A/N: Hi, all. Welcome, welcome. Before you start, know that this is a slash fic (i.e. lots of boy-on-boy goodness). No like-y, no read-y. If you do like-y, then by all means read and enjoy…

A Silly Thing Called Love—Chapter One

Remus stretched himself along the length of his bed, a volume of Arithmancy propped open in his hands. The Gryffindor dormitory was silent—the older students having left for Hogsmeade and the younger ones scampering about outdoors. It was, after all, a beautiful October afternoon.

Remus could see the clear blue sky from where he lay, imagined the taste of the crisp autumn air. James and Peter and Sirius had certainly scoured the shelves of Honeydukes already and were happily devouring bags of chocolate frogs, licorice wands, and toffee, perhaps sitting down to a round of butterbeers and fiddling with whatever they'd purchased from Zonko's.

They had fought tooth and nail with Remus over his choosing to stay behind, threatening to cast a Body-Bind on him and then carry him down to Hogsmeade. Remus had warned that, should they do so, they would find themselves dealing with a very pissed off werewolf when the Bind wore off. Wisely, they had let the matter drop, choosing instead to sulk about the dorm casting injured looks in his direction.

Remus had ignored their pleading stares and had, in fact, seen them cheerfully off earlier that morning.

He flipped through several pages, narrowed his eyes at the complex equations, frowned, and tossed the book aside. It was the weekend, after all—and studying had only been his excuse for staying behind, not his actual reason.

No, that came wrapped up in the dark-haired, grey-eyed package of one Sirius Black. Or, more to the point, Remus's sudden shift-of-feelings towards said package. A shift he'd hoped was nothing more than a passing fancy, but which ultimately proved a permanent addition.

He was attracted to Sirius—and he could live with that.

A teenaged boy was privy to his occasional infatuation, after all. And Remus had had his share like everyone else.

Attraction he could handle. What worried him was the whispering of something more at the back of his mind. A phantom promise of something he could not afford. Sirius was his friend. He did not want to lose that friendship on account of feelings that promised only to tear him apart.

Sirius could not return his feelings. Remus accepted this. So he would do what was necessary to cleanse his system of his infatuation, and if that meant avoiding Sirius's company for as long as necessary he would. Sirius meant too much to him to lose on account of a silly thing like love.

Hence Remus's adamant refusal to join his friends for a lively day of frolicking in Hogsmeade. Being in such close quarters with Sirius for such a length of time would ultimately prove detrimental to Remus's iron will, especially when Sirius was likely to become sloshed on nicked firewhiskey and, subsequently, feel the need to drape himself over whatever sturdy body was nearest at hand. Remus, for some ill-conceived reason, seemed always to be nearest at hand. The last thing he needed was the object of his desire wrapped around his neck breathing nonsense against his cheek—no wait.

The actual last thing he needed was for his wolf to become enticed by the spicy scent of Sirius's skin which would, with a certainty that truly frightened Remus, cause him to do unspeakable things to his best friend within view of the general public.

Until he had his attraction successfully quelled and his wolf securely under lock and key, Remus planned to put as much distance between himself and Sirius as was physically possible without being too painfully obvious. Which meant very little distance would actually be achieved since he, Peter, James, and Sirius were notoriously inseparable—especially himself and Sirius, as of late.

With James quite literally fawning over Lily (who had finally said 'Yes.') and Peter spending more and more time with some 'secret friend' of his, it was only natural that Remus and Sirius had grown closer over the past few months.

For six years it had always been James and Sirius who were closest, so much alike as they were. Remus had always been the quiet one, the one who tempered their wiliness, who preached caution when that spark of mischievousness alighted their eyes. Not that he wanted for their attention. As with Peter, they took pains to include him in their scheming. He had a cleverness that had initially surprised them, and a charm with the professors that often kept James and Sirius from being caught.

