A/N: Long time slasher, but this is my first foray on this site (I'm a livejournal girl, myself). This is mostly for archiving purposes. Anyway, I'm rambling, and you just came for the porn...
His first year, Sirius introduced him to alcohol.
"And you're sure this is alright?"
"Yeah! Yeah, done it loads of times," Sirius replied with a wink. He and his stupid winks. He could lead you right in to the depths of hell with a grin and a wink, and often did.
"Shite," Remus breathed, looking off the makeshift balcony Sirius had convinced some sixth year to conjure. Remus tried to imagine himself talking to, let alone bribing, anyone older than maybe a third year, and nearly laughed aloud. But then, Sirius Black had got hold of some fifth year's knickers about three weeks into term (a feat he never satisfactorily explained), so really, a temporary bit of balcony wasn't all that outlandish. Remus just hoped it held.
When he crawled out the window, James was already sprawled out on the stone floor, tracing lazy shapes in the stars with his wand. A moment later, Sirius reappeared at the window ledge, holding a large bottle full of brownish liquid.
"Alright boys, look wha' I got."
James sat up abruptly, his hair messier than usual (as if it were possible), turned to look, then burst into a charming, expectant smile. "Where the hell did you get it, mate?"
"Ah, a gentleman never reveals his sources."
"But what's stopping you?" James said with an exaggerated laugh. "Come on, let's have it then."
Remus crawled a bit closer, and watched as Sirius poured three glasses of the stuff, handing one to James and the other to Remus.
"A toast!" James suggested, lifting his glass, but it was too late and Sirius had already downed half of his portion in one long swig.
"Right. Sorry, got to be a bit quicker when you're drinking with a pure-blood," Sirius offered, shrugging and topping off his glass.
"I'm a pure-blood, you idiot."
"Yes, but your family hasn't had ages of depression and hatred and pure fucking evil to build up an alcohol tolerance. The Blacks," he went on, with an air of familial pride, "have got excessive drinking down to an art. Now, bottoms up, you pansies. No point in getting smashed all by me lonesome."
And James drank. And Remus drank. A lot. And pretty soon the stars were spinning and the balcony was drifting and the whole world was bright and warm and soft.
And there was Sirius Black, right in the middle of it. Come on, Remus, you lightweight. Gone a bit loopy, you have. Loopy, loony Lupin. Arms under his arms, lifting him, dragging him inside. As Sirius tucked him into bed, Remus grabbed the front of his wrinkly shirt and pulled him down. Down so their noses nearly touched, so their eyes met.
"We'll do this again, yeah? Promise me," Remus slurred.
"Jesus Moony, drank yourself right off your skinny arse, didn't you?"
"Promise me!" he said again, a little desperate, probably deranged.
"Yeah, yeah, alright. Calm down. I promise, mate, I promise," Sirius said, as though reassuring a small child.
Remus lay there for ages, listening to James and Sirius whispering in the next bed. They always did that, whispered. Normally, Remus felt left out, but how could he tonight? Tonight everything was so damn warm and sweet and perfect and Sirius had promised, hadn't he? And it was all going to be really fucking good, he could just knew it.
His second year, Sirius taught him to smoke.
"Did you hear that?"
"No, Remus, now would you kindly shut the hell up?" Sirius said, his voice full of irritation.
Remus shut the hell up. There was no use arguing. If they were to be expelled, at least Remus could say he tried. Sirius touched his wand to the ends of four cigarettes and passed them round.
"Careful, Peter, don't light your fat head on fire," James said, taking a deep drag and leaning back in the empty bathtub.
Peter let out a nervous sound, somewhere between a laugh and a squeal. Peter always seemed uneasy when James and Sirius were around. Remus had known him for a month or so before he introduced them all, and on his own, Peter was actually quite nice, very sensible.
Peter was the sort of friend Remus's mother would approve of (What a nice boy, what a sweet boy. He's going to be a good friend—loyal, a good influence. You should have him round on holiday). James was the sort of friend his father would approve of (What a smart boy, what a charming boy. He's going to be successful—an auror, a politician. You should try to be more like him). Sirius was the sort of friend no one would approve of (What an unstable boy, what a dangerous boy. He's going to be trouble—a criminal, a madman. You should avoid him. Ignore him. Watch him. Want him.)
Sirius was blowing smoke rings, head resting against the tile wall, hair in his eyes. He was just cool. Elegant as fuck all, even sitting in an empty bathtub with his tie undone and his shirt unbuttoned. Peter choked a bit, but narrowed his eyes and inhaled once more, fully determined to get it right.
