- James Potter Peter Pettigrew Remus Lupin
- Humor Slash
- Multiple Eras
- Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Order of the Phoenix
Published: 11/26/2004Updated: 07/07/2005Words: 84,268Chapters: 11Hits: 101,183
The Dating Disasters of Sirius Black
- Story Summary:
- For some reason unfathomable to Remus, Sirius always likes to tell him in excruciating detail about his various romantic problems. Not fluffy.
The Dating Disasters of Sirius Black 07
- Chapter Summary:
- For some reason unfathomable to Remus, Sirius always likes to tell him in excruciating detail about his various romantic problems. Not fluffy. R/S slash. MWPP-era.
- Author's Note:
- Woo! Sorry. Another long one (16 pages on word), which was written before chapter 2, surprisingly. In which there is lots of streaking, nakedity, ladies knickers and general debauchery. And a tragic ending.
Part 7: Anita Adams and Truth or Dare
Mid-April, Gryffindor fifth-year boys dormitory, James Potter's birthday celebration
'...And then she just started unbuttoning my boxers and-'
The other three looked suddenly at him.
Remus hadn't even realised he'd spoken out loud, but this was really starting to bore him.
'Well it is,' he pointed out defensively, 'Anita was at the prefects' meeting for the whole two hours on Wednesday night; there's no way she was anywhere near you.'
There was a long silence.
Peter and James didn't know how to react, he could see that. They all just naturally assumed there was a lot of embellishment and exaggeration and often complete fabrication to some of Sirius' escapades, especially the ones that involved the opposite sex, but it was an unwritten rule that no-one ever mentioned it.
'Sorry. I didn't mean to say that out loud, it just came out.'
There was still a tense silence. James and Peter were not allowed to agree with him, but they could hardly say that Remus was the one who was lying instead.
And Sirius couldn't say anything because if he did it would have to be to refute Remus' accusation, which he couldn't do because he obviously had been lying.
'Well at least I've had a girlfriend before,' Sirius said finally.
'Well done you,' Remus muttered.
'Lets play a game!' James was very happy-drunk.
'I might just go to sleep-'
'You will not!' exclaimed Peter.
'On my birthday? At only eleven-fifteen? I think not,' added James.
'Truth or dare,' Sirius told them with an evil smile.
'That's a girls game,' James informed him.
'Not how we'll play it.'
'Yeah! 'cos girls play it to find out truths, but we'll play it for the dares.' Remus could tell Peter was drunk because he would never be excited about dares when sober.
'Yes. I'll go first.' Sirius looked particularly pleased with himself. 'Remus,' he began. Remus bit his lip angrily; he was going to get picked on all night now. 'Remus, have you ever kissed a girl, no I'll make it easier,' he held up a hand, 'have you ever thought about kissing a girl, ever?'
Remus glared viciously at him, but there was no way he would accept a dare from James or Sirius. He had no desire to streak through Gryffindor Tower right now. Or ever, actually.
'Yes, I have kissed a girl, you know I have. I distinctly remember the fight you started. Now it's my turn to ask a-'
'What? Who?' Sirius yelped.
'You've used your question.'
'You lie! He's lying! We'd know if you'd had a girlfriend.'
'I never said I'd had a girlfriend, though possibly Ellie counted as a girlfriend, so my question; James, did you really drop that flobberworm in Snape's potion on purpose, or was it a fortunate accident? When I say fortunate I mean from your point of view, obviously.'
'Slytherins don't count,' Sirius muttered, still hung up on the last issue.
'You mean she doesn't count because she hates you?' He was getting angry with Sirius which wasn't a good idea when his friend was already in a volatile mood, but he couldn't help it.
'I know how to make this more interesting,' James broke in suddenly before jumping to his feet and dashing out of the room.
They could hear him running up the stairs.
'Weird,' said Peter, for want of anything else to say.
James reappeared a minute later looking disgustingly pleased with himself and reverently placed a small object in the middle of the four of them. It looked like a small grey rock with some coat-hangers poking out of it.
'What is that?' Sirius asked, the derogatory tone clear in his voice.
'Modern art?' suggested Peter.
'It looks a bit like a secrecy detector,' Remus said thoughtfully. 'That won't help us, you know. Is it Shacklebolt's?'
'Why would Shacklebolt want a secrecy detector?' huffed Sirius. 'It isn't like he has hoards of enemies plotting his doom.'
'He's going to be an Auror, he likes collecting stuff like this,' James informed them.
'But it isn't a secrecy detector, it's a bit like one, but crossed with a Sneakoscope, sort of, but not exactly-'
'A lie detector...' breathed Remus, horrified yet intrigued.
'Yeah. It only reacts if you speak a lie, though, not if you think one, or you're just trying to be secretive. I think the Ministry use them if they can't get permission for something so invasive as Veritaserum.'
'Why do you know all this?' Sirius was suspicious. 'And since when are you so chummy with Shacklebolt?'
'You didn't answer my question, James,' Remus butted in to prevent an argument. Sirius could get very jealous for seemingly no reason, he didn't like any of his friends spending too much time away from him or getting too close to any 'outsider'.
James sighed. 'Okay, so it was an accident, but I remember thinking as I carried the box of them past him how fun it would be if-'
'Yeah, right. You had no idea what happened if you put a dried flobberworm into a Draught of Peace.'
'I might have, stranger things have happened. So, my question; Dog-boy, what is it you find so sensual about wearing women's underwear?' He and Peter fell about laughing.
'What are you talking about?' Sirius asked haughtily. 'I've never worn women's underwear, unless that's a request?'
'No, but I think it might be the next dare,' Remus sighed.
'Hey! It glowed green!' moaned James.
'Because I've never worn women's underwear!'
'James, he obviously hasn't been wearing women's underwear, get over it,' Remus said, trying to sound a bit concerned on purpose, and reaching over to pat his arm.
