Chapter Three: Sharing
After a few hours of chatting and doing homework, the girls started growing tired. Emma went to bed first, having nodded off several times while Lily was speaking.
"Oh Emma, just sleep. I'll talk to you in the morning."
"No, Lily, I'm not tired! I heard you!"
"What did I just say then?"
"Erm... that... Potions is a supreme waste of time because–"
"– Emma! I said that like an hour ago!"
"Oh, just sleep. Now."
" 'Kay. Night, Lils."
Lying awake in the dark, surrounded by the sounds of her roommates' steady deep breathing, Lily's thoughts turned once again to the messy-haired boy she'd encountered earlier that day. It bothered her that she liked him so much. As she had painfully learned the hard way last year, boys could not be trusted. Especially boys like James... boys who had everything and wanted more, who carried on as if there were nothing more important in life than whatever foolish plan they were currently scheming, boys whom everyone loved, boys who knew everyone loved them... Boys like that were dangerous. She had made the mistake of letting one get close last year, and all she'd been left with were a broken heart and a general mistrust for all teenage males. Now, it felt as if her heart were breaking in two. She knew that James was probably a nice enough guy, a little immature maybe but not all bad; but at the same time, her healing heart wouldn't allow her to let her guard down. She wouldn't hurt like that again. She couldn't.
She heard a stirring from across the room, followed by a sleepy sounding whisper of "you okay, Lils?" That was when Lily first felt the tears streaming fown her cheeks, and realized that the memories had started her crying again. Wiping her eyes with the back the sleeve of her nightshirt, she whispered back, "yeah, I'm fine." She knew she had an early study group meeting the next morning, so she closed her eyes, pushed the painful memory back into the dark recesses of her mind, and concentrated on her breathing... in... out... in... out...
Remus' eyes shot open with the first sound of his enchanted alarm clock, and he quickly and quietly reached over the lifeless lump of a person next to him to grab his wand off the bed-stand. He muttered a few words and the offensive sound stopped. Remus dropped the wand and shifted his weight to face the warm body next to his. It had been a week now since Sirius had started sleeping in his bed. The first time, his excuse had been that Remus' bed was comfier. The second time, he'd had a 'nightmare'. Eventually, Remus started instinctively scooting over for him at night, and when Sirius first noticed this the look on his face was priceless—a cross between the look of an overexcited puppy and a scheming and sly fox. Remus loved that look.
After a moment of staring at the long, ebony strands cascading around his lover's face on the pillow, Remus playfully pursed his lips and blew lightly on his sleeping boyfriend's eyelids, causing them to flutter open in surprise. When he realized what Remus had done, his lips curled up into a slow, sexy smile as he ran a hand through his dark hair in an irritatingly arousing way. 'Merlin,' Remus thought to himself, 'he's even gorgeous first thing in the morning!'
"Morning, Moony," Sirius half purred, reaching a hand out to stroke Remus' soft brown locks.
"Mmm… morning," Remus whispered back.
"Always, when you're here."
"I didn't keep you up too late?"
Remus loved the new, overly considerate boyfriend-Sirius.
"Wouldn't complain if you had."
"Mmm… I love you."
"Love you more."
"As well you should," Sirius retorted playfully, the mischievous glint in his eye stirring a soft laugh in Remus. He looked at the boy next to him, lying there twisted in his bedsheets, and was almost tempted to skip his study session for a makeout session on the spot, but then he shook his head to clear himself of such thoughts. Remus leaned forward then, ever so slightly, to place a gentle kiss on the soft, full lips in front of him. He broke away then and stood, much to the groaning protest of a now fully wide-awake Sirius.
"Where are you going so early?"
"Siri, love, you know I have study group on Tuesday mornings."
"Right, loser club, forgot about that. But what am I gonna doooooo? It's still hours 'til breakfast!" Sirius whined.
Remus grinned wickedly. "There's room in James' bed. I'm sure he wouldn't mind."
Sirius turned and grabbed one of Remus' pillows to throw at him, but was stopped suddenly by Remus, who'd run quickly back to the bed and jumped onto the other boy. Holding the arm wielding the pillow in one hand, the other hand clamped over Sirius' mouth, he whispered frantically, "Shh! They're still sleeping!"
Sirius took this opportunity to lick Remus' hand, causing him to drop it with a surprised "ah!". Sirius leaned forward quickly then, and roughly kissed Remus' open and unsuspecting mouth. Remus let himself melt into the kiss, both boys letting their hands roam wildly over one another. Remus let out a soft moan into his mate's mouth, which seemed to please the other boy as he pulled his boyfriend closer, holding him tightly to his own body. Just as he was starting to move his hand down toward the drawstring of Remus' pajama pants, a pillow sailed silently through the air and bopped Sirius in the head. When his hand flew up to the spot where he had been attacked, Remus hastily jumped back, looking thoroughly like a child just caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Looking in the direction of the pillow attack, they found James sitting up in his bed, knees drawn up to his chest. Despite the fact that he had just foiled a potential shag scenario, he was grinning at the couple before him.
