I'm sick dammit, I'll do what I want.
where the skin has forgotten you
Author: Regala Electra
Pairing: Remus/Sirius (Remus/Lily)
Summary: I wish to remember where the skin has forgotten you
Author's Notes: Set after GoF (Lie Low at Lupin's), heavily borrowing from the PoA movie-verse. Where Remus lies, Sirius pretends, and memories remain as imperfect as love itself. Thanks go to faith_girl222 for the beta. Shout out to all my fellow R/S lovers. Y'all influence, coerce, and manipulate me into writing p0rn. I love you all. So very much.
Feedback: Better than chicken soup for the soul. Heal me. *Dabs eyes with tissue*
They both sit at the edge of Remus’s bed, a cramped bit of furniture, each carefully sitting far enough to give the other just the right amount of space. It is uncomfortable to sit there for too long; someone would have to be rather smashed to declare the mattress 'cozy' or fondly remark on the vaguely colorless sheets neatly tucked into it.
Since Sirius has arrived, there has been much said and little explained. It is as if they could fool themselves into believing this is a reprieve, but such things do not exist, and they have come to that conclusion separately, but altogether quite painfully.
Remus strips off his shirt first and watches Sirius’s eyes follow him as he fully undresses. When Sirius begins to take off his clothing, Remus barely recognizes the body and knows instantly why.
It was a point of divergence. You either kept track of the new scars or you didn't. Remus had his full of scars early on, but that didn't stop them from appearing every morning after the moon has its way with him. Nor did his awareness of them ever ebb.
It was only until the scars stopped being the markers of time solely on his own body and started to creep across the flesh of his friends that it soon came to pass that he had to make a decision.
You either remember them as they were or watch the ruins of them seep in as though they too are being accelerated by the viciousness of time as equally as your own marred body.
They talk about Harry for many hours after Sirius first arrived.
Remus learns more besides the worrying information of what happened at the tournament and the return of Voldemort. He notices that Sirius is returning to his expansive ways of talking when it's on subjects pertaining to the future, that Sirius tends harbor long silences once all that needs to be spoken had passed between, and that they are both stuck in holding patterns.
So Remus takes it upon himself to begin talking about the past, revealing each scar for what is and what it was.
And what it will become.
The first permanent scar that lingers on his skin is low and private, just under his knee, a memento from a nasty fight that he barely scraped through, but give him enough to drink and the tale'll get longer with every sip.
Sirius shows it to everyone but only Remus learns the full contours of it, the way it puckers so terribly at one end and raises neatly across the rest of his skin, a near invisible seam, turning slightly silvery as time passes, morbidly beautiful, a fitting new part of Sirius.
Only Sirius could make disfigurements beautiful.
Remus makes a point to observe how Sirius shudders longer and harder when he strokes the scar, a mere flicker of his fingers against the mark, and that he comes inside of Sirius with a loud shout he never intends and is always surprising. That Sirius arcs his hips just so, his cock sliding down Remus’s throat when he presses against the newness of the scar as he takes care to map out this new essence of Sirius; distilled in a scar, terrifyingly perfect in all its imperfections, whereas every scar marring Remus’s body is only that, a marring of flesh.
But finally, when Sirius gets a nasty searing scar across one bicep, which oozed foully for several weeks after receiving the mark, Remus doesn't bother to examine it.
They had a rather nasty quarrel that night and soon began to spend less time together, drifting apart so easily, Remus could have believed they were nothing more than friends, once.
He doesn't even remember the shape of it.
Sirius stays forever young in his mind. Remus had chosen another path. Perhaps the wrong one.
Remus asks about Harry as an infant and is relieved that only one bitter moment occurs when Sirius sharply asks where he was then, and Remus answers, finding that his memories have grown imperfect, as if scabbing over the horror in any way redeemed their parting of ways they had unknowingly begun during that year before Voldemort's temporary demise.
Sirius speaks fondly of the baptism, revealing that James had quite nearly sloshed a near bucketful of water on Harry's head, until Lily had stopped him, calling him all types of insults, and they both chuckle, lost in fond and near-painless memories.
And the first thing that both of them remark on is how very much Harry resembles James. They look at each other and they both silently swear to defy history this time.
James is always *almost* a father in his memories. Too immature to know all the responsibilities that will come his way, haunted enough to have that seriousness inherited from sixth year (and bearing successful fruit in their seventh year as he turned into a man, much to the shock of well, everyone around him), culminating in his marriage to Lily and his successful ability to work within the Order, perhaps one of the few people that looked to a future in those grim days.
