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Children Of The Revolution

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Sirius tapped his foot slowly against the dinner table as Kreacher served him breakfast.

Kreacher mumbled something about Sirius being an ungrateful brat. Sirius pretended not to hear. The house elf was always causing his problems, he was a snitch, he told Sirius’ parents every little thing he saw. Sirius hated him, he was the Black, Kreacher was just a stupid house elf. How dare he act as if he was above him?!

“Have you packed everything?” His mother said, sharply.

“Yes, mother.” Sirius looked down at his plate and picked at his buttered toast, it was dry, the butter had soaked into the bread and left the toast chewy.

“Right. Well. I’ve found your father’s old tie, it shouldn’t be too big but if-” Walburga started.

“You don’t know if I’ll be a Slytherin, mother.” Sirius clenched his jaw.

Walburga looked at him. Her eyes and her posture were threatening.

“Don’t interrupt me.” She snarled, “You will be a Slytherin. It is in the family’s blood. You will be placed in the best and correct house. Now stop being ungrateful. It is an honour for you to get your father’s old tie. It’s tradition.”

Sirius nodded and took a small bite of his toast. He wasn’t going to argue anymore, he knew what those threatening eyes meant. He felt the salty bread soak in the back of his throat and the slimy feeling butter filling his mouth with the taste of raw eggs.

“Kreacher!” His mother called. Kreacher popped up with a crack. “Take Sirius’ plate away. He clearly isn’t hungry.” She smiled evilly.

“May I be excused?” Sirius mumbled.

His mother flicked a hand his way to usher him off.

Sirius walked up the long back of wooden stairs to his room, closing the trunk as he pushed it off his bed and it landed on the floor with a thud.

He slumped down onto his bed and placed his head in his hands, sighing as he pressed his palms to his eyes. Only one more hour. One more hour and you’ll be on the train for Hogwarts. One more hour and you’ll be out of here. He thought to himself.

Sirius felt comfort in this. A voice in the back of his head telling him everything would be alright. But the rest of him knew he wasn’t really out of there. He would be back for the holidays, and if he was put into Slytherin it would be the same as at home. He knew the people would be moody gits like his parents and grandparents and aunts and great aunts - basically his whole family. He hoped maybe other 11 year olds would be like him in Slytherin. At least he wouldn’t have his mother’s evil black eyes following his every move. And the threats. And the beatings…

Sirius just didn’t understand. He didn’t know if other families were like this. He listened to his mother and father at dinner when they told him that the Blacks are in the Sacred 28. Their blood is pure, which makes them better than other wizards and witches. He listened to them when they taught him about muggleborns. How they shouldn’t be allowed at Hogwarts and how they’re weaker and less than purebloods. His father told him he was allowed to be acquaintances with half bloods only if they understood that they are less than him, and only if they were just acquaintances. He must only make friends with purebloods. His mother told him that it was awful that so many people with tainted blood and blood traitors were allowed in school.

Sirius listened, and pretended to care as they told him this. He understood the gist of it and he would be doing the exact opposite of whatever they tell him to do.

As they took the Floo to King’s Cross Station his mother made a face of disgust. Sirius almost laughed when he saw it. Her lips puffed out like a fish and her long nose wrinkling.

“It’s disgusting, being around all these muggles.” She commented with a forced shudder.

Sirius nodded. Regulus popped up behind their mother and looked around drowsily.

“Alright. You know what to do. Behave, Sirius.” His mother said sharply. “Goodbye. Son.”

Sirius gave her a kiss on the cheek and hugged Regulus. “You’ll be okay.” He whispered. He felt Regulus nod against his shoulder.

“Off you go.” Walburga said boredly.

Sirius rolled his eyes and ran towards the wall into Platform 9 ¾. He watched as the other parents kissed their children goodbye and had tears running down their cheeks. Sirius felt it a little dramatic. He walked around the train and found a compartment with only a boy with messy black hair, a muscular build, dark skin and glasses.

“Hello, I’m Sirius Black, nice to meet you. What’s your name?” Sirius said.

“James Potter, pleasure to meet you.” The boy replied.

“Would it be okay if I rode in here for the journey to Hogwarts?” asked Sirius.

“Oh, yes, I don’t mind.” James said.

As they talked, laughed, and got to know each other better, Sirius could tell that he and James would be good friends. Soon after, a girl with long, beautiful, red hair walked in along with a boy with greasy black hair and a large nose.

“Hullo, I’m Lily Evans, and this is my friend, Severus Snape. Would it be okay if we rode with you?” The redhead asked.

“Sure.” James and Sirius said together.

“Thanks.” Lily said shyly and sat down with them.

To break the silence, Sirius asked James, “So, what House do you hope to be in?”

“Gryffindor, where the brave dwell at the heart! Like my father.” James exclaimed.

James’ comment got a snort from Snape. James turned to him and said, “What’s so funny?”

Snape said haughtily to James, “Well, if you prefer to be brawns over brains and in Gryffindor rather than Slytherin, I guess that’s fine by me.”

“So where are you going to go, seeing as you’re neither?” James retorted.

“Come on, Severus, let’s go find another compartment.” Lily said quietly, but the compartment had grown so silent with tension that everyone heard her. She glared at James and Sirius, and then left the compartment with Snape not far behind.

“See ya, Snivellus!” Sirius snickered as Snape walked out.

“Wow, what a jerk!” Sirius said to James once Lily and Snape were out of earshot.

“Totally,” James agreed. After a moment he added, “But wasn’t that Lily girl kind of pretty?”

“Ooh, I think you’ve got your first crush!” Sirius teased James.

“You are so thick.” James said, though he was smiling.

“Oh, denial, now I truly know you like her!” Sirius said playfully.

Sirius and James chatted some more about Quidditch and what Hogwarts might look like.

“Hey, Peter, I was wonderin’....oh, I didn’t mean to intrude. I think my compartment is next door, sorry.” A boy with curly hair and a long silver scar down his warm face said as he slid the door open suddenly.

“Oh, no, it’s alright, if you would like to join us, that’s okay, right, Sirius?” asked James.

“Hmm? Oh, yes, it’s fine by me, I don’t care.” Sirius said rather dully. He looked the boy up and down. He was tall and had a slight slouch. He had muggle clothes on, loose faded jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt. Sirius wondered if he was a muggle-born.

“Well, now that you mention it, if you wouldn’ mind, it would be nice to meet new people. I’ll just go and get my friend, and then we’ll be right back.” He said with a slight twinkle in his eye. He had a thick welsh accent which made Sirius feel intrigued.

Sirius could tell the boy had been somewhat lonely in his childhood; he had a sad expression that he looked like he always wore, Sirius wondered if he wore the same expression. He wasn’t lonely in his childhood, he had Regulus, but he certainly didn’t have any friends. His childhood was filled with meeting dull family members and long chats with his mother and father about what he’d done wrong this time.

The boy came back with Peter and made introductions. Peter had a pale face and chubby cheeks which flushed when he smiled. He was wearing wizard robes.

“Are you a muggle born?” Sirius asked Remus sharply.

Remus creased his brow, “Do you have a problem with that?”

Sirius’ eyebrows shot up. “Oh- oh no. I don’t have a problem. With that.” He stuttered.

Remus raised his brow in question. “No. I’m a half-blood. Not that it matters. I grew up in a muggle household though. My dad stopped liking magic after-” Remus stopped and looked down at the floor. He clears his throat “Um… he doesn’t like magic anymore. So we started doing things the muggle way. I basically have the same amount of knowledge as muggle borns apart from a couple things I’ve managed to get outta him.”

Sirius nodded. “What about you?” Sirius asked Peter.

“Oh. I'm a pureblood. My last name is Pettigrew.” Peter said quietly.

Sirius raked his brain for the name Pettigrew. Not in the Sacred 28, but still pure.

“I'm a pureblood.” James said slowly.

Sirius rolled his eyes. He knew the Potters of course, they were the richest pure bloods in India before they moved. They were also not in the Sacred 28 but they were well known throughout the wizarding world. He remembered his mother telling him that they were blood traitors, but Sirius didn’t care.

“What are you then?” Remus asked bluntly.

Sirius almost kicked him. He was a Black, everyone knew the Blacks. He then remembered he’d only told Remus his first name.

“Oh, my last name is Black.” He smiled softly while waiting for Remus to understand.

Remus raised an eyebrow, “Okay? Are you a pureblood or what?” He said with annoyance.

“I’m a Black. Everyone knows the Blacks. We’re in the Sacred 28. Of course we’re pure.” Sirius said angrily.

“Hmm. Personally I’ve never cared for that rubbish. Pure this and pure that. It’s a load of bullshit if you ask me.” Remus smirked.

James and Peter gasped at the swear word. Remus grinned more.

“Posh twats.” He laughed. Sirius grinned at that, but quickly tried to look angry again.

“He’s right, y'know. We’re no better than the rest of them just because we’re purebloods.” James shrugged.

Peter nodded in agreement.

Sirius looked at them and bit his lip. “Well, I suppose you’re right.”

The rest of the journey was spent with them teasing and laughing together. As they got off the train and were taken to the boats to cross the river. Sirius and James sat behind Remus and Peter, who were the first to run to the front.

He looked at the night sky and lake in awe. Listening as the other students whispered to their friends about the beauty of the castle looking building they were approaching.

As they were dragged into the Great Hall and walked in a line, Sirius watched as the first years started getting sorted.

“James Potter.” McGonagall’s voice called. James went up to the stand and sat on the bench. Before the hat has even properly sat on his head, only touching his messy black hair, the hat boomed, “Gryffindor!”

Sirius smiled as James grinned joyfully and walked over to the Gryffindor table.

A few more names, and then “Peter Pettigrew” was called. Peter rushed up nervously and sat on the bench.

After around 3 minutes, a long time, the hat finally shouted, “Gryffindor!”

As the cheers erupted Sirius felt a pang in his chest. He really hoped he would be with at least one of his friends, maybe Remus would get into Slytherin. Sirius hoped Remus wouldn’t be in Gryffindor, there would be more chance of being with him if he was in any of the other houses. Sirius really didn’t want to be in Slytherin, but he knew that Gryffindor was the polar opposite of Slytherin, and he still had some Black blood after all.

As Remus was called up to the stand Sirius crossed his fingers behind his back.

He watched as Remus’ face paled slightly at the hat’s words. Sirius creased his brow, maybe he wasn’t going to be put with his frien-

“Gryffindor!” The hat boomed. Remus smiled slightly, his face still a little pale. He walked quickly over towards the table and sat next to James who was talking to a blushing Lily.

Severus Snape was called. He was put into Slytherin, Sirius wondered if he always had a permanent scowl on his face.

“Sirius Black.” Professor McGonagall called.

Sirius walked up to the stand while hearing a few murmurs from the crowd.

“Ah. Another Black. What shall we do with you, eh?” The hat said.

“Gryffindor.” Sirius thought.

“Gryffindor?! I never thought I’d hear a Black say that. I suppose you don’t really fit Slytherin. Not very cunning, are you? Impulsive. Hm… perhaps you would fit hufflepuff. Although I still feel you’re a little too… impolite there. Perhaps Ravenclaw, yes. You would do well in Ravenclaw. Very smart. Although perhaps you don’t have quite the thirst for knowledge there. Ah, I suppose it will have to be…”

“Gryffindor!” The hat shouted.

The Hall went silent, murmurs fill the tense air. McGonagall took the hat off reluctantly and smiled softly in an act of encouragement to Sirius. Sirius rushed over to the Gryffindor table and sat next to Peter, opposite James and Remus. He placed his head in his hands and groaned quietly.

“You’ll be fine, mate.” James smiled.

“Sirius Black, is it?” Lily said, “I’ve read about your family.” She said wearily.

Sirius just groaned again, “They’re gonna kill me.”

Peter patted him on the back, “Don’t worry about it. Just enjoy your meal for now.”

The sorting ceremony finished. Dumbledore gives some silly speech about sticking together and working hard and all that bollocks.

Halfway through pudding, McGonagall walked up to the Gryffindor table. Remus was munching on some chocolate brownie.

“Remus, come with me please.” She said softly.

Remus wiped his face of crumbs and followed her. James and Sirius give each other questioning looks.

“Do you think he’s in trouble already?” Peter said. “It’s not even been an hour.”

Sirius hummed and bit his nails. He shrugged. “Maybe-”

“Maybe you should keep your nose out of other people’s business.” Lily smiled patronisingly.

Sirius scowled, “He’s our friend. You haven’t even talked to him.”

Lily scowled back, “Yes I have. And anyway, it’s still none of your business, Black.”

James sighed, “We’ll talk to him later. Anyway, do you reckon first years are allowed to watch the Quidditch practices because I…”

Sirius zoned out. He’s not really in the mood to talk about Quidditch, or Remus. He had his own problems. The next day he would probably wake up with a howler.

They walked up to the Gryffindor common room.

“Silly Sneezles.” The Gryffindor Prefect said.

The Gryffindor common room is practically covered in red, orange and gold. Everything felt so warm, it felt the exact opposite to his house.

They got shown up to the dormitories. Sirius, of course, was put with Peter, James and Remus.

Alice, Marlene, Mary and Lily were in the girls’ dorm together.

After a few minutes Remus appeared in the doorway. He smiled at them.

“Where have you been?” Sirius demanded at the same time as Peter said, “What did McGonagall want?”

Remus sighed, “I’ve been expelled.”

“What!?” They all exclaimed at the same time.

Remus broke out into a grin, “Just kidding.”

“That wasn’t funny.” Peter squeaked.

“It was to me.” Remus chuckled, “The look on your faces.” He shook his head fondly.

“Stop deflecting. Where have you been?!” Sirius demanded again.

Remus sat down on his bed. “Didn’t Lily tell you to mind your own business? I did tell her to tell you that. I suppose you must have forgotten. Mind. Your. Own. Business.” Remus said.

Sirius rolled his eyes “I think as your friends, we should know.”

“Hmm.” Remus looked like he was thinking carefully, “Well. I don’t. Ask me no questions and I will tell you no lies.” He shrugged.

Sirius sighed, annoyed. “How do you know Lily? Is she your girlfriend? James will be heartbroken.”

“We met at Diagon Alley because we both had no clue where we were going. She’s not my girlfriend, I barely know her. We’re just friends.” Remus said with a pink tinge on his cheeks.

“You don’t like her do you?” James said nervously.

“Well you kind of have to like someone to be their friend.” Remus teased.

James rolled his eyes “Do you fancy her?”

“Nope.” Remus popped the ‘p’. He lay down on his bed. Sirius grinned at James’ relieved face.

Sirius saw Remus' shirt rolling up slightly and he could see his stomach. He noticed jagged scars lying across his navel.

“How’d you get all those scars?” Sirius blurted.

Remus tensed visibly. He ignored Sirius. “I’m going to change.” He mumbled. Padding off to the bathroom.

“Well done, Sirius.” James said sarcastically.

“What? I was just asking.” Sirius frowned.

“It’s a bit insensitive. I don’t think he likes us asking questions.” Peter said.

Sirius rolled his eyes, “Well we have to help him get out of his shell then.”

Remus walked out of the bathroom with blue pyjamas on and a yawned. Sirius jumped onto Remus’ bed. Remus gave him a quizzical look.

“I’m not getting off until you tell me something interesting about you.” Sirius grinned wickedly.

Remus shrugged and sat down on the bed next to Sirius. “What do you want to know?”

“Um…”

“Nothing about my scars.” Remus gave him a look.

Sirius nodded, “Why were you with Professor McGonagall?”

Remus sighed and rubbed his face with his palm. “She needed to talk to me about some arrangements. I wasn’t in trouble or anything.”

“What arrangements?” Sirius creased his brow in confusion.

Remus looked at him for a moment. “I can’t tell you. Sorry.”

James and Peter watched the exchange from across the room.

Remus looked at him again with a slight trace of worry on his face. He watched as Sirius lay down, Remus turned onto his belly and propped himself up on his elbows while looking at Sirius and searching for something to say.

Luckily, James stepped in, “Sirius, it’s Remus’ bed. Leave off him.”

Sirius sighed and looked at Remus once again. Remus just shoved him with a smile and Sirius climbed out of his bed and into his own.

***

The first day of lessons went well. Luckily everything was very calm and friendly, partly because it was their first day ever and partly because it was Thursday and basically the end of the week.

Sirius found out that James was a fellow prankster. Remus and Peter were not, James said it was now their job to convert them.

“But… won’t we get in trouble?” Peter asked, gnawing at his lip.

James grinned and gave him a pat on the back. “That doesn’t matter! It’s for fun. Who cares.”

Sirius nodded along. Remus yawned. “I reckon we should put laxatives in the Slytherins’ food. They were being twats earlier, to Mary MacDonald.”

Sirius grinned “I knew we became friends with you for a reason. We can find a spell for that, I reckon.”

Remus rolled his eyes “You didn’t become friends with me because of my mysterious looks?” He said sarcastically.

James laughed, “I reckon Sirius finds your mystery the most annoying thing about you.”

Remus chuckled, though he did look slightly hurt. “Right, I was going to check for that Transfiguration book in the library. I reckon I can find a spell there. Anyone coming with?”

“Sure.” Peter shrugged. Sirius and James declined.

Sirius watched as Peter and Remus walked away. Suddenly a swish of blond hair came into vision.

Narcissa.

“Cousin.” She greeted, then got straight to the point, “Expect a howler from your mother. She’s not happy about this whole Gryffindor thing.”

Sirius nodded. He couldn’t tell whether Narcissa was trying to warn him or scare him. His face paled either way.

Narcissa walked away. Her long hair swishing and her heels making an echo in the hallway.

“Are you alright?” James asked.

Sirius scoffed, “Mhm.”

“I know something that’ll cheer you up.”

James showed him a spell he’d learned, it was a hex which made the victim’s snot turn into bats. It was called the Bat-Bogey Hex.

Sirius didn’t have the nerve to tell him he already knew about the hex and has stolen his mother’s wand to perform it on Regulus, multiple times.

Remus opened the door to their dorm and Peter followed him in. Sirius jumped out of his seat and rushed over to them.

“So what did you find?” He asked excitedly.

“We found this. It’s pretty easy. I’ll show you guys the wand movement. It has a similar effect to Belch Powder…”

Remus explained the spell and how if all four of them did it they would be able to get the whole Slytherin house.

The next morning, the operation began. They walked into the Great Hall for breakfast nonchalantly. Sirius sat down and watched as the Slytherins piled in. After a few moments Remus whispered, “Go.”

The four of them cast the spell and quickly went back to their food.

Suddenly, Mulciber stood up with a strange look on his face. A few more Slytherins did the same. They all started running out and screaming.

The students all burst out laughing, the Great Hall filled with cheers and giggles as the Slytherins ran out with shocked faces.

“Your faces match your robes!” James shouted with laughter. Lily gave him an angry look and stormed off.

Eventually the hall calmed down. People went back to their normal conversations.

“To our first prank.” James cheered.

“To our first prank.” They repeated and bumped their cups of pumpkin juice together.

Then the owls started flying in. Sirius gulped. A letter dropped by his food.

“SIRIUS ORION BLACK. I AM DISGUSTED. DISAPPOINTED AND HORRIFIED. HOW DARE YOU TARNISH THE FAMILY NAME. GRYFFINDOR!? GRYFFINDOR!? IT IS HORRIFIC. A BLACK IN SUCH A HOUSE. WE SHOULD BE TAKING YOU OUT OF HOGWARTS AND PUNISHING YOU FOR THIS AWFUL BEHAVIOUR. BLACKS ARE MEANT TO BE IN SLYTHERIN. NOT THE HOUSE OF BLOOD TRAITORS AND MUDBLOODS. NARCISSA TELLS ME YOU’VE BEEN CONVERSING WITH SUCH PEOPLE. I WILL ACCEPT THE POTTERS. AND MAYBE THE PETTIGREWS. BUT THE LUPINS?! A DISGUSTING FAMILY. DID YOU KNOW THAT LYALL TOLD THE MINISTRY HE DOESN’T WANT ANYTHING TO DO WITH MAGIC ANYMORE!? HE WANTS TO LIVE AS A MUGGLE. I REFUSE TO LET YOU GO ANYWHERE NEAR THAT CHILD. IT IS PROBABLY PUTTING IDEAS IN YOUR HEAD. I TOLD YOU. WE ARE BETTER THAN HALF BLOODS. YOU ARE TO ONLY TALK TO PUREBLOODS FROM NOW ON. I DO NOT CARE IF YOU HAVE TO LIVE WITH SUCH A THING. YOU ARE NOT TO TALK TO A HALF BLOOD. STAY AWAY FROM ANY MUDBLOODS. I WILL BE PUNISHING YOU AT CHRISTMAS. GRYFFINDOR. IS. NOT. FOR. BLACKS. If you want to be part of this family, you’re going to have to act like it.” Walburga screamed across the hall. The howler burst open into pieces. He heard murmurs across the students.

Sirius didn’t know when he started crying, but there were definitely tears running down his face. Sirius looked at Remus, who was pale and hunched over, looking small. Sirius felt horrible for dragging him into his mother’s speech.

It. She had said.

“I think I’m going to go get my books from the dorm. Sorry, Sirius.” Remus mumbled and got up.

Sirius stared for a moment and then got up and ran over to follow him.

He caught up and said, “Jesus, your legs are too long for your own good.” He’d meant it as a joke, but it didn’t sound like one when coming from a crying 11 year old.

Remus stared at him as he caught his breath.

“I’m sorry about her. Don’t listen. She’s just being dramatic, I’m not like that. I’m not going to stop being friends with you just because you’re a half-blood.” Sirius said desperately.

Remus had a pained expression on him for a moment. He nodded, “I know.”

He held his arms out for Sirius to hug him. Sirius quickly accepted and buried his head in Remus’ shoulder.

“I don’t know if it would be the same if…” Remus mumbled.

“If what?” Sirius asked. Remus shook his head.

“Don’t worry about it.”

 

That night Sirius padded over to James’ bed for a chat.

“How’re you feeling then?” James asked.

Sirius sighed, “I know she’s just being dramatic. She’s not that angry about it. I’m still the heir and everything. She’ll get used to it.”

James nodded along, “Good, good. Don’t worry about it

Sirius lay down next to James and yawned wildly.

“Oi. Get your own bed.” James said.

“Nah. I think I’ll stay here.” He grinned.

“Idiot.” James said fondly.

They both fell asleep next to each other. Sirius smiled when James passed the blanket over to Sirius in an act of kindness.

 

It was the first weekend at Hogwarts. Sirius was woken up early by James. James was a morning person.

Sirius got out of James’ bed and walked back to his own so he could get some more sleep in. He bumped into Remus’ bed on the way.

“Ow!” He exclaimed.

Remus groaned from inside the curtains and poked his head out. Sirius looked at his messy hair, squinted eyes and pink cheeks from the morning. He didn’t look like he’d slept though. He had purple eye bags under his eyes and shivering hands.

“Can you fuckin’ not?” Remus swore.

”It was an accident.” Sirius said.

Remus groaned again and pushed his palm into his head as if he had a sudden headache.

“Are you ok?” Sirius asked and walked up to where Remus’ head was poking out the curtains.

Remus didn’t respond, he just flopped down into his bed and closed the curtains. Sirius eyed them suspiciously, wondering if he should check on the curly haired boy. He decided against it and went to his own bed.

After what felt like a second of being asleep he felt the curtains being pulled open and the shadow of James standing there.

“C’mon. It’s ten o’clock now. Let’s go to breakfast.” James said and went to Peter’s bed.

Sirius took a moment to compose himself before getting up and brushing his short hair. Sirius was hoping to grow it out while he was at school. His hair grew quickly so it shouldn’t be a problem.

“Remus?” James said while trying to pull his curtains open, they were somehow tightly shut. “Remus?”

“Piss off.” He grumbled. James turned to Sirius and he shrugged.

“Remus.” Sirius said this time. “Are you ok? It’s breakfast time. I know how much you like food.”

Sirius had seen how much food Remus ate. It was like they didn’t feed him at home. Sirius wondered if he and Remus could have a competition on who could eat the most bacon. James was the opposite, he wouldn’t even go near any greasy food. Peter hated anything for breakfast other than beans on toast. He said it didn’t feel like home without his beans on toast. Sirius burst out laughing at that, they’d only been there for a few days and he already felt more at home at Hogwarts than at Grimmauld Place.

“Fuck off.” He mumbled.

“Merlin. We’re your friends, at least tell us what’s wrong.” James said sternly.

“I told you to piss off. You posh boys always act like I should be bloody grateful for being your friend. I don’t need your friendship. Leave me alone. If you’re going to be nosy twats, I don’t want to be your friend.” Remus said angrily.

“Fine.” Sirius stepped in the conversation, “We won’t be your friend. Let’s go Pete, James.”

“I still think we should check if he’s-” James started.

“He made it very clear that he doesn’t want to talk to us or be our friend. Leave it, James.” Sirius said sharply. He turned around and walked to the door, ushering Peter and James to go with him.

***
Remus woke up in a daze. He peeked his head out of his curtain to see the night sky and everyone asleep. Looking at the clock on the wall he saw 2:38am. He had been sleeping all day.

Remus sighed and went down to the common room. He wasn’t going to get any more sleep and Madame Pomfrey wanted to see him first thing in the morning since this was his first moon at Hogwarts.

He slumped down onto the red sofa and watched as the fire danced.

“Remus?” A voice which Remus recognised as Lily Evans said.

Remus turned his head slowly. “Can’t sleep?”

“Yeah. You?” She replied and sat down next to Remus.

“I’ve been sleeping all day.” Remus shrugged.

Lily gave him a questioning look. “You know… when I first met you I thought you were a werewolf.” She blurted out, “I thought that if wizards and witches were a thing then why not werewolves and vampires? Then I read about it for a bit. They really are quite horrible to werewolves in those books. They act as if they aren’t normal people most of the time. I think it’s awful really, quite prejudiced. Sev said-” she stopped when she saw the look on Remus’ face.

Remus’ hands began to shake.

“Oh, oh, Remus. I’m sorry.” Lily shook her head.

“I’m- I’m” Remus spluttered.

“You are, aren’t you?” Lily said softly. It wasn’t really a question. Based on Remus’ reaction it was obvious.

“Oh god- shit. You can’t tell anyone. Please Lily.” He said desperately.

“I won’t tell anyone. I promise. Oh, come here.” Lily gave him a warm hug.

“I thought I’d at least get through one transformation at school before someone found out.” He muttered nervously.

Lily laughed, “I really wasn’t thinking about it. It was meant to be a joke. Must be my muggle intuition stepping in. All these wizards and witches are oblivious.”

Remus grinned at that. “You won’t tell anyone, right?”

“I promise. Cross my heart.” Lily said seriously.

Remus smiled softly. Suddenly aware of how close together they were. Lily leaned in slightly. Remus breathed out before pressing his lips against hers softly.

They stayed like that for about 2 seconds. Then sprang apart with disgusted looks on their faces.

“Ew, ew, ew, ew.” Lily repeated.

“Bleugh.” Remus cringed.

They looked at each other for a second before bursting out laughing.

“Let’s not do that again.” Remus said.

“Yeah, let’s not.” Lily said, still laughing. She held out her pinky to make the promise. Remus took it with a chuckle.

Remus cringed again, “I imagine that’s what it’s like for you to kiss your sister.”

Lily thought for a moment “Hmm. Nah. You’re alright. I did have a bit of a crush on you when we met in Diagon Alley. But now it feels like you’re more of a brother, no offence.”

Remus blushed.

“Oh well. At least those are our first kisses out of the way.” Lily winked.

Remus smiled. He didn’t have to the heart to tell her she was, in fact, not his first kiss. “I can’t believe I beat Sirius, James and Pete to it.”

Lily laughed, “Of course you did. You’re very handsome.” She patted his cheek fondly.

Remus chuckled “Not sure I’ve ever been called handsome before. It’s usually ‘oh look how cute he is’.”

“Hmm. Maybe you’ve just started going through puberty.” She winked again.

Remus slapped her shoulder lightly and rolled his eyes. “Wanna play crazy eights?”

“Oh thank god. A muggle game. I’m already sick of bloody Exploding Snap.” She said lightly.

Remus chuckled and pulled out a pack of cards. Eventually Lily fell asleep against his shoulder. Remus sighed and got comfortable against her, hoping to get some sleep.

“Remus?” Peter called quietly from the top of the stairs.

“She’s asleep.” Remus whispered.

Peter nodded and gave him a look before going back into the dorm.

Lily woke up slowly from the noise, “I think I’ll go back to bed.” She mumbled.

Remus nodded and walked up to his dorm where Sirius, James and Peter were whispering to each other. They stopped when he walked in and Sirius shot him a dirty look. Remus looked at them confusedly and then went back to bed. He was too busy thinking about the moon to comment on their rudeness.

Remus woke up the next day early. He rushed down to Madame Pomfrey.

“Oh, dear. Let’s get you to bed dear.” She ushered.

Remus was put into a hospital bed by the window. She ran through all the things that would happen. Of course Remus had already heard all these things from McGonagall, his mother, his father and Dumbledore. He was to be led by Madame Pomfrey to the Shack. They would have to be quiet so students didn’t hear them outside. He would be put in a room which had magic on it so he stayed locked inside. The Whomping Willow would protect others from getting in.

After reading all day in the hospital wing he was eventually led to where he would be having his transformations.

It was a dingy room with dusty floorboards and an ugly bed in the corner. Remus didn’t care. He knew they weren’t going to get him a luxury hotel knowing that he was going to rip it to shreds.

“Alright, dear. I am sorry about the room. I asked Professor Dumbledore if he could perhaps put you in a nicer one but-” Madame Pomfrey started.

“It’s fine. I don’t mind.” Remus said calmly.

She nodded her head and sighed with sadness. “I’ll come and collect you tomorrow morning. First thing.”

Remus nodded. “Um… you should probably go.”

Her eyes widened “Oh yes! Right. I’ll see you. Take care of yourself.” She said solemnly before closing the door.

Remus got undressed and lay down on the bed, waiting for the transformation to take over.

First it was the crack. Remus could feel it in his ribs. His lungs were tightening. Then the tension in his right arm. His fingers cracked. Breaking and growing into horrific claws.

Remus shouted in pain. His face scrunching. Then his skull began moving, Remus could feel the panging in his brain as his skull felt like it was about to implode. And then finally, once all his organs had changed and his bones had snapped, his brain began to go blank. First the painful black splodges which he could feel in his eyes started, then the bright light flashed against his nose, growing forward and forward until it took over his eyes. Slowly he could feel part of his creative side shut off, and then all he was left with was: hunt, hunt, hunt.

Remus felt the sting of where his sharp claws slashed at his chest. Then he was gone. Everything was purely wolf, there was no human left in him.

Remus woke up slowly from the noises of birds chirping outside. He took a moment to get used to his surroundings. He quickly pulled his trousers on before Madame Pomfrey came in and lay down on the bed. He didn’t bother checking his wounds, he already knew they were bad. He was in a new place. A new surrounding. The wolf didn’t like the mystery.

“Oh! Oh my goodness!” A voice from the hallway exclaimed. “Remus…” she looked down at him.

Remus grunted.

“Is it always this bad? Oh gosh. This is horrible. How can they let a child have to go through this. Oh, and since you were five! It’s awful. They should’ve made a cure by now! Look at what they’re doing to you! Oh you poor child. Only eleven! I just can’t believe-” she rambled.

“‘M fine.” Remus grunted. Before passing out.

Remus woke up once again. This time he was in a comfortable bed, the same one he was in before the transformation.

“Oh good.” Madame Pomfrey said, “You’re up! Here drink this, drink this.”

She passed him a sweet tasting potion which he gulped down happily. His throat was dry.

“Oh goodness. It’s Monday. I thought perhaps one of your friends could come by.” She said, gnawing on her lip “I can take one of them out of class. Who are you friends with? I can go and get them.” She exclaimed.

“Uh… Lily Evans knows. But you don’t have to! I’m fine on my own.” Remus said quickly.

“Nonsense.” She smiled, “I’ll just go and get her now.”

***
There was a knock at the door. Sirius turned around curiously.

“Hello, Professor. I was just wondering if I could talk to Lily Evans.” Madame Pomfrey said with a smile.

“Yes, yes. Of course.” Professor Flitwick muttered before going back to his boring lecture.

Sirius and James both watched curiously as Lily went outside with Pomfrey before coming back in to collect her stuff. She whispered something to Mary before leaving.

“What did she say?” Sirius whisper-shouted to Mary.

Mary shrugged in response, “Something about Remus being in the hospital wing.”

Sirius turned his head around to look at James with wide eyes.

James had the same expression on his face. Except his glasses made his eyes look ten times bigger. It was rather comical, but Sirius was focusing on the matter at hand. After the lesson they rushed over to the hospital wing, dragging an oblivious Peter along with them.

James pushed the door open with a lot of force. Madame Pomfrey startled.

“We’re here to see Remus.” James said sternly.

“Oh!” She smiled, “That’s lovely. Come with me.” She led them to a closed off area which Remus was sitting in bed with while Lily chatted to him.

“Remus!” Sirius exclaimed when he saw him. He had dark purple eye bags under his eyes. As well as bandages sticking out of his top. His face was bruised and his hair was messy.

Remus’ eyes widened for a second before relaxing.

“Remus, your friends are here to see you.” Pomfrey smiled at him before leaving them alone.

“Remus! What happened?!” James looked shocked.

“Oh… er.” Remus looked like he was raking his mind for an excuse.

“He’s ill. Got the flu.” Lily piped up.

“That doesn’t explain the bandadg-” James started.

“He’s not going to tell you.” Lily shook her head. James creased his brow for a second before shrugging.

“I’m so sorry, Remus. I wanted to talk to you again after you got annoyed at us on Saturday. But Sirius here thought-” James started.

Sirius shushed him.

“Why does everyone always interrupt me?” James sighed.

Sirius grinned, “Because you’re always bloody talking.”

James rolled his eyes, “Anyway. We should’ve known you were sick! As if you wouldn’t want to be friends with us-”

Remus looked at them in confusion “What did I say to you all?”

“Oh… uh. Something about posh nosy twats. And that you didn’t want to be friends with us.” James winced.

He burst out laughing “Well that wasn’t very smart of me. I’m going to be sharing a dorm with you for seven years. I wasn’t wrong about the first part though.” Remus teased.

Sirius rolled his eyes, “Do you not remember that?”

“Hm. Not really. I was sleeping a lot that day, in case you hadn’t noticed.” Remus shrugged.

“You lot didn’t even check on him when he’d been sleeping all day!? You didn’t bother to ask why he wasn’t up and about?” Lily exclaimed angrily.

“Well, to be honest he did call us posh nosy twats and said he wanted to be left alone. And that he didn’t want to be our friend.” Peter defended.

“Can’t blame him.” Lily mumbled loudly.

“Oi!” Sirius said, “It’s not like you checked on him either. And what are you? His girlfriend? You should be caring more than his not-even-friends-anymore roommates!”

“Hey! I’m not his girlfriend. And I assumed he would be with you. You know, because you literally sleep in the same room. Just because he got a little angry at you doesn’t mean you can just leave him when he’s sick!” Lily raised her voice angrily.

“How were we supposed to know that!” James said.

“Well it’s a bit bloody obvious! You could just check!” Lily crossed her arms.

“He charmed his curtains shut! It’s not my fault that he-”

“Stop!” Remus shouted, hands over his ears. “I already have a headache and you lot aren’t helping.”

“Oh, Remus. Sorry.” Lily sat down again, calmly.

“Sorry, Remus.” Sirius said.

“Yeah, sorry.” James said sympathetically.

“Sorry.” Peter said in a high voice, still standing in the doorway awkwardly.

Remus smiled slightly, “Nice to be fought over.”

They all laughed at that. The tension immediately rises from the air. After a while of them quietly chatting Lily got up to leave.

“Sev wants to meet before potions. Sorry to leave early, Rem. See you.”

“Don’t worry. Have fun in potions.” Remus shrugged and waved her off.

“Guess what!” Peter exclaimed once she’d left.

“What?” Remus said.

“We’re planning a prank!” Sirius grinned.

Remus sighed, “What is it?”

“We’re going to make all the suits of armour get dressed in pink and put face paint on them, and then make them walk all around the castle and scare everyone.” James explained with a smile.

Remus gave them a look, “That sounds difficult. Although I think making them walk should be easy enough, there’s that spell which makes inanimate objects move. I reckon I could do that. How are you going to make them all dress up?”

“Oh we found something for that! We think that it’s possible to do 10 suits at a time, and since there’s only about 70 in the whole of Hogwarts it shouldn’t take long.” Peter replied.

“Brilliant!” James exclaimed, “I think we’ll be able to pull it off in the next couple weeks.”

Remus nodded sleepily.

“Do you want to sleep? We can go.” Peter offered.

Sirius frowned slightly, “Do you know when you’ll be out of the hospital wing?”

“Tomorrow, probably. I would like a nap actually. Thanks.” Remus shrugged.

“Okay. See you later, mate.” James said.

They said their goodbyes and left Remus alone.

“What do you think is wrong with him?” Sirius asked.

James shrugged and said, “I don’t know. We probably shouldn’t ask.”

 

Two weeks later, they had just about finished the plans for the prank.

Sirius sighed “We’ve been planning it for weeks! C’mon can we just get on with it.”

Peter gave him a look, “We can’t mess up. Stop being so impatient.”

Sirius just groaned, “Stop being so sensible. Pranks are supposed to be fun.”

“If you stopped being a massive twat then it would be fun.” Remus said and then winked at Peter.

Sirius recoiled and mumbled something incoherent.

“I think we’re ready, though. Remus has got the moving spell in the bag and Peter and I are pretty quick with the transfiguration.” James said.

Sirius looked up, offended. “Excuse you.”

Peter snorted.

“You’re good at other things.” Remus grinned,“Like bumping into my bed in the morning.”

“Why must you bully me so?” Sirius said dramatically. “James is more clumsy than me.”

Remus shrugged, “James knows how to do transfiguration.”

Sirius clipped him behind the head in annoyance. “I’m very good at all my subjects, actually.”

“You’d be good if you tried. Right now you’re just average.” Peter said.

Sirius sighed, “For my father ‘average’ means you’re stupid… and for my mother ‘average’ means you might as well become a house elf. Not that she cares. Heirs don’t do anything apart from going to stupid meetings with people you don’t like.”

James coughed awkwardly. When Sirius brought up his family it was always a little uncomfortable.

“It’s fine, Sirius. We’re only in our first year. You’re very smart, we were only teasing.” Remus said softly.

Sirius smiled. “Are you done researching that bloody wand movement yet? I’m bored.”

They all groaned at Sirius’ whining once again.

When they got back to the dorm, James said “I need to show you something.”

They gathered around his bed as James pulled out a brown package from underneath it. He slowly unwrapped it.

“What is it?” Remus questioned when James brought out a blue cloak with stars on it. “Is this one of those weird wizard fashion th-”

Sirius gasped first. Then Peter. Remus just looked at them, confused.

“It’s an invisibility cloak!” Sirius exclaimed.

Remus still looked confused, but a little shocked as well.

James passed the cloak to Sirius who wrapped it around himself. Peter and Remus gaped at his invisible body. Sirius looked at himself with a grin.

“This is so cool!” He said with wide eyes.

“Can I try it now?” Peter complained.

Sirius rolled his eyes and passed it to Peter who covered all of himself with it.

Remus tried to suppress a grin when Peter stuck James’ hair up into two sticking out bunny ears, and when he picked up some Zonko’s purple glitter and sprinkled it over Sirius.

“Hey!” Sirius shouted.

Remus burst out laughing before managing to grab Peter and pull the cloak off him. Remus gave it back to James who gave him a quizzical look and gave it back for Remus to try. Remus tried it round his shoulders quickly and passed it back to him.

“I thought it would be useful for our pranks. My dad said not to tell anyone, my mum doesn’t even know he gave it to me.” James grinned.

They all nodded along.

That night they all snuck underneath the invisibility cloak and went into the halls.

“Ow. You stepped on my foot.” Sirius whisper-shouted.

“You stepped on mine!” Remus said.

“I was talking to Peter. But now that you mention it you’re digging your elbow into me.” Sirius responded.

“No I’m not. You keep moving closer to me so I don’t have enough room.” Remus mumbled.

“Only because Peter keeps stepping on my f-”

“Lads, shut up.” James said. “Here. Pete, let’s go over there and cast the spells. Sirius, Remus, look out for people.”

James and Peter climbed out of the invisibility cloak.

“You’re still digging into my side.” Sirius mumbled.

“You’re still stepping on my foot.” Remus retorted.

Sirius looked down at their feet. “No I’m not.” He said in confusion.

“Ha. Made you look.” Remus smiled.

Sirius rolled his eyes. After a moment he said, “My brother used to do that.”

“Hm?”

“It’s been different. Since I got my letter.” Sirius carried on, “He’s been… it’s like I’m not his brother anymore. He just follows our parents around, as if he’s picked his side.”

“I’m sorry, Sirius.” Remus said.

Sirius just shrugged.

“You have us lot though. You and James are practically brothers already.” Remus said.

“You and Pete are great too.” Sirius said forcefully.

“I know. It’s not the same though.” Remus smiled sadly.

“I-”

“Remus, you’re up.” James said.

Remus nodded and got out of the invisibility cloak.

“What were you talking about?” James asked as he helped Peter in the cloak.

“Nothing.” Sirius muttered.

“Okay.” Remus came back after a few minutes. “It’s all done. By seven tomorrow they’ll be walking around.”

Peter nodded and yawned, “Can we go back now? I’m tired.”

They all mumbled in agreement.

After getting back to the dorm all the boys went to bed straight away. Sirius lay awake, staring at the red canopy above his bed. He sighed before climbing out slowly.

He noticed Remus’ wand light pouring through the cracks of the curtains. Slowly padding over to his bed he peeked his head through the curtain to find Remus cross legged while drawing on a rectangular piece of parchment.

“Hey.” Sirius said quietly.

“Hey.” Remus looked up.

Sirius quickly crawled into his bed. “What are you doing?”

“I’m drawing a map of Hogwarts.” Remus said.

“That’s cool.” Sirius mumbled “Oh! That would be so helpful for our pranks, I wonder if-” Sirius exclaimed.

“Don’t tell anyone yet.” Remus said hastily, “I want to finish it first.”

Sirius nodded and Remus smiled at him before looking back down to his parchment and adding some more brown ink.

Sirius coughed. Remus looked up again, “Oh, did you want to talk to me about something?” Remus said with hopeful eyes.

“Er… well it’s just about what you said earlier, about me and James being better friends… or I mean… closer than you and Peter are with us.” Sirius rambled.

Remus’ face dropped. “Right… uh… look, it’s fine. I don’t mind. I’m just happy to have friends.”

Sirius frowned, “That’s what I was going to say. It’s not that I prefer James at all. I like you all the same.”

Remus sighed, “Sirius, I’m not blind. I can see how close you and James are, you’re always together. Even at night while you’re having those chats or whatever. I know James has a soft spot for Peter, Peter always rushes to him when we’re all meant to be in partners and you get stuck with me.” He shrugged.

“I’m not stuck with you.” Sirius said fiercely.

Remus stared at him for a second. “Okay.”

“Okay?” Sirius asked sceptically.

Remus just nodded. Sirius took this as his cue to leave.

Sirius rubbed at his face in annoyance once he’d got back to his own bed, feeling even less fulfilled than he had before.

The armour prank was hilarious. There were pink suits of armour wrapped in fluffy scarfs walking around the halls with clown faces.

The Slytherins shot spells at them which bounced off the metal, the Ravenclaws ignored them and went about their day, the Hufflepuffs all hid in the corner with annoyed looks on their face and most of the Gryffindors were laughing all day.

Sirius, Remus, Peter and James all had huge grins on their faces, Lily caught up to them in the hallway with books in her hand and a flustered face.

“Gosh. Who do you think created this mess?” Lily said, mostly aimed towards Remus.

They looked guiltily towards each other and James ruffled his hair anxiously.

Lily looked between them “You did this?”

“Uhm. Yeah. Sorry, Lily.” Remus shrugged, but he was smiling.

A grin creeped up onto Lily’s freckled face “Well done, boys.”

James gaped, “What?”

Lily shrugged, “It looks like some difficult spell work. I can’t believe you lot pulled it off, thought you were more the dung bombs and itching powder type.”

Peter sighed, “I can’t wait till we get to go to Hogsmeade. We’ll be able to buy as many dung bombs as we want.”

“James, when’s your dad going to send over that stuff you asked for from Zonkos?” Sirius asked.

Lily interrupted them, “I can tell you lot are going to be trouble for a while. Bunch of marauders, you are.”

Sirius just grinned that Sirius Black, “That we are. Get ready, Evans. You’re in for a great seven years.”

Lily rolled her eyes and sighed. “I can’t wait.” She said sarcastically and walked off.

“Marauders, eh?” James smiled, “We can work with that.”

He wrapped his arms casually around the boys’ shoulders.

“Marauders?” Remus raised an eyebrow. “Weirdos.” He said fondly.

Chapter Text

September soon morphed into October, and talk of Halloween was everywhere in the castle.

“We have to come up with a Prank for Halloween!” James whined. He looked expectantly at Remus.

“What’re you looking at me for?” Remus said, “I don’t have any ideas.”

Sirius sighed, “Maybe we should buy those Zonko’s exploding slime squares.”

“Yeah, let’s do that.” Peter sniffed.

James grinned, “Okay. But next year we’re going to do something amazing.”

“I have a feeling he’s going to say that every year.” Remus mumbled to Sirius.

Sirius chuckled, “Probably.”

Sirius noticed Remus getting more and more tired lately, he wondered if he was getting ill again. Sirius, being nosey, watched Remus from afar to see any signs of him giving away what was up with him. He often talked to James about it, both of them were worried about their friend. Peter, who was absolutely oblivious, didn’t seem to notice Remus’ heavy eye bags or tired posture. Sirius wondered if perhaps Peter did notice, but just didn’t say anything.

“Have you done the potion’s essay?” Remus asked.

“Yeah.” Sirius smiled wryly, “Do you need to copy it again?”

Remus rolled his eyes, his lips turned upwards, “It ain’t copying… I’m just getting some of my fellow classmates’… insight.”

“Some day you’re going to have to do your own homework.” Sirius sighed as he got the parchment out of his satchel.

“I will, I will. Maybe once I get bored of your stupid cursive writing.” Remus teased.

“Is that why you can’t spell? Can’t read my writing?” Sirius teased back.

Remus creased his brow slightly, “I don’t know. Don’t think I ever learned properly.”

Sirius raised his eyebrows and widened his eyes, “Oh! Do you want me to help you?”

Remus shrugged, “If you want. To be honest the cursive doesn’t really help…”

Sirius nodded, feeling excited, “I’ll teach you properly, mate. Don’t worry.”

Remus smiled. From that moment on, Sirius decided to stop writing like he used to, he was sick of slanting the parchment to read what he wrote anyway. 

 

Remus had disappeared again, on Monday morning his bed was empty and he wasn’t at any of his classes. Sirius planned on visiting him in the hospital wing, but when he got there in the evening he wasn’t there.

“Where’s Remus?” Sirius asked a stressed looking Madame Pomfrey.

“He’s not here.” She said while looking at some potions in a box.

“Where is he?” Sirius demanded.

“He’ll tell you if he wants to.” She answered.

Sirius wished people would stop talking to him in riddles, he wasn’t a Ravenclaw.

 

The next day, Sirius dragged Peter and James to the hospital wing in the morning. He saw the curtain closed in the corner bed of the room and rushed to it.

“Remus?” He said before opening the curtain. Remus was lying there, asleep. He had one bandage on his arm, but otherwise he just looked pale and tired.

Remus stirred, “Hm?” He said groggily.

“Where were you? I tried to find you here yesterday but you weren’t there.” Sirius said.

Remus looked panicked, “I- uh… I… I was visiting my mam. She’s sick.”

Peter’s eyes widened, “Oh no. Is she going to be ok?”

“Yeah, yeah. She’ll be fine.” Remus answered, quickly.

“But why are you in the hospital wing? And why do you have bandages on your arm?” James asked.

“I just… I burnt it while I was cooking for her. And I just have a bit of a cold.” He sniffed.

Sirius creased his brow while trying to fit the pieces together.

“Okay… you look tired. We should go.” James said.

“Yeah. Yeah, thanks.” Remus nodded.

Sirius walked out behind James and Peter slowly. “It doesn’t make sense. It’s the same as last month.”

James nodded, “I don’t get it either.”

Sirius’ eyes widened in realisation, “What if his parents are doing that? What if they’re hurting him?”

Peter bit his lip, nervously, “Do you really think it’s that? Why would the school let them go back there if that’s what’s happening?”

“Maybe they don’t know,” James said, “maybe they believe his excuses.”

Sirius nodded, “We should try and help him when he gets out. Maybe we can get it out of him and then tell someone.”

“We should try.” Peter agreed.

When Remus came back from the hospital wing the rest of the Marauders were sitting on James’ bed chatting. They looked towards him when he entered.

“Remus.” James started, “How’re you feeling?”

Remus shrugged, “Fine.”

“Did you go home last month as well?” Sirius asked.

Remus stiffened, “Um. Yep, same place as last month.”

“Remus,” James started softly, “is it… is someone hurting you? At home?”

“What!?” Remus exclaimed, “No!”

“It doesn’t make sense, if you were visiting your mother then why did you have bandages all over you. Someone must be hurting you.” Sirius said.

“They’re not! My parents are great. They wouldn’t do that!” Remus responded defensively, wide eyed.

“Then tell us what’s wrong.” Peter retorted.

“I don’t have to tell you anything!” Remus exclaimed angrily.

“We can help you! We can stop you from getting hurt!” Sirius responded in the same anger.

“No you can’t! We’re just kids! You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Remus walked to his bed, and shut the curtains closed with aggression.

Peter sighed, and James shut the light off and ushered them to climb into his bed properly before closing the curtains and lighting his wand.

“Maybe we’re wrong.” Peter suggested, quietly.

James sighed, looking thoughtful, “Maybe, but we still need to know what is happening. Clearly something is hurting him, I think it’s our job as the Marauders to defend our best mate.”

Sirius smiled, “We’ll find out eventually. He’s probably just a bit annoyed and tired right now.”

Peter nodded, scrunching his nose up, “Can we stop talking about this? It’s kind of depressing.”

James nodded, and Sirius scowled a little before agreeing. He was curious about his friend, but Peter was right - it was a bit depressing.

“Anyway, about the slime prank. D’you reckon we can make them appear on the Slytherin table right at the end of the Halloween feast?” James asked.

“I found a spell for that. If we kept them under the table for the feast and then made the boxes appear on the table really quickly after, they’ll explode.” Sirius said.

“We’re still doing some on the Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs, right?” Peter asked.

James nodded, “We can just hide those in the food though, the main target is the Slytherins.”

Sirius grinned, “I doubt Snivellus will look any different, he’s all slimy anyway.”

Peter and James laughed, loudly.

James sighed, after a while, and said, “Why does Flitwick always give us such long essays to do? Does he realise there are other subjects other than his?”

Sirius chuckled, “I don’t think Sluggy realises either, he thinks everyone should find potions ’absolutely fascinating!’” He quoted in a posh voice, imitating his professor.

Peter laughed, “I don’t even mind Charms, at least some of it is helpful for our pranks and most of the time I just sleep. Potions lessons are awful, though, I have to actually do stuff.”

Sirius chuckled, “I think I’d like potions if it weren’t for Slughorn and his ridiculously boring enthusiasm.”

“That’s the best way to describe Sluggy, ridiculously boring but at the same time annoyingly enthusiastic.” James laughed.

Peter laughed too, but yawned halfway through.

“We should get to sleep, lessons tomorrow.” James said, sensibly.

“Okay.” Sirius agreed, “But we need to work on the plans for the slime prank a little more, I’m still not sure how to get the boxes from under the table to on top.”

James nodded, “Same, we’ll work on it. Goodnight, lads.”

“Night.” Sirius and Peter said, smiling.

Sirius padded over to his bed, stopping when he heard sniffling coming from Remus’.

He opened the curtain quietly and squinted his eyes to see Remus covering his face with his duvet.

“Are you ok?” Sirius whispered.

Remus just nodded, Sirius wanted to stay and ask him what was wrong, but he knew that when crying a lot of people wanted to be alone. He closed the curtain, begrudgingly, and tiptoed away quietly.

“I wish you’d invite me. Just once.” Remus mumbled. Sirius didn’t hear him.

 

The slime prank went as planned on Halloween. All the Slytherins were covered in the green sludge.

Narcissa screamed so loudly Sirius had to cover his ears, Mulciber and Rosier smashed their fists onto the table. Snape just wiped the goo off his face before going back to his food, although he was most definitely not calm, his face looked like a beetroot.

Remus, Peter, James and Sirius all laughed hysterically at the students shouting and screaming. That was before Professor Dumbledore stepped in front of their vision.

“Boys.” He said.

They looked up at him.

“Come with me to my office, please.” He said, sharply.

Quickly scoffing down the last of their pumpkin pie the Marauders followed him down the hall.

“Luxurious Liquorice.” Dumbledore said to the gargoyles standing in front of ten stairs. The stairway opened for them to follow him up. “Take a seat.”

They sat down in the seats Dumbledore had conjured up for them with the click of his fingers.

“Boys, would you like to explain to me why you have decided to attack the students with slime?” He said with raised eyebrows.

“It wasn’t me.” Peter said at the same time as James and Sirius said, “It wasn’t us.”

Sirius shot a dirty look Peter’s way.

“I happen to have seen the four of you pointing your wands to the tables. I assume you hid the exploding boxes before making them travel above the tables?” Dumbledore looked at the expectantly.

The four of them looked at each other before nodding guiltily.

“I see.” Dumbledore smirked, “That is very good spell work, I must say, for your age.”

The boys stared.

“However, I will not tolerate any attack on students. As much as I love a friendly house rivalry this has gone too far. I have never seen a prank so centred around the Slytherins.” Dumbledore said, sternly, staring them down over his half-moon glasses.

“Sir,” James spoke up, “we are very sorry.”

Dumbledore sighed, “Perhaps you should take a leaf out of Fabian and Gideon’s book. As much as they enjoy pranks, it is not centred around one house.” He said, with a twinkle in his eye.

Remus, Peter, Sirius and James gawked at him.

“Of course, I am not encouraging you to attack others.” He said sternly, once again. “I assume you don’t know anything about the suits of armour disaster a few weeks ago?” He asked, raising his white eyebrows.

The boys shook their heads, fiercely.

“Alright, I will let you go now. Please report to McGonagall’s office tomorrow at seven, so she can sort out your two weeks of detention.” He smiled.

They all let out a little groan.

“You may leave now, boys.” Dumbledore sent them off, and they began to leave when Dumbledore called, “Remus.”

Remus turned around. “Yes, sir?”

“Please stay behind for a moment. I would like to talk to you.” Dumbledore said, bring back the usual softness to his voice.

Remus nodded and sat back down, the other boys reluctantly left and the door closed behind them.

“What do you think they're talking about?” Peter asked.

Sirius shushed him and put his ear against the thick wooden door, Peter and James copied.

/“…getting on well?”

“Yes, sir.”

“…your school work… perhaps… should… would you?”

“I… difficult…”

“…opportunity…grateful…not many others…”

“…sorry”

“…don’t…there’s no need…help will always be given…those who ask for it.”

“…kick..out?”

“…never…tutor?”

“…no…no need.”

“…moon?”

“…alright…people…questioning…”

“…know?”

“…Evans…she is…yes”

“Good…do not hesitate…”/

The rest of the conversation was even more muffled, Sirius couldn’t make out any of the other words.

James and Peter looked at each other questioningly.

“We should go back.” Peter said, “He might get mad if he finds us here.”

Sirius and James agreed. Back in the dorm room they sat down on the floor to chat.

“Well I heard something about how he should be grateful.” James said.

“Yes, I heard that too.” Sirius said.

“He said he should be grateful to be at Hogwarts.” Peter said.

James and Sirius frowned, “That’s horrible. Everyone is allowed at Hogwarts if they’re magic.”

Peter nodded, “I don’t know why he said that.”

“Remus is definitely magic. I’ve seen him do loads of spells. He’s just not that good at essays.” James said.

“I heard him say something about a tutor.” Sirius mumbled.

Peter shrugged, “I think that sounds fair. He does get really bad marks. I just don’t know why he’d say the other stuff.”

“Hmm.” Sirius hummed in agreement, “He mentioned Evans.”

James nodded, “I think it’s something to do with the thing she knows that Remus won’t tell us.”

“Yeah, it did sound like that. If Dumbledore knows Remus is getting… abused then why isn’t he helping him?” Sirius said angrily.

“I don’t think that’s it.” Peter shook his head.

“Maybe not.” James agreed.

Sirius sighed, “I wish he would just tell u-”

The door opened and Remus walked in and looked down at the three of them with his arms crossed. “I know you were listening when I was talking to Dumbledore. What did you hear?”

“We heard you need a tutor.” Sirius said quickly.

Remus looked at them skeptically and then visibly relaxed. “I don’t, I said I don’t want one.”

“I said I’ll help you with spellings.” Sirius said.

Remus nodded, he looked down at them, and his facial expression told Sirius he was contemplating whether he should sit down next to them. He then walked off towards the bathroom with his pyjamas in hand.

Sirius and James shared a look.

“You guys leave him out too much.” Peter said with a yawn. As if he didn’t care about what he just said.

Sirius and James’ jaws dropped slightly.

“We do?” James said worriedly, then nervously ran a hand through his hair.

“Mhm.” Peter nodded, “You don’t really talk to him outside of pranks and partners in lessons.”

“Yes we…” Sirius cringed when he realised that he actually hadn’t talked to Remus about anything outside of pranks and lessons apart from his spelling problem, even in the hospital wing all they talked about was how stupid their essays were. “It’s not like he tries to talk to us.” Sirius defended.

Peter shrugged, “True, you two are loud though. It’s a bit intimidating. Even I feel left out sometimes.”

Sirius ignored the last comment. James said, “Maybe we should-”

The bathroom door swung open. Remus walked to his bed and before closing the curtain said, “Just so you know, I’m not deaf.”

 

Remus was gone on the afternoon of the 2nd, the day before Sirius’ birthday. Sirius got annoyed by this. So he decided to snoop around Remus’ stuff.

He didn’t have a lot of belongings. A couple of books and some clothes. Then Sirius found a potion in the bottom of his trunk. Essence of Dittany. Sirius knew this potion was to cure wounds on the skin. He wondered why Remus would have this.

He took a look at the books, The Effects of Lycanthropy and Monstrous Species Over The Ages. Sirius looked at them confusedly. He then took out a notebook, it had notes scrawled in Remus’ messy handwriting.

5th Seprmber

4th Octobur

2nd Novembur

2nd Deecembur

31st Deecembur

Sirius sighed, even more confused than before.

He sat on the windowsill, watching as the full moon rose.

Full moon.

Full. Moon.

Sirius jumped off the windowsill insanely quickly and went back to Remus’ notebook. All of the dates were around a month apart. He took the book out again, remembering the meaning of lycanthropy.

Sirius ran down to the library and went to the section on astronomy. He quickly picked out a book and looked at the contents before flipping to the page about moons. Sure enough, the full moon dates that Remus wrote down were the same as what it said in the book.

Sirius stared in shock. Remus was a werewolf.

Remus was a werewolf.

Sirius gulped, he knew he couldn’t tell anyone. He knew what people would say. Being a werewolf was considered disgusting, gross. Even some muggle borns had prejudice against them.

Sirius barely slept that night. He almost forgot it was his birthday the next day. Not that he usually cared about his birthday, it was just filled with a depressing party filled with family members he didn’t care about.

Nevertheless, Sirius woke up with a grinning James shouting over his head.

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” He jumped on top of Sirius and ruffled his hair.

Sirius groaned, “‘s too early.”

“Nope! Up you get birthday boy!” James hauled him up.

“Happy birthday, Sirius.” Peter said with a yawn.

They all went down for breakfast. Sirius grinned when Mary MacDonald, Marlene McKinnon and Emmeline Vance all wished him happy birthday and said they would have gotten him a card if they’d known.

Later that day Remus joined them for the afternoon, looking tired but he still wore a small smile on his face.

“Happy birthday.” He said to Sirius. “Sorry, I didn’t get you anything.”

Sirius shrugged, “It’s ok.”

James had gotten him some Zonkos products that he’d asked his dad to send over. Peter had gotten him some sweets.

They sat down for dinner, Mary walked up to Sirius and said, “Here, I got you a card. Sorry it’s late.”

Sirius saw Marlene fake gag behind her. Sirius almost laughed. He looked down at the card and saw a still image.

“Woah!” He exclaimed, “Is this a muggle card!?”

“Uh… yes.” Mary raised an eyebrow.

“This is so cool.” He watched as the picture didn’t move while the boy was blowing out candles.

Mary laughed, “Sure…” Marlene dragged her away and sat down next to Lily who was in front of them.

“Have you ever even talked to Mary?” Remus asked.

“Nope, apart from in class.” Sirius grinned, “Why? Are you jealous, Remmy?”

Lily scoffed, “Please, Remus could get way more girls than you.”

Sirius hadn’t meant it like that, but he laughed anyway. “I don’t see you with any birthday cards.”

Remus raised an eyebrow, “Because it’s not my birthday.”

Sirius waved him off, poking his tongue out, “I reckon I’ll have had my first kiss before the end of second year.”

Lily snorted from behind her Witches Weekly magazine.

“What is it, Evans?” Sirius asked.

“Tell him, Remus. You need to bring his ego down a notch.” Lily smiled slyly.

“Nope!” Remus said hastily and looked at James. “Come on, let’s go. We’re having a mini party in the common room, right?”

Sirius rushed up to them and Peter. “Hey! What was Evans talking about?”

“Nothing.” Remus grinned.

“Come onnnn!” Sirius whined, “Tell me!”

Remus sighed, pausing for a moment and thinking, “Fine…” He huffed, “Lily thinks that she was my first kiss and I was hers. But actually I already had mine, like, years ago.” He shrugged.

“What!” Sirius exclaimed. “You’ve already kissed two girls and I haven’t even kissed one.”

“Only one girl.” A smile creeped up on his face, “And don’t act so surprised.”

“I’m not surprised. You’re very handsome, blah, blah, blah. But it’s not fair! I have to spend at least half an hour to look good in the morning. You just get up and go! Anyway, you kissed a guy?!” Sirius rambled.

Remus shrugged, “It was just a joke. Some girls were pissing him off so he told me to kiss him to get them to go away.”

Sirius looked at him with raised eyebrows.

Remus’ eyes filled with realisation. “Oh…”

“You know, my parents would kill me if they knew I was friends with a poof. They are always going on about how it’s a sin.” Sirius laughed.

“I’m not a queer! I was only nine or ten! I don’t even remember it!” Remus defended.

Sirius gasped sarcastically, “You don’t even remember the year or your homosexual awakening!”

“Shut up.” Remus rolled his eyes. “I don’t know why you’re teasing me. You and James are the ones who act like nancy boys.”

“Don’t bring me into this.” James stopped his conversation with Peter when he heard his name.

Sirius blew him a raspberry.

“Great, now you’re acting like a five year old.” Remus mumbled dryly.

They walked into the common to find the girls sitting round the fire, clearly having managed to have some food and get up there faster than the Marauders had even managed to walk there.

“Hey, Sirius.” Alice said. “We thought we’d play truth or dare or something for a party game.”

Sirius just grinned from ear to ear and placed a party hat on, the polka dots on it dancing around wildly.

“Remus. Truth or dare.” Lily said, before anyone could get a word in.

“How did you lot get up here so quickly?” Remus asked.

“We took the shorter route.” Marlene shrugged, “You guys always go around.”

Remus exclaimed, “That’s what’s missing on my map!”

The group looked at each other in question. Remus just cleared his throat.

Anyway, I think I should go first, I’m the birthday boy.” Sirius said.

Lily rolled her eyes and nodded.

“Remus.” Sirius turned to him. “Truth or Dare.”

Remus eyed him suspiciously, “Dare.”

The game went on after that. Remus went to bed early since he was tired from his transformation. Sirius desperately wanted to know what it was like, but he knew he couldn’t ask until he told Remus he knew.

“Remus.” Sirius whispered through the curtains.

“Yeah?” Remus answered.

Sirius opened them up and crawled inside. “Oh good. I thought you’d be asleep.”

Remus shook his head and looked back down to his map, “Nope. Just putting the new path on the map.”

Sirius nodded.

“Did you have a good birthday?” Remus asked.

“The best.”

Chapter Text

After Sirius’ birthday everyone started to slowly get into the Christmas spirit.

“‘Tis the season to be jolly fa la la la la la la la la!” Sirius sang around the dorm.

“Why are you singing that?” Peter whined, “Isn’t it a muggle song?”

“Yes! Remus taught it to me!” Sirius grinned.

“I wish I hadn’t!” Remus called from his bed.

“Good morning!” Sirius grinned and opened Remus’ curtains, Remus covered his eyes from the light with a wince.

“Piss off.” Remus groaned.

“Nope. Get up! Deck the halls with boughs of holly fa la la la la la la la la!” Sirius practically shouted.

“Oh Merlin.” James said from the door, “Is he still singing that?”

He placed down a few pieces of toast and some cups of pumpkin juice down on the desk.

Remus sighed, “Unfortunately, yes. I think I should get my dad’s record player and bring my records here. Maybe then you won’t sing the same bloody song all the time.”

Sirius’ eyes brightened, “Do you think you could? Oh, that’s so exciting!” He bounced on the balls of his feet.

Remus looked over to the desk of food. “Thanks James.” He went over and grabbed a piece of toast and a drink.

“Why does the morning person always have to suffer?” James sighed dramatically. “Always getting your food and waking you up.”

“Because you’re a morning person.” Remus, Peter and Sirius said at the same time.

James threw a shoe at them.

Hogwarts was covered in snow, the hallways filled with Christmas decorations and spirit.

“Are you going home for the holidays, Remus?” James asked.

“Mhm.” Remus munched on his toast, “But I’ll be back by the 31st.”

Sirius smiled knowingly.

“You don’t want to come to my house, do you? We don’t really celebrate but mum still makes a nice dinner.” James said.

“Can’t, sorry.” Remus shook his head.

“I’ll go!” Peter said. “I hate Christmas with my family anyway.”

James nodded with a smile, “Sirius?”

Sirius sighed, “I wish.”

James gave him a sympathetic look.

At the end of term, the four of them boarded the Hogwarts express to go home.

“Happy Hanukkah, Lily.” Remus said when he passed Lily on the train.

“Thanks. Merry Christmas.” She answered.

The four boys piled into their compartment, Remus wearing a faded jumper and scarf while bashing into the others with his gangly limbs. Come to think of it, Sirius realised Remus wasn’t even that tall, he just has ridiculous long arms and legs. James walked in with a big coat on which made him look like a marshmallow, Peter was wearing a coat that looked much too big on him, the arms of the coat reaching down passed his fingers. Sirius wasn’t wearing a coat, he convinced himself that he’d be fine but was actually shivering in their chilly compartment, so was Remus.

“I told you to bring a coat, Sirius.” James said sternly.

“Sorry, mum. Remus is cold too!” Sirius defended.

“N-no. I’m n-not.” Remus’ teeth chattered.

Sirius laughed and James gave him an annoyed look. “Here, have my jumper.” James said before taking off his coat to get his jumper off.

Sirius pounced onto the coat and pulled it out from underneath James before covering himself with it, looking absolutely ridiculous.

“Hey!” James shouted before jumping onto Sirius to tackle him to the ground. “Remus is cold. Stop being selfish.”

“Ugh.” Sirius gritted his teeth, “How come Remus gets it but I don’t!”

“Because Remus actually tried to prepare. You just refused.” James said before taking the coat and passing it to Remus before putting his jumper back on.

“Fine.” Sirius shivered and covered his arms with his hands.

Remus rolled his eyes, “Come ‘ere.” He held half the huge coat out for Sirius to sit in. Sirius jumped up from his seat and wriggled himself next to Remus before putting his arm in the half of the coat he got.

Remus leaned against him slightly and Sirius was grateful for the body heat. He suddenly felt much less nervous to go home.

Sirius was quiet when he noticed the journey coming to an end, he nervously tapped his foot. Remus gave him a nudge. Sirius looked up into his amber eyes, which were full of concern, he gave a nod as if to say he was fine. He wasn’t.

When the train came to a stop, Sirius gave his friends a quick hug each and quietly walked up, instantly feeling anxiousness crawl across his body.

He noticed Walburga’s tall poster and tight bun from a distance and walked as slowly, but at the same time quickly, as possible to her.

“Sirius.” Walburga greeted. She was wearing a black dress which went down to her ankles. She had a broach pinned on at the front of her collar and a tightly placed neck scarf around her neck.

“Mother.” Sirius greeted back quietly. Walburga grabbed his arm extremely roughly and apparated them away.

Sirius swayed with nausea and dizziness as he and his mother apparated into the living room.

“Straighten up, boy.” She said sharply. Sirius quickly composed himself and followed his mother to the dining room.

“Ah. Son.” His father, Orion Black, welcomed.

“Father.” Sirius said. He looked around the room quickly to see Regulus in the chair at the head of the table, Sirius gave him a small smile.

“Sit down.” His mother said sharply.

“So,” his father leaned forward and placed his elbows on the table, linking his tense hands together. “I heard you have been placed into Gryffindor?”

“Yes, father.” Sirius trained his eyes to stare down at the table.

“Look at me when you’re speaking.” Orion snapped.

Sirius looked up to his father’s beady eyes.

“What possessed you to do such a stupid thing?” He said, his lips barely moving while the words spurred out.

“I didn’t do it, the sorting hat did.” Sirius mumbled.

Orion scowled, “You understand that Black’s have been put in Slytherin for five hundred years?”

“Yes, father.” Sirius nodded.

“And you understand that as a Black, you have a duty to fulfill?” He asked again.

“Yes, father.” Sirius quivered.

“Hmm.” His father eyed him suspiciously, “Who have you been socialising with?”

“James Potter and Peter Pettigrew, father.” Sirius gulped.

“I see, and you are no longer talking to this Lupin boy?” He drummed his fingers against the table.

“I…” Sirius lifted his chin up, “Actually, I have. He’s one of my best friends.”

His father inhaled sharply, “Did you get your mother’s letter at the beginning of term?” He asked calmly.

“Yes, sir.” Sirius said.

“So you understand, that Lupin is a halfblood? That you should not be socialising with such beings? Have we taught you nothing about what God wants for us?” His voice escalated.

“Yes, father.” Sirius said reluctantly.

“You will not be socialising with him again, I trust?” He said calmly.

Sirius cocked his head to the side, “No. I will.”

His father seethed, “Do you have any idea of what your mother and I have gone through to put the correct morals into your head!? How dare you throw this away?!” He shouted.

“I don’t agree with your morals.” Sirius flinched.

“Always trying to cause trouble, aren’t you!?” Sirius’ mother stood up angrily. “Go to your room!” She shrieked.

“Now, now Walburga. Let’s not be too hasty.” Orion grinned slyly. “I’m always up to give someone a second chance. Sirius, either apologies or there will be no dinner for you.”

“I’m not apologising, I’ve done nothing wrong.” Sirius stood his ground.

Orion’s face dropped in anger. He narrowed his eyes and flared his nostrils. He slapped Sirius in the face. Sirius winced at the sharp stinging. “Go to your room!”

Sirius rushed out of the dining room and shut the door to his room. His room was painted black, just like the rest of the house, with fancy woodwork carved into the arches and walls. His bed had a green curtain around it and satin sheets which were ironed out. Sirius always wanted to have a more colourful room, but since he wasn’t allowed to go out it remained a dream, now that he had friends he wondered if perhaps they could give him something for his room, that would really piss his parents off. Perhaps a Gryffindor flag.

Sirius lay down on his bed for a while, staring at the top of his four poster bed and throwing a scrunched up piece of paper up and down.

He heard a soft knock at the door which he recognised as Regulus’.

Sirius opened the door a crack. “Hello.”

“Hi. I brought you some food.” Regulus said as he passed Sirius a napkin filled with bread and olives.

“Thanks.” Sirius grinned:

Regulus looked at him for a moment before giving a soft smile and sighing, “Why must you always get in trouble? Why don’t you just listen to mother and father?”

Sirius shrugged, “I don’t agree with them.”

“Why not?” Regulus creased his brow.

“Because of the things they say about muggle bor-” Sirius never got to finish his sentence as he and Regulus heard loud, sharp footsteps coming up the stairs.

Regulus ran off and Sirius quickly shut his door before lying back down on the bed. This was going to be a long and boring holiday.

Chapter Text

Dear James, 

 

Mother and Father are making me stay in my room. I’ve been incredibly bored. I hope you’re having a nice holiday. How are you and Pete doing? 

 

They’re letting me come down for meals so me and Regulus have been having fun, we’ve been sneaking down to the kitchens together. I wonder if we could sneak down to the kitchens at Hogwarts? I think perhaps Remus would know. 

 

I wish I could spend Christmas at Hogwarts with you guys, it’s so much nicer than here, even our tree is boring, mother didn’t let us decorate it, she just snapped her fingers and then it was decorated. It looks dull.

 

She said if I’m good I’ll be able to go to your house for summer, I’m so excited. I hope Peter and Remus could come too. She’s very upset about me being friends with Remus, I think father is ok with it now, he says as long as I understand we’re better than half bloods blah blah blah. 

 

I really want to go to muggle London. Remus said it’s amazing at Christmas. Maybe we can go next year? 

 

From Your Favourite Marauder,

 

Sirius.



Dear Remus,

 

How are you? Are your holidays going well? Mine have been very boring, mother is only letting me out of my room for meals. Regulus and I have been sneaking down to the kitchens, I was wondering if you knew if we could get into the kitchens at Hogwarts? I read that they had house elves there, our house elf is horrible. His name is Kreacher and he absolutely hates me, he loves the rest of my family though. Regulus says it’s because I’m always doing too many pranks or leaving muddy footprints.

 

Anyway, the point is that I read the house elves at Hogwarts are nice, maybe they’ll let us in the kitchens if we know where they are. 

 

I was wondering, maybe this summer you, Pete and I could all go to James’ house? I think it will be fun. There’s no rush to ask, though. I’m not sure I’ll even be allowed. My parents say only if I’m on my best behaviour.

 

I want to go to muggle London next year, do you think your parents could take us? 

 

Hope your holidays are going well.

 

From Your Favourite Marauder,

 

Sirius.



Dear Sirius,

 

I’m sorry about your parents. Peter and I have been having a great time. I’ve been playing quidditch. I can’t wait until next year when I can try for the team. Do you want to try out too?

 

I’m glad you and Regulus are having some fun, I don’t know anything about the Hogwarts kitchens. I think Remus is the best person to ask about that. I hope you’ve sent him a letter, I haven’t yet.

 

I wish we could all be together for Christmas as well. Hopefully next year we could go to muggle London as well!

 

Mum says you lot can stay round at our place any time. We have loads of guest rooms, but I think it’d be more fun if we slept in the same room. Dad really wants to meet Remus because he wants to know more about muggle stuff.

 

From Your Favourite Marauder,

 

James.



Dear Sirus,

 

My holidays are going good. I know wheer the kitchns are. I will show you when we get bac to Hogwarts. I don’t blame Kreacher for not liking you. You r probably making a lot of messes at home.

 

I don’t think my parenst will let me go to James house. Sorry.

 

Going to London is expnseive. My family can’t pay for all our ticets. Maybe somone can apparate us there. Again sorry.

 

My dad is working for the miners and he says there mite be a strike soon becus the Tories wont give the right pay. Christmas has been ok. We havent had much to do and we havent had much food. 

 

I dont think I can get presents for poeple. Do you think James and Peter will be angry?

 

From Remus

 

PS: I think my spellings have been getting better. Do you think so?



Dear Remus,

 

To be honest, I don’t blame Kreacher either. I’m so excited for you to show us where the kitchens are. I hope it’s easy to get into.

 

Why won’t they let you go to James’? :(

 

I’m sure James’ parents can take us to London and you can help show us around, right? Sorry if I’ve offended you. I didn’t know you don’t have a lot of money.

 

Does strike mean the same thing in muggle terms as wizard terms? If so, I’m sorry. Can your dad not get a new job?

 

Don’t worry, James and Peter won’t be angry. 

 

Also, yes, your spelling is getting better. It’s still not great… you did spell my name wrong. But it’s still much better than before!

 

From Your Favourite Marauder,

 

Sirius



Dear James,

 

I think I’ll try out next year. I haven’t played quidditch since I was a kid.

 

I have written to Remus. He says he probably won’t be able to stay round at yours for summer but if your parents take us to muggle London for Christmas next year he’ll go. 

 

From Your Favourite Marauder

 

Sirius.



Dear Sirius,

 

Sorry, they just won’t let me go. Maybe in a few years time.

 

I havent been to London very much but I gues I can show you around.

 

No, my dad can’t get a new job. He doesn’t want to because he doesnt have any other expeirence.

 

Sorry for spelling your name wrong.

 

From Remus







Chapter Text

When Sirius came back to school on the 1st of January, he went straight to the hospital wing since he knew Remus would be there after the full moon.

“Here to see Remus, dear?” Madame Pomfrey asked.

Sirius nodded and she pointed into the direction of his bed.

Sirius peeked his head round the curtain, “Hey, Remus.”

“Hey.” Remus said groggily.

“How was your Christmas?” Sirius asked and sat down in the chair by the bed.

“It was alright. My parents were a bit stressed. What about you?” Remus answered.

“Oh, mine was fine. I was just bored.” Sirius said, “I got you a present.”

Remus’ eyes brightened, “Really?”

“Yeah…” Sirius said nervously before bringing out a brown package in the shape of a notebook. Remus ripped the paper apart and looked down at the leather covered notebook.

“Wow.” He said, “You didn’t have to do this.”

Sirius shrugged, “Um… don’t be mad. When you open it.”

Remus raised an eyebrow and opened to the first page slowly. He stared down at it for a second, “Oh.”

“I just thought it might be helpful… not that you don’t know when the… full moon is. I just thought this is nicer to keep track.” Sirius said, he watched as tears pricked in Remus’ eyes. “Oh, Merlin. Do you not like it? Forget I ever gave it to-”

Remus interrupted, “I love it. Thank you, Sirius.”

Sirius smiled and let himself relax.

“You… have you told anyone?” Remus said nervously.

“No, no. Honestly I don’t care, Rem. I’m really sorry you have to go through that and everything but it doesn’t change my view of you at all.” Sirius reassured him.

Remus nodded and wiped at his eyes, “Thank you.” He then raised an eyebrow, “Rem?”

Sirius shrugged with a grin, “We need to find a good nickname for you.”

“Hmm. Let me know when you find one.” Remus smiled.

Sirius laughed, “Oh! Did you bring your record player?”

“Yep. I was bloody dying while I was carrying it so you better be grateful.” Remus teased.

Sirius bit his lip to try and stop himself from smiling so hard. “What songs did you get then?”

“I got the Hunky Dory album. And Gilbert O’Sullivan’s Himself album. And a couple others my dad always has on in the background.” Remus replied.

“Is the Hunky Dory one by David Bowie?” Sirius asked.

“Yep.”

Sirius grinned excitedly.

 

“Which one’s this?” Sirius asked. He and Remus were sitting on Sirius’ bed while listening to David Bowie.

“Uh… Quicksand.” Remus answered.

“What about this one?” They were listening to T.Rex.

“Planet Queen.”

“This one?” Sirius asked.

Remus burst out laughing, “Bang a Gong.”

Sirius smiled and hummed along.

/“Well you're built like a car
You've got a hub cap diamond star halo
You're built like a car, oh yeah
Well you're an untamed youth
That's the truth with your cloak full of eagles
You're dirty sweet and you're my girl”/

“Get it on, bang a gong, get it on.” Sirius sang into a hairbrush.

Remus clutched his stomach from laughter.

“What?!” Sirius grinned with flushed cheeks.

“Nothing.” He laughed.

“What are you two laughing about?” James’ voice rang from the door.

“James! Peter!” Sirius rushed to them before tackling James to the ground in a hug. “I was looking for you on the train. Why are you late!?”

“Because Peter here set our bloody alarm an hour late. Mum and dad had to Floo us here.” James rolled his eyes.

“Hey! You said-” Peter began to defend himself.

“Blah, blah, blah. Anyway, Remus! You brought a record thingy majigy?” James walked over to Remus.

“Yep.” Remus grinned, “Want me to show you how it works?”

“Yeah! Woah, they’re not like the magic ones, are they? Cool!” James looked in awe.

Sirius watched his friends fondly as Peter tried to turn the volume up ridiculously loud.

Chapter Text

The spring term was beginning to be very uneventful for Sirius, as much as the little pranks they were doing were a lot of fun, most of the students were getting ready for exams.

“Jamesss.” Sirius whined, “I’m bored.”

“And I’m studying, Sirius. Go bother Peter or Remus.” James said while writing notes.

“Nope! Don’t bother me.” Peter said before Sirius could respond.

“Come on! Exams are ages away.” Sirius whined.

“They aren’t that far away, and McGonagall said this stuff is going to be in the exams.” James waved him off.

Sirius sighed and walked up the stairs to their dorm.

“Hey Remus.”

“Hey. Can you check my essay?” He looked up from where he was sitting cross legged on the bed.

Sirius shrugged, “Sure.”

Remus bit at his fingernails nervously. Sirius took the quill to fix three of the words.

“Wow. Well done.” Sirius said.

“Is it good, did I spell stuff right?”

“Yep. Guess those lessons have paid off.” Sirius grinned.

“You make a good teacher, Professor Black.” Remus said while putting his essay back in his bag.

Sirius sighed and lay down on the bed, Remus slumped next to him after a moment.

“You staying here for the holidays?” Sirius asked.

“Yeah, you?” Remus looked at him.

“Yep. James and Pete are staying too.” Sirius grinned.

Remus nodded, “I think I’ll show them the map.”

“Really?” Sirius said.

“Yes. I want to add more to it, but I don’t know yet.” Remus said.

“Like what?” Sirius asked.

“I dunno. Something with magic, plus I still don’t know all the secret passageways.” Remus bit into a bar of chocolate that was on his nightstand.

Sirius held out his hand for Remus to give him a piece, Remus rolled his eyes and passed him a square of chocolate.

 

The four Marauders were walking in the corridor when Remus bumped into a body walking in the other direction.

“Watch it. Loony.” Severus Snape snarled.

“Watch yourself, Snivellus.” Sirius retorted.

“Black. I see you’ve taken to defending half bloods. How would your parents feel about that?” Mulciber, Snape’s friend who had just turned up by his shoulder said.

“I don’t give a shit what they feel about it. Leave Remus alone.” Sirius scowled.

Remus placed a hand on Sirius’ shoulder to calm him down. Sirius tensed at the touch.

“He’s a loony. Just look at the scars on his face, he’s a thug.” Rosier snarled.

James laughed humorlessly, “Who, Remus? Yeah. You’re right, better stay away before he beats the fucking shit out of you.”

Mulciber lunged forward but Snape held him back and mumbled something into his ear.

“Watch yourself, Potter, Black.” Snape told them before walking off.

Sirius looked at Remus, “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine, Sirius. I deal with them all the time. I don’t need you to fight my battles.” Remus said.

Sirius recoiled, “Right. Sorry.”

Remus smiled softly and squeezed Sirius’ shoulder. “Don’t worry.”

“What does Lily see in him?” James asked.

Remus shrugged, “She hasn’t talked to him since summer, she says she’s going to talk to him once we get back for summer holidays because he’s definitely made friends with the wrong group.”

“Where the fuck is Peter?” Sirius looked around.

Remus and James shrugged.

“Coward.” Sirius mumbled. Remus slapped him round the back of the head.

Chapter Text

It was Remus’ birthday. Sirius was looking at the clock on the wall, when it turned twelve he delved into Remus’ bed and shouted,

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY REMUS!” Sirius shouted. James popped up next to him for a moment and shouted the same.

“Happy birthday.” Peter said mildly, yawning.

“Thanks.” Remus smiled sheepishly.

“Come on. We’ve got stuff to do!” James pulled him out of bed.

Remus looked at them confusedly and slowly got out of bed.

Sirius pulled out a bag of sweets onto the floor. Remus gaped, “I can’t-”

“Nope!” James stepped in, “It’s your birthday. You will accept us showering you in gifts. And anyway, we’re sharing the sweets.”

Remus looked down at the ground and then grinned, “Thanks, guys.” Remus mumbled.

“Anything for you, Remoo, eh?” Sirius teased.

Remus groaned, “You’re never going to find a good nickname for me. Please stop.” Remus whined dramatically.

“I bet I’ll be the one to come up with one.” Peter said, “I’m smarter than all of you.”

James snorted, “As if. I basically write your Transfiguration essays for you.”

Peter smiled, “Ah, you two might be book smart. But me and Remus are street smart.”

Sirius laughed, “It’s /so/ the other way around.”

“Remus isn’t book smart.” Peter said with raised eyebrows.

“How exactly is he street smart?” Sirius asked.

“Great birthday guys.” Remus looked between them.

Sirius snapped his head to the side, “Uh… sorry Remus.”

Remus laughed, “‘s okay. Peter’s right, by the way, I bet you two don’t even know how to cross a muggle road.”

“Hey! Don’t bring me into this.” James said, but he was smiling.

“Anyway, you two are always the ones getting caught with pranks. Pete and I are the masterminds behind them.” Remus grinned.

“Shut up, Re-Re.” Sirius shoved him.

Remus let out another groan, “If you call me that again I /will/ smash your head against the wall.”

“Alright, alright!” Sirius moved away before Remus strangled him.

 

The rest of Remus’ birthday went well. The marauders played pranks on a few people and spent all day messing around and having fun with him. Remus spent some time with the girls, Marlene, Dorcas, Mary, Alice and Lily.

Remus came back to the dorm late, while Peter and Sirius were playing Wizards chess together.

“Merlin, Remus. How long does it take to gossip with the girls?” James teased.

Remus rolled his eyes, “We weren’t /gossiping/. I’ll have you know the girls are very nice to talk to.”

James grinned, “Such a bloody ladies man.”

Sirius felt his chest begin to hurt.

Remus grinned, “Don’t worry, I haven’t kissed any more of your crushes.”

