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We’re Still Young

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Hogwarts Academy. An elite school founded in the 17th century, known for producing the finest young individuals. Politicians, doctors, lawyers, scientists: these are the kind of people that graduate from Hogwarts.

There one thing you need to know about Hogwarts:

While there are a variety of different groups and cliques that exist amongst the student cohort, there are two that stand out above the rest: The Seekers and the Snitches. These two groups, as you can probably guess, are enemies. Okay, “enemies” is a bit dramatic. Essentially, they just don’t like each other all that much. Why is that? No one really knows. It’s just the way it is. The Seekers and the Snitches are two separate groups; no merging, no hanging out, no becoming friends.

The Seekers are composed of four individuals: James Potter, Sirius Black, Marlene McKinnon and Dorcas Meadowes. They are a group of troublemakers, their sole goal at Hogwarts being to break any and every rule to ever exist. They are widely known, and widely popular, among all students (and teachers), and are particularly notorious for their pranks. Now, these pranks range from your everyday changing all the clocks to run an hour late pranks, to your more extreme clogging every (and I mean every) toilet at Hogwarts or managing to slip Carolina Reaper Pepper powder into dinner before mealtime pranks. Despite these pranks being to the expense of many students, the Seekers are still well loved for making school somewhat more enjoyable. No one knows how they got their name exactly, except that it came about to be used as a trademark for their pranks.

So, that’s the Seekers as a whole. Now, to introduce you to each of the members individually:

First off, there’s James Potter. James, aged 15, is a loud and boisterous boy, often declared the “leader” of the Seekers (although if anyone even suggests this to him, they often end up at the end of a long description about why each and every member is equally important and amazing and gorgeous and therefore there is no leader). James is the only child of Fleamont and Euphemia Potter, both well-renowned doctors, and as a result is quite wealthy. From just being near James for an hour, one can tell that he has been raised well and loved. His love and generosity for those around him is immeasurable and he is always, in his own way, trying to look out for everyone. His confidence is almost as large as his compassion, with him carrying himself with pride wherever he goes, hair messy from running his hands through it so much, shirt untucked and tie hanging loose.

Next, there’s Marlene McKinnon. Marlene is what one would describe as a tomboy, a girl who doesn’t care much for being particularly “feminine” or “ladylike”. She, on the other hand, would call herself the best type of female out there: the type that is true to herself, not caring about what anyone thinks about her or how she might offend people by “manspreading” or choosing to wear ties and pants instead of clips and dresses. If James was the leader of the Seekers, then Marlene was the one who scared people away if they got too close or tried to threaten any of the members. Her protectiveness over the other members is immense and she has been known to throw some punches or target a prank against particular people who have gotten on her bad side. However, she does all of this out of love for her friends (and even those who she sees getting bullied when walking around school). Further, despite being intimidating at times, Marlene is actually considered one of the most popular and beautiful girls at Hogwarts (and yes, there was a survey released by some students in fourth year). She is a natural flirt and it is not surprising to find her at the centre of attention in every room she walks into.

Then, we have Dorcas Meadowes. Having moved from her hometown in Nigeria, Dorcas arrived at Hogwarts worried about whether or not she would make friends. Discrimination based on race was something she was familiar with. However, within the first few hours she spent with Marlene, her dorm mate, the two were already inseparable. Dorcas is more meek than the other three Seekers, however she is often the one to make jokes or plan the pranks that get the most reactions from people. Her strong ambition, as well as her wit and humour, are the driving force behind many of the pranks done by the Seekers.

Last, but certainly not least, is Sirius Black. Considered one of the largest characters out of the Seekers, Sirius is well known throughout the whole school. From his long black hair which he often ties in a bun, to his defined cheekbones and flirtatious personality (competing with Marlene’s), Sirius is often the victim of stares and love confessions by students from all year levels. Best friends with James since the first day of school, his loud and confident personality was what brought the four Seekers together. It was he who planned the very first prank committed by him and James, ultimately drawing the attention of Marlene and Dorcas who were impressed (while also believing that they could do better themselves). Sirius made it his goal, and ultimately the other members’, to break every rule to exist at Hogwarts (including the ones that were created because of them). This desire largely stems from his upbringing as the heir to the noble and well-respected house of Black, his parents being powerful lawyers. Growing up, he was taught the “correct” way to act and was often punished for not adhering to the strict standards expected of him. Once coming to Hogwarts however, he decided that he would let himself have fun and be whoever he wanted to be, even if that meant acting more feminine and flirtatious, as well as focusing more attention on friends and fun than school and work.

So, that is all of the Seekers. Together, the four of them are inseparable and are some of the closest people you will ever see. However, in rivalry to them in many ways, are the Snitches. You might be wondering: “Why on earth are they called the Snitches?” Well, they didn’t pick the name. Remember the feud they have with the Seekers? Well, it was the first year and the Seekers were getting ready to pull a really big prank that involved the flooding of all bathrooms, and well, they got snitched on by four particular friends. Hence the name “Snitches”. However, over time, the members of the Snitches grew fond of the name and began to claim it as their own, much to the distaste of the Seekers.

This is probably the main reason why the Snitches and the Seekers don’t get along. The Seekers spend all of their time pulling pranks and making a mess of things, whereas the Snitches prefer to spend their time performing and showing off their musical talents. They are a band named, you guessed it, The Snitches, and they are surprisingly popular at Hogwarts. For a school band that is. There are annual performances at Hogwarts, in which a large amount of time is dedicated to their band due to the extent of their popularity. They even perform locally at a few smaller gigs and earn some money from doing that. There are four members in the Snitches: Peter Pettigrew, Lily Evans, Mary MacDonald and Remus Lupin.

Peter Pettigrew is a small, blonde haired boy who plays the drums, a fact that always surprises people until they have heard him play. He has played drums since he was eight years old, inspired by a video his mother had shown him of Roger Taylor playing drums for Queen, in which he immediately began begging for lessons. He rooms with Remus and was the reason that the band began, although his idea of a band was more of a “we’ll all perform to ourselves in our bedroom or the music room if we’re feeling daring”, not the schoolwide and locally known band that performed for larger audiences. However, Lily always reminds him that it’s good to step outside of his comfort zone and he does agree that it has helped with his confidence.

Lily Evans is the vocalist and guitarist of the Snitches and has written many lyrics to original songs of theirs as well. She is what would be considered a bookworm and a teacher’s pet, spending a lot of the time in which she isn’t practicing, studying in the library or huddled up with a book. However, she is also one who treasures her friends above all else, and therefore is easily convinced to ditch the textbooks to hang out with her friends instead. Lily comes from a less well-off family in comparison to most of the students at Hogwarts, getting in on a scholarship rather than wealth or status. Her family live quite far away in London as well, meaning she doesn’t see them often and instead goes to stay with Mary and her family during breaks. Although, she does try to see her parents and older sister Petunia whenever she can, because even though she tries not to show it, she does miss them all dearly and finds it hard to be apart from them during the school year.

Along with these two members, is Mary MacDonald. Mary is the most popular member of the band, partly due to her being the bassist and partly due to her sociable personality which just radiates positivity and an energy that calms people. She got into Hogwarts through her mother, who teaches English and Literary Studies, and her family home is nearby, making commuting to and from school during the breaks easy. She gets along with practically everyone and is the go-to person for when people need to talk to someone about their problems or want to know a nice hangout place for the weekends in which they are allowed to go to the nearby village, Hogsmeade.

Finally, there is Remus Lupin. Remus is a lanky boy with limbs too long for his body and two scars across his face, reaching from the left side of his jaw to just below his right eye. His awkwardly long limbs would appear odd if it wasn’t for how quickly he seemed to grow in comparison to the rest of his year level, already reaching 6ft at the age of 15. “Awkward” is the word that Remus would most use to describe himself. He believes that his awkward height and limbs match well with his awkward personality. See, Remus isn’t necessarily shy or anything, he just doesn’t do well in social situations. He gets overly anxious and then he begins to ramble about useless things and then gets embarrassed and then it gets really awkward and then he begins to ramble about something else to try to fix the situation and it just becomes a never ending cycle of awkwardness. Or, he just goes completely silent, unable to make a sound. He doesn’t know why it happens, especially since he’s fine with performing in front of large crowds of people with the Snitches. Remus is the pianist of the band, a talent which he picked up from his late mother when he was young. When on stage, all of his awkwardness disappears. And the only ever time that happens when not on stage, is when he’s with his friends.

However, little did Remus know that soon a certain boy would soon change that as they entered their senior school at Hogwarts.

Chapter Text

Light poured in through blinds, strips of the sun’s beams falling across a bedroom. It was a simple room: a small desk with papers and pens neatly placed down in the corner, a small shelf which was empty except for a few books stacked in rows next to it, and a small bed against the opposite wall. In this bed, wrapped up in a thinning, grey blanket, was Remus Lupin. Only the top of his head could be seen, brown curls lying across his pillow. A loud, buzzing noise sounded throughout the room. He made no movement to get up and turn off the alarm. Then, as if he had suddenly been jolted upright by a realisation, he jumped out of bed and turned it off quickly but quietly. He cautiously turned towards his bedroom door, pausing for a few seconds before giving a sigh of relief. Within a second of his fearful expression, his face had contorted into a wide grin.

“Thank fuck it’s Friday” He whispered to himself, giving a light chuckle before opening up his blinds to let some natural light into the room.

It had been three weeks since his father had removed the lightbulb in his room, and so he was accustomed to seeing everything in different lightings depending on the time of day. He shuffled over to his cupboard, grabbing out his school uniform and holding it up to himself. God did it need ironing. He had grown over the summer holidays and so it looked like it would be too small as well. He hoped that his thin frame would make up for that.

After he was dressed, his suspicions were proved to be true as he looked down and realised that over half of his socks were now visible as his trousers no longer reached down to his ankles. “Fucking long limbs. Just wait ‘til Lily sees this.”

Ever since second grade at Hogwarts, Remus had grown at an exceptionally fast rate, surpassing everyone’s height in his year level, and many from the years above, by last year. His uniform never fit well for this exact reason and he often found himself borrowing one from the school when he felt too awkward and self conscious wearing his own. He could do this because the school did in fact have uniforms in his size, although not many. However, his father would never even consider buying him another uniform. No, Remus was stuck with too small ones, which he borrowed every year and brought home hoping his father wouldn’t notice the difference, until he graduated.

He headed downstairs, looking at the empty walls that used to hold photos framing his once happy family. As he reached the bottom, he looked into the dining room, which was connected to the kitchen. His father sat at the table watching the television.

‘Great’, Remus thought to himself, ‘just what I need. Him to be watching something’.

Remus’ father was a man who looked like he had aged quicker than he was meant to. His hair was already balding and what remained was beginning to grey. He had deep bags under his eyes and creases on his forehead and in between his eyes. But these things could all just be ignored and put aside as just him being tired, perhaps from working so hard to support his son as a single parent. Everything else about him, from the way he dressed to the way he drank his coffee with sugar, seemed friendly and normal.

Remus stood there awkwardly at the foot of the stairs, willing himself to go into the room and speak to his father for the first time in a week. They hadn’t spoken since his father had yelled at him for talking to the neighbour after they had accidentally received one of their packages. Finally, Remus’ legs seemed to move on their own accord, apparently tired of waiting for his head and heart to catch up to each other. He entered the room, smelling the booze already and wondered how his father had already had time to have alcohol and a coffee when it was only seven in the morning.

“Umm… Father?” Nothing. The man just sat there staring at the tv as if Remus wasn’t even in the room. Remus tried again, this time louder, “Father?”

“Don’t interrupt my show!” His father had whipped around, banging his mug onto the table as he glared at Remus. Remus shrunk back. ‘Shit, he was already mad’.

“Well? What is so important you have to disturb me you useless shit?”

“Umm… I just—”

“Oh quit mumbling and get on with it.”

“School starts today.” Remus finally got out, gesturing slighting to his uniform out of awkwardness before moving both of his arms behind his back just in case his actions annoyed his father any more than he already was. Fuck, he was having hard time breathing. The tight feeling in his stomach which had been present for the whole of the summer holidays twisted itself further, making it hard for Remus to not just collapse to the floor. When he didn’t get a reply, he added more timidly, “I need a lift there. Y’know, ‘cause it's far away and I need to bring my suitcase.”

“And why do I need to take you? Can’t you do anything on your own? Without me having to do all the work for you?” His father had stood up now, glaring at his son. Despite being shorter, he was the bigger person in the room.

“I can’t get my license until next year and the buses don’t go there so…” Remus caught himself about to start rambling. He gulped back the words, knowing that continuing would only make his father more mad and as a result, less likely to take him. And the last thing he wanted was to stay here and miss school.

His father glared at him, apparently realising that there was no way for Remus to get to school unless he took him. His face was red with anger and the creases on his forehead had deepened. He appeared to be having an internal debate: refusing to take Remus would upset him, something which his father loved to do, however it would mean that they would have to live together for the whole year; however, taking him there would get rid of Remus for the year, but it would mean giving in and giving Remus what he wanted. Remus stood there, scared of what the result would be, until his father finally pushed past him, mumbling about how Remus was so irresponsible and needed to learn how to look after himself. When his father was a good distance away, Remus let out a sigh of relief. He would be going to Hogwarts once again to start his fifth year. And God, was he looking forward to it.

Chapter Text

As the sun rose above the trees, there was a stillness in the air. The quiet street of houses, if that’s what you could call them, separated by white fences and marble stone gates was still asleep. However, inside the tallest of the mansions, a teenage boy had already awoken. Sirius had risen from his slumber an hour ago and was now fidgeting excitedly in his bedroom, packing his suitcase in a kind of frenzy. It was the morning that he would return to Hogwarts and he had procrastinated packing his suitcase until now. Throwing a pile of clothes onto the ground, he knelt down next to his suitcase and began folding and placing them inside. His hair, now shoulder length, fell in his face and so he reached for a claw clip. He smiled to himself as he put it up; his hair was his pride and joy. It was the one thing he hadn’t let his parents take from him when he returned home at the beginning of Summer. They could have anything, except his hair and he’d make sure of it.

Two hours later, suitcase now packed and school uniform on, Sirius walked down the two flights of stairs that led to the dining hall. He entered the room, seeing his younger brother Regulus already seated, as were his mother and father. He walked quickly but quietly over to his seat, apologising for being late. He had considered not coming down at all, but then he realised that it was probably best to behave like the perfect heir until he was sure they couldn’t refuse taking him to Hogwarts.

His parents ignored him however, clicking twice to signal one of their footmen over to fill Sirius’ glass. Regulus gave a small smile to Sirius and Sirius snuck a quick, wider one back. Sirius really loved his younger brother. He was only a year younger and so they got along really well, even though they weren’t allowed to act like most brothers do around their parents. They weren’t allowed to laugh, make jokes, pull pranks or hug. No, instead they were allowed to give short nods as greetings and discuss topics approved of by their parents (aka politics, cases, and how they were going to work hard to get into law school). Sirius was never one for following rules however, and so almost every night he snuck into Regulus’ room at the other end of the third floor. They would stay up until the early hours of morning, making jokes and talking about all of the things they were going to do when they left home. For as long as he could remember, he and Regulus had planned to move out of home together and travel the world. They didn’t exactly know where they wanted to go (although Sirius had suggested Australia because it was far away and he had heard about animals called kangaroos which jumped around and you could ride on), all they knew was that anywhere away from this house was perfect.

Charlie, the footman, reached Sirius' side. Leaning over, he poured some cold water into the crystal glass next to Sirius’ plate of eggs, bacon and kedgeree. As he did so, he made eye contact with Sirius and winked. Sirius’ grin returned to his face for a second, before both he and Charlie put on their neutral expressions again. Charlie was always so much better at doing that than Sirius was. He had called it a servant’s blank, something which all servants developed in order to avoid revealing any emotions or opinions to the family they worked for. Sirius always found himself struggling not to grin whenever he entered a room with Charlie in it. It was so unfair. Sirius would have to make sure to say goodbye to him before leaving.

Breakfast was a rather silent affair, besides the odd clinking of cutlery on plates. That was until Sirius’ father looked up towards Sirius saying, “School starts today.”

It was a short and simple sentence, however Sirius felt himself tensing up. Sirius rarely enjoyed any conversations he had his father, especially since the majority of the time it was only to criticise Sirius or discuss how he was going to help Sirius secure a future as a lawyer. Sirius nodded curtly, “Yes father.”

It was best to keep his responses simple and compliant. He had a bad feeling this was going to take a turn for the worst.

“You are entering senior school and must begin focusing on your grades if you expect to get anywhere.” And there it was. “I don’t want to hear that you’ve been fooling around with that- that Potter boy or those girls.” He spat out the name Potter and the word girls, a clear look of disgust on his face.

“Of course father. James, Marlene and Dorcas are all really smart and they get top grades.” Sirius felt a need to stand up for his friends. They weren’t disgusting or stupid like his father thought they were. No, they were smart, and above all they were his friends, his chosen family. They were funny and brave and the people on Earth who made him feel safe and like he could be himself. Not that he thought his father would care about any of that.

“Whether they’re smart or not, they are only going to drag you down. Especially with that Meadowes girl being of that sort.”

That was it, he had crossed the line. “Dorcas isn’t of any sort! She is my friend and you have no right to talk about her that wa—”

“Enough! Don’t you dare talk back to me!” Sirius’ father had stood up, yelling loudly. Sirius drew back, flinching at the sound. Flashes of memories clouded his thoughts. “You are not to hang out with her or those stupid others again and that is final! And if I so much as hear that you have been or that you have defied me, you will be brought right back home. And you will regret you’d ever been born, boy. ”

Sirius sat still, staring at his clenched hands that lay in his lap. Tears threatened his eyes, but he would not cry. That would only anger his father more. “Crying is for girls”, “My son would never cry”. These were words that haunted him everyday.

“Do you understand!”

“Yes Sir. I’m sorry Sir.”

His father sat back down forcefully, grabbing his glass and taking a drink before slamming it back onto the table. Both Regulus and Sirius flinched this time. Sirius sat there as breakfast continued, no longer feeling hungry. He had woken up so happy and excited for school, and now he was on the verge of tears and every noise made him flinch. When his father stood up, everyone rose. Sirius felt his knees shake, threatening to collapse at any minute. It wasn’t until he felt an arm on his elbow, causing him to jump, that he realised everyone had left the room.

Turning around, he saw Charlie standing there. His face was full of concern, but there was also a slight anger in his eyes. Sirius knew that it wasn’t directed at him, but at his father. He felt a tear slide down his cheek. Charlie gently, although quickly, pulled him towards one of the back rooms. This was the room that they often went into to spend time together. No one ever came in here as it was an old store room which had been made into a sleeping quarter for the footman.

Charlie took Sirius into his arms, and he broke down. Tears streamed down his face, soaking Charlie’s shirt. Charlie rubbed soothing circles on his back, whispering words of comfort to him as he cried, holding onto him tightly in a protective way. Sirius hated his family. He hated how they had to ruin everything. And he hated how he had to be this weak in front of Charlie. But most of all, he hated how he didn’t care. He just didn’t care anymore. Everything was just too much for him that he didn’t even care that some days were better than others or that he was crying in front of Charlie.

Around five minutes later, Sirius pulled away from Charlie’s shoulder. He had stopped crying a minute or two ago and was now just a snotty and wet mess. He looked down at his feet, realising that he did in fact care that he had been crying. God, how pathetic I must look right now was all he could think. No wonder no one actually cares about me.

Charlie cupped Sirius’ face, softly forcing him to make eye contact. “Sirius love, look at me. You’re safe now, I promise. I won’t let anything happen to you.”

