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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.

 

Chapter Text

18th January, 1975

3.02pm

“Alright, team. Everyone knows that Ravenclaw are shite at Quidditch—“

“Shut it, Potter, you’re not the Captain yet,” said the real Quidditch Captain, a burly seventh-year called Richard. 

“Sorry, Dicky! Just trying to keep morale up,” responded James cheerfully. Richard gave him a slightly threatening look, but didn’t reply. He was a man of few words.

“Sirius, wait!” Lily rushed in, to everyone’s surprise. She was wearing red face paint and gold eyeliner.

“Evans!” cried James joyfully. She gave him a disgusted look and moved towards Sirius.

“Your fucking hair,” she said.

He thought for a second, then, “Oh, shit. It’s going to get in my eyes.”

“No kidding—here, tie it up,” she said, handing him a hairband. 

“How in the name of fuck—Rich, continue with your powerful speech or whatever, I’ll deal with the hair situation.” Sirius turned to Lily. "I've never tied my damn hair up before! How?"

“Just—hang on, let me do it for you, I’ll teach you later. You’re not getting hit in the face with a Bludger just because—Jesus fuck, Sirius, do you ever brush your hair?” She arranged his hair deftly into a bun. “Perfect.”

“Thanks, Lils, you’re a lifesaver.”

“Yeah, no shit. Go back to your pep talk.” Lily gave him a hug, and rushed off to the stands. 

“Lily! Where were you?” asked Remus, sitting and kind of...half-waving a Gryffindor flag unenthusiastically in the stands. “Nice eyeliner, by the way.”

“I know, right? Why aren’t you wearing any? Honestly, Remus, where’s your team spirit?” Lily sat down next to him and took his flag.

“Oi! That’s mine!” He snatched at it indignantly, but she held onto it.

“It’s not like you needed it. You looked so depressed I think it was actually making you seem like you’re cheering for the other team.”

“I don’t know…if that’s how it works? And anyway, where’d you go?”

Lily leant back. “Just saving lives. You know me.”

Remus sighed. “Sure.”

The teams flew up onto the court. “What’s with Sirius’ hair?” Remus asked, his ears going a bit pink.

“I told you I was saving lives. I didn’t expect it to look good, though.” Lily’s eyes were gleaming. “Although, with Sirius I probably should’ve expected it.”

“No shit.” 

Remus could see Sirius’ eyes scanning the scarlet and gold section of the crowd, until his eyes settled on him. He winked at him, and Remus’ stomach did a backflip. Sirius’ eyes then found Dumbledore, who winked right back. 

Some highlights:

- James made a fucking incredible score, and was promptly hit in the face by the Quaffle when looking desperately at the crowd to see if Lily was watching.

- She was not.

- Sirius hit a Bludger directly into one of the Ravenclaw Chasers, which he furiously apologised for, as they were actually quite good mates.

- Sirius bit his lip at one point, which caused a group of Gryffindor girls holding a ‘go Sirius’ banner to scream. One of them fainted.

- Remus fell asleep briefly and was promptly awoken by an extremely painful jab in the ribs from Lily.

 

18th January, 1975

9.08pm

“HELL YEAAAAH!” shrieked a drunk-on-life (and also Firewhiskey) James Potter. 

Sirius was being mobbed by girls, who were fawning over him, and petting his hair. He looked violently uncomfortable.

Remus was laughing at Sirius, who was barely fending off the onslaught of attention. He was apparently both hating it, and kind of loving it (his inner attention seeker needed validation).

Peter was drinking alone in a corner, having been rather brutally rejected by a very pretty Hufflepuff girl.

Lily was laughing at James, who was…dear God. Why hadn’t he learned? Why would he continue to dance, in the face of such violent, violent adversity?

“Remus, today is the day!” Lily came up to him.

“Oh, God. The day that what?” Remus looked deeply apprehensive.

“That I make you dance!”

“Lily, no, I am the lankiest, most awkward person in the world—“

“Come ON!” She dragged him out of his chair. “It’s easy, I swear.”

“I am going to fall over four hundred times.”

“No, don’t go sit down! Ugh, you little bitch.” Lily rolled her eyes at his retreat, and turned to a very drunk Sirius. “Oh, God, what are you doing?”

“I AM THE KING OF DANCE—“

“Sirius, you are literally just wiggling your shoulders—“

“KING!”

“Wiggling your shoulders out of time - Jesus, you lot are hopeless.” Lily was done with their shit.

“K I N G!” yelled Sirius, who was, indeed, wiggling his shoulders out of time. How that was possible, no one knew. 

“Don’t you play piano? Aren’t you at least somewhat musical?” called Remus, from his Hiding Chair. “Do you know what a rhythm is?”

“Shut it, Lanky—“ Sirius was ready to throw hands.

“WHO WANTS A JELLY SHOT?!” James shouted. This was met by a chorus of cheers. 

“ME WANTS A JELLY SHOT!” shrieked Marlene. “Reeeemus!” This was said in a slightly quieter tone.

“God—no, I will not do karaoke nor will I dance.”

“No, no, I need advice!” Marlene lay directly on top of him.

“Was willst du von mir, Schwein?” 

“You know I don’t speak Spanish, Lupin.“ 

Remus looked at her tiredly. “What is it?”

“I don’t know anything about Charms,” she said.

He sighed and sat up, and went into teacher mode. 

 

19th January, 1975

6.21am

Sirius awoke on the common room floor to a particularly awful hangover, and only now decided to consider the ramifications for his liver. He was lying on someone’s lap, and someone else was lying on his lap, and someone was lying on his chest. He wiggled a bit.

“Morning, sunshine,” whispered the person he was lying on. It was James. He sort of half-lifted his head to see Peter lying ungracefully over his legs, and Remus’ head on his chest. He lay back down, much to James’ chagrin. “I just got feeling back in my legs!”

They lay there until a ray of sun woke up Peter, who let out a pained groan. “Fucking shitballs.”

“Me too, mate. Me too.” James sat up and started awkwardly patting the floor.

“What in the name of fuck are you doing?” Sirius turned his head to stare at him.

“I’m not wearing my glasses!”

Remus was the only one still asleep, and no one was about to invoke his wrath. Sirius managed to get half a look around the room without moving his head, and saw a few other people strewn about too. Marlene had her face in some Charms work, and was half-covered in ink. Dorcas had fallen asleep in the chair next to her, curled up. Mary MacDonald was lying on Frank Longbottom. Luckily Alice wasn’t there, or Mary would probably be dead.

James stood up, ungracefully dropping Sirius’ head onto the ground. “I’m going up to the dorm. If I stay here I will die.”

“Oi! You can’t leave me here! I can’t go up!” said Sirius indignantly.

Peter stood up as well, looking dead. “I’m going too. Try not to die.”

Sirius let out a betrayed squeak. “At least throw me a pillow.” James threw one at his face. “You FOUL, MALIGNANT—“ Sirius was interrupted as Remus stirred, and they all stared at him in terror. Luckily all he did was curl up. James let out a loud sigh. 

“C’mon, Pete.”

“I hope you die,” whispered Sirius. 

 

19th January, 1975

10.44am

A disgruntled-looking Lily Evans came down into the common room, the first person in Gryffindor Tower to actually come into the mortal realm. She immediately noticed Sirius, who looked deeply angry and very awake. 

“Looks like you’re having fun,” she said amusedly, sitting on one of the armchairs.

“Fuck off and help me, Evans,” whined Sirius. 

“Never.”

“Ugh, you’re worse than James. I’ve had dry mouth for seven years.” Sirius wriggled his legs. “This is torture.”

“Dare you to just do it. Move,” Lily said.

Sirius stared at her. “Do you want me to die?”

“In a word? Yes. Come on, you’re not backing away from a dare now, are you?”

Sirius took a deep inhale. “Fine.” He gently wriggled away, so carefully that it took ten minutes, and put a pillow under Remus’ head. To his horror, his eyes gently flickered open.

Who thought it would be a good idea to wake me up?”

Sirius screeched and ran for his fucking life, taking four stairs at a time. He burst through the door and immediately fell the fuck asleep. It may be anticlimactic, but he had a hangover, dammit. 

 

24th January, 1975

6.21pm

“Hey, Sirius,” giggled a Ravenclaw girl as she walked past with a gaggle of her friends.

“I don’t get it. It’s not fair,” James sighed. “You’re, like, two years old and short.”

“ExCUSE me, I am not short,” protested Sirius, 5’5. “I’m a growing boy. You're not much taller, anyway.”

“Weeeeeeeell,” said Remus, coming up behind him and patting him on the head. “You’re kind of short.”

“You are 5’10 and 14, you’re just a freak—“ squeaked Peter, at 5’4.

“Fair,” Remus said. “You two are still short.”

“Yeah, but I’m hotter than all you bitches,” said Sirius.

“You don’t even date girls! You don’t need the attention!” James, 5’7, said indignantly. 

“I hear that,” said Peter.

“We all know that Wormtail’s the real smoke show here—OOF—” Remus was cut off by a punch to the stomach from Peter.

“Oh, come on, Moony. You’ve got to agree,” insisted James.

“He sure as hell doesn’t need it. But I like to think that girls are just attracted to my natural sociable charm,” said Remus dryly. 

James rolled his eyes. “You guys are useless.”

Sirius winked at him. “Can’t be tamed.” James hit him in the face with a pillow.

 

30th January, 1975

8.29pm

“Ugh, I feel like I’m being stabbed repeatedly in the stomach,” said Lily. “Death is coming. And it’s my birthday, too! This is the worst.”

“Oh. I have some chocolate upstairs, do you want it?” Remus got up when she nodded.

Sirius looked at her, disturbed. “What? Go to the Hospital Wing, you freak.”

“Nah, it’s fine. I just need some painkillers and a bit of chocolate,” she replied casually. “It’s my time of the month.”

Sirius tilted his head and his mouth gaped. “What?! Are you…wh—are you…like—like Moony?”

Lily stared at him. 

“What? You keep talking about chocolate and your time of the month! Is the chocolate a…furry little problem thing?”

“…I’m on my period, Sirius.” 

“You’re what?” 

Remus came back in, holding chocolate. 

“Jesus save my ass, Remus. Sirius doesn’t know what a period is,” said Lily. 

“Oh, god. Are we going to have to do this?” Remus sat down.

Sirius was horrified.

“Alright, so UTERUSES—“ started Remus. Peter came over, heard this, and immediately went back to talking to James.

Many minutes of explaining later, and Sirius was duly disturbed. “And you go through that every month? For a week straight?”

“Yes. It is a nightmare.”

“I don’t recall you being nearly this disturbed when I told you I was a werewolf,” said Remus quietly. 

“THAT IS NOWHERE NEAR AS HORRIFYING AS THIS—do you need anything???? Like? A…hug? I CAN’T THINK OF WHAT I CAN DO TO HELP—” 

Lily sighed. “It’s fine, Sirius, honestly—”

“I regret my entire life,” said Sirius. He sat there for a second, reflecting on everything he'd ever known.

 

Chapter Text

3rd February, 1975

2.19pm

a note passed in potions class

sirius is bold

james is italics underlined

remus is italics

peter is bold italics

 

Flitwick, McGonagall, Sprout 

You’re a cruel man, Black. Probably marry McGonagall, fuck Sprout (just because of age?) and…sorry, Flitwick. You were a good man. 

Same here. 

agreed 

What about the other three Marauders? Like for Peter it’s me, Sirius, James, for James it’s me, Peter, Sirius etc.

Why am I the only one you left out? offended and disgusted

Kill Sirius, marry Peter. Sorry Moons, I’m not fucking either of the other two xx

Immediate regret 

Kill Sirius, marry Remus. Sorry, James.

WHY IS EVERYONE KILLING ME I’M A STAR

…it’s your go Padfoot hurry up

Hang on do you have to fuck the person you’re married to

Nah

Kill Prongs because he’s a CUNT marry Wormtail and fuck Moony duh

Rude I’m a legend and my hair is better than yours

D E L U D E D

DE

LUDED

HAVE YOU SEEN MY HAIR IT’S A GIFT FROM GOD

Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon

Bye Brian. Marrying Freddie and fucking John

What does John even look like?

FAKE QUEEN FAN. I agree with Moony. I am sexually attracted to the bass.

regret asking

Probably the same as the others anyway

Lily, Marlene, Dorcas!

NASTY. SIRIUS WHY

you’ve got to answer hohoho

Are you santa

yes

Marry Lily kill Marlene and as horrifying a prospect it is;;;dorcs

probably same but I now want to burn my brain

Are you guys serious I’d marry Marly and fuck evans…sorry dorcas please don’t kill me

You already killed her, fool

Also she can’t read this????

Okay I have specific ones for each of you

Wormtail: Clint Eastwood, Freddie Mercury, De Niro

Moony: Marlene, Sirius, Slughorn

Padfoot: Remus, Minnie, Marlene

Fuck De Niro, marry Mercury, killing Eastwood. Harsh, Potter, harsh.

Oh god I’m killing Slughorn, fucking Sirius and marrying Marlene. Only option.

Moony! I’m touched! On that note, JAMES YOU CRUEL BASTARD I guess I’m killing Marlene (god save my soul amen hope i go to heaven) marrying Minnie and fucking Remus

Adorable

I hope to fuck no one ever sees this

 

14th February, 1975

7.29am

“Fucking Jesus fuck,” said Remus, as he came down to the Great Hall, which was decorated a violent shade of pink.

“Eloquent, Moony,” replied Sirius.

“I always forget they do this,” Peter sighed. 

“Same,” said Remus.

The four boys sat down at the table. A cherub came up to James.

“A secret admirer has a message for you!”

“Sweet Jesus,” he said. “Alright then, proceed, freakish baby.”

It took out a lyre, opened its mouth, and at the top of its lungs began to scream:

“FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK SHIT FUCK FUCK SHIT DICK FUCK FUCK FUCKETY FUCK

JAMES IS A FUCK TWAT FUCK

FUCK.”

It was promptly taken away by a disgruntled Filch, still screeching obscenities. Peter and Sirius were in tears. Remus couldn’t breathe. James was a strange combination of deeply entertained and somewhat disappointed.

“Which one of you idiots—“ Once James had finished laughing, the protest began. “SIRIUS, IF IT WAS YOU—“

“It wasn’t me, mate, I promise—“ Sirius said, through tears.

“PETER?”

“Swear to god against it,” said Peter.

“REMUS, I SHOULD’VE KNOWN IT WAS YOU, YOU HAVE THE MOST DISGUSTING MOUTH—“

“Wrong man, Prongs! I’m an innocent bystander!”

Lily suddenly came down, a twinkle in her eye. “Hey, guys.”

James gaped. No way.

“EVANS, YOU EVIL—“

She started laughing. “So you did get it! Wonderful.”

 

14th February, 1975

12.02pm

“Sirius…I love you!” 

Remus came up behind Sirius with a clipboard. “And that’s number seven!” He flipped the board around to show the blushing second-year Hufflepuff girl the tally he’d made, a deadpan look on his face. He then fucked off.

“Listen, uh, babe—“ He realised he’d made the situation worse with ‘babe’. “I’m really sorry, but I don’t even know your name.”

“Millie.”

“Cool—my point is—uhhh…”

Lily came up behind him and gave him a kiss on the cheek. “Babe! Did you forget about our study date? God, you're so disorganised.”

“Oh! Hey, Lils. No, I didn’t forget--I was just--uh, this is my…girlfriend, Lily.” Sirius was fumbling awkwardly. Lily gave the girl a genuine smile.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “Boys are the worst. But the ones in your year’ll grow up eventually.”

The girl walked off, looking dejected.

“Lily, you are a lifesaver, sweet Jesus.” Sirius made sure she was out of earshot.

“I know. I’ve had to deal with two today.” 

“I’ve had seven! We should make a club called Too Attractive For This World Club.” Sirius ran his hand through his hair.

Lily looked at him. “Not a bad idea.”

“…Should we really do this?”

 

14th February, 1975

4.36pm

“Padfoot, what in the name of fuck is this,” asked Moony, coming through the portrait hole. He was holding up a sign.

 

FAR TOO ATTRACTIVE FOR THIS WORLD CLUB

ALL EXTREMELY ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE IN THIRD YEAR OR ABOVE WELCOME

AUDITIONS HELD SATURDAY 8PM 

James Potter need not apply (you’re not fit enough)

Hosted by Lily Evans and Sirius O. Black

we are *very* attractive

yes we know you don’t have to tell us

Attractiveness will be verified upon audition (results may be unflattering)

 

“Me and Lily took initiative! We’re starting a club!”

Why?” Remus was baffled and uncomfortable.

“Do you want to come? I’m sure you can withstand the test.” Sirius grinned at him.

“No, I don’t want to come, you cock—“

“JAMES POTTER NEED NOT APPLY?!” An outraged James burst into the common room. “BLACK, I’M GOING TO KILL YOU—“

A bored-looking cherub floated into the Gryffindor common room after James. “I’ve got a secret admirer’s poem here for Sirius Black—“

“FUCKING—ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME,” yelled James, terrifying a gaggle of first-years.

Remus added another stroke to his tally. "That's nine."

Sirius sighed. “Timing, my cheruby friend, timing!”

As Remus was looking on, Mary McDonald tapped him on the arm. “Hey, Remus? Could I talk to you?”

“Uh, yeah. Course.” What was this about?

She led him to a quieter corner of the room, as James attempted to destroy Sirius’ entire being. “This…this might seem a bit odd.” She was blushing. What?

“Uh, what is it?” Remus was trying to make eye contact, but she wouldn’t—oh. Right. Oh…oh no. Oh nnnnoooooooo.

