CB: I know, I know, I should be working on Obsidian Rhapsody – but this plot has been haunting me for months, and it was just begging to be written. Not as long, this ficcy, and a bit more smutty. ^_^
Warnings: Slight AU, technically, if it was in the HP universe, it would be in the Marauders era, also, be advised, this is SLASH which means MALE/MAKE stuff. Also, James, Peter and Sirius are about 18.
Pairings: Sirius Black/Remus Lupin (And no, I don't tend to write anything else in this fandom. ^_~)
Disclaimer: Whilst I solemnly swear I am up to no good with these characters, I'll give them back to Ms Rowling when I'm done.
Summary: When Professor Lupin arrives at Hogwarts, Sirius Black is determined to get him fired thanks to a bet with James. And he'll do anything to win…
"I can't believe we're in our final year." James was sprawled across his bed, hands behind his head staring at the ceiling. His glasses were slightly askew and his hair was messier than usual, thanks to a particularly vigorous pillow fight five minutes earlier.
"Mm." Sirius swung his legs back and forth off the edge of his own bed, not really caring what his best friend said, but simply enjoying the unexpected peace of the moment.
Peter, who was sitting in a rumpled heap in the middle of the floor, frowned. "It's hard to believe that this time next year, we'll be off working, or at university or…something." He sighed and stared down at his plump, linked fingers. "It's a bit frightening," He admitted.
"Frightening?" James sat up abruptly, causing his glasses to slide even further down his nose. "What are you talking about? It'll be fun…"
"…Exciting!" Sirius added, leaping into the moment with the enthusiasm he demonstrated in everything.
"…An adventure!" James continued, a grin breaking out across his face.
"Something not to be missed!" Sirius continued, jumping up and striking a heroic pose in the middle of the room. "The world will await us!"
"Er…" Peter eyed his friends dubiously. "I'm not so sure…"
"Nonsense, Pete. You wait, you'll be glad that in a year's time, you took our advice and thought about the whole situation positively." James nodded with an air of finality, then, thoughtfully bent down, removed his shoe and threw it at Sirius, who was still holding his pose. "You can stop now, Sear."
The shoe hit the dark haired boy in the head, making him shriek. "JAMES! Do you mind?"
"No, not really." The bespectacled boy stuck his tongue out at his friend, who looked wounded. "I mean, I hit your head, Sear, and it's not like it wasn't a tempting target."
"It's big enough." Peter muttered.
"Whose side are you on here, Peter?" Sirius demanded, hands on hips. "I was just brutally assaulted by that monster!" Pouting, he carefully reached down and picked up the runaway shoe. "I've a good mind to keep this," He added, "It'll serve you right." Laughing, he made for the door, just as James let out an enraged shriek of his own.
"Oh no you don't, Black!" Leaping to his feet, he made an unsuccessful dive after Sirius, who fled cackling down the stairs.
Peter, who had had the presence of mind to move out of the way, pelted down the stairs after them, only to round the final corner and discover the common room in uproar.
James and Sirius were having what looked to be a cross between a tug of war and a wrestling match – the shoe in the middle – and in the process they'd already knocked over two tables and a chair. Behind them, Lily, James's girlfriend, was bellowing at them to behave and – if one of the unfortunate fighters got close enough – hitting them with her extremely large and hard textbook. The rest of the Gryffindors appeared to be torn between cheering for their favourite side, or unsuccessfully trying to avoid the chaos.
Peter sighed and sat on the bottom step, safely out of harms way. Shaking his head, he was still unable to hide a small smile as James, who had just managed to wrestle his shoe back, received a large bite on his wrist as Sirius fought to regain the unlucky trainer. The messy haired boy yelped, and yanked on Sirius's long hair, which unfortunately presented a rather good target.
The James supporters cheered, even as the Sirius supporters groaned in disappointment, only to whoop with excitement as, a moment later, their champion proceeded to right himself and tackle his enemy to the floor with a rather nice kick to the shins.
"What is going on here?"
Both culprits froze and the rest of the common room fell into silence. Professor McGonagall had just climbed through the portrait hole, and her expression had frozen somewhere between disbelief and anger.
"Black! Potter! Would you care to explain?" Her voice was icy as she strode over, hauling Sirius up by the scruff of his neck. Despite her apparent frailty, she was clearly strong, and James, having gained enough time to assess the situation, scrambled to his feet without any 'aid' from his teacher.