Sirius nodded, leaning into the hand pressed against his cheek slightly. He pulled away, bringing up his sleeve to wipe his face. Charlie moved his hands away however, using his sleeve instead. “Hey, don’t use your sleeves. They’re worth more than mine. Besides, we have to keep your uniform spick-and-span for when you escape from this hellhole.”

Sirius looked up and the grin on Charlie’s face caused him to laugh. Sirius couldn’t help but laugh when he was with Charlie. From his stupid blonde hair that curled in the morning before it had been styled, to his goofy grins and cheesy sense of humour, Charlie was perfect in every way when it came to making Sirius feel better. Charlie was a year older than him and had been working at the house since he was 10 years old. He had originally just been the hallboy, however two years ago he began serving as a footman. It was around that time when he and Sirius began seeing each other more than usual. At first it had just been nodding when they walked past, then it was sharing secretive smiles at mealtimes, and then it had become hour long conversations in Charlie’s bedroom or the back cupboard or somewhere else hidden. Sirius didn’t know what it was about Charlie that made him feel at ease. Maybe it was just because he was so good at making Sirius laugh no matter what had happened. Or it was the fact that even when Sirius cried or came to him for comfort, he didn’t call him girly or criticise him. No, he just held him close and said whatever Sirius wanted and needed to hear. Sirius didn’t know what he and Charlie were to each other. It was two years ago, on the Summer holidays before third year that he and Charlie shared their first kiss. It had been messy and anything you’d expect from a thirteen year old and a fourteen year old. However, it had led to many more kisses since. He’d be lying if he said that he didn’t love Charlie like he had never loved anyone else before. However, they had never really put a label on themselves and Sirius didn’t even really know if it was possible for him to love Charlie like that. He had never loved another boy before and had only dated girls in the past. He wouldn’t even call himself gay necessarily because of this fact so there was just no way that what he felt for Charlie was any form of romantic love. But then again, he didn’t go making out with James whenever he felt like it either.

It was at this moment that Charlie blew on Sirius’ nose. He burst into laughter, having to stifle them so he wouldn’t draw any attention to the room. Sirius started at him laughing for a few seconds, taking in his beauty before he too began laughing.

“What on Earth was that?” He managed to say between breaths of laughter.

“You were zoning out is all. And you had that cute little pout you put on when thinking.” Charlie was wiping tears that had formed in his eyes from laughing while trying to be quiet. “I couldn’t resist.”

“Yeah, well try harder. I know I’m goddamn fucking gorgeous but gosh, have some control.” Sirius flicked his hair dramatically, placing one of his hands on his hip.

“And how do you suppose I do that when you stand here looking like this Master Sirius?” He put emphasis on the word master, something he often did when messing around with Sirius.

“True, I mean I wouldn’t be able to handle myself either. With my good looks, charm and amazin—”

Charlie had pulled him forward by the waist and began kissing him. Sirius melted in the touch, kissing back passionately. This lasted until they heard a car outside the house start. Charlie pulled back, grinning that stupid smile again, and raised his eyebrows. “Looks like your carriage awaits young lord.”

“I suppose it does.” Sirius looked at Charlie for a few seconds without doing anything before wrapping his arms around his neck. “I’ll miss you.” He whispered.

“I’ll miss you too, love.” Charlie breathed deeply against his hair. Pulling back, he added, “Try not to get into too much trouble while you’re away. The last thing we need is your father causing more trouble.”

“Yeah, Yeah I know. Be good, do well at school. God, you sound like my parents.” He was only teasing Charlie and he knew that Charlie knew that.

Charlie kissed him on the nose, “Yeah, well please be safe.” He stood back, straightening Sirius’ tie. “But don’t forget to have fun. I want to hear about it all when you get back. And if you ever need anything, just call downstairs and ask.”

They heard the front door open and knew it was time for Sirius to leave, or risk getting themselves caught. Sirius nodded, giving a smile and whispering a quick “See you later” before opening the door and walking upstairs to grab his suitcase. He was excited to go to Hogwarts and see all his friends again (with the added bonus of not having to see his parents), but he was going to miss Charlie and Regulus.

As he got into the car, the family chauffeur holding the door open for him, he began feeling himself getting excited again about school. This year was going to be good and he knew it. If anything, his father’s talk about not hanging out with Dorcas or causing trouble at school had only inspired him more to pull the biggest and best pranks he ever had. He knew he should listen to Charlie and try to stay out of too much trouble, but he never was good at doing what he was told.

Chapter Text

Sirius leapt out of the car, thanking his chauffeur quickly before running off with his luggage trailing behind him. He stopped just inside of the grounds, taking in the castle-like school in front of him. Hogwarts. Home. From the astronomy tower where he had spent many late nights and early mornings having a smoke or just looking at the stars, to the Great Lake which he had swam in countless times (obviously against school rules), Hogwarts was his home and he had made so many good memories here. Enough to make up for his poor excuse for a home where he lived constrained by his parents’ overbearing rules and expectations.

Grinning to himself, he set off towards the Whomping Willow. It was a thick, bulbous sort of tree, curling in odd directions with round bulges formed on its branches. Sirius and the other Seekers had named it the Whomping Willow in second year due to the fact that these thick branches looked like they could whomp someone (look, it made a lot more sense to the group of twelve year olds at the time and it had just stuck). Anyways, Sirius was heading toward said tree, knowing that he would either see James, Marlene or Dorcas there when he arrived, or that they would join him there shortly. Every year since second grade they had made it a tradition to meet in front of it, before heading off to their dorms and then mucking around together.

When he arrived he saw James lying back on the grass, throwing a large, golden ball up into the air and catching it. His black hair was more messy than the last time Sirius had seen him. He had obviously given up completely on trying to tame it, something which he had spent hours each day doing in previous years.

“Well if it isn’t Potter.” Sirius spat out the name Potter, scowling at the boy in front of him who looked up quickly.

“Still let trash like you in then, Black?”

They stared at each other for a few seconds, both scowling until they broke into wide grins. Sirius tackled James, who had just attempted to stand up, starting a wrestling match between the two boys. Sirius emerged the victor, shouting out in joy as he took a victory lap around the tree. From nearby, two voices chanting “Sirius! Sirius!” could be heard. Sirius paused his running to find the source of the voices, eyes eventually falling on Marlene and Dorcas.

“Heya Sirius, James.” Marlene greeted, giving a wink.

Sirius ran up and hugged the two girls, James joining a second later. As they pulled apart, Sirius shoved Dorcas and Mary onto the grass. He resumed his victory lap, laughing so hard he ran out of breath quickly. Marlene jumped up and ran after him, eventually, with the help of James and Dorcas, managing to jelly leg him to the floor.

“Come on Sirius.” Dorcas dragged the words out, rolling her eyes in the process. “Hurry up and stop lounging around. We have to go to our dorms.”

“Excuse me!” Sirius feigned an offended expression, drawing one hand to his chest dramatically. “I don’t lounge around. I lie down looking dropdead fucking gorgeous thank you very much.”

“Ha ha. Hurry up.” Marlene started walking off, placing her arms on Dorcas’ and James’ shoulders.

“Hey, wait up Marls.”

Sirius leapt up, jumping up to place his arm around James, almost knocking him over again in the process. They walked towards their usual dorm rooms, the ones they had had since first grade. James and Sirius had carved their names on their beds so every year they could look back and remember their first year together as roommates. Sirius knew that once he graduated and had finished travelling the world with Regulus, he would move in with James somewhere. He loved both Marlene and Dorcas with his heart, but James was more than just his best friend: he was his brother. His chosen family. He knew James felt the same way, seeing Sirius as the brother he never had.

***

As the Seekers arrived at Room 71, James’ and Sirius’ room, they began to say their goodbyes.

“Well, see ya later losers.” Dorcas gave a short wave, taking a step back to wrap her arm around Marlene again.

“What? No goodbye kiss? No dramatic farewell? No tears shed?”

Sirius made a kissing face at the girls, getting shoved back by Marlene who, in between laughs, said “Shove off Sirius. You’re the only drama queen in this friendship.”

“Me? A drama queen? Never.” Sirius turned away from the girls theatrically, earning laughs from them both and James.

“Alright, let’s just go in mate.” James said, opening the door. He stood there in place, mouth open. Sirius, Marlene and Dorcas watched him, confused as to whether he was trying to make a joke or not.

“James?” Sirius asked, after another three seconds of silence had gone by. He walked up, looking past James and into the bedroom. He too stood in silence.

“Oh move over,” Marlene shoved past the two of them. “What are you— oh, Lupin.”

Remus stood at one of the beds inside the room, his suitcase opened up on the bed as he removed the clothing and books that had filled it a moment ago. He was staring at James, Sirius, Marlene and Dorcas, who had also moved to the door to see what the fuss was about. He looked both annoyed and nervous.

“What are you doing here, Lupin? Get out of our room.” Sirius spat, taking a step into the room.

“Yeah, have you lost something? Or do you always make an effort to snoop in other people’s rooms?” James added, smirking to himself.

“Oh cool it, Potter. I think I should be asking you what you’re doing in my room.” Remus, who had looked nervous a moment ago, now held an expression of annoyance.

“What do you mean your room? This is James’ and mine. Always has been, always will be.” Sirius had no clue what Lupin was even doing here, but his mere presence was pissing him off. That, and the fact that he seemed to be remembering that dorms often changed for senior students.

“I mean, my room Black. Wow, four weeks without school and you can’t understand the English language anymore. If only you use what little brain you have for something more useful than causing trouble at school you might actually learn something for once.”

“Oh boo hoo. Loopy Lupin is mad that he has lame friends and doesn’t know how to get off his high horse and have fun.” Marlene mocked.

“This doesn’t even involve you, McKinnon, so get out.” All four of the Seekers went to give a retort to Remus, however he continued, “Look. Have any of you actually checked your dorm assignments yet?”

Silence.

“And that’s what I thought.” Remus said matter-of-factly and God, Sirius had never wanted to punch him in the face so much. Why did he look so hot when he was annoyed? Had he always been this hot? Wait, what? No. He totally did not think that at all, Remus Lupin was the very opposite of hot. Even with those brown curls that fell perfectly on his face.

“Well, since none of you have a brain apparently, I will tell you that this is my dorm now in which, Black, you have the lucky role of being my roommate.” Remus continued.

“What?” All four Seekers blurted out at once.

No. Fucking. Way. There was no way that Sirius was being put in a room with this jerk. He would literally rather eat James’ shoe than share a room with Remus Lupin. The boy was such a jerk and was so stuck up, thinking that just because he was in a band he could act like a teacher’s pet and rat the Seekers out when they tried to pull a prank. No, he refused to share with Lupin and that was final.

Sirius heard a laugh from behind him. He turned around and saw Dorcas trying not to laugh.

“What are you laughing at Meadowes?” He said roughly, too annoyed to care.

She continued laughing, leaning her head against Marlene’s shoulder to try and muffle herself. Marlene too had started to laugh, “I cannot believe it. A Seeker and a Snitch together. It’s hilarious if you think about it.”

“No it is not Marlene!” Sirius yelled, looking helplessly at James. James had been fairly silent this whole time.

“I wonder who I’m with then…” He muttered under his breath.

“Well, we need to check if we’re still together too, James. Let’s just head down now.” Dorcas said, recovering from her fit of laughter.

As they all began to walk out, Sirius yelled out, “Hold on! What about me? We’re not actually leaving me in here with… with fucking Lupin here?”

“Hey, I don’t want to be with you either Black.” Remus snapped.

“Look, Sirius. You know we can’t change dorm assignments. Just deal with it. Unpack your suitcase and we’ll see you at dinner.” Marlene turned around and walked out of the door.

“Good luck.” Dorcas said as she patted his shoulder, before James shot him a smile and walked out. Once she was at the door, Dorcas added “Smell ya later Lupin.”

“You wish, Meadowes.” Remus called back, turning back towards his suitcase.

As the door of the room shut, Sirius felt at a loss. He was going to be stuck in this dorm with Remus fucking Lupin for a whole year. Why did God hate him? What had he ever done to deserve this? He turned around, seeing Remus smirking to himself as he continued to unpack his suitcase. Huffing, Sirius walked over to his bed and threw his suitcases on it. This was going to be the worst year at Hogwarts yet.

Chapter Text

3 hours earlier

Remus looked out his window and saw Hogwarts coming into view. The school was old and built almost entirely from stone, however it had a warm feeling to it. There were tall trees inside and surrounding it, a nearby forest marking the end of the school grounds. As they drove through the gates, large areas of grass where students sat during breaks and played sports could be seen. A large lake was also in view, row boats tied up at a dock on the opposite side. Remus loved the amount of nature there was at Hogwarts. One of his favourite things to do was go off to read in a tree or practice singing near the forest where students rarely went. He loved his friends with all of his heart, but the peacefulness of being alone was something that he needed every once in a while.

His father pulled up and Remus got out stiffly. The whole car ride had been silent besides the sighs and huffs his father gave every few minutes. Before shutting the door, Remus added “I’ll see you next Summer.”

All he got was a grunt in response. He shut the door and watched as his father drove away. He wouldn’t see him for a whole year. God, he wished it was longer. It was at that moment that he felt someone jump onto him, wrapping their arms around his neck. He lost his balance, almost falling over.

“Lily, stop it.” He managed to say in between laughs, her own filling the air as well.

“Remus oh my god. It’s so good to see you.” Lily’s soft voice rang out, and as he turned around he saw a smile that reached her gemstone green eyes. “My Lord, have you grown taller?”

Remus smiled fondly at her. He hadn’t realised just how much he had missed seeing Lily. She had been friends with him since the second week of first year. They had been made partners in a group project for Science and had been partners ever since. He felt so safe around her, as if he could tell her anything and everything. Well, almost.

“Yeah, I guess I have. My uniform is once again too small, so we have our first mission of the year.” He said, pointing towards his very visible socks.

“Aye aye cap’n.” She saluted, before linking her arm with his and walking in the direction of the front office. “We need to find out our rooms as well.”

“We always end up with the same people though so it doesn’t really matter.” It was true, he had been dorming with Peter since first year and Lily and Mary had always been together as well.

“Well, apparently they change it up for senior years. I don’t know why though, it’d just make sense to put us all in the same dorms.”

Remus stopped in his tracks. Wait. He wouldn’t be with Peter? “You’re joking right?” Shit. Shit. Shit. He couldn’t share with anyone else. What about his scars? He couldn’t let anyone see them. And what if he didn’t really know the person, he would be an awkward mess. No, he couldn’t. He absolutely couldn’t be put with anyone else. It hadn’t even crossed his mind that that was a possibility. He had always been with Peter and thought that would never change.

“Remus?” Lily had stopped too, her arms having been tugged back when he had stopped. “Oh it won’t be that bad. You get along with everyone in the year level. Well, besides the Seekers but they don’t matter at all. I was thinking about it, the school knows that we don’t like each other, so there’s no way they’d put us with any of them. Remus? Remus?”

Remus, who had still been thinking about every possible scenario that could go wrong, had not been listening and snapped out of his thoughts. Lily stared up at him, her red hair appearing more so in the sun. “Look, Remus. There’s no point in stressing about it until we are sure we have changed. I mean, if they’ve kept us with the others for this long, it’s very likely they will do the same now.”

Remus nodded, letting her pull him to walk in the direction of the front office. The rest of the way they spoke about what they were excited to do this year; the subjects they were excited for; the performances they would perform. However, Remus couldn’t shake the worry that had settled in his stomach, causing it to flip and feel uneasy.

***

Ten minutes later, Remus had just finished putting on a spare uniform. It just fit him heightwise, however was kinda loose on him. The jumper was also slightly too big so he was able to pull the sleeves over his hands, something he often did when nervous or feeling awkward. Which happened to be quite often, so the length of this jumper was much appreciated.

He walked out of the changing rooms, walking up towards the front desk to thank Miss Pomfrey, the nurse and secretary of Hogwarts. “Ah Mr Lupin, now doesn’t that one fit you much better?”

“Yes, Miss. Thank you for letting me borrow another one.”

“Of course Remus. Try not to grow so much next time huh?” She gave him a gentle smile, which he returned. She had always had a soft spot for him. Remus was sure it was just pity because his mother had passed away when he was young, but he appreciated it nonetheless. As he walked out of the room, she quickly called out, “Oh Mr Lupin. Your dorm assignment slip is here.”

He came back, thanking her for it, before walking outside. He saw Lily and Mary talking to each other, waiting underneath a tree for him. Remus noticed how Mary’s hair had grown longer than before, and how she had bleached two front sections. He walked up to them, Mary jumping up to hug him when he had gotten closer. He embraced her tightly, having missed her so much over the break.

“My Lord, did I miss you.” He said as he pulled back, smiling down at her.

“Same to you Lupin.” Mary gave a charming smile and wink, before pulling him to sit down where she and Lily had been sitting.

“Well, are you with Pete still?” Lily asked, nervously looking at the slip in his hands.

Oh. He had forgotten about that. “I haven’t checked yet.” He looked down at the slip, that sick feeling returning to his stomach. He added, “What about you and Mary? Together still?”

Lily looked at Mary disappointedly. “No, we both got someone else.”

“What?” Remus burst out, unable to stop himself. Shit. Shit. Shit. No, he couldn't do this. If they were separated, then he and Peter would definitely not be together. He felt himself growing sweaty and felt his breathing pick up.

“Remus calm down. It’ll be okay. We don’t mind being with other people and if you are with someone else, I’m sure it’ll be better than you think. It’s not like we won’t see each other as often as we usually do. We’ll hang out all the time, okay? Remus, can you hear me?”

Remus could hear Mary, but she sounded far away. His vision became more blurred and all he was aware of fully was the tight feeling in his chest as he tried to breathe. He felt arms grab onto his shoulder softly as Lily tried to console him.

“Remus, it’s okay. You’re going to be okay, alright? We all are. We’re all gonna be together, okay? And we can do performances together. That’ll be fun. We wanted to perform some of our new songs that we wrote last year as well. And we can meet up to write some more when the term picks up a bit. But right now, everything is going to be okay and we are all safe. Okay?”

Remus felt himself becoming more grounded as he continued to listen to Lily’s words. He focused on what she was saying, imagining himself and the rest of the Snitches performing on stage. He had so many ideas for new songs to write, and had even been writing stuff over the break. Although, he had had to hide the sheets from his father just in case he decided to throw them out. His breathing slowed down to a more natural rate and his vision cleared up, allowing him to see Mary and Lily both kneeled next to him with worried expressions.

He nodded at them slowly to let them know he was okay and they sat back, giving him some space to calm down. He had had many panic attacks at Hogwarts and so all of his friends were well-accustomed to helping him through them. They knew that they needed to ground him, and the best way to do that was to talk about performing.

“Thanks.” He said quietly, his voice still kinda breathy.

He smiled up at them slightly as Mary said, “Don’t thank us. As long as you’re okay.”

“Yeah, I am. Just still a little on edge from being at home I guess.” He laughed when he said it, meaning it somewhat as a joke, but he felt the shift in the mood once he had said it. He didn’t speak much about his relationship with his father and hadn’t told them everything that had happened at home, however they were aware that it wasn’t good. He added quickly, “That was a joke.”

Just as the two girls sat there, awkwardly looking at each other for a second, apparently unsure of whether or not they should laugh, someone shouted out behind him, “Remus! I’m dorming with Frank Longbottom!”

