PG Slash warning. (No sex though. Yet ...)

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"Why does Sirius hate you?"

Remus Lupin and Severus Snape were laying on the frayed carpet in the Astronomy tower. It was late – they had no idea of the time, only that they had been talking for hours. They talked about all sorts of things, things they had never felt comfortable talking to with their "real" friends.

"A long time ago ..." Severus frowned, thinking. "There is a definite answer to that question. Surprisingly." He looked at Remus. "You know, he wasn't so bad to me at the beginning. Until the end of first year."

"I know."


"This is never going to work."

It was after midnight and the occupants of Gyffindor tower were far from asleep. Sirius Black and James Potter, concerned for their friend's well- being, were attempting to create a "seeing" potion in order to watch his movements.

"Yes it will," replied Sirius, stirring a boiling cauldron. James and Sirius had placed their potion conveniently hideable against James' bed skirts, just incase any prefects of teachers happened upon their project. "Is it really supposed to spit like that?" James stood watching the cauldron, unwilling to get any closer.

"How am I supposed to know?"

"Read the spell, perhaps?" James picked the book up from his bed, and read carefully. "It's supposed to spit for another minute or so, and then we add the powder on top, and it should create a sort of ... gloss." James frowned. "Where did you find this thing, anyway? Didn't happen to be in the restricted section?"

"Naturally!" Sirius lifted his sleeve, shielding his eyes from a large glob of potion. "You know ... I often wonder why they bother to have that section."

"Me too. Look," James crouched down. "It's stopped."

"Excellent. Now for the powder ..." Sirius emptied a small vial into the cauldron. It immediately formed a thin white layer across the top of the liquid.

"Sexy! And there's Remus." James peered into the cauldron. "And Snape. The angle's a bit off." He tilted his head back. "They can't ... hear us, can they?"



"The thing you need to understand is ... well, let me put it this way." Severus propped himself up on one elbow, so he could watch Remus as he spoke. "Before the first year, before sorting, many of the families, if they're part of the same house, socialize. Especially if there are children. So everybody would have friends, once they're sorted."

"Okay. I guess. I mean, my family wasn't really like that, but I understand what you mean."

"Well ... my family has always been Slytherin. And quite a few others, as well. Including the Blacks. So, when we were younger ... all the children in the Slytherin families were friends. And that included Sirius."

"Are you saying ..." Remus looked up, puzzled. "That you and Sirius ... were friends?"

"I suppose. We did spend a lot of time together. We're very much alike, he and I."

"So what happened?" Remus slid closer, intrigued.

"Everyone was surprised when Sirius was sorted to Gryffindor. Him, most of all. He wasn't very receptive."

"I remember."

"It didn't change as much as we all thought; we were still friends, to some degree. But he was upset. Terribly upset. And ... he wasn't doing well."

"How do you mean?"

"In school. He was ... behind. So, over Christmas it was, Christmas of first year, all the Slytherin families had a great giant bash to celebrate the new house members. The Blacks were invited, of course, but, as you can imagine, it was incredibly awkward. The parents had no problem mingling, but Sirius was ashamed, and refused to talk the entire night. At some point ..." Severus stared at the floor, remembering. "The parents were talking about classes, and my mother and Sirius' mother started on about grades ... do you see where I'm going?"

"No," Remus shook his head. "Sorry."

"To make a short story even shorter," Severus sighed, "Sirius and his mother got into a very heated and very conspicuous argument as to why he wasn't doing as well as everybody else. And she decided to use me as an example. 'Severus is getting the top marks in Potions. Severus is getting the top marks in everything. Why aren't you?'"

"Oh ... no ..."

"Of course he went ballistic. At school he wouldn't stop picking on me, I was pressured to respond, and it escalated. By now I'm as much to blame as he is ... it's so ridiculous, but I still hate him."


"Git." Sirius squared his jaw. "Bloody, fucking git. I ... why did he tell him that!" James eyed Sirius, hesitant to speak.

"Is ... is that ... true?"

"Of course it's true! But ..." Sirius' eyes were beginning to narrow. "Remus didn't have to know that."

"Maybe ... this isn't such a good idea." James looked at Sirius' expression of hatred. "Now ... that I think about it."

"Well maybe you should have thought about it before you agreed to help me with this."


"I wish there were something I could do." Remus bit his lip. "I-"

"Of course you do." Severus smiled, sitting up. "But there's nothing you can do."

"It just seems so ... unfair!" The Gryffindor's eyes were sad. "You should still be friends."

"We were never meant to be friends." Severus moved closer, awkwardly attempting to reassure his friend. "We're too much alike."

"So you should be friends! All of this ... it's unnecessary!"

"Don't worry about it."

"I know." Remus looked glumly at Severus. "I ..." As he realized how close they were, he ran out of words, staring instead into his friend's eyes. The Slytherin looked startled.

"Don't ... worry." Severus leaned forward, softly kissing Remus. Without hesitation Remus responded, opening his mouth and gently kissing back. They leaned against each other, flushed.


James and Sirius sat wide-eyed, as Remus and Severus began to slowly grope at each other's robes.

"I'll kill him."

"I ... don't you think that's ... a little rash?" James gaped at the scene before them. "I ... oh, wow."

"Look what he's doing to Remus. I swear, I'll do it." Sirius stood up, eyes burning. "I'll cut his fucking tongue out." Sirius glanced down at the cauldron, where the two boys were now even closer than before. He grabbed his wand, and made for the door. "I'm going down there, and I'm going to kill him."

"Sirius-" James stepped in front of the door, barring the way. "Don't do anything stupid. And it's too late. You'll get caught in a minute."

"Get the hell out of my way, you bastard."


"What do you mean, 'no?' Didn't you see what Remus has ditched us for?" Sirius punched his fist into the door, narrowly missing James. "Get out of the way!"


"Fine." Sirius began kicking at James' shins, trying to move the other boy. They were both startled, however, as somebody knocked loudly on the other side of the door.

"Sirius?" A female voice called through the door. "What's going on in there?"

"Shit." James mumbled. "Lily, everything's fine. We're just ... talking." The knob began to turn.

"Don't let her in, Potter." Sirius glared at James, who jumped forward as the door opened behind him.

"Talking? It sounds like canon fire! Do either of you care to explain?"

"Not really." Sirius glared at her. "Leave us, Evans."

"What've you got on over here?" Lily strode past Sirius, over towards the cauldron. "It looks like you've been ... oh, my!"

"There's nothing here that concerns you." Sirius kicked the cauldron over, the contents splashing and fusing onto the wooden floor. James groaned. "Get out."

"Lily, please." James grabbed her, leading her out the door. "I'll be back – don't do anything, Sirius." He called back, closing the door firmly behind him.

"Was that – what I saw? Was –" Lily raised an eyebrow at him.

"I think so. Sirius was just on his way to petrify Snape."

"Oh." Lily was a bit stunned. James, unable to resist, put an arm around her shoulder.

"Just ... watch out for Remus? I don't think it would be a good idea for him to see Sirius tonight."

"Okay. I won't mention anything."

"Ta. A lot lot."

"Sure thing." Lily watched James as he slipped back into his room to calm Sirius.

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Liiike, wow! fans self Five page chapter. Didn't see that one coming. Another chapter verver soon. Now, I think I said at the beginning that story is supposed to be generic in terms of the plot – but I am attempting to show some different facets to the characters. Agree? Disagree? Comments? Questions?

And FFNet for some reason won't let me use stars (as in shift 8) so I have to now write "Meanwhile." Gr.