since I have no gold to give
love alone must make amends
only prayer is, while I live –
make me worthy of my friends.
silence that surrounded them was eerie, and still neither one of them seemed in
any rush to break it. Outside of the small cabin, the cold morning air made the
wizards standing by the door shiver and wrap their cloaks tighter around their
bodies, but inside a couple of well placed spells prevented the two men from
feeling the cold.
had placed the warming spell, a testament to his knowledge of his old friend’s
dislike for cold temperatures. Sirius was responsible for everything else,
including the silencing charm, for he was sure that what he had to say to Remus
would bring out the worst in them. The rest of the wizards that were supposed to
be protecting Remus were waiting outside, but Remus didn't seem overly concerned
by it. In fact, this was the calmest Sirius had seen him since the war started.
shook his head, and willed himself to stare at the fire and not be the first one
to talk, already knowing the battle was lost.
had managed to beat Remus at a number of things during their school years, but
he had never managed to win battles of patience.
In fact, he was sure Remus could just stare at the fire for the next three days
with that calm expression without saying anything, while Death Eaters looked
everywhere for him. And he was also sure Remus knew that he wouldn’t be able
to stand it.
do know we need to talk about this, right?” Sirius asked minutes later,
because he was unable to stand the silence. “As much as I enjoy your company,
we can’t just sit here and stare at the fire forever. We need …” he paused
at this as his eyes focused on the window. “You need to make a
grey eyes stared back at Sirius as his friend replied. “I believe I already
did that, Padfoot.” He replied simply, ice in that simplicity. “And I
don’t intend to change my mind.”
of frustration escaped Sirius’s throat before he could do anything about it,
and he was up in one swift movement, his fist clenched. “And I believe I
already told you it was not to be, Moony. You need to make an intelligent
choice, and you need to do it now.”
expression did not waver and the voice held now a hint of amusement as Remus
remarked wryly, “If you intended to hit something Padfoot, might I suggest you
stay away from the walls? This place looks about ready to fall down.”
you Moony,” Sirius exclaimed as his fist connected with the stony floor. He
bit down on his lips, drawing blood while trying very hard to keep his pain
hidden, but Remus was at his side before he could blink, and he looked like he
was trying very hard to keep from laughing as he examined his hand. “Nothing
serious,” he declared and with a few taps of his wand the pain was gone.
“But next time, I suggest you take it out on the sofa. I am quite sure it
won’t hurt this much.”
smile was threatening to appear on Sirius’s lips, and he fought against it.
When he managed to talk, his voice came out soft and filled with concern. “Why
are you being so bloody difficult with such a simple thing Moony?” he had to
ask, even if he already knew the answer. Remus
stared into his eyes, and then looked away, focusing on the fire
“Just because the damn thing didn’t work once doesn’t mean it won’t work
glad you’ve finally convinced yourself of that.” Remus replied simply as he
went back to his place in the sofa, the wand hidden into his cloak once again.
“If I am not mistaken, you did express some doubts when Dumbledore first told
us about it.”
do you expect me to feel?” Sirius was up from the floor, and if it weren’t
for the silencing charms he had placed, the entire wizarding population of Kent
would get to hear about his feelings. “I’ve already lost two friend thanks
to this stupid charm, and I’ll be damned if I am going to loose the only
friend I have left because Dumbledore thinks this is for the best.” He turned
around and rested his head on the wall before whispering. “I’m staying out
look at me,” Remus pleaded as he stood up and went to stand behind Sirius. The
almost full moon cast its light on them through the window, but neither of them
payed attention to it. Remus stood there, silent, until Sirius finally turned
around and looked at him, his eyes haunted.
know how you feel about James and Lily, Padfoot, because they were my friends
too. And just the thought of using the Fidelius Charm again brings back
all these memories I’d rather not think about now. But you can’t stand here
in front of me, and tell me that you don’t agree with Dumbledore and that’s
the reason you’re staying out of this, because you and I both know that this
is for the best.”
can it be for the best if we lost them thanks to this charm, Remus?” Sirius
was asking, a terrible ache in his voice. “How could it be for the best if the
thought of it happening again, of losing another one of my friends keeps me from
sleeping at night. Tell me, how?”
is gone, Sirius.” Remus’s hand grasped Sirius shoulder and he held on tight,
staring at his friend. “He is gone, and it won’t happen again. You are not
Peter. You will not betray me.”
