At first i was horrified, thinking that some people would be upset that i fanfictioned them...but actually they're upset because some of them AREN'T in it. The truth is, they all seem to love it. Some of them have been reading the rest of my fics and laughing their asses off *squee* *loves her hall madly*
Here's the first bit of what I've been working on next:
“Sirius?” Remus cracked an eye open to see Sirius’ silhouette in the doorway against the light from the hall.
“How do you feel?” Sirius asked, not moving from the doorway. Remus shut his eye again, feeling a throb at Sirius’ distance that had nothing to do with his usual wounds.
Come here and see, he wanted to say, but remained silent. Several long moments passed before he felt the side of the mattress sink under Sirius’ weight.
“Let me see,” Sirius said gruffly. Remus didn’t resist, letting him do what he wanted. He felt fingers, calloused from gripping a broom, search out the scrapes and bruises the full moon had left on him. He made no other noise than small gasps of pain when prodded in a sorer spot. Finally the fingers disappeared, fingers that would have lingered six months ago, hell, six weeks ago.
Remus, utterly weakened from the moon, the war, the pain, Sirius, all of it, began to cry softly.
“Don’t,” Sirius said with alarm, but Remus couldn’t help it, now that he had started, he couldn’t stop. He rolled painfully onto his side away from Sirius, but couldn’t stop the tears squeezing out from his eyes.
There was a long hesitation before Sirius rolled Remus back towards him and hugged him tightly. The feel of Sirius’ strong arms unlocked something in Remus’ chest, and he buried his face in Sirius’ robes and began to cry in earnest.
“I should have been there,” Remus heard Sirius say after a while. “I shouldn’t be...I just...I should be with you.”
Remus tightened his grip on Sirius, wondering what Sirius had been about to say he shouldn’t do, wondering if he was about to confess that he was the traitor.
“Hang them,” Sirius muttered. “Hang them all.”
Remus’ blood chilled at the words, and he looked up to find Sirius’ face burning with a dull anger.
“I have to go, Remus,” he said quietly, not meeting Remus’ eyes. “There’s something I have to do.”
“Sirius...” Remus plea was half question, half demand, and all desperation.
“I have to,” he repeated, pulling out of Remus’ grasp and standing up. He paused before moving away, staring down at Remus with an unreadable expression. “I love you, Moony.”
Remus was struck dumb as he watched Sirius leave. Sirius had shown him how much he loved Remus millions of times, in a thousand different ways, but he had never said the words. It sounded...final.
Galvanized into action, Remus stumbled to his feet and rushed to follow Sirius, tripping on the damn rug at their bedroom doorway and grabbing at the doorframe for support. Sirius was opening the front door of their flat and turned at the noise of Remus thumping against the door, a flash of pain crossing his features.
“You can’t stop me,” he said simply.
“Sirius, why...” Remus’ words seem to tangle all together and he cursed himself for still being unable to ask the right question, the only question. “Are you...”
Sirius closed his eyes and turned his head away.
“I’m not the secret keeper,” he said, sounding as if the words were torn out of him. Then he stepped out of the flat and closed the door behind him in a not-quite-slam.
But you’re the one with all the secrets.
Remus sagged bonelessly against the frame, lacking the strength to scream the words like he wanted to. He had never kept any secrets from Sirius, not after the first one.
“I’m not keeping any secrets,” Remus said out loud, although it was less the ringing endorsement he had hoped for and more a sad whine.
It wasn’t true, Remus suddenly realized. He had suspected Sirius of being the traitor and never said anything, never confronted him, never talked about it.
Something was going on with him, Remus was sure. And lately, if Remus so much as mentioned James’ name Sirius would tighten visibly. He was so angry, but wouldn’t tell Remus why, had withdrawn totally into himself in the last two weeks.
This couldn’t go on, Remus finally decided. He stood shakily away from the doorframe and took the dozen steps to the couch slowly. He pulled the blanket that was draped over the back to cover his shoulders and prepared to wait as long as he had to. When Sirius returned, Remus was going to confront him with all his suspicions and demand to know the truth.
And if Sirius was the traitor...
Remus shivered and pulled the blanket tighter around himself, prepared to wait all night.