Remus felt his heart drop as he turned around to see Peter standing behind him, face full of worry. In his hand was a slip. Remus looked down towards the slip he too held, taking a deep breath before opening it up himself. The words that he read took a full five seconds to process. Sirius Black And Remus Lupin. Rm 71.

“Who is it, Remus?” Peter had come over and sat down next to the girls, still looking shocked by his own slip.

“Remus?” Mary repeated, clear concern in her voice.

Remus looked up at his three closest friends, a feeling of shock and anger bubbling up inside him. His fists clenched, scrunching up the slip in his hand, as he spat out, “Sirius. Black.”

Chapter Text

Remus couldn’t help but laugh to himself. It had been an hour since Black, Potter, Meadows and McKinnon had come into the dorm and discovered him there. While he was still annoyed that he was stuck with Black, he could admit that he found it very amusing that he was pissing off Black just by being near him.

“What are you laughing about Lupin?” Sirius’ voice cut across to him, malice in his tone.

“Wouldn’t you like to know Black?” Remus was lying on his bed, reading through pages that contained some lyrics which he had been writing. Truthfully, he hadn’t written anything at all that day, too distracted by Sirius’ presence. How on earth was he supposed to focus when every few minutes he sighed really loudly just to show his annoyance. Honestly, what a drama queen.

He looked up towards Black, seeing him sitting on his own bed, legs pulled up to his chest as he read through a magazine. His black hair covered most of his face which was angled downwards, falling elegantly in place. It looked soft and seemed to shine in the light. Obviously he took good care of it. Not that Remus cared about that. No, not at all. In fact he couldn’t care less about Sirius Black or his pretty hair.

“God I know I’m gorgeous but control yourself.” Sirius’ voice brought him out of his trance and it was at that moment that Remus realised he had been staring. Now, Sirius had one eyebrow cocked as he smirked to himself.

“Pfft you wish Black. I was just thinking about how unfortunate I am to be stuck with an ugly douchebag like you for a roommate.”

“Yeah, sure. Because Pettigrew is obviously better looking than me.” Sirius rolled his eyes and laughed to himself, clearly not thinking that Peter was better looking than he was.

“Yeah, he is. And he actually has a personality as well so that’s also a one up from you.” Remus retorted, not taking any rude remarks towards his friends. Sure, Sirius was hot but that didn’t make him a better person.

“Yeah, because eating and leeching off people is a personality.”

“Peter is worth ten of you Black.” Now Remus was mad. No one insulted his friends like that. “Just because your jealous of hi-“

“Jealous? Me? Of Pettigrew? Now that’s a laugh.” Sirius demonstrates this by laughing to himself, as if humoured by the idea of anyone being jealous of Peter.

“Yeah, jealous. Jealous of the fact that he has a brain and talent, not just relying on Daddy’s money and long hair to get what he wants.” Remus could swear that he saw something shift in Sirius’ face for a second, smiling to himself slightly at the thought that what he had said had affected him. “At least Peter doesn’t need to use a family name to get his grades and popularity. He does that through his own talent and personality. But I suppose you don’t know anything about that. Daddy and Mummy couldn't buy you a personality could they?”

“Shut up!” Before Remus had a chance to react, Sirius had hopped off his bed and punched him in the face. Remus held his now throbbing cheek, his eyes blacking out for a second as the image of a tall figure standing over him flashed through his mind. When he came to, his vision clearing, he saw Sirius standing in front of him with a look that could kill. Remus felt his chest lock up, it becoming harder to breathe.

“Fuck you, I am so going to find a way to get out of this room.” With that, Sirius walked out of the room.

Remus sat there, his breathing quickening as the door slammed shut. Fuck. His vision blurred again, tears brimming his eyes. He began rubbing his knuckles, a soothing habit he had picked up when he was a child. Counting down from twenty, he tried to slow his breathing. Over the years, recovering from mini panic attacks had become more tolerable. It was the big ones that he found harder to soothe. Luckily, this had only been a minor trigger.

He sat back against the wall, drawing his hands up to his head as he closed his eyes. He knew that he had been a jerk. He knew it, but Sirius didn’t need to punch him. It’s not like he had said anything super offensive. He had only stated the facts that everyone knew. Sirius came from probably the wealthiest family at Hogwarts. It was obvious that he got financial support from his parents and that his name had a role in his position at the school. Fuck, this was going to be a bad year if Sirius was this dramatic all the time. However, Remus couldn’t help but think about the way that Sirius’ facial expression had changed when Remus had mentioned his family. The picture of his own father which flashed through his mind drew him away from that train of thought. He laid down on his bed, curling into a fetus position and closing his eyes tightly, trying to picture anything but the image of his father walking down the stairs.

***

A knock on the door awoke Remus. He opened his eyes slightly, the light stinging against them. Giving a deep breath, he reached over towards his clock. 5:23pm. Shit. He’d been asleep for 3 hours. Another knock at the door. “Remus! Remus let us in!”

As Lily’s voice carried itself into the bedroom, Remus slowly pulled himself from his bed. Stretching, he opened the door and saw Lily, Peter and Mary standing outside. He saw Lily look towards his cheek, a look of concern growing on her face. He must have a bruise or cut from being punched. He knew that she wouldn’t mention anything though. His friends had stopped asking because they just assumed it was caused by home stuff, which they were strictly forbidden to talk about. He saw the confusion on her face, her apparently trying to decide whether the bruise had been there this morning or not.

“Were you sleeping?” Mary finally asked, seeming shocked at the thought that he had decided to take a nap. “Geez, school hasn’t even started yet.”

“Shut up McDonald. If you shared a room with Black, you’d also want to sleep all day.” The three other Snitches all laughed at that, Remus himself joining in after a moment.

“That is still the weirdest thing. You getting stuck with a Seeker.” Peter pointed out, smiling to Remus with a half amused, half apologetic look.

“Weird doesn’t cover it.”

“Anyways!” Lily suddenly burst out, her bubbly personality shining through. “Dinner’s starting and they always have the best welcome feasts so there is no way I’m missing it because Mr Lupin here is tired.”

Peter’s eyes widened with excitement, “I hope they have pumpkin pie tonight! That’s my favourite.”

“We know Peter. Trust me, we know.” Mary laughed, turning around to begin walking towards the Great Hall where they would eat dinner.

Remus smiled to himself, forgetting any tiredness that he had previously felt. God, he loved his friends. They walked together to the Great Hall, laughing on the way as they caught up about each other’s holidays and spoke about their plans for future performances.

***

As the Snitches walked into the Great Hall, they saw a clear spot at one of the four large tables where students could eat. There were a few hundred people at Hogwarts so these four tables were needed to fit everyone, a separate table positioned at the front of the hall for staff. Sitting down, they began piling their plates with food.

“Have some of this Remus, you’ve got barely anything on your plate.” Lily piled some potato mash on his plate, before putting some on her own.

Remus smiled to himself. His friends always worried about the lack of food he ate, much more than he did. It wasn’t that he didn’t like the food, he just didn’t get very hungry easily having relied on not much food for much of his life at home. However, he greatly appreciated his friends for trying to get him to eat more.

“So, what elective classes did you guys sign up for this year?” Mary asked, taking a bite of her shepherd’s pie.

“Biology, Music and Computer Science.” Peter replied barely audibly, mouth full of food.

Lily laughed at the sight of him shovelling food into his mouth, before replying, “Music, Literature and Chemistry, you?”

“Human Biology, Computer Science and obviously Music.” Mary answered, turning her head towards Remus, “Rem?”

“Music, Chemistry and Literature.”

“Okay, so we’ll all be together in Music and we’ll all have at least one of each other in Chemistry, Literature or Computer Science.” Lily said, looking please at the fact that they would all still have elective classes together on top of their core subjects.

Remus felt someone move next to him, turning around quickly and shuffling closer towards Mary as he mumbled an apology. Looking up, he saw Sirius sitting down next to him. The other three Seekers sat down soon after, James next to Sirius and Marlene and Dorcas on the opposite side next to Lily.

“What are you all doing here?” Mary asked, cocking an eyebrow.

“It’s a free country MacDonald, we can sit wherever we want.” Sirius replied, giving her a wink as he added “I know you’d prefer it if I sat right next to you though eh?”

“Shove it Black.”

“There’s no other spots so we have to sit here, don’t get too up yourselves.” Marlene stated, gesturing around the hall to show that there were in fact no seats left. Weird, Remus thought, usually there were enough seats and spare space in the hall. They must’ve accepted more students this year.

Remus glanced over towards Sirius, noticing how he quickly diverted his eyes towards his plate when Remus caught him staring. Remus thought back to the punch. Why on earth had he punched him? The Seekers and Snitches hated each other and always made rude remarks to each other, but they had never actually gotten into a fight. This was what confused Remus more. The fact that out of everything he had said to annoy Black before, the conversation they had had earlier was what caused him to get punched.

Dinner continued in peace, the occasional comment thrown from Seeker to Snitch and vice versa. Overall though, not much happened and Remus was glad that Sirius had made the apparent decision to not talk to him or mention what had happened between the two of them earlier.

As they finished dessert, Peter keeping them back to have seconds of apple pie, the Snitches began to head off. Remus had been zoning out for most of dessert and was ready to go back to sleep. He already missed the comfort of his bed.

“Well, I’m probably going to head in now.”

“What?” Mary whined, clinging onto Remus’ arm. “Come on, we’ve only just arrived. Let’s hang out before school actually starts on Monday.”

“Come on Rem, don’t be a spoil sport.” Lily teased.

“Nah, I’m tired. Besides, we have all weekend to hang out.”

“Lame.” Mary said, dragging out the word.

“Fine, but just know that when you come crawling back to us for chocolate we won’t give you any.” Peter said, shaking his head and taking a step back.

Remus feigned an offended gasp, Lily and Mary widening their eyes dramatically. “How dare you suggest such a thing.”

They all laughed for a few moments, before saying good night and parting ways. Remus entered his room, walking over to the bathroom. As he looked into the mirror, his eyes traced the scars across his face. Every night he prayed that they would fade away, however he knew they never would. He had had them since he was 9 years old. How could anyone find him attractive with scars like this? Not even he could stand looking at the mirror more than necessary. His eyes fell on the bruise that was forming on his cheek. Damn, Sirius could punch hard.

He finished brushing his teeth and changing into his pyjamas. As he walked out, hair messy, he saw Sirius sitting on his bed. Sirius looked up at him for a moment, and Remus thought he was going to ignore him and continue reading his magazine, but looking up again he noticed that Sirius was still watching him.

“What are you staring at Black?” Remus finally said, clicking his fingers in front of Sirius to get his attention.

Sirius was silent for a moment, before saying, much too softly for his usual behaviour, “I’m sorry.”

Now that was unexpected. “What?”

Sirius continued to stare at Remus. “For punching you. I’m sorry. I overreacted and yeah.”

Remus continued to stare at him. How the fuck was he supposed to respond to that? “Yeah, well you should be sorry. Sorry that you punch like a wimp.”

Sirius laughed slightly, a small grin appearing on his face. “Fine then. Don’t take my apology Lupin. I was only giving it so you didn’t get butt hurt about it.”

“Well, you were bags on the money about overreacting, drama queen.”

“Drama queen? And what on earth made you think I, Sirius Black, the most handsome and sexy person at this very school, and possibly the whole world, am a drama queen?” As he said this, his voice booming, he gave a spin to apparently show off his supposedly handsome and sexy self before looking back at Remus and winking.

“You? Handsome and sexy? Prat, more like.”

“Well,” Sirius dragged out the word, already smirking to himself. “That’s not what anyone I’ve brought into this room has said.”

Remus’ eyes widened slightly, “Don’t you dare fuck anyone in this room while I’m in here. I am not walking in on you and some girl making out.”

“Nah, bet that’d turn you on too much huh?”

“In your dreams Black. Now fuck off so I can go to sleep.”

Sirius threw his pillow at Remus, standing up from his bed. As he walked past to get to the bathroom, he winked, earning a whack from the pillow Remus now held. “Arsehole.”

“Twat.”

Remus stood there staring at the closed bathroom door for a few seconds, smiling to himself as he shook his head. God, he had to deal with this dumbass for a whole year. Like seriously, how did he land the dumbest, most annoying jerk in their whole year level? He grabbed Sirius’ magazine from his bed and chucked it under to the floor. Laughing to himself, he hopped into his own bed, pulling the covers above his face. It felt good to sleep in an actually comfortable bed with soft pillows and warm blankets, and so he fell asleep within minutes.

Chapter Text

God, he hated him. Sirius Black hated Remus Lupin so fucking much. First of all, when he had come out of the bathroom after getting ready for bed, he realised that his magazine was missing. He then proceeded to fight, or rather try to fight, with Lupin about it, but he was asleep and refused to wake up long enough to listen to him. Then he had to go fishing for ten minutes under his bed for the magazine after he finally found it. And now, the next morning, he was waiting outside the bathroom, banging on the door.

“Open the fucking door Lupin! It’s my turn in there!”

“Fuck off Black, you always look a mess anyway so there’s no point trying to get pretty in here.”

“Excuse me, I’m drop dead fucking gorgeous.”

“Uh huh, when you look in the mirror, say hi to the clown you see in there for me.”

With that, the door opened and Remus walked out. Sirius pushed past him, flipping his hair melodramatically.

“Don’t stink it up too much Black, I still need to go in there later to clean my eyeballs out from having to look at you all day.” Remus called back to him, walking out of the dorm without closing the door behind him.

“Lupin! Close the fucking door!” Sirius called loudly, moving quickly towards the door and slamming it shut. “Fucking hell, why is he such a jerk?”

“I heard that, dickface.”

“Good, you piece of shit.”

Sirius heard Remus sigh loudly out of annoyance and laughed quietly to himself. The one good thing about sharing a room with Lupin was getting to piss him off whenever he wanted to. The bad thing: everything else. He went into the bathroom and began to get changed. It was Saturday so he could wear whatever he liked. School didn’t officially start until Monday, however every year it opened up on the Friday before so then students who lived far away had time to arrive and settle in first. Sirius threw on some black jeans, an oversized white band tee and a black leather jacket.

“Damn you looking fine Sirius.” He said, checking himself out in the mirror.

Grabbing a hairband, he pulled his hair up into a half up ponytail, leaving some front pieces to frame his face. Done. He walked out of the room, making sure to close the door behind him unlike some idiots who were apparently incapable of closing doors. He walked through the halls, taking in his surroundings. Hogwarts had been built centuries ago and resembled a castle, with its tall towers and large size. Sirius had to admit, Hogwarts was truly the coolest school he’d ever heard of. Most other high schools were small and only really had classrooms and a cafeteria. Hogwarts wasn’t like that. No, it had classroom upon classroom as well as a huge hall dedicated to their meals, chandeliers being used to provide light. The Entrance Hall was grand, statues and markings on the wall acting as decoration. Further, there were about five floors, plus the uppermost tower, the Astronomy tower. That was possibly Sirius’ favourite place of all. He loved to stargaze and had done so since he was a child. But he also liked the solitude of it, the way no one ever really went up there unless there was a lesson being held. He would go up to think, have a smoke or just simply exist. It was the one place he felt he could escape from the world. Not even James knew that he went up there.

Sirius entered the Great Hall, scanning the room for his friends. Just as he found them, about to make a loud entrance, he saw the Snitches sitting next to them. What the fuck were they doing there?

“Potter, when did we start hanging out with these losers?” Sirius called out, arriving by James’ side.

James looked up at him and rolled his eyes, “They’re the ones who came to us and we aren’t moving. They should.”

“Unfortunately, you don’t actually own this spot though do you Potter? So why don’t you grow the fuck up and since you don’t want to be near us, and trust me we feel the same about you, then leave.” Lily snapped, glaring over at James.

“Oh come on Evans, you can’t seriously want me to leave your side?” James ran his hands through his hair and gave a grin. It wasn’t the usual mocking smirk that James usually gave the Snitches, Sirius noticed. No, it was more bashful yet flirtatious. Wait, no way did James have a thing for Evans.

“You wish, Potter. As if anyone would want to hang out with an arrogant git like you, except for these jerks.” Lily retorted, rolling her eyes as she turned away dismissively.

“No need to be butt hurt Evans just because you’ve got lame ass friends.” Marlene said as she swallowed a mouthful of cereal.

“Whatever, let's just eat breakfast and ignore these idiots.” Peter said, turning away from the Seekers and beginning to talk to Mary. Probably about some stupid music shit. Stupid music students, thinking they’re so cool because they’re in band. Well, news flash, they aren’t.

Sirius sat down, reaching over to grab some toast. As he went to grab a piece, Remus did as well and their hands knocked into each other. Remus recoiled quickly, apologising before apparently realising that he had apologised to Sirius and then changing his facial expression to a scowl.

“Watch where you stick your filthy paws, Lupin.”

“Shove off, Black.” He spat back, deciding not to eat any toast and instead pouring some more pumpkin juice into his glass.

“So, I’m guessing you two were at each other’s throats all night?” Dorcas questioned, laughing slightly to herself.

“Never in my life have I genuinely considered sleeping outside more than last night.” Sirius replied, shaking his head as he thought about the prospect of having to repeat last night’s events every night for the whole year.

“Well, Dorcas and I are still together so we’re all good.” Marlene said as she poured some orange juice into her and Dorcas’ glasses.

“What?” Sirius yelled out, much louder than he meant to. This was the most unfair thing he had heard all day. “You’re telling me, you two get to still be together and I get stuck with Lupin for a roommate.”

“I’m right here, Black.” Remus’ voice interjected their conversation.

Sirius ignored him completely however, continuing, “Who’d you get then James?”

“I got Xenophilius, Xenophilius Lovegood.” James replied, mouth full.

“This is so unfair.” Sirius placed his head on the table, groaning to himself loudly.

“Shut up Sirius, you’re going to make a teacher come over.” Marlene laughed, pushing his head gently.

“Good.” Sirius called out, lifting his head from the table and pouting. “Then maybe they’d see how much I’m suffering.”

“I think I’m the one suffering Black.” Remus interrupted again. God, why did he feel the need to join in on their conversation. Why couldn’t he go and be boring with his own friends? “You are the most exhausting and dramatic roommate in the whole world.”

“He has a point you know, Sirius.” James said, laughing as Sirius whipped his hair around, a look of disgust and betrayal on his face.

“James!” Sirius yelled, voice getting higher pitched. “You’re meant to be on my side, not his. Where is the loyalty? The trust? After all these years, you do this?”

All the Snitches and Seekers laughed at that. “Chill, I just mean you can be quite dramatic.”

“Dramatic? I’m not dramatic. I’m perfectly reasonable and I respond to things in a perfectly reasonable way, thank you very much.”

The silence that followed caused everyone to laugh again, including Sirius. He glanced at Remus, who was also laughing, and immediately stopped. He couldn’t be laughing with the Snitches, that would be disgusting. But as he glanced back, the image of Remus’ eyes crinkled and mouth open slightly as he laughed, showing off his teeth, he couldn’t help but smile. He had never noticed how Remus scrunched up his nose slightly when he laughed, the freckles that dotted his face or the way that his eyelashes were so long. Wait, what? Of course Sirius hadn’t noticed any of that. Because he hated Remus and everything about him. God, what was happening to him?

“Mate?” Sirius snapped out of his thoughts, looking over to see that James, Marlene and Dorcas were all standing up. He realised that he definitely had been thinking about Remus for way too long. Marlene and Dorcas looked at each other and began laughing quietly. “You coming or what?” James continued.

“Huh?” Sirius looked around and saw more people beginning to make their way out of the Hall. Breakfast must be nearly over. “Oh yeah. Of course. Can’t escape me that easily.” He jumped up, skipping forward a few steps, doing a spin and then bowing towards his friends. They laughed as they caught up to him. Good, they hadn’t questioned why he had been zoned out a minute ago. God, sharing a room with Remus was already destroying his brain cells.

