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I'm pretty sure I blame Lise.

It's not what you think. Really.



Dumbledore thought he should go into hiding. Remus considered riling indignantly against the notion and stopped himself, thoughtfully, only when he realized he was mimicking Sirius, because Sirius wasn't here, and because habit told him that *somebody* ought to be Sirius. That thought brought another rise of something that he thrust savagely down into his subconscious, not wanting to know about it. Not feeling up to it. Not wanting Sirius's name in his thoughts, or his image.

The memory of James' face imprinted itself firmly in the surface of his thoughts. As Dumbledore spoke, he found himself running through conversations of the past few months with more critical attention, sifting through a look here, and an inflection there, and an emphasis, just so - anything, anything that might have made them think, made them suspect...

...his friends, for the most part, had never been good at hiding their feelings. Sirius worst of all, James second in line. Only Peter had been better than Remus himself, who had learned the art early only out of necessity. Secrecy was something a werewolf required in a world of non-werewolves. Peter, he'd always thought, was merely cautious. He had always seemed to feel a need to protect himself, against the greater egoes of his friends. Paranoia.

::Apparently for good reason,:: thought Remus suddenly, morbidly.

The train of thought dissolved, then, and he realized he'd let Sirius' name into his thoughts, again. It seemed that his friends had been better at keeping secrets than he'd ever dreamed. And to think he'd always fancied himself so perceptive.

He kept coming back to his own words, to things he had said and the ways he had said them - to looks in his friends eyes that might have been suspicion, or shock, or something worse, carefully and quickly concealed behind a cool smile, a laugh, a shrug.

He couldn't think of anything.

"Remus?"

Remus blinked, shook himself. He hadn't been listening.

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Chandri MacLeod
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