Authoress Notes: Ah…right then. A Crossing of the Ways, though it is regrettable, is officially dead. But this one will not die, as it's already (OK, already mostly...alright, already halfway) finished, with a decent plot and outline backing it!
This was made entirely for PenPusherM, whom I seemed to have roped into the wide world that is slash. So here's hoping that she enjoys it.
I do not own...
1) The Wide World of Harry Potter.
2) The Spectactular Spectacular that is Moulin Rouge.
3) Lycanthropy-Related/Induced Male PMS. Some other mad-happy fangirl came up with that one.
Remus had worked it out once. One hundred hours before the full moon rose, he'd begin to feel that horrible scratch behind his left ear lobe. It was almost immediately following the scratch, as according to Sirius, that his "Male PMS" always decided to set in.
James Harold Potter was not particularly helping the situation.
"Can you believe it? I'm Head Boy to Lily Evan's Head Girl! The fates, my friends, must have finally decided that it is my destiny – nay, my right – to fall into a state of absolute nirvana next to my one true love!" He gesticulated wildly, eyes pointed towards the ceiling in ecstatic sort of reverence.
Because that's what being Head Boy is all about, thought Remus. Shagging the Head Girl. It's not as if James will ever need the prestige that goes with it – no, he's got a wealthy family, an in with the Ministry, and no bloody Werewolf Registration to hold him back. I, on the other hand –
No. Come on Remus, get a hold of yourself. You know Dumbledore did this for a reason. No Head Boy can go mysteriously missing every month without someone getting suspicious. He did you a favor. Really.
Peter, from his perch upon Sirius' trunk, looked as though he were actually listening to James' tirade. He was, Remus reflected, getting rather good at that. "I thought Dumbledore was the one who decided-"
James rounded on him in what Remus thought must be mock anger – but then again, this concerned Lily, so one could never quite be sure. "It's fate, Peter, I tell you its fate! Fate-fate-fate-fate-fate!" With an impressive twirl, he managed to evade a bedpost and flop almost elegantly on his own bed. "Can you imagine? We'll spend every morning, noon, and night together – she'll never be able to resist my charm then!"
More like she'll never be able to bloody evade him. The poor girl's likely to lose her sanity by the end of next year.
Shame, that. She's really a rather nice girl.
James sat up, looking directly at Remus, who shut down his internal commentator on the off chance that James was as capable of reading minds as he claimed to be. Then again, he'd also said he was able to see through Lily's robes whenever he'd smelt mugwort, but no one had been inclined to believe him, and had instead accused him of dipping into the purple-sworled Bertie-Botts again.
"Hey, Moony – tell me again!" James looked for all the world like a child pleading for an early birthday present, eyes wide and full of euphoria. Remus wondered whether it was prudent to chuck the book in his hands at James, or if it would merely worsen the situation and increase his concussion-like trance concerning Miss Evans.
James, upon realizing that the Heads shared adjoining rooms, had been convinced that this was the year I'll win Evans' heart, no matter what, you guys, I mean it, so stop laughing! He'd hounded Remus for statistics on the Heads and their later lives, and Remus had gamely taken on the challenge and looked up as many of the numbers as he could find. This idea had rather backfired on him, as James now asked him to recite them with alarming regularity every six to eight hours. Refusal usually ended with something wet, slimy, and vaguely reptilian being shoved in Remus' bed, so he sighed and began his resuscitation for the eighty-second time. "In the last two-hundred-fourteen years, eighty-nine percent have dated, forty-three percent ended up married, and seventy-two percent-"
Sirius, apparently unsatisfied with his lack of personal input so far, interrupted the werewolf's droning resuscitation of facts. "-Have had kinky sex in the Astronomy Tower, I'm sure. Moony, weren't we trying to dispel his fantasies at some point? You're failing your duty as a Marauder, my friend! I shall be forced to excommunicate you if this persists!" He emphasized each word with a flourish of his wand, sending sparks flying every which direction, briefly lighting Peter's trousers on fire.
