Fandom: Harry Potter
Word Count: 5,800
Summary: Pretty much exactly what it says on the tin.
Content Notes: Marauders-era. Alternating POV between Sirius, Remus, and James.
Author Notes: Ahahaha. Ha ha. Ha. This was supposed to be six double drabbles. As in, 200 words each for a 1,200 word fic. Oh boy, did that get out of hand. I’ve had a bit of a shit time lately IRL, so I’m throwing myself back into my original OTP from my very first fandom and it is bringing me much nostalgic joy.
Because I am supremely anal about these things, there really was a full moon on December 31st, 1971, which was the Marauders’ first year at school (1971-72).
Also, I know fanon usually places the prank with Snape in their sixth year; however, ‘The Prince’s Tale’ puts it sometime before their OWLs, so I’ve gone ahead and made it fourth year.
Beta: Unbeta’d; please forgive any mistakes.
Archiving: Crossposted at Archive of our Own
Disclaimer: I am to the Harry Potter series what Voldemort is to the Elder Wand.
Christmas at Hogwarts, Remus has decided, might just be the best thing ever. Twelve-foot tall, beautifully decorated Christmas trees line the Great Hall; there are twinkling wreaths throughout most of the corridors; the suits of armour will sing both Muggle and Wizarding Christmas carols if you request them; and there are sprigs of enchanted mistletoe that will trap any couple unwitting enough to walk beneath them at the same time, refusing to let them go until they’ve kissed.
There’s still a couple of days to go before the holidays start and most of the students go home; Remus is staying this year, as the full moon is on New Year’s Eve and his parents think he’d be better off in the shack where he’ll be safe—and so will everyone else, though of course they don’t say that. Sirius is staying as well; his family, apparently, are still not over his Sorting. He grins when he says it, but Remus has to wonder if he’s the only one who notices that it doesn’t reach his eyes.
It’s the last night before the Hogwarts Express comes to take everyone home for the holidays; most of Gryffindor seems to be milling about in the common room doing nothing much at all. James and Peter are embroiled in a fairly heated game of Wizard’s Chess—there’s a bet of some sort on the outcome, though Remus has no idea what’s at stake. Two and a half hours into the match, when Sirius starts yawning and stretching beside him, Remus decides that bed sounds like a wonderful idea.
They trudge up the stairs together before Remus feels his foot freeze on the fourth step. Sirius freezes beside him and Remus suddenly has a very, very bad feeling in the pit of his stomach. He looks up—and sure enough, there’s a sprig of mistletoe hanging above his head.
“What do we do?” Sirius murmurs. He’s obviously hoping not to be heard; unfortunately the whole common room has fallen silent, noticing the predicament the two first-years are stuck in.
“Isn’t it obvious, Black? Give him a snog!” one of the sixth years calls out, accompanied by some gestures that are most definitely not representative of kissing. Remus bites his lip and glances at Sirius, who is looking utterly confused. Personally, Remus thinks they should just do it—one quick touching of lips and then they can both go to bed. Would it be so bad? He’s not game to just lean forward, though; Sirius will probably punch him.
“Oh, for pity’s sake,” he hears Lily sigh from her seat near the fire. She gets up, stalking towards both of them. For a moment Remus thinks she might smash their lips together—he wouldn’t put it past her—but instead, she grabs first him, then Sirius, giving them both a perfunctory kiss on the mouth before pulling away, going back to her giggling friends without a word. Remus can feel the spell on his feet give way and he quickly steps back from the mistletoe’s reach; Sirius does the same.
“Bugger,” Sirius mutters beside him. Remus is confused for a second—surely they had a lucky escape?—before he follows Sirius’ gaze to an absolutely murderous-looking James.
“Run,” Sirius hisses. Remus doesn’t need to be told twice.
In the year and a half that Sirius and Remus have been friends, Remus has had: five dead grandmothers, four funerals for extended family members, three ailing aunts, two very ill mothers, and one father in St. Mungos for an unidentified reason. It’s like that Muggle Christmas song Peter taught him last year—the one with birds in fruit trees, or something. Sirius can only remember the bawdy version he and James made up later.
