Warning for swearing, crass language and sex scenes. This story is about two boys growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, so it includes some language and views which are now considered at best outdated and at worst hate speech. Disclaimer than I don't condone that sort of language/beliefs, and that homophobia is unacceptable.

I hope you enjoy this story.

I had to phone someone,

So I picked on you-

"Hey, that's far out,"

So you heard him too?

- David Bowie, Starman


In future years, you couldn't remember if it was third or fourth year when it started. But you remembered everything else. It was a Thursday lunchtime and raining. Usually you and your friends liked to run around in the grounds at breaktime and lunchtime, even if it was chilly or drizzling. You played tag or catch or you had races or you wrestled. James showed off for Lily Evans. Sirius showed off for everybody. You and Peter didn't know how to show off. Sometimes you'd attempt to climb the castle walls. Prongs, being small and wiry, was the best at that. He could get higher than the rest of you, which meant that he got caught more than the rest of you, although you all usually ended up in detention. Teachers knew that if one of you was in trouble, the other three were probably involved too. You didn't feel as bad as you knew you should about landing yourself in detention. Being with your friends stopped you feeling bad about most things.

That day, though, it was pouring with rain, which meant that you had to stay inside at lunchtime. The Marauders, a couple of younger kids and some of the witches in your year had started a spitball competition. You'd got knocked out in the second round so had nothing to do, so you took the opportunity to sidle away from the common room and up to the dormitory bathroom for a wank. At your age, it seemed that that wanking everybody's favourite hobby (well, boys at least. You weren't sure if girls did it too). You preferred to take your time, although at boarding school that wasn't a luxury often afforded to you. You knew you had to get it done quickly, which was probably the reason you forgot to lock the cubicle door. You'd closed your eyes, so when the cubicle door swayed open you didn't notice. By the time you heard footsteps on the tiles, it was too late. Your eyes snapped open, and there was Padfoot standing in front of you, glancing at you through the open cubicle door. It wasn't the first time that had happened- in fact, the four of you had made a game of trying to catch each other tossing off. The other three found the game hilarious, but it mortified you.

You jumped in surprise when you saw Sirius, feeling your face burn as you hastily zipped up your trousers. You expected Padfoot to cheer mockingly that he'd caught you, but instead he gave you a thoughtful look (you blushed an even deeper shade of red), leaned against the tiles on the wall, and drawled:

"I can help you with that, if you like,"

You blinked. "What?"

Sirius stepped towards your cubicle and reached towards you. Towards your trousers. You froze.

"Well?" he demanded, "Do you want me to or not?"

"What?" you said again, gaping like a goldfish. You didn't understand what he was suggesting.

"Merlin, you're an idiot. You can finish it yourself or I'll do it for you," Sirius explained, in a tone which suggested you were mentally inept. You weren't mentally inept, but you did seem to be about ten steps behind Padfoot. He often used that impatient voice, but not like this. Never in this situation, offering what he seemed to believe was an obvious offer to make. More disconcerting was the fact that you could tell from Sirius' face that he wasn't joking.

You didn't consider your answer, you just croaked, "I don't want you to,"

This time, you recognised the expression which flickered over Padfoot's face as one of disappointment. It was brief, but it was there. He stepped away and, with characteristic lack of embarrassment, shrugged.

"Fine. I'll see you back in the common room,"

You stayed in stunned stillness while Sirius locked himself in a cubicle, did his business, flushed the toilet, opened the cubicle door, washed his hands, and headed over towards the door back into the dormitory. He didn't seem remotely perturbed by what had just happened, and you asked yourself with alarm that did he do this with everyone? You knew that Sirius got plenty of action from witches- loads of girls at school had wound up on his lap at some point, even witches older than you. You'd watch him stroke tiny circles on their wrists, and bat his long eyelashes, and move his hand an inch up the witch's leg every few minutes, until his fingers disappeared under their skirt. You'd witnessed him indulge in more hurried snogs and mid-breakfast arguments than you could keep a track of. But the way he was acting now suggested that his seduction extended to lads. Were Sirius, James and Peter all tossing each other off and you didn't know? You felt abruptly lonely and left out. Perhaps that sense of loneliness was the reason you did what you did next. Later, you hoped not, preferring to believe that what you did next was powered by feeling something for Sirius, or at least for yourself, not a reaction against the isolation you always feared. Although it was difficult to say for certain what your reason was.

What you did to next was simple. You said two sentences of two words each. The first was, "Padfoot, wait,"

He turned around and looked at you. And then you said the second sentence: "Yes, alright".

Afterwards, neither of you mentioned it. You both walked back into the common room as normal and then to your Potions lesson. You pretended that the events of the last ten minutes had not just turned your world upside-down. Sirius Black had tossed you off. He'd touched you in places nobody else had ever….in ways which made you feel…there were so many thoughts bumping around your brain that you couldn't finish them, even if you had wanted to. Padfoot had given you a handjob in the boys' toilets and acted like that was a perfectly nondescript activity for a rainy lunchtime. There was no chance you could concentrate on brewing your Confusing Concoction when that had just happened.

You couldn't focus properly for the next few days, either. Padfoot, perplexingly, did not acknowledge what had happened. By the weekend you were starting to imagine that it had been a dream (though that lead to a different, equally complicated and embarrassing line of thought). And that was when he cornered you in the dormitory. James left for Quidditch practise and Peter trudged away to remedial Herbology, and the second after Wormtail left the room Padfoot caught your eye. You were both still in your pyjamas. Sirius walked across to your bed, looking you up and down- eyeing you up, you'd seen countless girls at school do to him! Instead of making you feel uneasy, you felt proud that he was seeing you that way. You felt good. And you felt even better when he climbed onto the bed beside you. The inevitable unease only came a few minutes later, when you had your hand down his pyjama bottoms, cluelessly rubbing up and down his dick, and he said your name. Moaned it.


Your gaze snapped to his and he stared back at you.

"Padfoot?" you asked. You voice came out soft, as if to speak louder would break the moment.

"Remus," he sighed again, then jerked his hips up, "For God's sake, don't stop".

From then on, it was a couple of times a week. In the toilets, in the dorm if it was empty, in the alleyway behind the owlery. You soon worked out that Padfoot didn't do this with Prongs and Wormtail, and that they shouldn't find out about it either. You and Sirius both knew about secrets but, once the surprise and bafflement of the first few encounters had worn off, this was one secret you didn't feel guilty or ashamed about. You knew what this was, of course. Nobody had sat you down and explained that some lads wanted to touch other lads like this, but you'd heard it talked about and alluded to. You knew there were words for it: queer, queen, poof, homosexual, bumboy, battyboy, gay, bent, fruitcake, pansy, fairy, fag. Most of those words were negative, because plenty of people believed that it was wrong. You'd been reading newspapers since you were a little boy and you remembered being seven or eight and opening the Muggle Observer to read that "A bill revoking the present ban on homosexual relations between consenting adults is almost certain to become law during this session". Reading the article, you realised that this was what was meant when the Bible talked about how man lying with a man as with a woman was an abomination. But you knew that different people understood the Bible differently. Mam and Dad didn't believe that every word of it was true. In fact, Dad had once told you that the seven days when God made the Earth probably meant seven eras. If your parents believed that, then they probably didn't believe that man lying with man was the abomination the Bible claimed it was.

