Disclaimer: I own nothing, you should know that by now.

Warning: Eventual slash. If you don't like it, stop wasting your time reading it. If you don't know what it is, get out, and come back when you do, if you fancy it.

Author's Notes: On the Hogwarts' Express at the start of the Marauders' first year (they're not the Marauders yet, of course).
If this continues, it will eventually get all the way up through their seventh year, possibly beyond. I haven't really thought that far in advance. The early years will only be the first few chapters, though. I think.

A Tale of Two Puppies


"Hey! Anyone sitting here?"

At the loud question, the eleven-year-old boy sitting in the corner jerked away from the window he'd been staring out to fix his gaze on the black-haired boy standing in the door of the train compartment. His stomach did a funny somersault.

"What?" the light brunet asked, wincing inwardly at how stupid he must sound.

"I asked if anyone was sitting here," the black-haired boy seemed to be about the same age as the seated boy, whom he was surveying with a critical grey eye. "Everywhere else is full." (1)

"Oh. Okay." The boy flinched again. Remus, you idiot! He growled at himself. "I mean, no one's sitting here." There you go. Nice, normal – "Apart from me, I mean. 'Cuz I'm sitting here, but – " and now you've blown it again.

"I can see that," the dark-haired boy said coldly, cutting him off, and Remus's heart sank.

First time talking to someone new, and look what happens!

But then the grey-eyed boy sat down right next to Remus, and gave him a bright, warm smile, completely at odds with his tone of only moments before. "Black," he said, holding out his hand. "Sirius Black. Nice to meet you."

Remus looked at the hand for a dubious moment, then reached out hesitantly to shake it. He felt a shock when they touched, like he'd grabbed a metal knob after walking on a rug in socks, and yanked his hand back. "Lupin," he mumbled, embarrassed and feeling intensely awkward.

The other boy didn't seem to notice either the shock or Remus's discomfiture. "You got a first name, Mr. Lupin?" he asked, manner almost teasing.

"Remus," said Remus. He was still feeling uncomfortable, and the other boy was looking at him strangely.

"Well, Remus," Sirius Black grinned, "I like your eyes."

The eyes in question went wide.

"I've never seen amber eyes before," the other boy went on conversationally, "and I think they're very pretty."

Remus's jaw dropped. What the –

"Yes," Sirius Black continued with an air of finality, "I like your eyes. And I like you."

Remus, unease completely forgotten, knew he was gaping, but there didn't seem to be anything he could do about it. He'd never met anyone like this boy before, and he wasn't sure he was happy to have done so now. The boy seemed like an absolute lunatic.

"So, Remus, where are you from?"

Remus picked up his jaw. The boy might be a lunatic, but, really, who was Remus, to talk about the insanity caused by the moon? (2) And he seemed harmless enough, almost amusing, actually, but the fact remained that they'd only just met each other, and Sirius Black was already calling him by his given name. "Look, Black, I – "

"Call me Sirius," the boy instructed. "If we're going to be friends, we ought to be able to use first names."

Well, if he puts it that way, but still… "Black, I – " Remus tried again.

"Sirius," Sirius corrected. He slung a casual arm about the smaller boy's shoulders, not seeming to notice the shiver that went down the tawny-haired boy's spine at the contact. "Say it with me, now," he ordered. "Si-ri-us."

"I think you've frightened him," a new voice drawled from the doorway.

Remus and Sirius both turned to see another boy their age with scruffy black hair and hazel eyes.

"Excuse me?" that cold, almost aristocratic, tone was back in Sirius's voice, and he had moved slightly in front of Remus as though to block the smaller boy from the newcomer.

The scruffy-haired boy locked eyes with Sirius. "I said he looks frightened," he repeated, a slight challenge in his voice.

Sirius stood up and moved closer to the boy in the doorway. "Take it back," he growled.

Remus realized abruptly that something was going on here that he didn't understand. It was like he wasn't even there. He wondered if he'd missed something, though he couldn't imagine what it might be.

"I will not," the scruffy-haired boy retorted, refusing to budge as Sirius loomed closer.

"Take it back." Sirius was glaring now.

"Make me," the hazel-eyed boy sneered.


Sirius's fist had connected solidly with the other boy's face, knocking his glasses askew.

The boy reeled backwards from the force of the hit, then swung back, catching Sirius across the mouth. Within moments, a full-out furious scuffle had broken out in the compartment.

Shit, Remus thought, and hastily tried to pull them apart.

A wild punch from the scruffy-haired boy clipped Remus's cheek, and the fighting boys both froze instantly.

"Rem, are you all right?" Sirius asked breathlessly, sounding very concerned.

"Oh, my God! I'm so sorry!" the hazel-eyed boy gasped, and he did sound genuinely apologetic.

The fight forgotten, Sirius ushered Remus back to his seat, and sat down close by him once more, fretfully examining the amber-eyed boy's cheek. The other boy hovered, looking awkward and unsure, but nearly as worried as the grey-eyed youth.

Remus looked back and forth between them.

Sirius's shirt was torn, and his lip was bleeding sluggishly. The other boy's scruffy hair was, is possible, even scruffier, and he had the makings of what promised to be a very fine black eye. Both boys looked very anxious, their differences forgotten in the face of Remus's "injury."

It was all too much. Remus burst out laughing.

After a stunned moment, the other two joined in, and it was a while before they settled down.

"Black. Sirius Black," Sirius introduced himself as the other boy finally sank into the seat opposite.

"Are you really?" the hazel-eyed boy asked, as though this meant something.

Sirius nodded, but didn't explain. "And this is Remus Lupin." He jerked a thumb at Remus.

Remus didn't comment on being introduced by the other boy.

"Nice to meet you, Black. Sirius Black," the scruffy-haired boy grinned. "And you, Mr. Lupin."

That's what Sirius called me, Remus thought, raising an eyebrow.

The scruffy-haired boy didn't seem to notice. "I'm Potter. James Potter."

Sirius snorted at the imitation, but he and James Potter had identical gleams of mischief shining in their eyes.

Remus wasn't sure whether to laugh again or to groan. One thing was certain, though: it was going to be an interesting year.


(1) Sound familiar, anyone? Think HP and the PH :winks:

(2) The word 'lunatic' comes from the Latin word 'luna' which means 'moon'. People used to think that insanity was caused by the moon, thus the word 'lunatic.' If you still don't get why Remus would feel he shouldn't judge people based on their lunacy, read PoA again very carefully. If you still don't get it after that, there may be no help for you.

A/N2: Please read and review! I'm not sure whether or not I should continue this.