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Moony and Padfoot

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YEAR 1

 

2 September, 1971

9.19pm

 

Sirius looked over at the quiet, skinny, tired-looking boy curled up in an armchair. It was his second day at Hogwarts, and he’d made an effort to try and meet everyone in Gryffindor, except him. They even shared a dorm, but all the boy had done was nodded at him when he said ‘hi’. 

“Whatcha reading?” He walked up to him. The boy looked up and raised the book so he could read it. “George Eliot? Who’s he?”

“She.” He had a soft voice, with a hint of amusement behind it. “Look, man, it’s okay. You don’t have to talk to me just because I’m in your dorm.”

“What?” Sirius hopped up on the arm of the armchair. “I’m not gonna do seven years of awkward nodding. What’s your name?”
“Twatface Dingleberry. It’s a family name,” he said, looking back down to his book.

Okay, so attempt #1 at communication was unsuccessful. He had bonded with James, another nerdy skinny kid, really quickly. He’d also made a tentative friendship with Peter, a nervous kid who seemed desperate to make friends. He seemed to have successfully distanced himself from his family pretty well, as no one seemed to be holding it against him. But this one kid just wasn’t having it.

 

3 September, 1971

7.21am

 

“Morning, Twatface,” said Sirius, leaning up against his bedpost. His voice got a little quieter when he said ‘twat’, as if he was scared someone would hear him.

“Morning, Dickhead,” replied the kid, pulling his jumper over his head. 

“You’ve already thought up nicknames for each other!” said James indignantly, coming out of the bathroom with wet hair. “Why wasn’t I a part of this? I am personally insulted, I’m never going to get over this—”

“What’s my nickname, then?” Peter chimed in from across the room. 

“It’s only ‘cause he won’t tell me his real name,” retorted Sirius. The kid just gave him a look, and left the dorm. “Oi! Wait for us, Dingleberry!”

 

* * *

 

Once they got to the Great Hall, they spotted the kid at the table, reading a book next to a pretty girl with flaming red hair. 

“All right, Twatface?” “How’s it going, Dingleberry?” James and Sirius spoke at the same time. The girl stared at them, and James’ ears went pink.

“Who are you?” 

“You’ve landed yourself some charmers in your dorm, haven’t you?” she said to the kid.

“Yeah, they’re wonderful,” he replied sardonically. “James Potter, Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew. Pettigrew’s quiet, Potter has an ego and Black thinks my name is Twatface Dingleberry.”

“I do not have an ego. It’s not my fault I was born a perfect specimen,” said James, running his hand through his hair. The whole table stared at him for a second, and the topic was changed. They got along pretty well, with James and Lily bickering occasionally. James and Sirius got on amazingly well, already planning to fill a corridor with full water glasses so no one could get to class, and Peter, Lily and the kid seemed to enjoy having their own conversation. Eventually, Lily stood up and said “C’mon, we’re gonna be late for Charms.”

 

“Oh, we have Charms too!” James looked very excited. 

“We’re all first-year Gryffindors, Potter. We all have the same classes,” she replied, looking at him with a sort of tired disappointment that you might see in a 60-year-old looking at a particularly foolish grandchild.

 

James and Sirius passed notes all through Charms, realising that Flitwick was a fairly relaxed teacher, and they thought Transfiguration would be just as chill. ‘She’s our Head of House!’, they thought, ‘what could possibly go wrong?’

 

Oh, how wrong they were. 

 

They first managed to invoke the wrath of Minnie McG, as Sirius fondly called her later in the dorm, when James broke the leg of his chair leaning back on it. 

“Professor, my chair broke —“

“I’m afraid, Mr Potter, that that is what happens when you muck about.”

“But—“

“Get another chair or sit on the floor, Potter. You are wasting lesson time.” Grumbling, James got another chair from the back of the classroom.

Their second infraction was when Sirius chucked a crumpled-up ball of paper at some of the Slytherin students.

“What do you think you’re doing, Mr Black?” 

“Oh, you know, Professor. Throwing small projectiles across the classroom. Just living the life.”

“Five points from Gryffindor.”

“Oh, how could you, Professor! I have never been so ashamed in my life - please, accept my humble apologies - “

“Keep going, and it’ll be a detention, Black.”

The third infraction was when Sirius chucked a folded-up bit of paper at the skinny kid’s head. Without even looking up, McGonagall took ten points off Gryffindor and the note off him. 

“Would you care to tell me, Mr Black, why this note says nothing but ‘Dingleberry’?”

 

James turned out to be surprisingly good at Transfiguration, and won back as many points as they had lost. It did still end up at zero, though. Peter had a knack for Charms, and Sirius was kind of an all-rounder. All three of them were pretty decent at flying, too. At the end of the day, after dinner, the skinny kid caught up to him - he had to think of a better nickname than ‘skinny kid’ - and actually started a conversation.

“Remus Lupin.”

“Bless you,” Sirius replied. “Oh, right, that’s your name!”

“Dickhead. Anyway, you can stop calling me Dingleberry now.”

Sirius grinned. “Welcome to the team, Remus Lupin.”

“Fucking…thanks, Sirius Black.”

“You know, you have the foulest mouth I’ve ever seen in an eleven-year-old.”

“That’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me.”

 

* * *

 

2 October, 1971

7.46am

The days went by without anything significant happening. Every day, James got a letter from his mum, which he always rolled his eyes at. Sirius saw him tucking them inside his robes, though, and he had a stash underneath his bed next to the Chocolate Frogs. Sirius only got one letter - all it did was express disappointment, and asked if he would transfer to Slytherin, because the Black family has a lot of pull, and you are shaming the pure and noble House of Black. It was signed Ms Walburga Black

“Your family’s weird, man,” said James, noticing the signature. All his were signed Mum xxx

“I know, right? Reg’s alright, though. I think you’d like him,” said Sirius, quickly folding up the letter. “Remus!”

“Morning,” said Remus. He’d been getting even paler recently. If it continued like this, he was going to turn invisible. “I forgot to mention, I’m gonna be staying at my grandma’s for a bit. She’s sick.”

“Oh, that sucks. Is there anything we can do?” James said, with a concerned look.

Remus shook his head. “Nah. She’s been sick for a while, I’m kind of used to it.”

“As long as you’re good.”

“Yeah. Hey, James?”

“Yeah?”

“How’s it going with Evans?”

There was whooping, and James went bright red. “Piss off.”

Suddenly, Lily appeared, and sat down next to Remus. “Hey, Remus. What’re you talking about?”

“Homework—” “The current dismal state of our economy—” 

Peter went pink. “Sorry, I misspoke. Homework.”

“Hey, we should fill the Potions cupboard with shaving cream!” James suddenly exclaimed.

“Why is that what you’re thinking, all the time?” Lily said disgustedly.

“What can I say? I’m an icon.”

“A moron, maybe…”

“Hey!”

Sirius snorted.

“You’re meant to be on my side, traitor!” James bit into his toast indignantly. “C’mon, you backstabbing, double-crossing Judas. It’s Potions next, and Sluggy already hates us.” He stood up.

“Yeah, yeah, coming.”

 

6 October, 1971

7.56pm

Remus was away for three days. When he came back, he somehow looked even skinnier, and had a nasty-looking, half-healed scar by his eye. 

“Holy crap, how’d you get that?” James was clucking about him like a mother hen. 

“My grandma has an asshole of a cat.”

“Is that cat also a dragon?” Lily came in, and started fussing about as well. “Jesus, Remus.”

“Just a fucking nightmare,” he replied with a weak smile.

“Language, Lupin,” reprimanded Peter.

“Are you McGonagall? Anyway, it was kinda nice to see my grandma again. It’s been a while,” he said. 

“What’s with the bruises, too? Did you attend a boxing class with your grandma?” asked Lily, holding up his arms, which were covered in purple and green bruises.

Sirius was quiet.

“I’m clumsy, what can I say?” Remus laughed, looking a little uncomfortable. “What is this, an interrogation? Peter, tell me what crazy shit James and Sirius got up to when I was gone so I can properly threaten them.”
“They filled the Potions cupboard with shaving cream, Sirius accidentally called McGonagall ‘Minnie’ and got himself a detention, James kept meowing whenever he saw her and subsequently got his own detention, and they both got into a fistfight with Snape, from Slytherin. Overall, twenty points from Gryffindor and three detentions apiece.” This was all recited in a deadpan voice. He sounded like he had it memorised.

“Very thorough, Corporal, thanks,” Remus said, with an ominous gleam in his eye. Peter saluted. “Right, you two. Hey, you can’t run away!”

 

Chapter Text

6 October, 1971

9.43pm

“That’s the face of a broken man,” said Lily amusedly, looking at James. “What did you do to them?”

“He’s being dramatic. Sirius had to do Peter’s Astronomy work, James had to do the extension work in all of his classes, and they both had to write apology letters to old Minnie,” said Remus.

“All that for one prank? Damn, Lupin, you’re harsh.”

“Not for the prank, for doing it without me. Duh. Also, shaving cream in a cupboard? That’s some weak tea. At least make it original.”

Lily laughed, but her face quickly changed into something more serious. “Remus, could I ask you something? And you have to promise not to…get offended, or run away, or whatever.” Her voice was low, making sure no one could hear.

He looked at her. “What’s wrong?”

“Remus, are—are you a werewolf?”

 

He kept his composure. Was it this easy, he thought, was it this easy to figure it out? “Why do you ask?” His face was still, but his voice had a wobble behind it.

“Don’t worry, I would never tell anyone if you are, and I’m totally going out on a limb here, but…it was the full moon a few days ago, and you told me you didn’t have any grandparents, and that’s why you’d be all beaten up. Seriously, I would tell anyone, not even Sev, but…”

Dammit. He had been so careful, except apparently he hadn’t. He could feel tears pricking at his eyes, this was all too fucking much - he’d only just made friends, he didn’t know who the fuck Sev was, and it had only been one goddamn moon at this school and someone had already figured it out. There was no more feeling in Remus’ legs; he was pretty sure his face had gone translucent.

“Remus?” There was no one else left in the common room now, thank God, Sirius, James and Peter had gone up to play cards. 

“I’m sorry.” What did she have to be sorry for? He was the one who should be sorry. 

“Hey…” she pulled him into a hug. “You’re so lanky. Jesus. I didn’t mean to…freak you out, or whatever, I…”

He pushed her away gently. “You didn’t mean to freak me out?” He let out a sharp exhale. “I get it if…if you don’t want to talk to me anymore. Just - please don’t tell—“

“What’re you talking about?” She looked genuinely confused. 

“I’m a monster, Lily. Why would you want to stay friends with me? It’s happened before, it happens every time, don’t worry about it. I wouldn’t want to either - “

“Shut up. Don’t be an idiot, Remus. I thought you were meant to be the clever one!”

“I—“

“I said shut up. I’ll always want to be your friend, and if I ever say otherwise, I’ve been kidnapped and what’s talking to you is an evil clone, okay? Say okay.”

“Okay.” Remus let out a dry chuckle.

“I’ve only known you for a bloody month, and you’re already one of my closest friends. It’s you, Marlene, Dorcas and Sev.”

“Who the fuck is Sev, by the way?”

“Oh - it’s Severus Snape, from Slytherin. I’ve known him since we were kids. James and Sirius hate him, but he’s really not that bad of a guy.”

“Right, the guy they beat up. Apparently he’s a ‘snarky prick’.”

Lily snorted derisively. “They’re so dramatic. He makes comments sometimes, but he’s really not bad, I swear.”
“Not sure I trust your judgement, really,” Remus said with a weak smirk. Lily didn’t laugh. 

“Every time you make a joke like that I’m gonna punch you. Unless that was a hilarious jab at Marlene, in which case she will punch you.”

“Yeah, sure you’ll punch me, because you’re the most violent person I — ow! Right on my bruise!”

“I am a deeply violent person.”

“You think?!”

“Really, Remus. I won’t tell anyone, I still want to be friends with you, and I will help you hide it if you really want me to. And I’m not crazy! I have great taste in friends.”

“That’s…” He didn’t know what to say. “Thanks, Lils. Really. I should probably go up to the dorm, though, I just heard someone yell.”

“Yeah. See ya, Remus.”

 

“JAMES YOU CHEATING SLUT—“

“I DID NOT CHEAT! YOU’RE THE ONE WHO CHEATED!”

“I HAVE VERY FEW FEELINGS ABOUT THIS GAME BUT EVERYONE ELSE IS SHOUTING SO I FEEL LIKE I SHOULD BE TOO.”

“What the fuck is going on?” Remus stood in the doorway of the dorm, looking on the scene below him. Sirius was about to punch James, James looked murderous, and Peter was yelling in a corner. Cards were everywhere. 

Remus rubbed his temples. “Alright, separate. Now.”

“But I-“ “But he’s-“

“NOW.”

They scrambled away from each other. 

“Explain.”

They both started speaking at the same time. 

“One at a time! Sirius first.”

“He cheated at cards! He was looking at mine!”

“Now James.”
“I was not cheating! He was looking at my cards!”

“Peter?”

“They were both blatantly cheating. They are not subtle.”

Remus gave them a look. Sirius visibly recoiled. James shuddered.

“And you are punching each other why, exactly? Go, James.”

“Violence is always the answer?”

“And Sirius?”

“If I punch him hard enough, maybe he’ll go even blinder than he already is and he can’t look at my cards.”

“Right, you guys are idiots. James? Do you have something you want to say?”
“…I’m sorry.”

“Not to me! To him! And properly.”

“…”

“James,” Remus reprimanded him.

“I’m sorry for cheating and also accusing you of cheating, Sirius.”

“Now you!”

“…I’m sorry.”

“Apologise better,” said Remus, slowly losing his faith in humanity.

“I’m sorry for cheating, accusing you of cheating, calling you a cheat, calling you a slut, and also stealing your pack of cards.”

“When did you do that?”
“Right now.”

“Oh, shut up. Peter,” Remus said, turning to him.

“I’m sorry.”

“What? I was going to ask you to pick up the cards, why would you apologise?”

“You sounded authoritative!”

 

* * *

1 May, 1972

7.34pm

Remus kept seeing his grandma throughout the entire year. He even missed New Year, but weirdly stayed for Christmas. Every time, he came back looking worse and worse, and Sirius was starting to get suspicious. Every time, he used the nightmare cat as an excuse, or he fell down the stairs, or walked into a lamppost while reading (alright, that one was believable). Was something wrong at home, maybe? Did he piss someone off at his grandma’s, in town or something, and get beat up? …Five separate times? Or…did he piss off his parents?

That couldn’t be it. Maybe he really is just clumsy? Sirius had seen him fall over several chairs in the space of two hours. Nah, he didn’t buy it. God, and what was with the paleness? Was he sick or something? Ahhh, his head hurt. 

 

“Oi, Sirius! Come here!” Remus yelled from the common room. A bunch of the excited-looking first years were crowded around a record player. Remus put a random record on, and soon the common room was filled with the sounds of David Bowie’s Hunky Dory. “It’s good, right?”

“It’s amazing! Where’d you get it?” Sirius hopped up on an arm rest. 

“My dad sent me it as a before-exam present. He sent me a couple records, too, of Bowie and stuff.”

“Who’s that?”

“He’s a Muggle artist. He’s like…an icon. Even more than James,” Remus said, gesturing over at James, who was currently attempting to dance. It was a disturbing sight.

“Oh, god. I’m gonna go collect him,” Sirius replied, and made a truly valiant attempt to stop him. But James…just couldn’t be tamed. Dear God, he just couldn’t be tamed.

 

Chapter Text

YEAR 2

 

1 September, 10.46am

“Sirius, mate!” James met up with a slightly uncomfortable-looking Sirius and his ten-year-old brother. “What’s up, Regulus?”

“Hey, say hi to James! Reg’s coming to Hogwarts next year.”
“Yeah, I’m gonna be in Gryffindor!” he said excitedly.

“Aww, yeah? Hey, where’re your parents?” asked James.

“My mum’s probably going to come pick Reg up after the train’s left. He insisted on coming with me.”

“Ah, that’s sweet. Well, my mum’s here for the both of us, then!” A cheerful-looking witch came up behind him. 

“Sirius! How are you, love? And who’s this — oh, you must be Regulus! Lovely to meet you, dears - James has told me so much about you.”

“Nice to meet you, Mrs Potter.”

“Oh, please, love, call me Euphemia! Come now, get yourselves on the train or you’ll miss it.”

“OI, LUPIN!” shrieked James. “Sorry, mum, saw one of my mates,” 

“Hey.” A worn out, but impossibly lankier Remus Lupin came up to them. “This is my dad, Lyall, and my mum, Hope.” They were kind-looking people. Lyall looked a little stern, but he had the same kind eyes as Remus. 

“Come on, kids! You’ll miss the train.”

They heaved their over-packed suitcases onto the train. “Nice shiner, Sirius,” said Remus, referring to the rather fantastic black eye Sirius was sporting. 

“You’re one to talk. You’ve got bruises for days.”

“Yeah, but I walk into lampposts. You, however, are not blind, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen you read a book.”

“I had a wonderful encounter with a fucking bitch of a tree,” he said, rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly. A pink tinge spread across his cheeks.

“Ah, I see my fantastic language has finally rubbed off on you. And my cynicism, apparently,” said Remus, with a hint of amusement. “But not my lying skills — c’mon, what’d you really do?”

“I was practising ballet in a pink tutu and I fell out a window into Hell, where I met Satan. He said he liked the tutu and asked to borrow it sometime.”

“You know, I know that’s not what happened, but I would not be surprised. Come on, you twat, let’s find a seat.”

 

* * *

 

This year was an uneventful one. 

 

17 October, 1972 

11.21pm

 

“Honestly, marauding around the castle, bringing chaos upon everything! Potter, Black, you are both intelligent boys. Both of you already on the Quidditch team in Second Year - you’d better win the Cup this year, by the way - and you could be doing exceptionally in your classes, but you seem set on making each of your teachers as angry as possible! Pettigrew, you could also be doing exceptional things. You have a natural gift for Keeping, I hear. Oh, and Mr Lupin. I would have thought you of all people could restrain these boys.”

“Ah, you love it, Minnie,” said James, earning him a steely glare.

“Just…get to your dorms, the lot of you. Marauders, that’s what you are!”

 

20 December, 1972

5.12pm

 

“We need a way to record all the secret passages we’re finding, right, guys?” said Sirius, doodling on his Charms homework. 

“Good idea! Remus is a child genius, right? Let’s make it super complicated, so when he gets back we can finish it,” replied James.

“What about a map?” piped up Peter from the corner.

 

 

21 May, 1973

2.24am

 

“Sirius? What’re you doing up?” Remus came sleepily into the common room, where Sirius was draped over an armchair, reading a letter. 

“Oh, god, did I wake you up?” Sirius visibly recoiled. “Hell hath no greater fury than Remus Lupin after being woken up in the middle of the night.”

“No, no, don’t worry. It’s two in the morning, though, what’s the deal?” He walked over to the armchair Sirius was in and said, “Move over. It’s cold, bitch. What’s that?”

“Exiling me to the armrest. Remus, you selfish whore.”

You’re calling me a whore? This is a new low. I thought James was your one true love, but I heard you and McKinnon…”

“Bloody hell, did everyone find out about that? We just half-kissed. On the cheek. Once.”
“Breezing past the James thing I see.”

“Because you’re not wrong, James is my one true love.”

“Are you and McKinnon a thing now, then?”

“Oh - god. I don’t know. No? I don’t think so, anyway.”

“Do you want some tea?” Remus offered him a flask he had hidden in his blanket.

“What? How the fuck do you have tea?” asked Sirius, bewildered.

“Magic.” Sirius rolled his eyes at him. “I got some from the house-elves before bed, and mum sent me the thermos I forgot.”

“Thermos?”

“It keeps hot drinks warm. What’s this letter, then?”

“It’s nothing.”
“If you’re up at 2am reading it it’s not nothing. Heartfelt, dramatic confession of love from McKinnon?”

“Piss off. Nah, it’s…it’s from my dad.”

Remus sat up and stared at him. “What?”

“Yeah.”

“Is it…good?”

“Eeeeeeeeh. Mainly calling me a selfish whore, actually. Saying I’m besmirching the name of Black, etc. etc. Bad influence on Reg, etc. etc.”

“Oh, Sirius.”

“I don’t care. They’re all pompous twats with sticks up their arses, anyway.” He was looking away, a red bloom on his cheeks.

Remus was silent.

“You know the black eye I had, first day of term?”

“Yeah?” Remus had a sick feeling in his stomach.

“Dad asked me what school was like. I was excited, you know. He’s usually kind of stiff, doesn’t talk to me. Anyway, I told him all about school, lessons, James, Peter, you…and then I got to Bowie.”

“Oh, God.”

“He went mental. Told me not to hang around you anymore, that he wasn’t having me being exposed to ‘filth like that’.”

“Jesus, Sirius. I’m so sorry.”

“He told my mum, my brother, all my cousins…eventually one of the dickier ones decked me at a family gathering. Guarantee you my dad put him up to it.”

“…”

“Anyway, it’s all right. Not like he did it himself, right?” Sirius was avoiding his gaze.

“You’re growing out your hair.”

He looked back, surprised. “Yeah?”

“It looks good. You know, you’d look good in eyeliner, too.”

Sirius smirked. “Obviously.”

“Tomorrow, let’s see if Lily has a stick of it you can borrow. But for now, let’s go back to the dorm. And throw that bloody thing in the fire, will you?” he said, gesturing to the letter.

 

3rd June, 1973

8.32pm

 

“Oh, shit, I had detention tonight!” James suddenly yelled, bringing his head up from his Charms revision. “Eh, will Binns even remember?”

“Probably not. You’re good,” said Sirius, yawning. “How do you even revise for History of Magic?”

“You don’t revise for anything,” said Peter resentfully. “And you still get better than me! It’s illegal.”

“I’m just a natural talent, what can I say?” Sirius leant back gracefully in his chair. 

“You’re going to have to revise eventually, Sirius,” said Remus from the chair opposite. “Talent and previous knowledge only goes part of the way. If you want to get anywhere, you’ll have to work for it.”

Sirius stared at him, eyebrow raised, a cocky smirk on his face. “Yeah, sure.”

Remus looked him in the eye. “If you don’t believe me, you’ll learn it yourself in time. Just make sure it’s not on your OWLs.”

“You are horrifying sometimes, you know that?”

“Thanks.”

 

29th June, 1973

2.55pm


Sirius stared down at his grade card.

Astronomy: A

Charms: P

DADA: EE
History of Magic: P

Herbology: P

Potions: P

Transfiguration: A

 

I’m always right, bitch.  -R

 

Shut up, Tiny Handwriting. I’ll revise next time. -S

 

Say I was right and I’ll shut up.

 

…You were right.

 

3rd July, 1973

8.08am

 

“Last daaaay!” James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter walked together, arms around each other’s shoulders. Sirius had a sad smile on his face as they got on the train, and he watched the castle grow smaller and smaller as the train drew away from Hogsmeade Station.

Chapter Text

YEAR 3

 

1st September,1973

10.39

 

“Sirius!” Marlene McKinnon flew up to him and planted a kiss on his cheek. Both of them looked deeply uncomfortable.

“Alright, Marlene?” said Remus, walking up with an amicable grin.

“Bloody hell, Remus, have you gotten taller?” Marlene said, baffled. “Dorcas! Hey!” she waved to another girl passing by, blushing.

“DARLING!” Sirius yelled, seeing James.

“OH, MY DEAREST LOVE, WE MEET AGAIN!” shrieked James in reply. Sirius pretended not to notice a disapproving look from Walburga and Orion, who were seeing off Regulus. James tilted his head at them, as if to ask what happened? but Sirius just shook his head.

Euphemia Potter followed him, strategically standing between him and the Blacks, blocking his line of sight. “Have you got a girlfriend, Sirius?”

Marlene and Sirius both laughed uncomfortably. “Yes. That is what we are,” said Sirius. “Girlfriend and boyfriend. In a relationship. Together. With. Kissing.”

“Alright, well, use a condom, dear.”

“Yep…thanks, Euphemia.”

“You look like a tomato,” inputted Peter, helpfully.

“YES. THANK YOU PETER.”

“Train?” said Marlene, taking his arm.

“YEP. LET’S GO.”

 

Regulus cornered him on the train.

“What do you want, Regulus?” There was an uncomfortable air of…not quite hostility, but some awkwardness.

“Just…wanted to make sure you’re okay.”

“Yeah. I’m fantastic. Goodbye!”

 

1st September, 1973

7.56pm

 

Sirius relaxed back on the bench, staring up at the Sorting intently. 

“Calm down, mate,” said James, putting a hand on his shoulder. 

“Black, Regulus!”

He watched his eleven-year-old brother walk up to the stool with a quiet confidence. The hat took a few seconds of deliberation, but made up its mind quickly. “SLYTHERIN!”

Sirius’ stomach dropped. He should’ve seen it coming, really, but it didn’t make him less angry. Disappointed, as well. 

Regulus’ face, however, did not hold the disappointment that Sirius’ did. 

It was with a sick jolt that he realised Reg had changed his loyalty.

 

9th September, 1973

2.10am

 

“The 2am thing, again?” Remus shuffled into the common room, draped in a blanket.

“Ah, this time it’s just for fun. You want some?” Sirius was lying on the ground, drinking straight from the bottle.

“Definitely. But how’d you get it?”

“I’m a talented man, Lupin.”

“What’s going on?” Peter came down the stairs into the common room, looking sleepy.

“Let’s make it a party!” said Sirius, a little too loudly.

“Shut up, you bastard. You’ll get the first-years down here,” said James behind him, who was somehow even more hyper than he was in the morning. 

A steady trail of people trickled in, each bringing gifts of snacks or more alcohol. Soon Lily, James, Remus, Sirius, Peter, Dorcas, Marlene, and Alice were all down there. Before long, they were all sufficiently drunk, which wasn’t hard for a group of 13-year-olds with no alcohol tolerance, and sitting in a circle awkwardly. Marlene was lying on Dorcas’ lap, who was braiding her hair, Lily was lying on Alice, who was braiding her hair, and Sirius was lying on James’ lap, who was clumsily braiding his hair. 

“Let’s do truth or dare!” exclaimed James. There was a murmur of assent from the group. “Alright, Marlene. Truth or dare?”

“Dare. Mama ain’t raise no bitch.”

“This one’s gonna take a while, but in your absence we will valiantly continue on, though the loss of your presence we will be disheartening for us all…”

“Get on with it, you prick,” said Marlene, slurring but somehow still threatening.

“Knock on any seventh-year dorm and ask them if they’ve got any milk.”

“Easy.” She got up confidently, and staggered off towards the dorms.

“Rest in peace Marlene, may she be forever immortalised in our memories, ect.” James said, a hand over his heart.

“Remind me to make sure you don't speak at my funeral,” said Remus, somehow not exhibiting any signs of drunkenness, despite being off his fucking face.

“Shut up, nerd man. Anyway! Remus! It’s your go! Truth or dare?” James’ insults appeared to be getting worse with time.

“Truth. Mama ain’t raise no bitch, but she did raise a person who would prefer not to die.”

“Of all the people here, who would you be most likely to date?”

“Peter. We’ve been dating for two years, we’ve been keeping it a secret, haven’t we, love?” 

“You have to give a real answer! Peter doesn’t count because he’s essentially a glorified worm with arms.” 

Peter made a move towards James, but Remus swiftly grabbed his pyjama top collar, resulting in him falling onto the floor. 

“Probably Marlene. I am in no way romam—romanitac—attracted to her, but she makes a hell of a Victoria sponge.”

“Adorable. Alright, Peter!”

He was asleep.

“What? He was just about to punch me! What happened?”

“Who knows? Just move on. Truth or dare, James?” asked Lily. 

“Dare. Duh.”

“No, I’ll lose my pillow!” exclaimed Sirius indignantly. 

“I said dare!” 

Marlene entered, sporting a slightly pink cheek. “They were not fantastically happy.”

“Who’s room did you go to?” asked Lily, unable to suppress a smile.

“Dorcas’ sister’s. Got slapped and everything. Who are we on now?”

“James. He chose dare.” 

“Ooh, I’ve got one! Go to Dorcas’ sister’s dorm again, it’s the second one on the right of the last corridor, and ask for a cup of sugar.”

“I’m gonna die! WOO!” James whooped. leading to a chorus of shushes. He pushed Sirius off him and ran off in the other direction. The girls sat there, waiting for the inevitable shriek as the stairs turned into a slide. It came. James, however, did not return. 

“He’s either dead or climbing the slide,” said Sirius, shuffling over and leaning his head on Remus’ lap. “Either way, my turn.”

“Truth or dare?” Dorcas said.

“Truth. Mama raised a bitch.”

“She sure did,” said Remus, who was looking a little flustered, though it didn’t come through in his voice.

“Piss off. I’m a star and you know it.”

“Alright, alright. Enough flirting. This is serious business,” said Alice disapprovingly. “Okay, weirdest talent that no one knows about?”

“I can tie a cherry stem with my tongue. Does that count?”

Remus’ ears went pink.

“No, I mean a real talent.”

“I can play piano a bit.”

“That’s not weird!”

“I don’t have any other talents!”

Making Remus Lupin uncomfortable?

“Fine, you have to do a dare then. Let Lily give you a makeover!”

“Lord, I’m going to bed,” said Lily. “This has gotten boring.”

“Right before your turn? I call CHICKEN!” yelled Marlene, diving across Dorcas to tackle-hug Lily.

“Where’s Peter?” Remus suddenly noticed the boy wasn’t leaning on his shoulder anymore.

“Dead,” said Lily, who, while being held in a choke hold by Marlene, was holding Peter in a choke hold. How he got there, Remus had no idea. 

“S U C C E S S !” screamed an extremely bruised James, at the doorway. How much of it was Meadowes-induced, and how much of it was from falling down a slide, no one could tell. 

They eventually stopped talking, and fell into a soft lull.

“Okay, it’s bedtime. Lily, help me here,” said Remus, gently pushing Sirius’ head from his lap onto a pillow. 

“I’ll get McKinnon and Meadowes, since you can’t go up to the girl’s dorm unless you want to pull a James. Alice seems surprisingly alright, but she might need some support. Can you take care of Potter by yourself? Pettigrew and Black should be easy to subdue, but Potter might need a deer tranquilliser.”

“I’ve got it, Redwing. Is a deer tranquilliser a thing?”

“I don’t know. I need a nap.”

“Alright, let’s go.”

Lily dragged Marlene and Dorcas, who were still holding hands, up to the dorm by their arms. Remus managed to stop James from ominously pacing around the common room while crouching - he was sort of frog-walking - and dragged Peter up, wrapping his arm around his shoulders. When he got back down to collect Sirius, Lily and Alice were gone. It was still about 3.30 in the morning. 

“Come on, Sirius.” Sirius reluctantly stood up, tottering a bit on his feet.

“You’re taking care of uuus.” 

“Of course I am, you twat. There’s water by your bed, and you’ve got to drink it all before you sleep, all right?”

“Don’t try to fool me, bitch. You’re shitfaced too.”

“Hhhell yeah.”

“…Can we just stay down here? Just for a while. The fire’s still going.”

Remus walked towards him, and sat down by the hearth. “Come here, then. I promise I’m a better braider than James.”

“That is not hard.”

They sat there for about half an hour. Remus eventually nodded off on Sirius’ shoulder. He was looking pale and sickly again, thinner than he’d ever been. He wondered again if Remus was sick or something, but his brain was blurry, and thinking was hard. He remembered he’d be seeing his grandma again tomorrow; he was meant to go today, but he’d heard him insisting to Professor McGonagall that he couldn’t miss another Charms lesson.

What was the deal?

Chapter Text

 

 

9 September, 1973 

6.33am

 

Remus was up at the crack of dawn, and he would rather fucking not be. But James Fuckwit Potter was, and therefore so was the rest of the dorm.

“Come on, Sirius, let’s get in some extra Quidditch practise!”

“I want a divorce.” Sirius was hiding under his blankets.

“Remus can sleep, he was the only one with his shit together last night. PETER! OH, LOVELY, DARLING PETER, JOIN US IN THE MORTAL REALM!”

“James.” Remus sat up and stared at him.

James physically recoiled. “Sorry.”

“Scream at Sirius outside.”

“What about Peter?”

“Leave him alone. Sirius deserves it.”

“You foul, traitorous prick…” Sirius kept spouting half-assed insults at Remus, who ignored them and went absolutely the fuck back to sleep. James dragged him by his arms out of the room.

 

10 September 1973

10.55pm

 

“Sirius?” Marlene poked her head through the door. 

James squeaked, wearing nothing but his pants.

“Wow, that’s a nightmare scene,” she said, not looking away.

“I know, right?” Sirius said from his bed, where he was doodling.

“Come on a walk with me.”

“Yeah, all right. Just a sec.”

“…

 

 …

 

 …

 

Hurry up.”

 

They walked together in a comfortable silence. Eventually, they reached the new tree that was planted a few years ago. It was known to be a little…frisky.

“What did you want to talk about, Marls?”

“Hmm?”

“You usually don’t do stuff like this unless you want to talk.”

“Ahh, you know me so well. I guess I don’t really…know how to say it.”

“Don’t worry. Whatever it is, I’ll always be here for you.”

“Yeah, I know. Listen…things have been feeling a little…awkward between us, since this whole relationship started.”

Sirius chuckled. “Not arguing with you there.”

“Listen, I have no idea if I even…like you like you. You know? Ahh, that sounded harsh. Oh, god.”

“Stop spiralling! You’re like Remus. I’ve actually been feeling the same way.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. I mean, we’ve done the whole romantic thing, and I’ve never really felt like it…sparked. You know?”
“Yes! That’s exactly it!” Marlene jumped up on a cobbled wall. 

“But I love talking to you and all that. It’s just…all the kissing, and stuff.” Sirius sat next to her.
“Yeah, it’s just…it feels weird. Though we’ve never actually kissed?”

“You want to try?”

Sirius moved forward, and gave her a soft kiss on the lips.

Immediately: “Nope.”

Nothing.”

“Man, I was really hoping that’d work!” Marlene leant backwards. “Hey, the stars are nice, though.”

Sirius looked up at the full moon. “Yeah.”

“So what do we…do, now?” she looked over at him. “This isn’t exactly how I thought my first relationship would end.”

“I guess…mates?”

“Mates.” They shook hands. 

“Hey, this won’t change anything. You’re still my ride or die, right?”

“Obviously. Your platonic ride or die.” She gave him a hug. “God, that’s a weight off of my chest!” 

Sirius gave her a smile. “Me too.” He looked up at the moon again, thinking how he was going to tell Remus, and — oh.

 

 

11 December, 1973

9.51pm

 

“What’s that?” James said, leaning back on his bed.

“Just Astronomy homework,” replied Sirius.

“Boring. You need to finish off our map, mate!”

“Ah, shit, yeah! I can’t believe it’s nearly finished.”

“Our pride and joy,” said Peter as he came out of the bathroom in a towel.

“I don’t feel right finishing it without Remus here,” said Sirius.

“What’s the deal with him and his grandma? They’ve gotta be super close if he’ll keep missing school to see her. And with that insane cat, as well!” James sat up. “The boy’s got commitment.”

“Maybe his parents force him to?” 

“Yeah, of course you’d assume that. However, Hope and Lyall, unlike your parents, aren’t criminally insane,” said Peter. Sirius snorted.

“Gentle as a kick to the teeth, Pete,” interjected James.

“He’s not wrong. Hey, guys?”

“Yeah?” “Yep?”

“I need to talk to you about something. It’s about Remus.”

“Spit it out, then.”

“…You reckon he could make the map insult anyone who tries to read it?”

“Ah, that’s a great idea! Imagine if Snivellus tried to read it.”

 

11 December, 1973

11.48pm

 

Remus snuck into the dorm, careful not to wake anyone up. He’d been released from the Hospital Wing at 10 that night, and spent an hour and a half buggering about the castle by himself. He didn’t really know why, but it was fun.

He crept past Sirius’ bed to come to his, and found a stash of chocolate on his bed, along with a note.

grandma -S

What the note meant, he had no idea, but he put the chocolate under his bed and smiled. 

 

15 December, 1973

12.28pm

 

Sirius was shaking his leg under the table. He had been more and more fidgety over the days, but since it was the last day of classes it was easy to pass it off as boredom.

“Professor McGonagall wants to speak with you in your office, Mr Black,” said Professor Flitwick, in his wavering voice. There was a chorus of ‘oooohs’ from the class.

“I am afraid, my dearest friends, that I must depart! Though it breaks my heart to leave you, my lady calls me, and—“

“As they say in show business, Mr Black, exit stage right,” said Flitwick. Sirius shut up and left.

 

Sirius busted open the door to McGonagall’s office with a grand swing of his bag. The only one to greet him, however, was a stern-looking cat. He looked around, confused for a solid few minutes, until his eyes settled on the cat. No way, he thought. The cat suddenly transformed into the steely face of Professor McGonagall.

“That, Minnie, was insanely cool. I mean, Minerva. I mean—“

She stared at him. He stopped talking. 

“I’m an Animagus, Mr Black. Do you know what an Animagus is?”

“You can turn into a cat?”

“Each person has their own Animagus form. There are a few books in the restricted section you could read, if you’d like.”

He nodded. “Cool, cool.” She scribbled out a form and handed it to him. “So. Why did you actually want to see me, Professor?”

She looked at him for a few seconds and opened a jar on her desk. “Have a biscuit, Black.”

“Have a what?”

“A biscuit.” She kept staring at him, and he tentatively took one.

“I understand you’ve opted to stay at home for Christmas, is that right?”

“What?”
“Your father contacted us to tell us you’d be coming home, and to disregard what was written on the form handed out a few weeks ago.”

“I see.” He should’ve fucking known that wasn’t going to work. 

“Imagine my surprise when I saw you had asked to stay at Hogwarts?”

“Yeah, I - I heard the Christmas dinners are good.”

“Well, I’m sure the Black family dinners are magnificent as well.”

“…Sure.”

“I’m sure you’ll be happy sitting by the fireplace when you get there, Black.”

Sirius didn’t say anything.

“As I understand it, the Potters also have a fireplace.”

“Huh? …Oh.”

“It’s Orchard Lane. Tread lightly, Mr Black.”

He stood up clumsily. “Thanks, Professor.”

 

15 December, 1973

8.55pm

 

“Your parents are making you go home?” Peter asked incredulously.

“Ahh, Sirius. I’m so sorry,” said Remus.

“That fucking sucks, man,” said James, patting him violently on the back. “You could always come to mine, if you wanted?”

“If I didn’t come home, I’d probably never see the light of day again. But, my one true love, Minnie McG, did hint at using Floo Powder if things get…out of hand, like they did in summer.”

Remus’ eyes flicked up from his book.

“Ahh, Minnie. What a wonderful gal,” said James dreamily. 

“Don’t you go coming for my lady, now, you dog!”

I’m the dog! Oh, how dare you, sir!”

“Alright, alright. I’m not having you accidentally start a real fight and breaking a treasured possession,” warned Peter, who had been through…too much.

Chapter Text

25 December, 1973

 

Sirius, mate,

Happy Christmas! Hope you’re doing all right, and also that this arrives on time. I’ve never been one for long, mushy messages, but Santa! Reindeer! Etcetera! Seriously though, you’re my best mate. Happy New Year, as well. Just realised that was a thing.

Hope you like your gift!

Have a good one,

James

PS: look out for Peter’s letter.

 

Mother -

It is the Day of Jesus. Rejoice, My Son. MY name is BITCH

I am a twat.

New dildo.

dildo.

DILDO.

is this a Hilarious WonderPrank from the Ultimate Prank Master and Sexy Man James Potter?

Oh That Beautiful Man James Potter is one Frisky Mister

- BITCH

 

Sirius - the above letter was written with a quill James got me for Christmas. It was meant to say ‘Sirius - Happy Christmas, this is Peter. Sorry. New quill. Quill. QUILL. Is this a joke? James is a little bitch.’ 

Thought you’d appreciate it. Hope you’re doing OK. Have fun with your present.

- Bitch.

 

Sirius,

I’m not much of a letter writer, but I thought I’d wish you a happy Christmas! James told me to look out for a letter from Peter, but it started out calling me ‘grandmother Rem-dawg’ so I stopped reading. 

How is everything? I know you might not be able to reply. Do if you can, though. I got you a present, but it’s not a whole lot. 

Hope they’re feeding you.

If not, eat the tablecloth. They’ll start feeding you after that.

- grandmother Rem-dawg

 

From James, he got a stack of pranking materials - Dungbombs, Acid Pops, Bulbadox powder - you name it.

From Peter, he got a fucking good laugh and a shitload of Honeydukes sweets.

From Remus?

Remus’ was the most heartfelt of all.

A Claire’s My-First-Makeover kit complete with blue lipgloss.

He wasn’t able to send anything out of the house, though. His father knew about his, as he so charmingly called them, scummy little friends, and said any letters or gifts he wanted to send would go through him. He was just grateful he didn’t read through the messages he got from his friends, or Peter would be dead in a ditch somewhere. 

 

8th January, 1974

10.47am

 

“Sirius! Did you fall down twenty flights of stairs over Christmas?” said Peter, gesturing at Sirius’ face.

“Hey, Pete! Solid letter. You brought the quill, I hope?”

“Naturally. Hey, James.”

“James!”

“What happened to your face?” he said, walking up to them. “And where’s Remus?”

Sirius shrugged. “Grandma?”

“Well, that answers both questions. This grandma deal is fucking wild, man,” said James, running his hand through his hair. 

“Shit, I should go. I have so much holiday homework that I didn’t do!” said Peter, halfway out already.

“James, can I tell you something? I’d tell Pete, but he has a tendency to run his mouth. You know him.”

“Sure, man, what’s up?”

“Let’s get somewhere private.”

 

* * *

 

“The girls’ bathroom?” James looked confused.

“No one ever comes in here,” said Sirius. “Moaning Myrtle haunts around occasionally, but we’re best buds. Right, Myrtle?”

A muffled sob came from the toilet stall.

“Yeah, she’s not listening. Anyway - the grandma thing with Remus,” said Sirius, getting more…well, serious.

“What about it?”

“He always leaves…like a day before the full moon, and comes back a day after.”

“So what? It could just be how he keeps track.”

“I don’t think so, man. Have you seen how he gets super pale before he leaves, and comes back looking all beat up?”

“…Isn’t that because of Nightmare Cat?”

“I’m pretty sure Nightmare Cat is fake.”

“So what…are you thinking?” James leaned up against a stall door.

“I reckon Remus is a…werewolf. God, that feels good to say out loud!”

James looked taken aback. “No way. He couldn’t be. He’s so…skinny. And gentle as hell. He’s more of a motherly hen than a…horrifying wolf.”

“I know he’s not the type, necessarily, but I don’t think stereotypes really apply here - and it would fit. I don’t want to jump him with it and freak him out, but…I also want to help.”

“How could you possibly help? If he is, I mean?”

“Alright, so you know when I was talking to Minnie, last year?”

“Yeah?”

“She told me she was an Animagus…and you’re not gonna believe this one, but I actually did some reading…”

 

8th January, 1974

7.58pm

 

“So…how are we going to figure out for sure if he does have this…furry little problem?” said James, who was lying across two chairs somehow. The fire was flickering gently.

“Well, you know Remus. He’ll never…uh, admit to having a problem on its own,” Sirius replied, attempting to lie across three.

“What’re you guys talking about?” asked Lily, who was on one chair, because she wasn’t constantly desperate for attention.

“…Remus’…Nightmare Cat,” said Sirius.

“You know the cat his…grandma has?” supplied James. “That one.”

She looked at them strangely. “God, you two are weird.”

“LILY! HOW COULD YOU?!” shrieked Sirius, miming death. “SUCH A CUTTING AND WITTY INSULT! OH, I’LL NEVER BE THE SAME!” 

A first-year stared over at them.

“Jog on, shrimpy,” said James.

“Potter!” Lily reprimanded. “We talked about calling anyone younger than you ‘shrimpy’.”

“What can I say? It’s my natural charm,” he replied.

“You’re such a prick.”

 

22nd January, 1974

12.41am

 

“We need team nicknames,” said James suddenly. Peter grunted.

Sirius suddenly sat up. “We do! Overall we’re the Marauders, but…what about the individual units?”

“How about Fuckface, Prick, Peter and I Just Want To Fucking Sleep?” said Remus. 

“Last one isn’t catchy enough, mate.”

 

22nd January, 1974

1.03am

 

“We should become Animagi,” said Sirius.

“Aniwhat?” said Peter grumpily.

“You turn into an animal.”

“Dude, what? That is the best thing I’ve ever heard. Can we do that?” Peter was suddenly enthusiastic.

“I have the instructions, but they’re kind of…long,” replied Sirius just as enthusiastically.

“Is it legal?” asked James.

“Hell no.”
“Sounds good. I’m in.”

“Me too,” said Peter.

“You guys are insane.” Remus was sick of their shit.

Chapter Text

24th January, 1974

11.49pm

 

Sirius snuck into Greenhouse Three in his sock feet. He immediately got dirt all over them, but he didn’t put his shoes on - if he was caught, he could be expelled. Which ones were mandrakes, again? Right, the screamy ones. He looked around, and saw Professor Dumbledore, of all fucking people, coming down the path. It was…PROFFESOR DUMBLYDORE!!!!! He dived under a table, terrified that he might’ve been seen. He could’ve sworn he saw a glint in his bright blue eyes as he looked into the greenhouse, but he didn’t stop. Sirius let out a sigh of relief and slowly got out from under the table, looking for the mandrakes.

There!

He plucked three leaves from them, realising he hadn’t checked if it would…kill them, or something, but quickly put the thought out of his mind. He stole out of the greenhouse, closing the door softly behind him.

He made his way back to the castle, keeping a lookout for any more Surprise Dumbledores.

 

“Why aren’t you wearing shoes?”

Sirius turned around and his face fell when he saw who it was.

“Reg?”

“I go to this school too, Sirius.”

“Wouldn’t have guessed that one,” he said, crossing his arms. “Look at you, out of bed after hours. Can’t snitch on me for this one, or you’ll snitch yourself!”

“Come on, Sirius. You don’t seriously blame me for—“

“I don’t want to talk to you, actually, Reg.” He was already walking off. “Get back to bed. Firsties need their beauty sleep.”

“Sirius!” 

He paused in his tracks and turned. His expression didn’t reveal anything about how he was feeling.

“Talk to me. Please.” Regulus’ face looked nothing but upset. He was so young; but there was no way he didn’t understand what he’d done.

“I don’t have anything to say.”

He turned again, and stalked off in the other direction, with an expression that said nothing but murder.

 

“Whoa, mate, what happened?” Remus said, looking up from his book, as Sirius came in carrying a storm cloud. He didn’t reply, but flopped down on his bed and closed the curtains. 

“Who put a tadpole in his pumpkin juice?” Peter’s face revealed more concern than his voice. He dropped his voice a little, to an unsubtle stage whisper. “You don’t think he bumped into Regulus, did he?”

“If he did, Regulus is dead now,” said James, louder. “Hey, buddy? Did you get the leaves?” 

There was a grunt.

“That was a positive stroppy grunt,” translated James. “Did anyone see you?”

Another grunt.

“That was a neutral grunt. Did someone almost catch you?”

Grunt.

“Positive grunt! All right. Did you meet someone afterwards?”

Silence.

Then, “No.”

Remus came over and opened the curtains. Sirius was face down on his bed. “Enough wallowing, drama queen. Either tell us what happened, or eat your leaf.”

He rolled over and rolled his eyes. “I ran into Reg. I hate him. That’s the whole story.”

“Come on, then. It’s time to put a leaf in our mouths for a month,” said James.

“Wait—what’s the cover story for that?” asked Peter.

“Extreme silent game?” suggested Sirius.

“Perfect,” said Peter.

“Alright! On this day, at…12.26am, January 25th, 1974! We…uh, 3/4 of the Marauders, started suckin’ on a leaf!” James was not the best at inspirational speeches.

 

25th January, 1974

4.56pm

 

“They know.” Remus and Lily were standing on the bridge.

Lily tilted her head. “Know what?”

“You know what, Lils.” 

“Yeah, they were babbling about something bizarre in the common room earlier. Something about your ‘furry little problem’?”

Remus snorted. “That’s one way of describing it.”

“How do you know they know, anyway?”

“They’ve suddenly decided to become Animagi.”

“You what?”

“It’s when a human—“

“I know what an Animagus is, Remus. Are you kidding? That’s some seriously complex magic, there’s no way they could pull it off—“

“Ahh, you know them. Once they put their mind to something.”

Lily rolled her eyes. “I guess. If only they put their minds to meaningful pursuits.”

“Eh, it’s only a matter of time, anyway.” Remus stretched.

“Until they put their minds to meaningful pursuits? Doubt it,” she said, looking into the distance.

“No, until they realise they can’t be friends with a fucking werewolf.”

“Oh, for fuck’s sake, Remus.” Lily stepped back and looked at him angrily. He didn’t say anything. “Come on. You can’t just say something like that and clam up.”

“Well, there’s nothing more to say.”

She sighed. “Remus.”

“If you’re going to yell at me, go ahead. It’s not going to change what they do.” He looked weary, far too weary for a thirteen-year-old.

“You…” she paused. “You have so little faith in them.” He stared at her, looking slightly indignant but not replying. “Honestly, they…they adore you, Remus. You met them and after three days you were running around the castle, pranking, getting them out of detentions, dealing with their bullshit fights. Three days, Remus. I’ve seen you around other people. You’ve said two words to Mary MacDonald in the space of three years. Potter thinks you’re a pranking genius. Sirius relies on you to keep his fucking drama in check. Peter needs you to calm the other two down. Do you really, genuinely believe they’re going to hate you for something like this?” Her voice kept getting louder and louder, not quite shouting but fucking getting there, Jesus.

He was taken aback. He’d never heard Lily like this.

“You know, me and Sirius are actually quite good friends. Did you know that?” she said, lowering her voice a little. He shook his head. “He talks about you all the time. All the time. You come up in every conversation. It gets on my nerves a little sometimes. He thinks the world of you, Remus. It’s so frustrating that you can’t see that. Peter I don’t know so well, and Potter’s a bit of a prick, but goddamn, if they’re anything close to Sirius they’d kill a man for you. So stop whining, Lupin, and get your shit together.”

There was a pause.

“What, you’re not going to storm off to accentuate your speech?” Remus looked at her with a twinkle in his eye.

Lily snorted. “Hilarious. Seriously, though.” She pulled him into a hug, which he accepted awkwardly. “Fuck, you’re tall. What are they feeding you?”

“Steady diet of anxiety and self-loathing.”

“Christ, Remus, can you go for twelve seconds without a self-deprecating joke?”

“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, I hate myself. Ah, shit. I tried.”

She shoved him, laughing. 

“Ow! I’m fragile!”

 

Chapter Text

25th January, 1974

10.25pm

 

“Alright, Dog Star, enough with the Astronomy,” said Remus. “Is that the cycle of the full moon?”

“Yeah, just doing some…extra work. You know me. Working like a dog…star.” Sirius was very obviously trying not to laugh at his own joke.

“That’s the funniest thing you’ve ever said,” said Peter dryly.

“Shut it, Pete.”

“Sirius, you are a lying liar. Who lies. You’ve never done extra work in your life.” Remus’ voice was shaking a little. “Okay, fuck it. Yes, I am a werewolf.” 

There was a pause.

“You what?!” Peter yelled, his mouth agape. The Mandrake leaf in his mouth was visible, and nearly fell out. “Shit.”

“Oh. Pete didn’t know! Wonderful. Just…fantastic,” said Remus. 

Sirius stared at him, not quite knowing what to say. Remus looked close to tears, Peter was on the verge of collapse, and James was…still reading his Quidditch book? Sirius got up and slapped Remus on the back. 

“Cool.”

Remus studied his face, trying to find some sign of…horror, disgust, disdain, fear, whatever. But he just seemed neutral.

“Hey, I thought up a cool nickname for you, then,” said James, his voice slightly muffled.

Sirius looked excited. “What?”

Moony.”

 

25th February, 1974

12.24am

 

“Two more minutes, lads,” said James, lisping.

“Shut the fuck up,” grumbled Remus from his bed.

“12.26! Should we wait another minute just in case?” James was buzzing with excitement.

“Yeah. I don’t want to have to start this bloody month again.” Peter was not.

“Fucking hell, let’s just do it,” said Sirius, taking the leaf out of his mouth and dropping it in a glass phial. The others did the same. “Hell yeah! Who do we say lost the Silent Game?”

The two of them looked at him.

“Goddammit. Fine.” He flipped the hair out of his eyes dramatically. 

“Moony! When’s the next full moon?” James looked at him expectantly.

“That’s never catching on, James. And it’s the 8th of March.”

“Thanks, Moony,” Sirius teased.

“Not you too. Pete, you’re the only hope I have left.”

“Sorry, Moony. The dark side hath swayed me to their cause,” he said. 

Sirius stood up suddenly. “Okay, enough flirting, men! It says we need dew that hasn’t been exposed to sunlight or…human feet for seven days. Wonderful.” 

 

8th March, 1974

12.39am

 

“Put it in that…bit of moon, there,” Sirius said, pointing. James carefully placed the phials full of soggy leaves and dew in the moon rays. 

A wind blew through, and one of them nearly toppled over, but luckily stayed upright. The phials began to glow and swirl. This went on for about ten minutes, and the boys waited with bated breath. They suddenly turned silver, shining brighter than the sun.

“Yes! Did we do it?” James turned to Sirius.

“I think so!”

“Ah, thank god for Evans helping us out.”

“Badass. Alright, we’ve got to keep them out of sunlight, or it’ll fuck it up - uhh, here, put them in your pockets. And…every sunrise and sunset before we get an electrical storm, we’ve got to chant some…mumbo jumbo. ‘Amato Animo Animato Animagus.’”

“Bloody hell, we’re going to be up at sunrise every day? Jesus.” Peter was wondering if it was worth it.

“For Moony!” Sirius whooped, ignoring him.

“For Moony.” “For Rem-Moony.” Both James and Peter seemed significantly less enthused.

 

20th April, 1974

3.17pm

(sirius is bold

james is italics underlined

remus is italics

peter is bold italics)

 

It’s raining. -S

We’re in Scotland, dumbass. -J

Think about it. It’s raining. Really. Hard. 

Oh! 

What are you lot on about? -P

The storm! 

I fully expect embarrassing nicknames. If I get stuck with Moony, you all better have ridiculous ones too. -R

Your handwriting is fucking illegible, Remus.

“What is this, Mr Black?” McGonagall asked, looking sternly down at him. Sirius gave an embarrassed grin. 

“Just practising imitating all my friends’ handwriting, Professor. For…research.”

She read it, much to Sirius’ horror. If she had become an Animagus, she might understand it…and what would happen to them if she found out?

She tore the note in half. 

“You seem to be excellent at these imitations, Black. No more practise is required in my lessons. Five points from Gryffindor.” She gave an ominous stare to Remus, James and Peter as well, but didn’t take any points from them. 

“Shit,” said Sirius, under his breath.

“Another five.”

He grimaced, but could’ve sworn he saw the trace of a smile in her eyes.

 

20th April, 1974

23.17

 

They were standing in the middle of an electrical storm, soaking wet. 

“Do we actually have to be outside?” asked Peter, shivering. He was wrapped in a blanket that was soaked through, probably making him colder.

“I think we’d be better off outside than inside. I mean, when I inevitably choose to turn into a lion I reckon I’d rather be outside,” said Sirius, preening.

“Alright then, men!” James slapped them both on the back. “Let’s do it!”

They all took a swig from their potions, grimacing when it hit the back of their throats. 

“How long do you reckon we have to wait un-“

James transformed into a magnificent stag, and immediately fell over, unused to his new legs.

Sirius transformed into a big black dog, and was apparently thrilled, as he instantly started chasing his own tail and bounding about.

Peter was a rat, and was (surprisingly) just as pleased. He'd managed to clamber up onto Sirius’ back somehow.

They spend a good hour getting used to their new bodies, James galloping, Sirius leaping about, and Peter desperately scurrying behind them. 

 

Peter and Sirius turned back fairly easily, but James seemed to want to stay in his deer form. They stared at him. 

“Come on, mate. It’s time to go back, Remus’ll be worried-“ The deer shook his head at him, and started prancing about in panic. 

It took a second for it to sink in.

Then the laughing started. The deer moaned at them indignantly, and then started trying to sort of…stab them with his antlers. 

“He can’t change back! That’s hilarious!” Peter roared.

“Oi! Take your prongs and hurry the fuck up!” Sirius said, through fits of laughter. He gasped. "Prongs! You're called Prongs now. That's stupid enough, right?"

“We really do need to get back though, mate,” said Peter, still laughing. 

Sirius looked at him. 

Peter looked back. “Oh, no.”

“Oh, yes.”

“We’re not smuggling a deer into the castle!”

“YES WE ARE. COME ON!”

They made it back through most of the castle all right, until they were about a hundred metres from the Gryffindor common room. Just as they thought they were safe, around the corner came Nightmare of Nightmares Minerva McGonagall.

“Boys? What are you doing out of bed so late? And why are you soaking wet?”

“We were just…going for a healthy walk, Professor,” said Peter.

“You know how much Pete loves exercise,” added Sirius, earning him a jab in the ribs.

“What’s behind your back?”

The deer bleated.

“What do you have hidden behind your back? And why…did it bleat?”

"It's Peter's...sheep...toy," fumbled Sirius.

She stared at them. 

“Why, pray tell, is Mr Pettigrew’s sheep toy…the size of a small deer?”

“…”

“I won it at a…carnival.” Peter finally stepped in.

“It’s an animatronic…sheep…right, Pete?” said Sirius, nudging him. Peter nodded violently. 

Suddenly the ‘sheep toy’ became roughly the size of a boy again, and a fully-human James stood there with a blanket over him. 

“Ah, you caught us, Professor, you sly old fox! I am…dressed…as a ghost….for a hilarious prank,” he said, only slightly muffled by the blanket.

“What—“

“Well, got to go, Minnie! Sleep to get and all that,” yelled James, already running.

Minerva was at a loss for words.

 

Remus was waiting in the common room, holding flasks full of assorted hot drinks.

“How’d it go?” he asked, barely able to contain his excitement.

“James couldn’t turn back and we had to sneak him into the castle —“

“I was a dog, and it was like being super high—“

“Peter was a rat, I—“

“I’m calling James Prongs, because antlers—“

Remus laughed. “Let’s see, then! I’m assuming none of you are super huge.”
Sirius immediately turned into a dog, and Peter into his rat. 

James, after a little prompting, turned into the deer.

“Alright. Wormtail,” said Remus, pointing at Peter, “and Padfoot,” pointing at Sirius. They transformed back, giddy and laughing. 

Wormtail?” whined Peter indignantly.

“Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs,” said James. “Aka the Marauders! Hey, I know how to finish our map now.”

“So, Moony, when’s the next full moon?” Sirius turned to him, still overexcited.

Remus squinted. “Why? Is there another step or something?”

“No, you idiot. We’re coming with you next time you transform. Why do you think we became Animagi?” said James, slapping Peter’s shoulder. Peter grinned nervously.

Remus’ face fell. There were a few seconds of awkward silence. “Yeah, hilarious.”

“We’re not kidding, Rems,” said Sirius.

He shook his head. “That’s fucking insane and you know it—“

“Come on Remus, you’re a werewolf not a swearwolf—“

“Sirius. I’m not kidding around.” His face had lost all humour. “You do not want to be there when I transform.”

“Why not? Won’t it help?”

“It’s…it’s just not…”

“It’s settled, then, we come with you.” James was looking at him, concerned.

“No, it’s not fucking settled — I can’t even begin to describe…what it is to transform. I promise you, you’ll see it, and you’ll-you’ll realise what a fucking monster I am. You might not realise it just from the word, like…I’m a werewolf, whatever, fucking whatever, but…the transformations are…they’re horrifying. They’re not something I’d subject anyone to, least of all you guys. They’re…they’re disturbing, more than anything. I don’t have an outlet so I just…fucking tear at my own skin, and if I saw something to hurt that wasn’t myself, I’d…” Remus looked close to tears again, and Sirius had no idea how to deal with tears, so he pulled him into a rough hug. He was quickly shoved off. “I’d tear you to pieces. You are not coming, and that is final. I can barely deal with them on my own and I’ve been transforming for years.”

“I think…the fact that you’ve spent years transforming alone and still can’t deal with them…is why we’re coming, mate,” piped up Peter, in a surprising turn.

Sirius, who would normally be sulking about the rejected hug, leapt on it. “We’re here for you, Remus. It’s not about us. It’s about helping you.”

“Just tell us where and when and we’ll be there,” said James.

“But what if I hurt one of you—I’d never be able to live with myself, I—“

“When and where?” James interrupted gently. 

“Shrieking Shack…you get through via the Whomping Willow, there’s a special knot. The next one’s the 4th of June.” Remus sighed. “I can’t believe I’m letting this happen—“

“Ahh, shut it. You know we’d find out whether you told us or not,” said Sirius, leaning into him again.

Remus let out a half-laugh. “Yeah, I know.” The taller boy draped his arm around Sirius' shoulder. “You guys are insane, you know that?”

“‘Course.” James smiled at him. “So…sheep toy, Sirius?”

 

Chapter Text

4th June, 1974

11.00pm

“Ready?” Sirius asked. The other two boys nodded, and Sirius darted between the branches and pressed the knot. A tunnel opened up, and the branches slowed. “Wicked.”

They all got through, and started climbing through the tunnel. It took a while to get there, but once they did, they saw Remus.

"Get into it," said Peter. The rest of the group looked at him oddly. "I didn't know what to say!"

"This is...cosy," said James. 

 

5th June, 1974

9.36am

James and Sirius were yawning all through Charms, and Peter was just asleep. Flitwick looked at them wearily, but didn’t say a word.

 

5th June, 1974

9.36pm

There was a chorus of “Moony!” when Remus entered the dorm, looking a little tired, but far less beaten up than he usually did.

He looked embarrassed. “Hey, guys. I-I have to ask…”

“We’re all fine, Moons,” said Sirius, winking at him. The tips of Remus’ ears went pink. “You were completely fine, actually, too. You were like a violent…oversized dog.”

“Wonderful,” he said dryly, scratching the back of his neck.

“So…what do you say? Same time next moon cycle?” asked James.

“…Sure. Yes.”

 

7th June, 1974

1.46am

“This is a running theme with you, isn’t it?” Remus came into the common room again, to find Sirius still up and lying by the fire. 

“‘M’just thinking.”

Remus came and sat next to him. “About what?”

“Ahhh, nothing.” Sirius leant his head on Remus’ shoulder.

They sat in a comfortable silence for a few minutes, until Remus spoke up.

“Padfoot…”
“Mm?”

“You know all about my…furry little problem, now. So…why don’t you tell me about the bruises?”

Sirius was a quiet for a couple of seconds.

“You don’t have to. It just feels like…you’ve got something pent up.”

“…Ahh, well. James knows, so you might as well too.”

"Uh huh."

"You know what my family's like, right?" 

"Criminally insane, yes."

Sirius chuckled. “Pretty much. And I’m not exactly the model child, right? They have very…strong family values. And I don’t fit any of them. I’m a Gryffindor, I have a penchant for the dramatic, I play violently loud Bowie…”

“Yeah, that’s you.”

“One day in summer I came down for dinner with dearest mother and father in eyeliner. Needless to say…dad wasn’t best pleased.”

“Jesus—you mean…”

“Yeah.” Sirius swallowed.

“That’s fucking crazy, Padfoot.”

“He’s kind of been doing it since I was a kid. Either sending some older cousins my way to ‘teach me a lesson’, or…doing it himself.”

“Holy…shit.”

“He doesn’t…like, outright punch me in the face, or anything. It’s slaps and ear pulls, mainly. And my mum’s just a little too harsh when pulling me upstairs, or whatever.” He pulled up his sleeve to reveal scars where nails had dug into his arms. He didn’t look upset, but more…embarrassed. He wasn’t looking Remus in the eye, and his face was red. 

“Oh, Sirius.”

“…Yeah.”

“Hey…what’s the deal with Regulus? James mentioned…and you mentioned that you guys were really close. What happened?”

“He…well. First he started hanging out around the cousins. That was the first thing, but I was just kind of irritated. I wasn’t about to kill him. Then he got into Slytherin. Also whatever. But then…he found the fucking make-up kit you sent me for Christmas.”

Remus felt sick. This was his fault.

“He asked me about it, and I said it was a stupid joke from my mate. He seemed to accept it, and I thought I was okay. Then…I found out he’d snitched. My mum and dad went fucking ballistic, I’d never…I’d never seen them so angry. I don’t even have any idea why, I mean—would they really think I, a style legend, would wear blue lipgloss?”

Remus didn’t laugh. “I’m…I can’t even begin to apologise for something like that, Sirius…I…”

“This isn’t your fault, you fool. It’s nothing to do with you. But yeah, that was what happened.”

Remus still felt guilty, but knew it wasn’t the time to push it. 

They were silent for another while, maybe an hour, staring at the dying embers in the fire. Sirius eventually started nodding off, and Remus realised he hadn’t had a proper night’s sleep in ages.

“C’mon, Padfoot. Let’s go to the dorm.”

 

7th June, 1974

2.44am

“Marly? What’re you doing up?” asked a blurry-eyed Lily. Marlene looked over, and smiled at her.

“Lils, I was just going to talk to you!”

“And wake me up at this bloody hour? What’s up?” She joined the girl’s side at the fire.

“I…I think I like girls,” Marlene blurted out.

“Yeah, me too, duh — oh. You mean…”

“Uh huh. Like…instead of boys,” she said. Though the words came easily out of her mouth, she seemed very on edge.

“I know, Marly.” Lily gave her a smile. “It’s okay. You’re okay.”

She let out a sigh of relief. “Thank God — so many people find it weird…and before you ask, no, I’m not into you!”

“I know, I know, don’t worry! I figured it out the minute you got with Sirius. That was so weird.”

So weird, right?”

“Listen. I’m always going to like you for who you are. This doesn’t change anything,” said Lily, slightly awkwardly, but gave her a hug. Marlene suddenly started crying. This was new, thought Lily. She’d never cried in front of…well, anyone before. 

“S-sorry. I just…”

“Don’t apologise! It’s a big deal. I get it.”

She sat there, still crying, while Lily comforted her.

“Thanks, Lils. I have no idea what I’d do without you.”

Lily sighed. “Of course. Should we go back to the dorm?”

Marlene nodded, and they went together.

Did Lily just have the kind of face people wanted to tell all their emotional problems to? As much as she loved helping people out, it was a little exhausting. Her friends definitely weren’t a burden—God, no—she just wished…perhaps they could…ahh, what was she thinking? Just because she had her own problems didn’t mean she couldn’t help other people out as well. That was ridiculous. Right?

 

8th June, 1974

11.49am

Sirius and Marlene were lying on each other, by the Whomping Willow, doing some Charms homework. They hadn’t told anyone that they’d broke up yet, strangely; they hadn’t made a decision to pretend to stay together, or anything, they’d just…independently kept it quiet.

“Sirius?” After a while of sitting in silence, she spoke up.

“Mm?”

“I’m gay.” There was a pause.

“Cool.”

They went back to doing their Charms work as if nothing had happened.

“Who invented the Cheering Charm?” Sirius flicked his hair behind his shoulder. “I know it was a weirdy in the 1400s.”

“Felix Summerbee. But 1400s weirdy works too, definitely write that in the exam.”

Sirius laughed. “Prick.”

“Hey, you’re really okay with it?”

“With what?” 

“Me liking girls.”

“Of course, Marls. Why wouldn’t I be?” Sirius looked up at her. “It’s not like we were ever really…a real thing.”

“Why did that happen, anyway? That was the weirdest thing in the world.”

“I think…we just connected well, that’s all. And we thought that equalled…”

“A relationship, right. Well, I like girls now, so…”

“That’s an exciting time. Anyone you got your eye on in our year, then?”

Marlene blushed violently red. “No.”

“Ooooooh, there is!” Sirius nudged her. “Come on.”

“Keep going and I’m going to kill you.”

“Alright, alright.” Sirius stopped, but kept looking at her with a grin on his face.

"...It's Dorcas."

“KNEW IT. ABSOLUTELY CALLED IT.”

“Shut up, you fool—“

“SIRIUS BLACK, THE GUESSING M A S T E R—“

Marlene elbowed him in the stomach.

“Ow! You’re so cruel. Seriously though, I think she might like you too.” Sirius gave her a genuine smile this time.

“Nah. I haven’t even told her I like girls yet. Actually, only you and Lily know.”

“Really?” Sirius grinned. “I’m touched, Marls.”

“What’s with you and shortening names and adding an ’s’? Rems, Marls, Lils. What’s next, Petes? Mins for McGonagall?”

Sirius gasped. “Mins is genius. Ahhh, she’s gonna kill me!”

Marlene looked at him, confused. “You don’t have to say it.”

“No, I’m going to. Inevitably. It’s going to happen.”

Sirius gasped again, this time more dramatically.

“What?”

Dorcs.”

“Lord, Sirius.”

“Yes, Lady Marlene?”

“That’s not what I meant and you know it—“

“Shh, let me have my moment!”

“Alright, well, I’ve told you what girl I like. It’s only fair if you tell me who you like,” she said, her eyes glinting.

“I…I don’t really know if there is anyone, really,” said Sirius calmly, hiding the fact that he had a twisting stomach. Why? He really didn’t know.

“Ugh, and you’re not even lying! What was the point in telling you mine, then?”

“Ahhh, I’m glad you told me. Seriously. It’s nice to have someone trust you.”

“Yeah.” She punched him in the stomach.

“Ow! What was that for? I didn’t even do anything!”

“Ahh, I don’t know. It’s just nice to have someone to trust, I guess.” Marlene looked fondly up at him. 

“Show affection better!”

“Says you.”

“I am fantastic at affection, thank you very much—“

“Ah, shut up. What’s a use of the Freezing Charm other than to make ice and put out fires?”

“It can freeze salamanders.”

 

8th June, 1974

7.17pm

Marlene, Dorcas, Sirius, Remus, James and Peter were all sitting at the dining table, all weirdly starving. 

“Where’s Lily?” asked James. 

“She’s at the Slytherin table,” said Dorcas, stuffing her face.

“What? Why?” James went red.

Sirius looked at him strangely. “She’s friends with that greasy kid.”

“Snape?” Remus put in. “He’s a bit odd, that one. He’s good at Potions, though. He’s my partner sometimes, when Pete’s ill. Or lazy.”

“I wish she’d stick around more,” said James. “She still calls me Potter.”

“That’s because you’re a cock, Prongs,” said Sirius, patting him on the back.

“Those nicknames are really fucking weird. What do they mean? What’s the story?” Marlene asked, draping her arm around Dorcas. This caused Sirius to stare at them with a weird grin on his face.

“What?” asked Dorcas.

“Noooothiiiiiiiiiiing,” said Sirius moonily. Marlene blushed, and looked like she was about to punch him. 

“Anyway…” said Remus, viewing this slightly strange scene. “Exams start on Monday!”

There was a chorus of groans and one yell of horror from James. “I haven’t revised!”

Remus stared at him. “You’re going to die.”

“I know!”

They all made their way back to the common room, but only after about 20 minutes of stuffing themselves.

“Where’re James and Remus?” Sirius asked, suddenly noticing the two of them had disappeared. The rest of the group shrugged.

 

They were in the library. Remus was desperately trying to teach James about Hinkypunks and Kappas, but he seemed distracted.

“Why do you reckon Evans hangs out around Snivellus?” James asked.

Snivellus? Mature, James,” said Remus, a little confused.

“He’s a greasy prick!”

“Jesus Christ. So you’re into Lily! Whatever! You can’t fail this fucking DADA test. Don’t you want to be an Auror?” Remus looked weary.

Into Evans? I’m not into Evans. Gross. No.”

“Fucking whatever, James, just look at the flashcards.” This earned Remus a glare and a ‘shh!’ from Madam Pince. “Sorry.”

“Is it…cake?”

Human blood. They feed on human blood, James.”

“Well, that’s not very cheerful.”

“They’re Kappas! Stop thinking about Evans, and start thinking about how you’re going to get expelled.”

Fine. I am not into Evans," insisted James.

“You made me call her Evans, goddammit. That’s so weird. I’ve never called her Evans before.”

"Now who's getting distracted? Help me!" 

“Right!”

Chapter Text

14th June, 1974

11.47pm

“LAST DAY OF EXAAAAAAMS!” shout-sang James and Sirius, extremely badly. The group were all as drunk as 14-year-olds with light emotional issues could get.

“Mooooooooooonyyyy,” said Sirius. “Put on music.”

Lily gasped. “Moony tunes!”

“Now that is hilarious,” said James, staggering.

“Begone, foul beast,” Lily replied. 

“You tried, man,” said Peter, who looked very tired.

Life on Mars started playing, much to Sirius’ delight. 

“Let’s do Fuck Marry Kill!” said Alice. “No, Truth or Dare!” 

“DORCAS! Truth or dare?” yelled Marlene.

Dorcas stared at her. “Dare.”

“Kiss the prettiest girl here!” interrupted Sirius. “And no, I don’t count.”

“…C’mere, Marly.” Marlene went bright red. Dorcas kissed her gently. “I am the KING OF DARES!” she yelled, while Sirius said a quiet ‘yesssss’. 

“Dorcas, you are a queen and I love you,” said Lily, who was apparently drunker than usual. “You deserve the world.”

Marlene had died. 

“Is Marlene dead?” asked Remus.

The answer was yes.

“Oooh, look out, Sirius! Dorcas’ coming for your girl,” said Lily.

“She’s nOT MY GIRL ANYMORE SHE’S A STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMAN WHO DON’T NEED NO MAN—“

“SIRIUS! YOUR GO!” shrieked James, earning him a ‘shhh!’. “Truth or dare?”

“Dare. Duh.”

“Kiss the prettiest boy here.”

Sirius moved forward, and looked directly into Remus’ eyes. “Moony.”

Remus went bright red. “What?”

“Shove over, I’m trying to get to James.”

Remus rolled his eyes and shuffled over to the side. Sirius kissed James lightly on the cheek. “Thanks, love!” said James triumphantly. “Alice!”

“Oh, god. Truth.”

“Booooooring. Now! I know you have a crush in our year! Who is it?”

Alice went bright red. “…It’s Frank.”

There was a confused silence. “That. Is. Wonderful,” said Lily. “I WILL GET YOU TWO TOGETHER IF IT KILLS ME—“

“Lily, no—“

“SOULMATES!”

“Shut it, Evans! Alright, Remus! Truth or dare?” James was somehow keeping them on track.

“…Truth.”

“Alright! Out of all the people here…who would you do the do with?”

“James, that is foul—“

“Fine, fine, who would you date?”

“You asked me that last time.”

“Well, I don’t remember it! And I’m not going to remember this time, either.”

“…Lily?”

James suddenly looked irritated. “THAT’S A FAKE ANSWER, I KNOW YOU’RE FRIENDS—“

“I’m friends with everyone here, you cock—“

“Real answer!” he insisted.

“Marlene?” Remus suggested hesistantly.

“NO,” yelled Marlene, from her grave.

Everyone looked at her for a second.

“That rules Marly out!”

“I have no idea, then!”

“REMUS LUPIN, I AM OFFENDED—“ Sirius shouted, earning him a ‘shhh’.

“Fine! Sirius, then.”

“Oh, you were bullied into that one. But I’ll take it.” James swivelled around to the corpse of Marlene. “Marlene!”

“…Truth.” She couldn’t handle another of James’ dares.

“Biggest secret!”

“…”

“Come on, none of us are going to remember it.”

“I’m gay.”

“Excellent! We all knew.”

The remains of Marlene sighed.

“Evans! Your go!”

“Dare. Obviously.” Lily grinned.

“Spin around for 15 seconds and then try to get through the portrait hole!” said James.

She nearly fell over just spinning, but eventually managed to crawl through the portrait hole, though not with much dignity.

“Pete!” 

He was asleep.

“Oh, Christ. Sirius again!”

“Isn’t it your go?” asked Dorcas indignantly. 

“I am an immortal being. I have no go. PADFOOT!”

“DARE!”

“Let Lily give you a makeover!”

Lily walked forward, wielding her makeup bag that she had with her. She had apparently predicted this. When she was done, Sirius was in full eyeliner, a smokey eye, and bright red lipstick. 

“Oh my god. I look…AMAZING.”

He did, indeed, look weirdly good, thought Remus. 

“Alice, your go!”

“You missed Dorcas,” she complained. 

“Dorcas is eliminated because she killed Marlene.”

“Rude,” came the indignant voice of Dorcas.

“Fine! Dare,” said Alice.

“WRITE AN ANONYMOUS LOVE LETTER TO FRANK,” said Lily.

“While she’s doing that…Moony baby!” cried James. 

“Christ. Dare.”

“Either…let Lily give you a full makeover…or kiss Sirius until you’re wearing his lipstick!”

“You gargoyle. Lily, come here. No, wait. Ugh! I could make you go to bed right now.”

“But you woooon’t.” James was very pleased.

Sirius had suddenly shut up.

 

15th June, 1974

7.32am

“PADFOOT! QUIDDITCH!”

And lo, Moony arose, his eyes blazing. He slowly walked towards James, who squeaked and quickly ran out of the door. “Take Padfoot with you.”

“Traitooooooooor,” came a weak voice, as he was dragged out of the dorm. He was still wearing his makeup.

 

21st June, 1974

6.42pm

“It’s nearly the end of the year. That is wild,” said Sirius.

“It’s been a hell of a fucking year, hasn’t it?” sighed Peter.

“I mean, I got into a relationship, got out of a relationship, Marls came out as a lesbian, Moony came out as a werewolf…” Sirius replied.

“Played truth or dare twice, Sirius kissed James, and…what happened at the end of that?” asked Remus, choosing to ignore ‘came out as a werewolf’. 

“Who knows, man,” said James. “We were all shitfaced.”

“Marlene finally got kissed by Dorcas and died, even though they probably don’t remember it,” said Peter.

“Prongs didn’t die in the exams,” said Sirius.

“Wormtail didn’t die at all,” said James.

“McGonagall didn’t kill Sirius when he called her Mins,” said Remus.

“I reckon it’s been a good year.” 

“Agreed.” “Yeah.” “Me too.”

 

26th June, 1974

7.42pm

“Sirius, you’re not going to fucking believe this—you’ll never guess what I found!” James burst into the dorm room. “Where are Peter and Remus?” 

“Somewhere with Lily and Marlene. What’ve you found?”

“Let’s go, I’ll explain on the way!”

“Alright, alright.”

They rushed off, going towards the seventh floor. 

“Okay, so I was walking along the seventh floor, and I really needed to pee.”

“…Right?”

“And I was just thinking that, and realised I was going the wrong way, so I turned around. But then I realised that actually was the right way, and turned around again. All this time I was thinking I really need to pee.”

“Is this going somewhere?”

“And then it fucking appeared - a bathroom. Right before my goddamn eyes.”

“No way.”

“Yes way. I reckon it turns into whatever you need it to.”

“Come on!” They were running now. “…Here.”

“There’s nothing here, mate.” Sirius was doubtful.

“No shit. Come on, walk around here thinking about what you need.”

I need a place to chat to a mate. I need a place to chat to a mate. I need a place to—

“Look!” cried James.

A huge, ornate, mahogany door appeared. Sirius gaped. “No…way.”

“Hell yeah! Let’s add it to the map, right?” James elbowed him.

Awestruck, Sirius pushed open the door to reveal a cosy room with two chairs and a bottle of Firewhiskey.

“What’d you need this for?” asked James.

“I actually wanted to talk to you, mate. But let’s do it here! Free alcohol, hell yeah!”

“Hell yeah!”

They sat down, and started drinking. Sirius seemed to kind of avoid the topic until they were at least a little drunk.
“Come on, what’d you want to talk to me about, mate?” James nudged him. “Liquid courage, right?”

“Alright. I can do this. Right.”
“I believe in youu.”

“Okay. Okay. James, I think…I’m, uh…gay.”

James nodded. “Yeah, I know.”

“You whAt? Know? How?”

“I’ve seen you at the after-Quidditch parties, dude. Girls fawn over you…because of your…face, or something. You look deeply uncomfortable. No single straight man alive wouldn’t want that cute fifth-year flirting with you.”

You wouldn’t.”

