd had with Sirius this morning surged into his mind. He was sure he'd forgotten them. For a moment, he was sure he had lost the harsh reality of the truth in the bottom of that cheap brown glass. 'I'm a horrible person,' he whispered, fighting back the prickle in his eyes. 'I'm horrible. I never noticed a thing, even though we were living together. I saw, but I always told myself it's nothing serious. He'd tell me if it was.'
Lily shook her head, her arms tightening around Remus. 'Remus, it's not your fault.'
'No,' Remus disagreed, feeling dizzy all over again but for entirely different reasons. 'No. No. No. It is, because everything makes sense now. The dimmed lights, the full sleeves and scarves; how could I not have noticed? I could have saved him…'
Lily pulled away frowning. 'Remus, what are you talki-'
'Fabian's death; Lily, it was never a murder. He committed suicide.'
The silence in the room was pierced by breaking glass. Lily's body, stiff from shock, whirled around to see James shaking with the tray still in hand. They exchanged glances again, then James looked away. 'He told you,' James whispered quietly, his grip tightening on the tray.
'I told you talk to him,' Lily replied, averting her eyes as well and concentrating on the crayon drawing on the floor. 'I told you, James, but you never listen.'
'I didn't think he would bring it up.'
Remus stared, first at James, then Lily, and then James again. He blinked and rubbed his eyes. He was nearly sure that it was because he was inebriated, but the entire conversation seemed a bit dodgy. James and Lily didn't seem as shocked by the news as Remus had been, but they were trembling the same way Remus had been before he'd downed his first shot. It was almost as if: 'You knew?' Remus got his answer when neither James nor Lily met his eyes. 'You knew…' Remus whispered quietly to himself, still not believing; still sure he was hallucinating. James wouldn't do this to him. James would never… 'You were lying to me the whole time. All these years I…' Remus suddenly couldn't breathe.
'Remus, calm down…' Lily said, a firm hand squeezing Remus's shoulder.
The hand didn't help. The hand didn't give him any answers or explanations. The hand only worsened his breathing and suddenly, Remus wasn't sure whether it was him gasping for breath or crying. 'Why did you lie to me?' he screamed, clutching at his eyes and hating the way he couldn't make the tears stop. 'Do you have any idea how much I suffered? Do you have any idea how badly I searched for the truth and begged and begged and begged?'
'You betrayed me!' Remus accused, pushing away Lily's attempts to hold him. 'I trusted you and you betrayed me!'
'Moony, listen to me!' James yelled, holding Remus down forcefully. 'Listen!' He fought against Remus's struggles, keeping both of Remus's arms pinned to the side. 'We weren't trying to betray you! We both did it because we were worried! Moony, just listen. Please,' James pleaded, resting his forehead on the side of Remus's head. 'I know we lied, but after Fabian died, we were scared. You'd just completely snapped. As if it was you who had died in Fabian's place. You were unstable…unpredictable…I just wanted to do what was best for you. We all did, even Dumbledore…'
'Don't lie,' Remus begged, too exhausted and numb to struggle anymore. He slumped, falling within himself, as his arms wrapped around his body as a shield. 'Don't lie to me anymore…'
Lily stroked Remus's cheek gently. 'We only wanted to protect you.'
'I can protect myself,' Remus argued, feeling his anger and hurt bubbling beyond the red line. 'I don't need you to encase me in a cage of lies. I believed you this entire time because I thought of you as my family. But in the end, it turned out to be Sirius who ever treated me like one and saw me as an equal. I'm not weak. I was never weak.' Remus clenched his teeth.
'Moony?' Harry peeked through the kitchen door inquisitively. 'Moony? What's wrong?'
'Sorry,' Remus wiped his face with the back of his hand, unable to even conjure a reassuring smile for Harry. 'I'm tired, so I'm just going to go home.' He got up abruptly.
'Mummy, who made Moony cry?'
Remus broke into a run.
'Moony! I said to wait!'
He ran, picking up his pace every time he heard James screaming his name. He was faster, he knew this. James's speed was limited to the sky and broom, but Remus could outrun him anytime he put his mind to it. So, he ran until his calves screamed in pain and his lung twisted for just a single breath. He ran until he was sure James was no longer behind him, taking a quick cut past one of the darker gullies and running into his apartment.
Running helped. Running didn't give time for his tears to flow. But it did remind him of Sirius and how much Remus wanted to see him. Sirius had been different. He had wanted to protect Remus, but had trusted Remus with the truth. Sirius, Remus knew, had wanted to avoid hurting Remus but ending up hurting himself. In some ways, Sirius was a lot like Remus, but in most ways, he wasn't.
