Author's Notes: This is slash (male/male) so don't read if you don't like it. This is a pairing of Remus Lupin and an original character created by moi. This is a prequel to my story Old and New Relations. Please read and review! I love reviews!! (Oh, and I don't play chess but I wanted the characters too – so I hope my description isn't too totally un-chess-like)
Chapter 1 Discoveries
James and Lily had been dead for two years, Sirius was in Azkaban, Peter was dead. At 23, Remus was the last of the Marauders. He felt very alone and much older than his years. Mad-Eye Moody, who Remus knew from the Order of the Phoenix, invited Remus to a small dinner party one autumn evening. Remus suspected Moody wanted to make sure that Remus got a warm meal. Remus struggled to find work and was too proud to accept handouts from members of the now-disbanded Order. He went to Moody's out of a sense of obligation, Moody had always been kind to him, but he didn't expect the night to be anything special. Dumbledore had been there and Minerva McGonagall, too as well as someone he had never met before.
Cassius Malfoy was 19, he was tall and blond, like the rest of the Malfoys. Remus had had run-ins with Lucius who'd been 13 years older and known for being a Death Eater although he had said after Voldemort's downfall that he'd been under a spell. Remus vaguely remembered seeing Cassius at Hogwarts although Cassius remembered him more. Remus was stunned to learn that he was Sirius' cousin, Sirius had never mentioned him. He was just as handsome as Sirius, Remus thought as he sat across the table from Cassius. He had the opposite coloring of Sirius. Instead of jet black hair that fell artfully into grey eyes and tanned skin, Cassius had silver blond hair that was kept short, green eyes and pale skin. Although he was a Malfoy, a family infamous for being interested in the Dark Arts, not battling them, Cassius had just completed the first year of auror training. He was Moody's favorite in the class. Moody told a story about the current class of aurors and Cassius joined in the telling, laughing. Cassius' eyes met Remus' and he felt a jolt of arousal, he was struck by how – beautiful, for lack of a better word, Cassius was.
At the end of dinner, Cassius casually asked Remus if he'd like to go see a Quidditch game. Cassius was good friends with Stevens on the Chudley Cannons and had been given box tickets for the game against Puddlemere United in a few weeks. Remus had said yes before he had really thought about it. But when the day came, he had a wonderful time. Cassius seemed more guarded when they were in public but Remus supposed that was understandable for an auror in training, and a Malfoy at that. It had been a change to laugh and forget about the pain of the past years. They started hanging out on the weekends, Cassius's auror training kept him too busy during the week. Although Cassius was a Malfoy, when they were alone, or around Moody, he didn't act like one at all. He was funny, warm and very attentive. He and Remus talked for hours. He always made sure Remus ate something, and had warm clothes on. Sometimes he slung his arm around Remus, the way James and Sirius used to when they were all at school. For the first time in more than two years, Remus had a friend, he wasn't alone.
Cassius and Remus were playing wizard chess at Windy Corner, Cassius's house, on rainy Saturday afternoon. They had been friends for just over three months.
"Remus, you like men, sexually, right?"
The question caused Remus to cough and knock over the pawn he had been about to move. Cassius was watching him closely.
"Yes." Remus felt his face turning red. He'd only ever kissed Sirius but he had known that he wasn't interested in women since he was young. His parents had known too and still had loved him, he had been very lucky, not too many parents would have loved their werewolf son who was also gay, but his parents did, very much. He moved the pawn and then sat back, wiping his suddenly sweaty hands on his faded jeans.
"How many have you dated?" Cassius picked up his castle and moved it.
"Uh…one, but I don't know if it really was dating, we just fooled around." Remus pretended to be concentrating on his next move but inside he was panicking. What if Cassius didn't want to be his friend now that he knew he was gay. He had seemed fine with the news that Remus was a werewolf, Remus had told him after the second full moon had happened after they met. Remus was worried this new revelation would be too much.
"Really? I would have thought you would have dated more." Cassius sat back in his chair and looked at Remus appraisingly. Remus looked back at him, not sure how to react to the statement or the look he was receiving, but he started to calm down a bit, Cassius seemed to be taking the news well. He looked down at the board and moved one of his castles to challenge Cassius'.
"I've dated seven." Cassius said calmly.
"Men?" Remus heard his voice crack.
"Yes…well, a few were boys, when I was at Hogwarts."
"I…" Remus realized after a moment that his mouth had been hanging open.