“Yeah, but my loyalty’s devoted to Minnie McG, isn’t it? I’m a taken man.”

“Fair.”

James moved forward and tried to clap him on the shoulder, but missed and hit the arm of the chair instead. “The sentiment was there! I still love you, mate.”

“Yeah."

“Hmmm…so…is there anyone you’ve got an eye on, then?” 

“Ehhh. A few contenders, really.”

“Oooh, tell me, tell me.” James nudged him.

“Nah, none of them are really…”

“Real?”

“Yeah.”

“I get you, man.”

“Hey. Cheers.” Sirius held out his glass. James clinked his against it. 

“Cheers. Let’s get druuuuuuuuuuunk.”

They sat there, drinking, for at least a few hours. Eventually, Sirius stood up. 

“Let’s get back to the dorm,” he said, teetering a bit. He helped James up, and they walked out, leaning heavily on each other. 

They made it almost three metres out of the room before they were accosted by McGonagall.

“Black, Potter! What on earth do you think you are doing out of bed at this hour?” 

“Minnie!” They said at the same time.

She sighed. “You aren’t trying to smuggle a deer into the castle again, are you?”

“Whaaaat? You wound me, Minnie, we would never—“ said James.

“Of course not, Professor, that’s ridiculous—“ Sirius interrupted him.

She looked down at them wearily. “Get back to your dorms or it’ll be a detention for you both on your first day back at school. That is, if you even remember this.” They stumbled off. “Wrong way, boys.”

 

Meanwhile, Remus, Peter, Lily and Marlene had all snuck into the library together, which was the nerdiest act of rebellion they could think of. Remus supplied some Muggle beer, and they spent the evening talking and talking and talking, getting a little tipsy, but not quite drunk. Tipsy, they were all very giggly. Peter managed to stay awake this time, and they ended up chatting about everything from boys to girls to space (which Remus was surprisingly passionate about).

They made it back to the dorm after midnight, where they found Sirius and James completely conked out on their beds. 

Remus looked fondly on, Sirius’ hair falling over his face, his shirt riding up a bit. This was a pretty good last day. 

 

Chapter Text

27th June, 1974

7.00pm

The boys got off the train together, laughing. Sirius looked around the platform and saw a smiling Euphemia Potter, a wide-eyed Hope Lupin, and Mrs Pettigrew, holding a huge bag with a few sweets spilling out. His eyes then rested on his cold, unsmiling parents, and his heart sank. 

James suddenly hugged him. “You can come and stay at ours any time.” 

When James went to join his parents, with a ‘bye, guys!’, Remus gave him a lopsided grin. “Try not to die, mate. And…go to James’ if it gets…bad. Yeah?” Sirius nodded. 

“Thanks, Rems.” He hugged him, and the taller boy awkwardly accepted it.

“Oh. Hugs. You know me. Love hugs. I’m a hug fiend.”

“Aaah, you love them really.”

Remus laughed. “Bye, Padfoot.”

“See ya, Padfoot!” Peter patted him on the back.

“Smell you later, Wormtail.” 

Peter dashed off, and he reluctantly started walking up to his parents. 

Regulus joined him. “Did you have a good year?”

“Sure.” Sirius sighed. “Did you?” 

“Yeah.”

“…Glad to hear it.”

 

17th August, 1974

Dear Remus Moony, 

How’s your summer been? Mine’s been about as fantastic as you’d expect, but my parents gave the go-ahead for me to spend a while at James’. You should come sometime, it’s amazing — he’s got a whole orchard and everything. Full-on lake too. It’s called the Potter Estate. It’s pretty sweet. I miss you It’d be cool to have you around too. It’s on a road called Orchard Lane outside London. 

I did some research and found out the full moon’s on September 1 this year. What are you going to do? Just come in a day late? I realised you’d be spending two full moons after our…thing???? on your own. It’d be nice not to have a third, right?  

I didn’t think I’d miss you this much. It’s seriously weird without you. Why haven’t you sent me a letter yet?

Also, are you missing Halloween this year? That fucking sucks! We’ll bring some pumpkin-shaped lollipops into the Shrieking Shack for you if you’d like. Maybe a whole pumpkin. Or maybe Slughorn’s special Halloween robes? Who knows? He’s so creepy, I could probably just flirt my way into his closet.

Speaking of Slughorn, I got an invite to his insane Slug Club thing. No way in hell am I going, obviously, but just thought I’d mention it! Reg got one too. He is going, because he’s criminally insane.

Reg’s still being a prick. Also obvious. 

Anyway, I’ve got to go for dinner now - Euphemia’s an incredible cook.

Love Padfoot.

 

Remus,

This is James! I’m not great at letter-writing, but I just wanted to let you know that you’re always  welcome at our place, if you want to come. Sirius has been worrying, you know him. 

Yeah, that’s pretty much all I wanted to say, so … I guess I’ll just add a bunch of extra lines so it 

 

 

seems 

 

 

longer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prongs xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

 

Padfoot -

Nice to actually get a letter from you for once! My summer’s been violently average. I got so bored I finished all of my homework in a day. Yes, I am just going to come in a day late - sorry you’ll miss out on my horrifying, violent, monthly transformation, that must be a real bummer. 

And yes, I am missing Halloween - but I don’t want to know how you’d get Sluggy’s robes off him. Disturbing to think about, really. Weird about the Slug Club thing. I heard Lily got invited too, and she’s actually going - she likes his classes. Or maybe she just likes Potions? Who knows. She is crazily good at it, so whatever.

My suggestion: set Reg on fire. 

James sent me a letter telling me I could come over, with his real address, so I might, actually, if that’s all right. His letter was approximately three words, so it doesn’t really need a response, but could you tell him I’ll come over on the 20th? If that’s all right with his parents, and everything, obviously. I don’t mean to be a burden.

By the way, you may want to consider drafting. Your handwriting’s scribbly enough without scratches all over it.

- Remus. 

PS: Just reread and realised how annoyed I sound in this letter. I’m not actually mad at you, just constantly irritated by the burden of being alive

 

20th August, 1974

2.19pm

“Hello, love!” said Euphemia enthusiastically as she opened the door to an impossibly tall 14-year-old Remus Lupin. “Goodness, you’ve had a growth spurt!”

“Hi, Mrs Potter,” he said awkwardly. 

“Euphemia, dear. Do come in — ah, Hope, would you like to stay for some tea?” 

James and Sirius were sitting around a cosy-looking table with a gingham tablecloth spread over it, with empty plates. “Moony!” “Moons!” 

Hope looked at him, slightly confused. “Moony?”

“It’s a nickname.” He waved it off. 

“Are you sure it’s all right to just dump him here for a few days? He’s been cooped up inside for so long, it’d be nice to have him in such a lovely place.”

“Of course! Have you eaten lunch yet, dear?” asked Euphemia, turning to Remus. “You’re rather skinny, you know.”

“He is!” exclaimed Hope. “I could feed him until the cows came home, and he’d just get taller!”

Remus went pink. “Mum.”

“Come on, Moony, let’s go,” said James, almost rushing off into the garden, but was stopped by a stern ‘plate!’ from Euphemia. He grabbed his plate and put it in the sink. Sirius did the same. They then both dashed off into the garden, without looking back. Remus followed them awkwardly, unfamiliar with the surroundings.

James and Sirius raced each other down to the lake, and Remus walked behind them, still holding his satchel. All it had in it was a few clothes, his toothbrush and some books (obviously).

“This place is amazing, Prongs,” said Remus, looking at the acres of land stretching out about him.

“Thanks. My family are kind of…”

“Rich?” Sirius helpfully swept in. 

“Sure.” James gave him a thumbs up.

Remus dumped his satchel by the edge.

“Come on, let’s go down to the very edge!” Sirius carefully made his way down to the tiny pier stretching out into the middle of the lake. Remus and James followed, both very much in danger of falling in. 

“Hey, look over there!” Sirius yelled suddenly, pointing to his right. James looked over, and Sirius took his opportunity, and pushed him in. Unfortunately, James caught hold of his shirt, so he ended up going in right after him, but not before flailing for Remus’ arm, and dragging him in with them.

They were a tangle of bodies under the water, each struggling to stay above, coughing, gasping, and shaking with laughter. Luckily, they could all swim, but the lake was freezing fucking cold, and the English sun was not enough to warm it up. They all got to the shore okay.

“Sirius, you prick—“ “Padfoot, I’m going to kill you—“ These statements were rendered mildly less threatening as they were all still seized by laughter. 

“First bath you’ve had in a while, Prongs—“ Sirius said.

“Oi! You don’t get to insult me, you pushed me in!”

“In all fairness…it was literally the oldest trick in the book,” inputted Remus.

“Et tu, Moon-ay?”

“…He even made it rhyme with Brute,” said Remus to Sirius in a low voice.

“That’s incredible. His dramatic tendencies have almost reached…my level,” Sirius replied, amazed.

“I’m right here! Don’t talk about me in the third person!”

 

21st August, 1974

7.58am

Sirius and James wolfed down their breakfast, eager to get out into the garden. They shoved their plates in the sink with a ‘thanks, Mum!’/‘thanks, Euphemia!’. Remus hung back.

“Could I help with the…washing up, or something?”

“Oh, no, dear! That’s very sweet of you to ask, but go and have fun! And…you seem to be the sensible one of the lot. Make sure James has done his homework, won’t you?”

 

a considerable while later

 

“It’s either do the homework, or jump in the Lake at school naked and send Severus from Slytherin an apology letter for everything you’ve done.”

There were two shocked, affronted gasps.

“Jumping in the lake is one thing—“

“But Remus! How could you suggest such a disgusting thing!”

Remus rolled his eyes. “You’re finishing each others’ sentences now. Great. Now, choose, or you both die.” 

“It’s choosing death, death or death,” Sirius said. 

“No, it’s choosing death by boredom, death by embarrassment, or a slow, painful, drawn-out process in which you are both embarrassed and bored, and oh so many other things.”

“Boredom,” said James immediately.

“…Boredom.” Sirius eventually said, albeit grumpily.

“Boys! Peter’s here!” Euphemia called from the house.

“Great! He’s definitely not done the homework either.”

“Ah, but you can’t use the Snivellus threat on him!” James said, as if having an epiphany. He was sure he’d beaten Remus this time.

Remus, however, smirked at him. Sirius felt deeply perturbed by this.

“Peter! Would you like to do your homework or send a love letter to Mary McDonald?”

“I did not come here to be ATTACKED and PERSECUTED LIKE THIS—“

“Pete, your Sirius is showing,” said James.

 

Once they had indeed all done the homework, the sun had set, and the stars were twinkling. James and Peter had gone inside. 

“Man, I fuckin’ love space,” said Remus. 

“Really?” Sirius looked surprised. “I’d’ve thought…”

“Just because the full moon is a nightmare doesn’t mean the rest of it isn’t cool as fuck. Hey, nice jacket.” Remus tugged at the leather Sirius was wearing. “Where’d you get it? I know you don’t have any money.”

Sirius shrugged. “Nicked some money off my parents. Not like they need it.”

“Fair. You’re still going to Hell.”

“Oh, I’ve been on a motorcycle there for a long time, Rems.”

“I don’t know about a motorcycle. A scooter, maybe. One of those plastic ones you can buy at like…Sainsbury’s.”

Sirius snorted. “Pink and flowery, naturally.”

“Of course.” Remus laughed and looked up at the sky. “Sirius?”

“Mm?”

“…This is going to sound dorky, and you’re not allowed to make fun of me for it.”

Sirius gasped. “Me? Call book-loving, cardigan-wearing Remus dorky? Never. Why would you possibly think that, Remus? I’ve never made fun of you in my life—”

Remus shoved him, but he was smiling. “Shut up. … I just wanted to tell you how nice it is to have you guys. And Lily.

“Awww.”

“I said shush! I’ve never really had friends that knew about my…furry little problem, as James has so wonderfully labelled it, least of all friend that’d try to help me with it. All I’m saying is that…I appreciate you, is all.”

“Wait, Lily knows?”

“What? Yes. How did you not know this? She figured it out after the first moon.”

Sirius sighed. “Goddammit. I was sure I was the only one!”

“Not only were you not alone, but two years late,” Remus teased him.

“Well, Lily’s awesome! Wait, I am too. This is confusing!”

“You sure as hell are awesome. Even with your pink plastic scooter en route to Hell.”

Sirius looked at him fondly. “Yeah.” Oh, fuck.

 

Chapter Text

YEAR 4

 

1st September, 1974

7.47pm

Sirius was unable to sit still during the feast, knowing that Remus was alone somewhere, tearing at his own flesh. He should be there with him. Hot diggity dang it, he should be there with him.

He sat restlessly through the Sorting, not giving a flying fuck about the random first-years walking awkwardly up to the stool. The Sorting really lost its charm after a few years. Yeah, he was going to appreciate it in when he was in the seventh year and whatever, but for now it was just fucking boring. Same with the Sorting Hat’s song - bloody hell, that was dull. He already knew the shit about the houses. He knew the shit, goddammit!

When the Sorting was over, Dumbledore stood up. Oh, shut up, you old man, you've said enough speeches in your fucking life. He spoke for a few minutes about the dangers of random shit that the Marauders were definitely going to ignore - yep, he’s talking about the Whomping Willow, and ‘a student’ (they all knew it was Davey Gudgeon, who was an idiot) nearly losing an eye.

“And now, let us engage in the singing of the school song! Pick your favourite tune.”

Sirius nudged James. He grinned and nodded. 

They both jumped up on the table and started singing a rousing rendition of Waterloo by ABBA, who had won the Eurovision Song Contest that year, complete with choreography. Sirius somehow had a mic. They didn’t even bother trying to put in the words of the school song, but soon enough most of the school was joined in - except, of course, certain pure-bloods who didn’t partake in the Muggle tradition of Eurovision, most of whom were insistently still singing the school song. Even Dumbledore joined in, apparently a fan of the Swedish pop group, and the original lyrics that had come out of his wand disappeared.

“Ah, music. Truly the greatest magic there is,” said Dumbledore, a tear in his eye. “Now. I believe it is time to eat!”

 

3rd September 1974

8.22pm

“Moony!” the boys cried as Remus came through the door, lugging his suitcase. He had a nasty-looking gash across his left eye, which had closed up. 

“Bloody hell, Remus, that looks exciting,” said Peter. 

“Yeah. Doesn’t feel it,” he said, chuckling a bit. “Madame Pomfrey’ll fix me up. But enough about that — ABBA?”

“Eurovision had some excellent entries this year, but they murdered the competition. Absolutely fantastic,” said Sirius.

“I really regret introducing you two to that. It’s Europe’s worst music competition—“

“Moony! How dare you! Terry Wogan has forever stolen my heart.” James looked personally offended.

“What about McGonagall?” Remus was done with him, but if he was going to spout nonsense it needed to be consistent, dammit.

“Ah, yes, Minnie. Terry’s just my side ho.”

“Wormtail. Help me.”

“Can’t on this one, Moony, I have to agree. Even my mum likes Eurovision.”

“Jesus Christ.”

 

4th September, 1974

3.58pm

"Arrrr," said Sirius.

"Shut the fuck up," said Remus, who was wearing an eyepatch. "Or I will murder you."

"Aye aye, Captain," grinned James.

"MURDER. YOU."

 

7th September, 1974

12.01am

In a shocking turn of events, people were getting drunk. The sounds of the self-titled Queen album in the background, they had, yet again, formed into a circle.

“SCHOOL! HELL YEAH!” Sirius yelled. 

“HELL YEAH!” James yelled.

“HELL YEAH!” replied Sirius.

“HELL YEAH!” James.

“HELL YEAH!” Sirius.

It kept going like this until someone stopped them. 

“LET’S DO THE NEWLYWEDS GAME!” Alice said, at top volume.

“Other than Marlene and Dorcas, none of us are newlyweds. Potter and Sirius and me and Remus have been married for three years now. Alice’s husband isn’t here,” said Lily, slurring.

Marlene, Dorcas and Alice all protested mildly.

“So, it’s the friend game! Pass out parchment and quills, Pete!” Somehow Peter did, indeed, have quills and paper for everyone.

“Alright, write Alice, Peter, Lily, Remus, Marlene, Dorcas, Sirius, and Potter in that order. Like we’re sitting.” Lily had apparently taken control of this. “Columns are rounds 1, 2 and 3, then points. You’ll ask a question about yourself with three options, and the others have to guess what it is! You get 5 points for a right answer. Alice, you start.”

“O K A Y! How many cats do want? A, none. B, two. C, 47.”

Everyone scribbled something down. “Peter!” yelled James.

“Which Marauder am I most likely to kill? A, Moony. B, Padfoot. C, Prongs.”

“Come on. Easy one, Pete,” said Lily. 

“What! I don’t think it is!” exclaimed Sirius indignantly. Everyone stared at him. “…Oh.”

“Alright, what’s my favourite WOODLAND ANIMAL? A, rabbit. B, bear. C, deer.” Lily yelled, and leaned back confidently. James went a little pink…from the alcohol, of course.

“REEEEEeeemus.” What was the deal with Sirius, James and Lily all dragging out his name?

“Uhhhh…what’s my favourite item of clothing. Is it…A, jumpers, B, cardies, or C, socks?”

“WHAt? You love them all equally! That’s not faaaair!” James whined.

“Shut it, Potter!” 

James grumbled something about Lily still calling him Potter, but she ignored him. 

“Marly!”

Marlene had her head in Dorcas’ lap again. “If I could have dinner with one person, past or present, who would it be? A, Marilyn Monroe. B…Barbara Streisand, C, Freddie Mercury.”

“TRICK QUESTION. The answer is DOR-“ Sirius was cut off by a violent jab to the ribs by Dorcas.

“Moving on! Dorcas!”

“Who—“

“BAM. RULE CHANGE! These questions are boring. So how about we ask the questions, and you have to think up three answers?” James said, to absolutely no one’s surprise. “ALRIGHT! So Dorcas. What do you like most in a partner?”

“…Okay. A, they’re clever. B, they’re a good cook. C…she makes me laugh.” Dorcas went bright red as she realised what she’d said, and started fiddling with her hair.

There was a shriek from both Lily and Sirius. “ADORABLE!”

Marlene was dead again.

“SIRius! Person you’re most likely to kiss in this room, excluding me.”

“A, Lily. B, Peter. C, Remus.”

Sirius was very drunk, and Remus had butterflies.

“My go!”

“Alright, Potter. If you had to kill one person here, who would it be?” said Lily.

“A, Peter. C, Sirius. B, Marlene.”

“That was the wrong way rOUND!”

“OKAY END OF ROUND ONE! Alice, how many cats would you like?”

“47. Obviously. C.”

“Saaaame,” said Lily.

“Peter?”

“I’m killing Padfoot. B.”

“My favourite woodland animal is a deer! I think that was C,” Lily announced. James’ face was very red.“Marlene!”

“Freddie Mercury. Duh.”

“DORCS!” Sirius said, already triumphant.

“…It was C. They make me laugh.”

“Mine was C, Remus. If anyone got that wrong, they’re a FOOL.” Sirius winked at Remus.

This was illegal, and Remus was going to die. He was going to pull a fucking Marlene and die.

“So many Cs, people! Switch it up! Anyway, I’d kill Sirius. Obviously.” James stretched.

Sirius feigned hurt. “HOW DARE YOU, MY LOVE, I AM WOUNDED—“

“Alright, points!” James interrupted him.

“35, bitch!” said Alice.

“…Peter’s just says ‘Murder, BITCH in all caps, Angry Redhead, Grandpa Rem-dawgs, Merlin, Dorkface, Trying Too Hard, and Oh That Beautiful Man James Potter. He hasn’t written any actual answers down,” said Remus, reading his card as he had fallen asleep.

“Yep, he used the joke quill,” said James, scrambling away from Lily, who was, ironically, angry about Angry Redhead. He then had to run away from Alice, who was murderous about Murder, Marlene, who was angry about Merlin, Dorcas, because ‘Dorkface, James?!’, and Sirius, because ‘I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT TRY TOO HARD, POTTER!’.

They kept playing until about 3am, finding out a whole lot of random shit about each other that they were definitely going to forget. 

Remus and Lily got most people up to bed, except Marlene and Dorcas, who stayed downstairs.

 

“Marly?”

"Mm?” 

“This might sound weird, but…do you…like me?”

Marlene looked up at her. “What?”

“Like…like me, like me?”

Marlene laughed. “Dorcas, you dense egg.”

Dorcas blushed and brushed the hair out of her face. “Is that a no? I thought it was just Sirius mucking around.”

“…It’s not a no.” Marlene, usually so confident, couldn’t look her in the eye. “I know it might mess up our friendship a bit, but we can stay friends, if you’d like.”

“I don’t want to.”

Marlene’s face fell. “Oh.” Crestfallen, she sat up. “Okay.”

Dorcas quickly moved towards her. “No! Goddammit, I should’ve thought that through better. I meant…I’d like  to be…something more than that.”

Oh.” 

Marlene would usually be rolling around in a Sirius-style dramatic tantrum, saying she gave her a heart attack, but all she did was stare at her. 

“Marls—“ Dorcas was interrupted by Marlene’s lips on hers, and she tasted like Firewhiskey and strawberry lip balm. Dorcas leaned into her, wrapping her arms around her neck.

Finally,” said an amused Remus Lupin, who had just come down to check on them. They didn’t break apart. “Lordy. Go to bed soon, you two, alright?”

 

He went upstairs to the dorm to find James in bed with his curtains closed, Peter already asleep, and Sirius by an open window.

“Padfoot?”

“There’re shooting stars.” He pointed out the window, and he joined him at the window.

“In the city you usually can’t see much of it. The night sky, I mean.” Remus looked the same way he had looked at James’.

“There!” Sirius pointed at a star falling down to earth. Remus stared, and his eyes sparkled.

“That…is insanely cool.”

“How come you’re not super into Astronomy at school?” Sirius elbowed him lightly.

“Turning it into a subject kind of takes the fun out of it, I guess. Plus, it all revolves around the bloody moon.”

Sirius nodded. “Hey, look. Dog Star,” he said, pointing at the brightest star in the sky.

Remus snorted. “Does that one have an ego and dramatic tendencies too?”

“Probably. And it’s also a star. We have so much in common.”

“Come on, Padfoot. Get to bed.”

He stood up and gave Remus a fond look. “You are such a mum friend, Moony.”

Remus snorted. “A mum would not encourage your fucking antics. I’m a grandpa friend.”

Sirius gasped. “The cardigans! The socks! The repressed anger and weariness! The hatred for most of the world! The offbeat sardonic humour mixed with puns!”

“I’m too old for this. Get into bed, you whippersnapper.”

“Alright, Grandpa Lupin.”

“…Why does that sound right?”

 

Chapter Text

11th September, 1974

9.04am

“Mr Black. May I inquire as to what you are wearing?” Slughorn asked. Sirius was sitting in the front row wearing purple sparkly bell-bottoms and an oversized orange flowery shirt with the first three buttons undone. He was also wearing black heeled boots. His nails were silver. James was sitting next to him, trying very hard not to laugh, and Remus had his head in his hands. Peter was silently crying.

“What seems to be the issue, Professor?”

Slughorn was at a loss for words. “I don’t believe that is regulation uniform, Black.”

Sirius put his foot up on his desk. “If Dumbledore can wear them, why can’t I? Discrimination in its finest form, ladies and gents.”

“I was referring to the rest of the…get-up, Black,” Slughorn sighed. 

“The nail polish? But sir! Evans is wearing bright red and gold nail polish and you haven’t said a word! Honestly, Professor, this could get you sued.”

Slughorn stared at him. “To Professor McGonagall’s office, Black.”

“With pleasure! I shall tell her all about the injustice I suffered today.”

“Go!”

 

Sirius dramatically opened the door to McGonagall’s office, who stared at him. “Try again, Mr. Black.”

He exited and knocked.

“Come in.”

He came in and slumped down onto a chair. McGonagall looked at him, her lip twitching.

“Why is it, Black, that you insist upon making a fool of yourself rather than the most of your education?”

He didn’t say anything, a smirk on his face. 

“While this ensemble is sure to get you the attention you so clearly require, it will not ensure you a stable future.”

“Oh, I don’t know about that, Professor.”

Clown is not a stable profession.”

“What? That travelling circus lied to me!”

She sighed. “Normally in these situations I would be sending a letter home.”

His heart skipped a beat.

“But I think in your case, that will only worsen things.”

He exhaled in relief. 

“You’ll be having detention with me every weeknight until the end of the month."

“What?! I have Quidditch!”

“So perhaps you will learn to take your classes as seriously as your extracurriculars. 7pm every Monday to Friday, Black. Get back to class.”

Sirius sighed and stood up. “Harsh. I hope your conscience is happy with the knowledge that James is going to kill me.”

“Yes. I am fine with that.”

“Boo.”

“And Sirius?” He looked back, slightly surprised at the use of his first name.

“Yes?”

Change.”

He turned back up at the lesson in a denim jumpsuit. Slughorn just stared at him wearily and continued droning on about antidotes. 

 

11th September, 1974

5.56pm

“Until the end of September? Every day?” James looked horrified.

“Yeah, I know! Minnie’s a cruel mistress,” said Sirius, chucking stones into the Lake.

“You entirely deserve it, Sirius,” said Peter. “Although, in your defence, it was fucking hilarious.”

“You idiot. You’re going to be practising with me on weekends, then. We’re not losing the Quidditch Cup.”

“Jaaames! It’s nowhere near the Quidditch Cup!”

“No, I’m not having it. I want to be captain next year, so suck it up, it’s happening.”

“I feel like you deserve this,” said Remus, still not over the jumpsuit. “Why do you even have those clothes?”

“FASHION,” yelled Sirius dramatically, causing Peter to fall into another fit of laughter. 

“I have to borrow that jumpsuit sometime, Padfoot,” said James.

“Of course. I’m the most stylish person you know, after all.”

In the distance, James noticed Lily walking along a path with a greasy-haired boy, chatting. “Oi, Snivellus! How’s it going?” he yelled, earning him a death glare from Lily.

“Just ignore him, Sev, he’s an arrogant prick,” he heard her say. 

“You shouldn’t call him that, James, it’s stupid and immature,” said Remus disapprovingly. 

“If he washed his hair I’d leave him alone.”

“Hanging around those disgusting Death Eater types, he fucking deserves it,” said Sirius, backing him up.

“He is kind of a creep,” inputted Peter. “He stares at Lily during lessons and everything.”

“Oh, let’s not pretend James doesn’t do that too,” said Remus. “Listen, if Lily genuinely thinks he’s a good person, you should back off.”

“…Nah.” James spoke for all of them.

Remus sighed. “Whatever.”

“Hey, are you guys going to come around in the winter holidays, too? That was great. Maybe you can try my mum’s famous dal this time, it’s fucking amazing.” James changed the subject.

“Hell yeah! Can she make the chicken tikka masala, too? I never realised how amazing Indian food was until I came to yours. My family are all white as fuck,” said Sirius, already hungry at the prospect.

“Pete, Remus, you in?”

“Definitely.” “…Sure.”

 

11th September, 1974

8.00pm

“Ah, shit, I’m going to be late for McGonagall!” Sirius dashed off.

“Idiot - you haven’t eaten yet!” Remus yelled after him, but he was already gone. “Lord. That man would die without me.”

Peter was looking at a History of Magic essay with pain in his eyes. “Moony. I implore you. Help me. I am a broken husk of a man.”

“Fine. What are you stuck on?”

All of it. How do you write an introduction?”

“Come on, let’s go back to the common room, you’re going to get mashed potato on it. James’ll get us some stuff from the kitchens, right?”

James nodded. “Sure.”

Remus shook his head. “You’re so easily manipulated when you’re distracted.”

He snapped out of it. “God. I hate you, Remus.”

“You’ve got to do it now!” said Peter. 

 

11th September, 1974

9.32pm

“How was Minnie?” James asked, as Sirius entered.

“Cruel as always. Our lady is so hard to please,” he replied.

“What’d she make you do?” asked Peter.

“I had to mark first-year work. It was a nightmare. Do none of you little shits know how to spell?” He directed this last question at a first-year, who squeaked and said ‘sorry’. 

“Sirius, stop terrifying children,” reprimanded Remus. “Unless they’re assholes. How’d McGonagall like your makeup, by the way?” He was referring to the pencil eyeliner he had on his waterline. Lily taught him how to do it back at the end of second year, and he’d been kind of inconsistently wearing it ever since. It looked amazing, and Remus wished to god he’d stop. 

“She didn’t say anything. Probably dazzled by how incredible it looks,” he replied, winking at him. Remus felt his stomach drop. Winking? Why? Why was he like this?

Jesus Christ. He was not into Sirius Black. He absolutely was not. Absolutely. Not. First of all, he was 99% sure Sirius was straight. Hell, he wasn’t even gay; he’d had plenty of crushes on girls in his lifetime, and this wasn’t what a crush on a girl felt like. This was…different. Maybe this was just a thing? Noticing attractiveness in the same sex…a lot? That had to be it. This was just being a person. I mean, Sirius was, objectively, really hot. And funny, though he was an idiot at times. And clever, though he didn’t try. Goddamn, he was hot. 

 

Chapter Text

1st October, 1974

10.59pm

The boys entered the Shrieking Shack, to find Remus there already, reading. 

“I AM FREE OF DETENTIONS!” yelled Sirius.

“Alright, Remus?” said Peter. 

“Yeah, I’m just wonderful.”

“Don’t worry, mate. You were seriously fine last time,” said James. 

“No falling asleep in Charms this time, though,” said Remus.

“I can promise that one. History of Magic, though, that’s another story…” Sirius said cheerfully.

Remus shook his head. “Prick.”

 

3rd October, 1974

12.06pm

“Hey, Moony, I immediately need help.” James was struggling over Arithmancy homework.

“Alright, alright.” Remus walked over.

“How do you figure this one out?” he asked. Remus leaned over the table James was sitting at, his hair flopping over his eyes. Sirius looked over at him, quickly looking away when Remus’ eyes darted towards him, and thought. It had been a while since that night at James’, and that nervous twist in his stomach whenever he looked at him just wouldn’t go away. It was probably just a crush, he thought, something that came with being gay. I mean, straight people get crushes on their friends all the time, right? And it didn’t mean anything. Remus was one of his best friends, and he wasn’t about to ruin it over something like this. 

Plus, he had homework to do. 

 

20th October, 1974

8.04pm

“So, what’re we doing for the Annual Halloween Prank, boys?” asked James, making a weak attempt at combing his wet hair. 

“Fill the Great Hall with pumpkins?” suggested Peter.

“Wonderful, Wormtail. Where do you suggest we get a thousand pumpkins from?” Sirius sighed.

“Bewitch the pumpkins to tap-dance?”

“No, that’s weak. It needs to top the one last year,” said James.

“Alright, alright, here’s what we’re doing,” said Remus, coming out of the shower. 

 

31st October, 1974

9.32pm

The prank was set up. Remus, Sirius, Peter and James were all in the Shrieking Shack, away from suspicion. They had recruited a single ally, Marlene, to make sure everything went smoothly. Other than Marlene, no one knew about what they had planned.

At 9.35…

it began.

 

All students save for those four were in the Great Hall, happily tucking in to the Halloween feast. Suddenly, the entire hall went completely pitch black. There were screams, and the theme music from Halloween started playing. The lights flickered, and the students saw there were skeletons, dancing musical-theatre style, going down the aisles. There were several suits of armour that had joined in too. They stole the hats off a few students. Regulus Black had his wand nicked off him. Severus Snape had a pitcher of pumpkin juice thrown all over him. Gilderoy Lockhart, who was a world-class snob from Ravenclaw, was, with a furious expression, being forced to dance along with the skeletons. 

Once the lights fully came back on again, smooth jazz started playing. One of the skeletons got on one knee in front of Dumbledore, and held out a cheap engagement ring it had apparently been hiding in its ribcage. He accepted happily. The lights suddenly went off again, and all the skeletons disappeared, with the words ‘Happy Halloween’ emblazoned in fiery letters in the fake sky of the Hogwarts ceiling. 

Lockhart was still dancing. 

 

2nd November, 1974

7.39pm

The Marauders were on the floor, roaring with laughter, as Marlene told the story through tears. 

“Was the Lockhart thing even part of the plan?” Sirius asked, shaking.

“The beginning bit was, but I made him keep dancing for the whole feast! He really is a cunt,” laughed Marlene. “He tried to flirt with me, and I told him I was a lesbian, and he said ‘I could change that’. Really, he’s a fucking pig.”

Peter mimed vomiting. “Horrifying.”

Suddenly, the common room got very quiet. They looked up to see Minerva McGonagall coming through the portrait hole. “May I speak to Mr Pettigrew, Mr Black, Mr Potter and Mr Lupin, please?”

“Good luck, men,” said Marlene, still giggling. “If you die, you die with honour.”

 

She motioned for them to follow her to her office. She sat down, and looked down at them with ice in her eyes. 

“I suspect you know why you’re here, boys.”

They looked at her, confusedly. “At the risk of sounding disrespectful...why are we here, Professor?” asked Remus, eerily convincing. 

She sighed. “The Halloween feast incident.” 

“Sorry, Professor - we weren’t even at the feast. What happened?” James asked, with a scarily genuine curiosity.

“I am aware that you weren’t there, which is what I am asking. Why?”

“Remus was visiting his grandma. Peter was feeling ill, so we stayed with him,” said Sirius innocently.

“And why, pray tell, did Mr Pettigrew not report to the Hospital Wing?” McGonagall looked stern, all too used to their fantastic lying skills.

“It was just a stomach ache,” said Peter quickly. “I wasn’t feeling like eating, but it wasn’t enough to ask Madame Pomfrey to take time out of her busy schedule.”

She looked at them and sighed. She knew exactly why they weren’t at the feast, as the boys had the subtlety of Sirius’ purple flares, and she had planted the idea in the first place. 

“Boys, I’m aware of your…situation regarding Mr Lupin, here.”

“…Situation, Professor?” asked Sirius innocently.

“Mr Black, there is no need to lie. I simply want the truth about the prank,” she said, looking sternly down at them.

“I really don’t know what prank you’re talking about, Minnie,” said James, leaning back in his chair. “As you know, we weren’t at the Halloween feast. There’s no way we could’ve been there to execute one.”

“Professor, if I may…” Remus interjected. “You’re going to need to accuse us of something, or let us go. Otherwise it’s literally illegal. I mean, technically you have 48 hours to gather evidence, but I think that’s a Muggle rule. I don’t actually know how wizard law works.”

She gave him a tired look and said. “If you aren’t going to admit it, then you may leave. Just know that when we figure out the perpetrator, the consequences will be far harsher.”

Three of them left, secure in the knowledge that there was absolutely nothing to connect them or Marlene to the crime. Remus Lupin was a criminal mastermind.

However, he was the one to hang back. “Professor, they had nothing to do with it. It was me, and me alone.”

McGonagall didn’t look up from her paperwork. “Mr Lupin, you needed a man on the inside, to use the colloquial expression, to perform this particular prank. I know that isn’t true.”

“What can I say? I’m supremely gifted.”

“Back to your common room, Lupin.”

He left quietly. 

 

Chapter Text

3rd November, 1974

2.47am

“What’re you doing up, then?”  

Sirius jumped, and looked behind him. “James?”

“Duh.” 

“It’s usually Remus,” he said, with a smile.

“Oh, is that what you two are always doing down here? I thought you were just making out,” said James, smirking.

“What?”

“Joking.”

“Right, obviously.” Sirius exhaled sharply.

“Hey- happy birthday!” James came and sat next to him.

“Huh? Oh, yeah. I forgot about that.” Sirius stretched.

“You forgot?” 

“My family aren’t big on birthdays. Plus, I don’t need to remember my own birthday, you do that for me,” said Sirius.

“Man, your family are weird,” sighed James.

“Tell me about it.”

“Hey, let’s have a party on Friday!” exclaimed James.

“Sure. As long as I don’t have to organise anything. I’m lazy as hell.”

“Course not, I know how lazy you are.” James looked over at him. “What’re you doing up this late, mate?”

“Couldn’t sleep.”

James furrowed his brow. “Why?”

“Dunno. Sometimes I just can’t.”

“You want to play Exploding Snap until one of us passes out?”

“Hell yeah I do.”

And so, they did. It wasn’t until 4am that Sirius gave up. “James wins again! I am the king of staying up,” said James triumphantly. “Come on, mate. Let’s get some sleep.”

 

3rd November, 1974

7.30am

Sirius woke up to a violently loud fanfare being played throughout Gryffindor Tower. “What the fuck—“ Remus Lupin’s grinning face was looking down at him. “Moony, this is insane.”

“It’s Wormtail, actually, he plays the trumpet.” Remus crossed his arms and leaned against a bedpost. 

“I’m going to get murdered,” sighed Sirius.

Wormtail came in, holding a trumpet. “He’s awake!”

“I already flooded the Slytherin common room in your honour,” said James. 

“How do you even know the Slytherin password?” asked Sirius.

“…Moving on! Presents!” James was the king of avoiding questions.

James handed him a rectangle-shaped box. He unwrapped it to find a copy of the Quidditch Handbook, and a book called How to Flirt With Girls. Sirius snorted. “Fuck off!” Inside, there was also a tiny dog keychain.

“I don’t get it?” said Remus, referring to the Girl Flirting Book.

“I’m gay,” said Sirius.

Peter stared at him. “You hadn’t noticed?”

There was an awkward pause.

“Open mine!” said Peter.

He had found an old portable record player that he could take home. “Holy shit--no way! Thanks, Pete. Where the hell did you get this?” Peter just grinned and gave him a thumbs up.

Remus had gotten him a Hunky Dory record, and a note that read: This is a promise to Sheer Heart Attack by Queen, when it comes out. You like them, right? Happy birthday. I hope you’re opening this after you get Pete’s present, or it’ll be weird. -Moony

He actually went down to the Hall smiling this year, and only laughed harder when he saw all the Slytherins trailing in with soaking wet feet. One of the first-years was fully drenched. He felt a little bit guilty, but seeing Reg’s disgusted face made up for it all. 

Sirius got a couple of letters that morning. 

 

Dear Sirius, 

It has come to my attention that you have been acting out again. I hope you are aware that this behaviour will no longer be tolerated at my house, and if I hear any more stories of your ridiculous antics there will be serious consequences. 

You will be coming home for the Christmas holidays. I expect to see you at every family event, and dressed appropriately. 

Walburga Black.

 

The mood was immediately brought down. “Let me see,” said Remus. Sirius handed the letter to him. He read it and exhaled. “They can fuck all the way off. Of course she’d fucking send something like this on your birthday. Ah--mind you, it kind of takes away the point of one of the next letters.”

Sirius took the letter back, scribbled something on it, scrunched it up, and chucked it at Regulus’ head over at the Slytherin table.

“You’ve got bloody good aim, mate,” said Peter, in awe. 

Sirius saw Regulus open the letter, and wince as he saw what was written on it. ‘Snitch.’

Regulus tore it up and looked at Sirius. His eyes were regretful, but he soon turned back to his friends. 

 

Dear Sirius -

James mentioned it was your birthday, so I thought I’d send you a little something! I hope everything’s all right with you, love. Do pay us a visit in the Christmas holidays, you’re always welcome!

Euphemia xxx 

 

Attached was a huge package full of wizard and Muggle sweets alike. 

“Oh, god, she didn’t send you a letter, did she?” James said. “Sorry, mate. That must’ve been weird.”

“Nah, it’s nice! It’s like having a second, not-insane mum.” Sirius gave him a Bro Pat On The Back (trademark).  “Thanks, mate.” Euphemia’s letter cheered him up immensely, and he started tucking in to breakfast. 

"Oh, god, she's sent you Indian sweets as well. No one likes those, it's fine, they're fucking pure sugar--"

"It's fine, mate!" Sirius elbowed him. "Really."

 

Sirius -

Happy birthday. I know you won’t be getting a real birthday letter from your parents, so here’s one from me! Just pretend it’s a dramatic love confession, or something.

Grandpa Remus

 

Sirius grinned as he read it. He folded it up and put it in his pocket, and didn’t tell anyone who it was from. 

 

8th November, 1974

11.33pm

“SIRIUS! SIRIUS! SIRIUS!” chanted a very drunk group of Gryffindors. Every Gryffindor, along with a couple of Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs, were crammed into the common room, with loud music playing.

Sirius whooped, and the rest of the crowd followed his lead.

A couple people patted him on the back. One fifth-year he didn’t know said ‘nice party, mate’. James was in the middle of the dance floor, dancing. Oh, god, he was dancing. It was a horrifying sight to behold, but his huge amount of confidence tricked the mind. Maybe that was just the alcohol. Peter was off in a corner, catatonic, because he got snogged by a pretty Ravenclaw. Remus was sitting on a chair, reading.

Marlene got up on the snack table and banged two pots together. To this day, no one has any idea how she got hold of them. The room fell silent.

“ME AND DORCAS ARE DATING!”

The room erupted in cheers, and everything went back to how it was.

“MOONY! Come and dance with me!” yelled Lily, dragging him up. “Come oooon!” Remus protested, but was dragged onto the ‘dance floor’, which was just a bit of floor they’d moved chairs away from. 

“Lily, I have no working limbs—“

“Dance! Look at Potter, he has absolutely no talent and all the confidence.”

And he’s terrible,” said Remus, looking pained. 

“Lily, it’s TIME,” said James, filled with unearned confidence.

“Time for what?” 

“For you to call me JAMES!” 

“Never, foul beast. See?” She turned to Remus. “If he can do it so can you.”

“You just called him a foul beast! He was brutally rejected!”

“JUST DANCE!” 

Sirius swept in and saved him. “Moony, come do karaoke with meee!” 

Scratch that. He was decidedly not saved. Luckily James jumped in at the last second: "I'LL SERENADE YOU, DARLING SIRIUS."

Sirius was surprisingly good at karaoke, and James was shocking at it. They sang along to Brighton Rock, which had only just come out, so they knew exactly no words, and was therefore them just screaming one note. They basically went through the entire album like that, except Killer Queen, which they both actually knew, in a shocking turn of events. Remus eventually went back to his book.

In summary: James is an awful dancer, James got rejected, Peter got snogged, Marlene and Dorcas finally got together, Sirius can sing, James cannot, and Moony likes books more than anything else.

 

8th November, 1974

3.28am

Most people had gone up to bed. Only Remus, Sirius, James, Marlene and Dorcas were left. Marlene and Dorcas were slow-dancing to Lily of the Valley, which was not slow enough or long enough to dance to. James was lying on the floor, sobbing for an unknown reason. Remus was still reading, and Sirius was lying on his lap, fiddling with the note in his pocket.

“This was a pretty badass birthday,” said Sirius to Remus.

“Yeah.” Remus put his book down and started fiddling with Sirius’ hair, which was getting longer and longer. It was sort of in that awkward phase, where it wasn't quite long or short. “Don’t your parents hate the hair?”

“Duh. That’s why I did it.”

“Also, why is James crying?”

“Who knows? He was blabbering about ‘my baby growing up’, though.”

“Wild.”

 Lily of the Valley ended, and Dorcas and Marlene went up to the dorm together. James’ sobs were replaced by snores. Sirius was beginning to nod off, too, and eventually fell asleep in Remus’ lap. Remus leaned back, and looked fondly down at him. He brushed some hair off of his face, and went back to reading his book. 

 

8th November, 1974

10.32am

Sirius woke up in his bed, with no memory of how he got there. He gasped dramatically.

“Remus! Did you carry me upstairs?!”

“What? No, you fool, you went up yourself. How strong do you think I am?” Remus was in the middle of getting dressed.

“Oh, you’re practically a body-builder, Moons.” 

“Arms of steel.”

“Pure dynamite.”

 

4th December, 1974

1.16pm

“Last day before the Christmas holidays,” said a dejected Sirius. “I hate that fucking house.”

“Is there really no way you can stay at Hogwarts?” James asked him.

“No, they’d find out and murder me.”

“Then, use the Floo Network!” said Peter.

“I think that’s a last-resort thing, you know? Like…if I’m not…planning on going back.”

James nodded. “I guess. If you did go back you’d probably just be in even deeper shit.” He clapped a hand on Sirius’ shoulder. “You’ll be fine, mate. Just don’t be too much of an asshole.”

Sirius exhaled. “Fat chance.”

Remus sat down at the table, in front of them. “Do you have to go back again?”

Sirius nodded.

“Stop…sulking over broccoli. I’ve never seen you willingly eat a vegetable in your life,” he said, suddenly concerned. “You can always go to James’ if it gets too bad. And I’ll send you letters, I swear.”

“Oh, like you did in summer?” Sirius was unnecessarily annoyed, and he knew he was taking it out on people who didn’t deserve it.

“What?” Remus stared at him. “I sent you, like, forty. I assumed you didn’t reply because of your family — you didn’t get them?”

Sirius gaped for a second. “I got radio silence. What the fuck?”

“I’ll see if I can get my owl to get directly to your window. That’ll work, right? They won’t be able to get them?” Remus was as baffled as Sirius. That’s some Big Brother shit right there.

Sirius nodded. “Probably. My house is a bit…disappear-y, but hopefully it’ll get owls into it. My dad’s not too bright, and my mum never comes anywhere near my room. Fucking hell, that’s insane.”

"What do you mean disappear-y?" asked Peter.

Sirius shrugged. "If you don't get it from that explanation, I can't describe it."

The others stared at him, bemused.

 

Chapter Text

6th December, 1974

8.24pm

“Mum wants you to turn down the music,” said Regulus, opening Sirius’ door. “Actually, she said to turn it down or else. I don’t know what that means, but I’d just turn it down.”

Sirius stared at him, and turned it up a notch without breaking eye contact.

“Is that Queen? They’ve got some good music, but isn’t that main singer kind of…unsavoury?”

“What?” 

“You know. There’ve been rumours about him…going around with other men, and stuff.” 

“…Get out, Reg.”

Regulus looked at him oddly. “But—“

Get out.”

He sighed. “Just turn down the music.”

Sirius flopped down on the bed and closed his eyes. The music was loud enough now that it was hurting his ears, but he wasn’t going to fucking turn it down now. He knew every lyric on the album, having listened to it practically on a loop since he got it. A tapping on the window made him his eyes fly open, but it had just started raining. He sighed, and sat there for about 20 minutes. The tapping got more insistent, and Sirius buried his head in his pillow. It kept going until the end of the album. Sirius looked up to put on some Bowie, and realised an extremely damp speckled brown owl had been tapping at his window for quite some time.

“Shit,” he said under his breath. He went over to the window, and let it in, where it came in and gave him an offended stare. “Sorry.”

He realised he was apologising to an owl, and shook his head. 

The owl dropped off the letter and settled on his windowsill.

 

Dear Sirius,

This is kind of a test letter - I hope it gets to you alright. If not, why in the name of fuck are you reading Sirius’ mail? That’s some stalker shit right there.

I hope it’s alright if Judy stays at your place for the night. I know you don’t have an owl, so I’ve got some food and stuff for her. Before you ask, yes, she is named after Judy Garland. My mum loves the Wizard of Oz. Just leave the packet out and she’ll eat about the right amount, she’s weirdly clever. She’ll probably bugger off at around 8am, so you’d better write a letter quick if you’re sending one back, I know you won’t be up before midday tomorrow. I hope you haven’t died yet, by the way, but knowing you and the record player Pete got you, I wouldn’t be surprised. 

Happy St Nikolaus Day, by the way. Slightly obscure European holidays! Woo!

Write back if you can,

Remus

 

Sirius smiled as he read the letter, the first genuine smile he’d had since he came to Grimmauld Place. 

He got many more letters from Remus, and James, and even a few from Peter. He replied to every single one, even if it was just one line. 

His favourites included:

 

Absolutely Not Trying Too Hard -

A Wonderful And Perfect Specimen James sent me another new bra

bra

bra

What the Frappalappadingdong 

This Frappalappadingdonger is going to A Wonderful and Fantastic Place

- fuckingshitbiscuits

(Sirius - James sent me another quill. Quill. Quill. What the fuck? That fucker is going to Hell. - Wormtail)

Attached to that was, he assumed, another of James’ joke quills. He did, indeed, try it out on his Potions homework. It went fantastically.

 

Sirius - 

boil him

 

That one wasn’t marked with a name, and the handwriting was completely unrecognisable.

 

DEAREST DARLING PADFOOT

I AM HERE FOR YOU IN YOUR TIME OF NEED

YOU ARE MY ONE AND ONLY LOVE, MY BEAUTIFUL HUSBAND

I stole. some alcohool from mum and dad

xxxxxxxxxxxxx Jame

 

padfoot

it is 3am and i am still awake and i have no idea why i'm doing this??? I am almost definitely not sending  this

I KNOW YOU’RE NOT HAVING A FANTASTIC TIME

I support you and love you and you deserve more than what your family is 

i’m so glad that you annoyed me into being your friend

Remus

ps oh my god i’m actually going to send it i’m going to regret this

 

25th December, 1974

6.36pm

Sirius was awkwardly standing in the corner of the room. The Black family parties were never his forte - meeting racist old relatives wasn’t his favourite pastime. He saw a familiar purple head and sighed.

“Andy!”

“Hey, Sirius!” Andromeda smiled at him. “God, you’re going to be taller than me at this rate.”

“I’m catching up. Watch your back.” Sirius leant against the wall easily. “Want to try to avoid racist grandmas and act obnoxiously un-supremacist?”

“Naturally. Let's pose like teenage delinquent twats, too!”

"Fuck yeah, I've already planned for it," said Sirius, revealing some hidden sunglasses.

Andromeda’s insane eye-makeup alone was enough to make the entire Black family collectively want to kill her, but the purple hair, the outfit (‘Knees out like a tart, and trousers at a formal event! Honestly, Andromeda, you should be ashamed of yourself,’ as a charming aunt told her) and the cherry on top, Ted Tonks, made her about as liked as Sirius. Ted Tonks was a Muggle, and no Black except Sirius knew about him, or she would be dead. She was waiting until she had the money to get herself an apartment with him. 

Sirius looked up to Andromeda like no one else. She was the only other one in his family who dared to fucking step out of line - no, burn the line and run like hell past it. She was four years older than him, but she’d endured the exact same bullshit he had, and the two were inseparable. They only really saw each other at whole-family events, because they tried to keep the two troublemakers away from each other, bad influences and all that, but once they were together they were inseparable. Pranks that were never quite traceable back to them, blasting terrible music as loud as they can, making fun of anything that moved - they were a nightmare team, and Sirius loved it.

“Hey, how come you haven’t got disowned yet?” asked Sirius, who was leaning at a 45 degree angle, getting him many reprimands from various relatives. Luckily, his parents tended to distance themselves pretty far from him at these things. His mother liked to pretend he didn’t exist, and instead keep a crusty old claw on Regulus’ shoulder. 

“I’m waiting to drop the Ted bomb, you know that,” she said. “I kind of need a house. I don’t fancy homelessness.”

“Hey, I bet you I’m going to be even more disgraced than you when I get disowned.” Sirius elbowed her. “Maybe let’s go into the kitchen, though. No one’s in there except Kreacher.”

Sirius straightened up, for once in his fucking life, and they buggered off.

“Come on, tell me,” said Andromeda, jumping up onto one of the counters. “What could possibly be worse to the Great and Noble House of Black than being literally engaged to a Muggle?”

“Ohohoho, young Padawan, you have much to learn,” he said, sitting on the counter opposite.

“Sirius, what have I told you about anachronisms? Star Wars isn’t out for another three years, and the word ‘Padawan’ isn’t used until Star Wars Episode I, in 1999. This is 1974.” 

He sighed. “You’re even worse than me. Anyway…what could possibly be worse than marrying a Muggle, you ask?”

She nodded. “Hurry up.”

“Marrying a man.”

She stared at him. “Oh, shit. No.”

“Yup.”

“That…might actually be worse than mine.” She leant back.

“But that’s not all!” 

“You are so dramatic,” Andromeda sighed.

“The boy I like…” Sirius paused dramatically. 

And he kept pausing.

Aaaand kept pausing.

...

More pausing.

“Get on with it, you twit—“

“Is a werewolf!” he cried, and was immediately shushed.

“Shut up, someone's going to hear you! But holy shit, that’s so funny—you are absolutely fucked. Absolutely fucked.” She was laughing, but was also a tad horrified.

“What a fucking pair we are, eh?” said Sirius.

Chapter Text

3rd January, 1975

2.29pm

“Which one of you sent me a letter that just said ‘boil him’?” asked Sirius immediately.  

“Oh, god-“ Remus rubbed his temple. 

“What? It was you? I thought it was James getting drunk again!”

James looked insulted. “I sent you one weird letter, and one weird letter only! I never got a reply to that, as well, offended.”

“Alright, so I was a bit drunk—“ Remus went red.

“A bit?” Peter stared at him. “Boil him?”

“It was Christmas! I nicked some wine and got tipsy with Alice.”

“Alice?” Sirius asked, surprised.

“My mum and her mum are best friends.”

“Right. And who, in fact, were you suggesting I boil?” Sirius put his hands on his hips and tried to look serious, but couldn't help a grin at the look on Remus' face.

“I have no idea. Your dad? Regulus? Me?” 

“All perfectly sound options,” he said, smiling. “It’s good to see you fuckfaces.”

“Charming, Padfoot,” said James.

 

3rd January, 1975

9.04pm

Remus Lupin was lying sideways across a chair, legs in the air, scribbling on a piece of paper. Lily Evans was in the chair next to him, legs on the floor, like a human. Peter, Sirius and James burst into the common room, terrifying some first-years, who scattered. 

“IT’S A GOD-AWFUL SMALL AFFAIR—"

“FOR THE GIRL WITH THE MOUSY HAIR!”

“BUT HER MUMMY IS YELLING ‘NO’—"

“AND HER DADDY HAS TOLD HER TO GO—"

“Shut it,” said an exasperated Moony, wondering why they would choose such a lightly depressing song to shriek.

“I’m here, I’m queer, and Prongs is a deer,” said Sirius, hopping up on the arm of the chair, to the right of Moony’s legs, which were fairly close to the edge. 

“I’m going to fall off — don’t you fucking dare lean back, Sirius, I will die—" Remus warnings were in vain as Sirius flopped back, half on Remus and half in the bit of unoccupied chair. Remus slid off onto the floor, but his legs somehow remained on the chair. He ended up looking a bit like a tortoise on its back - back on the floor, legs in the air. “I hate you.”

“You love me really, Moons.”

“Prick.”

Sirius went back to talking to Peter.

Lily watched this with an amused smirk on her face. 

“What?” Remus asked, still on the floor.

“Noooooooothiiiiiiing,” she said, imitating Sirius. 

Remus rolled his eyes and went back to doing his homework.

 

5th January, 1975

6.12am

Remus snuck out of his bed and sat by the window, careful not to wake anyone else up. Sometimes he just liked being up, and awake, before everyone else - especially on a Sunday, when even the teachers slept until 8 at the earliest. The weird mist that settled on the grounds, the strange, eerie feeling around the Whomping Willow before anyone was sneaking up to it, the dew around that one tree the Marauders hung around in summer. There was something fascinating, if a little unnerving, about it.

Right now it was still dark, with no sun in sight. He sat there, watching peacefully. It was nice to have a bit of calm in his life, considering how…he believed the technical term was fucking insane his life was.
Sometimes he wished he could just…be normal. He wasn’t even thinking about the werewolf thing, either - maybe he could just find some quieter friends, do well in classes, stop the fucking pranking shit that they got up to. Find a normal girlfriend. Then, other times, he realised that he wouldn’t give up the goddamn Marauders for the world. He may have had to sacrifice having a girlfriend for a Big Gay Crisis, but he’d also made a mark at Hogwarts, goddammit, and found a group of idiots he’d trust with his life. They may be idiots, but they were his idiots, dammit, and they needed someone to keep them in check.

He then started thinking about the Big Gay Crisis. Sure, he may have a bit of a crush on Bowie, and maybe Mercury (it was the attitude, not the face). But he also had a bit of a crush on Ali MacGraw, and he didn’t mind him a bit of Debbie Harry, either. Did that make him gay? No, he definitely liked girls. Was he straight? …He thought about the leather jacket, and immediately thought probably not. So what did that make him? Was liking both a thing? Was that weird?

Fuck it. Fuck what anyone else thought.

There was one thing he was sure of: he was absolutely not falling for Sirius Black. Absolutely not. Though he was gay, single, and very attractive, it would be weird. Right? It would fuck up the group’s dynamic. And Sirius was his friend - just his friend. He’d listened to him talk about cute boys in his year enough to know that he was decidedly not interested in Remus. Anyway, Remus didn’t even know if he was interested in Sirius at all. It was just occasional butterflies. Probably just a passing crush. Maybe it was just something that came with the Big Gay Crisis? Fuck.

It had started to get lighter, and he knew James would be up and about soon enough - that boy got up at 7am even on weekends. Pink and orange streaked the sky, and Remus looked down at the grounds that had so quickly become a second home to him. 

James suddenly snuck up behind him. “What the fuck are you doing up?”

Remus jumped. “Jesus fucking Christ, you fucking shitdick cunt son-of-a motherfucking—“

“I would not want to watch a horror film with you, Christ. What are you doing up, then?”

“Uhhhhhh-“

“Oh my god. Yes.”

“No.”

“YOU’RE A SAP! YOU’RE A SAPPY SAP THAT LIKES WATCHING SUNRISES-“

“Shut it, Prongs,” came the very grumpy voice of Peter.

“Sapsapsapsapsapsap—“ James continued in a whisper.

“Shut up.” Remus had no comeback.

“A sap? Remus?” Fantastic. Sirius was awake. “The wooly jumper-wearing, book-loving nerd is a sap? That’s a hot take, James. I’d’ve never thought.”

“Both of you shut your faces.”

“Oh, it’s not like you’re going to hurt us, you’re too sensitive- OW—" Sirius was promptly shut up by a swift throat punch. He continued in a wheezy voice. “Bloody hell, Remus—what the fuck, where did you learn to—"

“Sap school.”

Sirius looked sheepish. “I regret everything.”

“I also present my deepest and most humble apologies, Sir Lupin—MOTHER of SHIT—"

“Apologies do not save you from my wrath, Potter.”

“Hhhhhhhhhhh,” wheezed James.

“HONEYCAKES, HOW COULD YOU HURT ME LIKE THIS—“ Sirius had apparently regained his voice.

Honeycakes?”

“YOU HAVE INSULTED ME, AND I LIE HERE ON MY DEATHBED—“ He was interrupted by a pillow to the face from an enraged Peter. This was the end of the conversation.

 

Chapter Text

5th January, 1975

12.28pm

“Oh, I think we all know your feelings for me are one-sided,” James said dramatically. 

“But darling!” Sirius leant across the table, over some mashed potato, and tried to take his hand, but James looked away ostentatiously.

“DON’T YOU ‘BUT DARLING’ ME SIRIUS BLACK - I HEARD YOU AND MOONY. I KNOW WHERE YOUR HEART TRULY LIES.” Half the people in the Hall were listening in now, most of them laughing, some of them (coughcoughBartyCrouchcoughcough) were not. 

“But sweetest angelcake! I have eyes only for you—“

“I MAY HAVE GLASSES BUT IT DOESN’T MAKE ME BLIND—“

“In your case it fucking well does,” said a decidedly not amused Remus Lupin under his breath. Sirius sniggered, much to James’ chagrin.

“DON’T YOU TRY TO LIE TO ME, DARLING, I CAN SENSE THE TRUTH!”

Sirius took a theatrical inhale and said, “I was going to wait for a better moment to do this, but…” He got down on one knee. Remus rolled his eyes. “James Potter, you have made me the happiest man on earth. Would you do me the honour,” He wiped away a fake tear. “Of being my wife?”

James gasped. “Yes, yes, a million times yes!”

Sirius stood up and hugged him. 

“I’m going to kill you two,” said Remus, looking back down at his book.

 

5th January, 1975

1.04pm

“Hey, Lupin!” One of the third-years that he recognised as Gilderoy Lockhart caught up to him. Remus looked at him, and he was decidedly trying way too hard. He’d used way too much potion in his hair, making it look just…really...greasy. 

“Yeah?”

“What was that stunt your friends pulled in the Hall? I saw you looking sick of them. Why the hell do you hang around them? I know plenty of us in Ravenclaw would welcome you.”

Remus gave him an odd look. “I…like them? They’re my friends.”

“Oh, come on. You don’t want to be friends with…their sort, anyway.” His voice lowered down.

Remus stared at him, and stopped walking. “Their sort?”

"Oh, you know. Pretentious, Gryffindor twats."

"I'm a Gryffindor, Lockhart--"

“That's not what I meant. Anyway, rumour is, Black’s a…queer.”

 

5th January, 1975

3.02pm

“Poof,” said an unsubtle Barty Crouch under his breath, as he walked past Sirius. 

“I’m sorry, I didn’t quite hear that,” said Sirius, oddly calmly. “Care to speak up, Barty?”

“I called you a poof, faggot.” His goonish friends all laughed. James stepped forward threateningly, a full head taller than the boy in front of him. 

“Back off, James. I’ll deal with this moron myself—“ said Sirius, stepping forward in his place, but he was pulled back by an absolutely livid Remus Lupin.

“Sorry, Crouch. I couldn’t hear you through that ratty moustache you’re growing. Are you really growing it? Or did you just shave off your pubes and stick them on your face?”

Crouch gaped at him, shocked that the quiet, unassuming Remus Lupin was actually saying something.  

“Just because yours is the size of a peanut doesn’t mean you have to compensate by acting like a cock. We all know about the Trolls you got on your exams, by the way! Know how? Because you have both the intelligence and the face of one. I mean, seriously, have you ever done anything successfully? And what is with your attitude? Daddy issues? That’d explain the inferiority complex and the narcissism—”

“Mr Lupin, that is enough.” 

Shit.

Shit, shit, shit. 

Of course McGonagall happened to be walking down the corridor at that exact moment. 

“Mr Lupin, follow me.” Her voice was actually just angry. Not...irritated, annoyed, confused, whatever - actually angry. Hot damn, this was usually directed at Sirius or James.

--

He was sat down in a chair, looking sheepish. She was staring at him, her eyes probing and cold.

Explain.”

“…How much of that did you hear?” Remus scratched the back of his neck.

Mr Lupin. What on earth could’ve provoked this?”

Remus was silent. Sirius suddenly broke into the office.

“He was defending me, Professor! He actually stopped me from breaking that little shi—…uhhh, bad…person’s face.”

Out, Mr Black!”

Sirius made a face and slowly exited. 

“Is this true, Mr Lupin?”

Remus nodded.

“And would you care to tell me why Gilderoy Lockhart is in the Hospital Wing with a broken nose?”

He bit his lip. 

“It appears Mr Black’s impulsive and rule-breaking tendencies have been rubbing off on you, Lupin.”

Minnie! I’ve never broken a rule in my life!” came Sirius’ indignant voice from outside. 

“Stop eavesdropping, Black.”

“Sorry, dearest.”

Remus shifted in his seat. “I’m really sorry, Professor. They were just…rubbing me the wrong way.”

“I think that would be classified as an understatement! Never in my life have I thought you would ever be my biggest problem in a day, but here we are!” Ah. Here came the wrath.

“I’m sorry.”

“I’d certainly hope so! You’re usually the sensible one of your little group, though don’t misunderstand me - I am well aware of the part you play in your little pranks. I thought you could have even a shred of common sense!”

“In my defence, if I could…they were making fun one of my best mates. While I understand punching people in the face and violently verbally abusing them may not be the best course of action, it was the only one I saw at the time. I did, actually, stop Sirius from punching the dude’s lights out, and I was pretty sure James was going to kill him. This was actually…probably the best outcome.”
She sighed and pushed her glasses up her nose. “Next time, take it to a Professor. You cannot simply punch someone every time they say something you don’t like.”
He was about to protest, but she cut him off.

“Twenty points from Gryffindor, and you’ll be having detention with me on Monday night. Bring your wand. You will be tutoring First Years.”

Remus’ mouth dropped open. “Oh, god, please, no-“

“Back to your dorm, Lupin.”

He opened the door dejectedly to an amused Sirius. “Harsh, mate.”

“I’m going to die.”

“Nah, I reckon you’d be a good teacher. Also, you punched a guy in the face? Remus Jamiroquai Lupin!”

“Jamiroquai?”

“I don’t know your middle name, but your luggage says J.”

 

They were met by a chorus of cheers in the common room. Remus looked bewildered.

“Everyone hates Barty Crouch, Moons,” explained Sirius.

“Oh, great. Everyone knows about that. Fantastic,” he said, looking tired.

“Only because you yelled it,” said Peter, grinning at him. "It was brilliant, Moony."

Lily came towards him, with fire in her eyes. “Remus Lupin, I cannot believe—“

“Yeah, yeah, I know.”

“DON’T CUT ME OFF WHEN I’M TALKING TO YOU! That was fucking insane.”

“He also broke Gilderoy Lockhart’s nose,” said Sirius helpfully.

“Wow, thanks, Sirius!” Remus was resigned to his fate. Sirius winked and went off to talk to James.

“You BROKE a guy’s NOSE—Remus, what the ever-loving fuck—“

“He had it coming.”

“He better fucking have!” 

“I’ll tell you later.”

 

5th January, 1975

10.46pm

“Explain, bitch,” said Lily. “It’s later.”

Remus sighed. “He called Sirius a queer.” He spat out the word.

“And you punched him in the face?”

Remus looked away. “It’s my dad’s insult of choice.”

“What—towards you?” Lily suddenly looked concerned.

“No—no, of course not—he just uses it a lot, and it…gets on my nerves. Just because someone’s gay doesn’t mean they should be called…that. And even if they’re not! Gay shouldn’t be a fucking insult.”

Lily didn’t know what to say. “Remus, is there something you want to tell me?”

He stared at her slightly coolly. “Just because I don’t want people to be pricks about gay shit doesn’t mean I’m gay, Lily.”

She squirmed. “No—no, of course not, I just--"

He gave her a piercing look. 

“I’m sorry.”

“No—don’t apologise. It’s not like you’re the one out there calling people poofs, so…”

Lily sighed.

“I mean, my point being made, I might…not be entirely straight. Like. I like girls and all that, but…”

“You mean…you’re bi?” Lily stared at him.

“Bi?” Remus asked. 

“Bisexual.” 

Remus breathed out sharply. “This is not a conversation that I’m having. It's not happening.”

Lily shook her head. “Wh-you can't just say that and then run away, Remus--"

“Whatever. No. Forget it, I shouldn’t have told you that. Literally forget about it.”

Lily looked at him, mildly nonplussed, and he walked away.

Chapter Text

6th January, 1975

12.59am

“Bloody hell, Sirius. Do we want to make this a monthly thing? Set up a schedule?”

“Andy finally got disowned! I’m so proud.” He was holding a letter again, but this time he wasn’t as emo and dramatic.

“Andy?” Remus sat down next to him. 

“Andromeda Black. Well, Andromeda Tonks, now.”

“Don’t you hate your family? How’d she get disowned?” 

“Nah, Andy’s brilliant. She went off and married a Muggle. I mean, she already had purple hair, and about four piercings, and a tattoo, so the Muggle thing was just the icing on the cake.”

“She sounds like you.”

“Ahh, I learned from the best.” Sirius leant back. “It does mean I have to go back to making fun of old people alone at family meet-ups, though.”

“Yikes.”

“My mum burned her right off of the tapestry at home! That’s the dream, right there. I’m on it and they got my nose all wrong - it’s all misshapen, whereas I am a perfect specimen.”

“Sure you are.” 

“Are you programmed to respond solely in sarcastic one-liners?”

“What? Me? Sarcastic? Never,” he said. 

“Hey. Thanks for sticking up for me before,” said Sirius, suddenly genuine.

Remus gave him a look. “You didn’t really think I was going to let him get away with talking about you like that, did you?”

Sirius shook his head. “I never doubted you for a second, sweet cheeks.”

“Oh, god.”

“What is it, honey bunch?”

“I’m going to murder you.”

“Get used to it, sugarplum.” Sirius had a smirk on his face, and Remus was trying very, very hard not to laugh.

“Fuck off.” 

Sirius leaned on him, his head on Remus’ shoulder. “Seriously. Thanks."

“I mean, admittedly, I’m not usually the one to outright attack, I’m usually more subtle, but…if I’d let you handle it, Crouch would be dead right now.”

“I don’t think he was left less dead after you attacked him. That was brutal.”

Remus snorted. “Fair.”

“Ah, shit, I forgot we actually have to go to class in the morning.” Sirius sat up. “We’d better get some sleep.”

Remus nodded. 

 

10th January, 1975

8.09am

“I want a motorbike,” said Sirius suddenly, over some toast. Conversation stopped and everyone stared at him. Some chuckled, others looked…concerned.

“You what?” James was most definitely concerned. “Are you serious?”

“Hell yeah,” Sirius replied. “I was thinking in Muggle Studies —“

“You hate that class,” said Lily. “I sit next to you, you barely ever pay attention.”

“Well, I took it to piss off my parents, didn’t I? And anyway, I was actually listening for once, and I found out about weird Muggle vehicles—“

“We are the ones who travel on literal sticks, Pads,” Remus interjected. Sirius looked at him amusedly for a second.

“Point taken. But I actually read up a bit, and I want a motorbike. They're sexy.”

"Sexy?" James was disturbed.

"Actually, no, I agree with Padfoot on this one," said Remus, to everyone's surprise. There was a slightly awkward pause.

“Moving on--you’d need a license, mate,” said Peter, his mouth full of eggs.

“And I’d get one! Legally and everything,” Sirius insisted.

“You’re 15—you know you need to be over 16, right?” said Remus.

“OK, it’d be illegal until I was 16—“

“Lord, Padfoot…” Even James was done.

“I’m doing it, and you cannot stop me.”

Sirius came up to Remus after breakfast. “So I have a serious question.”

Remus tilted his head. “Yeah?”

“And it is…very serious, what I’m about to ask you.”

This was freaking him out. “What is it?”

“Did you intentionally call me Pads or is it my wonderful, wonderful influence?”

“Oh, Jesus—“ Remus was retrospectively facepalming.

“KNEW IT! It wasn’t even conscious, that’s fucking brilliant—“

“Language, Black,” said a worn-out Professor Flitwick, walking past. 

“Sorry, Professor - I am so happy all my hard work for this wonderful wizarding community has finally paid off—“ Sirius ran his hand through his hair.

“Shut it, you crusty slut.”

“Harsh words, Lupin. You know, if you do the shortening thing to your last name you basically just get lupus, which is kind of less fun. That's why I never do it.”

“I’d rather you go around calling me Lupus than ever call you Pads again.”

“No, I’m insisting on it now. I am no longer responding to Sirius or Padfoot ever again, I’m Pads forevermore—“

“Crusty. Slut.” Remus elbowed him, but was unable to stop himself laughing at Sirius’ ridiculousness. “You’re an idiot, you know that?”

“Obviously. It’s part of my irresistible charm.” Sirius flipped his hair dramatically.

“You can’t even spell irresistible.”

 

12th January, 1975

8.58pm 

“LADS, THIS IS A CODE CHARTREUSE, I REPEAT, CODE CHARTREUSE—“ Peter burst into the dorm, surprising everyone. He was usually so quiet.

“Which one is code chartreuse again?” Remus looked bored.

“Teacher emergency, God, Remus, keep up—“ Sirius said, looking disappointed, but was cut off by James literally clambering directly over him to get to the pieces of paper Peter was holding.

“Oh my god, get over here now, Sirius,” James said, staring at them. Sirius hurried over and his jaw dropping to the fucking floor when he looked at them.

“Moony, look at these—“ 

“Just tell me what they are,” said Remus, entirely unwilling to stand up for whatever bullshit this was.

“Minnie McG used to be a straight fox,” said an amazed Sirius. The three other boys stared at him for a second. “What? Am I wrong? I’M STATING FACTS, PEOPLE—”

“Let me see.” Remus finally got up to look at the photos and—holy shit??? “Where the fuck did you get these, Pete?”

“They were in the awards hall, I nicked them during detention,” he replied sheepishly.

“THAT’S OUT OF ORDER BUT WORTH IT,” said James triumphantly. “What was her award for?”

“It just said ‘excellence’. That’s a shocker. Oh, but she’s on the Quidditch Cup too! She was Captain when she was at school,” said Peter. 

“That’s why she’s so into our games!” Sirius sat down. “That’s one mystery solved. Good job, Pete! Oh. Speaking of Quidditch…”

James stared at him in horror. “You’d better not say what I think you’re about to say, Padfoot.”

“I reckon I might quit.”

Remus looked at him in surprise, and James put his head in his hands. 

“No. Not accepted,” said James.

“I’m just not loving it!”

“Sirius, you’re our best Beater. If we leave it to Davey Gudgeon and whatever-the-fuck Smith we’ll lose for sure.”

“You can teach them!” Sirius looked like he'd thought this over, and he definitely had not. Impulse decisions were kind of up his alley.

“I’m a Chaser, you twat!”

Remus spoke up. “Why would you mention this two weeks before your match?”

“It’s only against Ravenclaw.” Sirius shrugged.

“We need you! What the fuck are you thinking?” James looked angry now, and Remus was not going to break up a physical fight between those two.

“Alright, bring it down. James, don’t kill anyone. Sirius, how about you stay on for the rest of the year and win the bloody House Cup?”

Sirius made a whiny sound. “But I don’t waaannnaaaaaaaa—“

“You’ve been playing Quidditch since Second Year, mate.” Peter piped up from the corner he had retreated into.

Sirius sighed. “Fine.”

“Oh thank Jesus,” said James. “Thanks, guys.”

“We’re all too good at diffusing Padfoot’s strops,” said Remus, reverting back to bored again.

“EXCUSE ME, I DO NOT THROW STROPS,” said Sirius, stroppily.

James patted him on the back. “Of course you don’t, darling.”

“Okay, Quidditch crises aside, I might legit have a crush on young McGonagall,” said Remus, looking again at the photos. Everyone looked at him, mildly concerned.

 

Chapter Text

18th January, 1975

3.02pm

“Alright, team. Everyone knows that Ravenclaw are shite at Quidditch—“

“Shut it, Potter, you’re not the Captain yet,” said the real Quidditch Captain, a burly seventh-year called Richard. 

“Sorry, Dicky! Just trying to keep morale up,” responded James cheerfully. Richard gave him a slightly threatening look, but didn’t reply. He was a man of few words.

“Sirius, wait!” Lily rushed in, to everyone’s surprise. She was wearing red face paint and gold eyeliner.

“Evans!” cried James joyfully. She gave him a disgusted look and moved towards Sirius.

“Your fucking hair,” she said.

He thought for a second, then, “Oh, shit. It’s going to get in my eyes.”

“No kidding—here, tie it up,” she said, handing him a hairband. 

“How in the name of fuck—Rich, continue with your powerful speech or whatever, I’ll deal with the hair situation.” Sirius turned to Lily. "I've never tied my damn hair up before! How?"

“Just—hang on, let me do it for you, I’ll teach you later. You’re not getting hit in the face with a Bludger just because—Jesus fuck, Sirius, do you ever brush your hair?” She arranged his hair deftly into a bun. “Perfect.”

“Thanks, Lils, you’re a lifesaver.”

“Yeah, no shit. Go back to your pep talk.” Lily gave him a hug, and rushed off to the stands. 

“Lily! Where were you?” asked Remus, sitting and kind of...half-waving a Gryffindor flag unenthusiastically in the stands. “Nice eyeliner, by the way.”

“I know, right? Why aren’t you wearing any? Honestly, Remus, where’s your team spirit?” Lily sat down next to him and took his flag.

“Oi! That’s mine!” He snatched at it indignantly, but she held onto it.

“It’s not like you needed it. You looked so depressed I think it was actually making you seem like you’re cheering for the other team.”

“I don’t know…if that’s how it works? And anyway, where’d you go?”

Lily leant back. “Just saving lives. You know me.”

Remus sighed. “Sure.”

The teams flew up onto the court. “What’s with Sirius’ hair?” Remus asked, his ears going a bit pink.

“I told you I was saving lives. I didn’t expect it to look good, though.” Lily’s eyes were gleaming. “Although, with Sirius I probably should’ve expected it.”

“No shit.” 

Remus could see Sirius’ eyes scanning the scarlet and gold section of the crowd, until his eyes settled on him. He winked at him, and Remus’ stomach did a backflip. Sirius’ eyes then found Dumbledore, who winked right back. 

Some highlights:

- James made a fucking incredible score, and was promptly hit in the face by the Quaffle when looking desperately at the crowd to see if Lily was watching.

- She was not.

- Sirius hit a Bludger directly into one of the Ravenclaw Chasers, which he furiously apologised for, as they were actually quite good mates.

- Sirius bit his lip at one point, which caused a group of Gryffindor girls holding a ‘go Sirius’ banner to scream. One of them fainted.

- Remus fell asleep briefly and was promptly awoken by an extremely painful jab in the ribs from Lily.

 

18th January, 1975

9.08pm

“HELL YEAAAAH!” shrieked a drunk-on-life (and also Firewhiskey) James Potter. 

Sirius was being mobbed by girls, who were fawning over him, and petting his hair. He looked violently uncomfortable.

Remus was laughing at Sirius, who was barely fending off the onslaught of attention. He was apparently both hating it, and kind of loving it (his inner attention seeker needed validation).

Peter was drinking alone in a corner, having been rather brutally rejected by a very pretty Hufflepuff girl.

Lily was laughing at James, who was…dear God. Why hadn’t he learned? Why would he continue to dance, in the face of such violent, violent adversity?

“Remus, today is the day!” Lily came up to him.

“Oh, God. The day that what?” Remus looked deeply apprehensive.

“That I make you dance!”

“Lily, no, I am the lankiest, most awkward person in the world—“

“Come ON!” She dragged him out of his chair. “It’s easy, I swear.”

“I am going to fall over four hundred times.”

“No, don’t go sit down! Ugh, you little bitch.” Lily rolled her eyes at his retreat, and turned to a very drunk Sirius. “Oh, God, what are you doing?”

“I AM THE KING OF DANCE—“

“Sirius, you are literally just wiggling your shoulders—“

“KING!”

“Wiggling your shoulders out of time - Jesus, you lot are hopeless.” Lily was done with their shit.

“K I N G!” yelled Sirius, who was, indeed, wiggling his shoulders out of time. How that was possible, no one knew. 

“Don’t you play piano? Aren’t you at least somewhat musical?” called Remus, from his Hiding Chair. “Do you know what a rhythm is?”

“Shut it, Lanky—“ Sirius was ready to throw hands.

“WHO WANTS A JELLY SHOT?!” James shouted. This was met by a chorus of cheers. 

“ME WANTS A JELLY SHOT!” shrieked Marlene. “Reeeemus!” This was said in a slightly quieter tone.

“God—no, I will not do karaoke nor will I dance.”

“No, no, I need advice!” Marlene lay directly on top of him.

“Was willst du von mir, Schwein?” 

“You know I don’t speak Spanish, Lupin.“ 

Remus looked at her tiredly. “What is it?”

“I don’t know anything about Charms,” she said.

He sighed and sat up, and went into teacher mode. 

 

19th January, 1975

6.21am

Sirius awoke on the common room floor to a particularly awful hangover, and only now decided to consider the ramifications for his liver. He was lying on someone’s lap, and someone else was lying on his lap, and someone was lying on his chest. He wiggled a bit.

“Morning, sunshine,” whispered the person he was lying on. It was James. He sort of half-lifted his head to see Peter lying ungracefully over his legs, and Remus’ head on his chest. He lay back down, much to James’ chagrin. “I just got feeling back in my legs!”

They lay there until a ray of sun woke up Peter, who let out a pained groan. “Fucking shitballs.”

“Me too, mate. Me too.” James sat up and started awkwardly patting the floor.

“What in the name of fuck are you doing?” Sirius turned his head to stare at him.

“I’m not wearing my glasses!”

Remus was the only one still asleep, and no one was about to invoke his wrath. Sirius managed to get half a look around the room without moving his head, and saw a few other people strewn about too. Marlene had her face in some Charms work, and was half-covered in ink. Dorcas had fallen asleep in the chair next to her, curled up. Mary MacDonald was lying on Frank Longbottom. Luckily Alice wasn’t there, or Mary would probably be dead.

James stood up, ungracefully dropping Sirius’ head onto the ground. “I’m going up to the dorm. If I stay here I will die.”

“Oi! You can’t leave me here! I can’t go up!” said Sirius indignantly.