As you had turned nine, then ten, then eleven, you'd learnt more about homosexuals. Oscar Wilde was sent to prison for being one. The notes in the back of Dad's battered copy of The Merchant of Venice said that Antonio was in love with Bassanio. Pansies were meant to be outgoing and gregarious and vain. They were supposed to gossip and preen. You did and were none of those things, which was odd because as you got older you began to suspect that you might be one of them. You were a fruitcake and a queen and all those other words. As the months went on you realise that perhaps the reason you insisted to yourself that Mam and Dad didn't take the Bible's word on poofs literally, was because you wanted to convince yourself that your parents wouldn't mind that you were a poof. Or at least half a poof, because you reckoned that you liked girls too. It was difficult to tell since you didn't often meet other children, or at least get to know them for longer than an afternoon. And you doubted that you could want to kiss or do sex with someone you didn't properly know. You weren't sure that you did want to kiss or do sex with anybody. But then how did you know that you thought you were a faggot? You couldn't say. It was dizzying, and it made you feel hot and uncomfortable. It had been a relief when you remembered that who you wanted to kiss didn't matter, because you were a werewolf so nobody would ever want to kiss you.

Starting school had been a shock to the system. Girls with long, elegant necks and legs which were even longer and more elegant. Boys who seemed four foot taller than you, with muscles and moustaches. It wasn't unusual, when coming down to breakfast in the morning, to see a girl slip out of the older boys' dormitories hand-in-hand with one of the lads. Sometimes boys would hold hands too. It didn't happen often but when it did you couldn't stop watching, and your heart speed up when you watched the two lads kiss.

You got older. You grew. The wolf grew. The fascination of watching older students with their boyfriends and girlfriends became envy. Your parents had always tried to persuade you to resist jealousy, but resistance had become harder. The wolf knew you were jealous too. Perhaps that was one of the reasons it got so vicious. It had started to bite itself, so in the mornings, on top of the usual grazes and bruises, you'd be bleeding from the punctures the wolf had bitten into its own flesh. The wolf had started doing other things too, things which you knew it had begun doing because you were interested in sex now, because you'd started wanking, because you kind of wanted to shag somebody. The wolf wanted that too, which was horrifying. You knew that some boys thought they were wrong or dirty or guilty for fancying boys, but the wolf meant that you never did. How was liking lads bad when you turned into a monster once a month? The things the wolf wanted to do were much worse than wanting to shag another boy. So when you and Sirius started tossing each other off, you didn't feel ashamed. Though it did certainly make you shocked. It was flabbergasting that there was a boy who wanted to do this with you. In some ways the fact that it was Sirius, one of your best friends, made him jacking you off less surprising, although the fact that it was Sirius, who knew you were a werewolf, made it completely mind-blowing. It took you a few weeks to get your ahead around the reality of it.

Sometimes, once you were both spent and satisfied and panting, Padfoot would nip your jaw or kiss your forehead. The manner he did it in was rough and boyish- nothing to suggest that he held any romantic affection towards you. But he still always said your name. A niggle at the back of your mind suggested that might mean something, although despite how long you spend analysing your own emotions, you couldn't determine what you felt towards Padfoot in return. Friendship obviously, which was a type of love. You knew for sure that you were not in love with Sirius. You were aware that he was handsome, though you couldn't tell if you were physically attracted to him, or if you were just excited and curious and astounded that there was somebody to want to do this sort of stuff with you. By now you'd kissed two girls, though one of them was a dare.

"Get on your knees," he said one day, so you did. It was more difficult to take him in your mouth than your hand. When you tossed him off with your hand, you could work with what you knew you liked when you did it to yourself. You couldn't do that when it came to a blowjob. You seemed to have too many teeth in your mouth, you didn't know if you should use your hands as well, and having Sirius Black's balls touch your chin was one of the most bizarre experiences of your life.

Padfoot knew what he wanted though. He'd had plenty of girls suck him off before so he knew what he liked, and you'd always been good at doing what Sirius told you. He stood over you, twisting his fingers into your hair and fondling your ears as he rocked his hips.

"Sorry," he murmured after an involuntarily hard thrust, "Was that alright?"

You moved your head back fractionally so his dick wasn't as deep in your mouth.

"Remus. Was that alright?" Padfoot repeated.

Feeling foolish, but unsure of how else to communicate when your mouth was otherwise occupied, you waved a thumbs-up at him.

He said that he wanted to come in your mouth, though when the moment arrived it caught you off guard and you flinched away from him, and the pale, sticky liquid went over your ear and the side of your face. You shuddered.

"Remussss," Sirius panted, then groaned gutturally. When you looked up at him you could tell he was annoyed about your flinch, although he insisted that it was your turn now. You shivered again, though this time with lust.

Sirius instructed you to sit on the bed (he'd been standing, but you didn't argue) and he unbuckled your trousers slowly, teasingly, in the way which, he'd discovered, always made you squirm. He moved closer until his mouth was on your stomach. His lips stayed stationary there for a few seconds- he seemed to understand that you needed a moment or two to get used to being touched there. Then he pressed a kiss to your skin, and then started to lick and nibble his way across your stomach towards your hip-bone, and then back again. He did it over and over, until you felt hot and tight and impatient. You wanted to snap at him to get on with it, couldn't he feel your boner pressing against his neck? Padfoot kept going, lips and teeth and tongue skimming over from hip to hip, as you jiggled your leg agitatedly.

You gasped when, finally, he pulled the front of your boxer shorts down and took your cock in his mouth. The sensation was strong and shocking, almost like pain, but nothing like pain because it felt good. So, so good, nothing had ever felt this good. You didn't like the sight of your skinny, pale and scratched thighs, spread open with Sirius Black's head between them, so you shut your eyes. And then his mouth and his tongue were sliding along your knob, and you thought you were going to explode. When you'd been the one kneeling, Padfoot had stroked your ears and your hair, but now you just gripped the duvet cover until your fingers hurt. Over the last few weeks of hurried handjobs, you'd been careful to stay quiet, but now you couldn't help groaning and sighing- you almost wanted to shout. I get it now, you thought. You understood why sex made men easily manipulatable, why they were driven mad over it, why songs and books and poetry were written about this type of pleasure, why men did all sorts of ridiculous things for the moment of release, the moment which Sirius still was not giving you. You could feel your heart bounding against your ribcage, and his lips and tongue and fingers were all moving in glorious ways, and you had never, ever felt anything like this. And then you came, far too quickly, inside his mouth, and you flopped backwards onto the bed.

