Sirius glared down at the table, finidng it unable to watch as Snape briefed the Order on the information he had recently gathered. He could tell Remus was eyeing him, no doubt having already noticed there was something wrong. Nothing got past Remus.
He slipped out as soon as the meeting was over, escaping to his room before he had to stop, say hello. Sometimes he hated pretending that everything was normal, as if his life hadn’t been turned upside down for the past fifteen years—as if he wasn’t hiding from a world that believed he had murdered his best friends.
The minutes ticked by and then the door opened quietly. Remus lingered in the doorway for a moment, taking in the Muggle posters, the bright red and gold colors covering the walls, and then Sirius sitting on the floor, leaning against his bed. Sirius watched as Remus’s eyes flickered, his face shadowed with sorrow when he noticed the piece of paper that Sirius was clutching.
Remus joined Sirius on the floor, gently tugging the picture out of his hand. He smiled grimly as he took in the image of the four of them: James and Sirius laughing, their faces filled with joy and that carefree confidence only they could pull off, Remus smiling softly, enjoying a private joke and Peter, a look of happiness and awe on his face, as if he could hardly believe his luck.
Sirius finally spoke, his voice raw. “After all these years, sometimes….sometimes it feels like he’s just away, gone on holiday with Lily or visiting his family.” He paused, taking a deep breath. “I'm going crazy being in this house, Remus. I still feel like a teenager, waiting till I can sneak away to his house. And when I see Harry…I just—he is so much like James, Remus. I can’t bare it sometimes. It’s not fair. It’s not—.” He stopped abruptly as his voice broke. His face twisted in pain as he struggled to keep in the sobs that were clawing up his throat.
Because he knew if he broke down, he wouldn’t be able to stop. He would cry—for himself, for the life that James and Lily were never able to live, for Harry who would never feel his mother’s gentle embrace or his father’s silent pride—till there was nothing left of him but an empty heart, scarred with all of the horrors he had faced.
Remus raised a hand to grip Sirius’s shoulder. He couldn’t find the right words to say. There was nothing he could say that would take away their grief. Nothing would ever heal that dull ache in their hearts.
“Last night I had a dream that I was at his house and James was downstairs, cooking breakfast for me and Lily. And I woke up, wishing so much that it was real…that I could walk downstairs and see James, with that damn grin of his, ready to crack some joke. I’ve never wanted something so much as I wanted that dream to be real.”
His voice was harsh, filled with unshed tears. He couldn’t stop the words from spilling, no matter how much it ripped his heart to talk about it. It was like a poison—he had to get it out, no matter how much it hurt, clouding his mind with pain as he’d never felt before.
“When I first found what happened, I didn’t know how I would be able to do normal things. I didn’t think I could wake up the next day and function. But it’s so easy to just talk, and laugh.” Sirius shook his head. A few tears escaped his eyes, trailing slowly down his face. “I just can’t do anything about the hole in my heart. There’s always something missing. It doesn’t matter how happy I was to finally be with Harry or to be free from Azkaban. Everything is bittersweet.”
Remus froze. They had talked once about his time in Azkaban but after that, Sirius had never brought it up. Remus understood. What was there to say? He didn’t comprehend how Sirius stayed sane. Left alone with just his thoughts, all those ugly fears, crawling through his mind day after day….Remus shivered, unable to imagine surviving it.
Sirius admitted quietly. “I just miss him so much, Remus.” And then he finally broke. His cry was a strangled, agonizing sound in the quiet room, his face a harsh mask of misery. His body shuddered violently as he struggled till the end to keep the tears in.
Remus wrapped his arms around him and held him tightly. “I know. I know.” Tears quietly streamed down his own face.
There was nothing else he could say. He could only hold him as they both cried till they were numb, unable to feel anything at all.
A/N: There's something about going through the process of grieving that is so hard to describe to someone who's never lost anyone before. But, drawing on my own experience of losing someone I hope I was able to convey both Sirius's and Remus's pain, who I find as having two of the most heartbreaking stories. Thank you for reading and please leave me a review to let me know what you thought!
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