Remus grimaced at the foul smell of cigarette smoke. After working at a gay strip club for a few months, he still hadn't gotten used to the smell. The night was crowded, as usual, since it was one of the few Muggle gay strip club's available in London. He looked around and saw many different types of men. Fat men, skinny men, ugly men, handsome men, young men, old men, they were all there, raging with pheromones and a healthy appetite to be shagged. Loud, blaring music was heard from the speakers. This was not Remus' idea of a night out.
Three years had passed since the Second War Against Darkness, otherwise known as SWAD. Despite many contributions he made toward the war effort, the Ministry refused to acknowledge werewolves as average citizens. The restrictions that had been made on his race had increased. The situations had worsened to the point where many werewolves couldn't find regular full-time jobs. Remus was one of them. He had turned to prostitution. Something he would have never glanced at when he was younger.
But he had no choice in this matter. He needed money, and this was all he could do for now. At least until the situation improved. He last heard that Hermione Granger was starting a movement similar to that of SPEW, but this time it was known as WUR, Werewolves United Rights. He hoped that Hermione would be able to change something, but so far things looked grim.
The job wasn't too bad in his opinion. He just didn't like the boss. He had told beforehand that he needed certain days off each month, and the boss at first didn't want to let him have days off. But since Remus drew in a lot of customers, his boss gave in grudgingly, saying he deserved some time off. Remus graciously thanked him, but he still did not like his boss. The change did not take a toll on him too much since he worked at night. The Ministry provided him Wolfsbane potion every month. That was about the only good thing to come out of this. They started to provide every werewolf the potion, but the catch was not pleasant.
He sighed as his boss, Neil, called him over. "Yes, Neil?"
The boss was a midget. He was short and stumpy, reminding Remus of Peter Pettigrew. Unfortunately, he had a personality of Lucius Malfoy. Not a good combination for Remus' part.
"You look nice today. Now go and please some of my customers." Neil looked over him approvingly. Remus had on leather trousers with a very sheer, black button up shirt. Remus did not like this outfit, but he found out in the earlier days that this was the way to make money.
Remus nodded and walked off toward the crowds, smiling suggestively at any men that looked at him. He knew he wasn't the most handsome prostitute there, but people still drew to him. His honey-brown hair, flecked with grey, complimented his amber coloured eyes beautifully. To him, those were the only best features he had other than his slim, slender build. He knew his face looked exhausted; he was always tired, thanks to the side effects of lycanthropy. He had a feeling that his charismatic nature was what drew the men to him, especially the dominant ones. He was certainly the submissive type when it came to sex. His inner beast was not an alpha.
Remus glanced at a group of men and was taken aback. He saw one man who looked very familiar. He stopped breathing for a few seconds, shocked.
Oh, Godric… James? Is my past haunting me now? Remus mused to himself as he looked at the young man with messy hair and glasses. It can't be. He's dead. Been dead for twenty years now. He slightly staggered and stumbled as wave of emotions came over him.
"Professor Lupin?" Remus' head snapped up, and his eyes narrowed. Instead of James, he saw Harry Potter. As the figure came closer to him, he saw the unmistakable lightning-shaped scar and the bright green eyes that were the colour of jade and emeralds.
Remus calmed himself down and put his emotions on hold, but he didn't relax his posture. He then realised that his former student was seeing him in a predicament he didn't want anyone else to see.
"Harry. Hello." Remus smiled uncomfortably. "Fancy meeting you here of all places."
Harry blushed and said, "Ah, well. I've been dragged out here by my Quidditch mates here…" He gestured to the group of people he was with.
"I see." Remus nodded and looked everywhere but at Harry.
"Professor, what are you doing here?"
"I work here."
Harry raised a surprised eyebrow. "Work? Like serving drinks or something?"
Remus shook his head. "I…" He couldn't get the words to come out. "Harry, you know the situation with the werewolves now, right?"
"I've heard--" Harry's eyes opened wide. "You mean you're prostituting?"
"I…" Remus felt shame as his cheeks reddened. What an example he was setting for his best friend's son, he thought. "This gives me my cheque and allows me to live adequately. I'm satisfied."
Shaking his head, Harry glared at the floor. "This isn't right. You and the other werewolves have helped us during the war. You deserve more than this."
He ran a hand through his hair. "When Hermione mentioned something about the WUR, I had not noticed how bad the circumstances were."
"Well, it isn't too bad," said Remus, lying through his teeth. "I'm happy."
"As long as you are happy," Harry trailed off, suddenly looking uncomfortable.
One of the young men suddenly called Harry's attention. "Hey, Harry! Come on. Let's go to the dance floor."
Harry turned to Remus. "I'll see you around, Professor. It's been good seeing you."
Remus nodded and looked on as Harry walked away. Harry sure has become a handsome young man now. After thinking that, he jerked back to reality. He had a job to do.
Remus slowly got up from the bed of a grimy inn and quietly groaned to himself. His arse was numb; his new client hadn't had any lubricant, so all he had was spit and come for preparation. The client had fallen asleep while Remus remained wide-awake. He was allowed to leave whenever he wanted, so he chose to leave now.
He dressed himself and walked out into the street. It was about four in the morning, and the neighbourhood he was in was silent as a mouse. He decided to walk home, and alone he was, he only had his thoughts to himself.
Seeing Harry after such a long time had impacted him hard. It was as if Harry was the key that unlocked his soul. Oblivious to everything around him while walking, memories poured out of him, and he saw it all in front of him. The first day he came to Hogwarts; James and Sirius befriended him and protected him from the Slytherins such as Lucius Malfoy. The Sorting Hat telling him he was to be with the Gryffindors. The days when the four of them became the Marauders. The times they ransacked almost all of Hogwarts and the areas around it. The surprise and joy he felt when his friends became Animagi for him. The moments where he and James would make love and how much love he received and gave. Then the betrayals of Sirius, the loss of James as his lover…the hurt still resided until this day.
He sighed and closed his eyes tightly as he came into the dingy neighbourhoods. He walked numbly into the building where he lived and climbed the stairs to his flat. With the door being spelled to acknowledge his aura, he lightly touched the door and it opened on its own. He went in, shut the door, and slumped to the floor against it.
He tiredly looked around his small living quarters. It was a single room. The bedroom, sitting room, kitchen and dining room were all in it. There was one other room, and behind the door, there was the toilet and the washroom.
He was thankful that he at least had a fireplace. He dug out his wand out from his coat pocket, and waved it, watching the warm flame come bursting to life. He welcomed the warmth, but he still felt cold all over. He got up from the floor and walked over to his lumpy bed. He took off his jacket, put his wand under his pillow, and fell on the bed causing it to creak loudly. He curled up in a foetal position and continued to think of the good days and the bad days it came with.
Remus didn't know when he fell asleep. He woke up several hours later. Feeling sore all over, he stretched out and looked out the small window. He guessed it must have been about noon now. Suddenly, something darkened his window, and he instinctively grabbed his wand. Seeing that it was only an owl delivering the newspaper, he relaxed a notch and went to obtain it. He paid the owl and watched it fly off.
Clutching the paper in his hand, he walked over to a worn out armchair. As he unfolded the paper, he sat down and got in a comfortable position. He looked at the front cover, and he kept on staring at it.
On the cover was Harry Potter on his broomstick catching a Snitch. Whoever took the picture must have been one of those fans that wanted to shag him because the movements of his muscles were visible through his Quidditch uniform, there were beads of sweat around his forehead, and his long slim figure stood out magnificently in this picture. The angles and the shots were perfect.
As Remus stared at the picture, he glanced at the headline news that read "Potter Caught the Snitch!! The Championship is Near!!" He couldn't help but envision the young man there to be James had he gone into Quidditch instead of becoming an Auror. His hand gently caressed the photograph, and Remus looked at it for a long time.
A few weeks passed. Remus did his daily and nightly routines. The moon came and went with no hassle, though it left him exhausted as usual. Every night, the club seemed to get new business, so he steadily gained more customers and as well as the regulars. He became so busy that almost all thoughts of James and Harry left his mind. With that fact in mind, he was surprised to see Harry back at the club. This time by himself.
