Sunday the 15th of June, 1977
Bella: I pad my way down to the infirmary after my nice little nap. Still a little wigged out, but better than I was. Pomfrey lets me in after a proper amount of fussing. "Hey, Remus! Ready to blow this joint?" It appears I beat James here.
Remus: I'm sitting on the end of the bed which has already been made with crisp white sheets, Pomfrey doesn't waste time. Again, I'm so glad to see you and I actually manage a small grin. "More than ready. Where's James?"
Bella: "He's going to meet us. Had to clear a few things up about cancelling practice tonight." I plop down next to him, pulling out a bag of Bott's from my upper pocket. "How're you feeling?"
Remus: I shrug. I'm not really feeling much of anything anymore. "I'm okay. How are you?"
Bella: "Fine. Ish." I nudge him with my shoulder, not really sure how to take that reaction. "Wanna bean? Word of advice, though. Avoid the purple ones."
Remus: "Ish?" I pause mid-reach for a bean. "Why the purple ones?" I pick a red one instead. Everyone knows red are the best.
Bella: "Purple apparently makes you... see thing." I shrug. "It might just be a rumour. And Ish, because I'm still pretty hacked off at a certain Padfoot."
Remus: "Really? That might be kinda nice..." I'm ignoring the comment about Padfoot. I'm ignoring the comment about Padfoot. I'm ignoring the comment about Padfoot. "Did you talk to him?" Damn, what happened to the ignoring??
Bella: "Nope. Still no sign of him. For the life of me, I can't figure where he could be. If he went off and found a new secret passage in the course of all of this... I'm REALLY going to be mad." I pop a white one. EW! Horseradish.
Remus: I giggle at the look on your face and take a chance on a yellow one. Pineapple. "He must be really upset then." He'd damn well better be because I swear, if he's not, I'm going to break something. Preferably his neck.
Bella: "He'd better be. God, what a raging idiot. I mean, gah. Ok. I can't get mad until I see him, because I can't *hit* him until I see him, so there's no point getting mad until then." I scowl and take a green one. "GRASS! That's so WEIRD!"
Remus: "If he cares, he'll be upset. So I guess that'll tell us something...if he ever comes back." Grey? That's a little odd...oh god - dust! Yuck. "I want to hit him too." I want to scream until I'm hoarse, I want to make him hurt as much as I do right now.
Bella: "Tell you what. I'll hold him down, and you can hit him." I pick up a darker gray one. Pepper. Weiiiiiird. "And he'll come back. And he does care. It's just a jumbled mess, that's all."
Remus: But the funny thing is, when it comes right down to it, I don't want to hit him. Jumbled mess is an understatement. "What would you do, Bella? If the person you...were with betrayed you. What would you do?"
Bella: I flop backwards onto the bed, so my legs are still dangling off the edge but I'm staring at the ceiling. "I'd yell, scream, cuss, hit...And then I'd forgive him. Because I don't stay mad for too long."
Remus: "You know, Sirius is the first person I've loved and I'll always love him. But this really hurts, Bell. Inside my chest. It just aches and I want it to stop but I don't know how." My voice drops steadily lower till I'm practically whispering. "I don't know if I can forgive him."
Bella: I tug the back of his robes back so he's laying down too. "You will. The reason it hurts so much is because you love him. It'll take time, but it'll stop. And you'll forgive him...Cause I said so. And what I say goes." I nod, quite firmly, then offer him the bag again.
Remus: "I don't want anymore, thanks." I feel sick enough as it is. "I want to hear why first. I know he has a temper, but to blurt that out because he was in a stupid fight with Snape? If I forgive him and then tell him other things, is he going to blurt them out the next time he argues with Snape?"
Bella: "It has to be huge." I muse, munching on another white one. Yes! Coconut! "Whatever that would make him to do that, I mean. And he's going to learn his lesson...cause I'm going to beat it into him, anyway."
Remus: "What could be that huge though?" I sigh heavily. I really, *really* want to see him. Even if he's on one side of the room and I'm on the other and we're not speaking to each other. I just want to see him.
Bella: I suddenly get an idea. And it's not one I'm sure he's going to want to hear it. "You, Remus. That's all I can figure. He might have jibed him about you."
Remus: "Me?" Oh no. Please don't let this be about me. "But Sirius hasn't cared what anyone's said about him seeing guys before." Yeah, so I'm really hoping this is about Snape being homophobic. Don't know why, but it seems easier to take that way.
Bella: "... but maybe it was more personal. Like... actually about *you*, not about the fact he's with a guy." I sigh a little. "I dunno."
