title: Alone/Never Again
fandom: Harry Potter
characters/pairings: Remus/Sirius, James, Peter
rating: G
warnings: grief, kissing
summary: When Sirius is in need, he doesn't have to wait long.
notes: for my darling, beloved one. based on this 20 Random Facts About Sirius Black by theleapingmuse, particularly #16.

"Remus! Remus!"

Lupin stopped short, pulling his nose out of the book he was reading. Peter was running, or, well, trying to run. He was more like scrambling. It almost seemed like he might tip over and run on all fours. It might have been more efficient. "Peter. No running in the halls." Really, they were going to get his prefect badge taken away!

Huffing, Peter put his hands on his knees. "Oh, sorry, but Remus, have you seen Sirius today?"

"Sirius?" Lupin really wished that people wouldn't just assume that he always knew where that scruffy dog was. He also wished that his cheeks wouldn't burn when someone asked him about Sirius. "No, of course not. Why do you ask?"

"He was pulled out of Care of Magical Creatures to see the Headmaster!" Peter chewed on his lower lip. "D'ya think he's ok?"

People were pulled out of class to see the Headmaster all the time. With... with things that were going on... But Lupin assumed that Sirius' family was probably doing those things. Or, at least, complicit. "I don't know, Peter. I'm sure we'll see him at lunch." That seemed to cheer up Peter, who then launched into a tale of strife and terror and grub beetles. Lupin was only paying half a mind to what Peter was saying. The worries that he had allayed for Peter were resting heavily on his own breast.

They met James in the Great Hall for lunch, his face grim. Something had happened with the Black family, but he didn't know what. An owl had come for Sirius, though, and since owls treated Sirius and James as if they were one person, James had the letter. He'd peeked, purely out of concern for his best friend. All the message said was, There's no reason for you to miss school for the funeral. You're probably close to failing as it is. Mother.

Lupin was as distracted as Peter during their afternoon classes. He, James, and Peter kept passing notes back and forth. Because they didn't know what was going on, their speculation was free to be as wild as possible. If it was one of Sirius' cousins, they could hardly think that Sirius would care that much. Most of Sirius' family could die and society could only benefit from it.

That left Lupin with a black pit of dread in his stomach, considering the remaining possibilities.

Lupin skipped dinner, choosing instead to wait in the common room, just in case Sirius returned. But, it was late at night that Sirius entered the Gryffindor common room, looking as if he had hoped that everyone had already gone to bed. He nodded quickly to James, Peter, and Lupin, and winked at a few girls, but he slipped upstairs without saying a word.

Of course, James led the crew up to find out what had happened. Since it was just the four of them, Sirius was willing to tersely explain things. His father had died, suddenly, and without warning. The Order of the Phoenix tried to investigate, but Sirius' mother insisted that it wasn't necessary. He had spoken to his mother through the floo, and Dumbledore had taken him home to speak to her in person, but none of it did any good. (Lupin speculated that Dumbledore was really more interested in getting inside of Grimmauld Place, but it wasn't appropriate to say anything.) He was not to miss any school for 'this matter,' as she had put it. Sirius was angry, and he and James got into a good shouting session, ripping apart Sirius' mother. Peter laughed at their better insults, and tried to contribute, but they weren't listening to him.

Lupin just sat back in the bunk, and watched Sirius.

Hours later, James was snoring softly and Peter was sniffling in his sleep. But there was another sound, unfamiliar to Lupin. He slipped out of his bed, and parted the curtains around Sirius' bed.

Sirius looked over his shoulder at Lupin, his face shining with tears. Lupin nodded sadly, and slipped into bed with Sirius, closing the curtain tightly. Sirius attached himself to Lupin's chest before Lupin even had a chance to get comfortable. Lupin wiped away all of Sirius' tears, even though they were replaced with new tears as fast as he was able to wipe them away. Sirius was stronger than he was, and a bit bigger, but he was clinging to Lupin like a child to a parent.

The only parent Sirius had was gone now.

Lupin didn't bother trying to say comforting things. There was no comfort, he knew. And as if losing his father wasn't bad enough, his mother was keeping him from the funeral. Plus, there were unanswered questions about how he had died. Dumbledore was probably comforting, but he was also keen on getting Voldermort.

The only person to comfort Sirius was him, and Lupin wasn't entirely unhappy about that.

As the sun started to rise, and fill the bed with filtered, pale light, Sirius touched Lupin's face softly with his fingers. He looked worn out, but even still, he was gorgeous. Lupin, on the other hand, was worn out on his good days, and scrawny. He was a little scared when Sirius touched him with his lips. It wasn't a great kiss. His lips were dry, and Sirius bumped him with his nose. But it wasn't bad. When it was over, Sirius' eyes looked a little less empty than before.

The next day, Sirius played up his sorrow with drama and flare, and had the sympathy of three houses. It was a different game than they normally played, but it was the same basic principle. Still, by the time they were getting ready for bed, Sirius' eyes were as empty as they had been the night before.

Lupin waited for a count of one hundred after they had all gone to bed, and then he slipped out of his bed, and into Sirius' bed. Sirius greeted him with a beautiful smile. Once they had cuddled up together, Sirius whispered to him, "I didn't think you'd come tonight, too."

"Every night," Lupin swore, pulling Sirius into his arms as best he could. "You aren't alone anymore."

They kissed again, and it was much better this time.