Disclaimer: If I owned Harry Potter, such scenarios would have been described much more vividly. All belongs to J.K. Rowling, bless her for creating it.
Taking a Queen
It was another of those quiet Friday nights in the Gryffindor Tower. At this time, some of its older inhabitants were out, doing various things with other pupils willing to risk getting caught in the corridors past curfew. Most of its inhabitants, however, had gone to bed. It was, after all, one o'clock in the morning.
Only a small group of hardened late-nighters were still in the common room. In a dark corner sat a couple so deeply engaged in each other that Remus Lupin, ever the prefect, had half a mind to ask them to stop. Not that he minded – he had, on occasion, been in such, though less public, situations himself – but his concern for the welfare of the group of second years who, surprisingly, were still chattering away in front of the fire, made him feel a little guilty. Still, Remus stayed put. In a way, he felt the second years deserved a bit of scarring. Their loud banter and occasional giggles were distracting him from the task at hand. And lately, he really had needed his concentration.
When the couples' hands, however, began sliding underneath of shirts, and the second years grew oddly quiet, watching them with occasional embarrassed sniggers, he felt it was enough, and pushed himself up from his seat.
"Sit down, Lupin. You have unfinished business to attend to here. Or are you giving up?"
Remus sat back down, his lips curling into a small, unwilling smile, and looked steadily into the dark eyes that were showing just a hint of amusement. The rest of his opponent was still as a stone, and not even his eyes blinked as he stared straight at the werewolf.
"I'm not pulling out. I'm not the one who should be considering it, either," this was true. Though Sirius had improved dramatically through their years of playing, and was now a worthy opponent, Remus still had the edge in this game. The evidence spoke for itself – Remus was missing two pawns and a bishop whilst Sirius had lost both his bishops, a knight and seven pawns. Sirius, however, didn't seem to mind, judging by the smile playing on his lips.
"You're losing despite not having to watch the two of them," Remus nodded towards the couple in the armchair in the corner, and Sirius turned to look behind him, "they've been all over each other for the last half hour. I was just going to ask them to go to an empty classroom somewhere."
"Does a bit of snogging bother you, Mr Moony?" Sirius turned back to look at Remus, and lifted his eyebrows enquiringly. Remus swallowed and smirked. He couldn't quite remember when their innocent chess-playing rivalry had become suggestive, but he knew it had been going on for months now. He also knew that neither he nor Sirius were about to complain about it.
"Not at all, but I don't want to have them scar those children."
"Well, in that case…" Sirius grinned before he bellowed, "JAMES POTTER, YOU STAG! GO FIND YOURSELF A DISCARDED CLASSROOM TO PLAY IN – YOU'RE SCARRING MOONY!" James chuckled a little and waved his middle finger in their general direction as he was pulled into another kiss.
"Think of the children, Lily," Remus supplied, "there are second years present." Finally, Lily Evans's Head Girl instincts seemed to kick in. They had been remarkably absent since she finally agreed to a date with James Potter a few weeks into their 7th year. She had the grace to flush and get off their friend's lap, whilst James himself just looked positively miffed at being disrupted.
"So where do you suggest we go, you pricks?" He asked them.
"I suggest Padfoot's bed. It's just waiting for a bit of action. It's been deprived lately, seeing as its owner hasn't had any…"
Sirius growled at Remus, and Lily and James laughed. James mumbled something to Lily, who asked, "but where's Peter?"
"He's out with that Hufflepuff – that pretty sixth year who's been making eyes at him for ages. No one's gonna be up there – oh, and stop giggling, would you?" James added to the second years, who immediately flushed red and looked the other way as if they hadn't heard a single word. "Stupid little prats," he added, before dragging an apologetic Lily with him up the stairs.
"What?" Sirius turned to their game once more, only to see his eighth and last pawn being hacked to pieces by Remus's knight, "oh, you bastard." His look of confusion turned to one outmost concentration as he scanned the board for the best possible save. No one said anything for minutes, as Sirius searched the board and Remus watched Sirius, his eyes glazed over.
