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Time May Change Me

Chapter Text

"Everything is trash and I long for death!" Peter sighed, plopping down next to James at the food court table. 

"Pete! What the fuck man?!" James demanded while grabbing a plate of chilli fries off of the tray of food Peter had brought. 

"Don't be judgey, Prongs." Sirius cut in as he pulled his chair out to join them at the table. "We don't know what its like to wake up with that face everyday." He added with mock concern, giving Peter a brotherly slap on the shoulder to show he was only kidding. 

"Har. Har." Pete said as he flipped Sirius off with one hand and grabbed for a burger with the other. 

Peter worked as a floater part time in the food court of the mall, which meant he filled in wherever there was a need. When asked why he worked such a shit job, Peter would always reply with 'the food is free' and a shrug, but James and Sirius both knew he hated it. In all reality he just didn't know what he wanted to do with his life yet, and so he kept working at the same dead end job he'd had since he was 16, and attended university part time with no identified major. 

"I reek of fries..." Peter said as he sniffed the collar of his shirt. "Ugh. I have to go straight to class from here."

"I've got an extra t shirt in the breakroom you can borrow, Wormy" Sirius placated as Peter nodded in thanks, grabbing a fist full of fries.

"Hey, I thought you were working that pizza joint today" James said. "Why do you smell like fries?"

"More importantly, why is this not a slice of pineapple pizza?" Sirius added with a small wave of his already half eaten burger. 

"Ugh." "Gross." James and Peter protested together. Sirius just rolled his eyes and took another bite of his burger. 

Well, Hestia came in and took over the pizza slot and one of the fry cooks left early from 'sickness'" he explained with an eye roll and air quotes "but it was obvious he was just hung over and couldn't handle the smell of the grease."

"Lightweight..." "Lame..." James and Sirius muttered around mouthfulls of fries. 

"Yea." Peter agreed with a small smirk. "Top Model at yours tonight right?"

"Yup!" James said "lets see who gets the boot this week!"

"Can we not right now?" Sirius sighed dejectedly "I'm still not over that bullshit elimination from last week."

Peter and James each gave Sirius a consoling pat on the back before returning to their food. 

"I'm headed back, Pads." James said to Sirius as he gathered his trash on the tray. "I told dad I'd finish that display in the front before I left, and I have to hunt down a missing left shoe from the back." 

Sirius just nodded in response  and opened up a second burger wrapper as he put his feet up in the chair James had just vacated. 

After several minutes of eating in friendly silence Sirius leaned back in his chair and gave Peter a fatherly look. "Sooooooooo...." 

Peter stared back. "So?"

"So I saw you talking to that.... girl?" Sirius prodded questioningly. 

"Person." Peter clarified. "And that's Al. And THEY are just a friend." He emphasized.

"Word." Sirius nodded. "I've never seen them before so, I thought maybe there was something...?" Sirius tried again, clearly snooping for some type of reaction. 

"Nope. Just a friend from class that I happened to run into" Peter shrugged. "That's the sort of thing that happens when you work at a mall..." he finished with a gesture to their general surroundings as if explaining 2 + 2 = 4. 

Sirius just stared at his friend. He knew there was more to the story. They had been best friends for 10 years-sharing a dorm room for most of that time-and he had always been able to tell when his two best friends were hiding things.

Peter just aimlessly arranged and rearranged the trash on the tray, grabbing the occasional rouge fry, as he attempted to dodge the stare down. It took nearly 2 full minutes of this before Pete finally cracked (a new record Sirius would later congratulate him for). 

"Fine" Pete sighed, throwing his napkin down onto the table. "There is a girl in my biology class that Al is partnered with right now that I sort of, might possibly, potentially want to ask out. In the future. Maybe." 

"She'd be lucky to have you, mate." Sirius said with a genuine smile that clearly breathed some confidence into Peter. 

Sirius pulled his vibrating phone from his pocket. 

 

Bros Before... Everyone Else:

(2:27pm) Prongsie: I could use your help

(2:27pm) Padywack: Useless without me as always..

(2:28pm) Prongsie: 🖕 

 

Sirius put his phone back in his pocket as Peter started to stand.

"Welp. I'm headed back I suppose." Peter mumbled as if he were talking about his own impending funeral. 

"Same." Sirius replied as he grabbed the tray to empty into the trash. "Thanks for the food, even if it wasn't my pizza" Sirius added with a light laugh as Peter flipped him the bird without looking back. 


Sirius took his time walking back to work. He waved at the people he knew in the various stores on his way, thinking about how it would feel to leave this all behind for the police academy with James in 3 months. He didn't hate his job. He worked with James at Quality Sporting Supply, which was owned by the Potters, and he liked it. It had always been a temporary thing, but it still felt odd to consider not being there.

In fact, he quite liked the routine of it all. Knowing everyone who worked in each shop, getting to muck around with James, free lunch everyday with Pete, chilling at the arcade next door on his break to chill with Marlene.....

Sirius lost his train of thought as he walked past the bookstore window. 

New guy, his brain registered as he tilted his head absentmindedly, staring at the tall boy with loose curls as he moved books from a cart to the shelves. 

As if the boy had felt the gaze, he turned to glance at Sirius. Sirius quickly looked away, taking a few lazy steps toward a display case near the entrance as nonchalantly as he could manage, as if interested in the items. 

Once the boy had turned back around, Sirius made his way back to work, throwing one last curious glance over his shoulder before he turned the corner.

 

Bros Before... Everyone Else:

(2:40pm) Prongsie: Hurry the fuck up Pads, I want to go home.

(2:42pm) Padywack: Calm your tits, I'm  coming!

 

Who was that guy? 

 

Chapter Text

"That you Rem?" Lily called across the apartment at the sound of the front door. 

"Yup. Who else would it b-" Remus dropped a few of the records he was carrying onto the floor "-ah fuck!"

Lily rushed into the room looking frantic. "What happened!" She demanded as she helped Remus carry all of the bags to the kitchen. 

"Nothing mom..." Remus drolled with a small eye roll. "Dropped some stuff and- No.... I really hope this one isn't broken!" he groaned, pulling a record from a very worn looking sleeve. Lily just smiled to herself. Remus was always cutting his thoughts short with other thoughts, forgetting sometimes that she had no idea what he was on about half of the time. 

She followed him back into the livingroom, him inspecting the surface of the record while they walked. "So how was your first day at the bookstore?" She asked once the record had successfully started to play.

"It was great" Remus said with an excited smile "I think its going to be perfect. Ill have to remember to thank Dorcas at the gym tonight."

"Oh she wasn't there today?" Lily asked.

"No, she only works there part-time," He explained "and it's in the coffee shop area so I'm not sure how much I will really see her during the actual work day- Oh! I could take my breaks there I suppose. Maybe lunch? And you go there already to study...." He trailed off as his head bobbed along as a new song drifted from the record player. 

Lily smiled to herself, happy for her best friend, as she walked back to her room to finish preparing for her lesson. Lily taught english in a live online class to students of all ages in Tokyo twice a week. The time difference meant she was limited to doing the classes in the evening, but it was ok money and allowed her more flexibility to focus more on school than a regular job would. 

Remus usually took that time to go to the gym because, as he had put it after hearing the first lesson through the thin wall that separates their bedrooms, "it's impossible not to laugh at how adult you sound when I know how you speak when you're drunk."

She supposed he had a point. She could hardly imagine him being a teacher, even though he was easily the smartest person she knew. She tried to tell herself it had nothing to do with his illness, but knew deep down that she would always worry about him a little. 

*

Remus walked into Fit Space and set his bag behind the counter, giving Dorcas a friendly wave across the room where she was working with a client. Dorcas was the most popular trainer at Fit Space for a reason. She was the best. Friendly and excitable, Remus and her had become instant friends. When he transferred colleges and couldnt keep his job at the school library she told him about the opening at the bookstore she served coffee and pastries at twice a week. 

Remus taught an advanced Karate class to a group of 11-13 year olds once a week at Fit Space, and generally spent any time he wasn't studying or hanging out with Lily (and now working at the bookstore) working out. He wasn't much into sports but, took his health seriously out of necessity. 

He finished his workout an hour and half later, doing a quick glance around the gym for Dorcas before he gathered his stuff to leave. Checking his phone he noticed an unread message. 

Team Work Dat Ass:

(8:02pm) Dorcas: Don't leave yet, I'm jumping in the shower. Lets get a bite. I want to hear about your first day!

(8:14pm) Remus: Just finished up. Ill wash up too then. Pizza next door? 

(8:21pm) Dorcas: Yup. Headed there now. I'll order.

Dorcas changed the name of the group chat from 'Team Work Dat Ass' to 'Fitness and Pizza Club'

(8:29pm) Dorcas: Boredom...

Dorcas changed 'Dorcas' to 'Jalapeno'

Jalapeno changed 'Remus' to 'Pineapple'

(8:31pm) Pineapple: Nice. Omw

 

Dorcas was at the counter picking up their finished pizza, half pepperoni and jalapenos, half pineapple, when Remus walked in and immediately made his way to their regular corner booth, giving her an acknowledging wave as they spotted each other. 

"Did you love it? I know you loved it. Tell me you loved it! It's so you, right?" She squealed out before she had even sat down. 

Remus just shrugged his shoulders in mock indifference as grabbed a slice from the pineapple half. 

"Oh shut it Lupin," Dorcas sighed with a small laugh and eye roll "I bet you wanted to pack a bag and move in." 

Remus laughed and nodded "you know me too well, D." 

"Ok, so really, how was it?"

"It was really great. I get a pretty big discount, I helped 9 people with book recommendations-" 

"-oh thats like porn for you isn't it?" Dorcas cut in with a grin. 

Remus flipped her off with his pizza free hand and continued on. "The record section is incredible. I bought a few for myself-almost broke one- but, yea.... its great. Really, thank you D. I owe you one" He smiled and took another slice of pizza. 

Dorcas sat back in her chair and took a deep breath.

"Someday," she started "-and that day may never come- I will call upon you to do a service for me."

Remus smiled knowingly as they finished together, in a much too overdramatic way for public, "But until that day, accept this justice as a gift on my daughter's wedding day." 

"Such a great movie..." Dorcas said through a small laugh, Remus nodding in agreement behind his last slice of pizza.

They talked about their schedules, about Remus's classes, about Dorcas most recent failed date... anything and everything. Remus truly enjoyed his friendship with Dorcas. Lily would forever be his closest and oldest friend, but it was just different. 

For one, he and Dorcas were both gay as fuck, and got on really well talking about their dating histories- Dorcas's being much more extensive than his own- and making up fake, elaborate love interest stories about all the other gym goers and pizza connoisseurs around them. 

The second, and perhaps the most important reason,  was simply that Dorcas had never seen Remus sick. Lily had seen him at his worst, toeing the line between life and death in a hospital bed at 14 years old, and he knew deep down that she would never be able to unsee it. 

Dorcas knew he had Lupus, but didn't let that stop her from laughing her ass off any and every time he fell or tripped or spilled an entire cup of coffee on himself. Which was quite often. 

"Well, definitely come see me on your break tomorrow. We could grab a bite in the food court for lunch even." Dorcas said as they were headed for the door. 

"Yup. See ya D!" Remus waved as they went separate ways.

"Bye hot stuff!" Dorcas called over her shoulder, trying as always to embarrass him. 

"I'll think of you every second!" Remus wailed dramatically, clutching his heart as they both laughed across the growing distance between them. 

*

Lily was eating takeaway Japanese when he got back to their apartment. She was watching a recording of Top Model that looked new, and even though he didn't much like the show, he sat down next to her to watch anyway. 

"Hey lover" she said without looking away from the tv as she moved her legs over his lap, tossing him a fortune cookie. "Good workout?"

"Yup. Ate with Dorcas after" he answered, tearing open the fortune cookie wrapper. "How was the lesson?" 

"Fine. Fine." She mumbled around a large bite of rice. She was clearly too focused on the show for conversation, which suited Remus just fine. He was unusually tired from the excitement of the new job. 

Finishing his cookie he unfolded the paper inside and read:

Love is the only true adventure to be had.

Remus snorted and tossed the paper onto the coffee table before turning his attention to the crushing of hopes and dreams that was about to take place on their tv. 

Chapter Text

"Want to hit up the bookstore before we head home?" James asked over the sounds of the arcade.

He and Sirius were getting prepped for some hardcore Dance Dance Revolution, the usual small crowd gathering to watch and take bets, while they waited for Marlene, their close friend, and manager over the arcade, to change out of her work uniform in the break room.

"Yea, sounds good," Sirius answered "I had Emmeline keeping an eye out if anyone traded in any records on my wanted list, but I saw the other day that they hired a new guy since she quit." 

"So?" James looked confused. 

"Soooo.... he doesn't know to hold my needed records back for me" Sirius replied as if it were obvious. 

"Queen of dance coming through! Make way peasants!" Marlene shouted as she ran up to her platform for the game. "Two against one? You sure you don't need to go get one more to make it fair?" She cackled. "I can wait if you want to call Pete..." 

"Ha. Ha." James deadpanned "just start the game."

"Alrighty!" She shouted as she fired up the first round "Lets get weird!" 

The game started and ended, to not a single person's surprise, with Marlene winning by a landslide. She decided to join them on their bookstore adventure, having won a free coffee during their embarrassingly short dance battle. The entire way to the coffee bar at the back of the bookstore James and Sirius could be heard chanting quietly 'we're not worthy, we're not worthy' to the general bewilderment of every other customer in the store. 

Sirius, having ordered a simple black coffee, picked up his order first and waved to Marlene and James as he walked over to his beloved record corner, keeping a sharp eye out for the new guy as he went. 

This was his favorite place in the entire mall; this tiny corner. He always loved imagining all the people who had listened to the songs he loved on these used records. Had they been dancing? Were they listening with the love of their life? Were they going through a tough time and the music helped them through it? Were they cooking or painting or perhaps folding the laundry for their children? 

It was the history, the stories in every slightly bent or torn vinyl sleeve, that had piqued his interest in collecting old records from the start, and now he was hooked. He could play all of his favorite songs on guitar and during the most stressful times in his life, could be found strunming along to an old David Bowie song, or humming the harmonies of something by The Cure. Music was just.... magic. 

After about 20 minutes of searching he conceded that  there wasn't anything new that he wanted and made his way back over to the coffee shop. He could hear Marlene laughing as he tossed his empty coffee cup in the recycling bin and looked up to see her openly flirting with the girl at the coffee counter, who surprisingly seemed to he holding her own. 

People usually couldn't keep up with Marlene, and instead were left standing with their mouths agape. She was loud and proud in the best way, and no one would ever tell her to be anything different. Because if they did she would kick them right in the face. And being a dance student at university, she could definitely do it. 

"Where did James run off to?" Sirius asked as he approached the flirting pair with caution, adding a nod of hello to the coffee girl, to be polite. 

"Your friend with the glasses?" The girl asked. "He's probably crying in the bathroom or something" she said with a light laugh. 

"Yea... he got rejected hard" Marlene nodded solemnly, glancing at a table covered in notes, books, and a laptop, where a pretty redheaded girl sat looking at them with her eyebrows raised challengingly. 

"That's Lily" the barista said "and I'm Dorcas. Lily comes here to study and your friend-James is it?" Marlene nodded "well he came on a bit ....strong..." she explained as she moved back to the register to take another order.

"Understatement." Lily said with a huff as she returned her focus to her laptop.

Sirius just nodded in understanding. He loved the guy, but that definitely sounded like James.

Marlene and Sirius made their way to the only open table, which happened to be next to Lily, and waited for James to appear. "How goes the treasure hunt?" Marlene asked as they sat down. 

"No luck. Turns out X does not mark the spot" he replied in a dramatic fashion. 

"Well, not if you put the X there yourself" Marlene sigh with an eye roll "I told you the duct tape was a stupid plan."

"I didn't see the new guy either." Sirius continued as if she had not commented. 

"Maybe he's off today. Try again tomorrow" she shrugged. 

"I'm sorry," Lily cut in with a polite smile "are you talking about the new guy that works here?" 

"Yea, why?" Sirius replied, turning in his seat to face her, "you know him?"

She nodded and pulled her phone out of her pocket, giving him the 'just a second' finger point. 

 

House of Hotties:

(4:41pm) Lilyflower: Some hot guy looking for you over by the coffee counter. 

(4:41pm) Moony: I can't keep fucking around  with you and D Lil, Im on the clock. 

(4:42pm) Lilyflower: I'm serious you twat. Hurry up. 

(4:43pm) Moony: .....fine

 

"He's on his way" Lily smiled as she put her phone back in her pocket. "Hopefully it makes up for me blowing your friend off earlier" she shrugged. 

"Did you work here?" Marlene asked as she pulled her chair around to join Lily, uninvited, at her table. "Is that how you know Dorcas and this other guy?"

"Remus" Lily replied. "And no, Remus is my best friend and roommate. He and Dorcas are fitness nerds" she explained "and we all hang out sometimes."

"Talking about me?" Remus cut in as he walked up to the trio, sending a wave over to Dorcas who had several customers at the counter watching her work. 

"Yes," Lily said gesturing to the other two. "This is Marlene, and-oh I'm sorry I didn't get your name..."

"Oh," Sirius said, realizing she was talking about him, "I'm Sirius" he added with a smile he usually reserved for flirting. 

"You're.... serious?" Lily asked with a little laugh. 

"That's my name, don't wear it out" Sirius said jovially, hoping his face was doing a good job hiding the 'what the fuck was that!?' running through his mind at his lame response.

"He was looking for you Rem." Lily said as she started to pack up her laptop "Something about records" she added with a raised eyebrow. 

Remus felt his face blush slightly as he turned to Sirius to ask, but the boy had already stood up and was saying "I'll be right back, Marly" to the girl next to him. "Maybe try and find the loveless idiot and we will feed and water his soul with some pizza before we leave?" He added as he and Remus turned to leave the coffee bar. 

"So," Sirius refocused his attention to Remus "Remus right? Like the wolf story?"

"Mmmhmm" Remus hummed in reply as he plucked up a deserted book from a table, stopping to put it in its right place before they continued on. 

"Is that why Lily had you as Moony in her phone?" He asked, immediately backtracking "I just saw when she opened your contact to text. It was huge and had a picture of the full moon. Hard to miss..." he shrugged.

"Yea-well yes and no" Remus replied. "I kinda... well..."

They stopped at the first row of used records while Remus searched for words. "I use to be in hospital a lot and.... well those gowns open in the back, don't they" he finished as casually as he could, the blush creeping up his cheeks giving him away. 

Sirius barked out a laugh that was so genuine, Remus found himself laughing along lightly too. 

"So I know all the other people who stock these" Sirius said as he lovingly patted a stack of records nearest to them "and they all had my back." 

Remus just raised his eyebrow in confusion as Sirius continued on. "I've been collecting my favorites for 3 years now and still have a handful missing from my list." He turned to fully face Remus with a serious expression on his face, as if preparing for battle. "Can I count on you to make sure these treasures don't end up in the hands of some hipster who could never appreciate them?" 

"That depends..." Remus said as he crossed his arms in defiance. 

"....on?" Sirius crossed his own arms over his chest. 

"On if any of the records on your list are also on my list" Remus stated matter-of-factly. 

They just stared at each other until Sirius finally nodded in agreement, uncrossing his arms for a handshake

"I accept your terms." They shook hands in a very formal fashion then headed back toward the coffee bar. "Shall I just text you the list then?" He asked Remus as they walked. 

"Mhh sure" Remus replied "that way if any come in I can give you a heads up. We're only allowed to keep stuff back for one day so..." he finished with a shrug. 

"Cool. Later, Moony" Sirius said with a wink as he joined Marlene and James as they journeyed to the food court to buy cheer-up pizza for James. 

"I saw that!" Dorcas shouted across the bar, not bothering to hide her smirk.

Remus flipped her off as he turned to get back to the floor, trying and failing to hide the grin pulling at the corners of his mouth. 

*

A Gay Guy, A Lesbian and a Redhead Walk Into a Bar:

(5:33pm) Lesbionic: Lil you totally missed Rem getting his flirt on! 

(5:35pm) Red: What?! Tell. Me. Everything. 

(5:35pm) Lesbionic: Digits AND a wink! 

(5:36pm) Red: Gah! I can't even! Remus! 

(5:37pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: Fuck you both. 

Lesbionic changed the name of the group chat from 'A Gay Guy, A Lesbian and a Redhead Walk Into a Bar' to 'Team Get Remus Laid!'

(5:38pm) Red: Yassss! 👏 

(5:39pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: 🖕

(5:41pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: What about you and that girl with the blue hair? 

(5:41pm) Red: Her name is Marlene. And she most DEF got that number! 👏👏👏 

(5:43pm) Lesbionic: Thank you, thank you! *takes a bow

(5:44pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: And I hear Lilith burned someone's heart into a pile of ash? 

(5:44pm) Lesbionic: Yup. Idk why. He was a looker. 

(5:46pm) Red: Maybe that's not what I'm looking for in a guy. 

(5:47pm) Lesbionic: ....... 

(5:47pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: .... 

(5:50pm) Red: Har.Har. 🖕 

Unknown Number/Unknown Number:

(8:10pm) Unknown Number: Hey Remus, right?

(8:10pm) Unknown Number: This is Sirius. The record guy. 

(8:13pm) Remus: Hello. Yes, I remember. 

Remus changed Unknown Number to Record Guy, Sirius 

Sirius changed Remus to Moonman

Remus changed the name of the group chat to 'Moonman/Record Guy, Sirius. 

(8:13pm) Record Guy, Sirius: Cool. I will go ahead and send that list of records if it's still cool. I really appreciate it! 

(8:14pm) Moonman: Anything for the cause. 

(8:14pm) Record Guy, Sirius: Good man! 

Chapter Text

Moonman/Record Guy, Sirius:

(11:14am) Record Guy, Sirius: Your friend broke my friend. Do you have a friend-fixer in the area that you could recommend? 

(11:17am) Moonman: I'm sorry, my local friend-fixer is on vacation for the foreseeable future. 

(11:18am) Record Guy, Sirius: Bummer. 

(11:18am) Record Guy, Sirius: Working today?

-

The Marauders: 

(11:26am) Prongs: Wormy!

(11:26am) Prongs: Sirius met a boy! 

(11:27am) Padfoot: 🖕 

(11:27am) Prongs: Wormyyyyy

(11:28am) Prongs: WORMTAIL!!

(11:29am) Wormtail: Can I fucking take a piss!

(11:29am) Wormtail: Hold up

(11:29am) Wormtail: A boy? Like... this is not a drill? 

(11:30am) Padfoot: Fuck you guys. 

(11:31am) Padfoot: He's just some guy at the record store I got on Team List. 

(11:32am) Wormtail: Ah. 

(11:32am) Wormtail: The record list. I forget sometimes that your actually 50 and not 19. 

(11:33am) Prongs: Baaahhaaaaaha!

(11:33am) Padfoot: And again I say: 🖕

(11:34am) Prongs: Sirius has been obsessively checking his phone waiting for a text back. 

(11:34am) Prongs: Its hilarious watching him get these messages from us. 

(11:35am) Wormtail: Oh

(11:35am) Wormtail: That's 

(11:35am) Wormtail: Great

(11:35am) Padfoot: .... why are we friends? 

(11:36am) Prongs: Look, we just want you to be happy. 

(11:36am) Padfoot: You're acting like I've never been in a relationship Prongs. 

(11:37am) Wormtail: Not a real one though... 

(11:37am) Prongs: 👆 

(11:38am) Wormtail: You only date people you already know really well, then break it off when it gets too deep. 

(11:38am) Prongs: Yup. Classic Padfoot.

(11:39am) Wormtail: Pads? 

(11:39am) Prongs: We lost him Wormy. 

(11:40am) Wormtail: Oh the misfortune...

(11:40am) Prongs: Record dude texted back. 

(11:41am) Wormtail: We have been replaced.

(11:41am) Prongs: I feel so used. 

(11:41am) Wormtail: You'll always have me

(11:42am) Prongs: Good man, Wormy. 

(11:42am) Prongs: Unlike some.... 

(11:42am) Padfoot: 🖕🖕🖕🖕

-

Moonman/Record Guy, Sirius:

(11:37am) Moonman: Sorry. No I was in class. 

(11:38am) Record Guy, Sirius: Oh shit man, sorry. 

(11:38am) Moonman: Nah. It's fine. 

(11:39am) Moonman: She's not so bad. 

(11:40am) Record Guy, Sirius: Huh? 

(11:40am) Moonman: Lily.

(11:42am) Record Guy, Sirius: Oh. Yea?

(11:43am) Moonman: She's just intense when she's in the zone with her studying. 

(11:44am) Record Guy, Sirius: I suppose I can forgive her for that. 

(11:47am) Moonman: Well she didn't do anything to you. So.... 

(11:47am) Record Guy, Sirius: Irrelevant 

(11:48am) Record Guy, Sirius: She left me with a broken friend, remember? 

(11:59am) Record Guy, Sirius: I demand a replacement. 

Moonman is typing.... 

-

Team Get Remus Laid!

(11:56am) Mr. MiyaGAY: Record guy is texting me.

(11:56am) Mr. MiyaGAY:  Says Lily broke his friend. And that he deserves a new one in exchange. 

(11:57am) Lesbionic: Yas! Get some Lupin! 

(11:57am) Red: The fuck? I barely talked to that guy!

(11:58am) Lesbionic: He DEF didn't get your full wrath babe, but it was pretty legit. 

(11:58am) Red: .... what a little bitch.

(11:59am) Mr. MiyaGAY: Can we please get back to ME?!

(11:59am) Red: Sorry Rem

(11:59am) Lesbionic: Yes your highness, carry on. 

(12:01pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: What the fuck do I do? 

(12:01pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: He doesn't seem queer to me.

(12:02pm) Lesbionic: You can't know that for sure from one conversation. 

(12:03pm) Red: Yea, unless that conversation went: "Are you bent?" "No." 

(12:03pm) Lesbionic: 👆👆👆 That. 

(12:06pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: So should I just ask him then? I've never had to do that.

(12:07pm) Red: Maybe? If the opportunity comes up to ask, just take it.

(12:08pm) Lesbionic: If nothing else you could always be friends? 

(12:08pm) Lesbionic: I mean, me and Lil are Icons, obviously. 

(12:09pm) Red: It's true. 

(12:09pm) Lesbionic: But it might be nice to have some more friends where you work. It worked out with me! 

(12:10pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: Eh. You're alright... 

(12:10pm) Lesbionic: 🖕 

(12:11pm) Red: Just don't get in your head so much that you talk yourself out of having a normal chill conversation. 

(12:24pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: ......... um....

(12:24pm) Red: Wow. 

(12:24pm) Red: Just.... wow. 

(12:25pm) Lesbionic: Client coming in for their session, but I will leave you with this piece of advice:

(12:25pm) Lesbionic: GET YOUR FUCKING SHIT TOGETHER, LUPIN! 

(12:26pm) Red: 👏👏👏 

(12:28pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: .....fine

-

Moonman/Record Guy, Sirius:

(12:13pm) Record Guy, Sirius: ?

(12:31pm) Moonman: Sorry

(12:31pm) Moonman: I was out searching for you a replacement. 

(12:33pm) Record Guy, Sirius: Any luck? 

(12:34pm) Moonman: Sadly, no. 

(12:34pm) Record Guy, Sirius: Bummer.

(12:38pm) Monnman: Guess you're stuck with me. 

(12:39pm) Record Guy, Sirius: It'll be tough but, I suppose you will have to do. 

(12:40pm) Record Guy, Sirius: What are your qualifications? 

(12:42pm) Moonman: Awkward sarcasm and a record collection that deserves its own walk in closet. 

(12:42pm) Record Guy, Sirius: Well what do you know! Those are the exact two things I look for in a buddy. Welcome to the friendship. 

(12:43pm) Moonman: Happy to be here. 

Record Guy, Sirius changed the name of the chat from 'Moonman/Record Guy, Sirius' to 'The Friendship' 

Moonman changed 'Record Guy, Sirius' to Friend Sirius'

Friend Sirius changed 'Moonman' to Friend Remus'

-

The Marauders: 

(12:39pm) Prongs: Why are you smiling so hard Pads? 

(12:39pm) Wormtail: Did record guy text back?

(12:40pm) Prongs: I call best man at the wedding!

(12:40pm) Wormtail: Damn you!

(12:40pm) Prongs:  HAHA! TOO SLOW! 

(12:41pm) Prongs: Are you blushing Pads! It looks painful... 

(12:42pm) Wormtail: I can't believe I'm missing this!

(12:43pm) Prongs: I have to tell Marlene!

(12:43pm) Padfoot: Seriously

(12:43pm) Padfoot: 🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕

 

Chapter Text

James took his earbuds out and tossed them onto the bench in the locker room and sighed dramatically in an attempt to get Sirius's attention. But Sirius was too busy playing on his phone to look up, so he let his bag fall to the ground and sighed a little louder. 

Still nothing. 

He plopped down on the bench opposite Sirius and let his head fall into his hands with an even louder sigh, full of the deepest despair. 

"I heard you the first time, wanker." Sirius muttered without looking up from his phone. When James said nothing, he finally looked up from his phone with an exasperated look. "Out with it then." 

James had only wanted some attention. But Sirius was clearly in no mood. 

"What's up?" He asked with caution. 

".... Nothing." 

"Well your British is showing...." James mumbled with annoyance as he made to grab his things and leave. 

"The fuck are you on about?" Sirius stood and shoved his phone into his bag.

"You called me a wanker." James deadpanned. "Wait... was that... was that Reg?" He asked, expression changing to empathy in a half second. Sirius's mother was British, and even though he had lived almost exclusively in the US during boarding school, he still had a slight accent that he didn't bother to hide whenever he had been forced to talk to his family growing up. 

Sirius went rigid, and James knew it had to be someone from his family. They had always been able to push his emotional buttons. He hadn't had contact with any of them in nearly 3 years, but James knew that Sirius's only regret about leaving was abandoning his brother- even if it had been Regulus's choice to stay. He sent him an email on birthdays and the occasional one liner about catching up, but rarely ever got more than "thanks" or "no" in reply. It had to be Reg. 

"Yea." Sirius said to the floor, frozen to the spot.

Silence. 

James wanted to hug him. He wanted to know what was going on. He wanted to pat him on the shoulder and say it would be ok. 

But he wouldn't.

Because, in his experience as Sirius's best friend and roommate for the better part of 10 years, nothing to do with the Blacks was ever 'ok'. 

"Do you want to talk about it?" James finally asked, mirroring Sirius frozen posture. 

Sirius looked up at his best friend -his brother- and smiled weakly. "No. I'm fine." Adding "Really, I am." When James didn't look convinced. 

They walked in silence to James's car.

Only once they had gotten in and started out of the parking lot did the tension begin to dissipate. As if putting physical distance between that moment and the next was relieving Sirius of the burden. 

"Breakfast?" He asked James as he switched on the radio. 

"Ugh. Lets go home first" James groaned "I need a shower."

"Yea you do!" Sirius was flipping through the stations and coming up short. "We have got to find a different gym. The showers have been out of order for months." 

James nodded in agreement before directing the conversation to where they would eat. 

*

Peter/Al:

(9:17am) Peter: Good news? About Mary?

(9:22am) Al: She isn't seeing anyone. But says she isn't looking either.

(9:22am) Peter: Well don't most people say that though? It's like an excuse us single people use to explain why they aren't dating. 

(9:24am) Al: hahaha! Yea. I suppose you're right. 

(9:24am) Al: I will keep you updated, but you should just talk to her. She's so nice. 

(9:25am) Peter: I just wish I knew if we had anything in common.

(9:26am) Peter: Like, is this a waste of time? Or are we basically the same person? If I ask her out, what will we talk about? What if she thinks my music is stupid? What if I think HER music is stupid?! 

(9:27am) Al: Whoa! Simmer down! 

(9:27am) Al: Give me a second. I got you 💪

(9:40am) Al: She's really excited about some theater audition this weekend for the university. 

(9:42am) Al: Hello. Is this thing on. 

(9:47am) Al: Oh my fuck. Are you actually doing work over there! 

(9:47am) Al: I may cry from pride. 

(9:49am) Peter: 🖕 

(9:49am) Peter: I'm looking up the show on the university site. 

(9:50am) Peter: ...am I working .... 😂 It's like we've never met! 

(9:51am) Al: rofl

-

The Marauders:

(10:00am) Wormtail: Ok. I want to run something by you guys. 

(10:00am) Wormtail: But I don't want to hear any shit about it. 

(10:01am) Wormtail: It's for a girl. 

(10:03am) Prongs: Of course Wormy. Step into my office. 

(10:03am) Padfoot: No! My office is bigger. 

(10:04am) Prongs: 🖕

(10:04am) Padfoot: 🖕🖕

(10:05am) Prongs: 🖕🖕🖕🖕

(10:05am) Wormtail: ....whenever you're done. 

(10:06am) Padfoot: Sorry!

(10:06am) Prongs: Right, sorry.

Wormtail is typing... 

-

Wormtail is typing... 

-

(10:17am) Prongs: Want to just meet us for lunch Pete? 

(10:17am) Wormtail: ....yes. 

(10:18am) Padfoot: Food court? James has work at noon and I clock in at 1. 

(10:19am) Prongs: I'm down.

(10:20am) Wormtail: Same. Leaving school in 10. 

(10:21am) Padfoot: Should we invite Marlene? 

(10:21am) Prongs: She IS a girl.... 

(10:22am) Prongs: Might be more helpful on girl matters. 

(10:22am) Wormtail: Yea! Do that! 

-

New group chat created. 

James, Marlene, Sirius, and Peter added to group chat. 

James changed the name of the group chat to 'The Realest Ones'

(10:26am) Marlene: What the fuck do you want Potter? 

(10:26am) Sirius: Hey! I'm here too! 

(10:27am) Peter: And me!

(10:27am) Sirius: Don't you want to know what the fuck WE want?

(10:28am) Marlene: ............

(10:29am) James: ANYWAY! Free for a lunch in 30? 

(10:30am) Marlene: Can we make it 45? I just signed for a delivery of a new stock of prizes I have to put up. 

(10:30am) Sirius: New Prizes!?

(10:31am) James: NEW PRIZES!!!

(10:31am) Peter: Yay!

(10:32am) Marlene: ..... children 🙄

(10:33am) James: We will come wait for you at the arcade then. 

(10:33am) Sirius: To walk with you to the food court. 

(10:34am) Peter: Not at all because we want to see the prizes. 

(10:35am) Sirius: Exactly. 

(10:35am) James: Yes. What he said. 

(10:36am) Marlene: ..mhm

*

Only once all three boys were sufficiently bored with the new arcade prizes did they finally make it to lunch. This didnt give James much time before he had to be at work, but that was fine. They could go bother him on the clock if it came down to that. 

"So, what's the plan?" Marlene asked around her smoothie straw. They had filled her in on what they knew, and she was all on board to help. 

"She's really into theater, so...." Peter started "... suddenly I don't want to say. 

"Two words Wormy" Sirius cut in excitedly "FLASH. MOB." 

Peter and James both laughed lightly while Marlene shook her head in amusement, murmuring "idiots..." just loud enough for them to hear it. 

James looked at his watch and then back to Peter, seeing he had a little more time.  "What's up?" 

"..... I was thinking of trying out for this show the university is putting on" he started "auditions are this weekend and Mary is trying for a part too." 

James and Sirius both looked at Marlene as she hummed in thought. "It would give you a lot of spare time together" she said after a moment "but is it something that interests you?" 

James and Sirius looked back to Peter. 

"I don't know. I suppose could be fun." He shrugged. 

"It just needs to be something you will enjoy as well" she continued, James and Sirius turning their attention back to her "because if she isn't interested- or if you realize she's not your type- you will be stuck there." 

"I was looking at the university page and it looked... well...." he glanced nervously at James and Sirius, who had turned their attention to him again, "it looked alright." He finished with a shrug. 

Marlene just nodded in agreement as she drank her smoothie. 

"Well I think it's brilliant!" Sirius all but shouted into the silence. "Petey here was always the dramatic one." 

Everyone just stared at Sirius in disbelief. 

"Well" he shrugged, breaking the silence again "I still think he'll be good." 

"What were you expecting us to say though?" James cut in as they began gathering their trash up to leave. 

"That it was dumb." Peter replied. "That it was lame. That I would be bad. Fuck. I don't know." He laughed. 

They spent the walk back to their side of the mall regaling Marlene the tale of the talent show they had won by a landslide with his performance of Katy Perry's 'Firework'. Sirius and James had been demoted to backup after the first practice, leaving Pete as lead.

"He sparkled" Sirius said, grinning wide at the fond memory. 

"Just like a firework" James added as he slapped Peter on the back, everyone laughing as James and Marlene parted for work. 

 

"Bookstore?" Sirius shrugged 

"Bookstore." Pete agreed with a nod.

They walked in and immediately made a bee line for the record section, waving at a few of the people they recognized on the way. 


"Don't trust me to keep my end of the deal?" Remus laughed as he spotted Sirius thumbing through the usual stacks. 

Sirius looked up and grinned widely before quickly adopting a mock serious tone. "Spot check, soldier. Just making sure you are up to par." 

Remus laughed and threw a lazy half salute to Sirius before he turned his attention to Peter. "Hello, I'm Remus. Is there anything I can help you with today?" 

Ignoring Sirius's snort of disapproval at being ignored even slightly, Peter replied in a very businesslike tone.  "I seem to be being followed by a pretentious idiot. Do you have any idiot repellent?" 

Sirius scoffed dramatically with his hand over his mouth. 

"I'm sorry" Remus said with all the sympathy he could muster "I bought the last of it when I learned Sirius would be coming in today." 

Sirius gasped and took a step back in dismay as Peter let out a loud bark of laughter. 

"I'm Peter" he added once the laughter faded and Sirius was sufficiently consoled with a spare Jolly Rancher Remus had in his pocket. "Heard a lot about you. Though, some of it was James going on about how you were best pals with his soul mate" he added with an eye roll. 

"I've heard a bit about you too" Remus smiled.

It was true, Sirius thought. He talked about Remus to Peter and James about as much as he talked about them to Remus. Their conversations had been fairly superficial thus far, but they made each other laugh- Remus's dry sarcasm perfectly matched with Sirius's more dramatic brand of humor. 

They wordlessly followed Remus as he went back to arranging shelves. "Haha" Remus laughed "ill let her know that his love for her has yet to waver." 

"Good man" Sirius laughed "he will be so pleased to have you on side."

"Remus what's your number man, I'm going to add you to our group chat with Marlene and James." Pete announced "you met her right?"

"Yea I actually think she's going on a date with one of my friends day after next" Remus said with a smile. "Blue hair right?"

Sirius nodded as Peter pulled his phone out. "You haven't met James though." 

"........ Actually I have" Remus said with a little laugh. Sirius tilted his head in question so he continued. "He has come in here the last 3 days in a row just to see if Lily was here. I introduced myself the second day when I saw him lurking about." 

"That little weasel!" 

"He told me not to mention it because you lot were giving him a lot of shit about it" Remus shrugged before he turned his attention back to work. 

They soon said goodbye to Remus and walked back to Quality Sporting Supply so Sirius could change for his shift, both friends texting away in silence. 

-

The Realest Ones: 

Peter added 'Remus' to the group chat

(12:49pm) James: REMUS! 

(12:49pm) Remus: ...Me!

(12:50pm) Sirius: Welcome, friend, to the greatest group chat in existence. 

(12:50pm) Peter: 👆 

(12:50pm) Marlene: Yes!

(12:51pm) James: Woo!

(12:53pm) Remus: .....eh 

(12::53pm) Sirius: You wound me, sir!

(12:54pm) James: Ouch!

(12:54pm) Marlene: I don't know about this guy. 

(12:54pm) Marlene: His sense of awesome is off...

(12:54pm) Peter: wtf man?

(12:56pm) Remus: To be fair though, I AM in a group chat with Lily and Dorcas....

(12:57pm) Peter: Oooooohh...

(12:57pm) Sirius: Makes sense. 

(12:57pm) James: I get that. 

(12:57pm) Marlene: Yea, that's fair. 

*

It was starting to get late, but sleep was being a really sly bitch. James was laying on his bed looking over his police academy handbook for the millionth time when his phone lit up with a text from Sirius. 

Bros Before... Everyone Else:

(10:36pm) Padywack: I think I want to talk about it now.

James rolled quickly off of his bed and made his way across the apartment to Sirius's room in 5 seconds. He stopped at the open doorway to see Sirius curled in a small ball on his bed, still wearing his QSS uniform. 

"What happened" he asked gently as he crossed to the desk chair Sirius was facing. 

Sirius had tear tracks on his face, and had clearly been crying for at least an hour. James's heart tore with the knowledge that his best friend-his brother-was just 20 steps away and he hadn't realized he was upset. 

"He's staying." Sirius said numbly, and James didn't have to ask what he meant. 

He had always hoped that when Reg turned 18 he would choose his American citizenship like Sirius did. They would all live together and become adults and finally have escaped the dark shadow of his powerful and abusive family way across the pond. James knew it was part of the reason Sirius was so reluctant to grow up. He was waiting for Regulus. 

But, Reg was staying in Britain. Sirius would likely never see his brother again. 

James crawled onto the bed and sat cross legged against Sirius headboard as he gently brushed his fingers through Sirius's hair with one hand, and sent an 'SOS' text to Peter with the other. 

They would be sad tonight. They would eat two-for-a-dollar tacos, and drink too much, and cry, and curse the Black family loudly out of the open window of their second story apartment... 

Then tomorrow they would start to put Sirius back together. Just like they always had. 

Chapter Text

Once Sirius had finally broken down about Regulus, he was down for several  days. James had split his shifts up to the other staff at QSS for the week, and made sure he had a good supply of semi healthy takeaway in the fridge for when Sirius eventually decided to shuffle out of his room for food. 

When James wasn't at work, he was with Sirius, trying everything he could think of to get his mind off of Regulus. He had the most success with begging Sirius for guitar lessons. And so for about an hour everyday they sat on Sirius's floor trying to work out how to cure James of being tone deaf. It made Sirius laugh a little, but James could hear the effort it took in his voice. 

Peter came during his lunch most days to watch Gilmore Girls on Netflix with Sirius while they binged on junk food and Sirius drank. Peter did his best impression of Mcgonagall after that time in 3rd year when they painted 'Fuck You' on their bare chests and streaked across the Slytherin side during the rugby final. Sirius joined in as Dumbledore halfway through the impression, and for a fleeting moment things were ok. 

Marlene did her part by sending him covert videos of random people on the Dance Dance Revolution game with her special commentary describing, in unnecessary detail, what made-up ailment they must have to make them so incapable of basic rhythm. She called it 'Misguided Moments of Movement: A Documentary' and they texted about what a hit it would be, and how she would make millions when she sold it to some big tv station. 

Sirius would be ok. He knew it. He just needed some time. He missed his brother. It felt like he was losing him all over again. Almost like a death. 


It had been 4 days and Sirius was making regular trips to other rooms in the apartment, often laying in James's bed when he needed out of his room, but didn't have the energy for anything other than rest. 

It was about 30 minutes past regular lunch time before Sirius remembered that Pete wouldn't be coming that day. He had that audition. 

Oh shit. 

Sirius felt a wave of guilt wash over him as he reached for his phone to text his friend. 

The Marauders

(11:34am) Padfoot: Break a leg today, Wormy. 

(11:35am) Prongs: Yea! You'll crush it!

(11:37am) Wormtail: You guys are the best. I love you both. 

(11:38am) Prongs: Ah shit Pads, he's nervous! Haha!

(11:38am) Padfoot: Why do you only love us when you are in emotional distress? Are we not always lovable? 

(11:39am) Prongs: You are quite loveable Padfoot, my good man!

(11:39am) Padfoot: Not as loveable as you are, good sir!

(11:40am) Wormtail: 🖕

(11:40am) Wormtail: Ill let you know how it goes.

(11:40am) Wormtail: I have to go

(11:41am) Wormtail: .... love you.

(11:42am) Prongs: Love you bro!

(11:42am) Padfoot: I love you more! 

*

The Friendship:

(12:40pm) Friend Remus: I have found a hidden treasure!

(12:41pm) Friend Remus: Some old lady wanted it. But I fought her off. It was all very heroic. 

 

(1:17pm) Friend Remus: Its a record on your list.

 

(1:50pm) Friend Remus: I can only hold it for a day and I dont work tomorrow so, if you want it you have get it today. 

 

(3:02pm) Friend Sirius: Fuck man, Sorry I was asleep. Yea I want it. Which is it? 

(3:03pm) Friend Sirius: You fought an old lady for me? *swoon*

(3:08pm) Friend Remus: The Clash:London Calling 

Sirius is typing... 


(3:13pm) Friend Sirius: You still want it right?


(3:19pm) Friend Remus: Look I'm doing you a favor. You could at least text back. 


(3:33pm) Friend Remus: I leave at 5.

(3:34pm) Friend Sirius: ok thanks.

-

Bros Before... Everyone Else:

(3:36pm) Padywack: Hey. I need a favor.

(3:37pm) Prongsie: Anything man, whats up? 

(3:39pm) Padywack: Remus has a record for me. Can you grab it before he leaves at 5? 

(3:41pm) Prongsie: Yea, of course. 

(3:41pm) Prongsie: I can come get you and we could go together? 

(3:42pm) Prongsie: Might be nice to get out of the house?

(3:45pm) Padywack: no.

-

Remus/James:

(4:13pm) James: I'm coming to get the record for Sirius. He can't make it. 

(4:13pm) Remus: K 


Remus was chatting with a customer in the geographical section when James came in. He gave Remus a friendly wave that was absolutely not reciprocated back, and then made his way to the coffee bar to wait. 

James, determined to play it cool when he spotted Lily reading at a table, went over to the counter and ordered himself his usual plain latte without drawing attention to himself, which took great deal of self restraint. 

She noticed him and gave him an awkward half smile over the top of her book that said 'I see you but I'm busy' so he just smiled back and turned to make small talk with the coffee girl. 

"I'm glad to see you are still in one piece after your encounter with the lovely Lily Evans" the coffee girl said cheerfully, raising her voice slightly so as to definitely be overheard.

Lily just flipped her off without looking up from her book. 

"James isnt it? You work at Quality Sporting Supply next to Marlene?" She added. "She talks about you lot like you're family." 

"Practically are" James shrugged with a light laugh. "You're Dorcas right?" 

"The one and only" she said as she pushed herself up to sit on the counter, eyeing him suspiciously. "But you have to call me Dragon." 

James nodded his head as he considered what she had said then folded his arms and countered "Fine. But you have to call me Nighthawk"

Dorcas grinned, clearly impressed. "Did we just become best friends?

"Yup!" James shouted enthusiastically as they both fell into a fit of laughter. "Such a great movie..." 

Lily just rolled her eyes and shook her head, clearly exasperated, as Remus made his way over to the laughing pair. 

"Rem! You know James?" Dorcas asked excitedly as Remus nodded in confusion. "He's my new best friend. Its been decided." James and Dorcas both laughed again at this while Remus looked to Lily for clarification. 

"Movie quotes..." she said with another eye roll. 

"One of us! One of us! Dorcas began to chant as Remus's expression changed to amusement. 

James took a sip of his coffee, humming in approval, as he started to follow Remus to the back room. "Bye best friend!" He shouted over his shoulder. 

"Bye best friend!" He heard Dorcas shout back before the door closed after them. 

James, ever the cheerful one, decided to break the silence that had fallen over them as they walked. "Hey thanks for doing this." 

"Sirius off today?" Remus asked, and James could hear a little annoyance behind the words. 

"Yea, he has the week off. Asked me to pick this up for him so he didnt have to get out today." James explained. "he's... urr.... he's not feeling well." 

Remus shook his head, annoyed, as they stopped at a stack of random items in a box labeled 'On Hold'

"Look, message received, alright?" Remus sighed. "It's fine."

"Huh?" James replied, completely confused.

"He clearly doesn't want to be friends so... it get it- I mean I dont- but its fine." Remus said as he thrust the old record into James's hand. "It's paid for already so...he doesn't have to talk to me." 

James was just staring at the record in shock. 

Or perhaps anger. 

Maybe... sadness? 

It was so hard to tell. Whatever it was, it stopped Remus in his tracks.

"What is it?" Remus asked, a bit more gently. 

James looked up at Remus as if he had forgotten he was there, blinking back tears. He would not cry. He would not cry. He fucking would not fucking cry.

Remus was so taken back that he just let his instinct guide him. He gave James a brotherly pat on the shoulder and waited for him to speak. 

"Sirius is just going through some stuff" James said, clearing his throat. "He will be fine. But this record...." he trailed off as he turned it over in his hands, taking a deep sigh before he continued. 

"We were at boarding school together- Me and Sirius and Peter and... and Regulus. Sirius's brother." 

Remus said nothing, but waited for James to finish. 

"His family is fucked up...." he looked at Remus, begging him to understand. "I mean really fucked... But, Sirius got out. Reg..... didn't." 

"Shit..." Remus mumbled as he ran his hands through his hair. 

"Yea...." James agreed with another deep sigh. "He's lived with me for years now. Practically my brother."

"What about the record?" Remus asked, still not fully understanding it's importance. 

"His mom is British and so, Reg and Sirius always loved British rock bands. They snuck up to the main office in mine and Sirius's 3rd year to play 'Lost In The Supermarket' over the intercom at breakfast." He smiled sadly at the memory. "It was great..." 

"Fuck, man....." 

"Yea..." James straightened up and tucked the record under his arm with yet another deep, steadying breath as he gestured for Remus to lead them out. 

"He's been in his feelings for a few days about all this shit. The record probably was a shock to him." 

"I hate that I did that. I feel like such a dic-"

"Don't." James cut him off. "He will be so happy to have this" he nodded to the record "once its not so raw. Give it time, yea?"

"Yea, ok" Remus said with a nod. 

James gave him a half salute on his way out of the door and back to QSS, muttering "later" as he went. 

-

Peter created the group chat 'Pete's Support Group'

Peter added Alice, James, Sirius, and Marlene to the group chat 'Pete's Support Group'

Pete's Support Group:

(5:14pm) Peter: I got the part! I fucking got it! 

(5:15pm) James: Fuck yea!! 

(5:15pm) Sirius: Hell yes! Like 👏 A 👏 Fucking 👏 Firework 👏 

(5:15pm) Marlene: I'm so proud! *tear*

(5:15pm) Alice: I'm screaming! Literally screaming right now! 

(5:16pm) Peter: Thanks guys! 

(5:16pm) Peter: Btw this is Al. They are my inspiration. The wind beneath my wings. The pop to my corn. 

(5:17pm) Alice: 🙄 

(5:17pm) James: Trying hard not to be jealous. But you sound cool as fuck, so it's a real struggle.

(5:18pm) James: They/them? 

(5:18pm) Sirius: He looks like he's about to have an aneurism Pete! Look what you did!

(5:18pm) Alice: Yes They/Them please 😊 

Peter changed 'Alice' to 'Al'

(5:19pm) Marlene: If you kill James I may fall in love with you.

(5:19pm) Marlene: Just saying. 

(5:19pm) James: Ouch! Al would never! .....right?

(5:19pm) Al: No promises. 

(5:20pm) Marlene: ..... I love them already Pete! 

(5:20pm) Peter: Going to eat with the other people who made cast/crew so we can get to know each other. Mary asked to ride with me. Later bitches ✌

(5:21pm) James: Get it!

(5:21pm) Sirius: That's my son right there. I am a proud daddy. 

(5:22pm) Peter: 🖕 

(5:23pm) Al: That is no way to speak to your father! 

(5:23pm) Marlene: Get 'em!

(5:24pm) Peter: seriously. 🖕🖕

(5:24pm) Marlene: rofl 

(5:24PM) James: Haha!

(5:25pm) Sirius: Bahaaha!

(5:25pm) Al: 😂

-

Remus/James: 

(7:04pm) Remus: I gave Dorcas your number. Just a heads up. 

(7:04pm) Remus: She claimed it was her birthright as your best friend 🙄

(7:06pm) James: Haha! Hey thanks man! 

(7:06pm) Remus: NP 

(7:09pm) Remus: How is he? 

(7:10pm) James: Better. Not great. But better. 

-

Unknown Number/Unknown Number 

(7:17pm) Unknown Number1: Hey it's Dorcas!

(7:18pm) Unknown Number2: Hey best friend! 

Unknown Number changed 'James' to 'Nighthawk' 

(7:19pm) Nighthawk: FuckYea! 

Nighthawk changed 'Unknown Number' to 'Dragon'

(7:20pm) Dragon: RAWR!

(7:21pm) Nighthawk: Your voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus. 

(7:22pm) Dragon: For a second I think you took on the shape of a unicorn. 

(7:23pm) Nighthawk: Hahaha! 

Dragon changed the name of the group chat to 'The 2 Best Friends That Anybody Could Have:

(7:23pm) Nighthawk: People are going to hate us. 

(7:24pm) Dragon: Oh 100%


-


The Friendship: 

(11:56pm) Friend Sirius: I was such a dick. 

(11:56pm) Friend Sirius: James said he talked to you. 


(12:04pm) Friend Sirius: Thank you for the record. It means more than you can know. 


(12:05pm) Friend Sirius: Anyway, I'm sorry.


-


The Friendship:

(6:21am) Friend Remus: James did talk to me. I'm glad you like the record. 

(6:22am) Friend Remus: There is nothing to forgive. I understand, really. 

(6:24am) Friend Remus: And I know you have people already... but I'm here for you too. 

 

Chapter Text

Babes:

(8:11am) Dorcas: Good luck on your exam today! 

(8:17am) Marlene: Thank you! Can I see you after? 

(817am) Dorcas: Sounds great. My last session is with a new client at 4 and that will be about an hour, but I'm free after that.

(8:18am) Marlene: Have I mentioned it's so hot that you're a trainer?

(8:19am) Dorcas: Haha! 

(8:19am) Dorcas: Once or twice. 

(8:19am) Marlene: Well it is. And I am an expert of what's hot. 

(8:20am) Marlene: I mean, you've seen my hair....

(8:20am) Dorcas: It's true. I'll come by yours to pick you up at 5:30? We could do dinner and a movie? 

(8:22am) Marlene: Or..... 

(8:22am) Marlene: I could order some takeaway and we could hang in my dorm? 

(8:23am) Dorcas: That. 

(8:23am) Dorcas: Definitely let's do that. 

-

House of Hotties:

(9:53am) Moony: James asked me for your number again. 

(9:54am) Lilyflower: Still no.

(9:55am) Moony: Why are you like this?

(9:55am) Lilyflower: Self respecting? Idk Rem. Must be a defect in my genetic code. 🙄 

(9:56am) Moony: 🖕

(9:56am) Moony: You know what I mean. 

(9:56am) Moony: I honestly think you would like him Lily. He seems great. 

(9:57am) Lilyflower: Then why don't you ask him out? 

(9:57am) Moony: 🖕

-

The Friendship: 

(10:20am) Friend Sirius: Working today? 

(10:21am) Friend Remus: Nope. Class.. 

(10:21am) Friend Sirius: Oh sorry! Chat later then!

(10:22am) Friend Remus: No! Don't leave me! I could die of boredom here at this desk. 

(10:22am) Friend Sirius: So what you're saying is my sparkling personality is like a lifeboat to the sinking ship that is your will to live?

(10:23am) Friend Remus: 🖕🖕🖕

(10:24am) Friend Remus: ...... But yes. 

(10:25am) Friend Sirius: Yesssssssssss

(10:25am) Friend Sirius: I knew it!

(10:26am) Friend Remus: You know what... Just let me die. I'm cool with it. 


(10:32am) Friend Remus: I was kidding come back! 

(10:32am) Friend Sirius: Baahaha! 

(10:33am) Friend Remus: Questions? 

(10:34am) Friend Sirius: Ok yea.

(10:34am) Friend Remus: Cool. You can go first.

(10:34am) Friend Sirius: hmmmm.. 

(10:35am) Friend Sirius: Ok I have one. What are you studying in school? 

(10:35am) Friend Remus: A bit of everything right now. Its only my second semester. I had to take a gap year. But the plan is to go into teaching. 

(10:36am) Friend Sirius: Oh I can see you as a teacher! What do you want to teach? 

(10:36am) Friend Remus: Only one question at a time! 

(10:36am) Friend Sirius: Boo! ...fine.

(10:37am) Friend Remus: Ok So I know you arent at University, but have you ever wanted to go? 

(10:39am) Friend Sirius: I actually attended classes all last year. James and I both did. But it felt like a waste of time. And when James came across info on the police academy we decided to give that a shot. 

(10:40am) Friend Remus: Wow. Police academy. That's..... really cool Sirius. 

(10:41am) Friend Sirius: Awe stop it... your making me blush... 

(10:41am) Friend Remus: Ass. 

(10:42am) Friend Remus: I take it back. 

(10:42am) Friend Sirius: Nope! No take backs! 

(10:42am) Friend Sirius: Me next. 

(10:43am) Friend Sirius: What is the last song you listened to? 

 

(10:47am) Friend Sirius: Moonman? 

(10:48am) Friend Remus: School. BRB.

 -

The 2 Best Friends That Anybody Could Have:

(11:04am) Nighthawk: Hey best friend!

(11:05am) Dragon: Hey best friend! What's up? 

(11:05am) Nighthawk: Working today? 

(11:06am) Dragon: Nah I only work at the coffee shop twice a week. 

(11:07am) Nighthawk: Ah. I was going to see if you wanted to join me for lunch. Alas, it wasn't meant to be. 

(11:08am) Dragon: I could eat. I'm not far from the mall. 

(11:09am) Nighthawk: You sure? I can come to you if you want. 

(11:09am) Dragon: That thai place on Main? 

(11:10am) Nighthawk: Yea ill be there at noon. 

(11:11am) Dragon: Cool. Later best friend!

(11:12am) Nighthawk: Bye best friend!

-

The Marauders:

(11:07am) Padfoot: Feed me!

(11:07am) Wormtail: In class. Dying. 

(11:08am) Padfoot: RIP wormy. You were a good friend. 

(11:08am) Wormtail: Remember me fondly. 

(11:09am) Prongs: Ill remember that time we found you FONDLING! 

(11:09am) Padfoot: Baahahaa! 

(11:09am) Padfoot: I just choked on my coffee!

(11:09am) Wormtail: Fuck you both. 

(11:10am) Padfoot: Nah.

(11:11am) Prongs: Pass.

(11:12am) Prongs: I'm going to have lunch with my NEW best friend Dorcas.

(11:12am) Wormtail: We have been replaced!

(11:12am) Padfoot: I'm so hurt!

(11:13am) Wormtail: Pads did you gasp? I feel like the air pressure in the city changed a little. 

(11:13am) Padfoot: Yes Wormy I sure did. 

(11:13am) Prongs: Drama queen. 

-

Sirius McKinnon/Marlene Black: 

(11:21am) S: Hey boo when is lunch? 

(11:24am) M: Whenever you get here. Come see me on campus! 

(11:25am) S: Yes! Headed there now! 

(11:26am) S: I haven't been in weeks! 

(11:26am) M: That's because all the good parties are at you guys place. 

(11:27am) S: It's true. We throw the best parties. 

(11:27am) M: No. You USE to throw the best parties. 

(11:28am) S: Is this a plot? 

(11:28am) S: Are you just trying to get me to throw a party? 

(11:28am) S: ..... because it's working. 

-

Bros Before... Everyone Else:

(11:29am) Padywack: We need to throw a party asap!

(11:30am) Prongsie: YES! 

-

The Friendship: 

'Friend Remus' was changed to 'Professor'

"Friend Sirius' was changed to 'Officer'

(12:54pm) Professor: We had to do a partner Lab in Microbiology. Ugh. 

(12:53pm) Professor: And my partner was awful. 

(1255pm) Officer: Maybe your threshold for awesomeness is just higher now that we have become friends. 

(12:55pm) Officer: And other, perfectly average people, just no longer measure up. 

(12:56pm) Professor: That must be it. 

(12:57pm) Officer: It's the only logical explanation really. 

(12:58pm) Professor: You're so wise. 

(12:58pm) Officer: But I'm handsome too. 

(12:59pm) Professor: Sure.. 

(12:59pm) Officer: Brain AND brawn

(1:00pm) Professor: Uh huh

(1:00pm) Officer: Wit AND grit

(1:01pm) Officer: King AND queen

(1:02pm) Officer: Remus? 

(1:03pm) Officer: Are you in shock by the ineffability of my sparkling personality? 

(1:04pm) Professor: Sorry I fell asleep as you were patting yourself on the back. 

(1:04pm) Officer: Well I am sufficiently wounded!

(1:05pm) Professor: You will survive. 

(1:05pm) Officer: No I need I steady stream of compliments or else my ego shrivels up and dies. 

(1:06pm) Professor: It could probably do with some shrinking.

(1:06pm) Officer: *gasp!* 

(1:06pm) Professor: Shall I call James to have him come give your ego mouth to mouth? 

(1:07pm) Officer: 🖕 

(1:07pm) Officer: What are you up to? 

(1:08pm) Professor: Getting a quick bite in before my next class. 

(1:08pm) Professor: What are you doing today? 

(1:10pm) Officer: Well its my day off so, I had lunch with Marlene and she showed me some choreography she's been working on. 

(1:10pm) Officer: Listened to her ramble about Dorcas for 15 straight minutes... 

(1:11pm) Professor: At least its not just me! Dorcas never shuts up about her.

(1:11pm) Professor: And apparently now James. Haha!

(1:12pm) Officer: Oh! Speaking of James! 

(1:12pm) Officer: We are having a small little party this Saturday. You should definitely come!

(1:13pm) Officer: And Dorcas and Lily! 

(1:14pm) Professor: Are we celebrating anything special? 

(1:15pm) Officer: Just life my friend. 

(1:19pm) Officer: Oh and Peter. He got a role in the university show and is really pleased. 

(1:21pm) Professor: I never would have pegged him for a thespian. 

(1:23pm) Officer: I had to Google that. But yes. He did it for a girl but, is very excited about it still. 

(1:24pm) Professor: Ahh the things we do for love. 

(1:24pm) Professor: Headed to another class. Can I count on you as my lifeboat if the ship begins to sink? 

(1:25pm) Officer: Of course I will be your lifeboat. 

Professor changed 'Officer' to 'Lifeboat'. 

(1:26pm) Lifeboat: Nice.

-

James created the group chat 'House Party'

James added Sirius, Peter, Marlene, Kingsley, Fabian, Gideon, Emmeline, and Benjy to the group chat

House Party:

(3:02pm) Fabian: Fuck yea! 

(3:02pm) Gideon: Been wondering when we would get the gang back together

(3:02pm) Marlene: Is this real life? Or am I dreaming? 

(3:02pm) James: Welcome comrades! This Saturday we celebrate life, friendship, and Petey boys theatrical flare! Bring some booze. Bring some friends. 

(3:03pm) Benjy: Awesome!

(3:04pm) Sirius: I invited Remus and told him to bring Dorcas and Lily. 

(3:04pm) James: Lily? 

(3:04pm) James: Lily is coming?

(3:04pm) Sirius: Probably...

(3:05pm) James: You are literally the best human being I know Pads! 

(3:05pm) Kingsley: Hey!

(3:05pm) Marlene: WTF Potter!?

(3:05pm) Peter: Wow. 

(3:06pm) Benjy: Ouch. 

(3:07pm) Fabian: ... thats fair. 

(3:07pm) Gideon: 👆

(3:08pm) Peter: I'm going to add Al. (They/them pronouns)

(3:08pm) Sirius: Yes! Ill go ahead and add Remus. 

(3:08pm) Marlene: I will add Dorcas!

(3:09pm) James: Aww! I was going to add her! 

(3:09pm) Marlene: 🖕🖕 

(3:10pm) Benjy: Ill get Emmeline!

Alice was added to the group chat

Alice was changed to 'Al' 

Remus was added to the group chat

Dorcas was added to the group chat

Emmeline was added to the group chat

(3:11pm) Sirius: Remus! 

(3:11pm) Remus: ...... ME!

(3:11pm) Dorcas: I'm here too!

(3:12pm) James: Best friend!

(3:12pm) Dorcas: Best friend!

(3:12pm) James: I miss your face! 😭

(3:13pm) Dorcas: I miss YOUR face! 😭😭

(3:13pm) Sirius: ..... Didnt you just have  lunch together like... a few hours ago? 

(3:14pm) James: ...... what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!

(3:14pm) Dorcas: Except for Herpes! 

(3:14pm) Remus: That shit will come back with you! 

(3:15pm) James: Yes! Remus! The man! 

(3:15pm) Dorcas 😂😂

(3:16pm) Fabian: The fuck? 

(3:16pm) Gideon: 👆

(3:16pm) Benjy: Ok. I'm lost. 

(3:17pm) Sirius: They are obviously quoting The Hangover. Come on guys. 

(3:17pm) Marlene: You have found your people. 

(3:18pm) James: It's true. *tear*

(3:18pm) Peter: I've never even seen that movie

(3:19pm) Kingsley: Me either.

(3:19pm) Al: Whoa! Hello strangers! 

(3:19pm) Marlene: Al! Light of my life!

(3:20pm) Peter: Hey Al!

(3:20pm) James: Aaaalllll!!

(3:21pm) Al: oooh are we having a party? 

(3:21pm) Sirius: Yup! This Saturday, to celebrate Pete getting his show role. 

(3:21pm) Marlene: And also because.... alcohol! 

(3:22pm) Al: Nice! 

(3:22pm) Al: Who is everyone? 

(3:23pm) Peter: Friends from boarding school, university, and the mall. 

(3:24pm) Sirius Yea, we will introduce everyone at the party! 

(3:24pm) Peter: Im going to invite Mary during rehearsal tomorrow. 

(3:24pm) James: Someone should add Lily.

(3:25pm) Sirius: Fuck yea! Pay up bitches! 

(3:25pm) Fabian: Huh? 

(3:25pm) Kingsley: rofl what?

(3:26pm) Sirius: Me, Marls, Remus, Dorcas, and Petey all bet how long James would hold out before asking about Lily in this chat. 

(3:27pm) James: Fuck. All. The. Way. Off. 

Remus added Lily to the group chat

(3:28pm) Lily: Hello everyone!

(3:28pm) James: Hello beautiful 

(3:28pm) Dorcas: Hey Red

(3:28pm) Sirius: Guys! 

(3:28pm) Sirius: I have an idea!

(3:29pm) Remus: Everyone brace for the explosion!

(3:29pm) Benjy: I like this guy!

(3:29pm) Kingsley: rofl!

(3:29pm) Lily: 😂

(3:30pm) Sirius: 🖕

(3:30pm) James: Let's hear it Pads

(3:30pm) Sirius: Everyone just type a message of how they know us. 

(3:31pm) Fabian: Alright yea! Ok

(3:31pm) Fabian: Hogwarts

(3:32pm) Peter: Hogwarts. Obviously. 

(3:32pm) Gideon: Hogwarts

(3:32pm) Al: University with Peter

(3:32pm) Marlene: Hogwarts before I transfered/arcade

(3:32pm) Remus: Bookstore at the mall

(3:32pm) Benjy: Grew up next to Pete. Also Hogwarts. 

(3:32pm) Lily: Me and Remus come as a package deal, so...... bookstore? Lol

(3:33pm) Remus: 👆👏

(3:33pm) Kingsley: Hogwarts/Rugby!

(3:34pm) Dorcas: Currently dating the beautiful Marlene McKinnon. 

(3:34pm) James: Don't forget about how the universe brought us together so our souls could bond in friendship forever and ever. 

(3:35pm) Dorcas: 👆 That too. Obviously. 

(3:36pm) Sirius: Well don't show up before 8 unless you want to help clean.

(3:36pm) James: Everyone bring something to drink!

(3:37pm) Sirius: And an air bed if you don't want to take the subway. 

(3:38pm) Dorcas: Cool

(3:38pm) Gideon: 👌

(3:38pm) Kingsley: k

(3:38pm) Lily: Alright

(3:38pm) Remus: Yup

(3:38pm) Benjy: Can't wait!

(3:38pm) Marlene: Later bitches!

(3:38pm) Al: ✌

(3:38pm) Fabian: See ya then 

(3:39pm) Peter: right!

 

(4:52pm) Emmeline: I take one fucking nap in my entire adult life.... 

(4:53pm) Marlene: I got you hun. I'll call in a bit. 

-

The Friendship:

(7:01pm) Professor: 'My name is Human' by Highly Suspect. 

(7:01pm) Lifeboat: Huh?

