Where: A walk outside number 12 Grimmauld Place
What: Angst fest! Words exchanged! Lonely Marauders! No clever summaries here . . . I'm too sad from angst.
When: August 24th, after dark.
James walks into the room where Sirius is lying and sees you sitting next to the bed, as usual. He walks over to the bedside and pats Sirius's hand gently before turning to you and smiling a bit. "He looks good. Better anyway. You, however . . . Look like hell. Let's take walk alright?" He says seriously.
"Gee thanks," Remus replies, glancing up at you with a wry look. He glances over at Sirius, clearly torn over leaving him, but he stands up. They need to talk, he knows that and hopefully he might feel a bit better after spending time with you. He stands up and stretches, having been sitting there for hours now. He reaches out to caress Sirius' cheek and silently promises to be back soon. "Where did you want to go?"
James chuckles, "Please . . . I had Snape telling me I looked bad a couple weeks ago. Don't let that happen to you. This has been my public service for the day. Because you KNOW you look like hammered shit when Snape notices." He shrugs and shakes his head a bit, "I don't know, outside. Fresh air . . . Around the block maybe?" He asks heading towards the door. He fights the urge to just hug you, but he doesn't want anyone thinking he was off his rocker, and with his luck, Sirius would pick that moment to spring to life and laugh at James for being a cry baby of one kind or another. So for now, he keeps it as casual as he can.
Remus follows you to the door, casting one last look back at Sirius' sleeping form and then follows you out. "Around the block sounds good. I haven't been outside since it happened. God, I can't believe it's almost been two weeks now." He shakes his head in disbelief as they walk down the stairs to the front door. "How are you?" he asks with concern, remembering your last journal entry. "How are things with Lily?"
James opens the front door to the outside and steps onto the porch. "I am . . . I could be better. But at least the wife and I are on speaking terms again. I think for once . . . I got her to see my point of view . . . Believe it or not. You know she's impossible." He says shaking his head. Yes things are better, but it doesn't stop them from hurting. "You know what happened Remus . . . Was I wrong in getting upset over something happened so long ago?" He instantly feels bad for hogging the spot light, you're going through something more important than this. "Nevermind, it isn't important . . . Are you alright?"
Remus pauses on the steps, gazing thoughtfully up at the sky, noting the shape of the moon almost absently as he considers your questions. "I don't think you were wrong," he finally says. "I know how you feel. When I found out about Sirius and Evan, well, it hurt like hell actually. I'm not sure if Sirius even knows how much, or why." He sighs and walks down the steps. "I'm fine," he says dismissively. "A bit tired. Those hospital beds aren't the most comfortable but at least it's close by..."
This comforts James more than you know. To have his voice of reason on his side . . . It makes him feel like he isn't so off base. "She broke my heart Remus. She broke my fucking heart. I spent so much time . . . Dealing, and getting over things as far as Rosier was concerned . . . And now . . . I'm back at square one. If he's not best friends with my best friend, I'm finding out that when my wife was busy telling me to shove off, she was fucking Evan bloody Rosier." He says kicking a rock rather hard down the street. He puts his hand on your shoulder for a moment, "I know . . . And trust me, I wouldn't leave if I were you either. But I am glad you came out with me." He says smiling a bit.
Remus sighs, feeling a kinship with you that he never thought he'd feel. "Now you see why I've never been able to get along with him? Even for Sirius' sake. It's just impossible. For the longest time I was so afraid he was going to take Sirius from me. He has known Sirius longer, he understands parts of Sirius' background that I can never hope to understand... Although I guess Sirius' inability to keep secrets was a good thing in that respect, because it meant I knew not long after we got together, rather than right now. But at least you and Lily are talking again, right?"
James nods. "I hid it Remus. For YEARS. For fucking years I hid it, because I thought that if I said anything I would lose Sirius, and he wouldn't want to be my friend anymore. I understand mate. That man was the bane of my existence, then it got easier . . . And now . . . It's hard again. I mean Christ Remus . . . The man would kill my son given the chance . . . And . . ." He has plenty to say, but he isn't about to speak ill of Sirius when he isn't here to defend himself. But honestly too much has been going on his head. "Yeah we're talking . . . She listened, I think she might be trying to get it . . . I don't know." He says shrugging.
It's Remus' turn to lay a hand on your shoulder. "Sirius and I both tend to avoid the topic whenever possible. We argued over it a couple of months back, but too much has happened since then to really pay attention to it. He'd kill us all in a heartbeat, and I honestly don't know if he would even leave Sirius standing, if push comes to shove. And yet Sirius still stands by him. We could put that man away for life if Sirius would help us, but as it is, Rosier is free to continue practicing law and getting known Death Eaters off scot free." He lets out a frustrated sigh. "At least you and Lily are talking things through. You've been together for so long now..."
