I hope your holiday is going well and that you are getting out of the books long of enough to get some sun. Mum and Dad send their regards.
The reason I'm sending this is because Sirius is here. He ran away from home and my parents are letting him stay with us. He says he just got tired of being with his 'bloody, pureblood obsessed relatives' but he's acting strange. He's moody and not acting, well, like the Sirius we know. When I ask him what's wrong he blows me off and tells me that I'm acting like a mother hen. It's plain he isn't going to talk to me about what's bothering him.
So I was wondering if you'd come visit. Even if he won't talk to you, he'll listen. And being with two of his best friends might help him too. Mum says that you are welcome to stay the last two weeks of the holiday and then we can all get on the train together.
Hoping to see you soon,
ps- No need to send an answer back, just show up as soon as you can by floo. (Sirius almost gave me a concussion when I wouldn't let him see what this said. He also says 'Hi'.)
Remus Lupin read the note over twice, grinning at how rumpled it was. It was also ripped in several places, probably remnants from the tussle between his two best friends. Then he frowned.
Sirius had run away from home? Remus knew the other boy did not like most of his relatives, for good reasons, but to actually run away... What had happened?
He fiddled with the note for a few moments before going downstairs to ask his parents if he could go.
Two days later James Potter sat in the drawing room of his house, glaring at nothing. His so-called best friend, one Mr. Sirius Black, was nowhere in sight. James decided that this was a good thing because if he had to listen to more more snarky comment he was going to knock him ass-over-kettle. Not an hour before when James had asked,
"Do you wanna go fly in the orchard or are you going to continue to mope like an underworked house elf?"
Sirius had responded with a repertoire of curses he had never shared with James. James had smirked widely.
"Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?" He'd asked it with humor, trying to get his friend to cheer up just a tiny bit. Instead Sirius had winced as if James had slapped him. Then he'd smirked in the arrogant way he'd seen Regulus use, his eyes cold.
"Nah. Just yours." Before the vase James had thrown at his friend had hit the wall, Sirius had slipped out the back door.
In hind sight, it probably hadn't been the best idea to make a comment about Sirius' mum after the boy had ran away less than a week ago. But Sirius had been acting like a prat since he'd arrived and he wasn't telling his best friend what the problem was. He was afraid of pushing the other boy and ruining their friendship but he also didn't think he could deal with him if he kept it up.
Grumbling softly he mashed the pillow in his lap. Where was Remus? He was pretty sure that the werewolf would be a nice, calming influence on Sirius. Whenever they had a problem at school they'd go to Remus.
As if the thoughts about Remus had summoned the boy, green flames shot up in the fireplace and James jumped. Then he grinned widely as the spinning image of Remus and a large trunk materialized.
The spinning stopped and the boy stumbled into the drawing room.
"Remus!" James said happily. He stood up and swung the boy into an enthusiastic hug. "God I'm so happy you're here."
"James?" Remus squeaked, his arms now pinned to his sides. He patted James' hip awkwardly. "James, it's lovely to see you. Well actually, I can't see you. I also can't breathe."
James immediately let him go and Remus took a deep breath, smiling calmly at him.
"Since you are so eager to see me I take it Sirius is still not acting like himself?" Remus asked, pulling his trunk into the room completely. James took the other end and together they carried towards the door. They set it down there. A house elf walked into the room almost immediately.
"Can you please take this to the second guest bedroom?" James asked politely. The house elf bowed and snapped its fingers. It disappeared with a crack along with the trunk. Then James turned back to Remus and ran a hand through his already tousled hair.
"He's been acting like a complete git since he got here."
"He's always been a git."
James' smile was wry.
"Well, more than usual. Something happened other than him getting tired of his family but he won't tell me what it is."
Remus looked thoughtful for a long moment.
"Where is he?"
James' expression was sheepish, he scuffed a foot on the floor. "We got into a little fight. I think he's wandering around in the orchard somewhere. I'm sorry to ask you to talk to him when you just got here but I'm worried about him, Moony."
James fixed him with a pleading look. Remus grinned.
