Title: Three Sides to Every Lifetime: Romance
Fandom: Harry Potter
Spoilers: read the third book!
Disclaimer: J.K.R.'s characters and world and I don't get a dime for this
Summary: Part 2 in my 'Three sides to every lifetime' trilogy. Set about half a year after Harry's birth. Amidst the terror, fear, and suspicion, Remus and Sirius survive the only way they know how.
Comments: Yes, please!
Three Sides to Every Lifetime:
He was always so peaceful when asleep. Curled up on half the couch, his head on a couch cushion, his arm draped over my lap. Hair frazzled, flecked with tiny bits of gray, his mouth hanging slightly open. I reached over and gave him a bit of a nudge. “Moony, wake up.” It was late, past a decent bedtime for both of us, but the man pulled his eyes open slowly and retracted his arm to cover a large yawn. “James and Lilly are coming up the walk. Will you go peak in on Harry one last time?”
Remus stirred, stretched lazily, then gave a firm nod before trudging up the stairs of the little house to the baby's room. The house was large for their family, with three bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, and a den. But it was beautiful and fit them perfectly. James and Lilly had hoped to grow into it. And when they'd had Harry, it made the whole place come alive with all sorts of magic. I could hear Remus' footsteps disappearing up the carpeted stairs, and I could hear him sneeze “ihh-Hitchoo! Ehh-Hetchuh!” as he rounded the corner into the hallway. Poor love. I shook my head with a smile.
The door opened and shut quickly afterwards as cold February winds delivered the couple and their coats, scarves, hats and gloves into their foyer. Both faces looked very pale but flushed from the cold. “Welcome home,” I greeted them, taking Lilly's things and hanging them up as James did the same to his own. “Safe trip, I hope?”
James nodded, drawing Lilly over to him with a casual pull. She looked shaky, and clung to his side for more than just warmth, it seemed. James explained, “We saw three dark marks floating about the sky on the way home.” Lilly shuddered, closing her eyes tightly, and James looked none too relaxed about it either. “The last seemed rather close to here. We're, er, glad to be home.”
“How's Harry?” Lilly asked eagerly, light concern in her voice.
“Just fine,” I replied. “Fell to sleep nice and early not long after you left. Gave him his bottle, changed him, and he went right off to sleep in my arms before I even got him upstairs. We've been checking on him every twenty minutes or so. Remus is up there right now.” Then, at Lilly's unchanged expression. “He's fine, Lilly. I would never let anything hurt him.”
Lilly smiled and nodded. “I know, Siri. Just a little worried about leaving him alone these days, even with you lot.” She held her arms out and gave me a more reassuring smile. “Thank you.”
Immediately I leapt at her offer, grabbing her in a tight, reassuring hug. I lifted her off her feet and spun her around, my heart flying at the sound of her light giggles. How I missed the days when we heard them all the time. The time which seemed ages ago when we all felt free to laugh without the guilt. I set her down carefully, then turned on James who looked a little shaken still. “Prongs!” I growled, catching him in a tight hug as well. I managed to lift him a few centimeters off the ground before I backed off, huffing with the effort and wiping my brow of pretend sweat. “Whew! What did you have to eat tonight?”
He cracked a smile. “Padfoot…” he warned, looking down my waist. “I wouldn't go brining that up if I were you.”
Footsteps sounded behind me, and I turned my head to find Remus descending the stairs, looking much more awake than last I'd seen him. He cleared his throat and held his hand up in greeting. “Hi. Harry's fine,” he announced, reaching the bottom and clinging to my side much as Lilly had done with James. I slipped my arm around his waist and felt him put his weight on me, legs unsteady. I gave him a tight squeeze of reassurance.
“You're not sounding too fine yourself,” commented James.
Remus nodded a bit shyly. “Just a head cold.”
Lilly gave him a sympathetic look, and James nodded but turned towards me with a serious look in his eyes. “May I see you in the living room for a private moment before you leave, Sirius? I've some news from Dumbledore for you.”
