1 stycznia 2010

[KP] toujours pur

He's always been good at pretending everything's perfectly fine, and honestly, most of the time he almost believed it himself. The world's okayest brother, original family dissapointment, but it's alright, kind of, sort of. So many times he has heard that he should know better, and maybe there's some truth to it. After all, he's an adult now, but being serious and responsible never seemed to be his cup of tea. There's still so much energy in him, so much anger. The world's a shitty place when you have so much everything inside you and not a slightest clue of how to pour it out.
There are days when he outwardly snarls at people. It's a funny sound, low and vibrating, making his throat itch and tickle in this weird way he can't really describe, but it works. Makes others back away cautiously. Bared teeth, nose wrinkled with anger, deep growl and you can almost see the big black dog lurking inside him, dangerously close to the surface.
It's easier, to be a dog. Less complicated. Less... problematic. Emotions are simpler on all fours, shallower, not so absorbing. Sometimes he's tempted to stay like this - shaggy, carefree, with occasional visits of flea herds and absolutely no problems whatsoever. But then he remembers James' jokes and Remus' little smile, and Peter's startled laugh when he finds a dirty, muddy Padfoot napping on his bed, and comes back, because really, how could he ever think of leaving them. They're his family after all. The only one he ever had.
Maybe it's hard to notice the way he's changing, ever so subtly, when you see the way he smirks to himself while entering places with the "no dogs allowed" signs on the door. When he giggles with James, talking about this one time they both tried to ask Albus Dumbledore out to the Yule Ball. When he tickles Lily and calls Remus Moonbeam instead of Moony. It's not that obvious, really, but you know what they say: the devil is in the deatils. And maybe details are the thing Sirius didn't really ever care about, because he's good at being okay, or at least seeming to be, even when nothing is okay at all. He has his friends, his motorcycle and his everlasting youthful charm, and if anything goes wrong, if his own thoughts become too much, if he just can't handle the guilt heaving in his stomach at a memory of smile on his baby brother's face anymore, well, the foggy moors will always welcome him with the morning's cold air and the scent of sunrise settling in his dark fur. Beware of the dog... he is very sarcastic.

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  1. Although he knew that joining the Order was a big decision, Remus made that decision without much hesitation. He listened to a lot of his friends talking about all the different career paths they wanted to pursue after school and lied, saying he wanted to become a Healer because his N.E.W.T.s would definitely enable him to do that. But what he really wanted was to help Dumbledore fight against someone and something he could only describe as pure evil. He felt that it was his duty and also his chance to become a better person. Well, a better werewolf, technically speaking.
    The members of the Order of the Phoenix, except for his friends and Albus Dumbledore, weren’t aware of his condition, but Lupin still felt that to really be on everyone else’s level, he had to be just a little bit better than them, had to somehow compensate for his lycantrophy. Even when people didn’t know about it, they seemed to have a hunch that something’s off about him. Maybe because he was trying to be normal a little bit too hard.
    But what really mattered was that he was trying, right? He was sitting there, again, listening to Dumbledore talking about the other side’s recent activities and trying his hardest to be helpful. James and Lily were to his left side, Sirius and Peter to his right, all extremely focused on Albus.
    I didn’t sound good. The attacks were more and more brutal, people were more and more scared and a lot of them joined Death Eaters. Remus felt something heavy sinking in his chest, reminding him that somewhere along those Death Eaters was Fenrir Greyback, probably ruining the lives of more innocent people. He couldn’t do anything about it, not really and it was an awful feeling.
    “It’s important to note that the Ministry of Magic will be able to assist with eliminating the threat-“ stated Dumbledore before he was cut off by a glowing light-blue gazelle rushing through the door. Everyone froze and held their breath, waiting for Dorcas’ patronus to talk.
    “Death Eaters attacked us outside the Leaky Cauldron. People are hurt. Send help, please,” was the whole message and then the gazelle disappeared.
    There was a short, quiet pause as everyone thought about what they've just heard and then people stared standing up and talking all at once. Lupin stood up, too, right after glancing at Sirius who was clearly ready to go, his wand already in his hand. It was their fourth... maybe even third meeting and something like this has never happened before. There was no time to waste, right? People, their people could be dying right now, the Death Eaters... a shiver run down Remus’ spine as he swallowed. It was really happening. He wasn’t excited, there was nothing to be excited about, but he also wasn’t scared. Not for himself. He chose his side as well as his possible end a long time ago.
    “We’ll all Apparate to the Leaky Cauldron,” said Albus loudly, with so much determination that everybody looked at him, agreeing silently. Moony could swear that for a brief moment, their eyes met and Dumbledore nodded. “Please focus, we don’t need any splinching,” he added.
    Please don’t die, thought Remus because he couldn’t say it out loud, glancing at his friends and smiling faintly when his eyes met with Sirius’. Members of the Order were gathering around Dumbledore, ready to follow his lead, still speaking, something about danger, glory and love but Lupin forced himself to only think of the Leaky Cauldron. After, all, it was his chance to finally be useful.

