By co-authors I'm Just Drawn That Way and Felena1971.
This story is a wedding present for Bmdohmen, who loves "her puppies." Special note from Felena1971 to Bmdohmen: "Congratulations, Little One! I love you!"
Warnings: This story is AU – Sirius lives and Remus lives. Together, in fact. Therefore, this story will be SLASH. Indeed – it is slashy-flashbacky.
Disclaimer: We don't own anything. Trust us. If we owned anything at all in the Potterverse, Sirius and Remus would have survived in canon. And neither of us would have to worry about gas prices. But, alas, we mourn the puppies and sweat over 3.67/gallon regular unleaded. Sigh… Nope, we don't own a thing.
Remus Lupin collapses on the bed next to Sirius Black. "My Gods, Pads, that was incredible!"
"You get no argument from me," replies Sirius. "I didn't think it could get any better, but it has!"
"How did I get so lucky," asks Remus, "to have all my dreams come true – and more?"
"Well," teases Sirius, "I think it all started when you saved me from my psychopathic cousin."
"No, it started when I got my letter welcoming me to Hogwarts!"
"Well, that's true, in a way," agrees Sirius, "but the day you saved me from Bellatrix was the turning point, don't you think? We BOTH got lucky, that day."
"True," murmurs Remus, rolling to his side and kissing Sirius's shoulder. "Either one of us could have died that day, but instead – it set the stage for this – the best day of my life."
Remus Lupin sat nursing a generous glass of firewhiskey at the battered kitchen table of 12 Grimmauld Place. His heart and mind were still racing from the events of the evening. He had acted rashly, and now his biggest secret, bigger even (it sometimes felt) than the fact of his lycanthropy, was at risk of being revealed.
Lord Voldemort had tricked Harry with a false vision of Sirius in danger at the Ministry of Magic. Harry, fearing for his godfather's safety, had thrown caution and good sense to the four winds and charged in, wand drawn, only to find the place overrun with Death Eaters. Sirius, Remus, and the rest of the Order of the Phoenix raced to the Ministry to join the battle.
Remus had been dueling a masked Death Eater when he heard the horrifying, insane cackle of Bellatrix Lestrange. He looked up in time to see her raise her wand to take aim at his best friend, Sirius Black. Though they were cousins, the deranged witch hated Sirius and had been trying for ages to destroy him.
"NO!" Remus screamed, throwing himself at Sirius so fast that the Death Eater he'd been fighting didn't have time to react. He crashed hard into Sirius and they landed in a heap several feet away. The scream had alerted several other members of the Order, and Bellatrix was hit with four Stunning spells straight to the chest. She crumpled to the stone floor and didn't move again during the battle.
Everyone else from the Order left for home after the debriefing session at Grimmauld Place, leaving Sirius and Remus in the kitchen with the bottle of firewhiskey.
"I raise my glass to you, Moony," said Sirius, "for your 'noble and selfless action' in saving my life tonight."
Remus ran his long index finger around the rim of the glass and didn't look up. "Come on, Padfoot. Don't embarrass me further. I got enough of that 'noble and selfless' stuff from Kingsley tonight. Don't you do it, too." And drop the subject, he thought to himself, before this gets worse.
Sirius chuckled. His best friend was notoriously modest: an endearing, yet occasionally frustrating personality trait. Kingsley Shacklebolt had made a big deal of Remus's life-saving dive, and Remus had looked as if he wanted to disappear. "All right, Moony, I'll lay off. I suppose the spotlight's been you too much for one evening." But as he moved to clap his dear friend on the back, he noticed a hole singed in Remus's shirtsleeve. "What's this, Moony?"
"It's nothing, Padfoot," said Remus, his eyes not leaving the glass of firewhiskey, but Sirius didn't believe him.
"She almost got you, didn't she?" he asked. "You almost took the hit for me! What the hell were you thinking, Moony? You could have been killed!"
"I- I don't know, Pads. I guess I wasn't thinking at all – I was just reacting."
For most of the meeting, Remus hadn't really been listening. He had been thinking. And the inescapable conclusion, after the close call on Sirius's life and his own, was that life is too short to live in fear. One must live boldly, or perhaps one isn't really living at all.
