He stood in front of the house, looking up at the large front, remembering the feelings of evil he had associated with it as a boy. It was menacing; the windows were placed so that the house appeared like an overbearing face, frowning down upon anyone who happened to end up in front of it. It seemed to be judging him.
'Let it judge,' he thought. He was there on a mission. The details were hazy, but the general implication was clear--he had unfinished business.
Wake up, the voice had said, low and soothing. It was a voice that made him feel protected. One that made him feel safe. You have to go. Twelve Grimmauld Place is the address. The werewolf awaits.
Yes. Remus. He had to see Remus. He knew what was expected. He knew he had to get up, move, and he found himself there not long after, a foul taste in his mouth and a simple bracelet that was his Portkey clutched in his fist. What would Remus think when he saw? What would he do?
He stood in front of the house. He opened the front door. He quietly shut it behind him. After a seemingly endless climb, he found himself standing outside of another closed door, his eyes clenched, his heart thumping wildly in his chest.
And then he went inside.
Sunlight streamed into the room. It illuminated the floating particles of dust that seemed to clog every bit of space in the house, and Remus imagined that it might just choke him to death one day.
He hoped it would, sometimes.
Tired. He had not stopped being tired since the day that Sirius died. He found it hard to get up, and hard to move, and hard to even eat or drink. It was as if he was insulting the spirit of Sirius by having the nerve to continue living. He felt the guilt crushing him. It was unbearable, and he willed for it to end as swiftly as life had ended for Sirius.
In the restless sleep that he got in between the long fits of insomnia, he remembered the earlier parts of his life. He remembered being happy, once, but it was so long ago in the past that it almost seemed unreal, as if it were another person, not him, that had felt joy.
Bits and pieces of that happiness broke through his misery. His friends were there, telling him to look past the bad. Memories of laughter sounded through his mind.
He remembered James, black hair askew, bright hazel eyes lit with an antagonizing light of sympathy, his face lit by the orange light of the Gryffindor common room's fire. "Don't worry, Remus," he had said. "Friends don't let other friends die of loneliness. It doesn't matter what you are. You're still the same person you were yesterday."
He remembered Peter, loyal but scared, light hair clutched in his hands as he leaned over the small kitchen table in Remus' flat, a half-read Daily Prophet distracting Remus' eyes with a picture of Voldemort's latest victim. "All of this meaningless fighting, Moony. The death, the pain. Those innocents. Families on both sides, dying for no reason at all. Do you really want to be part of that? Do you really want to be responsible for someone's death? Is it worth it, knowing that you took someone's life, even if they were trying to kill you?" There were things worth fighting for, and he had said this, and Peter had looked at him with a clenched jaw, nodding when he saw Remus' face. "Yes, you're right. There ARE things."
And he remembered Sirius, black hair falling down his back, lying in their shared bed, his body thin and lithe and nude. "Moony," he had breathed, "if my living in Azkaban for more than a decade is what it took for me to realize this, to realize us, then I would do it again." Remus had shushed him with a kiss, the lips still unfamiliar, the mouth warm, but Sirius had pulled back again. "I love you," he had whispered for the first time, and Remus had to bite back a tide of emotions in the form of tears as he learned the body in front of him, thankful of the thick walls in Twelve Grimmauld Place.
Visitors had shown up since the death. Dumbledore had told him during one afternoon that the Order's headquarters had been moved, and Remus would be told where when he was ready. Snape had come twice, menacing and almost unbearable, the first time with the Wolfsbane potion and the second time to 'check up on him,' on Dumbledore's orders, sneer fully in place. Tonks and Molly had stopped by quite a few times, the former bringing him Daily Prophet's and sad looks, and the latter bringing food that would keep for a long time.
He lived in the large house alone, though. Kreacher, who had disappeared after the death of the last Black, was nowhere to be found. Dumbledore had speculated that the house elf had gone to the Malfoys to serve Narcissa, who was still a Black by blood and had a stable residence that he could make himself useful in. Buckbeak had been turned over to Hagrid on the promise that the half-giant would return the hippogriff to where he had procured him. No person had offered to move in, and Remus had asked no one.
So when he heard the bedroom door opening slowly, he pushed his mind through the haze and concentrated, slowly reaching for his wand, standing and trying to maintain his balance. It was something that he had almost forgotten, for he had not done it in weeks. He shuffled his feet as carefully as he could, holding his wand out, leveling it towards the door that was creeping open.
When the figure behind the door revealed himself, Remus breathed out slowly and stared, his wand drooping. He let it fall to the floor as blue eyes met his own.
He didn't even have time to say anything. Remus loped forward in two large strides and captured him in long arms. He could hardly breathe because of the crushing embrace; he pulled back slightly, or tried to, but Remus was having none of it. "This has to be a dream," Remus whispered into his ear. He was about to reply, but a sharp pressure of teeth on his earlobe shocked him into silence. Remus was acting in a strange manner.