(7:01pm) Lifeboat: Oh right! Your last song. 

(7:01pm) Lifeboat: Never heard it. Ill go listen now. 

(7:04pm) Professor: Thoughts?

(7:04pm) Lifeboat: Shh. Im listening. 

(7:05pm) Professor: 🙄

(7:07pm) Lifeboat: Pretty good song. I added it to my music. 

(7:08pm) Lifeboat: Your turn then.

Professor is typing... 

(7:11pm) Professor: I have one but, just say if its not ok to ask.

(7:11pm) Lifeboat: .....ok?...

Professor is typing... 

(7:13pm) Professor: Are you Gay? 

Lifeboat is typing... 

(7:15pm) Lifeboat: Ummm

(7:15pm) Professor: You obviously don't have to answer. 

(7:16pm) Lifeboat: No! No I want to. 

(7:16pm) Lifeboat: Just.. no one has ever openly asked that before. And I only just really put a label to it. 

(7:18pm) Lifeboat: I guess it just feels like a bigger deal to me than it probably is. 

(7:17pm) Professor: Really its fine if you're not comfortable. 

(7:17pm) Lifeboat: Demisexual 

(7:19pm) Lifeboat: Remus? 

(7:20pm) Professor: Sorry. I just... didn't know how to respond. 

(7:20pm) Professor: My first instinct was 'cool' but that's lame.

(7:20pm) Professor: But now everything seems lame. 

(7:21pm) Professor: Yea. Im going to stick with cool. 

(7:21pm) Lifeboat: Baaahaha! Nice. 

(7:22pm) Professor: Well I wanted to answer your song question before I dove too deep into this pile of assignments. 

(7:22pm) Professor: I know it probably would have kept you up all night not knowing. 

(7:23pm) Lifeboat: It would have. You're a good man! 

(7:24pm) Professor: Haha!

(7:24pm) Professor: And thank you.

(7:24pm) Lifeboat: For what? 

(7:25pm) Professor: For trusting me with that. 

(7:25pm) Professor: It means a lot. 

(7:26pm) Lifeboat: It felt good to tell someone that didn't already know before I did 

(7:26pm) Professor: James?

(7:27pm) Lifeboat: Idiot knows me better than I do!

(7:27pm) Professor: Haaha!

(7:28pm) Lifeboat: I'll be here if you feel the ship start to sink. 

(7:28pm) Professor: My hero! 

-

Bros Before... Everyone Else: 

(11:48pm) Prongsie: I love you bro. And I say this with all the love in my heart

(11:48pm) Prongsie: But if you don't either turn it down, or play a different song, I'm going to shove that bluetooth speaker so far down your throat, you'll feel it in your ass crack when you sit. 

(11:49pm) Padywack: Fine. 

(11:50pm) Padywack: Better? 

(11:51pm) Prongsie: Much. 

 

(11:54pm) Prongsie: Fucking fuck Pads

(11:54pm) Prongsie: What song is that? Now its stuck in my head!

(11:54pm) Padywack: Its called 'My name is Human'.


(11:58pm) Prongsie: ....turn it back up

Chapter Text

The Marauders:

(5:41pm) Prongs: Hurry up men! We have a party to prep for!

(5:41pm) Prongs: And bring your Karaoke machine Pete!

(5:42pm) Padfoot: If by prep you mean pick up the dirty socks and spritz some febreeze around, I think you can manage it on your own. 

(5:42pm) Wormtail: I got your back! This party is going to be lit. On my way. 

(5:43pm) Wormtail: You're not home Pads? 

(5:43pm) Prongs: Nah he's going to check out a new gym for us. Its the one Dorcas told me about. She works there. 

(5:43pm) Prongs: Tell my best friend I said hi! 

(5:44pm) Padfoot: Only if you do a duet with me. 

(5:44pm) Prongs: Oh that was always going to happen. 

(5:44pm) Padfoot: Good man! 

Sirius pulled open the doors to Fit Space and smiled as Dorcas waved him over as she stepped behind the front counter. 

"Hey D" he said cheerfully "this place is great!" 

"Yea. It'll do" she said fondly with a light chuckle. "Ready for the grand tour?" Sirius nodded and motioned for her to lead on. 

The gym was quite a bit bigger than it appeared to be from the outside. In the locker room was a hydro massager, and a sauna. The top floor had an indoor track and lots of cardio equipment, while the bottom floor had a weight room, lap pool, and large open space with mirrors on the walls that Dorcas indicated was for classes. 

"That's where Remus does his class" she added gesturing to the open space. 

"What class?" Sirius said, a little confused. 

"You know... his Karate class" she replied with a condescending look of shock. "You know he is like... a real bad ass Karate instructor right?" 

"No.... he's never said!" Sirius said as he shook his head, still in shock. 

Why had Remus never mentioned this? They had talked nearly everyday, spent lunches together with the rest of the gang at the mall, and picked up their questions game randomly whenever they felt the urge. How had this never come up? 

"What's that like?" Sirius asked as they made their way back to the counter. 

"He teaches preteens how to break boards and shout 'hiya!' really loud" She shrugged with a laugh ".... I don't know man, I don't know shit about Karate." They laughed as Dorcas pulled the papers out for Sirius to sign, making him and James both new members. 

"Im excited about you guys joining" Dorcas added thoughtfully. "There is a pizza joint a block away we stop at after workouts sometimes. You guys might even get an invite if we find that you are worthy." 

"I will do my best to prove myself then" Sirius added with a small, but dramatic, bow. "James will be pleased. He says hi by the way." 

"I've been talking him up to Lil all week, so maybe if she actually has a conversation with him tonight, she will get her head out of her ass" Dorcas sighed. 

"I don't know...." Sirius said as if in deep thought "I know James better than probably anyone, and I get it" he added as they both laughed.

*

The Friendship:

(6:38pm) Lifeboat: So.... 

(6:40pm) Professor: ...?

(6:41pm) Lifeboat: Karate huh?

(6:41pm) Professor: Ill kill her. 

(6:42pm) Lifeboat: When do we get to see you in action?

(6:42pm) Professor: I just teach it Sirius, Im not scaling building and shit. It's not that big a deal. 

(4:42pm) Professor: And whats this 'we business'?

(6:44pm) Lifeboat: Well, I still want to see something. 

(6:44pm) Lifeboat: You are in the gang now Moonman! No take backs. 

(6:45pm) Professor: If I come across someone trying to steal your purse from you on the street, ill be sure to bust out the moves... 

(6:45pm) Lifeboat: Har. Har. 🖕

(6:46pm) Professor: And I don't think you can just decide for everyone else that they want to be friends with me. 

(6:48pm) Lifeboat: What on earth are you talking about? 

(6:48pm) Lifeboat: Of course they want you as a friend! 

(6:49pm) Lifeboat: James keeps joking how he's replacing me and Pete with you and Dorcas. 

(6:49pm) Lifeboat: After the 6th comment this morning alone, Im actually beginning to think he's not joking. 

(6:52pm) Professor: Haha! Ok 

(6:53pm) Lifeboat: See you in a bit? 

(6:56pm) Professor: Yup

-

House of Hotties:

(7:04pm) Moony: Clocking out now. You at the coffee bar? 

(7:04pm) Lilyflower: Yup! 

(7:05pm) Moony: Be right there.

-

"What's up with you?" Lily said as her and Remus were getting into her car. 

Remus looked as considered his words for several long seconds before finally saying "Me and Sirius are friends." 

Lily looked a little taken back. "Yea? So...?"

"I guess I just thought there was...." he waved his hand around as if ridding the air of words he didn't want to say ".... I don't know.. something there?" 

"Well... James said that he has a really hard time letting people in because his childhood was really rough" she explained as she pulled out of the mall parking lot. 

There were several moments of silence before Lily glanced over to Remus to see him staring at her in surprise. 

"What?!" She demanded. 

"Oh JAMES said did he?" His surprise turning smoothly into a knowing smirk. 

"I just texted him to see if we should bring anything!" Lily defended. 

"Yes" Remus laughed with a nod "and he said 'oh just pick up some beer. Also Sirius is emotionally underdeveloped, did you know?' Come on Lil..."

She slapped aimlessly over to the passenger seat, landing Remus in the chest as he continued to laugh lightly. "He's alright...." She said through her own defeated chuckle. 

"Oh you don't say!" Remus put his hands over his heart in an over the top dramatic fashion. "Me and D have been saying for weeks now.." he chuckled again as he turned back to look out of his window. 

"Fuck off Lupin" She said with an eye roll, failing to hide the grin pulling at her features. 

-

House Party: 

(8:12pm) Marlene: Alright you lot! Who's ready to get weird!? 

(8:12pm) Fabian: Me and Gid are on our way. 

(8:12pm) Al: I'll be there after 9. At work ✌

(8:12pm) Kingsley: Stuck in the liquor store. Indecision!

(8:13pm) Sirius: Oh! Marls! Can you mix some tonight? 

(8:13pm) Marlene: Sure thing lover. Ill bring what I have and text you what I don't have. Ok King? 

(8:14pm) Kingsley: k

(8:14pm) Emmeline: Fuck yea! Let's do this! 

(8:14pm) James: 👆 That's what I want to hear! 

(8:14pm) Remus: Me and Lily are coming your way!

(8:15pm) Dorcas: I'll be much later. If at all. Just had a new client walk in. 

(8:15pm) Lily: Noooooooooo!

(8:16pm) Benjy: Try and come even if its late!

(8:16pm) Gideon: Yea we want to meet the person that's got Marls so lovesick. 

(8:16pm) Marlene: 🖕

(8:16pm) James: Me and Pete just finished setting up the karaoke machine to the sound system. 

(8:17pm) Peter: Test run was very successful. 

(8:17pm) Sirius: Don't listen to them. It was subpar at best. 

(8:17pm) Peter: Fuck you man

(8:17pm) James: 🖕🖕🖕

-

The 2 Best Friends That Anyone Could Have:

(8:17pm) Nighthawk: I will go to the gym and drag you over here if I have to. 

(8:18pm) Nighthawk: And I know where it is now so... 

(8:18pm) Dragon: Haha! I will be there!

(8:19pm) Dragon: I'll have to work extra hard to catch up to how drunk everyone else will be though. 

(8:19pm) Nighthawk: If Marls is mixing, it won't take much haha!

-

House Party:

(8:17pm) Sirius: Show of hands. Who is crashing at here tonight?!

(8:17pm) Peter: 🖐

(8:17pm) Gideon: 🖐

(8:17pm) Emmeline: I might... 

(8:17pm) Marlene: 🖐 and I call Sirius bed!

(8:18pm) Sirius: No. I call my bed. 

(8:18pm) Remus: Planning to take the subway back. 

(8:18pm) Lily: 👆 We are only the next sub stop over!

(8:18pm) Marlene: Nice!

(8:18pm) Benjy: Ill head home after 

(8:19pm) Fabian: Not planning on it. But I also plan to drink my body weight in alcohol so... who knows. 

(8:19pm) Al: I like this guy 👆

(8:20pm) Fabian: *takes a bow* 

(8:20pm) Peter: If someone doesn't show up soon I swear I'm going to cut off my ears from Prongs' singing. 

-

Remus and Lily pulled up to Sirius and James apartment and was immediately taken aback by how nice the entire building was. It looked like the first floor was just a huge bar, almost like in a fancy hotel.

They looked at each other and rang up to their floor, each wondering if they had the right place. 

They were buzzed in immediately and welcomed by James, who had a beer in his hand and a stupid grin on his face. "Welcome to Casa Marauder!" He announced as they walked down the entrance hall and into the main living room. "Want the grand tour?" He asked. 

"I thought we might have the wrong place when we pulled up" Lily mused "I sort of expected you two to live in a tree house somewhere."

"Oh I tried to talk James into a tree house" Sirius cut in as he came in through the kitchen "but alas, it wasn't meant to be" he finished with a sad sigh. 

"It's still just an oversized children's clubhouse though" Lily laughed as she gestured vaguely to a wall covered in posters. 

"What?!" James asked in mock offense "they are framed!" Lily just rolled her eyes, but Remus recognized the amusement in her eyes. 


They were lead to the kitchen to put the drinks they had brought away, when the door buzzed again. It was Al, Gideon, Fabian, and Benjy, who had all met at the elevator heading up. Al was shown to the kitchen by Fabian, who was talking animatedly about his studies in law school involving new Trans rights legislation, while Gideon and Benjy followed to add their alcohol to the collection. 

Pete had left to meet Mary down at the main entrance while the others congregated in the main room to introduce themselves. 

Mary turned out to be quiet, but very funny and witty. She got on well with everyone and seemed almost as smitten with Peter as he was with her. 

Al was abrasive and loud, but in the best way. Remus privately thought they reminded him of Marlene in a lot of ways. Fabian and Gideon turned out to be identical twins with completely different personalities. Gideon was quiet but laughed loudly and unashamedly when he thought something was funny. Fabian was loud and usually the one cracking the jokes, barely letting out a chuckle himself.

All around Remus felt it would probably be a good night, and was thankful he had been invited to join in. He shared a knowing look with Lily as James pulled her away to tour the rest of the house, while Sirius handed him a beer. But, the party didn't really get started until Marlene showed up. 

"Hey bitches! The queen has arrived!" Remus heard Marlene shout as she let herself in. She must have had a key, which didn't really surprise Remus. 

"Is that Just Dance!?" Al gushed as she helped Marlene with the items she was carrying.

"Sure is!" Marlene smiled "You must be Al" she added questioningly before pulling them into a big hug. "I'm kinda the champ around here. But the rest of you peasants can compete for second place" she said to the room with a laugh. 

"You're on McKinnon!" Kingsley shouted as he came in the door behind her carrying a box full of various ingredients and liquor. 

Sirius eyed the contents of the box as he left Remus's side to lead Kingsley into the kitchen. 

"Marlene!" He shouted behind him as he walked away "let's get to work on getting people drunk!"

"Right!" She clapped her hands "who wants a drink?!" 

 

 

Chapter Text

It had taken 4 defeats of Just Dance for Al to concede that Marlene was, in fact, the queen of the dance floor. 

Emmeline arrived a little after 9 with her roommate Frank, and quickly took up the challenge Al had proposed to see who would be second place. 

"We don't even count Marls anymore" James said over the music as Al passed her controller to Pete in defeat. 

"Yea" Sirius agreed with a laugh "she's the queen and we are are fighting in a battle for her entertainment." 

Marlene just laughed as Peter, Sirius, and James all bowed low in front of her while chanting "we're not worthy!

-

Babes:

(9:29pm) Dorcas: Back at my place. Quick shower and ill head over. 

(9:33pm) Marlene: Just whooped everyone ass at Just Dance. 

(9:33pm) Marlene: I'll meet you at the entrance if you call me when you get here 

(9:46pm) Dorcas: Aw I feel so special. Omw. 

-

Lily spent a great deal of the night so far in conversations with the various people at the party. She had not expected to find everyone so genuinely interesting and kind.

"You shouldn't be so surprised" Remus mumbled to her as they ventured back to the supply of alcohol for a refill. "Most of these people went to Hogwarts. Its a really great school." 

"Yea" Lily nodded absently "I always assumed the people who went there would be too stuck up their own ass to be able to find a personality" she added as she took a sip of her margarita. 

Remus let out an exasperated laughed and rolled his eyes. "You know what I mean..." he mumbled halfheartedly. 

"They do all seem to be really nice" she conceded "but lets see how long they stick around when they see our place" she finished with a light laugh. 

"We're not all so pretentious" James cut in smoothly from the doorway. "A good education doesn't equate to being a jackass" he added, staring at Lily. 

"Money usually does though" Lily challenged, looking at her shoes. 

James just looked at her with his head tilted to the side, as if he were seeing her for the first time, then shrugged the comment off and left. 

"Lily...." Remus sighed. 

"I know..." she replied as she handed him her drink and went after James. 


Remus went back to the gathering of people around the TV as Sirius was finishing up dominating the 4 person dance off against Peter, Emmeline, and Benjy. "What was that about?" Sirius asked, nodding toward the hallway to James's room where he had been followed by Lily. 

"Nothing" Remus shook his head. "Am I getting that tour or not? I don't even know where the bathroom is" he chortled. 

Sirius showed him the bathroom with dramatic flare, advertising, very specifically, all the different knobs to turn the water on and off, even demonstrating how to flush the toilet. Remus did his part to continue the charade by asking confused questions about where the water comes from and enthusiastically clapping once Sirius had finished his bathroom tour. Their friendship was quickly becoming one of Sirius's favorites. 

Still laughing, Sirius showed Remus his side of the apartment. This 'wing' had its own large bathroom, a bedroom with a king sized bed, and an office nook that Sirius had filled with guitars, music equipment, and a floor to ceiling shelf full of records. 

Remus absently brushed his hands across the nearest set of records as he mumbled, half to himself:"This is just how I pictured you."

Sirius laughed, a little embarrassed, bringing Remus back to himself as he turned to look at him. Both boys were blushing a little, and it was Sirius that broke the silence. 

"What was the last song you listened to?" 

"You have already asked me that one" Remus laughed as he sat down in a comfortably worn chair next to the row of guitars. 

Sirius just shrugged. "I think you can learn a lot about a person by what music they like. 

"Well, I like a bit of everything I think" Remus replied, leaning back casually in the chair. "It would be too hard to narrow down." 

"I'm the same" Sirius nodded knowingly as he moved to sit in the chair across from Remus. "Pop, rock, grunge, metal... hell Ive even been know to enjoy a country song or two" he added with a hearty laugh. 

"Hmmmm" Remus thought as he pulled his phone out "Ah. Here we go... the last one I had pulled up is Perfect Day by Lou Reed" he said as he showed Sirius the screen briefly. "But Lil and I were listening to King Princess in the apartment before we came." He amended. 

"Ah. Good ole KP. A true Icon." Sirius smiled. "What song is your favorite of hers?" 

"Right now.... maybe Isabel's Moment?" Remus said after a beat. But, my favorites change everyday too. Depends on my mood I suppose. What's yours then?" 

"1950." Sirius replied without hesitation. "OG" he laughed out. 

"Can I..?" Remus asked after a moment as he gestured to the records shelf. 

"Of course" Sirius replied with a nod.

Remus looked at each record on the eye level shelf and smiled at the ones he recognized. He could feel Sirius's eyes on him, but refused to allow himself to acknowledge it. 

"What did you mean" Sirius asked after a while "when you said 'this is how you pictured me'?"

Remus waited for the heat to leave his cheeks before he turned around to look at Sirius. "Just that I imagined you would be a musician" he answered as casually as he could "you seem like the type". Sirius smiled as Remus moved to leave the room. "Come on" he added over his shoulder "lets go make sure my best friend hasn't broken yours." 

-

Babes

(10:02pm) Dorcas: Walking to the building now. 

(10:02pm) Dorcas: Holy Fuck! This place is a castle! 

(10:03pm) Marlene: Yaaty! I head donw to get u. 

(10:03pm) Dorcas: Are you drunk? Haha 

(10:04pm) Marlene ysessss!!a!a

-

The 2 Best Friends That Anyone Could Have: 

(10:02pm) Dragon: Be up in 10! 

(10:02pm) Nighthawk: Fuck Yes!

-

Dorcas opened the door to the first floor as Marlene came shrieking excitedly toward her, throwing her arms around her girlfriend. "I missed you!" 

"I just saw you yesterday crazy" Dorcas laughed as they disengaged from the hug. 

"Too long" Marlene laughed in a sing-song voice on her way to the elevator. Once they got inside and it started to move, she lurched forward and pressed the button to stop it mid ride. 

"What are you doing?" Dorcas asked, a slight panic in her voice. 

"Nothing....." Marlene said innocently as she pulled her crop top off and onto the floor, never breaking eye contact with Dorcas. 

"Oh." Dorcas smiled as she pulled her phone out to send James a quick text. 

-

The 2 Best Friends That Anyone Could Have:

(10:09pm) Dragon: 25 minutes. 

-

Lily watched as James pushed his phone back into his pocket with a small chuckle. "Dorcas" he mumbled in answer to the question she hasnt asked. Lily just nodded as she moved over the sit next to James on his bed. 

James tensed up a little as she touched his arm, trying desperately to convey her sincerity. "I really am sorry." 

"I just get sick of everyone assuming I'm one thing- or that my parents are- all because we have money." James said, annoyed. "And Sirius too. We get shit all our lives for it and everything we ever do people think is only because we had a big stack of 100 dollar bills propping the doors open for us..." 

Lily sighed as she stood up in front of him on the bed and wrapped her arms around him. James flinched awkwardly for a second before deciding it was real, and wrapping his arms around her waste, his head on her stomach. 

"It's part of why I want to be a cop, you know" he mumbled into her blouse. 

"What is?" She asked as she pulled away.

"I just want to have an average job where I can help people from all walks of life." He sighed deeply. "Life is shit sometimes. I want to be able to make it less shit." 

Lily smiled as she brushed her fingers through his messy black hair. "You'll be amazing." 

They sat in comfortable silence for several minutes before Sirius called through the door. "Prongs?" 

"Yup. Ill be out in a sec Padfoot." James called back. 

Lily took a step back so James could get up as she took his hand in hers. "Padfoot?" She asked. 

"Oh..... yea, we have nicknames.... and they each have their own backstory, so they aren't as completely random as they seem  " he explained. "But I'm not near drunk enough to admit them yet. He laughed. 

"Ahhh" she nodded "lets go get you a drink then. 

 

Dorcas and Marlene came in the door soon after to a shout of "best friend!" From James. He and Dorcas did a slow motion run toward each other as everyone stopped what they were doing to look on in amusement. 

"Shots!" Sirius announced loudly as he brought the glasses and tequila on a tray. They each held up their glass and shouted their cheers.

"To Petey!"
"To friends"
"To memories we wont remember!"
"To alcohol!"

"To alcohol!" They all agreed as they knocked them back. 

Dorcas was given a shot by every new person she met and took them back to back to no one's surprise. 

Sirius and James had finished up their third duet of the evening as Pete chanted enthusiastically "padfoot and prongs! padfoot and prongs!" by himself. 

Lily gave James a kiss on the cheek and asked "so are you drunk enough yet" with a little laugh. 

"Wormy, Pads!" James laughed "Lily wants to know where we got our nicknames". 

"Ahh..." Kingsley said knowingly "this is good."

They all gathered around the couch and floor as Marlene and Dorcas brought more beers. 

"It's nothing special" Sirius laughed out. 

"Fuck you Pads" Peter laughed as he gave Sirius a small shove "neither of yours is as bad as mine. At least they are funny. Mine is just embarrassing!"

"Out with it then" Remus laughed "or ill just ask Kingsley to tell it." Kingsley nodded and threw Remus a half salute in reply. 

"Alright. Alright." Sirius started. "I'll tell Prongs's then."

James groaned, and immediately got 2 pillows and a shoe thrown at him, while even more people 'shushed' his protesting. 

"Right. So." Sirius prepared himself, moving to the edge of his seat "It was Christmas in our 5th year and we were on holiday break at the Potters" he started, motioning to himself, Peter, and Marlene. 

"Wait" Dorcas cut in, turning to Marlene "I thought you left Hogwarts in your third year?"

"She did." James nodded "Her third year and our second, but her mom and mine are best friends" he smiled "so me and Marls have known each other since diapers." 

"Im sorry" Remus said as he gave Marlene a consoling pat in the shoulder. 

"Fuck you guys" James laughed.

Marlene just rolled her eyes as Sirius cleared his throat loudly to refocus the attention on him "Right. Take it away Pads" James said with his hands slightly raised in surrender. 

"So, being Christmas, James's folks were ok to let us have a bit of wine" he started, really getting into the narration. "James has about 1 and a half glasses and was toasted off of his ass-" he dodged a pillow James had thrown at his head and continued on "- and just as we were all singing silly Christmas songs he comes running through the living room with some big ass forks taped to his head-"

"-with fucking bandaids no less-" Peter cut in with a loud bark of laughter. 

"Yea and he had some type of red jam covering his nose" Sirius chokes out through mounting laughter of his own. "And he busts through the door and shouts..."

"I'm Rudolf bitch!" Sirius, Peter and Marlene all shouted before they fell into giggles with the rest of the group. James tried to look remorseful, but couldn't manage it, and it took a long time for the jokes and laughter to die down. 

"So, Prongs was born" Kingsley said sagely as he lifted his beer. "To Prongs!" 

"To Prongs!" Everyone shouted as they lifted their own glasses to drink. 

"Its still not as bad as mine" Wormtail mumbled as he moved to get another beer from the tray.

"This is my favorite one though!" Fabian cheered "I've fished with Monty Potter. He's a shark!" He chuckled. 

"Yea, so Wormy here bet James's dad he could catch more fish on a trip we took the spring break after Prong's stint as a reindeer" Sirius laughed. "He didn't know Monty was a record holder." 

"Yea he left that part out during negotiations" James laughed out too "but to be fair, our Petey boy is rather good." 

"He bet me and I lost. End of story." Peter rushed out. 

"But why wormtail then?" Mary asked with interest. 

"Because when he lost, dad made him dump out the entire cup of worms down his pants, and then jump into the water!" James snorted. 

Pete went a bit red as he shuttered at the memory. "Not a good idea to bet against Monty...." 

"To Wormtail!" Fabian toasted, as everyone joined in. 

"Personally I think Padfoot is the worst" James said after the second wave of laughter died down "but he is so fucking proud of it, it kinda takes the fun away." 

"Ok so what happened?" Remus laughed as he sat back in his seat next to Sirius. 

"Well, we were having a snowball fight in the dorm-" Sirius started. 

"- wait. IN the dorm?" Lily asked. "Like... inside?" 

"Oh yea!" Emmeline laughed "we just scrape the snow off the ledge outside of the window. Our house was pretty high up so, we get a lot of soft snow." 

"Yea!"James cut in "but this fucking moron climbed out on the window ledge of the 7th floor once we had picked all the snow in reach!" 

"I will not be defeated!" Sirius shouted with his fist in the air. 

"You were defeated you fucker!" Emmeline laughed. 

"He fell climbing back in through the window and cut is foot all to hell." Peter explained. "The school nurse didn't have enough regular gauze left in her cabinet to bandage the wound" he paused to catch his breath from laughter. 

"She used it all on some 7th years were being very irresponsible the day before..." Sirius said with mock innocence. 

"Irresponsible like climbing on a 7th story window ledge?" Remus said, laughing only to cover his shock. 

"Well... Im competitive..." Sirius shrugged. 

"So the nurse, Pomfrey, she had to bandage him up with some feminine pads" James wheezed "and he was so fucking proud of his 'battle wounds'! He was showing everyone in the common room his padded up foot!" 

Everyone fell into fits, holding their aching stomachs, as Sirius jumped onto the table and shouted "I am the snow ball champ and I will not be defeated!" 

Fabian and Gideon tackled him off of the table as the laughter evened out and Peter restarted the Karaoke machine. 

"Oh! Me and Remus next!" Lily squealed, grabbing a mic while she pulled a reluctant Remus by the arm to the TV.

And the party raged into the morning. 

Chapter Text

Team Get Remus Laid:

Lesbionic changed the name of the group chat from 'Team Get Remus Laid' to 'Team Remove The Stick From Lily's Ass'

(2:01pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: I support this. 

(2:01pm) Red: Har. Har. Fuck you both. Hard. 

(2:02pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: Pass.

(2:02pm) Lesbionic: Pass.

(2:03pm) Red: I'm nervous enough without you two making it worse!

(2:04pm) Lesbionic: Aww! She's nervous Rem! 

(2:04pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: What can we do help her highness today? 

(2:04pm) Red: well you can both fuck all the way off. 

(2:05pm) Red: And then hurry home from work because I'm losing my mind right now. 

(2:05pm) Red: What am I even doing? I can't date right now! I have goals! I am busy! I am going places!

(2:06pm) Lesbionic: Yes yes you are a strong independent woman....

(2:06pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: Who don't need no man *insert completely out of character sassy snap* 

(2:06pm) Lesbionic: But you can be those things and enjoy your life too. 

(2:06pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: And you can have success and sex in the same lifetime. It's possible. 

(2:06pm) Lesbionic: 👆👆👆👏👏

(2:10pm) Red: Just hurry up please... 

(2:10pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: Walking out now. 

(2:10pm) Lesbionic: Take some deep breaths. 

-

Dorcas created the group chat 'Annoying Friend Support Group' 

Dorcas added Remus, Sirius, Marlene, and Peter to the group chat 'Annoying Friend Support Group'

(2:14pm) Dorcas: Guys... 

(2:14pm) Sirius: I know! 

(2:14pm) Remus: James too then? 

(2:15pm) Sirius: All. Fucking. Week. 

(2:15pm) Peter: Lily is cool as shit, but I don't need to hear about all the different shades of red in her hair. 

(2:15pm) Marlene: Have you heard how her green eyes are like beautiful rolling hills of fresh grass in the spring. 

(2:15pm) Dorcas: ... yes. Grass he wants to roll around in like a wild animal. 

(2:16pm) Remus: Well... Rudolph... am I right? 

(2:16pm) Marlene: 👆 I'm fucking cackling!

(2:16pm) Peter: Classic prongs!

(2:16pm) Sirius: Is Lily being this ridiculous or is James embarrassing himself all alone? 

(2:17pm) Remus: She's more nervous than anything. 

(2:17pm) Marlene: Why? 

(2:17pm) Marlene: She could probably stab him and still get it. 

(2:18pm) Sirius: Yup. 

(2:18pm) Peter: It's true. 

(2:18pm) Dorcas: Sounds about right... 

(2:19pm) Remus: They leave out at 7 right? 

(2:19pm) Sirius: Yea. James is picking her up. Reservations at 7:30. He's hoping there is time to stop by this little gelato place on the way to the comedy club at 9. If not, they may stop after. 

(2:20pm) Remus: How do you know all of that? 

(2:20pm) Marlene: You guys are so close its weird. 

(2:20pm) Sirius: Firstly, 🖕

(2:20pm) Sirius: Secondly, He mutters when he irons. Its adorable. 

(2:21pm) Marlene: Still weird Sirius... 

(2:22pm) Dorcas: Me and Remus are about to walk into the danger zone. 

(2:22pm) Remus: If we don't make it out, don't let Lily speak at my funeral. 

(2:23pm) Peter: RIP, yo.

(2:23pm) Marlene: We will remember you fondly.

(2:23pm) Sirius: ..... They were good friends.... *tear* 

-

The Marauders

(2:58pm) Padfoot: Hanging in there Prongsie? 

(3:02pm) Prongs: No. I smell like cleaner from moping, and my hair is extra stupid today. 

(3:02pm) Prongs: Fucking fuck! My glasses just broke. 

(3:02pm) Wormtail: What! Do you have the spares? 

(3:03pm) Prongs: Yea but they are not the right strength. 

(3:03pm) Padfoot: Wait...

(3:03pm) Padfoot: Those chunky clear ones from your awful hipster phase in 7th year? 

(3:04pm) Prongs: Yea 😞

(3:04pm) Wormtail: Yikes! Those were not a great look for you man. 

(3:04pm) Prongs: Thank you Pete! That is exactly why I am freaking out!

(3:05pm) Padfoot: Calm down man, its probably fine. 

(3:05pm) Prongs: Should I just cancel?

(3:05pm) Padfoot: No!

(3:05pm) Wormtail: Probably

(3:06pm) Padfoot: Peter! Go stand in the corner! 

(3:06pm) Wormtail: 🖕🖕🖕 

(3:08pm) Prongs: WTF do I do!? I have these taped now, but I can't wear them like this. 

(3:08pm) Padfoot: I'm coming back from break. Ill take over whatever your doing and you can go home and work this out. See if you can find a place that cuts new lenses in house or something, ok? 

(3:09pm) Prongs: Yea, ok. Thanks guys. You're the best.

(3:09pm) Wormtail: Anytime man!

(3:10pm) Padfoot: Really Wormy? 

(3:10pm) Wormtail: Whatever. I helped. 

-

Remus and Dorcas were sitting on Lily's bed as she tried on several outfits, wondering out loud where they were going and if she should dress nice, or comfortable. 

"We should tell her right?" Dorcas said to Remus as Lily wondered back toward the closet. "I mean... we know what the date is" she added with a shrug. 

"I think its suppose to be a surprise type thing though." Remus shrugged his shoulders. "I guess we could tell her but... not fully tell her?" 

Dorcas nodded as she cleared her throat dramatically. "Lil, what would you say if I told you we know what the date is?" 

"You know and I don't!" Lily snorted indignantly with an eye roll "that sounds fair..." 

"Well, James is her best friend and apparent soul mate" Remus started to point to Dorcas before getting shoved sharply off the bed.  

"Actually Sirius told us" Dorcas grinned as she chuckled at Remus's huffy reseating on the bed. "He said James was a bit nervous too, so..." she trailed off with a shrug as she got up to dig in the closet herself. 

"What is it then?" Lily asked "Will I even like it?"

"Yes" Remus and Dorcas both replied at the same time. 

"Be we aren't telling you what it is-" Remus cut himself off "-hmmm... the walking though" as he shook his head at some very high heels Dorcas had pulled out of the back. 

"How come I never see you in any of this stuff Red?" Dorcas laughed as she pulled a tiny lace black dress from the depths of the closet. "This is hot!" 

Lily rolled her eyes, taking the lace dress to try on as Dorcas returned to her seat next to Remus on the bed. 

"We need some beer." She mumbled. 

"Pizza and beer after the gym later?" Remus asked.

"Fucking. Yes." 

-

James was freaking out. 

"Calm down James." Sirius said calmly for the 17th time in a 30 minute period. 

James looked as if Sirius had asked him to eat his own hand, very clearly unable to calm down. "What possessed me to get these stupid glasses?" She groaned "and why the fuck did you let me!?" 

"Oh no you don't! I was very vocal about how douchey you looked in those" Sirius laughed "You just wouldn't hear it." 

"The only place that can cut new lenses for a replacement pair right away is an hour out. I have to pick Lily up in just over 2" James said, his voice getting more panicked by the syllable. "What the fuck do I do Pads?!"

"Ok. I go and get the glasses. Standard black pair right?" James sat up a little straighter with a nod. "You get ready to go. Take a shower-and for God sake fix that mop on your head- I will be back before you have to leave."

"What if there is no time?" James asked, in full planning mode, considering all the obstacles.

"Then I just meet you near Lily's apartment and trade for those" he pointed to the hipster glasses "and call it good." 

"But-" James started.

"-Worst comes to worst you get to relive your hispter phase" he shrugged "Lily will probably enjoy it if she gets to make fun of you all night anyway." 

James flipped him off as he dug his phone from his pocket to call the eye doctor. 

"Thanks bro."

-

James did not get his glasses. Apparantly his prescription was too strong to do in house and they would need to be ordered. Sirius decided it best to tell James in person and met him at the front of Lily's building. 

"What the fuck Pads! You should have texted me!" James whisper shrieked. 

"You might have chickened out!" Sirius defended as he rang up to Lilys apartment number and then swiftly left the scene, not looking back for a second. 

*

"What is on your face" Lily laughed as she opened the door, meeting James outside of her building instead of bringing him up. 

James flushed but laughed with her as he  explained the ordeal. They both continued making jokes about the situation, and about all the ways Sirius picking James a pair of glasses could go wrong, as they walked to the car parked down the street. 

"Maybe you should drive?" James asked. "These are an old pair of glasses from high school and they aren't the greatest."

"Didn't you drive here?" She asked with wide eyes

"Yea" James said "but its fine really. It's just worse when it starts to get dark is all" he rushed out nervously as he let his hand wander through his already messy hair. 

"Alright then, Ill drive" she agreed as she held her hand out for the keys. "Probably best if we want to live then" She added with a playful eye roll as they got in. 

"So where are we going?" Lily asked as they started the drive. "This isn't a murder right?" She added with a laugh. 

"Aww! Busted!" James joked as he snapped his fingers in mock disappointment. "Do you like sushi?" He asked hopefully.

"Love it!" 

"Great! I know the best place!" He smiled "I was thinking sushi and then, comedy club?" 

"That sounds perfect" Lily smiled back as she turned the radio up slightly to hum along with the song that was playing.

-

The Friendship: 

(7:06pm) Lifeboat: I'm outside of your appartment. 

(7:06pm) Lifeboat: Welp. That sounded stalkerish. 

(7:06pm) Lifeboat: But I am. I needed to drop something off to James. 

(7:07pm) Professor: I'm about to head out to the gym or I'd invite you up. 

(7:07pm) Lifeboat: Karate class? 

(7:08pm) Professor: Nah

(7:08pm) Professor: Just a workout. Me and D are having pizza and beer after, you should come. 

(7:08pm) Lifeboat: Damn. I don't have any gym clothes on me. 

(7:09pm) Professor: I can bring some spare shorts down. 

(7:09pm) Lifeboat: You sure?

(7:11pm) Professor: Yea no prob. Dorcas is with me. We are headed down. 

-

Sirius waiting outside of Remus and Lily's shabby apartment building, casually leaning against a light pole near the front entrance. He heard Dorcas's loud laugh first, followed by Remus's light chuckle, and felt a small wave of jealousy flare in his chest that he didn't have the desire to analyze. 

"Hey there PADFOOT" Dorcas sung out with emphasis on his nickname as she let the entrance door close loudly behind her. "Think you can keep up with us in the gym?" she added in a teasing tone. 

"I'll try my best" Sirius laughed with a modest nod as he followed them to the parking lot. "I'll just follow you there then so I don't have to listen to GPS." Remus and Dorcas both nodded as they turned to head toward Dorcas's car. "Unless you want to ride with me?" Sirius asked to Remus's back. 

Remus looked quickly at Dorcas, who shrugged in consent, then nodded. "Which is yours?" He asked as he turned to walk near Sirius. 

"This one." Sirius smiled as he patted the helmet strapped to an all black motorcycle. He tossed the helmet gently to Remus, who nearly dropped it, and laughed at the lack of color on his pale face. 

"I think I'll just right with D" Remus mumbled as he pushed the helmet back into Sirius's hands. 

Sirius just climbed on the bike with a smile, not accepting the helmet, and patted the seat space behind him. "Come on! Live a little Remus!" He turned the key, and the bike roared to life. 

Remus reluctantly shoved the helmet on his head and climbed on behind Sirius. He wasn't sure what to do with his hands until Sirius turned to him and shouted over the rumble. "You have to hold on to my waist!" 

Remus timidly placed his arms around Sirius's stomach, feeling the heavy beating of the other man's heart in his chest, and was simultaneously overwhelmed by a soothing calm, and nervous anxiety. He could feel Sirius laugh as he moved to tighten Remus's grip on his waste. 

"Ready?!" Sirius asked 

"Ready." Remus replied. He was so close to Sirius, he didnt need to shout, and he could swear he felt Sirius shiver as the single  word reached his ear. Remus could see a smirking Dorcas pulling from the parking lot, and because no one could see his face buried in Sirius shoulder, he allowed himself a small smile as well. 

-

Sirius, Remus and Dorcas walked into the Pizza Shack about two hours later, the owner waving to Dorcas and Remus as they got in the short line to order. 

"You two come here a lot then?" Sirius asked as the other two waved back to the man behind the counter. 

"Usually once a week or so for the last year" Remus said as he pulled out a little menu from the stand and handed it to Sirius. 

"Yea! Mac has the best pies in the state" Dorcas added energetically "and we have been known to come in every day during Remus's school breaks" she laughed at the memory. 

"I already know what I want" Sirius smiled as he put the menu back "and I don't want to hear any shit about it" he added with a threatening look that was ruined with a small laugh. 

"Remus here likes pineapple pizza" Dorcas shrugged "and it's CAN'T be worse than that." Remus gave her a light shove as Sirius laughed. 

"Well....." he said in a sing song voice. 

"No." Dorcas deadpanned. "No. No. I refuse to believe there are so many of you!" She pointed dramatically between Sirius and Remus as the two boys laughed. 

Sirius nodded at Remus and Dorcas gasped loudly with her hand over her heart. "I need to sit down" she said in a fake teary voice. "Order for me Rem." 

Remus rolled his eyes but turned to the counter anyway. "You would think it's poison." He chuckled. 

"I get the same reaction from James every single time" Sirius nodded with a grin. "We normally get half and half now, but it took years for him to agree to it. He didn't want to sully his precious jalapenos with my pineapple flavor" he added, shaking his head as the fond memories filled his mind. 

"You're joking." Remus said with a shocked look on his face. 

"No?" Sirius said, confused. 

"Dorcas and I half and half too" Remus laughed loudly. "Pineapple for me, jalapeno and pepperoni for her!" 

"Fuck man, I guess they really are soul mate best friends" Sirius barked out through his own laughter.

They were still laughing as they joined Dorcas at the table, having decides that 3 personal pizzas was best. They each had 1 beer and way too much pizza before they left to walk the two blocks to where they parked by the gym. 

"I have to pick James up at your place Remus" Sirius said as he quickly responded to a text from James. "He can't see at night well with his old glasses on." 

"Welp! No sense in me driving you then Rem" Dorcas said as she slid into her drivers seat and waved goodbye. 

Remus sighed deeply, waving back before turning to Sirius and taking the helmet. 

-

Annoying Friend Support Group:

(10:44pm) Marlene: Any news? I'm dying!

(10:44pm) Peter: Ugh me too! 

(10:44pm) Marlene: I'm ashamed at how interesting this has become. 

(10:45pm) Dorcas: I feel like we would have heard something if it was bad right? 

(10:45pm) Dorcas: Like a fake emergency call or something...

(10:46pm) Marlene: You're right. I'm just bored I think. Avoiding studying. Etcetera. 

(10:46pm) Peter: uuuuuuugh! 

(10:48pm) Sirius: I'll let you know what James says when he inevitably tells me way too fucking much about it. 

(10:48pm) Remus: I'll tell you if Lily had a nice time but, she would kill me if I shared details. 

(10:49pm) Remus: and she kinda knows where I live so.... 

(10:49pm) Dorcas: 👆 facts 

(10:50pm) Marlene: Thats fair... 

(10:50pm) Peter: Yea, thanks man

-

Sirius followed Remus up to the apartment he shared with Lily on the 4th floor. It was a run down building, but the elevator worked, and the few people they passed on the way seemed kind. 

When they reached the front door Remus paused and turned to face Sirius. "You know our place isn't like yours" he started "we don't... we aren't rich or anything and its no-"

"-I don't care about that. Really." Sirius cut in. Remus didn't look convinced. "Look... I'd have given up every penny I have for a decent family. I only have what I have because an uncle left everything to me just to spite the family. I didn't earn any of it." He sighed deeply as he pushed a stray strand of hair behind his ear with a shrug. "I didn't want any of it..."

Remus met Sirius eyes and nodded knowingly as he pushed the door open. 

The scene was a hot mess. James was slumped into a kitchen chair, blood pouring out of his nose while Lily was frantically grabbing more paper towels to stem the flow of blood. James let out a loud groan as she pressed the wet wad of paper towels to his nose, neither of them noticing Sirius and Remus had arrived. 

"What happened?!" Remus gasped as he hurried closer with Sirius close behind. 

"Pole. Bang. Blood. Pain." James groaned out as Lily shushed him. 

Sirius let out a bark of laughter that caused Remus and Lily to jump with surprise. James just rolled his eyes and flipped him the bird with both hands. 

"It's those stupid fucking hipsters glasses!" Sirius wheezed as he pulled out his phone to take a picture. "You walked into a stationary pole! This is fucking great!" 

"My best friend, ladies and gentlemen..." James deadpanned with a gesture in Sirius's direction. 

"Who are you sending that to?" Remus asked once he realized James was in no real danger. 

Sirius looked from his phone to Remus, a wide grin pulling at his mouth. 

"Everyone."

 

Chapter Text

Marlene created the group chat 'Squad' 

Marlene added Dorcas, James, Sirius, Peter, Remus, Lily, and to the group chat

Squad:

(9:01am) Marlene: Roll call, bitches! Who's up!?

(9:02am) Peter: It's too fucking early for this McKinnon.

(9:02am) Marlene: 🖕

(9:02am) Sirius: HaHa! Burn!

(9:03am) James: STFU Pads. 

(9:03am) Remus: whyyyyyyyy am I awake at 9 on a Saturday? 

(9:04am) Dorcas: GOOD MORNING!

(9:04am) James: Why best friend, why?!

(9:04am) Peter: why are you yelling?!

(9:04am) Sirius: shhhhhhh!

(9:04am) Remus: No need to shout D. Fuck. 

(9:05am) Marlene: Lily?

(9:06am) Marlene: .....Lily??

(9:06am) Dorcas: ....Bueller?

(9:06am) James: ....Bueller......

(9:06am) Remus: "Um, he's sick. My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious."

(9:07am) Remus: translation- I heard a thud and think she threw her phone. Or she fell off her bed. Either way.... not present. 

(9:07am) Dorcas: Remus for the win 👏👏👏

(9:08am) James: He is the movie king. 

(9:08am) Dorcas: It's true!

(9:08am) Remus: *takes bow*

(9:09am) Marlene: I need you lot to help me decide on a song for a tryout. 

(9:09am) James: Of course!

(9:09am) Sirius: Yes! Yes! And a thousand times yes! 

(9:09am) Dorcas: Do you have any in the running so far? 

(9:10am) Remus: I know nothing about dance. I'll be less than useless.

(9:10am) Marlene: I have about 8 songs I love to choose from right now. 

(9:10am) Marlene: Remus, I invited you into this forum for the sole purpose of berating the others any time their contributions are shit. I have faith in your abilities. Do you accept this mission?

(9:10am) Sirius: WTF Marls!

(9:11am) Dorcas: rude...

(9:11am) James: *gasp!*  How dare you!

(9:11am) Remus: I accept! 

(9:12am) Marlene: Where is Peter? 

(9:12am) James: Probably asleep.

(9:12am) Dorcas: zzzzzzzzz

(9:12am) Sirius: Yea, that checks out. 

(9:13am) Marlene: fucking wormtail!

(9:13am) Remus: He will be sufficiently berated. 

(9:14am) Marlene: You're the VIP Remus

(9:14am) Dorcas: Ouch!

(9:14am) James: really? 

(9:14am) Sirius: I could be asleep!

(9:15am) Marlene: I'm sending the link to my spotify playlist with the songs. Remember that its for a dance audition when you listen.

(9:16am) Sirius: Cool.

(9:17am) Remus: What's the audition for?

(9:18am) Marlene: A traveling dance company! A really good one too! 

(9:18am) James: You got this Marls!

(9:19am) Dorcas: Traveling?

(9:20am) Marlene: Yea! They travel the country and do events and background dancing for concerts and things all year. It's really hard to get in but, apparently the leaders have been asking around about me since last semester. And now that I'm about to graduate... I thought why not!? 

(9:21am) Lily: That sounds great Marlene. 

(9:21am) James: SHE'S UP!

(9:21am) Lily: shhhh! No need to shout potter, fuck!

(9:21am) Lily: Couldn't sleep with Remus playing the music. 

(9:22am) Lily: PS Im coming to your room so please be wearing pants, Rem.

(9:22am) Sirius: baahahaa!

(9:23am) Marlene: just let me know what you think whenever you can. I really appreciate it.

(9:23am) Marlene: Your opinions are so important to me. I love you guys!

(9:24am) James: ugh! Stop being weird McKinnon!

(9:24am) Sirius: Yea I don't know how to react when your being a decent human person. 

(9:24am) James: Its like a sign of the times.... 

(9:25am) Marlene: 🖕🖕

(9:26am) James: There she is!

(9:26am) Sirius: Phew! That was scary!

(9:27am) Remus: Hey! Focus people!

(9:27am) James: Yes Sir!

(9:27am) Sirius: ..... fine.

(9:29am) Peter: I felt a disturbance in the force and it woke me. Is Marlene being kind? 

(9:29am) Sirius: Baahahaha!!

(9:29am) James: Haha!

(9:29am) Remus: Rofl

(9:29am) Lily: 😂😂

(9:30am) Marlene: 🖕 everyone. 

-

Team Remove The Stick From Lily's Ass:

(9:27am) Red: D? 

(9:27am) Lesbionic: hm

(9:28am) Mr. MiyaGAY: You dont want her to go. 

(9:28am) Lesbionic: Can't ask her not to. 

(9:29am) Red: Fuck... 

(9:29am) Lesbionic: Yea... 

(9:31am) Red: Brunch? 

(9:31am) Mr. MiyaGAY: I have Karate at 11. I can do breakfast. 

(9:32am) Lesbionic: I have a client at 11:30. Cafe by the gym? 

(9:32am) Red: On our way. 

-

"Does it bother you more that she may leave? Or that she hasn't mentioned it to you?" Lily passed Dorcas the syrup as she asked the question, the atmosphere of the little cafe lightening the mood only slightly. 

"I honestly don't know...." Dorcas sighed. "I think its both." 

"Makes sense..." Remus added with a thoughtful nod as he took another bite of eggs. 

The trio fell into a comfortable silence as they ate, each not really sure what to say that would he helpful. After a while, Dorcas put her fork down and leaned back in her seat with a sad look on her face. 

"I'm more invested than she is." She said it simply, but Lily and Remus could read the hurt on her face. "I care more about her than she does about me." 

Lily and Remus each took one of her hands in theirs as she tried in vain to blink back tears. 

More silence. 

"I can berate her.... if you want?" Remus mumbled. "Apparently I'l was made for that job." 

Dorcas let out a breathy laugh as she pulled away to wipe her face. "Thanks Rem. Ill keep you in mind if I ever have that need." 

"Maybe just ask her about it?" Lily suggested. 

"Yea. I will" Dorcas nodded "I just needed to get all the stupid fucking feelings out before so I don't do something stupid..." she continued to wipe her eyes "...like fucking cry!" All three of the friends chuckled a little before tucking back into their comfortable silence. 

-

Squad: 

(3:46pm) Lily: Ok I think me and Remus have both agreed on our favorite! 

(3:47pm) Sirius: I knew my pick after the first listen but wanted to give it some time. 

(3:47pm) Marlene: And? 

(3:48pm) James: I can't decide! Its between two so if the one you guys like is one of my two then its settled for me. 

(3:48pm) Dorcas: ....and if not? 

(3:48pm) James: Don't fight me best friend

(3:49pm) Marlene: heeelllooooooooooo? Tell meee!

(3:49pm) Sirius: No wait for Wormy!

(3:49pm) Marlene: uuuughh! 

(3:50pm) Marlene: BRB

(4:03pm) Peter: she fucking kicked me!

(4:03pm) Remus: are you two together right now? 

(4:04pm) Peter: No! 

(4:04pm) Marlene: Clocked out on break, walked to the food court, kicked Pete, and now Im on my way to clock back in from break. 

(4:05pm) Lily: Fucking. Legend. 😂

(4:05pm) James: Haahhaaa! 

(4:05pm) Remus: Rofl!

(4:05pm) Sirius: baahahaha!

(4:05pm) Marlene: I can hear James and Sirius laughing from QSS 😂😂

(4:06pm) Dorcas: 😂👏

(4:08pm) Marlene: ok so sharesies! 

(4:10pm) Dorcas: Well don't everyone fucking go at once 😂

(4:11pm) Lily: Ok, me and Remus both like Coming Out By Jessie Paege

(4:11pm) Sirius: Fucking 👏 Same 👏 

(4:11pm) Sirius: I second!

(4:11pm) James: yes! That was one of my two I couldn't choose from! 

(4:12pm) Peter: I liked The Village by Warbel better but this was a close second. 

(4:12pm) Dorcas: Yea, its a good song. I can't wait to see what you do with it Marls 🙃

(4:13pm) Marlene: I fucking love you guys. 

-

Babes:

(4:48pm) Marlene: Dinner? 

(5:01pm) Dorcas: I have clients back to back until 7:30. Only a 30 min window to eat then filling in to instruct a spin class.

(5:01pm) Marlene: That blows. I miss you. 

(5:03pm) Marlene: I can bring takeaway at 7:30? 

(5:04pm) Dorcas: Sure. Got to go. 

-

Sirius McKinnon/Marlene Black:

(5:08pm) M: Dorcas is mad. 

(5:08pm) S: About what?

(5:08pm) M: Obviously I fucked up and didn't tell her about the audition.

(5:09pm) S: Why would she be upset about that?

(5:09pm) M: Idk... Id be upset if she were leaving and didn't tell me first.

(5:09pm) M: Any of you guys really.... 

(5:10pm) S: Aww. Love. 

(5:10pm) M: Can I tell you something without you telling me I'm stupid? 

(5:11pm) S: Of course... 

M is typing

(5:14pm) M: Hey I'm picking up Dorcas some takeaway to bring to Fit Space. Come with? 

(5:14pm) M: no James... 

(5:15pm) S: He's gone to pick up new glasses anyway. Food court? 

(5:16pm) M: mhm let me clock out. 

-

Sirius and Marlene walked in silence toward the food court for several minutes before Sirius broached the topic. "What's up Marls?" 

Marlene sighed deeply and stopped to sit on a bench outside of Hot Topic. Sirius sat next to her, never looking away from her face. 

"I don't want to dance." She rushed out in one breath. 

"......what?" Sirius said through a breathy laugh "you don't want to.... to dance? You?" 

Marlene chuckled lightly as she aimed a small slap to Sirius's arm. "Fuck you..." she mumbled "you know what I mean." 

"Thats just it though. I dont." 

"I don't want to dance for other people..." she explained timidly "I think... I think I want to run my own studio. Teach dance. Maybe even some type of zumba?" 

Sirius nodded his head slowly, deep in thought. "I can see you doing that. Yea! Why not!" 

"Well, money for one...." she rolled her eyes and got up to continue their journey to the food court. Sirius and James sometimes forgot that she didn't have the same money they did. She was always the scholarship kid at school. Only at Hogwarts because she was smart. Only transferred to Dance academy because she was good. She had to earn it. "This job -the dance company one- it pays really well. And they cover my expenses" she explained "so I could save it up and maybe after 2 years open up my own place..." she trailed off, clearly having escaped into a daydream. 

Sirius nodded, completely in awe of his friends passion and drive. "I honestly think you can do it McKinnon." He said with a genuine smile. 


They decided to eat together and then Marlene would order Dorcas's to go when they were finished. So, they ate and talked about what Marlene's studio would look like and how Sirius would be her first client. They laughed about James having no rythm and about Peter's hips that don't lie. 

Sirius felt his cheeks burn from all the laughing. He would really miss Marlene if she left, but he was proud of her. She was really going for it. 

 

"Ok. My turn to confess something I think." Sirius announced quite suddenly. 

Marlene gave him an amused smile and gestured for him to continue. 

"James can't know..." Sirius prefaced. 

Marlene sat up a little as the smile on her face faded slightly. "Of course" she nodded in agreement. 

"..... I don't think I really want to be a cop." 

Marlene let out a low whistle as she slumped back in her seat. "Woah." 

"Yea...." 

"So you want to talk about it?" She asked after a short silence. 

"Not really...." he answered. "I mean.... I dont know...." He took a deep, cleansing breath and started again. "I just want whatever I end up doing to make me as excited as you are about your studio. And being a cop is just.... something I think id be good at."

"You're good at a lot of things though..." Marlene stated simply. 

"But none of it really makes me happy." Sirius added with a nod, slumping back in his own seat. 

The two friends sat in silence for a long while before Marlene remembered she needed to order food for Dorcas. She gathered all their trash on the tray as she looked to Sirius.

"Are you going to tell James?" 

"Eventually...." Sirius shrugged

"Well try to do it before you both graduate the academy at least" Marlene laughed as they dumped the trash and went their seperate ways. 


Sirius thought about all the things that made him happy, trying to decide where to direct his life next, but ended up texting Remus. 

-

The Friendship: 

(7:06pm) Lifeboat: Last Song? 

(7:07pm) Professor: Currently listening to Promise Me by Badflower.

(7:07pm) Lifeboat: One of the songs from Marlene's list I think. Cant do headphones at work.

(7:08pm) Professor: Bummer.

(7:09pm) Lifeboat: How was todays Karate lessons? 

(7:09pm) Professor: Really great actually! We are moving into more advanced moves and the kids are loving it!

(7:10pm) Lifeboat: I bet! 

(7:10pm) Lifeboat: The real question though- is the first lesson "wax on, wax off?" 

(7:11pm) Professor: Of course. Im not some hack instructor. 

(7:11pm) Lifeboat: Just checking... 

(7:11pm) Professor: Studying for finals. Better get back to it. 

(7:12pm) Lifeboat: Yes of course. My condolences for the loss of your social life. 

(7:12pm) Professor: Har. Har. 🙄

-


Sirius put his headphones in and searched for the song Remus had mentioned as he walked toward the subway. 

He liked the song a lot, and added it to his music without much thought as he sat down on the subway bench. An idea came to him as the song played through a third time, and pulling his phone from his hoodie pocket he opened his music to make a new playlist. 

He moved every song that Remus had ever told him he had listened to last into it, and titled the playlist Moonman Vibes. 

Putting the playlist on shuffle, Sirius sat back in his seat as he let Remus's music fill his mind as he waited for his stop. 

Chapter Text

Dorcas walked heavily into her studio apartment and tossed the gym bag she was carrying lazily onto the bed. She watched it slip off the edge of the mattress and onto the floor, the strap of the bag taking with it everything on the surface of her bedside table.

Sighing deeply as she crossed to the bathroom, not bothering to fix the mess, she thought to herself 'Isn't that just the perfect visual for this shit day'.

She had spent the entire day going through the physical motions of her routine while her mind wandered constantly to Marlene.

She was hurt that Marlene wanted to leave, and that she had decided to tell her so in a group text. But mostly it bothered her that she seemed to care so much more than Marlene did. 

To be honest it hadn't even occurred to her that she did care that much; that this relationship was so much more important than the string of casual relationships she took for granted in the past. In all the time her and Marlene had spent together in the last weeks, was it possible that she had been falling in love and hadn't realized it until something threatened to take Marlene away? They had seen each other at least 5 days a week, often spending the night together, still.... how did this happen so quickly? 

Long showers after a good workout usually cure whatever funky mood she was in, but it hadnt done much for her tonight. Walking the 5 steps from her bathroom to her bed, Dorcas threw herself on the pile of blankets and pillows just as her phone began to vibrate aggressively. She reached down to the mess of items covering her floor and felt around wildly until the vibrating ringer eventually stopped, and she gave up the search.

It was probably Remus. Maybe Lily or James. Even worse... it could be Marlene. 

In all the thinking about Marlene she had done that day, she had not yet puzzled out how she would proceed. Marlene had brought her dinner at the gym with an apology, which Dorcas was grateful for, but she just didn't know what to do, or how to handle all the feelings she had only recently been made aware of. 

Her phone buzzed once. Text message... she thought with a groan, not ready to move just yet. 

Two more texts came in before Dorcas hauled herself out of bed to pick up the mess and find her phone. 

Missed call: Marlene 

Babes:

(9:31pm) Marlene: Tried to call. 

(9:33pm) Marlene: Please call me back. 

(9:35pm) Marlene: I know you're home Dorcas. Please call me. 

Dorcas sighed as she hit the call button.

Calling Marlene ...

M- Hey

D- hey

M- Thanks for calling me back

D- haha..You're welcome I guess?

M- Can I see you? 

D- I was just getting ready for be-

M- Please?

D- (sigh) Yea I suppose... Come on then.

M- ok

D- bye


Dorcas was just ending the call when she heard someone knock quietly on her door. 

'What the hell?' She thought as she got up to answer. Surely it wouldnt be.... 

"Hello" Marlene said with a timid smile. 

"How the hell?" Dorcas fumbled.

"Oh I've been out here for about 20 minutes" Marlene explained. "I just waited for you to get out of the shower before I called. It's crazy I can hear that out here...." 

"Yea, well it's a shithole, so Im not surprised." Dorcas moved to let Marlene pass into the apartment, still reeling a bit from shock. Marlene immediately made her way to the kitchenette, sitting herself on top of the same counter she always did when she was there. She gazed at her girlfriend, trying to gauge her mood. She didn't come to fight. 

"How did the rest of your sessions go?" Marlene asked, breaking the semi awkward silence that had fallen between them. 

"Good" Dorcas shrugged "same as usual." 

More silence. 

"I'm happy for you." Dorcas said as she gave Marlene a small but genuine smile. "I don't want you to think I'm not happy for you...." she added as Marlene just stared at her. "Because I am. And Im proud. And I really hope it works out for you." 

Marlene blinked as she seemed to come back to herself slightly. "Thank you. That really... it means alot D." 

"I'll miss you is all...." Dorcas said, moving her gaze to her feet as she leaned against her tiny fridge. 

"You will?" 

Dorcas looked up in surprise at Marlene's question. "Of course I will" she replied with furrowed eyebrows. "This hasn't been just a fling for me you know..." she added as her eyes went back to her shoes. 

"For me either!" Marlene said with earnest as she hopped down from the counter to stand in front of her girlfriend, grabbing both of her hands to hold. 

She was struck again by how beautiful Dorcas was. Big brown eyes framed by the loose hair that had escaped from her still wet braid. Dark brown skin with beautiful freckles strategically placed along her cheekbones. And those lips..... 

"I wish I hadn't found out in a group text with a bunch of our friends." Dorcas said, eyes trained on their intertwined hands between them. "It just made me feel like I was.... just a friend too."

"You are so much more than that" Marlene countered, squeezing Dorcas's hands for emphasis "you have to know that D..." 

Dorcas sighed deeply as she pulled her hands away and made her way back to her bed. She sat down on the edge and put her head in her hands as Marlene crossed to her. 

"You will get the spot." Dorcas said clearly through her hands. "You'll get it and you will have to leave. And we will have to break up. And that hurts." She sighed again and let her body fall back onto the mattress. "I didn't expect it to hurt this much. Its only been a fucking month!" She let out a humorless laugh as her eyes squeezed close. 

"What?" Marlene asked, a note of panic in her voice. "Why would we break up? Do you want to break up? Are you breaking up with me right now?" 

Dorcas sat up and gave her a strange look. "I mean... your going to be traveling for 2 years Marls. What else could we do? It's not like I can go. And I would never ask you to give that up." She was rambling. "I looked the company up. You're going to be so busy, and get to meet so many people... and see so many thin-"

"-move in with me." Marlene cut Dorcas's fumbling off at the knees as both girls just stared at each other. 

"What?" 

"Move in with me." she repeated. 

"Wha... How... But you're.... and we haven't even said..." Dorcas was lost for words. Drowning in the wave of confusion and elation she felt from Marlene's statement. 

Marlene just carried on. 

"I graduate in two weeks and have to be out of campus" she started to explain as she stood to pace. She could feel Dorcas's eyes on her. "If I get accepted into the dance company-" 

"-you will."

"-then I still train here for up to 2 months before they leave for the first tour." She stopped to face Dorcas, a serious and impassioned look on her face. "If I'm leaving, I want to spend every second I have left here with you. And when I'm back on break every few weeks, I want all of those seconds too." 

Dorcas took about 7 seconds to consider this before she tilted her head in an amused way and smiled. "Why don't you move in with me. Since I'm the only one of us with a place to live" she added with a light laugh. 

Marlene grinned as she closed the distance between them by throwing herself onto Dorcas, locking her in a fierce embrace as they spilled uncomfortably across the bed. 

They laid there for a very long time. Various limbs going numb, and Marlene's blue hair somehow draped over every available surface of skin. Neither wanting to move. 

 

Dorcas couldn't explain to herself how it was possible to be so happy, yet so sad, in the same heartbeat. She had never felt more joy in her life than she did in that moment, but she also felt mournful of every passing second, knowing that things would be very hard in the future. 


"I love you" she whispered horsley into Marlenes ear as the tiny pricks of tears started in her eyes. 

"I love you too" Marlene whispered back through her own tears. 

"We're going to make it, aren't we?" Dorcas sniffed.

Marlene squeezed a little tighter as she placed a small kiss on Dorcas's jaw. 

"Definitely." 

Chapter Text

Since the day he told Marlene he didn't want to be a cop, the feeling only festered and made him more sure it was the wrong call for him. He felt like he was lying by keeping those feelings from James, which made it worse. This is the kind of stuff they talked about openly and often, but he didn't want to disappoint his first and best friend with the news that they would not going on this particular adventure together. 

He also realized, during some unintentional and very much unwanted self reflection, that he was jealous of all the memories James would make with other people that he would not be a part of. But he also knew that was no reason to start a career he knew his heart wasn't in. 

But what the fuck would he do, if not this?

The problem was, Sirius was legitimately great at just about everything he tried. It made it very difficult to determine right away if he actually liked something, or if he just liked being good at it. 

Grabbing his phone from the empty bed space next to him, Sirius checked the time with a groan. 1:22am and he just couldn't get to sleep. 

He scrolled through his last text messages and stopped when he got the one he was looking for, wondering if it was too late. Or early. Whatever... 


The Friendship: 

(1:23am) Lifeboat: Up? 

(1:23am) Professor: Yup

(1:23am) Professor: Cant sleep. 

(1:24am) Lifeboat: Me either. Ugh. 

(1:26am) Professor: Call? 

 

Calling Remus... 

 

R- hey... 

S- you sound like you were asleep

R- rude. 

S- haha you do though. I didnt wake you?

R- no. Just been laying here listening to old records. 

S- oh! Which one now?

R- hmm... I have David Bowie's Hunky Dory on now but it will need a flip soon. 

S- Oh that's a good one. Second album I ever owned. A gift from James... 

R- It's definitely in my frequently played cycle.....


S- So what's keeping you up Moonman? 

R- Just general anxiety about finals and life. Can't forget about the ever present threat of death that is Lupus.... 

(Sirius could practically feel Remus roll his eyes.)

S- Oh so a good night then? 

R- The best..... what about you? 

S- just... i don't know... fucking adulthood I guess?

R- everything ok? Im here... 

S- Yea... just thinking about what I want to do with my life, you know? 

R- You mean other than going to the academy?...... or instead of.....? 

S- ......... I dont know. 

R- ..... 

S- ..... 

R- Why did you want to be a cop in the first place? 

S- I don't know. It sounded like a fun adventure... 

R- Someone has been watching too many movies... haha 

S- haha! you're probably right. 

R- When you were taking college classes, did you enjoy any of it? 

S- .... mmmm I suppose so, yea. 

R- What classes? 

S- Well, that's just it... I took a compressed business/finance course with James because we thought 'hey if all else fails we can work in the family business' right? 

R- right....?

S- thing is Remus, I kind of enjoyed it. Like... I was having ideas about QSS and Monty- that's James's dad- he said I had a real mind for business!

(Remus couldn't help but smile at the energy seeping through Sirius's tone.) 

R- so why not do that then?

S- ..... its complicated.... 

R- Do they not want you to work there or something? 

S- no thats not it. The Potters are amazing..... actually it's sometimes annoying how amazing they are. Hahaha.... 

R- hahaha! .... well then? 

S- I just want to do this on my own, you know? I want to get away from the cycle of bullshit values and nepotism my family loves so much. ... I want to find my own way, you know? 

R- .... I get that. You could still work in business management without working for QSS though.... 

S- yea... I know.  It's also quite a lot of sitting behind a desk all day, and I'm not sure Im really about that life haha. 

R- yea. I can't see you being still that long to be honest haha

S- baaahaha! so you see my dilemma then...? 

R- Sirius...

S- hm?

R- I think you should do what makes you happy. And fuck everything else. 

S- ....

R- And if you happen to go into the same line of work as your family, so what? The Potters are in business too, and you are always saying they are wonderful, so.... 

S- .... thanks Remus. 

R- haha anytime. 

S- ... I should probably talk to James huh? 

R- yea, probably. 

S- ugh. Ok Im going to go do that now. 

R- he's not asleep?

S- no he definitely is. But I'm more important than sleep so... 

R- haha alright well, Ill leave you to it. 

S- ...Remus?

R- mhm?

S- thanks. 

R- anytime. 

S- goodnight....

R- night. 


James nearly always left his door open at night. He claimed it was because he was too use to never having privacy in the dorms, but Sirius knew that it was because of him. James had always been a comfort during his nightmares and random panic attacks growing up, and Sirius was very grateful. 

He knocked lightly on the door frame, more out of habit than anything. They grew up sharing a room with  fucking Peter-Snoresalot, so neither of them were likely to ever be woken by a light tapping on wood. 

"Prongs..." Sirius shook James slightly by the shoulder, taking a step back as James sat up quickly, looking panicked. 

"What happened!? What is it Pads?" 

"Ummmm...." Sirius was suddenly hyper aware that he had just ruined what was likely a really deep sleep. "I'm having.... feelings....." 

