Disclaimer: Characters that you recognise are property of J K Rowling, and I'm just borrowing them. Some characters are mine. The setting is a real city in England, and the way it's portrayed in this story is a mixture of my memory and imagination.

A/N: I have a lot planned for this story; it's my current favourite of all those I have in progress. I hope you like it. And if you're interested in seeing drawings and plot hints, go to my profile and follow the link to my DeviantArt account.


Degrees Of Involvement

In a parallel world, Remus Lupin would have gone home at nine thirty, worked on his latest assignment, and gone to sleep. And his life would have gone on as usual.

But in the world in which he was living, his friends persuaded him to stay at the bar, and his work stayed unfinished on his desk, back in his room at the university halls of residence.

Instead of going home, at nine thirty he could be found walking along the corridor leading from the toilets back into the bar, and indeed that was where he was found. As he walked along the dim corridor, not paying full attention to where he was going, someone bumped heavily into him, and the slight nineteen-year-old found himself on the floor.

"Oh! God, I'm so sorry, I wasn't looking where I was going. Are you okay?" A hand was offered to help him up, and concerned ice-blue eyes were fixed on his face.

"Yeah, I… I'm fine…" Moments after being literally on the ground, Remus was floored again. The clear, piercing eyes that were bright with concern for him were framed by glossy black hair and the most handsome face he had ever seen.

"Are you sure?" He could feel the other man's gaze taking in his slim stature and the mild flush starting to bloom across his features. "I'm told I'm stronger than I look, and I walk far too quickly." There was a second's silence before the stranger clinched both their fates. "At least let me buy you a drink to apologise."

They found two vacant stools by the bar and sat down, the mystery man ordering drinks while Remus ignored the veritable plethora of meaningful stares coming from where his friends sat at a table in the corner. Doubtless, they thought he'd pulled.

"I'm assuming you're a student?" The stranger's voice interrupted Remus' attempts to psychically divert his friends' attention to anything other than himself.

"Yes, I'm in my second year. I'm studying history," Remus answered politely. "You?" He guessed that his new companion was at least a year or two older, maybe a local rather than a student.

"I'm second year too. Psychology." The stranger sipped from his glass, the creamy-yellow colour and sickly sweet scent marking it out as a snowball cocktail. Then he smiled slightly and rolled his eyes in self-reprimand. "Here I am, going straight into conversation, and I don't even know your name yet."

Thoroughly charmed by the other man's smile, it took Remus a moment to reply. "I'm Remus Lupin."

"Sirius Black."

Remus frowned for a second, running the name through his memory. "You're a friend of James Potter, aren't you?"

"I do have that honour," Sirius smiled. "You know him?"

"I live in the same apartment as his girlfriend."

"Ah, the lady Lily."

"The very same," Remus nodded. "From the constant stream of information she's subjected me to, I think I could say I know James pretty well. I've met him a few times; he seemed nice."

Sirius laughed, a gentle, melodic sound. "Until you get to know him, that's probably the right word. Once you discover the man beneath, there are plenty of words that would do a better job. But I'm more worried about how you know my name, to be honest. Does my reputation precede me?"

Ignoring the slight increase in his heart rate at the sound of Sirius' laugh, Remus smiled back and shook his head. "Not really, I'd just heard your name once or twice."

"And now you get to put the name to the face."

Remus was about to reply when he felt a tap on his shoulder and looked round to see that his friends had sent a delegation over to check on his progress. "Hi, Alice."

The girl in question smiled broadly at him. "Hi, Remus. Are you glad we made you stay yet?"

Not daring to glance back at Sirius, Remus could feel the blood rising in his cheeks again. He lowered his voice to reply. "If I say yes, will you go away?"

Giving a long-suffering sigh, Alice flicked her blonde bob, tilted her head, and folded her arms. "Remmie, it's been months since you've had a boyfriend. We just want to show you our support!"