“Piss off.” James mumbled.

“Aw, don’t worry, Jamesy. It’s all platonic.” Remus teased.

“Good.” James smiled slightly.

“Anyway, we’re too young to be thinking about this. Have we got any chocolate frogs left?”

 

***

James’ birthday went similarly to Remus’. James was very enthusiastic about his birthday, Sirius definitely enjoyed it just as much as James did.

After the holidays, which most of the school stayed for, the students all rushed into revising and listening in lessons.

“James.” Sirius whined, “You know all of this. You’re the best at Defence Against the Dark Arts in the whole year.”

“I need to study, Sirius. So do you.” James replied.

“I’ve already studied today.” Sirius pouted.

“For like… 20 minutes? You need to revise more.” James yawned.

“Who cares? These exams aren’t life changing. We’re going to forget about them in six months.” Sirius said.

“Sirius.” James warned.

“Fine, I’ll leave you alone.” Sirius rolled his eyes.

He didn’t want to disturb Peter or Remus, so he looked around the common room and found the only person not studying was Mary.

“Hey, Mary.” Sirius smiled.

“Hey, Sirius.” Mary didn’t look up from painting her nails.

“I’m bored.” Sirius slumped down in the chair behind her.

“Me too, this exam stuff is so boring.” Mary dipped the nail polish brush back into the bottle.

“I know.” Sirius rubbed at his face.

“Want some?” She pointed down to the bottle.

Sirius cringed, “I’m not a poof.”

Mary rolled her eyes, “Whatever. I think you’d look good.”

Sirius lifted a brow, “Really?”

She nodded and smiled slightly, “Remus looks good with it.”

Sirius gawped, “He let you paint his nails!?”

“Yeah.” She said quietly, looking down at the table. She bit her lip.

Sirius frowned, “Mary, do you… Y’know, like him?”

“No!” She said hastily, “Well, it’s just… He is very funny. And he’s nice, and for some reason I feel like he understands… what it’s like to be a muggle born and just- yeah. But I don’t fancy him. You already know who… who I do.”

Sirius laughed, “When we’re older, Mary.”

Mary nodded with a grin, “Don’t flatter yourself, Black. I’ll have moved on by then.”

Sirius poked his tongue out at her.

***
The rest of the summer term went swiftly, exams passed by in a daze and the marauders began packing for home.

“I don’t want to go back.” Sirius grumbled.

James sighed, “You sure you can’t stay with me for the summer?”

Sirius frowned, “I’ll try. Probably not.”

“Just… keep your head down, alright? Try not to cause any trouble. We’ll be back at school before you know it.”

Sirius felt like that’s all anyone ever said to him: keep your head down, stay out of trouble.

And yet when he did that, people would say ‘Why is he so quiet? Why isn’t he participating?’ Sirius shut his trunk closed and pressed his head against his pillow.

 

The train ride back was uneventful, there were some words between James and Snivellus, but Sirius couldn’t care less.

“Sirius.” Peter said.

“What?” Sirius snapped.

“D’you want something to eat?” He asked.

Sirius thought about how he may not get dinner at home, “Uh… yeah. I’ll have a pumpkin pasty.”

“Okay.”

“Sirius.” Remus said.

“Oh. What now?” Sirius said exasperatedly.

“After summer, I’ll bring more records back. Since my dad is getting better pay, he’ll probably let me buy some.” Remus said nonchalantly.

This made Sirius feel happier, but at the same time he wished summer would be over quicker. “Great.” He responded.

Chapter Text

Dear James, 

 

How have your holidays been? Mine have been alright. My parents haven’t really talked to me much. They’ve been busy with meeting stupid boring families. We’ve had the Crabbe family over three times!!! Do you know how boring they are? One time I fell asleep.

 

From

Sirius 



Dear Sirius,

 

It’s been great here! Peter came round for the day and I’ve been trying to teach him Quidditch. He doesn’t like it very much, he says it’s because it’s too much effort. Lazy sod. Remus said he could come round for two weeks!!! You should come too… please ask your parents??? 

 

I’ve been practicing all summer for the Quidditch tryouts! I really want to get in. Will you try out with me?? What did you say you wanted to be? Beater? Pleaseeee.

 

From

James

 

PS: Pete’s birthday is tomorrow, send him a letter or something.



Dear Peter,

 

Happy birthday!!!!! I hope your day is amazing :))

 

Sorry I couldn’t get you any presents:(((( my parents wouldn’t let me. But I’m sure you and James had fun!! He’s all about the birthdays :D

 

From 

Sirius



Dear Sirius,

 

Thanks for the letter! I had a great birthday, James got me loads of presents, don’t worry!! Remus is going to come round soon as well! He said he even got me something!!!!! Jealous? ;)

 

From

Peter



Dear Remus,

 

How was the moon recently?? I hope it’s ok at home, I know you don’t have Madame Pomfrey to help.

 

You’re going to James’ house? Luckyyyy :( I’m jealous.

 

Also you got Peter a birthday present!!!!??????????!!!!!!! I thought I was your favourite marauder :(((

 

Just kidding ;)

 

I hope everything is ok? Things here have been boring, I’ve only been able to pull 2 pranks all summer :/ 

 

From

Sirius



Dear Sirius,

 

The moon wasn’t too good. The wolf doesn’t like the chang of place. Don’t worrie about me though. I’m fine, just being dramatic.

 

My birthday present to Peter was shite. It was some muggle sweets I got at the corner shop for 8p.

 

Only 2 pranks!????!!!! How ever will you live!!! That’s horrible!!!! (Sarcasm, in case you coodn’t tell.)

 

From 

Remus



Dear Remus,

 

Tut tut, your spelling is dropping again.

 

change, worry, couldn’t.

 

I’m going to ignore the sarcasm comment. It is in fact a very painful experience for me. My hands are practically itching to pull a prank. 

 

I know for a fact that Remus (what’s your middle name??) Lupin is not dramatic. That means the moon was horrible, you are practically on your deathbed and I need to go and take care of you right this second!!

 

I want to try muggle sweets :(((

 

See you on the train,

 

Sirius 



Dear Sirius,

 

Ugh. Spelling is stupid. It might be even stupider than maths. My mam used to make me do maths. I hated it.

 

You can pull pranks at Hogwarts you moron. Be patient.

 

I am NOT on my deathbed. You are the most dramatic person I’ve ever met. Even more than James. JAMES. Even if I was on my deathbed, I wouldn’t want you to take care of me. You’d probably cut off my life support by accident.

 

From 

 

Remus



Dear Remus,

 

Stupider isn’t a word.

 

From 

 

Sirius

 

PS: what the hell is a life support?



Dear Sirius,

 

Shut up

 

From 

 

Remus



Dear Remus,

 

You forgot your full stop. 

 

From

 

Sirius



Dear Sirius,

 

Stop bullying me.

 

From

 

Remus



Dear Remus,

 

No :)

 

From 

 

Sirius



Dear Sirius,

 

You forgot your full stop.

 

From

 

Remus



Remus,

 

Whatever. 

 

My darling mother is getting annoyed by the owls. See you on the train.




Chapter Text

“Sirius.” Walburga said, “We will not be seeing you at Christmas this year. You are to stay at Hogwarts. Regulus will be there too, make sure to look after your brother.”

Sirius nodded, “Yes mother.”

She took a sharp intake of breath, “You should be aware that we will be planning a marriage for you, after this school year. After this whole… Gryffindor problem… your father and I think it’s best. Once we get Narcissa to agree-”

“Narcissa!” Sirius gasped, “She’s seventeen! I can’t marry her, she’s my cousin!”

Walburga grabbed onto his neck, Sirius yelped. “Would you rather marry a mudblood? Is that what it is!? We are to keep the family line pure. Narcissa is a beautiful woman, you will create great heirs. Toujours pur, Sirius. Toujours pur.”

Sirius winced when she let go of him roughly, “Yes, mother.”

“Off you go.” She turned towards Regulus, “Goodbye, darling.”

Regulus kissed her on the cheek politely, she turned towards Sirius so he could do the same, but Sirius just stormed off, arms crossed angrily.

“She’d treat me the same as you if you didn’t act like that.” Regulus said from behind him.

“I’m not a suck up like you, Regulus.” Sirius snapped.

A hurt look spread across Regulus’ face. 

“Sorry.” Sirius muttered.

Sirius got into the train and sat in a compartment, Regulus following behind him. He turned towards the window with a sour look on his face, arms still crossed.

“Do you think I’ll be in Slytherin?” Regulus asked nervously.

“Don’t know. Don’t care.” Sirius mumbled. Watching as crying parents hugged their children goodbye.

Regulus sighed, “If you’re going to be moody, I don’t want to sit with you.” He warned.

Sirius scoffed, “Alright. Piss off then.”

“Some brother you are.” Regulus snapped.

“Dunno why I bother.” Sirius grumbled.

Regulus stood up and opened the door to the compartment, “You don’t.” He stormed off.

Sirius slumped down slightly. He wished he was like Regulus. He wished he didn’t have to protect his brother, he wished his family liked him. He wished he could talk to his family about school, about his friends. 

Sirius felt tears prick in his eyes. How embarrassing. He was very sensitive, he cried a lot. Sometimes he heard the other boys cry too, in the middle of the night. Little sniffles coming from Peter’s bed. Hiccups from James’. He’d never seen or heard Remus cry apart from that one time early in first year. Sometimes Sirius wished he was like Remus, Remus wasn’t sensitive, he was brave. So very brave. Sure, he wished his life was like James’. But he wished he was like Remus, his personality. Remus didn’t have an easy life, Sirius knew that Remus' life was probably harder than Sirius’. He didn’t have much money, sometimes Remus had slipped out that they couldn’t afford food. He was a werewolf, his bones broke once a month and he scratched himself almost to death. He barely knew anything about the wizarding world, he knew about as much as a smart muggle born. Sometimes the Slytherins called him a mudblood, the stupid ones, that didn’t realised the name Lupin was not a muggle name. 

Yes, Sirius wished he was like Remus. Remus didn’t get upset, he got angry. Sirius was often angry, but instead of shouting or storming off like Remus, he just cried like a coward. 

The compartment door opened slightly, “Black?” A girl's voice said.

Sirius sniffed and tried to wipe his eyes.

“What’s wrong?” Lily Evans said.

“S-sorry.” Sirius wiped at his face more. He felt a cold hand hold his and squeeze slightly.

“What happened?” She asked.

It came tumbling out. The talk of marriage, his brother, his parents.

Lily smiled at him kindly, “It’s okay, they’re just your family. My sister hates me too,” she said sadly, “she thinks I’m weird, a freak, because I can do magic. She’s jealous of my parents giving me attention. We used to be really close, sometimes I wish we still were. My parents… they don’t understand the whole wizarding world thing. It feels like I’m kind of disconnected to my family, because I’m different from them. They don’t understand about me being a muggle born and what we face. We already get… well… shit, people hating us, because we’re Jewish. And I don’t want to bother them with this too. But sometimes it sucks not being able to talk to your family. So I understand, Sirius.” She concluded.

“What do people say because you're Jewish?” Sirius asked curiously.

Lily sighed, “Just… stuff. I don’t really want to talk about it.”

Sirius nodded, “I think what makes it worse, is people think I’m like them. They think just because I’m a Black I’m a blood supremacist who hates poor people. It’s like I don’t fit in with my family or anywhere else.”

“Hey,” Lily said softly, “You have your little group of friends. They don’t treat you differently. You have us girls too. We’re your family. And… Sirius, I know what it’s like to have something like that over your head. Muggle borns always have to try and prove themselves, purebloods think it’s okay to act like we’re stupid, like we can’t even comprehend anything. One time, Mary got detention and Binns said it’s because muggle borns don’t understand discipline. He also made a very racist comment which I will not repeat.”

Sirius frowned slightly, “That’s what Remus was talking about… apparently he said something to James as well.”

Lily cocked her head to the side, “You might want to talk to them about that. You’re friends with two people of colour, you should really know about the racism they face.”

“I…” Sirius started, “Uh, Lily. Snape… he’s said some stuff about them.”

Lily looked startled, “Yeah…?”

“Well… he told James to ‘go back to his country’ and he told Remus that his mum used his dad as some kind of green card into the country, that we shouldn’t let immigrants from communist places into England.” Sirius said.

“I’ll talk to him about it.” Lily said sharply, “It won’t happen again.”

Sirius smiled, “Thanks.”

“I think I saw James getting on the train just now, I’ll go sit somewhere else, yeah?” Lily smiled back.

Sirius nodded and waved her goodbye.

A few minutes later, James entered the compartment. “James!” Sirius exclaimed and happily wrapped his arms around him.

“Hey, Sirius.” James grinned.

They jumped into conversation, soon Peter arrived, then Remus. The marauders fell right into their normal routine of teasing and laughing. This is what family should be, Sirius thought. 









Chapter Text

They’d been at Hogwarts for two weeks. Sirius hadn’t spoken to Regulus since the train ride.

“I think I’ve gotten most of the castle, but I want to make the stairs’ movement show, so I did that. I don’t know what else.” Remus said, spreading the map down on the table.

“What if we tracked Flich, and the teachers? It will help with our pranks.” James suggested.

“I like that idea.” Peter agreed.

Sirius thought for a moment, “What if we tracked… everyone? Not just the professors and Filch.”

James let out a low whistle, “That’s probably difficult. But I think we could do it.”

Remus nodded, “It’s still /my/ map, by the way.”

“‘Course it is, mate.” James grinned, “But, you know, sharing is caring.”

Remus poked his tongue out, “I’m allowed to confiscate it from you at any time.”

Sirius snorted, “Wow, Remus. Confiscating? Next thing you know you’ll become a prefect.”

Remus shrugged with a smile, “You never know.”

Sirius laughed, “You becoming a prefect is as likely as James becoming head boy.”

“Hey!” James defended, “I could totally become head boy.”

Peter rolled his eyes, “Yeah, right.”

“Ugh. Shuddup.” James grumbled.

“Anyways, let’s get to work!”

***

“I found something!” Remus shouted one night in the dorm.

“What?” James bounced up.

“the Homonculous Charm, enables the possessor to track the movements of every person within the allocated area.

The charm will uncover anyone with a magical disguise such as:

Polyjuice Potion
Animagi
Invisibility Charms or an Invisibility Cloak
A person who has been Transfigured into an object or an animal

The charm will show footsteps or dots of the person being tracked, to add a name you just use the Adaperio Charm. When tracking multiple people the wand movement must contain a circular shape before the initial spell.” Remus read.

“No way!” Peter exclaimed. “This is perfect!”

Sirius grinned as they sat round Remus’ book to see how to cast the charm.

***

“We can’t just put our names on it, Sirius!” Remus said.

“People need to know it’s ours, though!” Sirius complained.

“We could put our nicknames on it?” Peter suggested.

“That’s great, Peter.” Sirius deadpanned, “But I don’t really want ‘Sirius “blood traitor” Black’ on our map. And I’m sure Remus doesn’t want ‘Loony Lupin’ on it either.”

Peter rolled his eyes, “Obviously, we have to come up with the nicknames.”

“It’s not our map.” Remus said, “It’s /mine/.”

“If we put your name first, will you shut up about it?” James said exasperatedly.

Remus scowled, “I know who’s name is going last.”

“Hey!” James complained.

“I call second!” Peter exclaimed.

“You can’t just /call/ second!” Sirius whined.

“That’s so funny because I just did.” Peter smirked.

“Guys, guys.” Remus feigned calmness, “It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that it’s my map and my name is going first.”

“Shut up, Remus.” James, Sirius and Peter said at the same time.

James and Peter started arguing about who would have the best nickname.

“Yeah, yeah, bully the werewolf.” Remus muttered and rolled his eyes.

His jaw then dropped and he covered his mouth with both of his hands. Sirius looked between Peter and James, both of them hadn’t heard the comment, they continued bickering.

Sirius gave Remus a look and then said, “Remus and I are going down to the kitchens to get some food.”

James and Peter nodded noncommittally and Sirius dragged Remus out of the room.

“What was that?” Sirius whisper-shouted.

“I don’t know! It just sort of slipped out! I thought I only said it in my head.” Remus responded in the same manner.

Sirius started laughing, “How in Merlin’s name are you this bad at keeping secrets?!”

“I’m great at keeping secrets! I have loads of secrets I haven’t told you.” Remus defended.

Sirius raised a brow, “Like what?”

“Like how-” Remus stopped himself then narrowed his eyes, “I’m not falling for that.”

Sirius laughed harder, “You’re an idiot.”

“You’re a wanker.”

“Twat.”

“Tosser.”

“Dickhead.”

“Nancy boy.”

“Connard.” Translation: /Asshole/

“Сука.” /Bitch/

“Sac à merde.” /Bag of shit/

“Drewgi.” /Smelly dog/

“Baise ta maman.” /Fuck your mum/

“Cunt.” Remus muttered.

“Remus!” Sirius’ scolded, “You can’t say that!”

“How is calling you a cunt worse than you calling me a bag of shit.” Remus crossed his arms.

“You know french?” Sirius frowned.

“Yeah my friend spoke it, he used to insult me with it and tell me what it meant afterwards.” He shrugged.

“The same one who was your first kiss?” Sirius teased.

Remus flushed.

“No way!” Sirius grinned, “Actually!?”

Remus nodded sheepishly.

“Do you have a thing for French guys, Rem?” Sirius teased. He moved forward towards Remus, their noses almost touched. “Am I making you… flustered?”

“No!” Remus shoved him back, there was a light blush on his cheeks.

“And you call me a nancy boy!” Sirius laughed.

“You are! You’ll see, your queer awakening is right round the corner.” Remus grinned.

“Ha!” Sirius had a cheesy grin on his face, “You wish!”

Chapter Text

“Sirius,” James said as he crawled into Sirius’ bed and cast a silencing charm, “is Remus a werewolf?”

Sirius choked on his own spit. “W-what mak-kes you think-k th-that?” Sirius coughed.

James patted him on the back, once Sirius had stopped gasping for breath he said, “Pete and I were talking about it earlier. He disappears once a month, and have you noticed it’s always a full moon? He never has any proper explanation as to where he is. And he’s got those scars all over him. The only explanation is that he’s a werewolf!”

Sirius stared at him, trying to come up with an excuse which explained the disappearances on full moons and the scars. 

“Oh Merlin!” James exclaimed, “You knew!? And you didn’t tell me!”

“He didn’t want anyone to know!” Sirius defended, “He can get kicked out of school if the wrong people find out, James. It’s not like you tell all my secrets to Remus and Peter. And this is a big secret, not as big as whatever my parents have done. James, you can’t tell anyone. He can’t get kicked out of Hogwarts. Please James, his moons are so much worse at home, he has to stay here so Madame Pomfrey can take care of him.” Sirius pleaded.

“Woah, woah, woah.” James said, “I wasn’t going to get him kicked out. Maybe we can help him!”

Sirius shook his head, “I already looked. There’s no cure.”

“Well… maybe we can help him another way.” James said, “Come on. We have to tell him we know.”

Sirius grabbed onto his arm, “No. James. He doesn’t want anyone to know. You can’t tell him you do.”

James shook his head, “He’d rather be accepted than have to walk on eggshells around us, right?”

Sirius sighed, “Fine. Tell him you know tomorrow.”

James nodded and walked over to Peter’s bed, obviously to tell him the news.

***

“Hey guys.” Remus walked into the corner of the library where the marauders were, “What’d you want to talk to me about? Is it about the map?”

“No…” Peter said.

“Uh… sit down. Remus.” James said.

Remus looked at them confusedly but sat down anyway.

“We need to talk.” James said sternly.

Remus fake gasped, “Are you breaking up with me?” He said sarcastically.

James rolled his eyes, “Um… we know.”

“Know what?” Remus looked between the three boys.

“That’s you’re a werewolf.” He spat out quickly.

Remus jumped out of his seat and ran away as quickly as possible.

Sirius looked between James and Peter, “Could’ve started with ‘we will accept you whatever you are, it doesn’t change our opinion of you’ like we planned.” He said angrily.

“Fuck.” James started getting out of his seat to find Remus.

Sirius put up a hand, “I’ll find him.”

He knew that Remus’ usual hiding place was the library, so he decided to check the common room and dorm first. Luckily Remus was in the dorm, listening to a record.

 

“In a little while from now

If I'm not feeling any less sour

I promise myself to treat myself

And visit a nearby tower

And climbing to the top

Will throw myself off

In an effort to

Make it clear to whoever

Wants to know what it's like when you're shattered”

 

Sirius walked in and sat across from Remus on the windowsill, “You’re very dramatic.”

Remus raised an eyebrow, “Why?”

“Your best friends find out you're a werewolf so you stick on a depressing Gilbert O’Sullivan song at the first chance.” Sirius smiled amusedly.

“Hey.” Remus said half-heartedly, “It’s a great song.”

“Nah. It’s only a great song if you can dance to it.” Sirius grinned.

“You can totally dance to this!” Remus defended.

“Pfft. Prove it.” Sirius stuck out his hand for Remus to take. Remus rolled his eyes and took it. “Mister Lupin, would you give me the pleasure of this dance.”

“Poof.” Remus grunted.

 

“No point in us remaining

We may as well go home

As I did on my own

Alone again, naturally”

 

Sirius swayed with Remus side to side.

 

“To think that only yesterday

I was cheerful, bright and gay”

 

”You’re gay every day.” Sirius grinned.

“Piss off.” 

 

“Looking forward to who wouldn't do

The role I was about to play

But as if to knock me down

Reality came around

And without so much as a mere touch

Cut me into little pieces

 

Leaving me to doubt

Talk about, God in His mercy

Oh, if he really does exist

Why did he desert me

In my hour of need

I truly am indeed

Alone again, naturally”

“I don’t like it.” Sirius said. “It’s still too depressing, put some T.Rex on, will you?”

“Not in the mood.” Remus let go of Sirius and went back to sit on the windowsill again.

“How about some Bowie then? It’s always the mood for Bowie.” Sirius grinned.

Remus just rolled his eyes.

“Come on, Remus. Stop being a moody sod.” Sirius dug his elbows into Remus’ knees which were hanging off the edge of the window ledge. He fluttered his eyelashes up at him.

“God, you’re like a bloody dog.” Remus looked down at him fondly.

“Just talk to James and Peter. I promise they don’t hate you.” Sirius said.

Remus sighed, “Fine. I’ll talk to them when they come back to the dorm.”

“Great.” Sirius grinned.

***

“…so we accept you no matter what, and we don’t care that you’re a werewolf. You’re still our best friend.” Peter finished.

Remus smiled and sniffed slightly, “Thanks guys.” He held out his arms and hugged James and Peter.

“Oi!” Sirius exclaimed, “Don’t forget me!” He jumped into the hug with a laugh.






Chapter Text

“How is it, Sirius, darling?” His mother said softly.

“I love it!” Sirius exclaimed, looking down at the messily unwrapped present in his hands.

Walburga smiled, that warm loving smile that she saved for Sirius and Regulus. “I’m sure you don’t want to go to church on Christmas, shall we start making dinner? You can help with the stuffing.” She said softly.

“I like Church, though.” Sirius pouted.

She laughed, “Alright, dear. I’ll just ask Reggie.” 

She walked off towards Regulus, who was sitting on the far away sofa and was half asleep. Her high heels clanking against the black wooden floor.

“Ah, church now, is it?” Orion said from the doorway, wobbling in and stumbling on the carpet.

Sirius could taste and smell a strange whiff of something that smelled like olive oil mixed with chilli powder.

“You’re drunk.” Walburga stood up.

“Am I?” He grinned, a horrible toothy grin which sent the horrible smell towards Sirius once again.

Walburga cleared her throat, “Stay here. We’re going to church. Get sober.” 

“I’m going too.” Orion steadied himself.

“No. You’re drunk. I’m taking the children and leaving.” She said, anger rising in her voice.

“What did you tell me earlier this year? You said this religion stuff was bullshit. I’m the one who helped you find God, now you’re throwing it away.” Orion sneered.

“The children like it there. I’m not letting you take this away from them too. I’m not letting you take away from them what you took from me.” She raised her voice.

“You ungrateful bitch!” Orion lunges forward, his palm colliding with Walburga’s cheek. She stumbled back slightly.

“Go upstairs.” She said to Regulus and Sirius.

They stood still. 

“Go!” She shouted.

Regulus ran up, his feet moving as fast as possible. Sirius moved forwards, towards where Walburga and Orion were standing.

“Go away.” He tried to tell his father, it came out in a small voice. A high pitched child’s voice.

He laughed, “Say that again.”

“Go. Away.” Sirius stomped his foot.

He grabbed onto his neck, and pushed his head against the wall. Sirius felt a stinging in the back of his head, blood rushing to his brain.

“Listen to your mother. Leave out of this, boy.” He sneered, his hand wrapped his neck tighter. Sirius let out a choked sob. When Orion finally let go, Sirius fell onto the floor, he quickly got up and ran up the stairs.

He didn’t stop by the banister like he usually did, he ran straight to his room and covered himself in his  blanket. 

His mother hadn’t tried to stop Orion.

“Sirius, Sirius.” Regulus’ voice said.

Sirius made a strange noise in response.

“Sirius. Sirius. Sirius.”

“Sirius!”

Sirius’ eyes flinched open. A figure was standing over him, their eyes squinting as if they had forgotten to put their glasses on.

“James!” Sirius exclaimed.

“You were having a nightmare.” James said softly, sitting down on the bed next to Sirius.

Is it really a nightmare if it’s just a memory?

“I-” Sirius felt a lump in his throat.

“It’s okay.” James said softly, he wrapped his arms round Sirius’ shoulders. Sirius felt the tears roll out of his eyes, he let them.





Chapter Text

Sirius watched as Remus rushed quickly to get all the good ingredients for the Slippery Slope Potion they were making. 

Sirius was worried that he was ill, Remus hated potions. He never concentrated, he’d probably blown up more potions than anyone at Hogwarts ever. One time he managed to mess one up so badly that he grew green toes, the potion was to stop sore throats.

The moon was a week away, Sirius thought that perhaps Remus had a cold. He’d never been ill at Hogwarts before, only near the full moon. There’s a first time to everything, Sirius thought.

“Are you okay?” He asked Remus.

Remus nodded, “Yeah?” He continued to brew the potion. 

Sirius watched with raised eyebrows, “Are you sure you aren’t ill?” He pressed the back of his hand to Remus’ forehead to check if he was feverish. Nope, all fine.

“I’m sure…” Remus poked his tongue out of his mouth in concentration.

“What is so special about this potion?” Sirius watched.

Remus looked around the room to the other pairs which were all quietly working. He moved towards Sirius’ ear and whispered, “I’ll tell you later.”

Sirius shrugged and left Remus to it, he’d never seen Remus so passionate about anything. Well, maybe David Bowie and making fun of Purebloods was the only exception to that rule.

After the lessons, Sirius asked Remus what that was about.

“Lads, I have come up with the ultimate prank for Halloween.” Remus announced to the three of them. He took out a large vial of the potion they’d been making in that lesson, which they’d been told to clean up, and held it up.

“What, are we going to make someone fall over?” Peter asked.

Remus rolled his eyes, “No. we’re going to make the whole school slip.” 

“What?” James said, still confused.

“We multiply this potion. Put it all on the stairs, floors, and then… we put slime everywhere. They’ll slip and everyone will be covered in slime.” Remus grinned.

James gawped, “Peeves will see us.”

“Ah-huh.” Remus continued grinning, “That’s where the invisibility charm we learned while working on the map will come into place. The potion dries already, so no one will see it. But if we put the charm on the slime, then no one will know they’re covered in it until their skin touches it. And we can make sure the Slytherins get the worst of it.”

“Brilliant!” Sirius and James said. 

“That sounds like a lot of work.” Peter complained.

“Shut up, Peter.” James, Sirius and Remus said at the same time.

After the full moon, Sirius visited Remus in the hospital wing. He needed to tell Remus about the Quidditch tryouts.

“James was by far the best, he’ll definitely get Chaser. Maybe even Seeker. I was definitely the best beater, Marlene was really good too. I reckon I will get it though. Girls usually aren’t as strong. Even Mary told me she thinks I’ll get it, and Marlene is her best friend.” Sirius grinned while explaining.

“‘S only cuz she has a crush on you.” Remus grumbled tiredly, “Well done anyway, tell James that as well.”

“I will.” Sirius smiled. Remus smiled back, his eyelids drooping.

“How was the moon then?” Sirius asked.

Remus sighed, “They’ve been getting worse.” Remus lifted his top up slightly to show a huge blood covered bandage covering his stomach.

“Jesus Christ.” Sirius gawped, “Why did you do that?”

“I didn’t mean to.” Remus snapped, “The wolf does it.”

“But… you’re the wolf?” Sirius said confusedly.

Remus stared at him, “Can you just go?”

“Oh… sorry.” Sirius said. “We don’t have to talk about it anymore.”

“I’m tired. I want to sleep.” Remus said slowly.

“Okay. I’ll just wait until you fall aslee-”

“Just piss off.” Remus mumbled.

“Right, sorry, Remus.” Sirius stood up slowly.

God. You’re so insensitive.

Don’t use the Lord's name in vain.

Who the fuck are you?

Language. I’m a voice in your brain, lunatic.

Well piss off. I want to think in peace.

You piss off.

You’re the one in my brain.

No, you’re just mental.

Whatever, I just don’t get it? He’s the werewolf, why does he act like the wolf is a different thing. And why does he scratch himself half to death?!

Ask him.

I thought I told you to piss off.

What would your mother think of that language? Language that a half-breed taught you.

Don’t talk about Remus like that.

You’re the one talking about Remus like that. I’m your voice. In your brain.

Shut up.

Not until you stop being stupid. Ask him why he does that.

Fine.

Sirius stormed back to the hospital wing, “Remus, sorry for asking you about it.”

Remus looked up, “Uh… it’s okay. Sorry for snapping.”

Sirius nodded and sat back down, “Why do you do it then?”

Remus sighed, “It’s… wolves aren’t meant to be in confined spaces. So it gets agitated. And I scratch myself. I don’t usually remember what happens. I just usually wake up with a load of cuts on me and an aching body.”

“So it hurts then?” Sirius asked.

Remus frowned, “Well yeah? My bones get broken and my organs all move and stuff. Werewolves that go in packs usually remember what happens, because that’s what’s meant to happen. But I don’t really know about it, my dad refused to tell me because he didn’t want me to join an evil group of werewolves or something.”

“Wow… When I read books about it they never really said much about it. It usually just said werewolves are evil monstrous creatures who are a danger to wizarding society. They never said much about how it hurts, I mean I knew it did. But I didn’t know it hurt that much.” Sirius said.

Remus looked down at his hands, “I don’t think you get it, Sirius. It’s really dangerous. I have no control and-”

Sirius laughed, “I do get it, Remus. But I know you aren’t dangerous. You refused to let go of a ladybird because it had a broken wing!”

“Oi!” Remus said, “You’re the one who’s scared of spiders.”

“Spider!” Sirius exclaimed, he jumped onto the top of his chair, “Where!?”

Remus burst out laughing, “You’re an idiot”

“Wanker.”

“Nope! We are not starting this again.” Remus laughed.

“Sac à merde.” Sirius grinned.

“Сука.” Remus muttered.

“Alright. I’ll leave you to sleep now.” Sirius said and left the room.

Good job.

You again?

Yup.

The Slippery Slope prank went well. Snape came in covered in pink slime, Narcissa’s hair was completely covered, a few of the fifth years had bruises on them from slipping so hard.

Remus, Sirius, James and Peter all slid down the corridors, not caring that they were covered in slime. It was amazing.

Soon came Sirius’ birthday, which went the same as last year's. Truth or dare in the common room, in which Sirius refused to kiss Lily because of his pact with James. Lily looked grateful as well.

Then November lessons came into place, it was one of Sirius’ favourite times of the year. There were Christmas decorations, everyone’s mood was lightning up. It began snowing, and nobody concentrated in lessons.

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fireeeee! Jack Frost nipping at your noooooseeee!” Sirius sang.

“Sirius! If you don’t stop bloody singing at six in the fucking morning I will curse your mouth shut and stick quills in your ears!” Remus shouted from his bed.

“Yuletide carols being sung by a choir. Annndddd folks dressed up like Eskimooooosssss!” Sirius sang louder.

Remus jumped out of his bed, his hair sticking in all directions and a deathly look on his face. Sirius’ eyes widened. He quickly opened the door to their dorm and ran down to the common room, giggles escaping his mouth embarrassingly.

Remus ran after him, and eventually tackled him onto the settee. “I hate you.” He looks down at a laughing Sirius.

“Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe.” Sirius sang quietly with a grin on his face.

Remus let out an angry noise and picked up a pillow before hitting Sirius with it. Sirius sat up and started picking his own pillow and fighting back. James and Peter came running out of the dorm.

“You’re having a pillow fight, and you didn’t invite us?!” Peter exclaimed. Both of them joined in.

Lily came out of the girls dorm with an annoyed look on her face, “What is all this noise?!”

“Ooh!” Alice said from behind her, “I want to join!”

Eventually all the girls, even Lily, were down in the common room with feathers and pillows going in all directions, even some third years joined. Frank was certainly having fun while Alice was tickling him.










Chapter Text

“C’mon Sirius. Stop being a moody git.” Remus muttered.

Sirius was moody because it was James’ first Quidditch game. Sirius hadn’t gotten Beater, Marlene had. He remembered Remus scolding him after he started sulking when he found out.

Flashback:

/“Sirius.” Remus poked his head round the door.

“Piss off. I don’t need your pity.” Sirius mumbled, “You didn’t even go to tryouts.”

Remus tutted at him, “I’m not here to pity you. James has been going on about Quidditch since first year, probably before that as well. Go congratulate him.”

Sirius huffed, “I’m allowed to be annoyed.”

“‘Course you are. But we both know you don’t give a toss about Quidditch. You only went to tryouts because James wanted you to.” Remus said.

“Piss off.” Sirius grumbled.

“No, go be happy for your friend or I’ll levitate you out of here.” Remus grinned.

Sirius groaned, “Fine. But you’re annoying.”

“You’re a w-”

“Nope. Not this again.”/

 

“I’m not being a moody git.”

“You are. Want me to put some Bowie on so you stop being a piss baby?” Remus said.

“Not in the mood.” Sirius mumbled.

“But I thought it was ‘always the mood for Bowie’” Remus said mockingly.

Sirius’ lips twitched upwards slightly.

“There you go.” Remus said in a voice you’d usually use for a baby.

“Piss off.”

 

The game went well, Gryffindor beat Ravenclaw. Sirius cheered from the stands, enjoying every moment. He forgot about his mood.

They were having a party in the common room, all the Gryffindors were piled in together.

“Hey Wolfy.” Sirius said to Remus.

“Jesus Christ. Don’t ever call me that again.” Remus grumbled.

“Ugh. Fine.” Sirius sighed, “What about, Furry?”

“Furry!” Remus exclaimed, “What is wrong with you! Absolutely not.”

Sirius rolled his eyes, “What about… Moonshine!?”

Remus groaned, “No.”

“Moonbeam?”

“No.”

“MooMoo.”

“No.”

“Moony?”

“N-” Remus started, “Actually, that one's alright.”

“No way!” Sirius exclaimed, “I’ve finally found your nickname! Oh my goodness I deserve a trophy. I-”

Remus laughed, “Bloody hell, calm down.”

“We have to go and tell James and Pete!” Sirius dragged Remus by his arm.

“James, Pete! Guess what…”

 

Dear Sirius,

We have a family gathering on the nineteenth. You are to come home for two days. This is important.

Yours Sincerely,

Walburga Black.

 

Sirius placed down the letter angrily. What could she possibly need him there for? Another horrible meal with the Malfoys or Crabbes?

***

Sirius used the Floo in Dumbledore’s office to go back to Grimmauld Place. Clearly his mother thought this was important if she contacted Dumbledore about it.

“As we know,” Druella drawled, “there is a lot going on right now. Many of us… are to pick a side. The side of purity, pride and the truth, or the side of mudbloods, blood traitors and idiots. Now, Andromeda, tell us… tell us what you told me.”

Andromeda took a breath, “I’m engaged.”

Walburga gasped and clapped her hands together, “Oh! Is it that lovely Malfoy boy? Or the Nott boy?”

Druella raised her hand up, “Tell us. Andromeda, who is it that you are to marry?”

“Ted Tonks.” She said calmly.

Gasps surrounded the table. “A mudblood. Our oldest Black daughter wants to marry a mudblood!” Druella said angrily.

Walburga breathed sharply, “Now, I’m sure she’s just confused and-”

“I want to marry him.” Andromeda interrupted, “I love him.”

Bodies stood up around the table, Sirius wasn’t sure who hit the curse first. Andromeda doubled over.

“I’m leaving this ridiculous family. You’re all horrible! Burn in fucking hell!” She shouted, before apparating away.

There was ruckus everywhere, people chatted. Sirius gaped into space, his cousin. His favourite cousin had just left the family.

Eventually, Walburga and Orion pulled Regulus and Sirius into a room.

“You understand what just happened.” Orion started.

Sirius and Regulus nodded.

“So you understand, that if you are a blood traitor, you will have the same end.” Orion said.

“There is room for mistakes,” Walburga said sharply, “but remember, Black’s are pure. Toujours pur.”

“You understand, Sirius? If you hang out with your half-blood, blood traitor friends. There will be consequences.” Orion said.

Sirius nodded.

“Good. So you will stop-”

“They’re my friends. I’m not going to stop being friends with them.” Sirius spat.

“Very well.” Orion sighed. He took out his wand.

Before Sirius knew what was happening, the sound of slicing whooshed by his ear. He felt a sharp sting. When Orion was done, he walked upstairs and looked in the mirror. His hair, his hair that he’d been growing out for a year, was gone. It was cut unevenly, short at the top, slightly longer at the sides.

***
“Oh Merlin!” James exclaimed, “What happened!?”

“My parents happened.” Sirius has grumbled.

Chapter Text

Sirius got looks in the hallways as we went back to the dorm, as he entered Remus stared at him for a moment.

Sirius could see a look in his eye, which was definitely of amusement, he supposed he did look quite ridiculous.

“My parents did it.” Sirius grumbled, Remus’ face turned straight to worry.

“Oh- I’m sorry-”

“It’s okay. You can laugh.” Sirius sighed.

Remus smiled slightly, “Here, I’ll fix it.”

He picked up a pair of scissors and sat Sirius down on a chair. “I can’t see what you’re doing.” Sirius whined.

Remus continued snipping at his hair, then he moved and was right in front of Sirius’ face, snipping at his fringe.

“Wh-what are you doing?” Sirius breathed.

“Cutting your hair.” Remus quirked a brow.

Sirius felt himself burn up. He distracted himself by looking at Remus’ freckles while he snipped away.

“Okay.” Remus grinned, “Done.”

Sirius bounced over to the mirror. He stared at his reflection, “I love it!” He exclaimed.

His hair no longer looked ridiculous, it was a little short, but he looked good. He could see his jawline well, it wasn’t very sharp yet, but he imagined it would be when he was older.

***
It was Lily’s birthday soon, Sirius made her a card with Remus.

“Ooh!” She said when she looked at it, “I love magic cards.”

The card had a picture of cartoon wizards casting spells.

They played a few games in the common room, which ended in Mary and Alice falling asleep on the sofa and the boys going to bed late.

January turned into February, and February morphed into March.

Remus and James’ birthdays consisted of the marauders messing around in every lesson and Sirius getting Remus some plants. Remus had started to like herbology a lot, he talked to Frank Longbottom often because of it. Of course, Sirius got James Zonko’s products.

Exams came right around the corner, and Remus was studying surprisingly hard.

“I actually want to do well this year, Sirius.” Remus said.

Sirius sighed, “But Moonyyyy.” He whined, “I’m bored.”

“Go annoy James.”

“He’s studying.”

“Peter then.”

“So is he.”

Remus sighed, “I don’t know, Mary isn’t. Go annoy her.”

Sirius stuck his tongue out but slumped down next to her anyway.

“Is this a yearly thing?” She smirked.

Sirius grinned, “It’s just you and me, Mary. While the other students of Hogwarts get swallowed up into the pits of examination and note taking. Revision has taken over their brains. We’re the only ones left!”

Mary rolled her eyes, “You’re so dramatic. Ever thought of writing a zombie apocalypse book?”

“A what?”

***
Exam week was certainly not enjoyable, the whole caste was quiet and there was heaviness in the air.

Sirius was grateful when it was over, he definitely had not done enough revision, but he was smart enough to get okay grades even after only doing an hour of each subject.

Remus had done very well, he’d actually beat Sirius in over half his subjects and beat Peter in almost all over them. He’d only beaten James in Charms and by one mark in Defence Against the Dark Arts.

Sirius had been so happy for him, he actually bought him seven chocolate bars for him to eat over the holidays.

Sirius was moody again, because he had to go back to Grimmauld Place. But he still told Remus he hoped he had a good few moons over the holidays and James and Peter to have fun at the Potter’s.

When he’d gotten home, he got his usual punishment, he lashed out and then got a few cuts on his back. Nothing he’d not had before. The talk of marriage was getting to him, he was certain Narcissa did not want to marry him. Partly because he was a literal thirteen year old and partly because he was Sirius, blood traitor and family disappointed.

“I’M NOT MARRYING HIM!” She shouted.

“You must! Bella is already married to Rodolphus. It is your turn to marry and create heirs!” Cygnus called loudly.

“I don’t want to! I’ll marry anyone else! I’ll marry Lucius Malfoy if I have to!” She screamed.

And that’s what happened, the wedding was a month after that argument. Sirius sat at the wedding in a fancy suit which looked ridiculous as he watched Narcissa and Lucius get married. She didn’t look happy to him, but he supposed he wouldn’t be happy either if he had to marry someone who looked like Lucius Malfoy.

Sirius received a letter from Andromeda telling him that her daughter had been born a few months back. Her name was Nymphadora Tonks. Sirius almost laughed at the name, he supposed she still had some Black blood in her if she managed to name her child something so ridiculous, it was almost more ridiculous than Sirius Orion Black the Third.

 

Things had been so busy with the wedding that Sirius had managed to convince his mother to let him go to the Potter’s for the last week of the holidays.

Sirius was going to try out for the Quidditch team again, so he spent most of his time practicing with James in their huge garden. Quidditch players were so cool, he thought. He remembered watching Caradoc Dearborn, a sixth year, playing it. He looked so bloody cool, he bet Caradoc got loads of girls to like him because he was so fit.

Sirius grinned at the thought of girls liking him, he thought about Mary’s crush on him, and wondered if he should ask her out this year. Mary was a lovely girl, she had very pretty eyes and big plump lips. She had shiny dark skin and her body already showed signs of developing. She was nice to Sirius too, Sirius tried not to admit it but sometimes he liked Marlene more. Not in the ‘I fancy her more’ way, but just because Marlene would talk to him without giggling and touching his arm.

He supposed it would be quite annoying to hear your best friend pining over someone, he didn’t mind when James talked about Lily. But that was just a silly school boy crush, it wasn’t really anything special. James would probably also get a girlfriend this year with him, if it wasn’t Lily it might be Emmeline, James had told him that he also fancied Emmeline a bit. Emmeline was a Ravenclaw who James sat next to in some lessons.

Sirius thought about who Remus fancied, he found the thought made him feel slightly sick. He’d seen Remus staring at some of the fourth year girls, and he’d heard the other boys… doing things at night. It made Sirius uncomfortable thinking about it, he’d usually found it a burden to do that stuff, he supposed the other boys actually liked it. Sirius cringed slightly. Remus never really talked about girls, but he blushed whenever a really pretty one talked to him.

Peter talked about girls sometimes, he usually agreed with James when he called girls pretty. He said he fancied Dorcas Meadowes, but he also said that about most of the fifth years, which Sirius found hilarious because he most certainly only fancied them because they were older and more developed.

“This year, I’m going to have my first kiss.” James had said sternly.

Sirius snorted, “What? With Lily?”

James grinned, “Nah, I’m over that. If she doesn’t like my charm then I better just move on.”

Peter nodded along, “We can all get girlfriends this year. I’ve grown, maybe Dorcas will like me now. Maybe we should ask Remus who he likes, then all four of us can have girlfriends.”

Sirius grinned, “Great. I hope Mary still fancies me. I’m definitely going to ask her out.”

Chapter Text

“Moony!” Sirius exclaimed as Remus entered their carriage.

“Hey.” He greeted the three of them, he’d grown taller, Sirius noticed. His hair had grown out slightly so his curly fringe covered his eyebrows.

“Remus!” Peter said, “Settle this argument, do you think James could pull Helen from the year above?”

Remus raised a brow, “Uh… I dunno. But guess what?! My mum got a job! She’s helping a company translate contracts. It pays really well as well, better than my dad’s job.”

“That’s great!” Sirius grinned, “I have no idea what that means. But cool. Does that mean you can finally get us proper birthday presents?” He teased.

Remus burned red, and Peter and James winced at the comment. “Sorry I’m not rich enough for your standards, Black.” He spat and then walked out of the compartment.

Sirius stood up to go after him, but James grabbed his arm. “Leave him to calm down, he’ll come back in a minute.”

Remus did not come back in a minute, it had been an hour and he was still gone. Sirius left the compartment and went searching after him, eventually he found Remus sitting with the girls laughing. He felt anger rise in him, he’d been sitting there feeling guilt wash over him over a comment and Remus had been happily chatting with his other mates.

Sirius coughed slightly and Remus looked up, a smile still on his face from laughing, “Uh… sorry. I really meant it as a joke, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. I don’t care about birthday presents. And I don’t care that you’re p- don’t have a lot of money.”

Remus smiled softly, “Don’t worry about it, mate.”

“Why didn’t you come back?” Sirius asked.

Remus looked at him strangely, “Uh… I didn’t realise how long it had been, I guess I was just having so much fun with the girls.”

Dorcas giggled at that, Marlene rolled her eyes. Sirius nodded curtly. “Are you coming back then?”

Remus nodded and got up. They walked back to the compartment silently.

“All good?” Peter asked.

Sirius nodded and James gave him a small smile.

“Remus,” Peter started, “Who do you fancy?”

Remus frowned slightly, “Uh, no one?”

“Oh come on, you’ve got to like someone.” Peter said lightly.

Remus rubbed his face awkwardly with his palm, “Erm… I dunno. Why is everyone talking about this? Mary was acting weird as well, she kept asking about Sirius. And Dorcas kept laughing all weird.”

“That’s because she fancies you, Moony.” Sirius rolled his eyes.

Remus cringed, “I thought she fancied Peter.”

“Maybe she liked both of you.” James shrugged,

“Well… I don’t fancy her and Pete does.” Remus said, annoyed.

“Well who else is there… there’s a lot of nice Hufflepuff girls, they might be your type.” James said.

“Yeah, maybe.” Remus sniffed.

“Well I am going to ask Mary out.” Sirius said loudly.

“We know.” Peter and James said.

Remus yawned, “Frank and Alice are dating now.”

“That’s nice.” Peter smiled, “They’re made for each other, both of them are plant nerds.”

“D’you think me and Mary are made for each other?” Sirius asked thoughtfully, though he didn’t really care.

Peter shrugged, “Maybe.”

Sirius grinned slyly, “I think Lily and Remus are made for each other.”

James huffed and Remus cringed, “No thanks.”

“C’mon, Remus. There’s got to be someone. What is it, don’t like redheads?” Sirius teased.

Remus rolled his eyes and sighed, “There isn’t anyone. Piss off.”

“There’s got to be someone, R-”

Remus kicked him in the shin, “Even if I did, you’d be the last one to know with the way you’re acting.” He snapped.

Sirius felt a sharp pain in his heart. Oh, the last one to know. “Sorry, I was just asking.” He mumbled.

“‘S okay.” Remus said softly.

“You two need to stop arguing every five minutes.” Peter said to fill up the silence, “You’re like an old married couple.”

Sirius flicked him.

^*^*^

”…You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;

You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;

Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
if you've a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;

Or perhaps in Slytherin
You'll make your real friends,
Those cunning folks use any means
To achieve their ends.

So put me on! Don't be afraid!
And don't get in a flap!
You're in safe hands (though I have none)
For I'm a Thinking Cap!”

Sirius listened as the sorting hat finished the song, Dumbledore started his speech.

“As many of you will know, the beginning of something frightening has happened. However, as all of you should know, Hogwarts is a safe space for all. I don’t want you to worry about such things. A hateful group has been rising in followers, but we shall not fear. All of you are smart students, you will focus on your studies. And you shall all have fun. Hogwarts is full of joy, and that’s the only way we will have it. I want you to enjoy the rest of your years here, whether you are in your first year or soon to graduate, there is help for everyone. I would like to introduce to you all, your new Defence Against…”

Sirius zoned out, he knew about the Death Eaters. He was sure his family were part of them. He chose not to think about it. He was not his family.

Lily and Mary seemed slightly upset, being the only muggle-borns in Gryffindor. Dorcas was a half blood, she was nervously picking at her nails. He looked over at Remus, who had visibly paled and was tapping his foot against the floor. Sirius nudged his foot against his and gave him a reassuring smile, Remus smiled back.

As they went back to the dorm after the feast, Remus seemed absolutely fine. Sirius crawled into his bed later though, just to check.

“You’re okay. You’ve got us to protect you.” Sirius said.

Remus sighed, “It’s not that… well, it is kind of that. I’m just worried, I know that they have werewolves on their side, and it’s just going to make people hate them more. And they’ll be new rules for us, what if they keep us locked up all the time? I don’t know…”

“That’s stupid. Remus,” Sirius said firmly, “They’re not going to lock you away just because some other werewolves are shitty.”

Remus stared at him, “It’s already happened. My friend, the French one. His family moved from France because they’re Muslims and black. They’re really racist in France, and they are here as well. His dad has been arrested before for crimes he didn’t do, just because he’s black. It’s already happening Sirius. And it’s already happening with werewolves too, my dad used to think like that. He thought all werewolves should be locked away and tracked and killed, until I was bitten because of him.”

Sirius creased his brow, “I’m sorry, Moony… Why was it because of him, your dad?”

“He said horrible stuff about werewolves, and he pissed off this one werewolf. Greyback, because he said they were… /we/ were… soulless, evil and deserved nothing but death. So when I was four, Greyback… he broke into my bedroom. He tried to kill me but my dad stopped him, I was just left with the bite.” Remus’ voice cracked when he spoke.

“Oh, Moony…” Sirius wrapped his arms around his friend. Wishing he never had to go through something like that. He’d heard the name Greyback before, at one of their ‘family’ gatherings. He decided that was a problem for another day.

Remus smiled at him sadly when he let go.

“Whatever happens, we’re always going to protect you. We will never ever judge you because you’re a werewolf. You’ll always be our Moony.” Sirius said with a small smile.

Remus chuckled, “You’re such a sap.”

Sirius grinned, “I think you need a bit of sappy-ness in your life.”

***

The first week back at school was uneventful, lessons were starting up again and people were catching up with their friends.

One night, while sitting in the common room, he decided to ask out Mary, “Mary, want to be my girlfriend?”

She shrugged, “Sure.” Then she bounced over to him and pecked him on the cheek. Sirius saw Remus raise an eyebrow at him and then wink at his success.

A couple of weeks later, Peter asked Dorcas out, she said yes and they also became a couple. After that, James asked Emmeline out. The only marauder who wasn’t dating anyone was Remus.

“Come on, Remus. I know you like Charlotte, it’s so obvious!” Peter said, “Ask her out!”

Remus shrugged tiredly, “Nah, ‘m alright.”

“Stop being such a wimp.” Sirius said, “You’re the only one without a girlfriend. I dunno why you won’t just ask her out. You’re a handsome chap, loads of girls like you.”

“Oh piss off, would you!” Remus said angrily, “Just because we’re third years doesn’t mean I need to have a girlfriend.”

“We just don’t want you to feel left ou-”

“I don’t feel left out. Go and snog your girlfriend or something, I don’t give a shit. But my love life is none of your business, Black. I have bigger problems than getting someone to peck my cheek or sit on my bloody lap.” He stormed off towards the hospital wing.

“Maybe we shouldn’t have brought it up right before the full moon.” Peter said quietly.

“You think?!” Sirius said a little too loudly, causing a few people to turn their heads.

“What did you do?” James said as he walked over towards them.

Peter sighed and explained.

***
“Keep up, James.” Sirius muttered, they were walking towards the hospital the morning after the full moon.

“Calm down, mate.” James muttered.

As the three of them walked into the hospital wing, they saw Madame Pomfrey rummaging about through some potions.

“We’re just going to see Remus.” Sirius called, like he usually did.

She turned around instantly and shook her head, “Not a good idea, I’m afraid you’ll have to leave.”

Sirius felt his heartbeat increase, “Is he okay? Is he going to be okay?”

She stared at him for a moment, “I don’t know.” Her voice cracked. She ushered them out of the hospital wing.

“Oh fuck fuck fuck fuck!” Sirius raised his voice. Peter put a hand on his shoulder,

“He’ll be fine.”

“Didn’t you hear her!?” He said, “She said she doesn’t know! That means he’s not fine. Oh fuck! He’s probably fucking dying and it’s all my fault.” He shouted.

“It’s not your fault.” James said.

“Yes it is. I made him angry! It probably made the wolf angry and- oh my god.” Sirius placed his forehead against the stone wall.

“We both made him angry.” Peter said firmly, “It’s not our fault.”

Sirius squeezed his eyes shut until he saw splotches of white.

“Let’s go to breakfast.” James said softly.

Sirius looked up at him, “You guys go. I want to be alone.”

James looked at him skeptically before nodding and leaving with Peter.

Sirius practically ran up to the dorm and grabbed James’ invisibility cloak. He quickly rushed back down to the hospital wing before entering as quietly as he could.

He creeped in through the curtain and dropped the cloak slowly slipped off him when he saw the state of Remus.

He had a bandage covering most of his face, bandages on his arms, legs, chest, stomach and there was dried blood in his hair. His breathing wasn’t even like someone who was sleeping, it was long and ragged and sharp. Sirius felt himself gasp. He grabbed onto Remus’ hand and squeezed it tightly.

“S’russ.” Remus mumbled sleepily.

“I’m here.” Sirius breathed.

“War’er.” Remus grumbled.

Sirius grabbed the cup on the bed stand next to him, it had clouds of purple in it from a potion, he pressed it to Remus’ lips and Remus gulped it down happily.

“Hurts.” Remus whispered.

“I know, I’m sorry.” Sirius said softly.

“Hurts so much.”

And then Remus was sobbing, his bandages soaking up the tears from his eyes. Sirius felt himself let out a few tears as well. He squeezed Remus’ hand and placed his own forehead on Remus’ shoulder, in an attempt at a hug.

 

Sirius felt a hand on his shoulder, it was warm and comforting.

“Sirius,” Madame Pomfrey said softly. “he’ll be okay. He’s awake now.”

“How could this happen?” Sirius whispered, Pomfrey led him outside the cornered area that Remus was in.

“I know it hurts to see your friend like this, it’d hurt to see any loved one in that state. But we have to be strong for him. Believe it or not, Remus is like a son to me.” She said kindly.

“I just don’t understand why we can’t help him.” He said quietly, “Why can’t I help him?” He whispered.

She sighed, “Sometimes I wish… I know it sounds horrible but, sometimes I wish another student was a werewolf. Then he’d have a friend who would understand, and someone he could be with on full moons. Someone he can talk to.”

“He can talk to us. Me.” Sirius said firmly.

She smiled sadly, “That’s true. But you can’t really understand what it’s like. We can’t understand what it’s like. It gets too much for him, sometimes.”

Sirius frowned slightly, “Does he go and talk to you when it does? He’s never told us that.”

She nodded, still wearing a smile, “That’s okay, I’m an adult. He needs an adult to talk to, he doesn’t want to burden his friends.”

“He’s not a burden!” Sirius said loudly.

She chuckled slightly, “Yes, I have told him that. But he knows you have your own problems. His parents aren’t home a lot, and obviously they aren’t here at Hogwarts. So he needs support from someone older than him.”

“I’m older than him.” Sirius grumbled.

She laughed and patted him fondly on the shoulder, “Don’t worry your head about it, Black. He doesn’t come here often, you know how he is. Won’t ask for help until the worst possible scenario. You should probably go to breakfast now.”

Sirius nodded solemnly and turned to leave.

“Mister Black.” She called, “If you ever need anyone to talk to, I’m here. It’s not only Remus who waits for the worst until he asks for help.”

He nodded again, “Thanks. Please don’t call me that, by the way, just Sirius is good.”

She smiled at him.

Sirius left the hospital wing and immediately ran down to find James and Peter. Once he’d got them alone, he bounced up and down at his idea.

“We have to become werewolves.” He said sternly.

“Uh…” James scratched the back of his head, “What?”

“Pomfrey says that if he had a werewolf friend then it would help him.”

“Woah, woah. Slow down. How did you speak to Pomfrey?”

“I snuck in with your cloak, sorry. Oh, he looked horrible. He was in so much pain! He had bandages and, and. Oh, it was terrible. Pomfrey caught me, but she was really nice about it. We talked for a bit and she mentioned the werewolf thing. So if we got Remus to bite us then we’d also be werewolves and it would help!” Sirius explained impatiently.

“Urm… I don’t think that’s a good idea.” James said softly.

“Why not?” Sirius demanded.

“Well, people would find out that he bit us. And then he’d be sent to Azkaban. He might even kill us, it’s too dangerous.” James said.

Sirius sighed, annoyed, “How else are we supposed to help him!?”

“I have an idea…” Peter piped up.

Sirius looked towards Peter.

“Well, y’know how McGonagall turns into a cat, that doesn’t hurt, right? So we could just turn into-” Peter started.

“It’s not helping if we turned into bloody cats, Pete.” Sirius interrupted.

Peter rolled his eyes, “She’s an Animagus. We wouldn’t be cats, we’d be whatever animal that represents us. Maybe one of us will be a wolf, or a fox or something. Then we’d be able to help him.”

“Isn’t it illegal to turn into an Animagus without informing the Ministry? And how do we know he won’t hurt a fox or something, what if he only likes wolves?” James asked innocently.

“Who cares?” Peter and Sirius said at the same time, “It’s for Moony.” They high-fived.

Chapter Text

Remus came out of the hospital wing a week after Sirius had visited that day, James, Peter and him had been researching how to turn into Animagi at any moment they got, they’d stolen 43 mandrake leaves from the herbology classroom. Sirius was still worried that they would run out.

“Remus!” Mary exclaimed from right next to Sirius, “What happened to your face?”

Sirius felt a surge of protectiveness for his friend at that moment, Marlene stepped in first, “Mary.” She scolded, “Don’t be so rude.”

“Sorry- I was just wonde-” She defended.

“Well don’t.” Sirius snapped, he stood off and walked over to Remus. He grabbed his wrist and pulled him up towards the dorm.

“I-”

“How are you feeling?” Sirius interrupted him worriedly.

“Uh… I’m fine? Thanks.” Remus said with confusion.

Sirius nodded, “Good.”

Remus smiled at his friend.

Sirius grinned, “You look cool.” His eyes wandered down the huge scabbed cut down Remus’ face.

Remus covered his face insecurely, “I know, it looks terrible.”

“No it doesn’t!” Sirius said sternly, “You look really cool. And when it scars you’re gonna look like a rock star.”

Remus burst out laughing, “I’ll hardly look like David Bowie with this on my face.”

Sirius nudged his friend with his foot, “You’ll look even cooler than Bowie.”

“No one can look cooler than Bowie.” Remus said with a smile as he cocked his head to the side.

“You do.” Sirius said firmly, “But yeah, no one else can.”

Remus rolled his eyes fondly. “If you say so.”

Sirius beamed at him, “I do.”

***
Mary had apologised to Sirius about what she’d asked Remus before, Sirius had rolled his eyes but accepted the apology.

“It’s not actually yours to accept.” Lily muttered.

Mary grinned, “Yeah, Black. Remus!” She called, “D’you accept my apology?”

Remus gave her a confused look, he didn’t even know what she was apologetic about. “Uh- sure?”

“There we go.” She smiled and sat down next to Sirius at the table.

“You know, we’ve been dating for ages now.” Sirius wiggles his eyebrows.

She rolled her eyes, “Fine.” She pecked him on the lips. Sirius beamed, he’d been waiting for his first kiss for ages.

Remus snorted but covered it up with a cough.

“What are you laughing about, Lupin?” Sirius challenged.

He laughed, “Well that was hardly a kiss was it? Even me and Lily did one better than that.”

Sirius gritted his teeth, “Okay then.” He grabbed the back of Mary’s neck and pulled her in, they exchanged a sloppy kiss, which Sirius frankly hated. He could feel Mary’s lip gloss sliding around on his teeth and her tongue in an awkward position in his mouth. Sirius broke the kiss and quickly wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

He looked at Remus, perhaps hoping for reassurance that they’d kissed properly this time. Instead, Remus put his thumbs up and sarcastically mouthed ‘good job’ with raised eyebrows.

Sirius pushed the bench back as he stood up, Mary yelped at the movement. He stormed off having only finished half of his dinner. He heard Alice mutter ‘he’s in one of his moods again.’

He stomped up to the dorm and sat at the windowsill, he crossed his arms as he waited for either James or Remus to come into the room and give him a speech.

“Mate. What was that?” James said.

Sirius just scoffed.

“I’ll talk to him.” He heard Remus mutter.

“Bugger off.” Sirius mumbled. Remus sat across from him.

“I don’t know why you’re so bothered.” Remus said calmly.

“That was my first kiss and you ruined it.” Sirius said angrily.

“I ruined it?” Remus said. Then a few moments passed, “I’m sorry.”

Sirius looked at him, he didn’t think Remus would actually apologise. He thought he’d give him a speech about how he was in the wrong and he should apologise.

“I was just taking the piss.” Remus said calmly.

“‘S okay.” Sirius mumbled, “I’m just a bit sensitive”

“You are.” Remus nudged his foot, “Don’t worry about it though. I was a bit of a prick, doesn’t feel good when someone makes fun of your first kiss, does it?”

Sirius looked up at Remus, he was about to apologise for he had done the same, but Remus had a huge grin on his face and Sirius knew he was just teasing. “Prick.”

“Go on. Stop moping and say sorry to Mary.” He smiled.

Sirius sighed, “Right.” He nodded.

Sirius apologised to Mary, who didn’t really care. She certainly knew how important Sirius’ friends were to him. Sirius made it clear a lot of the time, no one insulted his friends.

Soon Halloween came round the corner, Remus had thrown himself into his studies with Lily. Sirius spent a lot of his time with Mary. They were usually either snogging or arguing. Sirius didn’t mind, it wasn’t like it was very serious. He reckoned they would break up by fourth year.

The marauders hadn’t planned a huge prank for this year's Halloween, Sirius had protested grately. Peter and James had agreed they were too busy with studying and girlfriends to juggle a prank in the midst of that. Sirius thought Remus looked slightly sad because of that, he didn’t have a girlfriend to hang out with, and was often with Snape. Remus did spend a lot of time whispering to Marlene, perhaps they could date, Sirius thought.

It was Remus’ fault he was left out, he could easily get a girlfriend. Charlotte from Hufflepuff and a huge amount of Ravenclaws liked him, Sirius wondered if he didn’t date because of the werewolf thing. That was a slightly depressing thought, though.

Charlotte was very pretty, Sirius was surprised Remus didn’t fancy her. Perhaps he fancied one of the other boys’ girlfriends. Mary was very pretty, maybe Remus liked her, she had a lovely curved body and amazing hair. She wore extravagant glittery makeup which made her big eyes pop. Sirius would be surprised if anyone didn’t find pretty. Though he supposed he’d heard a lot of people call her fat, or make racist comments towards her. Most times he’d tried to argue back to them, but Mary had told him she was used to it. It made him sad, not only was she treated badly because she was a muggleborn, but also because of other things she couldn’t control.

Sirius didn’t quite understand the students at school, so many of them had told him they had a crush on him. He knew he was attractive, he had high cheekbones and a sharp jawline, but he certainly wasn’t ‘perfect’ he didn’t have a muscular body like James. He wasn’t skinny like Remus, he didn’t look like Peter, who was handsome with his blonde hair and rosy cheeks. No, Sirius always felt like something was wrong with him, his stomach was too big compared to his legs, his arms were too skinny at the bottom and big at the top. His eyes were too close together, he hated his eyes, they were grey and it reminded him of his father. He felt like they were too sharp and depressing. Yet Sirius feigned his confidence, because if you were confident, you automatically looked attractive. Remus wasn’t confident, Sirius thought, but it didn’t matter, because he was attractive anyway. If Sirius was quiet, he didn’t think anyone would notice him. Perhaps they would know him because he was the Black heir, but he certainly didn’t think they’d talk to him. He remembered Regulus, who had a few friends in Slytherin, in the hallways no one noticed him, they only stepped aside for him because he was a Black. Sirius wondered if his being a Black made people like him, he decided not to think about it too much, he wanted people to like him for him.

Sirius leaned over to Mary and kissed her softly, Mary beamed at him and Sirius grinned. Yes, Mary did like him for him, and Sirius loved her for it. Perhaps not in the romantic way, but he loved all of his friends who understood, or tried to understand.

Chapter Text

Sirius woke up with light pouring into his eyes, and a loud noise humming in his ear. Despite the fact that Sirius hated mornings, James had decided to wake him up at the absolute arse crack of dawn.

“Shut the fuck up!” Remus said from his bed,

“But it’s Sirius’ birthday!” James grinned.

Remus got out of bed and stared at James who was sitting on top of Sirius in his bed.

“Well, Sirius.” He said kindly, “Happy birthday.” He paused for a moment, “James, shut the fuck up please. Werewolves need their sleep.”

Sirius laughed, “C’mon, Moony. You won’t even get up early for me on my birthday?”

Remus yawned, “If I had it my way, we’d all wake up at eleven and make pancakes and watch shitty films all day. Sounds like the perfect birthday to me.”

Sirius grinned, “Is that a promise, Moony? I’ve always wanted to watch something on a muggle tele-bis-un.”

Remus burst out laughing, Sirius loved that noise. “It’s television. And my family don’t actually own one, I’m afraid.”

Peter grunted from his bed, and ploughed over to sit down next to them.

“Well, when we all move in together, after Hogwarts, I’ll buy us one.” Sirius said, happily.

Remus stared at him, “What?”

Sirius frowned, “I said when we all move in to-”

“No, no. I heard what you said.” Remus interrupted, “But you really think we’ll all go and live together… even after Hogwarts?”

“Uh, yeah.”

James shrugged, “‘Course we will, mate. We’re the Marauders, we’ll last a lifetime. This isn’t just for school, we’re not all going to abandon each other the moment we turn eighteen.”

Peter looked between them, “Yeah, we’ll be friends forever.”

Remus looked doubtful, “Yeah.” He just said, quietly.

Sirius stared at him curiously for a member. Eventually, he decided not to question it. “Alright. Where are my presents!?”

Peter got him some more prank supplies, Sirius smiled at him. Good old predictable Peter.

“James.” Sirius grinned, “Gimme.”

James rolled his eyes, he then pulled out a long package from under his bed. Sirius ripped it apart, it was a new broom. Sirius smile wildly, he hadn’t gotten into the Quidditch team this year, but he certainly would next year with - especially if he had that broom.

“Thank you, Jamesie.” Sirius pulled him into a hug and James smiled sheepishly at him. He looked towards Remus, not wanting to make him uncomfortable if he hadn’t got him anything.

Remus pulled out a square package, which was obviously a record. Sirius grinned as Remus passed it to him. He ripped it open, it was an album called ‘Aladdin Sane’, Sirius beamed at Remus. He loved David Bowie.

Remus rubbed the back of his neck nervously, “It came out a few months ago. I know tha-”

Sirius pulled him into a big bear hug, rocking him side to side and almost squashing the prank supplies Peter gave him. “Cheers, Remus. We’ll listen to it tonight, yeah?”

Remus nodded, his cheeks pink.

Sirius walked down to breakfast, finding Mary there waiting for him. She gave him a bright smile and a sloppy kiss, before passing him his own gift.

It was another vinyl, by a band called ABBA.

“Mary!” Remus groaned, “Why did you get him ABBA?”

“They’re a good band.” Mary shrugged.

“No. No they are not.” Remus said, firmly.

“Well, I like it.” Mary retorted, crossly, a sort of competitiveness flashed in her eyes.

He rolled his eyes, “‘Course you do.”

“Charlotte likes them as well.” She wiggled her eyebrows.

Remus flushed pink, but responded anyway, “I don’t care. I don’t want that anyway near my poor ears.”

Sirius ignored the comment and sighed, “Girls, stop fighting. I’ve never even heard of this abba band. Are they like T.Rex?” He asked, innocently.

“No.” Remus said instantly, “They are absolutely nothing like beautiful, amazing T.Rex. They are absolutely treacherous. Blasphemy to the music industry.”

“And I thought Sirius was the dramatic one.” Mary rolled her eyes. She turned to Sirius, “Just listen to it. Will you?”

Sirius shrugged, “Alright.” He trusted Remus’ taste a bit more than Mary’s, but he at least wanted to try and make her happy.

Later, Sirius placed the vinyl onto the record played carefully. He listened concentratedly to ‘Ring Ring’. He certainly liked the songs. They were lovely and bouncy, James and Peter seemed to be enjoying it greatly too. Sirius watched as Remus sat on his bed moodily. He bounced over to him, “C’mon, Moony. They’re fun.”

Remus grumbled something, and turned his head to the side, stubbornly. 

Sirius laughed, shaking his head, “Fine, I won’t ever play them again in your presence.”

Remus let out a grin at that, he even bounced along to the music slightly.

At dinner, Remus and Sirius came back early. Remus put the David Bowie record on.

After they’d listened to the whole album, Sirius asked what his favourite song on it was.

“The Prettiest Star.” Remus had replied.

Sirius felt his heart skip a beat, “Mine’s Watch That Man.”

Remus smiled, not commenting on his choice,“Good birthday?”

“Yeah.” Sirius breathed.

***
Soon enough, Christmas came around. Sirius found out that once again he didn’t have to go back to his house. After an awkward conversation with Regulus, he’d managed to get himself invited to the Potter’s for Christmas.

Remus and Peter had decided to stay at Hogwarts, Remus had a full moon on the 10th of December, which Sirius had fussed over and told him he’d stay until the 12th. Remus reassured him, and simply told him to have a good Christmas.

Sirius boarded the Hogwarts Express with James, unlike other times, he was actually excited to be getting away from Hogwarts.

“Hello, Sirius.” Euphemia Potter greeted.

“Good evening, Mrs Potter.” Sirius replied, politely.

She laughed, “Don’t be ridiculous, call me Effie. This is Fleamont.”

Sirius smiled up at James’ dad, who had the same warm persona as James did, “Hello.”

“Hello, Sirius. Now, tell me, are you a fan of Aloo Gobi?” He asked, smirking, as if he already knew the answer.

“I have never tried it, Sir.” Sirius replied.

“Well, we’ll have to change that.” He grinned.

 

Sirius had enjoyed his time at the Potters so much, he found himself wishing his family was like that. The Potters were amazing, he wondered if Remus and Peter’s families were like that. He knew Peter had a good relationship with his parents, though they weren’t entirely on good terms themselves. Remus had mentioned a few things, he barely saw his parents because of work. That made Sirius feel better, not many people had a family like the Potters. That made Sirius feel sad, everyone deserved people like this.

Euphemia had taught him a lot about Hinduism, Sirius listened intently. He’d told her a lot about Christianity too, she’d listened politely.

“It’s amazing here, James.” Sirius said one night while they were curled up under James’ duvet.

“I know.” He smiled.

“I wish I could stay here forever, and bring Remus and Peter too. That’d be amazing.” Sirius beamed.

James chuckled slightly, “Yeah, it would.” He paused for a moment “Not Mary?”

In truth, Sirius had completely forgotten about Mary. Perhaps that made him a terrible person, but to be honest he and Mary were just casual. She felt like a friend to him. “Uh… I dunno. Would you want Emmeline here?”

James grinned, “Yeah.”

Sirius frowned, “Well maybe Mary just isn’t the one for me then.”

James nodded, “Don’t worry about it mate. Just have fun.”

Sirius smiled.

Chapter Text

Lessons started up again in January, Sirius found himself really enjoying muggle studies. He was glad he’d chosen it and managed to get away with his parents not knowing.

Remus groaned, “No, Sirius. They actually have to light a match to get it going.”

“But why can’t they just do it the magic wa- Oh, right. Well, what about this question?” Sirius asked,

“C’mon, you know this one.” Remus looked at him.

“Oh, yeah! Mary told me about it. Muggles like pet dogs a lot.”

Remus nodded, “This one’s easy.”

“Mary told me about that t-”

“Jesus Christ! Mary this, Mary that. Do you ever shut up?” Remus snapped.

Sirius stared at him in shock.

“Shit, sorry. Dunno what’s got into me.” Remus shook his head and placed it in his hands.

Sirius smiled softly, “It’s alright. You nervous about the moon?”

Remus nodded, head still in his hands. Sirius gently pulled them away.

“You don’t have to help me. I should know this stuff myself.” Sirius said kindly.

Remus smiled, “Yeah, you should. I don’t mind helping though.”

“Promise I won’t talk about Mary.” Sirius joked.

Remus stuck his tongue out at him.

***

“They shouldn’t let them just roam around on the streets. They should keep them locked up, or keep tabs on them.” Mary said.

They were looking over an article in the newspaper it read:

 

WEREWOLF ATTACKS IN LONDON

It is believed that these werewolves are working with Voldemort, as the new group called Death Eaters are rising up to power. The attacks killed eight muggles, one of them just a three year old child. Two half blood wizards were bitten and are now werewolves. Aurors are looking into the attack…

 

“Shut up, Mary.” Marlene snapped.

“What!? They’re working with Voldemort! They need to-” Mary defended.

“Can’t blame them, can you?!” She retorted, her voice loud. “The Ministry already treats them like shit. And you want to keep them locked up! This Voldemort guy is giving them a safe home.”

Mary looked at her, “Oh yeah, real bloody safe. Where they have to go and kill muggles.” She said sarcastically.

“It’s not all of them, Mary. What about the two wizards who were only just bitten?” Marlene said.

Mary gave her a strange look, “Well…”

“Exactly. You’re generalising. How can you possibly tell the good from the bad ones?” Marlene cocked her head to the side.

“You’re right. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be generalising, I hate that.” Mary looked down at the floor guiltily.

Marlene smiled, “It’s okay.”

Sirius noticed her looking over at Remus. He wondered if they had a secret relationship, he felt sad that Remus hadn’t told him. He thought Remus told him everything, he told Remus most things. He kept some things about his parents secret, but Remus knew almost everything about his life. James knew more though, but Sirius had always thought Lily was Remus’ James. He wondered who Peter’s James was.

When Remus got up and left, Sirius followed, accompanied by James and Peter. Honestly, Sirius wished they weren’t there for once.

“You alright?” James asked.

Remus sighed. “I dunno. It’s like Marls said, I can’t blame them. We do get treated like shit.”

Sirius nodded, not quite understanding. “You think Death Eaters treat them better?”

Remus gulped, “I don’t know. I don’t know whether to hope they do treat them better or don’t.”

Peter said, “It’s got nothing to do with you, Moony. Just because they’re werewolves doesn’t mean you have anything to do with them. They’re evil, you aren’t.”

“I don’t think all of them are evil. They’ve just never had my opportunities, I didn’t even know if I’d be able to go to Hogwarts, but I certainly wasn’t betting on it. Poppy hadn’t even met a werewolf before me. It took her three moons to get me a proper calming potion. Point is, maybe if they were allowed to go to magic school and get an education, they wouldn’t have joined the wrong crowd.” Remus said.

Sirius smiled at his use of muggle terms like magic school.

“We’re glad you’re here, Remus.” James said softly, “Hogwarts isn’t Hogwarts without our Moony.”

Remus laughed. “You big sap.”

“I’m pissed off with Mary.” Sirius said firmly, “Dunno why she’s being such a bitch.”

Remus sniffed, “Don’t be silly. Mary’s lovely, she’s just repeating what the rest of the wizarding world says. She doesn’t know any different.”

“Marlene knows different.” Sirius retorted.

Remus smiled, “Marls knows I’m a werewolf. Think about how defensive you get.”

“Since when does she know!?” James exclaimed.

“Are you two dating?” Peter asked.

Remus snorted, “She’s suspected since first year, she’s more observant than the others. As if we’d date.”

“What, why not?” Sirius said.

Remus shrugged, “Don’t want to mess our friendship up. Now that Dorcas and Mary are off snogging you lot. And Alice is with Frank. I think she’s grateful to have a friend. As am I.”

“What happened to Lily?” James asked, clearly wanting to know if she was off snogging someone too.

Remus cringed, “Uh, well… when she’s not with Snape… she’s been um… snogging Caradoc.”

“Oh, right.” James nodded.

***

“James, are you alright?” Sirius crawled into James’ bed.

“Yeah, yeah. ‘M fine.” He mumbled.

“Mate, you’re off snogging Emmeline all the time. You can’t blame her for having a boyfriend. She’s not yours, you weren’t even dating.”

James nodded, “Yeah, I know. Don’t worry, it’s just… first crushes, y’know?”

“Erm… not really.” Sirius said.

“Well imagine breaking up with Mary, you’d be upset, right? She was your first crush and first girlfriend.” James explained.

Truthfully, Sirius wouldn’t mind breaking it off with Mary. Sure, he loved snogging, and she was nice and pretty. But Sirius didn’t mind just being her friend, he could always kiss other girls. Of course, he didn’t tell James any of that, instead he said, “I never had a crush on Mary, though.”

James raised a brow, “Really? Then how’d you start dating her?”

“Well… she had fancied me, so she was sort of just there. Y’know, the easiest option.” He cringed at his choice of words, “I mean, the best option.”

James laughed, “Honestly, mate. Sounds like you don’t even like Mary that much. Is there someone else you’ve been thinking about?”

“I think that’s you actually.” He retorted, feeling defensive.

“Alright, alright. Don’t get your knickers in a twist.” James grinned, “You have your fun, just don’t lead her on, alright? I like Mary, don’t want to end on bad terms so you can’t even be friends with her.”

“I do like Mary! We’re dating!” Sirius said angrily. He stormed off to his own bed and stared up at the broken wooden panel at the top, where he’d accidentally cast a spell to throw metal balls at it.

“Sirius.” Peter squeaked later that night.

“What do you want, Pete?” Sirius asked, Peter usually went to James or Remus for his late night chats. It was a surprise to Sirius to see him wanting to talk to him. Peter crawled in, “Oh, come in Pete. I see you’ve received your non-existent invitation.” He said sarcastically.

Peter rolled his eyes and then blurted out, “Do you think Dorcas likes me?”

“What?” Sirius raised an eyebrow, “Yeah… you’re dating aren’t you? Why don’t you ask James this?”

“James is too nice to say anything.” Peter said nervously, “And Remus doesn’t know a thing, he’s still convinced people pretend to fancy him as some kind of joke. He wouldn’t know if someone liked him even if they snogged him senseless.”

Sirius laughed, “I think Dorcas likes you, Pete. I mean you’re always joking and snogging.”

“Is it like that with Mary, too?” Peter said with hopeful eyes, “Do you ever wonder if she’s just dating you because she feels sorry for you?”

Sirius shook his head, “No, sorry. But I don’t think she would date you just because she feels sorry for you. We’re only in third year, it’s just messing around, eh? I mean, I doubt Mary and I will last. We’re just having a bit of fun. Just enjoy it, mate. I’m sure she likes you, you’re very handsome.” Sirius ruffled his hair.

“Geddoff.” Peter grumbled.

Chapter Text

It was the end of January, after Lily’s birthday, they’d decided to start the process of becoming Animagi.

On the 7th of February, Peter, James and Sirius all placed their mandrake leaves in their mouths that night. When they woke up in the morning, all their leaves had been swallowed.

“Looks like we’re going to have to find a charm to stick it there.” James said.

Sirius groaned, “This is so much work.”

“We’re doing this for Remus.” James said firmly.

“Maybe we should put a concealment charm on as well, the teachers might be able to tell what we’re doing if they see the leaf.” Peter said from his bed, he’d already got the fifth year level charms book out and was looking for spells.

Sirius sighed, “I’m going to see Moony. Anyone else?” He asked the room.

James and Peter shook their heads, James said, “Tell him we’ll go and see him later. We’re catching up on homework or something.”

Sirius nodded, “Find something good, yeah? I still wanna be able to snog Mary even with that stupid leaf in my mouth.”

Peter threw a shoe at him, “Selfish prick.”

Sirius laughed and walked away to the hospital wing.

 

“Hey Moony. Good moon?” Sirius asked.

Remus laughed humorlessly, “As good as it can get.”

“We’ll see about that.” Sirius grinned.

Remus looked at him skeptically, “…What are you lot doing?”

“Nothing to worry your pretty little head about.” Sirius patted his head of curls fondly.

“Bloody queer.” Remus snorted, he was blushing.

Sirius stuck his tongue out, “As if. You’re the one without a girlfriend. Waiting for me to free myself up from the grasps of Mary MacDonald?” He teased.

Remus laughed, “Even if I was a queer, I wouldn’t date you. Benjy Fenwick is more my type.”

Sirius stood up and twirled around, “Why not? I’m beautiful, darling. Benjy has nothing on me.”

Remus sighed dramatically, “Oh, you know. He has the dreamy eyes, great muscles, tall, plays quidditch.”

“Piss off.” Sirius muttered, “I’m tall. And I’ll get on the Quidditch team next year.”

Remus laughed and then suddenly grabbed his side in pain.

“Oh shit.” Sirius moved forward towards him. “Are you okay?”

Remus coughed, “Fine.”

Sirius nodded worriedly and sat back down as Remus banged on his chest with his fist.

When Remus caught his breath he said, “Have I struck a nerve?” He grinned.

Sirius rolled his eyes, “You’ll see. Next year I’ll have a growth spurt and I’ll tower over you. I’ll get on the Hogwarts Express and have to lean down to hug you.”

“Aw, Black.” Remus grinned, “You already thinking about giving me a hug?”

Sirius covered his face with his hands and groaned, “That’s what you get from that?!”

Remus said happily, “Yep.” Then he sighed, “I dunno if I’ll be on the train next year. It’s the full moon on the first.”

“Oh.” Sirius frowned, “But we always go on the train together.”

“I can’t control the sky.” Remus tried to joke.

“What if you take a double dose of Pepper Up Potion?” Sirius tried.

Remus squinted in thought, “I suppose I could… yeah, good idea.”

Sirius pumped his fist in the air.

***

Soon after February, March came around.

“I’m sorry, Sirius.” James said, “But we can’t just waste three mandrake leaves just because you’re rushing. We need to get this charm right!”

“Every time we don’t try is a moon that Remus has to spend alone.” Sirius said.

“Shut up,” Peter snapped, “both of you. Sirius, there is no point trying if we know we’re going to mess up. James, try the charm again. We’ll get it eventually.”

James and Sirius both slumped down.

Soon Remus’ birthday came along, he was tired. The moon had only been two days before.

Remus was falling asleep on the desk in Transfiguration.

McGonagall walked over towards them pityingly. “Mr Black, please accompany Mr Lupin to your dorm room. It seems he hadn’t had enough sleep.”

Remus woke up and made a strange grunting noise, Sirius tried to stifle his laugh.

“Why does he get the day off just because he’s tired!?” Snape complained. Lily elbowed him in the ribs and muttered something into his ear.

Sirius pulled Remus up by the arm and put it round his shoulders.

“Piss off.” Remus grumbled sleepily. Sirius laughed.

After carrying his annoyingly tall friend up the stairs to the Gryffindor tower, he slumped him down on the bed and caught his breath.

“Shit birthday.” Remus mumbled, opening his eyes slightly.

Sirius laughed, “Did you not like your presents?”

“Mhm. Great. I’m just ruining the fun because I’m sleepy.” Remus yawned.

“Nah, you’re fine. Go to sleep. We’ll have some fun at dinner.” Sirius said.

“Mmk.”

***

“Sirius!” Mary shouted, “You said you’d take me to Hogsmeade this weekend!”

“It’s Remus’ birthday.” Sirius defended, “And he’s sick.”

“Oh fucking hell. It’s always about Remus isn’t it?! ‘Remus is sick’, ‘Remus doesn’t like that’, ‘It’s Remus’ favourite’, ‘No, Remus doesn’t want to do that’, what about my feelings, hm!? We didn’t do anything for my birthday. You’ve never even taken me on a date!” She crossed her arms angrily.

“Your birthday was in September! And don’t get mad at Remus, it’s not his fault that I actually care about my friends.”

“You think I don’t care about my friends?” Mary said angrily.

“Take one look at Marlene. You’ve barely talked to her this year! She’s your best friend!” Sirius went for the kill.

“You know what, Black. Fuck you.” She huffed and began walking off.

“Oh you’d like to.” Sirius muttered.

“You’re disgusting!” She called.

Sirius watched as the rest of the Marauders stood in the doorway awkwardly. “What.” Sirius huffed.

“That was rude.” Remus said.

Sirius rolled his eyes, “What would you know?”

“Don’t get in one of your moods. Go and say sorry, Jesus Christ. She only wanted to go on a date with you.” Remus said.

“Piss off.”

“Right, you two. Out. Sirius and I need to talk.” James said.

Remus and Peter scattered away with a sigh.

“I don’t understand her. It’s Remus’ birthday, he’s one of my best friends. Why’s she getting angry?” Sirius rubbed at his face with his palm.

“I think she just wants you to spend a bit more time with her. You two used to be inseparable. Now you barely talk, she’s out of line to get annoyed about Moony. But just talk to her and promise you’ll spend more time with her.” James said softly.

Sirius sighed, “Fine. Why do you always have to be so bloody wise?”

James grinned, “It’s in my blood.”

***
After making up with Mary, which was easier than expected, Sirius wrote a letter to Andromeda.

 

Dear Andy,

How’s baby Nym? I wish I could meet her. How’s Ted? Narcissa doesn’t seem very happy with Lucius, I hope your marriage is going better.

School’s been good, I have a girlfriend. Her name is Mary, she’s nice.

There’s been some talk about the war, I hope it will be over soon. No one at school has been affected yet, but it’s only a matter of time until a muggle born’s parents are killed or injured. I’m worried for my friends, Remus lives in a muggle town. Lily is a muggleborn, Mary is as well. Dorcas is a half blood, luckily she doesn’t live in a muggle town.

