Author's Note: Here comes the second part! I'd like to thank everyone who reviewed very, very much!
Warning: This chapter contains the Headless Hunt, blood, all sorts of monsters, Flobberworm salad and slash.
The Monster Day of Monsters
When the Marauders went further into the Hog's Head where the celebrations took place, a foul stench of stale blood, rotten things and sour sweat met them. Remus felt sick already now, a feeling that was only intensified when he saw the buffet which consisted mostly of raw and bloody things. He quickly averted his eyes and tried to look somewhere else. The truth was, here were not many pleasant things to look at. Zombies with shredded skulls, mummies with blank eyeholes, vampires full of blood because they had drunk greedily the things offered at the buffet, two werewolves fighting and almost tearing each other apart, hags poking in slimy liver on their dirty plates…
"It was a bad idea to wear the Invisibility Cloak over my head," James murmured. "Can't eat anything like this."
"James, you don't really intend to eat anything of…" Remus helplessly gestured towards the disgusting buffet. "…that."
"Well… probably not," James admitted. "Urgh, do you see that? Looks like Flobberworm salad. But I'd like to drink something, maybe."
"I think you shouldn't eat or drink anything here," Peter said. "It could be poisoned."
"There's an empty table over there." Remus pointed to a safe-looking corner of the room. "Let's go there."
But the others rather wanted to enjoy themselves. At least James and Sirius did. Peter chose to follow James around because he probably felt safer with him. So Remus sat down at the table alone and tried to look as inconspicuous as possible and keep a watch on his much too carefree friends.
Sirius did not behave at all like a vampire was supposed to behave. Instead of being sullen and melancholic, he danced wildly to the dreadful music of an orchestra of musical saws along with the dancing skeletons, who produced the rhythm with their rattling bones. Remus felt more and more uneasy when a gorgon approached Sirius and her hair of living snakes subtly wound around his neck. Fortunately, Sirius quickly excused himself and hurried off to a group of vampires and joined in their discussion.
James talked to a miserable looking golem, and Peter tried to hide behind him as much as possible. Currently, he was making up a ridiculous tall tale on why he could still speak without his head being there.
"… we're still united in mind, you see, but not in body. So I can sometimes hear my head calling me, literally, I mean, you see, it's like calling myself, obviously, because it's my head and in a certain way it's still there but not… here, you see? So when I sometimes hear its call…my call, I mean, I can feel a pull towards it and I try to follow it but it's like…"
Oh Merlin… Helplessly, Remus buried his head in his hands. It's only a matter of time until they throw us out of here. He did not mind leaving this 'party', of course, but he just hoped it would not end violently. Suddenly, he heard melodic laughter. Confused, Remus looked up again to see the group of vampires laughing merrily at a joke Sirius had probably just told them. Remus shook his head in exasperation but he could not help but smile a little bit, too. Trust Sirius to cheer even vampires up.
"…oh, but that was not the best we've ever done. You should have seen when we bewitched all the owls to croak a love song to Professor –"
"Padfoot," Remus quickly intervened and rushed to Sirius's side. It would do no good if Sirius brought the teachers into this. They would only get in trouble – in more trouble than they were already now at the Monster Day of Monsters.
Remus nodded briefly in the direction of the vampires, who eyed him sceptically, and said, "We should leave now."
"But the fun has just begun," Sirius said good-naturedly. "We still haven't seen the Headless Hunt."
"The Headless Hunt," one of the vampires said disdainfully and his lips curled in disgust. "That's so… vulgar."
"But why?" Sirius said. "If they enjoy it, why deny them a little bit of fun in death?"
The vampire who had just spoken gave Sirius an odd look. "If you don't mind me asking, Mr Padfoot, why are you always so cheerful?"
Remus groaned inwardly. He had seen it coming. Just why did Sirius have to exaggerate so much?!
"Well, I just happen to be… cheerful," Sirius said somewhat lamely.
"Do you get blood donations?" another vampire asked wistfully.
Sirius's eyes widened slightly in understanding. "Oh, yeah, I got them."
There was a collective longing sigh from the vampires. "It's so difficult to find blood donors for vampires nowadays. You're a lucky one," an old-looking vampire woman said sullenly.
"Yeah, it's pretty difficult. You see, I have a personal blood donor," Sirius stated boldly, which earned him even more jealous glances. He turned to look at Remus and smiled widely at him so Remus could see his pointy vampire teeth.
