The Curious Incident Of The Dog In Daylight
by zahra


Remorseless -- adj.
To be without remorse for one's actions. To feel no shame.
See brutal, hard, callous and unforgiving.
See also Sirius Nigellus Mordred Black.

Remus closes his Wizarding Oxford and slips it back amongst the other books on his table.

He hasn't talked to Sirius in eighteen days.

Every time Sirius attempts to corner him, Remus turns away. He's thrown away the slipped notes without a glance and given away the pilfered candies to second-years. He's sleeping in the spare bed in Frank Longbottom's room, and during lectures he sits with Peter or James.

At meals he eats with Arthur Weasley, Molly Roberts and Lily Evans, because Remus has nothing left to say to someone who professes to love him at the same time he proves to be without a heart.

Clearly Sirius should have been sorted into Slytherin with the rest of his family all along.


Teenagers are selfish creatures; Remus knows this from his friends. Whether it's James' inability to fathom that Lily might be not attracted to his boundless egotism or the way that Sirius still can't comprehend having done anything wrong, Remus knows that most people his age refuse to take responsibility for their actions, because the world obviously revolves around them. The larger problem with this is that they never consider other people, and no one is a bigger example of this than Sirius. For as long as Remus has known Sirius, he'd been adored by all and excused for everything, and clearly he's starting to believe his own press.

In all the conversations that Sirius has tried to start since that night at the tree, not once has he started with the right words -- "I'm sorry. Forgive me."


It's one thing to be selfish in your own little world, it's something else to hurt other people just to make things as you want them to be; and what bothers Remus the most about what Sirius has done is that the morning after the night before, he didn't think he had done anything wrong.

Remus can't believe that he ever fell for someone so cold-blooded and unfeeling. He can't understand the pain he's feeling from missing someone who obviously never had a heart to begin with.


Remus' senses are always too finely attuned to the world around him. He has a much harder time dealing with what's going on inside him, and he worries about Sirius even when he doesn't want to. He worries that this is just the beginning of a long slide to something much worse later on in life, except that maybe this isn't worry at all. Maybe it's a premonition; and his worry is actually a messy amalgamation of anger and disgust and fear and hurt and everything but worry. But he'll call it worry anyway, because he's not sure if he can process anything else right now.

So, yes, he is "worried" that someone so close to him could do something so cold-blooded and not think anything of it, and two things keep Remus up at night long after Arthur's snored himself catatonic:

a. It's as plain as the three-week old stubble on Sirius' face that he's not sorry for leading Severus to the Whomping Willow.

b. It's obvious that Remus doesn't know him at all.



Remorse -- n.
To be sorry for one's actions. To feel guilt.
See shame and regret.


One day Remus will be able to enter a room, and Sirius won't be there.


He thinks this is what he wants.


Or maybe he's wrong.

"Kindly remove your hand from my arm, please."

"You can't keep ignoring me."

"Can't I?"

"I never thought you were the petty kind."

"No, Sirius, I leave the pettiness to you."

"That -- that's a bit harsh."

"A bit harsh? Do you think the Ministry would've only been a "bit" harsh on me if anything had happened to Severus?"

"It's not like Snivellus -- it was just a bit of fun."

"A bit of fun." Pause. "Do you know what would have happened to me if Snape had actually found me? Did you ever stop to think about what would have happened to him? About would have happened to me if I had killed him? I'd be dead! I don't consider that fun, Sirius."

"That -- I wasn't going to let that happen."

"Circe's pigs, Sirius! Do you really think it would've been something you could control? Are you really that stupid?"

"No need to shout. I'm -- it wasn't --"

"It wasn't what? What you intended? Just wanted to wind him up? Just wanted to get one over on old Slimy Snape? Maybe scare him a bit with your own personal werewolf? Grow up, Sirius."


"No, you don't get to call me that anymore, Sirius."

"Remus, I -- I'm sorry."

"No, I don't think you are."

"I am -- I'm sorry about what happened."

"You know what, I was wrong. I think you are sorry, but I think you're sorry for the wrong thing. You're sorry because your trick didn't quite go over the way you wanted. You're sorry that you've got detention until the end of term, and you're sorry that I'm not speaking to you -- but you're not sorry for almost getting Snape killed, are you? You so selfish you never thought about how you could've bollocksed up everyone else's life, did you?"

"I --"

"You're a selfish prat, who doesn't know the meaning of the word 'sorry.' "

"I do so! It means -- it means -- it means sorry."

"It means apologetic. For example: I'm 'sorry' to know you, Sirius Black." "You don't mean that."

"Yes, I do."



Remorseful -- adj.
To have remorse for one's actions. To seek penance or forgiveness. To be sorry.
See Sirius Nigellus Mordred Black.
See also Remus Charles Lupin.

