The Sugar Quill
Author: DarkWitch (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Phases of the Moon  Chapter: Default
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Phases of the Moon

Phases of the Moon

They found a letter in his things.

A letter addressed to me.

Sweet Merlin, I don't want to see it. I don't want to read it. I suppose I should be grateful for the chance to hear his voice one more time, even if only in a letter. Should be glad to see his handwriting, that looping, untidy scrawl that proclaimed his authorship of even the smallest scribble.

I should want to experience one more part of him.

Shouldn't I?

He was the only person who made it past every wall I could build, every door I closed against the cold that was my usual companion. To this day, I'm not sure whether he scaled the wall and unlocked the doors or whether he simply blasted them away with his usual flair, a walking, talking Banishing Spell.

I'm not sure it really matters how he did it. What matters is that he did. All these years later, the doors no longer shut completely. The walls crumble before reaching their former height. And I no longer have the energy I once did to continue trying to restore them.

Is that a gift he gave me, I wonder, or some sort of curse?

Knowing him--and oh, how I knew him--it will prove to be a bit of both.

I don't want to read that letter. I don't want to know anything that might change my last memory of him--smiling, more alive than he had been in years, fighting with the courage and skill of ten wizards against Bellatrix in the Department of Mysteries.

I really don't want to open that letter.

I really don't have a choice.

18 June 1996.
Dear Moony,

Moony. Of all the names they might have chosen for me, they could not have found one more appropriate. The moon, then as now, controlled my life. Month by aching month I fought in vain to beat back the symptoms of my disease. Month by aching month I learned to hate the moon, cold and alien, indifferent as it sailed through the sky, ever-changing yet constant.

I hated the full moon before my friends joined me under it. It was only then that I noticed how entrancing it could be, how magical its silvery light. How fascinating the unearthly beauty of the moon could be when it was something to be shared rather than dreaded.

They called me Moony, and though my relationship with the moon would always be defined by a fight I could not win, I learned to love the name. The moon might always end the victor in our monthly battles, but I, with my friends beside me, was winning the war.

I don't know if I've told you, in so many words, how much you mean to me. You're the one who's good with words, who thinks things through before you speak so that what you say makes perfect sense. So that what you say means something more than mere words. You know me. I speak, then I think. And sometimes--too often--I assume that you know what I'm thinking. Over these past few years, it seems more and more as though you're able to read my mind. But you can't, and I know that, which is why I'm writing this letter.

We've seen so much in our lives, Moony, so much pain and so much loss. When I found you again, I thought that perhaps we could make a go of it. That we could have a chance at that peaceful life you always used to claim to want, the one I always claimed would be so dull and boring. Azkaban changes a man. What I disdained back then has become my dream. Seeing you again brought it all back, so instantly and fully that I ached with it. Where once I only wanted to fight, I now want to rest. To let others take over the reins and sit back, safe and quiet and calm, while the world rushes on past.

That's what I want, in the deepest hours of the night, when I'm trapped inside this house I grew up in, wishing desperately for escape. For you. It's what I want when I'm alone inside my head, when the others aren't nearby, when isolation brings realisation like a rush of icy water: I am alone, and alone I am nothing.

In daylight, amid crowds of others, in my right mind, I still want to fight. Despite the fact that it means the two of us will never be together in peace--at least, not until it's all done, anyway--I want to fight. There are so many scores to settle--James, Lily, all the other innocents who've been lost to darkness. Wormtail--but then, no sense repeating the obvious. There are so many reasons to fight.

There's Harry.

I'd have a hard time admitting it, except to you, but he's the only thing that keeps me in the fight. He's the one person left on this earth that I would risk everything for, even my chance to be with you. If not for Harry, Number 12 Grimmauld Place might be empty the next time the others come round. If not for Harry, I would say the hell with everything that stood in our way.

Am I imagining it, or do you feel the same way this time round? Am I right in thinking that the deeply-buried fire that working for the Order all those years ago put into your eyes has begun to fade? Maybe so. Merlin knows I don't want to be alone in my resignation and my weariness. Maybe I'm only imagining that I see my own feelings in you.

Azkaban took something out of me, and I'm starting to fear that it's something I'll never get back again. I feel stripped-down. Inadequate. As though my soul is too small to fill me, no matter how much I try to stretch it. As though some vital part of me, something hot and burning with life, has been doused with icy water.

Wet wood doesn't burn well. It doesn't burn well at all, Moony.

He called me Moony. He thought it far more appropriate than 'Remus.' From the very beginning, I was always Moony to him. Seeing myself through his eyes fascinated me from the first night we began, just the two of us. He seemed to see things in me that weren't there.

