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Chapter 4 : Full Moons
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Sunsets were the only thing beautiful about the world in my opinion. Why? Well, because the idea that even something like the sun, as great as it is, as brightly as it shines, can’t be constant. Everyone knows that day eventually turns into night, that the sun is eventually drawn below the horizon in a spectacle of beautiful pinks, oranges and purples, just to have the moon take over for the night shift.
It made me feel less worthless at times when I falter; times when I have to stop being my character, stop acting, and just be with my emotions openly. It makes me feel human, and makes me feel like that’s ok. That not being constant was acceptable, at least for a little while.
But of course, just like the moon dims compared to the burning brightness of the sun, when I put my shining glory of a character to bed, my emotions are shadows. I hate the moon for this reason. Hated the moon for representing the evil inside me that I have trouble living with.
I also hate it because of the look he gets in his eyes when he sees it.
I guess it’s really not the moons fault. All it’s trying to do is reflect its beautiful face to break up the endless darkness of night. It doesn’t realize that when it shines its full face it starts more than a new lunar cycle of its own.
“Full moon tomorrow.” He said, a whisper carried on his breath, slightly visible in the chilled night air of late autumn. If it wasn’t so still, so quiet, I would have never heard him. He said it as if to himself, but the air was thin tonight. I was sure that the entire grounds could have heard that whisper, emitted from the astronomy tower like a beacon from a lighthouse.
“The Calendar says it’s scheduled for Saturday.” I replied, trying to be polite in my correction, even though I knew that he was never mistaken about the day. It was wrong to want to give him the hope of having one more day, but I always tried.
“Calendars are wrong sometimes.” That’s all he had to say to imply what I knew. Remus had been living with the cycles of the moon all his life. He knew them like a good friend, like a brother.
I wondered if his relationship with the moon was similar to mine with Regulus. Tense at time, but in the end, the bond was necessary to both parties. I knew that’s how it was, simply because every time Remus looked at the moon, I saw the familiar emotions run through his brown eyes.
Even though when he looked at it I could see the hate and the pain in his eyes, I knew that it was only towards himself. I knew he was only upset at his own misfortune, and his hard gaze would often soften while starring at the pale whiteness of the lunar planet, forgiving her for having to be associated with his worst time of the month.
Of course, I hated the moon because of its innocence. If it only held more responsibly for his change, then Remus could have something to blame it on without feeling guilt towards himself for blaming.
Those brown eyes caught mine and I went to turn my gaze down, but couldn’t once they had me in their sights, simply because of the look in them now. For the split second before he blinked, Remus was begging me for salvation, and the look tore a fissure in my heart, for the only thing he ever asked me for help with, is the one thing I was incapable of relieving him of. He knew the irrationality of that request, and before I even had time to really react, he had blinked and the look was gone. He simply looked peaceful again, the white light of the moon making his skin pale white in its shine, highlighting that scar at his eye.
Tonight was his last night of looking well. Tomorrow he would deteriorate into the looks of a mild cold, and then the moon would shine.
“Thanks for coming out with me tonight. I... I didn’t want to be alone.” He didn’t smile, because this was no time for jokes, but his eyes did shine my way with appreciation. In the distance an owl hooted, filling the silence between his words and my response.
“Don’t thank me. I understand.” I replied, wishing he could only know how well I understood. When I was with others I longed to be alone, but the moment I was I always regretted it. The corners of my mind where places best left vacant, I had learned. If he only knew how much of a favour he was doing me by requesting I be with him. If he only knew the horrible things I had been thinking about filling my night with before he asked for company.
The pain. The sadness. The frustration. Ripping at my inside, my throat tight and my eyes burning even though the darkness should be soothing, calming. I could hear my breathing, heavy in my head even though I knew it wasn’t louder than normal. And my heart, racing, pumping against my chest.
It was so dark in our dorms at night, like I was alone in my head, no difference from when I had my eyes opened to when I closed them. I blinked over and over, hoping that at least once when I opened my eyes I would see, to prove that I wasn’t blind.
