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Rage Against the Dying of the Light by forsakenphoenix

Format: One-shot
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 5,204

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature, Contains Slash (Same-Sex Pairing), Substance Use or Abuse

Genres: Angst
Characters: Lupin, Sirius, James, Pettigrew
Pairings: Other Pairing

First Published: 08/16/2005
Last Chapter: 08/16/2005
Last Updated: 08/30/2005

Banner by Acappella

When Voldemort began his rise to power, and the Blacks clutched to his beliefs as though they were a promise made of silver, Sirius seemed to be the only one who knew that silver could be tarnished.

Chapter 1: Rage Against the Dying of the Light


During the summer of his sixth year, when the days became longer and time seemed to slow, Sirius stayed out until the stars began to fade, afraid to go home to the emptiness that awaited him. His house was alive: shadowed corners hid the secrets of a dark family, but the love inside had died. His house was not a home.

Sirius didn’t remember when his life began to fall apart; when his family became his enemy and his friends became his family. His mother used to dote upon him—her handsome, pure-blood prince—but then Regulus was born and Sirius had to compete for the throne and the crown.

‘Blacks are like royalty,’ she had said to him a year before attending Hogwarts. ‘When you go to Hogwarts, Slytherin will beg to have you; they will beg to follow you because you are their king. Don’t forget that. They are beneath you.’

Slytherin would not have Sirius. The second the Sorting Hat declared, ‘Gryffindor!’ the crown had slipped from his fingers. Sirius stumbled from the throne as a disgrace; ‘Toujours Pur’ tainted by his failure.

Regulus, who was so rightly named, proved to their parents that he was not a mistake, that he was better than Sirius would ever be. The heart of a lion. Regulus was far from having the heart of a lion. He was too soft, too easily corrupted by lies and false promises, and he clung to every word his mother fed him. He was her prince now and better than what Sirius could ever pretend to be.

As he grew older, Sirius realised that he was the Black with the heart of a lion. It wasn’t that Slytherin didn’t want him; it was that Gryffindor wanted him more. Gryffindor begged to have him and Hogwarts begged to kneel before the Marauders (four cherished boys, bound by the secrets of magic and friendship) as though they were the kings of the castle.

Sirius did not belong to this family who prided itself in its pure-blood heritage, did not understand the need for this purge of Muggleborns because they were magic too, and why did it matter if they didn’t share the same blood? When Voldemort began his rise to power, and the Blacks clutched to his beliefs as though they were a promise made of silver, Sirius seemed to be the only one who knew that silver could be tarnished.


Sirius stood with his shoulders slouched and his hands in his pockets, looking at the party from the shadows of the garden. He wondered if his family would notice if he slipped out the back for a smoke. He moved through the shadows, away from where the family was crowded around his mother and father who, like good hosts, were entertaining their guests. He had reached the gate and almost slipped out when he was stopped by a hand on his shoulder. He turned around to meet Regulus.

“Where are you going?” Regulus asked, not releasing Sirius’ shoulder.

“Out for a smoke,” Sirius grunted.

“You know mother hates that you’ve picked up that filthy Muggle habit,” Regulus said, frowning and looking back to see if their mother had noticed their absence yet.

“And you know that I don’t care what that old hag thinks. Go be a good lapdog and entertain Bella, she looks ready to kill.” Sirius released himself from Regulus’ grasp and stepped out of the garden.

“Sirius…” Regulus hissed frantically. “Sirius, I’m going to tell mother.”

“Go ahead, you little snitch. See if I care,” Sirius shot back, closing the garden gate behind him.

The clink of silver and crystal glasses, the murmur of expensive wine in the throats of rich and beautiful women dressed in silk, lace and diamonds, faded the farther he went from the gate. He sat down on the damp grass, not caring if he stained his robes, and pulled a cigarette from his pocket. He lit the cigarette and inhaled deeply. He held the smoke in his mouth for a moment before he exhaled slowly and watched the smoke dance around him, rising in the sticky summer air.

Sirius heard the garden gate swing open, followed by the sound of soft approaching footsteps. He knew it was Regulus even before he turned around. Regulus was always cautious in his approach of Sirius, never certain how his brother might react to him.

“What do you want, Regulus?” Sirius asked, taking another drag.

“Mother wants you back in the garden,” he replied, toeing the dirt beside Sirius.

“I’ll come back when I want to.”

“Mother says you have to come back now,” Regulus said.

Sirius looked up at Regulus sourly. “Since when have I listened to her? Or you, for that matter?”