Harry was the one who alerted his presence first. Remus was standing in front of the bar sipping his whisky. "Hello again, Professor."
Recognising the voice, Remus looked up, concealing his astonishment. "Good evening, Harry." With hesitation he said, "I…I wasn't expecting to see you here again."
"Well," Harry shrugged, "the season's over now, and I'm going mad just staying home, so I figured I could stop by here."
"The season is over already?" The information surprised Remus. With everything going on, he wasn't keeping up with the news.
"For my team, yes it's over. On our last match, the entire team was having an off day. The Chasers kept missing the Quaffle, the Beaters kept missing their target, and so forth so on. I had a mild headache that day as well, so my concentration was weak."
Remus nodded sympathetically. "And you were so close to getting the championship."
"Yeah. Bugger it. It's nothing though. As much as I love flying, I couldn't wait for the season to be over with. It is rather exhausting, professional Quidditch is at least."
A peaceful silence surrounded the two men. Remus looked around and saw a lot of action going on in the crowds. He wondered if he should go find a client or not, but he didn't want to be rude and leave Harry behind. Harry got comfortable on the bar stool and asked for a drink. As soon as Harry got his beverage, he drank it.
"Remus. Call me Remus, Harry. I am not your teacher and haven't been your teacher since your third year," said Remus, gently correcting him.
"Remus…" The way his named rolled off of Harry's tongue gave him the shivers down his back. "Could we go somewhere else?"
Remus' eyes went wide open at the question. "Pardon?"
"Like…I mean...could we go somewhere to talk?"
"Please? Just that I haven't seen you around so long, although I just couldn't find you, and I was wondering where you were, what you were doing. Now that I've found you, I want to remain in contact with you."
Remus smiled slowly. "Well, good to see I was missed. However, I'm afraid I am going to have to pass the offer. I have work to do tonight, Harry."
Harry's green eyes blazed with anger. In a hushed voice he said, "This isn't a job, Remus. You don't deserve this."
"No! Listen to me. You're a well-respected person. With everything you've done for us, you should be fighting for your rights instead of giving in to those bloody Ministry bastards!"
Remus didn't reply. He knew Harry was right to an extent, but he also knew he wasn't going to win. The fact that if he did rebel against the Ministry, it might land him in more troubles than he ever wished.
Looking down at his amber-coloured drink, Harry swirled it. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't talk to you like that. It's just that…" Harry sighed. "This whole situation just bollocks."
Remus smiled kindly at him. "Don't I know that."
Another moment of silence passed between them before Remus broke it. "Give me your address. I'll come around on Sunday. That's my day off."
Harry brightened at the turn of event. "Okay." Getting a card and a pen from the bartender, he wrote it down and handed it to Remus. "Here." Their hands met for the first time, and Remus pushed away the sudden feeling of not wanting to let go.
"Thanks, Harry. I'll be there around two o'clock."
"Sure. Do come. I'll even cook dinner for us." Harry jumped off the stool and looked at him. "Great seeing you again, Remus. Good night."
"Good night to you as well, Harry," said Remus. He watched Harry leave and proceeded to get some work done.
Sunday came, and Remus was going nuts getting ready to go to Harry's. He went through the small collection he had as his wardrobe and kept saying no to every single garment he owned.
Finally, he chose a simple khaki trousers with a white button-up shirt. "Why do I even care what I wear? This isn't a date or anything. Get over it, Remus Lupin," he chided to himself.
Debating on wearing a robe or not, he decided to just wear a green sweater over the shirt. "It's not like I'm going to walk over there, so I might as well not wear anything too warm."
Remus sighed and saw that it was only noon. "And here I am getting ready two hours beforehand. Sometimes I hate my punctual-ness.
"Why did I accept this invitation? I just do not feel comfortable about this. Every time I see him, I see James. I just have this urge to do stuff with Harry like I did with James."
Getting up from his bed, he went to his bookcase and selected a random book. Remus must have been really out of it for he chose a potion text. "Might as well use this to entertain myself for the next two hours." So he got comfortable and attempted to read the book.
Harry looked up expectantly when he heard the familiar sound that followed Apparating. Smiling, he said, "Hello, Remus. Glad you could come. I've looked forward to this." And had he ever! Like Remus, Harry fiddled his thumb since noon and couldn't get content. The last time he felt this nervous was the day he had the Sorting Hat on.
Standing up, Harry spread his hands around. "Have a seat, Remus. Get comfortable."
With a smile toward to Harry, Remus sat down in one of the chairs and looked around. It was a cosy flat. Along with the sitting room, where they were at now, the place was accommodated with two bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, and a dining room.
"This is a nice flat," Remus lamely said.
"Thanks. I chose it myself. Probably the first thing I ever did to live on my own." Still standing, Harry then asked, "Would you like some tea? Or anything else to drink?"
"Tea sounds excellent. Thank you."
Harry left the room, and Remus looked around again closely. The area above the fireplace in the room was decorated with picture frames. Remus stood up and looked. There were pictures of Ron, Hermione, and the three of them together, his ex-dorm mates, and the wedding picture. Remus gasped. James' and Lily's wedding. The day he knew James was lost from him forever.
How young we looked then…James so happy, carefree, with no worries in the world. All he wanted to do was have a family and support them, he thought to himself. He raised his hand and gently caressed the picture. I wonder how Harry acquired this photograph.
Harry walked in the room, carrying a tray with the teacups, sugar, and cream. He noticed Remus staring at the picture, and a sad smile came on his face. "It hurts doesn't it?" He set the tray down on a table and stood next to Remus.
"Yes. How did you get this?" Remus asked softly.
"Hagrid gave it to me. He sent me an album full of pictures of dad and mum. I love this picture. So I retook it with a Muggle's camera and had it enlarged."
"Sirius, James, Lily…" Remus looked at Harry.
"Tell me. Tell me about the wedding. You were there, right?"
Remus hesitated. "I…"
Noticing Remus' uncertain movement, Harry replied, "It's okay if you do not want to talk about it."
"No," said Remus, shaking his head. "You deserve to know." Again, Remus looked at the photograph, and he reached out to touch the frame. "They, your parents, were so happy that day. Their joy was so blatantly obvious to even the blindest person. A lot of friends and family members came to the wedding. Lily wanted a Muggle style wedding, and James didn't complain. In a way, he had the same fascination that Arthur Weasley has of the Muggles.
"Of course, Sirius was the best man, and boy did he have a blast flirting with Lily's bridesmaids. Being the charmer he was, though, the ladies didn't mind." Remus smiled softly at the memory.
"I'm curious, but who caught my mother's bouquet?" Harry asked with a silly grin on his face. Without knowing it, he leaned closer to Remus.
"Believe it or not," said Remus who chose to ignore Harry's action, "it was Peter."
Harry wrinkled his nose. "Ugh. That sodding bastard doesn't deserve anyone but Riddle."
Remus didn't say anything.
"Cat got your tongue?" Harry teased lightly.
"No, you just gave me a disgusting mental image I could have done without."
Harry blinked. "Wha-?" Sudden realisation passed him through, and he turned tomato red. "That is a frightening image."
"Shall we change the subject?" Remus walked away from the fireplace, not wanting to bring back any more memories.
Nodding, Harry followed Remus who sat down on the couch. Harry sat next to Remus and sighed. "Well, it will be a while till dinner. I'm making roast beef as the main course tonight followed by either tea or alcohol. Hope you like it."
"That is one of my favourite dishes, and I know you have great culinary skills." Remus looked over and gave him a reassuring smile.
"Well, so far no one has keeled over, so I'll take that as a good sign."
The two men burst out laughing. The atmosphere between them turned to a comfortable one, and they continued to talk for the next several hours.
Feeling the light sensation of the alcohol, Remus happily hummed to himself as he flooed into his fireplace. He could have easily Apparated, but he didn't want to risk it after remembering how Sirius nearly splinched himself after a little drinking binge.
He crashed into his armchair and stared at the wall in front of him with a goofy smile on his face. Dinner was quite an experience. It was probably the first decent meal Remus had had in ages. He was pleased to see that Harry's cooking skills hadn't declined in the last several years. After the meal, both of them had some whiskey. They both drank enough to be tipsy.