James laughed lightly, relieved, as he sat up and reached for his glasses. "What feelings?" He pulled the blankets down on the other side of his bed as Sirius walked around to climb in. 

They sat there for a few long minutes while James cleaned his glasses on his shirt, and Sirius fumbled with the pillows in a transparent stall for time. 

"I wish it could always be like this." Sirius sighed with his face half buried in his blankets. 

"Well, we do have to sleep eventually...." James chuckled. 

"No..." Sirius laughed "I mean us. Hanging out all the time. Working together and stuff. Doing life together." 

James looked at Sirius, wondering what the fuck he was talking about. 

"We are doing life together...." he prompted "I'm not going anywhere.." 

Sirius sighed and rolled onto his back. "I know." He closed his eyes as if to brace himself and added "I am though." 

James sat up a little in bed as he tried to guess what Sirius was getting at. "Huh?"

"I don't want to go to the academy James." He said in a monotone, practiced voice. "It's just.... not for me."

James looked at his friend- his brother- for a long time before either spoke again. 

"You're sure?" 

"Yea. I've been thinking about it a lot" Sirius nodded. "I think I just liked the idea of us adulting together more than I liked the idea of being a police officer." 

"Do you know what you want to do?" James asked, still reeling a bit, and trying very hard not to look disappointed or sad by Sirius's decision. 

"Ugh. No" Sirius placed a pillow over his face and let out a disgruntled groan. "I have no fucking idea."

"You will figure out something" James assured him as he pulled the pillow away from Sirius's face "no need to result to smothering yourself..." 

Sirius laughed and let the pillow be taken from him. "Yea. Ill find something" he agreed. "I think I'm going to leave QSS when you go to academy still though." He snuggled deeper into the blankets, finally ready to rest. 

James nodded as he took his glasses off and laid back down, already feeling sleep tugging at his conciousness. "Night Pads."

"Goodnight Prongs." 

*

Sirius McKinnon/Marlene Black:

(10:10am) S: I have news. 

(10:12am) M: So do I!

(10:12am) S: ok, same time?

(10:12am) M: yes!

(10:13am) S: I told James Im dropping the academy.

(10:13am) M: I'm moving in with Dorcas next weekend.

(10:13am) S: GAHH! ❤❤👏👏

(10:13am) M: Oh my fuck! How did he take it?

(10:14am) S: Like a fucking angel, or course. 

(10:14am) M: Ugh. He's such an understanding, loving bastard. Makes the rest of us look like shit people in comparison. 

(10:15am) S: I know! I kinda hate him for it. 

(10:15am) S: But also love him for it and can't imagine my life without him in it. 

(10:15am) M: ugh. I felt that in my soul. 

(10:16am) S: So moving in together? You love her so much huh? 

(10:16am) M: I really do...

(10:16am) S: So should I throw you a house warming then? Or just get extra drunk at the surprise graduation party that James and I are totally not planning? 

(10:17am) M: 😂😂 

(10:17am) M: does the extra drunk option come with a side of dancing and trying to get Wormy to streak? 

(10:18am) S: Obviously..

(10:18am) M:  then that. Always that. 

(10:18am) S: noted

 

(10:23am) M: hey which night are you guys planning to attend Pete's show? 

(10:23am) S: Me and James were actually going to try and make all the performances. 

(10:23am) M: wow really?

(10:24am) S: Well... he was always there for our Rugby stuff in school. Even when the weather was shit. 

(10:24am) S: plus... I'm kind of fucking proud of him!

(10:24am) M: I know what you mean. I'm so glad he is doing something and making his own way.

(10:25am) M: didn't think he had it in him actually. 

(10:25am) S: Yea, none of us did. 

(10:26am) S: its why we want to support him 100% 

(10:27am) M: Count me in then! 

(10:28am) S: fuck yes!

(10:30am) S: now I just need to figure out what I want to do! Ugh! 

(10:31am) M: stripping is always a viable option. Just saying. 

(10:31am) S: why is that always your suggestion? 

(10:32am) M: who knows. Probably daddy issues or something. 

(10:32am) M: become a therapist and we can sort it out together. Haha!

(10:33am) S: yea, because Im the ideal person to help others with their mental health. 🙄😂

(10:33am) M: welp. you got me there... 

(10:36am) S: lets do dinner tomorrow. We can invite Dorcas and her crew and we can share both our news with everyone? 

(10:37am) M: 👆 Yes! Do it!

(10:37am) S: on it!

-

Squad:

(10:41am) Sirius: Dinner tomorrow? Casa Marauder? 

(10:41am) Marlene: Yaaasssss!

(10:42am) Dorcas: I'm in!

(10:43am) Remus: Can I bring anything?

(10:43am) Sirius: Just yourself!

(10:43am) Lily: Damn. I will be teaching my online English class tomorrow. 

(10:44am) Lily: I can come by after?

(10:44am) Sirius: Of course

(10:45am) Peter: Rehearsal ends at 6 so I can do 7. 

(10:45am) James: Well ill be there, since I live there hahaha. 

(10:46am) Sirius: 7 works for everyone? 

(10:46am) James:👍

(10:46am) Dorcas: word

(10:46am) Marlene: Perfect!

(10:47am) Remus: Yup

(10:48am) Lily: oh that's great! I'm usually done by 7 so ill only be a little late. 

(10:49am) Sirius: Yes! See you guys then!

(10:50am) Peter: cool.

*

Remus was finishing up putting away the mats from another great karate lesson when Dorcas called across the gym to him. He waved her over, and she began helping him with the mats without question. 

"Sessions today?" Remus asked "I didn't see you on the schedule for anything after 3." 

"Nah. Just a workout" Dorcas replied with a sigh. "I'm here so much with other people, Its easy to lose track of my own workout days." She let out a humorless chuckle as they went to sign the equipment back in at the desk. 

"You could probably move in here and no one would notice the change..." Remus laughed, not noticing Dorcas blush a little.

"Yea..." she agreed. "Marlene is going to start coming to use the flex room for working out her tryout routine."

Remus nodded as he searched Dorcas's face to gauge her feelings on Marlene's tryout, but she gave nothing away. 

Gesturing toward the upstairs track, Dorcas asked Remus if he wanted to join her for a run, as they headed to the stairs. Running was not Remus's favorite, but it felt like he and Dorcas hadn't done a workout together in ages, so he agreed with a nod. 

They jogged lightly for longer than they normally would, enjoying the atmosphere and each others company. They talked about Marlene and how they were moving in together. Remus told Dorcas about his stress with finals and how he was worried he would have a flare up at the worst possible time. They talked about new movies they wanted to see, and which restaurant made the best margaritas.... anything and everything. 

Before they left to head to the Pizza Shack, Dorcas checked her trainers schedule for the next several days and noted the changes in her phone with a sigh. 

"What's wrong D?" 

"Nothing" Dorcas replied unconvincingly. 

"Sure?" Remus pressed. 

"Ehh" Dorcas shrugged as they walked into the pizza place, both waving to Mac as he greeted them with a friendly smile. "I've just been thinking about the future." 

"...ok?" 

"Well, I never have before Remus" Dorcas said through a bark of laughter "it's a big deal for me!" 

"Haha well... welcome to being an adult, I suppose?" Remus mused sarcastically in reply, failing to dodge a punch to the arm from Dorcas. 

"Shut up" she rolled eyes "Everyone is growing up and getting a career and I'm just... stuck." She added, her tone becoming more serious with each word. 

"You love your job- well, jobs...- anyway...." Remus sighed "don't you like training?" 

"Or course I do" she shrugged back "but its not a career I thought id have for life. I only became certified so I'd have something to get my parents off my back. Now here we are 3 years later and I'm working everyday and still living in a shithole studio apartment with no future retirement or medical benefits in sight." She sighed deeply before taking a big drink of her water and looking to Remus. "How did you know you wanted to teach?" 

Remus took a moment to finish chewing his first bite of pizza before answering. "I basically had to teach myself growing up, and Lily would come over to study and I'd end up tutoring her...." he took a gulp of water "it just clicked early on. I knew I could do it, and..... working with the kids in Karate really solidified it for me too I think." 

Dorcas nodded. She was fine. She just felt like she was standing still while everyone around her was moving. She didn't like it either. 

They parted ways after destroying a full pizza, both full to bursting, but happy. 

"See you tomorrow lover!" Dorcas shouted over her shoulder as Remus reached steps to the subway. "I'll miss you terribly!" Remus yelled dramatically back with outstretched arms. 

-

The Friendship:

(10:29pm) Lifeboat: Last song? 

(10:31pm) Professor: Videotape by Radiohead 

(10:31pm) Lifeboat: mmm a good one. 

(10:32pm) Professor: All of my music is good. 

(10:32pm) Lifeboat: Sure. Sure.

(10:33pm) Professor: 🖕 

(10:33pm) Lifeboat: haha. 

(10:33pm) Lifeboat: Goodnight Moonman

(10:34pm) Professor: Night, Padfoot. 

Chapter Text

Remus walked into his apartment and knew immediately that Lily was home, as every single light was on, despite the sunny day giving plenty of light through the windows. He tossed his key onto the table beside the door, calling out "It's me!" as he made his way to the fridge, knowing he would find nothing there. He expected to hear her call back, but instead felt his pocket vibrate as a text came through. 

House of Hotties: 

(11:17am) Lilyflower: On a video chat with work. 

(11:18am) Moony: Fuck sorry Lil. I'll just head out to study at the bookstore until my shift. 

(11:18am) Lilyflower: Thanks Remus.

(11:18am) Moony: Text me when your done. We can decide how to get to dinner at James and Sirius's since you have class.

(11:19am) Lilyflower: Yup. Be safe.

(11:19am) Moony: Yes, mom. 🙄

(11:19am) Lilyflower: 🖕

Remus gathered the extra books he would need into his backpack, along with his work badge, and headed for the subway. He disliked being in the apartment when Lily was working because it felt like an intrusion, despite her insistence that it wasn't. He would never be able to focus on studying. 

He had his first final in 4 days and wanted very much to do well. Having been sick and homeschooled for most of his childhood, Remus constantly felt as though he needed to prove to others that he was just as capable and intelligent as they were. Of course, that wasn't true. Remus was quite a bit more intuitive and driven than average, which made him an excellent student. He hoped it would make him an excellent teacher, too. 

Remus reached the bookstore and settled himself down at a table in the back room where employees sometimes ate a quick lunch, or kept their personal belongings. It was going to be difficult to study in here, and while he told himself it was the atmosphere, he knew deep down it was because Sirius was working just a few stores away. 

The thought of Sirius having a regular job, with a regular uniform, and having to smile at strangers who were rude.... it made Remus laugh a little, and he decided he needed to see it for himself. 

-

James looked up at the customer entering chim went off, and grinned to himself as he went to meet Remus at the front. 

"Hello SIR. Anything specific you're looking to find today?" He asked Remus in a tone dripping with sarcasm. 

"Just thought I'd  see where you two work" Remus replied casually "I've never been even been in a QSS before." 

James gasped dramatically, his hand near his mouth in shock. "Where have you been getting your Karate gear then?!" 

"This thing called the internet" Remus deadpanned as he shuffled through some colorful socks on display "maybe you have heard of it?" 

James laughed and gave him a brotherly pat on the back. "Come on then, I'll give you the grand tour. Let me just lock my computer, hang on." 

As he went to lock his register computer, James pulled his phone out and sent Sirius a quick text. He really had picked the worst time to go on break. 

Bros Before... Everyone Else:

(11:57am) Prongsie: Hey fucker, your boyfriend is here. 

(11:57am) Padywack: Cool. Give Wormy a kiss for me.

(11:57am) Prongsie: Other boyfriend... 

(11:57am) Padywack: Who? 

(11:58am) Prongsie: Don't play stupid. I can hear the songs you have been writing. Get over here.

(11:58am) Prongsie: I'm giving him the tour. 

-

Sirius had been sitting at Marlene's manager desk at the arcade, being incredibly unhelpful as she sorted out the weeks schedule on the board. 

"I'll see you later tonight Marls" Sirius said as he got out of the chair "and don't be late...."

Marlene wordlessly shot Sirius the finger as she examined her finished schedule, not bothering to look up at him as he went back to work. 

"Moonman!" Sirius sang out as he entered Quality Sporting Supply, spotting Remus's curly hair immediately over the isles. Remus looked up from the thoroughly uninteresting baseball equipment James was showing him and gave a small wave of acknowledgement as Sirius joined them with a knowing grin. "Why don't you show him how the carpet works while you're at it Prongs" he laughed "Remus isn't interested in Baseball!"

"Who is really..." Remus muttered under his breath as James scoffed loudly before making a dramatic exit from the scene. 

"I suppose we ought to be lucky he didn't have a door to slam behind him?" Remus laughed. "He's not really upset right? I suppose I don't know James that well...."

"Nah." Sirius waved a dismissive hand. "James is manager so he actually has to do real work" he explained. "Plus, James loves you and Dorcas! He finally has someone to talk movies with." 

"Not a movie buff?" 

"Not really." Sirius shrugged as they walked aimlessly around the store. Remus would occasionally pick something up and pretend to look interested in it before putting it back. 

"TV then?"

"Hmmmm" Sirius thought for a moment "I guess I like reality game shows" he shrugged. 

Remus laughed and shook his head. "Lily is obsessed with that stuff! She's watching old recordings of Top Model and Chopped on rotation right now. Says she doesn't want to start anything new while she's preparing for finals." 

"I fucking love Chopped!" Sirius said excitedly. "Everything I know about cooking is from Effie or Chopped!" 

"Who's Effie?" 

"Oh that's James's Mum" Sirius explained with a fond smile. "She taught me all the basics when she realized we would be living on our own- and that James was hopeless." He shook his head and laughed lightly. "That prat could burn water, I swear...."

"I'm the same. Lily is the better cook for sure- though that's not saying much" Remus sighed. "I'd probably starve to death if not for her- don't tell her I said that though! She's already a total mom friend."

"Haha! That's James!" Sirius barked out. "I guess I don't really know much about Lily either. Tell me something about her. How did you two become friends?" 

Remus followed Sirius to the small break room in the back of the store once they were finished with their random wandering around the isles. Remus thought for a moment about growing up with Lily, and smiled at the memories. 

"Lily and I grew up on the same street" he began, deciding on the short version of their friendship. "We went to school together for a while but I got really sick and she started bringing me my school work home. My parents decided to homeschool me after I got sick  a few times in the same year, but Lily kept coming around." Remus smiled as he sat in the chair opposite Sirius, who immediately propped his feet up onto the table. 

"Wow. So you guys have been friends since elementary then? That's legit." Sirius nodded, impressed. 

"Eventually our parents just sort of... accepted that we were basically siblings and expected that we would do everything together." He laughed with a shy shrug. "When I was hospitalized right before my 11th birthday, she threw me a little party in my hospital room, and insisted all the nurses who came in called me 'His Royal Birthday Highness' before they were allowed to enter. It was amazing...." 

Sirius watched Remus as he stared off into space, lost in memories of his best friend. 

"She sounds great." he smiled as Remus nodded. 

"She is." Remus smiled back as he checked his watch. He had 40 minutes until he needed to be at work. "Tell me something about James then" he promoted, waving his hand for Sirius to proceed. 

Sirius took a deep breath as if to brace himself, then let it out with a laugh. 

"Ah fuck. James is.... I don't know. He's just the best person I know" he started with a grin. "The first day I met him on the train to boarding school, I walked in on him loosening the hinges on the doors to the prefects carriage. "He just looked at me and said 'it'll go a lot quicker if you stop staring and help me.'" Sirius laughed a little before continuing. "We got detention before the term even started! Been best friends ever since!" 

They laughed as they told each other their favorite memories. How Lily had taken Remus to her Prom as her straight boyfriend so the guys at her school would back off. How James, Peter, and Sirius spiked the punch bowl at the teachers table at their graduation celebration. How Lily had cried the first day of school every year when Remus wasn't there. How James caught on to Sirius's shitty home life and had his parents send Christmas and birthday gifts every year. How Lily set up a full Christmas tree in his hospital room when they were 15, despite being told no several times by the staff. How James laughed when Sirius came out to him, drunk as hell on his 16th birthday, and said 'Oh you've caught on to that, have you?'

By the time Remus left to start his shift at work, both boys had laughed so much their cheeks hurt. 

"See ya Remus!" James called over from the counter as he left the store. 

"Later!" Remus called back, pulling his phone from his pocket. 

Missed call: Lily 

House of Hotties:

(12:54pm) Moony: Phone was on silent. Headed into work now. What's up? 

(12:55pm) Lilyflower: I'll talk to you when you're shift is over. 

(12:55pm) Lilyflower: No class tonight. Ill explain when you get home. 6 right?

(12:56pm) Moony: Yea 6. Everything ok? Should I be worried? 

(12:56pm) Lilyflower: Yes Rem everything is fine. Geez, now who's being the mom...

-


Remus walked into his apartment that evening with a bit more trepidation then he had after class that morning. Lily was sitting on the couch, waiting for him with some tea and a smile somewhere between fear and excitement, which didn't make him feel less nervous. 

"What's up?" He asked as he accepted the tea she handed him "you're creeping me out Lil...." 

Lily let out a soft laugh that soothed Remus a little as she took a quick sip of her own tea. She turned in her seat to face him fully and took a deep breath, smiling widely. 

"I've been offered a summer job in Japan." 

"Oh my god!" Remus leaped from his seat, forgetting entirely about his tea that was now seeping through the carpet. "Lily! That's..... thats incredible! You're incredible! How... what... Lily!" Remus reached over and pulled her into a deep congratulatory hug as he laughed at his inability to speak. 

"I know!" Lily gushed as she hugged her best friend back tightly. "I screamed into my pillow for about 10 minutes after the video call!" She was laughing, and clearly trying not to cry, as Remus lifted her slightly from the ground before pulling out of the hug. 

"Im so... I cant believe this- no wait I can. You're amazing!- but gah... Im so fucking happy for you Lily!" Remus rambled as he quickly ran for a towel to clean up his spilled tea. "How long will you be gone? When do you leave? Where in Japan?" He took a deep dramitic breath, realizing he was rambling, and turned to her and calmly gestured for her to carry on with the story. 

"Ill be leaving in 2 weeks. I have off until then to prepare for my finals and the trip" Lily began, still grinning and unable to sit still. "They are paying for everything, and I will be teaching 4 different age groups over 6 days each week. Im so excited Remus!" She took another breath trying to reign it in. "Ill be there for 5 weeks working and then they said I can stay another week if I like, just to see the sites and rest." 

Remus shook his head as he stared at his friend, a huge grin on his face. ".... So fucking proud...." 

"Thank you Rem." Lily said, standing to pace a bit. "You'll be ok, yea? I worry.... you know..." 

Remus rolled his eyes and leaned back into the lumpy couch. "Yes mom, I think I can manage..." he said with a grin. "Nervous?" He asked, noticing her pacing. 

"No" she answered quickly. "Well, yes but... not about the trip." She sat back down on the couch next to Remus and gave him a significant look. 

"James" Remus nodded his head knowingly. 

"It's just been good, you know... and 5 weeks is a long time-" she stood to resume pacing "-but of course I'm going I just... I want him to be ok with it. I want him to be excited for me." 

"He will be, Lil. I know it."

"But what if he's not?" She gave him a pleading look, frozen in her tracks. 

Remus stood up and placed both hands on Lily's shoulders, looking her in the eyes the way they always did to each other when the other needed to hear something very important. 

"If he cannot except that you are driven, and intelligent, and independent," Remus said in his most sincere tone, pausing for a beat, "Then fuck him." 

Lily laughed lightly as she nodded her head in agreement. 

"Well let's go tell the others then!" Remus announced with a clap of his hands as he gestured toward the door. 

-

The Potter/Evans Alliance: 

(6:39pm) Wildflower: On our way!

(6:39pm) Rudolph: Oh yea? Class ended early tonight? 

(6:40pm) Wildflower: I'll explain when we get there. I have some news. 

(6:40pm) Wildflower: Exciting news. 

(6:41pm) Rudolph: Well I can't wait to hear it. See you soon. 

-

"Thanks for helping Marls" Sirius muttered over a hot skillet as Marlene tied an apron around herself "since James is fucking USELESS" he added, yelling the last part so that James wouldn't miss it. 

Marlene laughed as James's sing-song shout of "fuck you very much!" came floating down the hallway.

Food was basic pasta- because who doesn't like pasta!? -with different sauces, some freshly made garlic bread, salad, and a side of roasted vegetables. Sirius also made a chocolate cake from scratch for desert, remembering it was Remus's favorite, but denying it fully when James decided to poke fun. 

Peter was the first to show, which was a surprise to no one. Mary, it turned out, was hosting a big study night for one of her stage tech classes before finals and couldn't make it. 

Remus, Lily and Dorcas had come up at the same time, and were let in by Peter as James, Sirius and Marlene finished setting the dinning table that was rarely used. As the friends were gathering to sit, Marlene grabbed Dorcas's hand and nodded with a grin. 

"We have an announcement!" Marlene yelled over the light chatter. Everyone looked at them, Sirius trying desperately not to grin. 

"Marlene is moving in!" Dorcas gushed "We are going to live together!" 

Everyone stood immediately and gave them hugs and congrats as if they had announced they were getting married. It confirmed to Marlene that she was doing the right thing in moving in with Dorcas. Afterall, these were the best people she knew, and if they thought it was going to be good, it probably was. She kissed Dorcas hard on the mouth, teeth knocking together through their identical smiles as everyone returned to their seats to begin the meal. 

Everyone ate their salads, enjoying the light conversations and company, before Sirius and James left to get the pasta and veggies. 

Once they were alone in the kitchen James turned to Sirius with a disbelieving grin. "You knew already didnt you? About Marls and D?" 

Sirius shrugged and picked up the large bowl of pasta. "Im telling everyone about the academy tonight too. Get all the news out in one go." 

"Fuck man..." James laughed as he followed Sirius with the sauce and vegetables "Lily said she had news too...." 

"Well, let's get this over with" Sirius sighed. 

Dinner was wonderful. Peter told everyone about the progress on the show and his plans for moving to major in the arts, singing Mary's praises any opening he got. 

Sirius regaled everyone the story of the elderly customer who bet she could beat James at an arm wrestle for some 200 dollar cleats her grandson wanted. James insisted he let her win, but no one was fooled. 

"I had to pay for those damn cleats too!" James whined. 

"Can't just give them to her?" Peter asked, confused. "You give me random shit from there all the time...." 

"Yea but not 200 dollar fucking shoes!" James laughed "dad would kill me!" 

James had opened another bottle of wine and began topping everyone off as Remus nudged Lily with a raised eyebrow. She nodded while James finished filling her glass, and stood up from her chair. 

"I also have some news I'd like to share" she said quietly, throwing Marlene and Dorcas a loving smile. "I was offered a summer job in Japan for 6 weeks..... and I said yes!" Lily's eyes found James as she finished her announcement, hoping he was the guy she thought he was. 

James leapt from his chair next to hers with a cheerful shout as he gave her a quick but genuine embrace. "Lily! That's amazing!

Everyone expressed their surprise and congratulations to her, each raising their glass in toast as Remus shouted "To Lily!" James couldn't wipe the smile off of his face as he took his seat, squeezing her hand once before releasing it. 

Remus didn't even try to hide his smirk as he glanced from Lily to James, giving her a knowing look. Lily simply smiled shyly and took a small sip from her wine before answering questions about the trip. 

 

Sirius was finishing his second piece of cake when he felt a light kick under the table from Marlene. She raised her eyebrows, wordlessly telling him to get on with it, as he rolled his eyes heavily. 

"Alright," Sirius sighed "since we're all giving news..." H didn't stand up, but everyone turned their attention to him, waiting, as James gave him a brotherly slap on the back. "I've decided not to go to the academy." 

There was a few seconds of stunned silence before Peter spoke up. "Like.. at all? Or just not yet?" 

"At all." Sirius replied. "I just don't think it's for me." 

......

"How are you feeling about it?" Lily asked. "Is this happy news...... or sad news?" 

"Happy news I think" Sirius smiled. "Well... for me anyway. There is no way James will make it through without me dragging his ass." He added with a laugh. 

"Hey fuck you" James chuckled next to him as he threw a used napkin at Sirius's face. "But really... I'm glad you're following your heart and all that shit- really I am- but it won't be the same without you." He smiled, throwing the napkin right back. 

"Guess we have to grow up and do our own thing at some point..." Sirius shrugged with a small, slightly sad, laugh. 

"Fuck that!" James barked. "Wormy! Come do the academy with me! It'll be fun..." he whined as Pete shook his head no with an amused grin. 

James did his best to pout dramatically while dodging airborne napkins from all sides. Everyone laughing and giving him a hard time. 

"Dorcas!" James shouted indignantly over the hysterics "Best friend! Dragon to my Nighthawk! You'll go with me, right?" 

......

 

"Yea, alright." Dorcas shrugged. 

The laughter died as everyone looked at Dorcas. Marlene took her hand with a questioning look, giving it a small squeeze of encouragement. 

"Wait. What just happened?" Lily asked, looking around as if she were missing the punchline of a joke. But everyone else looked as equally shocked and lost as her. 

"Is this real life?" James asked in a dramatic and fake dazed voice. "Am I dreaming? Someone pinch me..." 

There was a loud scraping of chairs as everyone jumped from their seat to pinch James hard on whichever body part they could reach the quickest. "Ouch! Ok stop! Ouch!" James whined as he ducked under the table. 

"Alright that's enough!" Dorcas shouted with mock authority as she waved everyone back to their seats. "Break it up. Nothing to see here." 

"You really doing this D?" Remus asked "I mean... you'll be brilliant-" 

"And someone has to keep this one in line-" Sirius cut in as he hoisted James from under the table

"-but, you're doing it? Really?" 

"Yea I think so" Dorcas nodded. This might be exactly what she was looking for. She had always meant working at the gym to be a placeholder, and when Sirius said he didn't think it was for him, she thought to herself 'why not me?' As her friends joked and picked on James, her mind raced to think of any way this could be bad, but didn't come up with one. This was the perfect job for her! She could totally do this!

"James, I want to see those packets though" she added. James nodded and went to get them from his study as Sirius and Peter began stacking up the empty plates. 

"Well this was an eventful fucking dinner." Marlene laughed as James reappeared with a stack of papers. 

"Yea everyone had some type of big news to share" Peter laughed "at least we got it all out in one go." 

"Remus didn't have news" Lily smirked as she nudged Remus playfully. 

"Come on Remus tell us something" Sirius chortled across the table.

Everyone looked at him expectantly, as his mouth went dry. 

Well fuck, Remus thought as his eyes began to tear up of their own accord. He was normally so good at keeping his shit together. Something about these people- over half of whom he was just really getting to know- they just broke right through his well constructed barriers. 

He glanced at Lily, working his face into his best "It's fine. I'm fine." expression, knowing she would see through it immediately.

She grabbed his arm reflexively, eyebrows knitted together in concern as he turned to the group with a deep sigh. 

"Well, my mom is dying.... so.... that's new." 

Chapter Text

My mom is dying.... so that's news.

 

-

 

Remus took his exit to the bathroom immediately, knowing full well his friends were going to be discussing him while he was there. He didn't care. He needed to leave the room. 

Saying the words out loud made it feel so much more real. So much more.... crushing. 

Remus's parents had told him about his mom's cancer over a video call just 3 days before, and while she said they were doing everything they could, he knew that look on her face when she was hiding bad news. He had seen it during many hospital stays himself while being told 'this new medication should help' or 'you'll be out of here in no time'.

He had chosen to believe the lie, because the lie was keeping him sane.

He suspected that this was his mothers way of trying not to awaken stressful Remus. Because stressful Remus had lupus flare ups. Stressful Remus didn't sleep or eat for days at a time. Stressful Remus tended to crash and burn, leading him back home to be taken care of by his sick mother. 

He refused to do that. He just fucking refused. 

He had asked her, too.... begged even. "Please mom... Tell me what I can do. I need to help..." 

But she had looked at him so determinedly that he could feel it through the screen of his laptop. "The only thing I have ever wanted in life, Remus, is to see you happy. I am so proud of you" she had said. And he believed her. 

He had promised to get through finals before he made a visit home. Maybe that's why he was working so hard. It was important to her. 

-

Lily sat stunned in her seat, vaguely aware that James had his arm around her in what he probably thought was a comforting embrace. But really she just felt like she couldn't breathe. Like all the good, usable oxygen followed her best friend to the bathroom. 

"I'm going to go check on him" Dorcas said after several long minutes. "Lily?" She asked with a her arm outstretched in offer, "coming?" 

She took a cleansing breath, in and out, before standing to follow with a nod. 

Knock knock knock 

"Rem it's us" Dorcas called lightly through the door. "Me and Lily, open up please..." 

Something about seeing Remus with tear glossed eyes and a pink nose made Lily  forget about her own emotions completely. This was about Remus right now, not her. 

"Remus....." Dorcas mumbled as both girls pulled him into a group hug. He towered over them in height, but as he stood there with fresh tears welling up in his eyes, he felt like a child, finding that it was oddly comforting. 

After a long stretch of time, they broke apart. Staring at one another, Remus nodded resolutely, wiped his tears, and lead the way back into the dinning room without saying a word. 

-

Sirius's heart broke for Remus. He was use to his own life being shit, but found it difficult any time anyone around him needed him for support. He wasn't exactly raised in the best learning environment for emotional competency, and was painfully aware of how ill equipped he was for such situations. 

Watching Remus walk back into the room, it was clear that he was doing his best to keep it together. Dorcas and Lily were on either side of him as they hovered near the large doorway to the dinning room. 

Everyone just looked at Remus as he sat down quietly with a small sigh. "It's cancer" he said, looking over to Lily, knowing she would want to know. "She says its fine, but she had that look..." He gave his head a little shake. "You know...." 

"....yea" Lily said as she and Dorcad too took their seats "the 'I just don't want you to worry, even though everything is shit' look...." 

"That's the one" Remus added with a humorless laugh. 

"Is she in treatment?" Peter asked quietly. 

"Yes, apparently for a month now but nothing is helping" Remus replied "and they just recently switched to try something different-" Remus cleared his throat in a failed attempt to get rid of the rapidly forming lump that had settled there "-she didn't want to talk about it. Just kept asking me how school is going..." he choked out as Dorcas and Lily both reached over to lightly pat his back. 

"I'm so sorry Remus" Marlene said through her sad expression. 

"And please let us know if we can do anything, man" James added with a nod of agreement. 

Remus mumbled his thanks as he fumbled with the fork on his empty plate. It was amazing how just sitting there, in complete silence with these wonderful people, was soothing. 

"Ill be traveling this summer too" Remus added after a long pause. "It's what I was going to say earlier, but then the news just came out of its own accord..." he let out a breathy chuckle that palpably eased the mood of the room by a great deal. "I don't really want to talk about it anymore just now if that's ok." Everyone nodded and picked aimlessly around at the small stacks of plates, occasionally taking a sip of their wine, no one sure what to do next. 

"Well..." Sirius said after several long seconds of very awkward silence "Remus wins the new news portion of the evening." 

Everyone glanced at Remus, clearly unsure how he would respond to the sarcasm, and wanting to take their cues from him. 

Remus looked up from his place setting to make eye contact with Sirius, his expression unreadable. "What? No trophy?" 

Sirius's mouth split into a wide grin as everyone around them let out the breath they were holding. "James! You were in charge of the trophies! You heard the man!" 

"Right!" James jumped up from his chair and disappeared into his wing of the apartment. 

"Kids these days...." Sirius was muttering "not reliable for anything..." 

When James returned he was carrying what was clearly a child's soccer trophy. He cleared his throat importantly as he held up the plastic artifact above his head. "I hereby award this troph-" 

"Hey!" Sirius shouted "Why do you get to make the announcement!?"

"......fine" James sighed as he reluctantly passed the item to Sirius. 

Sirius repeated James's motion and held it above his head proudly as he raised his voice. "I hereby award this trophy to Remus Moonman Darth Vader Shilly-Shally Jessica Loony Lupin-"

"wow...." Remus deadpanned as Sirius shushed him.

"For the newsiest news during the newsy news portion of the night." He passed the little trophy to Remus, who examined it with a grin. The original engraving was covered sloppily by a piece of duct tape with the words "Remus Lupin. Winner of Something" scribbled in James's messy scrawl.

Holding it to his chest as he sniffed back fake sobs, Remus stood to his feet and gave a small bow. 

Everyone clapped, while Remus went back to believing his mothers lie that everything was going to be fine. At least for the moment. Because in that moment he was happy. And that's all she had ever wanted for him. 

Chapter Text

Lily was sprawled out across Remus's bed while he paced the tiny floor space left in his room, listing off the answers to the question she had asked him from his handwritten study guide. This is how they spent the last evenings together. Finals were hell, but they had a good study system. So they took it in turns quizzing each other while eating pizza, and way more chocolate chip cookies than should be allowed. 

"We should do this with the others" Lily suggested with a quick thumbs up to let Remus know he was right about his last answer "I'll bet everyone is really in it deep this week." 

"I don't know Lil...." Remus sigh, taking a cookie and plopping down next to her on the bed. "Remember when we were studying for the ACT tests with Severus...." he added with a significant look. 

Severus was a former friend of Lily's from school she had invited to their study sessions when they were all prepping to test for for college entry exams. He had become severely jealous of Remus's friendship with Lily and, along with several neighborhood thugs, vandalized his bike, parents car, and their front porch with various paints, toilet paper, and eggs, when she had decided to take Remus to prom that year. It was horrible, and made Remus glad for the first time ever that he was homeschooled. 

"Yes, but these are all good people that we both know and like..." she persisted. "I'm going to text the group and see if there is interest and we can do it tomorrow evening. We both have a final in the morning so that only leaves one more to study for each so its less pressure if it ends up being wasted study time." 

Remus relented with an eye roll as she pulled her phone out to check with their friends.


House Party:

(7:12pm) Lily: Anyone else freaking the fuck out over finals week? Or is it just me and Remus?

(7:12pm) Marlene: Fuck. I felt that. 

(7:12pm) Fabian: Guilty

(7:12pm) Kingsley: I only have 1 left and its tomorrow! Can't talk. Drowning in notes. 

(7:12pm) Emmeline: Me Me Me

(7:13pm) Marlene: Ugh. So ready to just graduate already. 

(7:13pm) Marlene: Good luck King! You got this! 

(7:13pm) Gideon: 2 down. 2 to go. 

(7:13pm) Sirius: Ew. Nerds. 

(7:14pm) Remus: Rude. 

(7:14pm) James: I second what Sirius said. 

(7:14pm) Lily: I second what Remus said. 

(7:15pm) Peter: I am dead. Let it be known I fought valiantly. 

(7:15pm) Al: There has been a murder?! *gasp*

(7:15pm) Fabian: Looks like it. 

(7:16pm) Emmeline: My clue guess is: Peter, in his parents basement, hit upside the head with a biology book. 

(7:16pm) Peter: 🖕

(7:16pm) Peter: .... but not wrong. 

(7:16pm) Lily: Who wants to meet up for a big group study session tomorrow?

(7:16pm) Remus: I can help with biology Pete, no problem!

(7:17pm) Emmeline: I am fucking there. 

(7:17pm) Marlene: I am rehearsing tomorrow but can I come after? 

(7:17pm) Fabian: I have study group with a bunch of peeps in my Constitutional Law class tomorrow. But I miss you guys! Law school is a fucking bitch. 

(7:18pm) Gideon: I'm in

(7:18pm) Al: Im suppose to be studying with Frank tomorrow.... can he join? 

(7:18pm) Sirius: Frank, as in Em's roommate? 

(7:18pm) James: *gasp* Scandal!

(7:18pm) Al: 🙄

(7:19pm) Emmeline: Yass!

(7:19pm) Emmeline: They are so fucking smitten its adorable and gross and I love it. 

(7:19pm) Al: ILY Em! 

(7:20pm) Remus: So show of hands. Who is coming? 

(7:20pm) Lily: Me, obviously. 

(7:20pm) Al: 🖐

(7:20pm) Gideon: Count me in.

(7:20pm) Peter: Definitely me. Probably Mary too. 

(7:20pm) Emmeline: Me Me Me!

(7:20pm) Marlene: Late, but still 🖐

(7:20pm) Remus: ok cool. See you tomorrow at our place around 6? Ill send the address out. 

(7:21pm) Benjy: Well fuck man... I kind wish I had actually stayed in school just to study with you nerds. 

(7:21pm) Lily: lol Im sure there was studying in culinary school... 

(7:22pm) James: Mostly just cooking and eating really. 

(7:22pm) Fabian: We ALL gained at least 10 pounds from being his taste testers all year!

(7:23pm) Benjy: Hey! I didnt hear anyone complaining!

(7:23pm) Marlene: And you never will buddy!

(7:23pm) Sirius: She's right. That shit was amazing man. 

(7:23pm) Emmeline: Its true.

(7:24pm) Gideon: see you all tomorrow. Getting back to the books. 

(7:24pm) Remus: Ugh. Same. 

(7:24pm) Al: I guess I should go be responsible...

(7:24pm) Marlene: ✌ 

(7:24pm) Peter: *sigh* Back to my death I suppose. 

(7:25pm) Fabian: Hang in there Pete

(7:25pm) Lily: See you guys tomorrow! 

(7:26pm) Sirius: Nerds. 

(7:26pm) Lily: 🖕

(7:26pm) Remus: Rude. 

(7:27pm) Fabian: 🖕🖕🖕🖕

(7:27pm) Peter: you wound me sir!

(7:27pm) Gideon: #proud 

(7:28pm) Al: Jealous...

(7:28pm) Benjy: Someone Salty 😏

(7:28pm) Marlene: Fuck all the way off Sirius

(7:28pm) Kingsley: Also known as ambition, Black. 

(7:28pm) James: King coming out odllf nowhere with the BUUUUURRNNN! 🔥

(7:29pm) Peter: ☝️👏

 

(7:34pm) Dorcas: Well fuck me man... Can't believe I missed the action. 

(7:34pm) Emmeline: I felt that. 

(7:34pm) James: Dragon! I'm going to make a no nerds allowed chat. 

(7:34pm) Lily: 🙄

-

James creates the group chat 'No Nerds Club'

James added Sirius, Dorcas, and Benjy to the group chat. 

No Nerds Club: 

(7:35pm) James: Welcome, all. 

(7:35pm) Dorcas: Best Friend! 

(7:35pm) James: Best Friend!

(7:35pm) Sirius: Let's get together while the nerds meet and fuck some shit up at the gym tomorrow. 

(7:36pm) Dorcas: FUCK YES!

(7:36pm) James: omg yes!

(7:37pm) Benjy: This is already my favorite group chat. 

(7:37pm) Sirius: That's the spirit! 

-

Remus rolled his eyes and tossed his phone onto the bed with a sigh. He was tired, but they still had another 3 hours of planned studying and honestly he needed it. He wanted so bad to be able to go home this summer and tell him mom he had As on every final, and he voiced that thought to Lily, who smiled back knowingly with a slight nod.

"I feel bad for leaving during this" she said after a few moments. "I love Hope. She was like a second mom to me growing up and I should stay on the states-" 

"-She would never want that Lily." Remus gave her a stern look. "More than anything she would want you to reach your goals...." he waved a hand dismissively "follow your dreams.... all that other Hope Lupin sappy stuff she's so good at...." he added with a laugh. 

Lily let out a breathy laugh as she put her phone to charge on Remus's bedside table, absently picking up the trophy he had been given during the dinner at James and Sirius's a few nights ago.

"I really love this. Sirius really knows your sense of humor, doesn't he?" She said, running her finger over the duct tape plaque. "Was this one of James's?" 

Remus cheeks felt hot as he reached for Lily's Chemistry notes with a shrug. "Sirius said they bought a box of kids trophies at an estate sale during the summer after graduation just so they always have them on hand to give out for random shit...." 

"Sounds about right!" Lily shook her head as she laughed. "Why are we friends with these people?" 

Remus let out a dramatic sigh as he replied "I don't know Lil. Pity?" She laughed again before pulling herself together with her own deep sigh. 

"Ready?" Remus asked, gesturing to the notes as she stood up to trace Remus's steps as she paced with a nod. 

"Ready." 

Chapter Text

Benjy!" Sirius and James both shouted cheerfully when he entered the gym. Benjy smiled widely and made his way over to the desk where Sirius had made himself at home. 

"No, Pads" James scolded as he shoved Sirius's feet off of the front desk "get up you idiot! I like this place and don't want to be kicked out!" 

Sirius rolled his eyes and got up from the desk chair just as the owner, Alstor Moody, came hobbling over. 

"I keep finding you in my chair, I might just put you to work, Black." He comment smoothly with a nod of acknowledgement to the others. 

"If it means seeing your face everyday, Mad-Eye, I'd gladly put in the labor" Sirius grinned while he signed Benjy in as his guest. Moody just rolled his good eye, barely concealing a smirk as he sat down in the chair Sirius had just vacated. 

"Dorcas is finishing up with a client assessment" James told Benjy as they showed him the main areas of the gym "and Marls is in the mirror room practicing for her audition. Shes also apparently an extra in someone else's final show...?" He added, unsure, as he looked to Sirius for confirmation. 

"Just some background dancing for a classmate who is going for their masters and has to have an entry video or something" Sirius shrugged. 

They decided to walk back and say hello to Marlene while they waited for Dorcas to finish her assessment, and were blown away, as usual, by how talented their friends was. It was like watching water move from one space to another. So free, but so powerful. 

Once the song ended Sirius, James and Benjy all clapped and whooped as she ran over to give them excited hugs. 

"Benjy!" She shouted as she reached them.

"I never get these sort of welcomes at the restaurant" Benjy laughed through the mess of Marlene's blue hair before pulling away with a smile. 

"They see your ugly ass everyday" Sirius shrugged. 

"Yea we never see you anymore, man" James agreed, giving him a little slap on the shoulder. 

"Been busy" Benjy shrugged back "you two will see soon at the academy." 

Sirius, Marlene and James filled him in on all the news and changes with Sirius dropping the academy and Dorcas going. How Lily was traveling to Japan and Remus would be going to see his sick mother. They talked for a while about Peter moving into the arts as his major while finalizing plans to sit together at the show.

"Every show?!" Benjy asked in awe. "You bunch are going to all three showings?" 

"Technically there are 4." Sirius corrected. 

"So yea... we will be going to 4 shows" James chuckled "but you know how much stuff me and Pads did in school that Wormy didn't-"

"-and it was Pete who orchestrated the Gryffindor house wide chanting during the final against Slytherin our last year-" Sirius cut in. 

"Not to mention how many times he was goalie for you two growing up.." Benjy rolled his eyes. 

"Yea...." Sirius said, clearly recalling some fond memory, "we want him to feel supported. And we finally have something to support him in so..." they laughed lightly as if it were a joke, but everyone knew it wasn't. Pete was never this ambitious about anything. It was nice to see him excited about something. 

Marlene went back to her dancing while Sirius, James, and Benjy waited on the floor of the mirror room for Dorcas. 

"Soooo.." Benjy skirted "Remus won't be in town for a few weeks you said? His mom?" 

"Yea, man" James replied in  a dejected tone "cancer..." 

"Remus reckons she might actually die from it" Sirius added sadly. 

"Fuck..." Benjy whispered while the other two nodded. 

"Well.... I was thinking of asking him out" Benjy added after several moments. "He seems cool as hell and Lily mentioned at that last party he wasn't seeing anyone?" He said the last part like it was a question. James instinctively looked to Sirius, who was frozen solid, staring off in space somewhere near where Marlene was dancing. 

"No I don't think he's seeing anyone" James agreed after a few moments. "He's great! Lily talks about him a lot. I might even be jealous if he wasn't gayer than Pads over here." He laughed as he nudged Sirius in an attempt to pull him back to reality. It worked and Sirius nudged him back playfully, throwing up the middle finger for good measure as he let out a slightly forced laugh. 

"Think he will be weird about me being bi?" Benjy asked, oblivious to the silent conversation going on between his two friends. "Some people.... are..." he sighed. 

"Nah. I doubt it would be a thing" Sirius reassured him, not quite meeting anyones eyes. 

Dorcas came in looking very annoyed after her client meeting, until James stood and shouted "BEST FRIEND!" running toward each other full speed, and then wrestling to the ground. Dorcas had James pinned within 4 seconds and only got up when Marlene came to distract her with kisses. 

"Ughh. Get a room." James said, feigning disgust, as they both flipped him off without turning their attention from each other. 

"Alright! Alright! Sirius clapped as he stood with purpose, "Let's turn it to beast mode!" 

Everyone stared in silence. 

"Never say that again" Marlene deadpanned before turning back to the dance floor. 

-

Even though Lily and Remus wouldn't get the grades for their final exams from that morning for a few days, they were both confident they had done really well. Remus had went into full teacher mode within the first 15 minutes of everyone arriving, and was fucking loving it. 

Three hours, 5 pizzas, and 2 batches of cookies later, everyone was feeling a lot more confident about their exams, and was gushing about what a great teacher Remus would be, while he fumbled his thanks as everyone left. Lily plopped down heavily on their worn sofa and sighed deeply while Remus put away the empty plates in the sink.

"This was a good idea" Lily said with a smirk when Remus walked back in the room "I'm glad I thought of it..." 

"Yes, yes.... You are the wisest one." Remus said, starting a solo slow clap that was interrupted by a pillow to the face. 

[21 minute pillow war intermission]

Lily and Remus were both breathing heavy on their livingroom floor, surrounded by every pillow in the apartment and a few couch cushions. Remus had tried to pull his mattress into the hall, but was ambushed by Lily who came at him with both arms full of dirty laundry. 

"Ready for the last final?" Remus asked as his heartrate returned to normal. 

"Yea. Nervous though." 

"You're going to do great Lil-" 

"-No" Lily interrupted "about leaving. About James starting the academy. And..... about Hope..." 

"Lily no...." Remus rolled over to her "we agreed no crying until after the final. Then we can video call my parents and eat ice cream and cry watching sitcoms of dysfunctional families the rest of the day." 

Lily let out a week laugh and blinked back her tears. She knew Remus was avoiding. She knew he was going to crash. But she also knew he was going to wait until after this final... 

"Right" She agreed with a nod and a half salute. "Better get ready for bed. Big day tomorrow." 

-

Sirius threw himself down onto his bed, tired, and mentally drained. He had a really great workout, and Dorcas had given him quite a bit to think about over Pizza.

 

"I only became a certified trainer to make money while I figured out what I really wanted to do with my life. 4 years later and I am signed up for the police academy with this loon...." Dorcas rolled her eyes and gestured to James. 

"My best friend...." James deadpanned as he gestured back to Dorcas. 

"Think I could do it?" Sirius asked her. 

"Hell yea man! You'd be great!" 

"So you two are are just switching places now? Is that it?" Benjy laughed. 


He had grown fond of the idea the longer it festered in his mind, and so he pulled out his phone and started doing the research. 

It seemed fairly straightforward, and he had the added bonus of knowing Dorcas. And he was sure Mad-Eye would hire him on if he proved himself valuable. And maybe stopped putting his feet on his desk... 

He was lost in his mental planning and daydreaming about what it might be like, when he got a text from Remus. 

The Friendship:

(10:14pm) Professor: Changes by David Bowie. 

(10:14pm) Professor: Because you hadn't asked yet today, and I'm headed to bed soon. 

(10:15pm) Lifeboat: mhm 

(10:17pm) Professor: Everything ok? 

(10:17pm) Lifeboat: Yep. Night Remus.

(10:18pm) Professor: Ok....

(10:18pm) Professor: Goodnight Sirius.

-

Siriua sighed and tossed his phone onto the pillow next to him and allowed himself to confront the feelings he had successfully been avoiding for the last 4 hours. 

Benjy was going to ask out Remus. 

Of course Remus would say yes. Benjy was very good looking, a genuinely nice guy, a fucking amazing cook, and a decent kisser the last Sirius had checked- which to be fair was about 2 years ago, but still. 

Sirius had known for a while he had some budding feelings for Remus, but honestly just fucking sucked at showing that he cared for other people. 

Ugh. Fuck. 

He picked his phone back up, adding the David Bowie song to his growing Moonman Vibes playlist. He smiled as he scrolled through the list with a sigh before playing Changes, making sure the queue was on shuffle. He made it halfway through Watching My Phone by King Princess before.... 

The Friendship:

(10:48pm) Lifeboat: Its just been a long day, Moonman.

(10:48pm) Professor: Call? 

Calling Remus....

 

R- Hey

S- Hey 

R- ....we're good?

S- yea, of course Moony. Just been thinking a lot....

R- I get it. Thinking..... It can be tough to try new things. 

S- ..... Ha... Ha... 

R- How was the gym and pizza? 

S- Good.... Good.....

R- You sure? Haha you don't sound super confident about it.

S- Well I used the term beast mode and was shut down brutally by Marlene. I may need a few days to recover but, I think ill survive it. 

R- If you don't, I will avenge you. 

S- Thanks Moonman. You're literally the best person I know. 

[James- wow... I love you too.....] 

[S- love you Prongsie!]

R- haha! James can hear you? Where are you?

S- My room. But he came through to dump some work shirts of mine he washed with his earlier. 

R- awe you two are like the iconic domestic couple. 

S-  Baahaha! Prongs wishes he could pull this. 

[James- hard pass!]

R- Ouch! 

S- Right? No respect.... How was studying? 

R- Really great! I think Pete is going to crush his biology final. Mary really gave me a run for my money in Chemistry.... hmm what else.... OH! And Frank and Al are such relationship goals. Its disgusting how perfect they are. 

S- No! Moony! Another couple! Haha Its like a disease.... 

R- Haha! I know! That's exactly that I said to Lily when she pointed it out to me! Like... those exact words! 

S- baahahaha!

R- How's your day going now? 

S- It's much improved. 

R- Im glad

S- .... I think I might become a certified trainer. 

R- That's great Sirius!

S- Just as a filler until I find what I want to do. 

R- I get that. That's what D did...

S- Yea I know. She's the one who gave me the idea!

R- haha! You two are just switching everything huh?

S- ugh. That's what Benjy said....

R- How's he doing with that new restaurant head chef gig?

S- seems fine. 

R- We should eat there sometime. I wana check it out. .....you know, with everyone. 

S- Right. Of course. 

R- ....

S- .... 

R- Well, I'm headed to bed. Early day tomorrow.

S- Right! Last final of the semester huh? 

R- Yup! Im nervous. But ready. 

S- Good luck. You'll do great!

R- Thanks Sirius. Goodnight. 

S- Night, Moony. 

Chapter Text

Friday night found Sirius, James, Lily, Remus, Benjy, Marlene, Dorcas, Al, Frank, Fabian, Gideon, Emmeline, and Kingsley all squeezed excitedly into the 3rd row of the university auditorium. They were engrossed in the show, whispering about how good it was during the intermission, and batting each other excitedly each and every time Pete or Mary walked on stage.

By the end of the show, James and Sirius had hooked Marlene and Dorcas into seeing all 3 future performances with them, with promises from everyone else to attend at least once more. It was amazing. Peter was amazing. 

As the curtain fell, and the cast began to walk out to take their bows, the group stood to clap with everyone else, slowly unzipping their jackets in anticipation for Peter to walk on stage. He had a lead roll, so he was one of the last to come out, and when he did his eyes found his friends immediately. Partly because they were the largest, loudest group, and partly because of what they were wearing. 

Each person was wearing a black shirt with a large crimson letter on it. Standing up side by side in the audience they spelled out: FUCK YEA WORMY! 

He was halfway through the bow when he realized what it said. He gave an enthusiastic fist pump, pointing in acknowledgments to his friends as he walked back to the rest of the cast.

As everyone took a final bow together, the 3rd row roared with applause and Peter grinned ear to ear, thinking 'this could be the best night of my life...' 

-

"Pete that was so fucking legit!" James shrieked as he and Sirius practically tackled him after the show. 

"You saw our shirts?! Did you love it?!" Sirius laughed as Benjy and Kingsley joined in on the Pete pile. 

"Ye- ah! Get off!" Peter gasped through his laughter "Yes! I loved it! Just like-" 

"The 3rd year rugby final!" He and Sirius shouted together, jumping up and down like 5 year olds, building on each others excitment. 

"Oh fuck I remember that!" Kingsley laughed. "At least we got to wear shirts."

"Do I even want to know?" Mary smiled as she came up behind the group. 

"Mary!" They all shouted, causing her to flinch slightly at the sudden noise. But she smiled and excepted graciously the many compliments of "you were amazing!" "So talented!" "Hollywood here you come!" as Peter pulled her into a deep hug. 

"I can't believe you all came!" Pete said as he shook his head in disbelief. 

"Of course we all came" Marlene said incredulously with an eye roll  "we kinda love you, you big idiot." 

Sirius turned to James and said in a robust and thoughtful tone "shall we try for the front row at the afternoon show tomorrow, old chap?" 

James put his finger to his chin and nodded. "I do say old boy, I think that might be wise." 

"What?" Peter laughed in confusion. "You two are coming for the matinee?"

"Of course we are!" Sirius and James shouted together. 

"And me and Dorcas!" Marlene added, raising in the air the hand she was holding.

"You really don't have to do that..." Peter replied shyly. 

"We know that Wormy but- wait!" Sirius said with a gasp, his hand over his heart "do you not want us there?" He glanced at James, throwing his head on his friends shoulder with big fake sobs as James gave Peter a "how could you" look, patting Sirius comfortingly on the shoulder. 

Peter laughed lightly, flicking Sirius on the ear to get him to stop, as Marlene rolled her eyes again. 

"We can probably lock them in the laundry room or something" Dorcas said with a shrug as she gestured to the boys, who both pretended to weep harder at her words. 

"Move aside bitches" Lily shouted as she moved through to get to Peter and Mary to congratulate them. 

Everyone took it in turns to gush over how great it was, promising to return for another showing, and assuring Peter he had made the right call by switching his major. Mary looked pleasantly surprised to be included, and blushed furiously when Al gave her a knowing smirk before they left with Frank. 

-

The cast and crew from the show all decided to eat together, leaving the group to part ways. Sirius was going with Dorcas and Marlene to answer his million questions about trainer certification, leaving James free to head back with Lily and Remus to help them both begin preparing for their trips. 

Remus was really quiet on the ride home, content to let James and Lily talk about the pranks from his Hogwarts days that had been Peters idea. There weren't many, but the ideas he did have were surprisingly epic. 

"You ok Rem?" Lily asked in the elevator on the way up to the apartment. 

"Yea man, your being awfully quiet" James added with a raised eyebrow "I haven't heard nearly enough sarcastic commentary from you today..." 

Remus smiled and shook his head. "Ehh... Benjy asked me out" he shrugged "we've been texting for a few days, and he asked me out for when I get back from home."

"What?!" Lily gasped, slapping him on the chest. "Remus you bitch! Spill!" 

He laughed lightly rubbing the spot on his chest as if it had hurt. "That's it!" He assured her. "There is nothing to tell!"

She scoffed as they walked into the apartment, tossing her key onto the little table. She turned to James and eyed him suspiciously. "You have known Benjy for a long time right?" James nodded. "Dish." She demanded as she pulled both boys onto the couch with her. 

"What do you want to know? You've met him..." James shrugged. "He's exactly how he seems. Nice, good job..." Lily nodded for him to continue. "Fuck, I don't know" he laughed with his hands raised slightly in surrender "he's not an axe murderer?"

"See Lily" Remus said in a sarcastic as he stood up "we are clearly soul mates." She flipped him off, but he pretended not to notice. 

"When did you two start texting?" She asked more gently. 

"A few days ago" he shrugged. 

"Day after that study night?" James asked. 

"Yea...." Remus said in a questioning tone. "How did you-?"

"Oh he actually asked us about you at the gym. Me and Sirius and Marlene" he amended. "Said he was thinking about asking you out and asked if you were seeing anyone." 

"Awwwww. Well, thats kind of adorable" Lily smiled. 

"Sirius was there?" Remus asked as casually as he could. He felt a Lily's eyes on him, but refused to look at her as he busied himself with taking his shoes off slowly. 

"Umm... yea..." James fumbled. "He and Sirius actually dated for a few months before Benjy graduated. He was the same year as Marlene.... before she left to private dance school... and they stayed friends..." 

He was rambling. It was becoming painful, but he couldn't stop himself. Thankfully Lily stepped in. 

"Well... are you going to go?" 

Remus sighed deeply, tossing his shoes the short distance to the basket by the door. "I don't know Lil... I guess I will see how it feels when I get back from the country." She nodded and squeezed his hand lightly. 

"You're headed out tomorrow, right?" James said, thankful for the subject change. 

"Yup! Lily is dropping me at the airport at 6 sharp" 

"Ouch!" James said with a pained face. "That's early!" 

"Yea..." Lily laughed. "Let's get you packed up!" 

They spent the next half hour sorting through a weeks worth of clothes for Remus to take with him before Lily and James disappeared into Lily's room to begin sorting through her things. 

Remus pulled his phone out of his pocket, smiling to see he had another text from Benjy. It had been a bit since he dated. This might be good for him, he thought, pushing down the tiny bit of disappointment he felt that he didnt have a text from Sirius. 

-

"A 4 month course isn't too bad" Sirius said. "I think I could manage that, but do you think Moody would give me some training slots at Fit Space?" 

"I actually already mentioned to him that you might be going into training" Dorcas grinned. "He pretended to be annoyed at first- for show... you know how he is-" Sirius nodded with a chuckle. "But he thinks its a good idea. And said you could probably take on some of my clients when I leave while your training for a discounted price." She added, smiling even wider at the look of excitment on Sirius's face. 

"What!? Yes! Thats amazing!" Sirius practically shouted over his sushi. "Is that allowed though? Since I won't be legit yet?" 

"As long as the client agrees" she nodded. "And most of them will. Especially with a discount, and a recommendation from their favorite trainer" she finished with a dramatic flip of her dark hair. 

"You are seriously the fucking best D!" Sirius gushed. "Like... I might have to fight James for you" he said with a laugh. 

"Hey! Back off bitch!" Marlene scolded playfully, putting her head on Dorcas's shoulder. 

They finished their sushi and ordered some hot tea to drink while they talked some more, no one quite ready to wind the night down yet. 

"I think I'm going to take a business class this summer too" Sirius added casually between sips. 

"Yes!" Marlene slapped the table excitedly, immediately looking around apologetically to the near by tables mouthing "sorry" as people gave her looks. 

Dorcas and Sirius laughed as she flipped them off subtly by scratching her face. 

"I'm glad you are so excited" Sirius laughed. 

"Yes! Then we can go into business together!" Marlene nodded happily. "A fitness center of our own where I can have a dance studio, and you can do whatever it is you do at the gym with the heavy things and grunting" she said with a dismissive wave of her hand as the other two laughed. 

"Only if we can name the studio 'Siriusly good dancey dance place'" Sirius smirked as Marlene rolled her eyes. 

"I agreed, if we can call the gym part 'McKinnon you buff'" she countered. They shook hands, then burst out laughing. 

"Well it's official, " Dorcas said as she stood to go to the bathroom, pointing between the two friends. "You two are insane." 

Marlene and Sirius watched her walk away in silence for a moment before Marlene scoffed. "It's like she's never met us..." 

"I know...." Sirius sighed dramatically. "What do you even see in her?" 

Marlene laughed with a shrug of her shoulders. "The sex is phenomenal" she replied simply, taking a small sip of her tea, ignoring the sarcastic groan of disgust next to her. 

-

The Friendship:

(11:56pm) Lifeboat: Packing up? 

(11:56pm) Professor: Finished a bit ago. Trying to sleep but too anxious to get home. 

(11:56pm) Professor: Still with Marls and D? 

(11:57pm) Lifeboat: Kinda. Spending the night with Marls and helping her pack up her dorm all morning. 

(11:57pm) Professor: You and James are the packing pros huh? He was helping earlier too. 

(11:58pm) Lifeboat: Haha boarding school... 

(11:58pm) Professor: Right. I forget sometimes lol

(11:58pm) Lifeboat: Her royal highness just demanded me to sleep. 

(11:59pm) Professor: haha goodnight Sirius. 

(11:59pm) Lifeboat: Wait!

(11:59pm) Lifeboat: Last song?

(12:00am) Professor: Haha 

(12:00am) Professor: Too Much On My Mind by The Kinks. 

(12:01am) Lifeboat: Night Moonman.

(12:01am) Professor: Goodnight, Sirius.

 

Chapter Text

Remus said a sincere thanks to his Uber driver and started the walk up the broken sidewalk that lead to his childhood home. It was pretty early in the day still, just past 1pm, but he was surprised to find the front door unlocked. Living in New York for the last year had really changed him, and he laughed to himself as he pushed the door open with a shout. 

"Hello! Im a robber! Im here to rob you of all your robable things!" He heard the gleeful gasp of his mother from the kitchen followed by the hearty chuckle from his dad, and was washed over by the unmistakable feeling of home. 

He dropped his bags unceremoniously by the door and kicked his shoes off as his dad made his way through the kitchen door, followed excitedly by his mom. "You came to the wrong house for robbing, son" Lyall chuckled as he pulled Remus into a deep, fatherly hug. 

"I don't know dad" Remus laughed, pulling away and grabbing one of the many framed pieces of artwork from his childhood from the mantle, "this looks like it could pull a pretty penny." His dad laughed and pulled him in for a second hug before his mother started swatting him away to get her turn. 

"Come on move! I only pushed this boy out of my body for-" 

"-33 excruciating hours..." the two men droned with her, having heard this at least once a week since Remus could talk. They all laughed as his mother reached up to hug him tightly, her thinning hair tickling his nose as he lifted her a few inches in the air without much effort. 

"What are they feeding you in that city Remmy" his mother scolded playfully. "You're too tall. I don't remember you being this tall!" She turned to her husband, "do you remember him being this tall Lyall? It's crazy!" His dad shook his head in agreement, sharing a smirk with Remus as she pulled them both into the kitchen for some tea. 

It was so good to be home

Remus spent the first few hours before dinner telling them about school, and his crazy group of friends, and they caught him up on the neighborhood drama after the spring block party. They were definitely going around the topic of his mothers cancer, but Remus was happy to oblige her these moments of happiness without having to think about being ill. 

They had a late dinner followed by chamomile tea, and his mother went to bed shortly after. The excitment of the day had taken a good deal of energy from her, but she still squeezed Remus tighter than a woman her size should be allowed before calling it a night. 

 


Remus set his tea down on the coffee table and gave his dad a determined look, which was answered with a sigh, a nod, and him leading Remus to the back porch where they wouldn't wake his mom with their chatter. 

"She seems to be coping well" Remus began "but I know how stubborn she can be." His dad nodded with a light chuckle, raising his eyebrows. "So tell me how she really is." 

His dad looked at him for a good while, as if the vocal space would prepare them both for what he was about to say. 

"Remus, she's tired..." Lyall said with a sigh, leaning back in his chair. Remus just continued to look at his father, waiting for him to continue. 

"The thing is, she tried for a while. And the cancer is spreading. Started with some small masses in her left lung. They were going to take the whole lung out, but more scans showed it had spread."

Remus watched his dad blink back tears and clear his throat without much success. When he started to speak again, it felt as though Remus was hearing the words through a long tunnel. "She doesn't want to treat anymore. She... she doesn't want to spend her last weeks miserable from chemo." Lyall took a ragged breath and wiped away the tears that had escaped his eyes.

Remus couldn't breath. His brain could only repeat the words his father had said. 

Her last weeks... 
Weeks.
.....Weeks? 

"Weeks? She only has... she only has weeks?" Remus choked out. He searched his dads face, begging him to say something to the contrary, but he just met his eyes and nodded solemnly. 

"They found a mass on her brain yesterday" Lyall mumbled. "Dr. Says treatment would give her more time, but that's it." 

"Fuck..." Remus whispered hoarsely to himself as the tears came in full force. "Fuck!" He shouted, shoving his chair out from under him so hard it hit the brick of the house behind him.

He doubled over as a guttural growl of emotional pain escaped him, and the full understanding that he was really going to lose his mother grabbed him by the lungs. 

He felt his father wrap him tightly in his arms as he waged war for breath that wouldn't come. How was this fair? How could this woman who had fought so hard for his health when the doctors didn't know what was wrong with him just... just die

Remus was vaguely aware that he had fallen to the ground, wrapped haphazardly in his father embrace as they both wept unrestrainedly, holding each other for support, and shaking with violent agony so deep it was actually physical. 

They stayed there for a long time, and when Remus finally stood to pick his chair back up, he tried to recall a time he had ever embraced his father in such a fashion, but nothing came to mind. 

Both men were wiping their eyes and sniffling as they retook their seats. When their puffy red eyes met, they both let out a breathy half chuckle, neither sure what was funny, and both immediately remorseful of finding humor in such a moment. 

Remus let his head rest on the back of the chair he was sitting in as he slouched down, still feeling like he wasn't getting adequate oxygen. "I should have brought more things" he said, more to himself than anything. 

"Remus. No" Lyall said sternly, understanding immediately where the conversation was going. "She doesn't want you to see her like that. Its no-" 

"What about what I want?" Remus cut in defensively. "She's dying..." he mumbled. 

"Remus...." his dad pierced him with a very sincere look, "she will not know who you are or even who she is. She doesn't want that. Please imagine how you might feel..." he finished with a knowing look at his son. 

Remus sighed deeply. He DID know. He had always been the sick one. He had tried to shelter the people he loved, even pretending he felt fine when he was in agony and close to death, just to spare his mother the heartache. 

He closed his eyes and nodded as the agony tried to drown him again. 

A long while of silence later, his dad called it a night and left Remus to his untethered thoughts. He would stay as long as he could. He would call the bookstore and Moody in the morning to move shifts and find a fill-in for his karate classes. Moody could teach the classes in a pinch, and he had already trained Arthur at the bookstore to cover him for the week he planned, so hopefully it wouldn't be an issue to extend that a week or two more. Checking the time, he made up his mind and texted Lily. 

House of Hotties: 

(9:33pm) Moony: I need you. 

Incoming call from Lily....

R- hey

L- hey whats u- are you crying? Remus whats wrong?

R- she's dying Lil. She has.... she has weeks. 

L- oh my god... Im coming. 

R- Lily no... Japan... 

L- I don't leave for 6 days. I can fly out from there. Remus... please... 

Lily could hear Remus sobbing on the other end, and waited patiently as the tears fell in earnest from her own eyes. 

R- ok yea.... yea I think she would like that.

[James- What can I do? What do you need?] 

R- is that James? 

L- Yea, it's James. 

[Lily- flight. I need to fly out tonight. Right now] 
[James- ok. Ive got it. 

R- tell him thanks from me. 

L- what can I do Remus? Tell me.... tell me how I can help. 

R- I need more stuff. I only brought stuff for the week. 

L- of course Rem. Anything. 

R- and my good camera. The one mom got me before I moved here. I want that. 

L- ok, im packing it now. 

R- Lily.....?

L- yea?

R- ........ This fucking hurts.... it hurts so much.... 

L- ..... I know... 

Lily had to sit down as the force of the sadness weighed on her body, threatening to knock her to the floor. She picked up a pillow from Remus's bed and threw it hard, needing to release some of the emotional pressure she was building up, but not feeling any better after. 

They cried together on the phone, separated by nearly 1,000 miles, each one grasping the phone for dear life with one hand and holding their head with the other. 

L- I'm coming Remus. Ill be there soon. 

Chapter Text

"Hello! Can you hear me!?" James shouted excitedly through the laptop as Remus and Lily lay on their stomachs, shoulder to shoulder, on Remus's childhood bed.

They laughed as Sirius came into the video frame, giving James a hard shove right off of their couch. "They can hear you in China you dolt, stop screaming!" 

The two boys grappled playfully for a few minutes while Remus and Lily watched in amusement on the other side of the screen. Though they had only been gone a few days, they had both really missed these two idiots. All of their friends back in the city were trying to give them space and time to spend with Remus's mom, and Remus was very grateful. 

"Fuck, we've missed you two" Lily laughed as James and Sirius's full on wrestling match tempered down to gently elbowing each other in turn while trying to look innocently at the camera. 

"We miss you too" James beamed. "How is everything? How's your mom doing, Remus?" 

"She's tired all the time... takes a lot of naps" he replied with a sad smile "but really seems to be enjoying this time with family. She has a whole list of things she wants to do everyday." He laughed lightly, then sighed. "It's been really great actually, until I remember that she is dying..." 

"I'll bet she is just loving having you home though" James added soothingly. "Both of you..."