Despite her token attempt to talk quietly, her voice wasn't the sort that was appropriate for private conversation, and Remus shrank in his seat from the embarrassment pressing in on him. "Ali, please…"

She sighed again. "Oh, all right then." And mercy of mercies, she turned and walked back to the table in the corner.

Delaying the inevitable, Remus managed to lose himself in his glass of wine for a few moments before etiquette forced him to return his attention to his companion. Slowly, he looked up.

When he saw that Sirius was stifling laughter, he wasn't quite sure whether to be relieved or insulted. But at length, Sirius spoke. "In case you're wondering, I did hear that. Your friend has some vocal volume issues." He grinned. "But at least I found something out that I might not have otherwise." He glanced down through his lashes briefly before smiling coyly at Remus. "You fill the last two of my criteria."

"I do?"

"Likes guys and is single." After a pause, a hint of a blush appeared on Sirius' face. "Now comes the part where you say I must have misheard, and you're disgusted by my presumption."

"I could say that." And he could. It wasn't too late for Remus to back-pedal and flee to his assignment. But the most attractive person to ever cross his line of vision was sitting there in front of him, hiding shyly behind his too-long hair, and if he wasn't much mistaken, flirting with him. He was sold. "But I'd rather not."

"What would you rather say?"

He could still back out. Another night, maybe he would have done just that. But tonight he was on his third glass of Riesling, and the vaguely nervous look in those crystal eyes was drawing him out of his comfort zone, and into something he would never usually do.

Right there, in the middle of a bar in the middle of town, he kissed Sirius.

When he pulled away, an instant later, Remus could feel embarrassment taking over from intoxication, and blushed furiously. "Feel free to tell me I misunderstood," he mumbled, barely resisting the urge to hide his face in his hands.

"I could." He looked up nervously to see that Sirius was grinning. "But I'd rather not."

Against his will, a smile crept over Remus' face. "What would you rather say?"

Sirius pretended to ponder for a moment. "I think I'd rather invite you along to the club down the road for a while. You know the one that trades on being Australian even though everyone knows the owner's really from Hull?"

"Yeah, I know it."

"Shall we?"

Remus cast a brief glance over his shoulder at his friends, who fortunately didn't seem to have noticed his little display. "I'd love to."

Sirius' smile widened, and he slid off his stool, holding out a hand to help Remus down from his own. "So are you glad they made you stay?"

Remus laughed. "I'd have to say yes." On the way out, he caught Alice's attention and waved a goodnight. In response, she winked and gave him the thumbs-up. No doubt Lily and everyone else who had declined to come along that night would soon know about his piece of good luck, as Alice and all the others at the table had a good chance to stare at him and Sirius as they left.

They only lasted half an hour in the 'Australian' club, and by ten fifteen were walking back down the high street, talking, hands brushing together every few steps, not entirely by accident.

"Is there anywhere quiet we could go in?" Sirius said at last. "It's cold out here, and I don't know about you, but I reckon clubs make for lousy conversation."

"It is cold," Remus agreed, noticing the slight nip in the January air. "I think everywhere around here's kind of loud at this time of night, though."

"Unless…" Their closeness was taking the chilly edge off what would surely be a frost overnight, and Remus could see a swirl of apprehensive sincerity in Sirius' glacial eyes as he trailed off.

"Unless…" Remus prompted him.

"No, it wouldn't work."

Remus nudged him gently, smiling. "What was it?"

"Well… I was going to say maybe we could go back to my room, or the common room in the apartment, but then I realised that James and Lily are there tonight, and it's one of the furthest parts of the halls to get to anyway."

Uncharacteristically, Remus found himself warming to the idea. "We could always go back to mine instead," he found himself saying.


"Yeah, I mean if you want to…"

"I… Okay. That'd be nice." And then Sirius held out his hand.

Remus took it, the warmth of Sirius' palm spreading through their entwined fingers as he moved slightly closer to the taller man, starting to walk again. "We could pick up a bottle on the way; I don't think we've got any in the fridge in the apartment."

