AN: Hello all. Long time no see. So, the following set of scenes? was originally part of my planning/sub-plot for a long, multi-chapter marauder-era story, but as I sort through things it looks more and more like this just isn't going to fit in with everything else. Assuming I ever even get around to writing everything else. Anyway, point being, I don't think it will ever make it into this longer story that may or may not at some point come to fruition, so I have decided to just go ahead and post these scenes as a separate little one shot. It's not particularly cohesive or anything, but I do really like the way most of this turned out. It's different from my other stories, but I hope you darling readers are able to find a few redeeming qualities in it anyway. And as usual, I apologize for any mistakes. I have no beta and get bored with myself if I read my own words too many times over.
Disclaimer: If I had written the books, I wouldn't be writing fan fiction.
The two Gryffindor prefects make their way back from escorting the young miscreant in silence. It's not a very long walk back to the common room and they are companionable enough that they aren't bothered by the lack of conversation. Or at least, it seems that way. Halfway down the East corridor on the fifth floor, Lily suddenly realizes that Remus is no longer walking beside her. She turns around and finds him standing in the middle of the torch-lit hallway looking at her with an intense expression on as his face, as though he is having a very serious argument inside his head.
"Everything alright, Remus?" She asks him quietly, walking back to where he is standing.
Remus looks away from her, down at his shoes, and clears his throat. "Lily," he begins haltingly. "We- we're friends, right?"
"Well, I certainly like to think so." She tells him with a small smile.
He nods, still not meeting her eyes. "So, if I told you something – a secret – something I haven't told anyone, you would keep it to yourself?"
Lily gives him a puzzled look. "Of course I –"
But he cuts her off, seemingly distracted. "It's just, this has been eating at me for the last couple of months, and I really can't talk to the guys about it because…well, best case scenario: they'd never let me hear the end of it, and worst case scenario…worst case scenario: it would ruin everything." He runs a hand over his face anxiously. "But I just can't keep this to myself anymore. I need to tell somebody and I just thought, you've always been such a good person, a good friend, and if there were anyone who would listen to me and not…not judge me or hate me, it would be you. And if you were willing to listen, it would make me feel…well, not exactly better, but at least less awful and alone."
He stops speaking then, apparently waiting for reassurance from the redhead beside him.
"You can tell me." She assures him softly. "I promise I won't judge you, or breathe a word of it to anyone." When he doesn't continue right away, she places a hand gently on his arm. "What's this about, Remus?"
He looks down at the small, pale hand on his arm, and takes a deep breath, seemingly stealing himself to say whatever he needs to. Then he looks up, meeting her steady gaze with his own tired brown ones. "I'm in love with Sirius."
Of all the things she had thought this might be about, that was definitely not something she had been considering. Without realizing it, her mouth drops open in surprise. As Remus' cheeks color with embarrassment and he begins to turn away from her, she recovers from the unexpected news and is able to regain her composure and soften her expression.
"Oh, Remus." She pulls him into a tight hug. "He doesn't know?" She asks softly, already knowing the answer as she holds him.
He hugs her back just as tightly, needing the reassurance that she is there, that she hasn't run and she isn't laughing at him. "No, no of course not."
They pull away from each other, and wordlessly resume their walk to Gryffindor Tower, their pace significantly slower now than it had been for the first half of the walk.
"How long?" Her voice is soft.
"I don't know, really. Maybe I always have… I guess I realized it about two months ago." He lets out a hesitant laugh, like he isn't quite sure he is allowed to find anything amusing about the situation. "To be honest it hit me like a ton of bricks one night. He hadn't even done anything special to make himself particularly noticeable. Granted, he does everything in a way that makes him noticeable, but this…He was just looking for his socks. And I suddenly realized that I was mad about him. I was a mess for the rest of the night, didn't get a wink of sleep. It didn't help that he got all concerned the next morning when he saw the bags under my eyes." He takes another deep breath. "And it's killing me because it… this…falling for him…it's probably one of the most significant things that's ever happened in my life and I can't share it with my best friends."
Lily reaches down and grabs his hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze. After another brief silence as they climb to the seventh floor, Lily speaks again.
"Have you really considered, well, just telling him? Or any of them?"
"No. Merlin, could you imagine? If they ever found out…it would ruin everything. I couldn't bear that. They're…they're really… They mean everything to me. If I didn't have them – their friendship, their support – I would fall apart. I won't jeopardize that. I can't. I guess, I'd rather be just a little bit heartbroken because I can't have him than be absolutely shattered because I can't have any of them."
He glances at Lily, wondering about her reaction. He was so afraid, terrified really, that she wouldn't react well, but now, walking beside him, she merely looks thoughtful.
