The only thing worse than being trapped in an utterly silent room with Sirius Black was not being able to complain about being trapped in an utterly silent room with Sirius Black.
Remus groaned (inaudibly) and let his head knock (also inaudibly) against the wall behind him. He couldn’t even hear the sound of his own breathing or the equally unceasing rhythm of Sirius’ pacing. Everything in the room was exactly as the little plaque outside the door had promised:
Room Of Utter Silence
Do Not Enter Without Staff Supervision
For the last five years, James and Sirius had spent significant portions of Charms class staring at that plaque, eyes narrowed in resentment at the second line, which they clearly considered a challenge. Remus cursed that sign. Sirius and James would have had little interest in a room simply labeled “Room Of Utter Silence,” as silence was anathema to their existence. But by adding that second line to the plaque, the staff had made the room completely irresistible to two boys with a drive to challenge authority so strong that it had, in their very first month at Hogwarts, led them to sneak three hundred flobberworms into Professor McGonagall’s office just to see if they could.
They had tried to break into the Room of Utter Silence repeatedly, but of course the door was locked. It was also hard to find opportunities to try since the only entrance was within the much-used Charms classroom. Finally, about two hours ago, Sirius had found a spell in the library that had a chance of succeeding. Instead of waiting thirty minutes for his partner in pointless crimes to get out of Ancient Runes down the hall, he had borrowed James’ invisibility cloak, shoved Remus—the only available conspirator—under it, and proceeded to drag him along to test it out.
The Marauders had various theories about the Room of Utter Silence (torture chamber, staff sex dungeon, secret party room) despite the fact that Remus had long ago done what any sane person would do and simply asked Professor Flitwick about it. Flitwick’s answer, that it was for seventh years taking a particular elective to practice silent magic, was not acceptable to the other three Marauders. Such a prosaic explanation would have given them no reason to break in since they could—as Remus pointed out repeatedly—simply wait one more year and take the relevant class.
Still, compared to the flobberworms incident, this Mischief was positively productive. Even Remus agreed that they should, eventually, explore this room for the sake of the Map. He only disagreed with the timing of the inquiry. And the method. And the fact that he had been dragged along when he was only one chapter away from finishing a good book.
Against all expectations, Sirius’ spell had actually worked, and Remus had to admit the room had proved interesting at first. Visually, it was quite plain, like any other classroom in the castle except for the absence of furniture and the addition of full length mirrors along one wall, reminiscent of a dance studio. Remus supposed this was to help students examine their form as they cast spells. Silent magic was probably a lot more sensitive to such things than spoken spells. And of course the room was thoroughly charmed to prevent any and all sound. Their first half-hour in the room had been occupied with various fact-finding experiments. That’s what Remus called it, but in practice it had mostly involved Sirius attempting to make noises with various body parts. All of it was completely inaudible (and completely hilarious to watch). From a magical perspective, the room was fascinating. Remus spent several delightful minutes searching the corners of the room, locating and inspecting the sturdy crystals that held the silencing charm secure.
That was all before Remus had decided to go get note-taking supplies and realized that the door had automatically locked behind them, and of course Sirius’ spell, his spoken spell, was completely useless for opening it from the inside. Sirius had tried to cast the spell silently, despite Remus’ frantically waved warnings, and had only succeeded in nearly catching Remus’ robes on fire with stray sparks from his wand.
They were trapped, and had been for the last—Remus morosely checked his watch again—forty-five minutes. That was a long time to spend in silence if you happened to be sharing that silence with one of the most annoying people in the universe. Remus had confiscated and was currently sitting on both Sirius’ wand and the invisibility cloak, the former because Sirius couldn’t be trusted with it under ideal conditions, let alone when reaching terminal boredom velocity, and the latter because Sirius had immediately recognized the entertainment potential of sneaking up on someone who could neither see nor hear him. Deprived of these tools of mischief, there was a real risk that Sirius might go insane before help arrived, but at least Remus wouldn’t be forced to strangle him after being goosed for the third time in a row. At least the room was relatively large. Remus was sure he wouldn’t have been able to handle being crushed into some tiny closet with Sirius without revealing several facts he had been working hard to keep secret for a long time now.
If only he had brought his book. It was nearly over, but several important plot threads had yet to be resolved, and he was beginning to suspect one of his favorite characters had been killed offscreen. He was immersed in writing various endings for the story in his head when suddenly Sirius tackled him.
Remus’ mouth opened in a silent yelp as he attempted to fight off Sirius’ bony hands, which were being uncharacteristically invasive, even for Sirius, groping all around his hips. Sirius was too quick, however, and he succeeded in locating and retrieving his intended target, which thankfully turned out to be just one of the small two-way mirrors the Marauders had devised for communicating with each other. The screen was flashing black/white/black/white, which must have been visible through the thin fabric of Remus’ robes.
Remus stopped struggling immediately once he saw the pattern the mirror was displaying. It was James, signaling to them by flashing the mirror in front of a bright light, a clever way to get their attention when the sound of his voice hadn’t gotten a response.
Using a mix of gestures, exaggerated mouth movements, and desperate expressions, Sirius conveyed their predicament. It didn't take much for James and Peter to work out where they were, since there weren’t a lot of situations that could result in them being deprived of all ability to make noise. Remus and Sirius watched anxiously while James put the mirror back in his pocket. From the way the fabric of his robes moved, he was clearly walking somewhere. Then the movement stopped, and after a long pause James pulled the mirror back out. He made an exaggerated wincing face and turned the mirror around to show them the door to the main Charms classroom. Slowly, he slipped the mirror under the crack at the bottom of the door. The classroom was full of young Ravenclaws. Of course. They had Charms now. The room would be occupied for the next three hours.
Once James’ face was back in view, Sirius scowled and indicated, with surprisingly specific gestures, that James should create a distraction, an explosion, something. Remus nodded his agreement, silently sending prayers of apology to his prefect’s badge. He usually did his best to discourage class-disrupting Mischief, but this was an emergency.
To their surprise, James shook his head with a pious expression. Sirius and Remus exchanged a confused look, and then Remus remembered that Lily had volunteered to assist in the first years’ Charms lessons. He mouthed her name at Sirius, who immediately turned back to the mirror and began an argument with James that, while silent, nonetheless incorporated several creative swear words. This went on for a while, but James was stubborn and had the tactical advantage. Eventually Sirius gave up and settled for guiding James to the library book he had found the unlocking spell in. After that, James firmly indicated three hours on his watch and put the mirror back into his pocket, wisely preventing further silent demands for assistance.
Sirius fell to his knees in a show of dramatic despair, which Remus echoed, if internally. He was never going to survive three more hours of this. Still, being a werewolf, survival was something of a passion of his, so he decided to try. He settled himself comfortably on the floor and donned a peaceful expression, hoping Sirius would follow suit.