'Yeah, must have been a wet dream you had.' Sirius was sporting a nasty grin, possibly of triumph.
'But he was, you know, that night,' James insisted.
'What!' screeched Sirius. 'Why didn't you say?'
'I thought it might be what you were trying to forget.'
'I would not Obliviate him for something that trivial,' Remus told him.
'But he definitely did! He did! And that stupid thing glowed green!'
'Well it must go on whether the subject knows he's telling a lie or not, which makes sense; even someone under Veritaserum only tells the truth as they know it. It must detect whether you are trying to hide something, then if you say something that is related to one of your secretive thoughts then-'
'Yawn,' pointed out Sirius.
'You did love wearing the panties at the time, and you,' he turned to Remus, 'admitted you really enjoyed seeing him wearing them.'
'I severely doubt that,' Remus said, making sure James noted the stone glowing green.
'You're just trying to detract from your hermaphroditism,' Sirius smirked at James.
'I am not a-'
'Come off it antler-head, we've all seen your tits,' giggled Peter.
'That's it rat-man, you little scrote-'
While James tried to throttle Peter, Sirius wiggled his eyebrows suggestively at Remus. 'Fancy seeing me in knickers again?'
'No, but I think stag-features would look great in them.' He was relieved that Sirius seemed to have forgiven him already.
'You know, I think I agree...' he was out the door in a flash and Remus wondered if he should feel guilty about whichever poor girl would be losing her knickers. That was almost entirely his fault.
'Where did fur-features go?' James asked looking up, still gripping a laughing Peter in a head-lock.
'Dunno. I didn't even have to dare him...'
'So, prong-ears,' said Sirius reappearing, clutching his wand in one hand and holding his other hand suspiciously behind his back, 'my question; what really happened last year when you followed Evans into the shower in your invisibility cloak?'
'That never happened! Damn it!' he yelled as the stone glowed red.
'So, the dare, for which you should be very grateful, here you go.' He held out a pair of knickers on the end of his finger.
'I'm not wearing them,' James told him flatly.
'Not even Evans' favourite pair?' he dangled them temptingly in James' face. 'Black and silky, previously seen only by Evans, and the delectable Simon Fraser, possibly.'
'Piss off.' A frown hurriedly covered his wide-eyed look of interest.
'Come on, is it not the ultimate act of love?'
'I don't think she's going to see it that way,' Remus pointed out.
'Shut up, Moony.' Remus scowled. He hated his new nickname. Sirius and James had decided they all needed nicknames now, proper ones, but Moony? He knew it must have been Sirius' choice, he was always calling him that. They may as well call him 'Wolfie' and have done with it. 'James, you brought that truth detector, and you lied to it, so you have to.'
'Fine, wet-nose, but if anyone else finds out I'm telling the world about yours and Moony's fetishes.'
'Hey! Don't drag me into this.'
'Put them on.'
James sighed and started to unbutton his trousers.
An hour later things were getting sillier.
It had all been rather painful. Remus was quite happy to admit to anything really. So he'd never gone any further than kissing with a girl, so yes, he did rather fancy the Head Girl (didn't everyone?), so he had snuck a look at Sirius' collection of pornography. What was the problem? It wasn't like they didn't spend every day together and didn't already know almost everything about each other. It was a little invasive having his friends asking him all these personal questions, but it could be worse; there was only one question that he really couldn't answer and he hoped he'd already pre-empted that one.
'My turn!' Sirius was really enjoying himself, Remus thought only slightly bitterly.
There was no longer any structure to who asked the questions, who answered, or who chose the dares. And so far Remus was getting away with just answering the questions truthfully and not having to do any dares. He knew he was only getting away with it because James and Sirius were in the middle of some random and unfathomable argument which meant they were daring each other to do stupider and stupider things. He suspected it had something to do with Sirius having stolen underwear off Lily, and then forcing James to wear it. Though he noticed James had yet to take it off.
'Would you ever kiss a boy?'
Remus tried not to look too shocked, but he supposed this was one way for Sirius to broach the subject of his bisexuality with James. He glanced surreptitiously at James, who simply seemed to be considering the question.
'Yuck, no,' said Peter, and the stone glowed green. Great, Sirius was making them all question their sexuality.
'Why not?' Sirius shrugged at him. 'Wouldn't bother me, it's probably just the same as kissing a girl,' he added carelessly. Remus watched the green glow from the lie-detector and realised just how clever Sirius' question had been. He could discover his friends' true opinions on homosexuality, without having to reveal that he'd actually tried it. Ingenious.
'I'd probably rather not,' James said in an off-hand sort of voice, 'but then I'm not a colossal bender like you are, Black.' The stone stayed green, but it probably hadn't been taking his insult into account.
'Very funny,' Sirius' voice changed tone immediately, 'you're the one wearing women's underwear.'
'Oh, you like that, do you? Want to see me undress again?'
'Like anyone wants to see your scrawny little body, Potter.'
It had rather suddenly degenerated into another fight, which Peter seemed to think harmless, but Remus knew how truly malicious it was because they were using each other's surnames.
'I've seen how you stare in the showers.'
'At least I don't wank over Quidditch Monthly.'
'I do not! Damn it!' Remus couldn't help but smile at the frustration on James' face; he was regretting ever borrowing the thing off Shacklebolt. 'It was Serena Fordde, I swear.'
'Yeah right, it was that picture of Jay Fleischkraft with his robes off, dripping with sweat...'
'One of your favourites is it?'
'How about we change the subject?' Remus asked hopefully. He didn't think Sirius was really going about this the right way, though maybe he'd simply been offended that James had flown off the handle so easily.
James ignored his peace-keeping attempt. 'I've got a good question.' He looked smugly round at them all. 'If you had to kiss anyone in this room, who would it be?' He looked very pleased with himself.
'Well it wouldn't be you, you little fucker!' Sirius yelled back.
