Pain. That was the first thing he was aware of. The pain coursing through his veins, stopping all thoughts except the pain, the pain, the pain. They tell you the stories of death by a broken heart, but Sirius didn't believe them until this moment. Didn't believe it until he could feel the broken pieces of his shattered heart pierce his body from the inside. But it didn't matter what he felt now, the pain, his heart. Because he already knew it was too late. As he stared at his departing back, he crumpled to the ground, as his world collapsed around him.
The days went by slowly. As the week dragged on, Sirius remembered how to put his mask on, pretend. But it was clear to anyone who truly looked. Sirius was simply going through the motions, clinging to the shreds of his life. But he continued. And as the days turned to weeks which turned to a month, those shreds he clung to slowly crumbled away.
It was James who took notice first. As angry as he was, he still cared for his brother. Still loved him. But he also knew that Sirius had crossed a line, and he needed to find his own way back. This was one thing James couldn't save Sirius from. So he stood by, and watched day by day as his brother slipped further and further away. He stopped eating, he stopped smiling. Eventually, he stopped trying.
Little Peter grew more and more concerned, as he watched his friend slowly drain away. He noticed when James could look up as Sirius entered a room, noticed the pain go through his eyes at the sight of him. But James would swallow his emotion and turn around. And Peter watched as Sirius broke a little more every time.
Sirius realized one day how different the world had become for him. His friends, his brothers, had become his life. His joy. And without them, it had started to become dull. Flat. Colorless. They had been the ones to pull him up when he slipped too far down, to show him the light when darkness was all he saw. But no one was there now. So he slipped a little further.
It got to the point where Peter corned James and demanded to know when it was enough. He was concerned for his friend. It had gone on too long, Sirius obviously had realized it by now. James responded that it was not their problem. It's between Sirius and Remus now. They would not interfere.
Remus was inconsolable in the beginning. It took some time, but he was able to rein himself in enough to see James and Peter. But the minute he looked at Sirius, Sirius who dared to smile at him, he snapped. This was his life and Sirius was playing with it like a joke. He was not a joke. Sirius knew what his... affliction did to him. He knew how he felt about it, about their safety, about the other students. But he ignored that. He took something that was not his, that he did not understand, would never understand, and he waved it like bait. He used him for his own entertainment, and in the process almost killed someone. Almost got James killed too. And that's the issue. Sirius put his family in danger. And to him, it was unforgivable. So he removed Sirius from his mind. He didn't see Sirius attempt time and time again to apologize, to make things right. Because every time he looked at Sirius, he saw himself, so close to killing those he loved dear. He saw that monster in himself he was forever running from. So he stopped looking.
They found him collapsed in the dorm room. Their hearts stopped as they stared at him, motionless on the ground. James carried him to the hospital wing, while Peter ran ahead to warn. As James walked through the corridors, he thought about the last time he spoke to Sirius. And his heart ran cold at the thought of those being the last words he ever said to his brother.
"What were you thinking, Sirius?" James screamed at him. "Do you know how close that was? Do you have any idea what you could have done?"
Sirius only stared back, shock and tears frozen on his face, as he stared at James.
"You know how Remus is. How could you do this to him, to us? It would have destroyed him."
Tears welled up in Sirius eyes at this, the realization hitting him fully of what he had done. "James ... I'm sorry. I didn't mean it to go this far, I need to talk to Remus, I need-"
James shook his head, anger and sadness still apparent on his face. "We haven't been able to find him yet, Sirius."
Sirius stopped. "W-what?"
James turned to walk away. "I hope you realize what you've done Sirius. And I hope your pathetic attempts at revenge and entertainment was worth this."
"James, wait! Please, let me explain!"
James just continued to walk away, not looking back as Sirius fell to his knees, crying.
Exhaustion. He had collapsed from exhaustion and dehydration. James slumped in a chair next to his bed, Sirius's hand in his. It had been too close. He realized how miserable his life would have been if Sirius had truly been gone. He finally looked, truly looked, at Sirius for the first time in over a month. And what he saw broke his heart. The back shadows, bones more prominent than they had been before. He did this. He had let this happen to his brother. His family. And the shame of it almost broke him. He stood up, determined. Peter looked up from his post at the opposite side of the bed.
"Peter, let's get Remus. It's time to fix this."
Remus has never felt so...lost. How could he have missed all of this? How could he not have seen it? But as he stared, he realized. He chose not to see. He could have, and he chose not to. And look what it led to. His anger had clouded his heart, and now his...now Sirius was here. And they were lucky it wasn't worse. Remus looked down at his hands, and realized, as he had pushed Sirius away for hurting his family, he had been doing the exact same. But what Sirius had done...
"Remus, you see him, right?" James asked. Remus didn't answer.
"Don't you think this has gone in long enough Rem? It's breaking him. He needs us. He needs you Remus.
As James spoke those words, Remus's thoughts clarified. Sirius is family. Yes he made a mistake, but he had more then repented for it. It was time to get back his family. His entire family.
"Re-Remus?" A whisper came from below him. Remus jerked down in shock, as he saw Sirius's eyes open a crack.
Sirius eyes opened wider as he became more coherent. His eyes filled with tears.
"I'm sorry Remus. I'm so sorry."
Everyone looked to Remus, who still hadn't moved. He made no movement to indicate he heard Sirius. Just as James and Peter were about to intervene, Remus finally moved.
He reached down and grabbed Sirius's hand. "I know Sirius. I know."
The four marauders sat in silence for a few minutes. They were together again, and while they had a long road of repair ahead, they all knew it would end up okay. Because they were together again, and nothing, or anyone, would ever tear them apart again.
AN: Alright guys that was my first one-shot posted! Please share your thoughts and let me know what you think of it! Any and all criticisms welcome as I am new to this and would love to improve. Thanks for reading, and let me know how you liked it or if this is something you would like expanded or something. Thanks! - dam chosen one