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Story Notes:
Nights are the worst.

Every creak of stair, every squeak of opening doors, every groan as the house shifts and settles like a living creature has Sirius waking up. He should appreciate the noises the house makes in comparison to the howling wind and scream of inmates that he got used to over the last decade in Azkaban, but he can’t stop looking in the shadows for dementors or seeing death lurking in the dark waiting for him. Being in this house makes it worse. He’d rather be back in the caves letting Padfoot explore the countryside than be prisoner in this hated place.

Remus has taken to sharing his bed. Thinks maybe it’ll help him sleep, not being alone at night when the terrors try to take over his mind, and Sirius doesn’t have the heart to tell him it doesn’t help. Not when Remus has nightmares of his own, twitching and whining in his sleep as the bad dreams chase after him. Sirius wakes instantly when he starts to hear the voices, when he feels that familiar dread stirring in his gut.

He tries to listen to Remus’ steady breathing, reaches for his friend in the darkness, but it’s not what he needs to get through the night. Still, he always tries that first on the off chance it might finally be different. When it never is, he crawls out of bed, dragging the top blanket with him as he curls up on the floor. The shift is second nature now, and he feels the memories and terrors muted as Padfoot gets comfortable.

In this form, the sound of Remus breathing is comforting. It helps settle his nerves, and he rests his chin on his front paws, eyes slowly drifting closed as he tries to sleep until the next noise wakes him up.