Regulus’ face darkened. “You were never like this, Sirius,” he argued. “Ever since you started Hogwarts and were sorted into Gryffindor, you’re not the brother I used to know. If you associated yourself with the right people Mother wouldn’t hate you so much.”

Sirius put his cigarette out and stood up so that he was no longer being looked down upon by Regulus. With two years over Regulus, Sirius was still a few inches taller than his brother. Sirius was more comfortable this way, having control of the situation and being in charge.

“The right people? You mean those people you hang around with? Why would I want to associate myself with people who think that blood is more important than anything else? I’m not like you, Regulus. I can think on my own, believe in what I want. You’re too weak and pathetic so you need to follow those who are stronger than you, who can stick up for you, who can make your decisions for you.”

“At least my friends are respectable pure-bloods.”

“James’ family is far more respectable than this lot,” Sirius growled.

“He is not!” Regulus cried angrily. “He’s a blood traitor! Almost as bad as those half-bloods and Mudbloods you hang around with. He’ll get his comeuppance, you just wait and see. The Dark Lord—”

“You’re only fourteen, Regulus. Don’t talk about things you don’t understand,” Sirius snarled.

“You’re only sixteen! Don’t act like you understand. I understand that people like your friend, Remus, shouldn’t be allowed in the Wizarding World. Imagine what mother would say if she found out that he wasn’t simply a half-blood.”

Sirius paled, wondering if Regulus knew about Remus’ “furry little problem.” But like a true Black, he pulled himself together quickly. “What are you talking about?”

Regulus glared at Sirius and took a step closer. “I’ve seen you together,” he hissed.

“Of course you’ve seen us together you idiot, we’re best mates.”

Regulus growled in frustration. “No, not like that. I’ve seen you snogging him, Sirius! Remus! He’s a boy!”

“Oh,” Sirius said simply, “that.”

“Imagine if Mother found out what else her blood traitor of a son was…” Regulus sneered.

“What are you doing, boys?” said Mr. Black’s voice.

Regulus turned around quickly. “Father,” he said. “Sirius and I were just having a little chat.”

“Yes, well, your mother’s looking for you both. Best go back to the party now,” he replied, eyeing them suspiciously.

Regulus went back to the garden immediately. Sirius stood still for a moment, watching his brother retreat back into the world he belonged to, back to a world that Sirius no longer understood.

“Sirius,” his father said, “are you coming?”

Sirius nodded and followed his father back into the garden. He immediately found his mother; she was always the centre of attention because she was outspoken, confident, and she never faltered. In pure-blood families the men were the head of the family but Sirius always thought his mother’s presence was more prominent than his father’s and Mr. Black always faded in the brilliance of his wife’s glow. Mrs. Black had been beautiful once. Sirius knew she had looked like Bellatrix when she was eighteen, in her prime; a dark beauty with a cool, graceful confidence, an ease with which she fit into her skin. Sirius supposed age and two teenaged boys had finally caught up with her; she was not so beautiful anymore. He used to look at pictures of his mother when she was younger, his father had hung them on the wall to say, ‘this is my wife, a goddess too beautiful to not be gazed upon and envied by all you mortals,’ and Sirius wondered what had happened to that woman in the pictures. She would never be that beautiful again and yet the family still drew to her like moths to a flame.

Sirius’ father went immediately back to his wife’s side. Sirius, along with Regulus, sidled into the group surrounding their parents and began to listen to the current conversation.

“—well, he’s certainly got the right idea, I say,” Sirius heard Aunt Elladora say.

“Have you seen the reports from the Ministry lately?” said a voice coming from behind Mrs. Black. Sirius couldn’t tell who it was that said it as he tried to worm his way closer to his parents. “Have you seen what he’s doing for power?”

Mrs. Black laughed derisively. “What he is doing is no worse than cousin Araminta wanting to pass a Ministry Bill to legalize Muggle-hunting.”

“What he’s doing is worse than cousin Araminta wanting to pass that bill because the bill didn’t pass. This is real, and people are dying,” Sirius pointed out, frustration boiling beneath his skin.

“Mudbloods are dying, Sirius, and half-bloods—people who don’t belong in our world—the Dark Lord is doing what is right. We’ve had magic in our blood for generations. These Mudbloods think they’re so extraordinary because they can wave a wand and make things happen. Our magic is ancient magic, you can feel it in your bones,” his father reasoned with him.

“Don’t bother trying to explain it to him, Uncle,” Bellatrix scoffed. “He’s a blood traitor.”

