A Guide to Happiness
"Don't be cautious, don't think twice…" The Cure
Remus clasped the small, impeccably gift-wrapped box in has hands and crept across the room to Sirius's bed. The other boy was still asleep, dribbling onto his pillow, black hair tangled and untidy. He looked so innocent when he was sleeping. Only when he's sleeping, mind. Carefully, he placed the box next to Sirius' pillow and sneaked back to his own bed."Three…"
Sirius leaped up, found himself tangled in singing streamers and glitter and gaped at the other three Marauders, who were collapsed, giggling, on their respective beds.
"You… bastards!" he gasped, tugging lengths of red and yellow paper spirals from his hair. "How could you? What're you bloody trying to do – kill me from a frigging heart attack?"
"Aw, poor Padfoot!" James chuckled, climbing from his bed and walking over to hand his best friend his present. "D'we scare you?"
"Yeah, of course not. Happy seventeenth, you miserable git."
"It's all your own fault, anyway," Peter informed him, mock-seriously, digging out his own offering from under his pillow, "you're the one born on April Fool's Day. That was just asking for trouble!"
"I WAS INDUCED!" Sirius protested, sitting back down in a pool of glitter, which was still wishing him many happy returns. "It's not my poxy fault…"
"That's our Siri," James teased, ruffling his hair in a way Sirius absolutely loathed, "always late…"
"Piss off, Prongs," he scowled, batting the boy's hand away and tugging at the purple wrapping on the gift. "If these are socks, Potter…"
"Oh that's right, complain before you've even opened it!"
"Well I know you and your 'taste', don't I?" he grumbled, finally pulling a pair of black leather motorcycle gloves from their wrapping. He stared at them for a moment before reaching out lightening-fast hands and yanking him onto his bed, sitting on his stomach and planting a kiss square on his forehead. "You utter star!" he beamed, slapping the boy on both cheeks and knocking his glasses over one ear, then clambering off.
James sat up, rubbing his forehead and grimacing. He made a gagging motion at Remus who grinned back and watched as Sirius turned to Peter.
"Right, Petey-boy, what's yours?" Sirius snatched the parcel as it was tossed through the air towards him. Peter had managed to get hold of some of the sunglasses the Hell's Angels they'd seen in Brighton had been wearing. Sirius had since decided he wanted to be one, too, and his parents had promised him a motorbike for his birthday – hence his friends' choices of gift.
Sirius gave a whoop when he opened his present and wrestled the plumper boy to the floor, slapping two soggy wet kisses on his mirth-reddened cheeks, before telling him he was, categorically, "the hippest thing since prosthetic joints" (which left Peter unsure whether to take that as a compliment or not).
Remus sat on his own bed, a flat, rectangular, decidedly book-shaped present nestled in the gap between his folded legs. "And now for Moony…" Sirius said, climbing to his feet and moving to stand in front of the other boy. He smiled at him as the sandy-haired teen held out the gift. He took it and tossed it onto the bed beside him, then leaned down and proceeded to snog his socks off.
James and Peter both fell about laughing. What a hoot! Remus was sure to… Kiss him back? Like that? WHAT?
For a moment James and Peter stared on in shock as Sirius climbed on to the bed beside Remus and they fell into a very comfortable kiss. Finally, James began to chuckle. And then he began to clap. "Bravo! Great – very funny – you actually had me going, there. Very convincing. You can stop now."
Sirius reached out and tossed a pillow at him, but the two boys did not stop kissing.
"It's only funny for so long, Siri – come on, stop being a prat, now. You're suffocating him!"
Remus appeared to gesture to say he was fine and tugged at the nearest curtain.
"REMUS!" James screeched, "Don't encourage him!"
"Jim…" Peter said slowly, tilting his head to one side, then turning to face him, "I don't actually think it's a joke…"
Both boys looked up as Remus's slightly breathless voice piped up again. He wiped his mouth on his hand, then transferred the dribble to the leg of his pyjamas.
"Talk about slow on the up-take!" Sirius added, taking Remus's dry hand and entwining their fingers.
"B-but… I don't bloody believe it!" James spluttered in disbelief. "What…w-when? How long?"
"Christmas! That was ages-"
"The one before last…"
Stunned, James sat and stared between them for a few more minutes. "Nah… this is an April Fools thing – it has to be. I mean – you… you wouldn't! Re, you wouldn't – not with… him!"
Remus gave a slightly shifty grin and nodded.
"But you'd have told us!"
"We are telling you!"
"But I mean – have you… y'know?"
"No!" Remus said quickly, at the same time as Sirius mumbled:
"We haven't! Not-"
"-properly, but… well…"
"I always wondered where Remus would get love-bites!" Peter said, beginning to snigger.
"What?" Remus's face was suddenly a deep pink.
"Oh, come on, Moony!" Peter prompted, grinning, "You've got one sort of… there." He reached up and prodded somewhere near the curve of his neck. "I saw it last night when you were getting changed! And it's not the first time, either!"
Sirius scowled, "You've been looking at him getting changed?"
"No! Not on purpose, anyway!" Peter protested, blushing himself.
"Better not've been, Wormtail…"
"But…" James whined again.
"Jim, does it bother you?" Sirius asked, suddenly defensive.
"What? Bother me…? No! I'm just… I mean, it's you and… and Remus!" James replied, wincing. "I thought… Oh never mind." He paused for a moment. "You're sure this isn't a wind-up?"
The two boys looked at each other and smiled.
A several hours (and very curious looks from James) later, Sirius was sitting in the common, surrounded by people (mainly girls) still wishing him a very happy birthday and cooing over the picture of his bike that his parents had sent to represent the real thing. Remus had disappeared back up to the dorm and left him to fend off his 'fanclub' and it had to be said that he rather wished his boyfriend had stayed downstairs.
Just as the thought passed through his mind, two very familiar hands reached over his shoulders and held a book-shaped parcel in front of his face.
"You forgot to open your last present," Remus said quietly.
Sirius smiled up at him, then began to open the wrapping paper. Inside was a book entitled 'A Guide to Happiness' and inside the front page, in Remus's minuscule handwriting were the words:
"Lesson one: there's a first time for everything."
Carefully, Sirius closed the book and stood up and pushed his way through the small gaggle to reach the back of his armchair, where Remus still stood. He gave him one broad smile, before scooping him up, flinging the lighter boy over his shoulder and setting off towards the dorms while Remus protested through his laughter and begged to be put down.
"Siriiiiiius!" one girl whined as he walked away, "Where are you going?"
Sirius stopped and cast her a meaningful wink.
"I'm going to unwrap my last present…"