My 100th fic posted to ! *throws confetti* Thanks to everyone here who gave me the courage to keep writing after my shaky and uncertain start, and whose feedback kept me going. Harry Potter fandom and this site have brought me some great laughs and great friends, including the woman who I co-owns my heart with my hubby. It's her birthday, today! Happy Birthday, DragonDi!

Now, on with the fic. This is a two parter. The second part will be posted in a few days. :)

Pairing(s): Remus/Sirius, mentions of past Remus/Dora, James/Lily
Warnings: Non-magic AU in which Teddy and Harry are the same age. Sexual situations. Language.
Author's Notes: Written for the rs_career_fest with the prompts: Kindergarten teacher!Sirius, illustrator!Remus, Hokey Pokey, a silly hat, and sock monkey. Thank you to the prompter for such a fun prompt, and thanks as always to my Beta and sounding board, dogsunderfoot.

'Nice hat.'

Sirius Black whirled around and grinned at the newcomers. 'It's the latest fashion in Paris,' he said with a flutter of his eyelashes. He posed: a hand on his hip and the other tilting the paper plate hat so it sat jauntily on his dark hair, the rainbow coloured streamers curling wildly around his face, random longer strips tumbling down as low as his hips. 'Would you like one? I'm sure I can arrange for the manufacturers to rush one through the production line for you.'

Remus Lupin laughed and grabbed his son's hand as he reached for one of the curling strips. 'No,' he scolded gently, engulfing Teddy's small hand in his own. 'Don't ruin Sirius' hat.'

Sirius let his mouth drop open in mock horror, and Teddy giggled. 'I want one!' he declared, trying to pull his hand from Remus'.

'Stop that,' Remus said, but he let go. He kept a hand on Teddy's shoulder, though, keeping the impatient four-year-old beside him as he reminded Sirius, 'I'm picking him up before afternoon tea today for his doctor's appointment.' He glanced down at Teddy then mouthed, 'Inoculations,' to Sirius.

Sirius chuckled – low and deep, and the sound sent a pleasant little tingle along Remus' spine. 'I remember you saying the other day,' he said, straightening his hat as it began to slip over his forehead. 'It's Harry's birthday today, so I'll make sure you get a slice of cake to take with you.' He winked at Remus, a touch of flirtatiousness in his grin. 'If you're good, I could make that two slices.'

Remus felt his cheeks warm up, and his smile widened. 'I'll make sure I'm good then,' he said, biting at his lip. Sirius' smile grew, and Remus nervously reached up to push his hair out of his face, frustratingly flustered by the exchange.

He and Teddy's teacher had hit it off right away; Sirius Black was the reason Remus had chosen the smaller, homier kindergarten over the newer, glossier options. During their initial visit, Sirius had been cheerful and respectful without fawning over them, and had been open and honest about his methods and his goals. He had impressed the hell out of Remus when he stepped in to correct Teddy's overexcited destruction of another child's block tower before successfully redirecting the hyperactive little boy into a quieter activity.

The fact he was possibly the most attractive man Remus had ever met had not factored into his decision at all.


Teddy broke the laden moment with a whine so high-pitched Remus and Sirius winced. 'Da-ad! Lemme go!'

Remus crouched beside his son and, with firm hands on his shoulders, turned him around to face him. 'Bad manners, Ted,' he said sternly. Teddy looked shamefaced, but was obviously still raring to go, hopping from one foot to the other impatiently. Remus rolled his eyes. 'Alright, give me a kiss then.'

Teddy mirrored Remus' eye roll, but dutifully pecked his father on the cheek then asked, 'Can I go now?'

Remus chuckled and nodded, barely having time to lift his hands before Teddy was off, headed for the collage table to make a hat like Sirius'.

'I wish I had his energy,' Remus said with a sigh as he pushed himself to his feet. He glanced at Sirius and caught the other man watching him with a hint of hunger in his gaze. Remus' breath caught in his throat; it had been so long since someone had looked at him like that and his body stirred inappropriately.


The high-pitched shout was quickly followed by a squeal that sounded a lot like Sirius' name then a redheaded boy came running out from the construction area. 'Herm-i-onyhit me!' he tattled, hiding behind Sirius' legs as the alleged attacker appeared, hands on her hips and a scowl on her face.

'Ronald is being stupid,' she told Sirius, who sighed and reached down to take Ron's hand.

'I'd better...' he said, waving in the direction that the children had come from.

'Yeah,' agreed Remus, trying not to look too disappointed that Sirius had been called away. It's his job, for goodness sake! 'I should go, anyway. I've got an appointment at the publishers.'

