Junebug Janes was a very observant girl. She was so observant that she saw something that no one else could see. She was also very dedicated in proving its existence.
She would do anything to gather evidence: hanging on banisters, under beds, out of windows — quite precarious when one wore a skirt and floral knickers, but at least the knickers were there. She was not afraid of scrapes and bruises nor did she mind being the object of ridicule, both of which occurred often.
That weekend, she was doing her observing in the middle of a hedge in Hogsmeade, armed with the Nosy 'Noculars her mum had given the previous Christmas. Her targets were walking in the vicinity, carrying their latest purchases from Zonko's in a paper bag.
The taller of the two suddenly froze, looking straight at her. The other turned around few paces later.
She could hear the taller boy hiss, "I think it's her." It was situations like these where she was especially thankful for her Audible Amplifier attachment.
The other boy swung back around. She ducked, hoping that he wouldn't be able to see her, but she made an awfully loud rustle in doing so. The Audible Amplifier continued to catch their conversation.
"Maybe we should talk to her."
"You talk to her."
"Whenever we get crazy stalkers, they're always your crazy stalkers. I'm tired of dealing with them." There was a heavy sigh. "Oh come on, we'll both talk to her."
When she managed to lift her 'Noculars again, she could no longer find the two. Indeed, all she saw was darkness. She smacked the side of the device hard, wondering if it had malfunctioned again, when she heard a sharp inhale. She craned her head upwards and saw the wincing figure of Remus Lupin. Looking back down at her 'Noculars, she realized that they were pressed right against his kneecap. "Oops," she said, quickly withdrawing the device and placing it on the floor.
"My good knee."
"You're getting old, Moony. Her aim could've been a lot worse."
"Just go talk to her."
When she lifted her head again, she saw Sirius peeking through the leaves at her.
"...June," he said hesitantly.
"Hello," she chirped.
"You're sitting in a holly bush."
She beamed broadly. Sirius was rather observant, too. Many people often mistook the bush for the common Hogsweed. "Yes, Ilex aquifolium. It's quite poisonous."
He stared for a few moments. "O...kay. Well June, if you don't mind our intrusion, Remus and I would like to know... why you are sitting in a holly bush?"
She thought the answer was obvious with the presence of her 'Noculars. "I'm observing."
"Observing us?" He gestured to himself and behind him, where Remus was still hopping around on one foot.
"To test my hypothesis."
"I can't tell you. That would taint my results." Junebug knew she sounded difficult, but it was necessary.
Sirius massaged his temple. She tended to evoke that reaction in a lot of people. "What would convince you to tell me?"
She blinked, wondering if she wanted anything. Her hypothesis was the most important aspect of her life at that moment, and she didn't want to jeopardize it. But perhaps Sirius could help. "Well," she said, "I'm doing this in the first place to prove something so people don't think I'm crazy. If you back me up, I suppose I don't need to prove it myself."
"That's all?" he said, flashing a brilliant smile. "Why not? My friends and I — wecan convince anyone of anything. We've probably heard crazier anyhow."
It was just what she needed. The day was going quite well for her. "Promise?" she said, extending a hand upwards.
He shook her hand. "'course. Now just tell me why you've been following us around."
"All right." Junebug took a deep breath. "I think that you and Remus are meant to be together."
His mouth paused half-open. "Come again?"
She did not find his reaction surprising. He obviously hadn't realized his soul mate was there all along beside him and was overcome with an emotional epiphany. "You... and Remus... meant to be," she repeated.
His expression remained the same. "Moony, you heard that, right?"
"Sirius, you're an idiot," Remus said as he staggered next to him. She never thought she would ever be able to see the two gorgeous men of her illicit dreams stand side-by-side so close to her. It really was a good day.
Sirius drew in a long breath between his teeth. "Maybe I should reconsider this..."
Her smile fell instantly. "You're backing away already? But you promised.” Junebug Janes never ever let a promise escape her, especially one accompanied by a handshake.
She tumbled backwards out of the bush and stood up, putting her hands on her hips. “You promised.”
“Yeah, you promised,” Remus muttered, sending a sidelong glare to Sirius.
“W-well,” Sirius sputtered, eyes pleading. “We can’t do this. I mean, Moony and I aren’t — it’s not true.”
“It’s not my fault you just don’t know it yet, but — ” Her stance softened as she realized they were making progress right before her eyes. “The first step is always denial.”
Remus seemed just as confused as Sirius had been earlier. “That’s... for when you’re about to die,” he said.
