It did not take him long to reach the Shrieking Shack, the path almost second nature after spending several nights a week there each month. He glanced at the half moon, his eyes distracted for a moment as he simply looked at the sky. Sirius had received an owl at breakfast that morning, nothing unusual about that but Remus recognized the owl. It was the same owl that had delivered messages to his best friend for the last eighteen months. It was non-descript and ordinary, surprising since it belonged to someone who valued wealth and reputation above everything else. Every time Sirius received a letter from that particular owl, he would spend the day laughing and telling jokes and doing his best to pretend that everything was normal. Remus knew the truth, though. He had known since shortly before the holidays during fifth year.
It had been a Saturday and they’d all gone to Hogsmeade. Sirius had been late, though, and Remus had been watching for his friend. He had been shocked when he saw his best friend leave an alley looking very disheveled soon after Lucius Malfoy. When Sirius had found them, Remus had smelled the scent of sex, knew instantly what Sirius had been doing with Malfoy. He had never said a word about his discovery, but he had used their charmed map to confirm his suspicions several times when Sirius would suddenly have studying to do or disappear from his bed in the middle of the night. He had seen his best friend’s name linked with Malfoy’s and known that Sirius was having sex with the older Slytherin. Remus loved Sirius, his feelings beginning as friendship and drifting into a comfortable affection that also possessed sexual attraction. Sirius didn’t love him, however.
No, Sirius’ heart belonged to Malfoy, the evil bastard that used his best friend for sex and made him miserable by not loving him back. Over the last year, since the announcement of Malfoy’s engagement to Narcissa, Sirius had become quiet and melancholy when he thought no one was watching. He still played the part of charming rogue, flirting with the witches and captivating the Professors, but Remus knew it was an act. He and Sirius were closer now than ever before, their relationship becoming physical nearly a year before, though it was more comforting and loving than passionate or intense. He didn’t mind, preferring to be there for Sirius, holding his friend, giving him the love he needed in comparison to the damaging and ill-fated sexual relationship Sirius had with Lucius Malfoy.
Remus finally approached the Shrieking Shack, knowing that Malfoy would be gone by now. Sirius had left before they’d gone to bed, giving some excuse about studying for a Charms exam that had satisfied Peter and let Remus know that the letter had, indeed, been from Malfoy. He had hoped the affair would end when the Slytherin had graduation, but it had not. The letters began to arrive, causing Sirius to be excited and happy at times but also withdrawn and reserved at others. He was still the same happy go-lucky boy he’d always been a majority of the time, but it was in his eyes. The maturity, the sadness, the hopelessness, the realization that he wanted more than he’d ever have. Overnight, Sirius had grown up, and Remus wished that his friend had never had to experience the heartbreak and loneliness and pain that came along with being involved with Malfoy.
The lycanthrope entered the deserted shack, the scent of sex thick in the air. His eyes narrowed as he felt the familiar hatred and loathing that consumed him every time he thought of Lucius Malfoy. Counting softly to ten, he gained control of his emotions, knowing that Sirius needed him. Walking into the room he spent several nights a month confined in, he saw Sirius sitting on the mattress that James had bought so Remus would be more comfortable. Potter was a great friend and his heart had been in the right place so Remus hadn’t bothered to tell him that he spent the majority of his nights pacing and howling and experiencing more pain than the Head Boy could ever imagine and that sleeping was the last thing on his mind when he was in his wolf form. Besides, the mattress now stunk of Sirius and Malfoy’s many couplings over the last two years and the last thing Remus wanted was a reminder of the anguish and misery that relationship caused for Sirius.
The raven haired wizard was sitting on that old mattress, his knees against his bare chest, his chin resting on them. His pale eyes were looking out the small window, at the moon that could just barely be seen from where Remus was standing. There were tears on his handsome face, silently falling down his cheeks as he sat there looking so forlorn and lost. The sheets were soiled, evidence of their coupling still glistening in the moonlight and the few candles that were burning. Sirius did not look at him as he entered the room, though his friend tensed when he felt that he was no longer alone. Remus walked silently towards Sirius, moving to take a seat next to his best friend and lover. He rested his hand on Sirius’ shoulder, asking softly, “Are you okay, Siri?”
Sirius stiffened as he whispered harshly, “Don’t call me that!”
“He calls me that,” Sirius continued speaking in a hoarse whisper, as if it strained his voice to speak. He was still staring out the window, the tears continuing to silently fall, not even bothering to wipe them from his cheeks. He felt emotionally ravaged this evening, wanting nothing more than to crawl into a small ball and disappear. He hadn’t mean to be sharp with Remus, knowing his best friend was worried about him, the gentle wizard the only person who knew about him and Lucius.
Sirius had been surprised when Remus had confronted him one evening, quietly explaining that he had known about his relationship with Lucius for over a year and that he was worried about him, just wanting him to know there was someone who would listen should he ever feel talking. Sirius had been astonished that Remus had known for so long and not said a word, though it really wasn’t too surprising. Remus was the shy one, quiet and gentle despite his lycanthropy, the listening for all his friends’ troubles and the voice of reason during his and James’ many mischievous pranks. He finally looked away from the window, his gray eyes looking into Remus’ concerned hazel gaze. He sighed softly, the sound voicing his despair, “I’m sorry, Moony.”
“No need, Padfoot,” Remus said softly, using the nickname to avoid causing any further agitation to the wizard he loved.
“Today was his wedding,” Sirius said dully, his eyes glistening with fresh tears, his lips curving into a slight grimace, “He married my cousin a few hours ago and then came here to fuck me before they left for their honeymoon. Damn it, Remus. Why do I do this? Why can’t I just stay away?”
