Disclaimer: I do not own J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter, nor am I making any money off this fanfiction.

Author's Notes…

Happy birthday, Ben! You've been friends with me for eight years now. I can only hope the next eight years are as awesome as these last ones were.


"That foul, ridiculous git!"

Remus jerked, startled, and lifted his head from his book to see who was shouting. They'd already degenerated into curses, although when Remus saw who it was, he wasn't surprised. Only James Potter could reduce Lily Evans into such fury that she sometimes entirely lost her composure. Which was probably why she was here, in the abandoned Charms classroom, thinking she was alone. Remus' suspicions were confirmed when she turned, caught sight of Remus, and flushed several shades of red. She'd almost ducked out of the room entirely before Remus stopped her.

"Lily, wait…" He pushed himself up off the floor and snapped his book shut. "Walk with me to the library?"

He didn't expect her to say no. Lily was far too kind for that. So he waited patiently until she'd gathered her composure, smoothed her hands down the front of her robes, and gave him a jerky nod. With a slight smile, Remus came to her side, and together they left the classroom to venture out into the corridor.

Silence stretched between them, but it was companionable. That was what Remus liked so much about Lily. He was naturally quiet, and with her, he wasn't forced to come up with conversation to fill any awkward gaps. It was peaceful like this, and lately, usually nearer to the full moon, Remus liked to seek out her company, by way of studying or perusing books at the library together.

Of course, if James ever found out, he'd be livid.

"What did he do this time?" Remus finally asked, when he deemed it suitable to broach the topic. Lily was like a beautiful bird, and it was often that James would ruffle her feathers. The interesting thing was, at first, Lily had been able to brush it off like it was nothing. Now, it seemed to be becoming increasingly harder to do so. Was James finally succeeding in getting under her skin, chipping away at that icy exterior she gave him?

"Oh, the usual…" Lily shrugged, holding onto her elbow with her hand. She wouldn't look at him. "In retaliation for my continued refusal to go steady with him, he hexed Bradley."

Bradley, Remus knew, was a boy she'd been seeing for a couple of weeks now. "At least he isn't taking it out on Severus this time."

She flinched at that, and Remus was sorry he brought it up. For whatever reason, instead of looking fond these days at the mention of her friend (although admittedly Remus had trouble understanding why anyone would want to be friends with Snape, though that may have been more to do with the the animosity from James' part speaking for him)… well, she simply looked—troubled.

"I don't like who he's spending his time with," Lily whispered. She slowed to a stop in the corridor, and Remus followed suit. When she lifted her stunning green eyes to his, he felt his breath leave him a bit, something he always took care to make as unnoticeable as possible. It was just that Lily was so beautiful and so kind. It made him ache, in a way. Sometimes he hated even touching her, because he felt foul and cursed and wretched, and doing so would soil her.

"Well…" Remus searched for words. It wasn't common for him to give advice on the matter of Severus Snape. "Have you spoken with him about it?"

"Yes!" Frustration closed Lily's features, and she lifted a hand to her forehead and shut her eyes. "Oh, Remus, I just wish things would be as simple as they used to be! Severus was my first friend in the wizarding world, you know."

"I know." He shifted, a little awkward. The incident involving Sirius goading Snape to go to the Shrieking Shack while Remus was under a transformation was still recent enough to haunt him. If Lily ever found out what had happened… but no, Snape was likely too ashamed and too bitter over it to ever mention it to her.

"Why won't he just—"

"Moony!" a voice boomed cheerfully from down the corridor. "Evans! Is that you, too? What a pleasant surprise!"

Remus stiffened. Noticing his sudden discomfort, Lily sent a concerned frown his way. She opened her mouth, but Remus waved a hand at her and promptly started walking in the opposite direction. His heart was hammering fast. His mouth felt dry. His palms were getting clammy. He couldn't stay here for another second. He had to get away, now.

"Moony? Moony! Hey, mate, where are you going!"

Away. Far away. As far away as he could get. Considering that Hogwarts was rather quite large, he thought he'd be able to manage a lengthy distance. If he ran.

