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He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven by Romina Stephanie

Format: One-shot
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 3,756
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Mild Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature, Contains Slash (Same-Sex Pairing), Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme, Contains Spoilers

Genres: Romance, Angst
Characters: Lupin, Sirius
Pairings: Other Pairing

First Published: 08/15/2009
Last Chapter: 08/15/2009
Last Updated: 08/21/2009

Summary:
In times of uncertainty and terror, Remus and Sirius found solace in each other; but they would soon learn that with no trust, there is no hope. In the end, they had always been doomed to fall.

breath-taking banner by Violet at eHPf.


Chapter 1: he wishes for the cloths of heaven
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Disclaimer: characters by J.K. Rowling and excerpts from poems (as well as story title) by W.B. Yeats.
Author’s Note: I love snippets and roman numerals, I love the works of W.B. Yeats (whose poems really set the mood for many of my hasty one-shots) and I love Remus/Sirius.

I’m not used to writing slash at all, but I really like this pairing, and I’ve wanted to write this for a long time, so I decided to give this ship another go. It may be awkward and weird, but hey, I’m still learning and doing my best.

This was edited by KittenCatIV at the perfectimagination beta directory. A lot of credit goes to her for having helped me a lot with this piece. I also want to thank datbenik513 for having been the first to read this piece and for his unwavering support.

Let me know what you think - I'd really appreciate it!



He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven


I.

I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.


('He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven')


When he first stepped foot on Hogwarts’ vast grounds, he thought he would never again experience anything quite so grand; but he did, as soon as he befriended James and Sirius and Peter. Friendship: nothing was grander than that, Remus would conclude many times.

It’s a funny story, how he came to be one of the four boys that left a legacy that would live on forever.

Remus had, ever since being bitten, preferred to keep to himself, and he had never expected to actually fit in – loneliness was a fate he had accepted. And in any case, when he was in the presence of James and Sirius, he didn’t occupy much space – just like lumpy Peter Pettigrew.

He remembered their first time in their dormitory. James had been elated at having made Gryffindor (the house of his ancestors, more or less), while Sirius had been a tad bit glum at the prospect of the morning post the next day, because no doubt his mother would be furious at him for becoming a Gryffindor. Peter had not said much, just observed his surroundings, snickering at James and feeling sorry for Sirius. And Remus (who had yet to recover from the prospect of having been welcomed to Hogwarts in the first place) hadn’t said much either. He didn’t occupy much space at all.

But then one day, a month into their first term, Remus and Peter (who always sat beside each other in classes) had been walking back to Gryffindor Tower when they had heard snickering and bantering behind a suit of armour. Realising that the voices they heard were indeed James’ and Sirius’, they walked over after a silent agreement.

Bent over a piece of parchment and talking in whispers, they were scribbling something that neither Remus nor Peter could see.

“What are you doing?” Remus had asked, curiosity getting the better of him.

James and Sirius had looked up in alarm and had, when recovered, said simultaneously, “Nothing.”

“Are you planning something that will lose us points?” Peter had plucked up the courage to ask – because everyone knew that James and Sirius loved losing points.

“Maybe. What are you going to do about it?”

“Nothing. Can we join you?”

“No.”

While Peter and Sirius were arguing, Remus had looked at the parchment and seen many different diagrams and a bad sketch of the Great Hall.

“Is that the Great Hall?” Remus had interrupted, and everyone quieted down.

“What if it is?”

“It looks wrong.”

“Hey! Just because I can’t draw-” James had defended himself.

“Here, give me your quill,” Remus had interrupted. Then he had snatched up the parchment and, before either could say anything, had drawn a pretty good sketch of the Great Hall – a sketch that would be involved in their first ever prank.

And that’s the story.

That’s the beginning.

--

Life at Hogwarts was a life he had never expected. He wouldn’t always agree with James and Sirius, and even disagreed with Peter from time to time (Peter preferred to follow the other two blindly), especially when they got themselves into trouble; but they were always there for each other, something proven when they decided to become Animagi just to be able to support him.

Remus had desperately fought back tears the night they had finally said that everything was ready to be set in motion, when the four of them had sat on the dusty, grimy floor of the Shrieking Shack, a burning candle in the center of their circle.

