- Story Summary:
- Regulus is in the hospital wing. Only his brother may be able to save him, if he can stand the humiliation.
- Author's Note:
- Warning: boys touching each other. For Lady Bastet.
It all started when the Gryffindors poisoned Regulus Black. Not that they were trying to kill Sirius' brother, even though he was a Slytherin prat. They were only trying to connect the sinks in the dungeon to the urinals so that when anyone flushed, what they were flushing would come out the taps. But somehow Peter Pettigrew tapped into the cleaning potion instead. When Regulus came running in, desperate for a drink after eating Pepper Imps, he had taken a few big swallows before he noticed the awful taste.
Peter, along with James Potter -- who had, naturally, hatched the plan -- received detention for the rest of the term, while Remus Lupin and Sirius Black -- who had done no more than snoop around the bathroom to make sure no one was around -- only lost their Hogsmeade privileges. The punishment seemed excessive to James, who complained that Regulus was not going to die; Madam Pomfrey had said he had an excellent chance of making a full recovery. But Sirius was too upset to care. As much as he loathed his parents, he had hoped that he and his little brother might have forged a bond at Hogwarts away from their influence, though any chance of that had probably been lost the day Regulus was sorted into Slytherin.
Remus, too, felt terrible, though he tried not to snap at James when the latter moaned and griped about his punishment. As the most popular of the four, James was always the ringleader, and Remus knew that if the Quidditch hero had not convinced the others to become Animagi and helped Peter with every step of the transformation, the resident werewolf would still be spending miserable nights alone at the full moon. So he owed James that much.
Even so, it was a relief when James finally went off to flirt with Lily Evans, leaving Remus alone for a few minutes. He did not go down to dinner with the others but stayed in the dorm, flipping through his Potions textbook to see whether there was anything about antidotes to cleaning potions.
When Sirius came in, he looked even more miserable than Remus felt and scared as well. "Madam Pomfrey wants to see me first thing in the morning," he said. "She sent Snivellus with a note -- he's the one who found Regulus. He says he reckons she wants my blood."
"Your blood?" asked Remus, not following. He knew that Muggles sometimes took blood from one person to give to another, but he had never heard of wizards using that sort of transfusion. "You mean, because you're his brother?"
"No." Sirius looked absolutely wretched. "I mean...Snape said..."
Noticing what Remus was reading, he picked up the book and paged through the chapter on poisons until he found what he was looking for and groaned. "I was hoping he was making it up." There on the page was a list of deadly caustic cleansing potions, and beside it a list of antidotes for ingestion. The first one on the list was, "Blood of a virgin."
"I'm sure it doesn't mean all your blood," Remus said in what he hoped was a comforting voice. Secretly, he was comforted to know that Sirius was still a virgin, though it really shouldn't have mattered because sooner or later Sirius was going to pair up with some girl the way James had paired up with several already. "Probably she just needs a few drops of blood, and since you are his brother, and it is sort of your fault..."
"It was James' sodding idea and Peter's fault!" Sirius said angrily. "And don't you get what this means, Moony? Everyone in Slytherin House is going to know I'm a virgin!"
"So what?" asked Remus. "I bet Snape's a virgin. Just because James went around bragging to the entire school after he did it, that doesn't mean everyone's already..."
"I told them I wasn't!" Sirius wailed, flopping down on the bed beside Remus. "I told Regulus...and Snivellus too. Well, he called me a poof!" he said defensively when Remus raised his eyebrows. "So I told him I did it with Cathilda Vane, and when it got around, her friends were so impressed that she didn't tell anyone it wasn't true. And then one of those Hufflepuff fifth year girls said I did it with her, too, and I didn't tell anyone it wasn't true..."
"Well, then, you're an idiot," said Remus calmly. He couldn't help but think that Sirius deserved this humiliation, when his brother was in the hospital wing because of yet another prank. "Sorry, Padfoot, but I can't help you out of this one."
"Please!" begged Sirius, his eyes wide and panicky. "If they found out I lied, they're going to think I really am a poof and was just trying to hide it! Cathilda told me she would, you know -- she offered to meet me under the Quidditch stands!"
"So why didn't you?" asked Remus, trying not to make a face.
"Because I don't want to do it with Cathilda Vane!"