“I-I kind of…" She took a deep breath. "I've had a crush on your for a while. I didn’t want to send one of those awful cherubs, I know you’d hate the attention. I just…couldn’t keep ignoring you…or whatever.”

Remus had no clue what to say. “I…I’m not entirely sure how to respond to that?”

She let out a sharp exhale, and looked a little annoyed. “You don’t have to say anything.”

“I guess I just don’t know you well enough to reply, Mary. I…wouldn’t be opposed to hanging out, though?” He didn’t like her back he didn’t like her back oh god this was a nightmare

She smiled. “Friends, for now, then?”

He gave an awkward grin and rubbed the back of his neck. “Sure.”

She turned around and oh God Jesus Lord what had he just got himself into?

Lily came up to him. “Did you let her down gently?”

“I said we could be friends—wait, how do you know she likes me? How do you know I don’t like her back?” Remus was very flustered.

“We’re friends! And the way she looks at you—it’s not it’s hard to guess,” she said casually. “So come on, girl! Give me more details!”

“Lils, you are a messy bitch who loves drama, I’m here for it,” said Sirius. “What happened, girl?”

Remus gaped. “She…she told me she liked me, and that she wasn’t going to send a cherub because she knew I’d hate the attention—then…I said I didn’t really know her very well and I wouldn’t mind being friends first?”

“Oh shit,” said Sirius. “Do you actually like her, though?”

“What? I don’t know!” Remus shook his head. “Maybe?”

Lily gave a knowing smile. “Well, give it a bit of time.”

“You horrify me, Lily. Sirius, stop looking at me like that.” Remus was blushing violently red, and Sirius was smiling ear to fucking ear. 

“You’re so adorable.” Lily patted him on the back. “Sirius, go back to being murdered by James, I want to talk to Remus.”

Sirius walked off to console Peter, who was traumatised.

“What?” Remus asked. It came off a little harsher than he’d intended.

“I know you don’t like her, Remus, and if you know you never will, then it’s probably better to let her down now,” said Lily. “Trust me. I’m your prettiest friend.”

“Debatable,” said Remus. “Sirius.”

“I’m your second prettiest friend.”

“I really don’t know if I never will, I’ve said a total of about four words to her outside of this conversation!” He got back to the matter at hand. He leant against the wall. “This is a nightmare.”

“It is absolutely not a nightmare, you numpty. A pretty girl likes you! That is decidedly not a nightmare!” Lily shoved him.

“Ow, you evil beast,” protested Remus, rubbing his arm.

“You love me really.”

“Hey, you never told me how you knew I didn’t like her,” he said. “Yet, I mean.”

Lily smirked. “I feel like you might have your heart set on someone else.”

He looked at her quizzically. “What? Who?”

“Oh, no one. It was just instinct,” she said, tilting her head over towards the group of Gryffindors, who were currently laughing at James.

“You can’t say something like that and then run away! Who do you think I’m into?”

“No one!”

“Lies. Lies and slander. Tell me.”

She sighed. “If you can’t see it already, you’re going to need to figure it out yourself.”

“Are you the Caterpillar from Wonderland?” Remus elbowed her. 

“Rude. I’m not going to tell you. You’ll realise it eventually.”

“You’re awful.”

 

Chapter Text

15th February, 1975

8.01pm

Lily and Sirius were sitting at a ‘judges panel’ they had constructed out of cardboard. A sign on it said ‘straight 10s’. They were both wearing sunglasses. Peter was leaning against a wall, with a label that said ‘moderator (not a straight 10)’. The first applicant that walked in was (shockingly) Gilderoy Lockhart, with a smug grin on his face. 

“Name,” said Peter. 

“You know who I am, Black,” he replied.

Name,” said Lily, lowering her sunglasses.

“Gilderoy Lockhart.”

“Self-assessment? Limit your answer to one word,” said Peter.

“Flawless.”

“Critique time! Hair?” Peter said.

Lily held up a 4. Sirius held up a 2. Lockhart’s jaw dropped.

“Physique?”

Lily held up a sign that just said ‘scrawny teenage boy’. Sirius’ said 3.

“Face?”

Lily: 7. Sirius: In no way likeable, but hot. 8.

“Now for the interview! Candidate, what is your biggest flaw?” Peter was reading off of a script.

“Not applicable,” he smirked.

“Greatest achievement?” asked Lily.

“I should think that was obvious,” he said, preening.

“Also not applicable?” quipped Sirius, much to Lockhart’s chagrin.

“Alright, judges, I’ll give you some time to deliberate—“ Peter was interrupted as they both held up red ‘rejected’ cards. “Looks like you’re a 3 overall, buddy.”

“Use less product in your hair, become more likeable, and try again next year,” Sirius advised him as he left. 

The next person to enter was Marlene, who was accepted, on account of her being an ‘8’. Then there was Dirk Cresswell, who was rather brutally denied (1). Davey (8), Marc (9), and Mary (8) were all accepted. James walked in at one point, furiously, but was immediately hit with 0s.

“Yeowch,” commented a deeply bored Wormtail. 

Anyone under a 7 was denied.

The next person to walk in, was, in a surprising twist, Remus.

“Name,” asked Peter.

Remus stared at him. “Fucktruck Cuntface.”

Peter sighed. “Self-assessment? Limit your answer to one to two words maximum.”

“Actual werewolf.”

“Critique. Hair?”

Both 6s.

“Physique?”

Lily: 4 Sirius: 8

He got a strange look from Lily, given that Remus had the physique of Groot, but just shrugged.

“Face?” 

Lily: 10 Sirius: 10

Remus rolled his eyes at this. He was the lankiest, most uncomfortable-looking son of a bitch there was.

“Interview. What’s your biggest flaw?” Peter was moving past the mortal realm.

“Literal werewolf.”

“I have a question, Candidate. Are you only applying because James put you up to it so he could have an insider’s outlook?” Lily was clearly unconvinced.

“Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat. How could you possibly think that?” Remus was, apparently, also unconvinced.

“Alright, done. What’s the verdict?” Peter was dying.

Green ‘accepted’ cards. He got an 8, though Sirius said he was an ‘straight 10 in spirit’.

 

22nd February, 1975

9.14pm

“But what did you do?” asked James insistently. 

“Like I said, we literally just sat there and Sirius talked about his hair. I just hogged the snacks.” Remus had his hands on his hips.

“How did you get in, anyway?”

“I’m the sexiest motherfucker you know, Potter. Look at these stick legs. Are you not aroused?”

Peter at this point had come over, apparently running away from Marlene, but heard this and immediately ran in the opposite direction, towards his death.

“Careful, Lupin, your Sirius is showing.” James leaned back in his chair. 

Mary McDonald walked by and gave Remus a smile. He did the awkward white people smile (you know the one??? It makes you look kind of like a frog) at her, which cause James to stare at him, disturbed. 

“Why did you do the awkward white people smile at her? More pressingly, why did you smile at her?”

“Awkward white people smile?” Remus furrowed his brow.

“Yeah, it makes you look kind of like a frog. Do you know her?” James shoved him and gasped. “My son’s growing up! You have a girlfriend!”

“No! She—no.” Remus scratched the back of his neck.

“You do that when you’re lying! She is your girlfriend!”

“She’s not! She…she told me she likes me, and I said we could be friends,” Remus explained. 

What? Why wouldn’t you say you liked her back?” James looked genuinely confused. “You could’ve gotten you a girlfriend.”

“What—I don’t like her, though? I mean, she’s perfectly…nice, I just don’t know her.”

“You are a mystery, Moony.” 

“I am not! Isn’t that what normal people do?” Now Remus also looked genuinely confused. 

“Are you talking about Moony’s romantic mistakes?” Sirius came up to them and suddenly gasped. “Lupin’s Love Lapses?”

“You’re the worst, and it was not a mistake.” Remus crossed his arms.

“You should ask her out! Next time you go to Hogsmeade, you should ask her to the Three Broomsticks or something,” said James.

“Yeah, I’ll do that when you ask out Lily,” said Remus. James scoffed. 

“Fine. Oi, Evans!” he yelled across the common room. She looked over at him, mildly disgusted, like one might look at a small child having a tantrum. “Want to go to the Three Broomsticks with me next Saturday?”

She stared at him. “You what?”

“Do you want to go on a date with me?”

“You repel me,” she said, and turned back to Marlene.

James died. 

“Well, you have to ask out Mary now,” said Sirius, looking amusedly at James’ corpse.

Remus stared at the broken husk of James and was not filled with confidence. “Fine.”

 

23rd February, 1975

7.59pm

“Why are they always together?” asked Remus helplessly. “Do they ever just…exist…alone?”

Sirius patted him on the back. “You’re asking the wrong man for girl advice, mate.”

“You had a girlfriend! And girls love you!” 

“Ask Lily, you hopeless dolt.”

“Lilyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy,” he whined, coming over to her and flopping down next to her.

“What do you want from me, swine?” She didn’t look up from her book.

“I’m getting deja vu.” Remus thought for a second. “Never mind. How do girls work?”

“Alright, so when a mummy and a daddy love each other very much—“

“No, how would you…ask one out?” Remus scratched the back of his neck.

Lily stared at him. “You’re going on a date, Lupin?”

“A friend date!”

“That’s not how dates work. With who?” 

“Mary. A friend date.”

Lily gave him a piercing look. “Jesus.”

“What?”

“Nothing. It’s just…”

“Oh, god.”

“Don’t you think this is kind of leading her on, babe?” Lily said.

“Leading her on?” Remus looked at her, confused.

She sighed. “You’re hopeless. You’re asking her on a date, and you don’t like her!”

“How do you know that?”

“Because I know you,” she said. 

“Alright, I don’t like her yet. But I want to get to know her! She seems…nice.” 

“Okay, okay. She’ll probably be down here doing her DADA homework or something later. You’re good at DADA, right? She’s shit at it, so ask her if she needs help and weave it into the conversation.”

“You’re a lifesaver, Lily.” Remus grinned at her and walked off.

 

23rd February, 1975

8.41pm

“Hey, what’re you doing?” Remus hopped up on the arm of an armchair next to Mary.

“DADA homework. I’m shit at it,” she said hopelessly. “What in the name of fuck is a Blast-Ended Skrewt?”

“You need some help?” Remus leaned over awkwardly. 

“Get it, Lupin,” said Peter, watching from across the room. Sirius shoved him.

“I don’t get it,” he said.

“Don’t get what?” asked James. 

“She’s kind of…bland,” Sirius said. “It’s almost as if she’s not had enough character development from the author for the reader to find her either likeable or dislikeable.”

“You what?” Peter stared at him.

“She’s like a curry made by Sirius’ mum,” said James.

Sirius gasped. “You complete me.”

“I don’t think she’s that bad! And she’s pretty, and she likes Remus,” said James. “Why not? Remus seems like he likes her too. You were so enthusiastic before! What happened?”

“I had an actual conversation with her. And Remus seems like he likes everyone until you hear him tear them to shreds in the dorm later. You heard what he did to Felix in Hufflepuff. I nearly cried for him.” Sirius crossed his arms. "I've had a change of heart."

“That may be true. But look at him! He’s taking initiative! Interacting! I’m so proud of my son,” said James. Peter looked at them oddly.

“You two make a strange pair.”

James gave him the thumbs up and Sirius winked. “Two of a kind,” they said simultaneously.

“No rehearsal,” said Sirius.

“None at all!” supplied James.

 

23rd February, 1975

10.04pm

“So?????????????” James immediately mobbed Remus as he came in the door.

“So what?” asked Remus, expertly fending him off, as he’d learned to after many years of Motherly James Attacks.

“What did she say?”

“Oh, right. Yeah, she said she’d meet me at the Three Broomsticks,” he said, looking slightly guilty.

“Why are your ears pink? You’re hiDING SOMETHING!” 

Goddammit. James and Lily knew him too well. Those two made a hell of a pair.

“I’m not hiding anything!” Remus scratched the back of his neck.

“YOU DO THAT WHEN YOU FEEL AWKWARD OR YOU’RE HIDING SOMETHING!” James pointed an accusing finger at him. "Or lying."

“I may have said Lily and Sirius would be joining us. To make it less like a date.”

“WhAT,” cried an indignant Sirius from his bed, where he had been sulking. “I don’t want to babysit you on a date!”

“It’s not a fucking date—why would I invite you on a date?” 

James stopped him. “Remus. You do know there’s a rumour that Sirius and Lily are dating, right?”

Remus stared at him. “You what?”

“There is?” Even Sirius looked surprised.

“Valentine’s Day this year, Lily pretended to be his girlfriend to save him from a Second-Year—“

“And you didn’t scream for three days straight?” Remus was somehow more surprised about this.

“Only internally, son—“ 

“And externally, briefly,” Sirius interrupted him.

“Anyway! So now everyone in the Second Year thinks they’re dating, and Second Years this year are the most annoying little shits with no filter—“

“Same,” said Peter, from his corner.

“Not wrong, but the point is, she 87% thinks this is a double date,” finished James.

Fuckety fuck fuck fuckface fucking fuck shit.       

“Fuckety fuck fuck fuckface fucking fuck shit,” said Remus. “What do I do?”

“I can violently fuck up this date and make everyone involved deeply uncomfortable,” suggested Sirius.

James hit him. “You’re just trying to decide if you like her, right? So try the date. If you hate it with all of your soul and being, then say you should probably just stick to being friends.”

Remus sighed. “Alright.”

Pete clapped him on the shoulder. “This is going to be awful.”

“Thanks, Peter. Your words are inspiring.”

 

Chapter Text

2nd March, 1975

11.35am

“Hey,” said Remus, walking up to Mary with a smile and oh sweet jesus fuck in heaven what in the name of FUCK was Sirius wearing

What the fuck

Where did he get that

This author can only answer one of Remus’ many questions, dearest reader, and it was a leopard-print jumpsuit with a neon pink studded belt. And cowboy boots. Dear God, who could forget the cowboy boots?

Lily was standing next to him, looking…surprisingly proud. Remus was going to die. “Sirius Orion Black, what in the name of fuck…”

He grinned. “I have no idea what you’re talking about, Moons. Let’s go!”

Lily took his arm. “To the Three Broomsticks!”

Remus looked on weakly. “I’m so sorry. Sirius is…sucks.”

She laughed awkwardly. “Don’t worry, it’s not your fault.”

He looked at her oddly and bit his lip. “You know what—do you want to just ditch them? Go to Honeydukes or something?”

She exhaled in relief. “Yeah. I—the leopard print, it just…”

“It’s a disturbing sight to behold. Let’s go.”

 

2nd March, 1975

12.01pm

“Lads, we’ve lost sight of them! They went and buggered off without us, over,” said Sirius into a walkie-talkie.

“Excellent. Remus is terrible at keeping up conversation, over,” came the response from James.

“Things’ll be going downhill in a jiffy, over,” replied Lily. This was perhaps the only civilised conversation she’d ever had with James.

“I’ve got a visual on McLupin,” came Peter’s voice.

“Okay, first of all you forgot to say over,” said Sirius. “Second of all, McLupin? Third of all, OH GOD WHERE ARE THEY? WHAT’S HAPPENING OVER?”

“They’re in Honeydukes. They look fine? Uh, over,” said Peter.

“Getting there now, over,” said Lily. “I’ll go in, I’m less recognisable than you—“

“No, I’ll go in!” said James. “You have bright red hair, over!”

There was protest from Lily, but James was eventually the one who went in. 

“What’s going on, Prongs, over?” Lily’s voice came over the radio. She was deeply unenthusiastic about the code names, but agreed as long as hers was ‘Redwing’.

“Moony’s actually keeping a conversation, over,” said Prongs.

There was a shocked silence.

“Oh, shit, he made her blush! What the fuck? Who is this smooth criminal and what has he done with Moony, over?” 

Sirius and Lily were both gaping. 

“Peter, where are you, over?” Lily said into the walkie talkie.

“Zonko’s. This got boring really fast.”

“Ugh, Pete, you whore,” said Sirius.

"Why are we hiding again, over?" asked Lily. "The original plan was to stay with them."

"This is more fun, over," said Sirius.

"Sirius, you're right next to me. You don't need to use the walkie talkie."

"I WANT TO, OVER."

 

2nd March, 1975

1.12pm

“Why are we doing this again?” James asked, looking over at them as they got lunch together. “I really don’t see the point, they seem to like each other. Over.”

Lily scoffed. “Isn’t it obvious, Potter? Over.”

“Don’t be stupid, Prongs. Over,” chimed in Sirius. "Wait - why are you doing this?"

 

“I’m hungry.” Sirius jumped as Peter appeared over his shoulder. 

 

2nd March, 1975

2.51pm

Sirius let out a loud gasp. “They’re going into a bookstore! This has gone too far! It must end now! James, do something! Stop them!”

“Why?”

“If Remus is going to fall in love with anyone it’s going to be in a bookstore, you fucko—”

Mary and Remus were just chatting when suddenly an apparently insane deer tackled Mary to the ground and dragged her by the cardigan away from the bookstore. Remus gave the deer a horrifying death stare that could kill a man, and it sheepishly buggered off.

“Are you alright?”

She looked lightly disturbed, but unhurt. “I—yeah, I’m fine. Did you just…stare off a crazed deer?”

“What in the name of fuck, Prongs. Over,” said Sirius. 

“It worked, didn’t it?!” insisted James.

“Goddammit, Light of my Life,” said Sirius. “Over.”

 

2nd March, 1975

8.24pm

Remus walked her back to the common room after dinner, making idle conversation as they walked together. No one was up there; most were upstairs in their dorms, or desperately doing homework that they inevitably hadn’t done.

“Hey, I had a nice time today,” she said, with a sweet smile. “Even if I did get…tackled by an insane deer.”

He laughed. “Yeah. Me too.”

She looked away, blushing, and suddenly she was kissing him.

Hmm.

