DISCLAIMER: World and characters belong to J. K. Rowling - bless her.
A/N: This is my first fanfic ever, so I'm quite excited and a bit nervous about it. I hope somebody likes it, and I'll be looking forward to writing more chapters.
"I'm not doing ANYTHING for a whole day. Not going to strain a single muscle," said Sirius, stretching his body lazily on one of the comfortable couches of the Gryffindor common room. It was Sunday morning just after breakfast.
"You're going to have to get up and go down for dinner tonight if you don't want to go hungry," said James from the big armchair next to the couch.
"Oh yeah..." said Sirius, frowning as if thinking hard. "Won't you carry me down to the Great Hall, then?" he asked, doing his best to sound earnest.
"Use your own feet, you lazy old fart!" said James and hit Sirius hard on the head with a cushion.
Peter, watching them from across the coffee table, laughed. "You don't have to starve, Padfoot," he said, patting a large paper-wrapped box in front of him. "Look what my owl came with this morning. It's from my mum." He opened the box and revealed a vast amount of sweets. He threw a box of Bertie Bott's at Sirius.
"Thank you, Wormtail! See, here's somebody who knows how to support a friend in need!" he nodded in James' direction. They all laughed and started eating the beans.
"Where is Moony?" asked Sirius a few minutes later.
"I think he's still in the dorm. He was busy planning something for -"
Before Peter could finish the sentence, Remus came running down the stairs.
"Hey, sleepyhead - come join us in our celebration of this blessed Sunday!"
"Sorry Prongs - can't do that. I have this really romantic thing planned for Camille and me..." He rushed off before any of them had time to say anything else to him.
"Ah, young love," mused Peter.
"That stupid Ravenclaw girl," muttered Sirius. "What's so special about her?"
"What's with you?" asked James. "Did she step on your toes or something?"
"It's just that he spends all his free time with her instead of us. Talks about her all the time. Camille this and Camille that. I'm sick of hearing about it..."
James gaped at Sirius for a moment. Then his face cracked in a grin. "You're jealous!" he laughed. "How about that, Wormtail - Padfoot's in love with Moony!" He puckering his lips, making kissing noises. "In luuuuve. Padfoot luuuves Moo -!"
"Shut up, you idiot!" shouted Sirius as he chased after James who was already halfway across the common room.
"I thought you weren't going to get up all day!" James mocked as Sirius knocked him over and started beating him up with a cushion.
They hadn't expected to see Remus until evening. But just half an hour later, he came back into the common room. They all looked up from their card game in surprise.
"Weren't you going out with your girlfriend?" asked Peter.
"No." Remus was white as a sheet. "No... not... anymore." He spun round and raced up the stairs to the dormitories.
James took off after him. Peter and Sirius looked at each other.
"Oh no," Sirius said, "she ditched him. Now I feel kind of bad about all my complaining..."
They were quiet for some time. Then Peter said: "Maybe... we should go up there?"
"Not now. James is there. We shouldn't all go at him at the same time."
Shortly after, Lily walked in, asking for James.
"He's upstairs comforting Remus. His girlfriend just dumped him," said Peter
Lily clapped her hand to her mouth as she dropped onto an armchair. "No, no, no! - POOR Remus! He'll be devastated."
About an hour later, James came back down. He looked sad and worried. "She ditched him for that big git, Bracken."
"The Slytherin beater? She dumped him for a SLYTHERIN?" asked Peter.
"I told you she was stupid!" Sirius blurted out.
"I've never seen him this upset. Crying his eyes out. I had to give him a bit of Madam Pomfrey's sedative just to calm him down." James sat down next to Lily.
"Ah... he'll be fine in no time. There are plenty of fish in the sea."
Lily raised her head and looked disapprovingly at him. "Just because you move from one girl to the next as if it were a sport - it doesn't mean that everybody else are like that! Some of us actually put emotions into our relationships!"
Sirius rolled his eyes. "I'm just saying it isn't the end of the world! It's not like they were married or anything. He'll soon find someone else to drool over, and then he'll have forgotten all about that tart."
Lily looked furiously at him - "What are you talking about? Don't you know Remus at all? - he's a very sensitive kind of guy. He doesn't go around pouring his heart out to just anyone."
"Yeah," added James, "this girl really meant something to him..."
"Ah, he could do so much better. She's boring. And not very pretty, either".
"You know what, Sirius?" Lily said with ice in her voice. "You can be such an idiot sometimes. You're SO shallow when it comes to girls. Just because you're so damned good looking - you think you can have anyone you please!"
"Well he can..." mumbled Peter, but shut up immediately when he noticed the eyes Lily sent him.