Remus took small puff and watched Sirius and James, their legs intertwined as they sat on opposite sides.
"You know, this shite'll kill you," Sirius said matter-of-factly, taking a long drag and holding it in.
"Yeah? Then why are you such a chimney?" said James jovially.
"Because. I am much too pretty to get old. And furthermore, Blacks don't fair well past their prime. Just look at my parents."
"You want to die?" Peter asked anxiously.
"No, you git. I just don't want to live if it won't all be this good. Did you ever think of that? As soon as best thing in my whole goddamned life has happened, I don't want to live anymore, because it'll never be as good. Never," he reiterated, eyes drooping, lips curling in a lazy half-smile. It was the kind of smile that could break your heart.
"Sirius?" James said from the other side of the tub.
"When did you grow a vagina?"
And they all laughed. And they all smoked. And Remus stared at the boys in the bath and then at the smoke on the ceiling and wondered if maybe this was his best moment, and if maybe he should just die that instant, because the room was bright and hazy and everything was friendly andnice. But then he looked back at James, who'd crawled over to Sirius and was now reclining sleepily against his chest, and decided that perhaps things could get better, and that he'd like to stick around, if only to find out.
Third year, Sirius taught Remus about kissing.
"Look, calm the hell down, alright? She wants you, mate. Otherwise, she wouldn't be here in the first place."
"Yes, she would! She's here because you're here, she's practically staring at you and… and I don't want to—to kiss her… not while she's making moony eyes at you."
Sirius sighed, exasperatedly. "Lupin, you are so damn neurotic. Christ. You don't have to shag her, just go over there and neck a bit and then we'll get out of here, alright? Shite, it's just a kiss," he said, taking a swig of firewhiskey and winking at his date from across the Hufflepuff common room.
"I—I…" Remus dropped his gaze, shuffling his feet, unsure how to explain himself without feeling a fool. Too late.
"Remus? You've snogged before, right?" he asked in all seriousness.
"Well… Not technically—" and Sirius grabbed him by the arm and shuffled him into the stairwell and out of sight.
"Blimey, mate! Why didn't you tell us?" Sirius had a habit of speaking for himself and James, even when the latter wasn't present.
"You bloody well know why! I'd have never heard the end of it."
"Shite, look Lupin, the first one's always the worst. You're nervous and it's always a bit sticky and it's best you just get it over with, alright? It only gets better, honestly," said Sirius with an air of authority, as though he'd had a hundred first kisses.
"I just… I don't want to snog some random bird and have it be awful! What if she tells someone? Can we just leave? Please?" Remus said, now in a full-blown panic.
Suddenly, a look came over Sirius's face that was the same one he got when something was about to be stolen or vandalized. Given the circumstances, Remus found this incredibly unsettling, and thought about having a run for it, but he had a terrible sense of direction and was in no mood to go wandering around, avoiding Filch.
And then Sirius was kissing him. It wasn't hungry or passionate, but it was happening none the less, which was quite enough to make Remus's brain explode repeatedly. Several thoughts raced through his mind at once, like that this was what all the fuss was about, and that he was probably going to have a hard time watching Sirius talk for a while, now that he knew what his lips tasted like, and that maybe he shouldn't have had that fourth butterbeer, and that he suddenly understood what Sirius had meant about it being a bit sticky. Before he'd had a chance to sort it all out though, Sirius pulled away, barely catching Remus's arm as the smaller boy wobbled dangerously.
Remus could think of several words to describe how he felt, but "alright" was most definitively not among them. "Yeah… yeah, a'course."
"Well, if you'll excuse me then, there's a rather eager Hufflepuff awaiting my return. And you'd better get back in there as well, I think I saw your date talking to Richards as we were leaving."
And Remus did. And he kissed her. A lot. And not once did he think about Sirius's face or lips or his stupid hair. Nor did he think about the way his mouth tasted. Especially not that night while he tossed and turned and couldn't sleep.
Their fourth year, Sirius taught Remus how to pretend.
In fact, Remus became such an expert at it, that he could sometimes manage without drugs or booze (a feat Sirius himself never saw fit to attempt). Not always, mind you. Some nights Remus would out-drink his entire year for the sake of pretending or forgetting or whatever you wanted to call it.
Tonight was one of those nights.
