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When Stars Go Black by forsakenphoenix

Format: One-shot
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 1,782

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Mild Language, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature, Contains Slash (Same-Sex Pairing)

Genres: Romance, Angst
Characters: Lupin, Sirius, James

First Published: 12/28/2004
Last Chapter: 12/28/2004
Last Updated: 06/12/2005

There are many things Remus hates. He hates what he is and what the full moon makes him become every month. He hates what it can drive him too, the life it almost took, and the friendship it tried to destroy. But most of all Remus hates the way Sirius takes advantage of him. He hates that no matter how much Sirius hurts him, he keeps on crawling back for more.

Chapter 1: When Stars Go Black
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Author's Note: Self beta-ed, so I apologize for any outstanding errors. This has been in the works for months and I'm so glad to finally be done with it. Thanks to Janelle (TomFoolery) for the wonderful banner.

March 1977

The sunlight of the crisp March morning burned Remus’s eyes. He flung a bandaged arm across his face before he realized that James was beside his bed, looking tired and worried. He wearily dropped his arm and struggled to sit up. But James gently pushed him back down. A moment later, a cool, clammy hand, callused from hours on a broomstick rested on Remus’s hot forehead, brushing aside damp strands of hair that clung to his face; an intimate touch that was only ever shared for days after the full moon.

“Moony,” James whispered, his voice hoarse and scratchy. “Do you remember what happened last night?”

Remus’s mind was instantly filled with blurred images of blood, claws and teeth. He remembered the smell of fear but nothing more. His tongue became heavy in his mouth as James pulled his hand away and looked down at the sickeningly white linoleum of the infirmary.

“Sirius…he told Snape how to get through the Whomping Willow,” James started. Remus’s head began to pound and he became more awake than he would have wanted. “…followed last night…saw you transformed…saved him in time…Sirius is with Dumbledore now.”

Remus closed his eyes and exhaled, trying to calm his racing pulse. “Will he be expelled?” he asked, his voice was weary with exhaustion.

James shook his head angrily. “Bloody bastard should be though, after what he put you through. Madame Pomphrey said she’s never seen you this hurt before.”

James surveyed his friend’s thin and lanky body; damaged and bandaged like a broken toy and sighed. Just what had Sirius been thinking?

“What about Snape?”

“Dumbledore’s made him promise not to tell anyone about your condition. You can bet he was raving. He said people had a right to know that a monster…a dark creature was being protected in the walls of Hogwarts, said you deserved to be put down like some kind of animal because you could kill someone,” James growled angrily.

“I almost did kill someone,” painfully Remus reminded him.

“But you can’t control what you are!” James exclaimed, his voice too loud and too rough, echoing the truth harshly in the quietude of the infirmary. “Sorry,” he murmured when he saw Remus begin to massage his head. “Go back to sleep, Moony.”

Remus grunted in response and soon drifted off into a fitful sleep. When he awoke, hours later, the sun was beginning to set, casting shadows on the infirmary walls. He looked to his right, hoping to see a mop of messy jet black hair and hazel eyes behind wire-framed glasses. Instead, he found a head, bowed in silent defeat; ink jet hair, gracefully hiding the emotions that shaded charcoal grey eyes.

“Sirius,” Remus breathed. Sirius’s head snapped up in surprise.

Remus wished that he could hold onto the promise Sirius made four years ago, clutch it tightly, and scream, “See? He promised! He promised he’d keep my secret!” But all the promises Sirius ever made Remus now seemed falsely made.

“Moony…Remus, I can explain,” Sirius said desperately.

“Get out.”

“Remus, I’m sorry. I was an idiot, all right? I admit it. I made a mistake and I-I didn’t think about my actions or the consequences. I’m sorry…really I am.”

“So am I, Sirius,” Remus replied before turning his back to him. Sirius left a few minutes later with quick receding footsteps. The infirmary door closed behind him with a final click. Sirius stood outside the door for a few moments, contemplating where to go when he heard a sob, echoing the loneliness of the broken boy within.

For the next month, Sirius was met with a cold silence every time he walked into the Sixth Year boys’ dormitory. James could never meet his gaze, Peter looked at him with frightened glances, wondering if he should be the first one to break the heavy silence, and Remus tried his best to ignore the ever-present Sirius, tried to pretend that he didn’t exist. Because if Sirius did not exist, this hatred he felt burning within in him would surely fade with time. But it did not wane like the moon because Sirius did exist, did breathe, and was a constant reminder to Remus of the monster that he is.

But eventually, Remus forgave Sirius like he’s forgiven him so many times before. He acts as though it was just another simple prank that had gone too far, pretends that Sirius did not betray him because then Sirius’s touches aren’t shy and his kisses aren’t awkward and hesitant. He pretends as though nothing has changed between them but even through the lies, he can feel the distance between their hearts slowly expanding.

