Chapter 1: Return To Hogwarts
Remus watched as the hands on the clock ticked forward slowly, he hated waiting.
Just as luck would have it, the full moon fell the day before school started again for the oncoming year. Dumbledore had invited Remus to come back to school a few days earlier for his transformation, so at least he would have Madam Pomfrey to patch him up and depending he wouldn't miss out on the welcoming feast. He always appreciated the headmasters kindness towards him and his condition. Now, he was stuck, waiting for his friends to arrive and maybe make him feel just a little less miserable. He sat up in his bed, listening as the doors to the infirmary opened, "Is he still here, Miss?"
"The bed at the end, and be gentle with him, boys!" He heard Madam Pomfrey warn.
"We will!" He heard a familiar voice chirp back.
Remus couldn't contain the smile on his face as his friends peaked out from on of the curtains, all of them grinning ear to ear. James rushed forward, pulling Remus into a hug that was a bit too tight but he didn't want to spoil the mood. He glanced over James shoulder at Peter who waved at him, his eyes too busy scanning the selection of treats he had brought with him. James pulled away from the hug and stepped aside, allowing Remus to see Sirius. He was stood smiling that notorious Sirius Black smile. He reached forward and hugged Remus, thankfully with less force than James.
"Don't tell me you're studying already, Moony!" James exclaimed, pointing to the potions book beside Remus's bed. Remus pulled away from Sirius, gazing over at James, "Missed you too, Prongs."
James smiled, jumping onto the foot of his bed, robbing a sweet out of Peter's hand, "Of course I missed you, we all did!"
Peter scowled at James before humming in agreement.
"Sorry for not visiting." Remus sighed, scratching the back of his neck.
"No need. Always next summer!" James smiled.
"How is your mum doing?" Sirius asked. A bitter silence filled the room. Everyone knew Remus mother was sick, she had been for a while now. They didn't know much about it other than it was some muggle illness and the treatment for it left Moony's mother weak and frail. They never pressed their friend more on the matter but from the letters they had received during the break, they knew it was bad.
Remus nodded his head, "She's doing better, said to say she missed you lot, and said to tell your Mum thanks for the pie, James."
"I'll be sure to tell Mum."
Remus lowered his head a little, gazing down at his fingers. Sirius sat beside him and nudged him a little, gaining the other boys attention. Remus gave him a weak smile, nudging him back a little. Remus eyes glanced at the clock on the wall and he furrowed his brow and looked back over at James and Peter, "The train isn't meant to be here for another two hours, how are-"
"Mrs McGonagall let us floo in."
"Well, we pestered her for about two weeks and we didn't really leave her much of a choice."
"Thought she was going to hex us."
"If it was up to us we would have been here yesterday but she wouldn't allow it." Sirius grumbled.
Remus laughed, before furrowing his brow a little, "So you're telling me, we have the whole castle to ourselves?"
"For a few hours, yes." Sirius hummed from beside him. Remus threw his legs out the side of the bed and stood up, "Careful Moony, Pomfrey will kill us if you hurt yourself."
"You send like your Mum, Prongs." Remus teased, stretching out his back a little before turning back to his friends, "Since I have a whole summer of mischief to catch up on, I think now is a good a start as any!"
Sirius pointed a finger at Remus, jumping off the bed, "That's our Moony!"
The group of boys laughed as they stumbled back into their dorm room after the feast, James falling on the floor in stitches. Remus sat down beside him, his back resting against the trunk of his bed as he held his stomach. It felt good to laugh, especially when it was with the people you cared most about. Sirius stumbled down beside Remus, his head resting on the other boys shoulder as he wheezed for air. Remus patted his back, "Can't have you dying the first day back, Pads."
Sirius eventually took in a deep breath and then exhaled, chuckling a little more before turning to Peter and James who were recovering on the floor, gazing up at the ceiling, "You're a dangerous mind, Pete!"
Remus hummed in agreement, James propped himself up on his elbows, "Did you see their faces? Merlin, we're going to be in so much trouble tomorrow."
"That was amazing!" Remus proclaimed. Sirius nudged Remus gently, "You should have seen some of the stuff we did during the summer, I thought James' Mum was going to strangle us."
"She nearly did."
"Wish I could have been there." Remus responded quietly.
"Believe me, they were nothing compared to what we have planned for this year!"
"Why did you say it in that tone you perv." James groaned.
Sirius chuckled to himself gazing up at Remus, "So tell us, Moony dearest, what did you spend your summer doing."
Remus shrugged his shoulders, "Homework, reading, nothing exciting."
"Surely you did something."
"I think I went on a walk one day, saw a dog."
"A dog?" James scoffed.
"A cute dog."
"Bet it wasn't as cute as me." Sirius beamed. Remus rolled his eyes back and pushed Sirius away halfheartedly, "Anything is cuter than you and your fleas."
"I do not have fleas!" Sirius exclaimed. Remus chuckled and shrugged his shoulders, "Sorry to disappoint lads. I had no epic tails of finding a lost treasure or exploring caves. I sat in bed, reading books, sometimes saw cute dogs."
"That's fine, because I have plenty." James replied, Sirius groaned and threw his head back.
Remus sat and listened contently as James filled him in on his summer holidays. His early vacation to Paris with his parents and then the mischief he, Peter and Sirius got up during the summer. Peter then chiming in, telling them about his trip to Scotland and filling in a few things James had missed in his first telling. Remus smiled and turned to Sirius, "How about you?"
Sirius shrugged his shoulders and didn't reply. James cleared his throat, "Sirius is living with me now, Moony."
Remus bit the inside of his cheek, gazing up at Sirius. He had remembered just before they left for holidays Sirius had received a lot of letters from his mother. He had said how she was extremely displeased with his behaviour and how she kept saying his was a disgrace to the Black family, a traitor to their blood. Sirius, being Sirius just seemed to take it in his stride. Remus knew how much it hurt him though, knowing his family were more concerned with their reputation rather than their son. Remus recalled once they both couldn't sleep late one night last year and they hid up to the astronomy tower till morning.
"She sent another letter yesterday." Sirius sighed, gazing out across the Hogwarts grounds.
"Want to talk about it?" Remus asked.
"It was the same shit as always." He grumbled, looking at Remus. It was still dark but Remus could see the glint in his eyes, "I need to reconsider my life choices and my company. How my poor father would be disappointed in me, and yada yada ya. Just being her."
"I think shes just worried about you." Remus responded, picking at the skin on his thumb.
Sirius scoffed, "This is my mother. I don't think she's capable of feeling anything."
"She just wants what she thinks is best for you. Mind you, that might not be right, but I think her heart is in the right place." Remus muttered in response. He could imagine how worried she was when she found out that her eldest son had befriended a werewolf. Not only that, but a mudblood one at that. Quite a combo to befriend. Sirius laughed and shook his head, "I don't know how you do it."
"Find reason to everything." Remus chuckled and nudged Sirius with his foot, "One of us has to use their brain from time-to-time."
"She doesn't deserve it."
"Maybe not, but there's reasons behind every action. No one just does things for the sake of doing them, Pads."
"Can you stop being all logical and stuff, I'm trying to be moody." He smirked.
Remus tutted and shook his head, "Sorry mate, can't allow that unfortunately."
The two sat in silence for a few moments, gazing at the grounds while Sirius hummed a song. This was Remus's favourite time of day. It was still dark but you could see the sky brightening just over the tree line, casting long dark shadows everywhere. It was quiet. The birds had yet to wake up and the night creatures had mostly returned to their homes. It was calm. And in a world that was becoming increasing chaotic and fearful, the peace was a blessing.
"Thanks, for listening."
"So, Moony, who are you going to ask to the Yule Ball?" James asked, breaking the silence between that had fallen across the room and brought Remus back to the conversation.
Remus shrugged his shoulders, "Don't even know if I'm going."
"Of course you're going."
"Dances ain't my thing." Remus replied.
"It's not all dancing, and besides it's our only chance to go!" Sirius added.
"Hypothetically, if I did go, I don't think anyone would want to be my date."
"I disagree!" Sirius responded, straightening up and glaring at Remus with a scowl on face, "You could ask any girl in this school or maybe the others, and they would say yes!"
"As flattering as that is, I have to disagree."
"Well, we'll find you a girl then, won't we lads?" James stated triumphantly.
Peter and Sirius hummed in agreement, Remus just let out a small chuckle, "I think you have enough on your hands with Lily, Prongs."
"Ouch, Remus. Low blow."
Chapter 2: Library Whispers
Remus lowered his book as someone slammed their hand down on the desk beside him and slowly glanced up and saw none other than Severus Snape with bright pink hair, with matching green eyebrows. Remus could practically see the steam coming out his ears and nose as they made eye contact. Remus wasn't sure how he managed to keep a straight face as he raised a brow and closed his book over before turning to face the other boy, "How can I help you, Severus?"
"How can you help?" He scoffed.
Snape growled and pushed Remus, causing him to fall back off his chair. Remus winced as he hit the ground, quickly shuffling back onto his feet, wiping himself down. He tutted and gazed at Snape who was moving closer to him, his face a deep shade of red. He pointed his finger, poking at Remus's chest, "I know you and your little band of misfits had something to with this!" he hissed.
Remus chuckled and pushed Snape's finger down, shaking his head gently, "Actually, I didn't. Jumping to conclusions as always, Severus."
"Don't be smart with me." He hissed, pulling his finger away and poking Remus in the chest again. He tried his best not to react, but his ribs were still sensitive from the moon and a boney finger digging in between them was not helping with the pain. Remus didn't push back instead just shrugged his shoulders, "I don't see the problem being honest, the colour suits you. Makes you seem less brooding and gloomy. I’d almost believe you were a human being!"
Snape growled and pushed Remus again, causing him to stumbled back into the wall. Snape grabbed Remus's jumper amd held him against it firmly. Remus didn't flinch as the other boy inched closer to his face with his own, his eyes staring straight at Remus. Remus could feel his heart beating rapidly in his chest. Snape had filled out quiet a bit during the holidays, but was still a fair bit smaller than Remus (as was everyone at this point). It didn't help that Remus was all legs and had no weight on his body as Snape leaned more of his weight onto Remus. Snape tightened his grip on Remus's jumper and leaned in close to his ear, "Consider this you're warning Lupin. I'm not going to play along with you and your friends' petty games this year-"
Remus fell down a little on the wall as Snape's weight was pulled off him. He gently rubbed his chest and watched as Sirius pushed the other boy away from him, out of the little nook Remus had been in before. Remus reached forward and pulled back Sirius before he did something that would get him in more trouble than he already seemed to be, "Watch it Snivellus." He growled, pushing away Remus's hand and shoving Snape again, causing the other boy to stumbled back a little.
"I got this, Remus."
Snape huffed, wiping where Sirius hands had been. A smirk formed on the edge of his lips, "So nice to see you defending your friend Sirius, though I don't think your mother would be so pleased."
Remus inserted himself between the two boys quickly, eying Sirius's clenched fists before focusing his attention back on Snape, "Piss off, Severus. You made your point."
Snape looked the two boys up and down before scoffing and walking off, a few nosy students watching as he left. Remus turned to Sirius and sighed patting his friend on the arm gently, the other boy still watching Snape walk off, "He's gone Pads, he’s gone."
"What happened?" Sirius demanded more than asked and a little louder than Remus would have liked. He shushed the boy, placing a finger over his mouth and gently pulled him back into the little nook he had been studying in. Sirius was still looking up at him, waiting for an answer, "Well?"
"Can we talk about this later? I have class now and you..." He sighed, "...you need to calm down."
Sirius went to open his mouth to speak before he was cut off, "You can rant about how much you hate him later... I'll see you soon." Remus responded, patting Sirius on the back and grabbing his books. He gave the other boy one last look before he walked out of the room, all too aware of all the eyes watching him.
