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The Essential Kiltwearingness of Being

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“They’re making us wear what?!” Sirius had looked up from the issue of the Quibbler he had been reading when Remus had stepped from the floo. Now, he is staring at his lover in abject horror, trying to digest the news he has just received.

“Kilts – they’ve decided all the groomsmen are to wear bloody kilts.” Remus’ tone is grim, which Sirius doesn’t find surprising, as he is fully aware of just how much Remus doesn’t like showing skin in public; privately, though, he thinks this is too bad, as Remus has nice legs, among other things.

“But neither of them are Scottish!” Sirius has never liked to give up easily. On this particular occasion, he cannot envision a single scenario that would ever make him want to give in on this point, which is one more reason for him to be pleased with himself for coming up with such a good objection.

“That’s what I said – they just shrugged and mumbled something about how getting married in Scotland seemed like an excellent excuse to have a bunch of men parading around showing off their legs at the wedding.” Remus still sounds annoyed, but an edge of amusement has crept into his tone, as though even he can’t help but appreciate the brazenness of this particular turn of thought; if Sirius had thought about it and Remus had bothered to ask him, he might have told his friend that, really, it was all a result of far too much time spent in his morally suspect company.

“Well – I suppose I can’t fault that logic, but –” Now Sirius has come to the essential question of kilt-wearingness. It is not that the answer will actually effect whether or not he goes to the wedding dressed as commanded, but that, in this case, the not knowing the answer is particularly awful. He is not good at dealing with knowing that the answer to a question is out there, but that it doesn't fall within his store of Answers For All Occasions, but then, uncertainty has never been a commodity that Sirius Black preferred to deal in and it’s fallen even further into disfavour since his encountre with the Veil.

“But, what?” Remus’ tone has gone neutral, a sure sign that he is, in fact, fully aware of just what question Sirius wants answered and plans to enjoy making him actually ask it instead of just playing mind-reader as he so often does.

“But – are they going to make us wear them in the traditional manner?” He thinks he has done very well with this one, as he has, in fact, actually asked the question, but managed to do so in a way that lets Remus know that he knows just what game he’s playing. Sirius is not, as a rule, prone to fits of missish euphemism; in fact, he is infamous for his ability to be utterly blunt and tactless at completely inopportune moments. This is their game, however – their own private bit of one-upmanship foolishness – and if what it takes to win at this is curbing his natural proclivities, then he will do it and grin to himself the entire time.

“I would take it that you mean ‘are we to go pants or sans pants?” The words are dry and professorial, but to those who know him – and, oh, Sirius does know him – it is more than obvious that they’re merely a cover – that what he’s really saying is ‘good one – well played’.

“Yeah.” Sirius’ answer, though delivered with all the considerable insolence at his disposal, is meant to say the same. He knows his message has gotten through, however, when Remus makes no objection to being compelled to perch on the arm of his chair and use his shoulder as a backrest.

“They’re quite explicit about it, actually. If you’d read the letter, you’d know that already.” Remus hands him a sheet of parchment, as elegant as his mother’s writing stock had been; his mother’s portrait has long since been banished from Grimmauld Place, however, and the message spelled onto this parchment soon does the same for her memory and his mind. After all, she would never have condoned an all-male wedding party dressed in half-robes, kilts and kneesocks. But then, Wizarding society still wouldn’t, which is why this particular wedding will be as small and as private as the witches and wizards planning it can make it.

“There’s ten of us . . . and Snape’s one – they’re going to make Snape wear kneesocks and a kilt. They’re going to make Snape wear kneesocks and a kilt! That’s going to be even better than the tights and fairy wings! Might even make up for making us go round pantsless . . . ” Even if one couldn’t tell by the tone of his voice, Sirius’ glee would still be palpable. As he leans back in his chair, however, his expression slips toward one of keenness, as though he can see a scene played out before him and is having to restrain himself from reaching out to to touch it. It is an expression Remus looks upon with fondness, despite which fact he can’t help but take this opportunity to get in a little gentle teasing.

“Why, Mr. Black, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say you had a thing for our dear Severus’ legs – ” If Remus had planned on saying more, the words will be forever lost to us, for at this juncture Sirius takes advantage of the precariousness of the other man’s position in order to tumble him across his lap and kiss him soundly. It is not long, however, before Remus turns the tables on him and sends them sprawling onto the floor, breaking their fall on the luxurious Persian rug that covers it. The letter and its talk of kilts and Snapes and weddings, drifts slowly downward, to land between the chair and the table that sits beside it; they will not think to look for it for another month, when Remus suddenly remembers that they’re supposed to be fitted for their wedding clothes and can’t remember what shop they’ve been directed to use. Then, it will almost be lost once again, when Sirius decides to recreate the scene that occasioned its original disappearance.