In Which Sirius Can't Tell a Story to Save His Life
"Once upon a time, a little boy named Harry learned not to say things that will cause awkward situations."
Harry glared. "One, I am not a little boy. Two, I wasn't trying to cause something like this to happen at all. And three, your story sucks."
Sirius's eyes narrowed and he matched glare for glare. "If you're not a little boy, then you don't need a bedtime story. And just so you know, I know you weren't intending for something like this to happen. I just thought that you would know by now not to say certain things in front of certain people. Such as two hours ago when you mentioned never having had a bedtime story, in the kitchen, in full hearing of several people. It would have saved us both from all this pain and embarrassment."
"I feel no pain or embarrassment. Exhaustion, now that seems more likely. I'd like to sleep. I'm tired. That's why I'm in bed, several hours before Ron will be, might I add."
"I'm sorry, Harry. I'd much rather not be doing this, you know."
Harry finally asked the question he'd wanted to ask since Sirius had walked into his room perched on the edge of his bed and began speaking. "Why are you doing this?"
Sirius sighed, shifted slightly, and very pointedly avoided Harry's eyes. "Because Remus told me to."
"Because Remus told you to," Harry repeated flatly. "And what, Remus uses the Imperius Curse now?"
"Then he's blackmailing you?"
Harry blinked. "He's just got you that well-trained, huh?"
Sirius hung his head. "Yeah…"
Heaving a sigh, Harry leaned back on his pillows. "Very well then. Seeing as your masculinity is currently in question and you appear to have no backbone whatsoever, I'll let you get on with it."
"Gee, thanks Harry…"
"Shut up and commence with the getting on with it."
"That's a bit of a contradiction…" Harry just glared at him again, so Sirius raised his hands in defeat. "Fine, fine." He cleared his throat. "Right, then. Once upon a time…"
Harry rolled his eyes.
"…There was a little werewolf named Remus, who seemed sweet and nice and lovely and kind, up until he would suddenly snap and order people around and yell and scream and whine and bitch and be an all-around unpleasant person."
There was a vaguely indignant noise from the hallway outside Harry's room. Harry muttered something about run-on sentences. Sirius ignored both interruptions.
"Remus had just graduated from school and moved into a small apartment with two other boys. James, who was a bespectacled geek-slash-jock and liked to stalk a pretty girl named Lily, and Sirius, who was wonderful and perfect in every way."
Harry snorted. Sirius heard an echoing snort from the hallway and considered violently removing that half of his audience, but refrained.
"Sadly, as I said, the apartment that Remus shared with the nerdy-but-muscular James and the handsome-but-modest Sirius was incredibly small. It was so small that it had one bedroom, one bathroom, a small lounge area, the tiniest kitchen on the planet, and something that was probably supposed to be another bedroom but was the size of a closet and used as such.
"Now, as I'm sure you've realised, since you're such a brainy little brat –" Sirius paid no mind to Harry's intensified glare – "This means that our poor protagonists are forced to share a room. And while this might not be a problem for some people, it was most definitely a problem for them."
Harry opened his mouth, but Sirius immediately covered it with his hand. "Silence, fiend. Or I'll never finish, which means you'll never get to sleep.
The teenager immediately looked contrite, and attempted to convey through his eyes that he would never interrupt Sirius's 'marvellous' story again. He did a remarkably good job of it too, though Sirius highly doubted that it would last long.
"So, Sirius, Remus and James managed to squeeze three tiny beds into their minuscule bedroom, shoved all their belongings into their spare-room-turned-cupboard and began to live in dubious harmony."
"Is that it?" Harry asked hopefully.
Sirius shook his head sadly. "I'm afraid not, young child-like thing. You see, after they had lived together for a week, worked out a bathroom schedule and learned not to have more than one person in the kitchen at once for fear of getting permanently stuck, James set out on an expedition."
"Let me guess, to stalk Lily," Harry said.
