Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
The rain drizzles lightly on the lake and the grass, making dirt into mud and the cold water lukewarm.
Sirius chucks a rock into the water and the ripple it produces is its greatest yet compared to the light rain pellets.
Fuck it all.
"You'll catch a cold, you know." A voice says in a logical voice. Sirius jerks his damp head around to see Remus holding a red umbrella securely in his fingers and smiling down at Sirius.
"I know. I don't really care." Sirius says, his voice coming out colder than he has meant it to. He doesn't realize that the umbrella was now over him and Remus – who is settling down next to Sirius.
"Of course you do. Nobody likes to be sick all day and do nothing but lie in bed with tissues surrounding you like a large, fluffy…unhygienic cloud." Remus says unpleasantly, wrinkling his nose.
Sirius doesn't respond to that comment. "You didn't have to bring an umbrella. I like the rain." He murmurs.
"Yes, I know. That's what the umbrella is for. Liking the rain, hence the cold." Remus reasons. He is smiling at his own words, but his grin slips off when he sees that Sirius is eyeing the lake darkly, throwing in another rock.
"Erm… is there something wrong?" Remus asks uneasily. When Sirius gets upset Sirius screams and sometimes throws things, and since he is already throwing things – just not at people – he is obviously about to shout his lungs out at how awful the world and his family was.
Remus prepares his ears for the noise, but none came.
"You can unplug your ears," Sirius tells him when Remus pries open one eye in surprise at the silence. He is smiling slightly. "You know me too well."
"Yes, well," says Remus. "It's… not a gift. More-or-so just experience. You smashed my mirror in First Year when you're parents found out that you were in Gryffindor. I thought it was just a family thing but later on that year when you found that that attractive Ravenclaw was taken you threw James' glasses out of the window."
Sirius stares at the dirt. "It's… mostly a family thing." He murmurs.
When Remus has waited long enough to know that his friend isn't going to say anything else, he speaks quietly. "Is it this time?"
Sirius doesn't answer until much later, the pitter-pattering of the rain growing louder around them and on top of the umbrella.
"No. It's just… girls." Sirius says angrily, kicking a pebble into the watery depths before them.
"What about them? Someone you fancy have an eye for someone else?" Remus asks gently.
Sirius shakes his head and smirks slightly. "No. Actually… it's quite the opposite. I found out that I don't like them."
Remus doesn't grasp the concept. "Not like them…? Like – all of them? That's a tad unfair, Sirius, there are some nice ones out there–"
"Not like that," Sirius interrupts snippily. "Like I don't fancy them. Any of them."
Remus is still not understanding. He raises his eyebrows. "Been rejected or something, Sirius? Because being bitter about all women…" He beings reasonably.
"This has nothing to do with rejection!" Sirius bursts out in frustration. "I just don't like them! I like guys! I'm gay! Okay, Remus? I'm a fucking queer!"
Remus is quite shaken after the outburst, holding the umbrella in slippery hands as the rain pours down around them faster – angrier – livider.
"You don't have to say anything," Sirius says moodily and tosses in another stone. "I didn't expect you to support it."
Remus shakes his head at Sirius' broody words, finally regaining his speech. "No, Sirius. I'm not revolted," he tells him softly. "Why is being homosexual a bad thing?"
Sirius stares at the ground and mumbles something.
"What?" Remus asks confusedly, leaning in.
"I said…" Sirius murmurs again, not much louder. "I said that my family is going to throw me out of the house."
The tawny-haired boy sighs in understanding and wraps a hand around Sirius' shoulders, drawing him closer and farther under the umbrella.
"You can live with me if they do," Remus suggests. "Or James. James' parents love you. You won't be alone, Sirius. You should be able to chose your preferences and still have a home." He squeezes Sirius' shoulder.
"I… thanks, Remus." Sirius mutters and he's obviously flustered by the sudden movement of pulling him closer.
"I can relate to the situation," Remus says gently. "You feel… confused. Angry at yourself for letting down anyone – perplexed because you don't know what the truth is – and shame for thinking that it's really honestly you – and worried because you don't know what other people will say," he rambles. "I… I know the feeling."
"Is it the werewolf thing?" Sirius asks. Remus shakes his head.
"No. It's my… my preferences." He murmurs.
