Disclaimer: I am definitely not JKR, as I don't think this is what she intended for her characters.
A/N: This is AU, and will be slash (threesome actually Remus/Harry/Sirius), although the good parts will need to be posted elsewhere, but the story is complete and if people get interested I am more than happy to share the ending. No flames please, this is the first slash story I've liked well enough to post outside of Live Journal fic fests.
He fell in slow motion. The surprise etched on his face as he disappeared into the ragged black veil. He heard the mad cackling laughter of Bellatrix as she started to run away from the room. He fell so painfully slowly and yet there was nothing Harry could do to stop him from falling out of sight repeatedly. Harry felt his heart leap into his throat. "No Sirius, don't leave me," Harry cried out in his sleep. Always the same dream every night since Sirius had been taken away from him. It was all he could think about whether he was awake or asleep. The whole situation was his fault, always his fault. Harry could feel Remus' arms grab him as the dream continued. He could feel the warmth of the old robes Remus was wearing as his arms pressed into his chest and held him back from being able to race after Sirius and try to stop him from disappearing fully behind the veil. "No Remus, I have to save him. He's just gone through," Harry pleaded, his voice breaking with tears. "He can't be gone. I need him. It is my fault. Please don't hate me," Harry said.
The dream changed then. It was the first time that anything else had happened. Harry usually just saw the same image of Sirius falling repeatedly until he woke up too upset to sleep any further. Now, Harry saw himself in a house that looked a lot like Grimmauld Place. Harry was almost positive that he was in the dining room upstairs. They had cleaned that room out but did not use it for anything since they always ate in the basement kitchen. He and Remus were standing there by a table covered in candles and a picture of Sirius. There was food lying out under the picture and various decorations that looked a little like Halloween. Pumpkins, autumn leaves, some vines and other things that were usually decorating the Great Hall during the Halloween feast. Harry and Remus were both dressed in black robes and Remus seemed sad. Harry was confused by this new dream. It seemed like a funeral but why would he be seeing it now?
Remus was going through some sort of ritual. He was facing each direction in the room and lighting certain coloured candles as he chanted in a language that Harry did not recognize. Then he turned to face Harry and said something before reaching out to hold him in a comforting embrace. Tears poured down Harry's face as he dreamed this. Did this mean that Remus did not hate him? That he did not blame him for the loss of his last and dearest friend. Harry knew there had been something more than friendship between Remus and Sirius. You would have to be blind not to see something when they were together at Grimmauld Place. Then Harry saw his image in the dream take out a bundle and unwrap the broken fragments of the mirror. It was placed in front of the picture of Sirius and the candles flared up before going out completely. A feeling of peace and calm came over Harry and he wanted, no needed to know more about what had happened. It was time to write to Remus, Harry thought to himself.
Harry forced himself to wake up and immediately grabbed a piece of parchment and a quill. He wiped the tears from his eyes as he thought about what to write to his parent's last remaining friend. All Harry knew is that he wanted, no he needed to see Remus and apologize to him for everything. Harry had to find out if Remus hated him for everything that had happened. He wished that the feelings in the dream were true and that Remus still loved him, but Harry did not know how Remus could not hate him for letting Sirius die, for leading him to a place that he did not need to be because Harry was too weak to prevent it from happening.
I do not know what to think right now. I have just had a very strange dream. Nothing to do with Voldemort. I saw Sirius fall through the veil as I have for the last several weeks now. This time was different somehow. When you grabbed me, I felt comforted. I did not feel like you blamed me for his death or hated me because you no longer have Sirius to love. I know how close you were to one another.
Then it changed again. We were at HQ, we were having some sort of memorial service for Sirius, it felt right, and I felt peace for just a moment. Is there some sort of service we can have for him? It seemed like it was around Halloween sometime with the decorations and the candles. It was powerful. Please come see me. I am ready to see you now and I think I am ready to talk about Sirius with someone who loved him even more than I did.
He tied the letter to Hedwig's foot and whispered directions to her. Hedwig nipped Harry's fingers gently and then flew off into the early morning light to deliver her letter. Harry settled back onto his bed to think about everything that he had seen. He wanted the peace and calm that he had felt in his dream. Every day so far had been a struggle just to get up and do the few chores that his family had set for him. However, they had not given him any more to do now. Harry guessed that they had remembered Mad-Eye's warning and decided to ignore him and leave him in his room to wallow in his thoughts. That was just fine with Harry since it would make it easier for Remus to visit if he decided to after reading the letter.