While sipping on their drinks, they both talked about a lot of random stuff. Remus found out that Ron and Hermione had gotten married. He remembered Harry telling him that Ginny had chased after him, but after a public announcement of Harry being gay, Ginny was heartbroken for a while. After getting over the fact that Harry was not interested in woman, she and Harry became good friends. They would still sometimes meet and go guy hunting.
Remus sat up quickly as something came to him. He vaguely recalled gently stroking Harry's cheek. While doing so, he also told Harry that he had become a handsome young man. Handsome like his father, but Remus hadn't said that part.
"Shite!" Remus jumped out of the armchair and started a frenzied walk around his small flat. "Fuck."
Remus covered his face with his hands, feeling the heat, the effect of the alcohol still swarming through his body. "I can't believe I told Harry that. What was I thinking?" Remus continued his monologue with himself. "Bloody hell…I hope Harry doesn't remember that part of the conversation later."
He stopped walking and leaned against the wall on his back for support. He recalled how Harry's cheek felt. It felt warm. He could still feel Harry's hot breath on his fingers when they had gotten close to Harry's mouth. The happy expression on Harry's face, the sound Harry laughing with such joy.
Remus briefly wondered if Harry's cheeks were flushed due to the alcohol or his touch. A small voice in the back of his head was hoping for the latter. Harry did look incredibly shaggable tonight though. Throughout the night, Remus noticed that Harry had the tendency to bite his lips while talking, so they were red themselves and very kissable looking.
Remus' reverie was interrupted by a stirring down in his groin. "Fuck!" Remus decided that it was time for a shower. A cold shower. Anything to get rid of these thoughts of wanting to fuck his ex-lover's son.
"I'm going mad, and I must be drunk. That's the only reason why I am suddenly lusting after Prongs' boy," Remus muttered, ignoring the voice in his head, which at that moment was yelling that Harry wasn't a boy, but a man now.
"Definitely cold. Ice cold."
After a refreshing, icy shower, Remus changed into some pyjamas and fell on the bed. While on his back, he stared at the ceiling, trying to figure out why all these strange thoughts were in his head. Strange and very wrong thoughts.
Am I just getting James and Harry confused now, he wondered to himself. I mean…lately all these memories have been coming back to me. Even after all these years, James is the only one I've ever loved. Maybe my heart cannot distinguish between the two people unlike my brain can.
Remus sighed and hugged the pillow to himself. He slowly drifted off into a troubled sleep, hoping to get Harry out of his mind. Wondering if he'll just forget about all of this tomorrow. That's what he wanted. To just go back to his life before Harry had entered it.
Over the next few days, Remus grew more and more disgusted with himself. He threw himself into work, wanting to get rid of all his lusty thoughts. It did not work much to Remus' disappointment. While working, instead of seeing his clients' faces, images of Harry straddling him, pleasuring him replaced who he was really with at the moment.
When he was off of work, he tried to distract himself. Nothing worked; it was like everything was against him. No matter how hard he tried, he could not stop thinking about Harry.
Hell, even the weather was against him. It was only May, and it was so bloody hot. Hot to the point that he walked around shirtless in his flat. Just as he was about charm some cooling spell, his wards went off, alerting him that someone was at his door. He clutched his wand as he opened the door slightly. He was so surprised to see Harry that he opened it all the way, forgetting that he was shirtless, forgetting all the troubles he had trying to get Harry out of his mind.
He swallowed hard before he said, "Harry. What a nice surprise. And…how did you find this place?"
Harry wanted Remus.
Ever since that Sunday they had spent together, he wanted Remus. Blimey, even before that, he had some kind of feelings for the other man that were beyond friendship! He could still feel Remus' soft touch grazing his cheeks. And he'd never forget how, in a husky voice, Remus told him that he was handsome. A soft blush came to Harry whenever he thought of that comment. Sure, he was used to getting such compliments about his looks, but from Remus, it sounded more genuine. It affected him strongly.
He could not get Remus out of his mind, and he was happy about it. He wanted to get to know the older man. Ever since Harry's third year, Remus was always kind to him. He was one of the few people who looked past his scar to see who he really was. Every time the two of them talk, it gave Harry the impression of coming home. It was as if Remus had his arms wide open for Harry to come into.
After the horrible encounter with Cho in his fifth year, he really didn't think about entering a serious relationship. After the defeat of Voldemort and completion of his studies at Hogwarts, he had plenty of flings with other young men. Until Remus came into the picture, Harry was content with his lifestyle. Now, he only wanted Remus.
Not wanting to rush headstrong into this new situation like a Gryffindor, he decided to keep himself busy with other stuff. He went out and met up with Ginny, along with Ron and Hermione. They all had some catching up to do. Harry didn't tell them about his feelings for Remus, but he did ask Hermione about the WUR movement and its status.
"Oh, Harry. It's going quite well. At the rate we are going now, coupled that my position at the Ministry, we may see some significant changes soon. Maybe in a few months at the least."
"That's good to hear," Harry said. "Things really need to improve for the werewolves."
"Would you like to provide a statement in regarding the WUR?" Hermione suddenly asked enthusiastically. "With your status, and name, it will go much faster."
For once, Harry had no hesitation in wanting to use his fame in such a manner. "Why not? I do think this is unfair."
Aside from a personal statement, Hermione also took out a petition. There were already a few names on it. Names such as Arthur Weasley, Severus Snape, Draco Malfoy, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Nymphadora Tonks, Neville Longbottom, and etc. A lot of these names had titles such as "Order of Merlin, First Class, Second Class, etc."
Harry made sure to sign his name legibly, and put down Order of Merlin, First Class and any other titles that would put him on a higher status.
"Thanks, Harry!" Hermione put the petition away, and they soon talked about something more cheery.
He wasn't able to really concentrate on the conversations afterward. Ginny noticed the far away look on Harry face but didn't say anything. Later, when the quartet broke up, it was just him and Ginny. They were heading toward the same direction, so they ended up walking together.
Ginny took the opportunity to tease him. "So the famous Harry Potter actually fell in love, eh?"
"Wha--?" Harry feeling himself blushing deeply.
"After the whole thing dealing with the WUR, you went quiet. You looked like you were daydreaming about something or someone."
"Well," Harry sheepishly rubbed the back of his head, "I wouldn't say love yet. But it seems pretty close to it."
"Anyone I know?"
"Hrm. I think I can guess who it is." Ginny smiled and patted Harry on the shoulders. "It's Professor Lupin, isn't it?"
"Blimey, am I that transparent?"
"Nah," Ginny sniggered. "But I do remember you telling me that you ran into him in a club that one night with your Quidditch team. And your sudden interest in the WUR…"
Harry sighed. "Well, we did meet several nights ago at my place. He did tell me that I was handsome, and touched my cheeks…"
"Well, I reckon you're the one who's gonna enforce it. And I wish you luck!" Ginny slapped him playfully on the shoulder. They had come to a fork in the street that made them go separate ways. "Keep me posted."
"Sure. Cheerio." He waved and watched her disappear amongst the crowd before he started down his street.
As he walked down the street, he dug out a piece of paper from his pocket. It was the address of Remus' flat. Harry was quite surprised and pleased when Remus told him its location when both were tipsy.
I wonder if he realised that he was giving this to me, Harry asked himself as he passed the different people in the street. When I first asked him, he didn't want to tell me his address. But after getting a few drinks in him, he was willing to share it with me. Is it because he lives in one of the poorer sections? He should know that I don't give a rat's arse about that. I guess it's pride.
Harry was so deep in his thoughts that he didn't notice he had passed his area and was closer to Remus' flat. He didn't even notice that the weather was particularly hot today. He shrugged to himself and decided to go pay Remus a visit. He located the building and walked up several flights of stairs. Even before he reached the front door, he could tell that Remus had warded it.
Instead of knocking, Harry stood in front of the door, waiting for Remus to open it. Soon he heard the audible click of the lock and saw Remus through partially opened door. He then had a hard time controlling himself from pouncing on a shirtless Remus.