'Just break open the fucking door. What does it matter?'
Remus stopped abruptly up the stairs; there were voices coming from in front of his apartment door.
Remus's heart stopped. Magic. There were wizards here and they were barging into Remus's apartment. Why?
'Is your spell that weak, Sommers! You can't even open a fucking muggle door?'
Remus's needed to go. It didn't matter if they trashed his apartment; he didn't have the ring or whatever. Remus just needed to get away from their wands, but his feet felt like lead. He realised with paralytic fear that he couldn't even look away. It was good this way, he tried to assure himself. If Remus stayed stuck to the wall like this, they wouldn't see him. They would just pass by and not take notice.
It was fine, Remus repeated, even when his eyes met directly with one of the darker haired wizards. It will be fine, Remus corrected. If he could gather himself and fight, Remus would be fine; because magic or not, Remus could fight.
He forcefully willed his feet to move.
Remus would win, because he'd never lost a fight. Remus would definitely win, because even though he hated magic, Remus's specialty before had been dueling. He'd been good at it because he could tell exactly what spell the opponent would cast at the first wand motion.
Remus clenched his fists tightly in preparation.
The man tilted his head and grinned. 'Well, this makes things a lot easier.'
Jane covered her mouth with her hands. 'What happened? Who was that?'
Lily tilted her head, her face twisting into a disgusted scowl. 'Who do you think?'
'No,' Jane said disbelievingly. 'No. After everything Sirius had to go through…the fates have to be cruel to let something like that happen.'
'It's true,' Lily agreed, 'but I wouldn't say the fates were cruel. Everything happens for a reason. After all, if it hadn't been for that bastard, Sirius and Remus would have never gotten back together.' Lily stopped at a signal. 'And the most curious thing was…'
Sirius breathed heavily and turned off the lights. He pulled the curtains with a quick swish of his wand and locked the office door behind him, before falling back on his chair. He was currently nursing a painful crick in his neck from falling asleep in his chair last night. It was ridiculously uncomfortable and restraining, since Sirius couldn't look to his left without feeling like his neck was about to snap of. Not that he needed to look to the left; everything was the frustratingly, mundanely same anyways.
He'd been working overtime ever since he'd returned back to Grimmauld. Somehow, even the tiny cubicle he worked in till midnight seemed less stifling and larger than his old mansion. When he lay down on his bed, all Sirius thought of was how empty his house was and how the silence seemed more deafening than he'd ever remembered. He thought about how cold it was and how, for Sirius, "just anyone" no longer sufficed to warm his bed at night. "Just anyone" had actually never quite been enough, but Sirius had made do. Now…
'Fuck,' Sirius whispered as his thoughts went back to Remus.
Maybe if he went to see Remus for just a little; it wouldn't hurt. He wouldn't tell anyone and he wouldn't talk to Remus. Sirius would just watch him from the sideline and make sure he was alright; maybe even stop by to see the little brat and the rest of the Potters. Sirius still had the spare keys to Remus's apartment, so he could just slip in when he knew Remus would be asleep and sit for a while.
'You sound like a perverted stalker, Black,' Sirius told himself bitterly. 'Utterly pathetic…' Sirius didn't know what was worse: the fact that he was lonely enough to talk to himself or that realising his potential stalker tendencies did not make any difference to his plans on seeing Remus. 'Just a little wouldn't hurt,' Sirius told himself in assurance. 'He won't want to talk to me anyways, after what I did. Prongs is goi-'
Sirius conversation with himself was interrupted with an audible click of his door lock being opened. Sirius raised an eyebrow as Snape, quite casually sneaked into Sirius's office and pressed the light switch.
'Surprise,' Sirius deadpanned, as the lights flickered on. 'How are you this morning, Snape?'
The look of surprise on Snape's face was priceless. Sirius almost wished he had a camera. 'Black,' he stuttered for a minute before catching himself and straightening up. 'What are you doing here?'
'Funny, really; I was about to ask you the same thing.' Sirius smirked. 'This is my office. So why are you breaking into it? Are you looking for data, evidence, or do you just want to own something that belongs to the great Sirius Black?'
Snape's face twisted in disgust. 'I'm surprised you're sitting so calmly in your office. Honestly, I'd actually believed you'd taken a liking to the werewolf.' Snape snorted and turned to go. 'I must have been mistaken. My apologies.'
