It was all Remus' fault that Sirius was in love with him.
And then again, maybe it wasn't.
But Sirius needed to put the blame on someone, and he didn't want that someone to be himself. Otherwise the blame just lingered in the air, waiting for someone to catch it as theirs and then push it on to someone else. Quite frankly, Sirius didn't want the blame. But somehow it always came back to him, like a bad penny.
He wasn't quite sure what love was.
He had asked Peter the other day, mostly because who else had been there to talk to? He knew that Peter had no idea what love was either, but Sirius was sure that he had come closer to feeling it than Sirius had.
Peter had stumbled over his words. Sirius had never asked Peter for such an important question before. Not that Sirius usually had important questions anyway. Peter had been very surprised, but not as surprised as Sirius for reaching such a low to ask Peter about love.
"Flennyen," had been Peter's first flustered words, "I, um, gee Sirius, I really don't know. I mean, I've never been in love. I'm sorry, Pads, why don't you ask James?"
So he did. Sirius had caught up with James during Herbology and asked him the exact same question.
"James," he had begun casually, "have you ever been in love?"
Sirius had regretted asking the question the moment the words had slipped from his lips. He already knew the answer to that question.
"Well, my friend," James had begun wisely, beaming, "every day I'm in love."
"Don't tell me who."
"Ooh, okay. Twenty questions?"
Sirius had rolled his eyes. "All right."
"All right, she has red hair."
"And green eyes," James had paused eagerly, "know who it is yet?"
"Gee, I have no idea," Sirius had said sardonically, theatrically brushing his fingers over his chin, "my mind is just fogged up. Damn foggy England."
James had chuckled, "Okay, her name begins with L."
Sirius had held up a hand to stop James from continuing, "All right, all right, I don't need any more hints."
The bespectacled boy had frowned, "Aww. But you had seventeen more questions left!"
"Pity," Sirius had drawled, "but look, what is love to you?"
James dreamily laid his hand inside his Herbology planting pot. His fingers gently drew along the dirt, drawing a clumsy heart inside the mud with his nails, "Artsy, huh?" he had waved his hand at the dirt with a flourish, "anyways, Padfoot, I think love is different to everyone."
"Oh, don't give me that shit, James."
"Fine, you want a real answer?"
James had sighed, "I think love is like sanity. Like, everyday, it eats on your heart. It really hurts, no matter how much you want to deny it. But it's not all bad! It's really a bittersweet thing. Like dark chocolate. Yes, yes, it's exactly like dark chocolate! Love is dark chocolate. It's a bit sour at first bite, but the aftertaste is unforgettable." James had nodded encouragingly.
Sirius had blinked. And blinked again. "Prongs, I have no idea what you just said. I lost you around that part with the chocolate."
The black-haired boy sighed. "It's indescribable. It's pain, but I would never trade it for anything else. It's magical."
"Thanks, Dickens," Sirius had bitterly replied, "you're set for your first poetry book."
"Hey! Evans would have killed for that speech!"
"Do I look like Evans?"
"Fine," James had said, moodily brushing at his pot, "why are you asking?"
"I… I dunno. I think I may be in love."
James had stopped moving, incredulousness written over his face. "What? Sirius Black is in love?"
"I don't know!" Sirius had said heatedly, flailing his arms at his own pot, "look, it's probably not love, but it's still a feeling!"
James smiled, nodding encouragingly at Sirius, "Look at this! My boy is actually growing up!"
"Thing is," Sirius had awkwardly begun, "I feel like everyday I'm more in love too."
James had scowled, "Oh god. Please tell me it's the same person, not different people everyday?"
"What's the matter with you? Of course it's the same person!"
The conversation he had had with James hadn't been much of a help either. Sirius didn't feel magical simply because he was in love.
Love was not at all what he had expected, if it even was love. It hurt. It was tearing him apart not to tell all for once. He was used for people being attracted to him. In fact, he expected to be attracted to. With Remus, he didn't have that safety net. Remus was just a large mystery about his feelings, and it left Sirius intrigued about his lovelife. When there was mystery, it left lots of room for imagination, rumors, and wonderment.
