Title: Drive To Desperation (Part II)

Disclaimer: Art Work is Comfort by emilyjzb ( emilyjzb. deviantart art/ Comfort- 36004792)

Warnings: AU; bit of gore and slightly disturbing.

Rating: M

Part II: Sticks & Stones

'I'll try to make it in time for the vows, but in case I don't, just apologise to Frank for me.' Sirius swept away a few of the papers littering his desk.

'Still trying to find loop holes?' James asked with a sigh.

'Criminals always leave evidence, we both know that,' Sirius explained away distractedly. As the number of murders grew to a total of five, so did Sirius's obsession with the investigation. It was unsettling and James was reminded of their days in Hogwarts when Sirius obsessed over prank plans, tweaking and bothering Remus to help them until all four of them were cleaning toilets as detention with a certain amount of pride over a successful prank. 'That's how they get caught – because they leave clues. There is no such thing as a perfect crime.'

'Moody's coming too, you know.'

Sirius snorted. 'Of course he is. He's fobbed off all his work on me, hasn't he? Plenty of spare time on his hands…'

'What about Moony? After his episode last week, do you really want to leave him alone?'

Sirius's face softened at the mention of Remus. 'He'll be fine.'

'How are the nightmares?' James asked, already reaching for the Floo pot. He sneezed a little when some of the powder went flying up his nose.

Sirius shrugged. 'Not much better. I'm thinking of buying some Dreamless Sleep Potion tonight. He isn't getting any rest this way...'

'Padfoot, have you considered a specialist maybe?' James hastened to explain when he saw the frown on Sirius's face. 'I'm just saying...that if Moony won't talk to any of us about what happened then maybe...' He trailed off slowly. 'Lily has a friend who keeps things strictly confidential and-'

'No,' Sirius's tone allowed no arguments.


'No,' Sirius affirmed with a hard look. 'I can take care of him. I don't need some crackpot-'

'Sirius, I'm not questioning your ability to care for Remus. I'm sure you're-'

'I'm the one who loves him!' Sirius shouted suddenly, banging his fists hard on the table. 'I'm the one who feeds him and takes care of him, and pulls him through each one of his nightmares! I'm the one who goes through ridiculous lengths just to make sures he's safe! If there's anyone he should talk to, it's me! If there's anyone he needs to seek solace and protection in, it's me!'

'Yes, but maybe at this stage, you aren't enough for him!' James knew it was the wrong thing to say the minute the words had left his mouth. The crushed look on Sirius's face only alleviated his guilt, so he looked away. 'I'm sorry; that was completely out of line. I should just go...' He hurriedly threw the Floo powder into the fire, waiting for the flames to turn completely green, before stepping into them.

'I would do anything for him, you know,' he heard Sirius tell him before leaving, but there was nothing he could say in reply that wouldn't sour the situation. So he simply called out'TheKennel'before disappearing into the flames.

'Moony?' James frowned, brushing the soot off his robes as he stepped out of the fireplace. He cast a shoddy cleaning spell, hoping Lily wouldn't notice the stain at his hip. She had specifically picked out these robes for the occasion. 'Moony, you asleep, mate? Moony?'

Worry slowly creeped up James's spine as no one answered. As far as he knew, Remus didn't go anywhere without Sirius. Not from the lack of trying, but Sirius had convinced Remus, with methods he had refused to tell James, not to. 'Moony? Remus?' Then again, Remus was a Marauder; what guarantee was there that he would actually follow the rules?

Still, James hurried, checking the kitchen and balcony before heading towards The master bedroom. 'Remus, are you-' He felt his words die in his throat as he saw Remus walking out of the bathroom, sans limp. The crutches were discarded on the floor and Remus's knees showed no signs of giving away or shaking without them. 'What the hell?'

It was James's shocked exclamation that caught Remus's attention. 'James...' he croaked, eyes wide and hands frozen from when he was towelling his hair. 'You...what are you...' He swallowed, trembling hands falling to his sides in admittance to his guilt. He didn't meet James's eyes as he sat down on the bed gingerly. 'Please don't tell Sirius,' he whispered softly, wrapping his arms around his body.

James finally found his voice, 'Why?' The question came off harsher than he'd intended.


