The Gryffindor common room had been too quiet for James’ liking. Final exams were approaching quickly, and the majority of students were spending their time studying. In his dormitory, he found Remus and Peter reading old chapters in their Defense Against the Dark Arts textbooks; even Sirius was looking over old exams. James, however, needed a break from the monotony. He sat on his bed and decided to break the silence.
“Where do you find a dog with no legs?” James asked. The other three boys braced themselves for an incredibly stupid answer, realizing that this was another of James’ corny jokes. Remus raised an eyebrow expectantly.
“Right where you left him!” James beamed.
“Ba dum tsss!” Peter mocked, laughing.
Remus couldn’t help but smile, shaking his head at the unusual grimness of James’ joke; usually, his jokes were just plain raunchy. Sirius, on the other hand, dramatically clutched his chest.
“Ouch, mate, that hurt,” he announced sarcastically, pretending to keel over on one side.
James and Sirius stood on the sidewalk outside of James’ house, leaning on the fence; they were waiting for Remus to arrive in his car.
As the dull rumble of a car engine approached, James pulled Sirius by the sleeve of his jacket to the edge of the curb, stopped, and promptly waved at the passing driver with his best Queen of England impression.
The driver looked at him and Sirius and cautiously waved back, a look of confusion and disorientation plastered across their face.
Sirius chuckled loudly, and taking James’ example to new heights, stuck his leg out in the street with the intention of seeing whether or not the next car would stop for them. They continued like this for a full eleven minutes until Remus’ old, battered Chevrolet pulled up to the sidewalk where they were standing.
“Forty percent of people are cool enough to wave back.” James tried to keep a straight face, but Sirius had abandoned all attempts long ago.
Remus sighed as they got in the car, rolling his eyes. He most certainly did not want to know how many people they had angered that morning, he decided.
“…Commend me to your honourable wife.
Tell her the process of Antonio’s end.
Say how I loved you, speak me fair in death;
And, when the tale is told, bid her be judge
Whether Bassanio had not once a love.
Repent but you that you shall lose your friend,
And he repents not that he pays your debt.
For if the Jew do cut but deep enough,
I’ll pay for it instantly with all my heart.
Antonio, I am married to a wife
Which is as dear to me as life itself;
But life itself, my wife, and all the world
Are not with me esteemed above thy life.
I would lose all, ay, sacrifice all
Here to this devil, to deliver you.”
A familiar voice interrupted Remus’ reading.
“I swear to Merlin, Remus, you are the only person I know who actually reads Shakespeare for pleasure.” Sirius shook his head as he walked into the previously empty dormitory.
Remus ignored Sirius, which worked on most occasions like this one.
Sirius took a seat on his bed (which was across from Remus’), propped his feet up on the end table, took out a large jar of Honeyduke’s Peppermint Squares, and began stuffing several into his mouth at one time.
“So what’s that even about?” Sirius muffled through a mouthful of candy.
Remus looked up from one of the pages in his copy of The Merchant of Venice. It didn’t have annotations to explain old English - those versions were much more expensive, and he could only afford this one - but he could understand the text just fine. He looked up at Sirius, who was looking back at him intently as he noisily devoured his candy. Remus wondered vaguely how many times he had told Sirius that his manners were depressingly horrendous.
“It’s about a merchant named Antonio. In Venice.”
“Woah, slow down, Moony. That was way too fucking specific,” Sirius said sarcastically. “Really, though, what’s it about?”
“Well, this lord Bassanio is in love with - lusts for, rather - a woman named Portia. Men come from all over just to take a chance at wooing her, and Bassanio wants to do the same.”
“But since Bassanio doesn’t have any money to do so, he asks Antonio for help. Antonio is his best mate, but he doesn’t know that he’s also in love with him.”
“Wait, who’s in love with who?”
“Antonio is in love with Bassanio, but has never told him because they’re best mates,” Remus repeats for the sake of clarity.
“Oh,” Sirius says, quieter than usual. Remus continues.
“Antonio gives Bassanio the money, of course, because he only wants to see Bassanio happy. Even if it kills him inside.” Remus is painfully reminded of all the times he’s seen Sirius drunkenly snogging some bird against the wall in the common room. He remembers times where he has gone out of his way to make Sirius happy.
He also remembers that Sirius is straight.
Sirius nods eagerly, urging Remus to continue. He seems to be suddenly very interested in this story. Remus, on the other hand, avoids any and all eye contact.
“Antonio doesn’t actually have any money to give, however, so he borrows some from Shylock, a Jewish moneylender. Shylock is bitter because of how the Christians treat him, so he says he’ll take a pound of Antonio’s flesh if Antonio doesn’t repay him. Bassanio tells Antonio to forget it, because Portia isn’t as important to him as Antonio, but Antonio insists.”
“That blinded by love, eh?” Sirius smirks. “I could only imagine where this is going,” he says rather sarcastically. “He’s obviously going to die.” That last sentence is muffled by yet another handful of peppermint squares.
Remus shrugs, taking this into consideration. “I haven’t gotten to that part yet. I left off a bit before then.”
Peter walks in just then, and Sirius and Remus both stare at him as if he had walked in on something private and embarrassing. Peter stops in his tracks and looks around guiltily. “Woah. I can feel the awkward,” he says, making a stroking motion with his hand in the air. He laughs at his own joke. “Really, though, am I intruding?”
