They're not supposed to be here, that much is certain. It's after midnight, Sirius estimates, and they should all – he, Remus, James, Lily, Peter, and Meredith – be tucked into their respective beds in their respective dormitories, but a midnight campout was too good an idea to pass up. The coming war and their pending graduation has made them all reckless, nearly carefree.
'What are they going to do, expel us?' Sirius said with a laugh when Remus protested earlier in the evening. Remus conceded that Sirius had a point and so here they were, lying in the long grass on the skirts of the Forbidden Forest.
Lightning crashes, startling them both. For a brief moment everything that was dark is lit up; James and Lily intertwined on a picnic blanket, Peter and Meredith laying in the long grass, maybe asleep. The lightning illuminates Remus' face giving it a strange supernatural glow. Sirius thinks it might be the most beautiful thing he has ever seen.
The fireflies are swarming despite the approaching storm, a blur of yellow on dark violet. When Sirius squints, they are brilliant moving stars and he is reminded of a painting he once saw in James' fathers study. It was all dark swirling blue skies and brilliant yellow drops of starlight. It might be the weed they smoked earlier, but he feels like he's in that painting, his head a swirl of flying stardust. He reaches out into the darkness to grab at a firefly clumsily but it easily evades his grasp.
Another flash of lightning. Sirius sees Remus sit up beside him and cringe a bit in the boom of thunder that soon follows.
"Should we go in?" Peter calls.
"No," comes James garbled response almost drowned out by Lily's giggles. Remus starts to stand but Sirius catches his hand by firefly light and pulls him back down to the ground beside him.
"I need to talk to you," he says urgently.
Here is the deciding moment, Sirius thinks. Is Sirius Black a boy or a man. Maybe he's just a brash, desperate teenager because he swallows and says, "you."
"What about me? Are you okay?" Remus asks, and he's come closer and suddenly Sirius feels incredibly warm.
"You know last year the rumours about me and Kyle Strong?" Faggots. Fucking in the Quittich Lockers. Pansy Strong and his little bitch Black.
"Those weren't exactly rumours."
Sirius pulls at the grass beside him and chews on it for a moment.
"What does this have to do with me?" Remus asks finally.
Clever boy, Sirius thinks, you already know, don't you?
"I like you," Sirius says, looking down at his hands, up at the sky, at the fireflies. Anywhere but at Remus.
"I know," Remus says easily and Sirius realizes he has either deliberately misinterpreted his meaning or really has absolutely no idea. He takes a breath of warm summer air. In for a sickle, in for a galleon.
"No, I like like you. I think about you a lot and I just… I want to kiss you and touch you and I just really want you, really. And I'm sorry but I can't stop it, I've tried."
"Oh," Remus says softly. He starts to stand but fumbles and falls back down. A grumble of thunder comes from the distance.
"Moony?" Sirius asks hesitantly.
Remus turns his head.
"Do you hate me?"
Remus smiles faintly and shakes his head.
"Okay," Sirius says, satisfied. "Things are, um, weird aren't they?"
"Yeah, they are… I've never had anyone like me before… and I've never liked anyone except you. It's surreal."
It takes a moment for Remus' words to process and when they do, Sirius is so shell-shocked he can only say, "Oh."
Remus laughs nervously.
"Do you want to…," Sirius starts, meeting Remus' gaze. He's not sure what he meant to finish that sentence with. Come closer. Let me kiss you. Touch me. Be with me forever.
"Yeah," Remus says hoarsely and he crawls over to where Sirius is lying in the long grass and lies facing him.
They stare for what seems like hours and then tentatively run warmed fingers over ears, jaw, brow, lips, arms, for what seems like days. Then, with fireflies as their only witnesses, they fall into each other's arms and kiss for what feels like eternity, the long grass hiding them from the others.
They're brought out of their kiss by the first of many drops of rain landing on their heads and bare arms. Sirius can hear Meredith's shrieks and Peter's groan. He wonders vaguely if James and Lily have gone in already but then he hears a muffled gasp and a stifled groan and has no doubt that James and Lily are still very much there on their picnic blanket.
"Maybe we should go in," Remus says reluctantly.
"Wouldn't want you to catch cold," Sirius agrees, climbing to his feet and dusting off his trousers.
"Besides…," Remus muses, "My bed is more comfortable."
It might be the light of the fireflies but Sirius is sure he sees a gleam of mischief in his eye.
"Race you!" Sirius shouts and they're off running through the long grass and dodging gopher holes like second nature.
He hears Remus' laughter as they race towards the school, rain kissing his face, and he thinks, 'Maybe things aren't so weird after all. Maybe they're finally just right.'