“Of course,” I said, letting go of Remus and following James over.
I glanced back at Remus as I left, seeing his worried expression. But Lilly took his hand in hers and led him over to the kitchen with a soft, “Come, let me make you some of my mother's special get well tea.”
James directed me to the couch with a wave of his hand but did not sit himself. Instead, he strode over to the fireplace, waved a hand to put out the flames, and then proceeded to pace back and forth in front of the smoldering embers. After a few moments of silence, he began. “Dumbledore's worried. Somehow someone is informing Voldemort of our actions. He thinks—“ then James broke off. After a full minute's silence, he started again. “Look, Sirius, you know I trust you. We're best mates, we have been since we were in diapers. You were my best man, Harry's Godfather. I trust you more than anyone with my life, and Lilly's and Harry's. And I trust your taste. And I trust that if you knew someone…” he died off, apparently trying to decide just how to put it. “Look, if someone we knew- someone you knew very well- were a spy, or acting suspiciously… you'd tell me, wouldn't you? If it could mean… well… And even if you knew this person very, well, intimately…”
I narrowed my eyes. He couldn't possibly be saying what I thought he was. “James, are you talking about Remus?” There was aggravation in my voice, but then the thought struck me and I'm sure my fear showed through. “Does Dumbledore think—“
“No!” he exclaimed quickly. “He doesn't know how Voldemort's getting the information but he suspects it's someone close to us.” He sighed, running his hand through his messy, bushy black hair. “You and Remus and Peter were my greatest friends at Hogwarts. I love you all dearly. And the rest of the order, you know I trust Dumbledore. And if he suspects there's someone, I've got to look out for that possibility.” He paused, probably backing up to have another go at it. “But if there were someone close to me, to us, so close I couldn't see it. And you knew… you'd tell me, wouldn't you? Even if…”
And then I understood completely. “Remus is a werewolf.”
James nodded, cheeks flushed. “But you know that doesn't mean I think—“
But I cut him off. “It doesn't make him evil.”
“I know, Sirius. Of course I know. We're Marauders.”
“And just because he and I are lovers doesn't mean I know everything about him.”
He looked a bit flustered. “Yes, I know that.”
I continued, “But if I knew something, James, you best believe I'd tell you, even if it had to do with him.” Wouldn't I? “Just because we're lovers doesn't mean I'd abandon my morals, or my best mate's life, for him. Or my God child, for that matter. I'd protect him to the death, James. No matter who was in the way.” But Remus? Would I ever be able to harm Remus? But my answer seemed to make James a bit more relieved. He sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. So I took the opportunity to try to lighten the situation. “And, frankly, I'm hurt,” I put my hand dramatically to my heart, “that you think a little bit of fucking could make me keep secrets about Voldemort from my best mate!” Of course, Remus and I shared a lot more than a little bit of fucking. I stood and leaned close to James, whispering, “No matter how good the sex is.”
James grinned and caught me in a rough headlock which I managed quickly to wriggle out of. But we swayed, overbalanced, and fell to the couch with each other, roughly pawing and struggling to pin the other against the pillows. It took me back to our days as kids. Both of us were only children but we'd always thought of each other as brothers. And like brothers, a bruise or two were sometimes exchanged in fun. I'm pretty sure any impartial judge would have called me the winner of this particular squabble, but we shook it off and rose to our feet as we heard voices in the hallway.
I noticed Remus hastily stuffing something small and white into the inner pocket of his jacket, and it didn't look at all like a tissue to me. Looked more like… an envelope.
“A long warm shower and plenty of juice,” Lilly recommended as she zipped his coat up for him.
