“They say the American president only sleeps two hours a night.”
Remus sighs, smiles. He lifts Sirius under they armpits and sideways out of his chair. “So you tell me, but that’s Benjamin Franklin, and I suspect it’s also not true.” With Sirius hanging limply from his hands, trying to regain his balance, he muses, “and also, you aren’t half the man Benjamin Franklin was.”
“How dare you.”
“Sorry.” But he doesn’t sound it. Sirius rebels, shaking his shoulders to dislodge himself from Remus’ grip, but they have never really been a match in terms of strength, and it makes the werewolf laugh instead. He falls back, taking Sirius with him, unbalanced. They sit on the floor, Sirius having landed unceremoniously on his arse, and Remus curls into a foetal position to laugh, right cheek pressed against the floorboards. Sirius turns back over his shoulder to gaze derisively at the werewolf, trying desperately not to join in the laughter because god knows where that will get them.
“Prefect, my arse.”
Remus sniggers helplessly, lying slumped now on the floor. “Sorry. It’s late. Early. I think I’m going insane.” He rolls over onto his back and lies staring at the ceiling. Sirius watches him, moves so he’s sitting cross-legged on the floor, supporting himself with his arms pillared behind his back. “I’ve been up for the last …37 hours finishing that essay for Slughorn.”
Sirius nodded, understanding. “Potions aren’t your forte?”
“They certainly are not.” Remus leans his head up from the floor to look at Sirius, then pulls himself up to a sitting position, legs stretched in front of him. “But enough about me. We both need to get to bed.”
Sirius groans. “I’m not finished.”
“Since when does that bother you?”
“Since Minerva told me my next detention is washing Slytherin underpants.” He shudders. Remus scoffs.
“She did not.”
“She may have been pulling my leg.” Sirius admits, “but I’m not about to risk it.”
“Alright. Fair enough. You’ll have to try the Benjamin Franklin approach, after all.” Remus pulls himself to his feet; Sirius follows suit.
“Fine. Tired. Hysterical. I’ve reached that twilight area of deprivation now, where everything is just slightly funnier than usual.”
“You’d think, wouldn’t you?” Remus sighs and drags a hand across his forehead, kneading the spot between his eyes as he goes. He grimaces. “I’ll be relieved when we leave, and we can start earning money, and I never have to write an essay again.”
“Except you probably will,” Sirius counters, shit-eating grin ever-present, “because you want to research, or teach, or whatever it is you want.”
“Gesundheit.” Remus pulls a face; Sirius laughs. “I’m joking. A map-maker. I know. But knowing you, you’ll write essays in your spare time. You’ll get withdrawal symptoms.”
Remus yawns. “I will not.” He thinks about it. “Maybe I will.”
They look at eachother steadily – Sirius turned towards the desk, Remus towards the stairwell, the dormitory, rest. They mumble and for some reason Sirius cannot fathom, the air goes thick between them, like a dense fog has descended – but more awkward.
Maybe because they’re talking about after Hogwarts, a possibility Sirius doesn’t like to consider; especially considering new and strange things have been happening lately, and there’s not enough time (there’s never enough time) to ponder them before the year will be out and they’ll have to get jobs and James will get married and probably Peter will, too, and where does that leave him? His heart seizes up. He has no answer. Every prospect is more horrific than the next. Remus looks at him.
“Well. Night.” But he doesn’t move towards the dormitory any further.
Remus sways a little on the spot, like his lanky frame can’t hold him. He paws at his own nose, itching the bridge where a thin slice of a scar lies puckered, recent. “’Night. Night.” He says tiredly. He steps forward, right into Sirius’ personal space, kisses him softly on the lips for the barest of seconds, then steps back and looks bewildered, and laughs. “Sorry. Don’t know what came over me. Mistook you for mum.”
“You kiss your mother goodnight? Every night?”
“Don’t make fun. Don’t repeat that, either.” But Remus is laughing again, and he does it again, and then stands so they are chest-to-chest and watches Sirius with amused eyes. Sirius has no idea what to make of it; it is like a joke, but it is new, and he wants – his hands clench and unclench – he doesn’t quite know.
“Night then.” He burbles, nervous as to where this is going, and whether he is reacting correctly. Remus bends down again, stands so their faces are barely apart, and waits.
Sirius kisses him then, just because it feels like the right thing to do. He feels, briefly, the werewolf press closer, and then a sudden cold because Remus has stepped back and it’s really fucking cold because it’s three o’clock in the fucking morning and this is interesting (in fact, Sirius can’t remember a time when he was less bored) but he reallyhas to do the essay. For once. He looks up at Remus, gawky, foal-legged Remus who is strong, and apparently knows his sleeping patterns when it comes to world leaders. Remus kind of sniggers again, something unlike him, but he looks slightly pale and surprised. In a good way. “goodnight, then, Pads. See you in the morning.” A kiss to his temple, leaned in quickly and then Remus is off, slumping up the stairs, visibly fatigued. Sirius says “’night!” back, and watches him go.
He is confident, somehow, that something has changed in the last few seconds. It has begun; it is there now; and suddenly Sirius doesn’t feel quite so bad about after Hogwarts; for that moment, at least.