“Shame of my flesh…” Mrs. Black muttered.

“It’s those Potters,” Aunt Elladora said to his mother, trying to comfort her. “It’s not your fault he turned out to be such a failure. They’re a bad influence on him.”

“Too right,” Mr. Black said. “You’d think a rich, respectable pureblood family like the Potters would understand the need to preserve our heritage. Pureblood families are dying out. But those Potters—”

“You’re not even half the father Mr. Potter is,” Sirius roared, his Black temper getting the better of him as he lunged at his father.

Mrs. Black had her wand out so fast that Sirius barely had time to grab his father’s robes before he was thrown backwards, knocking over Aunt Elladora.

“Never touch your father with those filthy, traitorous hands of yours again,” Mrs. Black snarled. The party had grown quiet and watched on with trepidation.

Sirius slowly got to his feet, never breaking eye contact with his mother. “Don’t worry about that,” he said angrily, pushing through the crowd. “I’m leaving and I’m never coming back. This has gone on long enough and I’m tired of your pureblood mania,” he spat. “There are Muggleborns and half-bloods that are ten times better than what any of you will ever be.”

“You leave this house, Sirius Black, and you’ll be blown off the family tapestry,” Mrs. Black said threateningly, pointing her wand at her son’s retreating back. “You’ll no longer be my son!”

“I never was your son!” Sirius cried, slamming the back door behind him as he stormed through the kitchen and up the stairs to his bedroom.


Twelve Grimmauld Place was ancient and full of shadowed rooms that held the secrets of a family who prided itself in its knowledge of Dark Arts and its pureblood heritage. As he tossed clothes and books haphazardly into his trunk, Sirius could have sworn he heard the house screaming ‘traitor, betrayer.’ Words that he would hear again, but not now—not when there was still youth in his bones and a loyalty not even his mother’s words (sharp and dangerous like the silver axe Aunt Elladora used to cut sinew and bone) could break.

He grabbed his trunk and dragged it out into the hallway, shutting his bedroom door behind him. He paused for a moment in the darkened hallway and ran his hand over the snakehead doorknob. The walls of the hallway were lined with plaques, a house-elf’s head mounted on each one, and he could feel the hum of ancient magic running through the walls. That same magic ran through his veins; he could feel it pulsing, pulling as his blood boiled angrily beneath his skin.

He exhaled the breath he didn’t know he was holding and realised: this was who he was—this house, those people outside, these secrets—it’s what his name represented. He said: “I’m not like them; I’ll never be like that.” But the blood that was in his body was the same that was in theirs and you couldn’t sever blood.

He closed the front door to Grimmauld Place for what he thought was the last time. As he stepped onto the Knight Bus he wished that the snapping of family ties and the angry sound of betrayal didn’t leave him feeling quite so hollow.


It was no surprise that James didn’t look shocked when he opened the front door to find Sirius standing on his doorstep, soaked to the bone from the cold rain. It was nothing new, after all, because Sirius had always come—every summer since third year—when he just couldn’t take any more.

The moment James opened the door Sirius said, “With the time I spend with you, people would think you were my boyfriend instead of Remus.”

He tried to laugh but all that came out was a choked sob. James didn’t say a word, instead, he held the door open and ushered Sirius in.

James’ mother shuffled into the entryway when she heard the knock. “I’ll put some tea on,” she said quietly before disappearing into the kitchen.

Sirius hung his head, his wet hair plastered to his forehead, defeat written in the slump of his shoulders.

James squinted at him. “You look like hell.”

Sirius grunted noncommittally, rubbing the back of his neck. Finally he looked up at James, his eyes almost as empty and dark as the sky.

“Come on,” James said, walking towards the kitchen. “I’m sure tea’s ready.”

Sirius followed James into the kitchen and immediately sunk into a chair. James’ mother put a cup of tea in front of him while James left again to find some clean towels to dry him off.

“Thanks, Mrs. Potter,” Sirius said, though he didn’t reach for the tea.

“Are you okay, Sirius?” she asked, sitting down in the chair next to him.

“Yeah,” he replied. “Yeah, I’m okay.”

She smiled sadly at him, brushing his wet hair aside, and placed a kiss on his forehead.

James came back with some towels and said, “Let’s get you upstairs and into some dry clothes.”

Sirius nodded and pushed the chair back, flinching as it scraped on the wooden floor. “Sorry,” he murmured.

“It’s all right, Sirius,” Mrs. Potter said. “Are you staying for the summer again?”

Sirius paused and said, “Yeah. I left.”