Remus took the opportunity to take off his reading glasses and massage his temples in an annoyed fashion. "Because that's worked so well in the past, Pads. Six full years in this school and the little wanker still hasn't given up." He sighed, looking past the window-perched Sirius into the night sky. "We're almost done. Just next year, and then we'll never really be the Marauders again."
"Just next year, and then we'll never really be the Marauders again."
Sirius blinked, taking in what Remus had just said as a familiar gut-wrenching feeling came over him.
I hate it when he's like this.
Sirius had always fancied that he was the only one in the entire school who knew what his introverted werewolf friend was thinking more than fifty percent of the time. It was, he had figured out, all in Remus' eyes. Eyes and hands. And when his eyes were that particular shade of gold with that amount of lid covering them with those creases between his eyebrows and his hands were twisted just so around the spine of the book he was holding...
Well. The boy was due for some cheering from the Master of All Things Fun and Kinky, Sirius Black, Marauder Extraordinaire.
Pushing off from the windowsill with an acrobat's style (though almost none of the grace), he used his hang time in the air to wriggle into his canine body, bounding in three quick leaps to tackle Remus, book and all, onto the soft comforter. He yipped joyfully and aimed, with what Remus classified as his "Overly long, overly slimy, and overly obnoxious" tongue, at the especially ticklish spot just under the werewolf's jaw.
Remus collapsed into laughter, just as Sirius had known he would. "Padfoot – you – argh! Get off!" Sirius obliged as Remus began to wipe his face with his sleeve. "Disgusting. Why we let you live here, I'll never remember."
Sirius reverted back, laughter flashing in his eyes. "I made you a list, back in Third Year. Don't you remember? I…Hel-lo, what's this?" He picked up the book Remus had been reading from earlier, just now noticing the cover where two scantily dressed Muggles – they had to be Muggles, as the picture wasn't moving, though with that amount of clothing missing he wouldn't have been able to tell otherwise – appeared to be making an extremely interesting use of a smithy.
Remus looked absolutely horrified. "Sirius, give that back right now! Professor Castella recommended it to me for Muggle Studies!"
Sirius raised his eyebrows at Peter and James, who were both snickering on the other side of the room, as he opened to a random page and began to read aloud in his most dramatic stage voice. "'And Mariabelle was swept into his fantastically muscled forearms, her bosom heaving against his majestically broad chest as they stared into each other's eyes. She felt him tense under her as she was carried, as if on a velvet pathway, towards the back rooms, the warm fabric of his kilt softly brushing against her dangling feet. She...' Moony, stop gaping like a fish, I know you've already read this part, your bookmark's way the hell over here, '...She could only guess what was about to come next, but she felt immediately that she would be betraying Mercutio, the brother of the man who now held her so tightly.' Rem, you've got to be kidding me."
James' smile must have filled his entire face as he came out of his Lily Evans induced thoughts. "Well, well, well, Mr. Padfoot. I do believe we have a closet romantic in our midst. Whatever shall we do with him?"
"I'm sure if we look hard enough we'll be able to find something...appropriate."
Remus, now looking quite scared for his sanity and more than a little frustrated, took this lapse in concentration to snatch the book back from Sirius. "Absolutely not! James, if you do anything, I swear I'll tell Lily Evans about your lookout point from the Astronomy Tower to the Gryffindor Girls' showers. And Sirius...I'll...I'll..." It occurred to Remus at this point in time that really, there wasn't a whole lot he could do to Sirius Black that would make him pay attention. God knew he'd been trying to find something for years. "Well. I have no idea what I'll do, but it will be suitably horrible. Pete will help, won't you, Peter?"
"Absolutely!" shouted Peter, glad to be Remus' first choice. "We could start by putting a dandruff spell in his hair. And that horrible zit spell James found last year. That'd go nicely."
Remus nodded sagely. "He'll be a wreck, won't he? And do you know what that means, Peter?"
Peter pretended to think. "He'll be undateable?"
Remus returned with an evil grin plastered on his face. "Worse, my dear Wormtail. It will mark the coming of the apocalypse, of judgment day, for Sirius Black will finally be," he drew a deep breath and locked eyes with Sirius, "Single."