Meanwhile in a house in London another person was troubled with nightmares. Remus watched as Sirius fell beyond the veil in slow motion. He could see the anger melt away from his haggard face as his expression turned into sadness and confusion. Remus noticed that the spell was red rather than the green of the killing curse that everyone had assumed after the battle. That meant that Sirius had fallen into the beyond still alive. Perhaps there was a way to rescue him after all. Remus would have to do some research. Maybe he could convince Albus that he needed Harry's assistance for the work. It would do Harry good to get away from that house now that he'd been there for just about long enough to safeguard the wards around the property for another year.
Remus saw himself grab Harry as the young man tried to get away from him and follow Sirius behind the veil. Harry's words were like daggers. "No, Remus. He has just gone through. I need to save him. Let me go," Harry said repeatedly. Remus just held on tighter trying to comfort and protect the last person he had left to love. Not just the kind of parental love that he should have but also a more primal type of love that he had also had for Sirius. Pack love. Remus was confused that he should feel that way for Harry.
However, he remembered what Sirius had confessed to him the day of the battle. That he too had non-paternal feelings for Harry and that he did not know what to do any more. Remus shifted in his sleep, the dream images fading as he thought more about the situation. He would do anything for Harry and if this is what he was able to do to make things better than he would.
The dream changed unexpectedly and Remus noticed that he and Harry were in Grimmauld Place. It looked like some type of memorial service. There was a large picture of Sirius with candles surrounding it and food and drink lying out in front of the picture. Of course, now he remembered, he knew this ritual. It was an old Druidic celebration, which had fallen out of favour sometime in the last fifty years or so. He had never performed it before but it was simple and would give some measure of closure to both he and Harry. He saw himself in the dream pull Harry into a hug and felt the peace and love flow between them. He could smell Harry's worry and fears as he held the young man tighter to his chest. Tears poured down Remus' face as he felt Harry hold him tighter in response. Harry was accepting his comfort and presence in his life and not pushing him away as he was before.
There was a tapping on the window that woke Remus from his dream. It was Hedwig with a letter from Harry. "Let us see what he has to say today," Remus said, taking the letter from Hedwig gently and giving her a quick, light scratch on the neck. Hedwig hooted softly in appreciation. The scratching released the overly tight feather casings on her neck and most humans never remembered to ensure that they were loosened. She flew from the windowsill to perch on the ornate carved headboard of Remus' bed. Remus opened the letter and smiled at the hurried nature of Harry's writing.
Remus jumped at first when Harry mentioned strange dreams but then relaxed when he said it was not Voldemort. At least Harry, so far, did not have to deal with that maniac in his head on top of everything else that was happening. Tears pooled in his eyes reading about Harry's dream and that he had known about him and Sirius. He was amazed that their dreams were so similar but it was another sign of a deeper connection between the three of them and it was another sign for Remus that it was okay to feel so deeply for Harry. "We had the same dreams then, Harry. I'll do whatever I can so that you can feel that peace and comfort again," Remus said. He jumped up again, startled by Harry's request to come see him and decided he needed to go immediately whether or not Albus agreed. Harry needed him and he was not going to sit and do nothing again.
Remus grabbed his favourite gold cardigan and the pair of well-fitted and faded light blue jeans. He remembered receiving them from Sirius in the Christmas after Harry was born. The last Christmas that the Marauders had spent together before everything happened. He turned to Hedwig and told her that she could stay here and wait for her Harry or could fly back but that he was going to bring Harry back here after they talked. Hedwig gave a low bark in agreement and settled herself down to preen her chest feathers. She was a smart owl and knew that this human would take care of her owlet without her help and then bring her boy back to her here. Remus finished getting dressed, pulling his socks and shoes on and hastily tying them. Then he ran down to the kitchen to get some breakfast in case Harry was not ready to come back here right away, and ran to the front door to apperate to where Harry was being kept. "I am coming Harry. You will not be alone any more. I promise you that," Remus said as he disappeared with a pop.