"You didn't know." Cassius said with an amused lilt in his voice.
"No." Remus was stunned at this news.
"You're number seven." Green eyes surveyed his face, watching for his reaction.
"What??" Remus hadn't thought he could be more shocked but he was. He wondered if he was still breathing – maybe he was hallucinating.
"I only mention this because it occurred to me recently that you didn't seem to act like we were dating…I didn't want to move too quickly because Moody told me you'd been really hurt by someone…but then I thought maybe you thought that we were just friends, and I want to be your friend but I'd also like us to be dating." Cassius' voice was smooth and cool. "Would that be ok? If we started dating?" Cassius leaned forward. For one wild moment, Remus thought Cassius was going to kiss him, but he just moved one of his chess pieces. Remus let out the breath he'd been holding, feeling a little disappointed. "Well? Do you need time to think about it? If you don't find me attractive, just tell me and we'll be friends."
"Oh…No…" Remus was flustered.
"No, you don't find me attractive?" Cassius's left eyebrow arched but his voice remained smooth.
"I…I f-find you attractive." Remus whispered, unable to maintain the eye contact. Cassius was more than attractive, he was beautiful, Remus had once seen a classical statue in a muggle book and he thought Cassius looked very much like it. He was lean and muscular, with long fingers that Remus had, on more than one occasion, imagined gliding over his skin.
"So, would you want to date me?" The voice was less cool than before.
"I'm a werewolf." Remus knew it wasn't an answer but the fact he was a werewolf was a huge part of his life – especially his love life.
"I don't care. I was glad you told me yourself, it meant that you trusted me, but I knew you were a werewolf back at school – Aunt Black told Father that Sirius was friends with a werewolf, it wasn't hard to figure out who…."
"You haven't given me an answer yet – do you want to date me, yes or no?"
"Yes." Remus whispered, he couldn't get his voice to work properly. He couldn't believe Cassius wanted to date him.
"Brilliant! Your move."
"What?" Remus wondered if that meant he should kiss Cassius.
"Your turn, we're still playing chess, did you forget?" Cassius smiled warmly at him.
"Oh. Right." He looked down. He moved one of his knights into a fight with one of Cassius's castles, he lost.
"Checkmate." Cassius smiled as he moved his other castle. "I'm glad we had this talk, Remus. I'm glad you know we're dating now." His voice had a sly tone to it which always made Remus smile. "I wish you could stay for supper but I've got four chapters of reading to get done. Moody is holding a special session tomorrow morning." He stood up, stretching his arms over his head, his shirt rode up a bit and Remus could see a bit of his muscular stomach. "I'll see you next weekend?"
"No…it's a full moon." Remus said sadly as he stood up too and headed towards the kitchen to floo home. He spent full moons alone since all the Marauders were gone now – it was horrible and violent but he had heard from Moody that there was research being done for a potion to help werewolves during their transformations. He hoped it would be done soon.
"Then the next weekend, come for lunch on Saturday."
"No, you always have me over, come to my place for dinner. I'll cook."
"All right. Take care." Cassius reached over and brushed his hand over Remus' cheek. Tabby, the animagus who lived with Cassius as his housekeeper, rushed forward with a covered plate of supper and shoved it into his hands as he stepped into the fireplace to floo home. Remus was already whirling on his way home before he could refuse the handout. Tabby was tricky like that – but he was grateful for the meal.
In two weeks, they were at Remus' parents house, where Remus had been living since moving from the flat he and Sirius had shared after Sirius had been arrested. Remus's father had died during his 7th year at Hogwarts, his mother had died a few months before Lily and James. His parents, who had over fifty when Remus was born, had saved their money to pay off the house so he would always have a place to live even after they were gone. He was grateful for their love and determination to make sure he would have a roof over his head. Remus was busy cooking dinner, he had gotten a short-term job from Moody a few weeks back and actually had a paycheck. It was a relief to Remus's pride to be able to provide the food for a change.
"You know – today's our four month anniversary." Cassius said casually from where he was sitting at the table, Remus had refused to let him help.
"Really? How can that be?" Remus was stirring the pot of pasta on the stove, he'd decided to cook without magic. He was making spaghetti, it wasn't much, but there was garlic bread in the oven and Moody had told him Cassius liked chocolate so there was a chocolate cake for dessert.
"Going to see the Cannons play was our first date and that was four months ago today."
