Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: PG (language)
Word count: 4,425
Disclaimer: I don't own them.
Summary: Sirius is bored of brooms.
Remus looks up from his essay and waits for Sirius to elaborate. Peter and James continue with their game of chess. And Sirius, having commanded his friends to "imagine", is now sitting in silence, his eyes shut and an expression of complete rapture on his face.
"What?" Remus asks, eventually.
Sirius looks over at him, confused. "What?"
Sirius blinks a few times before realising that his friends are not, in fact, telepathic. "Oh." He holds out a comic book, intended for wizards at least five years younger than he is. "Just imagine that."
"You're sixteen, remember," Peter comments, idly putting down a pawn. James lets out a howl of joy, and the unfortunate pawn cowers. Peter swears. "Bloody hell! Why didn't I see that?"
Sirius, seeing that he no longer has their attention, passes the flimsy book to Remus. "Wouldn't it be awesome?"
Remus glances over the page. He never read comics as a child; he never saw the appeal of them. Why would a werewolf want to read about wizards who can change into different forms? This comic seems to centre around a wizard with rainbow-coloured yet still immaculate hair – Remus smoothes his own down self-consciously – who, along with his talking Crup, flies a Muggle car around, outwitting evil but dim-witted Muggles who are intent on broadcasting the secret of the wizarding world. The whole thing seems mildly offensive, and Remus isn't sure what part Sirius thinks would be awesome. Having multicoloured hair? Having a pet Crup?
"Having a flying car," Sirius informs him helpfully. "Wouldn't it be brilliant, Moony?"
"Um." It would be dangerous, thinks Remus. And what would be the point? "You can already fly," he points out.
Sirius dismisses that with a wave of his hand. "On a broom. Brooms are boring. Been there, done that."
"You're just jealous that you'll never fly as well as yours truly," James puts in with a smirk.
Sirius very pointedly turns his chair away from James and towards Remus, who can't help but think that James might be – at least partially – right. "Anyway, Moony," he says, and points at the comic. "Just look. You could fit all kinds of things in a car that you can't on a broom."
"True." That has always been one of the biggest drawbacks of travel by broom, in Remus' opinion.
"Carpets?" Peter suggests.
"Not been legal for at least twenty years," says Remus, and Peter looks shocked enough to let them all know that he's unwittingly flown on carpets since 1955.
"And not as fun," Sirius adds.
"Have you flown on one then?" James demands, looking eagerly at Peter and Sirius. "What's it like?"
"Flown on, spewed on, and fallen off the bugger," Sirius replies proudly.
"After a few flights you don't get carpet-sick anymore," Peter tells him, and Sirius looks briefly intrigued before Remus waves the comic in his face.
"You were saying?"
"Oh. Yeah. Um, flying a car. Just imagine, you're driving and suddenly you fly up and out of the traffic, or flying around the country, or just flying. I'd love a flying car!" Sirius looks around expectantly. "So?"
"So what?" Remus asks, hoping that this conversation isn't heading where he thinks it is.
"Should we do it?" says Sirius, impatiently.
Remus buries his head in his hands, and Peter bites his lip, but James' face lights up. "Padfoot, my man, I think you have invented the best prank –" He breaks off, looking at Remus. "Sorry, Mr. Prefect, I mean project – of all time."
"I'm not listening," Remus moans.
"Pete, you with us?" Sirius asks.
Peter looks between James and Sirius and grimaces. "It doesn't sound very safe, does it?"
"Neither was becoming Animagi," retorts James. "And we managed that."
Sirius nudges Remus. "And the Almighty Prefect certainly wasn't complaining then, was he?"
Remus glares. "I was not and am not complaining about that. I'm very grateful. Thank you," he adds, almost growling.
"Oh, you sound so grateful," says Sirius over James and Peter's laughter. "'Thank you,' he says, glaring at us!"
"I am thankful! But, look, you did that without me, so you can do this without me too." Remus picks up his quill and prepares to continue his essay.
Sirius snatches the quill away. "We bloody well cannot!"
Remus looks up politely. "May I have my quill back?"
"Not until you agree to join in!" Sirius shoves the quill under his left leg and smirks at Remus. "Look, we managed the transformation without you but only just."
"Speak for yourself," James mutters, turning back to his chess game.
"We couldn't have done the Map without you," Sirius continues, undaunted. "And a car would be more like a map. It'd be Charms stuff really, and you know you're good at that."
"Flattery will get you nowhere, Padfoot." Remus makes a dive for his quill.
