The Really Big, Huge, Inter-House Party



Sirius grinned. This would be perfect, really. A huge inter-House party was just what everyone needed to be distracted from everything going on outside Hogwarts. The fact that the seventh years were graduating in two weeks also played a part, after all, they needed one more chance to relax, but they weren't allowed outside the building after dark and Hogsmeade was off-limits, too, for the rest of the year. Even he and James had cut down their sneaking about because teachers were going so much harder if they were caught. Peter and Remus had lost them the Marauders Map (More Remus then Peter, surprisingly) and though James and Sirius would never just leave them in the dirt for losing them one of their most prized rule-breaking enablers, they couldn't help but be a little angry. Remus apologized over and over again, and Peter said that it 'wasn't his fault' which certainly did nothing to help Remus' already low self-esteem. Every time the subject was brought up, Sirius hurriedly changed the subject before Peter could burst into tears and claim that he was so sorry and that it was completely Remus' fault anyway.

James, at that very moment, was attempting to ask out Lily Evans for the fifth time that week. They had come far enough to be friends, but Lily still had to turn him down a lot. He used every type of blackmail he knew, every kind of pleading, but the answer was always the same; 'No, Potter.' In past months it had slowly turned into 'No, James,' which was certainly better then 'No, Potter.' Sirius could not help but laugh as Lily sighed as he asked her to date him, and she turned and walked upstairs to the Girl's Dormitory.

"So, that's a yes then?" called James hopefully. Sirius snorted.

"No, James, I hate to break it to you, but that's another 'no'," said Remus.

"I wish I could just know exactly what she's thinking, y'know?" said James, sitting down next to the other three Marauders miserably. "It's so difficult, just trying to get through to her."

"Yeah, we get it, mate," said Sirius. "But hey, I got a great idea while you were attempting to chat Evans up!"

"Really? What?" asked Remus.

"You've been here, how could you not know?" asked James, sounding a little annoyed.

"I've only just though of it," said Sirius, "and I didn't tell anybody yet!" There was a general, 'oh' and then expectant looks. Sirius said nothing, hoping to break one of them to actually ask. James broke first.

"Well, what's your idea?" he asked impatiently. Sirius smiled.

"I was thinking," he said slowly, and his friends covered snorts. He glared at them and they stopped. "I was thinking," he began again, "that we could have a really huge inter-House end-of-term party. I figure, sort of like a dance, but there would be other things to do. Don't ask me what, I dunno, but I was thinking about two weeks before the end of school, 'cause then we would all be done with tests, even the seventh and fifth years."

James' eyes had lit up with excitement. Remus looked as though he liked the idea, but wasn't quite as exuberant as James or Sirius, or even Peter. Peter stated that the idea was brilliant, and no one but Sirius or James could've ever thought of it. Sirius rolled his eyes. Remus put his hand over his mouth to cover the slight laugh that had almost slipped out. James just sighed, and then went back to plans.

"So, are you going to ask Dumbledore?"

"I thought I'd ask McGonagall," he said.

"Oh please," said Remus, "you'd ask McGonagall? You should know perfectly well that McGonagall would never agree to that. She may be a great teacher, but she's got no experience with fun. Ask Dumbledore, he might actually let you."

"You'd go?" asked James incredulously. "You usually stick to the 'I have to study and can't go' excuse."

"Sirius just said that it would be after tests," said Remus.

"Wouldn't you be starting on next year's books or something?" asked Sirius, jokingly poking Remus' side. Remus glared.

"I'd go," he said shortly. "Anyway, ask Dumbledore. McGonagall would never let you."

"Alright," said Sirius. "I guess I'll ask Dumbledore." He looked at James and winked. Sirius fake-yawned and leaned back, wrapping an arm not-so subtly around Remus. Remus' face turned pink and he jumped up, muttering about studying. He grabbed Sirius' Arithmancy book and rushed up the stairs to the Dorm room.

"Oh, stop teasing him," said James. "Just snog him already!" Peter giggled in the background.

"Fancy a game of chess, James?"

"Oh, stop avoiding it!"

"Whatever are you talking about?"

--- ---

"JAMES!" roared Sirius, pushing through the crowds of students in the corridors and trying to catch up to his friends. "JAMES! REMUS!" They turned, Remus grabbing Peter's shoulder to stop him from continuing.

"DID YOU ASK?" shouted James over the other student's conversations. Some of their classmates stared at each of them as though worried about their sanity. Remus just looked embarrassed. Sirius finally caught up with them. He was panting and had a huge grin on his face. They quickly jumped into a classroom that was not being used. Remus looked thankful that they were on a break period.

"He said we could! He just said we need to inform prefects in each House, and then have a big meeting and stuff!"

"So prefects are planning this?" said Remus nervously. He seemed to hope that all the responsibility would not fall on him.

"No," said Sirius, "not just prefects. Me, James, the prefects, and Head Boy and Girl."

"Who are they this year, anyway?" asked James curiously.

"Lucius Malfoy," said Sirius, and he looked as though the name had left a bad taste in his mouth, "is Head Boy."

"Remus, who's Head Girl?"

"Emmeline Vance, of Ravenclaw," he said.

"Malfoy and Vance?" said Sirius, surprised. "That's a weird combination."

"I know," said Remus. "You should've seen when they found out who was the other Head in the prefect carriage. Murder seemed to be going through both of their minds." It was common knowledge that since Emmeline Vance and Lucius Malfoy had broken up in their fourth year, the Marauder's third, they hated each other with an undying, angry passion.

"Man, Flitwick and Slughorn were out of their minds," said James, "to suggest those two together. I could see Malfoy; honestly, he gets good grades and stays out of it most of the time. He only bothers us when we're getting even with Snape. Vance, well, she's a Ravenclaw. But damn, those two together? Even the first years and seventh years knew when they broke up they'd make each other's lives hell!"

"Well, at least the year's almost over," said Peter.

"Yeah, how did we not figure out Malfoy was Head Boy 'til now, anyway," said Sirius. "It's not like we haven't pulled awful pranks and hexed Snape right in front of him. He's never threatened us with detention, really."

"Oh, he does," said Remus casually. "You're just usually too busy laughing to hear him."

"Oh," said Sirius, his eyes glazing over. He stared at Remus for a moment, and then shook his head quickly. "Anyway, party plans!" He grinned.

--- ---

Sirius and Remus sat on a couch and Peter sat on the floor as James walked over to Lily Evans, visibly shaking with nerves. She was actually supposed to say yes this time.