Remus, with his sneezey look that I'd seen on his face all evening, nodded vaguely and pressed a handkerchief to his nose and mouth. “Eh-Chumphh! Eeh-ih-chishumph!” And before anyone could bless him, he mumbled, “Excuse me.” Then, watching us all watching him, albeit sympathetically, he added quickly, “I promise I didn't get too close to Harry or feed him or anything. And I was very careful to wash my hands—“
“Remus!” James stopped him with a laugh. “No need for that, man. I trust you.” But I was sure that it wasn't at all the same sort of trust that he had given me just a moment ago, or when he spoke of Dumbledore. He held out a warm hand. “Feel better, Moony. And thank you for babysitting tonight.” Remus nodded, took his hand and squeezed it tightly.
As I shook James' hand goodbye and listened to the same thank you, Lilly made to kiss Remus' cheek, but he held his hand up. “You'll catch this.”
She laughed. “I've heard that before somewhere. Didn't stop me then and it won't stop me now.” And she gave him a tender, motherly kiss on the cheek and a tight hug. She gave me one as well, and I felt Remus grab my hand with a tight squeeze as we'd done so many years ago when we were sick in bed together and facing the prospect of an afternoon alone with each other.
“Take care!” I called as I led Remus out the door, tugging my coat on with one hand. Once the door was closed and we were out in the cold winds, I made sure Remus had his hat and gloves on before I dawned mine as well. I pulled on my helmet and mounted my bike, giving it a gentle pat on the handlebars as it revved up beautifully despite the chill in the air. I looked up, searching the sky for the sign, but there was nothing to be seen now. Whoever was dead, had been discovered and dealt with. Something shook me with chill, and I found myself looking back, over the Potters' house, just to be sure. But the sky was clear above, clouds hanging high in the sky to block out the waning moon. And whatever evil was lurking out there, it had not found us yet.
My attention snapped back to the ground quickly. “ehh-Chishoo! Ihhh-ihhHetchoo!” Remus sneezed, hands cupped over his nose and mouth. I dug around in my pocket and retrieved a tissue, offering it to him after the third sneeze. “ehhh-Ihhhshhhuhh!” He took it gratefully and wiped his nose. His teeth were chattering, and he shivered in the cold. It was time to be going. Then Remus slid on behind me, both his arms around my waist, his head resting on my upper back.
“You all right, Mate?” I felt the head on my back move up and down in a nod and I released the brake. “Hold on tight, then. Here we go.” And we took off.
Every few seconds he sniffled, and I had to admit the cold wind whipping past us as we flew was making my own nose run a little. But I certainly wasn't sneezing as much as Remus was. “Moony? You still all right?” I must have called out to him twenty times before we broke back down through the clouds in our neighborhood. And each time he gave me an affirmative sort of grunt, or sniffled loudly at least.
We landed a few blocks from our building so as not to make noise and draw attention to ourselves by waking up the neighborhood. You could never tell who was lurking nearby. I stopped the bike and felt Remus slide off behind me. When I had dismounted and looked behind, I saw him clutching his stomach with both arms, a pained expression on his face. “Moony?”
He swallowed hard. “Just a little motion sick,” he whispered weakly. He bowed his head against the wind and followed along the other side of the bike as I pushed it home.
“Motion sick?” I looked down at my bike, stroking the metal affectionately. “On my baby? Just gave her a tune-up a few days ago. New shocks... new tires… I know the wind made her bounce a little as she flew but usually she's a very steady ride. How could—“
“Ugh, Sirius, shut up,” he begged, a hand clamped over his mouth, his eyes closed as he walked. “I'm just sick, that's all.”
I slowed the pace for him, and we walked along steadily. A few times he paused and I nearly dropped the bike in order to dash to his side to hold him if he should be ill. But he merely paused to sneeze, though they were taking a lot more effort out of them than maybe they should have been.