Anyway. Slightly off track there. The point is, either the Lupins have some seriously terrible luck when it comes to, you know, staying healthy and alive, or Remus is lying to them. Given the statistical improbability of five dead grandmothers—especially since one of them sent Remus some truly delicious Honeydukes chocolates just last month—Sirius and James are leaning towards a deep, dark secret that Remus isn’t telling them. And because they are such great friends, they’re not going to beat it out of him if he really doesn’t want to tell.
They’re just going to figure it out themselves.
Remus is gone again—no explanation this time, though he’ll probably have one when he comes back. James, Peter and Sirius are spread out along the dormitory with all sorts of books and charts spread out in front of them. Peter has been charged with the task of trying to figure out all the dates Remus has had a ‘family emergency’ over the last couple of years—which he achieves mostly by looking at the dates on his lowest-marked homework, as Remus wasn’t around to help him at the last minute. Sirius and James are ignoring him for the most part, tossing a Quaffle back and forward between them as they come up with ever more outlandish theories as to what might drag Remus away from them so often.
“He could be an Incubus,” James says, nonchalant. Sirius lets out a bark of laughter.
“Yup, that’s our Remus all right,” he chortles. “Sucking the souls out of unsuspecting women by shagging them in their sleep. Can’t really picture him as some sort of sex-demon, can you?”
James opens his mouth to retort, but they’re both distracted by Peter sucking in a ragged breath, his eyes wide. His head whips from the parchment he’s been scribbling dates on to the open book in front of him, before he jumps up, running past a very confused Sirius and James to stare out the window for a while. Just as Sirius opens his mouth to ask what the hell Peter is playing at, he turns to face the pair of them, lets out a little squeak and promptly passes out cold.
It’s James who jumps over the bed to see if he’s all right. While they’re occupied, Sirius wanders over to where Peter was sitting to try and figure out what made him freak. The first thing he sees is the parchment, which isn’t actually parchment at all but an old lunar chart with dates scribbled all over it. He glances over to James and Peter—James is slapping the smaller boy repeatedly, looking as though he’s enjoying it a little too much, and the two of them are silhouetted by the moon.
The full moon.
Sirius takes a very deep breath and lifts the chart off the book it covered up when Peter dropped it. He studies the image there for a while, unable to quite reconcile it with Remus. And yet… and yet. It all adds up.
When Remus comes back late the next afternoon looking like he went ten rounds with a pissed-off Hippogriff and crawls straight into bed, Sirius, James, and Peter are sitting cross-legged on their respective beds waiting for him. There’s been very little discussion—Peter doesn’t seem capable and James hasn’t brought it up—so Sirius has no idea what to expect.
And because Sirius is Sirius, and physically incapable of serious conversation, he decides to take charge of the awkward atmosphere. Stretching a lazy grin across his face, he says lazily, “Lupin, I’ve been thinking.” He sees James’ brow furrow out of the corner of his eye, but he plows on. “You need a nickname, don’t you think?”
“Sirius, you don’t give anyone nicknames—except Snape, and I’d rather not be lumped into the same boat as him, if it’s all the same.” Remus’ tone would be exasperated if he didn’t sound so wrung out. “You refer to everyone by their surname, or expect them to reply to ‘oi, you’.”
“You have a point,” Sirius replies, eyeing Remus in what he hopes is a subtle manner. He really does look terrible; there are deep bags under his eyes and a fresh-looking scratch along the length of his cheek. Knowing what he knows now, it makes him wince, but he forces the jovial tone through anyway. “So, Lupin, then. Interesting name, that, Lupin… puts one in mind of the moon… Moony? I could call you Moony. That’d be appropriate, what do you reckon?”
Remus’ expression drops suddenly as he looks at the three of them—Sirius, who’s staring at Remus meaningfully, to James, who’s eyeing Sirius with a kind of grudging admiration, to Peter, who is looking at nothing at all. He looks crestfallen. Sirius stares at the slump of his shoulders, trying to figure out what he said wrong.