Nothing else changed. He was still bossy and snarky towards you. He was still friendly and jokey with you. He still snatched your silver knife off your desk when he forgot to bring his to Potions. Sucking off Padfoot didn't alter your place in the Marauders pecking order- it was still JamesandSirius, and you were on the rung below. Padfoot didn't act any nicer or less nice to in front of other people, or when you were alone. It was clear that what you did together was just...well, you weren't sure what the noun was, but it didn't make your friendship different. And it certainly didn't mean that Sirius was giving up girls. Every few weeks a different witch would wander over to your table at breakfast for a snog, or wind up perched on Padfoot's knee in the library. It was astounding that Sirius was discreet about his trysts with you, because when he had a girl in bed they were so loud that you could hear them from the common room. You didn't feel jealous about that. Puzzled, yes, but you knew that what you did with Sirius- what you had with Sirius- was different. You were still so shocked and flattered that anybody would want to touch you in the ways that he did, that it didn't matter that half the witches in school had touched him the same way too.

Padfoot even joined in with James' attempts to get you a girlfriend. You didn't know much about women, so Sirius' enthusiasm for the sport was the least perplexing part of your friends' attempts to find you a romance. You and Wormtail knew that often a girl would pretend to be interested in one of you in order to get to know Sirius- or one witch would flirt with you while her friend approached Padfoot. Prongs partook in some of this himself, though he was too infatuated with Lily Evans to take it seriously. He insisted, however, that you had to make the most of it.

"You're getting free samples, don't you see?" he cried.

So Sirius was encouraging you to pursue girls who only spoke to you to to speak to him, while you yourself were also having secret rendezvous with him. You reckoned that this was mad, though Sirius never suggested that it was, so you didn't bring it up.

Life continued this way for a couple of years. Other stuff happened- completing the Marauders' Map, Gryffindor winning the Quidditch Cup, your three fellow Marauders finally becoming animagi and the start of the wonderful, free full moons with your friends. Sirius ran away from home, Snape discovered you in the Shrieking Shack. You took your OWLs, you chose your NEWTs. Outside school, the War rumbled on, becoming increasingly serious and frightening. The four of you started talking about what you'd do when you graduated Hogwarts, and the possibility of joining the war effort became increasingly realistic. Lots of stuff was about to change, so your secret meetings with Padfoot seemed like one of the few sureties. Until that changed, too.

It was just after Easter of sixth year, and you and Sirius were traipsing back from detention with Professor Osifowu. It was almost nine o'clock on Monday evening, so nobody was around. Padfoot was grumbling about how he didn't deserve the detention, and you were half listening and half ruminating on the novel you'd finished reading that morning. You were so pre-occupied considering what would happen after the final page of the book, that you didn't notice Sirius had stopped speaking until he grabbed your hand and yanked you into an empty classroom. Before you had time to register, the door was shut behind you and Padfoot was running his palms down your torso. You'd broadened in the chest and shoulders, and feeling Padfoot touch you there made you feel proud of your body, which was something you rarely felt. You beamed. Usually mucking about with Sirius in empty classrooms seemed too risky. Tonight, however, it was late and quiet enough that you were confident that nobody would be passing by for a while. You chuckled and squeezed Padfoot's arse the way he liked. He growled under his breath, shivering with lust.

And then he kissed you.

On the mouth.

And he stayed there.

Sirius' lips pursed and pouted and trembled against yours. You'd come of age a few weeks before, but suddenly you felt as if you were a fourteen-year-old again, caught wanking by him in the toilets. You froze, and it took a few more insane moments before Padfoot realised that you weren't kissing him back. His mouth pulled away from yours abruptly.

"Remus?" he demanded. His grey eyes stared into yours; intense, questioning.

"What was that?" you breathed. A banging had started inside your brain as if you were hungover.


"Why did you do that?"

Padfoot seemed perplexed by the question. He frowned and answered haltingly, "Because…I wanted to,"

"You wanted to kiss me?" you clarified. What? No. You and Sirius did not kiss. Kissing was not part of what you did together.

"Yeah!" Sirius answered.

"I thought you liked girls!" you stammered, befuddlement turning to panic. Sirius had kissed you.

Padfoot's face turned to thunder. "What?"

"I didn't realise you wanted to kiss me!" you squawked, and you were too het up to notice the embarrassing voice-crack which snuck in at the end of the sentence. You voice had only broken recently and your friends still razzed you about your knackjumps.

"What have we been doing the last three years if I like girls?" Sirius demanded.

"I thought we were just having a laugh," you mumbled, embarrassed at your apparent misunderstanding. What was this, then? Had you been on a different page to him for years?

Sirius looked as if you had punched him in the stomach. "Is this what this has been to you?" he breathed.

"No. Yes. I don't know," you blurted. You didn't know which answer he wanted, and you didn't know which answer was the truth.

Padfoot grabbed you by the collar and jerked you towards him. "Has it?"

"I didn't realise it hadn't been to you," you squeaked. Sirius let you go roughly and you staggered backwards into the desk.

"I'm not about to tell you I'm in love with you or something," he snarled.

There was silence for a moment. You held your breath. Padfoot turned away, and you realised that he was embarrassed. Your rejection had humiliated him. Hurt him, perhaps. So he did what he always did when he was hurt- lash out.

"Didn't think you'd turn down a snog where you can get one, Moony," Padfoot snapped, wheeling round to face you, "Any witch you've kissed has only done it for a bet or 'cos they're using you to get to me,"

"I know," you acknowledged in a small voice. You didn't like getting angry at the best of times, and Sirius' temper was not best abated by getting cross back. It was a temper which could also be frightening.

He must have realised he'd brought up girls again, because he groaned savagely and spat, "The only reason I fuck girls is because boys don't want to,"

You didn't understand and you couldn't help but ask, "What about me?"

"Yeah, exactly!" Padfoot shouted, which didn't make any sense.

"So you've been using me too?"

"No!" he said, and he was back in front of you again, "For fuck's sake, Remus, I-"

And then his mouth was back on yours, his arms around you, his knee wedging itself between your legs. His mouth was hard and unpleasant, though you didn't have time to make a decision about pushing him away because he did it himself, tore his mouth off yours and groaned again.

You barely knew what was happening anymore. You swallowed. "I didn't realise you felt like this," you said, trying to muster as much dignity as possible.

"About what?"

Good question. "Everything," you replied. You'd gone hoarse.

Another silence fell. Sirius started to pace, the way he always did when he was puzzled or ill-tempered.

"What do you want to do?" you whispered. You wished there was a manual for next steps for this situation. You wished that Sirius had not tried to kiss you. You wish you had not been aghast when he had.

"I don't know," Padfoot spat, "Why do you always expect me to know everything? You and Peter follow us around like lap-dogs, expecting us to tell you when to do anything. I even had to teach you how to suck a cock,"

The comment seemed to give him an idea, "In fact, why don't you make yourself useful and open your gob,"

He undid the button at the top of his trousers and started to unzip his fly.

You folded your arms. "No,"

Padfoot laughed coldly. "Shut up and kneel,"

But you wouldn't. You didn't want to and he couldn't make you.

"Not when you're like this," you said stonily.

"I suppose you want a long chat about feelings, do you?" Padfoot jeered.