  2. He thought that he was ready for everything and anything they may encounter right outside The Leaky Cauldron but he was wrong. His feet barely touched the ground, and he had to duck three times before he was able to pull out his wand. Chaos prevailed, witches and wizards were screaming, and there was a cloud of heavy smoke hovering above everyone’s heads. It all felt suffocating.
    “Confringo!” shouted someone right next to him and Remus felt every little hair on the back of his neck stand up as he saw the orange, fire-like spark speed in his direction.
    “Protego!” he managed at the last possible moment, and the spell dissipated as soon as it hit his shield, forcing him to lurch backwards a little bit. “Bloody hell,” he mumbled, getting back in position.
    At that moment, with his wand in his hand and spells rolling off his tongue, he understood something very important. Death Eaters didn’t want to disarm them, didn’t really want to duel, they wanted to kill them. There was no Expelliarmus or Stupefy heard from their lips, or well, from behind their masks, just fire, explosions and pain as more and more people collapsed to the ground.
    Lupin was always quite good at defensive magic but his hand shook a little when he pointed his wand at the wall, under which two Death Eaters cornered Dorcas, and cast the Reductor Curse. The bricks, probably the whole sodding wall crumbled on them and Dorcas jumped aside, nodding at him from the distance.
    Remus didn’t know where his friends were, wanted to look for them, turned around and felt something graze his cheek as he did, a bright green light passing right by him. He swallowed a moan of pain and that was when he saw him. Severus Snape. He had the Death Eater mask on, but the hood was no longer on his head so his black, still slimy hair and even the way he moved were easy to recognize. Shit. Did this bloody fucking wanker just try to kill him?
    Everything happened so fast. Lupin felt a wave of anger wash over him and yes, he was angry before, the adrenaline running through his veins, but now it was something deeper. He wanted to growl at him like an animal he fucking was, wanted to do something truly awful because hell, it was war after all, but then James suddenly appeared right next to him, his hair a bigger mess than usual, a trickle of blood running down his cheek and his eyes glowing with excitement.
    “Fucking Snivellus!” he yelled, panting. “Should’ve killed you a long time ago!” He raised his wand and a bright red light shot out of the tip of it. Remus murmured an incantaiton to help him. Snape was fast enough to defend himself but he still fell back, hitting his head on the ground.
    “I’m gonna end his sad, miserable life right fucking now,” said Potter and Moony had no desire to stop him but something else did. They were all thrown backwards by a white sparkling light that suddenly appeared in the middle of the grey, crowded alley.
    Dumbledore, thought Lupin, squinting his eyes to see what was happening. But it wasn’t Dumbledore but Aurors materializing one after the other. They looked proud and honestly terrifying. After a short pause everyone started to jump right back up, the members of the Order of the Phoenix casting spells with some mysterious, newly found strength and their chances finally seemed to even out.
    Lupin fought to the best of his abilities. He lost James somewhere in-between cursing a Death Eater and being thrown by one right into a wall but out of the corner of his eye, he saw a glimpse of Lily’s red hair and then he somehow landed right at Sirius’ feet after trying to push back some dangerously speeding his way spell. He was truly exhausted, his breathing was heavy and his ears were ringing due to all the curses whizzing through the air but he didn’t stop, not for a second. And come to think of it, the only person he didn’t see anywhere was Peter. God, he hoped nothing bad happened to him.

  3. “Thanks,” mumbled Remus as he stood up. He wanted to say more but there really wasn’t time for that. Another spell almost hit him right in the face but he ducked and then responded with a curse of his own, now somehow standing back to back with Sirius and this felt safer. Safer than being alone, safer than not knowing if all of his friends are dead or not, just... better.
    They were clearly winning now. Death Eaters stared to disapparate one by one, leaving their wounded behind. As soon as the buzz of flying through the air spells and loud screams faded out, Lupin started to feel sad. Just... sad and worn-out. It was as if all the adrenaline suddenly left his body and all that was left of him was sore muscles and, somehow, blood on his hands. Why was there blood on his hands? He didn’t really know but it probably had something to do with this being thrown around by Death Eaters business.
    He was certain that he chose his side of the conflict wisely but still, witches and wizards lying on the ground, not moving, it just didn’t seem right, whoever they were. Sure, the Order of the Phoenix won the battle and it looked like Death Eaters lost more people than them but what about the war? They could still lose. This reality hit him hard and all at once.
    “Yeah, I’m fine, Pads,” he assured finally, returning his smile. At least he wasn’t alone. “And Prongs almost did show him how to do that. I- I honestly would’ve let him” he added, frowning a little. What did it say about Remus? Well, for one, he didn’t quite like the idea of being murdered and yes, now he held an even bigger grudge against Snape. Fuck that kid.
    The alley was almost completely quiet. Aurors were taking care of the dead or wounded Death Eaters, taking them somewhere and members of the Order were just helping each other in general. A thick, heavy cloud of smoke was now hovering closer and closer to the ground, forcing Moony to cough in an attempt to clear his throat. It didn’t work. The ashes left by the few, now put down, fires made his eyes water when he looked around to find his friends. Lily was holding onto James as he manoeuvred them inside, presumably to get some help with her injuries, and even Pete was finally there, crouching right next to some wounded guy. So he was fine too, all of his closest friends were fine, thank Merlin.
    Lupin sighed with relief and then he saw Dumbledore walking in his direction. He patted both him and Sirius on the back, visibly thankful for joining the fight and then encouraging them to go home shortly and rest while they still had the chance to do so. It sounded kinda disturbing, especially in his deep, wise voice but Lupin knew that Albus was right. At this point nothing was certain anymore.
    “We will, thank you, sir,” He nodded, watching him move to another person and then Moony’s gaze went right back to Sirius. Black looked like he could use a bath but they probably all did so it was fine. Besides that, Remus was just happy to see him standing and talking.
    “Are you okay?” he asked slowly, just to make sure. He laid a hand on Padfoot’s shoulder as he looked him up and down, trying to find some signs of an injury that needed immediate attention. “Do you want me to look at that?” He looked at Sirius’ hand still placed at his own side and guessed that was the problem. “I’m quite alright at healing spells, you know,”.
    Remus smiled, tilting his head to the side. If he could, he wanted to help and he really was alright, because well, he practised on himself after every particularly bad full moon for the longest time. They could also just go but Prongs, Lily and Wormtail were still here, helping, and he wanted to help, too. Taking part in the battle made him feel accomplished and proud in a way, it did, but it also made him question whether he could’ve done more.

