Remus Lupin is not a dog.
He is not a bird, not a cockroach, not a rabbit. He's not anything that mates. He doesn't send out cries of love or squeaks of desire into the corridors when it's after hours. He doesn't attract people (or beg for infatuation) by emitting desperate noises of adoration toward any random female that passes him in the hallway. It would be a miracle if he would even get away with that – McGonagall would be dragging him out of sight by the ear in three seconds flat.
So Remus is thankful that he isn't a dog.
Or a bird, or a cockroach, or a rabbit.
He is in fact, very human, if not a little bit furry once a month.
And it made him teeth grind together, and his lips thin into white lines, and his eyes to narrow when Remus heard someone asking him about mating.
Remus Lupin did not mate.
Yes, he was halfway wolf and halfway human, but that does mean that Remus Lupin mates. He is not bound to a human for life, otherwise he could be bound for a goat for all of his life as far as Remus knows because the wolf may have gotten curious one night and ran across a goat in the Forbidden Forest.
Not that he's ever seen goats parading about in the school grounds, but with his luck the caretaker would probably have some hauled over from Iran and the wolf would fall in love with its furry coat and its sinister gaze.
Enough about animals.
Remus Lupin was not an animal.
Remus Lupin did not mate.
However, he did celebrate Lupercalia.
Celebrate was not the word. Remus did not jump for joy and have a grand party on Lupercalia. He stayed buried in his books for most the day even though even Remus can have too much reading at once – the first few years of his life at Hogwarts, his books were his cave from the social world. From the people.
He didn't need his books to protect himself anymore.
Except on one day out of the rest of the three hundred and sixty five.
Yes, he was prone to be extremely… forward and oddly wolfish on February Fifteenth, but Remus wasn't going to admit it or let alone display it.
Oh, the mockery.
In second year when Sirius and James and Peter found out that Remus was not entirely human, Remus couldn't help noticing that Sirius had been giving him peculiar looks for the first few days. One evening, when Remus had confronted Sirius about it, he had mentioned the wolfish habit of mating.
And Remus had to explain it to him.
January 30th, 1973
Gryffindor Boys' Dormitory
Remus Lupin's Bed
Remus can feel Sirius' gaze on his face right now. It is not a trusting look, more or so a look of curiousness that would be awkward if he would execute the curiosity, and Remus doesn't like curiosity all too much. It's what made him follow that friendly looking dog outside of his tent during that camping trip when he was six. It was where it brought him now, with Sirius and James and Peter all knowing what he was… what he could do, what disaster he was capable of.
Sirius' gaze flickers away from Remus' face, making the tawny-haired boy less stiff and gradually more relieved. Odd looks like that only mean one thing.
A question that usually starts and is intercepted and ends with the word 'erm'. It is an 'erm' question that makes both the inquirer and the inquired feel uneasy. And possibly ill.
Remus makes a large sigh against his pages, hoping that Sirius might stop staring already, but if possible, he seems to be sending even more gazes toward him, which is staring to make Remus twitch.
Let's break the tension.
"Chocolate, Sirius?" he offers with a forced smile, rummaging under his bed for his stash of chocolate. Remus holds out a securely wrapped bar for Sirius take, "It's good for when you feel… you know. Uneasy about something. Are you uneasy about something, Sirius?" Remus will fish for the right response, baiting it with fish and worms and whales if he has to. Remus fishes.
"I'm not uneasy," Sirius tells him finally, getting up from his own bed and taking the chocolate from Remus' grasp. He lingers around the werewolf's bed. "Just… contemplative."
Remus raises an eyebrow, refraining from snorting loudly, "Contemplative? I'm surprised you know that word."
"You know it." Sirius shoots back, as though anything Remus knows he automatically knows as well. Remus unwraps a bar of chocolate for himself as well.
"I might as well," he shrugs, "So what are you contemplating, Sirius?"
"Oh… erm… nothing."
Aha. That's what he was waiting for – that instinctive 'erm' in Sirius' sentence and hesitance that is rarely ever heard in Sirius' words. The 'erm' can only mean one thing.
Remus takes a deep breath.
Uneasiness is soon to follow.
He puts away his book, wrapping his legs farther up to his chest so Sirius has room on the bottom of Remus' sheets. He pats it.