"You know I hate that shit," you said, trying to shrug it off, swearing to make yourself seem tougher. You knew that was childish, but right now it was necessary.

"What do you want, then?" he demanded. And then in a soft, afraid tone you'd never heard him use before, "Do you want me or not?"

He was stressed and scared and breathing heavily. You were staring at each other wide-eyed, and what had just happened and the question he'd just asked thudded between you. Your head was thrumming with bewilderment, mortification and….well, lust. You'd refused to give him a blowjob, but you could feel your body wanting to feel his hands against your chest and his bum under your palms. But what your body wanted wasn't important. Did your mind want him too? Once or twice over the last couple of years, you'd had sneaking thoughts about something more than frenzied trysts when nobody was watching. But you'd dismissed those ideas quickly, as you knew that that wasn't part of the arrangement. It was like considering if Sirius would give you a car as well as a blowjob. You were good at setting aside childish dreams, so dismissing the idea of anything more with Padfoot had been natural. You hadn't even got far enough to define it other than "anything more", and you didn't consider it often. And now Padfoot had thwacked you with the revelation that he'd been considering it, more often and more fully than you had, and that he wanted it, too. There was the question again: Did you? It was the offer of a relationship, not just casual sexual encounters. The admittance that you saw Sirius as more than a friend. You were seventeen years old, but you felt like a little kid embarrassed that to confess a crush. And, you thought, looking at him across the classroom, there was a crush to confess. You fancied Sirius Black. What a weight it was off your shoulders to let yourself say those words in your head. You fancied Sirius, not in the way that most of the school did because he was handsome and sexy and devil-may-care. You fancied Sirius because he was your friend and your protector, he was loving and loyal and inventive and driven and intelligent and strong and infuriating and surly and hypocritical and perplexing. Because he had enviable amounts of confidence and integrity. Because of how kind he could be to you and to others. Because you weren't the sort of person who gasped or burst into giggles, but after almost six years, Padfoot often made you do. You fancied him because you saw through his swagger, and you knew that he was just as brave and brash underneath. You fancied him because you didn't understand him. You fancied him because you usually liked time to consider your options before making a decision, and Padfoot didn't. Because he was rash and impulsive. You fancied him because being with him made you do rash and impulsive things.

Like push yourself off the desk, step over to him, and kiss him back.

You ended up sitting on the floor of the classroom with your backs against the door, snogging as you rummaged in each other's boxers. You were making slow progress on the latter because you and Padfoot wanted both hands on each other's faces and necks and in one another's hair. His lips were thin. His tongue was…lively. And wet. And gentle. And astonishing. You had to keep opening your eyes to ensure that what was happening was real, that the mouth on yours was Sirius Black's, the thumb scuffing your cheek was Sirius Black's, and the hand on the back of your neck to clamp you against him was Sirius Black's. You both kept sniggering, part-thrill, part-embarrassment, part-disbelief. Padfoot murmured words between kisses, and you told him to shut up. You wanted to concentrate. You didn't want his chatter to distract you, and you didn't want him to say something stupid. You couldn't risk him spoiling this.

"Make me," he whispered, sliding his leg over yours as he licked down your jaw.

You rolled your eyes at his theatrics, surprised that you were still teasing him like this, during this bizarre new turn of events. That made you feel even better, because it proved even more that this was Sirius and this was for real. It proved that snogging Padfoot back had been the right choice. The best choice. Eventually he started to kiss down your throat and nibble your collar-bones, lick over your shirt and down to your hips.

"Stop," you muttered. Padfoot stopped immediately. You squirmed, considering how to verbalise what you wanted to say.

"Kiss me," you whispered at last, "I want to be kissing you when I…"

Your face flamed. You refused to make eye contact with him.

"Jizz," Padfoot supplied.

You cringed but nodded. He beamed, crawled back up your body, took your hand and guided it towards his knob. He'd done that many times before, though he hadn't ever done what he did next, which was shuffle closer and softly kiss your lips. Your insides felt wobbly, your skin felt tender, and you were sure that you were going to shoot your load the second he touched you.

"Like this?" he murmured, gaze locking to yours, "Together?"

You nodded. He slipped his hand into your boxers and around your cock, rubbing his thumbnail down it tenderly. You echoed the movement on him, and he smiled. You didn't come at that exact moment, but it didn't take long until you did, your gasp muffled by Sirius' mouth. Without breaking the kiss or stopping rubbing Padfoot, you climbed onto his lap. He groaned into your mouth, tipping his head back against the door. Your tongues were fiercely, deliciously tangled. And then he came. This time, when Sirius moaned your name mid-orgasm, you were not surprised and you were not perturbed. You waited a few moments, then took your hand off and sat back on his outstretched legs, panting. Then you realised that you didn't have to separate from him now. You leaned forward again and pressed your forehead against Sirius'. He put his hands on your shoulders, thumbs touching the back of your neck.

"I've wanted this for ages," he breathed. This. Not that, not the snogging while you wanked one another. This- closeness and contact.

"Mmm," you sighed. You didn't want to speak right now.

"Remus?" he asked, tapping his thumbs on your skin. You opened your eyes, meeting his grey ones. They were staring straight at you. You knew what he was questioning.

"Yes, you idiot," you grinned. Saying the words was much less nerve-wracking than leaning over to kiss him for the first time.

You slid off Sirius' lap, pulled your trousers up, sat beside him and leaned your head against his shoulder. You felt glowing and bright. You'd been close to ruining this, to missing out on something you hadn't confessed to wanting until Padfoot had shoved the offer in front of you. But for once you'd managed not to muck it up, and now Sirius was wrapping his arm around your shoulder and resting his cheek against the top of your head. You pressed back against him, cosy. The two of you stayed there for a while, until you remembered that it was getting late, so you should probably head back to Gryffindor Tower. You'd get in trouble for being caught out of bed, and receiving a detention on the way back from a detention was an impressive achievement even for a Marauder. Padfoot whinged, but when you got to your feet and held you hand out to pull him up, he took it. He pecked you on the cheek, and then together you snuck home to Gryffindor Tower.

He wanted to tell Prongs and Wormtail. You didn't. He won.

Four days after that day in the classroom, Padfoot announced a Marauders meeting in your dormitory. The four of you say in a pow-wow on the floor and Sirius declared, "Remus and I have something to tell you. We're going out,"

"Where to?" asked Peter.

"What a shock!" shrieked James sarcastically, "I didn't see this coming!"

You boggled at him. "You knew?" you gasped.

"Moony, half the school knows that you two have been bonking like rabbits for the last however-many-years," James shot back.

You were dumbfounded. What happened between you and Sirius and was between you and Sirius. It had been years since you'd worried about what your friends would say, because it had been years since you'd entertained the idea that this was something they were allowed to know about. You knew that it had to stay a secret, though you'd forgotten exactly what the reason for that. Was there a reason?

"Sirius doesn't half make a racket when he blows his load," Prongs continued.