  4. Remus wasn’t even surprised that Sirius didn’t want his help. Black was obviously above admitting that he needed it, which was sometimes kind of charming in that stubborn like hell way of his, although now was really no time to be stubborn. But since he seemed just fine and his injury could wait, well, they were free to lend a hand to their friends that needed it even more.
    “Fine, you’re right, we should go- ah, help the others. But I will check if you’re not actually dying and just trying to sweet-talk your way out of worrying me when we get home,” he said, looking at his friend with a raised eyebrow and almost a warning in his voice. He wasn’t exactly joking but wasn’t absolutely serious either. After what had just happened, he didn’t need any more heavy, sad feelings making their way through his mind. And he worried too much, anyways.
    “Also, you saved her, too. And me. And every other member of the Order, because we’re friends and we help each other,” Remus nodded, absolutely certain of every word. They were all a family now, right? Of course, he wished the battle didn’t even take place but since it did, maybe it brought them all closer together. Because they, unlike Death Eaters, didn’t leave anyone behind.
    “Okay, so let’s go inside. They probably really could use two extra pairs of hands,” he finally said, glancing at Padfoot to make sure they’re on the same page. Yeah, looked like it, even if they were a bit scared of what they’ll see. Or at least Lupin was but he wouldn’t admit it, not right now, he knew he had to be brave. He was a Gryffindor, after all.
    So he took a deep breath and they both went inside the pub. Everything was in ruins there, too. The smell was honestly awful, thanks to the broken bottles of alcohol. Broken pieces of wood were lying everywhere and some people were lying on the tables, surrounded by others that were casting healing spells and treating their wounds, trying to make them stay awake. But it all didn’t really look as horrifying as Remus imagined, the floor and walls weren’t covered in blood or anything... although to be fair, one of the walls was practically no longer there, probably thanks to one of the explosions.
    Lupin tried to look around and see if everyone was here, but since everybody present looked grey, dirty, and to be honest, quite sad, it wasn’t that easy. He didn’t even know how many people were here when the attack started.
    “Remus!” exclaimed Dorcas, suddenly appearing right in front of them. She sounded only a bit more hoarse than usual, no longer had her robe on and was wearing a particularly ugly, red sweater with the sleeves rolled up. Her long hair was messy and there was dirt all over her face and clothes but other than that, she looked fine. “Thank you,” She smiled and just hugged him so he obviously hugged her back and mumbled a rather weak welcome while Dorcas still had her hands joined behind his back. It felt nice and warm, like he finally did something good, but still, he just happened to see that she was in trouble and helped her because that’s what friends are for.
    “Thank you all for coming so fast,” she added and stepped away from him only to hug Sirius, too. And then she continued to talk. “Can you stay and help us? We- we’ve lost two people, as far as I know, one of my great friends, he wasn’t even- well, but others still need a good healing spell. Fucking Death Eaters like to literally play with fire, sick bastards,” she huffed, frowning and took a step back.
    “Of course we will,” said Remus, looking at Sirius to confirm that he’s staying, too. He really wanted to ask Dorcas who exactly died, his heart just sunk, suddenly extremely heavy in his chest when he heard her say lost two people but since she didn’t just tell them, he felt awkward asking. ”Just show us who needs help?”

  5. They separated – Sirius was helping with moving the rest of the wounded to the pub while Remus stayed inside. He knew that he could never really become a Healer, not when he was sick himself, but right now he was able to help nonetheless. Blood really didn’t bother him much, he saw a lot of it since he was a kid but it was rarely someone else’s blood so this aspect was quite new to him. He tried his hardest, though, just like he always did and the satisfaction he felt when people started to feel better thanks to him, was truly indescribable.
    He wasn’t perfect at casting the spells, left a few scars which could perhaps be avoided by a trained professional but no one complained about it. All of the injured were still quite sore and probably exhausted or in a little bit of a shock so one by one they were escorted to their homes where they could rest and heal completely by other members of the Order.
    At one point he briefly talked with James and Lily, just to be sure that they’re fine and they were so he came back to healing. Remus worked with his sleeves rolled up to the elbows and sweat dripping from his forehead and when he was finally done with helping the last wizard in need, he honestly felt drained and like he could pass out at any moment. Maybe he pushed himself too far but he was trying to prove a point – he was a valuable member of the Order of the Phoenix and he cared.
    People started to help with cleaning the Leaky Cauldron but at that point, Lupin just felt too tired to be of any use to them. Besides, there were older and more skilled in that type of spells wizards and witches and they knew exactly what to do to make this place look brand new.
    He wanted to find Sirius and ask him if he wanted to go home yet, but Sirius found and asked him that exact question him first, so Remus just nodded his head with a sigh.
    “Yeah, let’s just go” he agreed, preparing to Apparate and moments later they were both in their house... or, well, in Padfoot’s house, but Moony had understandable problems with finding his own place and now it was honestly the last thing on his mind.
    They were standing in the middle of the living room, breathing heavy, looking at each other and Lupin didn’t really know what to say. He felt overwhelmed. Everything looked the same, just as they left it but he knew that two people won’t go back home tonight, or tomorrow, or ever, and that realisation just hit him hard, again. They were so, so lucky to be alive.
    “You know what? I fucking hate war,” he simply said, glancing at Sirius. Remus coughed, trying to get rid of the dust and smoke he inhaled on the battlefield but it was no use. What he really wanted to do was to just plop down on the couch and curl up in a ball in an attempt of digesting today’s events. But he also knew that he desperately needed a shower to not feel so dirty anymore. The last time he felt so awful was after a particularly bad full moon and absolutely despised that feeling.
    “But we’ll win and it’ll all be worth it in the end, right?” he asked, not really expecting an answer and careful not to let the sadness show in his voice. Every war meant there’ll be casualties and they couldn’t do anything to change that. Remus just hoped that they’ll live to see their big victory.
    “I... I think I’m gonna go take a shower now because I bloody stink. And then... well, do you feel like having a drink? I sure do,” Moony raised an eyebrow, not even feeling guilty for the suggestion. They could use a drink, right? He was pretty sure he won’t be able to fall asleep without one anyway.