In hindsight, Remus should have anticipated this better. He had just gotten out of his class and was dropping his books in the common room when he was stopped by Sirius and practically dragged up into their room. Remus really hoped he hadn’t sat up here the whole time waiting for him to come back, but knowing Sirius, it was likely. Remus groaned as Sirius closed the door behind them, spinning on his heel to face him, "Do we have to do this now? I'm starvin'"
"Why did you let Snivellus do that to you? You could have easily taken him!" Sirius responded, completely brushing off Remus. Remus sat back on his bed and watched as Sirius walked in front of him. He just shrugged in response. He knew he was more than capable of fighting back, especially when it came to Snape, he just didn't see the need. He knew Snape wasn't going to do anything bad to him. Not in the library where it could easily get back to the headmaster, he was too smart to do that, "Not every argument needs to end in a brawl Sirius."
"He had you pinned against a wall Remus! And you just let him!"
"I mean, who knows, maybe I’m into that kinda thing..."
"Stop trying to brush this off like always."
"I can handle myself, Sirius." Remus replied, reaching over and pulling a book of his bed stand.
"Can you now?" Sirius chuckled, a smug smile on his face, "because you were doing a fine job of that before I showed up."
"If you must know, he was there because of the prank you and James no doubt pulled on him and he thought I had something to do with it."
"But you didn't!"
"I'm well aware I had no part to play in it Sirius." Remus replied, rolling his eyes back a little.
Sirius shook his head, taking the book out of Remus's hand and threw it across the room.
"I was reading that-"
"I don't get why your so calm about this!"
"Because, there's no point getting worked up about it now. It's over. Done. Part of the past. Nothing we can do to change it." He replied.
"If he did that to any of the rest of us you would be storming through the castle."
Remus didn't answer, rather just gazed down at his hands. Sirius was right. If Snape even dared do what he had done to Remus on any of his friends, he would probably end up in Azkaban for murder. He would do it in a heartbeat for his friends. They didn't deserve to experience anything like that, they were good people.
"You know I'm right!" Sirius stated.
"It wasn't you, Pete or James, was it? No point dwelling on the what ifs." Remus muttered calmly.
"You still shouldn't have let him just push you around like that."
Remus took in a deep breath, "Look, Pads, I appreciate your help, really I do, but I'm a big boy and I can take care of myself."
The last thing Remus wanted was to be arguing with Sirius, especially over something as insignificant as their dear friend Snape. He patted Sirius on the arm only to have his hand brushed off and Sirius march towards the door.
The door slammed and Remus groaned. He threw his head back against the wall, wincing as it hit off concrete. Not the brightest thing to do. The first week of school was nothing sort of a disaster. Now Sirius was going to ignore him for god knows how long. Not only that, he was already being watched by Severus and he hadn't even been the one who did the prank.
Remus wasn't sure how long he had been sprawled across his bed, trying to work out how to solve his new predicaments when James walked in. Remus sat up and greeted him with a smile, but he could see he wanted to say something. James was by no means a secretive person. He always wore his heart on his sleeve and it was easy to tell when he wanted to say something. There was no doubt in Remus's mind that Sirius had told him about what had happened in the library, since he was gripping onto the bottom of his jumper so tight Remus could see his knuckles whitening.
"Spoken to Sirius I assume?"
"Yeah, well, more him shouting about how much of a dickhead Snivellus is..." Remus chuckled lightly, gazing down at his shoes. James scratched the back off his neck, "He was just looking out for you."
"I know he was."
There was a brief silence, "Why didn't you fight back."
"I just didn't, alright?" Remus replied, raising his voice a little louder than either boy expected.
Remus felt a little guilty to how he had reacted to Sirius, he was just trying to be a good friend, "Do you know where Sirius is?"
James shook his head, "Ran off after dinner. Lily came up and was lecturing us about our '"inappropriate behavior" and he just scoffed and left. God knows where he's gone."
Remus lowered his head a little, earning him a playful punch on the arm, "Come on, don't want two mopey friends now. He'll be back soon enough, why don't you come downstairs and play a few games with me and Pete?"
Chapter 3: Do A Thing
Sirius was by all standards, a bit of a drama queen.
Remus didn’t necessarily consider that a bad thing however. He always admired his enthusiasm for little things like sneaking out of their dorms for a late night walk or how he wouldn’t rant and rave with James about quidditch. But there was always a down side. Even though he could have glorious highs, he’s lows were just as bad. It was not uncommon for Sirius to sulk off in a corner when he was annoyed or in a mood, sometimes he would just disappear for a few hours, but he always turned up later with that Sirius Black grin and a plan for some mischief. And that’s why Remus was worried. It was later that night, everyone else in their dorm had gone to bed and Sirius still hadn’t returned.
Remus couldn’t stop his mind racing with the list of possible things that could have happened to him to stop him coming back, each one worst than the last.
Maybe McGonagall had caught him, or Filch. Maybe he got caught out of bed by one of the prefects. Maybe he was caught by one of the Slytherin prefects! Merlin, maybe he was caught by Snape...
Deep down, Remus knew Sirius was fine. He had the map and while it was still a bit rough around the edges it worked fine. Even without the map, Sirius could charm his way out of anything. He was just that type of person. The type that could fall into the lion pit at the zoo and walked out unscathed, flashing that adored Sirius Black smile.
By the time the morning sun was breaking through his curtains, his mind had just about raced through every terrible scenario and he had deduced that Padfoot was fine. He knew for a fact he was fine because when he walked down to the great hall early for breakfast, he was sat there stuffing his face. He must of heard the loud sigh that escaped Remus's lips because he turned around and smiled brightly, food on his chin. Remus smiled back and sat down beside him, robbing a slice of toast of his plate, "Oi!"
"You snooze, you lose." Remus replied.
There was an awkward tension between them. Remus was suddenly very aware of how close he was to Sirius, and how much he needed to say but his mind wouldn't let the words escape his mouth. He wasn't sure how to phrase it even though he had run through the emotions a thousand times during the night. The whole bravo speech had been preparing was now ejected out of his brain and he was sat like an idiot, staring at his friend. His mind was fumbling trying to form a coherent sentence but luckily, Sirius beat him too it.
"I'm sorry about yesterday."
"It's fine Sirius-"
"No, no, Moony, shush. I'm trying to do a thing."
"Are you now?"
"Stop being a snark and let me apologize."
Remus chuckled and looked away from Sirius briefly before looking back. He had never noticed how blue his eyes were. They reminded him of cold winter mornings, but they were comfortingly soft. Then again, he hadn't really taken the time out in the past five years to admire them. His bright eyes starkly contrasted with his long black eye lashes and the small dark circles under his eyes, no doubt from his recent lack of sleep and late night adventures around the school grounds.
"I know it was none of my business butting in yesterday, and I'm sorry. I'm sorry for yelling at you as well. Also sorry for running out of the room like a prat." Remus nodded at Sirius, giving him a gentle smile.
"I'm sorry for what Snape said to you."
"Quiet, my turn to do the thing."
Sirius just laughed, his eyes sparkling at little as they crinkled at the edges. Remus liked when Sirius smiled. It never felt forced or fabricated. It was just a welcoming smile, warm and friendly.
"He was a prick."
"That he was."
"A greasy prick."
"And I know I know you meant well, and I do appreciate you helping me. Really."
Sirius looked up and raised a brow before gently placing a hand on Remus's shoulder, "I'll always have you back, and you'll always have mine."
Before he came to Hogwarts he didn't really have many friends. In school, he was always the quiet kid who would miss days all year because he was "sick". He was always left out of the group games or never invited to birthday parties, because no one wanted the weird kid to ruin their fun. On the off-chance he was invited to a party or maybe even a sleepover, it seemed to always be near a full moon and he had to try come up with an excuse to why he couldn't go. Nearly like the universe enjoyed torturing him. It made appreciate what he found here in the school that bit more. Real friends who cared for him and that he cared for also. He patted Sirius on the back and smiled.
Chapter 4: Midnight Mischief
"Sirius how many times do I have to say no?"
"No, no, no, no, no, no-"
"Stop being a stuck-up and come on. It's one night."
"Put on a extra pair of socks then!"
"We also have potions in the morning."
"You might want to fail but I don't."
"You're top of the class!"
"Actually, Lily is."
"Still! You're weeks ahead of work. Just one night Moony, please."
"Do you know the meaning of no?"
"Please! Prongs and Wormtail won't come and I really need to walk, I've been up here all day." He sighed, sprawling his body across Remus's lap. Remus rolled his eyes back and shoved him away playfully.
"Merlin, you are a dog."
Remus scowled as Sirius jokingly punched him on the arm. He rubbed the spot gently, glaring back at Sirius who was giving him puppy dog eyes.
"I'll buy you some of the muggle chocolate you like. With the purple wrapper."
Remus titled his head to the side, "Are you trying to bribe me?"
"Depends, is it working?"
Sirius jumped up off the couch and punched the air above him. He had spent the last hour trying to convince Remus to sneak out and explore the castle, saying they needed to fill out the map more. Really, he hadn't caused any mischief in days and needed to feel like he was rebelling against the authority of every adult in his life by sneaking out of his dorm to roam a dusty castle. His usual partner in crime, James, was busy studying for their potions class, hoping to woo his beloved Lily Evans with his brain and Peter always did whatever James did, so it meant Moony was the unfortunate victim to Sirius's plea's.
"If we get caught Sirius-"
"We won't. Now come on, there's a whole corridor on the third floor we haven't checked!"
Remus sighed and practically rolled off the couch and onto the floor. It was nearly Halloween, and everywhere in the castle was suddenly very cold. He would much rather stay in front of the fire for another few hours and flick through one of the books his Dad had given him but instead he was about to tiptoe around a castle, a cold castle at that, slowly freezing to death.
Sirius threw Prongs' invisibility cloak over them and they began their adventure.
"Have you gotten taller, Moony?"
"Maybe you've just gotten shorter."
Sirius scoffed, nudging Remus in the ribs. It was dark but Remus could picture the smirk plastered on Sirius's face. Sirius was right though, Remus had grown quiet a bit during the break. He was taller than Prongs now who use to tower over him in first year. As the reached the third floor corridor, Remus heard ruffling followed by a very proud "Ah ha!"
"Give us a bit of light, Moony."
Underneath the cloak lit up revealing Sirius staring at the map, "Alright long legs, this way."
Remus took in a deep breath and followed suit, holding the cloak over them with one hand and his wand with the other, while Sirius began to write notes on the map, mumbling under his breath. Remus noticed two pair of footprints coming around the corner towards them on the map. He put out his wand and pushed Sirius against a wall, "Oi-"
He put his hand over his mouth and shushed the older boy, his eyes watching as two Ravenclaws in the year above them walked past, their fingers intertwined. Remus watched for a few moments longer, his eyes lingering on the boy, watching as he brushed his hair out of his face. He was a chaser for the Ravenclaw quidditch team. Something Caster, was his name. He was a bit of a heartthrob from what Remus had heard and he could see why. Short fair hair and his smile shun brightly, even with the dim wand light.
Remus groaned, pulling his hand away from Sirius's mouth, "Ew, did you seriously lick my hand?"
"You're welcome." He chirped, “also, we have the cloak, stupid. They can’t see us.”
“I was just making sure.” Remus grumbled, scrunching his nose and wiping his hand across the other boys shirt, pushing himself away from him. His eyes glancing back to where the boy was a few moments ago.
"Beautiful isn't she?"
Remus snapped out of his trail of thought, gazing at Sirius for a moment before nodding his head, he had barely noticed the girl, "Yeah, a stunner."
"Jess Amana. Final year Ravenclaw. Her boyfriend is Leo Caster, bad reputation."
"Bit of a arrogant git from what I've heard, also a dirty quidditch player." He grumbled, Remus didn't reply.
"Let's finish this corridor and then head back, my toes are getting cold." Sirius muttered, pushing himself off the wall. Remus tutted, following behind him. His head muddled with far too many thoughts to process, let alone focus on just one. He deduced he just needed a goodnight sleep.
"Told you it was cold." Remus remarked, gazing over at a scowling Sirius, but he could see him struggling to keep the smile forming on the edge of his lips.
"Shut up, Moony."
Chapter 5: Quidditch
Remus shuffled down the stand steps, scooting past a group of first years to reach his friends. He tried his best not to wince as sudden bursts of pain shot up his back and legs as he moved about, trying to make sure they didn't get too close to him. It was the morning after the full moon, but it was also the start of the new quidditch season and Moony could never say no to a game of quidditch. He smiled as Lily and Peter looked up at him, their reactions not as joyful.