"Did you know they knew?" you hissed at Padfoot

"No," he answered, then said indignantly to James, "How do you know it was Moony? I could have been with a witch,"

"One: Because when you're with a witch you tell us about it in stupid amounts of detail, or you shag in here because you want us to walk in and see. Two: Because I don't know any witches called, 'Yes Remus, oh God Remus. Remus, Remus, Remus'. Do you?"

You knew you were blushing. Sirius folded his arms, stuck his chin out and said, "Well, we're together now. Properly,"

He took hold of your hand and glared at Wormtail at Prongs, daring them to say something negative.

"Are you both…queer?" asked Wormtail, eyes wide in bafflement and awe.

"Not as queer as you," Sirius shot back.

And that was the conversation in its entirety.

And thus you, stringy, gawky Remus from Llangeitho, were dating Sirius Black. It was bonkers and it was bloody brilliant.

You went for walks by the lake together, talking about the same stuff as usual, except this time you'd be holding hands.

"You're very pretty," he said one afternoon, matter-of-factly.

"I'm not," you scoffed. You were spending your free period wandering around the grounds together, fingers linked.

"You're supposed to say thank you," Padfoot suggested.

"Thank you for your lie,"

"'It's not not a lie,"

"Boys aren't pretty,"

"Bollocks, we know pretty boys. I've seen you eyeing up pretty boys," Sirius accused.

"Boys are handsome,"

"Only in those boring Muggle novels from a thousand years ago that you read,"

"Actually, the first English novels appeared in the seventeenth century," you pointed out.

"Swot," he teased, "Anyway, you aren't handsome. You're pretty,"

"What are you, then?"

"In a different league of attraction, Moony, you should know that,"

He winked at you. He did look nice today, you had to admit. He was wearing a flowery shirt and denim flares, and he had his hair loose. Since Mrs Black liked her sons to wear their hair long, you'd anticipated that after Padfoot ran away he'd have got his hair cut short. But Sirius had kept his black mane, and in recent weeks you'd found out how much you enjoyed idly twisting your fingers through it. Absently when sprawled on a common room couch together, you'd plaited his hair a couple of ties, though since that was the way his mother made him wear his hair, Sirius always shook the plait out irritably when he realised that's what you'd been doing.

"Alright, you are handsome," he said, back in the Hogwarts grounds that afternoon. He unlaced his fingers from yours and reached out to stroke your cheek, "More than you know,"

His hand glided down your cheek to your lips. You waited for him to add a punchline like Though not as handsome a me. But the punchline didn't come. Instead he smiled at you and pressed his fingers against your mouth for you to kiss.

Most nights one of you would creep into bed with the other. You'd pull the duvet up over your heads and snog for a long time, and then you'd snuggle up together to sleep (though you'd detach in the night, and often you woke up cold because Padfoot stole all the blankets). It made you feel very weird and it made you feel very happy.

For years, your friends had snuck down to the hospital wing to visit you the morning after a full moon. Now, Padfoot stayed longer than the rest, stroking your face and holding your hand until you fell asleep. He'd borrow James' invisibility cloak to hide when Madam Pomfrey made her rounds, which made you chuckle through the pain.

During the Summer holiday you wrote to each other daily and, since Padfoot was now staying with James, you were able to meet up a couple of times. That was a little awkward, especially since Prongs was there too. Out in Diagon Alley or walking down Muggle Oxford Street, there was no way you and Sirius could act like a couple. He insisted that you could visit Soho, an area where Muggle queens frequented, though the idea of that embarrassed you, especially as James would have to tag along too.

Back at school in the Autumn, Padfoot would sprawl across your lap in the common room, and you didn't feel embarrassed. You felt content. You'd suspected that some of Sirius' many ex-girlfriends would be bitter at you for "turning his head", but all the girls seemed to reckon that your relationship was rather sweet. You received jeers and taunts and whispered insults from a few people, though Sirius, being more well-known in school than you were, bore the brunt of the harassment. And Sirius being Sirius, he didn't care. You did care but the sneers didn't stop you enjoying being in a relationship, and the stares you received from younger students in the common made you proud. Now you were one of those older lads who you'd gawped at as an eleven-year-old.

James and Lily finally got together in November of seventh year, and the you went on double-dates with them to Madam Puddifoot's, Peter usually tagging along as what Prongs called "the fifth wheel" (though Lily pointed out that she was the fifth wheel- you were four friends plus a girlfriend more than you were two couples and a hanger-on).

You and Sirius still gave each other handjobs and head, though you started doing more stuff. Kissing, for a start (he was fabulous kisser). Undressing each other properly, for another. Sharing a dormitory, you'd seen Padfoot with his clothes off countless times before, but it was completely different when it was you peeling off his school uniform. After he ran away from home, he'd got a tattoo in the middle of his collar-bones, and you liked unbuttoning his shirt to reveal it.

Over the last three years, you'd rarely done anything sexual actually in bed. You could now. On weekend mornings Prongs would be at Quidditch training, and Wormtail would know to make himself scarce, allowing and Sirius could have a couple of hours alone in the dormitory together. One of you would climb on top of the other and you'd roll over and over, legs intertwined, his dark hair tangled between your fingers. All the times you'd overheard him having sex with witches, Padfoot was loud and theatrical, and he was focussed on talking about them- "You're sexy, you're wet, you're tight, you're beautiful, you're mine". In bed with you, however, there was less of his dramatics. He talked about how he felt and what he wanted. Intimacy was a less of a performance with you. It wasn't an opportunity for Sirius to show off- this was something special and private between you and him.

Perhaps he'd been right that day by the lake when he called you more handsome than you knew, because it was true that you liked your body more when Sirius was touching it. He'd seen the bite-mark on your arm plenty of times over the years. He'd seen you in bed with cuts and bruises from a full moon. He had seen you during the full moon in your monstrous wolf-body. Yet you knew that when Padfoot touched you and kissed you he was seeing none of that. He knew you well enough to only see Moony, his friend and now his boyfriend. You knew that he was seeing and stroking Remus' skin and hair and flesh, and not imagining the wolf. Which meant that you stopped imagining it, too. It was difficult to hate your body when you were rolling around in bed with him and kissing and entwining with each other. You took your time, and you could cuddle and whisper to one another. Your body did terrible things during the full moon, but it also did wonderful things when intertwined with Sirius'. Your body often felt achey, but Padfoot could make it feel amazing- no, you and Padfoot and the glorious things you did together made it feel amazing. You only realised now how nervy and impatient you'd been during your encounters up to this point- intimacy felt better now you were together romantically.

One evening in the common room, when Sirius was leaning against your chest while you read over each other's Transfiguration homework, he asked abruptly, "Do you want to shag? Properly?"

You hadn't had…actual sex, gay sex yet (you cringed at thinking those words). You were shocked that Sirius had brought it up now, reading over your homework in the common room, though you'd suspected for years that he was going to ask one day. You smiled to yourself, considering how sweet it was that he'd waited until you were officially together before he suggested it. Though that didn't mean that you were keen on the idea.