"Yea" Lily cut in, nudging Remus with her shoulder "She had this one on the piano this morning for the first time in... what? 3 years?" She looked to Remus who nodded shyly in confirmation. 

"I didn't know you could play!" Sirius said with poorly hidden surprise. "How did I not know this?"

Remus shrugged. "You never asked..." 

"What were you playing?" Sirius asked.

Lily let out a tiny chuckle as Remus rolled his eyes in amusement. "Rocky Mountain High- its her favorite. And there was a sad attempt at Somewhere Over The Rainbow, which is the song I played at my very last recital. She had requested that one." 

"It was great" Lily said "dont listen to him. He's very good, he just doesn't like it." 

"Anything for Hope though..." James added, and everyone nodded and mumbled their agreement. 

There was a moment of sad silence as the weight of death threatened to pin them before Remus smiled and asked with forced cheer "Tell us what's been going on." 

"Yea" Lily agreed, so incredibly thankful for the distraction. "Top 5 things. Spill. The. Tea." She punctuated each word with a clap.

James and Sirius laughed lightly, happy to oblige them. "Well...." James said with a smirk "Sirius has been writing songs." Sirius rolled his eyes and shook his head, but James continued on. "I'm trying to convince him to play at one of the open mic nights at The Three Broomsticks, but he's being hard headed about it." He added, giving his friend a small shove. 

"What?!" Remus exclaimed. "Sirius! You have to do it!"

"Yes! But wait until we all are back so that we can come too." Lily added excitedly, Remus nodding next to her.

"Ugh. Moving on..." Sirius rolled his eyes "Hmmm.... Oh! I have something" he said, sitting up straighter. "Marlene and Dorcas have officially moved in together, and are secretly driving each other mad."

James let out a bark of laughter next to him, giving an exaggerated nod. "Dorcas complains every morning about how Marlene doesn't clean the blender after her breakfast smoothie." 

"And all I hear from Marlene is how Dorcas snores, and Dorcas uses all the hot water... blah blah blah" Sirius added with a wild flapping hand gesture. 

"Oh no" Lily said with concern "will they be ok?" 

"Oh yea..." Sirius waved his hand again. "They are fine." 

"We hear way more than necessary about their sex life now too, so there is some balance" James grimaced as Remus and Lily both laughed at their struggle. 

"Well not everyone can have the domestic bliss that you two have" Remus snorted. 

"It's true" Sirius beamed, throwing his arm around James's shoulders. 

"It's totally different though" James said, leaning into Sirius with fluttering eye lashes "we're soul mates!" Remus and Lily cooed together as Sirius swatted away James's attempts at a peck on the cheek. 

"Well, they've got you there" Lily chuckled to Remus. 

They spent several minutes watching Sirius not-so-gently reject James's advances before shoving him bodily off the couch for the second time that night. "What number was that? 2 right?" He asked casually as James cursed him from the floor. 

"Yup. 3 more" Lily nodded.

"Prongs, you're turn- get off the floor you drama queen" he scolded as James let out an exaggerated sob. Sirius rolled his eyes. "Fine. Ill go." 

"No me!" James shouted, scrambling back into frame. "Pete and Mary had sex!" 

Lily and Remus looked at each other, then back at the screen, confused and grossed out in equal measure. 

"Oh! Shit they don't know..." James smacked his hand to his forehead. 

"Petey boys first...." Sirius nodded, placing his hand over his heart and wiping away a fake tear. "My son... all grown up and shit." 

"Oh fuck." Lily mumbled. "Good on him then.... I think?" 

Remus was just shaking his head with silent laughter. 

"Al told us they're thinking about room-sharing with Frank and Emmeline for this next semester" Sirius continued. "They are nervous, obviously, but we told them they were welcome to crash here if they ever needed some space."

James nodded with raised eyebrows. "Three people in that tiny 1 and a half bedroom...." 

"They are saving so much money though" Sirius shrugged, turning to James. "I'm grabbing some chips. Want some?" James nodded as Remus and Lily both scoffed together dramatically. 

"No we're fine, don't worry about us..." Lily said in her most lofty voice. 

"We don't want you're fucking chips anyway" Remus defended, giving Lily a consoling pat on the back. 

James looked at Sirius in mock surprise. "Is this drama? Are they giving us drama, Pads?"

"I believe so Prongs...." 

"How dare you!" James shouted indignantly, barley able to hide his smirk.

 

Sirius came back with the chips and some beers to sip on, while Remus left the frame to make some chamomile tea for himself and Lily. As soon as he left the room, Sirius asked the question him and James both wanted the answer to.

"How is Remus?" 

Lily looked down at her hands and sighed deeply. "He's.... ok. Until it's quiet" she said simply. "If he's busy, he's fine. He's just like his mom in that way" she smiled sadly. "I think he's struggling even more because he's realizing that this is how she felt every time he was sick before he had a diagnosis. It's like he's sad for the future, but sad for the past too. I hate it...." 

"Is there anything we can do" James asked. "We could come down?" 

"No no" Lily shook her head. "They are enjoying the quiet life right now...." James and Sirius nodded, at a loss for words to say. "I wish you both could have met her. She's.... she's incredible." 

Remus came back into the room and was immediately aware of the sad atmosphere, despite their attempts to plaster on smiles as he sat down with the teas. 

"So" he said, trying to interject some cheer back into the vibe "number five?" 

"Ah, yes. Number five..." James put her finger on his chin in thought. "Hmmm..... Well there is Marlene..." James said, sharing a knowing look with Sirius. 

"Ok? What's up with Marlene?" Lily prompted. 

"Well..." James started with a slight frown "she hasn't given her notice at the arcade yet." 

Lily and Remus looked at each other, then back at the screen, waiting for James to explain further. When he didn't, Remus pushed for more info. "Ok? And?" 

"She's suppose to be doing her tryout day after tomorrow" Sirius said "but its like she doesn't think she'll get it or something. She won't make any plans for if she gets accepted."

James nodded "And if anyone brings it up she just says 'I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.'" He ruffled his hair in agitation. "It's like she doesn't want it anymore." 

Sirius rubbed the back of his neck and tried not to look like he knew anything. Marlene had confided that information to him, and he knew she wasn't too excited about the idea of leaving. Perhaps even more so now that she was living with Dorcas. 

"Oh shit" Remus mumbled as Lily just shook her head in disbelief. "Should we ask her? Would that be weird?" 

"I mean, she wouldn't tell us..." James fumbled "and we're... well... we have been friends since I was born and...." 

"Yea" Lily said. "He's right Rem. What would we say anyway?" 


Remus sighed and took a sip of his tea, promptly choking on it a bit when Lily asked suddenly "have you guys heard from Benjy?" 

James laughed at Remus as Lily slapped him on the back, more for her own enjoyment than to help him with his coughing fit. She looked very pleased with herself, and wasn't even making an effort to hide her smirk as she turned her attention back to the screen. 

"Haha! Nah." James laughed. "Well I mean, he invited us to his restaurant, and I think he's going to sign up at Fit Space, but nothing other than that. Why? What do you know, Evans?" He said in an accusing tone. 

"Oh nothing" Lily said with an innocent wave of her hand. "Just that he's been texting Remus a lot and he refuses to tell me anything" she added with a heavy eye roll. Remus just flipped her off, unaware of how stiff Sirius had become on the other side of the country. 

James nudged him lightly to get him to snap out of it, though it didn't help much. Lily was trying to grab Remus's phone, but having zero luck due to the differences in their height and strength. Sirius met James's eyes and silently begged him to end the call. James got the message and cleared his throat with a deep sigh, as if very tired. 

"Well guys, we have an early shift tomorrow and are training the new morons- I mean employees" he corrected with a chuckle. "Call you tomorrow Lily?" She nodded and they said their goodbyes. Remus and Lily had plans to watch another one of their old favorite movies, while James mentally prepared to have a hard talk with Sirius. 

-

"Sirius..." James started, but Sirius just stood up and walked wordlessly toward his room. With a heavy sigh James cleaned up the light mess they had made of the chips before following his friend. 

Sirius was laid on his bed, scrolling through his phone, when James tapped lightly on the door frame.

"I don't really want to talk about it Prongs" he said before James could open his mouth. 

"Well, ill talk then" James said seriously. Sirius rolled onto his back and placed a pillow over his face, but waved his hand anyway in a gesture for James to carry on. 

"You can stop this" he started. "You can stop the entire thing with Benjy if you just tell Remus how you feel." He paused, waiting for Sirius to say something, but he didn't, so he continued. "You like him, and he is a great guy. I honestly don't understand why this is so difficult." He grabbed the pillow from Sirius face and tossed it across the room, forcing Sirius to look at him. 

Sirius sighed. "I don't know either, James." And there was a struggle going on behind his eyes that made James's breath hitch. He could never understand Sirius fully, because he hadn't been through what Sirius had, even if he would have gladly taken his place to spare his friend.

"It's like I can hear my mum and dads voice in my head telling me I'm unlovable..." Sirius blinked heavily "... telling me that I don't know how to care about people." He rubbed his eyes with the heal of his palm and sniffed. "It's shit, but... fuck I don't know... I can't get them out of my head." He looked up and into James eyes, desperate for some sort of answer. "If the people who are genetically designed to love me can't manage it, maybe I really am just...." he choked out a small sob as the rest of the sentence died in his throat. 

James sat down on the bed cross-legged in front of his best friend- his brother, as Sirius sat up and let his head fall into his hands with a loud sniff. 

"Your childhood was fucked Pads. It was... and I wish I could change it but...." he shook his head, trying to find the right words, and hoping they would be enough. "Don't let their bull shit stop you from living a happy life." He nudged Sirius lightly with his foot. "Don't let their bull shit become your bull shit." 

Sirius took a deep breath and looked up at James. "All the Blacks do is hurt people. They aren't capable of love." 

James met his eyes and pierced him with the most determined stare Sirius had ever seen. "Good thing you're a Potter then."

Chapter Text

It was a warm, beautiful morning, and Marlene felt very pretty in her flowy dance dress as a gust of wind ruffled the tapered layers around her body. She had arrived 20 minutes early and was pacing the front of the building where her audition would be held, wringing her hands uncharacteristically, out of nerves, and checking the time every 15 seconds or so. 

Every single one of her friends had messaged her that morning with words of encouragement and well wishes, and she scrolled through them again and again, trying to convince herself this was right. But it didn't feel right. 

Marlene wasn't nervous about the audition going poorly. She was nervous about it going well. She was nervous about what that would mean for her life and her dreams if she had to leave. She was nervous.... because it wasn't at all what she wanted. 

17 minutes to go


Sirius McKinnon/Marlene Black:

(9:43am) M- Hey bitch....

(9:43am) M- I need you. 

(9:43am) M- Sirius

(9:43am) M- SIRIUS!

(9:43am) M- SIRIUS ORION PADFOOT BITCH BLACK POTTER MCKINNON!!!

(9:43am) S- WHOA!

(9:43am) S- Calm down you freak. Its been 30 seconds... 

(9:44am) M- Ugh. Just call me when you get a second. But hurry. 


Calling Marlene...  


M- Im freaking out!

S- Oh yea? I couldn't tell.... 

M- Fuck off, Im serious. 

S- No, Im Siri-

M- Dont!

S- aren't you about to go into your audition? 

M- Suppose to yea. .... Im waiting outside. 

S- You're going to do great Marls. Really... you are the most talented person I kno-

M- I don't want to audition. 

S- ....... what?

M- I don't want to do the audition. 

S- No I heard you... but... what?

M- If I make it, then I leave. If I don't make it then I stay.... but then its only because I didn't get in. Like... it will seem like staying is a second choice when its not. 

Marlene was pacing at break-neck speed and talking just as fast. Her chest felt tight and she was convinced the air she was breathing wasn't making it all the way to her lungs. 

S- Hey. Marls, hey.... calm down ok. Sit down and take a breath for a second. It's ok. 

She sat on the base of a statue depicting a man and woman locked in arms as if they were cast in stone mid waltz, and the thought made her laugh as she caught her breath. 

S- Look Marls, if you don't want to do this then don't. It's that simple. 

M- If I give it up ill never get another shot....

S- Do you think you'll want another shot?

M- I don't know... maybe down the road... 

S- But your choice is now. Going in the future isn't an option whether you make it today or not.... 

M- Everyone in my classes were so jealous of this audition. It's like... why did I even go to school for dance if not for this? 

S- You said you wanted to teach, right? So teach. 

M- It's not that simple. 

S- Isn't it? Apply at studios. Offer to teach. Or shit... teach private to all those kids hoping to get into that fancy ass arts school you ditched Hogwarts for before Uni!

Marlene laughed, letting out all the air her body had been hording. Sirius was right. What the fuck was she doing? They spent several minutes on the phone in silence as she basked in the new calm she felt, and Sirius kept her company on the other end of the line. 

M- I want to say You're right.... But don't want you to get a big head about it. 

S- Me? A big head? Never in my life ha-

M- Yea yea... Come get me will you? I have to figure out what I'm going to tell Dorcas. We weren't planning for this. 

S- Marls. You weren't planning for anything. 

M- Ha. Ha. Just fucking come get me. 

S- Yes your highness... 


4 minutes to go. 


Sirius pulled his motorcycle up next to the statue Marlene had taken refuge on, checking his watch as she stood up to meet him. 

"4 minutes...." he shouted over the roar of the bike while nodding toward the building behind her "You sure about this?" 

"Yes" she said simply as she took the helmet he offered her, throwing her leg over and giving him a thumbs up. 

Sirius drove on, not exactly sure where they were going, but confident one of them would know when they got there. Sure enough, about 15 minutes down the road, Marlene tapped his shoulder and pointed to a sign for a coffee shop at the next exit. He nodded in agreement and switched lanes, looking forward to coffee and a muffin to make up for the breakfast he hadn't had yet. 

"What are you going to tell Dorcas?" Sirius jumped right into the topic as they sat down with their drinks and muffins. 

"I don't even fucking know...." Marlene sighed with a light shake of her head. 

"What's wrong with just telling her... well... exactly what you told me" He shrugged "It's not unreasonable to not want to spend 2 years traveling around.... never getting to see this beautiful face..." he fluttered his lashes dramatically over his coffee cup. 

Marlene snorted behind her own cup, tossing a crumpled napkin playfully at her friend. "When I moved in it was only until I left.... What if she doesn't want to live with me now that I'm staying long term...." 

"THAT'S  what you're worried about?" Sirius rolled his eyes and laughed loudly, shaking his head in puzzlement "She's going to be thrilled!" 

"....you think so?" 

Sirius stopped laughing, realizing she was genuinely concerned. "I know so." 

They sat in comfortable silence for a while, eating their muffins and watching the people outside of the window before Marlene spoke up. 

"That was a good idea about the private lessons" she nodded, impressed. "I had never thought of that, but I'm sure there is a market for it."

"Is this a compliment?" Sirius gasped dramatically, his mouth falling open as if in shock. "Aren't you afraid I'll get a big head?" He added with a raised eyebrow. Marlene flipped him off as they threw their trash in the recycle bin and headed back toward Sirius's motorcycle. 

"Home then?" Sirius asked, looking over his shoulder as Marlene climbed onto the bike. She nodded with a smile as Sirius flipped up the kickstand and turned the key. 

He dropped Marlene off outside of the apartment she shared with Dorcas, giving her a long hug before leaving. As he drove away, he mumbled over the roar of the engine "she'll be ok" to no one in particular. As if putting the words into the universe would somehow make it true. 

-

Marlene walked into the apartment not expecting at all for Dorcas to be there. She had been training with James in all of her off time in the mornings, so it was a surprise to see her sitting on the bed, clearly waiting for her arrival. As soon as Marlene closed the door behind her, Dorcas jumped up and ran the 7 steps to her. 

"So?" Dorcas said, a look somewhere between excitment and nausea on her face. "How did it go? Tell me everything! "Marlene smiled weekly as she allowed herself to be pulled to the tiny two seater table in the kitchen space.

"I'm not going." 

Dorcas stared, the smile falling slowly from her face. "You... you.... didn't make it?" She grabbed Marlene's hands, ready to console her. 

"No no... I didn't do the audition" she clarified, her eyes not leaving Dorcas's face. She was searching for a reaction, something to gauge how Dorcas might be handling the news. But Dorcas kept her face pretty neutral as she sat back in her chair patiently.

She would make a good cop, Marlene thought randomly as Dorcas took a second to gather her thoughts. 

"So, you have to reschedule?" 

"No..." Marlene sighed, shaking her head "no I was there and everything was on track to start, but...." she paused to take a deep, cleansing breath before continuing "I chose not to do the audition." 

Dorcas's eyebrows furrowed a bit as her mouth fell open in surprise. "What? ....why?"

"I don't want to go. I want to stay here. .....with you." 

Dorcas stood up quickly, letting go of Marlene's hand as she began to pace the 5 steps of the kitchenette. Marlene just watched her anxiously, waiting for her to say something. This wasn't exactly the reaction she had expected. 

"No" Dorcas said finally, pausing in her steps to look fully at Marlene. 

"No?" Marlene replied defensively. "What do you mean, no? This is MY choice not yo-"

"-I can't let you give up your dream for me! I can't be responsible for holding you back!" Dorcas had raised her voice slight and was becoming frantic as she resumed her pacing. 

Marlene stood up angrily and put her hands on Dorcas's shoulders. "I can make my own choices. I don't want to travel and never see the people I love. I don't want to spend my time making other peoples vission to come to life when I have my own. I don't want to be surrounded by catty bitches day and night who refuse to eat a decent pizza because they are scared of having an actual body fat percentage." She said each sentence calmly and simply, the last one earning her a small breathy chuckle in response. 

She moved her arms from Dorcas's shoulders to her hands, holding them tightly, trying to relay how sincere she was through her touch. 

"I don't want to wake up in a fancy hotel bed every morning regretting my choices because I'm not waking up next to you. It's only been 2 hours since I walked away from that future, and I already know it was the best decision I've ever made in my life."

For a long, solid minute, they just stared at one another.  Each one searching the other's expressions for any hints of doubt or apprehension, but finding none.

 

And then they were kissing. Their teeth grazing together, both of them unable to hold back the wide grins on their faces. Their hands finding hair and skin and curves... and it was happiness. 

 

Chapter Text

Remus had taken his dads car to drop Lily off at the airport at the unholy hour of 5am, and hoped to go back to sleep afterward. By the time he made it back into his bed it was nearly 7, and he was not at all tired.

Ugh. 

Bored, and fully aware that he wouldn't get a response for at least 2 hours, he picked up his phone. 

 

The Friendship: 

(6:51am) Professor: Lily left. I'm drowning in the sea of boredom and require a lifeboat rescue asap. 

(6:51am) Professor: Or ya know.... whenever you wake up.

(6:58am) Lifeboat: Someone called for a lifeboat? 

(6:58am) Professor: Wow. Isn't it a little early for you to be looking for castaways? 

(6:59am) Lifeboat: Ive been up since 5 actually. 

(6:59am) Lifeboat: Fucking Prongs has been waking up at the ass crack of dawn everyday to meet Dorcas for training. 

(6:59am) Professor: That sounds like hell. 

(7:00am) Lifeboat: It. Is. 

(7:00am) Lifeboat: And I swear if I hear Stay Ready one more fucking time! 

(7:00am) Professor: Stay Ready?

(7:01am) Lifeboat: Yea. By Adelitas Way. 

(7:01am) Lifeboat: Its good. But loses its appeal when forced to hear it at 5am. Every. Fucking. Morning. 

(7:02am) Professor: 😂 

(7:02am) Lifeboat: I think he's missing Lily a bit and channeling it all into preparing for the academy. 

(7:03am) Professor: When is the first day? 

(7:03am) Lifeboat: Day after tomorrow. I don't think I'll survive much longer without adequate sleep. 

(7:03am) Professor: You could go to bed earlier...

(7:04am) Lifeboat:  ..........

(7:05am) Professor: You're right. That was dumb. I take it back. 


Lifeboat changed 'Professor' to 'Castaway'


(7:05am) Castaway: haha nice

(7:06am) Lifeboat: So how is it over there?

(7:06am) Castaway: Mom is more tired everyday. And she had a seizure yesterday morning, so that was hard to witness. She has some meds to help now but, still... 

(7:07am) Lifeboat: I hate that for her. And for you. 

(7:07am) Lifeboat: What can I do? 

(7:09am) Castaway: Call? 


Incoming call from Sirius...


R- hey

S- Someone called for a lifeboat rescue? 

R- haha yea... I could use one. Haha 

Sirius was immediately aware of the sadness in Remus's tone, though he was clearly trying to mask it. He wanted to ask Remus about it, but wasn't sure if his responsibilities as 'lifeboat' included consoling, or if he was even capable of being that person for someone else.

His mind turned bitterly to Benjy, and he wondered if he had been the proverbial shoulder for Remus to cry on. The idea made him feel sick, and he shook his head to ride his brain of that thinking 

S- So.... was Lily excited to head to her dream summer job? 

R- Yea. But she didn't want to leave either.... we practically grew up together. 

S- She's good people, that Lily Evans. 

R- haha yea... My mom always jokes that Lily is the daughter she didn't know she wanted- until she met her... haha. 

S-  Baahahaa that's amazing! And you basically had a sibling that you could send home if they got annoying. 

R- Thats true... haha... I could tell mom was sad to see Lily go. But also really proud. 

S- Tell me something about her. Your mum. I love hearing you talk about her. 

R- Hmmmm.... well, she tried to teach me how to dance for Lily's prom... haha... that was tragic. ... dont get me wrong she's an amazing dancer- use to go out dancing all the time. It made her so happy...  haha but I'm hopeless.

S- baahahahaa! I would pay money to see you dance Moony! I bet you're brilliant!

R- haha im not. Trust me... 

S- whatever you say Moonman..... 

R- I wish my mom could have met all of my friends.... she was always trying to push me to meet people growing up because I was homeschooled, and I hated it. I had Lily and a few friends from Karate. I didn't need more.... but she would be happy to know that I have it now. 

S- Honestly the way you talk about her makes me feel super jealous that Lily got to fly out and I didn't  haha 

R- Yea, I probably shouldn't have been so stubborn about having this time alone with her. She loves people.... I actually think it's making her more down that she can't do much, and dad and I just want her all to ourselves.     ..... am I selfish? 

S- No.  ... Remus no. That's perfectly understandable. 

R- She doesn't want me here when she passes. I'm still angry about it and I feel bad for being angry. Like... what kind of monster son is angry at their dying mom.


Sirius frantically searched his memory for things that James and his parents had said to make him feel better; to validate him. It wasn't the same, but he felt a protective bolt surge through him and needed Remus to know he wasn't a bad person for having feelings. 


S- Remus......  whatever you feel is valid. I can't imagine how hard this is for you. Don't waste your energy being upset at yourself for having emotions. It's a difficult situation.

R- .......  you're right. I'm just in my feelings about it. I want to be here, but a small part of me is thankful I won't have those memories of her when she doesn't remember who I am. I get why she doesn't want it.... 

S- Will you fly back there again after she... after she is gone? 

R- Actually..... mom wants her ashes to be put into a tree. 

Sirius could hear the smile in Remus's voice as he explained, and couldn't help the small smile of relief that pulled at his own lips. 

R- She wants to be planted in New York too! She says we don't need more trees here... haha... but the city does I suppose. She said she wanted to give something back to the planet she loves.... There is a little cemetery there where it will be planted. 

S- Remus that sounds wonderful! And you can visit her whenever you want.

R- Yea... haha... and she joked that its the only way to get dad to visit the city. Haha she's not wrong... 

S- Baahaha! That's brilliant! You're mum is a true mastermind! Gah. I love her already. 

R- haha its true though. 

S- Can she adopt me? Can I be the second son she didn't know she wanted? 

R- hahaa! Ill ask.... But don't hold you're breath...

Sirius laughed, and could almost hear the eye roll Remus was giving him. He could listen to Remus laugh forever. It was the most beautiful sound. 

R- Well, I hear dad up. I think I'm going to actually get a start on the day... see if we can actually do something mom would like today. 

S- Remus? 

R- hmm?

S- Do you want company? ....you know... there? 

R- ..... Sirius you don't have to do that. I mean... mom would have loved it but, really. It's ok. I will be ok. 

S- Talk later then? 

R- of course. Goodbye Sirius.

S- later, Moony

-

Sirius created the group chat 'Party for Hope?'

Sirius added James, Dorcas, Lily, Marlene, and Peter to the group chat 'Party for Hope?' 

Party for Hope?:

(7:51am) Sirius: Ehhemm *taps glass with knife* 

(7:51am) Marlene: Breaks glass with knife... 

(7:51am) Peter: 😂😂

(7:51am) Lily: We are about to take off. I'm literally on the plane, Black. Whats this about Hope? 

(7:52am) Sirius: Remus mentioned she has dancing on her list, but she can't leave the house without needing a nap. What if we all fly there and throw her a dance party?

(7:52am) James: Yes. I am 100% on board!

(7:52am) Dorcas: ....he is literally jumping up and down. 

(7:52am) Dorcas: I've met Hope. She's cool as shit. And a major extrovert too. I bet she would like it. What do you think Red?

(7:53am) Lily: I think.... 

(7:53am) Lily: Yes. Do it. 

(7:53am) Sirius: fuck yea!

(7:54am) Lily: But be warned she gets tired easy. And Remus will try to talk you out of it, even if he has mentioned how he wished everyone else could have met her. 

(7:54am) Marelen: Well obviously we aren't telling Remus until we get there... 

(7:55am) James: Obviously. 

(7:55am) Peter: ok

(7:55am) Dorcas: Yea no definitely not. 

(7:55am) Sirius: See! This! This is why I fucking love you guys! 

(7:56am) Lily: Alright! We're taking off finally! Later bitches ✌


Lily was removed from the group chat

(7:58am) James: So lets do this. Everyone's in? 

(7:58am) Marlene: Obviously 

(7:58am) Dorcas: 100%

(7:59am) Peter: I have to be home by Monday. What days? I need details. Its my great aunts 80th next week and I'm obligated... 

(7:59am) Sirius: we could leave this afternoon and be there around 6? Just stay the one night and share a hotel, Boarding School style? 

(8:00am) James: Yes! Buy the tix Pads and we can send you the money. 

(8:00am) Sirius: Nope. My treat. Don't fucking argue. 

(8:00am) Marlene: 🙄 

(8:01am) Peter: Are we doing fancy party? Or BBQ style party? 

(8:01am) Dorcas: Definitely fancy. Hope use to do competitive ballroom dancing. She's going to fucking freak! 

(8:01am) Sirius: Remus said some stuff about not having a lot of friends growing up and how it worried her even though he wasn't bothered. Apparently she's v stoked he has us. 

(8:02am) Marlene: Let's see if she's still happy about it after Potter introduces himself. 

(8:02am) James: 🖕

(8:02am) Dorcas: Oh shit! James! 

(8:02am) Dorcas: Lily's parents will definitely be there. They are like... BFFs and live right by each other. 

(8:03am) Peter: .... this'll be fun.

(8:03am) James: 😳

(8:04am) Sirius: meet up at ours at noon and we will all head out together. Cool? 

(8:04am) James: 👍 

(8:04am) Marlene: Yup

(8:04am) Dorcas: word

(8:04am) Peter: Pick me up on the way? Car's shit... 

(8:05am) Sirius: I got you Wormy. 

-

Remus was attempting to make a hot meal for himself and his parents, but was elbow deep in all the memories of him nearly burning that very house to the ground from past attempts. 

His mom was taking a rest in the bedroom while his dad completed some work in his office and he just needed to feel useful. He had thought casserole would be the safest bet, and was just finished with layering the pan, about to put it in the oven, when he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. 

 

The Friendship: 

(6:13pm) Lifeboat: Moony can you do me a favor?

(6:13pm) Castaway: Depends.

(6:13pm) Lifeboat: Come pick me up from the airport? 

(6:14pm) Castaway: WHAT?!

(6:15pm) Lifeboat: Well, we would take an Uber... but we don't know your address and Lily is on an international flight so.... Be a dear? 

(6:15pm) Castaway: WE?! 

(6:16pm) Lifeboat: Of course! Me, James, Dorcas, Marlene and Pete. 

(6:16pm) Lifeboat: I tried to come alone but... alas... I am not solo in my desperate desire for Hope Lupin to adopt me. 

(6:17pm) Castaway: Oh my fucking hell

(6:17pm) Lifeboat: Well that sounds like a yes! We will be waiting in the pickup lane. 

(6:18pm) Castaway: yea. I suppose I better..

(6:18pm) Castaway: Fuck. It'll take me 40 minutes to get there. 

(6:18pm) Lifeboat: Ehh. We have time.

(6:19pm) Castaway: I can't believe you guys are here. 

(6:19pm) Castaway: this is a fucking shock

(6:20pm) Lifeboat: A good one?

(6:20pm) Castaway: The best


"Dad?" Remus called into the living room. "Can you finish this up? I... I have to pick someone up from the airport."

"Something happen with Lily's flight?" Lyall asked with a worried look as he entered the kitchen. 

Remus was hurriedly putting his shoes on as he explained. "No no, nothing like that. Umm... some friends wanted to come and meet mom." He wasn't sure how his dad would take to having strangers around, but he knew his mom would love it. 

He stopped to face his dad, timidly adding "it was a surprise. I didn't know they were coming..." 

Lyall closed the door to the oven and set the timer before turning to his son. "She's going to love that Remmy." 

As Remus walked toward the front door, grabbing the keys and a light coat on the way, he shouted over his shoulder "Don't be surprised if you get ambushed with adoption papers!"

Chapter Text

Sirius was like an excited puppy waiting for Remus to pull up. He kept leaning over to see further down the lane, as if it would make Remus appear quicker, while behind his back his friends smirked at one another in amusement. 

"I think that's him!" He shouted as the familiar messy curls that could only belong to Remus Lupin came into view. They all put their bags down in preparation to ambush him, and as soon as Remus got out of the car, that's exactly what they did. 

"Moony!" Sirius shouted as all of the friends piled around to hug him. 

There were lots dramatic wails of "its been ages!" And "I nearly forgot what you looked like" as well as "I can't believe you left me with these nut jobs" from Dorcas as the other airport goers watched their exchanges with varying expressions of interest and annoyance. 

They loaded their belongings, unceremoniously tossing the bags into a heap in the trunk, and then piled in tightly. Sirius called shotgun, so it was Peter, James, Marlene, and Dorcas who spent the 40 minute car ride taking turns lightly flicking him in the ear to express their dislike of being squeezed together in 3 seats, while Sirius ignored them, so as not to offend Remus. 

 

"I still can't believe you guys are here" Remus said for the 6th time as they pulled into the driveway of his modest family home.

Dorcas reached across the car and pinched Remus hard on the arm. "Now do you believe it!?" 

"Yes! ok!" Remus yelped, rubbing his arm tenderly. "But I'm a little less happy about it..." 

They were still laughing as they began walking to the house; Dorcas making threatening pinching motions with her hands, and Sirius desperately trying to soak every inch of the place into his memory. 

"Mom! Dad!" Remus called jovially as he walked through the door and popped his shoes off. "I've got some people here who want to meet you!" 

The rest of the group followed Remus's example and took their shoes off as Lyall and Hope joined them in the living room. 

"Remmy!" Hope laughed "Are these your friends?" She asked it with so much genuine joy that everyone in the house was smiling from ear to ear as she spoke. 

Hope went to greet the girls first, immediately commenting how much she loved Marlene's hair, while Lyall ushered them toward the kitchen table for tea. Srius and James were both mouthing 'Remmy?' through the smirks on their faces as Remus flipped them both the bird behind his mothers back. 

 

They spent a solid hour telling Hope how they all met. Marlene and Dorcas described in painful, hilarious detail how Lily had completely shut James down when he first spoke to her, and Sirius raved about all the great music Remus was introducing him too. She enjoyed hearing all about Peter's play as well, and squealed with laughter as Remus told her what they had done with the shirts in the audience. James and Sirius had most of the details since they went to every show and told her how they had even thrown flowers at his last one. 

"It was a full freaking rose bush!" Peter shouted indignantly over roars of laughter from the group. 

"So ungrateful" James scoffed, his hand dramatically clutching his heart as if truly wounded. 

"This is the thanks we get...." Sirius added loftily with mock disappointment as he consoled James. 

Remus couldn't remember the last time he saw his mother so alive and happy. He mentally filed away the image of her in his mind so he could recall it in later life; her head thrown back, out of breath from laughing, with tears of joy threatening to spill over onto her cheeks. 

 

They had all agreed in the car to keep the dance party a secret until the next day, so when Remus stood to take them to the hotel, Hope was delighted to hear that they all would be making another visit tomorrow. 

As they poured back into the car, Dorcas taking the passenger seat this time, everyone raved about how amazing Remus's parents were and how funny Hope was. 

"Yea... it's a damn shame none of that rubbed off on you REMMY!" James joked from the backseat as everyone laughed. 

"Fuck you" Remus laughed. 

 

The hotel was only a few short miles from Remus's neighborhood, and so he stayed and made plans for the party there, all of the friends piled onto the king bed James, Sirius, and Peter would be sharing that night. 

By the time Remus was ready to leave, he felt 20 pounds lighter, only then realizing how much the grief had been weighing on him. He was sure all the plans they made were perfect, and that his mom would love it. All that was left to do was talk to a few of his moms friends on their street and see who was available tomorrow evening. 

"I hope this is all ok" Sirius said as he walked with Remus down to the car. "I sometimes don't think things through so.... I don't know... I thought your mom woul-" 

"- this is great Sirius. Really" Remus cut in "she's so glad you all are here. ....I'm glad you're here too." 

Sirius smiled sheepishly as the elevator took them to the lobby. "I could have invited Benjy I suppose... I didn't think about it." 

"Nah." Remus laughed "Benjy is great, but you guys are my closest friends.... well besides Lily. This is perfect." 

They walked the rest of the way in silence, but as the car came into view Sirius asked "Ok so... last song?" 

"You mean other than that rot Pete had on in the car?" Remus grimaced.

Sirius laughed and nodded his head. "Yea that doesn't count. The last thing you listened to for yourself."

"Hmmm...." Remus thought for a second "oh I remember. Waterloo by ABBA." 

Sirius laughed a little as he shook his head. "Didn't peg you for an ABBA man, Remmy."

"I'm a complex creature" Remus added with a shrug as he climbed in the car "and don't call me Remmy!" He scolded with a pointed finger before driving away, leaving Sirius laughing in the parking lot. 


None of the friends could sleep that night, so when Lily finally arrived in Japan at 2am, they were happy to regale her the story of the trip. It wasn't until nearly 3 that anyone felt remotely tired enough to actually prepare to sleep. 

-

House of Hotties:

(3:01am) Lilyflower: You up?

(3:01am) Moony: Yes. Ugh. Can't sleep. 

(3:01am) Moony: How were your flights?

(3:02am) Lilyflower: fine fine

(3:02am) Lilyflower: Now tell me... were you surprised?!

(3:03am) Moony: ... I still feel like I might wake up and them not actually be here. Like... why would they do this? For me?

(3:04am) Lilyflower: umm because they care about you! 

(3:04am) Moony: yea..

(3:05am) Lilyflower: You know this was Sirius's idea right?

(3:05am) Moony: I kinda figured haha

(3:06am) Lilyflower: well Im tired. Like... so fucking tired. Remember everything so you can tell me about it. 

(3:06am) Moony: You got it! Goodnight Lil.

(3:06am) Lilyflower: and send me pictures all through the night.

(3:07am) Moony: you know I will, goodnight. 

(3:07am) Lilyflower: I want to get so many pictures It'll feel like Im there with you!

(3:07am) Moony: Of course. I'm not a monster. Now go to SLEEP! 

(3:08am) Lilyflower: 🖕 

(3:08am) Lilyflower: Goodnight. 


-

"Do you think we should have invited Benjy?" Sirius asked as he James and Peter were attempting to sleep. It was nearing 4 and none of them had done more than doze off, even after Marlene and Dorcas left to their room. 

"Why on earth would we do that?" Peter mumbled, half asleep. 

"Well... I mean he's Remus's friend... and our friend too... and they are talking a lot more..." Sirius fumbled. 

James sighed deeply, about to comment, when Pete cut in with a yawn as he rolled over onto his side "Nah. Everyone knows you and Remus are OTP. Well.... everyone but you and Remus apparently...."

There was a long stretch of silence where James and Sirius both just stared at Peter. 

"See!" James shouted with a bark of laughter "even Wormy knows what's up!" 

"Hey!" Pete groaned defensively.

James let another laugh escape as he patted Pete on the shoulder. "No offense man, but you don't always pick up on that stuff..." 

"..... that's fair." Pete relented "but most people aren't so obvious." 

Sirius blushed furiously as he flipped them both off, allowing himself to laugh as he, too, rolled over and closed his eyes. As he drifted off he thought of Remus, Hope, and Lyall, and how perfect and easy it all seemed to be; laughing at the kitchen table with them. It had been a really good day. Tomorrow would be even better. 

Chapter Text

Most of the next day was passed looking at old photos of Remus, and laughing good naturedly at his many awkward phases growing up. There was some obvious skirting around the topic of Remus's illness, and Sirius wasn't sure if it was because Hope didn't want to embarrass Remus by revealing more than they already knew, or if she generally preferred to not bring it up because the topic was a mournful one for her. 

Either way there were large sections of his lifes timeline that went undisclosed, and if they happened upon a photo of him playing board games with Lily in hospital bed or with an oxygen mask at a family dinner, she acted as though it was perfectly normal.

Halfway through a photo album that mainly featured Remus in his preteen years, Sirius realized that this probably was normal for them, and the thought made him an odd combination of sad and comforted. 

There were several photos that featured hope with bright hair color in various fashionable styles, which was very exciting to Marlene in particular. 

"Look at you Hope!" She shrieked, pointing to a photo of her with Remus. She had bright purple hair and the cutest curly bob hair style. "You are such a fox!" 

Hope blushed with a light chuckle as the rest of the group murmured their agreement. 

"Mom rarely had her hair a natural color" Remus added as he threw a loving arm around Hope's shoulders. 

"It's true" Lyall chuckled. "Once, when Remmy here was about 6, she went to pick him up from school and he walked right by her! Didn't even recognize her because she had gotten her hair done a light brown that morning" He shook his head fondly at the memory, grabbing Hopes hand to hold in his. 

"I vowed that day never to dye my hair a natural color again" Hope laughed loudly. "Couldn't have my own son not recognize me!" Her laughter tapered off as she let out a little sad sigh. "Haven't gotten it done in a while. No point really..."

No one really knew what to say to that. 

Well... except Marlene. 

"I dye my hair because it makes me feel good" Marlene said, meeting Hopes gaze across the table. 

Hope smiled gratefully at her and nodded in agreement. "I always felt the best with the pink. It made me feel young and reckless I suppose" she chuckled. 

"Well then!" Marlene clapped her hands together standing up and grabbing her purse from the back of her chair. "Let's do it." 

"What? Now?" Hope asked in surprise.

Marlene just shrugged. "Yea, why not? If you're up for it, then I am. I've been thinking of making a change for a while myself." 

Hope looked to Lyall, who gave her an encouraging smile, and then stood up to follow Marlene out the door, handing her the keys to the family car as she walked. 

"You're mom is a total badass" Peter said into the silence. 

Everyone laughed as Remus muttered "you don't know the half of it Wormy..." 

-

While Marlene and Hope were out, the rest of the group started preparing for the party. Marlene was sending regular updates to the group so they would know how much time they had. 

Party For Hope?: 

(12:38pm) Marlene: Remus your mom is so much cooler than you! 

(12:39pm) Remus: 🖕

(12:39pm) Remus: but yea.... 

(12:39pm) James: Think we could swap her out for Remus? She fits right in. People might not notice. 

(12:40pm) Dorcas: ☝️ this. 

(12:40pm) Peter: I'd notice. It's an obvious improvement... 

(12:41pm) Sirius: Damn! Does that burn Remmy? 

(12:41pm) Marlene: I can pick up some aloe vera on the way home if I need to. 

(12:41pm) Remus: No, really. 🖕🖕

(12:42pm) Marlene: Don't make me tell your mother!

(12:42pm) James: Haha!

-

The decorating went fairly smoothly. They broke out the twinkly lights from the Christmas decorations box and set up a nice long folding table on the porch that they had borrowed from Lily's mother. Everything was coming along great. 

They had decided on a healthy dinner of salmon with roasted veggies and fresh warm bread. Sirius was really the only competent one in the kitchen, so he volunteered to do the cooking when it got closer to time for the party, with the one condition that Remus help him "since he knows where everything is."

Remus got confirmation from a few of their neighbors who would be attending, including Lily's parents, and was growing more excited as the minutes passed. 

It was half passed 1 when Marlene told them they were done. 

Party For Hope?:

(1:27pm) Marlene: We are just about to head back. About 20 minutes away. Stopped for cupcakes. 

(1:27pm) Dorcas: Im so jealous. 

(1:27pm) James: Bringing us some? 

(1:28pm) Marlene: no.

(1:28pm) Marlene: She's very tired.

(1:28pm) Sirius: We will leave as soon as you get here so she can have a good nap before the party. 

(1:29pm) Remus: Thanks Marlene! 

(1:31pm) Peter: Can we stop for cupcakes? 

-

After making a thorough fuss about how absolutely stunning Hope and Marlene both looked with bright pink hair, the friends piled into the car to head to the hotel for showers and changing before the party. 

Sirius grabbed the things he needed and headed back with Remus to the house so he would have time to do the cooking and help Remus with the last few details outside. The rest of the group agreed to take an Uber and just come in through the back fence with the neighbors. 

-

"Remus" Sirius laughed, "don't touch anything else. You are a terrible cook!" 

"I TOLD you this already" Remus defended with a smile. "Your own fault for setting your expectations too high!" 

Cooking with Remus did very little to squash the feelings Sirius was developing for his friend. Remus was completely incompetent when it came to cooking, and Sirius found it frustratingly adorable. 

Much of the afternoon was spent laughing loudly while shushing each other so as not to wake Hope. 

At one point Lyall went into the kitchen and found Sirius jumping up, trying in vain to reach a wooden spoon that Remus had raised high over his head with shouts of "Say I'm the king of the pudding!"

When the boys had noticed him enter they both froze, clearly a little embarrassed. Lyall had simply poured himself some water and left without saying a word, a small smirk playing at his lips as he heard them instantly resume the argument when he crossed the threshold out of the kitchen. 

Hope woke up around 4 and was told by Remus and Lyall that there was going to be a formal dinner with Remus's friends and a few of the neighbors. She was very excited to show off her new hair, and spent a good portion of the next 2 hours showering and getting herself ready. 

-

"I'll finish up of you want to get dressed" Remus said to Sirius as he entered the kitchen. Sirius turned around and let out a small gasp that he desperately hoped Remus didn't hear. 

Remus looked very sharp in his gray dress pants and white button down. Sirius normally didn't prefer men in dress clothes, as it reminded him a bit too much of the family he left behind, but looking at Remus in his slightly lopsided bowtie, he felt he could get use to it. 

"I'm not sure I can trust you not to burn the place down" Sirius joked as he moved to straighten the bowtie with a small smirk. 

"It's just moving the food outside" Remus laughed "I think I can manage."

"Hmmm.... I suppose" Sirius conceded after some dramatic consideration as he handed Remus the towel that had been draped over his shoulder. "Ill be quick just in case" he added with a laugh. 

-

House of Hotties: 

(5:51pm) Moony: Some pictures I took before people start showing up..

(5:51pm) Moony: [Photo] [Photo] [Photo] 

(5:53pm) Lilyflower: Remus! That looks so amazing! She's going to love it! 

-

Sirius walked into the backyard at exactly 6pm and saw that, while he was changing, just about everyone had arrived. He had passed Lyall on his way through the house as he was headed to get Hope for a grand entry of sorts, and was so excited for her to see what they had done that he allowed himself to jump up and down in excitment a few times to get rid of the built up energy before he joined the others. 

The backyard was perfect. 

Twinkle lights shinning along with the setting sun, a beautifully set table off to the side, and a make shift dance floor ready to be used as light music played in the background. It was truly beautiful. 

Sirius made his way over to his friends who had all gathered together around one section of the very long table, saying hello and introducing himself politely to anyone he passed. Remus was talking energetically to a couple seated near them that looked to be his parents age, and Sirius immediately knew them to be Lily's parents by the fiercely red hair of the woman. 

"Ah!" Remus said cheerfully "and this is Sirius, James's roommate and... well practically his brother really haha! Sirius, these are Lily's parents." 

"Oh you are the one who saved us from having to dine on Remus's attempt at a decent meal, yes?" Mr. Evans said jokingly, giving Remus a fatherly pat on the back. 

"Yes, that's me" Sirius laughed "though he did try very hard to ruin the banana pudding!" 

Just as Mrs. Evans had opened her mouth to comment, Lyall came through the back door, clearing his throat loudly to get everyone's attention. Each person went silent as Hope stepped through the door, beautiful as ever with her pink hair pulled half back, and a swishy navy blue dress with white heals. 

She was stunning.

Remus watched as his mother took in the environment, seeing all the people who had come, and all the work that had been done to make the night special. She looked overcome with joy and surprise, and Remus was sure he had never seen her more happy.

After a few moments in which Hope seemed to gather herself, she laughed slightly and said "Well it appears that I am a bit late to the party." 

"Nonsense" Remus said with a smile as he stood to pull out the chair next to him for her to sit. "A queen is never late." 

"Everyone else is simply early" James and Dorcas said together. They looked at each other and smirked as Remus and Hope laughed at everyone's confusion. Remus had definitely inherited his love of movies and music from his mother. 

 

Dinner was wonderful. Everyone raved about Sirius's cooking, half of the compliments being accompanied by relief that Remus hadn't been responsible for the meal. 

"You nearly burn a house down ONE TIME...." Remus laughed and rolled his eyes when James finally asked.

"Fuck, Remus!" Peter laughed "how old were you?" 

"Eighteen..." Remus muttered as he stuffed a large piece of bread into his mouth. 

-

House Of Hotties:

(6:51pm) Moony: [Photo]

(6:51pm) Moony: Sirius cooked. 

(6:54pm) Lilyflower: That looks amazing! 

(6:54pm) Lilyflower: Thank God you didn't have to cook! 😂😂😂

(6:55pm) Moony: 🖕

-

Lyall and Hope took to the dance floor first while everyone watched in awe as they swung around with inhumane skill to "Crazy Little Thing Called Love.

Hope was having the time of her life, and Sirius could see what Remus meant when he had talked about how talented she was. 

"That was incredible!" James said as he clapped with the others.

"Hope!" Marlene squealed "you are my personal hero! Rad hair and sick dance moves? Seriously, can I just trade you out for Remus?" 

Hope laughed as Lyall handed her a small glass of champagne. "She's much better than that even. I really hold her back." He laughed, taking a sip of his own glass. 

"You are the best and only dance partner I've ever needed" Hope smiled at her husband, taking his hand for another dance. 

The rest of the party took to the small dance floor as All You Need Is Love began to play. Remus, Sirius, James, and Peter were all singing loudly and jumping up and down completely off tempo. Dorcas and Marlene laughed at them as they danced together, and it didn't take long for the boys to form a circle around them, singing and holding hands as if playing ring-around-the-rosie while the girls  tried not to get hit by the swinging arms and kicking legs. 

It was a very good time. 

Marlene and Hope eventually danced together, Marlene having no issue leading as she used her dancer strength to lift and spin Hope, the older woman laughing and out of breath by the time they sat down for a break. 

-

James really had taken to Lily's parents, who were thrilled to meet him, and were impressed that he had taken the time to be there for the Lupins. 

"We can see why our daughter loves you so much" Mr. Evans had said with a wink as he lead his wife back onto the dance floor, leaving a stuttering James to be rescued by a thoroughly exhausted Dorcas. 

"You alright there best friend?" She laughed as she sat beside him. "You look a bit pale..."

"Yea" James smiled shyly "yea.. no I'm good."

"Yea. No. You're good?" She repeated. "Spill."

"Well... Lily and I haven't said I love you to each other" he explained. 

"Ok.... I'm going to need more than that buddy."

"Well her dad just said 'I can see why she loves you'" he added. "Like... what does that mean?"

"I'm just going to take a guess here- and I mean... I could be wrong....- but I think it means she told them she loves you, you fucking dolt!" She slapped him on the shoulder lightly as they both chuckled. After a few mintues of silence, in which they both sat sipping their champagne in silence, Dorcas asked the real question. "So, do you love her?" 

"Or course I do!" James laughed "I've just... I don't know... I've never loved anyone before so... fuck. Do I tell her? Do I wait for her to say it? Ugh!" 

"Dude. Calm the fuck down" Dorcas teased. "I think you just do what feels right. I have no advice for you. I honestly don't know how I got so lucky with Marlene..." 

James just smiled as Dorcas eyes glazed over, lost in her own thoughts as she watched Marlene dance with Sirius. 

The Potter/Evans Alliance:

(7:17pm) Rudolph: Lily. I love you. 

(7:17pm) Rudolph: I immediately regret telling you that in a text. 

(7:17pm) Rudolph: But I couldn't not tell you for a single second longer. 

(7:19pm) Wildflower: Of course you love me. I'm an icon, James. 

(7:19pm) Wildflower: And I love you too ❤

(7:19pm) Wildflower: So. Fucking. Much. 

-

House Of Hotties:

(7:20pm) Moony: [Photo]

(7:20pm) Moony: Did you break James? 

(7:21pm) Lilyflower: omg is he crying?! 😂

(7:21pm) Lilyflower: I love that idiot. 

-

Hope had requested "I Hope You Dance", when Remus asked to cut in, and even though he wasn't a big fan of country music, he teared up listening to his mother sing along with her head on his shoulder. It was a memory he would never forget. 

 

Sirius had jumped at the opportunity to dance with Hope after Remus when Forever Young started to play.

"You know, Im glad Remus has you" Hope said, leaning in to place her head on his shoulder as Sirius hummed along. 

"I'm quite lucky to have him in my life as well" he laughed lightly, giving her a small dip. 

 

Sirius was having the best time. He absolutely loved Remus's family. He loved meeting Lily's parents. He loved seeing his friends enjoying themselves. But mostly, he loved seeing Remus happy, knowing he had helped to bring him some joy. 

"May I have this dance" Sirius asked Remus with a dramatic sweeping gesture as Landslide by Fleetwood Mac started up in the queue. 

Remus giggled in a passable imitation of a school girl with his hand over his mouth as if shy, miming a curtsey before he stood and took Sirius's hand. 

Sirius had one hand in Remus's hand, while the other was placed gently around his neck. They danced slowly, both enjoying this new excuse for closeness, and neither wanting the song to ever end. 

"Is it totally lame that I absolutely love this song" Remus mumbled into Sirius's ear as they moved in even closer. 

"Yea" Sirius laughed "But Im going to let it slide because Stevie Nicks is a total queen." 

They closed their eyes, humming to the music as the song continued on. 

-

Dorcas changed the name of the group chat from 'Team Remove The Stick From Lily's Ass' to 'Team Keep Trying To Get Remus Laid:

(8:37pm) Lesbionic: [photo]

(8:37pm) Lesbionic: Sirius and Remus finally got a dance together!

(8:38pm) Red: I literally screamed when I opened that picture!

(8:38pm) Red: They are so fucking cute its actually gross. 

(8:39pm) Lesbionic: Ugh. I know right?!

(8:41pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: 🖕

(8:42pm) Red: Don't act like you didn't immediately save that pic Rem.... 

(8:42pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: .....fine

(8:43pm) Lesbionic: YASS! 👏

-

The 2 Best Friends That Anybody Could Have

(8:37pm) Dragon: [photo] 

(8:37pm) Dragon: These two... 🙄

(8:38pm) Nighthawk: Sirius and Remus sitting in a tree... 

(8:38pm) Dragon: K.I.S.S.I.N.G.! 

(8:39pm) Nighthawk: But not unless they get their heads out of their asses...

(8:39pm) Dragon: Preach! 🙌

-

It was half passed 9 when people started to leave, and Hope and Lyall enjoyed one last dance to In My Life by The Beatles before they started packing away the speakers. 

"You all sure you have to leave tonight?" Hope asked, a slightly worried, motherly tone to her voice. "It's so late..."

"Yes, unfortunately we do" Sirius said as he hugged her tightly goodnight. "Those two start the police academy in about-" he checked his watch and whistled- "31 hours." 

She patted his cheek gently, her eyes glistening with unshed tears. "I'm so glad you all came."

"Me too" Sirius smiled. "And if you ever want another son...." he added loftily "I am totally available for adoption any time." 

Hope let out a bark of laughter as she gave him another squeeze. "It would be a blessing to have you in our family." 

Lyall and Hope disappeared into the house, leaving the 6 friends to finish cleaning up before the Uber arrived to take them to the airport. 

It took far less time to take down all of the decorations than it had taken to put them up. Peter and James had taken all the leftover food and put it in the fridge while Marlene and Dorcas were moving the furniture on the porch back where it belonged. 

Remus and Sirius were carrying all of the music equipment into Remus's room, making 2 trips each before it was all gathered. 

"It was a good playlist" Sirius said casually while Remus finished sorting out the speakers. 

"Thanks" Remus smiled, sitting down on the bed next to Sirius. "This was really... it was so great. Thank you for coming- I know I've said that a million times- but thanks..." 

Sirius smiled at Remus, acutely aware of how close they were now. "It's no problem. Your parents are truly amazing. I really hope I get some adoption papers in the mail" he laughed nervously. 

"It wouldn't surprise me" Remus laughed, rubbing the back of his neck from nerves. 

"I guess I don't have to ask you your last song tonight" Sirius said, grasping for an interesting topic. 

"I guess not" Remus smiled "But I probably wouldn't have picked In My Life..." 

"Oh no no" Sirius smirked "I'm going to be adding Landslide to the playlist for this one!" 

"Playlist?" Remus asked as he leaned in a little. 

"Oh yea..." Sirius stuttered "I umm... Im making a playlist. Moonman Vibes..." 

They were even closer now, and Sirius could feel Remus's breath on his cheek.

When had his heart started beating so fast? Why was his mouth so dry? Why did his brain have to choose this moment to drudge up all the panic he kept hidden in the back of his conciousness!?

As Remus leaned in to close the gap between them, unaware of the anxiety coursing through his friend, Sirius pulled away.

Silence. 

"I guess I better get down there" he said, trying to hide the trembling of his voice. 

"Yea..." Remus nodded, rubbing the back of his neck as he stood to follow Sirius out. 


'What the actual fuck was that', Sirius thought to himself as he joined the others to wait for the Uber on the front porch. 

Why?! 
Why didn't I just kiss him?! 
What the fuck is wrong with me!?

They waved goodbye to Remus out of the window as the Uber van drove away, leaving Remus to his own very confused and painful thoughts. 

-

House of Hotties:

(10:14pm) Moony: I fucked up.

(10:14pm) Moony: I tried to kiss Sirius.

(10:14pm) Moony: Ugh! Why did I try to kiss him!? 

(10:16pm) Lilyflower: What do you mean you TRIED to kiss him? 

(10:16) Moony: I leaned in. He pulled away. 

 

Incoming call from Lily...

 

R- Ugghhhh! 

L- What the actual fuck! 

R- I know!

L- He legit pulled away? Like... it was obvious you were trying to kiss him and he pulled away?

R- oh yea. It was obvious. He didn't want to kiss me back. Lily. What the fuck do I do. This is so embarrassing!

L- It's not that embarrassing Remus. If he brings it up you can always just pretend you had a bit too much to drink or something.

R- ..... yea.... that's true. Doesn't make it hurt any less though. 

L- I'm so sorry Remus.... 

R- (sigh) I'll be ok.... and hey, at least now I know where we stand I suppose... 

L- ......... Want me to call and yell at him?

R- hahaa no... thanks though. I think I'm just going to head to bed. 

L- Talk tomorrow? 

R- Yea. Goodnight Lil. 

L- Night Rem. 

-

The Uber drive to the airport was a quiet one. Sirius was reeling over his stupidity, trying not to let the confusion he felt bleed into all the good memories he had made that night. 

 

Bros Before... Everyone Else:

(10:22pm) Padywack: Remus tried to kiss me and I ruined it like I ruin everything. 

James read the message and turned in his seat to look at Sirius. He looked like shit. 

(10:22pm) Prongsie: What happened?

(10:24pm) Padywack: We were talking and about to kiss, but then I started to panic and basically just left. 

(10:24pm) Prongsie: Pads.... 

(10:24pm) Padywack: I fucking know.

(10:25pm) Prongsie: It's ok. It'll be ok. Remus will be home soon. You still have time. 

Sirius nodded and took a deep breath as he put his phone in his bag and laid his head on James shoulder. James was right. They had time. 

-

Benjy/Remus:

(10:46pm) Benjy: So how did the party go? Did your mom love it? 

Remus stared at the message on his phone. 

Benjy.....

What was he doing pining over Sirius- who clearly wasn't interested- when he had this great guy who was trying so hard to be whatever Remus needed. 

(10:50pm) Remus: She loved every second. 

(10:50pm) Remus: [photo]

(10:51pm) Benjy: Wow! Your mom has pink hair! 

(10:51pm) Benjy: What a total badass! I bet Marlene loved that.

(10:52pm) Remus: Marlene is the one who took her to get it done! [Photo]

(10:52pm) Benjy: hah! Of course she was! 

(10:53pm) Benjy:  Hope looks so happy

(10:53pm) Remus: She definitely was. She was in her element on the dance floor. 

(10:54pm) Benjy: I wish I could have been there to see it. 

Remus read the message at least 6 times, trying not to overthink; trying not to think of Sirius. 

(10:58pm) Remus: I wish you could have been here too. 

Chapter Text

[Lily]

The first few days in Japan were incredible, and Lily was sure she was going to love this summer job.

Then all hell broke loose. 

The students in her adult class had basically no foundation for English, so she was starting from scratch. This wouldn't be an issue if she had more than 6 weeks of lessons, but she was stuck with the deadline since most of the students were learning English for work visas. There was an enormous pressure to give them the best chance to succeed, and she spent all night Monday and Tuesday reworking her lesson plans to do it. 

That wouldn't have been such a weight if she wasn't also dealing with a complete lack of respect from some of the students in her adolescent class. She thought it was likely that, because she was so young, they didn't view her as an authority figure. She had to work very hard to not spend the time between these classes crying. 

She wanted to go home. 

Lily had thought, before living in Japan, that her Japanese was fairly good. Now, however, she felt like a 5 year old, mixing her words and mispronouncing simple things. 

To make it worse, her stutter had returned. 

It had been a long fucking time since Lily Evans stumbled over her words, yet there she was on Wednesday, unable to get out the simple word 'pencil'! The stress was getting to her in the worst way. 

She spent most of the day on Friday crying and redoing all of her beautifully made lesson plans. This had been the worst week of her life, and she didn't even have her best friend to comfort her with takeaway food and snuggles. Ugh. 

House of Hotties:

(10:31pm) Lilyflower: Finally done with plans for next week. Kill me. 

(10:31pm) Moony: I know this week has been really hard... You going to make it?

(10:32pm) Lilyflower: Honestly? I don't fucking know Rem. 

(10:32pm) Lilyflower: I've never wanted to quit so bad in my life. 

(10:33pm) Moony: Lily Bosslady Evans DOES. NOT. QUIT. 

(10:34pm) Lilyflower: Bosslady might quit.... 

(10:36pm) Moony: Someone is getting something from your teaching. Even if its just one person... 

(10:36pm) Lilyflower: Idk

(10:36pm) Moony: It's probably someone you don't notice over all the bullshit. Your changing someones life. 

(10:37pm) Moony: Maybe there is a Lily Evans in that class just hoping you don't give up. 

(10:38pm) Lilyflower: Fuck you for being so good at this. Maybe I just wanted  you to tell me its ok to quit.

(10:38pm) Moony: If you really wanted to quit, you would have. You got this! 👏👏

(10:39pm) Lilyflower: Thanks Rem. I really miss you. 

(10:39pm) Moony: Of course you do. I'm an incredible person and friend. 

(10:40pm) Lilyflower: 🙄🖕

-

[James/Dorcas]

"Fuck this" James shouted, throwing his training guide to the floor "they want us to fail!" 

"Let's just take a break" Dorcas sighed, tossing her guide to the floor next to James's. 

They had spent most of their nights studying together, Dorcas even sleeping at James's a few times when the study sessions got too late to drive back to her apartment.

They had thought they were prepared, but they were so wrong. This week had been the longest week of both of their lives, and on top of the long runs at the ass crack of dawn, they had exams every fucking week to make sure they knew protocols, laws, rights, and codes. 

It was fucking tough. 

"Sometimes I hate you for talking me into this" James said with a sigh as he passed Dorcas a slice of jalapeno pizza, "but then I remember you didn't talk me into it." 

"Yea" Dorcas scoffed "YOU talked ME into it!" 

"Well, now we know not to ever listen to me." James yawned. He picked up their guides and put them gently on the table, dreading the morning when they would start another week of this hell. 

"It won't be like this forever" Dorcas mumbled around a large mouthful. "Just.... 5 months and 3 weeks left to go...." 

"Is it ok for recruits to cry?" James deadpanned, "because I kinda wana cry right now." 

"I cried yesterday. And the day before that. And the day before that" Dorcas nodded "I thought about crying this morning but I have no more tears left. I saw a little puff of dust come out though." 

"Ugh. I felt that." James nodded 

Dorcas picked up her guide book and turned back to the page she had marked. "Ready?" 

"Ready..." 

-

[Peter]

Once he had gotten home from visiting Remus, Peter was swept into a week long family reunion style birthday celebration for a great aunt he barely knew.

He spent his days trying to escape the boring stories and pinching fingers while taking refuge with his only outlet into the outside world- his phone. 

He had taken to logging his weeklong journey through hell into a group chat with his friends. Their helpful tidbits and sarcastic commentary were really all that got him from one moment to the next without slipping into the abyss of eternal hell. 

That disconnect from reality was especially comforting after he was confronted with the knowledge that his grandparents, and most of his older family members, were racist ass holes. 

Petes Survival Guide: 

(12:56pm) Peter: If one more person says one more fucking thing about Mary I swear on Hogwarts I will lose my shit. 

(12:56pm) Al: I honestly can't believe you invited her over there with those people...

(12:56pm) James: I still can't believe your grandparents are racist. Your mom is so chill. How did that even happen? 

(12:57pm) Peter: I didn't know either! It never came up until I introduced them to Mary!

(12:57pm) Remus: She's great. Seriously fuck them. Sorry your family sucks Wormy. 

(12:57pm) Sirius: We could start a shitty family club Pete! It'll be super exclusive and super depressing. 

(12:58pm) Peter: I feel so represented right now

(12:59pm) Marlene: How is Mary doing?

(12:58pm) Peter: She seems fine. She knows I'm not like them. And my parents aren't like them. 

(12:59pm) Peter: Plus my mom fucking WENT OFF! It was scary. 

(12:59pm) Dorcas: Your mom is a fucking queen! I loved meeting her at your show!

(12:59pm) Marlene: Oh yea! She's amazing 👏

(1:00pm) Sirius: man... I miss her. We need to visit soon. 

(1:00pm) James: We really do. 

(1:00pm) Peter: Come visit now and take me with you when you leave! 

(1:00pm) Al: Haha! Poor Petey!

(1:01pm) Peter: People are actually talking about staying another week. 

(1:01pm) Peter: Someone come save me!

(1:01pm) Marlene: not it!

(1:01pm) Remus: Not it

(1:01pm) Dorcas: NOT IT BITCH!

(1:02pm) James: not it

(1:02pm) Al: Not. It. 

(1:02pm) Sirius: not it!

(1:03pm) Sirius: ah fuck. 

(1:03pm) Sirius: Ill be there in 20 Wormy. 

(1:05pm) Peter: bring cupcakes!

(1:06pm) Sirius: ....fine

-

[Al]

Al had moved in with Frank and Emmeline for a trial period at the start of the week, and was already regretting that decision by the first night. 

Frank wasn't just a blanket hog. He was a whole bed hog.

They were not use to sharing such a small space with two other people, and though they fully loved Frank, they were not about to give up their blankets every single night. 

The first actual fight of their relationship started over whether there was enough counter space for a toaster, because Al wanted toast, and there was no toaster. It escalated into an all out screaming match over shared closet space, leaving both Frank and Al embarrassed and hurt by the time Al had stormed off to sleep at Sirius and James's. 

They stayed in the guest room at Sirius's insistence, not even sure if they had a boyfriend to go back to.

Franky & Al 4Ev:

(11:32pm) Al: What are we even doing?

(11:32pm) Franky: Fuck if I know Al. 

(11:35pm) Al: Where do we go from here?

(11:36pm) Franky: idk

(11:37pm) Franky: I'd like to start with you coming back, but I honestly don't know if that's wise.

(11:39pm) Al: I hate this

(11:39pm) Franky: Me too

(11:40pm) Franky: Love you, though. 

(11:40pm) Al: Yea? Even though I like toast?

(11:40pm) Franky: Even though you like toast.

(11:41pm) Al: I love you too. 

(11:46pm) Franky: Think that's enough?

(11:47pm) Al: I fucking hope so... 

-

[Marlene]

After being told no by the 11th studio owner that week, Marlene was starting to think that finding a job as an instructor was not going to happen. She had been so excited to find her place, but it was nothing but dead end after dead end so far, and she would be lying if it wasn't crushing her. 

Of course she still had her manager position at the arcade, which provided her with enough money to survive on, but since Sirius and James had left Quality Sporting Supply and were no longer making regular trips to be defeated at Dance Dance Revolution, her heart just wasn't in it. 

Babes:

(4:41pm) Marlene:  just got the call for another no...

(4:43pm) Dorcas: I'm sorry Marls. 

(4:45pm) Dorcas: Are you regretting not taking that audition?

(4:45pm) Marlene: Not at all. 

(4:45pm) Marlene: I am regretting not having coffee this morning though. Ugh. 

(4:46pm) Dorcas: Put an ad out for one on ones. Moody would definitely rent you the time slot in the mirror room at Fit Space. 

(4:47pm) Marlene: Yea... I was hoping I would get a full time position though. Guess it couldn't hurt.


Marlene didn't tell Dorcas that she had already placed an ad 6 days ago. She had gotten zero interest and she was thoroughly disappointed. 

As she clocked out of work Sunday evening, Marlene had to take a moment to gather herself in the breakroom, trying desperately not to cry from the stress. If she started crying, there was no telling when she would stop, and she couldn't bring that home. 

She knew- even though Dorcas had tried to put on a brave face- that the first week at the academy had really taken a toll on her girlfriend. There was so much stress and uncertainty, and Marlene could physically feel it seeping into her skin at times, and was secretly thankful for the few nights Dorcas had stayed at James's to study. 

She took a deep breath and nodded firmly as she told herself out loud, "next week will be better." 

But she didn't really believe it.

-

[Sirius]

Since leaving Remus's house after the party, Sirius had started a summer business management course, started the training certification process, and was working out every day. 

This might seem like a pretty good week from the outside, but really, Sirius was a mess. 

He barely heard from Remus during the day time apart from a few texts here and there about music or how Hope was doing, and he was constantly thinking about how much he wished he could go back and do things like a normal fucking person.

He had begun working the desk at Fit Space and was really enjoying learning from Mad-Eye, but even there he was reminded of Remus as people constantly called to ask after him, or request information on his classes for their kids. He couldn't escape his thoughts of Remus for a single second. It was honestly an emotional hell. 

But, the worst thing to happen that week had nothing to do with Remus. 

Sirius was scrolling through BBC News- a weekly ritual to checkin on his birth country to make sure the Blacks hadn't burned the continent down- when he came across an article that made his heart stop. 

Bellatrix Black Lestrange and Regulus Arcturus Black were questioned by authorities over the death of a young mother, Amelia Bones, who was killed in a car accident on Wednesday.

Amelia's family has made a public statement accusing the Black family of covering up the incident, by paying off investigators and threatening their family. They are planning a lawsuit against Lestrange, as well as the Black estate. 

"James!" Sirius called from his spot at the kitchen table "James get in here!"

James walked into the kitchen, rubbing his hair dry with a bath towel with one hand as he took the phone from Sirius to read the article. By the time he finished he was so angry he was shaking. 

"You know they fucking did it too" Sirius muttered angrily "and they will get away with it!"

"Maybe you should try to call Reg..." James suggested after a long stretch of silence.

Sirius cut across him with a severe look, not even bothering to reply. 

"Look I'm just saying... if he was there he could set the record straight" James added, raising his hands up in surrender. 