James is always smiling too.
It is easier that way.
But he forgets how James always mussed his hair on purpose and soon Remus assumes that it was always that way, sticking up everywhere, young and with a limitless future ahead of him. That James left his mark on the future through Harry is something Remus is quite sure he intended.
But not those eyes. Not *those* eyes.
Remus brings up Lily. He doesn't want to, sourness sticks in his throat and he clears his throat as he begins, but Sirius smiles, in that vague way to show how fondly he thinks of her now.
He remembers how Sirius had first regarded Lily with a bizarre sort of amusement, mildly frustrated with her power over James, but incredibly impressed by her foresight of making James almost behave like an adult, something of which had shocked many of his peers, not to mention Remus.
Once, one particularly drunken night of great reveling, Sirius had declared that Lily was even more foolish than good old Prongs, as she was signing her warrant marrying such a mad prat, but he tipped his bottle to her and told her cheers.
The reason for the party, Remus can no longer fathom, what little joy was found in the dark days have all collided into one another, until there is only one extended sharp moment, a pinprick of joy that Remus prefers to only remember with an askance glance backwards.
Remus says all this, taking great care in describing how Lily's eyes had sparkled during Sirius’s drunken speech, and how she had dabbed at her eyes and smiled brightly at James, who was very close to passing out and had the look of a deer in headlights, extraordinarily fitting, as it were.
Sirius almost asks him a question that he'd never asked during their relationship, something always beneath the surface.
And Remus answers before it's spoken, because he's had too long to understand the truth. "No. I didn't love her - like James did. Like I loved-"
But Sirius shakes his head, and tells him he doesn't have to say it, he knows.
Lily is both an image of before and after she learns she is pregnant. There are two Lilies, clear and perfect, preserved forever. He would not need to see a picture of her to describe those littlest features, the way her eyebrows raised so perfectly when she was surprised or amused and how her smile took forever to unfold and an eternity to erase.
In the before, it is when their heads were very close together, talking of nothing really, in the way that nothing is of the utmost importance and everything is unintentionally happening in such a meaningless moment. She takes his hand and she accepts him, she does.
It is a bittersweet truth, like a speck of dust caught in one of her eyelashes, her eyes fluttering closed when he goes to carefully remove it. Her lips are very close to his fingers when he asks her to make a wish, her breath so gentle that the dust barely floats away, traveling on a ghost's trail.
It settles on him and they laugh, something low and secret and private.
She is the only girl he could have ever loved. He is sure of it. Her kiss is barely even there, a mere taste of warmth and a bit damp and then gone, a breath passing between them and her cheeks had grown very red in that brief passage of time.
When *he* kisses her, she is several months pregnant and his hand rests on her belly. It is friendly and comforting. They do not know where James and Sirius are. They are trying not to think about it. It is a distraction and something that will always be theirs and she hugs him fiercely and he wonders if she wants to kiss him again, but she only smiles in her forever way, the only person he's ever known who could defeat time with a mere flicker of upturned lips.
Lily is flawless in both versions of herself. She is always too young and too perfect. He ignores that he was the one who broke away from her the first time and that the last time, he reached towards her because the words of solace had crumbled away and there was no way to wipe away those startling tears nestled in the corners of her eyes.
They made no wishes then and no promises to be the bearers of each others secrets and all that remains of Lily is vitality, that which slips from his grasp every passing day.
When they speak of Peter, they mean Wormtail and Sirius shatters a mug one remarkable morning.
Remus knows that Sirius remembers Peter far better than he; Sirius has had fourteen years of memorizing every fragment of Peter. It is the heart of Sirius’s madness and the path to Sirius’s grasp of sanity.
So he is patient, even though he can barely recognize Peter, as though his face has shattered and cracked, a frightening series of splintered bits of mirror-glass acting as the sole testament to the memories of him.
The memories of Peter were mutilated until every little moment that Remus paid no attention to was somehow of Great Significance.
In the end, he was not a hero and Remus wonders why he never saw it before.
Peter's skin is smooth underneath the gawkiness, made unattractive by the slight baby fat still sticking to his features, and rather imperfect. It is the bad skin of a teenager and the chubby nervousness heightening that he is young but not in the effortless way of Sirius, the insufferable way of James, nor the vibrant way of Lily.
