Title: Jaded Amber 1/9
Pairing(s):Lucius/Remus
Word Count: 32,705
Rating: NC-17
Language: British English
Warning(s): Prostitution, OC Character death, hurt/comfort, dubious-con, switching, . Er... there's a six year age difference between Remus and Lucius (courtesy of HP Lexicon)

Disclaimer: Harry Potter characters are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended. The HP Lexicon must be credited for the gratuitous amounts of information it holds and the allowances I could then take with the information it could not provide. Also, credit must go to Kalendar-365 for the awesome lunar calendar, of which the dates of this are based around. Behind the Name website must be credited for the name 'Sabine' ('The Sabines were an ancient people who lived in central Italy, their lands eventually taken over by the Romans after several wars. According to legend, the Romans abducted several Sabine women during a raid, and when the men came to rescue them, the women were able to make peace between the two groups.') Peevish must be credited for their delightful 1970s slang terms including but not limited to the awesome: 'wank bank'. Dates and information on Mabon came from Wikipedia. Finally, Google Earth, you're a Godsend and glastonburyfestivals must be thanked for the information on Glastonbury Fayre 1978.

Author Notes: Written for hp_sexstars fest of 2011 for kinky_kneazle, who submitted the prompt: The only way a werewolf can earn a living is on his back. It should be noted that very little is known about Lucius' parents except his father died of Dragon Pox. Very little is also known of Remus' parents except that his father pissed off Fenrir Greyback so badly, the guy attacked his son. Okay, I saw this prompt and immediately had to have it, scenarios and one liners forming in my head as soon as I read it. I ran with this and created something I never would have created if it hadn't been for this fest. I want to thank Hiddi for giving me some very helpful feedback in our FB chats and kinky_kneazle for being so out of the box and coming up with something like this. Also big thanks to the speediest beta ever, crazyparakiss. You saved my life, seriously. I also really want to thank the mods for being so understanding in a time of difficultly and allowing me my time to grieve. I'm giving a side dedication to y'all for being so wonderful. It meant a lot to me and I do appreciate it.

Summary: Lucius never would have thought that such an impulsive act of rebellion – spurred by Rabastan, of all people – would change his life so profoundly. Remus never would have thought that accepting one unlikely client would have such a profound effect on his outlook.

***
Jaded Amber

Lucius stared. The man in his bed lay prone, as silent in his sleep as he was awake. He'd snuck him in through the kitchen's entrance late last night. This was the third time. The simple act of rebellion, instigated by Rabastan on Lucius' twenty-fourth birthday, seemed like a good idea after seven straight snifters of Ogden's Finest, until the young man in his bed had turned up. Ever since school, Lucius knew never to trust Rabastan's ideas. Everyone knew he was a few sickles short of a galleon when off his arse. He still didn't know the young man's name. The only thing he did know, the only thing he needed to know, was that the young man was very good at his job. He seemed too young to have been doing it enough to get so much experience, but Lucius wasn't one to judge on people's professions, especially when they were so useful. The trees by his bedroom in the east wing moved outside, swaying in the morning breeze, breaking the spears of bright sunlight that shone through. The shadows made by the leaves ran across the man's strong back like water, back and forth. It was... calming in a way. Lucius had no idea how long he'd been sitting there staring. It was just that, for some reason, the replete and deeply relaxed form in front of him, despite being in such an alien environment, was so immersed in the task of sleeping, it was incredible. The man lay on his stomach, his arms stretched up beside his head and hands buried under the pillow beneath. His hair, long enough to grasp and pull, was in disarray and fell across his face hiding his eyes, the colour of which Lucius had never seen before. One leg lay buried beneath the twisted white sheets while the other was hiked high enough to escape them and the comforter that had been kicked to the bottom edge.

The trust the man exhibited was astounding. Any Slytherin worth their salt would have been facing him with a wand at least a half hour ago. He had him gauged as a Hufflepuff, or maybe a Gryffindor. Lucius cocked his head to the side as he studied him. When he'd first shown up, Lucius had actually had to ask him how old he was, after overcoming the initial awkwardness a business deal like theirs encompassed. A rather smart, 'I apparated here with your co-ordinates', was his answer. When Lucius remained silent, he received a cocked eyebrow and a curt, 'We can wait for the owl from the Improper Use of Magic Office – that will never come – if you want. It's your money.'

Hmm, perhaps a Ravenclaw, then.