'Oh would it not? So who would it be then?'
Sirius considered his options, narrowed eyes flicking between the two. 'Remus.'
'Hey!' exclaimed Peter at the glowing green stone.
'Come on whiskers, he's a lot cleaner than you and a lot more like a girl.'
'That is true,' Peter conceded.
Remus didn't look at the stone because he didn't want to know that it was definitely true that his friends thought he was a complete girl.
James was looking pissed off.
'Aw. All annoyed are you? Thought I wanted you, did you?' Sirius pouted his lips at him.
James scowled darkly, then brightened. 'Your answer Moony?'
Just when he thought he'd got away with it. He'd got away with the last one. He assumed he hadn't any latent gay tendencies, but surely everyone had thought about it? No-one could know for definite that they didn't like it if they hadn't tried it.
'Do I have to?' He was saving not answering for the one question he couldn't answer, but he would have preferred to avoid this one.
'Peter,' he sighed.
Peter's face didn't know whether to be pleased, angry or scared.
'Peter?' Sirius asked incredulously. The stone was firmly green. 'Why?'
'He'd be less scary,' Remus shrugged.
'Well I'd have to say James,' Peter said. Thinking about it Remus was surprised that the stone had stayed green when Peter said he thought kissing boys was disgusting; the boy was a little too fond of James sometimes, but obviously he didn't take it that far.
James was looking very happy still. 'What's the problem, Black? Thought you were the sex-god in this group?'
Sirius did indeed look very angry, but he still had the ace up his sleeve. 'You didn't answer yet, Potter.'
'You really think I want to touch you up?'
'You'd pick me over those two though.'
James opened his mouth but didn't answer. He didn't need to.
'I don't know why you're all so bothered; we all got picked once.'
'This isn't a competition, Worm-tail,' Sirius hissed harshly.
'It is to you, Black,' James reminded him contemptuously. 'Hey, 'Wormtail', I like it.'
'It is good, but you probably only think so because it was my idea and you're obsessed with me,' Sirius told him condescendingly.
Remus didn't understand this fight at all.
So now it was one-thirty am and his three friends were drunk. It was lucky it was so late because it meant no-one had seen James' joyous streak through the common room in poor Lily's pants, or Sirius' provocative strip-tease that he'd seemed perfectly happy to do standing on a chair in front of the fire-place. He'd even provided his own music. And Simon Fraser wouldn't notice until morning that some sort of small mammal had chewed holes in his dress robes and taken a piss in his sock-drawer.
'My question!' squealed Peter after transforming back.
'You know we never found out who Moony's been kissing,' smiled Sirius.
He was never going to answer that. 'Ellie, obviously.'
He opened his mouth, but closed it again after eyeing the stone.
'Ha! I knew it.'
'What about that bird you set him up with?' James asked Sirius.
'I did not kiss her!' Remus yelled indignantly.
'So you've never kissed anyone apart from Slytherins?' Peter asked incredulously.
'A Slytherin; no plural.' Sirius seemed to be revelling in Remus' lack of experience.
'This is all getting a bit girly,' he tried, but his friends didn't seem to mind the girlyness for once and were very interested. 'So I've only ever kissed Slytherins, so what?' he snapped.
Sirius grinned, James rolled his eyes. 'Er,' said Peter.
'What?' Remus definitely wanted to go to sleep now.
'The stone glowed red,' Peter gestured to it. And then they were definitely all interested.
Bugger, thought Remus, he'd fucked up. Very badly.
'I kissed no-one else,' Remus insisted desperately, 'unless my guilty brain is counting aged relatives.'
'Who have you been smooching with?' Sirius made kissy noises.
'If he won't answer then he won't answer. Give him a dare,' suggested James. Remus thought it was ironic that it should be James that saved him.
'My turn!' called Peter.
'It was my question,' Sirius told him, and Peter didn't look like he fancied crossing Sirius whilst drunk, 'so it's my turn to dare.'
Remus closed his eyes. He wasn't drunk, he wasn't even tired, but he had completely lost the plot now.
'I think it's Peter's dare,' James said brazenly.
He was treated to Sirius' sudden-death stare.
'Peter's dares are boring,' he told him matter-of-factly. 'You have to...' he was pretending to ponder it, but they all knew he'd thought of a million evil things to make them all do well in advance, he was only trying to decide on the worst.
'Go to the kitchens and steal me some cake?' suggested James.
'Boring,' Sirius told him.
'Well I'm hungry, gay-boy,' James snapped back viciously.
'I don't care, get your own food, go on.' He tried to shoo his best friend away.
'Not now I won't.' They were trying to out-stare each other. For once Sirius was the first to look away.
'You have to... kiss someone in this room, right now.' Smug wasn't the word for it; Sirius was glowing with self-satisfaction.
Remus was worried about why Sirius wanted to know so badly who the girl was. He was worried mainly because he thought Sirius might know and was trying to get him to confess. Which he could not do ever. So he would have to kiss one of his friends.
Sirius was watching him expectantly, James and Peter were glaring at Sirius, oh bugger he was actually going to have to...
It would be easiest to kiss Peter, he thought; Peter probably hadn't kissed many more girls than he had himself, so it would be less humiliating. That was why he'd chosen Peter for the earlier question. However Peter was looking utterly petrified right now and Remus was aware this fight wasn't something Peter was involved in. Peter seemed even less aware of what was going on than Remus was, but then Peter had been drinking.
Or he could kiss James. James wouldn't get too upset about it, hopefully wouldn't remember it in the morning, and wouldn't give him too hard a time about it. But he didn't want to annoy James right now; that horrible guilt that still knawed at him on occasions felt very fresh tonight.
What he should do was kiss Sirius. Sirius was obviously challenging him for some reason, daring him to do it, assuming he would be too scared. What he should do is prove Sirius wrong, prove that he had guts and kiss him. But then Sirius had kissed millions of girls, and at least one boy; he'd know exactly what Remus was doing wrong and would probably tease him for years about it. Years.
