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Fly me to the moon

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5th November 1971

Sirius paused as he entered the Gryffindor Common Room, eyes scanning the room for a sign of messy black hair that would tell him whether James had also managed to evade Filch after their latest dungbomb filled escapade. There was no sign of James, in fact, the Common Room was nearly empty, and his eyes instead fell on a huddled shape on the sofa by the fire.

There, curled up with his knees by his face, was the quiet, skinny boy who despite the fact they shared a dormitory, Sirius knew practically nothing about. He was an odd boy. Pale, silent, and scarred. His clothes were all too big for him, looked handmade, and often were visibly mended by muggle methods. Sirius had had to hold back a snobby comment that echoed too much of his mother more than once. Thinking of his mother made Sirius frown, and despite his instinct to ignore the boy, he moved forwards towards him.

"Lupin, isn't it?" he asked, voice sounding far too loud in the unusually quiet room. The boy startled awake. Shit, he hadn't realised he was asleep. From up close, Sirius could see that if anything, Lupin looked even thinner than when he had left the school a few days earlier so 'visit family', and there was a new cut above his left eyebrow to compliment the dark circles that ringed his eyes.

"Uh, yeah?" The boy replied eventually, looking wary. "What do you want, Black?"

Faced with that question, Sirius realised he really didn't have an answer. He had just felt compelled to speak to Lupin and hadn't thought past introductions.

"I, uh," Merlin, he was a stumbling mess. He just couldn't stop his eyes from drifting back to that barely sealed cut on Lupin's forehead. "I was thinking uh, if you wanted to catch up on what you missed, I'm free tomorrow evening?" For fuck's sake, this was pathetic. Suggesting studying? What was wrong with him? But that was the second new scar after Lupin had returned from visiting home, and Sirius knew a bit about that. Parents were like that sometimes. Not that he would have pegged Lupin as anything other than a good son, certainly not one who could aggravate his parents to such an extent, but then he didn't know him very well.

Lupin looked almost as surprised at Sirius' question as Sirius himself felt, but nodded, and quietly suggested that they meet in the library tomorrow after classes. Sirius was trying to make his leaden tongue cooperate enough to speak again when they were interrupted by a crash as James tumbled through the portrait hole, hair wilder than ever.

"Merlin's pants, the old bugger is faster than he looks! I swear that bloody cat spies for him, those eyes just aren't normal..." James' manic rambling distracted Sirius from anything he would have said and he allowed himself to be pulled up to the dormitory, even though his own adrenaline from the prank had long since worn off.

9th March 1974

The familiar sight of Remus curled up on the sofa by the Gryffindor common room fire in an enormous jumper that was probably more patches than original wool greeted the other mauraders as they tumbled through the portrait high on sugar and the excitement of a trip to Hogsmeade. James couldn't help grinning as he watched Peter and Sirius tripping over themselves as they raced towards the fourth Marauder, arms full of chocolate frogs and other goodies. Vaulting over the back of the sofa, he tumbled onto the cushion next to Remus just as what must be nearly half of Honeydukes stock rained down on the two of them, startling Remus awake and knocking the textbook from his hands.

"Sorry Moony," Sirius said, smiling sheepishly. James was pretty sure he'd never heard Sirius apologise to anyone other than Remus.

It was obvious Remus was in some pain, but his eyes flashed brightly as he retorted, "So you should be, and definitely you will be if you forgot the Fizzing Whizzbees again."

Sirius' face lit up as he produced a large bag of the requested sweets from his robes, and a packet of sugar quills tumbled to the floor without him seeming to notice. Just then, a flash of red hair announced Lily's arrival, and she surveyed the boys with disdain (and some fondness reserved only for Remus. James tried not to be jealous).

"They're not bothering you are they Remus?" she asked pointedly, frowning at their exuberant behaviour. "We could go over the Potions lesson you missed in the library if you want."

Remus looked about to reply, but Sirius got there first. "He's fine, Evans. We just bought enough chocolate to satisfy even him for at least a couple of days. And I'm clearly the best tutor for missed classes, so you needn't worry about that."

Lily looked a little affronted, and James nearly said something in her defence, but Remus just grinned and nodded. "Thanks Lily, but Sirius and I have it covered. Turns out I learn much quicker using sugar quills!"

17th January 1976

Peter was trying with all his might to concentrate on what Professor Sprout was saying about caring for Flutterby bushes, but it was incredibly difficult with a practically vibrating Sirius next to him. Not that Sirius could sit still in normal circumstances, but it was the day after the full and the end of the lesson would mean that they could visit Moony in the hospital wing. Finding James too distracted by the golden snitch in his palm and a certain red-haired muggleborn, Sirius had had no choice but to badger him with his nervous energy.

"Hey," Sirius whispered. "Pete..."

Peter sighed and resigned himself to the fact that he would not learn anything more about Flutterby bushes for the remainder of the lesson. "Yes?" he eventually muttered in reply.

"Do you reckon if I spilt some Bobotuber pus on myself again Sprout would send me up to the hospital wing?"

Peter groaned inwardly, but just about managed to keep his exasperation internal. "Pretty sure she knows what you're up to by now mate. She'd probably just scourigify you and make you wait until the end of the lesson."

The end of the lesson was only ten minutes away, but with an anxious Sirius next to him, it may as well have been ten hours. Finally, however, they were permitted to leave the greenhouse and Sirius took off, with James and Peter running behind. James' fitness from Quidditch meant that he had little issue keeping up with Sirius' long strides, but Peter had a little more difficulty so he arrived at the hospital wing to find James and Sirius already sat by Moony's bed.

Remus was still asleep, and it looked like it had been a rough moon. Normally Madame Pomfrey would have healed the most visible wounds by now, but there was a nasty looking cut running from Remus' shoulder down towards his chest, where it was covered by his jumper. Although Peter could see his own worry reflected in James' face, Sirius looked absolutely stricken.

"He'll be ok mate," he ventured, gingerly attempting to pat Sirius on the arm.

"But he's not!" Sirius shot back. "Look at him!"

"But he will be," replied James, "And this is the last moon he will ever have to spend alone."

18th June 1978

Remus sat on the sofa by the fire in the Gryffindor Common room, surrounded by friends. Sirius' head was in his lap, and he was happy. Sure, the pre-moon ache had begun to settle into his bones, and the world outside the castle walls was getting scarier by the day, but he was surrounded by friends who loved him. It was something he had never imagined could happen seven years ago, when he'd huddled on his own in the same spot after his first few moons at Hogwarts. He'd tried telling them that they didn't need to accompany him for the upcoming moon, as he did every month, citing their upcoming NEWT exams. James had just laughed and said that Marauders stuck together and that it could count as Care of Magical Creatures revision. Secretly glad, Remus had chosen not to point out that James hadn't chosen that particular subject at NEWT level. That his friends had learnt such a bonkers and difficult type of magic, just in the hopes that it would make his monthly torture more bearable was still utterly baffling. But each month, he woke up to fewer fresh scars, and it would become slightly more believable. Sirius shifted on his lap, and Remus took the opportunity to look down at the gorgeous man he somehow got to call his.

"Moons, are you listening to me?" Those gorgeous lips said, "I was saying we should have an orange sofa in our flat."

Slightly wrongfooted, Remus spluttered as he attempted to come up with a response, but before he had to, Sirius was kissing him. Yes, he was definitely happy.