After the events of OOP, Lupin travels to a familiar place. (Crossover with Neil Gaiman's Sandman)
She has her rat and every once in awhile she has someone who visits her often. But no one stays with her for long. They leave her when change makes them better or they leave to go to her sister's realm instead. She isn't like her twin, Desire who saw the same faces over and over again. No, Despair only has a sea of faces that come and go.
But every now and then, she gets one who is a frequent visitor.
She has seen him grow up, seeing him first when he was a small boy, lying in a bed, wishing with all his heart he had died the night before rather than face the life that was ahead of him. And then again and again, when he was older and waking to the sight of his own torn skin and blood. Even when he was no longer human and raged as a wolf, he remained close to her, howling in his own agony and misery. And then he left for awhile.
She had caught glimpses of him when he was a little older, still a boy and his heart breaking over another boy. Mourning over a betrayal from a close friend.
"Sirius...I could have...I would have killed him. And James. You know that. You didn't really tell him, right? You're just...joking....you're always joking."
Her hooked ring had scraped at his heart then, tearing pieces of it as he shouted at his friend to tell him he hadn't really done it. He hadn't been that careless and stupid and wrong. But eventually he left again. Forgiveness and tenderness repaired some of the gashes made by her ring. Despair did not realize how much she missed him until he left her again that one last time.
That last time he was an adult by then. Alone again and grieving this time over deaths and another betrayal. This time her hooked ring had caught his heart, keeping hold of it. He had stayed in her realm so long that time. Years and years. But his heart had not remained caught in her unforgiving ring forever. He left her again. The very moment his arms encircled his friend, the same friend who had once given him to Despair. The very second he embraced him in that same room where he had often come to Despair. He was then gone in a flash. So quickly that she had not even a chance to see how rapidly his heart had unhooked itself from her sharp ring.
Despair missed him.
But he was with her now again. Deep within her realm and well within her reach. She felt him pressed close to her as he walked around a large house, methodically packing items away, spoke quietly in controlled tones to those around him. And when he ate, dressed, and breathed. Loss was a common reason for people coming into her realm. Despair did not really care why. She was pleased.
He was sitting now again in the large house. His eyes stared intently at an unlit fireplace as if he was willing something to appear. In his hands he clutched old robes that whispered to Despair of her eldest sister, Death. Despair remained close.
"I knew you would come back to me," she murmured. "I'm always happy to see a familiar face."
The face was more lined than she recalled. But it had that look of pain she had often seen shadows of years before and was now fully developed into complete and utter desolation. His eyes screamed her, his mind, his soul, and lastly his heart. Despair. Despair. Despair.
Despair raked her ring across her own lips in anticipation. Tears that had gathered in his eyes now fell. The creation of each tear marked the growing grief and anguish as she felt his heart come closer to her grasp.
"Sirius." His voice choked and stuttered, uttering the name. A name so often spoken in Despair's realm as if it were the password to gain access.
Despair pressed her hooked ring to his heart. She knew it well now of its every chink from before. She drove it cleanly through, tugged it close to her and held on fast. Perhaps he would stay longer this time. Perhaps a good long time. She hoped so. Despair did not have many companions and she did get lonely.