I’m sure my parents have joined Voldemort, they’re being all strange and secretive.

We’ve been playing lots of pranks, we even got some of the Slytherins to grow ribbons out of their ears! It was hilarious!

I hope all is well,

Sirius

 

He got a letter back soon enough.

 

Dear Sirius,

My daughter is called Nymphadora, in case you forgot. Ted is lovely, he’s been growing a garden out by our house. We’ve been keeping busy, though things have been slightly boring and dull.

A girlfriend? You’re much too young for a girlfriend. What do you do? Giggle at each other? Have you even kissed?

I wouldn’t worry about the war, just live your life at Hogwarts. Perhaps some things will get grim at times, but just enjoy your time with your friends.

Don’t worry about your parents, just stay out of their way.

I don’t appreciate you directing your pranks at my house, though Ted has been laughing for ten minutes at your silly prank.

Love,

Andromeda

 

Dear Andy,

Nym is a better name, shush.

Excuse you, we actually snog all the time. With tongue and everything.

Ted is the only one of you with a good sense of humour.

Love,

Sirius

***

It was Hogsmeade weekend, the marauders all decided to go.

After walking down with the rest of their year, Sirius and James snuck into Madam Rosmerta’s, but got kicked out for causing havoc.

“Let’s go see it!” Sirius said.

“Nooo.” James whined, “Remus, tell him it’s too scary.”

Remus shrugged, “Nah. I wanna see this ‘Shreiking Shack’.”

“Pete?” James looked desperately.

Peter looked torn, “I kind of want to see.”

“You’ve betrayed me! Traitor!” James pouted.

“Oh, don’t be a baby.” Sirius rolled his eyes, “Let’s go.”

After walking the way of the old house on the crooked hill, Sirius stared in awe.

“Wow, do you reckon there’s ghos-” Sirius started, he stopped when he caught sight of Remus, who was shaking and strangely pale. “Uh, Moony? Are you okay?”

“That’s where they put me.” He blurted out.

“What?” Peter said.

“Put you?” James asked.

“When I- when I transform. That’s- that’s where they… fuck.” Remus gulped.

“They what?” Sirius said angrily, “They put you in an old house?!”

Remus ignored him, “That’s why it’s called that… that’s why it’s called the Shrieking Shack. It’s because of me.”

James grabbed his hand, “Let’s go back, okay?”

Remus nodded mutely, still looking shaken up.

Chapter Text

And I think it's gonna be a long, long time

'Til touchdown brings me 'round again to find

I'm not the man they think I am at home

Oh, no, no, no

I'm a rocket man

Rocket man, burning out his fuse up here alone

 

Sirius Black didn’t like change, he didn’t like the feeling he got every birthday, that he was changing. He was growing up, he would be an adult. The worst change Sirius ever has to enjoy was his mother’s change. When he was younger, he’d always wanted his father to change. In all the arguments he’d been on his mother’s side, but then his mother had changed her mind, and she was on his father’s side. Sirius was then on his own, sure, Regulus was there. But was he really there? Regulus had always been younger than Sirius, not just in age, in other ways too.

Regulus had never had to endure what Sirius had, perhaps it was because Sirius had kept him sheltered, perhaps it was because he just wasn’t as brave as Sirius. So when Sirius saw him with his new friends, his new blood purist friends, he’d almost thought it was his fault. Maybe it was his fault, maybe he should’ve left Regulus to stick up for himself, maybe that would’ve made it worse.

Sirius would never know what it was like to have a brother who was truly a brother. That was until he met James Potter, some people would say it was because they were so similar, those people didn’t know James and Sirius at all. Sirius knew who James truly was, James didn’t have a mean bone in his body, he wasn’t perfect, but he was the type of person who everyone wanted to be friends with. Maybe from the outside, Sirius was like that too. But Sirius knew he wasn’t like James, sometimes he considered siding with his parents, ignoring all his friends and becoming an evil, cunning, prejudiced bastard. Sirius knew that didn’t make him good, of course, he would never do that, he loved his friends too much. But he wanted a proper family sometimes, a family where they didn’t have to shout at each other at dinner, a family where he could bring his friends home and see that proud, disgusting look his father and mother always gave Regulus.

Sometimes, Sirius’ mind still felt connected to them, he was a Black. He would always be a Black. And being a Black meant he was pure, and better than all around him. When someone would throw him an insult, he’d think: I’m from the Ancient Noble House of Black, how dare you? Which was ridiculous, because Sirius knew he was no better than his friends, than anyone around him. But sometimes he couldn’t help think that, because it had been ingrained into his stupid pureblood brain.

 

“Sirius?” Remus broke him out of his daze.

“Sorry, was just caught up in the music.” Sirius said with a yawn.

“Oh really?” He raised a dark brow, “What song just played?”

“Uh… Rocket Man?” Sirius bit his lip.

Remus snorted, “That was five minutes ago.” He nudged him, “What were you really thinking about?”

Sirius sighed, “My family.” He said honestly.

Remus looked taken aback, “Oh… what about them?”

Sirius looked at him, his eyes running down the scars on Remus’ face, “Have I ever told you about my Uncle Alphard?” He said randomly.

“Nope.” 

“He got kicked out of the family when I was four. I remember it, it was horrible. I remember my father burning him off the family tapestry. He got kicked out because he was a queer. I’m not sure if he left, or if he got kicked out. Either way, I remember the shouting distinctly.” Sirius said.

Remus nodded along, “It sounds terrible. I’m sorry, Sirius. You know I wish there was something I could do… to change your family, so you don’t have to go through stuff like that.”

“I think that was my first memory, I don’t think you could understand. But it feels shit, knowing your first memory is something so horrible. And knowing that it’s not your worst memory.” Sirius sniffed.

Remus smiled softly, “You wanna know my first memory?”

Sirius nodded.

“I remember going to bed, my mam sang me a lullaby, I was hugging my teddy. My mam left the room, and then later that night… I heard my window opening. I didn’t scream, I didn’t call for help. I just let it happen, he came in and he… tried to kill me. First, he bit me. Right above my hip, and I didn’t scream. And then he got me right on my neck, and only then did I scream. And then he got angry, so he scratched me more, then my dad came in, I don’t know what he did but he… he cast some spell. And then Greyback went away. But the thing is… I thought he’d said- that he’d come back for me. But that’s ridiculous because… well, werewolves can’t speak in wolf form, can they? But for years, I always thought he’d come back.” Remus pushed his legs up to his chest and rested his chin on his knees.

Sirius didn’t know what to say, so he just asked, “Is that your worst memory?”

Remus shook his head, “Every month is my worst memory. Every full moon.”

Sirius felt his eyes prick, he looked away, embarrassed. At that moment, he decided to do anything to help Remus Lupin.

Remus laughed, “I didn’t mean to make you upset, I just wanted to tell you that you aren’t alone, just because you’ve had a shit life, doesn’t mean you’re a shit person.”

“Sometimes I feel like a shit person.” Sirius whispered in a small voice.

“Why? You’re great.” Remus said, as if it was just that simple.

Sirius shrugged, “I dunno. Want to go to the kitchens? I’m starving.”

 

***

“I heard that people can go crazy if they don’t do the spell.”

“Can’t believe they’re doing it in third year!”

“It’s safe, the teacher is here.”

Mutters filled the classroom of Defence Against The Dark Arts. Sirius rolled his eyes as Mary whispered to Alice about how terrified she was. 

“It can’t be that bad, right?” Peter said nervously, “I’ll probably just get a spider or something.”

“You know what you’re afraid of, Pete. Don’t ask me.” Sirius shrugged, he was worried he would get his father or mother, but he knew others probably had worse fears. Maybe someone would get Voldemort.

“D’you think I could get out by saying I’m going to the hospital wing?” Remus whispered.

“Why, are you scared?” Sirius teased.

“Mine’s going to be the moon. Then everyone will know.” Remus said, ignoring Sirius’ comment.

“Oh-”

“Alright class! Everyone settle down, please. As I’m sure most of you know, as I have mentioned it every week… today we will be experimenting with a Boggart. Now, can everyone show me the wand movement for ‘Riddikulus’?” 

The class all copied the wand movement.

“Excellent! Now, who will go first…? You! Hiding in the back!” He pointed to Remus, Sirius cringed.

Remus stepped forward at the Professor's orders. 

“Right. You know the wand movement? And say Riddikulus nice and clear.” The Professor told him.

“Yes, sir.” Remus said.

As Boggart opened, the class waited in suspense. 

It was what Sirius expected, the floating orb of the moon exited the wardrobe doors. Remus, however, didn’t look terrified, he looked absolutely fascinated. Remus stared at it, his hand reaching out. 

And then there was a crack, a noise which sounded similar to apparition. The moon was gone, instead, there were bodies lying on the floor. Blood dripped out of them, cuts splayed across their bodies. Sirius recognised the bodies, one was his own, one was James’, and one was Peter’s. Sirius watched Remus’ reaction. A furry beast began exiting the Boggart, moving towards their bodies.

Before Sirius could see what it was, though he already knew, Remus shouted, “Riddikulus!”

Their bodies were gone from the floor, instead they were standing up and all sliding around on a small piece of ice, grabbing onto each other comically. 

“Very good!” The Professor said, the class sighed in relief.

Remus walked back to his friends, his head down guiltily as if he’d done something terrible. Before he could say anything, Sirius moved forward and engulfed him in a hug. “Love you, Moony. Don’t ever forget that.”

Sirius felt Remus nod against him. As soon as he let go, James also gave him a hug, and mumbled something to him as well. Remus rested his forehead on James’ shoulder and sighed.

“Good luck to the rest of you.” He said with an awkward laugh.

Of course, James, the idiot he is, decided to be the second Marauder to face the Boggart. Which was his parents, dead. After a stuttered try, he finally turned them into a dancing muggle television. Sirius had found it hilarious, he’d only just talked to James about muggle televisions. James even let out a laugh. 

Lily’s Boggart was her sister being horrible to her, which Sirius found incredibly sad because it was already true. A lot of the other students had dead parents, death eaters, none had Voldemort himself, though that might have been because no one actually knew what he looked like.

Peter’s was a spider, Sirius didn’t know if he should find this strange or endearing. There was a war going on and Peter was worried about creepy crawlies? Though, Peter had never taken interest in the war. Sirius had never once heard him talk about it.

Soon it was Sirius’ turn. When he stepped forward, his hand gently shook against his wand in anxiety. He found he was staring at himself, he had a dark cloak on, the dark mark proudly displayed on his pale skin and a malicious smirk gracing his lips. Sirius shuddered and immediately cast the spell. When he walked back to his friends, Remus gave him a hug immediately, just as he did to Remus.

It meant a lot to Sirius, Remus was rarely the one to initiate touch to him. Sometimes, just gently placing his hand on top of Sirius’ meant a lot to him. More than Remus could ever know.

Sirius didn’t like touching people, when a stranger shook his hand or gave him a hug it made him uncomfortable, when it was James, Peter, Remus and Mary he didn’t mind, he wasn’t sure why. Maybe it was just because he was comfortable around them.

Sirius leaned into Remus’ chest until he gently pulled back. 

After the lesson, there was a lot of chit chat about it. The marauders and the girls chose to ignore it, they didn’t want to think about that lesson, and most hoped they would never have to face a Boggart again.






Chapter Text

“Sirius!” James shouted. “It’s my birthday!”

“James!” Sirius exclaimed and pulled James into a horribly uncoordinated hug.

There was a humph sound from Peter’s bed, then Peter crawled out and joined the hug.

“Mooonyyyy!” James called. Remus didn’t respond. “It’s my birthday!”

There was a groan from Remus’ bed, “Is it?” 

“Yes! Wakey wakey.” James grinned.

“No. Sleepy sleepy.” Remus said.

James pulled his curtain open and Remus winced from the light, “Breakfast is waiting.”

Remus stuffed his face into his pillow, “Fine. But you’re cutting short my beauty sleep, God knows I need it.”

“Shut up, Remus. You could probably steal all our girlfriends if you wanted to.” James grabbed his arm and pulled him up.

“Oh yeah, definitely. Mary gave me a handjob in the west wing broom closet.” He deadpanned, pulling on a jumper.

Peter yelped in disgust. Sirius laughed, “You really need a girlfriend, mate. Making dirty jokes isn’t going to cut it for your needs .”

“Who said it was a joke?” Remus winked.

Sirius spluttered slightly, “I- piss off.”

Remus snorted, “You’re so bloody sensitive.”

They all walked down to breakfast, Sirius and James running ahead with a laugh. James set a dung bomb off behind them. They heard a few people scream from behind them.

“You morons!” Remus shouted, he jumped onto Sirius’ back, who stumbled forward with a surprised laugh.

Remus got comfortable on Sirius’ back, wrapping his long legs around Sirius’ torso and placing his hands loosely on his shoulders. Peter did the same to James.

“You’re heavy for someone so skinny.” Sirius laughed.

“It’s because I’m so tall.” Remus said, Sirius could hear the grin in his voice.

Sirius scoffed, “You aren’t that tall.”

“Oh yeah?” Remus leaned in slightly, Sirius wasn’t sure what he was doing until he found Remus’ face was right in front of him, upside down; of course. 

Remus craned his neck and Sirius looked into his golden eyes. Their noses were touching. Sirius moved his head down a bit and nudged his forehead against Remus’, he couldn’t see where he was going with Remus’ shaggy curls in the way of his vision.

Remus grinned, “Bit sweaty, are you?”

“Shut up or I’ll drop you.” Sirius mumbled with a flush.

Remus placed his elbows on Sirius’ shoulders and his chin on top of Sirius’ head. Sirius suddenly felt embarrassed at how sweaty he’d gotten just from carrying a fourteen year old boy on his back. 

Remus sighed happily, “Giddy up horsey,” he kicked Sirius’ side, “Catch up with James and Pete.”

James and Peter were in front of them, James was wobbling around relentlessly causing Peter to yelp at every moment.

“I’ll kick you off.” Sirius warned again.

Remus laughed, “Horses don’t kick off owners they love.” He teased.

Sirius stumbled back suddenly, causing Remus to land on the floor with a thud. Sirius turned to look at him, he was fake pouting at Sirius, his bottom lip sticking out and his eyes wide. 

Sirius sighed and held his hand out for Remus to get up. Remus grinned and took it. “Go on, get back on.” Sirius said.

“Nah. It’s your go!” Remus said, he turned around and Sirius jumped on and pumped his fist in the air.

“Giddy up horsey!” Sirius shouted, Remus laughed and burst into a run towards James and Peter. 

Sirius yelped at the sudden speed and grabbed onto Remus’ jumper. 

 

***

 

“Good morning!” Emmeline said happily, “I got you a present, James.” 

James grinned and kissed her on the cheek, “Thank you, darling.”

He pulled out a record from a brown sleeve, and stared in shock. Emmeline laughed, “It came out on the fourth. Mum said she had to ask her friend who works with production to get it. But you kept going on about Sirius’ ABBA record that he got for his birthday.”

“Wow!” He exclaimed and pushed his glasses up his nose, “Thank you so much, Em.” He pulled her into a hug and gave her a peck on the lips.

“Very welcome.” She grinned and looked over to the other boys sitting at their table, “Remus, don’t hate me please.” She laughed.

“Oh, I could never hate you. Even though you bought a bloody ABBA record.” He smiled, “Don’t tell anyone,” he fake-whispered, “But you’re my favourite.”

She grinned and got up from her seat, she kissed Remus on the cheek, “Thank you, hun. I’ll be off, enjoy your breakfast.”

“Christ, Remus. Save some girls for the rest of us, bloody ladies man.” Peter said.

Remus smirked, “What can I say, I’m the Casanova of Gryffindor.” He leaned back nonchalantly.

James threw a chunk of scrambled egg at him.

 

***

 

“Out of the way! Out of the way!” Sirius chanted, “It’s James Day!” They walked through the corridor, some Slytherin’s gave them dirty looks, the Hufflepuff’s chanted along.

They ran into Lily, “Jesus Christ.” She muttered.

“Lily…” Remus warned.

She rolled her eyes, “Happy Birthday, James.”

“Oh-” James looked at her with wide eyes, “Uh… thanks.”

She nodded curtly and walked away. Sirius rolled his eyes at James’ shocked face, “You’re so gone for her, mate.”

James shook his head and smiled, “Nah, she’s just never been nice to me before. Well, not since first year anyway.”

Remus chuckled, “Before you turned into a prat.”

“Oi!” He said, “It’s my birthday! No bullying James on his birthday.” He pouted.

Remus slapped him lightly at the back of his head, right where his messy black hair stuck out, “Knobhead.”

 

***

 

“It’s my birthday, though!” James complained.

He’d somehow got himself into an argument with Professor McGonagall about doing the work, she certainly wasn’t having it.

“Well, Mister Potter, in case you haven’t noticed, your birthday is not an excuse not to work. Some people have actual issues and they still do it. Now stop being a… what do you call it…? A prat. Yes, stop being a prat and get on with it.” It was a cheap shot, Sirius knew that she was referring to Remus’ lycanthropy with ‘actual issues’.

Sirius looked over at Remus, who was laughing with Lily, physically running out of breath from how much he was cackling. Sirius watched as he shot a wink at McGonagall, who gave him one back. When had he gotten so confident? Sirius wondered. What happened to silly little first year Remus who would call them posh boys and twats just for a laugh?

Sirius looked over to James, who had his head in his hands with embarrassment. Sirius couldn’t blame him, he almost wanted to sit next to someone else because of the embarrassment of being seen with James. 



By the end of the day, the Marauders were huddled up around the fire in the common room. Sirius had Mary in his lap, her soft hair tickling his chin as she rested her head on his shoulder. Peter was curled up with Dorcas, his arm around her shoulder, twirling her butterfly locks around his little finger. Lily and Marlene were sitting comfortably under one blanket, their knees pulled up to their chests as they whispered to each other. Alice and Frank were sitting on the floor with each other, a book shared between them. 

James, bloody James, had Remus on one side of him and Emmeline on the other. Remus’ head was on his right shoulder and Emmeline’s was on his left, Remus’ long legs were sticking out the blanket the three of them were sharing. 

James had been upset, earlier that day, that his birthday had fallen on a cold day, but right now, Sirius was grateful. It was nice being huddled up in the common room with all his friends, Sirius had used his Black Family privileges to kick out some 4th years. He figured if he was going to suffer, he might as well get something out of it.

Soon enough, everyone started going to bed.

“I’m going to sleep, love. See you tomorrow.” Emmeline mumbled to James. 

James nodded tiredly and gave her a chaste kiss, “Night.”

She padded away to her own common room, soon Mary went to bed, then Marlene and Dorcas. Peter went to use the bathroom first.

James began talking to Lily quietly, Remus woke up from where he was lying his head on James’ legs. He yawned and plopped down next to Sirius.

Sirius smiled tiredly at him, “You reckon those two will sort out their differences?” He whispered, nodding his head towards where James and Lily were now chatting on the floor.

Remus let out a small smile and nodded, “She won’t admit it, but she actually quite likes James. I reckon something will happen eventually.”

Sirius sighed happily and leaned his head on Remus’ shoulder, Remus placed his cheek gently on top of Sirius’ head. 

The last words Sirius heard before nodding off were: 

“Those two are oblivious twits.” Lily whispered.

“What?” James asked.

“Never mind.” She said, a smile in her voice.








Chapter Text

Honey honey, how he thrills me, a-ha, honey honey

Honey honey, nearly kills me, a-ha, honey honey

I've heard about him before

I wanted to know some more

And now I know what they mean, he's a love machine

Oh, he makes me dizzy

 

“Stop fucking singing!” Remus shouted.

“Stop being a lazy sod and get up!” Sirius retorted.

“Piss. Off.”

Sirius pulled his curtain open, “Honey honey, touch me, baby, ah-hah, honey honey. Honey honey, hold me, baby, ah-hah, honey honey. You look like a movie star. I know just who you are. Honey, to say the least, you're a dog-gone... BEAST!” He shouted the song at Remus.

“Yeah, I’m going to turn into a beast in exactly 48 hours. Shut the fucking music off and let me sleep.” Remus said angrily.

James awkwardly plucked the needle off the vinyl. “Sorry, Moony.”

“‘S okay.” He mumbled.

Sirius plopped himself down on the bed.

Remus glared at him, “What did I just say?”

“Oh, but, honey, honey, how you thrill me.” Sirius sang.

Remus got his pillow from under his head and bashed Sirius with it.

“Alright, alright.” Sirius laughed. 

Peter, James and Sirius went down to breakfast, leaving Remus to sleep.

“Can we do something fun? Everything is a bit grim with exams coming up.” Mary said.

Sirius thought for a moment, “How about we skip lessons on Monday?”

Mary grinned, “Yeah, alright. Em, Dorcas, you in? With Pete and James, of course.”

They nodded and James gave Sirius a strange look. After breakfast, James pulled Sirius and Peter into an empty corridor, “What are you doing? That’s the full moon, we need to take notes for Moony.”

Sirius rolled his eyes, “It’s just one day, and it’s the only day we can do it because Remus isn’t around. He’s not going to mind about some notes. Plus, it will be fun.”

James searched his eyes, “Fine.”

After going back to the dorm, and giving Remus his toast. The marauders all crowded round the map, adding extra passages that they’d found the week before.

“What’s this bit, that’s missing?” Peter pointed out.

“Hmm, it’s under the Defence classroom…” Remus said.

“We can search for it later, I’m bored.” Sirius sighed.

“I’m too tired now, anyway. I think I’m gonna head off to bed.” Remus yawned.

“Again!?” Sirius whined, “Moonyyy.” 

“Sorry, werewolves need their sleep.” He shrugged.

“Fine.”

 

On Monday morning, Remus went to the hospital wing, the other marauders were left to go to their lessons.

“Alright, girls?” Sirius greeted them.

Mary gave him a kiss on the cheek, “Right, where are we off to?”

The six of them walked around the castle, hiding from teachers in nooks and crannies that mostly Remus and James had found. 

“Go on, give us a snog.” Sirius grinned, they were hiding in a broom closet.

Mary tutted at him but leaned in anyway. Both of them had gotten better at kissing, Sirius decided, maybe he’d just gotten used to it. 

Sirius pulled her in a bit closer, placing his hand on her hip. Mary grinned against him.

***

“Hey.” Remus said tiredly, he looked over to where they usually placed his notes after a full moon, on the desk on the right side of the dorm. “Where’s my notes?”

“Uh…” James started awkwardly and trailed off.

Remus raised a brow.

Sirius cleared his throat, “Well, the girls wanted to have a bit of fun. Y’know, the war and exams are stressful. So we took Monday and today off, just to mess around a bit.”

Remus stared at him, “Right… Okay.” He sat down on his bed and looked between James and Peter, “Night.” He pulled the curtains closed.

James looked at Sirius sadly, “Remus?” He called quietly.

“Yeah?”

“Do you want to look for that passegway? We were gonna go under my invisibility cloak.” He said.

“No.” Remus mumbled, “Maybe you can go with the girls .” He said.

James gave Sirius a look which translated to ‘there it is’. Sirius rolled his eyes and pulled Remus’ curtain open. “Spit it out, mate.” He said, annoyed.

Remus rolled his eyes, “Piss off.”

“No, if you’ve got something to say then spit it out.” Sirius crossed his arms. “Don’t just sit here and sulk.”

“Oh, and you know all about sulking, Black.” Remus raised his voice slightly.

“I usually have a bloody reason. You’re angry just because we didn’t write you some stupid notes, in case you didn’t notice, the world doesn’t revolve around you, Lupin.” Sirius spat.

“No. You’re the one who doesn’t notice that the world doesn’t revolve around you. You can choose any other day to skive off and snog your girlfriend. I’m only asking you to take some bloody notes once a month, not all of us have a free pass to stay here.” Remus snarled.

“Don’t bring my family into this.” Sirius said angrily. “Maybe if you got a girlfriend you wouldn’t be so lonely, I’d rather snog Mary then listen to Binns ramble on about Gringotts. She even let me touch her t-” 

Remus stood up and faced Sirius, “You’re a selfish prat, you know that? And don’t talk to me about having a girlfriend, all you two do is argue, and most of the time, it’s about me. So why don’t you stop talking to me if I’m such a burden on your love life.” He spat.

Sirius felt anger surge through his veins, “ Merlin , I forgot you were so bloody sensitive about girlfriends. Sorry that we want to act like normal teenagers for once.” He knew he’d gone too far as soon as he said it. But he kept the angry look on his face, and his arms crossed. 

Remus walked towards him, and before Sirius knew what was happening, Remus raised a fist. Sirius stumbled back and held his nose in pain, “Fuck you, you’re an arrogant prick. I don’t know why I ever became friends with you.”

That hurt more than the punch, Sirius thought. 







Chapter Text

Remus stormed out of the dorm, not even looking at any of them.

Sirius stumbled upwards and glared at James and Peter, “Thanks so much for your help.” He said sarcastically.

“Don’t bring us into this.” Peter said.

Sirius scoffed, “You skived off just as much as me.”

“It was your idea. We’re not the ones being horrible and arguing with him.” Peter defended.

“Just because it’s my idea doesn’t mean it’s not your fault as well. Maybe I’m just the only person that doesn’t treat him like glass.” Sirius said angrily.

“Alright, alright.” James interrupted. “Look, all of us need to apologise to him, but Sirius needs to first.”

Sirius crossed his arms, “He’s the one who punched me!”

James stared at him for a second, “If I told you that you weren’t normal, would you punch me?”

Sirius grimaced, “No. And I didn’t say he wasn’t normal…”

James shook his head, “You implied it. Look, if you apologise I’m sure he will as well.”

Sirius sighed, “Alright.” He got the marauders map out, Remus was in the library, of course. 

“Watch where you’re going.” 

Sirius had bumped into Severus Snape, just his bloody luck.

“Piss off, Snivellus.” Sirius spat.

“Ooh!” Snape said, “You’re in one of your moods. What, did mummy not send you enough money?” He said patronisingly.

Sirius stepped forward warningly, “Don’t talk about my family, half blood.” As soon as he said it, he felt his insides grimace.

Snape didn’t look shocked, “How would Lupin feel about you saying that? You know, I’m not even sure he’s a half blood. Seems more like a half breed to me.” He grinned slyly.

“Don’t talk about Remus like that.” Sirius spat.

“Don’t talk about me like what?” A voice said from behind him. Sirius cringed, shit .

“Oh! Hello, Lupin. I think you’ll be glad to know that Sirius is a blood purist now. He’s called me a half blood, just because I made a little comment about his mummy. Look out, he might just murder you in your sleep, you know how crazy those purebloods are.” Snape cocked his head to the side and smiled.

Remus stared at the both of them for a moment before saying, “Why don’t you run along and play with your chemistry set, Severus? I don’t believe there is anything for you here.” 

Snape seethed, “I don’t know what Lily sees in you, filthy half breed, I’ll find out what you are. Just wait and see.”

Remus smiled slyly and took his wand out, Snape stumbled backwards at the warning, he disappeared around the corner.

Sirius grinned, “That was wicked!”

“I’m still pissed off.” Remus said, a smile playing on his lips. He flipped his wand in his hand before putting it in his pocket. Sirius watched in awe.

“Right, look. I’m really sorry, we should’ve told you we’d planned it-” Sirius started.

“You planned it?” Remus groaned, “God, that makes it even worse.” He slumped against the wall, Sirius sat next to him.

“Well, I didn’t think you’d mind. They’re just some notes… and we couldn’t do it any other day because then you’d be alone in lessons. We didn’t want to leave you out!” Sirius said.

“Right… so you decided to just leave me in the dark while I turn into a deadly beast.” Remus said.

Sirius rolled his eyes, “You’re not a deadly beast. Stop being dramatic. And I didn’t think to tell you, it’s not like you could’ve come with us.”

Remus scoffed, “Right, sure. I don’t know what you think this is, but being a werewolf isn’t some fun little game where I have a slightly better sense of smell. It’s my life, Sirius. I’m not mad about a few notes, but you need to understand that I have to work ten times as hard as you to get anywhere. No, I have to work ten times as hard as any student, compared to you I’d have to work a hundred times harder. People don’t want to hire werewolves. Dumbledore has made that very clear to me, multiple times. So maybe you could’ve told me, I could’ve asked Lily to help, she understands better than all of you, being a muggle born… And I could’ve come with you, I could’ve brought Charlotte.”

Sirius ignored the twist in his stomach, “You’re right. I’m really sorry, Moony. I’ll make it up to you. I’ll take your notes for a month.”

Remus laughed, “As if you take any notes other than on the full moon. And don’t worry about it, I’m sure you had fun with your normal friends, and your normal girlfriend.” He teased.

Sirius grimaced, “Fuck. Sorry about that, you are norm- Actually, no. You aren’t. But it’s a good thing, I like you just the way you are.” He grinned.

Remus chuckled, “Git. You’re a right sap, you know that?”

“Yeah.” Sirius said. Still grinning.

Remus couldn’t stop the smile on his face from growing, he then slapped Sirius round the back of the head.

“Oi! What was that for!?” Sirius said, rubbing his head.

“Don’t go around calling people half bloods.” He warned.

“Snape deserved it.” Sirius whined.

“It’s not meant to be an insult, though. I’m a half blood.” Remus said.

Sirius groaned, “Ugh, I’m sorry.”

Remus smiled, “You don’t seem it.”

Sirius laughed and got down on his knees and dramatically sighed, “Oh, my dear Remus. Please forgive me for the troubles I have caused you! I am terribly apologetic for my actions. I will make sure to make it up to you in any way possible!”

Remus rolled his eyes fondly, “You know, in the position you’re in, you could make it up to me…” He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.

Sirius barked a laugh, “Oh my god. You’re such a weirdo.” He stood up. 

Remus grinned, “You like it really.”

Sirius nudged him, “Now that I think about it, most half bloods are a bit loopy.”

Remus kicked him in the shin. “Arsehole.”

***

“You two made up?” James asked as they entered the dorm.

“Yup, ran into Snivellus as well.” Sirius sighed.

“That cunt.” Peter muttered.

Sirius laughed, “ Peter . You’re supposed to be the innocent one.”

“Piss off.”

“Sorry, by the way, Remus. We should’ve told you.” James said, ignoring Sirius and Peter.

Remus shrugged, “‘S fine.”

“Oh how come he gets forgiven straight away, but for me it takes attests half an hour and a huge argument.” Sirius whined.

“Oh, it’s because I just love winding you up.” Remus grinned, he ruffled Sirius’ hair. Sirius slapped him away.








Chapter Text

“Class, open up your books to page 394, today we will be learning about werewolves.” Professor Timens said.

Sirius felt Remus stiffen beside him, Sirius put a comforting hand on his knee and squeezed. Remus didn’t relax.

“Now, can someone tell me the difference between an  animagus and a werewolf?” He asked, Lily put her hand up, “Miss Evans?”

“An animagus is a wizard who elects to turn into an animal. A werewolf has no choice. They transform with each full moon, it is very painful-” Lily said.

“I should think it’d hurt more to be killed by a werewolf, but yes, well done, Miss Evans.” He said with a laugh.

Lily huffed at the interruption. 

“Once a werewolf has transformed, they no longer remember who they are. They could kill their best friend, partner, teacher, anyone… without knowing what they’ve done. Werewolves are extremely dangerous to people…” As Professor Timens carried on, Remus eventually slumped down and placed his head on the desk.

Sirius rubbed his back with his hand in comfort. 


When the lesson finished, Remus ran off to the common room. Sirius sighed and followed him with Lily, James and Peter.

“Uh… why don’t you let me deal with this?” Lily asked softly.

“No way.” Sirius said firmly, “I’m just as much his best friend as you are.”

She rolled her eyes but nodded anyway. When they opened the portrait hole, Remus was sitting on the sofa, his legs pushed up to his chest and his chin rested on his knees. Remus was staring into space, Sirius wondered what he could be thinking about, surely he knew that he was none of those things. Remus wasn’t dangerous, and Sirius knew that his transformation was incredibly painful, pain that none of them could understand.

“Moony.” Sirius said softly as he sat down next to Remus.

Remus shook his head, “Don’t call me that right now, please.” He mumbled.

“Okay.” Sirius carefully put his arm around Remus’ shoulders, only to find Lily’s was already there.

“Remus, love. You know Timens is an idiot, we love you, being a werewolf doesn’t change that.” Lily said softly.

“I’m sorry.” Remus whispered, hiding his face in Sirius’ shoulder. “‘M overreacting.”

Sirius squeezed him tighter, “Nothing to be sorry for.”

“Yeah, Remus, what that dick was saying was completely untrue, but it must hurt to hear it.” James said, he was crouching down on the floor in front of him. Peter cross legged next to him.

Remus just nodded.

“Why don’t we go up to the dorm and listen to a record, anything you want.” Sirius whispered.

Remus smiled slightly, “Well it is my record player.”

James laughed, “C’mon, Evans, want to see our dorm?”

She snorted, “Oh, I’ve already seen it.”

“What?! How!?” Sirius said.

She just winked at Remus and blew him a kiss. 

Sirius tutted, “You can’t go around acting like that, people will think you’re a couple.”

“They already do.” She shrugged, “Not complaining.”

Remus stood up and gave her a kiss on the cheek with a chuckle. Peter made gagging noises from behind them, James was frowning slightly.

“Relax, they’re joking.” Sirius whispered as he nudged him.

James let out a small sigh of relief. The five of them walked up the stairs to the dorm.

“Alright, what we listening to?” Sirius said with a charming smile.

“Hmm, you choose.” Remus shrugged.

“Mooonyyy!” Sirius whined. “You need to pick what you want.”

He shrugged, “We have the same taste.”

Sirius grinned that Sirius Black grin, “Alright, guess I’ll just put some ABBA o-”

Remus ran at him and tackled him to the ground. “Absolutely not!”

Sirius couldn’t help but laugh.



Girl you're good

And I've got wild knees for you

On a mountain range

I'm Dr. Strange for you

 

Upon a savage lake

Make no mistake I love you

I got a powder-keg leg

And my wig's all pooped for you

 

Sirius watched fondly as James asked Lily for a dance, Lily rolled her green eyes but smiled and took his hand. Peter danced clumsily around the dorm, bumping into Sirius who was just swaying slightly next to Remus. Remus was tiredly laying his head on his shoulder. His curls tickled Sirius’ cheek, like Mary’s did.

“Oh shit! Mary!” Sirius exclaimed.

“What about her?” James stopped dancing.

“I promised to meet her after class!” Sirius said.

“Go and meet her now!” Peter said over the music.

Sirius looked at Remus, “But-”

“No buts.” Remus shook his head.

Sirius sighed, “Fine.” He exited the room, “But I’d rather be here.” He grumbled.

“Oh charming, Black.” Mary said angrily from the bottom of the stairs.

Sirius cringed, “Look, I can explain.”

“Nope. No explaining. I’ve had enough of you, I could get any other good looking guy in this castle, they’d treat me right. You’re still acting like I can just wait around for you.” Mary stomped her foot.

“I will! I swear I’ll make it up to you- I just got caught up.” Sirius pleaded.

“With what?” She asked.

“I can’t tell you. But- but- Lily will tell you. I swear, it was really important.” He said.

She eyed him suspiciously. “Really important? Because from where I was standing, you lot were just listening to T. Rex.”

Sirius groaned and slumped down on the sofa, “Look, we were trying to make R- someone feel better.”

Mary sighed, “I’m not going to have this argument with you again.” She sighed and sat down next to him.

“It’s fun though, right? This is just a bit of fun, Mary. Why does it have to be so… so… difficult? We’re only fourteen.” Sirius said.

“Um…” She fidgeted with her hands, “It’s fun… but y’know, I was talking to Alice, right. She said she really likes Frank. Like she gets nervous, and all butterflies and… yeah. She thinks she’s in love with him, and… I don’t… I don’t get that with you, do you?”

Sirius stared at her, then shook his head guiltily, “Sometimes it feels like… like I’m just with you because everyone expects me to be. I’m sorry.”

She nodded, “No, no. I get that too, and- you know, when we kiss it’s like… it’s not, like, amazing, no offence. I think it’s just us. We’re not meant to be together.”

Sirius nodded and then turned to her eagerly at their shared experience, “It’s like how all those fourth years stare at each other, we don’t do that. And sometimes I feel like it’d be more fun if we didn’t snog and all that stuff, because I really like talking to you… but, yeah.”

Mary nodded in agreement, “Exactly!” She paused for a moment, “So… should we just be friends?”

Sirius smiled, “Yeah, sorry.”

She laughed, “Only you would say sorry when being broken up with.”

Sirius grinned, “Not just me, James would too.”

She smiled, “You’re both too nice.”

Sirius laughed, “Oh, I know.”

“See you later.” She waved before leaving the common room.

Sirius nodded and walked back up to the dorm, “I am officially a single man!” He called through the dorm.

“What!?” James and Peter shouted. James said, “What happened!?”

“It was a mutual decision.” Sirius shrugged. “We’re both fine; still friends.”

“Are you not at least a little upset? You were together for like… nine months?” Lily asked.

Sirius shrugged again, “Nah, we weren’t really together, were we.” He said blankly.

“You were…” Peter said confusedly.

“I dunno what you want me to say, I’m not upset, I’m a little relieved actually. My lips need a rest.” He laughed.

James snorted, “You’ve lost the plot, mate. Snogging is amazing.”

Sirius raised a brow, “It’s alright, get a bit bored after a while.”

Lily shook her head, “I agree with James, it’s great. Maybe Mary wasn’t right for you.”

James beamed at her.

“Don’t get used to it.” She warned.

Peter laughed, “Sirius, maybe you should try with someone else. See if it’s better then.”

Sirius groaned, “Why didn’t anyone tell me this before? I’ve been wasting my time having absolutely shite snogging sessions and now you’re telling me it’s not all like that?”

James burst out laughing, “You’re ridiculous. Why’d you think people spend so much time kissing, if they don’t enjoy it?”

“It’s not that I don’t enjoy it. Obviously I do, it’s just not that amazing.” Sirius shrugged.

“I agree. It’s not amazing.” Remus piped in with a grin. Sirius noticed he hadn’t spoken for the whole of the conversation, he left a note in the back of his mind to check on that.

“Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.” James said, “ Properly .” He added.

“Are you implying my sordid love affair at the ripe age of nine was not ‘proper’ enough?” Remus grinned.

“You’re disgusting.” James shook his head.

“Oh, but Jamie!” Remus feigned dramatic, “What about that bruising kiss? Our tongues moving together, completely synchronised. There were fireworks as our-”

“Shut up!” James threw a pillow at him.

Remus laughed, Sirius and Lily joined. Peter looked completely bewildered. “I’m only joking, he only gave me a peck.” Remus grinned.

James stuck his tongue out at him, “Prat. See? Like I said. You’ve never had a proper snog.”

“Would you like to give me one?” Remus teased.

James grimaced, “No thanks.”

“Oh, stop flirting.” Lily rolled her eyes.

Remus laughed loudly, “I actually have had a proper snog. Lisa gave me one the other day in the broom closet by Charms class.”

“What!?” Sirius exclaimed. “Why didn’t you tell me!?”

“I don’t have to tell you everything.” He rolled his eyes, still grinning.

“Yes you do! I’m the most important person in your life! You must tell me everything!” He cried dramatically,

Remus slapped him lightly, “I’m telling you now.”

“Too little too late.” He sighed dramatically.

“Go on! Tell us about it.” Peter prompted.

“Well, firstly, she uses too much tongue. I tried to get her to pull away a bit. But that just made her more… eager. And she wears that lip gloss, the one Mary uses I think?” He looked over to Sirius.

Sirius cringed, “Oh yeah, you have to get used to that.”

Remus nodded, “Right, well, yeah. It was just kind of gross, made me feel weird afterwards. I’d give her a 3/10.”

“Gross! You rate girls’ kisses!?” Lily said.

Remus grinned, “Oh, but Lilyflower, I’d give you a solid 9/10.” He said sarcastically.

Lily blushed but still poked out her tongue at him.

“You and Sirius need to find someone you actually like, I promise you it’s worth it.” James grinned.

“Yeah.” Peter agreed.

Sirius didn’t miss Lily rolling her eyes. He noted it in the back of his mind for later.

***

“Psst.” Sirius said from behind Remus’ bed curtain.

“Hmphm.” Remus grumbled. Sirius took this as his invitation to come in.

Remus tiredly sat up and stared at him, Sirius cleared his throat, “You feeling better about earlier?” He asked.

“Oh, yeah. I hadn’t even thought about it.” Remus said groggily.

“Right. Well, sorry for bringing it up.” Sirius said.

They looked at each other awkwardly.

“Sorry abou-”

“Why were you-”

They both tried to talk at the same time. 

Sirius smiled, “You go.”

Remus smiled back softly, “Uhm… I’m sorry that you broke up with Mary, because of my little… problem. I didn’t-”

“It wasn’t because of you.” Sirius said instantly, “Not at all. It was bound to happen eventually, and we broke up for a completely different reason. Definitely nothing to do with you or your furry little problem.”

Remus barked a laugh, “Furry little problem? James will love that.”

Sirius grinned, “Yeah, is that why you were so quiet?”

Remus nodded.

Sirius smiled at him.

“Uh…” Remus broke the silence, “Why did you break up? Cause of the kissing thing?”

Sirius shook his head, “No… I wasn’t going to tell anyone.”

Remus cocked his head to the side, “You definitely will tell James.”

“Yeah, but James isn’t just anyone.” Sirius said instantly. He cringed at how he sounded.

Remus grinned and chuckled, “I feel like I should be offended. But I tell Lily more than I tell any of you, so I’m not. Plus you and James are weirdos.” 

Sirius kicked him softly, “Nooo! Moony!” He whined, “You need to tell me everything.”

Remus chuckled, “No thanks. Tell me about Mary?”

Sirius nodded, “Well, both of us just said we didn’t really feel… like, attracted? I guess? Not really, I find her attractive. But we just aren’t very coupley, I’m not in love with her, I don’t find it sweet when she stares at me. And… I dunno.” Sirius tried to explain.

Remus nodded slowly, “I think I get it.”

“Really?” Sirius asked, a spark in his chest.

“Yeah.” Then Remus paused, a sly grin growing on his face, “You’re definitely a queer.”

“Oh, shut up!” Sirius whacked him. “We were having a nice moment!”

Remus laughed, “That’s exactly what a queer would say.”

“Shut uppp.” Sirius whined.

Remus ruffled Sirius’ hair. “You’re in my bed, I can say what I want.”

“Now, that just makes us both seem like queers.” Sirius tutted.

Remus burst out laughing.

















Chapter Text

At the end of May, exams took over the school once again.

“It’s been agesss since we did a prank.” Peter said.

“Yes! Let’s do one!” Sirius said instantly.

“It has not been ages. We literally got everyone off Charms class because we put dungbombs in the hallway. That was like, two weeks ago?” Remus said with a roll of his eyes.

“But I wasn’t even there!” Sirius whined.

“Your fault for snogging Mary so much.” Remus shrugged.

“Oh, well sorry Mister I-don’t-want-a-girlfrie-” Sirius started.

“Alright!” James jumped in, “Enough, you two.” He said pointedly, “Pete. What were you thinking?”

“I was thinking this could be our end-of-year prank.” He said with a grin. Peter explained what it was, and the marauders got to work.

***

Sirius stared down at his Potions paper, blood rushing to his head as his leg bounced up and down nervously. He could feel his heart beating in his chest. The clock ticking on the wall irritatingly clicked in his brain.

And then, finally, a Slytherin girl spoke up. Wilkes was her last name, Sirius believed. “Sir, my quill isn’t working.”

“Oh, let’s have a look at it.” Slughorn said with a smile.

“Mine isn’t either.” Snape said. Slughorn raised a brow and beckoned him over.

And excruciatingly long three seconds later, Sirius heard a rustle. He looked at James, who was already grinning at him.  

“My quill!” A hufflepuff exclaimed.

Sirius tapped his desk impatiently.

“What the f-”

The white feathers swarmed around the exam hall, the ends of the quills poking people. Some hid under the table, some tried to run out of the locked door. 

Sirius looked around, Snape was giving him a death glare, Lily looked pissed off too, but Sirius didn’t miss the little smile on her pink lips.

“Thank fuck.” Remus whispered into Sirius’ ear.

Sirius jumped in surprise, letting out a little yelp. “Blood hell, give a man a warning.”

“Nah, I’m alright.” Remus grinned.

“Everyone! Out the hall, now!” Professor Slughorn shouted over the sound of swarming and whooshing feathers.

Before Sirius could process what was happening, he was being dragged out of the exam hall.

“Christ,” Remus panted, “I’m so glad we decided to do that in the potions exam.”

Sirius nodded, looking for James and Peter. Suddenly a body came into view, someone pushing passed the crowd of students whispering to each other.

“What is wrong with you?” Snape spat at them.

“Nothing, what are you on about, Snivellus?” Sirius drawled.

“Oh, you know what I’m on about. That little prank you did in there! You did it just to spite me-” Snape snarled.

“Don’t get too big headed, now. I doubt whoever planned this wonderful prank was thinking about you.” Remus said, uninterested.

“Why you little-”

Sirius found James in the crowd of students, his dark hair sticking out of the other rabble of students.

“James!” Sirius grinned, pulling Remus along by the wrist. “Peter!”

“That was amazing!” Peter said, his cheeks red from rushing around in the warm corridor.

“I know.” Sirius bounced happily.

“I missed pulling big pranks, we need to plan one for next year!” James said excitedly.

The others nodded in agreement.

Remus then groaned, “Oh god, can we please go back to the dorm to revise? That whole second page was killing me, I didn’t know anything.”

“Me neither, don’t worry.”

 

“Fucking shitting fuck!” James shouted as he entered the dorm.

Sirius almost laughed, “What's wrong?”

“Just broke up with Em.” James muttered.

“Blimey. What happened?” Remus asked.

“She said she’d had enough of me staring at Lily and we should just go and get together already.” James answered.

“That’s brutal.” Peter winced.

“No, that’s not the worst part!” James exclaimed, “She was all nice about it.”

Sirius scrunched his nose up, “Well… that just means you can be friends, right? Like me and Mary.”

James groaned, “Oh, I dunno. I still really like her. I did really like her.”

“You just like Lily more.” Peter finished.

James scowled at him, “Yeah, whatever, she hates me.”

Sirius sighed, “Look, James. I think all of us jumped into this relationship stuff too quickly. We still have loads of time, you might get over Lily, you might date. It doesn’t matter right now, we don’t need to do all this stuff. That’s what sixth year is for.”

The three boys stared at him, he wasn’t sure what was in the air… maybe it was tension? Confusion? Disagreement? Agreement?

“For someone who broke up with their girlfriend of nine months because you found out you didn’t actually like her, you sure do have a lot of wisdom.” Remus filled the silence.

Sirius laughed, “Piss off.”

“Why sixth year?” Peter asked.

“Well, we have no exams that year, unlike fifth year and we’re old enough then.” Sirius shrugged.

James snorted, “You’ve put some thought into this. Planning on asking anyone out in three years?”

Sirius rolled his eyes, “Nah, I’m a single man. Nothing weighing me down.” He leaned back, his hands behind his head nonchalantly.

Peter rolled his eyes, “Can’t believe I’m the only one out of you lot who’s not single.”

Truthfully, Sirius had forgotten about Dorcas and Peter being together. “What’s not to believe? Handsome chap, you are.” Sirius grinned.

Peter rolled his eyes but blushed embarrassingly red.

***

Sirius crawled into James’ bed and shook him to wake up.

“Eugh. Tired.” James mumbled, but got up anyway, “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” Sirius shrugged, “Just wanted to know what you really feel like after the break up.”

James rubbed his eyes for a moment, “Uh, I’m not too bad. Why?”

Sirius shrugged again, “Dunno.” He did know, he wanted to talk about James’ issues for once, he felt like he was always dumping stuff on James. His brother, his family, his girl issues, his homework… anything really, he felt like he was always complaining.

James sighed, “Really, mate. I’m fine, I feel a bit sad, but that’s bound to happen, I did really like her. She was lovely, and I think if we carried on I might have fallen in love with her, but that wouldn’t have been fair on her. She deserves someone who can give her full attention.”

Sirius nodded, listening with full attention.











Chapter Text

“Noo.” Remus groaned, “Why do we have triple potions today.”

They were walking to breakfast, Sirius walking by Peter and Remus, James was still at his early morning Quidditch practice. Sirius never understood why James was so insistent on getting up so early, it was his business though, if James wanted to wake up at the arse crack of dawn, who was he to stop him. Sirius had been practicing Quidditch too, he wanted to get on the team in fourth year. He’d been watching and practicing every since January. 

James had an absolute fit when Sirius said Benjy Fenwick, a Ravenclaw Chaser, was better than him at Quidditch. He wasn’t actually better, maybe by a bit because he was a year older than James. Sirius just liked watching him, although Sirius would never admit it, he looked fit on a broom. Sirius had seen girls fawning over Quidditch players, he’d even seen a few watching him a few times. Usually he just winked at them and carried on practicing.

“It’s because the universe hates us.” Sirius sighed, sitting down at the table next to Marlene.

“Why does the universe hate you?” She asked.

“Because we have triple potions today.” Peter explained lightly.

“Everyone has triple potions once a week, are you saying the universe hates the whole of Hogwarts?” Marlene said, taking a bite of her toast.

Sirius had taken a liking to Marlene, he could see why Remus liked her, she didn’t go on about boyfriends and relationships, and she was funny. In a Remus-dry-humour kind of way.

“Yes.” Sirius replies simply

“Fair enough.” She shrugged, spreading even more sweet cherry jam on her toast.

“Hey!” Remus grabbed at the jar, “Stop taking all the jam!”

“You snooze you loose, Lups.” She grinned.

“Fine.” He grumbled, he took out a chocolate bar from his pocket, and cast a warming charm with his wand. The chocolate melted onto his toast.

Sirius fake gagged, “Chocolate does not belong on toast.”

“Chocolate belongs on everything.” Remus grinned.

“Even chips?” Sirius raised an eyebrow.

Remus nodded.

“You’re so weird.” Peter chuckled.

“What about fish?” Sirius asked.

Remus stared for a moment in thought, “I could make it work.”

Sirius rolled his eyes.

Suddenly the screeching noises of the owls entering the Great Hall interrupted their conversation. A tall grey owl dropped next to Peter, his sister had bought him sweets from France again. He fed the owl a piece of sausage. A short snippy brown bird sat next to Marlene. Marlene shooed the bird off as it annoyingly pecked at her hand. A strange white bird flew down next to Remus.

That was weird, Sirius thought. He knew the owl Remus’ parents used was a tawny brown owl called Otis. Remus smiled down at the letter, clearly seeing his mother’s handwriting. He fed the owl two sausages, which Sirius thought was ridiculously magnanimous, considering he didn’t know the owl. Remus was always gentle with animals though. Sirius knew this because Remus told him animals hated werewolves, so whenever there was one that liked him, he took advantage of it.

Sirius would never hate Remus, Sirius thought, and he was soon to be an Animagus. He laughed inside his mind. They were planning on starting the mandrake leaf process in September, the first day back, so it wouldn’t be noticeable while everyone was getting back into the jist of things. It was unlikely for there to be a lightning storm during summer anyway, so there was no point doing it before then. They were in England, though, there was no way of knowing what the weather would be like.

Remus opened his letter happily, petting the new strange owl calmly. 

Sirius watched as his face dropped, his mouth opening slightly, the corners turned downwards. Sirius wondered if his owl had died, but oh, it was so much worse than that.

“Are you okay? What’s wrong?” Peter asked instantly.

“I- the- fucking-” Remus put his head in his hands, the letter dropping onto his dirty plate.

“Alright, let’s not cause a scene.” Sirius said, knowing Remus would need space. “Let’s go.”

They all stood up, Sirius and Peter walked as casually as they could while trying to comfort their friend. 

“Hey guys.” James said in the hallway. Grinning and sweaty from Quidditch, his hair sticking to his forehead, “Oh.”

James didn’t say anything else, because he knew how to deal with his friends’ issues, how to make them comfortable and such. Sirius wished he could be like that, but then again, it was mostly him with all the issues.

“Okay, what’s happened?” James asked when they were back in the dorm.

“I got a letter.” Remus breathed heavily.

“Alright, what was in the letter?” He said softly.

“My dad- he doesn't have a job anymore, been sacked.” Remus answered swiftly.

“Okay, does your mum still have one?” James asked.

“No, her contract ended ages ago.” Remus said, squeezing his eyes shut, “Oh fuck. We’re going to lose the house. Shit.”

“Is there any savings they could dip into? Maybe you can’t live in your current house, but you could buy a flat somewhere…” James said, desperately.

“No, no. If we had savings we’ve used them all, on heating and fucking- Ah.” Remus said angrily, desperately, sadly? Sirius didn’t know, maybe it was all of those feelings, probably more as well.

“Alright.” James said. He looked at Sirius and Peter, a look of sadness and pity. Remus hated pity. Sirius knew this.

Remus stood up angrily, “I’m going to-” he said, mumbling something at the end. He exited the dorm.

Sirius looked for the map, to search for him. He didn’t find it. Remus must have taken it for a prank they were going to do later.

James shook his head and sighed, rubbing his hand over his face exasperatedly and taking his glasses off. 

“This is bad.” He said.

“Yeah, but we’ll fix it, right? His dad can just get a new job, or- or… I don’t know. We’ll think of something, right?” Sirius said despairingly.

Peter looked at him nervously, “My uncle, he lost his job once. And… he ended up-”

“No!” Sirius stood up, “I don’t want to know. It’s going to be fine, Moony is going to be fine. We’ll fix it. We’ll give him money, I have plenty of it, James- your family can take him in- anything. We’ll do anything.” Sirius said loudly.

James looked at him sadly, hopelessly he said, “Yeah, we’ll do anything we can to help you, Moony.”

Sirius nodded. “Anything, Moony. Anything.”

They didn’t see Remus for the whole rest of the day, he hadn’t been in lessons, when he came back to the dorm, he seemed fine. Sirius knew Lily had calmed him down, everything would be fine, he assured himself and while ignoring the churning in his stomach, he went to sleep.

By the next morning, everything had been forgotten. Remus assured them it was fine, it might be difficult, but his parents would fix it, and he didn’t need to worry.

Sirius had been so happy. James had been happy. Peter had been happy. Sirius wondered why they had chosen to forget. Chosen to forget that Remus Lupin was a phenomenal liar. 

***

The marauders lay down on the grass. Sirius let the sun wash over him, his now long hair splaying out slightly above him, the grass tickled his neck.

He looked down, seeing the Great Lake in front of him, shimmering with the golden sun. 

“Lily’s hair looks pretty in the sun.” James said.

“Mhm.” Sirius hummed, not quite listening.

Remus yawned, “Why don’t you just ask her out?” 

“No.” James said instantly, “She doesn’t like me. It’s no good. And anyway, I wanna wait. Maybe in… in fifth year?” James said.

“You’re just too scared to.” Peter said.

“Am not!” James grumbled.

“Sure, mate.” Sirius deadpanned.

“Eugh.” Remus said, “I just remembered that question in the Transfiguration exam. What was it? Something to do with string and cacti. I wasn’t there for that lesson. It’s not fair.” He complained.

“Ah, don’t worry about it. You knew all the other questions, didn’t you?” Peter said.

Remus hummed in agreement, “Yeah, how’d Divination go, by the way?”

Sirius laughed, “Oh, christ. I made up a story about a donkey eating curtains for lunch in 200 years. I’m sure I’ll get marked for my effort.”

James sniffed, “I probably should’ve done that. I just said that in the future I would get an O in the Divination O.W.L.”

Peter laughed, “That’s smart. Can’t grade you lower than that now.”

Remus sighed, “They’re over now. Only 365 days until we have to do all this again.”

“Ageeesss away.” Sirius smiled.

They stayed silent for a bit, enjoying the warm air and sway of the wind, the lake rippling as the trees rocked side to side.

“Pete I know you are, but are you two coming round for the summer at any point?” James asked slowly.

“Hmm. Not sure actually. Haven’t heard from anyone all year.” Sirius said, “I might be able to. I’ll ask, maybe I can go straight from the station.” He shrugged.

Remus was silent for a long moment, “Hmm, I dunno. I’ll have to ask, probably, maybe.” 

“Alright.” James shrugged, “Anytime you want. We’re there all summer.”

Sirius smiled, his eyes still closed softly.

“What do you reckon we should do for a big prank next year?” James asked.

“Flood the dungeons with sewage water.” Sirius said.

“Put balding shampoo in the Slytherin’s bathrooms.” Remus said.

“Cover the Slytherin’s in red and gold paint?” Peter said.

“Woah, woah, woah. I need to write these down.” James laughed.







Chapter Text

Sirius bumped into a body in the hallway, he was running away from a dungbomb he’d just set off. James had ran off with the invisibility cloak, Sirius had stumbled around into a sprint while his vision was whirling.

“Sorr-” Sirius looked at them, “Oh.” He just said, seeing his younger brother standing in front of him. His dark short fringe covering his forehead, and his blue eyes on the ground in front of him. Sirius always liked Regulus’ eyes more than his own, his were dull and grey, Regulus’ were more vibrant, which did not fit their personalities whatsoever.

“Hello.” Regulus said with a huff of breath, eyes still on the ground. His bony hand twiddled slightly with his buttoned shirt, his green tie swaying slightly as he moved from foot to foot.

“Um… how are you, Reg?” Sirius asked softly, trying to search for his eyes.

“Alright. You?” Regulus said, finally looking up, then looking back down again when he saw Sirius staring at him, Sirius felt a pang of guilt.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m good.” Sirius tried a small smile, he could feel tightness in his jaw though.

“Good.” Regulus nodded, biting on his fingernails awkwardly.

“Hey, don’t do that.” Sirius grabbed his wrist and pulled his hand down from his mouth, remembering Regulus only did that when he was uncomfortable. This made Sirius feel sad, he let go of Regulus’ thin wrist and scratched his head just to have something to do.

“Mhm.” Regulus said awkwardly, biting his lip, “Yeah, sorry.”

“It’s alright.” Sirius looked down, scuffing his foot against the dirty stone floor. Looking at the wonky slab of stone as if it were the most interesting thing in the whole world. He suddenly felt very cold, stupid old castle. It reminded him of church, except church was warm and had a nice feeling to it, carpets on the floors and comfy cushions on the wooden benches. 

“How were exams?” Regulus asked.

“Yeah, good.” A moment passed, “Well, I better-”

“Please come back home for summer.” Regulus blurted.

Sirius looked at him intently, realising this was some sort of language for ‘I miss you’ . He smiled at Regulus and nodded, “Of course.” He walked away swiftly, feeling Regulus’ eyes on him.

 

“Alright?” James asked, when he’d got back to the dorm.

“No.” Sirius deadpanned, “You wanker! You ran away with the cloak!”

James winced, “Uh- you’re a fast runner, right? If you’re not. It’d do you some good to get some exercise, so I basically did you a favour, be gra-”

Sirius kicked him in the shin lightly, “Right, shut up. Anyway, I ran into Regulus. I’m staying at home all summer, sorry mate.”

James smiled at him, “It’s alright. I’m glad you and him talked, as long as you aren’t too upset to go back.”

Sirius shrugged, picking up a Honeydukes sour sweet and munching on the chewy lemon flavour, “I don’t want to, but Reg does, and he’s worth it.”

James nodded, “Maybe some time he can come to my house, he likes Quidditch, right? We’d have fun.”

Sirius smiled, “Sure.” It was unbelievable, an offer to make Sirius feel better, Regulus would never go to the Potter’s. But it made Sirius feel slightly lighter, all the same, the hope would always be there.

“Alright?” Peter asked as he entered the dorm, he looked at them for a moment, “Oh, you’re having one of your chats. I’ll leave.”

Sirius frowned, “You can stay, Pete. James isn’t the only one who can know about my home life.”

Peter shrugged and sat cross legged next to them, “James and Moony.”

Sirius cocked his head to the side, “And you.”

Peter smiled, “Yeah, sure.” He brushed past the topic, Sirius wondered if Peter really didn’t mind, he never caused a fuss. Sirius supposed Peter had Dorcas, he was with Dorcas for about half the day. He was bound to miss some chats and pranks, the others couldn’t be blamed. 

 

After Remus’ full moon on the fourth of July, they visited him on the fifth.

“I hate everything.” Remus sighed, he’d gotten a cut on his neck, which was visible almost up to his chin. 

“You don’t hate me!” James and Sirius exclaimed at the exact same time.

“Yeah, I don’t hate Pete.” Remus said with a cheeky grin.

“Hey!” They both said.

“Christ, you two are like twins.” Remus sighed. He yawned, “Any werewolf attacks this month?”

Sirius felt sad that that was the first thing he’d thought of, “No, we’d tell you. If there was.”

Remus raised an eyebrow, “Really? Because I wouldn’t put it past you all to hide every newspaper copy in the whole of Hogwarts just so I don’t see that there were however many muggles killed and however many children bitten.”

Sirius and Peter looked at each other guiltily, they had actually planned to try that the next time there was an attack. “No, no. We’d- we’d tell you.” Sirius said in a slightly wobbly but firm voice.

Remus rolled his eyes, “Sure. You should probably get to lessons. Last day and all.”

“We aren’t going to learn anything useful, it’ll probably just be games and stuff.” James said.

“Mhm. Go have fun please. I’ll feel guilty when otherwise.” Remus picked up his Charms book, indicating for the other boys to leave.

“Do you ever stop studying?” Peter whined, “You’re making the grade boundaries too high.”

“Nope.” Remus said, popping the ‘p’. 

James, Sirius and Peter filed out of the hospital wing bitterly and reluctantly.

 

Soon enough, it was Saturday, the boys packed their trunks. Scrambling around the dorm for things they had lost, Pete’s favourite pair of socks, Remus’ broken record which he kept for no reason, Sirius’ Gryffindor pin, which he was planning on wearing some days in summer just to piss his family off. Surprisingly, though unsurprisingly for people who knew him, James had everything he needed. From the outside, James seemed like a messy person, what with the hair, his loud personality, the fact that he had a lot of stuff from his rich parents. James however, was the most neat and tidy marauder. Sirius was a close second, and Remus was most definitely last. Remus had stuff everywhere , and Sirius didn’t even understand how, he barely owned anything.

The students walked in single file to the train station, by orders of McGonagall, Sirius whispered in front and behind him to James and Remus, and got told off about ten times because ‘you have hours to talk to your friends on the train. Where is your respect, Mister Black?’ The words or Slughorn, who’d grown to slightly resent Sirius, because he somehow always distracted Remus. Remus was a lost cause to Slughorn, half-blood, grew up in a muggle household, of course he couldn’t be smart enough to make a three step potion without blowing the classroom up. Slughorn pretended to not pursue the whole blood purity nonsense, but Sirius could see he still had prejudice, and he pretended not to because Lily Evans was his token muggle born student. Lily was the best in the class, yet he still got surprised whenever she made a good potion, he still viewed her as someone with ‘less magic’. 

Sirius stepped onto the train and he chatted to Lily for a while before walking over casually to the marauders’ usual carriage. 

After James bought about 300 sweets, Remus ate some and slept for a while. Sirius and Peter and James talked to each other quietly, not wanting to wake their tired friend. Instead, a bump woke him, he grumbled something about pissing off, which caused Sirius to chuckle. It took a moment before he realized the train had entirely stopped. Sirius looked at James instinctively, because James had all the answers in the world, but James was just looking back worriedly.

After a long 5 minutes of waiting. The train started up again. And when everyone started leaving to exit at King’s Cross Station, platform 9 ¾, Sirius heard the whispers about Death Eaters nearby.

Blimey , he thought miserably, this war is getting worse and worse. No one is safe at all if they aren’t at Hogwarts, we left for an hour and already got attacked.

Deep down, Sirius knew he would always be safe from the war, he was the Black Heir, Voldemort would happily take him on his side. He was also a Gryffindor, Dumbledore would also take him on his side. That made Sirius feel guilt no one could understand. While everyone was worried, scared for their families, for their lives, Sirius was living comfortably, in his disgusting wealth and Black fortune, comfortable with his Gryffindor friends, his status and riches. He thought about Remus, poor, a werewolf, half blood who was often mistaken for a muggle born, and he knew that he would never pick the wrong side. He would always protect Remus, and James, and Peter, even if he was Imperioed. He would fight it, he would always make sure he was on the correct side, where everyone just wanted equality and safety. Sirius Black had chosen his side.










Chapter Text

After being taken to Grimmauld Place by side-along apparition with his mother, Regulus and Sirius immediately sat at the dinner table, ready for Sirius to be shouted at and scolded violently, and for Regulus to be welcomed and congratulated sweetly. Sirius supposed he should be sad that this was their routine, yet some part of him was proud that he’d fought back, that maybe he’d be the one to finally put the Black’s in their place. Maybe he could stop the bloodline as an act of rebellion. Still, Sirius had to be careful, one wrong move and something horrible could happen. He could be taken out of school, punished physically and violently, forced to become a Death Eater, or even killed. The possibilities were endless and sometimes Sirius wanted to drop it all and run away, maybe he’d save Regulus.

Orion cleared his throat, “How were your exams this year?” He asked.

“Good, I got top of the class in Potions.” Regulus said proudly. Sirius hated that look, the look that the Black’s had whenever they’d done something to be ‘proud’ of. Which was usually hurting a muggle or muggleborn, or spouting pureblood crap in the newspapers, or getting mentioned with pride at one of their family meetings.

“Well done.” Orion sniffed in an act of acknowledgment, “You?” He asked Sirius.

“I got in the top three of class with Defence Against the Dark Arts. James and Remus were at the top, they’re great at-” Sirius was about to run off into a tangent, his stupid impulsive brain trying to pull him into the endless facts he had about his friends. His friends which he was not allowed to talk about with his family, his friends that he wasn’t actually allowed to be friends with.

“I don’t want to hear about your blood traitor, mudblood friends.” Orion snapped, “Black’s are always at the top. Why haven’t you been trying, Sirius? You have already cost so much of our reputation. At least prove that you’re better than a filthy blood tainted-” 

Sirius cut him off, he didn’t want to hear such horrible things about Remus, “I will try harder, father. I promise.”

Orion took a sharp intake of breath, but didn’t say anything about the interruption. Walburga was staring down at the table, hands planted in her lap and posture high. She looked bored and in disconcentrated, Sirius wondered if she always zoned out during these talks. 

At dinner Orion took it over himself to ‘encourage’ Sirius. Sirius wasn’t really listening, he was going on and on about the Black name and proving yourself and blah blah blah.

“..Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” He finished. Colossians 3:23-24 , Sirius remembered. Sirius had always thought it was about women, their oppressions and not having to prove themselves to men. Trust the Black family to ruin it for everyone. 

Sirius had a memory, of talking about this verse with a girl from his church, he remembered her having beautiful green eyes, silly bright pink lipstick on and a stupid toothy grin on her face. He didn’t remember her name, and perhaps that was a good thing. If he’d remembered, he would go searching for her to try and find comfort. He tried everything to extract happy memories from his childhood, and if he knew that his mind had perhaps changed them to make himself happy, he didn’t know if he could live with that.

“Thank you, father.” Sirius said politely.

Orion straightened up, “You’re welcome.” He said curtly, his thin lips forming into a disgusting smirk. Sirius hoped that when he smirked he never looked like that. What if he did? How embarrassing, sometimes he couldn’t believe his friends wanted to actually be friends with him, everything about him was always tainted by the Black’s.

“Is it those mudbloods and blood traitors who are putting you down? Because you cannot let such beings dis-” Walburga started. As if it was a light conversation.

Muggleborns and decent purebloods actually work very hard, they work harder than me. They deserve to be top of the class, I do not.” Sirius said blankly, staring at his parents threateningly. He could feel Regulus’ eyes on him, he fought the urge to shudder at the cold atmosphere.

Orion’s chair scraped across the floor, Walburga’s bony hand slid across the table instantly and grabbed onto his wrist.

“Now, now.” She laughed, it was cold and somehow nervous at the same time. A chuckle mixed with a cackle, “He’s a teenager, they’re very impressionable at this age. And we know the school has been spoon feeding them this silliness about equality, we just need to teach him. Over the summer, we will. We’ve just been letting him off too easily.” She said, calming down when Orion sat back down on his chair.

“Is that right?” Orion asked, “Has Hogwarts been… telling you this, forcing this on you?”

Sirius let out a breath, “No. My opinions are out of my own accord. Because I know you’re wrong.” Sirius knew what was going to happen, he knew what he was doing. But he did it anyway. Because he would always defend Lily, Mary, Remus… any of his non-pureblood friends. And he would never agree with his parents, not when they were so very wrong.

Sirius let it happen when the burning sting on his lower back finally settled in, and the warm trickle of dark red ran right down to his ankle. 

He walked up the stairs wordlessly, casted a spell on the deep clean cuts, to stop blood pouring onto his bed. He went to sleep, curled up into a ball and eyes squeezed tightly together as he pressed his face into his pillow.

 

The Black’s were holding a party, well, not a party, more of a fancy ball with stupidly rich guests who were only allowed in if they were blood supremacists and married their children off to wealthy men and women in order to produce heirs. Not exactly Sirius Black’s scene.

But all the same, Sirius dressed up in his black robes, Kreacher aggressively straightened up his robes, pretending to be kind whenever his mother looked over. Regulus seemed to be enjoying his conversation with Kreacher, Sirius was slumped down on the bed, ripping up a piece of paper as if it was extremely interesting.

Walburga clapped her hands together, “Off we go! Downstairs, boys. Guests will be arriving soon, greet them with the kindness and respect they deserve.” She looked pointedly at Sirius.

Personally, Sirius thought they didn’t deserve any sort of ‘kindness’ and ‘respect’. It didn’t matter, that’s not what his mother meant. What Walburga actually meant was ‘Sirius, don’t fuck up, call people mudbloods every five minutes and pretend to be evil’. Which Sirius wouldn’t do, he would hide away for the evening, only speaking to those who he needed to. 

Unfortunately, that plan didn’t work out and Sirius was talking to the Nott family for about twenty minutes. 

“You’re in Gryffindor, yes?” Mrs Nott asked.

“Yes.” Sirius said blankly.

“Hmm.” Mr Nott narrowed his eyes, “Lots of mudbloods in that house, are there? I seem to remember…” He looked at Sirius for an answer.

Sirius stared at him, “Uh, yes. There are lots of muggleborns in Gryffindor, I am friends with quite a few of them.” 

“Friends!” Mrs Nott gasped, as if it was a terrifying thought. “Why on earth would you be friends with such people- no, not people, disgusting creat-” 

“I do not appreciate you talking about my friends like that. I love them very much, and do not care about their blood status.” Sirius said, he was still looking at them blankly, he would never give anything away. 

He stormed off, rushing out the back door and sitting in the corner wall where he and Andromeda used to chat.

After however long, minutes, hours, Sirius felt himself being dragged down some stairs, he looked emptily into the hall, the house was also empty, with the mess of many spilled drinks and decorations which had fallen from the top of the ceilings. They didn’t look so grand on the floor, Sirius thought this rather ironic, he supposed he wouldn’t look grand on the floor either, while his parents were cutting him open and he was screaming for his friends.

He felt like a ghost, he was completely out of his body, his heart hammering in his ears. He remembered being angry, seeing splotches of white and red. He remembered his eyes feeling dry and teary, his throat feeling slimy and parched. He didn’t know what was happening, soon enough, he was on the cold floor, darkness filling his eyes and soul. Sirius hated the dark, sometimes he used to sleep outside on the roof, staring at the bright moon and stars. He used to love the moon, before he knew about Remus. He would trade all the moons and stars in the universe for Remus, he would sit in darkness just for him, because Remus loved him, and Sirius would do anything for love.

Sirius would trade his happiness for James, his true brother, his best friend, he would sit in darkness just for him, because James loved him, and again, Sirius would do anything for love. And maybe that was unhealthy, but somehow it made him feel better, James, Remus and Peter were his family. He didn’t need these people, who locked him up in cold cellars with damp ceilings, who tore his love for anything apart, so he had to glue it back together himself.

Sirius felt his eyes sting, his legs curl up into his chest, a position he was so familiar with, it was how he felt safe. If there was no one there to hug him, he always sat or lay like this. Just to feel together, piecing himself softly together like a puzzle, a puzzle with a missing piece. Or many missing pieces, Sirius knew he was still finding himself. But he could also feel something missing, something he just felt so close to finding out. Thinking about that made him distracted and tired, he took off his robe jacket and covered himself up with it, his shoulder pressing hard against the damp hard floor. He fell asleep, dreaming about James’ house, his garden in summer, playing Quidditch together, sunbathing with Peter and Remus. Just for a moment, Sirius felt like he was there, and that was enough comfort for a lifetime.







Chapter Text

The next few weeks consisted of heated arguments, or silent dinners. There was no in between, no time to make up and move on. Not with the Black’s.

Sirius had tried to write to James. Walburga had told him that he wasn’t allowed, Sirius had tried, he’d begged, just like she asked, but she wouldn’t let him.

He’d then tried to write to Andromeda, the only person that there was a slight chance of being able to contact. Maybe if Walburga was having a good day, or just didn’t particularly care at the moment. Orion would never let him, he never even tried to ask.

“Please, mother. Just one letter, I just want to see how she’s doing.” Sirius begged. Following her around like a lost puppy.

She turned around sharply to look at him, “Absolutely not, not with how you’ve acted in the last few weeks. Defending them . I’m so disappointed in you.” She muttered.

She was trying to get him riled up, trying to get a reaction out of him. A year ago, it would’ve worked. Those words would’ve stung, but Sirius had grown up, and realised whatever he did, he was a disappointment. There was no use in trying to deny it. She wanted him to beg, to ask her for hours on end if he could talk to his only likeable cousin. But Sirius was not going to give in, he’d just have to pray that summer would go quickly, that he’d be able to contact anyone, anyone he loved.

“I’m sorry.” Sirius said, surprised at the words that had come out of his mouth.

Her eyes flickered for a second, “Yes, you should be.” She paused for a moment, “Your Uncle Alphard is coming over.”

“What?” Sirius stared at her wide eyes, “H- Why?”

She sighed, “We need to sort out some financial issues, and perhaps we can convince him that he has chosen the wrong lifestyle.” She stared into space for a moment, “You understand… that he has chosen the wrong lifestyle.”

Sirius nodded immediately.

“Right.” She said sharply, “You may be there when we talk to him.” She turned around and left, Sirius wondered what on earth that episode was. Sirius thought she might be just stressed, why would she of all people want Sirius around longer than necessary? Why would she want him around when all they were talking about was finance?

He thought he liked Uncle Alphard, but of course his first proper memory was when Alphard was kicked out of the family, so that wasn’t much to go off. Sirius didn’t know why, but he thought maybe this was his mother trying to be nice, he couldn’t send a letter to his friends or favourite cousin, so he could chat a bit to his disinherited queer Uncle? How utterly strange. For all he knew, his mother might think she was being kind when she sent him to sleep in the cellar. That’s Walburga for you. Crazy bitch.

Soon enough, Alphard was in their house, being polite and greeting his family. Which made Sirius feel uneasy, what with the violent way he was dismissed from the family.

“Sirius.” He smiled down at him, wrinkled showing under his eyes and cheeks. 

Sirius smiled back at him, “Hello.”

“You’ve grown. Goodness, you look like you’re practically an adult compared to the last time I saw you.” Alphard grinned.

Sirius recognised this polite conversation, one which he had ingrained into his head, and at some points found himself rehearsing. After everyone settled down, Walburga and Orion started talking about finance. Sirius zoned out, uninterested by the words ‘inheritance’, ‘heir’ and ‘bloodline’.

Soon enough, the topic of conversation was moved onto Alphard’s personal life.

“Perhaps we were too hasty, we as a family should stick together. So, if you are willing to overcome this strange episode of your life, find yourself a nice wife-” Walburga said with a tight smile.

“I have absolutely no interest in finding myself a wife.” Alphard cut in casually, “I shall worry about my life, you worry about yours.” 

Sirius admired his nonchalance, though he supposed his Uncle Alphard wasn’t as scared of his parents as he secretly was. He had money, a house, food, there was nothing he could possibly need from their family.

Orion sucked some air into his nose sharply, making an uncomfortable noise, “Very well. Walburga, may I speak to you outside?” Orion asked.

She nodded, and was led out by her husband graciously.

“Alright? Kid?” Alphard asked, his poster slouching and his legs stretching outwards now that Sirius’ parents were outside the room and he no longer had to act polite.

“Yeah, you?” Sirius asked.

He grinned in response, “Don’t worry about me, son. I’m just fine.”

Sirius smiled at him, “Do you have a boyfriend?” He blurted, he really wanted to know.

Alphard snorted, “Nah, just mates here and there. What about you? Got a girlfriend?” He asked.

Sirius shook his head, “Had one all year, but we both realised it wasn’t… we didn’t actually like each other. We were only together because it was just expected… I guess. She’s nice, we’re still friends.” Sirius flushed when he realised he’d been rambling.

Alphard looked at him intently, “Got your eye on anyone else, kid?”

Sirius shook his head, “No… maybe they’ll become more attractive over the summer.”

A grin spread widely on Alphard’s face, “Yeah, well, you tell me what happens, eh?”

Sirius nodded, he looked away, embarrassed, feeling as if his Uncle knew a secret even he didn’t know yet.

The door swung open, Orion and Walburga stood there, chatted politely, dropped hints for Alphard to go, which Alphard picked up instantly. Sirius’ Uncle left with only saying goodbye to Sirius and Regulus, who was sitting next to the banister and looking down at them with curiosity.

Sirius didn’t talk to his mother and father, he knew it was a sin to be queer. He’d been told many times, it was one of the small amount of dinner conversations he never took part in or argued with. He knew that, and yet somehow he felt personally attacked by their demeanor to his Uncle Alphard. He liked Alphard, he was nice to him, he didn’t bring up topics he was uncomfortable with, and even after just that small conversation he felt content that there were now three family members he loved. Regulus, Andromeda and now Alphard. 

He hadn’t talked to Regulus much since the summer, not more than a few sentences after their awkward hallway conversation. Sirius wasn’t sure what he wanted to talk about, why did Regulus even ask him to go back to Grimmauld Place if all they would do was exchange awkward glances, and useless words? 

Sirius could be with James, his real brother. But every time he thought of Regulus as ‘not his real brother’ bile rose up into his throat, he was his real brother, Sirius would do anything for Regulus. Sirius didn’t know what he would do if he were to choose between Regulus and James, deep down the answer scared him, so Sirius decided not to think about it. 

His head was going James James James , James who’d stayed up at night while Sirius cried to him, who’d comforted him no matter what, James who invited him round to his beautiful house, James who reassured him. And then there was Regulus, who Sirius couldn’t even talk to properly, who believed in blood purist bullshit, who was a complete and utter wanker. Sirius wanted to say he wouldn’t choose him, he wanted to tell himself it would always be James, his friends, his real family. But part of him knew he always wanted a proper family, a blood family, who truly cared for him unconditionally, and if Regulus ever changed his mind, if he decided he didn’t believe in the words of his parents, the words which meant he wanted to kill and hurt his only friends, Sirius would immediately run to him. 

He’d save Regulus, all he had to do was ask. He would choose Regulus over James if in some alternate world Regulus realised how wrong it was to support such prejudices. That’s what scared him, because he knew James would choose Sirius over anyone, he’d choose him over Lily, Remus, Peter, anyone . Sirius felt like shit, James had such a good heart, James would understand that Sirius loved Regulus and wanted to help him, but Sirius knew that James would hide his hurt, because that’s what James did. He would hide it whenever Lily threw a nasty comment at him, when someone commented on his skin colour, when someone told him he was being too loud, when someone said they didn’t need his comfort. James just wanted to help everyone, and still Sirius would choose Regulus, who didn’t want to help anyone, who wanted to hide in the corner while people were being killed. Regulus Black, a fucking coward.

So, when Regulus entered Sirius’ room, while Sirius was spiralling in his brain about such things, that’s what Sirius told him.

“Sirius?” Regulus whispered.

“What?” Sirius sat up and leant his head against the cold wooden wall.

“Just wanted to talk.” He shrugged.

Sirius raised an eyebrow at him, “Alright.”

Regulus stared at him, “Are you going to try out for the Quidditch team?” He asked.

Sirius grinned, “Yep. Get reader for me to thrash Slytherin with my amazing beater skills.” He made a gesture with his hands of holding a beater bat and hitting a bludger with it.

Regulus let out a smile, “I’m going to try out for seeker.”

Sirius beamed, “Really?”

Regulus nodded.

“James won’t be happy, you’ve got the seeker build.” Sirius smirked.

Regulus rolled his eyes, “Are you calling me short and puny?” He teased.

Sirius laughed, “Yes.” 

Regulus grabbed his arm and pulled him up, stood next to him to reveal that he was actually at least an inch taller than Sirius.

Sirius groaned, “You’re younger! How are you taller than me!?”

Regulus grinned, almost the same grin that Sirius wore, “Guess I just got all the good genes.”

Sirius scowled, “Yes, mother and father have made that very clear.”

The room went silent, the dead buzzing of cars far away took over the house. Sirius looked into Regulus’ blue eyes, purposefully making him uncomfortable.

“Why do you do it?” Regulus asked, his throat hoarse.

“Do what?” Sirius challenged. “Joke about your amazing DNA?” He deadpanned.

“No.” Regulus rolled his eyes as he spat the word, “Why do you make them hate you?”

There it was. The question Regulus asked, the answer which he knew, yet chose to ignore. Sirius burned his eyes into Regulus, “You know why. You know what they’ve done to me. You know what they want to do to my friends. My best friend.”

Regulus let out a sigh, “But why!? Why can’t you just be friends with purebloods? Why can’t you just do what they say!? Then they wouldn’t hurt you!” Regulus had pleading eyes, but his tone was angry and cold.

“Christ, Reg! You’re really blaming me!? You’re saying it’s my fault they almost fucking murder me every week!? Do you know how much I’ve done to protect you!? Do you know how much I’ve taken for you ? Because you can’t deal with what I have to go through!?” Sirius shouted, his eyes stinging.

“You don’t need to take anything for me! I listen to them, I do what I’m told, they love me for it! Why can’t you just do that too!?” Regulus’ voice cracked, “Why can’t you just be more like me?” He whispered.

Sirius stared at him, his eyes falling dead, his face numb. “Because you, Regulus Black, are a fucking coward.” 









Chapter Text

Regulus froze, his face forming into a look of stunned sadness, Sirius didn’t move. He kept his numb expression on his face, and his heart beating at an average speed. He just didn’t care anymore.

Regulus’ mouth dropped open slightly, he gulped visibly.

“Get out.” Sirius spat. Regulus didn’t need telling twice, he turned on his heel, and walked out of the door. Sirius slammed it, so that he wouldn’t hear Regulus’ slow footsteps of regret. 

Sirius felt senseless, unfeeling. Maybe it was the shock, or maybe he was just a terrible person, one that didn’t care that he’d just ruined his entire relationship with his brother. It was already ruined , Sirius thought gloomily, tainted, right from the beginning .

 

When Sirius went down to dinner that night, he felt a loud ringing in his ears, it was anger, but the rest of his body wasn’t feeling angry. He sat down, silently, as Kreacher put his plate down. 

He wasn’t listening to his parents, not until Orion said something horrible.

“I don’t know why we’d keep them on our side. They’re filthy half breeds. They should be locked up and killed, that Lyall Lupin was only right about one thing. And it was that.” Orion said, as if it was a normal conversation, nothing out of the ordinary. Sirius couldn’t say anything, because what if he gave it away that Remus was a werewolf? Sirius felt red hot anger slither through his body, he couldn’t let them talk about werewolves like that. 

“You know his child, Remus, is it?” Walburga directed the question to Sirius. No, no, no. Don’t talk about Remus, no.

“Yes. I share a dorm with him.” Sirius choked out, before gulping down some cold water.

Orion scowled, “Disgusting.”

Sirius didn’t do anything, he just looked down at his plate of food. 

“He has a lot of scars on him.” Regulus conversed. “ I’m wondering if his father hits him.” He said nonchalantly.

Sirius gripped his fork tightly. 

Walburga hummed in acknowledgment. Orion said, “I wonder if that’s where Sirius gets it from. Can’t blame Lyall if he does.” He mused.

Sirius tried to control his breathing, his knuckles were going white from gripping the metal, he could feel the side of the fork handle digging into his skin, sharp and stinging.

“Is that where you get it from?” Orion smiled slyly at Sirius.

“No.” Sirius coughed, “His dad doesn’t hit him. He’s a good man.” Sirius gritted his teeth. 

Orion seethed, “Go to your room.” He spat. Sirius stood up, he wasn’t hungry anyway. He walked up the stairs as if nothing had happened, his hands in his pockets and whistling nonchalantly.

Sirius lay in his bed, picking at his fingernails and staring at the top of his four poster bed. He immediately regretted what he said when he heard the angry footsteps of his father getting closer and closer to the door.

Sirius wished in that very moment that he could apparate away, disappear into thin air. He wished he had James’ invisibility cloak. He wished he didn’t exist.

The door swung open. Creaking slightly. Sirius crawled into the corner of his bed, eyes wide and hands shaking.

“Stand up.” Orion spat.

Sirius shuddered and stood. Orion grabbed the back of his neck and pushed him front first against the wall. He lifted up his shirt, cold fingernails scraped Sirius’ back.

His wand pressed into Sirius’ skin, sharp and hard. Sirius gasped, it was terrible when he did it close by, but he never cast the spell when the wand was actually on Sirius’ skin. Sirius prepared himself for the worst.

“Diffindo.”

He didn’t prepare himself well enough.

There was a sharp cut pain in his back, and after a moment Sirius felt the burning, Orion had cast another spell. One which felt like his entire body was being burned alive. 

Sirius screamed, a wailing cry, Orion laughed. He kicked him to the floor, the spell still on Sirius. Sirius felt his head bash against something and warmth spread through his brain. He didn’t care, the burning hurt more. Sirius turned, so his back wasn’t being directly hit where the cuts were.

Sirius felt a strong hand grab him once again by the neck. He was pushed onto the bed, and suddenly Sirius felt the wand on his skin again, right in the middle of a deep cut. 