In fifth year, for instance, James and Sirius somehow got it into their heads that it would be "bloody awesome" to spell all of the furniture in Professor McGonagall's classroom to the ceiling—with the hitch that whoever tried to reverse the spell would be doused with a Bat-Bogey hex. When McGonagall walked in on the four of them in the act Remus had stepped forward and claimed sole responsibility, citing an overenthusiastic attempt at levitation. James, Sirius, and Peter had only been trying to help him reverse it, he'd said. Unable to prove otherwise McGonagall had dismissed them. Luckily for her they hadn't yet cast the hex.

As it happened, James had been the object of Remus's teenaged infatuation that year and after that very close call with McGonagall, Remus had seen his chance to tactfully distance himself from James without raising any eyebrows.

Why not stir up a really fantastic prank for end of the year, he'd suggested. Something that will be talked about for years to come. James and Sirius had practically drooled at the thought, shutting themselves away for hours at a time scouring their minds for just the right idea. It took them months, and by the time they had their idea and called Remus and Peter back into the think-tank, Remus's infatuation had passed.

He had experienced a similar situation in fourth year, when it had been Lily who had caught his eye.

Unlike James, Remus had always gotten along rather well with prim-and-proper Lily Evans—although their friendship was strained at times due to James's relentless pursuit to impress her.

His recovery from that infatuation was easier, seeing as just weeks after returning from Christmas break James made quite the ass of himself and humiliated Lily in front of a rather large group of students. She avoided him for nearly two months alongside Remus, Sirius, and Peter. By the time she started speaking to him again, Remus had reverted to loving her merely as a friend.

So. That was what he needed to do. Distance himself from Sirius. A few months and this silly crush would be over and he could move on.

But how to avoid Sirius without raising eyebrows, or causing insult? After all, they had fallen into something of a pattern as of late: eating together (since James and Peter had become noticeably absent at meals), studying together in the common room between and after classes (Sirius's grades were starting to improve), pulling a few pranks on their own (Snape would be combing thick wads of grease from his hair for weeks), even flying around the Quidditch field at night.

James and Peter were still around, of course. The four of them still spent an inordinate amount of time together. A herd of raging hippogriffs couldn't tear them apart. They were, and always would be, first and foremost Marauders.

But over the past few months Remus had sensed from Sirius a growing dependence on their deepening friendship. Was Sirius simply looking to him to replace James? No, that was unfair. Remus knew without doubt that Sirius's affection was sincere.

And that was the problem.

Sirius had grown accustomed to Remus always being there to "hang out." What would happen if Remus suddenly pulled away? There was no way to go about distancing himself from Sirius without raising a red flag. Sure, he could plead illness or the need to study…but for how long? Eventually Sirius was going to pick up on the fact that Remus was trying to avoid him and that would open up a whole other can of worms.

Sirius would demand to know why, and he would be entitled to an explanation. But what could Remus say? My apologies, Padfoot. I'm afraid that I can no longer be alone in a room with you because when I am, I can't guarantee that I won't jump you and shag you into the carpet.

Oh, yes. That would go over just swell.

Remus sighed, moving to sit by the window.

A group of students was playing a makeshift game of Quidditch, laughing and shouting out jesting obscenities. Nearer the lake, another group was engaged in a game of muggle football: boys against girls. Other students strolled lazily around the grounds, or sat in small clusters beneath the warming sun. James, Sirius, and Peter were by now testing out their latest Zonko's purchase on some poor, unsuspecting soul. Sirius was certainly tipsy, and likely quickly on the way to becoming all-out smashed. By dusk, James and Peter would be hauling him up the steps to their dorm room, McGonagall's shrill reprimands following them each step of the way.

It would fall to Remus to get him changed and in bed, James and Peter washing their hands of him the moment he hit the bed. Sirius would babble drunken nonsense, curling up against Remus as he wiped a cold cloth across his brow.