"Doesn't it hurt?" you hazarded. You understood what sex with another boy entailed, though you didn't know much about how the act was actually accomplished. You had seen crude illustrations, though they were hardly accurate or helpful. You were sure it was more complicated than sex with women, though you hadn't done that either. The novels you read were unclear on the mechanics of two men sleeping together, or they skipped that part and picked up the next morning. Even Oscar Wilde was disappointingly vague.

"Not for the one who goes on top," Padfoot shrugged, "I call dibs,"

"But you're bigger than me," you pointed out. You did not like being hurt, and you certainly didn't find it sexy.

"I won't squash you, if that's what you're worried about,"

"No, I mean, you're bigger than me…down there," you squirmed.

Padfoot leaned up and nipped you on the cheek, then kissed the same spot. "You mean I have the most ginormous, suckable, fuckable penis of all time? Aw, thanks Moony, you know how to flatter a man".

Despite your reservations, curiosity got the better of you and tried to achieve bumboy sex a couple of times. You were nervous and embarrassed and, despite Sirius' quips and bravado, you knew that he was too. Plus, given how many girls Padfoot slept with, you couldn't help but feel on the back foot. You admitted this to him in a mumbling voice, and he became irate, snapping that he hadn't done this with a boy either. You knew Sirius was snapping because he was anxious, and even you knew that anxiety was not a good precursor to sex. The experiment ended before you even got around to arguing about which one was going to go on top. You tried again a couple of times, though those attempts also descended into bickering and yelps of discomfort- so you gave up. You knew that Sirius was frustrated, though you didn't mind much. There were lots of other ways to be intimate with him, and they were all extremely enjoyable. You'd never imagined that you'd have a boyfriend, so you weren't upset that you hadn't managed to achieve actual sex with him.

After the Christmas holidays, things changed again. Perhaps it was James and Lily's blossoming romance, or perhaps it was impending NEWTs and adult life. Perhaps it was the threat of the wizarding war coming closer, or perhaps it was the fact that being home for the holiday had been a reminder that, outside of a secret boarding school at the top of Scotland, it could be quite difficult to be two men in a relationship. Most likely it was a combination of all of the above. It would be wrong to say that either of you became colder, though your relationship certainly seemed dimmer in the new year than it had before Christmas. You didn't feel as enthusiastic about it. Kissing was still nice, though it lost its thrill. Being Sirius Black's Boyfriend didn't make you feel as happy anymore. You knew Sirius was feeling it to, because walks around the lake became more silent, and the cuddles in the common room became less cosy. Instead of pulling the covers over you and snogging until you feel asleep, you'd give each other a peck goodnight and that would be it. Over the last few months you'd found times to drift away from Peter and Prongs. Now, though, being the four Marauders felt better than being Sirius-and-Remus, so you didn't bother to find time alone together. It was a relief to watch him show off for James, because it reminded you that you always were his second-best friend. This was strangely comforting.

It wasn't a shock when, the week before Lily's birthday, he mumbled, "Remus, shall we call it a day?"

It was one of those weekend mornings when you were alone together in the dormitory. Padfoot slept in his own bed last night, and now he was sitting up and looking at you from across the room. He was smiling sadly.

The bluntness of the question caught you by surprise, though the fact that he was asking did not.

You weren't sure how to respond, so you decided that you'd better be honest.

"Yes," you murmured, "Alright,"

You sensed your insides wilt dejectedly, though the moment did not seem momentous. As well as sadness, there was resignation and inevitability.

Sirius stood up and walked towards you, still with that strange smirk on his lips. He stopped in front of you, cupped your cheek with his palm and stayed there, meeting your eyes with his for a long moment. Then he took his hand away, put it in his pocket, and left.

You'd become not-together as suddenly as you became together. Sirius met James after Quidditch to tell him, so you supposed you'd have to tell Peter. You found him in the owlery (he liked animals) and explained, still slightly baffled by the fact that it had just happened, that you and Padfoot had decided to end your relationship.

"Oh," said Wormtail.

"Quite," you agreed.

"Did you have a fight?"


"What happened, then?"

You shrugged. You found that you did not want to talk to Peter about it.

"Is it going to be weird now?" he whispered.

You sighed. "I don't know. Perhaps for a while. I hope not,"

Actually, breaking up with Padfoot was easier than anticipated. You hadn't stopped being friends, so the end of your romantic relationship didn't feel like a seismic shift. For a few weeks you avoided being alone together, though that wasn't difficult. Nobody seemed to want to discuss the development with you, which was probably a help. You didn't like talking about your emotions, and you suspected that to do so might encourage you to feel a disingenuous sadness or anger. Besides, NEWTs were approaching, which kept everyone busy.

At graduation that Summer you all got horrendously drunk, and Padfoot seemed happier than you could remember seeing him. He made a fuss of James' mother and flirted with yours. He was chortling and hyperactive and joyful, which made him very handsome. All four of you had had ups and downs through school, and now you'd made it through. The adult world was beckoning. You were proud of Padfoot and of yourself, and you ended up slipping your hand into his and leading him, staggering, behind the owlery for a kiss. It was a fun, frenzied snog, noses and tongues bumping which made you both giggle. Pamela Marsh had kissed you on the mouth earlier that morning, so the fact that you'd snogged two people in one day made you laugh even more. The kiss only lasted a couple of minutes, before you both had to hurry back to your families and the rest of your cohort. When you caught Mam's eye, she looked at you shrewdly with a face which said, Oh, Remus. I always did know. Though you weren't sure that she understood, and neither of you mentioned it to one another.

It happened at Christmas too. You were drunk again, at Wormtail's house while his parents were out. Somehow (you couldn't remember later what exactly had happened) you found yourself on Padfoot's lap, running your fingers through his hair while he fingered your shirt buttons. Before you knew it, you were dragging him upstairs into Wormtail's bedroom, ignoring Lily's sceptical expression as you walked past her. By then it had been almost a year since you two were last intimate, but your body remembered what he liked and how to respond. And you remembered how satisfying it was to be with him in this way. You fell asleep contentedly, arms around his naked shoulders.

In the morning Lily eyeballed you both as you padded into the kitchen in search of Sisipasi's Hangover Cure.

"Morning!" she shouted, and you and Padfoot both grimaced at the noise, "Why did you two disappear to last night, I wonder?"

"Did you want to join in?" Sirius asked, batting his bleary eyelashes.

"I thought you called off your...whatever it is that you were," said Lily.

"We did," you and Padfoot replied simultaneously.

"This is just for fun," Sirius clarified.

"Yes," you agreed. Adult life was stressful. You were back living with your parents, which was difficult because Mam was ill, and you knew that was your fault. The exhaustion of worrying about and taking care of you had worn her out long ago, and she got sick easily. You hated that. And you didn't like the idea of having to be nursed around the full moon. It had been embarrassing enough at school when Madam Pomfrey had to help you back to the hospital wing and heal your cuts and give you painkiller potion when your bones ached. It was even more humiliating to be eighteen years old and relying on your parents for that.