I wasn’t blind, there was just nothing to see in my head. Just things to hear.
The room so quiet, their screams intensified, I couldn’t ignore. Throbbing in my head, the pain in my skull, yelling, pounding, yearning for red. I stayed still, silent, forcing my breath steady.
Salty liquid escapes from the corner of my tightly shut eyes, searing my skin when it cools as it dries, my weakness concentrated in a drop, written on my face in a trail of wetness.
I turned over and shoved my hand into my pillowcase until my fingers wrapped around the familiar object, knife cool to the touch, demons cooing when they knew I was obliging.
“Sirius. ” His voice in the shadows, breaking through my foggy mind easily, my lips sighing as I heard silence instead of yells this time. My fingers released the knife.
“You’re awake.” His tone was thankful.
“Yeah.” I forced mine to be sleepy, even though I was thankful also.
“Want to go for a walk?”
“I know I hide it well, but sometimes...” He wasn’t looking at me anymore, but off into the distance, into space, or into the areas of his own mind. He sighed and closed his eyes, and I watched the smallest chill flow over his skin and down his spine as he breathed, rippling his skin with gooseflesh.
“Sometimes I’m so scared I can hardly function.” A confession on his exhale, another barely heard comment. The silence was filled with the scrape of his shoes on the stone floor as he pulled his knees up to his chest and hugged them, teeth gnawing on his lip.
“It’s probably the only thing you’re good at hiding.” I replied, agreeing in my own cryptic way. He scoffed out a small laugh and I smiled faintly, before moving myself slightly closer. I watched to see if he tensed at all, but he allowed the movement without objection.
“Why are you so scared of what you are?” I questioned, following his lead by pulling my knees up too, resting my head sideways on them so I could watch him talk. The silence deafened me once more as I watched him think, gather his thoughts, knowing that there must be a lot of them, and to sift through them all to paraphrase for me would take a few moments.
“I’m scared of not being me. I’m scared of waking up from it every time not knowing what happened, not knowing where I am or how I got there. I’m scared of relying on you and James and Peter to keep me safe, that you will all get hurt to keep me unharmed. And I’m scared of being different.” I caught him close his eyes when they glossed, his lips falling open slightly. There was a twitch of a smile on them, which I was pretty sure was in disbelief. Or perhaps a sadistic humour he found at himself for his embarrassing confession.
Only I envied him completely for having the nerve to confess. If only I was as strong as him.
My hand touched over my forearm absentmindedly, and I realized that I could feel the scars through the cotton of my shirt, wondering if someone else would notice if they ever touched me.
“Something is different with you though.” I was startled for a moment, forgetting that I wasn’t alone, leading to me tugging slightly at my sleeve to bring it further down over my hand before turning my attention back to him.
“Sometimes it’s like James and Peter are always being cautious around me, and it makes me aware off how different I am, of what I’m hiding, how truly alone I am at this school. But when you’re around it’s like it’s ok for me to, be. I’m not as scared with you around. I don’t feel so alone.” I couldn’t help but smile slightly at his words, because it only meant that I wasn’t crazy in feeling the same way.
I felt safe from my own mind when he was near me.
I turned away from him, not being able to stand the beautiful smile he had in his eyes as he looked to the sky. I leaned back on my hands for the simple need to change positions, only to be startled when his body was suddenly next to mine and his head was leaned on my shoulder.
I tensed slightly in surprise, and he felt it through me, his hand gripping my forearm quickly to keep me from moving as he turned his head towards me. All I could do was hope he wouldn’t notice them, wouldn’t feel my secrets on my forearm hidden under cotton, with his hand firm around my arm.
“Just let me stay here for a second. Please.” His request was warm on my neck, sending a chill down my spine as I nodded in surrender and he settled his head back in its previous position, his grip slipping from my arm and returning to resting on his knees in front of him. I forgot why I had been so nervous about him touching me when I realized how disappointed I was that his hand left.
