Hidden trysts in the broom cupboards.
That's all they were and Remus knew it.
If they ever told anyone then he would be a dead man.
That's why it was a secret.
If James found out then Remus' life would never be the same again.
That's why it was a secret.
If their relationship was out in the open, then Remus would have nothing left.
That's why it was a secret.
A sordid little secret.
He was sure Sirius knew, the knowing looks, the sympathetic glances, the sarcastic comments.
But Remus couldn't bring it up without admitting to it.
And that he couldn't do.
Because it was a secret.
A sordid little secret.
That's why Remus looked on when James pinned Lily up against a wall and tried to kiss her.
He tried to block out the roaring in his ears, the anger blurring his vision, his fists curling.
He stared daggers at James, desperate to lunge at the stupid boy and knock him senseless.
He could feel the anger, the tension building in his chest.
Lily pushed James away angrily.
"Go out with me Evans?" He asked cockily, trying to kiss her again.
Remus sighed, his anger over-bearing.
"Let her go James, you've done enough." Remus said coolly, his voice slightly threatening.
James snapped round to face him, raising an eyebrow. "I want my fun first." He smirked and tried to kiss her again.
Remus ground his teeth and Sirius held his arm tightly.
Lily, having had enough did what Remus whished he could do.
She punched James.
And he dropped to the floor.
"For gods sakes Potter! When will you learn that no means no?" She snarled and kicked him sharply in the stomach.
"Oh go on Evans, go out with me?" James slurred from the floor, refusing to give up.
Remus closed his eyes tightly to stop himself from screaming.
"Hmm… let me think about that. NO!" She went to walk away and glanced at Remus, "Anyway, I already have a boyfriend thanks."
Remus' eyes widened and his stomach dropped.
"Who?" James cried lividly, scrambling off the floor. "Tell me!" He demanded.
"Tell you? I prefer my boyfriend alive thanks it's easier to sha -"
"James! Leave it!" Sirius said firmly and dragged him away, leaving Remus and Lily stood awkwardly in the corridor.
"A - are you okay?" Remus finally asked.
Lily nodded, her eyes on the floor.
Remus crossed the space between them and took her in his arms. "I'm sorry." He whispered sadly. "I'm sorry I couldn't do more."
She leant into the embrace and sobbed into his chest.
"It's okay Lily, it's okay. I've got you now." He said soothingly, rubbing comforting circles on her back.
They stood like this for a while until Sirius and James appeared at the end of the corridor.
James' eyes narrowed when he saw them stood together but Sirius, apparently unbothered, called out, "Coming Moony?"
Remus nodded and walked away from Lily, smiling warmly at her.
She smiled back, tears still streaking her face.
"What were you doing?" James shot at Remus once he reached them.
"I was comforting a friend." Remus replied, satisfied as jealousy stirred within James' eyes.
"I bet you were." James said spitefully.
Remus shook his head angrily. He knew what was coming. "If you're going to ask me, just ask me already!"
James frowned at him then spoke, "You are just fiends right?"
Remus rolled his eyes and nodded. "What else would we be?"
James muttered something under his breath and hurried on ahead, leaving Remus and Sirius together.
"I know you know." Remus said from the corner of his mouth, keeping his gaze on James' back, "So don't bother saying anything."
"Just pray to god James doesn't find out, if he does, then you're as good as dead." Sirius replied grimly.
Remus turned to him suddenly and stopped. "You won't tell him will you?" He asked desperately, fear in his eyes.
Sirius shook his head. "Of course not. Just don't let it split up the Marauder's."
Remus snorted. "It's my fault as it is, it's not as if I don't know what I'm doing, if James found out then you and Peter could side with him and I wouldn't care."
Sirius looked at him sadly, "The Marauder's wouldn't be the same without you though."
James picked that moment to turn round. "Are you two snogging or something?!" He bellowed down the corridor. "Come on!"
Remus jumped and Sirius blushed beetroot, both quickening their step.
The next Saturday, they were lounging around outside in the shade of a tree trying to hide from the sweltering heat.