She turned her attention back to Sirius. "It's spoiling you, all that success. You might not risk getting hurt like Remus, but as long as you don't take love seriously, you're not going to find true happiness either."
"You can't blame a guy for being gorgeous..." grinned Sirius and winked at her.
"Lily, take it easy," James said. "You know Padfoot. He's just messing with you. You're overreacting."
She wrenched herself loose of him and jumped up. "Arghh! All guys are idiots!" she said and marched off.
"Remus too?" Sirius shouted after her.
"Shut UP, Sirius!" James said. "She's right - you can be an idiot sometimes..."
"You're just taking her side because she FINALY gave in and started dating you."
Sirius sat there, sulking for a minute. "She's so overreacting. ... sure I take love seriously..." he muttered to himself. "I've just never fallen in love with anyone... Is that my fault?"
In the time that followed, Remus' condition improved at a very slow rate. The first days the other marauders hadn't even been able to get him to leave his bed. On the fourth day, Professor McGonagall had had enough of Remus' neglecting classes and prefect duties. She came marching into the dormitory and told James, Sirius and Peter that she needed a word with Remus in private.
"Professor, please don't punish him. He's not cutting classes for the fun of it. He's really miserable!" pleaded Sirius as she ushered them out the room.
"It really is none of your business, Mr. Black, but since you are obviously concerned for your friend, you can rest assured that I will not harm him in any way. He is not the first heartsick boy I've had to deal with, you know," she said, smacking the door in their faces.
Remus wouldn't tell them what McGonagall had said, but her visit did result in him managing to drag himself out of bed in the morning and go back to attending his classes.
Although he was still having trouble understanding why Remus had such a severe reaction to being dumped by a girl (because he himself had never experienced a particularly upsetting breakup), Sirius soon realized just how much hurt it was causing his friend. He felt like an idiot for what he'd said to James and Lily that Sunday, and was only glad that Remus hadn't heard any of it. He found himself unable to accept that his dear friend should continue to suffer so needlessly. He kept doing all he could to cheer him up, and pleaded with him to just get over it and be happy again.
"What are we going to do?" Sirius asked desperately, pacing back and forth.
"About what?" asked James.
"About Moony, of course! He's completely out of it. How can we get him to move on?"
"You can't make that happen, Padfoot. He just needs time. The only thing you can do, is to just be there for him. Let him know you're his friend."
"Remus, you're overly sensitive. It's not healthy. Forget about her." They were sitting on Remus' bed in the dorm. "She's an idiot for not seeing what a good thing she had... You're much better off without her... There's so much to be excited about! And -" he smiled and winked, "- you are friends with the coolest people in the whole school!"
Remus forced a smile. "I know. And I'm sorry to be such a strain on you lot. I must be really depressing to be around."
"Don't be sorry. Just be happy!" laughed Sirius. Then his face turned grave. "You're not a strain. It just breaks my heart seeing you suffer like this, mate. I can't stand it." He put his hand on top of Remus' when he said the last part.
Remus looked surprised. "I'm sorry... I mean... it's very nice of you to -"
Sirius tightened his grip on Remus' hand and moved closer in on him. "I'll do anything to make you smile again," he said, looking straight into his eyes. "I mean it. Anything that will help you feel better. Just say it."
This time Remus' smile was sincere and unforced. However, he quickly broke the eye contact, looking down as if a bit uncomfortable being so close to the other boy, but he was clearly happy about what he had said. "Thank you, Sirius. That really means a lot to me. More than you know."
After that episode things slowly started to get better. Remus would smile and laugh along with the others more and more often. Sirius found that it warmed his heart every time he saw a smile on the other boy's face. More and more often he caught himself gazing at Remus, studying all his moves and facial expressions. Every time Remus noticed that he was being watched, he sent Sirius the sweetest, warmest smile one could imagine. He never asked why Sirius was looking. He just smiled. Whenever that happened, Sirius felt his stomach do a summersault. I'm just concerned about his well being, he told himself. That's what you do for a friend. It's perfectly normal.
Sirius was furious at the girl who had hurt his friend so deeply. Whenever he spotted her in the great hall or in the corridors he had to control his urge to go over and punch her. But at the same time, there was something else... another feeling towards her. He couldn't quite place it. Was it gratitude? No - that couldn't be it. How could he be grateful for something that caused Remus so much grief? Still he couldn't deny the feeling nagging away at the back of his mind. He wondered. Could it be, that he had in fact been jealous, like James had joked? Was he actually relieved that she had let Remus go? - So that he could have him all to himself?