"Sit," he commands gently, "you never contemplate," Remus accuses, hitting it right over the head. No beating around the bush for him. "You never think something through, edit it in your head, or even consider the possibilities for something, so this must be important. And it has something to do with me. You've been staring all day long."
Sirius blushes slightly. "Sorry," he murmurs, "Look."
Remus straightens up in his bed, waiting patiently.
The black-haired boy readjusts on the bed uncomfortably, squirming his feet and fidgeting with his hands. Remus sees the 'uneasiness' coming into the conversation, and is somewhat glad that he is not the one feeling it. Yet, at least.
"I don't know how comfortable you are talking about this, but I'm just a little… I dunno. I've never really met someone like you before and I just…" Sirius trails off hopelessly.
Lycanthropy, Remus thinks dryly, nodding along with a slight frown. "You're curious. Interested. It's okay."
"Well… I mean, every month you're not really… you can't feel yourself, can you? The wolf can't feel emotions, right? So…" Sirius says quietly, as though he's afraid to discuss this.
"Sirius, have I been doing any sort of wolfish things during the month when I'm not running around the Shrieking Shack?" Remus asks for him.
Sirius shakes his head.
"I do not deny that I am not entirely human, but I am two different beings every single month. We are not the same. The wolf and myself do not mix personalities, we don't intersperse traits. We just… share bodies. That's all, really." Remus says simply, as though being a werewolf was no bigger feat than making new friends.
Sirius nods slowly, but Remus can see from the playing his fingernails that he still has a question nagging on the back of his mind.
"Yes…?" Remus prompts, raising his eyebrows expectantly, "I assume that there's more?"
"Well, sort of," he responds. "So you don't… mate, right?"
There's a small awkward sort of quietness in the room before Remus breaks out laughing and his head falls back against the pillow. "Mating, Sirius? I'm not a dog, I'm not a bird or a cockroach or a rabbit! I don't mate for life!"
"But you even said it," Sirius persists. "Wolves mate for life, and the wolf is in you. He's sharing you body. Doesn't he mate for you?"
Remus shakes his head. "No, I'm sorry, Sirius, but my life is not that much of a cheesy novel. I'm not going to be stuck in Doomed For Life morning-after situations." He chuckles a little bit.
"So the wolf has no control over your… you know. Love life?" Sirius' eyes shift uneasily around him, his face paranoid for listeners.
Remus shrugs slightly. "Well, only on Lupercalia. But I don't think you have to worry about that."
Back in 1973, Remus had only celebrated one Lupercalia at Hogwarts. At home, he could easily hang around his parents without unusual and sudden attractions to them. The wolf could sniff out family; he could feel the family blood. But at Hogwarts, there was no family… no boundaries whatsoever.
In first year, Remus was fortunate enough to be stuck with a horrible flu on Lupercalia, so mostly everyone was afraid to go into a two-foot radius of him. No desires. No attractions. No sudden declarations of appeal and fascination.
In second year, Remus realized what a real Lupercalia at Hogwarts was like. He found himself staring avidly at Professors and even imagining things that normal twelve-year-boys don't think of. He had even nudged James in the ribs at lunch and pointed out Lily – who he and Sirius and Peter had been well aware of the first few days of school, was James' rightful property – that she had been looking especially foxy. He had almost flirted with McGonagall.
Even though Sirius and James and Peter had all heard of Lupercalia, they never truly understood what it did to Remus, so they could never use it against in him in a 'funny prank'. Not that it would be funny at all. And the three boys would then be getting a very stern talking to from Remus.
No one messes with him on Lupercalia.
It would be terribly easy for someone to take advantage of his increased romantic vulnerability – and not having control over something like that makes Remus very uneasy. But mostly, he wouldn't have worry about people approaching him, because he wasn't that popular in the first place.
It was February fifteenth.
Day of doom for Remus Lupin.
Hogwarts was still recovering from the invasion of pink from the day before as Remus walked down cautiously to the common room in the morning. He had purposely stayed in his bed late until everyone had departed the dormitory. So what if he missed most of breakfast? He would sneak into the kitchens if he had to.
Remus made a beeline for the Portrait Hole before he would be interrupted by some Gryffindor second year that was depressingly taking down the red heart garlands over the fireplace.
