Chapter 1 : See how bright we shine
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“How did you know I was here?”
“He said that the Order is going to use this place as a headquarters.”
I nod just enough to verify his statement.
Remus takes a step towards me. “It was nice of you to volunteer your home.”
I remain stubbornly silent. This hasn’t been my home in decades.
“Say something,” he mumbles in the way that only he can. He speaks quietly, but it’s never irritating. It draws me in, and I just have to hear what he’s saying. That must be why he was such a good teacher.
He asked me to speak.
I’ll be honest.
“I don’t know what to say.”
Remus takes another step towards me.
“I’m sorry,” he says, his voice catching somewhere in the back of his throat. He seems weak, as if he’s coming down after a Full Moon. I know that the Full Moon was two weeks ago.
“For what?” I ask.
He shakes his head, and pain visibly flashes across his face. “I thought you did it. All this time, I thought it was you.”
I frown, not knowing exactly how to make the vague memories and thoughts running through my head come together into words, let alone sentences. “We don’t need to talk about that,” I decide to say.
“Lily would’ve wanted us to,” he replies quickly. I cringe. He’s right.
His face is tired. There are lines that weren’t there when I last saw him - lines that shouldn’t be there. The hue of his hair has faded to a dull, mousy colour very unlike the rich pigments that he sported in his teenage years. His eyes… they’ve lost their… Moony.
“You…” I take a deep breath. “You thought what anybody would’ve thought, based on the information you had at the time.”
“I wasn’t anybody,” he says, the volume of his voice rising. “I wasn’t anybody, I was... I should’ve believed in you, above all evidence.” He starts to pace around the room, cursing himself more than explaining anything to me. “I should’ve looked into all the possibilities. Why didn’t I see it? Wormtail… and you, you never would’ve - would’ve done that. Everything that happened between us… before… I’m sorry.”
I close the distance between us and put my hands on his shoulders to stop him from moving away. “It’s okay. I’ve long ago forgiven you. Why should we spoil so many good memories?”
“Don’t forgive me!” he yells, throwing my arms off of him. He retreats to the other side of the room and slumps, defeated, against the wall. His voice grows quiet and strained. “I left you because Greyback was threatening me to join him, as if you couldn’t have protected yourself. And then for the past year, I didn’t come look for you. I’ve known for a year that you were out in the world and innocent, and I didn’t come to look for you.”
“I broke your heart,” I say. “The entire time I’ve known you, you’ve struggled to form relationships of any kind, and you let me love you, and I broke your heart. I treated you horribly and I understand why you didn’t come after me.”
“We were friends, too,” he spits. “Even if I hadn’t wanted to pursue you romantically, I should’ve come to look for you. As my oldest and dearest friend.”
“I was on the run,” I argue, despite the fact that he wasn’t going to accept that he didn’t do everything wrong. “Going after me would’ve put me in danger. And you.”
“I know you’ve been in contact with Harry. I didn’t even write. As your friend-”
“Oh, stop with the bloody as my friend shit.” I walk over and sit next to him. “We were more than friends, and you can’t separate the two.”
He flashes a quick smile. “You’re so wise. The Sirius I knew wouldn’t have ever come up with such a deep analysis in such a short time.”
Without thinking, I say, “I’ve had some time to think it through.”
His reaction is immediate. His jaw tightens and his lips curl into themselves. “I’m sorry,” he croaks. I can see the muscles in his neck straining as his temples throb and his face turns a shade of red so deep that I worry about his health.
I put his face in my hands and he pulls away from the intimacy. “Moony,” I whisper. “It’s okay.”
His resistance fades, and he wraps his hand to my back and kisses me.
Kiss me too fiercely, hold me too tight
I need help believing you’re with me tonight
I’m surprised for a moment, but let myself fall into the familiarity of the feeling of his lips against mine. I can feel differences, of course. What was once fiery teenaged passion had been changed. The passion isn’t reduced by any measurable quantity, just morphed into something more aged, like slow flowing magma compared to explosions of fireworks.
My wildest dreaming could not foresee
Lying beside you with you wanting me
His lips are chapped and dry, and I feel their temperature increase as I push my kisses onto him with more intensity. He tangles his hands into my hair and pulls me closer to him. There’s no awkwardness between us, only comfort, love, and a desperate need to be together.
I spent twelve years craving any sort of emotional companionship, and now being with him…
Just for this moment
As long as you’re mine
I’ve lost all resistance
And crossed some borderline
We start to remove each other’s clothes and I find myself counting all of the scars that have appeared since I last saw him. Delicately, I trace my fingers over them, knowing better than anyone else that with each one there is a story, a story most likely full of pain. I kiss them to try to make the pain soften. I see his eyes take in my body and the amount of muscle I’ve lost. I have to assure him again and again that it’s okay, it’s okay.
