Sirius Black may be James Potter's best friend, but that doesn't mean that James can understand why anyone in a confounded-free state of mind would ever fancy him.
Sirius is loud and crass and shows affection for James by thumping him (hard) on the shoulder. He chews with his mouth open and washes his hair too much and yawns in class. He steals James' underwear when he can't find a clean pair of his own and laughs at James' attempted wooing of Lily Evans. James loves him very much, thinks of him as a brother, would die for him, et cetera et cetera, but cannot, under any circumstances, see what is there to fancy.
So when he unexpectedly stumbles upon his two dear friends, Sirius Black and Remus Lupin respectively, kissing softy and steamily on the common room sofa on Christmas Eve night, he can't believe his little myopic eyes.
He yelps. The arm that was stretching to the ceiling in a casual yawn, falls to the floor. As does his jaw.
Remus, who has one hand under Sirius' t-shirt, the other leaning on the arm of the sofa, also yelps. He pulls back both his hands (causing him to slip most un-graciously) and attempts to straighten his ruffled shirt. James sees him yank down Sirius' hand that was snaking its way up his back.
"What the bloody hell!" James manages to squeak out.
"James!" Remus, also squeaks.
"What are you doing here?" James asks incredulously.
"What are you doing here?" Remus asks, equally incredulously. James thinks he can see a pattern forming here.
"I came to eat the mince pies Padfoot insisted we leave out for 'Santa,' whoever the bloody hell he is," James answers. "More importantly, what in the name of all that is Gryffindor are you doing?" James aims this question directly at Remus, ignoring the frowning Sirius that squirms beneath him.
"Oi, I am here you know," says Sirius, sitting up and reluctantly letting Remus crawl off his lap.
James walks over to the big stuffed armchair and flops himself into the seat. He sighs, then places his legs on the coffee table and helps himself to a mince pie.
"So. Explain," he says, through a mouthful of currants and sugar. He crosses his ankles.
Remus wrinkles his nose. "Um…I'm not sure I know exactly what you mean-"
"Oh c'mon Moony, I'm not dull. I can see very clearly that you two were kissing. Quite intensely, might I add,"
Remus looks at the buttons of his shirt intently. James can see they have been buttoned-up entirely wrong in the haste to do them up. Remus has now slid of Sirius' lap and sits besides him on the sofa, a self-conscious cushion between them.
"So my question is….why Padfoot?"
Remus looks up. "What?"
"You heard me. Why that smelly old fleabag?" James groans with all seriousness. "Couldn't you do better?"
"Oi! Still here, you know!" calls Sirius from Remus' other side. James looks at him, entirely unabashed, then looks back at Remus. He ducks to dodge the cushion Sirius throws at him.
"So. Go. Why him?" James waits, not caring how excruciating this must be for his quiet, moderate friend.
Pink visibly spreads over Remus' cheeks, as warm as the baking fire by which they sit. Sirius frowns at James again.
"Stop frowning Sirius, otherwise you'll get wrinkles," says James.
Sirius decides to glower at him instead.
Remus starts to play with his sleeve. "I…I really like him James."
"Well I can see that you daft git, otherwise you wouldn't have his tongue in your mouth. But why, Moony…"? he gives Sirius a reproachful look, and wrinkles his nose, "it's Padfoot."
Remus grins, a smile so soppy and love-sick, James wants to groan. It makes him wonder why he ever felt the need to ask the question in the first place.
"Dear lord, if you could see your face, Moony,"
Sirius turns to look at Remus when James says this. Sirius smiles when he sees Remus' grin, and suddenly James feels for the first time that maybe interrupting them had been a bad idea.
"So…um, how long has this been going on?"
Sirius and Remus look away from each to answer James' question. Now James is really starting to regret interrupting them.
"Few months now," Remus shrugs with one shoulder.
"Riiight," says James and coughs.
The fire cackles in the fireplace, and Sirius looks bored.
"So. Padfoot. Really?" asks James.
Remus laughs. "Yes, really,"
"But he chews with his mouth open,"
"He leaves dirty towels on the floor,"
"He insists on writing a new, god-awful limerick every Friday!"
"I know, James -,"
"He steals my food at dinner!"
"He likes show tunes Remus…show tunes -,"
"James!" Remus laughs, "I know!"
"And you still like him?"
"Oh dear," says James, furrowing his brow, "you really are in trouble."
He can tell Remus is trying not to look pleased at this.
"Well, now I feel….enlightened," James slumps into the chair, staring straight ahead.
"So….you don't mind this, then? Us?" asks Remus uncertainly.
James grins. "Of course not, you daft thing."
Remus breaks into a relieved smile.
James says. "Anyway, I found you two touching each other up on the seventh floor corridor, two weeks ago."
Remus' smile falters and fades.
"Honestly, if I hadn't already known for weeks!" says James, trailing laughter behind him as he exits for the upstairs dorm. He slams the door behind him, just missing the cushion that Sirius throws, which hits the back of the door with a thud.