Remus sat there feeling thoroughly confused and thoroughly ridiculous.
'Fuck this,' James lunged across at him, grabbed the back of his head and pressed their lips together. Remus gasped in shock, and to his horror James used that as an excuse to shove his tongue in Remus' mouth.
James' tongue was in his mouth...
Remus found he'd scrunched his eyes shut, but that was a good thing because if he opened them then James would be there, right next to his face, kissing him.
He wriggled a little, trying to get away, but James was having none of that. He must have been mistaken; he'd thought James and Sirius were fighting with each other, but really they'd been plotting together to humiliate him. One of James' hands had moved and was stroking across his cheek and the other was in his hair. He struggled, managing to detach himself from his friend, but James' hands went to his waist, pulling him forward, dragging him back in. 'Mmmf!' he managed as James kissed him again, licking against his lips and holding their bodies close.
Finally he pulled away, leaving Remus gasping.
'Wow!' said James, wiping the back of his hand across his mouth. 'You are bloody good at that,' he added with great feeling.
Remus found he couldn't quite speak. He looked away from the beaming grin on James' face towards the others. They looked as shocked as he felt; eyes wide, mouths open. Peter made a whimpering sort of noise.
'Now that's over with it's your turn with a question, Moony.' James was now all simple, happy geniality.
He wanted to say 'what the hell was that?' He wanted to ask why. He wanted to say 'stop calling me Moony', but instead all that came out was 'could I have a drink please?'
'Of course you can.' James poured him a generous measure of whatever it was they'd started on when the whisky had run out. Remus swallowed it in one, then gagged. It tasted of aniseed, which he hated.
'Don't we have anything nicer?'
Peter and Sirius were still looking totally gobsmacked.
Remus felt dizzy, and not from the drink.
The rest of their session had gone very rapidly downhill.
James had cheered up to an almost horrifying degree, while Sirius' mood was a heavy black cloud hanging over all of them, just waiting to pour down. James had clearly won something by effecting that shocking kiss. Remus felt used.
Even Peter had started to be aware of the tension. There had been some horrible things said, and Remus could only pray that they were so drunk they wouldn't remember in the morning. They were usually quick to make up after fights, but Remus worried that it wouldn't be so easy this time.
He'd sagged with relief when it was finally decided that everyone could go to bed.
'Remus... Moony?' Damn this, he'd thought the rest were asleep.
He groaned and didn't even bother to turn over. 'Sirius, you're drunk, go sleep it off.'
'I want to talk.'
Remus sighed, he knew he should be a good friend and listen to Sirius, but he couldn't be bothered right now. 'Sirius, not now. If there's something you want to talk about can we please do it in the morning?' Sirius had slid under his duvet before he'd even finished the sentence. 'Must you?'
'James is such a fucking bastard,' he said, annunciating carefully.
'Mm,' Remus replied noncommittally.
'I bet he's a terrible kisser.' It was only partly a question.
'I wouldn't have a clue, I was too busy being in shock.' Remus gave in and turned to look at his friend.
'Disgusting boy. I hate him,' Sirius huffed and flopped onto his back, staring moodily at the ceiling.
'No you don't, all this will be forgotten in the morning. Whatever 'all this' is.'
'Whatever your stupid fight was about.'
'You don't know,' Sirius commented blankly.
'And right now I don't care.'
'So who was she?'
Remus groaned. 'Who?' he asked, even though he knew the answer.
'The girl you kissed.'
'Do you really think I would have let him kiss me if I'd been prepared to tell everyone?'
'You can tell me though.'
Remus felt guilty because he should tell Sirius, really, and Sirius couldn't tell James because then he could tell James about Julie. It almost amounted to the same thing. Though it didn't, because Sirius would be forgiven eventually, whereas Remus would not be.
'I can't, okay? It isn't important. I don't fancy her now or anything.'
'No. Just, no.'
'Please, I'd tell you anything.'
'Tell me what you like; I am still not telling you.' He turned over, showing Sirius his back.
'Moony,' Sirius rolled and draped an arm and a leg over him.
'And don't call me that! I hate it!'
'But it suits you, you're so... Moony.'
'I am not.'
'Yes you are, Mooooony,' he slurred into Remus' ear.
'Why don't you go bother Peter?'
'But if you're nice, he might decide he fancies you more than he fancies James.'
Sirius laughed, a strange snuffly sound in Remus' ear. 'Nah, you're more fun.'
'And more tired,' he pointed out.
'Well don't mind me.'
There was a nice long period of silence, though Remus knew better than to relax, and it would have been difficult anyway with Sirius' dead-weight limbs slung over him.
And just when he thought he was safe, 'Moony, you asleep?'
'Yes,' he replied through gritted teeth.
'Why d'you choose Peter?'
'It would make your ego look a lot less out of control if you could just forget that.'
'Do you really care?'
'Because I am sex-god of this dorm, and you should have picked meeee.'
'Oh for fuck's sake-'
'Oh Moony, swear at me more...'
Sirius chose to ignore the fact that he'd actually meant it. 'Oh, yes...'
'You bastard,' Remus added flatly.
Sirius moaned deeply in his ear.
'So what would I have to do to get you to pick me?'
'I haven't a clue.'
'All you needed to get me to choose you was a few choice swearwords and James bastarding Potter being an extra-special arsehole, but I'll do anything.'
'What about buggering off and going to sleep?'
'Well you can stop calling me that for starters.'
'Well what am I going to call you?'
'Whatever you called me before, Remus maybe?'
'But that's boring.'
'It's my name.'
'And then you'll prefer me to Peter?'
'Look I just picked him because kissing him would be a lot less scary.'
'You're scared of kissing me? Why would you be scared of kissing me?'
