That was it. Remus had had it up to here with Sirius' antics. He stormed through the common room and up the spiral staircase, much to the surprise of James and Peter, and a few 3rd year Gryffindors who quickly scurried out of his way.
"Rem? What's up?" James' voice drifted up the stairs to where Remus had flung open the door of their dorm and slammed it after him. Hearing the slam, James and Peter looked at each other with matching expressions of concern. "What's Sirius done this time..." James muttered.
In answer to his question, the portrait hole swung open and a tall, good looking boy with scruffy black hair fell through it, and then tried to look as though he'd meant to enter that way.
"Erm… you haven't seen Moony anywhere, have you?" He sounded almost apologetic, which made the other two boys even more concerned about what it was, exactly, that Sirius had to be apologetic about.
"He came storming through here about a minute ago. What did you do this time?" James voiced his concerns, and as a response Sirius only grimaced slightly and escaped further questioning through the door Remus had stormed through only a minute ago.
Lying face down on his bed upstairs, Remus tried to calm down. 'Sirius is just like that,' he thought. 'There's no changing some people. Why do you always get so wound up about it? You know what he's like.' But then another voice in the back of his head said, 'Yes, but you thought he'd change. You thought you could change him, didn't you? Who says your being dramatic? Sirius is meant to be yours, and yours only, so why are you putting up with this!' But the voice was shunted to the back of his mind when the door was pushed wide open, hit the wall with a slam, and someone came over to the bed.
"Rem... Moony. I'm sorry."
Remus stayed where he was, and didn't say anything.
"Aw come on Moons, you know it didn't mean anything! I was just being friendly. Besides, they started it! It would be rude to just ignore them."
"Yeah, well if by being friendly you mean flirting their skirts off and completely forgetting you had a boyfriend, then I don't want to see you when you're actually flirting."
Remus hadn't meant to talk. He'd wanted to see what else Sirius had to say before he snapped, but now he was sitting facing the black haired boy, looking into those dark grey eyes, and he found he was pleased to see that Sirius was, for once, speechless. It was a long moment before either of them moved. Sirius leaned forward, aiming a kiss on Remus' lips, but Remus wasn't going to give in that easily.
"No, you can't fix everything by giving me puppy dog eyes and then going in for a snog. It doesn't work like that!"
"Look Rem, I said I'm sorry, what else do you want me to do? I am sorry, and it won't happen again. I'm yours ok?"
As soon as the words were out of Remus' mouth, he found that they were exactly what he wanted to happen. He wanted Sirius to prove it, prove that he loved him and that he was capable of controlling the urge to flirt with anything that moved. Sirius was looking at him with those dark grey eyes, his fringe falling in his face. Pushing it back out of his eyes, he stood up. Remus suddenly panicked. Was he being too harsh? Was Sirius mad? But then Sirius grinned at him and said, "Oh Remmy, you should know better than to challenge a Black." And with a wink, he turned and strutted out of the room.
Dinner in the great hall was the usual affair. The Marauders sat in their usual order on one side of the big Oak Gryffindor table; Remus, then Sirius, then James then Peter. Lily Evans, as usual, took a quick glance at the four boys, turned and grabbed her friend's arm, and led her to the end of the table furthest away from the Marauders. James sighed and dropped his chin on his hand, his elbow on the table. "If she would just give me a chance, I could you show her that I'm more than capable of being chivalrous and sweet and funny and smart, and all those pointless things that girls want in a man."
Sirius snorted into his goblet of pumpkin juice, and Peter dropped his head onto his arms and howled with laughter. Remus, however, looked past Sirius and caught James' eye. "Of course you could James. When you set your mind to something, there is no stopping you." James gave him a grateful smile, and ignored the other two and turned back to his meal. Sirius, when he had stopped laughing, reached for another bread roll but stopped, arm outstretched, and thought about what James had just said to provoke a reaction out of Remus. Since he had told Sirius to 'prove it,' Remus had not uttered a word to Sirius or, indeed, said much to anyone else. Until James had mentioned… what was it? Ah yes. "Chivalrous and sweet and funny and smart…" Then it clicked.