'Tell me why?' James screamed.

'I was scared!' Remus yelled back. 'I was scared he'd leave! Not me...' He hesitated, before finally admitting to the truth. 'Have you noticed how he hasn't gone on a single mission for the Order since I got hurt?'

James couldn't believe his ears. 'So what? You were planning to keep him locked in here so that he could tend to your needs at all times? What about the War? Are you really going to be that selfish?'

'Fuck you!' Remus's face contorted with fury. 'Do you even know what they do to you? Do you know what it's like to relive all your worst fears and pray every day for your death? I'll die before I have Sirius go through what I did. These Order missions are unstable at best. If he's on the field during a fight I can protect him, but what if they take him from me? A single flaw in the mission and he's done for!'

'We knew the risks when we first started out,' James argued stubbornly. 'We knew what we were getting into.'

'No, that's not true.' Remus shook his head. His fists clenched into the bed covers. 'I was willing to sacrifice my life, but never Sirius's.' He looked at James with a desperate plea in his eyes. 'I can't live without him, Prongs.'

'You can't fake this forever, Remus.'

'Please don't tell him...'

'You're going to have to come out with it sometime...'

Remus buried his fingers into his hair. 'Please don't tell him...'

'He worries for you constantly,' James tried, though he could already feel himself caving to Remus's ludicrous request. What more was he hiding? Was this Remus's only lie?

'He'll hate me if he finds out.'

'He loves you.'

'Even if the impossible happens and he doesn't hate me, he'll want to...' Remus trailed off and James could tell that whatever it was Remus wanted to say, it was costing him a lot. 'I'm not ready...I can't...and then he'll know...he'll know and then he willleave me.'

James should have pried. He should have prodded and poked until Remus caved in and told him what it was that he wasn't ready for. But a part of him took pity on his best friend. Perhaps whatever secret Remus was having a hard time admitting to was meant to be kept hidden. Also, James realised, that he felt much the same towards Lily. It was possible, wasn't it, to fall so deep into a relationship that your love starts to resemble a type of irrational madness.

'Two weeks,' James conceded finally. 'After that I'll tell him myself.'


The knife is wiped on Antonin's skin, leaving a bright red smear across his thigh. Not that it matters. His chest is already stained red from the myriad of words carved into his body – filth, mongrel, half blood, liar, murderer…

'Sticks and stone may break you bones, but words, Dolohov, words can be such a bitch, can't it?'

He is carving again, the cold tip of the blade dragging deep into his flesh. His eyes shut so tight that they hurt to a point where it feels like he's pushing his eyes all the way back into his skull. His screams are muffled into his own dirty socks; stuffed into his mouth, just little shy of choking. The stench of his own sweat and the tang of blood overwhelm his senses, and he is sure that he has forcefully swallowed his own vomit many times now.

The pain is so unbearably acute that he can feel every word that is being written into his skin. He can feel the intensity and hatred behind each etching, even the intention to leave a scar if not to kill. His skin burns as he spells every word in his head, pure agony piercing through his very being.






Antonin is not stupid. He knows who this is despite the obsidian mask that blends so well into the darkness. The laughter is hollow and the voice is made purposefully deep, but Antonin still knows. Word has already spread through the Death Eater community of the mystery killer who has taken it upon himself to 'free' the Wizarding World. The Ministry tries hard to hide the names and details of those murdered, but people don't particularly care. The word 'Death Eater' is enough. Bloody mudbloods. They are all cheering because the fools think that this person is leading to the downfall of the Dark Lord's regime. Antonin knows better. He knows those who are dead personally and he knows that the murders have nothing to do with the Dark Lord and everything to do with blood thirsty revenge. Antonin noticed the pattern weeks ago.

He had noticed and ignored it because he thought his fort was impenetrable. He had told no one, just like the others, because it would mean admitting to acting outside the Dark Lord's orders. The Dark Lord doesn't take kindly to disobedience. Though, Antonin thinks, this is the right way to rule. The Wizarding World is full of mudbloods and filth who need to be taught a lesson. The Dark Lord has promised their annihilation, just as he has promised safety to the Death Eaters from this new murderer.

