Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters, events and/or places that are recognized as being written and created by J.K. Rowling. J.K. Rowling owns all the characters and places from the Harry Potter books including the ones used in this story.

The dorm room, with its warm redness and vast coziness, feels more like a funeral parlor this night. It's dead quiet and morbid and cold.

Peter is curled up on his bed, eyes casually flicking back and forth, bed to bed, James to Sirius. He's scared that once dawn hits, which is soon, he'll have to pick one. He'll pick James. He should pick Remus. But, he'll pick James.

James is lying on his bed, arms folded, legs crossed and stretched out long. He's staring at the bed across from his. Watching Sirius rock and shake and inch closer to falling apart. James wants to comfort Sirius, wants to tell his brother that it's OK. But it's not OK. What Sirius did is not OK. And James has to be a man about this.

Sirius is sitting cross legged on his bed like a child. Next to him, to his left, Remus's bed is empty. Sirius pushes his sore eyes into his skull until the sharp pain he feels back there almost goes away. He wasn't allowed to go talk to him. That was his punishment, besides the year of detention. In the presence of Dumbledore, Remus got the full unbiased story from James and Sirius hates him for that. Hates himself more.

Soon the black night sky turns grey and then an odd pale color and sunlight begins to creep over the world. Sirius is lost in his own head until the sound of a door opening and closing brings him back. He watches Remus's shadow walk across the room, remove his robes, and slide into his bed. James and Peter are sleeping, Sirius can hear their snores.

Sirius doesn't think. He never thinks. What happened earlier would have only been a fantasy if he took the time to think.

Sirius moves in three steps from his bed to Remus's, into Remus's.

Remus is lying on his side, his back to Sirius. "Moony," whispers Sirius and when Remus doesn't answer is when Sirius instinctively curls himself against Remus. He wraps his arm around Remus's waist, grabs the front of Remus's T-shirt with his fist. Sirius pushes and tangles their legs together, and buries his face into Remus's back.

"Moony, please, Moony," he cries. He's crying and his tears leave wet streaks on Remus's bony shoulder. "We have to talk," he says. "Let me explain," he says. "Talk to me," he says.

Remus doesn't answer.

Sirius pushes himself even closer to Remus and pulls Remus's body flush against his own. It's not close enough. "Moony. Remus. Moony," he says over and over like a chant, a prayer. He's so sorry it hurts but he doesn't know if that means anything.

He tries to match his breathing with the rise and fall of Remus's chest. Tries to match the beating of their hearts. Make Remus feel him, force Remus to feel him.

And he's hard. Sirius doesn't know when that happened, but he knows it's because his body is in desperate need to get closer to Remus. That would get him closer; as close into Remus as he could get. He rocks himself against Remus. It still isn't enough. He wants to climb into Remus. Fill himself with Remus.

Sirius feels so empty.

Finally, Remus moves out of Sirius's hold and dismisses him with a wave. Sirius crumples in on himself and curls into a fetal position and doesn't leave Remus's side.

"Come on, Padfoot. Get up."

Sirius hears James's voice from outside a dream. He feels a hand wrap around his arm and pull, until his body is forced to turn over.

James stares down at Sirius with a fierce look. "You need to get up, Padfoot." Sirius watches the long column of James's throat rock up and down as he swallows. "Remus wants you out of his bed."

That name sends a sharp pulse through Sirius's body. He remembers where he is now. He turns his head just that little bit so his nose presses into Remus's pillow. He hears James sigh, and feels the bed dip by his stomach.

"You have snot in your hair," says James. "Thought I'd point that out."


"Just so we're clear, how long do you plan on sulking and feeling sorry for yourself?"

Sirius finally feels enough awake to sit up, pressing his back against Remus's headboard. "I don't feel sorry for myself," he says. Sirius's voice is scratchy and beaten up. It's almost funny. It's almost like he's the werewolf.

James raises his eyebrows. He inhales and exhales sharply though his nose. "I can't imagine you feel sorry for Snape. And you have no reason to feel sorry for Remus. Remus is fine. So that leaves you. Feeling sorry that you're punished and being shunned and-"

"I don't feel sorry for myself." It's the truth. He doesn't. "I feel wrong," he whispers. And it's a testament to how wrong he feels that he admits it out loud. He hugs his knees to his chest. "You know that feeling you get when you're little and you get trapped in, I don't know, a small place, and you can't get out and it's, and you're scared?"