His body was warm and his smell was overwhelming, wilder then the last time I had noticed, making me want to nudge my nose into the crook of his neck and inhale him deeply. Instead I simply tried to keep my breathing level with his, and hoped he couldn’t hear my heartbeat through the still silence, or hear the awakening demons in my head.
They didn’t scream this time like they had before, the time that we had decided to forget had happened, yelling to me my desire to be closer then we had been. Urging me to soak up his scent till it became part of my memories and taste him out of curiosity, to know if that wildness was more concentrated on his thin lips.
They simply purred tonight.
I didn’t ask him why. I knew that it was simply for comfort, for the touch of another human, which everyone needed yet he rarely got because of his desire to protect the world from himself. And I knew that he choose me because I wouldn’t ask questions. I never did, because I felt it wasn’t my right to pry. I would be told if it was necessary for me to know.
Instead I simply let myself enjoy the surprising comfort that wash over me as well. And didn’t ask questions. Questions would only ruin it.
I was always happy when a full moon happened during a weekend. It meant that we didn’t have to leave Remus alone in his transformed state.
Often we would have to leave so that we didn’t miss school. That was Dumbledore’s rule. Remus was allowed to miss days, as long as he worked hard to catch up, considering it was his problem. But he wasn’t allowed to let us share the burden with him. Therefore he always insisted before he transformed that we always leave him at midnight, so that we could sleep and go to school the next day.
But on the weekends we could stay and take care of him, right up until he returned to us at dawn, when he would have just enough energy to pull on a pair of boxers before falling asleep on one of the four spare mattresses that we had set up side by side for us all in the Shrieking Shack.
I could never sleep on nights like this. Not when we had stayed up until dawn to make sure he was alright. And not when I was lying next to him, the warm morning light shining over the shape of the boy I had missed for the night. Not when I was holding back every moment from reaching out and tracing the long white scars on his back and ribs, in fear of waking him and having to pull away. Not when there was the possibility that he could wake up before me, and be alone in his consciousness.
A night’s sleep is a small price to pay in my opinion.
I sighed, taking a last glance at the seemingly dead werewolf boy before rising and grabbing the shirt I had taken with me, a black cotton long sleeve that I pulled over my head and gratefully accepted it’s warmth and cover of my own scars that I didn’t admire a fraction as much as I did Remus’.
It was so quiet, but differently from the other night. It was a peaceful quiet, no hidden thoughts of despise at myself or yells from the depths of my mind. My worry for Remus completely distracted me. It was wrong for me to love this time of the month, I knew it was. It was selfish and contradicting and completely inappropriate, but I still loved it. During a full moon was the only time that my mind was fully focus on him and not myself. And after he was back was the only time I was completely at ease, allowing myself to enjoy his return to the fullest. With no interruptions.
I rubbed a hand through my hair, glancing out the window to judge the time, around noon I would say, then over the shapes of Peter and James, just as dead to the world as Remus was. We had had a full night. I could sleep deep like them too if I let myself.
“Sirius.” I turned back from James and Peter when I heard his voice at my other side, smiling when I saw his eyes opened, still half asleep but opened enough for me to see the brilliant color of them. Like always right after a full moon, they kept gold in them from the transformation, making them piercingly gorgeous. It didn’t matter that he had no color to his skin or that his eyes were rimmed with dark circles. All that mattered was that brilliant color staring at me.
“Why are you awake already?” I asked, although was happy to have conversation nonetheless.
“I can never sleep for very long afterwards.” He explained, leaving it there. I was glad he didn’t pry about why I was already awake. I guess he had already asked so many times that he was sick of getting the same old ‘just couldn’t sleep anymore’ response.
He moved to get up, but groaned loudly and fell back down on his chest. I chuckled.
“Your muscles are probably a little tight from last night.” I explained.
“What happened?” the question was muttered through the fabric of his pillow, his face buried in it to block out the sun, meaning he didn’t see me move as I acted on one of the thoughts that jumped into my mind as an excuse to be closer to him.
