Notes: These characters do not belong to me, or the books would be about no one but the older generation. I am just playing with them for my own perverse amusement. And if you do not like SLASH, don't read this and then bitch me out. You were warned.

October Lights

"It looks great, guys," James Potter told his friends as he and his wife, Lily, stepped out the back door of the house and into the decorated back yard.

"Thanks," Remus Lupin said with a smile, shoving long poles with unlit candles on the top into the ground around the patio.

"We've been working on it for the last few hours," Sirius Black stated, arranging rocks around a pit for a fire.

"It will look even better when it's actually dark," Remus added.

"Is there anything we can do to help?" James asked, gazing around the large backyard of his friend's house.

"Sure. Volunteer to clean up!" Sirius suggested, and Remus hit him upside the head. "Ow."

"Bad dog. Behave," Remus scolded, then grinned at Lily. "Well, if you wouldn't mind too much, Lils, could you help me in the kitchen? I'm not much of a cook, but I can't trust Sirius to it."

Lily Potter laughed. "No problem!"

Remus couldn't disguise the look of relief that crossed his face. "Thank you."

Any further plans were interrupted by James calling, "Sirius, I don't think that branch is thick enough to hold your weight."

Remus spun around, worry evident in his motion. "Sirius! Get down!" he shouted.

"I'll be fine!" Sirius assured them, magically weaving a giant glittering spider web between the branches. His friends watched with apprehension as he worked, but he managed to finish with no mishap.

"There!" he announced, and then he made his mistake. He tried to step back and admire his handiwork, but the branch wasn't wide enough, and before he knew what was happening, he was on his back on the ground, staring up at the sky.

Seeing him start to fall, Remus took off running for the tree, causing James and Lily to exchange a significant look. Sirius was on the ground too quickly for him to stop the fall, but he fell to his knees beside his friend only seconds after impact.

"Are you alright?" he asked, looking Sirius over for any visible injuries.

Sirius groaned and sat up, obviously embarrassed at his own stupidity. "Yeah, I'm okay."

Remus sighed with relief, and his good humor returned. "I suppose it's a good thing you managed to land on your ego. You may have been hurt otherwise."

Sirius glared at him, and would have commented, but James and Lily had wandered up.

"How is he?" James asked, a twinkle in his eye. It was quite clear to him that Sirius wasn't injured.

"Any injuries?" Lily inquired.

"Only to his pride," Remus replied, and then rubbed his arm where Sirius had hit him for it.

"You guys suck," Sirius pouted, standing up and stalking off.

James and Lily watched Remus expectantly as he stood up, brushing the leaves off of his pants. He noticed their looks and raised an eyebrow. "What?"

"Aren't you going to go after him?" Lily finally asked.

Remus looked perplexed. "Why would I do that?"

"Never mind," Lily quickly said, waving her hand dismissively. "Shall we get to the kitchen?"

"Good idea."

"I love Halloween," Lily commented, pulling the baked pumpkin seeds out of the oven. Earlier that day Remus and Sirius had carved pumpkins, and Remus had insisted on hanging onto the seeds in case he suddenly figured out how to cook them. He was glad now that he had insisted.

"So do I," Remus replied, stirring the chocolate chips into the cookie dough.

"Lovely Jack o' Lanterns, by the way."

"Thank you." The smile warmed Remus' eyes, and Lily had to remind herself that she was married. A thought that led easily into the topic she had hoped to bring up with the quiet werewolf. "So, can I ask you something?"


"Stop eating the dough, or there won't be enough for cookies," she reprimanded, swatting at his greedy fingers. He grinned and shrugged and went back to stirring, not looking at all remorseful. She had to chuckle, but she was determined. "Why are you not married? I mean, really?"

"What?" he asked, laughing.

"Oh, come on. Handsome, sweet, intelligent. You're every girls dream. And you're still inexplicably single."

"Well, I'm also a werewolf," he remarked casually, trying to cover up how much that fact hurt him.

"Dear," Lily sighed, putting her hand on his shoulder, "I'm sure that there are any number of women in this world who would still take you, if that's your only flaw."