"You see, James and I…" Sirius began at exactly the same time.
The boys scowled at one another and James muttered a quiet 'twit' under his breath.
"SILENCE!" Professor McGonagall's face was set in stone, her lips pressed together so tightly that little white lines had begun to appear around them. "You've been back a grand total of half a day, you two, and already, you've just earned yourself a detention." She frowned as the two boys shuffled their feet. They were both taller than her, and both were clearly a little scared of their teacher.
"You will report to the staff room this evening at eight o'clock precisely. I will give you a suitable punishment then." She leant closer, until she was practically nose-to-nose with James. "And if I hear one more complaint about you from anyone, I will personally see to it that you're removed from the Quidditch team. Both of you." She added, glancing at Sirius who had turned pale.
Shooting them one last, dark glare, she stalked back out, her back rigidly straight, shutting the portrait door behind her with a final, decisive click.
There was a long silence until, finally, Lily turned to her boyfriend. "You see?" She said, her tone scolding, "This is what happens when you…"
"Oh, leave it, Lils." James said wearily, shooting a sideways glance at her, "We've just been scolded, no need for a second round."
His girlfriend frowned, but held her tongue, instead, picking up the shoe from the floor and handing it back to James. "Here," She said, pulling a comb out of her pocket as the crowd of Gryffindors began to drift aimlessly away, "Hold still."
Patiently, James submitted to the grooming, until she stepped back and smiled slightly. "You hair will never be properly tidy, Potter," She commented, "But it'll do."
Taking this to mean he was forgiven, James pecked her on the cheek. "Thanks Lils."
"Sorry to interrupt this lovely domestic scene," Came an amused voice from behind James, "But Mr Black would like to remind Mr and Mrs Potter that their first lesson is about to begin." Sirius grinned, grey eyes glinting with mischief as James swung around and scowled at him. "And if we're late, you can bet McGonagall will skin us alive and feed us to her pet dragon." He shuddered, theatrically.
"Does she have one?" Peter interjected sceptically.
"I wouldn't put it past her, Peter my lad."
"Where is the teacher?" James hissed, some fifteen minutes later as the class shifted restlessly. "Old Burbank should have been here by now."
"It's not Burbank," Lily commented from just behind him, "He left at the end of last term. It's someone new."
"Well why aren't they here, and why didn't we see them at dinner last night?"
"How should I know?"
Sirius rolled his eyes and fiddled with his quill, trying to block out the rest of the class, who were complaining equally loudly. To his right, Peter had given up on waiting and pulled out a piece of parchment, on which he was doodling. It was, Sirius reflected thoughtfully, the smaller boy's one true talent. Ask Peter to solve an Arithmancy problem, and you'd be waiting for an answer for over a hundred years. Ask him to sketch something, however…
Smiling, the black haired boy turned his attention back to James, who had now turned around in his seat and was bickering with Lily.
"Well if you know so much, why don't you teach the class?"
"Oh don't be stupid, James, just because I'm better than you at something…"
"Which you're not, you just study more. Tell her, Sear." James nudged his friend, who simply rolled his eyes.
"Lily, you're smarter than this wanker."
"Hah." The red head sat back in her seat, arms folded across her chest and a smug air about her.
"What? I told her the truth!" Sirius's expression was as innocent as an angel's, but the glint in his eyes was that of the devil.
James scowled and muttered something unintelligible (but no doubt unflattering) under his breath.
Smirking, Sirius leapt to his feet and onto a desk. "Ladies and gentlemen!" All heads turned in his direction. "Since we seem to be at a loss for a teacher, Ms Evans here will take the lesson for you – helped by her lovely assistant, Mr Potter!"
There was a lot of enthusiastic applause and Lily, blushing, sank lower in her seat. James, on the other hand, brightened considerably. Sirius, grinning, proceeded to hop lightly from one desk to the next, shouting: "Pray silence for the great Miss Evans and Mr Potter!"
The classroom fell into an expectant hush and in the quiet there could be heard footsteps coming down the corridor and stopping outside the classroom door.
Sirius turned, ready to jump back off the desk, just as the classroom door opened and the new Professor walked in.