“Let’s just say, you played us out.” I smiled at my nicely put way of forgiving him for how violent he had been during his transformation, before I flanked his lower back gently. He lifted his head off the pillow slightly in surprise when I put my hands on his shoulders, objecting immediately.
“What are you-...” His words were broken by a groan when my thumbs kneaded over a knot under his skin at the base of his neck. I chuckled at the sound, trying to stay light and conscience, while knowing how wrong this was for me to be doing when his groan had caused a chill of pleasure to flow over me.
“Quiet. You don’t want them to wake up while I’m doing this do you?” I couldn’t help but laugh while saying this after I had leaned my weight into another tight muscle and caused another sound to come from him. He blushed furiously in reply. I smirked, pleased that I managed to bring color back to his face.
“Piss off. If I could move without feeling like nails are stuck in my back I wouldn’t be allowing this.” He muttered, although I could hear the smile in his tone. I tried my best to keep from letting that excite me.
“That sounds like a good alibi. I think they’ll believe that.” I replied, another chuckle on my lips when I loosened his shoulder and made another objection be cut off by a pleased sigh.
I knew that this was bad, that I shouldn’t be encouraging myself, but I couldn’t help it. I always wanted to touch him so badly, to run my fingers over the scars that I was currently inspecting secretly while pretending to be searching for knots in his muscles. And I couldn’t stop despite myself, because of the way he rolled his shoulders when I worked at his neck, or how his entire body would clench and then relax under me when I released a bind.
I was lost in his skin, in his breathing, so lost that I almost didn’t see him.
But James was never good at acting. And when I felt like I was being watched and flicked my eyes in his direction, I knew he had woken.
I smirked, then leaned over Remus to whisper in his ear.
“We have a spectator. Play along with me.” I made sure the whisper was as silent as possible to ensure that James didn’t hear me. While I was down by his ear I noted that I couldn’t see James eyes because of the way his arm was rested, therefore he wouldn’t be able to see me while I was this close to Remus.
He could only hear.
Remus agreed with me with a smirked.
“We can’t. Not here. What if they wake up.” He exclaimed, as if I had made some crazy suggestion into his ear, turning over under me quickly, and I held back a laugh at the shine in his eyes.
“But James and Peter are out cold. No one will know Moony.” I glanced over to James’ form, to see if there was any movement. Still as a board.
“I dunno.” Remus said, sounding like he was being swayed, then bit his finger to keep from laughing when I caught eyes with him. I winked before drawing closer, to his ear again like before, continuing our improvised conversation.
“Trust me.” I breathed into his ear, biting on my tongue briefly when I felt a shiver flow through him, despite his attempt to conceal it, then pulled my hand up and started kissing my palm, causing a wide grin to spread on his lips as he desperately tried to keep silent. Somehow through his quiet laughter he managed to play my lovely kisses sounds up even more by tangling a hand in my hair roughly and trailing the other one down my spine and then up under the back of my shirt, causing me to groan, which he luckily thought was only me trying to be convincing.
He smirked as he scratched at my skin and I arched my back involuntarily, closing my eyes to disguise how truly difficult it was for me to be in such a situation with him, my body pressed against his, his smell infusing in my mind, blurring my thoughts. I pretended to be laughing like him, praying that James would say something before I completely lost my cool.
Speak of the Devil.
“STOP! MERLIN! I’m awake! I don’t want to hear this anymore!” He voice gave off how completely scarred he was as he quickly threw a pillow over his head to block out the sound of our ‘kissing.’
The silence mulled for just long enough for me to open my eyes and see the hilarity in Remus’, before I rolled off of him and we both broke out into laughter.
It didn’t take long before James was sitting up on his knees and glaring at us while we laughed, trying our hardest to stop, but being unable to every time we saw the expression on the boys face.
“You knew I was awake didn’t you?” he asked me finally when my chuckles had settled slightly. I grinned up at my friend innocently.
“Let’s just say that Moony has proven to be a very good accomplice.” We both continued to laugh as James tossed his pillow roughly in our direction.
A/N: Hope you liked. Please make sure to review :D
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