"If I hadn't pushed you out of the way of that curse," he continued, "you would have died." Ah, hell. Secrets be damned. He looked up and met Sirius's gaze. "I lost you to Azkaban all those years ago," he said, his voice getting stronger along with his resolve, "and I couldn't bear to lose you again. I- I love you, Padfoot. I've loved you for so long."
Sirius stared at Remus, incapable of speech, for once in his life.
"I know I'm not much," said Remus, "I've got nothing to offer, but I'm tired of hiding from you. When you escaped from prison, I had a second chance to tell you how I felt, but still I said nothing. And if you had died today, without me telling you…"
Still Sirius just goggled at his friend. Could what Remus was telling him be true?
"I'm sorry," Remus whispered, casting his eyes down at his drink again. "Maybe I shouldn't have said anything after all. Now things will be weird between us."
Sirius put his hand on Remus's shoulder, and the werewolf looked up into his stormy gray eyes.
"Moony," he rasped, "I never knew…"
"It's fine, Padfoot. I know you don't feel the same way about me. Just try to forget it, okay?"
But Sirius brought his other hand to Remus's chin, and gently placed his lips on Remus's lips in the softest of kisses.
Tentatively at first, the two men began to explore each other's mouths. Encouraged by the little sighs and low moans of pleasure escaping the werewolf, Sirius became progressively bolder. Soon, they were holding each other tight, and kissing if they needed each other more than oxygen.
When Sirius finally released him, Remus shook his head, chagrined. "Damn, Pads, if this is how you say 'thank you,' I'll have to save your life more often!"
"Wait until you see how I say 'thank you very much,'" Sirius said, with a mischievous grin.
Remus laughs, and brushes the hair gently out of Sirius's eyes. "I'll never forget that first time you kissed me, you know," he says.
Sirius shakes the hair back into his face. He likes it all wild and sexy, especially when he's got his adorable werewolf's undivided attention, like now. "It was damned good, wasn't it?" He smirks, quite pleased with himself for being such an excellent kisser.
"It's always damned good, with you," Remus whispers huskily into Sirius's ear. "In fact," he murmurs, nibbling his way down Sirius's neck and nipping his collarbone, "I can't seem to keep my lips off of you."
Sirius chuckles, and runs his fingers through Remus's long hair. "You never could, after that first kiss. I think we snogged more in that first week than most couples do in a year!"
"Can you believe we managed to go that long before anybody caught us at it?" Remus snickers. "Poor Hermione. We really scared her, didn't we?"
"Poor Hermione," Sirius agrees. "The only person in the world who loves books as much as you do, Moony. Who visits the library that late at night actually looking for a book? I was so sure we'd have complete privacy."
Hermione, looking for a late-night read, strolled into the library, and started browsing the shelves. She was so absorbed in her quest for reading material that she didn't notice the two men in each other's arms until they shifted position, and the springs in the ancient couch gave an alarming squeak. She jumped and screamed, pulling her wand and spinning around, ready to do battle. When she saw who it was, and what they were doing, she collapsed on the floor in a fit of relieved giggles. "Oh, you two scared me so much! I'm sorry I screamed – I didn't mean to interrupt you!" She pocketed her wand again, and placed her palm over her racing heart. "I didn't know the two of you were a couple," she said. "Let me give you back your privacy." But as she turned to leave…
"And instead, we wound up with Harry and half the Weasleys there to save Hermione from whatever had made her scream," says Remus, shaking his head.
"At least that gave us an opportunity to tell everyone at once," Sirius says, "instead of having to break the news to a half-dozen people individually…"
"I was actually afraid that Ron or Harry might have hurt someone, tearing down the stairs so fast, wands drawn, ready to protect Hermione from anyone or anything. Ron was definitely planning to curse first, and ask questions later!"
"You've gotta love Hermione – jumping in front of us to protect us from her overprotective boyfriend. She reminds me so much of you, Moony – fierce fighters, the both of you, despite your brainy Prefect acts."
"I'm okay, everyone, you can all go back to bed," Hermione explained. "I just came down for something to read, and didn't realize I wasn't alone in the library. I got startled."