Sirius, now in his element, knelt in front of Remus and began kissing the hem of his pants in an overly dramatic manner. "No! Say it ain't so! I am your slave, your servant, your underling!"
"How about my bitch?" chuckled Remus, peering down at him.
"Yes, that too! I grovel at your feet and – hey, now, wait a minute Moony, that wasn't very nice."
Remus smiled as he disentangled Sirius from his leg and set the book in his trunk – careful to lock it, just in case of further disruption from the hurricane that was Sirius Lee Black. "Yes, well, you all know my views on romance, don't you? So really, it's a moot point."
James rolled his eyes as he recited, as if from one of Moony's well-loved textbooks, "That's it's nothing but pomp and show, a worthless waste of time that only allows you to be ridiculed and slowly driven insane as you are paired with a person you thought you knew but couldn't possibly because women are nothing but a source of evil and very, very bad things when thought of as sexual beings. Yes, Moony, we got that."
Peter got that evil look on his face that always meant he knew something. "James says that all that means is that you're gay."
"I do not, Peter! You sodding liar!"
There's that funny feeling again, thought Sirius. I wonder what it could mean...?
A voice that sounded all too much like a certain greasy-haired Slytherin took that opportunity to pipe up in the back of his mind. Oh, I think I have an idea or two...
Sirius told the voice in his head to kindly sod off, or he would find a way to permanently exorcize it.
"Siri? Are you OK?"
Sirius jerked his head up just in time to meet Remus' curious glance. "Hm? Yeah, m'fine. Just thinking."
Remus smiled and poked Sirius on the forehead. "Alright. Don't forget, it's a Hogsmeade day tomorrow – we've really got to stock up if we want the end of this year to go off with a bang."
I wonder, thought Peter as he lay in bed, fiddling with the corner of his sheets, what's got Sirius so preoccupied. Remus, too. It's obvious what's wrong with James; he's been like this for years. But the other two were always so steady. There's something between them, I think. Not a fight. No, not a fight, or I'd know about it. I'd have heard about it, because God knows I'm always the one to really figure out what's going on here. Most of the time.
But still – it's so odd. I can't explain it, not really. And that's a first, because Sirius and James are so transparent – not Moony, but I guess that comes from the whole being-a-werewolf thing. It's almost as if they're...
...in love! I'm in love with the most beautiful girl in the world and by Merlin, thought James as he lay in bed, contemplating the heavens, I'm going to make her love me back. She'll see. She's not like Remus. Remus, who thinks that love's the stupidest thing that could ever happen to a guy, just because…well. I wonder why? He's never really given us a reason, has he?
...He needs to get over that, I think. Love – love is a many splendoured thing, love lifts us up where we belong, all you need is love!
Don't start that again, thought Sirius as he lay in bed, angrily smashing his pillow against the headboard. I've got better things to do than getting rid of voices in my head. Like trying to figure out...stuff.
The end of the year pranking ideas.
Girls. Girls with curves and legs and big brown eyes and long hair...
...that's completely distracting every time he flips it about, thought Remus as he lay in bed, sighing as he stared at a length of black hair in the bed next to him. No one should be that perfect. Except that he's not. Except that he is. Except he'll never be yours, Remus, so just allow that overactive imagination of yours to take a rest from that dangerous path that it's heading down, so you can accept reality. Because there are only so many times your friends are going to accept you.
Peter Pettigrew had always been an early riser. He liked to watch the sun as it came up over the lake on Hogwarts grounds, see the different colors fading in and out with each ripple of the water. He liked watching the centaurs as they peered out of the edge of the forest, bows and arrows in their hands, occasionally having a friendly target practice with the groundskeeper, Hagrid. He loved the smell of breakfast wafting through the halls, freshly prepared by the Houselves of Hogwarts, before it was contaminated by the smell of students rushing in the morning, spilled ink and spells gone wrong.
But this, he thought to himself, is positively ridiculous.