When Remus thinks back, he isn't sure when he first felt that wierd, wobbly feeling in the pit of his stomach whenever Sirius merely approached him with his dark hair elegantly framing his sharp features, stormy eyes glinting merrily. There was always a certain gleam in Sirius's eyes that sparkled whenever his and Remus's eyes locked from across the common-room, the table at the Great Hall, or occasionally at classes. But Remus tended not to analyze them, not to explore them, not to dwell on those moments and the feelings they awakened. Sirius was generally difficult to read, so there wasn't much for Remus to do but ignore whatever it was that hung heavy between them, because he was certain that voicing them aloud to anyone would not do any good.

But it wasn’t until the beginning of their sixth year – the year when Sirius had lured Snape to the Whomping Willow and to a transforming Remus – when the dynamic in their relationship had changed. There had always been subtle hints (or maybe illusions), but a tension had nonetheless existed between the two boys, and Remus was now as confused as ever, raging teenage hormones becoming slightly overwhelming.

Remus had never been as angry and disappointed with anyone as when he found out what Sirius had done. Even James had been beside himself.

“I’m sorry, Moony,” Sirius had said, as James had helped an exhausted Remus to the Hospital Wing, the full moon having emptied Remus of the energy he would usually have possessed.

Remus’s response had been a cold, disappointed look; no words, just that specific look that seemed to do the trick.

For the first time in six years, the Marauders were split in the middle; not James and Sirius at one end of the table and Remus and Peter at the other, but Sirius and Peter eating breakfast, lunch and dinner at one end and Remus and James at the other.

Days passed and James barely even addressed Sirius, but then things went back to the way they always had been: to being brothers in the truest of senses.

It had taken a while longer for Remus to forgive him, though.

And even then, after they began speaking again, things never returned to normal.

“James said I could find you here,” had been Sirius’ way to announce his presence at the Astronomy Tower one windy October night.

Remus had turned, unsure of how to respond.

“Look, Remus, I’ll cut through the codswallop, and I’ll say it again – I screwed up, big time, and I’m sorry. I didn’t know what I was thinking.”

“You weren’t thinking, Sirius. You never are, but this time things went too far. I don’t want to be that final touch to a prank that endangers lives. This is me. This is your friend, the werewolf, who could have killed someone without even realising it.”

Sirius had seemed to want to interrupt, but Remus had continued. “It doesn’t matter if it was Snape, or whichever other Slytherin scumbag you think deserves to have harmless pranks played on them.”

“I know. I know that, and I’m sorry.”

Sirius had walked over to him, placed a heavy hand on his shoulder and (neither knowing how they had come to that moment), with hearts pounding madly and with their eyes glazed over as if realising something that had been lurking within them seemingly forever – a feeling, a thought, or a mere hallucination – the distance between them had suddenly become too wide, and a sudden urge to close it gripped them both.

It was the first time they shared a kiss – at first tentative, then explorative and demanding, and eventually hungry and fervent.

They had both been so shocked at what had happened that by the end of their lip-lock (both panting, with eyes wide and questioning) it felt too awkward walking back together to Gryffindor Tower. Sirius was the first to go, after a quick nod from Remus.

Remus soon followed him, but not until after observing the moon light up the velvety black sky.

--

It was as scary as it was exciting, whatever it was that was brewing between them – something forbidden, and so wrong that it actually felt right.

After their first kiss, things certainly weren’t the same, but neither James nor Peter seemed to notice anything. And neither Sirius nor Remus made a big deal out of what had happened.

They would meet up occasionally, in a secluded broom-closet or a dark nook of the castle. They would kiss until their lips turned red and swollen, until the heat became overwhelming; and then they would pull apart, their breaths short and ragged; it was so bloody exciting that it almost became addicting.

But eventually these feelings settled somewhat. The excitement wasn’t what it had been in the beginning, but there was still the desire and the inexplicable longing for each other, something neither could comprehend – though they didn’t really try to.

Their final year at Hogwarts came, and things between the Marauders didn’t change (despite what they believed, since James had been made Head Boy), because they were inseparable. If anything, they saw past the war and its horrific ways; they saw a light and were ready to fight for that little light so that it would forever shine.

Lily finally accepted James’s offers to take her out, and things were falling into place. And no one seemed to wonder why Remus didn’t make an effort to ask a girl out, or why Sirius never wanted to commit. The pressure did increase, though, when Peter finally found a girl as dull as he was (they were perfect for each other, even if it sadly never worked out in the long run).