"Guys," he started, still grinning wickedly, "this is just not going to work. First you told us you were together, and that was fine. Then you started sharing a bed, and that was okay too. But now," he continued, laughing quite hard now, "now I'm forced to wake up to a live X-rated show? Uh uh. Not. Gonna. Happen." By this time, he was almost hysterical with laughter. Sirius was pretending to scowl, but was also laughing pretty hard as well, and Remus was blushing furiously but looked amused nonetheless. He was lucky, and he was sure Sirius agreed, that their friends were so cool about them. He looked again at his alarm clock, and then addressed the others.
"Right, then, I'm off," Remus announced, turning to Sirius. He rummaged through his drawers a bit and came up with a pair of worn jeans, a black button-down shirt, and his school robes. He gathered up his things and headed toward the bathroom for a shower. He had gotten as far as the door before Sirius called out, "Rem!"
He turned around and looked back. Sirius gave him his hottest, most smoldering smile and said seductively, "See you later, Moony."
Remus all but ran out of the room, somehow managing to feebly croak out a hasty "see you". Sirius stared after his boyfriend and eventually started to chuckle wickedly as James, doubled over in maniacal laughter, told him, "Poor Moony never knew what he was getting himself into."
Sirius smirked. "Hah… getting himself into."
And before he knew it, another pillow hit Sirius Black right square on the head.
Remus opted for a cold shower that morning. The entire time, as the ice cold water hit the top of his head, whenever he closed his eyes, all he could see was his boyfriend's face. It had been three months since they'd become official (which, romantically enough, had been during the very first week of their Sixth year), but it still didn't feel real to Remus. He loved Sirius with all his heart, soul, and being. And he knew that Sirius loved him too. He saw it in the way his mate would always throw a possessive arm around him whenever an attractive girl—or guy—came around. He saw it in the way Sirius' face would cloud over when anyone would mention how promiscuous—not to mention straight—he had been for the last two or three years ("I'm a different person now" was his response of choice). He knew Sirius loved him, but it was so hard to trust him. Sirius was so charming, so confident, so sure of himself, so passionate, that it was almost intimidating…
Remus turned the shower off, got dressed, and went down to the common room where he would be meeting with 10 or 11 other Sixth years who were all currently studying for Prof. Binns' History of Magic midterm that week. When he arrived, he took his usual seat next to Lily Evans, whom he had always somehow gotten along really well with. He turned to face her and say hi, and was greeted by the saddest and most tired looking visage he had ever seen. Without thinking or even hesitating, he instinctively pulled her into a tight hug and asked her what was wrong. She sniffed a little and said, "Oh it's nothing. I feel so stupid crying over it."
Remus held her an arm's length away to look her in the eye and said firmly, "Lily, it's not stupid if it's making you feel this upset. You can't help how you feel."
Lily studied his face and after a moment seemed to deem him trustworthy. She nodded her head to the right, and getting the hint, Remus held her by the arm and led her to a couch in a more secluded part of the room. When they were seated and comfortable, Lily looked apologetically at her friend and said, "I'm sorry I'm making you miss an hour of studying."
"Don't worry about it," Remus answered, smiling sweetly at her, "unlike most of those kids, I actually took notes in Binns' class. And so did you, I've seen you. I'm sure it'll be a breeze for us."
Lily tried to smile then but it came out as more of a grimace, and Remus' instantly lost the look of curiosity in favor of one of genuinely deep concern.
"Lily, please tell me, what's got you so upset? I don't care if you think it's stupid," he added with a friendly yet stern tone which caused Lily to look up at him, surprised at both his sensitivity and his forceful concern. In that moment, Remus noticed that the muscles in Lily's face seemed to loosen, and the boy knew he had gotten through to her, that she would open up to him.
"Remus… I have a slight problem."
"I'm pretty sure… no, I'm absolutely sure that I've got an enormous crush on…" she hesitated, not knowing how her new friend would react.
"Lily, I won't say anything."
"Potter. James Potter. I don't know how it happened. I just got used to seeing him everywhere… prefect meetings, classes, the common room… and I've always thought he was so… charming, you know? And those gorgeous eyes of his and the way he runs his hands through his messy hair when he's nervous, making it even worse—" she stopped, realizing she was rambling. She looked at Remus, who was smiling, so she continued. "Anyway, there was always a certain attraction to him on my end. But it's been so hard to accept, because he's exactly the kind of guy I've always tried to avoid. Arrogant, mischievous, attention-seeking, sometimes even bullying… and I want to be able to look past that, because if anything eve did happen between us I'd want to be into it 100, not apprehensive because I don't trust him…" She shook her head slowly and sighed. "Listen to me, I sound as though he's just proposed. I don't even know if he's that interested in me. He could flirt with all the girls he knows, and I'd be none the wiser because I'm still too stuck on his lovely eyes and how fast he rides his broom to-" At that last word, she stopped abruptly. Remus was confused, and gently encouraged her to tell him what had happened.
Lily took a deep breath and, looking down at her hands folded in her lap, started quietly and somberly, "Remus, before I met you last year, I was seeing someone named Henry McEwen. We were together almost the whole school year, and he was the first boy I ever said yes to after being asked out. He was the Seeker of the Gryffindor Quidditch team last year, remember him?"
