Remus and Sirius are meant to be together, but that doesn't mean I'll make it easier for them ;D Anyway. I like this story, so hopefully you will too. Feedback is greatly appreciated, of course :')
The moon shines brightly.
It mocks him. Always, every time, by being so beautiful, so promising. The symbol of eternal love, mocking him for eternity.
He hates it.
"Moony," Sirius mutters softly. "Don't look at it."
"I- I can't-" he replies. "I can't not look."
Sirius slips his hand into the others. "I promise you. Just... Don't look."
Remus turns his gaze away from that hateful, glowing orb and catches the others eyes. "Okay," he whispers, and leans in.
Then he roars, his fangs flashing. He leaps.
Remus sat up in bed, his pulse racing. Feeling slightly sick, he swung himself out of his blankets without thinking, overtaken by a fervent desire to get out. To go somewhere.
Over in the next bed, Sirius snored. The sound shocked Remus more than he'd have liked to let on. Gazing at his friends bed, he thought back over the dream he'd woken up from.
Had they- had they been together?
Shaking his head wolfishly, he looked up at the closed curtains and shivered. No matter that he couldn't see the sky outside- he could feel it.
Its malevolence. Its hatred.
He had jumped at Sirius- he had killed Sirius-
'No' Remus told himself sternly. 'No, that wasn't you.'
Grabbing his dressing gown, he headed downstairs to the common room, where he curled himself up in a chair and tried not to close his eyes.
It was warm, and soft. But he wasn't comfortable.
The moon prevented that.
Sirius opened his eyes blearily. "Ugh," he muttered. "Kill me now."
"Well," James said sarcastically, "I would love to. But I'm asleep."
Sirius yawned. "And its a late night tonight," he realised, glancing sideways at Remus' bed. The other boy was either lying very still- which, taking into consideration the time of month wasn't very likely- or he was-
"Downstairs," James said softly, following Sirius' thoughts exactly. He looked at his best friend, who was getting changed with a pertubed look on his face, and did the same.
"Do you think he's been acting odd?" James asked.
Sirius considered. "No more than usual, no."
"I didn't hear him get up."
"Me neither. Maybe he just wandered downstairs and meant to come back up- and fell asleep-"
They both looked up at the curtain. The sun was shining through it, but they knew it had only just replaced the moon.
"Maybe," James agreed. As if either of them were convinced.
When they finally got downstairs, Remus was waiting for them. Already dressed, he smiled brightly and bounced towards them. "Good morning!"
"Good morning..." Sirius said automatically. Frowning, he scrutinised the boy carefully. "How long have you been up?"
Remus shrugged. "Not long," he said, avoiding Sirius' eyes. "I guess you two just slept through it."
James, always aware of peoples moods, obviously decided to stand by his usual policy of following their wishes. "Yeah, I s'pose," he agreed good naturedly.
Sirius kept quiet, but shot an angry look at his best friend. Remus obviously picked up on this and cast a furtive look at the pair of them, ducking his head when they caught his eye.
"Come on then," James said softly. "Breakfast."
"And then he caught the snitch- well he thought he did, and the look on his face when he realised it was my broom-"
"Oh come on Peter, you must have heard this story before? James tells it so often-"
"I do not!"
Sirius is smiling.
Remus blinks, and Sirius is holding his hand...
Sirius is laughing.
Sirius is screaming as the wolf mauls him to death.
"Remus? Are you okay?" Peter asked urgently, as James turned around and frowned.
"You've gone really pale, mate."
"I just..." Remus felt ashamed. What sort of pathetic creature was he, that he couldn't keep a grip on reality? Especially when his dream wasn't even realistic... Sirius holding his hand... "Fine," he repeated. "Just... Tonight..."
James looked understanding, but Remus clearly saw Sirius look away as if he didn't believe his friend. Panicking a little- desperate to do anything that might keep the truth hidden- he began expanding.
"I can... Feel the moon... All the time... And when its like this- so close to the transformation- it hurts-" he broke off, images flooding over him again.
The moon. Sirius. Two interlinked hands. A terrible snarl-
And the moon, laughing at him as it steadfastly, resolutely stayed the same. Promising happiness in its silver glow. Such a beautiful sight, one that should have been peaceful.
