The Start of a Romance
Please see part one for disclaimers and warnings.
Rated PG-13

            Peter got off the Hogwarts Express and made his way with the rest of the school to the great hall for dinner. He didn't sit with the others on the train, or even talk to them before hand. It had been an interesting summer spent with his family and reading all there was on werewolves. The conclusion he came too, over the months he was away from his friends, was that it just didn't matter. It had taken him the rest of last year's school and all summer, but in the end he realized that Remus had never done one of the evil things he'd read that wolves did. In fact, Remus had been his best friend, along with the others, for the last three years.  He knew James had talked to Remus before the end of school and everything with the two of them was back to normal, but at the time he was confused and wanted the summer apart to sort out his feelings and think.  Now, he needed to talk to Remus; to explain to him how he felt. Hopefully, after he did, things would go back to the way they were; back to the way they were supposed to be.

           James was already at the table when Peter walked up, but Sirius and Remus weren't around. He figured they were either talking somewhere or using the bathroom so he just sat down across from James and smiled. "Hey."

            James looked up and smiled brightly. "Peter!" He practically bounced out of his seat and across the table to hug Peter. "We thought you'd missed the train!"

            Peter laughed and pushed James off him. "No. I just… I didn't know how to face Remus." He looked down at his hands for a moment. "I need to tell him that I'm okay with …with his secret."

            Remus chose that moment to take a seat at the table. "Thank you," he said smiling for what he was sure was the first time in months. "I was so worried I would loose you as a friend." Sirius slid into a chair next to Remus and smiled at his friends. 

            "I just needed to think about it." The blond looked at Remus seriously, "I needed to figure out what it meant and think about all of us. But I really … those books must be wrong." Some part of his mind knew this wasn't exactly the best place to be discussing this, but he needed to tell Remus now, before anything started. That way, when they got back to the dorm things would go back to the way they were and everything would be great again. "Can you explain to me tonight what it's like? I'd really like to know."

            Sirius grinned at his friend. This was good. The friendship wasn't broken up after all. Now the only thing he needed to worry about was not making some stupid comment about his feelings for Remus and everything in the universe would be right. "Yeah, we should all talk after dinner. Grab some goodies and things and stay up all night gabbing."

            Remus shook his head chuckling; how Sirius would still have room for goodies after the meal he was about to inhale was beyond him, but from knowing Sirius since they were 11, he knew the boy could do it. Sirius Black, the bottomless pit when it came to food that wasn't healthy. They all smiled at each other and turned their attention to the sorting hat. This was going to be a good year. He could tell already.

 

~*~     

Remus was right. The year was going great. It was already half over and nothing major had gone wrong. In fact, if the rest of his schooling career went as good as the last four months had, Remus would be in heaven.  Turned out, that James and Peter were as enthusiastic on the idea of becoming Animagi as Sirius had been.  They all were doing everything they could to find out how it was done and to make sure it was done completely right and safe. The last thing any of them wanted was to half transform. That would sort of defeat the purpose of being an Animagi. Tonight they were going to have another discussion about it. James thought they were ready to start mixing what they needed for the spell, but Peter was still concerned, he didn't have the best track record for getting things right the first time, so they were going to go over it again. They were already swiping things from the classrooms when they could. Everything was stored rolled in James's invisibility cloak incase anyone thought to look. Tonight they were going to make another run, after hours, to the library to get some more reading material.

"I hate sneaking out after hours," Peter whispered to the others. They were sitting in the common room by the fire, each with a separate piece of paper and their instructions for the spell.

Sirius looked up from a book of animals he was looking at. He still hadn't figured out what he wanted to be, but knew he wanted to be something big… like a wolf. Remus still insisted he choose something else, so he had been spending his free moments looking through books trying to figure out what animal he wanted to be. "Yeah, but if we don't go now, we have a greater risk of being caught later."

"Besides," James piped up, "we've practically memorized where Filch is going to be at this time of night. You shouldn't worry."

"Well I do," Peter said a bit more huffily than he intended. "It would just be so much easier if we had a way of know exactly where everyone was." He glanced back down at his notes and scribbled something. "A map or something." Both Sirius and James looked over at Peter at the same time. It was obvious to any one with a brain that a plan was forming in their minds. The slow smile and glance at each other determined that they were both thinking the exact same thing. The way James and Sirius's brains were almost in sync frightened Peter at times. He looked up at his friends with a questioning stare, "what?… Why're you looking at me like that?" He glanced at Remus for help. The brunette just shook his head and continued with the book he was reading.