“I’ll move out of the dorm,” Remus says frantically, not looking any of them in the eye now. “I’ll go somewhere else, I’ll never come near you again, just please, please promise you won’t tell anyone. If not for me, then for Dumbledore—he’ll be in so much trouble if this gets out—” he’s babbling, nearly incoherent, and James jumps up off his bed.
“Remus, we don’t want you to move out, you giant tit! You’re our friend; you’re one of us!” he yells, looking offended at the very thought. Sirius wonders why he ever doubted him.
Sirius jumps onto Remus’ bed, where he is still huddled under the covers. “James is right, you know. You’re bloody daft if you think we’d let a little thing like you turning into a slathering beast once a month make us not want to be your mate anymore. Hell, James is a slathering beast pretty much every day and we like him.”
James is nodding in agreement, then— “Hey!” as he realises what Sirius said. He rolls his eyes and storms out of the dorm, probably to find Evans and prove Sirius right, with Peter close on his heels. Peter hasn’t said that he wants Remus to stay, but he hasn’t objected either, and he’s outvoted anyway.
He’s still sitting on Remus’ bed, and without thinking he burrows under the covers with him. Remus looks shocked but doesn’t seem to mind, scooting over to make room. They’re tucked up together and Remus suddenly looks very, very small. Sirius has a very tight feeling in his chest.
“Seriously, though,” he says, and it’s a sign of how sad Remus looks that he doesn’t even make the serious/Sirius joke the rest of the Marauders are utterly sick of. “You’re one of us; you’re still Remus, no matter what. Moony,” he adds, nudging Remus with his elbow. Remus’ returning smile is tentative, but it’s there.
James is about to score his fourth goal of the match against Hufflepuff when he hears the crowd gasping below him. He hesitates for a second, wondering if the snitch has been caught, but there’s no whistle signalling the end of the game. He looks down, trying to find the source of the commotion in the stands, and realises that someone has fallen off their broom. It takes a split second for his brain to focus, for ‘someone’ to become ‘Sirius’ and then he’s pelting full speed towards the pitch, the Quaffle still tucked under his arm, completely forgotten.
If they’d been playing any other team the game would have continued, but Hufflepuffs are all for fair play and their captain, Dawson, has already called his team to the ground. James’ legs are already moving before they hit the grass, sprinting over to his best mate who is sprawled motionless on the pitch, both teams and several professors gathered around him.
Remus has somehow gotten down from the stands and is already sitting beside Sirius, clutching his hand and looking even paler than usual. James flops down on Sirius’ other side, grabs his other hand and shares a look with Remus—he didn’t see the fall itself, but he can gather enough from everyone’s grim faces that it wasn’t pretty.
McGonagall conjures up a stretcher and together she and Professor Kettleburn carefully levitate Sirius onto it; James lets go briefly, afraid of doing damage, but Remus steadfastly refuses to. Together the four of them march up to the castle, with most of the Gryffindor Quidditch team and a few other spectators trailing behind; one annoying little turd of a first year chattering loudly about the crunching sound he swears he could hear in the stands when the Bludger collided with Sirius’ collarbone and speculating on just how fast he was going when he hit the ground, until James gets fed up and threatens to hex his mouth shut permanently.
It’s a mark of just how worrying Sirius’ condition is that McGonagall doesn’t even try to take points off him for it.
By the time they get to the hospital wing, James is really worried and Remus looks like he’s about to throw up. McGonagall orders everybody back to their dorms; neither James nor Remus pays any heed, though she doesn’t look like she expected them to. She lowers the stretcher onto one of the beds as Madame Pomfrey comes out of her office to see what the damage is. She moves around him, her face pinched with concern as she murmurs a few diagnostic spells. Remus is still clutching Sirius’ hand, his knuckles white; Madame Pomfrey glances at him, then at James. Remus is her favourite, of course—she has a soft spot for ‘the poor dear, what he goes through every month’—but she also knows James well enough from the three of them hanging around the hospital wing after each full moon to know he isn’t going to cause any trouble.