James makes a quick movement and hugs Sirius tightly. "I can't make excuses for you all day," says James. Sirius nods though that was a stupid thing for James to say. He's sure by now the entire staff knows about what happened last night and aren't going to question why he's missing from classes. James pulls back and jabs him in the shoulder. "Wash your hair. And I'll see you in Potions?"

Sirius nods. Trapped in the small space that is Remus's bed, feeling scared.

Sirius is surprised, shocked to his gut, to see his seat next to Remus still empty and waiting for him when he arrives to class a fraction after everyone else. He looks at James, in the row behind, sitting with Peter. They both nod their heads at him and mouth words and point at the empty seat. So Sirius slides into it, curls his feet around the chair's legs, and looks at Remus.

Remus looks like he always looks after a full moon. A blend of soft pale skin, and green-tinged cheeks, and harsh red scars. "Moo-"

"I'm going to tell you this once." Remus's voice is calm, natural and normal. Sirius can almost make himself believe that Remus is going to tell him about a book he found or what a lovely breakfast he had that morning. Remus shifts a little closer to him. "I don't hate you. If that's what you think. But everything I ever thought about you is now a lie, Sirius. And I'm upset about that. And I'm disappointed. And I don't want to talk to you about it or, or about anything. I'm not going to let this rip the four of us apart. I wouldn't do that to Prongs and Wormtail. But, Sirius, just don't, don't come to me to talk anymore or ask me questions or advice or share secrets. I can't-"

But what Remus can't, Sirius never hears. Professor Slughorn's jovial voice fills the room and Remus closes his mouth, swallows his words, and turns away from Sirius.

That's how it starts. A week passes, and Sirius's close connection with Remus dissolves and leaves him feeling just as wrong as that first morning. He never realized how much he used to talk to Remus. He never realized how often he just needs to tell Remus something until he's forbidden to.

Not having Remus always available for him, only him, leaves its toll on Sirius.

James and Peter are going on their weekly two-man undercover mission of sneaking into the prefect's bathroom when a certain group of girls (and their redheaded leader) are occupying it. Sirius, with nothing better to do, ends up going with them.

They all can't fit comfortably under the cloak. Sirius keeps stepping on the back of their heels. "Can't we go do something else?" he asks.

Peter quickly looks at James, the picture of hopeless anxiety. "Don't give in to him, Prongs," he hisses.

James pats Peter's head in reassurance. "This is why we don't invite you, Padfoot," says James. "Just shut up-OW! And stop stepping on me!"

"Sorry." Sirius looks down, watching where he puts his feet as they slowly march down the corridor. "I'm just saying. There has to be something better to do. It's not like they're in there making out with each other."

"Stop!" James throws his arm out, halting Peter. Sirius crashes into them and James rips the cloak off. "Padfoot," he says spinning around. "Go and hang out with Moony."

The words ring through the empty hall. Sirius looks down at his feet again. "Can't," he whispers.

James frowns. "Right, well, just go and find something to do for an hour-"

"Two," says Peter.

"Please? I'll come find you. OK?" James throws the cloak back over himself and Peter.

Sirius waits, still and quiet, for a minute. "Pervert," he says out loud to no one. "Ditching his best friend to go look at half naked girls. Ditching his best friend at a time of need, may I add." Sirius walks over to the wall and slides down it, curling up on the stone floor.

He wishes he can tell Remus all about the injustice that just happened to him.

When Sirius was little, his older cousin Andromeda would babysit him. Andromeda would always listen to everything three year old Sirius had to babble on about, and Sirius loved spending time with her. But then Andromeda had to go to school, and couldn't babysit Sirius anymore which made little Sirius very upset. So Andromeda took a stuffed toy dragon that Sirius had and she took it down to Kreacher. When she came back, the toy dragon was now a raggedy doll with long dark brown hair and gray buttons for eyes and a pretty smile and a heart shaped face. Andromeda told him that anytime he needed to say something to her, he could say it to the doll instead! He would talk to that doll for hours, just like he used to with the real Andromeda. (Until his mum saw it and destroyed it, but that's a different weird Sirius Black childhood story.)

Sirius got up off the corridor floor. Andromeda had a baby now. A baby with lots of spare stuffed animals. And Sirius had an idea.