"What are you doing up?" Lily muttered into his ear, linking her arm with his and guiding him in between her and Peter. Remus shrugged, sitting down slowly, "First quidditch game of the year, where are Prongs and Padfoot?"
"They went to go get something to eat, they should be back at any moment but that's not important Remus, you need rest." She replied firmly. Remus just sighed and looked at her. Lily was a kindhearted girl, the exact type of person you want to be around. Always offering kind words of encouragement, there if you ever need someone to confide in, it was obvious why James was head over heels for her. Why most boys in their year were. She was also one of the few people who knew about Remus and his condition. Remus had told her last year during a drunken rant about how werewolves are seriously misrepresented in the wizarding world. She was concern at first but soon took it in her stride, just like she always did.
The three of them glanced over to the stairs where Sirius and James were scooting over, Sirius's brows furrowed as he approached Remus, "Why are you here?"
"Nice to see you as well, Sirius." He smiled, watching as the other boy sit down beside him, making sure he didn't hurt Remus. He looked Remus up and down, his head shaking a little.
"You know what I mean, you need to sleep mate. Prongs tell him."
"You need to sleep mate."
"I appreciate your concern but I'm fine, really." Remus assured, reaching out and patting Sirius's leg. The other boy scowled, "How did you even get out?"
"The door you twat."
"Ha ha ha, transformed into a comedian I see. There's no way Madam Pomfrey let you out."
"That would be correct, but I'm alright. Just a few aches and pains."
"She's going to kill you."
"That's the opposite of her job, Sirius."
"Quit being logical, it's infuriating."
Remus chuckled and diverted his attention back to the game. The next few minutes were sat in a comfortable silence, everyone getting into the game between Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. Remus's eyes locked on a familiar fair haired boy. Leo. He watched as he dove in and out between Hufflepuffs, swiftly and elegantly, hitting the ball into the right hoop. He high-fived one of his teammates, his hair looking soft as a gentle breeze blew through it.
"You alright?" Sirius whispered into his ear. Remus nodded his head, his body tensing a little.
"You cold?" Remus shook his head but his body betrayed him by shivering. He was colder than he cared to be. He hadn't had the chance to grab a sweater from the dorm room before he came to the game, meaning he was stuck in his school shirt and tie. Sirius tutted and took off his scarf, wrapping it gently around Remus. He looked at Sirius and smiled weakly, "How about you, are you not cold?"
"You need it more than me, and besides. If I am, I can just rob Prongs!"
"Nothing darling." Sirius chirped, causing James to scowl at him. Remus chuckled, burning his face into the scarf a little. It smelled like Sirius's cologne and dog. Remus smiled to himself as he cover his mouth with the scarf, turning his attention back to the game and a very particular Ravenclaw. He watched as he moved across the field with ease, no hesitation in any of his moves.
It reminded Remus of when Sirius played quidditch.
"How come you don't play anymore?"
"Just stopped, and the new team captain is a bit of a prat." He smirked, causing James to punch him in the arm. He laughed and turned back to Remus, his hair flopping to the side a little, rogue strands covering part of his face, "Why do you ask?"
"Just was wondering, you were good at it." He muttered, turning away from Sirius.
Later that evening, after the game, Remus was laying in bed when Sirius climbed in beside him, "You okay?"
Remus nodded his head, scooting over to give the other boy more room, "How was last night?"
"It was better than the last." Remus muttered. The last full moon had been his worst in a long time.
Normally, he would be in the shrieking shack and had the ability to move around a little. It was eased a bit more when his friends started joining him in their animagus's last year. It was still horrible and he dreaded it every month. Even when it was over his first thought was the next moon? When did it fall? What was he going to miss? What was his new excuse going to be? It was tiring. Since the summer, however, they got a lot more destructive. He was confined to the basement of his parents house which was suited to a young pup, but Remus was sixteen now and taller than most people in the school. That, combined with the stress of what was happening at home and worrying about everything else, he supposed the wolf just took its frustrations out on itself. How it use to before he arrived at Hogwarts. Before he had friends to spend the night with.
Remus remembered the first morning after his friends had worked out his little secret. It was in second year, Sirius had confronted him the day before he went to the shack and they had a huge argument about him coming.
”I’m coming whether you like it or not, Remus!”
”I’m telling you, that you are not. Do you realise how stupid you are, trying to go into a confined space with a werewolf?”
”Lads, calm down-“
”Shut up James.” Both Sirius and Remus said in unison before turning back to one another.
Sirius was being beyond stupid, Remus thought. He had explained at least five times now why he couldn’t come to the shack with him tonight, or any night for that matter. Remus had no control over what the wolf did. It was completely separate to him. A beast inside him.
“Sirius, you’re not going.” Remus muttered, gazing down at his hands, his thumb tracing over one of the scars on his palm.
”No. I’m not some thing to be watched and made fun of. Do you know what will happen if the wolf catches even a whiff of your scent? He will shred you to pieces. You will be buried in a pile of scraps. This isn’t some grand adventure, Black.” Remus snapped, pushing Sirius back, causing him to fall onto Peter’s bed. “You’re not to go near the shack. I will petrify you, all of you if needs be, understood?”
They all stayed silent, no one sure how to react. Remus’s heart was beating out of his chest and his brain was a blur of thoughts and worries.
”Is there nothing we can do to help?” Sirius mumbled after a while, his head hanging low causing his hair to cover his face.
”No, just promise me you’ll stay away. I don’t it hurting you.”
When Remus woke up the next morning, he was expecting his friends to be there as always but instead he was alone in the infirmary, shivering and his joints aching. He tried to brush it off that they had class (even though he knew it was a free period) or they were catching up on homework. As they day progressed, Madam Pomfrey gave him the all clear to go to his dorm, provided he rested and did nothing strenuous for the rest of the day. Remus thanked her and shuffled back into a empty dorm.
This was the one thing he had feared if people found out. He would be alone.
He didn’t blame people for not wanting to be around a werewolf. After all, most information about them just spoke of them murdering children and destroying villages. Ministry propaganda. He had hoped, his friends would be different. He hoped that they would see past it and realise he was just like them.
He was wrong.
He collapsed on his bed and buried his face in his pillow, trying to contain all his emotions. He wanted to cry. He wanted to scream. He wanted to absolutely trash their room but he couldn’t do anything. He was numb.
Remus rolled onto his side and saw Sirius peaking his head through his curtains, wide eyed and a look of concern plastered on his face.
”We got you some chocolate.” He mumbled, pulling back the curtain, showing James and Peter standing awkwardly, Peter holding the chocolate bar out. Remus sat up a little, a smile forming on the edge of his lips.
”Tha-Thanks.” He stuttered, as Peter handed him the bar.
“Are you okay?” James asked quietly. Remus nodded his head, “Yeah, just tired.”
James filled with his shirt sleeve, “Me and Peter got your work of the professors-“
”Did it hurt?” Sirius asked, earning him a slap on the back of the head from Peter. Clearly he had been told not to ask anything, and in typical Sirius fashion, he ignored. Remus nodded his head, “it always hurts.”
Remus began to pick at the skin on his thumb. It was weird talking about his condition with other people that weren’t his parents or the doctor that came around sometime. He was waiting for them to say something, about how he was a freak. A beast. How he didn’t belong in a school.
“We’re gonna head down for dinner, want us to bring you anything back?” Peter asked, Remus shook his head, “Eh, no. No thanks, not really hungry.”
Peter and James walked towards the door, Sirius stayed seated at the end of his bed, “You coming Sirius?”
”Nah, gonna stay here with Remus.” James opened his mouth to say something and then stopped, before turning away.
“You can go get dinner, I’ll be fine by myself.” Remus muttered, biting down on the inside of his cheeks. The bitter taste of iron filling his mouth.
“Maybe, but you don’t have to do it by yourself. Not anymore.”
Remus smiled weakly at the older boy.
”You guys don’t hate me, right?”
Sirius looked up, his eyes scanning Remus’s face and a small frown on his lips. He shook his head and scooted closer down the bed to Remus, “No. No! You’re our friend, and nothing will change that.”
Remus rubbed his eyes, his vision becoming a little blurred. He laughed, “I-Thanks Sirius.”
Sirius smiled back, reaching over and pulling his friend into a hug.
Sirius lowered his head, "Sorry we didn't stick about this morning. Pomfrey came earlier than we expected, nearly didn't get out of the shack."
"No need, I guessed as much myself."
”You missed one of the Slytherin prat’s blowing up the potions lab.”
Remus chuckled, “Who was it?”
”Lucius Malfoy. It was brilliant.”
The sat in silence for a few moments before Remus reached to the side of his bed and grabbed Sirius's scarf, handing it back to him, "Thanks for this."
Sirius smiled, "Anything for you, Moony."
Chapter 6: Spooky Scary Sirius
"Wake up you lumps!"
"Fuck off Prongs." Remus heard Sirius moan from his bed. Remus sighed and turned over onto his other side and buried his face in his duvets. He nearly growled when James was over a few moments later, tugging the sheets off him, exposing him to the cold winter air. He weakly reached out, attempting to punch James (and missed by a mile). James chuckled, spinning back around to go annoy Sirius.
Remus gave himself a few moments to wake up properly before swinging his legs over the side of the bed, watching as James jumped on Sirius's bed, the other boy completely unphased as his body moved up and down. Remus glanced over at Peter who was sat at the foot of his own bed, laughing to himself. Remus rubbed his eyes, "May I ask why you woke us up?"
"Halloween party tonight, we need to set everything up!"
"Ah, fantastic." Remus responded, the sarcasm dripping off his tongue.
Remus didn't like Halloween.
For obvious reasons.
It made Remus's stomach knot watching kids run around, wearing muggle werewolf masks and jokingly howling at the moon. In school, how the topic of werewolves would come up every year without fail. Do they deserve to marry? Should they have kids? Ignorant stuff being spouted from young minds as a result of years of propaganda and misinformation. Full moon's around this time of year always seemed to be worse. Remus was always fearful of students trying to enter the shack when the wolf took over. Innocent students just looking for a Halloween adventure and instead attacked by a beast Remus had no control over. It was not pleasant to put it mildly.
Remus looked over to see Sirius sat up, glaring at Prongs who was sat happily at the end of his bed with Peter. His hair was sticking up in all directions and his eyes still half-closed.
"Why are we up so early?"
"Don't you listen to a thing I say?"
James muttered something under his breath that sounded a lot like 'arsehole' before he cleared his throat, "Halloween party."
Sirius sat up straight, his eyes opening wide accompanied by a mischievous grin on his face, "Did she get it?"
James nodded his head, "Got everything off her this morning, it's all in my trunk under the cloak, just in case."
"What did you get and why do I have a feeling it isn't something wholesome?" Remus sighed, climbing out of his own bed and onto Sirius's, sitting on the edge, not wanting to take up too much space. Sirius chuckled before wrapping his arm around Remus and pulling him in closer, "My dear friend, if you we're unaware I am seventeen soon."
"I am indeed very aware, you won't shut up about it."
"Harsh enough. But any who, me and Prongs-"
"Prongs and I." Remus corrected.
"You sound like a Professor." Sirius grumbled, gently nudging Remus, "Now, before I was rudely interrupted. Prongs and I, convinced one of the seventh years to buy us some drink."
Remus smiled and pulled himself away from Sirius, "How did you-"
"I can be very persuasive."
"He said he'd do her transformation homework till the end of term." James replied, a smug smile on his face, "he had offered her something else-"
"Both of you shush before you taint poor Pete, he's the only pure on left out of the lot of us." Remus chuckled, pointing over at Peter who was wide-eyed. James wrapped his arms around him and pulled him into a warm embrace, "Anyway, we still need to get a few things in Hogsmead for tonight, so, up for a little trip?"
"Always!" Remus chirped.
This trip to Hogsmead just seemed that much better then all the rest. Everyone around them seemed happier. Remus knew deep down that it was just because it was in fact Halloween but he liked to think that they were all excited for Sirius's birthday as well. Seventeen seemed such a grand age to turn. Like you were at the peak of your teen years but you could enjoy life a little longer without having to worry about adulthood. It seemed carefree and on a rational level, Remus knew that wasn't true but he liked to think it was. He didn’t want to turn into these shadows of men you seem roaming muggle and wizard streets alike. He wanted to be happier.