Sirius was what James referred to as a "sappy drunk." He never lost his head, never got nasty or stupid, but rather became nauseatingly sentimental and in need of cuddling, whereby he would spout such prose as to make Shakespeare nauseas. In the morning he would awake with a wicked hangover, a short temper, and no memory whatsoever of the babbling romantic he'd been the night before.

James found it entirely amusing, savoring the flush of Sirius's cheeks when he repeated his schmaltzy gibberish back at him word for word. Sirius usually retaliated with a snide remark. Then James. And within minutes the pair was wrestling about on the floor hurling obscenities at each other. The skirmish almost always ended with Remus casting a Body-Bind on the both of them and hauling them under a cold shower to cool off.

It was their final year at Hogwarts, Remus mused, and he did not want to spend it avoiding Sirius over a silly thing like a teenaged crush. He was an intelligent boy. Certainly, he could rationalize himself out of this infatuation—convince himself both consciously and subconsciously that all he felt for Sirius was friendship.

How hard could it be? Mind over body and all that other psychological mumbo-jumbo. Right. Perhaps with anyone else it would be as easy as simply telling yourself that you are not attracted to such-and-such. But when it came to Sirius Black, nothing was ever simple nor easy.

Sirius was unequivocally attractive. There was no getting around that. Even those people who despised him (namely ratty little Slytherins) could be caught ogling his Adonis-like features. The Lestrange brothers, in fact, had developed a habit—which Remus assumed was entirely subconscious—of staring at Sirius's backside whenever he walked past them. And they were not the only ones. Sirius's reputation as a playboy was not entirely unfounded.

So. Step One: accept Sirius's attractiveness as a matter of fact and nothing more. Not too impossible a suggestion. Remus had, after all, done just that when James had been the obstacle. But then, his infatuation with James had been purely physical while with Sirius there was an itching of something more.

Which brought him to Step Two: forget all notions of Sirius returning his feelings and banish all thoughts to the contrary. Sirius was his friend. Period.

Remus needed to nip this infatuation in bud now, before it blossomed out of his control. He refused to lose his friendship with Sirius because his heart got the better of him. He could not afford to fall in love with Sirius Black. To do so only spelled disaster.

Step Three: find some excuse to not be alone with Sirius for any decent length of time. This would prove to be the hardest step. How does one go about neglecting his friend's company without that friend becoming ever the wiser? Was it at all possible?

Sirius, for all his blundering charm, wasn't an idiot. He would notice if Remus became suddenly distant, aloof. He would worry and when Sirius worried he hovered like a mother hen. He would pester Remus with gentle determination until Remus finally cracked under the weight of those caring grey eyes.

So. Find a way to become distant without becoming distant.

Remus laughed humorlessly. Right. Easy as pie.

Step Four: control his wolf. Easier said than done, but not impossible. Except for those three days of the full moon, Remus was generally dominant over his wolf and able, to an extent, to quell his canine urges. Sirius's spicy scent would ultimately be his undoing in this regard. It enticed his wolf to do very naughty things to Sirius's body and that simply would not do.

But how to fix it? Give himself a cold? The flu? Allergies? A possibility, to be sure, but a three month cold would definitely raise a few eyebrows—especially if Remus refused to see Madam Pomfrey.

In summation: Remus was pretty much screwed.

There was no way in hell he could gain the distance he needed, for the length of time he needed, to kick this pesky infatuation. Unless he wanted to hurt Sirius's feelings and possibly destroy their friendship.

It wasn't as though he could come right out and tell Sirius what the problem was. No, Remus had already established that that would be a very bad idea.

What he needed was someone to talk to. Maybe expressing his feelings and analyzing them from a rational point of view would help. But who could he talk to? James and Peter were out on principle. If he refused to be upfront with Sirius, then it was only fair he do the same for James and Peter.

Besides, if he were forced to suffer even five minutes of one of James's knowing smirks Remus was likely to do something he would later regret—like wringing James's neck.

So. No James and no Peter. Who then?

