Sirius' Cure for Exam Tension

By Queen Smithy

A/N: This is an ode to everyone sitting exams right now, or ever. I could say the whole thing spawned from exam stress had I ever experienced such a thing. The story is rather strange, but bare with me. I haven't written any Sirius/Remus in a while on account of working on a long story on which in my opinion you should really go and read, it's called Avast Ye! and my friends have said it's a work of genius and who am I to call them liars?

Setting/Summary/Thing: It's the 1970's/80's sometime and Sirius and Remus are at University. They seem to be coping with things in very different ways.

Music listened to while writing this: Queen's "Innuendo" album (Note To Self: quit listening to this album while feeling emotional), Queen's "The Game", Brian May's "Another World" solo album, "Hamsterman" by Those Darned Accordions! and this random Metallica song I have on right now. . . **Switches it to Queen**


Remus Lupin ran his long fingers through his golden streaked hair and sighed aloud. The words on the page in front of him swam about faster the more he tried to focus on them. Maybe Sirius was right; studying wasn't worth it. But only was it not worth it, but it was giving him a headache and when he got headaches they lasted for days, and his final exam just happened to be tomorrow. A quiet growl rumbled in the back of his throat as he tried once more to take in the words in front of him. It wasn't going to work.

"What's up, Moony?" Sirius was sitting across the room from him, eating pineapple slices from a can and grinning lop-sidedly.

"I've got a test tomorrow and I don't know anything!" Remus groaned.

"Relax," said Sirius. "Don't try to cram it into your head. If you don't know it by now, you never will."

Remus snorted. "Thanks for the vote of confidence."

"Any time, Moony!"

Sirius sat there eating pineapple and watching Remus a bit longer; he was cross-legged in his own personal arm chair, looking rather like a Tibetan monk in jeans and a t-shirt. Sirius was relaxation incarnate. He made reclining armchairs with fluffy cushions and a built-in drinks chiller look tense and uptight. Remus sometimes envied his ability to let absolutely nothing get to him. While Remus got all angsty about little things like burnet toast and stains on the carpet, Sirius was the kind of person who could sit there listening to his walkman with his eyes closed during a hurricane, then ask half an hour later in a bemused voice where all the walls and furniture had gone.

He also ate a lot of pineapple, and Remus swore there was some link there.

Anyway. Remus sat in his corner of the living room, studying from his Advanced Defence Against the Dark Arts for Degree Level text books and occasionally making the effort to move his hair from in front of his eyes, and Sirius hummed a little tune he had invented earlier and pointedly didn't open the Potions for the Dedicated Student book on the floor in front of his chair. I might as well not have been there, and Remus was sure it had plenty of better things to be doing, like educating someone, but he didn't say anything because he didn't want another tiff with Sirius. They tended to be one-sided and not a lot of fun. Last time it had taken him ten minutes to notice that Sirius hadn't said anything and was in fact cheering him on in his struggle against a non existent opposer. Things like this happened often, and although they annoyed Remus to no end, they only seemed to make Sirius love him even more, so *that* was all right.

However, there was only a certain length of time during which Sirius' attention span would last, and once he ran out of pineapple slices he stood up and stretched like a cat would stretch should cats someday evolve the bipedal tendencies which make human beings so unique and destructive. That is to say he had a damn good stretch during which his spine bent back alarmingly and several joints clicked, making Remus flinch and look up.

"Where are you going?" he asked.


"Where are you going once you actually start going there?" said Remus, who had been around Sirius for far too long.

"Still nowhere. Just thought I'd go for a walk."

"And leave me on my own?"


"Oh, thanks." Remus shoved his hair out of his eyes and his glasses up the bridge of his nose. "Do think of me while you're out there in the sunshine strolling along and being generally un-troubled and content in your existence."

"Will do, baby." Sirius flashed him a toothy grin. "Why not put some of your quaint classical music on and -"

"It's not *quaint*. It's sophisticated." Remus tried to look stern and failed miserably. "Unlike the stuff you listen to," he added.

"Led Zeppelin!" said Sirius happily, digging his walkman out of his pocket.

"Yeah, them. And the band with the hairy guy."


"And the other guy with the teeth."

"Oh." Sirius flashed his own pearly-white grin again and went to find his battered and dented Queens Greatest Hits tape. Remus watched him throwing cassettes about for a while, then went back to his text book. He had given up on Sirius' music tastes early last year when Sirius had been fiddling about with some new spells and had managed to teleport the guy "with the teeth" (known to the entire rest of the world as Freddie Mercury) into their living room. That had caused quite a lot of chaos and uncertainty, or would have done had Remus not taken full control of the situation, and, having persuaded the rock star that he really, really didn't want to give Sirius his phone number, and that putting his teacup down on the house elf's head was unacceptable, finally found the right spell to put everything back to normal, whatever that was. In fact, it occurred to Remus that when you were Sirius Black's live-in lover, having Freddie Mercury appear from nowhere and eat all the bourbon biscuits before dropping white powder all over the bathroom floor and cursing about it until he was made to vanish again was, in face, a defining example of normality. It was simply a localised spin on the usual definition of normality, which was a distinct lack of Freddie Mercury and the talcum powder being kept in a secure cupboard and not left lying around where anybody could knock it over. (Bourbon biscuits are accepted as normal in most cultures, funnily enough, except for one particular South American tribe who have developed a mortal fear for the things, although no one knows the reason for this.)