A deep sigh alerted him the brunet was waking up. Slow movement evolved to all out stretching and Lucius watched the long lines of the man's hard body exposed to him in the sunlight. He'd used it well the night before, until the droning sounds of lectures and the monotonous tones in the business meetings he'd been in all day – that threatened to make him lobotomise himself with the cane his father continuously carted around – were drowned out by sighs and pleading whispers. They'd become music to his ears and, as he sank into the man repeatedly, the pressures of the day had just faded into the background. The brunet's head shifted and a sleepy moan softly filled his room. Eyelids tightened before they opened, showcasing a spectacular set of amber irises Lucius couldn't believe was natural. He could tell when they finally focused on the room he was in, on the blond man in the chair watching him.

"Creepy, but not the worst I've seen." The voice was laced with sleep. Lucius ignored the words. Languidly, the Ravenclaw-Gryffindor mix sat up, yawned and looked around Lucius' room. His eyes falling on his clothes, he scooted to the edge of the king size bed and scooped them up. "Can I use your bathroom?" he asked, but it was evident in his tone he wasn't too bothered with how Lucius would answer. When Lucius nodded, he walked across the room into Lucius' bathroom, shutting the door behind him. As the latch bolt clicked into the slide plate, the relaxed, calm feeling began to edge away. Lucius stood and walked to his wardrobe. Today was Tuesday. He had to go to the bank with his father today to check on the Malfoy family investments. It was the main method of ensuring self-preservation, a signature trait of any Slytherin, of any Malfoy. He'd been receiving tuition on the contents of the vaults since he was thirteen, now he had to learn the strategies if he was to take over the leadership role. After all, as his father often said, 'Being a Malfoy is not only an honour, but a privilege. It is nota right.' If he wanted to keep everything the name gave him, he had to earn it. He had to know his place, he had to understand his role, and he had to look the part.

Lucius looked in the floor-length mirror attached to his wardrobe and rolled his eyes. The length of his hair had been a major issue, it being the mark of the figurehead of the family. He'd known his father, Abraxas, to have long hair since before he could remember. A lot of older men had long hair. Lucius, however, did not consider himself to be old by any standard. Besides, wizards lived for at least a century, what was the point of growing it now? He hated it, especially at the length it was now, too long to be styled, too short to be pulled back. It was his mother, in the end, who convinced him to let it go. It was just hair. In secret, after his father had left the room, she'd told him he could just chop it off when the man died and that would be that. The comment had her desired effect and made him smile, which was something. He sighed, letting it go. The argument was not worth it and his father was difficult enough to deal with, without Lucius starting something unnecessary. The day at the bank and the lawyer's office was going to be bad enough. He didn't even want to think about the Ministry gathering tomorrow evening. He shut his eyes and took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. Opening them, he pulled the first door of his wardrobe open and selected the first set of black formal robes he could see, laying them out on his bed. The rumpled sheets drew his attention, pulling to mind the man in his bathroom. His eyes drifted across his room to the mahogany door. Relaxation was something he could do with right now, a way to get rid of the stress and feel somewhat sane for the rest of the day. As if called, the young man opened his bathroom door and stepped out, looking for the world as if he'd just arrived.

Self preservation was a funny thing. As long as you kept your head above water – and with some extra galleons, the rest of your body too – all was well for the Malfoys. Watching the young man he still didn't know the name of, he wondered what his father would think of his methods.


The kitchen was empty as far as he could see. He didn't come in here often but it was the only place that had a fireplace at the other end, was far away from his father and close to the east wing staircase. He often used it to sneak his friends in and out during summer months when he was still in school. He walked to the other end with his company following behind. He wondered where the house elves were, since the kitchen was completely empty, but it was already seven in the morning. Then, he found out why.

"Good morning, Luc," he heard behind him. The lightly French-accented voice made him freeze. He could see the knowing smile with his back turned. He spun around slowly and looked over his escort's shoulder, who he noticed had also turned at the voice. He walked around him and stood between them both.

"Good morning, Mother," he said and helped her with her handful as she walked out of the pantry, followed by a group of house elves.

Sabine Malfoy neé Duval had married Abraxas at twenty, her parents very happy to give away their free spirited daughter to a man who had little to no spirit at all. Their years of marriage had done nothing to temper her easy going ways, nor her openly expressed love for her two favourite men. She wore a thin silk dressing robe over her nightgown. She'd just recently woken up, her eyes a little laced with sleep and her wavy blonde hair undone, hanging loose around her shoulders. She eyed her son carefully and then the man behind him. Tired she may have been, but she was not blind. "You are having visitors? This early? England has barely awoken, Luc." She rested her hip against the counter as the elves busied themselves with her breakfast. She gave him a cheeky grin. "Or is he now leaving?" She swept her long blonde hair over her shoulder and placed her hand on her hip.