Sirius screamed again, “Please, I’m sorry.” He cried, over and over sobbing and choking for air. He just wanted it to be over.

The spell kept going, and after a while Sirius gave up. He kept screaming, but he felt numb as the burn ran through his body. After a few minutes, maybe it was hours, Sirius didn’t know. The spell stopped. 

Sirius retched, he gasped for breath. He was fighting for breath, Orion dug his nails into his back once again, and then Sirius felt the door close. He choked, still struggling for oxygen, he felt sleep take him. Though he was still suffocating in pain.

 

Sirius woke up the next morning and rolled over onto his back with a groan. He felt a tingling sensation right through his body. He then gasped when he felt his back sting and burn. He sat up abruptly, taking in the memory from the night before.

He opened his eyes and then squeezed them shut immensely. He wanted to throw up. The back of his head was sticky and hot, he got up and showered under severely cold water. He felt the coldness run through his hair, stinging as it slid down where he’d hit his head the night before. The cold water felt nice on the cuts on his back. Sirius felt the raised scabs under his fingers. Learning every inch of where he’d have a new scar. 

“Lucius and Narcissa are coming over today.” Walburga said at breakfast.

Sirius nodded. Regulus acted excited.

“I assume you have learned from your mistakes yesterday, Sirius?” Orion said in a threatening voice.

And because he couldn’t take it anymore, Sirius said, “Yes, father. I have learned to never question your authority again.”

Orion nodded in acknowledgment. Regulus gave Sirius a strange look, and then a small smile. Sirius smiled back, forgetting why Regulus was smiling at him for a moment. Then he looked down to his plate and scowled. 

Sirius heard the door open, and rushed to greet his cousin and her husband, he wasn’t ready for a lecture in being polite.

“Sirius.” Lucius sniffed.

Sirius gave a little nod of acknowledgment, “Good morning.”

Lucius raised his eyebrows at him, then elegantly took his coat off and dropped it down to Kreacher without even looking at him.

“Hello, Sirius.” Narcissa smiled kindly.

“Hello.” Sirius faked a smile.

They walked over to the table, Kreacher served them all some tea, Sirius burned his tongue on it.

“So, Sirius. How’s Gryffindor life?” Lucius asked with amusement. Wow. Straight to it. Sirius thought.

“It’s fine.” Sirius said.

“Friends with any mudbloods?” He asked slyly.

Sirius was so tired, “No, I would never be friends with a-” he gulped, “mudblood.”

The table looked at him in shock, Walburga’s mouth was slightly open, Regulus’ eyebrows were comically raised, Narcissa let out a jagged exhale of breath, and Orion… Orion was looking at his son proudly. A smirk on his face and his head held high. Sirius felt sick.

“Hm.” Lucius didn’t look convinced, “Blood traitors, then?”

“Well,” Sirius stammered, “it’s hard not to be friends with b-blood traitors. I’m trying to teach them, though.” He choked out.

Lucius raised his eyebrows at that, “I see your parents have finally put you in your place.” He turned to Walburga and Orion, “I know you’ve had you difficulties with h-”

“Now,” Orion interrupted, “Sirius has had his moments, as any teenager has. But the Black’s always pull through, we do not need your congratulations, Lucius.” He sniffed.

Lucius let out a noise of acknowledgment and sipped on his tea politely.

Narcissa let out a loud obvious sigh, “Would you like to hear about my rose garden?” She changed the subject, breaking the tension once again.

Sirius zoned out, as he usually did when he wasn’t needed in the conversation.

After the couple had left, Sirius picked at his fingernails until he was excused from the table.

Orion sat down once again, Sirius panicked and thought he’d done something wrong again. He couldn’t repeat the day before. 

“Sirius.” His tone was soft, Sirius still held his breath, “I’m… I’m proud of you today.” The words looked like it pained him to say it, but they were still the words. The words Sirius had waited to hear for years and years, the satisfaction wasn’t nearly as good as he’d imagined.

Sirius let out a numb exhale of breath, “Thank you, father.”

Orion smiled and nodded at him, “You’re excused.”

Sirius went to sleep that night with no thoughts, he didn’t think about James and Quidditch, he didn’t think about Peter and chess. He thought about nothing. A black hole of emotions. Sirius went to sleep like that for days on end. He spouted the pureblood bullshit he’d hated for years and years at dinner. He smiled at his parents, he took pride in their overjoyed faces. He still didn’t talk to Regulus, he couldn’t deal with lying to him too. Not Regulus. 

But then, one evening, he messed up.

“Mudbloods shouldn’t be allowed at Hogwarts.” Orion tutted.

“Yes they should.” Sirius said blankly, “They’re just as much magic as we are.” And everything he’d just worked for was lost. All of the days of lying and built up anger was gone, he’d ruined everything once again. As always. Sirius Black had fucked up.

Orion stared at him, told him to go to his room. Sirius ran up there, wanting to run away, anything to take it back, Sirius just lay down on his bed and cried. Eventually Orion came in, he only cast a spell from far away, but the disappointment was so strong that Sirius realised it didn’t really matter. Sirius didn’t scream, he just let hot tears wash over him. Hogwarts soon, Hogwarts soon. He repeated in his mind.

Eventually Orion left, no words were exchanged. Sirius went to sleep, and once again he thought of James and his beautiful house. He let a smile take over his face and instantly felt slightly better. He'd be at Hogwarts soon, he’d be with his friends, he’d play pranks and laugh and he didn’t need to fake anything. Sirius sighed and pushed his face into his pillow, he probably looked ridiculous while crying and smiling at the same time, but he didn’t care. 

Chapter Text

Sirius stepped onto the Hogwarts Express, a flush of relief at the familiar smell, old wood and worn carpets. Regulus rushed off to his own carriage, to his blood supremacist friends and that snakey Barty Jr. Sirius smiled at the sight and then went to his own compartment, where the marauders all usually sat.

He saw a flash of red hair, and immediately his entire mood was ruined. Those weeks of pretending, of calling people mudbloods and blood traitors all came back to him. How could he do that? Lily was one of his best friends, even if they didn’t talk, even if sometimes she thought he was a stuck up idiot, even if sometimes he thought she was a snobbish cow. How could he do that to Mary ? How could he do that to anyone? To people who trusted him not to be like his family. Sure, it was all a lie, Sirius didn’t base his perception of people on something they couldn’t control. But he’d still done it, he’d still said those terrible words and yet he hadn’t even felt guilty at the time. 

Sirius groaned and put his head in his hands, he didn’t deserve to be here after what he’d done. He didn’t deserve to be around Remus and Lily and Mary and all his non-pureblood friends. No, he didn’t deserve any of his friends.

“Sirius?” Lily’s voice said in a concerned manner.

Sirius nearly jumped out of his skin, “No,” he said immediately, “don’t come near me I-” he stammered.

“What?!” Her eyes were wide, “What’s-”

“Lily?” Severus’ voice said in a cheery tone.

“Sev, I’m talking to Sirius.” She said exasperatedly.

“Why are you talking to him ?” He spat, coming into view.

Lily frowned, “Because he’s my friend. Go find us a compartment.”

“You shouldn’t talk to him.” Snape sniffed, “He’s a spoilt-”

“Oh, piss off, would you?” Lily rolled her eyes.

Snape scowled, “Maybe I’ll just go and sit with Mulciber then, since apparently my friends are off limits. But your-”

“Go, then.” She said coldly, “I don’t want you here. And I’m sure Sirius doesn’t either.” She huffed and sat down.

Snape looked taken aback, “Fine.” He said in a squeaky voice.

Once he’d gone, Sirius looked at Lily intently, “Are you alright?”

She raised an amused eyebrow at him, “Of course I’m alright. Severus is just a bit of a prat. Are you alright?”

Sirius bit his lip, remembering why he was upset before. “You shouldn’t be here.” He shook his head despairingly.

She frowned, a crease forming in her brow, “What? Why?”

Sirius sucked in his breath, “I did something horrible. I’m a horrible person I-” his breath was getting faster, his words jumbled together.

“Okay, okay.” Lily said softly, “Tell me what happened.”

“I said horrible things.” Sirius shook his head and moved towards the corner of the compartment, “I said- I said the-”

“Okay, shh.” Lily said, “Why did you say it?” Her tone was colder, Sirius felt himself wanting to cry, but he didn’t. He just panicked.

Sirius lifted his shirt up, showing his entire back. Lily gasped and covered her mouth instinctively. “Sirius…” she trailed off.

“I couldn’t- I didn’t want it to happen again. So I started pretending to agree. And then I slipped up, and it did so-” Sirius knew he probably looked like a desperate pleading child, but he didn’t care.

Lily moved towards him, Sirius flinched, but then realised she was hugging him. “It’s okay. I understand, Sirius. Anyone would. Please don’t blame yourself, being safe is the most important thing.” 

Sirius nodded against her shoulder, feeling relieved. “I’m still sorry.”

“I know you are.” Lily said, a smile in her voice, “I can’t tell you that it isn’t wrong, because it is, but I don’t want you to get hurt. And if that’s what you have to do… then so be it.”

Sirius sniffed, he was crying a little bit, “Thank you.” He whispered.

“Erm… Am I interrupting something?” A voice said from the doorway, Sirius opened his eyes and saw his best friend, the one with the glasses.

Sirius immediately let go of Lily and ran towards James, underestimating the space between them. Sirius ended up bashing into James, but James held him and pulled him into a hug. Once they were done with their extremely long and probably-looked-queer hug, James pushed him off and basically shouted, “Why the fuck haven’t you been answering my letters?!”

Sirius sucked in his breath, “My parents wouldn’t let me send any, and I think they intercepted them too, so I didn’t get any of yours.” 

James nodded, “Those morons! They’re horrible! Oh, Evans! Hello!” James looked over to her.

“Hiya.” She smiled, a blush on her cheeks. Sirius raised an eyebrow at her. She bit her lip and mumbled, “Er… I should probably go. You two should catch up.” She got up and awkwardly wiped her hands on her skirt, as if she was sweating with anxiousness.

Sirius grinned, this year was going to be amazing. 

“Alright, see you Evans!” James called and turned back to Sirius with a shit-eating grin on his face. He then turned very dark, “What else did they do?”

Sirius sighed and lifted up his shirt once again, James didn’t have a shocked reaction, he just pulled Sirius into a tight hug and stayed there for ages. Sirius really needed that hug, he was so grateful for James.

“I’m sorry.” James whispered, “I should’ve never let you go back there.”

Sirius shook his head, “No, don’t put this on yourself. It was my decision, I knew what I was doing. It’s not going to happen again, I’ll stay at yours next year… I’m not going to listen to Reg anymore. I’m done with him, that wanker.” He grumbled the last bit.

James nodded along and invited him to sit next to him, Sirius recounted the horrifying stories of his summer while James put his arm around him.

Sirius told him he didn’t want to talk about it. He didn’t want any ‘I’m sorries’ or ‘poor yous’. So he and James started talking about their Animagus process, since they’d be putting the mandrake leaf in their mouths on that day. Sirius had only just remembered about this, he’d forgotten it was a full moon. Sirius felt guilty for that.

Soon, Peter entered the compartment, and Sirius and James untangled themselves to greet him. 

“Peter!” James grinned, “How was your summer, mate?”

Peter rolled his eyes, “You saw me a week ago.”

Sirius frowned, for some reason he’d forgotten his friends had visited each other over the summer. He felt insanely jealous, another reason to hate his family. 

“Just being polite.” James grumbled sarcastically.

Peter yawned, “You alright, Sirius?” He asked.

Sirius nodded and gave him a smile, gold old innocent Peter. 

“Heard from Remus?” He asked.

James winced at that. Sirius looked between the two of them, “What? You haven’t heard from him…?”

Peter frowned, “Er, no. We figured he’d- Oh.” Peter grimaced.

“What?!” Sirius said worriedly, “You haven’t heard from him all summer?!”

“No.” James looked stressed, James never looked stressed. “Not one letter.”

“Shit.” Sirius’ eyes widened.

“What are you lot gawping at?”

Sirius turned around on his heel, and nearly fainted. There, Remus fucking Lupin was leaning against the door frame, with his insanely curly hair sitting beautifully on top of his head, and a fucking ear piercing. A shiny gold ring in his right ear. He was so tall, Sirius had to look up at him. 

Sure, James had grown a bit, his jawline sharper, cheekbones more defined. Sirius had definitely grown a few inches as well, Peter hadn’t changed much, but he’d also grown a lot, he was just about the same height as Sirius.

Jesus Christ, though. To Sirius Remus had grown about a foot taller, he looked insanely different as well, his eyes were bigger and his eyelashes longer, his cheekbones were so defined that Sirius was worried he wasn’t eating enough. His jaw was as sharp as a fucking knife, his scars scattering his skin in a rugged and cool way. Maybe that was strange, but Sirius thought they looked cool. One thing Sirius only just noticed, after looking at his height, bone structure, hair, eyelashes and ear piercing, was that Remus had a black eye. His left eyelid was a brown and purple colour, it looked like a slightly old bruise, it wasn’t swollen.

“Where the fuck have you been?!” James said angrily.

“We sent you about a million owls! You didn’t reply to one of them!” Peter said, crossing his arms.

Sirius just continued staring at him.

Remus shrugged, “Sorry, Matron got annoyed by the owls, wouldn’t let them anyway near me.” He slumped down into the corner seat by the window and outstretched his legs nonchalantly.

“Who- what?” Sirius breathed, insanely confused.

Remus sniffed, “D’you mind?” He pointed at a packet of what looked like muggle cigarettes in his hand. Sirius stared at him, absolutely shell shocked.

“Yes we- what the fuck, Remus?!” James looked entirely exasperated and confused.

Remus rolled his eyes, “Christ, I’ve already had to explain it a million times to the boys at the home. I’m tired, it’s the moon today. Can you let me have a fag and than I’ll explain?” Remus spat out some gum into his hand and threw it out the window.

What the actual fuck was going on. 

“I want to try.” Sirius said, sliding down in a seat next to Remus. James raised an eyebrow at him, Sirius gave him a look back, he shrugged and gestured for him to carry on.

Remus shrugged with an amused look on his face, he gave Sirius the rolled up paper and Sirius held it awkwardly between two fingers, just as Remus was doing. Remus snapped his fingers and a fire came out of them, Sirius thought this was the coolest thing he’d seen in his life. He lit his first, and took a long breath and whistled the smoke up into the air. Sirius gaped, awe-struck.

Remus lit Sirius’ quickly, and grabbed onto his wrist to steady his hand. “Careful.” He whispered. Why is his hand on my wrist? Get off, get off. Sirius thought, ridiculously flustered. “Alright? Go on then.” Remus said, urging him on.

Sirius observed him, his accent had dropped again, he sounded like he did in first year, next thing and Remus would be back to calling them posh twa-

“Go on, posh twat.” There it was. Remus nudged him, “These are expensive, you know.” 

Sirius creased his brow, “How did you-” he shut his mouth at the insensitive question.

Remus just laughed tiredly, “I have my ways.” 

Sirius wasn’t sure if he hated the mystery or loved it. What a strange thought. 

Sirius put the cigarette into his mouth, immediately feeling a tingling in his throat, he breathed in. 

He doubled over with a cough and retched slightly, “How do you smoke these!?” He choked out.

Remus was looking at him in amusement, and Sirius realised he probably knew this was going to happen.

“You’re evil!” He heaved.

Remus laughed and patted his back, “Worse than me on my first try. Dramatic bastard.” He chuckled. “Right look, copy me. Take a breath first, yeah… like that, no smaller than that. Then breathe in, yeah.”

Sirius choked again, it wasn’t as bad this time around though. He tried again, it took him about seven breaths before he finally got it. It made him feel slightly sick, but Remus looked like he was enjoying it, so he would try.

“Feels shite first try.” Remus grinned.

Sirius grinned back, “I was going to lie and say it was good.”

Remus chuckled, then suddenly snatched the cigarette out of Sirius’ hand and threw it out the window. Sirius gaped,

“What was that for!?” He said.

Remus shrugged, “I’m not letting you get addicted.”

“What?!” Sirius frowned, “So I’m not allowed to smoke?”

Remus gave him a look, “No. You agreed it was shite anyway, what are you on about?”

“You look so cool with it! I want to look cool! Give me another one!” Sirius moaned.

Remus burst out laughing, “Yeah, sure.” He said sarcastically, “I look so cool.”

“You do!” Sirius said, “Let me look cool too.” He said firmly.

“Nah,” Remus grinned, “Your ego doesn’t need inflating any more.”

“Please.” Sirius whined.

Remus rolled his eyes, “You only think it looks cool because I look like a right chav. You look like a posh boy who’s just discovered cigs, you are a posh boy who’s just discovered cigs.” 

James and Peter stopped their conversation and looked at Remus, who’d raised his voice slightly so it was sharper.

“Hey.” Sirius said, sounding more hurt than he actually was at the comment.

“Sorry.” Remus muttered, throwing his own cigarette away, “Shit summer.”

“Do you want to talk about it?” Peter asked softly.

Remus sighed, “Get me some chocolate frogs, will you? Then I’ll tell you my traumatic story as a reward.” He joked, Sirius wanted to laugh, but James and Peter looked extremely worried. “Christ,” Remus rolled his eyes, “I was joking. You can laugh.”

James and Peter let out some nervous chuckles, they left the compartment to go and find the trolley.

Sirius smiled at Remus, who had closed his eyes and lent his head against the window, his curly hair blowing up and down slightly with the wind.

“How was your summer?” Remus mumbled.

“Ah, shit. But, you know.” Sirius shrugged.

Remus frowned and opened his eyes, “No, I don’t. Are you alright?”

Sirius looked at him and bit his lip, “As long as I’m at Hogwarts, as long as they’re not here, I’ll be fine.” Sirius said firmly.

Remus smiled softly at him, “Good.”

Sirius took this as an I-won’t-ask-again moment, and he was extremely grateful. He never wanted to talk about that summer ever again, and he sure as hell hoped history wouldn’t repeat itself. 

James and Peter came back with a pile of sweets in their arms, Sirius suspected this was for him and Remus to feel better, but he pretended they were just greedy in his head. Just so he didn’t appreciate any pity given to him.

Peter cleared his throat, painfully obviously. Remus rolled his eyes, “Fine. Long story short, got homeless, slept on a bench, social services found me, Dumbledore had to do a bunch of paperwork, I live in a kids home for boys now.” Remus munched on a chocolate frog, biting his head off nonchalantly.

“You- …what?” James said, clearly not understanding anything Remus was saying.

Remus sighed, “Y’know how my dad lost his job?”

The three boys nodded.

“He tried to get a job in the wizarding world, but it was too hard, and you know how they are about poor people. They’re evil. And anyway, we lost the house as well. So I got pissed at them one night, set off from where we were sleeping, which was a shitty tent put up illegally on the side of the road where someone’s farmland was. I came back the next day, and they left a note.” Remus’ voice cracked at the talk of this note, “I slept on a bench nearby, thinking maybe they’d come back. But they didn’t. So… yeah. Someone found me there, I was a bit out of it. There was like, three days? Of talking to the police and stuff. It was a bit shit. I got really tired. Eventually they put me in a boys home, it’s far away from where I used to live. I’m in the east now.” Remus finished, looking exhausted.

“Wow…” Peter trailed off, “I’m sorry, Remus.”

“Fuck your parents. I thought they were alright.” Sirius let out a low whistle.

“They’re good parents. D’you think they wanted their son to go and live in a kids home?” Remus snapped, “They didn’t have enough money to look after me. They warned me before that they might have to leave. It’s not their fault.” Remus huffed.

“Why did they have to leave you? Why couldn’t they just ask for help and-” 

“It’s not easy, Sirius. They can’t just ask for help and expect to get it. This is Britain, mate. The whole system is classist. We’re all fucked from the start.” Remus fiddled with his shoelaces. Sirius looked down at them, he had chunky boots on, with frayed shoelaces and a broken sole. Sirius thought they looked amazing.

“I’m sorry.” Sirius said.

“‘S okay,” Remus shrugged, “didn’t expect you to understand anyway.”

Sirius frowned, what was that supposed to mean?

“Can they not keep in touch with you?” Peter asked.

Remus sucked in his breath, “I don’t…” Sirius noticed he looked upset.

“We don’t have to talk about this.” He said quickly.

Remus looked up from where he was staring downwards, “Yeah. I don’t want to. Sorry.”

They all nodded.

“How’d you get that black eye?” Peter asked. Sirius wanted to slap him.

Remus just grinned, “We was just messing about, another kid accidentally kicked me in the face. Don’t worry, I gave him a right lamp back.”

“A what?” They all asked at the same time.

Remus rolled his eyes with a laugh, “A shiner?”

They all shook their heads.

“Christ.” Remus was breaking down into laughter, “It means a black eye. Anyway, don’t worry. It doesn’t hurt, I used some Dittany on it.” 

Sirius frowned at the thought of Remus messing around with his other friends, in his other dorm? Room? House? Sirius didn’t know. Though he did know that it sounded incredibly selfish, wanting Remus all to himself.

“God.” Remus shook his head fondly, “They’d all wind me up for knowing you lot. Eat the rich, and all that.”

Sirius frowned even more, “What?”

Remus smiled and ruffled his hair, “Don’t you worry your pretty little head about it.”

“Geddoff.” Sirius muttered, but for some reason, he could feel a huge blush spreading on his face.







Chapter Text

The rest of the journey was tiresome, Remus had fallen asleep with his jumper under his head and his cloak covering his body. His feet were peeking out the blanket, though. Sirius noticed his socks had holes in them.

He was still taking in what Remus had said. He’d been homeless, then abandoned, then put in a house full of strangers. And Sirius complained about his summer? He lived in a mansion, with lavish dinners and glamorous parties. How could he make a fuss about that when what Remus was going through was so much worse.

Sirius had to remind himself not to invalidate his feelings, because deep down he knew it was so much more than that. The verbal abuse and hatred was enough to make anyone mentally drained, let alone the physical abuse.

Sirius, James and Peter also didn’t talk much. The mood was a bit gloomy. Their only excitement was the Animagus thing, which they couldn’t talk about in front of Remus.

Eventually, McGonagall came into the compartment and they had to wake Remus up.

“M’don’t w’nt to.” Remus mumbled with a groan.

Sirius felt his heart break a little, McGonagall looked like she was experiencing the same feeling. She lifted him up and Remus leant his weight against her. She left the carriage with him and the others were left in a sad sort of silence.

“How’re we going to find somewhere where no human feet or sunlight have touched?” Peter broke the silence.

James let out a small smile, “Been wondering the same thing. Forbidden forest?”

Sirius shook his head, “sunlight.”

James huffed, “What about that stand in the corner of Myrtle’s bathroom? No human feet have touched it. Or sunlight.”

Sirius raised his eyebrows in thought. “That could definitely work.”

“Can we practice the sticking charms again?” Peter asked nervously.

“We’ve already practiced them a million times, Pete.” Sirius sighed.

“Yeah but I’m still-” Peter started.

“You’ll be fine. Here… do it with me.” James said.

A few hours later, the students were all stumbling off the train, the first years went with Hagrid on the boats.

“Careful not to drown!” Sirius called, “The Giant Squid will eat you!”

A girl squealed in the crowd.

Sirius laughed, “Only joking!”

They went off to the carriages which were apparently pulled by an invisible force. 

They sat down in it awkwardly, eventually the girls joined them. 

Marlene and Dorcas were squished together at the end, Alice was also in a corner, next to Lily. Mary was directly opposite Sirius. It was slightly awkward. 

Mary had changed a lot, she had a lot of makeup on, her eyelashes were dark from mascara. She had bright coloured eyeliner on, and she’d changed her lipstick from that horrible sticky lip gloss to a soft pink colour. Sirius thought she looked beautiful, and slightly regretted breaking up with her last year. It was for the best, though. They could always go back to it later, perhaps it just hadn’t been serious enough for them to actually care. Maybe when they were older it would be better. But that was a problem for future Sirius.

“Where’s Remus?” Alice asked.

Marlene sniffed, “Probably in a carriage with Charlotte, they got closer at the end of last year.”

Sirius was grateful that Marlene could come up with a good excuse, but he wondered if the last part was actually true. Surely he would tell them something like that? Then again, Remus was always such a private person. He’d managed to hide being homeless and his parents abandoning him from his best friends the entire summer. Maybe they weren’t his best friends anymore. Maybe the boys at the home were better than Sirius and James and Peter. What was it he said earlier? ‘I don’t expect you to understand’.

“What’s wrong?” Mary asked sweetly.

“Hm?” Sirius looked up, “Oh, nothing. I’m fine.”

Eventually they got to the castle, the sorting hat did it’s silly little song, the first years all nervous went up to the stand and got sorted. Gryffindor cheered every time someone was put into their house, Sirius didn’t.

He was too busy thinking about Remus, and becoming Animagi. He was trying to remember all the concealment charms, the ones they had to redo every week. The sticking charms only lasted a day, Sirius knew those off by heart.

Remus would be transforming in about 3 hours time, since it was seven o’clock.

Sirius played with his food, suddenly feeling not hungry. He was one of the first to exit the Great Hall, James was too busy talking with Lily and Marlene to notice. Peter and Dorcas were bickering relentlessly.

Sirius found his legs walking him to the hospital wing, he usually didn’t visit before the moon. It was too difficult to see Remus getting in more and more pain.

“Hey.” Sirius said to Madame Pomfrey. She raised a surprised eyebrow but waved him off to Remus.

Sirius entered the wing, Remus was half asleep with a pained look on his face, his eyebrows scrunched together and his mouth in a frown. Sirius automatically moved his hand to brush away the curls stuck to Remus’ forehead. Remus stirred, and Sirius quickly moved his hand away as if he’d burned it. 

“Sir’s?” Remus said groggily.

“I’m sorry for waking you.” Sirius said calmly.

“S’okay. Why’re you here?” Remus asked.

“Um, I dunno. Just wanted to see you before the moon.” Sirius said. Confused at his actions himself.

“You saw me on the train…” Remus raised an eyebrow.

“Oh, yes. I- Uh… Oh, I wanted to know what the moons are like where you live now.” Sirius lied.

Remus stiffened slightly, “They’re worse. Metal to keep me in.” Remus mumbled.

“Metal?” Sirius asked.

Remus nodded, “Dumbledore put in a small room for me to go in, they don’t have enough room.”

Sirius frowned, “Why can’t they just put in an enlargement charm?”

“Against the rules. Muggle place.” Remus answered.

Sirius had an idea, “Oh! Stay with James! He’ll take you in-”

Remus shook his head, “I can’t. They have to keep me there for at least a year before anything like that. But it’s basically never for me, cus I’m a werewolf. Dumbledore won’t let me.”

“I hate him.” Sirius said.

Remus smiled, “Sure you do. Anyway, it’s only four years. They’ll kick me out when I’m 17.” 

“What?!” Sirius’ eyes widened.

“That’s how it works.” Remus yawned.

“It’s okay. We’ll all get a flat together or something, when we are of age.” Sirius said firmly.

Remus stared at him for a long time, “ Really ?”

“Yeah,” Sirius frowned, “of course.”

“Oh.” Remus looked at him blankly for a moment. That was before Sirius noticed his eyes tearing up.

“Oh!” Sirius said, “Don’t cry-”

“Shit.” Remus sniffed, “Sorry I just…”

Sirius smiled at him and hugged him awkwardly from the side of the bed.

“And you call me the sap.” Sirius teased.

Remus shook his head against Sirius’ shoulder, “Shut up.”



Chapter Text

”Ready?” James asked, the two boys nodded, “Alright, let’s do this. Three, two, one.”

Sirius placed the leaf into his mouth, remembering the familiar vomit taste from the first time they’d tried to become Animagi. He felt a tingling in his mouth, and shuddered at the memory of the morning after that horrible night. 

“O’ay?” Peter asked, not being able to pronounce consonants with the green mandrake leaf in his mouth.

Sirius nodded.

“Cast the charms.” James said, though it sounded more like ‘arse da arms’, Sirius tried not to laugh.

What they hadn’t thought of, was trying to cast them while not being able to pronounce it. 

“Fuck!” James said when both Sirius and Peter had accidentally spat their leaf out in the middle of a sticking charm. “At least fucking try.” He grumbled before spitting his own leaf out.

Sirius sighed, “C’mon. We can do this.”

After three more tries, and a lot of James scolding. They finally worked out which order to do the charms in so they could actually pronounce them all correctly.

It was around 1:00 a.m. when they finished all the charms, all three of them could speak perfectly fine, the only thing left was a tingling feeling at the roofs of their mouths. Sirius tried not to think about how familiar it felt to Orion casting that burning charm on him. Sirius felt considerably more nauseous by every minute.

He went to bed that night trying to think of happy things. You’re at Hogwarts now! You’re safe!

That wasn’t enough.

***

Sirius woke up in the dark, sweat covering his neck and back. He shot up out of his bed, feeling immediately dizzy and lying back down again.

Sirius tried to wobble over to the bathroom, but of course, bumped into Remus’ bed.

“Fuck!” Sirius shouted, feeling bile build up in his throat.

“Sirius?” James’ voice said softly.

Sirius let out an exhale of breath in utter relief, he padded over to James’ bed, trying not to let sobs escape his mouth. James wrapped his arms around Sirius, 

“Shh. It’s okay. You’re okay.” He whispered over and over. Sirius felt comfortable again, he closed his eyes and curled up into James’ side. 

Sirius was filled with gratitude for his best friend, brother, he hadn’t had a lot of nightmares before. But when he did, James always helped. Sirius had a feeling he would be getting a lot more of those horrible night terrors. He let himself shudder slightly. James hugged him closer. Good old James.

***

When they woke up the next morning, Sirius pretended everything was normal, and James didn’t protest.

They went up to the hospital wing bur Madame Pomfrey was still treating Remus, so they waited outside the curtains.

“…terrible moon! I really should-”

“No, please don’t. It was so much worse at St Richard’s. I don’t want my body to get used to it and then it will be so much worse and…” Sirius could practically feel Remus was panicking.

“I can’t believe Albus!” She huffed. “No, I’m not going to leave you there to recover with only muggle medicine. They won’t work on your wounds. I’ll come by on every moon in the summer, now please let me treat you.” She said sternly.

Remus sighed, “Fine.” He said curtly.

“Don’t take that tone with me.” Madame Pomfrey tutted.

“Sorry, Poppy.” Remus said.

“Much better.” 

“I can smell my friends waiting outside, by the way.” Sirius jumped at that. Oops. They opened the curtains sheepishly.

“Sorry, mate.” James grinned and slumped down on his usual chair.

She smiled at them, “Make sure he takes his potions. Being extra stubborn today, this one.”

Remus rolled his eyes, “I’m not a child.”

“Of course you aren’t, dear.” She kissed his forehead.

“Geddoff.” Remus grumbled, but he was grinning widely.

“Alright.” She said, wiping her hands on her apron, “See you later, boys.” She called.

Sirius felt a surge of jealousy at the motherly love Remus was getting, but remembered what happened during Remus’ summer and immediately felt grateful for Madame Pomfrey. 

“You can smell us?!” Peter said randomly.

Sirius burst out laughing. Of course that’s what Peter picked up on.

Remus grinned, “Well, yeah. It’s all part of the wolfy senses, y’know?”

“What do we smell like?” James cooed.

Remus cringed slightly, “Well, no offence mate, but after Quidditch you smell really bad. And sometimes I have to step out of the room.” 

Sirius and Peter burst out laughing for a good two minutes long. Gasping for air, Sirius fell on the floor off of his chair.

James was pouting, “I thought you didn’t like me as much as these two! Could’ve told me earlier! What do I smell like otherwise?”

Remus frowned, “Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean to-”

James shook his head, “Don’t worry about it. Go on.” He urged.

“Hm. You kind of smell like grass and… wood I guess.” Remus shrugged.

James grinned, “Brilliant. Very manly.”

“Oh, please.” Remus scoffed, “You’re a right airy fairy.”

“Oi! I’m stronger than you!” James said, severely offended.

Remus scoffed, “Yeah right.” He grinned, “We’ll have an arm wrestle match after I’ve got over the moon. Let’s see who wins then.”

James put his chin up proudly, “I will, of course.”

“What do we smell like?” Sirius said, annoyed by the turn of conversation.

“Oh,” Remus looked to the side, not meeting his eyes with theirs, “Peter kind of smells like a chess board, and those really sour sweets you keep putting under his bed.”

“I knew it!” Peter exclaimed, “I hate those sweets.”

Sirius chuckled, “What about me then?” He prompted.

Remus sniffed, “I dunno. You just kind of… smell like you? It’s hard to explain…”

Sirius sighed, “Maybe I should start wearing cologne. Girls like that, right?”

James snorted, “I think we’ll have to help you with that. Make sure you don’t smell like a shirt lifter.”

Sirius snorted, “Reminds me. Uncle Alphard came over this summer.”

Remus’ eyebrows shot up, “What? Really?”

Sirius nodded, “Financial stuff, I didn’t really listen. He was alright actually, asked me if I had a girlfriend.” Sirius shrugged.

Peter winced, “He didn’t talk about his boyfriend did he?” 

James slapped him round the back of the head, “Shut up, Peter.”

“Sorry.” He mumbled.

Sirius rolled his eyes, “No, I asked and he didn’t really say much. Just that he had mates around.” He shrugged.

“Fair enough.” Remus shrugged. He fiddled with the bedside table and put his earring back in.

“Remus, why is your right ear pierced?” James raised an eyebrow.

Remus groaned, “I was hoping you lot wouldn’t know what it meant. My friend pierced it in my sleep.”

“In your sleep?” James asked, “How did you not wake up?!”

“I did!” Remus defended, “Bit late then, though. I did ask for one, but we were going to do it the next day. I probably should’ve guessed, he was winding me up the wall all day about it the day before.” 

“What does it mean? If it’s in your right ear?” Peter asked, Sirius was wondering the same thing.

“It means you’re-”

“It means you’re a super cool werewolf with shitty friends.” Remus interrupted sarcastically. He glared at James, who put his hands up in defence.

“No. What does it really mean?” Sirius asked.

“Means you’re an uphill gardener.” Remus huffed.

James burst out laughing, “You did not just say that.”

Remus chuckled tiredly. Sirius gave the other two boys a look, and they all said their goodbyes.

“What the fuck is an uphill gardener?”

***

Remus won the arm wrestle. 








Chapter Text

“Moony. You’re stepping on my toe.”

“No I’m not…”

“Ow!”

“Oh, so it was Peter.”

“What was that for?!”

“Sorry, thought you were Sirius.”

“Piss off.”

“Shut up Remus.”

“I can’t see anything.”

“Neither can we.”

“James, is this what it’s like to be you?”

“No. Do you not know how eyesight works?”

“No I don’t, I have perfect Black genes, my vision is obviously flawless.”

“What does the trophy on the wall say?”

“I don’t know. It’s blurry and dark.”

“Exactly. Your vision is shite, mister Noble House of Black genes.”

“Fuck off.”

“Shh.”

“You’re being louder than us, James. Why the fuck are you wearing Remus’ boots!?”

“They look cool. You just have no fashion sense.”

“I agree.”

“Piss off. I’m very fashionable.”

“You look more like a posh twat every day.”

“Shut up.”

“Stop stepping on the back of my shoe!”

“Pete, you’ll send Filch our way if you keep whining.”

“Remus! Can you stop being so flipping tall?!”

“Jesus Christ, it’s not my fault you’re all bloody midgets.”

“You’re the one who’s a fucking tree.”

“Sorry, I can’t hear you from all the way up here- ow!”

“Okay, okay. Look, we’re here.”

James pulled the cloak off them, they all stopped squabbling and joking around and looked at the statue in front of them. It was exactly two days after the moon, it was about half past midnight. Sirius was bouncing from foot to foot in excitement.

James took a dramatic breath in, holding his wand out in a determined position.

“Oh, fucking hell,” Remus muttered, he pulled out his own wand and quickly cast the spell, “ Dissendium! ” The statue opened to reveal a passageway.

“Moony!” James whisper-yelled, “That was my moment!”

Remus scoffed, “Do you not support werewolf rights?”

James frowned, “What- I-”

“A joke, James.” Peter interrupted, he was the first to go in the passegway. Which Sirius thought was incredibly brave because there were probably a lot of spiders and spider webs nearby. 

“Look out!” Sirius whispered loudly into his ear, “Spider!”

Peter let out a squeak and nearly jumped out of his skin, “I hate you.”

Sirius ruffled his hair with a grin, “Carry on. Maybe we’ll actually meet one in a few minutes. One with nice long hairy legs and a f-”

“You know what. You go first.” Peter huffed.

Sirius cringed, in all honesty, he was scared of spiders too. He stood there for a moment until Remus interrupted the uncomfortable silence, 

“Oh my god, you two are such wet blankets. Piss off and let me go in front, prats.” Remus pushed past them. “How you berks got into Gryffindor I’ll never know.”

“Hey!” They both defended.

“Stop whining.” Remus lit his wand up with lumos , he was looking down at the map while walking.

Sirius didn’t let it show, but the comment did sort of hurt his feelings. He’d never really felt that brave, even when he stood up to his parents he was utterly terrified . That wasn’t brave. He shouldn’t be in Gryffindor; he should be in Slytherin where all his family were. What he did over the summer was not brave, it was cowardly. He should’ve stuck up for his friends, no matter the consequences.

Peter jabbed him in the back to make him walk faster, Sirius flipped him the bird.

They got to the end of the tunnel, Remus flipped the panel open and climbed through. 

“Woah!” Remus shouted, a little too loudly.

“What is it!?” Sirius said, holding his hand out for Remus to pull him up. Remus didn’t help him. Rude.

Sirius soon saw why. This was Remus Lupin’s heaven. A store full of Honeydukes chocolate.

Remus opened a wrapped piece of chocolate and stuffed it in his mouth greedily. Sirius tried to contain his laughter.

“Don’t steal it!” Peter exclaimed when he saw Remus.

Remus’ eyes widened, he flushed ridiculously red and gulped guiltily, “Right. Sorry.” He stammered.

“Don’t ruin the fun.” Sirius said nastily.

“Nah, I agree with Peter.” James sniffed.

“Go back to the dorm then.” Sirius snapped and turned his back on them.

Remus looked confusedly at him. Sirius looked around the store as if he’d find anything but huge piles of boxes with chocolate. He heard the panel click shut, did they just leave without him?

Sirius walked around the corner, finding Remus still standing there, leaning against the tallest pile of boxes. His head was laid against the top box, his neck showing. Sirius could see his Adam’s apple. Stupid Remus. And his stupid neck.

“Alright?” He squeaked, stop being fucking embarrassing . He cleared his throat and tried again, “Alright?” This time it came out too low.

Sirius wanted to bash his head against the wall.

Remus grinned, “Is your voice finally breaking?”

“Shut up.” Sirius scoffed, “I’ve always had a manly voice.”

“Ponce.” Remus sniffed, “Why’re you in a mood with them? They’re right, y’know. You shouldn’t steal.” He said calmly. Stop being so fucking calm all the time with your stupid golden earring and neck. And your stupid hair.

Sirius shrugged, “Why didn’t you get in a mood with them?” He said dryly.

“Not my job if they don’t understand why I can’t buy this stuff.” Remus shrugged.

Sirius shook his head and huffed, “Where’d you get those muggle cigarettes?”

Remus grinned, “Aha. ‘S if I’d tell you.”

“Oh, c’mon. Please?” Sirius fluttered his eyelashes, “I won't tell anyone, promise.”

Remus tutted and brought his hand up to Sirius’ face and wiped under his eye. Sirius wasn’t sure what he was doing, he was sure he was getting a bit flustered in the face. Stupid calloused fingers. Sirius thought.

“Got to stop doing that.” Remus grinned, unbothered, “You’ll lose all those pretty long eyelashes.”

Sirius could not form any words whatsoever. He coughed, “Ha. Yeah.” They stared at each other for a long moment. 

“I’m not having a staring contest with you, Black. I’m not telling you.” He said.

Oh, right. “Pleaseeee.”

Remus rolled his eyes.

“C’mon Moony. It’ll be our little secret.” Sirius looked up at him. Remus was giving him a strange look. 

“Fine. You tosser.” Remus grinned. “There’s not much to it. We didn’t do any damage, just stole a couple packs of fags.” 

Sirius gaped, “Who’s we?” He blurted.

Remus raised an eyebrow at him, “The boys at the home obviously.”

“Yeah. Right.” Sirius sniffed, embarrassed. “Are you good friends with them?” He tried to sound nice, but it came out as a sharp question, he winced. 

Remus cocked his head to the side, “Don’t worry. You’re still my best friend.” He teased after ruffling Sirius’ hair.

Sirius pushed him off with a sheepish smile, “Yeah, obviously. I’m amazing.”

Remus scoffed but smiled at him. “Anyway, don’t tell anyone alright? It’s our little secret…” Sirius liked that. Our little secret.

“Let’s go.” Remus said before he grabbed about 50 chocolate bars and stuffed them under his jumper.

Sirius shook his head fondly, they both climbed down the panel and landed in the passegway. Sirius stuck close to Remus’ wand light.

“Do you think I’m brave?” Sirius blurted, breaking the comfortable silence.

“What?” Remus turned around to look at him.

“Do you… think I’m brave?” Sirius shuffled his feet and looked down at the floor. Not able to meet Remus’ eye.

“Of course I do.” Remus said, “You’re in Gryffindor, aren’t you?”

Sirius bit his lip and nodded, “Well- yeah but, maybe I wasn’t meant to be. Maybe I just-”

“Sirius.” Remus interrupted sternly, “You’re one of the bravest people I know. I don’t doubt for a second that you were meant to be in Gryffindor, I mean come off it. What kind of Slytherin or Hufflepuff would piss off McGonagall so much? Let’s be honest, there’s no way you’d be in Ravenclaw, no offence. That is unless they only taught muggle studies. Why would you think that? It’s got to take a hell of a lot of Gryffindor to break your family’s tradition of being in Slytherin-”

Sirius cut off Remus’ ramblings by pulling him into a bone crushing hug. “Thank you, Moony.” He mumbled.

Remus gave him a squeeze and they walked back, just before exiting the statue Sirius grabbed Remus’ arm.

“We don’t have the invisibility cloak!” He hissed.

“I know.” Remus whispered.

“Well how are we going to get back?”

“We run.”

Sirius didn’t have a second to think before he was being pulled by the wrist, they were running through the corridors, adrenaline coursing through their veins. 

“Who’s there?!” A voice that sounded like Filch shouted. 

“Shit!” Remus whisper-yelled. He pulled Sirius behind a pillar.

“Students out of beddd!” Peeves sang. Cackling loudly.

Fucking Peeves.

A memory flashed behind Sirius’ eyes:

“What the fuck, Black?!” Remus hissed.

“Shut up, stop swearing too.”

James rolled his eyes, “Hurry up, will you? I can hear-”

“Students out of bed? I wonder what Filch will think about that.” 

“Fuck. Go!” 

Sirius stumbled over, the others were running away. He got month’s of detention after that. The others didn’t get one punishment.

“Don’t leave me like last time.” Sirius warned.

“Oh, shush.” Remus whispered, looking around the corner sneakily. 

Sirius tried to reach over to see as well, but Remus could clearly sense him and pushed him away with his hand. In his face. Sirius’ nose was squished, “Ge’ of.”

Remus turned and grinned at him, “Sorry.” He laughed.

“Ah, hah. Filchy! Students out of-”

“Shite!”

Sirius and Remus sprinted for their lives, running up by about three steps each time. 

They woke up the Fat Lady, “I should-”

“Gobbledygook.”

“You shouldn’t be-”

“Open the fucking painting!”

“Alright, alright!” She huffed in a high voice. The painting swung open, Sirius and Remus stumbled through.

Remus popped his head round the corner and faced the painting again. “Sorry, by the way. You look very pretty today-”

“Jesus Christ. Will you stop being a bloody lady’s man for one minute.” Sirius grumbled and pulled him along up to the dorm.

“Should be taking notes, mate.” Remus teased.

“Har har.” Sirius deadpanned, “I had a girlfriend. You’ve only had a couple of snogs. You should be taking notes from me.” He walked up the cold stone stairs and looked down when he no longer heard Remus’ long strides clicking against the floor. Sirius turned around slowly. “Remus?”

Remus snapped out of his long daze, “Yeah. Sorry.” He shook his head and followed Sirius up the stairs. Sirius gave him a raised eyebrow, but Remus just smiled blankly at him.

“Took you long enough!” James grumbled when they entered the dorm.

“Well someone took the invisibility cloak.” Sirius said with a flick of his hand.

“Well it is my cloak.” James rolled his eyes at him. “How’d you get back anyway?”

“We ran.” Remus shrugged. He then emptied the contents of his jumper onto the bed. He looked down at the bars of chocolate with extreme pride, Sirius realised he rarely saw Remus being proud of himself.

“Ligger.” Peter muttered.

“Toff.” Remus retorted snarkily.

Peter rolled his eyes at him but the corner of his lips turned upwards. 

James looked at him worriedly, “If you want something we can always buy it for you. You shouldn’t st-”

“I didn’t ask, Potter.” Remus said sweetly, sarcasm dripping from his voice.

James just shrugged, “Alright.” He snatched a chocolate bar from Remus’ bed.

Sirius laughed, he took one of Remus’ records and plucked the needle before dropping it carefully onto it.

He grinned when Lady Grinning Soul started playing. Laying casually back on the bed as he fiddled with the thread on his pillow. 

She'll come, she'll go

She'll lay belief on you

Skin sweet with musky odor

The lady from another grinning soul









Chapter Text

“Hey Alice, Marlene.” Sirius greeted politely. He’d slumped down next to them at one of the dark wooden desks in the common room.

It was late for a school night, Remus and James had snuck down to the kitchens for some food from the kind house elves, and Peter had fallen asleep while Sirius was talking through an extravagant and impossible plan for a prank. He was drooling on the red sofa. 

“Sirius.” Alice yawned in greeting. Sirius rubbed his eyes and tried to straighten his severely crumpled shirt which was beyond repair. His tie hung loosely around his neck, he’d borrowed Remus’ which was ridiculously frayed. Remus was more than happy to take Sirius’ shiny new one in replacement, always wanting to fit in. Sirius didn’t really want to wear the frayed one either, but it made his family angry and the Slytherin’s scowl, and it made Remus happy to fit in. So it was really a win-win situation.

“Whatchu working on?” Sirius slurred tiredly.

“Muggle studies.” Marlene answered, “You haven’t done it, have you?”

“It’s due tomorrow you nutters. Of course I’ve done it, I did it when it was set.” Sirius answered, stretching his legs out and slouching in his chair.

Lily bounced over, her red hair was in a high bun and she was wearing some loose pyjamas which actually looked lovely to Sirius. Suddenly wishing he’d gone to get ready for bed before the other boys, he kicked the bottom of the table slightly. Which caused Alice and Marlene to shoot him a death glare.

You did homework the day it was set?” Lily fake gasped.

Sirius frowned. He often did homework the day it was set, only in the subjects he liked though. Muggle studies happened to be his favourite. “Yeah. I like muggle studies, it’s my favourite. I always do it early.” He shrugged.

Lily looked surprised, she raised her eyebrows and her face softened slightly, “Oh?”

Sirius scowled at her, knowing that she was thinking because he was a Black he wouldn’t enjoy such a subject.

“Help me then.” Marlene broke the silence, obviously unaware of the uncomfortable atmosphere.

“Fine. What is it you’re stuck on?” Sirius leaned over.

“Well, Professor Black-”

Lily scoffed, “You never ask me for help with muggle studies.” She grumbled.

Marlene smiled tiredly, “That’s because in third year you threw a whole fit just because I didn’t know what a ceiling fan was. Lily, when you’re angry, you’re terrifying. You just see red, which is ironic becau-”

Lily just kicked her under the table, “Make a ginger joke and I’ll kill you.”

Marlene turned to Sirius, who was chuckling under his breath at the situation, “See what I mean?” She leaned in and whispered, “ Terrifying .”

Lily pointed her nose up snootily, “Oh, shove off.”

“Don’t get in a mood, Red.” Sirius teased.

Lily’s eyes snapped to him and she stepped on his toe while nudging his shoulder roughly.

“Ow!” Sirius said loudly, probably waking everyone up, “Don’t be so violent.” He rubbed a palm over his face.

Lily looked at him worriedly for a second, and before Sirius had a chance to tell her that he was fine-

“Ugh, Lily, do you know why Frank was busy today? He completely blew me off.” Alice blurted. Obviously she had been keeping it in from the start of the conversation.

Lily shrugged, “Dunno. Pretty sure he had detention, maybe he was just skiving off though.”

“Maybe it’s because I said he needs to put his shirts in the wash more often.” She bit the inside of her cheek nervously.

Lily shrugged, “It’s probably nothing. I swear you two already act like an old married couple.” Alice blushed at that, “You’re looking a bit naff.” She pointed at Sirius’ attire.

“I pull it off.” Sirius defended halfheartedly.

“Nah.” Lily and Marlene both said, Marlene was still writing aggressively on her parchment and was probably not listening to the conversation.

“You would never comment about Remus like this.” Sirius grunted.

“Now he can pull it off.” Lily pointed out, Marlene grinned and dropped her quill down with a sigh and a huge stretch in content that she’d finished her essay.

“Mhm.” Marlene and Alice said, dreamily staring blankly at the wall and licking their lips.

“Woah, woah, woah.” Sirius said loudly, “Does everyone fancy Remus?!” There were a few murmurs of agreement in the common room, Sirius’ cheeks tingled with embarrassment.

“I don’t fancy him.” Alice said, “I’m being appreciative.” She chose her words wisely.

“Marlene?” He looked at her expectantly.

“What Alice said.” She said dryly.

Sirius wrinkled his nose slightly.

“Why’re you so annoyed about it?” Lily said casually.

“I’m not. He just needs to leave some girls for the rest of us.” He lied, he could get just as many girls as Remus, everyone knew that. Probably more actually, Sirius didn’t quite understand that though.

“You don’t seem bothered about Potter having girls fawning over him.” Alice pointed out.

“Well,” Sirius stammered, “it’s not the same with James. He’s-”

“Or is it because you think purebloods should automatically have that privilege and it’s strange that a half blood also has a huge choice of partners.” Lily challenged darkly.

“What?!” Sirius frowned, “No- I’m not jealous just because Remus has a few girls who fancy him. Just like I’m not jealous of James. Most of them are third years anywa-”

“Aw, always knew you loved me mate. Don’t worry, I only have eyes for you.” Remus teased from behind him. Sirius internally groaned.

James burst out into laughter, which caused a few people to shush him. Remus ruffled his hair like a dog and Sirius slapped him away with a scowl.

“Want some pie?” Remus offered, stuffing a huge plate of pumpkin pie into their faces. He chomped on his own bite, his teeth severely orange because of the pumpkin. Sirius stopped himself from pointing it out.

“Nah, they definitely put something dodgy in that pie. Makes me queasy.” Lily said with a sour look on her face. 

Marlene didn’t answer, she just pulled a huge slice of pie into her hand and munched on it carelessly, leaving crumbs all over their homework which Lily and Alice brushed off with a scowl. 

Alice sniffed the air and cringed, “No thanks. Pumpkin smells bad if it’s not Halloween.”

Sirius snorted, good old illogical Alice.

Remus shrugged, “Fine by me.” James and him ploughed off upstairs. Not before shouting at Peter to get up from the sofa and to sleep in his own bloody bed.

Sirius sighed and cracked his neck with his eyes closed. He nearly jumped out of his skin when someone sat down next to him.

“Alright?” Mary asked with a yawn, stretching her arms up in the air and leaning her head back.

Sirius hummed, “You?”

She nodded and looked at him with her head cocked to the side, “You trying out for the Quidditch team?” She asked.

Sirius smiled and nodded. She licked her plump lips and tapped her nails aggravatingly against the desk.

“Stop that.” Marlene snapped. She wasn’t even doing any work.

Mary lifted her eyebrows at her, “Excuse me? I was just having a conversation.”

“Just because you still fancy Sirius doesn’t mean you have to bring the rest of us into it. I don’t want to hear you fawning over his fucking hair and-” Marlene snarled, she snapped her book shut angrily.

Mary stood furiously, “Oh, shove off, will you? Just because you don’t like boys-”

“It’s not my fault you’re a slag, MacDonald.” Marlene retorted, her face red with rage.

“The fuck did you just call me?!” Mary shoved her fist down on the table, causing it to shake.

“You heard.” Marlene spat.

“Well if that’s how you feel, McKinnon-”

Sirius slid off his chair and practically ran up to the dorm, why were women so emotional? Were they really arguing over the fact that Mary wanted to date people and Marlene didn’t? Suddenly remembering his and Remus’ argument in third year, he winced. He groaned and flopped down on the bed, Remus’ tie falling over his face and under his nose. Sirius took it off, catching a whiff of Remus before closing his eyes to sleep.

Unexpectedly, the bathroom door swung open, “Why the fuck didn’t any of you tell me that my teeth are bloody orange!?” Remus shouted, a toothbrush hanging out of his mouth and his pajama t-shirt not done up at all, Sirius could see the middle of his chest and stomach, silver scars were scattered around, he had faint muscles showing. Sirius gulped.

“Well?!” He demanded. Sirius looked over to the others, Peter was snoring on his bed. James was gawping at Remus too, oh good, so it wasn’t just him . Maybe Remus just had some sort of magic pull towards him. Sirius thought about it and it would make sense, Remus was just like that. He had a magnet pulling everyone towards him, wanting to experience the warmth which was Remus Lupin. The thought made Sirius feel worse. 

“Sorry.” James grinned widely. “You just looked so funny.”

“Oh, did I?” Remus deadpanned, his eyes wide and sarcastic, “Well that’s fine then! As long as it was funny .”

James laughed and Remus tackled him, but since they were already in a bed they were just rolling around aimlessly. Sirius found himself scowling, not thinking much of it, he slid his curtains shut roughly and perhaps slightly begrudgingly. His breathing evened out and he fell asleep, still in his uniform.






Chapter Text

Sirius yawned, he’d just had a long warm shower which left the bathroom steamy, it was raining, September was slowly showing signs of Autumn. The air was still humid from summer and the rain was gently pattering against the dorm room window. Wind was blowing in slightly, Sirius winced when he closed the window with the cold metal handle which left his hand feeling funny. Quickly, he rubbed his hand against his cotton pajamas to warm it up and placed his now long hair in a little bun loosely hanging from the back of his head. He shook his head to get the water droplets from his fringe to drop. He quietly opened the door and padded down the stairs in his fuzzy slippers, which he had stolen from James. 

He plopped himself down next to Peter on the large arm chair and pulled his legs up to his chest, his elbow sitting next to Peter’s comfortably. 

Remus was sitting tiredly on the edge of the sofa, Lily’s head in his lap as he stroked his finger through her long red hair. Her legs were placed across James’ lap and her feet were on Alice’s, Alice had her head on Frank’s shoulder who was visibly asleep with soft breath coming out of his mouth and nose evenly. Lily was wearing warm fuzzy socks, clearly everyone was feeling a little grim because of the weather. Personally, Sirius enjoyed weather with dark skies and small raindrops, of course he wished it was nice and bright outside, but sometimes he liked being cozy and warm next to everyone. Which was impossible when everyone was sweaty and flustered in the warmth of the sun.

James looked absolutely mortified by Lily’s legs on his lap, Sirius found it hilarious. James was clearly very invested in his crush to get embarrassingly flustered by a girl’s legs . Sirius couldn’t imagine himself doing that, fancying someone had to be something amazing. Because he saw the way James got when a pretty girl with plump lips and a cute smile talked to him. He saw the way Peter looked the fifth years up and down with a woozy grin, that was before he was slapped by Sirius who thought it was a little gross. Remus rarely got flustered around girls, but Charlotte from Hufflepuff certainly made him jittery. Sirius was yet to experience that, and he felt a little out of place in their group. 

Dorcas was sitting at the edge of the smaller sofa, looking a little bothered with a small scowl on her face and her dark eyebrows pushed together and forming a Z shaped line in the middle of her forehead. Mary was sitting a few inches away from her, her hands busy with Marlene’s wavy blond hair. Marlene was sitting in between Mary’s legs on the floor. Her back pushed comfortably against the faint red coloured sofa as she closed her eyes contentedly when Mary started plaiting a thick strand over and over. 

Sirius sighed and curled his toes into the soft fabric beneath him and hugged his knees to his chest even tighter. He looked around his room to his friends and found Remus caught his eyes with slightly droopy eyelids. Sirius smiled at him brightly and Remus smiled back. 

‘Sleepy?’ Remus mouthed to him. Sirius nodded exhaustedly in response.

Remus slowly stood up and lowered Lily’s head against a blanket which he’d folded into a pillow shape.

He urged Sirius to come up to the dorm with him with a gentle flip of his hand.

Sirius followed him slowly, “What?” He whispered.

Remus smiled at him and walked a little faster up the stairs. He opened the dorm door and gestured for Sirius to follow. Sirius sat down on the window sill casually and watched as Remus put a record on his player and faint music bounced from the speakers. Sirius couldn’t recognise the song, but it was nice in the background.

Then, Remus pulled out a carton of cigarettes and plopped down next to Sirius on the cold windowsill.

“Want to try again?” He said quietly.

Sirius beamed and smiled up at him, “Yes.”

Remus lit up his own cigarette first with the click of his fingers, then Sirius’ by pushing his end of the roll up to his own. 

Sirius breathed in and after the initial choking feeling began to get used to the feeling. It felt nice, but Sirius wasn’t enjoying the nauseous feeling in the pit of his stomach or the way his tongue was tingling numbly.

The door squeaked open and Peter walked in while rubbing his eyes.

Ow !” He said loudly when he knocked into the desk.

Sirius snickered, “Alright?”

Peter nodded and trudged over to them, he looked them both up and down with raised eyebrows, “Those things are bad for you, y’know.” He tsked.

Sirius sniffed and shuffled slightly towards Remus who spoke calmly, “Who cares? We’re all going to die anyway.”

Sirius shook his head and slapped him lightly round the back of the head, “That’s no way to think, Moony.”

Remus shrugged and took another long inhale of his cigarette.

Sirius pressed his mouth into a thin line but didn’t say anything. After a moment he changed the subject, “How’re you and Dorcas, Pete?”

Peter raised his legs up and put them on the table, “Broke up, I think.”

Sirius frowned, “You think?”

Peter shrugged, “We didn’t really talk much last term, and when we do it’s just squabbling. I don’t really care to be honest. She was always with Marlene and Lily half the time anyway.”

Sirius felt his stomach hurt, he hadn’t even known this about one of his best friends. He honestly didn’t think about Peter and Dorcas very much, perhaps it was because they were barely ever together like Peter said. Sirius tried not to get into some deeper meaning that Peter didn’t feel comfortable telling him these things. 

“I’m sorry, Peter. We should’ve asked.” Remus said solemnly. Sirius was glad he wasn’t the only one feeling guilty about it.

Peter just shrugged again, “I told James. You’ve both been busy anyway.”

Sirius let out a little choked cough. Bloody James, always asking about everyone’s life. Sirius knew it wasn’t fair to compare himself to him, after the absolute shit summer he’d had it wasn’t really that important to ask about Peter’s girlfriend who he’d barely snogged throughout the entire year. Even so, he still felt selfish.

Remus cleared his throat at the same time as Sirius and said, “Excited for Quidditch tryouts?”

Sirius didn’t reply. He hadn’t realised the question was directed to him.

“Sirius?”

“Hm?” Sirius looked up to him.

“I said, are you excited for Quidditch tryouts?” Remus asked slower.

“Oh!” Sirius smiled, “Yeah. Can’t wait.”

***

“Wake up!” 

Sirius groaned and bashed his hand against his eyes to stop the light crawling in. He turned toward his clock only to see it was-

“JESUS FUCKING CHRIST. IT’S FIVE AM. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!” 

“Calm down!” James grabbed his fisted hands and pushed them down. “I thought we could get some early practice before the tryouts!” He said happily. Beaming like light was shining out of his arsehole.

“Bollocks!” Sirius shouted, “I don’t need practice at the arse crack of dawn! Leave me alone!”

“You’ve barely practiced!” James defended, plopping himself down on the bed next to where Sirius was lying, probably looking like a mixture between a serial killer and a crazy scientist. Sirius did not like early mornings. The mattress dipped under his weight, “You aren’t going to get on the team if you don’t even know how to swing the bloody bat.” He tutted.

“James Fleamont Potter. Get the fuck out of my bed right now or I’m going to show you just how well I can swing the fucking bat.” He growled.

“Alright, calm down!” James said, taking his sweet time to stretch his arms out behind his head, his back cracking at the movement. He then started spinning his head around to stretch his neck out.

“This isn’t a bloody- what’s it fucking called- that muggle stretching thing all those hippies do- this isn’t one of those!” Sirius sputtered angrily.

“YOGA!” A low angry voice shouted from somewhere in the room, “NOW IF YOU TWO DON’T SHUT THE FUCK UP I’M GOING TO SOCK YOU BOTH AND WE’LL ALL HAVE MATCHING BLACK EYES.” Ah, good old Remus.

James burst out laughing, “Sure, mate.” There were some snickers from Peter’s bed.

“Do you want a bet?” Remus’ curtains snapped open, and Remus poked his head out with a low threatening look on his face.

“Careful James, he looks like he’s about to blow a fuse.” Sirius snorted, which was a very big mistake because suddenly Remus’ daunting brown eyes were on him. 

Sirius covered his head with his duvet and slowly slid down his bed. As if that would suddenly make him disappear.

“Alright. Don’t get your knickers in a twist.” James scoffed, he got up off the bed and Sirius noticed he was already dressed, “Cheerio!” He called and then shut the dorm door, Sirius heard a thud which was probably Remus throwing a shoe or slipper at the door.

Sirius poked his head out of the duvet and found Remus still looking at him with a cheeky smile on his face. This sod. Sirius raised an eyebrow and Remus looked away, clearly embarrassed. He lay back down in bed with a huff and turned on his back. Sirius watched as his back moved up and down as he breathed and eventually found himself falling asleep again.

“Psst. Wake up.” Peter’s voice said above him.

“Ughh.” Sirius moaned, “Five more minutes.”

“Nope.” Peter said firmly, “We’re going to breakfast. Lupin!” He called.

“Fuck’s sakes.” Remus groaned rolling over onto his stomach and pushing his head into a pillow, “It’s not me who has tryouts. Bugger off.” His muffled voice said.

Sirius frowned, “C’monnn. I’m totally going to get on the team this year.” He whined.

Remus let out another groan but obliged, he looked up to them both with a grin on his face, “Bagsy the bathroom.”

“No!” Sirius and Peter shouted at the same time, but it was too late, Remus had already slipped into it and locked the door.

“Alohomora.” Sirius grumbled spitefully. Quickly enough so that Remus wouldn’t be doing anything-

“OH MY GOD YOU ABSOLUTE ARSE!” Remus shrieked.

“Shit! Sorry I didn’t-” Sirius spluttered with wide eyes.

Remus stared at him for what felt like ten minutes but was probably three seconds. Sirius could feel his face burning up dangerously into tomato zone. “Jesus fucking Christ, Sirius. Will you stop looking at me like that and let me piss in peace!” 

Sirius’ eyes nearly fell out of their sockets, “Oh- sorry! I’m such a- okay I’m leaving. Sorry- shit!” Sirius said very quickly.

Peter was bent over laughing on the other side of the door. Sirius blinked at him and kicked him in the shin before flopping back onto James’ bed while covering his face in embarrassment.

“Okay.” Remus stomped out of the bathroom and looked down at Sirius with crossed arms, “Are you actually brain dead? Have you lost the fucking plot?! What was that?!” Remus shouted.

“I’m sorry!” Sirius grimaced, “I didn’t think you’d actually be taking a piss!”

“What else would I be doing?!” Remus shouted with an infuriated look on his face, “What, is the first thing you do in the morning brush your hair?!”

Sirius burned even more. Because that actually was the first thing he did in the morning. “I’m sorry, okay!? It was meant to be a joke.” He huffed.

“What was the joke?” He deadpanned, “Oh. Har har. You walked in on Lupin in the bathroom. Hilarious.” He said sarcastically.

Sirius groaned, “I don’t know. Peter stop your bloody giggling. It’s not funny.” He spat.

“It- is- so- funny-” Peter said between breaths, his cheeks red from laughing so hard.

Both Sirius and Remus went to pick up the other shoe to throw at Peter. Their fingers brushed and Sirius flashed him a warm smile. Remus shook his head at him, but Sirius could see the corners of his mouth turning upwards.

***

“I swear Pete. You aren’t allowed to tell him.” Remus warned.

“But-” 

“Nope.”

“I-”

“No.”

“Fine.” Peter grumbled.

They walked into the Great Hall to find James chatting with Mary.

“Hey.” Sirius said quietly before sitting himself next to James. Remus and Peter sat themselves opposite them.

“What took you so long?” James asked, munching on a piece of buttered toast.

Peter looked like he was going to burst. Sirius gave him a warning look. “Oh, nothing. Just got caught up.” He shrugged.

“Yeah.” Remus nodded, giving Sirius a look.

After a few moments. Peter burst out into giggles, “Sirius walked in on Remus taking a whiz.” He exclaimed and then immediately slapped his mouth with his palm with extremely wide eyes.

“Peter!” Sirius spat, “You rat. What did we just tell you?!”

James had burst out laughing as well. Remus was looking slightly amused, probably because he didn’t have any reason to be embarrassed.

“Can’t trust you with anything.” Sirius grumbled.

“Oh my gosh.” James laughed, “Are you serious?”

“No, he is.” Peter quipped. Sirius rolled his eyes.

“I can’t -” James laughed, “You’re actually a knobhead, Sirius.” 

Sirius huffed angrily. 

“Actually, I think he saw Remus’ knobhead.” Mary said lightly.

“No.” Sirius dropped his head down on the table and bashed his fist against it, causing the plates to shake and the cutlery to clatter.

Mary .” Remus scolded, “I actually hate you.”

“No you don’t.” She grinned and flipped the page of her newspaper.

“And why are you so concerned about Remus’ knob?” James teased.

Mary snorted, “It was a joke, Potter.” She looked Remus up and down and licked her lips, “Although-” she cut herself off and winked at Remus before bouncing out of the hall with a small skip.

Sirius looked at Remus to see his reaction, though he seemed very unbothered.

“Um- did I just see that?” Peter asked.

“Yeah, we all did.” James creased his brow in thought.

“See what?” Remus asked, he looked around the hall as if trying to find something to see. 

“My ex-girlfriend bloody flirting with you.” Sirius said harshly.

Remus snorted and munched on his toast, “‘s if!”

“She literally just did, mate.” James said.

Remus shook his head, “She was probably just joking, I don’t think she was anyway.”

“Moony, does your furry little problem make you blind as well?” James deadpanned.

“Oh no.” Remus deadpanned, “I can see the butter dribbling on your chin quite well.”

James wiped it away with a napkin, clearly not embarrassed. “You’re an idiot.”

“Oh, cheers.” Remus replied.

Oh my god. This boy. Sirius thought bitterly. How does he not see that half of Hogwarts fancy him?! “You’re so annoying.” Sirius blurted out.

A hurt look flashed across Remus’ face and Sirius felt immediately guilty. “Okay.” He mumbled.

“Sorry!” Sirius winced, “It’s just like James said, though. You don’t even see that people like you. It’s just so weird. You’re great, why else would we be friends with you? I mean I just don’t see why you insist on thinking girls don’t like you. You could take your pick, to be honest.” 

Remus stared at him for a long time, “Right. Yeah.”

Sirius nodded, his stomach hurt. “Yeah.”

“So you think I should ask Charlotte out?” He said, a smile spreading on his face.

“Go for it.” Peter interjected.

“Yeah! ‘Bout time, Moony!” James grinned.

“‘Course.” Sirius mumbled. “Y’know, after the tryouts though.” He added.

“Oh yes. Obviously.” Remus rolled his eyes with a smile.











Chapter Text

“Alright, everyone gather round!” Alexis Marie called.

Sirius and James both stomped over to her, Marlene a few feet in front of them.

There were a few second and third years there, most the second years were small and puny and probably thought this meant they’d be good seekers. Sirius had heard from James that Alexis’ drills were brutal and expected that most of them would leave before the end of the tryouts.

“Okay, I’m going to run you through a few things first.” She said, “McKinnon, pass me that quaffle, would you?” She asked sweetly.

Sirius almost said something when Marlene immediately picked up the quaffle and passed it to her. Alexis winked at her and Marlene’s cheeks became redder than they already were from the cold. Sirius nudged her and she seemed to snap out of whatever that was. 

“You’re going down, Black.” She whispered threateningly, her menacing words ruined by the huge grin on her face.

“Oh yeah,” Sirius deadpanned, “I’ll be much too busy staring at Alexie’s tits-” Sirius tested. He had no idea that Marlene was actually friends with Alexis, it was strange how she acted around her.

Marlene kicked him in the shin, painfully, “Prick. Don’t say that again unless you want your dobber chopped off.” She warned angrily.

Sirius laughed, “I was just joking, Marls. I’m not that into blondes anyway.” He added, “No offence.”

“Oh, absolutely none taken.” She smirked.

“You wound me.” Sirius sighed.

“So what are you into?” She raised an eyebrow, “You don’t seem very keen this year. Last year you were a bit obsessed with getting a girlfriend.” Marlene said, watching Alexis as she explained.

“Well, I’ve matured since then.” Sirius said harshly. He paused for a second, “Sorry, it’s just… I think I can finally see why Mo- Remus- was so pissed off last year about girlfriends. I mean now that he wants one it just- …. I don’t know. I’m just being stupid.” He muttered.

Marlene nudged him, “I understand.” She said softly.

“You do?” Sirius looked up to her, suddenly feeling small. 

“Yeah.” She nodded, “Look, it’s probably not my place to say, but Remus probably still feels the same way. The way you lot were going on about it last year, he probably just feels obliged.”

Sirius nodded and smiled up at her, “Thanks, Marlene.”

“No problem, Sirius.” She said kindly.

“Will you two stop flirting and concentrate?!” Alexis shouted at them angrily.

Marlene made gagging noises, “I’d rather flirt with Slughorn.”

“Charming.” Sirius deadpanned.

Alexis grinned at them, “Right, everyone out on the pitch!”

 

After running a few drills in the dewy mist of the day, they got set into groups.

“Alright, trying out for beaters? Over here!” Alexis pointed to a place in the grass.

Only five people stood in that spot, two of which looked like prepubescent lads with severe acne. But hey, who was Sirius to judge? 

Another was a boy who Sirius recognised to be in the year above him. He was slightly taller than Sirius, he had bright green eyes and curly black hair. Sirius was pretty sure he was the boyfriend of Kelly, but he wasn’t sure why he was thinking about that. Kelly was pretty, the couple were pretty. She had lovely long light brown hair and bright blue eyes, she was around the same height as Sirius, so could lean up to kiss him easily. 

Sirius let out a strange cough and got onto his broom breezily. Suddenly aware that Remus and Peter would be watching from the stands.

When the bludgers came flying at him, he hit four out of five of them. Marlene hit all five. Fortunately (or unfortunately for him), the boy from the year above had hurt himself on the second swing, the bludger hitting him square in the chest. The two other boys had ducked for nearly all of them, one of them hit the bludger but it ended up going into the group of Chasers trying out. Alexis shouted at him for a good three minutes.

Sirius looked up to the stands, finding Peter and Remus looking at him and James, Sirius waved at them both and they brightened up a bit. Peter gave an over enthusiastic wave back, Remus flipped him the bird and mouthed something along the lines of, ‘can’t believe I got up an hour early for this’ Sirius laughed and did a little trick on his broom which made him go upside down for a second. He winked at a group of Ravenclaws who were giggling at him. James would scold him for that later. In Quidditch, everyone was ‘the enemy’ .

It was obvious who had gotten the role of the beaters on the team, so Alexis congratulated them and Sirius bounced over to James.

“How’d it go?” Sirius asked vibrantly.

“Great!” James grinned, wiping sweat from his forehead. “You?”

“Champion! Marls and I got on the team.” Sirius bounced with joy.

“Brilliant!” James beamed and pulled him into a messy hug. Marlene had been just as lively as Sirius about it. She’d ruffled her hair the same way James did and got on her broom and sped up towards the stand where Mary and Alice were sitting.

“You two were amazing!” Peter said cheerfully.

“Thanks!” James said, bumping himself into Peter for a hug. 

Sirius did the same, he crashed into Peter for a huge messy hug and watched as Peter began to radiate the same energy.

Sirius’ eyes flickered over to Remus, who was watching his friends with a soft smile on his face.

“Congrats.” He said, looking at Sirius with a tight smile.

Sirius moved forward slightly to hug him, Remus took a small step back and rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly. 

Sirius sighed. He hated when Remus was like this. When he’d move away from anyone who’d even come close to touching him. 

Of course James, the oblivious fucker, launched himself to tackle Remus right to the ground in a hug. And to Sirius’ surprise he actually started laughing.

“Geddoff.” Remus grinned, ruffling James’ hair.

“Alright, alright.” James laughed. Getting up off the damp grass.

Sirius stared at Remus for a few seconds, making prolonged eye contact until Remus looked away. “Anyone else starving?” Remus asked.

“Nah, just you mate.” Peter said, “I swear, you’d eat a hippogriff if it wasn’t so morally wrong or whatever.”

Remus snorted, “I’ll stick to chicken, thanks.”

***

Sirius and James walked into the common room, laughing about the look on Flitwick’s face when Sirius cast a charm which made the hallway smell very bad.

Sirius’ eyes flickered over the room, they landed on a head of golden curls. A head of golden curls which had a hand running through them, a hand with long red nails. Remus was snogging Charlotte, a hufflepuff, in their common room. Sirius looked at his hand on her hip and how his legs were intertwined with hers.

James let out a wolf whistle and Remus flipped him off, not even looking or moving away. Suddenly feeling the need to leave, Sirius let out a long exhale and walked upstairs to the dorm. He found himself walking over to Remus’ bedside table and opening the drawer, stealing one of Remus’ chocolate bars, he walked over to his own bed and slumped down onto the small mattress. He ate the chocolate bar and threw the wrapper onto Remus’ bed. 

That’ll teach him.

Teach him what?

I don’t fucking know. Leave me alone.

Sirius groaned into his pillow. Why was his brain like this?

Sometimes I can't understand

What makes me the fool that I am

Then you touch my hands

And suddenly I know

 

 

  • You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me, The New Seekers

 







Chapter Text

“Oh, Remus, love. You don’t look too well.” Charlotte cooed.

Remus let out a cough, “Yeah, think I have a bug or something.” He said in a hoarse voice.

Sirius’ hand tightened around his fork. 

She put the back of her hand to his forehead, “Mm. You feel a bit feverish. D’you want to go to Madame Pomfrey?” She asked, rubbing his back gently.

“Nah. I’ll go later if I get worse.” He said breezily.

“Mmk.” She hummed, leaning in to kiss him.

Remus took his hand and gently pushed it onto her shoulder, “You don’t want to catch anything.”

“Oh, don’t be silly.” She said with a sweet smile. Sirius wanted to throw up.

Remus smiled at her, that stupid bright smile that made Charlotte beam with joy.

“We don’t want to see that at breakfast.” Sirius said.

James snorted, “Oh, give him a break. He had to see all of us like this last year.”

Sirius gritted his teeth. Bloody James. 

Remus wasn’t even fucking listening, Sirius couldn’t blame him. Charlotte was very pretty. Maybe that’s why Sirius was so angry, maybe he fancied Charlotte. 

***

“Okay, what the fuck is up with you?” James said sternly, when Remus had gone off to the hospital wing.

“Nothing.” Sirius grumbled, taking one of Remus’ cigarettes and lighting it with his wand.

“Well there’s something wrong! You’ve been moody for the past week. What is it? D’you fancy Charlotte?” James asked, crossing his arms.

No !” Sirius defended, “I don’t know. Maybe. But it’s- Remus has completely forgotten about us. He’s always with bloody Lottie . Aren’t you a bit annoyed about that?” He said.

James cocked his head to the side, “Well, sure. But it’s his decision and it’s his girlfriend . You’ll get used to it. It’s just because it’s the first week.” 

Sirius kicked his foot aggravatedly against the night stand. He wouldn’t get used to it.

***

Sirius grimaced as James scraped the dew off the stool in the bathroom. It smelt terrible in there, so humid and musty. 

“Okay, spit it in there.” Peter said, handing them both the crystal vials. Sirius had no idea if they were going to be able to pull it off, there were so many rules. 

Sirius spat out his mandrake leaf, grateful he could actually feel the roof of his mouth again. He reluctantly ripped a piece of his hair out and placed it in the mixture.

Sirius added the chrysalis of a Death’s-head Hawk Moth to the crystal phial as well, as did the others.  Then put this mixture in the quiet, dark place they’d selected, the abandoned toilets.

“Alright.” James said, looking at their vials proudly. “We should go, right? Wait until the next electrical storm.”

Sirius looked at them nervously, “What if someone comes in here and takes them away? We should check on them…”

Peter looked him in the eye, “Sirius, did you not even look at the research we did? We aren’t meant to look at them. God, sometimes I think you’re actually dead from the neck up.” He rolled his eyes.

Sirius gaped at him, it was rare for Peter to be rude. Sure, it was normal for Remus, that was basically half his personality. Sometimes James could be stern and teasing, Sirius was the same. But Peter, he was always just nice, quiet, shy Peter. “Jeez. Sorry.” Sirius murmured.

“Can we go?” He replied, ignoring Sirius. 

“Wait, what’s wrong?” Sirius said, grabbing Peter’s wrist.

“Nothing.” Peter grumbled, walking out of the room. Sirius and James followed behind.

“No, what is it?” Sirius frowned, catching up to him.

Peter didn’t answer.

“Oh, spit it out, will you?” Sirius said harshly.

“I said nothing.” Peter spat, “Bugger off.”

“Christ, stop acting like a child. Just tell us what we did and we’ll fix it.” Sirius rolled his eyes, crossing his arms over his chest.

“You’re so bloody selfish sometimes, you know that?” Peter hissed.

Sirius stared at him.

Peter sighed, “I mean, you can’t even accept that Remus wants to hang out with his own bloody girlfriend more than you. And you keep going on about how we need to help him on his full moons when you can’t even bother remembering simple things about becoming an Animagus. And you’re always going on and on about how easy all of your classes are, sorry not all of us grew up as a Black with fucking tutors to teach us everything! How do you think everyone else feels, hm?! You’re so bloody clingy until there’s someone better around to hang onto! For fuck sakes, Black-”

“Alright, Peter. That’s enough.” James said, putting his hand out towards him in a gesture to stop.

“Ugh!” Peter exclaimed, storming off into his own direction. Sirius watched him leave, completely dumbstruck.

“Are you alright?” James asked softly. Sirius gulped and looked down to the ground.

“D’you think it’s true?” He said.

“No, no. Of course not.” James replied.

“Well- some of it…?” Sirius mumbled.

“You aren’t selfish, Sirius. Sometimes you can be, but that doesn’t mean you are a selfish person. You’re just impulsive, and sometimes you don’t realise you are hurting people.” James put his hands on Sirius’ shoulders and squeezed, looking him in the eye.

Sirius bit the inside of his cheek, “Okay, but do you think I’m clingy?”

James stared at him for a long moment, a smile spreading across his face. “You are. But I love you for it.”

Sirius laughed. “You’re such a sap.” He said, pulling him into a hug.

“Says you.” James muttered. 

“Why was Peter so angry?” Sirius asked, pulling away from the hug.

James shrugged, “I dunno. Maybe he’s just in a mood.”

***

“Hey.” Sirius said anxiously. Opening Peter’s curtain and crawling inside the bed.

“Hi.” Peter said, looking up from where he was fiddling with his thumbs.

Sirius folded his legs under him and cleared his throat.

“I’m sorry.” Peter blurted.

Sirius let out a breath of relief, “Yeah, me too. Can we just be friends again?”

Peter raised an eyebrow and laughed, “That easy, is it? What do you have to be sorry about anyway?” 

Sirius just shook his head and grinned, “I dunno. I’m a bit of a twat sometimes.”

“You are.” Peter nodded, his lips quirking upwards, trying to suppress a smile.

Sirius smiled at him, “What did you mean? Until someone better comes along. Like who? When I was with Mary?” He asked.

Peter cocked his head to the side and fiddled with his dark red pyjamas, the hems slightly frayed. “I don’t know. I wasn’t thinking straight.” 

Sirius raised an eyebrow but didn’t question it further, he pulled him in for a hug. 

“Sorry again.” Peter mumbled.

“‘S alright.” Sirius smiled, ruffling his blond wispy hair. He tiptoed over to his own bed, taking a quick glance at the window where the moon was shining brightly. Sirius sighed. Hoping Moony would have his friends to help him get through it soon.

 

And I'm blinded by the neon

Don't try and change my tune

Cause I thought I heard a saxophone

I'm drunk on the moon

 

And the moon's a silver slipper

It's pouring champagne stars

Broadway's like a serpent

Pulling shiny top-down cars

Laramer is teeming

With that undulating beat

And some Bonneville is screaming

It's way wilder down the street

 

-Drunk On The Moon, Tom Waits










Chapter Text

“Well, we do live in a castle , mate. Not all our lessons are going to be close together.” James said, laughing at Sirius’ complaining.

“I know that.” Sirius rolled his eyes, “Why does it have to be across the whole bloody school though! These shoes hurt my fucking feet.” He groaned.

“I told you to put a cushioning charm on them.” Peter said, nudging him lightly.

“But you have to redo it every morning. I’ve already had enough of that.” Sirius said, referring to the Animagus process. 

Remus was still in the hospital wing, his back harbouring a new deep scratch. Sirius had visited him, he’d seemed fine. But Madame Pomfrey was always cautious with Remus, he always ‘seemed fine’ when really he was on his deathbed. Okay, that was a little dramatic, but Sirius was getting frustrated with Remus not taking care of his health.

“I don’t know how you’re going to deal with Quidditch practice. Lazy sod.” James said, readjusting his glasses.

“Oi!” Sirius said, “I’m not lazy .”

Peter and James both gave him a look.

“Okay fine.” Sirius rolled his eyes exasperatedly, “I am lazy. But Quidditch is different, it’s fun and competitive. Walking to class and casting a charm every morning is not fun and competitive.” He reasoned.

“Fair enough.” James shrugged.

Snickering started from in front of them, Sirius looked forwards to see Snape, Mulciber, Rosier and-

Regulus.

“Where’s scarface?” Rosier snarled. Snape and Mulciber cackled. 

Regulus stood there, rigid and pale.

“Gone to visit his mummy? Oh, that’s right. She left him.” He carried on, speaking nastily.

Sirius moved forward, about to punch him square in the face. Peter grabbed his arms, pulling him back. 

“You don’t know anything about that.” James said sharply.

“Piss off. You utter wanker.” Sirius spat.

“Ooo, who’s got your knickers in a twist? Is your mummy giving you nightmares again?!” Snape scowled.

Sirius’ eyes flickered to Regulus, who was staring at the floor guiltily. Sirius launched himself at Snape, his fists colliding into his chest. Snape fell to the ground, his greasy black hair covering his eyes.

“You coward! Stand up you greasy fucker!” Sirius shouted down at him. Mulciber and Rosier grabbed him, punching him in the shoulder brutally.

Sirius shook them off, James and Peter grabbing their heavy bodies and pulling them off him as well. Snape kicked him in the shin, weakly.

“You’ve gone mad!” Snape said, terror in his eyes. He stood up, “No wonder your dad hits you!”

Sirius grabbed his shoulders and pushed him against the hard stone wall.

“Argh!” Snape cried. He used his terrible strength and pushed Sirius to the floor. Sirius felt the back of his head go warm, knowing what it was, he stood up and placed his palm to it. Warm red blood dripped down his wrist. 

“You moron!” Sirius shouted, feeling dizzy. 

James grabbed him from under his armpit, Sirius was led away from the scene, presumining Peter was the one with his hand comfortingly on his shoulder.

Sirius felt the corners of his vision go blurry. His legs moving by themselves.

***

Sirius opened his eyes, feeling comfort all over his body and his legs stretching out under a warm cotton blanket. He moved his arms, hitting a cold metal pole.

“Ow.” He grumbled. Sirius felt the back of his head throb slightly, it wasn’t painful, just a little annoying. Nothing compared to what he got at Grimmauld.

“Hey.” A voice said. Sirius looked over, seeing the slightly blurry sight of Remus Lupin whose feet were placed casually on the nightstand. He was slouching in his chair, a magazine in hand. Chewing on something Sirius could only presume was a chocolate bar.

“How long have I been here?” Sirius asked, his vision clearing up as he opened his eyes fully.

“Oh, only about an hour.” Remus said, putting the magazine down. “Pops won’t let me leave until dinner, figured I’d keep your sleeping self company.”

Sirius gave Remus a look, and he cringed as he realised how that statement sounded. Sirius snickered.

“I told you not to call me that!” A voice sounded, Madame Pomfrey. “I’m not a bloody American father!”

Remus snorted loudly and gave Sirius a wide grin.

“Annoys the shit out of her.” He said lowly.

Sirius chuckled. Wincing as his head throbbed more.

“Oh, here.” Remus said, passing him a cup of liquid, “Promise it tastes good. Don’t worry.”

Sirius nodded, gulping the liquid down. He gagged dramatically, “You said it’d taste good!”

Remus laughed, “I lied. Tastes a bit like dentist gloves.”

“Like what?” Sirius asked, cocking his head to the side.

Remus rolled his eyes, “Bloody wizards.”

Sirius shook his head with a smile, “You’re a wizard too, you know.”

Remus waved a hand, picking up his magazine and flicking through it again. “Minor details.”

Sirius laughed, “What did tho- them two say to Madame Pomfrey?” 

Remus’ lips quirked upwards, “Are you insecure about your posh accent?”

Sirius groaned, he’d really hoped no one would notice him trying to change his vocabulary to sound less ‘Black Heir’.

“Oh my god! You are!” Remus bent over laughing, slapping his hand over his mouth.

“It’s only around you!” Sirius defended, “It’s annoying, okay? I sound ridiculous next to you.”

This made Remus laugh even more, “Oh my god .”

“It’s not that funny.” Sirius grumbled, trying to sound annoyed but failing. He was smiling too much.

“Oh but it is .” Remus laughed, nearly falling on the floor, he took a deep breath, “The lads at my home make fun of me for having a posh accent.”