In fact, he didn't get sick until we were at our building. I parked the bike and turned back around to find him being violently ill in the gutter. Racing to his side, I grasped his shoulders tightly, and swept his hair back from his face. Remus coughed and spat, straightening up with a sheepish sort of smile on his face. “Sorry. I feel loads better, though.” I had been carrying tissues around in my pocket for him all night, and used one to wipe his face clean. Then I slipped a cough drop to him to kick out the taste in his mouth and led him into the building and up the stairs to our flat, which was luckily only a few flights up.
The moment we entered, Remus made for the couch to sleep, but I steered him away. “Uh-uh. You need a decent sleep. To bed with you, my Love.” I helped him off with his coat, pulled his robes over his head, loosened his tie, then slipped it off altogether. He wriggled out of his shoes on the way to the bedroom, the lights of the flat following us from room to room. Off came his socks, then his undershirt, belt, trousers and beneath. He was completely naked by the time he reached the bathroom, and used the toilet as I prepared a saltwater rinse and his toothbrush for him. His mirror reflection looked exhausted, and I stood behind him, my body pressing close against his back, my hands on his waist to steady him as he brushed. He looked as rough and worn out as he did after his transformations.
When he was done, I wet a washcloth and washed his face, letting the warmth linger on his skin for a little while. He closed his eyes and leaned back against me, his hands reaching back onto my hips. I rubbed the washcloth down his neck, then his chest, and couldn't resist rubbing his privates. I bent down on my knees, my tongue flicking at his perfectly inviting rear, just for fun. Then I rose with a smile, looking at his reflection in the mirror in front of us.
Quickly, I reached over to the toilet tank and snatched a tissue. One hand reached around his front and held his stomach, while the other held the tissue out in front of him in expectation. “hehh…ihhh…ihh-Kishhh! Ihhshhh!” He sneezed, bending forward twice from the force. His nose was in the tissue by the end, and he gave a quick blow as I held it firm for him.
He turned, rubbing at the bottom of his nose with two fingers, sniffling. I followed him back into the bedroom, helping him pull on new underwear, socks, and pajamas. Then, with my hand on his upper arm to hold him steady, I helped him slide into bed. I placed his wand between our pillows, but held onto my own for a moment as I spoke a warming charm Lilly had taught me on the blankets. Then I placed mine in bed as well and made to get ready for bed myself.
There was a stack of paperwork I needed to muddle through and two books to read, but they could wait until morning. I hated to admit it, but I was feeling nearly as exhausted as Remus looked. We were young still, but our age was starting to catch up to us. Indeed, Remus probably wasn't the only one to be sporting strands of gray hair for long, or so we joked. Thinking of his hair made me bend down over the bed and pet it. It was soft and in the candlelight, matched his amber eyes well. I kissed his forehead tenderly, and he reached up and stroked my cheek as I did so. “Coming to bed soon?” he asked softly, hopefully, his eyes flickering toward the pile of work on my desk.
I nodded, straightening back up and pulling my robes off over my head, my eyes leaving his for only the briefest of moments. “I'll be there in just a minute.” Stifling a yawn, I backed off.
I stripped down in front of him, wagging my rump in his direction, which made him smile. A luscious, lovely smile. We had so little to smile about these days that it made me feel remarkably better to see it. It made me cast my mind back to my conversation with James. How could Remus be a spy for Voldemort? Impossible. Not my Remus, werewolf or not. I changed into my own pajamas, brushed my teeth, and used the toilet. My mirror reflection looked weary indeed, but not as pale as Remus'.
When I returned to the bedroom, I found Remus caught in a bit of a sneezing fit. “iihh-Chishh! IhhChoo! Ehhh…ehhh-Ihhhshhhuh!” He cupped one hand over his nose and mouth as he shook in bed, his other hand holding tight to his wand, pointed in my direction. Cautiously, I hung in the doorway, ready to jump out of the way should he send something unfriendly my way by mistake. Something like fear caught in my stomach. What if he sent it and it wasn't a mistake at all? “ihh-Ketchhh!” he finished sneezing, and held his hand in place as he flicked his wrist and muttered, “Assio,” with force. The tissue box shot into his hand from my bedside table. I relaxed as he tossed his wand next to mine and took up a few tissues for his nose.