October 1977

On full moon nights, Remus stands naked in the Shrieking Shack, watching the sun fall beneath the horizon through a dirt-filmed window. On full moon nights, he prays, don’t set tonight, please, don’t set tonight. But on full moon nights, the sun does not heed his cries.

Remus watches the sun dip beneath the skyline giving way to darkness, giving way to the monster that lurks beneath his skin. The wolf claws at his insides to escape, to empower him when the moon rises, with a snap of bones, tearing skin and blood. He can feel the pain coursing through his veins and already, the wolf is trying to invade his mind. That’s what Remus hates the most about full moons; the pain will eventually subside and the wounds will heal but the wolf is still there, waiting for a chance, when his defenses drop, to overtake him.

He hates the weariness he feels the morning after. He hates how he never has the strength to stop Sirius from taking advantage of him. Because Sirius will take advantage, will leave him gasping for air and wanting more, but will not give him more. He hates how he’ll find Sirius the next morning, snogging a girl at the breakfast table as if Remus didn’t matter. He wonders when Sirius says, “I love you,” if he really means it. He wonders if Sirius loves him when he runs his tongue along some girl’s lips, savoring her taste. And Remus hopes that Sirius tastes him instead of her so that he’ll come crawling back for more.

Yes, Remus hates full moon nights because, even though he loves Sirius, when the wolf and Remus became one and he’s more wolf than Remus, he cannot seem to forgive Sirius for his mistakes.

February 1978

Sirius’s lips are always chapped and dry against Remus’s. His hands are rough and callused from handling a beater’s club and breaking too many hearts, especially from breaking Remus’s heart one too many times.

Remus thinks that he really should stop letting Sirius walk all over him because he’s always left hurt in the end. He wonders if the world would turn upside down if Sirius were the one left broken-hearted. But it doesn’t. It just turns his whole world upside down.

When Sirius finds Remus, in the Quidditch section of the library, with his tongue down some Ravenclaw’s throat, he does not throw a fit or threaten to hex the boy to stay away from his Remus. He simply raises an eyebrow and smirks.

“I knew when I saw you in the Quidditch section, Remus, that you were probably reading up on how to handle a broomstick properly,” he says with a roguish wink before walking away with his heart still in one piece.

And this time, Remus is the one crawling back to Sirius, grasping him tightly in the middle of the night and murmuring, “I love you” over and over again.

September 1978

After Hogwarts, Remus moved into Sirius’s new flat. It isn’t anything spectacular but it is home to Sirius and so it becomes home to Remus as well.

They spend days doing odd jobs for Dumbledore. They spend weeks separated doing secret missions for the Order of the Phoenix. Just a month out of Hogwarts and already the world seems too vast, too dark, and too fragile for them.

Their nights are gentle and now that they’re out of Hogwarts, they try and rediscover one another. Tender hands and fingers explore bodies again. Sirius finds himself tracing Remus’s scars with his tongue, mapping out his body. He knows now that no one is as beautiful as his scarred Remus. And all those girls and other boys had meant nothing to him. They never tasted as sweet or as bitter as Remus does.

Their ragged breaths break the early morning silence. Remus knows how hard it is for them to find oxygen nowadays even when they don’t waste it on worthless, stumbling words—because their tongues do all the speaking.

October 1981

Remus would whisper in the darkness to all those hearts left unbroken during the war. He would praise their ignorance for they did not know what it felt like to die. Remus has died five times over again.

Once for Lily, the beautiful, talented Lily who could always light up a room with her dazzling smile. Once for James, the boy that he had grown up with and knew how to read like a book. Once for Peter because he was loyal and steadfast throughout all the years that Remus had known him. But Remus will never understand his reckless act of bravery that caused his demise. Did he honestly think he was a match against Sirius? Sirius…Remus died twice for him.

He clutches to darkness with aching fingers, grasping for those precious stars that are always out of reach. Tears stream silently down his pale cheek as he stumbles to the crumbling edge of sanity. The sun beats down upon his weary eyes as the knives in his heart dig deeper. Teardrops gracefully slaughter his heart as the sun in his soul is as cold as the unforgiving moon and blacker than the shadows.

“What am I living for?” he mumbles.

Peter, Lily, and James are dead, betrayed by the very man who had betrayed Remus. The Marauders are dead, killed by the friendship that they believed would keep them together forever. Sirius is locked away in Azkaban where his memories will be taken away from him, sending him to the brink of insanity. Remus walks that fine line already, stumbling precariously like the faltering stars because the sky has lost its grip and Remus’s once glorious world is crumbling before him.

Remus is crumbling; the pillar that everyone once leaned up has finally broken.