all previous parts: http://balianblue.livejournal.com/3705.html
"When you left I lost a part of me
it's still so so hard to believe,
come back baby please, cuz
we belong together"
"We Belong Together" by Mariah Carey
At first light, Charlie walked Remus over to the main building where the floo network grate was located, giving him a reassuring hug as Remus breathed in deeply and stepped into the grate, calling out his destination.
Remus quietly opened the door to number 12 Grimmauld Place, moving carefully towards the sitting room where Molly told him he would hopefully still find Neville. Entering the room, it didn’t take him long to spot Neville, still curled up against the wall, fast asleep, a blanket loosely draped over him.
Remus grimaced at the puffy, weary look of Neville’s face. He couldn’t bear to think that he had caused Neville all of that pain. He gently picked Neville up, careful not to wake him, and carried the smaller man up the stairs to his room, not wanting to enter Neville’s room because of the previous day’s events. Nudging the sheets on his bed downwards, he lowered Neville to the bed, letting him roll fluidly onto the mattress, but as he let go of Neville’s body, he felt hands gripping the front of his shirt in obvious distress. Remus pulled back a bit, and found Neville to be still sleeping, his brow furrowed with displeasure as he gripped Remus’ shirt and nuzzled against his neck. Remus smiled wistfully, wishing Neville were awake and making those delightful sighing noises against his neck, and, seeing no other option, crawled onto the bed next to Neville, letting him curl against him in a childlike display of comfort.
Remus kissed him on the forehead and, feeling the weight of previous day come upon him, he too drifted off to sleep, hoping that when Neville awoke, everything would work out alright.
As the daylight gradually filtered in the foggy window, Neville opened his eyes blearily, rubbing them with the back of his hand, taking a moment to take in his surroundings. He knew for sure that this was definitely not his room, yet still Grimmauld Place. He also was keenly aware of being pressed against another body, a heavy arm slung across his waist with casual familiarity.
“But it doesn’t feel like George,” Neville mused to himself, breathing in deeply and smelling Remus’ cologne.
Startled slightly, he pulled back a bit to confirm his suspicions that he was indeed pressed against his former professor. Smiling lightly, Neville took in Remus’ sleeping form, making note of the quiet snuffling noises he made as he breathed, and the delicate yet strong curve of his lightly stubbled jaw. He kissed the side of Remus’ jaw before trailing his fingertips down the side of his body, frowning slightly at the still too thin feeling of his ribs, despite no longer being impoverished, and reveling in how soft the older werewolf’s skin really was, pale from all the time Remus had spent avoiding the outside world. Neville made a mental note that he needed to get Remus to eat something substantial that morning, a thought that made him chuckle to himself, feeling slightly like Mrs. Weasley, who even tried to force feed the likes of him when he visited.
He leaned over Remus’ body to check the clock on the nightstand, which proudly pronounced it to be 10 o’clock in the morning. Neville stretched languidly, and proceeded to strip and cover Remus with the blanket, aiming to wash his clothes, before heading to the shower, and then down to make the kind of breakfast Mrs. Weasley would approve of.
Remus awoke at 11:30, feeling much better rested than he had in years, and reached over to where Neville’s body should have been. Coming up empty handed, he felt a wave of nausea inducing panic grip his insides. Had Neville left? Charlie had seemed so sure but still, maybe he was wrong.
And then the second wave of panicked awareness hit him. Where were his clothes? He sat up and scanned the room feverishly for any sign of his clothing, but apparently not only had his clothes he had been wearing disappeared, but the clothes customarily scattering the floor seemed to be gone as well. He sat there gaping at the spotless room for what felt like an eternity, until he was pulled out of his reverie by a throat being cleared by the doorway. He slowly turned his head, mouth still open in an expression of slack bemusement.
Neville was leaning against the doorframe, amusement clearly written across his face, his lips upturned in a coy half-smile, and one eyebrow delicately arched.
