Remus Lupin was the exact opposite of a perfect Christmas.
His life was a tragedy; nothing went right for Remus Lupin. He was a werewolf, a gay werewolf, who had horrible social skills and if it wouldn't be for three close friends he would have never had the nerve to continue Hogwarts for so many fears blocked his path.
He had had to endure names like 'half-blood'. He had to deal with the entire Wizarding World; a prodigy of upturns if he ever saw one, and worst of all, he was in love with someone he knew would never return his love.
Especially when he found out he would have to live with himself never telling him, which might as well equal up to Remus torturing himself anyway.
It would have perfect to explain calmly (or maybe not calmly) to him that he loved him, and simply hoped that he would return his feelings – and if he didn't, he would be too drunk on Christmas Eve anyway to remember.
And then Remus checked the lunar chart with surprising horror, because Christmas Eve was his transformation to become bloodthirsty and destructive into something much unlike himself.
His hopes had been drowned by this disturbing bit of news, but he made sure that it was not apparent when he walked down to the Great Hall that following morning in significant despair and disappointment.
"Hey, Moony, juice?" James offered, handing over the glass pitcher.
"First day of holidays is it?" Remus asked warily, taking the juice from James. "I forgot."
"I can't believe you, Remus. How can you forget the break?" Sirius asked from the left of James, shaking his head at his eggs.
"I have more important things on my mind." Remus snapped, snatching up a napkin.
Sirius and James had left right after breakfast for the quidditch match, Peter eagerly joining to watch. Remus stayed behind.
There were so many times that Remus wished he could read minds, just find out if something were true… But what if he saw something he really didn't want to see?
Was he imagining that he had caught Sirius looking at him every so often? Or was it that his crush had caused him to look at Sirius more often – and that he had always looked at him so frequently?
He didn't want to dwell, to live on dreams that were really nothing but a screwed up nightmare never coming true though he really wanted it to, not thinking about the consequences at all because he knew it would never happen anyway…
James would have a fit. Peter wouldn't want to adjust to it. Those inquires about 'what happened' and 'why Remus Lupin' would be in the air, along with an aura of tension if they split up.
Remus sighed into his pillow, eyeing the calendar above his bed, the 24th circled with red ink.
It hadn't been that long since he had realized this, and already he was in love. It was mostly because of their good friendship, being able to see him everyday, and probably also about the fact that Sirius was incredibly irresistible even though he didn't try. This was how all the girls fell in love with him.
I can't. I shouldn't. I wouldn't. I couldn't. Remus thought hopelessly, running a hand through his hair.
But he didn't want to end this infatuation. He didn't want to forget Sirius – since this was the first crush he had felt in a long time – maybe even the first. Even though this was inextricable pain, it felt nice to be in love and think that he wasn't that much of a monster to not be able to love.
It was a furious battle between him and his brain. It was a disagreement of right and wrong. It was an issue of time and moments. It was a war between want and need. It was a fight between logical and incoherent. It was testing the impossible to the possible.
"This is impossible." Remus muttered into his own mouth, shutting his eyes.
"So what are you planning to get me for Christmas, Moony?" Sirius asked in the darkness, leaning against the armchair of the Gryffindor common room.
"Why should I tell you, Sirius? It's much better received on Christmas day than to spoil the surprise the week before." Remus reasoned, nervously fidgeting with his hands on the couch. The last embers in the fire were burning out.
"Because I want to know, you stubborn werewolf." Sirius said bitterly, glancing at where he thought the shadow of Remus was resting. "I can't believe Christmas is this close…"
"Better question yet, what do you want in the first place?" Remus asked softly.
He could tell Sirius' attention being perked as though he was waiting for this question.
"There's so much to spill," He started excitedly. "First of all, to keep up our pranks James and I would both need more Zonkos merchandise–"
"I wouldn't have expected more." Remus muttered.
"Shut up, over there," Sirius said quickly. "And to specify as much as possible, Honeydukes would be a worthy investment."
"An investment? Sirius, no one in their right mind would buy you Honeydukes."
"I suppose. Then half of the shop is fine," Sirius mumbles distractedly, laughing to himself. "What do you want, Moony?"