Remus: "Sirius does tend to get a bit carried away if someone says something nasty about one of us..." But could anything be bad enough to warrant sending Snape off to a werewolf?!
Bella: "And if it's about you... well, it's just doubly so." I sigh a little, fiddling with my thumb ring again. "I mean, I know how much he cares about you, Remus."
Remus: Gah, I just can't stay still now. I have to pace, pacing is good. "If he cares so much, then why did he tell Snape about me? Why couldn't he just beat him up or something?" I run my hands through my hair, resisting the urge to scream. "God, I want to see him." I feel so pathetic because of that. I *need* to see him even though I'm not sure if I want to.
Bella: "Ok... let's go with a more productive thought process." I press my lips in a thin line. "Like where he is. I mean, there's only so many places that don't show up on the map."
Remus: Productive. I nod. Productive is good. "He wasn't at the shack yesterday. He..." Oh god. "He wouldn't go into the forest, right?"
Bella: "... oh, *shit*. You and I both know he's just about that stupid..." I sit bolt upright and frown. "And with everything else... shit, shit, shit."
Remus: Oh my *god*. What if... "What do we do?" Must. Not. Panic. "I wish James was here. He'd know what to do."
Bella: "I can't go into the Forest. I mean... I don't have..." I make two little horns on my head. Er, for Animagus, you know. "James *will* know what to do, though. He's the smart one."
Remus: "I don't either." I gesture in a half-hearted mimic of what you did. Damn, I wish I was an Animagus... but that is a good point. "If Sirius *is* in the forest, then he'll be Padfoot. He wouldn't be stupid enough to be human in there."
Bella: "I know. And that at least is a slight comfort. Merlin on a pogo stick, I'm really going to chew his arse out for this... making you worry like this, I mean." I scowl.
Remus: "I just want to know he's okay. Then you can yell at him all you want." I sigh and sit beside you again. "God, I really am pathetic. I can't decide if I'm mad at him, or...or...or if I just want to hug him and make sure he's alright."
Bella: I manage a little smile. "Welcome to Squishyville, Remus. Sucks, huh?" I reach over and pull him into a hug. "I'm sorry."
Remus: "REALLY sucks." I sigh and close my eyes as I hug you back. "God only knows what I'm going to do when I see him again." I manage a soft chuckle. "Probably drive myself insane trying to yell and be mad and hug and kiss him at the same time."
Bella: "Weeeeell, I hear make-up sex is great." I manage a little giggle and ruffle his hair. "I'm teasing, though. You'll... well, you'll know when you see him, Remus."
Remus: I blanch at the thought of make-up sex. That's just...more than I can think about right now. "Yeah, I guess. I wonder if he'll be in class tomorrow, or if he'll come back tonight even."
Bella: "Oh, he's coming back tonight. If worse comes to worse, James and I are going into the forest to look for him." I scowl a little, crossing my arms. "It's not fair to keep doing this to you."
Remus: I wrap an arm around your shoulders and give you a small smile. "I wish you were an animagus too Bell, but you're not, so you can't go into the forest." I press a kiss to your temple. "Besides, I need you to keep me sane while we wait for him to come back. James and Peter can go get him."
Bella: I scowl again, with a little grin on my face, though. "Oh, fine. Be all... logical." I squeeze back, ruffling his hair again. "I'll keep you sane. It's a full time job, after all."
Remus: I laugh a little at that. "A full time job? So things have been a little crazy around here lately, that doesn't mean anything. Usually *I'm* the sane one."
Bella: "Oh, sure. In comparison. I mean, would you look at us sometime? Being the sane one of *this* group..." I grin and tickle his side lightly.
Remus: "Yeah, true, it's not saying much." I giggle and squirm away. Damn you for knowing my ticklish spots. "Alright, so I'm the sane-er one of the group. Better?"
Bella: "Much. I'm all about accuracy." I giggle a little more and flop back on the bed. "So... what do you want to do on your first night of freedom? After we track down the idiot. And brooding is NOT an option."
Remus: "*After* we track down Sirius?" I swallow and squirm a bit more even though you're not tickling me anymore. "I don't know." I shrug. "Brooding sounds pretty good."
Bella: "No. No brooding. I'm sick of brooding. I know! I'll get you on a huge sugar high, and then watch you bounce around the common room!" I prop myself up on my side, grinning and wiggling my eyebrows.
Remus: "If I eat anything, I think I'll be sick." I make a face. "Although..." I raise an eyebrow, looking interested. "If you've got any sugar quills in there, I could be tempted..."
