A/N: Some of you might have started reading my stuff through Ibex or Hellion or Empire's Workshop--all of which were gen fics. This is slash, and done for the Six Month Challenge at Blacklupin .org. Cookies to anyone who catches the Discworld reference.
There was a sharp crack on a London rooftop, and Remus Lupin opened an eye and glared at his boyfriend. "I am going to kill you."
Sirius held a mangled, hissing time turner in one hand, the other wrapped around Remus's waist. "Opps?"
Remus heaved a long suffering sigh and tucked his head against Sirius's shoulder, "If it weren't for the sex, Pads..."
The dark haired man rolled his eyes, "Oh hush. You love me, even without the sex."
The werewolf's lip twitched as he tried to repress a smile. "But Merlin knows why," he agreed.
A cheer to their left caught their attention and they watched as a crowd stood before Big Ben, ticker tape drifting down into the crowd standing on the bank of the Thames.
"Ten! Nine! Eight! Seven!"
The crowd grew louder and there was joyful yelling over the continued countdown as the clock ticked ever closer to midnight.
"Six! Five! Four! THREE! TWO! ONE!"
The clock chimed midnight and the words, "HAPPY 2007!" lit up as fireworks rocketed off into the sky over an enormous ferris wheel.
"Yup," Remus commented again as he pried Sirius's arm off his waist, "Gonna kill you."
"Awww," Sirius sighed and trailed after Remus. He jogged to catch up with Remus as the man opened a door that lead down from the roof. "We have James's cloak, though!" he said as he hurried after the taller man.
Remus cast him a look over his shoulder as they scooted down the apartment staircases, eying the sliver of silvery cloth peeking out of Sirius's robes. "You know, if we get back and that's damaged, no amount of brotherly love will save you from his wrath."
Sirius winced. James Potter's wrath was second only to his wife's, and not something one wanted to incur. "I know. We'll...just have to be very careful with it, is all."
Remus rolled his eyes, leading the way to the door that exited the building and stopped. "Off with the robes!" he said, turning to face Sirius and holding his hand out expectantly.
Sirius pulled a face at him, "Can't I just, you know, transfigure it? It's cold out there!"
A pause. "A better idea than mine, Sirius," he admitted, pulling out his wand. Remus transfigured Sirius's robes into a soft, brown leather coat, with scuffs around the sleeve cuffs and a copper zipper. Sirius looked up at him with a raised eyebrow after examining the coat.
"Oh hush. If you recall, you rather liked my coat like that one until Peter wrecked it."
Sirius sighed. "I did used to steal it from you quite a lot," he admitted.
Remus sniffed at him, "Indeed. I spent half of October in fifth year with Pomphrey because of it, if you recall."
"I do," he chuckled. "I brought you your homework all that month, remember?" When Remus smiled back at him, distracted by a trip down memory lane (their first snog had been during that time), he fished out his wand and transfigured Remus's robes into a slinky black dress, which looked dreadful with his jeans and yellow shirt. Remus raised an eyebrow at him and with a careless wave of his hand changed the dress into a rather nice blue wool coat.
"Show off," Sirius muttered.
"Ahh, but your show off," Remus smiled merrily at him. "Come on. There's no point in not enjoying tonight; we'll not be getting back home this evening." He offered his arm to Sirius, who rolled his eyes and snorted at him, and they left the building, walking through the streets.
There were droves of people—muggles in all shapes and sizes and strange looking cars trundled through crowd. London itself looked different, too—sleek steel and glass now dominated the skyline—and there were dozens of people with carts selling things—little snow globes featuring Big Ben and the enormous ferris wheel, and there was, on the same cart, a small, steel replication of the Eiffel Tower, for reasons Sirius wasn't sure of. The proprietor of the cart, a thin, rat-like little man, noticed Sirius examining his Eiffel Tower. "It says seven pounds, but I'll sell it for less, and that's cutting me own throat!" he said with a grin. "For you, five pounds."
With an uneasy smile, Sirius shook his head and retreated a step, "No thank you, sir."
The man threw him another smiled, "All right then. Happy New Year."
"Happy New Year," he returned before Remus dragged him along by the hand.