James cocked an eye open and watched as Lily Evans and her friends walked past.
"Go out with me Evans?" He called cockily.
"In your dreams Potter." She called back, a two fingered salute to match.
"Ouch." James grinned, clutching at his chest.
Remus rolled his eyes and caught Lily's gaze. She smiled at him and he smiled back reassuringly.
James noticed and frowned at Remus, "What have you done to deserve a smile?"
"I'm not a complete arse towards her!" Remus retorted, waving at Lily as she walked away.
James snorted. "Well, at least everyone knows she's mine."
"Yeah… I'd hate to see what you'd do to a bloke that attempted anything with her." Sirius smirked, glancing at Remus knowingly.
"What we do to Snape would seem like nothing compared to what I would do to them." James grinned evilly and Remus shuddered involuntarily.
"You know, you can't help who you fall for James." Remus said lightly, glancing at Lily.
"Oh I know that, but Lily is mine. No-one else's. Mine." James replied possessively, shutting his eyes lazily.
Remus bristled, irritated by James' attitude. "So you can sleep with half of Hogwarts but she's not allowed her share of fun? God James, no wonder she keeps refusing you, I know I would!"
James sat up quickly. "What's brushed you up the wrong way?!"
Sirius was watching them carefully, his attention directed more towards Remus than James.
"Because she's my friend James! You and Sirius treat girls like crap. You use them once and then ignore them, you don't regard their feelings or anything! And that James, is why Lily will never even give you a second glance." Remus said angrily, satisfaction spreading through him as he saw something like jealousy stir in James' eyes for the second time.
He had still not forgiven James for his drunken attack on Lily.
"Yes but what girl can reject me?" He laughed. "I mean look at me, I'm perfect!"
"Still haven't got Evans though have you Prongsy?" Sirius said softly.
Remus stood up, his head hurting. But a smirk was threatening his lips; he had the one thing that James could never have.
He started walking towards the girls and Lily happily waved him over.
He engaged in a light conversation with her, well aware that James was watching them with increasing agitation.
"I don't get it, she'll talk to him but not to me?" He turned to Sirius and Peter. "What's he got that I haven't?"
Peter didn't say anything but Sirius spoke uncertainly, "Remus has got a point mate." He laid a hand on James' shoulder.
James sighed and watched as Remus wandered back over. He asked once again, "You are only friends, right?"
Remus looked up, startled. He nodded in response and only Sirius saw the lie in his eyes.
They sat in peaceful silence for half-an-hour until the girls started stripping off to tiny bikinis and running into the lake.
"Fancy a swim guys?" James asked at large, his eyes never leaving the water as he stood up.
Remus tensed, sensing James' intentions. "On one condition."
James looked at him.
"You leave Lily alone." Remus had stood up too, almost challenging James.
James pouted then agreed. "Fine."
He stripped off too and dived into the lake, yelling, Peter followed him without hesitation.
Sirius raised his eyebrows at Remus, "We'd better keep an eye on them."
Remus nodded and stripped off shyly, calmly walking down to the water, very aware of his exposed torso.
Lily paused in her game when she saw him and smiled encouragingly.
Remus smiled back, knowing Lily had no problem with his scars.
He entered the water but was instantly pulled under by Sirius who had sprinted ahead of him.
They came up, spluttering and coughing.
"Sirius!" Remus all but yelled.
"Sorry! I thought I saw a fin!" Sirius said sheepishly.
In the two minutes Remus was trying to make sense of this, Sirius had screamed again and launched himself at Remus, leaping into the werewolf's outstretched arms.
He started pointing and yelling hysterically at a piece of rock that was sticking out of the water.
"…Sirius? Er - it is only a rock not a fin you know." Remus bit his lip, trying not to laugh.
"Oh." Sirius climbed out of Remus' arms but stayed close to him as though afraid.
After half an hour of being followed around, Remus started humming the Jaws theme tune quietly.