Sirius gaped, “You?! You’re the most common person I know!”

Remus snorted, “Cheers.” 

Sirius shook his head. Remus was the most common person he knew, he had a welsh accent, but it was also mixed with many others. Sirius hadn’t noticed at first, he’d just sounded Welsh to him, but after a few years he noticed Remus used a lot of different slang, his ‘h’s’ sounded wrong, and other little things too. “You know what I mean.”

“Those blokes don’t know the difference, if you pronounce anything proper then they think you’ve come from a mansion in london.” Remus said.

“Really?” Sirius asked.

“Nah.” Remus grinned, “They’ll just give you a jab in the stomach and move on.”

Sirius rolled his eyes, “ Anyway . You didn’t answer my question. What excuse did James and Peter come up with?”

Remus shrugged, “I dunno. Pretty sure they said you bumped into something. What was the real reason?”

Sirius sighed, “Had a fight with Snape, and his lot…” he paused for a moment, “My brother was there. He didn’t do anything about it. Just watched. He told them about stuff at home too.” Sirius gulped.

“Oh.” Remus breathed. Sirius waited for him to say something else, but he didn’t. He just put his hand on top of Sirius’ comfortingly. Sirius was glad for it. After around a minute or two passed, Remus asked, “What’d Snape and his lot say?”

Sirius shrugged, “Something about my nightmares. Something else about my father hitting me. Can’t remember who said what.”

Remus huffed, “I’ll kill him.”

Sirius smiled at him, “Oh, please don’t. I don’t think the dementors in Azkaban like werewolves much.” He teased.

Remus slapped him on the wrist lightly, “Prick. I’d want to go to muggle prison anyway. Maybe I’d room with Jimmy.” He said lightly.

Sirius’ eyes widened, “You know a criminal?!”

“It was a joke, and anyway you know a criminal. I’ve stolen shit, remember?” Remus laughed.

Sirius sniffed, “Yeah, but that doesn’t count. It’s just you.”

Remus snorted, “Yeah, I’m sure the pigs will look at me and say, ‘oh, Remus Lupin. He’s alright. Doesn’t matter that he robbed a bank. We’ll let you off this time.’”

Sirius laughed, “Yeah yeah… what do pigs have to do with this?”

Remus groaned, “Bloody wizards.”

Before Sirius could retort a comment to Remus about how he also was a wizard-

“Sirius. Dear, you have a visitor.” Madame Pomfrey’s soft voice called.

Sirius creased his brow and looked at Remus, who just shrugged in response.

“Hi.” Regulus was standing in front of him. His eyes flashed to Remus, who was looking him up and down with narrowed eyes, “Nevermind. I’ll come back later.” He muttered.

“Spit it out.” Sirius said, “I don’t want you to come back.”

Regulus stared at him, “Sorry about them. I don’t know who Snape thinks he is- I mean he’s a half blood he can’t just go around insulting the Black heir and-”

“I think it’s perfectly fine.” Remus said patronisingly, “Oh hey Sirius, you’re a posh wanker and your brother is a little shit. Oh look! I just did it. I don’t know who I think I am!” He said sarcastically.

Sirius tried to suppress a laugh, but ended up snorting loudly.

“Je ne sais pas pourquoi tu es ami avec de telles personnes.” Regulus said.

I don't know why you are friends with such people.

“Je n'ai pas demandé, Reg. Soit dire quelque chose d'utile, soit partir.” Sirius sniffed, boredly.

I didn’t ask, Reg. Either say something useful or leave.

Regulus huffed, “Je suis désolé de leur avoir parlé de notre famille et de vos cauchemars.”

I’m sorry I told them about our family and your nightmares.

“Je ne te crois pas.” Sirius sighed, “Et tu n'es pas désolé pour ce qu'ils ont dit à propos de Remus, n'est-ce pas?” He said.

I do not believe you. And you're not sorry for what they said about Remus, are you?

“Oi!” Remus crossed his arms, “No talking about me while you’re speaking in Nancy language.”

Sirius flipped him the bird and looked back at Regulus.

Regulus shook his head, “Je ne l'aime pas. Il est étrange.”

I don’t like him. He is strange.

“Hey!” Remus exclaimed, “I’m not stupid, Reggie boy, has Sirius not told you about my amazing talents? I’m sure you’ll like me once you know about my criminal recor-”

Sirius thumped him in the chest and gave him a warning look.

Regulus stared at him, wide eyed, “Peu importe, Sirius. I don’t want to be around you when you’re around him or that Potter boy.” He said curtly.

Sirius smirked, “Too bad. We’re a package deal!” He said, giving Remus a cheesy high five.

Regulus huffed and walked away quickly.

Remus tutted, “Can’t believe he forgot Peter.”

That’s what you got from that!?” Sirius laughed.

Remus shrugged, “What? He deserves to be included!” He grinned, teasing in tone.

Sirius shook his head, “You’re actually an idiot.”

Remus stuck his tongue out at him, “You’re the one who got hurt by Snape . I mean have you seen his noodly arms!”

Sirius laughed, “ You have noodly arms!”

Remus shrugged, “Still stronger than you.”

“So not true.” Sirius sniffed, looking away proudly.

“Wanna bet?” Remus said, sticking his arm up for an arm wrestle.

“That’s unfair! I’ve just been injured.” Sirius said, waving him off.

“And I’ve just had my bones cracked open and my organs reshaped. Fair play if you ask me.” Remus grinned.

Sirius laughed, “Oh, c’mon. Totally not fair play, that happens all the time. You’ve got to be used to it by now.” He teased.

Remus barked a laugh and thumped him in the chest.

 

Well you got the hands of a man and the face of a little boy blue-ue

And when you stand you're so grand there's a case just for looking at you-oo oo-oo

You're so young, you could have been the devil's son

You're so young, but like a hang up I'll be sad when you're old and you're gone

 

 

  • 48 Crash, Suzi Quatro

 











Chapter Text

“Everyone in a line! Students! Single file!” McGonagall called, her thick Scottish accent booming through the outdoor area of the stone castle.

All the Gryffindor students complied, and when James and Peter got to the front, both shot apologetic looks to Remus and Sirius.

“Off you go…” McGonagall waved them off sharply, “Erm boys! I said off you go!” She shooed off some third years. She let out a sigh, brushing her hands on her dress skirt and walking towards the inside of the  castle once again, her high heels making noises on the cobblestones.

She stopped before Sirius and Remus, looking up from her hands and staring them both down.

“Do you not have your permission slips?” She asked.

“No, Professor. We couldn’t get them signed.” Remus answered.

“I see.” She eyed them before pausing for a long moment, “Perhaps a blind eye could’ve been turned, if only you used your insultent pranking skills for something useful.” She began walking away, her head up high and her large black hat sticking out into the air, “Until the next weekend, boys.” She said, and Sirius could swear he could see her wink.

Sirius stared at her as she walked away, dumbstruck. He supposed if he was a teacher he would do the same, it wasn’t fair that he and Remus couldn’t go to Hogsmeade just because Sirius’ parents wouldn’t sign the permission slip and Remus’ Matron ripped it up. Bloody adults. 

Sirius pushed his forehead to Remus’ shoulder and sighed with a smile, “Next time. Alright?”

Remus let out a chuckle and patted him on the head awkwardly, “Yeah.”

“Your stupid Matron.” Sirius muttered. They began walking away, side by side.

Remus flashed him a grin, “Oh, but even if she did sign it. I couldn’t just leave you here on my own now, could I?”

Sirius paused in his stride, “What? Don’t tell me you-”

Remus brushed him off, “Nah. I’d get James to stay with you, I don’t want to miss out on Hogsmeade. Race you to the common room!” He said, running off.

“Hey!” Sirius shouted, running after him, “You tosser!”

***

Once Sirius caught up with him, they got to the common room, where some fifty years and seventh years were revising. They kicked them out after two minutes for being too noisy. 

Sirius and Remus both went for a walk around the castle, aimlessly nudging each other and sneaking into classrooms. There were barely any people in the castle, the first and second years were too scared to walk around on their own, probably because they would get lost. The fifth and seventh years that stayed instead of going to Hogsmeade only did to revise. So the hallways were empty, yet Sirius could feel a lurking presence around him.

“Wait.” Sirius whispered to Remus, grabbing the front of his shirt and pulling him into an empty classroom before slamming the door.

“What?” Remus muttered.

“Someone’s following us.” Sirius said, getting his wand out. They were by the side of the door, backs pressed to the wall. Remus raised an eyebrow at him, but didn’t say anything.

Sirius slowly reached out for the door handle, pulling the door open as quickly as possible. He rushed out the room, looking out from side to side sharply. Sirius turned around, and behind the door which he’d just burst open, there was a greasy haired git.

Sirius grabbed Remus’ bicep and pulled him out the room, showing him in the direction of Snape.

Sirius shut the door and Snape moved away nervously.

“The fuck are you following us for?!” Remus spoke first.

“I thought you were up to something.” Snape scowled, though Sirius was sure that look was permanent on his face, “Didn’t realise you two queers were going on a date. Lunchtime stroll is it?” He sneered.

Sirius crossed his arms over his chest, “Why aren’t you at Hogsmeade, Snivellus?”

Snape straightened out his posture, “Lily wanted to go with your stupid friends. That slag, MacDonald, and the others.” 

“Don’t call her that. Don’t have any other friends, do you?” Sirius warned. “Leave us alone, now. Piss off.”

Snape cocked his head to the side, “Oh, I’m terribly sorry. I’d leave you two poofters to your date, but this is much too fun.”

“Oh you’re right. It must be really fun for you. In case you haven’t noticed, there’s two of us here. And only one, puny , you. So bugger off or you’ll be paying a visit to Pomfrey’s.” Remus spat.

Snape cackled, “As if two fairies could-”

Sirius watched the scene unfold, Remus stepped forward, and as if in slow motion his fist was colliding with Snape’s nose. Sirius heard a crack. Snape fell to the floor and grabbed onto his nose, blood leaking onto his hands and running through his fingers. He rolled around on the floor in pain. 

“You should thank me.” Remus leaned over his groaning body, “Maybe Pomfrey can fix that lump of a nose you have.” 

Sirius gawped at him. Remus pulled him away down the corridor.

“That was so cool-” Sirius said with wide eyes, “I think you broke it!”

Remus grinned at him, breathing heavily, “We should go back to the dorm.” He grabbed his fist, “Christ, this bloody hurts.”

“Oh! Here.” Sirius grabbed his hand, pulling out his wand, casting a charm he’d learned in one of the werewolf books they’d researched. As soon as Sirius had done it, he froze, hoping Remus wouldn’t realise.

“Where did you learn that?” Remus asked sharply, pulling away.

“Er…” Sirius gulped, “I can explain- I just- we just- wanted like- research I guess. See if we could help you.”

Remus nodded, “Okay… find anything useful? I’m guessing no.”

Sirius looked him in the eye and bit the inside of his cheek nervously, he knew how Remus would react. He could tell him now, “No. No. You know how they are…”

Remus nodded again, “‘right, yeah. Could’ve told me. Dunno why you want to hide being nice.”

Sirius shrugged and laughed anxiously, “Yeah, yeah. I don’t know. Thought you’d tell me it was none of our business.”

Remus turned to him, a smile playing on his face, “I probably would’ve.”

Sirius shook his head and let his own smile come through. 

***

“Oh, it was great! Can’t believe you two missed it.” Peter went on, “I swear, Lily drank so much butterbeer. Never seen her so loosened up. It sucks you couldn’t go.”

Remus grinned, “Well you two missed me breaking Snivellus’ nose. So who are the real winners?” He smirked.

“What?!” James exclaimed, “I would’ve paid to see that! This is horrible! I can’t believe I missed that. Ugh! That sounds so much better than what we did in Hogsmeade. I hate you both.” He wailed.

Sirius laughed, “Should’ve seen him. Flailing about like a lunatic.”

James groaned, hitting his head onto the table. Lily sat down next to Remus, asking him how his day was.

“Oh it was brilliant.” he said lightly, smirking at Sirius.

“Really?” She raised an eyebrow, “What did you do?”

“Oh, this and that.” Remus said breezily, letting out a little sigh.

“You’re being weird.” Lily narrowed her eyes.

“Hmm.” Remus responded.

“You might want to visit your friend in the hospital wing, Evans.” Sirius said.

Remus choked on his drink.

“What did you do?” She said angrily, gritting her teeth.

“He deserved it.” Remus sniffed.

“What. Did. You. Do.” She said slowly.

“Socked him right in that ugly nose of his.” Remus said proudly.

“What?!” She shouted, causing a few people to turn to her. She flushed with embarrassment.

“He deserved it. Called us poofters.” Remus sniffed.

“That doesn’t mean you can hurt him!” She said furiously.

“He called Mary a slag!” Sirius piped in.

“And that’s horrible! It doesn’t mean you can break his nose, though!” Lily looked between the two of them, anger in her green eyes.

“Bloody hell, Evans. You need to stop living in the fairy land where you think you can change him! Do you know who he’s friends with?! Do you know what he’s said to Remus, to me and James and Peter? He deserves everything that comes to him. He’s an utter twat and you need to stop pretending that him being your childhood best friend means he’s a good person! It’s not your job to fix him. Just like it’s not my job to fix my brother! He chose to be like this and if he can’t understand that it’s wrong after you’ve told him so many times then maybe you should realise that he’s not trying to change! And maybe you should realise that it’s dangerous to be around him!” Sirius whisper-yelled.

Evans stood up, red faced and angry. She didn’t say anything, just stormed out of the hall angrily with her fists clenched. 

James, Peter and Remus stared at him in shock. 

“What?” Sirius spat.

James shrugged, “Needed to be said.”

Sirius grinned, “Wow, did the James Potter just choose me over Lily Evans? I’m honoured.”

James rolled his eyes and nudged him, “I didn’t choose you. I’m just agreeing on this occasion. But you are more important than a stupid crush. Don’t worry.” He smiled.

Sirius snorted, “Wow, I feel so special.” He deadpanned. But really, Sirius felt relief wash over him, James really was his best friend.

Sailors fighting in the dance hall

Oh man, look at those cavemen go

It's the freakiest show

 

Take a look at the lawman

Beating up the wrong guy

Oh man, wonder if he'll ever know

He's in the best selling show

Is there life on Mars?

 

 

  • Life On Mars? David Bowie.

 





Chapter Text

Sirius and Remus were in the dorm, cigarettes hanging out their mouths as they sat cross legged on the windowsill. James was helping Peter with his Transfiguration homework.

“Okay okay, but how does it work? Is there magic in it?” Sirius asked.

“I don’t get it!” Peter wailed from the other side of the room. James sighed and spoke again slowly. 

“No, it just makes you high. Not everything cool is magic, Sirius.” Remus said, nudging his foot against Sirius’.

“Exactly!” Sirius complained, “Muggles basically have everything we have, it's not fair!” 

“Sounds like your inner blood purist talking.” Remus joked, sucking the end of his cigarette and puffing out the smoke casually.

Sirius scowled at him, “That’s not what I meant. I just mean why would you want to be a wizard when muggles have all this cool stuff!” He exclaimed.

Remus smiled, still staring out the window, “That’s why the best people are half and half. Best of both worlds.”

Not disagreeing. Sirius thought. He rolled his eyes, “Conceited prat.”

Remus snorted, “Coming from you.” His eyes flickered to Sirius and he smirked.

Sirius huffed, “I just don’t get it! How does it mess up your brain if it’s just a plant!? Can those cactus thingys Alice is always going on about do it too?”

Remus leaned his head back and laughed, showing his neck, “No, it’s a special plant. Look, I’ll bring some in some time. You can try it.”

Sirius stared in awe, “You’ve smoked it before? That’s so cool. What does it feel like?” He leaned in, looking at Remus with big eyes.

Remus gave him a strange look, his eyebrows were raised and he looked at Sirius as if he was a lunatic. 

Sirius backed away, embarrassed, his face burning red.

“Hmm.” Remus hummed in though, “It made my friend Andy really relaxed. Made me all giggly though, everything is brighter and louder. Feels really nice, but Mikey said you shouldn’t do it too much. It can make you addicted and it’s really bad. Worse than cigs, he said he knows someone who’s been to rehab coz’ of it, but not really. She did other stuff too, pretty sure he was talkin’ about his mum. But I didn’t want to be rude and ask.” He explained.

“Wow.” Sirius said, looking up to the ceiling in thought. “Can you get them to send you some?” He said, shuffling his feet so one of his legs was pulled up to his chest. He rested his chin on his knee.

Remus laughed, “They’re muggles. They don’t have owls.”

Sirius sighed, “I mean- you could get them to send it to that post office for muggle parents to send magic kids something if they don’t own an owl. But I guess that would be too much effort. Could call on the Hogsmeade phone and ask-”

“The what?!” Remus yelped, dropping his cigarette on the floor and quickly stomping it out with a flushed face.

“Er- the Hogsmeade phone box? The one Mary uses-” Sirius frowned, creasing a brow.

“Why didn’t anyone tell me!?” Remus moaned, flopping down on his bed. 

“It didn’t really come up, mate.” James piped in. Clearly watching the scene.

“Yeah, none of us need to use it.” Peter shrugged, plopping a sugary sweet in his mouth. 

Remus scowled, “Well I need to use it. I would’ve even tried to sneak into Hogsmeade last time with you lot!”

Sirius frowned at him. But Remus didn’t seem to notice.

“You could just go next time.” James pointed out.

“They’ll’ve forgotten about me by then!” Remus sighed dramatically.

“Not very good friends if they forget about you after a couple months.” Sirius quipped, grumbling slightly.

Remus laughed, “Christ, Black. You’re so jealous.” 

“I’m not jealous!” Sirius defended, realising he said it a little too loudly he repeated, “I’m not jealous.”

“Sure you aren’t.” Remus said, stretching as he got off his bed. 

“I would be if it was James or Peter.” Sirius said stubbornly, “I don’t care if you have other friends. Do what you want.” He said rudely, turning away.

“Bloody fine then.” Remus spat, “Talk to me again when you stop being a bitter wanker.” He said, storming out of the room.

Sirius groaned, putting his palms to the side of his head and leaning back.

“You were a bit of a twat, mate.” James said casually, placing a sweet in his mouth.

“More than a bit.” Peter muttered.

“I don’t know what’s got into me.” Sirius mithered.

James sighed, “Dunno either. You’ve always been a bit jealous, though. It’s normal, just say sorry and move on.”

Sirius sighed. He wanted to fix his stupid brain and it’s stupid jealousy.

There was a knock at the door, Peter raised an eyebrow and opened it.

“Oh!” He squeaked, “Hi… Lily.”

Lily stormed into the room, with her arms crossed and a white flowy blouse hanging off her shoulders. She was wearing blue trousers with paint stains on them. 

“Hello.” Sirius said.

“Right. Black. I need to talk to you. Now.” Lily said sharply. Her nostrils flaring slightly comically.

“Okay…” Sirius gave a look to James and Peter, implying they should leave the room.

“This won’t take long.” Lily licked her lips.

Sirius was terrified. 

“I just wanted to say that you were right about Sev and I don’t want you to be all cocky about it because no man is going to tell me what to do. Especially not a pureblood twat like you. Also you shouldn’t have been so horrible about it, plus I already knew half the stuff you told me and I’m not even proper friends with him. Remus shouldn’t have punched him anyway. Thank you and goodbye.” She blurted all of this out, turning on her heel and walking to leave.

“Wait!” Sirius exclaimed, containing a laugh.

“What?” Lily spat. Turning around.

“I’m sorry.” Sirius said, smiling at her, “You’re right. I shouldn’t have, it’s not my place. But Snape deserved it. He did put me in the hospital wing-”

“He what?” Lily said, her eyes widening.

“Oh- er. Well it wasn’t really his fault, I hate to admit it. I kind of started it after he was being a prat and then he pushed me and my head split open.” Sirius explained, as if it was nothing.

Lily frowned, “Right. Well, uh- sorry about that?”

Sirius laughed, “Nothing to be sorry about.”

“Mm.” Lily hummed in response, jumping on the windowsill next to Sirius. “Can I bum one?” She asked, pointing down to Remus’ carton of cigarettes.

Sirius raised an eyebrow, “They're not mine. And since when do you smoke?”

She snorted, picking out a cigarette and lighting it the same way Remus always did. Clicking her fingers together smoothly, “What do you think Remus and I do all the time together?”

Sirius shrugged, “I dunno. Talk about girl boy stuff.”

Lily laughed, “Yeah, no. Remus and I most definitely don’t talk about ‘girl boy stuff’. We usually just talk about your shitty pranks. And the boys from his home, but I’m sure you’ve heard all about that.”

Sirius’ eyes widened, he’d never heard Lily swear before. Sirius felt a new fondness for her, he could see why James liked her now, she was bloody cool. She was like the girl version of Remus, but Sirius supposed he probably shouldn’t tell her that. She’d thwack him round the head and say ‘Remus is the boy version of me ’, it was strange that Sirius was so fond of her come to think about it. “Wait, what? He never talks about them.” Sirius said after a moment.

Lily raised an eyebrow, “Really? That’s all he goes on about. Mikey this, Troy that.  Bit annoying actually. Don’t tell him I said that, he’ll take it personal.”

“Hmph.” Sirius sighed. “Probably my fault again.” 

“Hey, no.” Lily said softly, “It’s just… it’s just different for people like us.” She sighed.

“I know . Everyone keeps telling me that. Look, I get it I’m a rich pureblood and I’m not going to have lived your struggles. But why can’t he just tell me stuff?! I don’t even know anything about him when I think about it.” Sirius groaned.

“As much as I’d like to give you relationship advice,” Lily teased, “I promised Marlene I’d help her with her potions homework.”

Lily stubbed out her cigarette and jumped off the window ledge elegantly.

“Just talk to him, Sirius. He’s not like you, he needs prying open before spilling his secrets.” She grinned.

Sirius rolled his eyes, “Oh, charming. Guess I’ll just bang his head against the table until it eventually breaks open.”

“That’s the spirit!” She said with a smile, “See you, Black.”

“Bye. Evans.” Sirius sighed, leaning his head against the cold window and closing his eyes.

“Well?!” An excited voice came from the door.

Sirius opened his eyes and looked at James and Peter standing in the doorway, “Nothing exciting, don’t worry. We’re alright now, though.”

James nodded, slumping back down in his chair while Peter plopped himself down next to him. They went back to their homework, and Sirius left the room to go and find Remus. Luckily, he was just in the common room chatting to a third year. Kane? Kyle? Nope, Sirius couldn’t remember his name.

Sirius trotted over to them, sitting himself down in the wooden chair next to Remus.

“Oh, hey.” Remus said brightly, “Rhys, you know Sirius, right?” He said to the younger boy.

Sirius hadn’t been that far off, Rhys kind of sounded like ‘Kyle’!

Rhys nodded, “Yeah.” He said slowly. Blushing and looking away when Sirius made eye contact with him.

“Hi, yeah, Ryan was it?” Sirius said rudely, “Can I talk to Remus please?”

Rhys scowled at him, picking up his bags, “Okay. See you later Remus.” He beamed at Remus.

Remus smiled back at him and then turned to Sirius once he’d walked away, “That was rude.” He said pointedly.

“Sorry.” Sirius said, though he wasn’t at all, “Anyway, sorry for being a knob earlier.”

Remus shrugged, “Forgot about that actually, apology accepted though.”

“Having too much fun with ickle third year Richard?” Sirius asked, leaning back in his chair.

Remus rolled his eyes, “Calm your tits. I was helping him with his homework. I thought you said sorry for being a knob? Not a very good apology if you’re being one again.” He half-teased.

Sirius stuck his tongue out at him. They were quiet for a few moments until Sirius said, “What’re the boys at your home like?”

Remus raised an eyebrow at him, “Er- fine?”

Sirius huffed, “Alright. What do you do there?”

Remus shrugged, still looking confused, “Same stuff we do.”

Sirius sighed, “Okay, then what about that Mick guy, is that his name? Mikey?”

Remus creased his brow in confusion, “Why’re you being weird?”

“I’m not being weird. Am I not allowed to ask you questions now?” Sirius said, getting angry.

“Well yeah- but you’ve never really cared before.” He replied with a frown.

Sirius pressed his mouth into a thin line, “Of course I care! You’re our best fri-”

“Not that.” Remus laughed, “Just stuff outside of Hogwarts. Usually it bothers you when I talk about it.”

“It doesn’t bother me.” Sirius paused, “I just don’t want to push you. I want to know what really happened with your parents and just- stuff about you. But I just don’t want to be rude.” He said exasperatedly, “It feels like everything I say is wrong.”

“That’s not true.” Remus frowned.

“Feels like it.” Sirius grumbled.

Remus smiled at him kindly, “It’s not. Go on, what do you want to know?” He asked.

Sirius was a little taken aback, “Oh- er… can you tell me? What happened with your parents?”

Remus stared at him for a moment, his smile dropping, he visibly gulped, “Okay.” He nodded.

“Great!” Sirius said, “Go on then.” He prompted softly.

“Well I didn’t lie, what they did was all true. The argument and them leaving. But I’ve never told any of you that they were barely ever home. My dad was a bit of a drunk, he was fine. He was a great dad, but he was just never really there . Even when he was.” Remus took in a breath, “And my mum, she’s great. But she… I don’t know. Like I said, no one was ever really there. Sometimes, when I was home for the summer, I wouldn’t see them for months. They’d leave me in the house alone, but they’d always come back and be sorry and everything. I know they loved me, but not enough to overlook all the magic stuff, and the werewolf stuff. They just hated it all. I couldn’t talk to them about school, they were never there when I was having my transformations. I tried really hard to not talk about it, but I can’t help it. I love magic, I am a werewolf. I can’t change that.” He looked down at the table when he talked, not tearing his eyes off the chip in the wood.

Because Sirius couldn’t help it, he lurched forward and hugged his friend. Oh, Remus. Sirius squeezed him tight, “I’m sorry, Moony.”

Remus shook his head against him, “I’m fine. I don’t want you to think they’re bad people, Sirius. They’re great, and I still love them. They just did some shitty things, with a very big reason behind it.”

Sirius secretly thought Lyall and Hope Lupin were pieces of shit who should rot in hell. But nevertheless he said, “Of course. I know. I’m not going to forgive them though. You don’t deserve that.”

Remus nodded, still hugging him, “You don’t either.” He said so quietly Sirius almost couldn’t hear the words, but he did. He suddenly felt a deep connection to his friend. Remus’ parents may not have been as horrible as Sirius’, but he still didn’t have proper parents who loved him for who he was. 

“Thank you.” Sirius whispered, because he didn’t know what else to say.

 

You're like a painting by Cézanne

A tin of soup by Andy Warhol

A sonata by Chopin

You're like the Queen of England

Not forgetting the Duke

But most important of all

You are you

 

I'm no genius when it comes to world affairs

On the other hand when I am with you who cares

As you can see

You're my priority

But most important of all

You are you



 

  • You Are You, Gilbert O’Sullivan

 














Chapter Text

Sirius woke up with a start, he heard a loud thud on the floor and a gasp of gurgly breath. He slowly got out of his bed, opening the curtains hastily and peaking over to where the noise came from.

He saw a figure standing in the door, leaning over something. Sirius walked over, narrowing his eyes to adjust to the light.

“AHHHHH!” He shrieked, a tall figure was standing in fright of him, blood dripping from it’s canine teeth and down his neck. 

“Jesus Christ! Help me with Pete, would ‘ya!” Remus groaned, holding his head back and squeezing his nose.

“Oh my god!” Sirius shouted, “What the fuck?! Why is Peter- Why’re you eating blood!?” He screeched.

“I’m not eating blood you nutter! I have a fucking nosebleed, twat! Get Peter off the floor, the stupid idiot fainted!” Remus said breathlessly.

“What’s going on?!” James said groggily from his own bed.

“Oh, Jesus mother of fucking Christ.” Sirius said, switching the light on properly.

“Oh no!” James exclaimed, “Remus, come here.” He said, leading a bloody Remus to his bed and taking his wand out, “Take your hands off for a moment, here…”

James carried on fixing Remus’ nose and cleaning him up. The stupid mothering fucker. Sirius wished he had a mum like James.

“Get up, you lump.” Sirius grumbled, kicking Peter in the ribs.

“Oi!” Remus said in a nasal tone, “Stop bullying poor  Peter.” He said with a cough, his nose blocked.

Sirius rolled his eyes, “Why don’t you just marry him?” He muttered grumpily. 

“Black, wake him up, you tosser.” James said sternly.

Sirius sighed and kicked him again, harder this time.

“Not like that!” Remus exclaimed. Rushing over to them, “Just go back to bed, would you?”

Sirius crossed his arms, “Fine.” He said, unmoving.

Remus ignored him, he grabbed Peter and picked him up before slumping him down on the bed, “Peter, Pete. Wake up. Peter.” He said softly, shaking him slightly.

“Merlin.” Sirius grunted, “Just leave him and go back to sleep.”

Remus turned to him sharply, “Oh, shut up. Would you? You’re a really shit friend sometimes.” He snarled.

Sirius was taken aback. He stared at his friend, who’d already gone back to a passed out Peter. “It’s not my fault that he’s too scared of a little blood on you just because you’re a werewolf, he probably thought you’d killed one of us.” He blurted. 

Remus didn’t turn back to him, he just froze in his place for what felt like hours, “Go to bed, Sirius.” He murmured, unmoving.

Sirius left the room, slamming the door to the dorm and stomping down the stairs grumpily, like a child having a tantrum. That’s what his mother would say: stop being a child . She would spit when he spilled some sauce down his front. And nine year old Sirius would apologise and apologise. Because he couldn’t have a tantrum like a normal kid, he was a Black. Nothing could ever be normal.

Sirius slumped down on the red sofa in the common room, letting out a grunt which accompanied the scowl on his face.

“What’s got your knickers in a twist?” A voice said. Sirius looked up so quickly he was sure his neck might’ve snapped. He looked in front of him, Marlene was sitting on the opposite sofa, her legs curled into her chest and her hand to her mouth as she bit her nails. Sirius looked at her baggy pyjamas covering her entire body, he then looked at her face. Her eyes were red, and Sirius realised she’d been crying.

This took Sirius by surprise. He realised he’d never seen Marlene cry, she was just so reserved. So lovely and bright yet she never shared anything. 

“What’s wrong?” Sirius blurted.

She smiled at him, “Oh, Mary won’t talk to me.” She sniffed. Looking back to the fire.

“Why?” Sirius asked.

Marlene stared at the fire for a long time, and Sirius wasn’t sure she was going to answer until- “You… like James, right?” She asked.

Sirius creased a brow, “Uh- yeah? Of course.” He chuckled nervously.

“Can you imagine…” She took a long breath in, her face pulling into a pained expression, “being in love with him?” She said in a very small voice. So small Sirius wasn’t sure he’d heard it. So bloody small that Sirius wanted to hug her forever.

And then Sirius’ face dropped, oh

She didn’t look at him, just let tears drop down her cheeks, not making a single noise until she said, “Please don’t hate me.” Marlene whispered, a crack in her voice.

Before Sirius knew what he was doing, he lurched forward abruptly and grabbed her into a hug, so tight that he hoped she wouldn’t disappear in his arms. “I could never hate you, Marlene.”

Sirius couldn’t believe the words coming out of his mouth, that horrible screeching voice in the back of his head was shouting ‘Toujours Pur! Toujours Pur! Toujours Pur! Toujours Pur!’ But Sirius pushed it aside, this was Marlene, he didn’t care what the voice said, Marlene was great and she didn’t deserve this. Sirius felt a sudden fondness for his close friend, who’d had to hide such a thing for so long. Sirius could imagine how it felt. 

“Mary hates me.” She sobbed.

“She doesn’t hate you.” Sirius said soothingly, as Marlene cried into his chest, “And even if she did, we’d all be on your side, okay?” He said softly.

Marlene nodded against him. 

After a few moments she got off him and composed herself. 

She stood up and faced Sirius while wiping her eyes, she smiled at him, “Thanks. Sappy twat.” She said teasingly.

Sirius nodded at her and smiled reassuringly. 

She gave him a nod back and walked slowly up the stairs to her dormitory.

Sirius took a few minutes to breath and compose himself, eventually he walked back up to his own dormitory. His eyes immediately went to Remus’ bed, which was open and had Remus on it, lying and staring at the ceiling with his eyes open.

“Hey.” Sirius said, inviting himself over to Remus’ bed and sitting down next to him. “Are you alright?”

“Hm?” Remus said, dazedly. “Yeah. Yeah.” He breathed.

“No, what’s wrong?” Sirius asked.

Remus sighed and sat up, not meeting Sirius’ eye, he fiddled with his earring, “I wanna get another piercing.”

Sirius stared at him intensely, before he exclaimed, “You twat! I thought something was wrong!”

Remus burst out laughing, bending over so Sirius could see his bony spine, “Your face!” He laughed.

Sirius picked up his pillow and started hitting him with it, “Not- Fucking- Funny!”

Remus was still laughing loudly.

“Shut up!” Peter complained from his bed.

Sirius grinned, he took out his wand and closed the bed curtains, casting a silencing charm with it. 

Remus grinned back at him, and Sirius knew it was part of their little language. Both of them said sorry for earlier with their eyes, and then the moment was gone and Remus was laughing again. His face slightly pink and flustered from the giggles. Sirius couldn’t take his eyes off him. 

“What piercing do you want, then?” Sirius asked, laying down casually and bumping shoulders with Remus who had leant his head against the bed board.

“Hmm.” Remus hummed in thought, “An eyebrow one would be cool.” He said, staring up in a daze again, “I saw this guy, he looked really bloody cool. He had to patches all over his jacket with stuff written all over them. And he had piercings, and eyeliner Sirius. He looked like David Bowie. Maybe even cooler.” He said dreamily.

Sirius let his face break out in a grin. “I’m going to look like him.” He said dazedly.

Remus burst out laughing, “ You ?”

“Yeah!” Sirius defended, sitting up and staring down at Remus, “I’ll wear a leather jacket, and have a motorbike! And I’ll wear eyeliner! And you can have your piercings. And we can get matching tattoos.” Sirius bit his lip to stop him from grinning too hard. Well, maybe he wouldn’t be that cool, Sirius couldn’t imagine himself wearing eyeliner, because he’d probably look a bit… queer.

“Just us? Getting tattoos?” Remus asked, grinning back at him.

“Yeah, James and Pete could get something small, they’ll want to do it if we are.” He said, lying back down next to Remus.

“Oh, yeah.” Remus breathed next to him.

 

Well I don't know why I came here tonight.

I've got the feeling that something ain't right.

I'm so scared in case I fall off my chair,

And I'm wondering how I'll get down the stairs.

 

Clowns to the left of me!

Jokers to the right!

Here I am stuck in the middle with you.

 

Yes I'm stuck in the middle with you,

And I'm wondering what it is I should do.

It's so hard to keep this smile from my face.

Losing control and running all over the place.

Clowns to the left of me!

Jokers to the right!

Here I am stuck in the middle with you.

 

  • Stuck In The Middle With You, Stealers Wheel

 





















Chapter Text

“I can’t control the sky, James.” Remus said exasperatedly, “Believe me, if I could, I would.”

“I know that, Moony.” James scoffed, “It’s just so unfair! It’s Halloween! You deserve to have fun, it’s just such a bad day for the full moon to be there.”

Sirius grimaced, James really should be more careful, the moon was a sensitive topic for Remus, even Peter knew that. And Sirius felt as if James would especially know that, but for some reason he was being a prick. Maybe Evans had pissed him off. 

“Go and have your fun without me.” Remus grumbled, “Stop bloody complaining. There’s a lot of other days I’d rather get rid of the moon on, I don’t give a shit about Halloween.” He said, stopping to tie his shoelace up.

James gasped dramatically, “Halloween! Halloween, Moony! The best night of the year! How dare you!?”

Sirius scoffed, “Christmas is way better, even I know that and I have Christmas with my family .”

James stuck his tongue out at him. “You’re just agreeing with Moony, as usual.”

Sirius rolled his eyes, “Oh, stop being jealous, Jamie. You’re still my numero uno.” He teased.

“Never say those words again.” Peter said, cringing.

“Moonyy?” James whined, ignoring Peter.

“Merlin, James! What the fuck do you want me to do!? I didn’t choose this!” Remus said angrily.

James looked taken aback, his brown eyes widening, “I wasn’t going to say that, just going to ask if I can borrow the record player later.” 

Remus’ shoulders drooped, “Oh… Yeah, sorry.” He grumbled.

James put an arm around his shoulder casually, “Shall we go get some food in you? Grumpy Remus is the worst.” He grinned.

“Shove off.” Remus mumbled, letting a smile break through and shrugging James’ arm off of his shoulder.

***

Sirius sat on the windowsill, staring up at the bright full moon with light pouring out of the window.

Every full moon, Sirius would think about things that pained him. Maybe it was because Remus was going through something so painful, Sirius felt like he needed to as well. Maybe it was because he wanted to be closer to Remus, who would be transformed by now, howling up at the white orb in the sky. 

Sirius sighed, setting down his cup of pumpkin juice beside him. The girls and boys would all be in the common room having their Halloween party. Sirius wished Peter and James were with him, he wanted to feel normal. He wanted it to be normal to care about his friend so much. Maybe James and Peter just didn’t understand. 

Of course they wouldn’t. They wouldn’t understand if Sirius told them about how he still believed in God, even if God was connected to his family so much. They wouldn’t understand if Sirius told them that he wished they loved him. Even if they were horrible, horrible people. They wouldn’t understand if Sirius told them that he sometimes wished he was in Slytherin, wished he was with his brother, wished he was evil. Because then he’d be normal. He’d have a proper family and friends who were like him. Even if Sirius felt guilt every time he thought about it. 

Peter and James wouldn’t understand. Didn’t understand. But Moony would understand. Moony did understand. 

James was great at giving sympathy and advice. But Sirius didn’t want sympathy and advice, he just wanted Remus to listen to him, give him that stupid comforting smile, and then move on. 

Sirius listened as the music from downstairs bounced through the walls. Music from Moony’s record player. Moony, who should be there with them, but was locked in that horrible, horrible Shack. With nothing but himself and claws to keep him company.

Sirius heard a piercing howl run through the air. Maybe he’d imagined it. He probably had. But he let tears run down his cheeks anyway, warm and salty as they burned his cheeks and tingled his lips.

Sirius looked up once again at the sky, the full moon was still there. Steamy clouds circling its shape. 

The door slammed open, giggling voices filled the room. 

“Sirius! Darling, why aren’t you downstairs?!” Mary’s sweet tangy voice called. A few moments passed. “Oh! Why are you crying?”

She stalked over to him, a worried look on her face.

Sirius wiped his cheeks quickly, “I feel a bit ill. Sorry.” He muttered.

“Maybe you’ve got Remus’ cold!” Mary said, putting a hand on his knee very suddenly. Sirius flinched. She smiled at him softly, “Don’t want to be up here alone, d’you? Come on, let’s go to the party.” She leaned in and whispered to him, “There’s alcohol.”

Sirius grinned, grabbing onto her hand and pulling him off the ledge. “Alright then. But I’m not drinking. Saving it for my birthday.”

She rolled her eyes and patted him on the cheek, “So sentimental, you are. Where was this romance when we were together?” She teased.

Sirius smirked at her, “I don’t know. Maybe you should find out.” He said.

Mary raised an eyebrow at him, “That wasn’t smooth, Black, that didn’t even make any sense.”

Sirius laughed, he stalked off to where James was standing and waved Mary goodbye.

“So, yeah. I’m quite chuffed about that, I mean I’m definitely getting better and better…” James rambled to Lily. Who looked completely exasperated and red faced.

Sirius sighed, “James?”

“Sirius!” James exclaimed, pulling him into a hug and then burping very loudly.

Lily gave Sirius a thankful look and then ran off to the crowd.

“Oh my god, are you drunk?!” Sirius exclaimed. He couldn’t believe James, they’d agreed for Sirius’ birthday. He couldn’t wait another three days to get pissed?!

“Nooo.” James slurred, then he leaned in and whispered into Sirius’ ear, “Maybe a little.”

Sirius rolled his eyes, “Twat. Where’s Pete?”

James looked down into his plastic cup and took a large gulp from it, Sirius grimaced at the loud sounds he made. 

James looked dazedly up to the ceiling, “Sirius!” He whisper-yelled, “Look!” He pointed upwards, Sirius sighed at his childish manner and then narrowed his eyes up to the ceiling.

It was one of the dancing pumpkin decorations, “Yes, very cool mate. Where’s Pete?” He repeated.

“Hm?” James turned to him, wide eyed, “Oh!” As if he’d just realised something revolutionary, “He’s only gone off and snogged some Ravenclaw! Fit one too!”

Sirius sighed, “Good for him. You know what? I think I might just go back upstairs, I’m tired.”

“Nooo! We’ll find you a girl too. Y’know I think I’m getting somewhere with Evans, she definitely knows I’m good at Quidditch now!” James exclaimed happily.

“James, everyone knows you’re good at Quidditch. Your name is like James Quidditch Potter.” Sirius joked.

James hiccuped and grinned widely, “Oh my goodness! I should change it to that!”

Sirius rubbed at his face with his palm in annoyance, “I think I’ll go back up-”

“No!” James exclaimed, “Look! That bird has been eye-fucking you for five minutes!” He said excitedly.

“Sober James would kill you for saying that.” He grumbled. 

Sirius followed his line of vision, a Hufflepuff with a revealing sparkly top on was staring at him. She licked her lips seductively. Sirius remembered her as one of Charlotte’s friends. Suddenly, he felt queasy, “N-no I think I’ll go back- don’t want Moony to be alone.” He mumbled with a stammer.

“What?” James said with confusion, “Remus isn’t up there, he’s in t-”

Sirius didn’t hear the rest of his words, he went back up to the dorm, rushing into the bathroom and breathing heavily. 

He quickly undressed and got into the shower, falling down onto the floor as the water ran down his body.

Folding himself into a ball, he began breathing normally.

What’s got into you? He thought miserably. 

Can’t even snog a girl. 

Sirius sighed, rubbing his eyes and standing up to properly shower. He turned the water down until it was ice cold, shivering as he stood under it, he stared into space. A few moments later he got too cold, so he got out of the shower and wrapped a towel around himself.

After getting dressed for bed and opening the door, Sirius found himself staring at the beautiful girl downstairs. She was standing in the middle of the dorm, a smirk on her face when she turned around and saw Sirius.

She lurched forward, crashing her plump red lips onto Sirius’, he moved back, pushing her off and gasping for air.

“What?” She said angrily.

Sirius’ hands shook. You need to like this. This is normal. You need to like this. He repeated in his head.

But he just couldn’t do it. Sirius shook his head and gulped. She turned to leave, flipping him off as she exited.

Sirius slumped down on the bed, his head in his hands as he squeezed his eyes shut. It was okay. He was okay. It was just the moon. If it was any other day he would’ve kissed her. It was okay.

 

He said son you are a bachelor boy

And that's the way to stay

Son you'll be a bachelor boy

Until your dying days

 

As time goes by I probably will

Meet a girl and fall in love

Then I'll get married have a wife and a child

And they'll be my turtle doves

 

But until then I'll be a bachelor boy

And that's the way I'll stay

Happy to be a bachelor boy

Until my dying days

 

 

  • Bachelor Boy, Cliff Richard

 





Chapter Text

“Are you alright?” Remus asked tiredly. 

It was before breakfast, Sirius had come by to visit Remus on the morning after the full moon. Remus was lying in bed, purple eyebags heavy under his usually tanned but now paler skin. 

“Shouldn’t I be asking you that?” Sirius chuckled nervously.

“No, I’m fine. Even if I wasn't, I would say I was.” Remus said.

At least he’s self aware. Sirius thought.

“What is it? Has there been another attack?” Remus asked nervously.

“What?” Sirius said, “Oh, no, no. Nothing like that. I’m probably just being dramatic.”

“I’ll be the judge of that.” Remus said, raising an eyebrow, “Go on, tell me.”

Sirius sighed, “Well, last night. I went down to the Halloween party, and then I felt all weird and stressed and… I don’t know. Breathy? And then I came out of the bathroom and this girl kissed me and- and- she’s one of Charlotte's friends and I felt strange so I didn’t kiss her back and I don’t know why, I don’t understand.” Sirius blurted out, very quickly as if to stop Remus from understanding.

Remus looked surprised for a moment, “Oh!” He exclaimed quietly, “It’s ‘lright, it’s normal. The boys at my home get funny feelings like that, they get all panicky. I’ve felt like that before, once, it’s not very nice. I think it’s something to do with trauma.” He said the last part quietly.

Sirius let himself smile and let out a breath of relief, it was normal! Moony had felt like that too! 

“Oh thank Merlin. I thought I was an absolute nutter.” 

Remus grinned, “You are.”

Sirius rolled his eyes, “Tosser, I’m starving. See you later, alright?” He said, standing up.

He nodded, “Mmk. See you.” He said dully.

***

“Happy birthday!” James’ loud voice woke Sirius up.

After a few seconds of being disoriented, Sirius grinned, “It’s my birthday!” He exclaimed.

“Damn right!” James shouted. “Peter! Moony! Wakey wakey!” He called.

To Sirius’ surprise, Remus got out of bed without a word, stretching wildly and cracking his back. 

Sirius watched in awe as his shirt lifted up slightly and he showed the skin right below his navel, smooth and silky like caramel.

Sirius gulped, feeling a tug in his stomach which he ignored pointedly.

“Happy birthday.” Peter smiled.

“Thanks mate.” Sirius’ cheeks hurt from grinning so hard already.

“Happy birthday.” Remus yawned, rolling his shoulders which also cracked. Remus was always like this after the full moon, his bones cracking and his joints stiff.

Sirius ploughed off to the bathroom first, birthday boy privileges and all that.

When he had washed up and had a cold shower, he exited the bathroom to find the boys sitting on the floor in a circle. Presents wrapped next to them.

Sirius saw James’ presents, there were five of them, and Sirius hoped some of them were from Euphemia and Fleamont. He noticed Remus’ present wrapped in old Christmas wrapping paper, a faded red colour with the sickening yellow of the Christmas bells. Peter had a small neatly wrapped present, a blue bow placed on the top of it.

Sirius rushed over to them and grinned, “Can I open them?”

“Nah, they’re for me.” Remus said sarcastically.

“Obviously! Hurry up, hurry up!” James said enthusiastically.

Sirius opened Peter’s present first, it was a fancy new Zonko’s dungbomb, with new features such as changing the smell of the explosion and the size. He also got some extra sweets and chocolate, which Sirius gave to a reluctant Moony.

“I don’t even like chocolate.” Sirius defended.

“Yes you do, keep them. Don’t worry.” Remus waved him off.

“Shut up.” Sirius said, forcing the chocolate into Remus’ hands, “It’s not like I’m giving you all of it. I’m just feeding you, it’s like giving a dog a treat!” He teased. Remus threw a wrapper at his head which Sirius dodged elegantly.

“Okay, okay.” James grinned, “Open mine! These two are from me, these ones are from my parents.”

Sirius rubbed his hands together, picking up one of James’ presents.

Sirius opened it, rolling out the red fabric, “Woah!” He exclaimed, “This is so cool! Thanks James!” He grinned.

It was a Gryffindor banner, which Sirius would most definitely stick it up in his room at Grimmauld, just to annoy his parents.

“You’re welcome!” James grinned, “Open the next one!”

Sirius grabbed the next package, it was a smaller one, around the size of his palm. He opened it and saw a gold compact mirror, “What is this?” He frowned.

“Open it!” He said excitedly.

Sirius opened it, seeing his reflection, “Uh-”

And then the image changed, and it was James there! He was looking right at him.

“It’s so we can talk to each other, in detentions and stuff! And when you’re at your house!” He explained.

“How long did this take you?!” Sirius asked, in awe.

“Oh, not too long. It was quite a few spells and I wanted to add protective stuff onto it too.” James said, running a hand through his hair.

“Thank you!” Sirius exclaimed, hugging James messily.

“You’re very welcome, go on! Open Mum and Dad’s presents now!” He said enthusiastically.

Euphemia and Fleamont had gotten him a new pack of magical cards, which Peter had found and was already looking at, scattering them neatly across the floor to inspect. The second present was a new colour changing quill, the third was a Zonko’s prank. With a cheeky note from Fleamont telling them to get in lots of trouble.

Sirius turned to Remus, who was fiddling with his hands. He cleared his throat, and Remus passed him the messily wrapped gift, the tip of his ears slightly red.

Sirius unwrapped the present, and pulled out the soft navy fabric, he let it unroll. Sirius saw the moon and stars in yellow stitched onto the quilted blanket, soft with polyester stuffing inside it. 

“Wow.” Sirius breathed, “Did you make this?” He asked, looking Remus in the eye.

Remus nodded, “It’s- it’s not great, first try though.” He chuckled nervously.

Sirius looked down at the blanket and grinned when he saw the crookedly cut squares stitched together, the thread still sticking out of the yellow crescent moons and stars stitched on. 

“I know it’s not much, compared to what James just got you.” Remus said, James gave a little noise of protest, “But I couldn’t really… buy you anything.”

Sirius smiled at him, “I love it, don’t worry.” 

Remus let out a breath of relief, “Good.” He mumbled sheepishly.

Sirius threw the quilted blanket onto his bed and pulled the boring white duvet off. “Brilliant!” He exclaimed, “Right, breakfast?!”

***

“Stop stepping on my foot!”

“Oi, it’s my birthday. No shouting at me, James.”

“Christ, how many times have you said that today?”

“Exactly 24.”

“Shut up, Moony.”

“Stop being loud!”

“Don’t be such a spoil sport, Pete.”

“No, I just don’t want to hear your whining when you don’t get drunk on your birthday.”

“If we don’t get to Rosmerta’s, I still have that bottle that Marlene gave me.”

“That probably has spunk or a love potion in it.”

“Urgh, you’re disgusting Remus.”

“No way it’s a love potion.”

“Oh, because a whole bottle of jizz is more believable.”

“Can we stop talking about this?”

“Prude.”

“It is more believable actually.”

“Oh my god, stop!”

“Stop being loud, Pete.”

“Oi! Stop using my words against me.”

“Okay, okay, we can take the cloak off now.”

James pulled the cloak off of them, Remus, being the tallest, getting his entire head of hair messed up in the process. Peter laughed at him and ruffled it to mess it up even more. They began walking through the tunnel.

“You’re just jealous you’re so short.” He grumbled.

“Nah.” Peter grinned.

“At least my hair is the best out of you lot, it wouldn’t get messed up so quickly.” Sirius sniffed.

“Moony’s hair is the best.” Peter and James said at the same time.

Sirius gasped, “What?! My hair is my best quality! That’s not fair! Remus has being tall and clever!” He exclaimed.

Peter laughed, “Sucks to be you I guess.”

“Why’re you bullying me?! It’s my birthday!” He whined.

“Twenty five.” Remus said.

Sirius rolled his eyes. A few long moments passed where they were all just walking down the damp tunell, “You aren’t actually serious, are you?”

“No, you are.” All of them replied.

Sirius groaned, “Answer the question, is Moony’s hair actually better than mine?!”

“Aw, don’t worry, mate.” Remus teased, “I think your hair is the best.”

Sirius was very glad it was dark, so they couldn’t see the blush on his face.

“Kiss arse.” James muttered.

The four boys climbed up into the Honeydukes cellar, then quietly walked to Madam Rosmerta's, so as to not draw attention to themselves. James seemed to be struggling with this.

“Boys!” Madam Rosmerta exclaimed.

Remus and Peter had taken the invisibility cloak, Sirius and James’ job was to distract Madam Rosmerta while they took some fire whisky. Of course, James had insisted on using his money for it, Remus and Peter were taken through a very explicit list of instructions as to where to leave the galleons.

“Hello.” James said.

“Evening.” Sirius said, plastering a charming grin on his face.

“What are you doing here!?” She said angrily, “It’s against the school rules! How did you even get here?! Oh goodness, I’ll have to go and tell Dumbledore.” She said with stress in her actions.

“Don’t worry!” James said quickly. “You don’t have to tell him. We’ll go soon, it’s just Sirius didn’t get to go to Hogsmeade last weekend, and it’s his birthday today. You know how his parents are, we’re just paying a visit! We’ll go soon!” James lied, clearly very nervous. Sirius was convinced that apart from during pranks, James had never lied in his life.

Rosmerta creased a brow and eyed them suspiciously, “Oh, alright.” She finally said, “But only because it’s a busy night, I can’t be arsed with you silly teenagers. Honestly, in my day we just swooned over boys. Why aren’t you lot like that? Two troublemakers you are.”

“I dunno, maybe because we’re not gay?” James joked, she rolled her eyes and flicked her towel in his direction as she wiped down the bar counter.

“It’s more fun to do pranks then swoon over girls.” Sirius piped in, ignoring James. He picked at some peanuts from the counter on the bowl and began munching on them.

Madam Rosmerta slapped his hand away and tutted, “You leave all the boring stuff to those other two. I know the Lupin boy is the one really behind those pranks.”

Sirius gaped, “How’d you know that?!” 

She laughed, “Ah, teachers talk, y’know. Your Professor McGonagall and Madam Pomfrey know a lot about you all. They’re very much aware of all your… adventurous activities.”

James pouted, “How come we get detentions more than those two, if the teachers know they’re just as much as involved!?”

Madam Rosmerta chuckled, throwing the towel down under the counter, “That’s the art of not getting caught.” She winked, walking away to serve some foamy drinks to the men at the table nearby.

“Psst.” Someone hissed into his ear. 

Sirius nearly fell off of his chair, James snickered at him.

“Bloody hell, scared the shit out of me.” Sirius breathed.

“We’ve got it.” Peter whispered. “Can we go?”

Sirius nodded, James trailed behind.

“Did you leave all the money?” James asked quietly.

Sirius could practically feel Remus rolling his eyes, “Yes, James. We left all the money, God.” He muttered.

“It’s not that I don’t trust you, Moony.” James said quickly, “I do, it’s just-”

“I know. I’m the care home yob of the group, you’re bound to be a little suspicious.” He replied bitterly.

Sirius winced.

“N-no! It’s not that- I swear! I would never-” James spluttered.

Remus laughed awkwardly, “Shut up. I’m kidding, Pete, shall we stop here? I’m getting tired.” 

They were just in the grassy bit a few minutes away from Honeydukes, the sky was full of stars, the moon shining brightly.

“Oh, thank god.” Peter panted, pulling the cloak off them.

“You could’ve said.” Remus laughed, putting the bottles of fire whiskey on the damp grassy ground. 

“Yeah but then you’d all think I was-” Peter cut himself off, “Nevermind.”

Sirius looked at Remus questioningly, he just shrugged in response.

“Let’s get drunk!” James exclaimed, cracking the lid to a bottle open, not at all elegantly. Sirius laughed.

Remus smiled, “I think I’ll stay the sober one for today.”

“What? No!” Sirius frowned, “James has been drunk at Halloween. He can be sober.”

“Nooo.” James whined.

“Don’t be silly, I’ve been drunk before. You need someone to take back anyway. I’ll just have a few sips then.” Remus shrugged.

“When have you been drunk before?” Peter asked. Sirius was wondering the same thing, two of his best friends had broken their promise of not getting drunk before Sirius’ birthday.

“Don’t look at me like that.” Remus said pointedly to Sirius, “It was in the summer.”

Sirius’ eyes widened. The summer? Remus was only fourteen in the summer! Sirius supposed he was still fourteen now, and Sirius had only turned fifteen that day, but it was different in fourth year, they were just… older. Sirius realised he probably didn’t make any sense, but his mind was a strange place.

Sirius felt guilty for being upset about it, but he’d thought he and Remus were somehow connected by their ‘shit-summer-of-74’ experience. But of course, that didn’t make any sense. Remus had told him he’d had fun over the summer, with his new mates and smoking and doing drugs and drinking and getting a bloody piercing. Suddenly feeling a little overwhelmed, Sirius took a swig out of his bottle, feeling the burning liquor fill his mouth in a suffocating way. 

He gulped, taking a few more long sips of the alcohol until the bottle was empty.

James nudged him, “How do you feel?”

Sirius shrugged, “Normal.”

Remus vibrated with a chuckle beside him, “It won’t kick in that quick.”

“Really? Feels like it was that fast for me.” James said dreamily.

“Lightweight.” Remus mumbled.

Sirius didn’t know when it would start kicking in, but he hoped it was soon.

“Wow.” Peter whispered, somehow very loudly, “The sky is cool, innit?”

Sirius laughed, “Yeah.”

“Sirius!” Peter said, looking at him with wide eyes, “Why aren’t you in the sky?!”

Sirius looked at him quizzically.

“Like, you’re a star, innit? So like, why’re you not in the, like, sky?” He looked shocked, his blue eyes twinkling.

Sirius burst out laughing, very loudly, “I dunno, Pete. Guess I just got a bit lost.”

“Mmhmm.” Peter agreed, looking back up, “Moony! You’ve got lost too! We should put you both back!” He paused for a moment, “I won’t though, don’t worry! I’d miss you too much.”

Remus smiled, “Oh my god. Peter is secretly a giant sappy idiot. I’d miss you too Pete.” He said fondly.

Sirius giggled, “Yeahhh! And Moony, Moony, we’d be too far away from each other! I don’t like that. Got to be close to my Moony.” He mumbled.

Remus laughed, “ Your Moony? You’re a sap as well, oh my god. I’m surrounded by poofs.”

“Not him.” Sirius mumbled, pointing to James who was staring dreamily into space.

“James, you alright?” Remus asked.

“Remus! Get her to like me!” He moaned.

“Who?”

“Lily! I like her so much, Moony! What do I do?!” James whined.

“Uh- I dunno? Be nice? Flirt or something? I dunno, you’re the expert.” Remus shrugged.

“But she’s the one !” He whined loudly.

“Wow, James.” Remus said, amusement painting his face.

“C’monn.” He complained, “You’ve got a girlfriend. Tell me how to- how did you get Charlotte to like you?” James slurred.

“Well,” Remus thought for a moment, “I’ve always liked Lottie. Just be nice. I dunno. She’s always been nice to me though, so it’s different, I guess you-”

“Let’s not talk about girls.” Sirius moaned, leaning his head on Remus’ shoulder. Glad that Remus hadn’t tensed at his touch.

“I’m cold.” Peter whined. “Can we go back?”

“Me too.” James complained.

“You go back. I’ll stay here with Moony.” Sirius mumbled tiredly.

“Fine.” James yawned, getting up and stretching. 

The two boys wobbled down the cobblestone path drunkenly, Sirius closed his eyes and breathed in Remus’ scent.

“Are you sure you don’t want to go back?” Remus asked quietly.

“Mhm.” Sirius mumbled, moving closer to Remus because of the November chill crawling up his back.

Sirius opened his eyes and looked at Remus’ face close up.

“Hey,” Sirius breathed, “I’ve never seen you close up.”

Remus chuckled slightly, “You’re weird.”

“Mm.” Sirius said absentmindedly. He ran his finger down Remus’ nose, lingering on the bump in the middle and the silver scar which cut through his field of freckles. 

Eventually, Sirius’ finger was on Remus’ mouth, running down slowly and slowly until he eventually passed the brown-pink plump lips and stopped at his slightly stubbly chin.

“What’re you doing, Sirius?” Remus asked quietly, softly, even.

“Your nose is pretty.” Sirius mumbled.

Remus chuckled, “Weirdo.”

Sirius pushed his nose into Remus’ neck, feeling the warmth radiating off his friend. “You’re like, amazing. Yeah. Amazing. Y’know?” He slurred.

“What?” Remus said.

“You’re just- I dunno. Amazing. Like, you’re so good at stuff.” Sirius slurred.

“Mhm.” Remus replied softly.

“You’re so smart. And like, how do you even exist?” Sirius yawned.

“The same way you do?” Remus drawled.

“See?” Sirius smiled, “You’re so good at stuff. Like being funny, like that. You’re so funny.”

Remus chuckled, “Sure.”

“You’re a funny, funny, magic boy.” Sirius mumbled.

“We’re wizards, dimwit.” Remus replied wittily.

“Mhm. But. Yeah, you’re so good at magic. It’s like you’re just magic. You’re magic, Moony. Just magic, yeah.” Sirius stirred.

“You’re talking nonsense.” Remus replied.

“No, not nonsense. You’re just magic .” Sirius said, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

“C’mon, we’ve got to get back.” Remus said, pulling him up off the ground. 

Sirius let out a little whine, Remus helped him walk,  but Sirius’ legs felt like they were moving on their own.

“Don’t fall asleep!” Remus whisper-yelled.

“Won’t.” Sirius defended.

Eventually, he was put into his bed. As Remus began walking away, Sirius stopped him,

“Nooo.” He whined, “Don't want to be alone.” He mumbled.

There was a long moment of silence.

“I’ll get James.” Remus muttered.

I don’t want James. I want you. Sirius wanted to say.

But eventually another body found him, and Sirius felt warm and safe, James’ scent overflowing his nose as he drifted off to sleep.

Golden Nose Slim Golden Nose Slim

I know's where you've been

Purple Pie Pete Purple Pie Pete

Your lips are like lightning

Girls melt in the heat

Telegram Sam

 

You're my main man

Telegram Sam

You're my main man

 

Bobby's alright Bobby's alright

He's a natural born poet

He's just outta sight

Jungle faced Jake

Jungle faced Jake

I say make no mistake

About Jungle faced Jake

 

Automatic shoes

Automatic shoes

Give me three D vision

And the California blues

Me I funk but I don't care

I ain't no square with my corkscrew hair

 

Telegram Sam, Telegram Sam

I'm a howlin' wolf

 

 

  • Telegram Sam, T.Rex

 







Chapter Text

“Psst, Sirius.” Marlene hissed.

It was the middle of morning Quidditch practice, Alexis had been insistent on making them practice even though it was freezing outside, Sirius was wobbling on his broom from the aggressive wind. It felt like ice was being dabbed onto his cheeks.

“What?” Sirius asked, flying over to her casually, Alexis wasn’t looking at them, which was strange because it felt as though she was always looking at Marlene.

“You know how Mary’s started talking to me again, and she’s nice about my… queerness.” She started, quietly enough so Sirius could barely hear with the whoosh of the wind.

“Yeah?” Sirius said softly.

“Well, I told Lily.” Marlene gulped.

Sirius gave her an encouraging look, “That’s good.”

“And she was amazing about it.” She exclaimed.

Sirius sighed in relief. Of course she was, she was Lily Evans. “That’s great, Marls, I’m so happy for you.” Sirius said.

He was fine with it. It was Marlene, no matter what his parents said, she wasn’t disgusting for being queer. 

It would be different, if a boy had told him that, that would make Sirius uncomfortable. 

But this was Marlene. Marlene who defended Remus’ lycanthropy for years, Marlene who was so quiet yet so loud at the same time, Marlene was great, and Sirius would always support her in anything and everything. 

“D’you think I should tell the others?” She blurted out, but at the moment the wind grew high and Sirius wobbled on his broom.

“What?” He yelled.

“Do you think I should tell the others?!” She yelled back, slowly annunciating every word.

“Oh!” Sirius exclaimed. 

He thought about how everyone else would react, Peter would probably act a bit weird. But Lily Evans was a scary woman, she’d put him into place. James would be overly excited, probably, Sirius imagined him asking Marlene which girls she thought were fit and encouraging her to ask them out. Good old James. 

Remus… Remus, well, Sirius didn’t know how Remus would react. He was always so spontaneous, a comment which Sirius wouldn’t give a second thought to could set him off, but then someone could call him an ugly cunt to his face and he wouldn’t give two shits. Yeah… Remus was a strange one.

It wasn’t difficult to know that Alice would be supportive, she was supportive of everything, she was too kind for this world. 

Dorcas was also another difficult one. She was feisty and brightened the room when she walked in. She reminded Sirius a bit of Remus. But then again, a lot of people reminded him of Remus. Sirius wasn’t sure how she’d react. Sirius supposed even if she wasn’t supportive, she wouldn’t want to lose her friends. And Lily could also put her in her place. Lily reminded Sirius of a goddess. He could see why James liked her so much.

“You should. If you think it’s the right time.” Sirius said, because it sounded wise. He was never really very good at giving people advice.

“You think?” Marlene said, biting her lip nervously. She wobbled on her broom slightly while she tucked a strand of stray blond hair away from her eyes.

“Yeah.” Sirius grinned that Sirius Black grin, “Search for your inner Gryffindor and all that.”

Marlene snorted, “More like search for my inner queerness.” She muttered.

Sirius laughed a little too hard at that joke, he nearly fell off his broom.

***

The nine Gryffindors were sitting in the common room, Mary was braiding cornrows into Dorcas’ hair, quick but precise. Remus and Peter were muttering about something or other. Sirius and James were relaxed and squashed together into a red armchair.

Alice was carefully placing flowers into Marlene’s hair, scolding her whenever she fidgeted or shuffled slightly. Sirius gave her an encouraging look, Marlene bit her lip and smiled, an anxious look on her face.

Luckily, Peter turned the conversation in the right direction, “I want a girlfriend.” He moaned.

“Dorcas is right here, y’know.” Mary said sharply.

Dorcas chuckled, “Pfft. I don’t care, I was a bit of a shite girlfriend anyway.”

Sirius snorted, “I’m definitely worse than you.”

“I agree.” Remus, Mary and Peter said at the same time. Sirius scowled at them.

He hadn’t talked to Remus about the night of his birthday, Remus seemed to be ignoring it. Or at least pretending to have forgotten about it. Though Remus was never one to bring up a previously uncomfortable situation, if he wanted to talk about it, Sirius would have to bring it up first. 

In all honesty, Sirius didn’t remember the whole night. But he remembered some of the embarrassing parts. He’d told Remus he was magic, which Sirius supposed wasn’t that bad, Remus was magic. Everyone knew that. He just was, and not in the wizarding way.

The worst part was being clingy, Sirius knew he was affectionate and touch starved, but he always tried to hide it. Of course, he wasn’t very good at it, he was always cuddling James and often Peter. But it was different with Remus… Remus was… well, magic. He was like a magnet. And Sirius often had to stop himself from getting too near him because Remus just wasn’t like him. He was so closed off, so confined to his own space. He was like a rubix cube, if you managed to get one side finished off, all the others would still be mixed up. And then when you finished the other side, the one you’d done before was messed up again. And the cycle repeated. Remus was like that, with his secrets and mysterious ways. 

What was he talking about? Oh, yes. Sirius was embarrassed that he’d been like that towards Remus, clingy, he hoped he hadn’t made him too uncomfortable. Oh god, what if he had? No, Sirius distinctly remembered that at no point did Remus try to push him away. Or tell him to stop, or hint at anything. And Sirius felt a point of pride at that. For Remus allowing Sirius to be near him, to touch him. It was such a small thing, they had basically only hugged and cuddled, but to Sirius it felt like a huge deal. Like he should have a party with a banner that said “REMUS LUPIN HUGGED ME!”. Sirius and Remus had hugged before, of course they had. But that was when they were kids, silly twelve year olds. Sirius hadn’t done more than squeeze his knee for at least 6 months. Or maybe he was just making excuses, because it was strange to feel like it was a huge revelation for your best friend to hug you. 

“Oh, don’t get too offended, dear.” Mary teased, “I reckon Remus is a close second at shittiest-boyfriend-ever.”

“What?” Remus said, frowning.

“Charlotte’s been going on and on about how you keep forgetting about her. Dinner the other day, walking to class together on Friday?” Mary sighed.

Ah, shit. All of those things had been said to Sirius, who was meant to pass the message on to Remus.

Sirius looked down guiltily, “Shit… sorry Remus.”

“Hm?” Mary said, looking up, a comb in her mouth.

“Uh…well, it’s my fault. I was supposed to send the message…” Sirius cringed.

Mary barked a laugh, “Congratulations, you’ve just won the award for shittiest boyfriend, and shittiest friend.”

Sirius stuck his tongue out at her, he looked over to Remus who was frowning slightly, but he didn’t say anything, so Sirius reckoned he could get away with just saying sorry and moving on.

“I don’t think he’s a shitty friend.” Marlene said lightly, probably because she knew that Sirius was sensitive, but he pretended not to be.

Mary raised an eyebrow at her, but then Dorcas said, “What, you fancy him or something? Never thought you’d be nice to Sirius Black.” Dorcas teased.

Marlene flushed, and turned to look at the floor, “No way.”

Peter chuckled, “You sure about that? Wouldn’t blame you.” He joked, then it was Sirius’ turn to blush.

“Hmhm.” She nodded, not opening her mouth as if she would vomit if she did.

“Are you alright?” Mary frowned at her.

“Uh- I have to tell you all something.” She blurted, letting out a breath that looked like it had been held for a very long time.

“Go on.” Sirius prompted.

Marlene didn’t speak, she looked around the room to see if everyone was listening to her. Gulping when she saw that everyone was waiting for her to say something.

“I’m not… er… completely straight.” Marlene paused for a very long moment, 

“I’m queer.” She murmured, not looking up to see everyone’s reaction.

The room went silent, and the only thing Sirius could hear were the gulps and breaths of the others. Their shared looks and wandering eyes.

James was the first to speak, “Well… that’s great.” He said kindly, looking slightly off and sounding it too.

“Uh… I just thought you all should… should know.” She breathed, playing with her hands nervously and looking down at her lap.

Alice stroked a hand through her shiny blond hair, “That’s lovely, you’re so brave for telling us.” She said in an airy voice, smiling softly.

“How long have you…?” Remus asked, looking at her intently.

“Well… I guess I’ve kind of always known.” She mumbled, then she sat up slightly, “But- well, since the end of second year. When all of you started getting a bit obsessed with dating. And I thought, who would I date? And I guess… at first I tried to choose a boy, but it didn’t really work… so I started thinking about girls and well, I just knew.” Marlene breathed in, smiling slightly when Sirius gave her a warm, proud look. “Sometimes I tried to pretend. But… yeah.” She shrugged.

“Hmm.” Alice smiled at her, “I think I’ve fancied some girls. If you ever want a practice snog, I’m sure Frankie wouldn’t mind if I did.”

And then Marlene burst into laughter, the tension in the air dissipating. The others let out small chuckles too, Dorcas looks giddy. But Mary’s face was stone cold, her hands were now on her lap, unmoving.

“Oh my gosh! Marlene, I swear, there’s this fifth year Ravenclaw, right. You’d totally fancy her, she’s really fit. Wait! I can help you ask her out! I swear, wait, what’s your type?!” James exclaimed, running over and hugging Marlene. Sirius laughed, James was so bloody predictable.

Lily stalked over and hugged her too, followed by a grinning Remus and Peter trailing behind. 

“Alright, alright.” She laughed, “It’s not like it’s my birthday. Just coz I like tits doesn’t mean you need to congratulate me.” 

The boys and girls laughed, and everything was okay, just for a moment, Sirius forgot himself in the presence of his friends.

A couple of years later, Sirius would remember this day, and think that Marlene McKinnon was possibly the bravest girl in the entire world. 

That was the year, when Sirius had thought the worst had passed, but little did he know, that the worst hadn’t even begun.

 

There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold

And she's buying a stairway to heaven

When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed

 

With a word she can get what she came for

Ooh, ooh, and she's buying a stairway to heaven

 

There's a sign on the wall, but she wants to be sure

'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings

 

In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings

Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven

You know

 

 

  • Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin 

 

 

Chapter Text

“What’s happened to him, d’you reckon?” Sirius whispered to James.

They were in the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom, sitting in their usual spots, Sirius and Remus on one desk and James and Peter on the other, only a few inches apart.

It was strange, for a teacher to leave only a term into the year. Sure, every year they had a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, but in any other subject none of the teachers had left the school for the four years Sirius had been at Hogwarts. James was convinced there was some kind of curse on the position, but usually every teacher had a valid excuse. 

Of course, Sirius fed into James’ conspiracies, but secretly he agreed with Dorcas, who thought that it was some kind of plot from Dumbledore for them to have new experiences in the classroom. Remus disagreed, he thought Dumbledore couldn’t be that smart, Sirius couldn’t blame him. Dumbledore had never treated Remus like a student, or a human being. As much as he pretended to treat all his students the same, Sirius could see Remus was some kind of toy to him. A creature who was a brand new experiment.

Remus couldn’t see that, though. He just thought Dumbledore was a bit of a loony. But Sirius could, and that’s what made him agree with Dorcas on the matter. He seemed to have everything planned out, everything for his own gain. Maybe Sirius was just being dramatic. He never thought about it much. Maybe if he’d thought about it more, things would have gone so very differently. 

There was a silence around the classroom when the door swung open. Sirius looked up to see who their new Professor was.

A pale, short, brown haired man was standing in the doorway. He had a slim build, shallow cheeks, and a few grey hairs poking out of his thin brown head of hair. He had a sharp looking suit on, but it made him look out of place. His eyes were the colour of tar, and his eyebrows overlooked them like fierce untamed worms. He looked angry, his thin peach lips made him look cold and his patchy stubble made him look unkempt. 

Sirius looked at Remus, who shuddered at the sight of him. Sirius was glad he felt the same way about the strange man in the doorway.

“My name is Professor Dankworth.” He introduced himself, sharp and proper. His voice was smooth and intimidating, like dark red velvet. Sirius was reminded of his father.

A few people laughed at the name, not loudly, because the room felt as uncomfortable as nails on a chalkboard. But laughed loud enough for him to hear all the same. Sirius was holding his breath.

“Stand up.” He ordered. “What, does this school not teach you proper manners? Greet your teacher properly.” He said sharply.

The class stood up, the racket of the chairs echoing from the otherwise silent room.

Dankworth moved forward, then stopped near Sirius and Remus, Sirius gulped. But then he turned towards Mary, “You.” He said.

Sirius was worried, what if he did something horrible to Mary and Dorcas because they were black? He knew it was possible, Mary had talked to him about such things, things that had happened at her primary school. Things that she didn’t understand until she was older. 

“What?” She said, rolling her tongue around her mouth casually, crossing her arms over her chest.

“You’re skirt.” He pointed out, “It’s too short.”

“I think it’s perfectly fine.” Mary replied coolly.

Dankworth sucked in his breath, “You’re distracting the boys.” He muttered.

Mary turned to James, Sirius, Peter and Remus, “Am I distracting you?”

The boys shook their heads, murmuring in disagreement.

She turned back to Dankworth, “I think it’s alright, sir.” Mary said smoothly, staring him in the eye.

“Get outside my classroom.” Dankworth snapped, leaning in and breathing on her, Sirius imagined his breath smelt like old socks by the face Mary was making.

“What? That’s not fair!” Lily exclaimed, her eyebrows angry and fierce.

“Would you like to join her?” He snapped his head towards her, staring her down with murky black eyes.

Lily visibly gritted her teeth, but didn’t answer. Mary left the room, a scowl on her face. Dankworth walked around the classroom, his shoes making noises on the floor which filled the atmosphere with tension.

“Stand at the front of the class.” He ordered, smirking.

Sirius looked towards the others worriedly, the students in the class all obeyed, and stood single file at the front of the room. Peter had visibly paled to the point where his usual flushed cheeks were the colour of talcum powder. 

Anyone other than Sirius who looked at Remus would see the same neutral expression as always painted on his face, but Sirius could see his eyes were dark and his jaw was clenched. He wasn’t sure if Dankworth would survive Remus’ wit and vicious words. 

James was looking around the class worriedly, as if to check if everyone was alright. Sirius observed that his hands were clenched together tightly, his knuckles going yellow.

Sirius squished himself in between Peter and Remus, as Dankworth walked down the line, surveying every student. 

He stopped at Dorcas first, “Do you think this is appropriate for school?” He asked.

“It’s my hair.” She murmured. Dankworth brought a ruler up to her head and flicked the braids upwards.

He sniffed, “I don’t think this is appropriate. Have it taken out by our next lesson.”

“No, sir.” She muttered, Dankworth seemed to ignore her, moving on to the next students.

He stopped at two more girls, pointing out how their skirts were too short.

“If it’s not distracting the boys, why is it a problem? And why should I care if it’s distracting the boys, it’s their problem, not mine.” Marlene pointed out.

“You shouldn’t be so selfish.” He snapped, “You’re affecting their learning. Just because you want to be a slag, does not mean you should distract these boys who are here to learn. Not to mention, teachers are trying to teach, you’re not only affecting the boys, but the whole class. Teachers being distracted can affect the whole school.” Dankworth explained, he looked proud of himself. As if it was some sort of perfect explanation, Sirius wanted to vomit.

“Are you calling me a slag, sir?” Marlene cocked her head to the side, smirking.

“Don’t talk back to me.” He scowled at her, his ugly face forming into something which resembled a squashed cockroach.

The next person he stopped at was Remus. Sirius held his breath. 

“What’s wrong with your face?” Dankworth squinted at him, looking at him intently.

Remus stared at him for a moment, “Your mum fucked it too hard.” He said, so smoothly that it took a moment to process.

There were snickers from all ends of the classroom, Sirius and James’ being the loudest. Dankworth’s face turned an ugly purple colour with rage, like a bruised apple.

“You can join that girl outside too.” He spat, looking up at Remus’ face, because Remus was at least three inches taller than him. 

Remus wiped away the spit from his cheek, in a robotic and neutral way. “Oh, happily. But you should know, you’re sending two students of the opposite gender outside of the classroom on their own. I don’t know if that’s very smart, after all, she is wearing very tempting clothing.” He said sarcastically, Sirius saw the anger rushing back to his face. 

Dankworth shook, his face turning more purple and red, this time like a burned apple. Remus stormed out of the classroom.

Sirius bit his gums to hide his amusement, but snickers still escaped his lips. 

“You.” Dankworth stared at him. Sirius stood up straight, the amusement immediately forgotten. Dankworth moved closer to him, and Sirius could now tell his breath smelt more like a sewer rather than old socks. “Why is your hair so long?”

Sirius looked at him confusedly, “Er- what?”

“Your hair. Why is it so long?” He repeated.

“That’s usually how hair works, sir.” Sirius chuckled nervously, “You know, hair grows…”

“What are you, a poof?” He raised his eyebrows at Sirius.

“No… I just have long hair?” Sirius answered, trying not to roll his eyes.

“Hm.” Dankworth eyed him suspiciously, but walked away eventually. Sirius let out a breath, trying to stop his heartbeat from going 1000 miles per hour.


















Chapter Text

“We have to do something about him.” Remus muttered after the class had ended.

Sirius nodded in agreement.

“We should talk to Dumbledore.” Mary piped in.

The rest of the lesson hadn’t gone much better, after Dankworth had inspected the entire class he made them all stay in silence while he taught. He droned on and on, Sirius thought this was the first Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson that he hated more than the werewolf one in third year. James and Remus seemed to agree, Peter just followed along with their complaints, never one to cause trouble unless he had someone to stick to.

“Mhm.” James agreed, “He shouldn’t be allowed to teach, Dumbledore needs to know what he’s like.”

***

Dumbledore sighed, “I’m sorry. But the teaching position was already difficult to fill, I cannot just make him leave the school after some silly claims from a few students. I recommend you listen to your teacher, and I am incredibly sorry that you feel this way.”

“Silly claims?!” Lily stomped her foot angrily, “He’s horrible! You can’t make us listen to him, sir! He shouldn’t be allowed near children.”

“Ms Evans.” Dumbledore said calmly, pulling his half moon glasses off of his long nose, “I’m terribly sorry, but this is in your best interests. I should hope that you trust me enough to know that things will calm down eventually.”

“Best interests?!” Dorcas gritted her teeth, “Sir, you must not have heard us, he’s horrible! He’s publicly embarrassing his students and-”

“Ms Meadowes.” Dumbledore interrupted, “Please do not cause me any more trouble, there is a war going on, I do not have time for things like this. I understand how upset you must feel, and I am terribly sorry. You know I am always trying to do what is in the best interests of the students here.”

“But-”

“That is an order.” Professor Dumbledore said sternly, Sirius gaped at him. He’d never hated Dumbledore more than at that moment.

Mary scoffed, and walked out of his office with an over exaggerated eye roll. The girls and boys followed along, their shoulders slumped and faces frowning.

“Jokes on him.” Mary clicked her tongue, “‘S if I’d ever take orders from that old man.”

***

“But I just don’t understand.” Sirius complained, “How’s a couple signs going to do anything? Stomping around the castle is just going to get us detention.”

“If we get enough people on board, then it can change. And it’s not just Dankworth as well, there’s other teachers who need putting in their place.” Remus exclaimed, chewing on a piece of gum annoyingly loudly, probably because he knew it pissed Sirius off.

Sirius creased his brow, “It won’t help, though. Dumbledore already said-” 

“Oh, shush.” Lily rolled her eyes, “How’d you think women got rights in the first place, Black? It wasn’t bloody magic, have you even heard of the Suffragettes?”

Sirius frowned, “No? I thought you always had rights.”

Lily scoffed, “Purebloods.” She muttered.

Sirius felt like he wanted to cry. It wasn’t his fault that he didn’t know all the muggle history, he wanted to learn. He really did, but no one would explain to him. “It’s not my fault.” He muttered after a while, sniffing.

“Hm?” Lily turned back to him.

“It’s not my fault I don’t know this stuff.” Sirius was feeling brave, he hoped he didn’t say anything wrong. “I want to know. But my parents never taught me this stuff. It’s not my fault I don’t know.” He gulped, looking down at the ground.

Remus put a hand on his shoulder, and Sirius’ mood immediately increased.

Lily’s face softened, “You really want to know?”

Sirius nodded in response.

“Alright.” She sighed, “I’ll tell you…”

Lily explained everything, Emmeline Pankhurst, their campaign for votes, their violent and illegal protests. Sirius found himself immersed in everything Lily told him, then she explained how black women stood alongside them, but got no recognition for their acts of bravery. 

Sirius found himself immediately agreeing with the girls that they should start a protest. 

Of course, they got to work right away. The nine of them: Mary, Alice, Lily, Dorcas, Marlene, Peter, Remus, James and Sirius started making signs. The girls and Remus went around to spread the word, getting lots of people who’d been affected by Dankworth's words on board with their idea.

Sirius quite enjoyed painting, Lily had insisted on using her muggle paints to make the signs as it seemed more authentic. Sirius couldn’t agree more, the paint was amazing, he couldn’t believe he wasn’t allowed to use the muggle version before. It was so much better than the stupid wizards who just flicked their wands and colour dispersed on the parchment. He didn’t enjoy the smell, of course, but that was the only part of it he hated, that and how his fingers felt afterwards.

Their dorm had signs dispersed across the floor, signs which said:

“MEN OF QUALITY ARE NOT THREATENED BY WOMEN FOR EQUALITY”

“WOMEN DEMAND LIBERATION NOW!”

“RIGHTS FOR BLACK WOMEN!”

“A BLACK WOMAN’S HAIR IS NOT AN ACCESSORY”

“WOMEN’S LIBERATION”

“EQUALITY FOR WOMEN!”

“WOMEN ARE NOT SLAGS BECAUSE OF WHAT THEY WEAR”

“WOMEN ARE NOT DISTRACTING BECAUSE OF THEIR BODIES”

“EQUALITY IN EDUCATION”

Of course, Dankworth’s words had not been the only ones to trigger this uprising, Sirius had heard the girls talking about their shared experiences with sexism. Some of them had gotten sexually harassed in the hallways, but they’d talked about it as if it was normal. Like it was an everyday thing. 

The older girls got involved too, coming forward with their stories, some with only mentions of horrible comments, some coming forward with rape claims. It was horrible, but they were going to make a change. Remus had told him things, he’d seen muggle street protests, he told the friendship group of nine what they chanted, how they showed their anger with loud shouts and stomping on the concrete ground.

Sirius had even seen some of the Slytherin girls staring sadly at the group, as if they wanted to join in. But whenever James asked if they wanted to join in, they turned wide eyed and rushed away. 



But you who philosophize, disgrace and criticize all fears,

Take the rag away from your face, now ain't the time for 

Your tears.

 

In the courtroom of honor, the judge pounded his gavel,

To show that all's equal and that the courts are on the

Level

And that the strings in the books ain't pulled and

Persuaded,

And that even the nobles get properly handled

Once that the cops have chased after and caught 'em,

And that the ladder of law has no top and no bottom,

Stared at the person who killed for no reason,

Who just happened to be feelin' that way without warnin'.

And he spoke through his cloak, most deep and distinguished,

 

And handed out strongly, for penalty and repentance,

William Zanzinger with a six-month sentence.

 

Oh, but you who philosophize, disgrace and criticize all

Fears,

Bury the rag deep in your face, for now's the time for your

Tears.

 

 

  • The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll, Bob Dylan

 
















Chapter Text

“What would they think about what we’re doing now, then?” Peter said. He was sitting in front of Sirius and James, wide eyed and incredibly interested in what they were saying.

“Well, in Hinduism we believe all creatures are the same, animals and humans and women and men, y’know, all connected and stuff. But some still have beliefs that a woman should be supporting family life and such. Mum told me that she doesn’t believe that, and family is important for both men and women and we should both be supporting them. It’s the second ashrama to have a family and support your partner and children.” James explained, he was definitely enjoying teaching Peter. Sirius could see in his eyes, the urge for him to ask more and more questions. James would make a great teacher. 

“Um…” Sirius, however, did not like talking about his religion. It made him feel like he was listening to his parents. Like it was wrong to believe what he did. He enjoyed talking about James’ religion, but he already knew most of the things he was saying when he’d talked to Euphemia during the winter holidays in third year, “Well, my father isn’t very into equality. Sometimes he quotes St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.” He mumbled.

This was not true, his father did this on a weekly basis.

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

It was whenever Walburga got angry at him. He would tell her she needed to calm down, and submit to her husband. She always pressed her mouth into a thin line, before caressing the edge of the table, muttering numbers, as if she was counting to calm herself down.

“My mother doesn’t agree, I don’t think... I don’t know. Most of my family's Catholic friends think men and women should be equal. But both my parents don’t really like them, they think they’re ridiculous for worshipping Mary, and that they can only worship in the chapel. They think it’s all too many silly rules and they put their faith into the wrong things.” Sirius sighed. He didn’t want to talk about his parents’ stupid prejudice’s. He didn’t know why he’d gone off on that tangent, it just made him feel worse.

“And what do you think?” Peter asked, innocently. As if people should have opinions on others’ religions.