Harry looked past Hermione at Remus and Sirius sitting very close together, faces flushed, hair mussed, and lips swollen from their enthusiastic snogging session. His face turned red, but not with embarrassment. He glared at Sirius and Remus in turn. "What's going on here, you two?" he demanded.
Sirius looked around the room at all the Weasleys, open-mouthed in their shock, and Harry's angry expression. "Might as well do it now, Moony, eh?" He took Remus's hand and rose from the couch, pulling his lover up to stand with him. "We weren't planning to say anything quite yet, but seeing as how you're all here, I guess this is as good a time as any," he said. "Moony and I are together – a couple. It's taken us a ridiculously long time to figure it out, but we're in love." Remus smiled down at him adoringly.
"That was the first time you ever said you loved me," says Remus, still smiling at him adoringly more than three years later.
"First of about a million, my love" laughs Sirius, and kisses Moony soundly on the lips.
Hermione turned around and hugged them both, with tears in her eyes. "I'm so happy for you!" she said. "How long has this been going on?"
"That's what I'd like to know," growled Harry, as menacingly as a fifteen year-old boy can growl.
"Harry!" reprimanded Hermione. "What is your problem? Aren't you happy for them?"
"It's all right, Hermione," Sirius said. "He finds out his godfather and his former professor are boyfriends, he's bound to have some questions. He's got a right to ask them, and I'll answer as best I can."
"How long?" demanded Harry again, still glaring.
"Just a week, Harry. After the fight at the Ministry, when Moony saved me from Bellatrix's curse, we started talking… and we realized how much we've always cared for each other. We've been best friends forever, but along the way somewhere it's grown into something even better."
"We didn't mean to upset you, Harry," added Remus. "I know it must seem awfully strange to you, but I do hope that – with time – you'll be able to accept this. We both love you, Harry, and having your blessing one day would mean the world to us."
"I'm not angry that you're together, you idiots," said Harry. He stood with his hands balled into fists at his sides, and tears of frustration glistening in his eyes. "I just can't believe you would hide this from me! You say you both love me, but you didn't trust me enough to tell me something this important? You're treating me like I'm some kind of little kid that needs to be sheltered! Why is everyone always trying to protect me from things? Haven't I proven yet that I can handle more than you think I can?"
Sirius dropped Remus's hand, and crossed quickly to Harry, gathering the boy in his arms, and tucking him under his chin. "Harry, Gods, I'm sorry if it looked that way to you! We weren't trying to keep this a secret from you. We hadn't told anyone yet – we were planning to, and soon, but it's still just so new for us. We wanted to revel in our new relationship privately for a bit before going public."
"So you're not angry that we're together, Harry?" Remus asked, coming to join them, and making it a three-way hug.
"No, you stupid gits," said Harry, crying openly now. "I'm thrilled that you're together. You two deserve every chance at happiness, after all you've been through. My mum and dad don't have those chances anymore, but I know they'd want their best friends to be happy, and that's what I want, too."
"So you forgive us?" Sirius asked.
"Yeah, you great pouf," laughed Harry, pulling out of the hug and wiping away his tears. "You're forgiven. Just don't keep me in the dark about things, okay? Like, if you decide to get married, you'd better not wait until after the honeymoon to tell me!"
"Marriage? Honeymoon?" Remus looked slightly faint. "I'm still reeling a bit over hearing Sirius say he loves me! Let's not rush things, Harry!"
"Hey, Moony," said Sirius.
"I love you, you great hairy wolfman, and I always will."
Hermione and Harry grinned at each other. Fred and George slapped each other high-fives. Ginny looked longingly at Harry. Molly and Arthur looked dreamily at each other. Ron just looked ill.
"We were so worried about Harry's reaction!" remembers Remus. "But it was really just Ron that needed a bit of convincing."
"Hermione to the rescue, again," chuckles Sirius.
Ron caught Hermione's arm and pulled her into an alcove on the landing. "Why are you so cheerful about Sirius and Professor Lupin being gay?" he whispered. "Doesn't it bother you at all?"
"No," she said fiercely, not keeping her voice down at all. "And for some reason it bothers you?"