Whoosh, went Remus, running towards the Defense Against The Dark Arts classroom as fast as he can. No breakfast for him today.
The werewolf sat himself breathlessly in the last seat in the empty classroom, breaking out the biggest book he could find so that it covered his entire face. He wasn't going to read it – he simply buried his nose in the middle of the spine, so the text was only blurs of letters but his forehead and hair was fully concealed from view.
"Mr. Lupin…?" the Professor trailed off inquiringly.
Remus looked up over his book quickly. "Yes?"
"Ah," the teacher said. "I was just wondering… I couldn't see you."
Remus smiled. "Good. That's what I'm trying to achieve."
Gray hair has never looked so… lickable, Remus thought unconsciously as his eyes flickered away from his elderly teacher. He shivered as something inside of him growled hungrily.
Remus peered over the side of his page, his eyes narrowing and his brain churning as he realized that his Professor has yet to put away the bowl of pink candy hearts in the middle of her desk.
More kids started parading into the room and Remus stuffed his face back into his book. Where no one will bother him.
"All right then," the Professor finally began, "who can tell me what day today is?"
"The day after Valentine's Day."
"Friday!" some students yelled out.
The Professor shrugged, "Well, yes," he said. "But it's also Lupercalia."
Doom and death is leering at you from your desk, Remus. Remus thought as he fixedly stared at the wood in front of him.
It was going to be a long Lupercalia.
"Are you all right, Moony? You've been acting strangely all day." Sirius asked curiously at lunch. Remus poked at his salad, refusing to look at Sirius.
"I heard that it was Lupercalia today."
"You heard right," Remus murmured irritably, "Why are you concerned about that?"
Sirius shrugged. "I'm not, I'm just… curious."
"Curiosity is an awful thing," Remus snapped, "Now what are you curious about?"
The black-haired boy fought to find the right words. "Erm… Lupercalia." He muttered.
Another 'erm' conversation. Remus hated them. "What about Lupercalia?"
"Well… you don't mate for life… but does the wolf remember certain people?" Sirius asked.
"We had this conversation in fourth year, Sirius."
"I know. But I'm still… not sure about something."
November 11th, 1974
The desk in the corner of the Restricted Section
Remus flips through the many pages, some of them brittle and flaky from the occasional spill of pumpkin juice. He grimaces unpleasantly at the pictures on the next page, before the studying the charm to produce them.
There's a soft knock on the thick gate to the Restricted Section, and Remus looks up curiously to see Sirius looking through the aged wooden bars. He smiles cheekily.
"Mind letting me in, Remus?"
Remus furrows his brows playfully, "I don't know, Sirius," he says, closing his book on his fingers, "do you have a signed teacher's permission note?"
Sirius shakes and rattles the bars frustratingly. "C'mon."
He gets up from the table, and stares contemplatively at Sirius through the door.
"Why are you even in the library?"
"I was looking for you." Sirius responds, and tries to pick at the lock to the door. Remus laughs and finally unlocks the latch.
Sirius takes a seat at the table, making the old chair groan in protest. "I wanted to ask you something about… you."
Remus raises an eyebrow and nods. "Yes…?"
"If you can't mate with someone, does the wolf remember people that you like… snogged? Or… you know. Does the wolf fall in love?" Sirius asks quietly, flushing slightly.
Remus thinks. "You know, Sirius, I honestly don't know."
"Why not? Just think of the last person you kissed. Don't you feel a… connection towards them?" Sirius nags stubbornly.
Remus shrugs, playing with the cover of his book fondly.
"I've never kissed anyone before, Sirius. I wouldn't know."
There's a small silence while Remus plays with the leather cover of the book, and Sirius gapes in surprise, blinking more than necessary.
"But I would assume that the wolf wouldn't remember them," Remus continues, ignoring Sirius' last comment and his shock, "It's just like mating. I'm still somewhat human, Sirius."
"I know that!" Sirius says hastily. "I just meant–"
"Don't worry about it, Sirius," Remus responds airily, waving a hand as though to clear the matter, "I'm sure that the wolf would… feel something for them, but I wouldn't have to be drawn to them for life."
"Have you kissed someone yet, Moony?" Sirius asked in a small voice.
