Disclaimer: The Marauders are not mine. Molly Weasley is not mine. Her maiden name might be mine, I can't remember whether I heard it somewhere or thought of it myself. Anyway, I make no claim on it. I tried to make the characters behave like they normally would, mostly. Please don't sue me. If you don't like slash, I take no responsibility for any discomfort you might experience reading this story.
November 12, 1972, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Remus Lupin made his way to the prefects' bathroom. He rested his hand on the knob and paused, his head lowered, trying to slow his heart. He felt like he had been running. He muttered the password and the door swung open.
Remus ran himself a bath, activating the charms that made the water stay warm. he sighed. What was wrong with him? The water rushed into the bath. How could he let himself fall in love with his best friend? It was like a bad muggle television show. Remus had seen a few on James's television, and they were just like this. Only... the best friend was usually a member of the opposite sex. Remus unbuttoned his shirt and stepped out of his pants. he peeled of his undershirt. The bath was full now; the water automatically stopped when it was full. Remus tested the water with a toe, and stepped in.
He sighed again, settling himself in the water. He ran his hands over his chest absently. God, what was the matter with him? Couldn't he manage to be a normal person at all? Remus sunk frustratedly into the bath, the water bubbling as his head went under. It was bad enough that he turned into a wolf once a month.. and Sirius had been closest in form to him... a dog... it had been James's idea, but Sirius wanted to be close.... it was so like him, he was always the most passionate of their group... Remus pressed his hands over his face, annoyed with himself for thinking of that. He ran his hands up through his hair. It was getting longer. He didn't want to do anything about it. Not cutting his hair was the only rebellion he'd allow himself, and he needed rebellion now.. he felt so much older than his friends, but at the same time so much younger. He'd been a sheltered child, out of necessity more than anything. He needed more experience.. that was probably why he hadn't fallen in love with anyone outside his close circle of friends. He felt safe there. And damned if he wasn't thinking about Sirius again. Remus sunk to the bottom of the bath and growled, watching the bubbles rise to the top. He suddenly jumped up out of the water and began to pace.
"This is ridiculous! Why do these sort of things ALWAYS happen to me??"
James Potter made his way to the prefects' bathroom. He said the password crisply and clearly, and turned the doorknob. He'd had a long day and had been looking forward to a nice, hot bath.
Remus was quickly becoming angry. "Of all the things that could happen this is the WORST I can think of! It's not bad enough that I'm a werewolf, I have to go and be a bloody GAY werewolf, too!" With the word "gay," he threw his fist out at the wall.
The door swung open, and James was confronted with an entirely different sight than he'd expected: Remus Lupin, stark naked, packing and shouting to himself. As James watched in silent shock, he began to shout very loudly and punched a wall.
A large chunk of plaster fell out of the wall where Remus had punched it. "Aargh," he muttered, "Now I have to fix the damn bloody wall, too." He stared daggers at the wall, as if it had caused the problem. He could see that the wall was solid stone behind the plaster. He also noticed, suddenly, that his hand was beginning to throb. He glanced down at it. There was no visible damage, other than his knuckles being an agitated red. He turned around to get his wand from his clothing, and wound up instead staring at James.
"Gah!" Remus took a staggering step backward. He was silent for several seconds, then, "How long have you been standing there?"
James scratched the back of his head nervously. "Well, I came in somewhere 'round 'bloody gay werewolf.'"
Remus looked at his feet. "Great. Just great."
James looked amused. "So, you've finally admitted the truth to yourself about Sirius, then?"
Remus whipped his head up. "What? You knew??"
"Yes. Of course. It was pretty obvious."
"It... was? How come nobody let ME know about it, then? I'd think it was kind of bloody important!!"
James put his hand on Remus's shoulder. "Calm down, Remus."
Remus took two deep breaths.
"That's better... Now.. why is this upsetting you so much?"
"Because... now I'm going to have to see him every day and I can't.." Remus trailed off, an anguished look on his face.
"Why can't you?"
"James! He doesn't like boys!"
James tilted his head. "In this day and age, what does that matter?"
Remus looked away, frustrated. "Argh.. I can't talk to you. You think everything is easy."
"If you're James Potter, yeah, it is. But not if you're Remus Lupin. When you're Remus Lupin you get bitten by werewolves right before you're supposed to enter Hogwarts. If you're Remus Lupin you fall in love with someone who you CAN'T fall in love with.. James, I can't fall in love with him.. He's... He's SIRIUS! Lord..."
Remus lowered his head and pressed his hands over his face.
"I think you should tell him, Moony. Even if he doesn't feel the same, it'll be out there, and you won't be so frustrated."
"What if he hates me? What if he thinks I'm some sort of.. abnormality.."