Sirius got up so fast, it was startling. 'What's that supposed to mean?' he asked, heart suddenly clenching painfully. It can't be. Sirius had taken all the precautions; he'd made sure no one knew about Remus's condition. It can't be. 'What the hell is that supposed to bloody mean, Snape?'
Snape raised an eyebrow. 'What? Beaumont never told you?' he chuckle derisively and fished out a pair of glasses from his pocket, throwing it on to the desk. 'We dragged Lupin into the Ministry this morning, thanks to your ability to write down every meticulous detail on your victims. He was trembling, but he put up quite a marvelous fight. It was highly amusing…'
Sirius stared at the pair of glasses sitting innocently on his desk. He knew those glasses; the way they always slid off of Remus's nose, and how Remus would wander around most of the time complaining about how he was supposed to find his glasses without his glasses. Remus had a hard time seeing clearly without them. 'Where is he?'
'Who?' Snape asked innocently.
'Don't fuck with me!' Sirius screamed, grabbing Snape by the collar and pushing him against the wall. 'Tell me where Remus is before I kill you!'
Snape looked unperturbed. 'How about we trade, Black? A life for a life. Sound fair?'
Sirius frowned, not sure where this was going. Not that it mattered. Sirius would do anything at this point to know where Remus was. Even if Snape asked Sirius to wash his greasy hair every morning, Sirius would do it. 'What do you want?'
'That little black book of yours,' Snape looked directly at the small locked drawer Sirius kept his confidential files in. 'It has information about the Boy Who Lived and the possibility of him being a Horcrux.' Snape's black eyes flared as he scowled, 'Burn it. Every last page. Then forget you ever wrote it.'
Sirius stared, taken aback. 'Why? What does this have to do with you? Why are you doing this?'
Snape looked too bored to answer. 'I was asked to,' he said simply, as if the most obvious answer in the world.
'Don't make me laugh, Black,' Snape spat, 'Beaumont's an even bigger bastard than you.'
Sirius's grip on Snape's robes loosened and he moved back. A few years ago, Sirius remembered rumours about Snape applying for the position of Defense professor in Hogwarts but failing repeatedly because Dumbledore didn't approve of him. It could be… 'You never had any intention to do this research from the start, did you?' Sirius asked, eyes still searching for answers.
'The dead are meant to be dead, Black. Reincarnation is beyond hum-'
'It doesn't matter,' Sirius interrupted, shaking his head. 'I'll burn it and all the research if you want. I don't really care, so just tell me where Remus is.'
Snape raised an eyebrow. 'Basement dungeons, seventeen down. The one used to keep dangerous beasts on trial.'
Sirius grit his teeth, holding back vicious words, and ran out. He ignored the elevator and took the stairs down, two at a time, all the while thinking about Remus. If anything happened to him, Sirius wasn't sure what he would do. If they so much as hurt a hair on Remus's head, Sirius knew he wouldn't be able to control himself. He shouldn't have left Remus alone that time. Sirius should have gone after him and made sure he was alright. There were cages in those dungeons! Remus was probably put in a fucking cage like some kind of animal! Sirius should have killed Beaumont at the very beginning, though that would be a tad unfortunate for him.
'How long are you going to keep silent, werewolf?'
Sirius picked up pace, as he heard Beaumont's voice echo through the corridors; the bastard wasn't even trying to keep things quiet. Bloody, selfish son of a bitch! He could feel his anger rising as he got closer, his fingers closing tightly around his wand and his mind already whirring over attack spells he was going to cast.
'I have ways to make you talk, so you keep up with that arrogant attitude and you'll regret never opening that little mouth of yours. I'll-'
'Expelliarmus! Petrificus Totalus!' Errant ropes flew out, wrapping themselves around Beaumont's petrified body as he fell ungracefully to the floor.
Remus looked up in shock from where he was sitting. 'Sirius?'
'Stupefy!' Sirius screamed, just as one of Beaumont's underlings raised his wand. 'Shite!' he cursed, as a security spell shot out of his opponent's wand. 'Fuck, we need to get out of here. Reducto!'Three of the cage bars broke instantaneously, startling Remus into a corner. 'Come on,' Sirius hurried, extending a helping hand towards Remus. 'I know you're afraid of magic, but just bear with it till we get out, alright?'
Remus stared. 'Sirius, what are you doing here?'
Sirius rolled his eyes. 'Rescuing you. Now, get up quickly before half the department chases us down.'
'No,' Remus replied firmly, turning away to face the wall.