Remus was surprised by the question, his eyes widening slightly before his mouth formed into a silent 'o'. He raked a hand through his hair slowly. "Well… no, actually."
"Ah…" Sirius responded awkwardly, looking away again with a slow nod, "So you don't know what the wolf would do if someone would kiss you?"
"I know what he would do, Sirius," Remus said, even though he wasn't quite sure himself. "He might remember them, but I wouldn't be bound to them for life. I don't mate." He repeated firmly.
"But if somebody kissed you–"
"Nothing would happen." Remus said firmly, shaking his head.
"You wouldn't know," Sirius told him truthfully, persisting through the conversation, "Would you like to?"
"What do you mean 'would I like to–?"
Remus found himself almost falling back on the bench of the table, his arms flying for support as he swayed to find balance. And the next second, when his eyeballs had popped out of his head, Remus realized that Sirius was kissing him.
Sirius was kissing him.
So that's what he meant.
Something in Remus' mind yelled out in 'are you crazy?! Ever heard of personal space – friendly boundaries??' but the wolf part of him that he still very well knew existed moaned in response and wrapped his arms round Sirius' strong form eagerly.
The wolf was obviously connected to Sirius.
That didn't mean that he had mated – or that he was bound to Sirius for life – it simply meant that… the wolf and Sirius had bonded. And how that affected Remus – Remus didn't know. Whatsoever.
The wolf growled loudly deep in Remus' throat when Sirius began to pull away, and Remus could feel his fingers clawing around the other boy's arms possessively – an unconscious act, no doubt, only the wolf's work – and nibble playfully on his bottom lip.
The wolf was definitely having the time of his life.
Remus didn't know how to kiss. Hell, he didn't know how to hug. He got stiff whenever someone embraced him or patted his shoulders or held his hand when it wasn't his family. The wolf didn't like gentle touches or slow caresses – he was aggressive and greedy and hungry for… saliva? Remus was hoping that it wasn't blood.
Remus and the wolf were opposites. The wolf was also extremely uncontrollable, and that was… not appealing to Remus. Remus liked being in control of everything. And he knew that when blunt teeth nipped on Sirius' tongue – he wasn't in control.
Where in Merlin's furry briefs did the wolf learn how to kiss?
Finally some real sense was given gratefully back to Remus, who freaked out promptly.
He thrashed his arms around helplessly, before ripping away from Sirius and touching his lips in awe – eyes wide.
"What the hell are you doing?!" Remus demanded, and he felt a needy growl coming from somewhere inside of him. He felt a sudden instinct to pull Sirius closer again.
"Just… I asked you if you wanted to find out." Sirius mumbled slightly embarrassingly, his cheeks flaming with scarlet.
"And I didn't answer!" Remus replied loudly, outraged.
"So that was… the wolf?"
"Yes!" he retorted raucously, "where in hell would I have learned how to kiss?!"
Sirius shrugged defensively, holding up his hands in defeat. "I dunno!!"
Remus, still muttering, marched out of the Great Hall indignantly.
Wolves didn't mate for life.
Remus knew that, Remus was sure of that – he wasn't a dog or a bird or a cockroach or a rabbit. He wasn't an animal at all.
Remus hugged his pillow, licking his lips in reminisce.
And he realized what he was licking – he wrinkled up his face and spat revoltingly in his hand. He didn't know how hygienic Sirius was about his mouth. Other girls may never care if Sirius used mouthwash or floss or even toothpaste.
Remus knows for a fact that Sirius doesn't wash his teeth.
Who had he been licking last?
With a churning in his stomach, Remus ran for the bathroom, and ducked over the nearest toilet.
Remus couldn't wait for Lupercalia to be over.
With a sinking feeling, he realized that he wouldn't want to attend dinner in case students would be there – and they're always there, so no dinner for Remus and the wolf there – so he walked moodily to the kitchens.
He hated Sirius' attitude.
Give me this, give me that, I can get whatever I want!! Hehe!! I can get whoever I want to snog me!! No love forever!!
Remus could almost hear Sirius' voice inside his head.
He shook his head at the thought.
He dashed down the corridor to the kitchens before someone could catch him – because after The Disastrous And Sickening Incident with Sirius, the wolf was oddly aroused.
This was going to be a problem if some girl would stop him and compliment him on his shiny shoes.