While we’re together, I can feel that he’s being pulled away from me by another force, most likely his guilt and shame over the events that had taken place over the course of our relationship. I kiss him, again and again.
And if it turns out it’s over too fast
I’ll make every last moment last
I kiss him, and slowly, he comes back to me. Just for the night, we let the years vanish and we’re young again, young and whole and together.
As long as you’re mine
“Remember when James found out about us?” Remus asks, lifting his head off of my chest where he’d been lounging in silence for the better part of an hour.
I chuckle. “What did he say? Something about how it made sense, because we were both dogs?”
“Something like that,” Remus mumbles, tracing kissing up my chest to my jaw. He eventually settles to resting his head on my shoulder, gently tracing up and down my forearm.
Maybe I’m brainless
Or maybe I’m wise
But you’ve got me seeing
Through different eyes.
“Do you think Harry knows?” he asks.
“No,” I say with confidence. “What do you think he’d say?”
“I don’t know,” Remus says thoughtfully. “He might ask us to adopt him.”
An jarring silence cuts between us while the weight of his words settles on top of our light conversation. If things had gone differently, would that have been Harry’s fate? Would the three of us have been a family? It was a scenario I’d considered many times.
“I never stopped thinking about him, you know,” I say. “I never stopped thinking about the three of us. It kept me going.”
Somehow I’ve fallen under your spell
And somehow I feel it’s up that I fell
“I thought about you while I was teaching Harry how to produce a Patronus,” Remus says after some time. “He struggled for a bit with having a memory happy enough, and I kept thinking about how much happiness I had with you. I don’t know if I’d be able to produce a Patronus without you.”
As I listen to him, I feel a twinge of sadness that a boy as young as Harry would have any trouble conjuring happy memories.
“Of course, at the time, thinking about our happy memories hurt me,” he adds in disgust.
“Moony,” I say for what feels like at least the hundredth time. “You need to forgive yourself for hating me.”
He nods, and although I’m not sure I’ve done anything to convince him, I can think of no other ways to verbally comfort him. Instead, I turn onto my side and pull his arms around me.
Every moment as long as you’re mine
I’ll wake up my body
And make up for lost time
“You need to have your hair cut,” Remus says, attempting to get a strand of my long locks out of his mouth. It’s a small comment, but it’s effective in easing both of our tension.
I laugh and roll over again so that we’re facing eachother and give him a light kiss. “I like it long,” I say. “I’m sorry if it gets in the way of cuddling.”
“It’s impossible for you to like it this long,” Remus insists. “You have way too many curls.”
I laugh and bring my lips close to his for another kiss, but notice that he’s once again frowning. “What’s wrong, Moony?”
“I like this, Padfoot,” he says softly.
“So do I,” I respond with a slight smile. “Why is that a bad thing?”
“After all we’ve been through… I don’t know if we’re possible.”
Say there’s no future for us a pair
I know, I may know, I don’t care
I tighten my jaw, knowing that he’s right. As hard as I try to convince him otherwise, he’ll always hate himself for believing me guilty. As difficult as it is to admit it, I also know that there will always be part of me that resents him for that mistrust.
“Let’s not think about all that right now,” I decide to say. “It doesn’t matter right now.”
I pull him back towards me and place my lips lightly over his. He’s right there with me for a moment before pulling away from me once again.
“Things are getting dark again,” he says. “It… it feels like it did last time.”
“I know,” I say, not being able to find any words that could offer comfort without being untruthful. “But… things could be different this time. We’re better prepared.”
Just for this moment
As long as you’re mine
He looks as if he’s about to cry, and I can’t, I can’t, I can’t watch him break down. I’d collapse with him, but I already spent enough time dwelling on things I can’t change.
“Please Moony,” I beg. “Be strong. We can do this.”
“I’m so sorry I left you,” he whispered. “I don’t want to lose you.”
Come be how you want to
And see how bright we shine
I pull him into my arms and kiss the top of his head.
“Padfoot,” he says, kissing me, “even if… this can’t be, I’m not going to leave you again.”
“I’ll be here for you,” I respond with equal passion as he wraps his arms around me. We fit so well into each other’s arms, and I’m reminded of the countless nights we spent together in our youth. I long for the days before our lives were ripped apart by horrific and overwhelming loss.
Borrow the moonlight
Until it is through
And know I’ll be there holding you
We trade off lying on top of one another and exchange delicate kisses and words of encouragement for the rest of the night. We don’t speculate about the future or memorialize the past. We exist solely for each other, outside of time and space, together.
As long as you’re mine.
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