A/N: Disclaimer, disclaimer, yada yada…I own none of it, J.K. just lets me play in her world. I would like to remind everyone that this is slash, not graphic by any means, but slash nonetheless. Thanks so much to my pre-beta betas, gypsy lupin-black, and tundraeternal…they were instrumental in getting me here. And Jo Wickaninnish…I believe this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Thanx so much!!!
The veil floated as if an invisible breeze was guiding it - the voices whispering beyond, calling to him. Every time he closed his eyes, he replayed Sirius falling. Over and over he watched. Other memories played unbidden in his mind like a Muggle film. Laughter, smiles, tears, touches, whispers, and a myriad of emotions had accompanied him into the early morning hours. Sleep had been an ever-elusive entity, slipping just beyond his grasp.
Watching the golden blue hue that colored the horizon, he slipped from their bed. Admitting defeat, he shuffled downstairs to the kitchen. Molly Weasley was bustling around the stove when he entered. She shot a sympathetic glance in his direction, and then placed a cup of tea in front of him. He whispered his appreciation and with shaky hands, brought the cup to his mouth.
The door to the kitchen swung open. Albus Dumbledore’s face reflected the emotions that lay deep within Remus’ heart. The half-amused look the headmaster usually wore was absent.
"Good morning, Molly." He spoke softly, casting a half-smile in her direction. "Might I bother you for a cup of tea?"
"Certainly, Headmaster." Placing the cup in front of the vacant seat across from Remus, she gave him a quick squeeze on the shoulder and left.
He produced an envelope from a fold in his deep blue robes. "You must know I do not wish to bring you pain with this. But I was directed to deliver this to you in the event of Sirius’ passing."
Remus picked it up from the worn tabletop. Recognizing the writing, he felt something terrible break inside himself.
"Excuse me, Headmaster." Remus stood and left the room. He would curse his inexcusable behavior at a later date, but now could only think of escaping prying eyes. Finally closing their bedroom door behind him, he fell against it and melted to the floor. With tear-filled eyes he began to read.
I hope like hell that you need never read this letter. If you are reading this, I am so sorry. Know that I would never purposefully leave you. Never.
There are certain things I want you to know. From the moment I saw you at Platform 9 ¾, I knew. My life would never, ever be the same. Even then, scrawny pair of kids we were, I knew. You would change my life. I didn’t know how much at that time. But I thank the powers that made you and brought you to me. Even if we weren’t together for a very long time, we were here and we were happy. From the first time I touched you it felt like home, I knew. You are my life. My heart, my soul, my mate.
I’ve left certain provisions for you, Harry and Tonks. Watch over Harry, Moony. He will need you. Just as you will need him. So many people love and adore you. I’m just one of many. But the only one, luckily enough, to have possessed your love in such a special way. Cast aside the pride that is Remus Lupin; revel in those who care. Cherish them, as I did you.
Memories came flooding with the tears. Another letter he’d received, many years past, had given him something he’d never had before. Hope. Around the end of sixth year, Remus had had an awakening awareness of Sirius. How James had ever guessed was beyond Remus. He had been so careful to act normally. But he had guessed, just the same. Prongs had become his secret keeper.
Then at the end of the summer…the letter. Prongs explained that Sirius was going through the very same thing that Remus himself was trying so hard to fight. Smiling inwardly, he remembered how James had called them "two worthless gits who don’t deserve each other if they don’t get it together soon. I’m so sick of you ‘mooning’ over each other like a couple of girls’". He explained to Remus that Sirius’ feelings were partly brotherly, partly sexual and wholly love.
Remus had put together his meager belongings, made excuses to his parents and made his way immediately to Godric’s Hollow. Arriving in the middle of the night, he delighted in one of the only moments of rashness in his short lifetime.
He had found Sirius in his room, asleep. He lay tossed and mussed, with small slivers of moon shining across his face. At seventeen, he had been lean and muscular, with shaggy dark hair. He had been a god-like youth. Sirius had started, as if he knew someone was watching him.
"Moony," he’d growled. "What’re you doing here? I thought you couldn’t come." Scratching his head. "Are you okay?" Lumbering to the side of the bed, he threw his legs over.
"Padfoot, I’m fine." Remus was rooted to the spot by the door.
"Oi, you scared the mickey out of me. What the hell are you doing out this time of night? Full moon isn’t for another twenty some days."
"Sirius, there’s something I’ve been wanting to tell you. It’s just so hard. You know you’re my brother and that you can trust me no matter what, right?" His voice had shaken, betraying his nerves as he ran his hands through his hair.
"Moony, you’re not sick are you? You’re okay. Please tell me you’re okay."
"I’m so scared. So scared you’re gonna hate me," Remus spoke to a spot on the floor by Sirius’ feet.
"Moony, there is nothing you could do. Look at me, there is nothing you could do."
Looking up Remus had found those deep gray eyes shining with unshed tears. For the first time, Sirius’ emotions weren’t broadcast across his face. He couldn’t tell if the tears were from exhaustion, anger, worry, or fear.
"I can’t stop shaking. But if I don’t say this now, I never will. Don’t hate me. Please don’t stop being my brother."
"I won’t, Moony. Please tell me what’s going on. Please. You’re starting to scare me."
"I love you, Sirius," he whispered. "I’m in love with you." As the words left his mouth, Sirius had closed his eyes as if drinking it in. Remus watched the tears roll down his best friend’s cheeks, unashamed. He could remember his heart pumping with a fierce intensity. The ensuing silence stretched out only a few moments, but had seemed like an eternity.
"Love you too, Moony." Remus felt as if he would shatter into a million pieces. He let out a deep breath he hadn’t known he was holding. Walking forward he had kneeled and rested his forehead on Sirius’ knees.
"Are you sure, Padfoot?" he’d questioned, so very eager to be reassured. "I really need you to be sure."
"Moony-" He’d smiled into Remus’ hair. "I don’t know how not to love you. You are my best friend, my pack mate. Do you think all of this doesn’t scare me to death? I could’ve lost my best friend. Now, you’re more. So much more." Sirius punctuated the last words with gentle kisses.
Remus looked up, surveying Sirius’ face. Leaning up as Sirius leaned down, their lips brushed so lightly. Again….again…again. Parting, Remus breathed deep and touched foreheads with Sirius.
"I was so scared of losing you, too. Afraid you’d laugh or call me names. I’m already a big enough freak without adding this to it." He’d gripped Sirius’ hands at the thought of the wolf.
"This isn’t wrong, Moony. Prongs and I talked about it. I was so scared what people might think. Don’t laugh. I know. Me, scared of what people think? People thinking I’m gay or whatever." Undeterred, Sirius spurned on. "Prongs said that when you’re friends, it’s just better. That it’s our souls who love each other so the other stuff isn’t as important. You already know me. Know all my strengths, all my faults, and now you’ll get to know this too. If you want to, that is."
This time, Remus leaned in and cupped his hands at the side of Sirius’ face. Brushing his lips against Sirius’, he’d trembled. It was true. It had happened, and the world hadn’t come crashing down around him.
"Stay in my bed, Moony. Gods – get that look off your face. I just want to wake up with you in my arms. Know it wasn’t a dream then."
To this day he could remember waking up in Sirius’ arms for the first time. Hot breath on the back of his neck, arm slung low across his hip. Silent tears coursed down his cheeks as he remembered his love’s words of that long-ago dawn. "Morning Moony. Love you."