"And that is my cue to leave," said the man behind him. Lucius half turned and had to lean back when the young man reached forward with his hand. "It was lovely meeting you, Mrs Malfoy."

Sabine looked down at his hand and then up to her son. "I do not know where you hands have been, young man."

He smiled and Lucius dreaded what would come out of his mouth. "Oh, believe me, you've touched them all before."

Sabine's eyes widened scandalously before a broad grin lit up her face. She took his hand and once more looked up at her son. "I like him." She gave him a cheeky smile. "Please, call me Sabine."

"Mother," Lucius inserted, ready for the man to leave now.

"And you are?" she continued as if she didn't hear him.

The brunet smiled again. "I am not important. It was lovely to meet you, Sabine." He gave Lucius a nod, let go of Sabine's hand and walked to the fireplace. In a flash of green flame and a token, "The Leaky Cauldron," he was gone. A feeling similar to that upstairs overcame Lucius as soon as the brunet disappeared. He could feel his shoulders fall without his permission.

"Oh my goodness."

Lucius turned to his mother, his eyes narrowed, but she simply stared at him with her hand over her chest. A plated breakfast and cup of coffee sat next to each of them where they rested. There wasn't an elf in sight. "That was not funny."

She was relentless in her laughter and gave him a playful push on his shoulder. He hardly felt it. She was such a small thing, his mother, but delightful nonetheless. He hoped to find someone like her one day. She made herself comfortable, knowing her son well enough to know that if she let this be, she would never be able to bring it up again and this was not a conversation for outside of the room. "Oh, don't be that way. You're like your father, no sense of humour." She took a sip of her coffee. "Does he live at that pub?" she asked innocently, her light eyes wide.

He rolled his eyes. "You are impossible, Mother." He picked up his own cup of coffee and inhaled it deeply before he drank.

She gave him a cheeky grin and cupped his face with her hands. "And you are very much my son." She laughed her light tinkling laughter, which made him smile, even if she was making fun of the situation.

When she let go and moved on to her toast, he managed to ask, "Will you tell Father?"

She stared at him, as if contemplating. "Your father. He is an uptight fellow, no?" She smiled at his expression. "He does not have the appropriate sense of humour we do to find this funny." She shook her head making her decision. "No. I do not think I will share this joke with him. He would not get it." She leaned forward, an eyebrow cocked. "I will ask where you found such a man. A fine specimen. Those eyes! My goodness." She took another sip of coffee as if to steady herself and placed a hand on his left forearm. "You must tell me, are they real?"


As Remus crossed the boundary of The Leaky Cauldron into Diagon Alley, he breathed out a sigh and wandered up the Alley towards Ambrosia cafe. It was one of the few places open at this time of the day. Tea. I need tea. Nearly every 'morning after', he came to this cafe for their tea. He didn't know what they put into it, but it soothed him in ways he couldn't describe. Walking in, he greeted Heather Fairweather behind the counter and asked for his usual: a cup of Earl Grey and a strawberry jam scone with clotted cream. She smiled at him as she went to round up his order. Remus waited at the counter. Leaning forward, he put his head in his palm and looked around. The cafe was empty so far. Usually the only folk who would come in at this time would be other store owners – out to get some breakfast before they opened, and people like him who worked his hours. But it was Tuesday and, for some reason, there was always bad business on a Monday night. He'd almost been ready to go home, but Malfoy had turned up out of the blue and he knew what to expect from him at least. He'd initially been a 'birthday present' to the blond. Lestrange did that often to the Alleywalkers on Knockturn. Remus had made sure to ask Lestrange who he was a present for. He'd heard the stories and would never go to his brother. Never.

He couldn't wait to get home and change, but first... He sat at his usual table and took his first sip. Oh, yes. He practically melted into the seat. Shutting his eyes, he finally allowed himself to relax, since he'd woken up earlier to Lucius Malfoy watching him sleep. Strange man.

The other chair at his table scraping against the floor made him jump. He opened his eyes to see Sirius sitting down opposite him. He stared and Sirius stared back. He pinched himself and then stared some more. He wasn't hallucinating. "You're awake."

Sirius grinned. "I am."

Remus narrowed his eyes in suspicion. "You're awake and outside. Why?"

