If Sirius was completely honest with himself, he had never really given the idea of dating much thought. He could appreciate when James would point out a good looking girl in a magazine, or when Peter would talk about the cute Hufflepuff, Emmeline something or other, but he really didn't have any urge to go ahead and do anything about it.
Marlene was his friend. Or at least more so than any of the other girls in school. They had the same taste in music and style and she didn't look at him like he ought to grow up whenever he and James made an inappropriate joke or played an innocent prank on Snape. And besides, they had kissed already and it had been...decent, hadn't it?
He wondered if perhaps kissing was like drinking firewhiskey. Strange at first and sort of gross, but maybe it would start to feel good if he just kept doing it. An acquired taste.
It wasn't that he didn't find it fun, mind. Sneaking around the back of the greenhouses for a snog gave him a similar thrill to being out past curfew, under the cloak with his mates as they placed dungbombs under the Slytherin's table in the Great Hall or searched for secret passages to add to the map. And he supposed it was pretty cool, as far as bragging rights went, when Marlene let him put his hand up her skirt in the broom closet.
He just wished her lips gloss wasn't so sticky.
Also, being someone's boyfriend seemed to take up a lot of his free time. Time he usually spent helping the others with the map or, more importantly, researching and practicing the spells he, James and Peter needed to master to become animagi.
And then there was was that night with Remus. Sirius couldn't help but feel that his friend was angry with him about something. The following morning Remus had apologized, blaming exhaustion and alcohol for his poor reaction to the news and congratulating Sirius once again on asking Marlene out. Sirius accepted it, but it still didn't feel right and Remus seemed distant for the next few days.
Sirius couldn't put too much thought into whatever was wrong with Remus, though. Finals were next week and Sirius, James and Peter were trying to get as much studying for animagi as possible while Remus was distracted with exams.
Sirius was heading back to the Gryffindor tower after a rather heavy make out session with Marlene when he overheard two familiar and cringeworthy voices.
"He's so weird. There's something up with that kid. He fell asleep in the library again..."
"I've heard he's ill. Potter and Black probably just hang around him out of pity. We should hex him while he's not being protected by those two-"
Sirius cleared his throat loudly as he rounded the corner, eyes narrowing on Snape and Avery who quickly drew their wands.
"You were saying, gentlemen?" Sirius asked briskly, hand secured on the wand in his back pocket.
"None of your business, Black." Spat Snape, eyeing the other boy with complete disdain.
Sirius chuckled darkly and took another step forward. "That's where you're wrong, Snivellus. You were talking about my friend. That makes it very much my business."
Avery looked Sirius up and down and smirked. "What are you going to do about it, Black? You're alone out here. You don't have Potter to back you up."
"I don't need back up to do what I will do to you if you don't leave Remus alone." Threatened Sirius, his hands clenching tightly into fists. He was about to pull his wand when he heard footsteps coming down the hall and the distinct meow of Filch's cat. Avery gave Sirius one last dirty look before turning around.
"Let's go Sev. He's not worth it." He muttered. Snape nodded and went to follow but Sirius grabbed him by the back of the robes.
"I mean it." He said, keeping his voice low. "You leave him alone, and you mind your own business, or you'll regret it."
Severus glared "Is that a threat Black?"
Sirius smirked. "It's a promise." And he released the other boy, turned on his heel and headed in the direction of the library.
Madame Pince gave him her usual warning look as he entered and he flashed his most charming smile. "Not to worry, I'm not here to cause any trouble today." He leaned on his elbows on the librarian's desk. "By any chance, have you seen-"
Pince's face softened slightly and she pointed towards the back. "He's that way. Last table on the left. The usual spot."
She raised an eyebrow at him and he coughed. "Sorry. Madame Pince." And he headed down the long row of dusty old books until...Ah, there he was.
Practically drooling all over his arithmancy notes, Remus was indeed fast asleep. Sirius smirked and perched himself on the corner on the table. He watched his friend for a moment. It seemed almost a shame to wake him, he looked ridiculously peaceful considering what an uncomfortable position he must be in. His hair, always lighter in the warmer months, was falling into his face and his lips were parted slightly. His lips looked really soft, Sirius noticed, immediately feeling odd about that thought. Perhaps it was because he wasn't use to looking at lips that weren't slathered with sweet, sticky goop anymore. Girls, he decided, were very strange.
Smiling to himself he started humming that ridiculous song from one of Evans' records.
"In the forest, the forbidden forest the werewolf sleeps tonight..."
Amber eyes, still slightly yellow around the edges from the previous night's full moon, snapped open. "Bugger off, Sirius..." Remus grumbled, shoving the other boy off the table. "Those aren't the words."
Sirius laughed. "I like mine better. Though I suppose you're asleep in the library, not the forest. But that wouldn't fit..." He watched as Remus yawned and stretched. "Come on, Moony. Study time is over for you, mate."
Remus sighed and rubbed at his bleary eyes. "I can't. I'm so not ready for-"
"You're exhausted, mate." Said Sirius, his tone soft and concerned. "You know all of this. You're smart, you've done all your work for the year plus some of mine," he chuckled. "What you need is rest."
