Two to Tango
A HariPo oneshot
Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not me. James/Remus, some Lily/James. Just showing that being tentative can lead to your demise. XD *lol* Read, review, and enjoy!
In the outside world, people were killing, people were dying, and there was a dire need for Aurors.
Inside Hogwarts, the class of 1978 was escaping such a bleak future. They were going to graduate next week, and several of the seventh years (certainly the Marauders) had planned a little dance to commemorate the occasion. According to what he saw, Remus counted that almost the entire class had arrived in the Great Hall.
"Try the treacle tarts!" Peter told him, his mouth half full. "The house-elves really outdid themselves tonight!"
Remus nodded, laughing. "I will—just don't eat them all, Peter." He looked around. "Oh, Merlin… Don't tell me Sirius already spirited Marlene off somewhere…?" he asked his portly friend, half-dreading the answer.
"Yeah. They put in an appearance ten minutes ago. You didn't see them?"
Remus sighed. "Go figure that those two would find another way to celebrate…" And it was true; Marlene had always seemed the gasoline to Sirius' fire, but even she could toy with hearts. Remus just hoped that if things weren't going to carry past tonight, the pair had the decency to leave things on an amiable note.
Seeing as Sirius had Marlene and Peter had food, Remus looked around to find James. Now that the party had started without a hitch and was still running smoothly, he hoped James would count this as a success…and would count Remus as having participated. With that participation, James was supposed to return Remus' trunk to him; he'd hidden it after they'd all packed just to con the werewolf into helping to plan the party.
Now knowing James for seven years and counting, he hoped James would even remember where he'd hidden it. The thought only served to make Remus tired.
He also felt a little out-of-place. Dances weren't really his thing, and he'd already turned down two offers to dance—from Mary and Dorcas. Then came the third:
"Come on, Moony!" James laughed as he twirled Lily out away from his arms. His cheeks were warm and as red as Lily's hair from all the activity.
"Er, no," Remus said flatly. "Coordinates to my trunk, James?"
Lily paused, looking at her boyfriend. "James, you didn't—? How could you prank your own friend?" She slapped the side of his head and faced Remus. "I'm sorry, Remus. Sometimes I wonder what's wrong with my head, thinking he'll ever grow up."
Remus chuckled, wholeheartedly agreeing with her. It wasn't as though they hadn't grown. Quite to the contrary: Sirius still stood the tallest, but Remus and James were of almost equal height now, with James having maybe a centimeter on him. And Lily had grown, too, like that awful cliché of a bud blossoming… Lily looked beautiful in her pale lilac dress, which served to make her hair even more impossibly red.
James was dressed in classy black robes like Remus, which paled his tan skin but made his hazel eyes jump right out and pierce Remus when Remus grimaced at his mate.
James stared back, a grin on his face. "Aw, Moony, can't take your eyes off me? It's all right; Lily's sure to share me if you ask nicely."
Remus scoffed, chocking the heat on his skin up to the warmth of the room. "Trunk, please."
Lily disentangled herself from James' arms. "Come on, James. Just give it up already."
"I'll have you know I was doing Remus a favor!" James retorted. "Remus needs to lighten up every once in a while!"
"Hey! I can have fun," Remus remarked. After all, hadn't he planned some of their better pranks?
James gave him a cheeky grin. "Then loosen up! Dance with me and Lils!"
"'Lily and me,'" Remus offhandedly corrected as James tugged on his sleeve.
"Well… That's not that bad a thought," Lily agreed, cozying up to James' idea. "Yes, Remus, why don't you join us?"
"First, I don't do dances, and second, dancing is for two people." But his answers were kindly laughed off as Lily hooked her arm through his and James grabbed a hold of his hand.
Remus wasn't keen on admitting it to them, but…it was actually a lot of fun. Standing around watching the others surely ought to be banned at times when he could be doing this, making his way around the room with two of his good friends. Sure, maybe they danced a little haphazardly—what actions weren't considered haphazard ones when James was involved?—but Remus felt himself to start, ahh…as James said, "loosen up."
Sometimes they made a circle, as though they would break out into song and do "Ring Around the Rosie." Sometimes Lily and James used their arms to close off Remus' escape routes and trap him between them as they jostled around, the three of them laughing. Sometimes, James would twirl Lily into his arms and Remus out…and then Lily would turn away just as Remus came crashing back into him.
After what seemed like forever, Lily gasped for air. "Godric, I'm tuckered!" The boys paused and she looked at them. "I think I'm going to go to bed. It's getting late and the others are starting to leave, too," she said and they looked at the dwindling numbers. She gave Remus an apologetic look. "Sorry, Remus, I'm gonna call it a night. I suggest you two do, as well," she added with a pointed look to James.
"I'll get him his bloody trunk," James promised with a roll of his eyes. "But I still want the last dance!"
"Wha…?" Remus shook his head as James waltzed him around the room once more, though their pace was a lot less frenetic than it had been before. He laughed when James dipped him, and as James drew him back up, he watched as the last of the others returned to their dorms. "Oh… James, we probably should go."