  6. “You know, I got used to your doggy smell a long time ago. I almost like it now, smells like home,” said Remus with a quiet chuckle under his breath. It was a lot easier to just cling onto that one funny, completely unimportant thing and ignore everything else that has just happened. So he did it. It felt close to normal now, just the two of them joking around and not casting curses on a big, awful battlefield.
    Sirius went to grab a drink for them while Remus sighed and headed straight to the bathroom. He took a shower and a shower was exactly what he needed. The dirty water disappearing down the drain left him feeling clean, fresh, and not as sore as he expected to be. He realised that got very lucky with the lack of major injuries, but he did almost die repeatedly, the time when Snape almost murdered him being the absolute bloody highlight of the whole battle. He honestly hated that Severus Snape really became a Death Eater and he hated him. What Lily must have felt was beyond him.
    He was deep in thought until Sirius called out from the living room.
    “Open the bourbon, Pads!” he yelled back, trying to outscream the sound of the showe. Well, he was okay with Firewhisky, sure, but he was even more okay with bourbon, which, funnily enough, he felt like Padfoot didn’t even pronounce entirely correctly. Things like that always amused him. Ever since he figured out that being a half-blood meant he could literally have the best of both worlds, he enjoyed his blood status a lot more. In school he and Lily would always tease Sirius and James about their lack of knowledge about muggle stuff and he still smiled when he thought about how fun it was. Also, his school days suddenly seemed surprisingly far away.
    When he finished showering, with a quick spell he grabbed some clean sweatpants and a t-shirt from the bedroom and went to the living room. Sirius had definitely heard him earlier because he already opened the bourbon and prepared two glasses. Great. Lupin didn’t even hesitate before joining him on the couch and stretching out his legs with just the tiniest protest from his sore muscles. The rest of the evening was really looking quite good now.
    “Thanks for waiting for me” he nodded his head with a smile, obviously referring to waiting with the drinking. He reached for a glass and it all honestly still felt a little surreal, a bit like a dream. Maybe the weight of the recent events hasn’t hit him fully yet. Since he wasn’t badly injured, just exhausted, it was a viable option.
    “Do you think that’s how it’s going to be from now on? Like, frequent battles and the constant threat of death? I mean, I didn’t enjoy fighting for my literal life and hell, people died, but at least we’re at doing something, right” he said, almost like a question. It wasn’t like he had imagined, not at all. He actually saw very little glory in what happened earlier and that was surprising for him. Perhaps it meant that he grew up at last or that he just wasn’t suited for war. If it was the latter then well, tough luck for him. He felt safe now, right in that moment, but not safe in general, which was a rather strange feeling.
    He wondered if Sirius thought that, too, but for some reason felt like he didn’t and had no idea what to do about that. He just hoped that with a little bit of alcohol, the conversation will go smoother and he’ll sleep better. Or well, sleep at all.

  7. Remus listened to what Sirius had to say and immediately looked at him as if he’d never seen him before in his life. He didn’t know why he was surprised since his friend basically just repeated exactly what he himself felt about this situation too, but it just... it sounded wrong, especially coming from him. He was Sirius let's go kick some Death Eaters' asses Black, for God’s sake, that wasn’t like him. Lupin could swear he felt his heart in his throat and it made it difficult to swallow or talk. So, to get rid of that lump, he downed his drink in just a few impressive gulps and waited for the alcohol to burn right through his worries. It didn’t exactly happen; he just felt more lightheaded all of a sudden.
    He desperately wanted to believe in what Sirius said next, that everything was going to be alright and they’ll all end up entirely happy and accomplished when the war will finally end, but they both knew that couldn’t really be the case, not like they’d hoped it would be. People already died.
    Remus bit his bottom lip, not even knowing what to say. He reached for the bottle of bourbon and poured himself a second glass, this time intending to not just chug it but actually contemplate the taste.
    “It’s okay. That’s not how I’d imagined it either, I- I hope you’re right, I want you to be right,” he murmured, his teeth clicking quietly against the edge of his glass when he took a sip. It was like he wanted to emphasize that he hoped for the best, sure, but was aware that it was all just wishful thinking.
    His eyes wandered around the room for a while and then rested on Black. Despite the change of clothes, Sirius still looked somewhat dirty and rough, his face a bit greyer than usual and it he had a bit of blood in his hair, too. If it was his or someone else’s, Remus couldn’t know. But he felt the need to reach for a strand of Sirius’ hair and tuck it behind his ear or just play with it or clean it, just do anything to somehow magically make everything better. It made no sense at all, but the need was there, he couldn’t do anything about it.
    “Sirius, I- I feel overwhelmed too,” he said, looking down. Even if the whole world was to change, they didn’t have to. Him, Sirius, James, Lily, and Peter, they could all count on each other, they weren’t alone. Right? His second drink was almost gone. “Scared, even,” he added hesitatingly and took a deep breath. It was hard to say, hard to get out of himself, but there, he said it. He didn’t feel ashamed of being scared, still had every intention of fighting until... well, until either the war or his life end. There was no other option.
    Then suddenly, a strange feeling overcame him. He realised that he could be dead right now. Sirius could be dead right now. And if that would be the case, some quiet voice in the back of his head started nagging at him, Pads would never know. He would never find out what Lupin felt for him, he would die and never ever know. Perhaps that was exactly how it should end. This couldn’t be the right moment to talk about it.
    “But listen,” he started again, placing his free hand on Sirius’ shoulder. Their eyes met and Remus smiled faintly but sincerely. Once more, he fought the urge to move his hand up, to his friend’s hair. It was odd. “We matter. It will all end well eventually, ‘cause the bad guys never win. Maybe some things will change, I dunno, but the difference between us and them is that we would die for each other and they would only die for themselves.” And I’d die for you even if it didn’t matter in the end, he wanted to add but he didn’t. He just nodded his head and sighed deeply.

    1. He didn’t believe what he said as strongly as he did just a few days ago but it still sounded right. It seemed it’ll be harder than he’d thought and the price may be higher than he’d imagined but still, they could win. But right here and now they just had to let themselves process it all. Remus already felt a little buzzed and when he looked at the glass in his hand with a slightly concerned look, he realised it was empty. Drinking his doubts away obviously wasn’t a good solution but it was a solution nonetheless. He leaned forward to pour himself another drink.