Sirius had handed him some tablet of fuck-knows-what, which Remus had swallowed dutifully, washing it down with a large gulp of liquor. Not a bad start, he'd thought. Even so, he was having a harder time pretending than usual—perhaps because there was so very much to pretend about.
There was the girl he was pretending to be interested in, even though she'd been talking about potions or some other inane thing that Remus really, truly did not give one toss about. There was the girl he was pretending was not about to undo Sirius trousers, even though Sirius had given her his most charming smile and even though she looked about ready to throw him on the carpet and shag his brains out. And there was the feeling in his stomach that he was pretending didn't exist, even though it got much worse every time he looked at Sirius and even though it was making him a bit nauseous and even though—oh, fuck, maybe he wasn't thattalented at pretending.
Remus leapt up from his seat and flew to the bathroom. He'd just made it to the doorway when his entire body tried to turn itself inside out, stomach first. He dropped to his knees on the tile floor and wretched painfully, the room tilting dangerously. The only thing he hoped was that he not pass out in the sick, for Merlin's sake, and really, what had he been thinking getting that pissed in the first place?
When Remus woke up, he was lying on his back, legs in the hallway, head an shoulders in the bathroom, though, mercifully, not coated in vomit. And actually, there wasn't any vomit, and Remus reminded himself to thank whoever'd tidied it.
"Blimey, Lupin, you're a right mess. What was all that, your impression of Sirius?" Peter said, kneeling beside Remus's head.
"Oh gods. It was whatever Sirius gave me. Shite, should have known better than to trust him."
"I dunno mate, that seventh glass of firewhiskey might have had something to do with it, as well. Come on, you need sleep. Can you stand?"
"Yeah. Yeah… Just gimme a minute."
"Alright, I'll be back, gonna go grab your wand, you nancy. Don't move."
And Peter bounded away so energetically, it made Remus want to pitch something at his head.
Then there was Sirius. Because whenever anything really good or really bad happened, there was always Sirius, right in the thick of it.
"You know, I took one of those tablets as well, and Ididn't sick up everywhere."
"Shut it… Did you have a nice evening while I was out cold?" Remus replied bitterly. When Sirius raised an eyebrow, Remus regretted asking.
"Not bad. Didn't get what I wanted though."
"Aww, didn't get the girl?"
Then he was gone, leaving Remus on the dirty floor, sweaty and cold and confused, and pretending not to feel his heart leap at the thought of Sirius not shagging some bird. Because that would have been unfortunate.
Fifth year, he taught Remus about heat.
"Shhh! Shhh, shhh, shhh!"
"What are you doing?" Remus whispered, as cold air rushed beneath his blankets.
"And I'm warm, but you're making me cold."
"And you're making me warm."
Remus blushed, pretending he hadn't caught the heat in Sirius's voice. He wasn't so good at pretending these days.
"Merlin. Slide over, Moons."
Remus edged away, trying to put the maximum distance between them that the increasingly tiny bed would allow.
"Notthat way, you twat. Come'ere, you're my blanket." And he grabbed Remus's narrow waist, tugging him very close. "Mmmm, you're all soft and cozy. Like a girl," he whispered hoarsely, burying his face in the side of Remus's neck.
Remus snorted. "Oh, thank you," he spat sarcastically
"Meant it in a good way," he said throatily, and before Remus had a chance to reply, Sirius rocked his hips forward just slightly and Remus could feel exactly how he'd meant it.
"…Paaadsss," Remus rasped warily, his voice cracking rather horrifically. He wasn't sure if Sirius meant for him to feel that, but it was a bit hard to think, let alone pretend, with Sirius's cock lodged squarely in the small of his back.
"Yeah?" a whisper answered.
Remus fell silent, practically frozen in terror, unsure whether to laugh or cry or turn round and snog Sirius through the floor. He certainly knew which option he found the most appealing. This was not the sort of thing that happened to Remus Lupin. The last time he'd had anything hard against his back it'd been a forgotten book made into the bed by accident. Without thinking, he pressed back, just slightly, and was rewarded by the most surreal, wonderful noise he'd every heard. He'd just made Sirius Black moan. And he really wanted to do it again. But then Sirius took charge, as always, and Remus found himself making far less dignified noises.
Sirius reached a hand around to Remus's waist, gliding his fingers beneath the hem of his t-shirt, skimming along his abdomen, before dipping into Remus's pajama pants and gently brushing his already hardening cock. The noise Remus made was somewhere between a cry and a howl, and Sirius chuckled in his ear, like low thunder, apparently pleased with himself. Without warning, he wrapped his hand around Remus's prick and pulled—slow and firm, from root to tip. It was agonizing. Remus bucked his hips into Sirius's fist and, after a moment of anticipation, Sirius took hold of the smaller boy's cock and began stroking it in a quick, steady rhythm.