"Okay then. You're getting boring now that you're a prefect, Moony. Boring, do you hear me? Soon it won't be the four of us, it'll be the three of us and you sitting there working, with no time for fun." Sirius grabs for the quill before Remus can get it, and holds it high above his head.
Remus jumps on Sirius just as he starts to stand up, and they lose their balance, knock over Sirius' chair, and end up sprawled on the floor, almost nose-to-nose. Remus thinks that he's never noticed that Sirius has just a few freckles dotted over his nose and cheeks. He thinks that there's very little air in the room right now and what little air there is he's sharing with Sirius and their faces are almost touching and Sirius is looking at him and he's looking at Sirius and people are staring, oh Merlin. He scrambles up awkwardly. "Sorry 'bout that," he mumbles.
"'S okay." Sirius rights his chair.
Remus takes a deep breath and thinks, I can't believe I'm about to say this. "So… where are we going to get a car, then?"
Well hello there Moony!
Any chance you can come to the Potters' these hols? Preferably in the next week cos J. & I have something to show you & we're really quite impatient. It's not quite what we expected because we couldn't afford find a You Know What in our price range (J. says that sounds better, I think it sounds poncey but what can you do about him, I think he's missing you and your pernickety-ness so much that he's trying to actually be you and failing miserably), but it's still not bad.
Get in touch with P. if you can, we're just so busy with Christmas and our You Know What that we hardly even have time to send this lovely long missive to you, let alone bothering with replying to his loooooooong letters. Don't you feel honoured?!
Get your arse in gear & over here asap!
Padfoot (and Prongs if he's reading over Padfoot's shoulder),
I'm fine after the recent full moon, thank you very much for asking.
I'm free on Wednesday, would the Potters mind me just Flooing in? I am curious about your You Know What That Isn't Quite The Original You Know What.
I've owled Pete and will let you know what he says. I didn't tell him what you two rude buggers said though – it'd break his heart!
Many sorries for not asking how you are. We are really both very concerned. So, in that spirit: HOW ARE YOU?
The P's don't care how you come as long as you don't trample Mrs P's beloved flowerbeds. She gets very touchy if a dog as much as walks – very very very carefully, mind you – through 'em, let alone, erm, fertilises them a little bit, but don't ask me how I know this because I shall never tell. (Ok, so it was me. But you probably guessed that anyway, didn't you?)
We don't mean to break P.'s heart, but he really shouldn't send such fucking long letters! His last one told me what he had for lunch!
See you on Wednesday, yessss!!! I'll give you a hint about the YKWTIQTOYKW – it begins with M.
Shit. It's not a motorbike, is it?
I'd be lying if I said no. It's wonderful, honestly. You'll love it. Just come!
Remus breathes a sigh of relief when Sirius and James have unpacked and there is no motorbike. It's not that he thought they could actually bring it back to Hogwarts with them, but – oh Merlin, that's a lie. He was fairly certain that it would come back with them. And he was entirely certain that that would be against the rules. He feels almost light-headed with relief, until Peter, unpacked, collapses on his bed and says, "What about that bike of yours then? Left it at James'?"
And Sirius grins and says, "Oh, we wouldn't do that."
And Remus thinks, oh no, oh Merlin no. "You – you have it here? At school?" he asks, his voice hoarse.
With a flourish, James produces a shoebox from his trunk. "Behold, my friends," he announces dramatically, handing the box to Sirius, who mutters something and taps it with his wand. James throws the box to the floor just in time, because in the time it takes Remus to blink, the shoebox is six feet long.
Sirius tears some of the cardboard away to display the bike. "Beautiful, isn't she? You couldn't think we'd leave her, Moony?"
"Apparently not," Remus murmurs, staring.
"How far have you got?" Peter demands, excitedly.
"Well, to tell the truth, we've just cleaned it up so far," James admits. "We're no further on than we were the last time you saw it."
"It's a group project, after all," Sirius adds. "And we really do need the library to find out where to start."
"You've got no idea?" asks Remus, relieved.
"Well, we've got some," Sirius replies. "But it's not going to be easy – we want to actually fly it, have it follow our orders, you know?"
"Have you ridden it? On the ground, I mean?" persists Peter.
"Not yet. Mum said we shouldn't." James looks longingly at the bike. "She said that in the Muggle world you need licences and you can't get them until you're seventeen."
Remus thanks the Muggle government for having at least some sense. "That's a very good idea of theirs."
"It isn't that long away," Sirius puts in. "And you only need a licence to ride on roads, anyway." He grins. "That's one of the reasons we brought it back with us. Can ride it around the grounds without any licence."