Sirius was finding it increasingly hard to concentrate. He could feel Remus's gaze on him and longed to fling the chessboard off the table and put the table, and his opponent, to much better use. Yet he forced himself to remain motionless, to watch the board intently for a solution. Suddenly, he fleered at Remus. "Rook to F6. Say goodbye to your Queen, wolf-boy." He enjoyed the gasp that escaped Remus far more than he should have. "Oh, don't worry, Remus, I'm sure there's still enough queen on your side to hold up the troops."
"…Remind me, Mr Padfoot. Just why is it that your bed hasn't seen any action for ages? Except for the one-sided kind, of course," Remus retorted, hiding his bewilderment behind a comeback. He'd never lost his Queen before.
"I think we both know why, Mr Moony. Do you want to know who I've been seeing whilst one-sided action, as you so eloquently put it, has been going on in my bed?"
Remus couldn't help blushing. Sure, they'd imply things. But what Sirius was now admitting to was far more forward, far more personal, than anything they'd ever implied before. He couldn't stop his heart fluttering at Sirius's words –didn't really want to stop it, actually. Was Sirius really so taken with him? He liked the idea far more than he should, and knew that he returned Sirius's interest.
Sirius himself was also surprised at what he'd said. Every word and every implication, of course, had been true, but, though they'd teased each other about it, they'd never really admitted to having any feelings towards each other before. It had begun as a playful exchange of remarks and offences over innocent games of chess, and at some point, it had grown to mean more for them. Both boys knew, but they'd never spoken about it or acknowledged it. They'd wanted it to go on far too much to dare take the next step, in case it ruined the fragile new dimension that their friendship had taken. Sirius blamed Remus's stupid Queen which he'd finally – after years – been able to conquer for his sudden foolhardiness.
"You know, Mr Lupin, I think I might have a chance of winning today! I got your queen, you know."
"Though it may hurt your ego to hear this, Black, the Queen really isn't as important as you think she is. I can, for instance, take this rook without her help at all."
"Ah, my good Lupin. But you see, I've always valued a Queen much more than a Rook. The Rook's moves are just too straight for me." Both boys ignored the faint "hey!" from the only rook still left standing as they stared at each other. Though Sirius kept his eyes locked to Remus's, he managed to still appreciate the way the fire formed sharp contrast on the other's face. One side of his face was hidden in shadows, the fire leaving a faint orange tinge on the other. Surrendering to Remus's gaze, he let his eyes instead follow the orange jaw line from Remus's ear to his chin. Here, Sirius stopped. At that moment, he couldn't allow himself to look at Remus's lips. He was far too tempted as it was already.
Instead, he lowered his gaze to the chessboard. Unable to think up a clever move, he quickly moved a knight.
The atmosphere immediately lightened as Remus let out a frustrated gasp.
"Padfoot, you don't want to do that, you un-strategic idiot! What happens now when I take your knight?"
"… I get terribly jealous of him?" An astonished silence followed and for once, Remus wasn't the only one to blush. Yet Sirius kept a smile on his face as he cocked his head slightly to one side, awaiting Remus's reaction.
"I'd be terribly happy if you were." Remus's poker face was gone; his tone of voice completely sincere, and he kept his eyes strictly on the lightly stirring pieces that were lying on the table. In the silence that ensued, only the cackling of the fire could be heard. Then Remus pulled himself together and said, "well, apart from jealousy, taking your knight would mean I would check mate you. Come on – take it back. I'll allow the reverse."
"Doesn't matter – you were always gonna win it anyway."
"True. Well in that case, dear Padfoot," taking a deep breath at an attempt to lighten the mood, Remus declared, "check mate, mate."
Remus should have foreseen that Sirius reaction would not be one of defeat. Instead, Sirius sat back in his chair and chuckled.