  8. There was no need to apologise, Remus actually appreciated that Sirius told him exactly what he thought at that moment. Now it didn’t seem like Lupin was all alone with this dark thoughts, he could calm himself down a little, knowing that it must be just a thing that happens after the first battle. Or after every battle... they’ll see, won’t they?
    “Don’t be sorry, I get it. I mean, I don’t really know what I feel either, I guess it’ll be best to just sleep on it,” said Remus, pouring himself and then Sirius a drink. The bottle of bourbon had significantly less bourbon in it now and when did that even happen, did they really drink that much that fast? Lupin didn’t really know and also didn’t really care so he just moved back to his previous place on the couch, comfortably sinking into the cushions. It was alright.
    He felt hot, like physically hot, all the blood in is body suddenly rushing to face, probably thanks to the alcohol doing its thing but also to Sirius’ remark about Dorcas. Yes, she liked him, just like she liked everyone else in the Order, there was nothing more to it. But Remus still smiled, trying to hide his sarcastic yeah right face behind his glass of alcohol. He obviously wasn’t very successful at it.
    “Well of course I would look cute with her! Everyone would look cute with her, she’s just that kind of a person, she’s great,” he muttered, taking another sip of the bourbon. “And I like her but not like that, she’s not my... type. And I’m sure I’m not her type either.”
    This time there was nothing that Remus could possibly hide his smile behind and he had to look like an absolute moron just then, amused by, as it would appear, absolutely nothing. The truth was, he was just laughing at himself, already thinking about Sirius possibly asking what is your type then? and simply answering him you. It would be so cute, so cheesy, wouldn’t it? Of course, he could never actually go through with it, not even as a joke ‘cause this wasn’t a joking matter to him at all, but his mind, clouded with alcohol, was cheering him on to do it, do it. Instead, he just drank more. And he knew that his friend was just teasing him, trying to make him think about something better, lighter than war and violence and death. It worked, kind of, but now Remus was thinking about what his type actually was, which was quite unsettling too. When they were still in school, he sometimes felt like Sirius was suggesting stuff to him but he always laughed right after, so Remus laughed too and that was pretty much it. Moony never had it in him to just go for it when it came to this, like a true brave Gryffindor probably should, so he just kept wondering.
    “Besides, I’m a werewolf. That’s like nobody’s type ever in the whole history of types. There’s just no way anyone’d want to-,” he started when he finished laughing, a tone of sarcasm still in his voice, but he cut himself off, not really wanting it to look like he was fishing for compliments all of the sudden or something.“You know. But it’s fine. And I’m drunk, Merlin, stop me from talking,” he shook his head with an amused smile.
    He knew that due to his condition, he didn’t have many options when it came to dating or working or... anything, really. Which was fine because he genuinely never even romantically considered anyone besides... He look over at Sirius. Yeah, well, him. He couldn’t help it. He used to think he just had a soft spot for Sirius, for whatever reason but it was something a lot more.
    He probably said too much already but he really was drunk. Maybe he had lower tolerance to alcohol than he thought or maybe it was just that bourbon was bloody strong and he downed like four or whatever drinks like it was pumpkin juice. The good news was, Sirius looked quite intoxicated too. His features were a bit more relaxed now and his eyes glowed pleasantly when he smiled; the drunk look suited him quite well, or so Remus thought, against his better judgement.

  9. For a while, Remus just stared at Sirius or, more specifically, at his finger pointing in his own direction. He raised an eyebrow, almost feeling defensive but his features quickly softened and he just smiled, taking a deep breath as Black went on. He really needed to hear all of that. Of course, in theory he knew that his friends were there for him, that it just didn’t matter much to them if he had this furry little problem every single month or not, but he needed a reminder once in a while. And, if he was to be completely honest, he didn’t care about anyone’s opinion besides Sirius’, James’, Lily’s and Pete’s. He was lucky to surround himself with people who accepted him and he never felt an urge to reveal his secret to anyone else. Not Dorcas, not anybody. It was just safer, more normal in a way if only a few people knew.
    If he could help it, he probably wouldn’t even admit that he was a werewolf to Padfoot, Prongs and Wormtail in the first place but they were way too clever and spent way too much time with him to not figure it out eventually. In retrospect, he was glad that his secret was now out amongst his friends, it made him feel closer to them.
    After years of listening to his parent’s please don’t talk with other kids about your condition and obsessing about someone finding out anyway and absolutely hating him for it, it was nice to find out it wasn’t true when it came to every single person he met. Lupin was always quite cautious when it came to any kind of social interactions and now he wasn’t sure if it came from his parents constantly training him to be like that or if it was just his personality. He didn’t mind either way.
    “You really think so,” he said, astonished. It wasn’t a question but he sounded a bit surprised, he really couldn’t help it; he was never good at looking at himself from someone else’s perspective and this was no exception. “Thank you. I think turning into a fairy once a month would be a lot less dangerous though. And a lot cuter too,” ha laughed.
    What Sirius said really meant the world to him but he knew he couldn’t get too sappy with this conversation. Especially when he was kind of wasted and had to really focus on what was and what wasn’t okay to say right now.
    “You know,” he started and then drank the rest of the bourbon in his glass. Probably a bad idea since he already felt hot and heavy from all this alcohol. Oh well. “You’re the best friend I could ever ask for. I mean it, Sirius. If anything... happens, I hope you’ll remember that,” he said seriously. He actually cared more about his friends than about himself so it was important to establish that. Whatever happens, he knew that would always be the case. He wanted to say even more but didn’t want it to sound like some sort of a goodbye. Merlin, he hoped it wasn’t but everything was possible and his drunk mind kept rushing him to just tell Sirius something or better, everything he wanted to tell him but never did. It just felt important.

  10. Remus had to bite down on his bottom lip to a point where it was almost painful just to prevent himself from saying something stupid or asking something even more stupid. Because... did Sirius really think he was cute or was it just all the alcohol talking? Would he say that while not being intoxicated? Probably not, anyone could be very lovely after a few drinks, after all, but for some reason, Black sounded like he meant it. And why was Lupin even worrying about it now? He wasn’t sure; he knew it won’t matter tomorrow or the day after that, so maybe he should just enjoy it for once.
    “Yeah, like you’re sober now, Sirius, very funny. I wanted to say get your ass up, but I’m afraid you’ll break something and I’m in absolutely no state to help you either. So thanks, I’ll just deal with the tail but secretly dream about the wings,” he chuckled, shaking his head with amusement. They’ve probably drank enough to have a hangover in the morning anyway.
    I’d do anything for you. Yes. Sirius really said that. And I’d do anything for you too and you’re so so far from terrible, oh Merlin, you’re so great, Remus wanted to reply. But he smiled, then turned to face his friend and immediately closed his mouth, not letting one word escape his lips. Suddenly, it all felt surreal and just a little bit inappropriate to say that. Was Sirius so close to him a minute ago or did he move closer just now? And did his smile always look like... that? For a moment, Moony felt like he was going mad sooner than he expected himself to do so. But then, he just blinked a few times and convinced himself that it wasn’t a big deal, he was just wasted and that’s why everything seemed different than usual. After all, he didn’t usually drink, not like that, just sitting in the house instead of going out with his friends to some party or whatever.
    “Well, I think it’s almost I’m-so-drunk-I’m-finally-ready-to-tell-you-that-I-love-you o’clock,” he thought to himself, staring straight at Sirius and it took him a couple of very long and painful seconds to realize that he actually said that out loud, that the words came out of his mouth in a casual manner and oh Merlin, why. Why. Yeah, that preventing himself from saying something stupid thing he was thinking about earlier? Clearly didn’t work at all.
    He was sure that the horror he felt after making that statement showed on his face and Sirius stared right back at him, not saying a word, and well, Lupin should probably just hand him another drink, and then one more or maybe Obliviate him at the spot because oh shit.
    “I-I meant-,” he tried to save it by laughing it off nervously but it didn’t even sound like a joke... or maybe it did? He was panicking. “I meant it’s so very awfully late that we should go to bed. Beds,” he clarified.
    The damage control he was trying to do wasn’t the best, sure, but maybe it was good enough to write that love comment off as a joke. Maybe Sirius didn’t take it so... well, seriously and Remus was just being really stupid for no reason because they obviously loved each other like friends or brothers or whatever, right? Right, yes, good. That was reassuring. He didn’t make it super awkward at all.

