Sirius could be heard before he was seen. He stomped along the corridor and when he entered the room he stood in the doorway, feet apart and hands on his hips. Then he announced, "I'm a flaming homosexual and anyone who has a problem with that should have a go now and get it over with." There was a stunned silence in the room, more due to the dramatic way he'd made the announcement than with the content of it. Remus didn't think it had come as a surprise to anyone.
While everyone else was still open-mouthed in shock, Remus dropped his quill on his parchment and strode over to his friend. Sirius still looked angry but didn't resist when Remus grabbed his shoulders, pushed him against the nearest wall and kissed him.
Except it didn't happen like that.
Sirius made his dramatic announcement all right, but Remus just watched along with everyone else as Sirius followed it up by running up the stairs to the dormitory. He'd thought about kissing Sirius. He'd thought about kissing Sirius often but never plucked up the courage. Today was no exception.
When the common room returned to a buzz of conversation, Remus followed Sirius. Up in the dormitory, Remus found Sirius lying face down on his bed. He didn't move as Remus perched on the edge of his own bed.
"What happened?" Remus asked softly. Clearly something - or more likely someone - had wound Sirius up.
Sirius heaved a sigh and rolled over to to end up on his side facing Remus. He shrugged, an interesting move from that position. "Nothing new."
Before Remus could interrogate Sirius further, James and Peter barrelled into the room. At first, Remus wondered how news of Sirius's announcement could travel that fast. However, from their comments he soon discovered that they were following in the wake of a fight Sirius'd had with a Slytherin in the year above. But they had no doubt been informed of subsequent events on their way through the common room.
"He's probably gay as well," James concluded, as Sirius pushed himself up. James made a face. "Slytherins." He made it sound like a curse, which it was in Gryffindor.
Sirius relaxed back against the headboard. Had he been worried what his friends thought of his sexuality?
"It doesn't matter whether you're straight or gay," James went on, holding fort in the centre of the room. "We're still your friends."
"Once a month you turn into a dog for me," Remus added. "You could probably commit murder and still be my friend."
Sirius smiled at him.
"Have any of you finished that awful Muggle Studies homework?" Peter asked into the silence that followed Remus's comment. "I've only written a page and I can't think of anything else to say."
And with that, the matter was closed.
Or it was for everyone else. At 1am Remus was still awake, worrying. Not about what his friends might think of him if he mentioned his sexuality, but what he was going to do about his crush on Sirius. He now knew for sure that Sirius liked boys, but that didn't automatically mean he liked Remus. Not in that way, anyway. Sirius was always so overly affectionate that his actions were impossible to interpret. Asking outright was too scary a prospect. There was friendship and the full moon on the line if Sirius didn't feel the same way.
Admitting to himself he wasn't going to fall asleep any time soon, Remus decided a change of scenery might help. He tiptoed down the stairs to the common room, where the light was low. There was a sofa opposite the dying embers of the fireplace. He curled into a ball at one end of it and stared into the ashes in the fireplace, as if that might give him some insight. Or maybe just lull him to sleep. Either would be fine.
At the sound of footsteps coming down the stairs, he leaned his head against the back of the sofa, closed his eyes and feigned sleep, hoping that whoever it was would leave him alone. He had no such luck. The sofa bounced as someone plonked themselves down next to him, jolting him so much that even if he had been asleep, he wouldn't be any more.
Remus opened one eye to find it was Sirius. If Remus continued to try feigning sleep Sirius would just poke him, so he sighed and opened the other eye. He returned his gaze on the fireplace, though.
"You can tell me, you know. We are friends."
Remus frowned, but there was a knot of worry inside him about what it was Sirius thought he knew. Sirius certainly sounded confident about it. "Tell you what?" Remus asked evenly, glancing over at Sirius to find he was also looking at the fireplace now.
"That you're gay too." When Sirius turned his head their eyes met for a moment, before Remus fixed his gaze on his knees.
"I'm not gay." Which was technically true. But Remus also didn't want to admit the truth because he knew Sirius would just ask him if he liked any boys in particular and Remus didn't think he could lie that well. Not to Sirius.
"You're not?" Sirius sounded genuinely surprised and Remus couldn't help smiling slightly.
"I'm bisexual." He raised his head to see Sirius looking confused, so he explained, "I like boys and girls."
"That's a thing?" Sirius looked excited about the prospect and Remus wondered what sort of beast he might have unleashed. Fortunately, Sirius left that question for another time. But unfortunately, he returned to his focus on Remus. "Which do you like better, girls or boys?"
Remus shrugged. "Depends on the girl or boy."
"So you do have a crush on someone." Sirius shifted closer.
Remus tried to move away, but he was right at the end of the sofa and all he could do was to lean back over the arm. "I didn't say that."
"But you do though." Sirius rested his chin on his hand. Remus recognised the look in his eye. The trouble with Sirius was that once he was onto something, he didn't let go. It was why he'd found out Remus's werewolf secret and why Remus was worried now.
Remus opted for stalling. "What would you do if I told you their name?"
"Help you, of course." Sirius put a hand on Remus's arm. Remus wasn't sure he wanted Sirius's idea of help. He must have looked sceptical because Sirius went on to say, "I can find out what they like and get to know them so then you know what to say to them."
Remus shook his head. "I already know what they like."
"So..." Sirius bounced a little. When Remus didn't reply he asked,"Why haven't you done anything about it?"
"Because it's you, you idiot." Remus had only said it to shut Sirius up, but once it was out he regretted it and unfolded himself, attempting to escape back to bed, where Sirius couldn't badger him.
But Sirius shifted over so he could sit on Remus's legs and push him back against the sofa. "Thank Merlin for that," Sirius said, and kissed him.