Exactly how Sirius was right now.
Sirius was practically glowing as he walked into the Three Broomsticks. He radiated a new sense of confidence that Remus didn't think was possible. He walked with his head a bit higher and his chest puffed out a little more. It was kind of entertaining to see but Remus wasn't going to be the one to spoil his fun. The Marauders sat at their usual table, James volunteering to get the first round, (only because Lily Evans happened to be at the bar).
"You look happy.” Remus smiled, looking up at Sirius. He flashed a cheeky grin, resting his chin in his hands, "I feel amazing."
Remus couldn't stop the smile growing on his face. It was nice seeing his friends happy, seeing Sirius happy. A lot had happened the past few years, a lot of things that gave him a reason not to be but he was glad to still see his friend smile proudly, as if nothing could phase him. James then arrived, juggling three butterbeers, Lily behind him carrying one.
She smiled and placed one in front of Sirius before gently kissing his cheek, "Happy birthday!"
Sirius rubbed his cheek before gazing up at Prongs whose mouth was wide open, his eyes following Lily as she walked out of the Inn. Remus bit down on his bottom lip to stop himself laughing.
"You're a bastard, Sirius."
"I'm sorry, but it is not like I asked her."
"What do you want me to do, ask for a refund or an exchange on the kiss?"
"I hate you."
"No you don't."
"I despise you."
"How does it feel knowing your girl kissed me before you." Sirius smirked, making kissy faces at James, earning him a slap across the head. The table sat in silence, unsure of how to react before Sirius and James both burst out in laughter, Peter and Remus following suit.
Remus was the last to buy rounds, he fished for change in his pocket as he walked up to the bar, leaning against it. He gazed over and saw a familiar fair-haired Ravenclaw, nursing a drink by himself, just beside him. Remus scooted over and sighed, waving down the bartender.
"Can I get you another drink?" Remus asked, not looking at the boy but feeling his gaze fall upon him, "Huh?"
Remus turned to Leo and smiled, "Another drink? Since it's the holidays and all."
The other boy laughed and nodded his head, taking the last few sips of his drink and pushing it away, "If you insist."
Remus ordered five more butterbeers, giving the barman the last of his allowance and then sliding one to the other boy, and offering his hand, "I'm Remus."
"Leo." He smiled. He had such a nice smile.
"Need a hand, Moony?" Remus turned around and saw Sirius behind him, his eyes scanning Leo. Remus stalled for a moment before nodding his head, "Eh, yeah, sure."
He handed Sirius two mugs, his eyes not moving off Leo as he walked away back to their table. Remus turned to Leo who was chuckling to himself, "I won't keep you from your friends any longer, thanks for the drink. I owe you." He smiled, giving Remus a wink before taking a sip.
Remus muttered numerous goodbyes as he grabbed the two other drinks and dashed back to the table, his cheeks very warm. He looked up and saw Sirius scowling at him, "What?"
"Nothing." He muttered, looking away and taking a sip from his drink.
Remus shrugged his off and glanced back over his shoulder at Leo, who was now laughing with another student before he turned back to his friends. A bright grin on his face, unaware of Sirius still looking at him.
"Sirius, why is James talking to Marlene McKinnon?"
"Can't he just have a friendly conversation with someone?"
"No, not when he keeps pointing over at us."
"You're being dramatic, now shut up and come get another drink with me." Sirius instructed, chugging the last bit of his drink before grabbing Remus by the wrist and taking him to the far side of the Gryffindor common room.
Remus was bordering tipsy and drunk at this stage in the night. Sirius and James had not disappointed when they said they had gotten a seventh year to get them drink, they had gotten a lot of drink. Now, Gryffindors from fifth year up where scattered across the common room, all dancing and singing. It was nice, pleasant even. Remus groaned as Sirius shoved another drink in his hand, a bright smile on his face, "So what did you get me for my birthday?"
"You'll find out Wednesday."
"As in, four days from now?"
"That's how time works, Padfoot."
"That's forever away."
"Quit being a drama queen." Remus replied.
"This is blasphemy." Sirius slurred.
Remus chuckled, nudging the other boy, "I promise, it's worth the wait."
Remus just shook his head and took a took a drink, looking up and seeing James walk towards him, Marlene McKinnon beside him. He looked over at Sirius who just had a smug smile on his face.
"Moony, you know Marlene right?" James asked, a innocent smile on his face.
"We all were in a group for potions last year you twat."
"Have mercy Moony."
They all stood in a awkward silence for a few moments, before Sirius nudged Remus, nodding his head towards her. Remus sighed and smiled at Marlene, "Can you excuse us for a moment?"
Marlene just nodded her head and smiled back. Remus grabbed James and Sirius by the wrists, dragging them to the stairs and pushing them onto the steps, "Seriously? You're trying to set me up with someone?"
"No harm, no foul!"
"Marlene McKinnon, you thought it would be a good idea to set me up with her?"
"She's a pretty girl!" James defend, Sirius humming in agreement.
"She also has a boyfriend!"
"They broke-up!" Sirius finished, smiling at Remus.
Remus pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed, "Look lads, I appreciate the attempt but no."
"Come on, Moony!" James exclaimed, "You both need dates for the ball."
"What I need is for you both to mind your own business." He mumbled, turning back around and looking at Marlene who was now talking to Dorcas Meadows.
Sirius let out a small laugh, "I think we annoyed Moony, Prongs."
"Piss off." He grumbled.
"Don't be like that Remus, we were only trying to help." James explained, reaching out towards Remus. Remus sighed and pushed his hand away, "I don't need your help."
"I'm going to bed."
Chapter 7: Happy Birthday Pads
Remus was angry.
He was mad at himself and his brain for having all these thoughts that it shouldn't be having. He was mad at his friends for trying to set him up with Marlene, even though he knows their hearts where in the right place. He was mad at his transfiguration teacher for giving 10 inches due for a Monday morning and he was mad because he left his jumper in his room and it was cold up in the astronomy tower.
His head hurt. He hated not knowing the answer to things, especially when they had to do with himself. He liked knowing what to expect. Remus knew the world was not always black and white but at least there was always some answer or theory as to why things happened. There was no answer for this, not one that he could read about anyway. Another way of the universe taunting him, he thought.
He knew boys weren't meant to like other boys. Not the way they were meant to like girls anyway. He had had it set in his head for so long that he was going to find a pretty girl and settle down maybe adopt a few kids. He would never have any of his own. He couldn't handle the thought of passing his condition onto a innocent child not deserving of it. Not that anyone deserved it mind you. But all his plans for what he wanted or expected were completely thrown out the window by a very pretty Ravenclaw lad and his brain was going into overdrive.
He was scared. He knew what muggles did to men who liked men. Laugh at them, beat them, some even kill them. The wizarding world had always boosted how it prided itself on equality for all wizards regardless of who they loved but Remus heard the whispering and the rumours that went around the school. He read stories of wizards and witches alike being outcasted from their homes and work for the simple crime of loving someone. The idea of this happening to Remus made his stomach turn. He already had limited job prospects due to his condition, imagine what would happen if they found out he was gay, or whatever he was.
That was another problem. He didn't know what he was. He had found girls pretty before, but more so boys. Or had he? Was he making things up in his mind to make himself feel better?
He was questioning everything now. Was this why he was so mad when the guys tried to set him up with Marlene and the countless other girls in the last few years? Whenever he and the guys watched muggle movies, they would be focused on the girls and Remus was too intrigued by the dashing male leads? He threw his head back, hitting it off one of the arches, had he been that obvious?
He gazed up and admired as the bright winter sky began to fade into a vibrant orange and purple, the cold air brushing the back of his neck keeping his awake. He sighed, he was tired. Very tired. He really wanted to just curl up in bed with a book and slowly doze off but he couldn't. He had too many questions left unanswered, not to mentioned he hadn't spoken to his friends since Saturday night. Remus had been hiding out between the library and the astronomy tower the past three days, avoiding his friends the best he could.
Every time he walked into class, Sirius would have a seat saved for him, but he just walked past and sat in the front or as far away from his friends as he could get. Merlin, he was a horrible person.
He grunted as he pushed himself onto his feet, juggling all his stuff in his arms. He was going to have to face the boys sooner or later and he decided sooner was best. He missed his friends.
He opened their dorm room and they were all crowded onto Peter's bed, all head's turning suddenly as he stepped in. Remus felt a lump form in his throat. Maybe it could wait till tomorrow. He looked away and shuffled over to his bed, pulling the curtains and falling back on his bed. He might be one of the most cowardly Gryffindors in the history of Gryffindors. He laid in bed, gazing up at the ceiling and listening as his friends laughed and joked among each other. It was best if he left it till tomorrow. He didn't want to be the boring buzzkill he always seemed to be.
After a few hours he listened as they all scuffled into bed, all but one of course.
Sirius poked his head through the curtain and smiled, hoping into the bed beside Remus. Remus looked up and sighed, "Yes?"
"It's practically Wednesday, can I have my present?" Typical Sirius Black.
Remus couldn't stop the smile forming on his lips. He laughed to himself as he reached out the curtain under his bed and pulling up a old box, "Here, happy birthday Padfoot." Handing the box to Sirius.
Sirius grinned, taking the box from Remus and opening it, his smile dropping off his face. Remus sat up, suddenly feeling very anxious, "Sorry, if you don't like it. I-I wasn't sure what to get you this year and I had heard you singing it in the shower-"
Remus was cut off by Sirius tackling him into a hug, squeezing him tightly, "You're truly amazing, Moony."
Remus laughed and patted him back gently, watching as he pulled away and took out a new record, his eyes glowing. He had been singing songs of the new Bowie album since he came back to Hogwarts that year. James had said they had listened to the singer non-stop on the radio and how Sirius had really taken a liking to him. Sirius smile faded a little as he looked back up at Remus, "Are you okay, Moony?"
Remus nodded his head, "Sorry for being a prat."
"We're not mad at you, just worried."
"Nothing to be worried about Pads, honest."
"We're Marauders you know, you can tell us anything."
"Hi Sirius, I'm Remus."
"Merlin, that was awful."
"I know." Remus smiled.
Chapter 8: Just A Moment
"You okay Moony?"
Remus glanced up from his letter, all three of his closest friends staring at him. He didn't know the answer to that question. He furrowed his brows and gazed back down at the letter, rereading it in case he had misread something, or maybe scanned over a sentence.
It was great to get your letter last week, we were worried something
had happened. It is great to hear your school work is going well and
you are keeping up your grades. Your mother and I both hope you're
taking proper care of yourself. We had a owl from the headmaster
saying you left the infirmary without clearance. Please only make it a
a one time thing son.
I wish I didn't have to say this next part on parchment, but you deserve
to know what is happening. Your mother's had a hospital visit
yesterday and they have decided to keep her in for a few nights. The
muggle doctors assured me that she is fine, they just want to keep a
close eye on her. Hence, why I am writing and not her this time.
She said to tell you that she is fine and not to worry.
I will send an owl as soon as I get any updates.
See you soon, Remus.
Love Mum and Dad.
He lowered the letter again and pushed it towards his friends. He was scared if he tried to speak he would break down in tears. It was only a cough in the beginning, his Mum told him it would go away in no time. And then, it was only a small fall, she was 'clumsy' anyway. Then, it was only a few tests, nothing to worry about, they had told him. After that, it was just some medicine to help fight it, she'd be fit as a fiddle in no time. Now, it was just a few nights in a hospital.
"I'm so sorry mate." James muttered, pushing the parchment back towards Remus. He shrugged, taking it and putting it in his shirt pocket, "It just a few nights." He replied, his voice hoarse.
He rubbed his nose and stood up, pushing his plate of food towards his friends, "You guys can finish it, I'm going to go to the library."
"I'm fine lads, just, leave it. Okay?" Remus sighed, looking back at his friends. They all nodded their head and Remus smiled weakly, waving them goodbye.