“He’ll live,” she tells McGonagall. “He’s broken a few bones and there are a couple of internal injuries as well; hopefully I’ll be able to mend the worst of it before he wakes up.” She glances sharply at the two boys. “I assume there’s nothing I can say to make you leave? This isn’t going to be pleasant.”
James shakes his head; he’s not going anywhere. Remus, if possible, just grasps Sirius’ hand tighter.
She nods and sighs. “All right, then. Move aside please, Potter; go stand at the foot of the bed or something.”
It’s hours later when Sirius begins to stir. Peter has popped his head in, bringing food for Remus and James; James ended up eating it all despite his efforts to force a piece of pie down Remus’ throat.
Remus is staring out the window while James polishes off the last cream puff; he almost chokes at the muttered, “Did we win?” from the bed. Of course that would be bloody Black’s first question. Not What happened? or Oh shit, I fell off a broom in mid-air, am I still in one piece?—no, it’s what the result of the bloody match was.
“There’s going to be a rematch; the game was abandoned,” Remus laughs as he brings Sirius’ hand to his forehead, almost like a prayer. James suddenly feels like he’s intruding on something private—he mutters something about Charms homework, glad you’re awake mate and makes a bolt for the door.
James Potter is a lot of things—charming, handsome, witty, fantastic Chaser, prank mastermind—but he is not an idiot, no matter what Evans says. You’d have to be a blind Blast-Ended Skrewt—or possibly Peter—to not realise that Sirius and Moony are head over heels for each other. Even if they’ve both got their heads too far up their own backsides to realise it; even if Sirius has snogged half the girls at school and Remus barely seems interested in his own right hand, let alone anyone else’s.
James just hopes the stupid berks work it out for themselves soon. All the mooning around—hey, get it?—is starting to get a bit boring.
Sirius is a terrible friend and a horrible human being. In fact, he’s the absolute worst thing he can think of—he’s a Black. He realises that his ‘prank’ is exactly the sort of thing that would amuse his mother and for a moment, he thinks he might actually be sick.
Remus isn’t speaking to him. At all. It’s been nearly two months since The Prank (he thinks it might always be capitalised in his head) and Remus is yet to utter a word to him since that horrible morning, when Dumbledore had sat down in the hospital wing and told Remus exactly what had happened. It’s as though Sirius has ceased to exist for him—he shows absolutely no sign that Sirius is there at all. It’s actually a little scary.
The thing is, Sirius can’t stand it. Yeah, James has always been his best mate, ever since their very first day on the Hogwarts Express, but Moony is... well, Moony. They’ve always been a bit different, Sirius and Remus; whether it’s because Peter is always following James around while he tries to get Evans’ attention, leaving the other two to, you know, not stalk mad birds who will never, ever give them the time of day, or just because they both usually spend holidays at either Hogwarts or the Potter’s, Sirius isn’t sure. James may be his best mate, but Sirius doesn’t feel right without his Moony.
Er, Remus. Not ‘his Moony’. That’s a bit weird.
Anyway, this is why Sirius has come up with his completely brilliant, and not at all likely to get him hexed, plan. He just needs James’ help with a few of the finer details.
One small problem with this plan. Sirius hates small spaces.
He’s leaning against the wall of a cupboard James found on the seventh floor, trying very hard not to hyperventilate. It’s so dark in here, Sirius can’t see the hand he’s holding in front of his face. He wants to cast Lumos but knows the only way this might work is if Remus doesn’t see him until it’s too late.
Merlin, this better work. Sirius is going mad not having Moony to talk to. And everyone knows, a mad Black is a dangerous thing.
It’s ten long minutes—that feel like ten days—before Sirius hears voices outside the door. Remus sounds confused and a bit suspicious, while James has his earnest, innocent voice on. His “No, professor, I have no idea how Snivellus’ trousers ended up on the Giant Squid” voice. Sirius knows that voice, and unfortunately, so does Remus.
Suddenly, there’s a scrabbling noise at the door. Sirius pushes himself off the wall, swallowing hard. This is it. If this doesn’t work, he doesn’t know what else he can try.