Remus sat up straighter, not expecting the question. "Several few books, I guess, for starters, there's this one called–"
"I'm not getting you any bloody books, Remus, so carry on."
Remus scoffed. "You educational mastermind," He said sarcastically. "Anyway, a new quill would be nice… and a new telescope for Astronomy would help, too… Say, I would also enjoy some new parchment sheets–"
Remus stopped at the grunt from the armchair.
"Besides school, Moony." He said firmly, waving his hand into the darkness. A ray of light shone into the window for a moment and illuminated Sirius' face. Remus' stomach lurched unpleasantly.
"Fine," Remus shot. "There's not much else, unless–"
He had stopped himself this time, not wanting to say what he had started saying – but Sirius' curiosity had been peaked.
"Unless what? What else?"
"Nothing." Remus murmured, fidgeting his hands again. He would have finished by saying: Unless I can have you, but had cut himself short. He felt Sirius sigh and get up.
"I s'pose some more sleep would do me good. 'Night, Moony."
Remus felt Sirius' arm pat his shoulder for a moment and involuntarily shivered.
Remus had plenty of opportunity to visit Hogsmeade during the following weekend and buy Sirius everything of what he had wished for, but couldn't bring himself to walk into Zonkos without feeling somewhat out of place.
"What'll you get me for Christmas, then, eh?" Sirius asked darkly, vanishing into Zonkos a second later and leaving Remus wandering helplessly back to the station to return to Hogwarts.
"You're pathetic, Moony." A voice in his ear said, and Remus turned sharply to see James carrying a Honeydukes bag and digging in the contents.
"You should have the nerve to walk into Zonkos, Rem. You transform every month with agony and pain without fear, yet you're afraid of going into Zonkos. Have you ever even been in there?" James said slowly, shaking his head.
"It's not like that." Remus responded quickly, waving his hand in frustration.
"Enough about that. When are you transforming this month anyway?"
Remus gulped with a pang of annoyance. He should have seen this coming. He was just about to answer him, when Sirius darted up next to them breathless, and determined to steer them back to Hogwarts to get out of the cold.
"C'mon, Prongs, I'm freaking freezing!"
"Then stop lolling around the snow, Padfoot!" James shouted indignantly.
Remus had stopped trying to tell Sirius anything before Christmas Eve. He had even tried to slip out of their sight all day during Christmas Eve so they couldn't ask him about anything. But even though Remus had shoveled down his breakfast, Peter, James, and Sirius were already racing into the Great Hall when he had been halfway done.
"We should dress up this year!" Peter piped up cheerfully.
"Of course, Wormtail," James encouraged. "You can be Santa. And Remus can be one of the elves!" He added with a triumphant smile toward Remus."
"Shut up, over there."
"C'mon, Rem, it's bloody Christmas Eve. Let's go pile our plates with Christmas pudding and make sure to skip Christmas tea by pretending to be sick in our dorms, while we'll actually be getting super drunk on butterbeer!" Sirius said quickly, James laughing over his toast.
"Very amusing, Padfoot." Remus murmured, picking up his bag and nodding curtly toward the three of them.
He did want to get highly drunk in the common room at some level – it was an excellent excuse to kiss Sirius, or just be able to stop thinking about this entire affair. But Remus made sure not to join them in the dorms for butterbeer, and slipped out of their sight, or Sirius', more precisely, and tried to squirm around his bedroom.
He didn't dare look out the window, even though it was just now getting dark. What if the moon, full in its formality, would transform him into disastrous beast right there in the common room? He shuddered, trying to focus on the contents of his trunk he had ruffled through.
Remus scooped out pairs of socks, robes, and random medicines in a vain attempt to try to find something for Sirius for Christmas – he had to give him something.
He realized it was hopeless when he felt his fingernails scrap the bottom of the trunk, the only possible things to give away would be an old bottle of muggle 'flea shampoo for dogs, extra tough!', a broken dung bomb which was approximately two years old, and an old sugar quill snapped in half at the middle.
Remus sighed into the now empty trunk, and slowly started to repack the items, making sure to check his watch frequently.