"Not the only one," he informed her, careful not to meet her eyes, keeping his back to her. "I roll around in my sleep, sing in the shower, and.." He trailed off almost nervously, making Lily even more eager. From the way he had been speaking, it sounded almost as if. Well, that was what she was trying to prove.

"And?" she prompted when it became apparent that he wasn't going to say anything else.

"And..." Was that a blush she saw on his cheeks? She was relatively certain it was. "And I not like sharing my chocolate." To demonstrate, he took a handful of chips from the bag and ate them, smiling contentedly.

Lily laughed, but was inwardly irritated. "He's a tough one. I hope James is faring better!"

"Don't tell me you're tired already!" Sirius teased, stopping in his work to look at James.

James wiped the sweat from his brow and glared at his best friend. "Why are we doing this the Muggle way again?"

"Because Remus won't let me do it with magic anymore," Sirius replied shortly, continuing to saw up the dead branch for firewood.

Knowing his friends, James raised an eyebrow. "What did you do?" Sirius pointedly ignored him, a sure sign a previous attempt had ended spectacularly. "What did you do, Sirius?"

"I didn't do anything," he snapped, still not looking at James.

"How long did it take for the bruises to heal?" James inquired, going back to work himself.

"Three weeks, and he had to repair the fence himself because the Ministry was keeping me busy that week."

James burst out laughing, tossing his head back. "You idiot! You probably tried to do more than the spell allowed for, didn't you?"

"It seemed more efficient that way."

"Oh, Sirius," James sighed, still shaking with mirth. A stick hit him in the side of the head, but it hadn't been thrown hard enough to hurt.

James opted to change the subject. "So, enjoying life with Moony?"

He could see the grin spread over Sirius' face as he replied in a slightly dreamy tone of voice, "Yeah, it's great. Could hardly be better." Oh yes, the grin had changed to a smirk as Sirius thought of how it could be better, and James had a sneaking suspicion he knew what his friend was planning.

"You're smitten with him, aren't you?" he asked with all the forthright candor his position of best friend granted him.

"Shut up and die," Sirius replied, with all the irritation he was allowed to show to his best friend. "I am not smitten with Moony."

"Then you're in love with him?" James suggested, raising an eyebrow.

"Bite me," Sirius growled.

"I'll take that as a yes," James interpreted, and Sirius didn't even try to argue.

Two hours later found darkness falling, and all of the party preparations finished. James and Sirius had already taken showers, and Remus was in washing off while the other three sat in the kitchen and talked.

James and his wife had already traded tales, and knew of the others success, or lack thereof, in Lily's case. Now they were both drilling Sirius, who looked less than pleased with the situation.

"So, he's never said anything to you?" James asked for the hundredth time.

"No," Sirius sighed, burying his face in his hands. "Will you two leave me alone now?"

"How long have you liked him?" Lily inquired.

Sirius glared at her most venomously, and was saved from a response by the bathroom door opening and Remus entering the room, his wet hair hanging damply around his shoulders.

Having noticed the abrupt end of conversation, he raised one golden brown eyebrow. "What were you all talking about?"

"He won't tell us what costumes you two decided on," James quickly lied while Sirius groaned.

"Okay," Remus replied, obviously not believing a word of it, but unable to inquire further. "Speaking of which, the party starts in twenty minutes, and people will probably start arriving in thirty, so we should get dressed. Lily, you can dress in Padfoot's room, and the rest of us."

"I'll go change with Lily," James quickly volunteered, standing up, a strange glint in his eyes. Lily laughed and began walking to Sirius' room, James right behind her.

"Hey! That's my room! I sleep in that bed!" Sirius shouted, on the verge of panic.

"Don't worry, Sirius. Nothing will happen," Lily assured him, causing James to sulk.

Remus laughed and pulled Sirius away to his room, where he closed the door and began undressing. Sirius paused, admiring the view of Remus' torso as he reached up to the shelf in his closet where he had his costume, before taking off his own shirt and starting to undo his pants.

"Excited?" Remus asked, pulling his leggings, and not noticing the sudden fit of coughing Sirius had developed.