Sirius is quiet for a moment as he throws another pebble into the water. It skips on the water before it falls into the dark depths of the lake. The pitter-patter of the rain continues.
"Do your parents expect you to be gay?" Sirius asks perplexedly.
Remus laughs wryly, scratching at his damp hairline. "No… they expect me a normal person. Besides the whole werewolf part."
"When did all of the population become homosexual then?"
Remus rolls his eyes, looking at the muddy ground before him. He picks broodingly at a piece of grass. "Why is it so hard for you to believe that I'm gay, Padfoot?"
Sirius looks positively flabbergasted, as though he was staring at death itself. And then, within all of the unbreakable tension and freezing rain, Sirius laughs himself hoarse and throws his head back.
"Good prank, Remus. You always know something to say to cheer me up."
Remus is getting irritated. "I'm serious."
"Then why didn't you ever tell me before?"
The tawny-haired boy sighs. "It's bad enough being a werewolf. I was already paranoid about you guys leaving me back then when you found out about my lycanthropy. But a gay werewolf?" Remus shakes his head forlornly. "That's just… I'm so fucked up I'm beyond repair."
Sirius scoffs. "Tell that to my parents." He pries a rock as big as his head from the ground and tosses it into the lake. Water splatters everywhere, seeping into Remus' shoes and socks. "They'd ramble on and on about what a disgrace I am. A gay Gryffindor who hates Voldemort. It doesn't get any worse than that if you're a Black, does it?"
So that's where this conversation is heading. Remus, James, Peter and Sirius have this conversation at least once a month. They sit on Sirius' bed, and Peter hugs the pillow protectively in case Sirius would throw something, and then Sirius does throw something, and Remus just sits there quietly while he rubs Sirius' back reassuringly, and James tries to lighten the subject by bringing up a better and newer prank to pull on Snape. And then the conversation ends. By the end of the night, Sirius and James have planned out an intricate and complex trick to play the next morning.
Remus is started to get bored of Peter hugging the pillow. He is getting bored of Sirius throwing something. He is getting bored of rubbing his friend's back. He is getting bored of James' silly pranks. He is getting bored of the Blacks. He is getting bored of the yelling, punching, ripping, and breaking of things. He is done with listening to Sirius problems and never being able to fix them.
"Sirius, don't start," Remus says firmly, shaking slightly out of sudden fury. "We have this conversation every fucking week usually. And we always try to make the best of it, but we never solve anything. Breaking things or yelling at your friends won't solve anything! You're not the only one who has trouble with life, Sirius!"
Remus stands up, taking the red umbrella with him. He fingers are slipping on the handle from the slippery rain and the trembling of his hands. Remus kicks a rock into the lake himself.
This time Sirius doesn't explode. He doesn't yell back as though this would end all of his problems, he doesn't stomp on the grass. All he does is look up at Remus calmly and sigh.
"I was wondering when you'd explode. James does about quidditch and Lily and Peter does about food and I do about my family but you're always too calm. It feels good to shout, doesn't it?"
Sirius words bring Remus slowly back to reality. Though his anger in Sirius and himself and everybody in the school was dissipating, he is still trembling.
"Now why is your life shit?" Sirius asks conversationally and tosses another pebble into the lake.
Remus slowly sinks back to the ground. Sirius takes the umbrella from his shaking fingers.
"Because I have to live in fear of killing someone every month. I have to tear myself apart like I'm suicidal every month in a shabby shack. I'm a gay werewolf and no one thinks I have anything wrong with my life. Why?!" Remus asks ragingly.
"Prolly because you're an only child." Sirius reasons, shrugging. Another pebble in the water.
"Why do you keep on throwing in pebbles?" Remus finally asks to break the silence, watching as another stone falls into the water.
"Because I've learned how to stone-skip. I'm showing it off."
"But there are no girls around."
Sirius' head whips over in the time span of a nanosecond, and Remus can even hear his neck crack in the rapidness. "Didn't I already tell you that I'm not interested in birds, Remus Lupin?!" he demands. Remus sighs.
"Fine. There aren't any boys around."
"Are you calling yourself a girl?"
Remus blushes crimson. "No."
"Then come here and kiss me."