He tried not stare, but it was quite difficult. He could see that the heat was getting to Remus. Remus' skin was glistening with sweat, some of it slowly dripped off of his lower jaw. Harry wanted to lick the salty liquid, wanted to feel the taste of Remus. His gaze went a bit lower, and he saw scars here and there on Remus' slender shoulders, arms, and chest. He just noticed that he was actually broader and taller than the older man.
"Harry. What a nice surprise. And…how did you find this place?"
Harry mentally slapped himself and proceeded to answer the question. "Oh, hello, Remus. I was in the area and decided to drop by. You gave me the address the other night. Not sure if you remember it."
Remus frowned as he motioned Harry to come in. "Did I? I guess I was too tipsy to bear that in mind."
"Ah, well, if you're currently busy, I can leave."
"No, I'm not occupied at the moment. Have a seat. I was about to do some cooling charms. The weather is burning me up."
Harry stepped in and noticed that Remus' flat was smaller than his place. He saw an armchair and a small couch. He took a seat at the couch and watched Remus wave his wand. "Really? I hadn't realised that we are having a sudden heat wave or anything like that."
"Ah, that feels so much better," Remus said after he had cast the cooling charms. He walked to the kitchen and asked, "Want anything to drink, Harry?"
"Tea's fine with me, Remus." Harry waited until Remus came back with a tray which he set on the small table between the armchair and the couch. They each prepared their cups, and both started to drink it. "Hermione gave me some news about the WUR movement. She said it's doing pretty well."
"Really." Remus took an apathetic approach to it. Harry saw Remus suddenly flushing. He wondered if the heat got to Remus again or not. He followed Remus' gaze to the shirt on the floor, next to Remus' armchair. He watched as Remus set his cup of tea down to retrieve the shirt. Before the shirt went on Remus, Harry grabbed his wrist with his larger hand with callused fingers.
"Don't. You look nice the way you are," Harry whispered, nearly forcing the sound to be audible. "I like seeing you shirtless."
Remus grew flustered. "Harry, no. This isn't right."
Harry grew cheeky. "Honestly, Remus, I'm just telling you how I feel."
"And I feel that this is not right."
That didn't discourage Harry as he guided both of them to stand up. While getting up, Harry grabbed Remus' other wrist causing the shirt to fall out of the grip. They stood in front of each other, with only a couple of inches of space separating them. "I really, really like you, Remus. I couldn't get you out of my mind for the past few days."
"Harry. We can't do this." Harry saw the dazed and confused expression on Remus' exhausted face.
"Give me a reason why we can't."
"Well." At this point, Harry leaned over and started to lick his earlobes. "Er, I'm way older than you."
"Twenty years is not that much of a difference. It won't even be noticeable in another five years or so."
"You deserve someone younger, someone…who's not a cursed beast like me."
Harry actually stopped teasing Remus and grabbed him a bit harshly by the shoulders. "Don't you ever say that, Remus. You are not a cursed beast! I do not know anyone else that's this sensitive and kind as you. That label is not for you or for any other good werewolves out there." Harry rested his forehead against Remus' and breathed in deeply while smelling the other's man woodsy scent. He lessened his hold on Remus a bit.
"Harry, also, I did go to school with your parents. Bloody hell! I even changed your nappies as a baby!"
"That's not stopping me." And really, it didn't. Harry leaned in ever so slowly, tilted his head a bit and closed his eyes. His lips gently grazed Remus', and Harry felt Remus giving into temptation. Emboldened by Remus' still action, he kissed again, this time with a bit more zeal. After a few seconds, Harry traced Remus' lips with his tongue, wanting to seek entrance. He could feel that Remus didn't want to grant permission. In the end, Harry felt Remus' mouth part open, giving him the consent.
Harry deepened the kiss with gentle yet heated strokes. He delved into the crevices and other nooks and crannies in Remus' mouth. He was surprised to see that Remus was quite the submissive type. The notions slipped past him as he continued the kiss. One of his hands went to the back of Remus' head to support the kiss. The other hand slipped past the shoulder and brushed against one of the sensitive nipples.
Harry felt like he was lost in heaven. If this is heaven, I'd like to stay here for eternity.
Remus deemed himself to be in purgatory, a place slammed between heaven and hell. After he had invited Harry in, he felt the temperature in his flat rising another twenty degrees or so.
Remus grabbed his shirt, but when Harry's hand had grabbed his wrist, he felt the warmth tingling down his arm to his groin. The calluses on Harry's hand gave such texture to the grip, that he felt even more affected than usual.
When he was pulled to stand close to Harry, he thought he would almost stop breathing from the extreme closeness. He felt dizzy. The last time he felt anything of this was when he was with James. Strangely though, it felt different. It was like James' aura, but different.
Remus could feel all his coherent thoughts disappearing when Harry started to lick his earlobes. He slowly melted under Harry's teasing ministration but was jolted back to reality when Harry had grabbed his shoulders with anger, after he had truthfully tried to tell Harry he was a beast.
With the subject of the nappies, Remus tried to bring a little humour into his reasoning on why they shouldn't be doing this, but that failed as well. He wanted this to stop, but at the same time, he didn't want it to end. He wanted it to continue, despite his rational side screaming at him.
When their lips finally met, he gave into the temptation. He closed his eyes as he allowed the slight pressure on his lips to fulfil his desires. The second kiss overwhelmed him even more. Just this kiss, he could feel Harry's love flowing between them. When he felt Harry's tongue tracing at the entrance of his mouth, he hesitated to comply, but his desires won him over as he succumbed to Harry's wishes. He parted his lips, and the delicious sensation of Harry exploring his mouth went beyond his expectations.
It wasn't until Harry brushed one of his nipples that woke Remus up from his stupor. His eyes opened wide, and he shoved Harry back hard, wanting to quell down the attraction he felt toward the younger man. "Harry. No. We cannot do this."
"Rem--" Remus cut him off.
"Just leave. Please!" Remus' voice took on a desperate note.
He had figured that Harry heard the franticness behind the voice. He was grateful when Harry decided not to push anything further today.
Harry sighed and said, "Thank you for the tea. And I'm sorry if I upset you. I'm going now."
Remus leaned against the wall, and when he was sure Harry was out of the flat, he sank down on the floor. He accioed a pillow and muffled his screams of frustration. After screaming till he was hoarse, he sat in that position for a long time.
The next few days passed like a slow, hazy mist. Remus was at the club. One of his regular clients was talking to him, but for Remus, the client might as well been talking in Spanish. Remus could barely make out the words, let alone remember what the other man was talking about.
Remus smiled, nodded, sipped his drink, and tried to pretend that his mind was in the club. Anything to rid his mind of Harry. James, Harry. Before, Remus had almost considered them the same person. Somewhere along the way, they became the two separate people they were. Sure, the two Potters looked a lot alike, but Remus noticed that Harry was gentler, more sensitive than James ever was.
Instead of seeing just James, he saw in Harry both spirits of Lily and James. Lily was a very special person as well as James. But she was different from James. Almost like balancing the two out. That was what Harry was. A mixture of two people who made a big impact in his life.
Remus' client, Patrick, leaned close and was breathing on Remus' exposed neck. He said something, but Remus didn't catch it. Afterward, Patrick stood up and left. In his place, Harry came up to Remus.
That startled Remus out of his daze.
Harry leaned in to whisper in Remus' ear. "We need to talk."
Remus sighed and closed his eyes tightly. "Good. I need to tell you something." He put his drink down at the bar and then lightly grabbed Harry's arm, leading them towards the backdoor. Beyond the door was a small lounge, a quieter place. Remus sat down in one of the couches, and Harry followed suit.
"Look," Harry spread his hands out in front of him. "I'm sorry about the other day, but I truly do like you. I just want to know how you--"
"Your father and I, we used to be lovers."
A calm, soft voice delivered that line, and it seemed as if Harry almost didn't catch it. "What?"
Remus knew there was no turning back. Harry needed to know the truth even if it ended up hurting Remus himself. "Before your father was with your mother, he was with me. Our relationship ended when he realised that he wanted to be with Lily."
"Wait, so you loved my dad?"
"Yes, and I still do."
Harry's eyes hardened. "You're saying that I'm just a…replacement for him? Because I look a lot like him? Merlin, do I even act like him?!"
