A/N: Hereby I bow deeply before my dearest beta and true friend, magda2em, who believes in me even when I don't. Also great thanks to deathdragonz, whose wonderful feedback on A Prank encouraged me to submit this little story
Disclaimer: I disclaim.
"Budge over, guys."
Remus raised his eyes from the Transfiguration textbook he was reading and looked at James questioningly.
The four of them were sitting on a squashy couch in the Gryffindor Common Room. Remus was reading the forty pages about Transfiguring human beings into objects that McGonagall had assigned them. Sirius, who'd flipped through the book impatiently and announced that it was dead easy, was reading a crime story, Peter was staring at James, and James was staring at Evans. Just now he'd noticed that she was looking around for a place to sit down, and decided to take the chance.
"Oi!" he whispered fiercely. "Budge over!"
"There's no place, Prongs. Sorry, mate." Sirius didn't seem to be very sorry, though. He kept laughing at James for his swooning over Evans since their fourth year. He himself was still immune to girls' charms and his entire attention was devoted to his fellow Marauders, and pranks. To the girls' most understandable disappointment, obviously.
"So move, one of you. Don't be prats!" James pleaded, trying to catch Lily's eye at the same time.
Sirius snorted. "Maniac. Wormtail, heard him? Go find some other place."
"Why me?" Peter whined. "Always me! That's not fair!"
"And who exactly told you life is fair, Wormtail?"
"Sirius, leave him alone," Remus interfered. "I'll go if it's so important for James."
"No, wait," Sirius said suddenly. "Come here."
"Huh?" Remus didn't understand.
"I said, come here," Sirius patted his knees.
"Are you mental?"
"I'm not going to sit in your lap."
"Why not? What, afraid I'd molest you or something?" Sirius grinned cheekily.
No, afraid I'd start to molest you, Remus thought. The thing was that he, er, liked Sirius. Really liked. Liked him too much to just sit in his lap like that. After all, he was no masochist, right? Besides, it was stupid.
"It's stupid," he announced, trying to hide his blush. "Boys don't sit in each other's laps."
"Oh, so that's what you're afraid of? That they'll think we're poufs? Honestly! We're Marauders, for Merlin's sake! Moony, are you blushing?"
"Yes, you are. Now don't be silly and come over here or Evans will find herself some other place and James will kill you."
Remus still hesitated. Sirius, however, knew just what weapon to use.
"Don't be a chicken, Moony."
"I'm not a chicken!" Remus huffed indignantly and climbed into Sirius's lap. "Now, happy?"
"Absolutely," Sirius answered with a look that made Remus shiver involuntarily. He cast a glance around.
"So, how are we doing this? I want to read and you want to read."
"Just a sec." Sirius started to shift them and instruct Remus where to put which part of his body, until they reached a fairly comfortable position. Sirius was sitting in the corner, leaning against the headrest and with his legs slightly towards the middle of the couch. Remus, sitting in Sirius's lap, was resting on Sirius's left shoulder, with legs slung over the armrest. Sirius propped his book against Remus's knees and looked at his friend.
"Yeah," Remus muttered, reddening again.
"Good. Now, if you excuse me, I'd like to go back to my reading." With that he returned his gaze to the novel.
Remus looked around, but no one seemed to care about them. James had managed to invite Evans to sit with him and was trying to entertain her. It was even working, she was actually laughing at something he'd said, Remus noticed with a smile. The rest of the Gryffindors were busy learning, playing Wizarding Chess, chatting. He let out a sigh of relief, and returned to Transfiguration.
Over two hours later, the two Marauders were still sitting in the same position. It was after midnight and the common room had gradually emptied until they were the only two left. Neither of them, though, made a move to change place. Sirius had finished his book and was leaning against the back of the couch with his eyes closed. Remus had stopped reading, too, long ago, and let his thoughts wander. He was warm and safe, feeling Sirius's even heartbeat against his shoulder and the boy's left arm embracing his waist lightly. He felt right, so right as never before. He wanted to stay like that for ever. He sighed heavily.