The lean body against his was pulling away at first, he thought, but no-Remus was backing up just enough to literally rip off his shirt, the loud sound of tearing fabric shattering the silence of the house. Harsh breathing was loud in his ears. He felt strong hands caressing his chest as soon as the shirt was off. He saw Remus' face lean in close to his own.
"I'm not going to question my sanity anymore," Remus muttered and whispered between kisses. "I can still smell you in bed. It's probably the cause of this dream." A few more kisses, a tug in the direction of the bed, and, "Let this be a good one, for once."
He was naked right away, while Remus was still fully clothed. Remus was licking his chest, clenching teeth onto the growing bud of his left nipple, and he arched his back in pain/pleasure as he felt his body giving in to the sensation. Remus was not taking this slow; saliva soon trailed a short path from his nipple to his groin, and nimble fingers pulled back the foreskin of his growing erection to expose the head, Remus' tongue swiping at the tip.
He could barely maintain his own sanity as Remus' lips secured around his cock, taking a large portion of him into that wet heat. He bucked up, crying out. Almost forty years old, and he had not had enough of this in his youth. He knew that he would never get used to it.
Pleasure flared through him, the sounds of slurping and the sight of the top of Remus' head causing his balls to pull up sharply, and he was about to come. Remus seemed to sense it, for the werewolf let his cock drop out of that mouth. His friend leaned back, smiling slightly. "I want you to fuck me," were the words that came out of Remus' mouth. He groaned at the thought.
Remus laid on his back, pushing a pillow underneath his hips after he stripped. The sight of his body was not necessarily an arousing one; the man with grey in his hair and lines on his face was scarred and thin and smelled as if no bathing had been done recently. But Remus was already hard, as was he, and he had no problems with leaning over his friend, settling his own hips between those of this panting man beneath him, waiting for him.
He apparently didn't have to do anything but watch for a moment as Remus brought thin fingers to that talented mouth, sucking them in. He felt his cock jolt as Remus pulled those fingers out, the sunlight causing the saliva on them to shine. He backed away slightly as Remus slid those fingers one by one into the waiting hole, moaning as those brown eyes stared up at him. Two, and then three fingers were buried there, and he felt desire wash through him at the thought of his own cock being in the same place.
The fingers came out, and Remus clasped long legs around his hips, drawing him forward. He held his cock at the base, wonderingly surprised at the feel of Remus' hole clenching him tightly as he pushed in, stopping when the head was just past the opening. Remus was staring up at him lustfully.
"Do it," Remus whispered, and he slid in slowly, gasping at the hot, slick feel of it. He began thrusting gently at first, but Remus' bucking body told him that it wasn't enough, so he tried harder, pulling almost all the way out before sinking in again and again. It was unbearably good; he could feel his already tight balls hitting Remus' arse, his pubic hair brushing against Remus' own balls. He watched with hazed over eyes as Remus' hand came up to pull at the exposed cock.
"Oh, gods," Remus murmured, the lithe body surging upwards in the same rhythm of his thrusting. He closed his eyes, knowing that he was close, and something pulled at his hair as he sped up, willing his body to stay at this glorious brink, not wanting this sensation to end. He looked down at the face staring up at him.
Remus wound his fingers through the black hair, almost sobbing at the beauty of the face before him. Blue eyes were almost black, staring down at him, and he could almost imagine this being their first time again. "I've missed you," he moaned, closing his eyes as wave after wave of pleasure exploded through his veins in the same rhythm of Sirius' thrusting. "Don't leave me again."
Sirius didn't answer. Remus involuntarily clenched tightly around Sirius' cock, and his balls were pulling up sharply. There was also a burning sensation flaring against the side of his hip, where Sirius' hand was gripping him. He ignored the pain, focusing on the pleasure. Sirius was speeding up; the sound of Sirius' balls slapping against his skin was deafening in the room, overriding the panting and the moaning. Remus let his head fall back, biting his lower lip as the balance started to tip over, the waves of pleasure now crashing over him steadily, sending him over the edge.
He came, jerking as he clenched his arms tightly around Sirius' neck. It was only two or three more thrusts later when Sirius came, and the hand on his hip gripped so tightly that Remus felt as if his bones were breaking. Remus kept his eyes closed, coming down from his orgasm with the pain on his hip bringing his mind into focus. Fighting the vestiges of fatigue, spent, with Sirius' cock still buried in him, Remus opened his eyes and gasped.
He collapsed on Remus' body, not wanting to move. He didn't know how he ended up like this, buried in his childhood friend, the scent of sweat and come filling his nostrils. Remus was squirming, gasping, and it took a second for him to realize that Remus was trying to get out from under him. He pushed himself up on his left hand, and he looked down to realize that his right had just involuntarily crushed Remus' hipbone like paper.
"Peter," Remus gasped in pain, eyes filled with tears, looking up at him with a mixture of guilt, fear, and resignation. The werewolf's cheeks, still visible from the dim sunlight shining in through the window, were tinged red, and he finally got a good look as he gazed down at the aged face of the boy he once knew.
