Behind the Scenes

A HariPo oneshot

by mew-tsubaki

Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not me. This pairing was discovered by me, so please gimme a little mention if you write them! Thanks! It is one of many of Mew and Mor's Weird Pairings, most of which you may find in Mor's and my forum, "Mew and Mor's Weird Pairings Fan Stories," found here (Just take out the spaces!): http : / forum. fanfiction. net/ forum /Mew_and_Mors_Weird_Pairings_Fan_Stories /76194 / Read, review, and enjoy! And check out and join the forum FUN!

Yes, an alternate version of ch11 of my fic, 45 Ways to Make a Werewolf Fall for You, but you don't have to read that first. In here, we have Frank/James (M&MWP), a bit of Remus/Sirius, and a hint of Lily/Alice. Enjoy. :] (Oh, there's some stuff that comes directly from that chappy, fyi.)

- ^-^3

Frank Longbottom tossed and turned. He tucked an arm under his head, but it was useless. He couldn't sleep.

"Can't sleep?" James whispered in the darkness.

Frank sighed. "I just—I can't sleep like this. That's the only thing I hate about Order missions.

James nodded, though Frank couldn't see it. "Hey, we'll be going home tomorrow. Home, Frankie."

Frank grimaced and flipped onto his back. "Home" didn't mean much to him when everyone played house in front of the others. It was a curious thing, and it didn't make a lot of sense. Frank couldn't be the only one who thought there was more to Remus and Sirius' "friendship." Frank and James knew about Lily and Alice, even if the others—especially Mary, Marlene, and Dorcas—didn't. But what bothered Frank was James' blasé attitude.

It wasn't as though Frank wanted to just walk out in the world, calling James his boyfriend whenever he could. He just wanted the chance to hold his lover's hand when he heard bad news, to lean on his lover's shoulder when he was tired, and to be held by his lover when it felt as though his whole world were falling apart.

"Yeah…," Frank said, "tomorrow." Then he turned away from James and tried to get some sleep.

- ^-^3

"The first thing I want…," Remus panted the next morning, "…is a bloody chocolate milkshake."

James nodded alongside him and Frank gave him an encouraging smile as the three of them walked the short distance from where they'd Apparated to James' flat. "I want a shower," James piped up. He winked at Frank behind Remus' back and Frank rolled his eyes.

"I want to sleep in a real bed," Frank stated, and he rubbed the dark circles under his eyes for good measure. Robes and cloaks were not the best bedding.

"I still want my milkshake," the werewolf grumbled.

"When it's this cold, Remus?" Frank asked. He pointed to their surroundings. "There's even snow out, mate."

James waved him off. "Give it up, Frank. In any shape or form, he's gotta satisfy that sweet tooth of his or there'll be consequences to pay."

"What'd you mean?"

"Well, you see, once, Sirius ate his last chocolate bar kinda out of boredom and general laziness. You remember that time when McGonagall was so angry that she almost hexed those Slytherins during Transfiguration?"

"Fifth year, yeah, of course." It was fifth year when James and Frank had started sneaking around—how could he forget?

"Even McGonagall would've been scared of that Remus."

Frank whistled, pulling himself out of his memories. "Wooh, boy. Gotcha."

"It'd be nice if you two stopped chatting away whilst I'm right here," Remus remarked pointedly to James as James unlocked the door to his place and they went up the stairs.

James grinned and Frank laughed good-humoredly. "But isn't it better to be talked about and remembered than not talked about at all and be forgotten?"

"Good Merlin, your kind of logic will do us all in, Prongs," Remus mumbled.

"Love you, too, Moony."

Frank's smile dropped at those words and he had to shake himself to keep his mind off James' so-so affections. James was always open with his friends, but he had yet to act so freely around Frank. And one would think after about five years together, something would've changed. Then again, he was James Potter.

Any ill will was forgotten, however, and dropped when Lily and Alice woke up in the living room and greeted their friends. Lily's hair and Alice's shirt looked a little disheveled and Frank raised his eyebrows at Alice. She blushed and stuck her tongue out at him. "It's not my fault if you didn't get any," she quipped. Frank crimsoned, glad James hadn't overheard her.

"Sorry I'm late!" Sirius said as he burst through the door, his face red and his fringe in his eyes. He tugged his scarf off and grinned at Remus.

"Never a gathering without you, Sirius," Remus said, smiling back.

"Moony!" He ran right up to him and grabbed him. He managed to pick him up off the floor so he could give him a twirling hug, and then he set him back down. He hugged James, too, but not as enthusiastically, and he shook Frank's hand. "Well, by the looks of things, you three obviously made it."

"With the unnerving news that most of the werewolves like You-Know-Who's ideas," Frank stated as he leaned on Alice. She gave him a concerned look, all jokes about him and James forgotten.

"And those who aren't joining now are remaining neutral—in the meantime," Remus finished. "They have the right and ability to change their minds any time, so we've got to step lightly."

James furrowed his brow. "Do you think they might alert other dens that we're going around…essentially recruiting?"