Woken at three a.m. by the sensation that he simply couldn't remain in his four poster bed, he had wandered through the halls looking for something that might just catch his interest. He hadn't been brave enough to make his way to the dungeons yet, instead opting for the safer and more familiar prank-section of the library. He might be a decent dueler, but the packs that Slytherins tended to travel with in the lower levels of Hogwarts made for odds he didn't particularly favor. Sirius had described them as being "like ruddy witches going to the bathroom in groups – can't they be apart from each other for one whole minute?"
Snape hadn't quite liked that remark, and had proceeded to hit Sirius with a spell that turned his nose a fantastically bright color every other second.
Chuckling at the memory – it had taken the Marauders three days to rid Sirius of the spell (though, truth be told, everyone but Sirius had found it rather amusing, and they hadn't been particularly motivated to remove it in a timely fashion) – Peter non-chalantly swung open the door leading to the next section of the library.
Or, at least, he had meant to. Instead, it swung open with a sharp crack as it came in contact with a rather solid object on the other side.
"Dammit, Peter, that hurt!"
The solid object appeared not only to be speaking, but taking the guise of his good friend Prongs.
"Oh, for! I'm sorry, James." Peter helped his friend up from the ground, noting an angry red mark that would no doubt be subject to prodding from Madame Pomfrey's wand at a later time. "What were you doing behind the door?"
"Looking for you, actually. You're up early, even for you, and I wanted to make sure you weren't sleepwalking or something."
"James, I've never been sleepwalking in my life. I'm not about to start now." Peter took a minute to consider it. "Well, at least I hope not. Can you do that, just start sleepwalking for no reason?"
James quirked an eyebrow at him. "Peter, this is Hogwarts. There's not a whole lot that isn't possible. Practical, on the other hand, is an entirely different story."
A short silence followed as the two stood outside the door. It left Peter feeling uncomfortable – there was no doubt in his mind that James was perfectly alright with it, as he'd never seen his hero look so much as flummoxed, even when Lily Evans started throwing curses at him – so he decided to bring up what had been foremost in his mind the night before.
"Hey, James?" he asked quietly. "Have you noticed anything...I don't know...different about Moony and Padfoot?"
"What?" James looked at him quizzically, leaning casually against a wall. "Not that I can remember, no. Why?"
Peter shook his head quickly. "No, nevermind, it's nothing." He realized even as the words flew out of his mouth that this was the absolute last thing he should be saying if he wanted Prongs to actually drop the subject.
James, ever predictable, immediately latched onto the subject. "No, seriously, what's up? I haven't noticed anything, but that doesn't really mean much."
Remus, Peter reflected, had a perfectly good reason for claiming that Sirius and James were the densest people he knew. Neither had any sense whatsoever for other people's feelings – it was what made them both amazing pranksters and the first into detention. Peter and Remus, on the other hand, avoided the undying wrath of McGonagall with the semblance of poor, misdirected, but generally kindhearted students who were merely dragged into yet another plan by the deviants of the school.
Peter was amazed it still worked.
Praying that his next words wouldn't positively backfire on him, Peter took a deep breath. "You know how we're always teasing Moony and Padfoot about...about being a couple? Hell, they even go along with it now, we've done it for so long. You know...because they're always the closest together, and because Remus lets Sirius eat off his plate, and Sirius always lets Moony use him as a footrest, and Padfoot is the only person Remus will ever share chocolate with, and Sirius is always insisting that he be the one to take Moony his homework and stuff after the full moon, and...and..." Peter realized he was rambling, and dropped his eyes to James' feet. "I think...I think we might be right."
Five seconds passed, and Peter hadn't been cursed to into oblivion. Ten, and James hadn't so much as moved. Peter became afraid he had gone into epileptic shock, so he finally deemed it safe to look up at him. "James?"
Peter began to wish fervently for a camera. James' face was contorted into a mask of laughter, the corners of his mouth twitching as he tried with every fiber of his being to not laugh. It was another three seconds before he failed this mission altogether, and collapsed on the floor in helpless laughter.