Sirius crooked an eyebrow. 'Are they finally accepting your illustrations for that book you were telling me about?' he asked, and Remus shrugged.

'Who knows?' he said, his words tinged with bitterness. 'They want so many changes. It doesn't feel like the art has got anything to do with the story anymore.'

'I'm sorry, Remus,' Sirius murmured, placing a warm hand on Remus' wrist. He squeezed lightly. 'I know you were really pleased with that last lot of sketches.'

Remus smiled ruefully. 'Yeah. Too bad the author and publishers weren't.'

'Sir-i-us!' Hermione whined, glaring at the two men.

'Okay, coming,' Sirius said hurriedly before smiling at Remus. 'Hope it works out.'

Remus nodded and watched for a long moment as Sirius placated the agitated children before he stifled a sigh of longing and headed for the exit.

He was in a foul mood when he returned to the tiny, but pretty cottage that housed the kindergarten. As Remus had suspected, the world famous and notoriously difficult author had picked apart the illustrations Remus had drawn for his children's book. Remus had tried to stay cool, tried to be understanding about the author's vision, but, when the other man suggested they change the colour of the background back to one he'd previously sneered at, Remus lost his temper and quit.

'Shit,' he muttered under his breath, one hand on the gate to the playground as the other scrubbed at his face.

He didn't want to get a reputation for being a drama queen, and the money - God, he could have done so much with the money – but he'd reached a point in discussions where he had to choose between the truly excellent financial gain or his artistic integrity.

And he was still idealistic enough to choose the latter.

'Integrity isn't going to fill your son's hollow legs, Lupin,' he grumbled as he unlatched the gate and let the sound of children's laughter guide his way through the trees and toy-littered lawn.

'And Prince Harry raised his sword and stabbed the Lord Snake-face through his heart,' he heard Sirius cry.

Remus peered around a tree and watched as Sirius acted out the murder, 'dying' dramatically in front of the group of cheering children. He chuckled when he saw Sirius' tongue loll from his mouth then joined the children when they began to applaud the performance. Sirius' eyes opened, and he stared up at Remus in horror from his prone position.

'Er, hi,' he said, quickly getting to his feet. He dragged a hand through his hair and gave Remus an embarrassed little smile. 'I was just - um - playing...'

'So I see,' Remus said with a wide grin. 'You've missed your calling. You should be on stage.'

Sirius poked his tongue out at him, making Remus laugh at the childish gesture while thinking of all the other things he'd like that tongue to be doing. He and Sirius had struck up a casual friendship over the last few months, but there had always been an undercurrent of something else, something electric and exciting that had become impossible to ignore lately, something that made Remus' stomach flutter with a strange anticipation.

'Harry got a birthday story, Dad!' Teddy said, bouncing on his bottom excitedly. 'And he was a prince and he killed the snake lord man, and Sirius said I'm going to get one for my birthday too!'

'Aren't you lucky?' Remus said then looked at Harry. 'Happy Birthday, Harry.'

Harry grinned, clutching a small leather-clad notebook to his chest. 'I'm five now,' he said, staring owlishly up at Remus who smiled.

'I know,' Remus said as Ron, obviously bored by the conversation, asked plaintively, 'Can we go play now?'

Sirius laughed and waved them off. 'Yeah, go on,' he said, watching the group scramble to their feet and run off. 'Not you, Teddy. Go and get your backpack and the hat you made.'

The scowl that had been forming on Teddy's face smoothed out at the mention of the hat, and he obediently trotted towards the porch. Remus smiled and shook his head in wonder.

'I would have had some foot stomping at the very least,' he said admiringly. 'You're so good with them all.'

'So are you,' Sirius said, picking up an apple core someone had left on the ground. 'He's a great kid.'

Remus made a face. 'I'm not a natural like you are,' he said with a sigh. 'I wanted him, but once he was here, he scared the hell out of me.'

Sirius laughed. 'As long as you never show them, fear is an appropriate emotion,' he said, tossing the core into a nearby bin then shoving his hands into his pockets, drawing Remus' attention back to the front of his jeans. 'H... how was the meeting?'

Sirius' stutter made Remus look up. He flushed when he saw Sirius' lips quirk, and realised the other man had noticed where his gaze had lingered. 'It was a disaster,' he blurted out, his earlier frustration bleeding through his current state of arousal. 'He wanted me to go back to an earlier sketch that he'd already rejected. He hated the blending, the colour palette, the way I'd drawn the main character's features...' Remus took a deep breath. 'So I quit.'

Sirius blinked in surprise. 'Really?' Remus nodded, and Sirius grinned. 'Good for you.'