He reappeared in a little alley tucked away between Magnolia Crescent and Wisteria Walk just a street away from Privet Drive. Remus smoothed down his cardigan and worn but comfortable jeans. Being gifts from Sirius, they were less patched and frayed than most of the clothes in his wardrobe. Remus walked quickly but calmly to the plain white front door of Number 4 and knocked several times. The door was opened by a tall thin woman with an exceedingly long neck and thin mousy blondish hair pulled back in a tight knot. "I am here to see Harry and to take him with me when I leave," Remus said, stepping into the house before the women could react to his presence. "I trust that he was taken care of better this summer than in the past," Remus said, already starting to walk to the stairs, not really needing Petunia to reply to his statement.
"The boy is just as lazy and intolerable as he was last year. More so even since he has stopped doing his chores and we have had to hire someone to do our garden," Petunia said her voice high and shrill. She hated all the freaks that constantly invaded her house and wanted nothing more than to just throw that freak out on the street. He was a constant reminder of her freakish sister and how she stole their parent's love from Petunia.
"He has just lost someone very close to him. Not that you would know what that is like since you hated your sister so much that you never mourned her death. Harry has lost both his parents, a friend, and his godfather already and may lose more in the next several years," Remus replied. He really wanted to hex her for her insensitivity but kept himself in check. "I am going to go talk to him. We do not want to be disturbed. Then we will be leaving so you will be without your free slave labour for the rest of the summer I am afraid," Remus said, turning and walking up the stairs without another look at the horse-faced women behind him. He could sense her loathing of him and her intense hatred of Harry and Remus could not wait to get him out of this house. How he lived here all his life without going insane or turning out evil was a great mystery to Remus.
He reached the door and frowned at the dozen locks still in place. They were not locked at this time but the fact that they were there was disgusting enough. Then there was the narrow cat flap in the door. Remus could only guess what that was used for and he caught himself growling at that thought. The full moon was a week away and Moony was starting to come out more often, especially when Remus was upset or angry. Feelings that Remus had been experiencing constantly since the events in the Ministry. Harry did not deserve this kind of treatment from anyone let alone family. Remus knocked softly on the bedroom door and waited to be let in.
Harry heard the door downstairs shut and his aunt talking with someone down there then he heard footsteps on the stairs. He grabbed his wand. You never know when a death eater will decide to show up, Harry thought to himself. He heard the footsteps stop outside his door. Then he heard what sounded like growling before a light knocking sounded from out in the hall. "Yes," Harry said, making no move to open the door.
"Let me in Harry," Remus said, hoping that Harry would not open the door immediately. It was him this time but Harry could be opening the door to a death eater if he was not careful.
"What is my patronus?" Harry called back, pointing his wand at the door.
"A stag," Remus answered. He was proud that Harry was being cautious.
"What did you get me for Christmas?" Harry asked.
"Sirius and I bought you a complete set of Defence Against the Dark Arts books that you then used to teach your DA group with," Remus answered, wondering how many questions Harry would ask before opening the door. He wanted to see his cub. Remus did not have long to wait as he heard the door creak.
"Remus you came. I did not think you would actually come," Harry said, opening the door and almost running to hug Remus. Harry was surprised to see Remus so soon or at all really. He thought he would get a note back saying it was too dangerous for anyone to come see him and some empty platitudes from Professor Dumbledore. "I thought you hated me for what happened and I did not know what to do. I cannot stop seeing the dreams," Harry said, tears already falling to his disgust. He hated being weak and crying was a sign of weakness. Harry dropped his head to try to wipe away his tears before Remus could see them.
"No, Harry, I could never hate you," Remus said, tears welling in his eyes. He could smell Harry's tears and the shame that accompanied them and it broke his heart that his cub had to deal with everything alone for so long. "I had to come as soon as I got your letter. I could smell your sadness and distress and it made me upset. I needed to know that you were okay," Remus added. He put his hand under Harry's chin and gently wiped the tears from Harry's cheeks. Remus felt a spark at the first touch of soft warm skin beneath his fingers and had to take a deep breath not to just lean down and kiss the tears away as he wanted to.
