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On the Topic of Sirius Black

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The first time Lyall Lupin hears the name ‘Sirius Black’ off of his son’s tongue, It’s the summer of Remus’s first year.  They’re sitting at the dining table eating their first meal as a family, since vacation started. Remus is talking quickly, excited in a way that Lyall hasn’t seen his son excited in a long time. The name rolls off his tongue casually, “And then Sirius- You know, Sirius Black- I wrote to you about him-” And then he continues with his story. Hope is still smiling at their son. She’s a muggle, she doesn’t know who Sirius Black is, she doesn’t know that vile family but Lyall does and it takes all of his strength to make it through their meal without dragging Remus out of the room to talk to him.

That night, Lyall asks to go put Remus to sleep himself. Remus is old enough now that he doesn’t actually need to be put to sleep but Lyall and Hope always go into his room and tuck him in anyway. They probably have another year of getting away with it, if that, until Remus starts to tell them he’s too old.

He tries to bring it up carefully. He asks about Sirius, he asks how they met and then he asks if Remus knows who Sirius’s family is. Instantly, Remus’s face darkens, only a little bit. He doesn’t respond but he doesn’t have too. Lyall knows that that means he does.

He doesn’t tell Remus anything that isn’t true. He doesn’t lie to try and scare his son, he doesn’t need to. The truth about the Black family is enough. He tells Remus about the people the Black family has touched. He tells him about the almost infallible power that that family has gained, even in the Ministry, where they pretend to treat everyone equal and yet, still ignore every crime committed by that family. He tell him about the people who have gone missing never to be found again and he tells him about the people who were found.

He doesn’t talk about the families prejudice directly. He doesn’t talk about how Walburga would probably slit Remus’s throat without a second thought but yet again, he doesn’t need too. Remus understands what his father is saying. At the end of that Summer, when Lyall sends Remus off on the train to Hogwarts, he feels confident that Remus will stay away from Sirius Black. He just hopes that that's enough.

 

When Remus comes home the next summer, he doesn’t mention Sirius at all. He talks about James and Peter a lot and the mischief that they seem to get into but he doesn’t mention Sirius once. It only occurs to Lyall that Remus might not be mentioning him on purpose, when he watches Remus run onto the train again and sit with a beautiful dark haired boy.

 

The next summer, Remus tells him parents about Sirius more often. He’s fourteen and he does it with a defiant look in Lyall’s direction, almost daring him to say something bad about his friend.

Later that night, Remus sits on the edge of his bed while Lyall sits on the other, whispering quietly, almost frantically, trying to talk sense into Remus. Remus responds with only one sentence, “Sirius is different from them.” Then, he refuses to talk about it anymore.

Lyall lays in bed that night and he prays that Sirius is different from them because Remus can’t hide that he’s a werewolf forever, not from friends that he’s had for years and Lyall knows what will happen if Sirius is not. He knows that his son might not return to them alive, not if the Black family can do something about it.

 

The next summer, Remus returns home happier than Lyall has ever seen his son. He smiles more often, he laughs almost constantly, he darts around with a carefree atmosphere that Lyall has never associated with his son and when he finally asks him, Remus shrugs and doesn’t say anything more.

Lyall finds out why Remus was so happy a couple of weeks later, when he receives a postcard from twelve Grimmauld street. There's a poorly draw moon scribbled into one corner and then two sentences, “I hope your weekend is painless. I miss you a lot, Sirius.”

That weekend was the first full moon of the summer.

 

A couple of months later, Lyall sees Sirius black for the first time. They’re standing on platform nine and ¾, waiting for the train to arrive. Remus is standing next to them, not darting away but very obviously looking for someone else. After a couple of moments, his eyes land on a couple of people across the platform and Lyall sees his son’s gaze darken even before he looks up and sees why.

Walburga and Orion are stand there as cold as stone, neither of them looking towards their children or moving to say goodbye to them, like everyone else on the platform. The youngest child, Regulus, is practically hiding behind his brother, clutching the taller boys jacket out of view of their parents. Sirius is standing there, his expression matching his parents with a cold vacant look. Blossoming on his cheek is a dark, almost black bruise.

Remus stands next to them silent as the train arrives. He watches as Sirius and Regulus walk away from their parents without so much as looking back and he waits until he sees them both get on the train safely before he turns, saying his goodbyes quickly and then darting after them.

 

Just before Christmas vacation, Remus writes home and asks if Sirius can stay with them over vacation. Lyall and Hope talk about it, almost fighting about it, until Lyall finally convinces Hope of the danger that it could bring them. He writes Remus back and tells him no. He’s not going to put a target on their families back, on Remus’s back, by taking in Walburga’s son against her will.

Over vacation, Lyall hears Remus in his room, talking quietly, sometimes bursting out in laughter. Every time he enters the room, Remus is curled up in bed with a book open in front of him, claiming he's reading out loud. Lyall believes him because he has no reason not too. It only occurs to him a couple of years later that Sirius Black was probably in his house that week, whether or not he had said yes.