"What is it, Moony?" Sirius asked lazily, without opening his eyes. His left hand started to trace little circles on Remus's thigh. Remus coloured.
"I thought you were asleep. It's nothing, I was just thinking about the Transfiguration text."
"The one McGonagall told us to read?"
"Moony, you finished reading it over an hour ago. Since then you've been flipping the pages on and on, and currently you're in the third chapter from the end," Sirius pointed out, clearly amused, his eyes still closed. Remus turned positively crimson.
"Er, well, I—" he mumbled. "I thought I'd just—"
Sirius laughed and finally looked at him. Then he embraced the other boy tightly and pulled him closer, nuzzling his neck and inhaling deeply.
"You smell good," he said.
Remus was dumbfounded for a whole minute before he managed finally:
"I said you smell good," Sirius repeated calmly.
"Sirius, what the hell do you think you're doing?!" He felt like crying. It wasn't fair, the way Sirius was playing with him. He must have noticed, he knows, Remus was thinking frantically. I must get out of here.
He tried to get up, but Sirius held him firmly.
"What is it?" he asked. "Have I done something wrong? Do you feel… uncomfortable?"
Remus stopped struggling and looked at his friend. Sirius raised one hand and cupped Remus's cheek. Remus's breath hitched.
"What do you want, Sirius?" he whispered with difficulty.
"You know what I want. You feel the same, don't you." It wasn't a question.
"I'm not sure if I want the same. Certainly I don't want to play with you, Sirius, because for me you're no toy."
"No, Sirius. It is no game. It is real. Very real, for me. I don't know how it happened, I didn't want you to know. But it's too late now, and I'm really sorry. I understand if you won't— won't be able to— You know. Be friends with me anymore. But I want you to respect me. And I'm not going to be a guinea pig of yours, just because you'd like to try it with a bloke."
"Remus, what the hell are you talking about?" Sirius looked half bewildered, half amused. "Guinea pig? What guinea pig? Have you ever seen a guinea pig wolf?" Remus didn't smile, and Sirius went on. "You think I'm experimenting? Good grief, what sort of a Marauder are you, if you didn't even know I was gay!"
It was Remus's turn to look bewildered. "You—" he stammered, "you are gay?"
"No, Remus, I'm a guinea pig. When's the last time you've seen me with a girl?"
"I don't know, I—" Remus trailed off and blinked. "I haven't."
"So. Any conclusions?"
"But it doesn't have to mean—"
"But it does," Sirius interrupted impatiently. "Now are you going to believe me or not? 'Cause if not, then I'm going to bed." With these words Sirius started to shift in order to push his friend down, but Remus quickly put his hands around Sirius's neck.
Sirius stopped. "What?"
"How did you know about me?"
"I didn't. I suspected. You didn't go on dates as well, nor did you ever talk about girls. And then I noticed—" he trailed off, looking uncertain.
"What?" Remus prodded.
"Well, I thought I noticed the way you were— looking at me. Dunno, I thought maybe I just imagined it, but… Anyway, I decided to check it when I'd have an opportunity."
"And this was the opportunity?"
"Yeah." Sirius looked a little sheepish, but after a moment he flashed at Remus his famous grin. "And it worked, didn't it?"
Remus blushed for the Merlin knows which time this evening. "Well, I didn't really do anything."
"Oh, come on," Sirius bridled at this. "You liked it, sitting here with me. You liked it. And boys don't usually sit in each other's laps, you know." He grinned devilishly.
Remus couldn't believe his ears. "You! You insufferable—"
"Yeah, I know I'm charming," Sirius laughed, pulling Remus close again. "So, what are we doing now that we've got everything sorted out? Or do you have any more questions about my sexuality or my enormous powers of observation, or maybe about Transfiguring," he cast a quick glance at the discarded textbook, "human beings into objects?"
"No," Remus answered softly, looking directly into Sirius's pale eyes. "I don't have any questions."
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