Remus is sitting on the arm chair in front of the fire writing a potions essay. It is a Thursday night in early April, and it's just become warm enough to leave the windows open after dark. A cool breeze blows in and rustles Remus' parchment, turning several pages of his copy of Advanced Potion Making. He'd rather like to just tell Slughorn that he's not likely to brew many antidotes, and that if he does, he'll just look up the instructions in a book, but he figures that a) he doesn't have the balls, and b) he should be thankful when they're learning about theories and laws because he's much better at that than at brewing potions.
He has somehow been left alone for the past 45 minutes. He has 9 out of the 10 required inches, and he's getting a bit sick of restating the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
"Remusss," James says. He plops down on the floor in front of Remus' arm chair, and then proceeds to grin up at him with big puppy dog eyes. It reminds him of Sirius, which makes his chest feel empty.
"What's wrong, boy?" he teases, and James frowns.
"I was just going to ask you if you wanted to play Exploding Snap. Jerk."
Remus sighs. He knows that although it's been really hard for him without Sirius, it's been harder for James, who has been desperately trying to replace Remus as his best friend. Needless to say, it's not working. Even Remus himself knows that he could never aspire to be like Sirius.
Remus hates playing Exploding Snap with James. James probably has the quickest reflexes of anyone in the school, and he has quiet the eye for quickly spotting whatever he's looking for. Remus figures he'd be a seeker if the position wasn't taken. As it is, he's quiet good with the position in a game played for fun. In any case, it's no wonder he's never lost a game of Exploding Snap.
"Fine," Remus says finally, more out of pity than an actual desire to win the game. "Now I'll never finish my essay on Golpalott's Third Law, and you'll never get to copy it, and neither of us will know how to brew antidotes to complex poisons."
"You just look the instructions up in one of those dusty books you always have lying about. Come on, let's play!"
Remus shakes his head as he slides onto the floor, silently summoning a pack of James' cards from the dormitory. He watches as the door opens and they soar through the air, landing between them.
"Nice," James says with a teasing grin, opening the deck. He reaches for his wand as the cards shuffle out in front of them.
Remus does not win. This is a bit of an understatement, actually. Remus loses badly. In the end, James has 21 pairs and Remus has 5. Remus' explode and singe the knees of his jeans.
"Why can't we just build houses with them or something? Why do you always insist on playing the real way?"
"Because I always win," James says, stretching out across the carpet in front of the fire.
"Yes. Well, my essay's over there," he says, nodding towards the chair where his books still sit. "I'm sure you're going to copy it. Have fun. I only got 9 inches. I'll bullshit the last one in the morning."
"Okay," James says. "You going to bed?"
"Yeah, I suppose so. I'm really tired tonight."
"Well, yeah, I would imagine so," James says. "Hogsmeade tomorrow night, right?"
Remus nods, his face impassive.
"Alright, mate," he answers, his eyes slipping closed. "See you tomorrow, then,"
"Okay," Remus says, standing up. "G'night."
He heads up to the dormitory, wondering idly if Sirius is up there. Part of him hopes so, while another does not. Things are complicated with Sirius, and they have been since the incident. Well, things aren't so much complicated as nonexistent. They haven't spoken since, really, except the morning after when Remus basically just told Sirius he wanted to be left alone, and Sirius had sulked out of the hospital wing.
When he opens the door, Sirius' bed is empty. His heart sinks and soars at once. At any rate, he figures he should just go to bed now, and he heads for the bathroom, pushing the door open tiredly.
"Shit," he says quickly as he sees Sirius, "Sorry," he answers, but he does not move to leave. Instead, he takes the scene in: Sirius, slumped against the front of the counter on the floor, face cold and eyes dead. This is how he has looked since the incident- almost a month and a half now. This is not what gets to him. No, it is Sirius' forearm in his lap. It has been sliced lengthwise, almost four inches. It is bleeding freely.
"Shit," Remus says again, his voice considerably shakier now. Sirius says nothing. Remus drops to his knees next to Sirius, and he pulls his wand out of his pocket. "Vulnera Sanentur," he says, his voice a pitch above normal. The blood clears and the wound heals enough to stop most of the bleeding. He repeats it again, and this time the skin seals up. "Fuck," he says, sliding down to sit next to Sirius. He looks up at him, and he is looking back, his eyes empty and unseeing. "Sirius," he says.
Sirius' eyes shut and he turns his head to face forward. He says nothing.