When Remus had told him to prove it, he didn't just mean that he needed to prove he could stop flirting with girls (and, he assumed, boys too). Of course, Sirius thought. I need to prove that I care about him. I need to win him back. Just to prove his theory was correct, he quickly withdrew his hand from its outstretched position over the bread basket, and slipped it under the table. Gently he placed it on Remus' thigh, a gesture that Remus never usually minded, and sometimes returned. This time, however, Remus' hand slapped Sirius away without so much as a glance at him.
'Right,' thought Sirius. 'This definitely calls for a little more than abstinence from flirting.'
After dinner, the four made their way up to the common room. Sirius tried one more time to slip and arm round Remus' waist as they walked up the staircase, but was merely given the cold shoulder and a small slap on the arm for his efforts.
Stepping through the portrait hole, an idea struck him. Without waiting for the others, he dashed across the room and through the doorway, up the stairs and into their dormitory. He grabbed an old piece of parchment and rifled through his drawer for a quill. Then, on the piece of parchment he wrote,
I know that my flirting with people, other than your lovely self, upsets you. So I intend, as you said, to prove to you that YOU are my one and only, and that you are well deserving of all things chivalrous, sweet, funny and smart.
With love (the sort you can't slap away under the table at dinner)
That should do it, he thought, and placed the parchment under Remus' pillow. He heard footsteps on the stairs and dived onto his own bed, quickly grabbing the nearest book. James and Peter walked in, closely followed by a rather frosty looking Remus.
"Pads… why are you reading "Quidditch Through The Ages" upside down?" James grinned at him and flopped down on his own bed.
"Oh, you know, change of scene and all that," was Sirius vague reply.
Remus shot him a skeptical look, and sat down rather cautiously on his own bed. When nothing shot out of it to bite his head off, he grabbed a book and started to read.
"Anyone up for a game of Exploding Snap?" Peter asked bouncing across the room holding a deck of snap cards.
However, after 2 hours, even Peter had to admit that Exploding Snap was not as fun as it had seemed 2 hours ago. "Right, well I'm off to bed," James announced, and Peter gladly packed up the cards and wandered off in the direction of the bathroom. Sirius lay back on the floor and looked at his boyfriend, still reading. Remus hadn't joined in the game of exploding snap, and looked quite content to be left with his book. Experience told Sirius not to disturb him, so he sat up and climbed into his own bed.
When the only light left on was the faint glow through the curtains on Remus' bed, Sirius wondered how long it would take for him to find the note. His question was answered almost immediately. He heard a soft, "Nox,"and the light went out. Then he heard a crackling of parchment and, "Lumos." He lay very still in the soft light, and after a few seconds he could have sworn he heard Remus stifle a laugh. Then the light went out, and Sirius drifted off to sleep.
The next morning, Remus woke early. He lay awake for a while, and then reached over to his bedside table and re-read Sirius' note. He smiled to himself. 'Well,' he thought, 'You are not quite as dumb as you look, Sirius Black.'
James' voice from the other side of the room woke the whole dorm.
"Get up you lot, we need to copy Remus' notes on Gillyweed, or Professor Sprout will have our heads!"
Remus sighed. It was going to be a long day.
Sirius had thought being 'chivalrous, sweet, funny and smart' would be easy enough. He already had two of them down. He liked to think he was pretty funny. Peter always laughed at his jokes anyway. He also liked to think that he was relatively smart. He got top marks in Potions and Defense Against the Dark Arts, and he wasn't completely rubbish at Transfiguration. Still, he had a feeling that those two weren't the things he needed to work on. Remus had never had a problem with his jokes or academic capabilities before, so why should he improve something that was fine to start with? No, sweet and chivalrous were the way to go.
As they left the dorm after copying Remus' notes for Herbology, Sirius leapt forwards and grabbed the door knob, holding it open for James and Peter, earning two very strange looks, and gave Remus what he hoped was a cute smile as he walked through. Remus looked at him for a moment, as though contemplating something, and then walked through the open door without a backward glance. Sirius sighed. He'd have to do better than that.