He was kissing her back, he realised, but…it wasn’t quite what he expected. Lord. This was going on for a bloody while.

Was this just what it is? Did he like her now?

She broke away, flushed, and gave him another kiss on the cheek.

“Goodnight, Remus.”

“Night, Mary.”

She walked away and Lily popped up from her hiding space behind a chair. “LUPIN—“

Remus yelled. “Mother of FUCK—“

“NO.”

“What do you mean, no!?” Remus clutched his chest. “Gave me a goddamn heart attack, Jesus—“

“I mean no! Why did you kiss her?”

“You what?!”

“That was the most bored I’ve ever seen someone when having a girl kiss them—“

Bored?” He may not be the most enthusiastic, but bored?

“You were basically checking your watch to see when it’d be over.” Lily shook her head. “You don’t like her!”

“REMUS, DON’T DO IT, SHE’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR—“ Sirius burst into the common room, James and Peter behind him. “It already happened, didn’t it?”

Lily nodded. “And shut the fuck up, Sirius, she is far too good for this lanky son of a bitch—“

“Could you tone it down a tad there Lils?” Remus was lightly offended.

“No! Look,” she sighed. “Just…you have to tell her you don’t want to be in a relationship, or whatever. Before this gets out of hand.”

 

12th March, 1975

9.08pm

“Lily help this has gotten out of hand,” said Remus. 

“No shit.” Lily looked at him wearily.

“How do I deal with it?”

“First order of business: I told you so.”

Remus sighed. “Yes you did. She’s a terrible kisser! And she doesn’t get my jokes!”

“Alright, alright. Calm down. You still like her as a person, let’s not blow it out of proportion,” Lily sighed.

“Sorry. She’s perfectly nice, but I just…I can’t deal with spending that much time with a person who isn’t funny. Her birthday present to me was a necklace with M on it! People are asking me if I’m in a relationship with Marlene!”

“So you break up with her! Say ‘Mary, I’m sorry, but I think I’d prefer to just be friends.’”

“Lily, I’m about as confident as a not confident thing.”

“Just do it! Woman up!” Lily put her hands on her hips.

Remus cowered.

“Alright, I’m issuing an ultimatum. If you don’t break up with her by Potter’s birthday, then Sirius will do it for you. And also I will call you ‘My Liege’ for a month.”

“Oh dear god—I’ll do it. No more needs to be said.”

“I’ll make sure he’s wearing neon when he does it, as well.”

“I said no more needs to be said!”

 

Chapter Text

27th March, 1975

7.09am

James was woken up by a loud crash. “HAPPY BIRTHDAY,” shrieked a chorus of first years. One of them had cymbals. 

where had they come from, he thought

where would they go

“Padfoot, did you hire children? That’s illegal,” said James, sitting up. “Begone, tiny rodents.”

“That’s RATIST,” came Peter’s indignant voice. The first years scurried off, giggling.

“Sorry, Wormtail,” said James. “Is that all? Pretty weak birthday prank, Pads. I flooded the Slytherin Common Room in your honour!”

Sirius grinned. “Just wait.”

Remus was still in bed, awaiting his fate. Soon.

“LUPIN!” Lily Evans stormed into the room, to a rather indignant and very half-naked James’ surprise, and gave Remus a death stare to end all death stares. “WE DISCUSSED TERMS, AND YOU HAVE NOT MET THEM. I WILL FOLLOW THROUGH.”

Remus sighed. “I know, I know. Just give me until midnight.”

“Fine. Remember the terms,” she said ominously, backing out of the room.

“What is it with Marlene's dorm and walking in on my when I’m not wearing any clothes?” asked James hopelessly.

“What deal was this?” Sirius asked.

“Don’t worry about it,” said Remus.

 

27th March, 1975

7.39am

The Slytherins walked uncomfortably into the Great Hall. Some more followed. There was something a bit off with them. It was...kind of like a band of Weasleys. 

How many ginger Slytherins could there possibly be?

A lot of them, apparently.

A lot.

Ah.

James elbowed Sirius. “Padfoot, you genius—“

“Remus helped!” Sirius was grinning ear to ear.

“I take no credit, because I don’t want to die,” said Remus. “But yes. I may have supplied the dye.”

“Peter was the one who put it in the shampoo,” said Sirius.

“And the conditioner,” added Peter. “Unfortunately, I don’t think it’ll get to Snivellus.”

James and Sirius snorted. “Imagine that!” said Sirius. “Ginger Snivelly. That’s a nightmare to imagine.”

Remus rolled his eyes. “Alright, rein it in, fuckos.”

 

27th March, 1975

12.41pm

“Why is Evans death glaring you?” asked James, over his chicken.

Remus shrugged. “Who knows? Lily is a deadly force.”

 

27th March, 1975

10.07pm

Remus came up to Lily in the common room with a singular red cheek. “Mission accomplished. Painfully.”

“Jesus, Remus, what happened to you?”

He held up finger guns with a pained grin on his face. “Got slapped. Hell yeah.”

“What - by Mary?! She…doesn’t seem the type.”

“Her best friend Florence is, though,” said Remus.

“Oh, yeah. Flossie likes drama.” Lily stretched. “You weren’t awful, were you?”

“Awful?”

“Tell me exactly what you said.”

“I said ‘Mary, I’m really sorry, but I don't really think we suit each other as a couple. I find it kind of awkward since we have so many friends in common.’”

“No way you are that smooth, Lupin. Tell the truth,” Lily said sternly.

“It was that, but with a lot more ‘ums’.”

Lily sighed. “Just don’t get slapped again.”

“I don’t think there’ll be any cause for it, to be honest. I’m not the most assertive of creatures.”


28th March, 1975

11.44pm

James was definitely one for big parties, but surprisingly not when they were about him. So, the usual gang were crowded around the fireplace, drinking. 

James suddenly stood up. “Guys. I need to show you something rad.”

There was a slightly bored reaction. James opened a box to reveal a silvery cloak.

“Your Dumbledore cosplay arrived!” exclaimed Sirius delightedly.

“No, you fool.” He put it on, and half his body just…fuckin disappeared. There was a series of shocked noises.

“Am I just…really drunk?” asked Marlene, squinting.

“Marly, you didn’t eat dinner today, have snacks,” said Lily. “I will force feed you biscuits. Don't drink on an empty stomach.”

“Lily, you didn’t eat dinner either, you fool.”

“EAT,” yelled Lily. James looked at her briefly and turned back to the rest of the group.

“I am INVINCIBLE,” he yelled. “In…sieveable. Inconceivable!”

“You read the Princess Bride?” asked Remus, confused.

“What’s that?”

“LET’S PLAY NEVER HAVE I EVER!” shrieked Marlene.

“Hell yeah,” agreed Sirius. “Hands up! Never have I ever…lost a drinking competition.”

“…It’s true,” said an ashamed James, putting a finger down. Peter, Alice and Marlene, all looking wearily at Dorcas, also put a finger down.

“Alright, never have I ever skinny dipped,” said James. Only Sirius put a finger down.

“Neeeeeerds,” he said.

“Never have I ever…stolen alcohol from my parents,” said Marlene. Remus and Sirius were both down another finger. James would’ve put a finger down, as he'd considered doing it before, but his mum was Indian, and no way in fuck was he risking death for the sake of a beer.

“Man, I suck at this game!” Sirius whined.

“Never have I ever flirted my way out of trouble,” said Dorcas. Sirius, Marlene, Alice… and Remus? Sirius stared at him. 

“Never have I ever punched a family member,” said Lily, smirking at Sirius. 

“You are CONSPIRING AGAINST ME, THIS IS ILLEGAL,” he yelled. Dorcas and Sirius both put a finger down. No one was surprised.

“Never have I ever accidentally said ‘I love you’ to someone,” said Peter. Everyone immediately stared at Sirius.

“It’s a REFLEX!” he insisted. Lily also quietly put a finger down.

James whooped. “And you’ve said it to literally everyone here. You’re out of fingers, Black!”

“Boo. Do I do a shot or something? What’s the system here?” He frowned.

“You do a DARE,” yelled Alice. “I dare you to kiss the prettiest girl.”

“I’m GAY, SHARON,” he complained.

“We know,” said everyone in the entire world. 

“Dare still stands! I mean, I just wanted to remove James from the equation. So prettiest person that is not James,” said Alice.

“Excluding James is cheating!” Sirius fell over dramatically. 

“It's a dare, bitch,” said Peter. He had managed not to fall asleep this time.

Sirius sat up and gave Alice a kiss on the cheek. 

“Boo! You did that because I’d murder you if you didn’t!” Alice punched him.

“And I don’t want to die!” Sirius complained. 

“MOVING ON! Never have I ever kissed a boy,” said Remus. “At least, I don’t think so.”

Sirius sighed and put another finger down. Marlene, Alice, and Lily all did the same.

“Worst experience of my life,” said Marlene. Sirius looked mildly offended.

“I wasn’t that bad!” he protested.

“Your bravado got in the way,” she grinned.

“Rude.”

“Does it count if a boy kissed me?” asked James. Most people nodded.

“This is booooring,” said Alice.

“You suggested it!” protested James.

“No, let’s skip it,” said Sirius.

“Status of love lives!” said Alice. “Remus! I know some shit’s been going down with you.”

“It was not shit, I dated Mary extremely briefly then realised I couldn’t stand it,” he said.

“Well that’s far more boring than I thought it would be,” said Alice, disappointed. “Sirius! You always have some juicy gossip for me.”

“Ehhh. Couple of choice flirts. Brief makeout sessions. Etcetera,” Sirius said, relaxed.

“Makeout sessions with who?” she asked.

“Dumbledore.”

“Boo. James?”

“My love life is a listless wasteland and I am unloveable, and will never be loved,” he said, apparently dejected by the prospect of Lily kissing a boy.

“You’re not wrong,” said Lily, entirely unsympathetic. “My love life is kind of dull. I’ve dated a couple guys, but they were like…boring as hell.”

“I’m not even going to ask Peter—Marlene, Dorcas? Anything? How’s Honeymoon Land?”

“Still a lesbian,” said Marlene.

“Same,” added Dorcas, giving Marlene a kiss on the forehead.

“Ugh. This is personally offensive. None of you have any good DRAMA,” Alice yelled.

“So let’s mix shit up!” suggested Lily. “Potter! I dare you to kiss Alice.”

“A REAL MAN NEVER BACKS AWAY FROM A CHALLENGE,” yelled, surprisingly, not James, but Alice. 

“LISTLESS WASTELAND,” he shrieked.

“Oi! Kissing me is not a listless wasteland,” complained Alice.

Fine. Let’s do spin the bottle!” cried Lily. “The Firewhiskey’s empty anyway.”

“Get into it,” said Remus, grabbing the bottle and chucking it at Marlene.

“Why me?” she complained, immediately and with no prompting spinning it. It landed on Peter, but she moved it so it pointed at Dorcas. No one complained. 

Dorcas shook her head. “I’m excluded from this game on the basis of I hate you,” she said, through Marlene, which was slightly disgusting.

Lily was next. Her bottle landed on Remus, who she gave a kiss on the cheek.

“Kisses on the cheek are cheating!” shouted Alice. "Be a man, Remus!" Remus just shrugged wearily.

Peter was asleep.

Alice’s landed on Peter. “It seems dicey to kiss him while he’s asleep.”

“Oh nooooooo,” said Lily. “Looks like it’s Remus’ turn. I’ll even spin for you!” She moved the bottle so it was pointing towards Sirius. 

“Now…kiss!” said James. 

Remus got up. “I’m going to bed.”

Sirius did the same. “Bye, hoes.”

They left, and Lily and James both swore under their breath. “I was so close!” James said.

“Hang on—you’re trying to get them together too?” Lily was baffled. 

James gasped. “We have something in common!”

“Please don’t align yourself with me,” she said. 

“What is this?” asked Marlene.

“Remus and Sirius got it for each other and they need to GET TOGETHER,” said James.

“No way,” said Dorcas. “I thought Remus was straight?”

Everyone looked at Lily (Lily knows everything about everyone), who shrugged. “Who knows?”

“They would be a cute couple, though,” mused Alice. “Then my inner drama queen would be satisfied.”

“Alice, your inner drama queen is just your entire personality,” said Dorcas, earning her a swift jab to the ribs. “OW, my BOOB—”

“THE POINT IS,” said Alice, “they should get together.”

“They’re sOULMATES,” screeched James. He suddenly gasped. “We should team up!” He pointed at Lily.

“You are the worst person in the world but you are also.........right,” said Lily. She acted as though it was physically painful to admit. James squeaked indignantly.

“Slightly offended but also victorious. Who else is joining the endeavour?” he asked. Marlene and Alice both half-assedly raised their hands.

“Dorcas, you are a TRAITOR TO THE CAUSE,” yelled James. She sighed.

“Should we wake up Peter?” asked Lily, to which literally everyone vehemently shook their heads.

“Let’s make it a bet! Whoever can make them get together the fastest is owed five Galleons from everyone in rest of the group,” said Alice. 

 

Chapter Text

29th March, 1975

12.38pm

Sirius was leaning on Lily’s shoulder, doodling. “Bet this won’t help the rumour that we’re dating, huh?”

“Probably not. Hey, let me braid your hair!” Lily said suddenly. Sirius nodded.

“Sure.” 

 

29th March, 1975

1.44pm

“You have a flower in your hair,” said Remus, looking hopelessly at him. “How?” He leant over and plucked it out.

Sirius chuckled. “Lily.”

James was in a bush, watching them.

“Hey, nerd!” he said, jumping out of the bush and pointing at a terrified first-year. “Let me borrow your Omnioculars!” Horrified and confused, the first-year instantly passed them over, earning him a punch to the stomach from Lily, who literally ran across the courtyard to stop him.

“Stalking them isn’t going to get them together!” she yelled, handing the Omnioculars back to the kid. He looked at them oddly.

“I thought Black was dating you? And wasn’t Lupin dating McDonald?” he asked.

“You need to get with the program, shrimpy, McDonald and Remus broke up two days ago,” said James.

“POTTER, WE’VE FUCKING TALKED ABOUT SHRIMPY.”

Sirius and Remus stared at them. “What the fuck are those guys doing?” asked Remus. Sirius shrugged.

“Let’s get out of here.”

 

29th March, 1975

4.52pm

“Remus!” Alice came up behind him and grabbed him by the collar as he was talking to James.

“This is kidnapping!” he protested. “Prongs, help me!” James just shrugged and waved. Alice dragged him over to a seat in the common room and sat him down.

“I’m going to put eyeliner on you and there is nothing you can do about it.”

Why?”

 

29th March, 1975

5.33pm

“Remus, who put eyeliner on you?” asked Lily, mildly concerned. 

“Alice. She poked me in the eye with the stick.” 

“You look like a panda.”

“I know! How do you get it off?” Remus looked dead. 

“Here, I have some makeup wipes on me. Now…” Lily passed him the wipes.

“Oh, god.”

“Let me do it properly for you!”

 

29th March, 1975

6.08pm

“Hey, Sirius, I think Remus wanted to talk to you,” said Lily. “He’s over there.”

“Oh. What for?” Sirius asked.

“……………………Charms help.”

“What?”

“Just go!” She shoved him in Remus’ general direction.

“Moony, why do you need me for Charms help—“ Sirius stopped as Remus turned around.

“Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Hhhh. I. have to go over here now. EVANS—”

Lily smirked at him. “What?”

“Did you put eyeliner on him?” he said in a stage whisper. 

“I can hear you,” called Remus, going back to his book.

“Why does he look like that?” Sirius whispered, quieter this time.

“I can still hear you, Pads.” 

Lily was laughing deviously. “He looks hot, right? I didn’t think his weird, lanky, skinny, constantly uncomfortable-looking—“

“Lily. It’s only Tuesday. I don’t need this.” Remus still hadn’t looked up from his book, but his face was mildly wearier.

“It’s Saturday, babe, I can do what I want. Anyway! Weird, lanky, skinny, constantly uncomfortable, bony—”

“I get the picture, Redwing. What the fuck?” Sirius was bright red.

She winked and walked away.

 

31st March, 1975

8.44pm

“Mr Black.” The cold voice of Minerva McGonagall came from behind him. 

Sirius shuddered and turned around. “Minnie!”

“Five points from Gryffindor. You need to learn to properly address your professors. What are you doing sneaking away from the Great Hall at this time?” Her arms were folded.

“Just having a late dinner, Professor! You know me. Sunday dinners are just…the best,” said Sirius.

“It’s Monday. I can assure you that the Great Hall will be thoroughly checked before tomorrow.”

“What’s tomorrow?” Sirius asked innocently. 

She stared at him coldly. “Nothing, I’m sure. Get back to your dorm, Mr Black.”

 

1st April, 1975

12.39am

“Shit,” said James under his breath, narrowly avoiding a patrolling Slughorn. “Nearly got caught there, lads. Over.”

“If you get caught, I’ll kill you, Prongs. Over,” said Sirius through the walkie-talkie.

“I swear to god, if I get in trouble because of you lot again,” grumbled Peter. “I’ll kill the lot of you. Over.”

“Ravenclaw common room and Charms classrooms are done,” said Remus. “…Over.”

“Slytherin and Hufflepuff common rooms done. Over,” said Sirius.

“Same for the Gryffindor common room and Transfiguration classrooms,” said James. “Peter? Status? Over.”

“All done over here,” said Peter, yawning. “Over.”

 

1st April, 1975

8.03am

The entire school was on edge on this day. There was nothing that could quite prepare them, they thought, for the carnage that would await them.

They were correct. 

The Gryffindor common room had been painted entirely pink. Every time a student entered from the dorms, a sprinkle of glitter fell on their heads. The chairs were sparkly. So was the fireplace. And the fire. How, no one knew.

