every step before the veil
A HariPo drabble
Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not me. So, since I hadn't written a fic with a nonlinear timeline and Morghen brought it up to me…here we are, my 1st nonlinear timeline fic. ;P Remmius was obviously the best choice for this. Read, review, and enjoy!
It was the worst thing imaginable, but there Remus was, pulling Harry back. If he didn't, Harry would most assuredly run headfirst into the veil after his godfather. But it was too late—Bellatrix's spell had hit Sirius square in the chest, and he couldn't recover from that stumble.
Harry screamed and yelled and cursed at Remus. Remus took the brunt of it well.
Harry should've known that Remus knew better than anyone else the anguish of losing Sirius.
"This is an important day in our lives, Moony," Sirius assured the werewolf in their seventh year.
Remus raised an eyebrow. "Never thought I'd hear that from you, Padfoot."
Sirius grinned. "But with graduation comes freedom, the future…"
"And responsibility and practicality—what makes you think you can handle those yourself?" Remus chuckled at the look Sirius shot him.
"I meant in the optimistic sense, Remus." Sirius sidled closer to Remus on Remus' bed and rested his head on Remus' shoulder. "It's the night before exams and I'm about to puke, luv. Can't you let me dream about graduation a little longer?"
Remus' cheeks warmed at the endearment, but he shrugged. "…I don't see why not."
That night was pure heaven. Sirius didn't have to kiss Remus then; smiling into his shoulder was enough.
"You're a werewolf?"
Oh, Merlin. Remus wanted to crawl into a hole and die. If the few friends he'd made knew his horrid secret—well, he might as well go jump into the Black Lake. Peter looked terribly frightened and James kept studying him and Sirius—
Oh, Sirius' gorgeous silver eyes had never been so wide.
Remus hanged his head and pulled his tattered cloak around him. "Look, you lot… I appreciate the help this morning—last night's moon was really awful for me—but you don't have to pretend. I know I shouldn't be here—"
"Are you kidding?" James asked, glaring at him. "You have just as much right to be here as any of us!" The defiance in his hazel eyes was heartening.
"Besides," Sirius joked, "I always wanted a pet."
"Sirius!" James chided, but Remus didn't mind. He shyly met Sirius' grinning face…and found himself grinning, too.
Sirius held Remus in his arms, his fingers digging in to his skin. He gasped something—was it Remus' name?—before growling and gasping once more for breath.
"Ah, Godric…!" Sirius collapsed against their pillows as he caught his breath.
"That's not my name," Remus teased, grinning.
Sirius rolled over on his side and ran the backs of his fingers along that slim, white jaw. "Wanker," he retorted.
Remus laughed and reclined gently beside his lover. He was probably aching as badly as he was, Sirius mused. But hey, at least they had their own place so no one could yell at them for making too much noise. And Remus was supposed to be the one who howled…yeah.
"You know what stinks?" Sirius suddenly asked, his mouth working overtime ahead of his brain.
The brunette wizard groaned. "Nothing about what we just did. Although I don't think my bum will ever get used to the size of your—"
"We can't have kids."
The statement made the room quiet. Remus faced him. "Well…no. We're missing some essential parts, Sirius."
Sirius couldn't hide his pout, even in the dark. "Sorry. It's just…James and Lily are pregnant. They get to have a kid. Why can't we? And that's besides the obvious signs, Rem."
Remus propped himself on his elbow and played with Sirius' hair, a habit he had that surfaced whenever he was unsure what he'd next say would rile Sirius… "But, I mean…we're not really that type."
"What do you mean?"
"Us. You, me, kids. Sure, we'll probably babysit for James and Lily. Dunno if I'd want to babysit all of the Weasley ones at once, but Molly and Arthur are nice people. Maybe Frank and Alice will let us babysit their kid, and Gideon and Marlene, and Fabian and Dorcas—if those last two sets ever get their affairs in order long enough to have families."
Sirius frowned. "You keep talking about kids, but you were just saying we're not the parenting type. How's that work out?"
"We can return those kids at the end of the day," the werewolf replied.
Even though the truth ached, it still made Sirius laugh. "Well, you've got that right…" He flipped over and hovered over Remus. "So, what do you say to 'trying to make babies' again anyway?"
