Just A Little Lie
by Stellamaru

This is not the worst moment of my life, Remus thinks upon waking. He thinks it again as he puts the kettle on, and again when he pours his tea. Not the worst moment.

He's had a lot of bad moments in his life. Age six, clutching his arm and wailing for his mum as blood ran down and pooled on the dirt. A month later, when the pain of transformation came upon him like a hot spike down his spine.

There was the morning when James told him of Sirius's prank on Severus. Remus had never felt such anger and fear all at the same time. He hadn't spoken to Sirius for the rest of the year.

Then, the moment when he learned of James and Lily and Peter's deaths, all because of Sirius's betrayal. That moment--well, it came close to being the worst.

But it wasn't.

This isn't the worst moment of my life, he reminds himself again, opening the day's Prophet, taking a sip of tea and remembering.


Climbing the stairs, after Christmas in the empty cavern that was number 12, following Sirius as he shuffled listlessly towards Buckbeak's room. "Wait," he'd said, stopping Sirius with a hand on his arm. "Are you all right?"

"There's nothing wrong with me," Sirius had replied, pulling his arm away. "Thanks for picking out the books for Harry. I'd have gone myself, but..." he said, his back to Remus.

"Thanks for buying the books for Harry," Remus said, looking at the floor. "I'd have done it if I had enough..." Sirius said nothing, but didn't leave either. "Are you sure you're--"

"Fine? Of course I'm fine," Sirius muttered. "Who wouldn't be, cooped up in this prison with that," he said, motioning in the direction of his mother's portrait. He straightened his shoulders and turned to look at Remus. "That's why it was easy, isn't it? Believing I was a traitor. All this." He threw his arms up.

"If you think it was easy--" Remus started, cutting off before he started to yell. Easy. "Is that really what you think?"

Sirius's shoulders drooped slightly. "No... I don't know," he said. "It's just... after that thing at school with Severus, that stupid prank, it seemed like-- as if you'd been expecting something awful from me. You wouldn't talk to me."

Remus blinked. "I was angry with you," he said.

"It's just what someone with a family like mine would do," Sirius said. "It's not that far a step from trying to murder someone you hate to betraying your best friends to their deaths, I suppose."

"I never thought that about your family," Remus said. "Not once. I was angry because you'd been bloody thick and hadn't thought about the consequences." He laughed, urging Sirius to follow suit.

Sirius cracked a small smile. "I hated it, that year. I- I liked you."

"Well, I like you now," Remus said, laughing again. "It's sort of the thing to do, when you're friends."

"No... I mean I liked you," Sirius said, mumbling the words together.

Remus cut his laugh short. "Oh," he said. "I see." He ran a hand through his graying hair. "Well," he said. "Well. Well... I like you now," he repeated.

"Oh," Sirius said. "Really?"

"Really," Remus said. They'd stood still for a moment on the stairs, until Remus had reached out to touch Sirius's face, so thin and shadowed. He pulled him closer until their cheeks touched, and Remus breathed in the warmth and spice (with a hint of hippogriff) of Sirius. How could he think he was a part of this cold, dank place when he smelled like that?


This isn't the worst moment of my life, Remus tells himself as he clears away his teacup.

Holding Harry back from running through the veil after Sirius, swallowing every instinct to lead the charge. Uttering the words, "He's gone." That might have been the worst moment.

But it wasn't.


This isn't the worst moment of my life, Remus thinks as he straightens his bed, fluffing the pillows perhaps a bit more than needed. If he holds one close enough and shuts his eyes, he can still smell Sirius clinging to it, can imagine his taste. Not the worst moment.


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