Sirius blinked, not sure if he'd gone momentarily mad. 'What?'
Remus rested his chin on bended knees. 'I'll just stay here, thanks.'
'You are always so fucking difficult!' Sirius raged at Remus's insolence. 'I can't believe you're refusing to be rescued when I went through so much trouble, you stupid bastard.'
'I didn't ask you to come!' Remus argued back. 'Why the hell are you here anyway after abandoning me repeatedly and now quarrelling with me? You're the stupid git here, so go back to your desk and file some papers. I'm not bloody moving.'
'Why you little-' Sirius forcefully pulled Remus by the elbow and in one quick swoop, flung Remus over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. 'We're going home and then I'm going to fucking slap you for being so careless! And then if I feel like it, I'll apologise for slapping you and being a git to you earlier! For now, if you intend to live, we're going.'
'Padfoot, put me down this instant!' Remus screamed, pounding Sirius's back with his fists. 'Sirius!'
Sirius ignored him and started running as fast as he could, which was not particularly fast since Remus was a lot heavier than he looked. It also did not help that Reus was screaming and struggling like a fish out of water over Sirius's shoulder. 'I am never going to let you go again!' Sirius yelled back, tightening his hold on Remus. His hold, my default position, happened to also be on Remus's arse, so he was granted a free groping and another thwack on the back of his head for it.
'Padfoot, you stupid fuck!' Remus wriggled, pulling Sirius's ears painfully hard. 'I'm supposed to be in that cage! So lock me back in there before something dangerous happens!'
'Bloody hell,' Sirius cursed, as he spotted one of his co-workers from the Department running towards them with his wand drawn. There were others following behind him, each one looking more determined to kill Sirius than the other. They also looked a lot faster, given that they weren't carrying a Remus Lupin on their backs. 'Fuck, fuck, fuck; Expelliarmus! Stupefy! Moony, listen to me; you're not dangerous. You'll never hurt anyone; well, apart from the whole underground fighting thing. But I know you, and I know that you're always blaming yourself for everything. I know you probably also blamed yourself for Fabian's death.' Sirius knew he'd hit the mark when Remus stopped moving for a split second. 'Oh, hell; Stupefy! It's not your fault. You can't control everything, Moony; no matter how hard you try. You think yourself as a failure and a monster, but you're not. Expelliarmus! Stupefy! You're lovely and I-'
'Ouch, you crazy bastard!' Remus interrupted, blindly smacking Sirius in the back of his head. 'That was my eye! You're doing more harm than good, so take me back right now! I don't want to be rescued! Let me go, before I-AAAAAHHHH! Left! Left!'
Sirius whirled around confused and a little miffed. 'What the fuck are you talking about? Can't you at least wait till I'm done with my confession before you-'
'To your left, you git!' Remus screamed, twisting Sirius's head forcefully to his left.
Sirius felt his neck pop and an excruciating pain overcome him. 'I had a crick there, you moron! Bloody, ouch! Stupefy!' Sirius rubbed his neck, too annoyed by the pain to care that he'd just Stupefied one of his superiors in the department; the same man who had written him up for a promotion. 'You know, this would be a lot easier if you would just stop struggling and play dead! That way I could tell you how much I love you and that I would do anything for you.'
'Padfoot,' Remus sighed exasperatedly. 'That's well and good, but I-'
'No! Listen! Petrificus Totalus!' I'm absolutely mad about you! Stupefy!' Sirius jumped over two of his Petrified colleagues and swerved to the right, dodging one of the spells whizzing towards him. 'I love the way you're always fussing over me and arguing when I get things wrong. I love that you always cook the things I like best. I even love the moods you have during full moon, but you could really hold out on the chocolate. It's really starting to show in your thighs.' Sirius pushed the elevator button, panting from the run. 'Damn it! Stupefy! I know you say magic brings misfortune, but magic brought me to you. And magic helped both Fabian and I protect you when we needed to. I love your eyes, your lips, your hair; I adore you body. I like how you have two sides of you and how stubborn you can be sometimes.'
'Sirius…' Remus whined, annoyed.
'I don't want anyone else but you. I don't want to let you go or make the same mistakes again. I need you. You're the only one who can comfort me when I'm upset and the only one who can make me happy. Moony, I really-' The elevators doors ping-ed open; Sirius stared.
'Sirius! Remus!' James and Lily cried, equally surprised.
