Author's Note: This story is for the Calender Challenge on the HPFC forum. It's the story of Remus and Sirius' relationship- there will be twelve chapters, one for each month. I've gone a little crazy and I've written up to September so far, so I'll be updating regularly :) The prompt for January was new and the quote "I'm used to being lonely. It's the only thing I can rely on these days." Let me know your thoughts!

Disclaimer: Everything belongs to JKR, except for the title and the lyrics, which belong to the late Jonathon Larson.


525,600 Minutes

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five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes

five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred moments so dear

five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes

how do you measure, measure a year?

in daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee

in inches, in miles, in laughter and strife

in five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes

how do you measure a year in the life?

-"Seasons of Love"

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January

"It's a new year," Sirius practically sings, collapsing onto the sofa next to James, who is lounging across the pillows, staring broodingly at Lily, who is chatting animatedly with Longbottom.

"I guess it's time for a new crush, then?" Sirius asks, smirking at James. "New year, new girl, right, mate?"

"No," James snaps. "She's just being nice. Obviously she fancies me."

Sirius rolls his eyes. "Where's Moony and Wormy?"

Before James can even tear his eyes away from Lily, Sirius sees Remus and Peter climbing through the Fat Lady (and snickers at the thought) and waves enthusiastically. They spot him and head towards the couch.

"Don't you think that Prongs should follow my personal philosophy?" Sirius asks slyly as soon as they have arrived, winking at Remus. "New year, new girl! 'Course, for me, it's more like, new month, new girl, but we'll go easy on James here."

James flings a pillow at him. "More like new day, new girl."

Sirius and Peter snicker and after a pause, Remus joins in.

"Who's the new girl for this year?" Remus asks with an overly enthusiastic voice.

Sirius frowns. "I dunno. Why?"

"Just wondering," Remus mutters. Why did he care? It wasn't any of his business who Sirius dates. He shrugs at Sirius.

"Who's your girl?" Sirius asks, with a challenging glint in his eye.

"I don't have one," Remus says slowly.

Sirius stares at him for a minute. "Okay," he says, not even noticing Peter wandering over to where the Prewett brothers are showing off a new trick or James storming upstairs after muttering something angrily as he watched Lily hug Longbottom. "Okay. But Moony, you never have a girl."

"So?" Remus snaps angrily. "I've never found one I really liked, okay?"

Sirius rolls his eyes. "Well, it doesn't have to be love, Moony. I've never loved a girl, but I go out with them." He pauses for a second and then grins. "Often."

"Well, I'm sorry I'm not like you, Sirius," Remus spits. "I'm used to being lonely, okay?"

Before he even knows what he is doing, Sirius quickly scoots over to Remus' side of the couch and puts his arm around him tenderly. He doesn't notice the smirks or questioning stares people shot him- this feels natural. This is where he is supposed to be. "Lonely?"

Remus jerks his head, his body staying perfectly still, as if he is afraid to move. "It's the only thing I can rely on these days."

Peter would have frowned at him, James would have mocked him, but Sirius, Sirius stares at him, his eyes scanning Remus' face, and smiles so sweetly it almost breaks Remus' heart. "You can rely on me."

Remus feels overwhelmingly touched. He has to look away from Sirius' probing eyes, trying not to tear up.

Sirius looks away too, the spell broken. He removes his arm casually and clears his throat loudly. "Are you hungry?"

Remus shrugs, wondering if that really just happened. "Yeah, I guess so."

Sirius grins, jumping up. "I'm starved. Let's go to dinner."

Remus follows Sirius, hearing the words "You can rely on me" over and over in his head. He has the fleeting thought that maybe he won't be as lonely this new year, but immediately squashes it, frowning. Where did that come from? Sirius is just a friend. He shakes his head. He is being ridiculous. Maybe this is a side-effect of never being in a relationship. Maybe Sirius is right (a terrifying thought). Maybe he does need to ask a girl out. And Remus vaguely wonders why that thought is so unappealing, and why he feels a pang of irritation as he watches Sirius flirt and laugh with some girls at the Gryffindor table. The feeling is new, and Remus is mildly annoyed at the new year and what it has brought so far.