It's not a good picture.
It's not exciting or momentous or even that great of an angle, but Remus can't put it down.
He watches again and again as a dark-haired boy looks up almost self-consciously from a large volume he's reading to look into the camera, smile a little as if recognising the photographer, and then turn back to his reading. Remus doesn't know why, but he can't turn away. He's seen Sirius again and again over their almost seven years at Hogwarts. He starts to wonder if he's seen Sirius again and again but never really seen him.
He starts carrying a camera. Catching Sirius when he's not looking at the camera becomes a favourite pastime. When Sirius knows that Remus is taking a picture, he'll grin, pose, and raise his eyebrows suggestively. When he's caught unawares, however, he'll worry his lip slightly and his eyebrows will crease together. Occasionally a hand will reach up subconsciously to brush away a lock of hair, but usually Sirius just sits. It puzzles Remus, this sitting Sirius. He doesn't know the Sirius who isn't plotting things or joking with James. He wonders what this quietly studying Sirius has done with his rambunctious dorm mate and he wonders why he hasn't noticed this Sirius around before. More than this, though, he wonders why he spends more time than he would care to divulge staring at Sirius and experiencing unfamiliar feelings in his stomach and in the deep recesses of his mind.
These feelings begin to frighten him and he tucks the pictures away in a History of Magic book from third year that he pushes under his bed and promptly forgets about.
He's almost able to overlook these feelings until near the end of the year when they're all studying for their NEWTs. James and Peter are outside playing Quidditch, leaving Remus and Sirius inside studying. Remus searches under his bed for the almost-forgotten books he suddenly remembers he's left there. He pulls out Transfiguration, then Ancient Runes and finally History of Magic. He picks them up haphazardly and pieces of paper fall out; loose notes and a few photographs. He picks up the photographs hastily when he remembers their subject matter (who happens to be lazing on his bed at that exact moment).
Remus studies each one with more attention than he's given any of his NEWT subjects so far. A smile flickers over his face when he remembers each one: the first is Sirius lying in the grass by the lake watching the swimmers (he claimed he was too cool for that, at the time. He later confided in Remus that he wasn't a strong swimmer). In the next is Sirius studying the common room with the dull flames reflecting off his face, followed by Sirius napping on his bed after the full moon (this was actually taken by Peter and later inconspicuously stolen). The second to last is Sirius laughing hard at something James has just said, his eyes glistening with mischief. The last is the one that catches Remus' breath. This is the picture in particular that gave him the strange feelings that prompted him to put away his photo collection in the first place. Sirius is lying on his stomach, a book in front of him. Though his head is down, he isn't reading but is looking up at the camera. There is a look in his eyes that Remus had never been able to place, or at least that's what he's told himself. Looking at it now, however, he recognizes a kind of unbridled lust that catches his breath.
"Alright, Moony?" Sirius asks from his place on the bed.
Remus nods and Sirius shrugs and goes back to flipping lazily through a magazine. Remus looks at the picture again, just to double check. No, there it is. The look of lust again. He tries to remember if he took this picture or if someone else did (perhaps one of Sirius' other admirers?). He's almost certain he took it, but the rational part of him insists that someone else must have taken it. How else could he explain that look? He decides to ask Sirius, just in case, or that's what he tells the rational part of him to make it shut up.
"Hey, Sirius?" he asks as he slides off his bed. He moves across the room and sits at the edge of Sirius' four-poster.
Sirius rolls onto his back and sets the magazine beside him, as if this whole time he has just been waiting for Remus to say something, and the magazine was merely to pass the time, like in a dentist's office.
"Did I take this picture?"
Remus thrusts the moving Polaroid into his hands. Sirius looks at it for a moment, a half-smile appearing. He nods.
"Yeah, we stayed up all night studying for that Arithmancy test. Prongs didn't have it and Peter had already studied or something. The castle was so fucking cold, remember?"
Remus nods, smiling slightly at the memory. "Yeah, we made the house elves make us hot cocoa at three in the morning."
Sirius chuckles. "You were wearing about five layers, and that brown sweater, the one that matches your eyes." He looks down suddenly as if he's said too much, but not before Remus sees a blush starting to appear. That strange feeling in his stomach starts again and he realises three things at once. The first is that he's incredibly turned on. The second is that it is because of Sirius and has been because of Sirius for a while. The third is that if he were to reach out to Sirius, Sirius may let him and if he were to kiss Sirius, Sirius may kiss him back. He decides there's only one way to find out.