And Remus now remembers: as the War worsened, Peter was never scarred, never marked with the increasing horror of the terrible days. His hands shake and he scurries along, swearing with a stammer that he'll help, and it's all so true, Marauders forever, and even Peter can be a hero, isn't this how it's supposed to be?
So simple, so clear, waiting to be puzzled out and obscured in plain sight.
Remus now cannot close his eyes without seeing the mottled, pitiful sight of Peter begging for mercy and remembering his clear realization that this, this was the culmination of incorrect memories.
And one night, they remember each other.
The bed creaks under their weight and this time, they find themselves, lost to time and to their own memories, incorrect scrapbooks resembling so much like scars, evident but ultimately reworking all that is true with lies of survival.
"And this one?"
"Hmm. Perhaps day one hundred and seventy-two. A brief moment when they - the guards," (he rarely says the creatures' true name, unless he absolutely has to), "left - some new blood came in."
There is a harsh, shuddering laugh before he continues again.
"Lily once told me I'd be respectable someday if you had anything to say about it. She did say that, right?"
Remus is quiet for a while, his fingers trailing across the black ink staining the pallid flesh of Sirius. The year has been - not good - but better for him, he is still too pale and clearly too thin, but not nearly as starved as before. He travels down the stringy but strong muscles with the whole of his hand, flattening his palm against the coolness of Sirius and knows if he stays still enough, he could make himself believe that their pulses match, a steady beat shared under the skin.
They are both starving for things they have lost and may never again find. "I believe," he says, after arriving to the traces of the memory lingering in his mind, of the wicked joy in Lily's brilliant green eyes, "That she was terribly pissed that night. As if there was anything any of us could do to make you respectable."
Something flashes in Sirius’s distant grey eyes, and a sharp smile comes across his face, and for a moment, Remus sees a younger Sirius staring at him, but it passes too quickly.
Sirius covers his hand, stopping his attempt to record the new markings. His thin fingers dig into Remus’s hand and it is too tight, but Remus relishes in the sensation. "I remember. I said that so long as we kept shagging, you could bloody make me the ambassador for wizard-muggle relations."
"A most horrifying notion." Remus almost smiles. He wonders what memories are etched in his body, beyond the premature lines and the destructive self-inflicted scars. He wonders if anything remains that says, "Sirius was here" or "James was here" or "Lily kissed these lips first" or even, "Peter pretended to be here."
No, that will come later. And it will say, "Peter is here."
Dumbledore told him of Peter's new hand and that silver, truly poisonous and deadly silver, awaits him if his fears come to pass. Remus knows that his future is limited and will meet it when it arrives, as it always does, despite every attempt to waylay time.
It will not kill him until the change. He repeats that, trying to push away the fact, to store it for later, for it will come to pass later, he is sure of that, and it will not kill him, not now, only when he is vulnerable. Only when he is it.
"All of your memories are stored in your skin, Sirius?" Remus asks this with a tired sort of tone, trying to dull out the resigned horror in his voice, but Sirius catches it, and squeezes his hand for a mere second. Remus wonders how soon before all that is left of them is bones and scars, harshly re-mended fragments until they are unrecognizable, living bearers of time and nothing else.
"No. Not all of them." Sirius kisses the back of his hand; his lips are dry and pale. He brings one of Remus’s fingers into his mouth, biting down carefully before letting go. "Some were lost. It doesn't quite work how it's supposed to. Some of them are deeper than that."
Remus nods. He knows the sound of a lie, sharp and hauntingly beautiful. So much like Sirius. "We'll save the rest for another night?" And another. And another. It is a new, imperfect ritual, mapping out their older bodies, trying to retrace time and find where the mistakes began and where they could have been altered.
It is not going to end well.
Sirius had not touched him the first night they lay together naked, instead he stared and stared, taking inventory of so many years and so many transformations. Now Sirius kisses these scars, lost in his task, until he says, in a terrible moment of confession, "I always saw you like this."
And Remus closes his eyes and re-imagines everything. Everyone is young and nearly unaltered in his memories. And where he stands, when he raises his hands or catches a reflection of himself, his hair is greyed and his face is vaguely lined and every scar he has now are there in the before time.
He is always caught in his memories, looming with a weight he never wanted to shoulder.
And he understands finally. "That's why you didn't trust me. Why you suspected-"
"I don't understand why you forgave me so easily."
The trick. The realization in the Shrieking Shack. Everything.
