(A/N) The lyrics are David Gray’s. The song is Falling Free. Very pretty song, despite the fact that I don’t generally like that genre. Read this pretending Change of Fate (another bad story of mine) didn’t happen. AU type thing in accordance to that, if you catch my drift. And if this is really bad, blame it on my seven-thirteen-a.m.-itis, okay?
AUTHOR’S WARNING: If you are opposed to slash, please read or don’t, but don’t send me hate reviews. I realise that some of you have different views than I do and I respect that, but please don’t lash out. Thanks, and enjoy my fic.
The wolf was gone. There was a large, black dog sitting by the bedside. He was behaving strangely for a dog, particularly for so late at night. One would assume such a creature would be asleep. But his eyes remained watchfully on the frail boy sleeping in the bed, on the gash down the side of his cheek. The child’s skin was almost translucent, and a spider web of veins ran visibly through his hands.
Moonlight played on his cheekbones, and an almost ethereal light was cast over his lightly closed eyelids. His sandy brown hair was tousled, and his skin was pale. The scratches on his hands and arms were a shade of burning scarlet, and stood out in stark contrast to the milk-white of the rest of his body.
He shivered, and it was hard to tell the boy under the timeworn, threadbare covers was seventeen. Dark fur lay against his arm suddenly, and the boy shifted. Soon, the head of a great black dog lay patiently, watchfully, vigilantly under the pale arm of a young man, and he would not sleep. His eyes stayed on the face of the boy, who had stopped shivering, and if dogs could smile, he did.
All of my senses overthrown
By the might of your skin
And the lamplight
on your cheekbone
Drawing me further in
No sentence I can speak
For the wonder so unique
Breaking like a wave
upon the shore
Mercy me, I'm falling free
Since you opened the door
When his eyes opened, the dog was no longer there. He rolled over, not worried about where he had gone. When he turned onto his side, he smiled, seeing the young man sleeping beside him. His black hair, the boy knew, was just long enough to brush his collar, although it splayed now all over the white pillow. His right arm covered his face, and the fingers were masking his eyes, which were a warm brown. His eyes fluttered now, though, at the touch of a hand on his arm that did not belong to him.
A smile played on the lips of the wolf-boy, and he watched a shaft of moonlight draw dew in the other boy’s hair, cherry-red dew, reflected from the only star that would shine into the ravaged shack, the dog star. The dog-boy’s eyes opened, now, and he smiled at the touch now on his hand.
“Good morning.” The other smiled, now.
See how the sky is
made of sapphire
The colours flowing
through our hands
The moon is fire in your hair
A million miles beyond
what science understands
Smell that mountain heather
I don't remember ever
Feeling like this before
Mercy me, I'm falling free
Since you opened the door
“Is that gash on your cheek okay?” The sandy-haired boy ducked his eyes.
“It’ll be fine.”
“I know it will be fine. But is it now?” The other looked at him.
“It’s fine. Mary will be mad at you. You stood her up last night.” The dark-haired one shook his head.
“She’ll understand.” The first rolled over to look at his friend.
“Do you love her?” A thoughtful look crossed the dog-boy’s face.
“No, I don’t think so.”
“Padfoot, have you ever loved any of them?” There had been many. Still more thoughtfulness.
“Molly,” came the affirmation.
“Why did you leave her?”
“Because it wasn’t right,” was the sad reply. “She didn’t love me, and I couldn’t live with that.” A beam of light brushed the face of the boy called Padfoot. The other nodded, slightly.
“I know how that feels.” Padfoot looked up.
“Do you, Moony?” There was no answer. “Moony?”
“Nothing.” Neither Moony nor Padfoot asked. Neither Moony nor Padfoot answered. It was the rule.
“All right.” Padfoot watched Moony, whose eyes were directed at the ceiling, watching tiny bits of light drift through the miniscule spaces between the roughly crafted planks. Padfoot watched Moony, and there was a dull sigh in the pit of his stomach, and a third hand reaching through his chest to take hold of the boy lying next to him. Padfoot shook off the feeling. He had Mary. The sigh did not go away; it got louder, and the hand stretched further. Padfoot batted in the general direction of his heart to get rid of the hand, but it did not seem to be there. Moony did not notice, or did not acknowledge this behavior. The hand reached still further, and Padfoot could not feel it to bat it away.
Mary…the hand did not listen. Padfoot acquiesced.
“Hmm?” The sandy-haired boy turned to look at his companion, and found, suddenly, a very familiar, very sober face very close to his.
“Did you ever wonder…” His voice trailed off.
“Did I ever wonder what?” It was a miracle his voice was steady.
“Did you ever wonder…” Padfoot cut himself off, and Moony was abruptly overwhelmed by several sensations, the first of which was a soft, tentative mouth on his own, and the second was a strong taste and smell of cinnamon surrounding him, a sudden cloud around his head that made him feel very dizzy. He closed his eyes. The sensations ended very soon, too soon, and a pair of quizzical eyes looked into his own now open ones that suddenly seemed very young.
“I’m sorry,” the mouth faltered, and Moony shook his head.
“I’d always wondered,” he said quietly, and suddenly he was back in the cloud, and then he remembered no more as his eyes closed and he fell, and then it was morning, and he woke up again.