It was unfair his mother had to deal with this. It was unfair that this happened to her. She was kind, caring, always knew what to say when he was sad or just needed to hear some reassuring words. She could always tell if something was off, motherly intuition she had called it. His Dad was rarely home so she was left to care for him alone, even after he was bitten. She was always the first face he would see in the morning after the transformation, there to patch him up and remind him that he is still Remus. Nothing could change that.
Remus shuffled into his own nook in the library. It wasn't really but it is where he always came whenever he just wanted to sit and read, when he needed to break away from everyone else. It was in the far corner where very few students ever went and right now he was extremely grateful for that. He slumped down on the chair and buried his face in his hands, taking deep breaths.
He wished he could just make it all go away for her. All the pain and suffering. Just make her better, like how she use to be. It was soul crushing watching his bright mother, who danced around the kitchen go to a frail shadow of a person, barely able to stand without her stick. She didn't deserve it. He had spent hours upon hours arguing with his father to try and fix her but he had been told time and time again he couldn't. He knew it was hard on his Dad as well, watching his true love slowly wither away, unable to stop it.
Remus looked up and saw Sirius sitting down in the seat beside him, concern plastered on his face. Remus wiped his eyes, turning his head away. He hated crying in front of people. It made him feel weak. Sirius scooted his chair closer before wrapping his arms around Remus, pulling him into a hug. Remus tensed at first before slowly leaning into his body, burying his face in his neck. Sirius rubbed one hand up and down his back while the other twirled around strands of his hair. Remus closed his eyes and let a few tears stream. He knew crying wouldn't fix anything, but it felt nice being able to let out some emotion.
"Do you want to talk about it?" Sirius mumbled, Remus shook his had, not lifting it off Sirius's shoulder.
"That's fine, I'm always here if you ever need to." He replied, "I'll always be here."
It was awkward up in their dorm room later that evening. Remus was sat on his truck, zoned out as his friends played a game of cards among each other. He could feel them occasionally looking up at him, he wished he knew what they were thinking. They probably pitied him, after all, James's and Peter's parents were always there for them. Never away working for weeks on end or constantly moving between hospitals for blood tests.
"Want to join the next game, Moony?" Sirius asked, earning Remus's attention. He shook his head, "No, no. I-I'm gonna go on a walk, clear my head before bed."
"I'll come with you." Sirius stated, standing up, James pulling down on his sleeve.
"It's fine, Sirius. I'll be back in a few minutes, Pete make sure they don't blow up the room."
"Peter is the one you need to watch out for." James joked. Remus smiled and muttered his friends a few goodbyes before shuffling out of the dorm.
He probably should have brought the cloak with him, would have made him feel a lot better walking around the halls. The last thing he needed was detention from a prefect for being out of bed after hours. The again, it would be the perfect way to end a shitty day. He shoved his hands deep in his pockets and walked close to the wall, humming quietly to himself as he watched on foot go in front of the other.
He crept down the stairs quietly stopping as he watched someone move out into the courtyard. He moved slowly, making sure to stay in the shadows as he watched the figure sit down at a window, their head tilted up at the sky.
"I can see you." They called out. Remus gripped his wand as he stepped out of the shadows, moving towards the figure, "How?"
"Saw you come down the stairs." Remus bit the inside of his check when he realized it was Leo. He put his wand back in his pocket and furrowed his brow, "How did you know I wasn't a prefect?"
"You were walking in the dark." He smiled as Remus sat across from him.
"What has you creeping around the castle." He asked, his eyes gazing back up at the sky.
"Needed to clear my head."
They sat in silence for a few moments, Remus unsure where to look. He felt nervous suddenly, like he had little bugs creeping up and down his back.
"Life is shit huh?" Leo smiled, breaking the silence between them.
"Yeah." He muttered back, unable to stop the smile pulling at his lips.
"You have nice eyes." Leo muttered, sitting up a little straighter.
Remus chuckled and shook his head.
"No, really you do." He assured, him, scooting in a little closer.
Remus could feel the heat radiating off the other boys body and he sat right in front of him. His eyes gazing down at Remus's lips.
"Ever kissed another boy?" Remus shook his head, tensing a little as the other boy placed his hand over his.
"Do you want to?"
Remus thought for a moment before slowly nodding his head.
He watched as Leo tilted his head to the side, his eyes scanning over Remus's face. He froze as Leo leaned in and kissed him gently on the lips. He pulled away momentarily before pushing back in, their mouths colliding together. Leo cupped Remus's face as he kissed him again, before gently pulling away. He smiled, brushing a strand of hair out of his face. Remus could feel his cheeks burning, had that really just happened?
Leo pulled away his hands and gave Remus another smile, "I'm sure I'll be seeing you around."
Remus nodding his head unable to get the words out of his mouth. He watched as the other boy strolled back into the main building, leaving him alone in the cold, confused and excited. He traced his thumb across his lip where the other boys had just been.
"Fuck." He muttered to himself.
Chapter 9: Browsing Books
Remus could barely contain the smile on his face as Leo sat down beside him at the library, flashing him a cheeky grin, "Evening, Remus."
"Evening Leo." He mumbled back, pretending he was reading the book in front of him.
Since the kiss a week ago, Remus had been seeing Leo everywhere. In the Great Hall, in the quidditch stands and even a few times outside his classrooms. Now in the library, in his corner where no one would ever come looking for him, here he was. Smiling as he leaned across the table, trying to read the book Remus had out in front of him. He sighed as he sat back down, dramatically throwing his head back, "I dunno how you do it!"
"Some Ravenclaw you are." Remus chuckled, earning him a kick on the shin from Leo who was scowling.
"How did you even find me?" Remus asked, closing over his book and folding his arms.
"I asked your friend Lily."
"Yeah, she said knowing you, you probably had your nose stuck in a book. So I thought library."
"They do say Ravenclaws are wise." Remus responded, leaning back in his chair.
"They also say we're great kissers." Remus had to stop himself rolling his eyes back and instead chuckled. It all seemed so surreal how quick everything had been happening. He would be lying to himself if he said he wasn't worried about how quick it had all been happened, but he just pushed those thoughts aside. He was happy. Whenever he smiled it felt genuine, not something he had to force so his friends wouldn't worry. It was a nice feeling.
"I say you're the exception, solid five out of ten." He smirked, putting his chair back on all four legs and lifting the books of the table. Leo opened his mouth in shock and followed Remus as he stood up and went to put away the books, "Five!"
"At a push, six."
"You're a bastard, Remus Lupin." He mumbled, gazing around them before placing a hand on Remus's hip, "You seemed to think I was great last night."
Remus turned so he was facing him, his own eyes meeting Leo's. He never understood how people could write pages and pages on how much beauty eyes held. They were beautiful, no doubt about it, but even they could mislead. Remus scooted closer to him, tilting his chin up a little so his lips were closer to his. Leo pushed forward, his lips gently pressing into Remus's. Remus pulled away, his thumb rubbing against Leo's chin.
"See you again tonight?"
"Hey, Moony? You here?"
Remus pushed himself away from Leo and brushed his hair out of his face, watching as Peter appeared from around the corner, a bright smile on his face, "There you are!"
"Here I am, Pete. What's up?" He smiled back, watching as Peter looked at Leo before turning back to Remus, "Lily said to come get you, something about transfiguration."
Remus muttered a string of curses under his breath, shuffling over and grabbing his book bag from the desk. He had meant to help Lily study for her exam tomorrow, it had completely slipped his mind. He looked at Leo, who was still standing awkwardly, he gave him a gentle smile before patting him on the arm, "See ya mate."
"Yeah, see you around Lupin."
Remus guided Peter away from there, all to aware of how fast his heart was racing at that moment.
"Who was that?" Peter asked as they walked out of the library, "Leo Caster."
"Isn't he a seventh year?"
"He was helping me with some stuff for Dark Arts." Remus lied.
He hated lying to his friends, especially about something like this. He didn't exactly know where he and Leo where at this moment and time in the relationship, if you would even call it that. He couldn't exactly go skipping to his friends and tell them something like that. If it had been a girl, maybe. But he didn't know how they would react. Remus knew that deep down they would take it in their stride like they always did, but he was scared to lose them. He didn't want to imagine losing his friends over something that might not amount to anything.
"Holy shit, you won't believe what happened?"
"What?" Remus said stopping in his tracks, "Don't tell me Prongs and Black blew up the dorm room again?"
"No, no." Peter laughed, "Lily said yes, finally."
"I can't believe it!" James practically squealed up in their dorm as he walked back and forth across the room.
"Either can I." Sirius grumbled, "Thought Evans had better taste than that.
James kicked Sirius in the shin. Sirius scowled while gently rubbing his shin and glancing over at Remus.
"What do you think about all this, Moony?"
"Happy for you James," He mumbled, glancing down at his book but his mind was wondering else where. Sirius scoffed and threw himself across Peter, "You're the only one left that I can trust Wormtail."
"I can't believe she said yes;" James mumbled to himself, falling back on his bed and gazing up at the ceiling.
Remus chuckled, "So, what made her change her mind this time?"
"You don't know?"
"Nope, she just said yes."
Remus knew though. Not that he was going to tell James that.
Remus and Lily had been sat at the back of the potions class last week, working together on a new brew for their practical. Remus had been rambling about the essay they had due in a few days time when Lily looked up at him with her lips curling at the edges.
"I like him?"
"The professor? I mean, he's alright-"
Lily slapped his arm, "No him!"
Remus furrowed his eyebrows a little before it dawn on him. She liked Prongs. She liked the boy she had been denying for nearly five years now. Since second year, it had nearly been a tradition for Lily to tell him no to going out. A smile crept on his face and he bit down hard on his bottom lip, turning back to the potion and stirring it slowly, "What caused the change in heart? Thought you were gonna shoot him down till the end of time."
Lily shrugged her shoulders, "I don't know, I just saw him a few days ago. Smiling at some dumb joke he made and it kinda just hit me. Sounds awfully sappy, I know."
"Not at all, kinda sweet." Remus hummed.
"Thought you would slag me." She confused.
Remus shook his head, "No, no. My two closest friends are happy. That's all that matters."
Lily nudged his arm gently, "Look at you being the sap now."
"Have you told him yet?"
"No, gonna wait till he asks me to Hogsmead, say yes and see how he reacts."
"I can practically hear him squealing." Remus muttered, chuckling to himself at the thought of his friend finally being told yes.
He and the others had spent years listening to his elaborate plans to 'woo' Lily Evans and make her fall in love with him. James had spent hours going on about the way she smiled, how she spoke, the way her eyes would shine when she spoke about something she liked. Remus had noticed these things himself, but he never had a crush on Lily. It was painfully sweet.
"What will you do now, Prongs? No more elaborate plans to plan." Remus muttered.
"Just means more time for pranks." James smirked.
Sirius shot up off Peter's lap and smiled that Sirius Black smile, "'Atta boy James!"
Remus rolled his eyes back and let out a long groan, "Should have known."
Sirius laughed and scooted over to Remus, wrapping a arm around him and pulling him in close, "You love us really."
Remus rubbed his hands together, trying to warm them up. Curse Potter for dragging them out in this weather to watch him play quidditch and quote, 'check his form'. Remus had zoned out, his mind preoccupied with getting back in front of the fire and finishing the book Leo had given him. Beside him, Peter and Sirius were talking about the Yule Ball, which was just over two weeks away. Sirius had gotten himself a date, not that he had any trouble. Of course, he had asked none other than Jess Amana.
"She said she's wearing blue, suppose I'll have to match, huh?"
"That is the point of her telling you." Peter teased.
"You should see her Wormtail. She's stunning, ain't that right Moony?"
Remus turned to him, pausing momentarily before nodding his head, "Yeah, amazing."
"Wonder if I can get her back to the common room after."
"Merlin help her," Peter muttered, leaning back into his seat.
"Piss off Pete1r, not my fault you don't have a date yet," Sirius grumbled, nuzzling his head into his scarf and watching as James flew across the quidditch pitch.
"I do actually!"
Remus's eyes widened and she turned to Peter, "Who?"
"Dorcas Meadowes!" He beamed.
Remus looked over at Sirius who had a bright smile on his face. He wrapped an arm around Peter, pulling him into a headlock, "Why didn't you tell us, you sly bastard?"
