Dumbledore sat behind his desk lost for words for the second time in one afternoon. "I am…" he faltered. "At a loss. Never in my years have I had a group of Gryffindorstudents act like this." He looked at each face in his crowded office, allowing his disappointment to convey itself through his wise, wrinkled eyes. The boys looked humbled, but ultimately, brave. Each one of them was completely willing to take responsibility for what he did. "All of you return to your common room. Minerva, please send in the Slytherins. And boys," he added, as the group began to shuffle out, "we will inform you of a punishment when we come up with one suitable."

Lily placed anxiously outside of the Headmaster's office. "I need to see him now, Professor Slughorn," she said, angrily. "It can't wait— it's something else about Lucius!"

"Miss Evans, the Headmaster is currently talking to Mr. Malfoy. I'm sure he will be done momentarily."

She huffed. "Sir, this can't wait!" For the first time in her Hogwarts career, Lily defied a professor. Angrily, she blew passed Slughorn and without knocking, entered Dumbledore's office. Instantaneously, Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Lucius looked up and stared at her in shock. "Headmaster," she panted, flushed as scarlet as her hair. "I have something important to tell you!"

"Miss Evans," McGonagall said, flabbergasted. "This is not the t—"

But Lily cut her off. "I'm sosorry, but I have something new I have to tell you about this."

"Very well, Miss Evans. What is it?" Dumbledore asked tiredly.

"He cursed Sirius!" She exclaimed, gesturing toward Malfoy.

Both of the professors looked at her through spectacled eyes. Lucius was the first to speak. "This is all bullshit!"

"Watch your language, Malfoy!"McGonagall ordered.

"Miss Evans, as much as we appreciate your insight, we have students curse one another all of the time. Ultimately, it will not affect his punishment."

"An Imperius Curse, sir," she added simply.


"Be quiet, Malfoy!" McGonagall yelled. She turned to Lily. "That's another very seriousallegation." She paused and looked at Dumbledore. "I'll get the Veritaserum."

Timidly, Lily knocked on the door to the boys' dormitory. She knew every sixth year aside from Sirius was sitting down in the common room, so she cleared her throat and asked, "Black, are you decent?" For a few moments, she waited and when no reply came, she pushed the door open and hoped for the best. Closing the door behind her, she looked to his bed. He was spread out, each of his limbs hanging off the bed. "Black?" He continued to stare at the canopy of his four-poster. She cleared her throat once more. "Um… Sirius? I have something to tell you."

Without looking at her, he said, "Is Rem speaking to me yet?" his throat sounded parched and hoarse causing his voice to come out harsh and raspy.

"Well, no," she replied, slowly. "But—"

"Then I'm not trying to be rude, Lily, but I'm not interested."

"It's really important, though."

He sighed. "Not as important as this."

"As what?" she demanded. "Sulking?"

"I'm really trying to be polite here, because there's no way you can understand how this feels. It's my fault, Evans. I should have been there to protect him—"

"You can't blame yourself."

"You don't understand!" He roared.

"You're right!" she yelled over him. "But I have proof that it wasn't your fault!"

Finally, he sat up and looked at her. "What in the bloody hell are you talking about?"

"Lucius… he cursed you."

Sirius' jaw dropped. "What? When?"

Lily sighed, relived. He was finally listening to her. "That day… in the library! He convinced that Brennah girl to come on to you! He Imperiused you into doing it! He admitted it." She watched as his eyes lit up and he jumped out of bed.

"Fucking— shit! Does he know?"

"Dumbledore? Yeah, I—"

"I don't give a flying fuck about whether or not he knows! Remus! Have you told him?" Anxiously, he awaited her response.

"Well, no," she said, thinking the headmaster would have been priority. Angrily, he threw his arms up into the air and sat back down. "What?" she asked, confused.

"He won't believe it from me," he said quietly, his voice seeming smaller. "He thinks I'm a lying cheat, remember?"

"It's okay, Black. I'll go with you."

"Lily," he said, sounding pained. "We've checked the dormitory, the common room, the great hall, and the library. Where the hell else would he be?"

She paused as they passed the portrait of the Fat Lady once more. "Well… do you know his prefect schedule?"

"He's not on duty right now."