Sirius didn’t, of course. First he paced the room some more, then he repeated that process more methodically, placing one foot directly in front of the other and counting on his fingers (presumably for Remus’ benefit, since it was a fair assumption that he was capable of counting in his head) to measure the dimensions of the room. Remus nodded gamely and mirrored the final count on his own fingers to show he had understood. They would need those measurements to put the room on the Map later.
He was far less clear on the purpose of counting how many times Sirius could roll his body across the room, which was the next theoretically gainful activity Sirius found. Then Sirius began playing with the mirrors, unbuttoning his robes so he could use them like a cape and pretend to be a vampire. He also ran back and forth across the room, letting his robes stream behind his spread arms and making truly strange expressions that had Remus somewhat alarmed until he realized Sirius was pretending to be Batman, a key figure in some of the muggle comics James collected, or possibly just a bat.
Sirius watched his own performances in the mirrors with unsurprising vanity, and he looked back at Remus frequently to see how he was being received. Remus was mostly unaffected by his antics, although he couldn’t help laughing when Sirius’ bat sonar appeared to malfunction (perhaps due to the soundlessness of the room), and he crashed into the wall. It was ridiculous and childish, like most of the things Sirius did for attention, but it was hard to judge him for it. Remus got the impression Sirius hadn’t been allowed to act like a child back in his actual childhood, so it was understandable that he would want to make up for it now.
After a particularly dramatic crash, Sirius lay flat on his back for long enough that Remus began to hope he had fallen asleep. That would be lucky indeed. He closed his own eyes, looking for whatever diversion his mind could find. He settled on trying to remember and recite all the significant dates for their upcoming History of Magic exam. This kept him feeling happy and industrious for quite a while until he felt obliged to open his eyes to check on Sirius, only to find that Sirius was right there, mere centimeters away, watching Remus’ lips move with wary fascination. Remus startled backwards, which only served to knock his head on the wall.
Sirius gave him a “What are you doing” kind of look and pointed to Remus’ mouth. Remus sighed and reached into his pocket for his quill. He didn’t have any paper, but it was the nice self-inking quill Peter had given him for Christmas. He figured he could manage to write “studying” on the back of his hand or something.
When Sirius saw the quill, his face blossomed with delight. He snatched it out of Remus’ hands, and Remus worried he had accidentally introduced the diversion of graffiti. But then Sirius produced a small, much-folded piece of parchment from his own pocket and held the two above his head with ecstatic glee, in the manner of one who had completed a holy quest. He lowered the paper to one of the smoother stones on the floor and wrote, So, what fiendish charm were you whispering? Some arcane chant to break down the door?
Remus rolled his eyes and reached for the quill. It wasn’t a charm. I’m practicing for the History of Magic ex—
Sirius, who had been watching the words form on the paper, snatched the quill away with a disgusted look that said very clearly that this paper was far too valuable to be filled up with nonsense like studying. He hoarded both paper and quill close to his chest and scooted away from Remus on the floor as if fearing that the urge to study was contagious (it wasn't, Remus had tried), lips moving in a silent, disapproving mutter.
Remus shrugged and returned to his spot leaning against the wall, although he decided against shutting his eyes again. He might open them to find Sirius drawing a mustache on his face or something. When it came to Sirius, it was always best to be on alert.
Sirius seemed relatively harmless at the moment though. He had scooted all the way up to the mirror and was examining his face, squishing various parts of it and using the paper to cover up first one side, then the other, apparently for a change of perspective. After a few minutes of this, he rolled back over, stopping on his stomach in front of Remus’ feet to write, Do you think I’m ugly?
Remus rolled his eyes and pointedly did not reach for the offered quill. Sirius wasn’t ugly, and he knew it. It would be a long time before he got bored enough to indulge Sirius’ already over-inflated ego.
Sirius scowled at this noncompliance and wrote YES or NO in inquisitive capitals, in exactly the same way that James had when he had passed Lily a note asking if she would go to the winter dance with him in third year. The memory of Lily calmly setting the paper on fire made Remus laugh and put him in a good enough humor to take the quill Sirius was aggressively waving in his face and circle NO.
Sirius sat up to watch and beamed when he saw the result. He took the parchment and quill back. So you think I’m devastatingly handsome?
He waggled his eyebrows and scooted up next to Remus, nudging their hips together. Remus smiled and shook his head, trying not to be too affected by their closeness. Sirius looked genuinely disappointed, though, so Remus took the quill and wrote, against his better judgement, You’re just right.
Sirius took the paper back, eyes wide. He looked at the words Remus had written for so long, with so little humor, that Remus started to be afraid he had revealed too much. He wished he could take it back, but those three words stayed inked onto the page no matter how much he wished that he wasn’t such a stupid, transparent, utter, utter, girl.
Sirius twirled the quill in his fingers for a few minutes and then wrote, very slowly, very carefully, Do you want to touch me?
He handed the paper and quill to Remus who took them without thinking. It would have been helpful in that moment to look at Sirius’ face to check his sincerity, but Remus was so stunned all he could do was read those words over and over, mind racing.
He had a crush on Sirius, of course. It had been like that for a long time. It wasn’t an uncomfortable predicament, aside from occasional embarrassing moments that were usually obscured by the tastefully modest Hogwarts school uniforms. It also wasn’t so very surprising, when you looked at the facts of the situation. Sirius was indeed quite attractive. He was charming and clever and very good at dragging Remus—sometimes kicking and screaming—out of moping and into some fun. He could even be sweet and sincere when the situation demanded. And Remus didn’t exactly have a lot of options when it came to dating. He couldn’t imagine having a relationship with someone who didn’t know he was a werewolf, which (excluding family and professors) left only three candidates. James was hopelessly smitten with Lily, despite having received exactly zero encouragement. Peter lacked good looks, wit, creativity, and pretty much anything else that would have made him stand out in a crowd. That left Sirius, and no one could call Sirius the bottom of the barrel. Looked at in this light, having a crush on Sirius was completely logical. It was downright practical.
It was also never going to happen. Remus had known that from the beginning. He had done the math. It went like this. If one considered that approximately ten percent of the population was romantically interested in persons of the same gender, that made the odds of Remus and Sirius both being attracted to boys about one in a hundred. Additionally, Remus considered the odds of Sirius liking him specifically instead of some other more interesting or more attractive boy—say, James—to be quite low, perhaps one in a thousand. So the chances of Remus’ feelings being reciprocated were approximately one in one hundred thousand, or point-zero-zero-one percent. One would have to be feeling extremely lucky to bet on those odds, and Remus was not a very lucky person.
But then here were these words, staring him right in the face. Do you want to touch me?
Finally, on the hundredth reading of this impossible sentence, Remus found the courage to look up. Sirius had given up on waiting for him to respond and had slouched back against the wall with his eyes closed. He looked a bit embarrassed and truly morose, so much so that Remus began to consider a whole new set of statistics. Perhaps Sirius was not exactly gay but high enough on the Kinsey scale that he would consider, in a situation of dire boredom like this, fooling around with his friend, just out of curiosity or to pass the time. What were the odds of that? Considering that Sirius was apt to do anything that struck his fancy when he was bored, and that there were very few things to strike one’s fancy on in this room, it seemed like Remus’ chances were relatively good. A lot better than point-zero-zero-one percent anyways.