Sirius mimicked him. "Why are you?"

Remus sat up straight. "That's none of your business, Padfoot."

Sirius spread his arms wide, giving him a devastating smile. "Then I invoke the ancient code of ditto."

Sirius had always been a good looking man. In school he was the token bad boy. The girls swooned, the boys envied and he'd chosen Remus as his friend out of all the people he could have befriended in his stead. It was a good thing he'd never been in love with the guy. That would have been a disaster in the making. He was a good friend, though, if a bit pretentious. Sirius stole a bit of the clotted cream from his scone. That stuff was expensive, Remus batted his hand away. "We went out last night," Sirius said after stuffing his finger in his mouth to lick off the cream. "I fire-called your house, but your mum said you were out." Remus had left him late Monday afternoon to 'go home', when he'd really 'gone to work'. He still felt a little dirty after standing on Knockturn for so long. "...by the end of the night I was far too sloshed to apparate home, so I woke up at The Cauldron." Remus realised he'd just missed a large portion of what Sirius had said. "I was coming downstairs when I saw you come out the floo. I called you, but you didn't hear me." He shrugged. "So I followed you here after I settled my bill and had a good healthy dose of Anti-Veisalgia, of course."

Remus nodded belatedly. "Of course." Sirius ducked his hand down to steal an entire scone this time. "Hey! No touching, mine." Remus glared and pulled his plate closer.

Sirius tsked, as if Remus had just spoiled his fun. "Alright," he said stroppily and turned with a bright smile. "Heather! Sweetheart! I'm starving!" He held his stomach, miming stomach pains that only the truly famished could feel.

Heather rolled her eyes, but smiled fondly at him anyway. "I'll be right there, Sirius." Remus simply rolled his eyes. Sirius was still staring at her. When Remus looked over, she was bending over to get a roll off the bottom shelf.

Remus sighed, frustrated. "Leave her alone, Sirius." He took a bite of his scone. Mmm, heavenly.

"Shh," Sirius sounded, cutting him off. He put up a finger to silence him, in case his single syllable didn't do the job. He continued to stare. "I'm taking in her assets." With his other hand, he tapped his temple. "Storing them in my wank bank."

Remus coughed, his tea going down the wrong hole. "I'm sorry, your what?" he asked. It was such an unexpected thing to say, he didn't even swallow his piece of scone before he spoke. Sirius, apparently done with his 'deposit', shook his head for Remus to disregard it and finally stole a scone. "You missed a big night last night, Moony. We may not forgive you." The Black rebel ignored Remus' glare. "Even Peter was there and you know how scarce he is these days." Shaking his head at Sirius' antics, Remus let it go and nodded absently. Peter had been disappearing a lot these days. "James finally did it and proposed to Lily."

His amber eyes snapped to Sirius. "What?" Sirius finished the last of his stolen scone.

"I didn't say that to get a reaction. It's true. He just blurted it out as she sat down next to him." Heather brought him over his roll with scrambled eggs and a large mug of tea. He too had a 'usual', since Remus had first brought him there. "He had the ring and everything, but I don't think he planned it for right then." He took a bite of his breakfast sandwich and put up a hand to cover his mouth. "The ring was gorgeous, though."

Remus looked out the window to the slowly filling Alley outside. He'd helped James pick the ring. It was so strange, walking into a jewellery shop and knowing money wasn't an option. Remus had to be careful; it was a heady experience he'd love to repeat. In the end, the idiot had settled on his family rings. All that work for nothing. How horrible to be there when he chose it, but not when he used it. Their night sounded like a good time. His mind went to his own night and he cocked his head in thought, almost shamed when his mind pointed out that his night may just have been better. "Did she say yes?" Sirius gave him a look. Remus nodded. Of course she did, it was Lily.

Sirius washed down his bite with a gulp of tea. "I'm going over to his place after. You wanna come with?"

Remus frowned at Sirius' words. First 'wank bank' and now this? "You've been dating muggles again, haven't you?" He always took on some of their language when he did. Sirius shrugged and gave him a lewd grin. Remus shook his head fondly at his friend. "Yeah, sure," he answered and let his gaze wander to the window.

Sirius dabbed at his mouth with a napkin. He frowned. "You okay?" he asked.

Remus tilted his head. Was he? "Yeah, of course," he answered anyway and put down his cup.

Sirius' eyes bore into him. Idiot and bad boy to the masses he could be, but he was still a Black, no matter how the salt shook. His eyes narrowed. "You don't look it."

