Another short story for you. This time about Sirius. It is slash, but I don't think it'll be anything explicit or particularly mature. There will be fairly severe swearing later on, but I'm trying very hard to keep it age appropriate, so they're only eleven here and are relatively innocent.

Hope you enjoy, thanks for reading, Reviews always make me smile. Thank you!

Lessons in Love

Lesson the First - Realities

The first time Sirius Black loved something about Remus Lupin he was eleven.

It wasn't an instant connection like it was with James Potter, when they stumbled into the compartment at the same time and argued over who had the rights to it. By the end of that first journey on the Hogwarts express it felt like the two had known one another all their lives.

Soulmates, some would have said. Not the boys in question, certainly, but some. Others compared them to twins - so alike in looks and personality, both born and raised purebloods from ancient wizarding families. Always on the same page, able to communicate with twitches and little gestures more than with words. Two of a kind.

With Remus it was different. Always so different.

Maybe that was the attraction. Remus was the complete opposite of what Sirius had always been told was good and right and proper. But he was probably the most good, right and proper person Sirius met that first day. And continued to be so throughout the first week.

He was a half-blood, Sirius overheard him telling the little blond boy, Peter, one night in the dorm the four of them shared. This was even more peculiar. Half-bloods, Sirius mother had enthused, were tainted by their Muggle blood. They were less than a proper wizard. Walburga had never answered, though, when Sirius asked that question beloved by all children of a certain age; Why?

He realised then that she had never had the answer to give. Because however he looked at the quiet mousy boy, he was no less than Sirius and James were at all. One by one, Sirius found his mother lectures falling apart, losing any meaning they had left.

' Stupid mud bloods, don't know what they're doing! And contaminating our kind like they insist on doing so rapidly, we'll soon be hiring Muggles as tutors, Orion, honestly!'

Remus was resolutely a top five student in every class - even Potions, with which he seemed to struggle sometimes. If he didn't understand something, he shut himself away in the library until he did. That kind of thirst for knowledge couldn't be faked for anything.

' Absolutely filthy, these people, Sirius! You'll be tainted even looking at them, dirty animals…'

Remus was undoubtedly the cleanest boy in their dorm. He showered twice a day, and got up earlier than them just so he had time to make his bed and fold his clothes properly. He wasn't filthy by any definition of the word.

' … didn't even have the decency to address us properly! Appalling, really. What kind of rude, uncultured people…'

And Remus certainly couldn't be defined as rude or uncultured. He had better day-to-day manners than Sirius, who had been trained in the art since he was old enough to stand. He could hardly ever be found with his nose out of a book, seeming to go through them at record pace and excluding nothing - from Muggle novels to wizarding histories to potions textbooks.

These were all reasons Sirius was fascinated by Remus Lupin. It was always different with Remus.

So, after fortnight if school, Sirius made an effort to befriend him, in that no-nonsense way he had.

' You look terrible,' he pointed out, when Remus returned from a visit to his Aunt at St. Mungo's.

' I hadn't realised, thanks,' came the reply, tired but humoured.

' What happened?' Sirius asked, peering unashamedly at the brand new, shiny white scar on the corner of Remus' mouth. ' Get in to a fight with a frisky Manticore?'

' You should've seen how he looks now I've done with him. Good thing he was at the hospital anyway.'

' Yeah, they'll let anything be a nurse nowadays,' Sirius laughed, and was pleased to see Remus doing the same.

Sirius decided he liked the boy. That quiet boy who read all the time and studied incessantly, but who clearly had a sense of humour and something more playful under that guarded exterior.

Sirius liked Remus, because he was everything his mother hated and he wasn't any less of a decent person for it. He wasn't like the proper people Sirius was used to dealing with, tolerating. Remus was the opposite of everything Sirius had been taught to like, and Sirius liked him anyway.

He liked him because of the little flashes of insecurity he saw every now and again in those chocolate brown eyes. Brief moments when he realised that Remus was as surprised to find himself a Gryffindor at Hogwarts as Sirius himself was. Something made him feel out of place, different.

' Want to help me curse James' robes pink?' He asked, hopefully, grabbing his wand from his bed and holding it elegantly in his right hand like he'd been shown by his father.

Remus didn't hesitate in pulling out his own wand, offering up a mischievous grin, and Sirius loved that he held it comfortably in his left hand.