Sirius pushed through them into the lift, jabbing the yellow button to close the doors quickly before they got attacked anymore. 'Hello,' he greeted with a smile, hoping that if he pretended to be normal then no one would notice anything suspicious. He courteously nodded to the red haired gentleman beside them and adjusted his shoulders to support Remus better.
'Prongs! Lily! Save me from this lunatic!' Remus cried, stretching his arms out towards James. Sirius rolled his eyes but let Remus down; they had about twenty floors to go anyway before they could actually get out of this place and go back home.
'Remus, we were so worried! Why are you crying?' Lily asked, hugging Remus tightly. She and James were apologising profusely for something, though Sirius couldn't figure out what.
'I'm not crying. Sirius poked me in the eye with his wand,' Remus explained, 'See why I hate magic? This fucking idiot has made me a fugitive and now I'm going to die in Azkaban!' Remus smiled at the red haired gentleman. 'Very sorry you have to see this Arthur. Do close your eyes if at any point my hand goes around this stupid wanker's neck!'
Sirius fumed. 'Azkaban was the least of your worries! I saved your bloody life! Do you know what they do to illegal werewolves like you? They would have cut you up to pieces if I hadn't come to your aid! I can't believe you-'
'Moony isn't an illegal werewolf,' James cut in, rumpling the back of his hair with a confused look on his face.
Sirius raised an eyebrow. 'He isn't?'
'I am now, thanks to you,' Remus spat, glaring holes into Sirius.
James shook his head. 'Remus had all his records removed from the Ministry under the condition that he would give up his wand and live in the muggle world, under surveillance of a Ministry official.' James grinned and pointed at himself. 'I'm said Ministry official. We just came to bail him out now.'
'Oh,' Sirius whispered, not sure what to say anymore. It did explain why Remus was struggling so badly and yelling at him. Sirius blushed, feeling the heat rise to his ears as he was couldn't even bring himself to look Remus in the eye. 'I said some pretty embarrassing things back there,' he muttered, shuffling his feet awkwardly.
'And unmanly,' Remus added, going so red, he put the Arthur chap's hair to shame.
Sirius shrugged, pulling out Remus's glasses out of his pocket and unfolding them. 'I meant it,' he replied, placing them over Remus's eyes and smiling shyly.
Remus touched the ridge of his glasses, hands passing over Sirius's fingers which were now cupping his face gently. 'I know,' he whispered, leaning in slowly and touching his lips to Sirius's. 'Thank you for the effort.' He wrapped his arms around Sirius's shoulders, pulling him closer. 'It was a very romantic rescue.' Remus smiled as Sirius pulled him into a hard kiss.
'So, Arthur,' James laughed uncomfortably. 'How are those kids of yours?'
Jane was laughing so hard, she had tears in your eyes. 'That is horrible,' she giggled, 'but it's completely Remus and Sirius. I don't think anyone would patch their relationship up in an elevator or on a failed rescue mission. So what happens next?'
Lily grinned. 'The end.'
'Eh?' Jane cried, shocked. 'That doesn't explain anything! What about the Horcrux and your fight, and Sirius's job, along with everything else?'
'Oh,' Lily replied, realising that there were quite a few loose ends to her story telling. 'Hm…let's see. We apologised to Remus for everything of course, but I don't think much has changed. James and I still treat Remus the same way, I think. What can I say; old habits die hard.' Lily smiled. 'Sirius lost his job for attacking half the DOM, but so did Beaumont, after Snape testified against him. I think that was the first time, Sirius actually thanked Snape for anything. On the brighter side, James recommended him for a position as auror. Surprisingly, Moody, the chief auror, was the only one actually impressed by Sirius's rescue mission.' Lily thought carefully. 'Remus is better now, I think. He still works at the restaurant, but he's starting to be alright with magic. Sirius forces it onto him mostly.'
'And the Horcrux?' Jane asked, eyes wide with curiosity. 'Did James have it the entire time?'
'Not at all,' Lily said simply. 'Do you remember the photo frame I talked about earlier? The one Harry had made for Remus on his birthday out a cereal box. He even stuck his favourite action figure on it. He's such a little sweetheart,' Lily cooed, then caught herself. 'We taped the Horcrux to the inside of the box; so really, Remus had it all along.' Lily scrunched up her face curiously. 'Now that you mention it, I don't think we've ever told Remus that. I wonder if he knows…'
Jane blinked, as if trying very hard to understand but then giving up. 'What about that issue with sex? Did they ever resolve that?'
'I think there was one incident…'
'Ugh! Take it out! Take it out! Take it out!' Sirius screamed, covering his face with his hands.
