All Those Years
summary: Each year during his shopping trip at Diagon Alley, Sirius would see a lonely boy there who wasn't a Hogwarts student. That boy's name was Remus Lupin. An AU in which Remus never went to Hogwarts and Sirius never sent Snape to the Whomping Willow.
characters: Sirius, Remus, Regulus, Snape, and mentions of other characters
notes: written for the remusreads livejournal ficathon, prompt #29: Remus never went to Hogwarts. Where did he end up?
disclaimer: I do not own the series Harry Potter.
"Mum, I got accepted!" screamed a dark-haired boy as he brandished his letter in the air.
His mother stared at him haughtily, her hand poised with the raised teacup. Her only acknowledgement of this wondrous feat was the slightest curl of her lips.
The boy stopped in his steps, hastily running his hand through his disheveled hair before smoothing down his shirt as well.
"Uh, I mean," he said before clearing his throat and managing to calm himself down, "Mother, I have been accepted to Hogwarts. This letter came from the Deputy Headmaster himself." He placed the letter before her and stepped back to await her reaction.
The teacup clinked as she set it down, her dark eyes bearing onto his.
"This is no surprise of course. There was never any chance that you, a child that I bore, could ever turn out to be a useless Squib."
She tilted her head slightly to look past her son towards the tapestry on the wall. Her eyes trailed over the line connecting her to her son.
"Why, Squibs are such a disgrace," she continued. "Even more so than those filthy Muggles. Squibs know of magic after all, yet they still try to masquerade as real wizards when in reality, they are useless. They are much more dangerous than Muggles."
"Be wary of them, Sirius. Be wary," she repeated.
Eleven-year-old Sirius nodded solemnly, for what could a child believe but his mother's words?
"I understand, Mother."
It was his first time ever at Diagon Alley, and Sirius was amazed. He had never seen so many people in the same place at the same time. There was just so much activity compared to Grimmauld Place, where he had been cooped up most of the time. His mother never allowed himself outside, for fear of the Muggles. In fact, even his mother rarely left the house, and this time was much the same.
His only companion on this shopping trip was their house elf, Kreacher. The ugly creature followed him around everywhere, yet he did not move an inch to help Sirius carry his stuff.
"Young Master need to learn independence. Mistress say so," was Kreacher's reply when Sirius complained to him. And then, the stupid house elf started mumbling under his breath. Sirius quickly tuned him out.
He glanced at his list of supplies and groaned. Yay. Books. He had left those for last since buying books sounded boring and he didn't look forward to lugging them around.
It was at the bookstore that Sirius first met the mysterious Remus Lupin.
Sirius had been fruitlessly searching for his Defense Against the Dark Arts textbook when a pale hand reached for the book in front of him. Sirius frowned since he had just been about to reach for the same book.
"Hey, look here," he began, but stopped when he turned around and got a good look at who had stolen his textbook.
The boy next to him, for that was who the pale hand belonged to, was short and skinny, and wore much too baggy robes that had patches all over the place. His hair was a light brown and reached a little bit past his ears. He had the book held in his hand with those long, slender fingers, which were very pale, as Sirius had noticed. It was as if the entirety of the boy was painted in washed away colors, all except his bright, shining eyes. Sirius immediately recognized that here was another boy who rarely saw the sun, just like himself. The difference was that the boy's demeanor also screamed, "DIRT POOR," and perhaps, chronically ill. It looked like a breeze could've knocked him over.
"I'm sorry," murmured the boy. He held the book out to Sirius.
Sirius almost forgot the reason he had been annoyed in the first place. "It doesn't matter," he said as he pushed the book back towards the other boy. "They probably have more copies. You keep it."
The boy looked wary, but he didn't press the matter further and instead started flipping through the text.
Sirius continued looking for his books. Just as he was about to be bored out of his mind, the boy whose name he still did not know asked him a question.
"Hogwarts?" ventured the boy. "First year, right?"