Because he knew for sure that the wolf would be snogging her in two seconds flat, and that would result in a very painful slap across the face.
Remus tickled the pear quietly, 'shhing!' it hurriedly when it started laughing, and he disappeared into Hogwart's clean kitchen.
He ducked around the storage cabinet, hastily grabbing a slice of bread and a tomato, not knowing exactly what he would achieve with this pathetic dinner, but Remus didn't wait any longer before he ran back out the kitchen – door hanging wide open and the other fruits and the pear shouting after Remus to clean up after himself and shut the damn door.
He reached the boys' dormitory and shut all the hangings close for some well-deserved privacy, when he realized that there was a small piece of parchment on his sheet.
Happy Lupercalia, Wolfy
Remus growled at the note, before ripping it to pieces with his teeth and stuffing the remains under his mattress in agitation.
Eyeing his tomato sadly, he realized that he had squished the side and dented the bottom on his hurried sprint back to safety.
"Yuck, tomato brains." A voice said in disgust above Remus, and Remus snapped his head up to see James staring at his dinner with both interest and abhorrence. He stuffed a greasy napkin into Remus' hands, and as Remus unfolded it his eyes fell upon a small portion of chicken from the dinner table.
"I thought you might be hungry." James offered with a shrug. "How's your Lupercalia coming along?"
"Today's not Lupercalia." Remus told him instantly.
"Yes it is," James continued, "I could tell because you asked me if Dumbledore had combed his beard, because it looked shiny." He chuckled innocently.
"I hate Lupercalia. It only proves that I'm not normal."
"Don't be such a spoil-sport. The rest of us are actually celebrating Lupercalia!" James said with a large grin.
"That's why you're the rest," Remus said bluntly, biting into a piece of chicken hungrily, "Everyone's the rest. (1)"
"You sound bitter."
"You sound nasal," Remus told him, "but I don't feel the need to point that out."
"Shut up, you," James retorted. "Did someone put sour milk on your February fifteenth?"
"You don't know what Lupercalia does to me." said Remus, shaking his head as he tried to clear the thoughts in his mind that were saying mmm… what yummy hair. I could bite those glasses right off of his face. "I hate Sirius." he added unnecessarily.
James tilted his head. "Aww… now, now, don't say that. You know that's not true. There's a thin line between friendship and hatred." He smiled cheekily.
"No there's not," Remus argued wearily, "there's in fact the Great Wall of China, with sentries and armies with swords (2)."
James raised his eyebrows. Remus sighed.
"Go away, will you?" he commanded meekly, waving a hand in James' direction.
"Happy Lupercalia, Wolfy."
Remus growled, turning to face a cheeky Sirius Black who was grinning at him. Remus wanted to kick Sirius in Unmentionable Places, while the wolf wanted to do very other things in Unmentionable Places. He shivered at the thought.
"Did you write that note?" Remus demanded.
"Indeed I did." Sirius said, bowing slightly. "Did you pin it up on your headboard?"
"Check underneath my mattress." the other boy hissed venomously, ignoring the urge inside of him to grab Sirius' collar. "Go away."
"How's the wolf doing?" Sirius brought up airily, examining his nails with a large smile. "Tell him I said hi. I'm sure he'll want to say it too." He waggled his eyebrows suggestively.
"I hate you," Remus replied carelessly, "I hate your attitude."
"Yeah," he said. "The whole 'I don't want somebody to love me, just give me sex whenever I want it.' (3) It's getting cheesy."
"Thank you for the advice, Moony." Sirius replied loftily.
February 15th, Day of Doom, 1975
Remus hitches his bag up his shoulder, sending a smoldering look to Merlin in his history book. Sirius chuckles over his shoulder.
"Should I set you two up? Looks like a match made in heaven." he points at bustling-about-in-his-office-Merlin in Remus' book. Remus scowls.
Sirius laughs, swinging his arm around his friend's shoulder. The bell rings above their heads as students chat noisily next to them.
"You might want to keep a safe distance, Sirius," Remus warns as he looks at the arm on his shoulder, "I might grope you."
"Ooh," Sirius says with a cock of the eyebrows, "What brought this on? Not that I've never heard it before… just not from you."
"Lupercalia." Remus says, sighing.