Remus exhaled sharply and grimaced. 'It was a knee jerk reaction that I could have gotten away with four years ago, but now...' He glanced towards the cottage and saw Teddy leap down the stairs to make a timely entrance. 'I've got to feed him somehow.'

Sirius smiled sympathetically and reached out, putting a hand on Remus wrist as he'd done that morning, only this time, the tips of his fingers stroked over the sensitive skin on the inside. It was subtle, and if Remus hadn't been acutely aware of every flex and contraction of Sirius' body, he might not have felt it. But he was, and he did, and he was only partially successful in stifling his visceral response.

'He's a fool,' Sirius said softly, and Remus felt it; that fizz as a spark ignited, that connection that made time stand still.

And then Teddy reached them, and the moment was broken.

'Ready!' he declared, slamming into Remus' legs hard enough to make him take a step back, Sirius' fingers slipping from his wrist. 'Dad, can Sirius come for dinner one night?'

Both men started and stared down at Teddy who was looking up at Remus with hopeful eyes. 'Please?'

'Teddy, it's not polite to put your dad on the spot like that,' Sirius admonished, but Remus continued to watch Teddy, positive he saw a calculating glint in the child's eyes.

'What are you up to, Teddy Lupin?' he mumbled suspiciously, but he looked up at Sirius with a smile.

'As spontaneous as the invitation is, would you like to come for dinner one night?' he asked then quickly added, 'I was planning on asking you. Really. He just... pre-empted me.'

Remus felt Teddy slip away as he willed Sirius to say yes.

'If you're sure,' Sirius began.

'I'm sure.'

Sirius smiled. 'Then yes, I'd love to,' he said enthusiastically. 'Er, what night is good for you?'

'How about tomorrow night?' Remus suggested, wiping his suddenly sweaty palms on his thighs. 'We have spaghetti on Saturday.'

'I love spaghetti,' Sirius told him. 'It sounds great.'

They organised a time and Remus, butterflies fluttering madly in his stomach, made sure Sirius knew his address before he checked his watch.

'I really have to go,' he said regretfully, looking around for Teddy, who was huddled up with Harry in the corner of the playground. 'Teddy!'

He waved to his son who said something to Harry before he came running. 'Are we going shopping?' he asked breathlessly as he reached Remus, picking up the bag he'd dropped earlier.

'Yes we are,' Remus said brightly. 'We have something else to do first though.'

He glanced up at Sirius who winced. 'Good luck with that,' he murmured, and Remus smiled.

'Thanks, I'll need it,' he mumbled then he ruffled Teddy's hair. 'Ready?'

'Yep,' Teddy said, slinging the backpack over his shoulder.

Remus gave him a gentle push in the direction of the gate then smiled at Sirius. 'See you tomorrow then,' he said and Sirius nodded.

'Looking forward to it,' Sirius replied, flashing Remus a cheeky grin.

'Sirius is coming for dinner!'

'Told you he'd say yes.'

'Do you think he likes my dad?'

'I heard him tell my dad that he does. Does your dad like him?'

'I think so. He always smiles lots when he sees him.'

'They're looking at us.'

'Gotta go. See ya!'

'You shouldn't wear that,' Harry said disapprovingly, staring at Sirius from his perch on the end of Sirius' bed.

Sirius' eyes widened in surprise. 'Why not?' he asked, looking down at his jeans and t-shirt. 'What's wrong with this?'

Harry screwed up his face, and Sirius made an exasperated noise. 'Alright then, smarty pants,' he said, hands on hips. 'What should I wear?'

Harry rolled his eyes. ' Something nice,' he said as if speaking to someone who just didn't get it. 'Like you weared to Peter's wedding.'

Sirius chuckled then tipped Harry back onto the bed. 'Like I 'wore' to Peter's wedding,' he corrected. 'And I am not wearing a tuxedo to Remus' house for dinner.'

But Harry had made him think. Remus saw him in jeans and t-shirt every day. Perhaps he should make a bit more of an effort...

He was staring in the mirror an hour later when he heard a soft wolf whistle. He glanced over the shoulder of his reflection. 'Shut up.'

'This isn't a date, you said,' James Potter teased as he entered the room. 'Just dinner with a friend, you told us. So why would you be wearing your pulling shirt and the trousers you reckon show off your arse?'

'They do show off my arse, and this isn't my pulling shirt,' Sirius retorted, smoothing a hand down the front of his blue shirt. 'The red one is.' He frowned at himself in the mirror. 'Do you think I should wear my pulling shirt?'

James laughed and sat on the foot of the bed. 'Dunno,' he said then wrinkled his nose. 'But I'd vote for less aftershave.'