"What?" This time Remus' neck snaps, and it hurts a lot more then it looked like it had hurt Sirius, but Remus doesn't have time to worry about any broken bones. Mostly because Sirius is leaning over and pressing a freezing cold and rain-soaked hand onto his neck and kissing him. And Remus is kissing him back. Their lips are chapped and numb from the cold, but Remus isn't thinking about that. They are kissing. And then they aren't. Sirius pulls back and throws another pebble into the water.
"Well, that was strange." Is all Remus can think of. And so he says it.
"Really? I thought it was hot." Sirius replies, and a flicker of a smile is on his face. And just like a light switch, it's gone again. On and off, Sirius is just like a light switch. Remus wants to switch the light back on again so he turns Sirius' face with his own hands and kisses him slowly.
He doesn't know quite what to do but the moment that Sirius feels Remus' face on his he responds and presses himself forward. Sirius grabs Remus' drenched hips, grabbing harder than is necessary, but Remus doesn't mind. He can feel the light switch flicking on again.
And then the oxygen is seeping away so Remus pulls back with a breathless pant of hastily trying to get air. The light switch is back off again. Remus finally is back in reality a few seconds late then he should be, but nevertheless he realizes that Sirius has let go of the umbrella and now the rain is soaking them both out of their skins. But Sirius doesn't mind, because not only does he like the rain but he isn't noticing it as he pounces on Remus again and presses their lips together in an open-mouthed kiss.
The kiss is short and they let go of each other. Remus grabs the umbrella and puts it back over them both even though they both cannot get any wetter so why use the umbrella? His skin is wet and his clothes are muddy, but Remus still isn't thinking about hygiene or himself, for that matter. Sirius knocks the umbrella out of his hands and kisses him one more time – more fervently. Remus can almost feel the anger pouring out of Sirius into himself. Sirius nibbles on Remus' bottom lip hard enough to bleed, so Remus bites back so his lips actually do bleed. They pull away reluctantly and make eye contact.
"So… so what is this exactly?"
"I don't know. You kissed me first." Remus says, and he's rambling again. Sirius chuckles.
"And you kissed me second."
"Thing is, no one kisses anyone twice unless they liked it the first time." Sirius says logically. "So how was it?"
"It was… strange."
"You said that the first time."
"All right then. It was cold." Remus changes, and pushes himself up.
"Then how about we do it inside?" Sirius offers. "Then it won't be cold. And maybe it won't be strange. I'm not sure."
"No, no, it'll be still be strange. But strange isn't bad. Strange is, uh. Strange is good. You're strange."
"So I'm… good?" Sirius supplies quietly.
"Um, yes, I guess. You taste nice."
"You taste like rain." Sirius responds, and licks at the parting of Remus' mouth to check again. Remus lets out a moan that he's been suppressing. Sirius nods. "Yes, yes, just like rain. Fresh, sort of. Not like girls. Girls taste like raspberries and mint."
"Mint is fresh."
"Yes, but rain is naturally fresh." Sirius corrects.
"You're not making sense." Remus tells him.
"I think it was you," Sirius says, "You've made me completely brain-dead, Moony."
"I don't think it was me. It was there all along, I just triggered it. Like – like a light switch." Remus rambles.
They're being like boys who just kissed boys and don't know what to say. Eleven year olds after they've been caught stealing cookies right before dinner. Like teenage girls who are caught sneaking into the house after curfew. But it's not quite that awkward when Sirius gets up and grabs the umbrella in one hand and grabs Remus' hand in his other fingers. He pulls him up but he still holds onto his palm.
They stay under the umbrella all the while that they walk back to the castle.
They stay holding hands.
And for once, Remus thinks that they might have actually solved the problem Sirius has on a monthly base instead of ignoring it.
Remus looks over and so does Sirius. Sirius smirks and then grins.
"This isn't strange. This is normal. I'm gay and you're gay so it's like a puzzle piece. Get it, Moony? You're the moon to my sun. You're the giant squid to my lake. The cheese to my macaroni. It's cool, see?"
"Yeah." Remus responds numbly, not really thinking. "So because – because I'm the cheese to your macaroni am I your boyfriend?"
"You're not just going to be my cheese and not my boyfriend, Moony. Then – then I'd just be macaroni."
They aren't making sense, but that's all right. They get into the warmth of the castle and under the heat of a hot shower spout, and then into the warmth of each other's arm. This is beginning of something new and it's exciting. It always is. And Remus likes it.
And all the while, the red umbrella dries surreptitiously in the corner of the dormitory.