by Niki
Rating: PG
Fandom: Harry Potter
Spoilers: Don't read if you haven't read or seen Sorcerer's Stone or Prisoner of Askaban. Gives away plot points of both
Warnings: Mushy, no slash, but alludes to S/R partnership, not all that sneezy - sorry.
Disclaimer: Not mine. The world and characters belong to JKR. Just playing. Not getting paid for this. Just using them as practice to get my writing skills where they need to be.

Sirius had been gone for days. Peter had gone to James and Lily's to help protect them and the baby. Nobody knew what was coming, but the word was out that ‘he who must not be named' was after James and Lily, and people had rallied to protect them. Well most people. It was two days after the full moon, and Remus felt like he'd been run over by a hippogriff, several times. Wearily, he dragged himself to the couch of the flat he shared with Sirius.

"Hisshoo!" he sneezed freely. "He-hisshoo!" His sneezes were getting wetter by the minute, but he was too weak to care. He knew he should have stayed in bed, but with Sirius gone, he anxiously got out of bed to read the Daily Profit. He hadn't heard from anybody in 2 days - a rare occurrence. And, it worried him immensely.

Upon taking up the newspaper, he turned directly to the obituaries. He didn't even glance at the front page - the obits were the only part of the paper he seemed to care about anymore. Even the funnies, that he, James, Sirius, Moody, and Peter used to read to each other no longer held any interest to him. In this day and age, even the funnies didn't seem funny any longer.

‘Black'. He skimmed the pages. Nothing. He breathed a sigh of relief.

‘P's,' he skimmed. ‘Pars, Patsy, Pelican, Pemberton, Pettigrew...'

He stopped and his breath caught. ‘Hisshoo!' he carelessly wiped his nose with the back of his hand and read on. ‘Peter Pettigrew, killed yesterday in the horrific attack on James and Lily Potter. Cause: Disintegration leaving nothing but a finger.' He immediately jumped to ‘Potter'.

‘Lily and James Potter were swiftly murdered by the A.K. curse at the hand of ‘he who must not be named'. They are survived by their son Harry. Please see cover story for more details.'

Tears fell freely as he turned back to the cover story. There was a picture of Sirius being dragged off in chains, as the story below it unfolded about how Sirius had betrayed Peter, James and Lily to ‘he who must not be named'. Fat tears dropped onto the paper as Remus continued to read.

But, there was a ray of hope - the story continued. Little Harry Potter had saved the wizarding world, by defeating ‘he who must not be named'.

Unable to take it all in, Remus curled into the fetal position and started sobbing uncontrollably. ‘Sirius - his Sirius. How could this be? How could he do such a thing? He couldn't. There had to be some other explanation. There just had to be. His mate, his pack, his friends, the only family he had - all dead. Well almost all - Harry was the sole remaining member.'

Remus fell asleep sobbing. His nightmares full of tortured pictures of his friends dying. If only he wasn't a monster. If he was normal he could have been there with them. He could have done his job as the alpha and protected his pack. But no, they always spent so much time protecting him. And, now he was paying the price for his monstrosity.

When he woke up again, the owl had left another paper. On the front cover was Sirius' mug-shot. He looked so angry and so horribly dirty. How could this have been the friend - the mate- he knew? How could this man be the same man who left his house two days previous? Hot tears of burning anger choked him and he sobbed until he had nothing left. Nobody and nothing left.

Lost, weary, desolate and desperate, he owled his old headmaster for guidance. Then he sent another, more pleading message to Molly Weasley. He needed help - physically. He felt achy, tired and sick. He wasn't sure how much of it was because of the most recent news.

"Hisshoo!" he sneezed freely, almost expecting Sirius to bless him and ask him if he was feeling alright. But, of course, nothing. He sniffed wetly. "Hisshoo!" He went to the kitchen and grabbed a paper towel. He could feel the release of the thick mucus and he knew for sure that the emptiness in his heart was only part of the problem. He was sick.

Not that it surprised him. He tended to get ill around the full moon. But, in the past 10 years, he'd grown used to his pack being there for him. But, no longer. "Hisshiff!" He blew his nose steadily and felt a wave of dizziness wash over him.

He brought tea, water and tissues back to his bedroom, and saw a note from Sirius:

The little rat is up to something. You rest. I'll find out what it is and return to you as soon as I can. Love, Pads'

"I thought you were talking about Peter!!" Remus yelled, until his voice gave way to violent coughing fits. He collapsed on the bed, exhausted.

He didn't realize he'd fallen asleep until he woke up. He felt a cool cloth on his head and became even more disoriented than he had been before.

"Easy dear. It's okay. You're with friends now," a sweet, warm voice with a tinge of an Irish brogue soothed.

Scared and uncertain his eyes fluttered open as he reached for where his wand should have been. But, it wasn't there. "NO!!" he screamed in a panic. He started to try to get up - get away.

"No, no! Remus, you're gong to hurt yourself. Please just relax. Nobody here is going to hurt you. Arthur! Come quick!" she yelled, trying to get a handle on the situation.

"Oh my!" he exclaimed as he started to draw his wand.

"No! Arthur, he thinks he's being attacked. You're going to make it worse!"

No sooner did Arthur put his wand away, than Remus' body went limp and fell still. He was breathing, but asleep.

The next time he awoke it was from cold. His flat was never cold. Sirius liked it to be like an oven in there. Sirius...

"Where am I?" he asked out loud, not expecting an answer.

"You're in the burrow, dear. With Arthur and myself. Dumbledore thought it best to move you - give the situation."

He felt his eyes starting to tear up again. "Hisshoo!" he caught the sneeze to the back of his wrist, just in time. "Heh-kisshoo! Hisshoo! Kisshoo!"

"Bless you, dear," Molly said, handing him a tissue.

" it dru?" he asked blowing his nose?

"I'm afraid so. We know you had no idea. You're welcomed to stay with us as long as you'd like. The Order will continue."

"And Harry?" Remus asked, hoarsely.

"Harry will be brought up by his muggle family - from Lily's side."

Remus cleared his thought. "I always thought we'd get Harry. You know, what with Sirius being the Godfather and all."

"Molly handed him a glass of water. "And you probably would have. Had... had things turned out differently."

Remus succumbed to tears once again, and Molly held him as he wept.

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