Life without Sirius is infinitely quieter than life with him, but it's also a great sight less interesting. There are fewer pranks, virtually none to speak of, and the uninterrupted hours that Remus can spend with his books are frightfully long. Nevertheless, every time Remus sees Severus Snape eating alone at the Slytherin table in the Great Hall he's reminded that Sirius's desire for 'the interesting' is what almost got them in trouble in the first place.

Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't.

He takes notice of the sparse beard that Sirius has grown in the last twenty-seven days with something akin to interest. Only less harmful.


He doesn't notice that Sirius has stopped eating his meals or going to his lectures. Sirius always felt that attendance was optional instead of mandatory at any rate, so Remus isn't particularly bothered. And since he's sleeping in Frank's room, he doesn't notice that Sirius isn't sleeping. Whatever howling Remus has been hearing at night, he puts down to the vividness of his dreams.


It's James who tries to bring him around, which Remus finds a bit off, whether it's uncharitable or not. He didn't think James was conscious enough of anybody else to even consider that his mates might be in serious distress. All the same, Remus listens to James' arguments quietly and nods in all the right places. He's grateful to James for saving them all from who knows what, but as he points out quite emphatically, none of them would've been put that position if Sirius had actually thought about his actions for once.

Sirius is entirely too selfish and fool-hardy, and Remus can't be mates with someone like that.

It doesn't matter if Sirius misses him or not.


The night before the full moon, Remus has an early dinner and makes his way from the Great Hall to the tower and then to the Whomping Willow. He wears his tattiest clothing underneath his robes and all his senses are on edge; he knows it's just this hyper-sensitivity that makes him think he can still smell Snape and James and Sirius around the base of the tree.

The sun is just beginning to set as he reaches the Shrieking Shack, and it casts orange and pink light through the boarded up slats over the windows.

The stairs creak as he makes his way upstairs to wait for Peter and James, and at the old and out of tune piano Sirius sits, contemplating the dust-covered keys.

Words get stuck in Remus' chest, and he breathes sharply through his noise before he speaks. "What are you doing here, Sirius?" he asks even as Sirius focuses his attention on the piano and resolutely doesn't turn in his direction.

The beard he's grown makes him look much older than his sixteen years.

"Did you really think I wouldn't come?"

Sirius' voice is scratchy as though it hasn't been used in an age. It can't have been that long since they've talked, but to Remus it seems like years. "I didn't ask you to come," he says.

The keys make a tinny noise when Sirius touches them. "I don't always do what I'm asked to do. Sometimes I don't always think things through, but I wanted to be here for you, even if you didn't want me to." He plays a few chords. "That rhymed," he says with a smile.

Remus swallows rather than relinquishing the smile that wants to come.

Outside the shack, the sun is going further down.

"James and Peter are coming," Remus says matter-of-factly.

Sirius shrugs. "I don't do this for them," he says, turning on the piano bench. "I do it for you."

"I don't need you to do me any favours."

"I know you don't. I know you don't need me."

Remus' chest clenches and he gazes around expecting the moon to be up and the pain to start, but the sun hasn't disappeared completely just yet.

"I'm sorry, Remus. I know you haven't forgiven me and probably never will, but I'm sorry. I didn't thinkŠ"

"You never do," Remus says with a small sigh. "That's the whole problem."

The bench creaks as Sirius gets to his feet; he's tremendously dog-like with the beard and Remus is still half on the steps. He could turn around and go back the way he came, but that wouldn't do him any good.

"I know," Sirius says. "I can change, Remus, just give me this chance."

"People don't change, Sirius."

"I can try." Sirius is as defiant as ever. "For you."

"Trying isn't enough though."

"Then I'll do it. I'll make it happen."

"For me." Remus repeats the words, certain at any moment that he'll wake up from this dream and they still won't be talking. It's still not to late to turn and run, he's still wavering on the stairs when Sirius grips his bicep and tugs him to the landing.

Their embrace is awkward and too tight as though they've forgotten how to hold each other. "For you," Sirius says again.

"Will you apologise to Severus?" Remus talks into the nape of Sirius' neck.

"Are you mad? Absolutely not."

"For me." His words are muffled by Sirius' beard.

"I'll think about it."


"Isn't the sun about to go down?" Sirius pulls away briefly to check.


"Don't you have a werewolf to transform into?"

"You're not getting off so easy."

"You call this easy?"

"It could've been a lot worse."

The sun makes it's last appearance of the day before slipping over the edge of the horizon, and Remus takes a deep breath to clear his head.

Maybe he's just as selfish as Sirius for not really caring about what comes next.


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