'I haven't put in anything yet,' Remus replied, rolling his eyes and moving away. 'This is honestly taking too long.'
'Sorry,' Sirius said slowly, uncovering his face and revealing teary eyes. 'I really can't do this. It's too uncomfortable, and too…'
Remus sighed and flopped on his back, beside Sirius. 'Go ahead.'
Sirius looked at Remus, confused. 'Eh?'
Remus breathed out in exasperation and put the tube of lube in Sirius's hands. 'Go on. You try instead. I'm really getting tired of the usual blowjobs and wanking. We might as well start somewhere, so let's start with my arse.'
Sirius stared at the lube, then at Remus lying naked in front of him, pale skin glowing in the dimmed lamp lights. His hair was disheveled from when Sirius had run his fingers through them in frustration, standing out in odd angles. Sirius swallowed and ran his hand down Remus's side, feeling another bout of arousal when Remus shivered. 'No foreplay?'
Remus looked at him. The look that Sirius was all too familiar with, because Sirius was the only one Remus ever looked at that way: eyes a dangerous shade of amber that threatened to drown and devour you. Sirius loved that look. He pushed up on his knees and kissed Remus hard, rubbing his tongue against the roof of Remus's mouth before a feral hunger took over him and he coaxed Remus's tongue to join his own.
'Relax,' Sirius breathed, biting down Remus's neck, while his hands travelled lower. 'I'm good at this.'
Remus's blunt nails dug sharply into Sirius's back. 'Really?'
If Sirius hadn't been so occupied with the glory of Remus's arse, he would have noticed the sarcastic edge to Remus's voice. 'Yeah,' he said distractedly, kissing the inside of Remus's thigh. 'Considering I've slept around quite a bit before I met-' Sirius stopped, as a sense of sudden doom dawned upon him. He looked up at Remus sheepishly. 'I just ruined the mood, didn't I?' he asked, already knowing Remus's answer, and hoping against all odds, Remus's would think differently.
Remus glared at him. 'Colossally,' he stated, reaching for his shorts.
Remus's arse, Sirius figured, was perhaps not the best place to start, after all.
Lily parked the car behind a silver pickup. 'We're here.'
'Wait, you didn't tell me who went top at the end of the day. Was it-oh!' Jane stopped midway, her mouth wide open. 'You told me it was a small get together…'
Lily smiled abashedly, twirling a strand of red hair between her fingers. 'It was meant to be, but things got blown out of proportion a little. Come on,' she insisted, pulling on Jane's hand. 'I can't believe we've missed so much. Remus has already started.
The Potter's residence was currently playing host to a massive white altar, a stream of violets running ringlets down the side pillars. There were little place tables here and there, with flower and crystal arrangements, and a buffet that stood to the side, caterers smartly dressed and standing stiffly in wait for the ceremony to finish. Eight rows of chairs on either side were already occupied by guests, and Lily had to swerve around them to find two empty ones at the back row. Remus and Sirius were already standing in the altar, dressed in their best suits and matching tiffany blue shirts (Lily's choice), and beaming brilliantly. Harry was standing in between them, looking uncomfortable in his own tailored and stiff suit, as he held the ring box patiently.
'You see,' Lily whispered, leaning in, 'my son, Harry is five, and just recently started going to school. I'm not sure where he got the idea from, but he comes home one day and tells Sirius that people who are in love need to get married in order to live with each other. It was all quite a laugh really, but Harry was completely serious. I honestly didn't have the heart to tell him otherwise, so I convinced those two to do it.' Lily grinned conspiratorially. 'I think they were all embarrassed at first, but then James and Sirius really bonded over it and somehow it amassed to some kind of pureblood spending spree. It really was just meant to be a small get together. Nothing formal; just an exchange of vows and rings.'
The crowd laughed at a joke Remus had just cracked. Jane too, was currently too engrossed to listen to Lily and her explanation of the whole fiasco. Lily smiled.
'As of today, a part of me has become a whole,' Remus finished, slipping a thin silver band onto Sirius's finger. 'Forever and always.'
The crowd broke into applause as Sirius blushed brightly.