Once he had gotten himself under control, Sirius smiled at his friend. "Yeah. This party is going to be a blast."

"I hope so."

"What do you think they'll say about my costume?" Sirius asked, pulling off his pants and tossing them aside, thinking to himself how nice his pants looked in a crumpled heap on Remus' floor.

"They'll think you're unoriginal."

"At least my costume is self explanatory."

Remus shrugged. "Those of culture and reading will understand."

"Whatever you say."

"I can't help that you're illiterate."

"I am not!"

"When have I seen you reading a book?"

Sirius stood up and stalked across the room to glare at Remus, who watched him with amusement. "Moony, if you don't shut up.."

"You'll do what? Bite me? Frankly, my dear friend, I think you should refrain from biting me, for fear that I'll bite back."

Blinking, Sirius gauged his friends' expression. Remus had to be in a really good mood to joke about his lycanthropy so casually.

"Yes, I did just say that," Remus confirmed.

"I'm glad you're happy tonight," Sirius sighed, reaching out and pulling Remus into a hug, only then realizing that they were both shirtless. It felt amazing, holding Remus against him then, bare flesh on bare flesh. He found himself lost in the moment, and didn't even notice that Remus had closed his eyes and wound his arms around Sirius' waist.

They stood like that for several minutes before Remus pulled away reluctantly. "Come on. Let's get dressed, Siri."

Grumbling, Sirius turned back to his costume, a black silk shirt with red trim, tight black pants, a long black cape, and of course, two magically affixed fangs.

He turned around, swishing his cape dramatically. "How do I look?" he asked, then froze. "Remus!"

Remus blinked at him innocently, fastening a belt around his waist. "What?"

"You look fantastic!"

"Do I?" Remus turned to face a mirror and looked himself up and down. "Can you tell who I'm supposed to be?"

"The large Pendragon symbol on your chest is a bit of a giveaway."

"Well, that was the point."

Remus stood there in black leggings covered by a red tunic with golden trim and a large gold dragon emblazoned on the front. Brown boots ensconced his feet, and at his hip, a fine replica of Excalibur hung at a jaunty angle. A simple gold circlet crowned his head, the color of it drawing out the golden strands in his hair.

He shrugged and turned back to his friend. "Shall we go? People will be arriving soon. Or at least Peter will. You know he'll want to get here in time to get to the food first."

"Nice of him to show up in time to gorge himself, but not in time to help us," Sirius muttered irritably.

Remus laughed. "Be nice, Padfoot."

Sirius sulked. "I don't want to. I had to work all day for this, and he claimed he was busy. You know he was just sitting at home eating all day!"

"That may be true, Siri, but he's our friend and you should be nice to him. Okay?"

"Fine," Sirius huffed, before sweeping to the door and opening it, bowing low. "After you, milord."

Remus straightened his back, placed his hand on the hilt of his sword, gazing down his nose at Sirius. "Good man." And he strode out the bedroom door just in time to hear a knock at the door.

Fifteen minutes later, the small house was packed with guests: friends from Hogwarts, co-workers of Remus and Sirius, and just about anyone who wanted to come. As there was little room, they were all waiting impatiently for the signal to move outside.

Finally, the back door opened and Remus stood in it, smiling broadly. "Come on out," he said, gesturing grandly with his arm.

People filed out and were stunned. Around the patio were a number of torches planted in the ground, the light of the burning candles shining through the star and moon shaped holes in their enclosures and casting the designs on anyone who came near. The spider web Sirius had created in the tree was sparkling as if with the morning dew. White fairy lights hovered in the tree branches, and occasionally danced around the yard, a faint tinkling melody following in their wake.

In the center of the large patio, a fire pit had been constructed, and a fire was already burning merrily, the hunks of cedar wood expelling a pleasant scent.

Set back from the fire was a table laden with foods, the vast majority of which contained chocolate. The punch was a murky, blood red color to fit the mood of the night, and Remus was relatively certain that Sirius had added some amount of alcohol to it when he had left him unsupervised so that he could open the door.

Skull candle holders were placed in an orderly fashion along the center line of the table, and their eyes would glow red if anyone approached to help themselves to some of the treats.

