The Wolf in the Dark
Disclaimer: Again, no copyright infringement of JK Rowling, Warner Bros. and publishers of Harry Potter intended. This is for non-commercial uses only. Any original characters are mine and I am usually willing to share if my permission is asked.
Please do not read this if you have a problem with slash!!!
PG for slash.. May become NC-17 later, but I promise that that will be a chapter on its own, which can be avoided by those who have no desire to read m/m.
Sirius/Lupin, Percy/Oliver pairing
You should have read the books to truly understand the story and the characters.
It wasn't that long ago that Harry had first learned just how different the Muggle world was from the Wizarding world. It wasn't really about the obvious things like magic and Quidditch instead of cricket that were hard to get used to, but the more subtle differences like acceptance of alternate lifestyles. Not knowing much about Wicca, he had never thought about how Hogwarts would accept homosexuality, especially since his feelings for Cho had given away his sexual orientation a long time ago. His closest friends, Ron and Hermione, were definitely heterosexual; they proved that whenever Victor Krum came up in a conversation. Hermione blushed a rosy pink color while Ron turned an unbecoming green, and both tried desperately not to look at each other.
So it wasn't until his fourth year that Harry first became aware of the wide scale acceptance in this new world. His aunt and uncle were known for their intolerance, and Harry learned daily that he had to ignore certain lessons he had been taught by them as a child to become a wizard. So when he heard that Percy and Oliver were moving in together, as lovers, he played along with Ron's nonchalance. Of course Percy's siblings had to tease their overly serious brother, but their teasing had nothing to do with the sex of his lover. Hermione's Muggle upbringing helped her understand his confusion, and she took him aside one day to explain that the wizard community embraced alternate lifestyles, and tended to regard such relationships as equal to heterosexual relationships. Once the couple was bonded, they were even considered equally eligible for adoption. Hermione also explained that there were some homosexual couples at Hogwarts, including some people in their year at Griffindor.
Harry had been forced by events in his life to accept changes philosophically, and his own childhood prevented him from ever wanting to discriminate against anyone. Besides, seeing them together was, as Hermione put it, "very sweet, even though, or perhaps because even Dumbledore himself could not have predicted them ending up together."
But with all the other important events occurring in his fourth year, Percy and Oliver's relationship did not make much of an impact on his life. After all, Percy would always be his best friend's annoying and pompous older brother, and it would not be until his fifth year that Harry would really be forced to put aside any private inhibitions and truly accept that his aunt and uncle were wrong about this like they were wrong about so many other things.
The first weekend day after his return to Hogwarts, Harry lay in bed long after the sun had risen. Ron snored in the next bed, but everyone else was up and about. The only reason he and Ron were not with them was that they, and Hermione, had stayed up almost the entire night talking about their summers. The rise of Voldemort had not stopped their owls, even if it had interfered with any plans Harry could have made with his friends, but writing letters was not the same as talking. So they stayed up late with the result that that all three were exhausted the next day.
Suddenly, Harry heard the sound of footsteps padding into his room. Before he could get upset and sound the alarm, he sat up and recognized the dog that appeared in front of him.
"Sirius!" he said, forgetting to be quiet in his joy. He had missed his godfather terribly, and it was nice to meet him again.
Sirius transformed into a man. "Keep it down. I'll be glad to meet Ron and Hermione later, but for now I just want to talk to you."
Harry gulped. Whatever it was, it sounded dangerous, and did Sirius actually look nervous?
"Harry, I know the Muggle world has different ideas, but here we are very tolerant of homosexual relationships…"
For a minute Harry thought this was Sirius' way of beginning to give him the talk that Mr. Weasley had given Ron a couple of years before, when he had taught Ron the contraception spell. But that was not what was going on.
"I know you might find this difficult to adjust to, but I used to mate with members of both sexes, until my seventh year. Actually it was the summer before my seventh year that I fell in love with one of my best friends, and we began a very strong, caring relationship. We thought we'd always have time to bond…"
Harry had a terrible thought. Sirius and his father…?