Perhaps more relevantly, what were the odds that Remus would hate himself forever if he didn’t take advantage of this extremely rare situation and do something, even though he had no experience and no confidence that it wouldn’t end in disaster? Pretty damn high.
So he sucked up every ounce of his Gryffindor courage and brushed his fingers, just very lightly, across the back of Sirius’ hand where it lay on his knee, reasoning that he could always pretend it was an accident if Sirius didn’t respond like he hoped. Sirius’ hand jerked and his eyes flew open. It was hard to read anything other than surprise in his expression, and Remus started to retreat. But then Sirius very slowly, very deliberately turned his hand over, exposing his palm and several centimeters of wrist.
Remus swallowed against a sudden, fresh torrent of nervousness. Hesitantly, he let the tips of his fingers rest in the center of Sirius’ palm. Sirius didn’t take his hand, but he didn’t pull away either. Remus forced himself to focus his attention entirely on Sirius’ hand, because he knew he would chicken out if he looked Sirius in the eye again. He gently stroked Sirius’ index finger from base to tip, feeling the little divots where the joints were and observing all the different colors at work. The almost creepy paleness of Sirius’ skin was tempered with warm pink here, with slightly darker lines in the creases and splashes of purple and gray where delicate veins were visible through the skin. It was oddly fascinating. Remus repeated the motion on the next finger and the next. Sirius’ hand twitched with each contact, and out of the corner of his eye Remus saw the twitching transform into little shivers that traveled up and down the length of Sirius’ body.
Sirius’ skin was rough but warm against the tips of Remus’ fingers. The feel of it dragging along was like electricity, like every nerve in Remus’ body had been temporarily relocated to whatever part of him was touching Sirius at that moment, even when it was just the tip of one fingernail tracing the outline of Sirius’ palm. Suddenly greedy, he let his fingers trail down to Sirius’ wrist, where the skin was much thinner and softer, and—sweet Merlin, he had no idea it was possible to get so turned on from doing so little. He was already dizzy with it. He was a total goner. He would never recover his cool, unaffected demeanor around Sirius again. He would be a useless lump of fawning desire for the rest of his life if he didn’t stop now—
But he was not going to stop, because in that moment Sirius leaned forward and kissed him.
Remus was so startled that he almost jerked away, but Sirius had a hand wrapped around his head, and, anyways, aborting this kiss—this one in one hundred thousand chance—was the one thing that Remus absolutely must not do.
He had never kissed anyone before, and he didn’t think Sirius had either. He would have said something, surely. There had been a lot of speculation about kissing and sex amongst the four Marauders, but as of yet no one had submitted any hard data, unless you counted comparing wanking techniques. James, predictably, was saving himself for Lily, and Peter was not exactly the type to go out and do something before the rest of them. Sirius was the obvious choice for a pioneer in this area, but so far he had had nothing to report, despite James urging him to do some exploring for the sake of the group. Remus, of course, hadn’t foreseen ever having an opportunity to contribute to their pool of knowledge at all.
It was a lot weirder than he had imagined it would be. Sirius’ lips were tense and pressed firmly against his. He must have licked them when Remus hadn’t been looking, because there was moisture there. The more panicky part of Remus’ mind shouted that this was strange, really strange, if you considered kissing with the perspective that humans were part of the animal kingdom, and somehow they had developed this bizarre habit of spreading saliva onto each other’s mouths. What was the purpose of that? There was no evolutionary advantage to it at all.
Then Sirius’ fingers shifted in his hair. It felt…nice, and a lot more normal than everything else that was happening. Remus relaxed ever so slightly. Sirius must have relaxed too, because now his lips felt soft. Remus could feel them, rounded and parted like the pages of a book that had been turned back just enough to see the page numbers. Remus sighed out through his nose, suddenly feeling very happy and lightheaded. If Sirius was a book then he wanted to read every word. He slid his lips slowly over Sirius’ own, marveling at their malleability—not a trait Sirius was usually known for. Sirius was such an uncontrolled, unpredictable bundle of chaos that it was easy to forget what a lovely container all that energy was wrapped up in. But now his mouth unfurled willingly, dreamily, and Remus began to lose track of individual moments in the sweetness of it.
They found a sort of rhythm, not at all polished or predictable, but even more enticing because of that. Remus could feel Sirius’ breaths, short and jagged, rushing out of his nose with abnormal silence and creating little sparks of cold whenever they moved in a way that exposed wet skin. He shifted forward, moving himself to a better angle, and brought his hand up to trace the curve of Sirius’ jaw, discovering the smooth hollow under his ear and the lines of alternating tension and softness in his neck. His other hand was still on Sirius’ wrist. He could feel the flutter of Sirius’ heartbeat in these two points of contact, beating in time with the dizzy sensation they were creating between them. It seemed to dance against Remus’ mouth, a spinning white helix of light that pulsed so much energy he thought he might be able to live off it forever.
He wouldn't have forever, though. He would only have a couple hours, possibly even less. Then everything would go back to the way it had been. They would be friends, and Remus would pine. But for now they existed in a miraculous bubble of time, location, and circumstances where one in one hundred thousand chances actually happened, and Sirius might let him do anything. Such opportunities should not be wasted. Remus released Sirius’ wrist and let gravity carry his hand downwards to rest on the inside edge of Sirius’ knee. Sirius had invited him to touch, and that was what he intended to do, as much as he could possibly get away with before this bubble burst.
Sirius’ knee moved under the weight of his fingers, and his legs parted in clear invitation. Remus spread his hand, curving his fingers around the outer part of Sirius’ leg while his thumb rested between two tendons on the inside edge of his knee. Sirius’ school robes were still fully unbuttoned and askew from the ridiculous games he had been playing earlier, so there was only the thin fabric of his trousers separating them.
Remus let his mouth range a little further afield, sliding over Sirius’ cheek and jaw, down to his neck. He was experimenting, relying purely on instinct, so he was surprised and delighted when he felt the flesh under his lips vibrate as Sirius moaned. There was no sound, of course, so Remus had to fill the auditory space with conjecture based on hearing Sirius’ voice in a thousand other situations. Even that was enough to make his own breath hitch in yearning imitation.
When he happened to glance downward, there was an obvious bulge pushing against the boundaries of Sirius’ clothes. He gasped against Sirius’ neck, hardly able to believe he could affect him so much, but it was true. Sirius was definitely hard, and it was Remus who had made him that way. Remus watched, heart pounding rapidly, as his hand slid up Sirius’ thigh, moving without any conscious intention at all, unless you counted sheer desire. He could feel all the textures of Sirius’ leg through the fabric. Sirius squirmed and ducked his head, seeking out Remus mouth again. Remus let him have it, and gladly. Sirius’ hand wrapped around his shoulder, pulling them closer together.