"Christ," Remus says. "Sirius, I..."
Sirius just shakes his head.
"Can we talk?"
"Please," Sirius says, opening his eyes. Remus has never seen such a vulnerable look.
"No," Remus says softly, "Come on, let's go inside." He pauses. "I'm sorry."
"Don't," Sirius croaks. "Don't be. You didn't..."
"I am, though," he says. "Come on." His hands are still shaking with the thought that this is Sirius. His Sirius, the one he used to crawl into bed with after James and Peter went to sleep, the one he used to kiss in the corner of the common room by the window when he was sure no one was looking, the one he spent several months of his life loving with everything in him until the incident.
And even after, he thinks. But that can't be helped.
Sirius gets up silently, and so does Remus.
"Are you okay?" Remus asks. Sirius just gives him a look. And no, he thinks, of course he is not okay. People do not slit their wrists open when they're okay.
"We can just lie down in my bed," Remus tells him gently, nudging him over towards it. Sirius lies down. He is considerably skinnier than the last time Remus really looked at him. He must not be eating, Remus thinks.
"I'm sorry," Sirius says.
"No," Remus answers. "I forgave you weeks ago, really. It's just... James didn't want me to talk to you still. He's... well, he's a stubborn idiot. I shouldn't have listened to him, it was just... easier to, I suppose. But if I'd known, of course..."
"I don't exactly want you to talk to me if you're only doing it so that you don't have to feel like you drove me to kill myself."
"Christ, Sirius," he says, his voice pained. "Of course not. I missed you, you idiot. A lot." He pauses, his eyes searching Sirius'. "Why?" he asks.
"Why? Well, it's not exactly fun to have your best friends ignore you for six weeks and still have to live with them."
"And it's not just..." Sirius looks away. "You know. Not just that. You and James and Pete are all I have. I mean, I never exactly cared for my lovely family," he says, his voice dripping with sarcasm, "But since I ran away... you know. I don't... I don't have anyone else. I sound like a nancy, but there."
"I would've... you know. If you told me just how much it was bothering you."
"That's bullshit. You knew it was bothering me."
"But I didn't know you wanted to kill yourself. I love you, Sirius. Don't be an idiot."
Sirius' eyes flicker for a second. "Well, you know. I love you too, but you didn't talk to me for six weeks because you thought I'd wanted you to kill Snape and be sent to Azkaban or... put down, or whatever they do."
"I didn't think you did it to get me in trouble," Remus says. "I thought you did it because you were being rash and irresponsible. And I was right."
"It was an accident."
"It wasn't- well, it wasn't premeditated or anything."
"It's just... six weeks. I thought you were never going to forgive me. I thought none of you were going to talk to me again."
"Do you really think we could just get rid of you like that? It doesn't work like that, Sirius. I think the four of us spent the last six weeks figuring that out."
"No," Remus says firmly. "No more of that."
"I am, though. So sorry about what happened, and then... I'm also sorry about tonight. That you saw that."
"I'm not. Listen, Sirius, no matter how pissed I am, or James is, at you, we don't want you to... to die."
Sirius shifts uncomfortably.
"Can you- Sirius, promise me you're not going to do that again."
"Yeah," he says. "Promise me you're not going to stop talking to me for that long again."
"Never again," Remus confirms. "Those were the worst six weeks of my life."
"You were bitten by a werewolf."
"The worst six weeks of my life," he restates, firmly.
Sirius' eyes seem to dance with joy. It is fleeting, however. "Are things... are they going to go back to normal with us?"
"Well, I assume James will grudgingly forgive you in the morning, but by lunch you'll be back to normal. Pete, of course, will forgive you if James does."
"No, I... I know James will forgive me if you do. I mean us."
"What do you mean?" Remus asks, his eyebrows creasing a bit. "Aren't we?" Sirius blushes a bit, and Remus recognizes this look. He immediately knows what Sirius means. "Oh, for Christ's sake," he says, and then he leans in to kiss Sirius. It is soft, and though it lasts about two seconds, it feels like forever. It's just a little peck, but Remus feels freer than he has in weeks. "Yes, of course," he answers.
"Okay," Sirius says now, grinning like an idiot.
"I love you," Remus says again. "And I want you around for a long time."
"This is starting to get sappy."
"Sorry," Remus says, and he feels like laughing, which is much better than the cold, empty feeling that slid into his stomach fifteen minutes ago, so he does.