Remus averted his gaze before he answered. "Yes," he lied through his teeth. "You are a replacement for him, and you do act like him." No. You don't. You're not him! Remus wanted to say that instead but couldn't.
"Then look at me and say the whole bloody thing to my face."
Remus stiffened right on the spot. He raised his face to look at Harry. "We just can't be together. It's not right."
"You haven't answered my question. Can you really tell me the same answer while looking at me?" Harry looked like he was about to lash out at Remus in frustration.
Remus didn't reply for a good while. He continued to look at the man in front of him. He tried to memorise the way Harry's messy hair fell onto his forehead. Tried to remember how Harry, when he frowned, looked even more desirable than ever. It was almost as if Remus wanted to remember everything before removing Harry out of his life permanently.
"Remus?" Harry asked softly.
"Harry," Remus began, clenching his hands into tight fists. "James and I, we were together for a good year and a half. Even after we separated, I never stopped loving him. And yes, I do see you in him. But I also see your mother. You are not the exact mirror image of your father in neither appearance nor personality."
Harry stood up and didn't say anything. He was deep in his thoughts.
"So Harry, even though you are not a replacement for your father, we still cannot do this. Your parents will be rolling in their graves by now with what we are doing. Just leave." With Harry hovering over him, Remus felt like he didn't have the upper-hand as he should've, but he didn't really care at that moment. He just wanted Harry to disappear, so things could go back to the way they were.
Harry moved and stopped in front of Remus. He trapped Remus on the couch by placing his hands on both sides of Remus' face, and then he leaned over until their faces were very near one another.
"I left once before, I am not leaving again. And as for my parents, they would have wanted me to be happy. For me to be happy is to be with you. They would have understood and accepted it."
"Harry." Remus felt that same dizzy feelings he felt the last time he and Harry were this close to each other. "I--"
Someone cleared their voice from nearby, interrupting the mood and the moment. Both Harry and Remus turned to the direction of the sound and saw Remus' boss standing there, looking at the two of them with a pinched expression.
"I'm sorry to interrupt such a--" a sneer, "--interesting conversation, but one of your clients is demanding to see you tonight, Remus."
Harry stepped away from Remus and walked a bit closer to the boss. "I'm his client tonight."
Neil eyed Harry suspiciously. "I don't think I've ever seen you as a regular of Remus'. If you were a regular, I'd allow it, but a more important customer is waiting for him."
"Not tonight. Tell him to go find another sodding man for pleasure," Harry said in a dangerous, low voice.
Before things could turn ugly, Remus hastily got up from the couch and touched Harry on the shoulders. "Sorry, Neil. Don't mind him. Just give me a few minutes, and I'll be out."
"Hn. Three minutes." Neil gave one last appraisal of Harry before he turned and left the two of them alone.
Remus sighed and turned Harry around so they could face each other. A silence hung between them for a moment before Harry broke it. "You shouldn't be doing this."
"It's currently my job, and I intend to do it." Remus stepped back and went on, hoping what he said next would placate Harry a bit. "Look, as soon as I finish, we'll talk more."
"Then come to my place when you're done."
Remus hesitantly nodded. Before he could walk further, Harry reached and gave Remus' hand a quick squeeze. "I'll be waiting."
Without another word, Remus went to see his customer, leaving Harry behind to stare after the retreating figure.
Remus sighed as he left Patrick behind at the hotel room. Apparently, Patrick had fought with someone, and he needed a way to vent his frustration. He decided to do so by having sex with Remus. And it was a rough one. While waiting for the lift to come up, Remus randomly thought, Patrick must've been really upset. Not like this was bad or anything…just a bit forceful for my tastes. Of course I've had worse.
Remus exited the lift and felt the cool air. The streets were empty. Remus checked his watch and saw that it was past two in the morning. As he walked in the direction of Harry's flat, he wondered if Harry was still up. He could Apparate to Harry's place, but his mind was not in the right state. He needed to walk to let his mind wander loose, by having a silent battle with himself.
Do I dare go? I did tell him I'd come. But if I go, it may not be a good idea. Things might happen. Things that I really do not want to confront. Yet if I don't go, he'll get mad, and he'll be hurt. I don't want to hurt him. I don't know what to do anymore. I really wonder what James would say if he was still alive. Before, I could imagine what James would say in all the situations I've come upon, but this one is just leaving my mind blank. It's as if his presence is no longer in my mind.
Remus sighed heavily as he continued down the streets, hearing his footstep echo through the night.
Soon, Remus arrived at the building Harry lived in. He stood there, looking at a lone window, its lights showing dimly through the curtains. Harry indeed was waiting for Remus. Someone cared enough to be waiting for him despite how late it was. Cared enough to the point of telling Remus that he deserved a better job than the one he currently occupied. Cared enough to look past Remus' curse, his shame. It was as if Remus had been given a second chance. Only his second chance was with his first love's son.
Rain started to fall, and it covered the sudden tears that escaped his eyes. The overwhelming realisation that someone really cared for him confused Remus, made his heart ache. With a heavy heart, he turned and faced the way he had come. He couldn't face Harry now. No, he was not himself. He began to walk off, forcing his legs to walk. He couldn't walk fast enough; it was as if his legs were made of lead.
The rain fell harder. The sounds of the water hitting the pavement, windows on cars, and the roof of the houses all covered the sounds of someone's feet pounding the ground. Remus felt a presence behind him. Before he could turn around, arms came from behind and brought him into a broad chest. A warm breath fluttered his cheek.
Remus then realised it was raining, as well as he was crying. He noticed that he and whoever was embracing him were both wet to their skins. "Let go." His voice was hoarse, the sounds barely above a whisper.
"No. I won't. I'm not letting you," said a voice just as faint as his. "I saw you from the window. You were just standing there. Then it looked like something came over you, and you were going to leave."
"I have to go." Remus tried to get out of the embrace, but he didn't have much energy to fight against Harry's strong grip. Instead, he had turned himself and was facing Harry.
After seeing Harry's face, he quickly looked somewhere else. The way the green eyes, the softness of them, stared back at him with such compassion and love jabbed him. "Don't."
"Don't look at me that way."
Harry cocked his head in confusion. "In what way?"
"Like…like…" Remus wearily rested his forehead on Harry's shoulder. "You can see through me."
"Ah." Remus felt Harry take a breath to speak, and he shivered. Apparently, Harry realised how cold Remus was, how wet they both were, and decided against having this conversation in the pouring rain. "Let's go in. You need a hot shower." He then put an arm around Remus' thin shoulders and led both of them back into his flat. Remus, feeling exhausted, didn't bother to try struggle or argue. He decided to let Harry take care of everything at that moment.
After a warm shower, Remus borrowed a fluffy bathrobe from Harry and sat on the couch. Soon, Harry, clad only in a pair of shorts, joined him, making sure that there was enough space between them, so Remus wouldn't feel uncomfortable. The two sat in peace for a long time. The drumming sounds from the rain outside and the crackling from the flames in the fireplace were the only sounds around them.
Harry glanced at Remus and saw that the other man was staring at the fire while holding onto the front of the robes.
Harry jumped when Remus started to say something.
"You know, if it's sex you want, then we can just do it and go our separate ways," Remus said, still staring at the fireplace.
"What?!" Harry exclaimed in anger and shock. "How can you say such a thing!"
"That's what I am, Harry. A prostitute. A whore. A fucking slut."
Without warning, Harry slapped Remus. By instinct, Remus immediately covered the throbbing cheek and stared at Harry in disbelief.
"You are not a fucking slut, whore, or whatever you think you are. And you are not a beast either! You're Remus Lupin, a great, law-abiding citizen who deserves the same right as everyone else in this sodding world!" Harry shouted, his eyes bright with anger. "Quit degrading yourself!"
Remus ducked his head down, unable to meet Harry's eyes. "Harry…"
"Remus…" Harry sighed, feeling the anger slowly leaving him. He reached out and grabbed Remus by the chin and gently lifted it up. "Look at me. You are Remus Lupin, and I…" He leaned in closer till their lips were only mere centimetres apart. "I love you."
Remus was tired. Tired of fighting against his desires to be with Harry. Tired of escaping from all of this. Tired of being alone, not being with someone he loved. He wanted Harry; he loved Harry for who he was, not because he was James' son. He loved Harry Potter, too.