"In that case," Remus said sarcastically, rolling to his side and making the bed lurch. "I can only think of one thing to do. I can deflower you, and Madam Pomfrey will realize that your blood won't do Regulus any good, and everyone in the school will know you're not a virgin and your infamy will be preserved..."
"What!" spluttered Sirius. "Don't joke. That isn't funny."
Privately, Remus thought that it was hilarious, but he kept his expression as serious as, well, Sirius'. "This is your own brother we're talking about who's in the infirmary. If he needs your blood, I'd think the least you could do for him would be to let him have it. But if you're determined to save your reputation and you don't want to do it with Cathilda Vane, I don't see that you have many options."
"Yes, but Moony, in case you hadn't noticed, I'm a bloke and so are you, so you'd hardly be helping me prove I'm not a poof!"
"Except I wouldn't tell Snape about you, and this time, you wouldn't tell him about me."
Now Sirius looked anxious, gnawing on his lip as he always did when he had something unpleasant to say. "You're not still upset about the, ah, Shack prank, are you?"
"Upset" hardly began to cover how Remus felt about having learned that his best friend had set his worst enemy to follow him at the full moon, knowing perfectly well that Snape would discover Remus' secret. He had forgiven Sirius, of course, but it still rankled, particularly in comparison to the current situation. He wouldn't even have thought Sirius would care about being called queer, seeing as he couldn't stand his parents' pureblood snobbery and he hadn't cared about Remus being a werewolf, but probably this was different. Remus had worried that it would be different for two years. "It isn't as if this is the same thing as Snape finding out I'm a werewolf," he said coldly. "Seeing as you aren't a poof."
"That's not exactly...listen, I don't want..." Glancing up at Remus, Sirius' eyes widened and he chewed his lip again. Then he clambered suddenly to his knees, yanked the curtains shut around the bed and cast a charm to stop their voices from carrying. "Look," he said shakily. "You need to understand. There's a reason I'm a virgin, all right? And it's not that Cathilda Vane wouldn't have done it with me."
Remus simply looked at him. Was it possible that Sirius would subject him to such an elaborate prank? It would be a new low even for Sirius, who had been trying to make Remus forgive him for the Shrieking Shack incident since his passionate apology the next morning. Maybe he suspected something about Remus...bloody hell, time to end the conversation right now. "Enough jokes, Sirius," he warned.
"Moony, I'm not joking." Again Sirius looked as earnest as he had when he came into the room, and he reached out, trying to touch Remus' hand. "Do you really think I'd joke about that at a time like this?"
"At a time when you're considering letting me shag you so you can't be Madam Pomfrey's sacrificial virgin?" Snatching his hand back as if it had been scorched, Remus shifted as far away as possible. "All right, maybe you're not joking. Maybe you think not even Snape would believe you'd stoop so low as to do it with a werewolf. I shouldn't have joked about it -- I shouldn't have said I'd do it even in jest!"
"That isn't why. That's not the reason. Moony, listen. I want to, all right? With you."
"Stop it! I'm not going to have sex with you just so you can save face. Like you said, you're not queer."
"Actually, you said I'm not queer." Sirius shrugged, slouching lower on Remus' mattress with his dark hair falling in his eyes. "Maybe I am." He cocked his head, studying Remus as he considered the words, and grinned suddenly, as if he was pleased with himself for saying them.
It made Remus even angrier, and he sat up straighter, glaring. "I can't believe you'd pretend something like that just because you're afraid that Snape's going to find out you're a virgin. I can't believe you'd seriously expect me to help you!"
"You mean you don't like the idea of helping me even a little?" Oh, Remus had never been able to resist Sirius' smile, and Sirius was smiling the same smile he had used when he begged Remus to forgive him for telling Snape how to get to the Shrieking Shack. "You can be on top. Then I won't be a virgin..."
"No, you'll be a poof."
"We'll both be poofs." Sirius was crawling across the bed, looking at him intently. "I don't want you to do it with anyone else, Moony. I want you to do it with me. You're still a virgin, aren't you? You don't brag about girls the way James and Peter do." It was true, thought Remus...and it was also true that Sirius didn't brag about girls or even talk about girls; in fact, so far as he knew, Sirius didn't even think about girls.