"I never thought…Snape is supposed to be smart, right? I never thought he'd listen to me. I should have known though. He'll do anything to prove how horrible we are. Not you. You're not horrible." Sirius sighs and smiles. "Merlin, it's great to finally be telling you this."

Sirius is in his bed with the curtains closed and charmed to not let any sound in or out. Because he doesn't want the others to hear him talking. Out loud. To a doll. That looks like Remus Lupin.

"It's getting late," says Sirius, checking his watch. "We should get some sleep." He pauses. "Do you think it's weird that we're sleeping together?" He pauses again. "Sirius. It's just a doll." He's said that to himself continuously since his conversation with the raggedy doll started two hours ago. He keeps having to remind himself that this doll isn't the real Remus. Which is a stupid detail to forget because how could that doll be the real Remus? The real Remus isn't speaking to him. (The doll isn't speaking to him either.)

At breakfast that morning, a large barn owl landed in front of Sirius with a stuffed yellow duck and a note from Andromeda that read "I'm not even going to ask." James and Peter were beside themselves. They would take a drink to try and calm down, only to snort the orange pumpkin juice back out of their noses seconds later. Sirius scrawled "Next time fucking wrap it!" on the back of Andromeda's note and sent her owl home, told James and Peter to stuff it, tried to gage Remus's silent reaction, and stuffed the yellow duck into his bag.

Later, alone in the dorm room, when it was just the two of them, the yellow duck became a boy. A boy with soft white fabric for skin and a mop of brown yarn for hair that fell into golden button eyes; and patchy clothes; and two tiny scares that stretched across the bridge of the doll's stitched nose.

He almost showed his work to James, but, thank the higher universal powers, stopped himself just in time. James can only accept so much.

Sirius tucks the soft doll under the covers next to him, and pats the tiny plump belly. "Goodnight, Remus," he says, smiling. He's spent two hours saying the things that used to be common everyday phrases; that were now long-lost words that tumbled from his lips easily, happy to be used again.

Before getting comfortable, Sirius waves his wand to lift the silencing charm.


"What?" Sirius makes a mad grab for Remus Doll and hides it under the covers before his curtains are torn wide open.

"I've been calling your name for twenty minutes," shouts James. "What have you been doing, wanking off?"

"No." Should have said yes, stupid! Should have said yes!

James's eyes rake down Sirius's body. "I think that bulge there is telling me otherwise," he laughs.

Peter sticks his head around James and stares at Sirius's crotch. "That's a rather big bulge, Prongs."

James bends down closer. Sirius digs his nails into the doll, tightening his grip. "Ooh," says James, pulling back. "Is that your ducky, Ickle Siwius?"

"Alright, are you two done?" shouts Sirius over James's and Peter's laughing. "Can't a bloke have a little privacy?"

"Night, Padfoot," leers James, pushing Peter away from Sirius's bed.

Sirius slams his curtains closed. When he's positive that James and Peter are on their side of the dorm, he throws his blankets off of himself. "Sorry Moo-oo!"

Innocent Remus Doll has his face all over Sirius's no-no spot. Sirius picks the doll up and smirks. "Now I know you're not the real Remus Lupin."

Sirius is sitting on the floor of an empty shower stall. "OK," he says, and leans forward. "Carmen Roberts asked me out." He waits. "Yeah, the red head." He waits again. "No, she's in our year. Anyway, so we went to the lake and-" Sirius suddenly stops talking, laughing hard and silently into his palm. "Moony, I swear on my grave, she had the worst gas!" Sirius falls over into his lap, shaking and snorting. "She was just letting them rip and not saying anything!" He takes a couple steadying breaths and sits up. "I think she wilted some flowers that were behind us."

Remus Doll stares back at Sirius. Not blinking. Not breathing. Not even remotely alive.

"I know, Moony! I know," laughs Sirius. "Prongs is going out with her tomorrow cause he wants to see if she'll do it again." Sirius pauses and stares into the doll's glinting button shaped eyes. "That's what I said, Moony!" What Sirius, and apparently Remus Doll, said will never be known to anyone who is sane, or not Sirius Black. "Come on," says Sirius, standing and lifting Remus Doll up. He shoves him into the pocket of his robes; a perfect niche for when one has the need to carry around a toy replica of a friend.