"Shhhh," he muttered. "A bit, I guess. It makes me a little uncomfortable. But Harry was so happy for them he actually cried. I want to be happy for them like you two, but it still just seems wrong somehow. I mean, they're both blokes. And it's not just a phase, I would guess, since they're both grown men. Aren't they old enough to know better?"
"Ronald Weasley," she said, narrowing her eyes at him, " that is the most ignorant thing I think I've ever heard you say! Their age doesn't matter, and neither does their gender. They're people, Ronald. Two people who finally realized how much they mean to each other. You should support them."
"I'm trying," he said. "I guess it'll just take some getting used to, eh?"
"I guess so. I've had plenty of time to get used to being around gay men. It just seems perfectly normal to me, and I hope you'll feel the same way soon. Sirius and Professor Lupin are such wonderful people, and Harry's right – a little more love in the world right now can only be a good thing."
"How did you get so used to gay men, Hermione? What makes you so comfortable with it?"
"My Uncle David started dating his partner Mark when I was just two. They've been together longer than I can remember, so their relationship has always been a part of my life. You would love them, Ron. You'll have to come to my house at Christmas sometime and meet them."
"You mean there are gay Muggles, too?"
"Oh, Ron, good grief. Of course there are gay Muggles. There are gay EVERYTHINGS."
"Wow – gay muggles," said Ron, awestruck. " Now I've heard everything." He walked away, shaking his head in disbelief.
A moment later, Remus was whispering in her ear. "Thanks, Hermione. You're incredible."
She blushed, and protested. "I'm not incredible, I just can't stand homophobia. I'm so sorry you heard that kind of ignorance from Ron, Professor. I guess he thought we were out of earshot."
"Not out of my earshot this close to the full moon. My senses become more acute as I get closer to my transformation."
She giggled. "Professor! You're like a superhero with superhearing and supersmelling to chase down villains! I'm surprised Magical Law Enforcement hasn't been recruiting you!"
"But I could only be a superhero for a few days a month, Hermione. The rest of the time the criminals would get away."
"Fine then," she laughed. " You're like a great, hairy, part-time superhero."
"You're a better superhero than I am, Hermione. You and Harry, both. You saved Sirius from the Dementors, and in doing so you saved me. I had just learned of his innocence, just been reunited with him, and was about to lose him again. It would have destroyed me. You have in me a lifelong friend, Hermione. I am forever in your debt."
"You don't owe me anything, Professor, but I am glad to have you as a friend. And Sirius, too. You two make a beautiful couple, and I couldn't be happier for you both. Ron will come around, you know."
"I know, Hermione. You gave him a lot to think about. Thanks again for that." He turned to leave, then turned back with a big smile. "Oh, and Hermione – I would be very honored if you would call me by my given name. Once you call someone a great, hairy, part-time superhero, I think you're on a first-name basis."
Remus smiles, remembering. "It was Hermione to the rescue, indeed. Can you think of anyone else who could have gotten through to Ron so quickly?"
"No," says Sirius, "though I think he has ulterior motives for agreeing with her so readily on everything."
"Whatever his motives, I'm just glad he came around." He nuzzles Sirius playfully. "So… do you really think Hermione is a lot like me?"
"Yeah, I do, Moony. If she was 6'4" and male, I'd have a hard time telling you apart. Why do you ask?"
"Because I've always thought Harry was a bit like you, in some ways."
"Oh, undoubtedly. We're both devilishly handsome troublemakers who make Minerva McGonagall weak in the knees. The only differences are our age, his scar, and I've got better hair."
Sirius laughs uproariously at his own joke, but Remus looks thoughtful.
"Pads," he says, after Sirius quiets down, "do you ever wonder if Harry and Hermione are better suited for each other that they are for Ginny and Ron?"
"You're just saying that because they looked so cute together today, all dressed up and happy." Sirius grins.
"Maybe," Remus says, pensively. "But I also wonder if – since we are so perfect together, and they seem in so many ways to be like us – maybe they would be perfect together, too."
"Better not let Ron or Ginny hear you saying that! They'd both hex you into oblivion, and then I'd have to kill them to avenge you."
"Hey, Pads," says Remus.
