Written for the Diversity Competition, Round 3, in which the requirements were a Marauder's era friendship piece from 600 to 1200 words.
Also for the Overheard in Hogwarts Competition.
I don't own anything.
I know the word "sucks" wasn't exactly used in the manner I've used it during the Marauder's time, if it's even used in Britain now, but it was one of my prompt lines, so please excuse the discontinuity.
Remus sighs as he walks into the dorm. "Sirius, you have to stop setting Severus on fire."
Sirius grins at him sheepishly from where he's flopped across his bed. "I was trying to make you laugh." Lazily, he sits up. "I guess it didn't work."
The corners of Remus' mouth twitch against his will. "You're terrible."
"What can I say? It's a talent."
Despite himself, Remus chuckles. Sirius grins. "See? I knew I could make you laugh!"
Remus shakes his head, still smiling. "Are you ever serious?"
"I'm always Sirius!"
Remus groans. "You have an unhealthy obsession with that pun."
James pipes up from where he's been digging in his trunk for something. "I second that!"
Peter, who's been lying sprawled across his bed, say, "I third it!"
"The motion carries," Remus declares. "You, Sirius Black, are no longer allowed to make puns involving your name."
"So mote it be!" James and Peter chorus. Sirius pouts, and James chucks a sock at him.
"This is yours, by the way," he says.
"Why was my sock in your trunk?" Sirius frowns.
"Because of the-"
"Ohhh, right. I keep forgetting that actually happened," Sirius interrupts. James nods vigorously, Peter looks confused, and Remus assumes he doesn't want to know.
After a moment of silence, Remus asks, "Sirius, why did you hit Severus with a stick, exactly?"
"I hit him with a stick because he sucks. And he still sucks, so I'm not sorry." Sirius crosses his arms across his chest firmly.
Remus sighs, shaking his head. "You really ought to stop tormenting him."
"I would if he would stop sucking!"
James snickers, and Sirius glares at him before throwing the sock at his head. James just laughs harder.
"Hey!" Sirius exclaims, very suddenly. "Remus!"
"Yes," Remus responds dryly.
"James, it's Remus!"
"Yes, Sirius, this is my dorm. I do show up here occasionally."
But James perks up at the mention. "Remus!"
Remus rolls his eyes. "Yes, I do believe we've established that already."
Peter snorts, rolling off his own bed.
"Sirius has something to talk to you about," he says, leaning against Sirius' bedpost.
"Hey! I thought we all agreed!"
James laughs. "Sometimes it's easier to pretend to agree with you than to try to argue."
Sirius pouts, but, as usual, quickly bounces back. He pats the bed next to him. "Have a seat, Remus."
Remus hesitates at Sirius' tone but sits down anyway. James leans against the opposite bedpost. His face is somewhat amused, Peter's apprehensive, and Sirius' unusually somber.
"Remus," he says gravely. If Remus is perfectly honest, he's a bit scared now. "I must inform you that we – well, I, apparently – have made a discovery."
He pauses for dramatic effect. Remus would laugh at Sirius' antics and flair for drama, usually. Right now, he's not so sure he's up to it.
"And what might that be?" he asks softly.
"You're a werewolf," he says bluntly.
Silence descends. James is vigorously searching Remus' face. Sirius' grey eyes are dancing with anticipation. Peter looks like he can't decide whether to be amused or afraid.
After too long, Remus murmurs, "How did you figure it out?"
"Wait, you mean it's actually true?" James interjects incredulously.
Remus frowns. "You didn't know?"
Shrugging, James responds, "I thought it was just another one of Sirius' mad ideas. You know, like the time he-"
"I don't think we need reminding of that, James," Sirius interrupts him quickly. "But, now that we know for sure, we can get to curing Remus!"
"Uh, I don't think that's how it works, Sirius."
Sirius seems undeterred. "Come now, my fellow Gryffindors! We have assembled here some of the brightest minds of our times! How can we fail?"
"Sirius," James say dryly. "We're twelve. You're thirteen."
"So then we're unstoppable!"
"Right. Because that's the conclusion logic should lead you to," Remus murmurs. Sirius beams.
"Glad you're with me, Remus old pal!"
Remus rolls his eyes. He's never sure if SIrius is blindly oblivious to sarcasm, or if he just ignores it whenever it suits his purpose.
"Wait," Remus says slowly, glancing around. "So you guys are okay with this? With… me? With what I am? Because I'd understand, if you weren't. I mean… "
Sirius grins. " 'Course."
But Remus's eyes are on James. "And you?" he asks softly.
James shrugs. "I… I think it's going to take some time to sink in."
Sirius shoots a glare at him, but Remus stops him. "Sirius, don't."
James' eyes snap up to meet Sirius'. "I'm not like you," he says, his voice an odd mix of haughtiness and jealousy. "I'm not used to throwing everything I've ever been taught out the window."
Sirius' eyes flash. "At least I can decide things for myself, without needing other people to decide them for me!" he snaps back.
"Guys, please," Remus says, but his soft voice drowns in the words of the louder boys, as usual.
"It's not a bad thing that I actually listen to my parents!"
"Yeah, well, you're spoiled enough to have parents that are actually occasionally right!"
James' gaze drops at the mention, but Remus can see the fire still burning in them.
"Please," Remus says again, in the soft silence. When both of them look at him, he continues. "Stop. Look, Sirius, if James needs time, that's fine. It's perfectly understandable – I'm grateful that he's considering it. Most people wouldn't. And James––" he turns to the boy in question "––we all know that was a low blow."
James nods soberly, and after a moment, so does Sirius, but defiance sparks in his grey eyes still, which makes Remus wary.
"Remus, it's nothing against you," James says slowly.
"I know that." Remus' voice is mild.
"I mean, really–"
"James, I'm used to it."
"But you shouldn't have to be!" Sirius interrupts.
Remus shakes his head. "Sirius, you can't change the world, no matter how much you think you can. Even if the world is wrong sometimes, what they think matters because so many people believe in it."
Sirius purses his lips stubbornly. "It isn't fair."
A sharp, bitter laugh bubbles up. "I'd think you'd know by now that life isn't fair."
"I do know that," Sirius says softly. "But it should be."
And Remus has nothing to say to that, so he turns to Peter, who has been silently observing the entire conversation.
The blond boy shrugs. "It'll take some getting used to," he says. "But as long as you don't, like, eat me or anything, I guess I'll be okay with it."
Remus smiles at him gratefully.
"And to think!" James says, flopping back onto his bed. "I thought Remus was the least dangerous of all of us!"