'It isn't like a fear or anything; I don't have nightmares about kissing you or anything like that.'
'I- just- it'd be less intimidating to kiss Peter. Fuck's sake, go to sleep.'
'So you find me intimidating?'
'Do you find this intimidating?' Sirius had climbed practically on top of him so he could meet his eyes.
'No,' he lied.
'Yes you do; you're trying to get away.'
'Well you are right in my face when I'm trying to sleep!'
'How about if I-'
'JUST HURRY UP AND FUCKING KISS HIM, BLACK, YOU DIRTY GREAT GAY BASTARD!' James yelled. He obviously wasn't half as asleep as Remus had assumed.
'What did you say?' Sirius asked him, slowly and deliberately, and surprisingly quietly. He'd let go of Remus and had started to sit up, though he still had his cold feet touching Remus' ankles.
'I was just suggesting that you're a raging bender, who likes to be taken up the arse,' James replied in an equally deceptively-calm voice.
There was a pause. Remus was thinking oh god, not now. He hadn't realised that James had easily worked out the reasons behind Sirius' questions earlier. And it was nearly three, and he was tired, and he didn't want to have this argument now.
Remus realised a second too late that the pause was simply Sirius gathering himself to spring into action. With a howl he hurled himself out through the curtains of Remus' bed --Remus having made a too-late grab for his ankle as he went-- and across the room at James.
It was dark and Remus couldn't find his wand. He yelled lumos a few times anyway, to no avail. There must be too much shouting, he thought. He did find the curtains though, which helped a bit.
James and Sirius had fallen off James' bed and were wrestling on the floor in the middle of the room.
'Get- your dirty- hands...ugh- off!'
'Well if you'd just lie there -ah!--and let me beat... you -fuck! You bitch-'
'Ugh-uh-' there was a crack that sounded like a head hitting a bed-post.
'Peter!' Remus yelled.
'Remus? What is-'
'Just grab James, would you?'
Remus piled in and grabbed an arm and knew from the snarl he received that he'd got Sirius. And then there were teeth in his shoulder. He hated this; the childish wrestling part of things, it was just about tolerable when they were joking on and being affectionate. Actual fighting wasn't something he often had any urge to do. Especially at 3am when he was only half awake.
There were kicks to his body and fists in his face, only occasionally illuminated by shafts of moonlight, and Peter always made strange whining noises when hit and those intermingled with James' homophobic insults and Sirius' grunts of exertion as his tried to kill his best friend.
'WHAT the HELL do you think you're doing?' The lights came on suddenly and Timothy Anderson, seventh-year Gryffindor prefect, was standing, arms folded, in the doorway.
Remus discovered that he had a hold of Sirius around the waist and Peter was actually sitting on James. The two best friends were still managing to kick each other though.
'Well?' the prefect asked again.
Remus clapped his hand over Sirius' mouth as it opened to reply, and answered himself instead. 'Slight disagreement?'
'Can't keep your dormitory under control, Lupin?'
'Sorry,' he muttered.
'Don't worry about it; I'm sure it isn't at all your fault. Who threw the first punch?'
'That bast-' Peter suddenly realised where his hand should be. 'Mmmf!' Unable to speak, James pointed expressively at Sirius.
'That true, Lupin?'
'Come on then, Black; I want to go back to sleep, so you can sleep in our dorm where there's five people who'll hex you to the moon and back if you cause any more trouble.'
'No,' James struggled free of Peter and got to his feet, wincing with pain, 'I'll go, I can't bear it here anyway.'
'If it'll make things easier,' Anderson sighed.
'Come on Peter; we aren't staying with this freak.' He glared at Sirius.
'Ah!' Remus yelled, as Sirius' teeth bit into his hand and he was forced to remove it from his friend's mouth.
'Yeah, fuck off Potter; you're not welcome here.'
'Wouldn't want to be, you-'
'Shut it,' Anderson said easily.
'Come on, Peter,' James grabbed him, 'you are on my side, aren't you?'
'Course,' Peter said hurriedly and grabbed his duvet.
'We'll all discuss this with Professor McGonagall in the morning. Won't that be fun?' He shut the door behind the three of them and Remus was left sitting on the floor, Sirius slumped against him.
'Sirius, I'm sorry.'
'What are you sorry for?' he spat venomously, standing up and shoving Remus away a little too violently.
'James, he'll... he'll come around, you know; get used to it.' Remus scrambled to find his feet.
'Get used to what?' He shoved Remus again, harder this time.
'Well, you liking boys too-'
'Fuck off, Lupin.'
'Sirius,' he took his friend by the shoulders.
'Get the hell off me!' Sirius pushed him backwards making him stumble a little, and before he knew it a fist had connected with his face. Remus fell, hard, and crashed into his own bed, bashing his foot against wood.
'Just leave me a-fucking-lone!' Remus heard the curtains round Sirius' bed being pulled viciously shut.
He sat on the floor, his right cheek and eye ached and his left foot was killing him. He ignored the pain and crawled carefully into bed and under the covers.
Brilliant. Just brilliant. He hadn't done anything wrong, was just trying to be kind and considerate and what thanks did he get? A punch in the face.
He moaned face-down into his pillow, trying to ignore the pain that throbbed around his eye. Barely five minutes earlier Sirius had been lying there with him, laughing and joking on. He could still smell his friend's skin on the sheets. And now they weren't talking. And it wasn't Remus' fault! He wanted to comfort his friend; he knew how bad it felt to be different and scared and alone, but he knew better than to bother Sirius when he was in one of his moods.
He ached inside with misery. He longed to help Sirius, but he couldn't. He wanted to make things better, make his friend understand that he knew how he felt, that he didn't mind what Sirius was, that he would still love him and oh god, his foot hurt. He grabbed his wand and muttered a quick numbing charm so it wouldn't stop him sleeping. He'd get it fixed in the morning.
