With a Smile

Author: Bodge
Rating: PG
Archiving: All FQF will be archived solely at this site until September 30th, 2004. At that point, the author may post the fic elsewhere or may be contacted to have this fic archived at different sites if they so choose.
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: Full Moon7 - Sirius is very bitter after returning from Azkaban. Remus teaches him to love again.
Author Notes: None.

I rest, my arms and legs wrapped tightly around Remus Lupin; I thank all that is sacred for him. I escaped Azkaban for a simple reason; revenge. Revenge on Wormtail. I had no thought beyond that until I saw Remus again...I saw him at the Qudditch match, the one where Harry saw me and soon I was awaiting Remus at the whomping willow, eager to resume our full moon routine. I was certain that the Wolf would forgive me, after all the Wolf had been alone for so long any pack mate, even me, would be welcomed.

He never came.

He didn’t come for any of the full moons, not until that last one.

The one where I was denied my revenge.

Remus stirs fitfully in my arms, the moon is coming soon and sleep is difficult for him; one of the side effects of Wolfsbane potion being hyperactivity. It seems like he just fell asleep. I stoke his hair gently and he settles, leaving me alone with my thoughts again.

When he joined me here, I didn’t want it; I didn’t want anyone near me. I had lived so long with just my thoughts; just my thoughts, and the Dementors. Having him in the house with me was almost painful. It meant that I had to talk. I felt I should to be – well be the old me for him but I couldn’t the old me no longer existed. He approached me the way I had first approached the Wolf when we became packmates: he held his hands out to me his head cocked to one side; half begging, half invitation to play. I ignored him. We went back to stiff politeness.

There was no way to tell him that Padfoot was dead.

Inside I was empty.

One thing to be said for Remus, he can be persistent. He may never have spoken to me before I said something to him, but his eyes were always on me, always reaching for me. He still loved me, even if there was no me left in me.

I had dark times that first month: the memories of Azkaban would rise up and choke me, the memories of Dementors would freeze the breath in my lungs. The first time Remus watched from the kitchen, he watched me intently and when I started to breathe again he simply asked if I was all right.

Remus moans, interrupting my thoughts.

“Sirius?” he asks in his sleep.

“Yes darling, I’m here.”

“Good, I thought you were a dream,” he nuzzles deeper into my arms.

“No, I’m not a dream,” I reply. But Remus is snoring again.

Our first full moon together for years...Two weeks prior, he came to me and explained to me all about the potion; he gave me the procedure and asked if I could make it. I didn’t want to. I hadn’t done anything like that since before Azkaban, but his eyes held such desperation: he had grown used to having control of the Wolf. It was the first time I had felt anything but the desire for revenge and the fear that my mind would never be free from Azkaban. I agreed to try to make this potion for Remus because he needed me to, and I wanted to make him happy. For the first time, I wanted something beyond the taste of rat in my mouth. I made it and he drank it and was sick most of the night. I was- frightened isn’t the word. All I could do was watch and know that something I gave him, to make him happy, made him so sick. I wanted to hold him but something inside held me back. I should say the lack of something held me back. Remus said nothing as he dragged himself to bed near dawn. Thankfully, the second day wasn’t as bad, and I felt I could take care of him. I made him tea and tucked him into bed. As I ran my fingers through his hair and I realized I felt almost human.

We talked most of the night, he couldn’t sleep anyway. We really hadn’t talked since he had come to Grimmauld Place: I told him about Azkaban, he told me about losing his mother. When at last he fell asleep, I returned to my room.

We talked seven nights away and when the Full Moon rose, I felt we were friends again. We were no longer alone.

The Wolf came to me head tilted, paws pumping the ground of the garden, asking to play but not so dominant as Moony had been in our youth. Behind the Wolf’s eyes I could see Remus but his eyes held such desperation: Remus longed for familiar company; he longed to run with his pack mate. I lunge forward, our bodies crashing together in canine play.

Some time in the night, I remembered the most important thing in my life: I remembered that I love this man. I love him, man, and wolf heart and mind, body and soul. I can’t believe I could have ever forgotten...I can’t believe that I could have ever allowed Azkaban to take him away from me.

At dawn, we were in each other’s arms.

Now Remus no longer watches me from across the room when thoughts of Azkaban steal my breath. He holds me as close as I can allow and assures me the Dementors are far from me. Each day, I fear the Dementors less and less. His smile erases any thought of them.

I thank all that is sacred for Remus Lupin, the man who can banish Dementors with a smile.

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