"Look!" he said with a bright smile, pointed over the crowd as more fireworks went off and the crowd cheered again. Sirius had forgotten how much Remus loved fireworks and he stood with him as the display played itself out—silver spider flares unfolding in the air, chased by blue and bright green green willows trailing down the sky. Afterward, they wandered down the walk hand in hand, enjoying the carnival-like atmosphere as people hustled excitedly down the lanes, laughing and singing drunkenly into the night.
They passed an upscale toyshop and in the window was a giant cotton candy-making machine. Sirius stopped dead. Oh no, ooh no. Remus needed to get him away from there now. He had discovered cotton candy the summer he had been kicked out and James, Peter, and himself had gone to a fair near Godric's Hollow with him. Sirius had fallen in love at first bite.
Remus looked around desperately, searching the other windows. There! That would work! "Sirius," he said, tugging on his boyfriend's arm, "look. Look at what they're calling this muggle...toy? It's called a 'wii.'"
Sirius snickered and followed Remus's tugging. "Really?" he asked, and examined the box when they stopped in front of the display the next store down. The box showed a hand, holding a shiny, white stick that was just large enough to fit comfortably in one's palm. "They do! Merlin, what an unfortunate name," he laughed, and allowed himself to be lead away, still snickering and cracking innuendo laden jokes about it.
"I wonder if it vibrates?" he asked finally.
They wandered through the city, and finally took a bus to Charing Cross, heading, they hoped, to The Leaky Cauldron. They were in luck, and both sighed with relief as they slipped into the pub. A few minutes later, they realized they had barely enough to cover their room and board for the night, and slipped upstairs for the night.
"Ach," Remus muttered, falling on the bed the moment he had stripped. "We need to figure out if there's anyone we can talk to—I don't really want to go to the Ministry."
Sirius tugged the covers loose from under Remus's body, "Budge over, there, will you? And yeah, we need to have a chat with someone. You think Lily—if, you know, we're all still alive in 2007—will know what to do?"
"Maybe," Remus agreed, "But I think we should avoid talking to us—if we're here then hopefully, and I don't really want to play with your delicate little psyche Sirius-my-love," he smiled, ruffling Sirius's hair.
"Point taken, Mr. Mooney," Sirius smiled, leaning into the hand in his hair just a little. "But who, then, shall we have that chat with?"
"Your godson, perhaps? If we can find him, anyway. He'll be out of the house by now, and nearing thirty—"
Sirius barked with laughter, "He's so old!"
Remus rolled his eyes, "Yeah, well, if we're still around, we're nearing fifty. He's only twenty seven."
"Ooooold! So old! I bet sex will be no fun at that age."
"Please," Remus rolled his eyes again, "Sex with me is always fun. If there's nothing else, I know my way around you incredibly well by now, right?"
Sirius smirked, "Kept up on that subject, I bet."
Remus chuckled and actually got under the covers, sticking his cold feet against a wincing Sirius, propping himself up on two pillows.
"So can we assume, by the general lack of terror, death, and the continued existence of the Muggle world, that You Know Who was defeated?" asked Sirius after a moment.
Remus paused, staring at the window over the table. "I think so. But we're going to have to be very careful not to muck it up when—if—we get back."
Sirius rolled over on his belly and snuggled up against Remus awkwardly, breathing on Remus's side purposely, "I've never really understood that, with time travel? If this future is as it is, then it doesn't matter. Our little trip always happened for them, and whatever we do here or there doesn't matter because it'll always be like that."
Remus, still propped up, gently bopped Sirius. "That can wait, I think," he said evenly, before yelping when Sirius licked his ribs. "Only you, damn it, would do that! Here we are, trying to talking about the practical realities of time travel, and you've actually said something stunningly intelligent—I always knew your brain was in there somewhere, under all that hair—and all you want is sex."
"Pretty much," agreed Sirius, blowing on the wet stripe of skin.
Remus sighed impatiently, trying to ignore the effects of cool air on his wet skin and failing, "Dammit, Sirius. Let me say my piece and then I'll have my wicked way with you."
Sirius rolled over on his side and looked up at Remus expectantly, "Well, get on with it."
