A/N: I am SO sorry I haven't updated in so long! I lost my story... oops! But now I've got plenty more chapters to post, and to top it all off, a one-shot I wrote during spring break that I will post when I finish this one. I'm hoping to do one chapter every day or two, to make up for the long delays. I hope you enjoy it! Reviews are always appreciated :)
Sirius woke up feeling unusually light and peaceful. He was in his bed, which was curious, until he remembered the events of the previous night.
Smiling broadly, he walked downstairs where Lupin, as usual, had breakfast ready.
"Morning, Rem," he said as he plopped into a chair and set about tearing apart the enormous helping of pancakes before him.
"Good morning, Sirius!" said Lupin happily, and Sirius noted absently that his cheeks were the slightest bit pink. "Sleep well?"
Sirius thought for a moment before answering – "I haven't felt this well-rested in ages, to be honest. And this morning, I felt a hundred pounds lighter. Thank you," he said, suddenly serious, looking at Lupin.
"That's what friends are for, Sirius!" replied Lupin, quickly turning back to the pancakes on the stove. "Now, I'm sure you've already thought about it, but we need to figure out what's going on with Harry. His birthday is in two weeks and September first isn't far behind, you know?" Lupin sat across from Sirius and sipped from a giant mug of coffee.
"Well… I"ve already thought of a few things…" Sirius spoke hestitantly – it was hard for him to think of Harry leaving, and harder for him to speak of it.
"But there is one very important thing I've never been able to do. Remus, would you mind telling Harry about the Wizarding world? Tell him everything about Hogwarts and Diagon Alley, and the War. And Lupin… I'll never know if this was the right decision… but Harry has no idea that he's famous. And he doesn't know that he defeated Voldemort. James' biggest flaw was always his ego… I was hoping to weed it out…"
Lupin grinned. "You could have counted on Lily's genes for that, mate! She was the top of our class but I never once heard her brag."
Sirius could practically feel Lily preening inside his head. "Yes, well let's not get too carried away either. Nobody's perfect-" James roared in outrage "—anyway, I have to run. But Rem?" He placed a gentle hand on the other man's shoulder and looked deep into his eyes.
"Thank you for everything."
The rest of the week passed quickly for Sirius, and for the first time in ten years he felt truly complete. His routine was becoming more than enjoyable, and he savored the time he spent with Harry with renewed zeal, knowing it would not last forever.
Sirius would wake up early enough, shower and get dressed, and then enjoy a delicious breakfast while he and Lupin outlined their plan to send Harry to Hogwarts. He would leave for work as usuall, but with a new peace of mind, knowing that his godson was in really good hands. In the evening he would come home to a succulent meal, play with Harry, and then go to bed. He and Lupin shared the big bed every night, and just like in the old days they would stay up for hours talking about everything and anything – mostly their plans for Harry, but also about memories, shared or apart. The one subject they never broached was the future – what they would do AFTER Harry.
Because Sirius would never admit it, but he didn't want Lupin to leave him.
In spite of a nagging voice in his head – it was neither Lily nor James – who reminded him every night that it was odd for two grown men to share a bed, he liked the company. More than liked it.
He remembered shamefully the night he had woken up at two in the morning and felt Lupin's leg draped across his. While the entire episode had seemed like a dream the next morning, Sirius couldn't deny that the goosebumps and hard-on he had felt at the contact were very real.
But Sirius continued his daily routine, pretending not to notice the way his skin seemed to warm up when Lupin touched him, and ignoring the way he was always looking for excuses to do just that. After all, this was just like last time. Then it had been teenage hormones – now it was ten years of living as a bachelor.
Whenever Sirius began to think too hard about his sleeping situation, he went to find Harry and play games with him or buy him candy. He had always found that being with Harry calmed him down and renewed his sense of purpose. And now as the days ticked down to Harry's birthday he almost felt their time together accelerating as their precious moments slipped away. But when he felt this he resolved again to make the most of their time together.
The time eased by in a gently rhythm unstil six days before Harry's birthday, when Sirius came home to find Lupin pale and panicked, ransacking the house.
"Oh Sirius!" he cried as soon as he disengaged himself from the dusty space between the couch and the wall. "Thank goodness you're home!" He grabbed Sirius by the wrist and pulled him up the stairs itno his room, where he closed the door. Sirius willed his blood to stop heading sourth when he saw the anxious look on Lupin's pale face.
You old pervert, chuckled James lovingly.
"Sirius, when you went and got my suitcase at the Mariott, was there anything unusual about the room?"
"You mean besides the fact that your stuff was thrown all over the place?"
"My stuff was thrown all over the place? Sirius, why didn't you think to tell me this until now?"
"I thought you had left it that way… I thought you might have changed at least a little in ten years!"
"And I thought you had looked through my things for proof of my ministry contacts… Oh Lord," said Lupin, passing a hand over his face. "Did you notice anything else out of the ordinary?"
Sirius thought hard. "There were a lot of empty bottles in the bathroom. A couple alcohol, but most looked like potions flasks…"
Lupin let out a strangled groan and fell back onto the bed. Sirius saw his lips move, but didn't quite catch what he said.
"What's that, Moony?" He sat down on the bed and leaned his ear towards his friend's mouth.
"You'll have to kill me, Sirius."
Sirius couldn't believe what he was hearing.
"Are you out of your MIND? Never Remus, I don't even want to KNOW the crazy justification you thought up in that twisted mind of yours. Just…no."
"Sirius, the full moon is in a week and I have no wolfsbane potion. In a week I'm going to turn into a ravenous, dangerous beast, and there'll be no way to stop it or control me. Neither of us have magic. I'll bite someone and then they'll find me and kill me. Please, Sirius, I'd rather it be you than them!" Lupin was frantic.