He stayed still, looking deep into the passion-driven, green eyes. He parted his lips by instinct as Harry came closer and closed the gap between them. He closed his eyes tight to prevent the tears from coming out as he leaned into the kiss and wrapped his arms around Harry.
Like before, Harry was kissing him with such tenderness. He was exploring Remus' mouth again, and as the kissing progressed, so did the intensity of Harry's movement. Remus moaned softly into the kiss and then almost whimpered when he felt the lips leaving him. All thoughts of abandonment left Remus as he felt Harry moving downward onto his exposed neck. He could feel Harry lightly nipping and sucking on his soft flesh. When Harry stopped to look at him, Remus nearly whimpered at the loss of the pleasant feelings.
"Harry…" Remus ran his hands through Harry's uncontrollable trusses.
"Remus. I want to make love to you…" Harry gave him a determined look.
Remus nodded and smiled a bit unsurely. He then cocked his head curiously as he saw Harry standing up. Harry extended a hand out towards him and Remus took it. "Bedroom. I don't think the couch will be very comfortable."
"I've had worse," Remus tried to joke to lighten the situation.
"Well, not with me are you going to have some third rate sex session," Harry dryly said. He led them to the bedroom and then turned off the light on the switch and then waved a hand to light up candles around the bedroom.
Remus blushed at Harry's comment. He then stared at the candles. "Prepared, eh?"
Now Harry turned crimson. "Well…er…"
"Hush…" Remus put a finger against Harry's lips. "Thank you…for preparing this for me."
Harry smiled and ran his tongue across Remus' fingers. He manoeuvred them to the bed. Sitting on the edge, with Remus lying on his back, Harry kissed Remus again and with one hand, he undid the front of Remus' robes. Once opened, Remus felt like he did that hot day when Harry had come over, the time he was shirtless. He soon felt Harry planting light kisses all over his chest and torso.
"I like your scars…they are a part of you, and scars are sexy." Harry gave Remus a grin while Remus blushed at the compliments.
"Harry…" Remus squirmed under the ministrations from Harry, getting more and more aroused as time went on. "Let me pleasure you…"
"No. I'm going to do this. You just relax. I want you to enjoy this for a change." Harry continued his explorations on Remus' torso as he went lower. Remus couldn't help but gasped in delights, panted in wants, and moaned with sultriness.
The creaking of the bed, the rustle of the sheets, the sound of clothes, as few there were, falling on the ground, the moans and groans from the two lovers calling out each others name went on through the night. Their silhouette on the walls flickered against the candlelight. The sounds of the rain slowly ceased as the night went on, a night where two souls finally found each other.
As the candles started to die, Remus felt thoroughly exhausted and satisfied. Warm arms were wrapped him in a protective manner. He heard Harry sighing. Just as he was about to drift off, Harry stroked his scratchy cheeks and ran his hands through Remus' sweat-drenched locks. The last thing Remus recalled was Harry's embrace tightening gently around him.
Remus woke up with the sun glaring in his eyes. He blinked to get them adjusted and then realised that he was not at home. He felt someone's arms around him, and he shifted in them to see who they belonged to.
"Harry," Remus mumbled softly, as the last few hours came rushing back to him.
Harry moved and opened his eyes to look into Remus' face. With a smile, he said, "Good morning or afternoon if it's past noon. Sleep alright?"
Remus nodded, realising this was the first time he had slept well in a long time. Harry leaned over and planted a soft kiss on his cheek as he brought Remus back into a tight embrace. "Harry…?"
"What?" Harry frowned a bit at Remus' reluctance. "You are alright, right? I tried not to hurt you last night…"
Remus let out a chuckle. "No…it was great…it was wonderful."
"That's good to hear… good to hear I'm good at something other than Quidditch," Harry joked. Then he became serious. "You don't regret it, do you?"
"No." Remus let out the breath he didn't realise he was holding. "I don't regret it at all."
"Good. Because I don't plan on letting you out of my life for a very long time now…I really do love you."
Remus didn't respond. Instead, he just hugged Harry back. The two of them lay like that for what seemed to have been a long time. Suddenly, the door bell rang.
"Oh, man… who could that be?" Harry quickly found the pair of shorts that were thrown off the bed last night and wore those. Remus followed suit and found the bathrobe on the floor and put that over himself. The two of them went to the sitting room, and Harry went to the door and opened it. Hermione and Ginny entered. They both stopped and stared at the two men who were practically half naked.
"Professor!" Both Hermione and Ginny exclaimed. Hermione got over her shock quickly and shook Remus' hands and launched off on asking him question about his well being. Ginny took Harry aside and whispered into Harry's ears.
"Score one for Potter, huh?" She gave him smile.
Harry flushed and said, softly. "I guess… but I really do…"
"Love him." Ginny interjected. "I guess even the famous Harry Potter will find someone to love and be loved back."
"It was hard trying to convince him…"
"But things will work out for him now…" Ginny grabbed Harry's hand. "Hermione has some good news on the WUR status."
Harry felt a surge of hope and squeezed Ginny's hand. "Is that why you two barged in on a very special moment between me and Remus?"
"Yeah. Consider it your blessing," Ginny teased.
The two of them joined Remus and Hermione to hear about the news. Only after Harry made tea and got some scones for all of them. When they were all comfortably sitting in their respective seats, sipping on their teas, and nibbling on the scones, Hermione cleared her throat to announce the news.
"I have some good news. Fudge may be forced to resign."
"Resign?" Harry repeated. "Why? I mean, I'm glad hear this, but it just seems rather sudden…"
"Well, a lot of people do not like his reforms. They are making him lose all the popularity he had. I mean, yes, his popularity rating has been steadily decreasing over the years, but right now it's at the all-time low. Last I heard, a few of his long-time supporters are even trying to convince him to resign to save what is left of his reputation.
"And what's ironic is, guess which reforms are the ones that are really giving him a bad name?"
Hermione didn't let anyone guess as she launched onward with her speech. "It's the new werewolf laws that's been implemented after SWAD. The petition I have seems to be working, and even the general public who don't know about this petition are furious with these unfair laws."
"That's good to hear. The scumbag deserves to get out of office." Harry reached over and gave Remus' hand a supportive squeeze.
"Yes." Hermione nodded. "Apparently, when the recent stories of the werewolves' support on the Order's side went out, the general public began to sympathise with the prejudice the werewolves are going through."
"If Fudge does resigns," Ginny continued when Hermione was done, "guess who may take over as the new Minister of Magic?"
Harry looked at the exultant expression on Ginny's face and slyly said, "Hrm… Kingsley?"
"No." Ginny scowled jokingly. Then her smile came back as she said, "My dad may become the next Minister of Magic!"
"Congratulations." Harry reached over and shook Ginny's hand. "Arthur most definitely deserves this position."
Remus tried to be enthusiastic at the sudden news of all this, but he was having difficulty. While he was somewhat content to hear that things might become better for the werewolves, he tried not to be too optimistic since in the end, things still might change.
Harry noticed Remus not joining in their high spirited conversation and whispered, "You okay? I thought this would make you happy."
"Well…" Remus looked at his lover's face and forced a smile. "While I had always hoped for the werewolves situation to be better…I can't say too much of this until things really do change for the better. I just don't want to have strong hope and have them crushed later."
"That's understandable, Professor." Hermione said. "But I do think things will change for the better."
"Please, Hermione, I am no longer your professor. Call me, Remus."
"Okay, Remus." Hermione gave Remus a warm hug, which Remus reciprocated.
"Thank you, Hermione. For all that you've done for us."
"No problem, Remus. I want things to be better for everyone." She firmly said this and then the two parted from their hugs.
"Well," Harry went on, grinning. "At this rate, our dear Hermione may end up being the Minister of Magic one day. She's certainly stubborn enough to do anything when she puts her mind to it."
All four of them laughed out loud at the possibility of that happening and then they settled down to talk about other things that have been happening in the Wizarding World.