With a wave of my hand, all the lights went out in the room except for one beside the doorway, leading to the bathroom. Partly because I thought he might need a guide to find the bathroom in the middle of the night. And partly because I wanted to see him a while before we went to sleep. I wanted to make sure he was taken care of and asleep before turning off the light completely.
I slipped beneath the covers on my side of the bed, lying on my back to begin with. I reached my arm out to hold him, and he snuggled up to me instinctively, his head on my chest, his arm hugging my waist, his leg half bent and on top of my own. I wrapped my arm around him from beneath and rubbed my hand up and down his back. “Are you cold?” I asked, a little worried if he might suddenly be running a temperature.
But he shook his head, even as he snuggled closer, rubbing his cheek against my flannel pajama top. “Not in the least,” he replied, sniffling lightly. “Just feeling kind of…”
Needy. Yes, I understood well enough. My Remus turned into a baby when he was sick. “I'll take care of you, don't you worry. I'm not going anywhere until you're feeling better.” With my other hand, I cupped the lower half of his face and rubbed my thumb up and down his cheek. He hadn't shaved in nearly two days, and it was a new experience for me to feel such stubble on his normally soft and smooth face.
He sneezed twice, suddenly, against my chest. “ihh-Kerchhh! Ihh-Chetchh!” And he started to pull away in embarrassment. But I neither flinched nor released my grip around him enough to allow him to retreat. Instead, I simply took a tissue and rubbed his nose with it.
“Bless you,” I murmured with another soft kiss to his forehead. Then I paused, and strained my neck lower to kiss his lips. Tender, juicy, familiar lips. My teeth found the bottom one and pulled on it gently as I pulled my head back. Even sick, he smelled and tasted like my Remus. I felt something stir beneath the sheets, and I wriggled around a little to adjust myself for it. “Sorry, Remus,” I said with some shyness. “You're just so…” And I felt his hand on my crotch, cupping firmly, stroking the shaft gently as only he knew how. I shook my head. “You're sick. You don't have to. I'm fine!” I laughed as he rubbed faster through my pajamas.
“Least I can do,” Remus replied slyly, with a smile. “For taking such good care of me and all.” He coughed as he tried to take a deep breath without coughing. Then he slid underneath the blankets and gently tugged my pajama bottoms down past my bottom. He lapped like a dog at my privates, sniffling a bit but doing a fairly good job of sucking all the same. When I could take no more of it, I threw back the covers in signal, arching my back slightly in pleasure, trying to control myself. He gave a shiver at the removal of the covers and raised his elbow to his face. “ihh-Kimshh! Ihh-Chummph!” Then he paused, eyes closed, arm lowering just a bit, hesitantly. There was another sneeze there, I was sure of it. The way his face squeezed up rather cutely in expectation and concentration. He breathed normally a moment, then a sharp intake of breath signaled the arrival. “iihhh—“ and nothing again. But he froze, waiting, barely daring to move. After nearly a minute, he lowered his arm and sniffed strongly. “Excuse…” and his face contorted again, the sneeze creeping back upon him. He didn't have time to cover it, but tried to turn his head away. “ehhh-KESHHHhhhuh!” He blinked, sniffling, and looked back at me shyly. Then he rubbed my thigh dry with some embarrassment and collapsed next to me in bed. “Cad't eved do that right.”
I shook my head, smiling, and held two tissues up for him. “Give us a blow, Mate.” Afterwards, I kissed him again, full lips, lingering to enjoy the sweetness that was Remus. Then I took his hand and directed it back to my crotch. “Finish the job, Tease. I'm not letting you off that easily. Not until you get me off.”
