PROLOGUE

"Alright, fine. I'll do it."

I groaned inwardly as I said it. I had known from the beginning that I was going to give in, but it had seemed appropriate to put up some sort of a fight. At least that way I'd have the satisfaction of knowing that I'd been coerced into this whole business. Not that it ever helped when I was faced with a week of detentions afterwards.

Peer pressure was something that played a large part in my life. Well, not peer pressure so much as peer persuasion. And Sirius Black was probably the persuasive person I knew. All he had to do was grin at me, and raise his eyebrows in that classic Padfoot-smirk and all the common sense just drained out of me.

I don't know how I ended up in the most trouble-causing group of students in Gryffindor House, maybe even in the whole school. I liked to think of myself as the sensible, level-headed type. But here I was, sitting in the common room sipping smuggled butterbeer while everyone else was fast asleep.

"Alright!" Sirius exclaimed, raising his jug of butterbeer enthusiastically. He was sprawled on the sofa next to me, his hand resting just above my knee; his feet propped up on a pillow conjured to float in midair. "Now we're talking!"

James grinned lazily, twirling his wand between his fingers. If I had thought it would have had any effect whatsoever, I would have warned him that it was against the rules of basic wand-safety. But as it was, rules meant even less to James than they did to your average fifteen-year-old boy. Instead of saying anything, I just let out another heartfelt sigh.

"Now stop it, Remus." Sirius said with mock-disapproval, but his eyes smiled affectionately. "There's no need for that world-weary sigh of yours. This is an amazing plan and you should be honoured to be a part of it."

I stifled yet another groan. If I had a galleon for every time an 'amazing' plan of Sirius's had ended in utter disaster, it would fill the largest vault in Gringotts. But still, I had agreed to take part. All because of a certain long-haired dark-eyed peer of mine.

"Now, my fellow conspirators, all we have to do is finalize the finer points of this magnificent endeavour," James was always at his most arrogant when in the midst of some sort of wrong-doing. The girls loved it when oozed overconfidence, but as his friend I found it slightly ridiculous. I rolled my eyes, but I couldn't help from smiling at the infectiousness of his attitude. "We'll have to split up to maximise the effectiveness of this venture. Sirius and his werewolf can form half of the team, and Wormtail and I will be the other."

I flushed. It was a known fact that I 'belonged' to Sirius, but it still made me embarrassed when people referred to it so openly. Sometimes, even now, I still marvelled at the strangeness of it. Sirius Black - the confident, handsome, ridiculously popular Sirius Black – was associated with me. It had taken so long for it to happen, and the road that took us to where we are now hadn't been an easy one to tread. But now here we were, sprawled out next to each other, planning another piece of mischief, his arm touching mine and his warm gaze resting on me.

"I love it when you blush like a girl," Sirius murmured into my ear, the feeling of his breath against the side of my face sending shivers down my spine. I squirmed with a mixture of mortification and the feelings stirred by his face so near mine, and he chuckled softly.

"Keep it to the bedroom!" James grinned, lobbing a crumpled piece of parchment at us. It hit me on the jaw, and Sirius ran his fingers through my hair and pulled my head onto his shoulder.

"No bullying my Remus, James." He growled, his voice slightly slurred from an excess of butterbeer, running a fingertip lightly along the rim of my ear and down my neck. I shivered again, and I felt his grip tighten on my leg. James just laughed, tossing his wand into the air, sending sparks flying from the tip.

"No bullying my Remus..." I loved hearing him say that, even though it made me feel like a five-year-old. But it was strange, considering that a few months ago he had been the one doing the bullying. It seemed like years ago.

"I'm knackered," James said with a gargantuan yawn, stretching his arms above his head. "And I can see that you two are getting into one of those moods. The plan will commence tomorrow night. Come on, Wormtail." He stood, saluted us, and made his way up to the dormitories, Peter jumping up to follow him.

The candles flickered gently, sending warm shadows over the walls of the common room. Sirius took a last sip of butterbeer and placed his bottle on the floor.

"So," he said, his voice a low murmur. "I've got you all to myself."

I looked up at him, feeling a familiar feeling stir in my lower stomach. I looked up at him, and the corner of his mouth quirked up as he gazed at me with eyes as dark as the night outside.

"What is it about you," Sirius muttered "That makes me want to slam you up against a wall and do unspeakable things to you..." he moved his hand further up my thigh "...but also makes me want to gather you up and protect you from all the shit in the world." I blushed, as I always did, as he stared at me intently.

"When we first met, you seemed particularly keen on the 'slamming up against a wall part'." It slipped out, I couldn't help myself. I instantly regretted it.

Sirius looked at me, his expression pained.

"I know I was an arrogant bastard, Remus." He ran his fingers through his hair anxiously. I opened my mouth to protest, but he waved a hand to silence me. "No, it's true. I don't know why I acted that way... Actually, that's a lie. I do know why. I didn't understand why one nervous look from you had more effect on me than getting naked with anyone else, and it pissed me off." He laughed bitterly, and once again I tried to interrupt. He shot me an authoritative, uniquely Sirius look, that closed my mouth instantly.

"I'm not finished," Sirius said in a low, commanding voice that made my heart race. "I regret every time I ever made you upset or scared, and I know it that it happened a lot of times. To be honest, I think I'll always regret it. Yeah, I'm not great at apologies, but it's true."

I opened my mouth to speak a third time, but was cut off by Sirius's mouth on mine. My heart was positively pounding by now. He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me closer to him, his lips moving over mine in ownership.

As the evening continued, all thoughts of the past were blown right out of my mind. However, later that night when I lay half-atop Sirius, almost asleep, my mind wandered back to where it all started – up against a wall...

More coming, I think. Reviews, please?