"What, Moony?" Sirius plays along with what has now become a ritualistic part of foreplay.
"I love you, you great hairy mutt, and I always will."
Sirius laughs and rolls on top of Remus.
"Hairy mutt!" cries Remus, in mock protest. "Hairy mutt, not horny mutt!"
"Shut up – you love it."
"You know I do," says Remus, kissing him again.
Sirius raises himself onto his hands and knees, and threads his fingers through Remus's long hair. Remus has been growing it longer at Sirius's urging, and it is now past his shoulders. In public, he usually wears it tied back, like Bill Weasley does, but when he is home with Sirius, he lets it hang long and loose. Sirius adores it, especially the gray hair concentrated at the temples and woven lightly throughout the rest.
Remus catches Sirius's hand, and pulls it to his mouth, kissing each of Sirius's elegant fingers, and brushing Sirius's wrist against his cheek. His soft golden eyes convey a deep tenderness.
"What is it, Moony?" Sirius asks. "What are you thinking about that's got you so serious all of a sudden?"
"How grateful I am to Harry for everything he did to secure your pardon," Remus says, kissing Sirius's wrist tenderly, right on the prisoner number tattoo Azkaban so generously provided for him.
"Me, too, love," agrees Sirius. "Just loving you and being with you would have been enough for me, but now that I can live a full life outside the doors of Grimmauld Place, I've got everything I ever wanted."
"And I've got more than I ever thought was possible," sighs Remus.
Harry and Ron, looking very handsome in Muggle suits and ties, and Hermione in a business-like skirt and blouse, entered Grimmauld Place and joined the rest of the household assembled in the sitting room. Sirius and Remus sat side by side on a love seat, hands tightly intertwined, knuckles white. No one breathed, until finally, Ginny broke the silence.
"Come on, Harry!" she begged. "Tell us what happened!"
"The Wizengamot let us use our memories as evidence," Harry said.
"It's absolutely unheard of," Hermione interjected with a wry smile, "but our status as 'War Heroes' swayed things in our favor."
"We all three submitted our memories of the night in the Shrieking Shack," continued Ron. "You know, when Sirius and Remus explained that Scabbers was Peter, and that Peter had blown up all those people, not Sirius. And since all three memories were the same, that helped make it more believable."
"And then I submitted my memory of Voldemort's 'rebirthing party' and they saw Peter cut off his hand for the potion, and get rewarded later with the silver hand Voldemort made for him."
"And was it enough?" breathed Ginny.
"It didn't have to be," said Harry, grinning widely. "Draco Malfoy came through. He told the Wizengamot that Peter died at Malfoy Manor in 1998, and he brought with him the only piece of physical evidence we had: Peter's silver hand."
Molly inhaled sharply and clapped her hand over her mouth.
George raised his eyebrows, and said, "So the little ferret finally decided to do something right?"
"Well," Harry admitted, "he sort of owed me one, seeing as how I saved him from the Fiendfyre in the Room of Requirement. After Wormtail died at their home, his parents took the silver hand and kept it as sort of a collector's item before disposing of the rest of the body. When Draco showed it to the Wizengamot, they had enough evidence to decide that Wormtail killed all those Muggles while faking his death, and that Sirius was innocent."
He pulled a document from his jacket pocket and handed it to Sirius. "Sirius, you are now officially cleared of all charges. This is a formal apology from the Wizengamot for your twelve years of false imprisonment. I know it can't ever make up for the years you lost, but you're a free man now."
Sirius and Remus devoured the pardon with their eyes, and then locked their arms around each other in a tight embrace. Around them, the sitting room erupted in cheers.
"Speech! Speech!" cried George. Ginny picked up the cry, too, and soon, the whole room was clamoring for Sirius to make a statement.
He stood, slowly, and waited for silence. "I do actually have a few words I'd like to say." He looked around, impressively, at them all, and winked at Harry. Then, dropping to one knee, he looked up into Remus's face. "Remus John Lupin, will you marry me?"
Cheers erupted around the room again. Molly wiped tears from her eyes. George clapped Sirius on the back in congratulations. But Sirius didn't move, or take his gaze from Remus.
"Moony. You haven't answered. Marry me, Moony. Now that I'm free, I can finally offer you a life."
