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Old September 18th, 2011, 9:18 am
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Loose Ends

Loose Ends

Was there one you saw too clearly?
Did they seem too real to you?
They were kids that I once knew.
They were kids that I once knew.


Remus knows he'll be late for his Mum and Dad if he stays any longer yet, he knows he has to stay, even as he spots the train chugging away from the station and the last stragglers striding through the gateway.

Sirius has been different this year- wary, temperamental. At first, Remus thought it was because of him, and the new Prefect status, but James and Sirius soon made it clear that wasn't a problem: "Wicked, Moony! You can cover for us! Hey, don't raise that eyebrow at...well, maybe sometimes?"

He figured it out halfway through the year; he heard whispers of a fight in one of the empty classrooms near Transfiguration. Brothers. One Slytherin. One Gryffindor. It didn't take a genius to add it all up.

Remus tightens his hold on his suitcase, hoisting it up. Sirius follows its ascent, the black eye from the 'situation', as he calls it, not quite faded from his skin.

He sighs, knows it won't do any good, but says it anyway: "Just, be careful, alright? Don't do anything stupid."

A familiar, roguish wink. "Who, me? Never."
-----------------------------------------
Remus's tea is too sweet, far too sweet, he only ever knew one person that acted like he wanted some tea with his sugar, not the other way around, not the other way. He spits it out and still it burns his throat- cloying, sickening.

The owl soon arrives with his Daily Prophet subscription. He rips it up, rips it into little, insignificant shreds. It doesn't make him feel any better.

He closes his eyes. He does not cry.
----------------------------------------
"You left, then."

"Too right I-wait, how do you know?"

"James said. He wrote me."

"Oh. Well, yeah. I did."

"..."

"What?"

"I didn't say anything!"

"You had that look on your face."

"Look?"

"Yep, the 'Hello, my name is Remus Lupin, and I am in deep thought. Why, no, I don't care if the school is on fire, for I am being most pensive in-"

"Shove off."

"Ha, I won, you're smiling, I can see it!"

"For all you know, you could be going blind."

"Now, that would be a tragedy: I'd never be able to see my handsome face ever ag-"

"Why do you always do this?"

"Come again?"

"This was meant to be a serious-don't you dare-moment! And now, we're sidetracked with supposedly deep thoughts and your 'handsome face' which, in actuality, isn't all that handsome ever since that incident with Snape and your nose-"

"Oi, that bloody well hurt. He broke it!"

"In all fairness, you did put a Permanent Sticking Charm on...oh, not the puppy dog eyes. Sorry, were you expecting sympathy? You don't know me all that well, if you were."

"You're a cruel person; all that Prefect lark is just an act, isn't it? ...Or it could be that, y'know, 'madness within' stuff making itself kno-"

"Shut up, you idiot! And, stop laughing, it's not...oh, I give in. You're mad- barking, even."

"...That was awful. I thought we'd raised you to crack better jokes than-okay, okay, don't hurt me!"
----------------------------------------
They say Sirius has gone mad, is mad, was mad, will be mad. Not outright, of course, and never to him personally. Remus simply hears it buzzing around- women nattering as they shop, regulars in the Leaky Cauldron...

They act as if he's not a person- just a stationary, fuzzy kind of figure that never felt or never laughed or never loved.

Remus is alright with it. No, really. He's...
----------------------------------------
There has been a definite lull in the conversation, now: Sirius, looking downwards and Remus wondering how long it takes for his parents to fix their car.

The train has long since left Platform 9 and 3/4 yet still, they stand as if it's facing them, the place feeling empty without it.

"At least we'll have the Map," Remus says. "To, you know, remember..."

Sirius bites his lip and Remus is struck at how suddenly Sirius can change from looking like a tall teenager-almost-man, to a caught out child. "Yeah, about that..."

Remus braces himself, wincing, "Oh, God, what have you done?"

"Hey! You always jump to the worst conclusions with me, you know?"

"It's because you're Sirius Black. This is the way the world works."

Sirius snorts. "Ha, shove off." He then sobers a little, shoving his hands into his jeans pockets- he hardly fails to constantly contradict the Black Family with his Muggle attire. "No, I, I just thought...well, what good is it going to do us now, right? We might as well leave it behind 'cause...maybe someone else will find it and they'll think we must've been really...great. It'll have been worthwhile, then, right? And maybe, like, when we're old-ish or something, we could look back and think...yeah, that was-that was good. You know?"

Remus does know, he's just never put it into words. Even if he had, they would have been too grand, too meaningless. He longs for the ability Sirius has: to be so honest and real, with the most relatable of words.

Sirius must have noticed his silence for he forces out a short laugh, saying, "Yeah, yeah, alright. Say I'm a sentimental so-and-so, go on. You know you want to."

Remus looks up into sky- cloudless and bright. He smiles, wide and true. "You're a sentimental so-and-so," he echoes happily, laughing at Sirius's wide-eyed expression. "It's actually quite nice."

It's one of the only times that Sirius is speechless.
----------------------------------------
"Remus!"

"P-Professor?"