"Because you have only one scar," and Remus kisses where Sirius’s proud, insufferable heart lies, a kiss so deep he feels the pulse pass into his lips, savoring the feel of it. "And it's worthless to hate you because you're guided by a fool's heart."
Sirius kisses the temple of Remus’s head. "It's pointless to hate yourself because you can't be here without remembering. I don't know what's going to happen-"
Remus does. Peter is shabby and hideous whenever the scuttling, scattered thought of him - the innate quality of *Peter* - comes to his mind, and the future is about to topple down on all of them.
He can only hope to memorize enough of Sirius to keep himself from forgetting everything until he is once again lost from himself and bound by the werewolf.
"Tomorrow," Remus decides, idly stroking the smooth flesh of Sirius’s cock, quickly hardening from his touch, "tomorrow we will wake up and I will tell you about one day I spent in Romania and you will give me one more explanation of your tattoos."
Sirius kisses differently now. It will take time to become accustomed to it, it is too quick and hurried and of the violent quality inherent in desperation. Remus would like to think that Sirius believes that this is only an extended hallucination, but knows better. He always knows better, it is that Sirius is impatient, is too hurried and wants to jump into the battle without a thought.
It is that Sirius is too willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good no matter the costs.
Damn him, Remus thinks, deepening the kiss, their tongues fiercely trying to claim the other's mouth in victory. Remus can lose himself forever in Sirius and worst of all, he wants to.
Sirius mutters, "What are you doing?" as Remus kisses at the knotted ribs, the skin stretched too tightly across Sirius’s torso, pale and waxy.
"I wish to remember," he says as he places a very careful kiss against a cruel, ivory-colored scar just above Sirius’s bellybutton, ("nearly opened up my guts, but there's no chance that a even a Black would go out without taking out a few more Death Eaters, most bloody noble house indeed," oh, the second scar, yes, he does remember that one), "where the skin has forgotten you."
When he takes Sirius in his mouth, his fingers seek the familiar old scar behind his knee and he finds new traces of terrible scars, sharp and thin lines striking down Sirius’s thigh, this time, when his fingers make the path down these unfamiliar markings, Sirius lifts his hips up and Remus swallows him whole.
If Sirius says anything, Remus does not hear him and words do not matter. It is only them, only them, and only they remain and he finds the old scar, presses right against the raised skin and Sirius comes, something fierce and wild and just so familiar, that Remus nearly forgets himself, forgets time itself and there is nothing, nothing better than to just *be.*
He carefully releases Sirius and sits back up, almost admiring the way Sirius pants, with his eyes closed and nearly looking somewhat rested.
Remus knows better.
He carefully positions himself so that he gives Sirius enough space to sleep comfortably and when Sirius reaches out, he mutters in a feigned undertone of sleepiness, "No, no, I'm quite knackered, that's fine."
His pale hand hesitates somewhere halfway over Remus’s torso and finally, Sirius settles next to him, his eyes a beady, dark light in the darkness of the room.
They sleep for a while.
It is fully black outside when Sirius wakes him with a mere shift of leg against his own. Neither of them can manage to sleep well for shared and different reasons.
Remus cannot even make out Sirius’s eyes, so he hoarsely says, "wh-" before his mouth is swallowed in a kiss, hot and restless.
Sirius presses his lips against the corner of his mouth, and says, a strong sense of daring in his voice, "Show me."
He's feared this. But he doesn't hesitate, and fiercely kisses his temple, whispering to Sirius, "Forgive me."
"Always, old friend," is the whisper back, and it is so small, so insignificant and so easy for Remus to hate, for just a mere second, that he allows that feeling to surge and then disappear altogether.
Remus mutters a spell and his wand, always nearby, begins to emit some light, pale and distant, they are but shadows flickering against one another, greys and deep blacks. He can make out enough definition and knows deep down, that Sirius too has acquired a better sense to see in darkness and does not ask him if he needs any more light to see.
The seeing will come later.
He moves atop of Sirius and says mildly, "Turn over."
As Sirius moves beneath him, his ass perfectly sliding against Remus’s cock, the sharp angles more defined, more defiant against his own body, Remus never forgets for a moment what they are about to do, what new sins shall be permanently embedded into his mind.
He pushes away the longish, tangled hair, slightly matted and mussed from sleep, his tongue tracing the fine outer shell of Sirius’s ear.
He says carefully, his hand sliding up and down Sirius’s hip, "Tell me the truth. What," and he strokes a dimly lit tattoo, blue-black in his vision, more bluish in daylight, "do these truly mean?"