The door opens, and Sirius blinks at the light flooding in from the seventh floor corridor. Remus blinks, tensing up. Before he can turn around, James gives him a shove, sending him stumbling into the room, before slamming the door behind him and casting several locking charms.
Remus whirls, tugging on the door to no avail. “This isn’t funny, Potter!” he snarls. “Open this door, NOW!”
He pulls out his wand, muttering one unlocking charm after another under his breath to no avail. James and Sirius researched this combination especially—only James will be able to let them out.
It’s almost an hour before Remus gives up. He sighs, turning around and looking Sirius in the eye for the first time in two months.
“Why have you done this, Sirius?” he asks. He doesn’t sound angry; he sounds exhausted. Sirius suddenly feels guilty; it’s only a few days until the next full moon. He does note, however, that Remus hasn’t yet put away his wand.
“I wanted to—Moony, I needed to explain—”
“Explain what, Sirius? That you decided my life was worth getting one over on Snape? That I finally know where I rank on your list of priorities? Below James, I always knew that, probably ahead of becoming paterfamilias of the Black family and beheading a few more house-elves, but less important than pranking Severus? That hurt, Sirius. But at least I know now.”
Sirius stares. That’s what Remus thinks? That he matters less than Sirius’ hatred of Severus Snape? Suddenly his anger makes a lot more sense.
Sirius sighs, taking a step forward. Remus’ wand hand twitches, but Sirius is resolute. He stops when he’s standing less than a foot in front of Remus. Hesitantly, he raises both hands and places them on Remus’ shoulders. Remus flinches, but doesn’t push him off.
“Remus, have you really known me for four years and not realised that I am an utter, utter idiot?” he asks incredulously. Remus’ lips twitch, just slightly, but Sirius is encouraged. “I don’t think. I never think things through, ever. If I had stopped to think, for a second, about how you would feel, I would never, ever have done it. If I could take it back, I would. If you want me to break into the Ministry and steal a Time-Turner, I’ll do it. You are so much more important to me than—”
Remus’ eyes are wide, now. “Than what?”
“Than anything,” Sirius whispers, and it’s true. James is his best friend, yes, but Sirius could probably shag James’ mother and James would forgive him. James will always be there. The thought of losing Remus makes Sirius feel physically ill.
“You really hurt me, Sirius,” Remus says quietly.
“I know. I know, Moony. It will never happen again. I’ll think through the consequences before I open my mouth, I swear. I just—” he grips Remus’ shoulders suddenly, and Remus gasps. “Promise me I’m not going to lose you, Moony. Promise me you won’t give up on me. I’ll be better, I’ll earn your trust back, I promise.”
Remus sighs. “I forgive you, Sirius,” he says quietly.
Sirius’ whole body relaxes. His hands are still on Remus’ shoulders, and their faces are less than six inches away from each other. Sirius suddenly has an almost overwhelming urge to—
The door swings open, flooding the room with light. Sirius blinks, and instinctively steps back from Remus, turning to face James. James raises one eyebrow, and Sirius nods slightly.
“Thank Merlin, you two finally kissed and made up!” James crows, swinging one arm around each of them as they step out of the cupboard. Sirius grins, dampening down the feeling that he’s missing something he can’t even name.
The other three are up to something, Remus just knows it. This is the dozenth time in the last couple of months they’ve run off together, leaving Remus on his own for an evening. They claim Divination homework—sorry Moony!, but Remus will hang out in the Great Hall during a full moon before he’ll believe that they’re being assigned any kind of homework by Professor Edwards that actually involves thought and effort. It’s why he dropped the subject on principle after third year—making it the only class James, Peter and Sirius all take that he doesn’t. Remus has to wonder if they’re planning something even he won’t be able to turn a blind eye to, as a Prefect; perhaps he should be trying to find out what they’re up to, but he figures it will all come to a head in time. None of them have ever been very good at keeping secrets.
