Poetry in Motion
A/N: Wow. My first Harry Potter fic. Sound the alarms!
As such, this is bound to be sort of OOC. Oh, and pretty warm and fluffy. And oh god, in themorning,I'm gonna feel like such an idiot for posting this. But I am anyway.
Ugh, Muggle Studies. The sound of beating wings outside... owls. It's almost time for the evening post.
There is the sound of the clockwork click in my ears. It's always hung on the east wall facing the window, the glass cracked, fogged and smudged, fifty-three minutes too fast. I'm pretty sure it was bewitched, specifically to make poor chaps late for their morning classes. Oh, still ticking. I'm strung to the sound. Seconds pass.
Then I remember Muggle Studies, elements of classic literature unit, and hey, I'm supposed to be writing. Guess so, but then I look down at my page, and then I look at his. Bloke's already written a few lines, I see - but now he reminds me with a smile of his gray eyes, no peeking, and props the paper and the binder to a better angle on top of his long, bony knees.
And then I decide I'm going to write about him. He'll be sure to get a kick out of it, even considering how self-conscious guy seems to get around people. I'll be sure to include how he loves to tease his elegant brown hair (he calls it mousy under a chuckle when I comment on this) in front of a mirror for five bloody minutes before he finally leaves with us for class (git insists it's no more than two).
I write down in the header, putting a gap between every word:
"Remus Lupin is tall and has gray eyes."
"Hey. Hey, Moony. Hey," I tap him on the knee until he finally realizes I won't continue without an answer.
"...What is it?"
"What color are your eyes?" I murmur.
"Hmm? ...They're gray," He says, even when he knows I know, and I assume he assumes I'm just being my lovable self again.
"No, what kind of gray?"
"Newspaper paste gray." He answers without missing a beat. I'm laughing already, even as he glances up at me with sudden urgency. "...Please don't write 'bout my eyes, Sirius..."
"Why? ...They're full of stories," I whisper in a high nasal voice. I expect him to laugh, but he doesn't, just smiles, in this kind of demure way. I try again, mimicking that squawk to the best of my ability. "OPEN YOUR IMAGINATION!"
"Hey, man, stop," He says quietly under a laugh, but I can tell he's trying hard to be serious. "I like Mrs. Stringbort."
"So? You like Prongs too, but that doesn't seem stop you from getting the occasional good laugh at his expense..." He keeps his eyes on his paper, but I can tell he's getting slightly irritated. "So she's the one! A lovely miss Stringbort!"
"Shut up!" He exclaims in a hurried half-whisper this time. My grin fades for a moment; I wasn't expecting this kind of outburst. "Don't be a git..."
"Merlin, Moony. Shouldn't get so defensive about it." I advise, but he merely buries his face in his parchment again.
We hear a mattress shifting, and right on cue, tangly black curls dangle from the higher bunk, and then Prongs himself, or at least his head.
"What's this about Moony fancying Stringbort?"
"Sirius is just..." Remus is red in the face now, stuttering over his words, as if he feels he really has to explain himself. Poor bloke, I start to explain that we're just messing, but James beats me to it, quickly ruffling his hair in one careless motion (Remus almost seems more bothered by this fact and immediately starts smoothing it down with one hand).
"Relax." James says simply, and that's that. We all know how uptight Moony has been lately.
"...Prongs. How's Miss Evans been doing?" I ask, not at all intending to listen.
Some magic firecracker goes off and James goes off on one of his tangents almost on demand. Remus smiles at me, that familiar "oh bugger, he's at it again" smile, and for some reason, it's a wave of relief. I glance down at my parchment, still just as rebelliously blank as it was when I first started ignoring it, and decided I liked its attitude. I had only decided to maybe-work so Remus didn't have to sit down with this agonizing assignment by himself.
Peter eventually wakes up, and interjects into James' conversation, so that all I can hear now are occasional mentions of "Lily" "Quidditch" "Hufflepuff" and "Potions nightmare".
"Agh," Remus whispers, loud enough only for me to hear. "I just wrote 'failing Potions' in the middle of a sentence." He nods towards Peter and James and frowns a little. I know he's more upset at having to waste the parchment and ink than the actual effort of rewriting his poem. "I don't think I want to write in here anymore..."
"C'mon, Moony. We can finish this junk in the common room," I grab his hand and easily pull him off the floor.
"How far did you get about my eyes?"
I smirked in his direction. "I said they sparkle like stars. Because they're beautiful. And they're gray, like clouds on a rainy day," I realize vaguely that I could actually be writing this down and at least have something to turn in. Nah. Plenty of time before class tomorrow. "What are you writing about, anyway?"
"Trees," He says, simply, and for once I actually can't tell if he's serious or if he just wants me to get off his back.
"Aw, you're not writing about me? I'm hurt, Moony. Absolutely floored," I pull one leg back over the sofa and idly toy with the wrapper to a chocolate frog. I must look devastated. "...Name one after me."
"Name - what?"
"A tree. 'Sirius'. And make sure it's the pretty one,"
Remus smirks and keeps on writing. This time, I'm almost entirely sure there aren't going to be any trees with my namesake anytime soon.
"I can't do that, Padfoot,"
"And why praytell can't you name a tree? Hell, not even a real tree."
He answers matter-of-factly: "There aren't any trees in this poem,"
I tackle him to the couch and we fall in one tangly Sirius-and-Remus pile, Remus with a yelp of surprise, holding the folded parchment close to his chest, me laughing. I have him in a headlock, which, to my surprise, he easily slips out of (despite his efforts to tame his hair, it still manages to make his head look bigger than it actually is), and sits up once again, slightly flushed.
