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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 uncomfortable. “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 bee 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 heres, 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.