Title: Dating Remus Lupin
Disclaimer: Brilliant Art Work Credits: kogepanM's siriusremus ( kogepanm. /art/ HP-siriusremus -15908325)
Warnings: Slight AU, Sillyness, Daft Sirius, Broody Remus
Chapter Twelve: Loving Sirius Black
He buries his face into the dark confines of his joint arms, not wanting a stranger to see the tears that were flowing unbidden down his face. No, that isn't right. She isn't a stranger; Neveen is the reason his son is still alive. She is the one who saw everything that bitchhad done, had rushed to the hospital, had contacted him; she is the one he is indebted to for the rest of his life.
'Guess karma came and bit me right in the arse, eh?' He chuckles humourlessly, and tries hard not to lean backwards for comfort when she moves up behind him. 'He doesn't remember me; my own son.'
Her soft breasts press against his back, as her hands move across his bare shoulders soothingly. 'It isn't your fault…'
'No,' He says dejectedly. 'Everything is my fault. I knew; I saw how insane she was getting. Out of control, out of her mind...' His fists clench on their own in anger every time he remembers. 'His wounds were getting worse and worse. I knew I should have taken him away, but I was so fucking scared.'
She tries to calm him by pressing soft kisses to his neck and shoulder blades; her face so close to his skin that he can feel the brush of her eyelashes. 'You loved her,' she whispers quietly. 'It wasn't your fault. You loved her.'
'I hated her!' He cries miserably, hating the way his voice cracks. He hates how weak he is right now and how easily he succumbs to Neveen's embrace, pressing his eyes to the side of her neck to make the tears stop. 'I hate her, and if she ever makes the mistake of showing up in front of me, I'll kill her. I'll kill her like she killed my son.'
'Hey,' she says softly, combing her fingers through his hair. 'He's still alive. Don't mark him off as dead yet.'
He looks up at her, looks her in the eyes and feels himself confessing his crimes, what he's done. 'Do you know what I did when he asked me who I was? Do you know what I did? I ran.' He sees the shock in her eyes as he says this and moves out of her arms. 'I abandoned my own child, while he sat there lost and confused, not even knowing who he was. I asked the doctor to handle things for me, and he told me that it was my responsibility. That they weren't even going to tell him his name, until I came back. And I still left.'
Silence greets him and he knows now what she's thinking. She's thinking that he isn't any better than that woman; that the little boy sitting in the hospital deserved better. Will she report him? Will she take away his son away from him?
'Fuck,' He whispers, fear rising in his throat. 'I left and it's been two hours since then. Two hours and he doesn't even know what his fucking name is.'
'Maybe this is your redemption,' Neveen says so softly that at first he doesn't hear her. 'Maybe this is your chance to start over with him.'
He turns to look at her and sees no mockery or contempt in her eyes. She looks thoughtful, almost kind.
'He has no memories of her or of everything he had to go through, so change it. Make it so that it never happened.'
The idea itself sounds incredulous, but her words are like salvation to him and unconsciously, he moves closer.
'Move away, fabricate a new life, and give him everything that you've always wanted him to have. He needs his father; now, if more than ever.' Neveen's hand rises to cup his cheek gently. 'He's defenseless, so protect him.'
'Fabricate…' He whispers softly, running the words through his head, wondering how someone like him is going to be able to do anything. He isn't a good liar; he has never had to be, and now, he can't even begin to fathom how much of it he will have to do. 'It's…complicated…running away…just like I did before.'
She smiles kindly and her hand pushes the sweaty strands of hair out of his eyes. 'Yes, but this time, you're not running alone and you're not doing this out of cowardice.'
'Come with me, then.' He grabs both her hands and clasps them between his. They're soft hands; talented hands that knew exactly how to soothe away pain and tears.
'No, listen,' he pleads, tightening his hold as she tries to move away. 'You could be his mother; he'll need someone like you to be with him. He'll love you, I promise. He's a good kid, the best, and I-'
'I have a family,' she cuts off, pulling away. 'A husband, a child; I need to go back to them soon.'
He's horrified by what she says and almost instinctively moves back. The sheets tangle around his feet and he falls off the bed with a soft thump. 'You-' He runs a hand through his disheveled hair, not able to believe what he's done. He…she is married…and he…they… 'Why did you…?'
She smiles sadly, but doesn't answer as she climbs down to sit beside him. He tries not to look at her, still naked from the time they spent together; and finally, just pulls the sheets of the bed and throws it around her. She's beautiful, he agrees, but he's not that kind of a person. He had gone to her out of desperation and she'd comforted him, but he doesn't want this sort of comfort. Vaguely, he remembers what his ex-wife always tells him: You're so immature! You're still such a fucking child!
Neveen laughs at his actions quite openly and then reaches around her neck. There's a silver cross, hanging from a delicate chain, that sits perfectly beneath her collar bone, and it falls to her lap as she unclasps it. 'I want you to give this to him when you get there,' she says, pushing the locket into his hands. 'Something to remember me by. He doesn't need to know my name. Just…tell him that I love him a lot and that I'm sorry I couldn't save him.' She laughs again when he stares at the chain suspiciously, and before he can register anything, she pulls him into a quick kiss. A little peck on the lips and then she's pushing him away. 'Now go. Little Remus is waiting for you.'
He blinks up at her. 'Remus?'
Neveen laughs again; she obviously finds him quite ridiculous. 'Cute, isn't it?' She gets up, pulling the sheets firmly around herself and winking cheekily. 'I've always wanted to name my child that, but it never quite worked out.'
First love, to little Sidney Xiang, is really quite lovely. To Sidney, his first love is something he intends to cherish and frame into his fondest memories. Being only twelve (and five days) and still currently stuck in his first love does not change this opinion in the least; it doesn't matter if Brian thinks otherwise. Brian doesn't understand love and Remus Lupin the same way Sidney does. He doesn't understand that Remus Lupin is a man of true beauty, with solemn features and light, amber eyes that gives off the illusion of staring at a doll. A unique craft that God himself molded and carved with utmost care and adoration.
Sidney has tried explaining it to Brian the same way, but Brian always grumbles about purebloods and their bloody romanticist notion of things. Poetry, Brian had once said, can make a swine sound like a turkey, but that doesn't change the fact that the swine is still a swine. Sid had punched him that time for saying such things about Remus and had then refused to talk to Brian for an entire week until Brian had thoroughly apologised. 'You'll never understand,' Brian had said after that grueling one week of no talking, 'blue eyes are better.' Blue eyes, Sidney thinks, are quite plain. Everyone has them, even Brian.
Remus Lupin, Sidney also thinks, is a very sweet bloke. He doesn't look particularly sweet, but this makes sense because looking like a man of true beauty and looking sweet simultaneously can be quite difficult. Sidney knows Remus is sweet because he (stalks) watches Remus quite often. Sometimes during breakfast, Sidney will stare for hours as Remus chews his pancakes. Sometimes, the stupid Black boy catches him staring and glares, but Sidney sticks out his tounge and sometimes shows him the finger. Sidney isn't scared of the Blacks and especially not that stupid git who probably didn't even know how to tie his shoelaces. Also, often during class hours, Sidney spaces out, trying to recall the kiss he and Remus had shared. It wasn't a very long kiss, but Sidney didn't really know how to do one of those. Brian always kicks him in the shins during these fantasies. Sidney doesn't understand why Brian doesn't just sit with the rest of his house on the Hufflepuff table.
But then, Brian is his best friend; his very first in fact. Sidney also knows all of Brian's secrets. He knows about Brian being the eldest son and always feeling pressured to do his best. That's why he doesn't complain when Brian sometimes wants to sleep over in the same bed or hugs Sidney a little too long. Sidney likes to give Brian the attention he needs, and if Brian ever wants it, then Sidney will also give up his life for him.
Sidney discovered this when he and Brian had been sitting in the library on a lovely Sunday evening and Brian had suddenly grabbed hold of his hand. 'Sid, we're mates, aren't we?' he'd asked. 'You love me, yeah?'
Sidney had rolled his eyes then and hit Brian up the head, and told him not to ask stupid questions.
But Brian had continued his stupidity, as he always does, and had kept asking questions. 'Sid, if you had to choose between me and Lupin, who would it be? If you could have only one of us, who would it be?'
So Sidney had given Brian the best answer he could think of. 'Would you really make me choose, Brian? The answer's obvious, but I didn't think you were that selfish.' Sidney had meant to say, 'of course, I'll always choose you first' but Brian's face had suddenly turned red and he'd stomped off somewhere.
First loves are to be cherished, Sidney thinks, but they are never to be prioritised over your best friends.
Brian was only twelve and his life was already fucked, today topping the polls off being the worst fucking day of his life, ever. Twelve years didn't amount to much experience, but even a one year old would tell Brian frankly that his life was truly, completely, a bleeding mess. It was a bigger mess than his little brother's nappies or his little sister's attempt at using a spoon to eat her cereal.