Remus frowned up at the ceiling. Who indeed. Someone he trusted not only to regard his situation with utmost severity but also someone he trusted to keep it in strictest confidence. The answer was fairly obvious and Remus wondered why he hadn't thought of it before.


Of all people she could be trusted to offer her help without making him feel like a fool.

Remus glanced outside. It was starting to get dark. Maybe she—

"Bloody effing hell, Sirius! Pick up your bloody feet! I will not carry you up these steps!"

"'S okay, Jamesy. I—"

There was a loud thud followed by a string of rather colorful obscenities.

With a sigh Remus crossed the room and pulled the door open.

Sirius was sprawled on the staircase looking amusedly perplexed, blinking owlishly at his legs. Peter stood several steps below glowering at Sirius and rubbing at a nasty bruise on his arm. Why did Sirius always bite when he was drunk? James stood just in front of Remus, still muttering obscenities under his breath. He certainly has a way with words, Remus thought dryly.

Sirius tried unsuccessfully to regain his own feet, falling back onto his backside with a disgruntled huff. Looking around the stairwell with a petulant frown he caught sight of Remus standing in the doorway. A brilliant smile alighted his face. "Moony!"

James spun on his heel. He glared at Remus, the beginnings of a bruise swelling his jaw. Apparently Sirius had gotten punchy as well. "Good. You can deal with him. Come on, Peter."

They brushed past Remus and disappeared into the showers. The door slammed shut behind them.

Remus looked down at Sirius, who had managed somehow to slide himself up the wall and was now standing rather wobbly on the steps. He looked a bit green. With a sign of resignation Remus looped his arm around Sirius's waist and hauled him up the remaining stairs and into the dorm room, dropping him most unceremoniously onto his bed.

Sirius groaned, reaching for the nearest bin. And while he retched up God only knew how many bottles of firewhiskey, Remus tugged off his shoes and socks, his belt, his coat and button-down. When he was through he handed Sirius a glass of water and a Sleeping Draught.

Sirius groaned again, a pitiable sound, and reached up a hand toward Remus, tugging him down onto the bed.

Remus sat, far beyond the point of resignation, and allowed Sirius to curl up against him. The spicy scent of Sirius's skin assailed his senses. Sirius sighed, nuzzling against his neck.

I give up, Remus thought wearily, heart hammering against his chest. I surrender. I am truly, madly, deeply in love with Sirius Black. God have mercy on me.

"Moony?" Sirius whispered against his skin.


Remus wiped the cold cloth over Sirius's brow. Sirius purred contentedly. Remus swallowed hard. You'll be the death of me, Sirius Black.

"Smell good," Sirius murmured. "Like boy."

Remus almost laughed. "Go to sleep, Sirius."


"I am so screwed," Remus breathed into the silence.

His fingers moved absently to brush away the hair from Sirius's face. He would be stuck there all night: Sirius's arm draped soundly over his chest, head resting against his shoulder.

Just my luck, he grumbled inwardly. I fall in love with the one person I can't afford to fall in love with. Someone up top must be having a helluva laugh.

Remus woke the next morning with Sirius's breath against his cheek and a sharp tingling down his left side. James's and Peter's beds were empty.

Without warning his wolf suddenly reared its big furry head, flooding his system with an urge to roll Sirius over and kiss him breathless.

For a moment Remus struggled. He closed his eyes and drew in a deep breath. He controlled the wolf. The wolf did not control him. It was a mantra he anticipated using profusely over the next few months—what with his finally admitting to himself that he was in love with Sirius, not to mention his strict determination to get over it as quickly as possible.

How hard could it be? Certainly his heart had zeroed in on Sirius only because it was he with whom Remus spent most of his time. It was all a matter of proximity.

Right. And banshees tap-danced on the Minister's desk.

Well they could, Remus retorted indignantly—and then realized he was arguing with himself and scowled.

No, no, no, that just would not do. If he wanted to smash this love-blossom beneath his feet, since it was a bit late to nip it in the bud, than he would need to be of unarguably sound mind.