Sirius nodded, wondering if that were so apparent.
"Could I perhaps look at your list of supplies?" asked the boy eagerly, his whole demeanor hopeful.
Sirius didn't see why not. The boy must've forgotten his own.
"I'm Sirius Black," he said as a way of introduction as he handed over his list.
The boy took the list, glancing over it quickly and then scanning the bookshelves for the titles. "Oh, my name is Remus. Remus Lupin," he added, though his eyes never left the bookshelves.
"You're a first year too, right?" continued Sirius conversationally.
The boy stopped scanning the bookshelves, glancing at Sirius briefly.
"Um...not exactly," he murmured.
Sirius frowned. "Oh. You're older?" The boy didn't look like he could be any older than a first year though, not with that slight frame.
"Not that either. I don't go to Hogwarts."
The boy's smile was shaky.
"Why not?" asked Sirius. It was an absurd thought, not going to Hogwarts! The thought of foreign schools never crossed Sirius's mind, though if he had asked at that moment, he would have known that foreign schools weren't the case either. At least, not then.
"I just can't," replied the boy as he hastily returned the list of supplies. "Thanks for letting me see this. It was really helpful."
The boy left with that.
It wasn't until Sirius paid for his books and Kreacher once again refused to help him carry any of it that Sirius wondered if perhaps Remus Lupin was a Squib and whether he should be wary of the thin and pale boy because of it.
But, he found that he couldn't muster up any feelings of wariness towards such a thin and lonely boy who clearly needed a friend.
It was his second time at Diagon Alley. These shopping trips were turning into a once-a-year event for him. Much had passed in the last year, what with him becoming a Gryffindor and becoming friends with James and Peter but at the same time falling out with his family. His whole world had turned upside down in the blink of a second, for the thought of not being in Slytherin had never crossed his mind.
He always thought that he'd end up in Slytherin. After all, his entire family had been in Slytherin. There had never been any exception that he knew of.
"Hm, yes a clever mind fit for mischief," the Sorting Hat had said. "Ah, you do wish to make your family proud, but you're of the type who lives more in the moment than in plans for the future. You'd be good in Slytherin, but with your curiosity and your questioning of those old beliefs that your family holds, you can be great in Gryffindor."
He hadn't been listening entirely, and had been all ready to stride towards the table decked in green and silver when the Sorting Hat yelled "GRYFFINDOR" so loudly that Sirius was sure even his mother at home must've heard.
Sirius, shocked beyond words, had almost forgotten to leave the damn Sorting Hat behind.
His family had been extremely displeased with him, if the Howler were any indication. But Sirius found that he liked being in Gryffindor, even though no one at home seemed to see it that way, not when the Howler was just the tip of the iceberg. Sirius was glad to be out of the house for a change.
This time, Regulus came along as well, since the brat was about to start his first year at Hogwarts.
"I'm not going to turn out like you Sirius," his brother had said with a sneer the moment they came out of the fireplace at the Leaky Cauldron, brushing soot off their clothes.
"Like what? Like a decent human being?" Sirius had retorted. The arguments were getting old already and didn't make Sirius look forward to having Regulus at Hogwarts.
"Like a traitor, that's what."
Sirius bristled but managed to clench his teeth instead of starting a shouting match then and there. "Tell you what, Regulus, let's split up. Meet back here at 3."
"Fine, but I get to take Kreacher with me."
Sirius snorted. "Suit yourself."
It wasn't like Kreacher was going to help split the load, that useless house elf who only ever followed his mother's orders. Kreacher had become even worse to Sirius after the entire Sorting ordeal.
After buying all of his supplies, yes, even his books, Sirius stood outside the Quidditch shop marveling at the brooms on display, since it wasn't yet time to meet Regulus back at the Leaky Cauldron. He fingered what little he had left of his allowance, and wondered if perhaps he could afford a brand new broom so that he'd have a better chance at the tryouts for the Quidditch team. True, he already had a broom of his own, but it was a bit dated and slow.