Two long weeks go by, and Remus, the real Remus, is still not talking to Sirius. He's being cordial, and polite, but he's not talking. Sirius has to hear all the Moony Stories second hand from James. He wonders if Remus is hearing all of his stories too. Because Remus Doll sure is.

"Hey, Padfoot?" James addresses Sirius as soon as Sirius's butt touches down on the common room couch they always occupy. "Where have you been?"

Sirius fiddles with his shoe lace. "Upstairs."

"By yourself?" James pulls his legs back so he isn't lying down anymore and looks at Sirius with a whole lot of concern, and a touch of suspicion. "You've been doing that a lot lately."

Sirius smiles casually and dips his head up. "Maybe I've been sneaking birds up there." James's face contorts from concern to disbelief. Sirius isn't really paying attention because out of the corner of his eye he sees Remus looking at him from over the top of his Defense textbook.

"Oh really? And how are you sneaking them out of the dorm?"

Sirius shrugs. "Magic?"

A snort of low laughter rings into Sirius's ear. Sirius and James turn like Siamese cats to Remus. They can't see half his face, but he has those unmistakable Moony laugh lines around his tired golden brown eyes.

"You totally laughed at me earlier," whispers Sirius into Remus Doll's ear or the place Remus Doll would have an ear if doll's had ears. Sirius is lying on his stomach in his bed, Remus Doll propped up against his pillows. "And not making fun of me laughing, out right laughing because you thought I was funny!" Sirius pauses, looking into Remus Doll's glassy eyes. His cheeks heat up and turn blotchy red and he feels something tight and funny thrum through his veins. "I think you're funny too," he whispers.
In between James's and Sirius's beds is the only window in the tower dorm room. It's a large bay window, with a soft bench big enough for two people.

Sirius sits in the window with one leg stretched out across the bench and the other leg pulled up against his chest. It's a perfect night. Sirius pretends that across the Hogwarts grounds, over the lake and the forest and the miles, he pretends that he can see the Shrieking Shack, tall and formidable on its lonely hill.

The moon is full. Its brightness blinds Sirius. He lets it blind him. Lets it punish him too this month.

"Do you think they're out now? Roaming the forest?" Sirius looks at his watch. "I never have any sense of time when I'm Padfoot."

Remus didn't tell him not to come. Remus told James to tell him not to come. Sirius wanted to throw up.

Remus Doll is not in hiding tonight. The dorm is empty. He's sitting on Sirius's knee, propped up by Sirius's hand, his back to the window because Sirius doesn't want Remus Doll to turn into Werewolf Remus Doll.

"I don't believe this is happening," whispers Sirius. All he wants to do is say Fuck It and leave the castle and join his friends because Remus wouldn't be able to tell the difference anyway. But he doesn't care about James and Peter. They're not the ones he wants to run around with. He wants to run around with Moony. Be with Moony. And it won't be the same, playing and wrestling and touching, if the Remus underneath it all doesn't want it.

"I miss it," he says. It's only been one full moon and already he misses it. He finally looks away from the window, looks at the brown headed doll balancing hunched on his knee. And the feeling of tense tightness in his chest consumes him again. He bends himself closer to Remus Doll, buries his face in the tiny cotton stuffed neck.

"I miss you."

The wolf didn't have a good night. He left the Shack with the stag and the rat, but he was sniffing around them, looking for something else. He didn't want to do anything. He kept whining and snapping and baring his teeth, and searching.

That's what James told Sirius. Whispered it to him during breakfast, with a tight arm around his shoulder.

As soon as Sirius found a moment, he took Remus Doll out and smiled at him until his cheeks hurt.

"You almost said something to me today." Everyone else is sleeping, but Sirius still hides them both under the blankets just in case. "I saw you turn to me at dinner and then stop yourself." He reaches out to fling a tendril of brown yarn out of Remus Doll's frozen face. "I wish you didn't. You miss me too don't you?" He pauses. "I'll take your silence as a yes."

Sirius sighs and moves so that he's lying on his back. "Can I tell you a secret?" Sirius imagines the little Remus Doll nodding. "I can't stop staring at you. In class. Just…just watching you write or, or well you don't do much, but…and it hurts because I never realized how close I was to you before…It's not like me and James. It's something different."

Sirius turns his head to the side, looking in the dark at the glinting button eyes next to him. "Yeah," he says. "I think you're right."