Remus decides that the Muggle government is still useless. "If you get caught…" he begins.
"Moony, Moony, Moony, what are we going to do with you?" Sirius throws a pillow at Remus, who isn't quick enough to catch it, and ends up with a pillow to the nose. It smells like Sirius, he thinks, and hurriedly throws it back.
"They never get caught, Moony," Peter comments.
"They bloody well do!" Remus retorts. "That's why they're always in detention."
"Moony, you wound us." James sighs dramatically and falls back onto his bed. "I'll have you know that I've not been in detention since the third of November. November, Moony!"
"Pathetic," Sirius proclaims. "We can't have that. There's seventh year for being serious. Sixth year, like the rest of our time at Hogwarts, is meant to be about having fun." He grins. "It is now my mission to get James into detention before the week is out. And to fly that motorbike," he adds, throwing the pillow at Remus again.
And, as Remus buries his head in it, trying to block out Sirius and James so that he won't be called on as a witness, he reflects that Sirius will probably accomplish both. And damn, this pillow still smells like Sirius and it's lovely. Damn.
"Moony. Moooooony. Remus."
"Go away, Sirius."
"No. Wake up."
"I am awake. I'm talking to you, aren't I?"
"Get up, then."
"Ugh! Padfoot, no! Bad dog. Down. Ugh, stop licking me! That's my ear, that's disgusting!"
"You are disgusting, you know that? And get off me, unless you want people talking."
"Got you to sit up though, didn't it? And do they have a reason to talk, eh? You never have girlfriends, my dear Moony…"
"Fine, what do you want at… four o'clock in the morning? Merlin, Padfoot, did you even look at the time before you woke me?"
"No. But that's beside the point. I'm awake and I'm bored and I want to go to the library."
"I want to find out how to fly my bike."
"Couldn't you have waited a few hours?"
"It's going to be a long project, Moony, but the sooner we start, the sooner it'll be done and we can go flying!"
"I can hardly wait."
"You'll love it, I'm sure you will."
"I don't know if it's my sort of thing. I'll just wait and be the one to take you to the Hospital Wing when you break your neck."
"I won't break my neck!"
"Nor that, you sadist."
"Arm. Finger. Back."
"Stop it, you nutter!"
"Nutter yourself. Skull."
"Stop stop stop."
"Moony! That's better. I won't break anythi— Ow, fuck! That's my hand!"
"Don't put your hand over my mouth then. I hear that werewolves can bite pretty badly."
"You're just a big puppy really."
"Hey, even big puppies have teeth."
"You really shouldn't bare your teeth at me like that. People will talk, Moony."
"Sorry. Library, then? Why couldn't you go by yourself?"
"So that if James finds out, I can say that you dragged me there. Can't have him thinking I'm a little swot, after all."
"No offence intended, of course, oh swotty one."
"Oh, none taken, of course, oh uncaring one."
"So, let's go."
"Okay, but Padfoot?"
"If you want me to go, you'll have to get off me first."
Remus is liberally buttering his toast and listening to the strange gurgling sound that Sirius makes while he drinks when James and Peter clatter into the Great Hall.
"What time did you get up?" James asks, knocking Sirius as he sits down and causing him to spill pumpkin juice all over his plate. Peter laughs and Remus, with a flash of resentment, thinks that the gurgling quiet was so much nicer.
"Oh, ages ago," Sirius replies airily. "Unlike you lazy buggers."
"It's only nine o'clock, and it's Saturday," Peter says indignantly.
"What were you doing, anyway?" says James, reaching past Remus for some pumpkin juice.
"Went to the library, got dragged there by Moony here actually." Sirius nudges his foot against Remus' conspiratorially, and Remus smiles to himself as he finishes his toast.
"On a Saturday morning? Moony, you're insane," James tells him sternly.
"I know." Remus licks the melted butter from his hands and starts on another slice.
"It wasn't all bad though," Sirius continues. "Found loads of stuff for the You Know What."
"The bike?" Peter asks, unnecessarily loudly.
"The You Know What," Sirius repeats, and Peter looks sheepish.
"What kind of stuff?" says James, and Sirius hands over three rolls of parchment, filled with Remus' neat writing.
"It's broomstick theory mainly," Remus explains. "I mean, we'll need to modify it a little bit, but it might work."
"He's a genius," Sirius proclaims and in a swift movement he grabs Remus and pulls him close and kisses him on the forehead. And Remus blushes and thinks, People are looking, stop blushing.