"This is fantastic!" Peter enthused, all the while munching on a cookie.

"Yeah. Thanks for your help on it, by the way. We appreciated it," Sirius quipped, grabbing a chocolate bar from Remus, who glared at him reproachfully, but didn't say anything, turning instead to a chocolate frog he had also procured for himself.

"Oh, Sirius," Lily chuckled, shaking her head. Then she glanced around at the decorations. "It is lovely though. The yard seems very romantic."

"Which means she wants you to start the music so she can make me dance with her," James translated, and Lily hit him, laughing.

Remus quickly finished off the chocolate frog and nodded. "Very well." With a wave of his wand, music filled the air, coming from unseen speakers set around the area. It wasn't long before couples began making their way to the open expanse of grass to dance.

"My lady?" James asked, every inch the Renaissance gentleman that Lily had dressed him as.

"Certainly, my lord," Lily replied regally, taking his hand and letting him lead her to the grass, her Renaissance skirts barely making a ripple as she passed.

"I think I can tell who runs that relationship," Sirius remarked, watching them off.

"How many times do I have to tell you to be nice tonight, Padfoot?" Remus chuckled, looking at his friend.

"As many times as you want. It doesn't mean I'm going to listen," Sirius pointed out, turning to meet Remus' gaze. And there it held as he sought to read the deeper emotions that were hidden in the depths of those golden eyes.

Their soulful gaze was interrupted by Peter clearing his throat. "Oh, well. There's that girl I liked at Hogwarts. I think I'll go ask her to dance."

"You do that. And good luck." Remus smiled at his shorter friend, the moment with Sirius ruined, like so many others.

"Speaking of which, we should do some dancing too, don't you think, Moony?"

"Of course!" Remus agreed, grabbing Sirius' sleeve and drawing him away from the fire and out under the trees where the vast majority of their guests were already moving with the music.

"I need a drink!" Remus announced to Sirius where they were dancing with a group of friends. His cheeks were flushed and his eyes were glowing from the exertion. Sirius had to be careful not to look at him, because the sight could take his breath away.

"There's alcohol in the punch," Sirius announced, glancing slightly to the right of him.

Remus laughed. "I know! But I'm so thirsty that I don't care!"

Sirius grinned at him, just as the music slowed down. Without really knowing what he was doing, he closed the two-step distance between them and slid his arms around Remus, pulling him close. "Can't you wait just one more dance?"

The amber eyes softened and a smile crept onto his face. "Perhaps one more dance, as long as it's slow."

"Of course," Sirius murmured, reveling in the feel of Remus in his arms.

Remus snaked his arms around Sirius and began swaying in time with the music. Sirius attempted to move with him, but having the sense of rhythm of the dog he could transform into, he didn't quite accomplish it, causing Remus to laugh at him.

"Sometimes, I hate you," Sirius scowled at him.

"No, you don't," Remus replied, looking at him levelly.

"Shut up, Moony," Sirius chuckled, hugging him tightly.

Remus smiled at him, and Sirius felt his chest contract. "Remus," he murmured, unable to move or think.

The werewolf sighed, almost impatiently, and then they were leaning close, their eyes drifting shut, their breath misting each others faces, as the little silver sparks danced around them, illuminating the scene. The moment, however, was interrupted by a loud explosion.

While they were Marauders and should be used to such things, the sudden loud noise caused them to jerk apart and stare wildly at the sky from whence the sound had come.

Chuckling, Remus shot Sirius a look. "The fireworks."

"Ah," Sirius replied, irritated. In those Muggle movies, didn't the fireworks always go off after the kiss had taken place? The ruddy timing was off.

However, as he glanced up at the multi-hued display in the sky, he changed his mind. Perhaps it was better this way. After all, he wouldn't want his first kiss with Remus to be cut short!

A smile crept onto his face as he felt Remus snake his arm around his waist. He responded in turn, and then grinned welcomingly at James, Lily and Peter as they pushed through the crowd to join their friends. Soon they found themselves in a group hug, watching the sky with their best friends.

"May things only get better," Sirius thought, gazing upwards at the October lights.