With an exasperated growl, Sirius spun around to glare at James. 'Was there something you wanted? Besides the joy of stomping my fragile ego into the dirt, that is?'

'Fragile,' James snorted then he pushed himself to his feet. 'Just collecting Harry. Thanks for watching him today.'

'No problem,' Sirius murmured, turning back to the mirror and smoothing down a few errant strands of hair. 'How do I really look? Is it too dressy? Really?'

James sighed and shook his head. 'No, you look fine,' he conceded, a worried frown creasing his brow. 'You really fancy this bloke, don't you?

Sirius didn't answer, and James sighed. 'Are you sure he bats for your team, Sirius? I mean, he's got a kid and all. I don't want him to take offense and punch you in the gob if you grab his arse. Because then I'd be honour-bound to hit him back which would piss Lily off and that would mean no sex for me for months...'

'My hero,' Sirius muttered. 'And yes, he has a child, although you do realise that's not an automatic straight card right there? Look at Frank – three kids then he left Alice for one of the Prewett brothers. And that woman at Lily's work? She went to a clinic so she and her partner could have a baby, didn't she?'

'I know, I know,' James said impatiently with a wave of his hand then his voice gentled. 'Just be careful. I don't want to see you hurt because you've fallen for a straight bloke. And, of course, anything that affects my sex life is frowned upon.'

Sirius nodded and snatched up his coat off the bed. 'I will. I'll let him make the first move,' he said, giving James' shoulder a quick squeeze. 'Thank you.'

'You look nice, Dad.'

Remus jumped and spun around. Teddy was standing in his bedroom doorway, an impressed expression on his face. 'Thanks,' Remus said bemused by his son's sudden interest in fashion. He turned back to the mirror and smoothed the front of his green shirt.

The colour brings out my eyes, Dora used to say. And I've been told the trousers cling in all the right places without being pornographic. God, what am I doing?

'Did you wash up after playing outside?' he asked.

Teddy nodded then came into the room and clambered up onto Remus' bed, watching him straighten his clothing. 'I'm going to show Sirius my bedroom,' he declared, and Remus smiled.

'I'd like to show him mine too,' he muttered, closing his eyes and taking a deep breath as Teddy continued to chatter.

It was ridiculous, really, how nervous he was. It wasn't a date. Not really. Just two blokes getting together for dinner. Teddy was here, for goodness sake. But, still, Remus' stomach roiled in anticipation, and his skin felt too tight, too hot.

The squeak of springs brought him out of his whirling thoughts, and he moved swiftly to catch Teddy around the waist just as he was preparing to leap off Remus' bed. 'Come on, SuperTeddy,' he teased, tucking the giggling child under his arm. 'Let's go and start dinner.'

Dinner went well. Teddy was a wonderful buffer and, gradually, the slight awkwardness softened into comfortable conversation so that, when the tired child finally agreed to go to bed, the easy camaraderie continued. Attraction still sparked between them, but it was a slow burn that they were content to let simmer as they sat on Remus' couch with a bottle of wine.

'Is that one of yours?' Sirius asked, indicating the sketch of a newborn Teddy in his mother's arm that hung over the fireplace. 'It's gorgeous.'

Remus sipped at his wine, glancing at the framed art and nodding. 'Mm,' he murmured, smiling softly. 'Teddy was only a few days old, and Dora kept reminding me to sketch out all the baby weight.'

Sirius chuckled and leaned back against the cushions, looking right at home. 'She's beautiful,' he said. 'Teddy has her mouth.'

Remus stared at the picture, eyes tracing the bow of Dora's mouth, identical to her son's. 'I don't think I ever told you how much I appreciated you helping Teddy make that bouquet of paper flowers for Mother's Day last month,' he said quietly, tearing his gaze from the sketch and looking at Sirius. 'I was at a bit of a loss. He's always been a bit too young to worry about it much before this year, but with all the other kids making things for their mothers...'

Sirius smiled, shaking his head. 'He told me a little about her while we made it,' he said. 'Things you'd told him about her: that she hated chocolate, that she used to dye her hair pink, that she would put a coffee cup on her belly when she was pregnant and laugh when Teddy kicked it off...' He raised his glass in a toast. 'You've done a wonderful job of keeping her alive for him, Remus.'

Remus smiled gratefully. 'I feel awful that I can't tell him a nice story about a wedding, or how we fell in love,' he admitted, fingers tightening around the stem of his wine glass. 'Kids should have that, shouldn't they? A story about how they came about?'

'You and Dora?' Sirius asked. 'What was your story?'

'We were friends,' Remus said, leaning his elbows on his knees and letting his hands hang between his legs. He studied the carpet carefully. 'One night, we were drunk and...' He waved his hand. 'It's so cliché. We forgot to use protection and three months later, we found out we were having Teddy.'