The Ravenclaw common room, which only Remus had been able to get into, had been almost entirely replaced with cardboard. The tables, the chairs, the books, everything. One student was still awake reading when Remus went in there, but apparently Remus managed to keep them quiet. He was a Ravenclaw whisperer.

The Hufflepuff common room’s floor had been entirely covered in cupcakes. Perfectly frosted cupcakes. How they got these, the rest of the world need not know. As for how the Hufflepuffs were going to get to any lessons…oh, well, they probably had enough food (and weed) upstairs to sustain an army for a year.

The Slytherin common room…now that was the Marauder’s pride and joy. It had been entirely coloured red and gold, with…flattering pictures of several Slytherin students, including Barty Crouch, Regulus Black, Bertram Aubrey, and, to exactly no one’s surprise, Severus Snape.

There was no corner left un-spray-painted. All the chairs were completely gone (*cough* thrown in the Black Lake *cough*) and the floor was covered in a strange sticky substance that made your feet stick to the floor.

Those who made it to the Great Hall were greeted by Blue Suede’s ‘Hooked on a Feeling’ playing very loudly on a loop. Very. Loudly.

The Potions classroom was full of slugs. Subtle messaging there, lads.

The Charms classroom had a simpering Gilderoy Lockhart’s photo plastered around it, with the caption ‘charming’. He was thrilled. 

The Transfiguration classroom had had stray cats released into it, resulting in a very sneezy (and murderous) Dorcas. 

The greenhouses had been left thoroughly the fuck alone. The Marauders didn’t fuck with deadly plants.

There was also absolutely no evidence linking them to any of these crimes, and that was infuriating. Usually the Marauders left a trail that was easier to follow than Hagrid covered in neon paint, but once they got Remus to actually try, they were invisible.

“Come now, we have to punish them!” cried Slughorn, in the staff room. “It’s obvious that this carnage is down to them.”

“Horace, we don’t have any proof,” said McGonagall, looking sternly down at them. “Guilty until proven innocent is not a sustainable system.”

“I’m afraid I have to side with Minerva,” said Flitwick tiredly. “There’s nothing linking them to the pranks, and they all have excuses.”

Slughorn was furious.

 

an aside 

a scene taking place in the staff room roughly two months earlier

“SIRIUS BLACK AND LILY EVANS ARE DATING,” shrieked Slughorn, bursting into the classroom. “SUCK IT, MINERVA! YOU OWE ME TEN GALLEONS!”

She stared at him, shocked. “Evans?”

“I thought he was dating McKinnon?” said Flitwick, gently setting his tea down.

“Not anymore. God, Filius, keep up,” sighed McGonagall.

Dammit,” yelled Sprout, slamming her tea down. “I was betting on Sirius and Marlene! And Remus seems like he’d pair well with Lily.”

“McKinnon is not…male-oriented,” said McGonagall. “She’s with that Meadowes girl.”

“Ah, Dorcas! That’s a good pairing, I think,” said Flitwick, taking a sip from his mug. “Now, what were you saying about Evans and Mr Lupin, Pomona?”

McGonagall shook her head. “You’re all blind fools. Blind fools. Lily and Remus would never work, they’re both interested in someone else.”

“Ah, because Evans likes Black!” said Slughorn triumphantly.

Minerva looked at him weakly. “Evans and Black aren’t dating, I can guarantee it. I believe Black is about as straight as McKinnon.”

“Black is straight,” said Slughorn with certainty. “Absolutely.”

 

and back to the story

 

2nd April, 1975

9.15am

“I can’t believe we cleaned everything up,” grumbled Peter, yawning, as they walked to Charms. “We could’ve just let it be!”

Remus looked at him sternly. “That is not the Marauder way, Wormtail. Decency is second only to a good prank.”

“Yeah, Wormy,” said Sirius. “Morality!”

“Shut it. You were whining all of yesterday, Padfoot,” said James. “Fuck morality.”

“…Wise words, Mr Potter,” said Flitwick, walking past.

“Goddamn, why does Flitwick always walk past when I say stupid shit?” asked James.

“Because you’re always saying stupid shit,” said Lily, also walking past.

“Hot fuckerino.”

“Five points from Gryffindor,” said McGonagall.

James gaped.

“Why wouldn’t we tell anyone that we cleaned it up?” asked Peter. “We could’ve at least taken credit for cleaning up.”

“No, bitch. That would’ve linked us to it,” said James, running a hand through his hair.

“Stop doing that, James, it makes you look like an idiot. But he’s right,” Remus said, now turning to Peter. “We’re not exactly the most innocent kids in school and cleaning up would’ve linked us to it.”

Peter sighed. “I guess you’re right.”

“Hey, we nearly beat Flitwick to class! Now we’re going to be late, dammit!” yelled Sirius suddenly.

“Oh, shit,” said Remus. “Should we run?”

“Nnnnnoooooooooooooo,” whined Sirius. Remus grabbed his wrist and dragged him.

Chapter Text

4th April, 1975

2.44am

“We’d gone four months,” said a half-amused, half-tired as shit Remus, as he came into the common room to an angsty Sirius. “And we have class tomorrow!”

Sirius sighed. “HORMONES.”

Remus gave a weak smile. “Not all of your emotions have to be jokes, you know, mate.”

Sirius scoffed. “This is coming from you? Damn.”

“I know, I know. It’s like when you called me a whore,” said Remus. “That was an experience and a half, let me tell you.”

“Speaking of me being a whore, I may be gay and ready to slay, but I found out that Frank Longbottom is bi and willing to try.”

Remus looked at him vacantly. “Don’t want to know how you found that out.”

“He’s added to the new list of brief makeout sessions. He’s a surprisingly good kisser,” said Sirius, stretching and lying down on Remus’ lap.

“Did not need or want to know,” Remus groaned. A small fire had apparently been set inside one of his lungs. It was inconvenient. “Padfoot?”

“Mm?”

“Why are you really up?” Remus looked down at him, suddenly sincere.

“Eh. Couldn't sleep. I'm shit at sleep.” He exhaled sharply and closed his eyes.

“Now that’s one thing I’m not shit at. You should drink more tea.”

“Isn’t tea caffeinated? I already drink ninety cups of coffee a day, Moony, I don’t need more.”

“You can get decaf tea, moron. And there’s part of the reason you can never sleep. Caffeine is fantastic for fucking up sleep schedules.” Remus realised he was lecturing, and he did not give two shits.

“Sorry, Professor Lupin. I’ll do better.” Sirius was smirking now.

“Shut up. Can you imagine me as a professor? God, that’d be a nightmare.” Remus leant back on his arms.

“I don’t think you’d be that bad. You’re good at teaching,” said Sirius.

“Yeah, but…children. And I’d be a bad influence!” This made Sirius snort, but Remus shoved him. “I would! I’d end up telling first years that Peeves would eat them, or something.”

“Nah, you’d be fine. You’d make a good DADA teacher. I think the really horrifying idea, though, is me as a teacher.”

“Oh sweet Jesus. The world isn’t ready for that. The world doesn’t deserve that. Oh, god. That is an absolutely nightmarish thought,” said Remus.

“All right, no need to lay it on that thick! God, I’d be shit, though. I’d kill someone.”

“Not even, like, accidentally. Someone’d say something stupid and you’d just whip around and explode them.”

“I’d get annoyed that they weren’t understanding something that I was explaining badly and just fucking hex them.” Sirius grinned suddenly. “This is weird.”

“What?” 

“Just…this. Talking about our futures and shit. I’m never going to be an adult.” He gasped abruptly. “You know what I never want? Children.”

“ME NEITHER.”

“You know what I do want, though? To be like…the cool uncle. That takes the kid to theme parks and stuff, and then buys them badass gifts. Without all the diaper changing and shit.”

“I’d be the worst dad. I mean, first of all, the werewolf thing—“

“Shut up immediately. That’s not a limit on your parenting skills.” Sirius suddenly looked stern. 

“Hi, child who I’m meant to be raising, I’m literally the thing that you think is hiding under your bed. Love me!” Sirius punched him in the stomach, winding him. “Jesus fuck—“

“Shut the fuck up. You’re not a monster, Remus, and you’d be a fine dad.”

Remus snorted. “Lies. I’d immediately forget to feed the child and just accidentally leave it to die.”

“Now that is a valid reason that you’d be a deeply shitty parent. Either it would die or you'd die.” Sirius sighed deeply. “Bet you’d be better than my parents, though. At least you wouldn’t try to set your kid up with their cousin.”

What? Sweet Jesus,” Remus said, horrified.

“She’s a right cow, as well.”

“That’s not the takeaway from that!” 

“I know, I know. Intensely disturbing. Somehow being gay isn’t allowed, but incest? Sure.” Sirius had suddenly gotten annoyed. Remus didn’t say anything, so they just sat there in silence. That’s how it always seemed to end up. 

“I’m going to head up to the dorm,” said Sirius suddenly, after a while. “You coming?”

Remus shook his head. He felt weirdly awake.

 

4th April, 1975

3.31am

“Remus? This is new,” said Lily. “It’s usually Sirius.” She flopped down next to him.

“I know, right? And it’s a Friday morning,” said Remus regretfully. “I’m gonna regret this like all hell tomorrow.”

“I’ve been meaning to talk to you, actually,” she said. He didn’t say anything, so she went on. “D’you remember, a while back, when you punched that asshole in the face?”

“Yup. My greatest and only achievement.” Remus was pretty sure he knew where this was going and he wasn’t sure he wanted it to go there.

“Yeah—I…I don’t want to push you, and I know this is a sore subject, but you kind of ran away from it. The…bi thing?” Lily was tiptoeing and it was irritating.

“You don’t need to tiptoe, it’s fine.” Remus’ voice was tight. “I’m straight, Lils.”

Her eyes narrowed. “Okay.”

He smiled slightly awkwardly. “Never thought coming out as straight would get a disappointed reaction.”

“I’m not disappointed, Remus. Of course—of course I’m not. I’m glad you’ve…settled on something.” Lily was fumbling a bit, but Remus didn’t mind. She’d had a very fixed idea for a very long time, and it was going to take a while to remove that idea from her mind. It was fine. Absolutely fine.

“Anyway, I’m sure about it. Completely,” he said, attempting to solidify what he’d said.

“What about…” Lily trailed off. “Never mind.”

Remus chuckled. “Were you…trying to convince me to be not straight?”

“Power of words,” she said, suddenly relaxing. “They’ve caused wars, you know.”

“Mm.”

“I believe you, Remus. I mean, you’re an amazing liar, but I believe you.” She sighed. “I do.”

Remus nodded. “Cool.”

She wasn’t smiling. “You should go to bed. It’s late.”

“I know.” He didn’t move.

She got up and patted him on the shoulder. “Go to bed.”

 

4th April, 1975

10.11am

sirius is bold

james is italics underlined

remus is italics

peter is bold italics

 

Someone’s yawny today.

Didn’t sleep much.

YEET THE PRANK’S IN PLACE

Yeet?

anachronisms. it’s almost as if the author wasn’t alive in the 70s and has a different concept of how teenagers speak

What? 

He does this sometimes it’s fine

You’re a weird dude, Padfoot.

HANG ON SHIT I DIDN’T DO THE HOMEWORK

I know I did some for you in case

PRONGS YOU ARE A GOD

He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!

?????????

Anachronism. Anyway! Prank! also prongs you are the best friend in the world, jesus christ.

ohohohohohohohohohoho he’s going for it

I love that you took the time to write out that whole thing. o shit he’s going to take the baitDAMN

baitDAMN

baitDAMN

baitDAMN.

 

Slughorn touched the handle to the potions cupboard and a shower of glitter fell onto him. A shower. His face went maroon, which, incidentally, was the colour of the glitter. 

“BOYS.” He turned, fucking livid, to the four boys leaning on each other lazily in the back row. They were all smirking.

“Yes, Professor Slughorn?” said Sirius, sickly sweet.

“I’m loving the new accessories, sir,” said Peter, trying not to laugh.

“The colour really complements that tie,” said James, leaning on Sirius.

“I think gold’d be better on you, to be frank, sir,” said Sirius. “It’d bring out your eyes.”

Slughorn turned purple. “TO PROFESSOR MCGONAGALL’S, THE LOT OF YOU,” he said thunderously.

“On what grounds?” asked Remus. The other boys grinned mischievously.

“I—this! Of course, this!” Slughorn was fuming.

“How do you know we did it?” Remus leant his head on his hand.

“I—who else could’ve—“

“Sir, if you don’t have any basis for the accusation, I’m afraid punishing us would be profoundly unethical.”

Slughorn seethed, and stormed out of the classroom.

“All RIGHT,” said Sirius, hopping up onto a table. “I’M THE PROFESSOR NOW!”

“Hell yeah,” piped up Marlene.

 

8th April, 1975

8.53pm

“Sirius.” 

Sirius turned around to see Regulus Black standing behind him, leaning on the wall of a corridor. Hot dang. He’d picked that up from him.

“None of your little Death Eater friends with you this time?” Sirius crossed his arms. 

Regulus bit his lip. “You’ve been ignoring me.”

“Jesus fuck. I wonder why?” Sirius said. He was being overly hostile and he knew it, but fuck it. He didn’t fuck with baby Death Eaters. Not today, Satan. Not today.

“Sirius, I’m your brother. You can’t just pretend I don’t exist.” He stood up properly, in that stiff, upright posture that had been drilled into him since childhood. Sirius looked at him, disgusted, and made an effort to slouch even more than he usually did. He’d probably fuck up his back pretty bad, but whatever. Worth it. (Not worth it. Have good posture, kids.)

“Come on. You wouldn’t come talk to me without a reason. Spit it out,” said Sirius.

Regulus sighed. “Always…so perceptive.”

“Fucking out with it.”

“…It’s…something Mother said.”

Mother?” Sirius scoffed. “Right.”

“About how you’ve been acting lately. She’s been even worse than usual.” Regulus seemed uncomfortable. “I just…I had to tell you. And I wanted to say…sorry.”

Sorry?” Sirius suddenly stepped towards him. Regulus took a step back.

“Yeah.”

Sirius nodded. Then he leant backwards and punched him in the face. 

“Jesus--”

Sirius stalked off. 

 

9th April, 1975

9.33am

“Mr Black, Professor McGonagall has asked to see you in her office,” said Professor Sprout as Sirius walked in the door.

“But that would be interrupting my learning! Professor Sprout, how could even think about—“

“Sirius, you’re 28 minutes late and wearing a tutu,” she said, looking back to the class.

“Dress codes are a VIOLATION OF MY CREATIVE OUTPUT AND A DISRUPTION TO MY LEARNING EXPERIENCE…” His voice got quieter and quieter as he left the class.

Sprout turned to Remus. 

“Yep. I will be better. I’ll drag him here if I have to.” Remus looked tired. James patted him on the shoulder.

Sirius barged into McGonagall’s office, and then immediately went back out and knocked.

“I suppose that’s an improvement?” She looked up from her marking. “Sit down, Black.”

Sirius slumped down in a chair, his tutu riding up slightly. Thankfully, he was wearing his school trousers underneath. She looked at the tutu wearily.

“Did you need something from me, Professor?” He crossed his legs.

“Professor Flitwick saw you fighting with another student in the sixth-floor corridor last night.”

Sirius shrugged. “Oops.”

“Is that a confession?” McGonagall gave him a piercing glare.

Sirius huffed. “Not necessarily. What if it was?”

“I know you did it, Mr Black. My real question is as to why your brother is the one walking around with a broken nose?”

“He’s a clumsy guy. Always walking into fists.” Sirius leant back.

“You cannot just punch everyone who you disagree with, Black.” McGonagall was having deja vu.

“I just did.”

McGonagall sighed. “I’d give you a detention, but considering the…eighty four you’ve already had, they don’t seem to be particularly effective.”

“84? It seems like I should’ve had more.”

“Those are just the ones for fighting.”

“Ah.” Sirius gave her a smirk. “So what?”

So…you are banned from Quidditch. For a month.”

He leant forward. “What? You can’t ban me from Quidditch!”

“…In your words, I just did.” McGonagall stared at him, and Sirius Black, for once in his fucking life, was speechless.

“James is going to murder me—“

“I hope perhaps this will put an end to your fighting. Take the tutu off and get to class.”

 

Chapter Text

9th April, 1975

5.52pm

“You WHAT,” yelled James. “YOU CAN’T GET BANNED FROM QUIDDITCH, YOU ABSOLUTE FUCK—“

“IT’S NOT MY FAULT! MCGONAGALL IS BEING FUCKING RIDICULOUS—“

“Shut. Up.” Lily stalked towards them, murder in her eyes. Remus was behind her, with more murder in his eyes. “A, you are scaring the first years.”

“B,” said Remus, “you are swearing in front of the fucking first years.”

“So are you!” protested Sirius. 

“Remus isn’t yelling at the top of his lungs,” said Lily. “C! Sirius, how the FUCK did you get banned from Quidditch?”

“It was just some minimal punching!” Sirius said defensively.

“D, ‘you absolute fuck’? James! I raised you to insult better than that!” Remus looked both offended and disappointed. Lily elbowed him. “Sorry.”

“Sirius, how are you going to get back on the team? How long are you off for? Who’s going to replace you?” James said, slightly calmer.

“I’m off for a month, said McGoogle. I have no idea who can replace me, though, I’m a huge talent.” Sirius flopped down on a chair, defeated.

“Marlene,” said Peter. 

“Huh?” asked James.

“Ah, that’s brilliant, Pete!” Lily said. “She’s always wanted to join the Quidditch team. And she’s good!”

“But what am I going to do?!” complained Sirius. 

“Well, Florence is a bit of a shitty Quidditch commentator, right? She knows nothing about it. You do,” Remus chimed in.