Brian was a tough bloke; everyone in his year said so. But Sid choosing Remus Bloody Lupin over him had to sting a little bit. Hell, it stung a lot; it burned, damn it! Sidney hadn't even come after him after Brian had stormed off from the library, so he was stuck after hours moping alone in Merlin knew what part of the castle. To add to his misery and disrupt his session of misery and self pity, it was Remus Lupin patrolling that very corridor Brain had lodged himself in. God, Brian thought, did not exist at all.
Prepared to meet head-to-head with his rival, Brain stood up, flexed his muscles and held strong to his position in the corridor. Brian still had a long way to grow, but he'd taken on much older Slytherin bullies in the past for Sid. Lupin wasn't really all that Sidney praised him to be.
It was only when Brain felt the brush of black robes against his cheek that he realised Lupin had simply passed by him. He turned abruptly, still wand at ready, only to see that Lupin had settled down quite comfortably on the steps leading to the dungeons and was in the process of lighting a cigarette. Was Lupin mocking him?
'What, aren't you going to tell me to go back to my common room?'
Lupin blew a puff of smoke and looked up, amber eyes strangely alight in the darkness. 'I was hoping you'd figure it out yourself. Talking is rather tiring.'
Lupin was mocking him. Brian grit his teeth and clenched his fists tightly. 'It's your fucking fault I'm out anyway…'
Lupin tilted his head, not even bothering to pretend he was interested in what Brian had to say. It pissed him off. It pissed Brian off so much that all the moping and anger that he'd kept bottled up for so long burst out. 'Fucking poetries, and fucking symphonies, and fucking googly eyes,' he griped, kicking the walls angrily. 'What a fucking idiot!'
A purposeful blow of smoke hit Brian in the face. 'Do your parents know their little boy has an astounding vocabulary of fuck, most of it out of context…'
Brian felt a nerve beside his eye twitch. 'You are such a fucking bastard!' He screamed, hating himself for saying 'fuck' all over again and proving Lupin's stupid theory right. Stupid, stupid, stupid; everything was so stupid. 'What does he see in you anyway? I'm his best friend! I'm the one who always looks out for him! Why does he have to choose you over me?' He pointed an accusing finger at Lupin and was accosted by another bought of nicotine.
'Why choose someone who will quit on him this easily?'
Brian's nostrils flared and he quickly wiped away the tears of frustration that threatened to spill. Like hell, he would cry in front of his rival. 'I haven't quit! Who are you to say such things when you don't even- hey,' Brian stopped mid-rant when he noticed a rather large blood stain on Lupin, just beside the seat of his trousers. Hey, you're bleeding!'
Lupin didn't even bother looking. 'I was. Rabid goblins don't like my type much. Took a chunk out of me. '
Brian didn't know goblins had teeth, but the injury did look nasty. 'I could take you to the hospital wing if you-'
'It's healed,' Lupin said firmly, pulling his cloak up to cover the wound.
'Oh...okay,' Brian said inanely, suddenly not that angry anymore. That didn't mean Brian liked Lupin or anything; he just didn't want to be yelling at an injured person. It didn't seem right; it felt like scolding his little sister for breaking her leg. Besides, Sid was waiting for him and he didn't want Sid to think Brian had given up on him or anything the way Lupin said. 'I should go back to the dorms. It's well past curfew.'
'Say hello to Sid for me.'
'Like hell I will!' Brian yelled, walking away moodily and completely missing the slight smirk on Lupin's face.
'You pretend to be such a bastard, but really, you like that brat, don't you?'
Peter's first love goes all the way back when he was three years old. A lot of people would say that three is too young an age to know what love is, but Peter stands to disagree. Love has no boundaries, after all; not sex, not race, and definitely not age. Peter knew, at three itself, that she would forever be his first love and that he would forever compare her to every other love he fell into for the rest of his life. She had been perfect in every way – her well rounded body drawing Peter's eyes tantalizingly to every curve. She had been a perfect blend of milk and coffee, and Peter knew instinctively that he was her first love also. Over time, Peter knew she would have been completely his, if it hadn't been for his disapproving parents. In the end, Peter had only been able to spend fifteen glorious minutes with her and dragged home forcefully with only her name.
Her name had been Tiramisu and no chocolate cake or pumpkin pasty had ever compared to Peter's very first dessert.
'You pretend to be such a bastard, but really, you like that brat, don't you?' James called out as they walked towards the staircase leading to the dungeons.
'Don't even know his name…' Remus commented idly, taking a generous drag of his cigarette.
'You're such a fucking liar,' James snorted and snatched the cigarette from Remus's lips, helping himself to a few puffs.
It made Peter distinctly uncomfortable; these little snatches of intimacy between James and Remus. Peter didn't know if it was something that was increasing between them or if Peter was starting to notice them more because he knew the truth. He wished they'd more discreet. He wished James, who was usually such a good and loyal friend, would come to his senses and chase after Lily Evans again.
James put out the cigarette against the wall and extended a hand towards Remus. 'Come on, let me help you up.'
Remus ignored it and stood up himself, starting to walk towards the Gryffindor towers. Peter thanked Remus for having at least a little shred of secrecy and decency. Honestly, why was James being so open with his displays of affection if he was having an affair? Has he never had an affair before? There were rules!
'Oi! Accept a helping hand when you're given one, you ungrateful git! Oi, Remus!'
James caught on to Remus, but Peter stayed back. He wondered if James even noticed Peter's presence as he slipped an arm around Remus's waist. There was no straight man, Peter knew; absolutely no straight man who would put their arm around another bloke's waist. Admittedly Remus was limping quite badly again, but Remus always limped. Well, not always, but Remus wasn't that fragile.
'Hey, come on, Remus. I told you I was sorry,' James whined. 'I know you told me to keep control, and that's it dangerous with you, but I just couldn't help it with tempting eyes like that.' He tilted his head sideways and groaned. 'Gods, so tempting.'
Peter felt like he was going to vomit. James and Remus were in the Magical Creatures class together before this, while Peter and Sirius were in Muggle Studies. James hadn't been able to control himself, which meant they'd…Peter gulped…They wouldn't do it in class, would they? That was way too risky, even for James, who was known for jumping off the Astronomy Tower and casting a levitation charm on himself ten feet before he hit the ground.
'Don't tell me you didn't find it exciting,' James said in a tone that Peter had always characterised with trouble. Except the trouble usually involved pranks and not… 'The Professor was right there. A little to the right, and we would have been caught! You try to look all stoic and disapproving, but you can't deny you enjoyed it.'
Merlin help me! Peter tried to distance himself from them, not wanting to be guilty of knowing what was going on behind Sirius's back. He didn't want to hear, but James was making a real show of himself just because the corridors were empty (even though Peter took up substantial space).
Peter was sure he'd taken all he could take, when James, quite pointedly, groped Remus's arse. Peter's mouth fell open, his eyes already threatening to pop out. He would have screamed, except it seemed Peter had also lost his voice during his torturous period of cardiac arrest (a word he'd learnt from his muggle auntie).
'Hey, it doesn't hurt too much, yeah?' James asked, sounding apologetic as he groped Remus's arse through his robes. How did one sound apologetic while copping a feel; this Peter didn't know. 'Sirius is going to butcher me if he notices, so make sure to keep your trousers on for a while.'
Peter almost felt sorry for Sirius, but not as much as he did for himself. He felt so sorry for himself that he was going to turn sideways and puke his guts (and a couple of pieces of pie) out when his head smacked into Sirius's chest.
'Hey, Pete, can't believe I caught you guys!' Sirius said cheerfully, looking down at Peter. 'I thought that detention would never end. I've never flushed this many toilets my entire life.'
'Hello, Sirius,' Peter greeted weakly, somehow straightening up. 'How are you? I'm not so good, but you look really well. You look very happy. You should stick with me. We can walk back together. I think James and Remus are discussing some important homework. On…you know…beasts and creatures.' Peter stole a quick glance at James and Remus and was relieved to see that James was no longer fondling Remus. They'd obviously noticed Sirius coming and James was currently waving for them to catch up. 'Oh, thank Merlin.'
'Peter, how many pies did you eat today exactly?'
Peter looked at Remus and James again. 'Five but uh-that doesn't matter. Sirius, I need to talk to you. I…I think it's really important.'
'Yeah, sure. We'll talk when he get to the dorms,' Sirius replied cheerfully, walking towards Remus, arms already wide open for his customary bear hug. Why did he have to look so happy whenever he saw Remus? It just made things harder for Peter. What if Sirius killed James when he found out? Peter didn't want to be responsible for that. But…things were getting too far.
Peter grabbed Sirius by the arm. 'I-Sirius, there's something…I don't know if I should be …Sirius, you and Remus….you're okay, right?'
