“Remus, can I have a word?”
“Sure, what can I help you with?”
“In private,” adds Harry, jerking his head towards Sirius and Ginny. Sirius and Ginny are so engrossed in the Muggle motorcycle magazine they're poring over that Remus doubts they would hear a word of what Harry wants to tell him anyway, but he nods.
“I'm going to show Harry that new book about Grindylows I just got. We'll be in the library, if you need us.”
“Have fun!” says Sirius, without taking his eyes off the magazine. Ginny smiles enigmatically.
“So, Ginny and I are going to get married.”
“Harry! Congratulations! That's wonderful.”
Harry grins broadly.
“Have you set the date? Is Molly in a tizzy yet?”
“See, that's exactly what I wanted to discuss in private. Ginny says that if she has to sit through weeks of her mum making a huge fuss about things, she'd rather not be married – so we're having a surprise wedding. We're inviting everyone to what we'll say is just a regular party, and then boom, we get married. Of course we're going to have to tell a few people beforehand – Fred and George are going to help us set up the reception – Ron and Hermione are in on it, of course – Luna is going to officiate – Mr Weasley knows – all things considered, I guess what I'm trying to say is that we're not telling Mrs Weasley, and...”
“... and you're not telling Sirius,” finishes Remus for him, grinning. “Yeah, that's a smart decision. He would never be able to keep something like that a secret, Molly would just need to take a look at him wagging his tail all over the place and she'd know something is up.”
“You don't think he's going to take offence, right?”
“Who, Sirius? Have you met him? He'll be high-fiving you for managing to pull off something like this, honestly.”
“Right,” says Harry, with a smile. “I thought as much, but you know. I thought I'd better ask you.”
Remus looks at Harry's happy face – it feels like it was just yesterday that he was a tiny little blob of a baby in James' arms, and now he's grown into such a brilliant, brave, handsome young man, a man who's going to get married – and suddenly he understands why people cry at weddings.
“Come here,” he says gruffly, wiping his eyes on the sleeve of his robes. “Give me a hug.”
“A party? Nice! What's the occasion?”
“Fifth anniversary of the Weasley twins' mail-order joke shop, apparently,” says Remus, handing Sirius the brightly coloured invitation. “Looks like they're going all out – well, they can afford it.”
“Brilliant,” he says. “This is going to be a lot of fun... weird, it says here we have to RSVP – I wonder what they could be planning that requires a precise headcount – probably some sort of spectacular prank,” he adds, gazing dreamily into the distance.
“Most likely, yeah,” agrees Remus, turning his back on Sirius under the guise of levitating his empty tea mug into the sink. He's trying and failing to keep a straight face. “Well, I'm off to school – see you in the afternoon, Pads.”
“I hope it's some sort of riff on the Canary Creams concept, I love those.”
“Have you ever thought about making things official?”
“I beg your pardon?”
“Between us,” says Sirius, zooming an enchanted paper plane around their bedroom. “And I meant 'make things legal', I guess. Apply for a license, sign the register, all that stuff.”
“Sometimes, yeah. Mind, I don't think I would want anything public – you really can't top the sheer comedic value of the moment when it emerged that you didn't know my middle name, so what's the point – unless I manage to selectively Obliviate you, I guess – which could actually be pretty fun – anyway – as I was saying, I don't really see the point of having a ceremony. We've said our vows, and as far as I'm concerned, we're as married as we'll ever be. But there's a part of me that longs to see it written down somewhere, I guess – Lupin and Black, a married couple in the eyes of the law.”
Remus drops the book he's holding.
“Wow,” he says, in amazement, staring at Sirius over the rim of his reading glasses. “That was the least Sirius-y thing you've ever said in your entire life. Are you sure you're really you? My instincts tell me Polyjuice Potion has to be involved somehow. ”
“Don't be an arse,” says Sirius, directing his paper plane to fly at Remus' head. “This is what you agreed to when you promised you'd take me to be your wedded husband, for better, for worse...”
“I never said that, actually. You're making it up.”
“... for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health – I'd say that definitely covers my sudden realization that I wouldn't mind being, er, law-abiding, for once in my life. Shameful as that sounds. If you ever tell anybody about this conversation we're having, by the way, I'm going to kill you – mourning clothing would actually suit me quite nicely, I think, so I see no downsides.”
“Your secret is safe with me, don't worry. With one exception – I'm definitely going to tell James, if you kill me.”
“You can't!” yelps Sirius, in outrage.
“Of course I can, it says it right there in the vows that I never actually said and that you just quoted to further your cause – till death do us part. Everything after that is fair game, I'm sorry – I don't make the rules.”
“All right, all right, I take back my death treaths, are you happy now?”
“Very, yes, thank you,” confirms Remus, smiling. “Now call off the paper plane, please – there's a good lad. So, when do you plan on doing it?”
“Making an honest werewolf of me in the eyes of the Ministry, of course.”
“Wait, do you mean you would actually... ?”
“Merlin's beard, Sirius, did you really think that I was going to say no?” says Remus, grinning at Sirius' look of deepest elation. “Have I ever shot down any of your ideas, in all the years you've known me? Let alone something like this, virtually the most sensible suggestion you've ever put forth – possibly tied with that one time you made us skive Potions and practise blow-jobs in the seventh floor broom cupboard instead, come to think of it.”
“You know what, now that you mention it I would also quite like to see that written down somewhere – Lupin and Black, a couple of individuals who've always had their priorities straight.”
“Well, that's true. Pretty much the only straight thing about us as a couple and as individuals, though.”
“I'll make sure they get that in writing, too.”