"Remus!" Lily called after him. "What on earth—"

"Excuse me, Evans, I must have a little chat with Remus here…"

He made it a good ways, a stitch developing in his side, before a much bigger body barreled into his and sent him into the nearest empty classroom. As Remus staggered, winded, Sirius slammed the door shut behind them, grabbed Remus' arm, and dragged him over to the desk. Considering that was the last place he wanted to be, pinned to a desk by Sirius Black, Remus started to struggle.

"While this has been loads of fun," Sirius panted, "I really wish you'd stay put, Remus!"

If anything, Remus' struggling only grew more frantic.

"Remus!" Sirius sounded beside himself with frustration. "Settle down! What d'you think I'm going to do, rape you?"

Flushing, his lips pressed into a thin line, Remus gave it up. The two boys stood there, glaring at each other in the shadows of the classroom. After several moments, Sirius let out a long breath, pushed his fingers into hair that badly needed a cut, and cricked his neck. His side still hurting, Remus looked away, toward the window where sunlight was streaming in, dust motes playing cheerfully in its wake.

"Honestly, Moony, I would have never told you I loved you if you were going to avoid me like I've gone and gotten something contagious." Sirius sounded so wounded that Remus felt his throat get tight.

"This is a horrible idea," he said, not for the first time. Why couldn't Sirius just let it go?

"What about it is so horrible?"

"Your family would murder you, for one," Remus said, slightly exasperated.

"My family can hang," Sirius snapped back, thunderclouds already looming in those great, big brown eyes of his. "Next on your list, Moony Moon?"

When Sirius was angry like that, Remus wanted to shrink in on himself and disappear. He forced himself to lift his chin and stand his ground. If he allowed Sirius to bully him into this, he'd never forgive himself. He knew he was right. This was a terrible idea. Sirius just couldn't see that, because he was blinded by… whatever he thought he felt for Remus.

"Do you want it around the school? You're terrible at keeping secrets—"

Sirius advanced on him, easily a foot taller than Remus, and leaner. Like this, he was kind of menacing. Remus didn't realize he was backing away until he felt the desk's edge hit his bottom.

"The school can hang, too! Next?"

"You have a new girlfriend every week," Remus said faintly, "I'm not even your cup of tea."

"I think I'll be the one who decides that, thanks." The darker-haired boy was coming steadily closer.

"And I'm a were—"

Sirius lunged forward so fast that Remus had cut himself off even before Sirius' hand clamped over his mouth. He stared up into his friend's brown eyes from an inch away, and his stomach contracted into thousands of knots. He could smell a slightly musky smell unique to Sirius, one that teased him constantly, for Sirius had been on this bit for a steady two weeks now and hadn't let off it.

"Don't," Sirius hissed. "I've been friends with you for how long, Moony? And the risks I've taken, we've all taken—do you think that I care about your other nature? It's a poor excuse, now come up with something better!"

The truth of the matter was, that was all Remus had. He had evidence enough that Sirius preferred girls to boys, he didn't think Sirius could handle all the rumors that would fly about, even if they managed to keep it secret, and he hated his other nature. He'd never forgive himself if anything happened—

Then Sirius' hand was gone, and he was kissing Remus so fervently that every thought flew out of his head.

His mouth, so warm… his palms, where they cupped Remus' cheeks, also so warm… The scent of him, so enticing… Heat bloomed, shot straight down to his toes and fingertips and tingled. Remus' heart was pounding so hard he thought it might burst. He couldn't think about anything, nothing but Sirius and how he was making him feel, because in his entire life, he had never come close to feeling anything like this, like he could drift away at any moment.

Sirius' tongue edged into his mouth, and Remus let it, what sounded like a groan echoing in his ears. He hadn't even known he was capable of making such a low sound like that. And when Sirius edged a knee between his and tilted his head back for better access to his mouth, Remus felt his skin tighten all over with arousal. It was another first, that someone could do this to him.

He was absolutely mesmerized. By their tangling tongues, the press of their mouths in between retreats, the heat emanating off Sirius' skin, the careful yet somehow still forceful way that Sirius dominated the kiss. It was everything, everything, everything.

Sirius drew away, so slowly that it was almost painful for Remus. They looked at one another again, this time without anger, Remus' lashes half-closed. Then his friend smiled and simply… walked away. He'd made his point. It left Remus to collapse against the desk, a hand over his mouth and his face on fire.

Okay, he thought. So maybe, for once, he was wrong.