Right now, however, there were no rock stars, partly because Sirius couldn't find the tape he was looking for and partly because Remus had added to the bottom of their welcome mat the words "unless you are: asking for money, selling something, Freddie Mercury, or delivering pizza to the wrong address." This last one remained unexplained even to Sirius, and all Remus had ever said on the matter was that he'd had a nasty encounter with some anchovies late one night which had left him with mental scars. Sirius eventually gave up hunting for the tape. He had been reading up on Taoism, and rather liked the idea because what it basically said was "do absolutely nothing at all and it'll all work out fine just as long as you trust it to." This, Sirius thought, was exactly how the world should work, but he'd have given more thought to committing himself to the philosophy if the Ancient Masters had had more to say on the topic of pineapple. As it was, pineapple didn't get a mention, as you can expect from an idea which was thought up in the Orient three thousand years ago. Remus explained that Lao- tse had never seen a pineapple in his life, and Sirius had considered it foolish to take advice from someone deprived thus. Remus had then suggested that they had lychees in 1000 BC instead, and then had to spend all afternoon persuading Sirius that a lychee was not a slanty-eyed blood- sucking exoparasitic worm. It was, in fact, a fruit.

"Like a pineapple?"

"No, Sirius, not like a pineapple."

"Not much of a fruit then, really, is it?"

And thus was life with Sirius Black. Remus occasionally spent hours on the phone to James Potter, telling him how lucky he was to have Lily, a perfectly nice and normal young girl who absolutely never summoned Freddie Mercury or put teaspoons in the freezer because "it drains their power". Remus was forever telling himself to walk out, get his own place, marry some stupid girl who wouldn't mind him being gay really, and try to fit in with the more universally accepted definition of normality. Then he realised two things; firstly that even if he could find a girl who accepted (or didn't notice) his sexuality, he would never find one who was utterly comfortable with him being a werewolf. It was funny how people reacted when you told them that, only not really all that very funny because Remus had never once been inclined to laugh about it. Sirius, on the other hand, found the whole werewolf thing sickeningly fascinating, but he was always on hand at full moon to keep Remus calm and sedated. Secondly, Remus knew that the real reason he stayed with Sirius was because he was desperately in love with him (needing him was merely an excuse.) Going away wouldn't change that. So here he was, living with Sirius in a flat paid for by Sirius' wealthy parents, trying to stay sane and get through University.

Remus and Sirius went to a high-achieving, well-known University which you will have heard of, but they studied subjects which you certainly won't. Sirius was into magical Potions (which involves a shocking amount of blowing stuff up) and Remus studied Defence Against the Dark Arts because in these sinister times you never knew who was round the next corner (or when Freddie Mercury would show up, possibly with a pineapple.) The reason you won't have heard of these subjects is because they weren't open to you at University, and the reason for *that* is because you never went to Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. And that clears that up nicely, we rather think.

When Sirius left, Remus made a few half-hearted notes from the text book then closed it again and sighed in a relaxed way. Then he felt guilty and opened it again. Then he got angry at the words for not staying still or meaning something he could understand, and he shut the book again and threw it across the room. Then he picked it up, opened it up again, and made a few more notes. This cycle continued for some time, then he finally decided he wished Sirius was there and got Sirius-sick, which is like home-sick because it didn't mean he was sick of Sirius but sick because he missed him. His solution was to have a cup of tea, but it didn't really help terribly much, so he pined a bit instead, which involved standing about wearing a pathetic expression and sighing "Oh, Sirius, where *are* you?" When it turned out that this wasn't helping either, he began to run out of things to do. With a frustrated growl, he flopped down on the couch and stared uninterested at the muggle TV screen. They were showing "An American Werewolf In Paris." It always made him chuckle.


Meanwhile Sirius had been busy. He had trawled round a few shops and gathered up some important items. It was time Remus had a break, and Sirius wanted to help him.