So I thought, until he taught me to see all of myself, not just the wolf.

Lying in bed, the sheets tangled at its foot, silver-blue moonlight spilling over us from wide-open windows, still pleasure-drugged, he tried to explain.

Merlin, I can still hear his voice, hoarse from passion, as though it were yesterday.

You're not Remus, not to me. Remus is someone proper, the person the outside world sees. To me, you're Moony. You always will be. His fingers trailed over my cooling skin, and I shivered pleasantly, barely paying attention to his words, until he spoke again. You never knew why I named you Moony. You thought it was just the werewolf thing. This caught my attention, as he'd intended. He was the only one, with the possible exception of James, who could call my lyncanthropy 'the werewolf thing' without trivialising it at all. Even though I knew he was teasing me, just like he was every time he used that particular phrase, his use of it still had me opening my eyes to watch him.

His eyes were black and intense, shining with the inner fire that was Sirius even in the odd silver-blue light.

You are the moon. Mysterious. Secretive. Wild. For a moment, his face lost its almost-frightening intensity and he grinned wickedly, sliding his fingers along my belly.

What I wouldn't give for that shivery, knee-melting caress just now.

You can be cold and indifferent. You expect people to shun you. Too often, they do. His face darkened, scorn and disgust warring in his eyes, and I forgot the hurt that had flooded me on being called cold and indifferent by someone I loved so dearly. They know what you are, and they're afraid of it. And it hurts you. So you put up a front, Moony. You push them away before they can push you away. It's only with people you trust, or know well, that you show your other side. He saw something in my face that made him smile and roll onto his side. He rested his head on my shoulder, and I closed my eyes, wanting to remember the feel of him, hot and hard and strong beside me.

You're cold like the moon, and indifferent like the moon. But you're mysterious, Moony. You spend so much time inside yourself. There's so much to you that even I don't suspect. His fingers slid lower, and for a while we both lost the thread of the conversation.

Later, lying curled against his back, my arms around him and my face buried in his hair, I was considering what he'd said when he spoke again. So wild, Moony.

I couldn't help my laughter.

Like the moon he said dreamily. You change like the moon. Different and the same. Cold and indifferent and apart, but mysterious and secretive and wild and loyal. Always there. I could hear the smile in his voice when he said it again. Always there.

I wanted to remember him as he was before he died, strong and powerful and brave.

It would have been wrong not to have opened the letter. Not to have heard his voice again, in whatever way I could.

Not to have remembered that Sirius Black was strong and powerful and brave in many ways. In ways that were far more important than his dueling skill.

To have forgotten, because the memory hurt like a spear through the heart, that he had been the first and only person to truly know me.

To have forgotten the soul-shattering power of discovering that Sirius, once again, had seen through all the doors and walls to what hid in the darkness behind them.

Sweet Merlin, how long until I stop waking in the night, reaching out for my lover and finding cold sheets? How long until the pain begins to fade?

I'm tired, Moony. That's no lie. These last months, cooped up in this house, have worn me out. I feel used-up and useless, unless you're around.

When you're around, I can forget that we've all been through this before, and that we've lost so goddamned much. I can let the past slide away, because you and I are timeless. I can believe that, working together, we can protect Harry and the others and come out of this with the future shining in our faces. When you're here, everything else fades away.

I really wish you were here right now. It would be nice, for once, to be able to tell you this face-to-face. I always seem to get distracted when you're around, and whatever I mean to tell you gets pushed aside for the moment.

You're still wild, Moony.

Thank Merlin for it.

I never fit in here, with my family. It was only with my friends that I truly belonged. With James, and with you, my brothers in everything but blood. With you, my brother and my lover. I never questioned the fact that you could be both things to me at once. You're always changing, Moony. Just like your namesake.

And like the moon, I know you're always there even if I can't see you.

Goddammit, why can't you hurry back for once in your life, Moony? When I see you again, we're going to have one hell of a long conversation about this ridiculous penchant you have for taking your time and doing things carefully. It's obvious that all our time apart has allowed you to forget your admittedly puny impulsive side.

Rest assured, I'm planning a few things to take care of that, Moony.


I called him Sirius, because no other name fit him quite as well. He was the brightest star in my sky. The star that guided the course of most of my life. The most beautiful being I'll ever know.

He called me Moony, for reasons of his own.

If there is a heaven, I hope that he shines there as brightly as he ever did here.

I hope that someday I will join him there.

I am Moony.

This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. Only the most sincere compliment is intended from the use of JK Rowling's characters here. Also, all original content is (c) 2004 by DarkWitch/darkwitch666/animagus1369. All rights to original content are reserved.

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