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FIC: Alive in Everything

January 18th, 2006 (06:16 pm)
high

feeling: high

Title: Alive in Everything
Author: chervil
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters: Remus Lupin / Sirius Black
Rating: R
Summary: Just why does Remus J. Lupin like spring so much?
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author's Notes: My most sincere thanks to aesthetickismet for betaing. I don’t know what I would’ve done without her. Dates thanks to the Harry Potter Lexicon.
 
 
 
Hogwarts - March 1972
 
Hairy Snout, Human Heart was a fascinating book, really. The descriptions were vivid, the emotions palpable, and most of all, it reflected what Remus felt about his lycanthropy. Upon being admitted to Hogwarts he had endeavored to learn as much as he could about the magical kind in general. It was a pleasant surprise to find this book in a world where werewolves were shunned.
 
Of course, where there is a pleasant surprise, there is always the possibility for some not so pleasant surprises. Namely, Lucius Malfoy and Severus Snape.
 
The former sauntered about the school as if he owned it—which, with the amount of money Malfoy Sr. bribed the school board governors with yearly, was very likely—and was particularly nasty to those who opposed him. Snape merely lagged behind, looking mildly displeased about the situation.
 
Whereas Remus Lupin was merely strolling in the corridors on a breezy Saturday afternoon, minding his own business with his nose stuck in a book, Malfoy went out of his way to be deliberately malicious to those he deemed his inferiors. Remus’ dress alone—frayed robes, patched elbows, and worn loafers—screamed of inferiority.
 
“Move.”
 
The statement shook Remus out of his reverie; he had encountered a lovely passage in the book and had unconsciously stopped to read the rest of it in the middle of the (spacious) hallway. He looked slowly to his left, and then to his right.
 
“Begging your pardon, but I believe there is plenty enough room for you to move,” Remus replied politely.
 
Malfoy’s eyes narrowed.
 
“You’re being deliberately ignorant,” he accused.
 
“They say that ignorance is bliss,” Remus parried smoothly, “and while I do yearn for the happiness that ignorance boasts of, I must confess that I have no hand in thissituation.”
 
Malfoy looked positively murderous. His wand was out, leveled between Remus’ eyes. “I do not like cheek in my subordinates, Lupin, as you will find out shortly.”
 
Remus’ knight in shining armor came in the form of a tall, lanky boy with shoulder length hair and bangs that fell over his startlingly grey eyes with a sort of casual elegance. There was a distinct lack of shiny metal and sharp, pointy objects, though the extended wand came close.
 
“Whoever said he was your subordinate, Malfoy? From what I’ve witnessed, he surpasses you by far in intelligence, witticism, and looks,” the boy drawled.
 
“No one asked your opinion, Black,” Malfoy shot back easily, prodding at the skin between Remus’ eyes with a sort of vicious delight. “If you’ll excuse me, I have some hexing to do.”
 
There was a second one, further in the shadows, who stepped out now with a laughing, “You’re having fun without us, Malfoy? Let us play, too—Rictumsempra!
 
Snape deflected the curse with a hastily uttered “Protego!” while Malfoy responded with his own “Incarcerous!” The ropes whipped through the air, wrapping around his first intended target—Remus.
 
Densaugeo!
 
Sectumsempra!
 
Tarantallegra!
 
Langlock!
 
STUPEFY!
 
Red, yellow, green, orange sparks flew around at a dangerous rate, witnessed with terrified eyes by one bound Remus Lupin. They were at a standstill, though “Black” and his friend seemed to have won the duel. Malfoy was out cold on the ground, teeth enlarging at a grotesque rate, while Snape was dancing jerkily around the corridor, glaring daggers at them.
 
Black let out an amused chuckle, despite the cut on his left wrist where Snape’s Sectumsempra had narrowly missed him. He released Remus with a flick of his wand.
 
“You okay?”
 
Remus blushed. “I should be asking you that.”
 
Black grinned cockily. “I’m Sirius Black—pleased to meet you. I’ve seen you before, but I’m afraid I never got around to introducing myself.” He cast an eye around the corridor, which was deserted save for the two Slytherins and themselves. “Though it would’ve been nice to meet under less… strenuous circumstances.”
 
“I’m Remus Lupin. Thank you, though,” the tawny haired boy insisted. “I was terrified—couldn’t have escaped without you.”
 
An affronted noise came from Sirius’ friend.
 
The edge of Sirius’ lips twitched into a smile. “James protests.”
 
James glared and pointed to his tongue, which was glued to the roof of his mouth. Remus let out an amused chortle despite himself.
 
“That’s James Potter,” Sirius introduced casually, pointing his finger in James’ direction. “He’s a downright moron, so I’m considering leaving him this way.”
 
Remus’ eyes widened. “Sirius, your wrist! Episkey.
 
