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We all have our secrets.

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Remus knew everyone had secrets. He even knew what some of those secrets were.

James Potter was actually really hard working despite his bravado.

Emma Vanity was dating a guy from hufflepuff behind the backs of the other slytherins.

Dirk Cresswell was that guy.

Bertram Aubrey had an unidentical twin brother who was a squib.

So many secrets yet they all seemed minor compared to his. Remus' life revolved around his secrets.

Always checking over his shoulder before taking his jumper off then quickly changing out of his shirt. Glancing in every reflective surface he passed to ensure his binder was doing its job. Spending hours coming up with excuses for being "ill" so frequently. Keeping a bag packed so he could leave at a moments notice if anyone found out. Skipping classes when he wasn't with friends so he could go see Madame Pomfrey without them asking questions. And dreaming of what he might say if they did.

Remus couldn't even escape his secrets when he slept. What Remus didn't realise was that other people had big secrets too. Secrets he didn't know. Secrets no one knew. And secrets just as closely guarded as his own.

Remus didn't realise that he had more in common with his best friend than he knew.

 

***

Sirius had a secret. A terrible terrible secret that no child should have to bear. The secret had changed Sirius as a person.

The loud child had become more subdued. Curious eyes now nervous and weary. Loud noises and shouting made the child tear up then blink rapidly to fight back the tears like there would be consequences if they were shed. Flinching when adults made sudden movements nearby.

Sirius tried to hide the changes. But such trauma always lay just below the surface hardly hidden at all.

***

The problem with secrets is they don't often stay that way.

No matter how careful you are to avoid letting it slip even to someone you trust with everything else. Or how methodically you hide any evidence of the thing you're trying to conceal. Or how well you mask your true emotions.

Something always slips.

You may forget your false story and people get suspicious of your lies. You may have not spotted something that you needed to cover because you were so anxious to conceal the truth. Or you may simply forget to cast a silencing charm on one of those rare nights when you just can't hold your tears back.

And Remus did just that.

 

The curtains around his bed stirred and Remus immediately fell silent.

"Remus." Came a whisper through the darkness. "Remus, are you all right." Came the voice again, Sirius' voice. And then Sirius' head appeared round the edge of the curtain. Remus could barely make out his friends features in the dark. Remus reached for his wand.

"Lumos." The pair were blinded for a second as the bright light flashed out of the end of Remus' wand. The light dimmed a little and Remus blinked to get accustomed to it. He looked up at Sirius again now that he could see his friend better. Remus gulped. He could see that Sirius had been crying too, eyes red and puffy and cheeks still damp with tear streaks.

"I should be asking the same thing. But it's nothing, I'm fine." Sirius didn't look convinced. "Honestly, I'm fine Sirius. It's nothing, nothing at all."

"It's okay Remus. We all have our secrets."