James sighs as he runs his hand through his hair quickly and clears his throat, a sure sign he's . . . emotional. This is what really get's James blood boiling. "And us . . . if push comes to shove Remus? I trust Sirius with my life, and have for a long long time . . . But . . ." He sighs. It's stupid, Sirius wouldn't do anything to harm any of them. "I wish I could jusitfy it for him, I wish I could say that I see his side, but I don't. I never have. And my kid was kidnapped Remus. I could have lost my son so many times . . . He's his Godfather for fucks sake," He pauses. "I'm not mad at him, I certainly don't blame him . . . And it isn't that I don't trust him . . . This is all coming out wrong. Or . . . I don't know." He nods a bit, "I love the hell out of her . . . I really do. I can't imagine my life without her but . . . Knowing what I know, an finding out when I did, I feltlike I didn't even know her anymore. Is that wrong?"
Remus bites his lip as you speak, hearing his own thoughts confirmed. "I don't know how to justify it either," he admits softly. "I've tried to at least ignore it but this is getting too big to ignore. The fact is, Rosier wants to kill Harry, and if we let him stay out on the streets, he'll try to do it, and he might even use Sirius to do it. I don't think Sirius would ever be a part of it - but if he didn't know he was a part of it, then I think Rosier could use him to get to Harry." He glances around them as they walk, finding the quiet darkness of the street at least somewhat soothing. "I don't think it's wrong, James. What you feel is never wrong. But I think you need to realise that this doesn't change who she is. It took me a while with Sirius, particularly after that prank on Severus, but she's still the same person. She just made a mistake when she was younger."
James hates this and his stomach feels empty. "It is getting to big to ignore, in school it was just Sirius . . . Making choices. But now, the choices he makes affect everyone, and my kid's life is on the line. The reason I get up in the morning Remus is that kid." He sighs not liking where this is going at all. He walks a few paces in silence looking down at the ground. "Remus, this isn't Prongs talking here okay . . . this is hardly James, it's Harry's Father. . . When Sirius gets well, and until this situation is calmer, or taken care of . . . I don't want him going up to the school to see him . . . Alone." He feels like right prat, a complete jackass. Never thinking those words would come out of his mouth, ever. "And I don't mean that just because Rosier fucked my wife . . . This has nothing to do with that anymore. This has to do with my kid's life, and something I've been trying not to give too much thought to. But . . . in light of the fact that the man got out of prison, and in light of the fact that his wife threatened my family, I can't . . . I mean, if the both of you went up there on a weekend, but, not alone." He nods a bit thinking about Lily, and what she would say about this . . . Maybe she would agree or maybe not, but his kid was his number one priority. And always would be.
Remus is shocked to hear what you're saying. He might have just agreed that Sirius' friendship with Rosier was questionable, but he never thought you'd go so far as to require Sirius to be supervised in order to spend time with Harry. He is silent for a while, imagining Sirius' reaction to that, assuming Sirius is eventually in his right mind for long enough to hear it. "You have to protect your family," he finally says, knowing that nothing he could say could change your mind. "But can I just ask that you wait until he is fully recovered? He isn't going anywhere for a long time yet, so you need have no fear that he will abduct your son again." His tone is growing sharper but he quickly reigns it in, pushing the hurt he feels at your request right down into his shoes. "I'm sorry. If you honestly think Harry is in danger just being around Sirius, then I suppose you have every right to do this. When are you going to tell Harry?" An unfair tactic, perhaps, to bring Harry into it, but Remus knows that Harry's reaction to your decision is unlikely to be good.
James sighs (it's nearly a growl) frustrated and shakes his head. "Dammit Remus this isn't about what happened there either! I don't think Sirius abducted my son! Lily and I both let him out of the castle! I let him out gallivanting with Ron Weasley, we're all to fucking blame for not being strict. None of us want to see Harry in pain! And this summer he has been in pain. I don't blame him Remus! You have to believe me." He snorts, "I'm not going to go in there when he's lying there and tell him he can never see my kid again! Don't you turn on me too!" He said frustrated. He saw a bench and sat down putting his head in his hands, so much for walking. He looks up at you, "Remus, you must know where my mind is going. All the Death Eaters need to do is use Evan to use Sirius to get to Harry . . . Or . . . God I don't know what to do. Remus you have to understand me mate, I trust him, I do . . . I love him with all my heart, tell me what to do here." He sighs when Harry is mentioned. "I'm not telling him a thing . . . Not right now. Things are too new. I'm too confused." His eyes are misting over, but he's not about to admit it.
"Then I don't understand why you're doing this, James," Remus replies, sounding just as frustrated although he is trying to hide it. "This is going to kill him. And you're going to be the one to tell him. I can't break his heart like that." He stops walking, looking lost as he glances around at the buildings surrounding them. "I know you've been through a lot. But Sirius fucking has too. You say you trust him but you don't want him near your son unsupervised? I'm sorry, James. I've tried to be reasonable about this but I don't think I can. It wasn't Sirius' fault. It could have happened to any one of us." Remus is growing rather emotional, everything is beginning to hit him all at once and he is unable to hold it in any longer. "Well, if he never improves, then I guess your problem is solved," he says, his voice breaking and before he has even finished, he has turned around and begun walking home, his pace quickening. He hates this, it's all becoming too much, what with Peter showing up again, Sirius barely recognising him and now you laying down the law.
