Worse than a Kiss

Author: Madilayn
Rating: PG
Archiving: All FQF will be archived solely at this site until September 30th, 2005. After that, it's yours to do with as you will.
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. I do not own Harry Potter, its characters, or anything associated with it. I'm not making any money from this story, and I don't intend to.
Challenge & Summary: Challenge FM #06: The Dementors are the guards of Azkaban--but they aren't the only things to fear, as Remus finds while on a visit to his former lover.
Author Notes: Thank you to my beta - Ariana Rookwood - who did a wonderful job on the betaing of this fic. Ariana - I promise you to write some fluffy pups as a thank you!

He hadn’t really expected anything else. He was a known associate of Sirius Black (Lover, his mind screamed out. You were his lover) and a werewolf, two reasons for him to be arrested and held in Azkaban pending investigations. He knew that Albus Dumbledore would be working behind the scenes to get him released.

The Dementors. That was his fear.

It was bad enough that he would physically lose Sirius. He still had not fully accepted that Sirius – laughing, loving, and above all, loyal Padfoot could be a traitor. That his loyalty had moved from his friends to Voldemort.

But he knew that the Dementors would take away all his memories of the good times with Sirius, leaving him with nothing but the horror of the last few months.

Remus choked back a sob as he fought the fear rising in his gut. Always before, Sirius had been there when fear had overwhelmed him. A hand on his shoulder, a loving embrace during the nightmare of night, and Remus knew that he was safe. His loving, loyal Padfoot was on guard, and all was right with the world.

Now, nothing could be more wrong. No more James. No more Lily. No more Peter. And the centre of their world, Harry, had been taken to live with Lily’s sister. Not where he should be, with Sirius and Remus, as James and Lily had wanted, but with Petunia and her husband, who hated James and his friends with a vengeance.

Sirius had not only betrayed them to Voldemort, he had betrayed the promise he had made to James and Lily to look after Harry. They had all known that Harry really had two godfathers, but the Ministry rules would never allow a werewolf to bring up a child.

And his whole heart cried out for the little boy who had wormed his way into it, needing the child to replace the loved ones he had lost. Needing the child to focus his love on.

If there was one thing Remus Lupin kept well hidden, it was his need to love and be loved. He knew it. He knew that this need had kept him silent when he should have spoken – but how could he betray those he loved so well?

Sirius had no problem, that insidious little voice whispered in his mind. He managed to betray everybody he loved. Even you.

This time, he let the tears flow freely. Grieving for the loss of that love and for the future that would see very little of the love he had come to take for granted.

The boat bumped against the shore, and the Hit Wizards guarding him pulled him to his feet, pushing him ashore. He was escorted into the dank walls of the prison, both he and his escort shivering as the effect of the Dementors in residence took hold.

He could see the occupants of the cells they passed, screaming or mindlessly staring – eyes vacant and hopeless. They paused outside one particular cell, and Remus couldn’t help but look.

Sirius Black.

“Moony, Moony,” came the cry. “I’m innocent. I didn’t do it. Peter’s the traitor. Not me. Please, Moony. Believe me. Remus. Remus, I love you. Don’t leave me here.”

Remus closed his eyes and tried to close his ears to the cries. Already Dementors had entered the cell, closing in on the feast of emotion tumbling from Sirius.

He discovered that in Azkaban, he had a fear greater than the Dementors.

The Hit Wizards opened a cell door and pushed him inside.

Remus fell to the floor sobbing, listening to the screams and pleas of Sirius Black in the cell next door.

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