They should have never tried to take things into their own hands. They had been blinded by the glory that was sure to follow if they had their victim cracked. The Order has been a menace to the Dark Lord's rightful ways since the very beginning – the plan had been perfect. They had toyed with him to the point of tears. Antonin is sure that if the dirty werewolf hadn't escaped, he would have caved in another twenty four hours. The beast had been balefully resistant and if Antonin was to be honest, he had enjoyed every moment of it. He had gone beyond protocol (out of control) because it had been fun.They had all had. It had given them a sense of power beyond cognition.

'Do you feel the humiliation, Dolohov? The slow realisation that maybe, maybe every single one of these words are true? Why else would everyone say it? Why? Why? Why?' Cruel laughter. Dolohov thinks that he should have been a Death Eater - the fit is perfect. Pity. 'But then again, in your case, it is true, isn't it, you dirty motherfucker?'

Antonin knows who's next – the last one in line to this chain of murders. And he laughs. He laughs because out of all them, that bloody bastard is the one who deserves this the most. The realmonster among them – the one that had gone beyond the point of no return. He laughs because he hates that piece of shit just as much as the rest of the world. Laughs because the motherfucker finally has it coming for him. Laughs at the very thought of what is going to happen to him, because that fucker's death will not be easy. Oh no, his death will definitely not be easy. So despite the mad agony that screams through his veins and shatters his bones; the vomit that leaks from the side of his mouth and the blood that covers every inch of his skin, he laughs. He laughs and laughs and laughs, even when he is slapped so hard that his nose breaks and his skull cracks against the hard marble floor.

'Shut the fuck up.'

The sock is pushed farther intro Antonin's throat and he feels fresh tears pool in his eyes as his windpipe narrows further. His face is forced to the front, one hand holding him tightly by the neck as the other presses the tip of the knife to his forehead. Blood drips into his eyes and mouth as his fate is sealed with one final word:


James stared at the photographs of Antonin Dolohov in front of him. No, he thought, no, no, no, Merlin, please no. He wouldn't.

He looked again, willing for the evidence to change, for the words to morph into anything else. But James knew better. Even if the word 'werewolf' had been carefully avoided, James had lived with Remus long enough to know his deepest insecurities. He knew the words that Remus both hated and grown to accept over time. The very same words were now glaring back at him, etched in blood. Was the handwriting the same?

James felt sick.

He should have known. He should have known the entire time. Why else would Remus refuse to share details of his capture and subsequent torture? Why else would he fake disability for such an extended period of time? Remus had a perfect alibi, but he also had a motive. Sirius had mentioned recurring nightmares; weren't the memories alone enough to drive someone mad? Would madness account for the line of murders? Did the fact that he'd stopped faking mean that the murders ended with Dolohov?

What now?

There was no way Remus would be let off easy, dark hero or not. The Ministry would not see him like the rest of the Wizarding World; he'd be branded as a stereotype – the dangerous werewolf.

What now?

James ran a hand through his hair. Was there any incriminating evidence left behind? How long till others figured it out? How long till Sirius figured it out?

'Fuck. What now?'

Sirius smiled softly and brushed Remus's hair behind his ear.

'It's getting too long.' Remus frowned, pulling at a lock of hair to inspect it.

Sirius swatted Remus's hand away, replacing them with his own and letting soft brown locks slip between his fingers in a soothing motion. 'I like it this way. Don't you dare cut it.'

Remus laughed. 'You only like it because it makes me look like a rogue.'

'Psh,' Sirius grinned, 'sexyrogue is the word.'

Remus burst out laughing and Sirius couldn't help but stare. It had been so long since he'd heard Remus laugh. He drank in every little nuance and crinkle in the corner of Remus's eyes; the slight crookedness of his teeth and the scar that stretched across his chin. It was the sweetest sound Sirius could imagine and it made him feel like things were finally right between them.

'What?' Remus asked when Sirius had been staring for too long. He touched his face insecurely, 'Is there something on my nose?'

Sirius smiled and shook his head. 'I'm just happy.' At Remus's quizzical expression, Sirius explained further, 'Did you see everyone's faces today in the Order meeting? They were bloody ecstatic to have you back. A lot of them had been worried; I'dbeen worried that you wouldn't come back…that you'd never get better. Molly even made fucking cake.'