Sirius kissed him more boldly now, taking Remus’ lip between his teeth with a gentle pressure that sent heavy rushes down Remus’ spine. He shuddered, and his hand moved the last little distance up Sirius’ thigh. Now his thumb was resting against what had to be the base of Sirius’ cock, while the rest of his fingers splayed out towards his hipbone. Sirius jerked against his hand, and Remus instinctively pressed a bit more firmly, running his thumb up Sirius’ length through the fabric. Suddenly Sirius abandoned his grip on Remus’ shoulders and reached down to fumble between them. At first Remus assumed Sirius had reached his limit and was trying to push him away, but then he had to remind himself to never underestimate Sirius’ limits, because what he was actually doing was unbuttoning his trousers and shoving his underwear aside. He grabbed Remus’ hand, obviously intending to guide him, but Remus shook him off. He was probably only ever going to get to do this once in his life, and he wanted it to last more than three and a half minutes, which was Sirius’ self-proclaimed record.
Remus had seen Sirius naked before, of course. The whole castle had, on several occasions. Sirius and James both seemed to consider surprise nudity a staple when it came to pranks. And then there was the time the four of them had agreed (in Remus’ case, very grudgingly) to compare their equipment, so to speak. That activity had had to be repeated several times in different states of arousal before James could accept that Peter, of all people, was the clear winner, to which Sirius had cryptically remarked that perhaps Peter’s cock was compensating for something.
Embarrassing as that had been at the time, Remus was grateful for it now. This whole experience was terrifying and new enough already. He was grateful to have one less surprise in store. For example, he already knew that Sirius, unlike himself, was uncircumcised, although you could hardly tell at the moment. Sirius was so erect that the head of his cock was fully visible, and there was only a little more skin around the shaft than Remus was used to seeing on himself. Remus swallowed, repeating to himself that he could do this. It couldn't be that different from wanking.
He touched Sirius’ cock with one finger first, not unlike how he had touched Sirius’ hand a few minutes ago, trailing slowly from the base up towards the tip. Sirius’ breath came rushing out against his cheek in a series of soundless little puffs and his hands twisted in the fabric of Remus’ shirt. Remus had a somewhat similar reaction himself, because there was something unexpected here after all. Sirius’ skin was very soft, so unbelievably so that Remus began to wonder if he was hallucinating this whole experience. Suddenly he very much understood the logic behind oral sex. It was nearly criminal to touch such delicate skin with his rough, imperfect hands. His lips and tongue would be a much better match. That thought made his mouth water with a level of unadulterated lust he hadn't known he was capable of an hour ago, but he didn't let it rule him. He trusted Sirius to laugh off a handjob between friends, but there was no way Remus would get away with sucking his cock without revealing that he was, quite possibly, the most homosexual teenager on the planet.
That was one secret he had yet to let slip to the other Marauders. Not that he would have minded them knowing, but he didn't see how it would be possible to tell them without revealing his crush as well. He was queer; he wanted Sirius. The two concepts were so inextricably linked that they couldn't be expressed as separate sentences in his mind unless he used a semicolon. If he said the first part aloud, the other would inevitably follow. So he told his mouth it would have to be satisfied with kissing only, which was not much of a disappointment, considering the energy Sirius was currently giving to that activity.
Remus reminded himself for the dozenth time this afternoon that he was not a coward and wrapped his fingers around Sirius’ cock, only to be swallowed by a fresh wave of uncertainty. It was apparent after a few tentative pulls that this wasn't like wanking at all. Everything was backwards, for one thing. Also, he had never tried wanking while being distracted by Sirius’ tongue in his mouth (more’s the pity). Most distressingly, he had no feedback to tell him if he was doing a terrible job. He probably was doing a terrible job. That terrifying thought was confirmed when Sirius stopped kissing him. His mouth moved against Remus’ in a long string of completely incomprehensible but obviously irritated words. Remus jerked his hands away, mortified that he had managed to screw this up so badly, but Sirius grabbed Remus’ face in one hand and his wrist in the other and said something else.
Remus shook his head helplessly in Sirius’ grip. “What?” he mouthed.
Sirius’ mouth moved again, but this time he spoke slowly and sparingly enough that even Remus’ panic-stricken brain could read his lips. “Hurry. Up.”
He yanked Remus’ hand back and jammed their mouths together. Remus laughed against Sirius’ lips, a little hysterical with relief, because of course Sirius would be impatient and shameless in this, as he was in all things. Sirius rolled his hips, demanding more, so Remus tried again, but his hand was still graceless and stuttering. There was precome dripping down from the tip of Sirius’ cock, but not nearly enough for what Remus would consider a comfortable experience. Finally, he abandoned dignity entirely and did what he would have done for himself. He ducked his head and quickly licked his palm. He had to be sloppy about it or there was no point, and it made his cheeks burn, but it worked. Everything got much easier after that. Remus gave up on worrying and succumbed to simply enjoying the taboo experience of jerking Sirius off, leaning forward to lick into his mouth when Sirius started to lose the coordination required to kiss him back.
It was at about this point that Remus realized this was probably a prank, but he didn’t care, not even for a moment. Any prank that involved making Sirius come, as it was apparent he was about to do, was worth whatever punchline was going to follow. Remus would gladly accept ridicule if that was the price for feeling this, feeling Sirius writhing underneath him, greedily shoving himself up into Remus’ hand, digging his fingernails into his wrist, gasping wetly into his mouth.
Sirius had reeled him in by the shirt so close that Remus could hardly focus his eyes. That wouldn’t do. If he was actually going to get to do this, then he wanted to see Sirius’ face when it happened. So he used his free hand to grab Sirius by the hair, dragging him backwards just enough to see him properly. This seemed to have an effect all on its own, or perhaps it was just the last straw, because Sirius gasped out one word that was easy to understand even in total silence, “Fuck,” and suddenly his cock was pulsing messily all over Remus’ hand. Remus kept pulling on him until the last moment he could excuse it, watching Sirius’ flushed, ecstatic expression with an intense hunger that threatened to completely wipe all sense from his brain, if there was even any left.
Sirius’ eyes opened wide with disbelief right at the end, as if he had never felt anything that amazing in his life, which, hopefully, he hadn’t. Then he collapsed back against the wall, as floppy as a rag doll. Remus let go of him with shaking hands and gulped for air. His heart was rabbiting around in his chest, and he was positive, absolutely positive, that he had never been this hard before in his entire life. He fumbled in his pocket with his clean hand for a handkerchief and wiped off his fingers. After a moment of hesitation, he did the same for Sirius and tucked him back into his clothing, blushing anew as he did so. It had seemed like the polite thing to do, but it was actually much more awkward to touch Sirius like that when he wasn’t aroused. Sirius’ eyelids fluttered, barely, but his eyes didn’t open.