Sirius laughed. "You mean you let yourselves run out of alcohol? Shame on you!"

"I don't mind quite so much about the alcohol," Remus mused. Then he smiled. "Now if we ran out of chocolate… that would be a different matter."

"Ah, a connoisseur?"

He shrugged. "You could say that. Some people have less complimentary names for it."

"Such as?"

"Oh, you know, the usual. Pig, for one."

Sirius stopped, stepped back, and ran his eyes appraisingly over Remus' body, leaving the smaller man feeling somewhat self-conscious. "I'd definitely debate that. It'd be a minor miracle for a 'pig' to have a figure like yours."

Remus couldn't stop himself blushing again. "Thanks."

Sirius shrugged. "I'm just saying what's in front of me." As they resumed walking yet again, he slipped an arm around Remus' slim waist, increasing the other man's surprise at how comfortable this felt. "Are you sure your roommates won't mind me coming back with you?"

"Nah," Remus answered as they took a right turn off the high street. "No one takes any notice of the 'no night time visitors' rule, so that's not an issue. And most of them should be out, anyway." He counted names off in his head as he went through: "Lily's at yours with James, Alice is probably still in the bar, and Victoria's with her. That leaves Pete and Severus, and they're most likely in the common room or in their own rooms watching some sci-fi movie."

"You say that like it's a bad thing."

"Did I?" Remus looked up at him in mild concern. "You sound offended. Please don't tell me you're into that kind of thing yourself…"

With a laugh, Sirius shook his head. "I'm not; you needn't worry. I'm not really into movies that much at all, actually."

"Better things to do?"

Sirius grinned. "Something like that. I'm more of a live entertainment kind of guy. You know, theatre, live music, that kind of thing."

Remus nodded, smiling. "Classy." He pointed to a turning just ahead of them, quickly regretting it and pushing his hand back into his pocket before he got frostbite from the sudden brisk wind. "The nearest off-licence is that way, I think."

"Okay." Sirius' arm tightened ever so slightly around his waist, and he gladly moved in a little closer. "Christ, it's cold tonight."

"This is the kind of weather that makes me glad I'm here and not at home."

"Yeah?" Sirius looked at him curiously. "Why's that?"

Remus smiled fondly. "If I was at home, I'd have to listen to my mum freaking out about her poor plants getting damaged by frost… or running around with plastic bags covering them all up to protect them."

Sirius was silent for a moment, and when Remus looked at his face, he was biting his lip.

Smile evaporating, Remus caught his gaze and frowned slightly. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing…" Sirius managed a hint of a smile in response to his concern. "Just… it's always a little sad for me, hearing other people talk about their families."

An old conversation with Lily floated across Remus' mind, and the statement began to make partial sense. "Oh… you live with James' family, don't you?"

"Yeah, I do." They had almost reached the shop, and Sirius had noticeably slowed. In the momentary silence that followed, they stopped walking entirely. "My parents disowned me when I was sixteen."

"God," Remus murmured; he hadn't heard that part before. "They… why?"

"We had different concepts of morality," Sirius replied with an attempt at a smile, pausing for a moment before elaborating. "I told them I was gay, and they didn't like that at all."

"That's horrible!" As the words left his mouth, Remus blushed. "Sorry. I shouldn't judge."

Sirius shrugged one shoulder. "Well, it is pretty horrible. But my relationship with them wasn't exactly peachy before that anyway, so… life's a bitch. That's just the way it is. I'm probably well shot of them."

Unsure of quite how to respond, Remus placed a hand over the one resting on his waist and squeezed gently. "You okay?"

"Yeah." At last, Sirius smiled properly, and leaned in to kiss Remus on the cheek, bridging the two or three inch height difference. "Did I tell you yet that you're sweet?" he murmured in the brunet's ear.

