"What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from."
-T. S. Eliot "Four Quartets"
Sirius wasn't exactly sure when receiving one of Remus's warm smiles started to make him feel rather fuzzy in the head and fluttery in his chest, but he noticed it occurring on the twenty fourth of February in their seventh year at Hogwarts. He stood momentarily frozen in the path of his smile, frantically wondering if this had ever happened before. When Sirius had snapped out of it (Remus turning back to his book) he realised the uncomfortable yet not entirely unwelcome fluttering feeling had only came to him once before. Sirius Black wasn't meant to get fluttery feelings. Ever. It just wasn't Done. Admittedly the first time had been just before he'd kissed Cecile Foster, whom of which it was said could make anyone fluttery, but he couldn't for the life of him figure out why one of his best friends could encourage such feelings.
"So are you going to go to detention," Remus asked him dryly. "Or are you planning on standing there all night?"
Sirius coloured, inwardly cursing as he felt the warmth wash over his face. Sirius Black did not blush. "Er," He replied articulately. "Yes. Going that is, not standing here."
Sirius tried to laugh casually but it came out all uncomfortable, nervous and slightly hysterical. He turned and fled Gryffindor Tower before he could do anything else particularly out of character.
On the ninth of March Sirius Black realised that sitting too close to Remus was a perilous activity, and awoke rather Unmentionable Feelings in Particular Regions of his body. The first time it happened, they were sitting side by side in Transfiguration. Remus had lent over his work to nick a bit of ink from Sirius's well. Sirius's face paled as his friend's arm gently brushed across his own, aware of the blood pooling were It Ought Not from this simple accidental touch. Well this is certainly inconvenient, Sirius thought to himself pensively, not quite sure if there ever would be a convenient time for Particular Regions of his body to betray him in front of his friend, but hazarded that there must be more convenient times than in the middle of class. Remus grinned at Sirius, unawares, before returning to continue writing on the half full parchment in front of him. Sirius was sure he was going to die, or faint, or that the caged pixies in the DADA room were going to come and beat him with some dangerously musty old textbooks. Something, anything. Anything to end this charade. But nothing happened, and Sirius went back to taking notes after McGonagall gave him a pointed look.
"It's perfectly natural," Sirius Black was muttering to himself quietly as he searched through the shelves in the library. "Perfectly natural. Am just a hormonally driven teenager who hasn't had a shag in a couple of months. Am normal," He turned down into the very last wall of shelves, running his index finger along the spines of the books distractedly. The atmosphere in the library was quite still. If Remus had described it, he'd have said it was peaceful and calm. Sirius thought it was simply dead and boring.
"What are you doing back here Padfoot?" Remus asked in a loud whisper as he joined Sirius in perusing the books. "I didn't think you knew where the library was."
Sirius swallowed and hoped he hadn't said anything incriminating that Remus would have heard.
"Of course I do," He replied gruffly. "Good for helping with pranks, the library is."
Remus raised his eyebrows a bit. "Shouldn't you be doing research for your essay now?"
Sirius shrugged. "Still got a few days for that," He replied, turning his attention back to the books and away from Remus's face which was appearing to glow gold in the warm candle light, his brown hair hanging over his eyes alluringly.
"Hmm," Remus murmured and Sirius made the mistake of looking back at him again. "You've got to start sometime though."
On the seventeenth of April Sirius realised that it probably wasn't just the hormones.
Two days later, one Remus Lupin and one Sirius Black sat at a desk in the common room, writing their essays. James and Peter had long since gone to bed, yet Remus still sat writing at a steady rate, his neat handwriting filling the parchment. Sirius had finished his own essay, and was merely scribbling random things down on spare parchment, pretending to work. He yawned and stretched for a moment. Remus continued writing, eyes firmly fixed on his work. He'd be at it all night if Sirius wasn't there to remind him eventually, that sleep is valuable to your health.
"Remus," Sirius began, his voice slightly croaky but clearing with each word. "When we, you know, get out of here, graduate and all that,"
Remus now looked up, chewing absently on his quill. "Yes...what about it?"
"Would you, I mean, you don't have to, but d'you reckon you'd move in with me?" Sirius replied rather quickly.
"In your apartment," Remus said with an air of surprise. "It's barely big enough for one person Sirius, and you've only one bedroom. Have you entirely thought this through?"
Sirius bit his lip. It wasn't meant to be going like this. Remus was supposed to be saying 'Oh Sirius of course I'll come and live with you-what a fantastic idea.' Really, he should've foreseen a logical rebuttal.
"Er, yes," Sirius replied, running a hand through his hair, pulling it out of his eyes. "I –er-thought it through, and I decided you'd be the best person to move in with me."
"Because Peter is a terrible mess and James will be getting married soon, and I'm the only one who can put up with your terrible snoring," Remus scoffed, eyes focusing back on his essay.
"No," Sirius said rather abruptly.
"No what? It's true and you know it is, we've all been living together for such a lon"-
"No, I want to you live with me, not because you put up with me or because James and Peter couldn't possibly stand another few years of me," Sirius cut him off. "I want to live with you, because you're you."
"Oh," Remus said with a faint smile. "Well then."
In the middle of May, Sirius Black planned to tell Remus Lupin his secret. It was only fair, Sirius reasoned after a long period of inner debate, that he should come clean because after all, admitting you had Not Entirely Platonic Feelings for a good friend couldn't be as bad as admitting you were a werewolf. It was all worked out; he'd worked out the details, decided what he was going to say and was feeling surprisingly calm about it. In all, it was a waste of time.
"Sirius I have to tell you something," Remus said the night before the day Sirius was going to tell him. "It's sort of important."
Sirius looked up from the book he'd been trying to read (one of Remus's that he'd nicked) "Alright then."
"I can't move in with you." Remus said solemnly, not meeting Sirius's eyes.
"What?" Sirius squawked, instantly glad the others were still in the common room with their respective girlfriends and were not present in the dorm to witness his undignified state. "Why not," He demanded.
"I just can't."
"What a load of bollocks Moony. Why not? We had it all worked out and everything,"
"It's not your fault, it's mine really."
"How can it be your fault? Where was there ever a fault, it was a perfect plan; you move in, we cast a few enlargement charms on the place and it's all good."
Remus glanced up at him, looking estranged. "You won't want to live with me no matter how large the place is after I tell you why I can't."
"Then just tell me Remus, it's not that hard is it? Honestly, I already know you're a werewolf what else could there be?" Sirius snapped, panic setting in. It was not meant to go like this.
"I might, well I think I am really, I probably am," Remus began worriedly. "In love. Maybe. With you. I think. Er."
Relief washed over Sirius, and he got up from where he was lying on his bed to sit on the edge of Remus's, next to him.
"Is that all?" He breathed more than said. "I was half afraid you were going to tell me you'd contracted a slowly debilitating disease and were going to die before graduation or something."
Remus didn't reply, and continued to look straight ahead, anywhere but at the boy beside him. Sirius reached out, his hand trembling a bit, to draw Remus's face to his own.
"I think I might probably maybe be in love with you too," He said quietly before gently kissing the other boy's lips.