Sirius raised a sardonic eyebrow. 'Yeah…'
Peter bit his lip. Sirius obviously wasn't getting the hint. 'Sirius, don't you think James and Remus have gotten much friendlier lately? Like…they…er…spend more time together now, don't you think?'
Sirius grinned happily. 'Yeah, isn't it great? Honestly, I was a bit nervous about Remus since he doesn't usually warm up to anyone that easily.' He clapped Peter on the back, winked, and then broke into a run, leaving Peter feeling guilty over being too much of a coward to say it out straight.
Honestly, Peter didn't know how to explain to Sirius exactly how well Remus was warming up to James.
'Oi, Honey Waffles, wait up!'
Orton's first love is not as simple, as far as first loves go. He has never had interest in women in particular, so it was somewhat difficult to find a first love to start with. Back then, everything had always seemed off limits, merged together and more confusing than a mass game of twister with fifty different people and too many contributing limbs. And amidst that confusion, Orton's first salvation had come through in the form of thin wrists, brown wavy hair that flipped at haphazard angles, and a soft, neutral expression that spoke of nothing in particular, revealed nothing in particular, but drew you in closer and closer and closer.
Sitting close to Remus Lupin and simply watching him had been something Orton had taken up as a hobby. He'd sit deliberately close to pencil in well rehearsed formulas, just to watch the letters and numbers reflect in those beautiful amber eyes. But what finally had Orton closing the distance between them had been Remus's voice – still breaking but not awkward. Just soft and smooth, like a whisper between sheets. At that time, buried inside of his first love, Orton had thought that if anything, Remus Lupin was going to be easy to mold and own.
Two years later, Orton had realised that he had given off everything he'd had to someone who never so much as tilted his lips into a smile or told him that, 'yeah, maybe I fancy you a bit, too.' In fact, Remus Lupin rarely said anything and the face that Orton had come to treasure had become nothing but a cheap mask, with its fixed expression and inhuman features. A mask that Orton had tried to break and ended up breaking himself, Remus, and everything, if anything, they'd had.
Well, Orton has never really found out if he had broken Remus, because with Remus, it is always the same face, the same eyes, the same voice, and the same expression. The same, the same, the same uncaring and cold amber gaze.
'Five, six, seven, ugh…fuck…' Orton put down the weights and flexed his arm, wincing a little where the pulled muscle hurt.
'You should be careful with weights, what with being star player and all.'
Orton looked up to see a boy standing before him and handing him an ice pack. He was dressed in the team's jersey, but Orton was sure he'd never seen him before. Wavy brown hair, blue eyes, and too slim a build to be a Quidditch player; Orton was sure there wasn't anyone like that on the team. He would have remembered. He would have remembered a voice like that; quiet and a little hoarse. It sounded exactly like Remus's and if Orton closed his eyes and had the boy talking; it would feel like Remus, too.
'Ta,' Orton thanked, taking the ice pack and pressing it to his sore muscles. 'You new here? I don't think I've seen you before, er….'
'Liam,' the boy replied, offering his hand out for a shake. 'A trainee, but I hope to become a main player soon.'
'Liam,' Orton repeated, rolling the name around his tounge. 'Liam, your last name…it doesn't happen to be Lupin, does it?'
Liam half frowned, half smiled, obviously amused. 'No, it's Gregor.'
Orton wasn't sure whether to be disappointed or happy. Either ways, Liam didn't sound like a bad name, didn't feel like a bad person, and sounded…well, Orton would rather not go there. Giving up on the weights for the day, Orton used Liam's hand as leverage to get off the exercise bench, but didn't let go of the hand even as he stood. Smiling and taking a chance, Orton tried to sound as friendly as possible as he said, 'Gregor, what do you say to dinner?'
First loves, Orton realised, die hard.
James does not believe in first loves. He believes in 'only loves', and James's only love is none other than the lovely Lily Evans herself.
James doesn't remember when he fell in love with her since there are multiple points in time when he himself was utterly, completely confused. There is this time in first year when he and Sirius had first met Lily Evans. James hadn't been able to stop staring at her, even though Sirius had claimed that the greasy boy beside her had the sort of nose that could fit planets in. James had wanted to see the planetarium nose but found it very difficult to look past that brilliant red hair.
Then there are the urges. Not the sexual kind; well, that is there too. But James has other urges; the kind that involves dying the tips of her ponytail blue or making goblins sing cheesy valentine songs for her in the middle of November. Sometimes, James has urges to visit the restaurants Lily has dates in and make funny faces through the window, until she storms out to specially punch his lights out. The punching lights out thing always hurts a little; she is deceptively strong for such a wonderfully petite and elegant woman. Still, James is quite confident that she always smiles during James's pranks – which means that inwardly, she is laughing hysterically. Lady like women such as Lily Evans did not laugh hysterically outwardly because it would be considered rude and potentially un-ladylike. James also reckons that Lily Evan's punches and occasional slaps were really signs of undying affection. A bit like how Hagrid first pushed baby Fang's face into his own crap to prevent misconceptions of the house being a substitute for a commode. When asked, Hagrid says that it's the best way to train any sort of house pet, even Hippogriffs.
James's mum will never allow James to keep a hippogriff for a pet, no matter how much he wants it. Sometimes, James's wishes Hagrid is his mum; except for the slight facial hair problem. The height isn't that much of an issue because James figures that anyone this tall must also have a sizeable penis, which James will inherit if Hagrid really was his mother. There is something severely wrong in James's logic of course, but really, James can't pinpoint exactly what.
First loves, James also realises are extremely difficult. They are insanely sexy, but ridiculously hard to handle. First loves are also complicated because you're always thinking of the next move that will make your love want you even more, be with you even more. You want to make them smile (in a very ladylike manner), but you also want them to cry for you, and sometimes, you want them to only look at you. First loves, most of all, are insecure. They are the only people you want, but you don't know if they want you. It's your first time that your heart is beating like a rusty muggle tractor on fertile soil and you want to know if you're doing the right thing. You want to know that these silly feelings are reciprocated. And even though the muggle tractor is doing a fine job of drilling uneven holes into your heart, you crave for the holes to never be filled. You want to be with this person forever and never let go.
There are many manifestations of this desperation for your only love. Sometimes, people act like fools to garner attention and sometimes, people suppress the truth about who they really are…
James's sighed and rubbed his face tiredly. It was happening again. The sounds of Remus's nightmare were piercing the room: cries and screams of pain that sounded like nails being dragged down a chalkboard. It was happening every night now and every night, it sounded worse, as if Remus was being tortured within an inch of his life.
James rubbed his eyes and poked his head out of the curtains. 'Sirius, is he-'
'Yeah, it's fine,' James heard Sirius reply from behind the shut curtains of Remus's bed. 'I got it. I'll put up silencing charms, so go back to sleep.'
It was impossible to sleep like this. Sirius put up silencing charms every night, but that didn't really put an end to things. James could always tell the difference between the too quiet silence and the sounds of his friends breathing when the charms finally went up. It was natural to worry. They were his best friends after all, and for some reason, James sometimes found himself wondering if the nightmares were his fault. Hadn't they started around the time James had found out about Remus?
Giving up on sleep for a while, James pushed his covers and climbed out of bed. He might as well just make sure they were both all right. Nightmares were an unconscious hindrance for Remus, especially if his mumbles and cries were ever made coherent in front of Sirius. Remus intended to keep things a secret and James promised to help.
'Jamie, Sirius said he'll handle it.'
James turned to see Peter's head peeking out from underneath his curtains, eyes red and puffy from sleep. 'I'm just checking up on them, Pete. Go to sleep.'
Peter grabbed James by the wrist and squeezed pleadingly. 'James, you shouldn't. I know you're concerned, but just let them be…'
James frowned at Peter's persistence. 'Look, I'm just going to make sure Remus is alright. He didn't sound too good.' James tried to move away, but Peter's grip on his hand tightened. He tried pulling harder, but Peter's hand was practically clamping down now. 'Peter, what are you doing? Let me go!'
'No,' Peter replied firmly, surprising James with the harshness of his tone. 'James, things are getting dangerous this way. The way you're acting, it's too obvious, alright? You're my best friend, so I'm trying to help you here, but-'
'Peter, what the fuck are you talking about?'
'I know,' Peter whispered, casting a quick glance towards Remus's bed. 'About your and Remus's secret.' James felt his heartbeat quicken. 'I'm sorry; I overheard the two of you the other day. I shouldn't have, I know, but-'
'Pete, listen,' James whispered quickly, taking a seat beside Peter. 'You can't tell this to anyone. Promise me, not Sirius or anybody else. This has to remain a secret.' This was trouble; James knew he should have put a silencing charm on the room the other day. He knew. How was he going to convince Peter to stay quiet? Knowing Peter, it was a miracle he hadn't gone running to Sirius or higher authorities, for that matter.