Sirius stretched out and put his glass on the coffee table. 'Did you try for a different relationship?' he asked, swivelling his legs around so their knees were pressed together.

Remus shook his head. 'I think Dora – by the end – might have liked it if we had,' he said sadly. 'But I just... I couldn't. I loved her, adored her, but not the way I needed to for what she wanted, and she deserved the very best.' He sighed heavily. 'She stayed here while she was pregnant and, after he was born, we figured that – while neither of us had other prospects – we'd just keep the status quo. And then... and then she died.'

Sirius reached for the bottle of wine and refilled Remus' glass before topping up his own. He looked into the dark red depths as he swirled it around. 'Once upon a time,' he said softly, startling Remus, 'there was a beautiful princess called Dora and a handsome prince called Remus.'

Remus snorted and Sirius threw him an admonishing look. 'Quiet during story time,' he scolded good-naturedly. Remus pretended to zip his lips together and sat back to listen.

'Prince Remus and Princess Dora were best friends. They did everything together: they played together, and ate together, and grew up together. They loved each other so much that they decided to make something together – a baby called Teddy who had Princess Dora's mouth and Prince Remus' eyes.'

Remus closed his eyes, trying to hide the unexpected tears that threatened to spill over. It was a beautiful way of describing their drunken night, and he kicked himself for not thinking of something like this earlier. He let his head fall back against the cushions, letting Sirius' melodious voice wash over him.

'They both loved young Prince Teddy and hugged and kissed him every day. But one day, sadness fell upon the kingdom when Princess Dora was called home to take her place as an angel. Before she left, though, she told Prince Teddy how much she loved him, and that she would always be watching over him and Prince Remus.'

After a long silence, Remus opened his stinging eyes and stared at Sirius.

'I... I hope you don't mind,' Sirius stammered uncertainly when Remus remained silent. 'I just wanted to show you that you and Dora do have a story. A wonderful story you can share with Teddy.'

Remus opened his mouth then snapped it shut. He shook his head then, with a sharp exhale, leaned forward and pressed his lips to Sirius'.

The kiss was soft and sweet, Sirius' hand rising to cup Remus' jaw once he recovered from his surprise. Remus pulled back too soon but Sirius' gentle grip kept him close.

'Thank you,' Remus whispered tremulously. 'Thank you.'

Sirius carefully placed his glass on the table then took Remus' and put it beside his. Then he caged Remus' face between his palms and kissed him – slow and warm, letting their mouths move cautiously together until Remus' lips parted on a soft moan.

Sirius tore himself away and whispered, 'Remus, God, Remus, is this okay?'

'Don't stop,' Remus begged breathily, his hands sliding around Sirius' neck as he pulled him back in. 'Please don't stop.'

Their lips crushed back together before Remus finished speaking and, this time, there was an edge of hunger to their lip lock. Remus' fingers tangled in Sirius' hair as their tongues met with tentative, searching strokes at first then with growing confidence. The kiss deepened quickly as they explored each other's mouths, finding and teasing the spots that made the other moan and gasp.

In an attempt to get closer, they overbalanced, tumbling down onto the couch together. Remus – splayed across Sirius' chest – raised his head, panting, but Sirius quickly drew him back down to him for a scorching kiss.

Their bodies pressed together, their unfamiliar angles fitting together easily, and they moved sinuously as their breathing became ragged and their arousal grew. Fingers crept under clothing to slide against bare skin, setting their nerve-endings on fire, and their kisses became urgent.

Finally, Remus pulled back with a desperate inhale. 'Stop,' he puffed out, fingers digging bruisingly into Sirius' biceps. 'Stop. God.'

'What?' Sirius asked, chest rising and falling rapidly as his hips continued to buck involuntarily.

'Oh, hell,' Remus breathed in frustration, pushing himself off Sirius' body and nearly sobbing at the loss of heat. 'I... Teddy is just... we can't. Not here.'

Sirius exhaled loudly and sat up. 'Yeah, you're right,' he said ruefully, running a hand over his dishevelled hair. 'This isn't really the time, is it?'

They looked at each other, taking in their swollen lips, lidded eyes, flushed cheeks, then looked away fast when their bodies began to sway closer again. Sirius cleared his throat as he stood. 'I should go,' he said, shooting Remus a crooked smile and holding out a hand. 'Not sure how long this restraint thing will hold.'

Remus grinned and let Sirius pull him to his feet, the other man not releasing his hand until he was in the hall, tugging on his jacket. 'Thanks for dinner,' Sirius said with a brilliant smile as Remus opened the front door. 'It was great. I ... I had a really good time.'