The Animagus kissed that smirk. "I'll take that as a 'yes.'"
Fifth year was bad enough. Now Sirius had done it.
Remus hadn't spoken to him for a month. Sirius couldn't blame him, not after what he'd done… He shook his head. How could he have been so stupid?
"Hey…," James said. He rubbed his best mate's shoulder as they sat in class. He glanced between him and Remus. "Look, Remus…he doesn't stay mad forever…"
"If he doesn't stay mad, I'll dye my hair fuchsia," Sirius snarled. "Thank Merlin you were able to save Snivellus…oh Godric, did I really just say that?" He winced.
James pursed his lips. "Pads, don't worry about it…"
"I told Snivellus to go to the Shrieking Shack when I knew Remus would be—transformed. I sent a person to his death, James. That's not something to be forgiven lightly."
"Yeah, that'd be stupid to forgive…"
James grinned at Sirius. "Good thing none of us are the brightest in the class—Remus is, what, second behind that Ravenclaw, Parminder Patil?"
Sirius didn't want to, but he chuckled at that with his friend.
"Mmphf—no! No, Sirius!"
Sirius rolled his eyes and ran a hand through his hair as Remus stubbornly buttoned his sweater. Sirius looked around his bedroom in Twelve Grimmauld Place. He never thought he'd want to be in it again, but it gave him privacy. And if only Remus would buy in to that…
"The Order of the Phoenix has a meeting in a little bit, and I'd rather not be covered in love bites," Remus hissed, but Sirius could see a blush blooming on his scarred, sweet face.
"You know, the lot of us are adults, Moony. Harry and his friends—they're all fifteen now—"
"Ginny's fourteen, Sirius," Remus corrected.
"—and they all have an inkling about love and the minds of adults and such. Although Tonksy sometimes seems innocent…" Sirius laughed. "My cousin actually does know more than she lets on."
He enjoyed watching Remus stand and smooth out his clothes; Sirius had a nice view of his rear from where he was. "Well, I don't want to defile young minds," the wolf replied.
Sirius didn't miss a beat. "Then just defile mine instead." He stood and walked to Remus, resting his chin in the crook of Remus' neck. "Then we won't have anything to worry about."
What magic, words. Remus turned and cupped Sirius' face in his hands and they started kissing again and it was all a blur after.
It was a betrayal.
How could Sirius have betrayed James and Lily to Voldemort?
Remus still heard ringing in his ears. He hadn't wanted to be told such filth…but it had to be said. Sirius had done so many great wrongs and all in one night—his actions had killed James, Lily, Peter—
And maybe any love Remus had shared with him.
Oh, who was Remus kidding? He'd love Sirius until there was no longer the concept of the end of time.
It was a relief.
It was a relief thirteen years in the making.
Sirius couldn't believe he'd held on this long. But when he got to the Shrieking Shack and saw Remus… Well, he finally understood how close he'd been to cracking, because seeing his love nearly sent him over the edge.
And if it hadn't been for the audience, Sirius might've jumped Remus right then and there, because Harry was important to Sirius, he was, he had to know the truth about what had happened—
But maybe it was okay to admit that Remus meant more to him than Harry ever would. Sirius silently gave a little apology to James and Lily for that.
"Hey, Mary told me today—she fancies me. Did you know that?" Remus was biding Sirius' reaction. It was kind of a funny feeling. Maybe Remus should've told James instead; James at least knew how it was to like one person for a while so maybe he could explain Mary to Remus—
Remus looked at Sirius and shut his book on his lap. Though this day outside on the green was chilly, his neck was warm as he watched Sirius, who was lying on the grass with his arms behind his head. The Animagus was staring up at the sky, watching the clouds. "What do you mean, 'huh'?"
"Nothing. I mean, good for her. She should fancy someone so great."
The unexpected comment sent heat crawling up from Remus' neck to the rest of his face. "Ah…uh, thanks…"
Sirius grinned. "Ah, Moony… You're bloody adorable when you stumble over your words, you know that?"
"I, uh…thanks, Sirius…"
At fourteen, Remus knew he was in love with Sirius. He'd let Mary down gently later.
At nearly forty, Sirius knew he'd made some big mistakes in his life.