  11. During the last few weeks, Remus tried really hard to not act suspicious. He told Sirius that he was looking at different apartments to finally rent a place for himself, which wasn’t that hard to believe... but it also wasn’t true. In reality, he was sulking around the dark corners of Knockturn Alley in hopes of finding the potion. Wolfsbane Potion. Ever since he’s heard about it, he couldn’t stop thinking about how much easier it would make his whole life. Finally, the transformations wouldn’t such an unknown every month. So when some awfully odd and sketchy guy in an even more odd and sketchy alley told him that he’d sell him the potion behind Ministry’s back, Lupin agreed. He didn’t have any other options. He couldn’t take the official route because it would mean revealing his lycanthropy to the public, Potions was never his strongest suit and the ingredients were so expensive that he also couldn’t just brew the potion himself. Deep down, he knew it was wrong. But he did it anyway. He even paid the guy in advance, just to assure him that he’s serious about this transaction.
    And it all backfired on him quite spectacularly. Firstly, he felt really bad about lying to Sirius. Come to think of it, it may have been the first and only time he actually lied to him repeatedly. It exhausted him mentally and made him a bit jumpy and scared every time Black tried to have a serious talk with him. As a result of this, they didn’t talk much about the war and didn’t talk about Remus stupidly confessing his love while completely wasted on bourbon at all. He was still hoping that Sirius didn’t remember that part of the evening.
    Secondly, he was a moron. A total and absolute moron. He was so focused on getting the bloody potion, he let a lot of suspicious things about this seller slip right past him. And now another one of the meetings of the Order was disrupted by an attack nearby and they had to Apparated to the location right outside Diagon Alley. When Remus did that too, ready to fight, he could swear his heart was up in his throat, ready to jump out. It was another battle, looked like it had just started this time, there was quite significantly more people, it looked like the Death Eaters were winning and members of the Order run to help when they arrived. But Remus couldn’t. Some of the Death Eaters had their masks already cursed off and one of them was the guy he was buying Wolfsbane Potion from. He was supposed to go collect that bloody thing from him tomorrow and start taking it immediately. Lupin honestly felt like crying and the guy just looked at him and smiled. The creep smiled. It looked hideous. Remus felt like everyone was staring at him, like he could differentiate Sirius’ gaze fixed on him from all the other gazes and he was afraid to turn around, afraid to look back or to his side, afraid to do anything. How could he be so stupid? What was he even thinking, almost making a deal with the literal enemy? It just hit him that he’d probably die a very slow and painful death if he actually drank that potion which would most definitely not be Wolfsbane Potion and he almost wished he did exactly that. Fuck.
    He didn’t know what to do so he obviously did the worst thing imaginable. He shut his eyes tightly and Apparated to the opposite end of the group of fighting wizards. He wanted to take part in the battle away from Sirius, James, Peter and Lily, felt like he didn’t deserve them and well, he honestly wanted to disappear altogether, but he didn’t, the sense of duty keeping him in place. Besides, he still really wanted to help, maybe even more than before because now he felt like he had to make up his stupidity to everyone, even if everyone didn’t know about his stupidity.

    1. He was practically unable to concentrate now, some red-looking spell almost hit him as soon as his feet touched the ground but it didn’t matter. He stopped thinking, he just acted, pointed his wand at Death Eaters and screamed the first nasty spell that came to mind but wasn’t unforgivable. Which was quite dangerous but hell, at that moment he couldn’t care less about his own well-being. There was no time to dwell on his mistake, either, so he just refused to think about it until he absolutely had to. And if he’d die right here and now, he thought, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

  12. Remus gave it everything he had but they still lost the battle. It was horrible. A lot of people were injured, and badly, some to the point of nearly dying and it terrified him. He couldn’t shake the feeling that it was somehow all his fault, that he gave that creepy Death Eater guy some important information without even realising it, that it was now all over, said and done. Because it must’ve been obvious that he wanted the potion for himself, right? So now the other side knew he was a werewolf. And they could do anything with that knowledge. They could tell the Ministry, they could tell the press, they could possibly blackmail him with it. And Lupin, well, he couldn’t do shit about it now.
    His own injuries weren’t that bad. He felt like he sprained his ankle or did something else to his right foot while trying to fight off one of the Death Eaters, but other than that, Remus was fine. Well, fine physically. Mentally, he was a mess. When he finally Apparated to the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, with close-to-unconscious Benjy gripping onto his shoulder for dear life, he saw people running back and forth. Everyone was already busy with something or rushing somewhere so Lupin took it upon himself to help his friend by himself. He opened the nearest door with his left foot and went inside. There were already a few people inside, healing others so they fit right in.
    Remus temporarily put all of his energy into helping Benjy. Fenwick was hit with some rather nasty curse but luckily it wasn’t completely irreversible. It took a lot of Lupin to truly be able to help but he felt like he absolutely had to do it all by himself, had to make this one thing right. It kept his mind occupied for a good fifteen minutes.
    And then, when he was practically done, Benjy was finally smiling at him faintly, and the other people in the room were doing better too, someone burst through the door. Remus looked up and saw Sirius. A cold shiver ran down his spine and he was glad he was already kneeling on the floor because if he wasn’t, he certainly would be kneeling now, after seeing the look on Black’s face.
    All of this distracting himself and focusing on helping at least one person suddenly stopped working. It all went to shit, honestly. Unbelievable guilt flooded his mind and made his throat go completely dry so when he opened his mouth, not one word came out at first. What did Sirius think of him now? Did he somehow figure it all out, did he know how careless Remus was? Was he disappointed? He sure as hell looked disappointed. And angry. Furious, even.
    “Sirius,” he managed at last, his voice trembling and his eyes incredibly wide, like he was just caught red-handed. And he kind of was, literally, because his palms were red with blood. He felt like crying but he didn’t. Not yet. “Sirius, I’m not... listen, I’m so glad you’re okay,” he murmured breathlessly, all choked up.
    It was true. He didn’t know if the rest of his friends was fine or if they were even alive. He just assumed they were, because they couldn’t possibly die, could they? Not now, not never, they were too good for all of this. Too good for the war. Remus, on the other hand, put them all in danger. It was truly pitiful, he knew that, but he felt bad, just didn’t know the words to express the depth of how sorry he really was.
    “What about James, and Lily, and Peter? Did you see them? Are they okay?” he asked, looking down and trying to think about anything other than the reality of the situation.