For a second or two, Remus wondered whether his use of the word 'sweet' was condescending. But then he saw the look in Sirius' eyes as he pulled away, and he knew that patronising him was the last thing on Sirius' mind. "Thanks." Taking a deep breath and battling to overcome the desire to start making out with him in the middle of the street, he nodded towards the shop doorway. "Shall we?"

As they crossed the last few metres to the door and entered the off-licence, Sirius was holding him even closer than before, making it increasingly difficult to focus on the debate of white, red or rosé, Italy, France, Australia, Germany, this year, that year, sparkling or still… At length, he looked over at Sirius, who was deep in concentration, eyes flickering over the shelves in front of them. "See anything good?"

"Well, there's a nice-looking Grenache over here…" When there was no reply, Sirius turned to him and quickly gauged his expression. Then he sighed lightly and, wearing an amused smile, leaned in and whispered in a confessional tone: "It's a relatively unknown fact that I actually have very little knowledge of wine. I just happen to be good enough at faking to convince most people that I'm an expert on the stuff."

Remus raised his eyebrows in surprise. "I'm honoured that you trust me with this information… but we still have to choose something."

Sirius grinned. "How about eeny-meeny-miny-mo?"

"Oh come on, let's show a little sophistication." Remus turned back to the shelf. "What's your favourite number?"

"Seven," Sirius answered, giving him an odd look.

"And mine's eleven. That makes eighteen." Remus counted eighteen bottles in from the end of the shelf, and read off the bottle. "Okay, so we're getting a dry white, grown in some family vineyard in Southern Spain." He grimaced slightly, trying not to laugh. "That so backfired… I hate dry."

"How about this one?" Reaching up, Sirius took down another bottle and showed him the label. "Medium sweet, sounds pretty nice."

"And not too expensive," Remus added, taking the bottle and glancing up at the price on the edge of the shelf.

Sirius made a dismissive sound and reached into his pocket. "The price doesn't matter; I'm paying." When Remus attempted to protest, he simply shook his head firmly. "We're going to your place, so I pay for the drink. It's only fair." He took out his wallet and headed over to the counter, still holding onto Remus, who was beyond complaining at the close proximity.

"Will that be all?" The young woman behind the counter looked distinctly intrigued by how close together they were standing, but as Remus set the bottle down on the counter, he recognised it, not without relief, as pure interest, rather than disgust or anything similar.

"Yes, thank you." Sirius flashed her a charming smile and handed over a twenty. Remus received the definite impression that he was enjoying the attention, and rolled his eyes.

She smiled back as she handed over the bottle, now in a plastic bag, and his change. "You two have a nice night." A teasing, excited note in her voice suggested that she had guessed what was going on.

"We will," Sirius grinned as they left. Once they were outside, he laughed. "What is it with some women?"

"Not just women," Remus corrected. "I remember once we were playing truth or dare, and when Lily and Alice kissed, Pete was so… affected… that he actually had to leave the room."

Sirius pulled a face and shuddered. "Okay, that's not a pretty thought. Now I really hope I don't have to meet him when we get to yours."

From the off-licence, it was only a few minutes' walk to the university campus, and to Remus' apartment block. In that time, they covered mutual acquaintances and the rumours that one of said acquaintances, Frank Longbottom, was romantically involved with one of the university's drama lecturers.

When they reached the double doors that led into Remus' building, they were both laughing. "No way would anyone smart enough to be here have any interest in Ms Trelawney," Remus said at last by way of conclusion, digging in his pocket for his keys. "I heard Frank scored a hundred percent in GCSE French, so he can't be that daft."

"Those exams are getting too easy nowadays," Sirius answered derisively, letting go of Remus so that they could get through the door. "I heard there are kids getting A-stars in English when they can't even write a coherent sentence."

Remus nodded as he closed the door and turned to the lift. "It's getting ridiculous. There's going to be a real backlash soon."

As they waited for the lift to arrive, Sirius sighed. "The school I went to wouldn't have let us get away with that." Remus shot him a quizzical look. "James and I went to boarding school. We were paying to be there, so they felt obliged to work us bloody hard."