***

The rest of the day, they just hung out in Marlene and Dorcas’ room and planned pranks for the term. Every first day of school, the Seekers pulled a big prank to start off the year. It needed to be perfect.

Dorcas suddenly jumped up, “Okay, how’s this: we steal everyone’s right shoe, that way we’ll all be left footed.”

They all laughed at the stupidity of the suggestion. “And how on earth would we steal everyone’s right shoe, Dork?” Marlene said, grinning wide still.

“I don't know. Why do I need to think of everything for this prank? Gosh, at least pretend you have a brain and can come up with half as good ideas as I can.” Dorcas replied, voice dripping with sarcasm as she sat back down.

“Yeah, because stealing everyone’s shoes is a great idea.” Sirius laughed out.

“Well, what do you propose we do then Sirius?”

“I don’t know, come up with actually good ideas?” In response to this, Sirius got hit by a pillow thrown at him by Dorcas.

This started a full blown pillow fight between the four friends, ending with Marlene as the victor and a fit of laughter as she stood on her bed looking down at the other three. God Sirius loved these people.

“Okay, well I’m getting tired now.” Dorcas said after she had calmed down her breathing, giving a short yawn.

Sirius and James both started to whine, however Marlene yelled over them, “I agree. It’s time for bed so get out of here.”

“Spoil sport.” James complained, however he began brushing off his pants from stray feathers.

Sirius wasn’t planning on leaving that easily however. “Oh come on ladies. We all know you’re desperate to have me spend the night.”

“You’re right Sirius, come here and let us both make love to you.” Marlene said, putting on a more feminine and seductive voice. She made her way over to Sirius and grabbed his upper arm, feeling his biceps. Sirius made a kissing face at her, only stopping when Dorcas hit them both with a pillow and James started making gagging sounds.

“Eww literally stop. You two are gross.”

“Awww come on Dorcas, you know you love us?” Marlene draped an arm over Dorcas’ shoulders, looking at her with what Sirius guessed were meant to be puppy dog eyes. Dorcas just looked at Marlene with disgust, pushing Marlene’s arm off her and taking a step away. The four friends all burst out into laughter.

“Okay, get out of here. We’ll see you in the morning!” They all said their goodbyes and James and Sirius left the room, after Sirius had tried to kiss Dorcas on the cheek goodnight.

It was slightly chilly in the halls so Sirius pulled his leather jacket tighter around himself. Outside a window he saw that the sky was dark and the stars were beginning to appear in the sky. They were definitely out after curfew.

‘So,” James said suddenly, breaking the silence that had formed as they tried to walk quietly to their dorms without being caught. They didn’t mind getting detentions, they got them often, but they couldn’t afford getting one tonight and wasting time not planning their prank. “How’s it going with Lupin?”

“What do you mean how’s it going with Lupin?” He couldn’t know about how Sirius had been admiring Remus’ laugh earlier surely?

“Y’know? Sharing a room with him?” Oh yeah, that. “You hate him and he hates you and I know that you don’t like sharing rooms with people you don’t know or trust.”

James was right. Sirius would only ever willingly share a room with James, Marlene, Dorcas and Regulus. Otherwise, he couldn’t sleep and struggled to manage his thoughts and stress. “Yeah, well it’s going as well as you’d think it would.”

James stopped walking, gently placing a hand on Sirius’ shoulder to stop him from continuing onwards as he would have liked to. Sirius sighed. He did not want to talk about this right now. Or ever really. But if James Potter was one thing, it was persistent.

“Sirius.” Sirius looked up at him, seeing how his eyes were trying to search Sirius’ for any information. “Do you want to ask about switching rooms? I’m sure if they heard about why you can’t the—”

“No!” It came out harsher than Sirius wanted. James pulled his arm back, eyes slightly widened. Sirius softened his voice and continued, “No. James, look I know you mean well. I know. But, I can’t tell them. I can’t tell them about why.”

“You wouldn’t have to. You could just say that it makes you… I don’t know... Uncomfortable?”

“No James. They’d want me to explain and I’m sorry, I can’t talk about that with them. Not yet. I’m not ready for that.” Sirius looked down, too embarrassed to look at James. Embarrassed at how pathetic he probably looked. Any normal person would do anything to ask for help and report their abusive parents. Not Sirius apparently, no he was probably the one person who didn’t want to, or rather felt that they couldn’t get help. Or that’s what he thought anyway as he looked down towards his shoes.

James put his hand back on Sirius’ shoulder, before pulling him into a hug slowly, making sure that it was okay to do so. “Okay. I understand. Just, please stay safe and look after yourself Sirius. I know you try to act like the lack of sleep doesn’t bother you, but I know it does.”

Sirius hugged him back tighter, nodding his head against his shoulder. When he pulled away, eyes slightly watery, he looked at James and gave a smirk. “Fucking sap.”

James laughed, “I’m a lovable fool, an affectionate bastard and a sappy motherfucker if you will.”

They continued walking towards their dorms, Sirius saying goodnight to James when they arrived at his. When he finally made it to his own dorm, the lights were already off. He turned on his bedside lamp, looking over at the bundle of blankets on Remus’ bed. Why was he covering his head with the blankets? Wasn’t he worried he would suffocate? Just as Sirius was about to walk into the bathroom to get ready for bed, he decided that if Remus wasn’t worried about suffocating, then he was. Look, he may hate the dick but still. He didn’t want him to die. What if he stunk up the room with his rotting body? Or what if Sirius was blamed for his death? It would seem a likely thing for one of them to kill the other considering they hated each other. And so, Sirius walked over and gently tugged the blanket from Remus’ hands and pulled it away from his face. He looked so soft when asleep. It was looking at the way his features appeared so at peace in that moment that Sirius realised how tense and nervous Remus always looked. He was always fidgeting and his eyes were always looking out for something, following any noise made. He had scars on his lips from biting them, a habit which Sirius had noticed earlier. Along with these scars, were two long ones across his face. Sirius had obviously noticed them before. It was impossible to not notice them. They were huge and stood out white against his slightly tanned skin. Sirius didn’t know how he had gotten them but he had heard that Remus had been attacked by a dog as a child. Whether this was true or not he didn’t know. It was the most plausible theory that had been spread by the year level over the last four years though.

Remus began to stir, and Sirius quickly moved with his pyjamas into the bathroom, shutting the door quietly behind him. As he got ready for bed, he yawned. God he was tired. He hadn’t managed to sleep much the night before, waking up every five minutes to make sure everything was okay. In total, he didn’t even think he got more than 2 hours of sleep. He hoped things would change though. If not, he had a tiring year ahead of him.

Chapter Text

When Remus woke up, the sun was just rising, it’s light only just appearing over the room’s closed curtains. Checking his clock, he saw that it was 5am. He swung his legs over his bed, giving a yawn, and walked over to the bathroom to get changed for the day. His chosen outfit was a pair of brown trousers and one of what Lily liked to call his “grandpa sweaters”. He looked at his reflection, splashing cold water over his face to wake himself up. He accidentally hit his cheek, causing a sharp pain. He looked at the bruise, now a light mixture of purples and blues on his left cheek. Great, he thought, another mark on my face. Sighing to himself, he walked out of the bathroom, stopping at the entrance as he looked up. Sirius was standing in front of him, shirtless. He was facing the opposite direction, his long hair falling just past his shoulders. Remus could see how Sirius was fairly built, not that he cared or anything. It didn’t even cross his mind how hot Sirius looked right then.

“Ahem.” Remus snapped out of his thoughts, having been staring at Sirius for a solid twenty seconds. “I’m not a piece of meat Lupin, eyes up here.” Sirius was smirking, pointing to his grey eyes.

Remus felt himself blushing and began trying to stutter out a response. Why was he shirtless in the middle of the room? Logically, Remus understood that this was completely normal. Peter used to change in front of him all the time. It’s just, Remus would never even consider changing in front of people, too ashamed of the scars that littered his body. And it didn’t help that Sirius actually had a really good body.

Sirius gave a laugh, walking past Remus and giving him a wink. “Quit hogging the bathroom you dick.”

“Well quit making me need to bleach my eyes out and stay away from me then.” Remus retorted, gaining a fracture of his composure back.

“Awww, so you were thinking about me in there? No wonder you came out just to stare at me.” Sirius smiled sweetly, acting flattered at the sentiment.

“Oh fuck off Black. You wish I gave a thought about your stupid ass.”

“My ass is gorgeous thank you.”

With that, he closed the bathroom door and Remus heard the shower turn on. A minute later Sirius began singing Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy by Queen. Remus stood there in shock for a moment. He hated to admit it, but Sirius sang pretty good. Not good on a professional level, but more on a he could almost sing in the right key level.

Deciding that he wasn’t going to go to the library as he had originally planned, totally not because he wanted to hear the rest of Sirius’ rendition of a Queen concert, he sat down at his desk. As he pulled out his notebook, he heard Sirius begin to sing Killer Queen. He was getting way too into it and Remus couldn’t help but laugh. God he wished he had a phone to record this. Remus had never had a phone before, his father refusing to let him have one. Remus thought it was because he didn’t want Remus having contact with friends while at home, and also because he didn’t want to risk Remus calling anyone on him. Many times Remus had thought about buying one, but the risk of it being found by his father who often searched his room was too big. Besides, he didn’t earn that much money from the gigs he did with the Snitches to afford buying a phone only to have it taken away right after.

He began brainstorming ideas for new songs. He was dead set on writing a whole album for the Snitches this year. So far, he had written four songs and was now working on the fifth. Usually, the band just played covers of songs and maybe one or two of their own original lyrics. However this year, Remus really wanted to push himself and write all of the songs they would perform. The big talent show was at the end of the semester so he really had to work hard and get the songs finished. Unfortunately, he was completely stuck on this song. He didn’t have anything written down, unsure of what he wanted to write about. He knew Lily would have written a song or two over the holidays, but he didn’t want to leave it up to her to think of them all. He knew he wasn’t as talented as the others and that he often dragged them down and so he really wanted to prove himself to them.

“Whatcha doing Loopy?” Remus had just registered Sirius’ presence behind him, when Sirius snatched the notebook from the desk.

“Give it back. Sirius, give it back.” Remus jumped up, reaching for the book.

Sirius ran off with it to the other side of the room, opening to one of the pages. “Poetry! It’s poetry!”

Remus launched himself across the room, grabbing for it. This led to a chase around the room. Remus may have been taller, but Sirius was on the football team and was much faster than he was. Eventually, Remus crashed into Sirius, causing them both to fall. He grabbed the book and tried to get up, getting tangled in Sirius’ legs and falling over again. They both broke out into laughter.

“You are such an idiot.” Remus said between laughs, shaking his head as he closed his notebook.

Sirius just laughed in response, carefully untangling their legs and sitting back. They were now in the middle of the room, sitting on the floor in fits of breathless laughter. Every time they managed to stop laughing, one of them would look at the other and immediately start again.

Eventually, they calmed down enough for Sirius to say, “So, you write poetry then?”

Remus looked over at him, now embarrassed at the thought that Sirius had read his lyrics. “No. Umm… they’re lyrics. Not poetry.”

Sirius nodded his head, apparently remembering the fact that Remus was in a band. “Ohh… What are they about?”

“Pardon?”

“The lyrics? What are they about?” Remus looked at Sirius confused. Sirius appeared to be genuinely curious.

“They’re about an ugly brainless idiot which I have been forced to room with.” Remus said, voice dripping with sarcasm as he began to stand up. Sirius did the same.

“Well, I hope you mention that this guy is actually gorgeous and sexy and a lady killer.” He retorted, brushing off his pants.

“Oh yeah, I’ve mentioned that he’s a lady killer. Ladies take one look at him and die of shock.”

Sirius laughed. Remus had noticed that his laugh resembled a bark. He also realised that Sirius was still wet from his shower, his hair pushed back to reveal his forehead. He was dripping water all over the floor.

“Black, dry your fucking hair. You’ve soaked the floor.” Remus complained, shoving Sirius in the direction of the bathroom.

“Fine, fine. Calm down dumbass.” Sirius looked towards Remus, smiling for a moment, before shaking his head aggressively. Remus felt water splash onto him from Sirius’ hair.

“Oh my god, fuck off. You’re a literal dog.” Remus said, trying to sound annoyed but actually holding back a grin.

Sirius laughed as he walked back into the bathroom, closing the door behind him.

Idiot, Remus thought to himself. Deciding that no work was going to get done, Remus tucked his notebook under his mattress and headed out. He would try to find the others and hang out with them for the rest of the day. Anything to get away from his dorm and his stupid roommate.

***

“Oh my God Remus, these are amazing!” Lily said, voice getting higher from excitement.

“Woah, Rem this is so good!” Mary said, flipping through pages as Peter nodded along in agreement.

Remus sat there bashfully. He had given his lyrics to the three other Snitches to read over. He’d asked them to give feedback on what he needed to change, not believing that the lyrics were good enough.

“Thanks.” He could tell he was blushing. “Umm… So how should we change them?”

“Change them?” Peter yelled, as if this suggestion was completely outrageous. “They’re brilliant Remus.”

“I agree, there is no way we are changing them. I mean, come on. I thought my cheeks had broken, I thought my scars had burst into flames. Rem these are amazing.” Lily said, reading back through the lyrics she had in her hands.

“Have you thought of music to go with them?” Mary asked, running her hands through her hair as the wind picked up slightly.

“Not yet. I don’t have a piano or anything at home to practice on so I have to wait until we can use the music room.” Remus explained.

“We could ask now? Mr Flitwick usually lets us in if we ask.” Peter suggested, looking between his three friends.

“Great idea Pete! We’ll head over now and help make music for them!” Lily said, standing up before helping to pull Peter up as well.

Mary and Remus followed, standing up to head to the music rooms. The music rooms were on the far left side of the school, tucked away in some old classrooms. Mr Flitwick, a short old man, was Hogwarts’ only music teacher. He was a kind man and often let students come into the music rooms before and after classes or during breaks to play the instruments. The Snitches had been in his class every year since first year and were by far his favourites, although he tried not to admit it to anyone else but them. He was one of the reasons why their band even started. While Peter had brought them all together in a way to play in the music room, it was Mr Flitwick who managed to get the school’s approval for outer school gigs and school concerts for the band. He had spent many days each week practicing with them, helping them perfect their songs and had even bought them outfits for a few of their gigs before. Remus couldn’t think of a teacher he loved more than Mr Flitwick.

As they arrived at the music rooms, Lily entering one first, they saw Mr Flitwick teaching a younger girl how to play the piano. Remus recognised her from choir. Emmeline Vance, a fourth year. She was trying to do Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, a classic piece for students learning the piano. She seemed to be struggling at a certain part.

It was at that moment that Flitwick turned around, having noticed the presence of the Snitches. “Well if it isn’t my favourite band. Come in, come in. How are you all?”

Flitwick rushed over and gave them all a handshake, it being too hard to hug him since he was so small. “We’re doing really well sir. How are you?” Lily chimed, smiling at him brightly.

“Just fine myself Lily, just fine. Is it a room you’re looking for?” He gave them a knowing look, already searching his pockets for the keys.

“Yes please. We have some lyrics we need music for.” Mary said, reaching for the keys from Flitwick.

“How exciting! You’ll have to let me read them. Who was it that wrote them? Or was it a group effort?”

“Remus did. They are amazing Sir, you have to read them!” Peter piped up, looking very proud and excited for Remus. Remus himself was blushing and had started playing with the sleeves of his sweater.

“Of course he did. You have a real talent, Remus.” He looked up at Remus and smiled gently. He was aware of the fact that Remus didn’t believe he was that good at music or writing, continuously trying to let him know just how good he really was. Just as the four of them turned to leave the room and find an empty one, Flitwick called out, “Remus, can I borrow you for a minute? Miss Vance here is trying to learn Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and we could use your help showing her how to get this part right?”

Remus stood there, unsure of what to do. It’s not like he didn’t want to help out, he just knew he’d mess up and embarrass himself. Lily made the decision for him however.

“We’ll meet you next door Remus.” She smiled at Flitwick and Emmeline Vance, who was smiling nervously at Remus, before walking out of the room with Peter and Mary.

Remus walked over awkwardly, giving a small smile to Flitwick and Emmeline. He didn’t know that Emmeline had an interest in the piano. She was a really good vocalist and had a voice like an angel, but he had never seen her play an instrument before. He took a seat next to Emmeline and looked nervously at the piano. He hadn’t played piano since last year and was both nervous but excited to play again. He didn’t want to mess up in front of Flitwick and Emmeline and show what a disaster he was, but he was also so happy to be sitting in front of a piano again. It reminded him so much of his mother and the happier times of his life.

“Okay, so can you play the song in full for her and then in increments so she can pick up how it goes together?” Flitwick asked.

Remus nodded his head, barely taking in the words. However, just as he was about to start playing, the door opened and a boy came in. “Mr Flitwick, Miss McGonagall is asking for you.”

Flitwick jumped up, excusing himself from the room and walked off with the boy. Remus and Emmeline sat in silence. Shit, now what was he supposed to do? Continue teaching her or wait for Flitwick to come back? Honestly, he just wanted to go find Lily, Peter and Mary and forget that this had happened completely.

“So, how are you Remus?” Remus jumped slightly, having zoned out. Emmeline was looking at him curiously, and he swore he could see a blush on her cheeks. Maybe she was sick? Or just as embarrassed as he was?

“Umm… Yeah, I’m fine. How are you?” Great, they had resorted to small talk. His favourite.

“I’m doing good, wish classes didn’t start tomorrow though. Are you excited for this year? You're in fifth year now right?” She was playing with a bracelet on her wrist, twisting the beads around.

“Yep, senior school now. And, I’m not really looking forward to it. I mean, I like being at school and hanging out with friends but classes aren’t really that fun.”

“You enjoy choir though don’t you?” She looked at him hopefully.

He smiled at her warmly, “Of course I love choir. Everyone there is so sweet. Are you doing it this year?” He already knew the answer but thought he should ask anyway.

“Yep! I’m really looking forward to it. We should umm…” She broke off, looking nervously towards her hands. Remus waited for her to continue, unsure of why she had stopped. After a moment she continued, looking him in the eyes with an expression he couldn’t quite place. “We should practice some time. Together, you know?”

Oh, that was it? “Yeah, sure. That’d be fun.” He smiled at the way her face lit up. God, she must love choir as much as he did. “Well, we should get to this piece now, huh?”

He began playing the song for her and together they practiced different sections. By the end of it, he was sick of hearing the song.

“I'm sorry Emmeline, but I am never playing that song ever again.” He laughed out, gaining a laugh from her in return.

“You play beautifully Remus. I love hearing you play the piano.”

Remus blushed, looking down towards his hands as he pulled his sleeves over them. “I’m not that good. Thank you though.”

“What? Remus you’re literally amazing. If I’m being honest, you’re the reason why I want to learn piano.”

“Pardon?” He hadn’t been expecting that. He wasn’t even that good at piano.

“Rem? Are you done yet?” Lily’s voice carried across to where Remus was sitting looking confused at Emmeline. He turned around and saw her poking her head through the doorway. He looked back towards Emmeline who suddenly looked embarrassed and awkward.

Smiling, he said, “Thank you Emmeline. I’d love to hear you play piano at the concert later this year. See you in choir!”

At these words she beamed back at him. “Yep! See you Remus! You too Lily!”