"I keep seeing that night over and over and you hold me back and I fight you and there is this look in your eyes that blames me for everything. This morning was different though. I felt your arms around me and it felt warm and safe and you held me close like you…" Harry said, cutting himself off before he told Remus that he had feelings for the man.
"Like I what Harry?" Remus said, looking down into Harry's face.
"Like you love me the way you loved Sirius and the way I wanted Sirius and you to love me," Harry mumbled, his face downcast.
"Oh, Harry. I do love you and Sirius loved you as well. We just never had enough time with you to see if it could be like that. However, that will change now with you and me. I am going to take you back with me to Grimmauld Place. It will be hard without him but we will have each other and we can research what we can do to properly say goodbye to the old dog," Remus said, pulling Harry close enough to him that the young man's head rested against Remus' chest and the rest of their bodies were pressed tightly together. He felt the heat radiating from Harry as it seeped through his cardigan and held back a moan at the sensation. He needed to be patient for now to give them time to see if they could bring Sirius back to them or if they needed to go on without him before Remus could start anything with Harry. Age was not truly a factor but it was more than Remus' heart at stake now and he did not want to do anything to hurt or scare Harry away from him.
"I think I can go back there now. I never thought I would want to see that place again but then I saw the ritual or whatever it was and I want to feel like that again," Harry said, his voice slightly muffled by Remus' cardigan. Harry sighed into the material. He could feel Remus' heart beating strong and securely under his cheek and it was lulling Harry into a hazy peaceful feeling.
"Feel like what, Harry?" Remus asked.
"Like this, comforted and warm. Safe and loved. I am not sure exactly what I am feeling but I do not want it to go away," Harry said breathing in the scent of Remus as well as an underlying scent of wet dog that lingered on the cardigan. "Sirius wore this before," Harry commented.
"It will not Harry. I have you now and I will catch you when you fall," Remus said. He chuckled when Harry sniffed the cardigan and then mumbled something about Sirius having worn it. "He did Harry, at Christmas. He was always cold in that house and was constantly stealing my jumpers since he said they were nicer than the ancient robes he left in the house when he ran away at sixteen," Remus said. He kept his arms around Harry but led the young man over to the worn out bed and sat down.
Harry looked surprised to be sitting down but looked up into Remus' eyes. "He really hated his family didn't he? Leaving behind most of his things and starting over again. And then having to go back to that house and be reminded all because of me," Harry said, dropping his gaze to stare at the threadbare blanket over the bed. It had at one time been blue but was now sort of a mouldy green with a few spots bleached white from the laundry.
"He would have walked through fire for you Harry. No, he may not have liked the house but he went there right away just to have a chance to be able to see you more. He was terribly upset when he was only able to see you twice in your fourth year. Then last year he was so happy to have you during the summer and then during Christmas. It was one of the happiest holidays of his life," Remus said, covering Harry's hand with his and giving it a gentle squeeze.
"And then I only talked to him to accuse him of being a prat to Snape and I did not use the mirrors. I could have talked to him every night but I did not look at what he gave me and I did not want him to do something and get caught again so I did not. Then I saw him being tortured and I thought it was real so I went there and he came and got caught anyway. This time by a veil and now, he is gone and I still need him, you still need him. I want him back, Remus, I need him to come back," Harry said, almost whispering at the end, his chest heaving and tears flowing freely and unstoppably.
"I know you do Harry. I would do anything to bring him back for you, and for me. I miss him terribly as well. I do not know if it is possible though but I promise you that I will look for a way and you will help me Harry. This house is no good for you and I am bringing you back with me so I know you are safe. We can tear the library apart looking for an answer. Please, Harry, trust me that I need him just as much as you do," Remus said, hoping that he was not giving Harry false hope and that they would find something that would work on someone who was sent through the veil still alive. That they would be able to rescue Sirius from a fate he did not deserve and that they could put their lives back together.
"I trust you, Remus. I trust you more than I trust myself. Hermione said my saving people thing would get me into trouble someday and I guess she was right. I got my friends hurt too. We were not ready to face them even though we thought we were. I am so tired, Remus. Tired of all the pain and tears and the dreams every night. Why is it that I cannot I dream of happier days?" Harry said, not expecting an answer really, just saying whatever was on his mind. It was as if he had been dosed with Verataserum. He never said this much to anyone about how he was feeling. Remus deserved the truth though and Harry did feel better with his thoughts out there instead of just thinking them over and over in his own mind.