"Remus, you ARE an abnormality. Sirius didn't hate you when he found out you were a werewolf, did he?"
"No, but.. this is different."
"No, it isn't. It's exactly the same. People have the same misconceptions about werewolves as they do about homosexuals."
"'Homosexuals.' You sound like a dictionary."
James put on a face of pretended shock. "Never! That's your job!"
Remus made a face. "Did you come in here for a reason?"
James looked startled. "Er, yeah. I came in to take a bath."
"Oh. Well, I wasn't quite done.. but if you don't mind sharing a bath with a 'homosexual'..."
James laughed. "Only if you promise you won't stare at me while I undress."
"I won't even look." Remus grinned and turned his back on James.
That night, Remus laid awake in bed, going over the events of the evening in his mind. What would have happened if it had been Sirius who'd walked in? Of course, that was impossible, since Sirius wasn't a prefect, but-- but James could've given him the password, and for all Remus knew, he had. It was just the sort of thing James would do-- setting it up so that Sirius and Remus would be alone in the bathroom.
Remus sighed and closed his eyes. What if it had been Sirius instead? Would Remus have been able to tell him the truth? James had guessed the truth... would Remus have been able to tell anyone, in fact?
Remus punched the wall. He cursed, and turned to get his wand. He found himself face-to-face with Sirius Black.
Remus's eyes widened and his body went rigid. "S-Sirius.. how did you get in here?"
Sirius looked shocked. "Er, James gave me the password. Er, Remus..."
Remus looked at his feet. He then realized he was completely naked. His face turned scarlet, and he rushed for his clothes. He said nothing to Sirius.
Sirius stared at him. he opened his mouth, then closed it again. Remus began to dress, his back turned to Sirius.
Sirius finally found words. "Remus, did I hear you just saying you were gay?"
Remus swallowed and turned to face Sirius. He was still shirtless. He looked at his feet. He tried to hide behind his hair, but it was still too short.
"And is it true?"
"Yes. Well, no.. I don't know. It is, I guess."
Sirius frowned. "I see," he replied, with a confused look on his face. "So... is there someone in particular you're interested in? that would explain the way you're-- "
"No!" Remus looked up at Sirius suddenly, his eyes wide. "No, there's no one."
Sirius blinked. "Even I know that means yes. But.. someone you don't want me to find out about.. " Sirius lapsed into thought, then understanding dawned on his face. "It's one of us, isn't it." It wasn't a question. "James?"
Remus looked at him, and swallowed. "No."
"No? Peter, then.. you were always closer to him than the rest of us were.."
Remus shook his head. "No. Not Peter."
Sirius looked briefly puzzled. "Then, it's either me or your own reflection... and if it's your reflection I'm going to have to take you to the infirmary."
"It's not," Remus said slowly, to keep his voice from wavering, "my reflection."
Sirius looked at the small, thin boy standing half-naked in front of him. He swallowed and ran a hand through his longish black hair. "Then it's me, then," he ventured, unnecessarily saying "then" twice.
Remus nodded slowly, unable to say anything.
Sirius took two steps to Remus's side. Even though Remus was a year older, Sirius was nearly half a foot taller than him, and growing taller still.
Sirius placed a hand on Remus's shoulder. "You... like me, then...?" He whispered.
Remus looked up at Sirius, shocked. It couldn't possibly be that Sirius felt the same way...? "I.. yes. No. I don't like you. I love you."
Sirius stared at Remus. "You... love..."
Remus said it again, more firmly. "I love you, Sirius."
"I.. love you, too, Remus..."
Remus looked up at his friend. "I thought you'd be upset with me if you knew..."
Sirius held Remus by both shoulders now. "No! How could I when I've been agonizing over the same thing... this afternoon, when we got stuck in the hogsmeade tunnel-- I almost told you then."
Remus then did something uncharacteristically impulsive and pulled Sirius down into a kiss. "I love you, Sirius. I know it's insane, but I do." He hugged Sirius tightly, holding on for dear life.
Remus sighed. He was silly for thinking these things. That sort of situation would never happen. It was entirely too sappily romantic. Remus didn't even know why he'd thought of it. Still...
Remus's eyes snapped open. He'd made a decision. He would tell Sirius. No matter what the consequence, he had to tell him. He'd go crazy otherwise, and James was right, after all. James had a way of being right almost all the time. He decided he would tell Sirius tomorrow.
Unfortunately, the next day Sirius was in a steady relationship with Molly Radcliffe, a shortish, blonde-haired Gryffindor girl. Remus saw this as a sign that Sirius would not be interested in his affections, and that everything in his life was doomed to go wrong at exactly the most ironic moment.
In the next chapter: How does Sirius feel about all this? Will James tell him? Breakfast ensues.