No Better Mistake

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, James Potter, or any other related characters from the world of Harry Potter. I also don't own the setting, plot lines, relationships, etc. ANYTHING ASSOCIATED WITH HARRY POTTER BELONGS TO J.K. ROWLING. : )

NOTES:

I REACHED MY GOAL! In fact, I PASSED it! Wow!

Thank you guys so, so much for how supportive everyone has been, and all the great feedback I've received. It has made me so happy to be able to share what I love with people who love it as well! I know that's sappy, but really; thanks.

This is the last chapter!

16

It was scarcely a fortnight later that everything began to change for Remus and Sirius and their newly intimate relationship. The rest of Christmas break had been like a romantic, sensual dream, but, before they knew it, James, Peter, and the rest of the Gryffindors were back, and Remus and Sirius were forced to draw apart again, resigned to take whatever secrets moments they could to be together. James was fairly predictable in his schedule, particularly when it came to events involving Lily, so they were able to get a fair number of minutes alone in the day, but Remus found himself constantly in a state of longing. He hated going to his own bed at night, so alone, but only mere feet away from Sirius, who would lay awake, staring at him, wishing for the same thing—that they could sleep beside each other, the space between their two beds disappearing. It was agony not to be able to touch Sirius in class, or in the halls. Remus now realized why Sirius had looked at Lily and James with such longing. He was incredibly jealous of every "normal", non-secretive couple, and he surprised himself with how badly he wanted the world to know of his relationship. The only comfort Remus got was after his next transformation, where Sirius, as usual, stayed with him the next morning, but he was so exhausted and injured from what a been a particularly rough night that he was barely able to sit up, let alone take advantage of his time alone with the boy. The question of if—or when—they would tell their friends of their relationship was becoming a much bigger issue as each day passed. Sirius was growing anxious, hating lying to James, and Remus, too, wanted to come clean, but neither seemed to know where to begin. Instead, they were resigned to expressing their emotions only in private.

However…

All that came to a screeching, devastating halt one evening in January, a week after the latest full moon.

They had been lounging on Remus' bed, lying quietly after a day of lessons and N.E.W.T. preparations. Sirius, who had gotten back only a few minutes earlier from a detention, was still in his school uniform, but Remus, who still felt somewhat ill from the week earlier, had already curled up into bed. They knew when James was due to come back. They knew they were taking a risk, laying in bed, beginning to kiss the way they were, when James and Peter were so close, ready to enter the dormitory at any moment. In a way, maybe they had wanted to get caught; their limbs entwining on the single bed, their cheeks flushed with affection, ready to begin what would be a life-changing conversation with James, who now sat before Remus, his mouth open, hanging on his every word…

o o O O o o O O o o O O o o

Remus drew his story to a close, his voice faltering the tiniest bit as he struggled to find a way to sum up what he was trying to say. James was staring at him, eyes wide, and his gaze went from Remus, back to Sirius, who was still sitting on the floor before him, and back again. He appeared to be seeing the two of them for the first time, and he opened and closed his mouth several times, seemingly unable to find the right words to say.

"That was beautiful, Remus," came a soft voice from the doorway, and all three of the shocked boys turned to look.

Lily stood there, holding a book, smiling at Remus in such a kind way that Remus felt like he might break. She crossed the room to them, and, dropping the book (which Remus assumed James had forgotten beforehand) into James' open hands, took a seat beside Remus on his bed, and pulled him in to such a warm, tender hug that Remus could just barely suppress the emotion now growing up inside him. Releasing him after a long moment, she stood again, extending her hand to Sirius, who unfolded himself from the floor, and embracing him the same.

Sirius completely broke down at this point, holding on the small, beautiful girl as if she were his only lifeline. She held him up for several, long minutes, the sounds of Sirius' heavy breathing into her thick, red hair, and when they eventually drew apart, she pushed his hair off his face, smiling at him in a way that could only be described as love. Sirius sank down on his bed, across from Remus and James, and finally, Lily made her way over to James, making her seat beside him and taking his open palm in one of her hands.