--

When Hogwarts had ended, and they had joined the Order, and they had fought like madmen to get somewhere in the war – to gain some ground on the endless road that was the competition between the Order and Lord Voldemort’s forces – Remus and Sirius still found solace in each other. They still wouldn’t say a word, even though they sometimes suspected that Lily might have figured it out. In any case, it was never brought up, and that was the way that both preferred it.

They would spend time together whenever they could, all of them, but Remus spent most of his time with the werewolves, spying on them, and risking his neck every single day. If he made one wrong move, they would probably tear his throat into shreds.

Sirius, James, Lily and Peter would be sent on raids of a different kind – sometimes together, other times apart – and each time, they fought tirelessly.

Then Lily became pregnant and worked only in the Infirmary, and James became slightly neurotic for awhile, and Remus felt bad for not being able to be with them as much as he liked, while Sirius grew suspicious without any apparent reason, and all the time spent apart increased the distance between them. It grew until there was no going back, not even with kisses or the feathery, light touches that had always awakened so much in both of them, the touches that could chase the darkest of demons away.

And so, the night when there was no longer any trust arrived all too soon. Neither knew how they had gotten to that place. And to top it all, James and Lily had gone into hiding.

The next thing he knew, he was learning of their deaths – James’s, Lily’s, and Peter’s (whom he hadn’t seen in so long) – and of how Sirius had betrayed them.

And he wept, and he sobbed, and he screamed, alone in his flat, broken, so broken, and so lost.

He was lost without them.


II.

And time and the world are ever in flight;
And love is less kind than the grey twilight,
And hope is less dear than the dew of the morn.


('Into the Twilight')


He stands laughing, with tears streaming down from his stormy eyes, and Hit Wizards grab hold of him to take him away. Their wands are aloft, their faces troubled, and they are ready to strike at the slightest movement.

But Sirius doesn’t move. He just laughs and he cries and he lowers his gaze and he allows them to take him away, accepts his fate, because what’s there to live for now, anyway?

But that’s when Remus’s face appears in front of him, and his heart breaks, because Remus will never know the truth, and because Sirius will be rotting in Azkaban for something he didn’t do, and Remus will... what will he do? What would he himself do, if he had lost all of his friends in less than forty-eight hours?

Sirius doesn’t know.

All he knows is that he might as well be dead from now on.

And that it wouldn’t be half as bad if he was.

Death would be bearable. This would never be.

--

It had been easier than he expected, escaping, even enduring the freezing water and dangerous undercurrents of the sea. It had been much easier than he had thought, but it had still been exhausting.

Sirius hadn’t remembered that with a goal in mind, you might survive just about anything that fate throws your way; not until he had reached shore, a couple of miles outside of Plymouth, triumph battling the anguish inside his heart that hadn’t left him alone these past twelve years.

He transformed into his Animagus form. And then he set off on his journey to London.

Free at last.

Free at last.

--

When he sees Harry that first time after twelve years in Azkaban, his hearts stops beating because for a minute he is sure he’s looking at James.

Then he remembers where he is – what has happened and what he’s just escaped – and he remembers his goal: Peter is alive, and Peter is to be killed.

He sees Harry step onto the Knight Bus, sees the Knight Bus drive away, and he is alone in the dark.

He wishes for Remus, then. He really does.

--

His heart leaps when he sees Remus stand before him, in the shack where so many of their memories have taken place. He cherishes the moment in which they embrace, and Sirius is relieved, because Remus knows the truth now. There are many bridges yet to build between them, but Remus knows the truth, and in that instant, it’s enough.

Sirius is back and Remus is there.

But then – when Harry also learns of what really happened to the Marauders, to his parents, and of the actual betrayal, Sirius thinks This might be it, I might be free for good – things backfire, and he’s fighting Remus and Peter is gone and the Dementors are coming.

Will I ever be free? he thinks, and doubts it.

He will never be free. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever.

He has too many ghosts haunting him.

--

“Was it nice, returning to Hogwarts?”

Remus says it was, and Sirius sighs. What he wouldn’t do to leave the walls (that keep closing in on him) and ceilings (that fall down on him whenever he closes his eyes) and rooms and memories of his childhood home.

“I wish I hadn’t had to leave. I didn’t really think I’d enjoy teaching all that much, but turns out I did. It was good to be back,” Remus confesses, and his eyes glaze over, probably skimming through all the memories he has of their Hogwarts days.