"We should eat something and get you cleaned up a little and then we can go back to the house and rest. You look a little pale and I think a nice nap would help both of us," Remus said. He pulled out the miniature box in his pocket where he had packed a nice simple breakfast for the two of them. Just some eggs, bacon, bread, and potatoes. He also pulled out a miniature flagon of hot tea and two mugs and resized everything with a wave of his wand. The smell of hot breakfast filled the small room as Remus opened the box and took out the first plate. Setting it down in front of Harry on the lumpy bed Remus waved his wand again to transfigure the bed into a small table and two chairs. "Eat up, Harry, before it gets cold. Here, let me pour you some tea," Remus said.
Harry stared at the food for a moment before his stomach growled loudly and he gave in and started eating quickly. "This is wonderful, Remus, I never knew you were such a good cook," Harry said after he ate about half the plate and had paused to drink his tea while it was still warm.
"It was actually my wand that did the cooking. I am not nearly as good the Muggle way as I am with a few cooking spells," Remus said, watching his Harry eat. "Finish it up, Harry; you haven't been eating very much this summer have you?" Remus asked.
"They only feed me once a day and that stopped when they hired that company to do the garden for them saying that they did not want the neighbours to see my freakishness again this summer. I usually go down to the kitchen and sneak some food after everyone goes to sleep," Harry said, digging back in to the first hot meal he had gotten since leaving Hogwarts a month ago.
"How could those animals do that to someone?" Remus said. He was outraged that people like that had custody of a child and someone like him could not get custody of Harry because he was a monster once a month. "You are definitely coming back with me. I will deal with Albus later. He will be getting an earful from me about this. Maybe even a howler or two," Remus said, his normally pale features flushed with colour at the outrage of how Harry was treated.
Harry finished eating and tried to get Remus' attention. "Remus," Harry said, raising his voice and putting his hand over Remus' hand that was on the table between them.
"Harry," Remus said, jumping as he felt Harry squeeze his hand. "Sorry, I was upset and it is only a week until the full moon. I get a bit carried away sometimes when I feel Moony rear up in anger," Remus said, squeezing Harry's hand in return.
"How are we getting to Grimmauld Place?" Harry asked, curious about their method of transportation. Maybe they would fly again. Remus did not appear to have his broom though. Harry hoped it was not a portkey. He hated the spinning and hooked by the navel feeling.
"I will side-along apparate you back. It is the easiest way. We will have to walk to the alley I appeared in however, as there are wards all over the house to prevent us from just leaving from here. Let me pack up your trunk and Hedwig's cage. She is at the house waiting for us. Then we'll get out of here before I kill the Muggles," Remus said.
"Is it as uncomfortable as a portkey?" Harry asked, watching Remus transfigure the table back into a bed, pack up the breakfast items and then with a swish and swirl of his wand send all of Harry's things zooming around the room to pack them neatly in his trunk. All except Harry's invisibility cloak, the map, and his photo album, which were under the loose floorboard under the bed. Harry threw these items in his trunk as he snatched a clean pair of Dudley cast-off jeans and a jumper that was only three times too big for him from the pile of clothes and slipped them on over the t-shirt and boxers he had been wearing when Remus showed up. Then Remus shrunk the trunk and Hedwig's cage down and put them in his pocket.
"It feels like you are being squeezed into a tube but no spinning feeling like a portkey and I will be holding you up so you will land okay on the other side," Remus said, having waited until they were out of the house and into the small alley before answering. He wrapped his arms around Harry pulling him tight to his chest and kissed him softly on the forehead.
Harry sighed as Remus kissed his scar. The kiss soothed the minor pain that had been there constantly since Voldemort came back. He closed his eyes and relaxed in Remus' hold, turning his head so it rested once again on Remus' chest. Harry let the strong heartbeat sooth him into a peaceful state. "I will be okay Remus. Like I said, I trust you and I feel safe with you," Harry said softly, a wistful smile on his face. The first smile he had had since Sirius fell through the veil. Remus smiled as well as he pulled Harry tighter to him and disappeared with a muted pop. They would deal with everything together. Sirius would have wanted it that way.