'There are a lot of things I didn't know before I met you,' Sirius broke in, before he could be embarrassed any further. 'The feeling of having a home, not a house, and a family that comes along with it, whether you like it or not.' Sirius pointedly looked at James in the front row, making everyone break out into laughter. 'The utter bliss of having someone cook edible food for you and greet you when you come home from a bad day at work. The power of loving someone so hard that you feel as if you're nothing without them. And also, the feeling of loneliness and desperation when you can't be with that special someone for one waking hour.' Sirius smiled and held Remus's hand. 'I'm not very good with speeches and I'm not very good with telling you how I feel most of the time. So when I call you a wanker after a long day, I'm just trying to say I missed you. When I'm arguing over who hogs all the sheets, I'm trying to say that I need you to come closer and embrace me. And today, as I put this ring on your finger, I'm just trying to say that I love you; won't you be mine?'
The camera flashed as Remus and Sirius bent down to place a kiss on either side of Harry's cheeks.
Jane sniffled and Lily handed her a tissue from her purse, before wiping her own eyes gingerly. 'Don't you just love weddings?'
Molly Weasley hugged Remus tightly, kissing him lightly on the cheek. 'Congratulations,' she said happily. 'You could have chosen a better man, but I'm just glad you're happy again!'
Remus laughed as Sirius glared at her. Molly and Sirius didn't get along very well, by clash of personality, and often taunted each other openly. 'Thank you, Molly. I'm glad you could come.'
'Yes, Molly,' Sirius chimed, with strained politeness. 'We're really glad you made it, what with another child on the way and all.'
Molly huffed, hugged Remus one more time and left.
Sirius growled in annoyance. 'God, I hate her. Insufferable woman.'
'Padfoot!' Remus scolded, though secretly enjoying the look on irritation on Sirius's face. 'Be nice. She can't help hating you, just like she can't help having red haired children every nine months.'
Sirius held back a chuckle, as they thanked another one of their guests. 'Did I mention I love you?' he whispered, brushing his hand against Remus's.
'You did,' Remus affirmed, 'right into a microphone, not too long ago.'
Sirius laughed and bumped Remus shoulders playfully. Caught unawares by the sudden push, Remus found his eyes widening as he crashed backwards into the table of hors d'oeuvres. 'Oh dear, look at that,' Sirius said, staring down at a shocked Remus who was being helped by a many of the concerned guests. 'You're jacket is completely ruined!' Sirius grabbed Remus by the shoulders, leading him forcefully into the house. 'We should get that cleaned right away. Can't stay at your wedding with a filthy jacket now, can you? We'll be right back, chaps!' Sirius waved charmingly. 'Moony, you have salmon behind your ear.'
Remus, utterly taken over by Sirius's pace, shot James and Lily a puzzled look. All he got in reply were sniggers and rolled eyes. 'Padfoot, you don't have to pull me like that. I can walk just fine. Padfoot!' Remus huffed irritably, as Sirius closed the door behind them, allowing Remus a good look at himself in the mirror. 'Urgh! Look at me! I can't believe you ruined my good shirt, Padfoot,' he complained, taking off his jacket and surveying himself with disgust.
Sirius sauntered up from behind, wrapping his arms around Remus. 'You look better without it anyway.' He started unbuttoning Remus's shirt slowly, kissing a slick line down Remus's neck. 'You taste like cheese; I think I'm falling in love with you all over again.'
'I can't believe you!' Remus cried, as he caught on Sirius's cheeky grin. 'You did that on purpose, didn't you?'
Sirius's answer was to pull off Remus's shirt completely, letting it fall in a pile on the floor. 'I can't help it,' Sirius whispered hoarsely, turning Remus to face him and starting on his belt buckle. 'You were standing there completely unawares to how fine your arse was looking in those trousers. Oh well, better off than on…' Sirius flung Remus's trousers to a haphazard corner of the room, and fondled Remus's arse. 'They've had their fill of you. It's my turn now…'
Remus raised an eyebrow, grabbed Sirius's wandering wrists and walked forcefully forwards until the back of Sirius's knees hit the sofa and he fell back. 'You played enough last night,' Remus said, working to get Sirius equally naked underneath him. 'Don't think I'll let you get away with fucking me twice.' Remus toyed with the elastic of Sirius's pants, letting his hand wander down idly, but not quite touching. His fingers traced nimble patterns on the inside of Sirius's thighs.
'Moony,' Sirius whined, moving impatiently in search of friction. 'Don't be a tease.'
'I'm not,' Remus assured, firmly proving his point as his hand closed around Sirius. He swallowed Sirius's moan of surprise, nipping and licking at Sirius's bottom lip indulgently. Programmed to Sirius's personality perfectly, Remus found the tube of lube in the back pocket of Sirius's trousers. As expected, Sirius had planned it all along. 'Bastard,' Remus chided affectionately, slicked hands travelling lower.