Sirius desperately wanted to believe Regulus would do the right thing, but he also knew that he probably wouldn't.

Still... he would try. 

"Ill shoot him an email" Sirius sighed. "He won't reply... but at least I'll have tried." 

James gave him a brotherly pat on the shoulder as he stood to leave, resuming the drying of his hair with the towel. 

What a shitty fucking week... 

-

[Remus]

His mom wasn't doing great, and honestly Remus couldn't think about much else. 

He even tried to distract himself from his sadness by wallowing in the failed kiss attempt with Sirius, but no emotions seemed strong enough to overpower the heartbreak he felt while watching his mother decline so quickly. 

After a long talk with his father, they had determined that it was time for him to head home on Saturday. 

Remus spent the entire morning before his flight playing piano for his mother while she sipped tea and pretended not to fall asleep on the couch.

The pain he felt when he kissed her cheek goodbye was like nothing he had ever felt before, and he cried unashamedly in the backseat of his Uber ride the entire way to the airport. 

He did not tell his friends he was coming. He didn't even tell Lily, because he just didnt have the energy to deal with their concern for his emotions. 

As he walked into his empty apartment, Remus thought that he had never felt so alone in his entire life. He wasn't sure how to go back to living his life, but decided that that was a problem for future Remus.

For now he would just be sad, because his mom was dying. The world was about to lose one of its most precious creatures, and yet life continued. It didn't make sense. 

He rummaged around in his bag and pulled out a record he had asked his mom if he could keep, tossing everything else to the floor. 

For 24 hours Remus listened to I Hope You Dance on repeat while he alternated between sleeping and violently crying. 

He knew that someday he would be thankful for that last week with his mom; that he might even look back at these days fondly.

But right now.... it just fucking sucked. 

Chapter Text

It was four days later when Remus got the call that his mother had passed, and he couldn't help but notice how ridiculous it was for those days to simultaneously feel like the shortest and longest of his life.

She went to take a nap, but she didn't wake up, and Remus was silently grateful that her death had been as quick and easy as falling asleep. 

His dad would be making the drive with her ashes to New York instead of flying, insisting that he wanted to take his wife for one last road trip. Remus made plans with the cemetery to plant her tree themselves and requested for a small metal plaque to be place in the ground as a type of headstone where the tree would grow. 

Once he had finished making arrangements, he took a deep breath and sent the news to his friends. 

 

Remus created the group chat 'For Hope'

Remus added Lily, James, Sirius, Peter, Marlene, and Dorcas to the group chat 

For Hope:

(12:09pm) Remus: Mom passed this morning in her sleep. 

(12:09pm) Lily: Your dad just told me. Im so sorry Remus.. 

(12:09pm) Peter: Shit... 

(12:10pm) Marlene: The world lost a real badass queen today.

(12:10pm) Peter: ☝️ That.

(12:10pm) Sirius: What can we do? What do you need?

 

Remus is typing....

 

(12:13pm) Remus: I don't know. 

(12:14pm) Remus: Come with us when we plant her tree? She didn't want a funeral, but I think she would have liked knowing people were there. 

(12:14pm) Marlene: Of course Remus. Anything.

(12:14pm) Sirius: We would love to do that.

(12:14pm) Peter: Wouldn't miss it man. 

(12:15pm) Sirius: Dorcas and James are in classes and don't have their phones. 

(12:15pm) Remus: I figured. 

(12:16pm) Lily: I wish I was there. 

-

House of Hotties:

(12:16pm) Moony: You know she would have refused you to come home... no one blames you for being gone Lily, you have to know that. 

(12:17pm) Lilyflower: Can I video call? Are you ok to talk? 

Incoming video call from Remus... 

"Remus...." Lily whispered sadly as he connected the call.

"I'm here. I'm here Lil..." Remus could immediately see that Lily was crying, and he felt a small wave of guilt for not being as mournful as she was in that moment. But he had spent days mourning, so he let her cry, listening as she choked on her voice, unable to get words out for quite some time. 

"I still feel like I should be there" she groaned. "I want to be there..." 

"I know..." Remus nodded in understanding. 

She let out an embarrassed chuckle when she sniffed loudly, and Remus let out a sigh of relief as a small laughed escaped his own chest. They would be sad for a long time, but there was still laughter, and they would get by. 

They sat there in silence for a while, looking at each other through their screens, not having much to say, but not wanting to be alone either. 

"You should have just let me quit last week..." Lily said with a small smile through the fresh tears welling up in her eyes. "I could be there with you now, a proud quitter!"

Remus just laughed and shook his head as he moved to lay down on his bed. "We will visit her as soon as you get back." 

Lily smiled and nodded her head as she too moved her laptop onto the bed to lay down. 

It was the middle of the night for her, and she had classes in the morning, but she wasn't at all ready for sleep. So they talked and talked, until Lily fell asleep behind her laptop, and Remus decided he better actually take a shower. 

-

For Hope:

(5:03pm) James: Remus... 

(5:03pm) James: I'm so sorry man. Of course we will be there.

(5:03pm) Dorcas: Fuck this. Im not waiting 2 days to see you. I'm coming over now. 

(5:03pm) James: Same. 

(5:03pm) Sirius: Same!

(5:04pm) Marlene: Omg Same!

(5:04pm) Lily: I fucking love you guys...

(5:04pm) Peter: Should I grab some pizza on my way out of work?

(5:04pm) Dorcas: Yes to pizza Pete! 

(5:05pm) Dorcas: We miss you Red!

(5:05pm) Sirius: I've got beer!

(5:06pm) James: 👆 Hero!

(5:11pm) Remus: Well... good thing I just took a shower. Doors unlocked, just come on in. 


(5:13pm) Marlene: Ill be running behind. Have to make a stop.

-

Sirius was the first to arrive, making his way through the door and straight to the kitchen to put the beer in the fridge.

"Who's here?" Sirius heard Remus call from his bedroom. 

"Beer!" Sirius called in reply, peeking around the door frame to see into the small hallway. "Want one?" 

Remus smiled as he exited his room, grabbing the drink from Sirius just as Dorcas and James came through the door, both looking like it had been a rough day.

Dorcas immediately pulled Remus into a deep hug, barely giving Remus enough time to set down his newly acquired beer. 

It didn't take long for James and Sirius to join in, leaving Remus fully surrounded by arms and love. In that moment, half buried under the weight of these people who cared for him, Remus knew he would be ok. He would survive this and his life would still be beautiful, because of all of the beautiful people in it.

"Oh hugging!" Remus heard Peter shout happily as he walked into the door. He put the pizza boxes down, and threw his arms unceremoniously around the mountain of friendship in front of him as the group all chuckled, not moving, except perhaps to squeeze in a little tighter. 

They stayed like that for a long time before Dorcas mumbled against Remus's chest "Marls is going to be livid if she finds out she missed this..." 

"Oh Lily too" James added with a laugh. 

"Obviously they can never know" Remus replied as they broke apart, laughing and wiping stray tears. 

"Obviously" James, Peter, Sirius and Dorcas said in unison, nodding their heads for emphasis. 

Remus enjoyed the normalcy of it all as they dug into the pizzas, listening while James and Dorcas went into full story teller mode about some guy in their recruits course named Lockhart. 

"He's such a prick" James shook his head "honest to god I'll be shocked if he makes it another week." 

"He's got some people fooled though" Dorcas said with an eye roll. "Always flirting to get answers. It's bullshit!"

"The instructors will see through it though" James added as though he wasn't sure it was true "he can't flirt his way through to graduation..."

"I swear, every time he talks to me I just get gayer...." Dorcas mumbled around a huge bite of pizza. 

"Wait.... you're gay?" Sirius asked in mock surprise as Dorcas rolled her eyes and flipped him the bird with a laugh. 

"Well this explains a lot..." Peter added, going along with the bit. 

"I for one am shocked at this revelation!" Remus gasped, dodging the pizza crust Dorcas aimed at him while everyone laughed. Remus immediately retaliated with his own pizza crust, which lead to a one to one food fight to the death

"What's going on here?" Marlene asked with a grin as she came through the door to a room full of laughter and pizza throwing. 

"Apparently Dorcas is gay" James explained casually, taking another bite of his pizza as he met Marlene's eyes with a shrug. 

"Dorcas?!" Marlene gasped loudly from the doorway as everyone froze to look at her. "You're GAY!?"

"Fuck you guys" Dorcas laughed as she moved to make room for Marlene. 

 

"Lily should be video calling in soon" James announced as he put his phone on the table. "She didn't want to be left out."

"Yea, I think she's having a real hard time being gone right now..." Remus added with a nod just as James's phone lit up with an incoming video call. 

"Hey Lily!" Everyone chorused as she appeared. 

"I don't have long" she smiled "but I needed to see all of your beautiful faces!" 

"We miss you Red!" Dorcas called from her spot on the floor. 

"I miss you all!" Lily replied. 

They spent the next half hour just talking and catching up with each others lives. It was exactly what Remus needed, and he was so thankful they had come.

"To Hope" Sirius cheered, raising his beer in the air. "Dance Goddess, Hair badass, and all around queen!" 

"To Hope!" They chorused together.

 


Ehhem!" Marlene cleared her throat importantly. "While we are all here" She turned to Remus "I have a gift for you."

Remus looked confused, but accepted the giftbag anyway. 

"I hope its ok..." Marlene continued as he pulled out the bright pink tissue paper. "I thought it might be a fun way to honor your mother." 

Remus stared for a moment into the bag, not sure if he wanted to laugh or cry as tears began gathering in his eyes. 

It was a box of pink hair dye. 

"This is perfect" he said with a slightly choked laughed, passing the box along for his friends to see as he moved to give Marlene a huge hug.

"It's only temporary" she said into Remus shoulder, "so it'll fade out in a few weeks... but still. And I can help you apply it if you want..." 

"Thank you. This is... this is so thoughtful" Remus said as he was handed the box again. "Let's do it now" he added with a grin. 

And that's exactly what they did. 

Chapter Text

Remus and his dad walked together to the small, sunny plot of land where his mothers tree would be planted, following the directions of a hand drawn map the woman at the desk had sketched when she saw how overwhelmed the extensive cemetery map had made Lyall.

Even though he could have easily followed the map, Remus just went with it. It was painfully obvious how out of place and uncomfortable Lyall was in the large city, and Remus was already struggling with the knowledge that his dad would be so far from them when he went home.

They walked for a little while before Remus broke the silence.

"I feel guilty that mom will be here forever- you know... here in New York with me- when you hate the city so much" he admitted, fumbling his words as he and Lyall made a left past a rose garden. "Do you think you'll ever visit?" 

Lyall looked surprised as he turned to face Remus, stopping in his tracks. "Remus..." He sighed "She always wanted this" he gestured vaguely "she loved the city- all the people and lights and sounds..." 

He took a ragged breath, his gaze somewhere passed Remus toward the city buildings scattered across the skyline. "I'm the one who should feel guilty." He looked back at Remus, tears threatening to overwhelm his eyes. "She gave up a lot of her dreams so I could have mine.... She was a giver, your mom, and I am more than happy to give her this. There isn't any place I wouldn't go for her." 

Remus nodded and pulled his dad into a quick, but fierce hug before the two men wiped their eyes, cleared their throats, and continued on. 

 

They approached the place they were looking for and immediately knew which it was by the group of people waiting there for them. Remus laughed inwardly, knowing his friends would probably get there first since none of them had to have a hand drawn map. 

"You all got here quick" Lyall said with a smile as he and Remus joined the group. 

They looked around at each other, then back at Remus and Lyall. "We've actually been here before" Pete said with a sad smile, and Remus made a mental note to ask him about it at a proper time as James pulled out a large blanket from the bag he was carrying. 

Marlene helped James spread the blanket on the ground as Remus and Lyall began preparing the planting of the tree. They had been left detailed instructions, along with tools and materials, near the small metal placard Remus had requested that read two simple lines:

Hope Lupin 
She loved

 

As Remus and Lyall dug the small hole, James snapped a few photos that Remus assumed were for Lily, while Sirius pulled out a small guitar from its case, and began to tune it.

"Is this ok?" Sirius asked with a small nod toward the guitar in his hands when Remus met his eye. "I read somewhere that plants grow stronger if they are nurtured with music." 

Remus nodded wordlessly in reply as he watched a small blush creep up Sirius's neck when he smiled, hoping he wasn't blushing too. 

Remus mentally scolded himself as he refocused on his task. 

Of course Sirius would look perfect when he blushed.

Of fucking course he would be considerate and thoughtful and generous and...

Just. Ugh!


Planting the tree didn't take long, and pretty soon the small group was gathered in a half circle around what looked like a large stick someone had stuck in the ground, smiling as Remus and Lyall told a few of their favorite Hope stories. 


"She was just the best mom I could have ever asked for" Remus said, only a little sadly, as he closed his eyes and laid his back on the blanket. There was a murmur of agreement as everyone moved to get more comfortable, Dorcas laying her head on Remus's stomach, and Peter resting his in Marlene's lap as Sirius began to play guitar.

It took all of 4 seconds for Remus to recognize the music he was hearing, and his breath caught in his throat as the memory of dancing with his mother floated to the front of his mind again. 

I Hope You Dance.... 

There were no words, because they needed no words. 

It was a perfect moment. 

Everyone had their eyes closed, smiling peacefully, with tear tracks on their cheeks from laughing and crying in equal measure. 

During the last part of the song Remus was pulled up by his father to dance. As they swayed there, leaning on each other for support, Remus was fully aware that Sirius continued playing only to give them this moment, and he was very grateful. 

"You are so much like her Remmy" Lyall sniffled into his sons shoulder. He pulled away and placed his hands on either side of his sons face as a laughed escaped with his sigh. "And thank God for that" he added with a smile, placing a small kiss on Remus's forehead. "I'm headed back to the apartment for a nap. You staying?" 

Remus nodded as his dad began to gather his things to leave. "I just want to stay a little longer."


Sirius stopped playing and had made himself comfortable by resting his head on his guitar case with his legs thrown haphazardly over Peter's. Everyone was cozy, and so Remus took his place again on the blanket and closed his eyes, imagining all the times he would lay like this with Lily under the big tree in her backyard. 

"Do you think one day we'll be out here like this, laying under the shade of my mom's tree?" Remus asked to the general group. 

"Absolutely" Dorcas said with a certainty that made Remus smile while everyone nodded and hummed their agreement, and James snapped a picture of them all laying there. 

They stayed there for a long time, no one wanting to go until it was time for Marlene and Pete to each head to work. 

As they began packing up to leave, Remus found himself lagging behind, not truly wanting to go.

 

"Hope Lupin, She Loved" Remus heard Sirius read off of the placard while the other friends made their way passed them toward the exit, giving each other knowing glances that the two boys didn't see. 

"She would always tell us- me and Lily- that if you could only ever do one thing well in life, let it be love." Remus smiled as he glanced back at Sirius. "'Choose to love', she would say." 

"She loved" Sirius croaked with a nod, a small lump forming in his throat as Remus turned back toward the place his mother had been laid to rest. 

"I hope you dance, mom" he half whispered as he lovingly caressed the tiny tree. 

Sirius gently placed his arm around Remus's shoulder as he muttered "She will. Everytime the wind blows."

"Yea..." Remus smiled as he allowed his head to rest gently against Sirius's, the tension previously between them completely gone as they gazed in wonder at the stick in the ground. "I like that." 

 

Chapter Text

House of Hotties:

(8:11am) Lilyflower: How has it been being back at work this week?

(8:13am) Moony: It's been really good!

(8:13am) Moony: I think I needed to get back some type of normalcy. 

(8:13am) Lilyflower: Have you been visiting your mom?

(8:14am) Moony: Oh yea, everyday! 

(8:14am) Moony: I know it's only been two weeks, but I swear she's growing already! 

(8:15am) Lilyflower: She's growing and I haven't gotten a single picture?! Look you little bitch... 

(8:15am) Moony: I'm sorry! I'm sorry! Ill take one today after work I promise!

(8:16am) Lilyflower: Good. 

(8:16am) Lilyflower: Because I know where you live. 

(8:17am) Moony: Big talk from someone on the other side of the planet... 

(8:17am) Lilyflower: 🖕

(8:17am) Lilyflower: James said you bought a travel keyboard? 

(8:18am) Moony: Oh yea! I did! 

(8:19am) Moony: Sirius was telling me about how music can sometimes help plants and stuff grow, so I've been playing a little here and there. 

(8:19am) Lilyflower: Yea James told me he played at the tree planting. 

(8:20am) Lilyflower: I SHOULD have heard it from my best friend/brother/person I've known since I was a tiny child but NOOOOOOO.... 

(8:21am) Moony: ..... Sorry you're breaking up.... I can't hear you.... Lily?.....

(8:21am) Lilyflower: 🖕🖕

(8:21am) Moony: I'm the worst.

(8:21am) Lilyflower: I just miss you Rem.

(8:22am) Moony: I miss you too Lil. Like... so much. 

(8:22am) Lilyflower: I will be home in 8 days! 

(8:23am) Moony: I know! I'm fucking ready! 

(8:23am) Lilyflower: Meeeeee toooooooooo!!!!!

-

Squad:

(10:02am) Marlene: Guys! It has happened! I have a client! 

(10:02am) Lily: Marlene! That's amazing! Gah! Congrats! 

(10:02am) Lily: @Remus Give her a hug asap from me! 

(10:02am) Peter: Fuck yea! 

(10:02am) Sirius: Doing 👏 The 👏 Damn 👏 Thing 👏 

(10:03am) Remus: YAY! & @Lily Sir yes Sir!

(10:03am) Remus: I'm clocking on break to bring you this hug Marls, so prepare yourself! 

(10:03am) Marlene: I'm so ready, you don't even know!

(10:04am) Lily: Pic or it didn't happen!

(10:04am) Peter: ☝️ this. 

(10:04am) Sirius: She's right!

(10:07am) Remus: [photo with @Marlene] 

(10:07am) Marlene: Lily! That was a great hug! Thank you!

(10:08am) Lily: *takes bow*

(10:08am) Remus: 😏

(10:09am) Peter: Come see me at the food court!

(10:09am) Marlene: Yes! I can take lunch at 11:30! Remus? 

(10:09am) Remus: I can swing that! 

(10:10am) Sirius: ..... I'm free at 11:30 .... 

(10:10am) Marlene: All in favor of Sirius joining?

(10:11am) Remus: aye.

(10:11am) Peter: aye.

(10:11am) Lily: nay!

(10:11am) Sirius: aye.

(10:11am) Sirius: wait! 

(10:11am) Sirius: Lily what the fuck!? 

(10:12am) Lily: IDK. Misery loves company and I can't be there so.... 

(10:12am) Remus: I change my answer. Nay. 

(10:12am) Peter: Same. NAY!

(10:13am) Marlene: The tribe has spoken. 

(10:13am) Sirius: I kinda hate it here.

(10:13am) Sirius: James and Dorcas would have stuck up for me....

(10:14am) Marlene: But they are off being adults and shit so... sorry babe.

(10:14am) Sirius: 🖕

-

Remus, Peter, and Marlene met for lunch in the mall food court and spent their half hour lunch break being excited for Marlene, and doing sulky impressions of Sirius. It was great fun, and they promised to make it their regular Thursday lunch plan, even though the three of them never usually hung out. 

"Us mall prisoners have to stick together!" Marlene laughed as they toasted to themselves with their fountain drinks.

Remus was working more hours than usual over the summer to try and make up for the time and money he lost during his trip home. Keeping busy had really been helping him not become too sad, and he enjoyed being back at the bookstore. It was a good job, and he was thankful they had been so understanding with all the time he had to take off in the last weeks. 

-

The Friendship:

(12:56pm) Castaway: Holy. Shit. 

(12:56pm) Castaway: You're going to want to get to the bookstore asap!

(12:57pm) Lifeboat: What! What happened?!

(12:57pm) Castaway: [Photo]

(12:57pm) Lifeboat: Is that what I think it is!?

(12:57pm) Castaway: Yup!

(12:57pm) Lifeboat: Ziggy Stardust?

(12:57pm) Castaway: Yup!

(12:57pm) Lifeboat: Original press?!

(12:58pm) Castaway: Yup!

(12:58pm) Lifeboat: SIGNED!?!?!

(12:58pm) Castaway: YUP! 

(12:58pm) Castaway: It's going to be expensive, but I knew you would want it! 

(12:59pm) Lifeboat: Don't YOU want it?

(12:59pm) Castaway: Too rich for my blood 😂 

(12:59pm) Lifeboat: Plus the one I have was my moms so, it's priceless. 

(1:00pm) Castaway: ☝️ truth!

(1:00pm) Castaway: Leaving now! Be there in a bit

-

Sirius walked with purpose into the bookstore and immediately spotted Remus's fading pink hair in the records section. He was sorting through a large stack of used vinyl on a rolling cart, smiling like it was Christmas morning. 

"Where did all this come from?" Sirius asked as he thumbed through a few of the records on the cart.

Remus jumped at the question, clearly unaware that Sirius had come over, and the reaction made Sirius laugh out loud. 

Remus flipped him off and snatched the records from Sirius hands playfully, setting them back down on the cart as the smile creeped back onto his face. 

"Some couple moved in together and decided to get rid of all the duplicates they had between them" he explained excitedly "then some guy came in and wanted to sell all his collectible albums to buy an engagement ring!"

He laughed as Sirius mouth fell open. "I had the same reaction! Who on earth would do such a thing!?"

Sirius shook his head in shock. "I guess I could understand the duplicates thing" he started thoughtfully "but honestly, anything short of marriage and I'm not getting rid of a single one!" He added with a laugh. 

Remus gave him a confused look. "Well I could demand all the records in the divorce" Sirius shrugged with a light chuckle.

They began to walk to the back room where Remus was holding the record for Sirius as Sirius continued. "Then again I would never get rid of my favorite records to buy a ring.... AND I would never marry someone who got rid of good music for some ring either. That's just poor judgment!" 

"I completely agree" Remus laughed "but their love sick mistake is your gain today!" He added, pulling the record out of a small box on a corner shelf. 

Sirius took it gently in his hands and caressed the cover as if he wasn't positive it was real. 

"I didn't even want to put a price on it in case the sticker ruined it, but the manager is expecting you at the register and is ready to negotiate a price." Remus said as they walked back into the bookstore. "I have to get back to work though. There is a lot of new stuff to sort." 

"Thanks Moonman!" Sirius called over his shoulder as he walked to the front to pay, throwing a smile back that made Remus's breath hitch slightly as he made his way back to work. 


The Friendship:

(2:22pm) Lifeboat: Just put Ziggy on the record player, and I think I officially like you more than James. 

Lifeboat changed 'Castaway' to 'New Best Friend'

(2:24pm) New Best Friend: James will be heartbroken. 

(2:24pm) Lifeboat: I have no doubt. 

(2:24pm) Lifeboat: But he has Dorcas to soften the blow a bit. 

(2:25pm) New Best Friend: That's true. She's pretty great. 

(2:25pm) Lifeboat: Hey! You're suppose to say no one could ever replace me!

(2:25pm) New Best Friend: My mother taught me never  to lie. 

(2:26pm) Lifeboat: Well, I can't argue with that now can I?

(2:26pm) New Best Friend: Nope. 

(2:27pm) Lifeboat: Going to see her again today?

(2:27pm) New Best Friend: Yup 😊

(2:28pm) New Best Friend: You're welcome to come if you want.... 

(2:28pm) Lifeboat: I have class 😞 

(2:29pm) Lifeboat: Tell her hi from me! 

(2:30pm) New Best Friend: I will!

(2:30pm) New Best Friend: How are classes going? 

(2:31pm) Lifeboat: Well the trainer course classes are really fun! 

(2:31pm) Lifeboat: And the business classes are pretty boring, but I like that. 

(2:32pm) New Best Friend: You like that it's boring?

(2:33pm) Lifeboat: bahaha! No!

(2:33pm) Lifeboat: ... well kinda. 

(2:33pm) Lifeboat: It makes me feel like Im actually doing something good for my future. Like... I'm not just doing it because it's new and exciting, but because I have goals and I'm working toward those goals. 

(2:34pm) Lifeboat: Does that make sense?

(2:35pm) New Best Friend: Yea. It does actually. 

(2:35pm) New Best Friend: Like the career version of eating your vegetables. 

(2:36pm) Lifeboat: 😂😂 Yass!

-

Squad:

(5:09pm) Dorcas: Fuck. We miss everything. 

(5:09pm) James: Being a cop had better be awesome... 

(5:10pm) Sirius: Someone said bacon?

(5:10pm) Peter Oh SHIT! ☝️

(5:10pm) James: 🖕

(5:10pm) Dorcas: 🖕🖕

(5:11pm) Dorcas: I will arrest you mother fucker!

(5:11pm) Lily: I miss you guys 😭

(5:12pm) James: aww I miss you too. 

(5:12pm) Lily: I mostly meant Dorcas but... sure you too... 

(5:12pm) James: Ouch.

(5:13pm) Lily: Love you!

(5:13pm) Sirius: I love you too Lily!

(5:13pm) Lily: I clearly meant James but cool. 

(5:14pm) Peter: Burn!

(5:14pm) Sirius: Lily just loves bacon. 

(5:14pm) Dorcas: I swear I will do it Sirius! I have handcuffs now you little bitch!

(5:15pm) Marlene: Damn. 🔥

(5:15pm) Sirius: fuck you all.

(5:15pm) Dorcas: Pass.

(5:15pm) Lily: Pass. 

(5:16pm) James: Pass. 

(5:16pm) Peter: Pass. 

(5:17pm) Remus: Does no one else find it interesting that Marlene showed up when Dorcas said handcuffs?

(5:18pm) Marlene: Does anyone find it interesting that Remus showed up when Sirius said fuck you? 

(5:18pm) Dorcas: Damn. 

(5:18pm) James: Shots fired!!

(5:19pm) Lily: 😂😂👏👏

(5:19pm) Peter: I have some aloe if you need it bro. 

(5:19pm) Marlene: Check. Fucking. Mate. 

(5:20pm) Sirius: They are just jealous of our love Remus!

(5:20pm) Remus: .....I'm still not voting you into our lunch club.

(5:21pm) Sirius: damn. 

-

House of Hotties:

(6:04pm) Moony: [photo]

(6:27pm) Lilyflower: Gah! Definitely a little growth from the pic James sent me two weeks ago!

(6:29pm) Moony: I know!

(6:29pm) Lilyflower: I can't wait to visit. I miss her.

(6:30pm) Moony: Me too.

(6:30pm) Moony: We can go whenever you want.

-

The Friendship:

(9:49pm) Lifeboat: Last song? 

(9:51pm) New Best Friend: Beast Of Burden by The Rolling Stones

(9:51pm) Lifeboat: Oh shit. That's a fucking tune. 

(9:52pm) New Best Friend: Yea. It's a good one.

(9:52pm) Lifeboat: Did you tell Hope I said Hello?

(9:52pm) New Best Friend: Of course. I'm not a monster. 

(9:53pm) Lifeboat: Just checking! 

(9:53pm) New Best Friend: You busy?

(9:54pm) Lifeboat: Not really

 

Calling Sirius.... 

 

S- Hey! This is a nice surprise. 

R- Just been a while. 

S- Yea. It has. 

R- .....

S- .........

R- I was thinking of having a welcome home brunch for Lily next weekend. 

S- Oh? That sounds perfect! I guess she finally got her flight information then?

R- Yea. She gets in at 1am next Saturday. That's why I was thinking brunch... give her some time to sleep and make breakfast and just hang out when she gets up. 

S- Sounds great! 

R- I'll talk to James about it and iron out the details I suppose. 

S- He's so excited its annoying. Haha!

R- I mean.. I get it haha! I'm pretty excited too!

S- haha! 

R- So..... 

S- So?

R- So how are things with umm... with the lawsuit against your family? 

S- Oh. Um.... it's not looking great for the Bones family. 

R- Are you ok? 

S- Yea.... Yea I think so. I just wish I could help somehow. My family is fucking corrupt so... I don't see it going well for Amelia's family. ..... it's so unfair. 

R- It really is.  Nothing from Regulus then?

S- Fuck no... the little idiot. I just wish I knew he was doing ok in all this. 

R- Anything I can do? 

S- Nah. Thanks though. 

R-   ........ Working tomorrow?

S- Yea. Mad-Eye keeps me pretty busy. But I love it! 

R- Yea. He's a great boss.

S- ...
 
R- ...

S- So have you talked to Lily about your moms will yet? 

R- No, I'm waiting until she comes home. In person is better... 

S- Yea, that makes sense. 

R- Yea.....

S- So..... Have you umm.... have you been talking with Benjy lately?

R- Oh. Uh.. yea. We talk pretty often. 

S- Good. That's good... he's a good guy so... good... 

R- Yea. We are planning a date for the weekend after Lily gets home. 

S- Mhm

R- I just know I will want to spend time with her when she's back so I'll be busy and stuff.. 

S- Yea that makes sense. Like... no reason to rush. 

R- exactly. 

S- .......

R- .......

S- Well.. I think I'm headed to bed. 

R-  Yea, ok. Goodnight Sirius.

S- Night, Remmy boy.

 

Chapter Text

"She's on the plane!" James screeched, attempting to pull Sirius into his bubble of excitement by tackling him. "Lily's on the fucking plane!" 

Sirius was laying on his bed, studying for a minor exam, when James had come crashing into his room unannounced. 

"Get off of me you dolt" Sirius said as he shoved James off of his mattress, a small laugh giving him away. "I know you're excited but damn.... calm your tits!" 

"Why are you not more excited?! This is exciting!" James jumped back onto Sirius's bed, unwilling to be deterred. 

"I believe my level of enthusiasm is perfectly acceptable, as I'm not having sex with her" Sirius laughed. The playful shoving was quickly morphing into an all out war for occupancy of the king mattress, and the conversation faded to the back of their minds as both boys landed hard on the floor in a pile of limbs, laughing manically and whining about their future bruises. 

"You going with Remus to get her?" Sirius asked, not bothering to move as they both took a moment to catch their breath on the floor. 

"Nah" James sighed, a little note of sadness in his voice, "she says she will be too tired after her flight for any company." James got up and made himself comfortable on Sirius's bed, offering a hand out to Sirius as he did so. "I think she really just wants some time with Remus though. They are like siblings, and I know Hope's death really hit her hard..." 

"Well, we will see her tomorrow for brunch" Sirius said comfortingly, resting his head on James stomach. 

"Yup" James smiled. "I can't wait." 

Sirius glanced over at James and couldn't help the smirk that appeared on his face as he watched his best friend and brother smile like a dopey, stupid 15 year old. 

"You really love her..." he said, more as an observation than a question. 

James met Sirius's eyes, his dopey smile only growing. "Yea. I really do."


*


House of Hotties: 

(1:04am) Lilyflower: I'm in baggage claim!

(1:06am) Lilyflower: Where you at bitch?! I wana see your gorgeous face!

-

Remus grinned as he put his phone in his pocket, his quick steps turning into a light jog as he spotted the bright red hair of his best friend grabbing a maroon luggage set off the belt. 

"Lil!" Remus called out as she dropped the handles of her bag and ran toward him, throwing her arms around his neck with an unintelligible shriek as he lifted her slightly off of the ground in a deep hug. 

After a sufficiently lengthy hug and quick photo to send to James, they made their way to the car, Lily asking questions about home and Remus asking questions about Japan and her flight. On the entire drive home there wasn't a single moment they weren't talking and laughing, both friends realizing how deeply they had missed- and been missed by- the other. 

Taking her first steps back into their shared apartment, Lily dropped her bags and threw herself onto their worn couch, clutching a throw pillow with a long dramatic sigh of content that made Remus laugh as he tossed a second pillow at her face. 

"If you still want to shower, I can start unpacking some of this" Remus said with a gesture back toward the discarded luggage. 

"Ugh. Yes. Shower" Lily groaned as she forced herself to get up from the couch. "But nothing from the gray bag!" She said seriously. "It's just some small gifts I brought back for you and the others, but I want to do that all together" she added in response to Remus's raised eyebrow. 

He nodded and started to sort through the things as Lily left to "wash off the jet lag" as she had put it. Eventually he moved the bags to her room as he refolded and put away the clean clothes. She had come home with an entire suitcase full of extra things, but Remus figured that was probably normal when visiting another country for the first time. 

"Feel better?" Remus asked when Lily was finally finished with her shower. 

"Much" she smiled, setting herself down on her bed next to a small stack of thank you notes from her students. "These are great, huh?" She smiled with a gesture to the notes. 

Remus nodded and picked one up, clearing his throat to read aloud. 

Dear Ms. Lily, 

You teached me good english. I very much thank you and hope I see you some future day. 

Warmth, 
Cho

Lily snatched the note from Remus as he started to chuckle. "Hey! She was my youngest student! Only 6 years old!" 

Remus continued to laugh, but nodded, genuinely impressed, as Lily stacked the notes neatly and placed them in a drawer of her desk. "I'm not making fun!" He defended with a shrug, "it's very cute." 

"Mhm" She hummed in disbelief. "I'm over this" she groaned, glancing at the half unpacked luggage taking over her bed space. 

"Yea" Remus yawned "let's just sleep in mine tonight." 

Remus changed into pajamas while Lily sent a few messages to James, assuring him she had survived the shower and was going to bed. She laughed and put her phone on the charger, aware that Remus was hovering at the end of the bed, waiting awkwardly. 

"What is it?" She asked as she moved the pillows around for comfort. 

"It can wait until tomorrow if you're too tired..." Remus said, shaking his head as he climbed in next to her. 

"Remus..." Lily chided "what's up?" 

Remus sighed lightly and turned on his side to face his friend. 

"She left you some things" he half whispered "mom, I mean... in her will." 

Lily sat up in the bed, clearly surprised, as she looked expectantly to Remus. "What do you mean?" 

"Well..... her will stated that you had first pick of her jewelry- with the exception of her wedding bands- and her clothes, and her shoes, and she left you a few specific records, and..." Remus took a deep breath, sitting up a bit in the bed as well, hoping it would keep him from crying, but knowing it probably wouldn't. "And she left you a letter." 

"What does it say?" Lily mumbled after a long pause. 

"I don't know, I didn't read it" Remus replied "but I got one too, and if it's anything like mine your going to want to buy all of the fucking tissues" he added with a small laugh. "I cried for like... 10 years I swear..." 

Lily laughed, blinking back the tears pricking her eyes with a small chuckle. "Fuck. I miss her." 

"Yea... me too."

"You ok with me having all of that stuff?" She asked after a long silence, looking him full in the face, searching for reassurance. "Your dad's ok with it?" 

Remus nodded, taking a therapeutic breath. "Of course Lily, it's perfect. Honestly." 

She smiled brightly as Remus added with a wry grin "None of her dresses are really my color anyway." 

She swatted him playfully as they sunk down into the covers, snuggling lazily. It was the first night either of them actually slept well in over 6 weeks, and it was much needed for the both of them. 

-

Squad: 

(9:12am) James: Wakey Wakey! 

(9:12am) Peter: 5 more minutes..... 

(9:12am) Sirius: But really. wake up. We are on the way to Remus and Lily's place!

(9:12am) Peter: Come get me! 

(9:12am) Marlene: Yasss! 

(9:12am) Dorcas: Me and Marls will get you Pete, we're at the store getting the stuff for mimosas!

(9:13am) Remus: Oh good! Lily loves mimosas!

(9:13am) Dorcas: Yea. I know... 

(9:13am) Dorcas: I have met her, if you recall... 

(9:14am) Remus: Yea yea. Hurry up!

(9:14am) James: She asleep still?

(9:15am) Remus: Oh yea. Dead to the world. 

(9:15am) Remus: Didn't even stir when I stubbed my toe and cussed out loud. I had to check her pulse and make sure she was actually alive...

(9:16am) Peter: good man, Moony!

(9:16am) Marlene: Well, we will be there right at 10 I think. 

(9:16am) Sirius: James is driving us there now.

(9:17am) Remus: Don't ring the bell, just come on in. 

-

Sirius and James tried very hard to sneak in the door, but failed miserably as James snagged a grocery bag on the door frame and dropped just about everything he was carrying. 

He stared at Remus in shock, like a deer in the headlights, as Remus threw his hand over his mouth to keep himself from laughing too loudly. Sirius barked out a single loud laugh before doing the same, eyes wide and apologetic, which only caused the attempts at silent laughter to morph into full fits of semi whispered hysterics. 

And that's how Lily found them.  As she stumbled to the doorway in her worn pajamas and bare feet, the boys completely unaware of her presence, she watched for a bit while they shushed each other and clutched their mouths in vain. 

"You might work on your stealth, Potter." Lily said in an amused tone as she took in the site before her. "I'd hate for a bad guy to get away because you can't manage to get through a door." 

Remus and Sirius laughed even harder as James blushed slightly, struggling to remove the pile of groceries off of him so he could stand. 

"That's some good advice Evans" he replied with a grin as he stood. He leaned coolly on the door frame, as if he hadn't just emptied an entire grocery isle on their living room floor, and added "any more gems of knowledge like that?"

"Yea" she raised her eyebrow challengingly "if you don't come kiss your girlfriend immediately, she might beat you with a package of bacon." 

"We wouldn't want that" James grinned wider as he walked toward her "violence is a crime..." 


Sirius and Remus spent the next 10 minutes picking up the groceries scattered on the floor while supplying the room with loud gagging and wretching commentary for each "I missed you" and "I love you" that James or Lily whispered to each other. Eventually they found their way to the couch with a big bag of chips, crunching excessively loud as they made 'helpful' suggestions on makeout technique while James and Lily continued to go at it, only stopping once the couch pillows started flying. 

Lily was so happy to be home. Yes, Japan had been a once in a lifetime experience that she would forever be thankful for, but nothing compared to this. Hanging out, laughing with these idiots just brought her so much joy.

Once Marlene, Dorcas, and Peter arrived it was quickly decided that Remus and James were not allowed in the kitchen at all. So the two of them joined Lily to relax on the couch with a mimosa- and maybe a small bit of pouting- as the smell of delicious breakfast food made its way around the apartment. 

When they sat down to eat, it was in a circle on the floor of the living room, lounging on spare couch pillows with all the food on trays in the center as they ate and laughed and drank mimosas.

"How is it going being a big bad dance instructor" Lily teased, turning a bit to face Marlene. 

"Oh it's awesome" Marlene gushed. "And I have really good timed rental pricing from Moody down at Fit Space, so it's actually decent money!" 

"What kind of dancing is your student doing? You said she was... what?.... 13?" Peter asked.

Marlene nodded as she finished chewing some toast. "Yup! Just turned 13. She had a strong ballet background, so we are mainly working on contemporary dance with some lyrical vibes." 

"Oh cool!" James nodded enthusiastically. 

"Shut up, Prongs" Sirius laughed out as Peter threw a pillow at James. "You have no idea what any of that shit means!" 

James threw the pillow back at Peter with one hand as he shoved Sirius with the other. "Your not wrong...." he chuckled "but Marls here is so excited about it,  it's fucking contagious!"

Marlene smiled brightly, giving James a small nod of thanks as she shoved Peter, shouting "yea!" In agreement. 

Lily hadn't laughed so hard in weeks, and though she didn't want the little party to end, end it did. Remus had to go teach a karate class at Fit Space, Peter left to see Mary, and Marlene had work at the arcade.

Dorcas and Sirius left shortly after everyone else, once James and Lily started to get a bit too touchy feeley for comfort, and decided to hit the gym up for a bit, and maybe grab some pizza with Remus after his lessons. 

-

"Do you ever think about if we will be still together a year from now?" Lily asked as she snuggled into James's chest. 

"Hmmm" James hummed thoughtfully "Not really..." Lily tensed up a bit, and James must have noticed, because he quickly asked "Why?" 

"Well I just... I suppose I don't want to waste my time is all." She tried to keep the twinge of hurt from her voice, but didn't quite manage it. 

"Lily..." James gasped, looking down into her eyes "I don't think about IF we will be together because... well... I don't ever want to not be with you." He squeezed her a little tighter, resting his head on hers with closed eyes. "It was never a question for me. I love you." 

"I love you too." Lily sighed happily "and I'm glad I'm home." 

-

Remus finished up his lesson for the day and was giving last minute technique advice to one of the struggling kids when he spotted Dorcas and Sirius coming out of the locker area. 

"Pizza time?" Dorcas asked brightly, adjusting the bag on her shoulder as Sirius nodded enthusiastically. 

"Let's go then" Remus replied, gesturing for them to lead the way. 

On the walked to the Pizza Shack, Sirius and Dorcas made small talk while Remus texted Lily. 

House of Hotties: 

(5:07pm) Moony: I'm getting pizza with Sirius and D. Want some? 

(5:08pm) Lilyflower: Nah. Thanks though. 

(5:08pm) Lilyflower: Too late to visit Hope, you think? 

(5:08pm) Moony: Never too late. 

(5:09pm) Moony: Meet there? 6:30?

(5:10pm) Lilyflower: Yes!

 

Remus put his phone in his pocket as they ordered their pizzas, Sirius and Remus opting to just split their usual pineapple pizza. 

"I have to eat and run today" Remus said as they squeezed into a round corner booth "Lily wants to go see mom." 

"That'll be nice" Dorcas smiled "tell her hi from me." 

Remus nodded in agreement, taking a sip from his drink as Sirius added "yea, from me too" with a sympathetic smile. "Do you want a ride? You took the subway here right?" 

If Remus was being honest with himself, he wanted nothing more than to be holding tight to Sirius on the back of his motorbike. But, he also knew it was probably not healthy that he felt that way, since a relationship with Sirius seemed to be out of the question. 

Still, taking the subway would take longer, and he didn't want to have to scarf his pizza down in order to make good time. "Umm.. yea I took the sub" Remus sighed. "A ride would be great actually, thanks." 

House of Hotties:

(5:42pm) Moony: Your letter from mom is in my top desk drawer if you want to bring it. It's up to you when you open it but, it's yours. 

(5:42pm) Moony: Pink envelope with your name on the flap. 

(5:49pm) Lilyflower: Thanks Rem. I found it. 

(5:50pm) Moony: .... but seriously. Tissues. 

(5:50pm) Lilyflower: 😂 *salute*

-

Lily couldn't hide her smirk while she watched Remus hand the motorcycle helmet back to Sirius as he got off the bike. Remus was even blushing just a bit as he walked over to her, subtly flipping her the bird as she waved enthusiastically to Sirius. 

"Let's go" Lily laughed as they locked arms and made their way through the cemetery grounds that Remus knew by heart. 

They spent a long time just sitting and chatting about Hope and all of the random lessons they learned from her growing up. 

"As long as the car is between the ditches on either side of the road, have all the crazy car dance parties you want" Lily was saying, using her best Hope impression, laughing between her words. 

"You aren't really living your best life unless you are drinking your smoothies from a swirly straw" Remus said with mock seriousness, remembering fondly how she would trade his regular straws for crazy, loopy ones any time he had to drink a nasty hospital "health smoothie". "Honestly, they just don't taste the same without a swirly straw now" he laughed "she's ruined me on regular straws!" 

 

They laid in the grass, not caring about the dirt or the ants, as Lily read her letter to herself. 

Remus waited quietly as Lily began to cry heavily with her head on his stomach. "Fuck" she mumbled through a small chuckle. "You weren't kidding about the tissues..." Remus laughed lightly with her, adding "nope" as she folded the letter up. 

"I'm ready to go when you are" she whispered after a long, peaceful silence. 

They walked back to Lily's car silently, arm in arm, as if together they could face anything. It had been a long but good day, and Lily found that she felt much better about having not been there when Hope passed after reading her kind words. She would cherish them forever.

"Lets make her proud, Remus" Lily said with quiet determination as they reached the car. 

Remus nodded with a resolute smile. "So proud." 

Chapter Text

Marlene had agreed for Sirius to join her, Remus, and Peter for their Thursday lunch dates on a strictly trial basis, and so it was with faux reluctance that she waved to the group across the food court, giving Sirius a pointed eye roll as he greeted her cheerily. 

"Nope. Get out." She said flatly as Sirius continued to smile at her. 

"What the hell did I do?" He asked, clearly offended. 

"Too cheery man..." Peter supplied as if it were obvious. 

"You can't just go around enjoying life like that" Remus added, shaking head disapprovingly. "It's just not the way things are done around here." 

Marlene raised her eyebrow, gesturing toward the other two as if their words came directly from her own mouth. 

Sirius raised his hands in surrender. "I'll be on my most morose behavior, I swear it." He place his hand over his heart to punctuate his sincerity, which seemed to be enough for Marlene.

She nodded sharply, pursing her lips slightly to keep herself from grinning in amusement. "Right." She said "to business then." She looked expectantly at Pete who took a deep breath, as if preparing himself to say something very important. 

"Fuuuuuuccckkkkkk" Pete sang out in a beautiful high note. 

Sirius's head jerked back a bit from shock just as Remus and Marlene joined him with perfect harmonies, hands moving and eyes closed as if in serious concentration of their tasks. 

"Fuuuuuck. Fuuuuuckk. Fuuuuckk this place." 

They finished all together, turning to look at a shocked Sirius, and immediately bursting with laughter at his expression. 

"What the actual fuck was that?" Sirius deadpanned after the laughter had died down enough for him to be heard. Unfortunately this only caused another round of hysterics, so he waited patiently, unable to keep from laughing a bit himself. 

"We're just fucking with you Pads" Pete said between gasps for breath.

"We sounded amazing though" Marlene added, wiping a tear from her face. 

Sirius leaned back in his chair, amused, but doing his best to look genuine as he started a slow clap that eventually brought him out of his seat with mock enthusiasm while the other 3 took small bows of thanks. Most of the onlookers were giving them side eyed glances and annoyed gestures that were pointedly ignored by the friends, who clearly didn't care. They just acted as if they had each won a grammy, waving and blowing kisses to the strangers before sitting back down to their fast food trays. 

"I feel like this is the beginning of something beautiful" Sirius smiled brightly as he took a long sip of his fountain drink. 

"Trial basis, fucker." Marlene deadpanned, grabbing her own drink as Sirius rolled his eyes. 


And that was how all of Remus and Sirius interactions were with each other. They continued to text, exchange sarcastic banter, and encourage one another on days when adulting was a particular pain in the ass. 


Saturday found Sirius, Remus, and James at the gym bright and early for workouts before Remus and Sirius  had mid day shifts. No one had forgotten that Remus and Benjy were very much due for a date, but James asked anyway, attempting to sound happy about it as he did.  

"Tonight's the night, yea? With Benjy?" 

"Mhm" Remus grunted, setting down his weights, only halfway through the set. "I suppose it is." 

Sirius's heart began to twist painfully, as it always did when he thought about anyone else with Remus, and he avoided James's eye behind a sip of his water bottle. 

"Excited?" James pressed. 

"Kinda nervous actually" Remus admitted with a laugh. He was rubbing his neck anxiously, avoiding looking over at Sirius as he felt the stare he was being given. 

"Welp!" James said cheerily with a slap on Remus's shoulder "Benjy is good stock. It'll be great. Even if you just end up as friends, you'll have a good time!" He gave Remus an encouraging smile before taking the weights and starting his own set.

"Big plans for you?" Remus asked James distractedly, attempting to continue the conversation in hopes it would get less awkward. 

"Oh Yea!" James boasted, his tone dripping with sarcasm. "Me and Dorcas have a rousing night of studying planned." He looked over at Remus with mock sympathy. "Try not to be too jealous." 

Remus laughed lightly. "I promise nothing. It sounds like quite the night..." 

 

Sirius was playing on his phone, and his silence only made Remus want to scream. So he left them to it, mumbling something about going for a run, gesturing vaguely toward the indoor track as he walked away. 

James stared at Sirius, raising his eyebrow when their eyes met. 

"What?!" Sirius demanded, with more heat than he intended. James simply blinked and raised his brows a bit higher as Sirius took a cleansing breath and tried again. "What, Prongs? Say your piece." 

James shook his head with a sigh. "I don't have anything to say Pads" -he moved to start a new set- "YOU do though. Go say it." 

Sirius blinked and sat down. He wasn't really in the mood to hear this shit right now, but then again, when was he? 

It was fucking hard; this Benjy-Remus bullshit. 

"I think I'm headed out" Sirius said shortly, checking his watch "I have to be back here in 2 hours and I want to shower in my own bathroom." 

James gave him a searching look, but nodded as Sirius left to grab his things. Nothing would change unless Sirius changed it, James knew that, but it was fucking infuriating to watch his best friend- his brother- suffer because of his own damn stubborn nature. 

As Sirius left, James pulled his phone out to text Remus.

Lily's Posse: 

(9:08am) Lover: Where you at? 

(9:11am) Brother: James? 

(9:11am) Brother: Did Lily change our names and group? 

(9:12am) Lover: fuck I just noticed that!

(9:12am) Lover: it definitely wasn't me! 😂

(9:13am) Brother: Change it?

(9:13am) Lover: You dont want to be my brother/lover, Remus? That cuts me deep. 

(9:14am) Brother: 🖕 

(9:14am) Brother: Fine, lover. 

(9:15am) Lover: good man!

(9:15am) Lover: Now come back down here and spot me. 

 

(9:17am) Lover: Sirius left...

(9:17am) Brother: omw

-

"What's going on with you today, Black?" Moody asked gruffly as he motioned for Sirius to get out of his chair for the 3rd time that hour. "What? No comebacks? You losing your nerve, boy?" 

"A bit distracted is all, Mad-Eye" Sirius said, waving his hand nonchalantly as he put some towels away in the bin. 

Moody pierced him with a look that made Sirius feel like his mind was being searched, and he didn't like it. 

"Just... this bloke I fancy..." his British showing a bit in his discomfort. "It's complicated."

Moody nodded knowingly, sitting down in his newly vacant chair, gesturing for Sirius to continue. 

Sirius forced a smirk, trying to hide his awkwardness behind humor. "Well... as hard as this will be to believe Mad-Eye, I haven't been in many actual relationships, and historically- with this new guy- I am a royal asshat." He finished with a nod and a lopsided smile that didn't reach his eyes. 

Moody just stared at him for a moment while Sirius let his gaze drop to the floor. 

"This about Remus?" He asked Sirius quietly. 

"Wha- How... why would you think tha- I don-" 

"So yes then?" Moody added, not bothering to hide his smirk as Sirius sighed deeply with a dejected nod. 

"How the fuck?" He asked in awe. "Are you a sorcerer? Can you read minds?" 

Moody barked out a laugh, his eyes still trained on Sirius as he leaned forward to rest his elbows on his knees. "Look son" he sighed, unaware of Sirius's breath hitching in his throat at the term of endearment. "This is advice for life, you hear me? So listen up.  Don't ever- EVER- half-ass the important things." 

Sirius just stared, the confusion clearly etched on his face as Moody pressed on. 

"You can't sit here and be moody" -he held up a finger to cut Sirius off as he went to make the obvious pun- "if you didn't really give it the full shot." 

And again Sirius felt as though his thoughts were laid out and exposed for Moody to read. 

"What do I do?" Sirius asked, genuinely needing an answer, not caring at all how odd it was for him to be asking his boss for guidance on his love life. 

Moody stood up and started shifting through papers on his desk, shrugging casually as he took a thoughtful breath. "You know I don't think I really need the help today, Black. Why don't you take the rest of the day off." He turned to look Sirius right in the eye at that last part, clearly implying he talk to Remus. 

Sirius nodded, unable to speak as he grabbed his things and headed out the door. He wasn't sure what to do, but he was going to do.... something. 

He was fucking sick of this knot in his gut. 

It couldn't wait, so he decided to head to the bookstore, hoping that the right words would find him on the journey there. 

-

Remus was elbow deep in a fresh stack of best sellers that needed arranging for the front display, when he spotted Sirius come through the door. He immediately checked his phone, wondering if he had missed a call or text, but saw nothing, so he walked over as Sirius gave him a small wave on his way, naturally meeting in the record section. 

"Fancy seeing you here" Sirius chided as he casually perused the classic rock section. The right words had not found him on the journey, and he was grasping for just about anything to ease the pounding of his heart against his rib cage. 

"Well" Remus smiled as if talking to a child "don't alert the paparazzi, but I work here." He placed his finger to his lips, whispering the last words as he looked around in mock suspicion. 

Sirius's laugh came out a bit more manic than he intended, but he smoothly replied "I make no promises."

Remus scoffed dramatically, but quickly got over the betrayal as Sirius seemed to lose interest in the stack of records. 

"We have a batch of new trades I haven't gone through yet" he said gesturing toward the back room with a shrug. "Want to see if there is anything good? All this is the same stuff from last week." 

Sirius nodded, more than a little relieved to have something to talk about. As they walked in amicable silence to the back, Sirius realized how easy it was to just be with Remus, even when there was clear tension. It was just... natural. 

"Maybe 3 dozen or so records" Remus said as he lifted a small box onto the table for Sirius to look into "I don't even know what genre they are" he added with a shrug. 

It didn't take long for them to find a good rhythm as they worked their way through the stack. It was the oddest, most eclectic assortment of vinyl either of them had ever seen, and Sirius started to make up backstories for why the previous owner had even bought each record about halfway through. 

After the last one was thoroughly inspected, judged, and deemed to be the result of a breif but intense saxophone fetish, Sirius scrunched his nose and shook his head. "Honestly, I'm having a hard time deciding between the one titled 'Farm Animal Sounds' and this one that just says 'Screaming'. He put his finger to his chin in thought as Remus laughed, putting the vinyl stacks back in the box. 


Sirius was still doing his thoughtful impression when Remus's phone vibrated in his pocket. He pulled it out to check without much thought, blushing slightly when he saw that it was Benjy. 

Benjy/Remus:

(2:31pm) Benjy: We still on for dinner? 7?

Remus was acutely aware that Sirius was staring at his as he responded quickly. 

(2:31pm) Remus: Yup. 


"Benjy?" Sirius asked quietly as Remus slipped his phone back into his pocket. 

"Uhh... yea." Remus said, not looking up from his task moving the records. "Just ironing out some details." 

"Benjy is a good guy" Sirius sighed, not bothering to stop his staring as Remus continued to avoid eye contact. "Where are you guys going?" 

"Sirius..." Remus sighed deeply, turning to face him fully. "Is this what you really want to talk about? My date?" 

Sirius was having a hard time breathing evenly as his heart began to beat even faster, but he didn't break eye contact. Moody's words floated to the front of his mind. Don't half-ass the important things... 

"No..." Sirius responded, more of a whisper than anything else. 

Remus narrowed his eyes and crossed his arms as the tension around them thickened. He tilted his head thoughtfully as he asked "What are you even doing here Sirius?" 

This is the moment, Sirius thought as he took a deep breath. 

"Don't go."

Remus arms dropped to his sides. "What?" He asked, sounding honestly confused. 

"Don't go" Sirius repeated, the words coming out a bit stronger. "Don't go with him...." he said again, this time taking an involuntary step forward near then table, flinching slightly when Remus took a small step backward. 

"Why not?"

Sirius willed himself to be brave, but it was difficult. He could feel his pulse in every part of his body while his heart seemed to rest in his throat. "I just... I don't want you to go" he muttered, breaking eye contact to stare at his own worn Doc Martens. 

Remus rubbed his face roughly with his hands in a vein attempt to waken his brain, which seemed to be simultaneously asleep, and working overtime. "Sirius..." he sighed in frustration, causing Sirius to look up from his feet. 

"Look, Benjy is a great guy-" 

"Yes you've said...." Remus threw his hands up in frustration. "Get to the point Sirius." 

"He's exactly the kind of guy you might fall in love with!" Sirius rushed out, raising his voice slightly. He sighed deeply and looked at the table he was only just aware he was gripping. "When I think of you falling in love with someone else... it makes me physically sick."

He looked back at Remus and took a few more steps toward him, encouraged when he didn't move away this time. "I can't breath knowing that he might make you laugh like I do." 

Remus just stared, completely unsure of what to do or say. Part of his brain wanted to scream that Sirius was being selfish and storm off, and the other part wanted to...

"I tried to kiss you" Remus said flatly, his voice barely more than a whisper. 

Sirius closed his eyes, hanging his head dejectedly. "I know..." 

Remus waited for more, but when Sirius seemed unwilling to elaborate, he felt the blood rush to his face, embarrassed and angry in equal measure. 

"You know?" He bit out, his voice dripping with venom as he crossed his arms again over his chest. "That's it? You KNOW?"

Sirius clearly understood the tone as his eyes shot up to meet Remus, a look of hurt and anger on his own face. 

"What do you want from me Remus!?" He shouted, throwing his hands in the air. "I'm a fuck up ok? I don't know what I'm doing! I don't know what the fuck I want!" He took a deep breath in an attempt to calm himself, but just choked on the air. 

 

"So you don't know what you want" Remus repeated his words as if trying to explain it to himself, "other than you don't want me to go out with Benjy?" He let his hands fall back to his sides as he took a step forward. 

But Sirius said nothing.

"You don't want me, but you don't want anyone else to have me either? Is that it?" Remus reiterated, angry tears pricking his eyes. 

"Remus...." was all Sirius could manage. He was frozen under the glare Remus was giving him, unable to move; unable to catch his breath. 

Remus shook his head slightly, wiping the single stray tear that rolled down his cheek away with frustration. "I think you should go Sirius" he said quietly after a very long stretch of silence. "I have work to do." 

He turned and made to walk back into the store as Sirius voice followed him in a whisper "Remus... please..." 

He paused at the door but did not turn around, waiting to see if Sirius was actually going to speak, but when no words came he wiped his eyes once more, and left Sirius standing in the back room, alone.


-


Remus tried very hard to focus all of his attention on his work over the next 2 hours, but failed miserably as thoughts of Sirius kept racing through his mind. 

Sirius was so frustrating sometimes, but Remus couldn't help himself from wondering 'why'. 

Why had Sirius come all the way to the bookstore to tell him not to go on his date. He was suppose to be at work, now that Remus thought about it... 

Ugh!

Fucking Sirius... 

He had to know. He had to. 

 

The Friendship:

(5:39pm) New Best Friend: What if I don't go? 

Lifeboat is typing....

-

Sirius had made it home, and was moodily playing with his guitar when the text from Remus came in. He read the message 4 times, his heartbeat picking up its former speed. 

(5:41pm) Lifeboat: Would you want to do something? 

(5:41pm) Lifeboat: With me, I mean? 

(5:42pm) Lifeboat: I'm sure there is a movie out you are dying to see.... 

New Best Friend is typing... 

Sirius was breathing heavily, he stood to pace his room, his hand holding so tight to his phone his knuckles were white. 

(5:44pm) New Best Friend: Pizza first or no deal. 

Sirius grinned, instantly relaxed as he could practically see the look on Remus's face as he typed the message out. 

(5:44pm) Lifeboat: Deal. 

(5:45pm) New Best Friend: 7 at the Pizza Shack? There is a small theater near there. 

(5:45pm) Lifeboat: Sounds perfect!

(5:46pm) Lifeboat: And by the way... we need to work on your negotiating skills. You could have definitely gotten something better than pizza out of me. 

(5:47pm) New Best Friend: There is nothing better than pizza Sirius... 

(4:47pm) Lifeboat: True...

(5:48pm) Lifeboat: What will you tell Benjy? 

(5:48pm) New Best Friend: The truth. 

(5:58pm) New Best Friend: That I've got feelings for someone else. 

Sirius sent Remus a quick reply as he sprinted across the apartment and into James's room, unable to keep the news to himself for a second longer as he launched himseld onto the bed, not at all concerned with the books and papers littered over the sheets. 

"I've got a date with Moony!" He punctuated each word with an aggressive jump on the mattress as James's things went flying off the bed. 

But James didn't seem to mind as he too started jumping up and down with a loud "fuck yea!" that soon morphed into a breathless singing of "Moony and Padfoot sitting in a tree!", and it was a very long time before either of them felt tired enough to sit. 

The Potter/Evans Alliance:

(6:02pm) Rudolph: Gaaaaaah!

(6:02pm) Wildflower: I KNOW! 

(6:02pm) Rudolph: About fucking time

(6:02pm) Wildflower: Right?!

 

Sirius had eventually gone to take a quick shower, leaving James to gather his things and head out to meet Dorcas for studying. 

Tossing on some random clean clothes, desperate to make good time as he searched wildly for his spare motorcycle helmet, finding it on top of the fridge in the kitchen of all places. 

Half excited, half annoyed, he pulled the door to the apartment open a bit rougher than he intended, promptly dropping the helmet he had searched so long for onto the ground as his brain caught up to who his eyes saw standing in front of him. 

".....Regulus?" 

 

Chapter Text

"..... Regulus?"

Sirius took in the sight of his brother standing shyly at his door, hand half raised as if about to knock, and all sense left his body. 

"Umm... hello Sirius" Regulus said into the stunned silence, attempting to sound dignified despite his own shock. 

Sirius just stared. 

His brain was putting its efforts into keeping him upright and breathing, leaving nothing left to make coherent thoughts. 

"Can I... Can I come in?" Regulus mumbled, his hand still ready to knock on the door Sirius was bracing himself against. 

Sirius nodded mutely and opened the door a bit wider, picking up his helmet from the floor and trying hard to convince his lips to make words. He tossed his jacket and helmet lazily onto the chair nearest the door as he turned to face his brother, a fleeting thought of 'when I turn around he'll be gone' coming to the forefront of his mind as he did. 

But Regulus remained.

This was not a figment of his imagination.

So, he took a steadying breath and opened his mouth to speak.

He had about a million questions he wanted to ask- Why are you here? How did you find me? What is going on with the lawsuit? Are you safe? Do you ever miss me....- but when he opened his mouth to ask, the only thing he could manage was... "Tea?" 

Regulus nodded and followed Sirius quietly into the kitchen, standing awkwardly still while Sirius made himself busy with the kettle. 

Fuck. Fuck. FUCK!

Sirius took another deep breath and handed Regulus his tea, gesturing for them to sit as he took a tentative sip from his own steaming cup. 

"You look... well." Sirius observed over his cup. He wanted to be angry. He felt that he deserved to be angry, and he didn't want Regulus to see how painful it was for him to be sitting across the table after three long years of one sided effort, with nothing but silence in return. 

Regulus gave a tight smile before his head fell into a low bow, tears welling up in his eyes at record speed. "I fucked up Sirius."

Sirius reacted on instinct and stood to comfort his little brother. 

5 minutes passed and Sirius was still standing, cradling his brother's head into his stomach as Regulus sat, heaving sobs and tears into his T-shirt at their kitchen table. 

Even in the short span of time they stood there, arms around each other for comfort, Sirius knew he had never felt so many emotions in his life at once. 

He was definently angry. That was at the forefront, and a large part of him wanted to shake Reg and shout 'you fucking idiot! Why didn't you get out when you had the chance!' but he knew he would never. 

He was also wholly overwhelmed with love and gratitude that he was even there, in that moment with Reg, at the little kitchen table.

His brother had found him. He had found him and come to see him knowing he could trust him. Sirius always knew he would do whatever it took to keep Regulus safe, but it was relief like he had never felt to know that Regulus knew it too. 

"What happened?" Sirius said, taking his seat as Regulus calmed a bit. "What can I do?" 

"Well, I got your email" Reg sniffed "so I know you know about the crash and the lawsuit..." Sirius nodded for him to continue "but... well... it was Bella's fault." 

Sirius's eyebrows knit together in anger. He knew it probably was- it sounded like her anyway, drunk driving like fucking idiot- but knowing it was another thing. 

"The womans family contacted me to witness, and..." Regulus took a deep, steadying breath "I told them no at first. But now mum and Bella and the rest are starting this whole smear campaign against her." He started crying again and the words were drowned out by his choking sobs. "... she died, Sirius! A woman died and they are just... trying to ruin her and her family." He choked down a few more sobs. "They are out for blood. Going to take them for every penny... even making jokes about what they'll do with the family's home..." 

And the anger won out.

Sirius scrapped his chair back hard as he stood to pace, fists clenched so hard a tiny droplet of blood fell to the tile floor. He closed his eyes at the pain, breathing deeply and slowly as he willing himself to remain calm.

He leveled Regulus with a determined look and asked "Are you prepared to fix it?" Regulus nodded resolutely as Sirius sat back down across the table. "Ok here is what we do....." 

-

Remus sat at the Pizza Shack for exactly 15 minutes before the silent panic set in and he sent a text to Sirius. 

The Friendship: 

(7:15pm) New Best Friend: Ordered us a Pineapple! 


(7:17pm) New Best Friend: Going to make it? 

He waited and waited, berating himself for every minute he stayed; for every time he looked up hoping it was Sirius coming through the door.

(7:32pm) New Best Friend: Sirius?


(7:49pm) New Best Friend: Fuck you Sirius. 

He left and texted Lily. She had been excited they were going out. Maybe even more excited than Remus, he had thought. He was so angry and hurt. 

But even more than that, he was embarrassed. 

-

House of Hotties:

(7:51pm) Moony: He didn't show.

(7:51pm) Lilyflower: What? Why!?

(7:52pm) Moony: dunno. 

(7:52pm) Moony: I'll let you know if he ever decides to text me back. 

(7:52pm) Lilyflower: I will cut a bitch! 

(7:53pm) Moony: On my way home. Please don't talk to him about it. 

(7:53pm) Lilyflower: ....fine. But I already messaged James so, Sirius may already be getting an earful

-

James burst through the door of their apartment like a tornado in full force.

Sirius jumped up and met him just outside the doorway to the living room, startled at the loud noise and shouting, as James went into a rare rage at the sight of him. 

"You fucking twat!" he screamed. "We thought you might be in a ditch somewhere dead! What are you doing here?! Why didn't you answer your phone! I've called about a zillion fucki..." his screaming tapered off to a dumbstruck stare as Regulus came around the door frame into view. 

Sirius slapped his hand to his forehead hard as he sprinted to the chair that held all of the things he had on him earlier, and searched for his phone. 

"Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!" He muttered desperately during the fumbling. He found it in the pocket of his jacket, checking the screen to see what he missed.

19 missed calls from James

2 missed calles from Marlene

1 missed call from Remus

He immediately opened his chat with Remus and groaned loudly as he read, dialing his number frantically but getting nothing, so he tried again. 

 

"Sirius..." James tried in a soothing voice. But Sirius just ignored him and continued in his futile attempts to call Remus. 

He finally looked up, James staring back with a look of disappointed pity, and Regulus confused and worried. 

"He's.... I think he's blocked me." Sirius whispered, looking to James as if he had some sort of answer. "James.... Remus blocked me." He said again in disbelief. 

"Well... yea." James said, not unkindly. "You sort of stood him up Sirius. He's upset." He looked over to Regulus and took a deep breath before turning back to Sirius. "I see you had a good reason, but you could have called. You SHOULD have called Sirius..." 

Sirius hung his head and nodded, surprising himself by how numb he felt to the whole damn situation. "I know..." 

"We'll fix it" James said encouragingly. "We will. Come on, fill me in over some tea, yea? I will text Lily." 

Sirius nodded as he and Regulus followed James back to the kitchen table. They would fix it. Remus would be mad, he knew that. Sirius kept screwing up. He'd have every right to be angry... But they could fix it. They could. 

-

The Potter/Evans Alliance:

(8:44pm) Rudolph: He's alive. Home. 

(8:44pm) Wildflower: Good. Means I get to be the one to kill him!

(8:47pm) Rudolph: Lily... His brother showed up. 

(8:48pm) Wildflower: His brother? 

(8:48pm) Wildflower: I thought they stopped talking like... 3 years ago. 

(8:49pm) Rudolph: They did... he just showed up out of the blue. 

(8:50pm) Wildflower: Shit

(8:50pm) Rudolph:  Sirius tried to call just now but Remus must have blocked him. 

(8:51pm) Wildflower: Yea. He did. 

(8:51pm) Rudolph: Well fuck.

(8:51pm) Wildflower: I'll try to bring him around but Sirius should have called. Texted... fucking something. 

(8:52pm) Rudolph: I know..

-

Regulus, James and Sirius chatted until 2 am, avoiding the topic of Remus completely, before Regulus started to fall asleep, and they insisted he stay. He took Sirius's bed, leaving Sirius to share with James, and they talked for over an hour laying there, both unable to sleep. 

"Think Reg will go through with it?" Sirius asked, really hoping James would say yes. He needed to believe that Regulus was capable of doing the right thing. 

James nodded slowly. "He came all the way here... and that's not a short flight mind you." He rolled onto his back to stare up at the ceiling, Sirius mirroring his action. "If he does it, that family will win the lawsuit." 

"Yea..." Sirius sighed "and Reggie will be disowned for sure." 

