Hi again, everyone!

Holy cow, it feels so good to be back here! I've been working diligently on my original work and hope to start querying literary agents in the first half of next year. I'm so excited about it, but I missed the community here so much that I decided to take a break to finally finish this story!

I'm really sorry I abandoned it the way I did and always regretted doing it. When I saw that it had gotten over 50,000 views, though, I just couldn't stay away. I thought I owed it to all of you to finally finish it.

This is the first chapter of several that I'll be posting to wrap things up. I promise you that I'll be putting my full efforts into the ending so you won't get some thrown together compromise.

My only concern is that the tone of my writing may have changed in the months that I've been away, so I'm sorry if the feel of these last chapters is different.

Anyway, here we go!

As the long, quiet walk back to their dorm ended, neither boy was sure if they were glad the room was empty.

"Any idea where the others are?" Remus asked, trying his best to sound casual.

"Oh, um, probably down by the lake," Sirius said as he scratched behind his ear, something he only did when he was nervous. "That's where I left them, anyway."

Remus hummed a noncommittal answer as they both sluffed off their robes. The silence was awkward, but not fully unpleasant. Both boys could feel their hearts thumping around their throats and Sirius smiled every time their eyes met, flattered by the way his friend's face seemed to heat up when the connection was made. It was only after they'd been sitting for several minutes at the edges of their beds, facing each other, that Sirius finally spoke.

"So, are you going to report them? I mean, Debbie was pretty blatant this time." He was watching Remus rub at his reddened knuckles.

"I don't know," he said vaguely, still avoiding his friend's stare. "Complaining to teachers doesn't really suit the Marauders' style, does it?"

"True." Sirius chuckled before they fell back into silence.

It was hard to believe that only minutes ago they had been kissing each other, and now they were both trying to reconcile this new step with their already deep friendship. As the high of endorphins ebbed, though, Remus was starting to feel nervous. Sirius was so quiet, after all. Was he regretting it? What about James and Peter, what would they say? Should he even tell them? He'd been so worried about ruining his friendship with Sirius that he'd forgotten to consider his other closest friends.

It wasn't until he felt the mattress beside him sink that he realized Sirius had moved.

"Does that hurt?" he asked, gently taking Remus' bruised hand.

"It-it's not bad," Remus stammered, feeling his heart rate spike again.

Keeping the other boy's hand cradled in his, trying not to smile as he felt the slight tremor in the narrow fingers, Sirius fished his wand from his pocket. As he passed the tip over the reddened knuckles, Remus felt an icy sensation seep into the heated skin, relieving the thumping pain.

"I'm still really impressed, you know." Sirius said gently, wondering if he'd meant his voice to be so quiet. "I wasn't just saying it so you'd forgive me."

"Kind of a manly thing to be impressed by." Remus answered, his stomach churning uncomfortably as he thought of Sirius being repulsed by his boyish nature.

Sirius could see Remus' body go rigid, could see the way he was clenching and unclenching his teeth, and knew exactly what he was thinking.

"Who said I was never impressed by manly thing?" He shrugged.

It was hard for Sirius not to laugh at the look of pure incredulity that Remus gave him. At least he was looking him in the eye, though, so Sirius cleared his throat to keep from smiling.

"Name the last time you had a manly girlfriend." Remus smiled sarcastically, and Sirius could still see the panic he was just barely keeping in check.

"Name the last time I kept a girlfriend," Sirius countered. "Ever consider that maybe their helplessness was a problem?"

Remus huffed and rolled his eyes, a shadow of the anger he'd directed at Sirius returning to his features.

"If you don't want girls who are so delicate and helpless, why do you keep going out with them?" He demanded, seeming to want an argument.

Sirius refused to give it to him. Though he could feel his ego squirming to defend itself, he knew that understanding and honesty was what he needed to win Remus over now.

"Because I was too much of a coward to be honest with myself." He murmured, looking at Remus' bruised knuckles again.

Sirius waited for the other boy to say something, though the only response he got was an increase in the tremors shaking his friend's fingers.

"Remus," he whispered, his eyes moving back to the werewolf's confused face. "I'm so sorry. I'm sorry it took me so long to notice. I'm sorry I said such hateful things."

"Stop, Pads. Really..." he took a fortifying breath, then moved his free hand to the dark-haired boy's arm, holding onto his sleeve and tugging just enough to get his friend to face him more directly, "there's nothing to apologize for. Just, promise you're telling the truth."

Sirius smiled his ribbon-winning smile, a rush of confidence seeming to light his face as he brought his fingertips to Remus' cheek.