Lily and Remus waved goodbye as they left the room. Remus was proud of himself for sticking that out and even managing to enjoy himself. Emmeline was really sweet and she was always smiling. She was also pretty good at piano. She needed some help remembering finger placement and with flow, however with practice she’d be really good.

“She likes you.” Lily sing-songed as they walked into the next room.

“Who likes who?” Mary asked, grabbing her guitar from its case.

“Emmeline likes Remus.” Peter chimed in, laughing.

“She does not. We were only practicing piano.” Remus called over the top of the other three’s laughter.

“Sure.” Mary dragged out, “And she totally was not ecstatic that it was you that Flitwick asked to help her?”

“No, she was just happy to get help. From anyone.” Remus replied shortly, moving over to get set up at a piano. There was no way that Emmeline liked him.

“Remus she’s always looking at you in choir. And she keeps trying to be in the same practice group as you. Honestly if we weren’t here she would have locked you up in a practice room by now.” Peter joked, spinning his drumsticks in his hands.

“Gross. No, she just wants to learn piano. That’s it. Now, are we going to practice or not?” Remus was not enjoying this conversation at all. Emmeline was definitely not interested in him. And he wasn’t interested in her. Not that he really knew what it was like to be interested in anyone. Sure, he thought Emmeline was sweet, and he could even admit that she was pretty. She always had her auburn hair styled nicely, curled slightly with framing pieces. And she had these gorgeous brown eyes that stood out beautifully with her tan skin. But Remus couldn’t like her. Not in that way. He believed that surely if you loved someone, you would just… know. And Remus hadn’t ever experienced that before.

“If you say so.” Lily sang again, laughing before grabbing out a notebook to write notes down for their songs. “So, which song first?”

Chapter Text

“Okay, how about we fill the Great Hall and a few classrooms throughout the school with balloons?” Sirius asked, sitting on Marlene’s bed as he threw a ball to James who sat on Dorcas’. They had been brainstorming prank ideas all day. So far, there had been suggestions of putting party poppers on every door to scare people (which was rejected because James said that some people are sensitive to noise and so that wouldn’t be a fun prank), putting hot sauce in everyone’s breakfast (but that was too similar to last year’s start of the year prank) and many others.

“Oh, that’s a good one! They’d have to spend all day cleaning them out. Maybe we’d even miss out on classes!” James agreed, throwing the ball back to Sirius.

“It is a good idea. But how would we get that many balloons by tomorrow morning?” Dorcas asked, looking up from her phone.

“Leave that to me. And the helium. My parents will be able to bring them.” James said, getting up from his bed to grab his phone. On his way back, he went to stand over Dorcas who was lying stomach down on the ground. “Who are you texting?”

“James! Go away!” She called out, jumping up and turning off her phone. “Stop being nosy!”

James jumped after her grinning, trying to grab her phone. Sirius and Marlene laughed at the sight, neither of them bothering to help. Dorcas jumped up next to Sirius and sat behind him. “Protect me Sirius. He’s gone mad!”

Rolling his eyes, Sirius jumped up, now standing in front of Dorcas on the bed. “Don’t worry dear maiden, I’ll protect you from this lump of an idiot.”

With that, James and Sirius began a very dramatic sword fight, Sirius using a hairbrush and James using a coat hanger. James was victorious and, having forgotten about Dorcas’ phone, began jumping up and down around the room. “And the crowd goes wild! Sports Star James Potter has done it again!”

The three others laughed, Marlene saying “Cool it Potter or you'll run out of energy for our actual games.”

“Yeah, well, I think it’s Sirius we need to worry about, not me.” He retorted back, jumping back on Dorcas’ bed to sit down.

“Hey! You only won because I had a fucking hairbrush to fight with.” Sirius snapped, throwing said hairbrush at James who only just managed to dodge it.

“A good fighter is able to use anything and everything to win a battle. Even a hairbrush.” Dorcas said, as if this was the wisest piece of knowledge to exist.

“Umm excuse me. Wasn’t I helping you?” Sirius turned towards Dorcas, a look of pure betrayal on his face.

She just shrugged in response, gaining a laugh from both James and Marlene. Sirius stomped over dramatically to the other side of the room. “Fine then. Be that way.”

“Could you get more dramatic?” Marlene saighed, rolling her eyes.

“Yes, yes I can and I will if you don’t watch out.”

“Just what we need. Sirius Orion Black to become more dramatic.” James laughed, widening his eyes slightly at the thought of the chaos that would cause.

Dorcas suddenly jumped up from where she had been sitting. “Marls, we got an email from Miss Hooch. She wants the cheer team to meet her at the oval.”

Marlene looked up from her own phone, a curious look on her face. “What for?”

“Dunno. Probably just to go prepare for the next routine and for our new members.”

“Well, see ya later then boys.” Marlene said, grabbing a red hoodie to go over her Led Zeppelin band tee. “You two boys can plan the rest of the prank while we’re gone.”

***

A half hour later, Sirius was sitting in a branch of a tree. He and James had finished planning the rest of the prank and James had been called down to the front office to meet with Miss McGonagall. Sirius has found this odd. They hadn’t caused too much trouble since arriving yet. They had already gone swimming in the lake and convinced other students to join in, but by the time a teacher came, there were too many students to tell who had started it. Although, Sirius was fairly sure that they did in fact know who started it. They just didn’t have proof and no other students wanted to rat the Seekers out. So why James had been called to have a meeting with Miss McGonagall, he didn’t know.

Anyway, now he was sitting in a tree, drawing. Sirius had been forced to do art lessons as a kid so he was rather good at painting and sketching realistic portraits or landscapes. However, he also found joy in drawing caricatures, much to the displeasure of his parents. He remembers his first cartoon he drew. He was around nine years old and was annoyed at his history tutor and so he decided to draw him. His tutor had a quite large nose and bushy eyebrows and so when Sirius drew him, he gave him a nose almost as large as his head with bulges (that now reminded him of the whomping willow) and eyebrows that covered most of his forehead. He had been quite amused by it once it had been completed, proud enough to even show Regulus. However, when his tutor walked into Sirius’ bedroom looking for him and Regulus, he was not as amused. Sirius remembered getting slapped by his tutor and when his mother came in, instead of getting sympathy, she too hit him. He was told never to partake in an activity so stupid and dishonouring, that he should spend his time making the family proud.

Bullshit, Sirius thought, what honour did his family have that was worth maintaining? Now, in the tree, he was drawing caricatures of anyone who walked past. Not mean ones necessarily, but with features exaggerated enough to give him a laugh. Just as he finished doing one of Lupin, drawing ears that were too big and eyes that scrunched up due to him laughing in the picture, the wind picked up slightly and Sirius lost grip on the sheet. It blew to the ground despite his attempt to catch it. As he went to hop down, he heard a voice call out, “Not me, I hope.”

Upon hearing the voice, Sirius fell out of the tree and onto the ground. He had not been expecting anyone to be there, it had been deserted besides himself for about 10 minutes now. However, looking up he saw Remus Lupin standing in front of him, a smirk on his face and the drawing in his hand. Sirius, blushing, jumped up to grab the paper, but Remus was quicker and held it above his head. He was significantly taller than Sirius was, probably reaching 6’1 or 6’2, whereas Sirius was only 5’7.

“Give it back Lupin!” Sirius growled, trying to reach up for the paper. Remus started laughing at the sight of Sirius jumping up for the paper, finding it way too hilarious for Sirius’ liking. “Give it back! It’s not yours you jerk!”

“Yeah, well it seems to be me, so...” Remus said, not finishing the sentence as he grinned.

Sirius, despite being mad, couldn’t help but notice that Remus’ nose was indeed scrunched up now just as it was in the drawing. Sick of being humiliated for his height, and also wanting to wipe that grin off of Remus’ face, Sirius tackled Remus to the ground. This must have taken Remus by surprise because he went down easily, shocked long enough for Sirius to grab the paper and sit on top of him. “Ha!”

Remus looked at him, eyes wide for a second, before smiling. Why was the jerk smirking? Sirius couldn’t tell if it was a smile or a smirk but either way he was confused. Remus looked up at Sirius who sat on his chest. “So, why were you drawing me?”

Fuck. That probably did look weird. Sirius didn’t know how to respond so instead he just blew on Remus’ face and then hopped off his chest to sit on the floor next to him. Remus paused for a moment before laughing, staying in his position on the ground. “Well? Am I on your mind that often?”

He was enjoying this way too much. “Yeah, because you’re ugly as fuck.” Sirius retorted, not looking Remus in the eyes.

“Most people don’t draw things they find ugly.”

“Yeah, well. I’m not most people.” Sirius felt so stupid but it’s not like he planned for Remus to see the drawing of him.

“Well, you’re certainly more stupid than most. But, the blush on your cheeks suggests that maybe I was on your mind.” Sirius could hear the grin in Remus’ voice and it only pissed him off more. He grabbed a handful of grass and threw it at Remus’ face, causing the other to sit up and show an expression of pure disgust towards Sirius. Upon seeing his face, Sirius burst into laughter.

“Oh my god, your face is even uglier than I thought.” Sirius tried to ignore the way Remus’ face dropped slightly.

“Well, here’s your drawing.” Remus gave him the piece of paper and stood up to walk off, giving a short nod.

Shit. Had he upset him that bad? “Lupin!” Look, he didn’t like the guy but he also wasn’t a jerk. Remus turned around, a solemn but confused expression on his face. “Take it. It's of you anyway.” Sirius held out the drawing towards Remus, waiting for him to take it.

As Remus reached for it, Sirius grabbed onto his hand and pulled himself up from the ground. He looked at Remus’ face, seeing the way in which his eyes grew increasingly bigger and as a red tint formed across his cheeks. He burst into a fit of laughter at the sight. “My god, you don’t need to look that scared.”

“Well, if a pig like you touches me of course I’m going to be scared.” Remus was avoiding eye contact, face flushed pink as he fumbled with the sleeves of his sweater. That was a habit that Sirius had noticed increasingly over the last few years, however after spending time with Remus the last few days, he noticed just how much he actually did it. Remus mumbled under his breath, a look of disgust still on his face, “I could catch a disease.”

“A disease? Yeah, a sexiness disease and trust me Lupin, you could use it.” It had come out before he realised, however once Sirius registered what he had said he immediately looked at Remus to see his reaction. Remus only gave a short laugh while shaking his head. Good. Maybe he really hadn’t been upset earlier and Sirius was overthinking it. Not that he actually cared about Lupin.

“Well, smell you later Black.” Remus said, beginning to walk off.

“Go die in a hole Lupin!”

God, Lupin was annoying as shit. As Sirius collected his stuff, deciding that it was probably best to start heading back inside as dinner would be starting soon, he couldn’t help but ponder on his last weekend. It had been three days dorming with Lupin and already he was confused. He still hated Remus and he was still repulsed by the idea that he was no longer rooming with James, however he didn’t hate it as much as he thought he would have. Sure, it sucked that Remus always seemed to wake up before him and hog the bathroom and that Remus always found ways to make things difficult for him, such as throwing his stuff in hard to reach places. But these were things that Sirius couldn’t help but be amused by.

And on top of that, Sirius couldn’t help but admit that Remus Lupin had gotten really hot over the holidays. He may have just been calling him ugly and making fun of him, but the real reason he was embarrassed was because he knew that none of it was true. No, Remus had really grown into himself over the holidays. He was never bad looking in Sirius’ opinion, however he had always been a bit lanky and his limbs did seem a little overgrown compared to the rest of him. However, this year he seemed to have grown to the point where his body matched the length of his limbs. On top of this, his hair had grown slightly longer and fell into soft curls and his freckles had become more noticeable over the Summer. His blue eyes and long eyelashes were gorgeous and Sirius adored the way that Remus looked so soft when he laughed. And the peacefulness of his face when asleep. Fuck. Sirius was scared. Scared because he knew that this, what he was feeling, wasn’t normal. He didn’t think of the other Snitches like this. And he didn’t think of James like this when they were roommates. In fact, he had never felt like this before but he had a feeling he knew someone who might have. He had said that Sirius could call him whenever and he still hadn’t managed to do so since arriving. Sirius just hoped he’d have some explanation about why Sirius was feeling this way about his mortal enemy. Surely, there was a good explanation.

Chapter Text

A loud buzzing noise woke Remus from his sleep. He could barely open eyes as he rolled over and turned off his alarm. God he did not want to go to classes today. It’s not like he didn’t do well in classes or enjoy the stuff he learnt, he just liked the comfort of his bed so much more. However, he knew he had to go to class and get good enough grades that his father wouldn’t threaten to not send him anymore. Not that Remus thought he would necessarily. He believed that his father thrived when Remus wasn’t at home and so the thought of having to keep Remus home the whole year instead of sending him to Hogwarts, was probably a nightmare of his father’s. Although his father did enjoy taking away the things he loved, so who knew what he would do.

Deciding that he had moped about having to get up for long enough, Remus slipped out of bed and began walking to the bathroom. On his way, he looked over towards Sirius’ bed. Weird. It was empty. Sirius never woke up before him, he never even set an alarm. Maybe he cared more about classes than Remus thought? Nah, he was probably just trying to hog the bathroom. Remus wasn’t going to let that happen.

“Open the door you pig!” Remus yelled out, knocking on the bathroom door loudly. “Hurry up!”

No response. “Not replying isn’t going to make me stop!”

Silence. What on earth was he doing in there? Not only was the fact that Sirius had been up before him weird, but the fact that he hadn’t tried to make Remus’ morning miserable by insulting him was also weird. Remus looked towards the bottom of the bathroom door and saw that the light was off. He grabbed the doorknob and turned it, surprised when it turned all the way and opened into a completely empty bathroom.

Remus didn’t know whether to feel grateful that he could go straight in or stupid that he had essentially just been yelling at nothing. This didn’t explain where Sirius was though or why he was out of bed. Not that Remus really cared or anything. He closed the door behind him and began putting on his school uniform. The Hogwarts uniform was pretty good: for boys they wore a white button down shirt with the Hogwarts logo on it, dark grey trousers and a red tie; for the girls they wore a white button down shirt, red tie or ribbon and a grey pleated skirt. There were also grey jumpers or sweater vests that could be worn for both males and females. All students were required to wear their uniform on class days and to extracurricular activities on the weekends, however on most weekends or in the evenings they were allowed to wear whatever they wanted as long as it didn’t breach any rules. This essentially just meant no revealing clothing and no inappropriate images.

Remus had never been dress coded before, mainly because he only wore his uniform and the same few sweaters everyday. He didn’t have many clothes to bring down with him so he just wore the same outfits each week. This came as a shock to many students in their first year, who had wardrobes full of expensive and nice clothes bought by themselves or their families. However, as the years went on, it became even more shocking to see Remus in a new sweater, or without a sweater on at all. Remus had noticed over the years that it was more the girls who wore the sweaters or vests, whereas the boys didn’t really wear them that often. However, he would never even consider not wearing one. He had scars that littered his body from his father’s beatings and some even from himself, ranging from his legs, back, chest and arms. He needed to cover them up at all times and thus, sweaters were a requirement.

Checking his tie once more in the mirror, Remus walked out of the bathroom and began heading down to the Great Hall. He doubted that anyone would be there yet, breakfast didn’t start until 7am and it was currently 6:46am. However, sometimes he managed to take some food before anyone arrived and then go sit in the library while reading or working. As he walked down the halls he noticed some new paintings had been put up. Hogwarts was full of different paintings: portraits, landscapes, still life pieces. There was an exceptional abundance of past students and teachers, all old paintings due to the fact that the school had been open for centuries. Remus had always had an interest in art but wasn’t very skilled at it. His hands were too shaky to draw the fine details or hold a paintbrush properly. Due to this, he had always admired those who could draw or paint. Even the drawing he had gotten from Sirius yesterday had impressed him. Remus was surprised at how Sirius was able to get such a likeness in the drawing despite him not being there as a reference. He was also surprised at how happy Sirius had made him look, as if he was mid laugh.

Just as he was thinking about the drawing and why Sirius felt the need to draw him, Remus heard a chorus of laughter coming from the Great Hall. Thinking he must have misheard it, Remus stood still outside the tall, oak doors for a few seconds. There came the laughter again however. One of which, Remus would never forget. He would recognise that bark-like laugh anywhere.

He pushed open the door, calling out in an annoyed voice, “What are you lot doing in here at this time of the morning?”

Silence. Remus stood in absolute shock as he took in the sight before him. At least a thousand balloons were floating in the room creating a sea of red, yellow and blue. James and Marlene stood staring at him, balloons in hand as they pumped helium into them from tanks. Marlene and Sirius looked as if they had been running around and putting the balloons into place, now paused mid action as they too stood, staring at Remus. If he hadn’t been so shocked and confused by the scene in front of him, Remus would have probably been embarrassed by the eyes on him. This silence continued until a loud bang sounded throughout the room, causing all five of the teenagers to jump. James swore as he looked down at the balloon in his hand which had just burst due to him getting distracted and letting it fill up too much.

Suddenly, a bell chimed, announcing the start of the school day and breakfast. Any minute now, the hall would be filled with unsuspecting students and teachers as they got ready for breakfast. In a blur of movement, James, Marlene and Dorcas all ran to hide in a closet at the side of the room. Remus, still confused, didn’t realise what was happening until he was suddenly being tugged along towards the closet as well. Sirius was pulling him hard and quick, practically throwing him into the closet and shutting the door, only leaving a small gap open.

“Hey! Wha-” Remus began, before Sirius placed his hand against his mouth.

“Shh!” Sirius death glared him, still not taking his hand from Remus’ mouth.

James, Marlene and Dorcas all crowded around the door, peering through the crack into the Great Hall. Sirius made to do so as well, raising his finger to his mouth to tell Remus to stay quiet. He slowly moved his other hand from Remus’ mouth, turning around and looking through the gap.

Rolling his eyes, Remus also kneeled down and peered into the Great Hall. Students could be heard walking down the corridors near the entrance. In just a few seconds they would enter the Great Hall which was so full of balloons you could barely walk around, some beginning to slowly drift towards the floor as they lost the helium in them. Clearly, the Seekers had been up for hours doing this. That explained why Sirius hadn’t been in bed that morning.

The large doors opened, causing all five of them to tense up slightly. Remus out of nerves for if they got caught and he was thought to have been a part of it, and James, Sirius, Marlene and Dorcas out of what Remus suspected was excitement.

“Woah!”

“What on earth?”

“Oh my god! Look at this!”

The voices of students as they entered the hall could be heard, cries of joy and choruses of laughter carrying through to the closet. Students went to pull their friends inside the room to get a better look, some were jumping up and down, climbing onto each other to grab at the balloons. Overall, it was received very positively.

“Yes!” The four Seekers whisper shouted, high fiving each other.

They all began laughing, alternating between peering through the door and giving each other excited glances. Remus felt like he was intruding. He too felt the excitement buzzing around the closet and Great Hall, he too wanted to laugh with the Seekers. But he didn’t have the right to do that. This wasn’t his prank and he wasn’t their friend. He shouldn’t even be there with them.

“Lupin, isn’t this great?” Sirius whisper-shouted, showing Remus a grin much too large for his face.

Remus wanted so much to be able to ignore Sirius or call him a mean name, but in that moment, looking at the expression of pure happiness on his face, he couldn’t bring himself to. Instead, he began to laugh along with the Seekers, nodding his head in agreement.

This happiness was short lived however as out of nowhere, a booming voice echoed throughout the Hall. “SILENCE!”