He’s in the common room finishing off his Arithmancy homework when the portrait hole opens. First through is James, clambering through the portrait hole and looking for all the world like the cat who got the cream. For a moment, Remus wonders if maybe the impossible has happened—but no, he can see Lily in the corner scowling in the vague direction of the Fat Lady, so that’s not it, thank Merlin. Remus doesn’t know what any of them will do with their free time if Lily ever actually says yes to one of James’ constant attempts at wooing her.
Peter comes through next, tripping over who knows what and coming perilously close to landing face-first on the floor, saved only by James’ quick reflexes as he grabs for Peter’s collar. Peter looks up self-consciously, dusting himself off, before he spots Remus and smirks. Remus suddenly has a very bad feeling in the pit of his stomach.
Sirius brings up the rear; Remus is sure he’s the only person in Gryffindor who actually manages to look dignified when coming and going from the common room, and he climbs through with effortless grace. He and James swap glances before they descend on Remus, each grabbing an arm and frog-marching him towards the fifth-year dormitory without so much as a by-your-leave—not that Remus would have expected one from these two. Peter is left to scoop up Remus’ things before scurrying up the staircase behind them.
They dump Remus unceremoniously on his bed before shutting and locking the door. They line up in front of him—James on one side, his black hair even untidier than usual, as though he’s been tugging on it without realizing; Sirius on the other, practically bouncing on the balls of his feet; between them is Peter, the odd man out in more ways than one.
Remus quirks an eyebrow, waiting.
“Master Lupin,” James begins in his most pompous voice. “It occurs to us that, vexed as you are by your monthlies—”
“James, I told you, it’s not a bloody menstrual cycle—”
James glares for a second before regaining his composure. “Fine. Vexed as you are by your furry little problem, you’re forced to spend an awful lot of time alone. All this alone time is completely counterintuitive to our morals—”
“Such as they are—” comes the interjection from Sirius—
“And we have therefore reached the conclusion that you absolutely cannot spend one night a month alone and miserable for the rest of your life. It’s decidedly unhealthy. We are the four marauders, not three-plus-Remus-sometimes. We—”
Remus shoots up off his bed, shaking with barely-controlled fury—and not a little fear. “Absolutely not, James. I’ve bloody explained to you why you cannot be there when I transform. I’m dangerous—and not the ‘push Peter into the lake and tell him the Squid’s hungry’ kind of dangerous, but the kind of dangerous where you end up disembowelled! You can’t just bloody waltz up when I’m like that and hope for the best, you’ll—”
“Remus, sit down, shut up, and let me finish,” James says lazily. Remus sits, but his shoulders are tense. “Now, we’re well aware that you can’t be around people when you’re wolfed out. You might turn us, we could get killed, yadda yadda general buzzkill. However, we believe we may have a solution that you would be amenable to—”
“Oi, Potter. Stop using big words, you git, it doesn’t make you sound any smarter,” Sirius says as the air starts shifting around him. Remus blinks, wondering if he’s about to pass out, and when he opens his eyes again there is a huge black shaggy dog standing in Sirius’ place.
“Er,” Remus says eloquently. Maybe he’s having a stroke. Or perhaps he’s asleep in the common room and this is some bizarre dream—
There’s a movement out of the corner of his eye and he turns, just in time to see James Potter replaced with a stag—before today, Remus would have said it was impossible for a deer to look smug, but the Potter-stag is managing it. He turns to look at Peter, fearful, but Peter has disappeared completely. He frowns, looking down, and almost leaps out of his skin when he sees the mottled grey rat sniffing at his feet.
Remus swallows hard, staring at each of the unfamiliar animals in turn. Looking carefully, he can see markings around the eyes of the deer that puts him in mind of James’ glasses. The dog’s stormy grey eyes are so like Sirius’ own it’s actually a little unnerving, and Peter… well, actually, Remus isn’t entirely sure where Peter’s gone. The dog—Sirius, Remus reminds himself—jumps up, placing his paws on Remus’ chest. He licks affectionately at Remus’ jaw, and that’s when it really hits him, the full magnitude of what his friends have done for him.