It was now the other boy’s turn to widen his eyes. “Blimey, mate, I haven’t seen a healing charm performed with that much ease before. You must have lots of practice.”
 
Remus averted his eyes. Of course; on himself, no less. “You could say that.”
 
James coughed uncomfortably. Sirius, however, paid him no mind and slung an arm around Remus’ shoulder. “Remus, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
 
 
 
Gryffindor Common Room - April 1973
 
“Uggh! Professor Kettleburn gives out the most ridiculous assignments.”
 
Remus casually flipped through The Monster Book of Monsters, stroking its spine with long fingers to keep it satiated. The book rustled ominously as James sighed.
 
“How so, James?” he queried.
 
“Because we have no hands on experience with werewolves and he needs a half-foot essay on them anyways.”
 
“You never know when that knowledge might come in handy,” Sirius replied archly from the other side of the table. “Y’know, information about Dark creatures and whatnot.” He was reading Remus’ worn and battered copy of Hairy Snout, Human Heart, snuggled into the startlingly crimson armchair with a look of sincere contentment.
 
“Yes,” Peter Pettigrew, a newly acquired member of their group, agreed from beside Sirius. He flicked the stub that was formerly his Sugar Quill out of the way and flipped through his own textbook. “Even though I don’t have a reason why.”
 
“That’s easy, Peter,” Sirius chortled in amusement, kicking up his legs and resting gold and crimson clad feet on the coffee table. “I think a certain classmate of ours has been hiding a secret from us.”
 
Remus hastily looked up from his book, eyes wide in shock. The Monster Book of Monsters growled threateningly in protest. He hastily moved to stroke the furry spine. James looked up from his essay, a knowing glint in his eyes, and slowly placed his quill on the table.

“I think so, too,” James interjected, stretching lazily and clasping both hands behind his head. “He’s been keeping this secret for ages; it’s about time somebody figured it out.”
 
Remus sucked in a deep breath. “Guys, I need to tell you something—you seem to already know it anyways, so I hope you’ll still want to talk to me after this, at least…”
 
Sirius coughed and arched an eyebrow. “I don’t see what this has to do with what I’m talking about.”
 
The other boy’s confused expression was positively adorable.
 
“I’ve always had this suspicion, you see,” Sirius explained gleefully, rubbing his hands together in a most sinister way. “And he’s always tried to make us think that there was nothing strange about him… but…” He paused dramatically for effect.
 
Remus looked ready to faint at a moment’s notice, face pale.
 
“…I think Snivellus is a vampire.”
 
Remus did faint.
 
James sniggered and whacked Sirius on top of his head, drawing out a frantic “Oi! Not the hair!” and moved to Ennervate his friend. “You weren’t supposed to scare him that much, Sirius. I knew I should’ve broken the news to him gently; you had way too much fun with it.”
 
Sirius looked like the epitome of innocence. “It is not my fault that Remus has the nerves of a bloody unicorn. One ‘Boo!’ and he’s gone.”
 
“Oh,” moaned Remus, rubbing at his head. “What happened?”
 
“You fainted.”
 
“Oh.”
 
“Eloquent today, aren’t we?” Sirius chirped brightly. “You seemed to have had quite the nasty shock when I told you Snivellus was a vampire. I was joking, Remus.”
 
“Oh,” Remus replied lamely, shaking his head. The Monster Book of Monsters nudged his limp hand with distress, rubbing against those slender fingers and itching to be petted. “It’s just… I didn’t get enough sleep.”
 
Sirius seemed to consider that. “Okay! Well, James and I need to finish our Care of Magical Creatures homework. You should go to sleep, save your strength, y’know, the works.”
 
Remus nodded, decidedly out of it, and headed towards the boys’ dormitory.
 
“’Cause full moon’s next Tuesday. We wouldn’t want you to be tired, now would we?”
 
Thud.
 
“SIRIUS!”
 
 
 
Hogwarts - April 01, 1974
 
12:45 AM. “Arrgh! Who set that bloody alarm clock?!”
 
1:02 AM. “Get that damn alarm clock!”
 
2:19 AM. “Get Sirius! And the rest of those alarm clocks!”
 
3:56 AM. “Dammit! Some people are trying to sleep here!”
 
4:42 AM. “You still haven’t found Sirius yet?”
 
5:07 AM. “Arrgh! How can he find so many hiding places for alarm clocks?!”
 
6:33 AM. “…We must’ve searched the whole room a dozen times…”
 
7:57 AM. “I give up…”
 
8:20 AM. “Sirius. Mate.” Yawn. “Hold still while I murder you, will you?”
 
Remus yawned yet again, rubbing at his eyes wearily. Sirius had a horrible sense of humor, especially at unholy hours in the morning. Only Sirius would find enough crevices and corners for alarm clocks—see to ring at random intervals, no less—to thwart the other three Marauders. April Fools’ sucked.
 