“I don’t have an answer to that, Sirius,” Remus spoke calmly, his voice soothing, knowing that Sirius was even more emotionally upset than normal. He couldn’t believe Malfoy’s nerve! Marrying Narcissa that afternoon and then coming to do his routine damage to Sirius. What, couldn’t the blond Slytherin enjoy his honeymoon without knowing he’d hurt the man that loved him?
“I love him,” Sirius said so quietly Remus almost didn’t hear it even though they were sitting right beside one another. He hugged his knees closer to his chest, the room chilly, his heart feeling battered and bruised. He had not admitted his feelings out loud, not even to himself, but looking into Remus’ caring eyes, he felt the need to be honest with the wizard that he knew cared about him.
“I know,” Remus sighed softly, “I hate seeing you like this, Sirius. I hate what he does to you, what you let him do to you, and I know you love him but this relationship between the two of you is destructive. He’s married, for Merlin’s sake! I just don’t want you unhappy anymore.”
“God, Remus, it hurts,” Sirius murmured, “Tonight, he was almost gentle. We made love. I know I sound like a romantic fool, but I know the bloody difference between fucking and making love! He was passionate and possessive and desperate and I thought I saw something in his eyes, a look of affection that I‘ve glimpsed before. I sound pathetic.”
“You could never be pathetic, Sirius,” Remus said, “nor are you a fool. I don’t agree with what you’re doing, but we can’t control who we love. But, if he keeps hurting you like this, I won’t be responsible for my actions if I ever come across him in a dark alley somewhere.”
“I love you, Remus,” there was a hint of a smile on his lips before he said, “but promise me that you’ll never go after Lucius. I don’t want either of you hurt. I love you both so much…I just…promise me!”
“I promise,” Remus was unable to refuse. He watched Sirius relax, his black eyes softening as he nodded slowly.
“Good,” Sirius sighed, nervously running a hand through his messy black hair, feeling like a weak lovesick fool for his behavior. He had been surprised to receive the owl from Lucius that morning, knowing the wedding that afternoon and having all ready accepted that his lover would be gone for three weeks for his honeymoon. Lucius would miss his birthday, his eighteenth, and would return shortly before the Leaving Feast.
Two important events in his life and Lucius would be busy with his new wife, Sirius’ eyes reflecting his sadness at not being able to share those times with the man he loved. He knew that Lucius did not love him, but he did believe that the blond wizard cared for him, that their relationship had not strictly been about sex for over a year, since the spring holiday his fifth year when they’d spent a week together, that being the first time they’d met outside of Hogwarts or Hogsmeade. The week had been unbelievable, Lucius enjoying his body, him enjoying Lucius, neither having to rush or worry about being caught. That was the week that he had noticed the slight change in Lucius, as if the Slytherin finally had to admit to himself that it was more than just a good shag. Now that he was married and would be starting a new life, Sirius had to wonder if this was the last time he’d see Lucius.
That idea caused his heart to tighten, the pain of never seeing Lucius, of never feeling his hands on his heated flesh, of never feeling his lips on his skin, of never hearing his voice husky with arousal whispering his name in his ear and describing everything he planned to do to him, of never tasting him and touching him and kissing him enough to cause him to inhale sharply as he felt real fear at the idea that this could very well be the end. Lucius had left the same as he always did, cleaning himself and letting his slate gray eyes move over Sirius before smirking slightly and saying that it had been fun.
He calmed down as he realized that it wasn’t over, that Lucius wasn’t prepared to let him go regardless of his marriage and that he wasn’t ready to let go, either. He looked at Remus, seeing that his friend was quietly watching him, his hand squeezing his shoulder gently. He wished he could love Remus the way he loved Lucius, wished he felt the same intense need and desire and consuming love, but he couldn’t, no matter how hard he tried. He did love Remus, cared more about the sandy haired wizard than anyone other than Lucius, but he couldn’t transfer his feelings for Lucius. He sighed as he said, “I’m sorry, Remus.”
“Stop apologizing,” Remus told him quietly, his hand moving to Sirius’ neck, his fingers gently brushing the his long black hair.
“We should go back to the dorm,” Sirius said quietly, not wanting to get up and get dressed just yet. He was still upset, still felt as if he had been put through the proverbial ringer after his emotional experience with Lucius and the knowledge that his lover was leaving for several weeks on his honeymoon and all ready missing the blond wizard even as he felt like crying until there were no more tears left. He let out a shaky sigh, rubbing the back of his left hand against his cheek, feeling the wetness again his skin. He looked at Remus, his voice as he confessed, “I don’t want to go back yet.”
“Peter will be asleep until we wake him up in the morning,” Remus said, “so there really is no need to hurry.”
“He’s married, Remus,” Sirius sighed, “tonight, I slept with a married man. I’ve tried to stop loving him, but I can’t. I know it’s wrong, I know he doesn’t love me, but I can’t stay away from him.”
Remus let Sirius talk, knowing his friend needed to talk about this, not having anything to say that would helpful, knowing that his listening would help Sirius more than anything he could say. He continued to tenderly brush Sirius’ hair with his fingers as the dark haired wizard began to cry again. Remus opened his arms and let Sirius rest his head on his shoulder as he cried, whispering about his love for the bastard that caused him such pain.
He would never understand the relationship between Sirius and Lucius, never understand why Sirius gave so much of himself to those he loved, never understand how Lucius could not happily accept Sirius’ love and devotion. All he understood was that he loved Sirius, that he would always be there when his friend needed him, always be a shoulder for Sirius to cry on when he was tired of play the part of happy and mischievous clown for the world to see. Remus sighed softly, his fingers brushing through Sirius’ soft hair as his shirt grew damp, the two of them remaining in that position until there were no more tears left to cry.