“Merlin’s sake. Sirius we are going to be late.” Remus called up into the almost empty dorm room as he walked up the stairs. James and Peter were waiting in the Gryffindor common room to go to the hallowe'en feast which had started… approximately 5 minutes ago. He walked in to lay eyes on Sirius still half dressed and in ordinary clothes.
“Oh for fucks sake, we’re all meant to be dressing up remember? You said you had the best costume.”
“I do have the best costume.” Sirius mumbled through an oddly familiar t-shirt as grappled helplessly for the sleeve holes.
“You’re in practically the same clothes you wear every day.” Remus countered, rolling his eyes as he ran a hand through his hair. Sirius’ head popped out of the shirt.
“No… I’m in the same clothes you wear every day.” He smirked, gesturing to the trunk of untouched garments by his bed. Remus frowned.
“We have to end this, Black” said Marlene McKinnon one Sunday evening in the gryffindor common room. Sirius Black found himself not giving a fuck. “Go, Marlene.” He almost wished she would leave now, as soon as possible. His mind had just enlightened him about something he should have known all along. “Are you sure you want me to leave?” She was crying now, “you *actually* want me to leave?” She had flashbacks of the time a few weeks ago when she had asked him out and he’d distractedly said a “yeah okay”. Looking back, she realized he’d been looking at someone when he had answered. He was staring at *Remus Lupin*. Just hanging around with the girls, flirting while also observing Remus- as if wanting to make him jealous. Why hadn’t she noticed all this time? He had been letting girls touch him all over while simultaneously looking like he didn’t want them to. Sirius Black still hadn’t answered. “It’s Remus, isn’t it” she said. It wasn’t a question; it was an absolute statement. This caught the black haired boy’s attention. He looked scared, almost as though he was on breaking point. “Marlene… I know very well how much this hurts you. And that is exactly why I’m doing this. So you don’t have to hurt more. You deserve someone better, someone who loves you like you love me. Yes, I know you love me, too. But.. We can’t always have what we want- can we?” At this point Sirius thought of the boy who smelled of chocolate and old books. The boy whose smile was rare yet so, so frequent with the marauders around him. The guy who thought of himself as a monster. The boy who hated himself and thought he didn’t deserve any of the love or happiness he got. Sirius Black thought of the only person he needed, yet the only person he can’t have. Sirius Black thought of Remus Lupin. “Marlene… You should go. I can’t watch you break this way because of me… When I can’t fix it.” He wasn’t the tough and cold guy he pretended to be anymore. Marlene didn’t need more persuading. She left with a last glimpse at the boy she *thought* she loved- the heartthrob of Hogwarts, the ladykiller. But the man wasn’t like that at all- he was in agony, too. Marlene had known, deep down, yet she had suppressed the thought. She knew from the way he always seemed to be where Remus Lupin was, how his moods mirrored Remus’s, how he won’t leave Remus’s side if he had a say and the way Sirius Black looked at Remus Lupin. This eased the young girl’s pain. At least he wasn’t completely heartless- as she’d thought he was. It wasn’t a princess he wanted. He was saving his heart for a certain prince. As Marlene made he way out of the common room, she bumped into- who else- but a horror struck Lily Evans, who Marlene realized had been eavesdropping. The redheaded girl opened her mouth to explain, but Marlene didn’t need it. She left before Lily uttered a word. At the same time, deeper inside the common room, Sirius Black thirsted for a desperate need. ~ “I told you, Remus” Lily Evans was saying just two minutes later after the incident. “But, Lily, I don’t understand? Why would Sirius… Someone like me… When all the girls would kill for… Lily, I think you’re mistaken” the werewolf muttered. “Do you really think that lowly of Black?” The answer was yes, he did. He didn’t trust the perfect boy who starred in his dreams every night, his mistrust only increasing after the Snape incident. Remus Lupin didn’t trust the man he was in love with. Love, after all, was helpless and uncontrollable, you can’t choose who your heart fell for. Sirius Black, in Lupin’s honest opinion, was a heartless and cold bastard who didn’t give two shits about anyone but himself. Yet the fact that Sirius went through the long and hard process of becoming an animagus for Remus. But then who had proof that he didn’t just do it because he thought that turning into a big, cuddly black dog was was cool? That was probably it.
Why, then, did Padfoot stay longer with him after the full moon than Peter and James?
Because he wanted to miss classes, of course.
“I don’t think that lowly of him” he said finally.
Lily was now trying to hide the satisfied smile waiting to reaveal itself. This is exactly how he had made her admit that she was head over heels for James. Only she knew, not even the marauders, how hard Remus yearned for a certain black haired boy.