Oh no. Remus tried to shake his head but to no avail. Sirius slung an arm around his shoulder and declared, "Mr Moony here was generous enough to allow me to bite him and suck his blood from time to time."
"Really?" Suddenly, all eyes turned towards Remus. Oh no, this is not really happening…
"Do you think I could drink a bit from you, too?" one vampire asked greedily.
Others immediately followed. "I don't need much, just a few drops from time to time."
"I haven't had human blood for decades."
"Isn't it a bit unfair to give your blood only to one of us and let the others starve?"
"Wait a moment," someone suddenly interrupted all the hungry pleas. "Isn't he a werewolf?"
"Yes?" Sirius said slightly uncertainly.
"Well, then his blood cannot be really classified as human blood, right?"
Sirius's eyes narrowed a little bit. "Oh, I can assure you he is very tasty," he said lightly.
Remus groaned inwardly. He wished Sirius could read his thoughts. Because then he would stop with this craziness. Because Remus's thoughts towards his friend were not very friendly at all right now but were rather heading in a direction of 'I'm going to rip your throat open'.
"And I'm afraid you can't drink from him because he has a very unusual blood group," Sirius continued, for which Remus was quite grateful. At least Sirius did not leave him to get devoured by a hungry horde of vampires. "It took me decades to find someone with a blood group that matched my own blood group. Erm… my former blood group, of course."
The vampires were watching Sirius with slight suspicion. "You are a very strange vampire," one of them said in an almost accusing voice, which made it very obvious that she doubted Sirius's fake identity.
"That's because I have enough good blood," Sirius said. He turned to Remus again. "Can I have a little drink now?"
Remus saw that he had to play along now if he did not want to expose Sirius. He just hoped Sirius had his blood capsules ready to hand…
"Sure," he said with a false smile and cocked his head to the side to give Sirius access to 'bite' his neck.
"Thanks," Sirius said, gave the vampires a little wink and made to stand behind Remus. When his fingers lightly touched Remus's jugular vein, which was throbbing quickly in nervousness, Remus saw from the corner of his eye that several werewolves were watching them too. He tensed up even more. Oh no. As if things aren't bad enough yet. He made a mental note to give Sirius a long talk about the complicated relationship between werewolves and vampires once they were (hopefully safely) back at Hogwarts.
"Relax," Sirius whispered in his ear when he brushed Remus's hair aside. "I probably bite you once a day as you're my personal donor. You should be used to it."
"Just get it over quickly," Remus muttered, barely moving his lips.
When he felt Sirius's lips on his neck, a shudder ran through his whole body. It was not only because of his fear of all the monsters around them… A few moments later, he felt something wet and warm trickle down his neck. Ah, the fake blood. Thanks Merlin, it's finally over. But Sirius had not finished yet. He made a big show of licking off the blood from Remus's neck and, somehow, Remus did not feel like stopping him. He even felt a tinge of regret when Sirius finally released him.
"Mmmm," Sirius said self-indulgently and slowly licked his lips.
Remus had to refrain himself very hard from rolling his eyes. Don't overdo it, Sirius.
"So… you drink from him every day?" a vampire asked.
"Of course. Keeps me healthy," Sirius said, smiling his vampire-smile.
There was a low growl behind them. Remus turned around to find himself face to face with another wild and dirty-looking werewolf.
"It's not right," he snarled at Remus. "You shouldn't let him do that to you. Werewolves are free creatures. Their body belongs only to themselves."
"He didn't force me into anything," Remus said, and he hated how small and nervous his voice sounded. "I did it willingly."
The werewolf growled again. "You fool," he grumbled. "Associating with one of them. He's only after your blood, mark my words, boy." Shaking his head and muttering things like 'blood traitor' under his breath, the werewolf turned around.
"What's all of this about?" Sirius asked Remus quietly.
"Come on." Remus pulled Sirius to the empty table in the corner of the room. Sirius sat down opposite him and looked at him expectantly.
"Have you ever heard that werewolves and vampires don't get along very well?"
"No," Sirius said simply. "Why's that?"
Remus shrugged. "I don't think there is a reason. Some old grudge… I don't really know much about it. I just know that it is very, very unusual for a werewolf and a vampire to be… close."
"Ah, I see." Sirius nodded thoughtfully. "So they think you've got dealings with vampires and are a sort of spy?"
"Actually…" Remus avoided looking at Sirius and let his gaze wander through the pub instead. James was chatting to a ghost from the Headless Hunt ("So if I find my head and die and turn into a ghost, I can join you? You know, I'm very good at Quidditch and I think we could play Quidditch with heads as Quaffles, how about that?") and Peter was asked questions about his strange wererat condition by an ogre.