'She only made it so that she could bribe me into babysitting her spawns from hell,' Remus grouched.

Sirius let out a bark of joyful laughter and pulled Remus into a hug. 'Well, I'm happy, too. Happy to just have you back again.' He felt Remus smile against him and in a moment of impulsiveness, Sirius drew Remus's face to his and kissed him hard.

'Is this okay?' Sirius asked unsurely when Remus made a surprised sound. 'Am I hurting you?'

'No,' Remus whispered, hand sliding up to the back of Sirius's neck and tangling in his hair. 'You never hurt me.'

It was all the permission Sirius needed to climb on top of Remus, straddling his hips as he kissed him fervently. He had missed this; missed it so, so much. The feel of Remus's tongue curling against his; their mouths moving with practiced ease - sucking, nibbling, pulling. Sirius had missed this easy intimacy between them and now, suddenly, after three long months of praying and trying his hardest to help his lover recover, Remus was back again. Sirius had been able to save him.

Sirius's hands travelled over Remus's clothed chest, brushing his nipples lightly before slipping under his t-shirt. His fingers ran over each rib, counting them down to Remus's belly button and then brushing over the sparse wiry curls that peeked just above the waistband of his trousers.

'I love you,' Sirius said softly, burying his nose into Remus's neck and breathing in his familiar scent. Remus let out a soft moan that went straight to Sirius's cock. 'Fuck, I love you.' Sirius didn't know how many times he said it, but in his head it repeated like a mantra again and again as he pushed down Remus's trousers, an urgency to be everywhere taking over him. The heady need to feel more, to touch overwhelmed his senses and he felt himself pushing further and further against Remus as if trying to mold their bodies together.

Sirius's hand wrapped around Remus's cock and he moved it from base to tip, twisting his wrist just at the end - the way he knew Remus liked it. Sure enough, a loud moan followed and Sirius swallowed it all by pressing his lips tightly against Remus's already bruised ones. His own cock throbbed insistently against Remus's thigh, screaming for attention as Sirius's trousers got too tight to be comfortable. Yet, when Remus's hands reached down to cup him, Sirius held him back, pinning both wrists just over Remus's head.

'Not yet,' he commanded, when Remus stiffened and tried to wriggle free.

He wanted to come inside Remus. He wanted to feel that tight wet heat around him; feel their bodies moving as one in a frantic dance; watch as Remus's face twisted in pleasure and his mouth dropped open as he came in quick spurts all over his own stomach.

'Padfoot, no...'

Sirius's hands slipped lower, past Remus's balls. 'Relax,' he whispered into Remus's ears in an attempt to soothe the sudden tightness in his muscles.

'Sirius, no...'

'Relax, love.' He repeated, fingers circling Remus's opening and pushing lightly.

Suddenly, Sirius found himself on the floor. He had barely registered the push but as he looked up with shocked eyes, he saw Remus panting with his arms out. There was a kind of fear in his eyes that shook Sirius to the core. And right then, Sirius knew why. He knew without Remus having to tell him anything. He knew even before Remus pulled the sheets over his naked body, drawing his knees into his chest and wrapping his arms protectively around his chest. He knew even before Remus said the word, sorry. He knew the word flashing in Remus's eyes without having a word said in between: rape.

'No.' Sirius shook his head disbelievingly as the realisation of what they'd taken from him began to sink in. 'No, no, no, NO!' Not this. Not this.

'I'm sorry,' Remus apologised again, 'I thought I could. I thought I'd gotten over it but I...when you held me down...all I could see was his face just like when I was five and then again when...I froze and-' He buried his face into his arms, 'He wouldn't stop...no matter how much I asked, he just…' His voice cracked. 'And they were all laughing, jeering…I-' Not knowing what more to say, Remus whispered quietly, 'I'm sorry.'