"Yeah… We'll get Abbott and Diggory to clear the hall in the morning," the dark-haired boy stated as he and Remus exited.
"Why must you pick on the Hufflepuffs?"
"'Picking on'? Me?" James gave him a look of mock-horror. "Why, Lupin, I've no idea whatsoever you're insinuating!"
"Yeah, yeah… Where did you hide my trunk anyway?"
James winked. "Third floor."
Remus' eyes bugged out. "The forbidden corridor?"
"Oh, Moony, you still need to lighten up."
"When I've got my bloody belongings back, I'm going to hex you, Potter."
"No, you won't." James and Remus came to the landing for the third floor when James made a show of slapping his forehead and groaning. "Agh, I forgot! I moved it to the Room of Requirement, thinking you might guess the third floor."
Remus groaned and dragged James by the tie as they marched up to the seventh floor. "James, if you lost my stuff, count on me hexing you."
When they reached the Room of Requirement, Remus waited for James to think about their destination. When they entered the room, Remus was surprised.
"This looks like your house."
James nodded. "Yeah, so I was lacking in the imagination department, whatever." He waved Remus over. "C'mon, I hid it under the couch."
Remus helped him move the couch and lo and behold, there it was, the initials "R.J.L." inscribed in cursive on the lid. Remus sat down on the couch. "Ah! Finally." He looked to James, who leaned over the back of the couch. "You git. I thought I was going to have to buy new underwear as soon as I got home," he laughed.
The Chaser smiled, but it reminded Remus of the big bad wolf from the tale of Little Red Riding Hood. James leaned down and Frenched the surprised werewolf right then and there. He didn't break it off until Remus pushed him backwards.
"What about Lily?" was the first thing out of Remus' mouth. He wiped his lips, but for Merlin's sake, he could still taste him…!
James raised an eyebrow. "Remus, you were in the dorms when I told you, Padfoot, and Wormtail two months ago that I'd tried kissing Lily…and things turned out flat."
Remus blinked, trying to wrap his head around what had just happened. "Wha…? You said…? Oh…I must've…"
"…had your nose in a book, probably," James finished for him, a small smile on his lips. "I said Lily and I were staying friends."
"My question is why did you ask about Lily first?" James had the look in his eye, the same one he always did when he knew Snape was about to walk successfully into one of their jokes. "Why not yell at me to remind me that you're a bloke?"
Remus' cheeks flushed. He cursed under his breath. "That—That was going to be my next st-statement…dammit, stop looking at me like that!"
James blinked. "There's nothing wrong with that, Remus. Sirius knew of your crush on him before. Trust me, he was flattered, but that was back when he'd been seeing that Ravenclaw girl, remember? You seemed to get over him after you saw them in the broom closet, unless…" His expression darkened, unsure. "Unless you didn't get over him?"
"What? Yes! Yes, I did! I just…" Remus shook his head. "Agh, this is hurting my head…" He looked at James. "You little… You had ulterior motives in hiding my trunk up here!"
"Bingo," James chuckled as he leaned over once more and started to nip at the skin right between Remus' cheek and ear. Remus was starting to melt into his touch… "A rather bold love confession, but I'm sure you can tell it's me and not any firewhiskey Sirius theoretically snuck in, since I did confess for years to Lily in front of the entire school…"
"W-Wait! Sirius s-sn-ungh-uck firewhiskey insi-iiide?" Remus cursed James under his breath again. How dare he make his voice break like that! Then again, how…uh, "how dare" he…kiss that well…
"Why, no, of course not, my dear Remus…"
Remus faltered as James' fingers slid through his locks of hair and cupped the back of his head. "J-James…"
James paused, and his smile softened. His voice was husky as he asked, "Remus, tell me now if I'm in the wrong." He hugged the werewolf to him tightly. "It takes two to tango, mate," he breathed into Remus' shoulder.
Remus hugged him just as tightly. Of course he'd fancied James—even if it'd only been a little bit—from the beginning. Most people looked at James, and at Sirius, and were charmed right off their feet. Those two just had a magnetism to attract all kinds…even those of the lycanthrope persuasion. Along the way, Remus had really come to like Sirius, but James was right, he'd gotten over Sirius a long time ago. He'd still liked James, but he never thought in that way because it'd always been James&Lily and it would always be James&Lily and Remus knew… Yeah, Remus knew that he was just as out-of-place here as he was at a dance.
But here was James telling him he wasn't as much an oddball as he'd first thought.
James met his eyes, and those eyes behind those glasses were scalding and boring holes into Remus…so Remus drew him back to him, shoving his tongue into James' mouth with a hungry kind of fervor.
James looked at their rumpled clothing and Remus' red face and laughed as Remus glared at him, expecting an awful joke at such a time. "Well, Remus, if you're that happy to be with me, then I think you will need some new undies when you get home." Thank Merlin Remus shut him up with another make-out session.
*noms* I laiiike Jamus… ;] Soo yummy… And James really needs to learn to have some tact, doesn't he? XDDD
Thanks for reading and please review!