"Did you know?" asked James, turning now to gape at her.

She was still smiling. "Not for sure, James, but I did have an idea. Even you said you thought Sirius had been acting differently lately."

For the first time since Remus had begun his story, Sirius looked over at his best friend, who still avoided his gaze. "I didn't think… Not this…" James murmured. He ran his hand through his hair again, distracted, and Remus had to stop the urge to scoot closer to him and put a palm on his shoulder.

"James," said Lily, still holding his fingers in hers, using a thumb to lift his chin up so he looked directly into her emerald green eyes. "You heard what Remus said. You and I both know what he feels like."

Remus felt a dull sense of shock penetrate his otherwise numb body. He knew James and Lily had grown closer over the past year, but Lily was now speaking of their feelings for each other as openly as she had talked with Remus before the fire the fall before. She seemed unashamed of her emotions, and she smiled at James still, surprising Remus further by softly kissing him.

"They're my best friends," said James quietly. He seemed to have forgotten that Sirius and Remus were in the room. In an almost ironic way, he, once again, only had eyes for Lily, but he didn't seem angry talking to her… only confused, stuck, like trying to wade his way through thick mud. She tugged again at his hands, entwined with hers.

"Exactly," she said, "your best friends. And they are very much in love."

Lily's soft touch, her genuine smile, and her piercing, emerald eyes, and her final, intrinsically true statement suddenly seemed to break James from his trance. He slowly stood up from the bed where he sat, crossing the few steps to Sirius, and then pulled up into an hug, embracing him like a brother.

Remus heard Sirius' sigh of relief, and choked sob as he hugged James back, and even James' eyes behind his glasses were somewhat wet as he turned, then, to Remus, pulling him into a similar hold. Lily looked over at them fondly.

"All right," said James, as they finally all drew apart, reaching for Lily's hand, who took it graciously. All four of them stood in the dormitory, and Remus felt a huge surge of happiness as he saw the familiar gleam begin to return in James' eyes. He looked at his watch, then up again at them.

"It's 11:15," he said, a small smile crossing his face as he looked at Sirius. Lily, who still held his hand, began to draw him out the door, and he grabbed the book that she had brought with her up into the dormitory. "You've got half an hour, you hear me?"

And they left, leaving Remus to stare up at Sirius, who now had a slow grin beginning to form. Remus had always felt he had been in the wrong place at the wrong time; always a step forward, or two steps behind. Somehow, it seemed his whole life, and every error in it, was a result of countless mistakes. However, as Remus stared at Sirius, whose dark hair was rumpled, his shirt buttons, still askew, and Remus felt a huge rush of affection. His head was flooded from the words he had just spoken. In just under half a year, Sirius had gone from a mere fantasy, to a wave of good memories—lying under the warm sun, exchanging hidden glances, their first, secretive kiss… to just a few weeks ago, lying in bed, tossing and turning in surges of ecstasy… Through Remus' many, many mistakes, Sirius had become everything Remus had ever hoped for, everything he'd ever imagined, and nothing he thought he could have ever deserved. The stream of errors, and the secret Remus had dared to believe had not only become reality, but it had become accepted. They—his best, and most loyal friends—had accepted him as a werewolf, an abomination, and now they had accepted him for fully and completely who he was—a young, simple boy… who was, as Lily had put it, very much in love. Nothing else could replace that feeling, and no other path could have led him to it.

Sirius was grinning, his smile so easy, and so familiar. It was a smile Remus knew, at that moment, that he wanted to see every day… for the rest of his life. A smile that was flawed, just like Remus; a smile he saw despite all of those things.

"Tell me again about that part about you in the shower," he said to Remus, who laughed in spite of himself, and the two fell back again on Remus' bed, bodies tangled.

As Remus pressed close against Sirius again, breathing him in, he smiled; a real, full grin. Everything that had led him here had been a mistake… but as he closed his eyes, feeling Sirius' lips meet against his, he knew… there was no such thing as a better mistake.

THE END!

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