“I don’t agree with them. Obviously.” Sirius snapped.

Luckily, Sirius was saved from a scolding by Marlene entering the room.

“Alright, boys.” She said casually. “Ready for tomorrow?”

“‘Course.” James grinned, he pulled up one of their signs, which was half dry as the paint still glimmered against the light.

“Great!” She exclaimed, clapping her hands together gleefully, “Mary’s so excited about it. She says we’re going to change the whole wizarding world.”

Sirius smiled at her awkwardly, at the mention of Mary. Again and again, Marlene always mentioned Mary, even though it was clear Mary did not like Marlene back. Mary had dated at least three different boys in the last two months, and there had been rumours of her sleeping with a sixth year in a broom closet. Of course, whenever she heard these rumours, she’d get Lily to cast a painful hex on them. 

“Oh, don’t bloody look at me like that.” Marlene said pointedly, “I’m over Mary, in case you didn’t know. She’s still my best friend. I’m allowed to talk about her.” She added bitterly. 

“Sorry.” The three boys murmured.

She smirked at them, “Haven’t you noticed?” She directed the question towards Sirius and James.

James immediately switched on to her hint, “Marlene! I knew it! I bloody knew it, Alexis looks at you like you’re an angel from heaven!”

Sirius had not figured out what Marlene was on about until James said that. “Marls! Why didn’t you tell me?!” He scowled at her, but a smile was most definitely painted on his face.

She laughed, “Calm down, we’re just messing around, we’re not dating or anything. I’m lucky to have found another queer girl so quirkly.” Marlene was blushing, she looked down to the ground with a smile on her face.

“Oh, shush.” Peter piped in, “Any girl would be lucky to have you. I’m convinced Alice would leave Frank for you if you asked.”

She laughed loudly, “Aw, Pete. If I wasn’t such a queer, I’d date you.”

Peter flushed red and looked to the ground.

***

“We want equal rights for women!” Was chanted down the hallways of Hogwarts. 

More than twenty or even thirty students were bunched together, their signs sticking up into the air. Glitter and bright coloured paints flashed in the corner of Sirius’ eye, the boys were behind the five girls, Mary, Marlene, Dorcas, Alice and Lily. 

Fists were pumped into the air, rhythmic stomping echoed through the halls. 

“Ladies and gentlemen!” Dumbledore's voice boomed from the end of the hallway. It’d taken him an hour to stop them, they’d started right at the beginning of Dankworth’s lesson, it was nearly over at that moment.

“If you want us to stop, get rid of that wanker!” A voice shouted from the back of the group.

“Please,” Dumbledore said in that annoyingly calm voice, “we can all figure this out like mature adults. Now, who organised this?”

The group of nine all raised their hands, Dumbledore’s eyes flickered between them.

He sighed, “You, please come to my office. The rest of you, go back to your lessons please.”

***

Dumbledore sighed, “It seems you have caused quite the uprise.” He started.

The group didn’t respond, just stared him down.

Dumbledore gulped, “I do not think I will be able to get a new teacher until after the Christmas holidays.”

The boys and girls all turned to each other, as if to check if they’d heard that quite right.

“So… you’re going to get us a new Professor?” Mary asked, narrowing her eyes.

Dumbledore sighed again, “Are you going to stop this if I do not?”

They all murmured words of disagreement.

“Right.” He said, standing up, he put his hands on the desk and cleared his throat, “There you have it. I will get another Professor before January, now, please go to your next lesson. And I do expect you to be in Professor Dankworth’s lessons in the future. I understand your anger, of course, but these years are important for your education. So if you know what is good for you, please… tolerate him for now.”

They all nodded, brightly, proud of what they had done.

After exiting Dumbledore’s office, Sirius high fived Marlene, a huge grin painted on his face.

 

It's been a long

A long time coming

But I know a change gonna come

Oh, yes it will

 

I go to the movie

And I go downtown

Somebody keep telling me

Don't hang around

 

It's been a long

A long time coming

But I know, a change gonna come

Oh, yes it will

 

 

  • A Change Is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke

 



Chapter Text

“Mhm, off you go, boys.” Professor McGonagall said as she held the two permission slips from Sirius and Remus, which had both been very obviously forged to look as if Remus’ Matron and Sirius’ parents had signed it.

“So we can go!?” Sirius said brightly, that Sirius Black grin painted widely on his face.

“I don’t see why not…” She smirked, a glint in her eye.

“Brilliant! Thanks Minnie!” Sirius exclaimed, running off to James and Peter who looked as if they were standing nervously waiting to see if Remus and Sirius could go.

“Don’t call me that, it’s ‘Professor McGonagall’ to you!” She shouted with a smile on her face, watching as Sirius ran off in the snow.

Remus smiled at her, trying not to laugh.

McGonagall looked him straight in the eye, “Remus, please be careful. I’m not sure if you are aware, but werewolves can sniff each other out, if anyone tries to… talk to you, and you know that they are also a werewolf, please do not talk to them. Please go to a place with lots of people, I do not want you in danger.”

“But, Professor Dumbledore said-” Remus started.

“I do not care what Albus said.” She said sharply, “You are a child, I will not allow you to be in danger.”

“Yes, Professor.” Remus nodded. He wondered how McGonagall knew this about werewolves, it was probably in one of those horrible books, he hoped that she hadn’t spent a lot of time reading them. He didn’t want McGonagall to hate him like the rest of the wizarding world did.

He remembered his conversation with Dumbledore, and how he kept hinting at Remus finding information from other werewolves about the Dark Side. Remus tried to ignore him, but it made him feel guilty. He should be helping, he should be stopping people from getting hurt at any chance he could. But then he was torn between the fact that it wasn’t fair . He was fourteen, none of the other boys had to think about these things. 

Sure, sometimes they joked that they’d all be big and mighty Gryffindors and defeat the Death Eaters all on their own. However Remus knew that all of them thought it would be over by then, that they could just go on about their lives, find a job and a wife and- 

It made Remus feel sick, he felt as though his only option was to fight in the war. He couldn’t get a job as a werewolf… sometimes Remus dreamt of not registering with the Ministry, then he could be like the others. Maybe just taking a day or two off every month and hoping no one would notice. It was impossible, Remus tried not to think about it. It’s not fair . He thought to himself. He shouldn’t have to think about such things, things he’d thought about since the middle of first year. He always thought things would be fine at Hogwarts. Because his parents hadn’t told him about the prejudices, he knew that there was hate towards werewolves in the wizarding world, of course. His parents had never told him how much though. They’d just told him to shut up and stay in the corner.

Make sure no one notices you . His father had said, but his mother had scolded him for that. No, love, go and make friends. Maybe you’ll make friends with a group of muggle borns, that’d be easier for you, wouldn’t it? They’d understand. 

Then Remus had gone and become best friends with three purebloods. And his parents had looked sad, they’d looked disappointed .

After their First Year, Remus wanted to shout at his mother and father, and say: It wouldn’t have been any better if I made friends with a muggle born! Everyone would hate me if they knew! Only Lily doesn’t, because she’s amazing. Or maybe she just doesn’t understand, maybe if she did she’d stop being friends with me.

But it was fine, Lily was still one of his best friends. Well, she was his best friend, not one of them. It was the same way James and Sirius said that they were ‘one of each other’s best friends’ but Remus knew they were really each other’s best friends. Peter and Remus were the tagalongs, the ones who had to plan everything, the ones who had to go along with everything. Remus didn’t mind, of course. Most of the time he didn’t feel that way, that he was just a tagalong. It was usually near the full moon, where he felt useless and a burden.

When the other boys had been whispering to each other near every full moon, and stopped when Remus entered, that made him feel worse. But they’d stopped that now, Remus hoped that maybe they just had doubts about wanting to be friends with him, but they’d decided not to act on it and they wouldn’t leave him. Remus really hoped that was true, but secretly he hoped it was something else. He trusted them, he wanted to believe they didn’t have any conversations about leaving him.

Remus trudged over to the other three boys, his thin fabricked trainers soaking up the snow into his socks. 

“Remus!” Sirius tutted, “I told you that you could wear my snow boots, look at your shoes!”

“I’m fine.” Remus grumbled. “Plus, then you wouldn’t have any boots for yourself.”

“Don’t be silly. You really think the heir to the Noble House of Black would have only one pair of snow boots?” He said sarcastically.

Remus knew he was joking, but he wished Sirius would shut up about his wealth. “I’m fine, c’mon, I want to talk to my friend.”

That would shut him up, Remus thought, Sirius was always jealous whenever Remus brought up his muggle friends.

“You aren’t fine.” James agreed with Sirius, probably trying to stop an argument from breaking out. “Here.”

James cast a warming charm on his feet, and got rid of the water in his shoes, as well as casting a repellent charm as well. “Cheers.” Remus smiled, ignoring Sirius, who Remus could see out of the corner of his eye was practically fuming with anger.

“Can we go?” Peter chattered, “I’m freezing. James, can you do those charms on me as well?”

James nodded brightly and repeated the charms on Peter.

“Oh, hurry up, would you?” Sirius stepped from side to side to keep himself warm.

“Not all of us got offered your fancy snow shoes.” Peter grumbled, Remus snorted loudly.

Sirius sent him a glare almost as icy as the path ahead.

“You aren’t any better.” Peter teased, “You’re so bloody proud, that you’d rather get trenchfoot than take a pair of ruddy shoes from Sirius.”

Remus barked a laugh, surprised Peter knew what trenchfoot was. 

“Come on.” Sirius complained, “I’m freezing my bollocks off.”

Remus snorted, “Didn’t know you had any.”

“Oh, shove off.” Sirius grumbled, nudging his shoulder.

Remus rolled his eyes, he took off his coat, then his fourth jumper and passed it to Sirius, before putting his coat back on and zipping it up.

“I’m fine.” Sirius grumbled.

“Shut up and take it.” Remus rolled his eyes.

Sirius looked up at him, all big puppy eyes, before sighing and taking the jumper.

James laughed, “Hey, Remus. That reminds me of something your girlfriend said to me last night.”

Remus chuckled awkwardly, “Ha. Yeah… Er, we broke up actually.”

“What?! Since when?” Sirius said, almost crashing into Remus as he caught up to him.

“Can’t remember, a week ago? Maybe two? Dunno.” Remus shrugged.

“Why didn’t you tell us?!” James gaped.

Remus shrugged again, “We were busy with the protest stuff. Actually that’s one of the reasons we broke up. She keeps wanting us to quieten down and keep our head down and stuff, it got a bit annoying actually. I spent so many years like that, I’m sick of it. Anyway, it’s not like we spent much time together.”

“Sorry, Remus.” Peter said kindly.

Remus smiled and shrugged again, “Eh, I don’t mind. Means I get to spend more time with you lot. Anyway, which way’s the phone box?”

James pointed him in the right direction, Remus said his goodbyes and trudged over there. A red phone box with peeling paint and tacky metal was standing right by the corner of a wooden building which was painted a navy blue colour.

Remus excitedly entered, then cast a silencing charm because he was paranoid. He dialed the phone to St Richards. 

“Hello, St Richard's Matron speaking.” A high voice said from the other line.

“Matron!” Remus grinned, “It’s Remus. Can you pass the phone to Micheal?”

A sigh came from the other line. Then some rustling.

“Hullo?” A voice said.

“Mikey!?” Remus exclaimed, bouncing from foot to foot excitedly.

“Re?!” He shouted.

“Hi!” Remus grinned.

“Oh my gawd!? Wha- I thought ya said there wazn’t any phones at ya fancy school?!” Mikey exclaimed.

“There’s one in the village nearby! No one told me though. I only found out recently.” Remus explained.

“We missed you ‘ere, posh boy.” Mikey said, a grin in his voice.

“Really?” Remus couldn’t suppress his smile.

“‘Course. Wait,” He said. “Lads! Lu’s on the phone!” He shouted, muffled as he moved away from the speaker.

“Re?!” Some male voices said.

“Hullo!” Remus said, holding onto the receiver tightly.

There was some racket, as if someone was fighting for the phone.

“Re, I swear- we’ve all missed ya ‘ere so much.” Troy’s voice sounded loudly.

“I missed you too.” Remus laughed.

“Gawd, ya sound even more posh than ya did before! Y’know, Mikey moped for a week when you left. ‘E was more upset about that than his mum dying.” Troy laughed.

“Oi, shuddup.” Mikey’s voice said in the background.

“Ha.” Remus grinned, “Well, I’m flattered, really.”

“Blimey, I’m flattered .” He mocked, “Christ, Lu, come ‘ome, wouldya? Ya need roughing up, mate.”

“I’ll be home in the summer, don’t worry.” Remus said, getting his summer accent back.

“Giz us the phone back, ya wanker. I wanna talk to my best mate.”

Troy blew a raspberry, “I’m ‘is best mate, right, Re?”

Remus laughed, “You all are.”

“I bet ‘e’s got his real best mates at ‘is posh boarding school.” Mikey grumbled in the background.

“Oh, shuddup.” Remus grinned, “Don’t be jealous, I already got enough of that from Sirius.”

“Oooo, Sirius.” Troy teased down the line, “‘s that the one wiv the lush hair?”

“Oh my god.” Remus laughed, “Be quiet, ya poofter.”

“Oi, anyway, givin’ you back to Mikey now. He looks like ‘e’s about to piss ‘imself.”

There was a thump, and then a ruffling sound. “Re, tell us what ya’ve been doin’ then.”

“Er- I got a girlfriend.” Remus said, scratching his head.

“Oh.” There was a static sound down the line.

“But we broke up.” Remus added quickly, he wasn’t sure why, but he felt slightly guilty.

Mikey laughed, “Oh, yeah?”

“Yeah, weren’t that into her. Only did it coz my friends were givin’ me shit about being the only one oo’s never had one.” Remus explained.

“Ha, trust ya to do everyffin ya mates say. Be careful, Lu, don’t wan’ ya gettin into the wrong crowd.” He said quietly.

“Don’t worry about me.” Remus smiled, “They’re alright, really.”

“Yeah, ‘course they are, bet your mates wiv a bunch a toffs.” Mikey teased.

Remus blew a raspberry down the line, then his eye caught on some footsteps which were magically appearing on the snow near the phone box. “What the- oh.” 

Remus sniffed the air. Sirius . He was trying to listen in to their conversation, Remus felt like laughing, honestly, he wasn’t even angry. He just found it hilarious. It almost made Remus feel good, that Sirius cared so much about him that he wanted to know what they were talking about. It was a bit controlling, sure, but Remus knew he was trying. And it wasn’t fair to blame him, when his childhood had been filled with so much control and threats. He was getting better, Remus could see that, and he really was trying. 

“You orright?” Mikey asked.

“Ha, yeah. Sorry, it’s just, someone ‘s spying on me.” Remus laughed.

Mikey snorted, “Blimey, dunno how you’re so popular with everyone. Lanky git, wha’s ‘e spying for, don’t tell me ‘e’s one of those slimy gits you go on about. Sock him if ‘e is.”

“Nah, ‘e’s one of my mates. He just gets jealous.” Remus smiled fondly.

“Ah, the serious one?”

“Ha, yeah. You’d hate him.” Remus chuckled.

“Good, that means ‘e’s treating ya right.” Mikey said with a grin in his voice.

Remus burst out laughing, “Git, anyway, how’s things been over there?”

Mikey huffed, “Same old, same old. School’s been shit, none ‘f us are smart enough to get passed a U, reckon Troy will get a grade four in some, though. ‘E’s clever. Are you toffs doin’ GCE’s?”

“Hm? Yeah.” Remus lied.

“Ah, well, good for you. You’re smart, reckon you’ll do well.”

“I’m fourteen, Mikey.” Remus chuckled.

“Oh! Sorry, forgot. Well, yur still smarter than me, ya could probly get an A right now, if ya tried.” 

“Nah, ‘m not that smart.” Remus smiled.

“So… what’s the word? Oh! Modest.” Mikey chuckled, then he sighed, “Anyways, ‘ve ya been eating enough?”

“Yes mum .” Remus rolled his eyes.

“‘S a valid concern! Rem, yur so skinny, I dunno how ya do it.” Mikey said.

“I dunno either. I eat like a vacuum cleaner, ask anyone here.” Remus laughed.

“Mm, ya do. And ya don’t play footie wiv us, but you’re still fit, ‘s not fair.” He sniffed.

“You should see the boys here, some of them play… um, rugby. They’re really muscly.” 

“Ha, I bet. D’you play it?” He asked.

“Nah, well, we have to, for sports lessons. But my two mates are on the actual team. I’m not.” Remus answered.

“D’you wear little short shorts?” Mikey teased.

Remus chuckled, “Nah, wouldn’t want people to… see.”

There was a long silence, and then Mikey whispered, “I told ya, Re, they look cool. Ya don’t have to keep… covering up. They’re jus’ scars, we all ‘ave ‘em.” 

They’re just scars. We all have them.

Suddenly feeling very overwhelmed, Remus let out a little cough, “Mhm, thanks.” He breathed.

“Sorry, me and my big mouth.” Mikey said quickly.

“Nah, you’re fine. You made me feel better, don’t worry.” Remus smiled.

“Good.” 

“Er, listen, Mike, I gotta go. But I’ll talk to you soon, alright?” Remus said.

“Oh, yeah. Sorry for keeping ya up, bit ‘f a chatterbox today, jus’ coz I haven’t heard from ya in a while.”

“Don’t be silly.” Remus grinned, “I could listen to you talk for hours. But I really have to go, sorry.”

“‘Course.” Mikey said, in a wobbly voice. “Oi! Say goodbye to Lu, everyone!” He shouted.

There were some loud goodbyes in the background. And Remus said goodbye as loudly as he could as well.

“Take care of yourself, Remus.” Mikey said.

“You too.” He said, “Miss you.” Remus added.

The line went dead, and Remus stepped out of the phone box, feeling very accomplished. 

He started waking away, then he paused, “Sirius?”

“Yeah?” Sirius said instant, and then there was a loud slap sound, as if he was covering his mouth.

Remus laughed, Sirius pulled the invisibility cloak off himself and grinned sheepishly. He stood up off the ground next to the telephone box and bit his lip nervously when he looked at Remus.

Remus smiled, feeling brave, he put his arm around Sirius’ shoulder. “C’mon, I’m starving. Are the others at the Three Broomsticks?”

“Yeah.” Sirius nodded, “Good chat?”

“Mhm.” Remus smiled, “Everyone missed me, obviously.” He grinned.

Sirius laughed, “Of course they did.” And Remus couldn’t tell if he was being sarcastic or not.

 

Winterlude, Winterlude, my little daisy

Winterlude by the telephone wire

Winterlude, it's makin' me lazy

Come on, sit by the logs in the fire

The moonlight reflects from the window

Where the snowflakes, they cover the sand

Come out tonight, ev'rything will be tight

Winterlude, this dude thinks you're grand

 

 

  • Winterlude, Bob Dylan

 









Chapter Text

On the first of December, the marauders were sitting around a hospital bed. Remus was in the middle of the corner, in his bed, and lying still with a tired smile on his face.

Sirius noticed his hands bandaged up, white rolls around his fingers and a stretch of badadge across his palm.

“How was it?” Sirius asked.

He knew he shouldn’t ask Remus questions like ‘are you alright?’, ‘are you feeling okay?’ or, ‘was it bad this time?’ Because Remus always answered with ‘obviously not’, ‘I’m fine’ or, ‘it’s always bad’.

“Mm, fine. The usual.” He mumbled.

Sirius smiled, and placed his chin on his hands which were resting on the cold metal of the bed frame.

“Moony.” James said.

“Hm?”

“Do you want to come to mine for the holidays?” He asked, “Sirius and Peter have already agreed. And I don’t want you here all alone for the holiday.”

“What, so I’m the last one you asked?” Remus said. Sirius could see the glint in his eye, he’s sure he’s the only one who could see it. James or Peter never could, when Remus is teasing them. But Sirius could, he always felt like he was better at understanding Remus than the others. Which was an accomplishment, because Sirius was sure that no one ever quite understood Remus. Maybe the boys at his home, but Sirius tried to push those thoughts out of his mind. Sirius sat up properly to watch the conversation unfold.

“What?!” James spluttered, “No, of course not! It’s not like that at all-”

Remus laughed, “I’m kidding, James. But really, I’ll be fine here on my own.”

“Christ, Remus, d’you really hate us that much?” Peter teased, in the same manner Remus had before. But Moony saw right through him, of course.

Remus grinned, “Nah, it’s the moon on the twenty ninth.” He said. As if that explained anything.

“We’ll go back with you, obviously. We’ve already planned that.” Sirius said breezily.

Remus frowned, “Er- I don’t want you to miss New Years with your parents.”

“Pfft. As if they care.” James yawned, “We celebrate Chaitra month in March to April anyway. Mum and Dad only celebrate New Years when our friends are around.”

Remus still looked uneasy.

Sirius rolled his eyes, “Bloody hell, Moony. Can you just come and spend Christmas with us? It’s like you want to be alone and miserable.” He snapped. Immediately regretting it when a hurt look flashed across Remus’ face.

“Sirius, you know it’s not really Christmas, we don’t do as much as other families.” James bit his lip. Deflecting the convention so Remus and Sirius wouldn’t end up squabbling.

“Well, sorry, James. Last year was better than any Christmas I’ve ever had.” Sirius said, not meaning for it to come out with such venom.

James put a hand on his arm and gave him a sympathetic look.

“Oi, where’s my sympathy? I did just morphe into a deadly animal.” Remus teased, once again, James doesn’t quite understand that he’s not really offended. 

“Er, sorry, Moony.” James said uneasily, he put his other hand on Remus’ arm.

Remus burst out laughing, “James, I love you, really. But you really need to learn how to detect sarcasm.”

“Well that’s not fair!” James complained, “You’ve just been through hell on earth, how am I supposed to know if you’re joking or not?!”

“Because Remus would never ask you for sympathy, or suggest you’re leaving him out of anything.” Sirius laughed.

“Oh, fuck you, Black.” Remus rolled his eyes. 

“What?” Sirius grinned,  “I’m not saying you don’t need sympathy. But you’d never ask for it, you’re too bloody proud.”

“Mm, I agree.” Peter nodded. Sirius wanted to tell him that he wasn’t part of their conversation, but then he felt guilty. Because Peter was just the quiet one of the four of them, and it was unfair to be annoyed when he was only trying to include himself.

“Fine.” Remus huffed, probably trying very hard not to roll his eyes, “What d’you want me to say? Hey, mate, I need sympathy? That’s just weird.”

Sirius thought for a moment, “I mean, no, normally people wouldn’t do that, but it can just be our little thing, alright? Since you don’t actually know how to ask like a normal human being, you can just come up to me, James or Pete and ask for it.”

Remus stared at him for a moment, before a grin cracked through onto his face, eyes crinkling at the corners. Sirius wondered why he hadn’t noticed before that Remus’ eyes crinkled at the corners when he smiled. He would’ve thought he’d notice something like that about his friend, Sirius was always very observant around Remus. Things like the fact that his irises were large and filled most of his small shaped eyes, making them look big, his eyebrows were always slightly overgrown, he had purple lines under his eyes, they always went away the third week after the full moon, but then they’d come back bright and new after the moon had passed, Sirius didn’t think his eyebags looked bad , they actually gave a lot of depth to his face, but he almost wanted to just make Remus sleep a little more, just so he could more or his freckles hiding under there. Remus always had a little stubble on his chin, unlike Sirius, who’d grown no facial hair whatsoever, rather embarrassingly, as all the other boys already had. Remus’ hair changed every day, his flop of curls would always go in a different direction every morning, and Remus would never bother to brush them. Sirius didn’t want him to. His hair had also begun to get straighter, over the years, what used to be a bunch of curls wrapped tightly together, had become loose wavy curls which flopped around aimlessly.

“Okay.” Remus grinned, “But that’s still the most idiotic thing I’ve heard in my life.”

Sirius snorted, “Remus Moony Lupin- wait. What’s your middle name?” Sirius enquired, forgetting what he was going to say.

Remus grimaces, “Pfft, you don’t want to know that. Middle names are boring. Hey- let’s talk about Charms! That homework was difficult, wasn’t it? Yeah-” He said over exaggeratedly as he tried to change the subject.

“Oh my god.” Peter said, leaning in. “What is it, Moony? Is it something really embarrassing?”

“Pfft.” Remus said, feigning nonchalance terribly, “Nah, hey, let’s just pretend it’s ‘Moony’ alright?”

“Nooo.” James chimes in, “Tell us!”

Remus sighed, “It’s…”

“Is it really weird and rare like mine?” Sirius asked brightly.

Remus scratched the back of his head, some of the bandages on his hands loosening slightly. Sirius tutted at him, and grabbed his hand to tighten them.

He cleared his throat, “Um… it’s John.”

Sirius froze, still holding onto Remus’ hand.

What - the fuck!?” Peter exclaimed, bending over with laughter. James joined in as well, practically falling off his chair.

Sirius was unsure of what he was doing, but he looked up at Remus, too shocked to laugh. “Really?”

“Christ, Sirius.” Remus breathed, smiling, “I wouldn’t have told you if I’d thought you’d be this disappointed.”

Sirius shook his head and began to laugh, “I’m not disappointed. I just mean… it’s so… normal .”

Remus grinned, he huffed loudly, “Sorry?” He said sarcastically.

“No.” Sirius laughed, “I just mean… how’d we go four years without knowing your middle name?! Your normal , average middle name!?”

Remus just smiled, “It’s a middle name, Sirius. I’m not admitting to have murdered a litter of puppies. It’s really not some big secret.”

“Please.” Sirius scoffed, “Everything with you is a big secret.” He pointed an accusing finger at Remus, “And I’m going to find out all your secrets. Mister Mystery Man.”

“Really rolls off the tongue.” Remus deadpanned, his lips twitching at the corners.

“Sorry, but can we just talk about the fact that Remus may or may not have murdered a litter of puppies?” Peter said, interrupting their… moment? 

Remus rolled his eyes, “It was an analogy.”

“Remus, do you murder puppies?” James said, very seriously.

“No! Here look,” Remus grabbed onto Sirius’ ear, Sirius yelped like a-

Puppy.

“Sirius is still alive, if I murdered puppies, he would be dead.” Remus said, pointing his chin up in the air proudly.

James nodded solemnly, “Oh, you’re absolutely right.”

“Mhm.” Peter agreed, nodding slowly.

“Moony!” Sirius whined, “Please let go of my ear.”

Remus smirked, “Nah, I think I’ll keep you here, you can play fetch and sit on my lap.”

Sirius tried very hard not to think of himself sitting on Remus Lupin’s lap.

 

So many times when the city seems to be without a friendly face

A lonely place

It's nice to know that you'll be there if I need you

And you'll always smile, it's all worthwhile

 

When there's no getting over that rainbow

When my smallest of dreams won't come true

I can take all the madness the world has to give

But I won't last a day without you

 

Touch me and I end up singing

Troubles seem to up and disappear

You touch me with the love you're bringing

I can't really lose when you're near

 

If all my friends have forgotten half their promises

They're not unkind, just hard to find

One look at you and I know that I could learn to live

Without the rest, I found the best

 

 

  • I Won’t Last A Day, Freda Payne

 






Chapter Text

“We’re on a mission , Moony.” Sirius said haughtily.

“Well, I’m not doing it. Why can’t we just do this after Christmas?” Remus rubbed his face exasperatedly.

“Because red and gold are Christmas colours. Honestly, Remus.” James rolled his eyes.

“But surely it’d make people feel better if we do the prank in January. Then they wouldn’t be so upset about the holidays ending.” Remus reasoned.

Peter huffed, “What’s the real reason you’re being difficult?”

“I’m not being difficult! I’m just sayi-”

“You’re being difficult.” Sirius concluded.

Remus crossed his arms over his chest, “Well, maybe I’m just thinking of other people. Sirius, if you were in Slytherin, and you came home to your family with red and gold paint on you, what would they do, hm?”

Sirius raged in fury, because how dare Remus bring his family up. Not when they’re just playing a harmless prank. Not when they’re just having fun. “Oh, piss off if you don’t want to do it. We don’t need you here anyway.”

“Lads.” James stepped in, “Let’s just calm down for a moment. Please-”

Sirius ignored him, “We’re leaving.” He turned around, James and Peter followed, with an apologetic look on their faces shot at Remus.

“They’re my spells.” Remus grumbled.

Sirius slammed the door.

They walked to the Slytherin dorms quickly, Sirius rushing in front as the others tried to keep up from the back of the invisibility cloak. They waited in silence until a student said the password to the cold wall of the dungeon before they entered the Slytherin common room. Sirius nearly threw up at the black and green colouring. 

“Er- Sirius, are you sure you know the charms? Moony knows them best-” James said.

“Yes, I know them.” Sirius growled, rolling his eyes.

He took out his wand, and said the charms, not quite remembering the wand movement. His brain was still buzzing from his and Remus’ argument. Bloody Remus, always has to be in the right. Of course, Sirius was aware that there was a chance that a Slytherin student could get punished for not being able to remove the red and gold off of their skin. There was a chance, but Sirius also knew for a fact that all the Slytherins were utter wankers. He wasn’t going to charm the younger years’ dorms anyway. 

Sirius tried to do the spells three times, but every time some pathetic sparks trickled out of his wand. 

He threw his wand in the ground out of anger, causing a clatter and white sparks to shoot out of his wand. Sirius made a noise in the back of his throat, and grabbed onto his hair to try and regain his composure.

James’ firm hand was placed on his shoulder, “Sirius.” James said softly.

“Sorry.” Sirius muttered.

“‘S okay, you want me to do them?” James asked.

He nodded in response.

James quickly and smoothly did the charms, probably better than Remus could and the boys rushed back to the dorm. Without a word about Sirius’ outburst.

Peter was the first one to open the door to the dorm room. Remus was pacing the room, fiddling with his hands.

“Alright?” Peter asked calmly.

Remus looked up, and found Sirius’ eyes immediately. 

“Sorry for bringing up your family.” He blurted out.

Sirius shrugged, trying to act as nonchalantly as possible, when really he was happy Remus had apologised. Sirius would have forgiven him anyway. “It’s fine.”

Remus nodded, before visibly relaxing.

James raised an eyebrow at him, probably because he saw Sirius’ little outburst which indicated he was not fine and that arguing with Remus always affected him more than it should. But by the looks of Remus’ pacing, he was the same.

“How’d it go then?” Remus asked, sitting down on the bed and munching on some chocolate.

Sirius grinned, “Great. I can’t wait for tomorrow.”

Remus smiled at him. 

***

“What the-.” Lily choked on her juice.

Sirius looked to the entrance of the great hall, only to find a group of Slytherins, some with bed hair and pajamas still on. Staring angrily at the rest of the students.

Sirius and James burst out laughing.

“Good to see some house pride!” James cried loudly.

Sirius bent over with laughter, “Nice one, James!”

“Save it for Quidditch!” Peter shouted, bravely. Sirius beamed at him.

Sirius looked over at Remus, who was grinning like an idiot.

Worth it.

***

“Let’s not talk about girls.” Sirius moaned.

Sirius ,” James sighed, “You always say that. You’ll understand when you properly fancy someone.”

Sirius rolled his eyes, “I did fancy Mary. Shut up.”

“Well, not properly .” James said smartly.

Sirius sighed, James was right, “Did you do the potions homework?” He changed the subject.

“No, do you think I could ask Lily to help me w-”

Sirius groaned, “She didn’t seem very amused about the prank we just pulled. Maybe ask when she’s not in a mood.”

“I keep putting it off, though!” James complained.

“She knows you fancy her, the whole school knows. Don’t worry about that.” Sirius said.

“Ugh, really?” James whined, he put his forehead to Sirius’ shoulder and Sirius stroked his messy black hair.

“It’s fine, Jamie. Lily would be lucky to have you.” Sirius said kindly.

“She hates me!” James huffed.

“No she doesn’t. Promise.” Sirius was sure that Lily Evans couldn’t hate anyone other than the prejudiced people of the world. Ironic, because she still hung around with Snape sometimes. She definitely would never hate James unless he did something absolutely terrible and punishable by death. Lily always saw the best in people. Sure, she thought James was an ‘arrogant toerag’, words she had used when Sirius was having a midnight chat with her. But really Sirius could see the blush on her face every time he brought James up. Whether from embarrassment or because she also fancied him, Sirius couldn’t be sure.

“I really like her.” James whispered.

“I know, mate.” Sirius gives him a faint hug, wondering if he’ll ever feel that way about anyone.

 

Son of a gun

 

You walked into the party like you were walking onto a yacht

Your hat strategically dipped below one eye

Your scarf it was apricot

You had one eye in the mirror, as you watched yourself gavotte

And all the girls dreamed that they'd be your partner

They'd be your partner and

 

You're so vain

You probably think this song is about you

 

 

  • You’re So Vain, Carly Simon

 





Chapter Text

The train journey to King’s Cross Station was long and boring, but Sirius was glad it wasn’t like the others, where he was stressing about going home.

Alice and Frank walked by their compartment, giggling as their cheeks touched. Sirius smiled fondly, Alice and Frank had been dating for so long, he wondered if perhaps they were soulmates. They barely argued, they were always together, it was as if they were constantly in their own world. Sirius really hoped they stayed together, otherwise he wouldn’t be sure if love existed.

Peter and Remus were both asleep, Peter’s head rested on Remus’ shoulder and Remus’ cheek rested on Peter’s blonde wispy hair. Sirius wished he’d sat next to Remus instead of Peter.

“Sirius, Sirius, are you listening?” James’ voice came into Sirius’ hearing again.

“Hm?” Sirius asked, looking up.

“We’ll sleep in the big guest room. We can have a sleepover.” James said.

“Sounds fun.” Sirius smiled.

James sighed, “You aren’t listening, are you?” He asked exasperatedly.

“I am!” Sirius defended, lying.

James shook his head fondly, but didn’t say anything.

The rest of the journey was silent, with just the hum and ricketing of the train tracks ringing in Sirius’ ears.

“We’re here!” James exclaimed. Sirius couldn’t blame him, if he had James’ parents, he’d be excited to see them too.

James pulled Sirius’ hand out of the compartment, selfishly leaving Peter and Remus to carry the trunks. He then realised and quickly went back to collect them, while apologising profusely. Remus and Peter both looked amused, laughing slightly.

As they exited the Hogwarts Express, James stood on his tip-toes to look for any sign of his parents. Sirius spotted them at the same time, immediately recognising Fleamont’s messy black hair, slightly longer than James’.

“Oh, Jamie!” Euphemia exclaimed, pulling James into a warm hug. Her thick accent sounded loud and friendly.

“Sirius.” Fleamont smiles down at him, giving him a hug. It’s nothing compared to the one from Euphemia he gets afterwards though. She hugged him warmly, telling him she missed him and gently stroked his back. 

Euphemia hugged Peter, of course, Peter knows James’ parents well, so he smiles and lets Fleamont kiss his forehead before telling him how tall he’s gotten.

“Remus.” Euphemia smiled softly. The name rolled off her tongue satisfyingly. She stared at him, “I haven’t seen you in years. You’re so tall!”

Remus smiled sheepishly. Euphemia hugged him, Remus seemed surprised but nevertheless hugged her back.

“You’re so skinny.” She tutted, “Have you been eating enough? James! Have you been looking after Remus?” She turned to her son, narrowing her eyes at him.

“Obviously.” James rolled his eyes.

Remus just smiled, “He has, don’t worry, Mrs Potter.”

Fleamont laughed beautifully, “So polite. It’s Monty and Effie to you.” He said pointedly.

Remus nodded, “Okay.”

“Oh-” Euphemia shook her head, before hugging Remus again, “How’re your parents, dear? Remus, you really should visit more often.”

“Mum.” James said warningly.

Euphemia looked between the two boys, oblivious, “Hm?”

“You didn’t tell them?” Remus asked, turning to James.

“Tell us what?” Fleamont asked.

“I didn’t think it’s my place to say.” James murmured, looking down at the ground.

“Goodness, has something happened?” Euphemia asked worriedly. 

James looked towards Remus, who just nodded in response, as if reading his mind.

James leaned in towards his parents before whispering into their ears. Sirius, Peter and Remus waited awkwardly.

Eventually, Euphemia gasped, “Oh, Remus! You should’ve told us. You know you can visit at any time. You can stay with us for the summer, anything.” She said, wide-eyed.

“Thank you, I’m alright for the summer. I have friends at St Richard’s.” Remus smiled. Sirius wanted to punch him, why wouldn’t he want to live with Effie and Monty? They were the best parents ever. “But I’ll come over as much as I can. I do love it at your house.” He said politely.

Euphemia and Fleamont both put their hands to their hearts at the compliment. Fleamont smiled, wrinkles painting his cheeks. Sirius hadn’t realised that James’ parents weren’t young, they were so energetic and lovely, it seemed as though they were in their thirties. 

“Everyone up for the Floo?” Fleamont asked.

The boys nodded, and eventually they all ended up in the Potter’s living room. The room was huge, but the lovely red decorations and brown wooden walls made it seem warm and cozy.

“I’m sure you boys are hungry,” Fleamont said, “I’ll make dinner.” He smiled brightly, all squinted eyes and white teeth, it was a friendly grin. Sirius looked over at James, who had plopped himself down on the sofa and stretched his legs out, he grinned when he caught Sirius’ eye.

“Right, shall we go to our room?” James asked.

As they dragged their trunks up the stairs, Remus said front behind Sirius, “Christ. I’d forgotten how big your house is.”

James laughed, “I know, it’s the best, isn’t it?” He said.

Remus sniffed, “I never said bigger is better. I wouldn’t want to hurt any of your feelings.” He teased.

It took a moment for Sirius to get the joke, but then he burst out laughing, followed by Peter.

“I don’t get it.” James said, frowning.

Remus snorted, “So innocent.” He shook his head fondly.

Eventually they got to their room, which was a few hallways down. The bed was huge, just big enough for four teenage boys to fit into. 

“We’re not all sleeping in the same bed.” Remus said, as if it was obvious.

“Yes we are.” Sirius and James said in unison.

Remus creased his brow, “Really?”

“If you’re not comfortable with it-” Peter started. Sirius wanted to punch him.

“Oh, c’mon. Don’t be weird about it.” Sirius nudged his shoulder.

Remus huffed, “Fine.” He then muttered, “Bunch of poofs.”

James gasped, “ Moony! You can’t say that!”

Remus looked at him, confused, “What?”

“Marlene is one of my best mates.” James said proudly, “You can’t go around calling people that . It’s not bad to be gay.” He then looked at the three boys, “Hey, if any of you turn out to be gay, I will support you, no doubt. And I should hope you do the same for me. Now, none of this homophobic business.” He stuck his nose up in the air, as if lecturing his children.

Remus’ lips twitched upwards. “Yes, James. I will support you as well, you idiot. I was just kidding, don’t cry about it.”

Sirius didn’t speak throughout the whole conversation, would James really be okay with that? Was he supposed to be okay with that too? Sirius wasn’t. He didn’t want any of his friends to be queer. It would just… complicate things. If that made any sense. He didn’t know why. It just would. It would complicate things.

“Alright, alright.” James looked at him sternly, “Now, if anyone is wondering if they’re queer, I will be more than happy to give you a peck if you ask. Just don’t get a crush on me, I know my charm is hard to resist.” He said cockily.

Remus and Peter laughed. Sirius stayed silent, how could James be okay with that? It didn’t make any sense. Girls with girls were fine. But boys, that was a different matter. Wasn't it? 

James grinned, just before he was about to say something else-

“Boys! Dinner!”

***

“So, how’s the term been?” Euphemia asked.

“Oh, brilliant.” James smiled.

“It’s been really good. Is this a new recipe? It’s really good.” Peter said politely.

“Yes, it is. Thank you, Peter.” Fleamont smiled.

“Don’t take all the credit.” Euphemia nudged her husband, “I made the recipe.”

The boys chuckled.

“Sirius, how was your summer?” She asked softly.

Sirius stiffened, “Not great, but er- yeah.”

Euphemia nodded and leaned over to squeeze his hand, “You’re always welcome at the Potter’s, always.” She looked at the other boys as well, “All of you.”

Fleamont nodded firmly and the boys smiled politely.

“Ah, um.” Fleamont started, “Remus, how have your…” he paused for a long moment, “transformations been?”

Remus’ fork fell onto his plate with a clatter. His eyes were wide and he jerked back in his seat.

Dad! ” James hissed.

“Sorry, sorry. We’re just letting you know,” Fleamont turned towards Remus, “Remus, we’ll always accept you. It doesn’t matter to us that you’re a werewolf. We’ll always support you, all of James’ friends are welcome to come to us for help.”

“We’ll do anything we can to help with them,” Euphemia continued on, “if there is anything we can do.”

Remus visibly gulped, “Well, um, thank you.”

Euphemia smiled, “Of course.” She turned towards the rest of the table, “Now, Sirius, I know you celebrate Christmas, Remus, do you?”

Remus nodded mutely.

“Oh, lovely. I’m glad I bought you all presents then.” She smiled.

Sirius’ jaw snapped open, “Really? All of us?”

Fleamont smiled with a nod, “You’re all brothers to James, so I think it’s appropriate to say that while you’re under our care, you’re our sons. And if there’s any other time,” he looked at Remus and Sirius, “where you feel you need a parent to write a letter to, we’re both here.”

Remus stood up sharply, “Sorry, I just need- um, the loo. I’ll just- be a- a minute.” He stammered.

Sirius couldn’t blame him, he was also feeling very overwhelmed.

“Oh dear.” Euphemia said worriedly, “I hope the food hasn’t got his stomach… what’s the word- James?”

“Given him an upset stomach, mum.” James said.

“Oh yes, I hope the food hasn’t given him an upset stomach.” 

Ah, so that’s where James got his utter obliviousness from.

Sirius wiped his mouth with his napkin, “I think I’ll go check if he’s alright.”

Euphemia smiled, “Of course.”

“Thank you for the lovely meal.” Sirius said kindly.

“So polite.” Fleamont smiled, “Our James just gets up and leaves.”

“Dad!” James moaned, “I put my plate in the sink sometimes.”

Fleamont rolled his eyes, “Yes, sometimes.”

Sirius rushed off and looked for the bathroom, he quickly found a door nearby with a light creeping out of the cracks underneath the door.

Sirius knocked, Remus said, “What?”

Sirius opened the door and found Remus sitting on the floor of the bathroom, he sighed and closed the door behind him.

Sirius sat down next to him on the floor, “Are you alright?”

Remus’ bottom lip trembled, before he burst out crying. Sirius was taken aback completely, he wasn’t sure when the last time he saw or heard Remus cry was. Maybe it was only that one time in first year, but Sirius felt guilty for not quite remembering. Sure, Remus sometimes teared up at things. But he never properly, properly , cried.

“Sirius.” Remus choked out. Sirius didn’t know what to do. “I need- I need-”

Oh. He needed sympathy. Oh, Remus. Moony, what are we going to do with you? Oh, Moony Moony Moony. 

Sirius grabbed Remus’ shoulders and pulled him into his chest. “It’s okay, Moony. It’s okay.” He whispered, because that’s what James did to him when he was sad.

“I miss them so much.” Remus sobbed.

Sirius had been wondering if that would come up. Remus seemed to be avoiding the whole thing about his parents. Well, he didn’t avoid it. But he’d never cried about it. At least, Sirius wasn’t aware if he had. Sirius was grateful that his parents never pushed the whole ‘boys don’t cry’ narrative onto him. Sure, they called him weak when he cried, sometimes, not very often. But it was never anything bigger than that, they never punished him for crying, to his memory, and they never said he shouldn’t cry because he was a boy. Sirius wondered if Remus had been told that.

“I’m sorry, Moony.” Sirius whispered, “You have us now. Okay? You’ll always have us. And Effie and Monty. Alright? Moony, I promise.”

Years later, Sirius would wish he never made that promise. He would wish he hadn’t been so stupid. Moony, I didn’t mean to break our promise. I’m sorry, Moony.

Remus nodded against him, “Christ, look at me getting worked up over nothing.” He sniffed.

“It’s not nothing.” Sirius said firmly, “It’s never nothing, even if you’re crying over our stupid Potions essays. Or that you ran out of bloody chocolate. You can always tell me, alright? I don’t care what it is. I promise.”

Sirius was so, so glad he made that promise. 

Remus nodded again, “Thanks.”

Sirius gave him one last squeeze before Remus pulled away. He stood up and stared in the mirror before splashing his face with water.

“D’you think it looks like I’ve been crying?” Remus asked.

Sirius smiled, “Nah, but we can go upstairs first if you want.”

Remus bit his lip.

Sirius rolled his eyes, “Oh, of course you need to finish your dinner first. Pig.”

Remus let a grin break out on his face, “And proud.”

***

“Bagsy the middle!” James shouted.

“Me too!” Sirius exclaimed.

“You can’t just bagsy the middle!” Peter said.

“Just did.” Sirius and James said at the same time, sticking their tongues out at Peter.

“What about poor Moony!?” Peter exclaimed, “He gets cold. Can’t have him on the edge without a blanket.”

“Remus, aren’t you meant to be hot blooded or something?” Sirius asked, “Mister Wolfy.”

Remus rolled his eyes, “No, I’m the same as all of you because I’m human most the time. Plus I think werewolves and wolves are different. And I don’t live in the snow, do I? So I’m not used to it.”

“Fine, you can have the middle.” Sirius scoffed.

“I never said I wanted the middle.” Remus raised an eyebrow, “I’m fine on the edge, as if I want two sweaty boys next to me. One’s enough.”

Peter chuckled under his breath, “You know, that sounded like-”

“Don’t say it.” Remus warned.

Peter grinned but kept quiet.

“Great, so I’m in the middle with James.” Sirius said.

“Why does Remus get the offer but not me?!” Peter complained.

Sirius shrugged, “Moony gets werewolf privileges.”

Without warning, Remus slapped him round the back of the head.

***

“So then, as the killer creeped round the door of the cupboard, his fingers scraping the rusty door handle. He pulled out his knife… and suddenly…” 

James was telling a ghost story, his wand lit up with lumos to make the shadows on his face scary.

“BOO” James exclaimed. Peter squealed.

Sirius burst out laughing.

“Bs.” Remus added before sticking his chin up proudly.

James snorted, “It was scary until you said that.” He rolled his eyes.

“What’re you talking about?” Remus grinned, “Tits are terrifying.”

The boys laughed and laughed and laughed. Until eventually, they all got tired, and curled up under the duvet together.

“James.” Sirius whispered.

“Hm?”

“I really like your family.”

“I like them too. You’re part of it, by the way.”

Sirius was silent for a moment. “Thanks, you big sap.”

“Shh.” James whispered, “No thanks.”

Sirius hummed, “Moony, your shoulder is digging into me. You bony bastard.”

Remus turned over on his side, Sirius regretted saying anything, because Remus’ face was a centimetre next to his cheek, his breath was warm. 

Sirius squeezed his eyes shut and tried to sleep. James eventually pulled Sirius into his shoulder, probably sick of his wriggling. And Sirius fell asleep against James’ shoulder, Remus’ chest pressed against his arm, and the sound of Peter’s snoring.

 

Lean on me

When you're not strong

And I'll be your friend

I'll help you carry on…

 

For it won't be long

Till I'm gonna need somebody to lean on

Please swallow your pride

If I have things you need to borrow

For no one can fill

Those of your needs that you won't let show

 

You just call on me brother when you need a hand

We all need somebody to lean on

I just might have a problem that you'll understand

We all need somebody to lean on

 

Lean on me

When you're not strong

And I'll be your friend

I'll help you carry on...

For it won't be long

Till I'm gonna need somebody to lean on

 

You just call on me brother

When you need a hand

We all need somebody to lean on

I just might have a problem that you'll understand

We all need somebody to lean on

If there is a load you have to bear

That you can't carry

 

 

  • Lean On Me, Bill Withers

 





Chapter Text

Sirius woke up with his head in someone’s chest, and someone else’s body slung across his shoulder.

Sirius opened one eye slowly, adjusting to the light. He looked to the side, where half of Remus’ chest was laying on Sirius’ shoulder. His chin was placed in the crook of Sirius’ neck and his cheek was on the pillow. His curly hair was tickling Sirius’ ear. Sirius nudged him, hoping to make him move off a little. 

Remus’ eyes snapped open and he flinched. Sirius gasped and grabbed Remus’ shoulder to stop him from falling off of the bed. 

“Sorry.” Remus said, sitting up quickly.

“It’s alright.” Sirius said, slightly shook. Remus closed his eyes again and leaned his head against the headboard. Sirius said, “Are you okay? You woke up a bit shaken.”

Remus rubbed his eyes, “Think I was havin’ a nightmare. I dunno, happens sometimes. I don’t really remember usually.”

“Oh,” Sirius bit his lip, thinking for a while, “does it- does it happen often, the nightmares?”

Remus shrugged and yawned, “Pretty much once a week. Sometimes twice. I used to get them as a kid, but then my mam would help, she’d like- she’d hold me. And sometimes she’d sleep next to me, and I wouldn’t get them.” Remus looked down at his lap, embarrassed, a light red flush creeping on his cheeks. His eyes were puffy, thick with sleep.

“Oh.” Sirius breathed, he didn’t know what to say. He never got nightmares when he was sleeping next to James, when James was holding him. He imagined it’d be the same with anyone. The few times he’d slept in Peter’s bed at school he hadn’t had a nightmare either. He’d never gone to Remus’ bed after a nightmare, despite the amount of times he’d wanted to. “Does that help, then? When someone, you know, holds you?”

Remus’ head snapped to Sirius so quickly Sirius wondered how he didn’t break his neck. He stared at him for a moment, he opened his mouth to say something, but was distracted by the sound of James groaning.

“Urgh. What a great view to wake up to.” He deadpanned groggily, pointing to the fact that Sirius’ lap was placed right next to his face. 

Sirius grinned, “Everything about me is a great view.”

“Keep telling yourself that.” Peter grumbled from the right side of your bed.

Sirius chuckled and rolled his shoulders before following the other boys to breakfast in their pajamas. Sirius practically begged James to have at least one breakfast in his pajamas, not that it was a particularly exciting thing, but it was exciting for Sirius as he’d barely ever had breakfast while not wearing day clothes. “We can have it in our pajamas every day.” James had laughed, and Sirius responded like a child who’d just discovered Christmas, “ really?

***

“Moony!” James moaned, “C’mon, you don’t really want to sit here in the cold, do you?”

Remus smiled, though it was barely visible between the hat covering half his head and the big puffy coat covering his neck and chin. “I’m fine, I really hate Quidditch. I don’t mind staying here and reading.”

“We can do something else. I wouldn’t want you to be left out-”

Remus chuckled, “James, I’m fine. I’ll just watch you three play, I really don’t mind. Plus, I want to finish this, ‘ve only got twenty pages left.” He pointed down to his book.

“Smartarse. Give the rest of us a chance, will you?” James joked with a grin.

Remus rolled his eyes, “It’s a muggle book, I’m not learning any magic for it. And we all know if you tried you’d beat me easily in every subject. I don’t even know how to spell ‘impedimenta’.”

“Next you know you’ll be running a study group with Lily. That’d make James jealous.” Peter said.

James stuck his tongue out at him.

Remus laughed, “That’s not a bad idea actually-”

“No.” Sirius whined, “You already don't spend enough time with us. And we’ve barely played any pranks recently. Moony, it’s because we don’t have your muggle genius.”

Remus huffed, “Oh, fuck off.” He laughed, “I’m with you every day.”

Sirius stuck his tongue out, “Blah blah blah.”

“Race you to the goal hoops!” James shouted, Peter yelped and raced forward.

Sirius took a moment to process before speeding off after them.

 

“Alright Moony?” Sirius asked, they’d been playing for over an hour. Remus was halfway through his second book.

Remus gave a thumbs up, before scrunching his nose as if something smelled bad. 

Sirius lifted his arm to smell his armpits right as James whooshed passed him, he wobbled on his broom, and felt his heart stop when the fall began. He was only around seven feet off the ground, but even so, it felt as if he was diving in slow motion. 

Oh, he was.

Sirius looked over to the side, to find Remus with his wand pointing at him lazily.

Sirius grinned, and Remus rolled his eyes, his lips twisting upwards. 

Eventually he stood up and walked forwards, Sirius felt his heart stop all over again. What the hell was Remus doing? Remus stepped forward, and grabbed Sirius’ torso.

“Don’t look so terrified.” Remus murmured into his ear, chuckling slightly.

Sirius hoped his blush looked like it was from the chilly air. Remus pulled him to the ground, and Sirius stood, dizzily. Remus smiled at him, he took his hands off of Sirius’ waist and walked back to his book.

Sirius stood, stuck on the spot. 

“Alright, Sirius?” James laughed from behind him, a few feet above him on his broom.

Sirius turned around, plastered a smile onto his face and jumped back onto his broom. “Looks like you’ve forgotten your job of keeping.” 

Sirius grinned, he sped towards the goal, taking the quaffle from Peter. He could hear James behind him, angrily racing and shouting something about ‘cheating’. 

Sirius laughed when he got the quaffle through the goal hoops. James tackled him to the ground after that, the air full of snickers. They rolled around in the grass, which was decorated by snowflakes. 

 

We've only just begun to live

White lace and promises

A kiss for luck and we're on our way

(We've only begun)

 

Before the risin' sun, we fly

So many roads to choose

We'll start out walkin' and learn to run

(And yes, we've just begun)

 

Sharing horizons that are new to us

Watching the signs along the way

Talkin' it over, just the two of us

Workin' together day to day

Together

 

And when the evening comes, we smile

So much of life ahead

We'll find a place where there's room to grow

(And yes, we've just begun)

 

Sharing horizons that are new to us

Watching the signs along the way

Talkin' it over, just the two of us

Workin' together day to day

Together

Together

 

And when the evening comes, we smile

So much of life ahead

We'll find a place where there's room to grow

And yes, we've just begun

 

 

  • We’ve Only Just Began, Carpenters

 



Chapter Text

“Oh, for fucks sake, Lupin. Get off the bloody floor.” Sirius rolled his eyes.

Remus yawned, “I really would like my own space while I’m sleeping, thanks. And I think it’s pretty weird that three teenage boys want to share a bed.”

He was sprawled out on the lumpy rugged floor, his head resting against the edge of the bed. Peter and James were in the bathroom, brushing their teeth. 

Sirius nudged Remus’ leg with his foot, “Why’s it weird then? Tell me.” He pressed.

Remus looked up at him, “Well- I don’t know. It just, is . Isn’t it…?” He stammered.

Sirius rolled his eyes, “No, it’s just you. Why’re you so afraid of being touched?” He blurted out.

Remus’ eyes widened, probably because no one had ever mentioned that before to him. It was just an unspoken rule to never say anything about it. “Um… I guess I’m just not comfortable unless it’s someone I’m… close to.” Remus murmured.

Sirius stared at him for a moment. Because he understood that, of course he did, he was exactly the same. But Remus most definitely was not like that. He never let anyone touch him, unless it was a celebratory hug, or an accident. It got worse over the years. Sirius never used to think about such things, but whenever Remus was around Sirius found he was conscious of everything he did. “And you aren’t close to us.” Sirius cocked his head to the side. It wasn’t a question, it was a challenging statement. Sirius knew Remus would tiptoe around it.

Remus coughed, “Of course I am.” He said sincerely, “I don’t know, Sirius.” He sighed, “Everything’s just… I don’t want to get too close to people.” He avoided Sirius’ eyes.

“You have trust issues.” Sirius concluded, rudely, teasingly.

Remus, lips twitched into a smirk. “Maybe.”

Sirius smiled, and sat down next to him, “You can trust me, Moony. I promise.”

Remus looked him in the eye, and Sirius could see Remus believed him. He was quite proud of himself, really. It was like he’d just finished one side of the Remus Rubix Cube. “I do trust you.” Remus nodded.

“Peter!” James’ voice sounded, “Did you have to let one rip, right next to me ?!” He shouted.

Sirius and Remus burst out laughing.

“Consider it your Christmas Eve gift.” Peter said. 

Sirius wheezed as James chased Peter around the room, eventually falling into a fit of giggles on the bed.

***

“Psst. Sirius, it’s Christmas.”

Sirius jerked upwards, opening his eyes instantly, “IT’S CHRISTMASSSS!” He shouted, and he swore he could hear birds from outside fluttering away at the noise.

“Rockin' around the Christmas tree. At the Christmas party hop.” Remus murmured beside him, eyes still closed.

“Yes, Moony!” Sirius exclaimed, “Mistletoe hung where you can see. Every couple tries to stop. Rockin' around the Christmas tree.” He sang.

“Remus!” James and Peter moaned, “Don’t encourage him!”

Remus peeked one eye open and gave a cheeky grin, “Let the Christmas spirit ring. Later we'll have some pumpkin pie. And we'll do some caroling-”

Peter threw a pillow at him.

 

“Merry Christmas, Mr and Mrs Potter!” Sirius grinned.

Euphemia and Fleamont looked at him, amused, “You too, Sirius. But you know it’s Effie and Monty to-”

“Oh, I know.” Sirius laughed, “It just sounds cooler that way.”

Euphemia and Fleamont shook their heads with a laugh.

“I’m starving.” Remus said in a groggy voice, ruffling the back of his hair.

“Oh, brilliant!” Euphemia exclaimed and served him a waffle.

Remus grinned and Sirius shook his head fondly, aware that Remus was very glad that he was allowed to eat as much as he wanted at the Potters, without people shooting him strange looks. His cheeks even looked slightly less hollow, Sirius made a mental note to make sure to get Remus to eat enough when they were back at Hogwarts. It wasn’t that he didn’t eat enough, quite the opposite, but whenever he took a second helping and someone shot him a judgy look, he’d often frown and look down with embarrassment. Sirius stopped commenting on Remus’ food consumption, as it was clear that Remus being a werewolf was the reason he needed so much food. Sirius would never stop making fun of his chocolate addiction though.

“Mum, you’re really going all out this year, aren’t you?” James smiled.

Fleamont took a bite of his roti, “Of course we are. It doesn’t matter that we don’t celebrate, I’m always up for food and presents.” He grinned, the same grin James often carried.

James shook his head with a smile, Euphemia slapped her husband lightly around the shoulder.

Sirius laughed, “That’s as good a reason as any.”

“Can we open presents now?!” James exclaimed.

“Remus hasn’t finished yet.” Peter pointed out.

Remus looked up from his plate, his fork still in his mouth, he awkwardly pulled it out and wiped his mouth with a napkin, “Nah, I’m done. Let’s go open presents!”

***

“Let Sirius open his first.” Euphemia said kindly. Sirius was slightly taken aback, but Euphemia smiled encouragingly at him.

Sirius gently unwrapped the present, slowly and carefully, the air felt very suspenseful. Inside, there was a velvet box. Sirius carefully lifted the lid. There lay a necklace, it was the colour of silver, Sirius made a mental note to check if it was real silver so Remus wasn’t uncomfortable. The charm on it was a symbol, it had a ‘3’ in it. Sirius vaguely remembered Euphemia explaining the Om symbol to him. But he couldn’t remember what it meant.

Sirius looked up to Fleamont and Euphemia, before he had a chance to speak, Euphemia said, “Sirius, I know you have a difficult time at home. And I am sorry to bring this up at Christmas, but I just wanted to tell you that I think of you when I look at this symbol. It represents thought, speech and action, as well as the union of the mind, body and spirit. I know you get… um… what’s the word? Impulsive. I know you get impulsive at times. But I just wanted to remind you that you have three parts to your body, and that you can always listen and think and calm down. Just remember that while you are on Earth and maybe feel a bit down, whether because of home or something else, you always have the atmosphere around you, remember you were created for a reason, everything you go through is important. You always have your consciousness to help you through. And your spirit, you’re bright and wonderful, Sirius, your soul deserves peace and happiness. I guess this is just to remind you to be kind to yourself.” She finished, she spoke slowly and warmly, smiling softly at Sirius.

Sirius felt as though he were going to cry, he was sure he may actually be crying, but he didn’t care. He lurched forward and hugged Euphemia. She held him softly, rocking him back and forth. 

“I bet mum got me Quidditch socks.” James grumbled.

Sirius chuckled and moved back, sniffling slightly. Peter and Remus both put their hands on his knees and gave a squeeze from either side of him. Sirius cherished the moment. Looking at Euphemia with a smile and memorising the feeling of Remus’ touch comforting him. He looked down at the necklace and tried to clip it round his neck. Eventually, Peter just crawled behind him and clipped it on. Sirius felt the charm between his fingers and clasped it tightly. 

He looked towards Remus and gave him a look with his eyes which said, ‘it’s not silver, is it?’ . Remus smiled and shook his head, he reached forward and stroked his finger across the metal, showing that it didn’t burn. Sirius avoided a shiver as Remus’ pinky brushed his collarbone when he pulled back.

Coincidentally, James did get Quidditch socks, and some Zonko’s fireworks which they were going to set off for the festival Holi at school. James’ parents said they’d also set off some fireworks, to make sure they were celebrating together with their son. James got some other trinkets and fun things, Sirius didn’t pay much attention to them. It felt more like a family moment.

Eventually Peter’s turn came around, he got a new chess set, which was slightly predictable. But the Potter’s also got him a drum, which was strange. It was the type that was strapped around someone’s neck so they could walk around with it. Peter thought it was brilliant, Sirius inwardly groaned, he didn’t know if he’d be able to listen to Peter pounding that thing for the next month straight. Then he’d probably lose interest after a while. Ah, good old predictable Peter.

Remus’ turn came around, there was a framed picture of him and James, Fleamont told him, “That’s not your only present. It’s just an extra thing I found, thought you might like it. Now, open your real one.”

Remus smiled, “I would’ve been just happy with this. But thank you.” He eventually opened the gift, inside was a beautiful knitted jumper. It was maroon coloured, and when Remus put it on it fit perfectly, hugging his frame loosely but tastefully.

Fleamont looked extremely proud of his handy-work and smiled brightly. Remus thanked him, Fleamont said, “Let’s take a picture of all of you with your gifts, okay? All of you get on the sofa.”

Sirius bounced over there, James and Peter sat either side of him and Remus sat beside James. James put his hand around them both and pulled them into a tight hug. Sirius pulled Peter in as well, all of their cheeks were pressed together and they were laughing brilliantly. The flash went off, and there was a moving picture of the lot of them laughing and cuddling together. Sirius stared at the photo, feeling very emotional.

James slapped him back boyishly, “You can keep it, mate.” He smiled.

Remus looked like he wanted to say something. Sirius’ smile softened on him, “We can share it.” He mouthed and whispered slightly.

Remus nodded and smiled at him.

With scrawled writing at the bottom of the photo, Sirius wrote: 

Christmas 1974, The Marauders. 

 

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

Jack Frost nipping at your nose

Yuletide carols being sung by a choir

And folks dressed up like Eskimos

 

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe

Help to make the season bright

Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow

Will find it hard to sleep tonight

They know that Santa's on his way

He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh

And every mother's child is gonna spy

To see if reindeers really know how to fly

 

And so I'm offering this simple phrase

To kids from one to ninety-two

Although it's been said many times, many ways

Merry Christmas to you

 

And so I'm offering this simple phrase

To kids from one to ninety-two

Although it's been said many times, many ways

Merry Christmas to you

 

 

  • The Christmas Song, Nat King Cole

 






Chapter Text

“James, it’s minus a million degrees outside. Please let me skip this one practice.” Sirius moaned.

The journey back to Hogwarts had been uneventful. Euphemia cried a little as she watched her boys go, but James reassured her that they’d be back soon. Sirius was planning on going to the Potters for summer and suffering the consequences, because being with James and his family was worth it. The journey was quiet, and Remus was sleeping the whole time due to the full moon. He even had a high temperature, James was very careful to look after him properly; Fleamont’s orders.

“No, we need to be ready for this next Quidditch season, this year we’re definitely going to win the cup. We have to practice, Sirius.” James said sternly.

Sirius groaned, “James, why can’t we just be like the rest of the team and practice at the normal , allocated times. It’s the full moon tonight! Give me a break!” 

“You’re not the werewolf of the group. Stop being lazy.” James sat down heavily on Sirius’ bed, staring him down.

“Excuse me!” Sirius gasped over exaggeratedly, affronted, “Giving moral support to my Moony is a very tiring job!” He sighed dramatically.

James rolled his eyes, “Bloody fine. I’ll go on my own.” He grumbled.

Sirius laughed, “You do that.”

“We’ll do anything to help our Moony, I suppose.” James raised an eyebrow. Sirius flushed, he hadn’t realised he’d said ‘my Moony’.

“Oi, neither of you own me.” Remus grumbled half-heartedly from his bed. Sirius imagined him being half asleep with his fluffy hair and ever so slightly flushed cheeks.

“‘Course we do.” James grinned, “It’s in the Marauders contract. Didn’t you read it?” He teased.

Remus yawned loudly and opened his curtain, he mouthed and moved his finger to signal for James to come over.

Remus whispered something into James’ ear, Sirius hoped he didn’t look too angry, what could they possibly need to whisper about without him?

James visibly gulped and nodded after Remus had finished whispering, “Er- Pete?” He called.

There was a gurgling sound from Peter’s bed, “Mmwhat?”

“Wanna go play Quidditch with me?” 

Peter’s curtains snapped open, he narrowed his eyes and Remus, who shook his head and shrugged nonchalantly, Peter then looked towards James and smiled. “Sure.”

“Let’s go then. Get ready.” James said.

Peter hastily got out of bed and got ready, when they finally left, Sirius gave an expectant look toward Remus.

Remus sighed, “He’s feeling a bit left out, he told me last night.”

Sirius nodded, “He's always been a bit attached to James, hasn’t he?”

Remus' face split out into a sly grin, “Think that’s you, mate.”

Sirius rolled his eyes with a smile, “Shh, you’ve just got a temperature. Talking rubbish, you are.”

He walked over to Remus’ bed and put his hand to his forehead in a motherly way. Not that Sirius would know that it was a very motherly gesture.

Remus slapped him away, “‘m fine.”

Sirius smiled, “Typical Moony.”

Remus sighed and rubbed at his face with his palm, “Oi, I’m not that predictable.”

“Oh no, I never said you were predictable. You’re quite the opposite. I just mean you don’t like being fussed over.” Sirius explained.

“Mm good. Don’t wanna be predictable.” Remus yawned sleepily.

“You’re not. You’re a little unpredictable mystery boy.” Sirius chuckled.

Little ?” Remus’ eyes snapped open. 

Sirius laughed, “Fine, you’re a big mystery man . That better?” He said in a jokingly deep masculine voice.

Remus smiled and closed his eyes again, “Mhm.”

Sirius stared at him for a moment, just as he breathed softly through his nose, an unconscious smile on his face. “I’ll leave you to sleep, Moony.” Sirius eventually said, smiling softly.

“Cheers.” He heard Remus mutter before he closed the curtain. 

***

Apparently, the entirety of Gryffindor knew there would be a New Years Eve party. Most of the students came back on the 31st of December for it. Sirius awoke on the morning of the 31st to find all the girls except Alice back at Hogwarts, the other years had most of their students back as well. Sirius felt mildly guilty that Remus was still in the hospital wing and he wouldn’t be able to have fun at the party.

Evidently, James and Sirius hadn’t been informed about this party out of worry that they would cause havoc. James had not been very happy about that.

“C’mon, Sirius.” Mary complained, holding an eyeliner pencil, “I bet Remus would let me put some on him.”

Sirius screwed up his face, “No, I don’t wear makeup. I want to get girls at this party.”

Mary cocked her head to the side and squinted her eyes, “Fine. But I think you’d look hot. You just have fragile masculinity.”

Sirius rolled his eyes.

“Can I have some?” James asked.

Mary grinned slyly, “See this is a man who’s comfortable in his own body.”

Sirius huffed and watched as James wriggled and squirmed when Mary poked his eye with the black eyeliner pencil.

He turned around and went to put his best shirt on, stealing Remus’ blue faded jeans in the process. 

When he came back to the common room, Marlene looked him up and down, “You look nice. But James looked hotter today, sorry.” She shrugged.

Sirius scowled and looked at James, who’s eyeliner looked surprisingly good considering all his squirming.

“For once, I’m inclined to agree.” Lily murmured, licking her lips.

James was rendered speechless, he sheepishly looked to the ground with a grin on his face.

Sirius chuckled and slapped James’ back before whispering, “I know you’re really chuffed with that, mate. But she did just say she thinks I’m hotter every other time except right now.”

James stuck his tongue out at him, “Shut up. Stop ruining my moment.”

Sirius grinned, “I’m joking. Well done.”

James smiled at him shyly and rubbed the back of his neck before self-consciously messing up his hair.

Sirius looked around the room, which was lit up brightly with New Year’s decorations. People were dancing, though Sirius didn’t recognise the music. He only listened to Remus’ muggle music.

Sirius walked to the middle of the room, hoping to attract some attention. He looked over and found a fifth year licking her lips while staring at him.

Hestia Jones, Sirius remembered her name. She had pin straight hair and smudged red lipstick. Sirius wondered if she’d already snogged someone that night. Just as he began walking towards her, the common room painting opened and a tired looking Remus entered. His eyes widened with surprise when he found the party, they were dark rimmed with puffy purple eye bags underneath them. His lips were chapped, Sirius made a mental note to remind him not to bite them. Before Sirius could panic, Lily came into view and hugged him before wrapping her arm around his waist to help him up to the dorm. 

Feeling less worried, Sirius continued walking towards Hestia and ignored the feeling of wanting to go to the drinks table instead. 

“Hello.” Sirius said awkwardly. Wow, you’re great at flirting aren’t you? He thought.

“Hi.” She grinned slyly.

“Er-” Sirius bit his lip, “Give us a snog, would you?” He laughed uneasily.

Hestia smiled softly, taking slight pity on him, “Sure, just a tip though. Lead with a compliment.”

Sirius smiled and chuckled, “Right, right, sorry, you look very pretty-”

“Shut up.” She laughed before grabbing his face and pushing his lips onto hers. 

Sirius gave a squeak of surprise, and his eyes widened. He eventually calmed down and moved against her lips, trying to get her to be less intense. She pushed him against the back stone wall and he slid an arm around her waist for support. Sirius eventually got into it, and found himself actually enjoying snogging. He didn’t find Hestia very attractive, but kissing her was definitely fun. It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t the amazing thing everyone made it out to be. But it was fun. And fun was good.

After a period of time she peeled herself off him and smiled. Sirius smiled back, breathless.

“See ya, then.” Hestia shrugged and gave him a kiss.

What? Was that it?

Hestia laughed when she saw the look on his face. “Look, no offence. But you’re a fourth year, there’s not much I can do with you. And to be honest the whole time you were snogging you seemed like you wanted to be somewhere else.” She smiled, not a trace of bitterness in her voice.

“I did want to snog you-” Sirius defended.

Hestia nodded, “I know, look, I know boys like you. And well-” she looked at him strangely, “You’ll figure out what you want eventually, okay? But there’s no point forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to. You’re a nice boy, Sirius, good looking too, don’t let the attention make you do things you don’t want to. There’s a lot of bitches in this school.”

Sirius laughed, not quite getting what she meant.

Hestia smiled and shook her head, she patted his back and gave him a kiss on the cheek before leaning into his ear and whispering, “Your secret’s safe with me. You can tell your mates you put your hand up my top if you want.” 

Sirius chuckled and raised an eyebrow, “Hey, I’m not going to lie. Snogging you is a big win for me.”

She shook her head fondly, “Ah, please stay this innocent. You don’t meet fit boys, like you, these days who say stuff like that. Their egos are too huge.”

Sirius smiled and looked over at James, who was bouncing up and down with a sugar rush as he vividly told a story to Peter. All flailing arms and wide eyes.

Sirius looked back at Hestia and grinned, “It’s not that. I’m just immature.” He joked.

Hestia laughed and put a palm to his chest fondly, “That’s true.” 

When they said their goodbyes Sirius stalked off to the dorm. Remus was lying in bed tiredly reading a book.

“Guess what?” Sirius asked, not giving Remus a chance to respond, “I just snogged Hestia Jones.” 

Remus smiled, “You better not have gotten jizz on my jeans.”

Sirius rolled his eyes and plopped himself down next to Remus, “Nah, we only snogged.”

“Was it good?” Remus asked, his smile so soft that Sirius could barely notice it if it wasn’t for the crinkle at the corner of his eye.

“Yeah.” Sirius breathed. He searched Remus’ eyes, wanting him to say more. To say anything at all.

There was a long moment, then Remus chuckled slightly, “What’re you looking at me like that for?”

Sirius shrugged, he wasn’t sure himself, “Are you feeling better?” He changed the subject.

Remus smiled, “Yes, I’m glad my health is the second most important thing on your list, after snogging girls.” He joked.

Sirius rolled his eyes, but his smile betrayed him, “It really wasn’t that great. I was too nervous. But I think I might be better at it now, maybe.”

Remus cocked his head to the side, “Hmm.”

Say something.

“You really don’t need to be that good at snogging. People are going to be more concentrated on the fact that Sirius Black is kissing them.” Remus said.

“I wish you’d stop saying stuff like that. I’m really not that amazing.” Sirius chuckled.

“Just stroking your ego.” Remus said lightly, he smiled. And turned back to his book and folded the corner of the page before putting it down on the nightstand. He looked back at Sirius, his eyes soft and tired, “Are you alright? D’you need to talk about something…?”

Sirius almost laughed at his attempt to be comforting, instead he just gulped and looked down at his hands, “Can I- can I stay here? Just for a bit. I’m just feeling a bit weird, I s’pose.” 

Remus nodded and opened up his blanket for Sirius to crawl into, he closed the curtains around them and turned to his side to face Sirius. 

To Sirius' surprise, Remus reached a hand forward to his cheek and pulled his hair back, stroking softly. Sirius held his breath, Remus’ hand was soft and warm, one of his fingers had a bandage on it from the recent full moon. 

The last thing Sirius remembered was inching his way closer and closer to Remus, like a magnet being pulled to another. 

When Sirius woke up the next morning, he was lying alone, as he stretched and looked around the room, Remus was sleeping in Sirius’ bed. The curtain was slightly opened, it looked like it was on purpose, to watch Sirius in case he woke up. But he didn’t want to read too much into it.

 

Well I don't know why I came here tonight.

I've got the feeling that something ain't right.

I'm so scared in case I fall off my chair,

And I'm wondering how I'll get down the stairs.

 

Clowns to the left of me!

Jokers to the right!

Here I am stuck in the middle with you.

 

Yes I'm stuck in the middle with you,

And I'm wondering what it is I should do.

It's so hard to keep this smile from my face.

Losing control and running all over the place.

 

Clowns to the left of me!

Jokers to the right!

Here I am stuck in the middle with you.

 

When you started off with nothing

And you're proud that your a self-made man.

Ooooo-ooo-oooh

And your friends they all come crawling,

Slap you on the back and say

Please . . .

Please . . .

 

Trying to make some sense of it all

But I see it makes no sense at all.

Is it cool to go to sleep on the floor?

I don't think that I can take anymore.

 

 

  • Stuck In The Middle With You, Stealers Wheel

 

 

Chapter Text

“We still have the signs, right? Just in case Dumbledore didn’t get rid of Dankdick.” Marlene said. 

Sirius laughed at the nickname, “Nah, I think he understood our threats. I trust his word on this.”

Mary nodded in agreement. The three of them entered the classroom, they were the last ones in. But then Sirius noticed James, Peter and Remus’ seats empty. Sirius sighed, he went to talk to the girls for one minute and they’d already gone off to do something fun without him.

Sirius slumped down in his wooden chair, next to Mary, he left the seat next to him empty. James or Remus could sit there. Sirius wasn’t about to watch Peter blushing every time Mary turned her head in his direction. Peter really needed a girlfriend.

“Class! Hello!” A low voice boomed through the classroom. The students turned around to look at him. 

Sirius gulped when he saw the man, he had a short sleeved shirt on, which was tight around his chest. He was very muscular, his arms were covered in tattoos, running unicorns and flying phenoxies. He looked like a piece of artwork, the tattoos and muscles. His face was sharp, he had beautiful forest green eyes and long brown hair. His hair was similar to Sirius’, except longer , Sirius really wanted to touch it, and maybe ask what shampoo he used. Shit, he really wanted his hair to look like that. Apart from that, and the fact that the man was tall , Sirius thought his only flaw was the fact that he didn’t have any freckles, his face looked empty. Too pale, like the art wasn’t quite finished. 

Sirius supposed he was probably just insecure of himself, he too was pale, he didn’t have Moony’s freckles, James’ stubble or Peter’s blush. He supposed he must be attractive, if he attracted so much attention. But Sirius didn’t really understand why . He had just accepted it. James used to attract as much attention as him, but he wasn’t very reciprocative when someone flirted with him. Too hung up on Evans. At least Sirius gave girls his signature grin when they giggled or smirked at him. Peter had some girls who clearly fancied him, they were mostly Hufflepuffs though, wanting a strong Gryffindor but also a sweet nice boy. Remus, well, Remus honestly didn’t attract that many girls. Sirius found himself thinking he did, because it just made sense, but when he really looked around in the corridors, no one was looking at Moony, of course there were people, but really not as many as either James or Sirius. Sirius was aware that people who knew Remus fancied him, there were always comments made, but perhaps Remus just looked a bit scary to the outside world. Or perhaps the novelty of Remus entering fourth year looking like David Bowie had worn off.

The door burst open, and a laughing group of boys entered, their faces painted with shit eating grins. Sirius smirked, trying to stop himself from immediately asking what prank they’d just pulled.

The teacher turned around. Sirius watched as James and Remus’ faces dropped, their eyes wide. He was inwardly pissing himself with laughter. Peter looked oblivious, still grinning widely with his cheeks flushed.

“Hello, boys.” The Professor smiled. Sirius already liked him better than Dankworth. He narrowed his eyes for a moment, “My goodness! Are you Lyall Lupin’s son?” He said brightly at Remus.

Remus’ eyes turned wide in panic, he nodded, his mouth tightly shut.

“Brilliant man! Your father has always been a great friend of mine. I haven’t heard from him since school, gosh, you look so much like him.” He exclaimed happily.

“You knew him at school?” Remus asked, his eyes twinkled.

“Oh, yes. Tell me, how’s he doing?” He said eagerly.

Remus gulped, his eyes searched the room in panic, Sirius was proud of himself when they stopped on him. But this wasn’t the time. 

The Professor clapped his hands together, “I’m terribly sorry, I must be embarrassing you. Let’s get this class started.” 

Sirius sighed in relief, James clapped Remus on the back and led him to the seat next to him. James gave a look to Sirius, in between a cringe and a wince. 

Sirius coughed, “You alright?” He murmured to Remus.

Remus nodded, smiling, but it didn’t quite reach his eyes. Sirius knew because the crinkles in the corners weren’t there.

Mary tapped Sirius’ shoulder, he looked at her.

“I feel a bit bad.” She whispered, “Remus has missed the party and now this happened. Maybe we should do something for him.”

Sirius shrugged, “Mm, but what would we do?”

Mary shrugged and sighed, “I don’t know, maybe we could all study together, he likes studying, don’t he?”

Sirius smiled in amusement, “He doesn’t like studying. He likes the praise of good grades.”

“There we go.” Mary said with a sarcastic nod, “We praise him.”

Sirius raised an eyebrow with a chuckle, “Praise him for what?”

Mary sighed again, “I dunno. Eating the most amount of chocolate in one go?”

Sirius laughed, “You’re an idiot.”

Mary stuck her tongue out, “Alright Mr Educated Prick. What do you suggest?”

Sirius shrugged, “He doesn’t like being fussed over. It shouldn’t be anything big.”

Mary leaned back in her chair with a groan and then moved back forward again, “This is so much effort. I mean, you're easy to cheer up. James just sorts you out. Peter’s easy too, just gotta touch his knee or kiss his cheek and he’ll forget what he was upset about. Why’s Remus so difficult?”

Remus turned to her, “You talking about me MacDonald? What’ve I done now?” He teased.

Mary shook her head with a smile, “Nothing, nothing.”

“Did you catch his name?” James asked Sirius.

Sirius shook his head and shrugged, “Nah, I’m sure we’ll figure it out soon.”

***

“I think I’ll just- talk to him for a minute.” Remus said when the rest of the friend group began packing away.

Sirius looked at James worriedly.

“Want us to wait for you?” James asked Remus.

Remus shrugged and bit his lip, “Nah, you don’t have too.”

James smiled, “Alright, see you later, mate.”

Remus smiled back crookedly.

“He said we didn’t have to wait.” Peter pointed out once they were outside the classroom.

Sirius rolled his eyes, “Do you even know Moony? ‘Course he bloody wants us to wait.” He grumbled.

“Alright.” James laughed, “Don’t be mean. Not all of us can read Remus like you do.”

Sirius huffed and leaned against the stone wall. “What did you three do before the lesson?”

James grinned, “Oh, Pete came up with this brilliant idea. It was this wall of magic, and whoever walked into it got green boils on their face. He put the hex up right before Mulciber and his lot came by. It was fucking hilarious.”

Sirius smiled, he looked over at Peter, mildly surprised, “That’s pretty cool. Good job, Pete.”

“Thanks.” Peter muttered, he looked down, embarrassed.

The clock ticked by, Remus didn’t come out of the classroom for ages and ages.

“Maybe we should check on him.” James offered, “Might’ve got murdered by that muscly git.”

Sirius slapped his arm, “Not funny.”

Peter chuckled, “His tattoos looked cool though.”

Sirius hummed in agreement.

Eventually, Remus came out of the classroom, looking slightly shaken with a light blush covering his cheeks.

“You didn’t have to wait…” He bit his lip.

James nudged him, “‘Course we did. Shut up.”

Remus smiled.

“What did he say then?” Peter asked eagerly.

“Er-” Remus scrambled, “Well, we just talked about my dad, really. What he was like as a kid. He never used to tell me that stuff.”

“Oh. Are you alright?” James asked.

Remus looked down and shuffled his foot, “It’s… the way he said it. What he told me, he er- he kind of…. described me.” He exhaled.

Sirius frowned, “You’re nothing like him. I promise.”

Remus sighed and rubbed his face with his palm, “I don’t know. Like father, like son, right?” He laughed bitterly.

“Am I anything like my father?” Sirius asked firmly, grabbing Remus’ shoulders with both hands and looking him in the eye.

Remus’ eyes widened, “No, of course not. Obviously, Sirius-”

“Exactly.” Sirius interrupted. “And you’re nothing like yours. Okay?”

Remus shut his mouth and looked away.

“You trust us, right?” Sirius asked.

Remus nodded mutely.

“Do you guys think Remus is anything like his dad?” Sirius turned to James and Peter.

The others shook their heads instantly.

“There you go.” Sirius said to Remus.

“You don’t know him, though.” Remus replied.

Sirius shook his head, “No, I don’t. But I know you, surprisingly well, actually. And I know you’re great, and your dad is a prick. So that doesn’t line up at all.” He answered softly.

Remus smiled, “Cheers then.”

Sirius grinned, “Come on. I’m bloody starving.”



Hey Mama, is it true what they say

That Papa never worked a day in his life?

And Mama, some bad talk going around town

Saying that Papa had three outside children

And another wife and that ain't right

I heard some talk about Papa doing some store front preaching

 

Talking about saving souls and all the time leeching

Dealing in debt and stealing in the name of the Lord

Mama just hung her head and said

 

"Papa was a rolling stone, my son

Wherever he laid his hat was his home

(And when he died)

All he left us was a loan

Hey, Papa was a rolling stone

Wherever he laid his hat was his home

(And when he died)

All he left us was a loan" 

 

 

  • Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone, The Temptations

 








Chapter Text

“I mean, wouldn’t it seem a bit desperate?” James asked, biting his lip. He was asking whether or not he should get Lily a birthday present.

“Not really, we’re all mates. I’m sure Remus is getting her one.” Sirius shrugged.

“It’s too late.” James complained, “Her birthday is in five days!”

Sirius yawned, “Christ, we’ll ask Remus what he got Lily after the moon.”

“Speaking of which, have you been feeling it…?” Peter asked nervously, he gnawed on his lip, “I hope I haven’t done anything wrong.” He murmured.

“That weird heartbeat!” Sirius exclaimed, “Yes! It’s so strange. Whenever I do the morning chant.”

The morning chant, Sirius had come accustomed to it. It was just a routine, Amato Animo Animato Animagus. Sirius sometimes forgot in the evenings, James often had to wake him up just before sundown to make sure he’d done it. They’d had to be careful over Christmas, making sure Remus didn’t see them sneaking away every morning and evening.

“D’you think that means the storm is coming?” James asked, leaning in slowly.

“Yeah, I think that maybe it-” Peter started. But then, there was a loud thundering noise outside.

Sirius turned around slowly, shocked and wide eyed. “Are you seeing this?”

Shit …” James gaped, “Well, c’mon then! Let’s go!”

The boys scampered out of the dorm, under the invisibility cloak so Remus wouldn’t find them leaving without them. He was down in the common room, studying with Mary and Alice. Sirius tried not to roll his eyes when he saw how tired Remus clearly was, the full moon being only in a couple of days.

“Are you ready?” James breathed once they’d entered the bathroom.

Sirius gulped, “Yes.”

“Yup.” Peter squeaked.

“Oh, I really want to see what animal I’ll be.” James said, bouncing from foot to foot.

Sirius sighed and grabbed his crystal vial. “We should… separate a bit. What if one of us is a really big animal.” He suggested, feeling slightly nauseous.

The other boys nodded. 

“Alright.” James breathed, “Three, two, one…”

“Amato Animo Animato Animagu.” They chanted.

Then Sirius gulped down his vial of red potion, no longer thinking of the other two boys. 

Ah, shit. It was really painful, burning from the inside. Sirius tried not to think about the summer…

Oh no, no, no . It was getting worse. No, no-

Finally, the pain came to a complete stop. The only feeling left was the intense heartbeat in his chest. Beating loudly and filling his eardrums. His head burned painfully.

It is too late now, to escape the change you have willed.

Oh, shut up. Sirius said to the stupid voice in his brain.

Sirius’ skin itched, he saw the shape of something in front of him, but couldn’t be bothered to look at that moment. He wanted to shout, his skin was moving and morphing and splitting.

Then Sirius could breath, he realised his eyes had been squeezed shut.

He looked down at himself, he was closer to the floor. Sirius sniffed the air, the strong scents around him overpowered his nose. He lifted his hands off the ground and gasped. But instead of a gasp, he made a loud barking noise.