"L-Lily?" he asked nervously.

"James, if you're going to ask me out again, then let me h-"

"No, no, I'm not!" he said quickly. "I swear!" He gulped. "It's just that, Sirius asked Dumbledore about having this big party shindig nearer to the end of the year, and he agreed. W-We need the prefects to come to a meeting, so, um, will you be there?"

"Where is it?"

"Great Hall, seven o'clock on Saturday night."

"Remus is coming, I assume?" she said. "He's a prefect, too."

"Yeah," said James. "Yeah, Remus is coming." Lily smiled at him.

"God, you don't need to look so nervous, Potter. I'll come."

"We were also wondering if you could please talk to some of the other prefects. They don't really like me and Sirius much, and Remus said he'd talk to some of them, too, if you would help," James said in a rush. Lily looked around him at Remus, who was trying very hard not to laugh at James, who seemed nervous still for no reason at all. She gave him a look as if to say, 'Does he mean it?' Remus nodded. Lily looked back up at James.

"Alright, but I think I'll talk to Remus about asking other prefects to show," said she. James smiled down at her.

"Thank you!" he said. "Thanks a lot!" He skipped back over to the other three Marauders, and the moment he sat down, they burst into laughter at him. Remus' eyes were streaming and Sirius was clutching his chest and gasping for air. Peter was giggling on the floor. James looked at them all, confused.

"What?" he asked. "What?" The other three just continued to laugh until they could laugh no more.

--- ---

Sirius stood up in the Great Hall, and waved at everyone. There were about six people from each House, except Gryffindor, which had eight.

"Hello, everyone!" he said, smiling. "So, to clarify why we're here, in case anybody doesn't know, we're having a huge inter-House party! Dumbledore said we were allowed."

"Where will it be, anyway?" asked a Hufflepuff fifth year prefect.

"Here," said Sirius. "Literally, I mean. The Great Hall. It'll take place after dinner from eight until two. Filch will be informed that we'll be allowed outside our dorms until then, and everyone has to be back in their dorms by two-thirty." Some, mostly Slytherins, looked surprised at how much was already planned.

"So what's this meeting for?" asked a fifth year Slytherin prefect.

"Just so you all know what's going on," said James, to Sirius's right. "After all, we have to tell everybody. None of that 'excluding' business, eh?" The Slytherin boy snorted.

"Alright," said Sirius, "so we've got time, place, blah blah, we just need to decide exactly what we'll have there. That's another reason we called this meeting. James, Remus and I can't think of it all on our own! We came up with the idea in the first place!" Remus leaned forward and put his face in his hands and groaned.

James leaned around Sirius and asked, "What's your problem?" Remus just shook his head, and looked back up at Sirius.

"Any ideas?" Sirius said. There was silence for a moment as everyone thought, even the Slytherins. The fifth year Ravenclaw's girl prefect had her face scrunched up as she concentrated and she looked rather comical. Snape, the sixth year boy's prefect from Slytherin was avoiding eye contact with all the sixth year Gryffindors and was staring off into space, thinking. Suddenly, he jerked as though he realized where his thoughts were and blushed a little, glancing at Lily Evans, and then stared at the table. She did not notice.

"Just out of curiosity," said the Head Girl, Emmeline Vance, "why do you even want to have one? Can't you just have a big Gryffindor party in your Common Room?"

"That isn't the same as a huge inter-House party," said Sirius. "And besides, I think the seventh years deserve a chance to have a normal, teenage night before they're pushed out into the real world. I mean, there's so much danger out there now, and we all need a chance to just be kids, while we can. It'll be fifth years and above, but if you want to invite someone lower, you can. Preferably no first or second years."

"Is there going to be alcohol?" asked Lucius Malfoy, the Head Boy, bluntly. Sirius shrugged.

"I figure we could have it, but be careful about the underage kids," said Sirius.

"I don't think alcohol's a good idea," said Lily. "I mean, there are easy ways around that. Besides, I doubt Dumbledore would allow it if there were even going to be underage kids there."

"I agree," said Vance. "No alcohol."

"What about food?" said the Hufflepuff sixth year boy, Fabian Prewett.

"Someone will have to have a chat with the house-elves," said Sirius, as though that were the most obvious thing in the world.

"Who?" asked Remus. "I know I don't want to, personally. I always walk out of there with too much to eat just when I want a cup of tea."

"I will," said James. "I love those little elves, they're so great!" He grinned, obviously remembering some time that he had gone to the kitchens and returned to Gryffindor tower full. Sirius rolled his eyes at his friend.

"What about music?" said Gideon Prewett, a seventh year Gryffindor and Fabian's older brother.

"I was thinking the wireless," said Sirius, "but I don't think that'll work well because there would be commercials."

"We could cast a simple spell to change that," said Snape. "I read about one, not long ago, it seemed a bit pointless then, but it could certainly help now." James took a deep breath and prepared to be civil.

"What is it?" he asked, looking over Snape's head.

"It's a sort of musical charm. It doesn't seem particularly difficult, but I'd have to practice. What it does is create this thing that has a resemblance to the Muggle contraption called a 'CD player' and you pressed a certain button, and it just plays music until you press the other button."

"A conjuring spell?" asked Lily. "You conjure a magic CD player?"

"Sort of," said Snape softly to his lap.

"Would you need any help?" she asked. Snape flushed.

"I might," he said, "but I doubt it."

"Lily," said Remus, "you help Sn – Severus with that, alright? James has got food. Are there going to be any decorations?"

"If there are," said Malfoy, "they shouldn't be any Houses color. That would just make everyone angry."

"Purple, then," said a Ravenclaw. "I know it's close to blue, but it's technically Hogwarts' color, right?"

"Yeah, purple," said James. "Purple works. We'll have those hangings Dumbledore uses at the closing feast and stuff, but with purple instead of any of the House colors. I bet he could do that, or we could ask if one of us could."

"I'll ask about that," said Vance. "I should do something, I'm Head Girl." She shot a glare at Lucius Malfoy, as though he were being lazy. He glared right back.

The rest of the meeting went smoothly. The Slytherins, satisfied that they were even invited, decided that they would leave the Gryffindors alone. The Gryffindors, satisfied that the Slytherins were keeping their mouths shut except to offer something constructive, were not antagonizing the Slytherins. The only two Houses that seemed to have a problem were Ravenclaw and Slytherin, but that was just Vance and Malfoy and their hate-war.

