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Disclaimer: I own nothing, Remus Lupin, I'm sorry to say, belongs to JK Rowling... As much as I wish this was mine, it's not. I make no money off of this, it's all JK's = )

I dedicate this to every Remus Lupin fan who knows that he deserved better... I hope that Half-Blood Prince brings better times for him.... I really really hope you enjoy!

A Broken Man...

I stood alone in the kitchen of my tiny flat. With a flick of my wand the kettle set upon the stove began to steam and whistle shrilly. I was about to pour a cup of tea, to try and distract myself from the ever present loneliness I always felt, when a sharp tapping on the filthy pane of glass distracted me. I turned as the kettle continued to wail. The neglected window let in solitary rays of dimmed sunlight, which flooded into the room as I heaved the glass up to reveal the snowy white owl which had been tapping on the window.

I untied the Prophet to find that there was another letter attached to the owl's leg. My brow furrowed in curiosity. I hadn't received a letter for nearly two years.

With another flick of the wand the kettle was silenced. I slipped the coins into the pouch on the owl's leg, and walked back to the small makeshift table in the middle of the kitchen, all the time without taking my eyes off the letter. I couldn't help but remember the last time I had gotten a letter. I lowered my head in painfull remembrance.

* * *

Dear Remus,

I can't remember ever having to be the bearer of such bad news. Remus, you are probably already aware that there was a wizarding family killed late last night. I only thought that you should hear this from me before it reaches you through the harsher words of the press. Last night Mrs. Lily and Mr. James Potter were the victims of murder. Luckily, their son Harry, as I'm sure you have already heard, miraculously rebounded an unforgivable curse on Voldemort and he hasn't been seen since. This is why I am sorry to report to you that the rumours are true, Voldemort is gone... but I fear that for you much more than that has been lost...

By now my tears had already begun to soak through the parchment. The letter in my clutch threatened to rip under the strain of my shaking hands.

I know by now that it seems as if all is lost... but I am afraid that I have more to tell. I am sure you are aware that Sirius Black was the secret keeper for the Potters. It is unbelievably difficult to inform you that it was Sir Sirius Black that gave the whereabouts of the Potter family to the Dark Lord. I know he was very close to you, and am just as surprised as you must be that such a close friend of the Potter's could betray them as he has done. Mr. Black was caught in the middle of Crescent street where he cornered his long time friend Peter Pettigrew. It was here that he blew the street around him to pieces. Twelve muggles and your beloved and brave friend Pettigrew perished. Mr. Black has been transported to Azkaban and I will personaly contact you with the dates of the funerals. I am truly sorry for your losses Remus.

Albus Dumbledore

The letter fell from my quivering hands, the tears flooding my vision made it impossible to focus on anything but the pain.

* * *

The pain... it was unlike any I had ever known before. James and Lily were dead. Harry was left as an orphan. Peter had died in an act of bravery... and Sirius. For some strange reason it was the fact that Sirius was the one behind this that hurt the most... that cut the deepest. The thought of Padfoot killing Prongs left a scar that no werewolf could match. It was impossible to think how much one piece of parchment could change someone's life so drastically, so painfully.

I forced my thoughts back to the situation at hand, the letter still clutched in my long delicate fingers. I could only hope that the words contained in this letter weren't as painful as those of my last. I used one long, scarred finger to tear the top of the envelope open. One small sheaf of parchment fell into my out-stretched hand. I gently unfolded it to read the letter contained within.

Dear Remus,

I recognized the loopy hand writing instantly as Dumbledore's, and wondered who in the world could possibly have died that would concern me.

I know that it has been quite some time since my last letter, but I am glad to say that this time, the news I bring is far more pleasing for both parties involved. If you will forgive an old man's ramblings I will get back to the point. I am sure you have heard of the scandal involving Gilderoy Lockheart and the attempted attack on a few of our students, in light of the events involving a Basilisk lurking deep within the castle who had been attacking muggle-born students. As you may have already guessed he has been relieved of his duty as professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts. This is why I have contacted you. I know that you must be in constant search of employment given your condition, so I, as Headmaster of Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry, offer you the post. I await your an answer and expect it no later than the twenty fifth of July. Thank you, and take care,

Albus Dumbledore

I sat deathly still, reading and rereading the letter until it was permanently instilled upon my memory. The idea of it was so foreign to me that rereading it seemed to be the only way to comprehend. Me... Remus Lupin. Professor Lupin. The sound of it, the idea behind it, was so much to take in. I sat and stared into oblivion contemplating the idea of going back to the center of my childhood. The place I had come to know as my home. After a while, I realized I had been staring at the bare face of the old wooden table for what seemed like hours. Every burn, scratch, and tea stain imprinted into my memory.