Peter stood up as well, looking dead. “I’m going too. Try not to die.”

Sirius let out a betrayed squeak. “At least throw me a pillow.” James threw one at his face. “You FOUL, MALIGNANT—“ Sirius was interrupted as Remus stirred, and they all stared at him in terror. Luckily all he did was curl up. James let out a loud sigh. 

“C’mon, Pete.”

“I hope you die,” whispered Sirius. 

 

19th January, 1975

10.44am

A disgruntled-looking Lily Evans came down into the common room, the first person in Gryffindor Tower to actually come into the mortal realm. She immediately noticed Sirius, who looked deeply angry and very awake. 

“Looks like you’re having fun,” she said amusedly, sitting on one of the armchairs.

“Fuck off and help me, Evans,” whined Sirius. 

“Never.”

“Ugh, you’re worse than James. I’ve had dry mouth for seven years.” Sirius wriggled his legs. “This is torture.”

“Dare you to just do it. Move,” Lily said.

Sirius stared at her. “Do you want me to die?”

“In a word? Yes. Come on, you’re not backing away from a dare now, are you?”

Sirius took a deep inhale. “Fine.” He gently wriggled away, so carefully that it took ten minutes, and put a pillow under Remus’ head. To his horror, his eyes gently flickered open.

Who thought it would be a good idea to wake me up?”

Sirius screeched and ran for his fucking life, taking four stairs at a time. He burst through the door and immediately fell the fuck asleep. It may be anticlimactic, but he had a hangover, dammit. 

 

24th January, 1975

6.21pm

“Hey, Sirius,” giggled a Ravenclaw girl as she walked past with a gaggle of her friends.

“I don’t get it. It’s not fair,” James sighed. “You’re, like, two years old and short.”

“ExCUSE me, I am not short,” protested Sirius, 5’5. “I’m a growing boy. You're not much taller, anyway.”

“Weeeeeeeell,” said Remus, coming up behind him and patting him on the head. “You’re kind of short.”

“You are 5’10 and 14, you’re just a freak—“ squeaked Peter, at 5’4.

“Fair,” Remus said. “You two are still short.”

“Yeah, but I’m hotter than all you bitches,” said Sirius.

“You don’t even date girls! You don’t need the attention!” James, 5’7, said indignantly. 

“I hear that,” said Peter.

“We all know that Wormtail’s the real smoke show here—OOF—” Remus was cut off by a punch to the stomach from Peter.

“Oh, come on, Moony. You’ve got to agree,” insisted James.

“He sure as hell doesn’t need it. But I like to think that girls are just attracted to my natural sociable charm,” said Remus dryly. 

James rolled his eyes. “You guys are useless.”

Sirius winked at him. “Can’t be tamed.” James hit him in the face with a pillow.

 

30th January, 1975

8.29pm

“Ugh, I feel like I’m being stabbed repeatedly in the stomach,” said Lily. “Death is coming. And it’s my birthday, too! This is the worst.”

“Oh. I have some chocolate upstairs, do you want it?” Remus got up when she nodded.

Sirius looked at her, disturbed. “What? Go to the Hospital Wing, you freak.”

“Nah, it’s fine. I just need some painkillers and a bit of chocolate,” she replied casually. “It’s my time of the month.”

Sirius tilted his head and his mouth gaped. “What?! Are you…wh—are you…like—like Moony?”

Lily stared at him. 

“What? You keep talking about chocolate and your time of the month! Is the chocolate a…furry little problem thing?”

“…I’m on my period, Sirius.” 

“You’re what?” 

Remus came back in, holding chocolate. 

“Jesus save my ass, Remus. Sirius doesn’t know what a period is,” said Lily. 

“Oh, god. Are we going to have to do this?” Remus sat down.

Sirius was horrified.

“Alright, so UTERUSES—“ started Remus. Peter came over, heard this, and immediately went back to talking to James.

Many minutes of explaining later, and Sirius was duly disturbed. “And you go through that every month? For a week straight?”

“Yes. It is a nightmare.”

“I don’t recall you being nearly this disturbed when I told you I was a werewolf,” said Remus quietly. 

“THAT IS NOWHERE NEAR AS HORRIFYING AS THIS—do you need anything???? Like? A…hug? I CAN’T THINK OF WHAT I CAN DO TO HELP—” 

Lily sighed. “It’s fine, Sirius, honestly—”

“I regret my entire life,” said Sirius. He sat there for a second, reflecting on everything he'd ever known.

 

Chapter Text

3rd February, 1975

2.19pm

a note passed in potions class

sirius is bold

james is italics underlined

remus is italics

peter is bold italics

 

Flitwick, McGonagall, Sprout 

You’re a cruel man, Black. Probably marry McGonagall, fuck Sprout (just because of age?) and…sorry, Flitwick. You were a good man. 

Same here. 

agreed 

What about the other three Marauders? Like for Peter it’s me, Sirius, James, for James it’s me, Peter, Sirius etc.

Why am I the only one you left out? offended and disgusted

Kill Sirius, marry Peter. Sorry Moons, I’m not fucking either of the other two xx

Immediate regret 

Kill Sirius, marry Remus. Sorry, James.

WHY IS EVERYONE KILLING ME I’M A STAR

…it’s your go Padfoot hurry up

Hang on do you have to fuck the person you’re married to

Nah

Kill Prongs because he’s a CUNT marry Wormtail and fuck Moony duh

Rude I’m a legend and my hair is better than yours

D E L U D E D

DE

LUDED

HAVE YOU SEEN MY HAIR IT’S A GIFT FROM GOD

Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon

Bye Brian. Marrying Freddie and fucking John

What does John even look like?

FAKE QUEEN FAN. I agree with Moony. I am sexually attracted to the bass.

regret asking

Probably the same as the others anyway

Lily, Marlene, Dorcas!

NASTY. SIRIUS WHY

you’ve got to answer hohoho

Are you santa

yes

Marry Lily kill Marlene and as horrifying a prospect it is;;;dorcs

probably same but I now want to burn my brain

Are you guys serious I’d marry Marly and fuck evans…sorry dorcas please don’t kill me

You already killed her, fool

Also she can’t read this????

Okay I have specific ones for each of you

Wormtail: Clint Eastwood, Freddie Mercury, De Niro

Moony: Marlene, Sirius, Slughorn

Padfoot: Remus, Minnie, Marlene

Fuck De Niro, marry Mercury, killing Eastwood. Harsh, Potter, harsh.

Oh god I’m killing Slughorn, fucking Sirius and marrying Marlene. Only option.

Moony! I’m touched! On that note, JAMES YOU CRUEL BASTARD I guess I’m killing Marlene (god save my soul amen hope i go to heaven) marrying Minnie and fucking Remus

Adorable

I hope to fuck no one ever sees this

 

14th February, 1975

7.29am

“Fucking Jesus fuck,” said Remus, as he came down to the Great Hall, which was decorated a violent shade of pink.

“Eloquent, Moony,” replied Sirius.

“I always forget they do this,” Peter sighed. 

“Same,” said Remus.

The four boys sat down at the table. A cherub came up to James.

“A secret admirer has a message for you!”

“Sweet Jesus,” he said. “Alright then, proceed, freakish baby.”

It took out a lyre, opened its mouth, and at the top of its lungs began to scream:

“FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK SHIT FUCK FUCK SHIT DICK FUCK FUCK FUCKETY FUCK

JAMES IS A FUCK TWAT FUCK

FUCK.”

It was promptly taken away by a disgruntled Filch, still screeching obscenities. Peter and Sirius were in tears. Remus couldn’t breathe. James was a strange combination of deeply entertained and somewhat disappointed.

“Which one of you idiots—“ Once James had finished laughing, the protest began. “SIRIUS, IF IT WAS YOU—“

“It wasn’t me, mate, I promise—“ Sirius said, through tears.

“PETER?”

“Swear to god against it,” said Peter.

“REMUS, I SHOULD’VE KNOWN IT WAS YOU, YOU HAVE THE MOST DISGUSTING MOUTH—“

“Wrong man, Prongs! I’m an innocent bystander!”

Lily suddenly came down, a twinkle in her eye. “Hey, guys.”

James gaped. No way.

“EVANS, YOU EVIL—“

She started laughing. “So you did get it! Wonderful.”

 

14th February, 1975

12.02pm

“Sirius…I love you!” 

Remus came up behind Sirius with a clipboard. “And that’s number seven!” He flipped the board around to show the blushing second-year Hufflepuff girl the tally he’d made, a deadpan look on his face. He then fucked off.

“Listen, uh, babe—“ He realised he’d made the situation worse with ‘babe’. “I’m really sorry, but I don’t even know your name.”

“Millie.”

“Cool—my point is—uhhh…”

Lily came up behind him and gave him a kiss on the cheek. “Babe! Did you forget about our study date? God, you're so disorganised.”

“Oh! Hey, Lils. No, I didn’t forget--I was just--uh, this is my…girlfriend, Lily.” Sirius was fumbling awkwardly. Lily gave the girl a genuine smile.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “Boys are the worst. But the ones in your year’ll grow up eventually.”

The girl walked off, looking dejected.

“Lily, you are a lifesaver, sweet Jesus.” Sirius made sure she was out of earshot.

“I know. I’ve had to deal with two today.” 

“I’ve had seven! We should make a club called Too Attractive For This World Club.” Sirius ran his hand through his hair.

Lily looked at him. “Not a bad idea.”

“…Should we really do this?”

 

14th February, 1975

4.36pm

“Padfoot, what in the name of fuck is this,” asked Moony, coming through the portrait hole. He was holding up a sign.

 

FAR TOO ATTRACTIVE FOR THIS WORLD CLUB

ALL EXTREMELY ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE IN THIRD YEAR OR ABOVE WELCOME

AUDITIONS HELD SATURDAY 8PM 

James Potter need not apply (you’re not fit enough)

Hosted by Lily Evans and Sirius O. Black

we are *very* attractive

yes we know you don’t have to tell us

Attractiveness will be verified upon audition (results may be unflattering)

 

“Me and Lily took initiative! We’re starting a club!”

Why?” Remus was baffled and uncomfortable.

“Do you want to come? I’m sure you can withstand the test.” Sirius grinned at him.

“No, I don’t want to come, you cock—“

“JAMES POTTER NEED NOT APPLY?!” An outraged James burst into the common room. “BLACK, I’M GOING TO KILL YOU—“

A bored-looking cherub floated into the Gryffindor common room after James. “I’ve got a secret admirer’s poem here for Sirius Black—“

“FUCKING—ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME,” yelled James, terrifying a gaggle of first-years.

Remus added another stroke to his tally. "That's nine."

Sirius sighed. “Timing, my cheruby friend, timing!”

As Remus was looking on, Mary McDonald tapped him on the arm. “Hey, Remus? Could I talk to you?”

“Uh, yeah. Course.” What was this about?

She led him to a quieter corner of the room, as James attempted to destroy Sirius’ entire being. “This…this might seem a bit odd.” She was blushing. What?

“Uh, what is it?” Remus was trying to make eye contact, but she wouldn’t—oh. Right. Oh…oh no. Oh nnnnoooooooo.

“I-I kind of…" She took a deep breath. "I've had a crush on your for a while. I didn’t want to send one of those awful cherubs, I know you’d hate the attention. I just…couldn’t keep ignoring you…or whatever.”

Remus had no clue what to say. “I…I’m not entirely sure how to respond to that?”

She let out a sharp exhale, and looked a little annoyed. “You don’t have to say anything.”

“I guess I just don’t know you well enough to reply, Mary. I…wouldn’t be opposed to hanging out, though?” He didn’t like her back he didn’t like her back oh god this was a nightmare

She smiled. “Friends, for now, then?”

He gave an awkward grin and rubbed the back of his neck. “Sure.”

She turned around and oh God Jesus Lord what had he just got himself into?

Lily came up to him. “Did you let her down gently?”

“I said we could be friends—wait, how do you know she likes me? How do you know I don’t like her back?” Remus was very flustered.

“We’re friends! And the way she looks at you—it’s not it’s hard to guess,” she said casually. “So come on, girl! Give me more details!”

“Lils, you are a messy bitch who loves drama, I’m here for it,” said Sirius. “What happened, girl?”

Remus gaped. “She…she told me she liked me, and that she wasn’t going to send a cherub because she knew I’d hate the attention—then…I said I didn’t really know her very well and I wouldn’t mind being friends first?”

“Oh shit,” said Sirius. “Do you actually like her, though?”

“What? I don’t know!” Remus shook his head. “Maybe?”

Lily gave a knowing smile. “Well, give it a bit of time.”

“You horrify me, Lily. Sirius, stop looking at me like that.” Remus was blushing violently red, and Sirius was smiling ear to fucking ear. 

“You’re so adorable.” Lily patted him on the back. “Sirius, go back to being murdered by James, I want to talk to Remus.”

Sirius walked off to console Peter, who was traumatised.

“What?” Remus asked. It came off a little harsher than he’d intended.

“I know you don’t like her, Remus, and if you know you never will, then it’s probably better to let her down now,” said Lily. “Trust me. I’m your prettiest friend.”

“Debatable,” said Remus. “Sirius.”

“I’m your second prettiest friend.”

“I really don’t know if I never will, I’ve said a total of about four words to her outside of this conversation!” He got back to the matter at hand. He leant against the wall. “This is a nightmare.”

“It is absolutely not a nightmare, you numpty. A pretty girl likes you! That is decidedly not a nightmare!” Lily shoved him.

“Ow, you evil beast,” protested Remus, rubbing his arm.

“You love me really.”

“Hey, you never told me how you knew I didn’t like her,” he said. “Yet, I mean.”

Lily smirked. “I feel like you might have your heart set on someone else.”

He looked at her quizzically. “What? Who?”

“Oh, no one. It was just instinct,” she said, tilting her head over towards the group of Gryffindors, who were currently laughing at James.

“You can’t say something like that and then run away! Who do you think I’m into?”

“No one!”

“Lies. Lies and slander. Tell me.”

She sighed. “If you can’t see it already, you’re going to need to figure it out yourself.”

“Are you the Caterpillar from Wonderland?” Remus elbowed her. 

“Rude. I’m not going to tell you. You’ll realise it eventually.”

“You’re awful.”

 

Chapter Text

15th February, 1975

8.01pm

Lily and Sirius were sitting at a ‘judges panel’ they had constructed out of cardboard. A sign on it said ‘straight 10s’. They were both wearing sunglasses. Peter was leaning against a wall, with a label that said ‘moderator (not a straight 10)’. The first applicant that walked in was (shockingly) Gilderoy Lockhart, with a smug grin on his face. 

“Name,” said Peter. 

“You know who I am, Black,” he replied.

Name,” said Lily, lowering her sunglasses.

“Gilderoy Lockhart.”

“Self-assessment? Limit your answer to one word,” said Peter.

“Flawless.”

“Critique time! Hair?” Peter said.

Lily held up a 4. Sirius held up a 2. Lockhart’s jaw dropped.

“Physique?”

Lily held up a sign that just said ‘scrawny teenage boy’. Sirius’ said 3.

“Face?”

Lily: 7. Sirius: In no way likeable, but hot. 8.

“Now for the interview! Candidate, what is your biggest flaw?” Peter was reading off of a script.

“Not applicable,” he smirked.

“Greatest achievement?” asked Lily.

“I should think that was obvious,” he said, preening.

“Also not applicable?” quipped Sirius, much to Lockhart’s chagrin.

“Alright, judges, I’ll give you some time to deliberate—“ Peter was interrupted as they both held up red ‘rejected’ cards. “Looks like you’re a 3 overall, buddy.”

“Use less product in your hair, become more likeable, and try again next year,” Sirius advised him as he left. 

The next person to enter was Marlene, who was accepted, on account of her being an ‘8’. Then there was Dirk Cresswell, who was rather brutally denied (1). Davey (8), Marc (9), and Mary (8) were all accepted. James walked in at one point, furiously, but was immediately hit with 0s.

“Yeowch,” commented a deeply bored Wormtail. 

Anyone under a 7 was denied.

The next person to walk in, was, in a surprising twist, Remus.

“Name,” asked Peter.

Remus stared at him. “Fucktruck Cuntface.”

Peter sighed. “Self-assessment? Limit your answer to one to two words maximum.”

“Actual werewolf.”

“Critique. Hair?”

Both 6s.

“Physique?”

Lily: 4 Sirius: 8

He got a strange look from Lily, given that Remus had the physique of Groot, but just shrugged.

“Face?” 

Lily: 10 Sirius: 10

Remus rolled his eyes at this. He was the lankiest, most uncomfortable-looking son of a bitch there was.

“Interview. What’s your biggest flaw?” Peter was moving past the mortal realm.

“Literal werewolf.”

“I have a question, Candidate. Are you only applying because James put you up to it so he could have an insider’s outlook?” Lily was clearly unconvinced.

“Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat. How could you possibly think that?” Remus was, apparently, also unconvinced.

“Alright, done. What’s the verdict?” Peter was dying.

Green ‘accepted’ cards. He got an 8, though Sirius said he was an ‘straight 10 in spirit’.

 

22nd February, 1975

9.14pm

“But what did you do?” asked James insistently. 

“Like I said, we literally just sat there and Sirius talked about his hair. I just hogged the snacks.” Remus had his hands on his hips.

“How did you get in, anyway?”

“I’m the sexiest motherfucker you know, Potter. Look at these stick legs. Are you not aroused?”

Peter at this point had come over, apparently running away from Marlene, but heard this and immediately ran in the opposite direction, towards his death.

“Careful, Lupin, your Sirius is showing.” James leaned back in his chair. 

Mary McDonald walked by and gave Remus a smile. He did the awkward white people smile (you know the one??? It makes you look kind of like a frog) at her, which cause James to stare at him, disturbed. 

“Why did you do the awkward white people smile at her? More pressingly, why did you smile at her?”

“Awkward white people smile?” Remus furrowed his brow.

“Yeah, it makes you look kind of like a frog. Do you know her?” James shoved him and gasped. “My son’s growing up! You have a girlfriend!”

“No! She—no.” Remus scratched the back of his neck.

“You do that when you’re lying! She is your girlfriend!”

“She’s not! She…she told me she likes me, and I said we could be friends,” Remus explained. 

What? Why wouldn’t you say you liked her back?” James looked genuinely confused. “You could’ve gotten you a girlfriend.”

“What—I don’t like her, though? I mean, she’s perfectly…nice, I just don’t know her.”

“You are a mystery, Moony.” 

“I am not! Isn’t that what normal people do?” Now Remus also looked genuinely confused. 

“Are you talking about Moony’s romantic mistakes?” Sirius came up to them and suddenly gasped. “Lupin’s Love Lapses?”

“You’re the worst, and it was not a mistake.” Remus crossed his arms.

“You should ask her out! Next time you go to Hogsmeade, you should ask her to the Three Broomsticks or something,” said James.

“Yeah, I’ll do that when you ask out Lily,” said Remus. James scoffed. 

“Fine. Oi, Evans!” he yelled across the common room. She looked over at him, mildly disgusted, like one might look at a small child having a tantrum. “Want to go to the Three Broomsticks with me next Saturday?”

She stared at him. “You what?”

“Do you want to go on a date with me?”

“You repel me,” she said, and turned back to Marlene.

James died. 

“Well, you have to ask out Mary now,” said Sirius, looking amusedly at James’ corpse.

Remus stared at the broken husk of James and was not filled with confidence. “Fine.”

 

23rd February, 1975

7.59pm

“Why are they always together?” asked Remus helplessly. “Do they ever just…exist…alone?”

Sirius patted him on the back. “You’re asking the wrong man for girl advice, mate.”

“You had a girlfriend! And girls love you!” 

“Ask Lily, you hopeless dolt.”

“Lilyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy,” he whined, coming over to her and flopping down next to her.

“What do you want from me, swine?” She didn’t look up from her book.

“I’m getting deja vu.” Remus thought for a second. “Never mind. How do girls work?”

“Alright, so when a mummy and a daddy love each other very much—“

“No, how would you…ask one out?” Remus scratched the back of his neck.

Lily stared at him. “You’re going on a date, Lupin?”

“A friend date!”

“That’s not how dates work. With who?” 

“Mary. A friend date.”

Lily gave him a piercing look. “Jesus.”

“What?”

“Nothing. It’s just…”

“Oh, god.”

“Don’t you think this is kind of leading her on, babe?” Lily said.

“Leading her on?” Remus looked at her, confused.

She sighed. “You’re hopeless. You’re asking her on a date, and you don’t like her!”

“How do you know that?”

“Because I know you,” she said. 

“Alright, I don’t like her yet. But I want to get to know her! She seems…nice.” 

“Okay, okay. She’ll probably be down here doing her DADA homework or something later. You’re good at DADA, right? She’s shit at it, so ask her if she needs help and weave it into the conversation.”

“You’re a lifesaver, Lily.” Remus grinned at her and walked off.

 

23rd February, 1975

8.41pm

“Hey, what’re you doing?” Remus hopped up on the arm of an armchair next to Mary.

“DADA homework. I’m shit at it,” she said hopelessly. “What in the name of fuck is a Blast-Ended Skrewt?”

“You need some help?” Remus leaned over awkwardly. 

“Get it, Lupin,” said Peter, watching from across the room. Sirius shoved him.

“I don’t get it,” he said.

“Don’t get what?” asked James. 

“She’s kind of…bland,” Sirius said. “It’s almost as if she’s not had enough character development from the author for the reader to find her either likeable or dislikeable.”

“You what?” Peter stared at him.

“She’s like a curry made by Sirius’ mum,” said James.

Sirius gasped. “You complete me.”

“I don’t think she’s that bad! And she’s pretty, and she likes Remus,” said James. “Why not? Remus seems like he likes her too. You were so enthusiastic before! What happened?”

“I had an actual conversation with her. And Remus seems like he likes everyone until you hear him tear them to shreds in the dorm later. You heard what he did to Felix in Hufflepuff. I nearly cried for him.” Sirius crossed his arms. "I've had a change of heart."

“That may be true. But look at him! He’s taking initiative! Interacting! I’m so proud of my son,” said James. Peter looked at them oddly.

“You two make a strange pair.”

James gave him the thumbs up and Sirius winked. “Two of a kind,” they said simultaneously.

“No rehearsal,” said Sirius.

“None at all!” supplied James.

 

23rd February, 1975

10.04pm

“So?????????????” James immediately mobbed Remus as he came in the door.

“So what?” asked Remus, expertly fending him off, as he’d learned to after many years of Motherly James Attacks.

“What did she say?”

“Oh, right. Yeah, she said she’d meet me at the Three Broomsticks,” he said, looking slightly guilty.

“Why are your ears pink? You’re hiDING SOMETHING!” 

Goddammit. James and Lily knew him too well. Those two made a hell of a pair.

“I’m not hiding anything!” Remus scratched the back of his neck.

“YOU DO THAT WHEN YOU FEEL AWKWARD OR YOU’RE HIDING SOMETHING!” James pointed an accusing finger at him. "Or lying."

“I may have said Lily and Sirius would be joining us. To make it less like a date.”

“WhAT,” cried an indignant Sirius from his bed, where he had been sulking. “I don’t want to babysit you on a date!”

“It’s not a fucking date—why would I invite you on a date?” 

James stopped him. “Remus. You do know there’s a rumour that Sirius and Lily are dating, right?”

Remus stared at him. “You what?”

“There is?” Even Sirius looked surprised.

“Valentine’s Day this year, Lily pretended to be his girlfriend to save him from a Second-Year—“

“And you didn’t scream for three days straight?” Remus was somehow more surprised about this.

“Only internally, son—“ 

“And externally, briefly,” Sirius interrupted him.

“Anyway! So now everyone in the Second Year thinks they’re dating, and Second Years this year are the most annoying little shits with no filter—“

“Same,” said Peter, from his corner.

“Not wrong, but the point is, she 87% thinks this is a double date,” finished James.

Fuckety fuck fuck fuckface fucking fuck shit.       

“Fuckety fuck fuck fuckface fucking fuck shit,” said Remus. “What do I do?”

“I can violently fuck up this date and make everyone involved deeply uncomfortable,” suggested Sirius.

James hit him. “You’re just trying to decide if you like her, right? So try the date. If you hate it with all of your soul and being, then say you should probably just stick to being friends.”

Remus sighed. “Alright.”

Pete clapped him on the shoulder. “This is going to be awful.”

“Thanks, Peter. Your words are inspiring.”

 

Chapter Text

2nd March, 1975

11.35am

“Hey,” said Remus, walking up to Mary with a smile and oh sweet jesus fuck in heaven what in the name of FUCK was Sirius wearing

What the fuck

Where did he get that

This author can only answer one of Remus’ many questions, dearest reader, and it was a leopard-print jumpsuit with a neon pink studded belt. And cowboy boots. Dear God, who could forget the cowboy boots?

Lily was standing next to him, looking…surprisingly proud. Remus was going to die. “Sirius Orion Black, what in the name of fuck…”

He grinned. “I have no idea what you’re talking about, Moons. Let’s go!”

Lily took his arm. “To the Three Broomsticks!”

Remus looked on weakly. “I’m so sorry. Sirius is…sucks.”

She laughed awkwardly. “Don’t worry, it’s not your fault.”

He looked at her oddly and bit his lip. “You know what—do you want to just ditch them? Go to Honeydukes or something?”

She exhaled in relief. “Yeah. I—the leopard print, it just…”

“It’s a disturbing sight to behold. Let’s go.”

 

2nd March, 1975

12.01pm

“Lads, we’ve lost sight of them! They went and buggered off without us, over,” said Sirius into a walkie-talkie.

“Excellent. Remus is terrible at keeping up conversation, over,” came the response from James.

“Things’ll be going downhill in a jiffy, over,” replied Lily. This was perhaps the only civilised conversation she’d ever had with James.

“I’ve got a visual on McLupin,” came Peter’s voice.

“Okay, first of all you forgot to say over,” said Sirius. “Second of all, McLupin? Third of all, OH GOD WHERE ARE THEY? WHAT’S HAPPENING OVER?”

“They’re in Honeydukes. They look fine? Uh, over,” said Peter.

“Getting there now, over,” said Lily. “I’ll go in, I’m less recognisable than you—“

“No, I’ll go in!” said James. “You have bright red hair, over!”

There was protest from Lily, but James was eventually the one who went in. 

“What’s going on, Prongs, over?” Lily’s voice came over the radio. She was deeply unenthusiastic about the code names, but agreed as long as hers was ‘Redwing’.

“Moony’s actually keeping a conversation, over,” said Prongs.

There was a shocked silence.

“Oh, shit, he made her blush! What the fuck? Who is this smooth criminal and what has he done with Moony, over?” 

Sirius and Lily were both gaping. 

“Peter, where are you, over?” Lily said into the walkie talkie.

“Zonko’s. This got boring really fast.”

“Ugh, Pete, you whore,” said Sirius.

"Why are we hiding again, over?" asked Lily. "The original plan was to stay with them."

"This is more fun, over," said Sirius.

"Sirius, you're right next to me. You don't need to use the walkie talkie."

"I WANT TO, OVER."

 

2nd March, 1975

1.12pm

“Why are we doing this again?” James asked, looking over at them as they got lunch together. “I really don’t see the point, they seem to like each other. Over.”

Lily scoffed. “Isn’t it obvious, Potter? Over.”

“Don’t be stupid, Prongs. Over,” chimed in Sirius. "Wait - why are you doing this?"

 

“I’m hungry.” Sirius jumped as Peter appeared over his shoulder. 

 

2nd March, 1975

2.51pm

Sirius let out a loud gasp. “They’re going into a bookstore! This has gone too far! It must end now! James, do something! Stop them!”

“Why?”

“If Remus is going to fall in love with anyone it’s going to be in a bookstore, you fucko—”

Mary and Remus were just chatting when suddenly an apparently insane deer tackled Mary to the ground and dragged her by the cardigan away from the bookstore. Remus gave the deer a horrifying death stare that could kill a man, and it sheepishly buggered off.

“Are you alright?”

She looked lightly disturbed, but unhurt. “I—yeah, I’m fine. Did you just…stare off a crazed deer?”

“What in the name of fuck, Prongs. Over,” said Sirius. 

“It worked, didn’t it?!” insisted James.

“Goddammit, Light of my Life,” said Sirius. “Over.”

 

2nd March, 1975

8.24pm

Remus walked her back to the common room after dinner, making idle conversation as they walked together. No one was up there; most were upstairs in their dorms, or desperately doing homework that they inevitably hadn’t done.

“Hey, I had a nice time today,” she said, with a sweet smile. “Even if I did get…tackled by an insane deer.”

He laughed. “Yeah. Me too.”

She looked away, blushing, and suddenly she was kissing him.

Hmm.

He was kissing her back, he realised, but…it wasn’t quite what he expected. Lord. This was going on for a bloody while.

Was this just what it is? Did he like her now?

She broke away, flushed, and gave him another kiss on the cheek.

“Goodnight, Remus.”

“Night, Mary.”

She walked away and Lily popped up from her hiding space behind a chair. “LUPIN—“

Remus yelled. “Mother of FUCK—“

“NO.”

“What do you mean, no!?” Remus clutched his chest. “Gave me a goddamn heart attack, Jesus—“

“I mean no! Why did you kiss her?”

“You what?!”

“That was the most bored I’ve ever seen someone when having a girl kiss them—“

Bored?” He may not be the most enthusiastic, but bored?

“You were basically checking your watch to see when it’d be over.” Lily shook her head. “You don’t like her!”

“REMUS, DON’T DO IT, SHE’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR—“ Sirius burst into the common room, James and Peter behind him. “It already happened, didn’t it?”

Lily nodded. “And shut the fuck up, Sirius, she is far too good for this lanky son of a bitch—“

“Could you tone it down a tad there Lils?” Remus was lightly offended.

“No! Look,” she sighed. “Just…you have to tell her you don’t want to be in a relationship, or whatever. Before this gets out of hand.”

 

12th March, 1975

9.08pm

“Lily help this has gotten out of hand,” said Remus. 

“No shit.” Lily looked at him wearily.

“How do I deal with it?”

“First order of business: I told you so.”

Remus sighed. “Yes you did. She’s a terrible kisser! And she doesn’t get my jokes!”

“Alright, alright. Calm down. You still like her as a person, let’s not blow it out of proportion,” Lily sighed.

“Sorry. She’s perfectly nice, but I just…I can’t deal with spending that much time with a person who isn’t funny. Her birthday present to me was a necklace with M on it! People are asking me if I’m in a relationship with Marlene!”

“So you break up with her! Say ‘Mary, I’m sorry, but I think I’d prefer to just be friends.’”

“Lily, I’m about as confident as a not confident thing.”

“Just do it! Woman up!” Lily put her hands on her hips.

Remus cowered.

“Alright, I’m issuing an ultimatum. If you don’t break up with her by Potter’s birthday, then Sirius will do it for you. And also I will call you ‘My Liege’ for a month.”

“Oh dear god—I’ll do it. No more needs to be said.”

“I’ll make sure he’s wearing neon when he does it, as well.”

“I said no more needs to be said!”

 

Chapter Text

27th March, 1975

7.09am

James was woken up by a loud crash. “HAPPY BIRTHDAY,” shrieked a chorus of first years. One of them had cymbals. 

where had they come from, he thought

where would they go

“Padfoot, did you hire children? That’s illegal,” said James, sitting up. “Begone, tiny rodents.”

“That’s RATIST,” came Peter’s indignant voice. The first years scurried off, giggling.

“Sorry, Wormtail,” said James. “Is that all? Pretty weak birthday prank, Pads. I flooded the Slytherin Common Room in your honour!”

Sirius grinned. “Just wait.”

Remus was still in bed, awaiting his fate. Soon.

“LUPIN!” Lily Evans stormed into the room, to a rather indignant and very half-naked James’ surprise, and gave Remus a death stare to end all death stares. “WE DISCUSSED TERMS, AND YOU HAVE NOT MET THEM. I WILL FOLLOW THROUGH.”

Remus sighed. “I know, I know. Just give me until midnight.”

“Fine. Remember the terms,” she said ominously, backing out of the room.

“What is it with Marlene's dorm and walking in on my when I’m not wearing any clothes?” asked James hopelessly.

“What deal was this?” Sirius asked.

“Don’t worry about it,” said Remus.

 

27th March, 1975

7.39am

The Slytherins walked uncomfortably into the Great Hall. Some more followed. There was something a bit off with them. It was...kind of like a band of Weasleys. 

How many ginger Slytherins could there possibly be?

A lot of them, apparently.

A lot.

Ah.

James elbowed Sirius. “Padfoot, you genius—“

“Remus helped!” Sirius was grinning ear to ear.

“I take no credit, because I don’t want to die,” said Remus. “But yes. I may have supplied the dye.”

“Peter was the one who put it in the shampoo,” said Sirius.

“And the conditioner,” added Peter. “Unfortunately, I don’t think it’ll get to Snivellus.”

James and Sirius snorted. “Imagine that!” said Sirius. “Ginger Snivelly. That’s a nightmare to imagine.”

Remus rolled his eyes. “Alright, rein it in, fuckos.”

 

27th March, 1975

12.41pm

“Why is Evans death glaring you?” asked James, over his chicken.

Remus shrugged. “Who knows? Lily is a deadly force.”

 

27th March, 1975

10.07pm

Remus came up to Lily in the common room with a singular red cheek. “Mission accomplished. Painfully.”

“Jesus, Remus, what happened to you?”

He held up finger guns with a pained grin on his face. “Got slapped. Hell yeah.”

“What - by Mary?! She…doesn’t seem the type.”

“Her best friend Florence is, though,” said Remus.

“Oh, yeah. Flossie likes drama.” Lily stretched. “You weren’t awful, were you?”

“Awful?”

“Tell me exactly what you said.”

“I said ‘Mary, I’m really sorry, but I don't really think we suit each other as a couple. I find it kind of awkward since we have so many friends in common.’”

“No way you are that smooth, Lupin. Tell the truth,” Lily said sternly.

“It was that, but with a lot more ‘ums’.”

Lily sighed. “Just don’t get slapped again.”

“I don’t think there’ll be any cause for it, to be honest. I’m not the most assertive of creatures.”


28th March, 1975

11.44pm

James was definitely one for big parties, but surprisingly not when they were about him. So, the usual gang were crowded around the fireplace, drinking. 

James suddenly stood up. “Guys. I need to show you something rad.”

There was a slightly bored reaction. James opened a box to reveal a silvery cloak.

“Your Dumbledore cosplay arrived!” exclaimed Sirius delightedly.

“No, you fool.” He put it on, and half his body just…fuckin disappeared. There was a series of shocked noises.

“Am I just…really drunk?” asked Marlene, squinting.

“Marly, you didn’t eat dinner today, have snacks,” said Lily. “I will force feed you biscuits. Don't drink on an empty stomach.”

“Lily, you didn’t eat dinner either, you fool.”

“EAT,” yelled Lily. James looked at her briefly and turned back to the rest of the group.

“I am INVINCIBLE,” he yelled. “In…sieveable. Inconceivable!”

“You read the Princess Bride?” asked Remus, confused.

“What’s that?”

“LET’S PLAY NEVER HAVE I EVER!” shrieked Marlene.

“Hell yeah,” agreed Sirius. “Hands up! Never have I ever…lost a drinking competition.”

“…It’s true,” said an ashamed James, putting a finger down. Peter, Alice and Marlene, all looking wearily at Dorcas, also put a finger down.

“Alright, never have I ever skinny dipped,” said James. Only Sirius put a finger down.

“Neeeeeerds,” he said.

“Never have I ever…stolen alcohol from my parents,” said Marlene. Remus and Sirius were both down another finger. James would’ve put a finger down, as he'd considered doing it before, but his mum was Indian, and no way in fuck was he risking death for the sake of a beer.

“Man, I suck at this game!” Sirius whined.

“Never have I ever flirted my way out of trouble,” said Dorcas. Sirius, Marlene, Alice… and Remus? Sirius stared at him. 

“Never have I ever punched a family member,” said Lily, smirking at Sirius. 

“You are CONSPIRING AGAINST ME, THIS IS ILLEGAL,” he yelled. Dorcas and Sirius both put a finger down. No one was surprised.

“Never have I ever accidentally said ‘I love you’ to someone,” said Peter. Everyone immediately stared at Sirius.

“It’s a REFLEX!” he insisted. Lily also quietly put a finger down.

James whooped. “And you’ve said it to literally everyone here. You’re out of fingers, Black!”

“Boo. Do I do a shot or something? What’s the system here?” He frowned.

“You do a DARE,” yelled Alice. “I dare you to kiss the prettiest girl.”

“I’m GAY, SHARON,” he complained.

“We know,” said everyone in the entire world. 

“Dare still stands! I mean, I just wanted to remove James from the equation. So prettiest person that is not James,” said Alice.

“Excluding James is cheating!” Sirius fell over dramatically. 

“It's a dare, bitch,” said Peter. He had managed not to fall asleep this time.

Sirius sat up and gave Alice a kiss on the cheek. 

“Boo! You did that because I’d murder you if you didn’t!” Alice punched him.

“And I don’t want to die!” Sirius complained. 

“MOVING ON! Never have I ever kissed a boy,” said Remus. “At least, I don’t think so.”

Sirius sighed and put another finger down. Marlene, Alice, and Lily all did the same.

“Worst experience of my life,” said Marlene. Sirius looked mildly offended.

“I wasn’t that bad!” he protested.

“Your bravado got in the way,” she grinned.

“Rude.”

“Does it count if a boy kissed me?” asked James. Most people nodded.

“This is booooring,” said Alice.

“You suggested it!” protested James.

“No, let’s skip it,” said Sirius.

“Status of love lives!” said Alice. “Remus! I know some shit’s been going down with you.”

“It was not shit, I dated Mary extremely briefly then realised I couldn’t stand it,” he said.

“Well that’s far more boring than I thought it would be,” said Alice, disappointed. “Sirius! You always have some juicy gossip for me.”

“Ehhh. Couple of choice flirts. Brief makeout sessions. Etcetera,” Sirius said, relaxed.

“Makeout sessions with who?” she asked.

“Dumbledore.”

“Boo. James?”

“My love life is a listless wasteland and I am unloveable, and will never be loved,” he said, apparently dejected by the prospect of Lily kissing a boy.

“You’re not wrong,” said Lily, entirely unsympathetic. “My love life is kind of dull. I’ve dated a couple guys, but they were like…boring as hell.”

“I’m not even going to ask Peter—Marlene, Dorcas? Anything? How’s Honeymoon Land?”

“Still a lesbian,” said Marlene.

“Same,” added Dorcas, giving Marlene a kiss on the forehead.

“Ugh. This is personally offensive. None of you have any good DRAMA,” Alice yelled.

“So let’s mix shit up!” suggested Lily. “Potter! I dare you to kiss Alice.”

“A REAL MAN NEVER BACKS AWAY FROM A CHALLENGE,” yelled, surprisingly, not James, but Alice. 

“LISTLESS WASTELAND,” he shrieked.

“Oi! Kissing me is not a listless wasteland,” complained Alice.

Fine. Let’s do spin the bottle!” cried Lily. “The Firewhiskey’s empty anyway.”

“Get into it,” said Remus, grabbing the bottle and chucking it at Marlene.

“Why me?” she complained, immediately and with no prompting spinning it. It landed on Peter, but she moved it so it pointed at Dorcas. No one complained. 

Dorcas shook her head. “I’m excluded from this game on the basis of I hate you,” she said, through Marlene, which was slightly disgusting.

Lily was next. Her bottle landed on Remus, who she gave a kiss on the cheek.

“Kisses on the cheek are cheating!” shouted Alice. "Be a man, Remus!" Remus just shrugged wearily.

Peter was asleep.

Alice’s landed on Peter. “It seems dicey to kiss him while he’s asleep.”

“Oh nooooooo,” said Lily. “Looks like it’s Remus’ turn. I’ll even spin for you!” She moved the bottle so it was pointing towards Sirius. 

“Now…kiss!” said James. 

Remus got up. “I’m going to bed.”

Sirius did the same. “Bye, hoes.”

They left, and Lily and James both swore under their breath. “I was so close!” James said.

“Hang on—you’re trying to get them together too?” Lily was baffled. 

James gasped. “We have something in common!”

“Please don’t align yourself with me,” she said. 

“What is this?” asked Marlene.

“Remus and Sirius got it for each other and they need to GET TOGETHER,” said James.

“No way,” said Dorcas. “I thought Remus was straight?”

Everyone looked at Lily (Lily knows everything about everyone), who shrugged. “Who knows?”

“They would be a cute couple, though,” mused Alice. “Then my inner drama queen would be satisfied.”

“Alice, your inner drama queen is just your entire personality,” said Dorcas, earning her a swift jab to the ribs. “OW, my BOOB—”

“THE POINT IS,” said Alice, “they should get together.”

“They’re sOULMATES,” screeched James. He suddenly gasped. “We should team up!” He pointed at Lily.

“You are the worst person in the world but you are also.........right,” said Lily. She acted as though it was physically painful to admit. James squeaked indignantly.

“Slightly offended but also victorious. Who else is joining the endeavour?” he asked. Marlene and Alice both half-assedly raised their hands.

“Dorcas, you are a TRAITOR TO THE CAUSE,” yelled James. She sighed.

“Should we wake up Peter?” asked Lily, to which literally everyone vehemently shook their heads.

“Let’s make it a bet! Whoever can make them get together the fastest is owed five Galleons from everyone in rest of the group,” said Alice. 

 

Chapter Text

29th March, 1975

12.38pm

Sirius was leaning on Lily’s shoulder, doodling. “Bet this won’t help the rumour that we’re dating, huh?”

“Probably not. Hey, let me braid your hair!” Lily said suddenly. Sirius nodded.

“Sure.” 

 

29th March, 1975

1.44pm

“You have a flower in your hair,” said Remus, looking hopelessly at him. “How?” He leant over and plucked it out.

Sirius chuckled. “Lily.”

James was in a bush, watching them.

“Hey, nerd!” he said, jumping out of the bush and pointing at a terrified first-year. “Let me borrow your Omnioculars!” Horrified and confused, the first-year instantly passed them over, earning him a punch to the stomach from Lily, who literally ran across the courtyard to stop him.

“Stalking them isn’t going to get them together!” she yelled, handing the Omnioculars back to the kid. He looked at them oddly.

“I thought Black was dating you? And wasn’t Lupin dating McDonald?” he asked.

“You need to get with the program, shrimpy, McDonald and Remus broke up two days ago,” said James.

“POTTER, WE’VE FUCKING TALKED ABOUT SHRIMPY.”

Sirius and Remus stared at them. “What the fuck are those guys doing?” asked Remus. Sirius shrugged.

“Let’s get out of here.”

 

29th March, 1975

4.52pm

“Remus!” Alice came up behind him and grabbed him by the collar as he was talking to James.

“This is kidnapping!” he protested. “Prongs, help me!” James just shrugged and waved. Alice dragged him over to a seat in the common room and sat him down.

“I’m going to put eyeliner on you and there is nothing you can do about it.”

Why?”

 

29th March, 1975

5.33pm

“Remus, who put eyeliner on you?” asked Lily, mildly concerned. 

“Alice. She poked me in the eye with the stick.” 

“You look like a panda.”

“I know! How do you get it off?” Remus looked dead. 

“Here, I have some makeup wipes on me. Now…” Lily passed him the wipes.

“Oh, god.”

“Let me do it properly for you!”

 

29th March, 1975

6.08pm

“Hey, Sirius, I think Remus wanted to talk to you,” said Lily. “He’s over there.”

“Oh. What for?” Sirius asked.

“……………………Charms help.”

“What?”

“Just go!” She shoved him in Remus’ general direction.

“Moony, why do you need me for Charms help—“ Sirius stopped as Remus turned around.

“Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Hhhh. I. have to go over here now. EVANS—”

Lily smirked at him. “What?”

“Did you put eyeliner on him?” he said in a stage whisper. 

“I can hear you,” called Remus, going back to his book.

“Why does he look like that?” Sirius whispered, quieter this time.

“I can still hear you, Pads.” 

Lily was laughing deviously. “He looks hot, right? I didn’t think his weird, lanky, skinny, constantly uncomfortable-looking—“

“Lily. It’s only Tuesday. I don’t need this.” Remus still hadn’t looked up from his book, but his face was mildly wearier.

“It’s Saturday, babe, I can do what I want. Anyway! Weird, lanky, skinny, constantly uncomfortable, bony—”

“I get the picture, Redwing. What the fuck?” Sirius was bright red.

She winked and walked away.

 

31st March, 1975

8.44pm

“Mr Black.” The cold voice of Minerva McGonagall came from behind him. 

Sirius shuddered and turned around. “Minnie!”

“Five points from Gryffindor. You need to learn to properly address your professors. What are you doing sneaking away from the Great Hall at this time?” Her arms were folded.

“Just having a late dinner, Professor! You know me. Sunday dinners are just…the best,” said Sirius.

“It’s Monday. I can assure you that the Great Hall will be thoroughly checked before tomorrow.”

“What’s tomorrow?” Sirius asked innocently. 

She stared at him coldly. “Nothing, I’m sure. Get back to your dorm, Mr Black.”

 

1st April, 1975

12.39am

“Shit,” said James under his breath, narrowly avoiding a patrolling Slughorn. “Nearly got caught there, lads. Over.”

“If you get caught, I’ll kill you, Prongs. Over,” said Sirius through the walkie-talkie.

“I swear to god, if I get in trouble because of you lot again,” grumbled Peter. “I’ll kill the lot of you. Over.”

“Ravenclaw common room and Charms classrooms are done,” said Remus. “…Over.”

“Slytherin and Hufflepuff common rooms done. Over,” said Sirius.

“Same for the Gryffindor common room and Transfiguration classrooms,” said James. “Peter? Status? Over.”

“All done over here,” said Peter, yawning. “Over.”

 

1st April, 1975

8.03am

The entire school was on edge on this day. There was nothing that could quite prepare them, they thought, for the carnage that would await them.

They were correct. 

The Gryffindor common room had been painted entirely pink. Every time a student entered from the dorms, a sprinkle of glitter fell on their heads. The chairs were sparkly. So was the fireplace. And the fire. How, no one knew.

The Ravenclaw common room, which only Remus had been able to get into, had been almost entirely replaced with cardboard. The tables, the chairs, the books, everything. One student was still awake reading when Remus went in there, but apparently Remus managed to keep them quiet. He was a Ravenclaw whisperer.

The Hufflepuff common room’s floor had been entirely covered in cupcakes. Perfectly frosted cupcakes. How they got these, the rest of the world need not know. As for how the Hufflepuffs were going to get to any lessons…oh, well, they probably had enough food (and weed) upstairs to sustain an army for a year.

The Slytherin common room…now that was the Marauder’s pride and joy. It had been entirely coloured red and gold, with…flattering pictures of several Slytherin students, including Barty Crouch, Regulus Black, Bertram Aubrey, and, to exactly no one’s surprise, Severus Snape.

There was no corner left un-spray-painted. All the chairs were completely gone (*cough* thrown in the Black Lake *cough*) and the floor was covered in a strange sticky substance that made your feet stick to the floor.

Those who made it to the Great Hall were greeted by Blue Suede’s ‘Hooked on a Feeling’ playing very loudly on a loop. Very. Loudly.

The Potions classroom was full of slugs. Subtle messaging there, lads.

The Charms classroom had a simpering Gilderoy Lockhart’s photo plastered around it, with the caption ‘charming’. He was thrilled. 

The Transfiguration classroom had had stray cats released into it, resulting in a very sneezy (and murderous) Dorcas. 

The greenhouses had been left thoroughly the fuck alone. The Marauders didn’t fuck with deadly plants.

There was also absolutely no evidence linking them to any of these crimes, and that was infuriating. Usually the Marauders left a trail that was easier to follow than Hagrid covered in neon paint, but once they got Remus to actually try, they were invisible.

“Come now, we have to punish them!” cried Slughorn, in the staff room. “It’s obvious that this carnage is down to them.”

“Horace, we don’t have any proof,” said McGonagall, looking sternly down at them. “Guilty until proven innocent is not a sustainable system.”

“I’m afraid I have to side with Minerva,” said Flitwick tiredly. “There’s nothing linking them to the pranks, and they all have excuses.”

Slughorn was furious.

 

an aside 

a scene taking place in the staff room roughly two months earlier

“SIRIUS BLACK AND LILY EVANS ARE DATING,” shrieked Slughorn, bursting into the classroom. “SUCK IT, MINERVA! YOU OWE ME TEN GALLEONS!”

She stared at him, shocked. “Evans?”

“I thought he was dating McKinnon?” said Flitwick, gently setting his tea down.

“Not anymore. God, Filius, keep up,” sighed McGonagall.

Dammit,” yelled Sprout, slamming her tea down. “I was betting on Sirius and Marlene! And Remus seems like he’d pair well with Lily.”

“McKinnon is not…male-oriented,” said McGonagall. “She’s with that Meadowes girl.”

“Ah, Dorcas! That’s a good pairing, I think,” said Flitwick, taking a sip from his mug. “Now, what were you saying about Evans and Mr Lupin, Pomona?”

McGonagall shook her head. “You’re all blind fools. Blind fools. Lily and Remus would never work, they’re both interested in someone else.”

“Ah, because Evans likes Black!” said Slughorn triumphantly.

Minerva looked at him weakly. “Evans and Black aren’t dating, I can guarantee it. I believe Black is about as straight as McKinnon.”

“Black is straight,” said Slughorn with certainty. “Absolutely.”

 

and back to the story

 

2nd April, 1975

9.15am

“I can’t believe we cleaned everything up,” grumbled Peter, yawning, as they walked to Charms. “We could’ve just let it be!”

Remus looked at him sternly. “That is not the Marauder way, Wormtail. Decency is second only to a good prank.”

“Yeah, Wormy,” said Sirius. “Morality!”

“Shut it. You were whining all of yesterday, Padfoot,” said James. “Fuck morality.”

“…Wise words, Mr Potter,” said Flitwick, walking past.

“Goddamn, why does Flitwick always walk past when I say stupid shit?” asked James.

“Because you’re always saying stupid shit,” said Lily, also walking past.

“Hot fuckerino.”

“Five points from Gryffindor,” said McGonagall.

James gaped.

“Why wouldn’t we tell anyone that we cleaned it up?” asked Peter. “We could’ve at least taken credit for cleaning up.”

“No, bitch. That would’ve linked us to it,” said James, running a hand through his hair.

“Stop doing that, James, it makes you look like an idiot. But he’s right,” Remus said, now turning to Peter. “We’re not exactly the most innocent kids in school and cleaning up would’ve linked us to it.”

Peter sighed. “I guess you’re right.”

“Hey, we nearly beat Flitwick to class! Now we’re going to be late, dammit!” yelled Sirius suddenly.

“Oh, shit,” said Remus. “Should we run?”

“Nnnnnoooooooooooooo,” whined Sirius. Remus grabbed his wrist and dragged him.

Chapter Text

4th April, 1975

2.44am

“We’d gone four months,” said a half-amused, half-tired as shit Remus, as he came into the common room to an angsty Sirius. “And we have class tomorrow!”

Sirius sighed. “HORMONES.”

Remus gave a weak smile. “Not all of your emotions have to be jokes, you know, mate.”

Sirius scoffed. “This is coming from you? Damn.”

“I know, I know. It’s like when you called me a whore,” said Remus. “That was an experience and a half, let me tell you.”

“Speaking of me being a whore, I may be gay and ready to slay, but I found out that Frank Longbottom is bi and willing to try.”

Remus looked at him vacantly. “Don’t want to know how you found that out.”

“He’s added to the new list of brief makeout sessions. He’s a surprisingly good kisser,” said Sirius, stretching and lying down on Remus’ lap.

“Did not need or want to know,” Remus groaned. A small fire had apparently been set inside one of his lungs. It was inconvenient. “Padfoot?”

“Mm?”

“Why are you really up?” Remus looked down at him, suddenly sincere.

“Eh. Couldn't sleep. I'm shit at sleep.” He exhaled sharply and closed his eyes.

“Now that’s one thing I’m not shit at. You should drink more tea.”

“Isn’t tea caffeinated? I already drink ninety cups of coffee a day, Moony, I don’t need more.”

“You can get decaf tea, moron. And there’s part of the reason you can never sleep. Caffeine is fantastic for fucking up sleep schedules.” Remus realised he was lecturing, and he did not give two shits.

“Sorry, Professor Lupin. I’ll do better.” Sirius was smirking now.

“Shut up. Can you imagine me as a professor? God, that’d be a nightmare.” Remus leant back on his arms.

“I don’t think you’d be that bad. You’re good at teaching,” said Sirius.

“Yeah, but…children. And I’d be a bad influence!” This made Sirius snort, but Remus shoved him. “I would! I’d end up telling first years that Peeves would eat them, or something.”

“Nah, you’d be fine. You’d make a good DADA teacher. I think the really horrifying idea, though, is me as a teacher.”

“Oh sweet Jesus. The world isn’t ready for that. The world doesn’t deserve that. Oh, god. That is an absolutely nightmarish thought,” said Remus.

“All right, no need to lay it on that thick! God, I’d be shit, though. I’d kill someone.”

“Not even, like, accidentally. Someone’d say something stupid and you’d just whip around and explode them.”

“I’d get annoyed that they weren’t understanding something that I was explaining badly and just fucking hex them.” Sirius grinned suddenly. “This is weird.”

“What?” 

“Just…this. Talking about our futures and shit. I’m never going to be an adult.” He gasped abruptly. “You know what I never want? Children.”

“ME NEITHER.”

“You know what I do want, though? To be like…the cool uncle. That takes the kid to theme parks and stuff, and then buys them badass gifts. Without all the diaper changing and shit.”

“I’d be the worst dad. I mean, first of all, the werewolf thing—“

“Shut up immediately. That’s not a limit on your parenting skills.” Sirius suddenly looked stern. 

“Hi, child who I’m meant to be raising, I’m literally the thing that you think is hiding under your bed. Love me!” Sirius punched him in the stomach, winding him. “Jesus fuck—“

“Shut the fuck up. You’re not a monster, Remus, and you’d be a fine dad.”

Remus snorted. “Lies. I’d immediately forget to feed the child and just accidentally leave it to die.”

“Now that is a valid reason that you’d be a deeply shitty parent. Either it would die or you'd die.” Sirius sighed deeply. “Bet you’d be better than my parents, though. At least you wouldn’t try to set your kid up with their cousin.”

What? Sweet Jesus,” Remus said, horrified.

“She’s a right cow, as well.”

“That’s not the takeaway from that!” 

“I know, I know. Intensely disturbing. Somehow being gay isn’t allowed, but incest? Sure.” Sirius had suddenly gotten annoyed. Remus didn’t say anything, so they just sat there in silence. That’s how it always seemed to end up. 

“I’m going to head up to the dorm,” said Sirius suddenly, after a while. “You coming?”

Remus shook his head. He felt weirdly awake.

 

4th April, 1975

3.31am

“Remus? This is new,” said Lily. “It’s usually Sirius.” She flopped down next to him.

“I know, right? And it’s a Friday morning,” said Remus regretfully. “I’m gonna regret this like all hell tomorrow.”

“I’ve been meaning to talk to you, actually,” she said. He didn’t say anything, so she went on. “D’you remember, a while back, when you punched that asshole in the face?”

“Yup. My greatest and only achievement.” Remus was pretty sure he knew where this was going and he wasn’t sure he wanted it to go there.

“Yeah—I…I don’t want to push you, and I know this is a sore subject, but you kind of ran away from it. The…bi thing?” Lily was tiptoeing and it was irritating.

“You don’t need to tiptoe, it’s fine.” Remus’ voice was tight. “I’m straight, Lils.”

Her eyes narrowed. “Okay.”

He smiled slightly awkwardly. “Never thought coming out as straight would get a disappointed reaction.”

“I’m not disappointed, Remus. Of course—of course I’m not. I’m glad you’ve…settled on something.” Lily was fumbling a bit, but Remus didn’t mind. She’d had a very fixed idea for a very long time, and it was going to take a while to remove that idea from her mind. It was fine. Absolutely fine.

“Anyway, I’m sure about it. Completely,” he said, attempting to solidify what he’d said.

“What about…” Lily trailed off. “Never mind.”

Remus chuckled. “Were you…trying to convince me to be not straight?”

“Power of words,” she said, suddenly relaxing. “They’ve caused wars, you know.”

“Mm.”

“I believe you, Remus. I mean, you’re an amazing liar, but I believe you.” She sighed. “I do.”

Remus nodded. “Cool.”

She wasn’t smiling. “You should go to bed. It’s late.”

“I know.” He didn’t move.

She got up and patted him on the shoulder. “Go to bed.”

 

4th April, 1975

10.11am

sirius is bold

james is italics underlined

remus is italics

peter is bold italics

 

Someone’s yawny today.

Didn’t sleep much.

YEET THE PRANK’S IN PLACE

Yeet?

anachronisms. it’s almost as if the author wasn’t alive in the 70s and has a different concept of how teenagers speak

What? 

He does this sometimes it’s fine

You’re a weird dude, Padfoot.

HANG ON SHIT I DIDN’T DO THE HOMEWORK

I know I did some for you in case

PRONGS YOU ARE A GOD

He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!

?????????

Anachronism. Anyway! Prank! also prongs you are the best friend in the world, jesus christ.

ohohohohohohohohohoho he’s going for it

I love that you took the time to write out that whole thing. o shit he’s going to take the baitDAMN

baitDAMN

baitDAMN

baitDAMN.

 

Slughorn touched the handle to the potions cupboard and a shower of glitter fell onto him. A shower. His face went maroon, which, incidentally, was the colour of the glitter. 

“BOYS.” He turned, fucking livid, to the four boys leaning on each other lazily in the back row. They were all smirking.

“Yes, Professor Slughorn?” said Sirius, sickly sweet.

“I’m loving the new accessories, sir,” said Peter, trying not to laugh.

“The colour really complements that tie,” said James, leaning on Sirius.

“I think gold’d be better on you, to be frank, sir,” said Sirius. “It’d bring out your eyes.”

Slughorn turned purple. “TO PROFESSOR MCGONAGALL’S, THE LOT OF YOU,” he said thunderously.

“On what grounds?” asked Remus. The other boys grinned mischievously.

“I—this! Of course, this!” Slughorn was fuming.

“How do you know we did it?” Remus leant his head on his hand.

“I—who else could’ve—“

“Sir, if you don’t have any basis for the accusation, I’m afraid punishing us would be profoundly unethical.”

Slughorn seethed, and stormed out of the classroom.

“All RIGHT,” said Sirius, hopping up onto a table. “I’M THE PROFESSOR NOW!”

“Hell yeah,” piped up Marlene.

 

8th April, 1975

8.53pm

“Sirius.” 

Sirius turned around to see Regulus Black standing behind him, leaning on the wall of a corridor. Hot dang. He’d picked that up from him.

“None of your little Death Eater friends with you this time?” Sirius crossed his arms. 

Regulus bit his lip. “You’ve been ignoring me.”

“Jesus fuck. I wonder why?” Sirius said. He was being overly hostile and he knew it, but fuck it. He didn’t fuck with baby Death Eaters. Not today, Satan. Not today.

“Sirius, I’m your brother. You can’t just pretend I don’t exist.” He stood up properly, in that stiff, upright posture that had been drilled into him since childhood. Sirius looked at him, disgusted, and made an effort to slouch even more than he usually did. He’d probably fuck up his back pretty bad, but whatever. Worth it. (Not worth it. Have good posture, kids.)

“Come on. You wouldn’t come talk to me without a reason. Spit it out,” said Sirius.

Regulus sighed. “Always…so perceptive.”

“Fucking out with it.”

“…It’s…something Mother said.”

Mother?” Sirius scoffed. “Right.”

“About how you’ve been acting lately. She’s been even worse than usual.” Regulus seemed uncomfortable. “I just…I had to tell you. And I wanted to say…sorry.”

Sorry?” Sirius suddenly stepped towards him. Regulus took a step back.

“Yeah.”

Sirius nodded. Then he leant backwards and punched him in the face. 

“Jesus--”

Sirius stalked off. 

 

9th April, 1975

9.33am

“Mr Black, Professor McGonagall has asked to see you in her office,” said Professor Sprout as Sirius walked in the door.

“But that would be interrupting my learning! Professor Sprout, how could even think about—“

“Sirius, you’re 28 minutes late and wearing a tutu,” she said, looking back to the class.

“Dress codes are a VIOLATION OF MY CREATIVE OUTPUT AND A DISRUPTION TO MY LEARNING EXPERIENCE…” His voice got quieter and quieter as he left the class.

Sprout turned to Remus. 

“Yep. I will be better. I’ll drag him here if I have to.” Remus looked tired. James patted him on the shoulder.

Sirius barged into McGonagall’s office, and then immediately went back out and knocked.

“I suppose that’s an improvement?” She looked up from her marking. “Sit down, Black.”

Sirius slumped down in a chair, his tutu riding up slightly. Thankfully, he was wearing his school trousers underneath. She looked at the tutu wearily.

“Did you need something from me, Professor?” He crossed his legs.

“Professor Flitwick saw you fighting with another student in the sixth-floor corridor last night.”

Sirius shrugged. “Oops.”

“Is that a confession?” McGonagall gave him a piercing glare.

Sirius huffed. “Not necessarily. What if it was?”

“I know you did it, Mr Black. My real question is as to why your brother is the one walking around with a broken nose?”

“He’s a clumsy guy. Always walking into fists.” Sirius leant back.

“You cannot just punch everyone who you disagree with, Black.” McGonagall was having deja vu.

“I just did.”

McGonagall sighed. “I’d give you a detention, but considering the…eighty four you’ve already had, they don’t seem to be particularly effective.”

“84? It seems like I should’ve had more.”

“Those are just the ones for fighting.”

“Ah.” Sirius gave her a smirk. “So what?”

So…you are banned from Quidditch. For a month.”

He leant forward. “What? You can’t ban me from Quidditch!”

“…In your words, I just did.” McGonagall stared at him, and Sirius Black, for once in his fucking life, was speechless.

“James is going to murder me—“

“I hope perhaps this will put an end to your fighting. Take the tutu off and get to class.”

 

Chapter Text

9th April, 1975

5.52pm

“You WHAT,” yelled James. “YOU CAN’T GET BANNED FROM QUIDDITCH, YOU ABSOLUTE FUCK—“

“IT’S NOT MY FAULT! MCGONAGALL IS BEING FUCKING RIDICULOUS—“

“Shut. Up.” Lily stalked towards them, murder in her eyes. Remus was behind her, with more murder in his eyes. “A, you are scaring the first years.”

“B,” said Remus, “you are swearing in front of the fucking first years.”

“So are you!” protested Sirius. 

“Remus isn’t yelling at the top of his lungs,” said Lily. “C! Sirius, how the FUCK did you get banned from Quidditch?”

“It was just some minimal punching!” Sirius said defensively.

“D, ‘you absolute fuck’? James! I raised you to insult better than that!” Remus looked both offended and disappointed. Lily elbowed him. “Sorry.”

“Sirius, how are you going to get back on the team? How long are you off for? Who’s going to replace you?” James said, slightly calmer.

“I’m off for a month, said McGoogle. I have no idea who can replace me, though, I’m a huge talent.” Sirius flopped down on a chair, defeated.

“Marlene,” said Peter. 

“Huh?” asked James.

“Ah, that’s brilliant, Pete!” Lily said. “She’s always wanted to join the Quidditch team. And she’s good!”

“But what am I going to do?!” complained Sirius. 

“Well, Florence is a bit of a shitty Quidditch commentator, right? She knows nothing about it. You do,” Remus chimed in.

“I do have the charm of a thousand men. How am I going to get Flossie to give up the position?” asked Sirius.

“She hates it,” said James. "That's a non-issue."

“I think the bigger question is how you’re going to get McGonagall to accept it,” said Peter.

“Charm of a thousand men,” said Sirius confidently.

 

10th April, 1975

1.47pm

“No,” said Professor McGonagall. “Absolutely not.”

“But Professor!” Sirius insisted. “I don’t actually have a point here, I just needed to protest.”

“When I say banned from Quidditch, I mean banned from Quidditch.”

“Professor, he wouldn’t actually be playing,” said James. “He’d just be commentating.”

“I think it’d be a productive way to make use of his knowledge of Quidditch without actually being allowed to play. If he's commentating, he's not on the team. He doesn't even technically have any house affiliation,” said Remus. McGonagall looked at the four boys before her coldly.

“And Mr Pettigrew? What about you? What do you think?”

“I think Florence is a bit useless—ow,” said Peter, being elbowed by Remus. “And so Sirius would probably make a better commentator. Flossie knows nothing about it. Sirius does.”

McGonagall sighed. “If you can find a replacement for Sirius as Beater and can get Florence to agree, then I suppose it couldn’t hurt.”

“Marlene McKinnon is going to replace Sirius. She nearly cried when I told her,” said James. “And I reckon we can get Flossie to agree. We’ll have a written agreement by the end of today, Professor! Not a spoken one, though, she terrifies me.”

“Get it to the staff room by six.”

“Yes! We are definitely going to do this!” 

 

10th April, 1975

4.08pm

“No.” Florence looked up at him angrily.

“What! Why?” asked James. “You don’t even like being commentator!”

“Yup. I hate it. But I want him,” she pointed at Remus, “to apologise to my best friend.”

“What? What did Remus do?” James was baffled. “He’s the least confrontational of all of us. Except for that one time, but that doesn’t count.”

“He broke up with her, and he was a dick about it.” Florence crossed her arms. “In fact, I’m pretty sure he is just a dick.”

“ExCUSE ME,” yelled Sirius, sprinting over from the other side of the common room. “WHAT DID YOU SAY?”

“I said Lupin is a dick.”

“I am going to tHROW HANDS JAMES, SOMEONE STOP ME,” yelled Sirius. He was promptly dragged away by Peter.

“Okay, maybe Black is even more of a dick than Lupin,” said Florence. 

“So…you want Remus to apologise to Mary,” said James. “For…breaking up with her?”

“Well, when you put it like that it sounds weird. It's mainly for being a dick about it.”

“Uhh. I’m sure I can make that happen.” James walked over to Remus. “Hey. You need to apologise to Mary McDonald for breaking up with her.”

“Huh?” Remus stared at him. “That seems…”

“I know, I know, but you know what Flossie’s like!” James clapped him on the shoulder. “I believe in you.”

“God fucking damn it. Where is she?” Remus asked, and James gestured over to the far corner.

 

10th April, 1975

6.18pm

“The shit we go through for you,” said James wearily, giving Sirius a Bro Hug (trademark). 

Remus looked even wearier. “You entirely don’t deserve this.”

“Thanks, guys. I’m going to be the BEST COMMENTATOR EVER!”

 

19th April, 1975

3.54pm

“Aaaand Aubrey takes the Quaffle! He wants everyone to know that he’s single and ready to mingle, but I’d advise against mingling with him because he’s a prick—sorry, Professor! Oh, that’s ten points for Hufflepuff. Aha, but Marlene - I mean, McKinnon from the Gryffindor team—the fabulous replacement for the wonderful moi — is doing excellently as Beater, no Bludger has even come close to the Gryffindor team! Marlene is almost as attractive as me, but unfortunately is decidedly not single or ready to mingle.”

Marlene winked at the audience.

“Oh, and that’s ten more to Gryffindor! That makes the score 30-20 to Gryffindor, fuck yeah—sorry, Professor—and there goes Prongs—I mean, Potter, with the Quaffle and HOLY SHIT (sorry Professor) THAT WAS THE DIONYSUS DIVE! Ahhhh, it didn’t work, though. Better luck next time, James. Now Potter is single, but decidedly not ready to mingle. His heart belongs to one woman and her name is FUCK—“

Somehow the Quaffle had gotten chucked at Sirius’ head. No one knew how.

“All right! I shall not reveal the name of Potter’s one true love. Ahh, and there’s Captain Dicky, the guardian of the hoops, making a brilliant save there. Oh, but in comes Female Hufflepuff Extra, scoring there.”

“He’s fucking awful. I love it,” said Remus to Lily, who had still not convinced him on the golden eyeliner.

“He’s actually amazing, though.” Lily was looking at the game. “At least he has enthusiasm, and knows what a Dionysus Dive is.”

“It’d be nice if he’d explain the shit, though. I’ve got no clue what a Dionysus Dive is, other than James just punched the ball.” Remus grinned. “Eh, he’s better than Florence.”

Lily elbowed him. “Hey, who d’you reckon James’ one true love was?”

Remus gave her a look. “No idea.”

Dorcas leant over. “Marlene’s surprisingly good, right? I didn’t know.”

“I know! She might even be better than Sirius,” said Lily. 

“That’s another ten to Gryffindor! At this rate we’re going to win, and I’m legally bound to announce that Davey Gudgeon, Dorcas Meadowes and Peter Pettigrew are on Firewhiskey duty for the Fourth Years. Sorry, I meant Butterbeer duty — slip of the tongue, Professor, slip of the tongue.”

Remus sighed. “He’s a work in progress.”

 

19th April, 1975

7.57pm

“HELL YEEEEAH!” shrieked James. “WE WON!”

“Of course you won, you fool, Hufflepuff are shit at Quidditch,” said Female Hufflepuff Extra, who was the only one to score for Hufflepuff that whole game. Someone should probably ask her for her name, but they’re all kind of scared of her.

“Sirius, nice job commentating, mate,” said Davey Gudgeon, the other Beater. “I think you’re better at that than being Beater, actually.”

“Suck my ASS, GUDGEON,” yelled Sirius. “But thank you.”

Davey gave him a wink. One of his eyes had a massive scar over it from an altercation with the Whomping Willow a few months earlier. Davey was the epitome of a Gryffindor, which meant he was a wholeass fool.

Frank and Alice were over in a corner, kissing. “Hot damn, she finally worked up the courage,” said Peter.

“There goes one of my makeout partners,” said Sirius wistfully.

“Bleh. You have like, twelve others. You’ve discerned basically everyone who’s gay in the whole castle and made out with them,” said Peter. “It’s impressive, more than anything, but also gross.”

Sirius looked over at the ‘dance floor’, and dear god. Jesus Christ. Every goddamn time. Why? Why would he, for the millionth time, continue to dance? It was like watching a giraffe try to ice skate, except the giraffe has no ice skates. Or legs. He basically looked about as good as a severed giraffe torso being thrown across some ice.

“James, I am morally bound to stop you,” said Lily, dragging him towards the snack table.

He gasped dramatically. “YOU CALLED ME JAMES!”

“Shut the fuck up, Potter.”

“OHOHOHOHO,” he said. Was it a laugh? Who knows?

“What in the Fuck,” she said. How she was able to say ‘Fuck’ with a capital ‘F’ was unknown, but she did.

“You should really go on a date with me, Evans. You’re PRETTY. And I LIKE YOU,” he yelled. 

“Begone.” She shoved him, and he fell down.

“You are CRUEL,” he shrieked.

“I owe you nothing, beast.” She walked away.

“Hey, Moony!” called James, still lying on the floor.

“What happened to you?” Remus stared down at him. “Did you ask out Lily again? You’re making it weird now.”

“You can’t talk about girls! You’re Mr Ladykiller! Breaking hearts left and right!” 

“Exactly zero percent of that is true.” Remus put his hands on his hips. “What did you want from me?”

“Oh, nothing.”

"POTTER!” shrieked Lily, as if she’d forgotten something. “Is that bet still on?”

James nodded. “Duh.”

“What bet is this?” asked Remus.

“Oh, it’s nothing,” said Lily, with an evil glint in her eye. She walked off, with unnerving purpose.

Remus shuddered.

 

19th April, 1975

11.08pm

“Hey, Lily, I’m going to head up to the dorm,” said Sirius. “I’m tired as FUCK.”

“Okay, I’ll tell the others,” she said, curled up in an armchair with a book. Her head suddenly flew up, and her eyes gleamed.

“You look scary,” said Marlene. “Have you thought of something to do about the bet? I’m completely stumped. They're both oblivious idiots.”

“Hey, Remus!” Lily yelled. “You should go to bed. You’re basically falling asleep into your book.”

“Mm,” said Remus sleepily.

“Go!” She shoved him off of the armchair.

He dragged himself up the stairs to the dorm. He opened the door to see Sirius with his shirt off. The door was immediately closed.

“Sorry,” he said, embarrassed.

“Remus, are you just really drunk? We’ve shared a dorm for four years.”

“Oh yeah,” Remus said, and immediately busted the door down. He flopped into bed, not even changing out of his clothes (though the clothes he wore were literally just jumpers, so it didn’t really matter).

“Damn it,” said Lily from the doorway. “I thought for sure that would work.”

Sirius just looked at her oddly, and Remus was already asleep. 

 

Chapter Text

28th April, 1975

4.11pm

“Moony! You know about Muggle stuff!” said Sirius suddenly. 

Remus looked up, slightly concerned. “What do you want?”

“Teach me some Muggle swears!” 

“You already—hmm. Hey, Lily?” he called. Lily looked up from her book.

“What?”

“Sirius wants me to teach him Muggle swears. Want to help?” he asked.

“Definitely.” She got up and sat on the arm of Remus’ chairs. “Be sure to tell Potter all of these, as well.”

Sirius flopped onto the chair opposite. “Teach me!”

 

29th April, 1975

1.43pm

Sirius dropped a book on his own foot. “Frangipane!”

Peter looked at him oddly. “What?”

“Lily and Remus taught me how to swear in Muggle. I’m testing them out.”

Peter nodded slowly. “What did they teach you, exactly? I bet you I know more than Remus.”

“Are you saying you have a larger swearing vocabulary than the Swearmaster? Bold words, Wormtail, bold words.”

“I bet he didn’t tell you about Maltesers.”

 

30th April, 1975

6.25pm

“John Cadbury’s nipples!” yelled James.

“Formula One! Vancouver Canucks!” shrieked Sirius.

“Did we teach them Vancouver Canucks? What is that?” asked Remus quietly, nudging Lily.

“I taught them that,” said Peter. “They’re a Canadian hockey team.”

“Nice one,” said Lily.

“TOM BAKER—“

“MICROWAVE POPCORN—“

“COCA-COLA—“

“HEROIN!”

Heroin?” asked Lily. Peter shrugged. 

“You taught them Tom Baker.”

“Doctor Who isn’t the same as hard drugs!” Remus said.

 

3rd May, 1975

8.07pm
“Alright! James has banned alcohol for the Quidditch team (apparently including me even though I’m fucking banned) tonight because we have practise tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun!” said Sirius, looking down at the group of bored fifteen-year-olds who violently disagreed with him. Frank Longbottom had joined them, at Alice’s insistence. Eh, Frank was fine.

“And how, pray tell, are we going to do that?” asked Remus.

“MAFIA!” yelled James.

“I’m going to be moderator, and you have to play. Or Marlene will punch you,” said Sirius.

“I will not.” Marlene flipped him off.

“Or I will punch you,” Sirius corrected himself. He handed out slips of paper. “Alright, it’s night time! Everyone close your eyes. Now…anyone who had a sheet of paper that said ‘Mafia’, open their eyes.” Remus and Dorcas opened their eyes. “An interesting bunch. Okay, you need to decide amongst yourselves — nonverbally, obviously — who in this town you were going to kill.” Dorcas pointed at Marlene. Remus nodded. “Okay. Now, the person who’s the Doctor please wake up.” This was James. “Who’re you saving?” James pointed at himself. “Ooh, a spicy choice. Now, the Serial Killer! Wakey wakey eggs and murder.” Lily opened her eyes and pointed at James with absolutely no hesitation. “Okay! Close your eyes. Now, the sun rises beautifully on the horizon, and you are all awoken. Except, of course, Marlene—” Marlene groaned. “—who decided to go on a misguided walk through the park at midnight, apparently having forgotten to pay her monthly debt to the mafia for her small bakery. She had her head chopped off and sent to her wife, Dorcas.”

“Gnarly,” said Marly. (could not resist)

“Moving on. James had woken up in the middle of the night, only to find he was out of milk. So he decided to pop to the supermarket, where his wife, me, works. He was brutally stabbed by the Serial Killer—“ this was met by cheers. “—Hang on! But the Doctor came and saved him, so no dead James.” This was met by boos. “Now it is time for the vote! You’ll have a while for discussion, and you’ll each vote on who you think is the Mafia or the Serial Killer. This person will be hanged.” Sirius leant back. “Let chaos ensue!”

“I’m going to speak up first and say that Alice and Frank have been awfully quiet,” said Lily. “That’s a murder couple if I’ve ever seen one. Bonnie and Clyde.”

“Lies and slander!” cried Alice. “I don’t know about Frank, he’s a sneaky bastard, but I am completely innocent.”

“Okay, Alice is definitely evil,” said Remus. “But I think she’s probably Mafia, not Serial Killer. I reckon the Serial Killer’s Lily.”

“Oi!” said Alice.

“Interesting. Justify it,” said Lily.

“James immediately nearly got killed by the Serial Killer. If anyone would go for James first, it’d be you, right? You also immediately tried to place the blame on someone else. You’re definitely a serial killer in real life, too.”

Lily nodded. “That’s fair. But I’m part of the town. Why would I immediately kill James knowing that’d lead suspicion to me? I'm being FRAMED.”

“Alright, enough chatting! It’s vote time,” said Sirius dramatically. “Dorcas! Who do you want to vote?”

“Alice. She’s pure evil.”

Alice protested, but was shushed by Sirius. “Lily?”

“Also Alice.”

“Peter?”

“I reckon Frank’s suspicious. Frank.”

“Me too,” said Sirius. “Frankfurter! It’s your vote.”

“I object to Frankfurter,” said Frank, sounding resigned to his fate. “But I vote Peter.”

“Alice?”

“I’m voting Lily.”

“Marly god rest your soul amen,” said Sirius. “Prongs!”

“Lily!”

“Rem-dawg?”

Remus was even more resigned to his fate. “I’m going to go for Alice.”

“Okay! Now I can now reveal that Frank and Peter each had one vote. Lily had two votes. And Alice, sorry babe, but you have three votes! Off to the guillotine for you,” said Sirius.

“Boo.” Alice lay down on Frank. 

“I can also now reveal that Alice was…indeed…part of the town. Nice job, fools.” The group groaned.

“Nighty night. Close yon eyes. Mafia, wake up. Who you killing?” Remus pointed at James. Dorcas looked at him oddly, but he mouthed the word ‘theory’. She then nodded. “Alright, get some beauty rest, Mafia. Doctor! Doctor who, that is.” James pointed at himself again. “Cool. Go dream of surgery. Serial Killer!” Lily opened her eyes and pointed at James again. “Sleep well, murdery murderface. Now, everyone wake up!” The group opened their eyes. “On this night, a tragedy befell James Fleamont Potter. He was both shot by the Mafia on his way to lonely salsa dancing for one, and nearly blown up by the Serial Killer on his way to his class on How To Pick Up Girls That Are Very Clearly Not Interested In You, And You Should Probably Just Leave Alone. However! The doctor got to him just in time. God bless the NHS. You may now discuss who you’re going to kill! This town is fucking Salem, I swear.”

“Suspicion is on Lily now. James twice? That’s a triple-bluff,” Frank piped up.

“I don’t know. Peter’s been awfully quiet,” said Lily.

“And passing the blame again instead of defending your case!” cried Peter. “You’re definitely mafia or serial killer.”

The votes ended up five for Lily, and one for Peter. You can guess who didn’t vote for herself.

“It can now be revealed that the Lily was in fact…the serial killer.”

“That’s a shocker.”

They kept playing until only Dorcas, Remus, and Peter were left. James chose to save Peter one night, which ultimately led to his demise. Frank was eventually killed off via the voting.

“Alright! Go to sleep. Mafia wake up and kill the literal only person left. Now close your eyes and wake up immediately! In a shocking turn of events, Pete’s dead. He was travelling to Sicily in order to expand his culinary knowledge, as he has a wild passion for cooking. He wanted nothing more than to buy some Sicilian lemons, but ended up with his arm being chopped off and used to beat him to death. Then—”

“Sirius, no,” Remus interrupted him.

“C’mere, Lils, I want to braid your hair,” said Sirius. Lily lay down across Dorcas, and Sirius started to braid her hair. Lily had seriously badass hair. It was long and super easily tangled, but when it was brushed properly it fell in soft beach waves. It framed her face really well, and somehow it brought out her eyes. James was looking at her fondly, her face softly illuminated by the slowly dying fire. She didn’t seem to notice him.