Bella: It takes a few seconds to rummage around and find a couple. I haven't had a chance to restock my robes in awhile. "Here we are... always glad to help with your addiction." I grin and wrinkle my nose.
Remus: "Thanks." I grin back and take one, nibbling on it for a moment. "Maybe we could play wizard poker or something, all five of us."
Bella: "Oooh! That'd be fun. We could come up with really stupid bets, too!" I pop my quill in my mouth, thoughtfully. "Very stupid bets."
Remus: I know that look. That look scares me. "What are you cooking up, Bell?"
Bella: I grin wave the quill in the air. "Nothing much. I figure I can dare Sirius to try a yoga position, and James to... oh, hell, I don't know. Let me have a practice off to do my toenails."
Remus: "That sounds good...so what are you going to dare me?" There's a challenge in my eyes and my voice.
Bella: I put on a very thoughtful look. "Hmm... you're a toughie. I don't want to be too mean..."
Remus: "That raises a very interesting question too...what am I going to dare you to do, hmm..." I smile. "I'll think of something good, don't worry about that."
Bella: "See? We'll think up something nice and evil for each other." I poke him in the shoulder, then nibble on the Quill a little more. "And it'll be gooooood."
Remus: "And you know, we can use this to our advantage with James...to help with the plan to get him together with someone since he's being so UNhelpful."
Bella: I worry my bottom lip just a little. He told me, but I can't spill just yet. "He does a crush on someone, though. We know that much. It's not nice to try and shove him with someone if he has someone in mind."
Remus: "Yeah, I know. We could get him to tell us who it is...but that's not very nice either." I nibble on the quill for a moment. "You know, if he's got someone in mind, then perhaps we should leave him to it..."
Bella: "Yeah." Phew! I know Sirius knows too, and I hate keeping secrets from Remus. "He'll be glad if we do, after all. He'll move in his own time."
Remus: "Yeah, James likes to do things his own way. And he's usually right." I lick the remnants of the quill from my fingers. "Where is he anyway? Did he say he'd be long?"
Bella: "Nope. Just had to take care of some stuff... I figured I'd beat him here." I finish up my quill as well, grinning. "He's pretty slow for a Chaser."
James: James hurries down the hall, wanting to get to the infirmary and see Remus as soon as possible. He finally gets there, and quietly goes in so he won't get kicked right back out, and looks around for him.
Remus: "James." Boy, am I glad to see you! I jump up off the bed Bella and I were sitting on and pull him into a hug. "I'm sorry," murmured in his ear.
Bella: I hop up too, giving James a little relieved grin. "Hey, Potter. Took you long enough." I reach over and give them a nice big group hug. "Ok, enough of this. Let's get back to the tower."
James: I hug them both back, and glance at Bella, wondering how much Remus knows/remembers, but not really wanting to ask. "It's okay Remus," I say to him quietly, "It's just good to see you again." And louder, "Back to the tower sounds like a wonderful plan!"
Remus: "That would be great. I'm really sick of this place now." I don't really know what to say now. I want to blurt everything out all at once like an overexcited little kid. "Bella and I think Sirius might be in the forest."
Bella: I resist the urge to facepalm. Sheesh. Subtle. "It's a possibility. Since he's off the map. Just one of many, but obviously the most dangerous."
James: "It sounds like something he'd do actually. So maybe that's where he is. Let's hope he's being careful in there, if that's where he is, and shows back up soon." He better show back up soon and start dealing with things.
Remus: Absently tugging at my sleeve, I walk silently beside James for a moment, thinking. "Have you seen Snape? Since it happened, I mean."
Bella: I lead the way out of the infirmary, hand in Remus'. A little squeeze, reminding him I'm here.
James: I shake my head no. "I haven't seen him since I took him to Dumbledore’s office that night."
Remus: Smiling gratefully, I squeeze Bella's hand back. "Dumbledore came to see me yesterday," I inform him solemnly. "Promised me I won't be expelled." I don't mention my doubts about that right now.
Bella: "And Dumbledore never promises things he can't deliver, right James?" I grin up at Remus and James. "So we don't have to worry about that anymore."
James: I start grinning happily once Remus tells his news. "Right! If he told you that, then it means you're here to stay! Wonderful! Things are actually starting to work out."
Remus: I grin back at James. I tell you, his moods are contagious. "I guess we just have to sort things out with Sirius then." Though that won't be as easy as a promise from Dumbledore.
Bella: "Yeah. And even that will be ok. After I remove my foot from his arse, that is." I scowl a little. Still really pissed.