Sirius was uncommonly hyper for such an early time in the morning. A good night’s sleep will do that to you. “How was your night, Remus? Did you have fun? Slept well? I had such a lovely time in the Room of Requirements; had a nice, curvy girl to snog.”
 
Remus’ eyes narrowed into slits. “You will leave me alone. You will quit telling me of your exploits with enchanted mannequins. You will quit ranting about sleep, because as my luck has it, your irritating prank deprived me of any. You will sit still and disengage from planning any pranks that you have in your lovely little mind right now. And you will let me go back to sleep.”
 
The raven haired boy pouted. “You’re no fun! Up, up! We’ve got a long day ahead of us.” He ushered Remus into the adjoining restroom, tugging his pajama top off and throwing it on the ground. “Go on, have your shower!”
 
Remus bristled. “I refuse to have a shower, or undress, for that matter, while you are leering at me.”
 
“I resent that,” Sirius huffed. “I am not leering, I am merely observing.”
 
“Yeah. Right. Get out.”
 
“ARRGH!” The sound came from the other room; unmistakably Peter’s. Remus and Sirius both rushed into the boys’ dormitory.
 
Peter was sprawled in front of his trunk and staring at it with an expression of immense distaste. Peeking out from under the lid, like a squid out of water, was a bright red bra. His face suffused with enough pigmentation to rival said article of clothing in shade. The boy made a strangled noise and tugged at it, only to reveal another one—bright green this time. Another tug; yellow. Another tug; pale cream. Yet another tug; glittering purple.
 
Sirius burst into a fit of giggles. James was on his four poster bed, grinning in a most satisfied manner.
 
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” James interjected most helpfully. “It’s got an unlimited source.” He paused for effect, then provided, “The girls’ laundry chute.”
 
Peter made an affronted noise. Third year and he still thought girls were God’s punishment for mankind.
 
Dinner was synonymous with havoc that day. Sometimes Professor Dumbledore’s sense of humor was nearly as lacking as Sirius’. The house elves must’ve had some hand in the atrocious rat corpses that were on everyone’s plate.
 
Remus merely took one glance at the furry thing on his plate, picked it up, and bit into it.
 
James looked ready to vomit.
 
Sirius looked highly uncomfortable. “Don’t you think that’s a bit overdoing it, Remus? Is your furry little problem affecting your judgment again?”
 
His lips curved into a smile. “Of course not. It tastes delicious.”
 
Sirius mimed gagging and vomiting into his goblet of pureed entrails.
 
James, who had delicately severed his own rat’s tail, nibbled on the bald appendage and brightened. “Hey, this really is delicious!”
 
His friend eyed him with a look of distaste. “Don’t be disgusting, James. How can it be delicious? It’s a rat, for Merlin’s sake.”
 
Remus smiled in amusement, chewing thoughtfully at the middle section of his rat. “April Fools’. Dumbledore must’ve played some part in this; mine tastes like Cornish pasties.”
 
“Lovely,” James remarked. “Mine tastes like lamb chops. You should try some, Sirius.”
 
Sirius, eyeing the both of them most doubtfully, slit his own rat’s tail and—displaying a magnificent show of Gryffindor courage—popped the whole thing in his mouth. He immediately grinned. “Hey! Custard tart!”
 
“Figures,” Remus muttered. “Your ideal dinner would be dessert.”
 
Dinner passed quite uneventfully, though it was amusing to discover what Peter’s (fried tomatoes), Lily’s (bacon and steak), and Frank Longbottom’s (rock cakes) rats tasted like.
 
After dinner, while Remus was making his way to the Gryffindor Common Room in hopes of a few moments of silence to himself, a blurry figure jumped out from behind the statue of Gregory the Smarmy and everything went dark.
 
He woke up hours later (or so he assumed) with his arms bound above his head and the smooth silkiness of a blindfold tantalizing the edges of his vision.
 
His first thought was: Where am I?
 
His second: What happened?
 
His third: Bloody hell! There’s someone sitting on me!
 
He was about to start struggling. Really, he was. But the hands on his neck, slinking their way around to tense muscles and rubbing with obvious expertise was remarkably hard to resist.
 
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry…” It took a moment for him to realize that one, Sirius was the one apologizing and two, Sirius was sitting on him.
 
“Sirius,” he croaked blearily. “Geroff.”
 
The other boy scrambled off him immediately.
 
“And the blindfold.”
 
His eyes met with equal, if not more, darkness. The ominously rustling treetops and creaking branches served as a sort of canopy, blocking the moonlight from reaching that part of the Forbidden Forest. At least, he assumed it was the Forbidden Forest, or Professor Sprout was going to be severely chastised for growing a bloody forest indoors.
 
Sirius was sitting cross-legged in front of him, positively reeking of regret.
 
“Right,” he muttered. “What’s all this about, then?”
 
“James’ fault!”
 
“Indeed.”
 
“He made me!”
 
“Carry on.”
 