Remus was looking at Sirius, who was concentrating on braiding. He was biting his lip, and his hair was falling into his face. Remus leant over and brushed the bit of hair behind his ear. Sirius looked at him for a second, then went back to braiding. Remus’ ears went bright pink. Why did he do that? It wasn’t even a conscious decision. Lily looked at him with a knowing smirk, upside down. Shut up, he thought.

“Oi, Evans,” said James suddenly. She looked over at him instead of at Remus.

“What?”

“D’you want to get a Butterbeer with me at the Three Broomsticks?”

“No.” Lily looked back at Remus.

Alice had fallen asleep on Frank’s shoulder. He kept glancing fondly at her. Peter had fallen asleep on his lap. Frank did not keep glancing fondly at him, but he seemed surprisingly fine with it.

“Marly, let’s head up to bed,” said Dorcas. “Lily, you coming?”

“Yeah, give me a second,” said Lily. Marlene and Dorcas went up to the dorm, so Lily shuffled over to lie on Sirius. “Frank, you should probably get to bed too.”

Frank gave Alice a kiss on the forehead. She sleepily opened her eyes. 

“Alice, let’s go to bed,” said Lily. She nodded. “Just…throw Peter on the floor. It’s fine.”

James stood up. “PETE, BEGONE.”

“Why me?” asked Peter.

Soon everyone was gone, except (surprise, surprise) Remus and Sirius. “Why does it always end up like this?” asked Remus. “If I didn’t know any better I’d say they were trying to abandon us.”

“No, that’s definitely it,” said Sirius, who knew exactly what they were actually doing and wasn’t about to stop them.

“Mm.”

 

Chapter Text

SORRY LADS THERES NO WIFI WHERE I AM SO THE UPDATE‘LL TAKE A BIT LONGER I‘M DOING THIS FROM MY PHONE BUT THE NEXT CHAPTER‘LL BE A BIT LONGER I‘LL UPDATE WHEN I CAN

Chapter Text

4th May, 1975

6.24am

James was leaning smugly on a chair when Sirius first opened his eyes. “Mooorning.”

“Ugh, fuck,” he groaned. “My neck is all cramped.”

“What were you two up to staying up so late, then?” he asked, a glint in his eye.

“What? Talking,” said Sirius, sitting up. He had been lying on Remus’ legs.

James raised his eyebrows. “Sure.”

“It’s the truth, bitch!” he insisted, his voice getting higher.

“Mmmmmmmmhmm.”

“Fuck you. I’m going to bed,” said Sirius. “Hang on. I can’t just leave Remus asleep on the floor, right?”

James smirked. “Well, I’m off to Quidditch practise. Have fun either waking up the Beast or abandoning him on the floor.”

“You’re evil. Pure unadulterated evil. Actually, no, scratch that, Moony is the pure unadulterated evil. You're just a dick.” Sirius was dying.

“Pure unadulterated evil wears cardigans and fluffy socks,” James called as he left.

“Dammit,” said Sirius under his breath. 

 

4th May, 1975

9.46am

Remus sat up sleepily. I don’t remember going to bed last night, he thought. Eh, whatever. I probably just managed to get drunk somehow. He didn’t have a hangover, though, which was wild. Sirius and Peter were still asleep, and he assumed James was at Quidditch practise. He got up and got dressed, brushed his teeth, and headed down to the Great Hall for breakfast.

“You’re up early,” he said as he sat down next to Lily. “Slash late. This is a very middling time for you to be awake. With you, it’s either 6am or 2pm.”

“Good morning to you too,” she said, putting her book down. “Sev’s probably not awake yet.”
“Why do you hang out with Snape? He hangs out with all those…dodgy kids.”
“Why do you hang out with Potter? He’s a dick,” Lily said, not looking up from her toast.

He sighed. “At least James isn’t friends with Death Eaters-in-training.”

“Yeah, you got me there. Sev’s friends are creepy as hell, but he’s genuinely not bad. A little…Edgar Allen Poe, maybe, but not bad.”

Remus nodded. “Alright.”

“Oh, I finally watched the new Python film,” she said, grinning at him.

“Fucking finally! I saw it in the cinema as soon as it fucking came out—“ Remus was suddenly sitting up straight, which had never happened before in his entire life.

“You say ‘fuck’ a lot when you’re overexcited. But yes, it was pretty good,” Lily said.

“Hey—you know what would be really funny?”

 

4th May, 1975

4.54pm

“Honestly, how much homework does Minnie want to set us?” complained Sirius. “You know what, fuck it. I’m not doing it.”

“Sirius, it’s due tomorrow, you have to do it,” said Remus. 

“Nooooooo.”

“If you do not do your Transfiguration homework…my friend and I,” Lily said, gesturing to Remus. “Will say…ni.”

“You what?” Sirius was confused.

“VERY WELL,” said Lily. “If you will not do it voluntarily……NI.”

“What the fuck is happening?” Sirius felt threatened and confused and concerned.

“Ni!”

“Nu,” said Remus. Lily elbowed him.

“No-no-no-no, dearest, it’s not that, it’s ni.”

“Nu!”

“No, no, you’re not doing it properly. Ni.”

“Ni!”

“That’s it, that’s it, you’ve got it,” said Lily. “Ni!”

“ARE YOU SAYING ‘NI’ TO THAT OLD WOMAN?” screeched Peter, who had not been previously informed of this prank.

“Ummmm…yes,” said Remus.

“Ohh, what sad times are these when passing ruffians can say ni at will to old ladies. There is a pestilence upon this land! Nothing is sacred!” Peter cried. “Even those who arrange and design shrubberies are under considerable economic stress at this period in history!”

“WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?” yelled Sirius. He was ignored.

“Did you say shrubberies?” asked Lily.

“Shrubberies are my trade,” Peter said. “I am a shrubber. My name is Roger the Shrubber. I arrange, design, and sell shrubberies.”

“Ni!” said Remus.

“NO, REMUS, NO!”

Sirius was near tears. “What the fuck is going oooooooooooon—“

“It’s over, Padfoot, you’re free.” Remus patted him on the shoulder. “Unless you want to hear the full sketch?”

“NO, I’LL DO MY HOMEWORK, I PROMISE—“

“It’s really funny,” said Lily.

“HOMEWORK.” Sirius was at his wit's end.

 

5th May, 1975

3.18am

“Moony?”

Remus awoke to Sirius gently shaking him. He looked an odd combination of slightly terrified and also guilty.

“What?” 

“Okay, so hilarious story—“ started Sirius.

“James is on fire again, isn’t he?” 

 

5th May, 1975

3.36am

“So who did the setting on fire?” Remus was standing in front of the two sheepish-looking boys, trying to keep the smile off of his face. They both pointed at each other. “Not helpful!”

“Alright, so James was the one who fell into the fire,” said Sirius. “I may have contributed a little bit to that.”

“He set up an obstacle course across the common room, and a REAL MAN NEVER BACKS AWAY FROM A CHALLENGE,” said James.

“Did Alice teach you that? You should know by now that she’s a terrible role model.” Remus was trying and failing to look stern. “Alright, there’s got to be some sort of punishment for this.”

Sirius immediately tried to run away.

“Aaand he’s chucking it in and packing it up, and sneaking away and buggering off, and chickening out and pissing off home, yes, bravely he is throwing in the spooonge,” sang Lily, who was blocking his exit.

“Just get down to the kitchens, both of you,” said Remus. “And you’re on kitchen duty for the next month.”

“Cruel!”

They returned with snacks that could last them decades, 'so we never have to go there again'.

 

7th May, 1975

11.52am

“HBLErh.”

There was suddenly a big black dog in the Charms classroom, which immediately morphed back into Sirius. 

“Padfoot! What the fuck!” whispered Remus. He elbowed him. “What was that?”

“I don’t know! I got distracted!” Sirius looked as disturbed as Remus did.

“You got distracted?” Remus pulled a face. “Does it take more effort for you to stay human than it does to be a dog? Is dog your natural state?”

Sirius just sort of…stared at him. 

“You are…astounding,” said Remus with a sigh.

“I know,” said Sirius, posing.

Remus looked over at Peter, who was sitting at the other side of the classroom. He also let out a ‘HHGH’ and for a split second turned into a rat. “Oh no,” Remus said, his face suddenly genuinely concerned.

“What?” Sirius tilted his head.

Prongs.”

“Oh, shit.” Sirius suddenly understood. “He’s right in the middle.”

“Distraction, we need a distraction—”

Sirius brought out a saxophone as Peter threw some Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder that he’d managed to get his hands on. Needless to say, Sirius decidedly did not play the saxophone, and basically what happened was a horrifying cacophony of noise. There were screams, and desperate cries of ‘Lumos!’, to no avail. This was quality stuff. Remus felt someone grab his wrist and whisper something. Flitwick bellowed something incomprehensible, and when the lights came back on, the Marauders were nowhere to be seen. 

“You guys turned back immediately, why didn’t he?” asked Remus, as they ran down a corridor with a large, gangly deer. 

“He’s always—had trouble—with the transformations,” panted Peter, who was slightly unfit. 

“Fucking hell, is this going to be like the first time he transformed?” Remus was also starting to get out of breath.

“I fucking hope not. Let’s just get back to the dorm,” Sirius said.

“No, too conspicuous,” said Remus. “Is there anywhere in the castle that we can’t be found? Whomping Willow?”

“Too—far away,” Peter wheezed.

Sirius thought for a second. “I know a place. Follow me!”

They ran, up the stairs, past a couple of curious House-elves, a few of which Peter knew by name (kitchen duty for four years). They reached the seventh-floor corridor and Sirius stood triumphant

“What is this, Padfoot?” Remus looked hopelessly at him. “This is literally just a tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy, you idiot—“

Sirius started pacing. “Please say we didn’t run all this way for nothing,” puffed Peter. 

A large, mahogany door materialised in front of their eyes. Peter and Remus gaped for a second. “What in the ass?” said Peter.

“Just get in!” Sirius shoved them and the entire deer that they had through the door.

They entered into a somewhat large hall, mostly empty save for a couple chairs and a bookshelf. James immediately fell over. 

“Fucking—Prongs, you useless fool,” sighed Remus. “You have the grace of Lucius Malfoy on roller skates when you’re a deer.” The deer bleated indignantly and got up. 

“How are we going to get you back into a human?” asked Sirius.

“Okay, bigger question, what excuse are we going to give for literally doing a jailbreak out of class with a deer and disappearing for what I assume will be several hours?” asked Peter. “We’re getting detention for six years.”

“To be honest, now I know how I’m going to escape jail when I inevitably end up in jail in the future,” said Sirius, as he flopped down on the chair. Remus gave him a look. “C’mon, sit down, dearest!”

“I will never respond to dearest,” said Remus. 

“Darling?”

“No.”

“Sweetest moonbeam?”

“Definitely no.”

“ComE ONN,” Sirius whined. “I will tackle you.”

“You wouldn’t do thaat,” said Remus sarcastically. He turned around to look at Peter, who was looking at them curiously. “FUCKING—"

Peter stared at them. “Prongs—"

Sirius had come up behind him, grabbed him, and dragged him onto the chair with him. Remus was now sort of…lying awkwardly across Sirius.

Somehow the deer looked smug.

 

Chapter Text

7th May, 1975

5.39pm

“I cannot even begin to imagine what you boys were thinking.” A horrifyingly angry Minerva McGonagall was sitting at her desk. Her lips literally looked like a lizard’s.The four of them were sitting, looking sheepish, in chairs. Well, actually Peter was standing because there were only three chairs. “What do you have to say for yourselves?”

“Well, we don’t have anything to say, per se, but we have prepared an interpretive dance to show you, if you’d like,” said James.

“For once in your life, Potter, spare me the snarky commentary. Black, Potter, you two are always so eager to talk in class. Surely you have an explanation for why you decided to plunge your Charms classroom into darkness for twenty minutes, and ran away.”

Neither of them said anything, but both of them were looking oddly…confident? They were leaning back, relaxed, in their chairs, with identical smirks on their faces. 

“Fine. Mr Pettigrew, you will be cleaning the trophy room and polishing all the candelabra every weeknight for the next month. Mr Potter, you will have a letter written home, and are hereby banned from Hogsmeade trips until June. And Mr Black and Mr Lupin…will be tutoring first years.”

This was met by shock and anguish.

“Professor, there are so many candelabra! I don’t even know where they all are! Also you said the word 'bra', that's hilarious!”

“My mum is going to kill me, and I have a date next weekend!”

“I HATE CHILDREN, I’M GOING TO DIE!”

“I would be an absolutely useless tutor, Professor, I’m going to swear in front of a child. I mean--I don't swear, I've never sworn in my life-”

“This is what is happening, and that is final.” McGonagall looked at them over the top of her glasses. “Get out of my sight.”

 

10th May, 1975

11.02am

A nervous-looking first year scurried into the common room, where he’d agreed to meet Remus. 

“Hi…kid,” Remus said awkwardly. 

The first year nodded.

“So what am I actually doing?” Remus realised he had yet to consider this particular aspect. Oh, what's his name? Are we past the point where it's acceptable to ask for a name? Oh dear god what is going on

“Professor McGonagall says I need Transfiguration help,” the first year stuttered.

“Ah, fuck. I mean—shit. I mean…Sirius! I’m swearing in front of the child!” Remus yelled this last bit across the common room, where Sirius dutifully came over and clapped the first year on the shoulder.

“Alright, so when a mummy and a daddy love each other very much—“

“What? How does that relate to swearing? Get out of here!” Remus shoved him over.

“Rude. I was explaining ‘fuck’! And, by extension, ‘dick’ and ‘cunt’, I guess.”

“Stop! He’s only nine!”

“I’m eleven, actually. I’m twelve next month.”

“Hush, child.” Remus patted him on the head, impossibly taller than him. 

“Whatever. Moony, just remember. You’re not a swear—“

“SHHHHHhhhh,” said Remus. 

“…not a swear wolf you’re a werewolf,” finished Sirius in a whisper.

“Go away!” Remus hit him on the arm. Sirius went off to the other side of the common room, where he had apparently abandoned a rather baffled-looking first year girl.

“Uhhhh…” The first year looked more confused than anything.

“What’s your name, kid?" Awkwardly timed, but he couldn't just keep calling him 'kid'.

“James.”

Remus nodded. “If there’s a girl called Lily in your year, just leave her alone. Leave her alone.”

 

11th May, 1975

6.33pm

“Hey, Marls,” said Sirius. “Can I just steal you for a sec, thanks—“

“Black, I was in the middle of a conversation, you bitch,” complained Marlene as Sirius grabbed her by the collar and dragged her away from a slightly confused-looking Hufflepuff boy.

“It is! Okay, so…my ban from the Quidditch team is officially lifted,” he said. Her face fell.

“Shit. Goddammit, go fuck up so you get banned more!” She was joking, but she did sound genuinely disappointed.

“I don’t want to be back on the team.”

“You what?” Marlene stared at him. “Why not?”

“You’re better than me anyway! And I like being commentator. The world needs to hear of my charms!”

“I entirely dispute that. That can’t happen,” said Marlene. She put her hands on her hips.

“Are you Remus? What…is happening?” Sirius asked.

“Sirius! You love Quidditch!” She shoved him. “And you’re good, too.”

“It’s just…not as fun anymore, I guess. Plus, if I come back on the team, you’re kicked off, and that’s not fair.” He shrugged.

“I always knew it was a part-time thing, bitch! Come on.”

“Why are you arguing? Babe—“

“Don’t you dare babe me, Sirius Black. You may be able to turn the straightest man gay, but I am a LESBIAN. WE HAVE MORE TENACITY THAN WEAK-ASS STRAIGHT BOYS.”

“You’d get to stay on the Quidditch team, though!” Sirius cocked his head.

“Are you a dog?” 

Sirius shrugged, and Marlene just sighed. 

“Seriously—Siriusly.” He took a second to laugh at his own joke. “I don’t want to rejoin!”

“Fine.”

 

31st May, 1975

2.23pm

James gave Marlene a nervous grin. “You ready?”

She looked at him for a second. “James, you can cry. It’s fine. I know you want to.”

He suddenly burst out into sobs. “OH GOD THIS MEANS SO MUCH TO ME—WE FUCKING LOST LAST YEAR AND IT NEARLY KILLED ME—”

“I know, I know.” She patted him on the shoulder. “It’s fine. We’re going to win. I will send a Bludger into the face of every Slytherin in the whole fucking arena.”

“Please don’t that would be a huge problem. BUT THANK YOU THAT MEANS SO MUCH TO ME.” 

“AW, JAMESIE,” yelled Sirius, barrelling towards him.

“Sirius, you’re meant to be commentating! Get back here!” Remus was chasing him helplessly (story of his life). Peter and Lily followed.

“YOU’RE GOING TO BE FINE, POTTER, AND IF YOU LOSE I’LL FUCKING KILL YOU,” shrieked Lily.

“Evans, this is the boys’ changing room!” said James.

“Then what’s Marlene doing in here?”

“Same thing as you, I guess,” James said. He had stopped crying.

“We’re here to wish you luck, you fool,” said Remus. 

“You’re gonna be so good and you’re gonna BEAT THOSE BASTARDS,” said Sirius. “You’re going to CRUSH THEM. PULVERISE THEM INTO SHREDS.”

“Sirius is a bit too close to this,” said Peter. “Seriously, though, it’s going to be amazing.”

“Good luck, Marlene. Don’t kill anyone,” Lily grinned. “You too, Potter.”

“When will you call me JAMES,” he yelled. She shook her head at him.

“You’re such an arse.”

 

“Aaand there goes Gryffindor Chaser James—I mean, Potter, with the Quaffle. In comes in…uhh, Slytherin...man...one? Right, Rosier, thanks Professor, performing a quite fantastic bit of cheating there. Yep, there’s Madam Hooch blowing her whistle, but Potter isn’t stopping—absolute madman, honestly — and that’s a bloody fantastic goal for Gryffindor, and it looks like Rosier is being let off with a warning. Boo. Ahh, and there goes McKinnon for Gryffindor, hitting back-to-back Bludgers there, holy shit sorry Professor that girl can play. It only seems fitting that she should be the replacement for the wonderful, the amazing, the fantastic, the sorry Professor, moi! Ahh, but there goes…Greasemaster 5000. I mean, Lucius Malfoy, nicking the Quaffle off of Marls—uh, McKinnon…and that’s ten points to Slytherin.”

Remus sighed. “He’s so bad. Greasemaster 5000?”

“To be fair,” said Lily, through her Omnioculars, “He is pretty greasy.”

“Says the girl who hangs out with Snape—“ Remus was stopped by a glare from her. “What? He is greasy.”

“You’ve been spending too much time around Potter and Black,” she said coldly.

Remus furrowed his brow. “Black? Come on.”

“They only hate him because he’s a Slytherin, and that’s really not fair.”

“They hate him because he hangs out with Death Eaters, he hates Muggle-borns and werewolves -- or, as he so charmingly calls us, 'half-breeds' -- and thinks Gryffindor are a bunch of twats.”

“And they are bullies, punch anyone who disagrees with them, and think Slytherin are a bunch of twats.” Lily finally looked over at him. Remus knew pushing this wasn’t a good idea and he didn’t care.

“They aren’t bullies, that’s exaggerating. Also, you really equate Sirius and James with people like Rosier? And Barty Crouch?”

“I’ve had this conversation before, Remus, I’m not having it again,” she sighed, and looked back through the Omnioculars. Remus rolled his eyes, and dropped the subject.

“FUCKING SH—sorry, Professor, just commenting on that very BLATANT AND OBVIOUS CHEATING there, with Malfoy crashing right into old Dicky there. No penalty! It’s a fu—I mean, freaking outrage.”

“He’s so bad,” said Lily. “It’s amazing.”

 

Chapter Text

31st May, 1975

8.59pm

“Everything is GARBAGE,” said James, muffled. He was lying face down on his bed. Sirius was sitting on the edge of his bed, patting him on the back.

“Is this better than the sobbing?” stage whispered Peter to Remus, who shrugged. 

James let out a long, extended groan. “I just wanted to fucking wiN.”

“You always want to win, mate,” said Sirius. 

“But it was Slytherin! How could we lose to Slytherin?” he whined. 

“It’s alright, Prongs. You lose to Slytherin all the time,” said Peter.

“Wormtail! Not helpful!” Sirius dived across the room to elbow him.

James rolled over and propped himself up on his elbow. “This SUCKS,” he yelled. “Now they have fucking bragging rights!”

“Oh, how tragic,” said Remus sardonically. 

“I WILL BREAK YOUR FUCKING READING LIGHT, BEANPOLE.” Sirius Black, Protector of Prongs.

Remus looked over at Sirius, equal parts affronted and amused. “You’ll…”

“YOU HEARD ME.”

Eye contact was held for a very long time. James gaped for a second. “Hate to break up the flirting, but FOCUS ON ME, IT’S MY MOMENT.”

Remus went red and turned back to his book. Sirius did not go red and turned back to James. 

“FUCK I can’t believe we lost to Slytherin.” James put his face back into his (slightly damp) pillow.

“I know, I know.” Sirius started patting him on the back again. “Once you’re the Captain, you’ll crush them to bits. Pulverise them. Turn them into soup. Chop off their arms and stick them up their arses. Snap off their di—”

“Thank you, Sirius,” James cut him off.

 

3rd June, 1975

10.21pm

“Dearest?” said Sirius, struggling with some homework and idly sipping some coffee. James grunted in reply. “Ugh, you’re such a beast, honestly. Men.”

“Sirius, you are a man,” said Lily.

“He certainly is,” said Remus, not looking up from his Charms work. Everyone stared at him except Sirius, who had just taken a sip of coffee at that moment, and began to choke. Remus picked up his thermos and took a casual sip, still not looking up.

There was a pregnant pause. Suddenly the room exploded into noise.

“Explain—” “What the fuck, Remus—” “Fucking what in the shit does that mean—” 

He shrugged and left the common room, up the stairs to the dorm.

“What in the ass?” James was astounded. He turned to Sirius. “Did you two finally get together?”

Sirius’ jaw dropped slightly. “What? No. What? No. What? No. Is that what you guys all think?”

“No,” said Lily and James at the same time. “Yes,” said Peter, at the same time as them. Everyone looked at him, a tad defeated.

“Oh, come on, you guys are lying,” Peter defended.

“You guys…suuuuuuuuck,” said Sirius, and he fell to the floor dramatically. 

“Come on, Padfoot, cheer up,” James said. “You are kind of…unsubtle.”

“We’re not together!” Sirius flailed in protest.

“Oh, Sirius. Yes you are,” said Lily, sitting down next to him. 

“We’re not! He’s straight!” Sirius rolled away from Lily, until he was stopped by a chair. This chair coincidentally had a very confused-looking second-year in it, who lifted her feet up onto the chair to clear a path for him.

Lily sighed. “You are. When have you actually, genuinely, shown any interest in any other boy?”

“Wh—I call James dearest!” he insisted. 

“That’s not the same, you fool,” said James, crossing his arms. 

“Ohh, like you two can talk about repressed emotions,” said Sirius grumpily.

“So it’s repressed emotions, is it?” piped up Peter.

“Not helpful, Peter,” they said simultaneously. Sirius got up and stalked off.

“Looks like I hit a nerve,” Peter sighed. “That’s a shocker. Ah, well, he’s sensitive.”

“I can still hear you!” he called from the stairway.

 

4th June, 1975

12.01am

“Padfoot, this is wild. It’s a mcfucking Wednesday,” sighed Remus, who had brought a blanket in preparation this time.

“I’m grumpy. I need this,” said Sirius, who was lying kind of…flail-y, like a starfish, by the fire, which was dying very fast.

“Consider me Doc.” Remus got up on an armchair, looking down at him.

“You’re doing your distance-y thing. Come down here, bitch.”

"Distance-y thing?"

"Remus, I've told you about this! You sit twenty years away from everyone else!"

Remus chuckled. “Dammit.” He slid down onto the floor. “You’ve been spending way too much time with Lily recently, by the way. ‘Bitch’?”

“I know, I know.”

“So what’re you grumpy about?”

“James and Lily getting on my ass about…I don’t even know.” He flopped onto his side. 

Remus exhaled. “Is this about me?”

Sirius glanced at him, then looked back up at the ceiling. “Nah.”

“You’re a shitty liar, you know?”

“Yeah, I know. But I’m not going to tell you.”

“Okay.”

“And I will never tell you.”

“Okay.”

“Not because I don’t trust you, because I don’t want you to know.”

“Okay.”

“Because I do trust you, Moons, with my life. But you shouldn’t know.”

“Shuut up. You're so dramatic.” Remus smirked at him.

Sirius smiled a little. “Okay.”

 

15th June, 1975

10.41am

“Moony, it’s a SATURDAY, what am I doing up before noon?” whined Sirius. 

“Shut it, Padfoot. I am not having a repeat of last year,” said Remus sternly.

“That wasn’t me and Sirius!” cried Peter. “That was just James, and James is an idiot!”

“Are you saying you two are not idiots? Because that is a boldfaced lie. Now, I’ll be quizzing you, there’ll be prizes—”

“Never mind! I’m in!” said Sirius enthusiastically, and leaned back against the tree.

“Sit up, you bastard. Now! Summoning charm! Incantation and meaning of incantation!” said Remus. “Oh, you need buzzers.”

“Can mine just be beep?” said Peter. Remus nodded.

James made an ungodly noise that sounded like an old man dying. Remus looked at him, done, but didn’t technically say no.

Sirius catcalled. Remus made a face and shook his head. “Fine then. Mine’s woof woof, bitch.”

“Alright then, same question.”

“HHhhhdfhsfhghghghghhghhghghgghghghhghg.”

“Yes, James.”

Accio, I summon.”

“Correct. Un point. Who invented the Mending Charm?”

Beep.” “Woof woof, bitch.” “HHuuugshhghhhhhghuuuuh.”

“That was Peter first, I think.”

“I don’t actually know, I just buzzed for the hell of it,” Peter said. 

“Alright, it was Sirius next,” said Remus, kind of used to this.

“Orabella Nuttley. Haha, nut.”

“Congratulations. You won one point.”

Eventually, Peter ended up with four points, James with eight, and Sirius was way ahead with eighteen. 

“Peter! You made no impact. You need to catch up on Charms. Don’t worry, I know you suck at it, but it doesn’t mean you don’t need to revise. James, you were fine. But you’ve got Quidditch reflexes, so don’t try to blame those.”

“It’s not my fault that Sirius has better reflexes than me!” James complained.

“Shut it, antler-head. Sirius, well done, you win…nichts. Nada. Le rien,” said Remus.

“Sweet. What’s that?” he asked.

James sighed and got up. “Pete, let’s go actually take a look at our textbooks for once. We need to be able to beat Sirius.”

“Hang on, I’ll come with you. You’re going to be in the library, not the dorm, you’ll never work there,” said Remus.

“But what about my prize?” asked Sirius.

Remus looked wearily at him. “Please learn another language.”

“That was another language?”

“Bye.”

Chapter Text

17th June, 1975

10.48am

MoONY

This is a note. You don’t have to write my name to get my attention.

you’re right you’re right

Was willst du von mir, Schwein?

You know I don’t speak Muggle, Moony!

…deja vu

ANYWAY you speak other languages?????? how?????? whY???

yes

what languages do you actually speak?

English

…………………….you are a dork

German, Spanish and French almost sort of fluently, the most basic Russian, Italian and Dutch in the world. Also, you don’t have to write out all those dots your hand is going to cramp

what in the ass

??? Is that a hand cramp?

How do you have that much time?

I was a lonely child

NO KIDDING

It’s kind of easy to pick up languages after you’ve got like a basis. European languages are super similar. French is like…Spanish but with oueouioueiouoiuihonhonhon baguette

a what now

Russian is a weird one it’s got a whole nother alphabet

You are so??????????????????

What?

I don’t even know

oof you’re weirded out

.;yeah sure that’s it

did you write out a semicolon? anyway we’re going to get caught shush

 

Remus speaks a bunch of languages?

Why does that matter?

I have no idea but it do

You’re being weird about this

I know

ok I know what’s going on here

ENLIGHTen me because I don’t

As much as I’d like to and end the pining this is absolutely something you have to figure out on your own

Pining?

Oh my god

I’M THE MOST OBLIVIOUS MAN ON EARTH PRONGS WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT

Son. I believe in you. You can do this.

NO I CAN’T

 

30th June, 1975

2.47pm

What’s 24a

Gillyweed

Love you darling

What’s 36?

You’re already on 36? i think it cures acne you should get some prongs

SHUT IT NERD

hohoho jock

 

“Potter, Black, hallway, now!” whispered Sprout, who was invigilating their Herbology exam. She wasn’t the type of person to shout, so it just came out as lightly annoyed. They were sitting at the back, so luckily they were able to get out without disturbing everyone. Sirius gave the class a wink, and as soon as Sprout was out of the classroom, low chatter started up.

“What is the meaning of this, boys?” She held the note up in the air with a touch of exasperation in her voice. 

“What do you mean, Professor? The meaning of what?” asked James. 

“Really? You were passing notes right in front of me. You could've been subtler about it,” she tutted.

“…That parchment you’re holding’s blank, Professor,” said Sirius, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. She stared at him.

“I’m sorry?” She glanced back at the piece of parchment and her eyes widened. "I...what?"

“Professor, we’re in the middle of a test. We need this time if we’re going to get more than…1%,” said Sirius. More baffled than annoyed, Sprout walked back into the classroom, defeated. Sirius felt a bit bad - it was only her first year teaching at Hogwarts, and she wasn’t really used to their tricks just yet. Ah, well. Worth it.

 

7th July, 1975

4.01pm

As soon as they got back to the common room, they were met by the foreboding presence of Remus Lupin. 

“Results. now. Sirius, you go first.”

“Charms EE, Transfiguration EE, History of Magic A. I’m so talented!” He jumped up on a chair and grinned cockily.

“You barely passed History of Magic and didn’t get a single outstanding, you fool. Peter?”

“Charms A, Transfiguration A, History of Magic P. Boo.”

“Come on, Pete! We did so much History of Magic revision!” said Remus. Peter shrugged. He didn’t seem too fussed about his results. Remus sighed and turned to James. “Save me.”

“Charms EE, Transfiguration O, History of Magic…” James hesitated.

“Don’t try to hide from this, it’ll only make it worse for you.”

James mumbled something.

“Speak up, bitch.”

“…D.”

Sirius gasped. “You finally got the D!”

“Shut it, Sirius. James Fleamont Potter, what the hell happened?”

“Didn’t revise the Goblin Rebellions.”

“That was what the entire test was on, you idiot!” Remus was dying.

“I know. Hence. D. Don’t, Sirius, you’re the gay one—”

“FOOL.”

 

8th July, 1975

11.49pm

“I can’t believe it’s our last day again,” sighed Sirius. It was just him and James again. Lily, Peter, and Remus had gone to find the hidden swimming pool. They were in the Room of Requirement, which had become a huge ball pit, because they were two years old. They’d brought the entirety of the rest of their Firewhiskey stash (split equally with the other Marauders, of course), which was a single bottle (now lying empty on the side of the ball pit).

“You’re like…floating. On top of the balls,” said James in wonder.

“Floating on top of the balls is my middle name,” said Sirius with a wink. James gagged.

“You are DISGUSTING.”

“YEET,” he whooped. “Hey, where did Marly and Dorcas go?”

“Forbidden Forest. Probably making out,” said James, trying to wiggle around and get himself horizontal. “Speaking of making out!”

“Oh, god.” Sirius retreated.

“There anything you want to tell me?” he asked, a smirk on his face.

“…No. Maybe.” Sirius’ cheeks went a bit pink.

“Ah HA, I KNEW IT!”

“Oh, but isn’t there something you ought to tell me?” Sirius regained…some sort of composure and deflected.

“You’re avoiding the question! What could I possibly—”

“Lily.” Sirius said in a sing-song voice.

“You already know I like her! I’ve asked her out…like, multiple times! And got rejected.”

“Ohohoho, but that’s just stupid bravado. You really like her. Like…actually,” he said. 

James snorted. “Pah! That is…folly! Simple foolishness!”

“Why are you fancy-talking? If you keep doing that you’re never getting any information out of me.”

“Fine! I may…have a slight crush on Evans. A real one.”

“HO HO,” cried Sirius.

“Alright…Santa Claus, calm down.” James’ ears were bright red. “Your turn.”

“……………………….I lied. There’s nothing I have no emotions—” Sirius turned to run, forgetting he was in a ball pit.

“LIAR,” yelled James, and tackled him. “Actually! How do I know nothing about you?”

“You don’t know nothing. I share!” insisted Sirius.

“…I know one secret about you and I bullied you into it at 3am in a tent.”

Sirius thought for a second. “Actually, yeah, that’s fair.”

“So! Share! It’s time! For sharing! It’s share time!”

“Boo. This is offensive.”

“Tell me tell me tell me tell me tell me—”

“Fine! I…have. A crush. On someone.” Sirius sounded like he was in physical pain.

“This should not be this hard for you!” James was part surprised, part slightly exasperated. Sirius didn’t say anything. “…Who is it?” His tone was encouraging and slightly patronising.

“HhhhHHHhhhhhghhghghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.”

“Is that my buzzer noise from the revision game?” 

“It’s Remus. OH my gOD I SAID IT THIS IS THE WORST THING THAT’S EVER HAPPENED TO ME OH my FUCK.”

James chuckled. “You’re such a fool.”

“But like—I don’t know if it’s a friend crush or…a crush crush.”

“A…a friend crush?” James looked at him hopelessly.

“Like, I just like him as a person a lot.”

James stared at him.

“You know! Like I just want to be better friends!”

“How…how do you want to be better friends with Remus? You’ve shared a dorm for four years and literally done everything together.”

“I…well, I’m not as close to Remus as I am to you, am I?”

“That’s a fair point,” said James. He suddenly realised he was drunk in a ball pit. What a life.

“Anyway—I told you something. Whoop de doo. I don’t even know if it’s real.”

“I’ll tell you something, mate—I’ve seen the way you look at him.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Sirius furrowed his eyebrows. 

James sighed. “Nothing.”

“Hey. Last day.” Sirius sounded…more cast down, than anything else.

“Hell yeah.” James gave him a half-hearted grin. Somehow, this end of year felt less…triumphant. Maybe, James thought…it was because Gryffindor didn’t win the FUCKING HOUSE CUP. “Oi, mate.”

“What?” Sirius hopped up onto the side of the ball pit.

“Do you…want to come stay at mine in the summer again?”

Sirius swallowed. “…Yeah.” More than anything.

“Padfoot—when are you going to actually talk to me about your family? I know they’re assholes, and all that, but you’ve never actually…talked about it. Isn’t keeping it pent up worse?”

Sirius said nothing. 

“Sirius—”

“Drop it.” There was an unusual hostility in his voice. James looked hurt, but didn’t reply. Sirius got up and left. James tried and failed to follow him, and was left awkwardly flailing in the ball pit.

 

9th July, 1975

3.06am

“Why’s he stroppy?” whispered Remus to James, over Peter’s snoring. He had stayed up, and witnessed Sirius’ dramatic closing of his curtains firsthand. James shrugged unconvincingly. “Oh, come on, what’d you do?”

“I asked about his family and he got pissy.”

“Oh. Is he that sensitive about it? I mean…he’s told me a bit on his own. I didn’t think…”

“He’s told you stuff?” James looked surprised. 

“Well, kind of. A bit.” Remus shrugged. “I guess I’m a good listener. I know where to push things and where to leave it.”

James looked at him oddly. “Didn’t you have no friends as a child?”

“Don’t you have no friends now?”

James made an insulted, if slightly incoherent sound, which caused Peter to grunt in his sleep. He lowered his voice. “Rude. But—no offence, but he’s…”

“Closer to you?” Remus smirked.

“Well…yeah.”

“Awww, is ickle Jamesie getting jealous? His boyfriend’s off talking to other people—”

James chuckled. “That’s not what I mean, you twat.”

“Well, what did you mean?” 

He had a little smile on his face. “He’s opening up to someone, at least.”

Remus looked at him. “Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww—”

“Shut the FUCK UP, LUPIN,” came Peter’s angry voice. 

Chapter Text

31st July, 1975

12.42pm

“MY DARLING DEAREST!” cried Sirius as James opened the door, clearly buzzing with excitement, a bit like an overexcited dog. Or an overexcited eight-year-old.

“SUGARPLUM, YOU’RE HERE!” 

“Sirius! We were just about to have lunch,” said Euphemia. 

Sirius settled in so easily to the Potter routine - probably because he spent more time over there than he did in his actual house. Euphemia was basically his second mother. He had an…amicable relationship with Fleamont, though there were occasional nags about how he needed to ‘cut that damn hair’. Euphemia called him ‘dear’. Fleamont called him ‘son’. The first time he got ‘son’ he nearly cried with happiness, which got him both an understanding clap on the shoulder (now he knew where James got it from) and a little reprimand for tracking mud into the house. He actually helped Euphemia with the dishes, and even cooking sometimes (he had her masala recipe written down in an actual literal recipe book, which he had defaced with random notes). He sometimes helped Fleamont with gardening— well, when he was asked. He was a Lazy Disaster Gay in his final form. James obviously also helped, though…mainly out of fear of, well, either Sirius or his dad. James was obviously like a brother to him; he had been since day one, really. The stark contrast of their warm cottage, with acres of orchard and field and lake, to the bleak, depressing house that was Grimmauld Place, only made him appreciate when he was with the Potters more.

“So, how’s your…little cult, huh?” asked Euphemia.

“It’s not a cult, Mum, it’s a gang,” said James.

She sighed. “Do you have gang meetings? Do you need me to send you more samosas for the gang members?”

“Mum, if there is one thing I don’t need more of it’s samosas.”

“So you’re saying you need more pakoras?”

“nO.”

 

23rd August, 1975

11.11am

“IT’S REMUS,” came a yell from inside, before Remus even had a chance to knock on the door. Euphemia opened the door, used to their weirdly perceptive tendencies.

“Moony, you’re just in time, we’re going to go into town and loiter like delinquents—” James was cut off by a stern look from his mother. “I mean, go into libraries and read for hours. Oh my god, you’re so tall — how does this even happen?”

“I don’t know about delinquency, but I’m down for the library thing. Where’s Sirius?” asked Remus, this time unaccompanied.

“Oh, I think he’s just getting dressed. He’s always late getting up, you know that.”

Sirius came bounding down the stairs, as if on cue, and immediately stopped in his tracks when he saw Remus, causing him to stumble down the last step and nearly fall over.

Remus had surpassed awkward-tall, surpassed uncomfortable, and had hit 6 foot - also known as hot tall. I mean, his disturbingly long limbs still made him look kind of awkward, but he was actually, properly, a head taller than Sirius now. FurthermcFuckingmore, he had gotten a fucking haircut, shaving his sides, which only emphasised the fact that he now had a goddamn jawline. This may have been slightly undercut by the fact that he was wearing a beige cardigan, but at least he hadn’t changed in that respect.

Sirius suddenly had business somewhere very far away from Remus.

Remus pulled a face. “What was that?”

James was trying very hard not to smile, but just shrugged.

“James, I’m going to go try and sort out the laundry. I want you out of the house by twelve, and back by four. If you die, then know you deserve it.” Euphemia planted a kiss on his head. 

“Thanks, Mum. Oi, Remus.”

“What?”

“No offence, but me and Sirius kind of have a cool vibe going on here, and you’re over here with a cardigan.”

Remus looked at him, concerned. “What are you saying?”

“You know what I’m saying, Lupin. Take off the damn cardie.”

“I’ll be cOLD!” he protested. “I will freeze to death!”

James looked around the room until his eyes settled on something. “ohohohohohohohohoho”

Remus glanced where he was looking and rolled his eyes. "No."

“Yes.”

“No way in hell - I give off a non-intimidating vibe, that’s my whole thing—”

“Come oooooon—”

“No!”

“We’re not leaving until you put it on.”

“Oh my god, fine.”

Sirius came down the stairs again, only to see Remus John Lupin wearing his FUCKING LEATHER JACKET.

He made an incoherent noise. He felt like he’d been punched in the lungs, which wasn’t necessarily physically possible, but whatever. It’s what he felt like. James walked over and grabbed him by the collar. “Let’s GO!” He dragged him out of the house.

 

23rd August, 1975

2.49pm

“This is...fucking boring,” said Remus, leaning against a brick wall. Sirius was still not quite over it, and James was highly amused.

“Oh look, a bookstore,” said James woodenly. “Wow. It looks like I have some…errands...to run, so you two go ahead and go in.” He shoved them in the vague direction of a Waterstones. Remus looked at him oddly as he literally sprinted in the other direction, with no clear direction in mind. Sirius looked murderous.

"You've never run an errand in your life, Prongs," Remus yelled after him, but he was already gone.

They sort of…awkwardly shuffled in the vague direction of the store.

“What is up with you?” asked Remus, suddenly taking actual initiative and starting to walk properly. “You’re being weird.”

“Weird? Me? Never. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?"

They got a disapproving look from a granny. For what, except existing (or quoting Shakespeare), they did not know.

“I do bite my thumb, sir! What is wrong with you?” Remus elbowed him. 

Sirius sighed. "But do you bite your thumb at us, sir?" He paused for a second. Then, with more purpose: “Hey. C’mon. Books.”

After about an hour, James went into the bookstore to try and find them, as they’d literally been in there for…well, about an hour. 

“Prongs! Help, I’ve lost Moony—” Sirius was shushed by an elderly woman. “Sorry, grandma. I forgot about that huge sign that says ‘talk as much as you want, unless you’re a teenager’.”

“Padfoot! No! Leave the…geriatric lady alone! Also—what do you mean you’ve lost Moony?”
“I mean I’ve lost him!”

They did a thorough comb of the bookstore, and eventually found him a corner, reading some Jane Austen, that he absolutely had not paid for.

“Jesus H. Christ,” sighed James. “You’re hopeless, Moons.”

"Maybe so, but you two are idiots. You know that, right?" Remus shut the book and put it down on the windowsill he was sitting on.

"Hey, James?" Sirius elbowed him.

"What?"

"Is the law on our side if I say ay?"

Remus snorted and James just looked confused. "...I...probably not?"

"No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I bite my thumb, sir." Sirius folded his arms dramatically.

"WHy are you calling each other sir so much? What am I missing? Am I going to die?" James was on the verge of tears.

"Do you quarrel, sir?" Remus stood up.

"Quarrel, sir?" Sirius looked amused. "No, sir."

"If you do, sir, I am for you: I serve as good a man as you."

"Guys! What is happening? Who do you serve, Remus? Is this, like...a kinky thing?"

"No better." Sirius ignored him.

"Alright, that's enough. If we keep going like this Mercutio'll die by Tybalt's hand and I can't fucking deal with that," said Remus. "He was my first crush when I was little."

"I..." Sirius stared at him. "Mercutio? Was...what? Why did you read Romeo and Juliet when you were little?"

"That was Romeo and Juliet?" James looked baffled. 

 

24th August, 1975

12.04am

Sirius snuck out of the bedroom, into the rickety hallway. James followed him out, thinking he p r o b a b l y wanted to talk about something. 

“What the fUCK WAS TODAY ABOUT?” whisper-yelled Sirius. Yep, James was right.

“What part?” asked James.

“All of it. All. Of. It.”

“The leather jacket was just me making fun of you.”

“No shit!” Sirius felt out of breath. “It was cruel. What—what was the bookstore.”

“A wise man once said…’if Remus is going to fall in love with anyone, it’d be in a bookstore’,” said James.

“That was me, and I am decidedly not wise—Remus likes to go off on his own and just read,” sighed Sirius. “I…I did think you were right, for a second, but then I realised he’s the BIGGEST DORK IN THE WORLD. More to the point, why are you trying to get us together?”

“I’ve been trying to get you together for like…four months.”

“Well, you’ve been doing a shit job,” said Sirius. 

“OHOHOHOHO,” said James suddenly. “You have just admitted…” Pause for effect, Jamesie, pause for effect.

Sirius looked disturbed. “What?”

“That you are also trying to get you together.”

Sirius gaped for a second. “Wh—I—no—”

“hA H A!” cried James triumphantly, but was silenced when Remus appeared at the door, murder in his eyes.

Potter.” This came out as a murderous growl, which was disturbing for all involved. James stopped for a second, stared at Remus, (literally) jumped, and dashed off in the other in the other direction.  Sirius yelled in fear when he saw Remus, and immediately ran off after James. Remus followed. “Running will only make it worse.” 

Sirius scampered after James out the back door (closing the kitchen door so the cat - and also the Remus - couldn’t get out) into the garden. Remus, mildly irritated, opened and closed the kitchen door into the garden. He saw the figures of James and Sirius sort of…frantically sprinting into the woods. Did they actually think he was going to murder them? If so, that would definitely be a fair assumption.

Sirius and James were running faster than they’d ever run before in his life (in Sirius’ case, this wasn’t much of an achievement given that he’d never run before in his life at all). James looked over his shoulder and saw Remus just kind of…casually walking after them. 

“Why - is he - so - terrifying—” panted Sirius. “He - literally - wears - socks - to bed.”

“THAT ONLY MAKES HIM MORE TERRIFYING,” said James, infinitely fitter than Sirius. “Who the fuck wears socks to bed?”

“True — why - is he going - so slowly? Why - are we - going so - fast?” Sirius was slowly dying. 

“You need to do some damn sport at some point in your life, goddammit. Here, we’re way ahead, let’s stop here.”

“Oh thank God,” said Sirius, stopping and immediately flopping onto the ground. James leant against a tree, panting only slightly. 

“Do you do any exercise at all now after you quit Quidditch?” 

“I didn’t even do Quidditch,” said Sirius. 

“I - what - what does that even mean, I was there — AH OH MY GOD HOW DID YOU GET HERE SO FAST—”

“Long legs,” said Remus, having caught up to them already. 

“YOU’RE LIKE ONE OF THOSE FREAKISH SPIDERS JESUS FUCKING CHRIST— What are they called?”

Sirius thought for a second and gasped. “A daddy long legs!”

James stared at him. “Who looked at a spider and thought ‘daddy’?”

“I don’t know. Some kinky bitch. Anyway — imminent danger!” Sirius scrambled to get up, and immediately fell over. 

“Bitch, what do you think I’m going to do to you? I am a lanky bastard with no motor skills,” said Remus. “I’m literally in a jumper that says '#1 mum'.”

“That’s—” James paused. “That’s fair, actually. Why are we scared of you? Sirius?”

Sirius shrugged.

“You guys are…so weird. Come on, let’s go back to the house, you fools.”

Chapter Text

25th August, 1975

2.28am

Remus awoke to Sirius shaking him. He sat up groggily. “Do you want to die?”

“No, but I do want to show you something.”

Remus let out a very extended groan. “This better be good.”

“Come on.” Sirius grabbed his arm and pulled him out of the room, careful not to wake up James or Peter (who had arrived that morning). Sirius dived under James’ bed and grabbed two bottles of Firewhiskey. They snuck out of the door into the orchard. 

“Where are we going?” Remus clearly just wanted to go back to bed. Sirius chucked a Firewhiskey at him. 

“It’ll be good, I promise!” 

Remus dropped the bottle. “You know I can’t catch shit.” Remus unscrewed the top and took a large swig. 

“Ooh, look at Remus, breaking rules and drinking after midnight. What a delinquent,” said Sirius, who had already nearly finished his Firewhiskey. 

Remus just looked at him, partly in disappointment, partly in…gay.

They were walking down a path lined with trees, towards a small forest. When they got to the end of the path, Sirius gasped.

“What? Oh, they’re building a road.” Remus Lupin, ever-observant.

“They’ve bUILT THE FUCKING ROAD. That wasn’t here last time.”

“Where does it go?” Remus leant and peered down it. “It’s the Road to Nowhere.”

“Remus! That was released in 1985! You’re not allowed to say that yet!”

Remus gave him an odd look. “You’re the weirdest person.”

“Hey, let’s take a detour! See where it goes.”

Remus, having consumed liquid courage, grinned. “Only if I can race you.”

“BRING IT ON, LANKY.”

“3…2…1…”

They sprinted down the road, until they saw a distant light, coming from an ominously industrial-looking square building.

“What — in the name of fuck — is that?” wheezed Sirius.

“Oh my god it’s an alien housing facility.”

“If we run past that we’re definitely going to die.”

“Let’s go back.”

“Yeah.”

Sirius put his arm around Remus’ shoulders and they walked back down the road. They’d only run about 200 metres, because they were idiots.

“Wait there was a point to us coming out here, wasn’t there?” said Sirius. 

“Yeah, except you wouldn’t tell me what it fucking was—”

“Oh, I’ve remembered — never mind, confusion over.”

Sirius took a right, into the forest, down a gravel path, until they came to the bank of a fairly slow-moving burbling brook. There was a gap in the trees, and you could see the waning moon surrounded by stars. It was a surprisingly clear night - not a cloud in the sky. The light of the moon lit up the dewy grass, and made the river glint. Sirius sat on the edge of the brook and took off his shoes. He dipped his feet into the cool water.

Remus didn’t know what to say. “Where did you find this place?”

“James’ mum and dad used to let us run around here until we tired ourselves out. Which, of course, was never. Anyway, I came across this place a couple of years ago, but I’d only ever come here in the day until a few days ago. It’s…it’s nice, right?”

Remus chuckled. “You could say that.”

Sirius rolled up his pyjama bottoms and got up. He wobbled a bit on the steep bank, and carefully stepped onto a well-placed rock, and then stepped into the river. He tottered a little. The current was stronger than he expected.

“You’re going to fall, you fool,” said Remus, sitting down on the bank.

“Am not. You should come in, it’s nice.” Sirius stretched his arm out to Remus. “C’mon.”

“No way in hell. You will absolutely drop me.”

“Come oon! It’ll be fine, I promise.”

“No.”

“I’m not going to stop whining until you come in. Trust me.”

Remus reluctantly got up and held onto Sirius’ arm. “If I fall in, I’m going to kill you.” He tentatively stood on the same rock that Sirius had, but it shifted, and Remus nearly fell right into the water. Sirius moved forward deftly and caught him - rather less romantically than he’d intended, but caught him all the same.

“Fucking hell, you nearly broke my arm—” Remus sighed. “Thanks.” He got up, blushing.

Sirius gave him a fond look. They were rather closer than they’d usually be, Remus still hanging onto Sirius’ hand. Remus looked back at him, not breaking eye contact, until Sirius went red and looked away. He moved his hand up to his hair and started fiddling with it. Goddammit, Sirius. 

Pregnant pause. 

“So how’re you—” “What’s your middle name?” They spoke at the same time. 

“Fine—” “You know my middle name, Pads.”

Sirius grinned. “Pads?”

“Oh my gOD. Ignore it. You always make fun of me when I do this!” Remus gave him a little shove, and Sirius nearly fell over.

“Oi! It’s because it’s adorable!” Sirius chuckled.

“I am not adorable. I am terror and hate.”

“Says the man who just nearly fell into a river, but instead fell into my aRMS.”

Remus was trying very hard not to laugh. “I did not fall into your arms, you wanker, I nearly fell and grabbed your hand.”

“Ohoho! Dress it up however you want, Moons, you fell right into my loving embrace…and at the same time…you fell for me! Admit it!” Sirius was in dramatic mode now.

“Yeah, well, maybe I did.” Remus spoke without thinking, and once he’d realised what he’d said, went bright red. He’d realised he didn’t even sound remotely sardonic. There was a pause. Sirius’ face somehow contained surprise, confusion, and something else. …Hope?

Suddenly he laughed, and shoved him. “Your sarcasm has reached new levels, Moony.”

“I have a talent.” Laugh it off, Lupin, laugh it off. 

“Fuck, I'm tired. It’s late. We should get back.”

Remus nodded. 

They walked back to the cottage in silence.

 

25th August, 1975

9.41am

Remus walked downstairs with the other boys groggily. He really regretted staying up with Sirius. “Morning, Mrs P,” said Peter.

“Morning, boys. Ah, Remus - a letter came for you this morning,” she said, handing him a heavy letter. He opened it, curious, and a badge emblazoned with a ‘P’ fell out. He stared at it in horror.

“No.”

James and Sirius whooped, and Peter thumped him on the back. 

“No way in—” Remus glanced at Euphemia nervously. “…Heck.”

“Well done, mate!” cried James. “Ahh, Remus is a Prefect! My boy’s growing up!”

“Prongs, I’m older than you.”

“Only by seventeen days!”

“Why would Dumbledore make me a Prefect? I mean, I may be the most responsible of you lot, but that’s not saying much. In fact, it’s saying nothing.”

“Oh, come on, you’re way better than us, mate,” said Peter, sitting down at the table. 

“Yeah, you actually show up to classes! And do your homework!” James said. “I mean — we do that as well, obviously, Mum—”

“Oh, save it, James, I get the letters from Minerva,” said Euphemia, and went off to fry some eggs. The fact that she and McGonagall were on a first-name basis was somewhat unnerving to the whole room.

“Seriously, man, you deserve it,” said Sirius, with a grin. “I’m just glad that it wasn’t James.”

“James is a bully and an all-around twat, he’d never get into a position of any power,” said Peter, to James’ displeasure and Remus and Sirius’ agreement.

“Bloody hell.”

 

 

Chapter Text

YEAR FIVE

 

1st September, 1975

6.33pm

Sirius stood up on the table. “ATTENTION.” He banged a fork against his glass. It shattered in his hand. “Ah, shit. Whatever! Announcement! I’m GAY.”

Some looked disgusted, some looked impressed, most just ignored him, because it was Sirius Black, Attention Whore.

 

1st September, 1975

7.51pm

Remus caught Lily up after dinner. “Oi! Ginge! Can we talk?”

Ginge?” She looked mildly affronted.

“I said what I said. Is there somewhere we can talk? I need to talk to you,” he said.

“Sorry, what do you want? Can you repeat?” she asked.

“To talk.”

“Sorry, I didn’t quite get that. You want to talk, okay. To - to who?” She was trying not to laugh now.

“You!”

“And what do you want to do again?”

“Talk.”

“And who are you talking to?”

“YOU.”

“Sorry, what—”

 

1st September, 1975

8.03pm

“The girls’ bathroom?” Remus leant against the wall uncomfortably. 

“Oh, come on,” Lily said, dragging him into the bathroom. “No one comes in here. Hey, Myrtle!”

“Oh, look at the mean, ugly, ginge, come to laugh at me again!” cried Moaning Myrtle, and dived into a toilet.

“Wow. I’m not the only one who calls you ginge,” said Remus. “What’d you do to piss her off so much?”

“I pointed out her glasses once. I was eleven,” Lily sighed.

“Goddamn, you ice cold bitch.”

“I know, right? So, what did you want to talk about?” She folded her arms.

“Alright. I can do this. I may not be…as straight…as previously stated.” Remus had an odd expression on his face. His jaw was very tight.

“Okay.” Lily nodded. 

Remus exhaled sharply. “Okay?”

Lily didn’t respond, but only looked at him. 

“What the fuck does okay mean?”

“…Exclamation used to express agreement or acceptance.”

There was a heavy silence.

“I’m not Sirius. It’s not…funny,” Remus said. Lily only now seemed to pick up on the tension in the air. “I feel like I should’ve made a pun out of that.”

“I didn’t think you—”

“Did you know Muggles used to give you a life sentence in prison for being…well, liking men?”

“…Well…yeah, but Remus, that was ages ago—”

“Eight years.”

Lily paused. “What?”

“Eight years ago. And…a man and a man can’t get married, obviously. Marly and Dorcas certainly won’t be, either.”

“Well, that’ll change soon. People are way more open minded.”

“It’s legal to openly encourage homophobic hate crimes.”

Lily furrowed her brow. “You’ve done your research.”

Remus swallowed. “No shit. Who do you think I am?”

Lily stepped forward. Remus stepped back. Surprise and hurt flashed across her face briefly, but it was replaced with a neutral expression. “Remus.”

“Fucking—what?”

“It’s all fine. You’re…fine. You don’t have to come out to everyone else if you don’t want to. You don’t have to tell me anything if you don’t want to. You don’t have to worry about being…attacked, or laughed at, or anything at all. I’m really glad you told me, though. Just know that I still love you, Sirius still loves you, Potter still loves you, Peter still loves you, fucking etcetera. I’m sorry for pressuring you before.”

“Can’t help but feel the ‘Potter’ in the middle of that kind of took away from the sentiment,” said Remus. “You suck at comfort, but I’m loving the effort.”

Lily chuckled dryly. “Christ, Remus.”

“…Thanks, Lily. I actually…do want to talk to you about something else.”

“More talking? Goddamn, someone's chatty today.”

“Shut up," he said with a laugh."Okay. I—I may have a slight thing for Sirius.”

“OHOHOHO I KNEW IT—”

“You sound like James.” Oops. Lily was going to hate that.

“RUDE, HOW DARE YOU—”

“Back to the point! He doesn’t like me back, though,” he said, matter-of-factly. “And it’s just a crush, anyway.”

Lily stared at him. “How do you know he doesn’t like you back?”

“He’s completely out of my league! Also, I feel like he likes someone else.”

“Who?”

“I don’t know. Peter reckons Davey and him have a thing.”

“Davey? Davey Gudgeon?” Lily made a face.

“Yeah.”

“I don’t…I guess they’ve gotten closer recently, but I feel like Davey’s straight.”

“I didn’t say they were together, I said Sirius might like him.” Remus shrugged. "Also, you have straight girl gaydar."

“…That's fair, but I don’t see Sirius liking Davey. Davey's a prick.”

“So's Sirius. James thinks they’re together,” he said.

Lily pulled a face. “Now that I know for a fact isn’t true.”

“…How? Explain?”

“Uhh—” Lily stumbled. 

Remus sighed. “He thinks me and Sirius are a thing too, doesn’t he?”

“Yes. Yep. Yes, entirely.”

“Fantastic. I mean, he doesn’t show it, y’know,” said Remus.

“Yeah—why did you think he thought Sirius and Davey were a thing?” asked Lily.

“He literally asked me directly if I thought they were together.”

“Huh?” Lily seemed really taken aback by this.

“Yeah, he was making fun of them because they’re…they’re close, I guess.” Getting a little bitter there, Remus. “Afterwards, he just came up to me and asked me if I thought they were really dating.”

“Why would he…” Lily shook her head. “Back to the point. They aren’t together, and why the hell do you think Sirius likes him? Davey’s just a background character. He’s barely been mentioned this entire fic.”

Remus sighed. “You’re not making any sense. But they used to be on the Quidditch team together, and they got close after third year!”

“Even though the author didn’t mention it at all. That means it was completely insignificant!” cried Lily.

“You’re breaking the fourth wall more than Sirius now, Lily, it needs to stop.”

“Sorry. Is Davey even…boy-inclined?” she asked.

“No idea. If he is, I’d be surprised if he wanted to come out. Today, things aren’t exactly…wonderful for people like them. Fuck - us, I mean, us. In fact, I’m surprised we know so many people who are…y’know. Out and proud.” 

Lily put a hand on his arm. “You’re good. Hey, what prompted this, anyway?”

“Lily?” His face hardened.

 Lily looked concerned. “Yeah?”

“Your nails are a gift from God. They look amazing.”

“I know, right? Also - subtle changing of the subject there, Remus. Come on. You can do better than that.”

Remus sighed. “I’m a talent.”

“Anyway, I’m going to push it, because if it was going too far, you’d just tell me to fuck off rather than trying and failing to change the topic. Come on. What brought about this revelation?”

“You know me so well. Well…I’ve been having the Big Gay Crisis for like…three years. Well, the Big Bi Crisis, I guess. Because - to clarify I am not gay, I'm bi. Probably. Oh, god. Am I?"

"Remus! Back to the point!"

"Right, right. The Sirius thing? Long story short, he was dicking around in a shallow river at 2am, convinced me to try and get in with him—yes, I know how it sounds, but it was entirely not like that—then I fell, he caught me, made a joke about me ‘falling for him’, and then I agreed.”

Lily stood there for a second, baffled into silence, and then — “What?”

Remus gave a helpless shrug. “He said ‘you’ve fallen for me’, and I said ‘yeah, maybe I have’. He played it off as a joke, though.”

“Okay, I’m going to need context on this whole thing.”

“…No context to need, really. He woke me up in the middle of the night, we went on a walk through the orchard and went to this river he used to go to with the Potter family. It was pretty. That’s all the context.”

“Alright—so, let me get this straight. The boy you like took you on a moonlit walk through an orchard to a pretty river full of childhood memories, keeping in mind that Sirius doesn’t share at all, caught you in his arms and then OUTRIGHT FLIRTED WITH YOU, and you think…you think he likes someone else?”

“…It sounds a lot more romantic when you put it like that.”

“LUPIN, YOU ARE THE MOST USELESS GAY—”

“Calm down! It really…wasn’t—it was just as friends,” said Remus, who was bright red.

"Just as friends--" Lily rubbed her temples. “Remus.”

“What? You don’t have any proof! I can’t — Lily, he’s way out of my league. I mean, look at him! He’s…he’s fit as hell. I mean…his face. And hair, and the eyeliner, and the fucking leather jacket, I—”

“Alright, alright, I get it. But…Remus, he’s not really out of your league. Not anymore, anyway.”

Remus pulled a face. “What?”

“You…I mean, you used to look like a small weasel with really long limbs—”

“That’s a horrifying image, but a fair one.”

“But now, you’ve got a jawline, your face has always been kind of attractive, you’ve grown into your lankiness, your hair frames your face better now - basically, you’re hot.”

Remus snorted. “Sure.”

"I mean, your personality has always been crabby grandpa, but that's fine. He doesn't have to talk to you."

"Lily, my personality is the one thing I'm pretty sure he likes, as we've been friends for just over four years."

Lily sighed. “You said I didn’t have any proof he likes you, right? You want proof? I’ll give you proof, bitch.” She started walking off. 

“What — how are you getting proof? Oh, dear god. Lily? LILY!”

Chapter Text

1st September, 1975

8.28pm

“Sirius, can I talk to you?” Lily grabbed him by the arm.

“Do I have a choice?” He accepted his fate.

“Nope.” She dragged him to a corner of the common room.

“Thought not. What’ve I done now?”

“Nothing—you know what, this might be better to talk about in private. Don’t worry, I’m not going to yell at you or anything.”

“Uh, press X to doubt.” Sirius looked a little apprehensive. “Room of Requirement?”

“What’s that?”

 

1st September, 1975

8.40pm

“Holy shit.” Lily looked around in awe at the room that had materialised before her eyes. “Why didn’t you tell me about this before?” She shoved him.

He laughed. “Just didn’t come up. So…you wanted to shout at me?”

“I’m not going to shout at you!”

“She says, shouting.”

“Point…taken,” she said, and tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. “I actually wanted to talk to you about Remus.”

His face changed from relaxed to worried in 0.0003 seconds. “Is he okay? Are you worried about him?”

“No, nothing like that - god, you’re like an overbearing mother. He’s fine. I was just…how do I put this lightly? I can’t. Okay, I’m just going for blunt. There is some overt romantic tension between you two lately.” Some might think she'd try and go about getting proof that Sirius liked Remus in a slightly subtler manner, but Lily Evans didn't deal with bullshit.

Sirius stared at her for a second, grabbed a glass of water from somewhere, took a sip, and spat it out. “J’t’me excusez-moi?”

“That was…entirely incorrect, but it’s nice that you tried.”

“I’m not interested in French, I’m just gay. And I’m not interested in Remus, I’m just gay! Did James tell you something weird? I am NOT into Remus. Absolutely not. Never never ever never. I’ve never even thought about it. With his…fucking stupid hair, and long-ass limbs. And…face. And weird stick body. And jawline. And hair--I already said hair, dammit. And…legs. And lips. What? I meant…eyes. No—ears. What? Where did you even get that idea? Why would you think that? Who’s Remus? Who even are yoU?”

Lily put a hand on his shoulder. “Sirius.”

“Sorry. But the point is! I am not into Remus!”

“Alright, you’re a bad liar to the point where I’m like…is it actually a double-bluff? Or…a triple-bluff? You can’t be this bad at lying, seriously, I’ve seen you in front of McGonagall and you are scary good at it.” Lily folded her arms.

Sirius gave an awkward thumbs up. “I’ve never lied in my life. How…dare you, sir.”

“You know I won’t tell anyone, right? I may not be James, but I think we’re close enough that you can share minor details of your life with me.”

Sirius swallowed. “Is this minor?”

“…So it’s major, I see.”

“Gaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh,” he groaned. “Maybe.”

“You can trust me, Sirius.” Lily patted him on the arm. Somehow, she managed to make that not awkward.

“…I really don’t know how you want me to say it. You…may be slightly correct.” Sirius was bright red. “But Remus is straight.”

“Do you know that for sure?” Lily asked. How to do this without outing Remus? “And you’re not exactly one to be hung up on that.”

“…I guess…when it’s just some boy, it’s sort of…easier. There’s no strings. But now…I don’t want to make him uncomfortable, I don’t want to fuck up the friendship. I don’t know.”

Lily looked at him, analysing, for a few seconds. “What happened to the confidence?”

“Darling, I am all confidence,” said Sirius, slipping back to normal for a couple seconds. “But maybe…not around Remus.”

“Is that so? I heard you two went on a moonlit walk together during the summer.”

“Oh, right, that. Yeah. That was…sort of me…trying to drop a bit of a hint.” Sirius laughed uncomfortably. “He’s kind of oblivious, though.”

“Okay, out of interest, what happened that night?”

“I woke him up, we drank…a bit, I showed him this…river place. It’s pretty. That’s…sort of it. It’s not that big of a story.” Sirius shrugged.

“Right — from what heard, he fell into your arms, you made a joke about him falling for you, and then he agreed. Who were you saying was oblivious, again?” Lily put her hands on her hips. This was turning into a haranguing.

“Oh, that was a joke. In the context, and knowing Remus, it was—it was definitely a joke.” For all his definite words, Sirius didn’t sound sure.

“Alright. I think…you might want to just tell him,” said Lily. Sirius shuddered.

“I’VE NEVER FELT AN EMOTION IN MY LIFE—“

“Sirius, you cried watching Wizard of Oz three days ago.”

“That’s not my fault - Judy Garland makes everyone feel things!”

“Whatever. I think you should just tell him, Sirius.”

“Nonononononononononononono—“

“Fine. Maybe step up the hints, then? Sometimes you just have to fucking go for things, Sirius. It’s been five damn years.”

“Hguhhhhhghhghhhh.”

“I can’t say I get it. I mean, I’ve never pined after someone for a full quarter of my life. But I know you two need to get on with it.”

 

3rd September, 1975

11.55am

“Why do we need a new Divination classroom anyway?” panted Peter, unused to the huge amount of stairs.

“Who knows?” Sirius started climbing the ladder. “I hope to fuck there aren’t any more stairs after this.

“Good morning, children…” A wispy voice emerged from heavily-perfumed air.

James looked around the pinkish classroom, a confused look on his face. “What the fuck is this?”

“My name is Professor Trelawney…I am your new Divination teacher.”

“What happened to Professor I can’t remember her name?” asked Sirius.

“She left…mysteriously. Sit down, sit down.”

James, Peter and Sirius sat uncomfortably round a little round table. “She’s a bit of a wacko, eh?” said James.

“Mr Potter, I would appreciate if you would not talk in my class,” Trelawney said. “Today we will be reading tea leaves.”

“Professor, we did this back in Third Year,” said Dorcas, who didn’t know why she took Divination.

“I understand your previous professor taught this particular subject…inadequately. Now, come and take a cup — do be careful with them. Particularly you, dear.” She pointed at Peter, who looked slightly offended. “Drink it, drain it, and give it to a partner to read the tea leaves.”

They each took a cup (Sirius diving in front of a gaggle of people to grab a pink cup, rather dramatically) and filled it with tea.

James downed his tea in one like it was a shot. “OH G O D IMMEDIATE REGRET IT’S REALLY HOT—”

“One thing me and tea have in common,” said Sirius, while simultaneously sighing at James’ ridiculousness. He was holding his cup like a French duchess. "Did you melt your oesophagus?"

“Is there such thing as throat aloe vera?” asked Peter, blowing on his tea to cool it down, like a normal person. “Probably not.”

“Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I need cold water,” said James, tears in his eyes.

“Sorry mate, I forgot my water bottle in the dorm.” Peter patted him on the back. “I wish Remus took Divination, he’d probably have one. Although knowing him, it would be full of either coffee or more tea.”

“What the hell is a water bottle?” asked Sirius.

Peter gave them an odd look. “What does it sound like?”

Sirius thought about it for a second. “That sounds really intuitive! Portable water!”

“Sirius, you’ve been to a fucking corner shop before,” said James, slightly less of a Clueless Wizard than Sirius.

“Oh, it’s one of those?” Sirius looked disappointed.

“Yes.” “Probably, I don’t know what you’re thinking about.”

After Sirius and Peter had finished their tea, and drained it properly (the first time Peter tried to drain it, his cup smashed. He had to get new tea and drink it over again. Peter didn’t even like tea), Sirius took Peter’s cup, James took Sirius, and Peter got James’.

“Okay, this bit looks a bit like a…hat?” Peter was struggling. “No, it’s an acorn. ‘Unexpected gold’? James, you’re about to get even richer. This is unfair. Ah, you’ve got a deer, too! That’s amazing.”

“I reckon you’ve got a rat too, Pete,” said Sirius. “That’s weird.”

“Ooh, Sirius, you’ve got a duck! No, it’s a sheep. A donkey? Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me — is it a dog?”

“Let me see that, dear!” Trelawney appeared, snatching the cup out of James’ hand. He looked a bit offended. She gasped, and clutched her heart. “Oh, my dear!” she cried, pointing at Sirius. “Oh, I am so sorry. Should I tell you? No, perhaps it is cruel…but is it crueler not to tell?”

“What’re you on about, Batty?” asked Sirius, rather unhappy that someone was out-dramatic-ing him. 

“Dear…you have…the Grim. The black dog…”

“SWEET,” yelled Sirius. James had party poppers. They stood up and just left. “THIS SUBJECT FUCKING SUCKS AND I'M GOING TO FAIL MY O.W.L ON PURPOSE.”

“What the fuck is a Grim, again?” asked Peter.

“Means he’s going to die,” said James.

“Oh. Hell yeah!”

 

3rd September, 1975

1.13pm

“PROFESSOR,” Sirius said. “It’s all fine — you don’t have to give me homework, I’m going to die.”

McGonagall stared at him.

“I got the Grim in Divination class. T—Trombone—Trampoline—whatsherface said I was going to die, so that’s 100% true. Death is coming for me. Could be tomorrow, could be next week. Who knows? Point is, I’m dead. No homework necessary.”

Divination,” sighed McGonagall. “Black, you will receive the homework. I assure you, if you die it need not be done.” 

 

8th September, 1975

2.04pm

I NEED ADVICE

If it’s not to do with DADA, I can’t help you.

It’s about boys

What the hell do I know about boys?

are you kidding? you’re Mr Ladykiller

Padfoot I have been in one relationship - with a girl - and it was a disaster.

JUST help

Fine what’s wrong

Alright so I’m sort of highkey crushing on a guy but he’s like…the most oblivious man in the world

and…?

How do I get him to realise I like him???????? before you answer you know i can’t do ‘direct’

If this guy’s as oblivious as you say you might actually have to be direct

I can’t

Who is it? Maybe you can get a friend to drop some better hints, the guy might think you’re joking

not telling also I have TRIED

Damn. This dude might be a lost cause. You considered just…moving on?

I’ve tried but I’m telling you man I really like him

Do you know if he’s gay? Or bi or whatever?

no but my gaydar’s good. It might just be wishful thinking though

Why don’t you ask him? It’d be a good way to figure out if he’s a homophobe and whether to drop him

do you like boys?

Yeah, like that. Were you practising? That’s adorable. You’re usually so confident with this stuff. Must be some boy.

oh my goooooooood

 

8th September, 1975

4.46pm

“Alright, so Lily knows about my…Moony situation,” said Sirius, leaning against a wall. “And she suggested dropping some more hints.”
“Oh, god,” said James. Sirius passed him the note and he skimmed it briefly. “Sweet Jesus.”

“I know, right?” Sirius sighed.

“You may have to just…tell him.”

“…I don’t think I can. I mean, the hints are basically just a way of gauging if he’s into me or not, and if he’s not picking it up at all? I don’t know, man.”

“Remus is the most unaware man in the world.” James crossed his arms. “And he also reveals nothing about his emotions, ever. Except that one time. And that one other time. But those don’t count.”

“Giving me confidence! Thanks, James.”

“You’re welcome,” he said, punching him in the shoulder.

 

13th September, 1975

11.51am

Davey’s cute, right?

I guess? He’s not exactly my type, is he?

what does that mean

It means he’s not my type. Idiot isn’t my type.

buT DEAREST! ARE YOU SAYING YOU DON’T LOVE ME?

You’re not an idiot. You’re just…an idiot.

what. also he’s a boy right

yes davey is a boy

he's a boy so he’s not your type?

mcgonagall is coming

 

james help me

what do you want

mixéd messages

Dude.

I’ve had to listen to you pining over Lily this whole time just help me

you’ve gotta do this alone

rude. hey do you think my family know I’m gay?

no? why would they

only bc i yelled it at the feast

you waited for the slytherins to leave you’re stupid but you’re not that stupid

i also wear the worst outfits in the world and eyeliner

stop freaking out about this. don’t you have pictures of Muggle women up in your room?

omg i have a beard

??? you’re 15?

Wrong type of beard, prongs

I’m so confused

 

13th September, 1975

2.39pm

hey baaaaaaaaabe

You’ve been spending too much time around Lily. Babe?

yes darling?

That’s not what I meant u bitch

love youuuuuuu

Love you too, Padfoot. Anyway, why are you passing notes in Potions? We’re literally meant to be making a potion. Hence. Potions.

but prongs is a little shit

Do your work.

Fine. bye, dearest love xxxxxx

You’re such an odd person.

Chapter Text

13th September, 1975

4.45pm

“Is this flirting?” asked Remus, leaning against the common room wall. Lily skimmed over the note, and gave him a look. “What?”

“Alright, let’s recap. He called you babe, then called you darling, then said he loved you, and finally called you his dearest love.”

“But it was a joke, wasn’t it?”

Lily sighed. “You have this tendency to ask me things and then defend the other side to whatever answer I give you.”

“That’s…fair.”

“I don’t think I can help you with this, Remus. I think you should just go with your damn gut.”

Remus looked down.

“Oh, come on, you big baby.” Lily crossed her arms.

“That’s babyist. Anyway, if he doesn’t like me back I’ll just fuck up the whole dynamic of the group.”

“You act like I haven’t heard all this before. Go with your gut. If he's a normal person he won't make a big deal about it.” She unfolded her arms and stretched. Topic closed. Remus was slightly unnerved by the fact that she appeared to be running on the assumption that Sirius didn't like him back. Move on, Lupin, move on.

“Oi, how’s your love life then? I always whine about mine, but you don’t tell me about yours.” Remus sat down in one of the chairs, no longer worried about being heard by some blabby third-year.

“Eh. It’s boring.”

“What about…uhh, Grease Man? Snape?”

Grease Man? Christ, Remus, you’re starting to sound like Potter,” sighed Lily. “His name is Severus.”

“Sorry, sorry. But hasn’t that…you know, happened yet?”

Lily pulled a face. “No. We’re just friends.”

“He has a crush on you, though.”

“Oh, so you’re suddenly the expert on crushes? It took you five years to realise you liked—”

“SHHHH there is a nosy child listening in,” Remus said, and the second-year who had been eavesdropping snorted and walked away.

“Anyway, Severus doesn’t have a crush on me. That would just be…weird.”

Remus shook his head. “You’re so oblivious.”

Lily stared at him.

“IT’S FINALLY HAPPENED, LADS, REMUS CALLED SOMEONE ELSE OBLIVIOUS,” yelled Sirius from across the room.

“Shut up, Sirius—” Lily sighed.

“How…how much of that did you hear?” Remus stared at him.

 

18th September. 1975

6.49pm

 

“But how does it work?” asked Sirius.

“You don’t really need to know that at OWL level, but I can explain it to you if you really want.” Remus ran a hand through his hair.

“Okay, first of all, yes. Second of all, you just did a James. Third, it was actually kind of sexy. Fourth, you’re a nerd.”

“Shut up.”

“Make me.” They stared at each other for a couple seconds. Remus glanced at his lips but cleared his throat and looked away.

“Hey, what was that third one again?”

 

26th September, 1975

8.12pm

lib mid res

Remus picked up the note left on his bedside stand. It was Sirius’ handwriting, but what the fuck did it mean? Lib?

mad libs liberation liberty libel liberal liberalisation librarian library

too many libs

Alright, he wants to meet in the library. Probably. What did mid mean?

middle midriff midsummer midas midnight midwife — wait, no, backtrack. Midnight. Fuck, he had to stay up until midnight?

Well, no, he didn’t have to stay up until midnight, but he was going to. Because Sirius. What did he want? Great, now he has four hours to wait until he finds out what he wants. What was res? Eh, fuck it.

 

26th September, 1975

9.51pm

Remus was bored.

 

26th September, 1975

10.35pm

booooooooooooored.

 

26th September, 1975

10.54pm

“Remus, please stop rolling on the floor like you’re in fucking Tomodachi Life. I’m getting a really violent James vibe,” said Peter, from behind his comic.

 

26th September, 1975

11.29pm

B O R E D.

“You seen Sirius?” asked a yawning James. He got no reply. He wasn’t really expecting one.

 

26th September, 1975

11.58pm

“I’m stealing the cloak,” said Remus. James grunted through his pillow.

He snuck out the portrait hole, waking up the snoozing Fat Lady, earning him a whispered telling-off. Ah, shit, he was going to be late. Four hours of waiting, and he was going to be late. Wait, would showing up on time look desperate? He was definitely overthinking this.

Several minutes later, he was in the library. Sirius was not. It was 12.07.

Did he misunderstand the note? No, he knew exactly the way that idiot thinks. Nah, it was just a prank. Fucking shitballs, he stayed up for nothing. What about res? No, that meant nothing. What could that that possibly mean? Restricted section? Goddammit, it meant restricted section.

He had not been pranked. Sirius was actually there, looking emo and dramatic as ever - why did he keep insulting him? What is wrong with you, Remus? Get a hold of yourself.

He stood up when Remus walked in. Why wasn’t he saying anything?

Remus walked over and hopped up on a table, making him slightly more Sirius’ height. When sitting on a table that the first years couldn’t even reach made you shorter, you knew you were tall as fuck. “What’s up?” There was an odd sort of tension in the room.

Sirius smiled slightly and shook his head. “Eh, nothing.”

“You wouldn’t’ve brought me here for nothing. What’s going on, babe?” Remus shook his head. “Padfoot, I meant Padfoot. Too much time with Lily.”

“Haaaa, nerd—”

“Shut up, bitch—”

“Oh, make me.” Sirius stepped forward.

There was eye contact.

Sirius suddenly leant forward and kissed Remus softly. He pulled away, blushed, and looked away uncomfortably until Remus kissed him back. Hard.

Sirius felt like there was an explosion in his chest. Remus felt like his face was on fire. It was clumsy, it was awkward, and it was a fucking weight off of both of their chests. Shit, what are you meant to do with your hands? I mean, Remus had his just down on the desk, but Sirius felt a bit like Ricky Bobby from Talladega Nights during that interview. Fuck, that movie wasn’t out yet, he wasn’t allowed to reference that yet—Sirius! Focus!

“Finallyyy,” came a whispered voice from the shadows. Both boys screamed and Remus basically flailed himself off the table. He was not caught. 

“MARLENE YOU INSANE SON OF A—” Sirius was immediately shushed by them both.

There was a yowl from what sounded like a very angry cat outside the Restricted Section.

“Ah, shit, Mrs Norris - under the cloak, both of you!” whisper-yelled Remus, having gotten up, with a bruised tailbone to boot. Marlene shook her head.

“I’m stealthy! I’ll be fine! You two go ahead!”

Remus tried to protest, but there wasn’t enough time. Goddamn, there was never enough room underneath this cloak for two of them in the first place, and now Remus was so freakishly tall they were sort of…clumped uncomfortably together.

They awkwardly clambered out of the library as quietly as they could, walking like they were in a three-legged race. Once they had gotten somewhere that was less of a danger zone - not the dorm, they weren’t going to risk James hearing about this yet - just a random corridor they knew wasn’t going to be checked for another few minutes, Remus pushed the cloak off of him, leaving Sirius partially invisible.