So. New plan.

Step One: no interaction whatsoever with the voice in his head. Simple enough. Hopefully.

Step Two: stop fighting it.

Most importantly of all Remus had to accept that he was, by his own admission, in love with Sirius Black. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. And boy! Did Remus ever have a problem.

How did this happen? How does someone wake up one day out of the blue and realize they're in love with such-and-such? There had been no warning. No signs. Nothing. Remus had just randomly glanced at Sirius one afternoon several weeks earlier and bam!

It hit him like a ton of bricks. He was attracted to Sirius Black. But more than that he had felt the itching of something more at the back of his mind and had realized instantly what it meant—and scrambled franticly to smash it to bits.

I will not fall in love with Sirius, he had repeated to himself over and over for the better part of an hour.

So much for mind over body. He had been delusional to think he could stop it. His heart had always been stronger than his mind.

So. On to Step Three: talk to someone.

Remus needed to unload. Maybe having someone to share his dismay with would help him to overcome this. Besides, he needed to talk to someone. There was no way in hell he could survive this by himself. Lily was clearly the best choice. He would seek her out as soon as he was able to detangle himself from Sirius.

That thought reminded Remus of the sharp tingling racing along his entire left side. Sirius wasn't exactly a light load.

He nudged the sleeping boy. Sirius groaned and snuggled closer. Lovely, Remus grumbled. Just bloody lovely. "Sirius…"

He mumbled incomprehensibly, burying his face in Remus's neck. "Five more minutes," was all Remus heard.

Remus nudged again. "Up, Padfoot."

Slowly, Sirius stirred. His eyes fluttered open drowsily. He stared up at Remus with momentary confusion, then blinked it away. He smiled lazily, rolling onto his back: no embarrassment, no mortification at finding himself wrapped around the body of his best friend. They were both old hands at this routine.

"Morning, Moony," he said through a yawn.

Remus felt the sensation returning to his left side. His skin burned with the feeling of a thousand needles jabbing at him. He glowered, and with just a touch of a sadistic amusement asked, "How's your head?"

Sirius winced, the smile fading. Sensation, it seemed, had returned to Sirius as well. Give him five minutes, Remus knew, and he would be as cranky as an agitated troll.

"Not so loud, Moony."

Remus smiled. "Had that much fun, did you?"

"Well, I guess so," Sirius groused.

"So you don't remember gnawing at Peter's arm, hm? Or taking a swing at James?"

"I did—Wait a minute." He narrowed his eyes at Remus. "You're taking the piss."

"Afraid not, my friend."

Sirius settled back to stare up at the ceiling, a frown tugging at his lips.

Remus, who had finally managed to detangle himself from Sirius, now sat looking down at him. It should be illegal to look that good.

Stretched across his bed in nothing but an undershirt and jeans, dark hair tussled and fanned carelessly against the pillow, Sirius looked every bit the part of a Greek god.

Not good. This was not good. How in the seven hells was Remus supposed to squelched this silly love thing when all he could do was picture all the very naughty things he wanted to do to Sirius's body? Things that would make even the most experienced 'working girl' blush.

Remus needed to get out of there. Now.

He started to get up when Sirius looked at him, fathomless grey eyes paralyzing him where he sat. He tried to mask his features, and knew it was a wasted effort. No one knew him better than Sirius.

Sirius's brow pinched together, an expression of worry.

Remus looked…troubled. No, it was more than that. He looked like a deer caught in the headlights. Nervous. Hesitant. Fearful? Of what? Him? No, that was silly. Why would Remus be afraid of him? But something was definitely making him skittish.

Sirius sat up. He reached out a hand to touch Remus's shoulder and felt like he'd been slapped when Remus jerked away. For his part, Remus tried to look apologetic, offering a weak, unconvincing smile.

Sirius felt a jab of hurt. What had he done?