"Yes, James had indeed set out on a brave journey to stalk his beloved-but-unwilling Lily."
"Don't you mean unwitting?"
"No, Harry, I mean unwilling," Sirius said solemnly. "Lily was ever so brainy, you see, quite clever, so there really wasn't any way that she could possibly not be aware of the well-meaning, loving and disturbingly obsessive way that James had been following her every move for the past seven years."
Sirius could hear Remus snickering in the hallway.
"You make it sound so romantic," Harry sighed, fluttering his eyelashes. Sirius rolled his eyes.
"As I was saying, James had gone off to stalk the wonderful Lily. As they had no wish to see their dear, dear friend thrown into prison, the passively-malevolent Remus and the incredibly dishy Sirius –"
Harry mouthed 'dishy?' at him and raised an incredulous eyebrow. Sirius ignored him entirely.
"-decided to chase after him. James, when he entered his full stalker-mode, could be almost impossible to trace, but luckily for them, both Remus and Sirius had been honing their James-locating abilities for the same seven years that James had been dedicatedly stalking Lily and as such were able to catch up swiftly."
"And then they all went home and lived happily ever after, and I was allowed to go to sleep?"
"Indeed not, godson of mine. When they caught up to James, fully intending to bind him against his will and forcefully remove him to a far less volatile location, they discovered that something unprecedented had occurred."
"Everyone had been massacred by a sleeping nundu with a paper bag?"
"No, Harry, or you would not be here today. Tonight. Whichever. Anyway, the marvellously magnificent Sirius and frightfully fickle Remus arrived outside a store selling chocolate and cheese and pirate hats and various combinations thereof, where to their shock they found that James had been caught."
"And so James learned his lesson, and the Aurors let him go, and everyone lived happily ever after in a manner that does not need to be expanded upon?" Harry asked, looking up with hope-filled eyes.
"You are a very difficult audience. For the love of Severus Snape's granny-panties, would you just let me finish the story?"
Harry found that he was sufficiently disturbed by the imagery that Sirius's colourful choice of items to swear by, and fell silent (though only temporarily).
"Now, James had been caught by the ever-crafty Lily, who had him cornered against a large, precarious display of pirate hats. Sirius, being a wonderful, loving and loyal friend, immediately attempted to enter the shop and stage a daring rescue, but Remus, being a capricious and unreliable sort, held him down."
Sirius paused, half expecting Harry to interject something sarcastic. Harry, however, remained silent, and Sirius noted in amusement that he still looked slightly sickened by his earlier comment. With a pleased grin, he continued.
"While Sirius was valiantly trying to fight off his scheming companion, poor James was being interrogated ruthlessly by his beloved Lily. And Lily, of course, was having entirely too much fun demanding an explanation from her helpless captive."
Harry yawned. Sirius wasn't sure whether it was a comment on his story or just fatigue.
"After several long minutes, Sirius escaped his supposedly-well-meaning captor and entered the shop with great haste – which turned out to be a rather bad move, as he knocked a shelf of chocolate flavoured cheese and cheese flavoured chocolates onto the unsuspecting Lily."
"Thus knocking her unconscious, allowing James to escape and end the story?" Harry suggested, eyes half-closed.
Sirius snorted. "Hardly. No, Lily was unbalanced –"
"Ah, so I do come by it honestly!"
"Harry. Lily was unbalanced by the barrage of dairy confectionery and stumbled into James, who was therefore knocked into the aforementioned precarious pirate hat display. They fell to the ground in a spectacular manner and, of course, landed in a compromising position."
"Of course," Harry murmured.
"They also, rather impressively, managed to catch hats with their heads. It was at this point that Remus joined Sirius in the shop, and both stared down at the unlikely pirate couple on the floor with either amusement or a vague horror or a sense of inevitability or a mix of all three, it really was unclear. And then that ever shifty Remus somehow produced a camera from nowhere and began snapping pictures, obviously for future blackmailing."