Sirius doing shopping was an interesting thing to watch, and something to hope never happens in your town if you are a shop assistant. He had a methodical approach which usually stayed in place until he entered the first shop. He would make a list of everything he needed, and figure out a sensible order in which to buy them according to cash flow and positioning of the shops he needed to visit. Then he would step out of his car (a very old Bentley his father had presumed stolen and which now resided in the trashed and vandalised garage adjacent to Sirius and Remus' flat; the car, however, remained in perfect condition and had never been subject to so much as an attempted break-in.) After stepping out of his car, he would lock the car and make sure the security spell was intact, which it was because Remus made sure it was every evening but didn't tell Sirius he did this because he knew he'd get accused of paranoia (a perfectly normal state of mind for a Bentley owner living in near-slums.) After making sure his car was secure, Sirius would next of all make sure he had some money, which he always did, because although his parents were tight fisted when it came to shelling out for living accommodations, they didn't mind making sure their little Siri had plenty of pocket money (allowing him to live on the wages brought in by that good-for-nothing boyfriend of his was unthinkable.) The next stage was equally predictable because it always happened, every time. And this was the stage where Sirius realised he had left his shopping list at home.

After realising this, Sirius would curse a bit, then head for the shops. He knew vaguely what he was there for anyway. In this case he headed straight for florists. On the list had been "ten dozen roses, or something." He wasn't totally sure how many ten dozen was (he could easily have worked it out, but couldn't be bothered) or if Remus even liked roses, but he knew how Remus' mind worked, and that it was the thought which counted. However, on the way to the florist he passed a fast food restaurant and stopped off for brunch (two cheese burgers, extra-extra large fries and a milkshake.) By the time he left the restaurant, he had forgotten what he was going to the florists for and stood staring at the door for five minutes before moving onto the next shop. Which happened to be a comic book store. Sirius liked comic books. He spent half an hour in there and came out with a couple of bags full of stuff. He then stood and thought about the list for a while. There had been something on there about Champaign, so he headed for the off-licence, where there was a free wine-tasting session going on. He stayed there for a lot longer than he intended, and then had to be carried to the nearest coffee house and sobered up again. After all this he was hungry again and went for lunch at the other end of town. Then he remembered the Champaign and headed back to the off-licence, the door of which was hastily slammed in his face.

Next on the list was chocolates. All werewolves liked chocolate and none more than Remus, and the chocolate adored by Remus above all others was also the most expensive available. Sirius actually managed to buy the chocolate but also a lot of other chocolate as well, and. On the way back to the car (Sirius being now satisfied that he had bought everything he'd come for) he stopped at four more shops and bought a lot of stuff he didn't need and couldn't afford as well as a box of pineapples, fell down an escalator going up while trying to walk down it, knocked over three displays in three different shops, and stopped of for dinner at a restaurant which had to call the fire brigade and police after Sirius tried to show them a quicker, magical way to cook the food and set the kitchen on fire.

The drive home was uneventful. It usually was.


Remus had fallen asleep on the couch with a text book in his lap and his glasses half-off when Sirius got back. Once the shopping had been put away ('hidden' would be a more accurate term) Sirius set about poking Remus in the head in an attempt to wake him up.

"Wstfgl," said Remus, batting away his lover's hand.

"Come on, Moony, wakey wakey!" Sirius pulled the (half-eaten) chocolate out of his pocket and waved in front of Remus' nose. Without opening his eyes, the werewolf clamped his teeth around it and rolled over so his back was to Sirius. There was the sound of a wrapper being removed and something being eaten ravenously. Sirius tapped Remus on the shoulder and was growled at. It was nearly full moon, he recalled, and you had to allow even Remus his moments of inhumanity.


Remus turned to face him again, a small grin on his chocolaty lips. "Thanks, Siri," he muttered. "I needed that."

Sirius felt his heart flutter for a second, and he leaned forward to kiss Remus gently. Then he realised there was something between them, and he picked the DATDA textbook up and flung it into the open fire on the other side of the room.

"Sirius!" Remus yelped, jumping up to retrieve his book, but Sirius grabbed hold of his jeans belt and yanked him back onto the couch.

"Stuff studying," he said. "You're bright enough to pass every exam without a stupid book."

"But. . ."

"No buts, Moony. You're starting to make me wonder who you love more: me or books." He smirked slightly as he said it, but Remus answered with all seriousness.

"If you asked me to, love, I'd burn down the library."

Sirius kept a straight face. "That means a lot to me." Then his face fell. "Er. . . I went out to buy you some Champaign and flowers, but a number of things happened along the way and. . . well, I didn't really buy anything. . . Sorry."

Remus smiled and nestled down against Sirius' shoulder. "I have hay fever and I don't drink, Siri," he muttered, planting a kiss on his lover's cheek. Sirius grinned foolishly and leaned down so their lips met. After a while, Remus began to purr, as they lay together on the couch in the glow from the burning text book and with the scent of pineapples in the air, and the utter absence of moustached rockers eating all their biscuits, and Remus knew he would never want for anything else.


Disclaimer: I do not own Sirius Black or Remus Lupin. What? You thought I did? Your bad.

Note to Anyone Who Understands It: That bit near the end came from the Fred/Roger thing:

"I love you more than my car!"

"That means so much to me! I love you more than my cats. . ."

Note to Everyone: Yes, that whole story was a bit strange. I know. I wrote it, it did rather come to my attention. Whatever. Go review.