"Not such a bad thing really..." James laughed a bit as he continued "look how great it turned out for you. I mean... you get to live with me. And I'm a fucking catch!" 

"I have Uncle Al's inheritance though" Sirius said thoughtfully, unable to follow James's attempts at humor. "He doesn't." 

"We will work it out Sirius." James said, turning back to his side to link his arm with Sirius's. "He has us." 

Sirius just nodded, allowing himself to be cuddled, but not really feeling like returning the gesture. "Think Remus hates me?" He asked flatly.

James was silent for a beat before he responded, a bit uncertainly. "I don't know, Sirius. You just have to explain it to him." 

Sirius nodded in understanding with a deep sigh finally moving to actually get rest. "Yea, you're right. I can do that."

James scoffed playfully. "You might have to use some actual fucking words... think you can manage it?" 

Sirius rolled his eyes and picked up his phone. He would try again.

And again. And again. 

 

The Friendship:

(3:07am) Lifeboat: Remus? 

Message failed to deliver

(3:11am) Lifeboat: I'm sorry

Message failed to deliver

Lifeboat changed their name to Sirius Is Sorry. 

(3:13am) Sirius Is Sorry: Please... 

Message failed to deliver

-

Sirius/Lily: 

(3:14am) Sirius: Please tell him I'm sorry. I messed up. I can explain it. 

(3:15am) Lily: Fuck. Off. 

(3:15am) Sirius: Lily please. You don't understand

(3:17am) Sirius: I know he's mad at me. I know it... but if I could explain it... 

(3:18am) Lily: That's just it Sirius. He's not mad. He's hurt. You fucking keep hurting him without even meaning to do it. He just doesn't deserve it. 

(3:19am) Lily: There is no excuse for not texting. 2 fucking hours, and James had to show up before he even crossed your mind while we are all thinking you could be laying in a hospital bed! 

(3:19am) Sirius: I'm sorry ok! I told him I was a fuck up from the jump. I guess I'm just proving my own point then!

(3:20am) Lily: You aren't the only one who has had a shitty go of it Sirius. Stop playing victim and grow up. 

(3:20am) Lily: or at the very least... pick someone else's heart to stomp on. 

-

Sirius turned his phone over and closed his eyes, knowing full well he wouldn't sleep. 

How messed up, he thought, that he would get a shot to have his brother back, but fuck everything up with Remus in exchange. It just figured. 

He pulled the blanket over his face and wept unrestrainedly as the numbness that had been holding him together all day finally wore away. 

Wordlessly James pressed his chest to Sirius's back and wrapped his arms around him, rubbing his hair out of his face as tears from both of their eyes landed in a puddle on the sheets. 

"Shh...." James soothed. "We will fix it."

But for the first time, Sirius didn't believe him. 

Chapter Text

Sirius rolled over and checked his phone, saw that there was nothing from Remus, groaned, then rolled over and went back to sleep.

This happened nearly every hour on the hour, and so by the time 7am rolled around, James was over it.

“Pads. I love you. But, get out.”

“Rude.” Sirius scoffed, leaving James’s room to make some coffee.

“Good morning” Sirius heard from the kitchen table as he walked by.

He would not get used to having Regulus there so quickly, he knew that, but what he didn’t expect was for his heart to still pound out of control and his stomach to twist in a knot at the sight of him. Old habits, he though bitterly as he gave a tired smile in reply.

“Coffee?” Sirius asked as he prepared the brew.

“Yes, please” Regulus said, sounding relieved. “I wasn’t sure if you had any, or if it would be rude to make it myself…”

Sirius snorted a laugh that caught Regulus by surprise.

“What?” He asked Sirius, a bit haughtily.

“Just a memory… made me laugh.” He shrugged, handing a cup of hot coffee across the table.

Regulus just gave him an unsure, quizzical look, making Sirius laugh again as he started to explain.

“I just remember the first time I stayed at James’s place- I was about 12 years old mind- and his mom tells me to ‘help myself’ to anything in the kitchen when I got hungry.” He laughed again. “I didn’t eat all fucking day. It was just such a foreign concept to me. I thought it might be an American thing, right?” Sirius grinned across to his brother who nodded knowingly, “turns out our family is just bat shit crazy, and we are the weird ones!" He said with mock shock, pointing between the two of them.

This did get a chuckle from Regulus, and Sirius beamed at his success as James sauntered out of his room and toward the coffee pot.

“Coffee Coffee Coffee…” James sang blandly under his breath as he sat down next to Sirius at the table, sipping his drink happily once before smiling and asking “how did you sleep Reggie? I have it on good authority that this one” –he jabbed Sirius in the rib- “wouldn’t stop checking his phone every 5 minutes.”

“Drama queen” Sirius scoffed over his mug with an eye roll before turning his attention to his brother with an encouraging smile.

“It was good. I will get a hotel for tonight though” he answered “only because I am still on London time I think. Plus, I don’t want mum looking for me here…”

“You really don’t have to…” “You can stay as long as you like…” Sirius and James both started together to try and convince him to stay, but Regulus just shook his head, holding his hand up to stop the protesting.

“No, really. This is….” he sighed and shook his head “it’s just hard” and Sirius understood what he meant.

 

James left to meet Lily for breakfast shortly after, leaving Sirius and Regulus to get his hotel, plane tickets, and other travel plans together.

He would have to go back, and it killed Sirius to even think about. But, there was a grieving family that needed him, and they had a plan.

 

Sirius McKinnon/Marlene Black:

(10:01am) M: So….

(10:01am) M: Talk about it?

(10:04am) S: Reg is about to head out for the day. Lunch?

(10:04am) M: Cant babe, sorry! I have a new Client meeting today at 11:30 or you know I would.

(10:05am) S: Marls! That’s amazing!

(10:05am) M: Call when Regulus leaves?

(10;06am) S: Yes.

 

Calling Marlene….

M- Hey lover. How are you holding up.

S- Honestly?

M- mhhm

S- Not too great Marls… On one hand, Reggie just shows up and my heart is so full that it actually fucking hurts- like, legitimately I thought for a moment ‘I wonder if this is what a heart attack feels like’ because it was so…ugh….. Then on the other hand I finally actually did something that could possibly make me happy, then royally fucked that up too. Like… what the fuck is wrong with me Marls….

M- Nothing, Sirius! Nothing is wrong with you!

Sirius scoffed loudly as he wiped away a rouge tear from his cheek, throwing himself gracelessly onto the couch.

M- Really Sirius… We all have shit that makes us lesser versions of ourselves sometimes. You forgot to call him, you didn’t murder his dog.

S- Well…

M- Hahaha! Don’t tell me you DID kill his dog!

S- Har. Har. Of course not.

M- Then?

S- Well when we were at his mom and dads he tried to kiss me an-

M- WHAT?! Why am I just hearing about this?

S- ………..

M- ugh. Carry on.

S- He tried to kiss me in his room when we were putting stuff away an-

M- I knew it! Me and D were joking about that while you two were up there!

S- …….

M- Sorry.

S- ANYWAY…. He tried to kiss me and I full on panicked and pulled away. Then we left.

M- Whoa.

S- Yea. THEN…. We got into a bit of a row yesterday when I asked him not to go on his date and he basically called me out and I just stood there like a punk little bitch.

M- Sirius…

S- And it’s not this big secret we both want to give it a shot. I mean fuck… even Pete sees what’s going on! And I feel badly because you know… I do this… I flirt and draw people in and then don’t know what to do when I have actual feelings….

M- So… not just forgetting to call then.

S- No.

M-What are you going to do? Is there anything I can do to help? Like… I kinda want to like… I don’t know… punch both of you in the face really hard and then lock you in a room until you either kill each other or work it out.

S- …… But why do you have to punch us both in the face first?

M- I don’t have to…. I said I kinda WANT to…

S- haha!…..that’s supposed to make me feel better?

M- Well it makes me feel better so….

S- baaahaha! Marls… it’s not healthy how much you enjoy the pain of others. You know that right?

M- Well you’re laughing fucker, so I’d say a job well done on my end

S- haha! Yea…. I did need that.

M- You forget that I know you just a little bit.

S- Well, since you’re all knowing… Tell me what to do now. He’s blocked my calls and I just want a chance to explain, ya know?

M- mhm

S- And I really am ok if we just stay friends if that’s what he wants. It’s not like we can avoid each other anyway with Prongs and Lily together And you and Dorcas…

M- When D was avoiding talking to me about my dance company audition I just showed up at her place..

S- Don’t think that’s a bit forward? She didn’t have you blocked… And you two were already dating.

M- True. But how are you going to talk to him otherwise. You just said it yourself, you’re blocked.

S- I mean… I will see him at the gym…

M- Sirius no. You do not want to ambush someone where they work. That situation just asks to be fucked up.

S- I guess….

M- Did you try to talk to Lily about it?

S- She’s pretty peeved about the whole thing.… so not really an option right now.

M- ….really?

S- Yea. Her exact words were Fuck. Off.

M- Oh shit…

S- But she’s out with Prongs now…. So if I go to their place I only risk getting yelled at or ignored by Remus instead of both of them….

M- Go then!

S- Now?!

M- Yes! If it were you wouldn’t you be making up scenarios and shit in your head for every second that passes by ….

S- ….. I really don’t like how well you know me….

M- mhm… just go!

S- Yes your highness! Bye!

M- WAIT!

S- …

M- Good luck.

S- Thanks Marls.

 

[Meanwhile….]

James met Lily at the little diner near the college campus she attended. She had insisted the waffles were infused with some sort of magic that made them taste like heaven, and James was not one to take that claim lightly.

They had scheduled this breakfast several days before, and James really hoped all of this Remus and Sirius crap wouldn’t make the morning tense for them.

“Hey” Lily muttered through a forced smile as she handed him a menu. “How was your morning?”

“Well I slept like crap, but I’m here with you, so the day is looking up” He replied smoothly as he flipped through the pages of the menu. “Why am I even looking at this” he laughed, tossing the menu back down onto the table “I came for waffles!”

Lily smiled at him, clearly relieved as she replied with a sharp nod “then waffles you shall have!”

They chatted and ate, James agreeing wholeheartedly that the waffles had to be the best in the world, while they resolutely avoided the topic of their two friends for nearly an hour.

As they were finishing the last dregs of their coffees, James cleared his throat awkwardly and asked “So… Sirius and Remus, huh?”

Lily laughed a little at the sheer nonchalance of her boyfriend’s voice, and decided they better get this over with. “Yea… messed up right?”

James nodded, a relieved smile on his face as he continued. “I just think if Remus knew the whole story he wouldn’t have overreacted the way he did an-“

“-Wait. This isn’t Remus’s fault. It’s Sirius’s ” She cut in with a raised eyebrow. James just looked at her, as if waiting for her to shout ‘just kidding’. “Well, it is!” she defended, a bit louder than she intended.

“Sirius was so excited for that date, Lily. You have no idea what you’re talking about...” James sighed, knowing already that they were not going to agree. “His brother just shows up out of the blue, after basically nothing for over 3 years… surely you can understand how that might take priority over a date!”

“Of course I do James!” Lily whisper-yelled across their booth. “But I’m just over everyone expecting Remus to be the strong and understanding one when he isn’t! He’s had a hard life too!” She was breathing heavier now, trying not to lose her temper as a wave of protectiveness washed over her.

“It is all well and good for Sirius to be working through his issues” She started back, in much calmer tones “but he has been leading Remus on from the start, and for him…. For Remus… that’s like poking at an open wound.” She shook her head, looking down into her empty mug as James reached across the table to grab her hand, reassured when she didn’t pull away.

“I love how much you love him” James smiled weakly, giving her hand a squeeze “but maybe we should both make more of an effort to not get in the middle. I don’t want their drama to become ours.”

Lily nodded and took a steady breath. “You’re right. Of course you are…” she laughed lightly. “It’s just hard because they are both like our families. We have become like… protective siblings…”

“Just as good as!” James laughed back “I’m sure my parents would have adopted Sirius in a heartbeat if allowed!”

“Oh same!” Lily chuckled. “If I ever once spent a weekend home without Remus, then I don’t remember it!”

They laughed and talked, and bonded over not quite being only children as the waitress brought the check.

“I better get back” James sighed “We are having Reggie back over again later and I do have some studying to get in.”

They walked out together hand in hand, heading their separate ways reluctantly with shouts of “I love you” going back and forth across the street they had parked on either side of.

-

The Friendship:

(11:22am) Sirius Is Sorry: Remus?

Message failed to deliver.

-

Sirius sighed, put his phone back into his pocket, and then knocked softly on the door to Remus and Lily’s apartment.

Nothing.

He knocked again, a little louder.

Nothing.

“Remus?” He called, knocking again, but still hearing no sounds in return.

He slumped against the wall just outside their door and pulled his phone back out.

Calling Remus…

“the number you have dialed is no-“

Not sure what to do next, Sirius sat there, thinking. He was just getting up to head out when the elevator doors opened down the hall, and Lily walked out.

“Sirius…” She said, obviously surprised.

He shoved his hands in his pocket with a tight smile, really not looking forward to being yelled at as he made his way to pass her onto the elevator.

“Remus isn’t home” Lily said quickly, catching the elevator doors before they closed between them.

“I figured as much” Sirius mumbled to the floor. “I knocked for a while...”

Lily nodded with a sigh, ignoring the beeping from the elevator doors that had started up from her holding them open so long. “Want to come in” she asked quietly, jerking her head toward the apartment.

Sirius looked up, taken aback, but nodded slowly and followed her as the elevator left without him.

 

Lily poured them each a cup of water as they sat down on the worn living room couch.

“I’m sorry…” Lily said awkwardly after taking a tiny sip. “You know… for telling you to fuck off and grow up and all that” she added, waving her hand as if trying to shoo the memory away.

Sirius let out a long breath that he hadn’t even been aware he was holding and gave her a genuine smile. “It’s ok. No really- “he said, cutting off her attempt to protest “I know how I would have reacted if it were James or Pete, and you’re right. I should have let him know.”

Lily nodded, opening her mouth to speak, but closing it again, unsure of what she should say.

“It’s not my place to talk about Remus’s life” she said, finally “he is a fairly private person… and he does have his reasons for being hurt.” She turned slightly in her seat to face him fully as she continued. “I’m not going to tell you to wait for him or for him to wait for you. That isn’t fair for anyone. But what I will say is that I know Remus… and I know he is going to need some time.”

Sirius was quite for a long while, and as Lily watched him thinking about what she has just said, she realized that she might not know Sirius at all.

“I just feel like I broke it.” He said into the silence.

“You didn’t” She assured him, placing a tentative hand on his arm and giving it a squeeze. “Not everything that goes wrong is your doing Sirius.”

He looked up at her with a questioning gaze. It’s as if she knew what he was thinking. Like she could hear his mother’s voice in his head shouting ‘all you know how to do is ruin things’ and was determined to drown it out with her own voice.

“Sometimes things break because they weren’t built properly” she added with a sad smile.

“What can I do now though? He has me blocked, and I hear conversations like this don’t go over well in public…” he sighed, slinking back into the cushions.

Lily thought for a moment before pulling her phone out.

 

Sirius/Lily:

(11:57am) Lily: wolfboy_remus@email.com

 

“There.” She said as he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket.

Sirius looked at the message, then back up to Lily with wide eyes.

“Lily…” he breathed “thank you.”

“Just explain everything and give him some time, yea?” she said as she stood. “I’d ask you to stay longer but Remus should be back from the gym in a bit and I don’t want to be caught being friendly with the enemy” She added with a crooked smile.

“He will know you gave this to me” Sirius grinned with a gesture toward the phone in his hand “it’s basically treason you know…”

Lily just laughed as she pulled Sirius into a quick hug. “ehh. I can come to terms with that” she shrugged as Sirius left, laughing lightly to himself.

-

Remus threw himself onto his bed, tired but not ready for sleep. He had tried all day to keep himself busy so that he didn’t have to think about Sirius.

For the most part, his plan had worked. He had a really great workout that morning, sorted his class schedule out with Moody for the upcoming semester, and even ran into a friend from an old class that had recently joined the gym.

After that he had lunch with Dorcas, who thankfully didn’t ask questions when he requested they eat something other than pizza. And even though Remus was sure that she knew the situation- James had been with her studying, from what Lily had told him- she didn’t so much as hint to the topic, and he was very grateful.

After that, he and Lily went to see his moms tree, stopping for a late dinner at a cheap sandwich bar afterward so they could finalize all the things they needed for a quick trip home before college classes started back up.

Lily had done her part to occupy Remus’s mind as well, and even sat through the entirety of Lord of The Rings movie with him before bed without complaining once about how long it was.

It was nearing midnight by the time Remus had worked through the second album he pulled to distract himself, zoning in and out as Marc Bolan played guitar to a concert of one in his bedroom.

Pulling his phone out to check the time, he saw a notification he had missed for his private email and opened it curiously, sitting up quickly as he saw who it was from.

 

To: wolfboy_remus@email.com 

From: a.sirius.star@email.com 

Remus,

I truly hope that you read this, and don’t just delete it immediately, because I very much want to explain. I feel like I have so many things I want to say- that I have always wanted to say- that I never did, and it hasn’t been fair to you, so here goes:

I’m sorry I didn’t call you last night. I was walking out of the door to meet you when I found Regulus standing there about to knock, and I just didn’t think.

That’s always been my problem. I don’t think.

I was so panicked when I couldn’t get ahold of you. And believe me, James came in and just about took my head off from it too before he saw Reg was there, so I have been rightfully screamed at on all sides now.

I hope I can laugh about that one day- angry James is very rare- but right now I still feel sick because I can only imagine how you must have felt sitting there waiting for me.

I’m sorry for it all. For everything.

For asking you to ditch Benjy… For always saying all the wrong things… For all the time I just said nothing at all…

I’m a bit shit with words, in case you haven’t caught onto that.

And I did pull away when you tried to kiss me.

Honestly, I can’t even explain that one to myself, because the thought had crossed my mind that I wanted to kiss you too. And then I just buggered it.

I don’t know.

This is better I think. This emailing thing...

Fuck, I hope you read this.

I have time to sit and think about what I actually want to say this way, instead of just fumbling around in all the echoes of my family’s ideals  inside my brain.

I’m a little messed up. But, I’m working on it, I swear.

Sometimes it just feels as though everything I do is wrong. Like… I know who I am, and that I have all this potential to really just fuck things up, you know? And I don’t want to do that, so I just say nothing.

But saying nothing has really not been the best action plan either, has it?

I can’t explain all of my issues in an email. Most of it I haven’t even come to terms with yet, and I don’t want to drag you down the rabbit hole with me while I sort through all my shit. That’s not fair.

I just… I really REALLY care about you Remus.

You are hilarious and driven and smart and witty.

When I got your text yesterday, and we decided to meet, I literally screamed out loud. I think James thought I had lost my marbles a bit until I told him because it was… well… I was really looking forward to it, is all.

Regulus is here, and I am happy and scared and confused. And I have to work through this with him. He’s family…

I don’t know how to end this really, I just know that I still want you in my life, in whatever way you are comfortable with.

I’m not sure I can go back to how it was before I got your last song texts every night.

And we are going to see each other either way. Lily and James, and Marlene and Dorcas… they wont let us just ghost each other.  And then there is Fit Space.

Not to mention Pete, whose sexuality I question every time he talks about you…

I’m sorry. I am.

I really hope you read this,

A lifeboat called Sirius.

 

Remus leaned back against the wall as he got comfortable on his bed, ready to read through the email again.

By the fourth read he had made up his mind and pulled out his phone.

The Friendship:

New Best Friend changed their name to ‘Friend Remus’

Friend Remus change ‘Sirius Is Sorry’ to ‘Friend Sirius’

(12:22am) Friend Remus: Spaceball Ricochet by T.Rex

-

Sirius stared at his phone, a huge smile forming slowly on his face as he added the song to his playlist.

Remus had read his email.

He had read it and still wanted to be friends.

Leaving James alone in front of the television, he went to his room, finally feeling relaxed enough to attempt some sleep, as he sent his reply.

(12:23am) Friend Sirius: Ah, Marc Bolan. A true musical hero.

(12:25am) Friend Remus: Haha you’re not wrong. Goodnight, Padfoot.

(12:25am) Friend Sirius: Night, Moonman.

Chapter Text

Lesbionic changed the name of the group chat from ‘Team Keep Trying To Get Remus Laid’ to ‘Why Is Dorcas The Last To Know Everything?:

(8:14am) Lesbionic: What the fuck Remus?

(8:16am) Mr. MiyaGAY: Sorry… I’m going to need more to go on.

(8:16am) Lesbionic: You and Sirius are talking again?

(8:16am) Lesbionic: And I had to hear it from Marlene?!

(8:16am) Lesbionic: Instead of my best friend?!

(8:16am) Lesbionic: WHAT THE FUCK REMUS?!

(8:17am) Mr. MiyaGAY: Oh.

(8:17am) Mr. MiyaGAY: Yea, we’re good now.

(8:18am) Mr. MiyaGAY: And I never SEE you anymore, so…….

(8:18am) Lesbionic: ….that’s fair.

(8:19am) Red: I miss it being just us sometimes….

(8:19am) Red: Does that make me a horrible person?

(8:20am) Mr. MiyaGAY: Yes

 (8:20am) Lesbionic: Oh, 100%

(8:20am) Red: 🖕

(8:21am) Red: I take it back. I need better friends.

(8:22am) Mr. MiyaGAY: Take an ad out in the paper?

(8:22am) Lesbionic: Troll for besties at the coffee shop?

(8:23am) Mr. MiyaGAY: We could make you a sign and you could hold it up at outside of the campus?

(8:23am) Lesbionic: Flyers would be much more efficient..

(8:24am) Mr. MiyaGAY: But think of the trees…

(8:24am) Lesbionic: ….true

(8:25am) Red: Fuck you both.

(8:25am) Lesbionic: pass.

(8:25am) Mr. MiyaGAY: Pass

(8:27am) Lesbionic: So… are you and Sirius going to give it another shot for a date then?

(8:27am) Mr. MiyaGAY: It’s too early for this type of interrogation.

 (8:27am) Lesbionic: Well they didn’t check with me or James when they made the academy schedule, so you get me before 9 or after 5 and you will like it you little bitch!

(8:27am) Red: well... that’s not a no….

(8:28am) Mr. MiyaGAY: We are just friends.

(8:28am) Mr. MiyaGAY: We both have too much going on right now with classes and his family stuff and working…

(8:29am) Red: That makes sense I suppose.

(8:30am) Lesbionic: Ok, I’ll allow it.

(8:30am) Mr. MiyaGAY: ummm… thanks? I think.

(8:31am) Lesbionic: You're welcome.

-

James created the group chat ‘Hoggy Warty Hogwarts’

James added Sirius, Peter, Marlene, Emmeline, Gideon, Fabian, Kingsley, and Benjy to the group chat

James changed his name to ‘Captain’

Hoggy Warty Hogwarts:

(8:41am) Captain: Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to come to our house this weekend and party like a fucking rock star.

(8:41am) Emmeline: I’m not calling you captain

(8:41am) Marlene: Me either. This isn’t your fucking rugby team!

(8:41am) Benjy: 😂

(8:41am) Fabian: Potter it’s so fucking early…

(8:41am) Sirius: Someone said party?

(8:42am) Captain: It’s not that early! I have to be in training by 9 so suck it up.

(8:42am) Kingsley: Honestly, 🖕🖕 I’m working nights right now, fucker!

Gideon Changed ‘Captain’ to ‘Asshat’

(8:42am) Kingsley: ☝️ Hero.

(8:42am) Marlene: ☝️👏👏

(8:43am) Benjy: 😂

(8:43am) Emmeline: Gideon! Yasssss!

(8:43am) Fabian: That’s my brother right there! *tear*

(8:43am) Asshat: 🖕

(8:44am) Sirius: Guys… he said party…

(8:44am) Sirius: Let the asshat speak

(8:44am) Asshat: thank you!

(8:44am) Asshat: HEY!!!!

(8:44am) Marlene: Let’s move this along…

(8:45am) Asshat: Party. Our place. Friday. BYOB.

(8:45am) Kingsley: Special occasion?

(8:45am) Asshat: ….Sirius? Tell them?

(8:46am) Sirius: Reggie is in town…

(8:46am) Fabian: Oh shit!

(8:46am) Emmeline: whoa.

(8:46am) Asshat: So we want to just… make him remember that he can have fun and have a life and all that, right?

(8:46am) Benjy: Right.

(8:46am) Marlene: of course.

(8:47am) Gideon: yessir

(8:47am) Fabian: right!

(8:47am) Emmeline: ill be there!

(8:47am) Kingsley: Right!

(8:48am) Sirius: I fucking love you guys.

(8:48am) Marlene: You’re alright…

(8:48am) Fabian: ehh.

(8:48am) Sirius:🖕

(8:48am) Sirius: I take it back.

(8:49am) Asshat: TOO LATE!

(9:07am) Peter: Why do I even bother to sleep?

(9:07am) Sirius: I ask myself this question daily.

(9:08am) Peter: I’ll bring the pizzas and tacos then.

(9:08am) Sirius: Good man, Wormy!

-

Benjy/Sirius:

(8:46am) Benjy: We good?

(8:46am) Sirius: IDK are we?

(8:46am) Benjy: I am if you are

(8:47am) Sirius: Me too.

(8:47am) Benjy: You ok?

(8:47am) Benjy: About Regulus I mean..

(8:47am) Benjy: I know that whole thing was rightly fucked up…

(8:48am) Sirius: It’s been an adjustment, but he seems to really want out and I’m obviously happy about that.

(8:48am) Benjy: Good. Good. 

(8:49am) Sirius: yup.

(8:51am) Benjy: So.

(8:51am) Benjy: You really like him, huh?

(8:51am) Sirius: We aren’t talking about Reg, are we?

(8:52am) Benjy: No

(8:52am) Sirius: Yea. I really do.

(8:52am) Benjy: I hope it works out.

(8:53am) Sirius: Thanks Ben. Me too.

(8:53am) Benjy: Sirius… I mean it. I really do.

(8:53am) Sirius: I know. You’re kinda great like that.

(8:53am) Benjy: awe shucks *blushing*

(8:54am) Sirius: 😂 but also 🖕

-

Marlene created the group chat ‘TLCITBMFC’

Marlene added Sirius, Peter, and Remus to the group chat

TLCITBMFLC:

(10:19am) Marlene: Behold, bitches!

(10:19am) Peter: The fuck is that suppose to be?

(10:19am) Remus: Are you drunk?

(10:20am) Sirius: Wait!

(10:20am) Sirius: Don’t tell me. I can figure this out. I speak Marlene.

(10:21am) Sirius: Is it… THURSDAY LUNCH CREW IS THE BEST MOTHER FUCKING CREW?

(10:21am) Marlene: DING! DING! DING! We have a winner!

(10:21am) Sirius: Do I get a prize?

(10:21am) Marlene: no.

(10:22am) Sirius: boo.

(10:22am) Marlene: But you get to sit with me in silent judgment of the other two who TOTALLY SUCK!

(10:22am) Remus: I thought it was SILENT judgment?

(10:23am) Peter: No… She’s right…

(10:23am) Peter: I’m ashamed that I missed that.

(10:24am) Remus: Well now that I know what it is, it seems obvious...

(10:24am) Sirius: Does this mean my trial period is over?

(10:25am) Marlene: Vote? Yay/Nay

(10:25am) Peter: Yay…. Reluctantly

(10:25am) Remus: Yay

(10:25am) Marlene: Welcome, Sirius!

(10:26am) Sirius: *bows* This is such an honor! I wasn’t prepared for this. I didn’t make a speech…

(10:26am) Remus: Bullet. Dodged.

(10:26am) Marlene: Sit you’re ass down, Sirius!

(10:26am) Peter: I need to find better friends…

(10:27am) Sirius: But you are stuck with us until you find some!

(10:27am) Marlene: See you tomorrow my pretties!

(10:28am) Remus: Anyone else just get a serious ‘Marlene is about to cook us in a witches cauldron’ vibe, or was that just me?

(10:28am) Marlene: 🖕

(10:28am) Peter: I think I’ll keep Remus.

(10:29am) Sirius: I literally just died from choking to death on some coffee from laughing so hard.

(10:29am) Sirius: I am now a ghost.

(10:29am) Peter: RIP, yo.

 (10:30am) Remus: Great. I’m a murderer now.

(10:30am) Remus: Something to check off of my bucket list

(10:30am) Marlene: 😂😂

-

Lily/Al:

(1:58pm) Lily: Did you say you were needing Biology II this semester?

(1:59pm) Al: Yes! Do you?

(1:59pm) Lily: I do. And science is my enemy…

(1:59pm) Lily: Take it together?

(2:00pm) Al: YES!

(2:00pm) Lily: Remus is going to see if he can fit it.

(2:00pm) Al: Emmeline says she needs it too, but can only work it out for the evening

(2:01pm) Lily: That works for me. I saw a Tuesday evening course for 5pm?

(2:01pm) Al: Hang on let me log in and register.

(2:03pm) Al: This one being taught by Minerva McGonagall?

(2:03pm) Lily: That’s the one.

(2:04pm) Al: Looks like she only teaches the one class…

(2:04pm) Lily: Think she’ll be bad?

(2:04pm) Al: Maybe. It’s just always weird when they only do one.

(2:05pm) Al: Like… what are you doing with all the rest of your time?

(2:05pm) Lily: Maybe she teaches a high school or something?

(2:06pm) Al: Yea, maybe. Ill let Emmeline know!

(2:06pm) Lily: Thanks! I’m excited we finally have a class together!

(2:07pm) Al: Me too!

-

Hoggy Warty Hogwarts:

(5:22pm) Emmeline: Brace yourselves. I come bearing the best fucking news you will ever hear in your whole adult lives.

(5:22pm) Emmeline: Even better than that time James drunkenly confessed to having a sex dream of Ole Sluggy!

(5:22pm) Asshat:🖕

(5:22pm) Sirius: Color me interested!

(5:23pm) Kingsley: Ok.. you have my attention…

(5:23pm) Marlene: That was the best night ever! So many unnecessary details!

(5:23pm) Fabian: I’m sure I have that on video somewhere…

(5:24pm) Asshat: No really. 🖕🖕

(5:24pm) Benjy: Just tell us already!

(5:25pm) Emmeline: I’m going to need drumroll. It’s that important.

(5:25pm) Peter: drumroll*

(5:25pm) Sirius: DRUMROLLS LOUDER*

(5:26pm) Peter:🖕

(5:26pm) Gideon: *pushes children out of the way and snatches the drumsticks. *drumroll

(5:27pm) Emmeline: Our Queen, Minnie McG, is teaching a college biology class.

(5:27pm) Emmeline: And I’m taking it with Lily and Al this semester!

(5:27pm) Emmeline: And maybe Remus too!

(5:27pm) Benjy: WHAT!?

(5:28pm) Sirius: No fucking way…

(5:28pm) Fabian: The universe has given you a great gift.

(5:28pm) Kingsley: Honestly speechless right now.

(5:28pm) Gideon: ☝️ same.

(5:29pm) Marlene: BRB, I need to gather myself.

(5:29pm) Asshat: That’s it. I’m dropping out of the academy.

(5:29pm) Peter: I’m so jealous!

(5:30pm) Peter: Though I’m not sure it’s ‘wet dream about Sluggy’ level of awesome.

(5:30pm) Marlene: *throws popcorn* BOOOOOOO!

(5:30pm) Sirius: Go stand in the corner Wormy.

(5:30pm) Asshat: Wormtail, my son. You have brought shame to the family name.

(5:31pm) Peter: ….fine. I take it back…

(5:31pm) Emmeline: Too late! Dishonor on you!

(5:31pm) Benjy: Dishonor on your cow!

(5:31pm) Kingsley: Dishonor on your whole family!

(5:32pm) Peter: I hate it here…

-

Sirius created the group chat ‘The Boys Are Back'

Sirius added Regulus, James and Peter to the group chat

The Boys Are Back:

(7:39pm) Sirius: Reggie boy! Party at ours on Friday!

(7:39pm) Regulus: Have fun

(7:39pm) Peter: Have fun? You’re not coming?

(7:40pm) Regulus: Oh.

(7:40pm) Regulus: That was an invite?

(7:41pm) James: We forgot he’s been off playing the part of ‘posh knob’ for a bit.

(7:41pm) Regulus: F off.

(7:41pm) Sirius: Well, that F could mean anything.

(7:42pm) Peter: Definitely means ‘flutter’ off.

(7:42pm) James: Could be… I think It means ‘freestyle dance’ off though.

(7:42pm) Sirius: hmm. You do have some pretty sweet dance moves Jamsie boy!

(7:43pm) Regulus: FUCK. OFF.

(7:43pm) James: There is it!

(7:43pm) Peter: 👏👏

(7:44pm) Sirius: I’m just so freestyle fluttering proud *tear*

(7:44pm) Regulus: Drama Queen…

(7:44pm) James: He just scoffed so hard he fell off the couch.

(7:45pm) Peter: Fuck! I can’t believe I missed that…

(7:45pm) Sirius: 🖕

(7:46pm) Sirius: Dearest Regulus, I am writing this text message to formally invite you to my place of residence on the night after next (Friday) to party. We shall drinketh of the drinks and playeth of the party games. If you would like to attend please send word by carrier owl no later than 5 minutes from now. Yours in shared familial misery, forever and ever, S.O.B.

(7:46pm) Regulus: Yea, ok.

(7:46pm) Regulus: Your Old English needs work.

(7:47pm) James: He scoffed, then choked on the popcorn he forgot he had in his mouth! 😂

(7:47pm) James: McG and now this? Best. Day. Ever.

(7:48pm) Sirius: But really…

(7:48pm) Sirius: 🖕🖕🖕🖕

-

To: a.sirius.star@email.com

From: wolfboy_remus@email.com

 

Sirius Lifeboat Black,

I debated whether I should write you back in this forum, but decided that since you had shared so much with me that you didn’t have to, that it’s only fair I do the same. Having had 3 full days to write this, I have to agree with you that maybe it is better for saying what you really want to say.

I am sorry too.

I was sitting there at the Pizza Shack thinking you had changed your mind, and I was really upset. By the time I left and made it home I was panicked, thinking something had happened (and a little guilty because part of me sort of hoped that was the only reason you wouldn’t show). Then Lily got word from James that you were there and I was so…

I was angry. And I was hurt.

But I was really embarrassed too.

I never put myself out there Sirius. I just don’t have a good history when it comes to being vulnerable, and maybe I projected that onto the situation- which wasn’t fair to you, I know- but the past always seems to bubble up at the worst times, doesn’t it?

And as much as it did sting when you pulled away the night I tried to kiss you, I can’t fault you for that. We aren’t together. And even though I don’t know how you felt in that moment, I can understand reacting out of panic or anxiety.

(Maybe you didn’t see the street sign, but I LIVE on the corner of panic and anxiety…)

I smiled when I read that you thought I was ‘hilarious and driven and smart and witty’, but it’s quite a lot of pressure too.

I am not this amazing person you make me out to be, Sirius, and there is a very real chance that once you get to know me, you will see that I’m more trouble than I’m worth. It’s been that way my whole life, and I am just use to it.

But it felt different because you came all the way to my small town, and you visit me at work, and you invite me places and we get along so well… You are so kind and warm that I sort of forgot who I was and the burden that I can be on people.

I don’t ever want to take your friendship for granted, or to place more weight on your shoulders than you can bear.

And I don’t want to go back to before I sent you last songs every night either. It’s sometimes the best part of my day; sharing that love of music with you.

I also want you to know that I am so fucking happy that you are getting this second chance with your brother, and I hope he knows how lucky he is to get it as well. Honestly, if you need anything… please, don’t hesitate... It’s probably going to take up a great deal of your time, and that’s perfectly fine. It’s like you said, he’s family.

I hope you respond to this. I quite like it. Feels a bit like I have a pen pal I can share all my secrets with.

Warm regards,

Moonman

p.s. I put warm regards as a like… autopilot ending and was going to change it, but I figured you would get a laugh from it so, it stays. And I stand by it.

-

The Friendship:

(9:17pm) Friend Sirius: I got your email

(9:17pm) Friend Remus: Fantastic. I was afraid it might go to one of the other Sirius’s in my contacts.

(9:17pm) Friend Sirius: Har. Har.

(9:17pm) Friend Sirius: Also heard you might be taking biology with the Queen herself!

(9:18pm) Friend Remus: huh?

(9:18pm) Friend Sirius: Mcgonagall of course!

(9:18pm) Friend Remus: Oh haha sorry I'm tired. 

(9:18pm) Friend Remus: But yea, I probably will.

(9:18pm) Friend Remus: I think I’m going to head to bed soon though. 

(9:18pm) Friend Sirius: Last Song?

(9:18pm) Friend Remus: All Things Must Pass by Keaton Henson

(9:19pm) Friend Sirius: Hmmm

(9:20pm) Friend Remus: Have you heard that one?

(9:20pm) Friend Sirius: Shh! Remus, I’m trying to listen.

(9:20pm) Friend Remus: 🙄

(9:22pm) Friend Sirius: Who is this Lyrical genius?!

(9:22pm) Friend Remus: He has a lot of ‘in my feelings’ kinda stuff.

(9:23pm) Friend Sirius: Are you?

(9:23pm) Friend Sirius: In your feelings, I mean?

(9:23pm) Friend Remus: I’m ok Sirius. Goodnight

(9:24pm) Friend Sirius: Night Remmy

Chapter Text

TLCITBMFC:

(9:41am) Peter: 11 Ok today? I have to monitor a shift change at noon.

(9:43am) Marlene: That works better for me anyway.

(9:43am) Sirius: I’ll have to check my schedule…

(9:43am) Peter: You literally have nothing on Thursdays.

(9:44am) Marlene: So a yes from Sirius. Rem?

(9:46am) Remus: Yea, I’m good with that.

-

James finished his run less than 4 feet ahead of Dorcas, turning around to give her a high five just as she began letting out a stream of breathless curse words in his direction. 

“I fucking had your sorry ass, Potter” She smiled, slapping his hand and gasping for breath. “You waited to the last second on purpose! Sly bastard!”

They grabbed their bags and waters, laughing and placing fake bets on which classmates would finish ahead of which, enjoying the few minutes they had to rest before hitting the showers.

“You’re coming to our party tomorrow right? It’s mostly just old Hogwarts peeps, but you are of course welcome” James asked on their way back toward the training building. “Marlene mentioned it, right?”

“She did” Dorcas nodded, “but I have a dinner with my parents, and can’t really cancel again, no matter how much I might want to” She finished with a grimace, giving James a defeated sort of shrug as he held the door for her behind him.

“I never hear you talk about your family” James observed. He glanced up at her suddenly, his expression fierce and protective. “Is it…. It’s not a homophobe thing, is it?”

Dorcas laughed humorlessly as she shook her head. “Believe it or not, they were completely fine with that!” She took a deep breath. “They aren’t overly fond of me doing this though” She said, gesturing vaguely to the training building they had just entered.

“They don’t want you to be a cop?” James asked, a little taken aback. “hmmm…. because it’s dangerous?”

“Yea” She shrugged in reply, tapping her recruit badge onto the security scanner. “That, and they think I rushed into the decision… that I didn’t think about it properly.” James just gave a humorless laugh as he followed her, scanning his own badge. “I know! It’s ridiculous!”

“Well…” James said, really considering her words “It was out of the blue…”

She froze in the middle of putting her badge back into her bag to look at him.

“If you are thinking that I randomly decided to change the entire trajectory of my life, at a dinner with friends, and never gave it a second thought afterward, you’re wrong.”

“I’m not saying that” James rushed out, hands slightly raised in surrender. “But it may seem that way to them is all.”

She nodded with a deep sigh as they continued toward the changing rooms.

“I’m a biracial lesbian in training for the New York Police Department” she deadpanned “surely they know I wasn’t just like… ‘Sure! 6 months of physical and mental hell sounds like great fun! I’m going to make so many friends!’”

“I don’t know…. That sounds a lot like the reaction I got from Sirius when I brought up joining the force to him last year” James snorted through his laughter, Dorcas joining in with a look that clearly showed she was not surprised.

“How is he doing? Ya know… with his brother being around lately?”

“Seems to be handling it really well, though I think when Reggie goes back to England this weekend it will be tough on him.” James said

“Does he have to go back?” Dorcas asked, moving with James in the line to refill their water bottles.

James nodded dejectedly, closing his eyes as if to hide an eye roll. “Yea, or else his family would come looking.”

“They have to know he’s here in the city though… it’s been a week.” She replied.

“He set up some interviews with several business firms in the area so that it just looks like he is trying to intern here” he explained. “Not a bad idea, mind, since it means he could get away from them for a while. But I suspect once they find out his loyalties have changed for the lawsuit, they won’t be paying for him to pick school back up at Cambridge next semester anyway.”

“Oh shit…”

“Yea…”

“What will he do? Just drop out of school?” Dorcas asked, concern etched on her face.

James smiled at his friend’s empathy for Regulus. “We have a plan.” He said cryptically, giving her a small wink and grin before he disappeared into the locker room.

-

House of Hotties:

(10:46am) Lilyflower: Lunch?

(10:46am) Moony: Can’t. Thursday Lunch Crew, remember?

(10:46am) Lilyflower: Oh yea!

(10:47am) Lilyflower: Don’t mind me, I’ll just be over here… sad and alone… and a little jealous.

(10:47am) Lilyflower: *sniffle sniffle*

(10:47am) Moony: ….want to come with?

(10:48am) Lilyflower: nah. I’m just fucking with you.

(10:48am) Moony: D guilt tripping me yesterday, and now you?

(10:49am) Lilyflower: Well… it looked like fun when she did it so, I thought id give it a go.

(10:49am) Moony: And was it everything you thought it would be?

(10:50am) Lilyflower: No.

(10:50am) Lilyflower: Total letdown really.

(10:50am) Lilyflower: I suspect that’s partly your fault though.

(10:51am) Moony: Yea? How do you figure?

(10:51am) Lilyflower: Well you weren’t nearly as guilty as I wanted you to be. You just folded so quickly.

(10:51am) Moony: mmm. You’re right. Completely my fault.

(10:52am) Moony: If you want to try again, I can do better.

(10:52am) Lilyflower: No, no. The moment is passed.

(10:52am) Lilyflower: You killed it.

(10:53am) Moony: *hangs head*

(10:53am) Lilyflower: There, there… You’ll get it next time.

-

Remus was laughing as he walked to meet Sirius, Marlene, and Peter at the same table from the following week, Peter having already brought over a bunch of Chinese takeaway for them to sort through.

“What’s funny?” Marlene asked, giving Remus a quick side hug before he sat.

“Lily…” Remus replied. “She wanted to meet for lunch then was being all dramatic about our little lunch thing”

Marlene gasped, placing a hand over her heart dramatically for affect. “Firstly, she definitely could have joined us-“

“Hey! I practically had to beg!” Sirius cut in indignantly. Marlene ignored him.

“-Secondly,” Marlene said over Sirius’s huffing “little lunch thing?! This is sacred, Remus!” She gestured toward the Chinese food as she were presenting a highly sought after prize.

Remus laughed, nodding in agreement. “You’re right, you’re right!” He grabbed one of the drinks and claimed it as his with an open straw. “And she was just fucking with me. We’ll be seeing enough of each other this weekend anyway.”

“That’s right” Peter hummed “you guys are going home this weekend, yea?”

Remus nodded and pulled out the phone vibrating in his pocket.

House of Hotties:

(11:06am) Lilyflower: [Photo]

(11:06am) Lilyflower: How’s that do?

He laughed and showed the rest of the group at the table.

It was a picture of Lily, lip out in an overly dramatic pout as she gave her best puppy dog eyes to the camera.

They decided to take a group picture in return, each hanging their heads, as if wrecked with guilt at her lack of attendance.

(11:08am) Moony: I am overwhelmed with feelings of guilt and shame.

(11:08am) Moony: [Photo]

(11:08am) Lilyflower: I knew you would be. I’m an icon, after all.

(11:08am) Moony: It’s true.

(11:09am) Lilyflower: 😂

(11:09am) Lilyflower: love you!

(11:09am) Moony: Love you!!

“Stinks you two will miss the party Friday” Marlene mumbled around a large bite of rice. “Dorcas won’t be there either. She’s got dinner with her folks.”

“I’m not much looking forward to going home, to be honest” Remus said through a smile that wasn’t fooling anyone. “It’ll be the first time being in that house without my mom there.”

No one really knew what to say, so they made do with mumbled “that sucks” and “I’m sorry” as they began piling food onto their plates.

Sirius looked up from his food to meet Remus’s eye briefly with a smile. “Need backup?” He asked, and though Remus knew he was being sincere, and he knew that he would love for Sirius to be there, he laughed and shook his head no anyway.

“It’ll mostly be Lily picking out what she wants from my mother’s closet while I nod at everything she tries on” Remus chuckled.

“Honestly” Marlene nodded very seriously, eyebrows raised “that sounds like heaven to me. Your mom was a style icon, Remus.”

“Yea…” Remus laughed “So I hear.”

“You sure you don’t want to keep some of them for yourself?” Peter teased with a smirk “You might look nice in some of those heels. Maybe a nice floral dress?”

Remus laughed along, noticing Sirius frown out of the corner of his eye. “Maybe if I wasn’t twice her size… I bet I could pull it off.” He brushed his hair from his face and batted his eyes.

“You totally could Remus!” Marlene barked out a laugh. “One skirt for each leg. It’ll be the new style!”

They continued laughing, Sirius a bit more forcedly than the others, but Remus didn’t comment on it.

Everyone lamented the idea of a party without Lily and Remus, while Remus smiled, silently flattered. “You guys had parties before you met us” he shrugged. “I’m sure you’ll find the strength to enjoy yourselves. …..hard as it might be” he added with a dramtic sigh and a shrug.

“I mean…. we’ll do our best” Peter sighed, hand over his heart.

“But you’re sure asking a lot…” Marlene added.

“I guess we could try… for you…” Sirius grinned.

Marlene paused in her laughing to pull her vibrating phone from her pocket, giving them the ‘just a second’ finger signal as she moved to leave the table, saying “This is Marlene” into the phone as she walked away.

While she was gone the boys took turns making up stories about who the call could be from, the theories ranging from ‘booty call from Dorcas’ and ‘the arcade is on fire’ all the way to ‘super secret dance-assassin agency calling to give her instructions for her next mission’. It was good fun. 

 

“That was another private client!” Marlene gushed out before she even reached the table. “They want to have a meeting Saturday!”

Shouts of “That’s amazing!” and “Fuck yea!” went around the table, causing odd looks from strangers at nearby tables.

“It’s really happening!” She said through a huge smile. She turned to Sirius, muttering a quick “thank you” as she gave him a fierce hug, Remus and Peter looking on in confusion.

“It’s all you Marls” Sirius smiled into her shoulder.

“I feel like we are missing something….” Peter laughed.

“It’s nothing” Sirius said hastily, waving his hand.

“A few more private sessions and I can finally leave the arcade” she added thoughtfully. “I suppose I should start looking for a replacement manager.”

“Oh!” Peter shouted suddenly, making everyone jump. “Sorry… I just know the perfect person.” Marlene smiled and looked to him expectantly. “Al. They have been looking for something that pays a bit more since they will be moving from their parents, and in with Frank and Emmeline.”

“Oh I love Al!” Marlene cheered. “I will give them a call about it this weekend!”

 

All in all it had been another great Thursday lunch. Before leaving they all gathered for one last picture, smiling and waving, to send to Lily.

 

(11:57am) Moony: [Photo]

(11:57am) Moony: We missed you!

(11:57am) Lilyflower: Look at those beautiful faces!

 

Sirius and Remus walked back to the bookstore together in comfortable silence, waving bye to Peter and Marlene in turn as they parted ways.

“Anything good in there?” Sirius asked at the entrance, gesturing to the side where the records were kept.

“Nah” Remus said, scrunching his nose and shaking his head. "Nothing on the list anyway."

“I think I’ll just head out then, I’m feeling a little tired”

Remus nodded as Sirius gave a small smile and made to leave. “Wait, Sirius.” He called to Sirius’s back. Sirius turned back looking a bit confused, but smiling anyway. “Everything ok? You seemed… I don’t know… put out?”

“I’m fine Remus, really.” He laughed, but Remus noticed that it didn’t really reach his eyes. “See ya!” he called as he made to leave again.

-

It was a few hours later when Remus noticed an email notification come in on his phone, and though he only had an hour left of his shift, he clocked out on break so he could read it anyway.

 

Remus Castaway Moonman Lupin,

I wish I knew your actual middle name. I imagine it’s got to be just as cool as your first and last name, so my expectations are high.

I quite like the emails too. I feel like I can tell you things here that I wouldn’t normally have the courage to tell people, which scares me and makes me happy at the same time.

It’s weird.

And you were right about today, I was a little put off.

It still surprises me how well you can read me like that. Even James can’t manage it sometimes, and he’s the closest person in my life..

I guess there are more things I keep to myself than I realize…

When Pete was making jokes about you trying on your moms clothes, it made me uncomfortable.

I confess there are times I wish I had the nerve to explore more feminine type things. Nail polish, braids, you know…

Then I hear things like that and it just… I don’t like it.

I know he was joking and it was not malicious at all, but I guess that it just brought up some of the very NOT funny ways my parents reacted any time I ever dared to be different.

The first time I ever tried eye liner, I was grounded the entire Christmas holiday. I told everyone at school that the marks I had from the punishment were from falling during a ski trip, but James never did believe it.

When I eventually told him the truth, he wore eyeliner every single day of January with me, despite all the rude comments and dirty looks we got.

He’s such a fucking wonderful human it’s annoying.

Anyway, I guess some of that stuck with me, because it was the last time I ever tried to test the waters in that way.

Maybe that was a lot to tell you.

I’m fighting the urge to delete all of that, but I won’t because I don’t think that you will think of me differently.

You are a lot like James in that.

I wish you could meet Regulus. He leaves this Saturday, and I am already a little sad about it. I just have this fear that he will change his mind once he gets back, and I will go another 3 years without seeing him.

Or that they will have found out he was here with me.

They won’t like that, and knowing what they are capable of.... I just don't like it, is all. 

Well, I might be in my feelings a little bit here, so I am going to go ahead and sign off before I get too deep in the wallows.

Padfoot

 

Remus checked his watch and went back to work, his mind trying to come up with some way to make Sirius feel a bit better.

-

“I’m headed off to Lily’s to see her a bit before she leaves” James said, peaking his head into Sirius’s music room. “Need anything while I’m out?”

“Nah. I’m good.” Sirius smiled.

He was working out a new progression on the guitar, attempting to put his feelings into the world with music, since words always seemed to fail him.

He wasn’t sure how much time had passed when he heard his phone vibrate on the table. He picked it up, smiling when he saw it was Remus.

 

The Friendship:

(6:26pm) Friend Remus: Sirius can you do me a favor?

(6:27pm) Friend Sirius: Depends....

(6:27pm) Friend Remus: Buzz me into your building.

(6:27pm) Friend Sirius: What?!

(6:28pm) Friend Remus: Well, Id do it myself, but I don’t have a key, and James is across town at my apartment.

He jumped to his feet and ran to the panel next to the door to let Remus into the building, then returned his attention to his phone.

(6:28pm) Friend Sirius: Well this is a surprise

(6:29pm) Friend Remus: A good one?

(6:29pm) Friend Sirius: The best.

 

Remus barely got a single knock on the door when Sirius threw it open, immediately embarrassed by how eager he seemed. “Remus!” He shouted dramatically, attempting to cover his excitement with sarcasm.

“Sirius!” Remus shouted back, walking passed him and into the kitchen to set a small bag onto the table. “I got your email” he added, Sirius following him.

“Oh…” Sirius breathed.

Remus turned to look at Sirius full on, and Sirius could feel his heart begin to beat a little faster at the serious look on his friends face. What would Remus think of him? Why was he even here?

“Sorry I didn’t reply- I will, its just..” Remus seemed to falter. “I… Well, it made me upset.”

“Oh.” Sirius said again, eyes falling to the floor.

“Yea...” he said, and Sirius could hear him rustling with the bag he brought, but he couldn’t bring himself to look up. “Anyway… I brought a few things with me. I hope you don’t mind.”

Sirius lifted his eyes to look up, confused and surprised to see Remus standing there holding up pony tail holders and several bottles of nail polish.

“If you don’t like it” Remus added, “I also brought polish remover.”

Sirius’s whole face lit up, as he nodded and sat down at the table. “You didn’t have to do this. I mean… I love it… but…”

“I know I didn’t have to.” Remus grinned back “But it’s not like I flew across the country or anything.”

 

“It’s not so much that I think James won’t support me or anything” Sirius said a little while later, blowing his nails dry as Remus finished with putting the french braid in his hair. “I guess I just never really considered it enough to bring it up. It was always just there in the back of my mind.”

“Well” Remus said with a flourish “I think it looks great!” Sirius hurried excitedly to the bathroom to look in the mirror, Remus following him with an amused smile.

When he saw his reflection in the mirror, his hand immediately went to touch the braid, a smile forming on his face.

It didn’t take long, however, for the thoughts of “Men aren’t meant to look pretty” to enter his mind. Remus must have noticed, because he gently lead Sirius from in front of the mirror.

“Let me be the first to tell you, right now, how totally fucking badass and lovely it looks before anyone else gets in there” he said, tapping Sirius lightly on the head as they went back toward the kitchen table. “Now, it’s my turn.” He held his hands out expectantly, waiting for Sirius to begin painting.

“Pink or purple?” Sirius asked, the smile brightening up his features.

“Hmmm” Remus thought. “Pink on one, purple on the other.”

Sirius nodded and got to work.

-

Sirius had decided to keep the braid in, hoping it would last through the party tomorrow, while he passed some time practicing painting his toenails after Remus left. He wasn’t expecting to be completely comfortable with the changes, nor was he sure he would do it again in a hurry, but he was happy Remus had gently pushed him to try it out.

 

Sirius was putting the nail polish away and clearing off the kitchen table when James came in, waving at him with a big yawn.

“Does it smell like nail polish in here?” James asked absently as he plopped down on the couch and turned on the TV.

“oh, ummm… yea” Sirius replied, trying to sound casual. “Remus came by and we painted our nails.”

“That’s nice” James said, attention on the television. “You and Remus…. Hanging out…”

“We’re just friends Prongs” Sirius said warningly, turning to go into his room. “night, loser” he waved as he made his way passed the couch to his side of the apartment.

“Night lose- hey…” James cut himself off, catching Sirius’s attention. “are those… did you… braid your hair?”

Sirius turned to face James, his hand nervously reaching up to touch the braid. “uhh yea- well, Remus did anyway- but… yea” Half of him wanted to take out the pony tail holder and shake the braid out, but the other half of him really hoped James liked it; that he wasn’t weird for liking it himself.

James smiled up at him brightly. “It looks really nice.”

Sirius couldn’t hide the grin as he turned toward his bedroom, something in his stomach unclenching a bit as he pulled his phone out to text Remus.

The Friendship:

(11:25pm) Friend Sirius: James likes the braid.

(11:25pm) Friend Sirius: And so do I. Thank you…

(11:25pm) Friend Remus: Of course he did! It looks great!

(11:25pm) Friend Remus: And anytime, really.

(11:25pm) Friend Sirius: Last song before I crash?

(11:26pm) Friend Remus: Listening to The Queen Is Dead by The Smiths right now while I finish up the packing with Lily.

(11:26pm) Friend Sirius: The song? Or the entire album?

(11:26pm) Friend Remus: Both! I just put the album on when you texted me, so the song is just about over.

(11:26pm) Friend Sirius: Well I better let you go before Frankly Mr. Shankly comes on and we hage to start this all over, huh?

(11:27pm) Friend Remus: haha! Goodnight Sirius

(11:27pm) Friend Sirius: night, Moony.

 

Chapter Text

* I had to repost this chapter because I realized it had cut part of it off. I'm unsure what happened. I'm sorry guys...

 

[FRIDAY]

The 40 minute car ride from the airport to the neighborhood where Remus and Lily grew up felt longer than usual in the car with Lily’s mom. She insisted on listening to country music from the 80’s, and while Remus had a great appreciation for all music, it wasn’t really his thing. Nor was it Lily’s. So they spent the majority of the ride texting each other stupid memes and letting their friends from back home in the city know they were, in fact, alive and well.

When Remus was dropped off at his house, he knew that Lily wouldn’t be coming in with him- that she would need to spend time with her own family- but he was struck by how severely alone he felt as he walked up the driveway to the front door.

His mom would not be waiting for him at the kitchen table with a cup of tea when he walked through the door. She would not be there to pester him to play piano, or raise her eyebrows across the room in silent reprimand when he inevitably let a curse word slip.

As he turned the handle to walk inside, Remus wondered if he and his father would ever again share those knowing looks from either side of the couch as his mother laughed unrestrainedly at the silliest things. She was the glue, he thought, desperately trying to pull himself together as he called “Dad? It’s me” across the house that no longer felt like home.

 

Why Is Dorcas The Last To Know Everything?:

(5:12pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: Can I say something without getting judgment?

(5:12pm) Red: Of course

(5:12pm) Lesbionic: Knee jerk reaction is to say no. But, I’ll allow it.

(5:13pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: 🖕

(5:13pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: I hate it here without her.

(5:14pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: Like… she was the center of this family. I’ve been home two hours and it’s like dad and I have never had a proper conversation in my life. Like we can’t be fucking normal people without her.

(5:14pm) Lesbionic: I’m so sorry Rem

(5:14pm) Red: I’m coming over.

(5:15pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: No Lil. Spend time with your family.

(5:15pm) Red: Petunia is here.

(5:15pm) Red: With Vernon.

(5:15pm) Lesbionic: Oh shit.

(5:15pm) Lesbionic: Let the poor girl come over Remus.

(5:16pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: I will provide refuge on one condition.

(5:16pm) Red: Anything!

(5:17pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: Beer.

(5:17pm) Red: DONE!

(5:18pm) Lesbionic: Ugh.

(5:18pm) Lesbionic: So jealous!

(5:18pm) Lesbionic: I have to get ready for an awkward dinner with my parents when I get home.

(5:19pm) Red: My condolences, friend.

(5:19pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: Let’s have a moment of silence for the loss of our normal Friday night lives.

 

Mr. MiyaGAY changed the name of the group chat from ‘Why Is Dorcas The Last To Know Everything?’ to ‘Awkward Fam Club’

(5:22pm) Dorcas: ☝️ I approve of this.

(5:22pm) Red: I felt that in my soul.

-

James and Sirius were setting up the beer pong table in their living room when Regulus knocked on the front door.

He was still unable to bring himself to just walk into their apartment, despite James and Sirius saying multiple times that it was completely fine. James had even called him a needy ass hole for making him walk across the apartment to open the door the last time Regulus flat refused to accept a yell of “Come on in”, but he wouldn’t budge on it.

He was just… adjusting…

Sirius beamed when the door opened and he saw his brother standing there, looking a lot more comfortable than the first time he arrived nearly a week earlier. “Reggie!” Sirius shouted jovially. “James, Reg is here!”

“Good” James called back. “Now get your sorry asses in here and help me with this table!”

 

By the time people started showing up, James was two beers in, Sirius had made -and drank- a very large margarita, and Regulus had agreed to a small glass of the pink wine Lily had left in the back of the fridge a few weeks prior.

 

Two hours and 6 rounds of beer pong later, everyone was rightly drunk. The beer and margaritas mixed with the competitive atmosphere had really brought Regulus out of his shell, and Sirius was proud that he had caught him talking a little bit of trash, even if it was under his breath so no one could hear it. With Regulus taken in as a partner by Benjy, Sirius settled himself down on the couch to watch while he enjoyed his 3rd margarita of the night.

The Friendship:

(9:03pm) Friend Sirius: I wish you culd be here

(9:04pm) Friend Remus: Haha! Drunk I see..

(9:04pm) Friend Sirius: No  I am the definitiom of sober, thanj you very muhc!

(9:05pm) Friend Remus: Oh, clearly. Don’t know what I was thinking.

(9:05pm) Friend Sirius: [Photo]

(9:06pm) Friend Remus: Is that Regulus?! Playing beer pong?!

(9:06pm) Friend Sirius: It si!

(9:06pm) Friend Remus: That’s amazing!

(9:06pm) Friend Remus: [Photo]

(9:07pm) Friend Sirius: awwew! Liilu adn Remmt layign on the bed.

(9:07pm) Friend Sirius: Hiiiii Lilyy!

(9:08pm) Friend Remus: She says hello drunk Sirius

(9:08pm) Friend Sirius: member whne we almost kised on that bed?

(9:10pm) Friend Remus: I do remember that, yes.

(9:10pm) Friend Sirius: But I fuked up.

(9:10pm) Friend Sirius: I fuck pu alot

(9:11pm) Friend Remus: Sirius… let’s talk about this when you aren’t drinking, yea?

(9:11pm) Friend Sirius: k

(9:12pm) Friend Sirius: But I nto drunk.

(9:12pm) Friend Remus: Sure Sure… haha

-

Remus was sitting on his bed with Lily, thankful to have her there, reading over his shoulder. She seemed to know that he was getting in his head because she quickly demanded that they head downstairs to make desert waffles like they did when they were little. It didn’t stop him from dwelling on it though.

Sirius.

Sirius fucking Black…

Why does one guy get to him so much?

As they made the waffles, Lily carefully avoided the topic of Sirius and their friends at home, taking her cues from Remus as he continued to engage her in talk about the good old days. But memories of being covered in flour and climbing the counters to reach on top of the fridge couldn’t block out his thoughts of Sirius.

Ugh. Sirius

“Lily…” Remus said, putting the bowl he was mixing down and turning to look at her fully. “I want to talk about it.” She nodded silently and set down her own bowl.

They moved to the kitchen table and sat together in the quiet for a while before Lily spoke up. “Tea?”

Remus nodded and she was up to heat the kettle.

“I really care for him…” he started tentatively.

Lily just nodded and continued to prep the tea.

“I don’t know what to do, Lily. But I feel like I need to do something….” He put his head in his hands, muffling his words slightly. “Honestly I hate this so much.”

Lily put a cup of tea in front of Remus as she sat down across from him with her own, looking unsure of what to say.

“What do you hate?” She asked.

“All of it!” Remus said with a humorless laugh. “I just don’t know what the fuck is happening to me!” He played with the handle of his mug, thinking. “It’s like… sometimes I see him doing something so small and mundane- like… like spooning food onto a fucking plate- and I just get dizzy and I feel like I need to sit down. But then I realize I’m already sitting down and just… ugh.” He put his head back into hands with a frustrated grunt. “What the fuck is wrong with me, Lil?”

Lily laughed slightly as she grabbed her friends hand to pull it away from his face, holding it tightly across the surface of the kitchen table. “There is nothing wrong with you, Remus. You are in love.”

Remus closed his eyes tightly at her words, as if he were trying to ward of a sudden blow.

“Don’t close yourself off to him Remus” Lily said soothingly. “He’s not… He’s not Phillip, ok?”

His eyes snapped open.

He hadn’t heard that name in nearly a year, but it still felt like a punch in the gut.

“I know” He said through a cracked voice. His mouth had suddenly gone very dry, so he took several gulps of the tea. “You’re right. I just… it hasn’t been super easy with Sirius either.”

“Nothing good is ever easy Remus” She smiled. “Your mom use to say that… Remember?”

He grinned and nodded. “What about you and James then?”

“If you only knew how hard it was for me to step over the tattered shreds of my own pride just to have a conversation with that little idiot….” She laughed. “Fuck. I love that twat.”

They laughed, finished there tea, and then got back to work on their waffles.

Remus was so fucking thankful for Lily.

-

[SATURDAY]

Sirius woke up with a raging hangover. He couldn’t decide if he was dead, or if he just felt like death. Either way he was going to kill James for starting the vacuum cleaner at….

Wow, is it really already noon?

He climbed out of bed and went to find coffee, unplugging the vacuum on the way, earning him a couch pillow to the face and middle finger from James.

It didn’t take long for Sirius to become roped into the cleaning while they waited for Regulus to come back with pastries from the bakery around the block. It was a chill morning, and Sirius wasn’t thinking much about the night before.

Until he found his phone.

Looking at the messages he had sent to Remus made his face blanch, which did not go unnoticed by James who came to read the messages over his shoulder.

“It’s ok Sirius…” James placated. “He knew you were drunk. Even if you didn’t…” A small smirk played on his face, which made Sirius smile a little. “But what is ‘Surrender by Natalie Taylor?’” He asked, reading the last messages Remus had sent much later in the night.

“Nothing” Sirius said quickly. “Just something we were talking about a while back…”

James was clearly not convinced, but went to answer the door when Regulus knocked.

“Think he’ll ever just come in?” He asked Sirius.

Sirius just shrugged as Regulus shouted through the door “No, so just open up, Potter!”

After he was finished dwelling on drunk texting Remus, he checked his other notifications. There was an email from Remus.

He debated waiting to read it later when he could be alone, but sitting there eating his pastry in silence, curiosity got the better of him and he opened it.

 

Sirius Lifeboat Drunkass Black,

I trust that you got my song for the night. I am not sure if you have listened to it yet, but… well, I like it.

Your texts last night really had me thinking about a lot of things, and you were so honest with me in your last email, I thought I should be honest too.

Oh fuck… I’m nervous to tell you all this. I am going to try to get through this without letting it get to me.

I was in love once.

His name was Phillip. He was the first boy I ever dated, and we were together for over a year.

I thought we would be together forever…

So stupid. But, I really did think it.

When we first started dating, everything was perfect. It was exactly like in the movies and I was so happy.

A few months in I got really sick. I’m talking, doctors thought my lungs might give out type of sick. I had to have a surgery to drain blood from my lung type of sick. It was a mess.

Anyway…

Phil wasn’t great about it. He made a lot of jokes about sick not being sexy, and how he was a saint for sticking around.

Looking back now I see this is wrong. I see that Lily was right to dislike him from the start and that these were red flags. But at the time I thought…

I really did think that he was a saint for sticking around.

I never had people do that, except my parents and Lily, and it was fucking hard.

I always felt like a burden, and here was this person that I loved so much telling me that I was. Just… reaffirming all of my fears that people only stick around because they felt bad for me, or because they felt like they were obligated.

I got better and things between me and Phill got better.

But he still made comments about my surgery scars.

He still reminded me that I was the weak one. He never let me forget that I was lucky to have him. I was lucky he stuck around at all.

There were times when we would be in the middle of sex and he would stop and tell me he just couldn’t because he kept thinking about me with all those tubes and it was a real turn off. I was pale and gross, but he ‘loved me’ so he stayed.

Right at the end of my homeschooling (would have been my senior year) I got sick again. It wasn’t even too bad in comparison. Just a little inflammation really. I needed some IV fluids and an adjustment on my medications…

But Phil wasn’t having it.

He dumped me over the phone.

His exact words were “I can’t keep myself chained to a charity case that could die at any second just because I feel sorry for you. No normal person would want you.”

It wrecked me, Sirius.

Most people think that I took a semester break because I was sick. And I was for a few weeks of summer…

But really, I was heartbroken.

Halfway through her first semester Lily came home and angry packed all my things and practically dragged me to the airport. My parents were supportive of anything that helped me to move on with my life, and so I started over.

I got a temp job at that little thrift store near my place and waited for the next semester to start up and just... tried to move on.

I’d like very much to say that was the end of that, but it wasn’t. I hurt a lot.

I knew that a breakup that rough, my first breakup ever, wasn’t going to heal that quickly.

But I started working at the school to take my mind off of things.

Moody gave me a job teaching Karate a few days a week and, as you know, I eventually started working at the bookstore.

It’s been better. I am over it in the way that I never look back and miss any of it.

In fact, when I think about Phillip now, I want to go back in time and punch myself for sticking around long enough for him to break my heart.

Well, fuck. This email is long. I’m sorry for that. You probably have a raging hangover right now and here I am likely making it worse.

I just hope you understand why I have been a little sensitive.

Maybe even a little resistant to give you and me a real shot….

But, I don’t want to be that way anymore.

I hope you like the song.

-Your Moonman.

p.s. My middle name is John. You asked in your last email if it was cool. Sorry to disappoint…

 

Sirius was livid.

How dare someone treat Remus this way! How dare anyone make him feel as if he were less than wonderful!

He looked up from his phone to see James giving his a concerned look, and he shook his head as if to say ‘its nothing’.

James was clearly unconvinced.

“Hey Pads, can you help me with this thing in my room” He asked, not at all convincingly.