“No, not at all,” Sirius says, a bit too quickly.
“Okay, then,” Peter says skeptically. He makes his way across the room and toward his trunk. “I’ve just got to get my coat and I’ll be off. James has pissed off Lily again, and he’s currently stuck in a tree.”
“Git,” Sirius says fondly. Remus just shakes his head.
Peter puts his coat on and turns toward the door. “Wish me luck,” he says, and he’s gone.
Sirius gets up and puts his shoes on, along with his coat. He stuffs another handful of peppermint squares in his pocket for safekeeping. “I have got to see this,” he chuckles. “I wonder when James’ll realise it’s not worth the effort, eh?”
“Yeah,” Remus responds, laughing and tsking at his friends’ foolhardiness. “Have fun with that one.”
And soon, like Antonio, he is alone, waiting for someone who will never come around.
“Hey, James - Prongs - er, Peter - no, Wormtail - Stagboy - I mean, Moony - I mean, REMUS.”
Remus shot Sirius a glare second in intensity only to Professor McGonagall when the Marauders are caught ‘suspiciously wandering’ in the Slytherin’s dormitory. Sirius looked back guiltily.
“I’ll forget that ever happened,” Remus laughed. After all, who could stay mad at Sirius’ pouting puppy dog face?
Sirius was stretched out on a couch in the common room, enjoying a quiet Saturday. His stomach rumbled in hunger.
James turned his head from the seat close by, a grave expression on his face.
“Your stomach is talking to me,” he stated, looking over at Sirius.
“What’s it telling you?” Sirius asked, genuinely curious.
“It’s telling me to do bad things. Very bad things.” And with that, James left the room.
Remus sat in the library, at ease whilst surrounded by piles of books. He had been gazing through the window when Sirius walked by.
“I love you,” Remus mouthed, trying to be as silent as possible.
“I love you too,” said Sirius on the other side of the window.
“Potato?” Remus questioned, confused.
Sirius doubled over in laughter, and the walked through the doors over to Remus.
“Where did you possibly get ‘potato’ out of ‘I love you too’?”
Sirius and Remus exited the Lupin’s car, grinning. They had just been dropped off at the cinema.
“So, some time alone,” Sirius smirked, and grabbed Remus’ hand tightly.
“I never thought I’d say I was excited to get away from my family,” Remus agreed, and placed a kiss on Sirius’ cheek despite his usual opposition to public displays of affection.
“You’re awfully affectionate today,” Sirius laughed.
“And you’re awfully not,” Remus commented, obviously caught off-guard by Sirius’ lack of touch; he was normally very expressive.
Sirius glanced quickly behind them, and Remus realized that the man standing behind them in line was glaring at them judgmentally.
“Who cares what he thinks?” Remus insisted, whispering so the man behind them wouldn’t hear. “It’s not like we’ll ever see him again. Besides, we have to hide our relationship at my house so my mum and dad won’t find out. This is our time now; don’t let some close-minded bloke ruin for us.”
Sirius smiled. He was holding back in public mainly for his boyfriend’s benefit - he couldn’t bear to hear anyone call him names.
But Remus leaned in and firmly placed a sweet, reassuring kiss on his lips.
Sirius smiled broadly - that’ll show ‘em.
The Marauders were walking down the hallway on their way to Transfiguration when Regulus Black and his gang of Slytherins passed by. He had caught his older brother’s eye; his ice blue eyes ran from Sirius to Remus and back again, and he smirked.
“What a faggot,” he sneered, and the green- and silver-clad students surrounding him followed suit. Sirius quickly retracted his hand from Remus’ grip.
James, Peter, and Remus simply glared at them and walked on, but Sirius didn’t seem able to shake it off as he continued to walk beside his boyfriend.
Remus turned to him. “Are you okay?”
They reached the door of Professor McGonagall’s classroom, and filed into their seats. As she started to explain the day’s lesson to her class, Sirius propped his head up on the desk with his hand, looking distracted. Remus quietly ripped a small piece of parchment from his notes and began scribbling. He passed the note to Sirius once he was done writing.
‘Is it what Regulus said?’
Without looking back at Remus, Sirius began to write on the same piece of parchment.
‘No. He’s a prick; I’m used to it by now.’
Remus looked at Sirius, who avoided his gaze, before writing his response.
Sirius read Remus’ note and didn’t respond. Finally, Sirius flipped over the tiny sheet of parchment and began to scribble on the back.
‘He makes me feel like I’m a fucking freak. My own brother, Moony.’
Sirius’ expression was still as he passed the note to Remus.
‘What he thinks doesn’t matter.’ Remus paused for a brief moment, then continued writing. ‘I love you.’
Sirius read the last note and messily scrawled his reply.
‘I love you, too.’
Remus sat in the recently furnished new home of Lily and James Potter, trying his best to quiet his growling stomach.
“What are we doing for supper?” He asked.
“No time to cook, we’ll get take away,” James panted, out of breath from moving a large piece of furniture.
Remus picked up the menu that was becoming increasingly familiar lately - no one had found the time to cook for over a week now.
“I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand -“
“It gets old after the seventh time, Sirius.”