He tried again to touch Remus, felt again the insult when he pulled away. There was a flickering of amber in Remus's eyes. The wolf was fighting for control. Sirius could see the struggle in his friend's face: the set of his jaw, the furrowing of his brow, the touch of pain in his eyes.

What was going on in that head of his? Why was his wolf clawing for the surface? The moon was barely new. It would be weeks before it was full again. Sirius began suddenly to panic. Was something wrong?


With the quick reflexes of a wolf Remus bolted off the bed.

Distance. He needed distance. He had severely underestimated the strength of his wolf, of his wolf's desire for Sirius. He had been foolish to think he could contain it. The scent of Sirius—

He froze. He was covered in it. His clothes, his hair, his skin. He reeked of Sirius.

Shower, he thought frantically. I need to shower right now.

Grabbing a shirt and a pair of jeans Remus fled the dorm room, leaving Sirius to stare after him baffled and hurt.

After scrubbing his skin raw under blistering hot water, Remus dressed quickly and sought out prim-and-proper Lily Evans.

He knew precisely where to find her. It was, after all, a Sunday. And what did the Head Girl and a Gryffindor Prefect do on Sundays—much to the vexation of their friends?

Studied, of course.

Remus smiled. In fifth year, when he found himself lusting after James and mortified because of it, he had turned, like he was turning now, to Lily for guidance. She was the only non-Marauder he considered a true friend and trusted not to betray his confidence.

They would meet in the library, the one place James and Sirius refused to go anywhere near—and all on account of a bit of a mishap in third year when they'd 'accidentally' transfigured Madam Pince's quill to come alive, whereby it 'accidentally' began to pen obscene messages all over the walls and on the books and parchments of studying students.

Madam Pince had come very close to tearing them limb from limb and had restrained from doing so only because of Professor Dumbledore's presence. She had, however, threatened severe punishment should either of them step foot within the library again.

James and Sirius had read the murder in her eyes and had, for once, heeded Remus's warning and sworn off the library for good. Not that they had actually spent much time there to begin with, but nevertheless they had avoided the library like the plague ever since. And that suited Remus's needs quite nicely, thank you very much.

Remus passed a row of suits of armor. They jeered and hooted obscenely, their joints creaking as they jostled about.

Remus rolled his eyes. They were a favorite mark of Sirius's. It drove Filch batty and ruffled McGonagall's feathers every time—especially since they both knew Sirius was to blame but had no proof with which to condemn him.

On the fourth floor Remus made a sharp right at the first corridor past the stairs. The library's massive double doors loomed before him.

He found Lily tucked away in a back corner. She was alone among the clustering of tables. An arched window rose up behind her, clear morning sunlight falling through the otherwise shadowed alcove. She sat with one leg curled beneath her and the other folded to her chest, a quill twirling between her fingers as she flipped through the pages of an Ancient Runes text. Her fiery hair was pulled back in a ponytail; she wore a pair of old faded jeans and tee-shirt that read Emc² across the front. There was a smudge of ink on her pale cheek.

Remus summoned what courage he could and crossed the small distance between them. He needed to talk about this. He needed to tell someone. He absolutely refused to lose Sirius on account of a silly thing like love.

So. Talk about it, dissect it, dismiss it.

Boy, did Remus sure hope it was that simple. He wasn't sure he could handle complicated.

Lily looked up as he sat down. Her dazzling smile faltered at the expression on his face, replaced by a angry frown. "What have they done now?"

Remus smiled despite himself. Leave it to Lily to assume he was there because James and Sirius had done something stupid, which, granted, was usually the case. "They haven't done anything," he said. "Not that I'm aware of, at least."

"Then why the glum mood?"

"I have a problem."


Lily studied his face, scrutinizing. He looks nervous, she thought. Fidgety. There was strain around his eyes, a tightness to his jaw, a slight crinkle in his brow. Definitely nervous. But also, what? Fearful?