As his eyes ran over the inscription of the broom, he noticed the reflection of a boy that he hadn't seen since the first time he stepped foot in Diagon Alley. The boy was leaning against one of the lights and reading a large book, oblivious to all the activity around him. No one paid him any attention as they came and went. The boy's face seemed even more pale than he remembered.
Sirius strode over without hesitation.
"Hey," said Sirius as he tried to remember the boy's name. "Remus Lupin! Yeah, you!"
The boy glanced up, recognition flashing through his eyes.
"You're…" the boy started before pausing. "Um…Sirius right? Sorry, I forgot your last name."
Sirius waved his hand. "That's okay. I don't care."
Remus shifted his hold on the huge tome, perhaps wondering why he had been stopped.
"Are you home-schooled?" blurted Sirius, who couldn't figure out why he wished to know so much.
"Yes, something like that," replied the other boy.
And Sirius could think of nothing more to say. He wanted to ask why, and he wanted to know if it was because Remus was a Squib. The question had been bothering him all year long, but he knew, if nothing else, that it was impolite to ask such questions. It was a taboo subject for magical people.
And then Sirius figured that perhaps it didn't really matter if he didn't know.
"Could I perhaps," asked Remus shyly, gesturing at what was in Sirius's hands, "take a look at your list of supplies?"
Sirius blinked and smoothed out the crumpled sheet, handing it over without much thought. He watched as Remus's eyes raked over the list, his mouth mumbling the titles of the books. He handed the list back with a grateful smile.
"That fast?" asked Sirius.
"I have a good memory," was Remus's reply. "And I already know of most of the books, so it wasn't too hard to remember the rest. Thanks for letting me see the list."
"Do you like reading?" asked Sirius suddenly, since really, the other boy seemed quite comfortable cradling those huge tomes in his arms.
"Oh yes, I do." Remus smiled brightly and started chattering about a few of the recent books he read.
Sirius was seriously impressed, for he wasn't one who could stand sitting for hours and hours going through a book. He could see that Remus was very smart and would have done very well at Hogwarts, even if it were only on the theory parts. He started telling Remus about his first year at Hogwarts, how he had been sorted into Gryffindor and met James and Peter, how the food magically appeared on the tables, how the staircases liked to change positions, and on and on and on, and for the first time, Sirius didn't feel any hurt at the mention of having been sorted into Gryffindor.
He was late to the Leaky Cauldron, but he didn't tell Regulus why.
It was his third time at Diagon Alley, and Sirius immediately suggested splitting up with Regulus. His brother had agreed without much fuss.
At Hogwarts, the two brothers surprisingly didn't see each other often, since one was in Gryffindor and the other Slytherin, and one was a second year and the other a first year. But when they did see each other, oh, were things ever so nasty. Sirius found that he had just discovered his new favorite prank victim. Even though the status of least favorite Slytherin would forever go to Severus Snape.
So yes, they were both eager to get out of each other's company.
Sirius pulled out his list of supplies and eagerly scanned the area for the one person who made these shopping trips somewhat bearable.
For some reason, Sirius felt that Remus would be there at Diagon Alley, though why the other boy was always there when Sirius went on his shopping trips he didn't know.
It took some searching, but as Sirius expected, Remus was there.
"Hey," Sirius said as a way of greeting.
Remus turned around, a book tucked under his arm, and returned Sirius's greeting. Sirius noted, quite thankfully, that Remus hadn't had his growth spurt yet. Sirius hadn't had his yet either. It had been quite disconcerting to find that somewhere along the way, Peter had become a head taller than him. Sirius itched for his growth spurt to come along, hopefully before James's.
Sirius matched his steps with Remus's. "Why is it that you seem to always be at Diagon Alley?" he asked.
Remus only raised an eyebrow in return.
