Remus has had a startling revelation whilst reading The Iliad. He doesn’t quite know how he hadn’t noticed it from page one, but now he has and there is no avoiding the fact.
“Sirius is Achilles,” he says aloud to himself. “I’ve fallen in love with Achilles.” He places the book on his bedside table and ponders the fact for a few moments. Immediately, he feels guilty because Sirius is not quite as bad as Achilles.
“Hey!” Sirius says, startling Remus, who jumps. “I am not as bad as Achilles.” He comes fully into the boys’ dormitory and stands next to Remus’s bed, arms crossed in a haughty, yet attractive, way.
“I know you’re not, Sirius.”
“I mean, I am an exceptional warrior—”
“I don’t think dacking James every two seconds makes you an exceptional warrior.”
“—and an exceptional lover, I am not nearly as childish and arrogant as he is.”
“I agree. You’re much more arrogant than he is.”
“Remus!” Sirius whines, and the other boy is startled because Sirius seems genuinely distressed. Sirius is never distressed.
“You’re much more loyal than he is, I’ll give you that. Achilles couldn’t give a damn about anyone except for Patroclus and maybe Odysseus, but you would lay down your life for Agamemnon.”
“No I wouldn’t; he’s a dick.”
“Well, he’s not your king. Godric Gryffindor, then.”
“I suppose,” Sirius says sulkily, sitting down on the edge of Remus’s bed. “Well, at any rate, I wouldn’t sit around sulking in my tent if he stole my girlfriend.”
“You don’t have a girlfriend.”
“Well, if I did and he stole her, I would not sulk and get my squire killed.” Sirius pauses for a moment. “Maybe if he stole you.”
“It’s a compliment!”
“So you’d get Peter killed on my account?”
“Peter?” Sirius says shrilly. “James would be my squire!”
“James? James would be Agamemnon,” Remus says, trying to suppress a laugh at the look on Sirius’s face.
“James would not be king! I would be king if anyone’s going to be king.”
“If you say so.”
“James is Patroclus!”
“Then who’s Peter? And why do I have to be a woman?”
“You’re a very pretty woman, apparently.”
“If I’m going to be a woman, I think I need to be Helen.”
“I don’t think you should be Helen.”
“Why not? I could be pretty, if I wanted to.”
“You’re very pretty,” Sirius soothes, patting Remus on the leg. “But if you’re not Briseis, then you wouldn’t be my paramour.” He pronounces the last word in a terrible French accent.
“I suppose. Couldn’t I be Odysseus?”
Sirius thinks for a moment. “Yeah alright. And then Briseis can be your wife’s girlfriend.”
“Sounds good. But then who’s Peter?”
Sirius shrugs. “I don’t know, Ajax or something.”
“I dunno, the one that doesn’t die.”
“Ajax the lesser?”
“Well, I’d rather be lesser than dead, and I’m sure Peter feels the same.”
“We make a fine bunch, don’t we?”
“We’re all strapping young, muscular Greek men, the light shining off our well-shaped chests. Of course we make a fine bunch.”