I Love You More than Myself Part One

Chapter 87

"Love is like a flower - you've got to let it grow."- John Lennon

XXXXXXXXXXXX*Remus's POV*

I'm awoken on the morning of September 2nd like any other morning at Hogwarts. First by James and Sirius bickering over who is going to turn off the alarm, then by me eventually getting up and solving their quarrel by turning it off myself. Sirius slumps backwards onto his pillows, his white t-shirt riding up his stomach.

"Oi, put it away," I mutter jokingly, walking back over to take a seat on my bed.

"What're you complaining about?" he says roughly, yawning and stretching. "I usually sleep shirtless."

"Yeah, what the hell has been with you lately, Pads, I was so used to seeing your hot bod every night before I went to bed," James calls from his four-poster.

"Nothing," Sirius says, standing and pouring himself a glass of water uncomfortably.

"Is it your tat?" James asks slyly, standing and meeting him at the water jug.

"No, it's not my tat," Sirius rolls his eyes.

"Lies," I call, stripping my own shirt and pulling out a fresh uniform. "I smell bullshit!"

"I smell breakfast, I'm hungry," he says quickly, rushing to the door where James stands blocking him.

"You're not even dressed."

"So?" he questions, looking for a way around James. "Minnie can't yell at me for eating in my pajamas."

"I think you're too scared to show us your tattoo," James says. Sirius's face flinches, then returns to normal before answering.

"It's not that," he turns and walks away, keeping his back to us.

"What is it then?" I ask, standing hesitantly next to James. It's silent for a good, awkward minute before Sirius speaks again.

"It still hurts," he says, completely motionless. "I know I seem back to normal now, but I'm anything but."

With that, he storms off into the bathroom, slamming the door so loudly that I flinch. The three of us stand awkwardly for a few more seconds before I break the ice and finish getting ready in silence. Sirius emerges ten minutes later, eyes red and puffy. I sigh, watching him button his robes and noticing the struggle of the movement. I'm sure I'm the only one who sees this, for James is too busy checking himself out in the mirror and Peter is scrambling around looking for the essay Professor Slughorn assigned over summer break. I turn my attention back to Sirius before he stands and ruffles his hair in the mirror, not even taking the time to style it like he usually would.

"Are we ready?" he asks stiffly, the first words that have been spoken since he stormed out.

"Where in the hell is my bloody essay?!" Peter exclaims in frustration.

"Has it ever occurred to you to accio it?" Sirius mutters in annoyance.

"I'm not of age, Sirius," Peter rolls his eyes. "And you're not allowed to do-"

"Do you think that's ever stopped us before?" Sirius interjects.

"Well… no, but-"

"Remus, just accio it for him, you're of age," Sirius grumbles, pushing past me and out the door. "Since it matters so much to him." I stumble, regaining my footing by grabbing the post of my bed.

"Someone's being a princess this morning," James says snidely.

"I think your comment about the tattoo set him off," I say, sliding my wand out of my pocket and flicking it wordlessly as James begins to speak again.

"How did that set him off?!" he exclaims. I glance over at Peter, who gives a celebratory whoop as his essay floats out from the depths of his trunk. "I didn't say anything about his daughter, I only said-"

"Yes, but the tattoo is in memory of his daughter, you nitwit," I say, rolling my eyes. "I think he's still in a very fragile state. Obviously, anything can set him off. We'll just have to be careful."

"Oh, alright," James agrees, turning away to lace his shoes. "But I still don't think it's right of him to-"

"Oh, James Alexander Potter," I mutter, running my hand down my face and taking a deep breath. "Just let it go, okay?"

"Okay…" he agrees begrudgingly, standing. "Are we ready?"

"As read as I'll ever be," I respond. "Let's go, Tonks is probably waiting."

"Of course," James chuckles, grabbing his bag.

"Shut it, Lily will probably be with her," I reply, poking fun at him.

"Do you think so?" he asks hopefully as we make our way out of the dorm and down the spiral stairs.

"I know so," I say wisely as we reach the landing. James glances down over the common room before his eyes land on Tonks, Lily, Lydia, and May all standing in a group in front of the fireplace.

"Hey, you were right!" he exclaims, face blushing deep red.

"Aren't I always?" I reply, chuckling. Ecstatic, James leads us down the stairs and over to the group of girls by the hearth.

"Morning, ladies," he says charmingly, his eyes only on Lily. I follow, walking over to Tonks and wrapping my arms around her from behind, placing a soft kiss on her cheek.

"Good morning, love."

"Wotcher," she replies, turning around and planting a big smooch on my lips. I blush. "We just saw Sirius storm out of here. What's up his ass this morning?"

I don't respond, but give her a look and she immediately knows what I'm hinting at.

"Oh…"

"What is it?" Lily interrupts, eavesdropping on our conversation.

"Oh, it's nothing, Lils," she lies, turning around and putting on a smile. "Just Sirius being Sirius."

"If you say so," she responds, turning away to bid James good morning.

"That was close," she mutters through her teeth as she turns her attention back to me.

"Very," I agree, pulling her into my embrace, her cheek up against my scratchy school uniform. "I missed being able to do this."

"What?" she asks, peeking her head up at me.

"Being able to hold you and wish you good morning every day," I reply, smiling down at her. I lean down to kiss her forehead as the group collectively decides to head down to breakfast. Our expectations are shot when we don't see Sirius waiting for us for in the Great Hall, or in Transfiguration. As the day progresses, we realize he's been absent from lunch and every class. When we reconvene for dinner, James finally brings up the topic.