"Don't worry about it. Point me to where he might be and I'll see if I can get him to talk to me."
James walked him to the back door of his rather large home and pointed to several rows of large apple trees about 100 feet from the back of the house.
"He'd be there most likely. I'm going to go write a letter to Lily. Thanks Remus." James squeezed the other boy's shoulder before going back into the house.
With a sigh Remus began walking through the garden and towards the orchards. He felt kind of like an on call doctor. But he shook that thought away. James was worried, which in turn made him worry.
It was warm out today, the sun beating down on him in his faded t-shirt and jeans. So the shade under the apple trees was welcome relief.
The orchard wasn't too large, five parallel rows with ten trees in each row. A quick glance around told him that nobody else was there, unless Sirius was sitting on the opposite side of a tree. He was just starting to walk along the first row when a leaf fluttered down in front of him.
He looked up and there sat Sirius.
"Hi there Padfoot." Remus grinned up at his friend. Sirius stared back down in surprise, an apple poised over his head.
"Moony?" He asked simply.
"No, it's Moaning Myrtle." He rolled his eyes. "Were you planning for someone else?" He gestured at the apple. He watched as Sirius' face turned red under his tan and he lowered the apple.
"Well I was going to see how hard James' head actually was." His grin didn't quite meet his eyes.
"Do you mind company?" When Sirius shook his head he looked around for a low branch. "Er... how exactly did you get up there?" He looked back up to see Sirius holding a broom.
"Heads up." Sirius dropped the broom, which caught itself at waist height and hovered. Hesitating, he'd never been a fan of the brooms that Sirius and James both rode with ease, he slowly mounted it. Tipping it up he rose slowly, silently cursing, until he was level with the branch. Then, with much maneuvering and grimaces, he carefully moved from the broom to the branch. He began to slip to the side but Sirius quickly grabbed him and held his arm until he was comfortably straddling the branch.
"Thanks." Sirius nodded and let go, then slid back so he was leaning against the tree trunk.
"I suppose James sent you out here to see what's 'wrong' with me?" His voice was cold and he didn't look at Remus, but the other boy could see the slump in Sirius' shoulders.
He leaned forward to try and catch Sirius' eye.
"Padfoot, what happened?" His voice was kind and he could see Sirius struggling with himself. He held Remus' gaze for a moment before it dropped to the wood in front of him. He could get into pissing contests with James because he would yell right back but Remus rarely ever lost his calm.
Finally his shoulders relaxed completely and he sighed softly.
"I ran away." Remus fought back the urge to grin wryly. Instead in a soft voice he asked,
Sirius continued to stare at a spot on the branch before him and took a deep breath.
"I came home from seeing my cousin Andromeda, whom mother hates since she's seeing a muggle man named Ted. The only reason she hasn't disowned her completely is that she's positive that Andromeda will come to her senses. I'm pretty sure she's wrong, given that they were planning a wedding when I got there.
"Anyways, when I got home Kreacher told me Mother was wanting to see me. So I went to the drawing room. Regulus was there too, looking exceedingly pleased with himself... When I walked in, Mother glared at me and told me to sit down. So I stood by the fireplace." Sirius gave a tiny grin but still didn't look up.
"She held up some muggle magazines that Regulus must have filched from my room. She said," Sirius' voice got high and grating. "'It has come to my intention that you are harboring... illicit desires'"
Remus gave a short laugh.
"Your mum found your dirty magazines... and kicked you out?" He asked incredulously. Sirius glanced up and grinned, but it faded quickly.
"Well... it's more complicated than that. You see they weren't girly magazines." His expression was pleading for Remus to understand and to forgive him. Remus shook his head slowly.
Sirius blushed deeply.
"They were magazines with muggle men in them." Both of Remus' eyebrows rose but he quickly quelled his surprise at Sirius telling him that he was gay. Sirius seemed to tense at the lack of reaction.
"But that still doesn't make sense. Your uncle Cygnus was gay wasn't he? And your family didn't disown him."
"He married Druella and had three kids though. They didn't care what he did after he established the blood line."
Remus continued to frown.
