A/N: ISAMWINCHESTER here. Don't normally do authors notes on here, but just thought I'd post something in memory of all that lost their lives 17 years ago in the Battle of Hogwarts (it's the 2nd of May where nightheartbattles and I are). *Raises wand*
Remus raised a shaky hand to his pounding head, glad for the peace and quiet in the sanctuary that was not (for once) the hospital wing, but was in fact his own deserted dormitory. It was a Hogsmeade weekend, and the other three Marauders had been forced to go without their forth wingman; much to Sirius' chagrin, as he'd been looking forward to his first Hogsmeade trip with his now official boyfriend. It had been a full moon only the night before, and so a transformation weakened Remus - although physically fine despite a crashing headache and limbs that felt like someone had held them in a burning cauldron for a long time - had been confined in the hospital wing whilst the rest of the third year and older students had departed to the local wizarding village for the day.
"Damn my Animagus friends," Remus cursed wearily. They'd been miraculously uninjured in last night's... whatever had happened last night that Remus himself couldn't remember - and had happily trotted off this morning. Lucky them to be able to come out of such a night as if they'd just taken a midnight stroll in a park, not supervised a rampaging werewolf in the Forbidden Forest.
Although he'd never admit it aloud, Remus had to say that he'd been looking forward to having a few long hours of private time alone with Padfoot.
"Curse the full moon," he whispered.
The exhausted werewolf had just closed his eyes, ready to catch up on a missed night's sleep as his headache receded, when the door opened, and three rowdy boys tumbled in.
"Remy-poo!" Sirius halted midconversation about something Remus could only assume involved probably not innocent conjured snow-balls to crow with delight. "You're out!"
Remus sat up slowly, so as not to aggravate the returning throbbing in his head, and offered a smile - lip twitching at the effort it caused in his drained muscles.
"Yeah, Pomfrey discharged me a few hours ago. If I promised to rest," he stressed as an afterthought, in a desperate, empty attempt to get the other boys to shut up a little.
"Well, then, when are you gonna be done resting?" Sirius asked eagerly. "We missed a whole day together that I want to catch up on."
James and Peter, having since entering the room made a beeline to James' bed, and now sat there with a large array of multicolored sweets between them, looked up from the junk they weren't sharing to grimace at one another. Whether it was in response to Sirius' words or a particularly nasty flavored Bertie Botts, Remus wasn't sure.
"If you two ever want to get a room, just let Pete and I know, please," James said with a smirk.
Remus made a face.
"Which reminds me," Sirius spoke up after a brief silence, a new tone to his voice. "I went to Gladrags today and picked you out some new dress robes."
Dress robes? Remus was confused. He'd never needed dress robes before. "Uh, why?"
Sirius looked exasperated. "The seventh year dance, silly. You're my date."
Remus sighed heavily. The dance. It was all the other seventh years had been talking about. James, Peter and Sirius had been planning all year for the event, buzzing. Remus, on the other hand, had been dreading it. Ignoring his boyfriend's expression of concern, Sirius pressed on, unveiling a white box from somewhere with an exaggerated flourish. He got to one knee at the edge of Remus' bed, and held out the box as if he was presenting an overgrown engagement ring. Over top of the mop of shaggy black hair, Remus caught the eyes of the sniggering Peter and James. The stag Animagus blanched; a deer caught in the headlights had never been so literal.
"Oh dear Merlin, Paddy, if you're actually going to propose, at least give Wormy and I time to run."
"Don't be daft, Prongs, I'm waiting till we graduate at least." And it was Remus' turn to blush, ducking his head. Marriage? He hadn't even considered it yet. "Sorry," Sirius added to his fiercely embarrassed boyfriend. "Anyway, do you wanna see? You'll love them!"
Remus nodded numbly. How bad could it be? Sirius wouldn't give him a skimpy number, would he? Sirius opened the box, fumbling a little for effect, and eventually drew out the robes. Remus wasn't sure why he'd been so worried in the first place. He whistled under his breath. At first glance, Sirius was right, they were beautiful. A deep, midnight blue in color, they were made of a silky soft velvet that Remus just had to stoke. The robe was trimmed with a thin gold rope, and finished off with conservative black lace cuffs and collar. Sirius was right, Remus did love them. The only issue, was the neckline. It was low and rather plunging and would - once on - expose a great deal of Remus' pale, scarred neck, a trait from his condition that could ordinarily be covered up by his shirt and tie.
"W-wow, Pads," Remus stammered. "They must have cost a fortune. What did I tell you about spending money on me?"
"Relax, Moony," Sirius murmured. "I took the money out of my dear mother's account. So its not as if its my own money I'm spending."
"But isn't that risky?" Peter interjected timidly. "She'll k-kill you if she finds out."