The first impression that hit was one of faded grandeur. The teacher had a slender body, clad in a faded green robe. His hair, a light brown, was shaggy and clearly grew naturally that way. His eyes were a quiet unassuming hazel above a straight nose and surprisingly thin, but sensitive, mouth and his face was pale and pointed. Large purple shadows under his eyes and faint hollows in his cheeks, however, clearly showed that the man had been ill recently.
Remus had been apprehensive when he's opened the classroom door. He'd been warned by the other teachers that this class was by far the worst. Not only would he have to contend with several of the students who were not especially good at the subject, but, apparently, there were two boys who had driven the old teacher into early retirement. Setting his books down on the desk at the front, he glanced up at the boy standing on the table and had to resist the urge to bite his lip worriedly.
Clearly this was Sirius Black. Out of the two boys, this was the one he had been warned against the most. Apparently the one called Potter had calmed down slightly since he'd acquired a girlfriend with a practical head on her shoulders, but Black…well, according to McGonagall he was just a troublemaker, pure and simple.
The boy stared back at him, large grey eyes suspiciously innocent as they looked at him from behind the veiled curtain of almost femininely long lashes. His body was clearly wiry but slender beneath his robes, and the mischievous smile that seemed about to erupt on his face was only highlighted by the small dimples at the corners of his mouth. Long black hair hung down to the small of his back, neatly tied in a tail, and his face was tanned.
"Get off the table, please." Remus said quietly and, much to his astonishment, the boy did as he was told. Once on the floor, however, the teacher discovered his pupil was a good three inches taller than himself, and his newfound confidence took a slight downhill turn.
"Anything else, Professor?" The boy took a step forwards, clearly using his height as an intimidation as he stopped, only a handful of inches from the surprised teacher.
"No, just sit down, please." Turning abruptly, Remus swallowed hard and shuffled the books on his desk.
Smirking, Sirius sauntered back to his seat next to James. "What do you think?" He muttered out of the side of his mouth as the professor turned around again and leant against his desk.
"A bit young, isn't he?" James raised an eyebrow and darted a glance at Sirius. "Can't be more than twenty. By all rights he shouldn't be out of university yet."
"A bit daft, sending a teacher not two years older than us to look after us, isn't it?" Sirius leant forwards, resting his arms on the desk. "He won't survive two months."
"Want to make a bet on that?" James muttered, shooting his friend a sly smile. "Fifty galleons says he lasts to the end of the year."
"Fifty says two months and I'll have him fired."
"Done." The two boys shook hands, and turned their attention back to the teacher, who was smiling at something one of the other students had said at the front.
"Well, it's nice to meet you all," He began, his voice smooth and low. "I'm Professor Lupin and for the next year, I'll be teaching you Defence Against the Dark Arts." He smiled at the chorus of nervous helloes and leant back against the desk again. "Your final NEWT examinations are coming up fast," He said, "And we've got a lot to get through. Would you all please turn to page 32 in your textbooks?"
"So…what are you going to do?" James muttered as the class shuffled around, looking for books and pencil cases.
"How are you going to get him fired?"
"Don't you think that's incredibly mean?" Peter hissed from the other side of Sirius, his expression dark. "He doesn't look all that rich, and it is his job."
"Oh, Pete, he's only a teacher." Sirius murmured, settling back in his seat and watching the unsuspecting professor through half lidded eyes. "Don't wimp out on us now. James will probably need you to lend him those fifty galleons when I win."
"And what makes you so confident?" James muttered.
Sirius smiled, unconsciously licking his lips as he continued to watch Remus. "Watch and learn, James, watch and learn…"
"Well I want nothing to do with it." Peter announced firmly, opening his textbook. "If you two want to ruin that man's career, go ahead, but I won't."
Sirius shrugged, grey eyes wicked. "You won't need to, Pete, I'll do it for you."
Remus shut the door to his office with an air of finality and leant his back against it, sighing in relief. Dropping his head back with a thump, he shut his eyes for a moment and exhaled slowly, trying to fight the tiredness that was threatening to overwhelm him.
Not two days had passed since the full moon, and having to spend the entire day running around teaching was not the best way to recover.
Still, he thought, brightening slightly as he moved over to sit in the armchair in one corner it hadn't been a bad first day, and his first class, despite subtle warnings from other members of staff, had been surprisingly well behaved.