It was just ridiculous that James could accept Remus being a werewolf, yet couldn't accept Sirius being bisexual, or whatever he was. Sirius just happened to be a bit attracted to men, it wasn't like he turned into an evil beast that wanted to eat human flesh once a month.
Remus woke up in pain.
For a second he thought that that was his transformation over with for another month, until he remembered.
Fuck. He really should have got his foot sorted last night, it was bad.
Screw last night. 'Sirius? Sirius?'
'Drop dead Lupin.' The door slammed shut.
He groaned and pulled back the sheets. Oh that was horrible. His left foot was all swollen and twisted and pink and grey. He limped awkwardly to the bathroom and managed to have a shower, sitting down, left leg slug over the side of the tub. It took a while to get his pants and trousers on and he didn't dare touch his foot with a sock. He was just sitting on the edge of his bed, buttoning his shirt and eyeing his foot warily, when there was a welcome knock on the door.
'Come in?' he asked hopefully. He was desperately wishing it would be James wearing a silly apologetic smile.
'Remus? are you decent?'
'That's a matter of opinion,' he sighed.
Lily Evans appeared round the curtains on his bed, smiling gently, though her smile quickly faded. 'What happened to you? Anderson said you weren't involved in the fight.'
Oh good, everyone already knew about the fight. 'I wasn't actively joining in,' he muttered defensively.
'But you got hit in the process of separating them?'
She sat down next to him and reached a hand to his cheek. 'You have a black eye.'
He dodged away from her fingers. 'Do I? Oh, yes, right. I forgot.'
'Hmm. McGonagall wants you in her office as soon as possible, she asked me to find you. I saw Potter at breakfast, he seemed to think you'd be hiding.'
'I'm not hiding exactly... What rumours are going round about this?' he asked carefully.
'Potter and Black had another of their legendary falling-outs, possibly over a girl, but probably over nothing. Why, what happened?'
'I don't want to think about it.'
'Is it worse than Halloween?'
'How should I know? God, I hope nothing like this happened on Halloween. D'you think Dumbledore would remove my memory of this?'
'I doubt it. I should go, I'll be late for first lesson.'
'No, wait, Lily. You couldn't help me to the hospital wing, could you?'
'Madame Pomfrey won't heal any injuries sustained whilst involved in fist-fighting,' Lily reeled off primly.
'I know that, but I really need my foot fixed.'
'Your foot?' He'd been hiding it from her; girls were squeamish about things like that.
'I broke it.' He showed her.
'Oh that looks awful, doesn't it hurt lots?'
'Yeah. I numbed it a few times, and I slept alright, but walking unaided is a bit much.'
'When you say you broke it...?'
'Sirius punched me and I wasn't expecting it and I fell over.'
'You need new friends Remus.'
'I do now seeing as none of them are talking to me.'
'And it isn't your fault.'
'I didn't do anything wrong at all, well one accidental comment at the start of the evening, but I thought he'd forgotten that... I really didn't do anything. James and Sirius were carrying on all night and I didn't even realise what they were fighting about until it was too late.'
'What were they fighting about?'
He shook his head. 'Oh it was just all so ridiculous! James is such an idiot!'
'I knew that.'
'Were you drinking?'
'I wasn't, well I had one, but I needed it after- oh god.'
'I definitely can't tell you that bit.'
'What were you doing, oh don't tell me, dares.'
'You should have more sense than to play dares with that lot, are you sure you didn't break your foot running naked through the common room?'
It sometimes worried Remus how well Lily knew them. 'I wish.'
'So you were running naked through the common room?'
'I think I was the only one that didn't, well James wasn't naked, he was- oh, fuck! Sorry,' he added hastily.
'I take it I don't want to know?'
'You won't want them back anyway,' he told her.
'Won't want what back?'
'He probably still has them on.'
'Still has- tell me he isn't wearing anything belonging to me?' she asked tightly.
'And he wonders why I won't go out with him!'
'I used to really like you Remus.'
'Sorry. I didn't mean to suggest it; I only suggested it was James because I didn't want to wear knickers, and Sirius thought it was a really good idea, and I didn't know he'd decide they had to be yours.'
'Sirius Black has been in my underwear drawer?' she asked incredulously.
'He might just have summoned them, I doubt even he knows how to get into the girls' dormitories.'
'To summon them he'd have to know where they were and what they looked like. I don't even want to know-'
'I didn't do anything wrong!'
'Apart from suggesting Black steal my knickers!'
'Sorry, but that's the least of my worries. And James and Sirius will make up soon enough but they'll still hate me somehow. It's so unfair!'
'I'll bandage your foot up and we'll get you to Madame Pomfrey,' Lily said with a sigh, 'you're obviously delirious with the pain.'
'I hate them both. He had no reason to punch me; I was trying to be nice!'
'I'm sure you were. Oh that's useful; you have bandages in your drawer.'
'Er, yeah. Because I'm so clumsy.'
'Or because Black and Potter fight so much.'
'Okay, I'm going to bandage it quite tightly.' She knelt at his feet and he tried not to watch as she bandaged him.
'Do you have a ridiculously high pain threshold or something?'
'You get used to it. Er, you know.'
'I see.' Remus decided he should be moaning and wincing more.
'I might be a healer when I leave school, Professor McGonagall thinks I'd be good at it, so does Madame Pomfrey.'
'Yeah you would; you have her no-nonsense attitude.'
'I'm not sure that was a compliment.'
'Ow. It was, really.'
She tucked the bandage in and sat back down on the bed. 'You need to sort your life out, Remus.'
'We have OWLs soon and your silly friends are holding you back. Don't you want to do well, don't you want to be Head Boy?'
'I'd be a terrible Head Boy. Like Anderson said last night; I can't even keep two of my friends under control, never mind the whole school.'
'You shouldn't put yourself down.'
'You don't have to put up with that, and you certainly don't have to put up with them.'