Remus felt as if his heart had stopped and started up again, too quickly. "Prove it. If you really want to and this isn't just another of your ridiculous pranks, prove it." The challenge was out of his mouth before Sirius could reach him, for he knew that if the other boy touched him, he would surrender helplessly; he had wanted this since the day he figured out the nature of his feelings for his friend. "If this is about us and not your pride, then go down to Madam Pomfrey and give her what she needs to cure your brother."
"But then the whole school will think I'm a poof!" The light had gone out of Sirius' eyes and he had turned a little pale. "Don't you see how much harder that would make things? They might guess about you, too..."
"Then your pride is more important to you." Remus swallowed hard. He had not expected any differently.
"Look. I didn't just think this up tonight." Sirius' throat moved as he swallowed too. "I didn't know how to tell you. How am I supposed to tell anyone else?"
"Sirius, if you're so worried about what people will say if they find out you might like boys, what do you think they would say if they found out you liked a werewolf? It wouldn't ever work."
"You're wrong," said Sirius in a low voice, "That's not how it is," followed by, "All right then. If that's what you want me to do...I'll go to the hospital wing. You watch me."
"Severus Snape told you that I would need what?"
Madam Pomfrey was staring at Sirius as if he had lost his mind and needed her care to recover it...or as if he had been the victim of a very sad prank, which, Sirius realized, was in fact the case. Behind the nurse he heard his brother begin to screech uproariously as the younger boy realized the implication of Sirius coming to offer the blood of a virgin to cure Regulus of a poison from which he had apparently already recovered.
"My dear young man," said Madam Pomfrey awkwardly, patting Sirius' shoulder. "I asked you to come here so you could see for yourself the consequences of your actions upon your own brother, not because I needed your blood." She gestured at Regulus in the bed, but even his pallor was gone; he was pink with laughter, clutching his sides not in pain but hilarity.
"The blood of a virgin," she added loudly, "is only necessary when the person who has ingested the material is pure himself." Although this proclamation did stop Regulus from continuing to howl, Sirius flinched. Slytherins started young, and he had guessed that his little brother had probably shagged someone sometime...Merlin, he hoped it hadn't been Snape. Was there some small chance he could threaten to tell their parents to stop Regulus from talking? No, Regulus was already grinning at him again. It was only a matter of time before his own inexperience would be reported all over the school.
"I can't go down to dinner," he groaned to Moony when he had retreated to the Gryffindor dormitory and hidden on his bed with a silencing charm around the curtains. "The entire Slytherin table will be pointing at me. And can you imagine Snivellus' face?"
"Can't be as bad as the way he looks at me," said Remus reasonably.
"But he can't talk about you, he promised the Headmaster! They'll all be talking about me. I'll be the laughingstock of the school!"
"And that's the worst thing there is, is it?" Sirius looked at his friend's face and for the first time the import of what he had done really struck him. If Snape had told people what he had seen in the Shrieking Shack despite Dumbledore's admonition, Remus probably could not have stayed in school. He'd have had to leave, without any prospect of a job, without his friends...everyone would have known. Sirius had never taken seriously the risk that Moony might kill Snape -- he knew James would not let that happen -- but Moony didn't have to kill to have his life ruined.
"Padfoot, I've always known I had to go through life as an outcast," Remus said in a patient if dejected voice. "It's different for me, I'm not going to stop being a werewolf. Whereas fifteen minutes under the Quidditch stands with Cathilda will restore your reputation..."
"Not a chance," said Sirius quickly. "I told you, I don't want Cathilda. I want you."
"Not very long ago you were telling me about the lies you told so people wouldn't think you were a poof."
"Do you think I would have bothered if I hadn't known it was true? I've been kidding myself, thinking one day I was going to find a girl as much as I like you. Or the same way I like you."
"But you can't face the idea of your brother and Snape knowing that you're a virgin, which is a temporary condition for most people that I'm sure they know you could change if you really wanted. What do you think it'll be like if they know you like boys? What do you think Snape would say if he knew you liked me?"
A terrible suspicion began to form in Sirius' mind. "Moony," he said slowly. "You didn't only...you weren't joking, were you? You didn't only say you wanted to do it with me so I'd go down and offer Regulus my blood?"
"What are you talking about?" Remus asked. His face was pinched and unhappy.
"You do like boys that way? I mean...do you like me?"
Though Remus was staring at him like he was an idiot, it was all worth it to hear his next words. "I've been in love with you since we were fourteen. I thought you'd figure it out and never want to speak to me again, and then I thought you never would figure it out, which was worse. Do you think I go along with these stupid pranks of yours just because you're my friend?"