As the Gryffindors walked back to their Tower in a pack, they broke off into smaller groups. James hurried forward to walk by Lily, leaving Remus and Sirius alone at the back of the group.

"So," said Sirius, "good meeting?" Remus smiled a bit.

"Yes, Sirius, very good meeting," he said. "I'm proud of you and James for not hexing the Slytherins into next week. Now, if you could just do that more often…"

"What, hex them into next week?"

"No, not hex them," said Remus, rolling his eyes,

"Why?" asked Sirius, honestly perplexed.

"Because it always puts me in a bad situation," said Remus. "I'm supposed to be a prefect, and stop those kids of things happening, but you guys are my best friends and I – I…" Remus stopped short and looked at the wall. He sped up just a little.

"What? You what?" Remus turned red.

"It's nothing, I just wish you wouldn't hex the Slytherins." Sirius grabbed Remus' arm and pulled him back. He also pulled him very close.

"You what?" Sirius said softly. "Tell me." He leaned forward just a little, so that he could feel Remus' labored breath on his face. Sirius felt the electricity between them.

"Stop it," said Remus, wrenching himself away. "You're teasing me. You know I like guys, I told you myself." Remus turned and walked away briskly.

"Yeah, and you told us you like girls, too," said Sirius, exasperated. "I'm not teasing you, I just want to know what you were going to say. We're your best friends and you what?"

"It doesn't matter! My point was that you shouldn't hex the Slytherins so much."

"If I promise to lay off will you tell me what you were going to say?" asked Sirius hopefully.

"No," said Remus, sounding angry. "Just drop it."

"Are you not telling because it's 'revealing some deep, dark Remus Lupin secret' or are you just worried you'll sound like a sissy?" asked Sirius. He had a feeling it was the latter.

"Why does that matter?"

"Because then I can guess," said Sirius brightly, catching Remus and stopping him again. He didn't pull him close again, but held him tight anyway so he couldn't run for it. Remus' thoughts were in the same place.

"You know I can get out of this if I want," he said.

"Yeah, but you aren't yet," said Sirius.

"Yet," Remus echoed dangerously. Sirius grinned.

"So, it's probably that you don't want to sound like a big girl, so let me guess!" He thought for a moment. "You don't want to tell us off 'cause you're scared that we'll ditch you." Sirius knew he was right, but Remus immediately denied it.

"That's bull," said Remus. "I know you guys wouldn't hate me for something that stupid." He sounded uncertain.

"Hey, where are you two?" called James' voice. "Are you finally snogging?" He turned a corner and saw them. "Ah, guess not then. C'mon. We were at the Fat Lady and you two were just missing!"

--- ---

"I think I'm gonna ask her to the dance thing," said James, two weeks later in the Great Hall. Tests for everyone had finished the day before, and it was three days until Saturday.

"Mate, you've waited pretty late to get a date," said Sirius, diving into his dinner. "She probably already said yes to someone."

"I dunno, everyone's been thinking about tests," said James. "Maybe no one's asked anyone yet… And what about you? Are you going with anyone yet?"

"I was planning to go stag," said Sirius.

"Sirius Black, dateless?" said Remus, sitting down next to Sirius. He picked up a roll and took a big bite. "Why are you going alone?" asked Remus, after he had swallowed the bread.

"I'd have more freedom to just hang out," said Sirius. "Just have fun with my mates." He smiled at James and Remus. "Where's Pete?" he asked, when he realized that Peter was not there to grin at.

"Library," said Remus.

"Why, tests are over?"

"Girl," said Remus. "He wants to ask her to the dance."

"Oh really?" said Sirius, grinning evilly. "Who is she? What year? What House?" Remus sighed. He knew that when Sirius had that evil grin on he wouldn't stop until he knew everything.

"She's a Hufflepuff fourth year, Emily Higgins. There you go, go tear the mickey out of him." Sirius could tell Remus felt bad.

"Nah," said Sirius. "We won't be that cruel. Especially if she says no. That's just heartless, right Prongs? Prongs?" Sirius looked at James, who was gone. "Where the hell did he go?" asked Sirius, confused.

"He left before I even told you about Pete's girl," said Remus, grinning at Sirius. "He's over there talking to Lily." Sirius' head snapped to the left and he looked down the Gryffindor table to where James now sat next to Lily Evans. He was obviously asking her to the party. She was smiling.

James got up and walked back, looking a cross of hopeful and crestfallen.

"Well?" said Sirius.

"She said someone else already asked her. She wouldn't tell me who, though," he said.

"You'd've killed him," said Remus, who was now eating clam chowder.

"Yeah, that's what she said," said James. "But she said 'maybe next time,' so there's still hope, right?"

"Of course, James," said Remus encouragingly. He poured himself from pumpkin juice. Sirius tried hard not to laugh. Whenever Remus did this, Sirius just thought it was absolutely hilarious.

"I mean," James continued, "she's got to fall for me sometime, right? The world just can't exist like this! It can't be where I just love her for years, and she never once gives me the time of day!"

"It will completely happen someday, Prongs," said Remus, eating his way steadily through his dessert. Sirius shoved treacle tart into his mouth to stop himself from cracking up. James sighed, deciding he was finished with his daily, 'I love Lily Evans' rant. Sirius sighed, and helped himself to some more food.

"So, Remus, who are you going with? We've gone over me, James and Pete, and you seem to be to last Marauder to investigate."

"Stag," Remus said simply.

"Ugh!" said James. "Remus! I'm embarrassed to call you my friend! And besides, I'm the only one here who actually is a stag. At least I have a good reason to go stag!"

"Why are you embarrassed to call me a friend?" asked Remus.

"Stag? You?" asked James incredulously.

"So Sirius is allowed, but I'm not?" asked Remus, sounding annoyed.

"Pretty much," said Sirius, grinning. James rolled his eyes.

"Of course it's not that!" he said. "But it's you, Moony! You're exactly the sort of person who should be taking advantage of this situation! It's a perfect time for you to meet some lovely girl or some strapping young lad to go snog in a corner!"

"First, I snog no one in corners," said Remus, smiling again. "Second, I just don't want the hassle of trying to find a date. Everyone's already asked everyone, and I really just don't want to go about asking girls, or guys, who will tell me they've already got a date."

As Remus was talking, a fifth year girl from Hufflepuff that none of them had ever spoken to before came up and tapped Remus on the shoulder.

"Hello?" Remus said, confused.