James: Remus knows it was Sirius? I wonder who had to be the one to tell him, and am thankful it wasn't me. "It may take awhile, but it'll all work out eventually. How can it not?" I frown slightly, as I'm not sure how much effort it'll take.
Remus: "I don't know. I guess you're right. It'll work out eventually." One way or another.
Bella: "Of course it will. Because I said so." I grin broadly, swinging our joined hands. "So, James. Remus and I thought we should play poker tonight."
James: "As Bella is Queen of Everything, then I guess everything will be great." I glance over at her. "Poker? Sounds okay, but I'm sure there's something you aren't telling me."
Remus: I really don't think everything is going to be as wonderful as they seem to think it is, but who am I to rain on their parade? "Like what, James?"
Bella: "Yeah. We're sneaky, but not that sneaky. This is just a little game to take our minds off of... everything." I'm deliberately trying to keep spirits high.
James: "What I mean is, are we going to be betting stuff? Or doing anything else? Or is it just a regular poker game?" Now I'm wishing I hadn't said anything cause I didn't want to give them any ideas.
Remus: Too late! "Well..." A slow grin begins to appear. "We were going to bet stuff, yes. Bella had some great ideas."
Bella: "Oh yes. Not money, of course. That's just silly bets. This will be other stuff. Like I'm going to bet Sirius that he has to twist into some weird yoga position. And I've got a great one for you!" I give him a look that clearly says 'and it's NOT about Lily.'
James: "You do?" As I can't think of any excuses to get out of it, I know I'm stuck playing. Hopefully it won't be too embarrassing. "So it's kinda like Truth or Dare Poker then?"
Remus: "Yeah. Kinda." I notice the look Bella shoots James but I don't understand what she's trying to tell him. It probably isn't important anyway. "I'm still trying to think up a good one for Bella."
Bella: "You two boys can come up with something evil for me later. As I still haven't figured out your either, Moony." I grin and find three more quills for us.
James: "When are we going to play? You've got to give me time to come up with something for all of you." Oh good, more sugar. Bella must spend a fortune on sweets.
Remus: "Anytime today I guess." I cover a yawn with my hand and then accept a quill from Bella. "Not too late though. Thanks Bella...you know I'm beginning to think you were serious before when you said you were going to get me high on sugar."
Bella: "I'm just feeding your habit, Remus." I grin and pop my own in my mouth. "Although, if it helps, I'll gladly pump you full of sugar all day long."
James: I start nibbling on my own quill. "That much sugar would be scary. I'm starting to think that you have that much in your pockets though."
Remus: I make a face and pull my quill from my mouth. "Ew, you'll make me sick if you do that." I sigh and continue sucking on the end of the sweet.
Bella: "Oh, fine. Be a big baby." I grin a little, noting that at the very least the mood is lighter."
James: I can't help but grin at them. "You just want to give him that much sugar to fatten him up."
Remus: "Nah, she won't do that." I wink at James. "Then I couldn't play Quidditch and Bell wants to win too badly to jeopardise our chances."
Bella: I snicker. "Fattening you guys up is not on my list of things to do. I just want to watch him bounce off the walls for a few houses."
James: "Ah! Your evil plan is revealed. I think you should do it sometime. Warn me first so I can find someone to take pictures." I wink at her.
Remus: "I am NOT going to be bouncing off the walls." I make a face at both of them, teasing of course. "I can handle my sugar."
Bella: "Suuuure you can. Just like you can handle your booze. Very, very well." I snicker. "Get the camera ready, James."
James: "I'll start searching for one later today. We'll have to record this so all can see!" I grin devilishly at Remus.
Remus: "Hey! I can handle it. I might not be able to drink as much as James and Sirius but that's not the point....I think." I blink, that's a bit confusing actually. How do you judge something like that anyway? "But I can definitely handle sugar. When have you ever seen me high from it?"
Bella: "Well, who can drink as much as us? We're just... the masters of everything, really." I snicker. "And that's the point, Remus. I want to try."
James: As I think this could be the source of many laughs, I've got to side with Bella. "How can we believe you, Remus, if you don't really have any proof?"
Remus: They're challenging me, I can tell and damn them, it's working. "You realise you'll probably make me sick before you get me high, right?"
Bella: "It's a risk I'm willing to take." I snicker and nudge Remus in the ribs. "Don't worry. We'll hold your hair back. Or something like that."
James: I nod and grin at him. "I'll make sure there's a bucket nearby. That way you won't even have to run anywhere if you do get sick first."