As always, Sirius cracked the cocky smile that made Remus' stomach flutter. "Well, then, she's not gonna find out. I couldn't let my date go dressed in school robes now, could I?"
Remus gave a watery smile. How could he let Sirius down gently after that? His stomach felt alive, heart beating so fiercely it could have exploded right out of his chest. "Th-that's g-great and all, Sirius. Really. Thank you, but I'm, uh, I'm not going."
Sirius looked hurt, and Remus felt immediately guilty. "What are you talking about? Of course you are. You promised."
Remus didn't remember that.
"I seem to remember that same night James claiming he'd parade into the Great Hall as a stag with Lily on his back," Peter offered helpfully.
"Don't be daft, Wormy," James protested. "My magnificent rack doesn't fit through the doors."
"Pretty sure that's the door into here," Peter countered. "And you couldn't even get your stupid cloven hooves up the staircase."
"Yes I could! I just hadn't worked out how to use them yet! And besides, my hooves aren't as stupid as your puny pink tail," James retorted heatedly, reaching for his own feet as if to protect them.
Leaving a cackling James and Peter desperately trying to counter and continue their spiel, Remus rolled his eyes and turned back to his love. "Exactly," he announced. "We were drunk. It's not a promise if we weren't sober at the time."
"Peter was," Sirius argued stubbornly. "He remembers, and therefor it's valid."
"I don't care. I'm not going."
"Remus, you're my date. I've already invited you. You can't say no now, it's rude."
"I'm not going, Sirius," the boy repeated. "I'm sorry."
"It's our last year here, Rem. This ball is traditional," Sirius tried, leaving Remus shaking his head. "We need the memories."
"I have enough memories of this place without adding one more," Remus mused fondly. "Even if it'll involve you on my arm."
"Give me one good reason why you shouldn't go," Sirius challenged.
Remus was pretty sure the question was supposed to stump him, but he was able to counter immediately, absentmindedly tracing the curved scars that crisscrossed his left hand. "Easy. My scars. The ones on my hand are easy enough to explain, but hardly anyone has seen the ones on my neck and the rest of my body. Everyone will stare."
"No they won't," Sirius protested.
"They will, it's human nature."
"It doesn't matter," James tacked on, joining the conversation. "We've come up with a foolproof excuse for your scars: You picked a fight with a savage werewolf."
The suggestion was lighthearted, joking probably, but grave-faced Remus rolled his eyes, and spoke darkly. "A little close to the truth, don't you think?"
"Precisely. Nobody will suspect it's true. It's the perfect excuse."
"You guys and your twisted logic," Remus sighed, allowing a cynical chuckle to escape his throat for a split second. But only for that long, as he grew silent and solemn once more, closing his eyes and relaxing back onto his bed.
"Remus?" Sirius' voice was silky smooth, like honey dripping off a spoon. Remus wasn't sure how long ago he'd closed his eyes. The young lycanthrope smiled as butterflies twitted madly in his stomach once more. "Remus?" Sirius' quidditch calloused hand caressed Remus' small, scarred one, and he felt electricity crackle invitingly up his aching arm. "Are you alright?"
Remus remained in silence, just listening to the sound of Sirius' velvety deep voice. "Listen, scarred or not, you are beautiful. You are the most stunning human being I have ever laid eyes on." Remus scoffed. Human. Right. "Honest. No man or woman ever compares to you. And you shouldn't care what others think, because I will love you forever and always, and that's all that matters. If people stare, it's not because you're scarred, it's because you're beautiful, remember that." Remus could feel tears welling up in his eyes, and he was immediately thankful his eyes were shut. "I don't care about your furry little problem, I don't care about your bookish habits, I don't care that you still check under the bed every night. I don't care, Remus. Okay? I don't care because I love you."
Remus opened his watering eyes, and stared into the compassionate silver orbs, just inches from his face. They burned with energy like the calm before the storm, haunted like the path to hell, yet still filled with love and a permanent mischievous glint. Remus hesitated, then bolted upright, crushing his lips to the surprisingly soft ones of Sirius. And there they stayed under lock and key for what felt like eternity, until Remus broke away, a new made grin on his face, his headache magically vanishing.
"Sirius Black, will you go to the Ball with me?"
"Of course I will, Remy-poo," Sirius responded instantly. "I thought you'd never ask."
"Padfoot?" Remus said after a beat. "Thanks. And I love you too." And with that, the two locked lips again, for much longer this time.
"Ew!" James cried. "Get a room you two!" He hastily removed his glasses, rendering himself mostly blind until his friends stopped. Peter was silent except for a squeak that could only be assumed to be agreement. He'd since turned himself into a rat, and had stuffed his entire chubby body into the empty box of Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans. As for Sirius and Remus, for once they didn't care about the presence of their friends, save the persistent teasing and threats to either sever the pair's lips or his own eyes from James over the course of the next few days.