Shit. Headmaster Dumbledore walked into the Great Hall, his trench coat blowing up slightly behind him due to the power in his steps. Remus froze still. Dumbledore was usually pretty nice, he loved to join in on random conversations with the students and he was known for making the weirdest jokes. However, who knew what would make him mad? Maybe, disrupting the opening breakfast of the semester and potentially delaying classes with balloons was what would do it? And now Remus was stuck in the middle of it, despite him being completely innocent.

Remus looked over towards Sirius, expecting to see a fearful expression that mirrored his own. However, Sirius’ face was just as, if not more, excited than it was before. His eyes were practically glowing. Sirius turned around and made eye contact with Remus, noticing his nervous expression. “Don’t worry.” He mouthed. “Look.”

Remus peered back through the gap and was astonished to see Dumbledore smiling. Dumbledore was peering up at the balloons with a smile that met his eyes. Remus didn’t know what to think. “It seems like someone has given us a welcoming start to the year.” Dumbledore said, speaking in a soft voice. He peered over his half moon spectacles, taking in the students around him. “Well, let us eat with the presence of these balloons until we find a way to clear them out. Classes will have to be pushed back until further notice.”

A chorus of cheers erupted in the Great Hall. Inside the closet, all four Seekers cheered quietly to themselves. Even Remus found himself joining in on the laughter and celebrating. He looked up and saw Sirius watching him, eyes warm. He couldn’t be bothered making a remark, so instead Remus just grinned at him. Peering back through the door one last time, Remus swore he saw Dumbledore look over to the closet and wink at him. He whipped his head back, falling backwards into Sirius.

“Careful Lupin, you’ll hurt someone.” He whispered, though his face was still smiling as he said it, not a hint of annoyance in his voice.

Remus apologised, sitting back up. “So…” He said after a moment. All four Seekers turned to look at him, Marlene, James and Darlene apparently having forgotten he was even there. “How do we get out? Without being seen, I mean?”

While James, Marlene and Dorcas looked at each other confused for a moment, still apparently trying to remember who had brought Remus in with them, Sirius responded. “We’ll go out in groups. And then those who are out first will signal when the next group goes. That way no one will see us.”

“Okay, but one group will have to be a three.” Dorcas pointed out, throwing a glance over to Remus.

“Or we could leave Lupin to go alone.” James said, rolling his eyes.

“Nah, that would draw too much attention.” Sirius said, looking outside the door. “Lupin’s fucking tall and he draws too much attention to himself by panicking. If one of us goes with him, we just have to direct him where to go and then ditch him somewhere.”

They all sat in silence for a moment. Wouldn’t Sirius be the first one to want him to go alone or get caught, Remus thought. Sirius turned back around, looking expectedly at all of them for a response.

“Okay then. But bags not.” James said, quickly adding the last part.

“Bags not!” Marlene and Dorcas both said at the same time.

“Hey! No fair. Why do I get stuck with the loser?” Sirius whined, looking at his friends with a betrayed expression.

“Well, it was your idea for someone to go with him.” James said, smirking at the pained expression on Sirius’ face.

“And he is your roommate Sirius.” Marlene said in a mocking tone, smiling to herself.

“Exactly! I have to deal with him enough already.” Sirius complained, not even sparing a look at Remus while he did so.

“Ahem.” They all turned towards Remus who was looking at them incredulously. Once again they all seemed to have forgotten his actual presence. “I am here you know? Besides, I’m fine going by myself thank you very much.”

“Fine. If you’re going to be stupid about it then get caught.” Dorcas said, rolling her eyes and shifting closer towards the door. “We’ll go in pairs then.”

“Wait. We aren’t letting a Snitch go by themselves. He’ll tell someone.” James threw a suspicious glance at Remus who rolled his eyes in response. As if he would rat on them when he himself had been in the closest with them the whole time. That would be the stupidest thing he could do. Trust a Seeker to say something so stupid.

“Okay, Sirius you’re going with him then.” Marlene snapped, pulling James and Dorcas towards the front of the door as they all peered through the gap. She looked over at him briefly adding, “And don’t complain. Put the pout away and hurry up and get ready. We’re going.”

Sirius opened his mouth but she silenced him with a glare. He turned his head away, still pouting. God, what a baby, Remus thought. But he did look kind of cute pouting like that. Wait, what the hell. God, Remus needed to get out of this closet before he completely lost his sanity.

“Meet you later mate. Wait a few minutes before following.” James whispered, before all three of them quickly opened the door and rushed out, crouched over.

Remus quickly pulled the door shut behind them, peering through to see whether they got away. He saw them run into the crowd and watched them until they were out of sight. He sighed in relief, sitting back and wrapping his arms around his knees, which were drawn up to his chest. Now he just had to wait a few minutes before he and Sirius would also leave.

“You better not snitch on us Lupin.”

Remus turned around, surprised by the hostility in Sirius’ voice. Weren’t they all just laughing together a few minutes ago?

“I’m not an idiot like you Black. And as much as I’d love for you to get in trouble, snitching on you would get me in trouble as well.” Remus snapped, looking at Sirius with an expression of disbelief.

“Yeah, well how am I meant to know whether or not you’re going to snitch on us? You’ve done it before.” Sirius was pushing just past a whisper now, the volume of his voice slighting worrying Remus.

“I did that once Black. Four years ago. And that was because what you were doing was dangerous.” Remus snapped back, not in the mood for dealing with Sirius.

“Dangerous?” Sirius looked up and met Remus’ eyes, an incredulous expression on his face. “How was that dangerous?”

“Locking all the students in a pitch black Great Hall during the opening ceremony? Yeah, because that’s not dangerous at all.”

“And how is that dangerous? No one would have gotten hurt.”

Remus felt himself bubbling with anger again. The same anger he had felt years ago when he overheard the Seekers talking about their plan to lock all the doors and cut off the power going into the Great Hall at the opening ceremony dinner, trapping all students in a pitch black room.

“Well? How would that have been dangerous?”

Remus could feel himself growing sweaty as he remembered hours upon hours in which he spent in pitch blackness. Remembered the tightness of the pantry closet with no way to see the outside world. Remembered the way time didn’t exist and minutes felt like hours and hours like days.

“Lupin? Are you going to tell me or not? How? How?”

“Because it is! It just is Sirius! Being locked in a room with no light, that is scarring Sirius. You never forget that. Never!” Remus was talking harshly now, unsure of whether or not he could be heard by the chattering students outside. Either way, he didn’t care. He couldn’t stop himself now. “There is nothing fun about being locked in a room. About not knowing what is happening or whether you’re going to be let out. And if you are going to be let out, when that will be. You don’t know what time it is, how long you’ve been in there. All you know is that you are stuck and alone and that no one cares about you.”

Remus breathed harshly as he finished. What he finished, he didn’t know. What he had said, he didn’t really know either. He looked up at Sirius whose eyes were wide. Remus didn’t know if Sirius was scared or what. He watched as Sirius’ face changed to one of understanding. It was in that moment that he knew that Sirius knew that this was personal. That Remus was talking about himself.

“Remus…” Sirius finally said, soft and gentle. He seemed to be at a loss for words. Remus thought they were going to go back to sitting in silence when suddenly he felt himself being pulled towards Sirius into a hug. He flinched slightly at first, tensing up as Sirius held on to him. “You are not alone.”

At these words, Remus relaxed into the hug, allowing himself to be held by Sirius. He knew he would regret this later, but he didn’t care. He needed this. He hadn’t known that he needed this before, but now he did. Remus shut his eyes as he tried to calm himself down and return to the present, leaving the past where it belonged: behind him. Remus felt his eyes watering and decided that now was the time to pull away, before things got too emotional. And so he slowly pulled away, feeling Sirius move his arms to gently squeeze one of Remus’ before letting go. They made eye contact for a second, before they both looked away.

“Well, we should… uhh, we should go now.” Sirius finally said, stumbling on his words slightly.

“Oh, umm yeah. Yeah, we should.”

Sirius moved closer to the door, standing up slightly and looked outside. It had been a few minutes and students were still walking around and laughing with their friends as more and more people arrived. Remus began fidgeting with the sleeve of his sweater, wanting nothing more than to disappear off the face of earth. Just as he was making this prayer however, he felt Sirius touch his shoulder.

“You ready?” Sirius asked, voice still awkward but with a softness in it.

Remus nodded in response, not believing that he could form a proper sentence in his current state. He was starting to feel sweaty and had an ill feeling in his stomach. Sirius turned back around and opened the door slightly, before nodding at Remus and quickly running out, hunched over. Remus followed right behind, manoeuvring behind some chairs and then following Sirius through the crowd. The voices of students were much louder now and he could hear snippets of conversations, many focusing on one thing: who did it? There were theories being thrown around all over: that the teachers had done it, that it was Dumbledore himself. However, the most popular of all was: that the Seekers themselves must have done it. As Remus followed Sirius, he saw the grin that appeared on his face as he heard the conversations and had comments of praise and questioning thrown at him. He didn’t answer any questions, just smiled and gave a wink every once and a while. Truly the character, Remus thought.

Just as they were about to exit the Great Hall, Remus looked down at a table and saw an order sheet. It was for the balloons. Thinking this might incriminate the Seekers depending on who it said had bought all of the balloons, he quickly picked it up and shoved it into his pocket. They continued running until they finally made it out of the Great Hall and out of the castle as a whole. As they turned a corner and ran towards a patch of grass, Sirius burst out into laughter. It was a complete opposite to the previous expression of concern yet anger that he had just worn in the closet. It was such a contrast that Remus found himself confused yet laughing with him all the same.

“They know it was you.” He said in between laughs, finding it rather hilarious that they had gone through all the trouble of hiding when most people already suspected them.

“That’s the point. They think they know it’s us. But they can’t prove it!” Sirius laughed back, grinning ear to ear.

“Yeah, well, lucky they didn’t find this.” Remus said as he reached into his pocket and pulled out the order form, giving it to Sirius to read. He watched as a mixture of panic and realisation appeared on his face. Sirius looked up at Remus, mouth agape. “Don’t worry. I didn’t see any others and it doesn’t look like anyone read it before I got to it. Although, I wouldn’t go leaving that lying around next time.”

“Good move. James will die when he sees this.” Sirius said, pocketing the slip into his school pants. “Unless Marlene kills him first.” He added at the end, laughing to himself at the thought.

They both stood quietly for a moment. It wasn’t necessarily an awkward silence, but it wasn’t completely comfortable either. Not for Remus at least. He wasn’t sure what to say. Did he just leave? Or did he wait around until Sirius left?

“Well, speaking of those idiots…” Sirius started, looking around the grounds. “Where are they?”

Remus too began looking around. They hadn’t arranged a meeting spot so he had no clue where they would be. “Well, they could be at their dorms? Or near the Great Hall somewhere?” He suggested, looking in the direction of the school.

When he didn’t get a response, he turned around to face Sirius. He was still looking around, although he looked deep in thought. Finally, he turned towards Remus and they made eye contact. “Great. Let’s go to our dorm.” And with that he started walking off in the direction of the doors that led directly towards their dorm.

Remus stood still for a moment, confused. “Wait. I said their dorms. Not ours. And besides, why would I come?”

Sirius stopped walking and turned around, too holding a confused expression. “Yeah, and?”

“And…. don’t you want to find them.”

“No. Not really.” Sirius replied shortly, not bothering to give an explanation. That was until Remus continued to stare at him expectantly. “Look. I love them, but I need to sit down and chill for a second before I deal with all the attention from our fans.” He winked at the last part, turning around again and starting to walk off.

Before he could however, Remus called out again. “So why am I coming then?”

Sirius turned around, an exasperated look on his face. “Well unless you want people questioning why you’re wandering around and they haven’t seen you all morning, then you’re coming. Besides…” Sirius cocked one eyebrow. “I have to keep an eye on you still.”

And with that he was off. Remus ran to catch up, slowing down at the end to walk in pace with him. He definitely was not imagining the shift in attitude from Sirius towards him. He was being nicer and was actually willingly spending time with him without whining about it first. Either he had finally gotten over himself and his big ego, or he had suddenly decided not to be a drama queen. Or he pitied Remus for what had happened in the closet. He hoped that wasn't the case. Remus wasn’t sure how he felt about this change either. It was unusual and it felt weird not being insulted by Sirius and not retorting comebacks back at him. However, it did feel kinda nice walking together to their dorm room, not worrying about what to say next.

“Oh my God!” Sirius suddenly yelled, looking towards Remus with an expression of horror. Shit. What had happened? Had they been caught? Remus swore he felt his heart stop as he looked at Sirius, waiting for him to continue. “I forgot. You want an autograph don’t you? Oh my god, I’m sorry how rude of me.” His face had now contorted into a grin as he pulled out a pen, leaning over to write on Remus’ hand. Remus tried to pull it back but Sirius held on tight, keeping him in place so he could finish writing whatever it was he was writing.

“Are you writing a book?” Remus asked after around fifteen seconds had passed, rolling his eyes in the process.

Sirius pulled back to admire his work before letting go of Remus’ hand. Remus looked down and saw the word “Sirius Black is hot as fuck” written on the back of his hand. Looking up, he shoved Sirius, laughing. “Oh my god! You are such an idiot!”

As he went to shove him again, Sirius ran forward a few steps, turning around to stick out his tongue before running off ahead. Remus laughed to himself, shaking his head, and then ran after him. He was never going to get used to Sirius and his antics, that was for sure. And he also completely took back thinking that Sirius had gotten over himself and was no longer the number one drama queen at Hogwarts. He took that back completely. As he ran after Sirius, he briefly remembered the hug they had shared in the closet and tried to forget it. However, he felt like he could still feel the warmth that had passed through his body when Sirius had held him.

Chapter Text

“Black you’re going to be late for class if you don’t get up idiot.” Sirius heard Remus snap from the other side of the room. He was so tired though that the words didn’t really register with meaning in his head. “Fine. See if I care if you get detention.”

Sirius jumped up as he heard a loud bang. Remus had just slammed the door shut. Sirius yawned to himself, stretching, before grabbing his phone. Surely it wasn’t that late already. He’s only just fallen asleep. 8:13am. Sirius bolted up. Classes began at 8:30, there was no way he was going to be able to shower, get dressed, do his hair and teeth, pack his bag and eat breakfast. He was going to sacrifice something and his stomach was telling him that breakfast wasn’t it.

He ran into the bathroom, tripping on his blanket which dragged across the floor with him, and shut the door. Taking a brief look at the shower he made his decision. He’d showered yesterday so surely it'd be okay for him to skip it this morning. Grabbing his toothbrush he quickly began scrubbing his teeth, already racing out of the bathroom as he remembered that he needed to grab his uniform.

“Tie. Tie” Sirius mumbled to himself, searching around the room for his missing tie. “Where the fuck is my tie?”

He gave up on looking for it, deciding that there were more important things in the world for teachers to worry about than whether or not he had a tie on. As raced back to the bathroom, finishing with his teeth, he began throwing his uniform on and tying up his hair into a claw clip. He checked in the mirror to check if he looked at least decent. His hair looked a bit messy, front pieces framing his face,but his uniform didn’t look that bad, bar the missing tie. As he looked at his reflection he couldn’t help but notice the dark bags that were forming round his eyes. It had been almost four days of classes and a whole week of sharing with Remus, and Sirius believed that he had probably gotten 12 hours of sleep maximum in all that time. He was so tired and really wanted to sleep, but just couldn’t bring his body to stay asleep for longer than five minutes. That was what made it so hard to get up in the mornings, he was exhausted. Even his friends were beginning to worry about him; he would fall asleep randomly while hanging out with them; he was constantly yawning and could barely keep his eyes open; and he was even struggling to form coherent sentences. Let’s just say, Sirius knew that something had to be done or else he felt that he would literally die of exhaustion.

As he ran out of his room, putting his shoes on as he did so, he saw his tie hanging on his desk chair. He snatched it and continued at full speed to the Great Hall. Why were there so many stairs at Hogwarts? Surely they should have installed elevators at this point? He thought to himself. As he burst through the doors of the Great Hall, heads turned towards him. He caught the eyes of a few people who laughed slightly before turning back around and resuming their conversations and meal. Clearly, it was no surprise to them for Sirius to randomly burst into a room and make a loud entrance. About midway through the second table on the left, Sirius saw his friends. James had stood up and was watching Sirius as he made his way down at a still quick pace.

“Where have you be—” James began, stopping when Sirius threw himself down and began shovelling food into his mouth.

Marlene and Dorcas had paused their own eating just to watch the scene in front of them. God, had they never seen a hungry person in the morning before?

“James.” Sirius got out between mouthfuls, before shoving a piece of toast into his mouth and pouring some cereal into a bowl. “Tie. Now please.”

James looked at him with an incredulous look, before rolling his eyes and grabbing Sirius’ tie, which he had tied around his forehead in the rush to get to breakfast. He turned Sirius around slightly so he could put the tie on, pulling it tighter until Sirius whacked his hand away.

“God, you trying to kill me Potter? You had it tight enough ages ago.”

James laughed incredulously. “Why are you so late?”

“Slept in.” Was all Sirius said, however when he looked up he saw James, Marlene and Dorcas all sharing worried looks. He sighed loudly to get their attention. “Look, I’m fine. So stop looking at each other as if I’m not here and as if I’m some lost cause.”

“Well, as someone who has just witnessed you dip your toast into a bowl of cornflakes, I would say you are a lost cause Siri.” Marlene said, looking disgustedly at Sirius’ now dripping piece of toast. He also took a look at it and threw it down on the plate. God, he really was tired. At that moment, the bell chimed and students began walking out of the Hall and to their first classes.

Sirius groaned loudly. “I’m still hungry!”

“Well, take a piece of toast with you. We have Literature first.” Dorcas said, picking up her bag of books.

All the Seekers eventually went on their way, Sirius whining the whole time about how hungry he was and how the world was out to get him. James, Marlene and Dorcas just laughed at the sight, not offering sympathy at all for his hunger. As they arrived on the second floor, James split off from them, heading to his Sport class. Literature was the one class that Sirius didn’t have with James. Sirius was really into poetry and loved analysing it in class, although he did wish he didn’t have to write so many essays. Especially about dramas. Who they fuck gave Shakespeare the right to write so many plays? James on the other hand, preferred sport and was probably the top football player at Hogwarts. He was already set to be Captain next year and was the ace of the team. Teams from other schools knew who he was just by looking at him and the way he played due to how well he did in competitions. James had tried to convince Sirius to do sport that year, seeing as Sirius was also on the football team, but he just wasn’t really interested. He didn’t mind doing sport, it was a way for him to burn off some energy, however he hated having to get changed before and after every lesson and he preferred to goof off in class than have to actually play the sports properly. He had done it third year for James thinking that it would be another class where they could just muck around, however he soon realised that this was probably the one class where James actually paid attention and gave it his all. So, Literature was just a better option. Besides, he had Marlene and Dorcas in Literature with him so it was great. They actually wanted to goof off.

Marlene, Dorcas and Sirius waited outside the class in line with everyone else. Literature was a pretty small class: only 9 students did it. Sirius saw Lily and Remus walking towards the class, laughing and talking, and rolled his eyes. Why did they need to be in his class? Besides, what was so funny about what Evans was saying that Remus felt the need to laugh so much?

“Sirius. We’re going in.” Sirius turned around and saw Dorcas watching him, smiling slightly. She added, smiling even more, “Whatcha staring at?”

“Nothing. I was just wondering why they let vermin into this class.” He emphasised the last part so it would be loud enough for the two Snitches to hear.

“I don’t know, maybe I’ll ask and then we can see why you’re in this class Black.” Lily retorted, glaring hard at Sirius. “But, at least your self aware Black. Not everyone would have the confidence to admit that they’re a rat.”