Remus: "Ew." Are you two for real? "You really want to spend all night making me sick? That's just lovely. Nice friends I've got." With any luck, I'll throw up on Sirius. Oh, ew. Don't think that.
Bella: "We're teasing, Remus. I don't want you to puke. Just go very, very bouncy." I nod and squeeze his hand again, giving the Fat Lady the password.
James: "You're the one who said he could handle his sugar after all! And bouncy is much better than sick." Once the door opens, I follow then in.
Remus: "Bouncy is good. I could go for bouncy right about now." Once we're inside, I glance around the crowded common room, smiling weakly at a few people. "Here or upstairs?"
Bella: "Well, if Gilderoy is in the dorm, he's going to be rather peeved at me in there. But if he's not, upstairs is cool." I need to do a quick stash run, to reload my pockets. Cauldron Cakes are of the good.
James: "I agree, upstairs probably would be better. Especially if we start playing your game soon. I'd rather not have too many people laughing at me after all!" There's just too many people down here right now.
Remus: I heave a sigh of relief at not having to deal with so many other people and nod. "Upstairs. Okay. Let's go then. Who cares if Gilderoy's there? If he doesn't like it, he can leave."
Bella: "Cool. I'll meet you guys in there, ok? Lemmie reload." I grin and bolt for the Girl's dorms, taking the steps two at a time.
James: I grin at her departure, and head up the stairs to the boys' dorm at a slower rate. "I'm not sure if Bella needs any more sugar."
Remus: I drop back on my bed and sigh. "Yeah, probably not." At a sudden thought, I sit up and fix a serious gaze on James. "Dumbledore said Sirius told you what happened. What was he like? I mean, was he upset? or was he calm?"
Bella: It takes me a few minutes to find the cakes, and more quills. Mmm... sugar. But most likely Remus wants to talk to James a bit anyway.
James: I sigh as I was hoping we could avoid talking about all of this for a while longer, but I know it needs to be discussed. "He was really upset. I couldn't even understand what he was saying at first cause he was so upset."
Remus: "Did he tell you why?" I kick off my shoes and draw my knees up to my chest, wrapping my arms around them. "I don't understand why he would do that."
Bella: With all pockets nice and restocked, I bound over to the boys' dorms.
James: "I don't understand either." I sigh, and frown at the situation. "All he said was that he snapped. He never said why."
Remus: I bite my lip, rocking a little back and forth. "Then what happened? Did you guys go and find Snape?" My brow furrows, I don't remember seeing Sirius there...but then, I was distracted...DON'T go there!!
Bella: I stick my head into the Dorm, pockets nice and restuffed. "Housekeeping? Fluff your pillows? Turn down bed? Mint on pillow?"
James: I smile at Bella when she enters, hoping that she can lighten the mood up. "That mint sounds nice." I turn back to Remus and am serious again. "Um, I yelled at him and told him to stay inside, and I went after Snape myself then."
Remus: "But he didn't stay inside..." I sigh and glance at Bella. "Mint's not so good but a quill would be nice right about now." I don't even have to try to look pathetically sad at her today.
Bella: I almost wibble in my usual cheer at Remus' face, and very solemnly hand out the quills. "Hm. Anyone check the map for him yet? Again?"
James: "He hasn't be on it any of the times I checked it, and I've checked it at least a dozen times." I frown as I think about my missing friend, and only manage a small smile to Bella as I accept a quill.
Sirius: I must look like absolute crap. No, really. I've spent most of the bloody weekend wandering around passages I didn't even know existed... it's amazing how deep under the school one can get when they just want to lose themselves... but I've been gone for far too long, and I desperately want to shower, and change my clothes, and sleep. Just *sleep*, for as long as I can, to just forget everything... to forget the horrible things Snape was saying, and the horrible idea that perhaps people thought those things, to forget James' anger at me, and how he told me he'd find me after he went after Snape and tell me if I was a murderer or not, and to forget the sick feeling of panic that surged through me when I realised what I had done. I pray that you're all out, that you're in the Great Hall or maybe the infirmary still - anywhere but the dorms. But as I make my way into Gryffindor Tower, and as I work hard to ignore everyone around me, I can hear voices spilling from the dorm. Part of me wants to run away, and just disappear, but the other part of him, in this sort of sick, morbid way, wants to go into the dorm... wants to be yelled at and screamed at and *punished* for my sheer stupidity. I argue with myself for a moment before I take a deep breath and step into the room. Remus is the first person I see, and is the only one that at the moment I care to see. I've tried to just forget everything, but I haven't succeeded much, and now the sight of Remus... of *all* of you, really, is just about enough to make me want to really disappear...