'I know that, James, but it's wrong!' Peter yelled and then quickly caught himself, whispering, 'You're going to hurt Sirius eventually and I really hate it! You honestly can't expect me to just take it all in this way!'
James reeled back in shock at Peter's hostility. He'd always known Peter to be a bit of a coward but had never expected him to react this horribly. 'How can you say that, Peter? Remus is-'
What James was about to say got caught in his throat when, suddenly, the door burst open loudly. Both he and Peter stared in shock at the remains of their dormitory door on the ground. James tried to pull himself together but couldn't even move a muscle, as he watched two large men amble inside. Men from the Ministry; James recognised the emblems on their robes.
'Damn it, what the fuck's going on?' Sirius yelled, coming out from behind the curtains, red faced and furious. Behind him, James could see Remus rousing, sitting up in a daze and rubbing his eyes as if trying to make sense of everything. 'Who the bloody hell are you? Oi!' Sirius was roughly pushed aside by one of the larger ones, and right then, James knew exactly who they were here for.
'Shit,' James cursed, as his suspicions proved right and Remus was forcibly dragged out of bed with one swift pull from the Ministry worker.
Still disoriented, they pulled him to his feet, one of them holding Remus's arms behind his back while the other unfolded a scroll. 'Remus Lupin, we're here to take you under violation of Law 642 of the Beast Division,' he read, beady eyes moving over the parchment swiftly, like he simply wanted to get over things. 'It's best if you comply with orders to avoid violence within school perimetres.'
'What did Remus do?' Peter whispered from beside him. 'Breed dragons or something?'
They needed to find a way to get a professor without being noticed; preferably Dumbledore. If this had something to do with the Ministry and Remus being a werewolf, then things needed to be kept quiet and resolved quickly. This James understood; fighting was going to draw attention.
James had never been this scared in his life. He didn't know what he was scared of. The fact that Sirius looked ready for murder, or that the Ministry workers who had their wands all too ready in their hands. Perhaps what James was most scared of was the look in Remus's eyes as he slowly came to his senses. Amber eyes that were usually barely emotive were darkening, hints of gold swirling dangerously in the irises. He looked, James realised, like a caged animal waiting to kill.
'You should let go of me,' Remus spoke softly to the guard holding him captive.
Through the corner of his eyes, James could see Sirius rearing up for a fight; face flushing with steadily rising anger. It was going to spell danger, James realised. It was going to get very, very bad, if someone didn't stop Sirius right now. Temper wasn't Sirius's strong point, and Blacks always dealt with temper with only one possible way – uncontrolled rage and Dark Magic. 'Sirius, don't!' James warned, trying to make eye contact and tell him to stay out of this.
'Lupin, we received serious complaints about you from Mrs. Gregor.' It might have been James's imagination, but for one second, it seemed like Remus had stopped breathing. 'Your presence right now is a threat to this school and society. I'll say this one more time, comply or we take you by force.'
Sirius wasn't listening. Sirius wasn't even looking at James.
'I haven't hurt anyone,' Remus said quietly, 'You should let me go.'
James saw Sirius snapping even before it happened.
'GET YOUR FUCKING HANDS OFF HIM!'
He saw everything as if in slow motion. The way Sirius charged, reaching out for his wand in one swift motion and spelling out a perfect incantation. The way Sirius's spell was easily knocked off course by one of the men, as if he knew exactly what sort of Dark hex Sirius had shot. And he even saw the unexpected; when Remus flew into a rage, screaming wildly and punching the guard in the stomach, as the errant spell grazed Sirius's cheek. Time could have frozen at that point, Sirius watching wide eyed as Remus screamed and screamed and screamed. It would have stayed frozen that way if it hadn't been broken by the sudden crack of bone. The words 'bloody werewolf' hung in the air, before everything shattered.
The larger one; the one that had been holding Remus down had definitely broken Remus's arm, reducing the boy to his knees, panting from the pain.
'Sirius…' Sirius was looking at James, his grey eyes ready to pop. 'Sirius, I can explain. Remus is…'
Sirius was breathing heavily, looking from James to Remus. When Remus eyes caught his, Sirius quickly looked away. James saw a flicker of hurt pass through Remus's eyes, before Remus gave in and rested his head against the floor, hair tumbling to the front. His body slumped and he didn't make a sound as one of the men purposefully pulled Remus up with his injured arm.
'That's better. Let's go.'
'I don't think that's necessary, Rosier.'
James whirled around, feeling shocked relief at the familiar figure standing at the door. 'Professor Dumbledore!' Professor McGonagall was standing right behind him, lips thinner than James had ever seen them and steadily getting worse as she surveyed the damage to the room.
'I believe you're trespassing in school territories,' Professor Dumbledore said calmly, blue eyes twinkling oddly behind half moon glasses. 'Please unhand my student immediately.'
The one holding Remus, Rosier, seemed unwilling to let go. In fact, his grip was tightening progressively to a point where James could see Remus's skin turning red. Remus, himself wasn't putting up much of a fight, and James wondered why. If it had been James, he would have struggled to move away by now, or at least called out to Dumbledore. James looked at Sirius, trying to gauge his reaction and finding, to his surprise, his friend determinedly looking anywhere but at Remus.
'Sir, we have orders from the Ministry-'
'That was resolved,' Dumbledore cut off firmly. Dumbledore was angry; his face set in loathing and unhidden disgust. James had never seen the old professor this way. 'The allegations were fake and it's very likely that your division will face serious charges for misinformation and attacking innocents, not to mention trespassing. For future notice, perhaps it would be wise to check for the validity of a complaint before taking action.'
It had the desired effect on Rosier; he immediately let go and backed away. There was a sick sound that echoed in James's ears as Remus's broken arm fell limply to his side. It burned through James's nerves; the way they'd treated Remus because of a complaint that wasn't even real.
'Professor McGonagall, please show these gentlemen to my office to discuss matters further.' Dumbledore's voice softened as he turned to Remus, 'Mr. Lupin, perhaps you should get that arm fixed by Madam Pomfrey.'
Remus nodded and they all watched in silence as he left; composed and stoic as always, as he brushed past Rosier walking out with his partner and McGonagall. Dimly, James wondered if he should call out to Remus, or perhaps follow him to the infirmary to check if he was okay. He was considering leaving, when Dumbledore called out his name:
'Mr. Potter, Black, and Pettigrew, I think it's time we had a little chat.' Dumbledore's voice held no argument, and he waited for everyone to settle down before speaking, 'I understand that some of you boys are in a bit of a shock, but I must request you to keep everything you learned tonight a secret. I think, you, better than anyone know that Mr. Lupin's character is far from the stereotypes in your textbooks.' He looked at Sirius in particular, blue eyes scanning Sirius's face for any discrepancies. James didn't think Sirius would tell; he wasn't that kind of a person. What James was unsure of, was if Sirius would still want to be friends with Remus after this. 'If you wish to change rooms, then that shall be arranged, but I need all of you to make promises of absolute secrecy. You all understand the situation that might arise if you don't, and as you may have noticed, the Ministry is not kind towards Mr. Lupin's kind. A mistake on your part will result in more than just a dismissal from the school; I hope you understand what I mean.'
Sirius got up abruptly. 'Excuse me,' he said roughly; stormy grey eyes looking challengingly at Dumbledore before Sirius walked out of the room. James figured that if they had a door, Sirius's would have banged it shut as he left.
'Don't worry, Professor, I'll talk to him,' James reassured, following after his best friend. Sirius would listen to him; Sirius always listened to him. James just needed to make him understand things better and think instead of acting rashly. 'Professor, about the complaint…' James bit his lip, wondering if it was his place to ask. 'Who…'
Dumbledore smiled sadly. 'It was Remus's mother.'
The first thing James remembered was how much his own mother had disliked Mrs. Lupin when she had first stepped into the house. There's something very worrying about her; that's what his mother had told them and she'd been right. 'Sir, her last name…shouldn't it be…?'
'That, Mr. Potter, is not my story to tell.'
James wondered exactly what Dumbledore meant by 'story'. How many secrets did Remus keep and how many was James allowed to know? He was thinking about everything that happened so hard that he nearly missed Sirius sulking on the couch in the empty common room. Honestly, he'd expected Sirius to rush off to the infirmary to interrogate Remus, but it seemed Sirius had his own thinking to do.
'I know you're confused…'
Sirius turned towards James, eyes reflecting the flames burning steadily in the fireplace. 'Not really. Everything makes a whole lot more sense now. I should have known, really. You knew, didn't you? I feel so stupid. This whole time, you knew, and you just kept it from me.'
James shrugged and sat down beside Sirius. 'Remus asked me to keep it a secret and I always keep promises, you know that. Would it have mattered if I hadn't?'
'Fuck, yeah!' Sirius exclaimed, reddening. 'I would think it's a pretty big deal to have his entire fucking existence hidden from me? What next? Do I discover he likes to dress up in drag on occasions?'
