Shades of Gray

(the THIRD AND FINAL companion to "No Better Mistake" and "Finding Home")

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, not me.

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The last part... I'm getting a little emotional here. I hope you guys enjoyed all three stories... sorry to keep you waiting so long for this last part.

Epilogue

It truly was a beautiful wedding. All of the hours Sirius had put in, eager to be a part of something so joyous had paid off—there was more food than they could ever possibly eat, dozens of refilling drinks, music, and dancing that lasted all night. Most of Lily's family was like her parents, excited for her and thrilled with magic, and they were entertained most of the night by James' ever-popular transfigurations and, subsequently, Sirius' transfigurations of James. They all wanted to know the two sweet boys who'd stood beside the bride and groom, and Remus got a slight shock when the same gossiping woman who'd whispered during the ceremony introduced herself to Sirius.

"You were so lovely, my dear…" she told him, wringing his hand as Sirius handed her another drink, "so nice to see a man love his brother that way…"

"And you," she turned to Remus, "a member of the family as well—?"

"This is my partner, Remus Lupin," Sirius told her easily, and Remus, though surprised, smiled, and shook her hand.

"Oh—you two are just the sweetest… I do love a handsome couple…"

"I'll drink to that," Sirius grinned, and they did just that, only edging away from the woman after another full minute of her fawning.

"Partner, eh?" Remus asked when they were out of earshot, looking slyly at Sirius out of the corner of his eye, who immediately sat down his glass and pulled Remus on to the dance floor.

"You like that, huh?" he asked. It was late enough now that they were barely noticed, wrapped tightly together… Though, at this point, it hardly would matter anyway. James shot them a grin from across the dancing, his new, beautiful wife pulled close to him. He, like Lily, had given them the slightest of nods, eyes twinkling, when they'd finally emerged from the covered structure, looking distinctly happier than either had for the last week. As usual, they had known their reunion would happen, and in typical fashion, had given them plenty of opportunity to do so.

"It's official though—and here's your 'engagement ring'…" he gently tapped Remus' collar, where, under his shirt, Sirius had clasped his gift. To the surprise of both boys, it rested perfectly beside the knot made a few months prior. Even more shocking, Sirius' round pendant lay perfectly central in the mostly hidden tattoo of his chest, who, despite Remus' grins, insisted he had not measured it that way.

In response, Remus reached up to the same spot on Sirius' chest, pulling slightly as he adjusted the knot of the tie, hung extremely loose around Sirius' neck. "Your ties are rubbish without me," he laughed.

"I'm rubbish without you," Sirius smiled, lacing his fingers through his.

With just enough alcohol in their systems to be a little extra smiley, they swayed on the spot, and Remus allowed himself to lean against Sirius' chest, his cheek finding its familiar place. Despite all that had happened between them, he felt strangely at peace. Neither deserved each other, and yet they needed each other. Together was the only way they worked. Though it had been painful, Remus had learned something through all of this. Despite Sirius' misleading name, things had never been, and would never be, black and white within their relationship—no emotion was ever simple, no action ever noncomplex. Even their feelings about each other, sexualities—all of it was painted shades of gray, some darker, some lighter. There were no guarantees in life. It all depended on them, and what they tried for, and Remus, who had always banked on certainty, somehow felt this was the right way. Things were not simple—they would never be—but through the drama, and confusion, they did have one thing that was for certain. They loved each other, and though they both continued to make mistakes, that was something they could never avoid. They had made their mistakes, discovered where they belonged, and finally, Remus had let go of who he wanted to be and became, simply, who he was. He had learned to live within those shades of gray; softly balanced between black, and white.

And leaning up to look at Sirius—his partner—as they danced, pressed close on the dark floor, Remus smiled to see his very favorite shade of gray—the shining, beautiful hue of Sirius' eyes just before they closed in their kiss.

THE END.

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Even though this series is over, hopefully I will be writing a few shorter stories featuring this same pair (and the same personalities)... but you guys will know if I do! I hope you enjoyed the ending.