“H-he thought it’d be a good time to tell you…”
 
“Fascinating.”
 
“…So he Stupefied you and bound you and dragged you out there.”
 
“Marvelous. Do get to the point.”
 
Sirius fixed him with a baleful eye. “I’m trying to be apologetic here, mate. If you’re going to be a smartass about it, then I can very well leave you here.”
 
“My bad, Sirius,” Remus replied in exasperation. He tried to run a hand through his hair, but found it bound firmly to the trunk of the tree. “Please, get on with the story. And it’d be nice if I could have my wrists freed, too.”
 
Sirius smiled mistily. “Can’t. Else I’ll have you raving for my head and we can’t have that, now can we?”
 
“Indeed. Cut to the chase, please.”
 
“Well, Remus—what I mean to say is, this is all James’ fault.”
 
A sigh. “Sirius, do you want to start our earlier conversation again?”
 
“No! Not at all. It’s James’s fault, but I must take responsibility for it, also. Because it was my choice to tell him… to t-tell him… that… well…”
 
Remus waited patiently.
 
“IthinkIsortoflikeyoualot.”
 
Remus blinked. “Pardon?”
 
“I think I like you, Remus. A lot. And I’ll understand if you don’t like me back, because Regulus always said it was abnormal and disgusting and…” He gulped. “And I’ll understand if you want me to leave you alone…”
 
“Sirius.”
 
He blinked. Soft, full lips curved into a luscious smile.
 
“I think I sort of like you, too.”
 
 
 
Hogwarts - March 10, 1975
 
Prod. “Wake up, Remus.”
 
Jab. “Wake up, Remus.”
 
Wet, lascivious take-your-breath-away kisses. “Oh, goody. You’re awake, Remus.”
 
Remus glared at him from under the covers. “What time is it?”
 
“Does it matter?” Sirius queried gleefully, wrapping his arms around the other boy.
 
“Uggh. Go back to sleep. It’s too early in the morning anyway.” The tawny head disappeared under the covers.
 
“Oh, love,” Sirius teased, long, slender fingers moving to massage the resistance out of Remus. “You can’t leave me alone. I’ve got special things planned for you. And you can’t fully enjoy them whilst asleep.”
 
“I can if I want to,” Remus countered petulantly. Those fingers were working miracles on his resistance.
 
“But that’s the problem,” the other boy purred. “You don’t want to. Oh, no, not at all. Do you need me to dress you again, Remus? I thought we were past this phase.”
 
“I can dress myself, thank you.”
 
“Oh, please,” he replied jokingly. “Moony, with your fashion sense, it’d be better if you didn’t dress yourself at all.”
 
Sirius then set to rummaging about Remus’ trunk. Remus took that time to look around the dormitory; James and Peter were both most resolutely asleep, snoring away like pigs and Frank was nowhere to be seen. His boyfriend—hmm, that word still rolled sleekly off his tongue after a full year of use—emerged with his uniform.
 
“Get dressed, Remus. Breakfast is in half an hour, and then we have to go to class. Merlin, I should kill the bloke who decided we should have class on a Monday. And Tuesday. And Wednesday. And every bloody day of the bloody week.”
 
Remus was halfway through brushing his teeth and freshening up when, oddly reminiscent of a mother cat, Sirius started combing his hair. He assisted with a surprising lack of straying hands when Remus was dressing. He fondly brushed a few stray wisps of hair from Remus’ eyes, clasped his cloak for him, and rewarded his efforts with a breathtaking kiss. They started off towards the Great Hall.
 
“Sirius,” Remus chided gently. “Have you been reading Lily’s romance novels again?”
 
Sirius looked offended. “You weren’t supposed to tell anyone,” he teased. “Lily would have my head on a platter if she found out I stole her novels again.”
 
He swatted Sirius jokingly on the back of his head. “Wanker.”
 
“Haven’t you guessed what today is?”
 
Remus decided that he ought to be grateful for Sirius’ abrupt change of topic—he wasn’t very comfortable with the last one—but this one was equally confounding.
 
“No…”
 
“Is there anything special about today?” Sirius prodded gently.
 
“No… not that I recall…”
 
The other boy merely smiled demurely. “Very well. Better for me, then. Though I’m surprised I didn’t find this out sooner. You keep your secrets well, Remus.”
 
Remus smiled wryly. “Indeed. With my ‘furry little problem’, I find it unwise not to keep my secrets closely guarded.”
 
He snorted. “You have the most ridiculous sense of humor.”
 
“Pot calling the kettle black.”
 
Sirius graced him with a cheeky grin. “Fine, you win. Now get on to Potions; Professor Slughorn isn’t going to like it if you’re late.”
 
Pause. “Where are you going?”
 
“Never you mind, Remy.”
 
“…Remy?”
 