'You don't understand, Lily.'
'You always say that! And you never explain it. What have they ever done for you except get you in trouble and beat you up?'
'I can't tell you.'
'If you'd just cool it a bit with them. I wouldn't minding hanging around with you. And there's lots of other people that like you. You could have normal friends.'
'And James would never speak to me again.'
'Would that be so bad?'
'I don't like my life being dictated to me by James Potter, and you shouldn't either. He can't tell me who to be friends with and who to date. I think-' she looked down at her hands, 'I think you and I could be- could be really good friends if we stopped letting him get in the way.'
'Lily, you don't-'
'I know, I don't understand. And I don't. If it wasn't for him we could have been-'
'It was a mistake, Lily, I should never have-'
'It wasn't your fault! I kissed you! You always blame yourself for things that weren't your fault!'
'You wouldn't like me anyway, in the end it wouldn't have worked.'
Their fingers were linked now, hands resting on his bed and Remus felt awful. It had suddenly turned into one of those strange emotional conversations that Lily always seemed to bring out in him. Never mind his friends calling him a girl; he was always a lot more female when he was with Lily.
'You don't understand, it seems silly to you, and I like you so much, but nothing will ever change this, it can't,' he muttered, stubbornly determined.
'I just wish it was me you felt this way about.'
'I'm sorry, I know I'm pathetic, but I still... I still love them. Whatever they do to me, and I know you don't like that and I know I'm not right for you.'
'I'm stupid and clumsy and weak, and I'm ill all the time, and I'm a boring prefect but I'm too stupid to be a proper swot, I'm pointlessly loyal to my friends, who are completely mad, despite the fact that they get me into trouble and take advantage of me and take me for granted and beat me up even when I haven't done anything wrong. And I still love them. I'm not right for you.'
She sighed. 'You still love Sirius when he just beat you up?'
'Yes. Even after he'd just punched me I felt terrible because I knew he was upset and I wanted to comfort him. Even when he left me here this morning, totally unable to walk, or even dress myself properly, I still wanted to apologise for not helping him. And I love Peter even though he's a little sheep and he just followed James even though James was wrong. And I love James even though he was a complete narrow-minded bastard last night.'
'Narrow minded? Whilst wearing my knickers?'
'It sounds ludicrous, doesn't it? And in reality it's even more ludicrous than it seems.'
'Well when you do find what he's done with them please burn them; I don't want him sleeping with them under his pillow or anything like that.' Remus smiled.
'Thanks. Come on, lets get you downstairs.'
She suddenly wrapped her arms around him and pulled him close. 'You are a lovely person, you know; you shouldn't let those idiots bring you down.'
'They aren't that awful. I know they love me too, sort of.'
'I can't tell you, but they do.'
She looked him seriously in the face. 'Okay. How about one kiss, just to pay James back for being awful?'
'I shouldn't-' but she pressed her lips to his anyway. Remus remembered the last kiss he'd received and smiled against her lips. It was almost like James had got to kiss Lily after all.
'You could at least try and enjoy it.'
'It's best if I don't think about you that way. At all.'
'But we're friends, if only when James isn't there.'
'We're always friends.'
'Right, come on.'
'I could just float you down there?' She dragged him out the door.
'Don't. That would be humiliating.'
'Why do you have to be so stubborn?'
'I'm sure that's one of the great Gryffindor traits that they don't boast about.'
She laughed. 'You know, I bet it is.'
There was a pause and people stared at them as she helped him down the corridor.
'And you're certainly stubborn; anyone else would have given in to James after a year and a half of desperate begging.'
'He isn't that bad-'
'And why should I take second best?'
'Why, are you after Sirius?'
'Ha! I'd rather go out with Potter.'
'Well it's something for him to take comfort in, I suppose.'
'And I really should tell you; he's a superb kisser.'
Remus smothered his smile as he felt Lily staring at him. 'Dares?' she asked.
'Why do you think I'd like my memory removed?'
'You poor thing. Here we are.'
'Aaaaaww!' came a moan from the far end of the hospital wing.
'Oh stop being such a wimp!' Madame Pomfrey said crossly.
'It hurts!' James whimpered.
'Then you should have had it mended last night, shouldn't you?'
'Mr Anderson said you were crying like a baby in your sleep, and it certainly isn't my fault you can't throw a proper punch.' She glanced up and saw Lily and Remus, 'oh, what do you want Mr Lupin? I don't heal bruises caused by fighting.' She glared suspiciously at his black eye.
'Bugger off Lupin!' came James' voice from behind the curtain.
'That's enough Mr Potter, so what do you want Remus?' her voice had got slightly kinder.
'Some medical attention would be nice.'
'He's broken his foot,' explained Lily, helping him sit down on the nearest bed.
'Evans? What are you doing here?' James asked in amazement.
'I had to help Remus here, seeing as his friends are all too selfish,' she called to him.
'Huh! Like I didn't go out of my way to help him last night!'
'You weren't even there when I broke my foot last night.' Remus was not in the mood to assist James in impressing Lily. 'What are you here for?'
'Broke my hand,' he muttered. Remus was pleased that at least James had been suffering in a similar way to him.
'This is bad, you should have come earlier.' Madame Pomfrey had lifted his leg onto the bed and was examining his foot in detail with her wand.
'I couldn't walk.'
'Why, did Black beat on you after I'd gone?' James' head appeared around the curtain of the bed he was occupying and he noticed Remus' bruised eye and cheek with some surprise. 'He punched you?'
'Ha! He's even more pathetic than you are! How d'you break your foot?'
'I fell over and whacked it off the bed.' Madame Pomfrey tutted at him and bustled off to get something out of her cupboard.
'Ha! And I didn't mean I helped you with your foot; I meant the other thing,' James said in a confusingly significant voice.
'What other thing?'