"You know, Remus, I don't think you're giving your friends enough credit."
Remus sends her a look of utter disbelief and she hastens to explain. "I mean, they're obviously not my favourite people in the world, but even I can tell that you four are the most fiercely loyal group of friends I have ever laid eyes on."
They are approaching the common room now, their allotted time for secrets and friendship drawing to a close.
"Those boys wouldn't leave you for anything. I think your 'worst case scenario' is that he doesn't feel the same way and you'll just have to carry on being friends. If you can, whenever you're ready, I think you should tell them. For all you know, he could want you just as much as you want him."
Remus snorts derisively. "Are we talking about the same person? Because the Sirius Black I know likes nothing more than a good tumble with the ladies. He's about as straight as it's possible to be. My guess is he'd be repulsed and poke fun. James would be kind but wouldn't really understand or know how to be supportive and end up joining in on the mockery. And Peter would just be confused and want to act like nothing happened all while laughing at the others' jokes. And then all of them would be upset with me because the whole dynamic's been thrown off."
"You're putting your friends into neat little boxes, Remus." They have stopped outside the portrait hole and she is now looking at him seriously, fixing him with a stern gaze that makes the taller boy feel unusually small. "And it's not fair to them." He looks away from her, slightly ashamed but still resolutely convinced he is right.
Almost without realizing it, Lily reaches up, straightens his tie, and smoothes the wrinkles out of his robes. With her hands on his shoulders she gives him a meaningful look. "Just keep it in mind, all right? I think you'll be much happier with them knowing. And I think your friends just might surprise you." With that she turns to the portrait of the fat lady, mutters the password, and climbs through, leaving a thoughtful Remus in the darkened corridor.
His fists are clenched so tightly that the nails are digging deeply into his palms. He doesn't even notice. After all what's a few more scratches to the tired body of a boy Werewolf?
"Do you want to know what the worst part is?" Remus yells angrily.
"Worst part? You mean it's not bad enough already?" James asks indignantly. His own fury shows in the red of his face and the clench of his jaw, as he stands beside his bed and runs a hand over his face.
There is so much fury in the room, it's a miracle the four boys haven't choked on it yet.
Sirius rounds on Remus before the boy can go on. He speaks, trying and failing to make his voice sound angry instead of defeated. "What then, what's the worst part?" He takes several angry steps, minimizing the distance between them until they are nearly nose-to-nose. "Tell me how could I possibly have fucked up even worse than-" he is cut off abruptly as Remus grabs his face between his hands and pulls their lips roughly together in a short, angry kiss.
The room falls eerily silent as Remus pulls away. James, Peter and Sirius stand in complete shock at what he has just done.
"The worst part," Remus speaks softly, but there is still a hard edge of pain in his voice. "Is that I still love you so fucking much."
Without waiting another moment, without giving his friends the chance to recover enough to react or retaliate, he turns and walks from the room leaving a stunned atmosphere and a fading aura of fury in his wake.
A month has passed since that awful night beneath the Whomping Willow. A month since he lost his friends. A month since Remus…
Sirius is seated by his window, glaring out at the overcast sky that matches his own mood so perfectly. He hasn't had word from any of them all summer. He doesn't expect any different. After all, he's proved to them once and for all how wrong they were to trust him – a Black. He is no better than his mother, or father, or any of his terrible cousins. For five years he has just been fooling himself, thinking that he is different, that he is better, because a group of mismatched Gryffindors had been willing to take him in.
Now, he is right where he should be: amongst his arrogant, cruel, untrustworthy, worthless family without any friends at all. He knows that he deserves it, all of it. Knows that he's had it coming since day one, and has only been putting off the inevitable. He knows all of this, but still…
He can't stand it.
Try as he might not to, he thinks about it all the time. After all, he can't really be expected to just forget the best five years of his life? Five years when he had friends and people who understood him and cared about him and laughed with him? People who…loved him? So even though it hurts he has nothing to do but remember. And it's unbearable.
He remembers James – so much more a brother to him than Regulus could ever be – and how much fun they had pulling pranks and being immature. He thinks of Peter, quiet, uncertain Peter who is so prone to devaluing himself that he doesn't recognize his moments of shining genius. And Remus…sweet, warm, mischievous Remus, who was always so worried they would abandon him, who was so happy to have friends that he would do anything for any of them. Remus who loved him. Remus…
Without thinking about it, Sirius moves from his seat by the window. He grabs his broom, throws a traveling cloak across his shoulders, opens his small window and steps out onto the precarious ledge. A moment later he mounts his broom, and takes off into the storm.