Remus stuffed the handkerchief back into his pocket, trying not to think about how embarrassing it would be to leave that out for the house elves to clean, and considering using the paper to ask if Sirius could please turn around for forty seconds or so, because if he didn’t have a wank right now he would probably die. He might, in fact, have died already. That would explain a lot.
He was sitting there with his eyes closed, trying to engrave the last few minutes into his memory, when suddenly Sirius tackled him. Fearing the punchline he had predicted before, Remus tried to scramble away, but Sirius caught him and kissed him. Remus was so startled that at first he didn’t even kiss him back. It hadn’t occurred to him that Sirius might reciprocate, but that was definitely what was happening. Sirius climbed into his lap and pressed him against the wall. Never one for beating around the bush, his hand went straight to the bulge of Remus’ erection, which not even school robes could hide now. Remus’ throat seized up with an unheard whimper, and he almost came from that first press of Sirius’ palm. He grabbed Sirius by the hips and pulled him closer until they were flush against one another with Sirius’ hand caught in between. He could feel the rise and fall of Sirius’ chest against his own and the muscles of Sirius’ thighs pressing down around him. Sirius rocked his hips, and every place they were touching—up to and most certainly including his hand pressed firmly against Remus’ cock—moved in a single heart-shaking pulse that was so intense that Remus was sure he wouldn't have survived it at all if not for them both being fully clothed. Then his head was full of an image of a naked Sirius doing this, kissing him, grinding down onto him, which led to a whole series of images, each one of them far more taboo than the idea of bringing Sirius off with his hand.
Sirius backed away out of his lap, but his smile was so wide and lewd that there was no way Remus could misconstrue this as a rejection. He yanked Remus’ robes and shirt up around his chest and leaned down to kiss his stomach, tongue sliding, hot and tickling. Remus convulsed from head to toe, consumed by the unexpected intensity of the sensation. Sirius’ shoulder was pressing against his cock, and he couldn’t help but think about what it would feel like to have Sirius’ mouth move just a bit lower. Then he gulped, suddenly realizing that, of course, that was exactly what Sirius must be about to do. Sirius was unbuttoning his trousers with a challenging, anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better smile, that same smile that made James unable to resist any dare that might follow. Of course Sirius would want to one-up him, to have the last word. He pushed the clothing down out of the way, exposing Remus’ cock, which seemed to be curving towards his mouth of its own volition. Sirius was so close that strands of his longish hair stuck to the damp head of it. Remus swore silently and shivered. He could feel even that, even the tiny lines of contact created by those few hairs sliding along his skin.
Sirius seemed to notice this, and he sat up. He gathered his hair into a messy lump at the back of his head and secured it with a tie from his pocket, something he usually only did during Quidditch practice. His eyes stayed focused on Remus’ cock the whole time. He was still smiling, but he had a slightly more thoughtful, strategic look to him. He glanced back up at Remus’ face and grinned. That was the last warning Remus got before Sirius swiftly bent down and took his cock into his mouth.
Remus lost all vestiges of control in the space of a single moment. His throat clenched with a cry that would surely have been very embarrassing if not for the magic of the room stealing all sound, and he thrust his hips up sharply into the hot, slick depths of Sirius’ mouth. Unfortunately, this instinct didn't serve him very well. Sirius gagged and jerked away, sitting up partway to give Remus a good glare.
“Sorry, sorry!” Remus mouthed, mortified.
Sirius tossed his head, which was less dramatic than usual as he didn't have any loose hair to flip. He held up a warning finger as he lowered himself back down again, and Remus nodded vigorously, relieved that he hadn't scared Sirius off with his stupidity. He braced his hands against the floor on either side of his hips, determined not to move a muscle.
Sirius licked him first this time, probably testing the waters to see if Remus would flail around again. Remus gritted his teeth and scraped his nails on the flagstones, but he managed to stay still. So Sirius licked him again, and again. Then there was a softer slide that must be his lips, and Remus’ jaw unlocked to release a stuttering monologue of praises and curses and pleading. He was absurdly grateful that he couldn't actually make noise, or else he surely would have withered away and died of embarrassment on the spot.
Sirius obviously had no idea what he was doing—he kept pausing to change tactics, and there were occasional unpleasant scrapes of teeth—but it absolutely did not matter. It was the most impossibly amazing thing Remus had ever felt, a thousand times better than he had imagined, and he had imagined this exact scenario a lot. He had shut his eyes out of self-defense after seeing the first unbearably sexual flick of Sirius’ tongue, but after a few moments he remembered the importance of watching so he could commit every detail to memory and wank to this for the rest of eternity. He opened his eyes, and there was Sirius, flushed and kneeling down low on his knees and elbows, mouth stretched obscenely wide, cheeks hollowed as he sucked. Once he had seen that, Remus had no chance. He came barely five seconds later, babbling a stream of words that would have been incomprehensible even under normal circumstances.
Sirius jerked a little, and his eyes widened with surprise, but this time Remus was too busy exploding to care or even much notice. Sirius’ curling tongue sent lightning bolts of pleasure ricocheting around through every part of his body, substantially stronger than any orgasm Remus had experienced before. His lungs couldn’t breathe deeply enough, heart couldn’t beat hard enough, nerves couldn’t transmit signal quickly enough to keep up with all the energy it required. It was basically like being murdered with pleasure.
Not one to back down, Sirius didn't let up until Remus was slumped against the wall, trembling and only hazily aware of the world. Only then did he pull away, coughing a bit around a wide, manically triumphant grin. He looked exactly as he had right after his first ever shot of firewhiskey. What had he said then? “All right, that was worse than I had been led to expect. Give us another.” And he had snatched the bottle out of James’ hand, laughing, totally unperturbed by the way the drink had made his eyes water.
There was a trail of white on Sirius’ left cheek. Unsure if it was even real, Remus reached out with a shaking hand and wiped it off. Sirius turned his head and licked his fingers clean, tongue swirling unnecessarily. It was totally different from Padfoot’s sloppy, friendly licks, and it sent shivers of aftershock down Remus’ spine. Remus had to feel it for several seconds before his brain caught up with him and he started to truly process that this was actually Sirius, actually here, down on all fours, licking come off his fingers and looking up at him with lustful eagerness, as if he was just waiting for the next indecent thing they might do together.
And that was it. Remus gave up on everything, including pretenses at verticality, and flopped over onto the floor. Every circuit in his brain was utterly blown. Every neuron was fried, used up, done. He had officially felt all there was to feel, a lifetime’s worth of enjoyment condensed into a few minutes. He would never, as long as he lived, experience anything—good or bad—properly again. He would be an emotionless, shambling husk of a person, and he didn't even care. It had been so, so worth it.
He lay there in a useless heap for what felt like a long time until he felt air moving near one of his hands. He opened his eyes to see Sirius lying on his stomach, feet swinging cheerfully in the air behind him as he wrote something on the paper. Remus blinked and briefly considered moving.