"Peter!" Sirius yelled throwing his arms around his friend and hugging the stuffing out of the poor boy. "You're a genius!"

"I am?" Peter's voice was deadpan as he tried to shake off his overly enthusiastic friend.

"Absolutely," James interrupted helping to pull Sirius off Peter. "A map is exactly what we need!"

"Yeah!" The black haired boy sat back on his heals and beamed. "Something that shows where everyone is at that time. Oh! And nicknames too! You know, like some cool code name that only we know we go by."

Remus looked up and laughed. "Sirius, you need to stop reading all those Muggle mystery novels."

"You're just jealous you didn't think of it first," Sirius turned and stuck his tongue out at his friend. It was great having everything back to normal. He'd missed the closeness he used to have with his three friends after Remus's secret came out. "Moony."

"Moony?" Remus raised an eyebrow but couldn't help laughing. Sirius was practically glowing with the idea of nicknames and a secret map.

"Well… figure it fits. It's better than "wolfy" don'cha think?" Sirius looked at his friend all wide-eyed and completely innocent.

Remus couldn't help but laugh at Sirius's expression. Sirius, was anything but innocent, and scarily enough pulled the act off rather well… if he didn't know any better that was. "Well, given the two, I think Moony is the way to go. What about the others?" Remus knew given enough time Sirius could come up with equally silly names for their animal others.

"Hmm…" Sirius made a big act of thinking about it before turning to Peter. "Well… Peter decided to be a rat," he sniggered before continuing, ignoring the glare from the smaller boy, "I think "Wormtail" works."

Peter made a face. "Wormtail?" He looked like he was thinking it over but the disgusted expression never left his face. "Okay. That works." He looked over at James grinning, "What about James?"

"Antlerman!"

"I think not!" James punched his friend in the arm and laughed. "I'm not going to have a nickname of some silly Muggle comic book character."

Sirius laughed. "I don't think there's an Antlerman… but I'm sure we can check." James stuck his tongue out. "Okay, okay. Um… Prongs?"

James beamed. "I like that!"

Sirius looked at him with a completely straight face, voice deadpan, "well of course you do, James, I thought of it." All three of the others snorted and fell into laughter along with Sirius.

           "You still need a name, Sirius," Remus spoke up closing the book he was taking notes on. "And an animal." He glanced over at Sirius knowing what the boys was about to ask. "No. You can't be a wolf."

           Sirius sighed. If he was honest with himself the reason he wanted to be a wolf was because that's what Remus was. Of course, Sirius wasn't going to be honest with himself, so the reason he was giving was wolves were cool animals, noble and loyal and very beautiful. "Yeah… Then what can I be?"

           Peter looked at Sirius for a moment, not understand why it was taking him so long to pick an animal. "Uh… Sirius," he waited until Sirius turned towards him, "why don't you just become a dog?" Sirius stared at him and suddenly Peter didn't feel it was such a great idea to say anything. His skin turned a bright red and he looked away with a shrug.

           "That's a great idea!" Sirius was beaming again. "Two great ideas in one night. You're on a roll Peter. Maybe I should get you to do my Potions homework."

           "I don't think so," Peter laughed.  "Nice try though."

Sirius shrugged and started flipping through the book again. "Here it is." He put the book down, opened the page he was looking at so they others could see. "This is what I want to be."

James looked at the book then Sirius, then the book again. It was a dog; a big black hairy dog. Sirius took three weeks to finally choose what the others had been telling him to be all along. A dog. "Padfoot."

The other three looked up at James, confusion clearly written on their faces. Remus was the first to speak, however, "Excuse me?"



"Sirius's name," James cleared up. "Padfoot."

Sirius, again, was beaming. The smile was threatening to become a permanent part of the boys face. "I like that! Great, now we all have our names. So… a map?" The four of them grabbed more paper and began to talk out idea of what they could do. Eventually, they decided on something that would only appear with the right words and wand touch. That way if a teacher or Heaven for bid, Filch, got a hold of it, it would just look like a piece of paper. They found a blueprint picture of the school in one of the thousands of books on Hogwarts and set to making the map. The finished product took them all night and most of their Saturday but when it was finished they had a clear map of Hogwarts. Of course, it wasn't just a map. What they appropriately dubbed "The Marauders Map" would show the exact location of anyone they wished to see.  Moony,  Padfoot, Prongs and Wormtail finally fell asleep around four o' clock very happy with themselves. Just a few more weeks and the long, one-year journey into becoming Animagi would begin.