James sighs and puts his head in his hands for a moment, willing himself not to start bawling in the middle of the street. "I'm not doing anything Remus . . . I'm not doing anything," he says taking deep breaths and trying to stay calm. He runs his hand through his hair again and takes a shakey breath. "It's not that I don't want him near my son unsupervised. In case you missed it, Sirius has almost died protecting that kid of mine. My son cares more about the two of you than he does about me or his Mother. Do you think I like having these thoughts?! I don't know what to do! I know it wasn't Sirius's fault. And I don't blame him Remus. Listen to me, please . . ." He is about to continue when you say what you do and turn away from him. His jaw drops and he looks at your back rather pitifully before getting up and jogging to your side and then cutting you off and putting his hands on your shoulders. "Don't ever say that Remus . . . Don't ever say that. He is my best friend, he is my son's Godfather, he means the world to me. And if he doesn't get better, or if he had died, almost everything good about me will go down with him. You might be angry with me, and you might think I'm a complete prat. But please . . . Don't ever think that I don't care about him . . ." He pauses and looks down at the ground but keeps his hands on your shoulders. His mind is racing, but he knows he's being ridiculous. "Look . . . I'm out of my mind. If I separate them . . . It won't solve anything. But Remus . . . I'm going to need your help . . . I don't care if Sirius opposes me on it or not, and I don't care if he spends the rest of our lives hating me . . . But if I want my family safe, the Rosier problem . . . As well as the Peter problem has to stop." He is clenching his jaw tightly, and doesn't really know what he means by this, but he knows something has to happen.
Remus stops when he feels your hands on his shoulders but he isn't prepared to listen to you right now. It hurts like hell to hear what you're saying. He swallows heavily, trying to ignore what you're saying. He understands the desire to protect your family, but...this is too much. He ducks out from under your hands and turns around, gazing at you with betrayal in his eyes. "I am more than willing to help with the Peter problem, but don't ask me to help with your Rosier plan. You know how much that's going to hurt Sirius and I'm not going to be a part of it." He begins stepping backwards, swallowing hard again. "I'm going back to be with my husband now. I think you should go home and we'll talk tomorrow when we've both had time to think." Remus' answer to things that cut him deep - take some time out and think about it.
James knows he's fucked everything up, as per usual. He needs to just, never open his mouth again. He speaks slowly and calmly, he doesn't want a fight with his only friend in the world right now, and he's done a fine job of pushing everyone away and . . . He was tempted to just . . . Leave. For an obscene amount of time. But he can't . . . "Yes . . . You're right. I can't do shit else anyway . . . Look Remus, I hope that Sirius gets better soon. And don't listen to me okay? Just ignore me, I don't know what I'm talking about. I must be out of my mind. Harry is lucky to have you and Sirius in his life, and I won't begrudge him that . . . And I wouldn't keep Sirius away from him. I just . . . I'm frustrated. People say things they don't mean. And I wouldn't hurt Sirius . . . Besides I'd probably fuck something up anyway in the Evan Rosier department. I'm just upset he's not in prison where he ought to be. But there are plenty of people who belong in prison and aren't, such is life right? And shit, we can't do anything about Peter anyway right? We'll just wait for him to come to us, he will. He always does . . ." He's babbling, and he knows he is, but better babble than say anything else ridiculous. Or lose his best friends, or . . . Lose his family, or his mind. When James gets down emotionally, he has always been one to beat himself up, at this point he couldn't figure why anyone was even humouring him. "I'm sorry." He says and then nods, "Look, yeah, you go be with Sirius and . . . well I didn't mean what I said okay? I'm over it right. I mean . . . You know I over-react . . . Everyone knows I over-react. I'm not going back to Hogwarts though, so if you need me, I've got that journal thing." He doesn't exactly know where he's going, all he knows is that it doesn't include seeing anyone he knows.
Remus listens in stony silence, nodding as you back peddle rather quickly. He isn't sure what to believe, but all he really knows is that he wants to be back with Sirius, where it is quiet and he can try to think this through. Either that or stare at Sirius and will him to wake up. "I'll talk to you tomorrow," he says again, his voice quiet. He ignores all you've said, the entire jumble of words. Crossing his arms over his chest, Remus takes another step back. "Goodnight, James." Turning around, he continues walking back to Grimmauld Place, feeling wretched and more alone than ever.
James can't remember a time that he felt like this. Even back when Harry could have been killed when he was a baby he had his friends and Lily. He was, for the first time, alone. He can't even reply, and he doesn't blame you if you don't talk to him tomorrow, or ever again. He watches you walk away and goes back to the bench he was sitting on, and this time he doesn't even try to deny to himself that he's teared up and is actually crying. He has no intention of going back to Hogwarts this night, and is perfectly content to remain on this bench until someone makes him leave.