“I do have the charm of a thousand men. How am I going to get Flossie to give up the position?” asked Sirius.

“She hates it,” said James. "That's a non-issue."

“I think the bigger question is how you’re going to get McGonagall to accept it,” said Peter.

“Charm of a thousand men,” said Sirius confidently.

 

10th April, 1975

1.47pm

“No,” said Professor McGonagall. “Absolutely not.”

“But Professor!” Sirius insisted. “I don’t actually have a point here, I just needed to protest.”

“When I say banned from Quidditch, I mean banned from Quidditch.”

“Professor, he wouldn’t actually be playing,” said James. “He’d just be commentating.”

“I think it’d be a productive way to make use of his knowledge of Quidditch without actually being allowed to play. If he's commentating, he's not on the team. He doesn't even technically have any house affiliation,” said Remus. McGonagall looked at the four boys before her coldly.

“And Mr Pettigrew? What about you? What do you think?”

“I think Florence is a bit useless—ow,” said Peter, being elbowed by Remus. “And so Sirius would probably make a better commentator. Flossie knows nothing about it. Sirius does.”

McGonagall sighed. “If you can find a replacement for Sirius as Beater and can get Florence to agree, then I suppose it couldn’t hurt.”

“Marlene McKinnon is going to replace Sirius. She nearly cried when I told her,” said James. “And I reckon we can get Flossie to agree. We’ll have a written agreement by the end of today, Professor! Not a spoken one, though, she terrifies me.”

“Get it to the staff room by six.”

“Yes! We are definitely going to do this!” 

 

10th April, 1975

4.08pm

“No.” Florence looked up at him angrily.

“What! Why?” asked James. “You don’t even like being commentator!”

“Yup. I hate it. But I want him,” she pointed at Remus, “to apologise to my best friend.”

“What? What did Remus do?” James was baffled. “He’s the least confrontational of all of us. Except for that one time, but that doesn’t count.”

“He broke up with her, and he was a dick about it.” Florence crossed her arms. “In fact, I’m pretty sure he is just a dick.”

“ExCUSE ME,” yelled Sirius, sprinting over from the other side of the common room. “WHAT DID YOU SAY?”

“I said Lupin is a dick.”

“I am going to tHROW HANDS JAMES, SOMEONE STOP ME,” yelled Sirius. He was promptly dragged away by Peter.

“Okay, maybe Black is even more of a dick than Lupin,” said Florence. 

“So…you want Remus to apologise to Mary,” said James. “For…breaking up with her?”

“Well, when you put it like that it sounds weird. It's mainly for being a dick about it.”

“Uhh. I’m sure I can make that happen.” James walked over to Remus. “Hey. You need to apologise to Mary McDonald for breaking up with her.”

“Huh?” Remus stared at him. “That seems…”

“I know, I know, but you know what Flossie’s like!” James clapped him on the shoulder. “I believe in you.”

“God fucking damn it. Where is she?” Remus asked, and James gestured over to the far corner.

 

10th April, 19756.18pm

“The shit we go through for you,” said James wearily, giving Sirius a Bro Hug (trademark). 

Remus looked even wearier. “You entirely don’t deserve this.”

“Thanks, guys. I’m going to be the BEST COMMENTATOR EVER!”

 

19th April, 1975

3.54pm

“Aaaand Aubrey takes the Quaffle! He wants everyone to know that he’s single and ready to mingle, but I’d advise against mingling with him because he’s a prick—sorry, Professor! Oh, that’s ten points for Hufflepuff. Aha, but Marlene - I mean, McKinnon from the Gryffindor team—the fabulous replacement for the wonderful moi — is doing excellently as Beater, no Bludger has even come close to the Gryffindor team! Marlene is almost as attractive as me, but unfortunately is decidedly not single or ready to mingle.”

Marlene winked at the audience.

“Oh, and that’s ten more to Gryffindor! That makes the score 30-20 to Gryffindor, fuck yeah—sorry, Professor—and there goes Prongs—I mean, Potter, with the Quaffle and HOLY SHIT (sorry Professor) THAT WAS THE DIONYSUS DIVE! Ahhhh, it didn’t work, though. Better luck next time, James. Now Potter is single, but decidedly not ready to mingle. His heart belongs to one woman and her name is FUCK—“

Somehow the Quaffle had gotten chucked at Sirius’ head. No one knew how.

“All right! I shall not reveal the name of Potter’s one true love. Ahh, and there’s Captain Dicky, the guardian of the hoops, making a brilliant save there. Oh, but in comes Female Hufflepuff Extra, scoring there.”

“He’s fucking awful. I love it,” said Remus to Lily, who had still not convinced him on the golden eyeliner.

“He’s actually amazing, though.” Lily was looking at the game. “At least he has enthusiasm, and knows what a Dionysus Dive is.”

“It’d be nice if he’d explain the shit, though. I’ve got no clue what a Dionysus Dive is, other than James just punched the ball.” Remus grinned. “Eh, he’s better than Florence.”

Lily elbowed him. “Hey, who d’you reckon James’ one true love was?”

Remus gave her a look. “No idea.”

Dorcas leant over. “Marlene’s surprisingly good, right? I didn’t know.”

“I know! She might even be better than Sirius,” said Lily. 

“That’s another ten to Gryffindor! At this rate we’re going to win, and I’m legally bound to announce that Davey Gudgeon, Dorcas Meadowes and Peter Pettigrew are on Firewhiskey duty for the Fourth Years. Sorry, I meant Butterbeer duty — slip of the tongue, Professor, slip of the tongue.”

Remus sighed. “He’s a work in progress.”

 

19th April, 1975

7.57pm

“HELL YEEEEAH!” shrieked James. “WE WON!”

“Of course you won, you fool, Hufflepuff are shit at Quidditch,” said Female Hufflepuff Extra, who was the only one to score for Hufflepuff that whole game. Someone should probably ask her for her name, but they’re all kind of scared of her.

“Sirius, nice job commentating, mate,” said Davey Gudgeon, the other Beater. “I think you’re better at that than being Beater, actually.”

“Suck my ASS, GUDGEON,” yelled Sirius. “But thank you.”

Davey gave him a wink. One of his eyes had a massive scar over it from an altercation with the Whomping Willow a few months earlier. Davey was the epitome of a Gryffindor, which meant he was a wholeass fool.

Frank and Alice were over in a corner, kissing. “Hot damn, she finally worked up the courage,” said Peter.

“There goes one of my makeout partners,” said Sirius wistfully.

“Bleh. You have like, twelve others. You’ve discerned basically everyone who’s gay in the whole castle and made out with them,” said Peter. “It’s impressive, more than anything, but also gross.”

Sirius looked over at the ‘dance floor’, and dear god. Jesus Christ. Every goddamn time. Why? Why would he, for the millionth time, continue to dance? It was like watching a giraffe try to ice skate, except the giraffe has no ice skates. Or legs. He basically looked about as good as a severed giraffe torso being thrown across some ice.

“James, I am morally bound to stop you,” said Lily, dragging him towards the snack table.

He gasped dramatically. “YOU CALLED ME JAMES!”

“Shut the fuck up, Potter.”

“OHOHOHOHO,” he said. Was it a laugh? Who knows?

“What in the Fuck,” she said. How she was able to say ‘Fuck’ with a capital ‘F’ was unknown, but she did.

“You should really go on a date with me, Evans. You’re PRETTY. And I LIKE YOU,” he yelled. 

“Begone.” She shoved him, and he fell down.

“You are CRUEL,” he shrieked.

“I owe you nothing, beast.” She walked away.

“Hey, Moony!” called James, still lying on the floor.

“What happened to you?” Remus stared down at him. “Did you ask out Lily again? You’re making it weird now.”

“You can’t talk about girls! You’re Mr Ladykiller! Breaking hearts left and right!” 

“Exactly zero percent of that is true.” Remus put his hands on his hips. “What did you want from me?”

“Oh, nothing.”

"POTTER!” shrieked Lily, as if she’d forgotten something. “Is that bet still on?”

James nodded. “Duh.”

“What bet is this?” asked Remus.

“Oh, it’s nothing,” said Lily, with an evil glint in her eye. She walked off, with unnerving purpose.

Remus shuddered.

 

19th April, 1975

11.08pm

“Hey, Lily, I’m going to head up to the dorm,” said Sirius. “I’m tired as FUCK.”

“Okay, I’ll tell the others,” she said, curled up in an armchair with a book. Her head suddenly flew up, and her eyes gleamed.

“You look scary,” said Marlene. “Have you thought of something to do about the bet? I’m completely stumped. They're both oblivious idiots.”

“Hey, Remus!” Lily yelled. “You should go to bed. You’re basically falling asleep into your book.”

“Mm,” said Remus sleepily.

“Go!” She shoved him off of the armchair.

He dragged himself up the stairs to the dorm. He opened the door to see Sirius with his shirt off. The door was immediately closed.

“Sorry,” he said, embarrassed.

“Remus, are you just really drunk? We’ve shared a dorm for four years.”

“Oh yeah,” Remus said, and immediately busted the door down. He flopped into bed, not even changing out of his clothes (though the clothes he wore were literally just jumpers, so it didn’t really matter).

“Damn it,” said Lily from the doorway. “I thought for sure that would work.”

Sirius just looked at her oddly, and Remus was already asleep. 

 

Chapter Text

28th April, 1975

4.11pm

“Moony! You know about Muggle stuff!” said Sirius suddenly. 

Remus looked up, slightly concerned. “What do you want?”

“Teach me some Muggle swears!” 

“You already—hmm. Hey, Lily?” he called. Lily looked up from her book.

“What?”

“Sirius wants me to teach him Muggle swears. Want to help?” he asked.

“Definitely.” She got up and sat on the arm of Remus’ chairs. “Be sure to tell Potter all of these, as well.”

Sirius flopped onto the chair opposite. “Teach me!”

 

29th April, 1975

1.43pm

Sirius dropped a book on his own foot. “Frangipane!”

Peter looked at him oddly. “What?”

“Lily and Remus taught me how to swear in Muggle. I’m testing them out.”

Peter nodded slowly. “What did they teach you, exactly? I bet you I know more than Remus.”

“Are you saying you have a larger swearing vocabulary than the Swearmaster? Bold words, Wormtail, bold words.”

“I bet he didn’t tell you about Maltesers.”

 

30th April, 1975

6.25pm

“John Cadbury’s nipples!” yelled James.

“Formula One! Vancouver Canucks!” shrieked Sirius.

“Did we teach them Vancouver Canucks? What is that?” asked Remus quietly, nudging Lily.

“I taught them that,” said Peter. “They’re a Canadian hockey team.”

“Nice one,” said Lily.

“TOM BAKER—“

“MICROWAVE POPCORN—“

“COCA-COLA—“

“HEROIN!”

Heroin?” asked Lily. Peter shrugged. 

“You taught them Tom Baker.”

“Doctor Who isn’t the same as hard drugs!” Remus said.

 

3rd May, 1975

8.07pm
“Alright! James has banned alcohol for the Quidditch team (apparently including me even though I’m fucking banned) tonight because we have practise tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun!” said Sirius, looking down at the group of bored fifteen-year-olds who violently disagreed with him. Frank Longbottom had joined them, at Alice’s insistence. Eh, Frank was fine.

“And how, pray tell, are we going to do that?” asked Remus.

“MAFIA!” yelled James.

“I’m going to be moderator, and you have to play. Or Marlene will punch you,” said Sirius.

“I will not.” Marlene flipped him off.

“Or I will punch you,” Sirius corrected himself. He handed out slips of paper. “Alright, it’s night time! Everyone close your eyes. Now…anyone who had a sheet of paper that said ‘Mafia’, open their eyes.” Remus and Dorcas opened their eyes. “An interesting bunch. Okay, you need to decide amongst yourselves — nonverbally, obviously — who in this town you were going to kill.” Dorcas pointed at Marlene. The other two nodded. “Okay. Now, the person who’s the Doctor please wake up.” This was James. “Who’re you saving?” James pointed at himself. “Ooh, a spicy choice. Now, the Serial Killer! Wakey wakey eggs and murder.” Lily opened her eyes and pointed at James with absolutely no hesitation. “Okay! Close your eyes. Now, the sun rises beautifully on the horizon, and you are all awoken. Except, of course, Marlene—” Marlene groaned. “—who decided to go on a misguided walk through the park at midnight, apparently having forgotten to pay her monthly debt to the mafia for her small bakery. She had her head chopped off and sent to her wife, Dorcas.”

“Gnarly,” said Marly. (could not resist)

“Moving on. James had woken up in the middle of the night, only to find he was out of milk. So he decided to pop to the supermarket, where his wife, me, works. He was brutally stabbed by the Serial Killer—“ this was met by cheers. “—Hang on! But the Doctor came and saved him, so no dead James.” This was met by boos. “Now it is time for the vote! You’ll have a while for discussion, and you’ll each vote on who you think is the Mafia or the Serial Killer. This person will be hanged.” Sirius leant back. “Let chaos ensue!”

“I’m going to speak up first and say that Alice and Frank have been awfully quiet,” said Lily. “That’s a murder couple if I’ve ever seen one. Bonnie and Clyde.”

“Lies and slander!” cried Alice. “I don’t know about Frank, he’s a sneaky bastard, but I am completely innocent.”

“Okay, Alice is definitely evil,” said Remus. “But I think she’s probably Mafia, not Serial Killer. I reckon the Serial Killer’s Lily.”

“Oi!” said Alice.

“Interesting. Justify it,” said Lily.

“James immediately nearly got killed by the Serial Killer. If anyone would go for James first, it’d be you, right? You also immediately tried to place the blame on someone else. You’re definitely a serial killer in real life, too.”

Lily nodded. “That’s fair. But I’m part of the town. Why would I immediately kill James knowing that’d lead suspicion to me? I'm being FRAMED.”

“Alright, enough chatting! It’s vote time,” said Sirius dramatically. “Dorcas! Who do you want to vote?”

“Alice. She’s pure evil.”

Alice protested, but was shushed by Sirius. “Lily?”

“Also Alice.”

“Peter?”

“I reckon Frank’s suspicious. Frank.”

“Me too,” said Sirius. “Frankfurter! It’s your vote.”

“I object to Frankfurter,” said Frank, sounding resigned to his fate. “But I vote Peter.”

“Alice?”

“I’m voting Lily.”

“Marly god rest your soul amen,” said Sirius. “Prongs!”

“Lily!”

“Rem-dawg?”

Remus was even more resigned to his fate. “I’m going to go for Alice.”

“Okay! Now I can now reveal that Frank and Peter each had one vote. Lily had two votes. And Alice, sorry babe, but you have three votes! Off to the guillotine for you,” said Sirius.

“Boo.” Alice lay down on Frank. 

“I can also now reveal that Alice was…indeed…part of the town. Nice job, fools.” The group groaned.

“Nighty night. Close yon eyes. Mafia, wake up. Who you killing?” Remus pointed at James. Dorcas looked at him oddly, but he mouthed the word ‘theory’. She then nodded. “Alright, get some beauty rest, Mafia. Doctor! Doctor who, that is.” James pointed at himself again. “Cool. Go dream of surgery. Serial Killer!” Lily opened her eyes and pointed at James again. “Sleep well, murdery murderface. Now, everyone wake up!” The group opened their eyes. “On this night, a tragedy befell James Fleamont Potter. He was both shot by the Mafia on his way to lonely salsa dancing for one, and nearly blown up by the Serial Killer on his way to his class on How To Pick Up Girls That Are Very Clearly Not Interested In You, And You Should Probably Just Leave Alone. However! The doctor got to him just in time. God bless the NHS. You may now discuss who you’re going to kill! This town is fucking Salem, I swear.”

“Suspicion is on Lily now. James twice? That’s a triple-bluff,” Frank piped up.

“I don’t know. Peter’s been awfully quiet,” said Lily.

“And passing the blame again instead of defending your case!” cried Peter. “You’re definitely mafia or serial killer.”

The votes ended up five for Lily, and one for Peter. You can guess who didn’t vote for herself.

“It can now be revealed that the Lily was in fact…the serial killer.”

“That’s a shocker.”

They kept playing until only Dorcas, Remus, and Peter were left. James chose to save Peter one night, which ultimately led to his demise. Frank was eventually killed off via the voting.

“Alright! Go to sleep. Mafia wake up and kill the literal only person left. Now close your eyes and wake up immediately! In a shocking turn of events, Pete’s dead. He was travelling to Sicily in order to expand his culinary knowledge, as he has a wild passion for cooking. He wanted nothing more than to buy some Sicilian lemons, but ended up with his arm being chopped off and used to beat him to death. Then—”

“Sirius, no,” Remus interrupted him.

“C’mere, Lils, I want to braid your hair,” said Sirius. Lily lay down across Dorcas, and Sirius started to braid her hair. Lily had seriously badass hair. It was long and super easily tangled, but when it was brushed properly it fell in soft beach waves. It framed her face really well, and somehow it brought out her eyes. James was looking at her fondly, her face softly illuminated by the slowly dying fire. She didn’t seem to notice him.

Remus was looking at Sirius, who was concentrating on braiding. He was biting his lip, and his hair was falling into his face. Remus leant over and brushed the bit of hair behind his ear. Sirius looked at him for a second, then went back to braiding. Remus’ ears went bright pink. Why did he do that? It wasn’t even a conscious decision. Lily looked at him with a knowing smirk, upside down. Shut up, he thought.

“Oi, Evans,” said James suddenly. She looked over at him instead of at Remus.

“What?”

“D’you want to get a Butterbeer with me at the Three Broomsticks?”

“No.” Lily looked back at Remus.