“It’s okay,” James said instantly, because this wasn’t the first time they’d had this conversation, and James knew the direction it was heading wasn’t a good one. “It’s all right.”

“No, I left. For good. My mother burned my name off the family tree. Knowing her, she probably put spells on the doors so that I can’t come back. I won’t go back, anyway.” Sirius did laugh then, bitterly and exhausted, and he gasped for breath because the anger was back and it threatened to burst through his chest if he talked about this anymore.

“Oh god, Sirius,” Mrs. Potter said, immediately standing to draw him to her. She rubbed his back through wet cotton; felt him tense and then relax under her hands. She let him go after a moment and he ducked his head in embarrassment.

“You don’t have to go back,” James declared, tentatively pulling Sirius’ into a hug. “You can stay here. Well, of course you can stay here, you do anyway. But I’m sure mum and dad won’t mind keeping you for Christmas holidays—they send you presents anyway—and you know…”

“Just until I can get a place on my own…” Sirius murmured.

“Nonsense, Sirius. You can stay as long you need,” Mrs. Potter replied, smiling softly at him. “Now, go upstairs with James before you catch cold.”

Sirius followed James up the stairs to his bedroom and sat down wearily on the mattress that had been set out for him.

“Dad figured you’d be coming soon, so he pulled it from the attic,” James said, though Sirius didn’t even notice to ask.

Sirius nodded but was silent. He shivered and got up; going to James’ dresser to pull some dry clothes out.

“Here,” James said, tossing a towel at him. “You seem to have grown a couple of inches, I don’t know if my pyjamas will fit you.”

“They’ll do,” Sirius muttered, easing his wet and uncomfortable jeans over his hips.

He left his shirt and jeans in a sopping pile on James’ floor and dressed in the warm, dry clothes. James went to put the clothes in the basket of dirty laundry on the landing.

Sirius was sitting on the mattress and rubbing his eyes with the heel of his hands when James returned.


Sirius looked up quickly and wiped his face with the back of his hand. Boys don’t cry in front of other boys, he reprimanded himself. James sat down beside him and wrapped an arm around his shoulders.

Sirius knew this was James’ way of inviting him to talk freely about what happened but Sirius didn’t know what to say. He left because he was tired of it all; he left because he hated them; so he couldn’t understand why he hurt so much.

James gripped him tighter and Sirius understood that James was saying, ‘I’m sorry.’

After five years of living with one another they could talk without words. James was silent and Sirius knew that he didn’t know what else to do.

This was unfamiliar territory for James. He was talented on the Quidditch Pitch and Transfiguration came easily to him, but when it came to comforting someone who hurt he just didn’t know what to do.

Sirius wanted to say, “It’s okay, James, you don’t have to do anything. It’s okay because you weren’t the one hurting me.”

Instead, he coughed awkwardly and ran his hand through his hair.

“Oh,” James said, “Moony and Wormtail are coming late tomorrow afternoon. They’ll be staying for a few days. I was going to owl you, but I figured you’d be coming ‘round soon anyway.”


James suddenly grew anxious. “Now, Sirius…I know you and Moony are one of those couples who…well, I mean…you aren’t very private about your relationship. I just don’t want you to do anything in my bed, or my room, okay? You can wait until Hogwarts and you have your own beds, can’t you?”

Sirius threw his head back and barked a laugh, a sound that surprised both of them. James grinned sheepishly.

“Don’t worry, Prongs, I’ll be sure to control my urges.”


The differences between Grimmauld Place and the Potters’ home were not subtle ones. Even after four summers spent with the Potters, there were always little details that caught Sirius by surprise.

Mrs. Potter always gave her boys a kiss goodnight. While James laughed and pushed her away, wiping his cheek with his hand, it was one thing Sirius looked forward to every night. Mrs. Potter’s hands were kind and comforting, something that Sirius was still not used to, and he flinched every time she touched him. His own mother’s hands were as cold as her words and she never touched Sirius out of affection.

The Potters, although wealthy, did not own house-elves and so it was a family effort to make dinner. James and Sirius were given the job of setting the table while Mr. and Mrs. Potter fixed dinner. Sirius liked having a simple job such as this, liked feeling as though he was a part of the family.

Mr. and Mrs. Potter still liked to kiss. James was embarrassed when they did this, saying they were too old to kiss like that. Sirius didn’t mind so much, he said it reminded him a bit of the way he liked to kiss Remus. Sirius’ parents rarely showed their affection towards one another. Sirius reckoned that most arranged marriages worked out that way, with the two paired to be married never really loving one another.

