Of paint, declarations of love, and being Gryffindor-ed

Chapter one: paint.

This was most definitely the worst plan they had ever had. Not to mention point-less, and not even that funny. Yet they had agreed to do this. Point-less as it may be. Just to celebrate that Peter himself had finally found something they could all indulge in, and that would annoy the Slytherins senseless.

Remus sighed. He had been making notes on which spells they would have to put on the paint. Some of them were pretty complicated, but they'd manage. He thought the plan took more trouble then it was worth, but whatever. Sirius sat opposite to him, discussing with James how exactly they'd get the Slytherins in the bathroom. Peter had gone to get paint.

Sirius wiped the hair out of his face, and pointed out something about their brilliant plan to lure the Slitherins.

"That won't work Prongs. Random people could just get in like that." He rolled his eyes, smiling.

Remus observed them for a while. When they remained clueless to the most obvious and easy plan, he coughed. A little cough, making the others aware of the fact that he had a solution to their problem.

Sirius raised an eyebrow, leaned back in his chair, and looked at Remus. James pushed his glasses up his noise, and grinned.

"So Moony," he said. "This means you know what to do then?"

"Put a charm on the door," Remus said. "Every Slytherin who passes, just goes like: 'Oh God, I have to pee!' Enters the bathroom, gets all sticky-painty-ish, but forgets how they got sticky-painty-ish, and can't tell the other Slytherins, so victims can come and go as we want them to."

James continued grinning.

"Our stupidity astonishes me! Why didn't we think of that?" He asked Sirius.

Sirius seemed temporarily distracted. When Remus, who had been concentrating on his own notes again, looked up to see, what had distracted him, he realised it was himself. He quirked an eyebrow. Padfoot was just staring at him.

"What?" He asked, sounding a bit insecure.

"What, what?" Sirius asked.

James laughed.

"Why are you staring, you idiot." He said, still laughing.

"Sta… oh, right." He got a shade of pink, and looked at the table.

James frowned, and Remus decided that his best friend was a complete moron and couldn't be helped. He continued writing some notes about the spells, and made up an order in which they should use them. James and Sirius worked on the door spells, and after an other hour, Peter came in, with a little plastic bag. James looked up.

"That's all?" He said inquisitively.

Peter grinned. Remus had borrowed him the plastic bag. It had a spell on it. Peter started emptying the bag and put the tins of paint on the table. Their were a lot of tins. Sirius mouth dropped.

"How did you get that in there?"

"Moony put a spell on it," Peter said. "Help me unload, will you?"

They all started unpacking the tins, putting them against the wall, making high towers of red and golden paint. When they were done, every wall was hidden behind tins.

"I don't think the others'll like this." Remus said pensively.

"Oh well," said James, smiling. "Come on Moony, do your thing!"

"My thing?" Questioned Remus, raising a suspicious eyebrow.

"The spells! Oh, and make sure no one but us can touch them!" James said.

"Right…" Remus sighed deeply.

It would take a while to cast spells on all the tins. And the other couldn't fling it. If any of them made even one mistake, it could be a catastrophe. He checked his watch. It was already six. There was no one in the common room. Some had gone to bed already, but most were just wondering through the castle. Today had been busy, last day before the weekend and a Quidditch game. 'Better start then.' He said to himself. And so he began.

"We'll be smuggling butterbeers out of Hogsmade, and food out of the kitchen, kay?" James said, indicating Peter and himself.

Remus didn't react and Sirius dropped himself in a sofa by the fire. Peter and James left. With a sting of happiness, Remus realised he and Sirius would be in the same room, alone for a couple of hours now. It always took James at the most four hours to get to Hogsmade and back. And with Peter, it could be five. And going to the kitchen, would cost an other half an hour. He tried to ignore all thought about Sirius, and whispered spell after spell. It had been quiet for about an hour, when Sirius said: "that must be really boring."

"Sort of," Remus smiled. "But I'm the only one to do it, so it's not like I have a choice."

Sirius snickered.

"Indeed." He said.

And then all went quiet again. After an other hour, Remus was done. It had taken him less long then expected, trying to hit a couple of tins with one spell. It didn't really matter, but it speeded things up a little. He sat down on the sofa next to Sirius, and rested his head. He could feel Sirius moving next to him, and closed his eyes.

"Hey Moony." Sirius whispered all of a sudden.

Remus could feel his breath, tickling his neck. He was closer then Remus would've thought. He turned his head, opened his eyes and looked at him, smiling.

"What?" Remus asked, quietly.

Their noses were nearly touching. Remus could feel his heart pumping, really fast. Blood surging through his vanes. Throat going dry.