Sirius can't take it anymore. It's been a month and a half. Six weeks. Forty-two days. One thousand and eight hours. Sixty thousand four hundred and eighty minutes. Three million six hundred and twenty-eight and eight hundred seconds since Remus stopped talking to him.

Not that he's counting.

He feels weird. So weird. Or maybe not weird, but aware. Aware of the things that usually happen but aren't happening anymore because they can't happen because Remus is ignoring him.

Sirius turned down a date today. He never turns down dates. He's never had a girlfriend because girlfriends mean less time he can spend with his mates, but that doesn't mean he'll give up a chance to get his snog on.

But this random Hufflepuff asked him out and Sirius snapped at her.

Then later, during a break before dinner, right after Sirius spent an hour in the boy's bathroom, giving Remus Doll a play by play of his day so far, he saw it. Saw them. Saw Remus chatting with some curly blonde Ravenclaw. Wasting all his lovely Moony Words on her while Sirius stood there, desperate to hear them for himself.

It's late now. And Sirius gave everyone his Pureblood Leave Me Alone face and escaped behind his curtains. Remus Doll is helping him write a Potions essay. If helping means being placed against the footboard across from Sirius with a quill propped up against his soft body and not actually speaking because he can't because he's a toy, then yeah, Remus Doll is helping Sirius write his Potions essay.

After a few minutes, Sirius puts his own quill down and looks across at Remus Doll. "Do you have a date with that girl, Moony?" he asks.

Silence passes between himself and Remus Doll. And for a while nothing happens

Sirius deflates and nods. "You're right. I'm sorry." Sirius returns to his essay.

After a few minutes, Sirius puts his own quill down and looks across at Remus Doll again. "You mean you've never kissed anyone?" There's a pause. "Hmm." Sirius gently pushes his things to the side and slides further up the bed to Remus Doll.

"There's something I want to try, Moony. It'll help both of us. What do you say?" Sirius laughs. "Ha, ha! You can't say anything!"

It's odd that Sirius comes slightly to his senses there, right before he purses his lips and places them softly against Remus Doll's stitched on smile.

Sirius wants to touch Remus. Sometimes they touch accidentally and Remus flinches away from him.

Sirius always thinks back on that night after he betrayed Remus. Six and a half weeks ago. Forty-five days. One thousand and…oh, Sirius can't do math anymore his brain hurts.

He remembers how he curled around Remus and touched him. Touched him all over.

If it was James that Sirius betrayed, Sirius probably would have sobbed and James would have yelled and then they would have fought. Bloody fought. And their touching would have been fists clashing and two brothers fixing each other the only way they know how.

If it was Peter that Sirius betrayed, he probably would have given him a half-hearted sorry and a gentle push. And their touching would have been simple and friendly.

But it was Remus that Sirius betrayed. And Sirius didn't know what else to do but get as physically close as possible. Hug him. Except he didn't really hug him like a brother would. Sirius touched him with a manic desperation.

He wants to touch him again.

He can't.

So he touches Remus Doll instead. And hugs Remus Doll close to him. And kisses the toy too.

James is really worried. He was expecting Sirius to become crazy obnoxious and loud, doing everything in his power to force Remus into acknowledging him. What he didn't expect was to see Sirius lie down and take it. He didn't expect Sirius to start hiding himself away for random hours.

If James expected anything from Remus, it was for Remus to swallow his emotions and do everything he could to not lose Sirius's friendship. Instead, Remus is putting up a wall between himself and Sirius; and then looking over it with a sort of fierce longing.

Then there's the way the wolf acts on full moon nights. There have only been two without Padfoot, but they've both been odd and not the fun time they usually have. And if that damn wolf sticks its nose up Prongs's ass one more time, he'll get a nice little surprise shooting out at him. Yes, it's vulgar. But these are the actions James must take to knock some sense into his idiot friends.

On this bright and blue Saturday morning, when Sirius is once again hiding behind his bed curtains, James decides to knock some sense into that idiot first.

And after he uses all sorts of crazy magic to rip open Sirius's curtains, what he sees behind them is something he has to stare at for awhile to fully comprehend.

When he speaks, it's with a voice that rises into panicked high notes. "Sirius! What the fuck? Are you making out with a doll?"

Sirius's eyes drag open and widen and he freezes. Mouth still attached to the rag doll clutched in his hands. He brings the doll down. "Maybe," he says.