With that she walked off with Lupin, who was smirking, into the classroom. Dorcas and Sirius followed, rolling their eyes. They sat down next to Marlene, who had gone off and saved three desks in the back row, Sirius leaning back on his chair. Sirius had taken the chair closest to the door. He looked around the class, seeing how Lupin was sitting at the front of the class with Evans, both tucked into a corner, Lupin sitting closest to the wall. Of course they sat at the front. What goody-two-shoes. Evans was whispering something to Remus who laughed softly. Sirius didn’t understand what she could say that was funny enough to make Remus laugh. It’s not like she was the funniest person at Hogwarts. Okay, Sirius thought, realising what he had been just thinking, there’s no need to be so pressed about Evans making jokes to Lupin. You don’t even like the guy.

“Ahem.” Sirius looked up and saw that Miss McGonagall had walked into the room and was now standing in front of the class. “Class, let's settle down. Today we’ll be starting an assignment.”

A chorus of groans erupted around the class, Sirius placing his head on his desk. An assignment? Really? It was Friday of the first week of school. How were they getting assignments already?

“Quiet.” Miss McGonagall said sharply, everyone falling silent immediately. McGonagall was that one teacher that everyone liked but was also scared of. “The assignment will be done in pairs an-”

“Pairs?” Sirius shouted, standing up as he looked at McGonagall with a horrified expression. “We always do threes though!”

“Mr Black. Please refrain from shouting in my class or I will give you a week’s detention!”

Sirius sat back down, earning laughs from most of the class. He smirked to himself, proud that he had at least made a few people laugh at his antics.

“There will be three groups of two and one group of three. I wil—”

“We bags being the group of three!” Sirius called out, gesturing to himself, Marlene and Dorcas. They were both trying hard to hold their laughter in.

“Mr Black! What did I just say about holding your tongue?” Sirius sat back down again, looking at her with pleading eyes. “As I was saying…” She shot a look at Sirius who smiled innocently at her. “I will be deciding the groups.”

Sirius went to yell out in defiance again, however he caught the glare that McGonagall was shooting his way and thought it wise to hold his tongue as she had suggested. He looked over and saw Remus smirking slightly to himself. Fucking arsehole. Who gave him the right to smirk?

“When I call your name, you and your partner or partners will come forward and collect your material. You will then be invited to go off and research together. This will be a close reading essay on the material studied, which will be a random excerpt from either a prose text, poem or drama. You will hand this in next Friday.”

Murmurs erupted around the class. Close Readings were the worst part of literature and Sirius was sure that everyone agreed. Who wanted to sit there and write a whole essay on one paragraph from a story which they had never even read before? And sometimes they got given the dumbest stuff as well. Oh well, Marlene, Dorcas and him usually managed to make up some bullshit and get a good grade.

“Frank Longbottom and Xenophilius Lovegood.”

This would also give him more of an excuse to stay away from Lupin and their dorm. He might as well just stay overnight at the girls’ dorm so they could work on it together. And then they could invite James for moral support and all would be right in the world.

“Alice Fortescue and Gilderoy Lockhart.”

Sirius hoped they got a poem, he was really good at poetry. He used to go through the poetry books in his parents’ library as a child, although he pretended that he was actually reading about history or the ways to deal with tax fraud. One of his favourite poets was William Blake. Sirius loved the way in which he wrote about institutionalised religion and how the Industrial Revolution had exploited innocent children. He believed that these were issues that still existed today and therefore felt a sense of sadness when he read Blake’s poetry, knowing that even though people advocated for change over a century ago, things such as slavery and discrimination were still present today. I mean, his family was a clear example of it. His parents hated the fact that Hogwarts was open to different types of people: people from lower classes, people from different countries, people of different nationalities and races. He felt a sense of injustice and anger just thinking about it.

“Sirius Black and Remus Lupin.”

But at least he’d be able to write about whatever text they got with Marlene and Dorcas. They would make it fun even if it was a prose text or a drama. And— wait. Had McGonagall just said what he thought she just said?

“What?” Both Remus and Sirius had called out. Sirius glanced over at him for a second, slightly offended, before turning back towards McGonagall who had her eyes shut and hands rubbing her temples in annoyance.

“Detention! For both of you! Now sit down and be silent while I talk.” She yelled, looking between the two boys. Sirius stood firmly, giving her a pleading look, whereas he noticed Remus had flinched and was now sitting back down. Evans whispered something to him and touched his arm under the table. Why the fuck was she touching his arm? She couldn’t just do… that. McGonagall looked directly at Sirius. “Sit down Mr Black! One more word from you and it will be a week’s detention. And don’t test me on that one.”

Sirius sat back down with a huff. Marlene and Dorcas were looking at him sympathetically. Dorcas muttered, “Hey, Siri. It won’t be that bad. You can still work in our room when you’re not with Loopy Lupin.”

Sirius just nodded his head, not in the mood to talk. Why did God hate him so much? First he had to share a dorm with Lupin, and now he had to work with him? Literature was suddenly becoming Sirius’ least favourite subject.

“Dorcas Meadowes, Marlene McKinnon, and Lily Potter.”

Dorcas and Marlene audibly groaned and Sirius saw Marlene put her head on the desk now. Lily had also sighed from the front of the room, and Sirius could only imagine her face. Great. This was going to be the best assignment ever. Thank you God. What if he pretended to get sick? Like really sick? So sick he couldn’t possibly do any work for a whole week until the assignment was done? Just as he was deciding whether this idea was good or not he heard someone knock on his desk. He looked up and saw Remus.

“Ready to go Black?”

Sirius just continued to stare at him, hoping that eventually he would disappear. After five seconds he accepted the fact that that was going to happen and sighed. “Fine. Let’s go.”

They both made their way out of the classroom. Hogwarts was pretty good like that. When given assignments like these, students were often allowed to go off to the library or their dorms to work on them during classes. This meant that students who preferred to work in more private places could do that, while those who liked working with a teacher there to ask questions could remain in the class without disturbing anyone. This was usually perfect for Sirius and the Seekers because it meant they could goof off instead of working, leaving everything to the last minute. It was not perfect this time though. Now, Sirius was stuck with the biggest loser in the whole world. Well, maybe not the whole world, but in all of Hogwarts at least.

“So…” Remus said, walking awkwardly beside Sirius. “Where to?”

“Anywhere without you.” Sirius mumbled, earning a shove from Remus. “Hey!”

“Look Black. I don’t want to be with you either. But I want a good grade so we have to cooperate on this. Whether we want to or not.” Remus snapped, stopping in his tracks so he could face Sirius.

Sirius knew there was no point in arguing. He knew that there was going to be no changing his partner and that he had to get a good grade or else risk his parents pulling him out of Hogwarts. But he also really didn’t want to agree with Lupin. So instead he just crossed his arms, pouted and began walking again.

“Baby.” He heard Remus mutter as he caught up.

“Twat.” He retorted, still not looking at Remus.

“Jerk.”

“Arsehole.”

“Dumbass.”

“Hot.”

Wait what? What had he just said?

“What?” Remus asked, again pausing in his tracks to look at Sirius. Sirius slowly looked up at him, head racing as he tried to figure out what he had said and why. He didn’t think Remus was hot. Well, he did. But that was beside the point. He didn’t need Remus knowing that. That would boost his ego too much. Remus was fully blushing now, stumbling on his words as he said, “Did… did you just call me... hot?”

“Ummm, Yeah. Yeah I did.” Sirius said, deciding to try to play it cool. If he acted like he had completely meant to say it and that he wasn’t embarrassed it would be good. Right? “I thought we decided to say the opposite of what the other is? Y’know, you called me a dumbass or a jerk or whatever, which I’m not, so I called you hot. Which you’re not.” He explained quickly, not looking into Remus’ eyes until the end just in case he could tell he was lying.

“Well…” Remus nodded his head slowly. “I guess I should have said useful then. Because you certainly aren’t that.”

Sirius wasn’t sure whether to feel relieved or offended.

“Or smart. You’re not that either.”

Sirius gasped loudly, bringing his hand to his chest. “How dare you imply that I am not smart or useful.”

“Or good looking.”

“Okay, now you’re pushing it Lupin.”

“Or funny or kind or strong or brave or tall or—”

“That’s it.” Sirius launched himself at Remus, who just dodged out the way. Remus was laughing now, not his usual quiet laugh, but loudly. It was actually really cute, but Sirius would never admit that. “Get here you jerk!” He called out instead.

He shoved a laughing Remus, causing him to laugh even more. As he went to jump on him again, Remus began to run. “Oh, so you wanna play that game eh?” Sirius shouted after him, before running off himself.

He caught up to Remus within a few seconds, shoving him out of the way before sticking out his tongue and running ahead. He could hear Remus running behind him so he kept going. He didn’t know where he was running to, deciding between outside or their dorm. He then had a really good idea and took off in the direction of the front doors that would lead outside into the grounds. Every few seconds he would check behind him to see if Remus was following, luckily he was. As he ran outside, he made sure Remus was still there before speeding up slightly. He ran through some groups of students and hid behind a tree, next to the lake. He saw Remus finally catch up and run towards the area where Sirius was, however Remus didn’t know where he had turned. Remus bent over, hand on his knees, as he caught his breath. God, he needed to join sport class if he couldn’t run that far without getting out of breath. Remus, still struggling to catch his breath, looked around to see where Sirius went. Sirius was grinning to himself, trying not to laugh. He just needed Remus to look away for long enough. Remus hunched over again, shaking his sweater to try to cool down. As he was bent over, eyes closed, Sirius snuck out from the tree behind him. He quickly grabbed onto Remus’ waist and pulled him into the lake. Sirius laughed as he watched Remus break the surface of the water and glare at him.

“What the fuck Sirius!” He called out, or rather tried to. He was spluttering water every word or two. And, was still out of breath. Sirius almost fell backwards with laughter at the sight in front of him. The lake was deep enough to reach Remus’ chest and now he was completely soaked, his hair pushed back in different directions, revealing his forehead. His school uniform was clinging to his body and the sun was shining golden on his slightly tanned skin. He looked really hot. Sirius couldn’t even deny it to himself this time. Remus Lupin was fucking hot.

As Sirius was laughing and distracted by these thoughts, he hadn’t noticed Remus moving towards him. He suddenly felt Remus grab onto his leg and the next thing he knew, he was crashing through the water. Bubbles surrounded him and he was about to kick off the ground to reach the surface, when he decided to have a little more fun with Remus first. He stayed under the water, eyes watching Remus as he held his breath. He had perfected being able to hold his breath for longer than a normal period of time over the years as he and the other Seekers often held competitions when they swam in the lake. It had been around twenty seconds and he saw Remus begin to panic as he looked around him, trying to see where Sirius had gone. The lake was often called the Black Lake due to how it’s water was always pretty dark, making it hard to see people when they were under the water. He swam behind Remus and in one quick movement, grabbed onto his waist and pulled himself out of the water and to the surface. Remus gave a jump, arms raising themselves to his face before he turned around. Sirius looked at his face and tried everything in his power not to laugh.

Remus splashed a wave of water at Sirius out of nowhere, causing Sirius to accidentally swallow some. Coughing he looked up as Remus yelled, “Don’t do that! I thought you had drowned!”

Sirius continued laughing, stopping briefly when Remus splashed him with water again. Sirius splashed him back. “Awww, were you worried about me Loopy?”

“Never!” Remus splashed back. Sirius thought it was completely unfair. Remus’ arms were longer than his so they could push larger waves at him. “I just don’t want to get arrested for your murder.”

“Nah, you know you love me Lupin.” Sirius sing-songed, swimming up closer towards Remus so they were face to face. Remus moved back slightly, looking away from Sirius so they weren’t making eye contact. Sirius smirked. If there was one thing he didn’t really get embarrassed by, it was flirting with people. Sirius moved closer, “Oh come on, Lupin. Just admit it, you’re in love with me.”

Remus moved back again, “In your dreams Black.”

“Or in yours?” Sirius replied, his smirk growing larger the more embarrassed Remus got. He was about to comment on the blush forming on Remus’ cheeks when Remus himself sneezed. It was a small delicate sneeze, too quiet to come out of his tall body. Yet, still, he sneezed again, another small, quiet one. Why was everything this boy did so quiet and delicate? Sirius realised then that Remus was shaking, quite a lot actually. “Race you to the edge?”

Sirius quickly began swimming off. They had travelled a bit back from the place they had originally entered the water, so they were around five meters from the edge. He turned around to make sure Remus was following. He was, but didn’t seem like he wanted to race, moving at a slow pace. Sirius rolled his eyes before swimming back over to him. “You, my friend, would suck at the Olympics.”

Remus laughed softly, knocking his shoulders carefully against Sirius’ before continuing to go at a still too slow for Sirius’ liking pace. Sirius smiled to himself, grabbing onto Remus’ hand, ignoring the noises of protest, and pulling him along with him. They made it to the edge and Sirius climbed out. He saw Remus struggling to lift himself out. God, how was he so tall yet so useless and clumsy? He walked over, dripping water everywhere, and held his hand out. Remus looked at him for a moment, apparently trying to decide whether to take it. He finally seemed to come to a decision, tentatively grabbing onto the outstretched hand, allowing Sirius to pull him up. Remus walked a few steps forward, shaking his arms to dry them slightly.

Sirius couldn’t help but look at the way Remus’ uniform clung to his body. He had never noticed how thin Remus was until that moment, seeing the way his figure was so small compared to the loose clothes that he wore. Unlike Sirius’ which stuck to his body but fit fine, even showing off the slight muscles he had developed from being on the football team and working out every other day, Remus’ clung to his body in some places but was loose in others. Now that he thought about it, all week he hadn’t really seen Remus eat all that much. Maybe a piece of toast for breakfast and a small helping of dinner but that was all. In fact, he actually vividly remembered seeing the other three Snitches adding to his plate for him.

“Sirius?” Sirius snapped out of his thoughts, seeing Remus looking at him nervously. He was holding his arms tightly in front of himself and looked really insecure just standing there. Sirius looked around and saw other students walking past and laughing, calling out comments to Sirius about how he was going to get in trouble for this sooner or later. He grinned back at them briefly and gave a wink, before turning his attention back to Remus.

“Yes Remus?” He asked, walking over so he could stand closer to him.

“Can we go now?” Remus was avoiding eye contact, looking at the way his uniform was clinging to his body and trying to pull it away. He was also pulling his sweater sleeves over his hands.

“Yeah. Yeah, we’ll go to our dorm and get dry. Before any teachers see us.” He laughed, beginning to also feel awkward. As Remus went to turn around and grab his bag which had been left on the grass, Sirius grabbed his own bag and pulled out his school sweater. “Remus. Put this on.”

Remus turned around and looked confused until he saw the sweater in Sirius’ hand. He quickly looked away and Sirius saw him rubbing his knuckles. “I’m okay. You put it on. You’re probably freezing without it on.”

“Not really. I go swimming in the lake all the time.” Sirius shrugged, walking over to Remus and putting the sweater in his hands. He added after a moment, a smirk placing itself in his face, “Besides, maybe I can show you that I’m not completely useless after all.”

The laugh that came out of Remus caused Sirius to break out into a grin. Remus shook his head, “Sorry about that. I guess you aren’t completely useless. But did you really have to prove that by pushing me into the lake?”

Remus was smirking now. “Well, they do call a drama queen for a reason Lupin.” Sirius smiled, winking before beginning to walk towards the school.

After a moment, Remus caught up, now wearing Sirius’ jumper. It was a bit too small length wise, but still fell loosely on him. Sirius shook his head upon noticing this, growing slightly more concerned at how thin Remus actually was. Especially for his height. Oh well, he’d deal with that later. They walked up mostly silent to their dorm, Remus shivering the whole way there. They had some more back and forth banter, however Sirius could tell that neither of them were putting any of the usual malice or annoyance behind their words. They reached the dorms and Sirius held the door open for Remus. He didn’t think Remus was capable of using his arms at this point: he’d had them wrapped around himself the whole walk there.

Sirius went to his cupboard and grabbed out a spare uniform. He needed three uniforms because he often lost articles of one or he did things such as jump in the lake, meaning he had to always have a replacement at hand. He turned around to see whether Remus had gone to get changed in the bathroom first or not. Instead, he saw Remus standing near his bed which had his sweater lying on it as he tried to dry it using some books. Sirius started incredulously for a moment, before laughing as he said, “I don’t think wind power from books is that advanced just yet idiot.”

Remus turned around, having not noticed Sirius staring, and laughed. “Well, it's better than nothing.”

Sirius watched as he turned back and continued trying to dry it. Then realisation hit him. “You don’t have a spare?”

Remus froze before continuing waving the book around. If Sirius didn’t feel bad for ruining his only uniform, he would probably have made a joke about him not answering.

“Well…” Sirius wasn’t sure whether this was the right thing to do or not, but he thought he should try. “You could borrow one of mine? I have two spare.”

Remus stopped again. He didn’t say or do anything, but Sirius could see his ears turning red. Shit, he didn’t want to embarrass him.

“I’m sorry.” He said quickly, walking over towards Remus. “I just… I don't know how to help.” Sirius stood next to a silent Remus for a few seconds before grabbing one of the books from Remus’ hand and beginning to dry his own wet uniform with them. “Here. I’ll dry mine with you as well.”

Finally Remus looked up at him. “Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why are you doing that? You could just wear your spare.” He gestured towards the spare uniform that now lay on the floor in the middle of the room.

Sirius looked at him, grinning before saying, “And let you have all the fun? Never.” When Remus looked at him in disbelief, he added, “I can’t have people thinking you’re actually cool.”

Remus laughed and rolled his eyes. “Right. Because turning up to class soaking wet is cool?”

Sirius widened his eyes and pulled an expression that suggested that this was an obvious fact. “Duh. God, why do you think everyone is always laughing when we come into class after swimming?”

“I just thought it was because you smelt like wet dogs.” Remus said shortly, turning back to his uniform.

“Well I’m the best fucking dog you’ll ever smell then bitch.” Sirius replied, shoving Remus with his shoulder. Remus laughed before shoving back and walking off towards the bathroom. “Whatcha doing?”

“Just remembered,” He replied, turning around to look at Sirius. “There’s a hairdryer in here.” With that, he closed the bathroom door behind him and Sirius heard the door lock.

Sirius’ eyes widened and he ran to the door, banging on it. “Open the door and let me use it too! Remus!”

“Shove off Black. I thought it was cool to go to class wet.”

“You’re right! I’m going to come into class looking hot as fuck.” Sirius stood at the door silently for a moment, before continuing to bang on the door. “Let me in Lupin, you dick!”

Chapter Text

Remus walked into music an hour later. Technically he had been ready half an hour ago but Sirius had made it impossible to leave the dorm. He had managed to lock the door from the inside and then take the key with him into the bathroom once Remus had come out. Remus hadn’t realised it was locked until he had tried to open the door and ended up walking into it when it hadn’t opened. Remus didn’t even know there were keys for the rooms. Sirius then refused to give him the key once he had finally left the bathroom and they had spent five minutes running around.

As he walked into the music room, everyone was already sitting down and setting up their instruments. Mr Flitwick stood at the front of the room helping students tune their guitars. Everyone turned around as he entered the room. Remus felt himself hold his breath as he looked around awkwardly.

“Ahh Mr Lupin. Nice of you to join us.” Mr Flitwick said, smiling at him as he put down a guitar. “Come in, come in. We’re just getting ready to perform.”