"You...think – You think Sirius Black, self proclaimed womanizer and all-around slut of Gryffindor House," James drew a breath, tears nearly streaming out his eyes, "Is actually gay? Peter – you…you just…no bloody way. I don't think it's even in Padfoot's genes to think of another bloke like that, much less about Moony. I mean, I know he's all girly and stuff, with all the books and the Prefect stuff and the general wussy-ness, but there's no way Padfoot's that confused."
Peter felt a quick surge of anger in defense of Remus. "Hey! Come on! Moony is not girly, and I think I've got a perfectly valid assumption! What would you think if...if Lily started hanging off of you all the time, and shared her food with you, and tackled you on a bed while she was laughing?"
James' eyes got a misty look about them before he snapped his attention back to Peter. "Alright, fair point. But you're still missing the idea that they're both guys, Peter. Not to mention our best mates. Who live in our dorm. Wouldn't we have, I dunno, noticed something?"
Peter's eyes widened as a verifiable lightbulb went off in his head. "Not if they don't know it yet."
Peter looked straight at James, completely deadpan. "What if they don't know they're in love with each other yet? That must be it." Peter felt the hopeless romantic inside of him stirring into action. "James, we've got to do something!"
Now completely awake, he skidded through the open doorway, pulling down books in a random fashion and banishing them to the nearby table with his wand. A few missed – one almost knocked James in the head – but Peter was on a roll now, and nothing would get in his way now.
This was why he was a Marauder.
"There's got to be something in these books. A spell to point out your true love, a Ouija board, something!" His eyes flashed, and James reluctantly took a seat at the table, accepting his fate and trying to organize the books as they were thrown at him.
Finished pulling the books off the shelves – somewhere around two dozen – he took a deep breath and pulled the first tome off the impressive pile James had stacked. Calming himself, he flipped randomly though the pages. If there was one thing he had learned within his six years at Hogwarts, it was that he had a special knack for finding things when he wasn't actively looking for them. It only added to his luck if the topic was labeled in his mind with tags such as 'that one witch who did that one thing with those weird things.'
Twenty minutes later, James was beginning to doze as he looked in the index of Why Egg Whites Are Better Than Sheep: The Life and Times of Higbert the Haggard when he heard Peter let out a shout.
"This is it! This is perfect! James! James, look at this! We can have done by Hogsmeade today!"
Cursing whatever part of his brain had gone on super-friend over-drive when he woke to find Peter's bed empty, he squinted at the book Wormtail was brandishing at him until the squiggles on the page blurred into words.
The Dramatus Patefacio Potion
Designed by the Lulu the Magnificent in 1482, Dramatus Patefacio gives the drinker the heightened senses of the justices, the passions, the perceptions, and the loves. Drinker will be pointed to the OTL (One True Love) and should commence with the wooing of the OTL. Others of the side effects of the dramas of the goodnesses may tend to follow.
(Allow for three hours brewing time. Side effects may include, but are not limited to burning, itching, scratching, lemon-flavored rashes and sudden death. Should not be given to subjects with a history of schizophrenia.)
"Not bad," murmured James, taking the book and looking over the ingredients, scribbling it all down with a quill Peter provided him with. "Not bad at all, Wormtail." He grinned, finished, and started walking towards the door. "You realize they're going to kill us, right?"
Peter smiled wryly, jogging to catch up with James. "Yep."
"Then I do believe we have some work to do, Mr. Wormtail. Five hours 'til Hogsmeade and counting." He tapped the parchment with their instructions thoughtfully. "I say we give it to Sirius."
Peter rolled his eyes. "It might not be all that different from how he normally acts, you know."
James paused, thinking, then said slowly. "That's actually not a bad thing, I think. That way, we can keep the potion working for longer without a teacher suspecting. Plus I'd feel bad giving it to Remus, with the full moon coming and all. Who knows what kind of side effects that could cause." James smiled. "It's brilliant!"
"Yeah," said Peter, grinning. "It kind of is, isn't it?"
No, really, I swear that on the whole it'll be a bit more lighthearted than this. And by God, I really should have been studying for Gov.
So it's PenPusherM's fault if I fail that class. Except in that way that it's totally not.