"I mean," continued Sirius, "Every time I come here, I see you. I don't come here often, so what are the chances of that?"
"Oh, very high," replied Remus. "After all, I work here."
Sirius stopped. "You work here?" Wasn't Remus a bit young for working? Perhaps not so much in the present, but Remus certainly couldn't have already been working at Diagon Alley the first time Sirius met him!
Remus shrugged. "I run a few errands for the shops here and there to earn some tips. Shops are busier around the start of each school year though, and that's usually when they give me more stuff to do."
Sirius was at a lost for words, for the thought of needing to work for money had never crossed his mind before, not at such a young age, and certainly not when his name was Sirius Black, heir to the Most Ancient and Noble House of Black.
"Uh, are you busy right now then?" asked Sirius.
Remus shook his head. "Actually, I was wondering if-"
"You could take a look at my list of supplies, right?" finished Sirius with a grin.
The other boy ducked his head, laughing.
Sirius only grinned wider. "Even better, if you're not busy, do you want to come with me while I get my supplies? I haven't bought anything just yet." He handed the list to Remus. "I haven't looked at the list myself yet, so you'll have to tell me what to get!"
Remus smiled in return and accepted the list. He glanced over it quickly as usual, and then pointed towards the nearest shop.
Sirius found that shopping with Remus was really fun, and Remus was truly in his element the moment they stepped foot into Flourish & Blotts to get Sirius's textbooks. Remus seemed to know where everything was, pulling the books off the shelf in record time. Afterwards, they went to the apothecary to stock up on Sirius's basic potion ingredients. Sirius noticed that Remus wrinkled his nose the moment they opened the door, and Sirius felt the urge to do the same. The smell was truly terrible, and Sirius told Remus how he had made the Slytherin common room stink up in just the same way with help from James and a reluctant Peter, earning him a small smile from Remus.
Outside of Quality Quidditch Supplies, Sirius paused.
"Do you like Quidditch?" asked Sirius since he himself loved it.
"I wouldn't know," answered Remus quietly. "I've never seen a match before."
Sirius's jaws dropped in disbelief. "Never seen a match before?" he repeated stupidly, though in the very next moment he remembered that here was a boy who could not go to Hogwarts and had to run errands for money, so where and when would Remus have had the chance to see a Quidditch match in all its glory?
"Have you ever flown before then?" asked Sirius, slightly more subdued and praying for Remus to say yes for he couldn't imagine a childhood deprived of the joy and freedom of flying.
Remus remained silent, gazing forlornly at the broom on display, and that was answer enough for Sirius.
Lips pursed, Sirius headed into the shop, dumped all of his money out, which included all of the allowance that he had been saving since the previous year for his own broom, and bought, not the latest model since he couldn't afford it, but one that was still pretty good. He handed it over to Remus, whose eyes were wide.
"For me?" he whispered, his voice almost hard to hear.
Sirius was suddenly struck with the thought of what exactly he thought he was doing, since what if Remus couldn't make the broom fly? If Remus were a Squib, then Sirius would've just been rubbing that fact in for Sirius was pretty sure that brooms didn't react to Squibs.
"I couldn't possibly accept something like this, Sirius," continued Remus. "It's too grand for me, and where would I fly it? I'm afraid I don't know how to fly either."
"I can teach you," was Sirius's reply. "I want you to have it. We're friends, aren't we?"
Remus ducked his head, though not laughing this time. He had an odd look. "Yes, we are," he said finally.
"Well, as your friend, I want to give you this."
Remus grasped the broom hesitantly, words stuck in his throat. "How..." he gestured at the broom in his hand.
Sirius grinned. "I suggest putting the broom on the ground and saying 'up' first so that the broom can get used to you before you mount it."
Remus nodded and put the broomstick on the ground, but before Sirius could watch Remus try, Sirius heard his named being called.