Remus shook his head no.
"Well anyway, things were going alright for a while, but he was so… pushy, you know what I mean?" she asked pointedly. Remus nodded.
"One night, after they had won their second to last match of the year. We went to a party in the common room—that, you have to remember—and he had one too many shots of Firewhiskey. I'd already taken his wand away—nothing worse than a drunken hex, right?—and I was about ready to take him up to his room and go back to my own and go to sleep. He clearly couldn't go up on his own, and his friends were too out of it to really be much help. And when we got up to his room, he pushed me in and closed the door, and wouldn't let me leave… and he… he tried to…" Lily couldn't bring herself to put into words what had happened that night. She never could. It had been hard enough to even bring up Henry's name, but to talk about what he had almost done, what she had almost let him do… Lily's shoulders started to shake and she fought back the tears stinging her eyelids as she struggled to finish her story. As hard as it was to talk about, it felt good for someone other than Emma to know. Sharing the burden made it a lot more bearable.
She inhaled deeply and started again. "I didn't tell anyone that night, not even Emma when she heard me crying in bed. Eventually I told her, because she was so worried about how messed up I got after the fact. Remus, now I realize how stupid it was, but at the time I felt like it was my fault. I did everything I knew I shouldn't have done but was foolish enough to think it'd never happen to me. I let him get drunk. I went to his room, at night. I didn't tell anyone where I was going. I let him close the door behind me when I went in. I let him… ughh… so Remus, that's my issue. That's why I'm so afraid to ever let myself date or love or feel again… because my first boyfriend may have damaged me forever." Then Lily really started to cry.
Remus was overwhelmed with emotion—here was this girl he barely knew, pouring her heart out to him—and all he wanted to do was make her pain go away. He pulled her into a close hug and rubbed her back consolingly, whispering "it's okay" and "it's all over now", trying to help her but not really knowing how. Finally, after a few minutes, Lily settled down and sat back, and with a sniffle she whispered, "Sorry, Remus." He looked at her incredulously, shocked that in her pain and anguish she had it in her heart to be apologetic. He leaned forward to look her dead in the eye and said, "Lily, listen to me. Don't apologize. You're my friend, one of my best friends in fact, and all I want is for you to be happy. If it takes a few tears to do that, so be it. You need to let yourself heal. You should be happy."
This time it was Lily who pulled her friend into a tight embrace, and the grim mood seemed to lift slightly as she shared this moment with a new close friend. With her face pressed into his shoulder, she groaned, "Why are all the perfect ones taken or gay? Which are you by the way?"
"Both actually," he said with a grin.
Lily gasped excitedly. "Who!"
Remus pulled away from her and looked down into his lap. "Sirius," he said very quietly.
"Oh…My…I think… I think that is even too disgustingly cute for me. That's saying a lot," she commented, smiling interestedly. "Huh… Sirius Black!"
Remus grinned. "Yep. My Siri."
"Ahhhhh… that's two perfectly good boys, wasted on each other. What's left for the rest of us?" she teased playfully.
Remus raised an eyebrow. "Well, I know of one who isn't gay or taken…"
Lily groaned again. "Rem-us…" she whined.
"Hey, he's my boyfriend's best friend, and one of my best friends too. And for all his faults, he's a great guy. I'm not going to push this. But now you know my opinion."
Both Lily and Remus were quiet for a moment, both clearly lost in thought.
After a few minutes, Remus noticed that it was almost time for breakfast. He looked over and saw that the study group had all but disbanded, everyone talking now in pairs and three's, textbooks dropped carelessly to the floor. He dropped his gaze, now, to Lily, who was lying comfortably with her head in his lap, highlighting notes that she planned to look over just before the exam. Remus himself had his textbook open, but couldn't really concentrate. He was thinking about—who else?—Sirius. Daydreaming, really. Imagining what would be happening the next time they were alone together…
"Okay, I'm going to go make myself look as though I hadn't just been crying. Thank the gods for Muggle makeup!" she giggled. "See you at breakfast, Rem."
"Alright, Lily, see you then."
Lily went off up the stairs, and Remus went in the other direction toward the stairs leading down to the Great Hall, and he waited a bit so that he could walk down with Sirius. A second later, when he saw Lily's textbook lying near the couch they had been sitting on, he picked it up and put it in his bag before returning to the stairs. He spotted his boyfriend almost immediately coming down, and Remus hung back and fell into step with him, flashing him a brilliant smile.
"Hey, you. How was loser club this morning?"
"Oh shut up. Actually, I have something to talk to you about…"
A/N: It may be a while before I update again, since I'm leaving for college (yay!) on Saturday. In the meantime, pleeeeease review. I'm sure as writers most of you understand that happy feeling you get when you see that message in ur inbox saying someone left u a review. That happy feeling means Winnie updates earlier, because she can't just leave people hanging like that . So, if you love me (or even if you just kind of like this story), leave me a review. I don't care if all it says is "this is me reviewing, ok bye". Kk? Alrighty then. Til next time!