'Why didn't you tell me?' Sirius screamed suddenly, banging his fist against the bed. 'Why didn't you tell me this before?' Those fuckers had already done enough, so why this? 'From the very beginning, you've refused to tell me anything! You won't give me their names; you won't tell me what happened or how - nothing!' Sorrow boiled into anger and then frothed over to the side as rage. A part of him just wanted to wake up; to wake up and realise all of this was a bad dream. 'How long did you plan on lying to me? Did you think you could keep this from me forever, Remus?' His hand tightened into fists and he punched the lamp on their bedside table. 'I drive myself insane worrying about you, but you don't give a fuck. I didn't even find out you were in the hospital until two days later, fucking inches away from death. No reasons, no explanations; just that a mission went wrong. Fuck!' Sirius paced restlessly. 'You know, you used to share everything with me, but ever since you came back it's all secrets with you! And now…this!I feel like I can't even trust you anymore!' He rubbed his eyes roughly, and then making a final decision, began pulling out his clothes from the cupboard. He pulled the first pair of jeans and jumper he found.

'Where are you going?' Remus asked, flinching when Sirius slammed the cupboard door hard. 'Sirius, where are you going?' Panicked amber eyes looked up at him and had it been any other situation, had it been anything else but this, Sirius would have held him. But not now. Not for this.This was unforgiveable.

'Out!' Sirius replied gruffly, pocketing his wand in his jeans.


James was still wide awake when the door bell rang at quarter to midnight. Lily had gone to bed early, exhausted from a rough day at work. She'd mentioned going to the doctors for the frequent nausea she was having but hadn't said anything after she'd returned. James had meant to ask her, but things had only gone downhill since he'd discovered Antonin Dolohov's body. Just like Sirius, James had become obsessed with the investigation, tearing through piles of evidential documents and photographs to find anything that may disprove his theory. A part of him still refused to believe it could be Remus – their gentle friend who had always tried so hard not to hurt anyone. Remus, who was quiet and calm and hid a brilliant mind for pranking behind an innocent exterior.

The door bell rang insistently and James hurried his steps, not wanting to wake Lily at this hour.

At the third bell, James wrenched the door open with every intention to tell off whoever was behind it but found the words die in his throat when he was brought face to face with Remus Lupin himself.

'Help me find him,' Remus swayed on his feet before falling into James's chest. His body was freezing cold, James noted, his nails and lips already showing tinges of blue. How long had he been out for in this weather? 'Prongs, help me find him. I need to apologise.'

James dragged Remus inside, kicking the door to close behind him. 'Find who, Moony?' He asked, already casting multiple warming charms on his friend. A small part of him couldn't help but think of all the murders and Remus's association to them, but he quickly pushed them to the back of his mind. 'Who are you looking for, Moony?'

'Sirius,' Remus replied, the sudden warmth now making him drowsy. His eyelids drooped when James pressed a hand to his forehead to check for a fever. 'He was so angry, James. So, so angry…' Remus slid sideways into the couch to rest his head against the cushions, body curling tightly to keep warm. 'I need to find him. He…' He fumbled in his pockets, movements uncoordinated, before James decided to relieve him of the trouble and help him out. 'He left his wand at home. It's dang…'

Remus trailed off, his body finally giving up to sleep as James stared at the wand in his hands. Maple Wood, ten inches, unicorn hair core; etched in Sirius's own elegant cursive: Property of Sirius Black.

'Frisky little animal, aren't you,' he spits blood onto the floor before wiping his mouth. 'Though I have to admit, I didn't expect this much from a fucking coward like you.'

The bastard moves his wand higher and Greyback can feel every inch of the stake moving further inside of him, sliding just past his stomach.He refuses to scream however. Pain like this is nothing. Greyback didn't become the most dangerous werewolf in the Wizarding World bysquealing everytime he was faced with a challenge. Already, his fingers are working against the binds on his hands. His body is currently underPetrificus Totalus; unmoving except for his eyes. His hands move out of sheer will power and even so, the movements are painfully slow anderratic. Under normal circumstances, Fenrir would have simply sliced the ropes with his sharpened nails, but the bastard has already pulledthem out from the very root. His teeth have also been broken to nothing but blunt stubs; some knocked out and staining the fur carpetunderneath his feet. It was ironic that the carpet is also a beast he'd once killed and fed on.

It is Greyback's fault; he had underestimated the man. Had he known that this fight was one for revenge, he would have acted differently.