James raised an eyebrow. 'You know, for all your declarations of love, you're being a fucking hypocrite. Nothing's actually changed, has it; except that it's not all that much of a perfect fantasy for you anymore. Remus is still Remus. He's still…you know…your…' James didn't want to say it. The words wouldn't come out without hurting his manly pride. 'Your boyfriend.' James couldn't believe the things he did for his friends. 'Look, just talk things out. If you think you can't be with him, that's fine. But we still stay friends, okay?'
Sirius looked at James's searchingly and for a moment, James was sure he'd say, 'fuck off'. He didn't look too pleased with James's talk of reason; he looked practically furious, if James had to be honest. Finally, Sirius nodded, and without another word, walked out of the portrait hole. James sincerely hoped he wasn't going to start a hexing match with Remus or injure anyone on the way.
Sighing loudly, he got up to head back to poor Peter who was stuck in the dorms with Professor Dumbledore, when he noticed a slight figure sitting on the staircase leading to the girl's dormitory. It was too dark to see who it was, so James assumed it was one of the ghosts prowling around. No one in their right minds would be up at this time of the night; though with what had just transpired, James was surprised by how quiet Gryffindor was.
'You know, Potter, you can actually be bearable when you lower your git quotient.'
Lump in his throat, James whirled around quickly, only to catch sight of brilliant red hair melting into the darkness. Perhaps James mind was playing tricks on him? After all, it sounded like Evans had just passed him a semblance of a compliment, and the entire school knew thathappening was really quite close to impossible. She is quite lovely though, even in my dimmed out imaginations, James thought hopelessly.
Sirius's first love began when he was two. Kreacher had been raising him then of course, because Walburga Black had very little patience for the child who gave her nine months of hell and still coming. At that time, Sirius had discovered something quite exciting. He'd discovered that despite knowing how to take a potty in the toilet, it was much more fun to do it in his underpants. Kreacher would make a funny face when he had to clean Sirius up – as if someone had stretched Kreacher's face outwards while trying to pull it in at the same time. Sometimes, it would look like someone had shoved a rather large silver candlestick up Kreacher's behind while telling him to bite into a lemon. It would have baby Sirius laughing for hours at a time, sometimes blowing spit bubbles to see if Kreacher's face could get any worse.
One day, sick from cleaning potty, Kreacher had locked Sirius in an empty room with nothing but a bed and a cupboard. Sirius had thought he was alone until he had noticed the little boy standing against the cupboard. The boy had noticed Sirius too and as Sirius waddled closer to the cupboard, so did he. The boy, Sirius realised was really quite cute. He had shoulder length black hair and grey eyes hidden behind shaggy bangs, and smiled the nicest smile when Sirius grinned toothily at him. He must have really liked Sirius, because he would do everything that Sirius did. If Sirius raised his hand, so would he. If Sirius wiggled his butt, so would he in perfect synchronisation.
It was fun at first of course, but after a while, Sirius had gotten annoyed with the child for being a copy cat and had hit him hard. But instead of touching flesh, their hands had met midway, and Sirius had felt something cold underneath his palm, a lot like glass. Only it wasn't because everyone knew glasses were transparent. Sirius and the little boy hadn't talked after that because Sirius had still been angry at the boy for trying to hit him as well. They had sat back to back and Sirius had tried to reconcile things by talking to him many times, but the little boy had never replied. Sirius thought he had been nothing but a stupid snot.
He had glad when Kreacher finally came to collect him an hour later saying, 'Young Master, what you is doing in front of Mirror?'
The boy's name had been Mirror and Sirius had thought he was very pretty, but had never seen him again. Later, when his baby brother was born after a few months, little Sirius had realised that he had actually seen his baby brother in that room through some sort of alternate-dimension- divine- intervention-thingy. Of course the reason his baby brother had been copying everything Sirius did was because he didn't know how to do anything yet since he was just a baby. That was the day Sirius had decided he would always be big brother for baby Regulus. In time, he forgot about the miracle in the room and just loved his baby brother because that was what big brothers did.
There are only three people Sirius loves more than Mirror today: Regulus, James, and most of all, Remus…
It was the loud crash coming from the infirmary that set Sirius running. There were sounds of crunching glass and several bottles breaking, and Sirius quickened his pace, wondering what the fuck was going on. Had the men from the Ministry come back again for Remus? No! Sirius skidded across the floor, trying to gain momentum as he bumped into the infirmary doors, face plastering to the peek window. He could see Remus through it: leaning against the wall, looking more like a statue than anything else. A table on the side was turned over – obviously the source of all the ruckus. Where was Madam Pomfrey? There was only one other person in the room, standing right before Remus, walking closer to him tentatively. Sirius tensed, knowing it wasn't a threat, but still feeling uneasy with tense atmosphere settling between John Lupin and Remus.
For a moment, Sirius considered barging in like he always did, as he watched Mr. Lupin move closer to Remus, reaching out and then backing off again. He always did that; Sirius had noticed it first in James's house. He always avoided touching Remus, almost as if he was scared Remus would shatter if he did.
'Don't,' Remus's sombre voice echoed in the quiet of the infirmary. 'Stop moving away. I'm not a disease.'
Sirius didn't know if John Lupin replied to what Remus said. If he did, Sirius didn't hear it, didn't see his lips moving even because he was too busy trying to create a sufficient gap to listen in, without making the door creak too loudly and attract attention.
'I'm your son. I tried to be, so why am I not enough?'
Sirius felt himself stop midway. What? He tried to asses Remus's reaction, the reason he was speaking like this, but was only met by Remus's usual stony face and calm demeanor. Sirius didn't understand how anyone could stand there and ask a question like this without a hint of expression on their face or even a change in tone. The only tell tale sign of Remus feeling anything was the way his right hand stayed loosely clenched against his chest. Sirius knew what it was that Remus was holding on to; he knew the exact position the silver cross fell, hung from the fourth link.
'Remus, that's not-'
'It's enough this way,' Remus interrupted, his hand reaching out towards John and then stopping midway. It seemed John wasn't the only one who was apprehensive of physical contact. 'The past you hold on to, I'm freeing you of it even though I never blamed you to begin with. So, you can stop now.' Remus's hands braved towards John again, wavering before clutching at the hem of John's t-shirt - touching, but not really. 'Stop and just end it.'
John's mouth opened and closed like a fish, searching for the right words to say and stuttering when he seemed to have found them. 'Remus, you don't know wha-'
'I know.' Remus replied, even before John could finish. 'I know and I remember, but you don't need me to atone for mistakes you never made. Do you understand now?' Remus tugged on John t-shirt slightly before letting go. 'John, there isn't a single person here who wants me alive. Pull up your wand.' It was then that Sirius noticed that John had been clutching his wand tightly this entire time; as if he was prepared to use it. Remus had obviously noticed it as well, as he reached for John's wand and guided it against his throat. 'End it.'
Sirius could see the conflict in John's eyes, the way his hand trembled uncontrollably against Remus's jugular, and the way his eyes jittered to find an escape route. Sirius was sure he wouldn't do it; of course he wouldn't. Remus was his son; even asking such a thing of him was cruel. Why was Remus doing this? Didn't he know; didn't he know that there were a lot of people who loved him even if he was a werewolf?
'Close your eyes, Remus,' John said softly, and Sirius was shocked at how suddenly, John seemed much calmer. His hands had stopped trembling, one keeping Remus pinned well to the wall while the other held the wand directly at Remus's throat. Sirius watched wide eyed and disbelieving, as Remus surrendered willingly. Was John actually going to…Sirius recognised the wand movement perfectly, learned it multiple times in the Black household. He recognised the incantation even before it formed in John Lupin's mouth. And before he knew it, Sirius was bursting through the door and knocking John Lupin out with a quick 'Expelliarmus!'
Panting, Sirius looked at Remus, wondering what would have happened if John had been successful. What would have happened if all of Remus's memories had been obliviated? Remus would have forgotten Sirius; he would have forgotten how to smile and laugh, and want Sirius to be there for him. There was no way Sirius would have allowed such a thing; even if it meant knocking out his potential father-in-law.
'Remus! Oi, you fucking bastard, wait up! Remus!'
Sirius looked back at John, wondering if should help the old man out. Figuring Madam Pomfrey would be here any moment, Sirius left him and ran after Remus. The boy was surprisingly faster than he looked, but Remus's slight limp served as a disability and Sirius quickly caught up to him; grabbing him by the shoulders and roughly shoving him into an alcove. Remus's back hit the wall harder than Sirius intended it to and he intended to apologise for it, until he saw the look in Remus's eyes. The look that told Sirius that Remus didn't give a fuck; the same look that Sirius had met with when he'd first met Remus on the train. There was nothing that pissed Sirius off more than Remus's indifference, especially after everything Remus had done to Sirius. Especially after everything Sirius had worked for over the semester; Remus had no right to cut Sirius off.