"Boarding school? Wow." The lift bell dinged as it arrived, and they stepped in, Remus pressing the button for the second floor. "What was that like?"

Sirius grinned, leaning back against the wall. "Nothing like the story books." He paused to brush his hair out of his eyes, which were glinting with amusement. "It was an all-boys school, but as they say, nothing stands in the way of hormones where teenagers are concerned." He stifled a chuckle at the memory, and carried on: "James did once say that maybe it was school that turned me gay. Then I pointed out that he was there too. God, the look on his face!"

Suddenly there was another ding of the bell, and the lift doors opened smoothly onto a corridor with only two doors leading off, one on each side. Remus walked over to the left one, with Sirius following. "Here goes then." Quietly, he unlocked the door and stepped inside, standing out of the way to let Sirius in too before he locked it after them. "Guys? Anyone in?" Hearing no reply, he crept down the short corridor, passing three doors on each side before reaching the common room and kitchen, looking round the corner, and biting back a laugh.

"What is it?" Sirius asked in an undertone.

Turning around for a moment, Remus beckoned him forward to look into the common room. There, on one of the sofas, was a sleeping figure, sprawled across the cushions, snoring, dirty blond fringe fluttering with his breaths. "That's Peter."

Sirius arched an eyebrow. "Wow, he sure knows how to enjoy his Saturday night."

"Indeed." Remus turned to face him with an apologetic shrug. "I guess the common room's out then."

"Your room then?" Sirius took in his brief hesitation and smiled. "Come on; I bet you're the tidy type whose bedroom is something to be proud of."

The hint of nervousness that had made Remus hesitate melted away at the sight of that smile, and he wordlessly led Sirius back along the corridor to the middle door on the right hand side, unlocking the door and swinging it open. "Welcome to my world."

When he had closed the door and turned back to face Sirius, he found him looking rather pleased with himself. "I was right; it's amazingly tidy. I'm impressed."

A smile swept across Remus' features as he heard Sirius speak. "Thank you." Then, as Sirius set the plastic bag down on the carpet, something occurred to him. "Hold on, I'll be back in a minute."

True to his word, he was back shortly after, holding two wine glasses and a corkscrew he had fetched from the kitchen. He set them down on the desk and turned to his stereo. "You pour; I'll find some music." While Sirius uncorked the bottle and filled the glasses, Remus rifled through a small pile of CDs before slipping one into the machine and pressing play.

A gentle guitar intro started up as he turned back to find Sirius sitting cross-legged on the floor, holding two full glasses. He sat down, and Sirius handed him one. Slowly, he sipped, and gave a quiet 'mm' of appreciation. "You picked well."

"Did I?" Sirius tried his own and smiled. "I did." He was silent for several moments, listening to the quiet vocals that had begun to mingle with the guitar. "Hmm… and you picked music well." He nodded to the stereo. "All-American Rejects, right?"

"Yeah. You like?"

"I like very much." Sirius grinned. "Not only are the songs good, but let's not forget that the band is home to the best cheekbones in the entire music industry."

Remus laughed. "Of course." Then he twisted round where he was sitting, and opened a drawer behind him. When he turned back, pushing it closed, there was a wooden box in his hands. "Sorry, but when I drink good wine, it always makes me crave chocolate…" Setting the box down on the floor, he flipped the lid open and gently took out a smaller, cellophane-wrapped box. "Care to join me?"

"If it deserves the reverent treatment you're giving it, yes please."

"Hey! It's not cheap stuff, you know. I have to take care of it." Remus peeled back the wrapping and held out the box. "You might like these, since you were drinking the filling earlier."

Sirius gave him a look of mild puzzlement as he carefully took one of the chocolates out of the box and bit into it. As he chewed, the expression evaporated and was replaced by a smile of recognition. "Advocaat!" he said at last, after swallowing. "I didn't know you could get chocolates with this in! Where did they come from?"