"I only asked her this morning at breakfast." He mumbled, focusing on trying to worm his way out of Sirius's iron grip. They struggled for a few moments before Sirius letting go, patting Peter on the back one last time. He turned to Remus and tutted, "Now we just have to find you a date, Moony."
"No you don't," Remus mumbled, turning back to the training practice.
"Come on, we have to find you, someone."
"I'm more than happy to go by myself."
"Nope, not happening. Isn't that right Wormtail?" Sirius stated, nudging Peter for support. He just nodded his head, clearly uncomfortable with the situation.
"I don't see how it concerns you," Remus mumbled, not wanting to get into a fight with his friends.
"You're our friend! We just want to make sure you're not alone." Sirius responded.
"I'll be fine, I'll be with you lot anyway."
"Besides, one of us has to have a clear head. Merlin knows what you savages will do."
"Is there a reason you don't want to take anyone Moony?" Peter asked innocently, "Can you not dance?"
Remus laughed, he wished it was because he didn't know how to dance. That would be such an easy problem to fix.
"No, no. Just not interested in anyone."
"Who are you seeing every night then?" Sirius piped up.
Remus froze a little, his heart skipping a beat.
"Come on, Moony, who is the lucky girl?" Sirius asked, scooting closer to Remus, his head leaning towards him a little.
"There is no girl, just going out on walks," Remus mumbled, scooting away from Sirius.
That wasn't a complete lie, there was some truth.
Sirius tutted and shuffled back in close to Remus, "What about that bruise on your neck last week?"
Remus didn't know how to react.
"It was from the full moon."
Another lie. He seemed to tell a lot of them these days.
"Come on, just tell us!" Sirius pleaded.
Remus stood up and glared at his friends, "I'm going back inside."
Sirius reached out and grabbed his wrist, pulling him back, "You need to stop running away."
Remus pulled away, glaring down at him, "I'm not. I'm cold and I'm annoyed... I'll see you guys later."
Remus was sat up in the Gryffindor common room alone, staring at the burning fire with the book spread out across his lap. He couldn't focus. His mind drifting back to all the lies he had been telling his friends the past few weeks. How he needed to return a book, how he had an extra class, he forgot something in the library. It made him sick thinking about it. He hated sneaking around behind their backs. He needed to tell him but a knot formed in his stomach at the mere thought of it. He had to tell them, someone. It was beginning to eat away at him, keeping it all to himself.
"You okay, Remus?"
Remus turned around and saw Lily coming down the stairs. She was wearing one of James's sweaters.
"Yeah, just thinking." He mumbled, turning back to his book. He didn't look over as the couch dipped down beside him.
"How come you're not with the boys."
"I was cold." He replied.
"Is that all?" She asked, placing her hand on Remus's knee.
Remus let out a deep sigh and rested his head on her shoulder, closing his eyes. He could trust Lily. He could trust his friends. It was just saying it. Getting the words out seemed nearly impossible like they were stuck on the tip of his tongue.
"What's up?" What did the world do to deserve Lily Evans?
"I-I..." All he had to do was say it.
"Take your time, Remus."
"I dunno if I can say it." He mumbled.
"You don't have to. I can sit here with you. If you don't want to tell me now or at all, that's fine."
Remus pinched the bridge of his nose, "I do, I-I dunno."
"You're not sick or anything are you?"
He's been sick since he was five, but that was a different issue entirely.
Remus sat up and stared at the fire before gazing down at his hand, picking the skin around the edge of his thumb.
"I'm gay..." He whispered.
"I'm gay." He said clearer. There, he said. He turned to Lily who was smiling. Remus felt a weight lifted off his shoulder as she reached over and pulled him into a warm hug.
"You're okay with it?"
"Of course I am, stupid." She replied, pulling away. Remus let out a small chuckle, "Do the others know?"
Remus shook his head, "No, no. Not yet."
"They'll be fine with it too." She replied, patting his knee. Remus nodded his head, "I know, I just don't want things to change. I don't want them looking at me like I'm different."
"Please, James would kick Sirius or Peter if either of them acted weird around you."
Remus smiled, lowering his head, "Thank you, Lily."
She squeezed his hand, "Now tell me, is there any boy in particular?"
Remus chuckled, "Well..."
I want to write more of Remus and Lily's friendship and then this came to mind. You can't convince me Lily would have reacted any differently.
Follow my twitter @maddensmagic for updates on the fic!
Remus stood in front of the mirror fixing his bow tie, watching as his friends frantically rushed around the room trying to get ready. Peter was sat on the edge of James's bed, struggling to tie the laces on his shoes. James himself was muttering a string of swears under his breath as he frantically looked for his flask he had stored away for tonight, while Sirius was shuffling across the room with on leg in his pants, the other being used to propel him onto his bed. All things considered, it could have been worse.
"Where the fuck is it? Sirius, did you take it?" James yelled, crawling under his bed, "Because I swear to Merlin if you did-"
"No, I didn't you prat!" Sirius hissed back, chucking a shoe in James's general direction, hitting poor Peter instead.
"Did you check in your truck?" Remus asked, examining his face a little closer in the mirror before turning around to James. His head popped up from under the bed and he scowled, "Of course I did."
"Of course I did." Sirius mocked, resulting in James chucking his shoe back at him, hitting the other boy in the back of the head.
"Shut up then."
Sirius and James exchanged a series of funny faces before Remus interrupted.
"You sure? You have a habit of not seeing things." Remus sighed.
"What are you saying, Moony?"
"There is a reason you have to wear glasses, maybe you looked over it." Remus teased.
"Don't get smart with me, Moony! We still haven't gotten you a date and the Ball is in what, an hour?" James tutted, standing up and waving a finger at Remus. Remus rolled his eyes back. The last two weeks had consisted of Remus being pushed into other girls, girls being dragged over to sit beside him in class and James swearing that if Remus didn't ask one of the girls out before the Ball, he would use the imperius curse on him. Then again, not their fault they don't know he has a date.
"I do wish you would stop going on about that," Remus mumbled, shuffling over to James's trunk and opening it. He scanned his eyes briefly over the contents before chuckling, pulling out the small tin flask. He waved it at James who shook his head as he walked over to take it shamefully, "We don't want you to be alone all night mate, we'll be with our dates and whatnot till late this evening anyway."
"I'll be fine, I said I would go with sit with someone anyway." He muttered, giving a one-shoulder shrug. Sirius practically fell off the bed as he tried to stumble towards 2Remus, tripping on his shoelaces. He pulled himself up and wrapped his arm around Remus, shaking his head, "Moony has a date and didn't bother to tell us? I'm heartbroken.
"No, it's not a date, I'm just sitting with them," Remus grumbled, nudging Sirius away from him. The other boy stepped back and flashed Remus a cheeky grin.
"Suppose you're just going to hold her hand, dance with her, kiss her..." Peter teased. Remus could feel his cheeks burning and he shook his head. He would very much like to do all those things just not with this made-up girl...
"He didn't see the point in a date either, so I said he could sit with me." Remus corrected, instantly regretting saying anything. He looked around and saw all the other boys staring at him, their mouths and eyes wide open.
"He?" Sirius said, causing Remus to flinch a little.
"Yes, I told you lot it wasn't a date." He responded calmly, but his heart was beating out of his chest.
He shouldn't have said anything. He should have just kept his mouth shut. He should have just let them think it was a girl, surely they wouldn't have noticed. They would be too busy with their own dates to notice old Moony and Leo sat at a table together talking. Now he was stuck, standing in the middle of their shared bedroom all too aware of their judgement. He didn't want to know what they were thinking about him. How disgusted they might be. He didn't want to think about how wrong he might have been about how they would react.
James coughed, causing everyone to divert their attention to him, "Fair enough, just don't bore him to death talking about Runes."
"Piss off, Prongs." Remus laughed, causing the other boys to chuckle around him and a bit of tension easing off Remus's shoulders.
Remus smiled as he saw a familiar face appear in the crowd of students moving towards him. He had been waiting outside the Great Hall for a few minutes alone, looking for Leo. Sirius had insisted on waiting on him but Remus had told him to go, seeing the annoyed look on his date's face. Remus was afraid Leo had decided not to come for a few moments and that he would actually be alone tonight, that was until the bright eyes came towards him, "Hello, Remus." Leo smiled.
"Hello, Leo." Remus mocked, smiling at the other boy. Leo gazed around the hall before turning to Remus, "You look great." He whispered.
Remus could feel the back of his neck-warming, he lowered his head a little, "Not looking so bad yourself."
"Shut up." He mumbled, but Remus could see the smile tugging on the edge of his lips.
"Thought you weren't going to come," Remus admitted. He felt bad for thinking so lowly of Leo, after all, the other boy had never been late to one of their late-night meetings and was always there when he said he would be. Then again, that is what made Remus nervous.
"All not see that pretty face?" Leo whispered in his ear, causing Remus to blush uncontrollably, "I got stopped by one of the boys, wouldn't shut up. So that is why I was late."
"So all Ravenclaws have big mouths, not just you," Remus smirked. Leo nudged him gently, "He was a Gryffindor actually."
"Remus, are you coming in? James needs a hand 'fixing' the drinks," Sirius asked, appearing through the crowd. He stopped in his tracks and looked at Leo, taking in the older boy before turning to Remus. His eyes widened, and he nudged his head towards Leo. Remus glared at Sirius, hoping he got the hint to keep his mouth shut, "Yeah, I'm coming now, coming Leo?"
Leo nodded his head, standing beside Remus as they walked into the Great Hall. Remus gazed around in awe as he entered the room, it didn't feel like the same hall then had been in only a few hours earlier for lunch. As dumb as it sounded, it was magical. Remus mentally cursed himself for thinking that but it was the only word that came to mind as he walked in the door. He gazed up, looking at the winter sky and the snowdrops that were slowly falling, catching one on his hand and smiling. Everything looked so clean and crisp, in contrast to how the dusty old castle usually appeared. Students had already filled out most of the hall and the teachers were sat at the top, chatting away. It felt so surreal that he was here, and to think he wasn't going to come.
Remus caught Sirius occasionally glanced back, staring at Leo before looking back ahead. Sirius was smart, far smarter than people usually gave him credit for. He had probably connected all the dots in his head now, the bruises on Remus's neck, the late-night walks with no explanation, and now no date to the ball but he was 'sitting' with a wildly attractive Ravenclaw. Remus was fucked. Remus pulled himself out of his thoughts and put on a bright smile as he arrived at their table, "Looking lovely ladies." He smiled.
He caught Lily's eyes, watching as she smiled at Leo before wiggling her brows. Remus rolled his eyes back and shook his head, sitting down beside her, Leo on his other side. He noticed how uncomfortable Leo looked and frowned a little, he leaned over, "You okay?"
He nodded his head, not making eye contact with Remus, "Fine."
Remus reached under the table to hold his hand, flinching as Leo pulled away. He looked at Leo who was scowling at his hand before looking up at Remus. "I'm sorry."
"It's fine," Remus assured him.
Lily cleared her throat, nudging Remus gently. He turned to her, wanting to disappear as she grinned from ear to ear. She leaned over close to him, resting her elbow on his chair, "So you told the boys then?"
Remus shook his head, "Told them he was just a friend."
Lily scowled and hit his leg. Remus glared at her, "That hurt!"
"I promise I will, I'm just waiting for the right moment."
"And when will that be, Remus?"
"Soon, don't worry about it." Remus assured her, taking her hand and squeezing it gently, "You better, you never told me how cute he was."
"I'm pretty sure I did," Remus replied with a smug smile.
"Quit flirting with my date Moony and come help me with this." James teased, standing up and practically dragging Remus out of his seat. Remus glanced back at the table, a knot forming in his stomach as he saw Sirius glaring in Leo's direction.
Later that evening, everyone had gotten up to dance, giving Remus and Leo time to talk without having to worry about someone interrupting or overhearing them. Remus fiddled with his thumbs, zoning out as Leo talked about the upcoming task for the Triwizard Tournament. He felt stupid but he couldn't help but wonder why Leo had pulled away earlier. Yes, they were in public but it was under the table, no one would have seen. He knew he was just over reading what had happened but it was bothering him. He glanced over at Leo who was still talking away, his hand resting on his knee. Remus bit down on the inside of his cheek, reaching out and gently placing his hand on top of his.