He reaches out and touches Sirius' arm, so gently that it could almost be mistaken for an accidental brush of the hand if someone wasn't looking for it. When Sirius looks up and meets Remus' eyes though, Remus knows that he has been looking for it and probably has been for some time now. There's a questioning in his eyes and he opens his mouth to say something. His eyes widen when his open mouth meets Remus' and then shut once he gives himself over to Remus.
Remus kisses with more confidence than he feels and is pleased when Sirius responds how he hoped he would. Their movements are unsynchronised and imperfect but any awkwardness that may have arisen gets swept away in their eagerness. Remus doesn't know what to do with his hands and so he leaves them on either side of him on the bed until Sirius has a hand around the back of his neck pulling him closer. Then Remus finds himself tumbling onto Sirius' body as they fall back onto the bed and his hands tumble with him and end up on either side of Sirius' shoulders. One of Sirius' hands is still on his neck while the other travels down his back to untuck his shirt. Remus is suddenly hit with the weight of what they are doing when Sirius' cold hand traces up his bare back and he rolls off Sirius, albeit reluctantly.
Sirius is staring at him, at once defensive and frightened; simultaneously predator and prey.
Remus is instantly nervous and frightened all over again but some other instinct kicks in and instead he reaches out and traces his finger very lightly on Sirius' arm.
Sirius glances down at the finger and then back up at Remus, any hostility dissolved in that simple motion.
"How long have you….?" Remus asks.
"Wanted to kiss you?" Sirius supplements.
Remus nods, a small smile forming.
"Uhm… since before that picture was taken. Let's just say that."
"Okay," Remus agrees, still stroking his arm.
"Hey, come here," Sirius says softly, and Remus does, crawling on hands and knees until he's overlooking Sirius and smiling in anticipation of what is to come. Sirius pulls him by the gold and red tie with a grin until their lips are almost touching, then he raises his head slightly to close the distance. Remus flattens himself against Sirius, and he can feel the pounding in his chest matching the pounding in Sirius'. He adjusts himself so one of Sirius' legs is between his just so he can get closer, get some of the heat he didn't know he needed until a few moments ago and now is seeking with the fervour of a gold digger.
When Sirius raises his hips slightly, Remus gasps into his mouth at the friction and he can feel Sirius smirking until he slips his tongue in between Sirius' lips with a certain sense of satisfaction. Another thrust and Remus feels like there is an electrical current running through his body. All he can think is, more more more and so more is what he receives by thrusting against Sirius again and again. Lost in the sensation, their kiss turns into open mouths panting against one another as if it takes all their concentration just to move together.
Remus pulls back his lips, his lower body still moving against Sirius, to look down. Sirius has his eyes closed, his mouth slightly open. His heavy breathing is accented by low moans when Remus thrusts harder and harder against him. He touches his face lightly and his eyes open to stare upwards at Remus. The look of lust reflected in them, directed at him, is enough to send Remus over the edge, cursing incoherently and saying Sirius' name. Sirius follows shortly after, pulling Remus to him in a crushing open mouthed kiss.
"Oh god," Remus finally says.
"Yeah," Sirius echoes through his laboured breathing.
There is just the silence of their breathing until Sirius speaks. "I want to show you something."
Remus nods and raises himself off Sirius, but not off the bed. Sirius slides off the bed and gets down on his hands and knees. He rummages under the bed until he pulls something out. It's a leather bound book that looks fairly expensive by Remus' judgement.
"What is it?" he asks.
"Here," Sirius says and hands it to him. "I'm just going to the loo."
Remus nods and watches his retreating back before he opens the book. On the inside cover is an inscription: "To Sirius. Mother and Father." Remus turns the page and is assaulted by many pictures that fall out onto his lap. He picks them up and starts flipping through them, first slowly and then faster when he realizes that they're all pictures of the same thing.
They're all of him.
There's Remus sleeping in the train car during second year, eating lunch during third year, swimming in fourth, holding a prefect's badge in fifth year, rolling his eyes and laughing. There's Remus on birthdays and after full moons when he is too weak to protest being photographed. One in particular catches Remus' eye. He looks as if he's in third year and in the infirmary. He tosses in his sleep, his hair falling over his eyes. A hand from behind the camera brushes the hair out from his eyes and then rests on his forehead briefly before disappearing behind the camera again. Remus is still staring at this photo when Sirius comes back from the washroom.
"That's when I knew," he says simply and brushes the hair out of Remus' eyes before kissing his forehead. Remus just smiles and says nothing. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.