Sirius Black doesn't wonder.
This is why he knew he was in love.
Then, to his last resort, he had talked to the boy he loved about love.
"Do you believe in love at first sight, Moony?"
Remus had peered at Sirius, his concentration deviating slightly from the chess game they were playing. Remus looked at the boy for a moment before his eyes zipped along the chessboard again like a battle of mind and logic.
Remus moved a piece.
"No, I don't, Padfoot."
"Oh. I see," Sirius had said, nodding. He hesitated slightly before speaking again, "Do – do you believe in soulmates and one true love?"
Remus knitted his eyebrows together curiously before replying, "No… no, I don't."
"Um… okay… do you believe in that there's one person for everyone, and only one person?"
"Uh – no."
Sirius had thrown his hands up into the air, "Moony, you got to give me something? Do you believe in love at all?"
Remus had smiled faintly, "Of course I do, Sirius," he had said softly, "it's your turn."
"Right." Sirius mindlessly moved a pawn. Remus wordlessly took it, hopping over it with his tower. "Do you think we'll ever find love?"
Remus tutted incredulously, "You will. I probably won't. I'm a monster, I only attract things like goats and moths."
"Don't say that."
"Can you name one person who wants to go out with me?" Remus challenged, tilting his head disbelievingly.
Sirius had swayed tentatively. He could name himself, but that would not be a good idea.
Apparently, he had been thinking about that for too long.
"See? No one." Remus had shook his head, moving another piece on the board, "Keep alive, Padfoot, it's your turn again."
Sirius frowned upon the board, "Wait a moment. How do you have, like, six of my pawns?"
Remus had snickered, "You weren't looking, so I just took some."
Sirius had poked Remus in the stomach across the table, "Naughty werewolf."
The black-haired boy had been silent. He moved a piece, capturing one of Remus' knights. "Hah!" he bragged, grinning, "but honestly, you think I'll find love?"
Remus had sympathetically rubbed at his friend's arm, "I have no doubts, Padfoot."
"I'm not meant to fall in love."
"Yes you are. Everyone is."
That's when Sirius had realized that he shouldn't have talked to Remus about love. Because he wouldn't make him feel better, he would comfort him, and then he'd be even more in love. Remus liked to comfort people, mostly because he could never comfort himself. So he consoled others.
"I don't even know what love is."
"It's exactly what you think it is," Remus told him gently.
"I don't know what I think it is."
Remus had sighed, "Well, I can tell you one thing. It's not what everyone else says it is."
"Love is different for everyone. Some people hate it, because it breaks them. Some people love it, because it makes them. And some people think it doesn't even exist. Love is not like cake on a cloud. Love is not that big of a deal. All it is, is love. It's a word, it's only four letters, it's not all that much. It's just… it's just love." Remus shrugged.
"You really think that?" Sirius had asked.
Remus shook his head, "No, I don't," he had said, "I'm sorry, I don't. That's what I had thought, at least. But… but then I did fall in love myself. And then I realized that it really was a lot more than just a word. It's the strongest thing I know to have ever felt. Love is like… like…"
"Dark chocolate?" Sirius supplied wryly.
"Yes!" Remus had said, "yes, it is. But I was going for tonsils. You don't really know why it's there, or what it's supposed to do, and it hurts when it's taken away and it makes you feel so dry. But it's a part of you, and it's natural."
Sirius nodded. "What… what else is it like?"
The werewolf contemplated. "The flu," he had finally said, "it's like the flu, Sirius. First, you're all like, oh no, I have the flu! Buggerall! but then, the thing is, even after you get rid of it, it'll come back to you again. And if you spend enough time with someone else, you'll pass it on. Love is contagious, and unlike the flu, there's no medicine for it."
"What about alcohol?"
Remus laughed, "That's temporary medicine. Like – like herbal teas. Maybe they clear your sinuses for a bit, but they come back in the end anyway," he finished with a laugh, "I hope I've been help."