"I…" Sirius said, a bit hoarsely.

He stopped immediately though, when the portrait hole burst open. He looked at it, wide-eyed, as if caught in a serious make-out session with some sleazy girl. It were Prongs and Wormtail. Remus was at least a bit disappointed. There went a blissfully happy moment.

Sirius' attitude changed completely too. He grinned and yelled: "what the hell! How did you do that? And don't tell me you just skipped the trip to Hogsmade!"

James laughed, and showed the plastic bag.

"Definitely not! But I just figured, a stag is much faster then a human being," he winked. "And a rat can sit on a stag for a while."

Sirius laughed his barking laugh. Peter smiled too.

"So Moony, you did your thing?" He grinned.

Remus nodded.

"Good boy!" James grinned. "So, it about eight now? And we have enough to fill at least six hours with eating candy and drinking butterbeer, so why don't we start now?"

Remus shook his head.

"We should wait 'til the other have gone to bed Prongs. They'll want in on the fun, and we'll have to tell them what we're celebrating."

James sighed, knowing he was right. He sat down next to Remus and Sirius. Peter took a chair next to the sofa, and admired the tins.

"They'll be so pissed." He said, thinking what would happen the next day.

"Can you blame them?" Murmured Remus. "It's practically invading their privacy."

"What you say there Moony?" Asked James.

Sirius looked a bit awkward at him.

"Nothing, nothing." Remus grunted.

He wondered what it would be like, to be a Slytherin. You walk into a bathroom, get covered with red and yellow paint, and can't tell anyone how it happened. When you look at yourself you see that there are letters, saying: 'I'm in love with…' and then the name of your loved one. On your back, you'd find letters: 'Whaha! You've been Gryffindor-ed!'

'Man,' Moony decided. 'It sucks to be a Slytherin.'

Sirius hiccupped, and took an other bottle of butterbeer. After waiting 'til all the boys were up the dorm and fast asleep, the Marauders had put spells on their beds, so they wouldn't be awoken as Padfoot, Prongs, Moony and Wormtail celebrated Peter's first plan.

"So," said James, almost falling asleep. "How is it again, that you thought of this?"

"Because of Padfoot!" Peter confessed. Sirius didn't even look up. He'd heard this before. "He went on and on about how bad the Slytherins were at declaring their love for one-an-other, so why not declare it for them! And in doing so, why not Gryffindor them as well!"

"That's how you came up with the paint," James was just looking for something to say. He was on his bed, his hand over the rim, holding a half-empty bottle, swaying it lazily. "Huh?"

"Indeed! Gryffindor house-colours," said Peter, fairly proud of himself. "No idea how the paint knows who you love though."

"That's were Moony comes in!" James cheered.

"Uhu! Moony and his wits!" Said Peter.

They'd all worked for it. It was a good prank. But still. Remus felt a bit sorry for the Slytherins. But only a bit.

James murmured something, not even close to a sentence, and Peter didn't comment. Sirius glared at Prongs. He was dead asleep on his bed, glasses still on. Peter was snoring loudly, on Remus' bed, spread in the length of it, candy-wrappers surrounding him. Then he looked at Moony. He was leaning against Sirius' bed, which was next to James', a bottle in his hands, knees up to his chest, elbows resting on his knees. His head rested against the wood of Sirius' four-poster. Sirius himself sat against Remus' bed, that was opposite to James', on leg tucked up, the other lazily on the ground, waggling his foot. It was awkwardly quiet, now that the other two had fallen asleep. Sirius looked at Remus, then decided to come a bit closer. He started crawling near, on hands and knees. Remus looked at him, laughing, he looked more then his canine form now. Sirius grinned, and lay down next to Remus on the carpet, with his head against Remus' legs.

"Hi Moony," he whispered, in his usually low voice. "How are you."

Remus snickered.

"I'm fine, and you?"

"I'm great. You know, there's… erm…" Sirius looked for words. He avoided Remus' look, but stared at one of the other boy's bed. "I've been… meaning to tell you… something."

Remus smiled. He took an other swig of butterbeer, emptying his bottle. Then he took a sweet, and offered one to Sirius. Sirius opened his mouth, teasing. Remus laughed again, and put a green sweet on Sirius' tongue, who gave him a shy look.

"So, what is it then?" Asked Remus.

"Well… I've been…" Sirius tried to look at something that didn't make him think of Remus. The clock read 3 o'clock. "Thinking… I think." He carried on clumsy.

Then there was a loud snort, and Peter got up. He looked around, realised his friends were on the ground, and got out of Remus' bed.