"Shoot, I need to leave now. That's my brother Regulus, nasty little thing. I'll see you around?" said Sirius in a hurry, leaving no time for Remus to reply.
He quickly left. He didn't want Regulus to meet Remus. He turned his head around for one last glance, and blinked when he saw that the broom was already back in Remus's hand and Remus was looking pleased. Had Remus successfully called the broomstick to himself?
"Who was that?" asked Regulus suspiciously.
"None of your business," retorted Sirius, hoping that Regulus would drop it.
However, his little brother just kept glancing back in Remus's direction, though the pale boy had since then disappeared into the crowd.
It was his fourth time at Diagon Alley, and Sirius was ready to find Remus to tell him all about his third year at Hogwarts, the pranks, the boring schoolwork, how Dumbledore had become the new headmaster, the new list of banned items, and on and on. He wanted to see if Remus finally had his growth spurt, since Sirius certainly did and was even the tallest out of his group of friends.
Sirius had noticed last time how Remus seemed so wistful whenever Sirius mentioned James and Peter, and how that odd look had come over his face when Sirius had asked Remus if they were friends.
This time, Sirius asked James if he wanted to go shop at Diagon Alley together. He had hesitated before asking, but finally decided that it would do Remus good to meet new people. The other boy seemed much like a social recluse.
But, there wasn't a trace of the pale boy within the crowd when they were finally at Diagon Alley. Sirius tried asking at a few of the shops, hoping that they'd remember the thin little boy that helped them run occasional errands. They just shook their heads, not able to tell him much.
Remus had vanished, and no one knew where to.
Sirius glanced at James helplessly.
His fifth time at Diagon Alley was much the same, so by his sixth time, he stopped looking for the reflection of a pale boy lugging around huge tomes half his size in the windows of the shops he passed by.
His seventh time at Diagon Alley rolled around, and Sirius was suddenly nervous. This was going to be his last year ever at Hogwarts. The thought made him jittery. Last year, he and James had played a prank on Snape by levitating him into the air and vanishing his pants. It had all been great fun until Lily, who was a Prefect, had stomped over and slapped James in the face and berated him for un-Prefect-like behavior.
It made James become even more infatuated with that Evans girl.
Peter hadn't done so well on his OWLS, so Sirius found himself tutoring Peter more often than not as James was too busy chasing Lily Evans. Sirius struggled in a few of his classes as well, and wished for once that there was someone he could ask for help. A second opinion wouldn't have hurt. But Peter was good company, and together, the two of them made a bet on whether or not James would get the girl.
All in all, Sirius's sixth year at Hogwarts hadn't been very interesting. His summer hadn't been much better either. He was now staying with James after a particularly bad argument with his mother and vowed never to return home. The argument had been bad enough for his name to get blasted off the tapestry, after all.
And now, facing his last year at Hogwarts, Sirius wondered a bit at what his future would bring.
He clutched his list of supplies, the last list he'd ever get. Oh whim, he flipped it around, scribbled Remus Lupin on the back of it and sent it off.
A second later, he realized that he hadn't even looked a the list, and now he didn't know what he was supposed to buy.
Thank you for the list. It's quite different from that of Beaxbatons. I wish I could remember your full name so that this letter would reach you, but I just can't seem to remember and the school owl doesn't know of you. But it's worth a try, I suppose...
Sirius had since lost count of how many times he had visited Diagon Alley. There came a point in life when one has played Quidditch too much to keep count, played too many pranks to remember just how many, and been to Diagon Alley so often that even those numbers blur.
He stood outside the Quidditch shop, remembering a time that he had been merely a boy marveling at the latest model.
Now, the Quidditch shop had a gaping hole where the windows were supposed to be. The rest of the shops didn't fare much better from the Death Eater assault the previous day. As an Auror, it was Sirius's job to retain order at Diagon Alley, despite how much it made his head hurt.
Regulus was dead. His little brother who he had never got along with, was dead. Sirius gulped, his throat burning, once he realized that he had never gotten to know his brother.