Sirius had looked dryly at the table, "Great. So now I've been told that love is like the flu and tonsils. Sounds like Christmas morning all over again to me!"
"No, no, it's better than that, I swear!" Remus said hurriedly.
Sirius shook his head. "No, you're right. It's not better."
That conversation had not helped either. Despite the fact that Sirius had realized that he had tonsils, the flu, and dark chocolate – three things that should not be mixed – he still didn't know if he was in love.
"Just tell me how you know when you're in love," Sirius had pestered James desperately.
"I dunno, Sirius, it's just like a pang! Like Avada Kedavra! Bang!"
Sirius had sighed, shaking his head, "Just tell me where love usually hangs out. You know, so I can look out for it! Just tell me what to expect!"
James had rolled his eyes. "Expect looong nights with lots of why why why, for a while. I hope you're ready for the apocalypse in your mind if you're planning on falling in love."
Sirius was eating himself alive.
James had been right.
Love was like the world was ending.
Every moment of Remus was like a dosage of poison trickling painfully slowly through his body. And yet again, every moment without Remus was like getting kicked in the crotch by McGonagall. There was no win, there was no right, and there was no bright side of the fence.
There was just one loser, and that loser was Sirius.
He felt as though Remus was his grasp and loss of sanity. Like he was the right and wrong of the rules. Like he was the sweet and salty of the soups. And Sirius was his exact match. If Remus was the wink, he'd be the nod, if he was the wood, he'd be the fire, and he was the floor then Sirius would be the carpet.
It was like Sirius had exploded of happiness. And as happy as he was, the explosion had burnt off all of his skin nonetheless.
"Gahhh." Sirius mumbled into his arm, blinking at his bed sheets. "What should I do, huh?" he murmured to the blankets.
They stared back at him wordlessly.
"Should I tell him?"
Silence. The sheets impassively listened.
"Should I kill him?"
"If I kiss him, will he punch me?"
This time, Sirius was almost a hundred percent sure that the sheets were laughing at him.
There was a knock on the door. Sirius perked up from his bed like a dog to a whistle.
"Hellloo?" he called out curiously.
Remus poked his head in the door.
"Oh. Hi, Padfoot. I thought you were with someone, I heard you talking."
Sirius smiled, caressing his sheets fondly. "Oh no, that was just me and the blanket."
Remus eyed the bed suspiciously. "Oh. Well, sorry to interrupt. They just seem dying to continue the chat."
Sirius grinned, patting his sheets. "Remus. Remus Remus Remus. Moony, would you mind coming over here?"
"Padfoot, I already am here."
"Right." The boy looked at Remus.
The werewolf was bruised, scarred, and weary. His hair was naturally mussed, his clothes hung on him as though they were lying on a lifelessly stiff hanger, and his eyes were exhausted.
But Sirius loved him anyway.
With his flaws and his strange analogies about tonsils and love, Sirius, for the first time, felt as though he was happy to be in love. To be in love with someone as great and understanding as Remus. Because if, right then and right there, Sirius could choose anyone to be in love with, it would be Remus. Not even the greatest woman in the world, or the richest man in the world, or the most beautiful lady in the world, or the smartest guy in the world.
To the world, Remus was one tiny person. But to Sirius, Remus was the world.
Sirius kneeled up on the bed, grabbing his friend's elbows.
"Hi," he began, "I'm in love with you."
Remus was quiet.
"Is… is this like one of those jokes that are supposed to make me really uneasy and uncomfortable so you and James can laugh at me, because it's working." He said uncertainly.
"I'm in love with you." Sirius repeated.
Remus blinked in surprise, and then again. For a moment, his blank expression made Sirius think that Remus reminded him slightly of his sheets.
"How? I mean, how how how?"
"I'm in love with you." Sirius said again, hoping that if he just kept on saying it, it would sound as great to Remus as it did to him. "Dear god, I'm in love with Remus!" he yelled ecstatically.