"Something funny?" Sirius asks with a grin.
"Just... you know."
Sirius wiggles a bit closer, and Remus wraps his arms around him. He shuts his eyes contentedly. Remus thinks he could probably go a lifetime without seeing him and still know every nuance of his body language.
"Do you wanna go to bed?" he asks softly, slipping his hand under the back of Sirius' t-shirt. He traces circles on his skin with his thumb. "Or do you not want to go to classes tomorrow? I'd cover for you if you want. You could sleep in."
He shrugs without opening his eyes.
"You look tired."
"Yeah, but not the kind sleep will fix," he says, peeking one eye open to look at Remus. "If you come up and spend your free period with me."
"Of course," Remus answers, leaning across the few inches separating them to connect their lips. "What do we have tomorrow?"
"Transfiguration in the morning, I think," he says.
"McGonagall will probably just be glad we're talking again," he says with a joking smile.
"I'm sure she was worried about me. She loves me."
Remus laughs and shakes his head. "She does, though, really."
"Go to sleep," He tells Sirius with a smile, kissing him once more.
"Wake me up before you go in the morning. I wanna see you before you go."
He looks into Remus' eyes, and they understand, for a moment, how hard it was for both of them the past six weeks, how fake everything has been and how real everything is now, even when Remus is stepping so gingerly around the fact that he just witnessed Sirius' attempted suicide. There is a soft light of thanks in Sirius' eyes, and whether it is that he's not mentioning it or that he found him, Remus does not know. He hopes it is the latter.
"Night," Sirius says softly.
"Goodnight," Remus says, and then, "We don't usually say it, and I already said it twice tonight, but, you know, I love you."
"I know," he answers, smiling. "You too."
Remus moves closer, until their hips are touching and he can hear Sirius' breathing, and then he kisses him once more before leaning over to shut the lamp on his night stand.
Someone is saying his name. He is vaguely aware of this, yet he's more comfortable than he's been in so long. He just wants to sleep, really.
He peeks one eye open to find James standing by the side of the bed.
"It's, er, it's time to get up," he says.
Remus is careful not to wake Sirius as he sits up. This is quite the challenge, as they have tangled like weeds over the night, growing together until no part of him was not touching Sirius.
"And I think you, uh, might have a bit of something to tell me."
"Yeah," Remus says, rubbing his eyes. "Guess I do."
"'Slong as you didn't get anyone pregnant, I guess," he jokes, trying to lighten the mood, before turning back to his bed. He begins to dig through his trunk.
Remus' morning routine is both dulled and brightened by what last night meant. As he showers and brushes his teeth, he thinks about what he's going to say to James. He can't imagine trying to explain it.
"Come on, Remus," James' voice calls from the other side of the door. "We gotta go down to breakfast."
"Yeah," he answers, pulling his sweater over his button-up. "One sec," he answers, fixing his hair quickly in the foggy mirror before slipping back out into the dorm. Sirius is lying awake already, bleary-eyed, and Remus crouches down in front of him so they're at eye level.
"Hi," Sirius says.
"I'll be back in a little while," he says. "Be good while I'm gone," he adds jokingly.
"I'm just going back to sleep probably."
"Okay," he says, giving him a kiss. "I trust you."
Sirius' eyes sparkle briefly. "Yeah?"
"Yeah," he says, standing again. "See you in a bit," he says, smiling, and then he heads out into the common room with a bewildered James.
"What happened last night? I feel like I missed something."
"You, er, you did, I guess. He... really missed us."
"Yeah... he was really upset. I don't know if I should tell you. Maybe you should talk to him about it."
"You don't know if you should tell me? I'm his best friend," he says. His eyes are swimming with poorly masked pain.
"You haven't talked to him in a month and a half, James."
"Neither have you."
"But I've already forgiven him, and I don't think you have."
"What did he do?"
"He, um," Remus begins, and he pauses to scan the hall, making sure no one will be able to overhear. "He... tried to kill himself."
James stops in his tracks, his face paling. "That's not funny."
"Do I usually joke about suicide?"
"He... how? What did he do? Why?"
"He... you know, his wrist. He thought we were never going to talk to him again."
"Christ," James says. Remus has never seen him this pained before, and he feels both sympathetic and angry. "And you left him all alone up there?"
"He's not going to try it again."
"Is it worth the risk?"
"I'm sure he's not. You didn't see him last night."