Fenrir Greyback knows the power of revenge like a brother. It is like a black hole that threatens constantly to consume you. And should you willingly let it, it gives you a strength and determination that overrules all else. Fenrir knows because his whole life, he has acted on revenge and hatred alone. This very moment, he is suffering the slowest kind of death possible because of the revenge he had exacted on John Lupin twenty years ago. Yet, he doesn't regret it one fucking bit. He rejoices in it, crows at the pain he's caused; would do it all over again for that spark of pleasure he receives every time he hears little Remus Lupin cry.

The stake is his chest now, scraping past his lungs. He can feel it slide perfectly inside him; every nerve inside his body screaming themselves numb. He still hasn't managed to untie the ropes.

'Are those tears I see, Greyback?' The little fuck leered. If Greyback's mouth was working, he would have spat on the bastard's smug face. 'I'm going easy on you, see? Not hitting any vital organs. That little stake will come right out through that fucking gob of yours. Your arse might be a little sore, but it's quite brilliant otherwise, isn't it? You'll get to live through this pain for another six hours. Only six hours instead of an entire fucking lifetime.'

Greyback's eyes close when the pain becomes too unbearable. He blocks out the sounds of gleeful laughter because it will only fuel his anger more. Right now, if he keeps still enough, he will be alive long enough for one of his posse's to find him. Movement will only make this faster and Greyback is loathed to give the bastard any satisfaction over this petty game. When he gets out, he thinks, he will fuck little Lupin over to a point he can't stand. Greyback will break the little bitch; feed on his sweet, sweet flesh before killing him.

When the sharp end of the stake finally pushes itself out of his mouth, Greyback's eyes roll to the back of his head. The remainder of his teeth is scraping against the wood, being pulled forcefully from the roots by the sliding movement. His tongue is already raw. The wand at his neck finally lowers, bringing relief to the skin on his neck which is now raw and swollen from the silver etchings decorated at the end of the wand. Greyback knows it is pure silver from the fact that it has caused this much damage without so much as touching him. Suddenly, it's tossed into the fireplace, burning to ashes even before it hits the bottom.

'Remember me as the last face you saw before you die.' The obsidian mask is pulled away but Greyback doesn't bother looking. He already knows who it is. Black hair, grey eyes, and that look of arrogant pureblood supremacy - it is in carved into the faces of every Black member that ever existed. Even a blood traitor like Sirius Black.

When Sirius comes back home, James is waiting for him, sat quite comfortably on the couch and enjoying a cup of Remus's favourite tea. 'Trespassing is against the law, you know,' Sirius commented, toeing off his socks and shoes at the door.

James raised an eyebrow. 'Thought it would all right given that I brought your boyfriend home for you.' When Sirius frowned in confusion, he laughed bitterly. 'He was out in the snow frantically searching for you after you left, still in his pyjamas and a stupid little jumper. He was worrying himself sick because you didn't take your wand with you.'

'Fuck,' Sirius cursed and ran towards their bedroom, his bare feet slapping against the floor in urgency. 'Is he all right?'

'See, I don't think he had anything to worry about,' James continued as if not having heard Sirius at all. 'Because you did have a wand, didn't you? One that was practically untraceable…'

Sirius stopped, eyes narrowing as he looked back at his best friend. 'I don't know what you're talking about…'

'It's so weird,' James laughed bitterly, 'Only hours ago, I was so sure it was Remus. So, so sure; because everything seemed to point towards him. But I should have known better. Remus has never been good at brewing potions. We also found traces of silver on the necks of each victim, didn't we? Not that anyone paid attention to it because rich bastards like them always have expensive jewellery hanging from their necks. Some rich bastards also have it on their wands.'

Sirius shrugged, feeling oddly calm despite the situation. It was almost as if he was watching the entire exchange from outside his body. 'Like Moony said, I left mine at home.'

'See, I didn't think about any of these until Moony actually showed me your wand and I remembered how you never fully cross your T's. Like when you write "property" or "monster" or "filth".' If James was expecting any reaction from Sirius, he was sorely disappointed when all that met him was a neutral stare. 'And then I remembered fifth year and the Prank, and suddenly everything made sense. For years, I drove myself mad wondering why you would think sending Snape to the Shack was funny. And then it hit me; it was nevera prank.'