At the Potters, Sirius never had to worry about being reminded, or being told, that he was a failure. If he broke something, or did something wrong, Mrs. Potter rarely yelled at him. The whole atmosphere was different at the Potters’ home; everything was much more light-hearted and easy going. There was no need to be proper; dress robes didn’t have to be worn to dinner, silver was only used on special occasions, and meals weren’t quiet, solemn affairs. There was life in this house, and love, and everything that Sirius needed to feel as though he were finally home.


After a late supper, Peter arrived within a small whorl of green flames, stumbling out of the fireplace.

“I hate flooing,” he said, as Sirius offered him his hand and pulled him up. “Thanks,” he muttered, brushing soot off of his clothes.

“Hey Wormtail!” James exclaimed. “Why don’t you and Padfoot go upstairs? I’ll wait down here for Moony.”

Sirius nodded and began to ascend the stairs with Peter quickly following. They were silent until they reached James’ room and Peter put his bag of clothes on the floor.

“How’s your summer been?” Sirius asked.

“Great! My parents and I went to Manchester to visit my gran last week. You?”

Peter looked at Sirius earnestly, he knew why Sirius was at James’—it was the same every year—but Sirius knew Peter wanted to hear it from him. Peter was like that; he wanted to be able to comfort Sirius and say, ‘I understand,’ even if he didn't, because that was his role in the family Sirius had built after his own had failed him.

“I—” Sirius began.

“Moony’s here!” James exclaimed as he threw himself onto his bed with Remus trailing behind him into the room.

“Moony!” Sirius crowed, tackling Remus to the floor.

“Hey Moony,” Peter said as he flopped down beside James.

“Hi Wormtail,” Remus replied, trying to catch his breath. “Padfoot, get off, I can’t breathe.”

Sirius scrambled off Remus and sat on the floor, staring at Remus with curious eyes.

“What?” Remus asked. “Do I have something on my face?”

“Just Sirius’ drool,” James snickered.

Sirius shook his head and smiled. “’M just happy to see you, that’s all,” he mumbled.

“You’re such a girl,” Remus murmured affectionately, giving Sirius a quick kiss on the lips.

“Am not.”

“I don’t know, Padfoot,” James said hesitantly. “You could definitely pass as the girl in your relationship.”

Sirius looked agape at James. “How so?” he demanded.

“You act like one of those possessive girlfriends,” James pointed out, shuddering at the thought.

“And you spend way too much time looking at yourself in the mirror,” Peter added. “Only girls do that.”

“Blacks have an image to maintain—” Sirius argued. But then he immediately snapped his mouth shut and closed his eyes, something the other boys knew to mean: I can’t talk about this anymore.

“Sirius, it’s all right to look like them. You can’t change genetics, after all,” James said. “All that matters is that you don’t act like them.”

Sirius didn’t open his eyes, didn’t want to see the look of pity on their faces. He could feel Remus’ cool hand brush his forehead and his eyes fluttered open at the contact. Remus was smiling at him.

“It’s okay, Sirius,” he was saying, reassurances coming not in his words but the small familiar kisses he was placing on Sirius’ temple, cheek, and jaw.

Sirius sighed and buried his face in the curve of Remus’ neck. Remus always smelled like soap, dirt, and the old books he buried his nose in every afternoon. It was these familiar smells and the arms that were wrapped fiercely around him that brought comfort to Sirius, knowing that here, in these arms, with this boy, he was loved.

“Oh!” Peter said suddenly, dropping to the floor to rummage through his bag. With an excited squeak, he pulled a bottle from beneath his socks. “I thought we might need this. Nicked it from dad’s liquor cabinet.”

James grinned mischievously from his bed. “Brilliant, Wormtail. Good thinking, really.”

“Can we get some of that now?” Sirius asked anxiously.

Peter handed the Firewhiskey to Sirius who took a quick gulp and coughed before handing it to James. The whiskey worked its way through his system quickly and he could feel the tension in his body ease. James took the next sip and Sirius wondered if it left the same bitter aftertaste in James’ mouth as it did in his. The bottle kept being passed among the boys, each taking a sip and laughing, before passing it on.

The whiskey loosened everyone’s tongues and stories they never would have told anyone were slipping easily past their lips. Sirius found it easier to face painful memories with a bit of alcohol in his blood.

“I wish this alcohol could burn the Black blood out of me like it burned my throat when I swallowed it for the first time,” he mumbled into Remus’ sweater, which smelled strongly of vomit and spilled liquor. “Moony…d’you think it could, if I drank enough?”