Remus shrugged. "They might. But we can't know for sure, so our job won't end. Werewolves are fickle by nature—they're with one side one moment, and the other the next. All we can be certain of is that, ultimately, they're for themselves."

An uneasy quiet settled over the six of them, only to be broken by Lily. "We should owl Dumbledore and let him know you're all back safe and sound."

"I'll come with," James said. "I've got something I want to say to him…" The two of them went down the hall and disappeared, and Frank and Alice relaxed in a large chair by the window in James' living room. Sirius and Remus disappeared into the kitchen, and Frank sighed.

"You three were…all right, right?" Alice asked, worry evident in her voice.

Frank frowned. "Hey, we made it out alive." He shook his head. "Remus did most of the work, with James and me hiding under the Invisibility Cloak."

"I still can't believe he has that thing. And the wolves—they didn't suspect that you were there?"

"No, which is a miracle considering how randy that piece of cloth makes James," he added, his cheeks flushed.

Alice patted his knee. "Oh, Frank, the whole school knew how horny James was."

"Pervy, you mean, Alice."

"Same diff," she commented with a shrug. She stretched and nudged him. "But hey, you're back, this is his place, Lily'll be coming home with me tonight, and I can't imagine Remus and Sirius are going to stay here that long. Even Remus can get an overdose of James," the witch added with a chuckle. Frank mustered a small grin.

James knocked at the doorway. "Hey, Alice. Lily and I were thinking about getting food from that Chinese restaurant up the way. You staying?"

Alice groaned. "That girl… That's fine, but we should get ours to go. You two figure out what you want while I go refresh Lily's memory," she stated. She left the room and James watched her go before coming in and sitting on the table in front of Frank's chair.

"Hey," he said.

Frank let his head loll to the side and rest on the back of the chair. "Hey."

"You all right, Frankie?"

Frank grimaced."James…don't call me that."

"What? I've always called you that when we've been alone."

"I know."

James leaned forward, his elbows on his knees. "Hey. Come on. You were kinda quiet while we were away."

"Remus was along," Frank pointed out.

"And when Remus was out, you acted as though he was still in the room. Kinda like now—it's as though Alice is still in the room. And she and Lily know." James pulled a face, hoping to sway him.

Frank winced, hating that James thought he'd always succumb to that expression. "James…isn't there…I dunno, more to this? More to us?"

"What do you mean?"

Frank stared long and hard into James' hazel eyes, thinking. Frank remembered being envious of the Marauders. He remembered, also, being envious of Lily and of Alice when he'd thought James had showered too much attention on them. But he also remembered when James had revealed that Frank was special and made Frank feel that he was special. Out of the best group of friends, James hadn't fallen for any of them. He'd fallen for Frank. Well, Frank thought so. But that was based more on the fact that Frank had fallen high, fast, and hard for him. It was only natural to think the chemistry had been mutual.

"What, do you think because I'm not tapping that more often—"

"James!"

"—that it means things have gone stale between us?" James glared at him. "Thanks for thinking so highly of me."

"Boys, c'mon!" Lily hollered out in the hallway to the whole house. "Food now! Hey, Sirius, Remus—aww, that's cute, sharing a milkshake. Oh, it's nothing to be embarrassed about…!"

Frank shook his head and got up, grabbing his jacket. "Maybe we should all get out tonight." He purposely didn't answer James and neither did he look at him as they rejoined their friends and left James' place.

- ^-^3

The Chinese restaurant was an experience. Frank had only been to one once before, when Alice and Lily had dragged him along. James was okay since he'd been out to the place a couple of times with the girls, and Remus was fine because Remus was Remus. Hardly anything ever fazed him.

But Sirius…

"OH MY GODRIC! IT LOOKS LIKE IT'S STILL MOVING ON MY PLATE!"

Frank couldn't fight his laughter, and honestly the others couldn't either. Well, maybe Remus. He seemed exasperated more than anything else. "It's not moving, trust me, Padfoot. That's just how it is."

Lily chewed a piece of mushu pork. "Sirius, it's food. That's all that counts."

"Rice, I trust. Rice looks like food," Sirius growled. "Rice doesn't look like it's going to reach out and throttle me—I mean, tentacles!"

"Oh, Pads, there's nothing wrong with tentacles," James said offhandedly, and the girls burst into a fit of giggles.

"It's just—what, squid? Octopus?" Frank chimed in. "You don't have to eat it if you don't want to, Sirius."

Sirius looked at him and nodded. "Good point, Frank." He reached over Remus' arm and plucked a dumpling off his plate.

"HEY!" Remus yelped.

"Ahh… 'S good."

Frank grinned. He knew his friends would definitely have their happy ending, one way or another. Even Lily and Alice—they were so accustomed to their life already… He accidentally caught James' eye, and James subtly raised his glass to him. Frank raised his own glass before dropping his eyes to his plate.

With six of them, the food on the table disappeared pretty quickly, and the girls were the first to admit everyone should be heading home.

"Wait, what about the bill?" James asked incredulously.