His stomach turned as Leo pulled away again, glaring at Remus, "Why do you keep doing that?"
"Your hand looks warm and mine is cold. And maybe I just wanna hold it." Remus replied without even thinking. Leo furrowed his brows, "Well stop, what if someone sees us?"
"Then someone sees us, you have no problem kissing me in the library," Remus mumbled, not wanting to get into a fight.
Though it seemed that wasn't an option anymore.
"How? Anyone could walk around the corner at any second, it is as public as here, Leo." Remus snapped back.
Leo laughed and rolled his eyes back, crossing his arms across his chest, "You're unbelievable."
"You ask me to the ball after what, a month of us seeing each other sometimes after hours. You don't even tell me that your best friend took my ex-girlfriend as a date and then you have been ignoring me all night to talk to that ginger mudblood."
"Don't call Lily that," Remus growled.
"What? A mudblood? That's what she is right?" Leo replied, glaring at Remus.
"So am I, do you have a problem with that?" Remus replied. He could feel the anger bubbling up inside him. Remus could deal with insults, he could deal with being talked down to you. He had been accustomed to it his whole life. Just an unfortunate aspect of his life that he had to learn to take in his stride, but he would not stand for his friends having to experience the same. Lily had spent the last hour singing Leo's praises to Remus, and it hurt to hear him call her something like that. Something so insignificant. She was hands down the best witch in the year, and Remus would argue the whole school. It was nearly funny to think some people viewed her differently because of her blood status. He looked at Leo whose mouth was open with shock before he turned into a menacing grin.
"A mudblood and a faggot, how charming." Leo sneered.
"Charming, coming from the man I have spent the last month snogging." Remus shot back but it hurt. He genuinely liked Leo. He had made him think that maybe everything would be okay, but clearly he was wrong.
"You were nothing more of a distraction, do you really think I would go out with the likes of you? What did you expect, us to skip around the castle, holding hands like a bunch of fruits. Did you think we were boyfriends and were going to dance tonight away? If so I feel sorry for you." Leo laughed, standing up. Out of instinct, Remus stood up as well, locking eyes with the other boy. He stared at him a few moments, "You're a prick."
Leo just laughed and pushed past Remus, walking out of the room without once looking back. Remus's heart was racing as he watched Leo leave and he could feel the tears beginning to prick at his eyes. He took a deep breath and gazed around, seeing his friends walk back towards the table through his blurred vision. He couldn't let them see him like this. He ignored them as they called out after him and left the hall, sitting down on the steps of the stairs and resting his head in his hands. He was shaking from anger and sadness. He was angry that Leo had said all those things and also that he had spent weeks of his life with him, just to be pushed away. It also hurt. Leo had made him happy.
Remus looked up and saw Sirius standing in front of him, "What happened?"
"Nothing, just go back to the ball," Remus mumbled, wiping his eyes. He didn't want to ruin his friends' night as well. They had been talking about the Ball since they arrived back at school and Remus didn't want to spoil their fun. It wasn't fair.
Still, Sirius sat down on the step beside him, not saying anything.
"Look, I'm going to go up to bed. You might as well go back and join the others." Remus stated, standing up and looking down at Sirius. Sirius stood up alongside him, "Can I at least walk you back to the room?"
Remus would rather he didn't but he wanted the company. He nodded his head and began to walk towards the Gryffindor dorms, Sirius right beside him, glancing over at him, "Want to talk about it?"
"He is a prick."
"How so?" Sirius asked.
"We got into a fight," Remus mumbled.
"About what?" Sirius asked.
"He called Lily a mudblood."
"He what?" Sirius said loudly, his voice echoing in the empty halls a little. Remus nodded his head, "Spiraled from there."
They arrived at the door to the common room and entered. Remus half expected Sirius to leave but the other boy stayed and followed him up to their room, ranting about Leo, "-Want to know something shocking? His grandmother is a mudblood! And to think that inbred prick has the audacity to call Lily a mudblood!"
Remus hummed along in agreement, sitting down on his bed and burying his head in his hands again. Sirius let out a deep sigh and sat down on the bed beside him, wrapping his arm around Remus. Remus leaned into him a little, "Was that the only thing he said?"
Remus rubbed his eyes and let out a deep sigh, "No."
"What else did he say?"
Sirius definitely knew about them so what was the point in lying to him, Remus told himself. It was just going to make it harder, in the long run, to tell him the truth if he kept telling lie after lie after lie. He lifted his head of Sirius's shoulder and stared down at his fingers, rubbing his thumb across a scar on his hand, "Him calling Lily a mudblood wasn't what started the argument?"
"What was then?"
"I-I tried to hold his hand, and he got mad," Remus mumbled. He didn't dare look up at Sirius.
Sirius stayed silent a few moments before speaking up, "Was he, yanno, your date?"
Remus nodded his head, waiting for Sirius to say something about how he was tainted or disgusting. Instead, Sirius just kept asking questions, "So he got mad at you trying to hold his hand, so how did it go from that to him call Lily, that."
"I said, to me holding his hand was no different than us being together in the library. Then he started going on about how I never told him you were taking Jess and how I was talking to Lily all night." Remus mumbled, glancing up at Sirius for the first time. He gave Remus a weak smile as he looked up, putting his hand on Remus's knee and squeezing it gently, "He-He then called me a faggot, started saying how I was just a distraction."
"Gay?" Sirius whispered.
Remus bit down hard on the inside of his cheek, breaking the skin and drawing blood. He nodded his head and whispered a weak yes. Sirius turned away for a brief moment. This was it, the moment he was going to outcast Remus and he would once again be alone. The weird kid with no friends. He was interrupted with Sirius pulling him into a warm hug and burying his face in Remus's shoulder. Remus shocked, took a moment before he hugged back, closing his eyes and letting out a sigh of relief.
"I'm proud of you, Moony."
Remus couldn't stop the smile forming on the edge of his lips as the tears began to stream down his cheeks.
"Sorry I lied."
"Don't apologize, you have nothing to be sorry for," Sirius whispered in his ear, "You're still our Moony. If Leo couldn't see the good in you then he didn't deserve you!"
Remus gripped Sirius's cloak a little tighter and buried his face in the crook of his neck. He bit down hard on his lip, trying to stop the sobs trying to escape. Relief had swept over Remus like a wave. Sirius rubbed Remus's back gently, his other hand playing with the hair on the nape of his neck. It felt like a huge weight had been lifted off his chest. His head was buzzing with so many thoughts he couldn't focus on one. He didn't mean to but he couldn't stop crying. He had felt so guilty lying to his friends and was so scared they would berate him.
"Thank you," Remus muttered, reaching up and wiping his eyes before pulling away from the hug. Sirius still rested one arm around Remus and squeezed him gently, "We're Marauders. Nothing can change that."
Remus chuckled, "Your date must think you're a prick."
Sirius shook his head and smiled, "I'm sure she'll get over it. Had more important things to take care of." Sirius smiled, looking back at Remus fondly.
Remus could feel his cheeks burning, "Still, I'm sure you would have liked to dance or something."
"Yeah, but she wasn't too fond of it, Jess that is."
Remus nodded his head, unsure of how to respond.
"What about you?"
"Mmmh?" Remus asked, furrowing his eyebrows.
"Don't you want to dance?"
"I can't dance, Pads." Remus chuckled.
"I didn't ask if you could dance, I asked if you wanted to!" Sirius stated, standing up and offering his hand to Remus. Remus stared at it for a moment, before taking it. Allowing Sirius to pull him up onto his feet and take him out into the middle of their bedroom.
"I mean it when I say I can't dance."
"I'll show you then, I'm a great teacher." Sirius beamed, steadying Remus.
"Okay, so, put your hands here," Sirius instructed, placing Remus's hands on his shoulders, and putting his own on Remus's waist. Next, he took his other hand and held it in his own, "Okay good!"
Remus glanced down at his feet and Sirius gently nudged them further apart, muttering something to himself about Remus and his 'stupid big feet'. Content, he looked back up at Remus and smiled, "That's the easy part done."
"Now, cross your left foot over your right, then your right over your left." Sirius explained, "I'll do it with you."
Remus carefully moved one foot over the other, watching how Sirius stepped and mimicking his steps, "We'll make a dancer out of you, yet."
"Shut it," Remus mumbled through a smile.
Sirius stopped and took his hand off Remus's waist to take out his wand. He smiled and turned on his record player, throwing his wand on the bed and focusing back on Remus, "I was helping James practice for Lily."
Remus didn't even have a chance to respond before Sirius was moving him. He watched his feet, making sure he stepped properly. Once he got into the swing of the song he looked at Sirius was smiling like an idiot. Remus smiled back, "This isn't so bad."
"You're a natural." Sirius remarked, "Is there anything you're not good at?"
"I can't knit," Remus mumbled.
"You can't knit?" Sirius repeated.
"Shut up you toss and spin me."
Remus held his breath as he raised Sirius's hand in the air and gently pulled him around, making him spin on his heels. His hair spun around after him, smacking him in the face as he came to a sudden stop. Remus laughed as Sirius struggled to blow the hair out of his face, crossing his eyes as he diverted all his attention to a loose strand brushing against his nose. Remus tutted and brushed the strand of hair out of his face, his thumb dragging slightly against his cheekbone. He stopped and admired Sirius's face features. How he had strong cheekbones and a few freckles brushed across his nose. The way his eyes crinkled when he smiled.
Both boys stopped dancing, the music still playing gently in the background. Sirius smiled and fixed Remus's bow tie, before looking back up at him. They both stared at each other for a few moments, Sirius's eyes lowering and gazing at Remus's lips every so often. Remus biting down on his lip whenever he noticed it happening. Sirius scooted in a little closer, resting his hands on Remus's shoulders. He leaned his head in a little closer. Remus swallowed, a lump forming in the back of his throat. He leaned in closer, he was able to feel Sirius's breath on his face. He closed his eyes and went to close the gap when the door swung open.
Sirius pushed himself away from Remus and smiled at James as he stumbled in the door.
Remus hummed back.
"What are you's doing up here?" He asked, steadying himself against the door frame.
"Just talking, why aren't you at the hall?" Sirius replied.
"Afterparty you tossers, now come on!" James chuckled, turning around and strutting out of the room.
Sirius and Remus stood there for a few moments, Remus looking up at him, "We should head down."
"Yeah, you good?"
Remus nodded his head and smiled, "Always."
Hope you enjoyed this chapter!
Remus is finally out (at least to two people) and Leo is gone.
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Sirius nearly kissed him.
None the less, he still leaned in and maybe would have if James didn't come stumbling in. He did push away when James came in though, did he really want to or was he just trying to cheer Remus up? And why was Remus so upset they didn't kiss. It had been a few days now and the near kiss was still at the forefront of his mind, playing on loop like a broken tape.
Sirius probably had one too many drinks, Remus told himself. There is no way, on Merlin's earth, that Sirius Black would have kissed him. Sirius was, for lack of better words, Sirius. He was a charmer, had women swooning for him whenever he entered a room. James and Peter had ongoing bets with each other on how long it would take him to find a new girlfriend, or break-up with his current one. It was highly unfair that they did that, Remus thinks, but it just shows the nature of their Sirius.
He had a throbbing pain in his head from trying to work out what had happened. He didn't like not knowing the answers. It had to be one of the most infuriating things in life, never knowing all the answers to everything. He wanted to know where he and Sirius stood but he didn't know how to approach the issue.
'Hey Sirius, did you really want to snog me the other night?' Remus let out a loud groan and threw himself back against his bed, covering his face with his hands. It was hopeless.
He hadn't even spoken to Sirius since. Nothing more then their usual good mornings and good nights. Remus couldn't even bring himself to look at the other boy during meals or when they were all sat in the common room together.
The letter he received this morning made it all that harder.
They had all be sat at the table, talking and eating like they normally would, when the owls began to arrive. James and Peter had both gotten letters, like they do every week. When the small white envelope was dropped in front of Remus, he knew it wasn't good. He hadn't heard from his parents since his Dad had last wrote. Not that he was mad at them for not writing, there was far to much to worry about. Stuff of far greater importance.