"God! I'm sorry, must've fallen asleep," he walked to his own bed. "You probably would want to sleep. With it being a busy day and all."

Remus nodded, but didn't move. Sirius did though.

"Yah, you're right." He said, and before Remus could even protest, he was under the covers on his own bed.

Remus sighed deeply. That had been the second time that Sirius wanted to tell him something. He was getting curious.

Chapter two: declarations of love.

"I know, I know! But I really have to!" Yelled Remus, leaving the bathroom.

Everything was ready. They would refill the bucket floating above the door every time they'd made a victim, and soon Hogwarts would be swarming with Slitherins having declarations of love painted on their clothes. Changing outfits would not work, the paint would follow them. The door had been bewitched, so only Slitherins and the four Marauders could enter the bathroom. Even feminine Slytherins would get in, thanks to the 'luring spell'. But Remus had to bring in his books, he had completely forgotten, so now had left the bathroom. He trusted them to wait for him. Well, he hoped they'd would.

Padfoot, Prongs and Wormtail sighed.

"Him and his bloody books!" Peter murmured.

The others agreed. But when they heard footsteps approaching, James said: "we can't wait! That could be a victim!"

Peter nodded, he was really exited. Sirius thought it could be Remus. But he knew it wasn't. Remus' walk was differently. Slow, not hurried. So he nodded too.

As soon as the door opened, the unlucky Slitherin got splashed with paint. A declaration of love appeared on his front. The back read: 'Whaha! You've been Gryffindor-ed!'

His hairs and face were also covered with red and golden paint. Crabbe stood there. His hand went over his hair, trying to take the paint off. He rubbed some of the paint out of his eyes, to see his attackers.

"So Crabbe!" James laughed, and came out of hiding. "Have an eye on Martha, haven't you!" And winked.

Crabbe's eyes widened, not understanding what had just happened. He turned around in panic, and ran away. All three laughed as they could see golden letters on his back. 'Whaha! You've been Gryffindor-ed!'

Slitherins continued to open the door, but Remus still hadn't arrived. The other three had a good laugh, and every couple of minutes, one would flick his wand, and the bucket would turn. When they had covered a dozen more people, the door opened once more. James and Sirius, grinning, to see who came in. Peter, ready to flick his wand. Before Sirius could say anything, the poor person was covered in paint once more. But there was no laughing, or James coming out of hiding. He looked, afraid at Remus' shaking body. His hair was now highlighted with golden and red stripes. His clothes hadn't been saved either. Remus had closed his eyes. God, he had wanted them to wait! He knew this would happen. His body shock with anger and shock. His hands and shoulders, and everything, was so sticky and painty like. Just like the Marauders had wanted it to be. Peter, wanted to say he was sorry. But he was silenced when red and golden letters appeared on Remus' front. To be honest, all three of them were a bit curious. Remus stood there, breathing heavily, forgetting what the paint was for. Forgetting the declarations of love, and the being Gryffindor-ed. And before he could turn around, and run away, the letters had made a perfectly clear sentence. 'I'm in love with Sirius Black.' Peter let out a surprised: "o!" Remus opened his eyes. Staring at nothing, biting his bottom-lip. There was silence. When James opened his mouth to say something, Remus turned around, and ran away, golden letters shining on his back. The other three just stood there. Dumb-struck.

"Stupid Marauders," Remus mumbled. He hadn't returned to Gryffindor tower, but had gone to the Quidditch pitch instead. There were showers there too. "And their stupid pranks! And attacking fellow Marauders!"

Remus washed his hair, and held his clothes under the shower too. He knew it had no use, the letters would remain, but the stains of paint on the shoulders would disappear, so that was a sort of comforting thought. His clothes were worn out enough already. He shook his wand, drying his clothes, and washed the soap out of his hair.

"And now Remus, be brave," he told himself, when he stepped out of the shower. "Prove you're a worthy Gryffindor."

When he entered the common room, it was crowded and buzzing with excitement. Everyone was talking about the Slytherins and their declarations of love. Amidst the excited people, were three of the Marauders, taking glory for the prank. They had decided to go on without Moony, so much was clear. Remus had seen more then a dozen Slytherins on his way to the tower, and he knew most of them were hiding. James and Peter were bragging, Sirius was sort of quiet. Remus knew they hadn't told anyone about the accident. But hey, real life was right there, why would they? The people close to the portrait hole got quiet when they saw Remus. And the silence spread, until it reached Prongs, Padfoot and Wormtail. Peter looked afraid. James, once more, seemed to want to say something. Sirius was paler then ever, and he too, looked frightened.

"We were looking for you Moony!" Peter said, everyone could hear him, because of the silence. "But couldn't find you."