'That's it, eh; the famous Remus Lupin shut down,' Sirius sneered, pushing Remus harder against the wall. 'You could fight back right now, but you really don't give a fuck, do you?' Remus wasn't even looking at him; he was looking past Sirius. Sirius grabbed him by the chin and forced him to look. 'Your own father just tried to kill you, but who cares, yeah? It doesn't really matter that he doesn't give a fuck about you or that he's never loved you. Hell, it doesn't even matter if I try to do to the same, does it, because Remus Lupin just doesn't care.' Remus wasn't listening. He was shutting down and Sirius pulled him by the collar of his nightshirt to get his attention, popping the first few buttons. 'Shit,' Sirius cursed, 'I could rape you right now and just leave, and you still wouldn't-'
Sirius froze as a lone tear rolled down Remus's cheek.
'Do what you want,' Remus whispered, looking away.
'I-' Sirius gulped, suddenly feeling guilty for being so rough. Remus was moving away slightly, more towards the darkness to stay hidden from Sirius's eyes. 'Hey, don't do that,' Sirius tried, entwining his fingers with Remus's gently. 'I didn't mean it. I'm sorry. Remus…hey…' Sirius moved closer, feeling odd as they moved more and more into the darkness. He was barely able to see now; only the outline of Remus's profile visible because they were standing so very close. 'I was angry. Come on…hey…seeing you cry is really weird. I feel like Slughorn is going to announce his marriage to McGonagall any moment now. Oi, at least look at me while I'm talking to you. Remus…' Sirius tilted his head to the side so that he was nose to nose with Remus; bright amber orbs directly staring into his eyes. 'You've got some balls you know; first you keep a secret from me and then you fucking ignore me.'
Remus turned away, breaking eye contact. 'Should I have told you sooner that I like my meat rare and human on occasion?'
Sirius snorted. 'You told James, didn't you? You told him before me, even though I love you a whole lot more.' He rested his head against Remus's shoulder, feeling like an utter bastard. 'Why is he different?'
'He walked in on me during the full moon.'
Sirius hid his face further into Remus's shoulder, bare and warm from when his nightshirt had slipped off. 'Do you transform…you know…with your clothes on?' Sirius asked, muffling his voice against Remus's skin as much as possible so that the jealousy in his voice wasn't too audible.
'Not unless I want to wake up looking like I'm wearing coleslaw.' Sirius could feel Remus's confusion and hesitation in the way Remus's hands paused above Sirius's head, before tangling themselves in Sirius's hair.
Sirius tried to explain better; to make Remus understand that he didn't hate him. That he was angry for entirely different reasons: 'Naked. James saw you naked. I should kill you. I should never talk to you again. Damn it!' Sirius wound both his arms around Remus's waist, ignoring the sudden tense of muscles underneath Remus's nightshirt. 'Do you know how fucking jealous I get when Peter keeps saying how close you and James have gotten. And why the fuck does he get to know about you first and be the good guy?'
'Sirius,' Remus said, sounding uncertain, 'I'm a werewolf.'
'And James saw you naked!' Sirius griped, failing to understand why Remus didn't see the real point of this conversation and Sirius's anger. 'Don't think I didn't notice the other day how he had his hand on your arse. Bloody goblin accident indeed; no one's ever heard of goblins biting anybody in the arse! Damn it!' Sirius grabbed Remus's face roughly and pulled him into a kiss.
It was completely unfair; completely, utterly unfair how Remus managed to melt Sirius's resentment with a simple touch of tounge against the roof of his mouth. Sirius had wanted to stay angry for a little longer; had wanted Remus to understand that Sirius was the only one he could share secrets with and the only one Remus could go to if he ever wanted anything. Not James or anyone else; Remus needed to understand that he was Sirius's alone. He needed to know that the only reason why Sirius let Remus twist their bodies and pin him to the wall this way was because Sirius loved him. Sirius loved the way Remus kissed; lips commanding as they pulled and sucked on his lower lip; tounge twisting and brushing past every corner of Sirius's mouth that made him moan.
'Remus,' Sirius gasped as Remus's hand pushed boldly past his pyjama bottoms, directly into his underpants. 'Ah!' Sirius's head fell against Remus's chest, short of breath as his hands reached down to return the favour. Remus smelled like soap, Sirius realised, giving into temptation and kissing the exposed skin underneath his cheek. Biting and sucking, before soothing the bruised flesh with his tounge; marking him. They were together now, their hands joining around each other in a desperate rhythm.
Sirius wished he could see more; wished he could see how Remus's face changed with every stroke and pull of his cock. He wanted to see the sweat sliding down the back of his neck and the way Remus always arched against Sirius's touch, pushing himself closer from want. Instead, he concentrated on the sounds Remus made; the small breathless moans and pleas for closeness. The way Remus panted, hot puffs of air against the side of Sirius's sensitive neck. Each sigh of breath brought Sirius closer to the edge, his entire body thrusting on its own into Remus's hand erratically. 'Shit,' Sirius whispered, completely incoherent and using his free hand to pull Remus by the neck into a forceful kiss. He was losing control quickly and he sought refuge in Remus's lips, breathing out his moans and cries of pleasure into that sinful mouth.
'Don't look,' Remus murmured, pulling away and burying his face into Sirius's chest. 'Don't see me this way.' It was the last thing Remus said to Sirius that entire day, before letting go of himself and completely surrendering to Sirius.
'I love you,' Sirius had whispered, holding Remus's trembling shoulders long after they'd come over each other. 'Remus, I love you. Please don't cry. You dad loves you, too, and James, and Peter. I love you most of all though; I love you…' Sirius had repeated it again and again; until finally, Remus had slumped into his embrace and the wetness against his chest had dried.
Lisa's first love isn't her husband, but he is ultimately the man she loves the most. They'd met in a little café beside where she had worked. He had been standing in front of the jukebox, looking at it with unusual curiosity, as if he'd never seen one before. His brown hair had been tied in a ponytail, revealing his smooth boyish features – he hadn't looked a day older than twenty. Lisa had never been one for younger men, but it had been his eyes that had had her walking up to him. They'd been intense amber, as unusual as his behaviour and as expressive as the turn of his mouth as he failed to get the jukebox working.
'Need help?' she'd asked.
He'd looked at her with those lovely eyes and replied, 'It doesn't accept galleons,' starting the wheel rolling towards a future as husband and wife.
Things would have stayed that way – that blissful photographic moment framing the rest of their lives. Things would have stayed that way if she had foreseen and taken note of the fact that he was still a child. A child with his own silly ideals and the tenacity to hold onto things that were familiar, but not necessarily the same. He had always been spineless; naïve, young, and easy to control. He had always listened to her because she knew what was best for him and because she was the one he loved the most. When he loved, she realised, he loved with all his heart and devotion; an intensity that reflected in the very depths of his eyes. She had been the receiver of that intensity and everything had been fine until their child had died, replaced by an 'it', and he had lost his mind.
Lisa groaned as the door bell rang again. She glanced at the watch and cursed loudly when the little green light showed that it was still three in the morning. It had barely been a week since she'd come back and already, drunk Mrs. Shubert was making her rounds around the neighbourhood for a cup of sugar in the early hours of the morning.
She trudged down the stairs, building up a good temper to throw out on Mrs. Shubert as she forcefully opened the door.
'Mrs. Shubert, if you fucking ever c- John?'
John was standing at her doorstep, amber eyes blazing in the dark and the lines near his mouth looking like deep crevices in the moonlight. She knew why he was here of course; it meant that the beast was finally gone. She'd expected him to come sooner, but nevertheless, he had come back to her as she had predicted he would. As he had done many times before.
'Do you want to…John, what are doing?' Lisa stared at the wand pointed directly at her face. She smiled when she noticed how his hands were trembling and opened the door wider to let him in. 'I know you're angry, John, but I did it for your own good. You realise that, too, don't you? Come in.' When John didn't move, she sighed heavily and cupped his cheek. 'Put that wand down, John; we both know you're not going to do anything. It isn't you.'
'Don't touch me,' he spat, roughly pushing her hand away.
That's when Lisa saw it: the striking similarity between it and John. Except for their eyes, they looked nothing alike. Yet, the way that John stood, the iciness in his tone and the warning in his eyes – they looked like the same being. The sort of being that meant every word he said and wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty if the need ever arouse.
'I'll kill you,' John warned, moving closer so that his wand was mere inches from her jugular.
'John, calm down. You can't do this; you've never had it in you to hurt anyone. Isn't it better this way? We can be together properly this time. With that boy dead, we-'
Lisa felt her back hit the wall hard, knocking down the array of pictures she'd collected over time. She was pinned, she realised; pinned by John's hand enclosed around her throat and his wand pointing right at her heart. She struggled to move away, but John's hand only got tighter.