"Um, Remus – what are you doing?" James' voice asked above Remus, causing him to send the shampoo bottle flying in surprise.
"Good heavens, James! Can't you say something before you scare the living crap out of me?!" Remus shouted, stowing the bottle into the bottom of his trunk.
"Sorry – just – Padfoot and I are headed off to detention… We'll see you after Slughorn…" James muttered, leaving the spiral staircase to the boys' dormitory.
Remus was waving a hand desperately after James, but he had already departed. He sighed, shutting his trunk with an overly forceful snap and cursing under his breath.
Remus had been ushered out into the darkness and escorted into the Whomping Willow after dark, and had been soon collapsing to the floor in wolf form, several new cuts deep on his body, which were all oozing around his skin.
He had tried to talk Madam Pomfrey into leaving within the hour – assuring her that he was completely fine, but she had none of it. She shoved a sleeping potion into his hand and instructed him to drink it or she'll force it down his throat with his wand, something she warned was an unpleasant experience.
Remus had no other choice than to sit, barely being able to move anything – the light blue curtains fastened around him, leaving him to dwell on guiltiness about not telling his friends about his transformation. A storm was raging outside, heard through the tiny windows at the very ceiling of the hospital wing.
The next day, feeling highly guilty, Remus lay aching on his mass of turquoise pillows, gulping down three potions before lunchtime, where he still had no visitors. He wasn't even sure if Sirius, James, or Peter had even visited and Madam Pomfrey had told them that Remus was too delicate to greet at the moment.
His forearms and ankles in bandages, Remus warily lay on the pillow, the curtain pulled open halfway. He was awake, still, after dinnertime when Pomfrey had passed out the food trays, and desperately wanted to fall asleep – but if Sirius visited he wanted to be awake and alert. A crack sounded. Remus snapped his eyes open.
Remus had given up on the fact that no visitor would come in to wish him a good Christmas in the hospital wing. By the time when he heard the nurse preparing the drinking of the sleeping potion, he sighed, closing his eyes. He might as well forget about Christmas all together.
His eyes closed, he didn't hear the door crack open and someone gently sit on his bed.
"You think Pomfrey'll report me?" A quiet, husky voice undeniable as Sirius' whispered tiredly over Remus. His head shot up.
"Sirius?" He asked unbelievingly, scanning his friend. "I – why – I guess – how–"
"Shh," Sirius said softly, "Merry Christmas, Rem."
Remus, smiling a rather painful smile as the muscle in his jaw cracked, resisted the urge to apologize into a fit of tears. He sighed, about to tell his calm admission of guilt and request for forgiveness, when Sirius splayed two fingers across his mouth to keep him quiet, and spoke quietly.
"Why didn't you just tell us you were transforming, Remus?" He asked calmly.
Remus' eyes were already glinting with tears as he immediately halfway hung his head. His neck cracked.
"Because – because I had hoped to do something else on Christmas Eve and wasn't able to bear not being able to do it." He whispered with slight shame and guilt. Sirius lifted his chin with his hand.
"I see," he whispered, and twisted on the bed, dismissing it.
Remus, aghastness in his features, surprisingly looked at Sirius' back. He was hoping that Sirius would have asked him what he would have said yesterday, and he'd be able to choke out the answer, just so he could know. But before he could ponder further, Sirius had pulled a small present out of his jacket, messily wrapped.
"Happy Christmas, Moony." He urged, motioning toward the present.
Remus, almost about to carefully pull off the tape, looked nervously at Sirius.
"It's all right, Remus, I didn't hex anything inside of it." He said quickly, laughing.
Remus, although still reluctant to open it, peeled off the paper and found himself face to face with a small box. He lifted the lid, face to face with a small lined-paper, probably the kind that James and him called notepaper, for always exchanging this type of paper in classes.
"Would you just open the bloody poem, Moony?!" Sirius yelled over him, causing a kid next to Remus' bed to crack open an eye warily.
Remus realized that he must have been looking at the paper quizzically for quite some time, and snatched it off the mahogany bottom. Sirius had said it was a poem. While Sirius was excellent at creating and devising pranks, making sure to construct a back-up plan, and an escape-from-the-teacher idea, he was never much of a poet, or one 'with the words'. Remus frowned at the poem before unfolding it.
corner I have a friend,
In this great city that has no end,
Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,
And before I know it, a year is gone.