Remus: All I can do is stare at him and it's taking every bit of strength inside of me not to cry. There he is. The one person I've been wanting to see all weekend, no matter what he did, he's still Sirius. The one who makes everything seem better even when I know it's really not. My eyes are locked on his even as I just sit there, staring at him, torn between hitting him and hugging him. I can't do either. I'm frozen.
James: I turn to see what's going on, and am shocked to see Sirius standing in the door. I'm not sure what to say to him, or even what to do right now. I just stare at him, wondering where he's been, and what he's been up to, and finally manage to quietly say "Hi . . ."
Sirius: "Hi," I say, but my voice is hoarse and the reply comes out as nothing more than a whisper. I clear my throat and try again, and am somewhat satisfied when my voice doesn't waver. It's awkward... very awkward, and for once, I have no idea what to do to make it better. Stop acting like such a fucking moron, my inner cynic says, but I shut that voice up, because it's been talking to me far too much lately. "I uh... I just need to take a shower." As if that will make everything better.
Bella: I stand up, bolt up right. "For the love of Merlin..." I grab Sirius by the arm and drag him over to Remus. "This is NOT going to tear everything apart. Not going to let it. Here. Apologize. NOW. And then we can move on as a group, and you two can straighten it out later on the personal level...But we're friends, dammit. And that's not changing."
Remus: I really don't think I could find my voice any easier than Sirius did, so it's probably a good thing that I don't know what to say. A half-eaten sugar quill is melting in my hand, but I don't even notice as I gaze up at the one person I love more than anyone else. How could you? And the part deep inside of me that wants to yell and scream is back but my only outward reaction is my hand clenching around the quill, crushing it.
James: I have absolutely no idea what to do. Should Bella and I try to leave and give them time alone? But Bella said group first, so I guess not. I think I'm just going to sit here, and stay quite for a few minutes, and let Sirius and Remus talk to each other first.
Sirius: I have no right to be angry... none at all. But I am... I'm *angry* when Bella grabs my arm and drags me over to Remus, because it *hurts* to be this close to him, after what I've done. I don't want to be here, and I sure as hell don't want to talk to anyone right now. I should, of course I should, I know that, but I also know I shouldn't have spilled the secret of the person I'm in love with. Love is supposed to be, well, squishiness, and butterflies and fields of fucking flowers, not one person aching and sore in the hospital wing, from both physical and emotional ailments, while the other wanders around the dank dungeons of school. "I don't want to talk right now," I say slowly, evenly. It's best not to lose my temper now, even though I feel like slamming my fist into something. Preferably Snape's jaw again, but he's not here at the moment.
Bella: "Fine." I let his arm go and go and sit on Peter's bed. "Then we'll play poker." That ought to get a niiiice reaction.
Remus: I can't look at him any longer and I'm surprised when I glance down to see the sticky, melted sugar quill clenched in my fist. I slowly uncurl my hand, sighing heavily. I don't want to deal with this right now, any of this. "Poker is good." I glance across at Bella and try to smile. It'll be okay. Cause Bella said so. With that comforting thought, I begin to lick the sugar from my fingers.
James: I nod and smile hesitantly at the others. "Poker sounds good. Are we playing that version you guys were talking about earlier?" Anything that relieves the tension of the room is good.
Sirius: I think I want to play poker right now with all of you about as much as I want to take my wand and press it to my temple and Crucio myself. Actually, Crucio-ing myself seems like the less painful of the two at the moment. Like the lesser of two evils. Like the choice between punching Snape in the face and spilling Remus' secret... though I must've just gotten greedy there. Like a two-for-one deal at Madame Malkin's. "No, no poker for me, thanks," I need to go drown myself in the shower. Want to join me? Maybe I can ruin your life too. "I just need a shower."
Bella: "Sirius, please?" I look at him, levelly. "We'll wait until after your shower. Just... cause." I nod to James that yeah, it is the kinds I was talking about earlier.
Remus: "Wait!" I glance back up at Sirius and get up off my bed. There's something I have to do first, even if I yell at him later. I have to do this now. Taking a deep breath, I wrap my arms around his shoulders and my eyes fall shut as I hug him tightly. I'm just so relieved to see him back, safe and sound.
James: I was afraid that Remus was going to hit him, but am relived to see him just hug Sirius. I smile at them, and hope that this will be the first step to them fixing things between themselves.