"I-" Sirius broke the spell Remus' words had caused. "I need to... Go."
"I've got my next lesson with you," James said immediatly. He cast a look at Remus, who was staring fixedly at the ground, and Peter, who was staring at Remus in awe, fear or pity- or maybe all three. "See you guys later."
"So," he said conversationally to Sirius, as though the question didn't matter. "What's the matter?"
"With Moony? I think he's just a bit..."
"Stop being obtuse, Padfoot. I'm not an idiot."
Sirius looked away. There was an awkward pause as he looked swiftly around, staring at anything and everything to avoid looking at the other boy. Finally, defeated, he hung his head and said quietly "nothing."
James snorted. "Yeah. Right."
Sirius looked back round at him defiantly. "I'd tell you if it was important, wouldn't I?"
"Would you?" James raised an eyebrow disbelievingly. "So this... Whatever it is... Isn't important enough to care about? Its just important enough to depress you whenever you think anyones not looking?"
Sirius looked back down at the ground. "Please, James- I promise, its nothing... It doesn't matter..."
James snorted. "Y'know I don't believe you, don't you? But..." He relented. "I'll drop it."
Sirius tossed back his hair, his handsome face alive with a kind of doomed vitality. "Thanks," he said quietly as they entered the classroom.
"I'm going to bed," Sirius said, evidently still worn out from the previous evenings excursion.
"Night," James heard Remus call after their friend. He didn't miss the look that flashed across Sirius' face, either. Frowning slightly, he glanced a look to where Remus was chatting with Lily, as he normally did for a few days after his transforamation. They were used to it by now- the fear that haunted his eyes, the stubborness of his refusal to surrender to sleep early- to give in to weakness- and, most notably, the way he ignored his best friends. If that's how he coped, none of them would argue- but they kept a close eye on him for a while afterwards, just to be sure.
James decided not to pursue his train of thought any further for that night. Instead, he swaggered over, smoothing back his hair.
Ignoring Lily's obvious annoyance at his interruption, he grinned at her. "Alright?" He asked casually.
"Fine," she replied stonily, before turning back to Remus pointedly. "Yeah, so I thought that he was-"
"Who?" James interrupted.
Scowling, Lily turned back to him. "No-one you'd know."
"I might," James added, eager to continue the conversation despite the girl's obvious disinterest.
"Well," she said, "you won't."
"Cmon, is it someone at Hogwarts or-"
"James," Remus said cagily- obviously he didn't consider talking to Lily a good enough reason to break their unspoken agreement- "maybe you should just-"
"LEAVE IT, POTTER." Lily shouted, completing the sentance as she stood up abruptly. "Or don't you have the ability to notice when other people don't want you around? I know it must be strange for you-" she broke off dramatically, and swung her long hair over her face. James could have sworn he heard her sob before she stormed off; idly watching her disappear he was surprised to find Remus looking at him disapprovingly.
"I've told you, Prongs," he sighed. "If you like her, you've gotta..."
"Be myself?" James frowned. "Look, if she doesn't want me that's her problem not mine. Doesn't she realise I could get anyone? She should be flattered-"
"She's not," Remus pointed out. He frowned, and added reluctantly. "Is Sirius okay, talking of that?"
"Of what?" James retorted, still smarting.
"Of people who could get anyone," Remus grimaced. "That hufflepuff girl was talking about him-"
James frowned. "Which one?"
"You know," Remus sighed. Looking apalled at himself, he made a gesture. "The one with the big-"
"Oh, her," James smirked. "You should get some action yourself, Moony, then you wouldn't be so shy about it all. I mean... Even Peter's kissed a girl!"
They both looked around at their friend who was swamped by essays in the corner of the room, copying desperately. Sharing a smirk, Remus eyed his friend thoughtfully.
"I can't," he said finally. "That's not... Fair."
James touched his shoulder briefly. "Remus. You'd be a good catch. Someone worth having wouldn't care."
"I'm lucky enough to have friends," Remus said with a small chuckle. "I don't expect more than that."
"Well, don't go for longterm then," James suggested. "Go to the ball next week, have a drink, see who's looking good..."