“Bloody thing, I don’t know why——what the hell was that?” Remus was very flustered. Was flustered the right word?

Sirius shrugged and dropped the cloak onto the floor.

“Don’t do your ‘couldn’t-care-less’ shrug! That’s not going to work on me!”

“Moony, believe me, this is not a couldn’t-care-less situation—”

“Then why the shrug?”

“Wrong shrug! That was the ‘I-don’t-know’ shrug!”

“I’m sorry, I don’t have a PhD in Shrugology, Sirius!”

“What is going on?!” yelled Sirius.

“I don’t know!” Remus yelled back.

“Why are we yelling?!”

“I don’t know!”

What are we doing?”

“…Did you know that smallpox was officially declared eradicated by WHO this year?”

Sirius stared at him.

“Also…Jaws is factually inaccurate. Sharks are fine.”

“What are you talking about, mate?”

“…Mate?” Remus stared at him. “You can’t call me mate after…whatever the fuck that was, you absolute cock—”

“I know, I know, I knew it as soon as I said it—”

“Man, you two are a mess,” said Marlene, who appeared out of nowhere.

“What—how did you get here?” Sirius was a strange mixture of impressed and confused.

“I guess you really are stealthy. You didn’t even get caught? We passed, like, fifty teachers.”

“No, I got caught. Several times. Lost about 80 points for Gryffindor. Two detentions. Five different teachers. Saw Flitwick twice, actually. He was not happy.”

“A creature of true stealth and secrecy.”

“Shut up, Remus,” she said. “I’m actually going to leave now, I was just here to pay Remus back.”

“For what?” asked Sirius. Remus waved him off.

“Long story. Please don’t get caught again.”

“Nope, I’m gonna.” She left and waved without turning around. “Good luck making out.”

Remus exhaled sharply. “Don’t tell anyone about this, nerd!” He turned back to Sirius. “Why was your note so weird?”

“Uhh, so if James found it he wouldn’t understand it. I know you do that weird word association thing so you’d get it.”

Remus scrunched his face up.

“What?”

“What is this, Padfoot?”

Sirius shook his head. “What do you…want it to be?”

“Fucking…pressure much.”

“Bitch, I kissed you first. You can do this part.”

“Are you kidding me? That was a weak-ass kiss, there wasn’t any—”

“Any…what?” Sirius had that fucking smirk on his face, and Remus was going to kill him.

“Fucking…forget it, I—”

“Oh, come on, spit it out.”

“You are very lucky you’re pretty, Sirius—”

“If you won’t tell me, why not just show me?” Sirius leaned forward.

“Begone, thot.” Remus shoved him.

“You know, as romantic as this is, we are in imminent danger of McGonagall.”

“That is true. Outside?”

“Yes.”

 

27th September, 1975

1.09am

“Peter!”

Peter rolled and groaned, mildly irritated. James’ face was directly in front of his face. He stared at it for a couple of seconds and then came the shrieking.

“I THOUGHT YOU WERE A FUCKING MURDERER—”

“Oh, shut up, you wimp. Sirius and Remus are missing.” James jumped up onto his bed.

Peter sighed dramatically. “Who caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa—”

“C’mon, man.”

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaares.”

“D’you reckon they’ve finally gotten together?”

Peter looked dead inside. “No.”

“Can I quote you on that? Like, will you bet money?”

“Hmbleerrhrhgh.”

“One Sickle? Thirty-seven Knuts? Ha, nuts. A Galleon? Three Galleons?”

“FUCKING WHATEVER.”

The door opened and James’ head whipped around. Remus and Sirius walked in.

“Hey, where were you guys? Doing platonic friend things?”

“Yeah, just out for a walk—”

“No, we were making out. Like, a lot. It was just…a lot of kissing.”

“Goddammit, Sirius, you tell James everything.” Remus elbowed him.

James fist pumped. “THREE GALLEONS.”

“Were you betting on that?” Remus put his hands on his hips. 

“What? No.”

Chapter Text

1st October, 1975

11.42am

Evans, want to go to the Three Broomsticks this weekend?

No, Potter, I do not.

Oh, come on. You can’t resist this charm forever.

Please wash your hair.

 

1st October, 1975

1.02pm

“Shush, darling, it’s fine, it’s fine,” Sirius said, patting James on the back.

“WHAT DOES ‘PLEASE WASH YOUR HAIR’ EVEN MEAN?” No one could tell if he was angry or sad. Either way, a whole lot of teen angst was in the sixth-floor boys’ bathroom.

“It means you’re a greaseball, probably,” said Remus.

“Okay, you are openly checking out Sirius. This is horrifying.” Peter was in a corner.

“Five years of build-up to this relationship means I deserve to fucking check him out, Wormtail.”

“I do have a great ass,” said Sirius, nodding.

“Fuck off.” Surprisingly, not Peter, but Remus.

“THIS IS NOT HELPING ME, MEN,” yelled James.

“Sorry, sorry.” Sirius started stroking James’ hair.

“What are you doing, man?” He shoved Sirius’ hands off.

“Rude. It’s comfort.”

Gay comfort.”

“IF YOU WANT STRAIGHT COMFORT YOU’VE COME TO THE WRONG GUY, PRONGS—”

“First of all, Prongs, we've talked about toxic masculinity. Second, you’re being way too dramatic about this. She insults you constantly. She hates you,” said Peter. “You know this.”

“That does not make things better, Wormtail!” cried James, and he stormed off.

“Oh, Lord. Do I follow him?” asked Sirius.

Peter and Remus both shook their heads.

“I’m gonna go follow him.”

 

1st October, 1975

1.11pm

“Prongs! Where are you going?” Sirius was awkwardly speed-walking towards James, who looked like he was blowing steam out of his ears, like a fucking cartoon. He had basically run over a couple of second-years on the way, and a first-year who looked about six years old took one look at him and made a complete 180. He was now stalking through the grounds, apparently making a beeline for the Forbidden Forest. Sirius was a slightly uncomfortable twenty metres behind, as James kept speeding up every time he got closer.

Most people were still at lunch, so there weren’t many people to see them go in. James still paused at the edge of the forest, either worried about being noticed or apprehensive about actually going in. It was only for a second, however, and he continued on his weird angry rampage.

“Fuck it,” Sirius muttered, and broke out into a run. Ah, fuck, this was the worst experience of his life holy fuck how did people do this for more than thirty seconds — fucking shit now James was running, he was never going to catch up — oh SHIT, he stopped, Sirius was going to crash into him. Student life: chasing after your friend, who was throwing a strop, in the middle of a forest full of evil shit for about twenty seconds, and then just fucking…colliding with him.

Why?” said James, having been knocked onto the floor along with Sirius. He had a twig in his hair somehow.

“You’re the one who stopped! You were like a—”

“Don’t say a deer in headlights.”

“A…stag in the spotlight? It’s alliterative.”

“Shut up.”

“What’s wrong, mate? You don’t usually run away after Lily calls you a greaseball. She does it on a weekly basis.”

“I’m 15! It’s angst!” James yelled.

“CALM YON TITTIES, BITCH—”

“I—what?” This took the wind out of James’ sails slightly. He went from angry to just…confused. So, so confused.

“I don’t know, man, sometimes the spirit of a 15th century gay man possesses me.”

James sighed. “I don’t even…have you ever read a book?”

“I use my imagination. Hey, do you want to skip Charms and try to find a unicorn?”
“Definitely.”

 

1st October, 1975

1.52pm

“Alright, they’re not coming back,” said Peter, after about forty minutes of waiting around.

“Nope. You want to ditch Charms and do some dumb shit like write a Potions essay with James’ quill?” asked Remus.

“Rule-breaking? Remus! How dare you! Also, yes.”

“Room of Requirement?”

The Room of Requirement had a note in it that said go to class, assholes. Remus wrote back shut up, bitch. Oh, wait, I wrote this. actually the point still stands. shut up, bitch.

 

FUCK SLUGHORN essay

A BOO STUDYING SUCKS on antidotes

by REMELEMELEM YEETMAN

Antidotes are an essential SEXY RECIPE COOKING INGREDIENT in FUCK SLUGHORN. When brewing a party juice ’75 no doubt, it is important always to have an antidote to hand, as if you were to FANCY EATING WORD this party juice ’75 no doubt, you would most likely go up to heaven and meet our lord and saviour jesus christ amen what a cool dude fucking honestly.

Some examples of an antidote in MOTHER NATURE LOVE THAT BITCH include Goatery Stones, which can be found inside a Sirius’ stomach, Bubotuber WHAT PETER IS MADE OF, which can be used to cure peter’s constant face issues, and Dittany, which can be used to heal most wounds and injuries.

As shown above, antidotes are not always used for party juice ’75 no doubts, but for skin WHAT SIRIUS HAS LMAO EMOTIONAL INSTABILITY and illnesses, such as malaria (cured by Ashwinder SCRAMBLED EGG FUCK YEA H BREAKFASTs).

However there is not always a cure for party juice ’75 no doubtous substances. There are also many diseases we have yet to find an antidote for

i Freaking, Keep It Clean Son, give up PETER NEVER GIVE UP I LOVE YOU SON, YOU’RE THE BEST,  BELIEVE IN YOURSELF

I’m not peter yes you are

 

“Well, that was a fucking experience,” said Remus. Peter, who had died laughing at ‘Goatery Stones’, which was apparently what James called Bezoars, was lying on the floor fiddling with a very fancy peacock quill he had bought. “‘Party juice ’75 no doubt’ is meant to be ‘poison’? James is going to die so early.”

“Oi, Remus,” said Peter.

“What?”

“Sirius?”

Remus snorted. “What about him?”

“Are you two, like…actually together now? Like...boyfriends?”

“Fucked if I know.”

“Yep, that’s fair. Can I change the name on this and actually hand it in?” Peter picked up the essay.

“If you want to die, sure. Actually, the writing’s way too eloquent. You might want to change some of it,” Remus teased.

“You are a DICKHEAD—oh my god, did James change ‘goat’ to ‘Sirius’?”

 

8th October, 1975

9.16am

“Alright, kids, today…we’re going to do something we should’ve done back in year three, but your last teacher was shit,” said Professor Background Character, arriving fifteen minutes late, which was just before Sirius and James came in. “Oh, fuck. I mean…uh, bad, your last teacher was bad. Anyway, I’ve just been informed you have actual exams this year that you need to know this shi—crap for.”

“‘Sup, B-C?” said James.

“Douchebag, Prongs,” warned Remus quietly, from the back of the classroom.

“Oh, nothing much,” the Professor said. “My girlfriend broke up with me and my dog ate all my fucking carrots.”

“That sounds rough, man,” said Sirius. “You need to talk about it?”

The professor broke down crying. Sirius came over and patted him on the back. “It was just—such a harrowing experience—legally, you can’t touch me, Sirius — I was going to make soup out of them!”

“Uh, Professor?” piped up Lily. “What’s in the closet?”

“Oh, dammit! We should’ve arrived early! Then I could’ve hid in it and burst out, like a true gay,” said Sirius, moving away from the professor.

“Oh, you wouldn’t want to do that, Sirius. A Boggart’s in there.” The professor walked over to the closet and just…opened it. A brown beagle bounded out, a carrot in it’s mouth, evil in its eyes. The professor shrieked. “Someone else go!”

“Why don’t you just…get a new dog, Professor?” asked Peter, walking up to the Boggart to pet it. It turned into a buzzing hive, which caused many of the class to scream in fear, including Peter. That was when it exploded The room was in a total panic. Backpacks were being used to shield each other, someone had been punched in the face in an attempt to kill a wasp, someone broke a window to try and let them out, obama was there,

Lily shoved some people out of the way, calmly pointed her wand at the nest and yelled ‘Riddikulus!’. The hive turned into a giant egg, which promptly cracked. The screaming stopped.

The professor, who no one knew the real name of, stood up, having fallen flat on his ass and his hat knocked off. He was very out of breath. “Right…thank you, Miss Evans—holy shit, that was…okay, fuck. Why would I open it before giving an explanation? Sweet Jesus, get your shit together--anyway. We’ve got about…thirty seconds before it changes into a scary thing again, so…that’s a Boggart, it changes into your worst fear, incantation ‘Riddikulus’, think of something funny, if you laugh it’ll go away! Form an orderly queue. Who wants to face their literal worst fear first?”

James rolled up his sleeves, which made him look like a twat, and stepped to the front. The Boggart morphed from an egg into a fairly horrifying-looking doll, with squeaky hinges and a gash-like smile across its face. There were audible shudders from the class. James’ head retracted into his shoulders, like a frightened turtle retracting into its shell, but he pointed his wand at it and squeaked ‘Riddikulus’. It morphed into a giant inflatable dick.

“Sweet Jesus, Prongs,” sighed Remus, but he couldn’t be heard over the loud laughter from the group of asshole 15-16-year-olds. Professor Whoever the fuck was laughing harder than anyone else.

This went on for a couple of minutes, with the Boggart turning into a clown, a big black dog (which caused Sirius great offence), and rats (which caused Peter even greater offence). There were a couple of incidents of angry parents, mainly shouting about test marks or broken windows. Voldemort showed up at one point, which meant Professor Nowhere Man Living in his Nowhere Land had to sort of…dive in front of the student in order to make the beagle reappear. In retrospect, that was the most useful thing the teacher did that entire year.

“You going to go up, Remus?” asked James. Remus shook his head and retreated to a corner.

“I’m out too,” said Sirius. Davey Gudgeon, coming out of Convenient Land, grabbed Sirius by the arm.

“C’mon, you fucking fairy,” he snorted. “It’s easy. What are you, scared?” Sirius laughed uncomfortably as Davey sort of…dragged him in front of the dog. Luckily, he was at least partly prepared.

For a split second Orion Black was standing there, large as life, and then he was gone; turned into Slughorn in a not-quite-floor-length red ballgown, full-on makeup and four-inch heels which he was stumbling about in like a hippo on roller skates. There was uproarious laughter from the class. The Boggart disappeared in a puff of smoke. Barely anyone saw what it was originally; and if they did, they forgot as soon as the Potions teacher appeared.

“Alright, kids! That was a lesson that could’ve been made far better if properly planned and set by a competent teacher! Man, I wish I had a do-over. Or rather, that someone else had a do-over. This was actually a good lesson plan! If only someone in the future would recreate this lesson, but make it good. Hmm, I wonder who could do that. Wow. I'm in such a conundrum. Oh, there’s still like an hour left in this lesson. Uh, do whatever you want, I guess.”

Sirius left.

Chapter Text

8th October, 1975

9.52am

“Are you smoking?” Remus closed the door of the broom cupboard behind him. Sirius jumped overdramatically and clutched his heart.

“You’re going to kill me.” He stubbed out the cigarette and closed the window he was sitting on the sill of.

“Uh, not before lung cancer.” No longer in danger of Gross Cigarette Smoke, Remus came over next to him.

“Fair.”

“Why would you…actually choose to smoke? How long?”

Sirius snorted. “Are you my mother? Actually, my mum cares way less about me than you, scratch that.”

“Sirius.”

“Calm down, that was like my fourth cigarette ever. And it pisses off my parents? Why would I not do it?” Sirius shrugged.

“Well, I’m not kissing a cigarette-breath, so knock it the fuck off.” Remus elbowed him.

“Ow. Spiky elbows.”

“Promise me, thot.” Remus elbowed him again.

“Ow! This is offensive!”

“I’m not having my boyfriend smoke—”

Sirius grinned. “Boyfriend?”

Remus swallowed awkwardly. “I said what I said, bitch.”

“I promise.”

Remus sighed. “That was easier than expected.”

“I’m still going to buy them, though,” he said. “To piss off the parents.”

“But one of the main problems with smoking is the economic pressure it puts you under. They’re taxing them like hell.”

“You are a NERD. It'll be their money, not mine.” Sirius leant in for a kiss and was met by a hand to his face and a stick of gum. “u bitch”

How he said this in lowercase and with a ‘u’ instead of ‘you’ Remus didn’t know, but he did. “I’m going back to class. Do whatever you want, but please show up to Transfiguration.”

 

11th October, 1975

2.44am

“Hey, babe.” Sirius was sitting in front of the fire hugging a pillow, and apparently heard Remus come in. “I’m angsting. You know, puberty. Want to join me?”

Remus snorted and flopped down next to him. “You’re a gay Gryffindor wannabe punk with a werewolf boyfriend growing up in an abusive household full of Slytherin purebloods who hate gays, Gryffindors, punks and werewolves, Pads. I don’t think you have to blame all of your emotions on puberty.”

“…Well put. Wait — wannabe punk?”

“Why’re you up, then?” Successfully dodged, there, Remus. 

“I told you. I’m angsting.”

“You don’t stay up without a specific reason. I know you well enough to know that.”

“And you don’t get up in the middle of the night without a reason either, Remus. Unless I wake you up, that is.”

“Well, you woke me up this time.”

“I never went up to the dorm. I’ve been down here the whole time.” Sirius gave a slightly weak smile.

“Well, shit. You want to tell me what’s up?”

“Nah, not really. You want to tell me what’s up?”

“Nope. You want to get drunk?”

“Yes.”

 

11th October, 1975

4.01am

“…And that’s why I think I will never truly feel love,” slurred Remus.

Sirius shook his head, baffled. “Wait, what? Wh—at was the beginning of that ss…sentence? You just said that out of the blue! We’ve been drinking in silence for like…nine minutes—”

“It’s been like…an hour, Padfoot—”

“Ah, fuckety.”

“Fuckety?”

“…I said what I said, bitch.”

Remus smiled at him, and leant a head on his shoulder. He paused for a second. “I’m bisexual.”

Sirius nodded. “Okay.”

They sat in silence for another few minutes.

“I’m gay.”

Remus chuckled. “No shit.”

“Gaaaaaaaaaaaaay.”

“Got it.”

Gaaaaaay.

“Yep.”

“Hey, I’ll tell you one thing. Drunk Sirius makes the best plans.” Sirius stretched, hitting Remus in the face. “Shit sorry—“

“You whore. Also nO HE DOES NOT DRUNK SIRIUS MAKES THE WORST PLANS—”

“He makes the best plans. You know what I should do?”

“…I’m so afraid.”

“I should cOME OUT TO MY FAMILY.”

Remus stared at him. “You want to what?”

“You heard me.”

“Do you also want to die, fool?”

“Life is a social construct.”

“No it literally isn’t—”

“I want to do it. To see how far I can push the rebel son thing.”

“That’s pushing it off the desk like a goddamn cat. At least wait until you’re kind of financially stable and have a place to go.”

“…That’s a good idea.”

“I always have good ideas.”

“No, I mean the cAT.” Sirius stood up.

“What in the shit? What cat?”

“I’m going to get a CAT. I LOVE CATS.”

“You…you do?”

Sirius made a start towards the portrait hole. Remus stared after him.

“Where are you going?”

“Sober Sirius would never get a cat, it’s now or never.”

Remus sighed. “I’m going to bed.”

 

11th October, 1975

12.04pm

“Remus.” James was shaking his shoulder gently. “Remus! Wake up!”

Remus grunted angrily.

“Sirius has a cat.”

Remus rolled over. “Get me a fucking coffee and then I’ll talk to you.”

“It’s here. I kind of expected you to say that.” James handed him a mug.

“Thanks, Prongs. You are truly boyfriend material.”

James scrunched up his face. “Thanks? Anyway, Sirius has a cat.”

“A…cat?”

“A cat.”

“I am too hungover for this.” Remus took a sip of his coffee and looked over at Sirius’ bed. A small black kitten was curled up next to Sirius. “Oh, yeah, he was blabbering about something like that yesterday when he was drunk. How did he get it?”

“I don’t know!”

“Isn’t he a dog person?” asked Remus.

“Well, he’s definitely a dog person, but I don’t know if he prefers dogs to cats.” James was trying very hard not to laugh at his own joke.

“You’re an idiot. How are we going to get rid of this cat?” Remus sat up, wincing.

“I have no idea. Let’s wait for him to wake up?”

“I guess? Where’s Peter?”

“Pete sleeps even longer than hungover Sirius.”

 

11th October, 1975

2.31pm

“Oh my god, he’s moving,” said Peter, who apparently did not sleep longer than hungover Sirius.

Sirius stirred a little, and rolled onto his back.

“Nope. He was just rolling,” sighed James.

“No, wait a second,” said Remus.

“I need a COFFEE,” came the yell, which woke up the kitten, who stretched lazily.

“It’s by your bed,” said James. Sirius vaguely slapped his nightstand, sat up, and downed the coffee in one.

“Did this have hot sauce in it?” he asked. James nodded. “…Brilliant.”

“You two are so disgusting,” said Remus.

Sirius noticed the cat. “Hello, sir. Are you lost?”

“…Sir?” Peter looked at him, exasperated.

“Whose cat is this?” Sirius started petting him. “He’s adorable and I love him.”

“Well, he doesn’t have a collar. And it’s the seventies, in wizard world, so he won’t have a microchip,” said Remus.

“I thought you were a dog person, Padfoot?” Peter said.

Sirius snorted. “You could say I was a…dog person. But I like cats and dogs equally. Actually, not small dogs. Small dogs are little shits.”

“I made the same joke!” cried James. “I love you so much.”

“Love you too, darling. Love of my life. My one, my only—”

“Alright, alright,” said Remus, with a hint of…something? Annoyance? “What are we doing about the cat? You came back drunk last night just…with it.”

“Yeah, that sounds like Drunk Me. Can I keep him?”

“No.” This was all three of the other boys.

“I’m keeping him.” Sirius picked him up. “Awwwwwwwww oh my god you are a blessing to this world. I’m going to call you Poseidon.” The cat bit him. “You little bitch, Poseidon. I still love you.”

“Sirius you cannot just adopt a cat that you found on school grounds when you were drunk.” James crossed his arms. “He is absolutely not staying.”

“Odd name for a cat. Don’t cats hate water?” Remus took another sip of coffee.

“Poseidon, you’re beautiful. Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.”

“Was that Latin?” asked Peter.

“I’m the height of sophistication, you skank-ass bitch.” Sirius was scratching Poseidon behind the ears.

“Sirius, get rid of him. He is not staying.”

 

12th October, 1975

11.23am

“Mr Black, you cannot bring your cat with you to lessons,” sighed the ever-suffering Professor McGonagall.

“His name is Poseidon, God of the Sea. He’s helping me.” Poseidon was sitting on Sirius’ desk, after Sirius failed to balance him on his head.

“Say, Professor…” said James. “You don’t seem surprised that halfway through the term Sirius has suddenly acquired a cat. I mean, knowing full well that Walburga has a cat allergy.”

McGonagall stared at him. “I have no idea what you’re implying.” She turned back to the blackboard.

Chapter Text

15th October, 1975

4.04pm

“Alright, Snivellus?” James cornered him, Sirius at his side.

“Fuck off, Potter. Go back to embarrassing yourself around Lily.” Snape was a full head shorter than the both of them, and while he was clearly trying to put on an air, his voice held a tremor.

“Aww, you going to cry, Snivelly? Not so tough because I’m in love with an uptown g—I mean, not so tough without your Death Eater pals around, are you?” Though Sirius’ natural tendency to quote Billy Joel took away from his threatening manner, the point got across.

“As if I’d cry over a poof and a pretentious, egotistical twat,” Snape snorted. “You’re about as scary as a pink unicorn and an overconfident penguin.”

“Sticks and stones, Snivelly. I think you’ll find that we’re both pretentious, egotistical twats.”

“Ah, young men and their homophobic slurs. You’re behind the times, Snape! Gay men can both dress better than you and punch your fucking lights out.” Sirius adjusted his tie, which was already obnoxiously loose.

“Do it then.” Snape stared at him, through a mop of greasy hair. “Didn’t think so. Blood traitor queer like you, not going to—”

He was punched in the face. Not by James, not by Sirius, but by both of them, at the same time. Blood spurted from his nose, and he yelled in pain, a hand flying up to his nose.

“Severus!” Of course Lily happened to be walking by that exact stairwell at that exact moment. “Jesus Christ, let’s get you to the Hospital Wing—fucking hell, is it broken?”

“Heeeeeeeeeey, Evaaaaans,” said James, not with shame, but bravado.

“Fuck off, you egomaniacal toad. I’ll deal with you later, Sirius.” She stalked off, taking Snape with her.

“Yep, that’s fair! I mean, toad is a bit harsh, but I get your point,” James sighed. “Why do I insist on being an asshole, Sirius?”

“No idea, mate. That felt really good, though.” 

 

15th October, 1975

4.31pm

“I BROKE SNIVELLUS’ NOSE,” yelled Sirius as he clambered through the portrait hole. This was met by random cheers, and a couple of disapproving boos.

“You what?” This was a disapproving boo from Remus. “Explain.”

“Me and James both punched him in the face at the same time. It was like a combo move, it was awesome.”

Not awesome. Lily’ll find out, and she’ll kill you—”

“She knows already. And I’m not dead yet!” Sirius shrugged. “She was taking him to the Hospital Wing, though, so she was a bit distracted.”

“He’s going to rat you out.”

“That’s rattist! I’d never betray you guys!” cried Peter  (lying) . Peter was Rat Defender #1.

“Sorry, Pete. Anyway! He’s going to tell McGonagall and you’re getting detention forever.”

“Maybe. But it’s worth it.”

“It is not! If you keep getting detentions you won’t have any studying time, and you’ll fail your O.W.Ls, and then your N.E.W.Ts, and you’ll never get a fucking job, and you’ll die penniless and alone.”

“Okay, first of all, I’m definitely going to go to, like, prison. So I won’t need a job. Second of all, I won’t be alone! I’ll have you.”

“No. I will leave you. I will leave you for…Lily. That’ll effectively crush James, too.” Remus crossed his arms. “And also, if you go to prison, I’ll study—”

“The blade.”

Law, and get you out. Because you know full well that I am very effective at bending the rules, even after you’ve broken them.”

“That’s a promise?”

“That’s a promise. Now sort your fucking tie out, it looks ridiculous.”

“Would it look better on your bedroom floor?”

“We share a dorm, Sirius, we have the same bedroom floor. Also, no, I’d ask you to put it in a goddamn laundry basket. I’m leaving.”

Sirius sighed and shook his head. “My excellent flirting is wasted on you, love.”

“It’s what she deserves.”

 

15th October, 1975

8.07pm

“BLACK,” bellowed Lily, causing him to fall out of the chair he’d fallen asleep in, Potions textbook on top of his face.

“Fucking hell, Evans, what do you want? Oh. Right.”

“What the hell was that? Why?”

Sirius shrugged. “Fun.”

“Nope.” Lily sat on the arm of a chair, exuding anger. The third-year that was sitting in the actual chair of the armrest she was sitting on moved. Don’t mess with the redhead in the fifth year when she was angry, was what all the lower years had been informed (by Marlene. She had written a pamphlet on how to survive Hogwarts when she was in the second year.)

“What do you mean, nope?”

“I’m not buying it. You don’t go around punching people for no reason, unless they’re literal Death Eaters. And Severus isn’t—“

“Yet.”

“Sirius.”

“Well, the actual trigger on the time bomb was when he decided it’d be a good idea to call me a queer — loving it, very original. Your boyfriend’s a homophobe.”

“First, he’s not my fucking boyfriend. Second, everyone’s a homophobe, it’s the seventies. Sirius, you get called shit like that all the time, and you don’t punch them in the face. Well, you punch some of them in the face. But not all of them.”

“He also called me a blood traitor.”

Lily’s eyes furrowed. “Are you sure?”

“Pretty hard words to mistake, Lils. You reckon we misheard?”

“Fair point. I’ll talk to him about it.”

“How did you even become friends with him? Did he walk up to you and say ‘hey, I’m a racist! Want to be best friends?’”

She gave him a cold look. “He isn’t a racist. He probably just picked it up from Mulciber and that lot, I’ll tell him to piss off for a bit and he’ll come to his senses—”

“He hangs around Death Eaters - junior edition, but still Death Eaters - and calls people blood traitors. I’m pretty sure that’s all the evidence you need.”

“I’m the Muggle-born here, Sirius, I can decide what’s ‘racist’. So he’s a bit of a twatty teenager! He’ll grow out of it!” she cried.

“Oh, come on. A twatty teenager? What James and I are doing is what twatty teenagers do. We’re all hormones and acne and it makes us act like idiots. Or — we make us act like idiots, whatever. But hanging around Voldemort’s disciples and standing by while they literally curse kids for existing? Or calling them Mudbloods and blood traitors? No. That’s a Class A cunt right there.”

“Sirius—”

“I’ll admit it. In first and second year, it was just making fun of him because he was greasy and an easy target. But now, at least we’re trying to do something to stop his weird Death Eater antics instead of making out with him and defending him when he calls people poofs and queers and blood traitors.”

Lily stared at him. “I don’t defend him for that. That was a dick move. But Sirius, he’s a good person underneath. He’s just been surrounded by this shit all his life—” She stopped.

Sirius raised his eyebrows. “Wrong person to use that excuse with.”

“Yeah, I realised when I said it. I stand by it, though, not everyone has your strength. Slash idiotic tendencies.”

“Stop defending him, Lily. If he was a good person he’d be fighting his own battles, for a start.”

“He is a good person.”

“…He has yet to show it.”

“Let’s not turn this into a fight, Sirius, combined we make the pettiest person on earth.”

“Is it not already a fight? I just yelled at you for like…a solid minute.” Sirius was dangerously near Strop Mode.

“Sirius, you’re dangerously near Strop Mode. I’m not angry at you, you make some valid points. But I’m going to stay friends with Severus as long as I’m convinced he’s a good person.”

Sirius sighed. “Whatever. Good to know you want to stay friends with a racist asshole. Tells me a lot about you.”

Lily shook her head and stood up. “I’m going to bed.”

 

an aside

 

MARLENE MCKINNON, SECOND THIRD FOURTH FIFTH YEAR: A FIRSTIE’S GUIDE TO SURVIVAL (CLEAN VERSION)

 

Section A: classes

  • Have a cat so if you don’t do a piece of homework you can write nonsense on a piece of paper and tear it up so it looks like the cat ate it. Bring the torn-up piece(s) of paper to class as ‘proof’ that you did it (note: this will not work in Transfiguration)
  • Alternatively, pretend you accidentally sent it to your mum instead of a letter
  • Second alternative: do your work
  • Exams are the worst but do study (not too much enjoy your youth while it lasts)

 

Section B: a guide to not pissing off McGonagall

  • Be on time
  • Do your fucking freaking work bitch kid you want a maserati or not (if she catches you in a lie u dead)
  • when (not if, when) you sneak out, check the back for a schedule of what corridors she (and other teachers) patrols and when. updated every year so ask me when you need one next year. If she catches you, you could lose up to 50 points per person for your house
  • she is NICE so don’t talk shit crap- if she doesn’t like you it’s because you’re a wanker annoying person
  • she’s strict but it’s easy to get on her good side

 

Section C: other years (note: i can’t speak much for other years)

  • All second-years are gossipy fucks. Doesn’t matter who they are. You will be gossipy fucks next year too.
  • Don’t ask a fourth or fifth-year for directions. You probably won’t anyway, because they’re we’re scary, but. They We will misdirect you. You’ll end up in the Forbidden Forest.
  • You don’t want to fuck mess with Lily Evans when she’s pissed off angry. She’s the redhead Gryffindor in the fifth year. You will know when she’s angry.
  • Prank Sirius Black (stupid hair, black, shoulder-length, leather jacket, asshole dickhead annoying person) and James Potter (stupid hair, black, messy, keeps running his hand through it, glasses) as MUCH AS POSSIBLE. It’s hilarious. They will prank you back if they find out, though. (They’re both Gryffindors.)
  • Remus Lupin (tall bastard person, Gryffindor, brown hair, cardigans) is a nice person! He is very awkward, though. He’ll help you with homework if you ask, but be prepared to be sworn at.
  • Gilderoy Lockhart (fourth year Ravenclaw, greasy, blonde hair) is a twat!

 

SECTION D LAST SECTION HOLY SHIT CRAP: hogwarts rules of the land (not the real rules, but the rules that matter)

  1. SNITCHES. GET. STITCHES. This is rule #1 for a reason
  2. If you’re a racist, consider this: don’t. Muggle-borns are all our mates and I’ll punch you
  3. BEING AN ASSHOLE TO LGBT PEOPLE IS JUST AS BAD AS DISCRIMINATING AGAINST MUGGLE-BORNS AND WE WILL NOT HESITATE TO BEAT YOU UP nO MATTER YOUR AGE. ‘We’ is a bunch of people who will not hesitate to cut a bitch to protect kids who are being bullied, particularly Muggle-borns and the gays. We’re called the Gay Vigilante Gang, Gay Vigilantes for kind of short, GVG for shorter, GV for shorterest.
  4. Gryffindors: you may see some of the older years being dickheads to Slytherins! Tip: do not. Unless they’re assholes. Slytherins are people too and some of them are great. Also, very good at pranks. Not as good as Gryffindor though
  5. Slytherins: you may see some of the older years being dickheads to Gryffindors! Tip: do not. Unless they’re assholes. just fuckin see above but the opposite except not the last bit Gryffindor are better at pranks
  6. If you cheat at Quidditch you deserve to die (or just be told off)
  7. Don’t try to come for Sirius Black’s commentator gig. He’s the best. Seriously, just the best.
  8. If you want to report a violation of any of the above rules, or want to report someone to the Gay Vigilantes, or want to join the Gay Vigilantes, there’s a box in the library. Ask Madam Pince for ‘pasta recipes’ and she’ll take any piece of paper and give it directly to me. Yep, Madam Pince is secretly a GV. Also a lesbian. Like me. Anyway, the report will be dealt with.
  9. You don't have to be gay u can be bi too or the other one 
  10. straight that's the word i was looking for

Chapter Text

23rd October, 1975

7.21pm

“Can you pass the potatoes, babe?” Sirius asked absent-mindedly. Remus shoved the bowl of roast potatoes in his general direction, not looking up from his Potions textbook.

There was a quiet in conversation. The two of them looked confused.

Dorcas was the first one to speak. “You two finally got together, huh?”

Sirius realised what he’d said, and glanced at Remus briefly. He looked a bit panicked. “Dorcas, I call everyone babe. I call Marlene babe, and d’you think we’re together?”

“God, I hope not. That would make for a hell of a conversation.”

“Everyone seems to forget that we actually were together briefly. I mean, when we were both in denial,” said Marlene.

“That was the weirdest thing ever,” said Lily.

The conversation returned to its original state.

 

23rd October, 1975

7.43pm

“Sirius, would you mind coming with me to the library so you can catch me up on the shit I missed this Monday?” asked Remus, too much intention behind his words.

“Oh—right, yeah. Sure.”

“Why do you want Sirius to help you with work?” asked Lily. “He’s got the intelligence of a mosquito hitting itself in the face with a rock.”

Sirius looked mildly affronted.

“Yeah, I know. Normally I’d never ask him for help, but I’m making an obvious excuse so I can talk to him alone.”

“Oh, right, makes more sense,” said Lily. “What do you want to talk to him about?”

“If I wanted you to know, I would’ve asked you to come with.”

“Alright, alright. Have fun talking to the moron.”

“I kind of feel like I should’ve been part of that conversation, but instead I just got insULTED,” said Sirius, following Remus.

The library was mostly empty, except for one particularly studious first-year who had apparently eaten dinner early to do some homework.

“Studying doesn’t matter when you’re in the First Year. Piss off, kid,” said Remus. This earned him a very stern look from Madam Pince.

“Ah, sorry, Madam Pince. We just need to talk about…pasta recipes.” Sirius jumped in quickly. Madam Pince gave an irritated but understanding nod. The First Year looked at them oddly, and then scuttled off to First Year Hell—I mean, the dormitories, probably.

“How are we going to stop them finding out about us?” Remus crossed his arms.

“…Do we have to hide it?”

“Sirius, I’m not out, and I’m just not comfortable with like…Alice finding out. She’s the Gossip Queen.” Remus bit his lip.

“You being distractingly sexy is not helping, Moony!” whisper-yelled Sirius. This earned him an odd look. “Alright, I get it. Who else knows you’re bi? Like, give me a list.”

“Lily.”

Sirius nodded. “And?”

“You.”

“I know that one, fool. Who else?”

“That’s it.”

“What? How?”

“I don’t tell people things!”

I don’t tell people things! Tell me three facts you know about me!”

“You have stupid hair, a stupid face, and a stupid personality. And yet, I am still attracted to you. Bam, you got four.”

Sirius sighed. “You got me there. When I came out, I like…came out to one person, and then everyone.”

“I know. I came out to Lily. And then you. Because you are my actual boyfriend. And also a bit because I was drunk.” Remus was beginning to catch on as to why this was not necessarily optimal.

“You know, you don’t have to come out, but when you’re in a safe environment it’s kind of freeing. I feel like you’re coming out literally only out of necessity.”

“….I am.”

“You should trust people! James, Peter and Marlene already know you’re boy-inclined, and Dorcas doesn’t care. Alice won’t tell anyone if you ask her seriously. And threaten to kill her first-born. But we can do that! It’ll be good for you, seriously.”

“…Alright, Rumplestiltskin. I will…tell the others that I’m bi. Becauuuuuse…I trust them.”

“And that you’re going out with me.”

“But that’s the embarrassing bit!” Remus said, a smirk on his face.

“Shut up.” Sirius kissed him on the cheek. “It’ll be fine.”

Madam Pince, who had not been listening until this point, looked up. “Oh, Minerva just won a bet.”

“What?” “I knew she knew.”

“Ah, that reminds me. Pass this onto McKinnon, would you?” Madam Pince handed over three pieces of parchment.

 

24th October, 1975

11.42pm

“Alright, bitches, I have an announcement. But I’m going to need to be really drunk to make it. Who’s got Firewhiskey?” Remus was standing in front of the fire.

“What’re you Fifth Year twats doing? It’s our turn to get drunk in the Common Room. Check the rota!” said an annoying-ass third-year.

“Darling, I made the rota. You’re wrong. Also, stop drinking, you’re too young.”

“You drank way more than us when you were in Third Year.”

“And look at us now! We’re all idiots! Go away, flea.”

The third-year sighed angrily and retreated to his dorm.

“Thanks, Remus,” said Marlene.

“Let’s do a drinking gaaaame!” said Alice. “Alright, ‘most likely to’. Whoever gets the most votes drinks.”

“WOOO, WE’RE GOING TO GET SO DRUNK—”

“Shut up, James. Alright, I had a seventh-year called Melanie make a list for us!” Alice came prepared. “Most likely to go to prison. Write it down! Okay, enough time. Go around the circle.”

“Sirius.” James.

“Sirius.” Peter.

“Sirius.” Marlene.

“Sirius.” Dorcas.

“Sirius.” Remus.

“Lily.” Sirius.

“I said Peter.” Lily.

“And I also…wrote Sirius. Cool. Sirius! Shot!”

Sirius sighed. “I’m going to be the drunkest of all of you.”

“Most likely to kill a man!”

Lily ‘won’ this one, though she was closely followed by Marlene.

“Most likely to wear stupid socks to their wedding!”

Remus. Literally no one said anything other than Remus. Not even Remus. Even Remus said Remus.

“Most likely to accidentally spill secrets to You-Know-Who—that’s fucking dark, Jesus, Melanie—”

Won by Alice, with a couple of votes going to Peter.

“Most likely to be rejected!”

James. By a landslide. The only other vote was for Peter by James.

“Most likely to accidentally throw all their possessions off of the Astronomy Tower and blame it on the cat!”

Peter.

“Most likely to accidentally kill a pet!”

Sirius, much to his outrage. “Poseidon is extremely well looked after!”

“Exactly, mate, you’re going to feed him to death—“

“Shut it, Peter,” said Alice. “Most likely to be a werewolf—what the hell is this? Wait, this isn’t even Melanie’s handwriting.”

“Fuck the game! Let’s just get drunk!” said Remus quickly, wanting to change the topic. They finished four bottles between them, and at some point a shadowy figure snuck out of the Common Room. They did not care.

“Oh, apropos of nothing—Marlene, you’ve got mail,” said Sirius, throwing them in Marlene’s general direction. She unfolded them.

“Oh, Bertram Aubrey’s been a dick to some little gay second-years. Or…not gay second-years. He’s been calling them gay, anyway. Sirius, James, rough him up for me, will you?”

“I’m not part of the Gay Vigilantes! I’m straight!” cried James.

“You’re an honorary member, mate,” said Sirius. “What about that weird one that makes your head huge? Since he’s such an arrogant cock.”

“Fine.”

“And we’ve got two new applicants for the Vigilantes! I’d tell you their names, but that’d be breaking the secrecy contract.”

“Remus! You had an announcement!” said Dorcas.

“Yes!” Remus stood up. “Alright. I am………………………………"

“Was there an end to this sentence, Moony?” asked Lily. “Oh, god, I used the stupid nickname. Kill me now.”

“I’m bi.”

There was a pause.

“Nice to meet you, bi, I’m dad,” said James, drunk off his ass.

“Are you fuCKING SERIOUS, POTTER?” yelled Lily.

“He’s not, but I am,” said Remus.

This earned him a stare.

“Sirius is my…boyfriend. Which is very embarrassing. Alice, if you tell anyone any of this, I will kill your first-born child.”

“What about the second-born?”

“You won’t have a second-born because I will kill you afterwards.”

“Alright. That’s a fair cop.”

“It is not emBARRASSING,” said Lily. “Sirius is…hoooooooooooot.”

“Aw, thank you, Lils!” Sirius gave her a hug.

James looked murderous. “No need to put so much mustard on it.”

“He’s gay, your best friend, and dating your other best friend. I think you’re safe, Prongs,” said Remus.

“I am not a possession,” said Lily. “And I will never go out with Potter so long as he continues to act like an idiot.”

“It’s fun, though,” said James. “Give me another year, I’ll grow up eventually.”

“Alright, I’m leaving. You coming, girls?” Lily stood up.

“No, I’m going to stay up,” said Sirius. “Oh, you meant girls girls. Okay. I see how it is.”

“Drama queen. Goodnight to everyone except Potter.”

“Stop calling me POTTER,” James yelled.

“Was that the biggest issue in that statement, James? Really?” Marlene asked. She got up. “I’m going to bed too.”

“In that case, we’ll all go to bed except Sirius and Remus, to further the plot!” cried James. “I mean, I'm not allowed to say that. To…I don’t know. I can’t think of an excuse. To get a good night’s sleep?”

“Just leave, bitch,” said Sirius.

They left.

“I really don’t know what they think we do when we do this,” said Remus. Sirius shrugged. They sat, silent, for a couple minutes. It always ended up like that. It was almost comforting now, as opposed to awkward. There was no pressure to talk.

Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?” Sirius broke the silence.

Remus looked at him oddly. “Ce soir?”

“You complete me.” Sirius snorted. “It’s stuck in my head. Lady Marmalade.”

“You didn’t strike me as a Patti LaBelle guy.”

“It’s an obligation that comes with liking men. What does that mean, anyway?”

Remus laughed. “It means ‘do you want to sleep with me’, you dork. And ‘ce soir’ is tonight.”

“Well, the song makes a lot more sense to me now.”

“Mmm.”

“Actually, in that case, do you want to sleep wi—“ Sirius was hit in the face with a pillow.

“Shut your face.”

“So you do?” Sirius grinned.

“Begone, fly.”

More silence.

“This feels…warm.” Sirius broke the silence again.

“The fire’s on.”

“No—this.”

“Oh. What?”

“I don’t know. It just…is. I lo—uhh. I like you a lot, Remus.”

Remus looked at him. “Sap.”

“Pfft, shut up.”

“I like you a lot too, even if you are a sappy mess who keeps punching people.”

“I am part of the Gay Vigilantes. Before we settled on that we were called the Sappy Messes who Keep Punching People.”

“Oh. Since I’m officially ‘out’ can I join the Gay Vigilantes? Well, I’m not technically gay, but I’d like to get revenge.”

“You have the muscle of a stick, Remus.”

“Maybe so, but I’m more intelligent than all of you. Wait, who’s actually on the team?”

“We don’t know the other members. I mean, everyone knows me and Marlene are on it, but no one knows who anyone else is, so if we get caught we can’t rat each other out. Also so you don’t have to come out to everyone if you want to join.”

“That’s…actually pretty smart.”

Sirius laughed. “Marlene thought it up.”

“Hey, we did a great job at diffusing what little sexual tension there was before.”

“We’re so good at this.”

“Fuck yeah. Power couple, right?”

“So we are actually…doing this, then?” Sirius looked back towards the glowing remains of the fire.

“Doing what?”

“The…couple thing.”

“I guess,” said Remus. “Wait, that’s a terrible answer. I mean, yes, of course, my darling, dearest, light of my life—”

“Shut up,” laughed Sirius. “This was meant to be a real moment!”

“I’m not sorry.”

“Dude, I—”

“Ban on dude. I’m not having my boyfriend call me dude.”

“Mate?”

“No.”

"Bro?"

“Absolutely not.”

“Broski?”

“Die.”

“Broseph?”

“I’m going to throw myself off the astronomy tower.”

“OK, OK. I’ll stick with babe or Moony.”

“Good. What were you actually going to say?”

Sirius exhaled. “Nothing.”

“OK.” Remus leaned over and kissed him softly. “FUCK that feels good after ALL THAT FUCKING BUILDUP.”

“No kidding. Boyfriend.”

Remus snorted. “You’re a fool.”

“Maybe, but I have the pRETTIEST BOYFRIEND IN THE WORLD—”

“Shut up.”

Chapter Text

26th October, 1975

2.41pm

“Evans, why wouldn’t you want to go out with me? I’m athletic, attractive, charming, six foot—”

“NO YOU’RE NOT YOU BASTARD YOU’RE 5’11,” screeched Sirius from across the room. James flipped him off, ‘charming’ smile still on his face, without looking at him.

“I don’t want to go out with you, Potter, because you’re an arrogant, egotistical prick who beats anyone who doesn’t agree with him up. And not even being able to sit in your own common room to do homework without being harassed is not a selling point.” Lily got up and left.

James sighed as he watched her go. “It’s because I’m too short, isn’t it?”

 

26th October, 1975

3.05pm

“Why are you so TALL, Remus?” asked James, 5’11. Whenever he tried to say he was 6’ he was immediately contadicted. “I reckon I’ve still got a bit to grow, though.”

“I thought I was going to stop growing at age 12 but no. Apparently not,” sighed the ever-suffering Remus, 6’2. “I’m still growing, as well.”

“That is…very depressing,” said Sirius, just 6’0. “I’m not going to grow more.”

Peter, 5’8, was going to cry. “I doubt I’m going to grow much more, either.”

“It’s okay, Pete,” said Sirius, patting him on the back. “At least you’re taller than Lily.”

“Lily’s like 5’5! And I’m not even that much taller than her!”

“3 inches is a solid 7.62 centimetres, Pete. That’s a fair amount,” Remus said.

“Do you just…naturally convert between the metric system and the imperial system?” James stared at him.

Remus shrugged. “I don’t know, man.”

“You’re so weird.”

"I don't know, it's kind of sexy," said Sirius, causing James to 'awww' and Peter to wish he were dead.

 

26th October, 1975

7.33pm

“You need to stop Potter,” said Lily, stopping Remus on his way to dinner.

“I know. Wait, what did he actually do to prompt this?”

“He keeps coming up to me in the common room and giving me reasons I should go out with him.”

“What? Didn’t he only do that once?”

Lily sighed. “I wish. Today was the eighth time.”

“Jesus Christ.”

“He has far too much confidence. I constantly insult him and he doesn’t give up. It’s just making me really uncomfortable.”

“I’ll try and stop him.”

“Thank you oh my god.”

 

27th October, 1975

5.00am

“Get up, dickhead,” said Remus. He poured a glass of ice water on James’ face.

There was yelling. “you BEAST WHAT IS GOING ON?”

“Shut up, if Sirius wakes up you’re extra dead.”

“What’re you doing, man?”

“I said get up,” said Remus. James sat up, potentially tired for the first time in his life.

Remus left the dorm and James trailed after him until they arrived at the Great Lake.

“What are we doing?” asked James.

Remus pulled out his wand. James yelled. Remus could probably kill a man with a Stunning spell.

“Run and I hex you. You will not be able to see, hear or taste for many days. You have a decision to make, because Lily is my friend and you deserve this. You either swear, on both the Marauder’s Map and Sirius’ life, to leave Lily alone for as long as she wants you to, or jump into the lake and kiss the Giant Squid.”

“What Giant Squid?”

The one I put in the lake.”

“You WHAT?”

“Okay, that was a joke. I just helped Hagrid put it in the lake.”

“REMUS WHAT THE HELL—”

“Choose!”

“I’ll stop, I’ll stop!”

“Swear.”

“Fuckshitbitch—”

“POTTER—”

“FINE—ON SIRIUS’ LIFE!”

“And the Map.”

“And the Map! Sweet Jesus!”

“Alright.” Remus shoved his wand back into his pyjamas.

“You are so violent, I’m not even angry. I’m just scared of you.”

 

29th October, 1975

8.23am

“Morning, Sev,” said Lily, doodling, a piece of toast absentmindedly in her other hand. She appeared to have forgotten about it.

“Hey. Did you wait for me? That’s cute.” Snape slumped down on the bench, next to her.

“I hate when you call me that. And no, I was waiting for Remus and Sirius. How’s your nose?”

Snape made a disgusted face. “Still broken. Because they broke it. Why are you still friends with those pricks?”

“First of all, Remus had nothing to do with that. Second of all, you can hardly criticise my choice in friends, Severus.” she said sharply, jerking her head towards Crabbe and Avery, both of whom were picking on a first-year.

“There’s something wrong with that Lupin kid, Lily. I’d stay away from him if I were you.”

Lily gave him a look. “What do you mean?”

“Oh, come on, Lily. He just so happens to see his ‘grandma’ every full moon?”

She shook her head. “What’s your point?”

He sighed. “I didn’t really want to tell anyone this, but, Lily, I saw Madam Pomfrey taking him to the Whomping Willow last full moon. He was not at his grandma’s.”

“Maybe she lives in the fucking Whomping Willow, Sev, I don’t know. What I do know is that it is none of your business. Morning, Remus!”

“Speak of the devil—or rather, the werewolf,” muttered Snape.

“Sorry, Severus, what was that?” asked Remus mildly. “I couldn’t quite hear you. You were being subtle as usual.”

Snape nodded curtly. “Lupin, I’ve always wanted to ask you—” Lily looked at him forbiddingly, but he carried on. “How did you get those scars on your face?”

Remus looked at him oddly. “I feel like I should be making an anachronistic Joker reference here. Why don’t you ask James? I’m sure he’ll tell you.”

“What?” Severus looked confused, more than anything. “I’m not going to do that.”

“Then you will never know,” said Remus, helping himself to eggs. “Want to ditch Herbology, Lily?”

“It’s O.W.L year, Remus! That’s irresponsible! Also, yes I do.”

 

29th October, 1975

5.33pm

TOP SECRET DIARY JOURNAL OF SEVERUS SNAPE: KEEP OUT

Dear Diary Journal,

I’ve been trying to find out how Lupin got those scars he has all over his face - well, technically I’ve been trying to prove he’s a werewolf. If Dumbledore knew, surely he’d expel him. You can’t have a werewolf on school grounds; he’s a danger to the students. Hopefully when he gets expelled, he’ll take Potter, Black and (I suppose) Pettigrew with him.

 

POTTER: “Rita Skeeter has really long acrylics, and Remus recently pissed her off.”

BLACK: “Prison fight. Remus was in there for arson and murder.”

PETTIGREW: “Rats.” note: asked him to expand, he refused.

LILY: “His grandma has a really bitchy cat.”

MARLENE MCKINNON: “You should see the other guy.”

DORCAS MEADOWES: “He let loose some animals from a New York zoo and helped them get to Madagascar. The zebra, hippopotamus and giraffe were all fine, but he had an altercation with the lion. I don’t know how the penguins reacted. Probably just did the classic ‘smile and wave, boys, smile and wave’ move.”

ALICE - last name unknown, somehow, after five years of (barely) knowing each other: “He fell down the stairs and landed on a piano full of knives. Who are you again?”

This particular part of the investigation has been declared fruitless.

 

31st October, 1975

7.52am

“Morning, sunshine,” said Sirius, actually awake before noon, and holding a black coffee. His hair was up in a bun, and sweet Jesus, was he actually doing homework? No, he was drawing. Oh, well, close enough. Remus sat up groggily.

“Why are you awake? Oh. It’s Halloween, isn’t it?”

“HELL THE FUCK YEAH, IT IS!”

Peter grunted angrily.

“Sorry, Wormtail. Oh, Moony, I’ve been meaning to ask you, by the way,” said Sirius. “Did you actually go to New York and release a bunch of zoo animals? And they accidentally got shipped to Madagascar and had a bunch of fun family-friendly Dreamworks adventures? There’s a rumour you did.”

Remus stared at him.

“I’m going to take that as a ‘no comment’.”

“Why are you drinking black coffee? Don’t you usually have it with milk?” asked Remus.

“I weirdly prefer it black now. The milk stops the caffeine from getting to my brain.”

“That’s…no. That…is not. No.”

“It’s got so much sugar in it it doesn’t even matter. Oh, by the way, I reckon I’m going to skip the feast this year.”

“What? But you think it’s - quote - ‘the best part of the entire fucking year’.”

“It’s the best part of the entire fucking year because I always ditch it.” Sirius grinned at him. “Have you ever actually seen me at one?”

“No, because I always ditch it too.”

“Why don’t you ditch it with me this time?” Sirius turned back to his drawing. “I found this weird-ass Muggle place just outside of Hogsmeade that has, like…you know pictures? It’s just a picture, but it tells a story.”

Remus looked confused. “Do you mean a cinema?”

“That’s it. How did you know that? Have you been there before?”

“…Not that one in particular? I’ve been to a cinema before, though. What’re we going to see?”

“Uh, they had the film Carrie on.”

“‘Carry on’?”

“No, ‘Carrie’. The film ‘Carrie’ is on. Like, playing.”

Remus thought for a second. “Oh, I read that book. Stephen King, right? Also, Sirius, it’s a cinema. You don’t have to specify it’s a film.”

“You know the Muggle stuff, I bring the motorbike!”

Remus paused. “The what?”

“How else would we get there? You want to walk for nine hundred hours?”

“That’s…that’s a fair point, but — when did you get a motorbike?”

“Ages ago. I’ve been stashing it in the Forbidden Forest. It’s not technically legal.”

“No shit — you have to be 17 to drive a car, Padfoot!”

“I think for bikes it’s 16—”

“You…think? You’re not 16 for another three days - alright, that’s not very long, but you still don’t have a license! And if you got it ages ago then it’s extra illegal!”

“Calm down, calm down, you’ll wake up Peter and James—”

“How are you not dead?” Remus was just becoming increasingly concerned with every word.

“I know how to ride it! I even have a helmet, but I will not wear it, because it’ll mess up my hair, and I’m not going to go on a date with messed-up hair.”

“Next thing you’ll be telling me it can fly.”

Sirius looked sheepish. “Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeell—“

“WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU, PADFOOT—”

“What did Sirius do?” asked James, suddenly awake. “Also, it’s HALLOWEEEEEEEEEN.”

“He has a flying motorbike,” sighed Remus.

“Yeah, I know. I helped him buy it. And charm it. Wait — why would he tell you that? Unlesssssssssss…”

“You are literally like a mother, James,” said Sirius. “See, this is why I didn’t want to wake him up!”

“You’re going on a DATE, OH MY GOD, THAT’S ADORABLE!”

“Prongs. Stop.”

“I’m too tall to be on a motorbike anyway,” said Remus.

“You are not,” said Sirius.

 

31st October, 1975

9.00pm

“If we die, then know that you deserve it.”

“Get on, Moony, you twat.”

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.” The most deadpan scream in the world.

“Come on, if we’ve been together for a month you have to meet Elvendork.”

“What in the ass kind of name is Elvendork?” Remus’ fear was overcome by confusion.

“James chose it. Works for a boy or a girl.”

“That…isn’t a motorcycle meant to have, like, a sexy name?”

“Elvendork is a very sexy name! Also, say sexy again.”

“No.”

“Do it.”

“No.”

“Doooo ittttttt,” said Sirius.

“No.”

“Please?”

“No.”

“For me?”

“No.”

“For Elvendork?”

“I hope Elvendork dies.”

“For…Wormtail?”

“No.”

“For books.”

“…Sexy.”

“WOO! Now get on the damn bike.”

“Shit.”



31st October, 1975

9.33pm

“I hate everything about this. I hate everything about this. I am going to die. I hate everything about this. I am very afraid.” Remus’ words were monotone as hell, and yet he was clinging onto Sirius with everything he had.

“We’re nearly there, you little bitch. I mean I love and treasure you. …You little bitch.”

“Death is coming for us all.”

“Not that dude with the Invisibility Cloak in that story.”

“What?”

“Look, we’re nearly there.”

 

31st October, 1975

11.42pm

“Well, I’m not sleeping for the next three years,” Sirius said as they walked out of the theatre.

“Babe, you weren’t going to sleep anyway, you drink so much coffee.”

“You have no idea how much I love when you call me ‘babe’.”

“You got some weird kinks, Padfoot.”

“Yep.”

 

1st November, 1975

12.01am

“Oh thank god I can get off of this evil death trap.”

“You’re offending Elvendork.”

“She deserves to be offended!”

“You are the worst.” Sirius draped his arm around Remus’ shoulders (it was a struggle. Remus was so tall) as they walked towards the castle.

“Hey, it’s November,” said Remus, checking his watch. “Happy nearly-birthday.”

“You’re such a nerd.”

“So are you.”

“I keep it more low-key though.”

“Sirius, yesterday you made a tiny Freddie Mercury out of craft paper and cried over it.”

“That was important! It was important work!”

“Shut up.” Remus kissed him lightly. “Let’s go back to the dorm.”

“Alright. But really quick I got to…do something.”

“No. You’re going to go punch someone in their sleep.”

“…No I’m not.”

“Come back to the dorm, idiot.”

Chapter Text

3rd November, 1975

8.04am

“Muggle alarm clocks are the WORST,” groaned Sirius. “Wait, I don’t own an alarm clock.”

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” came a yell from…many, many people. Sirius sat up to see…the entirety of Gryffindor tower?

“What in the fuck—how did you get the fourth-years up before…fuck that, how’d you get the fourth-years up at all?”

“I CONVINCED THEM WITH A ROUSING AND WONDERFUL SPEECH,” said James. “Oh, by the way, do you have 1000 Galleons? I may have promised them four Galleons each.”

“You’re a mess.”

“Yep.”

“Alright. Clear out. Don’t crowd the attractive birthday friend. Clear out. Clear a path.” Peter, being authoritative for the first time in his entire life, actually managed to get the horde of people to clear a path, and began to roll out a red carpet.

“You know, some people are content with a simple celebration on their birthday,” said Remus, lying on his bed and reading.

“Shut up, Moony, let me have my moment! Also, James, I’m still in my pyjamas. I’m not going down to breakfast like this.”

“Oh, crap. I did not think about that. Just go change in the bathroom.” James shrugged.

 

3rd November, 1975

8.19am

Dear Sirius,

Happy birthday! I hope you and James aren’t getting into too much trouble — I’ve only gotten four letters from Minerva since the beginning of term, which is seven less than last year. Sometimes I wonder how you have so much time on your hands.

Eat a good breakfast. You’re a growing boy.

Tell Remus to keep an eye on you and James for me.

Love, Euphemia xxx

“She’s like my extra mum, because my mum sucks!” said Sirius happily. James clapped him on the back.

“You have my blessing, man. You’re Sirius Potter now.”

“That…does not sound right at all, but I appreciate it, mate,” said Sirius. “I’m Sirius Potter.”

“I can think of a last name that’d sound better—”

“I’m going to kill you, James,” said Remus.

“I was going to say…Pettigrew.”

“Sure you were, buddy.” Sirius looked slightly amused. “Anyway, that’s all the letters I got there are no more.”

He then stuffed the other letter he was very obviously holding down his shirt.

The rest of them let it go.

“Hey, Remus, what’d you get me?” asked Sirius.

“I can’t…tell you that, Padfoot, it’s a gift.”

“Is it birthday sex?” asked James.

“What—who raised you, James?” Remus sighed.

Sirius looked…deeply uncomfortable.

“So, change of subject, who did the Herbology homework? Because I did not,” said Peter, to everyone’s relief.

 

3rd November, 1975

2.34pm

“Seriously, what the hell do they think they’re doing, creeping around like that?”

“Why are you so obsessed with them, Sev?” asked Lily.

“I’m not obsessed with them. Come on, Lily, what’s with Lupin? You must know.”

“Okay, I’m leaving.”

 

“Alright, Sirius, we’re going to ditch Potions for no reason at all,” said James, over on the Gryffindor table.

“You read my mind, dearest,” said Sirius.

“C’mon, let’s go to the Room of Requirement. For no reason.”

“Hang on, I need to get Poseidon.”

“Sirius, you’re going to miss the surprise party! Fucking—dammit.”

Sirius pointed at him accusingly. “AHA! Suspicion confirmed. Also, I actually do want to get Poseidon, he deserves to see the celebration.”

 

3rd November, 1975

2.42pm

“SURPRISE!” Marlene, Dorcas (who was still kind of freaked out about the whole Room of Requirement thing), Peter, Remus and Lily were sort of…standing there awkwardly, but they had a cake. And alcohol.

Sirius gasped dramatically. “Oh my god! There’s no way I could’ve possibly anticipated this!”

“Potter told you on the way accidentally, didn’t he?” asked Lily.

“Yep.” Sirius nodded.

“Alright. Booze!” said James, attempting to move on.

“Sirius, why do you have a cat?” asked Dorcas.

Sirius just looked at her, Poseidon perched on his shoulder.

“Anyway. It’s 2.45, James, I’m not going to drink yet. I don’t want to black out by eight,” said Sirius. This was met by murmurs of agreement.

“Goddammit. Cake!”

“Not yet, we haven’t set it on fire yet,” said Marlene.

“PRESENTS,’ James bellowed, turned around, and threw a gift at Sirius.

“FUCKCING—too much pressure, Prongs! I can’t catch shit!” He dropped it, caught it with the other hand, dropped it with that hand, then caught it with the other one.

“Well done, darling. That was a mess,” said James fondly.

“Hell yeah.” Sirius unwrapped it to reveal a small screaming animal. “…Uhhhhhhh—“

“Oh, I knew I wrapped the wrong thing,” said James, taking the animal back and putting it in his robes. The screaming continued. “It’s probably in my robes somewhere—yeah, here.” He passed Sirius a small golden circle that immediately started screaming almost as loudly as the…hamster? It was some sort of rodent, anyway.

“No fucking way—a Sneakoscope? That’s badass, man,” said Sirius. “Hey, why’s it whistling? Was it cheap or something?”

“No, very much no. No. It was not.” James looked pained. “It was very overpriced. Oh, I got you this, too!” He passed Sirius a mirror.

“EXCELLENT, I GET TO LOOK AT MYSELF—”

“Even better,” said James. “You get to look at mE!” He pulled out a matching mirror.

“Fucking dammit. Wait, what?”

“They’re connected! If you look in and yell I’ll be able to see you through it.” James grinned at him. “Never be alone again, buddy.”

“Oh that’s so cool—it’s like FaceTime for the seventies magic community,” said Sirius.

“Go back to the 21st century, you heathen,” said Lily. “Actually though, why is that Sneakoscope acting up so much?”

“Pete hid rats behind the bar,” said Remus, peering behind it.

“Whaaaaat, no I didn’t—” 

“Yes, he did,” said Remus.

“Ewwwwwww,” said Marlene. “Get them out.”

“Pete, get rid of them or Poseidon eats them.”

“Dammit,” said Peter. “Here, Sirius, I got you this.” He passed Sirius an enormous package, which he struggled to reach the top.”

“Need some help there, shortarse?” asked Remus.

“I AM SIX FOOT TALL, YOU BITCH—oh dear god, what the hell is this—”

Peter was sniggering. “It’s an animatronic sheep.”

“THIS IS THE STUFF OF NIGHTMARES—oh, is this from when we tried to smuggle a literal deer into the castle? Ha, that’s amazing! Thanks, Wormtail.”

“I’m sorry, from when?” Lily looked concerned, angry, confused, slightly impressed,

“I’m going to keep it in here, though, if this stays in my room it will kill us all,” said Sirius.

“Alright, let’s move on. Also, someone needs to put a blanket over that thing, its face is going to haunt me forever,” said Marlene. “This is a joint gift from the Better Pranksters Than All Of The Boys, And Also Everyone Else Dorm.”

“You’re not better pranksters than us!” cried James.

“Who do you think put all those bats in the Potions cupboard?” said Dorcas. James gaped.

“Also, we put the Giant Squid into the lake,” said Marlene.

“Yes we did,” said Lily.

Remus squinted. “Guys, I know you didn’t put the Giant Squid into the lake. I did that.”

There was a silence.

“Okay, moving on, what was your guys’ present?”

They had given him a huge stack of records, including but not limited to Queen’s A Night at the Opera, Steppenwolf’s self-titled album (but we all knew the only reason he wanted it was Born to be Wild), and Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars which was a fucking mouthful. This would incite a lot of terrible, terrible karaoke the next Saturday.

“This is perfect! I mean, I do have god-given ass,” said Sirius.

“No, you are a god-given ass,” said Remus. “I wouldn’t say you’re a leper messiah, though.” He threw a small package in Sirius’ direction.

He unwrapped it, and in a little box he found a simple gold chain necklace.

“DOES IT SAY I LOVE YOU ON IT? IT BETTER SAY I LOVE YOU ON IT—”

“Fucking—calm down, James, it doesn’t say ‘I love you’ on it,” said Remus. James was far more invested in this relationship than either of them were. “I wanted to get you something you could actually wear around your parents without—”

“Getting punched in the face, right, good plan,” said Sirius. “Thank you, Moony.” He grinned and got up to give him a kiss.

“I’m not kissing you in front of people.”

“What? WHy? You WOUND ME—”

“Because when Lily and James inevitably get together I want to act superior and also have a reason they shouldn’t be all PDA-y.”

“Oh, good plan.”

“SORRY WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT ME AND THAT DISGUSTING RAT—sorry Peter—GETTING TOGETHER, MOONY?”

“I’m going to run away now,” said Remus. “Also you called me Moony ha HA—”

“I HOPE YOU DIE—“

“Someone get me a coffee,” sighed Sirius.

“Get your own damn coffee, bitch,” said Marlene, but James had already gotten him one. How the fucking kettle had boiled in three seconds, no one knew.

“You’re so useless,” said Marlene.

“Love you too, Marls,” James replied.

Once Lily had calmed down, and Remus was sufficiently dead, Sirius decided to put on a record. “I don’t have my record player!”

“I’ll go get it, dearest!” James sprinted out of the Room of Requirement.

“Oh, he’s so going to get caught,” said Peter.

“Yes, very much so, yes,” said Remus.

“On the bright side, now James is dead,” said Lily.

“That is a bright side!” said Sirius. “Wait, no it’s not. Who’s going to get me coffee?”

“You know what, let’s just…start the alcohol drinking. Slowly,” said Remus.

By the time James was back, having been caught by several teachers, everyone was veeeeery drunk.

 

3rd November, 1975

10.29pm

“Moooony,” said Sirius, sitting next to him on the floor. It was long after Lily confiscated all the alcohol in case they accidentally died. “How’s it going?”

“Hellooooooo,” said Remus. “That was weird. I’m sorry.”

“Yeah, that was weird.”

“Oh my gOD, you’re wearing the…thing I got you. What’s it called? Neck.”

“Yes, Remus, you helped me…put it on. Hey!”

“Aah. What.”

“You know how…you’re a vampire?”

“No. No, I’m not. That is…not a true fact,” said Remus. “I’m the other one.”

“Oh yeah. Anyway! You know how you…are that. You know when you turn into it?”

“Unfortunately.”

“You know how you’re all…twisty?”

“Yes.”

“That’s gotta be, like…a killer back crack. It sounds amazing.”

Remus stared at him.

“Like, cracking your knuckles, but better.”

“I’m going to punch you in the face now.”

“Okay, I deserve that.”

 

3rd November, 1975

10.44pm

“Sirius, what happened to your cheek?” asked Lily. He just nodded and did a thumbs up. “I feel like you deserve that.”

“I definitely do but that’s cRUEL.”

“Hey, at least whoever punched you avoided your mouth. God forbid we couldn’t hear you make stupid fucking comments all the time—”

“AlriGHT ALRIGHT. Don’t insult the birthday boy.”

“Lily, babe, can you pass me my book?” said Remus, sideways on an armchair, like he always was.

“This is a PARTY, REMUS,” said Lily. “No books.” She walked off to stop Marlene from throwing random shit at Peter.

“Fuck.”

“Sorry Remus couldn’t help but overhear there—”

“Sirius, you were part of that conversation.”

“What’d you call Lily again? It was just ‘Lily’, right?” Sirius looked slightly agitated.

“No, I called her ‘babe’. Awww, is someone jealous?”

“I’VE NEVER FELT AN EMOTION IN MY LIFE, MOONY, I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING AB—"

“Shut up, fool,” said Remus, laughing. “That’s adorable. Also, being jealous of Lily is insane. It’s just an insane thing.”

“I just like being called babe! I’m not jealous.”

Remus grinned. “Sure you’re not, babe.”

“I have been BLESSED, JESUS IS WITH US ON THIS DAY—”

“Shhhhhhhhhut up. Hey, Padfoot?”

“Mmm?”

“Love you.”

“Love you too, Moons.”

 

12th November, 1975

7.19pm

“PRONGS, LOOK, THEY’VE GOT ICE CUBES!” yelled Sirius, as he sat down at dinner. Peter and Remus both looked at him oddly.

“Sirius, have you never seen an ice cube?” asked Peter.

“They’ve never had them at dinner before!” exclaimed James, just as excited as Sirius. “I’m going to put them in my pumpkin juice!”

Remus sighed. “Am I the only one who finds the concept of pumpkin juice really weird? It tastes OK, but I’d really rather have orange juice at breakfast.”

“Pass the green beans,” said James.

“Oh my god, he’s eating a vegetable,” said Dorcas, who’d just joined them.

“Oh, hey Dorcas. Look! Ice cubes!” said James.

“MOTHER OF FUCK, I JUST DEEPTHROATED AN ICE CUBE—” Sirius screeched, until he realised everyone in the Hall was staring at him. He took the opportunity, jumped up onto the bench and bowed.

This was the last time ice cubes were allowed at dinner, or any other meal in fact, at Hogwarts.

“Ten points to Dumbledore,” said Dumbledore.

 

14th November, 1975

3.22pm

Sirius, no matter what you say there is no way to survive jumping off the Astronomy tower without a parachute.

But Prongs!!!!!! if you did the spell I can’t think of right now, the one that slows you down! Memento mori? no that’s remember you will die in Latin never mind

You are too much of an idiot to remember to cast a spell while you’re falling

What if I Apparated?

Can’t Apparate on Hogwarts grounds, bitch. Also you can’t Apparate

shut up moony. I hate the name hogwarts. It should be renamed Pigfarts, that’s much better

You can’t call it Pigfarts. Pigfarts is on Mars.

;;;;what

ANYWAY you would die

If you were Dumbledore you could do it? I’ve seen him Apparate on school grounds

If you were Dumbledore you wouldn’t FUCKING JUMP OFF THE ASTRONOMY TOWER TO WIN A BET also you’re not him

But Lily bet me I couldn’t! I’m not losing three Sickles!

Sirius no

JAMES AS YOUR ELDER AND BETTER I THINK I KNOW BEST. I mean legally comma at age sixteen I can (moony what can u do in muggle world when you’re sixteen)

Why did you write out comma?

DON’T QUESTION ME JUST TELL ME WHAT I CAN DO

Like….nothing?

u s e LE S S FUCK

don’t talk that way to your husband. you can’t call him a useless fuck

SHUT UP PETE

IF YOU JUMP OFF THE ASTRONOMY TOWER I’M JUMPING WITH YOU

HELL TO THE FUCK YEAH

You technically just said ‘hell fuck yeah’, you bitchass idiot

PISS OFF MOTHERFUCKBITCH

ah, the beauty of young love. I am overcome with joy, tears in my eyes, at this beautiful expression of emotion

 

15th November, 1975

3.14am

“IT’S PI AM,” yelled Remus, at the top of the Astronomy tower, very drunk.

“How did you get a…mesh Sainsbury’s prison? No,” slurred Peter. “Shopping cart!”

“You shop at Sainsbury’s?” Remus’ face was practically an exact replica of [gay judgement], which would not be seen for another 33 years. Life imitates art. “Alright. I see how it is. Too good for Tesco, are you, Wormtail?”

“I shop at Lidl, bitch, savings,” said Peter.

“GOOD,” said Remus. “There is a distinct hierarchy of shopping…places. It’s like…Waitrose at the top. That place reeks of middle age and middle class.”

“Then…Marks n Sparks,” said Peter. “No. Marks and Spencer’s.”

“THat’s the same thing,” Remus said. “Then Sainsbury’s, then Tesco, then like…Aldi.”

“Then Lidl. Lidl is so cheap.”

“I LOVE IT.”

“GUYS,” yelled Sirius. “I have no idea what you’re talking about but I’m going to JUMP OFF THE ASTRONOMY TOWER IN A SHOPPING CART. That’s…probably more important.”

Remus and Peter both booed him.

“I bet you shop at fuckinnn Waitrose, you posh bastard. Shit, where does Morrison’s go in the hierarchy?” asked Remus.

“HERE I FUCKEN GO—”

 

15th November, 1975

3.40am

“He…fell out of bed,” said James, desperately trying to act sober.”And then…his cat. Pon—Posen. Posdon. Bit him.” Madam Pomfrey gave him a tired look.

“You leave Poseidon out of this, you nightmare,” Sirius looked personally offended.  “Hey, you know what sounds…terrible? Being drunk. It just sounds so…not fun.”

“Boys, I won’t tell the other teachers if you just tell me what really happened,” she said. “I need to be able to treat my patient. I legally can’t tell anyone else if you ask me not to.”

“Oh, hey, Poppy, when’d you get here?” asked Sirius, who had given up on acting sober.

“He…jumped off the Astronomy tower in a shopping cart. I was at the bottom, to cast Ar—Arresto Momememememe—“ James.exe has stopped working.

“Arresto Momentum,” said Madam Pomfrey.

“That’s the bitch—I mean—”

Madam Pomfrey was ready to die. As she was (somewhat) new, she had not yet become strict with many years of dealing with students’ idiocy, but she was fucking ready to.

“Yeah, that — on him as he fell.”

She sighed. “Not the first time someone’s tried that, won’t be the last. The shopping cart’s new, though. Mr Potter, you may go back to your dorm.”

“Sweet. Oh—how long will he be here?”

“A few days. You see, he did something extremely stupid.”

“Oh, what did he do?”

She stared at him.

“Right. I’m going back to the dorm. Oh, I’ll need to find someone to commentate the game tomo—”

Leave.”

 

15th November, 1975

3.52am

“Remus,” James whispered, in the dark of the dorm, as he struggled to find his bed. He’d already tried to get into bed with Peter, which caused a lot of yelling. Remus grunted in reply.

“You’re commentating the game on Sunday.”

Another grunt.

“I’m taking that as a yes.”

 

16th November, 1975

12.33pm

“And that’s…Kingsley Shacklebolt, Seeker for the Gryffindor team, fucking—zooming by, to use the technical term. And shit, that’s another point—oh, it’s ten points? Well, it’s ten points for the Slytherin team there, fucking fantastic. Better luck next time, Wormtail—I mean, Pettigrew. Ah, but there’s Davey Gudgeon, going for the Quaffle, apparently forgetting he’s a Beater, and—yep, he’s dropped it. Better than dropping your bat, Gudgeon. That’s what fucking happens when you don’t show up to practise because you’re busy wishing you were shagging Alice Prewett—fuck, speaking of shagging Alice and not showing up to practise, it’s Longbottom catching Gudgeon’s mistake, and is he going to score? My bet’s on no—oh, but I’m wrong! Congrats, Frank. I have been informed that if I say the word ‘fuck’ one more time McGonagall is going to take over personally, and that I’m ‘worse than Black’ - now I wouldn’t say that, Black happens to be the most egotistical cun—uh, bastar—person in the entirety of the world, and that includes James Potter—and there goes Potter, in fact, scoring about 60 points for Gryffindor, despite Slytherin Keeper Mulciber’s best efforts. Mind you, Mulciber’s a bit shite—wait, it still counts as a swear word if it has an ‘e’ on the end? Alright, alright—I’m meant to be commentating, Professor, I can’t deal with a lecture right now. All due respect. McKinnon on the Gryffindor sending a very well-aimed Bludger to Slytherin Seeker Avery’s face — yeowch, that looks like it hurts. Current score 90—40 to Gryffindor, we’re absolutely smashing their faces into the fu—goddamn ground—oh, come on, I have to say ‘goddamn’ or I’ll have no outlet at all! Anyway, it looks like Shacklebolt has seen the Snitch! Probably, I mean, I sure as fuck can’t, but I’m a blind son of a bitch—”

McGonagall, absolutely not for the first time in her life, was going to cut a bitch.

 

16th November, 1975

1.01pm

“SHACKLEBOLT! SHACKLEBOLT! SHACKLEBOLT! SHACKLEBOLT!”

Kingsley Shacklebolt had caught the Snitch surprisingly early in the game, earning Gryffindor their first win of the season, and knocking out their strongest opposition first. He was sitting in an armchair in the Gryffindor common room, looking pleased, but vaguely embarrassed.

“You’re going to get death glares from the entire house of Slytherin for the next six months, but honestly, worth it,” said James, slapping him on the back.

“Yeah, well done, mate,” said Peter. Shacklebolt raised his drink.

“OH, I FORGOT I NEEDED TO DEAL WITH YOU—YOU LET IN SEVEN BALLS! God it feels good doing that now I’m the Captain—”

“Calm down, James,” said Marlene, who had appeared out of nowhere. “He also saved about nine hundred thousand—well, three. But we scored eleven! To counteract that! And also we caught the Snitch.”

“…Fine,” said James. “You escape punishment for now, Rattus Rattus.”

“Horrible Histories doesn’t exist yet, Prongs,” said Remus, also appearing out of nowhere. “You can’t say that.”

“What else am I meant to call him?”

“What about dickhead?” suggested Marlene.

“What about PETER,” yelled Peter, and he walked away, into the Night. Not actually, he just went up to the dorm. If he actually walked away into the night, that would be impressive given that it was 1pm, and he was inside.

 

16th November, 1975

5.12pm

“REMUS,” bellowed Sirius from across the Hospital Wing. This earned him an angry ‘shh!’ from Madam Pomfrey.

“Hello, you malignant, egotistical tadpole,” said Remus. A fourth-year with her arm in a cast looked at them strangely.

“If you two hate each other so much, why do you still hang around each other so much?” she asked.

“Oh, we don’t hate each other,” said Sirius.

“He just called you a malignant, egotistical tadpole!” she said. “That’s not friendship!”

“No,” Remus said. “It’s not friendship.”

She looked extremely confused.

“BUZZ OFF, SHRIMPY, LEAVE THOSE TWO ALONE,” said James, having just arrived in the Hospital Wing.

“I’m under strict orders from Lily to tell you off when you call anyone younger slash shorter than you shrimpy,” said Remus, coming to sit by Sirius.

“You bastard, I wanted that seat!”

“Die. I have brittle legs. I’m liable to collapse at any moment.”

“Oh, speaking of,” said Sirius. “Moony, isn’t it your…time of the month soon?”

“Yep. Moving on, I’ve been banned from commentating the Quidditch matches from now on.”

“FUCKING GOOD—you’re terrible,” laughed Sirius. “I could hear you from here. You sound literally like a bored, sarcastic asshole who knows next to nothing about Quidditch—”

“I reckon that’s what he was going for,” said James. Remus nodded, grinning.

“Hey, I’m being let out soon,” said Sirius. “Actually, I think she said today. I didn’t break any bones or anything, but apparently if the person who casts Arresto Momentum is shit enough, which you may well have been, then broken bones can just randomly appear a few hours after the incident.”

“That’s…really cool,” said James, at the exact moment Remus said ‘disturbing'.