It had just slipped in conversation one of these days.
Or at least, that’s what Lily believed.
“Hey, Rems, why is Sirius staring at you all the time…?”
The boy got scared by the unwarned appearance of his best friend, Lily Evans. He picks up the reading glasses -that fell on the book he was reading- currently out of shock.
“Black. Everytime I look at him he’s either looking at you. Or when you’re not around he’s looking down. Like now, he was looking at you just before I caught him- then he looked away. I can swear that I saw him blush” said Lily, overflowing with joy, for she knew what was going on.
“Are you implying that Sirius Black has a crush on me?” Lupin laughed, “Yeah, right.”
“Honestly, Remus, you’re turning Beet right now- just like lover boy.”
“No, I’m Not.”
“Remus loves Sirius Back. Wow.”
“No I don’t.”
“Yes you do.”
“No I don’t.”
“Yes you do.”
“NO, I. DON’T.”
“YES, YOU. DO.”
“No I don’t.”
“No you don’t.”
“Yes, I do! WAIT- NO NO NO NO NO I DON’T. SHIT SHIT SHIT. LILY!”
*End of flashback*
Lily grinned to herself.
“Don’t you dare smile.” Remus growled, frustrated because he was confused whether to be naïve allow his little heart the short happiness it much needed or be the victim of his own murder and not.
“Do you want proof?”
Lily cast a spell only she was able to conjure in the whole of Hogwarts apart from the teachers- not even Remus. The spell produced a bluish watery screen in midair in which you could see a person’s memory, often hear voices if that’s what was important– much like Dumbledore’s pensieve, only you can’t go into the memory.
There, in front of Remus, was a perfect copy of what Lily had seen- and heard.
“But how can you…?”
“Remus, No. You have proof now.”
“Remus!” This was not Lily’s voice. Instead it was a voice which Remus could recognize anywhere. The voice that was soft yet croaky at the same time, the genuine voice that had soothed Remus all those times after the full moon. The voice Remus heard when he cast a patronus- it was indeed the voice of Sirius Black.
“Yeah, Siri?” It was as if the anger in his voice had vanished in thin air, his voice was much softer- and it wasn’t intentional. Remus hated himself for this.
Lily slowly disappeared in the shadows of the Charms classroom where Remus had been reading just a while a while ago, she was out the door within seconds. Remus was sure he heard her giggling.
“Yeah, mate?” Remus prompted. Though he didn’t admit it, the word ‘mate’ hurt like hell.
“I… um… well um… I wanted to… ta-a—a-a—alk. Sirius stuttered the last word in a very small voice, which was very unlike the uy who always smelt of burnt cigarettes, which Remus could just make out.
“Sure lo- er- Padfoot.”
Was this really happening?
“Remus… I… dumped Marlene.”
“Don’t you always. And?” Remus was sure that despite his confident voice, Sirius could hear his heart thudding in his chest.
“For you.” The last word was quieter than anything Sirius had sad that day. Remus didn’t catch it this time. He was having a mental battle with his heart and his brain- did he really want the word to be “You”? No, he didn’t. He needed it to be “You”.
“What? For who?”
“For…” Sirius was figuratively shaking all over now, and Remus thought of other things that could make him move like that. Then he mentally tortured himself for thinking that. “I LOVE YOU, REMUS.”
Sirius had hoped shouting it would have made it easier, quicker, and much less painful. It did not, however.
When Remus did not reply, Sirius said “I’m sorry” as if he could change things. Sirius thought Remus was mad, but also laughing at Sirius’s pain, and that the heartbreaking reply would come any second, his knees going weak.
What the tall, scrawny boy wearing a jumper too big was actually thinking was not that at all.
Remus Lupin was thinking about all the times he’d wished to hear those words, all the crazy scenarios he’d come up with in his head, all the memories dating from the very, very first day they met. And now that this was actually happening, he couldn’t but stay quiet- and watch the heartbreakingly beautiful face of the heartbroken boy. What had he done to deserve such beauty?
It took everything, every single piece of the scarred boy to mutter the four small words “I love you, too” for it was unquestionable that if he didn’t soon the posh, black haired boy and he himself would shatter to pieces with hurtful anticipation.
It was so simple.
Much simpler than either of the boys had imagined.
Till nighttime the boys stayed there, not saying a word, and yet everything was understood in the omnipresent silence. It was as if no one had interrupted them on purpose, as if to give them deliberate privacy. Maybe Lily Evans had asked them to, but none of that mattered right now.
Remus Lupin sat with his head on a desk, hidden in his arms.