Sirius grinned to himself, this was amazing. Suddenly aware of his surroundings, he looked around, the colours weren’t so bright. It was strange, some of the world was grey, the other half was coloured. His furry paws had soft pink pads on the bottom of them. He wondered what the rest of him looked like.

Sirius remembered he was supposed to try and change back, to make sure the transformation had actually worked. Sirius truly hoped he wasn’t half human and half animal. Though that would be cool.

Sirius tried to visualise himself, when it didn’t work straight away, he panicked, and felt himself panting heavily.

Who is Sirius Black? Ooh, don’t go down that path. Okay, what does Sirius Black look like? Dark hair, grey eyes, high cheekbones, pointy nose, nice lips. Oh Jesus, he  did  sound handsome when he thought of it like that. 

Sirius squeezed his eyes shut, willing the voice to go away. He imagined an image of himself, after finally calming down enough to form a full image. He let out a breath as he stood up off of the ground. He rubbed down his knees, hoping he hadn’t ruined his school trousers from the murky bathroom floor.

He immediately looked over to the other side of the bathroom, James was sitting down with his head back. Breathing heavily.

Sirius rushed over to him, “Are you okay? Was it okay?”

James peeked one eye open, sweat dripping from his brow, “It was bloody brilliant, mate.” He breathed.

Sirius grinned, “What are you?” 

James panted, “I’m some kind of stag. I think.”

“Oh wow.” Sirius grinned, “Yeah, I can see that for you…” he cocked his head to the side, “Guess what I am?”

James creased his brow, “I dunno.”

“I’m a dog.” Sirius breathed, barely above a whisper.

“Amazing!” James said brightly, “Where’s Pete?” He looked around the room.

Sirius squinted, “Oh no, do you think he's okay?” He grimaced.

James got up and immediately started rushing around the room, suddenly, he shrieked, “AHH! THERE’S A RAT IN HERE!” He screeched loudly, Sirius hoped the Professors wouldn't wake up.

Sirius hastily walked over to him and squinted at the grey rat on the floor, he then had a realisation, “Oh my God ! That’s Peter !” He shouted, gaping. He tried to stop the laughter from bubbling into throat, Peter seemed to be struggling slightly. Squeaking and scattering.

“Pete.” James said, as calm as possible, “Right, I need you to imagine yourself, breathe in, and out. Okay? Right, blond hair, blue eyes…” 

Sirius bit his thumb to stop himself laughing. A rat . Jesus.

Eventually, Peter managed to transform back. James immediately hugged him.

“Thank Merlin. Thought we lost you there mate.” He laughed.

Peter smiled for a split second, and then groaned, “A rat ! I hate everything. I’m a fucking rat!”

Sirius burst out laughing, no longer able to hold it in anymore. A rat.

“Oh c’mon Pete. It’s not that bad, you could be a spider or a cockroach…?” James tried, amusement painting his face.

Peter groaned again, “I can’t believe this.”

“Don’t be too upset Pete.” Sirius said, “You might just be a really fat mouse.” He snickered.

James clipped him round the back of the head as Sirius laughed. Eventually, Peter found the humour in the situation as well.

There they were, sitting in the bathroom at Hogwarts, after just becoming Animagi to help their best friend with his werewolf transformations. What a crazy world they lived in, and it was about to get even crazier.

 

Just a perfect day

Drink sangria in a park

And then later

When it gets dark we go home

Just a perfect day

 

Feed animals in the zoo

And then later a movie, too

And then home

 

Oh it's such a perfect day

I'm glad I spend it with you

Oh such a perfect dayyou just keep me hangin on

 

You just keep me hangin on

Just a perfect day

Problems are left to know

Weekenders all night long

It's such fun

 

Just a perfect day

You make me forget myself

I thought I was someone else

Someone good

 

 

  • Perfect Day, Lou Reed

 









Chapter Text

“Where the hell have you all been?” Remus said, lying casually on the bed as the others walked into the dorm.

“Er-” James rubbed the back of his neck.

“It’s a surprise.” Sirius interrupted.

Remus raised an eyebrow at him, and Sirius had to look away, his questioning gaze was too much.

“You’ll find out tomorrow.” Peter said smartly.

Remus shrugged, yawning, “Alright then.”

Sirius grinned and rubbed his hands together, giving James a knowing look.

***

“We should just tell him now!” Sirius said.

“Why don’t we tell him tomorrow or-” James bit his lip.

“No, we should just go and see what he does.” Peter said.

“We can’t do that!” Sirius retorted. “We’ll stress him out. We have to tell him before the full moon!”

“It’s really late now, why don’t we tell him tomorrow morning?” James sighed.

“No, we said he’d find out today, he’ll be waiting.” Peter bit his lip, “But I don’t think it matters.”

“Yeah, he probably thinks it’s just a prank that didn’t work.”

Sirius groaned, “Why can’t we just tell him! We’re making too much of a big deal out of it.”

“You know how he’ll react.” James said sternly, “He-”

Suddenly, the door to their dorm opened. Peter squealed and then immediately shrank down to the floor. In rat form .

Shit, shit. Shit.

Remus raised an eyebrow at James and Sirius, “What’s going on? Where’s Pete?” He said as he sat down on his bed, which Peter was hiding under.

Sirius bit his lip with anxiousness, tapping his foot. 

“Um, I don’t know.” James said, looking desperately at Sirius.

“He’s-” Sirius started.

“Why the fuck is there a worm under my bed?” Remus laughed, leaning down and picking up the pink rat tail. 

There was a loud shriek, in which Sirius was completely unsure of what was going on. Remus was standing on the bed squealing, or something like that. Sirius’ eyes were flickering around so much that they hurt. James may have been laughing, or panicking. Sirius was unsure, he just stood there, wide eyed, half panicking and half trying to bite down his laughter. 

“Peter, change back! For the love of God!” James shouted.

After a few silent seconds, Peter changed back into human form, and sheepishly stared down at the floor.

“Okay, someone explain to me what the fuck is going on?!” Remus exclaimed, angrily.

Sirius gulped, the three boys, James, Peter and Sirius all stood in a line. As if he was a teacher lecturing them, Remus stood in front of them, his hands on his hips.

“Okay, basically, Moony.” James started, taking a breath, “We kind of… became Animagi… so we could help with your full moons… and er-” James turned his head to Sirius and Peter, as if asking for help.

“You-” Remus said, angrily. Then he paused; confusion taking over his face. “What?”

Sirius sighed, “Okay, promise to let me talk while I explain?” He asked, stepping forward.

Remus just nodded and crossed his arms over his chest.

“We thought about what we could do to help you with full moons. And I suggested-” Sirius started.

“I suggested, actually.” Peter huffed.

Sirius rolled his eyes, “I suggested we all become werewolves.” Sirius looked pointedly at Peter, who flushed and stepped back, embarrassed, “Which of course was ridiculous. So then we decided to become Animagi, and well, it took a long while. But we’ve finally done it. So now we can help you with full moons, we’ll be there. In animal form. I’m a dog and James is a stag. Pete’s a rat, as you’ve seen.”

Remus stared at them for a long, long time. Sirius wondered if he’d turned into a statue, if it wasn’t for the fact that his eyes were getting increasingly red and watery. “How long’ve you been planning this?” He asked, his voice wobbly.

“Since third year.” Sirius answered, “Since that really horrible full moon you had. I wanted to do something to help. We wanted to. I’m sorry we hid it from you, but now it’s out there. Y’know, Moony, it’s really difficult for us to see you like that. I’m not saying that in a bad way, it’s not your fault. It’s just- well, we love you so much and we want to help you. So we did this…” Sirius finished his rambling, and gulped deeply, feeling a lump forming in his throat.

Remus stared at him, “I thought-” his voice was getting more and more uneasy, “I thought that you-” the rest of the words were incoherent, Remus’ lower lip trembled so much that Sirius wondered if it was doing that off it’s own accord.

James immediately grabbed onto him and held him, helping him down to sit on the bed. He rubbed his back, “Hey, hey, what’s wrong?”

“I thought-” Remus sobbed, sniffing, ugly tears and snot sliding down his face. Sirius was utterly shocked, he’d never quite seen Remus so… so… un-Remus like? He looked so small and vulnerable. Remus Lupin was not vulnerable. He was the bravest boy Sirius knew, and in some ways, seeing him like this made Sirius feel slightly better. But mostly he felt terrible, his heart twinged as he saw Remus in such a state. “I thought you wanted to stop- stop- being friends.” He weeped.

What ?” James said, astonished, “We would never, ever do that. What made you think that, Moony? Who the hell told you that?! I’ll fucking kill them.”

“I just thought- the- the secrets.” Remus blubbered.

“Oh, Moony.” Sirius stepped in, sitting himself on the other side of Remus, “I’m so sorry. We never wanted to make you feel that way, or leave you out…” 

Remus nodded, his eyes red and shedding tears. He sniffled loudly. Wiping his face uselessly when the tears just wouldn’t go away. 

“Oh, bloody-” James pushed Remus down onto the bed in a hug, Sirius joined in, as did Peter on top of them. James rocked them side to side, bubbles of laughter escaping their lips. Remus laughed, his cheeks and nose still red. He sniffed and rubbed his face as he continued laughing and laughing.

Eventually, they sat up, all of them smiling and slightly sweaty. 

“I’m not letting you come with me.” Remus said, still smiling, “On the full moon, that is.”

“What?” Sirius’ head snapped to him, “Why not?”

Remus shook his head and sighed, “It’s too dangerous… I don’t think you understand what it’s really like.” 

“We researched, Remus. You won’t hurt us when we’re animals.” James said, firmly, as if he was a professor lecturing him.

Remus bit his lip, “I might… I get really angry. I don’t think you understand…” 

“Well tell us!” Sirius snapped, “You keep saying that. Tell us what we don’t understand then, and we’ll make our own decisions.”

“Sirius.” James warned, giving him a pointed look.

Remus put a hand up to James, “It’s fine. When I transform, I scream a lot. And I get really angry, like really angry. And hungry, so I don’t know… just because you’re animals doesn’t mean I won’t hurt you. I’ve been locked away, alone, for such a long time. It’s… I just can’t believe some silly books which you’ve researched from which probably have entirely false information.”

“Just let us try , Moony.” Sirius said softly, “We’ll- we’ll get a backup plan. To escape, if something happens. But just let us try , please.”

“Sirius…” Remus huffed, his eyes looked sad, the lids drooped slightly. Sirius wasn’t sure if it was from exhaustion or exasperation. “Look, I appreciate it, more than you’ll ever know. But I just can’t risk losing all of you.”

Sirius softened slightly, “You won’t, I promise. James is a stag, okay? He can hold you back if anything happens. You trust us, right? I promise you can trust us.”

Remus pressed his jaw together tightly, he stared at his hands for a second, “I trust you.” He muttered.

“Great!” Peter exclaimed, he yawned and lay back down, relaxing.

“We’ll be careful, Moony.” James reassured him, “I promise.”

Remus stared at James for a moment, “Okay.”

Sirius smiled, he got up off the chair, gently undoing the buttons of his shirt. 

“Wait.” Remus said.

Sirius spun around instantly.

“Thank you.” Remus smiled at him, “All of you, I just…” he visibly swallowed. Smiling down at the ground.

Sirius couldn’t bear it, he lurched forward and pulled Remus into a hug. “Shut up, you plonker. We’d do anything for you.”

 

The night is like a lovely tune

Beware my foolish heart

How white the ever constant moon

Take care my foolish heart

 

There's a line between love and fascination

That's hard to see, how many names such as this

For they both have the very same sensation

 

 

  • My Foolish Heart, Bill Evans

 









Chapter Text

“Did anyone see you?” Remus said nervously, biting on his thumbnail.

“No, we were under the cloak.” Peter answered.

“Yes, but-”

“Relax, Moony.” James said, putting a comforting hand on his shoulder, “No one saw us. I promise.”

Remus sighed and shook him off, pacing around the room and running a hand through his disheveled hair.

“Er-” Peter looked at Sirius and James nervously, “want to sit down?”

“I don’t think this is a good idea.” Remus said, ignoring Peter, still pacing.

“Moony, relax, would you? It’s fine, we’ll be fine.” Sirius reassured.

“How do you know that?” Remus snapped, finally sitting down.

“Just do.” Sirius shrugged.

Remus shot him a glare, “I need to, um, I need to get undressed… so I don’t ruin my clothes.” He flushed, embarrassed.

“Oh!” The three of them exclaimed, hastily turning around. Awkwardness filled the air.

“Er- you’ll see me after.” Remus said after a while. “You know… if everything goes to plan.”

Sirius gulped, “It’s fine, we all share a dorm anyway. Seen everything we could possibly see.” He said.

James shot him a look, as if to say ‘what are you on about?’ . Sirius shrugged, ‘trying to make him feel better’ he said with his eyes.

The boys turned around, Remus was sitting on the bed, covering his stomach with his hands with insecurity. Sirius’ plan had been to look anywhere but Remus, but he found himself staring, suppressing a gasp when he saw his legs and chest and arms covered in silver scars. Remus. 

Remus caught Sirius’ eye before looking away. Sirius rubbed a hand over his face, before he could start an undoubtedly awkward conversion, Remus groaned loudly.

Sirius turned towards the others, shocked. Then Remus started breathing heavily, rocking side to side and groaning.

“What’s happening?” Peter gasped.

“What do we do?!” Sirius said, panicked, “What’s wrong with him?!”

They both turned to James, who was staring at Remus, his mouth partially opened. 

“James?” Sirius demanded.

“This is-” James breathed, “this is the transformation.”

Sirius froze on the spot.

“Fucking- fucking change!” Remus shouted.

Sirius immediately turned into dog form. James took a few seconds to process what was going on, and Peter squeezed his eyes shut and took at least twenty seconds to turn into his rat form. He was improving.

Sirius turned his head towards Remus. Unable to take his eyes off, he felt as though he should be doing something, helping him. 

Remus was screaming, sharp cries ran through the empty air. Sirius felt his bony dog legs shaking. He needed to do something . He needed to help him.

But then the screaming stopped, and Sirius stared at the wolf in front of him. 

What do we do? Peter asked.

Sirius flinched at the voice in his head, suddenly feeling strange that his friends could talk to him through his mind.

Moony took a wobbly step onto the wooden floor, which creamed under his weight. He sniffed the air, then narrowed his eyes threateningly at the three of them.

James took a step forward, his cloven hooves clicking on the floor.

Moony bit the air, his teeth scraping together. Sirius took a moment to look at him, he looked, well, scary. His scars covered him, running through the prickly fur on his body. Without the scars, Sirius thought he probably would look like a husky. His eyes were no longer golden, but clouded over and grey. The glaze on his eyes almost looked like tears.

James stepped forward again, the wolf growled.

What the fuck are you doing?

James bowed his head down, his antlers pointing at Moony.

He sniffed the air again, suspiciously yet carefully. He then crouched down on the floor, finally going on all fours. 

Yes. James said happily.

Moony nudged James’ nose with his muzzle. James gave him a little lick on the cheek, the wolf yelled happily and nuzzled his head into James’ brown furred neck.

Sirius gave a little bark to draw the attention to himself, he realized Peter had climbed onto his shoulder, and was tittering away at his pink rat feet.

Ugh, I can feel your worm tail on me. Sirius teased.

Shut up, my tail does not look like a worm. Peter said.

Remus thought so, Wormtail. Hey, you’ve got a nickname now. James piped in.

No, you’re not calling me that.

Yes we areee.

I hate you all. Shit! Sirius, concentrate!

Sirius turned back to Moony, who was growing impatient, growling slightly under his breath.

Sirius immediately bowed down to the floor. Moony came closer, sniffing him and narrowing his eyes. He looked angry.

Sirius gulped, then let out a little yelp, sticking his tongue out (hopefully) endearingly.

Moony snapped his teeth, but Sirius lurched forward and licked his cheek.

Moony let out a little noise, before his eyes turned golden, no longer cloudy and grey. He nuzzled closer to Sirius, the same as he did to James, Sirius reciprocated immediately. He could feel Moony’s heartbeat quicken, he got too excited, and jumped on top of Sirius. Peter ran down Sirius’ front leg, but Sirius didn’t move in time. His back cracked under the weight, he let out a whine.

Moony recoiled, letting out a few whines of his own, as if to say sorry. He moved away, whimpering slightly.

Sirius moved towards him and nuzzled against him again, as if to say it was okay. Moony let out another whine, Sirius then put his paws on Moony’s back and barked. Moony pushed him off, tackling him to the ground, softer this time.

James joined in, trotting around them and sometimes kicking gently, or playfully rolling onto his side. 

The rest of the night when similar to that, Peter rushed around them for a few hours, before falling asleep in the corner.

Moony got tired near the end of the night, he curled up by the side of the wall, whimpering in pain. Sirius pushed him up and moved him towards the bed, he slumped down on it. Curling up into a ball of fur and limbs.

Sirius watched when he transformed back into human form, it looked even more painful, but Remus’ screams were quieter. Probably because he was too tired to cry properly.

When Remus eventually became conscious, James rushed over and pulled a blanket over him.

Remus woke up and stretched, cracking his back and yawning. He looked down at himself with surprise, then looked up at the other three boys. Peter was still asleep in the corner, Sirius and James were in their human forms once again.

“Was it okay? Was I okay?” He asked, hastily searching their eyes.

“You were amazing, Moony.” Sirius said.

Remus smiled tiredly, James nodded in agreement.

“Do you remember anything?” James asked.

Remus nodded, “Yeah, bits and pieces, I don’t remember the beginning bit. Mostly the middle.”

Sirius nodded, “Yeah. It was strange, your eyes… sort of changed colour. They were all cloudy and angry before, but then they turned normal. Into that pretty golden colour. I think that’s when you started to remember.” He pointed at Remus’ eyes.

Remus stared at him for a long moment, “Mhm. Maybe... You guys should probably go… Madam Pomfrey’ll be here soon.”

The boys nodded, James went to poke Peter awake as Sirius went and pick up the invisibility cloak. 

Sirius tried to memorise the night, it felt too special to forget.

 

How your restless hungry eyes

Speak of cloudy summer skies

The morning dew, turns into rain

Lonely winds will call my name

 

Dying leaves of seasons brown

Losing life as they drift down

Too soon in life, return to earth

Only they can know their worth

 

Distant dreams of things to be

Wandering thoughts that can't be free

I feel my mind turning away

To the darkness of my day

 

 

  • Turn Into Earth, The Yardbirds

 











Chapter Text

“I already told you, I’m doing a joint present with the girls.” Remus sighed.

“But Moonyyy.” James whined. “I need to give her a present!”

“She’s not expecting you to get a present for her. You’ve never done it for the other girls. Lily’s really not going to care.” Remus shrugged, cutting into a piece of bacon on his plate and getting angry when the tray slid across his lap.

Sirius huffed and moved it back onto his lap, “James, you barely talk to Lily anyway. How about you actually spend time with her before buying her a house?”

James shot him a dirty look, “If only I knew how to. I get all sweaty and shaky, I don’t know what to do.” He groaned.

Remus shook his head, still chewing on his food, “You’re a Gryffindor, James. Just be brave or whatever.”

Peter and Sirius chuckled, James just let out another groan.

***

“I didn’t get you anything.” James blurted out, while Lily was unwrapping her present from the girls and Remus.

She raised an eyebrow at him, “Okay…?”

Remus groaned, “You need to chill out. Christ, James.”

James sniffed and crossed his arms over his chest with a pout.

Lily rolled her eyes before going back to unwrapping her gift.

“Oh, wow.” Lily breathed. 

She was holding a thick book in her hands, it looked like a photo album book. But Sirius could clearly see there were paintings inside there too.

“We all chipped in.” Mary said, “Remus did all the paintings. We bought all the photos to print. And Dorcas did her cool magic thing to fill up the album. But you can add on stuff, I have no clue how. But they’ll show you.” She pointed towards Dorcas and Marlene, who both put their fists over their mouths to cover their smiles.

“Wow.” Lily said again, “Thank you all so much. Remus, I didn’t know you could paint.”

Remus shrugged, his cheeks slightly pink, “I can’t really, magic helped.”

“Oh, don’t be so modest.” She nudged him, “Look at these!”

She showed the group one of the paintings. It was of the whole group, all clustered together.

Mary, Marlene and Dorcas were all sitting on the floor, cuddling each other. Alice and Frank were on the armchair next to the sofa, limbs tangled together. Lily was next to Remus, smiling brightly. Next to Remus was James, whose head was on Sirius’ shoulder. Of course Peter was sleepily leaning against Sirius. Sirius smiled at the painting, recalling the memory.

***

“Sirius!” A voice shouted, “Concentrate!”

Sirius turned around just in time to hit a bludger flying towards him. He stopped for a breath, trying to look for the crowd through the misty air.

“Anddd, Hufflepuff scores again!” The commentator shouted, “It looks like Gryffindor needs to step up their game…”

“Alright, team meeting!” Alexis shouted, the wind whooshing her voice towards Sirius. “Sirius, what is up with you?! Bloody concentrate.” She snapped.

Sirius gulped. Alexis was terrifying when she wanted to be.

“James, keep doing what you’re doing.” She said, then turned to Marlene, “You’re too far up the pitch, the bludgers need hitting away from us.”

“Well, if Sirius actually did his job I wouldn’t have to be that far-” Marlene started.

“Shut up.” She said coldly, “I need to talk to the other teammates.”

“What was that about?” Sirius whispered.

Marlene shook her head and huffed, “She thinks I fancy someone else.”

Do you fancy someone else?” Sirius challenged, raising an eyebrow.

Marlene didn’t answer, she just gripped her broom tightly and stared ahead of her. 

“Oh my god, you do !” Sirius gasped excitedly. “Who is it?”

Marlene shook her head, gritting her teeth.

“It’s not still Mary is it?” Sirius whispered.

“No!” She barked, “Leave me alone. I can’t tell you.” She huffed.

Ooo .” Sirius said in a teasing voice, “Is someone in-”

The whistle blew, the team got back into position. Sirius sighed, he’d have to tease her about that later.

Sirius looked out towards the crowd, finding the Gryffindor stands, he squinted, someone was holding up a huge red sign. He leaned forward slightly, reading the sign, it read:

GO DEER AND DOG, WE LOVE YOU!! GO GRYFFINDOR!

Sirius laughed, knowing no one but the marauders would understand the joke. He grinned to himself, watching as Peter and Remus stuck their thumbs up in the air encouragingly.

whoosh.

Sirius dodged a bludger, it hit a Hufflepuff chaser in the shoulder.

thump.

Sirius hit a bludger, it went the opposite direction to James, who’d just scored a goal.

There was a fluttering near his head, Sirius looked up, only to find the golden snitch a few feet above his head.

Sirius looked around the pitch, the Hufflepuff seeker seemed to be searching the bottom of the stands. The chasers were all preoccupied.

“Psst.” Sirius hissed, Charlie Bell turned around questioningly. Sirius pointed above him subtly.

Charlie grinned, and he and his broom went at lightning speed towards the golden ball.

“It looks like Gryffindor’s seeker has spotted the snitch!” The commentator shouted. Sirius winced, but as if in slow motion, Charlie grabbed the snitch. 

The crowd cheered loudly, and Sirius let himself breath. He laughed, the group came together on their brooms, hugging and cheering.

“And they’ve done it! Gryffindor have won with 210 points! Congratulations! Bad luck, Hufflepuff.”

Sirius didn’t hear the rest of the commentary, James pulled him into a hug and whispered, “Good job, you were amazing out there.”

“Cheers.” Sirius grinned that Sirius Black grin, “You were too.”

James smirked and ruffled his hair, “Obviously.”

As they flew down to the floor, the Gryffindors greeted them with hugs and cheers. Some girls even kissed Sirius on the cheek, but he was so dizzy with the euphoria of it all that he barely noticed.

“You were brilliant!” Peter squealed as James and Sirius came into his sight.

“Yeah, you were amazing!” Remus exclaimed, smiling widely. His cheeks were pink from the cold. He pulled Sirius into a hug as Peter fed James’ ego.

Sirius was taken aback slightly, but he hugged back, feeling Remus’ warm coat on his fingertips.

“I saw what you did, telling Bell where the snitch was.” Remus whispered.

Sirius chuckled, “Oh, yeah. Watching me, were you?”

Remus pulled back from the hug and smiled, “‘Course. Anyway, who’s up for a party?” He addressed the three of them.

Sirius laughed, but someone in the background caught his eye, he gulped, “Yeah, I’ll catch up in a minute. Want to have a shower.” 

Remus gave him a confused look, “You can shower in the dorm.”

“Er- James’ll want to.” He excused.

“Oh no, it’s fine-” James started.

But Sirius was already walking towards the figure. Then suddenly they disappeared. Sirius stood in confusion, however walked forward slowly, looking around the pitch.

Suddenly a hand gripped onto his sweaty Quidditch uniform, Sirius gasped as he was pulled under the stands.

“What the fuck, Reg?!” Sirius said angrily.

“Sorry, sorry,” Regulus said hastily, “just didn’t want people to see us.”

Sirius rubbed around his neck, where the uniform-pulling caused a red mark. “Oh, nice. Can’t even be seen around my own bloody brother.” Sirius spat.

Regulus rolled his eyes, “Yes, alright. Look… I just wanted to say…”

“Yeah?” Sirius urged impatiently.

“Um, congratulations on the win.” He plastered a smile onto his face. Sirius saw right through him.

He narrowed his eyes, “What is it, really?”

Regulus looked up at him, eyes glassy. He looked small, vulnerable, even if his expression was the same neutral one he always carried. “It’s fine…” He shook his head.

Sirius sighed, feeling guilty, he stepped forward and put his hand on Regulus’ shoulder, “You can tell me, you know.”

Regulus rubbed his eye, “I just miss you, is all.” He murmured.

“Why’d you choose them then?” Sirius whispered.

Regulus looked down to the ground, “ Sirius , you know I can’t do anything. I have friends here who-”

“Oh yeah, great bloody friends they are. Crouch and Mulciber and Avery. They’re evil , Regulus.” Sirius said angrily, taking his hand off his brother’s shoulder.

“No they aren’t!” Regulus exclaimed, “They’re just as bad as your friends, I mean, Potter is arrogant. But that Lupin boy, have you seen him?! He’s definitely dangerous. Pettigrew just follows you a-”

Sirius pushed Regulus back, “Don’t you dare talk about them like that.” He spat, “My friends are nothing like yours. And they’ve been more of a family to me than you or our darling parents have been.” Before Regulus could say anything else, Sirius stormed off, slamming the door to the changing rooms and switching on a cold shower. 

Stupid fucking Regulus. Every time it seems like he’s changed but he never does. He’s always coerced into their games. That stupid, idiotic, fucking pr-

“Sirius?” James’ voice sounded.

“Hm?” Sirius said, switching off the shower and wrapping a grey towel round himself.

“You ran away so quickly… are you alright?” He asked.

Sirius stepped out of the shower and shook off his hair, “Mm, I’m fine.”

“Are you sure?” James raised an eyebrow.

Sirius sighed and shook his head, “Just Regulus.”

“Ah,” James looked at him worriedly, “What happened?”

Sirius shrugged, “He’s an arse, nothing new. Let’s talk about it later, alright? They’ve probably already started the party.”

James gave him one more look before smiling, “See you up there, okay?”

Sirius nodded. Once James had left the changing rooms, Sirius leaned against the nearest wall and sighed. Bloody Regulus.

***

“This party is shit.” Peter grumbled.

“Have you tried the punch, Wormtail?” Sirius giggled, feeling dazed.

Peter raised an eyebrow, “No, but I think you’ve had enough of this.” He plucked the cup out of Sirius’ hands.

Sirius looked around the room, his eyes landing on Remus, who was chatting to Lily.

“D’you think Moony wants to be an Animagus too?” Sirius asked, dizzily.

“Er- I dunno? He’s already a werewolf.” Peter shrugged.

“Shhh!” Sirius said loudly.

“There’s no one here.” He raised an eyebrow.

Sirius rolled his eyes and stomped over to James, “I’m tired.” He announced.

James raised an eyebrow, “Go to bed then…?”

Sirius huffed, why hasn’t he thought of that? He really was drunk. He walked up the stairs, his stomach sloshing as he did. He groaned, rushing to the bathroom as he became more and more nauseous.

“Sirius?”

“Hmgf.” 

Sirius felt someone pull his hair back, soft fingertips stroking through his shiny locks. Sirius suddenly felt less queasy. He sat up and looked at Remus, who was smiling pitifully at him.

“Are you done?” Remus asked softly, “You should get to bed.”

“Thanks Moony.” Sirius muttered when he was pulled up from the floor. Just because he felt like it, he turned into dog form.

Remus sighed, “What are you doing, mate?”

Sirius barked and padded over to Remus’ bed, curling up at the bottom of it and giving Remus his best puppy eyes. Remus sighed and patted his head, before going to the bathroom to change.

Sirius closed his eyes, but didn’t fall asleep until he got one more pat on the head and felt the weight of a body beside him.

 

But oh, how it feels so real

Lying here, with no one near

Only you and you can hear me

When I say softly, slowly

 

Hold me closer, tiny dancer

Count the headlights on the highway

Lay me down in sheets of linen

You had a busy day today

 

Hold me closer, tiny dancer

Count the headlights on the highway

Lay me down in sheets of linen

You had a busy day today

 

Blue-jean baby

L.A. Lady

Seamstress for the band

Pretty-eyed

Pirate smile

You'll marry a music man



 

  • Tiny Dancer, Elton John

 




Chapter Text

February 5th 1975,

To: Sirius Black

From: Andromeda Tonks

 

Dear Sirius, 

How are you? I haven’t heard from you in a while. I hope everything is ok. Nymphadora has been growing into an absolute nightmare, I think being a metamorphmagus is making her more difficult. I don’t remember being like that as a child, but then again I grew up with the Blacks. 

She’s lovely really, just very energetic. I don’t know how to deal with her to be completely honest. Ted and I are both antisocial, introverted idiots. She’s made so many friends, muggles and such, they all think she’s wonderful. Although I’m not sure she’s been hiding her magic very well around them, no matter how many times I scold her. It’s not her fault though, she doesn’t seem to be able to control it very well yet. I don’t mind really, it’s not as if the muggle children’s parents are going to believe them when they say Nymphadora turned her hair spiky by magic.

Anyway, enough about Nymphadora. How was your Christmas? I hope you did not spend it with your parents. And how’s school? I hope you have not been causing too much trouble. Though Ted disagrees, he hopes you have been the biggest troublemakers at school. How are your friends? 

If there’s anything you need do not hesitate to send me a letter. 

Lots of Love,

Andromeda Tonks

PS: Hi, it’s Ted. Nym and I wanted to say hello. How’s Quidditch been going? That’s the most important question. :)



6th February 1975,

To: Andromeda Tonks

From: Sirius Black

 

Dear Andy,

Everything is great! I’ve been having so much fun here. I’m glad to see Nym is becoming the trouble maker she’s destined to be. 

I’m so glad she’s making muggle friends! I wish I could’ve made muggle friends when I was younger! Now I just have to settle for Remus. 

He says ‘oi’ to that, by the way. He’s reading over my shoulder. But he’s gone now, says he doesn’t want to stop me from “expressing my feelings” to you. Considerate git.

Christmas was AMAZING! I spent it with the Potters and Remus and Peter were there too! They’re amazing, if you and Ted are only half as good parents as they are then you’re doing something right. I don’t know if that made sense, bit hungover. Don’t tell anyone. Remus says I can’t hold my liquor. Cheeky git. 

Me and James are, of course, causing as much havoc as possible. You should try it sometime, you’re a bit uptight. I’m just kidding, before you murder me. Anyway, now that you’ve said that I want to plan another prank on the Slytherins (no offence, but they suck). My friends are great, although Peter is already stressing about exams. I’m pretty sure Remus is too, but he’s hiding it because we’ll tease him for it. We won the match against Hufflepuff! (Sorry Ted) it was great! The party afterwards is why I got hungover, someone spiked the punch. Also, hi Ted and Nym! 

Lots of Love,

Sirius



7th February 1975

To: Sirius Black

From: Andromeda Tonks

 

Dear Sirius,

I’m so glad everything is ok, and that you had a good Christmas. I’m glad the Potters are such good parents, you deserve caring adults around you. 

Did you seriously  actually just say you got hungover?! You’re barely fifteen years old! This is absolutely not acceptable. Remus seems like a bad influence, though he’s probably right about you being a lightweight. 

I would argue about the ‘being uptight’ bit but you’re probably right. James also sounds like a bad influence, though I’m contemplating whether you may have been the one who influenced them. 

Neither me or Ted are happy that 1. You’re planning a prank on the Slytherins and 2. You beat Hufflepuff. I’m just joking, congratulations. Also I don’t care that you’re playing a prank on those slimy gits, I know most of them are absolutely disgusting. As long as I’m not there, we don’t have a problem ;)

Speak soon,

Andromeda 

***

16 MUGGLES KILLED IN SOUTH-EAST LONDON

 

The Ministry is investigating this attack. It is believed that the group of the name “Death Eaters” have caused this. Traces of magic were left at the scene of the explosion. More on page 38.

 

“Shit.” Lily breathed. “It’s getting worse, isn’t it?”

Sirius gulped, “We don’t know that…”

“They’ll fix this, right?” Mary said, “They’ll catch them and it’ll all be over and we can stop worrying.” She looked worried, her eyebrows were pushed together and her eyes were glassy.

“I don’t know.” Sirius said, because he couldn’t bring himself to lie.

“Did they put the names of the muggles?” She asked, wiping a hand over her nose.

Sirius suddenly felt a pang of guilt, Mary had muggle friends, she lived in South-East London, at any moment someone could tell her that her friends to parents or relatives had died. 

Lily flipped through the pages, “No, they haven’t.” She said softly, running a hand up and down Mary’s arm in comfort.

“They really only care about themselves, don’t they, wizards?” Mary joked, laughing bitterly. It was true, the rest of the article talked about how the Wizarding World was in danger, there were no comments about the victims or their families.

“Lily.” A voice said from behind them.

Lily whipped around, “Not now, Sev.”

Snape’s face flashed with hurt, “I just wanted to-”

“Can’t you see that I’m comforting my friend? Have you not read the paper?” She snapped.

Snape turned toward Mary, “I’m sorry, I hope you’re okay.”

Mary’s eyes widened in shock, “Oh…thanks?”

Snape nodded and turned away, walking away very quickly as his grey robes flapped behind him

“What the-” Sirius started.

“Don’t start, Sirius.” Lily said sharply, “I know you think he’s some evil, immoral being. But he does have feelings .”

Sirius held his hands up in defeat. If she wanted to believe that, who was he to stop her?

“Mary.” Remus said, Sirius jumped, he hadn’t realised that Remus had entered the Great Hall. He hugged Mary from behind, resting his head on her temple, “I’m sorry.”

Mary sniffed, smiling slightly as she patted Remus’ hands, placed softly on her stomach. “Ta, Rem. I’m alright, though.”

She turned around and gave him a quick hug. Remus patted her head, “Good.”

Sirius hadn’t realised that Remus and Mary were so close, he supposed it made sense, they both came from a muggle background. And although Remus was clearly closer with Lily, Mary was definitely also one of his closest friends.

As the group piled out of the Hall, Sirius and Mary separated from the others, who wanted to go to the library to study. He and Mary went in the direction of the dorms, Sirius draped an arm around her shoulder in a comforting manner.

“What the fuck is wrong with you!?” Sirius heard the voice as he turned the corner, Mary and Sirius looked at each other worriedly before rushing towards the noise.

“I can’t believe you’ve become her friend.” Snape spat.

Sirius watched in shock, James was on the stone floor, grabbing his head in pain, his glasses were on the ground with a huge crack in the glass.

“I haven’t done anything!” James said.

“What about all your pranks, hm?! You arrogant little-”

Petrificus Totalus! ” Mary shouted, her wand pointed towards the back of Snape.

Snape took a sharp breath in before he fell to the floor. Sirius stormed over to him, “The fuck is your problem?!”

Snape’s face was frozen in place.

“What’re you attacking him for? Being Lily’s friend?!” Mary spat, leaning over him, “You obsessive little git. If you don’t leave Lily alone I’ll do much worse than Petrificus Totalus . You’re a literal child, Snivellus. I bet you still need your mummy to wash your hair, that’s why it’s so fucking greasy.” 

James snickered, still holding his head in pain. Sirius helped him up from the floor and nodded to Mary to take the spell off Snape.

“Like I said, leave Lily alone or I’ll make sure you can’t touch me or my friends ever again.” Mary seethed. She took the spell off him, and as they began walking away Snape choked out,

“Just you watch, MacDonald, you’re little group of Gryffindors won’t be safe for long.” He spat.

Mary spun around, “Empty threats won’t get you anywhere, Sev .”

Snape sniffed and snarled, “They’re not as empty as they think. I thought you’d just read about the attacks?”

Mary stiffened, and Snape smiled at that.

“He does have feelings”, yeah right. Sirius thought. 

***

“Merlin, Moony, are you actually concentrating for once in Potions?” Sirius teased.

Remus wasn’t listening, he was squinting at his Potions book as he measured the Horn of Bicorn out very carefully.

“Helloooo.” Sirius waved a hand in front of Remus’ face.

Remus didn’t look up, “Hm?”

“I said ‘are you actually concentrating in Potions for once?’” Sirius repeated.

Remus wasn’t listening again, he carefully placed the Horn of Bicorn into the potion, it sizzled loudly.

“Are you angry at me?” Sirius asked, crossing his arms over his chest.

Remus’ head finally turned to look at him, “What? No, I just didn’t hear what you said.”

“Well I repeated myself twice.” Sirius said exasperatedly, fiddling with the corner of the potions book, Remus slapped his hand away.

Sorry , I didn’t hear you.” He rolled his eyes.

“Christ, I didn’t realise you were in a mood.” Sirius retorted.

Remus turned back to his potion, not listening to Sirius once again. Sirius snapped his fingers in front of Remus’ face aggravatingly. He didn’t like people ignoring him. “I’m trying to concentrate!” Remus huffed.

Why ?” Sirius said, “It’s Potions, this is the only lesson where you don’t concentrate. This is our lesson, the only lesson we can mess around!” 

Remus turned to him, “Wow, that doesn’t make me sound boring at all.” He deadpanned.

Sirius huffed, “I didn’t say that. I just don’t understand why you suddenly care about the art of potion-making.”

“I don’t!” Remus exclaimed, then quietened down, “It’s just something Madam Pomfrey said.” He muttered.

Sirius’ face dropped, he liked Madam Pomfrey, what had she said to Remus? “What?”

“Well, she didn’t say anything bad. She just said something like ‘what would you do without me?’. And then I just started thinking, I’m going to need all those potions after school ends. For my… er, furry little problem. I won’t have her to take care of me.” Remus said, not meeting his eye.

Sirius felt guilty then, of course this was about Remus being a werewolf. It felt like that was all Remus ever thought about, every action fed into that one night each month. “Why don’t you just learn the potions she uses? You don’t need to learn about this potion, what does this one do, burn beetles? That’s not going to help you after your monthly furry time.”

Remus scoffed, “ Monthly furry time? Please never say that again.” He sighed, “Anyway, it’s not just those potions, what if they make other potions which can help me? And I have no idea how to make them?”

“We’ll make them for you!” Sirius said brightly.

Remus snorted, he pointed to Peter, who’s potion had turned into black smoke, “Mhm, I’m sure you’ll all be very helpful.” He said sarcastically, “You’re sitting here with your allocated ‘messing around’ time, so I doubt you’ll be very useful. And to be completely honest, I think James’ll be too busy with his ginger babies to test out werewolf potions.”

Sirius snorted, “Okay, maybe we won’t be that helpful, but hey, Lily’s good at potions! She can make them!” 

Remus’ lips twitched at the corner, “And how do you know she won’t be preoccupied with her own ginger babies, hm?”

Sirius crossed his arms over his chest, “Oh, bloody fine. Why do you have to be so logical about everything? Go on, become a potions nerd, see if I care.” He said, slumping down in his chair and turning his nose up.

Remus chuckled, ruffling Sirius’ haid fondly, “You really are in your own little world, aren’t you, Black?”

Sirius sniffed, unresponsive.

“Hm.” Remus smirked, “You might want to get up before Sl-”

“Mr Black!” Slughorn said forcefully, “I hope you’re helping Mr Lupin, you know how he gets.” Slughorn rushed over to them, checking his potion worriedly.

Sirius stood up begrudgingly, Remus leaned over and whispered, “Told you.”

Sirius kicked him in the shin.

 

I read the news today, oh boy

About a lucky man who made the grade

And though the news was rather sad

Well, I just had to laugh

I saw the photograph

 

He blew his mind out in a car

He didn't notice that the lights had changed

A crowd of people stood and stared

They'd seen his face before

Nobody was really sure if he was from the House of Lords

 

I saw a film today, oh boy

The English Army had just won the war

A crowd of people turned away

 

 

  • A Day In The Life, The Beatles

 







Chapter Text

“Valentine’s day?” Remus said, “Isn’t that for people who are actually dating someone?”

“Ah, sweet, innocent Moony.” James clapped his back boyishly, “Valentine's day is the day of love, the day to explore your options, the day of-”

“Shut up, James.” Peter moaned, “Moony’s right, it’s for people who are already in a couple, we’re all single and lonely.”

James gasped, “We’re not lonely , Wormy. We’re free men! And it is time for us to-”

“We aren’t ‘free men’ James. We’re boys who should be having fun and playing pranks instead of worrying about some day for toffs.” Sirius said.

You’re a toff.” Remus pointed out. Sirius stuck his tongue out at him. 

“Alright, will everyone stop interrupting me!” James snapped, “Pete, that Ravenclaw from New Years told me she fancies you a bit. Sirius, you know every girl in this entire school fancies you, so I don’t know what the problem is. Remus- er-”

Remus rolled his eyes, “Oh, charming, James. Can’t even think of one girl who fancies me?” He deadpanned.

“No! That’s not what I-” James winced, “Well, whatever. Boys, it’s time for us to have some fun.”

Sirius huffed, “ Fun is pulling a prank on the Slytherins.” He muttered.

“I agree.” Remus nodded.

Sirius turned to him, a grin growing on his face, “Wanna ditch?”

Remus grinned back, his eyes crinkling in the corners. “Absolutely.”

***

After lessons, Remus and Sirius managed to sneak away from James’ grasp. The boy was going mad, trying to get rid of his crush on Lily. Perhaps him getting a spell to the head gave him a concussion, bloody Snape.

“We should do the balding shampoo prank.” Remus said.

Sirius chuckled, “Seems a bit harsh. I mean, if someone did that to me I would scream.”

Remus snickered, taking out his wand and pointing it threateningly at Sirius.

Sirius covered his hair with his hands, “Don’t you fucking dare, Moony.”

He laughed, putting his wand back in his pocket, “Okay, maybe it is a bit harsh. But I don’t think we could flood their common room with sewer water when it’s just the two of us. We’ll have to think of something else.”

Sirius sniffed. “Hm, you’re right I s’pose. You’re the mastermind, think of something.”

Remus leaned back and yawned, “So demanding. I dunno, we can put fake spiders in their common room.”

Sirius waved him off, “Mediocre.”

Remus huffed.

“What pranks do you and your muggle friends do?” Sirius asked, hoping Remus didn’t actually do pranks with them. It was the marauders’ thing.

Remus shrugged, “Basic stuff, cling film over the toilet seats. Stuffing someone’s head in the toilet.”

Sirius frowned, “Sounds like you’re all wankers.”

Remus chuckled, “Nah, it’s part of the ‘new boy’ induction. They did it to me too, everyone has to do it.”

Sirius grimaced, “That’s rank.”

Remus waved him off, then sat up very quickly, it made Sirius flinch, “Oh, I know! It’s Valentine’s Day, right? So we can send them all love notes or something, or- or we can make a love song play all night in their dorms.”

Sirius grinned, “There he is. I like the second one, but what song…”

 

“Hurry up.” Sirius hissed, “They’ll be coming back from dinner soon.”

“Shut up.” Remus whispered back. A few moments later he said, “Okay, okay, I’m done. Let’s go.”

“I still think we should’ve got James’ invisibility cloak.” Sirius muttered.

“That would’ve taken too much time. They’ll be back soon, anyway, James would’ve noticed it was gone.” Remus said, creeping out in front of Sirius.

“Oi!” A voice shouted, it sounded like a young child, maybe a second year. “What’re you doing here!? You’re Gryffindors!”

“What?!” Another voice, an older person said, maybe a sixth year.

“Shit! Run!” Remus hissed, grabbed Sirius’ wrist and pulled him out into the hallway. 

As they slid round the corner, Mulciber and Avery were walking back from dinner.

“Oh, bloody-” Remus said in a panicked voice. 

Sirius looked around quickly, and saw the nearest wooden door a few feet away from them. He grabbed Remus’ bicep (Christ, Sirius always forgot he had such strong muscles). He pulled him into the room, which happened to be a broom closet, slamming the door shut and wincing when it made a noise.

“What was that?” Avery asked in a muffled voice. Sirius held his breath, completely tense.

“I don’t know.” Mulciber replied, “Think it came from the common room. Let’s check.”

Their footsteps went away from the door, eventually when they were far enough that Sirius could barely hear them, he let out a breath. Panting heavily, Remus let out a gasp as well, but it was dark in the broom closet, Sirius couldn’t see him. 

“That was close.” Sirius said, breathlessly.

“Yeah.” Remus replied. 

Awkward silence filled the air, Sirius felt Remus’ knees pressed against his thighs and suddenly felt uncomfortable about his heavy panting. He swallowed, trying to control his breath. 

Remus shuffled slightly, moving his legs so they weren’t directly pressed into Sirius’. It made it worse, Sirius wished Moony would stop moving. 

“Jesus Christ, will you stop fidgeting? What’s wrong with you?” Sirius snapped, hoping his voice didn’t hold too much bite.

“Sorry.” Remus muttered. Sirius lurched forward, holding Remus’ shoulders and positioning himself so they were facing the same way and pressed against the same wall. Who the hell decided to make broom closets so small?

Sirius felt better then, instead of Remus’ legs pressed into him, it was just his shoulder and hip. Remus shuddered beside him, Sirius suppressed a laugh at his flustered friend.

“You’ve got the map, right?” Sirius asked, nudging his hip against Remus’ pocket, where a piece of parchment was clearly held.

“Yup.” Remus breathed, sliding his hand in and retracting the map. “ Lumos. ” He pointed his wand at the map, but his hand was too shaky, so the spell didn’t work.

Sirius grabbed his hand and softly took his wand, “ Lumos .” He smiled when he looked at Remus, who took his wand back with embarrassment and squinted down at the map. “Er, a few third years are walking back, but we can leave after they pass.”

Sirius nodded, staring at Moony’s lit up face. Remus looked up from the map and caught his eye, but didn’t look away. Sirius smiled softly at him, despite the tension in the air. For what felt like hours, Sirius stared at Remus, his lips were chapped, Sirius thought. He would remind him to put chapstick on later. Oh, Moony, he’d been scratching his scar again, it was scabbed at the bottom. Sirius would remind him later to stop scratching it and put Madam Pomfrey’s cream on it. ‘But it smells horrible.’ Remus would say, and Sirius would laugh before gently taking out a small chunk of the purple cream and brush it onto Remus’ scared face. ‘You know I scratch my other scars.’ Remus would say, and Sirius would blush profusely at the thought of putting cream on Remus’ chest or stomach or muscular back. And then it would be Remus’ turn to laugh, because that was one of the only times Sirius Black would get flustered.

At that moment though, Sirius thought staring into Moony’s pretty warm eyes was enough to make him blush. But he didn’t, because that would be weird, that would be-

When a man loves a woman. Can't keep his mind on nothin' else!” 

Oh. Right. 

The song from the Slytherin common room blared loudly, so even Sirius and Remus could hear it in their tiny broom closet. 

“I think we’re alright to go now.” Remus said quickly. 

Sirius nodded and opened the door so quickly the doorknob might’ve fallen off. As they rushed back to the dorm in silence, they didn’t talk. And Sirius was glad they didn’t, he needed to collect his thoughts. When he got back to the dorm, he would tell James about their prank, and James would whine about not being included. And Sirius would forget about the broom closet, and laugh about how James was the one who wanted to go and chase girls instead of pranking the Slytherins.

Yes, that was what he would do. He’d forget it ever happened.



He'd trade the world

For the good thing he's found

 

If she is bad, he can't see it

She can do no wrong

Turn his back on his best friend

If he put her down

 

When a man loves a woman

Spend his very last dime

Tryin' to hold on to what he needs

 

He'd give up all his comforts

And sleep out in the rain

If she said that's the way it ought to be

 

 

  • When A Man Loves A Woman, Percy Sledge

 

 

Chapter Text

The second full moon the boys spent with Moony went similarly to the first one. Moony seemed slightly more comfortable with them, but was still a little wary of his new pack. Sirius tried not to think about how it was probably because he’d spent over nine years of full moons alone.

“James!” Sirius groaned, “You poked me with your prongs!” He said after the full moon, when Remus had been taken to the hospital wing.

Peter snickered, “Prongs? They’re called antlers.” 

Sirius rolled his eyes, “Whatever, I haven’t slept all night, I’ve got an excuse, okay?”

“I like that name.” James said, “Prongs. Rolls off the tongue doesn’t it.” He grinned.

“No!” Sirius exclaimed, “I don’t want to be the only one without a nickname!” 

James shrugged and clicked his tongue, “Sorry not sorry. Guess you’re just not nick-name-able.”

Sirius groaned again, “Noo, come on. Give me a nickname!”

Peter tutted, “It has to come naturally, sorry mate. Prongs, have you done the Herbology homework?”

And that’s how the nickname Prongs was born. It certainly wasn’t as interesting as Wormtail. Sirius still laughed at the memory, “why the fuck is there a worm under my bed?” . Hilarious.

***

“Moony, please . I need a nickname!” Sirius said, poking Remus in the arm.

Remus laughed, “Oh Merlin, you can’t stand to be left out, can you?”

“It’s not that. I just want a cool nickname!” Sirius whined.

Remus shrugged, “Well, you’re not gonna get one with that attitude.”

“Whatever.” Sirius said grumpily, crossing his arms over his chest, he sighed very loudly, “You see, my parents have never called me anything but ‘Sirius’, and I think that was really traumati-”

Remus laughed, shaking his head, “ Please , not the sob story. We’ll get you a nickname, alright? Arsehole.”

Sirius punched his hand in the air and whooped.

“In time, my friend, in time.” Remus said with an amused look on his face, turning back to his work.

“Moonyyy!” Sirius mithered.

***

When February came to a close, spring started to grow its way into the Hogwarts grounds. The air was warmer, talk of exams filled the air, Remus’ birthday was coming up. 

Sirius felt like a terrible friend, he had no idea what to get Remus. What could be better than the quilted blanket he’d gotten Sirius for his birthday? Sirius slept with it draped over him every night, it was warm… okay? What could he get Moony? Records? That was such a predictable present. Sirius wished he could be as creative as Remus, with his sewing and painting. What an old man.

He wondered if he could just do a joint present with the girls, although that felt wrong, Sirius was supposed to be his best friend. And he wasn’t poor, he didn’t have an excuse to do a joint present.

“Well, what’re you getting him?” Sirius asked one night, sitting cross legged in James’ bed.

James shrugged, “You’ll just steal my ideas, won’t you?”

Sirius huffed, “I don’t know. Why’s he so difficult to buy for?”

“Am I difficult to buy for?” James raised an eyebrow.

“No, you’re easy. I could get you the same thing every year and you wouldn’t mind.” Sirius said cheekily.

“Oh, cheers very much.” James rolled his eyes. He licked his lips, “Moony wouldn’t mind either, if you got him the same thing every year.” He said smartly.

Then it was Sirius’ turn to roll his eyes, “Mm, you think  he wouldn’t mind, but those little gears in his brain start working and overthinking and then he’ll eventually burst and murder all of us.”

James raised an eyebrow with a chuckle, “You’re an idiot.”

“C’mon James, help me.” Sirius whined, “We’re always talking about Evans or my parents. Surely you want a challenge for once.”

James huffed, “I’m sorry, but I’m just as out of ideas as you are.”

Sirius sighed, then laid himself down next to James. They were silent for a while, just thinking.

“Maybe you can give him shampoo.” James suggested.

“Oh yeah, what a great present. Hey, Remus, here’s some shampoo that you’ll never use.” Sirius rolled his eyes.

James huffed again, “Well I don’t bloody know. Get him some new ugly jumpers or something.”

“Boring.” Sirius said, prolonging the vowels. At the sudden burst of an idea in his head, he sat up very quickly, making him dizzy for a moment. “I’ve got it!” He exclaimed.

“Good for you.” James grumbled.

“No, no. You can be included in this too. Okay, so…”

***

“Next year we’re having a party.” Mary promised, Remus gave her a look, “Remus, you have too many friends for a cute little meetup like you wanted. Next year, we’re having a party.” She huffed. Pointing a threatening finger at him.

Remus shrugged, “I didn’t realise Lottie’s friends still cared enough to give me a present.”

“You still call her Lottie, hm?” Marlene observed, nudging him teasingly.

Remus rolled his eyes, “We’re friends, shush.” He excused.

“And what about the Ravenclaws?” Lily grinned, “How exactly did you make friends with those third years?”

Remus sighed and shook his head, “What is this, an interrogation? I help them with homework sometimes.”

Sirius huffed, “Enough, open my present now.” He said, pushing the red wrapped gift towards him.

Remus smiled warmly, unwrapping the present. He pulled out the dark blue denim jacket and blinked at it. “Oh, wow. Thanks, Sirius.”

Sirius grinned, internally clapping himself on the back for surprising Moony with the jacket.

“You have to open my present now!” James chimed in, pushing his small gift into Remus’ arms. “It connects to Sirius’, it’s cool. I promise.”

Remus raised an eyebrow, smiling as he shook the badges and patches out of the wrapping. “Shit, how’d you two think of this?” He laughed, looking down at the badges, some with slogans, some with names of bands, some just plain shapes and smiley faces. 

“I remembered you talking about these jackets, in third year? You said they were cool. But I thought the leather jackets were cooler.” Sirius explained.

“Aw, this is brilliant. Thanks guys.” He said, his voice soft.

James grinned and ruffled his hair, “You’re welcome. Open Pete’s now, I’m begging you. He looks like he’s about to burst.”

Sure enough, Peter was biting his lip anxiously. Picking at the corner of his gift, which was clearly vinyls, Sirius inferred by the shape of it. “Go on then, Pete.” Remus encouraged.

Peter passed him the present, smiling slightly. Remus unwrapped it, pulling out the records.

They were all by the Beatles, Sirius leaned over to read the album covers. There were three, Help!, Abbey Road (which had the coolest album cover ever) and Revolver. They all looked old, used, Sirius thought. Help! wasn’t even in its proper package, it was only in the cream-coloured paper case meant for the inside of the album sleeve. “Oh, Pete.” Remus breathed, “I can’t take these…”

“It’s okay!” Peter said brightly, “George doesn’t want them anymore, plus mum doesn’t like the Beatles. She goes mad whenever I play them, that’s probably why she doesn’t like them, I play them too much. I thought I’d bring them to school because you have a record player and I’ll be able to listen to them when you want to.”

Remus smiled, “Thanks, Pete. You can play them whenever you like, by the way. I don’t mind.”

Peter smiled back at him, and Sirius looked away, the moment seemed too intimate to watch. And he had a feeling that this was important to Peter, there wasn’t much that was important to Pete.

Peter’s family was similar to James’, except his parents were often working. They loved him a lot, Sirius knew that from the constant letters from his mother and step-dad. Peter had told him one night, in second year, that George was like a real dad to him. His biological father was too wild, and didn’t see him often. But when he did Peter said it felt more like a holiday. George was a muggle born, but Peter’s biological father was a pureblood, as was his mother. Peter was an only child, and George didn’t have any of his own children. When Peter had first told them about his family, Sirius was careful to talk about parents around him. Because divorce could be traumatic for a child, but Peter’s parents had divorced when he was barely three years old, and Peter still often accidentally referred to George as ‘dad’. Sirius thought it was endearing, however it was sad that Peter couldn’t see them often, Sirius was glad he had the Potters. Though he didn’t really need ‘saving’ by them, not like Sirius and Remus did, Sirius could pretend he didn’t need the Potters. So could Remus, but they did. They really did.

“Happy birthday, Rem.” Lily said quietly, the last of the girls to leave their dorm. 

“Cheers.” Remus murmured.

“Next year,” Sirius started, “your birthday will definitely be more exciting than this.”

Remus sighed softly and leaned back with his eyes closed, “Oh, I don’t know. I quite liked today.” He murmured with a small smile.

 

They're gonna put me in the movies

They're gonna make a big star out of me

We'll make a film about a man that's sad and lonely

And all I gotta do is act naturally

 

Well, I'll bet you I'm gonna be a big star

Might win an Oscar, you can never tell

The movies gonna make me a big star

'Cause I can play the part so well

 

Well, I hope you come and see me in the movies

Then I know that you will plainly see

The biggest fool that ever hit the big time

And all I gotta do is act naturally

 

 

  • Act Naturally, The Beatles

 

 

Chapter Text

“Of course we’ll be there Moony.” James said.

“Well you don’t have to.” Remus said nervously, playing with his mashed potatoes, he bit his lip, “Surely you want a party or something, I don’t want you to miss out-”

“Shut up, Remus. I have plenty of birthdays ahead of me, missing one night isn’t going to scar me.” James said, then winced at his word choice.

Remus let out a little smile, “Alright then.”

“Eugh.” Sirius made a noise, looking down at his roast chicken, “Pete, my meat is drowning, did you have to cover it in gravy?”

Peter shrugged, “I’ tas’es beh’er wiv gravy.” He said with his mouth full, spraying bits of green beans across the table. 

Sirius grimaced, and placed his knife and fork on his plate in disgust, wiping his hands on his thighs.

“You’re still just a little posh boy inside, aren't you?” Remus grinned.

Sirius knew all of Moony’s tricks, he was trying to get him to eat his food. But Sirius was stubborn, so he just flicked a piece of potato at him. 

“Ah, I was hoping to catch you.” Mary said, sitting herself down next to Sirius. She wiggled her hips slightly, and Sirius tried to stop himself from choking.

“Hm?” Sirius said.

“Not you.” Mary laughed, fondly patting his shoulder, “James, your birthday is tomorrow.” She said, leaning in slightly.

James looked up, surprised, “Yeah.”

“Okay, well, we haven’t gotten you anything. Is the thing. Sorry to be blunt.” She shrugged, licking her lips. Sirius always liked Mary’s bluntness, she’d always been so confident, Sirius looked up to her in some ways.

“Oh, that’s okay!” James said, with not a trace of bitterness. He pushed his glasses up to the bridge of his nose.

Mary waved a hand his way, “No, no, the thing is, we were thinking your birthday present could be, er- us drinking together? Marls is friends with this dodgy guy from one of the older years, and he said he’d fix her up or something. Dunno why she’s friends with him, he’s a right creep. But then again, Lils is friends with Snivellus, so that’s much worse. Anyway, we wanted to check with you first, it was Lily’s idea really. She doesn’t think that’s a very good present, and well, she knows you’ve been drunk before. But sometimes people have their rules about that which we don’t really know of, sorry, well, I just wanted to check. Bloody hell, I’m rambling now.”

“Lily’s idea?” James said dazedly, clearly not taking any of what Mary just said in.

Mary visibly deflated. Sirius kicked James under the table, hard.

James looked up, “Oh! Right, yeah. No, that’s fine. But, let’s save it for Friday, yeah? And my dad says it’s fine if I want to experiment, mum doesn’t drink anymore, but she doesn’t really mind. So yeah, it’s fine. I don’t have any… rules? About it.”

Mary smiled, but it didn’t quite reach her eyes. She walked off, back to the girls’ part of the table.

“You idiot.” Peter hissed.

James frowned, “What?”

“She was totally hinting that she’s into you. And you had to bring up Lily! You stupid git.” Sirius said.

“Well technically she brought up Lily-”

“Not the point.” Sirius kicked his shin.

“Ow! Stop doing that!” James said, “How was I supposed to know!? I thought we were just talking about my birthday!”

“She just rambled . That’s the number one flirting technique.” Peter said smartly. Sirius nodded.

“How is that a flirting technique?” James raised an eyebrow, clearly defensive.

“It’s showing she’s nervous.” Sirius and Peter said at the same time.

“You’re all bloody weirdos. Do you stalk girls in your free time?” James crossed his arms over his chest.

No .” Peter rolled his eyes, “But you did just ruin your chance with the hottest girl in the year.”

“Think that was Sirius last year, actually. Don’t see you getting angry at him .” James retorted.

Remus snorted into his pumpkin juice. Sirius glared at him.

“At least he’s snogged her, you didn’t even give her a chance!” Peter said.

“I don’t psychoanalyse a girl’s every move. How was I supposed to know she was flirting?!” James said angrily.

“Oo, he’s using the big words now.” Sirius teased, wiggling his eyebrows. 

“Oh, you know what.” James stood up, pushing the table so the dishes shook. “I’m not hungry anymore. See you later.” He said and began storming off.

Sirius cringed, James rarely got cross, and this seems like such a small thing to tease him about. Sirius stood up to go after him, but Remus stopped him, “I’ll go, I’ve got the map.”

Sirius wanted to argue that he could just take the map for himself, but Remus was already walking off towards the exit.

Sirius looked towards Peter, who had gone white with anxiousness, “It’ll be alright, Pete.” Sirius nudged him, “He’s just in a bit of a mood, James is allowed to be upset too, y’know?”

Peter smiled at him, and Sirius didn’t have the heart to tell him there was something green stuck in between his front teeth. 

***

“Alright, everyone, quiet. Prongs has an announcement.” Remus said, entering the dorm with James trailing behind him.

“Remus, it’s fine, really-” James muttered.

“No. Go on.” Remus said encouragingly.

James stepped forward and sighed, looking up at the ceiling. Sirius sat up, creasing his brow slightly. “Sometimes…” James started, “sometimes I feel like you all think I’m stupid.”

Sirius paused, “What? We don’t think that, you’re literally one of the smartest people in our class.”

“No,” James said, waving a hand and sitting down at the wooden desk chair, “not like that. Like, with what happened earlier, it feels like you think I’m just, just, happy all the time. And I know that you guys have bigger problems and everything, and I don’t mind listening to them. I promise. But I do have my own life, and feelings. And I know how girls work, sometimes… it feels like you think I’m stupid, for chasing after Evans. And maybe it is stupid, because one day I’m convinced I’ll try and get over her, and the next it’s like she’s the one . I guess I just wish sometimes you thought about my feelings a bit more. I know that you do, but just, a bit more, I suppose.” James looked away, embarrassed.

Sirius’ heart broke, he didn’t want James to feel that way. All those nights that James went on about Lily, and her beautiful eyes and amazing personality, Sirius thought it was just a silly crush. Which sort of made him the stupid one, he just didn’t understand it. He didn’t think he’d ever feel the way James felt about Lily with anyone. James, ever since first year, had been Sirius’ rock. The person he’d always come to, the person who could carry the weight of Sirius’ outbursts and trauma. And Sirius had always been careful, making sure James could tell him everything too, but he supposed sometimes he’d been selfish, bringing up his own problems when James wanted to talk about something.

“Oh, Prongs!” Sirius exclaimed, running over to James and hugging him, “I’m sorry!” 

“Merin, Sirius, I’m fine. Christ, will you-”

Sirius had already tackled him to the floor, he could practically hear Remus rolling his eyes. 

James laughed, “Sirius.” 

Sirius looked up, grinning slightly, James ruffled his hair, and gave him a small kiss on the forehead. 

“You’re an idiot.” He laughed.

“Thanks.” Sirius said, “But hey, I made you feel better, right?”

James nodded, still smiling, “I wasn’t even that angry in the first place. Moony practically dragged me because it’s important to ‘let out my anger’.”

Sirius laughed and looked up at Remus, who just shook his head and went to sit down on his head, he sighed, “Alright then, next time I’ll just leave you in a mood. Git.”

James grinned, then got up to pat Remus’ hair, “Nah, thanks, really.” 

Remus gave a small smile.

“I’m sorry too!” Peter squeaked, his face turning crimson when they all turned to look at him.

“Cheers.” James laughed, and ruffled Peter’s blond wispy hair. “Now, needn’t I remind you that it is my birthday tomorrow. So you all need as much rest as possible. Bed time, kiddos!”

***

Sirius tried to pretend the screaming wasn’t there, he tried to pretend Remus’ transformation was just like him turning into his Animagus form. He tried to pretend, tried to not hear them. It sounded like the screams one would have in a nightmare. Maybe that’s what Remus’ nightmares were like. 

Afterwards, Sirius trudged over to Remus, in dog form, holding a grey itchy blanket in his mouth. Quickly pulling it over Remus, he turned away. 

 

They’d decided to just switch the day of James’ birthday to the 28th. It was more fun on a Friday anyway. Remus was only in the hospital wing throughout the morning. Remus had come into the dorm and actually laughed and told a detailed story about Madam Pomfrey’s reaction about him having no new scratches that month. The two months before that, Remus had still bruised himself up a little, barely at all. Madam Pomfrey had been surprised, but Remus blamed it on the new potion she’d given him. The second month, Remus had gotten a rash from the potion, the wolf had itched it, causing it to mildly bleed. Madam Pomfrey had been too caught up about that to notice that Remus was perfectly fine elsewhere. 

“And then she said ‘I suppose it’s all to do with growing up’” Remus laughed. 

The three boys snickered, “You’re not too tired, are you Moony?” James asked, “We can move it to tomorrow.”

“No, I’m fine. I’ve slept all morning.” Remus replied. “Anyway, presents time?”

James’ face broke out into a grin.

 

You’re joking !” James exclaimed, “Thanks, Sirius! This is bloody brilliant!”

“You’d think this was his first ever birthday.” Sirius muttered. Peter snickered. Sirius hugged James anyway, he’d gotten him a Zonko’s kit of Prankster spirits. Whatever the fuck that meant. Sirius had thought it was cool, plus, it was the most expensive kit in the shop. He’d also gotten him some Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans , but filled them with pebbles as a joke.

“Ow! I think I cracked my tooth!” James exclaimed, having bitten into one of the pebbles. Sirius burst out laughing, 

“You numpty! I didn’t realise you wouldn’t notice they were just rocks!”

“I thought they were a special edition.” James defended innocently, pouting. 

Peter had gotten James an ABBA record from home, and some other sweets which Moony would probably gobble up for himself. 

Remus had flushed with embarrassment, giving James a poorly knitted Gryffindor scarf. James didn’t seem to notice, he flipped it around his neck proudly, and promised to wear it all day. 

Sirius did try to offer Remus some money a few days prior to buy James a present, but Remus had looked simply horrified at the offer and didn’t talk to Sirius for the rest of the day.

Sirius felt mildly disappointed with the boys’ birthdays this year, his had been amazing, his favourite birthday yet. But Remus’ birthday had been slightly dull, despite his protests that he loved it. James was congratulated by many students throughout the day, but nothing too exciting happened apart from a Slippery Slope prank which caused both Professor Flitwick and Professor Binns to fall over on top of each other. 

Things started to get more interesting later that night, when the girls and boys were bunched up together in the dorm. Mary offered to play spin the bottle, which was apparently a popular muggle game.

Marlene said she’d sit out, despite Lily’s protests, but the other girls didn’t say a thing. Their mouths tightly closed at the uncomfortable situation. Perhaps Alice would’ve stepped in too, if she wasn’t already half passed out from drinking too much. Marlene sat with Alice, holding a bucket in front of her in case she vomited.

Once Mary had explained the rules, Sirius was eager to play. James had to go first of course, since he was the birthday boy. The bottle landed on Peter, James drunkenly kissed Peter’s eyebrow. The group burst into laughter, but Peter was left frozen with an extremely red face.

Dorcas and Peter. Severely awkward. A kiss on the cheek.

Lily and Dorcas. A quick peck.

Mary and Lily. Again, a quick peck.

James and Mary. A soft kiss on the head.

Sirius and James. A disgusting smooch on the cheek, done by James while Sirius tried to run off.

Ah hah. Mary and Sirius. Things were about to get interesting. Mary grinned widely, and Sirius was reminded of how much he liked her. The kiss was gentle, at first, but eventually became vigorous, to the point where Mary was almost on top of him. There were wolf whistles from James, someone shouting ‘get a room’ and a few coughs hinting for them to stop.

After it happened, Mary whispered, “It was never like that, before.”

Sirius almost disagreed, it was exactly like that before, just more childlike and innocent, rather than vigorous and desperate, “Well, we were never fifteen before.” He responded. Mary grinned, and swiped her thumb over Sirius’ mouth to get the lipstick off. 

“Don’t get any ideas, Black.” She winked, and went back to her spot. Sirius was left in a daze, how did he manage to snog the prettiest girl in the year, again

Yet, he didn’t exactly feel fulfilled, he wasn’t about to chase her. Sirius Black didn’t flirt with girls, girls flirted with him. Sirius didn’t mind waiting around, he still thought being with his friends was more fun than being with giggling girls. But if Mary wanted him back at some point, he wouldn’t say no, she was fun and nice and pretty. There wasn’t much to say no to. Why wouldn’t you want to date Mary?

They switched the game up slightly, and the next spin landed on Lily. Sirius looked up to find Remus had spun the bottle.

Panic took over James’ face, Sirius put a comforting hand on his knee. 

“Nope.” Remus said, popping the ‘p’. 

The group looked around, confused.

“We made a pact in first year.” Lily explained, “We’re not allowed to kiss each other.”

Remus nodded, slightly drunkenly. 

“Yes… alright, let’s move on then.” Mary said awkwardly, “Remus, spin the bottle again.”

Remus spun the bottle casually, after a moment it landed on Mary. 

Oh, fuck. Sirius was hoping they’d just kiss on the cheek. Oh Christ, he wished he could telepathically tell them to just kiss on the cheek. Wow, he really did like Mary. Sirius had never really got jealous of Mary with other boys, but he really didn’t want her to snog Remus.

Mary grinned slyly, and Remus let out an involuntary giggle. Mary crawled over to him, and Remus slid his arm around her waist. 

No, no. Stop. Sirius bit his lip, painfully.

He looked over at them, they were snogging mercilessly. And Mary even let out a squeak of surprise when Remus pushed her onto the ground and caressed her hips.

Sirius looked away in disgust, he scrunched his fist together, digging his nails into his palm. Obviously seeing his discomfort, even while drunk, James put an arm on his back comfortingly. The others stopped clapping and cheering, but Mary and Remus didn’t stop. Clearly enjoying it more than what the game meant for. Eventually when they pulled away, Mary shot Sirius a smirk, but he was too concentrated on looking at Remus to notice. 

He looked happy, just for a moment, but then his eyes fell on Sirius, who was obviously glaring at him. His grin dropped, and he wiped at his lips awkwardly as if that would erase the pink swelling, as if it would erase the fact that Mary’s were just there. 

Marlene cleared her throat from the side of the room, “We should go, I think Alice needs to go to bed.”

The girls nodded and hastily got up. Sirius didn’t even watch them leave, but he knew they were all giving each other looks, as girls do. 

“I want to go to the kitchens, Pete?” James said, wobbling as he got up.

“Anything you want, birthday boy.” Peter said, quickly picking up the cloak and rushing out the dorm with James.

Very subtle. Sirius thought.

Remus stared at him, expecting him to make the first move. When he didn’t, Remus sighed, “It’s just a game, Sirius.”

“I know.” Sirius murmured, staring at him intently.

“Why’re you looking at me like you want to kill me then?” Remus said, narrowing his eyes slightly.

“Am I?” Sirius replied, feeling slightly dizzy with the alcohol. When Remus didn’t respond, Sirius continued, “Have you ever kissed Mary before?”

“No.” Remus said, “Of course not.”

“Mm. Good.” Sirius licked his lips, suddenly getting extremely dizzy, he grabbed onto the wooden edge of the bed to steady himself.

“Woah, shit.” Remus rushed forward, grabbing Sirius’ torso and settling him down on the mattress. 

Sirius leaned his head against the wooden post at the corner of the bed. It wasn’t very comfortable. 

“I didn’t realise you still liked her.” Remus said, after a moment. 

“I don’t.”

You don’t know what you’re saying. A voice in his head said. 

“Then, why’re you angry?” Remus said, looking confused.

Sirius wanted to laugh, maybe he did laugh, the uncomfortable wooden post was surely intoxicating his brain. He just had to lean on Remus’ shoulder instead. There wasn’t another option, after all! “I’m not angry.”

“Are you alright?” Remus asked, “Have you taken something other than the firewhisky?”

“Don’t be silly.” Sirius rolled his eyes.

“Okay.” Remus said awkwardly.

Sirius sighed, “Did you like it?”

“Like what?”

“The kiss.” 

“Well, yeah.” Remus shifted uncomfortably. Sirius didn’t move. “Why’re you asking me this?”

“I’m just wondering.” Sirius muttered, staring at Remus, who was facing forward. “We should prank James and Pete and pretend we hate each other.” Sirius said, brightening the mood. 

Remus chuckled, “Alright. But you’re going to have to stop leaning on my shoulder if you want it to be believable.”

Sirius smiled, he sighed and gently pushed himself off Remus, feeling less dizzy and more sober.

Their facade did not last long, after giving each other deathly glares for five minutes, Sirius finally spat out a “fuck you”. To which Remus responded with, “I’ll fuck your ex-girlfriend”. And the two of them burst into giggles.

James and Peter both groaned and flipped their arms back, falling to the ground, “I knew it!” Peter said, that only made them laugh more. 

 

It's a little bit funny

This feeling inside

I'm not one of those who can easily hide

I don't have much money, but boy if I did

I'd buy a big house where we both could live

 

If I was a sculptor, ha

But then again, no

Or a man who makes potions in a traveling show

I know it's not much, but it's the best I can do

My gift is my song, and this one's for you

 

And you can tell everybody

This is your song

It may be quite simple, but now that it's done

I hope you don't mind

I hope you don't mind

That I put down in the words

How wonderful life is while you're in the world

 

I sat on the roof and kicked off the moss

Well a few of the verses, well they've got me quite cross

But the sun's been quite kind

While I wrote this song

It's for people like you that keep it turned on

 

So excuse me forgetting

But these things I do

You see I've forgotten, if they're green or they're blue

Anyway the thing is, what I really mean

Yours are the sweetest eyes I've ever seen

 

 

  • Your Song, Elton John

 










Chapter Text

April passed in a blur of revision and blooming flowers. Sirius no longer had Mary to spend his yearly complaining session with, because apparently she’d decided to start studying as well. Remus and Lily had put together a little study group, Peter and Sirius teased them about it. Calling them toffs, which Mary, Lily and Remus all had gotten extremely offended by. Because, of course, Sirius was the toff. James tried to join in with the teasing, he really did, but Sirius could see he was too scared to piss Lily off. It was endearing really, his childish crush. 

It wasn’t that Sirius didn’t study, he did, but he couldn’t do it around other people, they made him feel stupid. Sirius’ mind always went blank when he tried to think around others, but when he was alone he tended to overthink. Sirius always got good grades, most people knew this, and the truth was that he didn’t like people explaining things to him, he’d rather read it, or hear someone else get their explanation to the same question. It was ridiculous really, he supposed it was a product of being with the Blacks, because someone who was ‘below’ Sirius shouldn’t be teaching him things. Of course Sirius didn’t really think like that, it had just been ingrained into his brain to the point where he couldn’t learn from other people. Even if they were ‘above’ him, which, well, no one at Hogwarts was, so he couldn’t test that theory. 

Remus was different, and although it didn’t sound like a nice thing to say, he’d come to Hogwarts in first year with absolutely no knowledge of anything. He had to learn everything from the beginning, and in some ways that was easier, because he could teach himself to simply learn any way he wanted. Sirius had years of tutoring, memorising family history, Dark history. That was different from Hogwarts, that was precise, you had to know every single detail. Sirius found it easier to fixate on one subject, but that wasn’t a good strategy at Hogwarts, everything was vague, the subjects all merged together in one way or another. And that’s why Sirius needed to be alone while studying, he needed a precise question to focus on, no background noise. Sirius had learned to no longer need his brother by his side while studying. Well, he had to learn that. And he’d gotten used to it too.


The full moon was brilliant, as always. Sirius and Moony tackled each other to the ground. Wormtail hung onto Moony’s fur, peeking over his head and rolling around with him. Prongs was useful, he observed their play-fighting, pushing Moony off when he got too rough, or warning Sirius when he got too rough. Sirius still wished he had a nickname like the others, but he supposed they were right about needing to ‘come naturally’. The end of the night was always Sirius’ least favourite, because he had to watch Remus re-transform into his human self. It was always horrible, because Remus couldn’t do anything, he was too tired after the night to stand while he transformed, which was apparently more comfortable for Remus. He just lay there whimpering and screaming. Sirius tried to help, but it just made Moony whine whenever he came close to him.

Sirius was sleeping uncomfortably, relaxed by the familiar sound of James and Peter’s snores around him.

“Remus!” Madam Pomfrey spoke brusquely, Sirius woke up at that. “I told you you shouldn’t be reading while you’re on bed rest!” Sirius noted the way she didn’t say ‘sick’ or ‘ill’ about Remus’ condition.

“I need to study, it’s exams soon.” Remus grumbled. Sirius focused his eyes on the hospital bed in front of him, watching as Remus ran a hand through his hair.

She tutted, “You need rest .” She grasped the heavy book he was reading out of his hands. Sirius smiled fondly as Madam Pomfrey kissed him on the head and walked off, her heels clicking on the floor. Remus sighed and turned over on his side, but he didn’t close his eyes to sleep, he caught Sirius’, and smiled at him. All dopey and wonky and magic in every way. 

Sirius yawned widely, causing James to wake up. “Yeah, Moony. You need rest.”

“Shut up Prongs, you were asleep.” Remus said.

James tapped a finger to his head in an act of joking wisdom, “I know everything.”

Sirius huffed, standing up and wiping his hands on his legs, “Can we go to breakfast? I’m starving.”

“Pete’s still sleeping.” Remus pointed out.

Sirius chuckled mildly, “Oh.” He said, kicking him in the shin. Peter stirred, slapping a hand over his eyes and grimacing.

Sirius. ” James chastised. Sirius just grinned, and Peter kicked him back after he’d woken up and realised what happened.

“I think he wanted us to stay.” James whispered when they exited the hospital wing through the wooden doors.

“Who?” Sirius frowned.

“Moony,” James stated, “obviously.”

“Oh.” Sirius exhaled, “We’ll go back after breakfast, no, we can bring breakfast to him and h-”

“Merlin.” James chuckled, “It was just an observation, mate. I think I was just imagining things. Calm down.”

Sirius squirmed, fidgeting with his hands and looked down, embarrassed. 

“But you’re right.” James said, swinging an arm around his shoulders, “We’ll bring up some waffles for him and eat our breakfast together. It’ll be a nice treat, yeah?”

Sirius nodded, relaxing slightly. James always knew what to say to make him feel better, always knew what to say to make him feel like less of an outsider. 

***

“Sirius, have you done any Muggle Studies revision?” Marlene asked one evening.

It was exam week, Monday evening. Sirius had the easiest exams on Monday, Divination and Astronomy.  Astronomy was extremely boring, Sirius spent half of the time staring at Remus scribbling down on his page intemperately. It was endearing, up until Lily Evans coughed at him and raised a questioning eyebrow. Sirius scowled at her for interrupting, until he realised it was slightly strange. Sirius tried not to think about it. 

Divination was easy too, he could just write down a bunch of gibberish and his mark would depend on whether or not his teacher believed his story. 

“Oh, yes. Do you want to borrow my notes?” Sirius said, pulling out the ten pieces of parchment he’d used to make notes on.

“Oh my god.” Marlene laughed, “I mean, thanks. But you really like Muggle Studies, don’t you?”

Sirius nodded eagerly, not at all embarrassed for his love of the subject.

“Sirius.” Marlene said, after reading the notes, “Half of this stuff is about muggle bands and motorcycles. And… clothing brands?” She laughed.

“Oh.” Sirius grinned sheepishly, “Didn’t mean to pass you those.” He tried snatching back the notes, but Marlene was looking at his notes intently.

“This is really fucking cool, Sirius.” Marlene said, pointing down to the outfits he’d drawn. He’d been piecing bits together from muggles he’d seen at the train station, as well as clothing Remus had. However, from what Sirius could tell, Remus wasn’t very fashionable, despite Sirius’ awe when he walked on the train at the beginning of fourth year. Sirius found it interesting, muggles’ magnificent outfits. He didn’t like the boring uniforms they had to wear, or the Black’s perfectly ironed shirts and itchy tight waistcoats. 

“Thanks.” Sirius muttered, slightly bashfully. He didn’t want Marlene to think he was some girly nancy boy. Then again this was Marlene, she wouldn’t judge him. But Sirius was judging himself.

Marlene, seeing his discomfort, gave him back the parchment and smiled. “You should keep drawing these. They’re amazing.”

Sirius smiled back, “Cheers, Marls.”

Sirius felt slightly better after that, like a small bit of weight had been lifted from his shoulder.

***

Dear Sirius Orion Black,

There is no need for pleasantries, since you have been ignoring your father and my letters all year.

I am aware that it is exam week for all the students at Hogwarts, and I am expecting you to do well. You have been a disappointment to the Noble House of Black for many years, so if you do not do well on these exams there will be punishment. 

Sincerely,

Walburga Black

 

Sirius sniffed, he hadn’t been expecting the letter, his parents had given up sending letters a week before Sirius’ birthday. Sirius never opened them. He knew what they would say, disappointment, failure, blood traitor .

He normally wouldn’t be so unsteady about some ridiculous letter his mother sent him. But there was just one part that caught his eye,

there will be punishment.

Sirius shuddered. The thought of his mother’s bony hands gripping her quill tightly, scratching on the pure white parchment, their glazed black table screeching as she stood up and sourly told Kreacher to send the letter to her son, the one of was a failure, of course. His mouth went dry.

A long time ago, Sirius would have thrown the letter away and never thought of it again. The previous summer was playing through his mind. Punishment. Punishment. Punishment.

So the next evening, Sirius sat himself down at the desk in their dorm and opened his History Of Magic textbook. 

It was impossible, impossible to study while trying to balance the weight of darkness on his head. The weight of all the spells which could be used against him. Sirius found himself staring at the page while the words flashed green and red and white and blue. 

“Alright mate?” James’ voice said in the background, it was muffled by Sirius’ heartbeat pounding his head in.

“Yep.” Sirius said in a hoarse voice.

“It’s late, you should go to bed.” James spoke.

Sirius just nodded, his back still turned to him. 

“Is he okay?” Peter whispered. Sirius rolled his eyes, he didn’t hear James’ answer.

He stared down at the words again, his eyes itchy and dry. He was unsure how much time had passed, but he could hear James and Peter whispering to each other, perhaps it wasn’t that late, or maybe they were just staying up because of him.

“Sirius.” He felt a cool hand press to the back of his neck. Sirius’ head snapped up, and he was found by a fuzzy looking Remus, his striped shabby pyjamas hanging over his skinny frame. Sirius looked over at the rest of the dorm, Peter and James’ bed curtains were closed, and Sirius could hear their comforting snores.

“Hm?” Sirius said, wiping his cheek, had he been crying? Why was his cheek wet?

If he had been crying, Remus didn’t mention it, maybe he hadn’t noticed, or maybe he just knew Sirius. “Can I show you something?” 

Sirius nodded, hopefully looking eager. Remus smiled at him and pulled him upwards slightly by the arm. 

“Sit there.” Remus said, pointing down to the bit of floor next to his bed. Sirius frowned but obliged, tucking his feet under his crossed legs. Remus sat on the bed, behind where Sirius was, and his knees softly pushed into Sirius’ shoulder blades. His hands ran their way through Sirius’ hair, and Sirius sighed in content when his nails brushed against his scalp. 

“What are you doing?” Sirius asked.

“Shh.” Remus whispered, splitting Sirius’ hair into two sections. Sirius let out a breath of exhale and leaned back, Remus’ lower legs were placed gently against Sirius’ sides, keeping him in a little protective box of warmth and threadbare pyjamas. 

He tried not to fall asleep because of the snug and comforting feeling in his body. He wanted to enjoy every moment of Remus’ gentle tugs at his hair, his long fingers stroking softly and comfortingly.

“Okay,” Remus whispered, shaking Sirius’ shoulder, “I’m done. Oi, don’t fall asleep yet. You need to see my handiwork.” He joked softly.

Sirius grunted, smiling. “Bring me a mirror.” 

Remus sighed but got up and brought a rusty handheld mirror over, pretending to toss it to Sirius. Who flinched his arms up to catch it, then rolled his eyes when he realised Remus wasn’t actually going to throw it up at him. “As if I want seven years of bad luck.” Remus whispered jokingly. Sirius made a note to ask about that later, he didn’t understand the joke.

Sirius looked in the mirror and grinned widely, ignoring the way his eyes were red and instead staring at the plaits Remus had put in his hair. “Thank you.” Sirius smiled.

“Like it?” Remus asked, rubbing Sirius’ neck in a boyish way. 

Sirius nodded eagerly, “Yeah where’d you learn to do that? If I turn into dog form, D’you think they’d stay in?”

Remus shrugged, poking his bottom lip out, “Lily taught me. Try it.”

Sirius squeezed his eyes shut, imagining his furry black dog form and transforming. Remus patted his head, Sirius jumped up on the bed and when Remus lay down he sprawled himself over his long legs. Remus wriggled under him, so Sirius huffed and stood up to pull the curtains closed with his mouth. 

“Ta.” Remus smiled, moving over slightly to leave Sirius some space to curl into his side. Sirius snuggled into Remus’ pillow, huffing in content when Remus patted his head. 

Remus kissed his forehead, and Sirius had to stop himself from wagging his tail. Remus, clearly embarrassed, moved away and pulled the duvet to his neck. Sirius sulked and bit into the front of Remus’ pyjama top to pull him forward. Remus chuckled and shuffled closer to Sirius.

Sirius pulled his leg up and rested his paw on Remus’ shoulder, Remus grabbed his paw and looked at it intently, gently pressing on each of the padded pink bits of skin. “Do you use some kind of doggy moisturiser?” Remus whispered teasingly, “Your padfeet are so soft.”