"I don't? Must not have got a lot of sleep." He hadn't, either. Malfoy, apparently, had a lot of stamina. If he'd known what he was getting himself into when that Rabastan Lestrange had come up to him, he may have turned him down. But, he thought to himself as he felt the weight of the bag in his pocket. I need the money.

"Is that all you're eating for breakfast," Sirius' said, interrupting his thoughts. He shook his head at Remus. "No way. Heather, my lovely!" Sirius got up and went to the counter, heedless of Remus' calls. He shook his head. Sirius was very giving, even if his friends weren't the receiving type. Since he'd been given his inheritance by his Uncle Alphard, he'd spoiled the lot of them when he could, especially Remus, since he rarely had anything to his name. One day, Sirius' character would get him in trouble.


Abraxas Malfoy was truly a sound businessman. Lucius would often watch him in awe when he was a teenager. It amazed him that his father could command these men's attention so readily, so easily and get most, if not all, of what he set out to receive in a deal. He had seen it happen so many times and that was both a blessing and a curse. He'd learned the best ways to approach a business deal from Abraxas; what to mention, what not to mention, and what to keep to himself until there was no other choice. Abraxas was good at what he did, Lucius would never question it, and was continuously grateful of his business prowess because, without it, Lucius would stand to inherit next to nothing, especially with his mother's spending habits. He watched a piercing set of dark brown eyes rise from the parchment to lock with the goblin across from him. "What about the Brenhach accounts, the investments I made last quarter, are there any returns?"

On the other hand, Lucius had seen these meetings so many times.

Boredom was now a constant state of being. He was not truly required to be there, but his father made him come to each one to gain the maximum of experience. He often said, 'No two meetings are the same. At any time, it could go to Azkaban.' But Lucius had never seen such a meeting and, with his father's reputation, it wasn't likely he would. It had been the same last month, though his mind had been preoccupied then by the man he'd had to secret out of the manor. It had certainly kept his mind entertained then. However, if he wasn't with his father, he would, most likely, be dragged out shopping with his mother. That fate was something just as bad, if not worse.

The Malfoy vaults were handled by Gornuk, one of the Gringotts goblins. He sat in what Lucius could only describe as an ornate 'high chair'. Abraxas often told him that goblins were frightfully imperious and hated being seen as inferior in anyway. Lucius thought of the high chair, the high counters in the Main Hall, the great secrecy of the vaults below ground, to the fact that Gringotts towered over all the other shops in Diagon Alley. Overcompensation if he ever saw it. The goblin sat behind the desk, while he and Mr Leopold Cretach, the family solicitor, flanked his father on the opposite side. Mr Cretach, of Cretach, Bondle and Associates had been their family solicitor for years, since his grandfather, Quintus Malfoy, helped him establish the firm. The meeting had started mid-morning and, due to the sheer amount of investments and vaults in the Malfoy name, the meeting had gone straight past lunch. Lucius wanted to tear out his eyes, he was so bored. For the first time he was glad for Mr Cretach, when the elderly man pulled his vintage pocket-watch out and read the time.

"What say we revisit this after a spot of tea?" It was testament to how long the meeting was when even Gornuk seemed relieved.

Lucius stepped out past the burnished bronze doors of the building into the busy melee of Diagon Alley, ignoring the two guards in their scarlet and gold uniforms. The polished and ornate white steps of Gringotts Bank looked severely out of place among the less opulent streets and shops below. Certainly, that was the point of such a display.

He rolled his eyes internally. Overcompensation was underestimating their severe complex.

He took in a deep breath of air and looked up to see the waxing gibbous moon in the afternoon sky. It was a clean, crisp white in a sea of blue. Disregarding it, he followed his father through the busy street. It was a Monday and the Alley was busy with people on their day to day duties. He wondered which part of the world his mother was shopping in, reminded of her when he caught sight of a blonde woman being followed by her house elves carrying her purchases. She usually brought things home for him to try, including sets of ribbons that always made him roll his eyes. Now that he was being forced to leave it alone instead of cut it, his hair had been growing, in Lucius' opinion, at an alarming rate. It brushed his shoulders now and Lucius hated feeling like there was always something there touching him. He could often be seen brushing his neck, only to realise it was just hair. She was impossible when it came to him doing as he was told. She hated arguments in the house, especially between her two best men. Lucius sighed to himself and glanced into the shop windows as he and his father made their way to a cafe. He was absently listening to a point his father was making about blood purity, something he'd begun to discuss on and off for a while now, when he heard it.