"Oh," said Sirius, in a small, happy voice. Small because for a moment he thought he might do something stupid like cry. Happy because no one had ever said they were in love with him -- not even silly girls who tried to get him to date them, and certainly no one about whom he felt the way he felt about Moony, who made him warm and protective and very content. "Oh," he said again. "Can we try, um, kissing?"
"All right," Remus replied warily. Maybe he was nervous, which was a nice thought because Sirius was nervous too. But when he leaned over, his mouth was soft and his hands were warm and everything about it was nice, even though it also felt like Sirius had swallowed enchanted jumping beans which were bouncing in his belly.
He had never had an erection and an upset stomach at the same time; it was a strange feeling. "Can we do that again?" he asked hopefully. It was even stranger when Remus put his tongue between Sirius' lips and pushed his mouth open, and put his hand around the back of Sirius' neck to angle his head. Sirius had not known that his prick would be able to feel Remus kissing his mouth, that it would twitch and pulse every time Remus stroked his hair. His stomach still felt funny but it was hard to notice with everything going on above and below it.
Maybe, thought Sirius, Remus could feel it too. He put one arm around Remus' waist and reached out curiously toward Remus' groin. When he touched it, Remus made a noise Sirius had never heard before and thrust, deliberately, pushing what was unmistakably a stiffy into Sirius' hand through his clothing. And Sirius realized: he was going to get to touch it. And Remus was going to touch him -- was already touching him, moving his hand down from Sirius' waist -- and it wasn't going to be scary, or strange, it was going to be like wanking only so much better because Moony...
What happened then was so unexpected that Sirius was so glad it was Moony and not Cathilda Vane or Lily Evans or anyone else in the entire school, because it would have been awful and wrong and humiliating instead of a revelation. Remus stroked over his groin, squeezing slightly, sliding his tongue in and out of Sirius' mouth in a motion like Sirius' hand might have used on himself, or like he imagined Remus might use if instead of his tongue Remus was sliding the thick bulge beneath Sirius' palm in and out of Sirius' mouth, and suddenly Sirius' body tightened and he grunted and came, clutching at Remus.
"Oh," he said when he could breathe, opening his eyes to find Remus looking at him with his cheeks pink and his lips swollen and red. "Oh. Moony."
"Did you. Just." Remus' mouth closed and opened again, and the bulge in his clothing seemed to swell under Sirius' hand.
"Yeah," said Sirius sheepishly. Ne knew he was blushing too, although he felt very, very good. "Do you want to, you know, take yours out?"
Remus turned an even darker shade of pink but he opened his robes, dug inside and withdrew his erection, which was longer than Sirius' and much less scarred than Remus' arms and face were, and rather fascinating really. Sirius touched it hesitantly, stroking up and down with his fingertips until Remus let out a whimper, then he remembered that he had one of these things too and knew what to do with it when it was hard.
Wrapping his hand around the shaft, he stroked it quickly up and down, with Remus' fingernails digging into his upper arm. Because he was curious to see what would happen, he kissed Remus' parted lips. Not very long after, Remus groaned and came. Maybe Remus didn't wank as often as he did.
"Was it good?" he asked anxiously.
Remus' eyes, when he opened them, were still wild, yet his expression nonetheless told Sirius how daft he found this question. "Of course it was," he said breathlessly. Hearing him like that made Sirius want to kiss him again, so he did. Soon they were lying on his bed, kissing, and they were touching each other in places no one had ever touched Sirius. Not those places, even -- his nipples and beneath his earlobes and the ticklish curve above his hips.
"Maybe we should stay virgins a little longer, until, you know, we know how to do it," he said with a little moan as Remus found his collarbone and licked it. "Because I think there's probably other things we should learn first."
"You think?" asked Remus with a laugh in his voice. "But, Sirius, what if the Slytherins find out you're still a virgin? Won't they think that you're a poof?"
"I don't think I care," announced Sirius. And it was true. He didn't care if Snivellus was laughing at him, or if his own brother thought he was pathetic, or even, at this moment, if they were fucking each other. Because if it hadn't been for Regulus and Snape, and himself believing about the blood of a virgin, he might not be here now with Remus, finally thinking that he might soon be ready to lose it.