Rereading the letter one last time I saw how much Dumbledore was ready to go through for me. For me to have a life... and even better yet, a normal life. I read a line that stuck out to me.

I am glad to say that this time the news I bring is far more pleasing for both parties involved...

Oh how wrong he was...

I knew deep down in my heart that going back to Hogwarts would kill me on the inside. The full weight of the memories involved with the turrets and corridors would be far too much for my weak body to bear. To see strangers sitting under our willow tree would forever haunt me, and the absence of my beloved friends would haunt me so much more. It would break me... it would kill me. But yet something inside me taunted me in telling me that death should be welcome to me by now, and I believed it.

It was then that I realized that I had not yet paid any attention to the news paper sitting on the table. I picked it up tenderly and scanned the front page. Nothing that proved of any importance could be found there. My hands shook in frustration. Every day I waited for news of Sirius. I knew that he was too strong willed to be kept in a cage for too long. Yet every day I was disappointed. My heart yearned to see Sirius, to hurt Sirius. The way he had hurt me. For so long some part of me believed that maybe, just maybe my friend could be innocent, but that part of me had died long ago. Now all that remained was the pain.

"Sirius..." I hissed in frustration, unwelcome tears spilling down my heavily scarred cheeks. I laid face in my hands and wept. I wept for all that had been, and all that had been lost... It was incredible how the pain never seemed to lessen. Every morning I wake up and it's as if it had all happened yesterday. The bond between us had shattered, but why was I left to pick up the pieces? My sobs came in violent fits. I didn't know how much longer I could go without having something to live for, something to look forward to. Sirius was the only thing that mattered, even if he only mattered because I wanted to murder him for all he had done.

That night I wrote back to Dumbledore accepting the job, and so one week later I found myself returning to the place I had once considered home.

* * *

This time I stood in my small but cozy office. Lost once again in the memories that I had known from the beginning would overtake me. I stood lost in the silence that always engulfed the castle when the students were on holiday. Only three days until I would see Harry. Some part of me wanted more than anything to see the son of Prongs again while the majority dreaded it.

I walked over to my desk, where the pictures from my days at Hogawarts could always be found when I felt lonely.
I flipped the top picture of the pile on my flimsy desk and found my self looking at the handsome face of James Potter, dressed in his red and golden quidditch robes, and leaning on his broom, grinning like an idiot the whole time. Beside him in all of his glory was the masculine god of Hogwarts, the one and only Sirius Black. I was absorbed by the moving pigments of color, waving and swirling to depict a boy I used to know, and a boy I always thought I knew. I felt my hands begin to shake, it was so hard knowing that James would meet a tragic end because of the boy beside him. Something I had come to know upon studying this picture is that the photo on the front was only half as painful as that which could be found on the back. I battled with myself not to turn it over but my body inevitably conquered my mind. I watched helplessly as my hands turned the aged photo over to reveal the messages written on the back in Sirius' loopy hand writing and James' untidy scrawl. Each had written a note on the back to me.

The first was from Sirius;

Moony, before you get too dreamy over how good I look in this picture, I would like you to know that I will always be here to strike a pose for you... from your most gorgeous friend and fellow Marauder....

Then James'

Hey Moony! Ignore him... you know you love me more! He can't even compare to me! You should definitely keep this photo... one day you'll be glad to have a photo of the greatest quidditch player in the world! (And no I am not talking about Padfoot!) from your most gorgeousER friend!

I sat down in front of my desk, not really out of choice, more because my legs refused to support me anymore. Something about this just didn't add up. For seven years Sirius waged war against his parents, what made him join them? It was a question that I hated to think about, but it burned a hole in me too deep not to avoid. Why couldn't it have been me? Why was I left behind? Why did October thirty first, nineteen eighty one have to be a full moon? Sometimes I think that the moon becomes full just to spite me. I can't help but wonder why it was me who was left behind.

I put down the picture in my hands and picked sifted through the other one's beneath it. Some cruel force guided my hands to the most painful ones. The world seemed to skip ahead as I lifted up a picture taken from the beautiful garden at the Potter manor, the night Lily and James were wed. My stomach gave in to an all too familiar sinking sensation to see Sirius standing beside James as his best man. I remember how Sirius had been when he was asked to be the best man that night we all had dinner together. I could see by the apologizing glances Lily had been sending me that she regretted me not being one as well. It was the hardest thing imaginable to keep a reasonable smile plastered on my face. I knew how childish it was for me to be acting that way but my heart had given out.

But through all of this I managed to keep a calm demeanor and attended the wedding with that same deceiving smile, sitting in the back of the crowd with a few distant relatives of Lily's.