Every stroke felt like pretense and pretends being wrenched away, until Remus was nothing but a vulnerable, gapping, gasping huddle of need. His blood raced and his head swam, but Sirius's hand was there, keeping him anchored in the physical world. With a grunt and a moan, Remus threw his head back and felt his balls draw up. Sirius took advantage, biting down on Remus's neck, and that was that. Remus let out a scream and came, hard, in three violent spurts, not caring if James or Peter heard, or if he sounded ridiculous, because frankly, the whole goddamn world could just bugger right off.
He lay there for minutes, shaking, though not from the cold, and by the time he even thought about Sirius's need, the other boy had disentangled himself from Remus's body and was climbing out of the bed.
"Where—What are you doing?"
"To bed, love. It's late," Sirius replied casually.
"I… You… Right. Of course," said Remus, feeling like someone had just torn out his guts and lodged them in his throat.
"Err—" And it was this moment of pause before Sirius said "Goodnight" that Remus would spend months agonizing over. But in the end, there was no way of knowing whether the words Sirius decided not to say would have made any of it better. As Remus tried to sleep, he wondered whether that had been his best moment, but the sickly feeling in his stomach thought otherwise. Still, the idea of dying just then was not without merit.
Their sixth year, Sirius taught him to watch.
As best Remus could figure, there was hurt, and then there was pain. Hurt was waking up in the Shrieking Shack with just Wormtail and Prongs, because Padfoot had got bored and wandered off. Pain was stumbling back into the dormitory to find Sirius amusing himself with some fourth year.
Hurt was knowing that Sirius was systematically shagging his way through the school, and that he would never really be tamed. Pain was knowing that despite all these things, if Sirius ever crawled into his bed again, Remus would be helpless.
But most of all, hurt was falling asleep alone, while pain, real, agonizing, gut-wrenching pain, was realizing that Sirius was not doing likewise.
He had plenty of time to sort all this out as he watched Sirius Black's Private Show. Remus spent a great deal of time watching things these days. He watched Sirius's eyes grow dark and unfocused after his fourth or fifth drink. He watched Sirius's hands slide up the back of whatever skirt he happened to be amusing himself with. He watched said skirt giggle and play hard to get, only to slip a hand between them a few minutes later and make Sirius bite his lip. He watched Sirius and That Evening's Conquest disappear into the dormitory.
One night, when James had left the Invisibility Cloak lying about, Remus slipped it on, and was a reluctant, if not unwilling, audience to the night's climactic event. He watched mouths and hips grind violently together. He watched breasts and lips and flesh, all on display, all sliding and sighing and sweating. He watched Sirius kiss away hesitation, then thrust and arch and groan until one or both of them tensed and screamed and collapsed.
And after so much watching, the pain began to subside. At first, it was like he'd swallowed a lead weight, but eventually, Remus grew desensitized to the vulgarity of it all. Then, it became almost fascinating, and Remus would relive his watch-sessions in the shower—one hand bracing against the cool tile, one hand gripping his cock, eyes slammed shut so he didn't have to watch himself.
By the time Sirius grew bored with nightly conquests and frantic, brutal trysts, Remus felt as though he was watching a performance, not his best mate—whose lips he still imagined he could taste. It was no more than mildly interesting, and Remus was no more than mildly obsessed.
The only bit that bothered him, about any of it really, was the ever-increasing feeling that he'd missed out on his best moment somewhere along the way. Sirius had years of fantastic fucks to look forward to, James had Lily and marriage and a family to enjoy, and Peter, well, surely Peter hadn't (to Remus's knowledge) had anything resembling a perfect moment—but Remus was almost certain that he had nothing to look forward to that would compare.
Their seventh year, he taught Remus to forget.
It was just the two of them, for the first time in ages. But really, when Remus thought about it, it had always been just the two of them. Remus was packed and pacing, and Sirius was not remotely packed and smoking.
"Are you going home?"
Remus jumped. "Yeah—Err, no I mean—Yes, but not straight away. Taking my things to the flat and then I'm going home for a bit."
"Not taking the train then?" Sirius said between drags.
"Oh, no, I suppose not."