"Um, hi," she said. "My name's Cassandra Spait, and I was wondering if you'd like to-to sort of be my date to the House party." Sirius and James roared with laughter and Remus looked stunned. Cassandra looked at the two black-haired boys, confused.

"I'm sorry about them," said Remus, gesturing to the still laughing boys across from him. "We were just discussing the party, actually, and I've decided that I'm going to go alone. But if you'd like a dance there, that would be absolutely fine." Cassandra's face fell, then lit up again.

"Oh, yes," she said breathlessly.

James was still laughing, but Sirius had heard the conversation, and had stopped. He was still giggling a little, however, as he spoke.

"Wh-why'd you turn her down, Remus?"

"I told you, I don't want the hassle of a date," he said.

"That was hardly a hassle," said James, who was wiping away tears of mirth. "But she has great timing. Sirius, run after her, get her back here. We need Remus to snog her right here and now!"

"No!" squeaked Remus. "I'm not snogging anybody here in the Great Hall!"

"So snog her somewhere else!" said James, pushing Sirius, trying to get him up. "C'mon, Sirius, go get her!"

"You get her if you want her to snog Remus so bad," said Sirius. His sudden mood swing was unbelievable. Remus stared at him, but he looked down at his plate.

"What's up, Padfoot?" asked James. "Two seconds ago you were laughing with me!"

"I dunno," he said. "I figure if he wants to go stag, just let him. I am." James shrugged.

"He said he'd dance with her," said James. "Maybe there's hope after all." Sirius scowled at his plate. "Remus," James went on, "I feel that you need to experience the wonderful thing that is snogging before we graduate. For myself, I'm just waiting around for Evans. Sirius has already had his fair share, and he hasn't snogged in a few days –"

"Weeks," said Sirius.

"Weeks, then," said James. "But either way, you and Pete need to get some while we're in school. It's not the same once we're technical adults."

"We still have another whole year, Prongs," said Remus. James waved it off as if it were nothing.

"But next year we're seventeen and legal," said James. "Some of us already are, actually, like Sirius and Pete and me. Ah, Pete's out of the running for underage snogging, then... But you're the only one who's still sixteen! You've got to snog somebody this month, otherwise it's not the same!"

"He wouldn't know the difference, though, would he," said Sirius. "So it really doesn't matter."

"Thank you, Sirius," said Remus. "And besides, I turn seventeen in August, so what's the big deal? There's still July! And most of August! My birthday's the twenty-third."

"Ah, but we want to be there for it my good friend!"

"You weren't there for my first kiss," said Sirius. "And I wasn't there for yours. And I really don't want to be there for Peter's. You seem to have a fairly creepy obsession with snogging Remus, Jim." Remus snorted.

"Fine, I want to hear about it in person then, not just in a letter! But I want to hear about it right away, not on the train!" Remus opened his mouth to retort, but Sirius beat him to it.

"It's his kiss, James, lay off," said Sirius. He got up and left the Great Hall. Remus and James stared after him.

"What's his problem?" asked Remus, though he thoroughly agreed with Sirius.

"He wants to snog you," said James, beginning his dinner. "I'm telling you, Remus, he wants to snog you. That's when he got moody, when we mentioned you dating and snogging other people."

"He doesn't," said Remus. He knew Sirius was gay, Sirius had told him, and everyone knew that Remus was bisexual. As far as he knew, he and James were the only people in the school who knew Sirius was gay. He hadn't told Peter yet, but he planned to at some point. It was definitely possible that Sirius wanted to snog Remus, just very unlikely. And Remus would not get his hopes up.

--- ---

"Ready?" asked Sirius happily from the bathroom. The party had been dubbed 'wear what you want,' which was slang for 'go nuts.' Many people had planned costumes. Remus, Sirius, and James had decided to wear Muggle clothes. Peter asked James to charm one of his school robes gold, and that was what Peter was wearing. Emily had said yes to him, and he was very excited. The other three Marauders were dateless.

"What is the world coming to?" James asked his mirror miserably. "Peter's got a date, and the three of us haven't!"

"It happens to the best of us, dear," his mirror wheezed. James had decided on blue jeans and a red t-shirt, with a black collar shirt over it. He dubbed it 'simple' but fiddled with little things like 'partially tucked in' in his mirror. Remus was wearing khaki shorts and a blue collar shirt. His long, sandy hair was combed carefully and parted down the middle. (James called Remus a girl for fiddling with his hair, and Remus, cleverly, told him to 'shut up.')

Sirius, however, decided that it was best to go as crazy as possible. He walked out of the bathroom, smirking. James and Remus' jaws both dropped.

"Sirius, you're insane," said James.

"How did you ever get in those?" asked Remus, incredulous.

"Wouldn't you like to know?" said Sirius, winking. He was wearing the tightest leather trousers Remus had ever seen in his life. Sirius had a pale green t-shirt on, also tight beyond belief. He had actually stooped to wear make up. He had on eyeliner.

"Sirius," said James, snickering, "you're wearing makeup."

"I know," said Sirius. "I've been practicing getting this stuff on right. It's bloody hard!" Remus steered his mind as far from the gutter as he could, and gulped.

"Coming out tonight, by any chance?" he asked.

"I am doing just that, my dear Moonykins!" said Sirius, grinning. "I've got it all planned out, too, just you wait!" Remus' stomach felt like it had just fallen out.

"Planned?" he asked. Sirius nodded as he leaned over to look carefully into James' mirror, which was closest.

"Oh, who's the lucky bloke?" asked James, whose voice sounded strangled from held-in laughter.

"You'll see," was all that Sirius said. Remus could not help but feel terrified. "There!" Sirius said, straightening up. He had been swiping lightly at his eyes for a few moments. "Perfect! What time is it?"

"Seven forty-three," said Remus, checking his watch.

"Then we'd better get going!" said James, who bounded out of the dormitory. Remus and Sirius followed.

"Really, Sirius," said Remus on the stairs, "how did you get those so tight?" Sirius laughed behind him.

"It's one of those nifty little spells you find in very obviously misplaced library books," said Sirius. "Trust me, you don't want to know." He winked.

"Let me guess," said Remus, rolling his eyes. "Restricted Section?"

"Yeah, and I have no idea why it would be there," said Sirius. "Not like it's dangerous or anything!"

"I have two answers to that, and I really can't choose between them…"

"Say them both, then."

"Alright," said Remus. "The first thing that came to mind was 'maybe it's restricting your blood circulation' or something similar. The second thing was 'What else is in that book?'."

