Guilt
By: Rynne


“Sirius? Sirius, are you okay?” Remus asked, softly rapping at the door to Buckbeak’s room, where Sirius had retreated as soon as Harry had gone.

“I’m fine, Moony,” Sirius called through the door, but his voice had a hollow sound to it, so Remus pushed the door open anyway. He walked inside and bowed to Buckbeak, who bowed and inclined his head regally in response. Remus then turned his attention to his lover.

Sirius was sitting on the ground next to Buckbeak, staring out the small window on the opposite wall, his hand absently running through Buckbeak’s feathers. Remus walked over to him, knelt beside him, and embraced him. Sirius’s hand moved from Buckbeak’s feathers to Remus’s hair, though Remus couldn’t bring himself to mind the dust on the feathers mixing with his hair. Sirius’s hand tangled itself amongst the soft brown locks, and he let it rest there.

“I told you I was fine, Moony,” Sirius muttered, though the tight grip he had on Remus’s hair spoke otherwise. It didn’t hurt though, so Remus didn’t mind.

“You didn’t sound fine,” Remus said softly in response. “Was it the conversation with Harry?”

Sirius buried his head in Remus’s shoulder, and Remus simply shifted to accommodate him. “He should have been able to know his father,” Sirius spoke into Remus’s shoulder. “He shouldn’t have had to have seen James only from Snape’s point of view.” Sirius practically spit out Snape’s name. “James should be alive, so that Harry could see his father for the wonderful man he was.”

Remus shifted around, leaning back against the wall and bringing Sirius back with him, head still pillowed on Remus’s shoulder, Remus’s arms still around him.

“It’s not your fault,” Remus murmured, slowly rubbing Sirius’s arm. “James wouldn’t want you to blame yourself, you know…”

“And I can’t even tell Harry anything to make him see beyond what Snape’s Pensieve showed him,” Sirius continued, showing no sign that he had heard Remus at all. Remus just went on rubbing Sirius’s arm, hoping his just being here was doing something to help his black-haired lover. So he listened.

“All Harry’s ever heard of his father is when James was being a right prat…” And the moments before his death, Remus thought silently, but there was no way in Hell he was about to let that thought slip to Sirius. He had enough guilt to deal with. “…just like me. I haven’t exactly been the best role model for him either.” Sirius gave a hoarse bark of laughter, then subsided briefly.

“He cares about you, you know. That’s why he came today, because he trusts what you say,” Remus said, trying to assuage Sirius’s guilt as best he could.

“Oh yes, and for all we know, he could have just been caught and expelled by that horrid Umbridge cow,” Sirius replied, and Remus winced. Perhaps that wasn’t the best thing to say…

“He still cares about you, though,” Remus persisted stubbornly. “Ever since he found out you were innocent, he’s looked to you for reassurance and guidance, and you haven’t let him down.”

“If you call letting him participate in the Triwizard Tournament not letting him down, then I suppose I didn’t,” Sirius retorted, but his reply sounded just a little unsure.

“You had no choice in the matter there, Sirius. There was nothing you could have done to stop it. Sirius, Harry doesn’t blame you for anything! He places the blame squarely on the shoulders of those it truly belongs to—Wormtail and Voldemort,” Remus said, trying desperately to get Sirius to believe him.

“…I shouldn’t have trusted Wormtail…all this wouldn’t have happened if I just hadn’t trusted Wormtail…” Sirius muttered, burying his face further into Remus’s shoulder, his hand tightening in Remus’s hair.

Remus sighed and began stroking his lover’s glistening ebony locks. “You couldn’t know, Sirius. You had no way of knowing. And you weren’t the only one who trusted him. I trusted him, Lily and James trusted him, even Dumbledore trusted him! You had no way of knowing, Sirius, and all of this is not your fault,” Remus said, pressing a soft kiss on top of Sirius’s head.

Sirius sighed and sat up a bit straighter, releasing his hold on Remus’s hair, wrapping his arms around Remus’s waist. “I know that, Moony. Somewhere deep down, I know it’s not my fault. It’s just hard to convince myself of that, seeing the consequences of my actions. I just wish I could be there for Harry more.”

“So do I, Sirius. So do I,” Remus replied, hand still stroking Sirius’s hair.

“What did I do to deserve you, Remus?” Sirius murmurs as he beings to fall asleep. Remus shifts a bit, and settles them firmly in a comfortable position against the wall, Sirius’s head still pillowed on his shoulder, his own cheek on top of Sirius’s head, both men holding each other close.

“You were you,” Remus replied softly, just as Sirius’s eyes closed and sleep claimed him. “You were you.”



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