can you be sure of that, damnit!” Sirius yelled, stepping away from Remus as
he did so. “How can you still trust me with your goddamn life when I was
responsible for what happened to James and Lily? I, for I was the
one who talked them into choosing Peter! How can you even consider me a friend
when I was the only reason James even considered for a moment you might be the
spy.” He stumbled onto the floor, unshed tears shinning in his eyes, his voice
broken. “How can you still call me a friend, if I was responsible for taking
it all away. How?”
but there lies the problem, my dear Padfoot,” a voice said from besides Sirius
and when he opened his eyes he noticed Remus was sitting right beside him on the
floor. “I don’t believe any of that. And in your heart, you must know
that.” He shook his head as he stared at Sirius. “We’ve had this
conversation before Padfoot, and I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again
every time you ask me about it. It was not your fault.” A small smile
appeared on Remus’s lips as he concluded,
“You are a bloody narcissist, Sirius Black.”
think you mean egocentric,” Sirius corrected with a slight smile.
Remus admitted, “But I always liked the
word narcissist better. Any idea why? Maybe it had something to do with one of
my old roommates who was just in love with his reflection and kept hogging the
never hogged the bathroom. That was James!” Sirius protested, a shadow gone
from his eyes. “Besides, I wasn’t the one that talked in my sleep.”
not talk in my sleep Padfoot,” was Remus’s ever-quick response.
course not Moony, of course not. James and I made that up. You certainly never
revealed anything about a certain blonde Ravenclaw in your sleep. Never.”
glad you’ve got it right. It never happened.” Remus said as he stood up and
extended one hand to Sirius. “Now, come on, get up, and let’s see if we can
discuss this like two rational adults instead of the twelve-year-olds
we still think we
had to laugh at that, but laughter was gone once he looked outside the window
and remembered the precarious situation in which they lived.
A decision had to be made, and it had to be made soon. “I still think you
should ask one of the Weasley boys, maybe Charlie, or Bill. They’re
sure they are, Padfoot, I am sure they are. But I don’t need to ask any of
them. I’ve got you.” Remus didn’t look any closer to changing his mind
that last time Sirius had discussed this with him, and he couldn’t help but
let out a relieved breath. Maybe he meant it.
you really want me to be your Secret-Keeper, Moony?” He stared at his friend
for a moment, before looking out, his eyes focusing on the moon. “Lots of
things could go wrong. And there’s no way that I could make it during the
transformations. I just want you to be sure of what you are doing.”
is nothing to be sure about, Padfoot.” Remus was now staring at Sirius with a
rather comical expression. “I thought you had finally understood this. We do
it my way, or we don’t do it at all. Period.”
life means more than that Remus,” Sirius protested, still looking unsure.
“Your secret would be safe with one of the Weasleys, or maybe even Harry. You
don’t have to choose me because of some misguided feeling of pity. I’ll
“Understand?” Remus said, and the intensity in his
voice made Sirius take a step back. It was difficult to make Remus lose his
temper, and even during their school years, Sirius had witnessed it only rarely.
James had joked that only Sirius possessed the gift, but right now, Sirius
considered it more of a danger, as Remus looked ready to pounce..He
tried to speak up, but a look from Remus was enough to shut him up. It was his
time to listen.
been blabbering for about and hour, and you haven’t understood a thing I’ve
said, Padfoot. We’ve had this conversation thousands of times. I am not
choosing you as my Secret-Keeper because James would have done so. I am not
choosing you to make you feel better because of what happened all those years
ago with James and Lily. I am choosing you because you are my best friend in the
world, and I trust you more than I trust anyone. I wouldn’t choose anyone
else. Are we clear on that?”
tear rolled down Sirius’s cheek as he listened to Remus. All he could do was
nod as he embraced his friend in what other people might consider an
uncharacteristic display of emotion, but for Remus it was simply a glimpse of the Sirius
sorry for being such a prat,” Sirius finally managed once they had dried their
tears and straightened out their cloaks. “We are doing this?” he asked, because even after five years
outside of Azkaban the warmth and comfort of friendship seemed almost unreal.
we are,” was Remus’s
categorical answer, a small
smile on his face. “Together.”
Sirius’s expression was to be considered an answer, it was obvious that their
friendship would help keep them walking onwards, helping each other with their
A/N: This little outtake is the proof of how big a mess you can get
into with a single line. Because once some people figured out Mr. Weasley was
not the only one using the Fidelious
Charm, they demanded to know what happened with Remus. And who his Secret Keeper
was. And this little piece was born. Siriusly, who else? I dedicate this to
Annick, for all those debates, to Kat, for our long ramblings about Remus that
manage to drive everyone away. And finally, this one goes to my dear
cyber-sister Ami, for I asked her so much for Remus in her story she deserved to
get a bit in mine.