Then he turned quickly and pounced on Sirius, the two of them tumbled under water, Sirius screaming blue murder and Remus laughing.
The girls were laughing too as they surfaced and Sirius started paddling desperately to shore.
Remus shook his head and stood up, the water only reaching his waist.
He shook his wet hair out of his eyes and waded towards shore, chuckling as Sirius splashed away.
He reached Lily and smirked at her.
She saw the predatory look in his eyes.
She smirked too.
And he settled down next to her, revelling in the relief the cool water brought on such a hot summer day.
He splashed her slyly.
She splashed him back.
He blinked a few times, letting icy droplets drip down his face before tackling her into the water.
She landed on the bottom and gazed up at him, her green eyes excited.
He smiled lightly, his eyes landing on her supple lips.
He licked his own and they were lost in each others eyes until Sirius sniffed loudly.
Very quickly, they sprang apart, their hearts racing with adrenaline.
Remus was wandering round the dusty library after dinner, trying to distract himself from his increasing anger at James.
Just after dinner he had screamed at James to stop talking about Lily like she was an object.
And then he'd stormed out.
He sighed and sat down in a secluded corner, he leant his head on the table and rubbed his temple.
His head was throbbing.
Sordid little secrets were hard work.
Lips brushed lightly over his neck and he jumped a foot in the air.
Lily smirked at him before pressing her lips against his.
"Thank-you Remus." She murmured as she pulled away.
"What for?" He asked, his arms pulling her close.
"I heard what you said to James." She leant her head on his shoulder as he played with her tangle of dark red waves.
"Remus… Is - Does Sirius know about us?"
Remus froze, his hand falling from her face.
"What makes you think that?"
"He keeps giving me funny looks and smirking whenever I talk to you." She replied.
"He knows." He said simply before kissing her gently. "But he's promised not to tell a soul."
"Fine." She muttered, her eyes closed as he leant in and kissed her furiously, her hands pressed him closer still.
Somebody dropped a book from the next aisle over and they both sprang apart.
Remus grabbed Lily's arm and pulled her behind a statue of some famous wizard author or other.
James and Sirius rounded the corner and Remus' heart leapt into his mouth.
He glanced at Lily and saw that she was just as shocked as he was.
"Well he's not here. Give me the map Sirius." James demanded, holding out his hand.
Sirius shook his head. "No. You know he doesn't like us using the map to spy on people."
James groaned. "But he's with Lily, I just know it!"
Sirius rolled his eyes, "Why are you so obsessed with them! They are not together!" He snapped.
"Ooh touchy! Your time of month or something? Just give me the damn map!"
"No! You know Remus thinks it's invading privacy and he'd hate us if he knew!" Sirius shook his arms and leant against a bookshelf.
"Why do you get so defensive about him? Fancy him or something?" James asked over his shoulder, shifting through paper that was on the table.
Sirius blushed. "Course I don't. I'm not even gay."
Remus snorted and Lily dug her elbow in his side.
"Look, they clearly aren't here and even if they were together, don't you think we'd know?" Sirius stated crossly. James didn't answer and Sirius continued. "The guy's finally getting laid! He'd more than likely tell us if he was." Sirius cried desperately, his gaze falling on the statue and a frown flickered over his face.
James turned round and stared at him incuriously. "Sirius, since when he does he talk about girls like we do? You heard what he said to me!"
Sirius shifted uncomfortably. "Can we please just go? I don't like the library; the books make me nervous."
James laughed shortly. "It's your fault, you gave them time to hide! If only you hadn't knocked over that bloody book."
Remus felt a surge of affection for Sirius.
James was now frantically picking up notes that were on the floor.
"Oh for crying out loud James! Moony is not screwing Lily now can we please just go!" Sirius finally snapped and he literally dragged James away.
Remus and Lily sighed in relief.
He turned to her. "I told you Sirius wouldn't tell."
Remus was on his own in the dorm later, quietly reading when the door burst open and Sirius walked in.