Remus slowly reached for the letter, playing with the corners for a few moments. He looked up and saw Sirius staring at him, James also out of the corner of his eye. Sirius opened his mouth to say something, but hesitated, closing it shut and lowering his head. Remus took a deep breath and opened it, carefully pulling out the parchment and allowing his thumb to glide over the material.
Surely his Dad wouldn't tell him his mother passed through letter?
He knew it was his Dad who had written. His mother used this coloured paper she often bought from the muggle shop near their house.
He opened it slowly his eyes quickly scanning over the contents looking for any mention of death. When his eyes didn't settle on anything immediately his allowed himself to read it proper.
Apologises for the lack of letters recently, both your
mother and I have been a bit preoccupied.
She returned home yesterday evening, though her
condition still isn't great. The muggle doctors say
she isn't responding to treatment anymore, but we
have been given new options. I'm sure the next letter
you receive will be from her. She is currently resting
but she misses you dearly.
I hope you have been keeping your head down and
Love, Mum and Dad.
Remus closed the letter and lowered his head, tucking it into his shirt pocket. He let out a deep sigh and gazed up, "Mum's out of the hospital."
"That's great!" James cheered.
"She's not responding to her current treatment anymore." Remus continued. The smile faded off James's face and he lowered back into his seat, his eyes avoiding Remus's, "I'm sorry, Moony."
"It's fine, these things happen." He mumbled, not wanting to talk about this much more. He clapped his hands and smiled at the boys, his eyes glancing over to Sirius for a brief second, "Best get to transfiguration, don't you think?"
Now, here he was, later that evening, sprawled across his bed with a throbbing headache and a million questions he didn't have the answer for. He lifted his head up as the dorm room opened, the other three lads coming in, their faces red with laughter. Remus sat himself up and pulled a book onto his lap, he didn't want them to worry about him sulking alone in his bed all day. James looked over at him and smiled, "Moony!"
"Lads." Remus replied.
James shook his head, "Come on, it's dinner."
"I'm not hungry, you lot go ahead." Remus replied, leaning back and opening his book.
"It's steak night." Sirius responded, "And your book is upside down."
Remus furrowed his brows an actually focused on the words on the page, the back of his neck warming as he realised it had been upside down. He closed it shut and shrugged his shoulders, "I've been teaching myself to read upside down."
"Really?" James snorted.
Remus climbed out of bed, humming in response, "Useful skill."
"Just shut up and come on, I'm starving." James replied, no real malice in his words. Remus walked out of the door with the boys, James and Peter chatting away in front of him while Sirius stood by his side, not looking at him at all.
Remus slowed his pace, and so did Sirius, the gap between the two pairs of boys widening. Once he felt James and Peter were far enough away Remus sighed and leaned his head towards Sirius, "We need to talk."
Sirius didn't respond, his eyes still staring ahead. Remus sighed and rolled his eyes back, nudging Sirius gently, "Come on."
Remus snapped his head forward where Leo was currently walking towards him, their eyes locking as he moved closer. Remus pulled away and glanced over at Sirius. His brows were furrowed slightly, gazing down he could see his fists clenched. Remus felt his throat tighten as Leo stood in front of him finally, blocking his way to the hall, "We need to talk."
"No we don't." Remus replied.
"Leo, just leave." Remus sighed. Leo shook his head, "Not till we talk."
"I need to you get out of my way." Remus muttered, his voice not nearly as confident as he wanted it to be. He tried to push past Leo but was pulled back by his wrist. He didn't even have time to react before Sirius had interrupted, pushing Leo away from Remus and squaring up to him, "Take a hint and leave him alone." Sirius growled.
Remus quickly shuffled in between the two boys, not wanting to visit McGonagall's office this evening. He turned to Sirius whose face was red with anger, he offered him a weak smile before turning back to Leo. He had a smug grin on his face as he stared at Sirius before turning back to Remus, "See you got a new boytoy, you sure get around Remus!"
"Leo." Remus warned but the boy paid no head to him, "You sure I was the first boy you kissed?"
"Moony?" All three boys turned to James and Peter who were standing a few feet away from them. Remus wanted to disappear. He had forgotten the boys were with them, and this surely isn't how he planned on telling them. James came closer, his eyes not moving from Remus once, "You alright?"
"Yeah, Leo is just leaving now, isn't that right?" Remus replied, looking away from James and at Leo who was smiling smugly. He just patted Remus's arm and looked over at Sirius, "careful with him now Black, not right in the head."
Sirius went to swing at Leo but was held back by Remus clutching his wrist and pulling him back, "He ain't worth it Pads."
Sirius eventually stopped struggling and turned to Remus, anger etched into his face. His emotions eased as he looked back at James and Peter who were both still standing there, wide-eyed. Remus glanced at them briefly before scratching the back of his neck, his eyes gazing back to Sirius who just offered him a weak smile. He took a deep breath before speaking, "Suppose you heard what he said then?"
"Most of it, yeah." James replied.
Remus hummed, a familiar knot feeling reappearing in his stomach, "I was going to tell you two soon, I'm sorry."
"And Lily." Remus added.
"So he wasn't just a friend?" Peter chimed in.
"Is he still..." Peter trailed, Remus shook his head.
"Good, seems like a prick." James replied, huffing slightly. Remus laughed, "Yeah, he is."
James wrapped his arm around Moony and began guiding him towards the dining hall, "God, you should have told us this sooner. Fell like a right prat trying to set you up with Marlene, though, I do think she has an older brother..."
"Merlin, you're insufferable James!"
Remus was beyond relieved when the other boys had taken the news in their strides. Naturally they had questions, which Remus was more than happy to answer, though the concept of personal boundaries was still oblivious to James Potter. Later that evening, they had all played games, the same way they do every evening. James and Peter not hesitating at all to wrestle Remus whenever the boy teased them or allegedly 'cheated' during the game. Everything was normal, everything but Sirius.
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Chapter 13: By The Fire
Remus couldn't sleep later that evening.
He tossed and turned in his sheets, let out a sigh of defeat as he just sprawled his limbs across the bed. It was going to be one of those nights. The nights were his thoughts moved to quick for him to keep up. The nights where he felt like his lungs were slowly shrinking in his chest. Remus hated those nights. Not that he imagined anyone in the right state of mind liked those nights. The nights where you truly feel utterly alone, no matter who you are with or where you are.
Remus took a deep breath before throwing the covers off ad swinging his legs out of bed. He peered out his curtain, checking the other boys bed and sure enough they were asleep. He gently pushed himself out of bed, watching his step and making sure to avoid the squeaky floorboard as he tiptoed closer to the door. He carefully shuffled out the door, closing it behind him, flinching as it loudly clicked. He waited a few moments before creeping down the steps and throwing himself onto the couch, the fire lighting up as soon as his back touched the fabric.
He cursed himself for not bringing a book with him but it was too late now, he was comfy and didn't favour the idea of trying to sneak back into the room. Despite all the noise he made (and how loudly he snored) James Potter was a light sleeper and Remus didn't want to listen him whine about how he woke him up. Remus tilted his head to the side and eyed one of the magazines sprawled across the table. He reached out and pulled it towards himself. It was a muggle one, he recognised the cover from the corner shop near his parents house.
He lifted it up and began to flick through the pages, not really able to focus on the words in front of him as his mind began to loop back to the thoughts that had been keeping him up. He hated how Sirius was ignoring him.
He hated being ignored by anyone, but when Sirius didn't acknowledge him, it hurt. It made him feel like he was that scared little boy in first year who had missed the first two days of lessons due to the shear agony he was in with the upcoming moon. He attributed the pain with the amount of stress he had been under coming to Hogwarts. He had been so scared of hurting someone when the wolf came out, though Dumbledore assured him that would never happen.
He sighed dropping the magazine over his face. Why did life always have to be so complicated?
"I'm sure you know that not how you read, Moony." A familiar voice teased.
"Did you not know if you eat the pages, you retain the information better?" He grumbled, not wanting to lift it off his face. He heard a small chuckle, followed by the magazine being pulled off his face. He glanced up as Sirius held it out in front of him, reading the cover, "Didn't know you had a thing for muggle cars?"
"I don't it's someone else's, just having a nosey at it." Remus replied, the tight feeling reappearing in his chest. He glanced briefly at Sirius, he looked tired, "Sorry if I woke you up."
Sirius shook his head and laid back against the couch after throwing the magazine back onto the small table, "Couldn't sleep either, thought I would join you down here."
Remus was all too aware this was the first time they had spoken in days. The days Sirius had spent avoiding him all seemed to be forgotten as the other boy sat at the far end of the bed, his hand resting on Remus's shin. Like he hadn't yanked his hand away from Remus earlier at dinner when they brushed briefly when they both reached for he carrots. He gave Remus the Sirius Black smile, as if he had been scowling at him all week, turning a shoulder whenever Remus tried to engage in a conversation.
Remus sighed and pulled his leg away from Sirius, curling it up close to his chest and gazing at the fire, "Why were you ignoring me?"
"No I wasn't!" Sirius replied, Remus rolled his eyes at him, "Don't play dumb."
Sirius didn't respond. He turned his attention to the fire glowing before them, playing with the sleeve of his pyjama shirt. Remus bit down hard on the inside of his cheek, he should ask but he knew better than to push Sirius. If he wanted to talk, he would talk. But the tension between them was beginning to eat away at Remus. It didn't help that the next moon was in two days.
"Do-Do you still want to be friends with me?" Remus mumbled quietly, not sure if he wanted Sirius to even hear it. Sirius snapped his head to Remus, the hurt etched onto his face, "Of course I do."
"Then can you please stop ignoring me." He replied, his voice shaking a little. He didn't look up at Sirius, focusing on the small stain on the knee of his pants, scrapping his nail across it. Sirius stayed silent for a few moments, "I thought you didn't want to talk to me, after the Ball."
Remus finally looked up at Sirius, his body stiff as he gripped onto the arm of the chair, "Why wouldn't I?"
Sirius looked at Remus with pleading eyes, he knew exactly what he was talking about. He ducked his head back down and shrugged, "You were drunk, I'm not gonna hold it against you or go around telling people. If you want it to stay between us, then it'll stay between us."
Remus saw Sirius's shoulders ease a bit which only made the knot in his stomach tighten further. He knew Sirius had a lot on his shoulders as it was, running away and being disinherited. He knew how the pure-bloods talked about men like Remus. He knew Sirius didn't think like that, but he probably feared those who did. Or at least that's what Remus told himself.
"I'm sorry if I made you feel bad." Remus continued, Sirius shook his head, scooting closer to Remus, "Don't do that thing!"
Remus furrowed his brows and looked up, "What thing?"
"When you start thinking about something too much, somehow making everything that's gone wrong or astray your fault."
Remus when to open his mouth to protest when a hand covered it, "Ah-ah, no. Don't apologise again."
Sirius slowly pulled his hand away and Remus mumbled an apology, early him a gently thump on the leg. He scowled and leaned back, the tight feeling in his chest having eased a little now that he and Sirius were at least talking again. Though he still had a lot of questions left unanswered and some new ones that had sprung into mind during their short chat. But they were for another day, "What was keeping you up?"
"You said you couldn't sleep, what kept you up?"
"James's snoring, swear he does it on purpose sometimes." Sirius grumbled, Remus let out a small chuckle, "How about you Moony, worried about the next moon?"
"No more than I usually am, just a bit restless." He replied. It wasn't a lie, had his mind not been preoccupied with Sirius he probably would still be awake thinking about the upcoming moon. His body preparing for the change itself, usually left him on edge.
"I'll always be your friend, okay? I'm sorry for ignoring you, I was just too caught up in my own thoughts and I never even stopped to think about how it must have made you feel-"
"Shush, Moony. The elder is speaking." He replied with a smirk.
"You're a good friend. Better than good. Nothing you could ever say or do could change that alright?"
Remus couldn't stop himself as he lunged forward, tackling Sirius into a hug. The other boy froze for a moment before wrapping his arms around Remus, his hand rubbing his back gently. Remus pulled away after a few moments, falling back onto the couch. Sirius smiled, patting his legs gently, "I mean it, Moony."
"What if I cut your hair?"
"Okay, one thing."