Sirius finished writing and handed Remus the parchment.
That was AWESOME. But next time I have got to hear all the filthy things you were saying.
Remus froze in shock as those two words, next time, bounced around the inside of his stupid, empty skull. It took several reverberations for him to even remember what they meant, and then he still didn't hardly believe it.
Sirius grabbed the paper and started to scribble something else, eyes wide with sudden panic at Remus’ odd reaction. Remus raised himself up on one elbow so he could see.
Only if you want to. If you’d rather just forget this ever happened then that’s fi—
It was like watching someone nail shut a window Remus had never even realized was open. Someone, somewhere, was writing The End in the story of his life, or maybe he was getting written out of the story entirely. Maybe he had never been an important character to begin with.
Remus lunged across the floor and snatched the quill out of Sirius’ hands.
Sirius jumped at this sudden and uncharacteristic tackle. He watched with great trepidation while Remus took a deep breath, sat up, fixed his clothing, and straightened his glasses. Once his dignity was restored, Remus took the paper and carefully put a line through that last, unacceptable sentence. Sirius scooted closer and looked between Remus’ face and the paper, a cautious smile just barely forming. Remus went back and made a precise circle around those two beautiful words, next time.
Sirius’ smile got wider, more confident. There was no mischief in it this time, though, no hyperactive bravado, no lewd challenge. He just looked…happy. Remus smiled back at him for a long moment, and he realized that he might actually be a lucky person after all.
The postorgasmic clouds in his brain were already clearing, making way for the blue skies of heady new possibilities, for next time. And it was a good idea to make sure he was absolutely clear, more clear than some lines scrawled on paper could ever be. So he leaned forward and kissed Sirius again. Sirius responded eagerly, pulling them both down to the ground and lining them up on their sides so they were touching absolutely everywhere. It was even more lovely than before. Remus was still tingling from all the things they had just done, and Sirius’ lips were swollen and hot. It was too soon for him to get hard again, but that made it even better, because there was no rush.
The flagstones under his hip and elbow were uncomfortable, though, so he pushed on Sirius’ shoulder, rolling them and putting himself on top. It had been Sirius’ idea to break into this stupid room in the first place. If one of them was going to have bruises it should be him. Sirius didn’t resist being shoved down into the stones, and Remus wondered anew at this uncharacteristic yielding. He wondered how far Sirius would let him push it.
The paper was between them, getting crumpled. Remus pulled away from the kiss, laughing at a sudden thought. He sat up and smoothed the paper out flat on Sirius’ chest so he could write, grinning when Sirius wiggled a bit under the ticklish movement of the quill.
Will you go to the winter dance with me? Circle YES or NO
Sirius laughed when Remus held the paper up for him to see, obviously remembering James’ note too. He made a mock considering expression, putting his finger to his lips like he was trying to decide if he should follow Lily’s example and set it on fire. Remus giggled, although it really wasn’t that funny, but he was so high on euphoria and the feel of Sirius under him that it didn’t matter. He pushed the quill into Sirius’ hand and watched with satisfaction while Sirius clumsily circled YES.
Remus took the parchment back, folded it carefully, and put it in his pocket. He would need it later, to remind himself he hadn’t imagined or dreamed all of this, although he would be very impressed with his subconscious if that turned out to be the case. That task done, he leaned down to kiss Sirius again. Sirius rose up to meet him a little. Remus closed his eyes right before they made contact, only to find himself unceremoniously thrown to the floor as Sirius scrambled out from underneath him, half crawling, half running towards the classroom door, which had just started to crack open. James’ head peered around the open door, but Sirius shoved him out of the way before he could attempt to say anything, making a break for the Charms classroom beyond as if his life depended on it.
Remus wasn’t far behind, although he did stop to get Sirius’ wand and James’ cloak. He emerged into the classroom just in time to hear the end of Sirius’ wordless, self-indulgent yell, the first sound either of them had heard in hours.
“Are you all right?” James asked, eyes wide with concern and a bit of fear, obviously anticipating Sirius enacting revenge for stranding them just to avoid upsetting Lily.
“Absolutely! That was awesome,” Sirius said, talking much louder and faster than usual, apparently needing to make up for lost opportunities. He was also waving his arms wildly as he talked, but that was pretty much normal. “Don’t get me wrong, you’re still going to wake up with something slimy in an intimate place sometime this week. But I finally got around to seducing Moony, so life is good, better than good, great, fantastic! It was surprisingly easy. If I’d known all it would take was a piece of paper I’d have done it a long time ago. I thought I’d need an actual book for sure, one of those big moldy ones, you know? Sex is fucking amazing by the way, Prongs, you should try it sometime once you’ve stopped moping over that prissy, stuck-up witch.”
James and Peter’s eyes got bigger and bigger throughout this high-speed monologue. Remus was only slightly less shocked. He never, in a million years, would have guessed that Sirius had been planning to do something like this.
“I think maybe you were in there a little too long, mate,” James told Sirius gently, seeing Remus’ expression, which probably did not appear to corroborate Sirius’ version of events at all.
“This is what I was afraid of,” Peter whispered. “His mind didn’t survive. He’s totally bonkers.”
“Bonkers for Moony. Moony for Moony!” Sirius said, hands on his hips, grinning wide. “Over the moooon!” This last was said at full volume, with his hands cupped around his mouth as he howled. Then he paused, frowning thoughtfully. “Well, under, mostly.”
“Maybe we had better go see Madam Pomphrey,” James said, extending a hand to Sirius’ elbow, cautiously, as if he was afraid Sirius might explode (a fear not unsupported by past experience).
“Sod Madam Pomphrey!” Sirius yelled. “I’m starving! We missed dinner, didn’t we? TO THE KITCHENS!”
He took off at high speed, skidding out of the classroom and down the hall, calling back for the others to race him. James ran after him, yelling futile requests for caution and mental health examinations. Remus and Peter followed at a more sedate pace.
“I’m sorry to have to ask,” Peter said, “but did he really seduce you, or try to? It’s Sirius, I honestly can’t tell.”
Remus sighed, resigning himself to never having any secrets ever again. “Peter, if you look very carefully at the facts, at the timeline, if you will, I think you will find…everything happened exactly as Sirius said.”
“You mean you actually did…it?” Peter exhaled slowly in awe. “Wow. What was it like?”
Remus considered this for a moment. “About how you would expect. Weird, embarrassing, a bit damper than anticipated. But, overall, very enjoyable.”
“Wow,” Peter said again, apparently at a loss for other interjections. “No offense, Remus, but I'm a bit surprised. I didn't think you’d be the first.”
The first of the four of them to have sex, is what he meant. “Technically, Sirius was first. And, for the record, I don’t understand everyone’s insistence on viewing this as a race.”
“Oh, yeah, I guess.” There was awkward silence for a couple minutes, then Peter burst out, “Can I try?”