"When have I ever lied to you?" He teased as he leaned in, unable to resist the draw of his friend's pink lips any more.

"You don't want me to answer that." Remus countered, his own smile softening his expression as their lips brushed.

It amazed Remus. A moment ago his head was filled with nothing but doubt; about how he would tell his friends, about whether Sirius was being sincere, about whether he was good enough to deserve such a perfect outcome. As he breathed in the taste of Sirius, though, as his tongue sampled the flavor that had already ensnared his senses, everything seemed okay. Sirius was his Felix Felicis and he would make everything in his life perfect. He didn't know how, but he knew it would happen.

A shiver more violent than he'd expected ran down Remus' spine as he felt, as much as heard, his best friend whisper his name against his lips, and immediately both of their mouths opened, their tongues seeking each other in earnest, now. The sound of Remus' breathing filled Sirius' ears, and before he'd told his hands to move, they'd tangled themselves in his friend's straw-colored hair, raking his nails against his scalp and pulling him closer.

"Hold on." Sirius gasped as he pulled away from the other boy's mouth.

A jolt of panic shook Remus as the other teen put the breaks on so suddenly. He wondered if he'd done something wrong or if Sirius had come to his senses, then his friend pulled his jumper over his head, making short work of the button-up underneath.

Remus gawked, knowing his eyes were the size of saucers as he stared at his friend's bare chest. Certainly, he'd seen his friend more undressed than this, in fact they'd been in a much more compromising situation in the buff, but that was before they'd kissed. It was before they knew about each other's feelings. It was before doing more than looking was alright.

"Can I?" Sirius asked quietly, his fingers moving to the hem of Remus' jumper.

Unable to formulate thoughts, much less words, Remus just nodded before raising his arms to aid Sirius in undressing him. By the time his shirt was unbuttoned and pushed down his shoulders, he'd been guided to the mattress as well, and Sirius was suddenly there, on top of him, kissing him and he thought he might faint. Vaguely, he recalled the hunger he'd had before, the urge that had taken him now and again to push the dark haired boy against the wall and shag him six ways from Sunday. But now, all he could do was lay in his bed and shiver as his friend's lips traveled over his jaw to his neck.

Sirius wondered if Remus' skin was tainted with some sort of drug, because the more he tasted it, the harder it became to think properly. Remus' body was nothing like the girls he met in broom closets and store rooms. His torso was lean and tight, though as he ran his fingers over the curve of his waist he felt the body underneath him squirm, and suddenly his trousers felt claustrophobic.

Pulling his mouth away from his skin, Sirius met the darkened eyes of his best friend. He'd always thought he'd seen every side of Moony. After all, once you've seen a wolf tear its way out of someone's flesh, you'd think there's not much left to surprise you. This did surprise him though. His pupils were blown wide, his lips red and parted as he tried to catch his breath. Looking down, his gaze zeroed in on the small pink nipples that he'd noticed in the shower, and now, finally, they were there for him to touch.

Remus felt his body suck in air in an attempt to stay functional as fingers brushed over the hardened points he'd never given much attention to. Their eyes met again, and Remus could see the other boy gauging the response to his touch, mapping his body and storing the information for future use. When he pinched the sensitive flesh, though, and Remus let a strangled moan slip from his throat, the careful exploration was over, for both of them. Their mouths met in a frenzy of tongues and teeth, their hands gripping at one another as Sirius pushed his way between the trembling legs that opened instantly for him.

"Sirius..." Remus said his name before he really knew what he wanted to ask.

"Sirius is a twat, is what he is!" Peter's voice suddenly hammered on the other side of the door and both boys froze.

"Will you give it a rest, Wormy?" James' voice sounded tired, as though he'd listened to their friend's complaining for hours.

Feeling Remus tense up beneath him, Sirius pulled the curtain to the bed shut just before the door opened in a forceful way that said Peter was in lead.

"No! I will not give it a rest, Prongs! Look at me, I almost got raped by a squid!"

Remus snorted, clamping a hand over his mouth in time to keep the noise from alerting their friends. Sirius looked at him and grinned, wishing he could tell him everything.

"And how, exactly, does that make Sirius a twat?" James asked, the sound of his cloak falling over his bed.

"You know exactly why." Peter said, shuffling around, probably removing his wet and, no doubt, torn clothes.

"Look, Peter." James' voice had dropped an octave, using their friend's name like a warning. "I told you all that because I thought you would be mature and supportive about it. Not to give you fuel to bitch."

"You tell me two of our friends are a couple of bum chums and you want me to be supportive?"