And then Remus paused, "I...don't remember what I was going to say to you, other than that was very clever. Ah, now I remember. The theory's untestable, really, so let's trod lightly, yeah?"
"All right," Sirius shrugged. "I don't think our fairy-light footsteps are going to matter, Remus. Things will turn out like they always have, for, you know, 2007."
"If you say so," Remus shrugged.
The next day, they set out into the Alley, finding it a very different one than they knew. There was actually a shop that sold, among other things ("Remus, no leather pants." "But they're fun!" "And hard to get off, making it hard to get off."), werewolf protections for transformations. They were charmed to morph with the transformation and were light enough that they didn't bother the wolf—they were also dragon skin. There was a potion—mass produced and openly sold—that was supposed to help tame the wolf as well. A couple of men and women were currently examining the wares in the shop and discussing them.
"...I hear that the fireball skin is the best...protect against even...worst.." Remus heard as they walked past the shop.
There was also a donation location for those that didn't mind helping out the vampires. The shop was subtle, but still on the main strip of the alley.
A greying Arthur Weasley walked along the alley, talking happily to a bushy haired woman holding a baby, and Sirius and Remus inched towards them.
"Harry is so excited! His second child—his second son!—is on the way. I wish I could go, but I've been banned from the waiting room ever since Dominique," he said mournfully.
The woman smiled indulgently, "I know, Arthur. I'm supposed to be at the hospital in an hour, remember?"
Arthur nodded happily. "Give my greetings!"
"I will—" The woman's eyes met Remus's and she frowned, making an immediate detour to them. "Professor Lupin..?"
"Um" Remus said, "not yet?"
"You...I don't...oh dear. This is the time turned incident, isn't it?"
"Did we tell you about it?" asked Sirius as Arthur walked up, looking at them curiously.
She shifted uncomfortably and hushed the child in her arms. "After a fashion."
"We didn't make it, did we?" Remus asked sadly.
"Well, you may or may not have," she said bluntly, "I can't really tell you, you know."
Remus looked at Sirius, who rolled his eyes, "Doesn't prove me wrong or right."
The woman looked curiously at them.
"We've been discussing time travel and the effects on the future—our future, your present."
"Ah," she nodded.
"Harry's got kids?" Sirius asked before she could add anything else.
"Two, so far," she smiled, "James and Albus. Oh, where have my manners gone? I know you, but you don't know me! Hermione Weasley," she extended a hand awkwardly around her daughter.
Both men shook her hand and smiled at Arthur.
"It's nice to see you two looking so happy," he said to them, watching them with gentle eyes over his daughter-in-law's shoulder.
Sirius and Remus smiled. "Thank you."
Mrs. Weasley (oooh, that was odd to think!) took on an all-business expression, "I got the impression from you Mr. Black, that I was of some assistance in sending you back. As soon as Ginny has recovered from labor, I will be coming to help figure out how to send you home."
"Can we see Harry, do you think?" asked Remus, "I haven't gotten to see him yet...James and Lily are in hiding right now."
"And I spent about two days with him, right after he was born, so I'd really like to see him, if I may," Sirius added.
Mrs. Weasley paused and shrugged, "I think we can do that." She smiled at them, nostalgia in her eyes, and Arthur cut in.
"Would you like to stay at the Burrow with us? We'd be happy to have you, and it won't be until tomorrow that Ginny's all right to go home," he told them with a smile.
Remus and Sirius looked at each other.
Remus nodded, "We'd be delighted."
The next day, Harry and his wife appeared, a small child and a new baby in tow. He looked so like James, with Lily's green eyes twinkling out at them from under the Potter mop as he helped situate his family.
"Remus, Sirius," he greeted, looking like he wanted to hug them but was restraining himself, "I'm glad to see you!"
Remus was now very sure that they wouldn't survive until now, though he sincerely hoped they would at least make it through the war.
Sirius was beaming, "Harry! I haven't seen you since you were a month old! How are you?"
Harry laughed, "Wonderful!" he said. "As you may have heard," he smiled, "I am now a father twice over, and an auror, and..." he trailed off. "Can't tell you much more, I'm afraid."