Sirius: For one wild moment I'm sure Remus is about to hit me, and oddly enough, I welcomed it. Hit me, I thought, and hit me hard, I deserve nothing less. I can't even imagine my expression when he hugs me instead, and I'm hit with a sudden surge of guilt that's so strong I feel suddenly sick to my stomach. I pull away from Remus quickly and just stare at him, my breathing far more ragged than before, as though it were an effort to take a breath in. And then I realise it is an effort to breathe. "Don't," I say, my voice shaking slightly, "don't do that." I take a step back and shake my head, feeling as though I'd died on the inside. "Please, don't do that. Hit me if you want to, but don't do that. Just don't."
Bella: I give James a look, then sit uncomfortably on the bed. It's not... God, this is just so many levels of *suck*.
Remus: I can't believe he did that. He... No. "You bastard." I'm not going to hit him, but I'll damn well glare daggers at him instead. "We've been worried sick about you. No matter what you did, we were worried. You could have been dead in the forest for all we knew, and now you're..." I can't even finish, I'm too angry. But I'm not going to give him the satisfaction of hitting him. He can find redemption some other way.
James: I glance back at Bella and frown at the other two as I wish that I had decided to leave earlier. I don't want to interrupt them now to leave, so I'm just going to sit here and pretend I'm somewhere else. Somewhere happy.
Sirius: It hurts when Remus calls me a bastard. Not in the sense that oh, that was unfair, let me bristle... it was in the sense of here, let me stick a knife into your heart and *twist*. Now that feels nice, doesn't it? "Don't fucking start with that," I snap. I'm surprised at how angry I sound. "Don't sit around and worry about me, what the fuck is this, a bloody recovery group? Do we all hold hands and pray together, and hope that no matter how bad a person's screwed up, they're still safe and sound? What the fuck is wrong with you people? I *fucked up*. This isn't a whoops, Sirius got bloody detention! thing, this is worse, much, much worse, and all you guys want to do is play poker and *hug* me? What's next, do I get a chain of daisies? A pat on the head and a bloody treat??"
Bella: "Oh, that is *fucking* IT, Sirius. Do *NOT* look to us to fucking punish you." I stand up, glaring fucking daggers at him. "We're your friends. Yes. You completely and utterly fucked up ... yes, you hurt Remus really, *really* bad. But we are NOT going to sit around and completely mock you and punish you and everything. You want flogging? Do it your FUCKING SELF!" I stand across from him, furious. "Yes, we're pissed. Yes, you fucked up. But dammit, we're still the same FUCKING friends you had a couple days ago. And we're not quitting. So get a FUCKING CLUE!"
Remus: I want to kill him. I swear to god he's wearing his *fucking* guilt like a mantle, as if it's something to be proud of. I nod as Bella speaks, glad she jumped in before I could wrap my hands around his neck. I hate being this angry, *hate* it. "Bella's right. While you've been wallowing in your guilt, we've been trying to get through this and figure out what happens now. Don't try and get into a 'who hurts more' competition with me, Sirius, you *won't* win."
James: Looking up at the others from my seat on the bed, I figure I should say something too. "Sirius? One mistake's not going to erase six years of friendship. Sure, it was a big mistake, but it wasn't even as big as it could have been. Snape lived. Remus can stay. There's still a whole lot of stuff to work through, and Merlin knows how long it'll take, but we will work through all of this. Trust me. I plan on leaving this place next year just as good of friends as we were before this. So this will be fixed." Yes, I am very determined and quite optimistic right now.
Sirius: "I don't want to fucking get into anything with you at the moment, Remus," I snap, but it's killing me inside to say that. Am I fucking insane? All I want to to is be with him, to hold him and comfort him and apologise, over and over again, but I *can't*. I've opened my mouth about 5 times now to apologise, and nothing will come out. Nothing at all. I turn to James and give him a look that says he's an Idiot. Capitalised and everything. "Listen to the bloody lot of you. It's okay! It's rays of sunshine! Let's all just forget it ever happened and act like everything's peachy and happy and bright and cheery and all the shit like that!" shake my head vehemently, and glare at all of you. "I don't want to do that. I don't want to do any of this. I want to take a fucking shower and I want to," fucking just slit my wrists "go to sleep and I want to just shut. Myself. Out. I'm ever so sorry that I ruined your plan of perfection, but really, right now I want nothing to do with you. Any of you. I think I've done enough for this lifetime."
Bella: "Rays of sunshine? God, you're a fucking case, you know that, Black?" I glare straight back out at him. "Get over it. You fucked up. And if you can't get this 'pity me' shit out of your head, I'm going to beat it out of you... don't you get it? You're our friend. And yes, you fucked up. But if you want to walk away and wallow in your pain, then fuck you. I don't care. I'M PLAYING POKER!" I grab my deck of cards out of my robes and sit on Remus' bed, shuffling. HA! HA! I say.