  13. It was bad. All of it, all of what just happened. The situation looked awful and although Remus didn’t know what Sirius was thinking, not exactly, he could take a good heartbreaking guess. He felt like blood left his face entirely and he was just kneeling there, pale and shaking a little because he didn’t know what to do next. He kept opening and closing his mouth after hearing what Black had to say, wanting to say something to defend himself but also to just apologise profusely and it that moment, nothing made sense.
    What did you won’t stay here a minute longer even mean? Lupin felt a lump growing in his throat and he knew better than to make a scene right in the middle of the headquarters of the Order so he just painfully swallowed all possible explanations and stood up. Sirius looked like he was ready to tear him to pieces, in the worst way imaginable and it was greatly disturbing. He was smiling but there was nothing happy about that smile and all the muscles in his jaw and well, his entire body, seemed so tense that it actually scared Remus a bit. He was certain it was the first time ever Sirius looked like that at him. Lupin also didn’t believe that Black had no idea about the well-being of their friends but he had to let it go. For now. They did really have to go home and finally talk, didn’t, they?
    “Fine,” he murmured weakly, not wanting to fight right here and there. Not wanting to fight at all, actually. He took a deep breath and reached for Sirius, just out of habit, to touch him and Disapparate together. But his friend took a step back and Remus couldn’t do anything about it. Except for glancing at him with a deeply hurt expression about which Padfoot probably didn’t care anyway. “Fine,” he repeated, crossing his arms. “Let’s go separately.”
    And they did. As they Disapparated, Remus avoided looking at anyone else in the room, scared to know what they might have been thinking and a few seconds and a familiar tug in his belly later, he was in his house. Their house. Sirius’ house, actually. Speaking of which, Sirius was already there and somehow he looked even more furious than before. A cold shiver ran down Lupin’s spine and he knew that there was no time to waste. He had to come clean.
    It was all his fault, this whole situation and now his best friend hated him and when Sirius was mad, calm discussions were never a possibility... but Remus had to try anyway. He had to. Because he almost betrayed them and he did it all accidentally which sounded like the shittiest excuse ever but well, it was the truth. Oh Merlin, what a moron he was.
    “Sirius. I don’t know what you think is happening right now but it’s not- it’s not true, not really. I- Listen, I fucked up but you have to let me explain myself, I can explain everything, let me, please?” he said immediately, or maybe pleaded would be a better word here. He didn’t even know where to begin and maybe he shouldn’t say anything at all, seeing how Black looked at him like he was the filthiest fucking thing he’s ever seen. It melted his courage away but Remus could never leave it like this. He just wanted Sirius to agree to listen, that’s all.

  14. Remus could feel the cold, freezing panic raising in his gut, making him pretty much unable to speak. He couldn't even swallow, it felt like his throat was closing up and for a moment, he was ready to just die right there, right now. Because the realisation that it didn’t really matter what he was about to say, that it'd all be just a pathetic excuse in Sirius' eyes, just dawned on him. To say that Sirius' words hurt him would be an enormous understatement. Remus could feel the venom in the traitor and Deatheater dig deep into his skin, right through the muscle, until it hit the bare bone. He felt like what he has just done was irreversible and the distasteful look in Sirius’ eyes confirmed it. He wanted to scream but just clenched his teeth instead, looking for the right words... or any words, really. This... might have been the worst he has ever felt. Could that be how the Dementor’s kiss felt like? Painful, sad, but mostly just empty, like everything was done now? He wouldn't know but that was how he imagined it.
    Remus wasn’t guilty, not really, but that didn’t matter anymore. He couldn't even look Sirius in the eye, the disdain radiating from him was too much to handle. Sirius has never looked at him like that before, just like he looked at the worst of the worst, at the absolute scam of the wizarding world.
    “I am not any of those things,” he tried to sound certain but he didn’t, he just sounded small and hesitant, like he didn’t even believe himself anymore. Well, maybe he didn’t. Inadvertently, he took a step back, trying to feel less helpless. “You just don’t understand what happened, I was trying to do something nice, I wanted to help us all, it seemed like such a good idea,” he added, shaking his head. It was hard, to just put it into words without it all sounding like the fakest, laziest explanation out there.
    It was all very painful. Of course, Black has always been impulsive and passionate and Remus has always loved that about him but right now it was the worst set of traits that anyone could have. Because it wasn’t fair to not listen to your best friend of ten fucking years. Lupin would actually listen to him if the situation was reversed. Of course he would.
    Suddenly, it made him really mad to think about it. Maybe Sirius just didn’t care that much in the first place? Maybe he een expected Remus to join the Deatheaters since he was a monster after all? Yes? Was that it? Was that bloody it?
    “Oh fuck it all. And why would you just assume straight away that I betrayed you, after everything that happened, you know me, Sirius. I thought we were friends, the least you could do is to not just throw me on the scrap heap before hearing me out!”
    Okay, he was mad now. And sad. He was everything all at once, breathing heavy, close to tears and almost certain that Sirius is going to punch him in his damn face soon if it continues like this. He couldn’t control it, though, he was on a very emotionally confusing rollercoaster and the ride was far from over.
    “I would never do anything to intentionally hurt anyone from the Order or just our friends in general, and if you think I would, well, maybe you don’t know me after all,” he said coldly but his voice was still somewhat shaky. Well, at this point, what more could he do? He had no idea how to approach this situation, so he considered like three different methods already, and he just felt like he was drifting further and further away from making it okay again. Maybe okay was not even an option anymore.