Remus bit his lip shyly. Gods, it's been so long since I did this last. 'So did I,' he said then his breath caught as Sirius leaned in and kissed him. It was warm and firm and Remus could taste himself on Sirius' lips, on Sirius' tongue as it flicked over his. A soft moan – Remus couldn't honestly say if it was his or Sirius – made them press closer then Sirius' lips were gone.

'I really should go,' Sirius said, staring at Remus through wide, dark eyes. 'Before I can't.'

Remus exhaled a breath of nervous amusement, his heart pounding so loudly in his ears he was sure Sirius could hear it. 'I'll see you Monday then,' he said, his voice as wobbly as his knees.

Sirius nodded. 'Monday,' he agreed, before stepping off the porch, throwing one regretful glance over his shoulder as he headed for the front gate.

Remus shut the door and steadfastly resisted the urge to peek through the window. I am not watching him leave like I'm some kind of lovesick school girl.

He leaned against the solid wood and took a few deep breaths. His lips tingled and his skin was prickling with intense awareness. He touched his fingertips to his lips lightly then lowered his hand to cup the noticeable bulge in the front of his trousers. With a groan, he squeezed his desperately hard shaft then hastily switched off the light before he headed for his bedroom for some much needed privacy.

A soft knock made Sirius' head snap up from his Monday morning coffee. He smiled at Lily Potter through the glass panel in the door and went to let her and Harry in.

'Morning,' he said cheerfully, chuckling when Harry threw himself at his legs, nearly knocking him over. 'And it's lovely to see you, too.'

Lily smiled as she hung Harry's backpack on a hook with Harry's name written in untidy, childish scrawl above it. 'He's been champing at the bit to get here,' she told Sirius, glancing in amusement at Harry clinging to Sirius' knees. 'Hope you don't mind we're so early.'

'Course not,' Sirius said, crouching and ruffling Harry's hair. 'Harry can help me by setting out everything we need to make sock puppets.'

Harry's eyebrows shot up into his hair. 'Sock puppets?' he said, obviously impressed. 'Are we doing a play with them?'

'I thought we might,' Sirius said with a grin, and Harry whooped before heading for the art and craft trolley.

'You really should write those stories down and sell them,' Lily told him as she handed him Harry's lunch box. 'You could make a fortune.'

Sirius rolled his eyes at the familiar argument, taking the lunch box and heading for the small kitchenette. 'Want a coffee?'

Lily followed, standing in the doorway so she could keep an eye on Harry as they spoke. 'I want some gossip,' she replied. 'So? How did it go?'

Sirius rounded his eyes and asked innocently, 'How did what go?' as he poured a fresh cup of coffee.

Lily hit him on the arm then accepted the mug he offered. 'Your date with Remus Lupin,' she said, breathing in the fragrant blend of coffee and hazelnut that Sirius enjoyed. 'Are you seeing him again? '

'Hope so,' Sirius said, taking a sip of his own coffee before continuing. 'He's... he's brilliant, Lils. He's smart and funny and God, he's got a great arse...'

'That is important,' she said dryly. 'Certainly a quality I look for first in my men.'

Sirius laughed. 'Remus' arse is nicer than James',' he told her. 'And he's a bloody fantastic kisser.'

Lily arched her brow in much the same way her son had done earlier. 'Kissing on the first date,' she teased. 'You're easy, Sirius Black.'

'I recall someone in this room going a lot further than I did on a first date,' Sirius retorted, looking slyly at Lily. 'People in glass houses should not sling stones.'

She flushed and turned away to check on Harry, ignoring Sirius' chortles. 'So it went well then?'

Sirius smiled softly, recalling the feel of Remus' mouth on his, his body – hard and lean and strong – against his own...


He shifted as his body began to respond to his thoughts and cleared his throat. 'Yeah,' he answered, turning to hide any visible evidence of the direction his mind was taking. 'Yeah, it went well.'

'You really do like him, don't you?'

Sirius put his now empty mug into the sink, smiling down into the stainless steel depths. 'I do,' he admitted, his stomach churning slowly with nerves and anticipation. I could fall so hard for him... 'I really do.'


Sirius spun around and saw Teddy Lupin peering around Lily's legs at him. 'Hi,' he said, flushing and praying that Remus hadn't heard any of his and Lily's conversation. He looked past Teddy and frowned. 'Are you by yourself?'

'Dad's putting my stuff away,' Teddy said then cocked his head. 'Who do you like?'

Lily covered her mouth with her hand, stifling a chuckle. Sirius glared at her before smiling at Teddy. 'I like you,' he said, dodging the question. 'And I like Mrs Potter,' He waved towards Lily, 'And Harry, who is here somewhere...'