Chapter Text

18th November, 1975

10.47pm

“Alright, Black?” The voice of Severus Snape came from behind him, oddly confident, as Sirius tramped his way up the stairs, soaking wet from the rain outside.

“Well hello, Snivellus. Why don’t you go outside? It’d be the first shower you’ve had in a while,” he replied, unruffled. “What do you want?”

“To know where Lupin is.”

“He’s visiting his grandma. He left this evening.”

Snape gave him a nasty look. “I know that isn’t true. I saw Madam Pomfrey leading him to the Whomping Willow. Tell me…where does it lead?”

“I’m not going to tell you that, Snivelly,” Sirius said in a sing-song voice. “Why would I know, anyway? Piss off and go back to stalking Lily instead of Remus.”

“I’m her friend, you intransigent blockhead.”

Sirius looked at him oddly. “Did you…read a book of formal insults, or something? You sounded really stiff. I hope you don’t talk like that around Lily.”

“Either tell me where he is or fuck off,” said Snape, irked.

“Ooh, have I hit a nerve, there, Snivellus? We all know you’re in love with her. Do you honestly think you have a chance?”

Snape just stared at him. “Tell me where he is.”

“Or what, dickhead?”

A flash of inspiration ran through Snape’s eyes. “Or Orion Black gets a letter detailing the exact details of your…personal preferences.”

“What?”

“You heard me, Black, and I’m fairly sure you understood, unless you’re even more of an idiot than I thought. Tell me why he was at the Whomping Willow.”

“You…are one of the most cowardly, unfeeling little toads that I have ever—”

“Tell me.”

Sirius' voice was cool. “I’m not going to tell you anything, Severus. If you want to cost me a home I have hated my entire life in a weak attempt to sate your obsessive curiosity about my friend, go for it.” Shit shit shit shit shit—fuck, he was bluffing, right? He was probably be bluffing he had to be bluffing he wasn’t going to get him kicked out of his house

“Ah, yes. Your…friend.” Snape’s voice was dripping with sarcasm. “What about him? Would he be so willing to have everyone know he’s not only queer, but a werewolf too?” Motherfucker—

Sirius made a move as if to punch him, but thought better of it. “You are on thin ice, you fucking—” He took a breath. “Where’s your proof?”

“It isn’t hard to figure out, but once the idea’s there I’m sure people will be able to figure it out. Don’t know how they hadn’t already. I guess people are easy to fool. Sheep, so to speak,” he said.

“Alright, you edgy teenage motherfucker—”

“Do you want everyone to know or what?”

Sirius swallowed. “You don’t know anything for sure.”

“Allow me to rephrase. Do you want to take that chance?”

“…There’s a knot at the base of the tree. It’s hard to miss once you see it. Press it, and go down the tunnel. Figure it out by your fucking self.”

Snape gave a greasy smile. “I’ll be on my way.” He turned to leave.

“If you go, Snape, on your own damn head be it.”

 

18th October, 1975

11.09pm

“James—fuck,” panted Sirius, having sprinted up Gryffindor tower faster than he’d ever run in his life. “I did something really stupid, please, I need help—”

“Alright, well I’m doing my Charms homework and it’s due tomorrow—“ James stopped when he saw Sirius’ face. “What happened?

“Snape knows.”

“You what?”

“About Remus! He—he sort of threatened to tell people unless I told him about the tree, and—"

James stood up. “Slow down. Sort of threatened or actually threatened?”

“Actually threatened. First he was going to out me to my parents, which was whatever but then—"

“He said he’d tell everyone about Remus,” James finished, knowing Sirius too well. Sirius nodded. “Sirius, what did you tell him?”

“How to get into the tree.” Sirius stopped. James went very pale.

“He’s going to get himself fucking killed. Stay here.”

“No, I’m going to come—“

“Sirius, you’ve done enough fucking damage—that’s not what I meant. Just…Jesus Christ, stay here.”

“No. I’m going to get McGonagall.”

“Fucking whatever!” James ran out the common room, flew down the stairs, narrowly avoided Filch, down to the grounds—shit, there was Hagrid—he should’ve taken the Cloak. Get to the fucking tree, get to the fucking tree—and yes, there was a familiar oily head.

“Severus!”

Snape turned around at the sound of James’ voice. “What do you want, Potter?” he sneered. “Come to try and protect your friend?”

“No, I’m here to save your stupid ass. If you go into the Whomping Willow, you will die. You will get yourself killed.”

“Stop trying, Potter. I’m going in there.”

“Snape! You will die! This is not a fucking joke—you’re going to get killed! You’re going to die! Your life will be over! What part of that don’t you comprehend?”

“Well, maybe that’ll prove that there shouldn’t be a monster roaming the halls of Hogwarts.”

“He’s not a monster!” James said, more sharply than he intended—no, exactly as sharply as he intended—but he quickly realised it was a mistake. Snape dodged between the flying branches of the Willow, pressed the knot and disappeared into the tunnel. James let out a frustrated yell and followed him.

“IF YOU DIE—IT’LL BE—YOUR OWN FUCKING—FAULT—NO ONE’LL—BLAME—”

But Snape was gone.

 

18th October, 1975

11.11pm

“Professor!” Sirius practically broke down McGonagall’s door.

“Mr Black, what on earth could you need at this hour—"

“Severus Snape is attempting to get into the Shrieking Shack,” Sirius panted. McGonagall stared at him, put her wand in her robes, and stood up.

“Get back to your dormitory.”

“No.”

Get back to your dormitory, Black, or so help me—“

“Professor, this is my fault, I have to make sure they’re both OK—“

McGonagall didn’t ask why he knew Remus would be in the Shrieking Shack, or how he it was his fault, or how he knew that the Whomping Willow led to the Shrieking Shack at all, because she was already halfway out the door. No time to argue.

“Don’t get in the way.”

 

21st November, 1975

5.14pm

“Padfoot.” A very battered-looking Remus Lupin was stood in the doorframe of the dorm.

Sirius stood up, looked at him for a second. “You’re okay.”

Remus swallowed. “Yeah, I’m okay.”

There was a silence.

“What happened, Sirius?”

“James didn’t tell you?”

“James didn’t tell me shit.”

Sirius fumbled for words. What the hell was he going to say? “I told Snape how to get into the Shrieking Shack. He’s fine. He almost wasn’t. James stopped him before he could do anything, and he got a right scare from McGonagall.”

Remus stared at him. “So he knows…”

“Yes.”

“And this was…why? For a…prank? Because you wanted to actually kill him? And put that on my conscience?”

“No.”

“Then why the fuck would you—”

Sirius shook his head and walked past him.

 

21st November, 1975

6.13pm

“Remus!” James dropped his bag as soon as he saw him there and tackle-hugged him.

“Christ, James—“

“Where’s Sirius?”

“I…” Remus gently pushed James off him. “Gone.”

“Gone?” James flopped down on Sirius’ bed, which Sirius would definitely resent him for, and picked up Poseidon.

Remus nodded.

“Did he…tell you what happened?”

“Uh huh.”

“Are you angry?”

Remus looked at him oddly. “Am I…angry?”

“Yeah.”

“I don’t even…know.” Remus ran a hand through his hair, a nervous habit he’d either picked up from James or Sirius. “I’m confused, more than anything.”

“Honestly, me too.”

“I think I just need the full story. He didn’t tell me anything. I’m just—confused.”

James sighed. “Well, Sirius’ll come back eventually.”

 

21st November, 1975

10.22pm

“Alright, I’m going to go look for him,” said James, having fed Poseidon. He had ended up loving that cat almost as much Sirius did, and he had been named Official Godparent (emphasis on ‘god’ parent. get it get it because Poseidon).

Invisibility Cloak not quite covering his feet, he checked classrooms and hallways and dorms; he struggled up the girls’ dormitory slide to check with Lily, Marlene, Dorcas and Alice; he checked the Room of Requirement (though he didn’t quite know if the Room could allow two people in separately); he checked the library, earning his feet a very odd glance from Madam Pince; he even checked the damn Shrieking Shack, just in case. Once he was sure Sirius could be nowhere on the grounds, he had a very ominous feeling. He headed to the Forbidden Forest, to the random grove they’d chosen to hide Elvendork in — he only knew where it was because of a trail of trees marked ‘PADFOOT + PRONGS WERE HERE’ led him to it. Sure enough, the motorbike was gone.

“Shit.”

He made his way back to the castle, when he saw a figure leaning against a tree, and smoke. Murderer? Arsonist? No, probably not, too conspicuous. Wow, he just freaked himself out. Fourth year trying a cigarette for the first time? No, too tall. Who the fuck else would be out at this hour? Sirius? No. Elvendork was gone, that meant Sirius was gone too.

“James?” The figure spoke oh holy fuck it was a murderer he was going to die—hang on. No.

“Remus?” James sighed in relief. “Oh, thank fuck, I’m not going to die.”

“Mm, depends.”

“Are you smoking?”

“No. Well, yes, but it’s a joint.”

James raised his eyebrows. “Sweet. Can I have some?”

Remus grinned. “No.”

“RUDe—”

“Prongs, you high is not something the world needs to see. What are you doing here?”

“I was checking for Elvendork.”

“That’s the worst name for a motorbike in existence, I hope you know that.”

“It’s the best name. Anyway, it’s gone. Why’re you here?” He gasped. “Don’t tell me you’re out here looking for Sirius too! Forgiveness! Drama! Romance!”

“Step off, bitch,” said Remus. “I came here to toke up. I forgot where he parked his stupid fucking bike.”

“Lies.”

“Also, comma, I haven’t forgiven him because I have been given literally no reason to.”

“You’re speaking like him,” James said with a chuckle. “Is it because you’re high or is it your subconscious telling you to go to him! I mean, you just said ‘step off bitch’ and ‘comma’ out loud.”

“I’m a bit high, and you’re overstepping. Let me deal with this.”

“How’d you get the weed, then?”

“Talent.”

“Sharing is caring.”

“As the responsible friend, who is also a Prefect, no.”

“The responsible friend who is smoking the Drugs!” cried James. “Is there a Hogwarts drug ring? Did you get it off that?

“I am the Hogwarts drug ring, Prongs. Where do you think the sixth-years get it from?”

Who are you?”

“Wouldn’t you like to know.”

“Anyway, I’m going to go wait in the Grove of Elvendork. You coming?”

“No, I don’t want to see him.”

James paused. “Why not?”

“Because…I don’t know if I want an explanation, really. I mean, what possible reasonable explanation could he have for that? ‘Yeah, I wanted a kid killed and I thought inflicting lifelong guilt on my boyfriend was the best way to do that’? I just…don’t know. I don’t reckon I’ll be coming back to Hogwarts after this, though.”

James looked aghast. “What?! Moony! You have to stay!”

“Severus is going to tell everyone I’m a werewolf. I might as well leave before that happens.”

James’ brow furrowed. “I don’t think he will. I mean, that was part of his stupid fucking blackmail. You know, his little ego trip.”

Remus looked at him oddly. “Blackmail?”

“Yeah, he—Sirius didn’t tell you?”

“I told you, he told me jack shit.”

“That would’ve…helped his case, though? It makes it seem—“ James sighed. “From what I heard from his very rushed explanation, Snape threatened to tell everyone about your…furry little problem, if he didn’t tell him how to get in.”

What?”

“True facts, 100%. Well, probably. Sirius wouldn’t lie to me. Most likely. He seemed pretty panicked, and he's not a good liar when he's freaking out.”

“I’m going back to the castle.” He dropped the joint and crushed it with his foot. “Waste of good weed. Well, it’s not good. It’s shit, actually. The point is I’m leaving.”

“Be safe.”

“Fuck off.”

“Love you.”

“Fuck you.”

“Oi! Show some respect for your father-in-law;!”

Remus stuck up two fingers.

“That’s close enough. Love you, son!”

 

22nd November, 1975

7.44am

James was woken up by the dawn, using the Invisibility Cloak as a blanket, the tip of his nose freezing. He had leaves in his hair.  He had a frantic search for his glasses, before he realised they were on his face, took a brief moment to feel like an idiot, and looked around the grove for Elvendork. No sign.

He then realised he hadn’t looked behind him, and saw Sirius leaning casually on his bike, watching this with amusement in his eyes.

“Morning,” he said, running a hand through his hair, which was already windswept.

“Shut up,” said James, picking a small earthworm out of his jacket. “Where were you, dude?”

Sirius shrugged. “No idea. Ended up in a cornfield at one point.”

Why?” James gasped. “Did you steal an ear of corn because it was there?”

“Actually, yes, but then I yeeted—yote? I yote it into a bush in this other forest I found because it wasn’t ripe.”

“Every time you speak I wonder why God made you attractive, because you are an idiot and you don’t deserve it,” said James.

“Sexy motherfucker who doesn’t deserve to be hot, I know, I know,” he replied with a wink. The confidence faltered. “Where’s Remus?”

“In the castle, moron. I’m the only one stupid enough to sleep out here for you.”

“He’s not…murderous, is he?”

“No, no, nothing like that. At least, I don’t think. Why didn’t you explain what Snape was doing right away, mate?”

“I don’t know.”

“I think you’re punishing yourself because you think you deserve it, mainly because of your family issues that make you feel less than—"

“Yeah yeah yeah, author—please go back to writing jokes, this bullshit isn’t a good colour on you,” said Sirius. At that moment, purely coincidentally, James accidentally turned into a stag and fell the fuck over. Sirius ran away, yelling ‘a ha hA I STEAL YOUR MILK’ in a Dutch accent. Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?

 

22nd November, 1975

8.04am

“Black, why in God’s name do you have a stag with you?” asked Flitwick, for once glad it was a Saturday and he didn’t have to deal with this in class.

“This is my pet stag. He’s called…Marlene.”

The deer bleated in protest.

“See, he responds to his name,” said Sirius. “Which is Marlene.”

“The Hogwarts letter requests you bring a sensible pet, Black—“

“Are you calling Marlene ridiculous? How—how dare you, sir! You wound me!”

Flitwick just stared at him wearily.

 

22nd November, 1975

1.00pm

“The staff would like to remind all students that a ‘sensible pet’ means an owl or a cat or a toad. That is it. Should you like to bring a pet outside of those limits, please discuss with your Head of House. This will be reiterated on your letters next year.” McGonagall sat down, and poured herself a very large glass of brandy.

 

22nd November, 1975

4.11pm

“I thought we were supposed to be friends?” Snape said as he and Lily walked across the courtyard. “Best friends?”

Lily stumbled on her words. “I—We are, Sev, but I just don’t like some of the people you’re hanging around with! Mulciber? Really? What the fuck do you see in him, Sev? He’s creepy! D’you know what he tried to do to Mary MacDonald the other day?”

“That was nothing—it was a laugh, that’s all—”

“You think Dark magic is funny?”

“What about the stuff Potter and his mates get up to?” Snape demanded.

“What?” Lily shook her head. “What’s Potter got to do with anything?”

“I told you before. They sneak out at night. There’s something weird about that Lupin, I’ve told you once and I’ll tell you again…”

“Sev, I know your fucking theory.” Lily’s voice went cold. “Why are you so obsessed with them? This is really getting weird.”

“I’m just trying to show you they’re not as wonderful as everyone seems to think they are.”

“It’s not like they use Dark magic, though. And I heard what happened the other night—James Potter saved you from acting like an idiot and snogging the Whomping Willow, and whatever’s down there—“

Saved? You think he was playing the fucking hero? He was saving his own arse and his friends’ too! You’re not going to — I won’t let you—“

“Let me? Let me?” Lily was going to fucking stab him.

“I didn’t mean that—I just don’t want to see you made a fool of—you know he fancies you, Potter does! And he’s not…everyone thinks…big Quidditch hero—“

“I know James Potter is an arrogant toerag,” she said coolly. “I don’t need you to tell me that. But Mulciber and Avery’s idea of humour is just…fucking evil. Evil, Sev. I don’t understand how you can even talk to them.”

Chapter Text

22nd November, 1975

6.12pm

“Hey, Remus,” said Sirius, finally catching him alone in the dorm. He’d been avoiding him all day.

“Sirius.”

For the first time, Remus looked at Sirius and realised he had dark circles and frown lines—the latter rather uncommon in a 16-year-old, the former…less so. He probably hadn’t slept for a few days—with Sirius that wasn’t necessarily rare, but it was still slightly worrying.

“I just—” Sirius sighed, collecting his thoughts, as if he hadn’t had enough time to collect them already. “I don’t know how I can even begin to apologise for something like this, Remus.”

Remus took a good look at his face. “Sirius, were you the one to tell Severus about my…werewolf thing?”

“No.”

“Did you tell him to protect me or because you wanted to hurt him?”

“To protect you.” Lying, bitch. “…Both.”

“How exactly did he threaten you?”

“He told me he’d out me, then when I said I didn’t care he said he’d both out you and tell people you were a werewolf.”

“Excellent. Fucking excellent.” Remus rubbed his eyes and gave him a small smile. “It’s been a long fucking couple of days.”

“No kidding.”

“I’m really trying not to be pissed off, I’m really trying. It’s fucking difficult. I know technically it’s not your fault, but—"

“I mean, it’s a bit my fault,” said Sirius, who, though he had a habit of taking too much blame, in this case was actually right. “I’m definitely not blame-free.”

“Well, I don’t blame you for this. If you didn’t directly tell him any of the information he tried to use against you. I’m gonna need a couple of days, but essentially what I’m saying is…we’re good. You know what, maybe a week.” 

Sirius sighed in relief. “Thank fuck. I’m sorry.”

“I mean it when I say a week, though. Also, I will not help you prank anyone else for like the next month.”

“I solemnly swear not to get up to any mischief for the next week.”

“That is a lie.”

“It is indeed. I solemnly swear I am up to no good. Hey, that sounds like a good password for something. Hmm, I wonder what?”

Remus stood up. “I’m going to dinner.”

 

29th November, 1975

3.12pm

“WHERE THE FUCK DID YOU GET ALL THOSE LEMURS FROM, PRONGS?” shrieked Peter as they ran full-tilt down a hallway, being furiously pursued by an absolutely livid Filch, and several lemurs.

“I DON’T KNOW BUT THE COMBINATION OF LEMURS AND DUNGBOMBS WORKS SURPRISINGLY WELL AS A DISTRACTION—“ yelled James.

“WHY ARE WE DOING THIS AGAIN?” bellowed Peter.

“REMUS NEEDED A QUIET SPOT TO READ AND ALSO PLANT MORE DUNGBOMBS IN THE DUNGEONS,” shouted Sirius. “HE SAID HE WASN’T GOING TO HELP US PRANK ANYONE, BUT SLUGHORN MADE ALICE CRY IN CLASS YESTERDAY.”

“WELL THIS IS GOING TO FUCKING WORK AS A DISTRACTION—“ Peter stopped yelling and started waving charmingly at the gaggle of shocked/disgusted/impressed/proud students, as did James and Sirius. A couple of girls blushed.

“Alright, lads. Three…two…one—“ James started

“SCATTER,” they all shrieked at the same time. Sirius went hurtling towards the Transfiguration classroom, James went towards Divination, and Peter dived out a window. In retrospect, that was the coolest motherfucking thing he’d ever done.

Filch had no idea where to go - he couldn’t physically follow Peter, and if he followed either Sirius or James then the other’d get away. As soon as he’d finished puzzling over this, as fast as he could, the boys were completely gone. The last thing he saw was a rat riding on a dog’s back as it chased a deer into the Forbidden Forest.

 

8th December, 1975

12.44pm

“Hey, Sirius.” Remus came up behind him as he was going to Potions. Professor Slughorn had promised a ‘fun lesson’, as it was their last Potions lesson, which probably meant they were going to be listening to him talk about every single person of even minor note who he’d met.

“Moony.” Sirius always got a bit grumpy when the Christmas holidays approached.

Remus elbowed him.

“Ow! Spiky elbows! Why!”

“Enjoy your last couple of days, idiot. If you’re sad when you’re here and sad when you’re there you’re just going to be sad all the time.”

“Can’t argue with that logic,” Sirius said, shrugging. “My dad is definitely going to threaten to kill Poseidon. And then will actually kill Poseidon.”

“Hide him in James’ luggage, then. There’s a solution to everything,” said Remus.

“What if they block the fireplace and I can’t get to James’ in time if something happens?”

“Take the Tube. I’ll send you my Oyster card.”

“I don’t know what that is.”

“I’ll send instructions, too.”

Sirius grinned at him. “Alright.”

“You’re going to be fine.” Remus took his hand.

 

10th December, 1975

9.44pm

SIRIUS WHY IS YOUR CAT IN MY LUGGAGE I’M NOT MEANT TO HAVE MORE THAN ONE PET AND I’VE ALREADY GOT ROMEO THE OWL POSEIDON IS UNWANTED IN THIS HOME

- JAMES BUT YOU KNEW THAT ALREADY BECAUSE I’M THE ONE WHOSE LUGGAGE YOU HID YOUR CAT IN XXX I LOVE YOU EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE A PISSHEAD

 

You’re the godparent mate you signed up for this

- Padfoot xxx

 

I DID NOT

- Prongs xxxx you motherfucker

 

19th December, 1975

3.37am

“OOOOH YOU MAKE ME LIVE—“ blasted Sirius’ record player at top volume. This caused a tired, tired Regulus to knock on his door quietly. It wasn’t even audible over the sounds of the cheesiest Queen song he could find.

“Sirius, please,” said Regulus, opening the door without waiting for an answer. He knew he wasn’t going to get one, anyway. “This is getting ridiculous.”

“Hey, Reg,” Sirius said. “Kill yourself.”

Regulus sighed. “I thought you’d say that. If Mother and Father wake up—“

“Fuck them.”

“At least soundproof your room.”

“No.”

Muffliato,” said Regulus, having brought his wand with him for this exact purpose.

“Oi, you dickhead, I’m trying to be a rebellious twatty teenager!”

He mouthed ‘can’t hear you’ and went back to his room.

 

24th December, 1975

8.44pm

The sharp words of his mother, Walburga, rung in Sirius’ ears as he braced himself for the annual Black family Christmas Eve event. His favourite time of year!!!!!!!!!!1!!!!!!

I expect you to show up in a suit, Sirius Orion, and a sensible one.

Sirius showed up in jeans.

 

25th December, 1975

12.39pm

“—EMBARRASSMENT TO THE WHOLE FAMILY, DRESSED LIKE AN IDIOT, AND DUNGBOMBS DURING THE DINNER! I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO ASHAMED—“

Sirius was looking at his mother with a strange mixture of amusement and disgust. It wasn’t even 1pm yet, he ought to be in bed.

“COUNT YOUR LUCKY STARS THAT YOUR UNCLE ALPHARD MIGHT LEAVE YOU SOMETHING, YOUNG MAN, BECAUSE SO HELP ME GOD YOU WILL GET NOTHING WHEN YOUR FATHER AND I PASS AWAY, UNLESS YOU BEGIN TO ACT LIKE A RATIONAL PERSON—"

“Is there a point to this, Mumsie?”

Her nostrils flared with anger. “GET YOURSELF TO YOUR FATHER’S OFFICE, NOW.”

All his mother’s yelling was somewhat amusing, but his father’s approach to discipline was rather less so. He said essentially the same things as his mum, and then beat the shit out of him. Ah, Christmas. Truly a time for family, love, and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

“—Embarrassing the noble name of Black, bringing your mother to tears—"

Sirius was usually just bracing himself during the lecture, but this time he was filled with a rage that definitely meant something bad was going to happen. He knew for a fact that his mother wouldn’t be brought to tears by anything except maybe if Regulus defied his family and started being kind to the house-elf oh wait—

“—If you don’t learn to be more mature you’ll end up removed from the family tapestry—"

He was his father’s height now, maybe even a little taller. His father’d had a fair amount of whiskey, though, which made him unpredictable, and stocky as Sirius was, his father was probably stronger. 

“—Ridiculing the family name, dubbed the problem child of the Black ancestry with your inane antics at school—"

Something in him snapped.

“Oh, the problem child, am I?” Sirius interrupted him, and he could already taste blood. “You wouldn’t believe half the shit I’ve gotten up to, Dad—“

“Do not interrupt me,” Orion said, his voice silky and sinister.

“I think I will interrupt you, actually. Alright, shit you didn’t know about—hmm, well…oh, I’ve been going out with someone. Did you know that?”

“Watch your mouth in front of your father.”

“Fuck, I’m sorry. Yes, I’ve been going out with someone. You want to know his name?”

Orion stood up, suddenly and unsettlingly. Sirius suddenly realised the reason he’d never done this before, but he wasn’t going to stop now. He’d gotten this far. He'd gotten too far, rather.

“I won’t tell you his name, actually, but I’ll tell you he’s a werewolf.”

 

25th December, 1975

12.52pm

A flash of green flame caused James to whirl around, him having been waiting around for the Christmas edition of Doctor Who to come on. Sirius was there, stumbling, covered in ash, looking dazed, his mouth bloody.

“Sorry to just show up like this. Happy Christmas, etcetera.”

“Holy shit, Padfoot—“ James rushed over to him. “Mum!”

 

25th December, 1975

4.29pm

Once Sirius had been sufficiently fussed over, checked for concussion, First-Aided and ordered to take a nap, Euphemia sat down in her chair, relieved.

“He’s going to be alright, isn’t he, Mum?”

She sighed. “He’ll be fine, Jamesie.”

“Lucky we decided to have a direct-family-only Christmas this year, eh?”

“Mm,” said Euphemia, her hands wrapped around an overly-sweetened cup of tea. “I’m just glad he’s safe now.”

“Yeah.”

 

25th December, 1975

7.41pm

James knocked on the door of the guest bedroom. “Sirius?” He opened the door, to see a very awake Sirius staring at the ceiling. “We’re going to have dinner. Turkey sandwiches. Mum insists on putting mango chutney in hers, which is the most disgusting thing ever, but she insists that if cranberry sauce is acceptable so’s that. I think it’s just her way of making the Christmas thing less white. Anyway, I’d come down or Mum’ll actually force-feed you.”

Sirius sat up. “Alright.”

Euphemia and Fleamont kept up their usual buzz of talk during dinner, and Fleamont insisted upon Handel’s Messiah being played throughout, because James needed to ‘learn some culture’.

Once he’d finished his sandwich, Sirius cleared his throat awkwardly. “Um—it’s been great staying over for dinner, but I think I should probably get back to my…family.” The word came uncomfortably out of his mouth. “It’s Christmas, and all that.”

There was a silence. “Sirius, you’re not going back,” said James, with only one nervous glance at his mother. “You can’t stay in that house with those lunatics. You’re staying with us. We’re your family now.”

Sirius looked at him. “What? For the holidays?”

“No, forever, you idiot. Well, I assume you’ll move out when you’re financially stable, but for the rest of your childhood, anyway.”

Euphemia didn’t seem surprised. “I said I’d welcome you into this house at any time, and that meant any time. Just…eat what you’re given and don’t track mud into my house.”

Sirius had no idea what to say. Fleamont gave him a slightly bemused smile, having not been involved in any of this, but he probably would’ve said yes anyway. Plus, he wasn’t going to go against Euphemia. Euphemia’s word was law. Everyone knew that.

“I—my stuff—“

“Oh, don’t worry about that,” said James. “I have a plan. But we need Remus and Peter.”

 

25th December, 1975

11.41pm

“To bed, boys,” said Euphemia, having just noticed they were still up. “Sirius, you can stay in the guest bedroom next to James’ room for now, but we’ll see about doing it up a bit nicer for you, make it more of a bedroom.”

“Thank you,” he said stiffly.

“Oh, don’t be so formal, dear. You’re a part of this family now. Always were, really.”

He swallowed. “Sorry.”

“Now, bed!”

They made their way upstairs, and Sirius was suddenly exhausted. He pushed the door of the guest bedroom open and turned around when he heard James follow him.

“What’re you doing, then?”

“I’m coming with you, fool.”

“Why?”

“Why d’you think? You honestly think I’m going to let you be alone after whatever that was? No, wait, scratch that, you’re right. It’s because I’m deeply in love with you,” he said romantically, and elicited a snigger from Sirius. “Come on. Girls do it all the time platonically. Fuck stereotypes. Kill the patriarchy. Etcetera.”

“Girls share beds platonically?”

“Hell yeah they do. Found out from Marlene. Blew my mind.”

Sirius sighed. “Whatever.”

“OnE DAY YOU’LL APPRECIATE ME,” he yelled, earning him a ‘shut up’ from Fleamont from his and Euphemia’s bedroom somewhere else in the house.

“Awww, I already appreciate you, Prongs.” Sirius ruffled his hair, which was difficult since James was the same height as him, almost (almost!) taller.

“TO SLEEP,” barked Fleamont.

“We’ll initiate my plan when Moony and Wormtail get here,” whispered James.

 

28th December, 1975

9.00am

Walburga Black opened the door to see three — boys? Men? She couldn’t tell — standing on her doorstep, two of whom had very bushy moustaches. The middle-height one started to speak.

“Hello! It’s-a me, Mario. My name-a is Mario Mario, and this is my-a brother, Luigi Mario!” He gestured to the tallest…person, let’s say. He continued in his terrible Italian accent. “We are the-a Mario brothers. This is our friend, A-Toad!” He gestured to the shortest person, who was wearing a mushroom hat and trying his absolute hardest not to burst into laughter. It was a valiant effort, you had to respect it. “We come to fix-a your sink!”

Before she had time to argue, the ‘Mario brothers’ and ‘Toad’ had pushed past her into the dingy hallway, sprinted up the stairs, and ran into Sirius’ room.

“What’s going on? Is Sirius back?” Regulus came out of his room to see three familiar faces, two in fake moustaches and one in a mushroom hat, having broken their way into the house. He stood there gaping.

“Shh!” said ‘Toad’,  running into the room, and Regulus just kind of stood and stared. ‘Luigi’ came out of the room, apparently assigned the position of distracting Walburga.

“Just go back into your room, man,” said Luigi, with no accent at all. “If you love your brother at all, just let it happen.” Regulus went back into his room.

“WHAT ON EARTH DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING—"

“The plumbing problem’s only in this room,” said Luigi, who could apparently stare down the devil if he wanted to. He was the same height as the door frame.

Walburga stopped in her tracks. “Why does your brother speak in a different accent to you?”

“Separated at birth. Came to England when I was a baby,” said Luigi drily. “I found Mario again by…happy chance.”

“Why’s your brother’s first name the same as his last name?”

“My parents really liked their last name.”

“Pete, we don’t need the wardrobe, it’s essentials only!” cried Mario. “I mean, oh a-no, Toad! That’s the wrong-a pipe!”

“I don’t know who you think you are, but get out of my house!”

“No.”

Walburga looked fit to explode, when—“Pickles!” came the voice of Toad.

“Oh, no. There’s a problem with the…fixing,” said Luigi monotonously. “I better go in and check.” He walked into the room, rather too slowly to be dramatic, tore off his moustache, and looked her dead in the eye. “Nice to meet you. I’m your beloved son’s werewolf boyfriend.” He climbed out the window, which was difficult, due to his ridiculous limbs.

Walburga looked helplessly around the room, which had been ransacked, clothes taken out of the drawers, the leather jacket gone, a huge red ‘FUCK YOU’ emblazoned on the wall, over the posters of the Muggle women she’d tried so desperately to tear down.

“Kreacher!” The wizened house-elf appeared at the doorway. “Clean this up.”

The roar of a motorcycle was heard from outside, and a yell of ‘YOU DON’T NEED TO KEEP DOING THE ACCENT, PRONGS!’ ‘I A-LIKE IT!’

 

28th December, 1975

11.01am

“We’re baaaack,” said James in a sing-song voice, still wearing the moustache.

“You promise it wasn’t illegal?” came the stern voice of Euphemia.

“Only partly, Mum!”

“I have a slipper, boy, and I’m not afraid to use it,” she said, only half-joking.

“Hi, Euphemia,” said Remus, smiling at her. He’d grown to like her, despite his awkwardness. She was just a genuinely nice person; there aren’t many genuinely nice people in the world, but Euphemia was one of them. Fleamont still kind of scared him, though.

“Where’s Sirius?” asked Peter, who had somehow acquired a Chocolate Frog.

“Still asleep. Don’t eat that yet, you’ll spoil your lunch,” she warned. “Go wake him up, will you?”

“Will do,” said James, and immediately started on his way upstairs. He threw open the door. “AWAKEN, YON BITCH—"

Sirius awoke with a start. “Fucking—Christ, James. Why are you wearing a moustache?”

The three boys entered, and immediately made themselves comfortable. Once the story was relayed, Sirius’ stomach hurt from laughing.

“Anyway, here’s your stuff,” said Remus, who had tactfully left out the werewolf boyfriend bit, until Peter told him anyway. He took out a bag that looked like it’d hold maybe one (1) Sneakoscope. He turned it upside down and about a thousand articles of (terrible, 70s) clothing, his leather jacket, and at least twenty completely random Muggle artefacts that he’d collected to be annoying (including a lava lamp, dental floss, and some multivitamins). Also, an urn that Peter had nicked on his way up the stairs. His mirror and Sneakoscope were also there.

“Holy shit,” Sirius said, staring at the tiny bag. “This is wiTCHCRAFT—“

Remus looked at him oddly. “Yes, it is.”

“Sorry. I’ve taken to saying that around the house because it really annoys my mum.”

“Annoyed, and she isn’t your mum anymore,” said James. “You’re a Potter now.”

“Right.” Sirius still wasn’t quite used to that.

“Sirius Potter does sound weird though,” said Remus, to a general murmur of agreement.

“Well, I’m sure as fuck not keeping Black, so I’m a Potter for now. In every sense but legally. And biologically,” Sirius said, more for himself than anyone else. “Hey, how’d you fit three people on the bike?”

“Rat-Peter was sat on my shoulder,” said James. “Fun fact, I do not know how to ride a motorbike.”

Remus looked traumatised. “It was bad enough with you, but Prongs was…worse. So much worse.”

 

29th December, 1975

2.21am

Remus Lupin and Sirius Black, in separate rooms, were both awake, for separate reasons. So when they both left their rooms at the same time, Remus leaving behind a snoring Peter, Sirius leaving behind a snoring James, they had a bit of a Spiderman meets Spiderman in front of an NYPD van moment.

“What’re you doing up?” whisper-asked Remus accusingly.

“What’re you doing up?”

“This is definitely better done outside, we’re going to wake someone up!”

“I concur!”

“What the fuck—"

 

29th December, 1975

2.26am

“Fucking shit, it’s freezing,” said Remus, who had not planned ahead.

Sirius, who had planned ahead, slightly grumpily threw his leather jacket at Remus. “You’re lucky you look hot in it. I wouldn’t give it to you if you didn’t, I’ll have you know.”

“I know,” said Remus, looking smug. “Hey, since we’re both out here we might as well go for a walk.”

“Sure. If we get kidnapped and murdered it’s on you,” said Sirius.

“I can take that.”

And so they walked, mostly silent except for the occasional comment, not really knowing where they were going. They came across the river they had been to the previous summer; not really knowing where to go with that, they simply moved on. They ambled in the general direction of the apple orchard that the aptly named Orchard Lane hid behind its other trees.

Sirius looked at it for a second—memories of Easter egg hunts on his first trip to James’ came back to him. He lay down on the (slightly damp) grass and stared up at the sky.

Remus chuckled. “What are you doing?”

Sirius smiled. “Join me.”

“It’s wet.”

“Come on, you weak sod.”

With a sigh, Remus lay down next to him, grateful for the leather jacket protecting his pyjama top.

“Hey, Moony.”

“Yeah?”

“I’m pretty sure I love you.”

Remus looked at him. “Pretty sure I love you too, Padfoot.”

“Like, 75% sure—“ Sirius said with a grin.

Remus laughed and hit him on the arm. “Shut up, you bugger.”

Chapter Text

6th January, 1976

11.56pm

“It is so hard to find a guy I can have a decent conversation with,” sighed Lily, while on her way to the first Transfiguration lesson of the year. “I mean, essentially the only good guys in this entire fucking castle are you, gay, Remus, who knows that all too well, and Sev, who…no. I’d rather throw my body into a pit of acid.”

“Wow,” said Sirius, slightly amused. “I mean, I’m not going to encourage it.”

“The acid or being with Severus?”

“Both seem like fairly shit ideas.”

“Maybe.”

“Hey, what about Peter?” asked Sirius. “He’s nice.”

Lily gave him a look. “You want me to date…Peter?”

“Maybe not, I don’t think the world deserves that,” he sighed. “I just meant he was a good guy.”

“You tried dating girls?” asked Marlene, coming up behind them. “Worked out great for me.”

“Yes,” said Lily, earning her a strange look. “It’s not my gig. I’m stuck with men.”

“Men suck,” said Marlene.

“I hear that,” agreed Lily. They both looked at Sirius expectantly.

“Girl, I am in my honeymoon phase,” he said. “Not going to agree with you.”

“Well, that’s adorable,” said Marlene. “Now, hurry up, or Minnie’s going to murder us.”

“What about James? He’s a bit better now.”

“I'd literally rather kill my entire family while looking them dead in the face and burn all my childhood possessions, all while being suffocated to the point where I won’t quite die but I won’t be able to breathe. Like Deadpool.”

“Okay, won’t suggest that for another couple of years.”

 

17th January, 1976

2.41am

Sirius,

Mother didn’t want to talk to you again, but I kind of felt like I had to. I knew if I tried to talk to you in person you’d probably just punch me, which would be fun, so here’s a letter. They don’t want you back in the house again, which is probably not a surprise, especially after the stunt your friends pulled - which was actually kind of funny, by the way. Don’t tell her I said that.

I hope you’ve got a place to stay. I’ll keep them from killing Kreacher, no matter how much you said you wanted him dead. I know you’ve got a soul in there somewhere. Try not to die.

You’re still my brother. Pass your OWLs, don’t kill anyone, etcetera.

- Regulus.

PS: To answer your question, you have not yet been blasted off the tapestry, but I give it a few days.

PPS: I got one of your Christmas letters. It’s just the word ‘boob’ repeated about a million times? And then it’s signed ‘Wormy Wormy Wormy Man’. I didn’t feel like it was worth actually passing on. Your friends are…interesting people.

Common room, fireplace still going, and Sirius, lying down like an idiot, with a letter. Quelle surprise. The empty bottles from a fourth-year party were littered around. Poseidon was napping on his chest.

“First dramatic staying-up-too-late of ’76. This is an event.” Remus, who had predicted a Late-Night Strop when he saw Sirius get a letter that wasn’t from Euphemia at breakfast that morning, was carrying a mug of tea. The mug said ‘#1 Professor’. It had been a Christmas gift from James.

“Good morning, mon chéri.” Sirius sat up, placing a slightly-annoyed Poseidon onto his lap.

“At least it’s a fucking Friday this time—well, Saturday, I suppose.” Remus sat down next to him and threw the blanket he’d brought down around both of their shoulders.

“You’re warm.” Sirius leant his head on Remus’ shoulder. “Did I ever tell you your shoulder is at both the perfect height and the perfect shape for my head? Like, you’re spiky, but there’s like…a dip that’s my-head shaped.”

“I’d give you a weird look, but I can’t really turn my head that far.”

“Let’s just pretend you know what I’m talking about.”

“Mmkay.”

“And by that I mean shut up and kiss me.”

“First, that's cheesy. Second, not with your son here.”

“Rude. Although, you’re right, Poseidon is my son.” Sirius took a deep breath. “Regulus sent me a letter.”

“Oh, shit. Are you going to impale someone?”

“Surprisingly, no. It was actually…kind of nice.”

“Oh. That’s a nice surprise.”

“Yeah.” Poseidon started purring like a fucking car engine in his lap. Remus stared at him.

“Don’t cats purr when they’re happy, not being ignored?”

“He does it to get attention sometimes. He takes after his father.”

“He does take after James, yeah,” said Remus, earning a snort and an elbow. “Ow! You say I’m spiky.”

“You know, the thing is, I don’t really feel like…getting revenge, or anything. I’m just happy being away.”

“Well, that’s a slight improvement, I suppose.”

“I reckon it’s because my very existence is just revenge in itself. I mean, gay, beautiful, has a werewolf half-blood boyfriend, not even failing every class—“

“You’re failing Divination, liar.”

“I said not failing every class. In fact, I’m only failing one. Plus, it’s deliberate.”

“You better pass the OWL.”

“I will, I will.” Sirius sat up properly.

Remus looked at him and touched his hair. “Babe, you may be beautiful and all that bullshit, but you need a haircut.”

“Never.”

“You do. It looks better just under shoulder length, and it's getting past that.” Remus ran a hand through his own hair. “Come to think of it, I need a haircut too.”

“I’ll get a haircut when you get a piercing.”

“Is that a joke or a challenge?”

“Both. You know, I actually kind of want to get a piercing. And a tattoo.”

“Doesn’t surprise me. However, you don’t look overage at all.” Remus looked at him. “You’re hot, though.”

“Fuck yeah, I am.” Sirius gave a smirk. “I mean, thanks.”

“Don’t fake modesty, you egotistical monster.”

“That’s a bIT HARSH, SURELY—“

“Shush, you’ll get children down here. Or worse, not children.”

“Poseidon, go upstairs and fend off intruders,” said Sirius. Poseidon did not. He went upstairs and slept on James’ bed, because he was a cat, and cats do whatever the fuck they want.

“You can’t train a cat, Pads,” said Remus.

“I know. It’s just fun to tell him to do stuff.”

“You’re a fool. Oh, I was wondering—d’you reckon I should try and get tickets to that concert in London?”

“What concert?”

“Queen. It’ll be a bloody miracle if I get them, but I will definitely try. Be warned, they’ll be expensive. You’d make a decent prostitute, right?”

“I’d be an incredible prostitute. Seriously though, I’ll cover the tickets.”

“Absolutely not you absolute bitch—“

“It’s fine!”

“Literally if you pay for anything of mine I will set you on fucking fire.”

“Christ, okay, okay. I demand to cover my ticket, though.”

“That’s fine. But seriously. If you buy anything of mine I will guilt myself off a cliff.”

“You are the biggest nerd on the planet.”

“Shut up.”

“Never.” Sirius pushed the blanket off and lay down on the floor. “What d’you want to be when you’re older, Moons? Not that you aren’t elderly already, but.”

Remus thought about it for a second. “I don’t really know. Not really thought about it, I guess.”

“Well, you’re good at everything. You got options.”

“That’s kind of the problem. I’ve got all the options, none of the ambition.”

“I’m literally the opposite. No talent, way too much ambition.”

“What do you want to do, then?”

“I’m going to be an Auror. If I can get the grades, anyway.”

“An Auror? Why?” Remus looked a bit concerned. “It’s fucking dangerous.”

Sirius sighed. “There’s a war brewing, Moons. I need to make it clear what side I’m on.”

“Alright, well, while you’re hunting down Wizard Nazis, I’ll be a teacher.”

Sirius chuckled. “Pete owes me four Sickles.”

“Dunno what I’d teach, though,” he said.

“DADA,” said Sirius, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. “You’d be amazing.”

“Maybe. There’s a curse on the job here, though.”

“I didn’t think you, comma, a logical and rational person, would believe that horseshit. You can be the longest-serving DADA teacher in Hogwarts history. And the best.”

Remus snorted. “Now that’s a reach.”

“I’m serious! Remus, you know full well I’d never’ve passed any of my mocks without you.”

“That was your hard work, idiot—“

“Which I wouldn’t’ve done without you. You’re a great teacher, and you’d teach the kids how to deal with Peeves.”

“Peeves calls me ‘Loony Lupin’, and he only listens to you and James.”

“And the Bloody Baron,” said Sirius, helpfully. “I’d come in, then, and teach the kids how to prank well and shit. I could be your trophy husband.”

“You aren’t pretty enough to be anyone’s trophy husband.”

“ExCUSE ME—“

“Shhh. God, this is weird. I always thought I’d have maybe one girlfriend, hate it, never marry, become an office drone and then die age 20 from injuries, but here I am with my boyfriend, planning my future as a professor.”

“Ah, we’re going to grow old together, Remus. You’re not dying before you’re 102 and have ninety grandkids.”

“Babe, we can’t physically have grandkids.”

“James can! He will!”

“That doesn’t make them my grandkids—you know what, never mind. I’m not even going to argue.”

“Good. I’m always right, Moons.”

“Do you remember the time you tried to make a cake and put olive oil in it?”

“NO THAT WAS LILY—I TURNED MY BACK FOR THREE SECONDS AND SHE’D JUST POURED IT IN BECAUSE I TOLD HER TO PUT OIL IN. I MEANT VEGETABLE OIL. IT WAS A DISASTER BUT IT WAS A DISASTER OF LILY’S DESIGN, NOT MINE—IT WAS A FUCKING WASTE OF OIL, TOO, OLIVE OIL IS EXPENSIVE—“

“Alright, alright.”

“I’m not sorry. I’m still angry about that.”

“No shit.” Remus rubbed his eyes. “Fuck, I’m tired.”

“Go to bed, fool. You don’t have to stay up for me. Oh god I’m going to have to teach Lily how to cook.”

“I don’t have to stay up but I’m going to.”

“Dork dork dork dork dork dork—“

“Shut your dAMN MOUTH and appreciate me,” said Remus.

"You're beginning to sound like James,” Sirius said, with a laugh.

“I hope you die.”

“Fair. Alright, I’m going to bed. Tired.”

“Night.”

 

18th January, 1976

5.27pm

“Lily, I need to talk to you about your cooking skills,” said Sirius. She looked at him oddly.

“Why?”

“The olive oil incident.”

“Oh, not this shit again—it was a MISTAKE—”

“I was reminded of it yesterday, I've been meaning to do this for ages. I have also been informed about several incidents regarding pasta.”

“THAT WAS—what have you heard?”

“Well, first you over-boiled it, tried to put it in a colander and then accidentally thew it on the floor—“

“Dropped! I dropped it on the floor!” she cried.

“And then you forgot about the sauce, and it boiled over the pan, and spilled all over the stove, and then you tried it, and you’d accidentally put sugar and chilli in it instead of salt and pepper—chilli is red, Lils! It’s a red vegetable!”

“That…was a misunderstanding.”

“And then there was another time when you tried to peel a potato and ended up accidentally cubing it—how does that even happen?”

“I…can’t even describe how that happened. I had a potato and a peeler and it just happened.”

“There was also an incident where you couldn’t figure out how to open a soup can and sent Remus a letter asking him how to do it because your parents were at work.”

“I mean, I tried to look it up in a book first—“

“It was a can! A can with a ring pull! There aren’t any instructions for that!” Sirius cried. “I need to teach you how to cook stuff.”

“Sweet Jesus. How do you know how to cook? You’re rich. I mean—you have a house elf.”

“My mum used to make me help out Kreacher when I was being a little bitch. I mean, I didn’t, because he would’ve killed me, but I watched him. I could cook a whole roast dinner by age 10. Let me help!”

“Fine.”

 

18th January, 1976

5.41pm

“Hey lads,” said Sirius, climbing through the entrance to the kitchens. Lily followed him closely. The house elves all greeted him amicably.

“Master Black! What can we do for you today?” A house-elf that appeared to be the one in charge scuttled up to him.

“Buddy, I’ve told you a thousand times, call me Sirius,” he said, an uncomfortable grin on his face. “D’you mind if we use your kitchens? I have a useless friend I need to teach basic cooking skills. I promise we’ll replace anything she breaks.”

Lily elbowed him indignantly. Sirius rubbed his arm and ignored her.

“Please?”

The house elf chuckled. “Of course, Master Black.”

 

18th January, 1976

6.39pm

“LILY NO—you can’t put cinnamon in pasta—“

“I thought it was intuitive! Like, when people put honey in a roast, or something,” she said, stopping in her tracks.

“They do that when they’re making a honey roast. Babe. Seriously. Do not try to mess with shit. The classics are the classics and you are not talented enough to mess with them.”

“I think cinnamon pasta could work.”

“Okay, first of all, no. Second of all, you’d just make cinnamon water with slightly cinnamon-infused pasta.”

“Sounds delicious.”

“You’re insane. What will your future husband say?”

Lily looked at him oddly. “What?”

“I don’t know, the Euphemia came out of me. Alright, peeling potatoes! I could do this when I was literally six years old.” Sirius took the pot of what could have been cinnamon pasta off of the heat and drained it.

Lily picked up a potato. “I’m pretty sure I can do this by now.”

 

18th January, 1976

6.45pm

“How did you…do this?”

The potato had cut into small spheres, perfectly round spheres, each with skin still around them. Even the spheres cut from the middle of the potato.

Lily was near tears. “I have no idea.”

“You had to use magic to be able to do this, like—it’s literally physically impossible without it. God you're talented-”

“I don’t even—this is the kind of stuff I used to do as a kid, when Tuney—you know what? Never mind. I’m done with this.” She dropped the peeler.

“You’re finally bad at something! It’s a moment to be proud of, Lils.”

Lily snorted. “Sure.”

 

19th January, 1976

11.22am

So Potter’s been leaving me alone recently?

You’re not usually one for notes, Lily.

Remus your handwriting is so small

I know.

Anyway I had a feeling you had something to do with it

i threatened him

THANK YOU SO MUCH it’s so much easier to be in the same room as him if he isn’t constantly harassing me. What did you do?

I told him if he didn’t promise to leave you alone he’d have to jump into the Lake and kiss the Squid

never mind i would pay to see that make him do that instead

you’re insane

You’re the one who told his friend to make out with a squid

To protect you!

 

20th January, 1976

3.27pm

do you think snape took the bait

Well he’s not in class, so yes.

excelent

spelled wrong

fuck off remus

What’d you do to him?

he’s currently covered in PVA glue via Peeves

…you can’t read are you sure it’s PVA? Class started an hour ago he’d be here if it was just PVA

uh James bought it

the muggle i talked to said it was strong idk

What did the label say

It was superhero themed I think.

…How much was in a tube

not much I had to buy a ton. I thought it was kind of expensive but I don’t know Muggle money

That is superglue James you bought superglue he’s going to actually die

brilliant

I mean actually die

…why would that make a difference to my answer

Remus stuck his hand up. “Professor Flitwick? Can I go to the bathroom?”

 

23rd January, 1976

5.57pm

“I said I was going to learn guitar a while back, but I’ve just…not,” sighed James.

Sirius looked at him oddly. “I’ve literally never seen you pick up a guitar in your life, Prongs.”

“Exactly.”

“You motivation-less bitch,” Sirius said. “Do you have one?”

“Yeah, it’s under my bed.”

“Go get it, I’ll teach you.”

James got up and headed up to the dorm.

“You play guitar?’” asked Remus.

“No, I play bass.”

“How did we not know this?” asked Peter. “And how are you planning to teach him guitar if you don’t play it?”

Sirius shrugged. “Approximately the same concept.”

“That’s not how it works,” said Remus.

“You can do anything with overconfidence and a basic knowledge of a somewhat similar instrument,” said Sirius, tying up his hair.

“Do you have to put your hair in a bun to play?” asked Peter wearily.

“No, I just look sexier,” said Sirius. “Also yes my hair gets in my eyes.”

“No complaints here,” said Remus, causing Peter to put his head in his hands, just as James came down holding an acoustic guitar.

“Alright, the first four strings are probably E, A, D and G, because that’s what’s on a bass,” said Sirius.

“Probably?” James was unconvinced.

“Play it.”

He strummed the guitar.

“No, one string at a time, you untalented Flobberworm.”

He did, looking lightly offended.

“Yep, that’s E, A, D, G, like the bass, and then probably B and…E again.”

“Do you have perfect pitch?” asked Remus, suddenly interested.

“No. It’s good, not perfect. I fucking wish. Reg does and he never fucking shuts up about it.”

“Why didn’t we know that?” asked Peter.

“Because what kind of asshole goes around complaining about having near-perfect pitch?”

“Fair,” said Peter.

“You used to play piano, right?” Sirius turned back to James. “If you strum the E string, and use the first fret, it’ll play F. The second fret’ll have F sharp, and so on. They’re almost like the black notes, except that that’s a bad comparison because it's a consistent - I don't know where I was going with this.”

James sighed. “So how d’you play a chord?”

“Uhh…I guess E minor’d be the easiest chord on guitar. So that’s…second and third string, both second fret. You should probably just use your second and third fingers. And the first string, no fret.”

James managed a slightly crap E minor.

“To make sure you don’t accidentally strum a string you don’t want to, just kind of…put your finger over it. Lightly, if you do it too hard you’ll just play a different note.”

“How the fuck are you bullshitting your way through this? You don’t play this fucking instrument,” said Remus, done with him. And also, a little bit attracted to him.

“No idea, but it’s kind of working. The guitar and bass are kind of similar, but guitar’s harder. I’m not going to be able to teach him the complicated shit, but if he practises he might be able to get it on his own.”

“Might?” James looked insulted.

“Well you’re pretty shit at the moment, mate,” said Sirius. “Give it here.” James passed the guitar over.

“Weirdly enough, I learned my first bass lines on a six-string acoustic guitar, which made it very annoying to switch to a four-string bass.”

“You are the biggest dickhead on the planet,” said Peter, to both Remus and James’ agreement.

“Sexy, though,” Sirius replied.

“That makes it worse for us! It only makes it better for Remus!” cried James.

“You make a fair point.” Sirius started to play the Seinfeld theme.

“Sirius, you’re not allowed to do that. Seinfeld doesn’t run for another 13 years,” said Peter. Sirius sighed and settled on the bass line for The Chain. “Fleetwood Mac didn’t release that album until ’77, but since most of the readers weren’t exactly alive in the 70s, I’ll let it slide.”

Chapter Text

1st February, 1976

12.33pm

LILY HELP WHEN’S VALENTINE’S DAY

February 14th. You always forget this. Why?

oh GOD IT’S SO SOOn

Aww. Going to do something for Remus?

That’s the problem I have no idea

You’ve got a few weeks to figure it out Sirius you’ll be fine

He usually doesn’t like Valentine’s Day but what if he expects something???

So don’t do anything dramatic.

DRAMATIC IS MY MIDDLE NAME, EVANS. i mean he’s not technically out so I can’t really do anything huge

Dramatic may be your middle name, but it isn’t Remus’.

That’s a good point. OH I HAVE THE PERFECT PLAN

uh I kind of feel like you’re going to do something terrible

Sirius reply you can’t just keep passing the note back to me without writing anything

Sirius

SIRIUS

 

7th February, 1976

3.22pm

“C’mon, let’s go again! Keep in mind you’ll have the…little angel dude with you, so you have to make the dance routine work with that,” said Sirius, who was fully utilising the Room of Requirement, entirely not for its original purpose.

Peter was doubled over panting. “Give me fiVE MINUTES—“

“Alright, alright.”

“This is surprisingly difficult,” said James. “But why aren’t you getting me to dance?”

“Because the world doesn’t deserve that, let alone Remus. You have the rhythm of an elephant that was thrown into a washing machine.”

“That’s a fair point, actually,” James said. “A tad harsh, perhaps, but fair.”

“C’mon, Pete, you’ve had your break. Dance, child, dance!”

“Fuck. The shit I go through for you.”

“You know, he’s definitely going to run away, so make sure you’re able to do this while moving.”

 

14th February, 1976

8.41am

A very intense-looking cherub floated up to Remus at the breakfast table. He looked at it with horror and fear. It produced a lyre, began strumming what was clearly originally intended to be a guitar riff, and began to bellow:

“I’VE BEEN CHEATED BY YOU SINCE I DON’T KNOW WHEN—”

James and Peter appeared behind it, wearing angel wings, providing backing vocals. Peter was wearing a tutu and was doing pirouettes.

“SO I’VE MADE UP MY MIND, IT MUST COME TO AN END.”

Remus stared at it.

“LOOK AT ME NOOOOOOW, WILL I EVER LEARN? I DON’T KNOW HOOOOW, BUT I SUDDENLY LOSE CONTROOOOL! THERE’S A FIRE WITHIN MY SOUL.”

James: “JUST ONE LOOK—"

Peter: “AND I CAN HEAR A BELL RING.”

James: “ONE MORE LOOK—"

Peter: “AND I FORGET EVERYTHING.”

All three: “WHOA-OH! MAMMA MIA—HERE WE GO AGAIN. MY, MY—”

Sirius jumped out of nowhere. “HOW CAN I RESIST YA?”

Remus stood up and left, fighting very hard against the urge to laugh so as not to encourage them. He was followed all the way to Transfiguration class, where McGonagall gave them all a very stern look. James started to go into a rousing rendition of ‘When I Kissed the Teacher’, also by ABBA, but was silenced. Literally, Silenced. With magic.

 

14th February, 1976

1.00pm

Finally released from classes for lunch, Remus was able to freely reprimand Sirius.

“That was the STUPIDEST, MOST RIDICULOUS thing I have ever had to live through, and that is fucking saying something—“

“One time we smuggled a live deer into the castle, that is not the most ridiculous thing you’ve seen,” said Sirius, a grin on his face.

“No. That is the stupidest thing,” said Remus, trying very hard to keep a grin off of his face. “You know—I’ve got to say, it was well thought out—when did you rehearse it?”

“We didn’t!” yelled Sirius. “It was improvised entirely for you!”

“They used our dorm room,” said Lily, who happened to be passing by. “Also the Room of Requirement.”

“Snitch!”

“How’d you get up the stairs?” asked Remus.

“I repeatedly called it a sexist, very loudly.”

“That worked?”

“No, we had James levitate me and Peter up, and then he climbed it. Or tried to, rather. It was very funny. ANYWAY, my love, happy Valentine’s.”

“I hate you.”

“I love you.”

Remus sighed. “I love you too, you fucking shit idiot.”

Sirius started humming Waterloo.

“NO MORE ABBA OR SO HELP ME GOD, I WILL TEAR YOUR THROAT OUT—“

“WhOA, WHOA, WHOA, WHOA, WATERLOO—KNOWING MY FATE IS TO BE WITH YOU,” he—Remus couldn’t think of a better word than ‘shrieked’, as he sounded more like a banshee than a human.  The sentiment was there, but that didn’t stop Remus from throat-punching him.

“FUCKING CHRIST, I FORGOT YOU COULD DO THAT,” was what Sirius intended on saying, but he was unintelligible, due to the fact that someone had just punched him in the throat.

 

14th February, 1976

4.38pm

“Er, I actually…I’m gay, babe.”

“And that’s one more for the tally,” said Remus, deadpan as ever. “You’re on eighteen now. That’s even more than last year.”

“I get sexier every year, that’s not a surprise,” said Sirius, turning away from the partly surprised, party disappointed-looking Slytherin girl.

A Hufflepuff boy swooped in. “In that case, when are you next free? I—”

“I’m taken. Although, to be fair, you’re pretty fit,” said Sirius. Remus gave him a look. “Sorry, sorry.”

“Nineteen.”

“Taken?” the boy asked. “By who?”

“Me,” said Remus, his words dripping with so much sarcasm that the Hufflepuff couldn’t tell if he was joking or not.

When he was gone, Sirius turned to him. “How are you being so open about this and yet hiding it so well?”

 

27th February, 1976

8.00pm

“ATTENTION, ALL YE WHO ARE NOT SLYTHERINS,” James yelled, standing on top of the table. This earned him an elbow to the back of the knees from Marlene, causing him to step in some mashed potato. “SHIT—SORRY, FIRSTIES. I’LL CORRECT MYSELF. ATTENTION, ALL YE WHO ARE NOT WANKERS. IT IS ONE MONTH UNTIL THE GLORIOUS ME’S BIRTHDAY. THIS WILL BE AN ENORMOUS ORGANISATIONAL FEAT AND YOU WILL EACH RECEIVE A LIST OF INSTRUCTIONS ON WHAT TO DO PRECISELY ONE WEEK BEFORE THE PARTY. OR SOMETHING ALONG THOSE LINES, ANYWAY. IF YOU DON’T GET A LIST OF INSTRUCTIONS, IT MEANS YOU’RE A WANKER. THAT IS ALL, PEASANTS.”

 

1st March, 1976

9.03pm

“I’m dying,” said Peter. “This is so much work.”

“It’s all worth it for Prongs, though!” cried Sirius, who was doing twice the work of anyone else.

“It is not,” said Remus. “My hand is cramping.”

“WORTH IT,” yelled Sirius. “Stop your whining, men! This is for your best friend.”

“Lily’s my best friend, Prongs is your and Peter’s best friend.” Remus shook his hand in an attempt to stop the cramps.

“I HEARD SOMEONE SLAGGING ME OFF,” shouted James, bursting into the Restricted Section of the library, and was immediately dragged out by Madam Pince.

“You need a permission slip, Potter, I’ve told you a thousand times.”

“Where’s their permission slips?”

“They’re doing extra Defence Against the Dark Arts work—that Professor gave them permission. I never can remember his name. Now get out of my library!”

“It’s the school library, Irma,” said James, while leaving. This left Madam Pince in a very bad mood for the rest of the evening.

“Not. Worth. It.” Peter turned back to the huge stack of papers he was working through.

 

3rd March, 1976

2.12am

“Sirius, you’re going to be so tired tomorrow—oh.” Remus stopped in his tracks as he saw it was Lily staying up in a misguided middle-of-the-night angst-fest, not Sirius.

Lily turned around. “Morning, Remus. What’re you doing up?”

“I could ask you the same question.”

“You first, smartass.”

“I thought you were Sirius. I don’t know, something woke me up and I guess I just assumed it was him.”

“Huh.”

“And you’re up…why?” Remus sat himself down on the floor next to her.

“Just…been going through it lately,” she sighed. “O.W.Ls and family issues.”

“Shit, I hear that. Parents being assholes, or what?”

“No, no. It’s just my sister. She’s…difficult.”

“Oh. Petunia, right?” he asked. She nodded. “She’s the one who’s…”

“A Muggle. Yeah,” she said. “She doesn’t love the whole magic thing.”

“Ah.”

“She won’t even talk to me anymore. I don’t know if she’s jealous, or what, but it’s…upsetting.”

“Jesus. I mean, I get being a bit upset, but…that’s a bit extreme. Is she just a cunt, or what?”

Lily elbowed him. “Oi. She’s my sister. We used to be really close, but…even before I got my letter she thought I was a freak. Still does, really.”

“Well, I know what that’s like.”

“True. Well, we can be freaks together, then.”

Remus smiled. “Yeah. But you know what, you should be a freak that goes to bed.”

Lily chuckled. “Sure.”

Remus got up. “Night, Lily.”

“Night.”

 

8th March, 1976

4.33pm

“Sirius, have you even eaten today?” asked James, while lying on a chair. “What did you have for breakfast?”

Sirius thought for a couple of seconds. “I didn’t have any. Wait, no, I had coffee. It had sugar in it, even.”

“You are a mess,” said Remus. “How does your brain function?”

“Darling, my brain does not function. Why do you think I’m like this?” Sirius stuck a leg up in the air. “Ooh, my nerves just did that fizzy thing where it feels like you have a tiny electric shock.”

“How are you still alive, actually?” asked Peter.

“I had lunch, at least,” said Sirius.

“You did?” asked James. “I didn’t see you eat anything, you brought a photo of Remus to lunch and said it was all you needed to sustain you.”

“Exactly.”

“You absolute mistake of a human being,” said Remus.

“I also had gum.”

“You’re going to get snacky in the middle of the night and wake everyone up,” Remus sighed. He then threw a packet of crisps at his head.

“You know me so well,” said Sirius. Remus then threw a Tesco wrap at his head. And a can of Dr Pepper.

“Where were you hiding these?”

 

10th March, 1976

6.00am

“WAKE THE FUCK UP, BIRTHDAY BOY,” shrieked Sirius. He had a pillow thrown at his face. “FUCK.”

“It’s 6am, bitch, I need another hour of sleep.”

“BUT I BOUGHT YOU A PRESENT.”

“I don’t want it until 7am.”

“FINE.”

Peter and James were somehow dead to the world.

 

10th March, 1976

7.00am

“WAKE THE FUCK UP NOW, BIRTHDAY BOY,” yelled Sirius.

“FINE.”

Remus sat up, and Sirius threw a package at him. He unwrapped it to find a gold chain that matched Sirius’.

“It’s fucking dorky, and I love it,” said Sirius. Then, more genuinely: “It’s….not too obvious, so it can be kind of a subtle thing.” He rubbed the back of his neck, a bit red.

Remus walked over and kissed him. “Thanks, dork.”

“You’re welcome, nerd.”

 

12th March, 1976

11.04pm

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the party,” said James, having brought together the Usual Assholes - plus Frank, who Alice had insisted on bringing. Even Lily came, mainly due to Remus bugging her for several weeks.

“Isn’t the party on your actual birthday?” asked Marlene.

“It is not! That is a school-wide prank being orchestrated by my glamorous assistant,” James announced, gesturing to Sirius. “It will end up with chaos and hilarity, if all goes to plan.”

“That sounds like a nightmare,” said Dorcas. “For once I’m glad I’m your friend.”

“Fuckin rude. This is sort of a joint party for Remus, too, because his birthday was two days ago. Anyway! For the party, we will be playing a drinking game.”

Marlene whooped. “Suddenly I’m glad I came!”

“You will be answering questions! If you get the questions wrong, you drink. Simple, right? Now, the questions were originally going to be about me—“

“We know literally everything about you,” said Peter. “You spill your damn guts to everyone you meet.”

“Exactly! So the questions are now about Sirius.”

Everyone groaned, except Remus, who laughed triumphantly. “No one knows anything about Sirius!” cried Alice.

“Which is the point! Now we’re all going to get very drunk.” James sat down and placed the bottle of Firewhiskey in the middle of the circle.

“I mean, I was going to get drunk anyway,” said Frank matter-of-factly. “I know barely anything about any of you.”

“True. But now it’s an even playing field!” said James. “Sirius and I (seeing as I know the answers to the question) will take a shot if any of you get it wrong, so for the sake of our livers, be good!”

“Please,” said Sirius. “I have the best alcohol tolerance of all of you bitches.”

“Except Dorcas,” said Marlene, who knew that all too well. A couple years of drinking with her ad you knew she was the Undefeated Drinking Champion.

“I’ll accept that,” said Sirius. He’d never lost a drinking competition, but then again, he’d never gone head-to-head with Dorcas.

“Alright, game time!” said James. “What is Sirius’ favourite animal?”

Everyone scribbled something down.

Frank, Alice, Marlene and Peter all put ‘cat’. Dorcas and Lily put ‘dog’. Remus had ‘duck’.

“REMUS YOU ARE THE ONLY CORRECT ONE! It is in fact a duck. I was also surprised. Drink!”

He poured out eight shots. Remus sighed.

“I’m going to be the only sober one, aren’t I?”

“SIRIUS’ FIRST WORD!”

Peter: ‘David’. Followed closely by ‘Bowie’.

Frank: ‘Mama’? (This was laughed at, mostly by Sirius. “HAHAHA LAUGHTER HIDING GENUINE PAIN” was the exact quote.)

Marlene: ‘Gay’. I’m one hundred percent certain.

Dorcas: ‘Skinny jeans’.

Remus: ‘Fuck’.

Lily: ‘Communism’.

Alice: ‘Anarchy’. Probably followed by ‘in the U.K.’.

“Guys. I was a literal baby. My first word was ‘shoe’,” Sirius said. “Drink! Also, the Sex Pistols are racist. Or…will be racist. I don’t know. When were the Sex Pistols formed?”

“1975, but Never Mind the Bollocks was released in '77. ANYWAY MOVING ON. Name of Sirius’ first toy!” said James, already a bit drunk. He had the alcohol tolerance of a seven-year-old. Not that seven-year-olds should drink. Stay sober, kids. The author apologises for the fact that she is a shite role model. She didn’t drink as a seven-year-old, to confirm, just—you know what, I’m going off on a tangent.

Peter: ‘Bitch’.

Frank: ‘…No fucking clue’.

Marlene: ‘Dog’.

Dorcas: ‘Zeus’. He named his cat Poseidon.

Remus: ‘Hades’.

Lily: ‘Judy Garland’.

Alice: ‘James’. Even before they met they were soulmates.

“REMUS YOU ARE THE CLOSEST TO CORRECT, but you’re still wrong,” said James. “It was Satan! Sirius was a creative five-year-old. Drink!”

After a few more questions, everyone was fairly smashed, James and Sirius most of all. No single question had been answered completely correctly, which meant they had to take a shot every single round.

“HONEY HONEY, HOW YOU THRILL ME, UH HUH, HONEY HONEY,” James bellowed, over the sound of the record player, which was playing ABBA.

“HONEY HONEY! NEARLY KILLS ME, UH HUH, HONEY HONEY,” burst in Sirius, singing dramatically to Remus, who was wishing he was drunker.

“Someone give me more alcohol,” he said.

“yEEES I’VE BEEN BROKEN HEARTED—“ Wrong song, James—

“BLUEEE SINCE THE DAY WE PARTED—“ But Sirius didn’t even appear to notice the abrupt switch.

“WHY WHY—“

“DIIID I EVER LET YOU GO?” Sirius was still singing to Remus.

“You didn’t, asshole,” said Marlene.

“I didn’t?” Sirius looked very confused. “Then why am I singing that?”

“BECAUSE YOU LOVE ABBA,” yelled James. Lily got up, walked over to him, and smacked his head lightly. “OW WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT—“

“I don’t know,” she said. “Just felt like a lot of pent-up rage needed to get out.”

“That’s not much pent-up rage if it can be released in one hit to the head.” Remus looked at her, intrigued.

“NO LOOK AT ME—“ Sirius dived in front of Remus, and crashed onto the floor.

“What?”

“Look at me, not Lily,” he said, lying sideways on the floor. “I’m beautiful and perfect.”

“Incorrect.”

“RUDE—“

“Where’re Alice and Frank?” asked James. “And Marlene and Dorcas?"

“SNOGGING,” yelled Peter, who had been lying on the floor, a three-quarters-empty Firewhiskey bottle in his hand. Remus came over, took it from him, and started drinking.

“GIVE ME PRESENTS,” thundered James.

“No one’s got you a present yet, mate,” said Sirius. “I mean, I have, but it’s not like I’ve wrapped it.”

“UGH,” he shouted, and lay back down on the floor.

“sO WHEN YOU’RE NEEAR ME, DARLING CAN’T YOU HEAR ME, S.O.S—“

“SHut up, Wormtail, no one cares about your GIRL ISSUES,” said James, earning him a ‘FUCKING HYPOCRITE’ from Sirius.

“THAT WAS ABBA, YOU HEATHEN,” he yelled. “FIGHT ME.”

“No.”

“COWARD—“

This interaction would’ve been a lot more worrying were they not just lying on the floor and yelling at each other.

“WE NEED A NAME FOR THESE ASSHOLES,” said Sirius. “Ooooh, how about Marauders Plus?”
“NO ONE CARES,” yelled James.

Chapter Text

15th March, 1976

7.01am

SPRING BALL

Students in the Fourth Year and above are invited to attend a spring dance taking place on the 18th April. Students may bring a date. Attendance is not mandatory, but is recommended as it will be an excellent opportunity for inter-house bonding and will be a good way to relax before the stress of the summer term.

The dance will be taking place in the Great Hall at 8pm. Students ought to eat dinner beforehand.

“Fucking what the shit is this?” Remus picked up the piece of paper that was shoved unceremoniously under their dorm door.

“Eloquent, babe,” said Sirius. “What is it?”

“Some dance. I didn’t know the school did this.” He skimmed it. “Sounds pretty shit. An excuse for the author to make a terrible pun.”

“EXCELLENT, I LOVE DANCING,” said James, rather too loudly.

“We know,” said Peter. “You’re terrible.”

“So...James."

Remus stared at Sirius. "No. No, please don't."

"Are you going to take a date—“ started Sirius.

“Padfoot don’t you dare say it—“ James tried to stop him.

“Or are you going to—“

“SIRIUS NO—“ Peter stood up.

“Or are you going to go stag?” He could barely finish his sentence because he was laughing at his own joke. The room descended into chaos. James was crying. Merlin himself rose from his grave in order to slap Sirius in the face. Peter didn’t know if he’d ever be the same again. It started storming rather conveniently outside. Remus was just…disappointed, upset, betrayed,

“Guys I do this all the time you don’t have to react so violently every time—“

“WE MUST,” shrieked Peter. “IN ORDER TO STOP YOU.”

“You know, James, the way you overreact to everything—“

“SIRIUS! N O! THE WORLD CAN’T TAKE ANY MORE,” James yelled.

“It’s kind of endeering.”

Screaming. Flames engulfed the room. Peter flung himself off the bed. James was having a heart attack.

Lily burst into their room. “What the shit are you guys doing? Oh. Did Sirius make another pun?”

Peter nodded, traumatised. “It was the most harrowing experience of my life—“

“Whatever. Have you heard about this dance thing?”

“Yeah, what the hell is it?” asked Remus.

“Someone set up a petition to get a dance,” she said. “Some cunt in Hufflepuff. Apparently Beauxbatons has one every year, and they were just really pushy about it until they got it.”

“Huh.” Sirius flopped down on his bed. “Moony, want to go?”

“Not really, but fine,” he sighed. “Get up and get dressed, we’ve still got class today.”

Sirius winked. “You know it. Now piss off, Evans, I’ve got to get changed.”

She grinned and walked off.

“James, you going to ask Lily?” asked Peter. Remus’ head shot up and he had Murder in his eyes. James winced.

“Nope. I’m over her.”

“You are not,” said Sirius. “This is a whole-ass lie.”

“Okay, fine, you’re right,” said James.

“Wow, that was easy,” Peter said, who should not have been surprised.

“What can I say? I’m an open book,” he said, sighing. “I might as well move on, though. She doesn’t like me and I’ve been a bit of a prick, to be honest—“

“More than a bit, mate,” said Sirius. “You’ve been a right pillock.”

“Fair. Anyway, I’ll probably just go on my own,” he said. “I refuse to call it ‘going stag’ now, though.”

“I’ll probably go alone too,” said Peter. “Not like I’ve got much choice in the matter, eh?”

“Oh, come on, Wormtail, don’t be such a twat!” said James, going into Mother mode. “Any girl in Hogwarts’d be lucky to have you as a date.”

“Alright, who d’you suggest I ask, then?”

“Well, who do you like?”

“Mary McDonald, for one.”

“Good luck with that one, mate,” said Sirius.

“Shut up, Padfoot, what do you know about girls?” James threw a pillow at him.

“That’s…fair.”

“Peter. Shoot for the moon. Live your dreams. You can do anything. Fuck pride. Ask her to the dance. If she says no, fuck it. Ask someone else. Don’t let fear hold you back. Fear is temporary and without purpose. Ask her out.”

“Thanks, Prongs,” said Peter, who got up and left, before realising he was still in his pyjamas and immediately turning around.

“SMOOTH, PETE—“

“Shut up, Sirius.”

 

18th March, 1976

12.06pm

I’ve been trying to learn the Patronus charm.

what the fuck that

You know sometimes I wonder why god cursed me to like such a moron

YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN

It wards off Dementors. You should know this. I tried to learn it back in Second Year but I didn’t have any Dementors and also I was a lazyass bitch

just do it without? surely you're able to practise it without a literal Dementor

exactly

 

18th March, 1976

4.17pm

“Why do I have to be here for this?” asked Sirius.

“I find it easier to learn when I’m teaching, you know that,” said Remus. “Plus, you’re not exactly the only one, are you?” He was correct. He’d brought Marlene, Lily, Dorcas, James and Peter, too.

“What are we doing again?” asked Marlene.

“Well, the Patronus Charm is a charm to ward off Dementors. Basically, you have to think of your happiest memory—something that fills you with pure joy. And I don’t mean just something sort of happy—your happiest memory.”

“What kind of fifteen-year-old is that in touch with their feelings?” asked Dorcas.

“Shut up, you cynical bastard,” said James. “Let Professor Lupin do his thing!”

“Now, it won’t work the first time, almost definitely. I haven’t actually made it work yet—“

“Disagree,” said Sirius. “I’m going to do it first try.”

“Shut up. Anyway—think of your happiest memory, and say the incantation Expecto Patronum. Just—try on your own, I guess.”

“WOO, I’m going to fucking ace this,” said Sirius, immediately failing.

“Your stance is wrong,” Remus said. “Stand more like this—“ He put his hands on his shoulders and moved him so he was standing slightly more like a human being, as opposed to Actually Quasimodo.

Sirius looked at him, smirking. “Manhandle me daddy—“

Remus let go of him. “You are on your own. I hope you get your soul sucked out by Dementors.”

“NO I need hELP—“

“Die. Marlene!”

She had her face scrunched up, white wisps coming out of her wand.

“Right, what’re you thinking about?” asked Remus.

“Uh—my dog.”

“No—you need something more emotional than that. And more specific. Family members?”

She shook her head. “Mum’s dead and my dad’s a bit of a prick, really.”

“Any memories of your mum before she died? Cooking, learning to read, anything?”

“Not really.”

“How about someone outside of your family that you’re close to? Think, Marly.”

She thought for a couple of seconds. “Alright, I think I’ve got something.”

“Keep in mind it probably won’t work the first couple of tries, but keep trying.”

“Okay. Expecto Patronum!” A white shield appeared, blinding, for a few seconds.

“Brilliant! Keep at it. Alright, James.”

He was being fairly successful—at least, more successful than some (cough Sirius).

“You’re doing pretty well. What’re you thinking about?”

“Cooking. With my mum. When I was little.”

“That’s good. Lily!” Remus was about to walk over to her as a wire fox terrier bounded out of Marlene’s wand. “Fucking brilliant, Marlene!” This was just as Dorcas’ sleek cat appeared.

“Holy shit,” said Dorcas. “That’s a little weird.”

“It’s fucking cool,” said Marlene. “Hi buddy! Hey!” She started to pet the little dog.

“Little dogs are assholes,” said Sirius grumpily, who was still having trouble making anything happen.

“Alright, you twat.” Remus walked over to him. “You’ve got the incantation right, you’ve got the stance. So it’s what you’re thinking about that’s wrong. What is it?”

“I don’t…know.” Sirius just looked frustrated.

“Well that’s the issue, then.” Remus chuckled. “You’ve got to know what it is you’re thinking about.”

“Well, I don’t know what to think. My life hasn’t exactly been peachy, has it?”

Remus rolled his eyes. “Alright, you’re being a drama queen now.” Sirius looked very insulted. “Come on. I know your family’s shite—but you have your Uncle Alphard, right? And what’s-her-face—Andromeda.”

“Andy's gone and Alphard’s going to fucking die soon.”

“He’s not dead yet, you cock. Anyway, it doesn’t have to be family. The Potters?”

Sirius swallowed. “No. The memories are just kind of…I mean, I guess I could try—”

“If your gut instinct is no, then it won’t work. There’ll always be that feeling in the back of your mind that it’s wrong. OK, then—Hogwarts. When you first met James, something like that.”

Sirius shook his head. “I can’t, Remus.”

“Pads. You can. There’s a memory in there that’ll work. You’ll know when you find it.” Remus leant over and kissed him on the cheek. “You can do it.”

“SAPPY,” said James.

“Shut it, Prongs. Why don’’t you try, then?”

“Fine.” James cleared his throat, at the exact moment that a silver doe burst out of Lily’s wand. He stared at it, mouth open like an idiot. “FUCKING WHAT—“

Sirius gave out a yell. “THAT IS HILARIOUS—“

“What?” asked Lily. James was still gaping. “What? I don’t get it.”

“Hey, Prongs, do your Patronus!” said Peter, sniggering.

Expecto Patronum.” Nothing happened. “Expecto Patronum!”

“Give it a second, Prongs,” Remus said, patting him on the back and trying his absolute best not to laugh. “You’ve just had a bit of a shock. You’re distracted.”

“What does that mean?” Lily asked. “What do you guys know that I don’t?”

“Nooothiiiiiing,” said Sirius. “Expecto Patronum!” A huge dog appeared for a couple of seconds. “FUCK YEAH, I AM THE GREATEST!”

“Well done, Sirius! Peter, how are you doing?” Remus came over to him.

“I made the rat appear for a couple of seconds, but it disappeared.”

“Keep working on it.”

“Remus, why don’t you try it?” asked Marlene.

“I mean, I can’t guarantee it’ll work, but…” He sighed and took out his wand. He closed his eyes for a couple of seconds. “Expecto Patronum!” An enormous wolf came out of his wand. He stared at it wearily.

“FUCKING THAT’S AMAZING I’M SO GLAD YOU MADE ME DO THIS—“ yelled Sirius. James, Lily and Peter were trying very hard not to laugh.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Remus put his head in his hands. The wolf disappeared.