"Actually, I think, "Remus said quietly, "that they think… that we are…" He was sure his face was as red as Sirius's still fake-bloodstained lips by now. No, looking at Sirius's deep red lips did not help in the slightest. He reluctantly tore his gaze from the sight and stared at his dirty fingernails instead. "They possibly suspect us to be… lovers."
Sirius's reaction was to be expected. He erupted into loud barks of laughter. Well, at least he was not disgusted by it…
"Why would they think that?" Sirius asked, burst into laughter anew and hit his palm hard on the table.
"Because normally werewolves and vampires stay away from each other, so if they don't rip at each other's throats, they must be in love," Remus explained with a patience that surprised himself. "Don't you know all those tragic love stories? A werewolf and a vampire fall in love but their love can't survive because the other werewolves and vampires are not okay with it? Never heard of Romeo and Juliet? Star-crossed lovers and such things. And everyone dies in the end."
"But how can vampires die? I thought they were –"
"Sirius! That's not the point! It's stories - the vampires probably die from broken hearts - but that's not the point!"
"Okay. Sorry. So we're lovers now?"
"They think we are lovers, yes."
"Hm." Sirius thoughtfully licked the fake blood from his lips. "Then let's give them a show, huh?"
"W-w-what?" Remus stammered in shock.
Sirius leant over the table so his face was closer to Remus's. "Not dying like Romeo and Juliet and such nonsense. Just a bit of kissing, maybe. Behaving like lovers."
"You're crazy," Remus said, trying to sound funny and a bit annoyed, and he could feel his cheeks burning, for which he hated himself very much.
"Okay, if you don't want to, we won't do it, of course," Sirius said quickly, attempting to smile apologetically, which was a bit difficult with vampire fangs.
Remus nervously rubbed his heated forehead and cheek. Why was he rejecting Sirius's idea? Was he, Remus, crazy? "I didn't say I didn't want to," he said quietly. "I just said you're crazy. But that's hardly something new, is it? I told you the same thing when you told me you'd join me in the Shrieking Shack as Animagi."
"Is it a 'yes' then?"
Remus shrugged. "Yes, I think so. Let's give them a show."
"Great." Sirius grinned widely at him. "I didn't expect you to agree so quickly. I must say, I am surprised, Mr Moony."
"Well, Mr Padfoot, I am a wild and uncivilised werewolf. You should know that I don't spend much time on thinking but act on instinct."
"You have interesting instincts." Sirius smiled and lifted one hand to lightly brush his thumb over Remus's cheek, on which he had smeared dirt earlier this night. The touch now was completely different, though. "Well, kiss me then, werewolf."
"You are really crazy," Remus muttered. He had never kissed someone before but suddenly he did not worry anymore. After all, this was Sirius: his best friend, who was completely crazy and who accepted him for being a werewolf – so he would certainly accept him for being a clumsy kisser as well. Besides, they did not really have to do much. They just had to look like they were kissing passionately.
It was neither difficult nor awkward at all. Remus simply leant forward a bit and placed his lips on Sirius's. Not very complicated to do, right?
He had never expected it to be like this. He had never expected to have his first kiss with his best friend. He certainly had not expected it to be at a grotesque party between lots of literally bloodthirsty monsters. He had not expected the person he kissed to wear vampire fangs either. Truth be told, the vampire teeth were a bit in his way. And he had not expected it to taste like this: the strange, overly sweet, artificial flavour of the fake blood was still on Sirius's lips. Nonetheless, Remus thought it tasted nice.
Then Sirius reached for Remus's hand on the table and entwined their fingers, and somehow, the little gesture made all the difference. The kiss might be fake, just a game to give everyone a show – but there were feelings which were real. None of them could explain yet what exactly these feelings were, but maybe understanding it was not really important either.
The kiss did not last long. Everything was still so new to Remus (and maybe to Sirius, too) and he did not really know how to proceed now (besides, the vampire teeth were in his way!), so he decided to stop after a few moments. Although their lips parted, their fingers still remained interlaced. They looked at each other and Remus quickly had to bite his tongue to refrain from giggling. Sirius's eyes sparkled with amusement just as well.