"Pads, are you sure? I have nothing to offer you. I'm too poor, too damaged."
"Moony, I love you exactly the way you are," Sirius assured him. "Please don't worry about money. My idiot parents had enough money that neither of us will ever have to work if we don't want to. It would give me untold pleasure to spend their money on my gay werewolf half-blood husband! And as for being damaged: we've both lost so many pieces of ourselves that maybe together is the only way we can be complete."
The assembled crowd uttered a collective sigh. Remus looked around at them all, and saw the encouragement in their faces.
"Come on, Moony," implored Sirius. "What do you say, love?"
Remus took a deep breath to steady his nerves. "Yes!" he cried, and he pulled Sirius up off his knees into a bone-crushing hug, and planted a fierce kiss on him.
Though the room erupted again into cheers and clapping, neither Remus nor Sirius were aware of any sounds at all other than the breath and heartbeat of the other… Until the applause had died down and left a lingering silence, which was finally broken by Arthur Weasley clearing his throat loudly, and saying "Save a little for the honeymoon, boys!"
They broke apart, Remus blushing madly, and Sirius barked a laugh. "Moony, honey, where would you like to go on our honeymoon, anyway?"
"San Francisco, California," he answered without hesitation.
"Damn, Moony! It took you a full five minutes to say you'd marry me, but no time at all to pick a honeymoon destination! What puts San Francisco at the top of your list?"
"Two things. First, from everything I hear, a gay werewolf won't stand out at all there. Second…"
He blushed an even deeper, and in Sirius's opinion, more adorable shade of pink, and whispered, "Ghirardelli Chocolate."
"It was a beautiful wedding today, Moony. It was wonderful to be back at Hogwarts where the memories of our Marauder days were so fresh. I could almost feel James and Lily there with us. They would have been so proud to see the man Harry has become. He did a great job leading the toast after the ceremony."
"He looked quite fine in his dress robes, too," adds Remus. "Almost as handsome as you looked. And I think I did notice Minerva getting a little weak in the knees around him!"
"Yeah, well half the men present got weak in the knees when Hermione walked in to stand up for you! She looked delicious today, wouldn't you say?"
"Pads! That's my dear friend and confidante you're talking about! I can't think of her that way. You wouldn't want me to say that Harry looked delicious, would you?"
"No, but that's different. Harry's my godson, and I won't have you talking about him as though he were a piece of meat."
Remus laughs. "You're the one who started it. Imagine – telling a werewolf that someone looks yummy. It's in rather poor taste, don't you think?"
"I never claimed to have good taste, except in husbands, best friends, and Best Men. I think I did a smashing job with you, James, and Harry."
"I think so, too, Pads. Harry was so happy to be your Best Man. And I know that when he gets married himself, he'll ask you to return the favor."
"Do you think so?" asks Sirius, hopefully. "I guess I figured he'd ask Ron."
"I don't know, Pads. Ron's his best friend, but I know that you are the most important man in Harry's life. You mean the world to him."
"Hmmmm," Sirius teases. "I believe I've heard those very same words from a certain fabulously sexy werewolf."
Remus blushes. "What fabulously sexy werewolf has been hitting on my husband?" he jokes. "I'll kill him!"
"You're so adorable when you're modest, Moony. You know you're the sexiest werewolf on the planet."
At this, Remus growls hungrily and effortlessly rolls Sirius onto his back. Sirius never fails to be turned on by his new husband's raw power.
"You are the most important man in my life, Sirius Orion Black, and you mean the world to me." Remus kisses him possessively.
Sirius groans, and feels himself stiffening as Remus grinds their pelvises together. "Mmmm, Moony," he sighs. "The fabulously sexy werewolf is hitting on me again."
Remus licks his way down the flat plane of Sirius's stomach, stopping at his navel to ask, "How's that working for him?"
"Beautifully," Sirius answers, and gasps as the werewolf's tongue resumes its southward trajectory. "In fact, I'm pretty sure he's getting lucky tonight."
A/N: Fluffier and milder than our usual stuff, but we hope you enjoyed it. Let us know what you thought! (Little blue button: "click me, click me!")