Fandom: Harry Potter/Good Omens crossover
Pairings: Remus/Sirius (implied), Aziraphale/Crowley, Aziraphale/Remus, Crowley/Remus
Rating: Will eventually contain hard R/NC-17 content. None yet. PG-13 at the lowest.
Notes: For corporal_katz. :D And since this will likely get crossposted around a bit, because I rather like it, it is post-Order of the Phoenix, so don't read unless you've read that. Spoiler city. This is a WIP, feel free to bug me for updates if they're not forthcoming in a week or so, because if I haven't updated in a week, I need to be bugged. Also this is much shorter than I would have liked--around 1200 words, methinks--but I hit sort of the endpoint. So. :D
Nights like this, he wasn't sure why he was still here.
Here meaning "London" or here meaning "earth"? he thought. No, it wasn't as bad as all that. He wasn't going to end his life over it. But he was still here, in this house, where he had spent the last year with Sirius, where they had sneaked around over holidays years ago, where even the streets outside held memories he wasn't yet ready to face full-on.
The room was filled with light from the city outside. The sky was dark, with only a crescent moon shining. This was the light he remembered most, falling from the window across Sirius's face in the bed. How could light hurt? I'm probably the most qualified person on the planet to answer that, and even I don't know.
"I'm moving out," he told Molly at breakfast the next morning. For once the table was quiet, with only the two of them in the room. Harry and Hermione were home for the time being, Ron and Ginny were asleep upstairs, and the rest of the Order members were off doing their jobs. He knew she would never say it, but the only reason even Molly and her children were still here was because of him.
"Where are you going to go?" she asked.
He looked at his hands. "I don't know. I can't stay here."
She nodded. "I understand. But how can you afford it?"
"I've worked Muggle jobs before. I can come here and get the potion from Severus. I'll still be able to do work for the Order." He spread his hands in a hopeless gesture. "Really, I'm the only one here who doesn't have a job as it is. Even you've got children to raise. And you can go back home. You won't have anything to worry about here."
"Harry will be heartbroken. He wants you to stay here."
"I know. And I know he'll let me come back here if ever I need to. But right now, I need to get out."
It had been a few years since he had roamed the streets looking for employment, but he fell back into the routine quickly. Before, it had been the constant mess of fresh and not-so-fresh wounds on his face and hands that made prospective employers shake their heads quickly. Now it was the haunted, hollow look in his eyes, the strain in his face. Not since his early days at Hogwarts had he been angry at his lot in life, but now he started to feel it for an entirely different reason.
He hadn't worn these Muggle clothes in a long time, but he reached into his pocket anyways. A ten-pound note. Good enough. He stepped into the pub on the next corner.
It was dark inside, quiet and anonymous. The barkeep didn't flich at his appearance, which was a welcome change. He took his ale to a table in the back corner and sat down.
He couldn't even function anymore. How did he ever expect to get a job? He was used to being solitary, but maybe now he needed to be with his family at the Order rather than run away. He looked down to see that he had been ripping bits from a stray napkin and laying them methodically on the table. He pushed the mess of paper away.
"I swear, this place has the only decent porter in the city."
For one heartstopping, impossible moment, he thought it was Sirius. But no, this man's dark hair was shorter, and Sirius hadn't been so well-dressed and well-groomed since James and Lily's wedding. The sunglasses had thrown him for a moment. "Mind if I sit down?"
"Go right ahead."
"Thanks." The man swept the scraps of napkin from the seat. "I'm not a fan of drinking alone. Though you may beg to differ." He extended a hand. "Anthony."
"Remus. Nice to meet you." Drinking alone would have been easier, but hell. Someone who didn't know his history, recent or otherwise, might be a welcome distraction.
"Interesting name. Though you probably get that a lot." Anthony sat down. "So how did you come to be drinking alone? And so early in the day, at that?"
Remus shrugged. "Rough day, I guess."
Anthony sighed. "I know how that goes. Had a bit of a row with my friend with morning. So I'm out and about by myself for the day." He looked closely at Remus. "I'd say you've had a worse time of it than that, from the looks of you."
"Yeah, well. The last month or so, you know, things have been hard."
Anthony sat back and wrapped his hands around his beer. "Tell me about it."
And, much to his own surprise, Remus did.
"You are not going out into the streets of London at this time of night."
"We'd best stop before she starts screaming," Ginny murmured to Ron. He nodded slightly and tried a different tack. "Well, maybe you could get, I don't know, get Dad or Tonks to look for him or something? He's been so off since, you know, and we're kind of worried."
Molly's brow creased. "I know. He was odd this morning...Tonks will probably be willing to go look for him. I'll Floo her and ask. But you two need to get to bed, right now. And..." She caught Ron's eye. "There is no need to be owling Harry about this, do you hear me? He may just be visiting someone, or knowing him, he wandered into some bookstore and is still sitting there chatting with the owner. Don't get Harry involved in this just yet, because we don't know what's going on."
There was a sudden tapping at the door, and all three of them turned to see Remus coming in. And all three noticed immediately that he was smiling.
Ginny was the first to recover. "Erm, Lupin, hi. Have a good day out?"
"Yeah." He barely seemed to notice them. "Made a new friend. I'm going up to bed." And with that, he was up the stairs.
Ron glanced at his sister. She shrugged and inclined her head towards the stairs. They muttered "G'night"'s to their mother, then had a quick meeting on the landing.
"You don't think he met someone, do you?" Ginny whispered.
Ron stared at her. "Okay, as much as I'm still kind of weird about what he and Sirius were doing, don't you think that's a little quick?"
"Well, maybe. But still, wouldn't you be glad if he cheered up a bit?"
"Yeah..." Ron scratched his neck. "But maybe it's really best if we don't mention this to Harry. At all."
"Agreed. Let's get some sleep." Ginny turned towards her room.
Back in this room, in the pale light, he was able to think more clearly. No. He couldn't do this. Besides, he didn't even know if this Anthony fellow liked men. He had been very careful in retelling the story, editing out any references to wizards or his actual relationship with Sirius. But still...that offer of "Come over to my place for a drink tomorrow night"...what was that, if not a come-on? No. No, no, no. Not with Sirius so recently...
He pushed back the covers and got out of bed. He couldn't shake the thought that he was attracted to Anthony because he reminded him of Sirius. There was something about him, that same sort of dangerous edge. But he wasn't Sirius. And besides, he didn't have to go. That was it. He could decide tomorrow.
He dropped back into bed for the first night of dreamless sleep he'd had in over a month.