  15. There was a moment when Remus thought that maybe, just maybe, he’ll be able to covey exactly what he meant, that’s he’ll explain himself sufficiently and perhaps Sirius will be angry at him for making stupid decisions but not “becoming a Deatheater” level of stupid decisions... but all of that turned out to just be wishful thinking. Actually, it turned out way worse than he imagined it will.
    Sirius hit him. Lupin didn’t even fully register that fact straight away; he saw the man’s fist landing in-between his eyes and something in his nose crunched painfully but for a few dreadfully long seconds that still didn’t translate to him as Black actually hitting him in the face. And after it finally did, Remus almost hit him back. He tensed up, clenched his fists and was already aiming at his roommate’s face in an instinctual, almost animalistic reaction of hurting him right back. But he didn’t, he didn’t do that, he controlled himself with all that he had. Because if there was just one thing he could pride himself in, it was the hard-earned self-control he acquired by years of practise, and scars, and fails, and some more scars.
    So he bit his lip practically to the point of breaking the skin, took a step back and tried very hard not to look at Sirius, to avoid the hatred and disappointment in his eyes. It was all alright and understandable, decided Remus suddenly, because he hated himself too. Probably more than anyone else could ever hate him.
    “I would never betray you,” he said, plainly and flatly, without the desperation in his voice from just a moment ago. That was it, that was all he could think of saying.
    He was aware that it didn’t fix anything and might have just made Black more furious if anything, no matter how true the statement was, so Lupin just turned around and quickly went out of the door, just like Sirius wanted him to. It almost physically hurt him to do it but he went away. It was all for the best, he thought.
    Remus had this awful, sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach, something that was telling him that this time he really fucked up and there was not much he could do about it. He knew he could afford a few nights in a hotel but it couldn’t be the best option for him and his mental state at the moment; he needed his friends. And if Sirius, always his first choice, no longer fit that category, so be it, he needed someone else. He was afraid of what he might do if he would be alone now. And that’s why, with all of these self-deprecating thoughts and self-hatred still spinning in his mind, he somehow made it to James’ and Lily’s doorstep. He was terrified but he needed them.
    The next few hours were kind of a blur. They let him in, and sat him down in the living room, and Remus really couldn’t sit in silence for too long so he just broke down and told them everything. Everything, right from the moment he learned what the Wolfsbane potion was, how he wanted to make his transitions easier for everybody, how he hated being a burden to them, how he probably almost unintentionally killed them all by trusting some shady guy from a back alley, how it was all his fault and Sirius hated him now. It felt good to get it all out and to have people who listened but at the same time it still felt unbelievably heavy because even James and Lily, although they said they understand, didn’t seem to agree that everything bad that happened was Remus’ fault and even let him stay for as long as he needed, they still knew now. They knew how pathetic he actually was.

  16. Remus was sure that it was over. Everything, everything was justover. He could feel it deep within himself, somewhere low in the pit of his stomach, and even beneath all of this stress and nervousness and self-hatred, he was just so soso fucking devastated because he felt like he lost Sirius. Would he just… never see him again after today? Was Sirius punching him in face meant to be their last interaction ever? That’d be quite ironic, considering that Remus was the actual monster here. Maybe he should have punched him back. Maybe… but he couldn’t.
    Lily and James sat with him for a long time, they listened and even tried to make him feel better. He saw it coming from Lily, since she was always just a good person, always empathetic and it took a lot for her to judge someone, especially her friends. But James, his behaviour was a little more unusual, as he actually looked as if he felt guilty after hearing the story about the Wolfsbane and Death Eaters, as if Remus’ stupidity was somehow not only his own damn fault. James told him they’ll make it better and Lily tried to take his mind off of it all by making him some tea and giving him some muggle books she apparently just had laying around to look through. Lupin was grateful for that but it wasn’t really helping. He didn’t even touch the chocolate Lily left for him on the table. He knew he didn’t deserve it.
    Masochistically, Remus’ mind kept wandering back to Sirius’ words and, even more importantly, to the look on his face. No one has ever looked at him quite like that before, like he was just something disgusting stuck to the bottom of their shoe and they needed to get rid of it immediately. He kept replaying the last few hours in his mind, looking for the exact moment that ruined his life. Was it the second he decided to buy the Wolfsbane potion? Or was it when the Death Eaters attacked? Or when Sirius noticed the look on his face on that battlefield? It must have been one of those three. And if the first one never happened, the others wouldn’t either. He fucked up.
    He was so deep in thought that, funnily enough, he felt like he could actually hear Sirius complaining, putting him down, and he could almost feel his furious stare on himself. Almost… and then he actually looked up and there he was, his ex best friend, standing in James’ and Lily’s living room door, his gaze fixed on Remus with a mix of surprise and anger.
    For a little bit Lupin just stared back, his mouth slightly open, his eyebrows raised. He swallowed hard but there was already a lump in his throat. Yes. Yes, of course, why wouldn’t Sirius also want some support from his remaining friends?
    “Oh, good,” said Lily suddenly and everyone looked at her at once. “Sirius,” she said, like a statement, like she was just about to prove a point. “Yes, come in, please. Sit down, make yourself at home. You should hear what Remus has to say. I insist.” She stated, clearly a bit unsure but she looked Sirius straight in the eye and Remus immediately looked away, not wanting to get his hopes up. He was preparing for the sound of the door being slammed shut or for the feeling of being punched again any moment now but that never happen.
    Instead, he saw James standing in the door, probably to make it harder for Sirius to turn back and leave and he also saw Lily standing with her arms crossed, looking possibly way more serious than he had ever seen her. For a moment, everyone fell silent and Remus needed a whole minute to figure out that the deep, loud breathing was coming from his own lungs.
    You are not getting out of here until you two make up,” announced James, looking at Sirius and then at Remus expectantly.
    Lupin was grateful for his friends’ help but now he just felt pressured and grossly hopeful. He finally looked at Black, as if he needed some sort of sign from him.