~ * ~

            Remus began seeing less and less of Sirius over the next few months. Even though the four were still working on the Animagi spell every night, during the day and weekends Sirius would disappear for one of his "dates". The rumors Remus was hearing would be like arrows piercing his heart. They hurt. The idea of Sirius sleeping with everything in the school and never denying or agreeing with it left Remus's a little suspicious that it was true. He always figured if any of them started dating or something, they would all know about it. That they all had that kind of close relationship with each other that it was okay to talk about it. James, after his first date with Lily, could barely hold in his excitement until the next morning when he told the three of them everything that had happened.  He was bouncing when he said he kissed her. Remus smiled at the memory. He hoped that when Sirius found someone special, he would be as happy to tell them as James had been. So far though, Sirius was very secretive. About who he was seeing and what they did. He knew eventually he would have to speak to Sirius about it, but for now, he would just bite his lip whenever a rumor would float his way and hope that no one noticed how sad it made him.

            Tonight was no exception. Sirius was going out with a 5th year girl he had met at a quititch match.  They were going to take a walk along the lake, maybe even a boat ride. Remus looked over at his friend getting ready and sighed. Life just wasn't fair sometimes. "Sirius?" Remus started. He was sitting on the foot of his bed about to head downstairs to join the others about the Animagi spell. "I um… Could we talk?"

           Sirius gave himself one last look in the mirror and smiled. He looked good. His best outfit actually. He was wearing black jeans that were just a touch tight and a green shirt that clung to him like a second skin. Yep, he looked good. "What was that, Remus?" Sirius finally turned towards his friend. "You said something?"

            Remus looked down, his window of nerve closed quickly and suddenly he found himself not being able to say what he wanted. "No… nothing." He looked up and smiled, "have fun with… whatever her name is."

            "Miriam. And I will." Sirius grabbed his robe and headed out the door with a quick, "thanks Remus."

            Remus sighed and cursed himself. He was so close to telling his other secret and he chickened out… again. So it was just another day with the three of them, instead of four of them. Remus was seriously wondering if Sirius's wanting to help was just a fluke. It didn't seem like he was too interested in it now. At least tomorrow was Saturday, maybe he'd get the nerve to talk to Sirius again then. The brunette gathered up his books and began making his way to the common room only to be stopped by Sirius right outside the door. "Sirius?"

            "Hm?" It was obvious Sirius wasn't really paying attention. He was leaning against the wall staring at his feet. Remus figured he probably didn't even know Remus had spoken to him.

           "Sirius?" He tried again, this time the boy looked up and if Remus didn't know him better he would have sworn he had blushed. "What are you doing here? Don't you have a date?"

           "I called it off."

            The brunette just stood there and stared at his friend for a moment. He was sure he'd heard Sirius say he canceled his date, and at the same time his heart did a little flip from the look in Sirius's eyes. He couldn't be sure so he asked again, "excuse me?"

           Sirius looked up at Remus and took a deep breath before speaking, "We need to talk, Remus." He pushed off the wall and walked into their dorm room. It seemed at first he didn't know what he wanted to do, sit on Remus's bed, his own, or just stand. Eventually Sirius picked standing against the bureau, his hands stuffed into his pockets, head down. Again, it looked like he was blushing, but Remus couldn't be sure. The brunette took a seat on Sirius's bed and waiting for the boy to start talking. "Uh… I'm not really sure…" He took a deep breath.  "She wanted sex."

            That was the last thing Remus was expecting to hear and why Sirius thought he would want to know was beyond him. "What?"

           Sirius sighed, "that's the reason I called it off. She wanted sex." He still wasn't looking at Remus.

            "Oh." What was he supposed to say to that? And furthermore, why was Sirius telling him?

            "I've never had sex before."

            Remus's head shot up and he stared wide-eyed at his friend. He must not have heard right, because that would mean that all those girls that went out with him lied and surly not every one of them had lied. "Sirius?"

           Sirius still wasn't looking up. In fact, the way he was angled, Remus couldn't see his face at all. "I didn't want to have sex with anyone cause… I'm in love with someone else."  This conversation was getting very interesting and Remus was a little worried about the outcome. Finally Sirius moved, he pushed off the bureau and went to sit beside Remus on the bed. "I thought that maybe if I dated a lot I would stop loving the person that I loved." Remus continued to stare at his friend. "I… Um…" He looked up at Remus, heat in his eyes as he watched his friends reaction. "You're the one that I love."