If every windowpane
If every wall should fall apart
Well, it might hurt a bit,
but would it matter
With this jewel in my heart
The night sky was sapphire, and the starlight graced Remus Lupin’s head like a halo. Remus didn’t know it, though. The moon shone, full and bright, on his tortured face, staring, howling up at the luminescent orb. His body demanded fresh flesh, but what little of the human sanity that remained in his brain this night would not let him have it. It was a mystery to him how he’d managed to keep such a precious fragment of his mind. His heart pounded in his chest, threatening to leap out any moment and locate whatever-or whomever-it was so desperate to find. Through the hazy insanity that was the wolf, the Remus could feel something that was generally not there, and it forced the wolf to sit back on its haunches, and whine until the feeling had passed. A…a dull sigh in the pit of his stomach, and the sensation of a third hand reaching from his chest, and he tore at his body with his claw to make it go away, and it would not.
Slowly, he felt himself being enveloped by a new and yet achingly familiar scent, and it filled his mind, and he could taste it again, feel it in his mind. Cinnamon. His memory flashed back to all those years ago, lying in a bed on a night quite like this. Alone, with his best friend…with his other half…with himself. With the part he missed, now that the large black dog was not here, and missed on cold nights. Wolf/Remus’s head bowed to the ground, and his muzzle touched the dewy grass. Mary had been mad that Padfoot had been so late meeting her, but the boy—man—was much later in meeting him. He stared up at the sky, now, and closed his eyes as the pain of becoming man once more overtook him, reveling in the light provided by the one star that could shine through that old, ramshackle hut.
Many hundreds of miles away, a haggard young man with sallow skin and sunken eyes stared through the bars on his cell, and watched the full, bright moon glare mockingly down on him. He knew what was going on in a large meadow many miles from there, and he cursed the moon. He knew what the beast in the meadow thought when he was lucid, and he cursed the small, round rat that had got away. He sank to his knees, still staring out the window, and let his mind drift so many years back to a night like this, lying in a bed with his best friend, his other half, himself. He cursed the memory, and then, like magic…oh, the irony…the thought was gone, and he was overtaken by a deep, bone rattling cold. It sank through his flesh and invaded him, and he collapsed, overrun with thoughts of death and cruelty, and pain wracked his body as a black sheathed figure glided silently by. And then, as quickly as it had come, it was gone, and he was left, drained and limp, on a frigid stone floor.
But his eyes, before he could give in and die, caught sight of an ethereal blaze shining through his bars. He was swept away again in a wave of memory, and summoned the strength with a will beyond his comprehension to drag himself back to his window, and stare outside once more. There, he caught the beam of light that gave it all back, and a thought ran through his head.
I am innocent. And accompanying that thought was the memory, clear as day, of the touch of soft lips, giving in to his question, on his own and a pair liquid blue eyes, closing. The Man in the Moon looked strangely familiar that night. The Man turned from his post and looked straight, it seemed, through the prison, into his eyes, and gave him a slightly wolfish grin. He grinned back, as much as he could.
I am innocent. For a moment, he could reach out and touch that face, and be Padfoot again, face to face with his best friend. He could still feel the sensations of that night, that one soft kiss, and taste the purity that had gone along with it. Padfoot fell, and as he did, he caught sight of a shining beacon in the sapphire sky. The one star that had the bravery, the temerity to shine through the boards on that ramshackle hut. The dog star. The one that was with him, each night, and with Moony. He caught sight of it, and it gave him hope, remembrance of who he was, and of who Moony knew he was, even if he didn’t know, and it joined the two together, even when they were miles apart. That big black dog with his best friend…that star…I am innocent.
No need to nail it to the ground
No need to smother it with sense
Just listen to the rhythm of
your heart that pounds
And trust it all to chance
‘Cause we're standing face to face
With the angel of grace
Don't it just taste so pure
Mercy me, I'm falling free
Since you opened the door
AUTHOR’S EXPLANATION/LI’L DITTY AT THE END: As this says,
this is my explanation/li’l ditty at the end. By now, you know my characters
are Remus and Sirius. I generally do not like slash. I put up with it because
it exists, but I generally don’t like the idea of James/Sirius or something
like that, or Snape/Lucius. I sincerely don’t think it’s likely, and so I don’t
like it. But I always say Remus and Sirius as different. I don’t think they’re
gay/homosexual in the way we normally think. I think they have a bond in
friendship so tightly bound that it developed into a sort of strange love. That
they became so much a part of each other that it made sense to become
each other entirely, if you know what I mean. That if they “broke up,” they
wouldn’t go on about getting on with other men. I think they would find women
and be done with it. I don’t think they’re bi- and I don’t think they’re
homosexual. I think they’re normal, heterosexual men (my apologies if it sounds
like I think homosexual men aren’t normal), but are just so deeply into a
friendship that it turned into a love. If you even catch my drift here. If you
don’t, well, think what you like, but review. REVIEW! *does please-review
dance* Heavens, that sounded like the horrid music from that site I’ve been listening
to for fifteen hours…oh, heavens…need sleep…*wanders off aimlessly, calling
REVIEW! several times over her shoulder*