'I was very helpful indeed, you should be grateful. Of course I gave up on you eventually because you didn't seem to want to help yourself-'
'What? You were a complete... idiot last night.' Remus couldn't fathom what the hell James was talking about.
'What? After all I did for you? After I went so far as to- oh damn, you don't have a clue, do you?' James was looking at him like he was a complete moron.
'Don't have a clue about what?'
'What last night was all about.'
'Of course I do, you both made it fairly obvious!'
'Yet you don't feel so grateful you want to smother me with kisses?' James asked.
Lily sniggered, but turned it into a sneeze.
'What? Why would I be grateful that you upset Sirius so badly he went mental?'
'You really don't know, do you? You're even stupider than he is. He actually punched you? Just think about it Remus. Merlin, it's probably been ages... What did you think was really going on last night?'
'You and Sirius were fighting about-'
'Fighting about what?' James pressed.
'I'm not going to say it now!'
'And why do you think you were involved?'
'Think about it, just... think.'
'I was just there! There was no specific reason I was involved!'
'Really? Remember... remember just before the fight; what was going on?'
'I was trying to sleep, and-'
And Sirius was... he thought, Sirius was...
'Why do you think I said what I said Remus? It couldn't have been more obvious! You'd have noticed ages ago if you weren't so thick.'
Remus remembered the way Sirius had been wrapped around him, the questions he'd been asking. He should have noticed ages ago... The way Sirius always said things that were just that little bit odd, the way Sirius touched him too much, the way he got into bed with him so often...
The room seemed to swirl. His heart thumped harder than he'd ever felt it.
'That's it, right there.' Remus could feel James pointing at him, even if he couldn't see it, staring as he was at the wall in front of him. 'Do you want me to punch him for you?'
'You'll do no such thing!' screeched Madame Pomfrey from the other side of the room.
'Remus, are you alright?' Lily whispered, somehow close to his ear.
Remus flopped back onto the bed and placed his hands carefully over his eyes.
'So... who wants to go first?'
'How about we get Mr Pettigrew's point of view this time?'
Remus didn't need to look round to tell that Peter was squirming nervously in his seat.
'To be honest, I don't even know what they were fighting about,' Peter admitted truthfully.
'I bet there's others in this room that wish they could say the same,' James said.
Remus still couldn't look at his friends. He felt strange and ashamed and violated all at once. He didn't even want to see Sirius' reaction to James' comment.
'Mr Black, are you okay?' McGonagall asked wearily. 'You know faking illness has never cut it with me.'
'Hmm. Do you want to tell me what you and Mr Potter were fighting about? Or who started it?'
'Yeah, Black; tell her who started it.'
McGonagall raised her eyebrows at him.
'I started it,' mumbled Sirius.
'Why?' she asked in the special long-suffering voice she saved just for conferences with the four of them.
'Yeah, tell her why.'
'That's enough, Mr Potter. Mr Black?'
'It was my fault,' Sirius told her tonelessly.
'Was it? Mr Lupin, what do you think happened?'
He closed his eyes. He'd never wanted to be here less, and that was saying something.
'Nothing? Fine; Mr Potter, it'll have to be your opinion.'
'Black was being a- a- something, and he hit me first, despite the fact that it was him that deserved a good beating.'
'Potter!' exclaimed McGonagall.
'Black?' James asked sharply.
'He's right, I did deserve a good beating,' he droned.
'I don't care who thinks you deserve a good beating.' Remus almost smiled; McGonagall obviously agreed with both of them. He couldn't work out whether he agreed himself or not. 'I still don't think physical violence ever solves any problem. What was the problem? Come on, Mr Lupin, where is your voice of reason when I need it?'
Remus squeezed his eyes even tighter shut this time. He would never answer her question.
'What did you do to him?' Remus could tell that her question was directed at Sirius.
'I...' he followed his brief comment with a long sigh.
'Very coherent,' she noted. 'Potter?'
'I don't see why everyone is being so awful to me, I was very mature last night.'
'Getting involved in a brawl with your best friend at three am?' their Transfiguration professor asked calmly.
'I was very noble last night, the things I did, the things I said, the lengths I went to-'
'No!' Remus suddenly yelled. Even McGonagall was shocked. 'You did not do the right thing last night! I don't care what you think; you were wrong. You should have just told me at the start of the night, then I could have locked myself in the fifth-floor storage cupboard for three days and when I came out we could have pretended nothing had happened.'
'Trust you, Mr Lupin, to find such a mature solution to a problem,' McGonagall noted sarcastically.
'That's quite an amusing suggestion-' James began.
'Shut up!' Remus yelled.
'Enough! Potter; two weeks and twenty house points. Black; four weeks, because you started it and because I am extremely worried about what you did to make Mr Lupin so uncomfortable, and twenty house points. And you should apologise.'
'To Remus,' added James.
There was a long silence. Remus' kept his eyes shut.
'Remus... I didn't mean to--I didn't mean it to be... I didn't choose to. I didn't. I'm really... really sorry.'
'Do you accept Mr Black's rather disjointed and ineloquent apology, Mr Lupin?'
He opened his mouth, not knowing what was going to come out. What he said was 'how long?'
'Yeah I wouldn't mind knowing that either,' James said lazily.
'I don't know.'
'Look I don't fucking know, okay? The lot of you can sod off!' Sirius yelled and it was closely followed by the door slamming.
'Twenty points from Gryffindor,' sighed Professor McGonagall. 'What was that?'
'We can't tell you.'
'So you had a fight for no reason?'
'Yes,' James said coldly.
'Mr Lupin, are you okay?'
'Not yet,' he whispered.
Author notes: Please review and say nice things as this is also a favourite chapter.
And as for Part 8... well there is a file on my computer called Part 8, but the only thing written in it is the word 'Argh' which isn't even a real word (the spell-checker assures me). But it will soon contain what the fandom likes to call 'The Prank'. Oh dear.