Sirius heard a muttering from the hall, which sounded something like 'I wonder what happened to those pictures', and resolved to tell Remus exactly where those pictures were in the morning, and then show them around to everyone he could find. Harry just eyed the door thoughtfully.
"Needless to say, neither Pirate Captain Lily nor First Mate James were especially pleased with Remus's sudden photography, and managed to climb out of their little pile of cheese and chocolate and head wear, whipped out their wands, and chased him out of the store shouting for him to give up the camera or face their formidable wrath, which really, he was in no way going to face willingly."
Pausing for commentary, Sirius raised his eyebrows at Harry's lack of reaction to yet another run-on sentence. His godson's eyes were open, but Sirius wasn't convinced he hadn't started to fall asleep with his eyes open. Still, if he walked out of this room without either finishing the story or Harry actually falling asleep, Remus would transfigure him into a cabbage, or worse, a potato. And Sirius had no desire to be a vegetable ever again.
"Now, you will no doubt realise from earlier parts of the story that the brave and selfless Sirius was just that, a true hero. And despite Remus's devious and wand-happy nature, Sirius simply could not leave him to the mercy of those cheese scented pirates, no matter how much he probably deserved it.
"So Sirius chased after them and just as Remus had been cornered against the wall of a robe shop, hiding his camera behind his back, Sirius summoned the hats from the heads of the two pirates. Unfortunately this barely even startled them, so Sirius was forced to step up his game and summoned the rest of their clothes."
This seemed to catch Harry's attention. Sirius smirked a little.
"Of course, this had the effect of enraging Lily and James even more, and poor Sirius was suddenly facing a very angry duo in nothing but their underwear, wielding wands and undoubtedly having no qualms about turning people into lettuce. Remus, that tricky werewolf, had used the opportunity to sneak away, and Sirius was certain he was doomed.
"Then suddenly Remus's voice called out, 'James, Lily Evans is almost naked, how is this not something you have noticed!', and James turned around and realised that the love of his life was in fact standing right beside him in her undergarments, and gave her the trademark Potter Lecherous Grin."
"I don't have that," Harry mumbled sleepily.
"Of course not," Sirius agreed soothingly. "Now as you can imagine, Lily had also suddenly realised she was standing in her underwear right next to her stalker and bane of her existence, and this wasn't going over well. Luckily she also realised that they were right outside a robe store, and ran inside to find something to wear. James, naturally, followed along, though whether it was to find robes or keep stalking his lady love, we will never know.
"Sirius turned to Remus, now they were safe, and grudgingly gave his thanks. Remus grovelled for forgiveness-" Sirius paused. "Oh all right, he thanked Sirius for his assistance, and then James came out of the robe shop less naked and with a ridiculous grin on his face.
"His loyal friends asked him what he was so happy about, mostly because they were terrified he had sneakily hexed them while they weren't looking, but instead it turned out he had finally asked his beloved Lily out on a date, and Lily had agreed with the condition that James really had to quit all that stalking nonsense.
"Finally, they were able to return home to their weeny health-code-violating apartment. And Remus found that…" Sirius trailed off suddenly as he realised that Harry's sardonic comments had stopped several minutes ago and his eyes were actually closed now, and then he heard a faint snore.
Sirius grinned. "Well then," he commented softly. "Goodnight, Harry. Sweet dreams and all that."
He flicked the light off as he exited the room, and found Remus sitting on the floor by the door.
"Slave-driving eavesdropper," Sirius muttered. He was surprised when Remus didn't respond. "Er, Moony?"
Sirius blinked down at him and nudged him gently with his foot. "Moooony…" The only reaction he received was a sleepy murmur. "Oh. Huh. Turns out I'm pretty good at this bedtime story stuff..."
Wolfie started this oneshot oh, at least four years ago. Got all inspired to finish it last night. Did so.
Turns out Wolfie's writing inspiration is still going strong.
Hope you enjoyed it!