"Um," he says, to cover his confusion and the fact that everyone is looking at him. "Um. Yes." He pauses and tries to think of something vaguely interesting or useful or even just containing words to say. "Oh. I also have this." He takes a piece of parchment from his pocket and hands it to Sirius, careful not to let their hands touch because people would notice, oh Merlin. "How to properly register a Muggle artefact that you've, um, modified. With the Ministry, you know."
Sirius makes a face. "With the Ministry? Why would we want to do that?"
"I don't know, so you don't get arrested? Or have your bike confiscated."
"No! They wouldn't!" Sirius looks so horrified that Remus laughs. "I am a child, Moony. They wouldn't take away a child's possession, surely?" He looks at James for help but James has got up and is now talking to – or arguing with, Remus thinks – Lily Evans.
"You're sixteen and attempting to break the law," Remus insists.
"I've broken the law before." Sirius smirks.
"So it's about time they caught up with you then." Remus butters another slice of toast, which Sirius snatches out of his hands. "Oi!"
"You've had four," Sirius tells him, taking a huge bite. "Four slices of toast, Moony. You should at least gorge yourself on raw meat or something more bloodthirsty than very buttered toast."
"We should really go and do some work anyway," Sirius says, folding up the rest of the toast and putting it into his mouth. Two bites and a whole slice of bread is gone, Remus thinks in admiration.
"Work?" Peter echoes.
"On the You Know What. Oi, Potter! You coming to join our Very Top Secret Work?" Sirius hollers.
"What, now?" James shouts back, and Lily covers her ears dramatically. "I'll meet you upstairs!"
"He's gone soft," Sirius decides as the three of them make their way back to the Tower. "Gone soft over Evans. Only sixteen and he's throwing his whole troublemaking career away just so he can talk to bloody Lily Evans. Pete, Moony, promise me you'll never go soft like that over a bloody girl."
That, Remus thinks, is one promise he'll have no trouble keeping.
For the first time in his life, Remus curses himself for finishing all his homework. Because, if he still had work to do, he'd be inside now, probably curled up in a wonderfully comfortable chair, next to a wonderfully warm fire, reading a wonderful book. Instead of being outside with Sirius and that damn motorbike, after hours. James and Peter got to stay inside and work, the lucky buggers.
There would be some fun in it, Remus supposes, if it wasn't March and Scotland and fucking freezing. After all, even at night, the grounds are lovely. The grass is crunchy with frost, and it's almost quiet – apart from the owls. There's a crescent moon – Remus prays for it to stay that way. He's here with Sirius.
He doesn't often get time entirely alone with Sirius. It happens more often now that James is obsessed with Lily Evans and she sometimes deigns to give him the time of day, at which point he'll abandon his friends. And sometimes Peter isn't around because he's rushing to finish some homework or he's meeting friends from another House. And then Remus has Sirius all to himself, which is nice, because Sirius is the one person that he never gets tired of. Prongs can be grating at times, and after a while of Wormtail Remus just wants to tell him to be quiet, but Sirius, even though he's more exuberant than both of them, always seems refreshing.
And Remus likes to watch him, which he accepts is quite probably a little bit weird, because, notwithstanding the tiny little fact that they're both blokes, Sirius is his friend. And he's fairly sure that friends shouldn't just enjoy looking at each other. But all the same, when he's looking at Sirius, Sirius is usually looking back. All of those awkward moments, Remus thinks, do rely on Sirius being there and reacting.
Sirius is certainly enjoying himself tonight, and Remus likes that this project has cheered him up after leaving home. Remus can't always see him – the lights are off, to avoid detection, and there's a Silencing Spell on the bike – but he's watching his movements on the Map, and every so often Sirius whizzes past and makes Remus jump out of his skin, and Sirius, the sadistic bastard, always enjoys scaring his friends. He'd enjoy it more if they'd been able to get the bike to fly, Remus knows, but even just riding it around seems to be fun. Not that Remus wants to try. He gets enough injuries during the full moon.
It's been nearly three months now since they started, and really, they've not progressed very far. And Remus should be relieved, because he didn't want this to happen at all. But he can't help but feel a little frustrated. He presumes that he's getting involved in it, because he never likes to fail – if he starts something, he likes to see it through to its logical conclusion – despite his "higher sense of moral judgement", as Sirius calls it.
Speak of the devil – Merlin, that bike goes fast, Remus thinks, scrambling up and out of the way. He's surprised that it doesn't take off by itself.
By itself, he thinks wildly. Why didn't he – why didn't any of them – think of that before? The bike has power of its own that can be harnessed, it can control itself once it's up in the air, they don't need any complicated broomstick theory, and it's so bloody simple that he simply cannot believe that they didn't think of it earlier. He waves at Sirius, trying to get his attention – quietly.