Remus shrugged. "Next to Sirius, who'd look at me? Nah. I wasn't planning on going, anyway."
James was, however, already scouring the common room for candidates. Frowning, Remus stood up quickly. "I'm going to bed." He left the common room quickly, imagining James' eyes on him. He was surprised to realise that his pulse was racing in fearful anticipation of the coming night. Every time he changed... Every time there was a near miss...
He had a brief vision of a tattered human body. It was Sirius- it was James- it was Peter-
-it was his fault.
He shook his head and tried to think of something else, other than 'what if'.
Even if 'what if' was becoming more like 'when' every day.
Monsters can't stay hidden, he thought, and the moon seemed to agree with him.
He could feel it tugging at him. It was so strong after a change-
Sitting next to Peter, correcting his essay, James found it easy enough to let his mind wander. Oddly enough, he found it resting- again and again- on Sirius. Wondering...
"Pete," James said, "you know Sirius."
"Well, I'd hope so," his friend muttered distractedly.
"Do you reckon he... Likes anyone?"
"Like who? I know he had a date with that Abbott girl... And doesn't that one from Hufflepuff, you know the one, fancy him?"
James wondered idly where everyone was getting their infomation about this girl from, before him. "Yeah," he agreed smoothly. "No, does he... Really like anyone? Seriously?"
"I don't think so," Pete dismissed the idea. "He'd have told you, at least."
And as if that settled it, he got back down to work.
Sirius was lying in bed, staring up at the top of it. As tired as he was, he was unable to go to sleep, and yet the prospect of going downstairs and rejoining James wasn't attractive in the slightest.
He'd asked if there was anything wrong...
There was so much wrong, Sirius didn't know where he would have begun. And that was assuming he could have done so, physically. He didn't know how to put it into words.
Muttering under his breath, feeling like a fool, he tried out some sample quotations.
"I feel... Like I should... Be a wolf. Maybe that's why I'm a dog-" he cut himself off. "I feel like I should be a dog?" He repeated to himself, disbelievingly. "Let's try again. I feel... That Remus is sad... No, that's no good. Of course he's sad, that doesn't explain anything... Okay." Staring into where he imagined James to be sitting, he repeated his friends question and asked himself what was wrong. "I think... I like Remus..." Was his quiet answer.
Out of all the things that didn't make sense in his life, that sentance 'jarred' the most. Because he was Sirius Black.
He was already a disgrace to his name without-
"Oh, shut up," Sirius told himself sternly. Hearing footsteps on the stairs, he tensed.
Remus came in, looking pale and angry. Sirius, watching him silently, debated whether or not he should acknowledge him, what with the change having happened just last night...
"He's out of order," Remus said suddenly.
"James. Out of order. Lily and I were talking-"
"I mean, so he fancies her, so what? You don't see everyone else behaving like that-"
"He loves her," Sirius said awkwardly. "That's... Different."
"S'pose," Remus muttered. "But- he's so arrogant- he said I needed to get some action, he said I'd be a 'good catch', he didn't listen to me!"
"About what?" Sirius asked cautiously.
"That maybe I don't want that! Nobody deserves having that- that danger- and if I love someone, ever, d'you know what I'll have to do? I'll have to leave them. That's all it can ever end up as, Sirius. And James just doesn't LISTEN-" Remus cut off suddenly. "Sorry," he muttered, sounding embarassed. "I'm still a bit..." He waved at the window, a gesture Sirius understood to encompass both the moon and everything that meant.
"Yeah," he muttered. "Look... Remus, where were you this morning?"
His friend tensed. "I told you.," he said flatly.
Sirius frowned. "Did you have a bad dream or something?"
Remus closed his eyes briefly. "No," he answered in the same cold, flat tone. "Goodnight."
Sirius was left staring at the closed curtain surrounding his friend, a strange feeling of compassion, anger and something undefinable combining to make him feel rather unpleasant.
"Night," he whispered.
I'm sorry that it's a bit disjointed- I wrote it on my phone- but hopefully enough people will like it for me to continue :) So! Reviews are loved, alerts are loved, and favourites deserve a hug but I'm not expecting that of you yet. I look forward to hearing from you... x