Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, or the characters contained within the
novels they are the sole property of JK Rowling. I'm merely borrowing 'em.
A/N: Right, a few things before we start. This is slash fic. This means male/male. The reason the rating is only PG-13 is because the rating only reflects the fact that this is slash. There is no dodgy content, no explicit, it conforms to the guide-lines of ff.net. If you do not like slash, don't click on 'slash' stories.
This Marauders fic is set in 1972, five years after the Sexual Offence Act that made homosexuality legal between two consenting adults, aged twenty-one or older. From canon, it is inferred that the wizarding world in attitudes is generally about thirty years behind the muggle world. Therefore, there is more likelihood of a stronger reaction from wizards than muggles, not the least that Sirius and Remus are aged sixteen and eighteen respectively. This conforms to the 2000 Amendment to British law, which allows homosexuality sexual acts at aged sixteen and above, making it a legal relationship by today's terms. Ergo, I conform to non-underage sex, which is just covering my arse, as no real sex will probably appear.
I will state, however, that I am not old enough to remember 1972, my facts are taken from research, and if you have any comments, so forth, mention it in reviews.
Apologies for the extensive A/N. It needed to be said, however.
"So, Padfoot, my man," James drawled, striking the match to light the stubby candle on the scuffed table, then blowing out the match carefully. "News?"
"She still hates you," Sirius informed him, shaking the last of his animal form off as a dog shakes off water. He dropped onto one of the cushions spilling stuffing over the floor, propping his chin on his hand. James sighed melodramatically.
"The lovely Lily." He pretended to wipe away a tear. "Marvellous as always. Sooner or later, the Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs are going to have to formulate a plan. I've wanted Lily Evans to go to the Yule Ball with me since third year, and it's nearly our last, now." His face took on a determined cast. "She can't bloody hate me forever."
"Actually," Remus said thoughtfully, "It is possible." He exchanged a look with Sirius, whose own eyes danced with laughter. "You do have some quite fixate-able bad points, my dear Prongs."
James looked indignant. "Oh?" Remus shook his head, his cool grey eyes not betraying his teasing manner.
"What they are, I can't possibly say," he said airily. James folded his arms, and looked at Peter, who was stifling his own laughter.
"And what have you to report on?" he asked. The round-faced boy looked important, and Peter cleared his throat. "Snivellus isn't planning on going," he informed them. He snorted. "Wants to stay and babysit some delicate potions."
"How fortunate," James said idly, standing up to peer closer at his Quidditch trophies, from the regional competitions he'd done in past summers. He picked one up, and rubbed an offending mark off with his robe sleeve. "I'm not particularly delighted to see Snivellus more than I have to."
"Neither are we, my dear fellow," Remus leant back on his rather delicate chair, and sighed, folding his arms. "It does make it somewhat easier to plot on, without his malevolent presence, scowling at you. Why Lily defends him, I really can't understand. However, she does have a thing for the under-dog." He gave James a sizing-up glance. "Probably why you piss her off. You kick the metaphorical puppy."
"I beg your pardon?" James spluttered, turning around. "Snape is a puppy now? What happened to 'hex him before he hexes us'?"
"Yes," Remus sighed patiently. Before he could continue, Sirius interrupted.
"Lily doesn't know that, Prongs. She just sees Snivellus upside down with his underwear out, and doesn't realise he'd do the same if he got first shot." James scowled.
"Bloody women," he muttered. "Anyway. Progress on the Quidditch front?"
As the conversation drifted onto tactics, the ever-helpful suggestion from Peter that they hex the Slytherin Beaters, and Keeper unconscious, and tie them up in the Room of Requirement being lightly passed over after serious consideration from James – 'Excellent plan! Can we do Snivellus as well?'- Sirius began to wander into his own train of thought.
He watched the candlelight flicker over James's face, black hair falling into his brown eyes, as he laughed. The Gryffindor Chaser's looks were another reason for his following, richly handsome, casting dark looks at fluttering girls, sneaking smiles at Lily Evans in between girlfriends, and even if James's head sometimes was too big to fit through the door, he was still a great friend. Loyal to a fault, trustworthy, proud, there was a reason James's animagus form was a stag.