At fifteen, they’ve mastered the Animagus transformation—something most fully-trained witches and wizards never accomplish. James’ stag and Sirius’ dog are both big enough to handle him at his most feral, while Peter as a rat is small enough to slip past his werewolf senses undetected. More importantly, they have risked expulsion, even Azkaban, just so that he doesn’t have to be alone during a full moon. The emotions threaten to overwhelm him, and he has to grab onto Sirius for support.
“You did this for me?” he whispers against the dog’s fur. There’s a slight rippling under his hands and then Sirius is back, leaning into him. Remus is barely aware that he’s still clutching Sirius’ arms where the dog’s fur had been a moment before.
“Of course we did, Moony,” he says, so uncharacteristically soft and serious that Remus looks up at him. Sirius is staring back, almost uncomfortably close, and if Remus were to stretch up just a little—
“This is going to be awesome!” James crows, back to his usual form. Sirius’ smile slips for a second; Remus could swear there’s a flash of disappointment in his eyes as he turns away, the easy, familiar grin back in place as he watches Peter return to human form. Remus lets out a breath he didn’t even know he’d been holding, and together the four of them make plans for the next full moon.
Every Valentine’s Day for the last three years, James has been trying to get Pads and Moony together.
Third year, he’d bribed a seventh year to make a love potion, intending to slip it into Remus’ drink. Yes, he knows they’re illegal—the point was just to lower Moony’s inhibitions a little, just enough to admit his feelings to himself and everyone else. However, Remus was smart enough not to accept an unlabelled drink from James on Valentine’s Day, and had instead poured it back into James’ pumpkin juice when James wasn’t paying attention. This wouldn’t have been too terrible if Professor Kettleburn hadn’t been walking past the Gryffindor table at the time. The next few hours James prefers to keep hidden away in the darkest recesses of his mind.
Fourth year was the awful year, the year Sirius sent Snivellus down the tunnel and Remus didn’t speak to him for two months. It was Valentine’s Day the day James locked the two of them in a cupboard until they made up, and he’d rather hoped there’d be a bit more than forgiveness going on in the small dark space, but no such luck. He’d thought, for a second, when he’d opened the door—but nothing was said, and nothing ever came of it, and so he figured in the end that he must have imagined it.
Fifth year, James had sent each of them a Valentine’s card that sang a (brilliant, and incredibly romantic) song that James composed, and signed them “a secret admirer”. Remus had simply dropped it in James’ pumpkin juice and raised an eyebrow at him. Sirius had given it to Darla Stebbins, who had been so charmed she’d let Sirius get into her knickers.
This year, though, James is determined. It’s two days before Valentine’s Day, and James has a plan that is so spectacularly romantic it can’t possibly fail. It’s been somewhat stymied by the fact that the full moon was last night, but Remus usually only takes a day to bounce back, two at the most, so it should be fine. And if he is still tired, James can always cancel the labyrinth without hugely affecting the rest of the plan.
Peter is in the library, and James hasn’t seen Sirius or Remus since he got back to the common room—he assumes Remus is still in the hospital wing and Sirius is with him. He decides to take the opportunity for a final rehearsal with the fairy choir, and so he heads up the stairs towards the dormitory.
The door is slightly ajar, and James is about to go bursting through like he usually does when the murmur of voices coming from the room stops him in his tracks. Peering through the crack in the doorway, he sees Sirius curled up on Remus’ bed, Remus’ head resting on his shoulder, much like the way he sleeps as Padfoot. Remus is running a hand through Sirius’ hair, and they’re talking too softly for James to make out the words. He doesn’t need to overhear, however, to see the way Sirius leans into Remus, gentler than James has ever seen him, and presses his lips to Remus’ before pulling back slightly.
Remus smiles, blushes, and bites his lip. Sirius leans in again, and now they’re really snogging, Remus’ hand in Sirius’ hair going from stroking to something more passionate. Sirius lets out a growl and presses himself closer, still cautious of the bites and bruises on Remus’ skin, but deepening the kiss.
James grins softly, backing out of the dormitory and closing the door behind him as quietly as possible. Once it’s shut, he leans against it, and his grin turns into a dangerous smirk.
He can’t wait for Valentine’s Day now.