"But of course, we didn't. And then your parents died (Harry sighed in relief) and Peter framed me. He, Remus, came to me before they took me to Azkaban and asked me to promise him that I was innocent. He would have believed me, I think, against all the evidence, if I had said yes. But I was afraid for him. Believing that I was innocent would do him no good, even if I were to tell him the rest, about Peter framing me. If he tried to investigate, the Death Eaters would probably have gotten him. And being a werewolf, there are too many days when he is vulnerable."
"That sounds noble, but the truth is that I was angry, because I doubted that he would have believed me if I had said I was innocent. James and I were close, the very best of friends, which meant that Remus and Peter were closer than they were to us, aside from the very different relationship I had with Remus. I knew Moony was grieving, and that he had been told by so many people holding damning evidence that I was guilty he would never believe me. So I let him believe the lie, and that was a terrible, terrible mistake."
"Because, you see Harry, I'd been an idiot for a while. Peter seemed so innocent and meek that no one could have expected him to be a traitor, and it was becoming obvious that someone in our inner circle was a mole for Voldemort. I knew it wasn't me, and it couldn't be James since he was the one in danger, so that left only one person. As much as I thought I was above discriminating against werewolves, I found myself wondering if Remus was one more dark creature allied with the Dark Lord. So I pretended to be under a lot of stress, and pulled out of our relationship. To keep an eye on him, we still spent hours together as friends. He too was worried about your family, but he knew something was wrong. And I think those months helped convince him that I was guilty. And then one night I decided to test him. It was a stupid idea, but I needed to know. So I set up a scene, at a bar I knew he came to some nights when he was worried, especially the week of the full moon, and made it look as if he was running into me when I was on a date. I thought if I knew how he reacted to anger, I would know how he felt…"
"How did he react?"
"Terribly. I swear that if it had not been for the fact that it was still a few days before the full moon he would have turned into a wolf right there and then. He was furious, and I could see a lot of darkness in his eyes. I knew I hurt him badly, and I wanted to jump up and run after him. But I couldn't be sure, so I didn't. The next time I saw him it was when he asked me if I was guilty, and then it was at Hogwarts, over a year ago."
Harry had been mostly silent during this recital, and neither of them had noticed their two interested eavesdroppers until now.
"Sirius, you have to get Professor Lupin back," Hermione said.
Although Sirius Black had not wanted them to hear, he was relieved that he would not have to explain all of this again, and he had to admit that he liked Hermione's plan.
Ron chimed in, "I think he forgave you a long time ago. In the tree, when you hugged it was kind of obvious that he doesn't hate you. You're all he has left."
Although his listeners winced at his words, they had to admit that Ron was right. Remus had displayed no bitterness, but rather shame at having believed the wrong friend.
"Yeah, I don't think you'll have anything to worry about," Harry said, feeling a little funny giving his guardian love advice. "Unless there's someone else?"
Sirius did not look worried at that thought, but Hermione answered his question. "Werewolves mate for life, Harry. He won't find anyone else, he can't. It's just not possible."
"Wow," Ron said, "what if you were really a Death Eater? He'd really be stuck then."
"No, I also got the vibe that he had forgiven me. We have also communicated several times since then, and I think all has been put where it belongs, in the past."
"Then what's the problem?" Harry asked. "Did you come here to tell me that when you're allowed to go free I'd end up with two guardians? If so, you should know that I like Professor Lupin a lot, and I couldn't be happier."
Although Sirius looked marginally happier, but he was obviously worried. "No, Harry, I came to explain. I got an owl from Remus a few days ago."
He passed the owl to Harry, while Hermione and Ron read over their friend's shoulder.
Don't come to me, whatever happens. The Dark Lord comes near. I don't think he'll kill me. It's you and Harry he wants, so please don't come here, or send anyone for a while. I don't want anyone on my conscience. Padfoot, I would hate to see you go, but I think you can live without me easier. You have Harry after all. James' son: it was meant to be, I suppose. I am sure I will make it; I will be a warning, and one that needs to be alive. Besides he wants me with him, so he won't kill me. Just don't visit me until a couple of days after the full moon, and don't let Harry come either.
But in case I don't… I still love you. And tell Harry that I am proud of him. He has surpassed all that I could expect from Lily and James' child, and that is saying a lot. Remind him of what we learned: surround yourself only with friends who would die for you, and you for them. I think he has already done that with Ron and Hermione.
Please, don't come before it's time.