Far on the other side of London, at the outskirts of a small, almost deserted town, Remus sits beside his own window, watching the raindrops chase each other down the sheet of glass. His parents are out at the moment. They went to spend the day at museums in the city. Remus told them he didn't want to go, told them he was in the middle of a fascinating book. But he isn't reading, he is simply staring out at the hazy scenery. There is, in fact, a book open in front of him, but it hasn't been touched since he heard the door slam behind his parents hours ago. He can't bring himself to do anything but stare through the glass and listen to his own merciless thoughts. All he can think, over and over again, is that he's ruined it. Everything. He's ruined everything. If it weren't for him, none of this would have happened. If he weren't such a dangerous monster, they wouldn't be stuck in this situation in the first place. If he weren't a werewolf, if he hadn't been their friend, if he hadn't kissed Sirius…Things would just have been better, if he had never gone to Hogwarts at all.
He is startled from his depressing musings when he notices a figure making it's way down the path to his house. He can't tell whom it is from where he sits. Through the rain the shape is barely distinguishable as human. Unable to force himself to move for a better look, he watches curiously as the person approaches his house. When the figure disappears from view behind the corner of the house, obviously headed for the front door, Remus slowly gets up to find a different vantage point. He moves into the hallway and heads towards the front door, ready to open it when the person eventually knocks. He can see the blurry shape through the rippled glass in the door as he waits for the knocks to sound.
Finally, his impatience getting the better of his foul mood and desire to be alone, Remus stomps forward and yanks the door open. He nearly jumps in surprise when he finds Sirius standing there, soaked to the bone, teeth chattering, with his broomstick clenched in one white hand. Sirius looks as shocked as Remus feels when they come face to face for the first time in over a month. For a moment they stand there in total silence, then Remus lets out a tired sigh, and runs a hand over his face before moving off to one side.
"You'd better get inside before you catch your death."
After a moment of hesitation, the soaking wet boy steps over the threshold and into Remus' modest home, dripping all over the entryway. "Don't just stand there, you're leaving puddles on the floor. Take off your cloak and I'll go see if I can find you a towel."
Remus returns a few minutes later – having taken a slight detour to take a number of deep breaths out of sight of the other boy – with a fluffy white towel to find Sirius standing, still sopping wet, in the entry way, gazing at a photograph of the Lupins with a sad expression on his face.
"Here you are." Sirius turns toward the werewolf, and takes the towel from him, but doesn't use it. Instead he stares at it for a moment, and then tries to hand it back. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have come." His voice is hoarse, and Remus, never much of a tough nut to begin with, can't help but melt a little bit at the sadness and bitter self-loathing he hears behind his words.
"Don't be daft, Sirius. You obviously came here for a reason so we best go ahead and sort that out. Besides, there's no way I'm letting you back into that storm. Dry yourself off. I'll go put the kettle on."
Five minutes later, a thouroughly damp but no longer dripping Sirius makes his way into the kitchen to find Remus bustling about making tea and sandwiches.
"Really, Remus, this isn't necessary. I'm not staying."
Remus gives him a level look that clearly says he's not going to hear another word out of Sirius for the moment. "I already told you, you're not going back out into that storm. Now have a seat, and put that jumper on." He gestures briefly to the corner of the table to indicate the neatly folded article of clothing.
Sirius, perplexed by the warmer-than-expected reception, does as he's told. As he pulls the jumper on over his drying clothes, he can't help but notice the scent of it. The tattered red sweater is one of Remus' favorites, and seeing as it's slightly too big on him, it fits Sirius nearly perfectly. As the warmth rushes through him and he stops his shivering with the added layer, all Sirius can focus on is the strong scent of Remus that clings to the fabric like perfume. He turns his head to the side, smelling the fabric at his shoulder; he thinks it is probably the nicest scent in the world.
At that moment Remus places a steaming cup of tea in front of him and he snaps back to the situation at hand. He feels just the tiniest bubble of hope in his belly because he is sitting in the kitchen with a hot cup of tea, and his friend let him into the house and he hasn't been kicked back to the storm just yet. He grabs onto the tiny bubble and decides to take the leap.
"Remus, I came here today because I need you to know… I know it doesn't really mean much, coming from me, but I am…so sorry. If I could take it back…" He puts his head in his hands, leaving his teacup untouched as he tries not to break down in front of the other boy.
"Padfoot, stop it." Sirius looks up in surprise at the abruptness of his friends words, and the unexpected use of his nickname. "You're forgiven. More than, really." Remus takes a deep breath and looks away, out of one window to the pouring rain. "I've never been able to stay angry at you for long. This is no exception."