They were so very different, this circle of friends. A Chaser, a werewolf, Peter and he. Each would never have been thought to get on with the other, possibly with the exception of James and Sirius. His family, however, meant that the Slytherin-destined Sirius was quite surprising to James, forewarned of the Blacks' reputation. All laughing, talking in this candle-lit cabin, hidden under a vicious tree, to protect one of them.
Sirius's eyes moved over to Remus, smiling in amusement, his grey eyes collected and calm. His profile was less flamboyant, more elegant, his brows curved in bewilderment at one of his friend's comments above his nose, his soft dark hair falling in disarray as he leant forward, his chin resting in his hand, his top lip dented slightly in the very centre, perfect, and- Sirius jerked, dragging his thoughts back, a faint blush colouring his cheekbones. He wasn't thinking- He didn't- Remus wasn't-
Remus turned to look at him, eyes filled with concern. "You all right, Sirius?" He nodded, still confused, shaking it off. He continued with the conversation, Remus glancing at him a few more times then settling back into the easy camaraderie with James and Peter.
Sirius took a piece of toast, and shoved it in his mouth while he wrestled his letter from the owl, who clearly wanted food before duty. James helpfully leant over, and offered the barn owl a rather burnt slice. It gave him a disdainful look before reluctantly accepting it.
"What's wrong with the bloody bird?' James demanded, looking at Sirius. "They're not normally picky if they want our food." Sirius shrugged, slitting open the parchment envelope.
"S'a Black bird, isn't it?" he said easily, not betraying his discomfort. "Snobby bird, snobby family." He took a bite of his toast, and set it back down on the edge of his plate.
James had gone quiet. "Sorry mate," he said after a short pause. Sirius waved it aside. He'd seen the small register of surprise cross the other boy's face. James's home-life involved a family who loved him, even down to his batty old uncle with knobbly knees who shouted at family reunions. Contemplating the Blacks, the two extended families could not be more different.
"S'okay," he shrugged nonchalantly. "Only live with 'em, not like I have to like 'em. Far prefer crashing at your place, Jamesie." He grinned wickedly at James over the toast, and James, comforted by the usual banter, smiled back, and fell back into normal conversation. Sirius shook open the letter, rolling his eyes at the prominent insignia of the House of Black at the top.
'Son,' It was always bloody son, he thought disgustedly. As if he could forget the family.
'I must inform you of your dear cousin's engagement. Narcissa has met a very good match in Lucius, one of the Malfoys, very pure line, and naturally, our thoughts turned to you. Regulus,' Instantly, Sirius scowled with loathing over his slimy little brother's incessant creeping to their parents. Regulus's idea of brotherly loyalty was to hex him when he wasn't looking.
'Regulus has informed us that you have yet to form a possible alliance with a decent wizarding house,' Oh come on, Mother, Sirius thought, exasperatedly. Call it a girlfriend. 'Naturally, we are somewhat worried at this lack of attachment. With the situation as it is, the time for our family is ever rising, and this is not helped by your defection, Sirius. Your father suggests the Yule Ball as a suitable time for you to write with the name, and details of a well-born Slytherin girl who you are settling with. As a family, Blacks do not tend to play the field as it were.
We expect the results of this term to be more pleasing than the last. I await an owl next week, with the news. If Regulus informs me of misconduct, your father will have to come down there. We cannot have a repeat of your disgraceful behaviour-' The disgraceful behaviour, Sirius found himself nodding sagely, had indeed been disgraceful. He'd dared to go to Hogsmede with James, and told his brother to place himself up his own crevice where the sun did not make an appearance. Because dearest Father was involved in Hogwarts' governors, Sirius thought bitterly, it meant he was well placed to be spied upon.
'Give my best to dear Bella, please.' Bellatrix, his seriously creepy cousin in the seventh year. 'Mother'. No affection, no 'love from', 'Mother'.
Sirius scrumpled the parchment into a tight ball, and tossed it into a bowl of porridge without realising, a moody expression settling over his face, not seeing his small fan-club sigh from further down the table at his dark look. Well this was just bloody wonderful.
A/N: reviews, questions, comments, hit the little box below. Flames, however, need to be long, so they can be MST-d and mocked.
Thanks to Mercuria, who has said she'll beta this in future, and GreyLadyBast, who listened to me rant about the lack of stuff online about 1972. The title comes from Shakespeare, and is not owned by me.