"You lied, Remy," I tease. "You bloody liar. What are you really writing about?"
He purses his lips slowly, as if thinking about what to say.
"You'll see." Oh hell, I know that look. That shy, tempted, lovesick look. My suspicions are practically confirmed: he's writing about that famous, mysterious crush, whose identity we have yet to put a real name to.
"At least give me a hint!" I hit him with a pillow, which he partially deflects with one arm. "I'm your best mate, aren't I?"
"...Less trees, more stars," He says after a long period of thought, and refuses to say anything more on the matter for the rest of the night.
"My Favorite Constellation..."
He eyes the class warily, as if deciding whether or not to read the next line, and I worry for a minute that he isn't going to continue at all. Then my eyes catch his (you can hardly tell they're gray when he stands in the dull light at the front of the room; Stringbort seriously keeps it gloomy in here on purpose) and he looks back down to his parchment.
"If there were a light that shone greater,
and were more enrapturing than he..."
Remus' lips keep moving, eyes never leaving the (slightly crumpled) parchment, and suddenly everyone is clapping. I realize he keeps his eyes narrowly downcast on the long walk back to his seat.
A few turns later, I have to explain to Stringbort that no, I can't present, why, because I didn't do the assignment, and Remus turns around in his seat and sends me this look and for the first time in my long history of dodging assignments, I feel like I possibly regret it.
That must have been what the stinging in my chest was.
Remus isn't talking to me after class.
It doesn't bother me so much at first; he's such a prepubescent drama queen, it's useless to bother with him, because as soon as you're able to worm one problem out of him, the next one's already popped up.
But now Herbology cames around, and the whole class splits into the groups that we've hand-chosen, and Remus doesn't even try and get me to help him with the project; letting me laze about in a chair and watch, just watching his nimble fingers work with the roots of our Dragora plant. At least, I think that's what it is, maybe.
"Need some help, Rem?"
"I got it."
On any ordinary day, Moony would never let me get away with sitting on the sidelines; by the end of the block, I would always have hands covered in soil, and he'd laugh as I'd spend minutes just trying to get all of the dirt out of my fingernails.
But it's not an ordinary day, apparently (is it because I didn't bother with his lovely gray eyes?) so I waltz on over to James and Peter, whom, despite their working together, are having very little luck with their own plant. Prongs says he hasn't noticed, but now that I mention it, Remus does seem rather off-kilter today.
So then they're back to their own plant. So then, I do the honors. I slip Remus a hand-printed note and slide back into my seat, ignoring the suggestive stares from Heather "Honey" McMertie in sixth year and the giggles from a couple of fifth-years with a horribly neglected Dragora plant, and instead, attempting to seem completely innocent.
Remus gives me a subtle nod, then folds the note back up into quarters and buries it into the pocket of his robes.
We meet at the bottom of the staircase in the astronomy tower. I manage to make it there three minutes late to my own scheduled appointment. Remus taps his watch with his wand as if to demonstrate his point.
"'Late, Black'," I mimic the familiar chime of a thousand voices from my past. "What are you now, Professor Moony?"
He flinches slightly. "No, it's more a matter of how class is starting in a matter of seconds and I actually care about my marks!"
So it was the bloody poem after all. "I didn't know you'd care so much that I hadn't done it," I say honestly. "You should be used to me skipping work by now..."
"That's not it, Sirius!" He cries, frustrated. "Don't you ever pay attention in class?" But before he gets the chance to go off in a lecture-
"What are you talking about, Moony? I want the short version,"
He opens his mouth and closes it, then starts, then hesitates, then - reaches into his pocket and yanks out a crumpled-up ball of parchment. Wordlessly, he takes my wrist, shoves it into my hand, and closes my fingers around it.
By the time I've unwrinkled it, he's out of sight, and I can hear footsteps echoing up to Astronomy class on the second level.
It's the first draft of his poem. Remy is a liar.
James and Peter distracting him was a lie. Remus is a Marauder; he can strive towards anything with only his objective in mind, ignoring petty annoyances along the way.
He wanted to leave the room, with the talking, the chats of Lily and Quidditch and Potions. He wanted to come down to the Common Room (or anywhere) alone, to be away from the noise - alone, with me.
"To Sirius" was his working title, apparently. He must have fixed it for his presentation.
I reread the poem several times - seeing the words fleshed out in Remus' tidy cursive suddenly... the words make more sense in themselves.
I head back to the common room. I am in no state to sit through Astronomy today.
"How was Astronomy?"
He keeps his eyes averted, flushed cheeks. Strides in the common room, sets his things on the nearest table, and replies.
"Dull," his voice is cracked.
The tension is budding in the air between us, until finally I can't avoid the unspoken questions any more. "I liked your poem, by the way,"
Nothing. He heads for the stairs without a word.
"Moony! Wait... hold it!"
Suddenly I'm all the way across the room (and he's looking just over his shoulder at me, gray eyes wide) to where I can smell the fleece of his scarf and the heat on his cheeks, and I'm wondering how I got so close, except then-
I'm kissing him. He tastes like Remus, a taste I could never ever identify with anything else. He tenses at first, but hums softly, leans against the banister rail, while I hike my arms around his middle and push him gently backwards.
The walls are pounding, closing in. It is a delicious thing happening, my fingers caught in his hair, the faint scent of herbology still clinging to his pale skin, the thin frame I could contour if I pressed my hands tightly against his robes...
"Scandalous," the fat lady crows. It breaks the mood, and we fall apart, half-laughing, half-panting, casting a look in the painting's general direction just as it sent us a roguish wink.
A great portion of the day passes by, I realize. I think I could learn to like muggle poetry, or at least the kind of magic it seems to have.