Potions second period brought another opportunity. Sirius had been on his best behavior all day, and had even held the door open for Remus again on the way to Herbology, but he knew it needed something more. As they sat down in Potions and watched as Professor Slughorn wrote the instructions on the blackboard, Remus didn't so much as glance at Sirius. He wondered if he and Remus would work at the same bench as usual, given that Remus was still giving him the cold shoulder. However, Remus turned to him when Slughorn stopped talking and said, "Right. Ingredients." For one second Sirius wondered if he was forgiven, and reached out a hand to Remus' arm. The look on Remus' face stopped him, and he knew he most definitely wasn't. Dropping his gaze he went to collect the ingredients. When he got back, Remus looked surprised when he put two of everything down on the bench. "Yes don't look so surprised, you're not the only one who can think of others." Sirius almost snapped. It was only day two and he was already sick of this game. All he wanted to do was push Remus up against the nearest wall and kiss him until he forgot why he was mad in the first place. It would probably work, too, Sirius thought. But no, he was determined to win his Moony back the decent way, if only to prove that he could. Remus flushed and stood up. They didn't say a word to each other for the rest of the lesson.
Remus couldn't remember the last time he'd been so inwardly conflicted over something. Or someone. After a whole day of Sirius holding doors and collecting ingredients, and even writing his own notes in History of Magic, Remus was ready to cave. He had to admit he missed the feel of Sirius hand on his knee at dinner, and the feel of his lips on him when he got him on his own. No, he thought. Don't think like that. One more day, and he will have learnt his lesson. One more day.
But it was harder than he thought. Every time Sirius came near him he felt the urge to just grab him and apologise, if only to feel his body pressed against him own and his hands on his hips, pulling him closer. Sirius, unbeknownst to Remus, was feeling exactly the same way. If there was such a thing as lovers withdrawal, they were both feeling it. They both went to bed in less than happy moods that night.
The next day brought with it the usual early start, brought on by James' cheerful call of, "Up and at 'em boys!" Sirius had almost got into the habit of holding the door by now, and this time Remus gave him a small smile as he went through. He had an armful of books, and as Sirius walked beside him down the stairs he took them gently out of Remus' arms, and Remus didn't protest. They reached the bottom of the stairs and crossed the common room, stepping through the portrait hole into the corridor. Remus stole a glance at Sirius out of the corner of his eye, and wondered if he'd made him suffer enough yet.
"Um, I have to return something to the library, I'll meet you in Transfiguration okay?" James and Peter agreed, and Sirius caught his eye. "Can I come?" Remus thought for a moment. Sirius in a library was never a good idea, but then again, he was carrying his books for him. He sighed. "If you must."
The walk to the library was a short one, but Remus was in no hurry. Even if he was mad at Sirius, it didn't mean he couldn't enjoy his company. He opened his mouth to say something, but Sirius beat him to it.
"Look Moons. I'm sorry for acting like a jerk, and I really have been trying the last couple of days. I can't tell you much I care about you, and how much I need you to not be mad at me anymore, and…"
But he was cut off by Remus' mouth over his own. The books fell from his hands and he wrapped his arms around Remus' waist. Remus had his hands tangled in his hair, and the feel of Sirius' lips on his was enough to make up for the last two days without it. Then they heard footsteps coming down the hall, and the two boys broke apart. Sirius quickly stooped to pick up the books, and grabbed Remus' hand and pulled him round the corner of the hallway. He stopped next to a suit of armour, and tapped the wall lightly.
"See," he said to Remus, grinning, "There are many advantages of knowing the secret passages."
Stepping inside the tunnel that had just opened up in the wall, Sirius shoved Remus up against the passage wall and pressed his lips back against the other boy's. After making sure he had made up for 2 days lack of snogging, he moved his lips along his cheekbone, down his jaw and onto his neck. He kissed and sucked the spot right under his jaw bone that he knew drove Remus crazy, and was greeted with a feeble moan. He withdrew his lips and whispered, "You know I'm sorry, don't you."
"Yes," came the gasped reply, "But you know, you can stop holding doors and carrying books. It's just not you. I think I prefer the dominating side of you better."
"Good," Sirius growled, so close to his ear that Remus could feel his warm breath on his neck, "Because I much prefer this to being 'sweet and chivalrous.'"
Peter and James, sitting at the back of the room in Transfiguration, wondered what was taking the other half of the Marauders so long. Peter spoke what they were both thinking. "They've made up, haven't they. They're probably pushed up against a wall, snogging each other's faces off right now."
"Yeah," replied James. "Probably."