Sirius Black, though… Remus suppressed a small frown as he remembered how the boy had simply sat in his lesson, looking for all the world as though he hadn't been paying any attention. He had, though. Remus had asked him several questions and he'd answered all of them perfectly. But he hadn't stopped staring at him. Remus frowned as he remembered how those silver eyes had followed him around the classroom, a knowing smile adorning the owner's face. He shivered and sank gratefully into the armchair, his mind replaying the lesson as he wondered exactly what it was that Sirius knew.
A knock on the door interrupted his reverie, and sighing, he got up to answer it.
McGonagall stood outside, her expression grim. "Professor, I gave a detention out to two of my students this morning, but unfortunately, I want them separated. Would you be so kind as to look after this one, and give him something to do for an hour and a half?"
"Certainly." Remus smiled, hiding his tiredness behind a wall of scholarly concern and wondering if there actually was anything for the pupil to do.
"Thank you." Professor McGonagall favoured him with a warm smile and turned to her left, frowning at someone just out of sight. "You behave," She snapped, "If Professor Lupin tells me you've put one toe out of line, you can kiss Quidditch and free weekends goodbye. Understood?"
"Yes, Professor." A male voice muttered.
Remus felt his eyes widen. Oh no, it can't be…
McGonagall nodded in satisfaction and turned back to her horror stricken colleague. "I'll leave him with you then." She said, and marched off down the hallway.
Remus swallowed, and turned around, heading for his desk and the relative safety it provided. "Come in then." He said around a dry throat.
Sirius stuck his head around the door and favoured the teacher's back with a wicked smile that melted into one of innocence as soon as Lupin turned around again. "What do you want me to do, Professor?"
Remus sank into his desk chair and laced his hands together. "Well, shutting the door would be a good start." This drew a slightly startled and unexpected smile out of the errant pupil, and he began to think things might not be so bad.
Shutting the door, Sirius retreated to the armchair his teacher had been sitting in earlier. "I hope you haven't got anything too boring for me to do." He said, watching as Remus frowned and picked up a book on his desk.
"To be honest, I haven't got anything for you to do." Lupin admitted, opening the book at a book marked page. "You'll just have to amuse yourself for a while…Sirius, isn't it?"
The boy's lips twisted into a small smile. "Yes, Professor."
Nodding, the teacher glanced towards the bookshelf. "You're welcome to borrow a book," He added.
He was watching him again…
Remus twitched, trying to ignore the silver eyes that were resting on him, their gaze half lidded as Sirius didn't even bother to pretend to be reading.
Blast it, the teacher thought irritably, just WHAT is he staring at? Has my hair suddenly changed colour? Looking up, he raised an eyebrow at the student. "Problem?" He asked mildly, trying not to show how uncomfortable he was.
"Oh…" A small smile curved Sirius's lips, and he licked them unconsciously, a strange, predatory gleam in his eye. "No, Professor. No problem."
"Good." Flushing slightly, and cursing himself for doing so, Remus looked back down at his book, Sirius's gaze still pricking his face.
Across the room, Sirius allowed the smile to widen slightly,
his mind already gleefully at work. James had made him that bet, and he'd be
damned if he didn't win it. Coming to a decision, he stood up, wincing as his
muscles protested loudly after prolonged stillness. Quietly moving across the
room, he picked up a small box and studied it. "Excuse me for asking,
professor, but what's in here?"
"Hmm?" Remus looked up. "Oh, that's only a box I was given a long time ago. There's nothing in it." He stood up and padded over to where Sirius was still running curious hands over the wood. "Here, you just press this…"
The lid clicked open, but as it did, a sharp rap sounded on the door. Both men jumped as McGonagall stuck her head around the door. "All right, Professor, his hour and a half's up." She frowned at Sirius. "And I meant what I said."
Sirius nodded, then turned to the new teacher. "Thank you, professor Lupin, for putting up with me." He smiled, slowly, and Remus was uncomfortably aware of their close proximity. "Maybe I'll see you next time I have detention…"
The door clicked shut behind the boy, and Remus sank into the armchair with a groan. If he'd thought Black was a troublemaker before, it was evident now that the boy was pure evil.
It was going to be a very long term…To Be Continued…
CB: Well, there's chapter one, not happy with it, but hey. This fic WILL be updated slowly, as Obsidian Rhapsody still takes priority.