Alice had fallen asleep on Frank’s shoulder. He kept glancing fondly at her. Peter had fallen asleep on his lap. Frank did not keep glancing fondly at him, but he seemed surprisingly fine with it.

“Marly, let’s head up to bed,” said Dorcas. “Lily, you coming?”

“Yeah, give me a second,” said Lily. Marlene and Dorcas went up to the dorm, so Lily shuffled over to lie on Sirius. “Frank, you should probably get to bed too.”

Frank gave Alice a kiss on the forehead. She sleepily opened her eyes. 

“Alice, let’s go to bed,” said Lily. She nodded. “Just…throw Peter on the floor. It’s fine.”

James stood up. “PETE, BEGONE.”

“Why me?” asked Peter.

Soon everyone was gone, except (surprise, surprise) Remus and Sirius. “Why does it always end up like this?” asked Remus. “If I didn’t know any better I’d say they were trying to abandon us.”

“No, that’s definitely it,” said Sirius, who knew exactly what they were actually doing and wasn’t about to stop them.

“Mm.”

 

Chapter Text

SORRY LADS THERES NO WIFI WHERE I AM SO THE UPDATE‘LL TAKE A BIT LONGER I‘M DOING THIS FROM MY PHONE BUT THE NEXT CHAPTER‘LL BE A BIT LONGER I‘LL UPDATE WHEN I CAN

Chapter Text

4th May, 1975

6.24am

James was leaning smugly on a chair when Sirius first opened his eyes. “Mooorning.”

“Ugh, fuck,” he groaned. “My neck is all cramped.”

“What were you two up to staying up so late, then?” he asked, a glint in his eye.

“What? Talking,” said Sirius, sitting up. He had been lying on Remus’ legs.

James raised his eyebrows. “Sure.”

“It’s the truth, bitch!” he insisted, his voice getting higher.

“Mmmmmmmmhmm.”

“Fuck you. I’m going to bed,” said Sirius. “Hang on. I can’t just leave Remus asleep on the floor, right?”

James smirked. “Well, I’m off to Quidditch practise. Have fun either waking up the Beast or abandoning him on the floor.”

“You’re evil. Pure unadulterated evil. Actually, no, scratch that, Moony is the pure unadulterated evil. You're just a dick.” Sirius was dying.

“Pure unadulterated evil wears cardigans and fluffy socks,” James called as he left.

“Dammit,” said Sirius under his breath. 

 

4th May, 1975

9.46am

Remus sat up sleepily. I don’t remember going to bed last night, he thought. Eh, whatever. I probably just managed to get drunk somehow. He didn’t have a hangover, though, which was wild. Sirius and Peter were still asleep, and he assumed James was at Quidditch practise. He got up and got dressed, brushed his teeth, and headed down to the Great Hall for breakfast.

“You’re up early,” he said as he sat down next to Lily. “Slash late. This is a very middling time for you to be awake. With you, it’s either 6am or 2pm.”

“Good morning to you too,” she said, putting her book down. “Sev’s probably not awake yet.”
“Why do you hang out with Snape? He hangs out with all those…dodgy kids.”
“Why do you hang out with Potter? He’s a dick,” Lily said, not looking up from her toast.

He sighed. “At least James isn’t friends with Death Eaters-in-training.”

“Yeah, you got me there. Sev’s friends are creepy as hell, but he’s genuinely not bad. A little…Edgar Allen Poe, maybe, but not bad.”

Remus nodded. “Alright.”

“Oh, I finally watched the new Python film,” she said, grinning at him.

“Fucking finally! I saw it in the cinema as soon as it fucking came out—“ Remus was suddenly sitting up straight, which had never happened before in his entire life.

“You say ‘fuck’ a lot when you’re overexcited. But yes, it was pretty good,” Lily said.

“Hey—you know what would be really funny?”

 

4th May, 1975

4.54pm

“Honestly, how much homework does Minnie want to set us?” complained Sirius. “You know what, fuck it. I’m not doing it.”

“Sirius, it’s due tomorrow, you have to do it,” said Remus. 

“Nooooooo.”

“If you do not do your Transfiguration homework…my friend and I,” Lily said, gesturing to Remus. “Will say…ni.”

“You what?” Sirius was confused.

“VERY WELL,” said Lily. “If you will not do it voluntarily……NI.”

“What the fuck is happening?” Sirius felt threatened and confused and concerned.

“Ni!”

“Nu,” said Remus. Lily elbowed him.

“No-no-no-no, dearest, it’s not that, it’s ni.”

“Nu!”

“No, no, you’re not doing it properly. Ni.”

“Ni!”

“That’s it, that’s it, you’ve got it,” said Lily. “Ni!”

“ARE YOU SAYING ‘NI’ TO THAT OLD WOMAN?” screeched Peter, who had not been previously informed of this prank.

“Ummmm…yes,” said Remus.

“Ohh, what sad times are these when passing ruffians can say ni at will to old ladies. There is a pestilence upon this land! Nothing is sacred!” Peter cried. “Even those who arrange and design shrubberies are under considerable economic stress at this period in history!”

“WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?” yelled Sirius. He was ignored.

“Did you say shrubberies?” asked Lily.

“Shrubberies are my trade,” Peter said. “I am a shrubber. My name is Roger the Shrubber. I arrange, design, and sell shrubberies.”

“Ni!” said Remus.

“NO, REMUS, NO!”

Sirius was near tears. “What the fuck is going oooooooooooon—“

“It’s over, Padfoot, you’re free.” Remus patted him on the shoulder. “Unless you want to hear the full sketch?”

“NO, I’LL DO MY HOMEWORK, I PROMISE—“

“It’s really funny,” said Lily.

“HOMEWORK.” Sirius was at his wit's end.

 

5th May, 1975

3.18am

“Moony?”

Remus awoke to Sirius gently shaking him. He looked an odd combination of slightly terrified and also guilty.

“What?” 

“Okay, so hilarious story—“ started Sirius.

“James is on fire again, isn’t he?” 

 

5th May, 1975

3.36am

“So who did the setting on fire?” Remus was standing in front of the two sheepish-looking boys, trying to keep the smile off of his face. They both pointed at each other. “Not helpful!”

“Alright, so James was the one who fell into the fire,” said Sirius. “I may have contributed a little bit to that.”

“He set up an obstacle course across the common room, and a REAL MAN NEVER BACKS AWAY FROM A CHALLENGE,” said James.

“Did Alice teach you that? You should know by now that she’s a terrible role model.” Remus was trying and failing to look stern. “Alright, there’s got to be some sort of punishment for this.”

Sirius immediately tried to run away.

“Aaand he’s chucking it in and packing it up, and sneaking away and buggering off, and chickening out and pissing off home, yes, bravely he is throwing in the spooonge,” sang Lily, who was blocking his exit.

“Just get down to the kitchens, both of you,” said Remus. “And you’re on kitchen duty for the next month.”

“Cruel!”

They returned with snacks that could last them decades, 'so we never have to go there again'.

 

7th May, 1975

11.52am

“HBLErh.”

There was suddenly a big black dog in the Charms classroom, which immediately morphed back into Sirius. 

“Padfoot! What the fuck!” whispered Remus. He elbowed him. “What was that?”

“I don’t know! I got distracted!” Sirius looked as disturbed as Remus did.

“You got distracted?” Remus pulled a face. “Does it take more effort for you to stay human than it does to be a dog? Is dog your natural state?”

Sirius just sort of…stared at him. 

“You are…astounding,” said Remus with a sigh.

“I know,” said Sirius, posing.

Remus looked over at Peter, who was sitting at the other side of the classroom. He also let out a ‘HHGH’ and for a split second turned into a rat. “Oh no,” Remus said, his face suddenly genuinely concerned.

“What?” Sirius tilted his head.

Prongs.”

“Oh, shit.” Sirius suddenly understood. “He’s right in the middle.”

“Distraction, we need a distraction—”

Sirius brought out a saxophone as Peter threw some Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder that he’d managed to get his hands on. Needless to say, Sirius decidedly did not play the saxophone, and basically what happened was a horrifying cacophony of noise. There were screams, and desperate cries of ‘Lumos!’, to no avail. This was quality stuff. Remus felt someone grab his wrist and whisper something. Flitwick bellowed something incomprehensible, and when the lights came back on, the Marauders were nowhere to be seen. 

“You guys turned back immediately, why didn’t he?” asked Remus, as they ran down a corridor with a large, gangly deer. 

“He’s always—had trouble—with the transformations,” panted Peter, who was slightly unfit. 

“Fucking hell, is this going to be like the first time he transformed?” Remus was also starting to get out of breath.

“I fucking hope not. Let’s just get back to the dorm,” Sirius said.

“No, too conspicuous,” said Remus. “Is there anywhere in the castle that we can’t be found? Whomping Willow?”

“Too—far away,” Peter wheezed.

Sirius thought for a second. “I know a place. Follow me!”

They ran, up the stairs, past a couple of curious House-elves, a few of which Peter knew by name (kitchen duty for four years). They reached the seventh-floor corridor and Sirius stood triumphant

“What is this, Padfoot?” Remus looked hopelessly at him. “This is literally just a tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy, you idiot—“

Sirius started pacing. “Please say we didn’t run all this way for nothing,” puffed Peter. 

A large, mahogany door materialised in front of their eyes. Peter and Remus gaped for a second. “What in the ass?” said Peter.

“Just get in!” Sirius shoved them and the entire deer that they had through the door.

They entered into a somewhat large hall, mostly empty save for a couple chairs and a bookshelf. James immediately fell over. 

“Fucking—Prongs, you useless fool,” sighed Remus. “You have the grace of Lucius Malfoy on roller skates when you’re a deer.” The deer bleated indignantly and got up. 

“How are we going to get you back into a human?” asked Sirius.

“Okay, bigger question, what excuse are we going to give for literally doing a jailbreak out of class with a deer and disappearing for what I assume will be several hours?” asked Peter. “We’re getting detention for six years.”

“To be honest, now I know how I’m going to escape jail when I inevitably end up in jail in the future,” said Sirius, as he flopped down on the chair. Remus gave him a look. “C’mon, sit down, dearest!”

“I will never respond to dearest,” said Remus. 

“Darling?”

“No.”

“Sweetest moonbeam?”

“Definitely no.”

“ComE ONN,” Sirius whined. “I will tackle you.”

“You wouldn’t do thaat,” said Remus sarcastically. He turned around to look at Peter, who was looking at them curiously. “FUCKING—"

Peter stared at them. “Prongs—"

Sirius had come up behind him, grabbed him, and dragged him onto the chair with him. Remus was now sort of…lying awkwardly across Sirius.

Somehow the deer looked smug.

 

Chapter Text

7th May, 1975

5.39pm

“I cannot even begin to imagine what you boys were thinking.” A horrifyingly angry Minerva McGonagall was sitting at her desk. Her lips literally looked like a lizard’s.The four of them were sitting, looking sheepish, in chairs. Well, actually Peter was standing because there were only three chairs. “What do you have to say for yourselves?”

“Well, we don’t have anything to say, per se, but we have prepared an interpretive dance to show you, if you’d like,” said James.

“For once in your life, Potter, spare me the snarky commentary. Black, Potter, you two are always so eager to talk in class. Surely you have an explanation for why you decided to plunge your Charms classroom into darkness for twenty minutes, and ran away.”

Neither of them said anything, but both of them were looking oddly…confident? They were leaning back, relaxed, in their chairs, with identical smirks on their faces. 

“Fine. Mr Pettigrew, you will be cleaning the trophy room and polishing all the candelabra every weeknight for the next month. Mr Potter, you will have a letter written home, and are hereby banned from Hogsmeade trips until June. And Mr Black and Mr Lupin…will be tutoring first years.”

This was met by shock and anguish.

“Professor, there are so many candelabra! I don’t even know where they all are! Also you said the word 'bra', that's hilarious!”

“My mum is going to kill me, and I have a date next weekend!”

“I HATE CHILDREN, I’M GOING TO DIE!”

“I would be an absolutely useless tutor, Professor, I’m going to swear in front of a child. I mean--I don't swear, I've never sworn in my life-”

“This is what is happening, and that is final.” McGonagall looked at them over the top of her glasses. “Get out of my sight.”

 

10th May, 1975

11.02am

A nervous-looking first year scurried into the common room, where he’d agreed to meet Remus. 

“Hi…kid,” Remus said awkwardly. 

The first year nodded.

“So what am I actually doing?” Remus realised he had yet to consider this particular aspect. Oh, what's his name? Are we past the point where it's acceptable to ask for a name? Oh dear god what is going on

“Professor McGonagall says I need Transfiguration help,” the first year stuttered.

“Ah, fuck. I mean—shit. I mean…Sirius! I’m swearing in front of the child!” Remus yelled this last bit across the common room, where Sirius dutifully came over and clapped the first year on the shoulder.

“Alright, so when a mummy and a daddy love each other very much—“

“What? How does that relate to swearing? Get out of here!” Remus shoved him over.

“Rude. I was explaining ‘fuck’! And, by extension, ‘dick’ and ‘cunt’, I guess.”

“Stop! He’s only nine!”

“I’m eleven, actually. I’m twelve next month.”

“Hush, child.” Remus patted him on the head, impossibly taller than him. 

“Whatever. Moony, just remember. You’re not a swear—“

“SHHHHHhhhh,” said Remus. 

“…not a swear wolf you’re a werewolf,” finished Sirius in a whisper.

“Go away!” Remus hit him on the arm. Sirius went off to the other side of the common room, where he had apparently abandoned a rather baffled-looking first year girl.

“Uhhhh…” The first year looked more confused than anything.

“What’s your name, kid?" Awkwardly timed, but he couldn't just keep calling him 'kid'.

“James.”

Remus nodded. “If there’s a girl called Lily in your year, just leave her alone. Leave her alone.”

 

11th May, 1975

6.33pm

“Hey, Marls,” said Sirius. “Can I just steal you for a sec, thanks—“

“Black, I was in the middle of a conversation, you bitch,” complained Marlene as Sirius grabbed her by the collar and dragged her away from a slightly confused-looking Hufflepuff boy.

“It is! Okay, so…my ban from the Quidditch team is officially lifted,” he said. Her face fell.

“Shit. Goddammit, go fuck up so you get banned more!” She was joking, but she did sound genuinely disappointed.

“I don’t want to be back on the team.”

“You what?” Marlene stared at him. “Why not?”

“You’re better than me anyway! And I like being commentator. The world needs to hear of my charms!”

“I entirely dispute that. That can’t happen,” said Marlene. She put her hands on her hips.

“Are you Remus? What…is happening?” Sirius asked.

“Sirius! You love Quidditch!” She shoved him. “And you’re good, too.”

“It’s just…not as fun anymore, I guess. Plus, if I come back on the team, you’re kicked off, and that’s not fair.” He shrugged.

“I always knew it was a part-time thing, bitch! Come on.”

“Why are you arguing? Babe—“

“Don’t you dare babe me, Sirius Black. You may be able to turn the straightest man gay, but I am a LESBIAN. WE HAVE MORE TENACITY THAN WEAK-ASS STRAIGHT BOYS.”

“You’d get to stay on the Quidditch team, though!” Sirius cocked his head.

“Are you a dog?” 

Sirius shrugged, and Marlene just sighed. 

“Seriously—Siriusly.” He took a second to laugh at his own joke. “I don’t want to rejoin!”

“Fine.”

 

31st May, 1975

2.23pm

James gave Marlene a nervous grin. “You ready?”

She looked at him for a second. “James, you can cry. It’s fine. I know you want to.”

He suddenly burst out into sobs. “OH GOD THIS MEANS SO MUCH TO ME—WE FUCKING LOST LAST YEAR AND IT NEARLY KILLED ME—”

“I know, I know.” She patted him on the shoulder. “It’s fine. We’re going to win. I will send a Bludger into the face of every Slytherin in the whole fucking arena.”

“Please don’t that would be a huge problem. BUT THANK YOU THAT MEANS SO MUCH TO ME.” 

“AW, JAMESIE,” yelled Sirius, barrelling towards him.

“Sirius, you’re meant to be commentating! Get back here!” Remus was chasing him helplessly (story of his life). Peter and Lily followed.

“YOU’RE GOING TO BE FINE, POTTER, AND IF YOU LOSE I’LL FUCKING KILL YOU,” shrieked Lily.

“Evans, this is the boys’ changing room!” said James.

“Then what’s Marlene doing in here?”

“Same thing as you, I guess,” James said. He had stopped crying.

“We’re here to wish you luck, you fool,” said Remus. 

“You’re gonna be so good and you’re gonna BEAT THOSE BASTARDS,” said Sirius. “You’re going to CRUSH THEM. PULVERISE THEM INTO SHREDS.”

“Sirius is a bit too close to this,” said Peter. “Seriously, though, it’s going to be amazing.”

“Good luck, Marlene. Don’t kill anyone,” Lily grinned. “You too, Potter.”

“When will you call me JAMES,” he yelled. She shook her head at him.

“You’re such an arse.”

 

“Aaand there goes Gryffindor Chaser James—I mean, Potter, with the Quaffle. In comes in…uhh, Slytherin...man...one? Right, Rosier, thanks Professor, performing a quite fantastic bit of cheating there. Yep, there’s Madam Hooch blowing her whistle, but Potter isn’t stopping—absolute madman, honestly — and that’s a bloody fantastic goal for Gryffindor, and it looks like Rosier is being let off with a warning. Boo. Ahh, and there goes McKinnon for Gryffindor, scoring back-to-back goals there, holy shit sorry Professor that girl can play. It only seems fitting that she should be the replacement for the wonderful, the amazing, the fantastic, the sorry Professor, me! Ahh, but there goes…Greasemaster 5000. I mean, Lucius Malfoy, nicking the Quaffle off of Marls—uh, McKinnon…and that’s ten points to Slytherin.”