'Jo-hn…' she choked, scared as she struggled for oxygen. He'd gone completely insane, she realised, watching the tears streaming down his face. There was a wild look in his eyes; one she'd never expected to see in her weak-willed husband. It dawned to her that this time, he meant it; hewas going to kill her.
But just when she thought she wasn't going to be able to take anymore, he let go and she felt herself dropping to the ground.
'Don't come near me again,' he whispered, tucking his wand back into his pocket. 'My conscience won't get in the way next time.'
John's first love is (was) a petite Irish woman named Lisa and to him, there was no one else he loved more. He hadn't loved his son when he'd first been born. Coming from a family of seven brothers, he'd displaced the need for a baby sister with the need for a daughter: a sweet baby girl who was likely to get very spoiled by her daddy. So he had been disappointed when the doctor had announced that it he had a brand new baby boy. John's disappointment had faded considerably when he had held his very first child in his arms and large amber eyes just like his peeked up at him shyly. In time, the disappointment had entirely faded and John had discovered that love didn't happen in one day but over a course of years. And as the love for his son grew, so had the love he had for the woman who gave him his child. A woman he had clearly misjudged.
What John didn't realise up until it was too late was that at some point, between a series of incidents, he ended up loving his son a lot more than he did his wife…
The second worst thing that can happen in your life, John realised on a hideously bright Sunday afternoon, was to walk into a stereotypical boy's dormitory. Not that John didn't know how boys lived; he himself had studied in Hogwarts once and back home, it was just him and Remus. John knew what it was like to like in an all-male-testosterone area; he really did. The only difference was that the one male he did live with was the clean kind; the type whose testosterone didn't usually wreak havoc in the form of a natural disaster. Also, his living quarters had a door.
There were clothes everywhere, and what looked suspiciously like a kind of hybrid fungus growing on the walls where the fat boy's bed stood. There was also a very distinct smell of sweat coming from the boy with the glasses; who for some ungodly reason thought that perhaps the best way to get rid of the smell was to hang his dirty socks and Quidditch robes on top of his four poster. The other corner; John wasn't sure it even had a wall. All he could see were large colourful posters of motorbikes, rock bands, Quidditch players, and an assortment of very odd muggle objects such as escalators and a parking meter. The only decent picture John saw within the crowd was unfortunately, that of his son. John realised that the one place that seemed habitable in the entire room was also Remus's.
The absolute worst thing that can happen in your life, John realised on a hideously bright Sunday afternoon, was to walk in on your only child snogging the daylights out of the one boy you hated the most. What was worse was the other boys in the room seemed extremely accustomed to it. The fat boy had the biggest packet of crisps John had ever seen balanced on his titanic belly, while reading Marvin the Muggle comics. The Potter boy, John thought was still remotely justifiable since he didn't have his glasses on and was currently muttering what sounded like an acceptance speech for his 'award of greatness and excellence in Quidditch'. His award was an action figure of 'Nosebleed, the Bloody' from the Troll History section in toy stores.
John cleared his throat loudly. 'Remus, can I talk to you for a while alone, please?'
'Hey, it's Dad!' The bastard-boy called out, poking his head from underneath Remus. John couldn't believe how casually the little shite was greeting him with hands on his son's arse. At least Remus had enough sense to move away and straighten up; otherwise John would have had to kill the Black boy.
'Oh, hello, Mr. Lupin,' the other two boys chorused, Potter putting on his glasses and indiscreetly shoving his action figure under his pillow. John had an inkling that Nosebleed, the Bloody would leave suspicious stains when later uncovered.
'You're looking dashing today, Dad,' the Black boy commented, following the other two out of the dorms. 'That grey shirt compliments your hair very nicely.' The little git smiled as he said this, and John had to look down immediately when he saw the enormous bite mark peeking out of the idiot boy's collar. He regretted it however, because looking down was a whole lot worse. If those trousers were any indication, his son appeared to be a very good kisser.
'Merlin, just go…' John groaned, putting a hand over his eyes.
'They're gone,' John heard Remus say.
'Good,' John said, relieved. He made to stand beside Remus, who had moved to lean back against the windowsill. John was being surveyed; Remus's calculating and passive eyes meeting his directly until John had to look away. John had made it this far, but he hadn't actually planned what to say next; what to do to convince Remus how much John loved him. 'Remus, I wa-'
'John,' Remus interrupted, saving John the pain of stuttering. 'I just want to know the truth. Please tell me: how many times have you obliviatedmy memories?'
John sighed, knowing that the question was unavoidable. As much of a caveman he might seem, the Black boy had read through John's movement perfectly. Had known even before John performed the spell exactly what would happen and the resulting consequences. John hated to admit it, but in a sense, the little horned toad had knocked a lot more sense into John by knocking him out. 'Twice,' John admitted finally. 'I didn't want to, both times, but you cried every time you remembered. I hate seeing you cry, Remus, you know that. I can't stand it. I realised I could prolong the memory loss the accident had caused, so I did. Memory Spells are fragile and can cause permanent damage, so I asked a few muggle doctors and found out other ways for you not to remember. Touch, familiar faces, certain places, anything…I just had to remove it.'
Oddly enough, Remus didn't seem angry at all. He was looking at John with an unsettling intensity as if trying to assess the truth in his words. Finally, he nodded and smiled. 'Thank you.'
John's frowned. That was it? Was John forgiven for everything, just with a simple answer and a thank you? It didn't feel enough, John realised; it felt unfinished as if John was supposed to do something. Apologise; tell Remus how wrong he had been about everything back then in the hospital and how mortified John had been that he couldn't even answer properly. 'Remus, I…there are limits to how far guilt can take you. Everything I did, even if it was wrong, was because you are my son. Because I didn't want to lose you again.'
Remus was still smiling his small smile, head tilted to the side as if amusing himself over an internal joke. It was nice to see his son like this: smiling and content, but preferably not having his way with another boy.
Hesitantly, wondering if this was going to seem incredibly stupid, John reached out; ruffling Remus's hair slightly before pulling him into a hug. He hadn't done this for a while, but it didn't seem too unfamiliar. The little boy had grown bigger now and didn't fit as securely in his arms as he did before. The arms that wrapped around him were stronger, more independent but unfamiliar at the same time; as if unsure of what they were supposed to do.
'This is a bit uncomfortable,' Remus's words came out muffled against John's shirt.
It was a bit awkward. 'You complained about it, so learn to bear with it. We could talk instead if you wanted to. If you had any questions…'
John felt Remus shake his head. 'I feel a little illiterate,' which translated to things being uncomfortable but still okay.
There wasn't much to talk about anymore anyway. There were no more secrets or apprehensions; everything was already out in the open. For the first time, John felt at ease and confident that perhaps Remus could handle remembering; that he didn't have to go to the extremes anymore. It wasn't completely okay between them, but it was a start. 'I suppose I have that Black boy to thank for saving us,' John mumbled grudgingly. 'I really hate him, you know. He looks like he does drugs.'
'I know,' Remus replied, his tone pointing out quite obviously that he rather liked boys who looked like mental institution delinquents. 'John?'
'Do you know how long these hug-things are supposed to last?'
John laughed and rested his chin on top of Remus's head. 'Not a fucking clue.'
Remus's first love isn't something he remembers all too well or at all; the same way Remus doesn't remember his old name. But John can pinpoint the exact date he discovered that his son wasn't going to grow up to be a normal boy, and this was not concerning the werewolf issue.
Remus's very first love had been named Hadi; a pretty little neighbourhood child with reddish brown hair, dark, dark eyes, and a nationality that Remus's five year old vocabulary could not have encompassed. They would go to the same primary, though Hadi was a year ahead and knew everything about everything. Hadi had taught Remus the most exciting things; like how to burp by will or make old Mrs. Ponting talk without her teeth. For the longest time, Remus had been confident that Hadi was girl, because girls were always pretty and boys were handsome, and Hadi had definitely been pretty. Hadi had been a boy though; and Remus discovered this when they'd had too much orange juice and had needed to go really bad. Hadi had had a little pee-pee just like him.
After Remus had changed; after the bad bite, no one had been nice to him except Hadi. He hadn't been allowed to go to the primary anymore and no one would play with him in the park. Hadi's mum had been nice, too, just like Hadi. She would sometimes invite Remus to come over during the weekends and would always serve cool lemonade in tall, colourful glasses. Sometimes, Remus would feel bad for wishing that she was his mother instead.
'All the other kids say you're a monster,' Hadi had commented one day, while they were playing with molding clay.' Are you?'
Remus had looked down at his shoes, feeling his eyes prickling in a way that big boy's eyes shouldn't prickle. 'I don't want to be…' he had replied, hoping Hadi would still want to play with him.
'Mum says that I shouldn't listen to them because all of them are monsters,' Hadi had concluded smartly, with his hands on his hips. 'I think they're stupid, too, because you can run a lot faster than me, and you're brilliant at making up jokes. Monsters aren't supposed to be funny; they're supposed to have big teeth and big, scary eyes. Everyone knows that.'