Remus did, however, eventually make his way to potions. Professor Slughorn was adequately tied up in both teaching the class and fawning excessively over Lily Evans. Sirius was still nowhere to be seen and remained that way for the rest of the class.
 
Care of Magical Creatures was the same; James, who usually partnered with Sirius, now partnered with Remus and spent the first five minutes of the class trying to prod information out of him. Sirius remained resolutely missing through Care of Magical Creatures, though Remus could’ve sworn he saw a faint black silhouette clutching several brightly colored rocks making its way to the large castle.
 
The mystery was solved shortly after dinner. Sirius approached Remus on his way to the Gryffindor common room and—upon receiving a barely concealed wink from James—requested to steal him away for a bit. He was then led to the Prefect’s Bathroom on the fifth floor.
 
“Wattlebird.”
 
“…What?”
 
“The password, love.”
 
“Oh.” Pause. “Why are we here again?”
 
Sirius beamed. “Haven’t you figured out what day today is yet?”
 
Remus shook his head. “No. I was too busy wondering where you were all day.”
 
“Aww, you were worried about me.” He winked. “Don’t worry; I didn’t get into any trouble. I was making peace.”
 
He blinked. “Pardon?”
 
Sirius paused, and then waved an extravagant hand towards the bathtub. “Your swim trunks are over there. Get in.”
 
Remus, faintly disconcerted, obeyed. He slid into the bubbling foam with a slow, languid sigh. “Oh. This feels marvelous. What is it?”
 
“Shrinking Solution.”
 
“…WHAT?!”
 
The other boy sniggered. “Don’t get your knickers in a twist. It’s Draught of Peace.”
 
“Sirius!”
 
“What?”
 
“You do know that you’re supposed to drink a Draught of Peace, right?”
 
Sirius smiled benignly. “I’ve got everything taken care of, Remy. It’s an adapted version that you can soak in.”
 
“…Oh.” Remus slid further into the water, a blissful sigh escaping. “In that case, this is brilliant.”
 
“Have you figured out what day it is, then?”
 
His boyfriend’s voice floated lazily from the bathtub, a soft, “Hmm?”
 
“What day it is.”
 
“Oh. No, not yet. Why?”
 
Sirius nonchalantly finished curling the ribbon on the brightly wrapped present. “It’s your birthday, silly. Happy Birthday.”
 
 
 
Shrieking Shack - May 1976
 
“I’m fine,” Remus insisted, pushing James in the general direction of the door. “Get out of here before I transform. Please.”
 
James merely stuck out a childish tongue—despite being a fifth year Gryffindor—and gestured for Sirius to back him up.
 
“We’ve decided to stay,” Sirius replied calmly, stretched languidly on the half collapsed bed in the corner. “You know, to keep you company.”
 
Remus let out an exasperated sigh. “Come on. You can’t be serious.” A brief glance out the window revealed that the moon was dangerously full and only covered by a few scant wisps of cloud. “I’m going to transform any minute now. Unless you want to be keeping my company here, permanently, then I suggest you leave. Immediately, preferably.”
 
One of them sniggered; it was hard to tell when one was staring resolutely out the window. Peter was in the corner, patiently waiting for the grand finale.
 
“But we want to keep you company for every full moon until Seventh Year,” James insisted. “Turn around, Remus.”
 
He reluctantly obeyed. James transfigured his wand into a bright yellow microphone.
 
“Ladies and gentlemen,” he announced to an imaginary audience. “Thank you for being here with us tonight. May I present to you…
 
“Moony.” He pointed dramatically at Remus.
 
“Wormtail.” Were his ears deceiving him or was that pop the sound of Peter turning into a rat?
 
“Padfoot.” Sirius transformed into a big dog and joined Peter, forgoing his shaggy black hair for shaggy black fur.
 
“And Prongs!” James’ microphone disappeared as he himself transformed into a large stag with impressive antlers.
 
Remus felt giddy. And perhaps a bit faint.
 
Sirius turned back into a human with a small ‘pop!’ and hastily ran over to Remus.
 
“Whoa, Moony,” he reprimanded. “Steady. You might pass out—then we’ll have an unconscious werewolf slobbering drool on the floor.”
 
He nodded, and then gave a faint hiss, clutching his stomach. “Transform! It’s starting!”
 
Sirius transformed. A howl bubbled from Remus’ throat.
 
That night’s transformation was easier than most nights’.
 
 
 
Room of Requirement - March 1977
 
“Gah! Move over, Wormtail.”
 
You move over. I was here first.”
 
“No fighting, guys!”
 
Sirius blinked innocently back at James. “He started it.”
 
Peter gave an affronted growl. “I did no such thing. Padfoot started it!”
 
An amused chuckle came from Remus. “You two are so immature. I would’ve expected something like this from Padfoot and Prongs, but not you, Wormtail.”
 
Peter had the grace to look ashamed.
 
James, on the other hand, responded with, “What do you mean by that? For your information, I am as mature as they come, Moony.”
 