'And my dad, too?'

Sirius' breath escaped in a rush and his mouth opened and closed before he managed to choke out a, 'Yes, I like your dad, too.'

Teddy beamed then ran off when Harry called his name. Sirius covered his face and groaned then threw a tea towel at Lily when she laughed at him.

'Sorry, am I interrupting?' Remus asked, a little smile on his face as he glanced from Lily to Sirius, his eyes lingering on the other man.

Sirius straightened and smoothed his hands over his shirt. 'Hi,' he said brightly. 'No, not interrupting. Um, how... how are you?'

'Good,' Remus said, his smile growing. 'You?'

'Really good,' Sirius said, grinning stupidly, but unable to help himself.

'I'm good too, if anyone's interested,' Lily added, chuckling at Remus' blush and Sirius' furious glare. 'And I'm going. See you both later.'

She left, calling out a farewell to Harry as she went, and the two men were alone in the kitchenette. 'Did I – um – mention I had a great time the other night?' Remus asked, sliding Teddy's lunch box onto the bench before leaning against it.

'I can't remember, but I'm really glad to hear it,' Sirius said, moving closer. 'I'd like to do it again. Soon.'

'I'd like that too,' Remus told him, biting his lip. His eyes fell to Sirius' mouth before he put some obvious effort into raising them once more. 'A lot.'

Sirius opened his mouth to say something – anything - so he wouldn't give into the temptation to throw himself at the other man and snog him stupid. 'I... I could cook you dinner one night,' he suggested. 'You and Teddy, I mean. Um, tomorrow night, or...?'

Remus smiled. 'That sounds great.'

They grinned at each other for a moment before they heard a loud, 'Uh oh!' They both groaned and went to sort the boys out, the arrival of the first of the other families preventing another private moment.

'It's working!'

'I told you it would!'

'Now what do we do?'

'We've got to get them snogging.'


'Yeah, but grown ups like to do that. My mum and dad never stop; it's so gross.'

'So if they snog, that means they like each other and then Sirius and my dad won't be lonely anymore?'


'Do they really stick their tongues in each other's mouths?'

'Uh huh.'

'Yuck. I don't think I want to snog anyone ever.'

'Me either.'

Remus blew a few errant strands of hair out of his eyes and critically appraised the sketch in front of him. He rubbed his finger over the woman's face, smudging the sharp lines then smiling at the softer image produced.


He checked his watch. 'Teddy! Harry!' he called, standing up and heading for the sink to wash his lead-stained hands.

Thunderous footsteps shook the ceiling then the two boys clattered down the stairs. Remus smiled and shook his head as he cleared up the paper and pencils scattered across the table. Teddy had invited Harry over to play after their day at kindy – Remus too distracted trying to resist the urge to grab Sirius' arse to do anything but hum an agreement - and the two boys had been holed up in Teddy's room for most of the afternoon.

Dinner the night before at Sirius' flat had been both a lot of fun, and as frustrating as hell. It was torturous, being so close to someone who had his body tied up in knots, craving another touch, another taste, and not being able to do a damn thing to satiate it. Teddy had finally fallen asleep on the couch, and Remus practically jumped Sirius in the kitchen, pinning him to the bench and pulling him into a long, steamy kiss that made Remus' world tilt on its axis.

'I was thinking,' Remus whispered breathlessly as Sirius mouthed at his throat, 'that I should get a sitter for Teddy on the weekend.'

Sirius lifted his head and stared at Remus with lust-blown eyes. 'Yeah?' he said hopefully, and Remus grinned.


Sirius slid his hands from Remus' hips to his arse, his palms fitting around the curve of the flesh. 'That sounds... bloody fantastic,' Sirius murmured, pulling Remus near, their erections crushing against each other.

Remus groaned out an agreement then caught Sirius' lips in another breathtaking kiss.

Remus looked up as the two boys burst into the room, looking worryingly conspiratorial. 'What have you two been up to?' Remus asked, narrowing his eyes as he looked from one disingenuous face to the other.

'Nothing,' came the guileless duet, their innocent expressions of surprise only serving to put Remus on his guard.

'Right,' he said, drawing the word out slowly. 'Have you got your bag, Harry? Your mum will be here...' There was a knock on the door. ', apparently.'

He sent the boys to collect Harry's backpack and let Lily in, returning her cheerful greeting. She looked around interestedly as he directed her through to the kitchen. 'This is a lovely house, Remus,' she said, pausing in the doorway to the living room, eyes lingering over the portrait of Dora and Teddy. 'You sketched that.'

