This was hopeless.
James sat in the Gryffindor common room. In the center of the couch, he went back and forth on what he found to be the most pathetic, hopeless sight he had seen -- even including his attempts with Lily. With Sirius in one corner of the room and Remus in the complete opposite direction, the latter reading a book and the former playing a game of chess with Peter, it did not look so terrible upon first glance. But, as it were, James was bored and skipping out on Head Boy duties because Lily was mad at him -- he was suddenly given time to pay attention, something, he admitted, he did not often do, and my god, could it get more obvious how sad this was?
Remus was, as James saw, reading, like he normally did. But, upon his third examination of his friend, James noticed that the book was not only one Remus had read about forty times before -- The History of Chocolate
, well, no wonder -- but the bloody book was being read upside down
. James did not doubt Remus' intelligence whatsoever -- if Remus was determined to read, James would not be surprised if he did go so far as to read upside down just so he could. But, adding these details to the quick glimpses Remus kept giving to the other side of the room, and James was ready to gnaw into a pillow.
Because, Remus kept looking over at Sirius. Who was, as James had also noticed, playing a chess game with Peter. The two keys words of the observation being chess
-- that, in of itself, said something was wrong. Firstly, Sirius did not enjoy chess; he was not a chess player, by any means, being much more inclined to running fifty laps around the Quidditch Pitch than stare blankly at a board. Secondly, Sirius couldn't stand Peter. Sirius only put up with Peter because James and Remus put up with Peter, and Peter himself seemed to be aware of this, which explained the utter look of mortification written on the boy's face as the pair continued to mindlessly play chess. Sirius, of course, did not catch that, because Sirius, of course, was too busy not
playing chess -- and, too busy not
trying to look at Remus.
James grabbed a pillow from the corner of the couch and set it in his lap -- just in case.
When he thought about -- and, he was thinking about it now, because, again, he was bored, and good Merlin, they were so obvious! -- James guessed that this little thing
started when seventh year had begun. Which was a thought that quickly had him going back to the summer the Marauders had all spent together at his house, where one could only deduce -- yes, even him, who was currently dying a horrible grade death in Potions -- that something had happened between Remus and Sirius while Peter and him had not been looking.
It was certainly possible; Sirius had come out to his friends back before sixth year, after running away from home, his sexuality preference being one of the many things his parents had called him out on. And, while Remus hadn't declared anything resembling that, there were signs -- turning down dates to Hogsmeade and dances, choosing rather to spend time with the three of them, preferring more to spending time with just Sirius
when James would go on his rounds and Peter would be in hunt of cheese.
It was certainly possible that the two were attracted to each other. It was certainly possible that that attraction had come to light in the past summer. It was certainly possible that that acknowledged attraction was now serving to be something incredibly awkward between them. It was also certainly possible that James' head was going to spin off of his neck and roll around on the floor and Remus and Sirius would still
continue to throw inconspicuous looks at each other.
This. Was. Hopeless.
It was nearing Christmas. Snow was piling up on the ground outside and decorations were magically appearing more and more around Hogwarts. If Remus and Sirius had been dancing around each other for the past two months because of something that had happened in the summer, nothing, absolutely nothing
, was going to make them stop and just face each other -- Sirius was confrontational about his feelings with everyone he knew, except Remus
, because Remus was shy and would do everything in his power to hide his emotions until he felt the time was right, which was never when it came to Sirius
. And, with the possibility of a blizzard coming in and trapping the students at Hogwarts for the holiday, James was not about to deal with that.
These two were his best friends, his best mates, his Marauders, his companions. He didn't care about what had happened during the summer -- frankly, he didn't really want to know, because ewwww
-- and he didn't care if they weren't the least bit ready to face each other on what had happened during the summer. It was obvious -- for all of Godric, it was obvious
-- that Remus and Sirius fancied each other.
It was only right that James stepped in and, well... helped them out.
"Uh, Prongs...?" Peter asked curiously, glancing over from the chess game. "Why are you eating a pillow?"
Otherwise he was going to have to compensate Dumbledore for furniture damages.
"Are you sure this is going to work?" Peter asked on Christmas Eve.
James smirked deviously, nodding. "Yes."
Staring hesitantly at a particular gift that sat beneath the ornate Christmas tree in the Great Hall, Peter asked a beat later, "And, if it doesn't?"
James added another red bow to the sparkling package before glancing at Peter. "Then we're going to be killed."
Peter sighed, dropping his head into his hands and muttering, "And a happy New Year..."
On Christmas morning, when Remus and Sirius went downstairs to the Great Hall and were handed a large box wrapped horribly in Quidditch Snitch wrapping paper, they eyed each other curiously and looked to the tag. With it being addressed to both of them and signed only by an inconspicuous, "That Muggle Bloke in the Red Coat," they decided to open it. They had already guessed it to be from James and reasoned, they supposed, that he wouldn't do anything too terrible to them considering it was
A minute later, a giant, floating mistletoe was dangling over both of them and shouting at them to snog already.
Two minutes later, they were.
Twelve hours, forty-six minutes, and seven seconds later, after spending most of the day trying to escape the screaming mistletoe and the immediate magnetic magic that would seize them both and force their tongues into each other's mouth, Sirius and Remus came out of the Room of Requirement looking fairly disheveled and pink-faced.
Then, on December twenty-sixth, Sirius and Remus walked hand-in-hand into the Great Hall.
If one were to pass by the Hospital Wing any time after that, they would have heard James repeatedly cackling, "It was so obvious!" as he recovered from hypothermia after being locked out of Hogwarts all night by the couple without his wand or any clothes on.
And, Peter laughed himself silly until New Year's.