Remus nodded his head and rushed over, head down, towards his three friends who were setting up on the small, wooden stage at the back of the room. He began setting himself up at the piano, stopping when he realised that Mary, Peter and Lily were all staring at him expectedly. He looked up, eyes moving between each of them. Why were they staring at him? He had made sure to dry off completely so it couldn’t be that.

“Well?” Peter finally said. Remus just looked between them all again.

“Well what?” He finally said, really wishing they would just stop staring at him now.

“Well, why are you late? Where have you been? Where did you go during literature? Why didn’t you come back to class?” Mary said, emphasising each question as she looked at Remus as if these were really obvious questions to ask. Well, they probably were now that Remus thought about it.

“Oh, ummm…” How on earth was he going to explain what he and Sirius had been doing? He couldn’t just say “oh yeah, me and my mortal enemy went swimming in the lake together and then walked back to our dorm, in which he gave me his sweater to keep me warm, and then we proceeded to goof off in our dorm because he was trying to keep me in there”. That would sound crazy! He could just go with a half truth? “Black refused to work anywhere but our dorm, something about it being too hot for his “natural complexion”, and I just want a good grade, so we went there. But then he started being his annoying self and somehow got keys to the dorm — I didn’t even know there were keys — and locked us in before locking himself in the bathroom. When I tell you he’s an idiot.”

He rolled his eyes as he finished, trying to hide his nervousness. He had his sleeves in between his fingers.

“I didn’t know there were keys either.” Peter said finally, continuing to set up his drums.

Remus wasn’t sure whether to feel relieved that Peter had believed him or not. He loved Pete, but he could be really gullible at times.

“How on earth do you deal with him, Rem?” Mary questioned, apparently falling for his story as well. “It’s only been a week but I would rather die than deal with him.”

“Don’t tempt me.” Remus muttered in reply. He looked over at Lily who hadn’t said anything yet. He swore he saw her looking at him with a suspicious expression, but she had turned away right after to grab some microphones.

Whatever, he needed to focus on the performance. Every Friday they had to perform a new song, one that was practiced in class during the week. This was because they were in the older year levels and were already capable of playing their chosen instruments or singing, so they didn’t need theory lessons anymore. There were only two groups in his class, the number of students choosing music decreasing over the years. One of them was obviously the Snitches and the other one was a group of three called the Nifflers. They consisted of Frank Longbottom, Dirk Creswell and Saoirse McLoughlin. Dirk was the vocalist and guitarist of the group, while Frank also played guitar and Saoirse played the drums. Remus was always impressed by their performances, however they weren’t as popular as the Snitches. Remus always loved the sound of Dirk’s Irish accent when he sang and he had to admit that Saoirse and Frank were very skilled at their instruments. However, he was always going to be biased towards his band members. Their talent was just unreal. It often made him wonder why they put up with him in the band, and although they complimented often, it just didn’t sit right that they were so talented and he just wasn’t.

“Okay!” Mr Flitwick squeaked, running over towards where the Snitches stood. “Are you all set up and ready to go?”

“Yep!” Mary said, plugging in the last microphone. “Ready to go Sir!”

Everyone came over to sit down and watch their performance. They had decided to perform Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen and after preparing for the whole week, they felt ready. Remus already knew how to play the song on piano, so all he had to do was adjust his playing to match Lily’s, Mary’s and Peter’s.

Once everyone was settled down, Peter whispered “One, Two, Three.”

And they began. Remus’ fingers hit the keys softly, his mind going blank from everything but the chords that he played. Piano, for him, took his mind to a different place. A place where he felt safe and didn’t worry about what other people thought. He didn’t play piano to impress people, but to have fun with his friends and to continue what his mother had left him. His mother had been a pianist. She had played all throughout her life in front of small crowds until she fell pregnant with him. She was so excited to have her firstborn and had dreamt about having a family with her husband. However, when Remus was born, he wasn’t breathing and was blue in colour. He was rushed to the ER and had to be brought back to life. He remained ill however and his mother had to quit her job so she could stay home and look after him. She never complained however and still thought of Remus as the most precious thing on Earth. They would bake together, do art, sing and play piano. When he was restless and in pain, he would sit in her lap and she would play songs for him, and when he slept, she would play lullabies. When he was two years old, he learnt his first song: twinkle twinkle little star. He remembered being so proud of himself. Remembered thinking he was going to play piano just like his Mum did. By the time he was four, he was playing well above his level, taking on songs such as Für Elise (the first proper piece he ever played) and Canon in D Minor by Pachelbel. He had a specific memory that came to his head whenever he played piano, so vivid it felt like he was transported back in time to that moment.

Four year old Remus sat on a seat in front of a black piano, sitting atop two books. His mother, a young, thin woman with brown hair, sat beside him. She had pale skin, almost translucent, and deep bags under her eyes. Reaching up to the piano, he began to play the song his Mum had taught him a few months ago. He couldn’t remember the name, but it was made by a man called Pachelbel. He liked the name of this man, it reminded him of the word bell. As his small fingers moved across the keys, his eyes shifted quickly. He could hear his Mum’s soft breathing beside him. He had been throwing up all throughout the night, but no longer felt sick. His Mum had come to help him and had stayed with him until he had felt better.

As he finished the song, he looked up at his Mum smiling wide. His face dropped as he saw tears in her eyes.

“What’s wrong Mama?” He asked, putting his hand on hers. She looked down and took his small hand in her own, and smiled warmly.

“Nothing my love. Nothing is wrong.” She said, voice sweet and gentle. “I’m just really happy.”

“Then why are you crying?” His Mum was smiling and she sounded happy, but she still had tears in her eyes. Remus only cried when he was sad or in pain.

“These are happy tears Remus.” She said, picking him up and placing him on her lap. She brushed her hand through his hair, which curled in all directions. “Because I am the luckiest person alive to have such a beautiful son like you.”

Remus snuggled into her chest, smiling to himself. He could hear her heartbeat against his head, listening to the beat, slow and calm. They remained like that for a minute, before his mother moved back slightly. He looked up at her again, eyes wide with innocence.

“Remember Remus.” She said, her voice close to a whisper. “Remember that Mummy loves you so so much and that you, my love, are going to do beautiful things for the world. Even if people tell you otherwise.”

That was the last day he had with his Mother. That evening, she collapsed and was taken by his father to the hospital. He waited at home alone all night, crying to himself so hard he could barely breathe. When his father returned the next morning, tears stained down his face, Remus had run up to get a hug, just like he always did when his father got home from work. Instead, he was thrown to the ground and his father yelled at him, saying it was all his fault. Remus didn’t know what “it” was then, all he knew was that his Mum was getting better at the hospital like he did when he was sick. When his Mother still hadn’t come home a few days later, he realised what had happened.

As Remus hit the last note, he felt his mind return to the present. He heard cheers and clapping coming from his classmates and Mr Flitwick in front of him. He stood up with the rest of the Snitches and bowed. As they walked down the stairs, Mary jumped on him.

“Remus, you were amazing! We all were!” She giggled, opening her arms to bring all four of them into a group hug.

“Yes! Yes, you were!” Mr Flitwick squeaked, coming over to them. “That was possibly the best cover of Bohemian Rhapsody I have ever heard! Lily, that guitar solo was incredible!”

He began giving feedback to them all individually, something he did after every performance. Remus always dreaded hearing his. Because he zoned out quite a lot during his performances, he never got to see the crowd’s reaction to his playing until after he was finished. He never looked up to see whether people were engaged or if they were bored, only focusing on the sounds he was producing.

“Remus.” Mr Flitwick said, turning towards him with a warm smile. “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: you are a natural at piano. You have such a gift and I couldn’t be more honoured to be able to call myself your teacher. Even if it is you who has taught yourself the most. Another impeccable performance on your part.”

“Thank you Sir.” He said, smiling shyly. Receiving compliments wasn’t his strong suit but he had learnt over the years that there was no point trying to reject compliments from Flitwick.

“Now, a suggestion for a future performance,” Mr Flitwick said, addressing all four of the Snitches now. “Lily and Mary, your vocals are beautiful and I definitely want to see where you take them for the next song. However, I would like to see whether you can try incorporating the vocals of Peter or Remus for a deeper tone? That might be something to look to try to do for the concert, to help make each song sound unique.”

All four Snitches looked at each other. Remus had never thought about that before. He didn’t even think he had ever heard Peter sing.

“Of course Sir. We’ll see what we can come with.” Lily said finally, smiling at Mr Flitwick before he went off to go help the Nifflers set up.

“Sing? Me?” Peter said, a scared expression on his face.

“Surely you could try Peter? It’s not that scary singing in front of people.” Mary said, walking over to find a place to sit.

They all sat down and Peter seemed to be in deep thought. “But I’m the drummer. Wouldn’t it be too hard to hear my voice if I’m drumming? Besides, I have to focus on all the other instruments to make sure I stay on beat. It would get too confusing if I had to focus on staying in time vocally as well.”

“Oh true. Rem, how about you?” Mary asked, looking nervously at Remus. She already knew the answer.

“Umm… well,” Remus stuttered. There was no way he’d be able to sing in front of anyone, even if it was just the Snitches. He finally said, hoping his voice conveyed how sorry he was, “I really can’t sing Mary.”

“That’s okay. What we could do, to get that deeper sound to balance with our vocals, is try to match the bass with them more? Y’know, so for some parts, instead of playing to match the other instruments, play to match our vocals instead?” Lily said, looking towards Mary to see if this suggestion was possible.

“Umm… well I could try. I don’t know how well it’ll work but it won’t hurt to give it a shot.” Mary shrugged, before pointing towards the stage to signal that the Nifflers were ready to start their performance.

***

Remus and Lily walked into Chemistry together. Mr Slughorn sat at the front of the class, reading through some papers. They took their places at their usual desk, sitting next to each other. Suddenly, a loud crash sounded from across the classroom. Both Remus and Lily jumped, a girl from the other side of the class giving a small scream. Everyone turned towards the source of the sound. Remus was not surprised to see James laughing as Sirius picked up a broken conical flask from the ground.

“Watch out, watch out.” Slughorn yelled, rushing over with a dustpan and brush. “You two again! If you break one more thing, you are out of this class!”

“Yes Sir.” Sirius and James said in unison, smug looks on their faces. James looked over towards Remus and Lily, smiling and running his hand through his hair to mess it up more. Remus noticed that he was in fact only looking at Lily. Weird.

Lily herself turned away and rolled her eyes, muttering under her breath, “What idiots.” Remus nodded his head in agreement, giving one last look to Sirius who was goofing off with James again.

Forty minutes later, Remus and Lily had finished their experiment and were writing the results into their booklets. Remus wasn’t the best at chemistry, but he wasn’t failing either. He tried hard and did get some help from Lily, who was second top in the class. Severus Snape, a short boy with black, greasy hair, was top. He was a mean person who Remus didn’t really like. He hung out with these two boys called Avery and Mulciber. They were the bullies of the year level, however Lily still tried to get along with Snape. Something about them being childhood friends or whatever.

The bell rang for the end of classes and everyone began packing away their materials. As they did so, Slughorn said, “Everyone, on Wednesday of Week Three, you will need to have completed a science project exploring what we have covered this week in class. It will be done in partners”. He looked over the class, giving James a stack of assessment outlines to hand out. Slughorn added, looking at Snape, Mulciber and Avery, “And no boys that does not mean threes.”

Lily and Remus smiled at each other. They had been working as partners every year since first year when they had been placed together by Slughorn. James and Sirius began talking loudly about what they should do and whether it would have enough wow factor.

Slughorn whipped his head up, quickly yelling to them, “No! No! You two will not be together!”

James and Sirius immediately began protesting. “But Sir! That is so unfair.”

“Quiet Mr Potter, it is perfectly reasonable.”

“But Sir, What are you teaching us if you let other people choose their partners but us? What is that teaching us about life and equality? Is this not a free, democratic country where we should all be given equal rights?” Sirius said, standing up and looking dramatically around the classroom as if he was giving a speech.

“Sit down Mr Black!” Slughorn snapped. “No, in some cases equality isn’t the answer and this is one of those cases.” He began scanning around the room to find suitable partners for the two Seekers. Remus began praying to any god or entity out there to not let him get paired with Sirius for two projects. Slughorn’s eyes landed on him and Lily. No, please no.

“Black, you’ll go with… Lupin.” No. Remus suddenly had the desire to jump out of the window. He could not be with Sirius for two assessments. “And Potter will be with Miss Evans.”

“Sir, please. Remus and I already have an idea of what we want to do.” Lily said pleadingly. Remus could tell that this was just as much of a nightmare for her. She hated James.

“Exactly. You and Mr Lupin are hardworking and so I am leaving it up to you to keep control over Potter and Black.” Slughorn reasoned, seemingly unaware of how much all four of them would rather any other pairing. “Now, class dismissed.”

Lily and Remus looked at each other. Remus was sure his expression was one of exhaustion and annoyance, whereas Lily’s was one of pure frustration and even anger.

***

“He is such a jerk, Remus! How am I meant to put up with him?” Lily complained fifteen minutes later. They were walking back to their dorms and were both still not over their partnering for chemistry. “Honestly, I have never seen someone so… so up themselves!”

“Aww, so you look at me often then Evans?”

Remus and Lily turned around to see James and Sirius walking behind them. Sirius and James both wore the same smirk.

“Oh, shove off Potter.” Lily spat, turning away and pulling Remus to keep walking.

He heard footsteps coming closer and within a few seconds, Sirius and James were walking either side of them. James ran his hand through his hair again, looking down towards Lily who was beside him.

“Oh come on Evans. You can’t be that mad about being partnered with me.” He said, giving her a charming smile. If Remus didn’t know better, he would say that he was definitely trying to flirt with her. Lily wasn’t going to budge though. She always tried to see the good in everyone, but for Potter it was impossible. She absolutely hated him.

“I’d be mad to want to be partners with you Potter. So get over yourself and leave us alone.” She snapped back, trying to walk faster.

Remus sped up to keep up, feeling slightly dizzy. He wasn’t meant to go too hard on exercise since he was still prone to getting sick and he had already gone running through the castle and gone swimming that day. However he also wasn’t just going to force Lily to walk slowly for him. Maybe if it was just the two of them, but not when they were trying to avoid the Seekers.

“Too bad we’re heading in the same direction as you, losers. Remember? Loopy and I share a room?” Sirius retorted, smirking to himself.

“Stop calling him that!” Lily yelled, turning towards Sirius as she still continued to walk faster. “It isn’t even funny and it just makes you sound pathetic!”

“Loopy Lupin doesn’t seem to mind.” James said, laughing as he looked over briefly at Remus. He quickly turned his attention back to Lily. “Anyways, when should we meet to work on our project?”

“We aren’t meeting to work on the project. We’ll do it in class time only. The rest I’ll do myself.” She snapped. If she kept increasing her speed, Remus might just pass out. In fact, he was really struggling to keep up now.

“How is that going to work? It’s a group project for a reason.” James said, looking at her incredulously.

She sighed loudly, and sped up. “Remus, let's just leave these idiots.” She went to grab his arm, looking back when she couldn’t find it.

Remus had stopped walking and was now bent over, hands on his knees. He was struggling to breathe and his chest was starting to burn. Shit. His vision was blurring and spots of deep purple were beginning to cover what little vision he had left.

“Remus?” He heard Lily ask, but her choice sounded echoey and far away.

He felt a pair of arms touch his back. He could see two figures crouching down next to him. He dropped to his knees, unable to keep his balance anymore.

“Remus? Remus, have you had your medicine?” Lily was asking him something but he couldn’t make sense of it. The words were going in one ear and out the other.

“What medicine?” Someone else asked.

“He… he’s ill. He has medicine to help himself breathe and stuff. He’s meant to take it every morning.” That was Lily’s voice, he recognised it.

“Does he have an inhaler?” Was that James? He couldn’t tell. God his head hurt. He opened his eyes, the light hurting them for a moment. He hadn’t realised that he had been squeezing them shut.

“Remus? Remus, can you hear me?” Lily asked, she looked scared. “Go get a teacher. Miss Pomfrey should be able to help.”

James ran off, sprinting down the hall before turning right. Sirius and Lily remained in front of him. Remus looked up, head pounding, and saw Sirius’ expression. He was surprised to see his face pale and eyes wide. His hands were trembling slightly. When Remus made eye contact with Sirius, Sirius quickly tried to gain his composure, saying, “Remus? Can you hear me? Please nod your head or touch my arm if you can?”

He was speaking gently. Remus wanted to nod his head but it was pounding so much he didn’t think that was a good idea. Instead, he grabbed onto the sleeve of Sirius’ sweater. Sirius looked down and nodded his head.

“Okay, well, Remus I need you to tell me what you want me to do okay? Where do you need to go, Remus?” Sirius asked, but he looked unsure of whether he would get a response or not.

“Room.” That was all Remus managed to say. He was seeing things more clearly now and his breathing had slowed down, but his heart was still beating fast. He really shouldn’t have gone running earlier. He didn’t even know why he had.

“We can’t make him walk there.” Lily said exasperatedly. “Besides, Potter is coming back with a teacher.”

“Yes, but Remus needs to be taken somewhere he feels safe.” Sirius said firmly, mind already made up. “Look, I’ll take him to our dorm. You stay here and wait for James to come back. Then, tell them we’re in our dorm. It’s Room 71, okay?”

Lily looked unsure for a moment, looking between Remus and Sirius, before she nodded her head. She helped Sirius get Remus to his feet and then Remus felt himself getting lifted up onto Sirius’ back. He wrapped his arms around his neck and then Sirius began walking slowly towards their dorm. Remus’ felt a sharp pain in his chest and he held in tighter, his breath hitching.

“If you need to stop or for me to go slower, let me know okay.” Sirius said, not really meaning it as a question.

Remus rested his head on Sirius’ shoulder, closing his eyes. He was so tired. He tried forcing himself to stay awake by opening his eyes and thinking about different things (Chemistry, Literature, how embarrassing this was going to be later), however he felt himself slowly falling unconscious as Sirius carried him.

***

Remus woke up in his half-lit dorm room. He sat up, stretching. God, he felt like he had slept for an eternity. He didn’t even remember falling asleep. He looked over at his clock and saw it said 9:23pm. 9:23pm! He’d overslept. By over 12 hours. How was that even possible? As he went to throw himself off his bed, he looked over and saw Sirius sitting on an armchair next to him. He was asleep as well, head hanging slightly, with his hair pushed up slightly. He looked really cute. That’s when Remus remembered. He remembered collapsing, getting carried by Sirius. He remembered fainting on his back. Had he really been passed out that whole time? And had Sirius really sat, watching him the whole time as well? He smiled at the thought of it.

Over the last week, he felt like he had learnt a lot about Sirius. He learnt that Sirius hopped into bed late, staying awake until the early hours of the morning. He learnt that he preferred to sleep in and refused to set alarms for that reason. He learnt that he was a drama queen and that he did pretty good renditions of concerts every morning in the shower. However, the most important thing that he had learned was that Sirius Black cared an awful lot more for those around him than Remus had previously thought. He loved making other people laugh, not caring whether or not they knew it was him who had made them laugh. He only wanted people to be happy. He cared for Remus, making sure he felt safe when in the closet of the Great Hall as he explained why he had stopped that prank all those years ago. He made sure Remus was okay when in the lake, helping him to the edge and out of the water when he was struggling. He had offered him his sweater and spare uniform, even deciding to wear his wet uniform to class, just so Remus didn’t feel insecure. And today, he had helped Remus get to the dorm and had stayed by his side, just like his mother had when Remus was younger, to make sure he was alright. Sirius Black cared for Remus and Remus knew this. He knew this because he had learnt in the last week that he too cared for Sirius Black.