Disclaimer: Not mine

Summary: "…it wasn't so hard to remember that what Remus loved most in this world was flying." James/Remus/Sirius

Notes: Written at the request of a friend on lj.  She wanted a James/Remus/Sirius fic with Quidditch.

~*~

Remus found few things as exhilarating as flying.

Well, there was having sex.  But flying and sex couldn't really be compared.  The wind whipping your hair in all directions was nothing like sweat pasting it to your forehead.  Yelling out in utter joy of flight was not like screaming out your orgasm.  And riding a broom was nothing like riding your boyfriend.

Well.  Boyfriends.  Assuming neither of them laughed themselves silly at the idea.  Which they were all too likely to do, especially as James still tried to say that he was straight and that it was just a matter of time until Lily went out with him (whenever James said this, Remus and Sirius just snorted and asked him what he was doing in bed with them then?  James never really could answer them satisfactorily, only saying that a bloke would do anything for sex and didn't they know that by now, being blokes themselves?).

Anyway.  Back to flying.  And why Remus was standing outside on the Quidditch pitch in the middle of the night with his broomstick, tapping his toes and looking at his watch every few minutes. 

When the two figures appeared, he hissed, "You're late," and made to get on his broom and just take off, but Sirius grabbed the collar of his robes to make sure he didn't go anywhere, and James grinned and put down the box he was carrying.

"Patience, Moony," James teased, kneeling down to open the box.

"Stuff patience," Remus said succinctly, "I've been waiting for you for fifteen minutes.  At least you brought it."

James sniffed.  "Course we did.  You asked for it, didn't you?  And we told you we'd bring it, didn't we?"

Remus half-smiled, almost mollified.  "Take you awhile to get it out of Hooch's office, did it?" he asked, and James nodded. 

"Took us awhile to find it, and then we saw Mrs Norris and had to double back out of the way so Filch wouldn't find us," James explained.

"Well, all right then," Remus said grudgingly, then brightened.  "Let's see it."

James held up a finger.  "You know that if we lose this, we'll all be crucified, don't you?" Remus nodded eagerly, and James sighed, then reached into the box and pulled out a golden ball with fluttering wings, straining to escape against James's hand.  "You sure you can catch it?" James asked, raising an eyebrow.

Remus nodded excitedly.  "Yes James, I'm quite sure.  Now let it loose…?"

James smiled and opened his hand, and in an instant Remus shook Sirius's hand off his robes and pushed up off the ground, zipping into the air with a whoop.  He flitted around the air above the field, chasing something that neither James nor Sirius could see, but that Remus apparently could. 

After a moment of watching him, James turned to Sirius and said, "You're awfully quiet tonight." Not quite a question, but apparent enough that James was asking him something. 

Sirius glanced at him, then looked up at the sky again, where Remus, in his black robes and hood, could barely be made out against the backdrop of stars.  "He's beautiful, isn't he?" Sirius asked quietly.  "And it's obvious that he loves this at least as much as we do.  I know I wouldn't be able to see the Snitch in the dark, but he can."

James shrugged.  "His night vision's always been a good thing for us," James pointed out, and Sirius nodded.

"I wish he'd try out for Seeker," Sirius said quietly.  "He's made for it, and look how much fun he's having up there." Above them, Remus had just caught the Snitch, raising the fist with the fluttering golden ball above his head before letting it loose again and taking after it with an exuberant laugh.

"You know why he won't," James replied just as quietly, and Sirius nodded.  They both knew why Remus would never try out for Seeker, though Remus himself had never told them—he hadn't needed to.  It wasn't necessarily that he was afraid the full moon could possibly come while he was flying.  No, James as Captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team as well as Head Boy could always make sure that Gryffindor's matches were scheduled well away from the full moon, and that if any ever did manage to last that long, reserves would be expected to be brought in eventually.  No one would ever find out from Quidditch that Remus Lupin was a werewolf.

But up there, up among the stars and the night breezes, Remus was free.  He could chase something that wouldn't be hurt if he caught it, and he wouldn't hurt anyone else in the pursuit of it.  With no one else in the air, Remus could dash to and fro wherever he wanted, and he didn't have to worry about anyone else.  He could let go, completely and totally, and give himself up to the wind and the air and the golden Snitch, and no one would stop him.  In the middle of the night on a nearly deserted Quidditch pitch, there were no opposing teams trying to stop him, no people to dodge around, no winning or losing anything except altitude and speed.

Up in the air with no one else there, Remus could just be himself.  He could go as fast as he wanted, indulge himself in a bloodless hunt, and still taste sweet victory when he caught his quarry.  He had no one to call him to task for letting himself loose.  Looking up at him, James felt an unidentifiable pang in his chest, one he didn't care to try and examine too closely.  Remus was really alive up there.  He didn't need anyone else.  Glancing at his best friend, James saw that Sirius had closed his eyes, an expression of intense longing on his face.  Sirius had come to this conclusion long ago, James suddenly realized.  But what it was that Sirius was longing for, James didn't know.  And he wasn't sure he wanted to.  One major revelation about one of his best friends was enough for this night.

Sirius opened his eyes again almost painfully.  He wasn't sure what he was longing for either, but he couldn't look away from Remus, not anymore.  Not when Remus's elation was so palpable, even as far away as he was.  And Remus was still there, still chasing that golden ball, and Sirius couldn't stop watching, even though he felt sure that any moment his heart was going to burst free of his chest, it was beating so hard.  But Remus's utter grace in the air and fierce joy when flying, hidden from everyone else and shown only to James and Sirius, was impossible to look away from.  Nothing made him so happy as this, and Sirius knew it.  Now James knew it too.  Sirius wasn't sure how he felt about that.

Eventually Remus caught the Snitch again and decided to land, drifting down almost sedately towards the ground, the winged ball in his fist struggling to get free.  As he came closer and closer to where James and Sirius were standing, they could see the grin on his face, the shine in his eyes, the way the wind had left his hair tangled and he didn't seem to notice.  His feet touched the ground and he swung his legs off the broom, and his hair obscured his face as he bent to put the Snitch back in the box, and when he straightened up again and looked at them both, Sirius was sure that this time his heart really would pound itself out of his chest, or at the least that Remus would hear it.  He wished that he'd put that expression on Remus's face.  But seeing Remus, with his windblown hair and his ecstatic grin and his flushed cheeks and the shine in his eyes, Sirius knew it was only flying that could do this to him.  Only flying.

But when Remus put his arms around Sirius's and James's waists, it was hard to be jealous.  When he pulled them closer to him and leaned his forehead against theirs, when he smiled at them and laughed quietly, it was hard to remember that they weren't the center of his life.  When he kissed them hungrily, and all three of them struggled out of their robes and sank to the ground on their makeshift blanket of black fabric, it was hard to think that he wasn't made for this, for lying with them and kissing them and fitting with them.  But when they were up in their room again, and Remus was asleep in his arms and Sirius was awake in the dark, it wasn't so hard to remember that what Remus loved most in this world was flying.