After finally establishing a relationship, the next several weeks passed with no major problems. Well, almost. Remus was still working at the club to earn money, and Harry resented that. Harry could not convince Remus to stop working there. So in a form of compromise, Harry told Remus that he'd be Remus' "customer" for the majority of the time. To that, Remus responded with:
"Don't be ridiculous, Harry. I can take care of myself. Please, don't go out of your way to make my life easier. You heard Hermione. Things will get better. When things do get better, I will quit my job to look for another one."
In the end, Harry gave in to Remus' decision, but that did not mean he enjoyed it!
With the Quidditch season over, Harry had nothing else to do. He had plenty of money from this season, and he did not have a major need to work. He realised that this was such a contrast from Remus. To make himself feel useful, rather than just being a useless Quidditch player, he started to explore the world by volunteering at various places to see what else would interest him to do in the future.
He volunteered his time by helping Hermione with the WUR movement. He would ran errands for Fred and George Weasley at their store. Although, the first day he went there, he had to adamantly refuse to be one of their test subjects. Along with that, he'd also go to Hogwarts to help out Hagrid, and even help Hooch with the flying lessons with the first years and help with the Quidditch practices.
It was doing these volunteer works that made Harry realise that he needed to focus on his life more. He'd contemplate what he'd been doing up until now, contemplate his future and what it had to offer him.
Whenever not volunteering, and when Remus was not working, the two of them would spend time at Harry's flat enjoying each other's company. To unwind from their daily works, they'd sit on Harry's couch and sip teas and talk to each other. It was during one of these talks that Harry decided to break important news to Remus.
"I've decided to quit professional Quidditch."
Remus stopped drinking his tea and set his cup down as he stared at Harry. "Quit Quidditch? What made you decide that?"
"Well…" Harry clasped his hands together. "I love Quidditch… it is one thing I can say I enjoy and am good at. However, after doing this for almost two years, I don't want to always be viewed as the Boy-Who-Lived-To-Be-A-Quidditch-Star. I guess… I want to do something more. After spending time at Hogwarts again, it made me realise that I'd like to go back there and be on staff there. Of course, there is no opening, but if there ever is one, I'd like to try and apply.
"But at the same time, I don't want to give up Quidditch. Coaching the teams at Hogwarts made me come to terms with the fact that I do not want to fully give it up. But…I do want to quit being a professional player. I guess, after being in the spotlight for most of my life, I want something quieter, a bit more private."
Remus gave Harry an understanding look. "It makes sense…I guess I should be glad you are not going to become a vagabond like a pirate."
"Oh, Remus!" Harry laughed. "Well, if you want me to dress like one, I wouldn't mind. Although, I think you wearing an eye patch with that pirate shirt and the corny hat would fit you more."
"So does that mean I'd be the captain, and you'd be my first mate?"
"Yes. A very, very close first mate."
Remus laughed as Harry pounced on him and the two of them kissed deeply, forgetting about the pirate talks and of Harry quitting Quidditch for now.
The next several days were filled with many hysterical wizards and witches crying over the paper's headline and the main articles about Harry Potter quitting professional Quidditch. To avoid public appearances, Harry hid out at Remus' place or sometimes at Hermione's place. Harry waited until the public had calmed down at the news before he dared to venture back out into the public.
Ron joked about this matter. "I thought your fans going mad over you being gay were bad, but this is even worse! It's like the end of the world for them, obviously."
Eventually, things calmed down and went back the way they were before. Harry could go back out without causing a poor sod breaking out into tears or causing them to start yelling and damning everything on why Harry Potter had to quit Quidditch.
It was several days before his birthday, and Harry was out walking around, enjoying the night air. He noticed that he was near the club where Remus worked. Had it already been a few months since he first came here and eventually fell in love? To Harry, seeing Remus at the club only felt like yesterday. With nothing else to do, he decided to drop by and see how Remus was doing. He entered and headed for the bar. He ordered himself a drink and asked the bartender if he knew where Remus was.
The bartender said he had last seen Remus go into one of the private lounges to talk. He pointed to one of the doors, and Harry thanked him. Harry, with his drink in hand went to the door and decided to wait for Remus to come out. Sipping on his drink, he leaned against the wall next to the door.
While waiting, he thought for a second he heard Remus calling out his name. He almost decided to brush that away, telling himself he was hearing things. But then he stopped and he heard another faint call from Remus. While in SWAD, he had learned to trust his intuition, and with Remus involved, he was not going to stop now.
He quickly reached for the knob and saw that it was locked. He whispered "Alohomora," and opened the door so hard that it slammed against the wall. "Rem--!"
Harry felt all time stop as he saw Neil thrusting into Remus from behind. Without any warning, Harry pulled Neil off of Remus. Remus fell forward and then looked behind him and saw Harry. Harry saw tears threatening to come down Remus' face. With his seeker's skill, he quickly pulled Remus into his embrace. He wanted to protect his lover. He wanted Remus to know how much he loved him. He kissed and nuzzled into Remus' neck, whispering words of comfort into Remus' ear as he led them out of there.
After much consideration, Remus decided to quit his job at the club. Being with Harry, being with someone who cared for him made him consider Harry's feelings. Harry didn't like Remus doing his job at the club, and he had already proposed that Remus could stop for now since there was enough money to support the two of them. Remus had only continued to do this because he had not wanted to rely on Harry as a financial support. However, he truly did not like it, and knew deep inside, werewolf or not, he did not deserve this kind of job with his educational background.
Remus promised Harry that he would go talk to Neil by himself. Harry would not allow that. "I will not let you be in the same room with that prick again. At least let me come with you."
"Harry…you don't need to do this…I can handle it by myself."
Giving a glare at Remus, Harry continued. "I'm coming with you when you go officially resign there. And if Neil, whatever his name is, lays a hand on you, I will personally transfigure something into a very long banana and stick it up in his arsehole!"
Luckily, Harry didn't have to resort to that. In fact, Neil's daytime secretary was there, and Remus handled all the resignation with him. However, when they were leaving the place, Neil came back and stopped them from leaving. Before he could say anything, though, Harry spoke first.
"Okay, Neil," Harry sneered and imitated Severus Snape's trademark glare. "Remus officially doesn't work for you now. So there are no reasons for you to be contacting him anymore. If you do want to contact him, you will have to get through me first. And trust me, you don't want to see me ticked off."
Remus raised an eyebrow at how similar Harry and Severus could be, and he nearly had to stifle a laugh.
Neil, however, didn't get the hint and said, "Look, who are you to barge in here, make me lose one of my best workers, and then tell me what I can or cannot do!?"
"You idiot…" Harry said. Remus could see Harry having to force himself not to reach for his wand. Remus put a reassuring hand on Harry's arm and then stepped up to Neil.
"It's done, Neil. I do thank you for letting me work here these past three years, but it's my time to move on." Remus paused a bit. "I doubt we'll ever see each other again in the rest of our lifetime." With that said, Remus, holding onto Harry's hand, walked past Neil, ignoring the sputtering, angry cries from the short man. Once outside in an area out of view from straying eyes, Harry and Remus Apparated away from the place, never to go back there.
With Remus finally not working at that place, Harry happily awaited for his birthday. He was glad that he'd be able to finally celebrate it with his lover.
He sleepily woke up in his bed, arms extended to feel for Remus. He touched the cold spot where Remus should have been. He sat up and looked around, wondering where Remus was.
Remus then walked in with a tray, filled with Harry's favourite breakfast food and tea.
"Remus…?" Harry was pleasantly surprised.
"Happy Birthday, Harry." Remus set the tray down on the night table next to the bed and bent down to kiss him softly on the lips. He wasn't surprised to see that Harry was naked with the exception of only a thin sheet covering his groin area. He was tempted to move the sheet as he breathed in sharply to tone down his desires.
As if reading his mind, Harry smirked. "See something you want?"
Remus backed away and shook his head. "After you eat…eat up while it's warm."
"There's a handy heating charm I could use you know…" Harry trailed off seductively, as he picked the sheet up in his hand. Hard already, he wanted Remus. "I wouldn't mind something else this morning. It is my birthday, after all."
Feeling his hesitation dissolve, Remus approached Harry and wrapped his arms around him. He took a deep breath and said, "I love you."
"Remus…" Harry eyes shot open at that simple statement. "That's the best birthday present I could ever receive. It's the first time you've said that." Harry hugged Remus with all his might. "I love you, too."