"I didn't realize that was a date at the time." Remus said teasingly.
"Well, it was." Remus could hear Cassius get up from the table and he sensed Cassius getting closer to him. Slowly arms wound around Remus's waist and Cassius rested his head on Remus' shoulder. Remus shivered as he felt warm breath on his neck. "So it's our anniversary." Cassius slowly licked up Remus's neck. "In honor of the occasion, I was thinking we should kiss."
"Kiss." Remus echoed, his brain stopped functioning as Cassius reached his ear and his tongue swirled around the shell, before biting at his earlobe.
"We haven't kissed." Cassius pulled away. Remus felt dizzy already. He felt Cassius turn him around and soon he was gazing up into emerald green eyes. "Would you want to?" Cassius tilted his head quizzically.
"I…uh…umm.." Remus couldn't think…he could feel the heat from Cassius' hands on his waist and could feel more heat radiating from Cassius himself.
"Is that a yes?" Cassius was smiling.
Remus nodded. Cassius bent his head down and claimed Remus's mouth in a crushing kiss. Remus felt a muffled groan escape him as he reached out and clung to Cassius's shoulders. Cassius's tongue probed at his mouth and he opened it, allowing entrance. He leaned up against Cassius's body as Cassius's tongue explored his mouth, tangling with his tongue. Just as he was losing himself in the kiss, Cassius pulled away.
"That's out of the way, then. When do we eat?" He stepped away and sat back down. Remus had to lean against the counter to keep from falling over. He glared over at Cassius.
"Out of the way? That's romantic." He huffed.
"I didn't know you wanted romantic." Cassius's fair brows drew together. "I've been told I don't do romantic very well."
"By one of the six other men you've dated?" Remus blurted the question out before he really thought about it. He didn't really want to know…but at the same time he did. Cassius was 20 and had dated six other males. Remus wondered how much he had done. At 23, Remus was still a virgin due to the fact that werewolves mate for life and he had never been ready for that step.
"By every one of them, in fact, so…I think you are out of luck if you want romantic from me. Although they did all tell me I was fantastic in bed, so apparently I'm not a total failure as a boyfriend." Cassius' mouth was quirked, in spite of the fact that his tone had been very matter of fact. Remus felt his mouth go dry at Cassius' comment. He couldn't think of what to say in response, he just stood there, staring.
"If you really want romantic, I could try. Remus, honestly I'd try." Cassius sounded concerned. Remus wondered how long he'd been silent. He roused himself to say something."No, it's fine. I mean, I don't think I'm very good at romantic either. So, we'll be a good pair." Remus smiled. Cassius smiled back, looking relieved.
"I've been wanting to kiss you for ages... But I thought I should stop before….something happened." Cassius looked down at his hands and then started chewing the nails on his left hand, he did it frequently. Remus had noticed that he would always stop abruptly, as if he'd been caught.
"So nothing happened for you?" Remus tilted his head at Cassius, granted he didn't have six former boyfriends, but Sirius had never said he wasn't a good kisser.
"Oh, well, yeah, something happened. Same thing happened to you." Cassius stopped chewing his nails suddenly and put his hands in his pockets.
"And how do you know?" Amber eyes locked with green eyes.
"You pressed it against me. Must have not noticed my efforts. I'm hurt." Cassius didn't sound hurt.
"Come over here again and I'll make sure I notice." Remus said, suddenly realizing he sounded very flirtatious – what had gotten into him? He'd always been the shy, quiet one.
"Really?" Cassius stood and walked slowly towards Remus – he felt like he was being stalked by a wild animal and stood very still. Cassius reached him and put his hands on his waist again. "Are you ready?" A hint of a smile played around the corners of Cassius' mouth.
Remus nodded as earnestly as he could. Cassius bent his head down slowly before kissing Remus again. Remus wound his arms around Cassius's neck, pulling himself close to Cassius's body. Cassius put his arms under Remus's and easily lifted him up so that their bodies were aligned. Remus moaned as he felt Cassius's hardness rub against his own. Cassius's tongue was sliding in his mouth, his hands were sliding around his back. Remus felt himself begin to get lightheaded. He broke the kiss, panting. Cassius was breathing hard too.
"How was that, then?" Cassius said with some effort, still holding Remus tightly against him.
"Something definitely happened." Remus smiled.
"Your pasta is boiling over." Cassius set Remus down. Remus swore and turned the heat down on the stove.