Lily chewed at her bottom lip. What in the world could make Remus such a nervous wreck? A flickering of amber in his eyes caught her breath. A struggle with his wolf. During a new moon? There was only one reason for that. And that could only mean—

Oh, no, she thought ruefully. Oh, poor Remus. You truly have the worst of luck, don't you?


Remus nodded, relieved he would be spared the torture of having to explain. There were times when he adored Lily for being much too intuitive for her own good. "Sirius."

"Is this…?" She stared hard at Remus.

There had been a brief flicker of emotion when he said Sirius's name. He masked it, of course, but not before Lily had seen it. Her heart suddenly ached for him.

"You're in love with him," she said softly.

"You're good," he said, smiling weakly.

Lily reached across the table to take his hands in hers. She read the pain in his eyes and sympathized with it. "When did this happen?"

Remus shrugged. "I noticed a few weeks ago but…who knows? I thought it was just another crush," he said. "Like you or James."

"When did you realize it was something more?"

"Last night. I was lying there, Sirius drunk and curled up against me, my wolf clawing for the surface, when it finally hit me." Remus shook his head at the memory. "I had been trying so hard to ignore the lust that I completely missed what was actually happening."

Lily squeezed his hands. "I'm only surprised it took this long."

Remus looked up sharply. "What do you mean?"

"For all his faults, Sirius is a decent guy and he cares deeply about you. As a friend, he is utterly devoted to you and that's something your baser instincts would pick up. To your wolf," she said, "he's pack. Safe to trust. Safe to love. And with the two of you spending so much time together lately…"

"Kindred souls," Remus sighed.

How had he been so blind?

Lily was right, of course. It was only natural his wolf would be drawn to Sirius, who had always worn his heart on his sleeve and never shied from expressing his devotion to Remus. Sirius, who was ever sensitive to Remus's moods and emotions, who sought so often to protect him from himself, who knew him better than anyone.

He truly had been a fool to think it mere infatuation.

"So what am I supposed to do?"

"I would suggest telling him if I thought you would actually do it, but since I know you won't…" She shrugged.

What was she supposed to say? That she had all the answers? That she could cure him of this silly love thing? She knew that he knew that wasn't true, wasn't even the faintest of possibilities.

No, Lily knew that what Remus needed was simply someone to talk to—and if he refused to admit to Sirius how he felt, then James and Peter would remain in the dark as well. Not that Lily could at all blame Remus for that decision. For all that she loved him, James Potter was as subtle as an elephant pirouetting in a pink tutu, and Peter…well, who knew what Peter was up to these days, disappearing like that with some 'secret friend' he refused to talk about.

How unfair that Remus should be destined to love someone unable to return his feelings. It was—Lily piqued.

Who was to say that Sirius wouldn't, or couldn't, return Remus's love? Of all people Sirius was unashamed of his heart's desires, unashamed to follow willingly where his heart lead. Remus would not be the first bloke to catch Sirius's eye. But if Remus refused to tell him…?

Then I will just have to drop my own hints, she thought.

Looking back at Remus she said, "I really haven't a clue what to tell you."

Although I fully intend to give Sirius a massive wakeup smack across the head. Metaphorically, of course

"Talking about it will help but…Remus, this is something you'll eventually have to deal with on your own."

You just leave Sirius to me

"A crush I could maybe help with, but not even I can talk someone out of being in love."

And hopefully I won't have to.

Remus sighed. "Just promise to be there when I fall to pieces, yeah?"

The weight of vulnerability in Remus's eyes tugged at Lily's heart. Of all people Remus did not deserve this helpless misery. She prayed to whatever gods were listening that Sirius had the good sense to open his eyes and see what was right in front of him.

And if he doesn't, then I'll just have to do it for him.

She gave his hand a squeeze, a soft smile on her lips. "Done."

A/N: Well. There you have it. Chapter one. Don't be shy about reviewing. I'm a total review-whore. Let me know what you think.