Remus sighed. “He’s so bad. Greasemaster 5000?”

“To be fair,” said Lily, through her Omnioculars, “He is pretty greasy.”

“Says the girl who hangs out with Snape—“ Remus was stopped by a glare from her. “What? He is greasy.”

“You’ve been spending too much time around Potter and Black,” she said coldly.

Remus furrowed his brow. “Black? Come on.”

“They only hate him because he’s a Slytherin, and that’s really not fair.”

“They hate him because he hangs out with Death Eaters, he hates Muggle-borns and werewolves -- or, as he so charmingly calls us, 'half-breeds' -- and thinks Gryffindor are a bunch of twats.”

“And they are bullies, punch anyone who disagrees with them, and think Slytherin are a bunch of twats.” Lily finally looked over at him. Remus knew pushing this wasn’t a good idea and he didn’t care.

“They aren’t bullies, that’s exaggerating. Also, you really equate Sirius and James with people like Rosier? And Barty Crouch?”

“I’ve had this conversation before, Remus, I’m not having it again,” she sighed, and looked back through the Omnioculars. Remus rolled his eyes, and dropped the subject.

“FUCKING SH—sorry, Professor, just commenting on that very BLATANT AND OBVIOUS CHEATING there, with Malfoy crashing right into old Dicky there. No penalty! It’s a fu—I mean, freaking outrage.”

“He’s so bad,” said Lily. “It’s amazing.”

 

Chapter Text

31st May, 1975

8.59pm

“Everything is GARBAGE,” said James, muffled. He was lying face down on his bed. Sirius was sitting on the edge of his bed, patting him on the back.

“Is this better than the sobbing?” stage whispered Peter to Remus, who shrugged. 

James let out a long, extended groan. “I just wanted to fucking wiN.”

“You always want to win, mate,” said Sirius. 

“But it was Slytherin! How could we lose to Slytherin?” he whined. 

“It’s alright, Prongs. You lose to Slytherin all the time,” said Peter.

“Wormtail! Not helpful!” Sirius dived across the room to elbow him.

James rolled over and propped himself up on his elbow. “This SUCKS,” he yelled. “Now they have fucking bragging rights!”

“Oh, how tragic,” said Remus sardonically. 

“I WILL BREAK YOUR FUCKING READING LIGHT, BEANPOLE.” Sirius Black, Protector of Prongs.

Remus looked over at Sirius, equal parts affronted and amused. “You’ll…”

“YOU HEARD ME.”

Eye contact was held for a very long time. James gaped for a second. “Hate to break up the flirting, but FOCUS ON ME, IT’S MY MOMENT.”

Remus went red and turned back to his book. Sirius did not go red and turned back to James. 

“FUCK I can’t believe we lost to Slytherin.” James put his face back into his (slightly damp) pillow.

“I know, I know.” Sirius started patting him on the back again. “Once you’re the Captain, you’ll crush them to bits. Pulverise them. Turn them into soup. Chop off their arms and stick them up their arses. Snap off their di—”

“Thank you, Sirius,” James cut him off.

 

3rd June, 1975

10.21pm

“Dearest?” said Sirius, struggling with some homework and idly sipping some coffee. James grunted in reply. “Ugh, you’re such a beast, honestly. Men.”

“Sirius, you are a man,” said Lily.

“He certainly is,” said Remus, not looking up from his Charms work. Everyone stared at him except Sirius, who had just taken a sip of coffee at that moment, and began to choke. Remus picked up his thermos and took a casual sip, still not looking up.

There was a pregnant pause. Suddenly the room exploded into noise.

“Explain—” “What the fuck, Remus—” “Fucking what in the shit does that mean—” 

He shrugged and left the common room, up the stairs to the dorm.

“What in the ass?” James was astounded. He turned to Sirius. “Did you two finally get together?”

Sirius’ jaw dropped slightly. “What? No. What? No. What? No. Is that what you guys all think?”

“No,” said Lily and James at the same time. “Yes,” said Peter, at the same time as them. Everyone looked at him, a tad defeated.

“Oh, come on, you guys are lying,” Peter defended.

“You guys…suuuuuuuuck,” said Sirius, and he fell to the floor dramatically. 

“Come on, Padfoot, cheer up,” James said. “You are kind of…unsubtle.”

“We’re not together!” Sirius flailed in protest.

“Oh, Sirius. Yes you are,” said Lily, sitting down next to him. 

“We’re not! He’s straight!” Sirius rolled away from Lily, until he was stopped by a chair. This chair coincidentally had a very confused-looking second-year in it, who lifted her feet up onto the chair to clear a path for him.

Lily sighed. “You are. When have you actually, genuinely, shown any interest in any other boy?”

“Wh—I call James dearest!” he insisted. 

“That’s not the same, you fool,” said James, crossing his arms. 

“Ohh, like you two can talk about repressed emotions,” said Sirius grumpily.

“So it’s repressed emotions, is it?” piped up Peter.

“Not helpful, Peter,” they said simultaneously. Sirius got up and stalked off.

“Looks like I hit a nerve,” Peter sighed. “That’s a shocker. Ah, well, he’s sensitive.”

“I can still hear you!” he called from the stairway.

 

4th June, 1975

12.01am

“Padfoot, this is wild. It’s a mcfucking Wednesday,” sighed Remus, who had brought a blanket in preparation this time.

“I’m grumpy. I need this,” said Sirius, who was lying kind of…flail-y, like a starfish, by the fire, which was dying very fast.

“Consider me Doc.” Remus got up on an armchair, looking down at him.

“You’re doing your distance-y thing. Come down here, bitch.”

"Distance-y thing?"

"Remus, I've told you about this! You sit twenty years away from everyone else!"

Remus chuckled. “Dammit.” He slid down onto the floor. “You’ve been spending way too much time with Lily recently, by the way. ‘Bitch’?”

“I know, I know.”

“So what’re you grumpy about?”

“James and Lily getting on my ass about…I don’t even know.” He flopped onto his side. 

Remus exhaled. “Is this about me?”

Sirius glanced at him, then looked back up at the ceiling. “Nah.”

“You’re a shitty liar, you know?”

“Yeah, I know. But I’m not going to tell you.”

“Okay.”

“And I will never tell you.”

“Okay.”

“Not because I don’t trust you, because I don’t want you to know.”

“Okay.”

“Because I do trust you, Moons, with my life. But you shouldn’t know.”

“Shuut up. You're so dramatic.” Remus smirked at him.

Sirius smiled a little. “Okay.”

 

15th June, 1975

10.41am

“Moony, it’s a SATURDAY, what am I doing up before noon?” whined Sirius. 

“Shut it, Padfoot. I am not having a repeat of last year,” said Remus sternly.

“That wasn’t me and Sirius!” cried Peter. “That was just James, and James is an idiot!”

“Are you saying you two are not idiots? Because that is a boldfaced lie. Now, I’ll be quizzing you, there’ll be prizes—”

“Never mind! I’m in!” said Sirius enthusiastically, and leaned back against the tree.

“Sit up, you bastard. Now! Summoning charm! Incantation and meaning of incantation!” said Remus. “Oh, you need buzzers.”

“Can mine just be beep?” said Peter. Remus nodded.

James made an ungodly noise that sounded like an old man dying. Remus looked at him, done, but didn’t technically say no.

Sirius catcalled. Remus made a face and shook his head. “Fine then. Mine’s woof woof, bitch.”

“Alright then, same question.”

“HHhhhdfhsfhghghghghhghhghghgghghghhghg.”

“Yes, James.”

Accio, I summon.”

“Correct. Un point. Who invented the Mending Charm?”

Beep.” “Woof woof, bitch.” “HHuuugshhghhhhhghuuuuh.”

“That was Peter first, I think.”

“I don’t actually know, I just buzzed for the hell of it,” Peter said. 

“Alright, it was Sirius next,” said Remus, kind of used to this.

“Orabella Nuttley. Haha, nut.”

“Congratulations. You won one point.”

Eventually, Peter ended up with four points, James with eight, and Sirius was way ahead with eighteen. 

“Peter! You made no impact. You need to catch up on Charms. Don’t worry, I know you suck at it, but it doesn’t mean you don’t need to revise. James, you were fine. But you’ve got Quidditch reflexes, so don’t try to blame those.”

“It’s not my fault that Sirius has better reflexes than me!” James complained.

“Shut it, antler-head. Sirius, well done, you win…nichts. Nada. Le rien,” said Remus.

“Sweet. What’s that?” he asked.

James sighed and got up. “Pete, let’s go actually take a look at our textbooks for once. We need to be able to beat Sirius.”

“Hang on, I’ll come with you. You’re going to be in the library, not the dorm, you’ll never work there,” said Remus.

“But what about my prize?” asked Sirius.

Remus looked wearily at him. “Please learn another language.”

“That was another language?”

“Bye.”

Chapter Text

17th June, 1975

10.48am

MoONY

This is a note. You don’t have to write my name to get my attention.

you’re right you’re right

Was willst du von mir, Schwein?

You know I don’t speak Muggle, Moony!

…deja vu

ANYWAY you speak other languages?????? how?????? whY???

yes

what languages do you actually speak?

English

…………………….you are a dork

German, Spanish and French almost sort of fluently, the most basic Russian, Italian and Dutch in the world. Also, you don’t have to write out all those dots your hand is going to cramp

what in the ass

??? Is that a hand cramp?

How do you have that much time?

I was a lonely child

NO KIDDING

It’s kind of easy to pick up languages after you’ve got like a basis. European languages are super similar. French is like…Spanish but with oueouioueiouoiuihonhonhon baguette

a what now

Russian is a weird one it’s got a whole nother alphabet

You are so??????????????????

What?

I don’t even know

oof you’re weirded out

.;yeah sure that’s it

did you write out a semicolon? anyway we’re going to get caught shush

 

Remus speaks a bunch of languages?

Why does that matter?

I have no idea but it do

You’re being weird about this

I know

ok I know what’s going on here

ENLIGHTen me because I don’t

As much as I’d like to and end the pining this is absolutely something you have to figure out on your own

Pining?

Oh my god

I’M THE MOST OBLIVIOUS MAN ON EARTH PRONGS WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT

Son. I believe in you. You can do this.

NO I CAN’T

 

30th June, 1975

2.47pm

What’s 24a

Gillyweed

Love you darling

What’s 36?

You’re already on 36? i think it cures acne you should get some prongs

SHUT IT NERD

hohoho jock

 

“Potter, Black, hallway, now!” whispered Sprout, who was invigilating their Herbology exam. She wasn’t the type of person to shout, so it just came out as lightly annoyed. They were sitting at the back, so luckily they were able to get out without disturbing everyone. Sirius gave the class a wink, and as soon as Sprout was out of the classroom, low chatter started up.

“What is the meaning of this, boys?” She held the note up in the air with a touch of exasperation in her voice. 

“What do you mean, Professor? The meaning of what?” asked James. 

“Really? You were passing notes right in front of me. You could've been subtler about it,” she tutted.

“…That parchment you’re holding’s blank, Professor,” said Sirius, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. She stared at him.

“I’m sorry?” She glanced back at the piece of parchment and her eyes widened. "I...what?"

“Professor, we’re in the middle of a test. We need this time if we’re going to get more than…1%,” said Sirius. More baffled than annoyed, Sprout walked back into the classroom, defeated. Sirius felt a bit bad - it was only her first year teaching at Hogwarts, and she wasn’t really used to their tricks just yet. Ah, well. Worth it.

 

7th July, 1975

4.01pm

As soon as they got back to the common room, they were met by the foreboding presence of Remus Lupin. 

“Results. now. Sirius, you go first.”

“Charms EE, Transfiguration EE, History of Magic A. I’m so talented!” He jumped up on a chair and grinned cockily.

“You barely passed History of Magic and didn’t get a single outstanding, you fool. Peter?”

“Charms A, Transfiguration A, History of Magic P. Boo.”

“Come on, Pete! We did so much History of Magic revision!” said Remus. Peter shrugged. He didn’t seem too fussed about his results. Remus sighed and turned to James. “Save me.”

“Charms EE, Transfiguration O, History of Magic…” James hesitated.

“Don’t try to hide from this, it’ll only make it worse for you.”

James mumbled something.

“Speak up, bitch.”

“…D.”

Sirius gasped. “You finally got the D!”

“Shut it, Sirius. James Fleamont Potter, what the hell happened?”

“Didn’t revise the Goblin Rebellions.”

“That was what the entire test was on, you idiot!” Remus was dying.

“I know. Hence. D. Don’t, Sirius, you’re the gay one—”

“FOOL.”

 

8th July, 1975

11.49pm

“I can’t believe it’s our last day again,” sighed Sirius. It was just him and James again. Lily, Peter, and Remus had gone to find the hidden swimming pool. They were in the Room of Requirement, which had become a huge ball pit, because they were two years old. They’d brought the entirety of the rest of their Firewhiskey stash (split equally with the other Marauders, of course), which was a single bottle (now lying empty on the side of the ball pit).

“You’re like…floating. On top of the balls,” said James in wonder.

“Floating on top of the balls is my middle name,” said Sirius with a wink. James gagged.

“You are DISGUSTING.”

“YEET,” he whooped. “Hey, where did Marly and Dorcas go?”

“Forbidden Forest. Probably making out,” said James, trying to wiggle around and get himself horizontal. “Speaking of making out!”

“Oh, god.” Sirius retreated.

“There anything you want to tell me?” he asked, a smirk on his face.

“…No. Maybe.” Sirius’ cheeks went a bit pink.

“Ah HA, I KNEW IT!”

“Oh, but isn’t there something you ought to tell me?” Sirius regained…some sort of composure and deflected.

“You’re avoiding the question! What could I possibly—”

“Lily.” Sirius said in a sing-song voice.

“You already know I like her! I’ve asked her out…like, multiple times! And got rejected.”

“Ohohoho, but that’s just stupid bravado. You really like her. Like…actually,” he said. 

James snorted. “Pah! That is…folly! Simple foolishness!”

“Why are you fancy-talking? If you keep doing that you’re never getting any information out of me.”

“Fine! I may…have a slight crush on Evans. A real one.”

“HO HO,” cried Sirius.

“Alright…Santa Claus, calm down.” James’ ears were bright red. “Your turn.”

“……………………….I lied. There’s nothing I have no emotions—” Sirius turned to run, forgetting he was in a ball pit.

“LIAR,” yelled James, and tackled him. “Actually! How do I know nothing about you?”

“You don’t know nothing. I share!” insisted Sirius.

“…I know one secret about you and I bullied you into it at 3am in a tent.”

Sirius thought for a second. “Actually, yeah, that’s fair.”

“So! Share! It’s time! For sharing! It’s share time!”

“Boo. This is offensive.”

“Tell me tell me tell me tell me tell me—”

“Fine! I…have. A crush. On someone.” Sirius sounded like he was in physical pain.

“This should not be this hard for you!” James was part surprised, part slightly exasperated. Sirius didn’t say anything. “…Who is it?” His tone was encouraging and slightly patronising.

“HhhhHHHhhhhhghhghghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.”

“Is that my buzzer noise from the revision game?” 

“It’s Remus. OH my gOD I SAID IT THIS IS THE WORST THING THAT’S EVER HAPPENED TO ME OH my FUCK.”

James chuckled. “You’re such a fool.”

“But like—I don’t know if it’s a friend crush or…a crush crush.”

“A…a friend crush?” James looked at him hopelessly.

“Like, I just like him as a person a lot.”

James stared at him.

“You know! Like I just want to be better friends!”

“How…how do you want to be better friends with Remus? You’ve shared a dorm for four years and literally done everything together.”

“I…well, I’m not as close to Remus as I am to you, am I?”

“That’s a fair point,” said James. He suddenly realised he was drunk in a ball pit. What a life.

“Anyway—I told you something. Whoop de doo. I don’t even know if it’s real.”

“I’ll tell you something, mate—I’ve seen the way you look at him.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Sirius furrowed his eyebrows. 

James sighed. “Nothing.”

“Hey. Last day.” Sirius sounded…more cast down, than anything else.

“Hell yeah.” James gave him a half-hearted grin. Somehow, this end of year felt less…triumphant. Maybe, James thought…it was because Gryffindor didn’t win the FUCKING HOUSE CUP. “Oi, mate.”

“What?” Sirius hopped up onto the side of the ball pit.

“Do you…want to come stay at mine in the summer again?”

Sirius swallowed. “…Yeah.” More than anything.

“Padfoot—when are you going to actually talk to me about your family? I know they’re assholes, and all that, but you’ve never actually…talked about it. Isn’t keeping it pent up worse?”

Sirius said nothing. 

“Sirius—”

“Drop it.” There was an unusual hostility in his voice. James looked hurt, but didn’t reply. Sirius got up and left. James tried and failed to follow him, and was left awkwardly flailing in the ball pit.

 

9th July, 1975

3.06am

“Why’s he stroppy?” whispered Remus to James, over Peter’s snoring. He had stayed up, and witnessed Sirius’ dramatic closing of his curtains firsthand. James shrugged unconvincingly. “Oh, come on, what’d you do?”

“I asked about his family and he got pissy.”

“Oh. Is he that sensitive about it? I mean…he’s told me a bit on his own. I didn’t think…”

“He’s told you stuff?” James looked surprised. 

“Well, kind of. A bit.” Remus shrugged. “I guess I’m a good listener. I know where to push things and where to leave it.”

James looked at him oddly. “Didn’t you have no friends as a child?”

“Don’t you have no friends now?”

James made an insulted, if slightly incoherent sound, which caused Peter to grunt in his sleep. He lowered his voice. “Rude. But—no offence, but he’s…”

“Closer to you?” Remus smirked.