He was asleep long before the mantle clock chimed the beginning of November.
* * * * * *
He jerked awake to urgent pounding on his door several hours later. He staggered to the door, glancing at the clock and noticing it was a little before 1 AM.
He opened it and Frank Longbottom stumbled in, looking wild-eyed.
“Frank?” Remus felt fear clutch him icily. “What’s wrong? Is it Alice? Dear god,” he demanded when Frank didn’t answer, “is it Neville?”
“Lily and James,” he gasped, gripping Remus’ shoulders. “And Peter. They’re dead.”
“What...” Remus said before it hit him, and the room was spinning and he was on the floor and Frank was talking urgently but he didn’t understand any of the words.
“Sirius,” Frank said and Remus struggled to listen, but could only catch disjointed phrases over the roaring in his skull. “Godric’s Hollow...Harry...Voldemort gone...thirteen Muggles dead...Sirius betrayed...Fidelius Charm...”
Fidelius Charm. Something about that tugged at Remus, pulling him away from the black whirlpool of his thoughts.
I’m not the secret keeper, Sirius had said.
I am not the Secret Keeper.
“I am not the Secret Keeper,” Remus gasped, staring up at Frank. “It wasn’t... Peter... Sirius... PETER...Frank, it wasn’t Sirius!”
“It was, Remus,” Frank looked pained and weary. “He betrayed us all. Only Harry survived.”
“No!” Remus clawed his way back to his feet using the wall, Frank, anything he could. “Frank, where is he now?”
“With Dumbledore,” Frank answered. “But he’s going to have to live with Lily’s family...”
Remus felt the precious moments slipping by as he worked out that Frank meant Harry and not Sirius.
“No, Sirius,” he begged. “What have they done with him?”
“He’s at Azkaban by now,” Frank told him grimly. “He was just standing there when we came, just laughing...”
“Frank, listen to me!” Remus shouted, stunning Frank into silence. “It wasn’t Sirius and I can prove it, but I need to talk to Dumbledore RIGHT NOW!”
“Remus, no,” Frank protested, but Remus seized him by the robes and shook him violently.
“WHERE IS DUMBLEDORE!” he roared.
“The Ministry,” Frank choked out, then stumbled forward as Remus disappeared with a frantic pop.
He followed a moment later.
* * * * * *
“He killed James and Lily!”
“How dare you!”
“SILENCIO!” Dumbledore roared and the room was immediately silent as the shouters’ voices all gave out.
Remus waved frantically, pleading silently for Dumbledore to hear what he knew.
“I’m going to let you speak, Remus,” he told the desperate werewolf, “but you must calm yourself.”
“...NOT SIRIUS, HE WASN’T THE KEEPER,” Remus was shouting as the Dumbledore cast the counter-charm on him.
“Calm yourself!” Dumbledore warned. Remus took a deep breath.
“Sirius wasn’t the Secret Keeper,” Remus repeated breathlessly. “He told me, he said ‘I’m not the Secret Keeper’ but I didn’t understand, I thought he was accusing me of keeping things from him because I didn’t know about the Fidelius Charm, but then Frank said and I put it all together, Professor, it HAD to be Peter, he’s the only other!”
“I helped set up the charm myself,” Dumbledore said gently. “It was Sirius, it has always been Sirius.”
“But you didn’t see them do it, or the charm wouldn’t have worked,” Remus countered desperately. “They could have switched at the last minute!”
“But why would they?” Dumbledore pressed.
“I DON’T KNOW!” Remus howled. “I didn’t even know about it until ten minutes ago, but they HAD to have, you’ve GOT TO BELIEVE ME!”
“There’s no proof, Remus,” Dumbledore shook his head, and Remus thought he might shatter into pieces at the sad finality of his gaze, but then he had the answer.
“His wand!” he shouted. “Have you done Priori Incantem on Sirius’ wand?”
“He blew up fourteen people, Lupin!” Mad-Eye Moody had somehow managed to throw off Dumbledore’s Silencing Charm. “We only found a finger of Pettigrew! What good will that do?!”
“Please,” Remus pleaded helplessly, not turning away from Dumbledore. “Please, Albus, try. Sirius didn’t do this, I swear it.”