Regulus rolled his eyes and got up from the table. “I have to shower anyway, so you two lovers might as well talk in here.”

James moved into the seat next to Sirius that Reg had just vacated and pierced Sirius with a look that required no words.

“Just… Remus was telling me some stuff about some guy he used to date.”

“ok….” James said “I’m going to need more than that.”

“Look, we’re just friends ok” Sirius started defensively.

“Ok. You’re friends. Why do you look like you are ready to plot a murder then?”

Sirius got up to put his trash away, dumping the rest of his food in the trash with it since he no longer felt like he could bear to eat. He could feel James eyes on him with every move, and he knew he wasn’t going to let this go.

“When I think about that other guy…” he shook his head, wanting to start over. “Remus got his heart broken by some bloke back in his home town and… well… I don’t know Prongs! I just don’t like it, ok?!”

“Calm down, man” James couldn’t help the light laugh that escaped him as he watched Sirius become flustered. It wasn’t actually that common that Sirius was unable to find words, but right now they wouldn’t come. And it was… funny.

“It’s just…” Sirius took a deep breath and sat back down next to James. “It’s just that when I think about Remus with anyone else- even Benjy, and Benjy is great!- Well.. I get this overwhelming urge to set shit on fire…”

James let out another chuckle as Sirius pierced him with a glare. “This isn’t funny Prongs.”

“I know… I know it isn’t.” James sighed as he stood up. “But it’s also not exactly the kind shit you say about someone who is ‘just a friend’” He added with air quotes before he walked across the kitchen to throw his own trash away.

“Fuck you, ok. I know it’s not… but a week ago I thought he might never talk to me again so if friendship is all I get, I’m not complaining about it!” Sirius laughed humorlessly. “Ugh…. Why are you always right Prongs?”

“It’s genetic” James said casually over his shoulder as he headed towards his room.

-

Remus and Lily were neck deep in the mountain of lace that took up the back of his mother’s closet, trying to separate the things Lily wanted to keep from the things that actually made sense to keep. It was a tough job.  

“I don’t think I will ever fit into this one” Lily said sadly, holding up a velvet green dress that Remus had never seen his mother wear.

“Must be from a long time ago…” He said, more to himself. “No harm in trying it on” he added a bit louder.

It didn’t take long for Lily to get to the back, where the wedding dress was hidden safely in a little zip up cover. “Remus….” She whispered, stroking the lace gently “I couldn’t….”

“She wanted you to… She said anything from her closet. She knew that was in there….” He smiled, though his heart was breaking.

How would he feel seeing Lily walking down the aisle in the dress he had seen pictures and videos of his mother wearing so many years ago….

“Tuney will wear moms, no doubt” Lily said quietly, still stroking the dress. “She plans to marry that buffoon in the winter…”

Remus was determined to bring the mood back up, and so he took the dress from her hands and held it up to himself in the mirror. “I don’t think I’ll fit it, Lil” he sighed dramatically. “It’ll have to be you.”

She smiled and took the dress, adding it to the growing keep pile as they moved on to sorting through the shoes.

 

The Friendship:

(3:31pm) Friend Sirius: I got your email.

(3:31pm) Friend Sirius: And the song.

(3:32pm) Friend Remus: Did you listen to it?

(3:32pm) Friend Sirius: Yea. I did.

(3:32pm) Friend Sirius: I really liked it, Remus. A lot.

(3:33pm) Friend Remus: Me too

(3:34pm) Friend Remus: And about your texts last night…

(3:34pm) Friend Remus: I wish I could be there too.

Sirius is typing….

(3:36pm) Friend Sirius: How is everything there?

(3:36pm) Friend Remus: Going  through moms things with Lily.

(3:36pm) Friend Remus: She has a lot she wants to keep.

(3:37pm) Friend Remus: [Photo]

(3:37pm) Friend Sirius: Holy shit! That’s a lot of clothes.

(3:38pm) Friend Remus: Yup. We will definitely be needing another luggage haha!

(3:38pm) Friend Sirius: Well, I will leave you to it

(3:38pm) Friend Sirius: Last day with Reg…

(3:39pm) Friend Remus: Oh shit…

(3:39pm) Friend Remus: Enjoy it. And… if you need to talk you can always call me.

(3:40pm) Friend Sirius: Thanks Remus.

-

When Sirius waved goodbye to Regulus at the airport, he didn’t cry. He really believed that things would be different this time, and that they would see each other again soon.

He and James drove home, stopping to buy some takeaway Chinese on the way, singing loudly to The Clash, and he didn’t cry.

He ate his food and watched old saved episodes of Chopped, laughing hard at the expressions on the people’s faces and talking about how they could have done much better if it were them, but knowing it wasn’t true. Still, Sirius didn’t feel like he would cry.

James had expected him to be a wreck, that much was clear by the sideways glances he got every few minutes, but Sirius was fine.

It wasn’t until nearly midnight that they turned the TV off and headed to bed, neither one all that tired, but both knowing they needed the sleep.

Turning over in his bed, Sirius picked up his phone and opened his email to reread the last message he got from Remus. It still made him angry, and he didn’t even know how he would respond to such a thing.

Laying on his back in his bed, listening to the hum of the air conditioner that had just kicked on, Sirius made up his mind.

 

Calling Remus....

R- Hullo?

S- Sorry… did I wake you?

R- yea but its ok

S- Oh shit, I’m sorry Remus…

R- Don’t be. I fell asleep on the couch anyway and would have been miserable tomorrow if you hadn’t woken me.

S- So…. What you’re saying then is that I’m a hero?

R- Of the truest form, yes.

S- haha nice

R- How was the last day with Regulus?

S- It was… It was really great.

R- I’m glad.

Sirius felt the tears form in his eyes at record speed as he tried in vain to clear the lump from his throat.

R- You ok Sirius?

S- Honestly? No. But I don’t fucking know what’s wrong. I just feel…. Unsettled?

R- …… Is there anything I can do?

S- I don’t think so…… I think I’m just nervous for Reg.

R- When will you get to see him again?

S- Not until after that lawsuit is over I don’t think.

R- What is he going to do over there in the meantime? I mean… they’ll find out eventually once he takes the stand right?

S- Yea. Before that even. But, he’s going to be taking out as much as he can from his account over the course of the next month or so, and try to save it back so he has a little nest egg for when shit hits the fan. It won’t pay for school, but the places he interviewed for here seem interested enough to help with that for the long game.

R- They won’t notice him taking that much money?

S- Nah. My family is…… well, they have more money than they know what to do with really. It’s fucking stupid.

R- Damn…

S- Yea…

R- Is her nervous? Regulus I mean…

S- He says he’s not. Haahaa but he forgets I was always able to read him like a book.

R- haha fuck it though. I’ve never even met your family and they scare the shit out of me…

S- Ahh come on now Remmy boy… I’m sure you could take them.

R- If they ever hurt you again, I might have to.

S- …… Thanks Remus….

R- This weekend seems soooooooo loooonng

S- It really does. You should just come back.

R- 2 more days….

S- 2 days too long…

R- Yea…

S- Has it been ok… with your dad and stuff?

R- You know… it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. I mean, it’s not great. But, dad seems to be doing ok.

S- He doesn’t get too sad being there alone?

R- I asked him if he thought about moving in NY with me but he said he can’t imagine living anywhere else but that house they lived in together.

S- That’s sweet though..

R- Yea… It kinda is isn’t it?

S- You’re secretly like… One of those huge saps aren’t you?

R- Oh yes. I am the biggest of saps.

S- Aww I knew it!

R- yea yea…

S- Sappy Remus!

R- Fuck off, ok? Nothing wrong with that!

S- It’s cute.

R- … Saying I’m cute?

S- …… Maybe I am

R- [Remus? You still up son?]

S- That your dad?

R- Yea… [Just talking to a friend dad, I’m headed to bed.] Hey… I should go.

S- Yea, no of course. Night Remus

R- Goodnight Sirius.

-

[SUNDAY]

Remus noticed immediately when he woke up that he had an email from Sirius, but it wasn’t until after breakfast with his dad, and a quick shower, did he sit down to read it.

 

Remus Castaway Moonman Sappy Lupin,

I wasn’t ready for sleep last night when you had to go, so I thought I would go ahead and email you back.

This is a hard one for me, because when I read your email I was so fucking angry I wanted to fly down to wherever this Phillip person lives and beat the shit out of him.

It wasn’t until James talked me down (and not so gently reminded me that I probably couldn’t beat anyone up) that I felt calm enough to actually continue on with my day like normal human person.

I hate that you had to go through that. You don’t deserve it, and he was wrong.

You are NOT a charity case.

And…. I know I’m not the perfect definition of ‘normal’… but, I want you.

All the time. In any way that I can. Even if that way is just friendship.

And I can’t imagine those feelings changing if you got sick. I know that maybe you don’t believe that… but I’m not like him.

Remus….

Honestly, I just don’t know where to go from here.

I understand now though. I get that this is hard for you. I can see why me not showing up for our date, or me pulling away when you wanted to kiss me would bring up old feelings of rejection or whatever else that fucking twat-faced douchebag made you feel.

But I am not like him.

I might not be able to be everything that you deserve- I’m a little fucked up sometimes- but I can promise you I am not like him.

-Sirius

 

-

Remus responded immediately, then turned his phone to silent and walked over to Lily’s. With any luck Petunia wouldn’t be there, and they could have lunch at her house before they left to buy a suitcase big enough to fit all of his mother’s things Lily wanted to keep.

It was going to be a long day, he thought with a chuckle as he knocked on the door and heard Petunias piercing voice ringing through on the other side. He couldn’t wait to fly out tomorrow.

-

Sirius Lifeboat Drunkass Black,

I know you aren’t him.

I know…

I’m sorry that I put that on you. It’s a lot.

I guess being here really brought some of that back to the surface. Or maybe it’s just everything that’s been going on…

I love my dad so much, but this just isn’t home for me anymore.

I miss the city and having everything I need within a subway ride away. I miss my shitty apartment and my own bed. It’s only been 3 days and I already want to go back.

Maybe I just miss NY because… it’s where you are.

This feels like the longest weekend of my life.

-Remus

-

“What’s wrong with your face, Black?” Moody’s voice cut through Sirius’s thoughts he closed out the email on his phone with a grin.

“It’s called happiness, Mad-Eye” He replied cheekily “Maybe you haven’t heard of it?”

Moody continued to sort through the pile of papers on his desk, as he wordlessly gestured for Sirius to get out of his seat for the 4th time that day. “I have been thinking about adding a few classes- you know, like fitness classes that members can come to“ Sirius nodded his head “Any ideas?”

Sirius thought for a moment, setting himself on the chair across from Moody as he continued folding the towels he had in front of him.

“Hmm. You could make it free for members, but then if anyone that’s not a member wants to take the class charge a small fee?” He suggested timidly. “It might get new people in the door when members want to bring their friends to the classes with them…”

Moody leaned back in his chair, eyeing Sirius with something that might have looked like respect on any other person. “That’s not a bad idea, Black. You’ve a real nose for business.”

“Thank you Sir…” Sirius said, turning completely to put the towels away so as to hide the smile on his face.

“But, what class?” Moody muttered, more to himself it seemed.

“What about dance” Sirius suggested. “Like a zumba class or something like that. My friend is moving into teaching and would love the opportunity, I’m sure.”

“The McKinnon gril, right?”

Sirius nodded. “She’s really great! We’ve been friends since I was 11 years old!”

Moody smirked and crossed his arms as he made to leave. “Well I will try not to hold that against her. She seems to have a good head on her shoulders.”

“You love me, really.” Sirius called to Moody’s back as he left the room.

“You’re alright” Moody called back. “But stay out of my chair!”

-

The Friendship:

(10:46pm) Friend Sirius: I got your email.

(10:46pm) Friend Sirius: I loved it.

(10:47pm) Friend Remus: Yea?

(10:47pm) Friend Sirius: mhm. I can’t wait for you to come home.

(10:47pm) Friend Remus: Tomorrow.

(10:47pm) Friend Sirius: Tomorrow.

(10:48pm) Friend Sirius: Last song?

(10:48pm) Friend Remus: Trust Nobody by King Princess

(10:49pm) Friend Sirius: oh. That’s a good one.

(10:49pm) Friend Sirius: When everyone starts calling for me…

(10:50pm) Friend Remus: … Ill only pick up for you.

(10:51pm) Friend Remus: Goodnight, Sirius.

(10:51pm) Friend Sirius: Night Remmy Boy

Chapter Text

“Lily!” Marlene screeched across the baggage carrousel to where Lily and Remus were waiting for their things to appear.

“Marlene? Sirius?” Lily asked in shock as she and Remus walked to meet them on the other side of the belt. “What are you two doing here?”

“Picking you up of course!” Marlene said happily.

“James told us you were getting in at 10 and that we should pick you up in his car so that you don’t have to grab an Uber with all of Hopes precious things” Sirius added.

“Thank you!” Lily gushed as Remus said “You really didn’t have to...”

“Actually” Sirius started in skeptical tones “I did. James threatened to switch my records into all the wrong cases if I didn’t agree” he laughed. “I’m still finding the occasional mix up from the last time he did that!”

Remus shook his head with wide eyes as if he couldn’t believe anyone would do something so terrible, causing Sirius to let out a bark of laughter.

“Well I came because I’m a decent human person and friend” Marlene said pointedly as she moved to help Lily with a large suitcase.

“And having a glimpse of the things Lily brought back has nothing to do with it, hm?” Sirius asked with mock superiority while the others laughed, and Lily launched into a detailed account of everything she had tried on, lamenting the things she would never fit in.

 

A short car ride later, Sirius and Remus were unpacking his things in his tiny bedroom while across the hall, through both open doors, they listened to Lily and Marlene tear into the luggage Lily had stuffed full of treasures from Hopes closet.

Remus wondered at first why it felt so ok that his mother’s things were being fussed over and tossed around like typical garments. But then the thought appeared in his head that his mom would likely have been right there with them in the middle of it, if she were here, and that realization made him smile.

“So…. The longest weekend huh?” Sirius said, less casually that he’d been going for.

Remus blushed furiously at being reminded of the words he had ended his last email to Sirius with, but nodded his head and managed a breathy “sure was” as he turned to dump an armful of clothes into the hamper.

It was so easy to be vulnerable in those emails. It was so easy to spill his heart out to Sirius with those typed words, and for Sirius to spill his own out as well.

Why couldn’t the words be so easy to say.

Why did looking Sirius in the face make his stomach lurch and him suddenly need to down whole glasses of water?

They busied themselves with putting the luggage up and avoiding eye contact for a while before Sirius gasped loudly, making Remus jump.

“Remus!” He whisper-shouted “I fucking almost forgot to tell you! Arthur from the bookstore texted me Friday about one of records on my list!”

Sirius was getting very excited now, clearly trying to control himself and keep from laughing as he pulled his phone out to show Remus the messages.

“It was while you two were on the plane Friday so I meant to tell you later but I guess I forgot with the party and Reg and… well… we were emailing about… umm… other things” He said, handing his phone over.

Unknown Number/Sirius:

(9:59am) Unknown number: Hello, this is Arthur from The Bookstore. I was given this number by my coworker Remus Lupin said that if something became available on this list he gave me… I don’t know if this is making any sense. Anyway, if it does make sense, I have something for you.

Sirius changed 'Unknown Number' to 'Arthur'

(10:02am) Sirius: Arthur! My new friend!

(10:02am) Sirius: It does makes sense to me! And I am so glad Remus thought to pass the info along, and that you actually did it! Like… Holy shit man. That’s so nice. You don’t even know me!

(10:03am) Arthur: I’m glad to meet you Sirius!

(10:03am) Arthur: Remus was aggressively explicit in his instructions, and honestly that guy scares the shit out of me so… 

(10:04am) Sirius: Remus? Scary?

(10:04am) Arthur: Yea man! This girl that use to work the coffee counter when I started told me he Karate chopped a guy so hard once, he had a concussion for like.. a whole week.

(10:05am) Sirius: Bahaha! Yea… that sounds like Dorcas…

(10:05am) Sirius: I can definitely stop by in 2 hours to pick up my prize.

(10:06am) Arthur: I’ll be there. Red head working the front. Cant miss me.

(10:06am) Sirius: Perfect!

 

Remus was laughing as he handed the phone back, muttering “Dorcas ….” As he shook his head.

“So you concussed a guy for a whole week, huh?” Sirius smirked.

“No!” Remus defended with a laugh. “It was like… maybe 2 days- and it was a kick not a Karate chop” he added, shaking his head again in amusement.

“Holy shit Moony!” Sirius laughed “Your like… a walking weapon!”

“I’m just… We were both in full gear... I take it seriously… is all” Remus blushed, leading them into the living room to wait for the inevitable fashion show.

“Hey… Don’t get me wrong” Sirius chuckled “It’s kinda hot.”

“Yea?” Remus asked as they plopped onto the worn couch.

“Yea. Actually I wante-“

“Behold, peasants!” Marlene shouted, cutting Sirius off, as she pranced dramatically down the short hall in a gorgeous, flowy light pink dress with electric blue heals. She waved her hands in the direction she had just come from in presentation as Lily followed her, lips pursed, in a fitted charcoal gray dress with red heals and very fashionable red blazer.

Remus and Sirius played their part, clapping and fawning over how lovely they looked as they paraded in and out of the living room in different outfits, exclaiming loudly how they couldn’t possibly pick a favorite because they all looked so wonderful. It was a decent way to spend a few hours before Remus had to head into work, though he was excited to return to his normal routine.

“I can drive you” Sirius suggested, blushing only slightly as he grabbed the keys, leaving no room for arguments from Remus. “Want me to come by after to get you Marls?”

“No thanks lover. I will take the bus or someth-“

“Don’t be silly! I can drive you” Lily cut in as the two boys nodded leaving them to their sorting.

 

As they walked down to the car Sirius had borrowed from James, Remus felt around in his pocket and pulled out two small items.

“Swiped these from moms for you” he muttered, handing the things to Sirius who had stopped to look.

One was a half-used bottle of black nail polish that looked as though it had flecks of glitter mixed in. The other was a simple silver hair clip in the shape of a star.

“Remus…” Sirius breathed “I… I can’t accept these…”

“Please Sirius” Remus replied, looking imploringly at his friend “I know my mom. I know she would have done the same.”

When Sirius didn’t take the items immediately he added “And Lily left these things. She picked out everything she loved, which as you saw was quite a bit, and the rest will eventually be donated. I’d rather know these are with you, rather than strangers…”

Sirius nodded and took the gifts, a smile playing at his lips as he caressed the clip gently with his thumb. “Thank you Remus… This means… it means a lot” he said, clearing his throat of the lump that was trying to form there.

“Now lets get me to work” Remus said cheerfully “I don’t want to be fired on my first day back.”

-

The Potter/Evans Alliance:

(5:01pm) Rudolph: LILY!!!!

(5:01pm) Rudolph: I’m on my way to your arms my love!

(5:01pm) Rudolph: Dorcas says she’s also on the way to your arms.

(5:02pm) Rudolph: She is claiming that your arms are for her....

(5:02pm) Rudolph: Ok… its definitely turning into an argument now..

-

Dorcas created the group chat ‘Dorcas Is Better Than James In Every Way’

Dorcas added Lily and James to the group chat

 

Dorcas Is Better Than James In Every Way:

(5:03pm) Dorcas: Red, tell this fool to back back.

(5:03pm) James: I will get to her arms first. I am faster than you. We have tested this.

(5:03pm) Dorcas: Ok first of all! Fuck you, Potter. Second… I have known Lily longer. Our love is stronger. Our bond cannot be broken.

(5:04pm) Lily: ….She’s not wrong.

(5:04pm) James: *GASP!*

(5:04pm) Dorcas: 🖕🖕

(5:05pm) Lily: Just Hurry up and get here! I have two arms!

-

Remus had a great work day. He chatted with Arthur, who he never really talked with because they worked separate sections. He had a late lunch with Peter at the food court, along with Mary and Al who were just shopping around the mall to waste some time. He found two records on his own list, and even splurged on break to sit and read at the coffee bar while he flipped through a book that had caught his eye.

All in all the day had been great. His day was made even more sweet as he made himself comfortable on the subway seat, seeing an email notification from Sirius.

 

Remus Castaway Moonman Sappy Johnnaquinn (I changed your middle name to something awesome. Your welcome.) Lupin,

I am so glad you are back in the city. It definitely feels more like home now, knowing you are back; just a train ride away.

Is it odd that I have grown so attached to these emails? I cannot always bring myself to talk to you this openly when we are face to face. I feel like it’s odd. Mostly because I feel like we have grown to know each other so well in such a short span of time like this, yet it’s like these conversations never happened when we are around each other.

Sometimes I have to go back and check that these are real, because the difference to actual life is so staggering at times.

But I wouldn’t trade it.

I have loved this.

I still haven’t told James. I don’t know why, really. I guess I like knowing that it’s something I have just with you.

Have you talked to anyone about it?

I started this email wanting to tell you something, but now I find that I am shy to mention it…

I wrote you a song.

It’s nothing fancy, musically. Just me on guitar…

But I am going to play the open mic night on Saturday at The Three Broomsticks near my place, and I thought I should invite you to come along, since all the words were written during my thinking about you.

Wow. That sounds so lame.

But it’s true.

I hope you can make it.

-Sirius

P.s. The nail polish looks amazing, and I haven’t taken the clip out once. Really, thank you for this gift. I felt love from your mother the second she pulled me into her arms for a hug. I will always cherish this piece of her.

-

Remus responded quickly while he waited for his stop, smiling unrestrainedly as he pressed send.

-

Sirius Lifeboat Drunkass Musician Black,

Of course I want to come!

I can’t believe you wrote me a song… just… wow.

You really know how to make a guy blush like a fucking idiot on a subway full of gawking strangers… haha!

I haven’t told anyone here about our emails, though I suppose it is Lily who gave you my address from the go…

I talked to my dad about them though. We had a few chats while I was home, and that was in one of them. It’s a bit like we have to get to know each other on a whole other level, me and dad. Now that mom isn’t there to start conversations and jump in with her thoughts, it’s…. different. But I love him and we are both trying, so that’s what’s important I suppose.

I do like having this little secret with you too.

And I don’t know why it’s so hard. I have never seen you be shy with anyone. Ever.

So sometimes it feels like you are avoiding me on purpose to maybe like… send a message… but then I go and reread these emails and I know that it’s just hard sometimes.

For both of us…

I am excited to hear you sing and play. And I will try not to drool all over the table.

-Remus

P.s. My mother talked about you when you lot left after the party. She spoke highly of you, Sirius. You really made an impression. I am glad you like them. When Lily had gone through, I was looking and immediately grabbed them for you without really even thinking about it. It was like I was magnetically drawn to them.

-

The Friendship:

(9:41pm) Friend Sirius: Last song?

(9:44pm) Friend Remus: The Energy Never Dies by The Script

 

(9:51pm) Friend Sirius: Just listened.

(9:51pm) Friend Sirius: I really love that.

(9:52pm) Friend Remus: Goodnight, Sirius.

(9:52pm) Friend Sirius: Night Moonman

Chapter Text

The Marauders:

(8:02pm) Padfoot: So I told Remus that I wrote that song for him.

(8:02pm) Wormtail: Oh shit..

(8:02pm) Prongs: AND!?

(8:03pm) Padfoot: He seemed really excited about it actually.

(8:03pm) Padfoot: And now I am fucking nervous and want to drop out of my slot.

(8:03pm) Prongs: No. Absolutely not. I don’t support this.

(8:03pm) Wormtail: We will kidnap you.

(8:04pm) Prongs: And force you on that stage.

(8:04pm) Wormtail: And if you refuse to play then I will do it for you and everyone will think it’s you. And no one wants that.

(8:04pm) Prongs: Then I will be forced to sing. And no one wants that either.

(8:04pm) Prongs: So get your shit together Pads!

(8:05pm) Wormtail: If not for us, or for Remus. Do it for all the other people who will be forced to endure me and James otherwise…

Padfoot is typing…

(8:07pm) Padfoot: I fucking love you guys.

(8:07pm) Wormtail: Of course you do. We are top shelf friends.

(8:07pm) Prongs: ☝️ It’s true. You’re so lucky to have us.

(8:08pm) Padfoot: 🖕🖕

-

Sirius had taken just about every opportunity he could to spend extra time with Remus that week.

Tuesday he stayed after his shift ended at Fit Space to do the second half of Remus’s workout with him, despite having already done one that morning. After work on Wednesday he went to check in on Remus at work under the pretense that he was checking up on the records, and ended up staying for over two hours. They talked about which books they read growing up- which ones they liked and which ones they didn’t- while he helped Remus reshelf things, pretending to be perusing pages any time another worker passed by.

On Thursday they met for the regular Thursday Lunch Crew meal in the food court and was joined by Al, who had started training to take over for Marlene at work. Sirius stayed to chat with them at the arcade after, adding his own tips on how they should run things- and getting plenty of eye rolls from Marlene- which allowed him the excuse to check in on Remus near the end of his shift, casually mentioning grabbing some food, which lead to them having burgers at a little place near Remus and Lily’s apartment.

Sirius was aware that Remus was making attempts to see him as well though. After dinner on Thursday he had invited Sirius up to the apartment where James and Lily were finishing up their own dinner. They spent a few hours watching TV and eating ice cream before James and Sirius left, Remus immediately text him when he left about how nice it was to be spending so much time together.

They had not yet figured out how to out grow the friend-zone they had forced themselves into, but it was still comfortable just being together so much.

And they always had the emails….

Padfoot,

Are you nervous about playing on Saturday?

I know you will be great. Is it weird to say that? Even though I haven’t ever heard you really sing?

I just know you will be though.

And I can’t wait to hear the song. Honestly, sometimes I think about it and don’t realize I am smiling until someone asks me why I am smiling so much.

I get the feeling that things might be different after, and I don’t know if that makes me more scared, or excited.

-Moonman

-

Moony,

I am SO nervous about Saturday.

Part of me wants to say that I hope things never change, but I know that’s a lie.

I want more than these emails. Why is it so fucking hard?

I am a little worried you may have built this song up in your head. Im afraid it’s not going to be as amazing as you think…

Of course I like it though, it’s about you.

I started writing the chorus even before you went home to see your mom, and the lyrics just morphed into this whole song every time I would be thinking of you when we weren’t speaking or when you were gone.

I just hope it’s all ok to say.

And that you won’t want to call this quits after you hear it.

-Padfoot

-

Pads,

I hope things change, too. I don’t know why it is so hard, and as much as I want to reach across the table sometimes and just hold your hand, something always stops me.

Sometimes I wonder if we will ever be just… just like this. Ourselves.

I hope for that.

And I can tell you already that I won’t want to leave after I hear it.

I can say that with confidence because now that you are in my life, it would be like a living hell to not have you in it.

Plus, I have a feeling we are going to be in each other’s lives forever if Lily and James have their way.

-Moonman

-

Moonman,

I know what you mean.

Like, what the fuck is wrong with us?

If there is  a hell, it’s wherever I have to be without you.

-Padfoot

-

For Remus, the week passed so slowly, while simultaneously flying by, and he was doing his best not to be nervous as he and Lily met up with the others on Saturday.

James, Peter, Mary, Marlene, Dorcas, Al, and Frank had all shown up to show support for Sirius, and even though he had insisted they not make a fuss, they each wore black shirts with bright pink writing that said “Fuck Yea, Sirius!” anyway.

Sirius had left earlier in the night to be there to help set up, and just be present in support for all the artists on the list before him.

 

Remus was sitting in the back of James’s car next to Lily, sweating from nerves as he texted her and Dorcas.

Awkward Fam Club:

(8:17pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: I may have failed to mention that Sirius is singing an original song…

(8:17pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: That he wrote about me.

(8:17pm) Red: WTF?! How did I not know this until just now!?

(8:18pm) Lesbionic: BRB I just choked on my drink and am trying not to die.

(8:18pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: IDK if he really wants people to know.

(8:18pm) Red: It’ll probably be pretty obvious though once we hear it.

(8:18pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: Not necessarily….

(8:19pm) Lesbionic: Honestly, I can’t stop smiling and I am so thankful that Pete is driving because Marlene probably would have read that text to me and I would have def wrecked the car.

(8:19pm) Red: 😂

(8:19pm) Red: HOLY SHIT!

(8:19pm) Red: This explains why James kept asking if you were going like… a thousand times this week.

(8:20pm) Lesbionic: Oh for sure. Those two practically share a brain. He has to know.

(8:20pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: And also they live together… so if Sirius is writing music James is bound to hear it.

(8:20pm) Lesbionic: Let’s hope he doesn’t write about everything between you otherwise it could get real awkward for James once you two finally start to have sex.

(8:20pm) Red: 😂😂😂

(8:20pm) Mr. MiyaGAY: honestly 🖕

-

Sirius was chatting with the bartender, Rosmerta, when he spotted the group come in. His brain immediately registered the shirts they were wearing and let out a bark of laughter as he waved for them to follow him to a reserved table not too far from the front.

“Is this our thing now?” He asked, laughing again as he plucked the sleeve of Peters shirt “because I am fucking here for it!”

"Hell yes!" James grinned "gotta show our support!"

“When do you go on?” Marlene asked over the music as they sat down.

“One more after this set, then it’s me” he replied, trying not to sound as nervous as he felt.

 

Before he had gotten more than a few hugs in, he was motioned back to the little back stage area, hugging the people who just finished, and giving the next guy an encouraging nod and fist bump as he walked up to start his own set.

It’s just two songs’, Sirius told himself, tuning his guitar for the 9th time that night. ‘You can keep it together for two songs’.

Remus had gone to get drinks for the table as he had left to go backstage, and from where he was standing Sirius could see Remus sitting at the bar, chatting with a man making an electric blue drink that he assumed was for Marlene.

Whatever the man was saying must have been funny, because soon Remus was laughing hard while Sirius tried and failed not to succumb to the waves of jealousy he felt at the site.

Turning away and moving out of sight, he pulled his phone from his pocket to reread a few of their emails while he waited for his set to start.

Too soon Sirius was pulled away from his reading by the clapping and yelling of the crowd as the man ahead of him exited the stage with a grin. He gave Sirius the same fist bump and nod he had been given and then left Sirius alone with his nerves, waiting.

-

Remus was shaking slightly as he heard the MC call Sirius Black to the stage. He felt Lily’s comforting hand squeeze his forearm as she smiled, and Dorcas nudged his foot under the table with hers, a grin playing at her own lips.

Sirius took a visible cleansing breath as he walked onto the small stage, smiling confidently at the crowd as if he just belonged there.

 

“This first one is a song that’s very special to me, and I know most of you probably know it” Sirius said into the microphone “so sing it with me… because I’m fucking nervous, alright?”

The crowd laughed as a few people clapped, and Remus knew that there were probably many girls- and a few guys too- who were eating up that slight British accent.

As Sirius finger-picked the first progression Remus recognized the song immediately. It was the song he had danced with Sirius to at his mom’s party nearly 3 months ago.

Oh… Mirror in the sky, what is love…

The entire bar was singing. James and Lily standing and swaying as they leaned on each other slightly.

“I didn’t peg Sirius as a Fleetwood Mac fan..” Lily said over the music during the instrumental portion.

“He isn’t” James grinned, giving Remus a pointed look as he added “but Stevie Nicks is a queen, so this one gets a pass”, and Remus blushed.

Remus met Sirius’s eyes as he finished the song, giving him the biggest smile while he clapped loudly with the rest of the bar.

“This next one is a bit slower. It’s one I wrote, so go easy on me” He joked as the people laughed lightly, nodding their heads in agreement. “It’s about someone I care very deeply for” he added as his eyes found Remus again. “I hope you like it.”

Every one of their friends was looking at Remus, each grinning while he felt his face grow hot.

He focused his attention on Sirius, determined not to miss a single note as he began to sing the slow melody that was written for him.

 

They keep taking you away…

These words that I can never seem to say

But now we keep each other’s secrets

And in the daylight I have no regrets

 

It’s getting harder to stay away…

 

Remus was lost in the sound of Sirius’s voice, positive he had never heard anything so beautiful as Sirius played through an instrumental measure.

 

All I really wanna be

Is a note from the songs you sent to me

On the old records you keep

Before we both sleep

 

And it’s getting harder to stay away…

 

I’ve seen it written my whole life

They say you know when you look into their eyes

And the way the sunlight shows

The gold in yours, I know… I know.

 

And it’s getting harder to stay away…

 

Can we try this love for real?

Yours for mine sounds like a good deal

We can set a better pace

Even here face to face

 

‘cause it’s getting harder to stay away…

 

It’s getting harder to stay away…

 

What use would it be to lie?

I’ve been falling for you for a while

 

It’s getting harder to stay away…

 

It’s getting harder to stay away…

 

When Sirius closed out the song, Remus let out a long breath as he stood with the rest of the table to clap loudly, not sure what he was feeling, but knowing that it was good.

Within a minute Sirius had joined them at the table. Lily moved to James’s other side to allow space for Sirius next to Remus, while everyone told him how wonderful it was and asking who the song could possibly be about in sacastic tones that clearly showed they all already knew.

He put his phone down on the table, took a few sips of James’s beer, then grabbed the keys to put his guitar in the trunk, tilting his head in gesture for Remus to join him.

 

“It really was amazing” Remus mumbled to his feet as they neared James’s car. His nerves had returned to him in full force, and since he had decided not to drink, he didn’t have alcohol to loosen his tongue.

“You really think?” Sirius said as he unlocked the car, tossing his guitar case in the back unceremoniously before slamming the trunk closed. “It wasn’t… too much?”

Remus leaned against the car as he looked at Sirius. “No, not too much. It was perfect.”

Sirius laughed nervously and nodded his head in thanks, pushing himself up to sit on top of the trunk. “That’s good to hear. I nearly backed out. I was so fucking nervous...”

“Don’t be. You’re very talented…”

“No.... not nervous about that” Sirius shook his head. “I could give two fucks if those strangers like my voice… I just… well I guess I was still thinking you might want out of… well… whatever the fuck this is..” he laughed again, gesturing to the space between them.

Remus was quiet for a beat, unsure of what to say. They really weren’t great at this; this being vulnerable thing. But, like Sirius said in the song, what use would it be to lie?

“I told you it would be like hell not having you in my life.”

Sirius smiled shyly, nodding his head again. They sat in comfortable silence again for a while before Sirius spoke up.

“You know… I use to think that hell was living in my parents house” he muttered, not looking at Remus. “Then, I thought it was moving on with my life without Reg… starting over in a new country…” He looked up and into Remus’s face, causing Remus’s breath to hitch slightly from the longing look Sirius was giving him.

“Turns out… hell is watching some random dude flirt with you across the bar, and wondering if you're laughing  with them the same way you laugh with me.”

They just looked at each other, Remus trying hard to marshal his thoughts while Sirius tried to breath normally, but both failing.

“Sirius…” Remus started, moving to stand completely. “Sirius… no one makes me laugh like you do.” He said softly, taking a tentative step toward the place Sirius was sitting on the trunk. “No one makes me anything like you do…” he added in a mumble.

Sirius slid down from the trunk, standing at a slight lean against the car, unable to look away from Remus. “Do you think things will be different now?” he asked as Remus took another small step toward him.

“I really hope so” Remus nodded, barely blinking as Sirius shuffled a little nearer too.

“Me too” Sirius smiled shyly, looking down at his feet as Remus moved to stand right in front of him.

“Sirius…” Remus said softly. “I really want to kiss you…”

Sirius licked his lips unconsciously. “Do it then….” He whispered, still not looking up.

Remus moved his hands to gently cup Sirius’s face, meeting his eyes again.

“Don’t pull away… ok?” Remus breathed, a hint of a plea in his voice as Sirius nodded mutely.

 

And then they were kissing.

And Remus was positive he had never been properly kissed before that moment, because nothing he had ever experienced could possibly compare to this.

They stayed there for a long time, no words, no rushing, just… being together in that moment, never wanting it to end.

Sirius had moved his hands around Remus middle and was clutching his back as if he might blow away while Remus worked his hands through the messy bun that was loosely tied on top of Sirius’s head.

The moment was so fucking perfect it hurt.

 

So, naturally James had to come and ruin it.

“Sirius? Hey where- Oh….” He grinned as Sirius and Remus pulled apart, straightening themselves in vain as James crossed his arms with a knowing look.

“What Prongs?!” Sirius demanded in a stage whisper as James handed him the phone he had left on the table, his face suddenly losing its humor.

“It’s Reg…” he said as Sirius opened the notifications.

2 missed calls…

5 unread text messages…

 

Sirius looked up to Remus, eyes worried, begging him to understand.

“Go” Remus nodded quickly. “You have to call him back. It could be really important.”

Sirius nodded, pressing the callback button, as he started to follow James into the car for privacy. He hesitated for a moment at the door then turned quickly back to give Remus one last kiss before they parted.

Remus understood. He really did. 

Besides, he could still taste Sirius on his lips, and he would give whatever Sirius needed if he could have that forever. 

Chapter Text

Regulus would be moving to the states to take a paid internship in the financial risk analysis department at one of the larger law firms in the city. Part of the contract was that he had to at least be in college part time working toward his degree. 

This obviously presented a problem, as he was not currently enrolled anywhere stateside and had zero knowledge of the processes involved, thus the urgent call to Sirius. 

4 days and many phone calls later Regulus was enrolled in 3 online courses at the Community College Pete had started at, and had signed the paperwork for the firm with the understanding that he would be needed in office in 2 weeks to begin orientation with all the new interns from all departments. 

Sirius was over the moon.

Regulus had put back enough money to pay for his college courses and several months rent while he waited for his first checks to come in from the firm, but Sirius and James wouldn't hear of him staying anywhere else.They had the 3rd small space off of the dining room they insisted he stay in while he got settled in the city. 

It wasn't technically a bedroom, but it had a door and enough space for some basic furniture, and was near enough the main bathroom for it to be comfortable. Many of their friends had crashed there on air beds in the past years to avoid riding the subway home drunk, and their apartment was closer to work and school than anything Reg would afford on his own right away. Really it was the perfect setup. 

Now they just had to him get through this lawsuit. 

-

Siri- You sure you don't want me there? 

Reg- If you come it will be worse with mum and dad and you know it. I can do this. 

Siri- Ok... ok you're right just... be careful. 

Reg- Well that thwarts my plan to be utterly reckless..

Siri- Is this sarcasm? Are you giving me sarcasm right now? 

Reg- Noooooo.... Honestly I don't know where you got these motherly tendencies but it's getting to be a bit much... 

Siri- Fuck off ok? I just worry. You forget that I know them... You can't pretend everything's fine because I'll know. 

Reg- [deep sigh] Yea. Alright. I'll just.. I'll ring as soon as the trial is up then?

Siri- ........

Reg- And before.

Siri- .... 

Reg- ..... and any other time I get a chance...

Siri- if I go too long without word from you, then my arse is on a flight straight away so don't forget. 

Reg- I won't

Siri- Good luck tomorrow. 

Reg- Thanks Siri. For... well for everything. 

Siri- Its really no trouble Reggie

Reg- ...... 

Siri- Welp, I guess I'll talk to you tomorrow then. 

Reg- alright

Siri- be safe. I.... I love you. 

Reg- .... I love you too. Goodbye.

-

Sirius had barely seen Remus for the last 4 days. He and James were busy sorting everything out for Regulus in their spare time from work and training, while Remus's college classes and karate lessons had picked back up, keeping him busy too.

They talked everyday though, on the phone and in passing at the gym. They were keeping up with their emails too, though they had mainly been talking about the plans with Reg and their newer busy schedules. Sirius had picked up another online course himself that would start next week, on top of being only 3 weeks from finished with his fitness trainer certification. He had even started taking on clients at the gym and had 7 people who came at different frequencies during the month. 

Everything was going so well that it was... unsettling. 


The Friendship:

(5:19pm) Friend Sirius: Do you ever get the feeling that things are too good? 

(5:19pm) Friend Sirius: Like... you just know something bad is about to happen? 

(5:21pm) Friend Remus: Yea. Hello. Hi. My name is Remus, and I have Lupus. 

(5:21pm) Friend Remus: I definitely know what that feels like. 

(5:22pm) Friend Sirius: .... that's fair.

(5:22pm) Friend Remus: This about Regulus?

(5:22pm) Friend Sirius: It's about everything. Everything has been great! 

(5:23pm) Friend Sirius: Business school, my certification, the gym, us, Reg... everything has been great! 

(5:23pm) Friend Remus: And that's..... bad?

(5:23pm) Friend Sirius: It's fucking terrifying!


Friend Remus is calling..... 

 

R- I wish I had something soothing to say but I can't think of anything...... Im not going anywhere though. 

S- Well that was plenty soothing actually..... 

R- What time does it start? The trial I mean.

S- 9 am London time

R- That's what... 4am for us?

S- Yea... sucks it's that early, but I don't suspect ill get much sleep until it's all over anyway. 

R- Anything I can do? 

S- I don't think there is. ............


R- .... What is it? What's bothering you?

S- ....... The family doesn't even know he will be there. I don't know how thats possible, but somehow it's been kept a secret.....  

R- ...... 

S- ... I'm scared that even if the trial goes well.... they will keep him, or... or hurt him or.... fuck I don't know!

R- Sirius.... Regulus has got this. He's not 16 like you were. He's an adult. He's an adult and he has you and James and Pete and every one of us. It will work out. 

S- I know.... I just... I just need to make it through the next 24 hours. 

R- When does he get in? 

S- He's booking the first flight he can get to NY after the trial. Says his bags are already in the trunk of the lease so... haha he's ready to go. 

R- See? He's got this. At Thursday Lunch tomorrow we will all be laughing about how worried we all were and planning the first party of the semester.

S- haha! yea, or we'll all be asleep on the table with our faces in our foo-

[Honey I'm hooooome! Come give me a welcome home Kiiiiiiiiissssss!]

R- haha I guess James is there?

S- hehe yea. [Soft pass on that one Prongsie!]

[Ugh! Rude.]

S- [I said SOFT Pass... you're not allowed to get offended. I don't make the rules...]

R- Tell him hello from me. 

S- [Hello from Moony]

[HI MOONY!!!]

S- He says hi back... 

R- haha yea I heard. Probably the whole city heard... 

S- right? Look, I should go. 

R- Yea ok. Text later? 

S- Of course. Can't sleep without a Moony song!

R- haha Goodbye Sirius

S- Bye


-


James and Sirius didn't bother pretending they weren't nervous. They spent a great deal of the late evening in silence on the couch, rereading old articles about the Black family on their phones and picking at the takeaway thia food they had ordered from the place a few blocks down. The TV was on some shopping channel, but wasn't doing much for them other than providing background noise. 

Around 9 James mentioned sleeping together in his room that night. Sirius agreed, but neither of them made a move to head to bed. They both knew there would be no sleeping. 


The Potter/Evans Alliance:

(9:44pm) Wildflower: How is he? 

(9:44pm) Rudolph: Seems ok. Don't think we'll be sleeping tonight though. 

(9:45pm) Wildflower: I wish there was something I could do... 

(9:45pm) Rudolph: me too... 

(9:47pm) Wildflower: Well I'm going to attempt some sleep I think. 

(9:47pm) Wildflower: Let me know as soon as you hear anything. I put my phone on to ring so ill wake up if by some miracle I happen to doze off. 

(9:47pm) Rudolph: I will. Love you

(9:48pm) Wildflower: Love you. 

-

The Marauders:

(9:56pm) Wormtail: News?

(9:56pm) Padfoot: Nah.

(9:56pm) Prongs: not until after 4 probably.

(9:57pm) Wormtail: Fuck man. I'm not sleeping tonight. 

(9:57pm) Prongs: Us either. 

(9:57pm) Padfoot: Might as well come over Wormy. 

(9:58pm) Wormtail: Let me just grab my work clothes for tomorrow and ill be there in 20. 

(9:58pm) Prongs: Good man, Pete!

-

The Friendship: 

(11:04pm) Friend Sirius: Last song? 

(11:05pm) Friend Remus: You're headed to bed? 

(11:05pm) Friend Sirius: Fuck no haha but I figured you might be. 

(11:05pm) Friend Remus: Kinda tired but, can't sleep either. 

(11:06pm) Friend Sirius: I'm sorry

(11:06pm) Friend Remus: For what? It's not your fault... 

(11:06pm) Friend Sirius: I feel bad. You have work tomorrow. And James. And Pete and Dorcas.... 

(11:06pm) Friend Sirius: Fuck. Everyone is going to feel like shit tomorrow because of me. 

(11:07pm) Friend Remus: it's not because of you. We all want the best for Regulus too Sirius.

(11:07pm) Friend Remus: and even if it was for you... you would be the exact same way for any of one of us and you know it. 

(11:08pm) Friend Sirius: .... that's fair. 

(11:09pm) Friend Remus: Drive by Incubus by the way. 

(11:09pm) Friend Sirius: hmm... a good one. 

(11:10pm) Friend Remus: Lily can't sleep either. We're going to put in a boring movie and see if we can't fall asleep on the couch. 

(11:10pm) Friend Sirius: that's brilliant! 

(11: 10pm) Friend Sirius: 🤞 

-

By 1 am Sirius, James and Pete had each dozed off enough times to equal, at most, a half hour between the three of them. 

They had talked about Regulus and every possible outcome that came to mind, how they thought Orion and Walburga would react, and even what they would do if anyone ever came looking for Reggie in the states. 

They talked about James's aging parents and their shared fear of them dying one day, and how James needed them to be around to see his and Lily's future kids. 

They talked about the tension between Mary and Peter's family, Peter stating flatly that he would quit anyone who didn't support them together without a second thought. Of course they talked about Remus and Lily a bit too, but the conversation always made its way back around to the lawsuit. 

Just before 2 James decided to get up and make coffee while Sirius kept busy by messing about on the guitar and Peter took a quick shower. 

-

Squad: 

1:50am) Lily: Raise your hand if you still can't sleep... 👋

(1:50am) Marlene: 👋

(1:50am) Dorcas: 👋

(1:50am) James: 👋

(1:50am) Sirius: 👋

(1:50am) Remus: 👋

(1:50am) Peter: 👋

(1:51am) Lily: I figured.

(1:51am) Marlene: Fuck this!

(1:51am) Marlene: Me and Dorcas are coming over!

(1:52am) Dorcas: ☝️ that

(1:51am) Remus: Us too!

(1:52am) Lily: Yes! This is happening!

(1:52am) Sirius: You really don't have to! I'm sure it'll be fine!

(1:52am) Remus: Too late! Already walking out the door. 

(1:52am) Dorcas: Bet we get there first! 

(1:52am) Lily: Bet!

(1:52am) James: Be careful! 

(1:53am) Dorcas: Yes mom... 

(1:53am) Peter: ☝️😂


Lily and Remus beat Marlene and Dorcas to the parking lot, but were put to shame when a footrace was wordlessly proposed. Lily was not a runner, and Remus wasn't going to leave her behind. 

It was quickly and unanimously decided that a massive pillow fort was needed and they got to work. Everyone pitched in to move the dinning table into the room on it's side as a load bearing wall, while music from Sirius's record player floated through the room, and while no one was distracted enough to not worry, it proved to be a decent use of time in the end. 

Their masterpiece took nearly an hour, and laying all together on their backs on the pile of pillows, Sirius heard his phone ding. 

"It's Reggie!" He hissed, and everyone fell silent as they craned their neck to read what was on the phone Sirius was holding up in front of him.


Regulus/Sirius:

(3:32am) Reggie: Just waiting now. You up? 

(3:33am) Siri: Yea I'm up. Feeling alright?

(3:33am) Reggie: A bit of nerves, but I'll manage. 

(3:33am) Siri: You with the Barrister?

(3:33am) Reggie: Yea. Well, I was. She left to see if they want to make a new deal before we start now that they have seen me here. 

(3:34am) Siri: You safe? Like... mum isn't there in the room right? 

(3:34am) Reggie: No of course not. They glimpsed me on the way through though. Dad was good and shocked. Mum looked like she was planning a murder. 

(3:34am) Reggie: I can't wait to leave. 

(3:35am) Siri: Soon. 

(3:35am) Reggie: Ok they are all gathering now. I'll call or something when I know. 

(3:35am) Siri: Ok. Be safe!


"If their deliberating, that's good right?" Dorcas asked hopefully as Sirius put his phone back into his pocket. 

"Hope so..." James muttered, sitting up and cross legged facing the group. "And I hope they are really fucking scared too" he added darkly. 

"They won't be." Sirius said with a humorless laugh. "Pissed off, yea. But the most they'll get is some service work for Bellatrix. The money they'll owe that family means nothing to them. It won't hurt them in any way that actually matters..." 

"They lose Regulus though." Remus said matter-of-factly. "They lose and you win. That part will get them." 

Sirius smiled and nodded his head. 

Remus was right. He had his brother. They will both have escaped. His family lost. He and Regulus won. 

-

As 4 o'clock came and went, the tension in the fort grew thick. 

"If we don't hear anything by the time me and D have to go to training" James announced suddenly "then I am taking my phone with me to class. I don't even fucking care about the rules." 

"Yea! If you get busted we'll just say it's a family emergency." Dorcas agreed with a sharp nod. 

"Yea!" James agreed with a nod "because it IS."

"You two are going to be so tired" Sirius sighed, rubbing his hands roughly down his face. 

"We'll be fine." Dorcas said with a casual wave. 

"Yea..." James agreed through a muffled yawn, "stop being such a mom friend." 

"Oh I'm sorry I forgot, that's your jo- shhhhhhh!" Sirius cut himself off mid sentence, shushing everyone with a frantic wave of his hand when his phone began to ring. 

 

Incoming call from Reggie.... 

 

S- Hello?

R- Its done! They made a deal! The family gets the full amount and Bella has a whole mess of hoops to get through. 

S- FUCK YES!

R- It's not enough if you ask me but, the family agreed and it's finally over!

S- I can't believe it! Just... how are you? When can you leave? 

R- I haven't checked flights yet. I wanted to call with the news first. Ill text you the details when I get them but I'm headed straight to the airport now. 

S- I can't believe this is all happening. This is real....

R- haha its real! We're free brother. 

S- Yea.... Yea, we're free. 

-

Sirius cried unrestrainedly under the pile of limbs that was his best friends and allowed himself to relax for the first time in over a month. 

It was over. 

His family had lost. There was justice for a grieving family. And they were free of it all. 

 

Regulus/Sirius: 

(5:19am) Reggie: I'll be landing in NY at 6:10pm. 

(5:19am) Reggie: Does that work for you?

(5:19am) Siri: Yes!

(5:19am) Siri: Me and James will meet you at baggage and help you load all of your things.

(5:20am) Reggie: I keep having to remind myself this is actually happening. 

(5:20am) Reggie: I cried a little... 

(5:20am) Siri: Well I cried a lot. Like... 4 metric shit tons worth of tears so... there's that. 

(5:21am) Reggie: Haha!

(5:21am) Reggie: I'm nearly at the airport. Ill text before takeoff. 

(5:21am) Reggie: Love you, brother. 

(5:21am) Siri: Love you too brother

-

And then Sirius was crying again. 

Chapter Text


Thursday lunch crew later that same day was quite subdued, despite the encouraging- and completely unappreciated- pep from Al, who was excited to be handling the arcade on their own under the watchful eye of a sleepy Marlene for a whole shift. 

"Look Al" Peter deadpanned "I love you and all that... but I will not hesitate to murder you dead right now if you don't take it down a notch." 

Marlene pointed mutely at Pete in agreement, not lifting her head up from her folded arms on the table as she nodded. 

"Well that's cheerful...." Al huffed with an eye roll and slight grin. 

"Don't mind this lot" Sirius chortled "they're no fun." 

"Fuck. Off." Remus muttered around a cup of coffee. "Wait! You slept didnt you!?" He accused, setting his now empty cup down and eyeing Sirius with suspicion. 

"I didn't!" Sirius defended with a smile. "Can't a guy just be excited about life?" He laughed, dodging a jab in the ribs from a still wordless Marlene. "Look, second round of coffee on me, alright?" He offered with his hands raised in mock surrender. 

Marlene gave a thumbs up from her pillow of arms while Peter and Remus both nodded their agreement, pushing over their cups to be refilled. 

"It's a good day though...?" Al said tentatively into the silence. "Regulus coming in and all that? Emmeline told me a bit about him.... Sirius must be very happy...." 

Marlene finally lifted her head up to let out a long drawn out yawn as she nodded her head. "Yea. He is. Sirius and Reg were quite close as kids. Both use to spend alot of time with us at James's place in their younger Hogwarts years." 

"Yea" Peter added "we all expected Reg to walk out with Sirius at some point, but he never did." He stifled his own yawn behind his hand. "Well... until now I suppose."

"Well I can't wait to meet him!" Al said cheerfully as Peter and Remus groaned at their energetic tone, and Marlene promptly put her head back in her wrapped arms, only raising up again when Sirius came back with the coffees. 

 

"I'll come see you in the arcade in a bit Al" Sirius was saying as the others begrudgingly headed back to work. They nodded and waved goodbye as he walked with Remus back to the bookstore. 

"Need some help?" Sirius asked, nudging Remus lightly with his arm. 

Remus shook his head slightly as he swiped his badge in. "Just reshelving books today, thankfully. Might sneak a power nap on one of the beanbags in the childrens section" he added with a laugh, rubbing his eyes. 

"I'm really glad you came last night" Sirius mumbled guiltily to the floor. "Just wish everyone didn't have to work today..." 

"It's really fine Sirius" Remus said, gently grazing Sirius's hand with his. "You're worth it." Sirius smiled back, taking Remus's hand and fully intertwining their fingers.

They just stood there together near the back room, the awkwardness creeping up between them like it always did when they got too close. Neither of them knew what else to do or say so... the silence stretched. 

"Well" Sirius cleared his throat, "I guess I'll go see if Al is up for a game of Dance Dance Revolution."  

"You'll lose" Remus said, shaking his head in amusement. "They're nearly as good as Marls at that thing." 

Sirius scoffed, holding his free hand up to his chest in offense, but still holding tight to Remus's with the other. "How dare you!" Remus raised his eyebrow challengingly. "Well...." Sirius said through a cheeky grin "I can always say it's because I haven't slept." 

Remus rolled his eyes as they both laughed, still not letting go of their hands. 

"Welp.... bye then..." Remus said, not moving. 

"Yea..." Sirius mumbled. He hesitated for a second, then lifted his chin to give Remus a quick kiss on the side of his mouth before turning to leave. "Bye..."

Remus stood there smiling, not feeling nearly as tired as he had before lunch, and somehow not believing it was the coffee. 


-


All of Sirius and Remus's interactions were similarly awkward, but neither of them cared. They were just enjoying being on the same page for once.

On Saturday Remus, Lily and Dorcas were finally able to meet Regulus, and they all hit it off from the moment they walked into James and Sirius's place that morning with Marlene.

Dorcas burst through the door with a shout of "Best friend!" As she and James dramatically ran toward each other with open arms. No one thought this was odd except Regulus, who looked on in amusement as the hug quickly became a wrestling match to the ground.

"Reggie, this is Lily" Sirius said, raising his voice slightly over the grappling from the floor and gesturing to Lily "and this is Remus. That one over there handing James his own ass" -he pointed to the pile of limbs on the ground- "is Dorcas." 

They all shook hands very formally, Dorcas giving a quick, friendly wave just as she put James in a tight armlock. 

"Tap out, Potter!" She laughed "I won this one!"

"Never!" James squirmed. 

"In case you haven't noticed, you've fallen right into my trap." Dorcas said calmly

James let out a tiny laugh before he replied "you can't trap justice! It's an idea- a belief!"

"Even the most heartfelt belief can be corroded over time."

Justice is a non-corrosive metal!"

"But metals can be melted by the heat of RAVANGE!"

"It's revenge! And it's best served cold!"

"But it can easily be reheated in the microwave of evil!"

"Well I think you're warranty is about to expire!"

"Maybe I got the extended warranty!"

"Warranties are invalid if you don't use them for their intended purposes!" 


By the end, Dorcas and James had released their grips and were laughing on their back as the others watched them with varied expressions. 

"......What the actual fuck was that?" Sirius deadpanned. 

"It's from Megamind" Remus and Regulus answered at the same time. Turning to share a smile just as Lily let out a groan. 

"Nooooo. Not you too Regulus!" She said dramatically. "We have too many movie lovers here! It's getting to be excessive!" She whined. 

"Rude!" James and Dorcas both shouted indignantly. 

"There there...." Remus said comfortingly, moving to help them up from the floor as they let out fake sobs "it's not our fault they are uncultured swine..." 

Sirius, Lily and Marlene scoffed audibly as Regulus grinned and jabbed his thumb towards Remus. "I like this guy." 

 

Regulus would be spending most of the day with an old friend and fellow Slytherin from his Hogwarts days. Emma, who was the one that told him about the internship he had signed to, was Reggies one real friendship from his house, and he was thrilled to learn that she only lived an hour out of the city. 

Peter was away on an anxiety inducing weekend trip with Mary's family and would be by some lake somewhere in a tent until Monday. James and Sirius had a good laugh at this news, knowing all too well how much Pete loathed tent camping, but wished him the best anyway. 

 

The rest of the gang had decided on a quiet picnic by Hope's tree, knowing Remus and Lily wouldn't be able to visit as often as they had been now that classes were back in full swing. 

They brought a few blankets, some food, Sirius's guitar, and Remus's travel keyboard, and settled themselves down for a few hours in the sun. 

Remus and Sirius gave the others a small show, gaining the smiles and clapping of passersby now and then, as they muddled through an instrumental 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' together. They spent a good hour messing about on their instruments, laughing at their mess ups and refusing to look up chords on their phones while the other friends relaxed. 

 

Lily and James were huddled together on a small blanket, laughing at Sirius and Remus's attempts at collaboration. 

"Those two..." Lily hummed, shaking her head with a laugh. "I swear they are so fucking awkward its adorable." 

"Ugh. I know!" James grinned, laying onto his back while Lily rested her head on his stomach. "You know how I caught them kissing right?" He asked, feeling Lily nod her head against him. 

"Yea..." he said with a smirk "well it was quite funny... They were going at it like little teenagers, then when they noticed me they jumped apart like... like I had walked in on them naked or something!" He laughed "It was hilarious!"

"It was probably a shock for them James! And you had to ruin it!" Lily laughed back, slapping him halfheartedly on the shoulder. 

"I think they probably love each other." James said thoughtfully. 

"I think so too" Lily agreed with a smile. "When Remus told me about the kiss he said it was just like the movies, and that he wasn't sure how he was just suppose to carry on with his life after something like that." She laughed lightly, turning to watch as Sirius and Remus began putting their instruments away. 

"Sirius told me- and this is a direct quote here-" James said, clearing his throat to do his best Sirius impression, "'It felt like I was on fire- you know... if being set on fire was pleasant and not like... deathy.'"

Lily barked out a laugh, causing everyone to look at her and James for a moment before they turned back to their conversations.

 


Marlene was resting her back against Dorcas's chest while they both sat with their legs out in front of them on the small blanket they had brought, Dorcas's arms wrapped around Marlene's in a soft cuddle. 

"I love you" Dorcas mumbled, burying her face in Marlene's still pink hair to place a kiss on her head. 

Marlene hummed happily as she laced their hands together. "I love you too." 

They sat together for a while, listening to the laughing of their friends and the sound of the wind blowing through the tiny branches of Hope's tree. 

"On a scale from one to ten, how bad of an idea is it for us to get married?" Dorcas asked casually. 

"Probably about an 11" Marlene laughed "Let's definitely do it." 

"Hmmmm.... We should pick a day then, yea?" 

"How about the day we met?" Marlene replied, her tone as light as if she were suggesting they get pizza.  "That gives us some time to plan, and time for our parents to work through all the stages of freaking out they're going to do..."

"Oh I like that" Dorcas smiled brightly. "Plus it's the same day James met- and was brutally rejected by- our dear sweet friend Lily" she added with a light laugh. 

Marlene looked over to see Lily and James giggling together and couldn't help the huge smile that appeared on her own face at the sight. They were so happy. It was crazy that it all started with Lily burning his ego to the ground. 

"You have to add that rejection story in the toast" Marlene said seriously "or no deal."

Dorcas tightened her arms around Marlene, dropping another kiss on her head as she agreed, "I can do that." 

 

Sirius and Remus were laying side by side on their backs in the grass, pointing at clouds in turn, both feeling the tension, but both resolutely avoiding talking about it. 

"That one definitely looks like a dick" Sirius said flatly, pointing at a cloud in the distance. 

"Looks more like a catapult to me" Remus laughed, "but that's the 3rd dick you have seen so... I'm just not going to argue it." 

"Smart man" Sirius laughed, giving Remus a little poke in the ribs. 

They stayed silent for a while, watching the sky and listening to the hushed laughter coming from the spot where Dorcas and Marlene were huddled together. 

"It doesn't have to be like this, you know" Remus mumbled into the quiet. 

"What do you mean..." Sirius asked, turning his head to look at Remus. 

Remus looked at Sirius for a moment before turning back toward the sky and closing his eyes. "All of this..." -he waved his hand in the air around them casually- "this... awkwardness we have anytime we step outside of the friendzone. We could just... not. Just skip it all." 

"Hmm" Sirius closed his eyes too, trying to imagine it. "What would that even look like?"

"We would just be happy together" Remus said, and Sirius could hear the smile in his voice. "You know... waking up early on Saturdays to visit each other just to lay in bed and listen to records all morning.... playing paper rock scissors to see who gets up to get food after we are tired from laughing at stupid memes we found on the internet..." 

"No stressing over expectations about being perfect" Sirius added with a smile of his own "because we both know we never will be, and everything just... fucking working out."

Remus turned his head again to look at Sirius. "We could completely forget about the awkward bullshit in the beginning and just skip to the good parts."

"So how do we do that?" Sirius smiled, looking back expectantly. 

"Oh I have no idea..." Remus sighed.

"Me either....."

"It sounds good though..." Remus said, grabbing Sirius's hand in his as he turned to look back toward the sky. 

"Yea. It does" Sirius said, giving Remus's hand a little squeeze. 

 

They would get there. But part of Sirius was glad they couldn't skip over anything. He didn't want to miss a single awkward moment with Remus.  

He felt his phone buzz on the blanket near him and reached out for it with his free hand, not willing to let go of Remus's for anything. 

 

The Marauders:

(3:49pm) Wormtail: Have I mentioned I fucking hate camping?

(3:50pm) Padfoot: Maybe just in passing. 

(3:50pm) Prongs: Once or twice. 

(3:50pm) Wormtail: Her whole family is here! What if I make an ass of myself? 

(3:50pm) Padfoot: Well I'd say be yourself, but that goes along the lines of making an ass of yourself so... I got nothing. 

(3:51pm) Prongs: ☝️hahahahaaa!

(3:51pm) Wormtail: 🖕 

(3:51pm) Prongs: You got this Petey! We believe in you!

(3:52pm) Padfoot: Yea! They will love you! 

(3:52pm) Wormtail: I just love you guys so fucking much.

(3:52pm) Padfoot: Yea... only when you're nervy as fuck though... 

(3:53pm) Prongs: It's quite insulting.

(3:53pm) Padfoot: Isn't it? I feel so used!

(3:53pm) Wormtail: Fuck. Off. 

(3:54pm) Prongs: Now go get 'em buddy!

(3:54pm) Padfoot: Don't get eaten by any mountain lions!

(3:54pm) Prongs: Or bears! 

(3:55pm) Padfoot: and say hello to the lake creature for me.

(3:55pm) Prongs: And the Chupacabra!

(3:55pm) Wormtail: ....Why are we friends?

(3:56pm) Prongs: You love us, remember?

(3:56pm) Padfoot: So fucking much, I heard. 

(3:57pm) Wormtail: 🖕

(3:58pm) Wormtail: ..... love you


Sirius tossed his phone back onto the blanket, him and Remus both chuckling at the messages as they scooted closer so their shoulders were pressed together, turning their attention back to the sky. 

"Ok" Remus said seriously, pointing up with his free hand "that one actually does look like a dick." 

And they laughed and laughed. 

Chapter Text

Lily was watching Remus as he gazed into their shared microscope with a huge goofy grin on his face while Mcgonagall continued to write on the board at the front of class.

"Nerd" she muttered into Remus's ear, copying what was on the board into their lab manuals. 

"Says the equally nerdy nerd" he muttered back, not looking up from the microscope. 

"Got it!" He hissed triumphantly "Take a look and I'll write it out. But hurry because we have" -he looked at his watch, making a pained face- "less than 2 minutes before cleanup." 

 

Exactly 1 and a half minutes later Professor Mcgonagall was calling for microscopes to be cleaned and put away. Al was handing out cleaning spray and paper towels to her and Emmeline when a loud booming voice caused Lily to jerk her gaze back to the front of the room.

"Minnie!" James shouted jovially as he skipped into the door of their classroom with wide open arms as if presenting himself as a prize. 

"Love of my life! How have you been!?" Sirius called over James's shoulder, strolling in behind him. "Have you missed us?!"

Mcgonagall audibly groaned as she recapped her marker and turned around. 

Emmeline laughed, tossing her bag onto her shoulder. "Oh this'll be good" she muttered. "Let's go get our front row seats, shall we?" 

Al smiled and went with her down the rows of lab tables, giving Remus an encouraging slap on the back as they passed. Lily and Remus gave each other one last amused look before gathering their things and following their friends. 

"Potter, Black" Mcgonagall said severely "What are you doing here?" 

"Well, we were just in the neighborhood..." James said with a casual wave of his hand as he leaned against the dry erase board. 

"Yea," Sirius added, making himself at home in the desk chair, "My McGoo-dar was blaring like crazy and we just HAD to take a peak." He propped his feet up on the desk, caught the look on Mcgonagall's face, and immediately removed them. "Tell me you aren't thrilled to see us! We were definitely the favorites!" 

"That's not how I remember it" Emmeline laughed as the group made their way to the front. "These two were in constant detentions" she added at the questioning looks from Al, Lily and Remus. 

"But only so we could spend more quality time with her highness Minnie McGoogoo" James corrected, earning a divisive snort from Lily and Remus both. 

"Oh hello...." Sirius said with a benign smile, as though he had just noticed the others. "Lily, Remus, Al..." -he glanced snobbishly at Emmeline before adding "Satan...."

"You all know each other?" Mcgonagall asked as she grabbed Sirius by the ear and removed him from her chair without batting an eye. 

James slid over dramatically and threw his arm around Lily's shoulder with a wide grin "We do." 

"Ah yes" Sirius chortled "this lucky guy actually has a date with me this very evening." He attempted to throw his arm around Remus's shoulders, but failed because he was much shorter than Remus, so he just gave a weird little pat on the arm instead. 

"Well that was awkward" Al laughed at Sirius, throwing a small wave to their friends "I'm out of here. Later losers." She tipped an imaginary hat at Mcgonagall "Professor..." 

"Yea I'm out too. I've already seen this song and dance" Emmeline added with an eye roll. "Wait for me Al!"


"So..." Mcgonagall sighed as she sat in the desk chair "what do you want- besides to interrupt every class I ever teach." 

James and Sirius gasped dramatically, moving together to clutch each other as if in distress. 

"We have never-" James stuttered.

"-never in our lives-" Sirius added.

"-we were just innocently walking by-"

"-Minding our own business-"

"-and heard you call for cleanup-"

"-and it was like deja vu to hear that sweet sweet voice again-"

"So naturally we had to stop in and see our favorite professor" James finished with a grin. 

Mcgonagall leaned back in her chair with a small smile that she was poorly attempting to hide behind a glare. It was so reminiscent of their Hogwarts days that Sirius and James glanced wordlessly at each other with stupid nostalgic smirks of their own.  

They talked for a bit about what was going on in their lives, sang the praises of Lily and Remus- who both blushed and stuttered through modestly- and talked about their shock and glee of finding out she was teaching a college class. Lily and Remus talked about their majors and how they had met the boys at the bookstore earlier in the year. Lily tried to get Mcgonagall to tell them a bit about James and Sirius in school, but got nothing more than an exasperated sigh followed by a light chuckle, which honestly said more than enough. 

Looking at his watch, James signed dramatically. "Well, we better be off Minnie! These two" -he pointed his finger between Sirius and Remus- "have their first official date tonight and I swear on my life if it doesn't work out I'm going to throw both of them off of a building" he clapped his hands with a big smile "Let's go!"