“With me?” Remus started to laugh then cleared his throat, because that was apparently exactly what Peter meant. “Oh, uh, well, Sirius and I are kind of going out now, so I don’t think that would be quite straightforward of me. Sorry.”
“Oh. Sorry, I just thought that would be, like, our new thing. With the four of us, you know…and you’re a lot less scary than those two…” Peter trailed off awkwardly.
Remus didn’t answer right away. That would, he realized with sudden alarm, make quite a bit of sense. The Marauders did everything together, and he could see why, from Sirius’ perspective, it would be strange to stop now. Even James would probably go along with it, if it were to be some kind of Marauders-only thing, all Boys Club and don’t-worry-we’re-all-straight-here experimentation. But that wasn’t what Remus wanted at all.
He found himself clutching the paper in his pocket, thinking frantically about all the things it did and didn’t actually say. What if Sirius had just gotten tired of being a virgin, or what if it was actually James he wanted in the end after all, as Remus had always thought far more likely?
He was still consumed by this horrifying train of thought when Peter continued, apparently not having noticed Remus’ silence as anything odd, “I’ve never even kissed anyone. You’ll tell us about it, won’t you? I don’t know if I’ll ever figure this out otherwise.”
Remus swallowed. “Don’t worry, Peter. I’m sure Sirius will tell everyone everything as soon as he slows down enough to stay still for a minute. I, on the other hand, will hide in the bathroom and delude myself into thinking privacy is still a commodity that I enjoy.”
Peter nodded in sympathy. “I would probably hide in the bathroom too, if I was dating Sirius.”
As if to prove the wisdom of that approach, at that moment Sirius came hurtling towards them from behind, apparently having somehow figured out a way to lap them. Devoid of brakes—or any more metaphorical restraint—he used an arm around Remus’ neck to halt his momentum, swinging around to plant a rough kiss in the general area of Remus’ mouth. “Come on, Moony! Why are you so slow? We have to go to the kitchens so we can get our blood sugar levels back up so we can go back to the tower so we can try fucking!”
“I don't think there’s anything wrong with your blood sugar levels,” Remus grumbled, rubbing his neck. Then the rest of what Sirius had said trickled through his ears to his brain, and he froze up with an overwhelming combination of excitement, nervousness, and sheer disbelief. It was starting to be a familiar cocktail of emotions. Perhaps, if he was very lucky indeed, it would be his staple from now on.
“Sorry!” James caught up with them, panting and holding his side. He yanked Sirius’ arms off Remus’ neck. “Get off him, you mad fucker, you’re going to break him. Sorry, Moony, he’s just so fast. What should I do, should I stun him? I could stun him. I think I want to stun him.”
Sirius sulked with his hands crossed over his chest and raised his eyebrows at Remus expectantly. Remus looked him over, trying read in Sirius’ expression the answers to a dozen questions he was too afraid to ask.
“That won’t be necessary,” he said at last. “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think Sirius is fine just the way he is.”
“YES!” Sirius said, pumping his arm in triumph, fist passing perilously close to James’ face. “I told you!”
James looked back and forth between them in confusion, then he did a double take at Sirius. Remus saw it at the same time, as Sirius unconsciously swooshed his hair back. There was a sickle-sized red mark on the side of Sirius’ neck.
“What is that?” James cried. He grabbed Sirius by the shoulder and yanked his hair out of the way.
“What is what? Is there a mark? Prongs! What does it look like?” Sirius gasped in excitement and fought James off with flailing arms so he could look at his reflection in the chestplate of a nearby suit of armor. “There is a mark! Oh man, it’s so brilliant, Moony, look!”
“I see it,” Remus mumbled. He pressed the back of his hand against his face, trying to cool the burning heat in his cheeks.
“Remus!” James didn’t seem to know what to say next, so he said it again. “Remus!”
“I know,” Remus said.
“I was operating on the assumption that you were too smart for this!” James said at last.
“That’s what you get for underestimating my Moony,” Sirius said smugly, draping his arm back around Remus’ shoulders. He used his other hand to arrange his hair so the mark would be on display to anyone who might care to inspect it. “Little did we know, he can snog like the dickens!” When James just stared, Sirius took this as a cue to continue bragging. “So can I, I gathered. I made him come, you know. With my mouth!”
“Sirius!” Remus hissed, struggling to suppress an urge to put a fist in that same mouth. “Do you have to—”
“Yes, Moony. Yes, I do. It's educational. Prongs, Wormtail, listen and learn. I used my mouth, and he loved it. Didn’t you, Moony?”
“He loved it,” Sirius answered for him. “First I just put his whole dick in my mouth, but he—”
“Sirius!” Remus gave up on subtlety (it never worked on Sirius anyways), and clamped a hand over Sirius’ mouth, which had been indeed been quite enjoyable earlier but was going to get him murdered if he went on like this. Remus would have to see to it himself, for the sake of his own sanity. They had missed dinner, but it wasn't quite after hours yet. There were still a few students in the halls, all of whom were watching, seeing as the whole school had been well trained by now to view the Marauders as both a potential threat and a definite source of entertainment. He suppressed a shudder when Sirius immediately began licking his palm, which didn’t have quite the same immature-eleven-year-old-defense-tactic vibe that it used to. “Sirius, listen carefully. You are going to wait to talk about—stop licking me!—you are going to wait at least until we get up to the dorms. Or I’ll see to it that you never have another sex story to tell again. Understand? Nod if you understand. All right. I’m going to take my hand away now.”
Remus removed his hand, and everyone watched Sirius, who was wide-eyed but, astonishingly, silent. Remus winced at his palm and wiped it on the shoulder of Sirius’ robes.
“Wow,” Peter breathed.
“Remus, I take it back,” James said, clearly impressed. “You are a genius. You’ve found the one thing in the world he’ll shut up for.”
“Moony,” Sirius whispered, his voice a tiny, pathetic whine. “Can I not talk at all?”
Remus shook his head, trying not to smile. “You can talk. I know you won’t survive any more silence today. But you have to talk about other things.”
Sirius’ face bloomed with relief. “Thank Merlin. James! I just thought of something. Did anyone see you in the restricted section in the library?”
“No…” James said, a slow, devilish smile beginning to spread across his face.
“What about sneaking into the Charms room? No? No one saw anything?” Sirius quivered with excitement. “No one saw us either! You know what that means, don’t you? Do you know what that means?”
“WE GOT AWAY WITH IT!” they yelled in unison, with Peter joining in belatedly at the end. They finished this self-destructive exercise with the Secret Marauder Handshake of Victory. Sirius shook with James and Peter simultaneously and then turned to repeat the handshake with Remus, who kept glancing around for McGonagall. She seemed to have a sixth sense for this handshake and often descended on them right after, which wasn’t surprising considering the idiots were always so loud about it. Also, the last step of the handshake involved shooting confetti from one’s wand (Remus usually skipped that part). Discretion was not a big part of the Marauders’ valor, despite Remus’ weary attempts at influence.
