Disclaimer: JKR owns. I only play. You do not sue.
Length: 1500 words
Summary: When Sirius Black tried to get Snape killed by telling him how to sneak into the Shrieking Shack, he hadn't anticipated that Snape wouldn't be the only person he upset.
Note: Written for the First Official Slytherin House Ficathon at ahouseapart.
Concrit: Always welcome and appreciated.
Correcting first-years' Transfiguration essays wasn't as fun when you couldn't share the particularly amusing misspellings with anyone. Detention with McGonagall beat the hell out of cleaning the Owlery, though.
Such were the thoughts running through Sirius Black's mind as he made his way to Gryffindor tower after serving his first detention for what was undoubtedly the Prank of the Year. Considering the prank involved a werewolf who was also one of Sirius' best friends, the matter was hushed up, but no one asked any questions, anyway. It was hardly a surprise that he, James Potter, and Peter Pettigrew were in detention. Sirius felt faintly guilty -- he had been the only person responsible for the debacle, but they all got into trouble, even though James had been the one to stop the prank from becoming deadly. Peter, as usual, hadn't even known what was going on, but he went along with James and pretended like he'd been involved.
Sirius wondered if James and Peter would be back from their detentions yet. James was supposed to be out in the Forbidden Forest with Hagrid, and Peter had been sent to scrub the floors in greenhouse two. Sirius covered the last two steps in a leap and landed on the floor of the seventh-floor corridor that led to the Gryffindor common room. Several paces and a muttered password later, he was climbing through the portrait hole. The common room was almost empty. The only people still up were two fourth-year girls crouched over homework, a seventh-year prefect pinning a notice to the wall, and Remus Lupin.
"Hey, Moony," Sirius said with a grin, plopping himself down in a chair across from the smaller boy. "How are you feeling? Prongs and Wormtail back yet?"
The scowl on his best friend's face made him flinch. Remus put aside the book he'd been reading and took a quick look around. The prefect had left, and the two girls seemed rather absorbed in their homework. When Remus spoke, his voice was low and harsh.
"How dare you use me?"
Sirius blinked. "Use you? How did I use you?"
"Don't play dumb, Padfoot. You sent Snape to the Shrieking Shack. You know what I am."
Sirius swallowed, frowning. "You're not a 'what', Moony."
"Oh, I'm a 'what' all right. 'What' enough to warrant generous gifts of chew toys." Remus' tone was clipped, resentful.
Sirius leant forward in the armchair. "What? It had nothing to do with you! Snivellus had it coming!" he whispered.
"You've no right to decide how someone's life should end!" Remus hissed, casting a quick glance at the girls, who were gathering up their homework things. A moment later, they left and the two boys were alone in the common room.
Sirius seethed. Remus always did this, pretended like he didn't enjoy their hijinks. Damned if he ever tried to stop them, though.
"I haven't got time for your sanctimonious preaching," he said. Why was he always the one to catch the most of Remus' ire?
Remus sat up and narrowed his eyes. "Sanctimonious, am I? That's a bit rich, coming from someone who should have been a Slytherin."
That was a low blow, and Sirius drew his eyebrows together. Remus knew very well that Sirius didn't like being reminded that all his family had been in Slytherin. "Shut up! You know I'm not like them!"
"You might as well be. Just look at how you use your friends to carry out your personal vendettas."
"I told you, it's not like that. Prongs gets on Snivelly's case far more often than I do. Is he worthy of being a Slytherin too, according to you? I bet he'd love to hear that."
"Prongs was the one who stopped Snape. He saved him."
"So that makes it okay?" Sirius asked. He couldn't believe they were having this conversation. He couldn't believe that Remus would get so upset over... over Snivelly, of all people.
"No, nothing will ever make it okay. But at least he's got a conscience. You, on the other hand..." Remus didn't finish his sentence. He got up and stalked off towards the boys' dormitories without a second look at Sirius. Sirius fell back against the armchair and exhaled. Why was Moony acting like this?
They'd pulled numerous pranks on Snape before and while Remus never encouraged them, he never exactly stopped them doing anything. What was he on about, telling Sirius that he'd used him? He hadn't told Snape how to get into the Shrieking Shack because Remus was a werewolf. He did it because Snape was a snivelling wretch who deserved what he got for being a sneaky bastard. Sirius expelled a frustrated breath and dug his hand into his hair.
He'd wait up for Prongs and Wormtail and ask them about it. He stared into the dying fire, unable to think about anything but what just happened. Minutes passed and he got angrier and angrier -- why was Remus always blaming him for everything? It was always him. Sirius, don't be so quick to judge people. Sirius, pay attention, this will be on the test. Sirius, get your elbows off the table, it's rude. It was like having his mother there.
Sod waiting for the others. He would go up to the dormitory and have it out once and for all. He'd had enough of always being told that everything he did was somehow wrong, unworthy of a Gryffindor, and a million other things that made him feel like he didn't even belong with his friends. Who was Remus to tell him what to do? Who was he to tell Sirius who to be? He launched himself out of the armchair and went upstairs to the dormitory. Enough was enough.
He opened the door to the dormitory but his carefully prepared scathing remark died in his throat. Remus was staring out the window, standing motionless in his pyjamas, bracing himself against the windowsill. He looked very small. Sirius could see his profile but it wasn't angry; his face was weary, and sad. The last time Moony had looked like that was when Bertha Jorkins had spread the rumour about having seen him holding hands with a boy in London.
Sirius took an uncertain step closer to the window. Had that rumour been true? Sirius closed the distance between them, moving very quietly -- he wasn't called Padfoot for nothing. Remus was still standing rooted to his spot, staring at something Sirius couldn't see. He didn't seem to have noticed that he was no longer alone. A spot just under his right temple was pulsing, the way it always did when Remus was trying to control himself.
In a flash, Sirius realised why Remus had been so angry. It was only too easy to forget that the three of them -- James, Sirius, and Peter -- all could control their transformations. Remus could not. Grateful as Remus always sounded for everything his friends had done to make things easier for him, he probably couldn't help but resent their freedom. While to them, the transformations were a bit of fun, to him it was a wretched part of his life.
"I'm sorry, Moony," Sirius whispered miserably.
Remus jumped, turning to face him.
"I didn't mean to hurt you." Sirius put a hand on his shoulder and Remus froze.
There was a faint tremble just under his skin and Sirius stared into his eyes, unable to look away. Something shifted between them and Sirius was suddenly aware that he was touching Remus, except this was different. It was more than a friendly gesture. He wanted to draw Remus closer to still the trembling. He'd never thought about boys in this way before. Well, rather, he had, but he hadn't allowed himself to dwell on it. It was normal to be lustful, but it wasn't normal to want to...
He stepped closer to Remus, who was looking at him with a mixture of disbelief and what looked like longing. The next moment, the other boy's eyes hardened. "Are you that sore? You did a nasty thing and you can't find any other way to get the upper hand? You told me you didn't believe the rumours. Is this some sort of sick joke?"
"No joke," Sirius breathed.
He leaned closer to Remus and kissed him. The other boy made a strangled noise and pulled back, panting slightly with the effort of keeping Sirius at arm's length.
"What are you doing?" he whispered in a shaky voice.
I'll tell you I need you
The blood ain't on my hands
Just wanted you near me
Lyrics from "Clubfoot" by Kasabian.