"Well, it was good to see you boys" Mcgonagall said standing up from her chair to finish gathering her things, waiting for the others to leave. After a few moments without movement from Sirius or James, she gave a deep sigh and opened her arms reluctantly for a hug, but Lily could see the smile on her face as her arms tightened around them. 

"You love us really" James muttered into her shoulder, and she squeezed a little tighter. 

"Don't go getting these two into trouble now" she said sternly, gesturing toward Lily and Remus as Sirius and James threw up a quick salute. 

"Oh and stop sending me marriage proposals in the school post, Black!" She called to their retreating backs. "It was weird at graduation and it's weird now!" 

Lily looped her arm in James's, laughing with the others as they made their way to the parking lot.

"Marriage proposals, huh?" She asked with a grin. 

"Oh yea" Sirius said casually, failing to hide his own grin. "Love of my life, that woman." 

"Trying not to be jealous over here" Remus laughed "isn't it an unspoken rule to not bring up old flames on the first date?" 

"Don't worry Remmy boy" James said cheerfully, giving his a brotherly slap on the back, "She always said no." 

"After that great speech and everything" Sirius sighed, shaking his head in mock distress. 

"There is a story and I need to hear it" Lily said.

"Well Sirius was valedictorian-" James started, but was quickly interrupted by Remus. 

"You were valedictorian?!" He said, clearly shocked. 

"Rude..." Sirius scoffed. "I'll have you know I only just beat James out for top of class. He actually tanked one of the last tests just so I could give the speech." 

"There were 9 curse words before Mcgonagall threatened to take the microphone away." James laughed "then he got down on one knee with a red ring pop and proposed to her right there in front of everyone! Called her Minnie and everything! Fucking perfect!" 

"It was the highlight of my time at Hogwarts" Sirius beamed proudly. 

"What did she say?" Remus laughed. 

"No." James said simply. 

"Just... no?" Lily asked. 

"Yup. Just 'no'." James nodded. "Then walked to the side to start handing out diplomas while Sirius just fake cried on the stage for a solid 15 minutes- me and Pete rushed to console him, of course. She just skipped his name over until he was done making a scene." He barked out a laugh at the memory as they reached their parking spots. 

"Honestly..." Remus laughed "you two are incredible..." 

"Awww. Thank you Remus" Sirius smiled, pointedly ignoring the blatant sarcasm and handing him the spare motorcycle helmet as Lily took Remus's school things to bring back with her.

"You two have fun" she winked as she got into James's car. 

"Don't do anything I wouldn't do" James added in his best fatherly impression. 

Remus and Sirius both flipped the middle finger as the bike came to life and they rode out of the parking lot, leaving James and Lily laughing behind them. 


*


"What about that one?" Remus asked, pointing to a squat, pouty man at a bus stop who was peering into his briefcase with disgust. 

"Hmm" Sirius considered the man for a moment while he buttered a slice of Italian bread. "He is just returning from a business trip, obviously." 

Remus laughed "That's it? Business trip? I gave you sordid love affair, secret baby and underground spy ring!" 

"Remus, Remus, Remus...." Sirius tuted "Use your eyes!" He pointed to the man again "look how his shoes are covered in mud. You only get that dirty in a full suit when your a representative for Romanian dragon dealer" he continued "after the deal went down-"

"-what deal though!?" Remus asked, trying to find the holes in the story. 

Sirius scoffed loudly as he set his silverware down abruptly. "Don't you read? There was a large ad in the Sunday paper!" He moved his hand in the air as if reading words written in the sky. "Common Welch Green dragons for sale. Will accept Chinese Fireball or Norwegian Ridgeback only for trade.

"Oh yes how silly of me" Remus nodded apologetically "how could I have missed it."

"Anyway..." Sirius said, taking another bite of his pasta "after the deal he figured he would just catch the red eye home, but was stopped on his way to the airport by dark wizards who wanted dragons blood for their dark magic-y things." 

"Dark. Magic-y. Things?" Remus deadpanned over his cup of water. 

"Yes Remus, dark magic-y things." Sirius nodded sharply, pointing an accusing finger across the table. "That attitude right there is why the police refused to help him! Laughed him right out of the station! Poor guy" he shook his head sympathetically "spent the next 8 hours dodging evil wizards with nothing but a leather briefcase, and... and... moxy!"

"Moxy?" 

"Mhm" Sirius nodded toward the man again "Moxy, Remus. He made it back to New York didn't he? And what's the thanks he gets?" He doesn't wait for Remus to answer, but throws his napkin down on the table in indignation and shouts "fucking dragon dung! Dragon dung everywhere! All over his newly signed documents!"

Remus burst out laughing as everyone in the little italian restuarant stared at them, only half finished with their food and shouting about dragon shit over their plates.

It was the absolute best date he had ever been on. 

"I definitely win for overall story" Remus said after the laughter had died down "but you really sold yours so... A for effort I suppose..." 

"I guess I'll take that" Sirius laughed "back in school when me and James would get caught out of bounds, he was the best with making the lie on the spot, but I was the one who really sold it." 

"I bet you two were the actual worst" Remus chuckled, taking the last bite of his veggie lasagna. 

"Oh we definitely were" Sirius nodded emphatically "but we were good students. James was Rugby captain and I started several clubs with Petey- I mean we never went to any club meetings... but other people enjoyed them I hear- anyway the teachers loved us" he shrugged, then added "you saw us with Minerva. She was our head of house. ....Saved my life that woman..." 

"She seems so stern in class- brilliant and encouraging and all that- but definitely not the reacher I'd want to test...." Remus said.

"Oh she was definitely stern" Sirius laughed "but she's a mother hen really. Super protective of her house and would do anything for anyone." He cleared his throat of the small lump threatening to grow and smiled weekly up at Remus. 

"She... she fought to get me out of my parents house. Offered me little internships and things during the summer that kept me in the states where I could stay with James's family. Then when I ran away for good, and the Potters took me in, she didn't make a fuss about the guardian papers and all that... even gave me the stuff I needed to legally get out from under them." 

He laughed suddenly as a memory formed in his mind. "When I was put into Gryffindor house-which just doesn't happen in my family, mind you- my mom really laid into Mcgonagall during a meeting. Minnie just smiled through it 'till the end then said 'well he's not switching so if you're finished acting like a buffoon, kindly fuck off' then opened the door for her and dad to leave. It was the best day of my life up to that point." 

"Wow" Remus laughed "I never would have thought it in her."

"Oh she's a riot!" Sirius said shaking his head with raised eyebrows. "Should see her during the rugby matches.... downright loony!" 

"I would pay big money to see that" Remus replied with a grin. "How much do I owe you?" He added as Sirius handed his card to their waiter without looking at the check. 

Sirius waved his hand dismissively as he took a sip of his water "Nothing, nothing... my treat. I asked you out after all." He added, seeing Remus's discomfort. 

"I bet you would have been in Gryffindor too" he said, attempting to distract Remus from the bill. "You would have bunked with me, James and Pete and been just as unruly as we were." 

Remus shook his head with a tight smile. "Nah."

"Sure you would have!" Sirius insisted "we definitely would have been a bad influence on you" he added with a laugh. 

Remus laughed uncomfortably and nodded in agreement. "....not too many Hogwarts shenanigans to be had from a hospital bed...." 

Sirius's smile fell slightly. He sometimes forgot that Remus was sick; that he had spent so much of his youth in hospital unaware of what was causing his body to rebel. 

"We would have found a way" Sirius said with a shrug. "Besides, I hear Lily gave that local unit of yours a run for their money a time or two" he laughed "you just need to use your imagination is all." 

"Hmmm" Remus hummed happily, allowing himself the moment to imagine how things could have been, "why Gryffindor though?" 

"Because..." Sirius said, looking down shyly "because of your brave heart..." 

Remus really didn't know what that meant, but he was touched. "I'd love to see Hogwarts someday. It sounds amazing."

Sirius's head shot up, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. "We can go now" he said with a questioning shrug "its an hour out, but it's great weather for the bike" 

"Yes." Remus answered immediately. "Let's do it." Because he really couldn't think of a better way to spend the rest of his night than with the wind in his hair, and his arms wrapped tightly around Sirius. 

So that's what they did. 

After an enjoyable ride out of the city, Sirius showed Remus the huge, castle like boarding school that had been his first real home from a large hill in the little town next to it. They stopped in a small Irish pub for a beer and laughed as they shared stories  of the dumbest things they had ever done drunk. 

Sirius walked with Remus to the edge of the grounds and pointed out one if the towers directly over the rugby field. "That was where I slept, in the Gryffindor house tower." He smiled fondly at the dimly lit windows then looked back to Remus.

"Ah yes" Remus nodded knowingly "location of epic snowball fights, and the birthplace of Padfoot." 

Sirius barked out a laugh as they turned to make their back into the town. "Yes. A legend was born." 

They walked very slowly, hand in hand back to the place Sirius had parked his motorcycle hours before, neither one wanting the date to be over, despite the very late hour. 

"Remus..." Sirius stopped as they approached the little parking lot. "Will you... umm... well I mean..." 

"Sirius." Remus said soothingly. "Get it out." He added with a light chuckle. 

Sirius laughed too. "Are we like... in a relationship?" 

"Oh" Remus said, surprised. "Do you.. do you want to be?" 

"Yea, I really do." 

Remus smiled, and pulled Sirius into a kiss. 

"So.... yes?" Sirius asked once they broke apart. 

Remus laughed "Yes. Definitely." 


The ride back to Remus's apartment was much too short for Sirius's liking, but he couldn't find it in himself to complain. It had been the best night, and he finally had his moony. 


Bros Before Everyone Else:

(10:14pm) Prongsie: I haven't heard anything so I'm assuming things are going well. 


(11:48pm) Prongsie: ?? Me and Lily are dying for info!


(1:03am) Prongsie: Getting a bit freaked out. Where are you man? 


(1:48am) Prongsie: Lily got a text from Remus and I am fully offended I didn't get one. 

(1:48am) Prongsie: But also glad it's going well. 

(1:48am) Prongsie: I didn't want to have to throw anyone off of the building. 

(1:48am) Prongsie: But I totally fucking would have! 


(2:27am) Padywack: Just dropped Remus off at his place. On my way back now. 

(2:27am) Padywack: you're  such a mom friend..... 

-

The Friendship: 

(2:49am) Friend Sirius: Made it home

(2:49am) Friend Remus: I can't believe it's so late. 

(2:49am) Friend Remus: I'm sorry...

(2:50am) Friend Sirius: Don't be. I'm not sorry. 

(2:50am) Friend Sirius: I didn't want it to end to be honest. 

(2:50am) Friend Remus: Me either. 

(2:50am) Friend Remus: Best date ever. 

(2:50am) Friend Sirius: Yea, for me too.

Friend Sirius changed the name of the group chat from 'The Friendship' to 'The Relationship'

Friend Remus changed 'Friend Sirius' to 'Boyfriend Sirius'

Boyfriend Sirius changed 'Friend Remus' to Boyfriend Remus'

(2:52am) Boyfriend Remus: Much better.

(2:52am) Boyfriend Sirius: It really is, isn't it...

(2:53am) Boyfriend Remus: Thank you for tonight. 

(2:53am) Boyfriend Sirius: Not sure what you're thanking me for... I definitely got the better end of the deal. 

(2:53am) Boyfriend Sirius: I mean... have you SEEN my new boyfriend?! 🔥🔥

(2:54am) Boyfriend Remus: Have you seen mine!? I mean.... 

(2:54am) Boyfriend Remus [Photo]

(2:54am) Boyfriend Sirius: baha! When did you take that?! 

(2:54am) Boyfriend Remus: While you were talking about Hagrid and how you, James and Peter use to roam that forest on the grounds. 

(2:55am) Boyfriend Sirius: Wish we would have thought to get one together.

(2:55am) Boyfriend Remus: Next time 

(2:55am) Boyfriend Sirius: Yea, next time. 

(2:55am) Boyfriend Sirius: Last song? 

(2:56am) Boyfriend Remus: I Would Do Anything For You by Foster The People 

(2:59am) Boyfriend Sirius: mmm. I like this one a lot 

(2:59am) Boyfriend Sirius: Night boyfriend

(2:59am) Boyfriend Remus: Goodnight, boyfriend.

Chapter Text

The weeks following his first actual date with Sirius were some of the best of Remus's life. He had a really great set of classes for the semester and was finally getting out of just the basic required courses. On top of that, the kids he had in the new group for Karate lessons were very enthusiastic and excited about learning, which made teaching them that much more enjoyable. 

And then there was Sirius.

They spent a great deal of time together, and even though most of it was in the presence of other people, Remus was just... happy. 

Lily had actually screamed when Remus told her they were an official couple. Dorcas punched the air and hissed triumphantly -then resolutely flipped off every bystander that had the nerve to gawk at their show of excitment. 

 
Peter, and Marlene sent him texts of congrats, Marlene expressing herself with a wide range of emojis and explanation marks while Peter simply said that it was about time, and that he wished they had gotten their shit together sooner because he had lost 10 bucks in a bet with James. 

James, however, had burst through the door of their apartment after training and full on tackled Remus onto the couch with an inaudible "gaahhhhh" that was muffled by the couch cushions as he squeezed Remus, shaking him slightly side to side. 


It was all so fucking incredible. Exactly how Remus had dreamed his college life could be. 

So, it made sense in the worst possible way that Remus would wake up, weeks later, with a high fever, sore body, and a rash spreading rapidly across his face. 

Fucking. Lupus. 


House Of Hotties: 

(9:08am) Moony: Calling it in today for classes and work. 

(9:11am) Lilyflower: Why? What happened?

(9:11am) Lilyflower: Are you ok? 

(9:12am) Moony: I'm fine mom... 

(9:12am) Lilyflower: Remus. 

(9:12am) Moony: Just a little fever is all. Don't want to push it.

(9:12am) Lilyflower: Ok... 

(9:12am) Lilyflower: Ill be home a little after noon from class unless you need me sooner. 

(9:13am) Moony: With Pho?

(9:13am) Lilyflower: Of course. What is this, my first day as best friend? 

(9:13am) Moony: You are the absolute best human person I have the pleasure to know. 

(9:13am) Lilyflower: I know. *hair flip*

-

Lily was worried. 

She tried to remind herself that a flare up wasn't necessarily an emergency, and that Remus had gotten to be pretty good at taking care of himself when sick, but she couldn't help the 'what if' fears that floated to the front of her mind during her morning classes. 

Because she knew.

Lily knew what Remus looked like with tubes and IV lines wrapped around him like clothes. She knew what it was like to cry on the floor on the other side of a closed hospital door while nurses whispered medical terms she would have to google later. She knew that things could turn ugly in an instant, and it had her on edge. 

She spent the next 2 and half hours checking her phone every minute or two, completely distracted, but telling herself over and over that everything was fine. Remus had said it was just a little fever, after all. 

So she made a stop at the Vietnamese place just off of campus and picked up a large tub of vegetable Pho on her way home, trying not to think anything of it when Somebody Get Me A Doctor by Van Halen came on the radio, and she made a great effort to not speed the whole way. 

"Just a little fever" she muttered to herself as she fumbled for the key, opening the door with a cheerful "I am the queen of the Pho! And I come with a delicious gift!" sung across the apartment. 

She deposited the Pho onto the kitchen counter, holding onto her school bag as she made her way down the hall to peek in on Remus. His door was open wide and a soft crackling sound floated out of the record player speaker, indicating the record needed to be flipped. She tapped absentmindedly on the doorframe a few times before fully taking in what she was seeing when she looked at her best friend. 

There was Remus, drenched in sweat and only half conscious in his bed. She ran to close the space between them, shaking him slightly, but not getting more than a light groan in response. 

She took the phone that was still halfway gripped in his hand and read the unfinished, unsent message that was meant for her. 

House Of Hotties:

(11:41am) Moony: Bad fever.  I think I need to go to the hosp

A wave of nausea hit her, and she swallowed down her feelings, trying in vain to alert Remus enough to get him up so they could go to the emergency room. 

She wet a wash cloth with cold water and wiped his face, trying to think of what to do next. She could call for an ambulance, but the last bill from that had been a really tough one for Remus and she knew he wouldn't prefer it unless there was no choice. Dorcas and James were at work and she was pretty certain Sirius had clients that morning at the gym.

Ugh. Think. Think. THINK.


Calling Marlene.... 

M- Hey lover, how ar- whats wrong? 

L- You're not working right now, right?

M- Right...?

L- I need help getting Remus to the ER. Can you come by the apartment like... right now? 

M- oh fuck- yea of course- fuck. Ok. Umm... yea Im walking out the door right now- now where are the fucking k- ok found them. Yea. Yea. Im on the way. 

L- Thanks Marls. And... please hurry. 

M- Yea of course. I'll... I'll be there soon. 

-

Marlene arrived just as Lily was finishing packing up a small overnight bag for Remus. She had re-wet the wash cloth a few times and managed to orient him enough to help him into some clean clothes and have him take a fever reducer med, resolutely ignoring his mutters of 'I'm fine' and 'really, I feel better'. 

"Fuck" Marlene whispered, clearly shocked, as she gazed down at Remus's pale figure propped up on the couch, eyes half opened. "He definitely needs the hospital" she added, and the fact that Remus didn't flip her off told her everything she needed to know about the seriousness of his current condition. 

It took both of them half-carrying, half-dragging Remus to get him down to Dorcas's car that Marlene had driven over, and by the time they were pulling out of their complexes parking lot it was after 1. 


Those Who Love James:

(1:16pm) Lily: Taking Remus to the ER over by Fit Space. Lupus flared up and he's out of it with fever. 

(1:19pm) Sirius: What?! I just talked to him this morning!

(1:19pm) Lily: Just like Remus not to mention it though... 

(1:20pm) Lily: I figured he would want you to know, but he was practically passed out when I got home. 

(1:20pm) Lily: I will let you know as soon as I know something. 

(1:20pm) Sirius: no

(1:20pm) Sirius: I'll meet you there.

(1:21pm) Lily: Ok. Marlene is driving us now. We're in Ds car and should be there any minute. 

(1:21pm) Sirius: I'm just at Fit Space so I might beat you there. Ill be in the waiting area either way. 

(1:21pm) Lily: ok

(1:21pm) Lily: Sirius.... it isn't great. But don't freak out ok? He may never tell you in the future that he's sick of you do. 

(1:22pm) Sirius: yea, alright. Just hurry please. 

-

The next hours went by in a slow motion blur. Sirius didn't get to see Remus at all because Lily and Marlene had gotten there before him, which meant Remus had been taken back in a wheelchair before he had even arrived. While Sirius was thankful that they were rushing to care for his boyfriend so quickly, he was bitter of every second that passed without information, and of every blow off he got from the staff at the desk. 

He, Marlene, and Lily huddled themselves together on a two-seater bench nearest the doors to the rooms, and took turns letting out grunts of frustration every few minutes or so as they sent texts out to their other friends letting them know what was going on.

Lily had made a call to Remus's dad shortly after they arrived, but since then the only other conversations being had were between the strangers all around them, and Sirius had to work very hard not to openly glare while they waited impatiently. 

Marlene had gone to the cafe to grab some coffee for them just before 4, leaving Sirius and Lily to bask in the tension together while the tiny TV in the corner started up the theme song for some children's cartoon that nobody was actually watching. 

"Does it always happen so quickly" Sirius asked in a tired voice as he ran his hands through his hair in agitation. "I mean... I just saw him yesterday for fuck sake..." 

"No" Lily shook her head "he usually can feel it coming for a few days and has some time to prepare..." she took a deep breath before continuing "but there have been times like this."

"Is this my fault Lily?" He turned to her with anguished eyes. "Am I adding stress to his life or something? I read that stress can be a trigger... and... I'm stressful- well you know, you've met me-" he let out a humorless, nervous laugh. "Maybe it's because we were out late the other night.... and it was a little nippy out..." he rambled on, not even fully aware of the things he was saying instead of just thinking. 

"Sirius...." Lily said soothingly, placing a hand on his arm in comfort. "This is not your fault. it's fucking Lupus. It just... is."

Sirius closed his eyes and allowed her words to soak in as he nodded slightly in understanding, and Marlene reappeared with blessed caffeine. 

It was a hard thing to know Remus was somewhere on the other side of those double doors, suffering, and nearly as hard to quell the voice of his mother in his head. 

Why hadn't they heard anything yet?!


They sipped their coffee in silence, Marlene tapping out a steady, nervous rhythm with her foot as another hour passed by. 

James and Dorcas showed a little after 5, shortly followed by Peter who had gotten lost in the parking lot.

They moved to a slightly less crowded section of the waiting room and talked idly for 20 minutes before James lost his patience and went up to the desk to demand information. 

10 minutes and 2 heated discussions with staff members later, a nurse made their way over to them, scanning the clipboard as they walked. "Is one of you 'Lily Evans'?" They asked 

Lily stood up with a nod and followed the nurse mutely through the double doors they had been watching for the last several hours, mouthing 'ill text you' to Sirius as she patted the phone in her back pocket. He gave her a thin smile as he pulled his phone out to rest in his lap, unwilling to risk missing anything she might send. 

-

Lily listened as she made her way through the long winding hallway behind the ER nurse, trying to mentally hang on to the information long enough to let it sink it. "104 fever.... high blood pressure.... unconcious...." she knew all of this already. It wasn't until the nurse began reading from the next page of the clipboard that she felt the world shift under her feet. 

Seizure. 

"He suffered a moderately aggressive seizure, possibly due to the high blood pressure and fever, but we went ahead and ran diagnostic tests to rule out a stroke, brain bleed, or inflammation on the brain." She finished in a slightly more compassionate tone than she had started. 

"So did they?" Lily swallowed, taking a deep cleansing breath "rule those things out, I mean..." 

"We haven't gotten anything back yet" the nurse said sadly, shaking their head. "He's in there" they pointed to the door of a room numbered 414. "But just for 5 minutes. The doctor will be coming 'round and you aren't supposed to be visiting yet." Lily nodded, giving them a quick thanks as she quietly opened the door. 


She took a long look at her best friend, trying to let what she was seeing sink into some logical part of her brain that could explain or understand what she was seeing, but it was tough to navigate through the emotional rapids that threatened to knock her down everytime she noticed another tube or wire. 

Remus's head was covered in little electrodes, which Lily thought was probably to monitor any future seizure activity, so she had to reign in her instinct to run her hands through his hair. 

The dark patches that were covering his face earlier now had a thick layer of white ointment, while the oxygen tank hummed and the steady flow of IV fluids completed the all too familiar scene. She moved a small chair next to the bed and grabbed Remus's hand, giving it a small squeeze as she sat down. 

"Who died?" Remus choked out, coughing from how dry the oxygen was making his throat. 

Lily's eyes shot up to look at him, and was not at all surprised to see a playful grin on his face, even through the coughing. 

"It's not funny" she said, letting a tiny laugh escape with a sigh. "You could have died Remus. You waited until it was so bad you couldnt even finish a text!" She gave his hand a slight slap "next time just call you big idiot!" 

"Sorry mom..." he laughed, sounding even more tired than just a few seconds before.

"Well, the doctor is coming so I should head out." Lily said after a long stretch of silence. "Only got in here because James threw a full tantrum at the nurses station-"

"James is here?" Remus asked, surprised. "Who else?"

"Everyone, Remus." Lily said, opening the door to leave. "I'll be back in a bit." 

-

Those Who Love James:

(5:57pm) Lily: He woke up for a bit. Made a joke but seems really tired. Ill be out in a minute.

(5:57pm) Sirius: Thanks Lil

(5:58pm) Lily: He will be ok. 

(5:58pm) Sirius: Are you sure? 

(5:58pm) Lily: ....no. but let's pretend like I am, ok? I can't deal with it any other way. 

(5:58pm) Sirius: Well, that was definitely my plan from the start. So, glad we're on the same page. 

(5:59pm) Lily: Denial buddy? 

(5:59pm) Sirius: Denial buddy. 

 

Chapter Text

Day 1

 

Lily allowed herself a few tears in the bathroom before she joined the others back in the waiting room. It was maybe a little too natural how she was able to smile through the worry as she walked down the hall, rows of rooms full of sick people that she didn't know barely catching her strained eyes. 

The nurse that had shown her into the room told her that only family would be allowed to visit until Remus was moved from the ER and into a regular room. Lily immediately nodded her understanding, then introduced herself as his half sister. It was a practiced lie the two of them had fallen into at a young age when Lily wouldn't have been let in his room otherwise, even getting a nod of agreement from Hope when she was asked to verify it by the doctor during a long stay when Remus was 13. 

"That was quick" James commented apprehensively as she approached the group.

"The doctor is making the rounds and he's tired anyway" she replied casually "but they are only letting family visit for now" she glanced apologetically at Sirius, who just nodded in silence, waiting for her to continue.

"I am listed as his half sister on the papers and as his emergency contact so, I'm going to probably just stay here tonight" she went on "but I will keep everyone updated with any and every bit of news." She laughed lightly, shaking her head before adding "he's making jokes... so that's always a good sign."

She explained about the fever and seizure as they sipped the stale coffee, trying to keep upbeat and not freak anyone, particularly Sirius, out. It was always hard to know how people would respond to illness, and she wasn't prepared to let Remus be broken again like he was after that bastard Phil. 

They stayed huddled together in the waiting room, chatting about who would be able to visit and when, speculating how long it could be before other visitors were allowed while they all avoided actually getting up and going home. Lily practically had to beg them to leave and get some rest by the time 9pm rolled around, only getting Sirius out the door after pointing out that he would want to be able to get there early if the doctor allowed a morning visit, even though she knew they wouldn't. 

At half past 10 she finally got to speak to the doctor, and was able to get settled on the couch-bed next to Remus in the room. 

Lily created the group chat 'Remus Watch'

Lily added Sirius, James, Marlene, Dorcas, and Peter to the group chat

Remus Watch: 

(10:51pm) Lily: The seizure was from inflammation of the brain, but they have him on anti inflammatory meds now so it should help pretty quickly. He's been asleep since I got to come back half an hour ago, and he already looks a lot better than he did when we brought him in. 

(10:51pm) Marlene: Thanks Lil. We're all together at James and Sirius's place. We filled Reg in and just decided to camp out here. 

(10:51pm) James: Please let us know if we can do anything. 

(10:52pm) Lily: I will. 

(10:52pm) Lily: Going to try for some sleep on this pull out bed. Ill text again in the morning. 

-

Those Who Love James:

(10:52pm) Lily: How are you? 

(10:52pm) Sirius: I'm ok. Worried I think. 

(10:53pm) Sirius: Definitely still in denial that it could turn bad though. 

(10:53pm) Lily: Same. 

Lily changed the name of the chat from 'Those Who Love James' to 'Denial Buddies'

(10:53pm) Sirius: We're bonded for life now. 

(10:53pm) Lily: lol

(10:54pm) Sirius: Can you like.. idk.. send me a pic or something? I just need to see that he's alright.

(10:54pm) Lily: [Photo] He's asleep

(10:54pm) Sirius: Thank you.

(10:54pm) Sirius: Just knowing you're there and having this makes me feel a lot better.

(10:55pm) Lily: Sirius.... You know about Phil?

(10:55pm) Sirius: I do. 

(10:55pm) Sirius: One doesnt often forget people who bring about feelings of murderous rage. 

(10:56pm) Lily: Just.... don't be Phil. Ok?

(10:56pm) Sirius: I would never. 

(10:57pm) Sirius: I think I love him... 

(10:57pm) Lily: Well, he's a loveable guy. Of course you do.

(10:57pm) Sirius: Yea. 

(10:57pm) Sirius: Night Lily

(10:57pm) Lily: Goodnight

*

 

Day 2 

 

It was 2am and Sirius definitely couldn't sleep, so he laid in bed next to a half sleeping James, listening to his Moonman Vibes playlist while he scrolled through all the pictures he had of Remus on his phone. 

 

The Relationship:

(2:12am) Boyfriend Remus: up?

(2:12am) Boyfriend Sirius: Remus! Yea, Im up.

(2:12am) Boyfriend Sirius: How are you feeling? 

(2:12am) Boyfriend Remus: I'm ok. Tired. 

(2:13am) Boyfriend Sirius: Lily there? 

(2:13am) Boyfriend Remus: Yea she's passed out on the couch. Didn't want to wake her.

(2:13am) Boyfriend Remus: The nurse came to check on me and now I can't get back to sleep. 

(2:14am) Boyfriend Sirius: What can I do? 

(2:14am) Boyfriend Remus: Nothing. Just wish you could be here.

(2:14am) Boyfriend Remus: Better yet, I wish I could be there. 

(2:14am) Boyfriend Sirius: They said only family right now, or I'd probably still be fighting Lily for that couch bed... 

(2:15am) Boyfriend Remus: haha yea they do that. No visitors in the ER usually. 

(2:15am) Boyfriend Sirius: Me and James found all the equipment we would need to scale the side of the building online. So it's just a matter of getting the right room window now and I'm in. 

(2:15am) Boyfriend Remus: haha! Well, I wish you the best of luck in not getting arrested. 

(2:16am) Boyfriend Sirius: Thanks but we don't need luck. This isn't our first side of a building scaling.

(2:16am) Boyfriend Remus: Really.... I'm in shock...

(2:16am) Boyfriend Sirius: Your face is deadpanned isn't it?

(2:16am) Boyfriend Remus: obviously.

(2:17am) Boyfriend Sirius: 😂🖕

(2:17am) Boyfriend Remus: We didn't do last song.

(2:17am) Boyfriend Sirius: Ok... Last song?

(2:17am) Boyfriend Remus: No that's just it.. I don't have one. 

(2:18pm) Boyfriend Sirius: *gasp

(2:18pm) Boyfriend Remus: 🖕

(2:18pm) Boyfriend Remus: Pick something for me and ill give it a listen. Something I haven't heard. 

(2:18pm) Boyfriend Remus: and upbeat. Because this place is bleak enough. 

(2:19pm) Boyfriend Sirius: Ok Ive got one. We use to dance around the common room to this one our last year. And I think you'll like the other songs by them too. 

(2:19pm) Boyfriend Sirius: Long Hair by Drowners


(2:23pm) Boyfriend Remus: This is my new favorite song. 

(2:23pm) Boyfriend Remus: Because I can totally imagine you guys acting like fools to it.

(2:24pm) Boyfriend Sirius: I've never acted a fool in my life, Remus. How dare you sir. 

(2:24pm) Boyfriend Remus: mhm lol

(2:24pm) Boyfriend Remus: I'm tired now

(2:23pm) Boyfriend Sirius: Go to sleep

(2:25pm) Boyfriend Sirius: Night, moonman

-

Sirius and Remus sent check in texts a few times during the day, but for the most part Remus slept. Lily had assured him several times that he would be the first to know if and when Remus could have visitors, but it didn't stop him from calling the hospital 4 times to check. 

Sirius, James and Regulus were eating pizza for dinner and lamenting the entire day that had gone by with basically no change in news when Sirius's phone vibrated across the table. Lunging across to grab it before it fell onto the floor, he saw it was Lily and hissed a loud "shhh" to a completely silent James and Reg as he answered. 


L- Sirius...

S- What's wrong Lily. What happened? Is h-

L- He's ok now. But he did have another minor seizure. 

Sirius could hear the strain in her voice and guessed that she was holding back tears. 

S- What?! I thought they said it would get better? 

L- He IS getting better. The doctor said his body is just really tired and there is still inflammation so there is still the risk of seizures and... and stroke....

And he could hear her crying now. It wasn't until his vision blurred completely that Sirius realized he too had tears in his eyes, and he blinked them back furiously as he cleared his throat. 

S- ...Str- did you say... stroke? 

L- The risk is low but... yea.

S- .....

L- He's actually awake and alert right now. The doctors are talking to him so I stepped out to call. 

S- Yea, thanks for the call Lil. I umm... can I do anything? 

L- I dont think there is anything to do Sirius

S- I can't just... I feel so ridiculous just sitting here while he's there. Having seizures and being all scary and too far away...

L- I know-

S- Do you? Do you really know Lily? This is fucking me up right now!

He was shouting now, and Lily didn't deserve it. But, pacing the room on the other end of the phone wasn't enough. There just had to be something... He cleared his throat and took a calming breath.

S- sorry... 

L- It's fine. But yea, I DO know. But trust me that you would feel just as useless here. I know I sure the fuck do... 

S- Do you need anything? I can bring you whatever you need.

L- No I'm good for now Sirius, thanks. [Inaudible talking in the background] Hey, I have to go. 

S- Yea, alright. Thanks Lil. 

L- Bye

S- Bye

-

Setting the phone down numbly, he gave James one desperately sad look, and then fell apart. 

Sirius struggled to breathe through his grief and fear, anchoring himself on his knees as he forced air into his lungs only to choke it back out in heaving sobs while James and Regulus patted his back unhelpfully in silence. 

It was a mess. But he was going to get it out now so that he could be strong for Remus. 

Because he was NOT like fucking Phil. 


After about 20 minutes of nothing but helpless sobbing Sirius sat up, dried his eyes, and announced that he was going to take a shower and to not hesitate to bust down the bathroom door if Lily or Remus called while he was in there. 

They didn't hear much the rest of the evening, other than a few check ins from Lily, and Regulus and James eventually went to bed. 


Remus calling.... 

S- Hello?

R- Hey....

S- Hi stranger, how are you feeling?

R- Im ok. I'm about to be dosed with sleep meds but wanted to call. 

S- I hear you had an eventful day... 

R- ugh. Of course you heard about that... I suppose Lily forgot the golden rule.

S- That snitches get stitches? 

R- that's the one

S- Yea, well... she's been keeping me informed while you rest up

R- I've been so out of it. The meds are strong and I'm just tired all the time. Am I talking in slow mo? Because it feels like I am....

S- haha no. You're talking is at a completely normal speed. 

R- hmmm. I miss you. 

S- I miss you so fucking much Remus

R- Feels like its been ages since I've seen you.

S- Yea.. I know. For me too. 

R- Did that building climbing equipment come in the mail yet? I can probably put a sticky note on my window so you know which one to aim for...

S- *sigh* Looks like it's stuck in customs. Could be a few days. 

R- Bummer. 

S- Why don't you just try and sweet talk the staff into letting you have visitors sooner? I bet you could do it. You're terribly adorable. 

R- Yes. Adorable. With my hospital gown and unwashed hair. So cute... 

S- Don't mock, Remus. I'm sure you look dashing in your hospital attire. 

R- ....Ew. I really don't. 

S- We shall see..... 

R- Hopefully I'll have time to at least bathe on my own before you're allowed a visit. 

S- I'm not fussed Remus. I just... I really really miss you. 

R- .....I'm sorry.

S- For what?

R- That I'm sick and stuck in here. That I have to have fucking Lupus and it's keeping us apart and making everything shit. 

S- Well that's just dumb Remus.... by that logic you should be equally upset that I DON'T have Lupus so that we could be there together. You can't control that you have it any more than I can control that I don't. 

R- That's... a weird way to put it... but I get what you mean. ....thanks Sirius. 

S- Plus, you'll be out before you know it!

R- ...Sometimes it takes a while. I've been stuck for over a month before. 

S- I meant more along the lines of us busting you out, but if you want to do this properly then that's fine too I suppose.... 

R- haha just waiting for customs!

S- Baahaha! Yes! Have you been listening to music? I brought up the little suitcase record player to Lily with some albums. You got them yea?

R- I have! It's been really great actually. I saw the Drowners record and put it on first. It's my favorite so far from what you brought. 

S- I knew you would like it! Success!

R- haha [background voices] 

S- Nurse coming to give you a sleepy-sleep potion? 

R- mhm. I'm tired of feeling tired...

S- Rest is good. It's healing. 

R- Yea... well, goodnight 

S- night

*

 

Day 3

 

"It's been 3 days" Sirius sighed into his cup of coffee. "I just don't understand why he can't have one more person visit him... so dumb"

"I know" Lily agreed, shaking her head. "It's a stupid fucking rule. Like... we're all basically all each others family anyway!" 

Marlene nodded her head in agreement as she took a sip of her own coffee. 

The three of them had decided to meet for lunch in the hospital cafeteria while Remus was having some scans done to monitor the inflammation on his brain. Marlene had brought Lily several clothing items, and Sirius brought a few more records for Remus. 

"Is Remus going nuts from not being able to attend classes?" Marlene asked, a small grin on her face. Sirius and Lily both laughed out loud. 

"Oh 100 percent!" Lily said. "He has already sent messages to his professors, and they have all been understanding, but he's convinced he'll fail everything if he doesn't spend his limited wake time going over the notes they have sent him." She shook her head in disbelief, "what a nerd."

"Hey!" Sirius scoffed "that's my man you're calling a nerd!"

"It's true though..." 

"Yes" Sirius deflated slightly "but say it with some respect...." 

They laughed together, and for a moment things were ok. For a moment the denial worked, and happiness was allowed to penetrate the fear. 

-

To: wolfboy_remus@email.con
From: a.sirius.star@email.com


Remus Moonman Lupin,

It's been a while since I wrote to you here, but since your sleep schedule and my client schedule seem to be at odds, I thought I would give it a shot. 

I miss you so much. Like... it physically hurts that I can't see you right now. 

But I'm so thankful for Lily. Knowing she's there and that she is letting me know how you really are makes it only just this side of bearable. 

Regulus asks about you everyday. Says he's going to bring movies up for a movie night the first chance he gets to visit. 

I told him that we didnt have building climbing equipment on order in his size and he was very distraught. It was a whole  scene. 

But really how great would it be if you looked out of your window right now and I was just hanging there chilling with James, eating a sandwich or some shit like that? 

I hope that you looked at the window when you read that. It's an instinctive thing to do I think. 

Anyway I miss you and can't wait to see and kiss your face... and other mushy Marlene and Dorcas type words... 

Yours, Sirius Padfoot Black


Remus was too tired to reply just then, but fell back asleep during his 4th read through with a large smile on his face. 

*

 

Day 4

 

To: a.sirius.star@email.com
From: wolfboy_remus@email.com

Sirius Padfoot Black,

I loved getting the email from you. It made me smile, which apparently is an oddity around here because my nurse asked me about it immediately, so I took the opportunity to talk you up to the staff. Maybe it'll translate into a visit soon. 

Of course it could just be my charm. I suppose we'll never know either way. 

I miss you too. 

I miss you just being near me, making me laugh and talking about music. I miss your hair in my face and the smell of your leather jacket. 

Fuck, I even miss the awkward tension that sometimes still creeps up between us. Literally that's how much I miss you. That I'm nostalgic for awkwardness.... 

Lily really is the absolute best, isn't she. She has been studying with me when I'm up mostly, but she keeps my dad up on my news and apparently you lot as well it seems. 

I know deep down that I probably wouldn't have been able to leave home without her there to support me in times like this. It doesn't feel great, if I'm honest. 

Well, I have blood that need taking so, I hope to talk to you soon.

Yours,
Remus Moony Lupin

 

Remus Watch: 

(6:04pm) Lily: Attention! This is not a drill! 

(6:04pm) Lily: Remus can have visitors! 

(6:04pm) James: fuck yesssss!!

(6:04pm) Marlene: When? Now?! Can we come now?

(6:04pm) Peter: ☝️👏

(6:04pm) Dorcas: I am literally crying. Like... real tears. 

(6:04pm) Sirius: I will fucking cut anyone who tries to see Remus before me. 

(6:05pm) James: Well Sirius just left so... hopefully he can have visitors now.

(6:05pm) Lily: He can see people now! They will move him rooms in the morning but yea, now is fine. 

(6:05pm) Dorcas: I kinda wana be a decent friend and give Sirius that time with him... but I also kinda wana punch Sirius in the face and have time with Remus for myself. 

(6:05pm) James: ☝️ I felt that. 

(6:05pm) Peter: The struggle is real. 

(6:05pm) Marlene: I vote for anything that gets Sirius punched in the face. 

(6:06pm) Sirius: 🖕🖕🖕 you all. 

(6:06pm) Lily: Aww leave poor Sirius alone. His man in ill. 

(6:06pm) James: Yea... he's already been punched in the feelings. 

(6:06pm) Dorcas: that's fair. 

-

Sirius prepared himself to walk into the room by taking several deep breaths, clenching and unclenching his fists in an attempt to regain feeling in his arms. 

Lily had left to go home to shower and grab some things, meaning Sirius would be facing Remus in the hospital bed alone, and while he wanted nothing more than to see him, it was scary not knowing what he was going to find on the other side of the door. 

"Remus?" He whispered into the mostly darkened room. 

"Sirius?" Remus called back confused, his voice hoarse from the dry air that was helping him to breathe properly.

"Yea, it's me." Sirius peeked around the curtain that was half pulled around Remus's bed to keep the lights out of his eyes, choking down the gasp that threatened to leave him when his eyes found Remus laying there. 

Remus looked a lot better than the picture Lily had sent him that first night, but he wasn't quite the same Remus that Sirius was laughing with 5 days ago either. His eyes were a bit sunken in and there were IVs and wires everywhere. Sirius had to remind himself that Lily had said it would look worse than it was. 

"Ugh" Remus groaned. "I must look really... please just don't look at me... I'm no-"

"Honestly Remus" Sirius cut across him in a playfully scolding voice, "you look to be in top shape to me." He plucked the sleeve of the hospital gown Remus was wearing with a grin. "I mean the fashion here is impeccable, but really... if you wanted hospital food we could have just come for a day visit."

A small smile pulled at the corners of Remus's mouth as he patted the blankets around him fondly. "I don't know" he said skeptically, going along with the bit "I've grown use to having all my meals brought to me in bed now. It'll be hard to go back to eating at a table like a commoner." 

"Plus the sponge baths" Sirius pointed out.

"Of course" Remus nodded "how ever will I get on with my life without strangers fondling my junk all in the name of hygiene..." he rolled his eyes and gestured toward the little chair next to the bed for Sirius to sit in. "So.... how are you..." he fumbled. 

"Really?" Sirius deadpanned. "How am I? That's what you want to discuss on your sickbed?"

"Just because I am now a fashion icon" -he made a sweeping gesture to himself, indicating the oversized floral hospital gown- "doesn't mean I can't be interested in the little people." 

"That's fair" Sirius laughed, leaning back in his chair and propping his feet onto the side rail of the hospital bed. "Well... I didn't text my boyfriend like it was business as usual all morning and then nearly die" he added casually, picking at his fingernails, "so all in all a fairly uneventful day" he finished, looking Remus straight in the face. 

Remus blushed slightly at the reminder, suddenly becoming very interested in the plastic hospital armband he was wearing, and Sirius regretted his comment immediately. 

"Look" he said, placing both of his hands over Remus's."We don't have to talk about it, I just want to know in the future, ok? And not from Lily." 

Remus nodded, refusing to look up from their hands. Sirius didn't move, but continued to stare at Remus, waiting.

"Not using the words... that's kinda my thing, Remus" Sirius said, smiling when Remus finally looked up. "It's my one move so you're going to have to get your own."

Remus smiled sadly and let his head plop backward onto his flat hospital pillows. "I guess you won't accept 'pretending to be fine when I'm not'?" He asked, moving over in the bed slightly as Sirius made to climb in. 

"I'm afraid not" Sirius said in mock disappointment as he pulled Remus gently into his chest "things that have the potential to be life threatening are not generally approved by the committee." 

"Hmm" Remus hummed sleepily, intertwining his IV free arm with Sirius's. "I guess I'll just have to think on it then." 

"I'm sure you'll come up with something...." Sirius muttered softly into Remus's mess of curls and electrodes just before both boys fell asleep. 

 

Chapter Text

When Lily had made it back to Remus's room, it was to find Sirius and Remus cuddling sweetly on the bed in deep sleep. 

She snapped a quick picture, both boys cringing slightly behind closed eyes at the flash, but still not waking enough to know she was there. 

Squad: 

(8:38pm) Lily: [Photo]

(8:38pm) Marlene: omg. Omg! OMG!! 

(8:38pm) James: aww 

(8:38pm) Peter: I'm just going to come out and say it...

(8:38pm) Peter: That's adorable as fuck.

(8:39pm) Dorcas: I knew I should have just punched Sirius in the face. That could be me over there getting those great Remus cuddle!

(8:39pm) Lily: Haha! Gonna make Marls jealous D!

(8:39pm) Marlene: Nah I totally get it. That looks cozy as shit. 

(8:40pm) James: right?!

(8:40pm) Peter: Think Sirius will spend the night?

(8:40pm) Lily: No. Visiting hours end at 9. He could prob stay tomorrow though when he gets moved out of the emergency unit. 

(8:41pm) Marlene: I get the feeling we won't be seeing much of Sirius for a bit then

(8:41pm) Dorcas: haha right? 

(8:41pm) Dorcas: Just when we visit Remus I bet

(8:41pm) Lily: Oh they are waking up!

(8:41pm) Lily: I think my snickering did it haha!

(8:42pm) James: Padfoot?

(8:42pm) James: Sirius.....

(8:43pm) James: Sirius Padfoot Orion Potter Black!?

(8:43pm) Peter: 😂

(8:44pm) Sirius: WHAT!? I was asleep you freak!

(8:44pm) Dorcas: Oh we know... scroll on up for the cutest pic ever. 

(8:45pm) Remus: oh no...

(8:45pm) Remus: Whyyyyyy!?

(8:45pm) Lily: He's pretending to be annoyed now. But we all know that pic is getting the save!

(8:45pm) Marlene: ☝️👏

(8:45pm) Remus: 🖕🖕

-

Since they only had 15 minutes left together, Lily decided to give Sirius and Remus that time alone, and she left with the excuse of wanting a soda from the vending machines. 

"I'll come by first thing in the morning" Sirius said, not making a move to leave the bed. "I'll cancel my clients for the day an-"

"No way!" Remus cut in, turning to give Sirius a shocked look. "You can't just pause your schedule because I'm a little sick, Sirius."

Sirius sat up a little in the bed so he could look fully at Remus. 

"First of all... a little sick?! Really? Is that what we're calling 4 days in the ER unit now?" He gave Remus a pointed look before continuing. "And second, I want to be here with you so why shouldn't I move things around. The flexibility it part of why I became a trainer in the first place." 

"Sirius..." Remus sighed deeply "you can't just upend you life everytime I'm sick." He raised his hand slightly to stop Sirius from interrupting when he looked like he was about to speak. He took a deep, ragged breath and continued. "If you're really in this thing" he gestured between the two of them "and want to stick it out, then.... hospital stays are occasionally part of that... and... well it already interrupts every part of my life and I can't handle it doing the same for other people. It's too hard. I watched my mom and dad do it my whole life and trust me, the boundries are important."

Sirius stared at Remus, trying to understand, but also really wanting to disregard it all and stay by Remus for as long as it took. 

"Lily gets to stay..." Sirius put in lamely. 

"But she still leaves to go to class, she logs on at home to teach her english lessons.... she still lives her life" Remus pointed out. "Sirius please...."

Sirius considered Remus's words for a few moments before he closed his eyes and nodded his head, as though he had just agreed to something he felt he might want to take back later. 

"One condition though" he added, snapping his eyes back open with raised brows. "I can stay the night when I don't have early clients or work at the gym." 

Remus nodded, a small smile on his face. 

"Annnnnd..." Sirius added "I can do my online course and studying here too." 

Remus rolled his eyes playfully, but nodded again just as the nurse walked in to tell them visiting hours were up. 

-

The Marauders: 

(9:14pm) Prongs: Well? How was it?

(9:14pm) Wormtail: ☝️

(9:15pm) Padfoot: It was good. 

(9:15pm) Padfoot: I promised I wouldn't cancel client appointments or stay the night when I have early stuff the next day though. Which I'm already regretting. 

(9:15pm) Prongs: I think it's probably for the best Pads. 

(9:15pm) Wormtail: Yea. Plus it gives other people a chance to have some Remus time. 

(9:15pm) Prongs: True that Wormy! 

(9:16pm) Prongs: Those Remus snuggs looked damn cozy. I can't wait to get some. 

(9:16pm) Wormtail: ☝️That.

(9:16pm) Padfoot: 🖕

(9:17pm) Prongs: Ok so how was it like.... emotionally. 

Padfoot is typing...

(9:19pm) Padfoot: It was hard. But also like... the most natural thing too. I honestly don't know how to describe it. 

(9:19pm) Wormtail: aww that's kind of adorable. 

(9:19pm) Wormtail: But also super lame. 

(9:19pm) Prongs: mostly the adorable thing though.. 

(9:20pm) Wormtail: obviously.

(9:20pm) Padfoot: I'm pretty sure I love him you guys

(9:20pm) Prongs: Wormy! Our little Padywack is all grown up and in love with a boy. 

(9:20pm) Wormtail: *tear*

(9:20pm) Wormtail: I always knew this day would come... 

(9:21pm) Prongs: ....they grow up so fast

(9:21pm) Padfoot: ugh. Honestly 🖕🖕


*


Day 5

Lily helped move Remus and his things down to the 3rd floor just before 9am the next morning, and as it was a Saturday, the small room was soon filled with visitors who were off for the weekend. They all talked animatedly, gushing about how good it was to see him, and lamenting as a whole the fact that Remus was ditching the "stylish" floral hospital gowns in favor of his own pajamas now that he was allowed. 

Regulus had made the trip up with James and Peter, surprising Remus by how happy he was to see him, before Sirius arrived after his 2 morning clients at Fit Space.

Marlene and Dorcas burst into the room just before 11, Marlene giving hugs around the room while everyone laughed when Dorcas pushed Sirius roughly from Remus's side and claimed the spot as her own, unceremoniously tossing her legs over Remus's while she flicked cassually through the hospital food menu. 

Al too had stopped in for an hour before their shift at the arcade, and by the time lunch was over, Remus was very tired. 

"Well, I can see you're nearly drifting off there Moony" James said cheerily "so I think we'll just see you a bit later on today." He gave a significant look around and everyone stood to leave, nodding and assuring him they would visit really soon. 

Sirius quickly reclaimed the space Dorcas had vacated next to Remus and together they enjoyed a short nap before Sirius's alarm went off, reminding him he had 2 more clients to see. 

"Better be off" Remus said with raised eyebrows as Sirius turned his alarm off and buried his head back into the pillow they were sharing. 

"Saw that, did you?" Sirius sighed. 

"Yes. I. Did." Remus said, punctuating each work with a poke to Sirius's side to make him get up. 

"Fine! Fine!" Sirius laughed "I'm up! Geesh... no need for abuse" he said in mock defense, rubbing his sides as though nursing a deep wound. 

"I'll be back after" he added. 

 

And he was back, just 3 hours later, with an overnight bag and his guitar, and he played Remus song after song until Lily, James, Peter, and Regulus came by a half hour later with two boxes of pizza, one pepperoni and one pineapple.

Just as Dorcas and Marlene showed up, the nurse came in with extra blankets for Sirius. 

"Oh thanks, but we already have som-" Lily started to say, having moved the extras into a drawer earlier that morning. 

"Thank you" Sirius called across the room, cutting Lily off with a significant look as the nurse, Miranda, put the linens on the tray table nearest Remus with a smile and nod. 

"You thinking what I think you're thinking?" Peter asked with an excited grin. 

"Yup" Sirius said simply, taking a large bite of his pizza. 

"What?" Remus, Lily and Dorcas asked together. 

"Pillow fort" Marlene, James, Peter and Regulus said with matching grins. 

And that's exactly what they did. 

 

When Miranda came in at 7 to give Remus his medications, she froze at the door in complete shock at the castle of white cotton linens that met her. 

"Oh hello Miranda!" Sirius said Jovially, sticking his head out through the towel flap that was the door. "Would you like to come inside?" 

"I just... I need to give Mr. Lupin  his.. his medications for the evening" she fumbled, not sure what to do, or if what she was seeing was even allowed. 

"Well He's in here!" Dorcas called from the inside. "Still in the bed and everything, the lazy bum..." she laughed. 

"I don't know if I... how do I find... Mr. Lupin?" She was flustered. 

"Marco!" Remus sang out from his spot in the dead center of the fort. 

Miranda laughed and climbed into the fort with a sing-song "Polo" of her own, eventually finding Remus and surprising herself by being able to stand fully inside the fort next to the bed. 

As she crawled back through to the door, the cheers of the others ringing behind her, she couldn't help but laugh. 

"You know this has to come down before lights out, right?" She asked, still chuckling. 

"Yes, yes" Sirius confirmed with a knowing grin, "we know the night crews are always the fun-sponges..." 

And they stayed in the fort for hours, making up a stupid little song about the adventures of Miranda the nurse (which they absolutely played for her), eating all the pizza, and debating whether pranking hospital staff was unethical, and ultimately deciding against it. 

It was a decent day, and Remus was happy. 

*

 

Day 6

When Sirius woke up he found that he was somehow back in Remus's bed, despite having initially fallen asleep on the couch, and he thought to himself that there was no better way to wake up than with Remus. 

He had a full day of clients and a 6 hour shift at Fit Space, but Dorcas had been vocal about needing some Remus time so Sirius knew he was leaving his boyfriend in good hands, despite Miranda being off for the day. 

As Dorcas burst cheerily into the room, she immediately jabbed her thumb at the door in gesture for Sirius to leave as she pulled out a few wrapped donuts from her bag. 

"What?" Sirius asked in mock offense "nothing for me?" 

"Nope" Dorcas mumbled around a huge bite as she again pointed toward the door. 

As soon as he left Dorcas set down her donut and leveled Remus with a serious look. "How are you?" 

Remus rolled his eyes "I'm fine D.... really!" 

"Mhk" she hummed "ok so, how is it having Sirius here?" She she said, returning her attention to the donut. 

"Its ok" Remus said with a shrug. But as Dorcas pierced him with another knowing stare he caved. 

"Fine.... it's a bit... weird" he confessed. "I keep expecting him to withdraw or cringe or something but he hasn't and I honestly don't know how to deal with it." 

"So you mean like... you think he's being insincere or something" she asked.

Remus shook his head with a sigh. "I don't know D. What if.... what if he is like... romanticizing this because I'm sick..." 

Dorcas snorted a laugh, but quickly swallowed her laughter when she saw the anxiety written on her friends face. 

"That's not what's happening Remus." She took their trash and tossed it across the room and into the trash bin. "I watched him in that waiting room, and we all stayed together that night you were admitted. I think he loves you Rem. Like.. for real-for real."

Remus couldn't help the slight pulling of his mouth as he tried to hide his grin behind his last bite. "Enough about me" he said with a shake of the head "what's the news on Planet Dorcas?" 

"Hmmmm" Dorcas thought, steeling a sip of the water from Remus's tray table. "Well, I asked Marlene to marry me, so that's new..." 

"Wha- You... and Marlene are- WHAT?! When the fuck did this happen?!" Remus was finding it hard to talk through the huge, unrelenting smile on his face, but Dorcas got the point because she lunged forward and trapped him in a deep hug. 

"I was a bit nervous to tell you" she laughed "you're my sensible friend so I thought you might tell me I was bonkers or something." 

"Well I mean... it's very sudden" he said with an overly dramatic look of disapproval, complete with finger point and furrowed brows. "How well do you even know this girl..." 

Dorcas laughed as she moved to sit cross legged at the end of Remus's hospital bed. "I asked her last time we visited Hope all together a few weeks back" she explained. "We didn't tell anyone because we wanted to tell our parents and deal with putting out those fires first." She chuckled lighty and added "turns out they all pretty much love the idea."

"Of course they do" Remus laughed "you are both amazing.

"It's true" Dorcas sighed as she took a travel chess set from her bag. "You ready to lose?" She asked challengingly. 


*

 


Day 7

Everyone's favorite nurse, Miranda, was back at work today after having been off the day before and so far the day was going smoothly. Remus was adjusting to having so many people visiting and caring for him, and Sirius was allowing himself to believe that things might actually turn out ok. 

The days were blending together in a haze of laughing and sleeping, but Remus was very grateful.

James, Pete and Regulus came by to have dinner with Sirius and Remus and when James finished up training for the day, and it didn't take long for the record player to be turned up to ten. 

At 7pm when Remus was due for his evening meds, Miranda walked toward the room, immediately noting the blaring music and loud voices. 

The sight was hysterical. 

Peter and Regulus were jumping up and down on the couch, James was on his knees on the tiny bedside table, aggressively shredding on the air guitar, while Sirius was marching in place at the end of Remus's bed singing at the top of his lungs into a spork

"All the boys had long hair, and all the girls had long hair, and you were missing out..." 

As the door swung fully open, everyone froze.

James wordlessly stretched his arm over to the tray table and pulled the needle off the record in silence as they all stared unashamedly at Miranda. 

But she simply gave Remus his meds, asked him if he needed anything, and then left. 

As she made her way back down the hall, the music kicked back on and she shook her head and laughed to herself over the creaking of the couch springs, the loud vocal performance, and a laughing Remus Lupin as the chaos started back up in full.


*

 


Day 8

Remus spent the next day doing follow up testing and imagining and by the time evening rolled around, was happy to have a quiet movie night with Dorcas, James, Regulus, and a reluctant Sirius. 

Too bad the others had different plans. 

Not 20 minutes into Dirty Dancing Sirius announced loudly that he could have done a better job playing Baby than Jennifer Grey, to the scoffing and boo's of the others. 

A challenge was posed, and sure enough at 7pm medication time James had Sirius up in a full lift while Regulus and Remus were counting the seconds that they could hold it. 

She patiently waited until they were done, gave the meds, asked if Remus needed anything, and left the room, barely catching it as James cheered "ok, lift me next!" as she made her way toward the nurses station, shaking her head in amusement. 


*

 


Day 9

Wednesday was a big one for Remus, despite having been left alone with his studies most of the day while everyone worked or saw clients. 

Sirius and Lily had practically fought over who would  spend the night and after a lengthy debate, in which Remus flatly refused to get involved, Sirius won out. 

It was technically against the rules for other people to sleep in the hospital bed with patients, but Sirius had never been a fan of following rules. So, when the night nurse, Dale, came to do the rounds Sirius waited until they left to crawl under the covers with Remus. 

They did a great deal of kissing, but it never got further than that. 

"I can't wait until you get to go home" Sirius breathed heavily, cheeks flushed slightly from the intimacy. 

"Hmmm" Remus sighed. "Why's that?" 

"Well Remus" Sirius said "there are things I'd like to do with you... in private..." 

"Oh yea?" Remus choked in surprise. 

"Yup" Sirius nodded confidently, taking his place snuggled up next to Remus on the pillow. "But this..." he waved his hand to indicate the hospital room "this here is the public.... and I'm not up for being kicked out of a hospital just yet." He finished with a laugh. 

They chatted for a while, Sirius joking about how he had walked in on James and Lily twice so far while Remus made wrenching noises, groaning "no no that's my sister. Ugh. I don't want to know..." 

As they were drifting off to asleep, Sirius wrapped an arm around Remus and, burying his face into Remus chest, said clearly "I love you, Moony." 

Remus's breath caught and he thought briefly that Sirius could probably feel his heart begin to pound as he replied. "I love you too, Padfoot." 

It was a good day. 


*

Day 10

TLCITBMFC:

(10:07am) Marlene: Lunch with Remus. Who's in? 

(10:07am) Peter: Fuck. Yes. 

(10:07am) Sirius: ME! 

(10:07am) Al: 🖐

(10:08am) Al: Sirius aren't you already there?

(10:08am) Sirius: Yup! 

(10:08am) Marlene: My condolences, Remus. 

(10:08am) Peter: ☝️😂

(10:09am) Al: 😂😂

(10:09am) Remus: The struggle is real

(10:09am) Sirius: Fuck you guys..

(10:09am) Peter: Nah

(10:10am) Al: Pass

(10:10am) Marlene: soft pass babe

(10:11am) Remus: ..... see you lot at 11 

-

Remus groaned in ecstacy as he took the first bite of the delicious fried tacos Pete had brought for lunch. 

"What?!" He asked when he noticed everyone staring at him with matching grins. "You would be happy too if you had been drinking nasty health shakes for 10 straight days. This grease soaked deliciousness is exactly what I needed today." He gave an appreciative nod to Pete, who threw up a half salute in reply.

"That's fair" Marlene laughed, and the others chuckled and nodded their agreement as everyones favorite nurse, Miranda, came in to give Remus his lunch medication. 

"Super Nurse is here" Pete announced cheerily as everyone began to clap, and she rolled her eyes. 

"I think they kinda like you" Remus smiled, taking the meds. "Makes sense really because not many people can tolerate them for this long." He leaned in to whisper, just loud enough for them to hear, "you're a stronger person than me..." 

Peter and Al scoffed at this while Sirius placed his hand over his heart with a dramatic gasp, and Marlene threw the last remnants of her taco at Remus, who just laughed. 

"The doctor is thinking you might get to break free of this place tomorrow" she replied through her own laughter, giving Remus a consoling pat on the back. "So you may get some respite soon." 

"You love us really" Sirius smiled, unwrapping a second taco. 

"We did provide you with a free concert that one time, afterall" Peter pointed out.

"And have you ever seen such a magnificent blanket fort in your life?" Marlene asked with a grin. 

"No..." Miranda laughed "I can't say I have." 

"Don't forget about my lift" Sirius put in " that was dirty dancing magic right there!" 

"I can say with certainty that I have never been so entertained during a patients stay" she smiled as she tossed her stethoscope around her neck. "But I hope I never see you back here again." She gave Remus a significant look as she left the room, still chuckling lightly. 

"Are you so excited to leave?!" Al asked, bringing the focus back to their lunch conversation. 

"Of course he is!" Sirius cut in, giving Remus a friendly slap on the shoulder. "He'll finally be able to attend his beloved classes again" he added with a smirk as Remus flipped him the bird. 

"Is Lily staying tonight?" Pete asked "you have work tomorrow don't you Sirius?"

Sirius leveled Peter with a glare at the reminder as Remus nodded, his mouth too full to speak. 

"Well I've got nothing tomorrow" Marlene said "I helped drag your ass here in the first place, so I might as well round it out and help you carry some of your shit out when you leave." She laughed. 

"Most of this looks like Sirius's" Pete said, looking around as if her were only just noticing. "Did you fucking move in Pads?" He laughed. 

"I'll take some of this back with me tonight if you want" Sirius said, giving Peter a wordless middle finger, but otherwise refusing to acknowledge him. 

"Nah it's ok" Remus laughed. "I like it being here. Plus she said I might leave... which means I might not..." 

"Well I'm going to come up anyway" Marlene said as she gathered her trash up. "I haven't seen your face nearly enough these last days." 

"Well" Remus laughed "I will definitely owe you for helping so much Marls. You can put me to work at the wedding. I humbly offer my services as wedding bitch" he laughed.

"What wedding?" Al asked around their last bite. 

"Yea..." Sirius said pointedly, staring at Marlene. "What wedding?" 

"Oh shit" Remus said, panicking slightly. "Marls I'm so sorry!" 

"It's alright Remus" she laughed. "Yea. Me and D are getting married" she added with a shrug. 

"What?!" Sirius, Al and Pete shouted together. 

"At the end of February- on the day we met-" she was counting things on her fingers as she listed the details off one at a time, answering the questions before anyone got a chance to ask. "We decided during our last group visit to see Hope, and yes, both our families know. And we didn't tell you because we wanted to get it out to our parents first... but then Remus tried to die on us so..." she walked across the room to put her trash away, very aware that everyone was staring. 

"Wow." Sirius deadpanned as he turned to Pete. "Hey Wormy, can you remove this knife from my back? Its starting to itch."

"Sure thing man" Peter said casually, pretending the pull a knife out of Sirius back. "You think you can get mine?" He added, turning slightly in his seat so his back faced Sirius. 

"Of course" Sirius said airily, miming the knife removal. "It's what a REAL friend does." He looked pointedly at Marlene. 

"Hey I get it" Al shrugged, standing to give Marlene a deep hug. "Parents can be the worst about this stuff. Best to put that potential fire out first." She mumbled into Marlene's hair. 

"Right?" Marlene grinned, taking her seat again at the end of Remus's bed. "I knew you guys would love me- and Dorcas- no matter what" she said. "Even if you thought the idea was bad or something..." she gazed pleadingly at Sirius. 

"Ok, first of all" Sirius said moving to stand "fuck anyone who thinks this is a bad idea. You two are perfect." He grabbed his fountain drink and raised it in the air with a huge grin. "To Marlene and Dorcas" he called out.

"To Marlene and Dorcas!" Everyone cheered, raising their drinks high. 

"What's the second thing" Al asked. When Sirius gave them a confused look, they added "you said firstly..." 

"Oh, yes" Sirius said, sitting back on the bed next to Remus and propping his feet up next to Marlene. "I'm best man, right?" 

She laughed as everyone looked at her curiously, but just waved a hand dismissively and said "we haven't made any decisions yet." But as everyone went back to their food she caught Sirius's eye and nodded her head with a look that clearly said 'of course'. 


When Lily came by that evening with James the four of them sat around for hours chatting about nothing while Lily tried in vain to teach Sirius how to braid his own hair, and James and Remus debated the best hospital based movies. 

"You two better head out" Remus said, checking the time on his phone. "James, you have training tomorrow..." he added with a sad smile. 

"Right" James said cheerily, standing and gathering his things. "And you need rest too Moony my man, because the next time I see you better be outside of this prison" he laughed, gesturing around the room. 

Remus gave him a salute from his bed, and nodded with mock seriousness as he said "Sir yes sir!", and James nodded back in approval. 


Remus talked Lily into studying with him for an hour before them both curled up and prepared for sleep. 

"We probably should have packed up a bit tonight" Lily sighed, trying and failing to find a comfortable spot on the couch bed. "We will have a lot to do in the morning."

"I might not get to leave" Remus mumbled.

"You will Remus." She stated simply, despite her own doubting mind. 

Remus had thought too many times in the past that things were working out, only to be proved wrong, for either of them to get their hopes too high. 

"Lily..." Remus whispered into the dark. 

"Mhm?" 

"Can you sleep up here?" 

She wordlessly moved her pillow next to Remus's, and there they slept, hoping against hope that this time things would go according to plan. 

*

 

Day 11


"Wake up, Mr. Lupin" Miranda sang out cheerfully, throwing open the curtain with flare. "We have a lot of paperwork to do before you discharge" she looked around the room and let out a small laugh "and you still have to pack up." 

It took about an hour to meet with the doctor, get the medications he would need, and fill out the papers to leave, but Remus was just happy to be getting back to his life. 

As promised, Marlene came to help pack everything up, despite Remus insisting he could manage. 

"It's just packing Remus" she chortled. "Not like I'm going to actually carry your ass back up to the apartment." 

"Well that's a let down" Remus said in mock disappointment. "I was counting on a piggy back ride to the car at least." 

She flipped him off with an eye roll as Lily hit him in the face with a pillow, getting a laugh and a thumbs up from Marlene. 


The Relationship:

(10:19am) Boyfriend Remus: Packing up to leave now!

(10:19am) Boyfriend Sirius: Yay!

(10:19am) Boyfriend Sirius: Kinda sad I didn't get to use that building scaling equipment afterall though. 

(10:20am) Boyfriend Remus: James will be disappointed. 

(10:20am) Boyfriend Sirius: Im sure we'll find a use for it 

(10:21am) Boyfriend Remus: I have no doubt 😂

-

Squad:

(10:33am) Remus: FREEDOM!

(10:33am) Peter: yassss! 

(10:33am) Marlene: We broke him out! 

(10:33am) Lily: We are such good friends... 

(10:33am) Marlene: ☝️ Its true.

(10:34am) Sirius: You are the ones who brought him there in the first place!

(10:34am) Remus: .... he's got a point. 

(10:34am) Lily: 🖕

(10:35am) Marlene: ☝️ What she said!

(10:35am) Remus: And no piggy back ride... 

(10:35am) Sirius: What?! No piggy back ride?! 

(10:35am) Peter: Wow. That's harsh. 

(10:36am) Sirius: You need better friends Remus. These current ones don't care about you at all. 

(10:36am) Peter: Id have given you a piggy back ride!

(10:36am) Remus: You two are the real MVPs 

(10:37am) Lily: *gasp* 

(10:37am) Marlene: ☝️ What she said

(10:37am) Peter: Can we come by tonight? Get you settled in with some takeaway Italian food? 

(10:38am) Remus: YES! 

(10:38am) Lily: Ok we forgive Pete. 

(10:38am) Marlene: But Sirius is still dead to me. 

(10:38am) Lily: ☝️what she said!

(10:39am) Sirius: you two's friendship scares me.

(10:39am) Peter: ugh same.

(10:39am) Remus: .... Me too

(10:40am) Marlene: I can see that.

(10:40am) Lily: yea, that's fair.

 


(5:07pm) James: FUCK YEAAAAA! 

(5:07pm) Dorcas: On our way mother fuckers!