“You guys have got some major inside jokes,” said Dorcas, very confused.

Remus rubbed his temples. “James, try yours again.”

He coughed. “Evans, don’t you have…something else to do?”

“What?” She stared at him. “Fuck off, Potter. If you’re too scared to do this in front of a girl, how’re you going to feel in front of a Dementor?”

He sighed. “Your problem, then. Expecto Patronum!” And out came the stag, along with Lily Evans’ rage.

“What the fuck is that?”

James recoiled. “You are terrifying.”

Lily raged silently for a few seconds and stormed out.

“Well, that looks like it’s the end of that, then,” said Remus. “I’m impressed you all managed to do it, given that you’re a bunch of stupid fuckers.”

Sirius snorted. “Thanks, Professor Lupin.”

“Piss off.”

 

19th March, 1976

4.09pm

“—Fucking Potter, who does he think he is? That’s just…really creepy. Don’t you think it’s creepy?” Lily had been ranting for over an hour. Remus was looking at her, amused.

“Lily, it’s really not that creepy. It’s just a coincidence, right?”

She huffed. “It can’t be a coincidence. You know what a fucking knobhead he is.”

“You and him are actually kind of similar.”

“REMUS JOHN LUPIN YOU TAKE THAT BACK RIGHT NOW.”

“No.”

“How dare you compare me to that fucking asshole. He may be your friend but I don’t exactly go around hexing every poor sod that disagrees with me.”

“At least it’s not Dark magic,” said Remus pointedly. “And we all know you like to hang out with a certain Slytherin who—“

“Sev is not like that.”

“He…” Remus sighed. “Okay. I just can’t understand why you hang out with someone who likes mini Death Eaters.”

“I’ve had a chat with him about it, and I—“ She sighed. “I don’t know. He’s just my oldest friend.”

“Listen, I get it. Well, I don’t, but I can appreciate it. Just…stop yelling at James every two seconds. He’ll never ask you out again. He’s not even going to ask you to that Spring Dance shit this year.”

Lily groaned. “Fine!”

“Thank you. Just…mutual respect, is what we need. Or, not respect, but tolerance.”

“I think I can do that. Probably.”

“Just try.”



21st March, 1976

2.05am

“Men!” Sirius whisper-yelled. James and Remus both sat up. Peter did not. “No, not you, James, this is a surprise. PETE.” Peter sat up groggily.

“What?” asked Remus.

“It’s James’ birthday present. I need some help with it,” Sirius said. James swore and lay back down.

“I’d literally rather die,” said Peter.

“Then you’re going to.”

Fine.”

 

21st March, 1976

2.11am

“This is…” Peter stared at it. “What is it?”

“Polyjuice Potion, Sirius? Really?” Remus was going to die of stress. This was one of the most Illegal Things Sirius had ever done, and he once drove his motorbike, which he had no license to drive, straight into a Greggs window and stole eight sausage rolls that were in the display. He never told Remus how he managed to carry the sausage rolls and ride the bike at the same time, but he did.

“Yep. The plan is to slip this into some of the Slytherins’ pumpkin juices at breakfast and have them all turn into…someone.”

“How long has this been going on?” asked Peter. “Like, how long have you been brewing it?”

“Couple weeks. It’ll be ready by James’ birthday, though,” Sirius replied. “It’s bloody hard to make. I had to get Lily to help me, and even then I had to make up a lie that I wanted to turn Peter into McGonagall.”

“That sounds fun,” said Remus. “So who are you going to turn them into?”

“That’s my problem. I don’t know.”

“What about McGonagall?” asked Peter. “Ooh, what about Snape!”

“No, that wouldn’t do anything to Snape, and that’s the main aim,” sighed Sirius. “And McGonagall is too hard to get like…hair off of. Plus, she’d immediately know it was me.”

“You know…you know what she’d definitely suspect you of, but would be really fucking funny?” said Remus.

Chapter Text

27th March, 1976

A note slipped under every dorm rooms, except for those of Mulciber, Lockhart, Avery, Snape, and Bertram Aubrey:

Attention: This is a warning not to drink the pumpkin juice this morning, as we, Pranksters Supreme, put something really weird in it. I mean, really weird. Nothing that’ll make you puke, or anything like that, but I’ll tell you now it’s going to be a little off-putting. However, if you’re down to play with the prank, it would make it better to have some people with a sense of humour be involved, as we’ve mainly targeted assholes.

Actually, changed my mind. Anyone who has a sense of humour, drink it. Join the cause.

Also, here are your instructions on how to get to the party tonight. Don’t miss it, there’s free alcohol. And remember: SNITCHES GET STITCHES. No matter what happens. I mean, it’s kind of easy to guess who we are, but we don't want to hear any snitching.

 

27th March, 1976

9.05am

Sirius Black and James Potter, for once in their lives, were early for a lesson. “Morning, Professor,” Sirius said to Professor Slughorn, who was looking at them suspiciously.

In entered another Sirius.

And another Sirius.

And yet another Sirius.

And Remus.

Who was followed by another Sirius.

“What on earth—“ Slughorn began, but was silenced by the entrance of five more Siriuses.

Some of the Siriuses looked murderous — you could assume that they were the ones who weren’t informed of the prank. Most of them were laughing. A couple of them actually walked over to a Sirius as if to punch him, but faltered under the eyes of Slughorn.

Slughorn, who was purple, furiously scribbled out a note on his desk and thrust it in a Sirius’ direction.

“What’ve I done, sir?” asked the Sirius.

“Who are you?” he asked.

“It’s Wilkes, sir. I don’t know why I look like this.”

By this point, half the class was Sirius.

“EVERYONE SIT DOWN,” Slughorn bellowed. “Now would the real Sirius Black please stand up?”

Approximately three people stood up, all of them sniggering, one of them clearly trying to stop themselves making a Slim Shady reference 28 years early.

“Oh, SIT DOWN!” he roared. “WHICH ONE OF YOU IS THE REAL SIRIUS? You, the one next to James Potter!” He pointed at one of them.

“I’m Mulciber, sir,” he said sullenly, with a very sour look on his face.

“You, then!” He pointed at the one on the other side of James.

“Yes, it is I, Sirius Black!” he cried. “Jumpsuits! Freddy Mercury!”

“No, you heathen, I am Sirius Black!” exclaimed someone else from the back of the classrooms. “My cat Poseidon is my life! McGonagall, I love you! I hope you die, James—sorry, Prongs, you beautiful son of a bitch!”

“Silence, infidels!” shouted another, this time in the middle. “Being overdramatic! David Bowie!”

“I’m better than you all!” cried another. “I never study! Marry me, Moony! ABBA!”

“Can’t help but feel inSULTED BY THIS,” shouted a Sirius Black sitting next to Remus. “I’m never dramatic! Moony, catch me!” He fell backwards and Remus knocked his chair over and managed to awkwardly avert the Sirius’ death.

“Who the hell are you?” he whisper-yelled.

“It’s Marlene,” ‘Sirius’ whispered. “OH, THANK YOU, MY LOVE—”

“BE QUIET,” shouted Slughorn.

“PRONGS, I'M IN LOVE WITH YOU!”

“SCREAMING!”

“MINNIE, DARLING, MARRY ME!”

“IIIIII-I-I-I-I’M HOOKED ON A FEELING!”

“FURRY LITTLE PROBLEM!”

“FUCK YOU, SNIVELLUS!”

“MOONY, WHAT WAS THE TRANSFIGURATION HOMEWORK AND CAN I COPY?”

“YEET!”

“ANACHRONISMS!”

“BE Q U I E T!” Slughorn was ignored, so he slapped the note on James’ desk. “GO!”

“Go where, sir?” he asked, over the commotion.

“JUST—“ Slughorn stammered with rage. “GO!”

 

27th March, 1976

9.28am

Two Siriuses, a Prongs and a Moony walk into McGonagall’s office. She is livid.

Sounds like a joke, it’s just kind of the end of one.

“Professor, why are Remus and James here?” asked one of the Siriuses.

She sighed. “You’ve each earned six weeks of detention and a letter home each. Mr Potter, your Quidditch match next week will be postponed and I’m taking twenty points off Gryffindor—a relatively light sentence, I might add.”

There was an outburst of extreme protest.

“Don’t even have proof—“

Six weeks?”

“You can’t cancel Quidditch! It’s James’ only source of happiness!”

“It’s my birthday!”

They were silenced by a single look from McGonagall. She had infinitely more power than Slughorn.

“I no longer have any patience for your actions, boys. Fighting, pulling idiotic pranks—that, I can deal with. But Polyjuice Potion is an extremely illegal and dangerous substances. The consequences had you got it wrong would’ve been utterly disastrous, and given that it hasn’t worn off yet, you did get it wrong. Goodness knows how long half of the school will be looking ridiculous—”

“Hurtful, Professor!” said one of the Siriuses.

“This year you have been simply out of control. That incident with Severus Snape this year was a prime example—“

“Professor, that had nothing to do with the others,” protested Sirius. “And James actually stopped that from happening!”

“And it was barely Sirius’ fault in the first place,” said Peter.

“Silence! Six weeks of detention. A letter home each. Quidditch is postponed until your detention is over. It’s now thirty points from Gryffindor. I’ve made certain exceptions for you, and no longer. And yes, Black, I am aware of your current living situation. I simply hope Euphemia knocks some sense into you. Get out of my office.”

They left.

“D’you think maybe it’s a bad idea to keep the other prank today going?” asked Peter, still Sirius.

James shrugged. “No way to stop it now.”

 

27th March, 1976

6.00pm

“Brief team meeting!” said James. “You remember the spells, right?”

Levicorpus. It’ll only work for a bit, but it should be good enough,” said Marlene.

“And Remus has developed a bit of a shit invisibility spell at the last second—Evanescet. It’s literally just ‘disappear’ in Latin, but it’ll work for a couple minutes. Again, it’s a bit shit, because it was invented by a 16-year-old in ten minutes, but given that that 16-year-old is a genius, it should work. It’s dangerously close to Evanesco, so don’t get it confused. It's just the same verb with a different ending, technically.”

“Fine,” said Dorcas. “Can we go to dinner now?”

“Yes. 9.00 sharp.”

 

27th March, 1976

8.59pm

“Listen, guys, the note said to go to the library!” said Dirk Cresswell, shutting up his dorm-mates, who had been arguing for twenty minutes. “There’s probably, like, a note around here somewhere, like a treasure hunt, just look.”

 

“They said that there’d be something on the third-floor corridor, right?” Davey Gudgeon (who was still a Sirius Black lookalike) sighed. “Is there a clue or some shit? They’re idiots.”

 

Florence put her hands on her hips. “Give it up, Mary! There’s nothing here! It was just a weak prank. Seems like a lot of effort to go to for something stupid like this, though.”

 

Bertha Jorkins gave a heavy sigh. “God, they’re so stupid. I was invested in this free alcohol!”

 

And lo, with the help of Marlene McKinnon, Dorcas Meadowes, Lily Evans, and the all-important Peeves, chaos fell from the heavens. And also glitter.

Sticky glitter.

Once it fell on you, it stuck. And it was everywhere. Everywhere. The halls were not spared. You never heard Sir Cadogan shriek so loudly, not even when he accidentally stabbed himself in the dick the other day.

The entire school.

Every professor on patrol got hit.

It would not wear off for many, many days.

 

27th March, 1976

9.55pm

“Do we really have to do this?” said Remus.

“Yes. If we’re the only ones without glitter all over us, then they’ll immediately know it was us,” said Sirius. “Plus, I’m going to look great.”

“You will not,” said Peter. “Shouldn’t we blame someone else, though?”

“Duh,” said James. “Anyone who didn’t want to come to our party.”

"It’s such an obnoxiously us prank, though,” said Remus. “They’ll know it’s us just from the idea.”

“But when they see those dickheads at the Slytherin table completely un-glittered, they’ll have to at least question them.” James poured glitter over his head and sneezed.

“What if someone tells?” asked Peter.

“Snitches get stitches. It’s the law of the land. No one’ll tell,” said Sirius. “Plus, no one likes the Death Eater crew or Lockhart’s fan club. It’ll be fun to see them get stitched up for once.”

“Whatever you say, man,” said Peter.

 

30th March, 1976

10.03pm

“E minor.”

Shaky E minor.

“Come on, Prongs, you can do better than that. It’s the easiest one. We practised it so much.”

Better E minor.

“G.”

Decent G.

“A.”

Decent A.

“And an E?”

E minor.

“That was an E minor.”

E.

“Do a D?”

Eh, it was OK.

“Alright, keep an E minor going for me.”

Yeet.

“Get your motor runnin’.”

E minor.

“Head out on the highway.”

E minor.

“Lookin’ for adventure.”

E minor.

“In whatever comes our way. Now G.”

G - “A—darling go E it happen—G the A in an E embrace—G A of your Es at once and—GexplA into E.”

James stopped playing and snorted. “As much as it sounds great with all the chords in it, stop doing that and just sing it normally.”

“Alright, alright. Start again,” Sirius sighed. “Don’t worry if you get it wrong, because I already know you will.”

“Wanker.” He started again, deeply terribly.

Remus, having been released from Tutoring Hell, clambered through the portrait hole. He listened for a couple seconds and made a face. “Acoustic Born To Be Wild? That’s a…bold choice.”

“Shut the fuck up Moony,” sang Sirius. “How was teaching First Years?”

“How did you get that…in rhythm?” Remus flopped down onto an armchair. Sirius ignored him, for once in his life. Once they’d done, he returned to being an Asshole. “You know, Prongs, if it’s any consolation, you cannot get any worse. Unless the guitar was on fire and so was your hair. And your hands.”

“Bastard,” James laughed, and threw his guitar pick at him.

“You’re going to lose that,” said Sirius. “Believe me.”

“It’s OK, I have like a thousand upstairs,” said Remus. Sirius looked at him oddly.

“Why?”

Remus shrugged. "They're cheap."

“Why do you own everything?” asked James. “You’re like mum friend extreme. You wouldn’t think it by looking at you, but you are.”

“…Thanks?”

 

31st March, 1976

7.33am

“Hey, Remus,” said Mary McDonald. He gave her an awkward wave. She sat down on the opposite bench to him. “How’ve you been?”

“Uh. Yeah, good,” he said. “You?”

“Yeah, I’ve been good too. I was just wondering, who’re you going to that dance with?”

“Uhhh—yeah, I’ve got a date,” he said.

“Oh—yeah, me too,” she said, as if to reassure him. “It’s Peter. You’re friends with him, right? So who’re you going with?”

“Um. Lily,” Remus said. He sighed as soon as he said it. “Yep. Lily. I’m going to the dance with…Lily.” He knew very well that there were three people were going to kick up a fuss about this. And wow, here was Number One.

“Morning, Remus,” said Lily, conveniently sitting down next to him and grabbing a piece of toast.

“Wow, I never really thought about it, but you two make a cute couple,” said Mary cheerfully. “Are you actually going out, or?”

Lily stared at Remus. “Um.”

“Not really, I just asked her to the dance—“

“Oh, right, the dance, yes,” said Lily. “Yeah, he just…asked me. And I said yes.”

Mary smiled uncomfortably. “Er—right. Well, I’d better go find Flossie. See you around.”

Lily turned to him as soon as she was out of earshot. “What in the hell was that, you idiot?”

“I don’t know, I panicked!”

Lily sighed. “I really don’t need another rumour about who I’m dating, Remus.”

“Mary won’t tell anyone,” he said. “She’s not…a gossipy type.”

“She’ll tell Florence, and then somehow the whole school will know.”

“Oh. I just didn’t think—”

“No. You didn’t.” Lily got up and stalked off angrily, causing a first year to literally dive over a bench in order to avoid her Pure Unadulterated Rage.

 

31st March, 1976

8.45am

“Sirius help I pissed off Lily,” said Remus, after Sirius caught up to him on the way to Herbology. Sirius clapped him on the shoulder.

“You’re in God’s hands now,” said Sirius in a low voice. “I’ll arrange the funeral?”

“Will you cry?”

“No, I’m punk. I’ll wail. I’ll show up in my wedding dress and stay in it for the rest of my life.”

“Like Miss Havisham,” said Remus.

“What? I don’t read those books, I’m too pretty,” Sirius said, flicking his hair behind his shoulder.

“You were a mistake of God.”

“And I’m sure he’s very sorry, but there’s nothing he can do about me now.”

 

31st March, 1976

4.03pm

“Lily, I fixed it,” said Remus, sighing. “It was excruciating.”

“Fucking good,” she said. “What did you do?”

“I had to actually Talk to Mary and ask her not to say anything to Florence, which she then had to agree to—”

“Remus, this just sounds like a normal conversation.”

“Exactly! Excruciating!”

Lily snorted. “Your Sirius is showing again.”

“I HEARD THE NAME OF THE SEXIEST MOTHERFUCKER IN SCHOOL,” yelled Sirius.

“Then you misheard,” said Lily, who had Zero Time for Sirius’ bullshit. “We didn’t say my name.”

“Rude. What’d you fix, Moony?”

“I…may have told Mary McDonald that me and Lily were going to that dance bullshit,” said Remus. Sirius fell on to the floor. Lily stared at him.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m sorry, I just assumed this was what cORPSES DID BECAUSE MY HEART HAS BEEN RIPPED TO SHREDS—”

“You’re an idiot,” said Remus, who had kind of expected Sirius to be Number Two Person to be Way Too Fucking Dramatic about this.

“Why would you dO THAT TO ME?” Sirius yelled.

“She asked me if I was going to the dance with anyone and I panicked.”

“I’m not exactly best pleased about it either. I mean, there’s already about a thousand rumours about me being a slut, so—”

“What?” asked Remus. “You?”

“Yeah. I went out with two boys and suddenly bam,” she sighed. “Slut.”

“I mean, I went out with two boys and suddenly bam, I’m gay,” said Sirius. “Honestly, society is so messed up.”

Lily snorted. “Idiot.”

“Anyone of worth won’t believe that shit, Lils,” he said, somehow managing to be sincere despite lying on the floor, still clutching his heart dramatically. “Also Snape will probably also not believe it.”

“You are so immature, Padfoot—”

“HA YOU CALLED ME PADFOOT—”

“Oh, shut up, both of you. Screaming in the common room’s shite etiquette,” said Remus.

“So’s swearing in the common room around children,” pointed out Sirius.

“At least I’m not screaming,” he replied.

“We’re Year 11s—Fifth Years, I mean,” said Lily, who somehow still had not gotten used to Hogwarts’ system. “We’re allowed to scream.”

“That’s fair,” said Remus. “But, y’know. Someone’s probably gotten a letter saying ‘hey, your entire family was killed by fucking Voldemort—”

Remus,” Lily said. Sirius looked up sharply.

“What? Oh, for fuck’s sake, what’s saying his name going to do?” Remus rolled his eyes. “He’s not exactly just going to fucking appear when I say Voldemort—“

“Remus, don’t,” Sirius said. “You’re going to freak people out.”

“Let them be freaked out, then,” Remus said. “Voldemort, Voldemort, Fucking Vold E. Mort—it’s such a fucking stupid name, honestly. What the hell is scary about a Dark Lord that sounds like he came out of a goddamn anime with a demographic of eleven-year-olds—”

Several of the younger years were staring at him, most of them in horror, some more in awe.

“I’ve never got this whole stupid wizard thing of giving far too much power to people who are literally already megalomaniacs. He’s killed a bunch of people, yes, but why would we give some wacko with a wizard gun so much power? People are terrified of his name. That’s ridiculous.”

“He’s a psycho killer, Remus—“

“Qu'est-ce que ç’est?” said Sirius. “Sorry. Talking Heads. Go on.”

“People’s families are being slaughtered every day,” said Lily, ignoring Sirius. “It’s only natural that people are scared of him.”

“Surely it shouldn’t have been allowed to get to this extent, though—”

“Remus, we’re in the middle of a war.” This was frank and to the point. “It has been allowed to get to this extent, and that’s it.”

Sirius exhaled sharply. “We’re the ones who are going to have to clean up our parents’ mess.”

“That’s basically all of history,” said Remus. “Was before, is now, will be tomorrow.”

“Cool, well, this has been a sufficiently depressing conversation,” said Lily. “I’m going to get some Transfiguration revision done. Remus, help me?”

“Sure.”

Sirius got up, and in true Sirius fashion made it as dramatic as possible. “I’m going for a walk. If I die, I’ll send you an owl.”

“If you die, that’ll be inconvenient for you,” said Remus. “Try your best not to.”

“Yep.”

Chapter Text

31st March, 1976

7.02pm

“I can’t get this Vanishing shit at all,” said Lily, frustrated. “Usually I get everything! What is wrong with my brain?”

Remus scratched the back of his head. “You’re going to have a hell of a time with Conjuring at N.E.W.T level.”

“No, if you can’t teach me it and McGonagall can’t teach me it, then no one can.”

“Okay, so you’re going to hate this idea, but—”

Lily looked at him ominously. “Remus John Lupin, do not say what you’re about to say—”

“James is the best person I know at Transfiguration. And he will probably teach you it if you ask.”

“Absolutely not. The day I ask that maggot for help is the day I die,” said Lily. “He’s an utter fucking blockhead.”

“James!” called Remus from across the room.

“WHAT DO YOU WANT, BITCH—oh, sorry, Moony. I thought you were Sirius. What?”

“Come teach Lily how to do that Vanishing spell bullshit.”

“Nnnnnnoooooo she’s both terrifying and hot at the same time, that shit confuses my brain—”

“He’s a complete moron,” Lily said, losing all faith in humanity. “Has he ever had a rational thought that was from his brain and not his dick?”

“Only in Transfiguration,” said Remus. “Get over here, you pillock.”

James groaned and rolled reluctantly over to them. “OK, so you know the incantation, right?”

“Stand up, you fucking idiot—” Remus was going to die. This was like pulling teeth, if the teeth were a sixteen-year-old asshat.

“The incantation! It’s Evanesco, right? Wait, can you do the snail?” he asked.

“What are you even asking me right now?” said Lily. “This is a terrible idea, Remus.”

“No—can you Vanish a snail yet, or not?” He was still lying on the floor.

“Of course I fucking can, we could all do that by the end of the first lesson.”

“Right—because it’s an invertebrate. That’s why it’s easy. Vanishing a mouse is harder, because it’s a mammal. It’s more complicated.”

“Yes, I know that.”

“Well, that’s your problem there. You know everything about it—you know vanishing a mouse is harder because of all the technical bullshit, and in doing that you make it harder for yourself. You need to stop thinking about it so much and just do it.”

She stared at him. “So the reason you’re good at this shit is because you’re impulsive and don’t know anything?”

“Precisely. Works like a charm. Or rather.”

“Don't make a dad joke.”

“Like a Transfiguration!”

“I hate you so much.”

“Anyway, stop thinking so much, you’ll be able to do it. You’re like, the smartest person in the year, except Remus.”

“She’s smarter than me, you have a dorm bias,” said Remus. “Come on, try it again, Lils.”

“Sirius is the only one who calls me that,” she said, slightly confused.

“Yeah, I’ve been spending too much time around him. Come on!”

She turned to the mouse she’d been practising on and made a half-assed attempt at Vanishing it. “Oh nooo, it didn’t work. Looks like Potter’s just as stupid as we thought—”

“Fuck off, Evans, try it properly,” sighed Remus. 

She sighed and lazily flicked her wand. “Evanesco.”

The mouse disappeared.

“Motherfucker,” she said.

“I’m not usually one to say I told you so, but—“

“Shut up, Remus,” said Lily. “Oh shit, I just remembered I actually borrowed this mouse off a first-year.”

James took out his wand and gave his wand a seemingly random wave. “Here.” The mouse reappeared.

“You can do non-verbal Conjuring in Fifth Year?” said Lily. “How the fuck did you get an A on our last test? Who are you?”

“I do not study,” said James. “I’m going to leave now, so you’ll stop yelling at me, unless you want to go on a date FUCKING SHIT—”

Two pillows and Remus’ foot to the face.

“You ruin everything, Potter.”

He rolled off sulkily.

“That was the worst experience of my life,” said Lily, turning back to Remus.

“Maybe, but at least you aren’t going to fail the Transfiguration OWL now.”

“I…maybe. Where’s your boyfriend, then?”

Remus shrugged. “He went out for a walk earlier. You heard.”

“Dude. That was like, three hours ago,” said Lily. “You should go out and find him.”

“Gross.”

“What do you mean gross, idiot?”

“I don’t even know,” said Remus. “You know I’m not on big on romantic gestures.”

“It’s not a romantic gesture. If Sirius has been willingly outside for more than ten minutes he’s clearly going through some shit.”

“Yeah, I know,” he sighed. “I just don’t know if it’s better to let him deal with it himself or not.”

“The last time Sirius was left to deal with things himself he literally tried to punch his father, told the biggest homophobes he knew he was gay, and also told them his life goal was to be a drag queen.”

“I think he may have been joking on that last one.”

“The point is, none of you dickheads are any good at dealing with things yourself. Sirius got kicked out and the way you guys decided to get his stuff back was to dress up like the motherfucking Mario brothers.”

“That was technically a group thing, and also was not Sirius’ ideas.”

“As far as I’m concerned, you’re all the same person. Go find him.”

Remus sighed and got up.

 

31st March, 1976

7.35pm

“You’re having a fun evening,” said Remus. Sirius started and turned around.

“Fucking hell. There are leaves everywhere! How are you so silent?”

“Talent, and you’re deaf. What’re you doing in the Forbidden Forest?”

“More to the question, how’d you find me?” Sirius folded his arms. “It’s dangerous in here.”

Remus snorted. “You’re not exactly a creature of stealth.”

“Could you…smell me?” asked Sirius, slightly disturbed.

“You took third-year DADA, fool.” Remus shrugged. “You should know this.”

“I know, it’s just…weird. Also, how stupid were those lessons?”

“What do you mean?”

“We were taught, like…how to kill a werewolf, and why they’re monsters,” Sirius said. “When the only werewolf I know literally folds his socks.”

“That’s just the way people see werewolves. It’s not a big deal.”

“It’s not a big deal?” Sirius stared at him. “Remus, it’s institutionalising hatred of you. Kids—actual children—are literally being taught how to kill…you.”

“Whatever.”

“You know—that’s the biggest reason you need to be a teacher, Moony.”
Remus looked at him oddly. “What?”

“So you can teach people in your own way. So you’re allowed to teach about werewolves the way they should be taught. Like they’re people who fold their socks, not monsters.”

“That’s…actually a pretty good point.”

“I always make good points, Moons.”

“Maybe so, but you haven’t answered my question. Forbidden Forest? Why?”

“For the adVENTURE.”

“No, it’s not. It’s actually Just Dangerous in here - I mean, there’s a werewolf right in front of you.”

“A werewolf that is the least dangerous person I’ve ever met, except Peter. Although he can deliver a killer throat punch. You, not Peter.”

“Sirius.”

He sighed. “Just thinking.”

“About…”

“I don’t know.” Sirius took a deep breath. “I do know.”

“So am I going to stand here all night, or?”

Sirius bit his thumb. “Maybe.”

“That’s gross.”

“Die.”

Remus laughed quietly. “Come on, Sirius.”

Sirius swallowed. “It’s just…weird.”

“What is?”

“Morality.I mean, all my life, I’ve been taught certain stuff. Shitty stuff, don’t get me wrong, but it was drilled into me every day when I was a kid. And now…well, I don’t even live at home anymore, and I’m surrounded by the exact opposite of what I grew up with, and it feels weird. But it feeling weird feels bad because it’s like—am I secretly just a bad person, and I don’t realise it? I—"

Remus took one of his hands. “You’re babbling.”

Sirius exhaled sharply. “I know.”

“Sirius, if it’s any consolation, someone who was a genuinely bad person wouldn’t question their actions.”

Sirius thought about that for a second. “But—”

“Everything in life has grey areas, Pads. No person is wholly good, no person is wholly evil. You’ve thrown away what was your life and followed an entirely new path. That’s going to feel weird. It just is.”

“Wow, I'm going to use that line in the future. But - I grew up in a family of Death Eaters, that's got to-”

“ I grew up in North Shields in the 60s, and yet here I stand, a bisexual non-football-player who’s best friends with an Indian kid.”

“James is half-Indian.”

“Do you genuinely think that makes a difference in 60s Newcastle?”

“Fair point. But if my thoughts are all inherently bad—”

“Good and bad are human constructs. The things that matter are your actions and what you choose to do with them.”

Sirius exhaled, slower this time. “…You’re high, aren’t you?”

“Yeah, a bit.”

Sirius chuckled. “Well, at least I know you’re being somewhat genuine.”

“You know it, baby. Wow, that was a mistake.” Remus rubbed his eyes. “You should come back to the castle. Stay out here and sulk if you really want to, but come back eventually.”

 

1st April, 1976

9.00am

The Day of Dread had arrived, and every student in the castle—well, except the First Years—was on Defence Mode. Every step they took was calculated. The (incompetent) DADA teacher actually cancelled all his classes. People were let into the Great Hall thirty at a time; a schedule had to be made. Peeves was cornered by the Bloody Baron in a broom closet for the entire day. The entrances were barred.

And with these defences, the Marauders pulled off perhaps their greatest prank of all of their years: nothing.

“I don’t think we’ve ever caused this much destruction in our lives, boys,” said James, looking amazedly at a seventh-year running down the hall shrieking because she thought she’d seen a room full of spiders.

“This was the best plan ever,” said Peter, who had been in the first slot in the Great Hall, which meant he stole all the toast. He currently had about seventy pieces of toast shoved up his shirt.

“You astound me,” said Remus, staring at the toast shirt.

“Thank you,” said Peter, smirking.

“HELP IT’S A SIRIUS CLONE,” shrieked James, causing a fourth-year to jump about fifty metres into the air and cower behind a statue.

“First of all, rude, and second of all, this is the best day of my life,” said Sirius.

“Really? Not the day you first came to Hogwarts? Escaped your abusive family? Got a boyfriend? The time McGonagall accidentally called you ‘Padfoot’?” James said.

“Oh. Never mind. The McGonagall thing was better.”

 

3rd April, 1976

10.16pm

“I can’t believe the fucking second-years kicked us out of the common room,” grumbled Peter, who had brought along approximately seventeen blankets and four umbrellas, all of which he was struggling to carry. It was not raining, which was something no one had ever said in Scotland in April.

“There’s a rota, Wormtail,” said Remus. “You stick to the rota, no matter what.”

“Pass the juiCE,” yelled Sirius. He was, in fact, talking about actual juice, and since James the Hardass was now Captain, everyone even remotely involved in the Quidditch game tomorrow had been limited strictly to grape juice. This was all despite the fact that ‘it’s a fucking practise match, Prongs, and I’m going to save about as many goals when I’m blackout drunk as when I’m sober’. James chucked an entire carton of grape juice at Sirius’ head.

“FUCKASS DICKBISCUITS, PRONGS—”

“It’s because your HAIR FELL IN YOUR EYES, IDIOT, YOU NEED A HAIRCUT,” yelled Remus.

“No, it’s because I have no motor skills slash talent. And I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, I’ll get a haircut when you get a piercing.”

“Oh no,” said Peter in a deadpan voice. “That could only lead to hilarious hijinks. Because that’s what this story needs. More jokes.”

“Shut the fuck up, Wormy,” said Sirius. “I kind of want a tattoo.”

“We know,” said Remus.

“Sirius, you’re fucking scared of needles,” said James. “You’ve got enough edgy teen vibe going for you, you don’t need a tattoo.”

“Plus, you have to be like…old, to get a tattoo,” pointed out Peter.

“Remus looks overage. He’s got the frown lines of an eight-year-old man, the scars of a wizened veteran, and his hair is basically turning white with stress—”

“Thank you, Sirius,” said Remus, exasperated. “Unfortunately, I am legally 16, not 78—“

“Let it be said that you are basically 78 mentally,” said James.

“Kids these days and their disrespecting their elders, get off my fucking lawn, etcetera, etcetera.”

“You can do better than that, Moony!” cried James, causing Remus to retrace his steps, find the carton of grape juice, and throw it at James’ head very violently. “I LIE HERE ON MY DEATHBED, BETRAYED BY MY BEST FRIEND, MY SON SCREAMING, MY WIFE DESPERATELY TRYING TO—”

“Shut up.”

“Hey, the clearing,” said Peter. “I still can’t believe you hid a motorbike in here—”

“HER NAME IS ELVENDORK,” said Sirius. “Respect her. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.”

“No Aretha Franklin in my house,” said James.

“We’re in a forest,” Peter said.

“Aretha Franklin is welcome in any house, Prongs,” said Remus.

“This is mYYYyyyy House,” said Sirius.

“Troll 2 was released in 1990,” said Marlene.

“MOTHER OF FUCK WHEN DID YOU GET HERE—“

“Marlene ex machina.” She walked off. “Solving the problems of Sirius’ fourth-wall-breaking since ’71.”

“Let’s just…move on,” said Remus.

“Random question, if you were to have kids, what would you name them?” asked James, resulting in odd looks from everyone, including Marlene, who had come back. “What? It's not that weird a question. Also, go away, Marly. This is guys’ night.”

“Fine!”

“What prompted this?” asked Remus. “This is the…weirdest question I’ve ever heard.”

James went red. “I don’t know. That’s a lie, I do know—”

“You’re so terrible at keeping secrets, Prongs,” sighed Peter. “Even I’m better than you.”

“I have been spending time with…a certain girl.”

“Lily?” asked Remus.

“What? No, she hates me.”

“Marlene and Dorcas are gay…Florence?”

“Nope.”

“Well, that’s all the girls I know,” Remus said. “Who is it, Prongs?”

“Is it Mary?” asked Peter. 

“Nope," said James. 

“Good, if it was Mary I would’ve stabbed you—I have such a crush on her.”

“We know,” said James. “I’m not going to tell you who it is, because I am So Good at respecting women now, I’m like a champion feminist—“

“You are not,” said Remus matter-of-factly.

“Anyway! She asked me what I’d name my kids and I didn’t know.”

“I’d be a shit dad,” said Peter. “I mean, my dad was shit, and you know what they say.”

“What?” asked Sirius, suddenly concerned.

“About doing what you know.”

“Oh, fuck. I’m going to be a rubbish dad, then.”

“What’re you talking about, babe?” asked Remus. “Fleamont’s a great dad.”

“What? No, it’s about genetics.”

“No, the idea is ‘you do what you know’. You know my dad,” said James. “You’d be a great parent. Except that you wouldn’t you’d accidentally starve it—”

“I’D BE AN EXCELLENT FATHER, YOU TWAT—“ Sirius threw a leaf at James. Sirius used LEAF. It was not very effective.

“You’re so easy to manipulate,” said James.

“Oh.” Sirius thought about what he’d just said. “Huh. You know, I’m already an uncle.”

The other boys stared at him.

“When in the name of fuck did this happen?” asked James. “hOW THE FUCK DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS, WHEN WAS REGULUS PREGNANT—”

“Not Regulus, idiot—Andy. Andromeda.”

“Oh,” said Remus. “That’s nice.”

“Remus, you don’t have to pretend, I know you don’t care about babies,” said Sirius.

“Oh thank God.”

“What’s…it…called?” asked Peter.

“She, and Nymphadora. Nymphadora Tonks.”

“Adorable!” yelled James. “Wait, no. That’s a terrible name. She’s going to get bullied for the rest of her life. I bet we can think of some better ones!”

Remus was the first one to speak up. “None of us have any idea, Prongs. I guess I like the name Elliot?”

“Elliot’s good,” said Peter.

“No, my first crush was an Elliot!” cried Sirius. “You can’t name ou—your child after an old romantic fling of mine!”

Remus snorted. “Idiot. Hey James, how about Aretha?”

“I HOPE YOU DIE, MOONY. Actually—what about girls’ names?” asked James.

“I like Ivy,” said Peter. “Rose, too.”

“Aww, Pete’s a flower girl,” teased James, earning him an elbow to the ribs.

“Says the boy in love with a girl called—”

“WE DO NOT SPEAK HER NAME IN THIS GODDAMN HOUSE, MOONY.”

“So you’ve got a ban on Aretha Franklin and Li—“

“SHUSH.”

“And…She Who Must Not Be Named?” Remus corrected himself. “Those are like, my two favourite things.”

“I am OFFENDED, DISGUSTED, INSULTED, AGGRIEVED, WOUNDED, UPSET—”

“Shut up, Padfoot,” said Remus.

“Mmkay.”

“You are so good at shutting him up,” said Peter, amazed. “You have a serious talent, Professor Lupin.”

“Shut your fuckass mouth, Pete,” said Remus. Peter gaped for a few seconds and then snapped out of it. “Huh. I guess I really am good at that.”

“What about Harry?” said James.

“What?” Sirius looked at him. James had lain down; he was going to have a thousand leaves in his terrible tangled hair when he sat up.

“For a boy. Harry.”

No one really said anything, until Remus did. “It’s nice. I like that.”

“I mean, I had an uncle—at least, I think he was my uncle, he could’ve just been someone my grandfather’s mates with and I call ‘uncle’—anyway, I had an uncle called ‘Hari’. He was a fucking lad, and then he died of liver cancer.” This was all said in an uncomfortably upbeat way.

“That's a really fun story, Prongs, thank you,” said Sirius, having Escaped the temporary vow of silence he took.

Chapter Text

8th April, 1976

8.00am

“WAKE UP, THOT,” yelled Sirius. “I mean, good morning, my love, I did a thing.”

Remus grunted.

“I SAID WAKE UP, THOT.”

Remus rolled over and actually opened his eyes. Sirius was actually dressed, and holding a cup of tea. “Oh, that’s actually sweet.” He took the cup and took a sip.

His eyes narrowed.

“What? Did I accidentally put vinegar in it instead of milk again?”

“What is this?” Remus looked…forbidding.

“Tea!” Sirius was Afraid.

“Do not lie to me, Sirius. What is this?”

“It’s tea! Yorkshire Tea! With milk!”

“Did you say Yorkshire Tea?”

“Yes!”

“To confirm, Not PG Tips?”

“No!”

Remus left. After he left, the tea flung itself across the room.

 

8th April, 1976

8.31am

“Where’s Remus?” asked Lily over breakfast. Sirius shrugged.

“I made him tea this morning and he walked off.”

Lily looked at him forebodingly. “Tea?”

“That’s what I said.”

“Was it PG Tips?”

“No, the house-elves only had Yorkshire.”

Lily stood up, tipping the bench (and several first-years) over. “You just started the Armageddon.”

 

8th April, 1976

9.07am

An owl laid an egg on Sirius’ head.

“Go away! I don’t want your child! I’m only a boy, owl! I’m not ready to be a father!”

Sirius now had an owl.

 

8th April, 1976

1.44pm

Sirius slumped down at the dining table, looking exhausted.

“What’s wrong, Padfoot?” asked James. “You’ve been sulky all day.”

“That’s because a chorus of fiRST YEARS. HAS BEEN FOLLOWING ME AROUND. SINGING ONLY ‘WHAT’S NEW PUSSYCAT’ BY TOM JONES, EXCEPT THERE WAS ONE RENDITION OF ‘IT’S NOT UNUSUAL’ IN THE MIDDLE—DO YOU KNOW WHAT 20 PLAYS OF ‘WHAT’S NEW PUSSYCAT’ WITH ONE ‘IT’S NOT UNUSUAL’ AFTER SEVEN OF THEM DOES TO A MAN? DO YOU?”

James looked at him amusedly, resting his chin on his hands. “It wasn’t me, you know. I can’t stand those little pricks.”

“I know, Jamesie—and Peter hates the little shrimps, too, because they’re the same height as him—“

“What was that?” asked Peter, sitting down, his hair suddenly on fire like Hades in that one disney film that I haven’t seen yet but he’s got blue hair and he says ‘he’S A GUY’. Hercules? Who fuckin cares?

“Nothing, Wormy. The only person I know that actually likes the children is Lily, who wouldn’t do this, she’s a Prefect, and — oh.”

“It was fucking Remus, wasn’t it?” said Peter.

“Oh, it must’ve been,” said James. “He’s the only person you know who knows any first-years, and he’s a Prefect.”

“YES THANK YOU COMMANDER OBVIOUS, I’M GOING TO PROMOTE YOU TO CAPTAIN.”

“Wow, thanks—wait, that was an insult.”

“You are a crusty-ass—“ Sirius stood up (interrupting himself) and went off to find Remus, who had not been seen for the whole day.

Several seventh-years stood up and followed him. “BWAH BWAH W HA T’S NE W P US S YCAT—“
“I’M GOING TO FUCKING KILL YOU, MOONY—“

 

8th April, 1976

1.58pm

“REMUS FUCKING LUPIN IF I HEAR ‘WHAT’S NEW PUSSYCAT’ ONE MORE FUCKING TIME I’M GOING TO SHOOT MYSELF IN THE HEAD—“

“PUSSYCAT PUSSYCAT I LOVE YOU—“

“FUCK OFF, YOU OFF-BRAND CELESTINA WARBECKS—”

“I see you got my message,” said Remus, flicking through a book. “Guys, you can piss off now. I think the point has been made.”

The seventh-years nodded and left. A couple of them winked at him.

“How do you know them?” asked Sirius.

“I sell them drugs.”

Sirius nodded. “That fucking checks out—this has been the worst day of my fucking life. Sometimes they sang the trumpet—sometimes they fucking acapella’d it—but ONE OF THE FIRST-YEARS HAS A TRUMPET AND SO DOES PETER. HE JOINED IN BECAUSE I CALLED HIM SHORT—”

Remus snapped his book shut. “Charms next!”

As soon as they exited the common room, they were greeted by ‘Y OU AND YO UR PU SS YCAT E YE S” and Sirius lay down on the floor. He had been defeated. Tom Jones would haunt his dreams. He would never escape.

 

8th April, 1976

4.08pm

“My only revenge for this day,” began Sirius. “Will be the name of this owl.”

“Oh, god,” said Remus. “I did set that up, I can’t say I didn’t see this coming.”

“It’s Dwarvendork.”

“Sweet Jesus. It’s going to get bullied by all it’s little owl friends.”

 

11th April, 1976

2.07am

“What’re you dickheads going to do for your N.E.W.Ts?” asked James, fiddling with a bit of string he’d nicked off of Dorcas, who was trying to learn to knit. Marlene now called her ‘grandma’. “We’ve got our meetings with Minnie soon, right?”

“Dunno,” sighed Sirius. “I reckon I want to be an Auror, though, so like…everything.”

“You only need five to be an Auror, idiot,” said Remus. “I think I’m going to do five anyway. I can’t narrow shit down. …Maybe six.”

“I have literally the opposite problem.” Peter was done with Remus’ shit. “I only like Charms, and only sort of. And that’s only because of Flitwick.”

“Well, you’re pretty good at Charms,” reasoned Remus. “Why not that, plus something like Transfiguration? And DADA, everyone likes DADA.”

“I’m fucking useless at Transfiguration, and McGonagall hates me. Maybe I should do Care of Magical Creatures instead.”

“Go for it, mate,” said James. “I just know I’m doing Transfiguration and DADA.”

“You should do Potions if you want to be an Auror, you know,” said Remus. Sirius groaned.

“I reckon I’m going to play Quidditch,” said James, stars in his eyes.

“And I reckon you could do it,” said Peter. “I think I might just go with the flow. Try my hardest not to die.”

“Story of your life, eh, Pete?” Sirius was tapping his fingers on the floor in an apparent rhythm that Remus couldn’t quite work out.

“What are you going to do, then, Professor Moony?” James was still fiddling with that bit of string.

Remus shrugged.

“I think the fact that we all call you Professor Moony is a bit of a giveaway, dude,” said Peter.

“Oh, come on, that’s a joke. I said I wanted to be a teacher ages ago.”

“You are the only reason I’m going to pass my exams, babe.”

“True,” said James. “I mean, I could probably do it without you, but Sirius sure as fuck couldn’t.”

“Slightly offended, but I said it first, so whatever,” said Sirius.

Remus exhaled. “I’m going to bed.”

 

18th April, 1976

9.15am

“You’re fifteen minutes late, Black,” said McGonagall, as soon as he came in.

“Maybe, but at least I’m here at a round time,” said Sirius, settling himself cross-legged on a chair.

“Feet down. We’re here to talk about your N.E.W.Ts.”

“Yup.” He put his feet on the floor.

“What do you want to do when you’re older, Black?” asked McGonagall, spectacles on the end of her nose.

“Heroin.”

“Five points from Gryffindor.”

“Damn, you have no tolerance for my hilarious responses anymore. I miss the old Minnie.”

“Ten points.”

“All right, all right, mea culpa.”

“What careers have you considered?” she asked again sharply, but with a slight hint of a smile behind her voice that she couldn’t get rid of.

“I want to be an Auror,” said Sirius. She looked at him oddly.

“You seem awfully certain.”

Sirius shrugged in response.

“To become an Auror you ought to take five N.E.W.Ts. Transfiguration, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Charms, Potions and Herbology are the recommended five.”

“Cool.”

“You get fairly good marks in four of them, however your Potions marks have a tendency to be substandard.”

“They’re not that substandard!”

She looked at him sharply. “You’ll be expected to get an Exceeds Expectations or higher in both your O.W.Ls and your N.E.W.Ts. I don’t think I’ve seen you earn above an A in any exam.”

“Slughorn’s a terrible teacher—“

“You should learn how to manage your own work.” The fact that she didn’t deny Slughorn’s incompetence almost made Sirius laugh. “I suggest you talk to Evans or Lupin - they’re both very good at Potions - and do some extra research. And I wouldn’t make a clear decision about your future job so early. With those N.E.W.T options you’ll have plenty of other options.”

Sirius sighed. “Fine.”

 

18th April, 1976

9.30am

“MINERVA, MY LOVELY—“

“Try again, Potter.”

James exited and reentered. “Why hello there, Professor McGonagall, how are you today?”

“Slightly better. Have a seat.”

James flopped down onto a chair. “I have no idea what I want to do with my life!”

“Be that as it may, the time is approaching to make a decision.”

“Don’t scare me like that, Minnie!”

She sighed. “You have a rather extraordinary talent for Transfiguration. Have you considered something along that path?”

“I’m flattered. I guess I’ve thought about it a bit.”

“You also have quite a passion for Quidditch.”

James sat up. “Yeah! I was thinking I might try out for a proper team.”

“I can’t tell you you wouldn’t have a chance, but I think it more appropriate to focus on your studies, James. You do have a natural aptitude for academics, no matter how much you try to pretend you don’t.”

James pushed his glasses up. “I suppose.”

“Based on your general test scores, I’d recommend you take Transfiguration and Arithmancy.”

“I was thinking about DADA, and maybe Charms or Herbology, too.”

“All viable options. Think a bit more about what you may like to do in the future and then come to a decision. Just…steer clear of Divination. I don’t believe I’ve ever met a student with less of a talent for it.”

James snorted. “Will do. Thanks, Professor.”

 

18th April, 1976

9.45am

“Mr Lupin, come in.”

Remus rubbed the back of his neck. “Hi.”

“Oh, sit down. There’s nothing to be worried about.”

“Sorry.”

McGonagall took several papers out of a file briskly. “Have you thought about what careers you may look at?”

“Er, not really. Well, a bit. Yes.”

“From what I can tell, you are the type to plan. I don’t think I could believe you’ve put no thought into your future.”

Remus grinned a bit. “You got me there, Professor. I guess I just can’t really…decide.”

“I believe that you have the ability to succeed in any subject you should choose. Your test scores are remarkably well-rounded.”

“…Thanks?”

“You do appear to have particular proficiency in Defence Against the Dark Arts.”

Remus nodded. “That’s the only subject I’m certain about for N.E.W.T.”

“I’d recommend Transfiguration as well, though I do have a certain bias. You’re also strong in Charms and Ancient Runes.”

“I don’t really know how many to take.”

“The maximum we allow here is five, though you should note that is particularly difficult.”

“OK.”

 

18th April, 1976

10.00am

Peter went in and screamed for 15 minutes. McGonagall simply stared at him thoughtfully until the end. “Take Care of Magical Creatures.”

 

18th April, 1976

7.46pm

James was tugging at the collar of his dress robes. “This is the worst thing in the world.”

“You look sexy, mate,” said Sirius. James continued grumbling.

“Why am I doing this again?” asked Remus, deeply uncomfortable. Peter was still in his pyjamas.

“Because you told Mary McDonald that you were going with Evans,” said James, deeply jealous. “So now you have to take her.”

“In that case, I’m going to go over there and yell up the stairs.” Remus stood up and left.

“Pete, get dressed, you nightmare,” said James. “McDonald’s going to be waiting for you.”

“FINE.”

 

18th April, 1976

7.58pm

“HOW MANY MORE YEARS AM I GOING TO BE WAITING DOWN HERE, EVANS—”

“YOU’VE BEEN WAITING TEN MINUTES, LUPIN, YOU WEAK BITCH,” Lily bellowed down the stairs.

“I THINK YOU’LL FIND IT’S BEEN ELEVEN. I’D COME UP THERE MYSELF BUT I’M NOT A FUCKING GIRL.”

“I’M NEARLY DONE!”

Marlene and Dorcas made an appearance. Marlene made a point to laugh at him.

“She’s going to be another ten,” said Dorcas.

Remus sighed dramatically. “I’m going to die.”

“You guys are the worst fake couple in the world,” said Marlene.

“Thanks, Marly. You actually look nice for once, by the way—”

“I LOOK NICE ALL THE TIME.”

“Debatable,” said Dorcas. “I’m kidding I’m kidding I’m kidding you are gorgeous and everything I could ever want in a wife—“

They continued walking out of Gryffindor Tower like that.

Remus sat down on a stair, and it turned into the slide. “FUCKING—WHAT? I JUST SAT DOWN, I’M NOT COMING UP THERE.”

“BITCH I SWEAR TO GOD IF YOU MADE THE STAIRS INTO A SLIDE,” came Lily’s yell.

“OF COURSE I DIDN’T THAT’S RIDICULOUS CONJECTURE.”

A couple more girls made an appearance at the top of the slide, and gave Remus a dirty look. Peter came down from the boys’ dorm, even wearing cufflinks, just as Mary appeared at the top of the (now) stairs.

“Hi, Peter,” she said. “Remus.”

“Uh, hey,” said Remus awkwardly. Stop making this weird, Remus. “LILY!”

“I’M COMING, I’M COMING.”

“You two seem…happy,” said Mary. “Peter, should we go?”

Peter nodded, gave Remus a double thumbs-up and they left.

Lily stepped out of her dorm to the stairway, and immediately grabbed the banister.

“LOOKS LIKE YOU SORTED OUT YOUR FUCKING HAIR,” said Sirius, with Appropriate Timing. “I was half-expecting you to come as full-blown Swamp Troll.”

Lily laughed. “Shut the fuck up.” Her hair had, indeed, been sorted out so it fell in soft beach waves. She was wearing a red dress that wasn’t exactly a ballgown, but Lily Evans wore what she wanted to, dammit, and no Bitch was going to contradict her. She was also wearing heels, which she was Not used to, and was therefore kind of walking like a Terrible Giraffe.

“Finally,” said Remus.

“You’re meant to compliment me.”

“I’LL COMPLIMENT YOU EVANS—“ James immediately fell face first down the stairs in his overeagerness. “MOTHERFUCKER. Sirius, am I bleeding? Do I need a plaster? Oh god I’m so brave—”

“You act exactly like a cartoon villain,” said Lily. “You kind of look like one, too.”

“You look nice. Can we go now?” Remus was already bored.

“I can’t believe we’re not going together,” whined Sirius. “I have to go with James.”

“You’re not going with me,” said James, after making sure he had not broken his face. “We’re going alone. Together.” He thought about that for a second. “I guess you are going with me. Drama! Romance! Let’s fucking go, my darling!” He jumped up and took Sirius’ arm.

Lily stared at them as they went. “How does he manage to swing between enormous amounts of toxic masculinity and bullying people he sees as lesser and…that?”

Remus shrugged. “Double-sided coin. Let’s go.”

 

18th April, 1976

8.09pm

The Great Hall had been decked out in beautiful and entirely overdramatic decorations in true Hogwarts style.

“Funny,” said Lily.

“What?”

“Just…looks like it cost a lot of money. Could’ve gone towards…stuff that’s more important. Like the budget for Muggle-borns, and all that.”

“I hear that,” said Remus. “Sometimes I wonder about this school’s priorities.”

Lily suddenly whipped around. “Oh my god.”

“What?”

“This is a dance. You have to dance with me.”

“Oh sweet Jesus, I didn’t think about that.”

 

18th April, 1976

9.24pm

“Has anyone spiked the punch yet?” asked Remus, flopping down in a seat next to Sirius. “This is the most traumatising thing that has ever happened to me.”

“Remus, you’re a fucking werewolf—“

“I SAID WHAT I SAID. Also, keep your voice down.”

“Sorry. Seems like it’s going well, then?” asked Sirius. Remus sighed.

“How is she walking in those? Heels are like…if you strapped knives to shoes.”

“They’re super uncomfortable,” he replied, sighing.

Remus looked at him.

“You aren’t honestly surprised that I’ve been in drag, are you?”

“I guess not. How’s dancing with James?”

“WE’RE BOTH SO BAD AT DANCING IT’S AWFUL OH MY GOD—”

“I did notice you stepping on each others’ toes a fair amount. James was doing the worm at one point.”

“He can’t even do the worm,” said Sirius, near tears. “It was like he was a dying fish. And I was just standing there, watching him.”

Remus looked at him, amused. “Do you want me to show you how to actually dance?”

“You knew how to dance?”

“No. I grew up in the North, Sirius. This isn’t Billy Elliot.”

“Then how are you going to teach me? Also, Billy Elliot is a 2000 film.”

“I just spent an hour and a half with Lily teaching me how, and if you can’t dance after that you need to reevaluate your life choices.”

Sirius sighed. “Fine.”

Remus stood up and offered his hand. “May I have this dance?”

“Motherfucker.”

Chapter Text

30th April, 1976

7.44pm

“MOONYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY—” Sirius walked over to where Remus was organising his notes and rested his hands on his chair.

“Fucking what, Padfoot?” asked Remus. “This is the common room. You’re going to scare the First Years.”

“Can I see your notes on the Giant Wars? The only things I’ve written under the title are ‘buy eggs’ and ‘the third bit of Moonlight fucking slaps’.”

“Here.” Remus passed him a few pieces of paper. “What d’you mean by the ‘third bit of Moonlight’?”

“I can only think that I meant Beethoven’s fourteenth Sonata in C sharp Minor, the Third Movement, which does indeed fucking slap.”

“You are such a fucking nerd,” said Remus. “No one notices it. How the fuck does no one notice it?”

Sirius winked at him and walked away.

 

8th May, 1976

9.00pm

“This is the beginning of Hell,” said Remus, standing in front of the Marauders Plus. “You all know when your exams are, right? You’ve got your timetables?”

There was a general murmur of ‘yes’. Everyone appeared to be extremely tense.

“I’m sitting down now, this was a stupid idea. You guys should go to bed by 10.30. Tomorrow it’s Charms, and you’ve all revised like fuck for that already.”

 

9th May, 1976

10.44am

“God, that was a nightmare,” said Remus. “Went OK, though.”

“Went fine for me, too,” said James. “Kind of want to go rough up Snivellus to let some steam off.”

“James, no,” Remus said sternly. “At least wait ’til Sirius’ exam’s over.”

James sighed. “Fine. I’m going to go find some tea.”

“Where are you going to find tea?” Remus shook his head. “Never mind. If you find it, get me some.”

Remus sat himself down against the tree and took out his Charms textbook. Conveniently, Sirius finished his practical at that exact moment and came running dramatically out of the castle.

“KILL ME NOW, MOONY.”

“Shut up,” Remus said. “People are trying to revise.”

“Fucking whatever.” Sirius slumped down next to him and leant a head on his shoulder. “It’s the theory after this, right?”

“Yep. 11.45.”

“Fucking hell,” said Sirius, rubbing his eyes. “I’m already exhausted.”

“I’ve got some coffee if you want it.”

How?”

Remus shrugged. “Magic.”

 

13th May, 1976

12.04pm

“LEAVE HIM ALONE!” yelled Lily, Snape currently bound in a Body-Bind Jinx. James was standing in front of the tree, looking uncomfortable, Sirius next to him. Remus was still reading, apparently entirely absorbed in his book. He had a frown line.

“Ah, Evans, don’t make me hex you,” said James.

“Take the fucking curse off him, then!” Lily cried.

James sighed and de-cursed Snape. “There you go. Happy? You’re lucky Evans was here, Snivellus—”

“I don’t need help from filthy little Mudbloods like her!”

Lily blinked. James whipped around, looking furious.

“Fine. I won’t bother in the future. I’d wash your pants if I were you, Snivellus.”

 

13th May, 1976

11.49pm

“I’m sorry.”

“I don’t care.”

“I’m sorry!”

“I’m not interested.”

“I’m sorry, Lily.”

“Save your fucking breath. I only came out here because Mary told me you were threatening to sleep here.”

The Fat Lady was watching this intently. She had popcorn. Sir Cadogan had joined her.

“I was. I would’ve done. I never meant to call you Mudblood, Lily, it just—”

Lily gave him a piercing stare. “Slipped out, did it? It’s too late. I’ve made excuses for you for years. None of my friends can understand why I even talk to you. You and your precious little Death Eater friends —you see, you don’t even fucking deny it! You can’t wait to join You-Know-Who, can you?”

Snape just stared at her.

“You’ve chosen your way, I’ve chosen mine, Severus.”

“I didn’t mean—“

“To call me Mudblood?” Lily snorted derisively. “You call everyone of my birth Mudblood, Severus. Why should I be any different?”

Snape gaped, grasping for an answer, and she shook her head.

“Goodnight. Don’t talk to me again.” She went back into the common room, Snape left there, thunderstruck and gaping. The portrait swung closed.

“Lily?” Remus was standing there, holding a few books. “What just happened?”

Lily burst into tears.

 

13th May, 1976

12.04am

“Don’t let that fucking toad get in the way of what’s important, Lils.”

“I can’t believe he’d be so fucking awful,” said Lily, her voice raspy. “I mean, I can’t say I didn’t see it coming, but…he was my best friend!”

“You’ve been thinking about cutting him off for a while because of how he treats Muggle-borns. This is only hammering the point home,” said Remus gently.

“From now on I’ll be the one to stop James from attacking him, OK? You don’t need to worry about him anymore.”

She sighed deeply and nodded.

“You’ve got to get some sleep. This is exactly what you didn’t need in the middle of O.W.Ls. You’re going to get all Os and become the youngest female Minister for Magic, right?”

Lily snorted. “Right.”

“Come on, you’re going to be exhausted tomorrow.” Remus stood up. “And he’s not worth crying over.”

 

1 June, 1976

9.55pm

“FUCK YEAAHHHHHHHHHH,” shrieked Sirius. “END OF EXAMS! EARLY SUMMER!”

The group of fifth-years, free of O.W.Ls, cheered loudly.

“EVANS,” yelled James, drunk.

“Oh, god,” said Lily, less drunk. “It’s the idiot.”

“I need to talk to you.”

“No I won’t go out with you, Potter.”

“Not that, not that, I don’t want to die! No. I’m a dickhead.”

Lily looked at him oddly. “I’m listening.”

“I’m a dickhead and I’m sorry. About being a dickhead. And about Sni—Severus.”

“Whatever.” Lily seemed more annoyed than before.

“No! Not whatever! That was fuckinnn…difficult for you to do, and it was impressive. So I am officially going to leave him alone from now on.”

Another odd look.

“I’m not going to like…jinx him every time I see him. I’ll leave him alone. Oh, and for what it’s worth I think you’re very hot.”

Lily looked at him wearily. “I am aware.”

“That was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. You standing up to him, I mean.”

She just looked at him, rather tiredly.

“And that being Muggle-born doesn’t make you!! Bad!!!!!!!! You’re like the cleverest person in the world!”

“I don’t need your validation, Potter,” she said. “But thank you.”

“I…actually came here to say I’d like to be friends at some point. Maybe not now.

But eventually. I’m going to go find more alcohol now. Bye, Evans.”

She shook her head as he left.

 

3rd June, 1976

9.02am

“I’m going to say something insane,” said Remus.

“The usual, then?” said Sirius, head in Remus’ lap, trying (and failing) to make a daisy chain.

“I don’t want to go home this summer.”

“I hear that,” remarked Sirius. “Well, not anymore. But I understand where you’re coming from.”

“So d’you want to just…sod that, not get on the train, and take the bike somewhere else?” Remus’ voice was tight.

Sirius looked up at him, a smirk on his face. “Yeah.” He went back to the daisy chain. “I mean, I’ll have to tell Euphemia—”

“Ah, shit. Forgot about that.”

“But I’m pretty sure I can face the lecture when I get back, Moony.” Sirius sat up.

“So where do we go?”

Sirius shrugged. “Who cares?”

When do we go?”

Sirius stood up and offered a hand. “No better time than the present.”

 

9th June, 1976

SIRIUS YOU CAN’T LEAVE ME WITH POSEIDON AGAIN (except you can i love him so much

also, on a more important note—Mum went a bit ballistic when Dwarvendork gave her your letter, but she’s pretty much fine now. I told Romeo to find you. Or more specifically, to find Elvendork. O.W.L results are coming in August, so be back by then.

We’ve had about a thousand calls from Hope Lupin, by the way, so y’know. Look out for Remus. Don’t get arrested.

By the way, about Remus’ furry little problem — it’s going to be bad soon, and McGonagall sent us a letter saying that she knew you were gone, and that the Shrieking Shack is possible to get to through the Floo network when you need it, so McGonagall ex machina. Alternatively, you could come home. I know you don’t want to, though.

I hope you’re safe.

Prongs xxx

 

13th June, 1976

 

Pete here. I hope you insane fuckers are doing alright. James reminded me it was the full moon yesterday so I got you a shitload of chocolate. You’re incredible.

— Wormy

 

15th June, 1976

Hi Ma.

I’m fine. I’m not exactly in Newcastle, but I’m fine.

I love you.

— Remus

 

16th June, 1976

11.10pm

“Y’know, Moony, you never told me what prompted this insane run-away-from-home scheme,” said Sirius, folding a T-shirt. The Shrieking Shack wasn’t exactly comfortable, but it was slightly better than the youth hostel they’d stayed in in Nowhere, Scotland. “You said you didn’t want to go home.”

“Mm,” said Remus. “And I didn’t. Don’t.”

“It’s…” Sirius sighed. “You get why I’m worried, right? I’ve been through this exact shit, done the exact same things. I can recognise the signs, right?”

Remus glanced over at him. “It’s not like your home, Sirius. Don’t worry.”

“Fucking good. You know if anyone laid a hand on you I’d murder them myself, right?”

Remus snorted. “My family’d kick your arse into the ground, and they’re a bunch of sensitive intellectuals. But no, it’s nothing like that.”

“Then why?”

“A little teenage rebellion is good for the soul,” Remus said. “And I didn’t want to be in a house full of racists.”

“Oh, I love old offensive relatives. You’ll be like ‘hi’ and they’ll say ‘it's the JEWS’ and it’ll be like ‘wow’.”

“That’s…very accurate,” said Remus. He touched his hair. “I need a haircut.”

“Let me do it.”

“No.”

“WhY NOT?”

“It’s not that I don’t trust you, dearest, I just don’t trust you at all.”

 

23rd June, 1976

CAN YOU SEND ME SOME SHAVING CREAM PRONGS DARLING I’M GROWING STUBBLE AND I AM A CLEAN-SHAVEN TYPE OF MAN ALSO I DON’T HAVE ANY MONEY

 

24th June, 1976

Fucking here, you ungrateful piece of shit xxx come home soon love you

 

26th June, 1976

GREETINGS BITCHES IT’S MARLENE

AS YOU CAN SEE MY STYLE OF TEXT IS BOLD, ITALICS *AND* UNDERLINED ALL AT ONCE BECAUSE I’M NOT A LITTLE BITCH

by the way, I don’t actually know where you are, so I just told my owl to find the motorcycle with the stupid owl on it. That’s what everyone else is doing, right?

Speaking of, where in the Fuck actually are you? There’s a rumour that Remus has joined a circus full of incompetent animals who he helped escape from a New York zoo. I can’t really remember the plot line up to there, so that’s all that’s going around.

I mean, I didn’t start it. Whoever did’s probably really clever and hilarious, though.

You should go home soon. James is freaking out.

 

26th June, 1976

Remus -

I can’t fucking believe you’ve run away from home. When Hope called me I think I screamed about it even more than she did. Also, she kept asking me when we were going to get married, so that may have contributed to the screaming.

She got your dumb fucking letter, by the way. BE A BETTER SON.

Seriously though, you should come home soon. How are you even eating? I know for a fact you don’t have any money

— Lily

 

28th June, 1976

Lily-

Sorry. I was going to write you a letter or call, and then I remembered I didn’t want to. I have no idea what I’m doing. Sirius is a terrible influence on me.

I do miss you, and I know I should come home, but also this is way more fun. Can you defuse the rumour that Marlene started about me being in a circus with the animals from a New York zoo that then went to Madagascar?

Love you

xxx Remus

 

1st August, 1976

10.00pm

“We’ve got our O.W.L results in a week,” sighed Remus. “I assume that means we kind of need to go back.”

Sirius nodded. “I reckon I failed Potions. I hope to fuck I didn’t, or I’ll never be an Auror, but—”

“Nah. The one good thing about growing up in the middle of a war is that qualifications are down for everything. Your results’ll be fine, anyway."

Sirius flopped down on his bed, making the springs creak. “I can’t believe we basically just ran away from life for a month.”

“No kidding.”

“It was fun. I miss James, though.”

Remus laughed. “Dork.”

“Watch it, I’ll throw a pillow at you.”

“Dork dork dork dork dork dork SHIT—”

“I warned you.”

“Did they fill that pillow with rocks or something?” Remus rubbed his arm. “That should not be that painful.”

“Maybe you’re just wEAK.”

Remus snorted and lay down on his bed.

“Moony?”

“Yeah?”

“After Hogwarts…”

Remus made a face. “Oh, god. I don’t even want to think about that. I’m so old. We’re all dying.”

“Don’t stop talking to me.”

Remus turned his head to look at him. “What?”

“You know what I mean. People leave school and they never speak to each other again. I know me and James’ll be fine, we literally grew up together, but—”

“Oh, come on, you silly cunt.”

“u wot thot”

“We’re the Marauders, bitch. We’re not going to just fade out. And plus, you are very pretty. I don’t think I could leave someone that pretty alone for very long.”

“Also intelligent and funny and nice!”

“Yeah, good one. My sides are hurting with laughter. How do you think up these things?”

“CRUEL, MOONY—” Sirius rolled off his bed and swore loudly. It was a bigger drop than he’d anticipated.

“Wow, that was hilarious.”

“OW.”

“Having fun?”

“NO. MOTHERFUCKER THAT HURT.”

“Let’s go home tomorrow.”

 

2nd August, 1976

10.04am

They did not go home.

 

6th August, 1976

12.48pm

“Prongs!” Sirius cried as the door was opened. James gave him a grin and a hug.

“How was your month-long angst-fest slash honeymoon?”

“Excellent,” said Sirius.

“Alright, it’s hug and lecture time. Come in,” said James.

 

9th August, 1976

8.04am

Potter residence

“MOTHERFUCKER I DON’T WANT TO GO DOWN THERE,” yelled James. “No. I’m going to get the letter, and I’m going to set it on fire. I’m so afraid. Oh my god.”

“Calm down, bitch!” said Sirius. “We’ll set it on fire together.”

“YOU WILL NOT SET IT ON FIRE JAMES FLEAMONT POTTER,” said Euphemia, appearing out of nowhere. “If you want to be a Healer you need good grades!”

“I don’t want to be a Healer, Mum.”

“Yes you do!”

“I’m going to be a Quidditch player or a Transfiguration teacher!”

She sighed heavily.

“Boys, the owl arrived,” called Fleamont, from downstairs. “Please don’t set anything on fire.”

 

Sirius O. Black

ASTRONOMY: EE

CHARMS: EE

DEFENCE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS: O

DIVINATION: A

HERBOLOGY: EE

HISTORY OF MAGIC: A

MUGGLE STUDIES: O

POTIONS: O

TRANSFIGURATION: O

 

“Oh mother of…heck,” said Sirius, with a quick nervous glance at Euphemia. “I don’t even know—”

 

James F. Potter

ARITHMANCY: O

ASTRONOMY: A

CHARMS: EE

DEFENCE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS: O

DIVINATION: A

HERBOLOGY: O

HISTORY OF MAGIC: EE

POTIONS: EE

TRANSFIGURATION: O

 

“MUM I DIDN’T FAIL ANYTHING!” bellowed James. “And I got four Os!”
“No way, me too!” cried Sirius. “And three EEs.”

“Me too!”

Euphemia looked at them with narrowed eyes. “So you both got two As?”

Fear.

 

Pettigrew residence

Remus J. Lupin

ARITHMANCY: O

ASTRONOMY: EE

CARE OF MAGICAL CREATURES: O

CHARMS: O

DEFENCE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS: O

HERBOLOGY: EE

HISTORY OF MAGIC: O

POTIONS: EE

STUDY OF ANCIENT RUNES: O

TRANSFIGURATION: O

 

Remus stared at the card. Decent, he supposed? “What’d you get, Lily?”

 

Lily J. Evans

ASTRONOMY: EE

CARE OF MAGICAL CREATURES: O

CHARMS: EE

DEFENCE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS: O

HERBOLOGY: O

HISTORY OF MAGIC: EE

MUGGLE STUDIES: O

POTIONS: O

STUDY OF ANCIENT RUNES: O

TRANSFIGURATION: EE

 

“Damn it. I thought I’d done better in Charms,” said Lily. “Wait, I need to compare against yours, Remus.”

 

Peter Pettigrew

ASTRONOMY: A

CARE OF MAGICAL CREATURES: O

CHARMS: EE

DEFENCE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS: EE

DIVINATION: P

HERBOLOGY: EE

HISTORY OF MAGIC: A

POTIONS: A

TRANSFIGURATION: A

 

“Oh, thank god, I at least got three EEs,” sighed Peter. “And an O in CoMC!” He glanced over at Lily and Remus’ cards. “Goddamn, of course I’m with the two biggest geniuses in the universe.”

“You did good, Wormtail,” said Remus. “OK, so I beat you in Charms, History of Magic and Transfiguration. You beat me in Herbology and Potions. No surprise there.”

“Damn it. You won,” said Lily.

“You took harder subjects, though,” said Remus. “Muggle Studies is like, impossible to pass, because so many Muggle-borns take it.”

Lily shrugged. “Arithmancy’s basically impossible.”

Peter stared at them wearily.

Chapter Text

13th August, 1976

9.04am

“Hello?” James picked up the phone, holding it sort of like it was an antique china teacup, and also upside down. “Hang on, I think I’ve got it upside down.”

“Do you have a wrong number? Who is this?” came the deeply confused voice from the phone.

“Evans? What are you doing in Remus’ house?”

“Oh, god, it’s you. What do you want, Potter?”

“Can you put Remus on? I need to talk to him.”

“REMUS, IT’S POTTER.”

There was a very loud but incoherent yell that sounded vaguely like Remus.

“James? What do you want?” Remus was there.

“Sirius hasn’t slept in three days.”

“He’s just pulling a Padfoot, Prongs.”

“He’s never pulled a Padfoot this violent!” cried James.

“Three days is a bit extreme. Have you tried chocolate milk?”

“Yes! I’m not an idiot, Moony!”

“What the hell is pulling a Padfoot?” came the voice of Lily.

“AH. DEMON.”

“No, Prongs, she’s just got another phone that’s connected to this one, it’s a landline. A Padfoot is when Sirius exhibits strange behaviours that would probably kill a normal person, such as drinking only coffee instead of water, or leaving the house at 3am in November without wearing a jacket.”

“…That happens so often you have a name for it?”

“He’s a complex person,” said James.

“No, he isn’t,” said Remus. “He’s an idiot. Ooh—here’s an idea. Put on the Wizard of Oz in a dark room, like a cinema.”

“That’s a good idea!” said James.

“Put him on the phone, will you?” asked Lily. “I need to yell at him for kidnapping Remus.”

“He didn’t kidnap me! It was my idea!” said Remus insistently. “Hang on, I need to go get some orange juice as a matter of emergency.”

“Fine. Go get him, Potter.”

“OK. Hang on. P A D F O O T,” came the unearthly bellow, louder than a howler monkey screaming and playing an air horn that had somehow been attached to speakers. “IT’S EVANS!”

“Jesus fucking Christ, I’m deaf now.”

“He’s out in the garden, so we’re going to have to make civil conversation for about twenty seconds. How were your O.W.L results?”

"Fine," said Lily curtly.

“Wonderful,” said James drily. “He’s here, I can be released from hell. Bye, Evans.”

“Guten Fuck, Evans,” said Sirius. “Remus has been teaching me German.”

“No he hasn’t,” said Lily. “You just said one word in German and then ‘fuck’. You technically just said ‘good fuck’.”

Sirius thought for a second. “Huh.”

“Heard you’ve been sleeping kind of badly, buddy.”

“That’s a lie! I’ve been having plenty of coffee!”

Lily paused. “Do you think sleep and coffee are the same thing?”

“What? No.”

“Dude.”

“I’m back, what’s happened?” said Remus.

“AH. DEMON," yelled Sirius.

“You’re way too similar to James. It's me, babe.”

“Moony!”

“I’m going to leave you two lovebirds alone,” said Lily. “Punch him through the phone if you have to, Remus.”

“Is that a joke or can he really do that?” asked Sirius. “Lily. Lily. LILY—”

“If I could punch you through the phone, I would’ve done it by now,” said Remus. “How’ve you been, then?”

“Oh, you know. Just thinking about how I know nothing about my future and I’ve never put any thought into it. The usual.”

“That sounds fun, Pads. Have you considered the fact that you’re 16 and don’t need to settle on one career path?”

“…Yes. Obviously.”

“You fool. Hey, I…no, never mind, that sounds stupid.”

“OOH I’M INTRIGUED NOW tell me.”

Remus laughed. “No.”

“Tell me, tell me, tell me, tell me—“

“I was going to say…I miss you.”

“DOOOOOOOOOORK.”

“Shut up.”

Sirius chuckled. “I miss you too, even if you are a dork.”

“Don’t try to pretend like you’re not a dork.”

“I don’t, it's very obvious. Ahh, shit. Euphemia wants me to go do manual labour in the garden. I’ve got to go. I love you.”

“I love you too, Pads.”

“That’s adorable,” said Marlene, to much screaming.

“FUCKING MARLENE HOW LONG WERE YOU THERE—” shrieked Sirius. “Sorry, Fle—Dad, I’ve just been ATTACKED—no, I’m fine, I’ll just be mentally scarred for YEARS—”

“Go do gardening,” said Remus. “I’ll kill Marlene.”

“NO,” yelled Marlene.

 

19th August, 1976

12.04am

“I’m going.”

“Remus, no.”

“I’m going!”

“You know if you go, I have to come with you,” said Lily, in the harsh light of the Lupin kitchen.

“And we’ll have to leave Marlene and Peter just awkwardly in your house alone.”

“You’re not coming with me, you hate James.”

“And I love you! You’re an idiot!” she cried. "You'll get lost!"

“Keep your voice down.”

“Absolutely not. I will never let a man tell me to do that.”

“Congratulations on your feminism, but you’re going to get me murdered. For a second time.”

Lily crossed her arms. “Let me go pack.”

“You have ten minutes. After ten minutes I’m leaving.”

She took six. Uncharacteristically, I might add.

 

22nd August, 1976

2.41pm

“Oh, god, it’s so near to school starting again,” said Sirius, under the shade of the huge elm tree outside the Potter household. “That’s disgusting.”

“You’re disgusting,” said Remus.

“Hey, why the hell did your parents let you out after that stunt we pulled?” asked Sirius, doodling.

“They didn’t,” said Remus shortly.

Sirius grinned at him. “Rebel rebel.”

“Don’t you quote Bowie at me, sir.”

“It’s my natural inclination.” Sirius winked at him and put his arm around his shoulders.

“Alright, alright, tone down the gay, lads, my parents may be good people but they’re not exactly Down with the Kids when it comes to acceptance, and they can see the tree from the house,” said James hurriedly, coming out of the house holding an enormous plate of cakes.

“Sweet,” said Sirius, reaching for one. James held it out of his reach.

“No. First, I must tell you of a very important part of my life.”

“Do tell,” said Remus, already bored.

“I checked my height this morning, and I am SIX FOOT, BOYS, I MADE IT—”

“Hmm,” said Sirius. “I must check this for myself.”

“Absolutely,” James said. “Accio tape measure!”

The tape measure came crashing through the house, flew out of the (closed) window, directly into James’ face. There was a screech of ‘JAMES FLEAMONT!’.

“Smooth,” said Remus.

“Like peanut butter babey,” said James, unfazed. “Here.” He chucked the tape measure at Sirius. Sirius fumbled with it, dropped it onto his foot, and kicked it well out of his reach.

“How were you ever on the Quidditch team?” asked James.

“Will you grab it for me, freak-limbs?”

Remus looked at him, slightly irritated, grabbed the tape measure and threw it at him again.

“Son of a bitch.” This time he actually caught it. “Stand against the tree, I need a flat surface.”

“Make sure you can rEACH, BITCH,” yelled James. There was a ‘WATCH YOUR MOUTH, BOY’, from the house. “SORRY, MUM.”

“You are…5 feet 11.98 inches.”

“Bullshit!” cried James. “Remus, check for me.”

Remus got up wearily and checked. “He’s right. I mean, I’d round up, but he’s technically spot on.”

“The tape measure’s wrong, then!”

“This is the one you checked with before, right? You only own one,” said Sirius.

“How tall are you then, motherfucker?” said James, furious.

Sirius stood against the tape measure. “Moony!”

“Six feet and 0.4 inches.”

“You know what else is 0.4 inches? That didn’t work out the way I wanted it to,” said Sirius. Remus snorted.

“He’s lying. I make that…5’0. Nope, just can’t read, that’s a six—god fucking dammit.” James was dying, and hadn’t quite caught the Subtle but Disastrous Dick Joke that Sirius made.

“How tall are you, Remus?” asked Sirius.

“Padfoot, no! That’ll just make me more depressed!”

“Are you sure you’ll be able to read the tape measure at that height?” asked Remus, patting James on the head.

“I’M GOING TO MURDER YOU, LUPIN.”

“What is this?” asked Lily, walking over holding a juice box.

“James is short,” said Remus, back against the tree. “Hurry up.”

Sirius had to stand on his tiptoes to read the tape measure. “6 FEET AND 3.96 INCHES JESUS FUCKING CHRIST—”

“Motherfucker you’re tall,” said Lily. “What’ve they been feeding you?”

Remus grinned awkwardly and sat down. “How tall are you, then, Lils?”

“Oh, god. You’re like, a foot taller than me. I’m 5’5 and a half.”

James sniggered.

“Shut it, Potter. I wear shoes with heels longer than your dick.”

He shut up.

“5’5 isn’t a foot smaller than me,” said Remus. “It’s pretty close.”

“Alice is shorter than me,” said Lily. “Also, I’m 5’5 and a half! I’m average size for a grown woman! Above average, even! Average is like 5’4!”

“Alright, alright,” said Sirius. “Shortarse.”

“I WILL STEAL YOUR EYEBALLS, BLACK.”

“What does that even mean? That’s the scariest thing that’s ever been said to me I am so unsettled—”

 

SIXTH YEAR

 

3rd November, 1976

8.43pm

James stared at the doorknob of the dorm.

“That is a tie. On the door. There is a tie on the door.”

“Yes, there is,” said Lily. “Why are you here? I just came to wish Sirius happy birthday, but I assume—”

“He’s having the celebration of his life right now, yes,” said James. Lily looked mildly revolted.

“Disgusting, Potter. I’m just glad they soundproofed the room.”

“How dare you call my son and son-in-law disgusting, you racist!” cried James dramatically.

“No, it’s the other one.”

“Sexist.”

She stared at him.

“The…other one.”

“I’m leaving,” said Lily.

“Homophobe! Wait, where am I meant to sleep?” called James.

“I am not the person to ask, but I assume the common room. Have fun sleeping on the sofa with Peter," replied Lily, walking off.

 

3rd November, 1976

8.51pm

Lily came down to the common room, looking furious. She slumped onto an armchair. “There is a sock on my door.”