"Easy for you to say." Remus muttered, packing up his books and drying the drool off his notes with his wand. "You and James never have to study."
Sirius shrugged "pureblood gift I suppose. Growing up surrounded by it all...I guess it comes rather natural." He helped straighten up Remus' papers. "Seriously though, if you didn't have...everything else going on...you'd probably best both of us."
The werewolf smiled tiredly. "Thanks, Sirius." Then his head tilted and he laughed a little "Er..you've got..."
Sirius frowned. "What?"
Remus laughed harder and pointed to his neck. "Guess you and McKinnon are getting on well, eh?"
"What are you-?"
"You've got a massive hickey, Sirius!"
He felt his face heat up a little and his hand want to the spot on his neck that Remus had pointed to. He huffed. "You're just jealous."
Remus' laughter died and he went a little pink. "What?"
Sirius gave him a smug look. "You're jealous that I'm getting action and you're not." He shrugged. "It's alright. You'll get your turn, mate. Probably long before James at least. Poor bugger..."
Remus just shook his head and picked his bag up with some difficulty. Sirius frowned.
"Hey, let me..." He reached forward, hand landing on Remus' shoulder. The lighter haired boy hesitated for a second before slipping the bag off his shoulder and handing it over.
"Thanks, Sirius." He rubbed at his shoulder a little as they headed out of the library.
"You hurt it last night?" Asked Sirius, full of worry.
"Dislocated." Remus nodded, then when he saw Sirius' eyes go wide, quickly added. "It happens all the time. Usually when I'm changing back and all of my bones are shifting and-"
Sirius stared at him. Remus had never gone into detail about his transformations before. He knew it was painful, he had read about it enough when they were looking for information. But hearing his friend talk about it made his stomach churn.
Remus' voice trailed off and he blushed and looked away. "Sorry...you probably don't want to hear about all that."
Sirius shook his head. "No, it's just...it sounds awful. I'm just really sorry you have to go through it. You don't deserve that, Remus."
"Well," Remus forced a smile. "It is better these days, at least knowing that when I wake up, you lot will be there."
"There's no way she'll go for it." Sirius said for the tenth time as his best friend shoved a quill and parchment at him.
"How do you know unless you ask? We've got work to do, mate. We can't go the whole summer without doing anything or we'll never nail this." James insisted.
Sirius sighed. He knew James was right, but he also knew that writing to his mother for permission to spend a few weeks of the summer at the Potters' probably wasn't going to get him anywhere.
"You won't know unless you give it a shot," said Peter. "If she says no, we'll figure something out. But at least ask."
Sirius bit his lip. "It's really not as easy as all of that with my family..." But he started writing anyway. At least if he wrote to her beforehand and put the idea into her head, he wouldn't have to spring it on her in person and wait for the blow out that would follow.
"I'll break you out myself if I have to." Said James, leaning against Sirius' bedpost. Sirius snorted. He could only imagine that. James Potter flying his prized Cometstrike7 to Grimmuald Place and rescuing Sirius like he was a damsel in distress.
"Yeah. Sure you will, Potter." He shook his head, folding up his letter and stuffing it into the envelope. "My knight in shining armor, you are." He hopped off his bed, stepping over the pile of books and laundry he had yet to pack away in his trunk for tomorrow's ride home, and headed out of the dorm.
Remus was coming through the portrait just as he hit the bottom of the stairs. He smiled.
"Hey. Where you off to?"
Sirius held up the letter. "Owlrey." He stuffed it back into his pocket. "Want to come for a walk?"
Remus shrugged in a 'why not' sort of matter and followed Sirius out.
"Mind if I ask who you're writing to on the last night of school?" Asked Remus in a conversational type way.
Sirius groaned. "James wants me to ask my mum if I can spend a few weeks at his over the holiday. I figured I have more of a shot giving her a heads up and time to think on it rather than just coming right out and asking..."
Remus hummed thoughtfully. "James is a pureblood though. Still not acceptable company for the precious heir, eh?"
"The Potters, in my family's opinion, are just as bad as The Weasleys." He shook his head. "'Muggle Lovers', 'Blood Traitors'...you know. All that."
Remus nodded along. "I see...so-"
"Sirius!" Marlene came running towards them and Sirius couldn't help feeling just slightly disappointed. "Hey Remus."
"Hello Marlene." Said Remus politely.
Marlene smiled prettily, lips shining. "Where're you headed, love?"
Sirius gritted his teeth for a moment before smiling back. "Er...going to send some mail, that's all. I'll be back up in a bit."
"Oh." She looked slightly disappointed for a split second, then smiled coyly. "I was actually going to see if you wanted to find a place to..." Her blue eyes landed on Remus for a moment.
Remus cleared his throat. "Er, you know what...I actually have to finish packing. So...Sirius, why don't you bring Marlene down to the Owlrey, yeah?"
Sirius blinked, slightly confused before it all added up in his head. "O-oh! Er...yeah. Great. Thanks Re...I'll just..."
"I'll see you later." Remus finished for him. "Good night, Marls."
"Night Remus!" She called after him. "Thanks!"