You and your friends had joined the Order of the Phoenix straight out of school. James and Padfoot could afford to be in the Order full-time, though you didn't have the money for that. You'd found a job in the backroom at the printer's, though they'd sacked you after three months because of your absences. A new job hadn't transpired since, despite all the applications you'd sent off. Your manager at the printworks hadn't mentioned anything about when your absences fell, though if she'd worked out when they were, she might have worked out what you were, and you were beginning to suspect that she'd told other employers.

The war was stressful too. Now you were out of school it seemed ten times more real and imminent, and now you were in the Order that fear was multiplied by another hundred. Being new members, the five of you were restricted mostly to research, which Prongs found dull but you and Lily enjoyed. Even in a research role, the sense of danger was ever-present. An Order member had died over the Summer- the Marauders hadn't met her, but everyone else had. She'd been their friend, and now she was in a coffin. You knew about this risk, of course, though being presented with the reality of it was different. This was not the adventure which it had seemed in school.

Why weren't you allowed some fun, then? There was nothing wrong with mucking around with Sirius. You didn't see him as an ex- he was just Padfoot, and you were friends, and you'd been sucking each other off for years before you were in a relationship. He was safe and familiar. You knew where you stood with him, and you knew what each other liked. It was as if you'd needed to get the relationship out of your systems, and now you could go back to being what you were always supposed to be- best friends who occasionally met up to mess around in bed together, to your mutual gratification (though you'd kissed last night, something you hadn't done before that day in the classroom. You elected to overlook this).

"If you say so," sing-songed Lily, "Anyway, Hangover Cure's in the cupboard on the left,"

She smirked and walked out of the kitchen, shutting the door loudly so that you and Padfoot both winced.

Alcohol often played a part in your post-school trysts with Sirius. Boredom did, too, though it was usually Padfoot who apparated unexpectedly into your bedroom, declaring, "I'm bored. Want to have some fun?"

He, Wormtail and Prongs were still keen to set you up with witches. You had occasional girlfriends, and you kissed Ieuan Dearborn a couple of times, too. Ieuan was a few years above you at Hogwarts, and he'd been one of the older boys who you'd watched enviously with his boyfriends. It was a shock, then, when you bumped into him in Diagon Alley one day and he asked you for a drink. He told you that he'd always reckoned you were cute, and at the end of the night you'd leaned up and pecked him on the lips. You met up with him a couple of times since, though it didn't go further than snogging. Ieuan was reserved and gentle, though rather dull to talk to. Then he moved to France to take a course in medicinal herbology. Your other attempts at relationships inevitably and intentionally went wrong ("You're pushing them away and you know it!" James accused heatedly after you confessed that your most recent romance had fizzled out, "What are you scared of?". Though of course he knew the answer), and when they did, Sirius would always be there with a bottle of wine and a waggling eyebrow which would lead to kisses and unbuckled belts and climbing into bed together. Padfoot was playing the field too, far more successfully than you were.

"There's a whole world of it out here, Moony. Clubs and bars and all sorts, it's fantastic," he enthused one evening at the Leaky Cauldron. He left a dramatic pause, then added, "I'm seeing someone,"

You didn't reply, you just waited for him to continue.

"A bloke," he elaborated.

"Good for you,"

"He's a Muggle, and he's called Neil,"

You weren't surprised by this revelation. You sighed. "Is he nice?"

"No, not really," said Padfoot, and grinned his canine grin, "I like him being Muggle, though. I don't feel as much expectation,"

What he meant was: I, the great Sirius Black, who ran away from home, am always noticed in the magical world, where people raise their eyes at my surname and insist on calling me 'sir'. Despite having supposedly escaped from his family's reputation, Sirius did enjoy cashing in on being the Black's black sheep.

"Good for you," you said again.

"I note that you're being quiet about the state of your love life. How's Vardalia?"

Vardalia Mehmet. She was a year older than you and a Ravenclaw and had dark skin and green eyes. She was shy and intelligent and worked in the accounts department of St Mungo's. She'd been your girlfriend for a few months, though you'd cooled it off lately. Knowing when to tell romantic partners was a new part of life your lycanthropy had complicated. You couldn't tell anybody you were romantically interested in that you were a werewolf straight away, but if you left it too long then it would seem as if you'd been deceptive. Obviously, you didn't go around telling everybody who took your fancy that you were a werewolf, though once you were in a relationship, to reveal your awful secret would make it seem like you'd lied. And if someone believed you'd deceived them it was more likely that they'd reveal your secret to other people, to the world. It was a cyclic catch-22. Acting coldly towards Vardalia upset you because you truly did like her- but you were afraid that she'd work out why you got ill and why you refused to take off the armband you wore on your left shoulder.

"She's fine," you muttered to Sirius.

"Convincing," he mocked. You stared into your pint glass.

"Neil and I," he declared, mercifully changing the subject, "Have fucked,"

You resisted the urge to sigh again. It was like you were fifteen and he was regaling you over breakfast with an account of the witch he'd bedded last night.

"That's nice," you said flatly.

"Properly. Up the ar-"

"Yes. I'm aware of the principal,"

You didn't want to hear much more about it.

"You can, too, if you fancy it," said Padfoot.

"I don't fancy i-"

"I mean you can fuck me," he clarified.

This time, the pause which followed was not intentional.

"Remember we tried to do it at school a couple of times?" Padfoot ploughed on, "We fell out,"

"We didn't fall out," you corrected, "We weren't sure what we were doing, and we couldn't decide who was meant to go where,"

Correcting Sirius on his memory was easier than dealing with the proposition he had just placed in front of you.

"As I remember you got whiney about it," Padfoot suggested, "But you don't have to this time. I've tried it with Neil. That's the man I'm seeing," he added unnecessarily, "So do you want to?"

You knew him well enough to hear the slither of hope in his tone, and you knew that the steely glint in his eye meant that he wanted to do this. It wasn't bravado- he was ready. You sensed your pulse pick up, then felt alarmed that that excitement was your initial reaction. Thrill. Eagerness. Padfoot had that effect on you- well, the offer of sex with him did. You were sure that your romantic feelings for him had faded, but sex with him was easier than it was with Vardalia (Vardalia, who you hadn't seen for three weeks now and whose letters you took days to reply to. Vardalia, who you knew you were hoping would do what your last girlfriend had done, and split up with you). You sensed your skin heating up, and Sirius was grinning at you with that charming, cocky, infuriating beam on his lips.

You smiled back. "Alright, then".

It was fantastic. You couldn't say if it was the physical act which you enjoyed more, or the fact that Padfoot was familiar, and you felt less wrong and predatory with men than with women. Seeing his bare arse and preparing to push your cock into it was insane, but with kissing and gentleness and Padfoot's promises that it would be fine, your agitation decreased. You liked being on top of him and being able to kiss the side of his face as you moved together. He kept telling you what to do- that was something which hadn't changed since you were fourteen-year-olds, and you were as obedient to his instructions now as you had been then. He said your name over and over, seething and grunting as he bit the pillow on your bed. He seemed pleased that you were doing this together, and that made you glad, too. Afterwards he stretched out languidly on his back, and asked:

"Did you like that?"