"That was a close call today Moony, you need to be careful! It was a good job that James was swimming around trying to scare me or we'd be picking up your body parts right now." He said cheerfully, flinging himself down on Remus' bed.
Remus nodded distractedly. His eyes lingering on Sirius' stomach where his shirt had rode up and the belly button exposed.
"Not to mention in the library!" Sirius added.
Remus smiled, "Yeah… thanks about that, I knew I could trust you."
"You and Lily. Never thought I'd see the day." Sirius continued, crawling up to lay next to Remus.
Remus murmured in his throat. "Well, you have."
Sirius sat quiet, lost in thought for a moment.
Remus went back to 'reading'.
"Rem… h - have you two, you know -" He gulped. "- actually slept together yet?" Sirius asked cautiously.
Remus blushed and nodded slowly, nibbling his bottom lip.
Sirius put his head on Remus' shoulder. "Was it everything you thought it would be?" Sirius inquired.
Remus jerked slightly, "Yeah… everything I expected and - and more."
Sirius nodded sadly.
"Rem… is this - is this something personal. I mean, you're not just doing this to prove to yourself that you're better than James are you?" Sirius started absentmindedly stroking Remus.
Remus frowned. "Of course not! I really like Lily! I - just - I hate lying to everyone! But the deceit and everything, it makes it so much more exciting and intense." He finally admitted, swallowing back words he wanted to add.
Sirius nodded in agreement. "I know what you mean. I cheated on this girl once, it was amazing while it lasted but we got found out and my actual girlfriend was so upset, seeing how much it hurt her, I vowed to never do it again."
Remus turned to Sirius, slightly surprised. "That's got to be the most intelligent thing I've ever heard you say." He sighed sadly. "You're right of course, someone always gets hurt."
"Do you love her?" Sirius asked suddenly.
Remus pondered this before answering, "Honestly? I can't say I do. To me, love - love is a very strong word and people say it much too lightly."
"Like me." Sirius said quietly. "I always say to girls that I love them and I've never meant it but now… now I've truly fallen and I can't tell them."
Remus frowned. "You're in love?"
Sirius only nodded, his hand pushing Remus' shirt up slightly so he could circle Remus' belly button.
"With a lad I take it?"
Sirius started. "What?!" He asked sharply as he sat up.
"Oh come on Sirius, James might be blind but I most certainly am not."
Sirius gulped. "Wh - what do you mean?"
"Two months ago you stopped bringing girls up here and started going out instead and normally you flaunt the girls!" He paused in thought. "Plus, you got very secretive and wouldn't say who you were meeting, that and you took the map with you."
Sirius' mouth had fallen open slightly.
"You've been jumpy and defensive too. I guessed that something major had happened and you'd talk when you were ready." Remus shrugged.
Sirius shut his mouth and shook his head slightly, "You're too perceptive for your own good you are." Sirius laid back down. "But you're absolutely right. You - er - don't have a problem with it do you?"
Remus chuckled. "What do you think? It would very hypocritical of me to abandon you just because your gay, I'm a werewolf for christs sake!
"So who has the Hogwarts residential playboy fallen for?" Remus joked playfully.
Sirius bit his lip.
How hard could it be to say it? How hard could it be to simply say you?
Sirius looked up blankly before realising he hadn't answered.
He blushed and looked away whispering "Nobody."
"Not James is it?" Remus asked lightly.
Sirius laughed dryly. "No, falling for my male best friend? Not a good idea."
Remus put his book down and curled up with Sirius.
"Do you think I'm making a huge mistake Padfoot?"
"I don't know Rem. It's up to you isn't it? It could be counted as good as cheating because of how much James wants Lily but they're not technically going out so…I don't know." Sirius finally replied, his eyes drifting shut.
Remus shut his eyes too. "Well, it's happened. No going back now."
For those of you who are waiting for The Perfect Prank sequel; I am writing it. I'm just taking a break from it and doing this one instead.
First chapter, any good?
Just incase anyone got confused: Remus is currently with Lily, Sirius knows about it and he also fancies Remus. James suspects but doesn't know.