He returned my smile, though looked tremendously relieved that I wasn't angry at him. He rubbed me gently but furiously fast, careful not to hurt me as he pleasured me. I closed my eyes, letting the sensations take me over. His other hand slipped under my shirt, rubbing seductively. “ehh-Ihhshoo!” Remus sneezed again and made to pull back. But I grabbed both his wrists firmly, desperately, and held him in place to indicate he should finish me, despite a tickly nose.
It really didn't take long at all. Maybe something had been building up all night, fighting to get out, simply waiting for the right moment. Or maybe it was simply his touch. His warm, soothing, erotic touches which sent tingles racing all over my skin. Whatever it was, I huffed, whimpered, then bit down hard on my lip so as not to scream and wake the neighbors so late at night. My body thrust forward into his hand, and he lay half beside me, half on top of me. I lost myself in his touch, in his warmth. I shook, then went rigid, pushing strong as I shot true. Then all my strength left me completely and I relaxed back in bed, one hand on the back of Remus' head, patting it in thank you. He bent down and kissed my bottom lip, then sucked it gently. “It's bleeding,” he told me, and I wasn't surprised. I tucked it in my mouth until the trickle of blood stopped, then opened my eyes.
Remus was lying next to me, rubbing at his nose miserably with a tissue. Then he wiped me down, using the tissues and a bit of water he summoned out of the end of his wand. The sheets were all dry, luckily, so there was no reason to get out of bed. I pulled my pants up, then the blankets, turning to tuck them around Remus' backside warmly. Then I held out my arms to him and he entered into them, hugging me around the middle as he snuggled, cheek on my upper chest, forehead against my neck. He whimpered and sneezed, brining his hand up this time. “hhih-Cheshh!”
He sprayed a bit of my chin in the process, but I barely noticed as I rubbed his nose with another tissue. “Just relax.” I sighed, still in euphoria over it all. “See?” I told him. “You always do it just right.”
The world stopped when we were in bed with each other. It could come down in green flames and we wouldn't notice. Maybe James did have cause to worry. Moony entranced him, caught him and held him so tightly in their love that he was blinded from the world. Werewolves mated for life, and every bit of Remus' love and devotion flowed through each glance, each touch. But how could he be a spy? He was a Marauder. He and James and Peter and I, we were all brothers. Brothers in mischief and in friendship. Betrayal was against the code. Against the love.
And the thing which had settled deep and terrible in the pit of my stomach seemed to ebb away slowly at the thought, and at the feel of his soft face nuzzling my neck affectionately. I hugged him tightly, not wanting to let go. How could my Remus possibly be a spy? It had to be one of the others. Arabella Figg. Mundungus Fletcher… it just couldn't be Remus. The question seemed burned into my mind, and I suddenly realized I wouldn't be able to forget it if I didn't ask. It would haunt me constantly, and I didn't want to feel like that about Remus. I held my breath, building up my Gryffindor courage to ask Remus if he has seen any of the others do anything suspicious. I opened my eyes and let the question out quickly before I could take it back. “Remus? Have you seen—“ I stopped.
Remus was asleep, fast asleep. His mouth was half open, eyes closed peacefully, chest rising evenly beneath my arms. I couldn't wake him, not when he was so preciously asleep. He was sick and needed a good rest badly. If I asked him now, it would only make him worried and anxious. We were safe now; nothing could touch us in our bed. The question could wait.
I nodded towards the light beside the bathroom and it snuffed itself out for me. I closed my eyes, listening to the sound of Remus' deep breaths and snuffles from his head cold. Even those sounds seemed to affirm my feelings. We loved each other, we looked after each other. We would never think of betrayal. Remus was as good and kind as anyone I'd known. As sweet and tender and loving. He'd never have such thoughts about me, were he to know about Dumbledore's suspicions. My sweet, precious Remus would never in his wildest dreams think me a traitor either. I leaned my head against Remus', breathing in the scent of his hair deeply, comfortingly. With one tight hug, I let myself fall into a light sleep, ready to wake as soon as he stirred and needed me.