You were lying on your stomach beside him, propped up on your elbows. "Yes,"

He beamed, "Knew you would,"

Neither of you said anything for a few minutes, and then Sirius added quietly, "I enjoyed it more with you than with Neil,"


"That's not me asking you out," he added, yawning.

"Fine," you shrugged.

"Are you going to give me anything more than a one-word answer today?"

You grinned. "No,"

He kicked you in the shin with his bare foot, though you were so bony that it hurt him more than you.

"Ow," he whined.

"Who's whingeing now?"

"It's not my fault. It's you and your legs made of concrete,"

You lounged around bickering a while longer, and then Padfoot got crawled out of bed, stretched, got dressed, beamed as he gave you a final kiss on the forehead, and left. Alone, you felt slightly shakey about what had just happened, like the first time you'd had sex with a woman. You disliked the shiver of pride you were feeling about it. You rolled onto your back, and wondered what to tell Vardalia.

James and Lily got married a few months later. To some extent, James Potter's wedding seemed an insane idea. And in other ways, the wedding seemed a natural event. Despite their stormy relationship before getting together in seventh year, since becoming an item Lily and James been one of the steadiest couples you knew. Lily's love had made James less cocky and more confident. She'd made James less embarrassed about being kind to people (you had always known that he was kind person, though as a teenager he'd kept his kindness hidden under a thick layer of arrogance). He was more genuine and less full of bravado than he used to be.

As for Lily, falling for James Potter had been such a curveball that it had shaken her out of her judgemental singe-mindedness. Lily had always been highly-strung, and dating James had made her more relaxed. She hadn't been allergic to teenage arrogance either, though now she was less stuck-up and more open. James and Lily had both made each other calmer, more assured versions of themselves. Although Prongs getting married felt like a slight bereavement, you were truly delighted for him and Lily.

You'd been chatting to Mrs Potter- James' mum, not Lily- but she'd drifted away to the bar. The seat beside you was empty and you were enjoying being a quiet observer to the festivities. You didn't know all the guests at the wedding, and being surrounded by strangers made you uneasy. You were still getting used to protecting your secret outside of the safety of school. You couldn't shake the feeling that a stranger might suspect something about you, so you felt better watching the happiness from a distance. Bessa Leadbetter, Gryffindor's former Quidditch captain, was chatting to Tobias Turtle, your friend from Ravenclaw. Two old ladies were sharing a slice of wedding cake. Lily had disappeared behind a gaggle of her girlfriends. Together, it all made up a buzzy, cheerful scene, and regarding it made you beam. Your observation was interrupted by someone punching you on the shoulder, then sitting down beside you.

"So," Sirius said bracingly, "The jammy bastard finally did it then,"

You grinned over at him.

"Jammy?" you asked raising an eyebrow, "You're not jealous, are you?"

Padfoot laughed his barking-dog laugh, "Don't be stupid,"

"Where've you been, anyway? Haven't seen you for ages," you asked. Sirius had no problem with crowds and had disappeared into the melee.

"Could say the same to you, off skulking in the corner. What are you looking at?"

"Everyone. I like watching people enjoy themselves,"

"Instead of actually enjoying yourself," he pointed out.

"I didn't say that. Actually, I was wondering if you wanted to stay at mine later?" you asked. You brushed his hand with yours to ensure he knew what you meant by "stay over". You'd had sex a few more times in recent months. Today had been jubilant special, but also exhausting and slightly stressful, and you fancied a night of relaxation and sex and fun with Sirius.

Padfoot smiled, though now it seemed more of a grimace.

"I meant to speak to you about that," he said, "I'm in a relationship,"

You'd never heard him use those words before. He wasn't fearful of committing to one person, he was just enjoying have multiple options living on his own terms, exploring his options and having fun. He said he was "seeing", "dating", "screwing", "going out with" someone, but never "in a relationship".

"Really?" you blurted.

Sirius chuckled. "Really,"

"With who?"

"Name's Martin,"

"Muggle?" you clarified.


That wasn't shocking, and as a half-blood you'd grown up with the idea that wizard-Muggle relationships were the norm. Although the concept of Sirius Black "in a relationship" with a Muggle man was difficult to get your head around.

You cocked an eyebrow. "A serious relationship?"

"Not quite," Padfoot said, "But I'd like it to be,"

You knew he meant it. You were good at presenting a neutral expression, and put it to use now. "That's great,"

Neither of you said anything for another moment, but you understood the words which hadn't been said by either: So let's stop. For good this time. There were lots of things you wanted to say in response or add to that: I see- you only wanted me long enough to have me fuck you, and now you're dropping me? I'm not a new broomstick to be discarded at the back of the store-cupboard. Has everything between us been a test for you to find out if you're gay? (Are you gay? It's difficult to tell isn't it, and we haven't talked about what we feel we are). You've taken advantage of me. You've always taken advantage of me.

Then you thought: I am pleased for you. Being you is not easy and I am glad you have found somebody who makes you happy. I am jealous because being me is more complicated than that. Am I jealous that I am not the person who makes you happy anymore? Sirius, you don't honestly believe that this relationship with "Martin" is going to last, do you? I hope it does. I want you to be happy. I care about you very much. This is probably for the best, isn't it?

You did not say any of this. You forced yourself to smile, and he mirrored it, though you could tell that Padfoot's smile was one of relief rather than joy. You didn't know what to say or do next- part of you wanted to storm off, though you didn't want to seem as if you were angry at Padfoot. You weren't angry, were you? Were you? Intentionally or otherwise, Sirius had always muddled with your emotions.

"Do you mean that?" Padfoot asked.

You cringed.

"You reckon I can't see through your pokerface by now?" he added.

"Yes, I mean it," you affirmed, "We're friends,"

"Always?" he pushed.

Part of you wanted to snap at him to stop pushing. He was telling you he was ending things, but he was nagging to see how much you cared about him. But you were good at controlling your temper, so you rolled your eyes and muttered, "You soppy sod,"

Sirius cuffed you round the back of the head. You elbowed his ribs. He laughed and pretended to kick you in the shin. You pushed him. Padfoot grabbed you collar and yanked it.

"Don't ruin my jacket," you protested, even though you were both only messing about.

"Stop being a wuss,"

He twisted the fabric in his fist, for a moment, then released you and straightened your lapels. It was a functional gesture rather than a tender one, similar to the way that Rick Takagi had smartened your robes when you were in first-year and he was Head Boy. Padfoot was acting like a boy friend, rather than a boyfriend. In that moment, you knew that everything between you two would be alright.

You held your right hand out for Sirius to shake. He did, and he smiled at you. There had been ups and downs and ons and offs over the last few years, though now that part of your relationship was over. Now you were friends, and everything was going to be alright. You grinned, shook Sirius' hand again, and then you both let go.

Thank you for reading. I'm a straight girl and I've never written m/m sex/romance before, so I hope I did okay (I took some inspiration from the novel The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee, which I recommend to fans of gay romance). Please review to let me know what you thought. Many thanks.