And I never see my old friends face,
For life is a swift and a terrible race,
He knows I like him just as well,
As in the days of the train when cauldron cakes for up for sell.
And he saw me, different as we were, but we were younger then,
And now we are busy, tired men.
Tired of playing a foolish game,
Tired of trying to make a name.
"Tomorrow" I say! "I will talk to him just to show that I'm thinking of him."
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
And distance between us grows and grows.
Around the corner, yet miles away,
"Here's some news, he died today."
And that's what we get and deserve in the end.
Around the corner, a vanished friend.
Remember to always say what you mean.
If you love someone, tell them.
Don't be afraid to express yourself.
Reach out and tell someone what they mean to you.
Because when you decide that it is the right time it might be too late.
Seize the day. Never have regrets.
And most importantly, stay close to your friends and your family, for they have helped make you the person that you are today.
And just to say, since I've put it off long enough,
I love you, Remus
I don't know if it's platonically or non-platonically, since I can't tell the difference, but it's the opposite of one of them.
You're a smart guy, Remus; you'll figure it out,
Even though I act highly dumb ( at times )
Sirius Padfoot Black
Remus was trying extremely hard not to cry onto the paper, since he knew that Sirius was still watching him intently. How in Hogwarts had he written this?
"Lily helped me for some parts." Sirius muttered, sensing Remus' thoughts as he saw his eyes reach the bottom of the page.
"It's – It's very good, Sirius." Remus mumbled, his voice coming out sort of strangled.
"I'm sorry I didn't come in earlier. I thought you'd hate me for not being there for your transformation."
"Don't be sorry, Sirius," Remus said sharply. "I was afraid you'd hate me for not telling you about it."
"Rubbish, Remus, I could never hate you."
Remus was still staring at the last few verses. I love you, Remus… it's platonically, or non-platonically… but I can't tell the difference… but you're a smart guy… and you'll figure it out.
It was unnerving to him that he didn't know which Sirius had meant, but trying not to seem overly concentrative, he stowed the poem back in the box neatly and placed the mahogany box on his nightstand.
"Thank you, Sirius," He managed to say, and tries to say that he loves him, too, probably in a different way than Sirius had meant…
"You're welcome. Merry Christmas, Moony." He finished, and seems to get up to leave.
He's halfway to the door when Remus has to shout out,
"I – I love you, Sirius!" And feels himself shrink into his bed.
Sirius walked over to his bed. "I – what?"
"But – uh, probably different than the way you said it, Padfoot – I'm really sorry." He muttered quickly, not wanting to give Sirius the wrong idea.
"Oh. Well, then… I'm sorry. I'll see you around, Moony."
Remus, realizing that Sirius turns up to leave again, has realization dawning into his face. "What?" He shouts direly, seeing Sirius turn. "Sirius, I love you – non platonically!"
Sirius stared at him blankly. "I have no idea what that means." He stated bluntly, walking forward to him.
"It's like saying – well, I suppose – see it like this – oh, bloody–" And the only way he realizes he can tell Sirius is by kissing him.
"Mmph!" Sirius muttered, being pulled roughly down by his loose Gryffindor tie and kissed rather thoroughly before actually relaxing.
Remus, who has never done anything like this before, is freaking out, since he doesn't know what else to do.
The kiss was ended by Remus three seconds later; a fear starting to build up in him about what to do next. He rubbed the back of his neck, looking awkwardly at Sirius, who cracked a large smile.
"C'mere, you hopeless werewolf."
"I'm not hopele–" Remus started, but was cut off by the feel of Sirius' lips on him, and he simply doesn't want to let go.
"I hope this is good enough of a present, Padfoot." He murmured against his mouth as he tangles his hand into his sleek hair.
AN: I know it's late to send Christmas stories up and about but it actually started this much earlier and was planning on sending it in much earlier, but wasn't able to because of the darned computer!! XD
Anyway, R&R!!JULIA :D ;P