"Ah, good question, Moony," said Sirius, and he kept walking.

"Not going to tell me?"

"Well, it was full of Dark Magic. I dunno why 'The Trouser Tightening Charm' was in there. Maybe evil guys like tight pants or something…" Sirius trailed off thoughtfully, and Remus smiled and shook his head.

Since James had sprinted from the Dormitory as fast as he could, he had a huge lead on Remus and Sirius. The two friends walked in silence most of the way, breaking it every so often to ask a noncommittal question about Quidditch or the party.

"D'you think it's actually going to be fun?" asked Remus.

"Of course," said Sirius. "I thought it up. I helped plan it. It'll be the best party Hogwarts has seen for years! The one next year, for our graduation, will be better, though."

"You're already planning one for next year?"

"Of course!" repeated Sirius. "There is nothing, nothing my dear Moony, like a good party!" Remus snorted. Sirius looked offended.

"Dost thou snorteth at me?" he asked loudly. "I thinketh not! God, Moony, have you ever been to a real party?"

"Not really, no," he said. "I was never much of a party person."

"Why're you coming to this one, then?"

"Well, next year's going to be insane," he said. "N.E.W.T.s and graduating and all that. I guess since this is one of the last chances to just have fun at Hogwarts I thought I'd take it."

"Good reason" said Sirius, delighted. "Now, Moony, I want you to promise me something!"

"What?" asked Remus.

"Promise me you'll do whatever it takes to have a good time tonight," said Sirius. "I want tonight to be the best night of your entire life. If you snog, you snog, if you don't, you don't. Don't let James pressure you into it. It is a good time, though, I must say…" He winked.

"I promise," said Remus, rolling his eyes. "But if everyone else makes my time miserable, I take no responsibility."

"Fair enough," said Sirius, his eyes glinting with mischief. Remus smiled at him. "Well, here we are!" Sirius exclaimed excitedly. "Ready to have the best time of your life?" Remus chuckled.

"You bet," he said. Sirius pushed open the doors to the Great Hall and once they were through the doors the music hit them like a slap in the face. It was louder then Remus had ever heard music before, but Sirius just grinned and began bobbing his head to the beat. It was dark, but there were pink, orange and green lights flashing from the ceiling.

"COME ON!" he roared over the music. He grabbed Remus' hand and dragged him over to James, who was attempting to communicate with Lily. Lily looked at Sirius and her jaw dropped. She grabbed James and Sirius and pulled to their right. Sirius was still holding Remus' arm, so Remus was pulled as well.

They felt a magical field pass over them, and the music's volume became bearable. Remus began massaging his ears.

"Sirius!" shrieked Lily. "What on earth are you wearing?" Her eyes were roaming over him with astonishment. Her mouth was open and she stared at his muscled chest. Sirius was grinning, but James looked as though he was plotting murder.

"Look at you want, Evans, you're never gonna get it," he winked. She tore her eyes away from his body and looked him in the face. She snorted.

"I certainly don't want it," she said. "But God, Sirius, how can you walk in those?"

"Practice," he said, grinning at Remus over Lily's head. He snorted and coughed to cover it up.

"All right, Remus?" asked Sirius, choking back his laughter. Remus took a goblet of pumpkin juice, gulped, and swallowed.

"You bet I am," said Remus, grinning. Sirius bit his lip to keep from laughing. James and Lily looked confused. Remus smiled at them and walked around Lily to Sirius, and pulled him out of the field and onto the dance floor.

Sirius pulled out his wand, tapped Remus' head with it and his own.

'This is the best spell I came across in that book after the trouser one!' said Sirius' voice in Remus' head.

'What the hell is it?' asked Remus, startled.

'It's an easy way to communicate. I pretty much only hear what you want me to hear and you only hear what I want you to hear. It's like talking without using our mouths. Handy, eh?' Sirius was grinning at him.

'Yeah!' thought Remus. 'What's the spell called?'

'Who cares about that now? I might tell you later! Let's just go and have some fun!'

'Wait, look at James!' Remus pointed in the direction of James, who was dancing with another girl then Lily. Sirius' jaw dropped.

'Is that Mary Macdonald?' asked Sirius, incredulous.

'Lily's best friend! I wonder if he's just dancing with her just because or if it's a way to make Lily jealous or something silly like that…'

'Probably some of both,' thought Sirius back. Remus couldn't believe that James was actually looking at a girl besides Lily. Remus' eyes found Lily and he watched her for a moment. She looked over at James and Mary with curious and – was that jealousy? – narrowed eyes.

'Sirius, look at Lily! I think she's jealous of Mary!' Remus shouted in his mind.

'Ouch, my head!' Sirius looked over at Lily. 'Merlin's balls, I think you're right!'

'Don't tell James,' thought Remus. 'He'll try too hard. He might actually have a chance with her!'

'Maybe he'll shut up once he gets her,' mused Sirius hopefully. Remus snorted. 'Come on, you're dancing! Want to dance with me?' Sirius grinned at Remus, not waiting for an answer. He grabbed his wrist and pulled him into the middle of the fray.

'Sirius, no, I don't know how!' thought Remus nervously. He felt very self-conscious as everyone else seemed to know exactly what they were doing.

'Just move!' said Sirius. 'It's not hard! Just move to the beat of the music!' Remus tried. He felt very stupid. He tried to move out of the crowd, but Sirius pulled him back.

'It'll take some getting used to, but trust me, no one cares!' He was right. The mob of students was not paying a bit of attention to Remus. Each student concentrated on their little group of friends in their vicinity. A group of fifth year Hufflepuffs to Remus' left was facing him, but none of them were actually looking at him. Remus didn't feel any better about the situation, but he swallowed his nerves and moved a little.

It wasn't hard, just strange. Sirius, in front of him, moved his hips in ways that made Remus just want to sit across the room and gape at him. He would've been perfectly content to do just that, but Sirius was not having it. He made Remus 'dance' for four very long, but fast, songs. Finally, Remus declared in his head that he was very thirsty, and he was going to get some more pumpkin juice. Sirius agreed and grabbed his wrist and shoved people out of the way for them.

They passed through the field and Sirius sat down on a bench and grinned.

"Whoo!" he said. "This is what I love about parties and stuff. I've gone to Muggle clubs in London, and they're just like this only bigger! It's unbelievable. The Muggle girls aren't as… ah… 'good girl' as Hogwarts girls, if you know what I mean."

"Don't you go to gay clubs?" asked Remus, gulping down pumpkin juice thirstily.