With that, the two shared a passionate kiss. Remus, only in his dressing gown, propped himself onto the bed and straddled Harry, not once breaking their kiss. Both of them felt each other's desire pressing against them. Harry threaded a hand through Remus' soft honey and grey coloured locks. He flipped them over until he was on top of Remus.
"How about--" Harry broke the kiss and panted for air, "--I get an early dessert?"
Smiling, Remus said, "Fine by me…fine by me, Birthday Boy."
Hermione came close to bursting as she waited for the afternoon to come. Not only did she, Ginny, and Ron want to go give Harry his birthday present, but she had some great news to break to Harry and Remus. However, she rationally figured out what the two would be doing in the morning, so she wisely decided to be patient.
When the time came to go see Harry, the three of them Apparated to Harry's place. Harry and Remus were in the sitting room, with drinks and food already served on the table. After everyone shared their greetings and gave Harry his presents and birthday wishes, Ginny held up a giant box.
"Here's the cake that I promised you, Harry. Your favourite 'Death by Chocolate' cake."
Harry grinned. "Awesome! Nobody else can bake that cake like you do, Ginny."
Ron pointed at his sister, with a playful disgusted look on his face. "I agree, but can you believe that she refused to let me have a taste?!"
"Oh, Ron." Ginny rolled her eyes. "If I'd let you have a taste, there wouldn't even be crumbs left for Harry!"
Everyone laughed as they settled down into various armchairs and couches while Harry went to grab some plates, forks, and knives for the cake.
Ron lighted the candles and they all sang the mandatory birthday song.
"Harry, don't forget to make a wish!" Ron exclaimed excitedly for his friend's benefit.
"I don't need to make a wish." Harry stared into Remus' eyes lovingly. "I already have what I want." He blew the candles out and soon cut the cake for everyone to have.
With the cake and other snacks and drinks, they ate. Soon, Hermione said, "Guess what, Harry?"
"Fudge resigned, and Mr. Weasley -- Arthur -- took over."
Harry's eyes lit up. "No way! When did that happen?! How come we didn't see this in the Daily Prophet?" He glanced at Remus to see how he'd take the news.
"Oh, it will be official tomorrow, but of course the whole Weasley family already knows the news." Ginny smiled widely, happy for her father's and Remus' sake.
Remus smiled lightly, still hesitant to raise his hopes up. "That's wonderful."
"Yes!" Ron shouted. "I'm glad to see that sod out of the office now."
"Oh, and also, the first thing my dad's gonna do tomorrow is to reform the werewolf laws."
"This is the best birthday ever." Harry beamed at Remus. First my lover says he loves me, and now the news that he can get an actual job like everyone else…could my life get any better?
Ginny slyly said, "Oh…I'm sure there will be ways Remus can make it even better for you."
Hermione blushed as she looked down into her cake, and Ron choked on his tea and said, "Ginny!"
Another round of laughter went through the happy group and they spent the rest of the afternoon talking and catching up on stuff.
The next few days passed by in a whirlwind. The news about Cornelius Fudge resigning and Arthur Weasley taking over was the only thing everyone talked about. Arthur made a speech over the wireless, apologising on the behalf of the Ministry and their unfair treatments to the werewolves.
The entire Wizarding World was enthusiastic about the change, with a few minorities saying that the werewolves obtaining equal rights like themselves was completely preposterous.
Several days after the hype went down, Harry and Remus had two surprise visitors. Severus Snape and Draco Malfoy.
Remus and Harry invited the two formidably dressed wizards into the sitting room. Harry went to get some tea while Severus and Remus remained in the sitting room to talk. Draco followed Harry to the kitchen so the two could chat, too.
"You seem happier, Remus."
"Yes…I am, Severus. How's your job as the headmaster of Hogwarts?"
"I've seen some better days. Honestly, I don't know how Albus handled all the paperwork that comes with the job. At least disciplinary issues went down since I took over."
Remus hid a grin, knowing that with Severus as the headmaster, that was to be expected. "I see."
Harry and Draco came back with the drinks, the two talking about Quidditch. The two of them finally became friends during the war, with Draco defecting to their side.
When things settled down, Severus sat up straight in his chair. Before he could say anything, Draco said, "See, Severus? I knew Harry would like the gift I sent him."
"Yes…Quidditch merchandise does seem to fit his small mind very well."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Good to see you haven't changed much, Severus."
"As much as I'd like to see you two get along famously with bantering, Severus, why don't you get to the point?"
Draco received a raised eyebrow from Severus. "I would, if a certain Potions Master would not interrupt me."
"Oh!" Harry flashed a grin at Draco. "Anybody blowing up your classroom, yet?"
"Sadly, I do have couple of brainless gits in my classes, but otherwise the classroom is still standing."
Severus cleared his throat in annoyance. "May I continue?"
Nodding, Draco wisely remained silent. Behind Severus' back, he rolled his eyes and winked at Harry.
"I've come on the basis to offer a job proposition to the both of you."
Harry and Remus blinked at Severus. "A job?" Harry asked.
"Yes, Madame Hooch is retiring, and I know you are interested in that job."
"That's great! I would love to take that. Do I need to do anything, like get approvals?"
"No. With your status and your expertise, it won't be necessary. And you have already proven to me and Madame Hooch that you are capable to teach by volunteering with us."
"You said the both of us…?" Harry waved a hand to Remus. "What about Remus?"
"Ah, that. Well, a certain teaching position is opened, and yes, it's the Defence Against Dark Arts teaching position. I would like you, Remus, to retake it and break the curse by staying more than a year. I am positive that you will be able to stay longer than a year."
Remus stared at his hands. "I…I don't know. I don't want to hurt the children…"
"Draco or I will be responsible for brewing the Wolfsbane potion, and we will definitely make sure you take it at all times."
Remus thought silently to himself. "I am honoured that you'd offer the position, Severus, and grateful, but I don't want to bring any trouble into Hogwarts…many people will object to your choices on the matter."
"Nobody has the guts to tell Severus he's wrong. His presence alone makes them take their comments somewhere else. Besides, a lot of people know you are capable to teach the subject. With proper precautions, nothing will go wrong. And on days you need recuperation, one of us," Draco waved a hand to indicate the three of them, "can take over for you."
Harry grabbed Remus' hand and squeezed soothingly. "They have a point there. You are capable, and you were the best DADA teacher I've ever had. I will be more than happy to help you in every way. Think of this as a new door opening to you for better chances in life. This is your time to shine, Remus."
"Harry…" Remus looked and saw the tenderness in his eyes. He looked at Severus and Draco, both looking at him expectantly. Harry is right, he thought. I need to leave the past. I need to leave James, leave the idea that werewolves cannot be apart of the society like everyone else, and leave my insecurities aside.
"Thank you, Severus. I'll accept the job."
Severus and Draco stood up to leave. "Then I expect you two to come to Hogwarts the day after tomorrow, so we can resolve all loose ends. Come at nine in the morning, and don't be late, Harry. Tardiness among teachers will not be tolerated as well."
Harry and Remus hugged them before they Apparated back to Hogwarts. Alone, Harry sat back on the couch, with Remus in his embrace. "I'm glad you took the job…I was afraid you'd decline."
"I was going to turn it down. But…" Remus sighed. "With you by my side, I feel like I could do anything now. I love you."
"I love you, too, Remus." Harry planted an affectionate kiss on his forehead and the two sat there, holding each other well into the night.
The Great Hall was filled with various cacophonic noises. Older students talked loudly with their friends, comparing their schedules with one another. Every once in a while, an adoring fan would stare at Harry at the head table. Everyone was present except for Professor Sprout, who was going to lead in the first years. In the middle of the hall, the stool was there, with the Sorting Hat on top. It already composed a new song for the year, ready to continue the tradition.
Harry and Remus sat next to each other, in their new teaching robes. They talked to each other in low voices and when others talked to them, like Hagrid, they would join in the conversations.
As the door opened, and the first years walked in, conversations slowly came to a halt as all the eyes went to the new generation of their future.
Underneath the table, Harry squeezed and held onto Remus' hand. The two shared private smiles and they looked forward to their future.