Remus shook his head, and remaining slightly more sober than the rest of his friends, said, “Stop trying to change who you are, Sirius. You can hate your family all you want, you can forget about them by drinking alcohol. In the end, you…”

“Moony, shut up,” Sirius muttered, tugging at Remus’ sleeve and kissing him soundly on the mouth. When he pulled away, he looked at Remus with glazed eyes. “You were going to say that in the end, I’m still a Black, but I’m not, because—”

Remus kissed the corner of his mouth. “No, I was going to say that in the end, you always end up with the only family that matters. Us.”


Remus hardly ever spoke to Sirius when he ranted about his family. It wasn’t that he didn’t know what to say, it was that this was what Sirius wanted: silent comfort. James tried too hard to make the world right-side up again and Peter couldn’t try hard enough. The words Remus never said kept the world tilted on its axis, but his arms anchored Sirius enough to let him feel as though he had the strength to stand again.

Their love in itself was magic that was far more ancient than the blood that ran in Sirius’ veins. In every shared kiss, in every thrust and gasp, and in the quiet moments they spent together, bodies curved like commas behind drawn curtains, they felt the magic hanging heavy and silent above them saying, ‘This is where you belong.’

When Remus was pinned beneath him and Sirius moved just like that, Remus’ eyelids fluttered closed and he chanted Sirius’ name like a prayer. Sirius thought that he could live forever just watching Remus like this every day; eyelashes golden against pale skin, a brush of lips against a racing pulse, and Sirius written in every scar on his body. The scars did not belong to Sirius; they were made by the pull of the moon, the snapping of bones, and the fear that lived inside of Remus. But Sirius claimed them as his with a brush of his thumb and a flick of his tongue. ‘Mine,’ he said with every kiss. ‘You are mine.


Sirius woke in the early morning long before the other boys. He stretched and groaned, his head still reeling from the night before. Remus was sleeping beside him and Sirius smiled, watching him sleep. He kissed Remus’ temple, his nose, his eyelids saying hello, hello, good morning, love.

“Pa’foot, go ‘way. ‘m sleepy,” he mumbled, trying to push Sirius away.

Sirius nuzzled his neck and kissed him once more on the lips before getting up. He stumbled around the room looking for a pair of trousers, before he found some—James’ mostly likely—and slipped them on. He grabbed a cigarette from his trunk and slipped outside the house for a smoke. The sky was a murky grey, almost the colour of his eyes, as he walked towards the hill behind James’ house. The sun had not yet risen and Sirius was rarely awake to see it happen, so he savoured this moment like he savoured the moments he spent with Remus.

Sirius lit his cigarette and inhaled, feeling the heady rush of nicotine humming along his nerves.

“Padfoot?” Remus voice was soft and scratchy as he padded barefoot up the hill. “What are you doing out here?” he asked, wiping sleepily at his eyes.

“Look, you can still see it,” he replied.

Remus looked up and he could still see Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, still burning in the distance.

“I wonder when it’s gonna burn out,” he wondered aloud. “The brightest stars always burn out the fastest.”

“Sirius…” Remus said, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder.

“Fuck it, Remus. I’ve been burning out for years.”

With one word, one snapping golden thread, his brilliant light had been extinguished.

"I won't let you burn out," Remus said, leaning against Sirius and taking in the smell of cigarettes and Firewhiskey.

Sirius put his cigarette out when the sun began to rise. And as the sun peaked over the red rim of the horizon, Remus spread his fingers to catch the first golden rays of sunlight. Sirius gasped and stared amazed at him because Remus was holding dawn in the palm of his hand.

In the hazy glow of morning, Sirius laughed breathlessly as he said, “You’ve got a fucking halo, Remus, and you’re letting dawn slip through your fingers.”

Remus smiled at him then, and kissed him; his lips promising what his words could not. ‘I will save you.’

Sirius wanted to touch the halo, still faintly glowing golden over Remus’ head, and he wanted to say, ‘This is why I’m going to believe you.’ But he couldn’t because the words caught in his throat, and so he talked the only way he knew how; with lips and tongue spelling promises of forever on Remus’ skin.

A/N: Title is from Dylan Thomas' villanelle, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.

Thanks to my three wonderful betas: PhoenixStorm, melihobbit, and laughable_black_storm; Rebekka for letting me PM her ten times a day asking her opinion on many things; and Violet Gryfindor and Noblevyne for their help and for seriously being the best people to have around when I'm writing a fic.