Lily and Alice kissed either of his cheeks. "Thank you so much for treating, James," Lily teased. She and Alice said goodnight to the others and Frank eyed Sirius and Remus.

"I'm tired," Remus said as he pulled on his jacket.

"I think we all are," Frank commented. "You, James, me, from the mission." He smiled. "Sirius from the anticipation of our return."

"Of course!" Sirius looked amusingly affronted.

"Okay, Padfoot, come on," Remus said. He tugged on Sirius' cloak. "Let's get you home. Goodnight, James. Goodnight, Frank."

"'Night, Remus," Frank said with a nod. He watched the two of them walk a little ways away until they were good enough to Disapparate. Then Frank turned to James. "Goodnight, James."

James pursed his lips. "Seriously? After all that…? Crash at my place tonight, Frankie."

"No, James, it was stupid, what I said. I—"

James pulled him into the shadows beside the restaurant and kissed him hard. It was tough to argue with James when he kept your mouth occupied. "No, it made some sense to me." He hugged Frank to him. "Please? Can we talk about it?"

Frank gripped James' sleeve and blindly nodded. He held on and let James Disapparate them back to his place, even though it was within walking distance. They kicked off their shoes inside the front door and James went into the kitchen to grab a butterbeer for both of them. When he came back into the living room, Frank was on the couch, his legs tucked under him. James sat down beside him and patted his knees, and Frank gave in and put his legs on James' lap. He leaned his head on James' shoulder.

"So," the Marauder began, "I ask again: Have we gone stale?"

"Maybe a little bit. Like that roll Peter didn't realize had been under his bed for two weeks," he added with a smile.

"Ah, yes. Third year." James grinned. "I'd already been wondering about you for a little while then, you know."

"Oh?"

"Yep. I'd made the Quidditch team as Chaser and you said you weren't all that interested in Quidditch."

"Did I really?"

"Yes, you cheat. I couldn't believe anyone couldn't like Quidditch. Even Remus likes Quidditch. But…" James sighed, recalling the memory as though it had happened yesterday. "But then you smirked at me—"

"—it was a smile, not a smirk. Longbottoms don't smirk—"

"—no, it was clearly a smirk—"

"—I told you, I smiled at you!"

James removed his glasses and looked at Frank. "But at least you admit you smiled at me." He laughed. "And that smile, smirk, whatever—I swear, the glint in your eye that came with it implied that you might not have liked Quidditch but you liked the players."

Frank blushed and looked away. "Did not."

"Did, too." James turned Frank's head back to him by the chin. "There was the whole third year of debating you, and then I spent all of fourth year debating me, and then fifth year… Well, you know that part. Fifth year I finally came to terms with it all and dove headfirst into a romance that has lasted me even outside of school." James fell slowly fell. "…hasn't it?"

"It has," Frank assured him, "but it just feels…off. We do everything couples in love do. We are everything couples in love are. So…"

"I—" James closed his mouth and squinted. His expression was that of a person who'd eaten a rotten treacle tart…or Snape's hair. "I…love you, Frankie."

Frank stared at him, his mouth gaping. "This isn't one of your jokes, is it?"

"What? NO! No, how could I joke about it?" James' face turned Expelliarmus red. He was telling the truth.

"I just… I can't believe it. You have no problem saying those things to your parents and your friends—Sirius, Remus, and Lily have heard that loads of time—but I know you never said to the few girls you dated. Or even that Ravenclaw bloke you briefly went out with—"

"Ah—! Not even Remus or Sirius figured that out! How did you—" The question died on his lips. "Of course. You always were watching."

"My point is that you hate that phrase, James," Frank continued. He gave the other wizard a pleading look. "You don't have to say it if you don't want to."

James frowned. "But I mean it. And I feel like a right git for not having said it before. Loads of times before!" He sighed and leaned back against the couch. After a few minutes of silence had passed, he asked, "Aren't you going to say something?"

Frank, too, leaned against the couch. "Does this mean I'm allowed to say it?"

"Of course. You can say whatever you want, Frank."

"I love you, James Potter."

James laughed, his cheeks a respectable pink tinge. "I had a feeling you were going to say that." He snogged his boyfriend some more, regardless. "So…you said you wanted to sleep in a real bed…"

"Tomorrow night, James," Frank stated as he wrapped his arms around James' waist. "But tonight, this is all I need."

"Sounds good to me."

Frank grinned against his chest as his eyelids began to droop. "Indeed."

- ^-^3

:D Awww, how sweet was that? X3 I am actually looking forward to writing more Frank/James… They really are too cute for words. It even helped me stomach Lily/Alice; Alice is believable in femslash to me…Lily, not so much, sorry. And OF COURSE there had to be Remmius! Sirius&Remus—*noms*. Cute that James had a hard time saying "I love you," though. He always struck me as the kind of guy that would have a hard time saying it seriously, meaning it, and at the right time. Anywho. :] …(feel free to check out 45 Ways, even though it doesn't actually have more Frank/James in it.)

Please drop a review—Marauder-era slash is soo deserving of reviews!

-mew-tsubaki ;}