“Surely you can’t be so panicked about a clean room, Remy? I didn’t know it had been that long since you’d seen the floor, but honestly, carpet is your friend.”, Neville teased, walking over to the bed and setting down a wooden tray, practically groaning with the weight of the food piled on it.
His mouth snapping shut, Remus quickly gathered the covers against his body, acutely aware of his nakedness.
Neville chuckled and rolled his eyes, sliding onto the bed next to Remus, the tray in between them.
“You need to eat something, mate, or I’m going to tell Mrs. Weasley you’re underfed, and then you’ll have her shoving treacle down your throat.” Neville said, as he spooned large amounts of food onto a plate.
Remus shuddered at the mental image that created, and took the proffered plate from Neville’s hand, calming down a bit and thanking him before digging in.
They ate together more of less in silence, both resting their backs against the headboard, legs splayed out in front of them.
Finished his plate, Remus shot a wary glance over at Neville, who appeared to be long since finished and staring at him.
“Something I can help you with, Neville?”
Neville took his plate as well as Remus’ and set them and the tray gently on the floor, an then rolled back over towards Remus, lying on his side next to him.
Neville wrung his hands nervously, “you trust me, right?
Remus nodded tersely, staring at his own hands. “of course.”
Neville took a deep breath, “and we’re close friends, yeah?”
Remus looked at Neville and raised an eyebrow, “yes, you could say so.”
There was a moment of silence between them, the tension crackling brightly, highly tangible to both men. Remus spoke first.
“If you’re trying to tell me about you and George, I already know.”
Neville scoffed, “yeah, I know.”
There was another pause, but Remus let it be this time, watching Neville try to say whatever it is he felt he needed to.
“Why did you leave, before? I mean, I thought you of all people would understand me being gay…understand what it meant to be different.”
Remus tenderly cupped Neville’s cheek, and ran a rough thumb across his cheek, feeling the slight dampness of tears there.
“I don’t have a problem with you being gay, Neville. In fact, I support it wholeheartedly. We don’t get to choose who we love.”
Neville pulled back suddenly, his eyes meeting Remus’, brimming with tears.
“Then why did you leave? You haven’t been out of the house in ages, Remus, and something yesterday made you leave TWICE. I spent all day blaming myself, so I think I have the right to know.” Neville shook violently, the timbre of his voice echoing in the spacious room, his emotions threatening to overflow.
Remus tried to back off the bed, unsure of himself now. He couldn’t stand to cause Neville any more pain.
“I can’t tell you why I left, suffice it to say that it was not by any fault of yours.”
Neville roughly grabbed his forearm, holding him in place, next to him, his face reddening.
“THAT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH. TELL ME WHY YOU LEFT!”
Remus struggled against Neville’s grip, but it held firm and he turned to face him.
“BLOODY TELL ME ALREADY!”
At that, Remus’ thin hold over his control snapped, and he lunged forwards, pressing his mouth against Neville’s firmly for a few seconds before pulling back.
“I LEFT BECAUSE I SODDING LOVE YOU AND I COULDN’T STAND THE IDEA OF HIM HAVING YOU, ALRIGHT?”
There was an almost silence in the room, save for the sound of laboured breathing coming from both men. Their eyes locked in mutual surprise.
This time Neville was the first to break the silence.
Remus exhaled quickly.
“Is that all you have to say about it?”
Neville fidgeted with his hands again, “No”.
Remus gawked at the younger man, “are you going to say whatever else it is that you’re thinking?”
Neville looked up sheepishly, “Only if you’ll kiss me again.”
Remus’ heart leapt from his chest, unable to contain himself upon hearing that, but attempting to keep a cool demeanor on the outside.
“That might be doable.”
Neville smiled brightly back at him, his cheeks flushing slightly, “oh, well in that case, I love you too.”
Remus swiftly grabbed the younger man and pulled him against his body, kissing him properly this time, and thought, as Neville twined his arms around his neck, that a day like this was worth all the bad ones that came before it.
Part 11 - http://balianblue.livejournal.com/6267.html