Sirius grunted noncommittally. "You should, you know. We were going to get a compartment, the Marauders and Evans—it'd be like old times."
Remus chuckled bitterly. "Really? And what makes you think I'm so terribly nostalgic?"
Sirius smiled and rose from his unmade bed. "We had a good run, didn't we Moony? I mean, aside from the odd detention and the occasional bout of drunken mayhem—but all and all, we were kings for a while, weren't we?" he asked, getting closer—too close, so that Remus kept backing away, tripping over his perfectly packed trunk. The dormitory seemed impossibly small—but then, most rooms seemed smaller with Sirius in them.
Sirius caught him as he toppled backwards—exactly as he'd caught Remus that night third year.
"When did you get so contemplative, Pads?"
"When the past started looking like more fun than the future," he said with a smile. It was one of those tragic smiles that only Sirius could manage.
Remus tried to be annoyed, tried to hate Sirius and his goddamn presumptuousness. But all Remus felt was pity.
"Yeah, I know the feeling."
Sirius laughed a mad, barking laugh. "Look at us, a couple of eighteen year old has-beens. Aren't we tragic?"
"You know, I missed my moment."
"What?" Remus said, confused.
"My perfect goddamned moment, Moony! The moment where things couldn't get better. I had it, but I forgot to die. Had some silly idea about there being something better, but I was— and enjoy this, because I'll never say it again— wrong," he finished, with a dry, slightly exaggerated chuckle.
Remus just stared. Sirius was prone to the dramatic, but this was a bit ridiculous, even for him. But he'd always been mad, and perhaps this was just his mad way of dealing with goodbyes. If only because it was their last day together, and if only because it was Sirius Black, and if only because he could think of nothing else to say, Remus asked, "What was it then?"
Remus opened his mouth to ask what in the hell he was on about, but suddenly there was a tongue in the way, and a hand threading through his coppery hair, and another hand firmly holding his arm. And it wasn't sticky this time—it was hot and hungry, and full of love and hate and honesty. And it was insane.
Their teeth clacked and their tongues fought, but neither showed any sign of slowing, and Remus realized how easy it was to forget. And that's what made him pull away.
Sirius gazed down at him, looking distinctly hurt. Blacks were never hurt, it was much too proletariat.
"What's wrong, love?"
It was Remus's turn to laugh like a madman. "Everything, Pads, everything. Me, this, you—you're very wrong. I watched you for eight fucking months. I'm not some silly bird, Padfoot. And I never will be."
With that, Remus made a move for his trunk, but Sirius held him in place with one arm, the opposite hand still tangled in Remus's increasingly untidy hair.
"I know, and if you've any plans to turn into one, I should like to know now, save us all the awkwardness."
It was such a silly, simplistic thing to say, that Remus was torn between the urges to laugh and smack him hard in the mouth. After all the wanting and the waiting and the watching, hearing Sirius, Sirius fucking Black, say such a thing was surreal. And all of a sudden, Remus felt like the same scared little first year who'd nearly died of a heart attack when the most dazzling boy in school had asked to see his charms work—because even now, he couldn't deny Sirius anything. Not even his sanity.
As though reading Remus's mind, Sirius leaned in a second time and brushed their lips together. This time, it wasn't hurried or furious, just the slightest, agonizing pressure where their lips met. For a long moment, neither moved, each afraid the other might change his mind, each unwilling to commit fully. But as slowly as they'd come to this point, their mouths began to open in a sort of cautious exploration.
It was as though they were trying to memorize one another's mouths, gentle and careful and thorough, making sure to never forget a single inch. Gradually, the kiss deepened, and with it, Sirius's arms wound more tightly around Remus's waist until they stood pressed against one another in every way imaginable.
And it was stupid. Every which way Remus could think of, it was still an incredibly stupid thing to be doing, but in addition to being stupid, kissing Sirius Black was also warm and natural and passionate and completely unlike anything in Remus's perfectly practical, everyday existence—which made it irresistible.
In a tumble of limbs and lips, the two fell upon Remus's perfectly made bed, and set about mussing up the blankets in a truly spectacular fashion. Remus's hands tangled in Sirius's thick, wild hair, pulling him close, wanting to keep him there and preserved, wanting to find his way inside the beautiful, charismatic boy that was choosing to kiss him. Just him. Remus. And not some bird.
