"Clever bloke, that Lupin," James agreed with a sage nod.
He watched Sirius closely, feeling a stab of concern at the way his friend rubbed his face. James could almost see the waves of tension rolling off him. Still, the sudden tirade managed to catch him off guard for a second.
"You know, if anyone else said that kind of shit about you, I'd turn them into a flobberworm." He commented tightly. And he wasn't lying; James wouldn't have to think twice about it. It almost made him angry. Not at Sirius - he always struggled to be mad at Sirius - but at Snape and everyone else who had ever contributed to how his friend felt.
He sighed. "Awful people don't become animagi to help their friends, Pads. They don't help them bury their parents. They don't have their back against Death Eaters or dementors or every other messed up thing. Merlin, I wouldn't have got through the last couple of months without you."
"This bloody castle should have given you my memories. Then you can try telling me how fucking terrible you are."
But then he was also pretty sure he could tell Sirius all of this until he was blue in the face, and it wouldn't make any difference. He hoped his friend knew it all anyway - James' devotion had always been unfaltering. But perhaps he just wasn't the one that Padfoot needed to hear it from, as much as he wished he could be.
Biting back another wave of overprotective anger, James slid an arm back around Sirius' shoulders, pressing his lips briefly against his hairline.
"We've all done shitty things," he said into Sirius' hair. "And had shitty things happen to us. You more than most, I reckon. But there's time to change stuff now. We've all got time, whatever you need to do. But you need to give yourself a break."