Sirius grabbed Remus's sleeve in a sudden frenzy. “We might as well die!” he hissed. “Come on Moony, help me.” He glanced at her again. “She’s just going to keep waiting there. And this involves you, too!”
Remus swatted at him. “You’re the one who promised!”
“You were the one who suggested talking to her in the first place!”
“The second step is anger,” she piped in brightly.
Both pair of eyes turned to her. They glanced at each other a few times before Remus took a deep breath, walked around the bush and put a hand on her shoulder. “June, Sirius and I are very good friends. But that’s all we are. I’m sorry if we ever led you to believe otherwise.”
She gasped. Could it be...? She brought her fingers to her lips. “You two are already together!” she squealed. It was the only explanation as to why they were denying it so vehemently. Her breath quickened. “You don’t know how happy you two have made me! This is my dream come true, literally!”
She glanced between their stares and gaping mouths and blushed. “My friends tell me I... have a rather active imagination. You know, I always imagined you as a secret Byronic hero, Remus, guiding Sirius in the throes of passion — ”
Sirius snorted. “Please, Moony on top? It’s obviously—”
Remus whipped around. “Sirius!”
"Come on, you don't honestly believe I'd let you take the reins. You're far too hesitant. Maybe once in a full moon — "
"That's not the point!"
Sirius threw his hands in the air. “If I'm going to be fantasized about, I’d rather get the facts straight.”
“There’s nothing factual about this!”
Sirius flashed her a smile. "Don't mind him, it's just his time of the month again."
Dizzyness washed over her, and Junebug began fanning herself. “Oh no, I don’t mind at all. Your bickering, oh, It’s so passionate. This is even better than my dreams.”
Remus glared at Sirius. “Well. I hope you’re happy.”
A grinning Sirius beckoned him and Remus went hesitantly. Junebug clasp her hands together — maybe they were going to kiss! Sirius threw his arm around Remus shoulder but then they turned their backs — what a tease! She watched as they exchanged fervent whispers.
“...obviously won’t be able to change her mind...”
“...this better work...”
The two faced her again, grins plastered on their faces. “Okay, you’ve caught us,” said Sirius, patting Remus on the cheek. “I’ve been guiding him in the throes of passion all over Hogwarts for years now—”
Sirius and Remus shuffled backwards. Sirius cleared his throat, barely able to maintain composure. "But! We've kept mum for a very important reason." The grin faded and his eyes took a faraway gaze. "You must keep this secret but... James... is in love with me.”
Junebug's eyes widened, her glee suddenly vanished in a puff, and she gasped. Scandal!
Sirius bit his lip, face taut with grief. “Ever since fifth year. And it would break his heart if he knew about Moony and I — " He winced as if every word seemed to cut at his soul. " — I... value our friendship too much for me to lose him like this.”
It was too much to process at once. She knew she thought she had seen some tension between James and Sirius, but she had dismissed it. She scolded herself for being blinded by her determination to see Remus and Sirius together to see the full truth. Her thoughts turned to a red-headed girl. “But... Lily!” she cried.
“He loves her, too, or at least he’ll grow to love her,” Sirius said, holding a hand out, grasping the emotion that lay thick in the air, “but it’s not the same. And he’s Head Boy now and he’s got responsibilities and a reputation to keep up. Me and Moony can handle it if society spurns our love, but if James loses it over this, people will know how he feels, too. He’s...” Sirius turned away. “...got too much to risk.”
“Oh dear...” she said, putting a hand to her mouth. But of course — James would lose all respect! Lily would be humiliated! “This would be shocking, wouldn’t it? And it doesn’t help that you’re all furries.”
“Yes — wait, what?”
Remus elbowed Sirius in the side, who promptly groaned. “No, it doesn’t help,” Remus said solemnly. “Maybe one day, people will understand. That love is love, no matter the gender or... fur content. But it’s too soon now. So June, we're trusting you, okay? To keep our secret.”
She couldn’t deny such a request. They managed to endure through so much. She inhaled deeply, the poignancy clenching her heart, and nodded. “Definitely,” she breathed. “This must’ve been so tough on you two. Putting up with some people’s silly opinions of me doesn’t seem so hard anymore. And besides, I’ll know I’m right, and that’s all that matters.”
“Good!” Remus exclaimed before clearing his throat. “I mean... good."
But there was still one thing she wanted. She walked up to them, taking a hand from each. “Promise me you’ll love each other forever.”