Remus' eyes shot straight to Sirius whose face had gone pale. 'I didn't like the idea of people talking about me.' Those were his exact words, his confession less than an hour ago, and now his friends were making that fear a reality. Remus was shocked, and hurt, but he'd also had much longer to fortify himself for something like this. He could tell, though that Sirius had not. He was new to this, and still vulnerable, and before Remus could really consider his actions, he'd pushed Sirius off and rolled out of the bed, ripping the curtain aside as he did.

In a satisfyingly comical way, Peter yelped like a pup and leapt several feet away from the seething werewolf.

"What was that, Wormtail?" Remus growled, the wolf inside him threatening to claw its way to the surface.

"M-Moony," Peter stammered. "What are you doing here?"

"Oh you know, just poncing around. Sucking some dick for fun. Is that what you expect me to say, you little rat?" Remus stalked toward the smaller boy who hid, immediately, behind James.

"What? No! No, of course not!" Peter whimpered.

"Hold up, Moony." James said, resting a hand on his shoulder to stop him from tearing their rodent of a friend apart. "You know he's just being an idiot. Relax."

"You think it's alright for him to say something like that?" Remus felt disgusted.

"Take a breath, Remus." James said, his voice hard but not argumentative. "I've been on your side from the get go. And Peter's gonna be on your side too?"

Unable to keep from watching their friend cower, Sirius ventured from the drapes that had been acting as his emotional shield. It was the second time that day he'd seen Remus stand up to someone who deserved more than a stern talking to, and Sirius couldn't stop the smile of admiration that split his face.

"Why are you two half naked?" Wormtail asked as Sirius joined the group, his face twisting up in disgust.

Like a pack of wolves, the three taller boys turned a threatening gaze toward their intolerant friend, and could see the fear seep through his body.

"Not-not-not that there's anything wrong with it!" He stuttered quickly.

"Keep that attitude and everything'll be fine." James said, clapping the boy's shoulder painfully.

"Are you ladies finished?" Lily stood in their doorway, leaned against the frame, looking more amused than usual.

"When'd you get here?" James asked, grinning as he realized she'd snuck in on them, somehow opening the door silently. He was impressed by her mischievous talents.

"Just in time to see the skin show." She winked at Remus, whose face went very red, knowing he would have to relay every detail of his 'encounters' with Sirius to her.

"Get dressed, all three of you." James ordered. "I'm the only one she should be seeing in any state of undress."

"Oh, get over yourself." Lily sighed, though her pursed lips were barely able to conceal her smile as she walked into the room.

"What are you doing here?" Remus asked as he went immediately for his shirt, feeling embarrassed and exposed now that his adrenaline had evaporated.

"I've been asking around about Debbie," Lily said, folding her arms in front of her. "Seems she's out of sorts with a lot of her friends lately, so most of them were ready to tell me all her dirty little secrets."

"So you've been gossiping." Sirius joked.

"I've been researching, you twat." She hissed.

"Why does everyone keep calling me a twat?"

"If the shoe fits..." James smiled as Sirius shoved him.

"What did you find out?" Remus asked,

"Not much that we didn't already know. She's got it bad for Sirius, of course. Keeps talking about making all his friends see what a rotten bastard he is."

"Am I really that bad?" Sirius asked, looking incredulous when all his friends gave him looks like he'd just asked an obvious question.

"Seemed like it was working there for a while." James said, the apology apparent in his voice, still feeling bad about the cold shoulder they'd given him while Remus was in Hospital.

"Yeah, well, from what I can tell, she's not given up on that."

They were silent for a while, none of them really seeming to know what to say.

"Does she know you're a poofter now?" Peter asked, though the fear that was still apparent in his voice made it hard for anyone to get angry with him.

"She'd probably just blame me for that," Remus said soberly.

"Probably." Lily said.

"But?" Remus prompted, recognizing the tone in her voice.

Lily smiled, amused that Remus knew her well enough to tell when she was leading the conversation.

"But..." she began, a bona fide Marauder gleam in her eye, "I have a plan."

The four boys exchanged glances, none of them sure if they trusted the safety of her plans any more.

Alright! Sorry it's a bit short, but I was excited to get it posted. I'm not 100% happy with it, since I'm pretty out of practice with this kind of writing, but I'm sure I'll fall back into the swing of things!

In other news, if any of you are interested in my original work, I've started a writing blog. I'll be posting some excerpts from my book there. In fact, I just posted the first one today. If any of you want to check it out you can find it at:

kmwitt dot wordpress dot com

Down in the right hand corner you can follow it by email. I'll be posting excerpts from every chapter and news about when and how it will be published! You guys have been such fantastic readers and I would really love to have your support! Hopefully I'll have a real book for you guys to enjoy some day!