Remus: If I thought it was an effort before to keep from crying, it's an epic bloody battle now. He doesn't want anything to do with me. *He* doesn't want anything to do with *me*. The sheer unmitigated gall of that statement just...leaves me speechless. Does he honestly think he's the only one hurting here? Even Bella's words don't quite make it better this time and I'm finding it quite hard to breathe. "Go and take your shower then," I say as coldly as I possibly can and sit on my bed right beside Bella and let out a shaky breath. It's not going to be okay, is it Bell? no matter what you say.
James: Nothing positive is going to come out of this anytime soon it seems. I glare at Sirius as I'm not too impressed by the way he's acting right now. "Maybe you should go take your shower right now. Come back when you're tired of acting like this and are willing to actually work on things. Do you really want us to hate you forever and ever? That's kind of sad isn't it? Go on. We'll see you later."
Sirius: I can't take this... it's too much. All of it's too much. Do I want to alienate myself? Do I want to push away the people I love, the person I love more than anything? Do I want to act the way I am? Of course not, but I don't know how else to deal with it. I open my mouth to say something nasty to James, but I surprise the hell out of myself by bursting into tears. What the fuck?! "I don't know what to do!" I say, wiping furiously at my eyes with the back of my hand. "What is it you want me to do? Say I'm sorry for fucking everything up? I'm sorry for failing all of you? I'm sorry for not thinking, and for acting like a fucking moron? I'm sorry because I betrayed the trust of the person I love?" And now the cat's out of the fucking proverbial bag. Always one to have my foot shoved in my fucking mouth, eh Sirius? "God, Remus, I love you. I *love* you but I betrayed you, and it's killing me inside," I choke out, finding it hard to breathe. "I don't know what to do. I don't know what I can say or do to show you all that I'm sorry and I hate myself now, and all I want to do is just die. Just die."
Bella: GOD! Finally! He turned his stupid brain back on!!! I sigh, and just lean against James. Idiot. It's Remus' floor now. *pause* But I still think we should play poker.
Remus: I blink in surprise when Sirius starts crying, but that's nothing compared to my surprise when he says he loves me and that this is killing him inside. Silent tears have begun to slide down my cheeks as I slowly move off the bed. "Don't you dare pull away from me again," I murmur softly as I wrap my arms around him again, tentatively at first, but when he doesn't pull away, my arms tighten around him. "I love you too, Sirius." I whisper in his ear. "And I know it hurts, but the only way we can get through this is together." I wonder when I got so damn wise. Bella must be rubbing off on me. Bella or James.
James: Progress! Wonderful, wonderful progress! I don't want to interrupt the moment, so I silently watch them, with a slight smile on my face. I'm starting to wonder again if Bella and I should leave though.
Sirius: Part of me thinks it would be better if Remus slid his hands up and around my throat, and just throttled me, but the (far) more logical part of me is telling that other part to just shut the bloody fuck up. I stiffen a little as Remus slides his arms around me, but when he says he loves me too I collapse against him, shivering a little. "I'm sorry," I whisper, my voice sounding hoarse and worn out and far more pitiful than I'd like to admit. "I'm so sorry, Remus, the last thing I'd ever want to do is hurt you. I wanted to defend you, to stand up for you, to make sure you were okay, I never meant..." The quiet words had poured out of me for a moment, but I lost my train of thought almost immediately and so now I just close my eyes and slip my arms around Remus, and hope that things can get better. I can't stand to think otherwise.
Bella: Still leaning against James, I smile broadly now, shaking my head. I don't just think, I speak, so naturally, the rude question is coming out right about...Now. "Do you guys want the room? Cause we can clear out."
Remus: I want to ask why. I want to know what on earth Snape could have said to provoke such a reaction. But now is not the time. I press kisses over Sirius' face while raising a hand to cup his cheek and I'm about to kiss him when Bella speaks. And ruins the moment. But I can't help smiling a bit as I gaze at Sirius. As much as I don't want him to be away from me right now, he's right. He needs a shower. "Do you want to go have a shower now? And then we'll talk or something?" I keep my tone gentle, because it's clear he's just barely holding up after all this and he doesn't need anything more to deal with right now. I'm lucky, I've had Bella and James to help me with this. Sirius has been alone. Yes, that was his choice, but that's not the point.
There is a brief pause as James is called away on a Prefect Emergency.