Remus couldn't help staring at the little bit of pale, suggestively hairy skin that was exposed as Sirius stretched, a sneaky smile still plastered to his face. When Sirius waved his hand in front of his stomach, a startled Remus looked at Sirius's face and realised what he'd been doing. For the umpteenth time that night, Remus felt his cheeks grow hot as he blushed profusely. Sirius had the nerve to smirk and wink at him.
"You know, Pads, you're only supposed to be all triumphant and bloody smirk when you've actually won."
"Oh, I think we both know I've won over someone tonight."
"You may have, Padfoot, you may have. But can you yourself deny that the same someone was distracting your thoughts to such a degree that you were unable to put up a good fight? I saw the look in your eyes as you went off to fantasyland, you dirty thing."
"If you saw that, did you notice where else my eyes wandered to?" To prove his point, Sirius let his eyes appraise the other's chest again. Remus blushed, but kept his expression lightly accusing.
"I did. I also noticed that you didn't answer my question. Can you deny that a certain someone was distracting your… thoughts?"
"I cannot, and shan't, deny it."
"Do you deny that that someone has been in your thoughts for quite a while now?"
"I don't, nor will I deny that that someone has been a major, most invaluable, participant in more than just my thoughts. " Sirius enjoyed the surprise that, however quickly it was concealed, momentarily appeared on the other's face. He thought it was time to throw the quaffle to the other side of the pitch and put Remus under some pressure. He leant across the chessboard, their nose only inches apart as Remus, too, leant closer to hear Sirius next words.
Remus watched his lips intently as they formed the words, "Now, Moony, as a most invaluable friend of mine, I would hope for your opinion on the subject. Would you not say that that certain someone thinks just as much about me as I think of them? And that that certain someone feels exactly the same urge to lean over those last few inches and just do what those innuendos have been implying we should do all night?"
Sirius was ready to take the final step and leant another inch closer.
Remus could feel his friend's hot breath on his chin, and it took all the resistance he could muster to lean back, away from the lips he so wanted to touch. The lips that now, as Remus hit the back of his chair, frowned slightly at him. He still watched them as their owner leant back in his seat with much more grace than Remus himself had done. As he did, Sirius's lips turned upwards at the edges, the disappointment that had showed evidently forgotten.
"Chickened out, did we, Mister Moony?"
"Devastated, are we, Mister Padfoot?"
"I was just thinking about the welfare of those second years!"
"Moony, you prat, they went to bed an hour ago. Flipping spoilsport," he repeated for good measure. Trying not to show just how devastated he was, he grabbed Moony's white King and playfully threw it at him. It seemed that he hadn't quite managed to strangle his frustration, however, as he'd thrown the piece much harder than he'd meant to, judging by Moony's outcry.
"Ow, bloody ow! What the hell was that for!" Remus's hand flew to his eye, "Padfoot, you wanker, you've blinded me!"
"What can I say, Moony. Love makes blind?" Sirius didn't even bother disguising his laugh. In return, Remus snorted, and threw his discarded Queen at Sirius.
"Moony, for God's sake, you're the mature one! Ow! Stop it, Moony! Ow! Oh, fine, then!" Soon, chess pieces were screaming as they were flung across the room. Remus and Sirius were on their knees, frantically grabbing for the remaining pieces from their respective side of the table. They ended up tugging at the same bishop, and when neither let go, Remus tossed his hand to one side to try and stir it out of Sirius's hand. Sirius, however, held on, and as a result, his wrist hit the corner of the chessboard, which fell to the ground with a thump.
For a second, the boys froze. Then, they lunged themselves to the side and off the table, making panicked attempts at collecting the pieces that were now on the floor. The pieces' swearing was deafened by the boys' breathless laughter. Suddenly there was only one piece left. Both boys threw themselves at it with all their might, and they had no chance of stopping as their heads collided painfully. They hit the floor simultaneously, looked at each other, and broke into uncontrollable laughter.
"Where did all the suaveness go, Black?" Remus asked when he finally had enough air.
"Well, Lupin, it's coming back next Friday. And hell, am I looking forward to it."