Too late, Jamie-boy, Sirius thought with a smile.

'Snape was getting too nosy, threatening to expose Remus to everyone else and possibly get him expelled if not executed. Granted you didn't quite think the consequences through, but you had meant Snape to get killed, didn't you?'

'Have you already told him?' Sirius asked quietly, glancing towards their closed bedroom door. A slight fear started to creep up his spine at the thought of Remus leaving him.

James ignored his question. 'Why, Padfoot? Just tell me why you would do something so stupid?'

Sirius's grey eyes bore into James's hazel. 'They hurt him.'

James looked completely appalled at his reasoning and he was just about to start what was undoubtedly a tirade, when Sirius interrupted him, 'Remus will die without me.' His tone was stony as he turned back towards the door, hand already turning the handle. 'Remember that when you finally decide to hand me over.'

James scoffed. 'How many hours till Greyback dies?'

Sirius paused. 'Five hours.'

James looked somberly at his watch. 'Any traces?'

'Silver reaction on his neck. The wand's been destroyed.'

James nodded and Disapparated.

Sirius's body slumped against the door frame in relief. If James had decided to turn him over to the Ministry, there was very little he could have done. There was no way he would have hurt his best friend, no matter how far his desperation to be with Remus went. But Remus was safe now; protected. Sirius had gotten rid of all of Remus's nightmares permanently. He had made them pay with blood.

'Sirius?' Remus mumbled sleepily when Sirius finally slipped into bed, tucking the covers tightly around their bodies. 'You're back?'

Sirius pressed his chest to Remus's back, wrapping his arms around his lover gently. 'Yeah, I'm back, love. Go to sleep…'

Remus's hands slipped over Sirius's arms, tracing the curve of each vein deftly. His voice was still hoarse from sleep as he spoke again, 'Are you still angry?'

'No,' Sirius sighed, 'I'm not angry, Moony. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have yelled at you like that. You'd gone through something like that and I was just so mad at everything else; mad at the people who had done this to you. I just…'

'I was afraid you'd leave,' Remus admitted quietly. 'The reason I didn't tell you what happened was because I thought it would finally be too much. That you wouldn't want…wouldn't want someone like me.' His hands wrapped around Sirius's possessively. 'You won't leave, will you? I promise…I promise to doanything. I'll try harder. I'll-'

Sirius covered Remus's mouth with his hand, effectively shushing him. 'We'll take it slow,' he promised. He let go of Remus's mouth and turned him so that they were lying face to face. 'I'll help you.' He kissed him gently on the lips. 'I won't ever leave. I won't ever let anything happen to you. There has never been a single moment of my life when I haven't wanted you.'

Love, Sirius reckoned, made you do crazy things. Crazy, mad things that Sirius would do all over again if it meant he could see Remus happy again. If things got messy after this, then Sirius was going to take down whoever he had to, to stay with him. Reflexively, his hold tightened around Remus. 'You don't have to be scared anymore.'

Remus's piercing amber eyes searched him silently, before he nodded and pressed his lips to Sirius's again. 'I'm not.' He smiled beatifically when the sound of drunk caroling wafted up to their little bedroom, one week too early to be joyous. It reminded Sirius that they still hadn't gotten a tree. With everything going as it were, Sirius had completely forgotten. 'We could go shopping tomorrow for the Potter's gifts…' Remus suggested quietly, his eyes reflecting the steady snowfall outside their window. 'What do you want for Christmas?'

Sirius smiled cheekily, opting for the age old cheesy answer that he knew would make Remus blush. 'You.'

Slightly disturbing, but I've always thought Sirius wasn't above murder when it came to his best friends. He was ready to kill Peter after all and well, what is so funny about sending Snape to the Willow? I still don't get it. Hence, this ridiculously dark, disturbing Christmas fic. Hope you guys liked it. By the way, the last murder scene with Greyback was inspired from a Wiki article called "Impalement". Don't ask me why I was reading it. Just for those who are curious. :" Anyway, do drop in a review! I'm working on a more festive fic right now as well, so do look out for that as well. Thanks for reading!