"Somehow I think seeing him wouldn't have helped convince me."
"Go talk to him if you want. It'll probably make him feel better, actually. Just... you know. Be gentle."
"He's such a fucking idiot."
"That's, uh, not quite what I had in mind."
"No, but just..." He looks as if he wants to kick something. Remus knows that this is not too unlikely. "I love him," he says. "But he's a moron. Does he really think we want him dead?"
"I don't think he was doing it for us." He pauses, suddenly finding the grain of the wood floor very interesting. "He's really depressed. I don't think we made it any better. It'll be okay, though."
"Are you sure?"
James still does not look convinced. "I'm gonna go talk to him," he says softly. "Tell him I forgive him and stuff."
"What... what did you do? When you found him?"
"I used a healing spell," he says. "To close the cut, I mean. And then we kind of just went inside to lie down and talk. He felt a lot better after that. I told him that, well, you know, sappy stuff you'll probably make fun of me for and whatnot."
"Okay," he says. "I'm gonna go see how he is."
"Let me know," he says, and then they part ways.
James does not show up in the great hall until Remus is ready to leave for Transfiguration. He stops, though, and follows James back to the table.
"He's okay," James says.
"Well, he told me we were both kind of idiots, and I agreed, and then I asked him how he was feeling and he laughed at me and told me that half of us are already poofs, I can't be one too."
Remus grins. That sounds like his Sirius. "Good."
"He also said that he wanted to ask you if he could stay with you for a bit over the summer and meet your parents, but, you know, he also told me not to tell you because he wanted to ask you himself."
"Oh. Okay. Um... I have to talk to him about that. I... haven't told them. I don't think it'll be that big of a problem though. In comparison to my, you know, furry problem and whatnot."
"Okay," James says. "Think he'll be okay to come to Quidditch practice tonight?"
Remus finds it quite difficult to get through transfiguration. He has always cared too much about everything, but now he gives up. It doesn't matter whether he can turn his eyebrows purple or not, he thinks, not when Sirius is lying up in the dorms waiting for him.
More than once McGonagall asks if he is alright.
When the class is finally over, he doesn't even stop to tell James where he's going before he runs out of the classroom. Sirius is the only thing on his mind, and it takes all of his brainpower to scrape the password together and get it out of his mouth when the fat lady prompts him for it.
"Sirius," he says, even as he's jogging up the steps to the boy's dormitory. He opens the door and finds a pair of gray eyes looking at him. Sirius' soft smirk is enough to make his skin crawl.
"C'mere," Sirius says. "How was McGonagall?"
"Honestly, I don't know," he says. "I was just thinking about you." He walks over, slipping into his bed next to Sirius' warm body. "Sirius."
"I'm an idiot. Do you know that?"
"Oh, I'm well aware. Of course, I'm a bigger idiot. It's like we were made for each other."
"James told me you want to meet my parents," he says.
"I figured. I did tell him not to tell you."
"It's okay," he says. "I want you to too. I just... have to tell them."
"Tell them what?"
"That I'm gay and... everything."
"It'll be fine."
"You sure?" Sirius asks, reaching for his hand to give it a small squeeze.
"Mmh. James wants to know if you're up for Quidditch tonight."
"Yeah," he says. "Come watch?"
"You okay, love?"
"Mmh." He pauses, letting Sirius wrap an arm around him and pull him into his chest. "Love it when you call me that."
"Mmh." He glances up at him. "Haven't been called that in a month and a half."
"Stop. Let's not talk about that."
He smiles softly, nuzzling into Sirius' shoulder. "Mmh. Yes, I think we should nap instead."
"Good," Sirius says. "Couldn't quite fall asleep after you left, without you and all."
This was pointless fluff and it wasn't even very good and I also haven't even posted anything in forever
I have like at least four complete one-shots I haven't posted and like ten in progress stories (like 90% of these probably suck though)
I guess I'll post them
(this feels weird because I don't know any other writers/readers in this fandom yet)
Edit: Someone reviewed and said that Remus should've gone to a teacher because depression doesn't just go away like that, which I am 100% aware of and have had to learn myself through experience, and I understand that it's a little unrealistically easy and that Remus probably should've had some conflict about whether or not to tell someone, but, you know. Like I said, I haven't written anything in a while and I did say that this wasn't very good
but if you find someone attempting suicide you should definitely tell someone. I mean obviously. Things aren't ever going to be magically okay again.