"How is that possible, Sirius?"
Sirius considered grabbing Remus and kissing him. But then he remembered that those sort of impulsive movements were only acceptable in cheesy plays, and he settled for a toothy smile instead.
"Because it is!"
Remus turned away from Sirius, grabbing his tawny hair in disbelief.
"No, no, Sirius, that isn't possible. Maybe you think I'm someone else or maybe you like me or maybe society told you to find someone to be with and you caved to the pressure, but no, you can't love me, Sirius."
"Why not?" Sirius challenged, his grin immovable, as though someone had stuck a hanger in his mouth.
"Because!" Remus yelled exasperatedly, "Sirius, you can't just spring something like this on me! How would you like it if I just came up to you one day and said hey Padfoot, I love you?"
"I'd say, woohoo, I've spread the flu to Remus!" he punched the air.
Remus sighed, looking at the floor silently, "You don't understand," he said deplorably, "don't you think you've spread the flu enough? There's a flock of girls down there who would kill to giveyou the flu."
"So? I don't care about them."
"Exactly, Sirius," Remus began, pleading for Sirius to understand, "I don't want to become one of those admirers."
"You wouldn't. Look, Moony, I know that our relationship would have problems. But I wouldn't have it any other way."
"There are so many girls and boys in this school who are convinced that they are in love with you. I know that I'd always be second place to them."
Remus stared at the floor. "I've always been second place. When I was younger, my dad preferred his cat to me. My mum preferred her fishes. And now here, you prefer James over me. I'm always second place," he looked at Sirius, poking him in the chest roughly, "and now you tell me this shit about love. What do you know about love, Sirius?"
"Look, I may not be the guy who's fell in love before, but at least I don't fall in love everyday. You mean something to me, Remus, and if love is anything people have described it to me as, it's you through and through."
Remus skeptically crossed his arms, "Oh really? Then tell me, Sirius, what is love?"
The black-haired boy sighed, "It's like butterbeer when it's fresh. It makes you feel all warm and tingly inside and leaves you wanting for more," he smiled encouragingly, "except that my butterbeer ran out. And I'm still wanting more. Can you refill it for me?"
Remus stared at him, critically at first, "We've got to stop comparing love to food."
"Or diseases," Remus agreed, nodding, "I'm not still not happy with you for springing this on me."
"And I still think that in a week from now you'll wake up and realize that you were never in love with me and it was just a big misunderstanding."
The werewolf glanced at him. "I hope you know what you're getting yourself into."
"Good. Then you can kiss me. But only if you say that you love me again."
Sirius grinned. "I'm in love with you."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah, I am."
"One hundred percent sure? Eighty percent sure?"
"One hundred and fourteen percent," said Sirius, "and oh, I think it just went up two percent."
Sirius took Remus' hands in his, "Because you're here with me right now."
"I'm happy with that. You can kiss me now."
And Sirius did.
Their lips connected gently at first, Remus hesitant while Sirius was eager to deepen the kiss. He placed a hand on Remus' neck tenderly, the other one resting on the werewolf's hip. Pulling them closer, Sirius convincingly sucked on Remus' lower lip. Remus moaned in response, finally responding to the kiss.
Sirius wanted to show Remus that he loved him, and so he gave the boy his all in the kiss. It didn't take long for Sirius to see what Remus enjoyed, whether it was running his fingertips teasingly along the hem of Remus' hair, or letting his tongue flick up onto the roof of the other boy's mouth. Remus seemed to let himself melt into Sirius' embrace, and when he finally drew away, his entire appearance was as windswept as if he had just run a mile. Twice. No water.
Sirius smiled. "And now I'm a hundred and twenty-one percent sure."
AN: This was a request from HelplessRomantic! I came back from my trip yesterday so I'm getting the rest of the requests out as fast as I can. You can still ask for story requests, remember!
Have all of your spring breaks been somewhat productive or worthwhile? I had loads of fun in England :D Love to all, read and review!