"Not often," he said. "I go to have fun, not to hook up. I just have to act like I'm interested. I can slip away pretty easily, too, what with being a magical person and stuff."

"What about the whole 'don't do magic outside school' thing?" asked Remus, curiously.

"Overage wizards go to Muggle clubs. You remember the Dartman twins?" Remus did. They had been seventh years in the Marauder's fifth year.

"What about them?"

"Billy Dartman! I saw him there. The Ravenclaw of the two," said Sirius. "I asked him to help me out since I didn't want to have it on with some Muggle girl. He understood. He helped out. We're in contact now, so we can go at the same time so I'm never ravaged by Muggle girls." Sirius took a swig of pumpkin juice himself. "Although, now I guess it doesn't matter since I'm seventeen," he added. "Still, I like Billy. He's a nice bloke."

"Thinking of hooking up?" asked Remus jokingly, casually.

"He's straight," said Sirius. "I wouldn't anyway."

"Why? Do you actually like someone or something?" Remus tried to keep the hope out of his voice. He was looking at a fork on the table as though it were unbelievably interesting.

"Yeah," said Sirius. "I do."

"Really?" asked Remus. "May I ask who?"

"You can ask," said Sirius. "I won't tell you." Remus snorted.

"Will you answer if I ask what House?" asked Remus.

"No," said Sirius.


"Ours," he said. "That's all I'm giving you, so don't ask me anything else." Remus sighed.

"Fine," he said, pouting a little. He hoped he could pout as well as Sirius. Sirius got up and pulled him with him.

"Come on, we're gonna dance again!" He tapped their heads again as they pass through the field.

'Sirius, I really feel uncomfortable dancing, you know,' thought Remus, his nerves mounting again as Sirius lugged him through the crowd of writhing bodies.

'Of course you do,' he thought back. 'You need to get rid of that uncomfortable shell for tonight, Remus. It's hard, but just concentrate on me or Jim or something, okay? It'll all be fine, just let loose!'

Let loose? Did Sirius remember who he was talking to? Remus looked around at everyone. Lucius Malfoy was grinding with one of Sirius' cousins. Andy, one of Sirius' other cousins, had her arms around a seventh year Ravenclaw boy Remus did not know. James and Mary Macdonald were grinning and dancing very close. Lily was no where in sight.

Remus closed his eyes and listened to the music. He didn't recognize it. He took a deep breath. The beat was easy to find. He opened his eyes and saw Sirius smirking at him.

'Come on, help me come out?' Sirius asked in his mind. Remus grinned, deciding to take Sirius' advice and just let loose.

'Certainly,' thought Remus. Sirius smiled hugely and put his arms around Remus' neck. They were about the same height, thought Remus was a bit shorter, and they began to sway to the music together. Remus put his hands on Sirius' waist and grinned. He felt an electric current run through him. This was perfect.

Then, the music slowed dangerously. Remus' eyes widened, and he began to move away, but Sirius held tight around his neck.

'Its fine,' said Sirius. 'Remember, I'm trying to make people get it.' Remus nodded; his throat was tight.

Couples filtered onto the floor, and those without a real 'date' rushed off the floor immediately. James and Mary danced a few feet away from them. James gave them a meaningful look over Mary's head. Remus glanced over to the wall. Lily was sending nasty glares in James and Mary's direction. She walked over to Severus Snape and touched him on the shoulder. Snape was clearly startled that she was talking to him. They hadn't spoken much, if ever, since he had called her 'Mudblood' the year before. She must have said something to the effect of 'for old times' because he then led her out onto the dance floor. He looked very surprised. He was a little red, as well.

'Evans is dancing with Snivellus,' Sirius observed.

'Either James is going to kill Snape, or James will die himself,' thought Remus. 'There's no way he's going to stand for that…'

James, however, surprised them. When he noticed whose arms were around Lily, his face hardened, but he looked down at Mary and smiled. Remus could tell it was fake, but it may have fooled Mary. Lily was talking with Snape, and they were laughing.

'Wow, Jamie hasn't killed anyone yet,' thought Sirius. 'I'm amazed…'

'Me too,' thought Remus. Sirius moved a little closer to Remus as subtly as possible. Remus barely noticed. The rest of the song was mostly silence. Remus could not stop his eyes wandering. It was mainly to avoid staring into Sirius' eyes, which would be very awkward. He saw many couples snogging each other senseless in each other's arms. When he saw Lucius Malfoy with his tongue down Narcissa's throat, he went red and looked at the floor.

"Remus?" Sirius had said his name aloud. His head jerked up and Sirius had come ever closer. Remus' arms were completely around Sirius' waist. Remus' face turned bright red and there was a huge, nervous lump in his throat.

He gulped. "Yes?" He felt like there was glue in his throat.

"Y'know, how I said there was someone I liked… In our year?" Remus could do nothing but nod. His hopes had soared. Sirius wouldn't do that to him, hurt him like that.

'He doesn't know I really do really like him though,' thought Remus. His eyes widened.

"You didn't hear what I just thought, did you?" he choked out. Sirius was taken aback.

"No," he said. "If you didn't want me to hear it, I didn't…"

"Oh, okay… G-Go on..." Remus looked at his shoes again. The song's final chords were sounding. Remus thanked Merlin that it was finally ending. This would make their friendship awkward for a while, he knew it.

"Hey, look at me," said Sirius. Remus glanced up and saw Sirius' face was very close. He looked around and saw that James, Lily, Snape and a bunch of Sirius' fan club were staring at them. His eyes became the size of dinner plates and his face turned so red that it resembled a tomato.

"Look at me!" said Sirius, a little more forcefully. "Who cares what they think? The only one of those people staring who matters is James. And d'you know what James is thinking?"

"No," breathed Remus.

"He's thinking that we better get on with it and snog already," said Sirius. He sounded completely certain. "Do you care what Snape thinks of you?" Remus shook his head. "What about my stupid little fan club?" He shook his head again. "And Lily?" Remus nodded. "You care about what that stupid redhead thinks?" asked Sirius, unbelieving.

"She's my friend!" said Remus.

"Exactly," said Sirius. "She'll accept you."

"She already knows," said Remus.

"Then what's the problem?" asked Sirius. He was smiling.

"It means something to me," said Remus. His shoe had become absolutely fascinating in the last ten seconds. "It – It means a lot…" Sirius snorted.

"You think you're the only one with feelings? You think I'd do something if I didn't really want it?"