“Coming from the guy who still has to bully Evans into dating him?” Sirius queried archly. “I don’t think so.”
 
James scoffed. “I don’t bully Lily. I’m just persistent, that’s all.”
 
“Persistent to the point of annoyance, perhaps. And she still won’t date you, mate.”
 
“Break it up,” Remus admonished with no small amount of amusement. “See what I meant, Wormtail?”
 
Peter nodded in agreement.
 
“We need to finish working on the Map,” Remus added, pointing to the blank piece of paper on the table between them, “or else it’ll never be done.”
 
“Right,” James and Sirius agreed in unison, moving like one entity to gather around the table. “What do we need to do again?”
 
Remus removed his wand from inside his robes and traced the tip softly over the smooth surface of the paper. “Somebody needs to crumple it so it’d look old and nasty. Any volunteers?”
 
With an expression of mock pain and regret, Sirius gathered the sheet of parchment and crumpled it up. He then smoothed it out, making cooing noises and apologizing to the Map, which then proceed to stare at him in winkled, hostile blankness.
 
“Now that that’s done with,” he announced grandly. “Remus’ turn.”
 
Remus pressed the tip of his wand to the Map, etching his signature with zeal and a flourish. A sizzle, a muttered incantation, and Mr. Moony was registered in the Marauder’s Map. Wormtail was up next and it took him quite a few tries to get the incantation pronounced correctly. Padfoot’s sparks were extravagantly multicolored and Prongs… well, ‘sparks’ was a major understatement.
 
“Prongs, you can do the honors,” Sirius declared.
 
James stepped up to the Marauder’s Map, pointed his wand at it, and enunciated clearly, “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”
 
The slanted writing appeared gradually on the crumpled Map:
 
Messrs. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs
Purveyors of Aid to Magical Mischief-Makers
Are proud to present
 
THE MARAUDER’S MAP
 
The words then seeped back into the Map, only to reappear with the vague sketch of the Seventh Floor. They were nowhere to be seen, though Professor Slughorn was passing by in the corridor, conversing with Lily Evans.
 
“Yessss!” Sirius hissed, punching a fist into the air. He grabbed Remus and James and twirled them crazily around the room. “We did it!”
 
“Of course we did,” Remus replied calmly, though he was grinning as maniacally as any of them. “We’re the Marauders.”
 
 
 
Gryffindor Boys’ Dormitory - April 1978
 
Remus awoke to a very pleasant massage on his skin. Sirius was half atop him, and his marvelous fingers rubbing at knots in places he didn’t even know existed. He stretched lazily.
 
“’Morning, love,” Sirius whispered teasingly, pressing a kiss to the nape of his neck. “Did you sleep well?”
 
His lips twisted into a satirical smile. “You sleep like you eat, Padfoot—messy, hurried, and forever talking. How well do you think I slept?”
 
“Oh, you know you liked it, Moony. Brighten up. It’s Saturday.” 
 
“Where’s Prongs? Wormtail?”
 
Sirius made a sort of choking noise, flopping listlessly off Remus. “I’m here, offering my lovely services as a masseur, and you’re worried where the stag and rat are at?”
 
“The stag is over here,” yelled James from his four poster bed. “And he’d very much like to sleep in on a Saturday morning, so kindly save the molesting for later!”
 
“I am not molesting him,” Sirius replied, affronted. “In fact, I am doing no such thing. ‘Cause he’s participating in it fully…”
 
Peter made a gurgled noise and buried his head into his pillow. Remus swatted Sirius on his head.
 
“You wanker. You’ve scarred my friends for life.”
 
Sirius grinned cheekily. “They’re my friends too, Moony. That means I reserve the right to scar them as much as I wish.”
 
The curtains around Remus’ bed rustled closed and a Silencing Charm was cast. James tucked his wand back under his pillow and unceremoniously went back to sleep.
 
“Thanks, Prongs!” Sirius yelled, though he couldn’t have possibly heard him through the very firm Silencing Charm.
 
That earned him another thwack on the head from Remus. Sirius sourly rubbed at it.
 
“What was that for?”
 
“That,” Remus countered, sitting up straight. The covers fell down to pool around his waist and revealed an impressive array of both scars and bite marks, the latter courtesy of Sirius’ passion a few nights back. “Padfoot, that was for having the nerve to wake me up at such an early hour on a Saturday morning, then yelling most expressively in my ear. I do not appreciate that.”
 
Sirius pouted. “You’re no fun, Moony. You’re still supposed to be dazed from last night. I think I quite outdid myself.”
 
A blush fanned over the expanse of his face, though he kept on with his bantering. “You outdid yourself? Doubtful.”
 
Sirius looked at him strangely. “You should doubt your sexual prowess if you can’t manage to make me do that. I think it’s what I’m supposed to do.”
 
He had no decent response to that.
 