The next picture that captured my attention was one taken at St. Mungos the night Harry was born. Myself and Sirius stood on either side of James and Lily, they were beaming at a two hour old Harry who was held gently in their arms. Peter was no where to be seen, and, if I recall correctly that was because it was him who had taken the picture. I look to see myself beaming as well at the new parents as well as their brand new son. The smile on James' face nearly brought me to tears once more. My lips tremble as I recall the pact we had made that night to all be there for Harry. It hurt so much to think he doesn't even know my name. I dropped the picture back onto the cluttered desk and laid my head in my crossed arms, reduced to sobbing once more.

The next photo on the pile didn't require for me to pick it up for me to recall the memory it held. I looked to see Lily and James sitting on the couch with Sirius between them, this time it had been I who had taken the picture. This was a night long before Harry was born when Lily had announced her pregnancy to us and asked Sirius to be the godfather. It's strange how well I recall panicking as my smile flickered and died, before I got it under control again. I don't recall if Lily had any sorry glances for me this time, I was too busy holding up that damn smile to think about much else. I don't know how I got through that night without showing how I felt. But who would notice such minor things as my feelings? Lily... maybe on a rare occasion. James... he was too busy with Lily too notice such things. Peter... Peter would have caught it in an instant... if it were James or Sirius. Sirius... I can't bring myself to contemplate what he thought about anymore.

I pushed aside several other photos, to expose the book of poetry hidden under the mess of painful memory. I prided myself at having a knack for being able to write and recognize poetry when I saw it. Verses describing beautiful meadows and failing relationships, bringing stunning images to my mind that only an experienced quill could conjure. That is when an idea hit me... I would end it all. My heart yearned for company, to be human again, and if death was the only way of achieving it, than death was my chosen path. It had to end, I thought to myself. Or would it begin? I wanted to be somewhere with Lily and James and Peter, where even the insane mind of Sirius couldn't take them away from me.

With another flick of my wand and a few muttered words a quill, ink, and parchment could be found in front of me. The tears that came from thinking of my long lost friends were already spilling onto the blank parchment. I had given up, something I was not used to doing, but there was a first time for everything. Too bad that this would be the first and last time. I picked up a quill and wrote what would be the last thoughts to enter my mind. A note... to Sirius, one last desperate effort to put my pain into words...

I sit alone...

A broken man

I wait for you...

The one to end my pain

And I think...

Maybe you are not the only answer,

Maybe the answer was never you...

I hear my heart beat,

A roaring tyranny in my ears

This silence is too loud for me too take

You're absence haunts me so much more than your presence ever could

I can't stand it anymore...

I need an alternative...

A knife rests upon the counter,

Cold steal gleaming in the rays of opportunity,

For the longest time you were all I lived for,

But no longer...

I cannot wait for you anymore...

I cannot live for you anymore...

Because living hurts too much...

* * *

Sirius Black lay in a corner of his cold stone cell in Azkaban. His mind jumped and raced as it usually did when the dementors were near, yet he did his best not to let it show. A show of emotion would only leave them wanting more. When his sane thoughts returned he began to become uncomfortable and shifted to try and sleep. It was the only thing that made him feel normal. He was also guaranteed to have dreamless nights as the dementors quickly sucked up any bad dreams to enter his mind. He brushed his tangled hair out of his face before drifting off into sleep. But this night was different, something did enter his mind that night.

The black emptiness of Sirius' thoughts was disrupted by a flash of light that made Sirius wish he could close his mind as he could his eyes. But when he concentrated he saw the thin figure of a man illuminated by the light. The man, wrapped in a veil of shadow walked into view. Sirius gasped in his sleep, Moony.

It wasn't the lean figure or the brutal scars that Sirius recognized... but his eyes. The pools of bright amber, glazed with intelligence. But it took a marauder to see beyond the barriers Moony set to hide his true feelings, and Sirius had no trouble spotting the mischievous glint that Moony had acquired over seven years of relentless pranking. No amount of tiredness shown in the lines of his face or the grey in his hair could disguise those eyes from Sirius. No one knew how much Sirius wanted to see dear old Moony again. To console him, to be beside him. Sirius would die for his respect. For forgiveness of having forced him to spend the remainder of his transformations alone, left in the merciless hands of the moon.

Suddenly Sirius cried out in his sleep as the man before him fell to the ground. Sirius realized it immediately... something was wrong. Moony was dying...
* * *

It so happened that the Minister for magic walked past Sirius' cell while he slept that night. He watched as he tossed and turned in his sleep, and wondered what was troubling him, but quickly forgot about it remembering that the man was insane. He was about to walk on and continue his inspection when he heard the convict mutter a few words in his sleep.

"He's at Hogwarts..."
* * *

Three days later the biggest news to come since the disappearance of Voldemort reached the ears of the public... Sirius Black, infamous criminal convicted for the murders of twelve muggles and one wizard, had escaped from Azkaban prison....

I would like to thank Kat (Blackwolf) for her help in editing this! Thanks a bunch girl, i owe you one!

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