Sirius Black, on the other hand, had his legs on one of the desks, his arms around the two chairs on either side of him and his head falling off the back of the chair he was sitting on, his eyes allways watching the brown hair of the other boy present in the room, who had fallen asleep.
He had thought of carrying him, and thought better of it and let him be.
This was the first of the many nights Sirius Black fell asleep watching Remus Lupin.
From the next morning, everything was forgiven and long forgotten. Remus Lupin and Sirius Black would hold hands in class and steal kisses when they thought no one was watching, as if they’d been doing this forever. Lily just smirked. James and Peter were unaffected by it. They would, though, grin every time they caught one of them looking at the other. They didn’t ask one question- not even “When did this happen?”- it was as if this was how it had always been. There was no need for that, anyway, because of course Lily had told them everything. The teachers rejoiced secretly amongst themselves.
They ended up secretly getting marrie on James and Lily’s wedding.
19 year old Sirius Black falling into an ocean of stress and fear and emotions. He’s run away from his abusive household, from the prejudice-stained walls and the ceilings held down with hate. He’s living on his best friend’s couch, free after a lifetime of suffocating at home.
One night Sirius is walking the streets, half-drunk, cold and feeling more alone than ever, his hair pushed out of his face and his lips dry.
Sirius stumbling across a café that’s still open and is holding a poetry recital.
The first ones are dull, but Sirius is warm and the coffee is good. He’s considering leaving when someone new comes on stage.
The person who comes on stage is different. They speak of love, of the hate that their love gets, and it’s hot and fiery and raw. And Sirius feels so in-awe of this.
That night Sirius goes back to James’ and writes. All the resent and anger comes out on paper, harsh lines crossing out words that are wrong, his little finger indented by the pen when he finally finishes
The next night Sirius goes back to the same cafe and asks if he could read something out, “I mean, it’s just something I wrote and it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense but I want to give it a go”.
Half an hour later Sirius climbs on the stage and reads. The words dance and it’s like he’s talking to his family, it’s like he’s telling them everything he never knew he needed to. It’s hypnotising and he’s vaguely aware in the background of clapping in the audience.
That night Sirius leaves that cafe with the words ‘Slam Poetry’ in his mind, mentioned by skinny, young guy that steps over to him after Sirius climbs off the stage (he vaguely recalls the soft smile on the man’s lips, the warmth of his eyes, but that doesn’t matter, not now).
Sirius leaves that night with something to do, something to work for, because if reading out a mess of words and metaphors can bring him that much peace and satisfaction, then he wants to do that every night.
Remus Lupin never could rhyme. He never could write his feelings down on paper, there were too many of them and they were so fleeting and they didn’t matter, he was a mistake, after all. Not the loud, grinning kid his father wanted and not the girl his mother had wanted. They loved him, yes, but he always knew that if they could, they’d have another child, a better child.
Remus grew up hiding his emotions, pretending they didn’t exist, and even when he met Lily, when he made his first friend, he still couldn’t open up.
One night Remus discovered poetry. It was an accident, a glass of wine too much and a craving for some decent tea leading him to discover the most wonderful cafe, and it’s poetry nights. And suddenly emotions could be handled, through words.
For weeks Remus went there, just a couple of nights a week, whenever he could fit it in around his job and Lily’s social life, and he was always content sat at the back, earl grey in one hand, and a lifetime of unprocessed feelings to explore.
It becomes a near-obsession, books on maths and science dropped for words that make him feel. And everything is okay.
Except one night there’s somebody new who speaks. The only thing more gorgeous than his eyes or his voice are the words he speaks, passionate, honest, and so raw it hurts. And Remus can’t help it; after the show he goes and talks to the man, this person he’s never met before but wishes he knew more.
The guy doesn’t come back for a week or so, but the next time he does, he grins at Remus before climbing on stage. Remus barely remembers what the other boy says, but he remembers crying, and he remembers the way the man says his name. Sirius.
Every Friday after that, they see each other. Smiles before poems become conversations held over hot tea (or coffee in Sirius’ case), and Lupin can feel himself falling for the boy with messy hair and soft eyes, the boy who understands him, who doesn’t need to ask how he’s feeling.
It’s Sirius that makes the first move, even if it is by accident. A misplaced foot leads to Sirius falling into Remus, which leads to Sirius straightening up fixing his eyes on the Remus.
They don’t kiss that night. But Remus goes home with Sirius’ number and a blush on his cheeks. He smiles as he falls into bed, and dreams about that jawline underneath his hand.
Remus asks Sirius out the next day, and that Friday they skip the cafe and have dinner together. It’s perfect. Everything about it is wonderful.
They kiss that night when Sirius walks Remus to his flat. And Lily’s teasing can’t knock the smile off of Remus’ face.