There were growls and hisses around them, and from somewhere, Remus could hear Peter explaining, "… I was a human once and then I was bitten by a werewolf and now I turn into a rat during the full moon…"
This time, Remus and Sirius could not help but burst into fits of giggles. Remus felt oddly light-headed and did not care in the slightest that Peter might just give away their fake identities. He was filled with a strange feeling of euphoria, as if he was drunk just from breathing. Not caring what he was doing, he reached up with his free hand and tilted Sirius's chin up to capture his lips in another kiss. At this crazy moment, Remus felt fully free for the first time in his life. Yes, everyone was watching him kissing Sirius and everyone here knew he was a werewolf – so what?! He wanted to stand up on the table and shout, 'Yes, I am a bloody werewolf and I am kissing Sirius Black!' (which he did not do, of course, because it would have meant breaking the kiss off). He knew all the vampires would despise him for kissing one of 'them', all the werewolves would hate him for associating with one of the 'others', and everyone else would feel contempt for him either for the reason that we was a werewolf or for the reason that he was gay, or for both reasons. (Was he gay? Frankly, he had no idea but did it really matter?) He could not have cared less. He was just so sick of hiding, always hiding…
Then he suddenly heard a familiar voice between all the grumbling and snarling. "Galloping Gargoyles, what are they doing?"
Sirius made a grunting noise, his eyes widened and then he abruptly broke away from the kiss. "Oh no…" he moaned.
Remus turned around to look at what had made Sirius react like that. And there stood James, with his Invisibility Cloak in his hands, gaping with saucer eyes at them – and that was really the problem. If a few moments earlier everyone had stared at Sirius and Remus, now all glances were directed at James's head.
Sirius was the first one to grasp the situation. "Mr Prongs!" he shouted. "I can't believe it, you've got your head back!"
James blinked a few times but then he came out of his trance. "Er, yes. Really? My head's back? But that's unbelievable!"
"But why aren't you dead now?" a zombie asked. "I thought you'd die if you had your head back."
"Come on, Mr Prongs, we quickly have to leave before you die," Remus said, slung an arm around Sirius's waist for good measure and dragged him towards where James was standing rooted to the spot. "You certainly don't want to die in here, do you?"
"No, that wouldn't be appropriate," James agreed.
"Yeah, sorry, we have to leave," Sirius said loudly for everyone to hear. "We want to be with him when it happens."
They quickly picked up Peter ("I was a werewolf once but was bitten by a rat and now I turn into a human during the night of the full moon") and hurried out of the Hog's Head. Sirius could not resist provocatively placing a light kiss on Remus's cheek when they passed a group of werewolves, and so they were shooed away by lots of bared teeth and enraged growls.
"Prongs, you complete moron, what did you think you were doing?" Sirius addressed James once they had put a safe distance between themselves and the Hog's Head.
"Well, I thought I wasn't seeing right when… I thought the Cloak was playing tricks on my eyes when you…" James gestured helplessly with his hands in the air.
"Merlin's beard, have you never heard of the complicated relationship between vampires and werewolves?" Sirius told James in an exasperated voice.
"Er… no?" James blinked sheepishly. "So you mean to say, it's usual for werewolves and vampires to, uh, snog each other?"
Sirius and Remus exchanged a glance and decided that it was not really worth discussing the issue any further.
"Yes, that's exactly the point, Prongs," Remus said unperturbedly.
James still eyed them somewhat suspiciously and muttered, "You're crazy" but he left it at that. He and Peter kept walking a few feet behind Sirius and Remus, and threw the two of them odd glances from time to time, for they were still walking much closer than two good friends would normally do.
Remus and Sirius, however, did not notice the curious glances they were receiving. They did not notice either that Remus's arm was still around Sirius's waist and Sirius's arm was still around Remus's shoulders. It seemed completely natural like this, as if it had never been different.
"It was a nice party, wasn't it?" Sirius said good-naturedly.
"Well…" Remus drawled the word and a slight crease appeared on his forehead. "I'd beg to differ on that."
"Come on, it was not that bad."
"Your vampire fangs were in the way."
"I can take them out now."
Remus threw him a bemused side-glance. "You don't have to. You look rather nice in your disguise."
"Thanks," Sirius said smugly. "I'm afraid I can't say the same in return. You should wash your hair. You look better if you're not disguised."
Remus smiled ruefully. "Well, it's not really a disguise, is it?" he said quietly. "I mean, I really am a werewolf."
"Of course it's a disguise," Sirius said lightly. "We disguised you as a monster, right?"
Remus smiled and mumbled something almost inaudible that could have been a 'thanks' or maybe it was something else, but Sirius seemed to understand anyway.
A/N: Thanks for reading! Happy Halloween to all of you!