James smirked. “Welcome to the club, Evans.”

They were shortly joined by Alice and Peter.

 

4th November, 1976

7.32am

“Moooorning,” said James, holding a coffee, looking smug. Sirius stared at him.

“You will never speak of this incident,” he said. “Why are you drinking coffee? You don’t drink coffee.”

“It’s for you, idiot.”

Sirius took the coffee and sipped it suspiciously.

“Thought you might want some sustenance after all that physical actiHHHHH—“

Sirius had punched him in the gut. No coffee was spilled, but James had internal bruising for a week, which is important too I guess. Marlene slid down to the common room wearing sunglasses.

“WHAT’S UP VIRGINS—”

“SIRIUS DON’T REPLY, THAT DOESN’T APPLY TO YOU—” James’ face was Suddenly Broken.

 

12th December, 1976

3.10pm

“Lily.”

Lily looked up from what had been a perfectly pleasant conversation with Remus about domestic terrorism to see Severus Snape standing in the doorway of their compartment.

“What do you want?”

“To talk to you.”

Lily looked at him expectantly. “…Well go on, then.”

“I—“ Snape hesitated. “I meant in private. I don’t want to have this conversation in front of that—”

“That what, exactly?” Lily asked sharply. “Freak?”

Remus took a pointed sip of water. Snape looked furious.

“I’m sorry.”

“I know, and I don’t care. That freak happens to be my best friend.”

Snape scoffed. “No he isn’t.”

“Didn’t realise you were the one to dictate who I like and who I don’t. What did you come to say?”

Snape exhaled sharply. “That I…you have to talk to me again! We’ve been best friends since we were kids, Lily, you can’t just throw that away. It’s been months, you should be over it by now! You need to talk to me—”

“I don’t have anything to say to a racist,” said Lily coolly. “Jog on, Snivellus.”

“That’s cheap!”

“So’s cornering her on the train where she can’t get away,” pointed out Remus. “Coming off a bit creepy, Severus.”

Snape gaped, and that rhymes.

“There a problem here?” asked Sirius, coming back holding a violently pink drink (also rhymes), but he was several inches taller than Snape nonetheless. Also, slightly less greasy.

“He was just leaving,” said Lily.

He did indeed leave, looking frustrated. James arrived soon after.

"What was that?"

"Snape," said Remus. 

Excellent gay intimidation skills, Remus,” said Sirius, slightly awed. “Or as I like to call them, intimigaytion skills. That sip of water? Pure brilliance. Pure. Brilliance. I’ve never been so proud.”

“How did you see that? You weren’t even here.”

“YOU THINK I’D MISS THAT? YOU UNDERESTIMATE ME, EVANS.”

 

30th January, 1977

2.36pm

“Now, this needs to be done in pairs, so I’ll pair you up. I don’t want any silly rushing about the greenhouse trying to find your best friend. Longbottom and Cresswell, Aubrey and McDonald, and Evans and Potter—no complaining! Come now, you need to be more mature. Snargaluff pods! Get to it!”

Lily sighed. “Let’s get this over with, shall we?”

“Motherfucker,” grumbled James.

“What was that, Potter?” came the stern reprimand of Professor Sprout.

“Sorry, Professor. I’ll speak up. I said ‘motherfucker’!”

“Ten points from Gryffindor, Potter, there’s no excuse for that kind of language. Well, no excuse for it yet. You’ve not been attacked by a plant.”

James rolled up his sleeves to the elbow. Lily caught herself and shook her head. He’s an idiot, Lily.

“Er, can you pass me the—yeah.”

Forearms.

What? No, focus!

“Shit—“ A thing that looked like a small green worm vaulted quite spectacularly through the air and narrowly avoided James’ head. He laughed and scratched the back of his head awkwardly, apparently forgetting what he was doing, and also forgetting that his gloves were covered in tubers.

“You’ve got a few worms in your hair, Potter,” said Lily, a grin on her face. “Here, let me do it.” She stuck a hand into the plant, as James desperately tried to stop spiky vines from tearing off her hand, and pulled out a weird green thing about the size of an onion.

James went back to desperately trying to get tubers out of his hair. “Well done, I s’pose.”

He’s an idiot he’s an idiot he’s an idiot—

“Come on, you’ve got to be able to do this for N.E.W.T. Try it yourself.”

He made a couple more attempts, Lily fending off the roots. Eventually he managed to get one out, eliciting sarcastic applause from Frank, which in turn caused James to swear very loudly at him and lose ten more points from Gryffindor.

 

30th January, 1976

3.46pm

“Oi, Evans! Don’t just run off!” yelled James.

“What do you want?” asked Lily, shoving her textbook hastily into her bag.

“Happy birthday.”

She stared at him. He stared back, uncomfortable.

“It is your birthday, right?”

“I - yeah. Yes, it is.”

“Um…well, happy that.”

“Thanks, Potter.” She gave him an awkward half-smile and left the greenhouse.

 

26th March, 1977

11.22pm

“I’M NEARLY SEVENTEEN,” shrieked James. “BOW DOWN BEFORE ME, BITCHES.”

“We’re all older than you,” said Remus.

“SHUT THE FUCK, MOONY.”

“Someone give me the vodka.”


27 March, 1977

12.02am

“I’m 17!” whisper-yelled James. “Lily! I’m 17!”

“Yes.”

“Did you get me a present?”

“Yes I did.”

“Holy fuck what is it?”

Lily sighed deeply. “‘James’.”

James’ mouth dropped. “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa—“

“Shut up.”

“I love it! You’re such a good friend!”

“Tone it down, bitch man.” Lily was not quite as sober as she was pretending to be. “You are my...associate.”

“You are my friend!”

“Not enemy.”

“Friend!”

“Acquant—how d’you say that word? Remus?”

Remus poked his head into the conversation. “Acquaintance.” He went back to drinking vodka straight from the bottle. The responsible friend, the Prefect, the—sweet Jesus, that was actually impressive. He was going to die. Holy shit, what kind of liver—

“Anyway. That,” said Lily, trying very hard to keep her face serious.

“Friend!”

“Colleague.”

“Friend!”

“FINE.”

“Oh my GOD I’m so happy.”

“If I’m your friend then I’m contractually obligated to tell you that you need to stop wearing bell bottoms. They’re not made for your body type.”

“Goddammit, I knew it. Thanks, friend!”

“Shut up, P—James." Lily cracked a smile, unable to keep a straight face. 

 

8th April, 1977

10.09am

“Can you open this?” asked James, desperately fumbling with a box of glasses wipes. “They’re impossible to open!”

Lily took the box and sliced through the sticker that was holding it closed easily with her nail.  She passed it back to him. “You’re useless.”

“Hell yeah I am,” said James, proudly. “I know who to come to with any knife-related problems from now on.”

“That’s going to go badly. Don’t do that.”

“I knew it as soon as I said it,” he sighed. “Piano Man has been stuck in my head for about seventy years.”

“You are such a nerd. Literally, you’re a bigger nerd than Remus. How does no one notice? You listen to Billy Joel and can’t get boxes open.”

“It’s ‘cause I’m so sexy,” he said, winking. “Also, violence. Which I’ve stopped doing now, but the memory lasts.”

She snorted. “Uh huh. I think the truth’ll come out soon enough, though. James Potter is a geek.”

“Who fuckin cares? I'm the BEST,” he yelled.

Lily shook her head, a smile still on her face.

 

14th April, 1977

3.01pm

“I FUCKIN PASSED!” bellowed James, coming into the common room. “APPARITION. I PASSED.”

“Yeah, me too,” said Lily. Peter was on the floor.

“I F A I L E D,” he sobbed.

“Just retake it, moron,” said Remus, who had also passed.

Sirius was lying next to Peter, dying.

“Stop being so dramatic, Sirius,” said Marlene. 

“I WAS TWO METRES AWAY FROM THE SPECIFIED POINT,” yelled Sirius. “THIS IS ILLEGAL. I SHOULD HAVE PASSED.”

“It is not.” Remus looked down at him, amused.

 

5th May, 1977

4.49pm

“LILY,” bellowed James from across the common room.

“Fucking Christ, what, Potter?”

“What does your Amortentia smell like? For the homework.”

“James, that was due three weeks ago.”

“I know that!”

“Nothing, I don’t feel love.”

James sighed deeply. “Please!”

“Sandalwood. And strawberries. And dirt just after it’s rained.”

“Weird combo, but thanks.”

 

9th May, 1977

1.22pm

“So, we were—you know that god-awful cologne James wears?” asked Sirius.

Lily looked at him oddly.

“It’s not actually that bad, I just don’t like sandalwood—I like my men to smell like flowers!”

“Sorry, what?”

“…I like my men to smell like flowers?” Sirius looked at her oddly.

“Not that bit, idiot.”

“I don’t like sandalwood?”

“Motherfucker.” Lily picked up her satchel and stormed off. “REMUS. COME WITH ME.”

“Well, off to death,” said Remus, standing off. “Bye, babe.”

“I…bye?”

 

9th May, 1977

1.28pm

“The girls’ bathroom?” asked Remus. “We haven’t been in here for ages. Not since—”

“I think I might...have a crush on James.”

Remus stared at her. "You what?"

“Yeah. I’m panicking. He’s such a fucking idiot. I just—his. Face. And he’s sweet, you know? Now that he’s stopped…harassing me, I kind of…like his personality. You know, behind the bravado. Which he’s kind of dropped this year—he’s less of a dick. You know what? I don’t even know if it’s a crush—it could just be me jumping the gun because I like him as a person, and I don’t want to have a crush on him—but it's just a crush! A crush! Nothing else!”

“Hey, hey. Slow down.”

“Sorry.”

“You’re good, just—“ Remus sighed. “I think you should take this slow, OK? You’ve only really been friends for what—three months?”

“Two.”

“That only proves my point more. You hated his guts before. You’re going to get whiplash. Just…take some time to think about it, yeah? Just because he wears terrible sandalwood cologne and that happens to be what you smell in Amortentia, doesn’t mean you’re in love with him.”

“Right. OK.”

Remus smiled at her. “Nice to see you actually have an emotion, though.”

She laughed and shoved him. “Shut up.”

 

1st July, 1977

8.02pm

“LILY, SIRIUS ISN’T AROUND AND I NEED VALIDATION,” yelled James, flopping onto the floor in front of where she was sitting, cross-legged, on the floor. “Out of curiosity, why no chair?”

“Do you never get the urge to just sit on not a chair?” she asked.

“Clearly I do.” James was sprawled ungracefully on the carpet.

Lily snorted. “You’re an idiot.”

“Maybe so. I CRAVE VALIDATION.”

“I’m aware of that fact, yeah,” she said, looking amusedly at him.

“VALIDATE MEEEE—”

“Absolutely not.”

“YOU’RE MY FRIEND!”

“Maybe, but I’m not going to contribute to your already over-inflated ego.”

James sighed deeply. “You’re just like Remus.”

“Excuse me, I’m far sexier than that son of a bitch.”

“Oh, please. You’re a shortarse.”

“I AM ABOVE AVERAGE HEIGHT,” she yelled.

“Sure you are.”

“I AM!”

It was only later that she realised James Potter, Opportunistic Bastard, had missed an opportunity to be an asshole. Whether it was because he actually thought about his actions, or just because he saw her as an actual friend, she didn’t know. Either way, she thought, it was a good thing.

Chapter Text

8th July, 1977

9.31pm

“LoneelyyYYYYYY,” yelled James. “I’m Mr LonelyYYYYYYY. LAST DAY OF SCHOOL. Lonely.”

“SPIN THE BOTTLE!” bellowed Alice. She threw a bottle at Peter, who screamed.

Remus groaned. “That’s not going to work, Alice, we’re all in relationships. Mainly with each other.”

Peter, Lily and James all looked deeply offended.

“I’m so confused,” said Frank. “Who’s together? Right now?”

“Uhh—well, Marlene and Dorcas,” said Lily.

“Hell yeah. Better couple than all you fuckers,” said Marlene.

“And Sirius and me,” said Remus loudly. “Tell anyone and I’ll…kill your family.”

Frank nodded seriously. “Wait—who’s Alice with!!!!!”

Alice stared at him. “You, idiot.”

Frank gasped. “Holy shit, I lucked out.”

“Moron,” said Alice, and kissed him.

“GROSS,” shouted Peter. “TAKE YOUR PDA SOMEWHERE ELSE. My name is Peter and that was my announcement, I hope you enjoyed it.”

“We did not,” said Alice.

“Pete! What happened to that girl? Mary!” asked Dorcas.

“Oh, she dumped me,” said Peter. “Something about me being ‘too obsessed with my friends’ to like…’talk to her’, and shit.”

“He cried for three days,” said James.

“UNHELPFUL, PRONGS,” yelled Sirius. “Peter is sensitive! That’s part of his appeal!”

“Sirius, that doesn’t help when you’re hOTTER THAN ME,” screeched Peter. “It is kind of incredible, though.”

“Shut up, Wormy,” said Remus.

“OK.”

“TRUTH OR DARE!” yelled Alice. “Now that we can’t use the old ‘kiss someone’ dare you’re going to have to get creative. LILY. Truth or dare?”

“Dare.”

“JAMES I MUST CONSPIRE WITH YOU.” Alice and James left the circle and Conspired. “Lily! The task that we have given to you! You must acquire the hat of one Minerva McGonagall by midnight.”

“Mother of shit. I guess I’d better get going. It’s not exactly going to get any easier the later it gets,” said Lily. "I'm pretty sure she sleeps in it." She got up.

“JAMES IT IS YOUR GO. TRUTH OR DARE?”

“…Truth. Let’s start it out slow.”

“How many girls have you snogged? Be honest.”

James made himself sit taller. “Like, fifty—”

“I said be HONEST,” yelled Alice.

“Seven.”

“LIES!” Alice hit her fist on a coffee table. "Ow."

“Three.” Suddenly James was glad Lily wasn’t in the room.

“There we go! We can skip my go, I’m the one in charge—FRANK,” said Alice.

“Truth. I’m tired.”

“Who here, excluding me, of course, has the best ass?”

“Sirius.” NO HESITATION. NONE.

“HELL YEAH,” said Sirius. Suddenly Remus was sitting far closer to Sirius, and his hand was on his shoulder—

Lily burst through the door, followed by a VERY angry Minerva McGonagall. The Firewhiskey was hastily shoved under armchairs.

“SUCCESS!”

“EVANS, GIVE ME MY HAT BACK RIGHT NOW OR SO HELP ME GOD—”

“Sorry, Professor. It was a dare. You get it,” said Lily, passing her the hat.

“FIFTY POINTS FROM GRYFFINDOR AND DETENTION FOR A WEEK - I EXPECTED BETTER OF A PREFECT.”

“Worth it,” whispered Lily, once she’d left. James was looked at her, nothing but pride in his eyes.

“MOVING ON! SIRIUS! IT YOUR GO!” Alice was slightly offended by Frank’s answer, but enthusiastic nonetheless.

“Dare.”

“Lily! Go cook something!” said Alice. “Sirius, your job is to eat it.”

“FUCKING NO I WANT TO DO A TRUTH INSTEAD.”

“No takesy-backsies, bitch,” said Remus.

After about twenty minutes, Lily had returned. Remus had been asked ‘what is the time that you consider yourself to have been the most oblivious?’ (it was the time that Sirius directly said ‘I find you physically attractive and you have an attractive personality, do you want to go to the Three Broomsticks’ and he said ‘sure, mate, I’ll bring Marlene’ early in Fifth Year). Marlene had managed to tattoo a sleeping Peter with eight duck drawings (yes, ducks. That’s a u, folks) before he woke up. Peter successfully slapped James in the face, but only with much whining and apologising. From Peter, not James. Well, James whined a bit.

“BEHOLD, FUCKERS,” yelled Lily, holding a plate. “I went for something simple and made a steak—”

“Oh thank god,” said Sirius.

“With a chocolate sauce.”

“MOTHERFUCKER,” yelled Sirius. “I RELAXED TOO SOON. WHY.”

“You know how people have like…berries with meat? They didn’t have any fresh fruit, so I just used the instant hot chocolate powder and water—”

“THAT’S EVEN WORSE THAN REGULAR CHOCOLATE! THAT DOESN’T EVEN — HOW IS CHOCOLATE LIKE FRUIT?”

“I think it’ll taste wonderful. Someone wife me.”

James opened his mouth.

“Don’t, Potter,” sighed Lily. “The hot chocolate was partly a joke.”

“I’D FUCKING HOPE SO.”

“I kind of want to try it, though.”

“God made a mistake when he made you,” said Remus.

“IT WAS A DARE, YOU HAVE TO EAT IT.” Alice was very focused on the game.

Sirius took the fork, realised he didn’t have a knife, picked up the hot-chocolate-covered steak and took a bite.

“I want to Burn My MOUTH OH MY GOD—”

“It can’t be that bad.” Lily tried it. “Oh son of a bitch—that is the taste of God’s rejection—”

“I don’t know why the Self-Destructive Idiot in me actually wants to try it,” said James.  “Motherfucker—Lily, did you never learn to eat?”

“I have British parents!” she cried.

“THERE’S NO EXCUSE FOR THIS,” screeched Sirius. “HOW WILL YOUR CHILD SURVIVE?”

“My husband is going to have to be the cook, I’m going to be sick—”

“THERE ARE ACTUAL TEARS IN MY EYES,” yelled Marlene, who was indeed crying.

“WHY THE FUCK DOES IT TASTE LIKE ONIONS?” shouted Frank.

“That’ll be the shallots,” said Lily.

“LILY SHALLOTS ARE MEANT TO TASTE LIKE LESS VIOLENT ONIONS,” yelled James. “HOW MUCH SALT DID YOU PUT IN THIS?”

“None. I used vinegar.”

“Did you not set the pan on fire?” asked Remus, curiously. He took a fork, tried the Thing Most Unholy, stood up and left the fucking common room. Straight out of the portrait hole. Into the abyss.

“Holy Jesus mother of Mary, Lily—”

“Alice, that’s the wrong way round,” said Dorcas, steering clear of the Abomination, because she wasn’t an idiot.

“Oy vey,” sighed Peter.

“It’s not that bad,” said Marlene.

“MARLENE DON’T LIE, IT TASTES LIKE SATAN’S ASSHOLE,” yelled James, to which Lily burst out laughing.

“Truth or dare over, I can’t deal with this,” said Alice. “Let’s go back to playing violently loud ABBA and drinking.”

After about a billion plays of Waterloo, everyone had gone upstairs except Peter (passed out), (shockingly) Sirius, and Remus, who had come back after about 20 minutes.

“How long d’you reckon it’ll take for him to realise?” asked Remus.

“I mean, it took you a fucking while,” said Sirius. “But James isn’t as oblivious as you. I don’t think.”

“You reckon they really might just be friends?”

Sirius shook his head. “They’re obviously hopelessly, disgustingly falling for each other.” Remus pulled a face.  “Straight people,” sighed Sirius.

“No kidding.”

“Speaking of straight people - we need to find Pete someone!”

“I think Wormtail’s happy just obsessing over James.”

Sirius thought about it. “Mm, fair point.”

“Alright, I’m going to bed,” said Remus. “This year’s just meant for the author to progress Lily and James’ relationship, anyway.”
“And you call me out for breaking the fourth wall!” complained Sirius, following him upstairs. “This is discrimination.”

 

19th July, 1977

HELLO LILY

HOW DOES A WASHING MACHINE WORK I NEED HELP

BYE FROM JAMES XXX

 

21st July, 1977

Wow, I assume this wasn’t an immediate question. Considering teenage boys smell like they haven’t showered in nine years, I don’t think it’ll make much of a difference.

Separate the white clothes from the colours. If you wash whites use warm water, use cold water for colours. Put detergent in the slot. Press start.

By the way, don’t think I’ve ever sent you a letter.

Out of curiosity, why are you using a washing machine? Do you not have a wand?

- Lily

 

24th July, 1977

OH MY GOD THANK YOU SO MUCH also not thank you I smell like the gods themselves created me and also then gave me cologne

MY MUM TOOK SIRIUS AND MY WANDS AND LEFT THE FUCKIN HOUSE WITH MY DAD AND WAS LIKE ‘YOU’RE GOING TO LEARN HOW TO SURVIVE BECAUSE YOU’RE LAZY AND YOU NEED TO LEARN HOW TO LIVE LIKE A MUGGLE’ AND THEN SHE SAID IF IT WASN’T CLEAN WHEN THEY GOT BACK THAT I’D DIE AA A A A H

- BYE JAMES XXX

 

25th July, 1977

That is the best goddamn thing I’ve ever heard oh my god I love your mum

 

27th July, 1977

 

YEAh ME TOO BUT SHE SCARES ME OH MY G O D WHAT THE HELL IS A DISHWASHER

- JAMES XXX

 

30th July, 1977

 

A dishwasher is exactly what it sounds like. Have you not been…washing dishes? For 11 days? You haven’t washed dishes in 11 days?

- Lily

 

1st August, 1977

 

I’M NOT INSANE I’VE JUST BEEN HAND WASHING THEM

- JAMES XXX

 

2nd August, 1977

 

Put a thing in the thing and press the button. That’s how most things work.

- Lily

 

4th August, 1977

 

THANK YOU OH GOD

 

5th August, 1977

 

SHE’S BACK NOW THANK JESUS AND I’M NOT DEAD

in other news I want to burn Sirius alive

Also how’s your summer going? I mean I feel like i've just been screaming so

Also not 2 be weird but I wrote like a whole page of Words to you because I haven’t had anyone to talk to except Sirius for three weeks I’m not going to send them because I Don’t Want To but there you go you have that information now

- James xxx

 

6th August, 1977

 

send it. I’ve been so bored this summer I’ve had no one to talk to for nine years your weird rambling’d be an improvement

- Lily

 

28th August, 1977

4.08pm

“LILY,” shrieked James, having not quite gotten the hang of telephones yet. “DUMBLEDORE HAS MADE A MISTAKE.”

“What? Hey—I’m Head Girl!”

“WOW. NO ONE SAW THAT COMING.”

She snorted. “What are you talking about?”

“I HAVE RECEIVED A HEAD BOY BADGE IN THE MAIL.”

There was a silence.

“I…don’t think it’s that weird.”

“OH COME ON IT’S REALLY FUCKING WEIRD.”

“YeAH IT’S A BIT WEIRD—”

“I HAVE NO LEADERSHIP SKILLS! WHAT AM I GOING TO DO? I WASN’T EVEN A FUCKING PREFECT—”

“OK, those are two things that aren't true,” said Lily, no longer yelling.

“What?”

“You’re Quidditch Captain and good at it, you have leadership skills,” she said. “Plus, didn’t you basically fill in for Remus when—”

He gasped. “How did you find out about that! I kept that a deadly secret!”

“…You yelled it to the entire common room last year when you were drunk.”

“Ah, fuck.”

“I think you’ll be fine,” Lily said, doubt gone. “You know how to take charge and you’re now…less of an asshole than you were. You don’t bully people anymore.”

“You’re such a sweet and genuine person, Evans,” he said. This made her smile, which she would never have admitted in a million years. A million and one, maybe.

“Anyway. I’ll be with you, so you’ll have an excellent and sexy mentor.”

“You’re right,” said James. “Dumbledore will guide me through it—”

She laughed. “Go fuck yourself, Potter.”

“When you do it so much better?”

“Twat.”

“Sorry. Couldn’t help it. Too much time around Sirius.”

“Too much time with Sirius could drive anyone insane. By the way, does Sirius know?”

“No, I felt you had to know first.”

She laughed. “I have to go. See you, Head Boy.”

“Bye, Head Girl. Sweet Jesus, Dumbledore has made a terrible mistake.”

“You already said that.”

 

YEAR 7

 

1st September, 1977

10.53am

“Hey, Padfoot.”

Sirius had been sitting on his suitcase, legs at an awkward angle. “Morning.”

“REMUS,” yelled James. “Every time I stop looking at you I forget you’re 6’4.”

“I’m…6’3.9.”

“THAT’S 6’4, BITCH.”

“Oh, your mum and my mum are never going to stop talking,” said Remus. “Let’s just get on the train.”

“BYE MUM LOVE YOU,” bellowed James.

“YEP BYE MUM,” yelled Sirius.

“Bye, Ma.” Remus waved awkwardly at his parents, and followed them onto the train.

 

1st September, 1977

11.02am

“Wormtail, if you’re going to complain about PDA, turn away now,” said Sirius. Peter did so duly.

“You guys are so adorable,” said James, getting a ham sandwich out of his bag. “That said, I don’t want to watch this.”

“Fuck you,” said Sirius, pulling out of the kiss. “You taste like metal. And your lips are the wrong shape.” This last part was not directed at James.

“GROSS,” yelled Peter.

Remus smirked and looked over at James.

James screeched. “REMUS JOHN LUPIN, MY SON, HOW DARE YOU DO THIS WITHOUT YOUR FATHER’S PERMISSION—“

“Shut up, Prongs,” he said, laughing slightly. “I was wondering when you’d notice. Took you about…” He checked his watch. “…Nine minutes.”

“What?” Peter turned around. “Oh. Sirius was making out with you, though! That’s cheating!”

“It’s really obvious, mate,” said Remus. “It’s not exactly hidden.”

Sirius was staring at him. “I am…a homosexual.”

“SAME,” yelled Marlene, barrelling into their compartment. “Oh, Remus got a lip ring. Looks good. I’m leaving!”

“See, it took her four seconds!”

“WOMEN ARE MORE OBSERVANT THAN MEN, REMUS,” yelled James.

 

1st September, 1977

12.39pm

“Sirius, those jeans are terrible,” said Lily, as soon as she entered their compartment. Sirius put a leg up on the table defiantly, causing Poseidon to look at him irritably and move over to James’ lap.

“Fuck you I look great,” he said, his neon orange flowery jeans (where did he find denim like that?) disturbing everyone around him.

“You do not,” said Remus.

“Remus, how was your su—” She stopped dead. “You let someone poke a hole in your face?”

“Yup.”

“I’m just going to move on. Pete, how was your summer?”

“Good.”

“Sirius?”

“A bit terrifying, but good,” Sirius said.

“I’m just going to assume James’ was the exact same.”

He nodded.

“Alright, that’s the niceties out of the way. I’m leaving. Bye, Potter,” she said, winked, and left.

James went bright red, and Sirius wolf-whistled.

Wolf-whistling? That’s rich coming from you—”

“James, I will kill you where you stand,” said Remus.

“I’m sitting down, thot,” said James.

 

1st September, 1977

7.53pm

“Oh, god,” said Lily. “It’s the last time we’re seeing this!”

“And it’s still boring,” said James fake-tearfully. Lily elbowed him.

“Fucking watch the children get Sorted, dickhead.”

They earned themselves a stern look from McGonagall.

 

4th September, 1977

7.34am

Lily appeared at the top of the steps. She was a quarter of the way down when she saw the evil glint in the eyes of James, who had been waiting at the bottom.

“Don’t you do it, you bitch—” She tried fruitlessly to get back up to the top, but James had already jumped onto the step. She shrieked in annoyance as the stairs disappeared from under her feet and she slid down to the bottom.

“HA HA, POTTER WINS AGAIN—”

“I HOPE YOU DIE, JAMES.”

 

17th September, 1977

10.06pm

“Ah, shit,” said Lily.

“Watch your mouth around the shrimp!” cried James. “They might think you’re about to eat them!”

Lily rolled her eyes. “I left my Potions notes in the DADA classroom.”

“I’ll get them for you,” James offered. Lily shook her head.

“It’s a hassle. Don’t bother,” she said.

“No, I’m headed in that direction anyway. I was going to…burn Slughorn alive.”

She stared at him. “You were going to…burn…Professor Slughorn…alive.”

“Yyy…es. That is what I was going to do. I’m sticking with that story. That is what I was doing.”
She stood up. “I’m going.”

“At least let me come with you!”

She turned around. “Potter, if this is another one of your stupid attempts to make me fall for you I swear to god—“

“No, it’s not that! I’m way too scared of you for that—”

“Then why are you so obsessed with my Potions notes?” She put her hands on her hips.

“I just—” He sighed. “Mulciber and his Death Eater mates are out tonight.”

Lily paused.

“I reckon they’ve got a rota almost as good as Remus’,” he joked.

“I’ll go get them tomorrow. I’ve got DADA again anyway.”

 

17th September, 1977

11.41pm

Marlene came upstairs yawning, and chucked a folder at Lily. “James told me to give this to you. And also to not tell you that he gave them to me. Wow, I fucked that one up. It’s probably a dramatic love confession, or something.”

She sighed. “They’re just Potions notes.”

“How’d he get a black eye getting Potions notes?”

“Motherfucker, he’s so noble. I hate it.” She flicked through the notes and saw a little doodle of a deer saying ‘bleev in urself’.

 

18th September, 1977

8.04am

“Nice shiner, James,” said Lily. James grinned at her awkwardly, proudly sporting a black eye. “You didn’t have to do that for me. That was stupid.”

“Oh—I wasn’t actually beaten up by mini Death Eaters. I ran directly into a wall,” said James, a stupid grin still on his face. “I didn’t even see them, actually. Didn’t see the wall either, clearly.”

Lily snorted. “That’s a very you thing to do.”

“It is. I think I crumpled some of your notes, by the way.”

“Also drew a deer on them,” she said.

He laughed. “Oh yeah. I forgot I did that.”

She shook her head and smiled. “Moron.”

Chapter Text

22nd September, 1977

8.31pm

“Come on, just do it,” said Lily.

“I can’t! Not without the words!” James cried.

“Oh, stop being such a little bitch.”

James pointed his wand at her, scrunched up his face, and exactly nothing happened. “Waitwaitwait, I can do it. Stupefy!”

Lily blocked it with a swish of her wand. “No good. You said it again.”

“Dammit.”

“If it helps, just scream it in your mind.”

He closed his eyes, again pointed his wand at her, and this time some feeble red sparks appeared.

“Well, you’re trying. Sleep on it.”

He sighed. “Yeah, I’ll try again tomorrow.”

“Hey, James.”

He looked up. “Hmm?”

“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but…” She sighed deeply. “D’you want to get a Firewhiskey this Saturday?”

He stared at her.

She went red. “Say something, you idiot.”

“Yes?” he squeaked.

“Good. I’ll meet you in the common room at six.” She walked past him briskly and left the Room of Requirement. He stared after her.

“What the fuck was that?”

 

24th September, 1977

6.02pm

James stood in the common room, nervously tapping on a table.

 

24th September, 1977

6.05pm

Hang on, wait, he was being an idiot. Lily was his mate.

 

24th September, 1977

6.06pm

“MOTHERFUCKER ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE ALL NIGHT, I’M GROWING A FUCKING BEARD DOWN HERE—”

“DON’T BET ON IT, WEAKLING. I’LL BE DOWN IN A SECOND, GIVE ME TEN.”

“I’m getting deja vu,” said Marlene, who was already in her pyjamas. She just liked showing up to dinner like that, and since she was a Seventh Year everyone kind of just accepted it.

 

24th September, 1977

6.34pm

“Wake up, moron,” said Lily, with a smile in her voice. James started awake and hastily stood up, his hands flying to his hair.

“Morning.”

“Your hair looks fine.” She looked him up and down amusedly.

“So. You wore. Clothes,” he said. “Good…plan.”

“We don’t have to go out tonight, you know.”

“What?” Panic James appeared. “Is it the jumper? Goddammit, I knew it looked bad on me and I still wore it because Sirius said I looked good—”

“No, it’s not that—fucking calm down, your jumper looks fine.”

He looked at the ground. “I was going for sexy.”

“Jumpers aren’t really…sexy.”

“But Sirius—”

“Think about who Sirius is currently dating,” said Lily with a sigh. James’ mouth dropped. “What I mean is you’re clearly fucking exhausted.”

“I’M NEVER TIRED!” yelled James. “I’M JAMES POTTER, CONSTANT BALL OF ENERGY—”

“You fell asleep in a fully-lit room on an armchair after 20 minutes. Remus drew three dicks on your arm.”  James rolled down his sleeve.

“Shit.”

“You don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not, idiot.”

“I know,” he sighed. “Reverted back into my Fifth Year self briefly.”

“No shit. I’m going to have to beat that out of you.”

“You terrify me. Anyway,” he said. “I’ve waited this long, we might as well go out.”

“Fair point. I hope you can keep up, Potter.”

“Bring it on, Evans.”

 

24th September, 1977

6.28pm

“How are we getting there?” asked Lily. “There aren’t any carriages or anything.”

“With THIS,” yelled James, holding up the Marauder’s Map, which has conveniently not been seen for the last few billion chapters.

“I’ll take that, Potter,” said Filch nastily, snatching it out of his hands.

“Goddammit,” said James, staring at him leave.

“What was that?”

“It was the map me and the Lads made way back in Third Year—it had every secret passage in the castle on it.”

“Holy shit. That’s got to be worth a lot of money,” she said. “I mean—how are we going to get there now?”

James shrugged. “It’s all good. I have it memorised.”

“Of course you do,” said Lily, looking amused. “Should we go, then?”

 

24th September, 1977

10.39pm

Lily was laughing, laughing harder than she’d laughed in a while.

“God, you’re an idiot.”

“Maybe so, but I’m a charming and handsome idiot.”

“Yeah, well.” She stopped at the foot of the stairs up to the girls’ dorms. “Goodnight, James.”

“Night.”

She leant over and kissed him on the cheek. “Sleep well.”

“I’m never washing my face aGAIN,” he whooped.

She smirked and turned to go up the stairs.

 

25th September, 1977

9.23am

“Tell me everything,” said Remus, somehow in Lily’s dorm, holding a cup of tea.

Her eyes opened, looking very angry. “How the hell are you in here?” She sat up groggily.

He sat himself down on her bed. “Was he an asshole? Please tell me he wasn’t an asshole.”

“Did he tell you?”

“No. I figured it out myself. That’s why I need to know what happened, because he didn’t tell me anything. Is that because you rejected him again or because he’s not an asshole?”

“He’s…not an asshole.”

Remus grinned. “I knew it.”

“I’m just…happy. I’m happy.” Lily had a small smile on her face.

“You two are really good together. I mean, once he stopped harassing you constantly. That was a low point.”

“He’s…good. James is good.”

“Are you doing the…dating thing, then?” asked Remus. “Properly?”

“I fucking hope so. No, we are. Even if he doesn’t know it. We are.”

“You’re so violent.”

“Thank you.”

 

1st October, 1977

4.32pm

“Hey, Moony,” said Sirius. “Can I talk to you?”

“Uh huh,” Remus said, grabbing his book and taking a chair in a slightly less populated area of the common room.

“OK, so you know I’m turning 18 this year.”

“I am aware of that fact, yeah,” Remus said.

“I was thinking…of getting my own place. You know. In London, maybe.”

Remus looked at him thoughtfully. “Not going to stay with your family?”

“What?”

“The Potters, idiot, not your old family.”

“Oh. No, I kind of feel like I’ve…overstayed my welcome.”

“That isn’t true,” he said. “And you don’t have the money to afford a place in London, Pads.”

“Er, actually…my uncle just died.” Sirius scratched the back of his neck. “Gave me a ton of money. I give him another three days on the tapestry.”

“Were you close?”

“Not really, but Alphard was a bit of a weird one too. Never quite fit in with all the…racists. Anyway, it means I could probably afford a small place.”

“Right.”

“Anyway, I was wondering if you’d want to…”

“Yes?”

“You know. Move in with me. After Hogwarts, or something.” Sirius looked awkward.

Remus smiled slightly. “Course I would, Padfoot.”

Sirius exhaled. “If you said ‘no’ that would’ve been fucking awkward.”

“Why would I say no? I always assumed we would anyway.”

“Yeah, me too.”

 

19th October, 1977

7.04pm

“DISGUSTING,” yelled Peter. “Hand-holding is clearly listed in Peter’s Pamphlet of PDA! I’m perpetually single, and it’s not fair to rub it in my face.”

“Sorry, Pete,” said James, dropping Lily’s hand. “Can’t help it.”

“That is a sickening sentiment,” said Remus.

“Wow, is that cheddar? No, it’s just James,” said Sirius. “Also, babe, your eyes look like the stars tonight.” This part was directed towards Remus, not James.

“Revolting.”

“Sorry, Pete,” said Sirius.

 

25th October, 1977

5.03pm

“I bought you this,” said James, holding out a lemon. Lily looked down at it, deeply confused.

“I…”

“You were saying something about life giving you lemons.” She looked up at him and preemptively sighed.  “And since I am your liFE—”

“You’re an idiot.”

“Open the lemon.”

“What?”

“Open the lemon! Peel it!”

“You don’t peel lemons, James. You slice them.”

“Since when were you the expert on cooking?”

“That is…fair, but invalid because I’m right.” She took out her wand and stabbed through the skin of the lemon with a quick spell. She peeled the rest of the lemon—with great difficulty, you don’t peel lemons—and found a small doodle of a deer along with a small pendant.

“Happy Halloween.”

She chuckled. “Thanks, Potter.”

“You’re welcome, Evans.”

“I still don’t get the lemon thing.”

“Yeah, I just didn’t know where to buy gift wrap.”

 

3rd November, 1977

11.11am

“This hurts like hell,” said Sirius, after Remus had come into the tattoo parlour.

“Be stronger.”

“Wow, thanks for your comfort words, Moony.”

“You’re welcome. What are you getting, again?”

“A deer, a rat, and a wolf. What else?” he said. “Ow ow ow ow—”

“It’s only needles,” Remus said. “It’s not that painful.”

“Why don’t you try getting one then, Mr Macho?” Sirius scrunched up his face.

“I have.”

“You what?” Sirius was momentarily distracted from the pain of having ink scratched into his shoulder blade.

“I have a tattoo.”

“How did I not know about this?”

“Because you aren’t constantly looking at my inner wrist?” said Remus. He showed him the inside of his arm to reveal a small star.

“That’s tiny. Also, wait—that’s illegal,” whispered Sirius.

“Shut up, bitch,” said Remus, his eyes flicking up to the artist briefly. “As far as you’re concerned, I’m 18.”

“Well, you are tall,” he said. “Fuck.”

 

3rd November, 1977

10.31pm

“ANOTHER TIE?” James yelled. “FUCK YOU GUYS. IF YOU AREN’T ALREADY FUCKI—”

“Don’t finish that sentence, James,” said Lily, having anticipated this. “You can kip on the floor of our dorm if you want, but if you snore I’ll kick you out.”

“I don’t snore! Insulted!”

“Uh huh. Come on. Let me get to the top of the stairs before you try to get up them.”

“Christ Almighty.”

“I’m not Jesus.”

 

4th November, 1977

2.31am

“Lily.” Marlene was shaking her gently. “LILY!”

“Fucking…what? What do you want?”

“There is a deer sleeping on the floor of our dorm.”

“Go to sleep, Marly. It’s like, two in the morning.”

“I’m serious!” she cried.

“No, you’re not.”

“Sit up and check, idiot!”

Lily sat up, swung her legs over the side of the bed, and stared at the stag who was currently sleeping on the floor of the dorm. James was gone.

“Is it a prank or something?” asked Marlene. “Goddammit, this joke has been used way too many times before.”

“No it hasn’t, it’s hilarious,” came the croaky sleep-coated voice of Alice.

“Um—I do know one man who knows what to do in this situation,” said Lily. “But he’s…otherwise occupied.”

“By that d’you mean shagging Remus?” asked Marlene. Lily elbowed her. “Just say it outright! I’m a simple person.”

“Actually, I think I might know someone else.”

 

4th November, 1977

2.35am

“PETER, WAKE UP.”

Peter shrieked and rolled off the armchair he had been sleeping in. “MURDERER.”

“Nope, just Lily. There’s a deer in our dorm room, we need your help to get it out and also to find James.”

Peter stared at her. “Uh. That might be a problem for m—”

“If you help, I’ll get you a date with Emmeline.”

“Sold.”

 

4th November, 1977

2.38am

Peter was gently shaking the deer.

“Aren’t you going to…scare it?” asked Marlene. Peter shushed her.

“You came for an expert’s help, you’re going to get an expert’s help. Now don’t interfere. James!” He whispered this last bit. The deer came to with a start, looked down at its hooves, and sighed heavily.

“Yeah. Exactly, idiot. Now…uhhh, come this way, deer! I have…berries! Or…leaves! I have deer food!” Peter backed out of the room. The deer shook its head, appeared to shrug, and left.

 

4th November, 1977

2.40am

“Motherfucker what just happened?” whisper-yelled James.

“I don't know, dude! Lily just told me a deer appeared on her dorm floor - I think you turned into Prongs in your fucking sleep!”

“Fucking hell.”

“Just…play it off as a prank, I guess. Pretend you…put a deer in their dorm or something. Fuck, I don’t know!”

 

4th November, 1977

2.43am

“Oh wow,” said James woodenly, coming back into the dorm. “It looks like you found out. About. My fantastic prank.”

“Go to sleep, fucker,” said Dorcas.

 

4th November, 1977

8.21am

“You’re an Animagus.” Not a question. James made a movement as if to run away, but Lily grabbed him by his jumper.

“No. How could you think that? I am not a. What? How could you possibly think that?”

“Okay, suspicion confirmed. Why wouldn’t you tell me? How long? Why the hell would you even do that? Sirius and Peter are too, right? Fuck—is this what that fucking potion thing was back in third year? Christ, I’m an idiot.”

“Yeah, I did think that’d tip you off,” said James awkwardly. “However, you were 13, very very clever, and didn’t question Remus.”

“Still don’t. That man’s a genius.”

“True. We did it for him, y’know.”

Lily’s brow furrowed. “How? Oh—oh. That makes so much sense. I figured he just learned how to deal with his transformations better.”

“Well, he did, in a way. He just had a little help.”

Lily had a weird look on her face.

“What? Are you angry?” he asked.

“No—no, nothing like that. You’re just…a good man. Really.”

James scratched the back of his neck. “It’s what any decent person would do for a mate.”

“Any decent person’d break the law very violently and risk their lives at age thirteen for a weird lanky skinny kid you’ve known two years?”

“Well…yeah.”

Lily paused for a second. “My sister’s engaged.”

James blinked. “Er…congrats to her?”

“I want you to meet her,” Lily said. Fear flashed across James’ eyes.

“Yes. OK. Great. What if she hates me, though?”

“She definitely will, no matter who you are. Just…be you.”

“God knows I’ve gotten good at that this year,” said James.

“Actually—scratch that. Don't be yourself. Just - please don’t be an asshole.”

“I won’t, I won’t.”

“I just…” She exhaled sharply. “I love you. …Potter.”

James grinned. “I love you too, Evans.”

Chapter Text

 

12th November, 1977

7.09pm

“SIRIUS, YOU ARE NOT TOO PUNK TO EAT YOUR FUCKING CEREAL,” shrieked James. He had long since shed his pride, and now went Full Mum anywhere he deemed necessary, in this case, the Great Hall. Lily looked at him proudly.

“You did this, sea-witch,” hissed Sirius, slumping down into his seat grumpily. “You used to have way too much toxic masculinity to tell me off about things in public.”

“A bitch got emotionally healthy,” said James.

Why?” Sirius was angrily eating cereal, which I’m sure is an appropriately weird mental image.

“M C A, thot,” said Lily. James high fived her.

“I’m living a nightmare.”

Remus came and sat down next to him, his sleeves rolled up.

“NEVER MIND, I’M LIVING THE DREAM.”

 

4th December, 1977

7.38pm

“Petunia,” said Lily, affection in her voice. “I’m so happy for you.” Petunia gave her a tight-lipped smile and patted a rather short, beefy man on the shoulder.

“This is Vernon. Dursley,” Petunia said stiffly. “My soon-to-be husband.”

“Nice to meet you,” she said, sticking out a hand. Vernon took it and shook, rather imperiously. “Tuney, I’d like you to meet my boyfriend, James.” James popped out from where he had been standing behind a mailbox, staring at it, as if confused by how it worked. He was in a scruffy pair of jeans and a white button up with a bowtie and a tux jacket. His hair looked like a nightmare.

“WOW. This is really a…nice place,” he said, clapping Vernon on the shoulder as he walked past him toward the restaurant.

 

4th December, 1977

8.58pm

“So, Potter, what do you do for a living?” asked Vernon.

“Er, I’m 17,” said James, a pleasant smile on his face.

“On the dole, then,” said Petunia. “Good choice, Lily.”

“What?” Lily stared at her. “We’re both still at school.”

“I’m starting at a firm,” said Vernon loudly. “Grunnings, it’s called.”

“Oh. Interesting,” said James, already bored.

“Where are you from, then?” Vernon asked pointedly.

James narrowed his eyes. “I was born in Yorkshire and then we moved down south.”

“Ah,” said Vernon disbelievingly, looking him up and down. “I see.”

James leaned forward. “Do you now?”

“Alright, why don’t we…talk about hobbies?” said Lily, elbowing James very hard. He leant back reluctantly and contented himself with staring at Vernon threateningly.

“I’m a bit of a car man myself,” said Vernon, apparently oblivious to the Violently Hostile Vibes coming off of James. “I’ve got a Mustang outside, actually—”

“What in God’s name is a car?”

“It’s the zoom one,” said Lily quietly. “The thing we came in.” Vernon stared at James disbelievingly.

“What’s with this one?” he whispered not-so-subtly to Petunia.

“I’ll explain later,” Petunia said, the tight smile back on her face. “Why don’t you men go outside and look at the car?”

“Yes, that sounds like a plan,” said Lily hurriedly. She turned to James. “Please just do it, baby. For me.” James sighed and got up.

“Let’s go look…at wheels.” Cue unenthusiastic jazz hands.

The men exited the restaurant and Lily looked at Petunia expectantly. “So. The wedding! That’s exciting, Tuney.”

Now that their respective partners had left, Petunia seemed to unwind somewhat. Her accent softened. “I wanted to give you this.” She passed Lily an envelope, her jaw still tight.

“An…is this an invitation?” Lily looked somewhat confused.

“Yes.”

“I…” Lily ran a hand through her hair. “Tuney, I’m your sister.”

Petunia sighed. “You’ve got a plus one.”

“Petunia! I’ve known you longer than anyone—”

“Do you want the invitation or not? Because I’ll take it back if you don’t want it. There are plenty of others who we wanted to invite.”

Lily stopped herself, blinking rapidly. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Of course I’ll come. I’m sorry.”

“Yes, well.” Petunia sat up straighter. Shouting was heard from outside. Petunia’s accent returned to what it had been. “Oh, for goodness’ sake. You had to find a freak just as argumentative as you, didn’t you?”

Lily stood up, suddenly furious, tears sparkling in her eyes. “He’s not a freak! And neither am I, Petunia!”

Petunia raised her eyebrows.

Lily stormed out of the restaurant.

 

4th December, 1977

9.08pm

“Why won’t you tell me what happened?”

“The one thing I asked, James, was for you to get along with him—for one night! One night! It was barely two hours!” Lily had her hands on the wheel very tight, her knuckles white.

James looked at her. “That’s not what this is about. You knew I was going to deck that…cunt. He kept asking me what my parents did for a living. And where they were from. I would've rather listened to him talk about cars, Lils, honestly. You’re lucky I only yelled at him, I wanted to kill him!”

“I WILL CRASH THIS CAR, POTTER.”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I know I should’ve kept hold of the reins, OK? Please just tell me what happened. You’re clearly upset, and I can’t have that. Mainly because I care about you, but partly because you scare me.”

She sighed and sniffed, rather undignified. “It’s stupid.”

“I guarantee you it is not. You’re a rational person. I mean, mostly.”

“Petunia…didn’t ask me to be her bridesmaid. It’s just—”

What?”

“What do you mean, what?”

James looked furious. “Then what was she talking to you when that racist fuck was lecturing me about engines?”

“She just gave me an invitation.”

“I thought she was asking you to be her fucking maid of honour—what the fuck? You’re her sister!”

“We aren’t…close.”

“No, don’t you go defending her now!”

Lily chuckled tearily. “You’re an idiot.”

“Well, I’m an idiot that knows basic social convention. Listen, you don’t have to go if you don’t want to.”

“No, I have to,” said Lily. “Parents.”

“Well, you’ll fuck some shit up while you’re there, then.”

 

14th December, 1977

12.45pm

“Main parental figures in my life,” said Remus. “I’ve…er, I’ve been thinking of moving out soon.”

Lyall nodded approvingly. Hope’s eyes widened.

“Where?” she asked, flitting about him worriedly. “Do you know how to use a washing machine? Are you going to go to university? Can you boil pasta?”

“I’m going to flatshare with Sirius for a bit. And yes, to everything else. Well, it’s a probably not on the uni one.”

“Hope, which one is university again?” asked Lyall.

“The third school,” said Hope affectionately. “I think you should - you're so clever, and it's a waste to leave that alone. But, dear—you don’t have any A-Levels.”

“Hogwarts has this weird system for kids who want to study at Muggle universities. It’s basically just magic. Actually, scratch that, it's just forgery of legal documents. Literally just lying.”

“Ah. Who thought that up?”

“Dumbledore,” said Remus and Lyall at the same time.

“Anyway, I was thinking…Easter. After I’m of age.”

“You are of age,” said Lyall.

“No, Pa, real of age. Muggle of age,” said Remus.

"Oh."

 

19th December, 1977

6.03pm

“It’s a nice place,” said Remus, standing just inside of the doorframe (doorframes were made for people under 6’3). “And it’s got a downstairs and an upstairs! It’s a miracle you found this in London.”

“I know, right?” said Sirius, lying on the as-of-yet unmade bed. “Technically Alphard found it, though. Thanks for helping me move.”

“Eh, I didn’t do much.” Remus came into the room and flopped down next to him.

“Well, you’ll be living here in a few months, so you should get used to it.”

“By the way, I cannot cook.”

“That’s fine. I can.”

“I know, you never shut up about it.”

“It’s my one talent! Allow me that!” Sirius cried. Remus smirked and kissed him.

“Moron.”

 

20th December, 1977

9.14am

Remus sat up groggily and looked to his left. Sirius was sleeping lightly next to him. He sighed and got up carefully, entered the kitchen, and put the kettle on. It was already warm. Did a murderer break in and just…make a cup of tea?

“Goooood morning,” said a voice.

“Fucking Christ—“ Remus turned around, rather slowly for someone who thought they were about to be murdered. “What in the shit are you doing here?”

“I live here,” said Marlene, holding a cup of tea and an empty packet of cat food, which she put in the bin. “You guys are loud. It was a very traumatising night for me.”

“You live here?”

She nodded. “I pay rent, thot.”

“You do not,” Sirius said, coming out of the room, followed by Poseidon. “I bought this place, there is no rent. You just promised to buy coffee if I let you stay here.”

“Yup.” Marlene hopped up onto the counter and sipped her tea. “It’s a short-term thing, until I can find a place of my own. Maybe I’ll move in with Dorcas eventually.”

“Goddammit, Marly. Why wouldn’t you just stay with your parents?” asked Remus.

Marlene shrugged. “Parent, and I didn’t want to stay with my dad. He’s a cunt. Plus, Sirius has a dog. Where is Snuffles, by the way?”

“…Snuffles?” Remus looked over at Sirius. “Oh. Right. Of course. Snuffles.”

“Yeah, I get to walk him,” said Marlene.

Remus stared disapprovingly at Sirius. “Anyway. I didn’t really mean to stay over, I don’t have anything to wear.”

“Just wear some of my stuff. I have some things that should fit you.”

“Uh oh. Walk of shame,” said Marlene. “Is that only a girl thing? If so, that’s racist.”

“It is only a girl thing, yeah,” said Remus. “Sirius, with your shit on I’m going to look like a fake punk wearing a size too small.”

“You can wear some of my stuff, I dress like an androgynous nightmare,” offered Marlene.

“You’re 5’7, it won’t fit even slightly,” sighed Remus.

“True. Looks like it’s wannabe punk for you, bud,” said Marlene. “I’m going to go buy cigarettes. And milk.”

“Good combo,” said Sirius. “Get me some too. I’m good on milk.”

“You’re both going to get emphysema,” Remus called after her. "I'll just wear the stuff I was wearing yesterday."

"Good plan. Oh, I'm stealing your jumper, though."

Remus sighed resignedly. "That's my third-favourite one."

"I know."

 

20th December, 1977

9.32am

 

"Oh, I forgot to ask," said Remus, throwing the jumper at him. "Snuffles?"

“I know, I know.” Sirius sighed.

“She’s going to find out eventually,” said Remus, pulling a shirt over his head.

“She doesn’t have to find out now!”

“Whatever. I should go. See you, Snuffles.”

“Shut UP, WHORE.”

 

25th December, 1977

7.00am

“IT’S CHRISTMAS, BITCH!” shrieked Sirius, bursting into Marlene’s room. She grunted. “GET UP, I GOT YOU A PRESENT.”

“HELL YEAH,” yelled Marlene, jumping out of bed, in Christmas-themed pyjamas.

 

25th December, 1977

7.36am

Sirius -

Happy Christmas. I love you.

- Remus.

 

Sirius looked very emotional. Marlene took the card, read it, and her eyes glistened with tears.

“This is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever read.”

“You’ve got one, too!” cried Sirius, throwing a letter at her. She caught it.

 

Dearest Marly,

Merry Christmas and may the spirit of Jesus Christ be with you this holiday season. Jokes aside, I love you very much and I will probably invade your and Sirius’ house with Lily and Remus later today.

xxxx Dorcas

 

“Oops, my card to Dorcas was way shittier than this,” said Marlene. “It just said ‘nice tits’. Actually, no, that has all the sentiment it needs.”

Sirius looked at her wearily.

 

Dear Sirius,

Merry Christmas. I didn’t get you anything, mainly because I knew you wouldn’t get me anything, so it’s sort of preemptive spite.

- Reg


“I’d burn this one, but I don’t want to,” said Sirius cheerfully. “Oi, come help me with Christmas lunch.”

“Oh, we’re doing that?”

“Yes, we’re doing that, bitch!”

“Fuck yeah, I’ll peel some potatoes.” She hopped up and went into the kitchen. “SIRIUS THIS FUCKING TURKEY IS HUGE.”

“I KNOW, I’M SO PROUD!”

“Oh—apropos of nothing, my dad thinks you’re my boyfriend.”

“Mum thinks you’re my girlfriend!” cried Sirius. “Euphemia, I mean!”

“You don’t have to clarify, babe,” said Marlene. “But what kind of coincidence—this is true lesbian/gay solidarity right here.”

“Truly beautiful.” Sirius opened another card.

 

SIRIUS AND MARLENE

I LOVE YOU BOTH AND HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!!! SIRIUS I GOT YOU *MORE* RECORDS AND MARLENE I GOT YOU A STEPHEN KING I KNOW YOU LIKE HIM RIGHT

XXXXXX LILY I LOVE YOU

 

25th December, 1977

10.47am

“Get in here and help, you useless child,” said Euphemia, swatting James with a tea towel. James flinched.

“I was watching Doctor Who!”

“Come help me!”

“Fine.” James peeled himself off of the sofa that he had made an indent in, having been sitting there since six in the morning.

 

25th December, 1977

11.41am

“The baby photos aren’t necessary, Mum,” sighed the ever-suffering Remus.

“I can’t believe it’s your last Christmas with us! LYALL, GET IN HERE!” Hope’s teary tone was rather undermined by this last yell.

“Why are there ones of me having a bath in the sink?”

“The bath was too big.”

“That’s so weird!”

 

25th December, 1977

12.05pm

“Grandma, you can’t say that anymore, it’s racist,” said Peter. “That’s…TIM, THAT’S NOT WHAT THAT’S USED FOR—FUCK—”

"PETER, HOW DO YOU USE A REMOTE?"

"MAYBE YOU'RE HOLDING IT UPSIDE DOWN, AUNT MATILDA," he bellowed from the other room.

"THANK YOU."

 

25th December, 1977

2.29pm

“When’s it socially acceptable to start drinking on Christmas?” asked Sirius. Marlene shrugged.

“It’s just me, dude, no judgement here,” she said. “Bust out the eggnog.”

The timer started beeping. Sirius jumped. “AH, POTATOES ARE DONE.”

 

25th December, 1977

6.31pm

“WE’RE HEEERE,” yelled Alice. “LET US IN.”

Sirius came to the door, terrible music already blasting in the background, Firewhiskey in hand. A very cold Remus, James, Alice, Frank, Dorcas, Peter and Lily piled into the small flat.

“WE GOT ALCOHOL,” yelled Marlene. “Also, Sirius, I hope you’ve got sleeping bags somewhere in this place.”

“DON’T WORRY, I BROUGHT AIR BEDS,” said James.

Frank stared at him. “Why?” James just shrugged.

Lily gasped. “I am so jealous of you two!” She pointed at Dorcas and Remus.

“Why?” asked Peter.

“THEY GET TO SLEEP IN A REAL BED.”

 

25th December, 1977

10.55pm

“Alright, I’m going to bed,” said Dorcas. “Marly, you coming with?”

“Soundproof your room for the common good,” said Peter, drinking heavily.

 

25th December, 1977

11.09pm

“So I have a plus one for that wedding on Friday,” said Lily, slurring slightly.

“…Right,” said James.

“And I’m not a bridesmaid.”

James raised his eyebrows.

“So you’re coming with me. I fully expect at least three things to be on fire by the end of the night.”

“I can work with that.”

 

25th December, 1977

11.51pm

Remus was leaning sleepily on Sirius as they danced. It was more just…slightly drunken stumbling. Lily and James had fallen asleep on each other on the sofa, their hands entwined. Alice was lying on Frank’s lap, Frank humming something. Peter was in an armchair, dozing, the cat sleeping on his legs.

“I love you, Padfoot.”

“I love you too, Moony. So much.”

“I think I love the idea of going to sleep more, though.” Remus pulled away slightly and smiled softly.

 

26th December, 1977

11.04pm

“You’re late,” remarked Marlene, legs tucked up on the sofa as she read a book that Lily had got her—The Shining, that was the name.

“Me and James got into this whole…thing. Incident,” sighed Sirius, flopping down next to her. She put her legs down and he rested his head in her lap. “Muggle police officer stopped us, because we were quote unquote ‘speeding’—”

“You do ride like a maniac.”

“I guess. We were being our usual hilarious selves, but the guys who were chasing us caught up, apparently.”

Marlene finally looked up from her book sharply. “The Death Eaters?”

“Yes.”

“James isn’t dead, is he?”

“Not yet,” said Sirius. “He was Stunned a bit, but nothing serious. He’s being dramatic, though, so send him a get well soon card or nine.”

“Will do. What about you?”

“I’m just such an excellent fighter that I didn’t get hurt at all. Where’s Poseidon?”

“He was waiting on your bed for you to come back. Also, I put some tuna in your bed.”

Sirius stared at her. "What? Why?"

"I don't know. It was mainly to tempt Poseidon into being there so it would be cute when you got back, but I guess I ruined it a bit."

Sirius got up. “No, I appreciate it. Well, I have to go see my son! Night, Marly.”

“Night, Sirius.”

 

30th December, 1977

11.46am

The day of the wedding had arrived, and James had been inside Sirius’ wardrobe. So had Lily. James was in a lime green iridescent suit with matching shoes. Lily was in a slightly less outrageous red dress (she hadn’t questioned why Sirius had it, especially since it fit a 5’5 woman), but she was also in bright red lipstick, black heels and huge cat-eye sunglasses, and holding a piece of paper that said ‘no pictures’ (which Sirius also had in his closet, for unknown reasons).

“GOOD MORNING KINGS AND QUEENS,” yelled James as he slid into the room in his lime green wheelie shoes. “Oops, this is a church. Sorry, ladies and gents.”

Petunia stared at the two fuckass teenagers who were currently interrupting her right in the middle of her vows.

 

30th December, 1977

5.31pm

“Yes, he’s—he’s an amateur magician,” Vernon was saying to a grim-looking businessman. James was currently fucking Throwing Shapes, for once in his life with Lily’s permission, even though there was no music. He opened his jacket and several fake doves fell out. Lily was just standing in the middle of the room, not talking to anyone.

“Petunia, who is that?” asked a neighbour. “Is she famous? I must say I seem to have fallen behind the times recently.”

“No, no—it’s my sister,” she said furiously. “And her…friend.”

“Goodness, it must be interesting having a sister who’s a celebrity. I must go ask for an autograph — what’s her name?”

Petunia opened her mouth to protest, but the neighbour had left without waiting for an answer. Lily raised her eyebrows and lowered her sunglasses, and then appeared to sign a piece of paper. A few others approached her.

“Lily, dear,” said a bemused Mrs Evans, taking her by the arm. “Are you a celebrity?”

“No, Ma,” Lily said, grinning. “Well, not really.”

“Ah. The meeting of the parents,” said James, having stopped ‘dancing’. “I kind of wish it had happened in a better way.”

Mrs Evans looked at him, a twinkle in her eye. Mr Evans walked up to them briskly. “Ah, James, is it?”

“Er—yeah. This—these are traditional wizard clothes,” said James. “Been in my family for centuries. I didn’t know if they were appropriate or not, but it’s a special occasion.”

“Ah,” said Mrs Evans, looking relieved. “Vernon was saying…you are a magician? A…regular magician?”

“If you mean a Muggle one, then no. I’m just a plain old…wizard wizard.”

Mrs Evans nodded, while Mr Evans looked at him, rather confused.

“Nice to meet you,” said James. “I…love your daughter. Quite a lot, actually.”

Lily chuckled uncomfortably. “Let’s go get a drink, James.”

“…He seems…” Mrs Evans didn’t finish her sentence. “Well, Lily likes him.”

 

30th December, 1977

6.41pm

“GATHER ROUND, FOLKS,” said James. He began to take a handkerchief out of his sleeve, but it was just one. He looked at it, rather disappointed. The small crowd he had created sort of just…turned around, only to see that there was a pig sitting on the buffet table. Blue confetti fell from the ceiling. Gloria Gaynor was playing.

“James, we’re leaving,” said Lily ostentatiously. “This party’s over.”

He followed her dutifully out of the door.

Chapter Text

 

4th January, 1978

8.45pm

Sirius opened the door, his hair messy. “Good morning.”

James walked in. “It’s a quarter to eight in the evening, Padfoot.”

“Well, I just got up! You want a beer?”

“Sirius, I know you don’t drink beer,” James sighed. “You drink girly drinks and girly drinks only.”

“If 2% alcohol is considered manly and that’s a good thing, then there’s something wrong with that,” said Sirius matter-of-factly. “I can offer you nine shots of…something.” He held up a bottle filled with a mysterious liquid, which was either vodka or bleach.

James chuckled. “Anyway, er—I think someone’s at the door.”

Sirius looked at him oddly. “No doorbell. No knock, either.”

“Just go open the door.”

“Why?”

“DO IT.”

He sighed and opened the front door. There was a small box tied with a ribbon. “Is there a human ear in here? Like Van Gogh?”

“What? No, idiot. Open it.”

He opened it. There was a bowtie inside. Sirius’ head whipped up.

“WILL YOU BE MY BEST MAN?”

Sirius clutched his chest. “I NEED TO SIT DOWN—FUCKING—YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED? YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED? HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN? OH MY GOD, JIM—”

“I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW—”

Marlene came down the stairs. “What the fuck is going on?”

“JAMES IS GETTING MARRIED.”

“Oh, makes sense. WAIT- FUCKING WHAT?” Marlene screeched. “TO WHO? Oh—right. W H A T???”

“I’M SO EXCITED AND SO AFRAID,” James yelled, tears in his eyes. “I LOVE HER SO MUCH, DUDE.”

“AAAAAAAAH FUCKING THAT’S TOO CUTE,” shrieked Marlene. “OH GOD I LOVE YOU GUYS.”

“Wait—Sirius!” James said. “Will you?”

“Will I what?” Sirius was also crying. “Oh! Right! Yes! Yes, a million times yes!”

The phone rang. Marlene grabbed it. “Hello?”

“I’M GETTING MARRIED, MARLS!” yelled Lily, over the phone.

“I KNOW! JAMES JUST GOT HERE! WHAT THE FUCK! I’M SO HAPPY! I’M GOING TO CRY!”

“I’m so—I’m just—I love him so much. I’m so excited. Oh my god. But! The reason I’m calling!”

“Yes!”

“Marlene McKinnon, will you be on my bridesmaid team?”

WHAT? YES! OBVIOUSLY!”

“You’re going to be with Dorcas, Alice, and—”

“Is this a…bad…time?” Remus knocked awkwardly at the open front door.

“REMUS! JUST THE MAN I WAS LOOKING FOR!” James yelled.

“Wait, did I hear Remus?” asked Lily, still over the phone. “Let me talk to him.”

Marlene passed over the phone.

“Who is this?” asked Remus, deeply confused by the Violently Overexcited Energy currently emanating from Sirius.

“It’s Lily, idiot. OK. I’ve got big news.”

“…Go for it.”

“Me and James are getting married.”

“YOU’RE FUCKING WHAT?” Remus yelled.

“I KNOW IT’S INSANE THAT’S WHY WE TOLD THE CHAOTIC EVIL FRIEND AND THE CHAOTIC NEUTRAL FRIEND FIRST—”

“LAWFUL NEUTRAL HERE TO SLAP SOME SENSE INTO YOU—YOU’RE SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD, EVANS!”

“I WON’T BE SEVENTEEN MUCH LONGER, LUPIN. FOR THAT MATTER—I WON’T BE EVANS MUCH LONGER.”

“I mean—that aside…that’s fucking insane and I am so happy for you two.”

“Really?” asked Lily, trying (and failing) to hide sniffling.

“Yes! Obviously!”

“Anyway. The real question—maid of honour?”

Remus furrowed his brow, and somehow Lily could Tell through the phone. He cleared his throat. “What?”

“WILL YOU BE MY MAID OF HONOUR?”

“Holy shit what?”

“ANSWER ME, LUPIN.”

“Yes—yes, of course I’ll—obviously!” Remus was deeply flustered. “I mean—man of honour, yes, of course I will—shit, I love you! I have to go scream now!”

“Bye, maid of honour!”

“SIRIUS, LILY JUST MADE ME MAN OF HONOUR.”

Sirius turned into a dog with excitement.

This brought the mood down significantly from giddy excitement to confusion.

“IS SIRIUS A FUCKING ANIMAGUS?” yelled Marlene. “IS THAT WHAT SNUFFLES IS? JAMES POTTER YOU HAVE A HELL OF A LOT TO EXPLAIN.”

"WHY ME? ARE YOU SAYING SIRIUS HAS NOTHING TO EXPLAIN?"

"HE'S A DOG RIGHT NOW!"

‘Snuffles’ barked and turned back into a six foot man. “MAN OF HONOUR? YOU’RE MAN OF HONOUR? OH, GOD, NOW I CAN FULFIL MY DREAM OF BEING THE BEST MAN THAT GOES HOME WITH THE MAID OF HONOUR!”

“That’s your dream?” asked James.

“Did you honestly expect it to be anything else?” asked Marlene.

“James!” cried Remus. “How did you propose? Was it romantic? Where’s your fucking ring?”

“I—not really, I just— OK, here’s the story.”



30th December, 1977 (aka five days ago)

2.24pm

“I CAN’T BELIEVE I JUST FUCKING DID THAT—I’M NEVER GOING TO TALK TO MY SISTER AGAIN,” yelled Lily, as they walked out of the rather grim hall that the wedding had been held in.  “Course, that was always going to happen.”

“You’ve spend so much time being sad about it, you might as well laugh at it,” said James, having taken off his Disgusting suit jacket. Now he was just in a simple white shirt, bow tie, and lime green iridescent trousers. Also, lime green heelies.

“True.” Lily smiled wistfully. “OK, now that we’ve officially ruined a wedding together you’ve been upgraded to Boyfriend Level 8.”

“Sweet.” James grinned and draped an arm around her. “What happens at level 10?”

“Nothing.”

“Disappointed.”

Lily sighed deeply. “Weddings. What even are weddings?”

“Weddings are great. I love weddings,” said James. “Some white people weddings are good, but in Indian weddings you invite like 8000 people and it lasts for ninety years - they’re so fun.”

“Sounds like it,” said Lily, a smile on her face. “I don’t know, I love the idea. The idea of loving someone so much you have to scream it from the rooftops. Can you imagine spending the rest of your life with someone?”

James looked at her and gave her a small smile. He didn’t say anything.

She stopped walking. “I’m going to say something insane.”

James turned. “If you’re about to say what I think you’re about to say, I’m going to die—”

“Do you want to marry me?”

James’ voice was tight. “Oh my fuck, I’m going to die. Yes. Yes, I want to marry you. I love you so fucking much.”

“Yeah, me too. Holy shit—marriage. Holy shit. Is that crazy? That’s crazy, right?” she asked, a little panicked.

“Definitely crazy.” He too, was a little out of breath. “Let’s do it.”

 

4th January, 1978 (aka approximately three hours earlier)

6.09pm

“It’s ready! I’ve got it!” James burst through the door.

“Come on, then!” Lily was on the sofa, her hair messy. James got on one knee.

“Will y—”

“Yes!” Lily held out her hand. “Yes I will!”

James laughed, giddy, and placed the ring on her finger. Except it was not, in fact, a ring, but a silver twist tie that he’d found in his house.

“This is insane,” James said, joining her on the sofa.

“I love you,” said Lily, nestling her head on his shoulder. “I love you.”

“I love you too. I love you so much my ears hurt. I don’t know why my ears hurt, but they do. I love you.”

“That’s concerning,” said Lily. “Oh, god, I’m going to cry.”

James sniffed. “I’m not.”

“You don’t have to pretend around me, Jim, I know what you’re like.”

“OH GOD THANK YOU—” James started sobbing. “I’M SO HAPPY. I LOVE YOUR FACE. AND YOU’VE GOT A GREAT ASS.”

“You have a great ass, too, James, that’s why I’m marrying it. Oh my fucking god, I’m marrying it. I found a place in London, by the way, a little flat. It’s London, so it’s expensive, but my grandma had a bit of money set aside for uni—I’m going to go into a magical profession, so I won’t use it.”

“Brilliant—when can we move in?” James was still crying a bit.

“Er, I’ve talked to the guy and he’s not moving out until May, so we can move in after N.E.W.Ts.”

 

8th January, 1978

11.06am

“When are you guys thinking the wedding’ll be?” asked Dorcas, who hadn’t screeched quite as much as Marlene and Sirius when she found out. Screeched a little, though. Well, she screeched a lot, just less than Marlene and Sirius.

“We thinking a while away. We’re going to move in with each other in summer, and…see where we go from there,” said Lily, looking fondly at the twist tie on her hand. Her legs were tucked up on the train seat, and she was leaning into James.

“Nice ring,” chuckled Alice.

“I’m seventeen, I’m not rich,” said James.

“Yes you are,” pointed out Dorcas.

“He just didn’t want to buy a ring,” said Lily, a grin on her face. “I like it, though. James, we’re not meant to be here.” She stood up and exited the compartment.

“Oh, yeah,” said James, standing up. “See you guys.”

“Bye, Head Boy,” said Sirius. “I’m still disappointed he’s not marrying me.”

“Sirius! What would Remus say?” said Alice disapprovingly.

“He’d probably agree with him,” said Marlene. “Where is he, again?”

“Prefect,” said Sirius. “He’s so responsible.”

 

21st April, 1978

2.11pm

“Jesus fucking Christ, I’m an adult,” said Marlene, having packed the final box into the back of Dorcas’ tiny car. “And I’m opening a small bookstore! A small fucking bookstore! It’s a sapphic dream!”

“It’s everyone’s dream. I’ll miss you, Marls,” said Sirius. “I’ll visit. Oh, god, I’m going to be so lonely!”

“Remus is moving in, fucko,” said Dorcas.

“Oh shit. I think he’s moving in tomorrow, actually. I should’ve prepared more.”

“You’re a mess,” said Marlene fondly. She hugged him tightly. “I can’t believe I’m moving in with my girlfriend! My female companion! My beautiful wonderful sexy lover!”

Dorcas snorted. “I love you too, Marly.”

“I’m so happy for you idiots.”

“I’m in love with the fucking store. Oh, god. It’s hideous. Fuck! This is exciting!” Marlene cried. "It's bright blue on the outside! We have to change that, it's so ugly!"

 

22nd April, 1978

11.24am

“Remus!” Sirius was still in his pyjamas, but seeing as he essentially slept in his clothes anyway it didn’t particularly matter.

“Morning, Sirius,” said Hope, bustling in, holding a billion boxes. “Goodness, this place is…a tip.”

“Fight the urge to clean, Ma,” said Remus wearily.

She patted his cheek, though she had to reach upwards fairly significantly. “You’ve grown so much, Remus.”

He smiled sadly. “Maybe you’ve just shrunk.”

“The cheek on this one!” said Hope. “You’ve got a lot of courage now you don’t live under my roof.”

Sirius grinned and left to put the kettle on.

“Actually, speaking of that…” Remus turned to his mum. “Um, I actually wanted to talk to you about something. Please don’t tell Pa.”

“Is everything all right?” Hope looked at him rather worriedly. “I won’t tell your father, don’t worry.”

“It’s nothing…serious. Well, I guess it is. Er—Sirius isn’t my…friend. He’s…he’s my boyfriend. I’ve wanted to tell you for a long time, actually, but I didn’t know how to—to bring it up.”

Hope looked rather shocked. “I thought…Mary?”

“Uh—I still like girls, that is. I’m…bisexual. I like girls and boys.”

Hope furrowed her brow.

“You aren’t angry, are you?”

“Oh, Remus.” Hope sighed. “Of course I’m not angry. I thought you were going to say you wanted to join a cult, or shave your head. Or…pierce your face. You know what—now isn’t the time to nag about that.”

He simply looked at her, still apprehensive.

“I can’t say I understand it, and I do think it’ll be best to keep it from your father for now, but…I’m not angry.”
He swallowed. “OK.”

“Hang on—Sirius is gay?”

Remus cracked a smile. “He doesn’t exactly hide it, Ma.”

“So you could marry a man or a woman?”

“In theory, yes, but in practise, he’s going to marry a man, because he’s going to marry me,” said Sirius, coming out of the kitchen holding two tea mugs. “Tea, Hope?”

“But you could still marry a woman?" asked Hope, looking rather like she was clinging onto - well, hope.

"Um - yes."

Hope sighed. "All right, dear. I ought to get back to Remus’ father, I’m afraid. Make sure to call me every day, Remus John Lupin, or I will call you.” Hope left.

“That went…well?” said Remus uncertainly.

Sirius offered him a cup of tea, which he took. “Remus, that went pretty fucking stellar, in my opinion. You didn’t even get the whole ‘week of dead silence’ as they try and remember whether they love you or not.”

Remus nodded, his throat dry. “I’m glad I did it.”

“I’m glad you did it too. I love you.”

“I love you too.”

“Now you live with me! That’s insane!” cried Sirius.

“Fuck yeah.”

 

13th July, 1978

11.59pm

“I can’t believe it’s our actual last day tomorrow,” said Remus.

“I…don’t want to leave,” said Sirius. “I just don’t. I don’t know why.”

"I mean, you’ve got a lot of good memories of this place. You found a new home, new friends, got rid of your old family…”

“There’s really good food,” mourned Sirius. “And a sexy, sexy, cardigan-wearing soon-to-be professor.”

Remus looked at him, a contented look on his face. “The cardigan-wearing not-professor is coming with you, idiot.”

“You forgot sexy.”

“I did not forget it.”

“You suck. Suck m—”

“Don’t finish that sentence if you want to live, Padfoot.”

Sirius laid down and rested his head on Remus’ lap. “I don’t want to grow up, Moony.”

“Fuck growing up.”

“God, I’m going to miss Minnie.”

Remus snorted. “That’s it? The food and McGonagall?”

“Pretty much.” Sirius sat still for a few minutes, then: “D’you remember our first kiss, Rems?”

“Course I do. It wasn’t that long ago. It was…good. Like something out of a book.”

“No, not the library one. Our actual first kiss.”

Remus looked down at him oddly. “What?”

“At the end of Third Year. We all got pissed off of like…one drink, and played truth or dare.”

“Oh, fuck. I do remember that vaguely, yeah. Hang on—that was our first kiss?”

“Yup. You were given the choice to either have a full makeover or kiss the lipstick off of me.”

“You were already doing drag back then,” said Remus fondly. “Fuck, our first kiss was through a drinking game.”

Sirius chuckled. “What can I say? We’re romantics.”

“Mm. How d’you remember that, anyway?”

“It was the most stressful and excellent moment of my life, Moons. Plus, James made me do Quidditch the next morning and he was loud, so you yelled at us. You weren’t wearing any eyeliner.”

“How do you remember that?”

“Because I also remember the first time I saw you in eyeliner and I nearly had a heart attack.”

Remus smiled. “Dork.”

“Hell yeah. Can you believe Lily and James are getting married?”

Remus sighed. “Yes, I absolutely can. They’re soulmates.”

“Doe and the stag,” said Sirius wistfully. “That’s…I’d never really thought about it before, because I was a 15-year-old dickhead, but they are, aren’t they? Soulmates?”

“What’re you two doing up?” asked a blurry-eyed James.

“Talking about you and Lily and how your Patronuses are linked and that’s DORKY,” said Sirius.

“Ooh, hypocrite,” said James, slumping down next to them. “The moon and the star?”

“Fuck, I’d never thought about that,” said Remus suddenly. “Oh, god, that’s cheesy. I hate it.”

“Rude,” said Sirius.

“I mean, I love you, my angel,” said Remus in monotone.

“Oh—do you remember when we made Gilderoy Lockhart dance around the Great Hall with a bunch of skeletons?” said Sirius.

“And when you and Peter tried to smuggle me into the castle while I was Prongs?” said James.

“When Remus tried to convince me his name was Twatface Dingleberry? And I sort of believed him for a brief second? Slash about five months? And I kind of still do?”

“When I climbed the castle stairs to ask Dorcas’ sister for a cup of sugar and fully nearly got murdered?”

“When Lily stole McGonagall’s hat?” Remus had joined in.

“When Remus briefly dated Mary?”

“When Sirius and Lily made a club called ‘too attractive for this world club’? And people joined it?”

Sirius sighed heavily. “I’m going to fucking miss this place, guys.”

“Me too,” said James, voice cracking. “Fuck.”

“This was a long story—I mean, uh…life,” said Remus.

“Yeah, it was like well over a hundred thousand words. D’you reckon there’ll be a sequel?” asked Sirius.

“Only if there’s sufficient demand, and people comment saying they’d read,” said James. “The author’d like to do one, though. Writing this is an excellent time-waster.”

Lily, Marlene, Peter, and Dorcas came down, all sobbing.

 

14th July, 1978

10.41am

“You know, Minnie,” said Sirius, his voice cracking. “Everybody screamed.”

She looked at him apprehensively.

“When I kissed the teacher.”

There was a large intake of breath and an attempt at a getaway, but Sirius had already kissed her on the cheek, as had James.

“Oh, get out!” said McGonagall, no real anger in her voice.

“Minnie, you’ve been the best teacher,” said Sirius. “The absolute best. I’m going to miss you. So much. I can’t even—you were the best part of my time here.”

“Professor, I wouldn’t be the charming, beautiful, sexy, intelligent, humble man I am today without you,” said James. “So, I’m giving you a formal invite to my wedding. I want you to be my best man.”

“Oi,” said Sirius.

“Well, you can be a groomsman.”

She stared at him. “Who on earth are you getting married to?”

“Lily. Lily Evans.”

She sighed, rather shakily. “Excellent. I just won another bet. And while I most certainly will not attend your bachelor party…”

“Dammit,” whispered James.

“I would be honoured to attend the wedding, James,” she said fondly.

James’ eyes filled with tears. “No shit? You’ll come?”

“Language. Five points from Gryffindor.”

“The end-of-year feast’s been and gone, Professor!” cried Sirius, also crying. “We’re nearly out of here!”

“It has been my pleasure teaching you boys, and I hope you find yourself exactly where you want to be,” said McGonagall. “As much as you have been a pain, you are extremely intelligent and hard-working and you have the ability to do anything you may choose.”

Both boys started openly weeping. “THANKS, MINNIE—”

“OH, GOD, I LOVE YOU BOTH!”

McGonagall stood up. “Mr Black, Mr Potter, you are going to miss the train.” She opened the door, and a horde of seventh-years, led by Lily Evans and Remus Lupin were waiting outside her office.

They may have had a red carpet.

Chapter Text

https://archiveofourown.org/works/16784215/chapters/39389536

Ask and ye shall receive. merry birthday