"Yah," Remus said, shaking with anger again. "I was washing the paint off." There was something malicious is his voice, but he didn't give shit about that.

Remus started walking to the stairs. He knew the golden and red letters would be even more visible in the light. Nevertheless, he continued walking. He just wanted to be in bed now. For the rest of the weekend, alone, hoping the paint would be off by Monday. But what did it matter? Sirius had seen the letters. And the letters didn't lie. Yet he just stood there, looking almost sorry. People got out of his way, staring at him, and his declaration of love.

'Probably feels sorry he can't love you back.' Thought Remus angrily. 'Stupid git.'

He reached the stairs.

"Moony!" James came after him, and stopped him. The rest of Gryffindor was still staring. "You have to stay! I mean, I know the paint is wrong, but that's no need to…"

James broke off when he saw the look on Remus' face. It was pure murder.

"Wrong?" He questioned. Reasonably calm. "The paint is wrong? WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH YOU JAMES!" He yelled, forgetting about calmness and everything related. "I PUT THE SPELL ON IT! ME! NOT YOU OR SOME STUPID NITWIT! ME! PERFECT CHARM DIGREE!" Calmness occurred to him again. But he didn't want to know calm anymore. He needed to yell. "I'M REALLY SORRY TO BURST YOUR BUBBLE JAMES, BUT THE BLOODY PAINT, HAPPENS TO NOT BE BLOODY WRONG!" He breathed in and out. It didn't help. "SO JUST PRETEND IT DIDN'T HAPPEN, AND FORGET ABOUT ME BEING IN LOVE WITH YOUR BEST FRIEND!"

"I just figured…" began James, still afraid.

Remus had never yelled at him like this before.

"I DON'T CARE! THE PAINT DOES NOT LIE! OKAY?" He closed his eyes for a second. "So please, just… I don't know… just leave me alone James."

Tucking his hands in his pockets, he turned around, and walked up stairs.

"Come on Moony!" James shouted. "Come back! It's no fun without you!"


James bit his lip. Peter came next to him.

"We should do something about this," Peter said. "It is our fault you know."

"What do you wanna do? Erase everyone's memory?" James rolled his eyes.

Then Sirius said something. The first thing he said since the letters had appeared on Moony's clothing.

"You still have some paint?" He asked.

James nodded.

"Great! Take it! And come with me!" Sirius said, leaving the tower.

James and Peter frowned, but followed none-the-less.

'Even on my pyjamas? God. I've done a pretty good job. I wonder if Flitwick gives me extra marks for this.' Remus sighed and looked at his jammies. 'I'm in love with Sirius Black. Well, nice decoration.'

He got into his bed, putting his head on the pillow. Maybe he shouldn't've yelled at James like that. But whatever. 'The paint was wrong.' As if. God. How he just wanted to rewind or something. Anything, but this. And why didn't Sirius talk to him? Anything was better then just ignoring him. Holy Merlin. This was not good. He envied the Slytherin couples he had seen on his way to Gryffindor tower. Indeed, not all wanted the Marauders' blood. There were some that had found their other half, only to realise their names were on the other's clothing. Instead of annoying them, they'd done them a favour.

He had been thinking for a while, when the door opened. It was pitch black in the room, and he couldn't see who it was. Just that there was something shinny on their clothing. Probably a picture. Frank Longbottom had a shinny dragon on his red sweater. It could be him, Remus realised. He hoped Frank wouldn't be all nice and talkative. He just wanted to be alone now. The man stepped into the room, closing the door behind him. Remus could hear yelling downstairs, it must be a real great party. Sirius was probably snogging some girl. The person continued walking, straight to Remus' bed. It was Frank, Remus decided. And he was planning on comforting Remus. Poor Frank. He really didn't want this right now.

"Please Frank," Remus said. "I don't wanna talk right now."

He crawled deeper under the blankets.

"Remus, please." Whispered a voice, not being Frank's.

"… Sirius?"

He would recognise that hoarse, deep voice everywhere. 'Not Sirius,' he whished. 'I don't wanna know that he hates me, or loves some bird!'

"There's been something I've been meaning to tell you Remus," Sirius said. "But I never managed to, people interrupting, and me just chickening out."

Sirius crawled onto Remus' bed. He smelled… washed. Like soap. Sirius leant forward, to Remus' night table, and reached for the lamp there. With a little 'click' Remus' bed and with it Remus and Sirius, bathed in light. It wasn't a shinny dragon. It were red and golden letters. No wonder he smelled like soap. He had needed a shower after the paint had hit his head and shoulders and clothes and so on. The letters said: 'I'm in love with Remus Lupin.'