Sirius rested his head in his hands.
How long was the pointless war going to go on? His brother had been foolish and had paid for it with his life. Sirius had seen another Death Eater turn on his brother as Regulus had been about to make his escape, the green light blinding all of them.
Alone, Sirius left Diagon Alley, but he took with him a golden locket that he had managed to pry out of Regulus's hands, and gave it to Dumbledore for inspection. Sirius had never seen Regulus with such a locket before.
The locket had burned his hands.
Sirius gave up being an Auror and turned towards his passion, flying, after the war ended. He stopped visiting Diagon Alley, for it brought about bad memories. He'd see over and over the shocked expression on Regulus's face as he fell over, mouth opened about to say something. He never even made it past the first syllable, and even if he had, no one would have been able to hear him over the explosions.
Sirius gave up being an Auror. He was now a professional Quidditch player, albeit a very new professional Quidditch player who hadn't flown for fun since the war started. But flying wasn't something he'd easily forget.
Here he was, standing on the Quidditch pitch, ready to forget everything in the past.
Before him stood the manager of the team with an amused smile on his face. Sirius blinked. The man's pale features with his light brown, though very plain hair, seemed familiar. He held those long slender fingers of his in front of him, and murmured a very quiet, "Up."
The broom flew into the man's hands. A very familiar broom.
Images from long past threatened to overwhelm him. He had almost forgotten that he had ever met such a boy. It felt like an eternity ago, those peaceful days when all he had to think about was getting his school supplies.
"Remus?" said Sirius slowly.
The man, for both of them were young adults already, nodded.
Remus wasn't a Squib. That, Sirius finally knew without a doubt. It might have been monetary problems then, or some other problem Sirius didn't know of. But Remus wasn't a Squib, though it was the possibility of that thought that had Sirius landed in Gryffindor all those years ago, that had started Sirius on his doubts of his family's views. Sirius felt a sudden, dark jealousy of Remus, of how the other man had completely avoided the scars of the war. The other man, a boy then, had disappeared entirely, and as far as Sirius knew, had never been dragged into the frontlines of the war. And now that it was peaceful, he had reappeared, that smile coming so easily to his face.
It wasn't very fair.
But Sirius tried to manage a small smile in front of this ignorant man. "Out of all places," Sirius said, "I never thought I'd see you here. I mean, what are the chances?"
"Oh, very high," replied Remus with a straight face. "After all, I work here and you're one of the key players."
And so Sirius laughed, his jealousy abating, as he noted that some things never changed.
It was good to know.
After practice, Remus rummaged around his pockets and pulled out a rumpled piece of paper. He smoothed it out and handed it to Sirius.
/Standard Book of Spells Grade 7
A History of.../
The list went on, but Sirius paused and looked up at Remus, finally recognizing what he was reading. So Remus had received the list after all.
"Thanks for this," murmured Remus. "I really appreciated the thought. I just wish, you know, that you had written your name down somewhere. I didn't know how to reply."
Sirius was suddenly struck with the thought that he had wasted all those years because he hadn't thought to remind Remus about his full name.
"Why did you decide to become manager?" asked Sirius one day.
"Well," replied Remus, "there was this one boy that I met who was shocked that I had never ever seen a Quidditch match and had never flown a broom in my whole life. He was so shocked that he somehow thought that he had to buy me a broom. And after that, well, I just had to get closer to Quidditch."
Sirius blinked, surprised that he had been the reason. It seemed that he had piqued Remus's curiosity after all.
But Remus didn't stay manager for long, saying that it had been only one of the things he had wanted to do. Like before when Remus used to take on errands, he now took on various jobs, whatever suited his interest at the moment. He said that he wanted to see the world, and Sirius wished him good luck, happy to know that at least someone was enjoying where life took him.
The man once again vanished from sight, but this time it was different.
Sirius now kept a long correspondence with Remus Lupin.