It turned out his caution was pointed in the wrong direction, though, because at the very end of the handshake Sirius forewent further confetti and lunged in to kiss him instead. He was so rough that it was more like getting punched in the face than snogged.
“We are not adding that bit to the Handshake of Victory,” James declared.
“Hah! You wish. These lips are for none but my Moony,” Sirius said, tossing his head.
“Really?” Remus asked, delighted, completely missing an ideal opportunity to hide how smitten he was. Sirius just grinned and kissed him again in the same unsatisfying, vaguely painful way.
“Sirius, ow!” Remus leaned back and rubbed his nose, although he couldn’t stop himself from grinning like an idiot. “We have got to work on your spontaneous snogging skills.”
“Good idea!” And before Remus could do anything about it, Sirius leaned back in and kissed him properly. Remus decided after the first shocked moment that he didn't want to do anything about it and kissed him back. Apparently Sirius really had meant what he had written, and the simple reality of him, here in Remus’ arms, was enough to make Remus’ heart beat faster. His whole chest was filled with buoyant, surging excitement. No wonder Sirius was bouncing off the walls—although the kiss had made him go soft and supple against Remus’ chest almost immediately. Remus smiled against Sirius’ mouth. He could get used to this.
“Huh. I never would have thought of using my teeth like that,” Peter said, quite a few minutes later.
“I never would have thought of anything that’s happening right now,” James said, sounding a bit put out.
Remus jumped, turning bright red and pushing Sirius out of his arms with an effort. Somehow, he had just assumed James and Peter had continued walking without them, despite a complete lack of any evidence of them having done so.
Sirius, of course, was completely unaffected. He just sighed dreamily and murmured, “What a great day. I love when we get away with it.”
“I don’t,” Remus said in a burst of embarrassment-induced contrariness.
“Yes, you do,” Sirius countered with a smug smile. “You love it. It’s written all over the inside of your mouth, Moony.”
“For the record,” James was saying, “I don't ever need to see that again. God, Pads, you’re such a slut.”
Sirius put his hands on his hips. “Don't be such a grump. If you wanted to be first instead of Moony’n’me—”
“I thought you were first,” Peter interrupted, in the manner of one who was taking notes for posterity.
Sirius gave Remus an incredulous look. “And you’re mad at me for telling stories? You were only alone with him for like three minutes! Jeez, Moony. Anyways,” he turned back to James, “if you wanted to be first instead of—to be strictly accurate—me, you should have given up on that red-headed terror and gone looking someplace more realistic. Like Greenhouse Two.”
As Greenhouse Two was currently devoted to bubotuber plants and similar greenery, James was then obliged to knock Sirius down. Remus and Peter watched from positions of relative sanity while the other two wrestled on the floor. Remus made sure to stand well to the side so he wouldn't block the path of any enterprising students that might feel like stepping on the two of them while they were down.
“I don't get it,” Peter said once the struggle was winding down. “If Sirius only lost his virginity just now, how can he already be a slut?”
“Oh, you know how it is, Wormtail.” Sirius surged upright and draped an arm around Peter’s shoulder, which made Peter’s Resting Anxiety Face intensify threefold. “Some of us are born great.”
“Are you saying you were born a slut?” Remus asked, not entirely sure he would disagree with this point.
“Some of us are born sluts,” James said. “Some achieve sluttiness. And some,” he gestured to Remus with an attitude of deep sympathy, “have sluts thrust upon them.”
Sirius frowned. “I don't think that's how that goes.”
Remus threw his hands up into the air. “That's not how that goes at all. Enough, we are walking now.” He plucked Sirius’ arm off Peter’s shoulder before he broke something making that face and spun Peter and James around until they were facing down the hall. “Walking. Not talking about sex. Walking to the kitchens.”
He turned to explain to Sirius that he had not been telling stories, he had just answered a few discreet questions—and at far more private volume than certain other people—but Sirius was smiling at him in that uncomplicated, happy way again, and he reached out to hold Remus’ hand while they walked. It felt legitimately amazing, and Remus found he didn't have anything to say after all, for almost the whole walk to the kitchens. But before they arrived he held Sirius back a bit until they were just out of hearing distance from the other two.
“Sirius, you do know we can’t actually try—” he swallowed, nervous about saying the relevant word in the relevant context for the first time. “You know, what you said. Not tonight anyways.”
“Fucking?” Sirius asked brightly. “Of course we can! Don’t you want to?”
“I—well, yes, but, it’s just—we have no idea what we’re doing! We need to do some research first, don’t you think?”
“Done!” Sirius grinned. He was still waving his hands as he talked, but he didn’t let go of Remus’ hand, so Remus found his arm getting jerked around in an alarming way. “I’ve got this totally brilliant book, Moony, it explains everything. Don’t worry, I got this.”
“What? You do? But—” Remus paused, unsure how to illustrate his feeling that this was all moving very fast in a way that someone like Sirius—who lived his whole life at high speed—would understand. “Still, we can’t just do that. We need stuff. You know…supplies?”
“Lubricant!” Sirius said, far too loud. “I gotcha covered. Lubricatoria. Ta-da!” He held up his hand, which was now shining with a clear, slippery-looking substance.
Remus stared, speechless, as the gel began to drip slowly down Sirius’ hand. A single drop separated from the rest and went plummeting to the floor. “Did you just do that wandless?”
“Yep! Been practicing, just in case, you know. I’ve been thinking about this for a while. It was just the big moldy book thing getting in the way.”
“Oh.” Remus smiled, feeling very warm inside. “Well, I admit it, I’m impressed. That spell is very—”
“Handy?” Sirius asked, waggling his eyebrows and fingers in time with each other.
“I was going to say seriously handy,” Remus deadpanned.
“Oh,” Sirius’ eyes widened with adoration. “Oh, Moony. You are a king, the king of puns, and I am just a lowly serf, plowing your verdant fields and dreaming of—” He broke off, having just put his hands together in a prayerful position and thus being reminded of the current condition of his left hand. “Oh. Hmm…”
Remus watched with trepidation while Sirius rubbed his hands together thoughtfully, looking around the hall at various portraits, suits of armor, and other students. His eyes came to rest on James.
“Oh no,” Remus said.
“Oh yes.” Sirius sighed blissfully. “Yes.”
He crept up on James with an only moderately successful level of stealth, considering he didn't seem to be able to stop himself from muttering, “I’ll show him…gay lube all over his face…all in his hair—”
James heard this dire warning in time to see his doom approaching, but not in time to stop it. Remus just watched this revenge play out, wincing a little and laughing a lot, reflecting that perhaps fast wasn’t so bad after all. Life with the Marauders was always like that. Metaphorically speaking, Remus lived right in the middle of the biggest roller coaster ever built. The cars were speeding by him all the time. He could either spend the rest of his life dodging between them, or he could simply get on and have a blast. It was a dangerous way to live, but today Remus felt rather close to invincible. After all, if he could beat one in one hundred thousand odds, he could do anything.