“Lupin!” Moody roared, but Dumbledore silenced him with a look.
“We will try it, Remus,” he said, and Remus nearly fainted with relief. “But I must warn you, I doubt the results will be to your liking.”
“Just do it,” Remus said stubbornly.
Remus could practically feel the minutes slipping away as Dumbledore sent Arthur Weasley to retrieve Sirius’ wand. When Arthur finally returned, Remus was practically shaking from the need to act.
With infuriating calmness, Dumbledore laid the wand on the desk behind him.
“I would advise that everyone step back,” he informed the others. No one did. “Priori Incantem!”
As the yellow light shot from Dumbledore’s wand and struck Sirius’, Remus found he was unable to breathe. What if Sirius had cursed Peter? Even if he was innocent, there was the chance he had really killed Peter, and would still be sent to Azkaban...
Remus’ heart froze as Peter’s head appeared out of the wand floating in front of them like an accusation.
“I’m sorry, Remus,” Dumbledore began, preparing to lower his wand.
“Disarm,” Peter’s image sighed. “He tried to disarm me...”
Everyone in the room froze.
“Disarm,” the wraith repeated. Dumbledore dropped his wand and the wraith faded as the spell unraveled. He turned to Remus, looking deeply disturbed.
Remus had collapsed to the floor, unconscious.
Everyone’s eyes swiveled from Remus on the floor to Dumbledore.
“We’ve made a terrible mistake,” he whispered.
* * * * * *
Remus came to suddenly, sitting in a familiarly uncomfortable Ministry office chair and glanced around wildly. Everyone but Molly Weasley was gone.
“What’s going on?!” he demanded, rising to his feet even though the room spun crazily.
“Sit down, Remus,” Molly pushed him back down into his chair. “You’ll faint again.”
“Sirius!” Remus struggled. “Azkaban! And they’re sending Harry to the Muggles!” he remembered suddenly.
“Stop it!” Molly snapped. “Dumbledore’s out taking care of Sirius, and Harry’s in hiding with the Alice and her boy for now.”
“I’ve got to go!” Remus cried. “I can’t do nothing!”
“You’re staying right here!” Molly exclaimed, but at that moment they were interrupted by the door slamming open. Molly’s grip loosened on Remus when Moody stomped through the door. Remus shook her loose and shot out of his chair.
“What’s going on!” he demanded again.
“They won’t let him loose!” Moody roared, as furious as though he had believed in Sirius all along. “That fool Fudge says there’s got to be a trial!”
“No!” Molly gasped.
“A trial!” Remus shouted. “A TRIAL! HE’S INNOCENT!”
“Fudge claims we can’t prove nothing,” Moody snarled. “Says thirteen Muggles are dead and somebody’s payin’ for it!”
“THEY’VE GOT TO LISTEN!” Remus was waving his arms wildly, screaming furiously. “WE’VE GOT TO...”
Molly slapped him hard across the face.
“Are you going to calm down, or do I have to Stupefy you?” she asked coldly.
Remus went silent, putting a hand to his cheek where an angry red mark in the shape of Molly’s hand stood out in contrast to his pale features.
“Sit down, Remus,” she said, her tone softening. “You aren’t well.”
Remus sank back down in the chair and neither moved nor spoke until Dumbledore returned some time later, looking exhausted and defeated.
“The Ministry will not release Sirius until a trial is held,” he informed the others.
Remus felt his heart stop, then beat so painfully that it drove the air out of his lungs.
Sirius, surrounded by Dementors...they had gone to Azkaban once, he and Sirius, to question someone, but Sirius had nearly fainted when they got within ten yards of the place...childhood memories, he’d said...Remus could still remember the look on Sirius’ face when he fell to his knees, eyes wide with pain...Remus had groped frantically in his pockets for something to help, but they’d taken away his wand at the gate, all he had was a Chocolate Frog...
Thanks, Moony, Sirius had said, clutching at his hand like a child, that helps...
“What can we do?” Molly’s voice drew Remus out of the memory.
“Nothing,” Dumbledore said hollowly. “There is nothing we can do until the trial.”