It wasn't a question, but Remus nodded regardless. 'Yes,' he said. 'Teddy and his mother, Dora. What made you so sure I did it?'

'I've been checking out your work since Sirius told me you were an artist,' she said absently, staring at the portrait. 'I had some books you'd illustrated at home, already. You're very talented.'

Startled, Remus shoved his hands in his pockets and stammered out a thank you.

'Teddy's like her,' Lily observed, shooting Remus a smile over her shoulder before continuing through to the kitchen. 'I hope Harry behaved himself?'

'I barely saw them,' he admitted. 'They shut themselves in Teddy's room and looked very guilty every time I looked in on them.'

'Uh oh,' Lily said, the wariness in her face making Remus chuckle. 'That's not good.'

'No,' Remus agreed then offered her a cup of tea which she politely refused, her attention drawn to the sketches on the table that Remus had yet to pack away. 'Oh, Remus, these are fantastic.' She reached for the pages than stopped herself. 'May I?'

Remus waved a permissive hand then called out to Harry and Teddy while Lily was shuffling through the sketches. 'Remus, this is beautiful,' she said, looking up at him through eyes bright with emotion. 'This story about you and Teddy's mother... and the drawings...'

Remus flushed and reached out to snag the nearest page between two fingers. 'I can't take credit for the story,' he admitted with a smile at the very careful script he'd used to transcribe what he'd dubbed 'Teddy's Story'. 'That was Sirius' work. I just drew the pictures.'

Lily smiled warmly, putting the papers carefully on the table. 'I keep telling him to send some of his stories to a publisher,' she confided. 'He's got a gift; his imagination is just wondrous...' She shook her head. 'But he insists that no one but Harry would be interested.'

'I would,' Remus said immediately then blushed again when she cast a knowing look at him. 'I mean, his stories are inspiring. He was telling one the other day about Harry and a Lord Snake...'

'Snake-face,' Lily finished with a giggle. 'That's one of Harry's favourites. He likes the one about the three-headed dog as well.'

Remus grinned. 'It was fantastic,' Remus said, looking back down at the curling script. 'Just so exciting and vivid. And this story about Dora...' He sighed. 'He took a moment of my life that I'd always thought of as a mistake – a fantastic mistake, but still... - and turned it into something wonderful, something magical that made me want to capture it with more than words.'

He glanced up at Lily. 'That's a rare thing,' he said quietly. 'To be able to create so much beauty and wonder with words.'

Lily smiled and gestured to the pages on the table. 'As is the ability to capture the essence of those words in the strokes of a pencil,' she said then she cocked her head thoughtfully. 'You two would make a formidable team.'

The noisy entrance of Harry and Teddy prevented Remus from commenting. 'Mum, can Teddy and Mr Lupin come to dinner on Friday night?' Harry asked as soon as he saw his mother.

'"Hello, mum, did you have a nice day?" "Why, yes, Harry, I did, thank you for asking."' Lily said lightly, and Harry rolled his eyes.

'Hi, mum,' he said grudgingly. 'So? Can they?'

Lily laughed then looked at Remus. 'Are you busy Friday night?' she asked.

Remus shuffled awkwardly. 'You don't have to...'

'No, I'd like you to come over,' Lily insisted, giving him a warm smile. 'We usually have Sirius around as well...'

Her voice trailed off and a contemplative expression formed on her face. She glanced at the two boys, smiled, then looked back at Remus. 'I insist you both come,' she said with a smug little smile that made Remus blink in surprise.

'Um, sure,' he said, a little uncertain of Lily's sudden 'cat that got the cream' expression, but happy enough to see Sirius outside of work again.

'And perhaps,' she added after another little glance at Harry and Teddy, who were watching her with round eyes, 'Teddy could spend the night?'

Remus blinked then looked at Teddy and Harry, whose faces had lit up. 'Er...'

'Could I, dad?' Teddy asked hopefully. 'I'd be good, and you could – um - go out or something.'

'Yeah,' Harry agreed, nodding. 'You could go out with S...'

'We should get going,' Lily said quickly, cutting her son off. 'So, dinner, Remus? Friday?'

'Ah, sure,' he said, overwhelmed by the whirlwind of red hair that towed the two boys and himself down the hall towards the front door. 'What...?'

'Six,' she said, reading his mind. 'You might get time to head out afterwards if you have an early dinner.'

'I don't really go out much these days.'

'Well, you're past due then, aren't you?' she said cheerfully, opening the door. 'See you both Friday.'

And then she was gone, leaving Remus staring blankly at the front door.

'Does Mrs Potter make you dizzy, too, Dad?'

'Yeah,' Remus said with a little laugh. 'Yes, she does.'