"There's this shop that I found, near where I live, back down south. They've only got a few places open in the whole country, but I found out they do mail order. So I've been getting them that way." Remus put the small box back down next to the wooden one. "Well, not these ones specifically. They were a Christmas present."

"And you choose to share?"

Remus shrugged. "What can I say? You've impressed me. A man who buys drinks, makes genuine compliments, and understands the beauty of Tyson Ritter's bone structure deserves to be given chocolate."

Sirius bowed from the waist, his shoulders brushing against his knees. "I'm honoured." He popped the rest of the chocolate into his mouth and smiled, closing his eyes. Opening them again as he swallowed, he found Remus watching him with a sage expression. "What?"

"Welcome to chocolate nirvana, my friend."

He laughed again, and Remus was lost. He had hesitated in inviting Sirius to his room for this very reason; the dark-haired man was doing something to him that he rarely encountered. In fact, the last time he really remembered feeling this way was back in sixth form, more than two years earlier. Despite what Alice might have insinuated in the bar, he had been in relationships before, and enjoyed them. But considering that this wasn't even a proper date, he was surprised to find himself feeling so unusually comfortable in this situation.

The sound of Sirius' voice was slowly relaxing him, the taste of the wine and the chocolate soothing any nerves he had. And if he wanted to recover, the way Sirius was sitting comfortably cross-legged in those skin-tight jeans was really not helping.

"Remus?" He looked up suddenly to find Sirius watching him with an expression of curious amusement. "You okay? You kind of spaced for a minute there."

"Yeah, I… I'm fine," he answered, trying to keep his eye line above Sirius' waist. "Sorry."

Sirius waved a hand dismissively in the air, smiling. "Don't apologise. You have beautiful eyes when you're staring at nothing."

"When I'm staring at nothing?"

"Yep. They must really be something special when you're looking at something that actually exists."

Remus swallowed, his breath shortening ever so slightly. "Now, for instance?"

"Definitely." Sirius held his gaze for several long seconds before breaking the eye contact to look around the room. A moment later, he spotted the bookshelves, double-stacked and beginning to bow under the weight. "You read?"

"Yeah." Remus' heart rate slowed a little. "Quite a lot, I guess."

"Have you read The Catcher in the Rye?"

Remus was caught a touch off balance by the question, and blinked. "Yes."

"What did you think?" Sirius took another sip of his wine, regarding Remus over the rim of the glass.

He frowned slightly. "I guess I thought it was okay… but really overrated."

"Thank god." Sirius was grinning again. "It's taken me so long to find someone else who thinks that! I thought it was kind of odd, and the main character was… well, just a tad delusional."

"Totally," Remus agreed, smiling back at him. "And is that your professional analysis as a psychologist, or just a personal judgement?"

"Oh, personal judgement. I can't look at book characters with psychoanalysis in mind. If I did, I'd never have finished Catch-22, with all that talk of who's crazy and everything."

"You finished Catch-22?" Remus was beginning to notice the covetous looks Sirius was shooting at the Advocaat truffles, and gestured to the box. "Help yourself."

"Thanks." Sirius bent forward, thereby giving Remus a good look at his tanned chest, ill-covered by the shirt he was wearing on account of the three undone buttons at the top. Holding a second chocolate gently between his forefinger and thumb as he straightened up, he nodded. "I did finish it. Loved it, to be honest. Despite the whole thing about being crazy."

Fighting to ignore his growing attraction to the guest he now knew to be both gorgeous and intelligent, Remus glanced down into his wine glass, focusing on the golden bubbles for a moment before looking back up at Sirius, who unfortunately happened to be licking the final remains of the last chocolate from his lips. "It's one of my favourites."

"Really? You do have good taste." Sirius didn't seem to have noticed his mildly bizarre behaviour, and kept talking. "What are the others then?"

Remus thought briefly. "The Count of Monte Cristo."

Sirius shook his head. "Never heard of it."

"Not many people have. It's a shame; it's an excellent book. It's about three inches thick, but it's well worth the effort."