It was lined, wrinkles appearing at the corner of brown eyes, the sides of the thin-lipped mouth, the ridge of the cheekbones. It was pale, bloodless except for those cheeks. Remus had never been beautiful, he thought, but Sirius must have thought so, judging by Remus' initial reaction at seeing him.
Regretfully, he eased himself out of his friend, letting the thin body fall back to the bed. He backed away, his hand finally coming away from Remus' hip, wincing at the burned redness of the print left there in the slack skin sagging over the crushed bone. Remus was half-sobbing, staring at him, trying to move but unable. Peter could tell that the werewolf was in immense pain, pain that he had caused unintentionally. He flexed his silver hand, a wave of guilt surging through him.
"Sorry," he whispered. He didn't know what else to say. He wondered if the real Sirius was going to come in at any moment. He wondered if he should go. Voldemort did not tell him to take care of anyone else but Remus, but...
Remus was biting his lower lip again, seeming to gain a little bit of his control. "Peter. End this. Please."
Peter shook his head, suddenly afraid. "I can't. I'm supposed to, but I can't. Moony, you were different. You don't deserve-"
"Then do it FOR me," Remus interrupted. He looked pleadingly up at Peter. "Do it. I can't live anymore anyway. I haven't been alive for weeks."
Feeling his brow furrow, Peter shook his head again. "Sirius will come, won't he? He could heal you. Or he could get Dumbledore for you. Remus, I don't want to hurt you. I didn't mean to. I didn't understand..."
Remus stared at him as he trailed off. A moment passed, a moment where happy childhood memories passed through Peter's mind as he stood there, looking down at this ruined body of the best person he had ever known. Remus was the one of his friends that he had never wanted to hurt. Remus didn't deserve it.
But comprehension crashed through him as Remus spoke. "Sirius is dead, Peter. He won't come." Peter hadn't known. But suddenly, he understood. He understood Remus' reaction upon seeing him in Sirius' form. He understood why Remus wanted him to end it. He was fairly certain that he would have known if they had been lovers during or after school, but this must have been new and yet old. After all, Remus was all that Sirius had left, and vice versa. It would have made sense.
He didn't know if he could do it. But this was what Remus wanted, what Remus practically begged for with those pleading eyes filled with pain. Please, they seemed to say.
Peter remembered when he was a child. It was the summer before he turned nine, and he was playing outside. A Muggle car had passed by, and a yelping had filled the air as the car drove on. Curiosity had drawn Peter close to the source of the cries, and he found a small brown puppy lying in the road, its lower half crushed. Peter's dad had come out of the house as well at the sound of the cries, and Peter had found himself being pushed towards the house with a sad look and a gentle hand. He had sat in the front window, watching as his dad had raised his wand a second before the cries had stopped. Later, he had asked what had happened, and his dad had told him that the puppy was suffering, and that it had been beyond help.
Peter had not understood at the time that his dad had been ending the pain, and he had cried over that poor puppy, angry with his father. Now, though, as he stared down at Remus, still twisting and gasping in pain with a crushed hip, he realized what his dad had done. And he realized what he would also have to do.
He watched the burial from a small grove of trees in his rat form. A small cluster of people had gathered to watch; he recognized Dumbledore, and Harry, and the Weasleys. He could even see Snape, though the Potions professor was standing near the back, a blank look on his thin face.
The Daily Prophet had revealed no details as to what had happened, but Peter knew that Remus had been found in that same bed with a crushed hip and a crushed neck, a thin blanket covering his nude form. For a second, Peter mourned his childhood friend, the weight of all of his choices settling upon his shoulders like a body, cold and dead and unforgiving.
And then, the ceremony was over, and people were leaving. For now, Peter watched as Harry Potter walked by with his friends Ron and Hermione, his face devoid of expression. When they had passed, Peter hurried back into the grove of trees, waiting for the right moment to change and Apparate.
As his last effort to right his wrongs, Peter had not told Voldemort about the funeral. He knew it would be unprotected, but Remus had deserved a quiet ceremony, and so Peter had made sure it was so.
With one last look at the casket being lowered into the ground, saying a mental farewell to his friend, Peter pushed aside his grief and Apparated.
It was time to go back to work.
Author's note: I really don't think Remus will just give up like this, but this story idea refused to leave until I wrote something. Remus is very strong, I think, and although he IS overcome with grief over Sirius' death, he will continue to struggle to live for Harry and for the Order, since he is needed, in a sense, for both. Also, the story with the crushed puppy-that really happened to me. My grandfather shot the puppy because it was beyond help. But I WAS old enough to understand, as much as I didn't like it. I don't get the 100% sense from the books that Peter has turned as evil as it seems. There's something there that must have been a part of him to make the other three his friends back in school--I don't think that a general lifestyle change affects everything about a person. Hopefully, my assumptions will prove to be true in books 6 and 7.REVIEW HERE