Sirius cranes his neck, looking almost defiantly at Remus, causing him to crush hard against Sirius, and as Sirius braces himself from toppling on his stomach, he manages, "No-nothing. I did this, every single pricking," and he purposely grabs Remus’s hand, wrenching it close to a small intricate tattoo low on his hip, one that Remus doesn't need to look at without knowing exactly what it could represent, "every single bloody staining of my skin when my thoughts began to fade - when I thought I'd lose everything. But the pain, that kept them from disappearing all together."
"The memories are not in your skin," and Remus forces Sirius’s legs apart just a bit more, his cock rubbing against Sirius, knowing that he is teasing him and frankly not care a tick about it.
"No. But," and Sirius lets out a sound of frustration, clearly impatient, and Sirius always has to be in control, so Remus fastens his hand around his cock, keeping the grip steady enough to really drive Sirius mad but keeping his hand so very still. "They are there, deep enough, fuck it's there, Moony, I remember through the pain of each one."
And Remus grants him one slick, deft move of his hand down the shaft, and no more, elegantly moving away, and while his skin may have forgotten the feel of Sirius, he has not forgotten how to travel the expanse of Sirius. His hand returns to tenderly pressing against Sirius’s back, admiring what little untouched skin of Sirius remains.
He wants to asks - where am I? - but the question sounds foolish in his head, painfully awkward and unsteady, for he knows where he is. He is almost here. When Sirius closes his eyes, Remus does not disappear.
There is a tattoo blossoming over one shoulder like a bruise, it has no evident design. It is a mark of madness and oddly alluring in its lurid quality. Remus knows it, that metaphorical chip on his shoulder, the blackest, most impenetrable ink staining deep down, almost giving off a sinister shine.
He bows his forehead down, touching the tattoo and mutters into the sharp shoulder blade, "Pure madness."
If Sirius hears him, he does not respond.
So Remus opens his mouth, his teeth scrape against the tattoo and he slowly bites down, hard enough to cause Sirius to gasp but lets go quickly so that the mark is barely perceivable.
There is an art to this and neither has mastered it.
When he runs his tongue across it, he can feel the grooves indented in the skin. He steadies himself, harshly swallowing as his cock is pressed right against the entrance of Sirius’s arse, and slowly, he whispers it into the shell of his ear, too low to be anything but unintelligible.
Normally, Remus or Sirius would proceed in rutting, the wonderful ecstasy of sensation, both greedy to find that shooting sensation when the self dissolved and in the chaos, the purest and most singular experience of absolution.
Now he must remember, remember what he always forgets. This - this - this - how Sirius knows how to fuck and never meant it and how he can be insufferably tender as Sirius snatches his own hand, possessive, sudden, and lies it flat against his chest.
The tightness is almost unbearable and overwhelms his senses. Yes, he knows Sirius.
He knows that Sirius is not a tired kind of noble, he is all motion even in silence, he unsettles quietness itself and brings chaos with such ease. And he will conquer all odds and this is the danger, the cause of which he wants to lose himself.
Remus stills, feeling the sharp pain building at his temples, almost a migraine, but it's too slow, like the building of lightning as the overcast clouds grow thicker.
Sirius is so easy to love and so impossible to forget and as the spots begin in the corner of his vision, he remembers *Sirius* - in the mind, in the memories, his body, inside and out, he remembers.
How his hands brought destruction so easily and were tender as ever, and he’d swear, inventing new vulgarities along the way and only he could make the foulest words so witty and sharp and finally, best and worst of all, that Sirius would swear to the heavens and bring them down screaming around him if only asked of him.
A few drops of sweat glisten down Sirius’s back and Remus runs his fingertips to capture them, his fingers bringing the taste of it to his lips briefly.
And then Sirius pushes back and it hits him a fierce jolt -
It is not a connection, it is oblivion, a concentrated series of senses jumbled and hysterical, images distorted and poorly rendered, and bitter recollections, shifted and scattered not unlike a meager collection of fallen leaves, forever altered by autumn.
He does not want to remember at first, wants to push it all away, into the darkness and the shadows, yet when he tries to break away, it is Sirius who locks his arm around Remus’s neck, a most ungainly imbalance, awkward yet incredibly right, and Sirius pants, "no," and there is no way to deny the simple command. His memories, once locked and kept so secure, now savagely unhinge.
It comes flooding past him, beyond him: random and impossible images, unintelligible noises, and sensations, things which only wish they had definite descriptions to explain why they exist in Remus’s mind.