 

Over the summer, every week that lead up to a full moon, Remus spends hiding in his room. Remus never felt right in the days leading up to the change but spending every moment hiding up there wasn’t normal. Lyall and Hope bring him food. They try to ask if something's wrong. Remus doesn’t seem upset though. He seems.. Happy.

The whole summer, Remus’s change’s were calmer than they’d ever been. Normally, they had to bandage wounds, reset broken bones and carry Remus up to his room but that summer, Remus barely has a scratch on him. He wakes up time and time again, practically fine. Meeting his parents at the door before they’d even gotten a chance to check on him. Later, Lyall could hear Remus upstairs talking to himself, he found black dog fur in the basement where Remus went through his changes and he wondered what he was missing.

 

That year, as they stood on platform 9 and ¾, dropping Remus off for the sixth time, a boy came to meet them. Lyall recognizes him the second that he sees him. He came bounding over the second he saw Remus, dragging his little brother behind him. Their parents were nowhere in sight and the difference that fact seemed to make was astounding. Sirius grins and pulls Remus into a hug before they even said anything to each other. Behind him, even Regulus smiles a little bit before rolling his eyes as Sirius looks, walking off to assumably find his own friends.

Remus smiles as he turns towards both of his parents, Sirius Black still dangling off of his body. He glances to his mother and then gives an almost pointed look to his father before saying, “Mom, Dad. This is Sirius.”

Sirius glances up, seeming to notice that they’re not standing alone on the platform. He drops his arms and steps back from Remus almost sheepishly before sticking his hand out towards Lyall, smiling a nervous lopsided grin, “Nice to meet you, sir.”

Sirius shook hands with a tight grip, something that has obviously been taught to him at a very young age. Moments later, there was another boy there and then Sirius was off again, darting towards the train before turning back towards Remus, calling out something that sounded oddly like, “Moony!”

Lyall watches his son walk onto the train and he watches as he sits down in a compartment next to Sirius, the other boy instantly throwing his arm around him and he wonders if Sirius is different from his family and not for the first time, he wonders if he’d made a mistake telling Remus ‘no’ all of those times, when it had come to Sirius.

 

When Remus walks through the door on the first day of Christmas vacation, he does so with a scared determination in his eyes. He asks his parents to sit in the living room and he stands before them, his eyes set defiantly, as if he were already preparing himself for what was to come.

Remus spits the words out, almost angrily, as if his anger would protect him from his parents reaction. “I’m gay.” Lyall and Hope don’t say anything for a long moment.

It's the 1970’s. Being gay is far from an accepted thing, Lyall and Hope have never even met someone who was gay but Remus can’t think that that would change anything- He does. When Lyall looks up, Remus is crying. He says the next part as if he thinks his parents will be equally as upset about it, “I’m dating Sirius.”

For the first time in a long time, Lyall pulls his son close and they sit together on the couch and have a long talk about Sirius Black. It's the first time since that day when Remus was in first year, that Sirius Black’s name passes between them without tension.

 

That summer, Sirius Black runs away from home. Lyall knows because he’s awoken at three in the morning by James’s mother calling him, asking for Remus to come over. The frantic tone in her voice makes Lyall wake Remus and Hope up, so all three of them can go over, without comment.

When they arrive there, the kitchen looks like something out of a horror movie. There’s blood across the floor, leading from the fireplace to the chair in which Sirius is sitting in. Sirius’s nose is crushed in, blood pouring from it so steadily that Lyall actually wonders if the boy is going to bleed out.

James is standing next to him, holding a towel against Sirius’s face as his father tries to reset Sirius’s nose, so that it will stop bleeding. Behind them, James’s mother is on the phone with someone screaming and Lyall can catch the words even from across the house in the doorway, “You knew! You knew and you let him go back to them every year!” Her words are vicious and unrelenting.

Remus darts into the room and he’s by Sirius’s side instantly. Lyall watches as his son pulls his wand out and as James’s father reaches out and gently touches his arm, shaking his head no. For a moment, Lyall thought the man was telling Remus not to use magic outside of school but a moment later, he realizes that he telling Remus not to heal Sirius. Not to heal the evidence before someone can see it.

Sirius curls into Remus’s arms and Lyall can hear his sobs from across the house too.

 

Sirius Black never goes home after that. He stays at the Potters most of the time, joining Remus at his house every full moon.

Lyall never protested to Sirius’s presence in his house again but when he questions the timing, Remus finally explains it to him. He finally tells him about Sirius, James and Peter and how they saw Remus after one of the worst full moons he’d ever had and they’d decided to become animagus to help him.

Lyall thinks back on the black hair he’d found downstairs. He thinks of Remus’s up in his room, talking to himself week after week and he thinks of the bursting laughter coming from behind his door. He thinks of Sirius Black standing the platform with his face half covered in bruises. He thinks of every trace of food, suddenly missing from his fridge. He thinks of the clothes he’d found on the floor of the bathroom, the ones that definitely wouldn’t have fit Remus. He thinks of Sirius Black laying in his son's arms crying and he thinks of every full moon Remus woke up from unscathed and he wonders just how many times Sirius Black and his son saved each other, without him even knowing.