“However,” Sirius continued nonchalantly, fingers swirling a trail towards Remus’ navel. “You shouldn’t doubt that at all. You make me lose control so badly, Moony. Sometimes I wonder what I would do without you.”
 
“Nonsense,” Remus insisted firmly. “You’d do fine without me. Though I must ask, have you been reading Lily’s romance novels again?”
 
Sirius scoffed. “Give me more credit than that, Remus. I can make up saccharine sweet phrases on my own, thank you very much. Besides, Lily hoards her romance novels with a passion. I couldn’t pry one from her if my life depended on it. Hell, if her life depended on it.”
 
His lips curved into a smile. “Indeed.” He settled back on the bed. “Very well. I’m all ears.”
 
“…What?”
 
“Saccharine sweet phrases. I’d like to hear some more.”
 
“I think not,” Sirius replied tersely. “I do things on my own terms and I am not going to start sprouting nonsense just because you dictate it.”
 
“Hmm. Do you like my fingers, Padfoot?”
 
“Excuse me?”
 
“Do you like my fingers?” Remus repeated patiently.
 
“I-I suppose you could say so.”
 
Remus nodded. “Good.” He flicked a nail over Sirius’ left nipple; Sirius gasped sharply. “Do you like my fingers when they do that?”
 
Sirius didn’t answer.
 
He stroked a trail down to Sirius’ bared navel, fingers twirling and dipping at a mesmerizing rate. “Do you like my fingers when they do that?”
 
Sirius bit his lips to keep in his moan. Remus’ hand strayed lower.
 
“Do you like my fingers when they…” He paused. Then he stopped and brought his hand back up, licking each finger clean with alarming alacrity. “I suppose I shouldn’t continue. Because it really wouldn’t be fair for me to do all of that without any compensation.” He cocked his head to one side. “Say, a bit of saccharine sweetness?”
 
Sirius growled and pinned Remus to the bed. “You dirty little tease.”
 
Remus merely smiled coyly. “Quid pro quo.”
 
He felt the sigh on his lips. “Fine.”
 
Sirius nuzzled into his neck, licking the arch of it and nipping at random intervals. “I love you. I love everything about you. I love the way you nibble on the end of your quill every time you’re deep in concentration, then make that adorable face because ink tastes horrible. I love the way you unconsciously caress the spine of your book when you’re engrossed and wrinkle your nose whenever anyone interrupts you. I love the way you always protest to our pranks, but agree to it anyways because you know you’re a true Marauder at heart…”
 
Sirius leaned back on his haunches, gazing down at Remus with a fond expression on his face. “Need I say more?”
 
Remus mutely shook his head. Sirius continued anyways.
 
“I can’t imagine life without you, Moony.” His voice grew soft; so soft that Remus had to strain to hear him. “I don’t want to imagine life without you. It’s terrifying beyond words. I want to wake up every morning with your head on my shoulder or my head on yours and realize that all I’ve ever wanted is lying right next to me. I want to—”
 
Remus pressed a finger to his lips, halting him in mid sentence. He smiled sweetly. “I want those things too, Padfoot. Bond with me.”
 
The expression of pure, unadulterated shock on Sirius’ face would’ve been remarkably funny if the subject at hand wasn’t so serious. He worked his mouth a few times, lips forming the word ‘bond’ for a while in vain.
 
“B-bond? Is that what you really want?”
 
Remus nodded an affirmative. “I want you in my life for the rest of my life. Sirius Black, bond with me?”
 
Sirius’ ducked his head back into the comfort of Remus’ neck and Remus smiled blissfully as he felt those luscious lips form the word “Yes!” against his skin.
 
 
 
Godric’s Hollow - May 1980
 
Oh! Isn’t that adorable?” Molly cooed, bouncing a giggling Fred on her right hip.
 
The adorable item in question was a large circular rug, fluffy and blue, with the head of a house elf in the center. Lily proceeded to thank Remus for the lovely gift and moved on to her next one.
 
James smiled fondly from his post in the corner. Sirius was standing next to him and watching Remus coo over the gifts with as much enthusiasm, if not more, as Lily.
 
“Aren’t they adorable?” he asked his childhood friend.
 
He got a cheeky grin in response. “Oi, mate. You had better not be looking at my wife.”
 
Sirius scoffed. “Of course not, Prongs. Give me more credit than that. I would’ve looked at her 6 months ago, when she didn’t look like a beached whale.”
 
That comment earned him a light punch in the arm. “Don’t let Lily hear you say that. She fairly clawed my eyes out the last time I made a comment about how she looked—and that was to compliment her.”
 
“Of course, that can be chalked up to the fact that she hates you with a passion.”
 
“She does not!”
 
“You had to kidnap and bring her to the rendezvous point.”
 
“That was our first date,” James replied breezily, “and she married me, so I don’t suppose she can hate me that much.”
 