           Remus sat stunned. Sirius loved him. He loved Sirius. Why did he find something wrong with this? For some reason he could bring himself to actually believe that Sirius had said those words. He looked back at his friend, who was still sitting beside him, waiting for Remus to say something. "I..uh…"

Every thing he was about to say was pushed out of his head when warm, incredibly soft lips landed on his own. Remus's eyes shot open then closed on their own as Sirius pulled him closer, lips becoming even softer, and moving against his own. Remus thought for sure he was going to faint. Nothing should be as sweet as the lips that were on his own. Slowly, Sirius pulled away and looked at his friend. "I have for about a year now."

The look on Remus's face spoke volumes to Sirius. It was soft, and peaceful, warm and heat swirled in their depths. The look in the boy's eyes was something between heat and awe and it made Sirius's chest tighten to an almost painful level. Before Remus could consult his brain he leaned forward and pressed his lips to Sirius's again. This time Sirius shifted, wrapping one arm around Remus's waist, the other went to cup the back of his head and pull him deeper into the kiss.  Both mouths opened and new sensations washed over them as their tongues collided to taste the other. Remus moaned softly and licked Sirius's bottom lip before thrusting his tongue back into the boy's mouth for a long, slow exploration of taste and feel. When they finally broke apart Remus was breathless. He looked at Sirius for a long while before speaking, "Me too."

It was simple, but it was enough for Sirius. He leaned forward again, taking Remus's lips like they were his life force. They both fell back onto the bed chuckling a little at the clumsiness but didn't stop kissing. After almost two years of wanting each other, they weren't about to stop now.

The door opened quickly and the two boys jumped apart, clothes a bit rumpled but not enough to give them away. James was speaking to Peter as he walked through the door. "I'm sure Remus just forgot." He stepped inside and looked at the two sitting on the bed. "Didn't you have a date?"

Sirius looked at Remus then James and Peter, he knew the smile on his face was probably blinding. "Broke it off."

Peter and James just stared at each other. Sirius Black, playboy of Hogwarts breaking off a date; the world was going to crash into the sun. "He must be sick," Peter suggested, shrugging to James. "We were going to work on the spell tonight. Since you don't have a date, are you coming?"

Sirius smiled again. Actually, he would have liked to go work on it and have it done before the next full moon, which wasn't going to happen. His hormones had different ideas, however.   All Sirius wanted to do at that moment was get back to kissing Remus.  Which was exactly what he did once the other two left the room. As soon as the door closed he leaned over and lightly brushed his lips over Remus's neck marking a trail of barely their touches until he reached the boys mouth. Their tongues danced over each other's mouths, tasting and teasing. Their hands fumbled to roam over any skin they could find and vaguely Sirius knew they were both hard, but all he was thinking of was the addicting taste of Remus's mouth. Cool hands slipped under Sirius's shirt to roam his chest and back making the boy groan. Sirius broke the kiss and looked down at his boyfriend? His Love? What was he? Not a lover… yet. "Remus?"

"Yeah?" Remus's voice was breathless and husky. The normally green eyes were dark, almost completely black except for the touch of silver around his pupil. Red, swollen lips were parted letting out breath in soft short little pants.

Sirius was momentarily spellbound by the beautiful sight underneath him. He blinked as if trying to determine if the vision was real or just a figment of his imagination, before lowering his head for another deep soul searching kiss. When he pulled up he asked, voice breathless, "what are we?"

Remus stared at him a moment, not understanding what Sirius was asking, "Are we?"

"Boyfriends? Just… kissing? Just friends, who, er… kiss Just… just fuck-buddies?" Sirius actually blushed.

"You're blushing," the brunette said with a smirk, voice light with laughter. "Sirius Black is actually blushing! I wish I had a camera."

"Shuddup!" Sirius pouted, complete with lower lip stuck out. Remus couldn't help himself and reached up, pulling the lip into his mouth for a long suckling bite. Sirius moaned, hands clenching on Remus's hips. "Remus."

"Yes, love?"

Sirius practically melted at the simple endearment Remus gave him. Love. Yes, Sirius did love. "I want to be your boyfriend. You could never be just a…a fuck-buddie to me Sirius."

"That's good, me too." Remus's voice was muffled against Sirius's neck giving his love one last suckling kiss before pulling back. "We should get downstairs and help. If we want to have you three changing into animals the end of next year, we're going to have to start working harder. Especially since we're going to have the summer interrupting us. "

"Yeah," Sirius agreed. "Stupid spell taking a year to complete." He kissed Remus one last time before sliding off the bed pulling his boyfriend with him. The two walked downstairs together, both smiling and incredibly happy with the world.