"It's about time that we stopped with the formalites; we are colleagues, now."

"Oh, yes. Um. So, it'll be Miner-oh, I'm sorry. It's strange to...well."

"No matter. You'll get used to it. Do come in, you're making the corridor look untidy."

"Sorry. I'll just-"

"For heaven's sake, Mr Lupin, for someone of your intelligence, you still seem to have trouble detecting the most obvious traces of sarcasm. Oh, dear, there I go; 'Mr Lupin.' We do seem to be trapped in the past."

"...You-you could say that."

"Sit down, sit down. Biscuit?"

"Pardon? Oh, no, thank you-"

"Don't be ridiculous."

"Thanks, Professor."

"How are you finding teaching?"

"I'm-I'm enjoying it. It's- it's a little odd, at times, though. I keep on thinking..."

"Yes?"

"Oh, nothing, it was silly."

"Carry on, then. Goodness knows, I could do with a laugh."

"Well, today, for example, I was sitting in class, waiting for everyone to quiet down, when one of the Weasley twins-I still can't tell them apart, must get that sorted-asked me what in Merlin's name was I doing. I realised I'd been sitting in his seat the whole time."

"Ah. Déja vu."

"Ha, yes, exactly! Whenever I see you, I automatically think you're going to tell me to keep a better eye on-well."

"...I'm incredibly sorry. This must be difficult for you."

"No, it's my fault, I-I don't know."

"...I don't think any of us could have known that-"

"Known? Known? How could we have-how could I-he was a boy, we all were, we were immature and-and reckless and-and-I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'd better-"

"You stay here, Mr Lupin, please."

"No, I-I can't do-"

"Mr Lupin, you-"

"Everywhere, everything-I think about what, what could've been and-and what was and I know I should stop but-he didn't, he never could've cared..."

"...Now, you listen to me. He loved you. I know he loved you."
----------------------------------------
They go through the barrier, eventually. People are abruptly milling around them; busy, busy, busy. No time for stopping, to notice, to live.

When they reach the car park, Remus spots his mother, grinning, then rolling her eyes at his father, who is tapping his watch obviously, jokingly. Remus gives them a little wave, then turns to Sirius. "I'll see you soon, okay?" he asks.

Sirius swallows. "Yeah, 'course. Remember, we've got the first Order meeting in a fortni-"

Remus quickly makes a subtle 'hush-like' gesture- his parents still don't know. Sirius, remembering and realising, nods. "Sorry, mate."

Remus turns around, watching his mother and father chat and smile together. He opens his mouth to say, "I'd better go," when he is suddenly enveloped in a nearly crushing hug.

Sirius's hands grip tightly onto his shoulders. He whispers in his ear and Remus almost doesn't catch it: "We'll be alright, won't we?"

"You're a disaster, Padfoot." Remus pulls back, his lips twitching upwards. "James'll probably kill you for leaving the Map but, knowing your luck, you'll escape relatively unscathed."

Sirius doesn't reply; he seems a little cautious, uneasy. Remus realises that, among the four-five of them, now, Sirius knows the most about what is coming. Of course, he hasn't said anything but Remus can tell by the way his eyes darken whenever he meets Regulus or Snape or any belonging to that crowd. For the first time ever, it's no longer a clear cut, childish hatred.

"Hey, we'll come back here, you know."

Sirius raises an eyebrow, "What, to a carpark?"

"No, you berk-to Hogwarts! When we're older, maybe."

"You just want to chat up Madam Pince."

Remus splutters, trying to think up a worthy retort, but Sirius merely flashes a grin. "I'll see you around, Moony," he says and then, after a pause, "Take care of yourself and that, alright?" And Remus wants to say something along the lines of, 'Shouldn't this be the other way around?' when Sirius vanishes; somehow making Apparition in broad daylight look inconspicuous.
----------------------------------------
Remus wakes up in the Hospital Wing. Dazed, he mumbles, "Peter, close the curtains, would you?" then, opens his eyes and makes an, "Oh," sort of sound. Albus Dumbledore is standing over him.

It really doesn't take that much time for all the blanks to be filled in. Remus nods at all the appropriate places, not even caring when he is told Snape 'let slip' his secret at breakfast. All is a blur as Dumbledore leaves and someone else enters.

She is still very 'all business' when she sits down on a chair next to his bed. As she does so, everything hits him and he gasps out, "He's innocent, Professor! Innocent!"

He's quite sure that he is laughing, but perhaps he is crying, there is an unfamiliar wetness lingering upon his face. He hasn't done both properly for a long, long while.

She remians quite calm and stoic, even when Remus-seized by an overwhelming kind of joy-reaches over and kisses Minerva McGonnagall on the cheek. Surprisingly, both don't flush-they are far too caught up with what has happened and what will be happening, somewhere in the sky, right now!

Remus smiles and smiles and smiles. "It's fine, Professor," he says, though he's possibly talking more to himself. "He's flying."
----------------------------------------
Feedback.

The lyrics quoted at the beginning are from a song called Dead Hearts by Stars.


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Last edited by FutureAuthor13; September 19th, 2011 at 5:33 pm.
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