"I said no!" That voice. Even after a month's time, he'd recognise it anywhere.

"Come on, Moony. I'm sure we can get her to say yes if you come along."

"Yeah, Remus, please! She actually likes you."

In front of the cafe they were heading toward, next to the group of outdoor tables, stood four men, one of which Lucius knew intimately. "Probably because, out of the lot of us, she can actually trust me not to let you drink yourselves into a stupor, and then wake up in Goa surrounded by nameless fluids and a pet goat, with no recollection of how you got there." Lucius slowed down to look inside a shop window, not particularly noticing what was there, but really just wanting to eavesdrop.

His father's deep voice made him realise he hadn't been listening to him for a while. "You and your books. It's nice to see your quest for knowledge hasn't lessened," he said with – if Lucius wasn't mistaken – a touch of fondness. "Your mother would have been a Ravenclaw, you know, if she hadn't gone to Beauxbatons." He stood straight. "Still, a very upstanding house."

Lucius knew what he was supposed to say. "Not as grand as Slytherin, though. It was the only place for me, for a Malfoy." The look of tempered pride made him glow warm inside, even though he'd just turned twenty-four and shouldn't need his father's praise to feel good about himself anymore. Old habits die hard, though. He turned slightly to see the familiar head of auburn hair. He was facing three men. One was tall with black hair and a pair of glasses, another looked shorter and a little portly. The last one, also with black hair, had a mischievous outlook to him. He looked familiar, but Lucius was too busy focusing on the man with his back to him. His name is Remus. He obviously had his arms crossed, and enjoyed making the group of men beg. All three of them had their hands clasped, as if in prayer. Lucius cocked an eyebrow at the display. "And what on God's green earth makes you think I'm going to go along with you? Though seeing you all make fools of yourselves would be pleasing."

"Remus Lupin," the dark mischievous one said. "It's James' bachelor party! It's a mark of honour for any man!" he said with conviction.

"Idiots, more like," Remus said as he walked inside the cafe.

The three stood outside with their mouths hanging open before the one with glasses, James, exclaimed, "Remus, come on! I'm actually begging here."

The mischievous one held on to his arm and put up a hand to placate him. "Leave this to me," he declared. He left them outside and walked in after his friend.

With Remus gone and the other two looking in through the window, Lucius tuned out their antics and back in to his father, who was still talking about blood purity. He gestured for them to continue and his father took the lead to walk up to the cafe and inside. The scent of rich coffee beans filled his nostrils. As an Englishman, he was not supposed to survive unless he had a cup of tea, but truly, he couldn't live without coffee. It must be the Frenchman in him from his mother's side. They sat near a window and Lucius went to order their late lunch.

He stood in line behind Remus as he was talked at by the dark haired man. He'd apparently taken on the task of getting Remus on board to plan a bachelor's party against the fiancée's wishes. Lucius rolled his eyes at the attempt. No man should have to convince their fiancée to let him do what he wanted. In the words of his father, 'It's always easier to say sorry than ask permission'. His mother never really got a sorry after his father did something stupid, since Abraxas felt that saying sorry was a sign of weakness.

As the wife of a Malfoy, she made sure he felt sorry, though.

The two other men walked in behind him, the bell over the door jingling. The portly one stayed there while the other walked up to the line where Remus was ordering. "James, if you want to have any kind of clout with your wife in the future, I suggest you grow a pair of bollocks now while you can." Remus crossed his arms again and turned to face him, his eyes angry. He caught sight of Lucius and paused a second before he continued, if a little distracted. "It was bad enough watching you trip over yourself to impress her. It's going to be something else to watch you bumble your way through a marriage that you have, apparently, no control over whatsoever." He collected his tea and eclair. "I'm going home. Let me know if you get to have your party, I'd be honoured to attend." His eyes strayed to Lucius as he left, the two remaining men watching him go and coming out of the line as the bell above the door jingled again.

Lucius walked up to the counter and placed a lunch order for two. James stood to the side of him, paying him no attention, but stared in shock at the door. Lupin had obviously never spoken to them like that before. "What's wrong with him?"

His friend stopped him and shook his head. He sighed like any attempt would be foolish. "It's his time of the month, James, you know how he gets. We'll try again next week. Moony! Wait up!" he called fruitlessly, as the man was no longer there. They all walked out, presumably to chase after the angry Remus Lupin.

Remus Lupin. He finally had a name. It did make him wonder, though.

Time of the month?