Sirius' gaze fell back on the wood.
"So mother lectured me on getting married to a pureblood and keeping the blood line in tact. Then she said I could do whatever I bloody well wanted to afterward. I was fuming while she ranted and Regulus sat there looking smug. Finally she finished and asked me what I thought. I snapped.
"I had been fiddling with my wand when she finished and it threw sparks. Almost set fire to the drapes. I smiled at her and told her what I really thought. I told her that I liked cock and that I wasn't going to marry some stupid bint to make my buggering family happy. She'd turned a right ugly plum color and Regulus was staring at me as if I'd grown an extra head.
"Then! Then she tried to reason with me. She saw no reason why I couldn't marry a pureblood woman to have children and keep a 'husband' for my pleasure. I stared at her for a few minutes and then told her that she didn't get it. I wasn't going to sleep with a woman for pleasure or children so it was pointless. Besides, she wouldn't approve of my choice in lover anyways. She'd asked me why and I began to walk out. She wouldn't relent so I finally screamed 'Because he's a werewolf!' and left.
"I packed up my things and then came by floo here."
When Sirius looked up he found Remus staring at him blankly, his mouth parted slightly. He mentally replayed what he had said and cursed.
The two boys stared at each other for several long minutes.
"Did you just say that to piss her off more?" Remus finally asked. Sirius' face was as red as the apples hanging around him as he shook his head.
"No. It's the truth."
"Oh. But I'm not your..."
"But I'd like you to be."
"Oh." Remus repeated. His expression was not angry or upset, as Sirius had expected him to be, it was merely thoughtful.
"I'm sorry Remus." When Remus looked startled, Sirius continued. "I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable and..." He looked away again, pain in his eyes. "I don't expect you to return my feelings in all honesty. I just hope that we can still be friends. But I'll understand if you never want to speak to me again or-" Remus cut him off.
"Shut up you git, I was thinking." He smiled at the other boy and Sirius looked utterly confused. "Firstly, I'm not uncomfortable with you being gay, nor will I abandon our friendship. By Merlin, we've been friends for 5 years, it'll take a bit more than that. And secondly, in regards to returning your feelings. I love you Sirius, you're a great friend and I think I'd be willing to try to take that farther, but you need to pass one trial."
Sirius looked, if it was possible, more confused.
"What do you want me to do?"
Remus' grin widened, a flush staining his cheeks.
Sirius stared at him for a long minute, his eyes searching Remus' for the joke. Remus just stared back at him, a calm smile on his face. Finally, Sirius slid forward on the branch so that he sat barely an inch away from the other boy. Slowly, fingers trailing over his hips, he braced his hands on the werewolf's waist.
Keeping eye contact, he brought his face closer to Remus'. Their lips were close enough that he could feel the other boy's breath brushing his mouth. Turning his head to the side slightly, Sirius very slowly brought his lips to meet Remus'.
The kiss was soft, chaste, with their lips barely parted. Simply feeling the warmth of the other. After a long moment Sirius pulled away. He watched Remus with a worried expression.
Remus looked thoughtful again, his tongue snaking out to lick his lips. He smiled wryly.
"That was sweet... but I don't think you quite passed. Maybe another try?"
Sirius laughed and kissed him again. This time he moved his lips against Remus', his tongue running along the other boy's bottom lip. Remus followed suit tentatively and Sirius immediately invaded the werewolf's mouth. The kiss continued until Remus pulled away, sucking in breath. Sirius stayed close, nibbling on his lower lip.
"Ahhhh." Remus sighed, an impish grin on his face. "You pass. Want to try for extra credit?"
They kissed again and again, simply laughing when they almost fell off the branch in their earnest. So caught up in each other, they didn't see the boy walking up to their tree.
James could barely make out the two figures in the tree but when he realized that it was indeed his two best friends, he walked straight for them and started singing.
"Sirius and Remus, sitting in a tree, S-N-O-G-G-Oh lord, you're actually snogging."
a/n: Thanks to my loverly beta Hobo and to Kade for being my second reader. I love you guys! -noms-