Remus' eyes grew bigger.

"Please don't be mad at me," said Sirius. "I know I should've said something, but I was so scared."

"No problem…" Remus looked him in the eye. "Did the paint lie?" He questioned.

Sirius shook his head.

"It doesn't lie Remmi. I love you." He said silently.

Remus still didn't look sure. He was afraid Sirius was joking. He ignored Sirius' staring eyes, and stared at the wall instead. But Sirius tilted his head, and looked into his eyes.

"I'm really sorry." He said.

Remus nodded. Sirius smiled. He lowered his head, and gave Remus a soft kiss in the corner of his mouth. There was a shiver of desire, running down Remus' spine as he pulled Sirius on top of him. Sirius kissed his chin and his cheek and his earlobe and… Remus' finger trailed over Sirius' cheek when the attack of lovingly kisses had stopped. The finger went to Sirius' neck, where it put some pressure, and pulled Sirius closer. Their noses were touching slightly, and Sirius grinned. And when silver met auburn, they kissed. One of those light headed ones. One of those where you believe them to be unreal, until you kiss the person you love, and realise it isn't.

Later, being tired, having a very tiring day, they fell asleep. Both having declarations of love painted on their front. Both being Gryffindor-ed on the back. It made them both smile now. Maybe it hadn't been such a bad plan after all.

Chapter three: being Gryffindor-ed

Sunday was a blissfully happy day of staying in bed and talking and kissing and laughing. Remus had never realised that the world could carry on without two of the Marauders. But it could. And it was just him and Padfoot and it was great. When they were up late on Monday morning, he didn't even care that much. Slughorn was grinning wickedly as they entered.

"Well, well, it seems like you've got some of your own… paint." He pointed at their clothes.

The declaration of love were still on them. The Slytherins in the room tried to hide their own. Sirius snickered.

"Indeed. Had a little accident when unwrapping the paint." Sirius winked.

"Oh, did we now?" Remus looked at him, raising an eyebrow. "It wouldn't be Peter flipping the paint when I entered the bathroom, and you, voluntarily getting your own share in the Quidditch showers?"

Sirius started laughing.

"You make it sound easy." He grinned, and held Remus hand.

"Pff," Remus huffed. "It's not like I had a choice, did I?"

"But things are better now," Sirius said, lowering his voice seductively. "You have me now."

Before he could lower his lips onto Remus' though, professor Slughorn coughed.

"You mean to say you take responsibility for this?" He asked.

"Responsibility!" Sirius protested, looking at Slughorn. "We take credit for this sir! We should be rewarded extra points!"

"Yah!" James backed him up. "Definitely Remus! For all the spells the paint needed!"

"And Sirius and James! For the spells the door needed!" Remus said, cheerfully.

Peter said nothing, but got red. That's the way it goes. Stay still, and you go unmentioned. Poor Peter.

"All of us," he shrieked in the end. "We all did our share!"

The other Marauders nodded.

"Well then," Slughorn smiled. He never was really malicious, but this couldn't go without detention or something of that sort. "Why don't you go to professor McGonagall, and all ask for your share of detention?"

"Puh," said Sirius, and he and Moony turned. "You don't respect art, or love."

Walking through the corridor wasn't that bad. Sirius still held his hand, and caressed his palm with his finger. Remus was looking through the window. Moments went by, and no one said a thing. Every now and then, they exchanged looks. Looks of mischief, of fun, of friendship. And when Remus' eyes met James', he was sure there was understanding in them. It made him smile even more.

When they saw McGonagall, she was teaching, but she let them in anyway. This way, all the first years in the room, Gryffindor and Slytherins, knew who were responsible for their fun, or their splattered clothes. She didn't shout, but raised her voice. Remus had no idea what she was saying, he could only feel. The tickling of Sirius' hand in his own. And how he really loved him. It was quite strange. He looked at the first years, who stared back at him. Some had swooned when Sirius got in. Others had stared at their clothing. There were different opinions. The first thing Remus really heard, was McGonagall saying: "and what happened to you two?"

Sirius grinned.

"Can't you see? We're in love!"

Remus blushed and Sirius pulled him close against him. McGonagall smiled, at last, and ended with: "well, what do you have to say for yourself?"

They started walking out of the classroom. When James was about to close the door, he shouted, so the whole corridor could hear him: "YOU'VE BEEN GRYFFINDOR-ED AND DON'T FORGET IT!"

They left the room in great distress. First years laughing or shouting, making a major racked. James just grinned. Remus shied closer to the warmth and love that was Sirius' body.

AN: Hope you liked it ! It's a late Valentines thing, I suppose :) Review please!