"Hmm." Sirius drained his glass and considered for a few seconds. "Maybe I should give it a try." He glanced over at the wine bottle. "Top up?"

"Sure." Remus placed his almost-empty glass down on the floor and tried (but failed) to avert his eyes as Sirius reached over to fetch the bottle, shirt shifting up to expose several inches of toned muscle. He was definitely glad of the refill that followed; even though he knew it would take plenty more than this to get him even close to being drunk, the psychosomatic effects might make things easier. "What about To Kill a Mockingbird?"

Sirius narrowed his eyes in thought. "It was okay, nothing really dazzling. Made me wish my own father was more like Atticus, though."

Words deserted Remus once again, and he didn't answer. For the next few minutes, there was little more sound than quiet drinking and the occasional soft noise of another sweet being eaten. Now that they were no longer talking, Remus found himself looking at the other man more, taking the opportunity of Sirius' cobalt eyes being elsewhere. This wasn't such a good thing, however, as his feelings were purely compounded by receiving a closer look at the sort of body every man must crave.

Sirius was fairly slim, but from what Remus could see where his sleeves were pushed up and his jeans clung to his body, it wasn't at the expense of good muscle tone. His hair, jet black, fell almost to his shoulders, nearly but not entirely covering a face with clear sapphire eyes, a small, straight nose, and perfect lips that were a shade somewhere between rose and ruby.

That was the final straw, forcing Remus to look away before his self-control gave out and he acted on impulse. For what felt like an age, he fixed his eyes on the carpet, trying to think about trivialities like whether or not he should vacuum it that weekend. But before long, he lifted his gaze and found Sirius watching him with a slight smile on his face. "What?"

Sirius lifted his right hand from where it had been hovering over the cellophane box, a small, round chocolate held in his fingers. His smile widened a little, a hint of deviousness appearing. "It's the last one."

"You wouldn't," Remus said softly, watching the slow progress of the chocolate toward Sirius' mouth. Of all the facets of their conversation, his adoration of his expensive chocolate had to have been conveyed most clearly.

"Wouldn't I?" Sirius raised an eyebrow and inched the truffle even closer. When no reply came, he crossed the final gap. The chocolate disappeared and he slowly started to chew.

With the irresistible combination before him, Remus gave in and uncrossed his legs, lunging forward and kissing Sirius almost forcefully, stealing back what he could of the sweet taste.

When he moved back, he was virtually sitting in Sirius' lap, and both of them were breathing slightly faster than before. This time, the blush didn't even make an appearance, as Remus could read the look in Sirius' eyes, and it was good.

At length, he broke the silence. "That wasn't even about the chocolate."

Sirius' lips, redder now, curled at the corner. "Thank god for that. I've been wanting to do this ever since that moment you kissed me earlier." With that, he wrapped his arms around Remus' waist and captured his lips again.


A/N: Just to explain a few things for non-UK readers, or anyone who doesn't get some things in this chapter:

1. University halls of residence are the accommodation buildings provided for some students; I think most UK universities provide them for first years, and I'm assured that some older students can live there too. It costs money, but it's cheaper then finding your own place to live.

2. Hull is a city in England.

3. GCSEs are big exams taken at age sixteen. According to a seriously large amount of evidence, they're getting easier. I took them this summer, and very nearly got full marks on Spanish, so Frank's achievement would be possible.

4. Advocaat is a Dutch liqueur; it's yellow and tastes sweet. Snowball is a cocktail containing Advocaat and lemonade.

I have this story pretty much mapped out. It's going to be long (I hope), and so are the individual chapters. However, that does mean updates may be slow at times. I plan to spend a lot of time on this, which means it'll still be going next summer, when I'm in China for a month. So it may well not be finished until after I myself start university in two years' time. That's scary, but I love this concept. And believe me, it gets a lot more complicated.

The timing of the next update will greatly depend on reviews. So please do press the little button and say what you thought.