They nodded, Remus sending a smirk at Sirius. "Told you so."
Sirius looked irritated, "This is not the time to argue about that!"
Harry looked amused, "Time travel debates?"
Remus laughed, "Yeah, that's it."
They all sat down and talked, sharing what stories they could. Harry seemed happy—eager, even—to hear stories of their school days. Remus had a good guess at the future now, and didn't like what he saw, though he hid his anxiety well.
Later that night, curled up in the room they had been given until they could go home, Sirius looked at him. "What's wrong?" he asked with concern, tracing Remus's rib cage through his skin.
Remus hesitated, "...I haven't been able to piece together the details, but I get the feeling our future's going to be dark, and painful, I think."
Sirius frowned and pulled Remus closer, "We'll weather it. They know us—there's no other way."
It took the better part of two months, but the combined efforts of Harry, Hermione, and a few other brilliant minds eventually managed to send them home, and they ended up landing in near Godric's Hollow.
Sirius had already been given the address to Lily and James's home and they risked a visit, happy to be home. James and Lily were pleased to see them, even for a little while, though Lily's paranoia kicked into high gear within twenty minutes of their arrival. They stayed for a bit anyway, playing with the baby and chatting with their friends.
Sirius smirked, "I come bearing your most precious heirloom, my dear Mr. Prongs."
James looked annoyed, "You have my cloak?"
Another smirk, and the silver cloak traded hands. With hugs and fond smiles, Sirius and Remus departed, to spend the remainder of their evening tucked away in a stolen moment of paradise in Sirius's room, knowing that everything would turn out all right in the end.
Life rolled on, and October of 1981 drew near. Sirius began to privately suspect that Remus had betrayed them, wanting to bring about the dark so that the light would prevail in the long run. He couldn't—wouldn't accept that and he reduced his contact with Remus.
For his part, Remus knew that whatever happened would happen and all he could do was try not to rock the boat too much. He didn't think that his role in this affair would be very large if he was later a professor. Or, he amended, not too big just yet.
November 20th saw Sirius Black in Azkaban, and as much as Remus hurt, he let it happen without a word and adopted a facade that showed the expected betrayal and pain when his boyfriend appeared to turn traitor.
Time rolled on, the years passing slowly—too slowly—and he waited for the signs that promised the end of Sirius's internment in Azkaban, because it would end. He rejoiced when Sirius escaped and also accepted the position of defense professor in Harry's third year, and did his best to teach the boy everything he could—the dark had not yet ended, if the future Harry's face and demeanor showed anything.
The Shack happened and he was shocked to find that Peter had been hiding under his nose all the while and in a young boy's bed, no less. He stared with shock at his former friend—it appeared that there were more revolting facets to Peter than a simple turncoat!
The fates were clearly against them as Wormtail escaped, leaving Sirius still an escaped convict.
Snape outed Remus the next day and he very quietly resigned, meeting up with Sirius as soon as the other man would allow.
He came for tea to Remus's meager little cottage in Essex and there was a cool look in his eyes. "It wouldn't have mattered in the long run, Remus, if you had stood up for me."
Remus Lupin lowered his eyes in shame. Perhaps Sirius was right. If he was, then Remus was little better then Peter for letting his boyfriend rot in Azkaban for so many years. "I'm sorry," he said quietly. "...I didn't want to hurt the future, Sirius. I knew that you would escape, somehow, that you would get to see Harry again...and that we would be..." he trailed off.
"Reunited?" there was a hint of sneer in Sirius's voice.
"I'm sorry. I know there's nothing that can ever make up for it, but for whatever it's worth, I'm sorry and I love you."
Sirius was well aware that he needed an anchor. Harry was too far away and he wasn't enough, as much as he loved the boy. And somewhere, under the damage that the dementors and years of suffering had done, Sirius still loved Remus.
"...I kept what I could for you," Remus said. A weak smile, "Ever that old brown jacket."
A smile cracked Sirius face, "That old scuffed one, from when we had the Incident?"
"Yeah," Remus smiled back, "It's under my bed in a box, if you want me to to get it."
Sirius smiled a little, "How about after a bath and maybe a meal, we fish it out?"