"And I'd rather you not die at all," replied Sirius, pulling his friend into a hug, "so here's what we'll do. Night of the full moon, I'll drive us far, far away from the city – to the Pine Barrens. We'll make sure before hand we're not near any campers. Harry'll get a babysitter. We'll both transform and I'll keep you in check, just like the old days. Remember?"
"What I remember," said Lupin, his eyes feverish as he pulled away slightly, "is that it took you AND James to control me. And even then there were some near misses. I can't risk it, Sirius! And what if – God forbid – I went after you! The wolf might not recognize you after all this time. What'll happen to Harry?" Lupin closed his eyes and Sirius saw a perfect crystal tear run down his cheek.
"Rem—Remus," said Sirius gently, placing his hands on either side of the man's face and bringing their foreheads togethers, "look at me." Lupin opened his still-watery eyes and held Sirius' gaze. "Nothing will happen. We'll go camping, you and I. Everything will go smoothly and then we'll all come back here. I'll take the day off and we'll go for a walk in Fairmount Park with Harry. Maybe we'll fly kites. And everything will be fine." Sirius stroked Lupin's hair and smiled. "Got it?"
Lupin nodded slowly, still holding Sirius' gaze. And then Sirius saw – or thought he saw – Lupin's eyes flick downwards for the briefest of seconds. His cheeks reddened and he suppressed a smile as he realize what had caught the man's attention… and he couldn't help but let his own eyes rest on Lupin's lips…
He noticed that he wasn't the only one whose breath had suddenly become shallow and rapid.
"Sirius…" Lupin breathed, and Sirius felt the warm breath on his lips, "Tell me to stop…"
Sirius felt the nagging voice in his head explode and he was about to close the distance between them…
"Da? Uncle Moony? What are you guys doing?"
Sirius sent and inward groan to high Heaven as Lupin sprang back, knocking Sirius back onto the bed, his cheeks aflame.
"I – We – Harry! We were having an adult discussion. N-Nothing to worry about. Are you hungry? Let's eat!" And he nearly ran out of the room. Harry watched him go, perplexed, before turning to his godfather, who was still lying on the bed.
"What was that about, Da? He asked, strolling over.
"You'll understand when you're older," said Sirius with a theatric sigh, "but you, Sir-Blocks-a-Lot! You're in big trouble!" Sirius tackled Harry and began tickling him mercilessly. Harry's screams of laughter and Sirius' booming laugh drifted down the stairs and into the kitchen where Lupin was sitting, face in his hands, trying to regain his composure.
Dinner that night was a strange one. Sirius was feeling particularly joyful, and he kept shooting goofy smiles at Lupin – who refused to look at him, spoke only in monosyllables, and left to "go out" before the end of the meal.
Sirius didn't think much of it; he and Harry went for a romp around the neighborhood, catching fireflies, and then watched television together with giant bowls of ice cream. After the third episode of Full House, Harry was asleep, curled up against Sirius on the couch, and the ice cream was a sticky puddle on the coffee table.
Sirius carried Harry gently to his bed and planted a kiss on his sleeping godson's forehead before returning to the couch to wait for Lupin. His hopes for that night were running high.
Sirius was not complicated when it came to his heart, which he generally considered to reside somewhere in the area of his crotch. He liked Moony, Moony liked him back. Moony was good to Harry, and he could trust him. Why not celebrate?
Sirius could already envision the scene – Lupin would walk in and see Sirius, a look of joy on his face. Sirius would walk over and pull the man into a hug. At some point their lips would meet and Moony would vow his undying need for sex. The would go upstairs and…
Sirius smiled and closed his eyes as he felt himself respond timidly to the lewd images. He stretched and put down the RL Jessup novel he was pretending to read. Lupin would be home any minute, and then…
The next time Sirius opened his eyes the VCR read 3:34, He frowned and, sitting up, searched for the thumping noise that had awoken him. He stood up, rubbing his eyes and walked toward the front door carefully. There was some sort of scratching sound, accompanied by faint grunts… Sirius' mind immediately conjured up images of bears escaped from the zoo and he wish he had a gun. He put his hand on the door knob and yanked it open, ready to wallop any wild animal with the lamp he clutched in his other hand.
There was a yell, and Sirius barely jumped back in time as a jumble of limbs hit the ground with a "thud" and an "ow!" It took Sirius a moment to figure out what he was looking at – two men, both with their pants around their knees, both looking disheveled. The smell of sex and alcohol made him queasy as he recognized the face at his feet. He didn't even notice as the other man picked up his pants and fled.
"Remus?" he whispered, still refusing to believe his eyes. In lieu of a response, Lupin turned onto his side and vomited generously at Sirius' feet.
That night was one of the most miserable in Sirius' memory. He half-dragged Lupin up the stairs to the bathroom, barely making it to the toilet in time to catch the next volley of vomit. Then he muscled him into the shower in his boxers and scrubbed bits of puke from Lupin's hair. That being done, he toweled off his half-conscious friend and carried him to the bed.
By this time it was almost five, and even though his body screamed for sleep he trudged downstairs to mop up the puddle of puke in the entrance hall.
At five-thirty in the morning, exhausted, he wrapped himself in a blanket and tried to fall asleep on the floor of his bedroom.
The whole time Sirius had been fighting feelings he knew he shouldn't be having. Feelings of hurt, almost betrayal – Lupin was a free man, he could sleep with whoever he wanted, he tried to reason with himself. But then the image of the tangled bodies resurfaced in his mind and he bit back a new wave of anger.
They had sex on MY front door!
The sun was beginning to rise on a stifling July day in Philadelphia when Sirius finally fell into a fitful sleep.