"So no one has seen Sirius today?"

Nobody answers for a good thirty seconds, a cold silence falling upon the seven of us. I chew my chicken slowly, wanting my mouth to be full so I don't have to answer. Suddenly, Tonks speaks up from my left.

"No, I don't think so."

"Where could he have run off to?" Lily asks, looking to James for answer. He just shrugs, shoveling more potatoes into his mouth. Nobody will admit it, but we're all a little worried about our dear friend, Padfoot. After dinner, we all solemnly walk back up the Common Room, James and Lily leaving to complete their duties as Head Boy and Girl. After Lydia and May decide to head up to bed early, and Peter having to go to a scheduled meeting with McGonagall about tutoring for this year, Tonks and I are left alone in front of the fire, already bogged down with homework on the first day.

"Must they do this already?" she grumbles, flipping a page of her Potions textbook. "I know we're in N.E.W.T. level classes, but honestly…"

I don't respond, writing the last sentence in a paragraph Slughorn assigned for the night about dragon livers and their use in sleeping potions. When she notices my silence, she sets down her quill and watches me for a moment before speaking again.

"You're worried about him, aren't you."

"Aren't we all?" I reply, setting down my own quill and sitting up to meet her eye.

"But it's really bothering you, isn't it?" she says, placing her hand on my knee in a comforting way. I sigh, running my fingers through my hair.

"I just know that something that traumatic can make a person do unbelievable things," I explain, not wanting to admit what I was saying.

"What do you mean, you know?" she asks, and I can see her cocking an eyebrow in my peripheral vision.

"I've done it," I say, turning to see her pale face scrunch up in confusion. "Tearing apart the dormitory last year?"

She doesn't respond immediately but sighs, laying her head on my shoulder.

"I understand."

"I don't know if he would've done something that extreme, but… you never know," I say, fingering a lock of her purple hair. "He's probably locked himself up in a broom cupboard somewhere."

"You're probably right," she replies, sitting up and throwing herself down on her back with a long sigh, staring up at the ceiling. "Hopefully he'll come round tomorrow."

XXXXXXXXXXXX

*Sirius's POV* *Earlier that day*

I storm out of the dorm, my bag swinging madly on my shoulder. I huff down the stairs and into the Common Room, bypassing the other students and ignoring their stares and whispers. I can't even begin to process what just occurred upstairs, but all I know at the current moment is that hatred, and anger, and pain is coursing through my veins like poison. I could take a knife to someone's throat, I could stomp all over a dying baby animal, I could do so many unbelievable things in my current state, and it's scaring the living hell out of me. I didn't know loosing my daughter could have such an impact on my mental state like it has, and I just want to be alone. I feel terrible for snapping at Peter and Remus, but I'll have to apologize later. I can't just go back up there now. With my hands curled into fists of fury, I press on.

After bursting through the portrait of the Fat Lady and making my way down several flights of stairs, I reach the Entrance Hall, empty for it's too early for anyone to be down here. As I make my way across the big, open space from the marble staircase to the front doors, I hear something thump onto the cold, stone floor behind me, and immediately decide it's nothing of my concern since my ultimate goal is to get the hell out of this castle. I have no intention of stopping until I hear a voice.

"Hey! You dropped something!"

I whip around, ready to murder anyone who dares to speak to me, but immediately stop my rampage when I recognize the face of the speaker. I take deep breaths as Marlene McKinnon stoops down to pick up a book several feet behind me and walks over with it in her outstretched hand.

"This fell out of your bag," she says, handing it me. Puzzled, I take it, stuffing it back into its proper place.

"Thanks," I murmur, not able to tear my eyes from her bright, smiling face. I shake my head, befuddled as to why this was happening to me. As I turn to walk away, she catches my attention again.

"Hey, are you okay?"

I stop, my breathing slow and even as I turn around to see her standing several feet away, watching me with her hands now behind her back. Her brown eyes sparkle in the morning sun, a hint of knowing glinting in them.

"I'm fine," I say, staying where I am, not daring to get any closer.

"You just seem… upset," she says, sighing and letting her arms fall to her sides. "I was just making sure."

"Thanks," I mutter again, my feet taking a few steps toward her before my brain knows what they're doing. "For the book… and…"

"Don't mention it," she says, flippantly waving me off. "Have a good day!"

With that, she turns and heads into the Great Hall with a spring in her step, her long brown hair flowing behind her. I shake my head again, my brain trying to process what just occurred. Before I can think too much about it, I turn back around and head out the Oak Front Doors as fast as I can, not daring to look back.

XXXXXXXXXXXX

Hey guys! I'm not entirely sure why I wrote this chapter, but hey, I did! :D

Hope you all are well! Trying so hard to get chapters up for you guys! I actually posted this one right before my meltdown, but then I took it off, and now it's been edited… and yeah! I think it's much better! So yeah, I'm back y'all! :D I'm still so sorry for what happened, but I hope this makes up for it! I love you all so much!

Also, if you really want to be awesome, go check out my new Criminal Minds story "A Fresh Start." It deals with Reid, if you were wondering! I've been on a MAJOR Criminal Minds kick lately, like it's been bad. :'D Anyways, go give that some love!

Have a lovely night, and PLEASE REVIEW! :*

~AnM

xoxo

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