“I wish I could go back,” Sirius says out of the blue, and truth be told he’s not sure what he’s referring to. Luckily, Remus doesn’t ask him. He doesn’t have to.

“But now you’ll get to be here some. I could use the company, seeing as hippogriffs can’t speak, and I’d rather turn myself over to the Dementors than to speak to Kreacher or that old hag.”

It’s a joke, and Remus smiles, but Sirius still notices the change in colour on Remus already pale features.

“Wouldn’t be the best idea, mate,” he says finally, and, while he doesn’t acknowledge it, Sirius is pretty sure the idea of losing his friend (and once lover) again sets Remus’s heart on a worried frenzy.

“You’re right.”

They leave it at that, like they always do – they don’t go into the details of the night James and Lily died, don’t talk about the past at all, and leave the topic of Peter Pettigrew untouched.

They say goodnight and they go to sleep.

They say goodbye and they say hello.

The days go by and the weeks go by.

And one day they can’t resist it, and they kiss; and as odd as it feels after all these years – as odd and as right – they cherish every moment of it. They fall asleep beside each other, exhausted but content – but when they wake up the next morning, they say nothing.

Just goodbye and see you later.

--

Sirius had always felt that he was meant to die in battle. He didn’t know when, or where, or how or why, but a battle it would be.

And it was.

The last thing he saw, before the raging colours of twilight engulfed him completely, was the sickening, triumphant glare of his cousin Bellatrix; the last thing he heard were the screams and curses ringing throughout the cavernous room; and the last thing he felt was the light, feathery touches of Remus’s fingertips across his brow, his collarbone, his back.

Then he fell, and everything flew past him; time and world alike.


III.

I heard the old, old men say,
'Everything alters,
And one by one we drop away.'


('The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water')


He was a shell of a man after Sirius died. Remus remembers a winter night in 1979, when both men had been drowsy with sleep and had laid against each other in bed; that night, Sirius had told him he was sure he was going to die in a fight, and Remus hadn’t responded, because the thought of Sirius dying was too much to bear.

A piece of his heart, his soul, was restored when he found out what had really happened on that fateful night in 1981. As he sat in his office, thinking that this could not possibly be happening, he had put the puzzle-pieces together. He knew then. He knew that Sirius – his once best friend, his once lover – had been innocent, and at the same time he had to try to process that lumpy Peter Pettigrew – who had sat with him at lessons those first weeks at Hogwarts (two scared misfits), the man who had been his friend for years – had actually been the one to betray them all.

It felt so surreal that when he woke up the next morning, sore and exhausted, he thought it had all been one heck of a dream, and that he was back in his fourth year at Hogwarts, experiencing the transformations all alone. Then it all came back to him, with a gust of wind or a flick of a wand.

In the end, life was as cruel as ever, taking Sirius away so suddenly (and not only for his sake – because sure, he’d been lonely and he’d missed Sirius terribly, although he had tried to conceal it even from himself – but for the sake of Harry, who never had the chance to know his godfather). He remembered James and Lily, and he hoped that wherever they were, they were happy.

--

Remus loves Tonks. He does, and he considers himself damn lucky for ever having a girl like her fall for a guy like him. He was reluctant at first, yes, and Sirius’s face would appear in the front of his mind and a knot in his throat would close up and he would want to cry his eyes out – even though he never really did.

After Dumbledore’s death, something had changed, and he had allowed himself to want the proximity of a woman again. It had been a while since being with a girl, but Tonks – with all her quirks – was adorable, he couldn’t deny.

One night he dropped by her flat, and things just picked up from there, easy and as natural as breathing, as if they had known each other their entire lives.

And, after years and years, there’s genuine happiness in his life. He remembers Hogwarts and its grandeur; remembers his first bonds of friendship, however feeble they ended up being; remembers how nothing was better than belonging; and then he thinks of his wife, of his child that is on its way, and of how things in life are fragile but at the same time powerful.

--

There’s a green light (yells and screams and a hundred other colours filling the air), and then there’s blackness, and next thing he knows, he’s beeing prodded on by Sirius, who is seemingly young again, with laughter and light in his grey, stormy eyes, and Remus remembers their first kiss, and how life wasn’t so bad after all because he gets to see them again.

He’s as sure of that fact as he was sure, just minutes ago, about being alive and fighting for a better cause.

“Come on; stop gawking and get to your feet. They’re all waiting!”

He’s been waiting, too. But not anymore, and never again.

FIN



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