"Yeah, you want it…" said Remus quietly, "but wanting isn't the same as it meaning something…" Sirius was quiet for about a second.

"You're right," he said. "It isn't the same. But it does mean something to me. You're in my year, Remus."

The very last chord of the song was making the hall thrum. The emotion between the two Gryffindor boys seemed touchable. Their obvious affection was seen by everyone.

"I like you, Remus," said Sirius. He moved closer then he'd ever been to his friend before and captured his lips in a soft, sweet kiss. Remus could not help it. He froze. Sirius did not back off, however. After a few long, terrifying seconds, Remus realized exactly what was happening. He closed his eyes and kissed Sirius back. For about a millisecond.

"FINALLY!" roared James, ripping them apart and shaking Sirius' hand. "Lord, I thought you two would never –" Sirius shoved James out of the way, and grabbed Remus and pulled him back. This time the kiss was harder. Remus' arms flew around Sirius' neck and held him tight. Unfortunately, they were pulled apart again, this time by Lily.

"Guys," she said, "I really think you ought to move… The looks you're getting… Well, Malfoy looks like he might hurl…"

"All the more reason to stay!" said Sirius brightly. She gave him a look.

"No," said Remus. "We'll stop… for now…" He grinned at her. She sighed. Sirius pouted at Remus. Remus leaned over to him, whispering in his ear.

"Huh?" asked Sirius, turning to look at Remus' face. Remus leaned in and kissed him. Lily rolled her eyes. She walked away, back to Snape.

"Hey, Lily!" Remus called after her. She turned. A very loud, fast song had erupted and the people around them forgot what had happened and were dancing again. She motioned to the area where the music was at a normal volume. Remus slipped his hand into Sirius'. Their fingers entwined and Remus could not help but marvel at how right their hands felt.

They hurried after Lily, who was dragging Snape with her. As they passed through the sound field, they heard her laughing with Snape about something.

"Oh, yes, what did you want, Remus?" she asked, smiling.

"Oh, nothing, nothing," he said. 'Sirius?'


'Can you get Lily in on this whole mind reading thing?' Sirius leaned over and tapped Lily on the head with his wand.

"Ouch! What was that for?"

"Friendly banter," Sirius said, grinning.

'Lily! Lily, if you can hear me, it' Remus and you aren't going crazy.' Her eyes widened.

'What the -?'

'Sirius tapped your head to get you in on this spell thing he has going. We were using it so we could hear each other in there, with the music, but I wanted to ask you something, and I don't want Snape to hear.'

'What?' she asked. Her eyes narrowed.

'I'm sure you can guess. Why did you dance with Snape?'

'Why did you dance with Sirius?'

'Oh, God, don't tell me you actually like him like that!' Remus' eyes widened.

'Good GOD, Evans, I thought you had better taste!' cried Sirius' mind.

'HE can hear?' asked Lily. She sounded terrified.

"I feel as though I'm missing out on something very important," said Snape. He was wearing a bemused expression.

"You are," said Sirius. "Just hold onto your pants for a moment, eh, Snape?" Snape's eyes narrowed, but he did not miss that Sirius had called him 'Snape' instead of 'Snivellus.'

'I don't want Black hearing anything,' said Lily. 'Absolutely not!'

'You can block your thoughts from him,' thought Remus. 'Just say it to me, like I'm the only one who's supposed to hear.'

'Okay, here goes…Oh I just can't, Remus!' she cried. Remus clapped a hand to his head, surprised at how loud she had been.

"Ow!" he said out loud.

"Sorry," she said. Snape looked thoroughly confused.

'Just tell me! Why did you dance with Snape?'

'Well, we used to be so close, and I figured "for old time's sake" you know… He's still nice and everything and I just wanted to make –' Lily stopped short and her eyes widened. Remus' face spread into a wide grin.

'So you were trying to make James jealous!'

'Who said I said that?' she asked nervously. She turned around and stalked off. Remus grinned at Sirius.

"Can I ask what's going on now?" asked Snape, looking at little nervous as he found himself with only Sirius and Remus.

"Nope," said Sirius, grabbing Remus and flouncing back into the dance floor.

--- ---

The next morning Sirius opened his eyes. He shut them immediately because there was a bright light that made it painful to keep them open. He opened his eyes again, slowly this time. The light was bearable the second time, and he blinked a few time, becoming accustomed to the light.

Sunlight was pouring through the windows of the dormitory. The memories of the night before washed over Sirius, and he grinned.

Kissing Remus that first time. He'd been so shocked, so surprised. But he'd kissed him back, and the rest of the night had gone uphill from there. James and Lily had danced one slow-dance, and James had talked of nothing else on the way up from the party. Sirius and Remus had, of course, paid him no attention. Peter had been off on his own for the entire party, something that had surprised Sirius and James, but Remus said he had seen Peter and Emily together several times throughout the night. Sirius and James were satisfied and very proud of Peter.

Once they had returned to the dormitory, Remus and Sirius went immediately up the stairs to 'bed'. James and Peter had stayed out of the dormitory, fearing that they might see something they really did not want to see.

'Well, they were right to stay out,' thought Sirius to himself. He looked down at the sleeping werewolf in his arms. He smiled. Remus was still fast asleep. He looked tired. The full moon was in one week, and Sirius knew that in the next week, Remus would get antsy and snap a little easier at people, but he would generally be no different. Sirius lifted the hand that was not around Remus' shoulder and traced a scar on Remus' right arm, which was splayed across Sirius' bare chest. Remus' mouth was open, and he was breathing heavily. He snuggled closer Sirius in his sleep. Sirius smiled. This was what he'd been hoping for. He's been hoping for ages, too. He didn't really know when it had started, but that didn't matter. All that mattered was this.

"Si-Sirius…" Remus muttered in his sleep. He moved his head a bit and said Sirius' name again. Sirius could not stop the feeling of elation that flowed through him. He wanted this moment to last forever. He leaned down and kissed Remus lightly on his forehead. The light touch woke Remus a bit. His eyes blinked open and he was groggy.

"Whaa, whaz goinon?" he slurred and Sirius chuckled.

"Go back to sleep," Sirius whispered in his ear. Sirius felt Remus shiver. Remus was awake enough to realize where he was and who he was with, then.

"I don' wanna," said Remus, looking sleepily at Sirius. "I like yer face better…" Sirius laughed.

"I like your face, too," he said. Sirius leaned in close to Remus' face. Their foreheads were touching and Sirius could feel Remus' breath on his face. He closed his eyes, content. Remus' arms moved around him, holding him even closer and tighter.