"Perhaps he's talking to a professor?"

He stopped and thought. "Dumbledore. You said he knows everything now?" She nodded. "What if that's where he is?"

"Honestly," she replied, "it never really occurred to me. It's quite likely… and he'll probably come back knowing the full extent of the situation. I really think that we should wait for him in the common room, Black. That way if he comes back, we don't interrupt anything if we pursue him into Dumbledore's office."

Sirius growled in frustration. "I can't handlethis!" Remus was off in the castle, probably knowing that everything was one great misconception and he just had to sit and wait.

The redhead looked at him pointedly. "You have to. Only a little longer. Everything will be just fine now… you two will work out all your problems and live happily ever after."

He talked over her as she gave the Fat Lady the password. "I need you to be honest. It looked unquestionably convincing that day in the library, right?"

"I mean… yeah. Why?" Lily asked.

"Just… because," he said slowly. "I feel like he doesn't trust me at all." The pair made their way across the common room, ending up on the squishy couch by a window and far away from both the fire and conversation. They each sat on an end and Lily stretched her feet out toward his end. "I'm not trying to be rude or abrasive, for that matter, but you do have quite the history."

"Does it not matter that he's the light of my life? Willingly, I'd never be with a woman again, which is why all of that felt so wrong. And, as ridiculous as it may sound, I don't even look at other blokes. It's like he's the only one I can see. I mean, I can't even begin to explain to you how it felt when I saw him snogging James." He took a deep breath. "And fuck… Lucius. I swear on Merlin's pants I'm gonna put him in St. Mungo's."

"Let me know when you plan on doing it. I want to help."

He waited for her to laugh or smile, but she remained completely serious. Looking up, his jaw dropped. He jumped off the couch as Remus made a beeline for him. "Rem—"

But he was completely cut off as the wolf's body hit his at full force and their lips connected. Toppling backward, they landed on the couch, all the while never breaking contact. The entire common room burst into applause. There were shouts of, "FINALLY!" and a triumphant, "You go!" but Sirius didn't hear any of it. He was too busy lost in the best moment of his life.

But seconds later Remus pulled away, causing the other to groan in frustration. "I'm so sorry," he said, his voice thick with tears. "I should have known better. I sh—"

Immediately, Sirius threw a hand over the wolf's mouth. "Stop apologizing," and before Remus could protest, he added, "Let's go talk upstairs, my love."

Remus stood and looked at him with eyes the size of saucers, unable to comprehend how Sirius could still call him that— still care about him so much!— after everything that he put him through. He watched as if seeing everything from a bird's eye point of view as the raven-haired boy took his hand and led him up the stairs to the dormitory amid the clapping and comments.

As Sirius closed the door behind them, he wanted to jump, scream, laugh, dance, and cry all at once. He had Remus' hand in his; it was impossible for him to process emotion. Slowly he turned, and for a moment, he just stared at their intertwined fingers. Softly, the wolf was stroking the back of Sirius' hand with his thumb. Just from the small gesture, he could feel his hormones stirring but he immediately pushed them away. This was not the time. Their eyes met for a moment before Remus lunged for him once more. In the blink of an eye, he wrapped his arms around the animagus and buried his face in the boy's neck. "Oh, Siri! I'm so sorry! I—"

"Stop that, dammit," Sirius demanded, putting his arms around the boy. "You have absolutely nothing to apologize for. But about what happened with you because of Lucius—"

"No, Sirius. Please, I don't want to talk about it!" He said frantically. He jerked away, looking horrified.

Quickly, Sirius pulled him back to hold him closer. "Okay, Rem. It's okay. Just so you know that when you're ready to talk, I'm here. And I'm so sorry I wasn't there to protect you. I love you… I'll always love you with all of my heart." He could feel himself begin to choke up and tried to squish the lump in his throat. Even with all the horrible things that had happened, everything felt right again. As long as he had Remus, things would always be exactly as they should.

Well kids, hasn't this just taken FOREVER? Answer: yes. But, I have the last chapter written. That would be chapter 16. The last chapter. Possibilities of a sequel..? Hmm. We'll just have to see. I love all of you. Really. Hope you enjoyed it, lol.

Love from, Kurama