"Padfoot!" he whispers into the night. When there's no response, he lights his wand – "Lumos!" – and waggles it in the air. Surely Sirius will see that.
He does, and is there in a moment. "Are you out of your mind?" he hisses. "You'll get us caught, waving a lit wand around."
"I'm not the one driving an illegal motorbike," Remus retorts. "But listen to me for a moment," he adds, clamping a hand over Sirius' mouth when he looks as though he's about to speak.
"What?" Sirius asks, muffled.
"Pads, I know how to do it."
Sirius just stares for a moment, his eyes shining and his face ghostly pale in the wandlight. Then he jumps into life. "You know? Oh Moony, I knew I kept you around for a reason!" He jumps off the bike and throws his arms around Remus, who gladly submits to the warmth.
"It's simple," Remus replies, as the cold spills around him again when Sirius lets go.
"Then why've we been spending months looking up some of the most complicated theory I've ever seen?" demands Sirius. "Oh, never mind. Just tell me."
In response, Remus taps the bike gently with his wand. "Wingardium Leviosa." The bike – and Sirius – rise six inches into the air.
Sirius' eyes widen. "That's great, Remus, but—"
"Start the engine."
Sirius does, and the bike bucks under him like an impatient horse. "Merlin, Moony," he says, and grins at Remus. "On you get, then."
"What?!" Remus' shriek of outrage is so loud that Sirius shushes him. "Oh, Sirius, you're joking. I am not getting on that – thing."
"Oh, you are." Sirius holds out his hand. "Look, you got it, so you're going to be here for the first ride."
"I'd much rather stay down here, if you don't mind." Remus is starting to back away.
"I do mind, though," says Sirius. He calmly jumps off the bike and grabs Remus' hand. "Look, I'll do the work. You just hold onto me, okay?"
Not okay, Sirius, thinks Remus. "Okay," says Remus, and wants to kick himself for apparently not having any backbone at all. "Oh Merlin," he mutters to himself as Sirius helps him onto the bike. It's vibrating an awful lot, and Remus thinks that in itself isn't a good sign.
"You all set?" Sirius asks, as he climbs on in front of Remus. "Hold onto me, then."
Remus gingerly holds the back of Sirius' cloak, praying that he won't have to do any more than that.
"Well, that's not going to save you if we crash, is it?" And, so saying, Sirius reaches round, grabs Remus' hands, clasps them around his waist, and Remus wishes for the earth to swallow him up right now. "That's better," says Sirius, and Remus concentrates very hard on holding himself as still as he possibly can. "Are you okay?" asks Sirius.
"Fine thanks," says Remus, his voice slightly hoarser than it should be.
"Okay then." Sirius turns round to face Remus and his face is apprehensive.
"Padfoot?" Remus isn't used to seeing that look.
"Yeah. Um." Sirius turns away again. "I didn't think we'd get it done this quickly. I'm – well, I'm slightly nervous, actually."
"We don't have to go anywhere if you don't want," Remus tells him. "And if it helps, I'm terrified."
Sirius laughs. "I know." He shakes his head. "I'm being stupid. Come on, let's go."
Remus nods, letting his head rest against Sirius'. "Let's go," he echoes, and feels the bike buck again, as though it was listening.
Sirius revs the engine tentatively, and suddenly they are flying. Six inches off the ground, a foot, three feet, ten feet, fifty feet, above the castle, soaring… This is what it must feel like to be free, Remus realises. Free from the constraints of the moon and school and other people, just the two of them. And it's uncertain and he's not in control, but Remus thinks it's actually not too bad.
Sirius accelerates, and looks over his shoulder. "What do you think, Moony?" he asks, and he's beaming.
"It's not as scary as I thought it would be," Remus confesses.
"No," Sirius agrees, and Remus feels a hand cover his. Sirius leans his head back so that they are touching, and Remus thinks, Yes, this is nice. "Not scary at all, really," Sirius continues.
"No." Remus smiles.
They fly over fields and forests and roads and cars and other people who are probably all just sleeping. And when, after nearly two hours, they land, silently, shrink the bike and are standing by the doors, reading to sneak in, Sirius turns to Remus and says, "I'm glad you came with me tonight." And before Remus can reply, Sirius leans forward and kisses him.
And when Sirius pulls back, there's a flicker of doubt in his eyes even whilst he's smiling, and Remus has to smile, because Sirius looks just like Remus feels. "So am I," he replies.