"Ilikeyou," said Remus, still sleepy.

"I like you, too," said Sirius quietly.

"Is it safe to come in here yet?" called James' sleep-deprived voice. "Well, if you're doing something gross, we're coming in anyway, so put up a Silencing Charm or something!" Sirius snorted, pulling away from Remus.

"It's all good, James. I don't think you'll be scarred for life if you come in," he said. James opened the door and walked in, yawning. He saw Remus and Sirius in the same bed, shuddered, and leaned over his trunk. He pulled out a towel and headed for the showers. Peter followed James in and stopped short when he saw Remus and Sirius.

"Yes, not scarring James for life…" he muttered, glancing back at them with a mildly horrified look on his face. He jumped into his bed and fell asleep in about ten minutes.

Remus began playing with Sirius' hair. He looked very happy. They lay for about five minutes in complete silence. James walked out of the shower with nothing but a towel on.

"Look at me funny and I kill you," he said, grinning at Remus and Sirius, and putting his glasses on. "Why don't you two take a shower?" His eyes widened and his face flushed. "Separately," he added. Sirius roared with laughter and Remus was trying not to laugh, his mouth squeezed shut.



"Want to take a shower?" asked Sirius provocatively.

"Certainly!" he said, grinning. Sirius doubted that Remus would let a shower together actually happen already, but it was worth it to see the look of horror on James' face.

"I swear to God, if I hear you two moaning I'm going to Avada Kedavra you both!" he yelled as, laughing, Remus and Sirius jumped out of bed and sprinted, hand in hand, to the showers.

--- ---

Of course, Remus would never let Sirius shower with him. They'd only been 'together' (if they even were now) for a couple hours. The night before had consisted of kissing and hugging, nothing big. Sirius had seemed content with that, and Remus did not want to get everything at once. He wanted everything to be slow, steady, and wonderful. When they had awoken in the morning, both were clothed from the waist down, and Remus was satisfied that everything that had happened was allowed. Sirius had still been wearing his tight leather trousers, and Remus wondered how in the world Sirius had managed to fall asleep in them.

At breakfast, there was a new seating arrangement. For the past six years, they had usually sat James and Sirius across from Remus and Peter. Sirius took Peter's seat, so Peter was now next to James and Sirius was next to Remus. When they had finished eating, Sirius' hand found Remus' and Remus could not help but smile as their fingers entangled. Sirius glanced sideways at him, smiling as well.

On Monday, when they had to part for one class – Sirius was going to Care of Magical Creatures, Remus to Ancient Runes – they stood in a corridor that was halfway to Remus' class and the Entrance Hall. They stalled as long as possible, and Sirius gave Remus a quick kiss and followed Peter and Mary Macdonald out of the door. Remus hurried to Ancient Runes with James at his side. Remus had always liked Ancient Runes, but today it was the bane of his existence. He almost wished he had chosen Care of Magical Creatures, like Sirius, but that was just too ironic for him. He wished instead that Sirius had chosen Ancient Runes instead of Care of Magical Creatures. He didn't pay attention, but it wasn't important since the exams had finished the week before. There was still a whole two weeks before the train and going home for what would definitely end up being the longest summer of Remus' life, so Remus intended to make this the best two weeks of his life.

--- ---

The Hogwarts Express began to slow down, and Sirius wanted to whine. So he did.

"Nooooo!" he complained. "I don't want to go home yet!"

"You live at my house now," said James, rolling his eyes. "You aren't."

"I don't want to go to your house either! I want to go to Moony's!" whimpered Sirius.

"I think his mum might have a heart attack if she came into Moony's room and saw you in his bed with him snogging him out of his mind," said James, rolling his eyes. Remus snorted.

"I'd have to agree with you, Prongs," he said. "Sorry, Padfoot, you'll have to just wait until I visit at James'."

"James and I could visit you, too!" Sirius said, bouncing up and down joyfully.

"There is no bloody way in hell I'm visiting with you, Sirius," said James. "I'd be a third wheel, and I certainly do not want to watch you two snog all day."

"Well, we're visiting anyway!" said Sirius, grabbing Remus' hands across the compartment. Remus smiled. They would visit as much as they could. Flooing over for the day, or Apparating, in Sirius and James' case.

'Bloody lucky bastards…' Remus thought, surprising himself with the swearing. 'Looks like James and Sirius really are rubbing off on me.' He leaned across their clasped hands and kissed Sirius lightly. He heard Peter make a fake retching noise and James chuckled at Peter, but Sirius just kissed him back.

The train stopped, and Remus could see his mother and father in the crowd, waving to the train, not knowing where he was. Remus slammed himself against the window and waved at them. His mother saw him and pointed. His father saw him and grinned, waving more furiously. Sirius leaned over.

"See your parents?" he asked.

"Yep," said Remus.

"Are you going to tell them?" he asked. "I mean, I might just to make my parents angry, but if I had real parents, I'd tell. I'm gonna tell James' parents. Closest things to parents I have, anyway… But are you going to tell them?" Remus smiled at his little rant. It was very obvious that Sirius wanted him to tell his parents.

"Yeah, I'm going to tell them. I don't know when or how or anything, but I'm going to," he said. Sirius grinned.

"I've got a perfect, easy way to tell them," he said mischievously. Remus' eyes widened.

"Oh, no, Sirius, that's too blunt!"

"Oh, come on, saves an awkward 'Mum, Dad, I'm dating my best male friend!'"

"No it doesn't!" said Remus, horrified as Sirius moved closer.

"Then it matters even less," said Sirius. "And this way," he whispered in Remus' ear, "you get to kiss me." Well, if anything convinced Remus, that was it. He grinned.

"Fine," he said. He put his hands around Sirius' neck and kissed him hungrily. Sirius' hands went immediately around Remus' back, pulling him close.

"Ugh, they're snogging…" said James' voice on the other side of the compartment door. "And Sirius just slammed him against the window. I bet that bruises…" There was a mumble, and then James burst out laughing. "Pete, that was the best joke I've ever heard you say! 'Not the only bruise…' Oh, Merlin…" Sirius pulled away, glared at James, Peter, Lily and Mary, who were in the doorway.

"Go away," he snarled.

"Can't, mate, my trunk's up –" Sirius didn't even bother with his wand. His eyes flashed, and the door slammed shut and locked.

"Whoa!" said Remus. "How'd you do that?"

"Magic," said Sirius, winking.