Remus had laughed and thought that Hadi was the nicest and prettiest person alive. Later, he had told his father so, and his father had looked at him funny and then laughed and said, 'oh, dear Merlin.' Daddy had liked Merlin a lot and often called for him. Merlin had never answered though.
Sirius, on the other hand, is an entirely different story. Remus hates him. Yes, Remus absolutely despises Sirius – the presumed love of his life. Sirius is loud, obnoxious, and constantly doing ridiculous things like charming his teeth pink to get Remus's attention. He is needy and on a regular basis, glues himself to Remus and kisses him on the cheek for no apparent reason, except that there is transfiguration class next. Remus does not find McGonagall to be a very attractive reason for kissing.
Sirius also likes to spoon at night and occasionally thinks of Remus as a substitute for a pillow. During Remus's nightmares, Sirius holds him so tight that Remus is asphyxiating not because of the frightening dream, but because Sirius is squeezing all the bleeding oxygen from his lungs. Sirius also likes be artistic with Remus's breakfast – cutting up the eggs and bacon and piecing them together to read 'SB heart RL'. It is sickening. Sometimes, Sirius will even go as far as to sprinkle chocolate bits on his buttered toast. Remus does not like chocolate bits on his buttered toast. He likes syrup.
The only merit, Remus concludes, is that Sirius is passable in bed. Not extraordinary, mind you; he makes Remus a little breathless and always tattoos marks into Remus's skin like he's some kind of teething toy. It is not in the least bit amusing to wear his collar high like a delinquent or have to hairspray his hair stiff to cover the marks during class. Remus does not like borrowing Sirius's hairspray; it smells like roses. Sirius is also an utter and complete git, because he isn't even scared of Remus. He isn't scared of werewolves, or think them as dangerous; and even got hideously turned on when Remus growled at him in his most evil growl mode. 'Oooh, do it again,' Sirius had said, hands going to Remus's pants.
Sirius is stupid and Remus doesn't love him at all. Not one bit.
Remus felt arms encircle his waist and a gentle kiss placed on the side of his neck. 'Don't you just love morning showers?' a cheery voice asked into his ear.
Remus did not love morning anythings; or mornings in general. Mornings were bright and the birds usually screeched from the tower tops under the misconception that they could actually sing and that it would actually bring them a partner to have eggs with. Mornings also meant showers where he'd have to listen to Peter and James singing a duet of 'Ride My Horntail, Baby' in practiced synch. Coincidentally, Remus always ended up in the stall in between James and Peter.
'Well, someone is in a grouchy mood,' Sirius sing-songed, playing with Remus's hair and twirling it between his fingers. He seemed oblivious to the bad singing on both sides of them; perhaps the ridiculously large violet shower cap on Sirius's head actually blocked out sound? 'Come on, Moony-baby; cheer up. It's nothing a little groping won't fix.' As if to prove his point, Sirius's hand slid down to Remus's arse and squeezed indulgently.
Remus disliked being manhandled early mornings; especially by someone who wore poncy shower caps. In his utter dislike for mornings, Remus stepped away to shampoo his hair, letting Sirius grope the shower taps instead.
Sirius pouted. 'Don't be like that, Honey-bear!'
Remus's inner wolf growled at being referred to as a lower species. Bears ate berries and leaves; wolves ate anything that ate berries and leaves, and some. Remus was about to complain quite explicitly about Sirius being so entirely illiterate, when he felt soothing hands on his hair. Massaging hands; long fingered ones that were extremely manipulative.
'I've always wanted to do this with shampoo,' Sirius exclaimed happily. 'Look, if I move your hair and pick a bit up like this, you look like you have wolf ears. Part it in the middle and you look like Frank Longbottom…now McGonagall's bun…'
'You are so lame,' James's commented, peeking into their shower stall from above. 'That looks more like McGonagall bum than her bun.'
Remus did not appreciate the back of his head being compared to someone's hind quarters, least of all McGonagall's. At least the singing had stopped.
'It does, too!' Sirius fought back. Suddenly realising that James was actually there, he gasped, grabbed the shampoo bottle quickly, and used it to hide Remus's privates. 'Oi! Who said you could peek into our stall, you perverted bastard!' Remus didn't understand what the big issue was and proceeded to calmly wash his hair, and get through the morning.
'That shampoo bottle is transparent, you know,' Peter said quite frankly, hoisting himself up to peek over the stall. The stall barrier creaked dangerously under his weight, and Remus hoped it didn't crack and kill him before he was done with his shower. 'Besides, it isn't like Remus is thatimpressive.'
Remus felt one of his veins above his eyes snap. 'At least I can see mine when I look down,' Remus replied coolly, walking out of the stall. No one insulted his penis; especially those who had no idea the feats his penis had achieved. Especially those who channeled their sexual depravity through songs like 'Ride My Horntail, Baby'.
James howled with laughter, losing his grip over the stall and falling with a loud slap! to the slippery floor. 'Look at that. Remus Lupin has emotions after all! An entire year worth of drama passed by and he finally reacts to an insult to his dick.'
'Hey, don't run away on me like that,' Sirius called out, catching up to Remus and pulling the towel around Remus's neck, so that he fell ungracefully into Sirius's chest. 'Don't mind Peter; I think your cock is lovely,' Sirius assured and Remus wondered if Sirius thought he was actually making things better. Cocks were not classified as 'lovely'; they were not dolls or dresses and using lovely as an adjective was really quite degrading. Sirius might as well have said Remus's cock was 'pretty'.
'I'm not five, Sirius,' Remus grouched, when Sirius started to towel dry his hair for him, seemingly oblivious to how much Remus's cock had shrunk back into his body from utter humiliation.
'Let me pamper you a bit,' Sirius insisted, wiping behind Remus's ears gently. 'I love you, you know. Those stupid wankers are probably going to make fun of me, but what do they know.'
Remus sighed heavily, concentrating on the fascinating toothpaste stain on the sink as he let Sirius dry his hair for him. It was somewhat pointless given that Remus usually used his wand to dry his hair.
James and Peter had started singing again, much to Remus's displeasure. He shifted awkwardly, and after what seemed like hours of awkward silence between him and Sirius, Remus mumbled, 'Me, too.'
Remus felt vomiting would be a suitable option as of now. 'You know…I lll…' It was disgusting; what was he thinking? Why was he doing this? 'I lo…' Remus clenched his teeth and looked at Sirius, as he, quite eloquently, explained what he'd been trying for stupid Sirius to understand, 'The 'L' thing. Me too, alright?' Feeling his cheeks grow hot, Remus quickly turned away. 'We're going to be late for breakfast. Put some clothes on.'
Sirius chuckled, pulling Remus's into a hug and kissing him on the nose. 'I know.'
And really, that was the closest Remus was ever going to get to a love declaration, at least in this life.
Well, look at that. It's over. This chapter was ridiculously long , so I hope none of you got bored reading it. I'd actually thought of trying to split it into two but realised that it would completely ruin the flow of the read and the whole concept of the chapter. So thank you to everyone who stuck with me for so long and loved and reviewed my story. It's been so much fun writing this and being able to think of the silliest things. Also, because it caused so much confusion, let me just point out that Gregor is Remus and John's actual last name. Lisa still has it because she never changed names like the other two. That make Liam some kind of relative on John's side, but I didn't specify because its not important. :) Cheers and hopefully, until next time!
Sir Percy Blakeney: because you have denied yourself the joys of private messaging, I'm replying to your review personally here. Lol, your lucky star is really looking after you; look even your Peter –prediction came true. Hm…Peter prediction – sounds like a really cool tv show. :): Well, he knows now. :D Tons of love to you too and even though there's nothing to come back to anymore, I hope you reread this story loads of time and enjoy it just as much! Elibeth_hobbit: If you're insensitive for laughing, I'm insensitive for writing it and then insulting Peter's manhood to top it off. Hopefully, I wasn't too insulting or fat-ist? Charlotte: Lol…I don't think the affair thing worked out quite how you planned it, but I hope you enjoyed it just as well. Remus's mum has finally left; did you honestly thing she'd go quietly. We need a bang and more evilness. Azrael: Hello honey. I hope you thought the ending came out well (though loonnngg). Not to mention the scene with the whole finding out and I think the entire story about how things came to be. Hopefully, I haven't left any loose ends, but just enough to keep people thinking…hm…interesting. :Djeebs: I think your hate for Mrs. Lupin just intensified, though that isn't exactly her name, is it. I hope you enjoyed the James/Remus even more in this chapter cause I had so much fun playing with them and Peter. Melora: Hope you liked the chapter loads, and serves as inspiration as your role playing! Xai: Glad you do, and I hope that with this chapter this story is etched in your mind forever.