There is a moment as Sirius takes in what the other boy has just said. He wants to break out into a smile, to pull his friend to him and give him a bone-crushing hug that will put them right back where they've been for the last five years. But it's not the time for that. There's still something they need to talk about.
After a sip of tea, which does a marvelous job of warming him from he inside out, he speaks again. "Remus, about…well about the–"
Remus cuts him off. "We really don't need to talk about it. I…I told you, and now you know. I don't expect you to feel the same way or to want anything like that from me. I was upset and…I acted impulsively when I shouldn't have. Please, just forget it."
Sirius looks stunned. "Forget it? Why in Merlin's name would I forget it?"
"Because," Remus looks a bit flustered now, uncertain how to continue. "Because I don't want it to ruin our friendship. I really can't stand being at odds with you, even after everything that's happened, and I couldn't bear it if you weren't even my friend. I need you in my life and–"
Sirius interrupts him before he can continue. "What makes you so certain I don't feel the same way?"
It is late July, and James is sitting in the kitchen of his family's summer home in Godric's Hollow. His mother and father are in the next room, reading quietly by the fire, while their son obligingly makes them their nightly cup of tea. As he's pulling the porcelain off of the top shelf, someone knocks on the front door. James sends a confused look out the window at the pouring rain and wonders who on Earth could possibly be calling on the Potter family at this hour and in this horrible weather. He makes his way to the entrance and slowly pulls open the door, weary of the rain and of the unsavory characters in the wizarding world these days. For the second time that summer, Sirius Black is revealed standing under a friend's porch and soaking wet.
"Padfoot!" His voice rings with confusion, shock, and just a hint of joy at the sight of his best friend. He is dragging his school trunk and looks, though he tries to hide it, utterly unsure. Wordlessly James moves aside and holds open the door as Sirius drags his sopping wet person into the house.
As he helps his friend remove his saturated travelling cloak, James gives him a smile. "You're just in time, mate. The water's about to boil."
They make their way back to the kitchen and James quickly turns off the stove as the kettle begins to whistle. He pulls an extra cup out of the cupboard and pours four cups of tea. "I hope you didn't fly in this weather." He remarks to his friend as he stirs in the tealeaves.
"Nah, not even I'm that crazy." They grin at each other, both recognizing the lie for what it is. "I caught the Knight Bus."
James nods as he picks up the tray with the remaining two cups of tea and heads for the door to the sitting room. His parents glance up from their respective reading materials when they hear the boys enter. Neither of them looks surprised when they see Sirius, still somewhat damp from the storm, hovering behind their son. Eleanor offers him a warm smile and stands to greet him.
"It's wonderful to see you, Sirius, dear." She holds his face in her wrinkled hands for a moment, looking intently over his exhausted features, taking in the sadness that hides behind a mask of bitterness in his eyes. She pulls him into a warm hug that lasts just a second or two longer than usual.
Lawrence greets Sirius with a firm handshake and a pat on the back. Within minutes they are seated comfortably around the fire, sipping their tea and saying very little as the storm rages outside. No one addresses the unexpected arrival. No one needs to. Lawrence and Eleanor agreed a long time ago that Sirius would always be welcome in their home, and even if they hadn't, James would never have turned his best friend away.
It isn't until the next morning when the two boys are sitting sleepily in the kitchen waiting for the water to boil for another cup of tea, that they even touch on the subject.
"Do you want to talk about it?" James asks, quietly.
Sirius looks away from him, and out the window. "Not particularly."
James nods. "Ever going back?"
They lapse into silence again as the kettle finally boils. Sirius watches James pour out two steaming cups of tea, then takes one in silence.
"It was actually kind of funny," he announces unexpectedly. "All these years they've disapproved of me and told me what a stain I am on the Noble House of Black. But they put up with me because they couldn't bare the shame of having to disinherit the family heir."
"So what changed?"
Sirius snorts. "Let slip that I was in love with a werewolf. I don't know if they were more outraged that he's a half-breed, a half-blood, or that he's a he. Anyway doesn't matter. I'd had enough." There is a pause as they sip their cooling tea before James speaks.
"So, you're in love with him, then?"
A small smile spreads over Sirius' lips as he stares down at his hands while he fiddles with his teacup. "Yeah, I am." He looks up at James and smiles a little bit wider. "I really am."
AN: Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed this. Also, before I forget, because I know I am terrible about responding to reviews and whatnot, I just want to say thank you to all of you who come around and read or review my stories because somehow my Potter and the Pillow one-shot has gotten over one hundred reviews which is outrageous. So, thank you, all of you. You are great and make it so much less terrifying to post my writing where other people can actually read it.
Lots of love,