Sirius nudged his nose to Remus’ chin, and Remus stuck his tongue out at him. Sirius did the same.

“Eugh, dog breath.” Remus cringed. Then he paused, “ Wait . I’ve got it. Your nickname!” He breathed.

Sirius turned back into human form. “What?” He said impatiently.

“Drum roll please.” Remus grinned. 

Sirius rolled his eyes, slapping his shoulder, “Just tell me. I’ve been waiting for ages.”

Remus shrugged, “Nope, not until I get a drum roll.” 

Sirius groaned loudly, sitting up and snatching the pillow from under Remus’ head before hitting him with it. Remus laughed and put his arm up to protect himself from the pillow-hitting.

“Alright! Alright!” He chortled. “You know how I said padfeet?”

Sirius nodded, laying back down next to him. 

“Well you could be ’Padfoot’.” Remus said.

“Moony!” Sirius exclaimed, gasping, “You brilliant bastard.” He grinned.

Remus smiled, “Glad you like it.” He yawned, “Tell the others tomorrow, eh?”

Sirius nodded, closing his eyes. He placed his hand on Remus’ chest just before falling asleep, he felt the very fast heartbeat under his fingertips, and placed another hand against his own, which was much slower. 

“Why’s your heartbeat so fast?” Sirius asked.

Remus sucked in his breath, “Dunno, must be a werewolf thing.” 

Sirius sighed, knowing Remus was lying, but he was too tired to argue. He just nodded and shuffled closer to Remus, falling asleep seconds later. 

I’ll find out all of your secrets one day, Moony. Sirius thought to himself. One day I’ll know all of them, and you’ll know all of mine.

 

No matter what I do, no matter what I say

No matter how I try, I just can't turn the other way

When I'm with someone new, I always think of you

Guess my heart has a mind of its own

 

 

  • My Heart Has A Mind Of It’s Own, Connie Francis

 












Chapter Text

“You absolute beauty of a man, Remus Lupin!” James exclaimed, clapping Remus on the back, a little too hard, causing him to choke on his toast. James grimaced and passed Remus a tissue as he continued to get red faced, struggling for air.

“It’s just a nickname.” Remus spoke after he’d caught his breath.

“Well I couldn’t come up with anything good!” James grinned, “All I thought of was ‘Snuffles’.”

Peter snorted and Sirius scowled at James. Remus laughed, “No, no. That’s much better than ‘Padfoot’.”

Sirius flicked a chunk of egg at him.

***

“I think you should calm down with the studying, Padfoot.” James said, “You need to sleep.” He spoke softly.

Sirius’ History Of Magic exam did not go as well as he wished, it was impossible to live up to the standards he’d set for himself. No, the standards his parents had set for him. The studying he’d done the night before was unproductive, and even though Remus’ comfort had helped him , it surely hadn’t helped his grades. Though Sirius couldn’t be sure, he might’ve stayed up all night looking at the flashing words in his textbook if it weren’t for Remus.

“I’m fine.” Sirius responded. 

James sighed and patted his shoulder, “If you say so. Go to sleep though, okay? Soon.”

“I’m fine.” Sirius repeated.

The clock ticked by, and once again Sirius was unsure of how long he’d been staring at the pages. His hand hurt from writing notes.

“Go to sleep, Sirius.” James said.

“I’m studying, James.” Sirius grumbled.

“Please, you need to-” He started, putting a hand on Sirius’ shoulder.

Sirius shook him off, “Leave me alone, please.” 

“I don’t understand. You’ve never cared about this stuff before. What happened?” James asked, his brow creased.

“I got a letter from my darling mother.” Sirius said simply, gritting his teeth.

“Oh, mate. Why don’t you leave all this alone and tell me about it? Or go to bed?” James suggested softly, putting a hand on his back.

“I can’t. I need to study.” Sirius said, squinting at his notes to make the tears crawl back into his eyes.

“You don’t need to listen to her.” James whispered.

“You don’t know what they’ll do to me if I don’t.” Sirius said.

“Sirius, I promise you that they won’t do anything to you. Mum and Dad will help, we’ll talk to them and-” 

“No!” Sirius bellowed, pushing his chair back so it screeched against the floor loudly, “James. You don’t understand! You don’t know what they’ll do, okay? You don’t understand!”

“So tell me!” James pleaded, raising his voice, “I can help you.”

“No you can’t . Just- just leave me alone!” Sirius choked out, “You can’t help me.”

“Sirius, please-”

“You don’t understand, James! You have this perfect fucking family who loves you and actually likes you too. And they actually bloody look after you. I have to live everyday knowing that I’m not good enough for them , those disgusting little- And- and I won’t be good enough because of all of this! Because of you and Peter and Remus . I gave up everything for all of you! And I need to protect myself, but you’ll never understand because you have this perfect fucking life .” Sirius shouted, moving away from James.

“Sirius.” James said calmly, “I can’t help who I am, or my family. But we’re all here for you, okay? All of us-”

“It doesn’t matter though, does it?!” Sirius seethed, “Because none of you get it, I don’t need your sympathy. I just need someone to understand, not someone with a perfect family and- and someone with a-”

“Padfoot.” Remus said, Sirius turned to him. Peter was on his bed, watching the argument unfold with his mouth hung open. Remus stood up slowly, moving towards him.

“Stay out of it, Lupin.” Sirius warned.

Remus crossed his arms over his chest, “No, I’m not letting you scream at James just because of some letter.”

“Remus!” James cautioned, shocked.

“You don’t know anything about this.” Sirius spat, ignoring James, “Stay. Out. Of it.”

“You’re not the only one with a shitty life, Black.” Remus crossed his arms over his chest.

“Oh, piss off.” Sirius snarled. “You don’t know anything about this.” 

“Oh, I’m sorry .” Remus said sarcastically, frowning patronisingly, “Did the little posh boy get a little stressed about exams? Does he want a good mark to impress his mummy?”

Sirius only registered a gasp from James before lunging forwards towards Remus, pushing him to the ground and thumping him angrily. A pair of strong arms pulled him off Remus, Sirius resisted, only feeling anger pumping through his veins. He stood up, James’ hands pulled him back by the elbows, Remus stood too, wiping a hand under his bleeding nose.

“Are you quite finished?” He asked, face stony.

“What?” Sirius panted, catching his breath.

“Can we all go to bed now?” Remus cocked his head to the side.

“If you’d have just left me to my revision I would’ve been fine.” Sirius fumed.

“You think we’d just leave you like that?” Remus asked.

“I said I was fine.” Sirius gritted out.

“But you’re not fine.” Remus concluded, moving forward. Sirius felt as if the only thing holding him up were James’ arms. 

“No.” Sirius choked out. 

Remus gave a pained expression, “I’m glad you’ve admitted it.” He sighed.

“What was all of that, hm?! You really find me that much of a burden?” Sirius tried not to cry, but most of all he wished James and Peter weren’t there, he wished he could shout at Remus and make him understand. 

“No!” Remus said hastily, “I just think sometimes you need to accept that you’re not okay, and you need to stop taking it out on other people.”

“And you don’t do that at all, do you?” Sirius spat sarcastically. 

Remus’ honey coloured eyes flashed with hurt, and Sirius immediately felt guilty. He felt too wobbly to stand, so he fell to his knees and James stopped him from fully collapsing, he hugged him from behind, muttering things to calm him. Remus rushed forwards, putting his hands to Sirius’ shoulders. Sirius’ eyes were too full with tears to see, everything was a blur. 

Then the moment of panic was over, Sirius felt his lungs open and the breath rush in. His eyes focused again and he could see Remus in front of him. “How are you feeling now?” James asked into his ear.

Sirius let out a breath, “Better.”

Remus wrapped his arms around his shoulders, Sirius wanted to stop it, after what Remus had just said to him it felt wrong for him to be hugging him. But he just leaned into it, feeling both James and Remus’ arms softly brushing against him in a comforting manner.

“I’m sorry.” Remus said.

Sirius pulled away, James coughed awkwardly and stood up, wiping his hands on his legs and going to sit by Peter. He started whispering to him, probably to distract him while Remus and Sirius talked, “Do you think I complain about my parents too much?” 

“No.” Remus said firmly, “I mean, you don’t complain enough to be honest. Please, I’m so sorry, Sirius. I just, I don’t want you to take it out on James. If you have to take it out on anyone, take it out on me. But, it’s just, James has helped so much and-”

“No, you’re right.” Sirius interrupted, “I shouldn’t have… he doesn’t deserve that.”

Remus nodded, giving Sirius a wary smile. “I really am sorry, you know. You can tell me anything, I’ll listen.” he said softly. ”Promise I won’t call you a posh boy.” He joked.

Sirius chuckled, sniffing, “Sorry for punching you in the face.” He smiled.

Remus smiled back, unconsciously touching his nose. “It’s okay. I deserved it.”

Sirius shook his head, biting his lip with a smirk, “Eh, maybe a bit.”

Remus grinned and pulled Sirius in for another hug, “I’m sorry.” He whispered.

“I know. I forgive you, idiot.” Sirius whispered back. 

Remus’ chest vibrated as he chuckled. 

When they said their good night’s, Sirius crawled into James’ bed, apologised, and fell asleep as James hugged him while he cried. 

 

People say I'm the life of the party

Because I tell a joke or two

Although I might be laughing loud and hearty

Deep inside I'm blue

 

So take a good look at my face

You'll see my smile looks out of place

If you look closer, it's easy to trace

The tracks of my tears

I need you, need you

 

 

  • The Tracks Of My Tears, The Miraclea

 







Chapter Text

Once exams were over and the celebrations calmed down, Hogwarts was at utter peace. Sirius felt comfortable, the heat of June and the chatters of tranquil students felt friendly. Sirius’ only worry was going home for the summer. His exam results were good, he got mostly Os and Es. However he knew his parents would find a way to make him feel like a failure, he should’ve gotten Outstandings in everything. Should’ve gotten first in the class. Should’ve not been a blood traitor. Should’ve not been placed in Gryffindor. The list went on.

“Padfoot, Mum and Dad told me you can stay for the summer. Stop stressing.” James said, holding a hand up to his eyes to stop the sunlight. He was laying in the grass with his shirt off, Sirius internally rolled his eyes at the giggling girls that passed by slowly to stare at his abs. Sirius, however, always thought James’ arms were nicer to look out. What would he know, though. 

“How can I not stress?! I just sent a letter to my mother asking to stay at a-” Sirius leaned in and whispered, “ blood traitor’s house.”

James rolled his eyes, “There’s nothing you can do about it now, mate. Why don’t you just relax, and if she lets you stay with us, you stay. If she doesn’t… well, we’ll come to that.” He grimaced, mouth parting to exhale.

Sirius huffed, “ We’ll come to that ?” He raised a brow, “Very reassuring, thanks a lot James.” He deadpanned, picking at the grass next to him.

Jame sighed? “Just forget about it for now. Quidditch?” He asked.

Sirius nodded eagerly, then paused, “Ah, bollocks. I promise Marlene I’d tell her when we practice, she wants to practice her left arm hits.”

James stood up, brushing his hands on his legs, “Bring her along, could do with an extra pair of hands.”

***

“And he looked utterly mortified , honestly, and I thought Slytherin’s were mean!” Marlene huffed.

“Mhm, that’s great.” Sirius said, not really listening as he tied up his shoes.

“It wasn’t funny either! I don’t think he even wanted to be kissed, and they’re all acting like he’s the one who should be embarrassed. The look on his face! They’re horrible!” Marlene shook her head, her hands flailing about as she told the story.

“Yeah right. Poor guy. What did you say his name was?” Sirius sniffed, straightening his top out but then wrinkling it again because it looked too smart for Quidditch practice. Plus, he looked better when he was a bit frazzled, like the fifth year boys did after they’d slept with someone at a party. They looked cool.

“Oh, Rhys.” Marlene answered, searching for something in her bag.

Sirius paused, he’d heard that name before, “Do I know him?”

Marlene looked up, squinting as she put on some deodorant, “Oh, he talks to Remus sometimes. Think he’s a bit obsessed with him to be honest.” She laughed.

Sirius frowned, his eyes unfocused.

“Oh, he’s sweet really.” She chuckled, seeing the look on Sirius’ face, “Tries to get Remus to read his little journal of poems. Plus his hair is lush, apparently he’s almost convinced Remus to use proper shampoo on that mop.” Marlene said with an amused expression.

Sirius gripped his broom tight, his knuckles going white, “Can’t be better than mine.” He feigned nonchalance, tossing his hair.

Marlene rolled her eyes, “Mm, of course. No one is better than The Sirius Black.” She said sarcastically.

Sirius grinned, “Right you are, McKinnon. Right you are.” He winked, and Marlene fake gagged. Sirius nudged her shoulder playfully,

“Race you to the left hoops!” They both bolted off.

***

The match between Ravenclaw and Gryffindor was filled with vibrancy and cheerfulness. Sirius enjoyed it immensely, the crowd was bigger than ever, as it was the last match of the year. Although, many of the Slytherins didn’t show up out of spite. Gryffindor won, of course, and Sirius was dizzy from the hugs and claps on the back he got. The Gryffindor seeker was even held up by the crowd, and Sirius wished he was seeker for a moment. But he shook himself off for being attention seeking. He got plenty of attention as a Beater, girls thought he was strong and powerful, a hero for saving the team from the horrifying bludgers. Personally, Sirius thought it was a tad dramatic, but his ego certainly enjoyed it.

“Brilliant game, mate.” A sixth year said, shaking his shoulder.

Sirius laughed airily, flushing, “Thanks.”

“Good game, Black.” A Hufflepuff fifth year said, smiling slyly. 

“Cheers.” Sirius winked at her.

When he finally got to the common room, the tables were filled with drinks, the sofas were filled with people, not only Gryffindors, and the entire common room was filled with the music of chatting students. As well as… David Bowie? Sirius looked around the room, then eventually found Remus standing with his record player, grinning widely. Sirius laughed to himself, then rushed over to where he stood accompanied by James, Peter and Dorcas. He ignored people’s words of congratulations, and the two girls who grabbed his arm desperately. Sirius was sure one of them was a second year too, gross.

“You missed Mary’s gushing over James.” Dorcas said simply.

Sirius gasped, “Oh no, however will I live. I’ve always wanted to see my ex and best friend flirt!” He said sarcastically, still grinning. 

James snorted, “We weren’t flirting !” He defended, then turned to Dorcas and pointed a finger at her, “Don’t you dare tell Evans that.”

Dorcas laughed smugly, elegantly walking off towards Lily. 

“What do you think?” Remus said with a smirk, “Good music choice?”

Sirius grinned that Sirius Black grin, “Mhmmm.” He slurred. When David Bowie stopped singing, Remus put The Rolling Stones on, a request from one of the muggleborn third years. 

 

I said the joint was rockin'

A goin' round and round 

Yeah, reelin' and a rockin'

What a crazy sound

 

Sirius laughed as he was pulled away to the dance floor by James, grabbing a drink of the dodgy punch bowl on the way. 

 

And they never stopped rockin'

'Til the moon went down

 

Sirius gave Remus a wave, pointing to him, Peter and James as he spoke with his eyes ‘it’s like us! The moon!’ He said. Remus shook his head with amusement, grinning, and looked back down to the record player in front of him.

 

Well it sounds so sweet 

I had to take me a chance 

Rose out of my seat

 

Sirius laughed as Mary drunkenly kissed his cheek.

 

I just had to dance 

Started movin' my feet 

Whoa to clappin' my hands

 

There was a lot of people dancing by then, Alice and Frank were dancing beautifully, strangely coordinated.

 

I said the joint was rockin'

Goin' round and round 

Yeah, reelin' and a rockin' 

What a crazy sound

 

Sirius hung his arm around Peter’s shoulders, telling him to dance more. 

 

And they never stopped rockin' 

'Til the moon went down

 

Sirius breathed heavily, feeling the heat of the crowd around him. 

 

Yeah at twelve o'clock 

Yeah the place was packed 

Front doors was locked 

Yeah the place was packed

 

Sirius hooted with laughter as James clumsily spilled his drink on the girl in front of him. 

 

And when the police knocked 

Those doors flew back

But they kept on rockin'

Goin' round and round

 

Him and the girl were snogging by now, Sirius had to squint his eyes just to make sure it wasn’t Lily Evans. No, she was a brunette. Sirius laughed, how strange, maybe James had gone mad. Or maybe he’d finally got over her.

 

Yeah, reelin' and a rockin' 

What a crazy sound 

And they never stopped rockin'

 

Pete too! At least Moony wasn’t snogging anyone. Sirius could always trust Remus, he’d never leave him alone on the dance floor for some girl.

 

Til the moon went down

And they go on rockin' 

Goin' round and round 

Yeah, reelin' and a rockin'

 

He could always trust Moony.

 

What a crazy sound 

And they never stopped rockin' 

 

'Til the moon went down

Well the joint stayed a rockin' 

Goin' round and round 

 

Yeah, reelin' and a rockin' 

What a crazy sound 

And they never stopped rockin' 

'Til the moon went down

 

 

  • Around And Around, The Rolling Stones

 

 

Chapter Text

“What are you going to do, Prongs, smuggle me in a suitcas-”

“Boys!” Peter burst in, the dorm door swung open, “You’ll never guess what.” He waited for about 0.5 milliseconds before saying, “My dad is taking me to Spain for the holidays. Spain!” He exclaimed brightly.

“That’s brilliant, Pete! How long are you staying for? Are you going to watch any Quidditch? There’s a big match in the summer.” James asked, leaning forward.

Peter nodded eagerly, “Yeah, yeah. He says it’s for a whole two weeks! Two! And he might even take me to New York to see Spellbound ! And he says if we do, we'll stay there for the August fireworks.” He bounced from foot to foot.

Sirius smiled, “That’s great, Wormy. Spellbound is shit, though, by the way.”

Peter rolled his eyes, still grinning, “Bugger off. You’re only saying that coz Moony hates them.”

“Are you not coming round for the summer?!” James said, standing up abruptly.

Peter winced, “…er, maybe? I think my mum and d-, I mean-, George, will want to see me too. So…”

“Yeah, yeah, ‘course.” James muttered, running a hand through his hair, “Merlin. You know mum won’t be happy.” He said, smiling.

Peter let out a breath, “I’ll buy her flowers to make up for it.”

“Ugh,” James wrinkled his nose, “don’t. She’ll like you more than me.”

Peter shrugged, taking one of Remus’ chocolates from his nightstand, “Nah, you’ll always be her favourite little baby boy .”

“Oi!” James shouted accusedly, “I told you to never speak of that!”

Sirius snorted, “Aww, Prongsss!”

“Shut up.” James groaned, nudging Sirius’ shoulder, he turned to Peter and pointed at Sirius, “You know he’s going to use this against me.”

Peter munched on Remus’ chocolate, “It’s all part of my master plan.” He said, slumping down in a chair.

The dorm door swung open, once again someone burst in. “Pete, put my chocolate down.” Remus said, without even looking his way. Peter paused in the middle of chewing and then slowly put the chocolate down. “Christ, shit, shit. Anyone seen my bloody Potions essay?” He said, looking stressed and flustered. He searched all the draws in their desk and rustled around all the papers which were strewn across the wooden desk. 

“Er, we handed it in last lesson.” James said carefully, biting his lip.

Sirius nodded in agreement.

“No we didn’t.” Remus said, looking confused as he frowned, furrowing his brow in thought.

“I think we did.” Peter piped in.

“No, no we didn’t.” Remus said firmly, the corners of his mouth still turned down. He finally gave in, his eyebrows raising, he groaned, sitting down as if he’d collapsed. “Oh god, we did, didn’t we?” He placed his head in his hands, his words muffled, “I’m going crazy.”

James gave Sirius a look before warily moving towards Remus. “Are you alright?”

“No!” Remus exclaimed, flailing his arms around, “All of you had to make all my stupid fucking full moons better, and now I’m going to go back to that stupid fucking cage, and I’m not going to have you stupid fucking animals to help me!” He said angrily.

Sirius tried not to laugh, he really did, but it was difficult, okay?! First he snorted, then slapped his mouth shut, then completely broke down into giggles. “Oh my god, I’m so sorry .” He said, still wheezing, bending over as he held his stomach.

“I’m glad my misery is funny to you.” Remus snapped.

“No, I am so sorry .” Sirius wheezed, “It’s just- you said ‘stupid fucking’ so many times. I’m so sorry. And I just-” he caught his breath, looking up to find Remus towering over him. Sirius could tell he was amused, he knew Moony, it was painted all over his face. “I’m-”

“So sorry?” Remus finished for him, smirking as the corner of his lips twitched.

“Yes.” Sirius nodded, straightening up. 

“Should be.” Remus said smugly, leaning over Sirius. 

“I am.” Sirius nodded solemnly, trying not to let himself grin. James let out a little snicker from the other side of the room, that sent Sirius, along with Remus this time, into giggles all over again.

“No, seriously-” Remus started talking after he’d caught his breath.

“I’m always Sirius.” 

Remus stared at him, his lips pressed into an unamused thin line, “Well Mr Sirius, since you are always serious, I was not talking to you.” He turned away, pacing the room. “As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted .” He shot a glare at Sirius, “I hate all of you for helping me.” He concluded, teasingly.

James chuckled, “You know… my parents will definitely want to help and maybe you could stay for the summer so we-”

“No.” Remus said firmly, “I’m just complaining, I’m not putting you all in danger, plus I’m not allowed anyway.”

“My mum is very persuasive.” James tried, “If she spoke to Dumbledore-”

“No.” Remus repeated, shaking his head, “I’m sorry, but I can’t risk it. And anyway, I need a break from you lot, don’t I?” He joked.

Sirius threw a sock at him, “Excuse you, Lupin. I’ll have you know we’re a pleasure to be around.” He said dramatically, putting on his old accent.

“Right, posh boy.” Remus said, shooting him a look, “As much as I agree that you’re all simply wonderful. I’m still not risking it. Maybe I’ll visit at the end of summer, eh?”

James sighed, but nodded, “Sirius, you’re my only friend, they’re all traitors.” He put a hand to his chest, dramatically laying his head down on Sirius’ lap.

“Oi, I bet you’d go to Spain if you got the offer.” Peter said defensively, sniffing.

“What’s this about Spain?” Remus asked, while Peter explained to Remus, Sirius gave James an anxious glance. His mother still hadn’t replied to his letter, and he wasn’t sure whether she was simply planning on grabbing him at the train station or leaving him to do whatever he liked. Perhaps she was perfecting a howler to send, telling him how much of a disappointment he was for wanting to spend his holiday with blood traitors.

***

“We don’t have enough for the whole Great Hall, do we?” Sirius sighed, “We should just do the Slytherin’s table.”

James crossed his arms over his chest, “What kind of end of year prank is that?” He huffed,  “Are you any good at duplication spells?”

Sirius shook his head, biting his lip, he was sitting cross legged in James’ bed. They were running out of time to come up with an end of year prank, James wanted to use his All Growing Cress Potion from his Zonko’s prank box. There was only enough for one table to grow the plants though, the potion had to be used on wood. It was a good idea in theory, the whole Great Hall being completely overgrown with plants. Duplication charms were difficult though, especially on potions. 

“Moony’s good at them, isn’t he?” James asked, Sirius shrugged in response. He didn’t mind the others joining in on their prank, they usually did with the bigger ones. However he liked just being with James sometimes, they were partners in crime after all. “I’ll ask him and Pete to help.”

Sirius nodded, laying his head back on the bed board. There was some whispering, eventually Remus and Peter joined them, with a lot of shuffling and kicking though. Their beds really weren’t big enough to fit four teenage boys.

“Nice of you to invite us.” Remus said, raising a brow. Sirius winced at the tone, he hadn’t really thought that  he was excluding the others, his mind hadn’t even put the two together. Everyone knew Sirius was James’ best friend, of course Peter and Remus were too. But that was different, Peter was just Peter, timid, kind, insecure, a follower. An observer. And Remus was just… well, Remus was Remus, brilliant, funny, snarky, careful, smart. The group wasn’t always split like that anyway, a lot of Sirius’ time was spent with Remus, and a lot of James’ time was spent with Peter. It wasn’t Sirius’ fault if sometimes they were left out, not if he wasn’t doing it on purpose, right?

“Aw, no need to thank us, Moony.” James said with a smile, oblivious to Remus’ tone as he ruffled his hair. Remus side-eyed Peter, amusement twitching at the corners of his mouth.

Sirius kicked him in the shin, annoyed by their little looks to one another. The three boys looked at him, waiting for him to speak. Sirius was satisfied that all the attention was on him, but he really had no idea what to say, “Right, this is official marauders business. Very confidential.” He started. Remus rolled his eyes impatiently, “Mr Lupin, do you have something you would like to say?” Sirius asked in his best teacher’s voice.

James huffed, “ Anyway ,” he shot a glare his way, “we need someone to do a duplication charm on my All Growing Cress Potion . We have a plan for a prank.” While James explained, Sirius zoned out for a while, thinking about how funny it would be to see Dumbledore’s face when he saw his precious Great Hall was overgrown with cress. 

***

“This is exactly why we shouldn’t have brought Moony along.” Sirius whispered jokingly.

“If you were all smart enough to do the duplication charm yourself, I wouldn’t have to.” Remus replied grumpily. “Anyway, you’re taking up most of the space with your huge ego.”

Sirius gasped dramatically. James said, “Mm, yeah. Maybe you should stay behind, Padfoot.” He teased.

Sirius blew a raspberry. “Remus needs a shrinking potion.” He huffed.

“Aw, don’t worry mate. Size doesn’t matter that mu-”

Sirius kicked him in the foot, “Not what I meant.” He groaned.

James shuffled a bit, pulling the cloak his way.

“Hey! You can see our feet now!” Peter said, yanking the cloak back.

“Well if Moony wasn’t h-”

“Oh my god.” Remus said exasperatedly, shuffling around until he was outside of the invisibility cloak. “Fine. I’ll just walk around like this.”

“Come on, Remus. You’ll get caught.” James sighed, offering the opening of the cloak to him.

“Nope.” Remus said, popping the ‘p’. “I’m perfectly content out here.” 

“Remus, mate, you-”

“Nope. I’m fine.” Remus said patronisingly, “Hey, maybe I’ll even talk-” he paused, before speaking in a booming voice, “-REALLY LOUDLY, I MIGHT EVEN GET-”

Sirius hastily pulled his arm out of the cloak and slapped his hand over Remus’ mouth, pulling him backwards clumsily. “Shut up , wanker. Do you want us to get caught?” He glared.

Remus stayed silent.

“Hm?!”

Remus lifted an arm and pointed to his mouth, which was still covered by Sirius’ hand. Sirius blushed, embarrassed, and pulled his hand off. He could hear James and Peter’s snickers. 

“Oh, right.” He muttered.

Remus snorted, “Idiot.”

Sirius let out a breathy laugh, “Let’s go. We’ll be back by two a.m. at this rate.”

The boys nodded and ploughed off on their mission. The four of them separated, each with a vial of potions in their hands. They all poured it onto the wooden tables of the Great Hall, quickly but quietly. The door was the only problem, it was heavy, wooden, and was extremely noisy when it opened and closed. After they’d all finished pouring the potion onto the tables, they met up by the door and covered themselves with the invisibility cloak. Remus took out the map and stared at it.

“It’s alright, let’s go. Christ, why does Dumbledore pace so much?” He shook his head, huffing. 

The boys headed off, Remus checking the map every once in a while in case someone was near. 

“Filch’s cat.” Remus hissed, and Sirius aimlessly looked around the corridor. “Okay, wait. We’ll have to go the long way.” He sighed, leading them to the left corridor. He chuckled slightly, pointing down to the map, “Hey look, do you think they’re hugging or having sex?”

James snickered, “Doesn't look like a hug to me.” Sirius looked at where he was pointing and snorted,

“They’ll get caught. McGonagall is walking right towards them.” He paused, “Oh shit . McGonagall!”

The boys walked faster to their dorm, clumsily rushing up the stairs and saying the password to the portrait. Remus, of course, complimented her. 

“Bloody ladies man.” James grumbled.

Remus shrugged, yawning, “I just thought her hair looked nice today.”

Sirius bit his lip to stop himself from smiling too much at that. 

“Sap.” Peter said, ploughing off up the stairs

The next day, the Marauders almost missed their prank taking place. When they finally pushed through the crowd of students snickering and laughing. They saw the Great Hall filled with giant cress growing from the tables. It looked like a jungle of grass. Dumbledore managed to take down the protective wards on the furthest table, Remus had done a good job of them. Sirius laughed, and the four of them high-fived. McGonagall walked up to them, her jaw clenched and mouth pressed into a thin line.

“Boys.” She said sharply, “You wouldn't have anything to do with this, would you?” She raised her eyebrows.

“No, Professor.” They said in unison.

She smiled at them, eyes narrowed, “Next year, I will not be so lenient.”

Peter, James and Sirius all gave each other a look, however Remus just nodded. McGonagall smiled at him. Sirius rolled his eyes. Just as James would say, what a bloody ladies man .

***

“James.” Sirius whispered, James didn’t stir. Sirius shook his shoulder again, “Prongs!”

James made a gurgling noise, “Padfoot?”

Sirius crawled into his bed, holding The Marauder’s Map in his hands, “He’s with Snape again.”

James sighed, “Sirius…”

“I know you think I’m crazy.” Sirius said, pulling the duvet up to his chin, “But why’s he with Snivellus, James?! He’s not even a pureblood, and at eleven o’clock at night.”

“I don’t know, Sirius.” James said, rubbing his eyes, “Maybe they’re friends.”

“Friends.” Sirius scoffed, “Regulus doesn’t have…” he trailed off, gulping. Obviously Regulus had friends . A life, crushes, parties. But to Sirius he’d always just been his baby brother, who needed to be protected. Clearly, Sirius had failed, since he was talking to Snape . Of all people!

“Padfoot. You’ve got to stop this obsession. He’s not in danger. He’s a Black.” James said groggily.

Sirius gulped, his stomach churning. He thought about how that’s how everyone saw him . Sirius Black, from The Noble House of Black. A Black. A pureblood. Someone who people should be scared of. The label hung over his head constantly.

“Oh… I didn’t mean it like that.” James said softly.

“No, no, it’s okay. I think I’ll go to bed now.” Sirius said, getting up. “G’night.”

***

There’s no real way to describe how Sirius felt while stepping onto the Hogwarts Express. Excited, terrified, happy, sad. He couldn’t decide. He had no idea whether his mother would be picking him up, grabbing him by the ear and dragging her nails into his neck. Or whether Mrs and Mr Potter would pick him up, giving him a warm hug and squeezing his hand comfortingly. The suspense was killing him slowly. Weighing him down as he tried to prepare himself for every scenario.

“Sirius? You coming?” Sirius was snapped out of his daze, Mary raised an eyebrow at him, waiting for him to carry on moving forward.

“Yeah, yeah.” Sirius said with a breath, apologising to Remus for blocking the hallway. 

Remus just shrugged, walking forward with his bag hanging off his shoulder. A few moments later, when Peter, Mary and James were far in front. He said, “Wait.”

Sirius stopped and craned his neck behind him, seeing a soft look on Remus’ face. Remus put a hand on his shoulder, squeezing it softly, Sirius read his eyes. He didn’t need to say anything. After a moment they kept moving forward, sliding the compartment door open.

“…Dad’s gonna make us get out of the house, I bet. But it’s alright because we’ll just…” James kept talking. And Sirius smiled, he could distract himself for a while. 

 

When the train stopped, Sirius took a long breath in, following James out of the carriage. “I have an idea” James whispered.

Please be a good idea. Sirius thought to himself. “What?”

“Hide behind me.” He said.

“Wha-”

“Just do it.” James hissed. Sirius did as he was told, walking behind James. As they walked through the crowd, Sirius didn’t dare stare anywhere but the back of James’ head. Afraid he’d catch the eye of Regulus or his mother.

Remus followed next to Sirius, covering him from one side. Peter had already run off with a quick wave, as he’d seen his father, wearing colourful robes in the crowd. 

“Oh, aayu .” Euphemia Potter said, hugging her son. “How are you? You’ve grown.” She kissed him on the forehead.

Fleamont nudged her, pointing to Remus and Sirius, who were standing awkwardly behind him. Sirius looked over his shoulder, feeling his heartbeat against his chest.

“Boys!” She exclaimed, rubbing her hands together, “Remus, we were not expecting you. Are you staying for the summer?” Euphemia asked kindly

“No, sorry. I just thought I would say hello.” He replied politely.

She smiled at him, “Ah, well you are always welcome, dear.”

Remus nodded, “Thank you. Though, I should go...”

“Who is picking you up?” Fleamont asked.

“Um, the woman at my home, she runs our part of St Richards.” He said, slightly embarrassed, Sirius could tell by the way he looked at the ground, “She’ll be outside.”

“Walk with us, then.” Fleamont said, smiling. Remus nodded, biting his lip.

Sirius stepped forward slightly, afraid of being seen by his mother.

“Sirius!” Euphemia exclaimed, the word rolling off her tongue. “I did not see you there.” She hugged him affectionately, stroking his head. Fleamont patted his back, Sirius looked up to see his brows pressed together worriedly. The same look James gave him.

“Are you alright?” He asked carefully.

Sirius gulped, “I just, I don’t want my mother to…” He trailed off. Giving James a look of panic.

“Let’s go.” Fleamont exclaimed, clapping his hands together. The three boys followed behind Mrs and Mr Potter like a brood of ducklings. They manoeuvred their way through the crowd, through the families of parents who were either hugging or kissing their children. Twice, they passed two families of purebloods, none of the parents hugged their children, and none of the children spoke to their parents unless they were asked to. That’s what Sirius was supposed to be, but at that moment he was enjoying Euphemia’s vibrant talking about her garden, and Fleamont’s musical laughter which sounded identical to James’. 

“Where is the woman who is going to pick you up?” Euphemia asked, her hands on her hips.

“Over there.” Remus said, pulling his trunk. He pointed to a van, it has peeling paint by the windows and rust near the tires. Sirius squinted his eyes to see the woman leaning against the door, her arms were crossed over her chest. She had a cream dress on, she looked like a healer at St Mungos. Her hair was pinned up at the back, showing the grey roots. Her cheeks were sagging with age. Remus said goodbye to the boys and Euphemia and Fleamont. He walked over to her, and she yanked his ear, muttering something to him. Remus looked over to Sirius and James and grinned, waving goodbye as she shouted at him to sit in the van.

Euphemia shook her head, pursing her lipstick-covered lips into a line. “That poor boy.” She muttered, leading Sirius and James away. Sirius briefly looked over his shoulder, seeing Remus playing with the buttons on the stereo of the car. Music burst through the air loudly, the woman slapped him around the back of the head, but Remus just laughed. Sirius caught his twinkling eyes at the very last second, before he was cut off by James waving his arms, talking wildly about Quidditch. 

Once they’d arrived at the Potter mansion, Sirius finally felt relief wash over him. They can’t get to you here. You’re safe. He told himself. He breathed in and out freely, his chest unrestricted at last. 

“We’ll go and wash up.” James told his parents, the two of them pulled their trunks up the stairs. Sirius flopped down on the bed, feeling free. James flopped down next to him, yawning widely.

“How do you feel?” He asked.

“Relieved.” Sirius answered.

***

Sirius woke up in the morning to the sound of pigeons cooing by the window. He sleepily looked to the side, where James was laying down next to him, snoring loudly. Sirius closed his eyes again, turning on his side and stretching, James’ king sized bed gave him lots of room. Sirius sat up, his feet touching the cool floor. He walked downstairs, the stairs creaking under his weight. He peeked his head round the kitchen door when he smelled food, focusing his eyes, he looked at the two figures. 

Euphemia was standing by the stove, something sizzling in the pan. Fleamont was behind her, hugging her from behind, his hands placed on her stomach and chin on top of her head. Sirius smiled at the domesticity of the couple. He turned around and walked back upstairs. 

“Morning, mum.” James said when he entered the room. 

Sirius snorted, “Morning, son.”

James’ eyes snapped open and he groaned, “I hate you.”

“Aw, Prongsie.” Sirius teased, “I already knew you were a mummy’s boy.”

James rolled his eyes and threw a pillow at him, sitting up, Sirius crawled back into bed and rested his head on James’ shoulder. James’ eyes were puffy with sleep and he yawned as he rubbed them. “Christ, how does your hair look good, even in the morning?”

Sirius smiled, eyes closed, “Always knew you were jealous of my beautiful locks.”

James nudged him, “Wanker.”

An hour later, Sirius and James were both outside in the heat of the day, lazily throwing the quaffle through the goal hoops. 

“What are we going to do all summer?” James asked, pushing his glasses up his nose.

Sirius shrugged, “Play Quidditch?”

James sighed, “ All summer?!” He threw the quaffle.

Sirius caught it, shrugging again, “I like it here.”

James spun around on his broom, hanging by his legs, “Me too, but we’ll get bored. Won’t we?”

Sirius sighed, throwing the quaffle to James and also hanging upside, “I don’t know. Will we?”

“Boys!” Fleamont Potter shouted, “Come inside, you need a drink of water!”

James sniffed and spun back around so he was the right way up. Sirius did the same. James paused in his movements, “I have an idea.” He said, before speeding off to the back door entrance.

“You can’t just leave with that-!” Sirius called after him, bolting after him.

Once James had taken practically years to chug down his blackcurrant juice, he wiped his mouth with his sleeves. “We should go to London.” He said.

Sirius raised his brows, “London?” He put his cup down on the wooden garden table, “I don’t really care for London…”

“No.” James said, dragging out the vowel, “ Muggle London.”

Sirius snorted, “You want us, two purebloods, to go to muggle London?”

James nodded, “Oui.”

Sirius wrinkled his nose, “Why the hell are you speaking French?”

James grinned, “I thought maybe you’d feel more at home-”

Sirius hit him round the back of the head, “You’re a twat.”

James nodded, biting into a biscuit, “Takes one to know one.” He said absentmindedly, “Race you to the forest.” He grinned, taking off.

Sirius darted off after him, eventually catching up as they hurtled towards the forest. 

“Can I show you something?” James asked, biting his lip nervously.

Sirius creased his brow, smiling with confusion. “Yeah, okay.” James had never taken them into the woods near his house, not properly, at least. James flew down lower to the ground, Sirius did the same. James started flying slowly, carefully gliding in between the trees. Sirius followed behind, tugging the back of James’ broom jokingly.

“Alright, we’re here.” James breathed. Sirius looked up, seeing a willow tree, right in the middle of the woods. The leaves shone like gold in the sunlight, it was like a crown in the middle of a pile of emeralds. The tree was out of place in a forest full of silver birch and sweet chestnut trees. But that was the magic of… well, magic. “Are you coming?” James asked, already halfway up the trunk of the tree.

Sirius nodded, smiling, and followed. 

James pulled himself up onto a curly branch, holding his hand down for Sirius. He pulled himself up onto the branch, wrapping his legs around the wood. James pointed behind Sirius, so he turned around and looked. In the trunk of the tree, there was a hole, probably made by a bird. It was abandoned though, instead of a nest of birds, there was a group of toy soldiers, all marching around. The dark green paint was peeling off them, they were clearly childhood toys. Sirius let out a little laugh, “Prongs, this is…” 

He turned back around to look at James, cocking his head to the side, James said, “I used to spend half my time here, when I was younger. I’ve never had, y’know, any siblings. I was kind of lonely, so I just came here. And played with these muggle soldiers which dad charmed.” He smiled, looking at the soldiers.

Sirius picked one up, and it walked across his hand, “I love this. I would’ve loved this as a kid.” He chuckled as the soldier marched back and forth.

James nudged him, legs swinging, “That’s why I took you here. It can be our place, yeah? I mean, you’re basically my brother.” 

Sirius felt as though he was going to cry, “Yeah. Thanks, James.”

James nodded, looking down at his shoes.

“You know,” Sirius added quickly, “you’re my brother too, yeah?”

James looked up and gave a lopsided grin, “Mhm. And, you can come here whenever you want. It helps, when you feel sad or… Merlin, I’m not very good at this, am I?” He laughed.

Sirius chuckled, shaking his head, “Got it, James. I’ll come here whenever I’m thinking of my mother.”

James groaned, laughing as he squeezed his eyes shut, “You ruined it.”

They spent the rest of the day there, until the sun started setting. Laughing and joking and hanging upside down on the tree. Their tree. 

Later that night, Sirius realised James had been more of a brother to Sirius than Regulus ever was. He rolled over on his side and gave James a hug. James laughed, kissing Sirius on the forehead and asking if he was okay. Sirius nodded in response and closed his eyes, sighing and falling asleep, as quickly as ever. 

 

All I need is a friend

Someone to give a helpin' hand

When I'm afraid in the night

Someone to squeeze me

And tell me it's alright

You know I worry such a lot

And I would give all I've got

Just to have someone believe in me

Just to do that and put me

Back on evenly

 

Baby, baby, be my friend

Baby, baby, be my friend

Baby, baby, be my friend

I will love you till the very end

You make me feel

A stronger love than anyone

I've ever know

 

Oh, I need someone like you

You give me something so strong and true

Oh, baby, baby, be my friend

Baby, baby, be my friend

Baby, baby, be my friend

I will love you till the very end

 

 

  • Be My Friend, Free

 




Chapter Text

“Prongs, you’d got to be kidding me. You can’t go into a muggle area wearing your Gryffindor jacket.” Sirius said, laughing.

“Do muggles know what Gryffindor is?” James asked.

“No.” Sirius said, dragging out the vowel.

“Exactly, they’ll think it’s some sports team.” He waved a hand.

Sirius groaned impatiently as James continued straightening out his jacket. “Tosser, hurry up. No one is going to look your way in this little old-lady village, unless you’re planning on shagging a granny.”

James rolled his eyes, ignoring the remark, “There’s a hot girl who works at the cinema. Plus loads of birds go to the corner shop.”

Sirius cringed, “Never say ‘bird’ ever again. Please. Doesn’t suit you.”

James snorted, nodding, “You’re right. Never again.”

Sirius sniffed, knowing James would most definitely say it again, probably while drunk. “Can we go now?!”

“I haven’t done my hair.” James complained, looking back in the mirror.

Sirius stood up, the floorboards creaking, he ruffled James’ hair, scuffing it up.

Sirius !” James moaned, Sirius snickered as he walked out the room, then went to his own mirror, running a hand through his hair. He smirked at himself in the mirror, practicing a winning smile.

“Hypocrite.” James said, showing up from behind him. 

“Let’s go.” Sirius swatted the back of James’ head. 

The two of them walked down the road, Sirius could see heat waves wobbling through the air ahead. James had already taken his Gryffindor jacket off. They walked down the hill ahead, the sun shining in their eyes. Sirius hoped he wouldn’t get sunburned, he could already feel his skin prickling.

“Right, let’s go to the corner shop. Dad got me this muggle money.” James said, pulling out a five pound note. 

Sirius grabbed it and stared at the picture of the Queen, tracing the letters which said ‘five pounds’. “Why didn’t you show me before?” He asked in awe. 

James shrugged, laughing, “It’s really not that interesting, mate.”

Sirius sighed and continued walking, feeling his feet sweat because of his thick boots, he shoved the note back into James’ hand.

The door to the corner shop pinged when they walked in, Sirius looked around, not knowing where to start. There were chocolate bars in the corner, he thought about buying one for Moony, but he supposed it would melt before the end of summer. Instead, Sirius walked to the crisps section, he picked a packet which said Ringos on them. Cheese and onion flavoured. James bought Anglo Bubbly , which was bubble gum. After a few minutes of fumbling with change from a very exasperated shop keeper, who kept looking at them like they were stupid, they left the shop.

Sirius really wished he hadn’t worn such thick boots, at least they made him look cool. 

“Ready to snog some girls?” James asked, sticking his nose up in the air.

Sirius smirked, “Oh I don’t know, I’m knackered .” He said dramatically.

James slapped his shoulder, “Tosser.” 

As they walked to the cinema, Sirius readied himself, chewing his gum to calm his nerves. He hoped it made his breath smell better after those cheese and onion potato ring crisps.

They entered the cinema, Sirius looked around, seeing the ticket office and a cart to buy popcorn. Everything was themed red and gold. Sirius liked that, it felt like the Gryffindor common room.

“Ah hah.” James said smugly, pointing to a group of girls who looked around their age, maybe older.

Sirius stared at him, “Perv.”

James elbowed him in the ribs and started walking forwards. Sirius abruptly trailed after him, grinning widely.

“Hello.” James said, running a hand through his hair. The girls turned to look at him and their eyes scanned his body. Then they turned to Sirius and did the same, he felt like he was on display, he tried to look as nonchalant as possible.

A girl, the tallest one, with bright pink lipstick and golden hoops hanging from her ears stepped forward from the middle of the circle. She looked like the main one of the group, Sirius felt drawn to her because of that. She looked at James, lighting a cigarette. “It’s you.” She said simply.

James nodded, “Suzy.” He greeted her.

She grinned, “I don’t remember your name.” Suzy said confidently, puffing out smoke casually from her mouth, she eyed Sirius, “Oo’s this toff?” She narrowed her eyes.

“That’s-” James started, Sirius cut him off,

“I’m Sirius.” He said, instinctively pulling his hand out for her to shake, then pulling it back when a girl on the left giggled at him. 

“About what?” Suzy said, amused, she sucked the end of her cigarette again.

Sirius faltered, “No, that’s my name.”

She rolled her tongue around her mouth in thought, a small laugh escaping her mouth. Suzy turned to the rest of her friends and gave them a glare. They immediately started chatting amongst themselves, and another confident girl stepped forward and started to talk to James, her bronze lipstick rubbing off as she licked her lips. 

Suzy looked at her friend for a moment, mildly impressed. She then turned back to Sirius, looking somewhat bored. She gave one last puff of her cigarette before saying, “‘right, pretty boy. Let’s see what they teach you at your upmarket private school.” 

Suzy grabbed his wrist and began pulling him away from the rest of the group. “Er- it’s not really, well, I don’t really know what you’re talking about. Not all of us are posh prats. One of my best mates lives in a boys’ home!” Sirius defended. 

She stared at him, her eyebrows raised out of boredom, “Ooo, la-di-da . Didn’ mean to offend your swanky school. Now are you going to snog me or just stand there lookin’ like a pillock.”

“Snog you.” Sirius decided, grinning ear to ear. She continued dragging him along until she swung the minty coloured bathroom door open. “Er- this is the girls’ bathroom-” He started. 

“Shut up, poncy twat.” Suzy said, before pushing him against the wall, next to the hand towel dispenser. Sirius froze in shock for a second before crashing his lips onto her pink ones. 

It wasn’t the same as with Mary, Suzy was aggressive, in control. It was sweaty and vigorous and sensual. Her entire body was pushed up against him, and Sirius could feel his heart beating out of his chest, his hands pressed into her hips and their chests pressed together. When she pulled away, Sirius was breathing heavily, panting through his tingling mouth. 

Sirius stared at her, expecting her to get the first word in. “You can touch them if you want.” She said, grinning slyly.

They hadn’t finished?!

“Oh, cheers.” Sirius said awkwardly. Suzy laughed, showing teeth, and kissed him again. 

***

Sirius Black .” James said, gasping dramatically, “Is that a hickey on your neck?!”

Sirius grinned, “Maybe…”

“You dog.” He nudged him, then added, “Literally.”

Sirius groaned at the terrible joke, “How was… um… what was her name?”

“Beth.” James answered, “And yeah, she was nice. A lot of tongue though.” He wrinkled his nose.

Sirius nodded solemnly, “Better luck next time, mate.”

James laughed, “You snog one girl and suddenly you’re an expert.”

Sirius grinned slyly, “It wasn’t just snogging.”

“What?! You slag .” James exclaimed, “Tell me everything , I want to know all the details.” 

Sirius cackled, “You’re such a girl.”

***

That night, while the two boys were brushing their teeth. James said, “Padfoot?”

“Hm?” Sirius responded.

James wiped his mouth with his towel, “You had fun today, didn’t you?” He asked.

Sirius softened, “‘Course I did.” He said, spitting out toothpaste into the sink.

“Good.” James nodded, walking into the bedroom. 

Sirius followed behind, “Prongs?”

James turned around, and Sirius stepped forward before hugging him tightly. He rested his chin on James’ shoulder.

“Thank you, for today.” Sirius murmured.

James huffed, hugging him back, “I didn’t really do any-”

“Shh.” Sirius said, just hugging him, the same way they always did. Because James taught him how to hug.

***

“I need you two to be back here by five, is that clear?” Fleamont Potter said.

“Yes, sir.” James said sharply, saluting with a grin.

Fleamont slapped his hand away, “Five o’clock, yes James? And look after Sirius.”

James rolled his eyes, “Got it, dad.”

Euphemia gave the two boys a quick hug and kiss on the head, “Please be careful.” She said worriedly.

“We will, don’t worry mum.” James said loudly, dragging Sirius away. James grinned, pausing, “Right. Where to first?”

Sirius shrugged, looking around at the crowds of muggles, “Shops?”

James smiled slyly, “Brilliant.” He said, then proceeded to jump on Sirius’ back. “Take it away!” He shouted.

Sirius grunted and lifted James’ legs up, “Stop digging your bloody elbows in my shoulder.” 

“Stop being a moody sod.” James retorted, “Come on! Take it away!” He called, kicking Sirius in the hip.

Sirius laughed and started running through the crowds, filled with children and families and people in suits and women in floral dresses. He heard a loud horn fill his ears, and when he looked to the side there was a giant red bus going towards him. “Shit!” He cried out, running to the footpath.

Once he got there, James fell off his back and burst out laughing, rolling around on the dirty London floor. “You idiot!” He wheezed.

Sirius kicked him in the ribs, laughing as well, “Shut up!” He laughed, “Everyone’s looking at us!”

James got up, still snickering, he ruffled Sirius’ hair, “Pretending you don’t love it.” He tutted.

Sirius grinned, pushing James away, “Har har.”

“Sorry.” A woman butted in, “Are you alright? I saw what happened there.” An Irish accent laced her voice. 

“We’re fine.” Sirius and James said at the same time.

She raised an eyebrow at them, walking away, and Sirius swore he heard her mutter “English pricks.” Although she may have just been reciting her shopping list. Though that set Sirius off again, he laughed and wrapped an arm around James’ shoulder casually. They ploughed off towards Oxford Street, following the instructions Fleamont had practically tattooed into their hands. 

They didn’t talk much on the way, weaving through crowds as they read the instructions and argued over which turning to take. Eventually, they got to Oxford Street. Shops lined the street and grand buildings showed at every corner. Red buses and shiny cars hooted and stank the street up, Sirius looked at the strangers walking around. Many men wore low buttoned shirts which showed their collar bones, striped and coloured or just a plain baby blue or cream. Their mid-rise jeans displayed their sharp hip bones, and Sirius stared at them in awe. 

James nudged him jokingly, and wiggled his eyebrows, “You blooming pervert. Who’re you looking at?”

Sirius flushed and looked down at the ground, “No one.” 

James nudged him again, laughing, “Summer dresses, hm?”

Sirius nodded, “Oh yeah,” he looked at the first woman he could see, “and those vests.” He lied, licking his lips.

James snickered, “Christ, mum would not be happy with us now.”

That made Sirius laugh, and he relaxed. A moment later he paused, staring at a shop in amazement. It was covered in leather; jackets, bags, purses, cases. “ James , look at this!”

James sighed, “Oh no, we’re going to spend our whole trip here, aren’t we?”

Sirius ignored that jab and grabbed James’ wrist, pulling him inside the shop. After ten minutes of conversations which went something like this:

“Prongs ! Look at this one!”

“No.” 

Sirius finally pulled out a jacket and put it on, gasping, “It’s perfect .” He could feel the shopkeeper’s eyes on him, but he straightened out the jacket and smirked into the mirror anyway.

“I prefer the brown one.” James responded, fiddling with a zip absentmindedly.

Sirius rolled his eyes and waved a hand, “You don’t know anything about fashion.”

James just chuckled, “Maybe not. You look simply dashing , Padfoot. Now can we go? This bloody smell is giving me a headache.”

Sirius grinned and ran a hand through his hair, he placed the black shiny jacket down on the counter and James took out some money from his pocket. The shopkeeper’s eyes widened at the fact that James was holding over £300 in his hand. Sirius narrowed his eyes at the bearded man suspiciously. James passed him the correct amount of money after about three whole minutes of counting on his fingers. The shopkeeper was about to say something but Sirius just grabbed James’ arm and pulled him out of the shop, leather jacket in hand. 

The rest of the street was spent going in and out of shops. James bought a cross pendant necklace, because Sirius stared at it for a long while. James told him they would be matching now, Sirius with his Om symbol necklace and James with his cross. Sirius hugged James for a long while, trying to stop his bottom lip from trembling. They had a few strange looks from muggles, but neither boy knew what they were doing wrong, so they carried on as usual and ignored the confused stares.

After a few hours of walking around, Sirius and James were walking slowly, nudging each other and laughing at crude jokes. Then a crowd started walking right behind them, and they were pushed into the middle of it, swimming in a sea of people. Sirius grabbed onto James’ hand, scared of losing him. His feet were taking him places without his knowing, the crowd pushed him down a flight of stares, and it took Sirius a minute to realise they were in the underground station.

“Shit.” He hissed, and James somehow managed to yank him out of the crowd. Both of them stood to the side, out of breath.

“Where the hell are we?” James asked, looking at the ceiling.

“We’re in the underground.” Sirius said, wrinkling his nose at the smell of sweat.

“Keep it moving, please.” A tall stiff man said, stubbly chin moving as he talked. Sirius and James stepped back out of fright, and the man raised an eyebrow at them. 

Sirius coughed and took a few more steps back. James did too, Sirius squeezed his sweaty hand and then his leather jacket. The two most important things he owned, he internally laughed, he’d have to tell James that joke later. He had more important things on his mind, they were standing in front of a terrifying man, in a sweaty underground station, and they had no idea how to get out. Sirius looked around and saw the ticket barriers opening and closing. A group of girls started piling through in a line, suddenly an idea entered Sirius’ head.

He leaned in and whispered to James, “Run when I say.”

James looked confused.

“Run!” Sirius exclaimed, and dragged James by the arm. The two of them slid through the barrier, and a girl beside them gasped. 

Sirius processed someone yelling after them, he shared a panicked look with James before running down the escalator and pushing passed slow walkers.

Sirius looked behind them to see a man with an underground uniform chasing after them. James had thought of a plan though, he pulled Sirius to the left, the red doors of one of the underground trains were just about to close when the two of them jumped in. The door clipped Sirius’ shoe before slamming shut. Sirius stared at James for a moment, panting heavily from all the running. The two of them suddenly roared with laughter, the train left the station just as the ticket barrier guard came into view, his face purple with anger. An old woman sneered at them, but the rest of the train ignored the two laughing teenagers.

Sirius groaned, putting his hands to his head, “What are we going to do?!”

James winced, “Er… I have no idea.”

“Where does this train go?!” Sirius asked, eyes wide. “What if we get taken to, I don’t know, Wales?!”

James grimaced, “We’ll get off at the next stop…?”

Sirius groaned again, leaning his head on the glass, “Your parents are going to murder us.” 

James sighed, running a hand through his hair, “We still have time… we have half an hour to get back.”

Sirius nodded, the train pulled into Tottenham Court Road, James and Sirius both got off and kept their heads down. Just in case a security guard knew who to look for. Once they’d found an exit, they finally saw daylight again, James looked for someone to ask for directions. A boy with shiny blond hair walked by them, and James went to ask him how to walk back to Regent’s Park. He pointed in the direction by extravagantly flailing his arms around, a language which James seemed to understand well. 

They began walking, and got lost three times, each time they had to ask someone for directions. The first time they asked a beautiful girl with curly black hair, and maybe it was Sirius’ ego but he was sure she was eyeing him up. The second time they asked a moody grey haired man, who just grunted and walked off, so they had to ask a boy who looked like he was high. That’s how they got lost the third time. When they finally got back to Regent’s Park, both boys grimaced when they saw Euphemia and Fleamont waiting.

“You are fifteen minutes late!” Fleamont exclaimed, pointing an accusing finger at James.

“I can explain.” James said hastily, “We got pushed into this crowd, and then we had to go on the tube so we had to walk all the way back. We’re so sorry, dad. I swear.” 

“Do you have any idea how worried we were?!” He said, bringing James into a hug and holding his head. Sirius’ eyes widened in shock, he was expecting shouting, maybe even a small slap on the face. Not that he thought Euphemia and Fleamont would do that, but there was always the worry at the pit of his stomach. 

“Are you alright?” Euphemia asked, “You look very pale, Sirius.”

Sirius gulped, “I- yeah… I’m fine…”

Euphemia creased her brow, “Have you eaten enough today?” She said, putting a hand to his forehead.

Sirius flinched away, and she moved her hand back slowly, realisation dawned on her face. 

“Mum, I think we should um… go home.” James said carefully. 

“We should-” Euphemia started.

Isake baare mein baad mein baat karen .” Fleamont said.

Sirius looked at James, panicked, James put a comforting hand on top of his and squeezed. Fleamont apparated Sirius back to the Potter mansion, Euphemia apparatus James. Once they got back, Sirius rushed upstairs, feeling overwhelmed. James bolted off after him, “Padfoot.” He said once they were alone in James’ bedroom.

Sirius bit his lip, “Hm?”

“Did you think…” James trailed off. “I’m sorry, stupid question.”

Sirius scrunched his face up, stopping himself from crying. James put a hand on his shoulder. “I didn’t mean to…” Sirius said, trembling.

“You didn’t do anything.”

“Your parents… they knew I thought…” Sirius paused, taking a wobbly breath in.

“It’s not your fault, do they, is that what they…” James said awkwardly.

Sirius sniffed, James didn’t know all the details. Sirius told him everything, just not exactly the physical abuse. He told James that they hurt him sometimes, but not what they did. “Yeah.” He paused, “It’s worse than-” he blurted out, then cut himself off.

“Sirius.” James said, looking him in the eye, “What do they do? Just… tell me, please.”

Sirius let out a chuckle, “No need to be so serious, that’s my job.” He joked.

“Padfoot.” James warned, unamused.

“Fine.” Sirius sighed, “Just… just spells and stuff.”

“What does that mean?” James asked. “Just spells and stuff ?!” He said, raising his voice a bit.

“What do you want me to say, James?!” Sirius said, angrily.

“The truth!” James exclaimed exasperatedly.

“Fine, you want to know the truth, hm?!” Sirius gritted his teeth, practically shouting. Sirius pulled his shirt up, showing his lower back, “ There . Are you fucking happy now?!”

“Sirius.” James’ eyes widened, he gasped, “Why didn’t you tell me…?”

Sirius was glad he’d shocked James enough to stop him from asking any more questions. The worst of it wasn’t on his back, sometimes they’d remove the scars if they looked too obvious, and the worst pain was the spells which caused pain throughout his entire body. “And how could you have helped me, James? What, are you going to run up to the Black’s doorstep and tell Orion and Walburga to stop hurting Sirius because he’s being a bit sensitive?” Sirius sneered.

“Sensitive?! Sensitive ?!” James exclaimed, his face shocked, “Sirius, look what they’ve done to you!”

“I know my family isn’t perfect, James. But there’s nothing I can do, you know that, there’s no point in me dwelling on it. And you shouldn’t either.” Sirius said, staring him down.

James sighed, and slumped down on the bed, “I’m sorry, Padfoot.”

“Cheers. Just life though, isn’t it?” Sirius said, smiling slightly.

James gave him a look, but didn’t respond. 

“Anyway.” Sirius said, clapping his hands together, and changing the subject, “Help me pick an outfit that goes with this jacket.”



Like to take a cement fix

Be a standing cinema

Dress my friends up just for show

See them as they really are

 

Put a peephole in my brain

Two new Pence to have a go

Like to be a gallery

Put you all inside my show

 

Andy Warhol looks a scream

Hang him on my wall

Andy Warhol, Silver Screen

Can't tell them apart at all

 

Andy walking, Andy tired

Andy take a little snooze

Tie him up when he's fast asleep

Send him on a pleasant cruise

 

When he wakes up on the sea

Sure to think of me and you

He'll think about paint and he'll think about glue

What a jolly boring thing to do

 

 

  • Andy Warhol, David Bowie

 



Chapter Text

“Wotcher, Lu!” Mikey called, sitting himself down next to Remus. “Whatchu reading?” He said cheerfully, prolonging his words.

“Ah, jus’ some old fashioned thing.” Remus shrugged, slamming his book called ‘The Use of Transfiguration During the Industrial Revolution’ shut and placing it on the grass beside him. 

“Oh, go on. ‘S some sappy romance novel, isn’ it?” He laughed, leaning forward to grab the heavy hook. 

Remus smiled, chuckling, and casually pulled Mikey’s wrist away. “You caught me.” He responded. 

“Always knew you was the lovey-dovey type of toff.” He laughed loudly. “I never bought the whole ‘rugged looks’, you ain’t tough.”

Remus cocked his head to the side, watching him, “What happened to ‘Jesus Christ, the new kid’s scary’ hm?” He teased.

Mikey chuckled, nudging him, “Sarky bastard, knew you heard that.”

Remus shrugged, smiling, Mikey lay his head down in Remus’ lap and closed his eyes. The sun shining onto his eyelashes. Remus carefully put a hand into his hair and ran his fingers through it, they got caught in the matted curls, “How’d your hair get more curly than mine, eh? I could swear it was straight a year ago.”

Mikey opened his eyes, swimming with emeralds, and looked at Remus. He stroked his finger across Remus’ bony wrist, making it tickle, “Nah, you jus’ didn’ notice.” He smiled.

“I noticed.” Remus said softly, yanking his hand through a knot.

“Oi.” Mikey said, slapping him away half-heartedly. “You’ll make me bald.”

“‘M making you handsome.” Remus grinned.

Mikey gasped dramatically, sitting up, “Am I not already handsome, hmm?!” He said, poking Remus in the ribs.

“‘Course you are, tosser. Lie back down.” Remus said, pushing his shoulder.

“Ooo. Bossy one, you are.” He grinned, looking up at Remus.

Remus moved his leg, so his knee dug into Mikey’s back.

“Ow! Wanker.” Mikey laughed, covering his eyes from the sun with his hand.

Remus laughed too, he twirled Mikey’s black curls around his fingers. Mikey sighed, relaxed, and closed his eyes. “Are you okay? You’ve been a bit quiet…” Remus asked, stroking his cheek.

Mikey froze, and he slowly opened his eyes, a grimace on his face.

“What? What is it?” Remus asked, worried.

Mikey sat up, flipping his legs around so he was facing Remus. His thigh touched Remus’ ankle, Remus pulled him closer by his feet, sliding him along the grass.

“Mike?”

Mikey sighed, rubbing his forehead with his hand and taking a long breath in, “I ‘ave to tell you sumffin’.”

Remus nodded and looked into his eyes eagerly. “Yes?”

Mikey exhaled, “I’m… leaving.”

“You’re… you’re leaving.” Remus repeated, testing how the words felt in his mouth. Not good.

“I am.”

Remus looked down, “Why?”

“’m sick a’ this place.” Mikey said. 

Remus’ head snapped up at that. 

Mikey smiled, lifting a hand and placing it on Remus’ cheek, “Not of you . Remus, I ain’t sick of you . I jus’… next year I’ll be seventeen. I’ll be booted out anyway. ‘ve got a friend in Blackpool. She’s gonna help me get on my feet, get me a job.”

Remus bit his lip, “Why do you have to leave now? Why can’t you jus’ stay for another year…?”

Mikey chuckled slightly, “Where ‘m I gonna go, Re? My exam scores ain’t gonna take me anywhere. I know it.”

Remus gave him a look, “You’re smarter than you think you are. Stop putting yourself down.”

Mikey smiled, patting Remus’ cheek. “’m flattered. Think I can get into your school for boffins, Re?” He grinned. 

Remus rolled his eyes, “Mhmm.” He said, suppressing a grin.

“I can’t hear you.” He drawled, still grinning.

Remus kicked him, scoffing as he rolled his eyes again, “You’re a right twat sometimes. No, you probably wouldn't be able to get in.” He smiled, shaking his head.

Mikey gasped with feigned dramatics, “Shock horror! ‘nd I wanted tah meet all your other adorable hoity-toity mates.” 

Remus’ lips twitched, “You think I’m adorable, do you?”

Mikey laughed, “I think you’re a snob.”

He rolled his eyes, “Bullying me right before you leave me behind, eh?” He sighed, grinning.

Mikey pulled his legs up to his chest, “‘m leavin’ in a week. Can we jus’ forget… until then?”

Remus nodded, smiling softly, “Guess we’ll just have to make this week last, aye?”

Mikey stood up, brushing off his hands on his muddy jeans, “One last game of footie?” He held his hand out to pull Remus up with.

Remus groaned, leaning his head back, “You’re kidding.”

Mikey grinned, “Oh, c’mon. Last time you’ll ever have tah play.” He wiggled his fingers.

Remus rolled his eyes and grabbed his hand, making a clapping sound, he looked up at Mikey, “Smug bastard.” He said, before pulling him down to the ground, hard.

“Cor! I think I broke a rib!” Mikey groaned, rolling around on the grass.

Remus laughed, clapping him on the back, “Come on, thought you wanted a game of footie?”

Mikey groaned again, “Wanker.”

***

“Bye, tosser!” The boys called, throwing popcorn at Mikey.

“Bye bye! You absolute arseholes!” Mikey laughed, Troy and Remus took his bags out into the hallway, though there were only two small ones.

Remus stood in the corner awkwardly as Mikey and Troy said their goodbyes. After Mikey had hugged Troy, he went over to Remus. 

“Help me carry these downstairs?” Mikey asked, biting his lip endearingly.

Remus nodded, letting out a breath. They walked down in silence, Mikey’s suitcase clicking at every step. 

Once they were by the door, the two of them paused and looked down at the ground, uncharacteristically awkward.

“I guess this is goodbye.” Remus spoke first.

“Not forever.” Mikey said hastily.

“I don’t know how to reach you…” Remus trailed off.

Mikey grabbed Remus’ hands, staring into his eyes, “Once I’m settled, I’ll getta phone number and get Troy to give it to you, yeah?”

“Yeah.” Remus nodded, feeling overwhelmed.

“I’m not gonna lose touch with you, okay? Promise.” He said determinedly. 

“Yeah. ‘Course not. I’d track you down and kill you.” Remus joked.

Mikey let out a soft chuckle, then they fell into silence. Remus looked into Mikey’s eyes, swimming with forest green. Before Remus knew what was happening, Mikey moved towards him, his lips finding Remus’. 

Remus’ breath hitched. This was it. This was what everyone was talking about. This was why the boys all wanted girlfriends and the girls all wanted boyfriends. This. This. This. This was right . This .

Remus realised he’d frozen into place, unmoving. Mikey pulled away, closing his eyes and cringing. “Right.” He said, looking away and pressing his lips into an awkward line, “Got it.” He moved a step further back.

Remus’ eyes widened as the realisation dawned on him, “No- wait.” He said, grabbing Mikey’s arm and pulling him back towards him. This time he initiated the kiss, pressing his lips hard onto Mikey’s. They moved slowly, savouring every single moment. 

When they pulled away, breathing hard, Remus pressed his nose onto Mikey’s. “Re…” Mikey said, smiling, his pink lips puffy.

“I’m gonna miss you… so ,” Remus took in a breath, “ so much.”

“I’ll miss you too. So much.” Mikey sniffed. Remus realised his own eyes were watering. “You better not forget me.”

“Forget you.” Remus scoffed, “You really are an idiot sometimes.”

Mikey shook his head, and kissed the corner of Remus’ mouth, “Make sure they look after you, atchya bleeding boardin’ school.” He nudged Remus, sniffing.

“You too, wherever you go.” Remus responded, pecking his lips.

“I don’t need lookin’ after.” Mikey smiled, “You’ve done plenty a’ that to last me a lifetime.”

Remus shook his head, “Well then, look after yourself at least. I’ll worry.”

“Will do.” He smiled, then moved away from Remus, picking up his bags. Mikey wiped under his eyes, he kissed Remus one last time, “Do me a favour, don’t go fightin’ in the army or sumffin’. Don’t go joinin’ any wars, or whatever you posh prats do.” He rubbed Remus’ arm, up and down. “Bloody hot-headed bastard. I wouldn’t worry if you wasn’t such a martyr.”

“I won’t.” Remus promised. “Now go on, I don’t want you to see me cry.”

Mikey grinned, “Cry all you want, pretty boy. Maybe some other bloke can kiss it better for ya.” 

Remus nudged him, “Piss off. We aren’t bloody breaking up.”

“We ain’t?” Mikey pouted, “But Lu, I don’t think long distance would wor-”

Remus kicked him, and Mikey snickered, “Bugger off.” Remus said.

“Orright! Orright!” He said, kicking the door open, “Blimey, kicked out of my own home, Remus!” He grinned. “See ya later, toff.” Mikey called, before walking out of the door. 

Remus watched as it slammed shut, memorising the way Mikey said ‘Remus’. As he began to process what just happened, he felt a heavy weight blooming on his chest.

Oh. Shit. 

 

I could love you, but why begin it

Coz there aint any future in it

(She's got me but I'm not free so)

 

Bye bye baby

Baby goodbye

Bye bye baby

Don't make me cry

 

Wish I'd never had known you better

Wish I knew you before I met her

Gee how good it could be for me

 

 

  • Bye Bye Baby, Bay City Rollers

 




Chapter Text

“And then Dad decided to get us a better place, so he got this huge fancy flat for us to stay in. But then we ended up leaving two weeks later.” Peter sighed.

He was talking about his holiday, Sirius honestly wanted to tell him to shut up. He really didn’t care what Peter did in Spain, but he supposed it would be mean to tell him that, considering it was his birthday. He had arrived at the Potters at 11 in the morning, his face red with sunburn and his nose peeling. James laughed at him for a whole five minutes because of that. He did look ridiculous, but Sirius didn’t laugh because he had gotten sunburned last week too. 

“Boys! Are you ready to go?” Euphemia called from downstairs.

“One second, Mum!” James replied. 

The boys were going to the muggle town a few miles over, Sirius wanted to spend more time in London, but after last time they probably weren’t going back to muggle London any time soon. Sirius was excited nonetheless, James had been there once before with his dad when he was nine. He said it was a vibrant little town, despite not knowing the name of it.

They were going to buy Peter a birthday present as his arrival had been slightly unexpected, with only two days notice. Peter didn’t seem to mind that they hadn’t bought him a birthday present and were going to buy one with him there, he never wanted to cause much fuss. Sirius expected he’d just buy him a record or muggle sweets, James had always been more thoughtful than him. 

The family apparated to the town, finding themselves in a small alleyway next to the high street. The three waved goodbye to Euphemia and Fleamont, and James went into exceptional detail about how they would be safer this time and wouldn’t end up illegally accessing the tube station. Sirius suppressed a laugh, Euphemia and Fleamont just stared at James, unamused. 

“Right, where to?” James said, clapping his hands together.

Sirius pointed across the street, “Look, it’s a sweet shop. Want something from there, Wormtail?” He said, turning to Peter.

Peter shrugged, “Sure.”

The three crossed the street, James made sure to look in both directions as apparently, “Padfoot will get us run over.”

Sirius scoffed at that, “That was your fault. Not mine.” He replied snootily.

Once they’d entered the sweet shop, Sirius felt the smell of sugar and strawberry wash over him. The whole shop was covered in bright colours, the sweets were all bumpy with the sugar coating and the decorations were enveloped in peeling pink and yellow paint. Sirius looked around in awe, the shop felt the exact opposite to Grimmauld Place, and that’s why he loved it so much. Sirius grabbed a scoop and scooped up one spoon of each sweet jar into his red and white striped bag. He got two bags, one for himself and James, and one for Peter. Peter bought some chocolate for Remus, but James decided he’d buy Peter’s present somewhere else. 

When Peter and Sirius plopped their bags down on the counter, the woman behind it stared at them in surprise. She was wearing a frilly white dress and a colourful apron which had a few powdered sugar stains on it. Her face was round and kind, and her hair was wild and curly. “Blimey, how much pocket money ‘ave you two gotten this week?” She laughed mildly, it sounded as though she was talking to herself.

“It’s his birthday.” Sirius said, flipping his thumb at Peter.

“Ah.” She smiled, “Happy birthday.” She said to Peter, then turned back to Sirius, “You don’t sound like you’re from here. Just come for a visit?” 

Sirius nodded, “I’m from Islington.” Grimmauld Place was mostly inhabited by muggles, so Sirius hoped she would know where he was talking about. 

She raised her eyebrows in surprise, her eyes wide, “The hell are you doing here then?” She joked, Sirius would’ve been offended, but she had a strange motherly presence to her which made Sirius feel at ease.

“Just visiting.” Sirius answered smoothly.

She nodded, still smiling widely with dimples, she gave them the price of the sweets, and Sirius waved goodbye as they exited the shop. 

Sirius popped a flying saucer sweet in his mouth, and it sizzled on his tongue with a sickly taste. Sirius grimaced, he decided he much preferred gumballs and the strange powdered cherry sweets to flying saucers. 

As the three walked down the high street and tried to ignore the humid weather in the air, Sirius thought about his family for the first time in a while. He imagined that Regulus would be studying in his room or, if he was lucky, in the garden. Perhaps his mother and father would be in a meeting with other old pureblood families, or having tea with the Malfoys and Lestranges. Sirius hadn’t sent a letter to his brother all summer, afraid that if he did Walburga would come and collect him from the Potter’s. Regulus hadn’t sent him anything either, Sirius hoped that was in an effort to keep his location safe rather than not wanting to talk to him. Sirius guessed it was the latter though, considering his mother and father probably already knew where he was staying.

James pulled Sirius into another shop, snapping him out of his thoughts. The shop had a mixture of things in it, board games, records and posters. Sirius didn’t want to embarrass himself by buying Remus a vinyl that he hated and laughed at, so he looked around the board games while James picked out a few records for Peter, even though Peter was right next to him. Sirius supposed this was a more practical way of buying someone a present, that way you wouldn't have to worry if they liked it or not. 

James snickered and nudged Sirius, pointing in the direction of the wall. The whole wall was covered in posters of women wearing small bikinis. 

Sirius laughed, “Oh, now that would piss my mother off.” He grinned, thinking of how he was already planning on sticking his Gryffindor banner up on his bedroom wall. “I should buy some of these and stick them with a permanent sticking spell on my wall.” Sirius suggested. “My darling mother would go mad.”

James raised his eyebrows in amusement, “Oh sure, it’s definitely about your mother. Not because you want to wank over them.” His voice dripped with sarcasm.

Peter laughed, “Oh absolutely, want to buy some moisturiser while you’re at it? Does that also piss your mother off?” He high-fived James, both of them laughing. 

Sirius rolled his eyes, ignoring their comments. He honestly hadn’t even thought of it that way. He looked at the posters on the other wall, and he grinned when he saw one of a motorcycle gang. That would also make his mother go ballistic, a poster of a muggle contraption in a pureblood’s house?! How horrifying. Sirius could imagine Orion crying about it. 

Sirius bought the posters, and endured some more comments from James and Peter. 

“Hey Sirius,” Peter started, “just checking, you are going to be looking at the chick’s in bikinis, right? I mean, I know the motorcycle men do look quite nice.” He joked, James bent over laughing. Sirius just rolled his eyes. 

“Oh, come on.” James nudged him, “Who pissed in your pumpkin juice?”

Sirius huffed, and walked faster, “You’re both disgusting.”

“Don’t get the posters too sticky!” James called after him.

Sirius just shook his head and turned around, deciding not to cause a scene, “Do you want the one ginger hair, Prongs? Or will that just be sticky with tears.” He smirked.

Sirius grinned when both James and Peter laughed, “Good one.” Peter said, slapping him on the back. The three continued walking, and eventually met up with Euphemia and Fleamont.

Sirius showed them his motorcycle poster, making sure to hide the others under his coat. Once they got home, the three boys played some Quidditch before dinner and then went to sleep after stuffing themselves with birthday cake.

***

“Prongs! Where the bloody hell is that spot potion you use?!” Sirius shouted, he stepped out of the bathroom, “Prongs?!”

Sirius listened for a reply, nothing.

“James!”

Sirius listened again, there was no reply, but then heard some commotion coming from downstairs. He creased his brow and quickly exited their room to go to the ground floor. He creeped downstairs, seeing the front door was open.

“Remus? What on earth are you doing here?”

 

Shapes of things before my eyes

Just teach me to despise

Will time make man more wise

Here within my lonely frame

My eyes just hurt my brain

But will it seem the same

 

Will I be older

(Come tomorrow), maybe a soldier

(Come tomorrow), may I be bolder than today

 

Now the trees are almost green

But will they still be seen

When time and tide have been

Boy into your passing hands

Please don't destroy these land

Don't make them desert sands

 

Will I be older

(Come tomorrow), maybe a soldier

(Come tomorrow), may I be bolder than today

Soon I hope that I will find

A seed within my mind

That won't disgrace my kind

 

 

  • Shapes Of Things, David Bowie

 

 

Chapter Text

“Oh, charming, Black. Thanks for the warm welcome.” Remus deadpanned, grinning ear to ear.

Sirius lurched forward, grabbing him by the collar and pushing him against the wall, “You absolute arse!” He thumped him in the shoulder, “You haven’t replied to my letters- all .” thump, “ Bloody .” thump, “ Summer !” thump. 

“Sirius!” Euphemia gasped, “Get off him.”

James pulled Sirius away, grabbing him by the shoulder.

“And now you show up!” Sirius continued, angrily, “Do you have any idea how worried I was?!”

Remus stared at him, clearly suppressing a laugh at Sirius’ outburst. 

“It’s true, mate. We were worried.” James said weakly.

Remus’ amusement vanished at that, “Sorry… I didn’t know. Madam Pomfrey had to stop the owls, she put up a repelling ward, people started asking questions…”

Sirius’ curiosity got the better of him, “So you had Madam Pomfrey to help? With… er.”

Remus nodded, “Talk about this later, yeah?” He turned to Euphemia and Fleamont, who looked stunned, “I’m sorry for showing up unannounced, I would’ve tried to contact you, but it was sort of a snap decision…” He said politely.

“Don’t be silly, you’re always welcome.” Fleamont said, “Need any help taking your trunk upstairs?”

“I think we’ll be alright, thank you.” Remus replied. It was only then Sirius noticed how tired he looked, his hands were shaky and his eyes were rimmed with purple rings. Sirius felt guilty for not remembering the full moon was only yesterday.

Sirius grabbed Remus’ trunk and lugged it upstairs, Remus looked like he wanted to protest, but was too tired to. James and Peter trailed off behind them, anxious looks painting their faces.

“What happened?” James asked, sitting on the bed.

“Nothing.” Remus said, “I just decided to come and visit. That’s not a problem, is it?”

Sirius narrowed his eyes, knowing Remus was lying, “Liar. Why’re you really here?”

Remus huffed, “I had an argument with one of the boys… he thought he erm… saw something.”

“What, did he see you transforming?” Peter’s eyes widened.

Remus looked taken aback, “Oh! Er- yeah! Yeah. He tried looking through my stuff, thought I had taken something. Matron let me leave early because of it, she didn’t really care, I think she just doesn’t want any trouble.”

Sirius narrowed his eyes with suspicion, not quite believing him, “What, someone just saw you transforming?”

“No, no.” Remus paused for a moment, “He saw me after.”

“Right…”

“Do you want to take a nap?” James asked, changing the subject, “We’ll leave you alone.” He shot a glare at Sirius, “Go and play Quidditch or something.”

Remus nodded, “Yeah, cheers.”

When the door closed behind them, James stopped Sirius in his tracks by grabbing his arm, “Look, leave off him for a bit, will you? He’s had a rough couple of days, I don’t think you interrogating him is what’s best right now.”

Sirius fumed, “I know what’s best for him, James. I don’t know why you think-”

James cut him off, “Do you? Padfoot, do you? Because from where I’m standing it just seems like you want to know everything that happened. Not whether he’s okay.”

Sirius stood still, stunned, “Are you trying to say I don’t care about his feelings?”

“I’m not trying to say anything.” James sighed exasperatedly, “I’m telling you to leave Remus alone. I know what you two are like, and you love an argument.”

Sirius wanted to shout at him. He knew what was best for Moony, not James, not Peter. Him. And James was telling him off?! “What’s that supposed to mean?!” Sirius frowned. 

“Christ, you’re really bloody sensitive sometimes. I’m just saying, this isn’t about you. Now c’mon, Pete’s waiting.” James said, walking forwards.

Sirius begrudgingly shut up about the matter, he didn’t like arguing with James, and he especially didn’t like arguing about Remus.

***

Sirius walked into the guest bedroom, seeing Remus’ face lit up by the firelight as his eyes scanned over a page of a heavy brown book.

“Hey.” Sirius said.

“Hi.” Remus said, not looking up from his book. A few moments passed, Sirius gave an awkward cough at which Remus raised an eyebrow to, “You can come in, weirdo.”

Sirius smiled and shut the door behind him, sitting himself down on the corner of Remus’ bed. “How was your summer?”

Remus shrugged, “Fine.”

“Did you miss us?” Sirius smiled cheekily.

Remus shrugged again, still reading his book, “Yeah.”

Sirius sat awkwardly on the edge of the bed for a few moments, “…How’s the book?” He tried.

“Fine.”

“Oh, bloody hell.” Sirius burst out, “I’m trying to have a conversation with you.”

Remus’ head snapped up, “Sorry.” He said, putting his book down. “What did you want to talk about?”

Sirius sighed, “I dunno. What have you been doing all summer?”

Remus bit his lip, lifting his hand and fiddling with his earring, “Not much. My friend… erm, left the home. That sucked.”

“Oh.” Sirius scratched his head, “Sorry.”

Remus shrugged, “Just life, innit? Everyone leaves.”

Sirius frowned, “That’s… a bit depressing.”

“Life’s depressing.” Remus said.

“Bloody hell,” Sirius chuckled, “Moony. You’re more upset about this than when you broke up with Charlotte.”

Remus’ eyes widened so much that Sirius could see the red veins in the whites of his eyes, “Yeah, well. We were just stupid kids then.” He choked out.

Sirius huffed, “That wasn’t even a year ago, mate.”

Remus rolled his eyes, “Feels like it, we were so immature.”

Sirius crossed his arms over his chest, “Oh, and we’re all just so grown up now, aren’t we?” He deadpanned.

Remus smiled, “I am, I’m old and wise. You’re basically still a second year.”

Sirius grabbed a pillow and threw it at him, “Tosser.”

They fell into comfortable silence for a while, just listening to the crackling of the fire, before Remus broke the silence, “I heard James, earlier, telling you off.”

Sirius wrinkled his nose, “Hm. He’s a bit protective of you, isn’t he?”

“Or maybe you’re just a twat.” Remus responded, Sirius’ head snapped up, only to find Remus grinning. He shook his head, “He’s right, you know, you do love arguing.”

“Do not!” Sirius defended, “You’re just… easy to argue with.”

Remus started laughing, so Sirius threw another pillow at him,

“Shut up.”

 

At dinner that night, four letters dropped onto the dining table. Sirius immediately recognised the wax stamp on it and the twirly writing. Sirius opened his letter eagerly, wanting to see what books they had to buy for this year. 

Euphemia muttered something about how they always sent them out too late, and how not everyone could manage to buy all those books just a week before school. 

“What the- why do I have a letter?” Remus creased his brow.

Sirius frowned, “Why wouldn’t you?”

“Dumbledore said he’d just buy my books for me, now that I’m at St Richard’s…” Remus shrugged, he opened the letter up messily and poured the contents into his hand. “Ow!” He hissed, dropping the letter into his soup. He held his hand in pain, Euphemia immediately rushed towards him and took a look at it.

“What?” Sirius asked, worried. 

James turned to him, “He’s been burned by…” he picked up a little metal badge from the table, “a prefect’s badge?”

Sirius frowned in thought, before the realisation hit him, “They sent you silver ?!” He exclaimed, turning to James, “That stupid hippy wanker sent him silver ! What the fuck?!” 

Fleamont gave Sirius a look, “Calm down, please.”

“Can you- can you move it away?” Remus said croakily, pointing to the badge in James’ hand.

“Oh!” James clumsily rushed away and put it on the counter, “Sorry!”

Sirius huffed in anger, “That arsehole.”

“Is no one going to talk about the fact that Remus is a prefect ?” Peter piped in. 

Sirius was about to shoot him a glare when Remus burst out laughing, “Oh god, I’m a bloody prefect!” 

Sirius laughed as well, “Traitor.”

“He can help us with our pranks now!” James said, chewing on bread and spraying crumbs, “We won’t get caught.”

Remus shook his head and stuck his chin up in the air, “Nope, sorry Prongs. I have to fulfill my duty.”

Sirius gasped, “The betrayal! You’ve become one of them !”

Remus laughed, and Euphemia scolded him to stop moving. 

***

Sirius woke up to the sound of loud knocking coming from downstairs. He groaned, wishing for it to stop. Then he heard a knock at his bedroom door, Sirius sat up, squinting his eyes to adjust to the light.

“Yes?” He called. James entered the room, gnawing his lip. 

“Sirius…” James said, not looking him in the eye.

“What?” Sirius’ eyes widened, “What’s happened?” His first thought was that someone had come to collect Remus, he had only just arrived at the Potter’s yesterday. The way James was looking at him though, it definitely wasn’t good. And Sirius felt terrified, what if the Ministry had set up new laws for werewolves? What if Remus had run away from his home and was going to be punished? 

“I think Orion is outside. I didn’t really see… but I’m pretty sure it was him.” He gulped.

Sirius’ breath caught with panic, everything had been fine, he’d spent almost the entire summer at the Potter’s and in a week he was going to get on the Hogwarts Express with James. Now, everything had come crashing down, Orion was here to collect him, Orion was here to punish him for spending his summer with blood traitors. Orion was here to take him back.

James shook his shoulder, “Sirius, I think you should come downstairs.”

Sirius nodded, unable to form words, it felt as though a melted marshmallow had sealed his mouth shut. Sirius remembered the sickly sweets from Peter’s birthday, and suddenly felt very sick.

“…What is the need for him to go now? It is only a week until school starts.” Sirius heard Euphemia’s voice say.

“He