“Well…yeah.”

“Awww, is ickle Jamesie getting jealous? His boyfriend’s off talking to other people—”

James chuckled. “That’s not what I mean, you twat.”

“Well, what did you mean?” 

He had a little smile on his face. “He’s opening up to someone, at least.”

Remus looked at him. “Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww—”

“Shut the FUCK UP, LUPIN,” came Peter’s angry voice. 

Chapter Text

31st July, 1975

12.42pm

“MY DARLING DEAREST!” cried Sirius as James opened the door, clearly buzzing with excitement, a bit like an overexcited dog. Or an overexcited eight-year-old.

“SUGARPLUM, YOU’RE HERE!” 

“Sirius! We were just about to have lunch,” said Euphemia. 

Sirius settled in so easily to the Potter routine - probably because he spent more time over there than he did in his actual house. Euphemia was basically his second mother. He had an…amicable relationship with Fleamont, though there were occasional nags about how he needed to ‘cut that damn hair’. Euphemia called him ‘dear’. Fleamont called him ‘son’. The first time he got ‘son’ he nearly cried with happiness, which got him both an understanding clap on the shoulder (now he knew where James got it from) and a little reprimand for tracking mud into the house. He actually helped Euphemia with the dishes, and even cooking sometimes (he had her masala recipe written down in an actual literal recipe book, which he had defaced with random notes). He sometimes helped Fleamont with gardening— well, when he was asked. He was a Lazy Disaster Gay in his final form. James obviously also helped, though…mainly out of fear of, well, either Sirius or his dad. James was obviously like a brother to him; he had been since day one, really. The stark contrast of their warm cottage, with acres of orchard and field and lake, to the bleak, depressing house that was Grimmauld Place, only made him appreciate when he was with the Potters more.

“So, how’s your…little cult, huh?” asked Euphemia.

“It’s not a cult, Mum, it’s a gang,” said James.

She sighed. “Do you have gang meetings? Do you need me to send you more samosas for the gang members?”

“Mum, if there is one thing I don’t need more of it’s samosas.”

“So you’re saying you need more pakoras?”

“nO.”

 

23rd August, 1975

11.11am

“IT’S REMUS,” came a yell from inside, before Remus even had a chance to knock on the door. Euphemia opened the door, used to their weirdly perceptive tendencies.

“Moony, you’re just in time, we’re going to go into town and loiter like delinquents—” James was cut off by a stern look from his mother. “I mean, go into libraries and read for hours. Oh my god, you’re so tall — how does this even happen?”

“I don’t know about delinquency, but I’m down for the library thing. Where’s Sirius?” asked Remus, this time unaccompanied.

“Oh, I think he’s just getting dressed. He’s always late getting up, you know that.”

Sirius came bounding down the stairs, as if on cue, and immediately stopped in his tracks when he saw Remus, causing him to stumble down the last step and nearly fall over.

Remus had surpassed awkward-tall, surpassed uncomfortable, and had hit 6 foot - also known as hot tall. I mean, his disturbingly long limbs still made him look kind of awkward, but he was actually, properly, a head taller than Sirius now. FurthermcFuckingmore, he had gotten a fucking haircut, shaving his sides, which only emphasised the fact that he now had a goddamn jawline. This may have been slightly undercut by the fact that he was wearing a beige cardigan, but at least he hadn’t changed in that respect.

Sirius suddenly had business somewhere very far away from Remus.

Remus pulled a face. “What was that?”

James was trying very hard not to smile, but just shrugged.

“James, I’m going to go try and sort out the laundry. I want you out of the house by twelve, and back by four. If you die, then know you deserve it.” Euphemia planted a kiss on his head. 

“Thanks, Mum. Oi, Remus.”

“What?”

“No offence, but me and Sirius kind of have a cool vibe going on here, and you’re over here with a cardigan.”

Remus looked at him, concerned. “What are you saying?”

“You know what I’m saying, Lupin. Take off the damn cardie.”

“I’ll be cOLD!” he protested. “I will freeze to death!”

James looked around the room until his eyes settled on something. “ohohohohohohohohoho”

Remus glanced where he was looking and rolled his eyes. "No."

“Yes.”

“No way in hell - I give off a non-intimidating vibe, that’s my whole thing—”

“Come oooooon—”

“No!”

“We’re not leaving until you put it on.”

“Oh my god, fine.”

Sirius came down the stairs again, only to see Remus John Lupin wearing his FUCKING LEATHER JACKET.

He made an incoherent noise. He felt like he’d been punched in the lungs, which wasn’t necessarily physically possible, but whatever. It’s what he felt like. James walked over and grabbed him by the collar. “Let’s GO!” He dragged him out of the house.

 

23rd August, 1975

2.49pm

“This is...fucking boring,” said Remus, leaning against a brick wall. Sirius was still not quite over it, and James was highly amused.

“Oh look, a bookstore,” said James woodenly. “Wow. It looks like I have some…errands...to run, so you two go ahead and go in.” He shoved them in the vague direction of a Waterstones. Remus looked at him oddly as he literally sprinted in the other direction, with no clear direction in mind. Sirius looked murderous.

"You've never run an errand in your life, Prongs," Remus yelled after him, but he was already gone.

They sort of…awkwardly shuffled in the vague direction of the store.

“What is up with you?” asked Remus, suddenly taking actual initiative and starting to walk properly. “You’re being weird.”

“Weird? Me? Never. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?"

They got a disapproving look from a granny. For what, except existing (or quoting Shakespeare), they did not know.

“I do bite my thumb, sir! What is wrong with you?” Remus elbowed him. 

Sirius sighed. "But do you bite your thumb at us, sir?" He paused for a second. Then, with more purpose: “Hey. C’mon. Books.”

After about an hour, James went into the bookstore to try and find them, as they’d literally been in there for…well, about an hour. 

“Prongs! Help, I’ve lost Moony—” Sirius was shushed by an elderly woman. “Sorry, grandma. I forgot about that huge sign that says ‘talk as much as you want, unless you’re a teenager’.”

“Padfoot! No! Leave the…geriatric lady alone! Also—what do you mean you’ve lost Moony?”
“I mean I’ve lost him!”

They did a thorough comb of the bookstore, and eventually found him a corner, reading some Jane Austen, that he absolutely had not paid for.

“Jesus H. Christ,” sighed James. “You’re hopeless, Moons.”

"Maybe so, but you two are idiots. You know that, right?" Remus shut the book and put it down on the windowsill he was sitting on.

"Hey, James?" Sirius elbowed him.

"What?"

"Is the law on our side if I say ay?"

Remus snorted and James just looked confused. "...I...probably not?"

"No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I bite my thumb, sir." Sirius folded his arms dramatically.

"WHy are you calling each other sir so much? What am I missing? Am I going to die?" James was on the verge of tears.

"Do you quarrel, sir?" Remus stood up.

"Quarrel, sir?" Sirius looked amused. "No, sir."

"If you do, sir, I am for you: I serve as good a man as you."

"Guys! What is happening? Who do you serve, Remus? Is this, like...a kinky thing?"

"No better." Sirius ignored him.

"Alright, that's enough. If we keep going like this Mercutio'll die by Tybalt's hand and I can't fucking deal with that," said Remus. "He was my first crush when I was little."

"I..." Sirius stared at him. "Mercutio? Was...what? Why did you read Romeo and Juliet when you were little?"

"That was Romeo and Juliet?" James looked baffled. 

 

24th August, 1975

12.04am

Sirius snuck out of the bedroom, into the rickety hallway. James followed him out, thinking he p r o b a b l y wanted to talk about something. 

“What the fUCK WAS TODAY ABOUT?” whisper-yelled Sirius. Yep, James was right.

“What part?” asked James.

“All of it. All. Of. It.”

“The leather jacket was just me making fun of you.”

“No shit!” Sirius felt out of breath. “It was cruel. What—what was the bookstore.”

“A wise man once said…’if Remus is going to fall in love with anyone, it’d be in a bookstore’,” said James.

“That was me, and I am decidedly not wise—Remus likes to go off on his own and just read,” sighed Sirius. “I…I did think you were right, for a second, but then I realised he’s the BIGGEST DORK IN THE WORLD. More to the point, why are you trying to get us together?”

“I’ve been trying to get you together for like…four months.”

“Well, you’ve been doing a shit job,” said Sirius. 

“OHOHOHOHO,” said James suddenly. “You have just admitted…” Pause for effect, Jamesie, pause for effect.

Sirius looked disturbed. “What?”

“That you are also trying to get you together.”

Sirius gaped for a second. “Wh—I—no—”

“hA H A!” cried James triumphantly, but was silenced when Remus appeared at the door, murder in his eyes.

Potter.” This came out as a murderous growl, which was disturbing for all involved. James stopped for a second, stared at Remus, (literally) jumped, and dashed off in the other in the other direction.  Sirius yelled in fear when he saw Remus, and immediately ran off after James. Remus followed. “Running will only make it worse.” 

Sirius scampered after James out the back door (closing the kitchen door so the cat - and also the Remus - couldn’t get out) into the garden. Remus, mildly irritated, opened and closed the kitchen door into the garden. He saw the figures of James and Sirius sort of…frantically sprinting into the woods. Did they actually think he was going to murder them? If so, that would definitely be a fair assumption.

Sirius and James were running faster than they’d ever run before in his life (in Sirius’ case, this wasn’t much of an achievement given that he’d never run before in his life at all). James looked over his shoulder and saw Remus just kind of…casually walking after them. 

“Why - is he - so - terrifying—” panted Sirius. “He - literally - wears - socks - to bed.”

“THAT ONLY MAKES HIM MORE TERRIFYING,” said James, infinitely fitter than Sirius. “Who the fuck wears socks to bed?”

“True — why - is he going - so slowly? Why - are we - going so - fast?” Sirius was slowly dying. 

“You need to do some damn sport at some point in your life, goddammit. Here, we’re way ahead, let’s stop here.”

“Oh thank God,” said Sirius, stopping and immediately flopping onto the ground. James leant against a tree, panting only slightly. 

“Do you do any exercise at all now after you quit Quidditch?” 

“I didn’t even do Quidditch,” said Sirius. 

“I - what - what does that even mean, I was there — AH OH MY GOD HOW DID YOU GET HERE SO FAST—”

“Long legs,” said Remus, having caught up to them already. 

“YOU’RE LIKE ONE OF THOSE FREAKISH SPIDERS JESUS FUCKING CHRIST— What are they called?”

Sirius thought for a second and gasped. “A daddy long legs!”

James stared at him. “Who looked at a spider and thought ‘daddy’?”

“I don’t know. Some kinky bitch. Anyway — imminent danger!” Sirius scrambled to get up, and immediately fell over. 

“Bitch, what do you think I’m going to do to you? I am a lanky bastard with no motor skills,” said Remus. “I’m literally in a jumper that says '#1 mum'.”

“That’s—” James paused. “That’s fair, actually. Why are we scared of you? Sirius?”

Sirius shrugged.

“You guys are…so weird. Come on, let’s go back to the house, you fools.”

Chapter Text

25th August, 1975

2.28am

Remus awoke to Sirius shaking him. He sat up groggily. “Do you want to die?”

“No, but I do want to show you something.”

Remus let out a very extended groan. “This better be good.”

“Come on.” Sirius grabbed his arm and pulled him out of the room, careful not to wake up James or Peter (who had arrived that morning). Sirius dived under James’ bed and grabbed two bottles of Firewhiskey. They snuck out of the door into the orchard. 

“Where are we going?” Remus clearly just wanted to go back to bed. Sirius chucked a Firewhiskey at him. 

“It’ll be good, I promise!” 

Remus dropped the bottle. “You know I can’t catch shit.” Remus unscrewed the top and took a large swig. 

“Ooh, look at Remus, breaking rules and drinking after midnight. What a delinquent,” said Sirius, who had already nearly finished his Firewhiskey. 

Remus just looked at him, partly in disappointment, partly in…gay.

They were walking down a path lined with trees, towards a small forest. When they got to the end of the path, Sirius gasped.

“What? Oh, they’re building a road.” Remus Lupin, ever-observant.

“They’ve bUILT THE FUCKING ROAD. That wasn’t here last time.”

“Where does it go?” Remus leant and peered down it. “It’s the Road to Nowhere.”

“Remus! That was released in 1985! You’re not allowed to say that yet!”

Remus gave him an odd look. “You’re the weirdest person.”

“Hey, let’s take a detour! See where it goes.”

Remus, having consumed liquid courage, grinned. “Only if I can race you.”

“BRING IT ON, LANKY.”

“3…2…1…”

They sprinted down the road, until they saw a distant light, coming from an ominously industrial-looking square building.

“What — in the name of fuck — is that?” wheezed Sirius.

“Oh my god it’s an alien housing facility.”

“If we run past that we’re definitely going to die.”

“Let’s go back.”

“Yeah.”

Sirius put his arm around Remus’ shoulders and they walked back down the road. They’d only run about 200 metres, because they were idiots.

“Wait there was a point to us coming out here, wasn’t there?” said Sirius. 

“Yeah, except you wouldn’t tell me what it fucking was—”

“Oh, I’ve remembered — never mind, confusion over.”

Sirius took a right, into the forest, down a gravel path, until they came to the bank of a fairly slow-moving burbling brook. There was a gap in the trees, and you could see the waning moon surrounded by stars. It was a surprisingly clear night - not a cloud in the sky. The light of the moon lit up the dewy grass, and made the river glint. Sirius sat on the edge of the brook and took off his shoes. He dipped his feet into the cool water.

Remus didn’t know what to say. “Where did you find this place?”

“James’ mum and dad used to let us run around here until we tired ourselves out. Which, of course, was never. Anyway, I came across this place a couple of years ago, but I’d only ever come here in the day until a few days ago. It’s…it’s nice, right?”

Remus chuckled. “You could say that.”

Sirius rolled up his pyjama bottoms and got up. He wobbled a bit on the steep bank, and carefully stepped onto a well-placed rock, and then stepped into the river. He tottered a little. The current was stronger than he expected.

“You’re going to fall, you fool,” said Remus, sitting down on the bank.

“Am not. You should come in, it’s nice.” Sirius stretched his arm out to Remus. “C’mon.”

“No way in hell. You will absolutely drop me.”

“Come oon! It’ll be fine, I promise.”

“No.”

“I’m not going to stop whining until you come in. Trust me.”

Remus reluctantly got up and held onto Sirius’ arm. “If I fall in, I’m going to kill you.” He tentatively stood on the same rock that Sirius had, but it shifted, and Remus nearly fell right into the water. Sirius moved forward deftly and caught him - rather less romantically than he’d intended, but caught him all the same.

“Fucking hell, you nearly broke my arm—” Remus sighed. “Thanks.” He got up, blushing.

Sirius gave him a fond look. They were rather closer than they’d usually be, Remus still hanging onto Sirius’ hand. Remus looked back at him, not breaking eye contact, until Sirius went red and looked away. He moved his hand up to his hair and started fiddling with it. Goddammit, Sirius. 

Pregnant pause. 

“So how’re you—” “What’s your middle name?” They spoke at the same time. 

“Fine—” “You know my middle name, Pads.”

Sirius grinned. “Pads?”

“Oh my gOD. Ignore it. You always make fun of me when I do this!” Remus gave him a little shove, and Sirius nearly fell over.

“Oi! It’s because it’s adorable!” Sirius chuckled.

“I am not adorable. I am terror and hate.”

“Says the man who just nearly fell into a river, but instead fell into my aRMS.”

Remus was trying very hard not to laugh. “I did not fall into your arms, you wanker, I nearly fell and grabbed your hand.”

“Ohoho! Dress it up however you want, Moons, you fell right into my loving embrace…and at the same time…you fell for me! Admit it!” Sirius was in dramatic mode now.

“Yeah, well, maybe I did.” Remus spoke without thinking, and once he’d realised what he’d said, went bright red. He’d realised he didn’t even sound remotely sardonic. There was a pause. Sirius’ face somehow contained surprise, confusion, and something else. …Hope?

Suddenly he laughed, and shoved him. “Your sarcasm has reached new levels, Moony.”

“I have a talent.” Laugh it off, Lupin, laugh it off. 

“Fuck, I'm tired. It’s late. We should get back.”

Remus nodded. 

They walked back to the cottage in silence.

 

25th August, 1975

9.41am

Remus walked downstairs with the other boys groggily. He really regretted staying up with Sirius. “Morning, Mrs P,” said Peter.

“Morning, boys. Ah, Remus - a letter came for you this morning,” she said, handing him a heavy letter. He opened it, curious, and a badge emblazoned with a ‘P’ fell out. He stared at it in horror.

“No.”

James and Sirius whooped, and Peter thumped him on the back. 

“No way in—” Remus glanced at Euphemia nervously. “…Heck.”

“Well done, mate!” cried James. “Ahh, Remus is a Prefect! My boy’s growing up!”

“Prongs, I’m older than you.”

“Only by seventeen days!”

“Why would Dumbledore make me a Prefect? I mean, I may be the most responsible of you lot, but that’s not saying much. In fact, it’s saying nothing.”

“Oh, come on, you’re way better than us, mate,” said Peter, sitting down at the table. 

“Yeah, you actually show up to classes! And do your homework!” James said. “I mean — we do that as well, obviously, Mum—”

“Oh, save it, James, I get the letters from Minerva,” said Euphemia, and went off to fry some eggs. The fact that she and McGonagall were on a first-name basis was somewhat unnerving to the whole room.

“Seriously, man, you deserve it,” said Sirius, with a grin. “I’m just glad that it wasn’t James.”

“James is a bully and an all-around twat, he’d never get into a position of any power,” said Peter, to James’ displeasure and Remus and Sirius’ agreement.

“Bloody hell.”