It shoots through cock and arse and fingers and palms and skin and sweat and when his mouth connects with Sirius’s, through tongue, teeth, and lips, and all the inventory of the physical body, inside and outside, a shredding of fragments until he is wholly and without anything but that which overcomes the both of them.
This is not truth, not truth at all, as they move fiercely, determinedly, lost to the crests and falls of each other, but caught in the undertow of Remus’s mind. It is not objective and impartial like the pensieve, it is faulty, partial, fragmentary. But it is Remus, across time itself, what remains in the wake of all that has been destroyed.
Across the persistence of memory, defying the boundary of time, mired in these amplified sensations, Remus is alive.
And Sirius comes alive, even his sorely felt absence in these shattered images is vibrant and living. In the wildness laid bare, the monster waiting to strike them apart, there is life, uncertain, mad, angry, and always *there.*
If they once loved each other with a youthful fierce pride, it is now a sharp desperation, each knowing that love itself is not enough to secure the future.
And when Remus returns to the stained tattoo on Sirius’s shoulder, sharply biting down, enough to cause Sirius to gasp, it is because there must be pain for he can no longer remember a time when he was without it.
The skin remembers, that was the lie, the skin remembers, it screams with the memories, stealing away pretenses, easy falsehoods, which attempt to alter the reality of it all, and always laid bare what has passed. It is being marked, this stark realization, and there is nothing that he can recall that ever can come close to it – nothing.
And with a great shudder and a shout, his hand entwined with Sirius’s as they pump Sirius’s cock, he comes and the memories explode, covering them like a blanket and laying them as naked as ever.
Sirius, panting fiercely, detangles from Remus and moves so that he rests partly atop of Remus, covering Remus’s jaw with his hand, angling his face towards his own and capturing his mouth in a kiss. As his tongue passes into Remus’s mouth, it is dizzying and the muddled wholeness of his memories begin to depart. Remus cannot help but smile slightly, for he knows now, that in this kiss, Sirius offers absolution.
Remus takes it. When Sirius moves back, he says, simply, “Look at me.”
Sirius quickly does so, a pointed look that is remarkable; it is as if the ghosts of his past - the nightmares - have ebbed, removing that haunted shadow glinting in his expression.
“It’s morning,” Remus says with mild emphasis. He picks up his wand from the bedside table, whispering accio to a neatly folded blanket from across the room.
As he settles it around the both of them, Sirius says shortly, “It was the moon once.”
Remus does not say anything, and closes his eyes, a new kind of tiredness fatiguing him. Of course a tattoo once of the moon would attract his eye.
“Just a hollow of it, I added in lines that I knew where the changes of it, all the crescents, and then I forgot it all. I had to blot it out.”
Remus considers this and says with a weary finality, “I suppose we’re both rather trapped.”
Sirius is not here to reminisce, to try to recall the past. He is here looking for the pieces of himself he lost along the way, the pieces of him hidden in memories he never experienced.
And before Sirius asks, Remus, his voice hoarse and hesitant, begins to explain the muddled mess of it all.
How tiring it was to be forced into hiding by a particularly determined werewolf hunter and that he darkly considered revealing himself. Remus had wondered what it would be like, in a brief instant, to die like the creature the world considered him to be, but he would not, in spite of all he has lost, he would not die. There were, he knew then, worse things.
“Those scars around my right ankle,” Remus explains, his leg brushing against Sirius, “Weren’t caused by the moon. It was a muggle trap, you see, a bear trap, enhanced by magic.” He smiles then. “Fortunately, when I managed to remove it, it provided excellent evidence. The Romanian Ministry of Magic may have no great respect for werewolves, indeed I believe their official stance on my kind is instant death, but certainly a wizard going about placing dangerous weapons in the path of innocent muggles was cause for great punishment.”
Sirius laughs then, a sound that startles Remus, and sets him off as well.
“Moony,” he says, after the moment is over, “do you remember now?”
As they watch day break in the warm colors of morning, the sunlight pouring in through the cracks of his old shutters, Remus does not answer, for it is an unspoken truth, fragile, and he fears he will ruin it all by speaking the realization of it out loud.
“Remus,” Sirius says, but instead of asking again, he kisses him, this time is slow and new, but greatly welcome, almost similar to discovering what redemption might feel like.
Their hands find each other under the blanket and there is only one pulse beneath the skin, and it beats for them.