James has no words. None. He can't think of one thing to say. He stares at Sirius with open mortification.

Sirius turns the doll around and James sees golden eyes and brown hair and scars and he almost, almost, understands. "It's Moony," says Sirius, so unnecessarily.

"Yes, it is," croaks James.

"Listen." Sirius sits up. "Do you mind leaving us alone?" Sirius motions at the doll with his chin. "We're kind of in the middle of something."

"Oh!" James nods and backs away. "Oh sure! Yeah. Uh, yeah!" He closes Sirius's curtains and walks backwards until his knees hit his own bed and he falls down on it.

Then he laughs. Sirius has gone off the deep end and all James can do is laugh. Laugh and get the hell out of the dorm room. Laugh and get the hell out of the dorm room and go find the real Remus Lupin.

It's late at night and Sirius is sitting in his bed with Remus Doll perched on his knees. He's telling the doll all about a dream he had involving Pandas and a cotton candy machine. It's the kind of dream he would wake Remus up in the middle of the night for. To annoy him. He is forced to annoy Remus Doll instead, (who doesn't even sleep).

"So what do you think that means?" he asks Remus Doll.

"I think it means you're completely insane. Sick. Twisted."

"What?" Sirius throws the Remus Doll away from him and stares at it in pale horror. "Hey! How'd you...? Did you just speak to me?"

"No, I did." Another rag doll is thrust through Sirius's curtains. It has silky black hair and grey button eyes and a really dapper debonair outfit on. "And I will ask you kindly to not throw my friend anymore. It hurts you know."

"Sorry." Sirius smirks. "And you are?"

"Sirius Black," says the doll.

Sirius laughs. "No, I'm Sirius Black."

"No, you're not." The hand around Sirius Doll's waist pushes the doll closer to Sirius's face and uses the tiny cloth hand to knock on Sirius's head. "It's empty. No one's home."


"I know what you've been doing. And I don't appreciate it," says Sirius Doll.

Sirius can feel his face fire up. "What have I been doing?"

"Kissing my Remus."

"Your Remus?"

"Yeah," says Sirius Doll. He swings down and is sat next to where Remus Doll is collapsed at the foot of Sirius's bed. "How do you know he even wants to kiss you?"

"I guess I don't," says Sirius.

"Why do you want to kiss him, then?"

Sirius looks down and locks eyes with the frozen face of Sirius Doll. "Because I…I miss him so much."

"Miss who?"

"Remus." Sirius's eyes flick to the left, to the break in his curtains. "The real Remus."

"Do you think the real Remus misses you?"

"No," says Sirius. "He hates me."

Sirius curtains are pulled apart. "I told you that I don't hate you, Pads."

Sirius turns his full attention to Remus. "Then why won't you talk to me?" He doesn't care how loud his voice is or that Peter and James are sleeping. He just wants to set the precedent. When Remus starts talking to him, really talking to him, he wants to hear Remus's voice loud and clear.

Remus smiles and looks over at the two dolls on Sirius's bed. "Looks like you don't need me to talk to you. I've been replaced."

Sirius gasps. "Never Moony."

"Always so dramatic," laughs Remus. He crawls onto Sirius's bed. Sirius gets as comfortable as he can without moving an inch away from Remus. "Padfoot. Everything you've figured out with that doll, which I have to agree with Prongs on this, is just bloody mental, I've already…I've already been feeling. And then you sent Snape to the Shack and everything about you that I thought I knew was just wrong now. I couldn't talk to you because I had to think. I had to re-think how I felt. I had to think if it was even worth it because…and it was hard for me too. It was hard to hear all your stories from James. He doesn't explain things as, colorfully, as you do. It was hard-"


Remus blinks and licks his lips. "Padfoot?"

"You talk too much." Sirius leans forward. And kisses Remus. The real Remus. Sirius feels Remus's blood pumping, his lungs struggling for air, feels the wetness of his lips sliding against his own. Feels Remus. And he feels right.

Sirius pulls back, but touches his forehead against Remus's. "How did you make that doll?" he asks.

Remus snorts. "James bribed two first years for their teddy bears."

"Two?" asks Sirius sitting back.

A red-headed doll head comes through the curtains. "Will you two keep it down," she says with James's deep tenor. "Some of us are trying to get some sleep."