Remus saw it - he saw the change in Sirius's eyes as the amusement in them gave way to the dangerous, lethal edge that they now held. It was a look that was only ever present when Sirius was up to no good. Oh, how he loved that look. And those beautiful, deathly, granite-grey eyes that were staring right back at him. The eyes that were moving closer. Very close. The eyes that had now stopped just inches from his own.
Remus hesitated for half a second, then closed the space between them. When their noses bumped together, it could have been awkward, but none of them were feeling, seeing or thinking of anything other than the person in front of them. They moved their heads a little to the sides, and suddenly, their lips met. It was only a quiet, hesitant touch, but it made everything go still, even Remus 's heart.
Sirius's heart, on the other hand, was roaring wildly somewhere in the back of his throat, compelling him to act. He opened his mouth a little, and Remus thrust his neck forward to put more pressure on his lips. Both tensed their lips slightly and then moved away.
It was by no means the longest nor the deepest kiss either had ever had, but it was certainly the most meaningful. Blood throbbed wildly in their ears the moment they moved apart. Both were flushed and panted delicately despite having moved so very little. For a moment, they just looked at each other, their heads resting in their hands as they leant on their elbows. Then, Sirius moved a little forward and planted a quick kiss on Remus's nose. Before he could react, Sirius had stood up and was offering him his hand. He accepted and quickly got to his feet.
"I… I just don't want this to end." Remus declared, pointing towards the upside-down chessboard. He didn't have to explain. Sirius shook his head. "Neither do I, Remus. But I also want it to develop."
Remus nodded. After another minute of contemplative silence, Remus said, "I think I'd better get to bed now. You know, it's late and all…"
"Oh, yeah, sure. Of course. You should. We should. Get to bed, I mean. Separately, of course! Don't forget to brush your teeth, and stuff…"
Remus smiled shyly. He wondered how many people had ever made the Great Sirius Black babble. Grinning, he crouched down to collect the chess pieces off the floor.
"Don't worry about those, Moony, I'll get them. You just get to bed now. Call when you're done with the bathroom."
Remus nodded and headed up the staircase to their dorm, vaguely wondering what state he'd find Lily and James in. It was quiet, though, and he took that as a good sign. On the penultimate step, he looked down at Sirius, who was now leaning against an armrest, arms crossed as he looked out of the window at the stars outside. "Hey, Padfoot. You just need to use your wand," Remus said softly.
Sirius looked towards him. "What?!" he asked, his heart once again in his throat.
"You know," Remus answered, "for clearing up the pieces." Sirius's laughter was all that he needed.
Remus turned back to the staircase and trod up the last step. He stopped and looked around when Sirius called out his name.
Sirius had to ask what had become a weekly ritual between the two.
"Revanche next Friday?"
Sirius Black refused letting Remus Lupin have the final innuendo of the night, and added, "Good. Who knows, maybe I'll take more than one queen then, eh?" Remus froze.
"You certainly have a much better chance of taking the other queen than ever taking the chess-one again, Pads. " Remus turned the doorknob, trying to ignore the pleasant lurch his stomach took as he considered the possibility.
Downstairs, Sirius tried to ignore the pleasant lurch his own stomach took as he thought of Remus in the bathroom. He sighed and heaved himself unto the windowsill. Hugging his legs, he sat there until a low voice called down to him that the bathroom was free.
"And Pads?" it added, "I'll be dreaming about next Friday."
AN: Hello! Hope you weren't too disappointed by the lack of action in here. I'm not sure if this actually worked. It started off with the idea for their bantering whilst playing, and was supposed to be all "smooth talk" and "smooth action", but then they ended up bloody falling over. Oh, well. I think I like the idea, though I'm really too tired to make up my mind about anything right now.
Sorry about the insinuating title meaning so little. In truth, it just seemed like a great title for a story, and so, I just had to use it.
I will love you forever if you review. Flames are welcomed, I think, especially constructive flames (is there such a thing?). Constructive critisism-reviews are even better, and a positive review would, quite possibly, make not only my day, my week, but my whole month.