Sirius felt his way beneath Remus's shirt, running his fingers along bony ribs and gooseflesh. Every single place their bodies met, Remus could feel his skin react. Within a minute, Remus's shirt was unbuttoned and Sirius's belt was missing. And still they kissed. They kissed as Sirius slid away Remus's trousers, and kissed as Remus shrugged away his shirt, and as Sirius tore away his own. Their lips refused to part, as though they'd already wasted seven years being separated and were making up for lost time.
The kiss finally broke when Sirius, sure as ever, let his fingers slip into the waistband of Remus's underpants. It was then that Remus could no longer contain the warm, bubbling sensation—and a noise not entirely unlike a moan tore from his throat with years of force behind it.
Then—in the room they'd shared nearly half their lives, the place where Remus had first decided he was hopelessly obsessed, the spot where Sirius had made him gasp and moan and silently fall apart all those years ago—Remus finally found out what it felt like to be wanted. Despite the daylight and the dormitory bed, it was by far the most perfect moment in the world when Remus felt his body give way to the only person he'd ever truly needed.
Lips still connected, someone began to move, and suddenly they were both rocking and thrusting and arching, needing more, needing everything—and offering it in return. With each motion, they struggled to express all the things that'd passed between them—all the innocence lost and longing and mistakes and years of anticipation, building up to this singular moment when neither of them cared that they were changing things, or that there was no going back. In fact, neither wanted to. And all Remus could think was that this was how his body was supposed to be, andthis was what he was made for: Sirius Black.
Their hips smashed together with each movement, and Remus felt himself being pushed across the bed, until he had to brace himself to keep from getting a concussion on the headboard. But it didn't matter because, as he was acutely aware, neither of them could stop. Remus arched up, matching Sirius thrust for thrust, until sweat slicked both their chests and Remus felt as though Sirius could never be close enough. Sirius groaned and leaned in, kissing Remus so fiercely it hurt, all the while rocking his hips in a way that made Remus's toes curl. Teeth on lips, lips on skin, skin on bones, Remus felt his mind melt away until he was nothing but a collection of sensations, each more absurd than the last.
Sirius curled his hands beneath Remus's arse, lifting him off of the bed, and sped up his thrusts. Remus clung to the head board, certain that if he let go, he might float away. Much too quickly, and with very little warning, Remus felt the familiar sensation of blood pooling in his groin, and he clawed desperately at Sirius's shoulder as he came. It felt as though his orgasm had been building for seven years, and when it tore from his body, it was with a strangled cry and watering eyes. Come coated his abdomen in thick ribbons, and Remus felt his arms and legs go limp, as Sirius's motions grew uneven. Sirius threw his head back and whispered something suspiciously like "Remus" and came, shaking and sighing and biting his lip.
Both their bodies seemed to give out at the same moment, and Sirius's weight crumpled onto Remus's chest. Limbs tangled, and fingers searched for one another, but the only sound in the deserted dormitory was labored breathing and the occasional sigh. Remus was the first to move, no longer able to breathe beneath Sirius's body. He wiggled out from under and then froze, unsure what to do next. Then Sirius took over, as always, sitting up and summoning both their clothes, wandlessly. Remus trembled a little, suddenly annoying aware of the sweat cooling all over his body, not to mention the unbelievable nudity of all things him.
"Here," Sirius said, offering Remus a shirt.
"Thanks," he replied, giving his buttons his undivided attention.
The two dressed in relative silence, but the air was full of things that didn't need to be said, and Remus decided it was alright. They were alright. Remus had just straightened his bed when Sirius interrupted his thoughts.
"Take the train with us Moony—withme… Please?"
Blacks never said please. Remus turned to see Sirius leaning casually against the bedframe, one hand in his pocket, the other fidgeting with a cigarette behind his ear. Impossibly cool, but something behind his eyes was a little less—less confident, less detached. And Remus realized that was all he'd ever needed to see.
"Yeah, alright. But I'll have to Apparate directly from the station, if I don't make it to the flat by eight I'm not certain they'll hold it for me."
"What if they don't?"
"Well, I'd have no place to sleep, for starters."
"Sleep with me."
"In the err—Biblical sense? Because I think it might be a bit late for that."
"Live with me, Moony, I've all the space and money in the world, but I've grown terribly used to your snoring in the next bed over."
"I—I can't afford—"
"But I can. Listen, you can do the dishes or some shite, earn your keep and whatnot. Be regular house-elf for all I care, just move in, Moony, for Merlin's sake. Come on, it'll be brilliant."
Remus stared at the boy before him, messy haired and bright grey eyes, and couldn't help but believe him.