Sirius chuckled and then broke into a loud moan, as Remus hit just the right spot. 'Fuck,' he cursed, arms wrapping around Remus's neck and blunt nails digging into Remus's back. 'Don't tease, Moony. I'll die-ah!' Sirius's eyes widened as Remus thrust deep into him. 'Ngh! Slower…fuck…'
'Sorry,' Remus apologised, kissing Sirius chastely on the cheek. 'Couldn't help it. You alright now?'
Sirius nodded, closing his eyes tightly as Remus set a slow, but steady rhythm. 'Hey, Moony,' Sirius mumbled, intertwining his fingers with Remus's left hand. 'I know this is entirely cheesy, but I'd really glad Lily talked us into this.'
Sirius hit Remus's lightly in the arm. 'This whole ceremony; wedding ritual or what may you call it.' He kissed the thin silver band on Remus's ring finger, sending shivers down Remus's spine. 'I love you.'
'You just wanted a chance to bind me to you,' Remus groaned, finding himself thrusting deeper and faster, as he watched Sirius's face twist and change with pleasure. He could never resist Sirius's face; the graceful slide of his hair underneath Remus's fingers and the strewn together arch of his eyebrows as he concentrated on moving in synch with Remus. 'Here I was, driving myself mad for weeks to come up with a romantic inscription, and you do this.' Remus would never admit it, but he didn't hate the ring. Property of Sirius Black, it said in boldly carved letters; just looking at it made Remus feel special. He was Sirius's.
Sirius's whole body arched against Remus's. The inscription on his ring glinted momentarily as Sirius's hands flew out to grip Remus tightly, his orgasm washing over him like rough tides during a full moon. Pour toujours et toujours. Forever and always. Sirius panted against Remus's neck, the heat of his body and warm breath mingling with Remus's.
'You alright?' Remus asked, gently brushing Sirius's hair from his face; kissing Sirius's cheeks, his eyes, the tip of his nose. Remus didn't want to pull out yet. Loathed to admit it, but he was enchanted by Sirius. Completely captured by his charm and in a continuous daze of disbelief and happiness. Remus touched Sirius's lips lightly with his own, lingering with his eyes closed but not going any further. Just a gentle touch was enough to have Remus smiling contently into the kiss.
Neither of them heard the front door open.
'Hello. I'm sorry. I heard so much about the two of you from Lily and I just wanted to meet you, and congr-'
Remus and Sirius broke off, startled from the sudden entrance of a blond woman. Remus vaguely remembered noticing her earlier because she's been sitting with Lily and dressed in overtly formal attire. Remus had figured she was one of Sirius's uptight family members; he'd mentioned having a cousin who'd married a muggle.
The poor woman's jaw was currently threatening to unhinge.
'Thank you for coming,' Sirius said, breaking the awkward silence. It was probably not the most effective thing to say when Sirius still had Remus's cock in his arse.
Embarrassed, the woman blushed furiously and ran out of the house, the door slamming behind her.
Sirius looked at Remus curiously. 'Who was that?'
Remus looked at the closed door and shrugged. 'No clue…'
And so end this story, happy ending, cheesy dialogues and all. I hope you liked it and many thanks for reviewing with every chapter and always keeping my spirits up and going to write more. The chapter title sounds like something an earthworm would say (I'm not sure why I think that), but it was the best I could come up with. T_T Cheers and hopefully, there will be a next time where Sirius might end up with a more heroic rescue!
Charlotte: Thank you! I hope the ending met your expectations and maybe a tad bit more. :DArdespuffy: Well, I hope you continue your love for the story (even if it's over), and maybe even reread it if you think it's worth it. Blueberry: Thank you!!! Hope you didn't have to wait too long and that you had as much reading it as I did writing it. A Lion: Thank you!! I'm glad you thought of it as different because I'm always experimenting with takes and story lines. The parts with Jane are just a middle man really, to make scene transitioning smoother and the things that can't be put into a scene easier to understand. I hope things ended well and that you enjoyed the whole story enough for a re-read! Purpleflurp: Lol. And with this, Fabian story comes to an end, and Remus and Sirius's story begins. :D Amy: I don't quite know how much humour I've put into this chapter, but I hope the little bit I did made you giggle. My favourite to write was the rescue scene because I got to be unconventional and fun with the whole thing, unlike the usual cowboy hero type. Anna: Thank you! Well, the suspense is over now, but I hope the story was memorable for you. Katarina:And now you know how it ends! Hope I didn't disappoint! Cheers and lots of love!