I've been asked to teach at Hogwarts. I'll be back in England next week. I need some supplies from Diagon Alley.
He felt like an old man, a very very old man compared to the little boy he had been years and years ago. Sirius didn't remember how many times he had been at Diagon Alley anymore. He had come so many times for his school supplies, and then later for daily patrols. Diagon Alley held few good memories for him, but it had been the place that he had met the mysterious Remus Lupin.
Sirius headed there now.
Remus's robes were as shabby as ever with a patch here and there. His light brown hair was already showing some grey. But his eyes were as bright as ever against his pale countenance.
"I suppose I'll need your help picking out some of the books for my students. Imagine that! My students!" Remus ran the words across his tongue again, beaming at the thought of being a teacher.
Sirius could tell that Remus finally found a job that he loved.
"You'll be deciding what to put on those lists of supplies for the kids," said Sirius with a grin.
"Yes, and I'll finally be seeing what Hogwarts is like. I've dreamt of it for years and years," said Remus.
Sirius licked his lips, the age-old question coming back to him. He had no qualms about asking now, not when they were such good friends.
"Why didn't you go to Hogwarts?" he wondered. "You're certainly magical. I don't see why you couldn't have gone."
Remus smiled sadly. "If Dumbledore had been headmaster then, perhaps I could've gone. But he wasn't then, was he? I wasn't accepted."
"But why not?"
Remus shrugged, not seeming like he wanted to elaborate any more on the matter.
"You know," continued Sirius, "I once thought you were a Squib and that was why."
Remus blanched at the thought before bursting out laughing.
"Hey!" protested Sirius. "You never told me! And that was the best reason I could come up with!"
Remus just continued laughing. "Oh, if only you knew, Sirius, if only you knew. Besides, I was accepted into Beauxbatons later, if you must know. I just had to earn my fare."
When his godson Harry came back from his first year at Hogwarts, he babbled to his godfather about his favorite professor, one professor R. J. Lupin, and how exciting his Defense Against the Dark Arts classes were.
Sirius grinned, wishing he could've been there to see it.
Meet me at the Leaky Cauldron on Friday. I want to introduce a colleague of mine to you.
The "colleague" turned out to be Sirius's least favorite Slytherin, Severus Snape. Sirius realized a bit too late that he had always called Snape "Snivellus" in Remus's presence. Remus probably never connected the two.
Sirius felt like banging his head on the table.
"Sirius, meet Severus. Severus, this is Sirius, a good friend of mine," said Remus happily.
Snape glared at Sirius and Sirius glared right back.
"Oh, I forgot. Both of you two attended Hogwarts. I suppose you might already know each other?" asked Remus.
"You could say something like that," said Snape.
"Oh good. We're all friends then!" exclaimed Remus happily. Both dark-haired men stared at him as if he were out of his mind.
Sirius accidentally knocked over his drink when he was about to point at Snape, the liquid splashing onto Snape's sleeve.
"Must you be so clumsy, Black?" gritted Snape. He grabbed a few napkins, rolled up his left sleeve, and proceeded to wring the liquid out.
Sirius stared at the smooth, unblemished forearm, and withdrew his accusing finger.
When Remus reached for one of the silver forks, Snape quickly snatched it out of his hands.
"Are you out of your mind, Lupin?" snarled Snape.
Remus blinked and retracted his hands, a sheepish smile on his face. "You two are just so amusing that I quite forgot what I was doing," he murmured.
"Do you want to announce to the world what you are?" hissed Snape.
"No, not to the entire world, but I wouldn't mind Sirius knowing as well," was Remus's quiet reply.
Sirius blinked. What was going on?
Remus waved his wand and vanished the remaining liquid on the table.
"I'm afraid you'll need to order another drink, Sirius," said Remus ruefully. "I have a story to tell you, one that you've always wished to know. It's quite a long story."
And so, Sirius ordered another drink.
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