"Never mind." Remus brushes off, shaking his head. "Just the worst day of the year." He finds himself involuntarily winking at Bertha Jorkins, who passes them slowly.
"I think I like Lupercalia," Sirius observes, watching Bertha Jorkins eye Remus suspiciously. "Finally a day for a laugh."
"That's all what you're about, isn't it?"
"Just a little," Sirius agrees, shrugging, "It's the only thing worth caring about."
"Laughing?" Remus asks.
"No. Just having fun every once in a while. You should get reacquainted with fun, Remus. Can I introduce you two?" Sirius questions, and Remus rolls his eyes.
"Har har," he mutters. "But I think I want avoid meeting things today. I might just hit on them."
The wolf thinks Sirius is yummy.
Yummy enough to eat whole, Remus thinks, as the wolf growls loudly at Sirius' passing form.
This is the first time the wolf has ever made an attachment. Especially to just one person.
Something has gone terribly wrong with Lupercalia.
Remus walked up the stairs to the dormitory, huffing, as he approached Sirius' bed. He yanked open the curtain.
"I think you just about cured me," Remus told him, and Sirius raised his eyebrows.
"Lupercalia," Remus continued. "The wolf likes you."
"I like the wolf too," Sirius agreed. "He knows how to use his tongue." He winked, and Remus rolled his eyes.
"Shut up," he said harshly, "Or I may just kill you."
And then he kissed Sirius.
The wolf was muttering things like see? I told you. and Remus ignored them since he's not the wolf – the wolf had to live inside of him, not the other way around. And as he wound his hands up Sirius' hair, he felt the satisfied moan coming out of the other's boy mouth – and smirked.
"I don't mate for life, Padfoot," Remus confirmed as they broke away. "But I do think that we kiss for life."
"Hum?" Sirius asked cluelessly, still breathless and clutching onto Remus.
"I've been hungry for you."
"Not for my blood, I hope…?"
"No," Remus said, shaking his head, an odd sort of smile crookedly playing on his lips. "your saliva, mostly."
"Indeed," Remus agreed, and connected their mouths blindly for a moment, the friction in between their lips wet and hot. "This was the best Lupercalia of my life."
"Seconded." said Sirius, kissing the werewolf again greedily.
"Are you ever going start saying more than one-worded sentences again?" Remus asked hopelessly.
Sirius shook his head. "The wolf didn't want me for my grammar."
"No. Just your mouth, I think."
"But I was right," Sirius pointed out. "Wolves mate by their lover's kiss."
Remus raised an eyebrow. "Excuse me? Are you calling me an animal? I don't mate for life."
"Please?" and then those damn puppy dog eyes.
Remus smiled. "For you I might as well make an exception," he said, and kissed him again.
Disclaimer: I love all of you guys. So I really must say, that this is for all of YOU! You guys really do deserve something. I mean there you are – reviewing tirelessly day in and day out and you don't get any reward!! It's an outrage! I have no idea how all of you do it – surviving on the very limited amount of authors who actually review reply.
This week is Reply To Your Reviews week. Well, not officially, but it will be for me! All of you guys will be getting replied to. And of course, you have this. FOR ALL OF YOU WONDERFUL REVIEWERS TO DEVOUR. YOU'RE ALL VERY YUMMY IN MY INTERNET. :D
(1) "That's why you're the rest," Remus said bluntly, biting into a piece of chicken hungrily, "Everyone's the rest."I used a quote from Heroes (the best show on EARTH) from Claude around episode 11 to around 16 - I'm not sure exactly which one it is. But I love the quote anyway! Love for sarcasm!
(2) "No there's not," Remus argued wearily, "there's in fact the Great Wall of China, with sentries and armies with swords."
This was used off of House MD, one of the best shows in the world right after Heroes, Episode something something. But I know it was in the first season!! And I don't own House, I might say. Even though I wish I could. I would borrow his cane any time… -eyebrow waggle-
(3) "Yeah," he said. "The whole 'I don't want somebody to love me, just give me sex whenever I want it.' It's getting cheesy."
Love for Rufus Wainwright, who I also wish I owned. But I don't… So I just end up quoting things from his songs. This line is the beginning of a verse in his song called 'Instant Pleasure'. :D