He'd been floating through some obnoxious void for a few years now and—he cursed. How could he have been caught off-guard by Bellatrix's bloody spell? How could he have been defeated by a simple Stupefy? Merlin, he felt like an idiot. He'd stumbled in to a place he'd had no clue about and…hell. He'd left Harry in the lurch. Surely that fight had gone all right?
The next thing Sirius knew, Remus materialized beside him. Sirius thought he might've been Stunned to heaven…if he weren't already there. "Rem? …is that really you?"
Remus looked Petrified upon seeing him. "What the—Sirius?"
Sirius couldn't care about anything else. He rushed Remus and drew him into his arms and onto his mouth. They were right—the best things in life tasted sweet. And never changed.
But Remus pushed him away, tears in his eyes. "Wait, what, no, this is all wrong…!" He gasped and sobbed, hard.
Sirius pulled him into his arms though Remus fought. "I won't let you go, not again. Not even if you stop crying."
Eventually Remus did stop crying. But his expression was so broken. "Sirius, I—I moved on. I did so much wrong…"
"What do you mean?"
And so Sirius learned everything—Tonks and more Tonks, Teddy, and being killed by Dolohov… The only thing Sirius felt the need to comment on was Dolohov: "Seriously? You got beat by that douchebag?"
"Sirius, I moved on! I thought I could have a life, a family…!"
"…what you always wanted." Sirius smiled gently at the werewolf. "What I couldn't give you."
A new wave of tears seized Remus and he threw his arms around Sirius, and Sirius gripped him even tighter.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry! When she was angry, her hair would turn black and if I asked, she'd make her eyes like steel…"
"I love you, too, Remus, always."
But then they were fading and Sirius panicked that he'd be losing Remus again—and perhaps this would be the final time that couldn't be rectified. But then something amazing happened and they saw not only James and Lily but Harry. The four of them were with Harry and Lily exchanged words with her son and there seemed to be something Lily understood that the rest of them didn't…
But then they were walking towards what was surely Harry's death, and Sirius felt what little life remained in him drain.
Remus' wispy fingers grasped Sirius' and they stuck with Harry until the end.
Then, just like that, they returned to Sirius' previous void.
Remus looked around them. "Is this…is this heaven?"
Sirius shrugged. "Something like it, I s'pose."
Remus met his eyes, and suddenly Sirius knew what it meant to see another person's soul in their eyes as his own soul was likely on display through his eyes. "But then…where's Dora?"
Sirius gave him a sad smile. "Maybe…maybe she was supposed to give you everything you wanted in life."
Sirius shook his head. "But maybe I'm meant to give you everything you wanted in death."
Remus shook his head, too. "That sounds so…unfair to her."
Sirius kept his mouth shut as he resumed a love he'd never been intent on pausing. Tonks had probably known all along that she was some kind of placeholder for him in Remus' life.
And for that, Sirius thanked her for probably the most important thing in his life, because Remus was alive and sane.
And Remus was his once more.
But, actually, there was one time that was more important, and back then, Remus and Sirius would never have imagined the life they would've shared, intertwined, unraveled, and wound again.
Because back then, they were just ickle firsties. Back then, Sirius got on the Hogwarts Express still liking his parents and brother. Back then, Sirius landed himself in a compartment after a stand-off with James Potter, who immediately became his brother-in-spirit.
And back then, Remus was frightened to leave his parents' side. Back then, Remus couldn't believe he was going to try living a normal life. Back then, Remus was just thinking that he'd try to breeze through school by hiding behind his books so no one could see his scars.
But, actually, any expectations went out the window when Remus had to find a compartment. He opened the door, stopping Sirius and James' conversation. "Uh, hi…um…may I sit with you?"
They both gaped at him, but Sirius' silver eyes haunted him for every last day of his life after that. And that rich voice—"Yeah, sure. Here, sit by me."
Just like that, the relationship of a lifetime—friendship, love, affection, strength—began.
Not bad for my 1st nonlinear timeline, I think. Okay, so it was more snippets than anything else, but I was trying to pick out "important" details of their life… I had to save their meeting for last, though, because that truly was the most important thing ever. :} And a shout-out to Morghen's drabble, "the ghost of him," from which I got the idea for Tonks making herself look a little like Sirius to attract Remus… B) I love that drabble. Go read it.
Anywho, thanks for reading and please review!