Lily chose that time to make eye contact with James. She smiled blissfully and blew a kiss in his general direction, as if to accentuate his point. He returned the gesture and then turned to with an arched eyebrow that seemed to say, “See? What did I tell you?”
 
Sirius merely shrugged, unconcerned.
 
“In the name of revenge… I should moon for Moony.”
 
“Don’t you dare,” Sirius replied, flashing the golden ring on his left ring finger in front of James’ face. “He’s mine.”
 
James scoffed. “He’s got you wrapped around his little finger. Strictly speaking, you’re his.”
 
The other boy gave a small sniff, as if offended. “I’d like to think I deserve more than a little finger. The index finger, at least.”
 
“Between the two of us, Padfoot,” James whispered conspiratorially, leaning his head in closer. He paused for effect. “You can have any finger you’d like if you’d just shut the hell up.”
 
Sirius grinned wickedly. “I do. All of them. On a nightly basis.”
 
Remus chose that time to join their conversation, beaming. “Hello, James. How are you?”
 
“As fine as I can be.”
 
“Lily looks radiant today, doesn’t she?”
 
“She’s my wife, Moony. She always looks radiant.”
 
Remus spared him an indulgent look and wrapped his arms around Sirius. “In that case, more radiant than usual.”
 
The messy-haired boy looked at the two of them with a bright smile on his face. “You two are so cute together.”
 
“I resent that! I am not cute,” Sirius spluttered. “I am charismatic and drop-dead gorgeous. I am not cute.”
 
“You two are most certainly cute,” Lily insisted, approaching them with a teddy bear for unborn Harry in her arms. “Everyone says so.”
 
Remus blinked. “Define everyone.”
 
“Everyone that has known, know, and will know you,” Lily replied simply. “It’s unanimous. You two are cute.”
 
“…Oh. I guess we are cute, then.”
 
 
 
Godric’s Hollow - November 1981
 
Dead.
 
They were dead.
 
Lily and James Potter were dead. Gone. Their lives taken on the whim of a deranged madman.
 
Remus had scarcely dared to believe it when he was alerted of… well, his closest friends’ deaths. Lily and James were murdered by the infamous Lord Voldemort. All that was left of Peter was his right index finger. And Sirius—well, he got what he deserved.
 
His train of thought trailed along that line for a while. Sirius got what he deserved. He manipulated the trust of Remus’ closest friends in the world, betrayed the Potters to what could only be described as the worst thing to happen to the Wizarding World in the last half century, and murdered Peter Pettigrew. He could rot in Azkaban, for all Remus cared.
 
But then, Remus forced himself to acknowledge the truth. He didn’t want Sirius to rot in Azkaban. He would be devastated if it turned out to be so. Despite all of Sirius’ faults and misconceptions and betrayals, Remus still loved Sirius. Loved him with all his heart and soul.
 
That was what hurt the most.
 
 
 
12 Grimmauld Place - June 1996
 
The ironies of life. Sirius’ whole life was one big ironic twist, but Remus didn’t feel like laughing. Sirius was a pureblood, a part of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black, and yet devoted his life to a half-blood werewolf. He grew up in a house of full of darkness and hostility, and yet managed to find his way to the light.
 
He was innocent and condemned to Azkaban for twelve years.
 
He escaped from the injustice of the Ministry of Magic and died in the Ministry of Magic.
 
He fought on the side of Light and died a criminal.
 
Remus hated irony sometimes. Especially when it concerned him.
 
But then, he had no room to hate irony at the moment. His body, mind, and soul were far too busy grieving for Sirius—the same one who held him through the good times and bad and died when his back was turned.
 
“Why?” he whispered into the silent room and hugged his knees even closer to his chest. “Why’d you have to take him? What did he do to deserve it? WHAT DID HE DO TO DESERVE IT, DAMMIT?”
 
A shocked gasp. His head snapped up and towards the doorway; Harry looked positively terrified, trembling and clutching the doorframe. His eyes were fixated on the golden ring on Remus’ index finger. The Concealing Charm had worn off and he had forgotten to recast the thing.
 
Remus smiled humorlessly. “Bonded.”
 
Harry tentatively padded across the room, his bare toes curling in the lush carpet, and stroked the smooth surface of Remus’ ring. “You loved him?”
 
Remus’ response was a pained grimace. “Still do.”
 
Harry seemed to ponder this for a moment. He crawled into Remus’ arms and wrapped his own around the too small waist, the too pale torso. He laid his head on Remus’ shoulder and closed his eyes.
 
Harry’s lips curved into an anguished smile. “I love him, too.”
 
 
 
Remus remembers both the good times, the events that occur during spring, and the bad times, the events that occur outside of it. He finds that spring lacks anything morbid and melancholy and morose. He appreciates that, on those rainy days he stares out the windows and hopes beyond all reason that his life only consisted of those three months because, really, spring is when life's alive in everything.