Chapter 1 : Act 1: Friendship
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There was a new rule in the Potter house – never agree to anything James suggests before morning tea. Such behavior led to Mr. and Mrs. Potter hosting a house of teenaged boys for the last three weeks of summer. Sirius had been a frequent visitor for the last year since moving into his own flat not too far away. Remus and Peter were often over as well but the three of them and James made for a more than hectic house. It was the quaffle sailing through the back window that caused Mrs. Potter, who was generally rather relaxed when it came to teenage shenanigans, to march outside with the offending quidditch ball under arm.
“Sorry, Mum,” James called out when she appeared in the back garden. He was holding his arms out expectantly. When the ball did not sail into his outstretched hands, James’ face fell slightly.
Remus immediately noticed they had upset her with their rowdy behavior. “I’m sorry, Mrs. Potter,” he said, shooting Sirius a stern looked as the dark haired teenager stifled giggles with Peter. “I missed the quaffle because I wasn’t paying enough attention.” Always one to take responsibility, Remus left out that Sirius had been creeping up on him with a mischievous look that would cause anyone to lose sight of a large flying object.
Feeling frustration soften at Remus’ contrite demeanor, Mrs. Potter softened her face and suggested they four boys go to London for the day. “I’ll have dinner ready at 7 so you should be back by then,” she called out to the retreating boys.
Peter turned back smiling as he said, “See you tonight!”
Once they were on the small road that led into Godric’s Hollow, James stopped his three friends. “What should we do in London?” he asked waggling his eyebrows.
“We could check out Knockturn Alley,” Peter suggested with a furtive look on his face.
Sirius shook his head. “That’s a breeding ground for death eater activity,” he said with a scowl. “I wouldn’t mind a good fight but that would be like walking into a viper’s nest.”
Remus and James looked taken aback by Sirius’ words of caution as he was often the one to suggest the most reckless plans. “Let’s decide on the basics first – wizard or muggle London?” he asked looking at his three friends. After a mummer of ‘muggle’ and shrugs came from James and Peter, Remus said, “Do any of us know what there is to do in muggle London?”
“Anything would be fun – as long as Padfoot doesn’t get us directions,” James said with a smile on his face.
“That was last summer, Prongs. Besides, we were just tramping around,” Sirius said with a barking laugh. “I do remember these signs for bus tours.”
“Let’s do that,” Peter agreed. “Mum’s always getting on me to learn a bit about my muggle family,” he added after James raised an eyebrow at his quick agreement.
After apparating to an alley next to the Ministry where they had all taken their apparition tests, James led his friends toward the main street. Within 20 minutes they found the bus tours, got tickets, and stood in queue. Peter was listening to James as he talked about his plans for the quidditch team that year. Sirius was sidled up next to Remus but neither of them started conversation for a few minutes.
Sirius knew his friend well enough to expect that he was going over a list of precautions and considerations they should be making while out in muggle society. They heard the loud rumble of the diesel engine before the red double-decker bus came into view. Sirius, feeling an itch to be on his motorcycle pondered, “How big is the engine in that thing?”
Remus glanced at the large vehicle that had just stopped with a loud whine before saying, “Engine? You mean they aren't powered by giant hamsters on wheels? I was misinformed.*”
It took Sirius a glance at Remus’ face to tell if he was taking the mickey or quite confused. The glint in Remus’ amber eyes and smile threatening to break across his face signaled the humor behind his statement. “Muggles had to look at alternatives to hamster transportation once people started to lobby for hamster rights,” he said in a serious tone. “Buses stopped going for weeks – it was a nightmare.”
They got on the bus and ascending the stairs to the top where they filled two rows on the left side where the best views were said to be had. Remus took the window seat and Sirius plopped next to him. “I don’t recall Professor Burbank talking about the giant hamster emancipation in muggle studies,” Remus commented still holding in his grin. If dry humor were an art, Remus would be its Da Vinci.
“You didn’t take muggle studies,” Sirius said as half a statement and half a question – it was hard enough to remember what classes they had last year leg alone two years ago.
“That could be why I don’t recall a lecture on it,” Remus said finally letting a grin linger on his scared face.
With a lurch the bus started on its way causing Remus to brace himself by accidentally grabbing Sirius’ knee. “Usually I’m the one to try that move,” Sirius joked with a sideways glance at his friend.
A blush tinted Remus’ cheeks. “Sorry, Padfoot,” Remus muttered, folding his hands carefully so that they were not at risk of touching Sirius.
“I was just yanking your wand. Though, I wouldn’t mind – “ Sirius stopped midsentence as a tour guide approached them with a black, thick wand with a cord trailing behind it.
“What brings you lads on the London Historical Tour?” he asked with a wide grin.
Sirius caught James’ eye and smirked. “Well, sir, I’m visiting here from the United States of America,” Sirius belted out in his best American accent. When the guide asked where in US Sirius was visiting from, he looked slightly dumbstruck then said, “From the Salem Academy of M – “ Remus elbowed Sirius to stop him from revealing the name of a magical school. “Of Motors,” Sirius finished.
After the slightly confused looking guide moved onto another cluster of people, James and Peter turned around in their seat. “Academy of Motors?” James asked smirking. “Good thing Moony stopped you. Why not draw them a map to Hogwarts?”
“Is there a map to Hogwarts?” Peter asked no one in particular.
“Of course not,” Sirius said shortly. “It’s hidden.”
The crackle of outdated speakers diverted the boys from their discussion as a voice said, “On your left, there’s the London Tower, where – “
Sirius leaned across Remus to stare out the window. Turning towards Remus, whose face was just a few inches from his own, Sirius said, “Mum always told me our family ran part of the Tower.” Staring for a few more moments, he added, “I don’t buy it though.”
Once Sirius was back in his part of the seat, Remus let out a breath he didn’t realize was being held in. “Maybe that’s why your family started beheading house-elves,” Remus commented mildly. “They had to stop doing it to muggles.”
That evening dinner was delicious as it tended to be at the Potter residence. The dining table comfortable sat six but somehow Sirius managed to sit so that his legs brushed against Remus as they ate. “Pass me the gravy, will you?” Sirius asked as his knee bumped against Remus’ chair.
James seemed to notice Remus’ face blush and asked, “Feeling alright, Moon? It’s not…” James’ voice trailed off for a moment as he glanced at his parents. “…too warm in here,” he finished turning a bit red himself.
“I’ll open a window,” Mr. Potter said reaching for his wand. Once the evening air could be felt circulated through the room, he asked, “Is that better, Remus, James?”
“Much better, thank you,” Remus said smiling. A sideways glance at Sirius showed him a sly smile and a glint in his friend’s eyes.
“How was London?” Mrs. Potter asked the four teenagers.
Peter, who quite liked the Potters, was the first with an answer. “We went on a muggle tour of the city and Sirius pretended to be American,” he summarized as he dunked a roll in gravy.
“Yes, ma’am, I pretended to be from Salem,” Sirius said in his horrible Yankee accent. Mr. Potter laughed heartily at Sirius’ accent which prompted him to use all the American slang he knew that night.
Sleeping arrangements were tight when all four of them were over. While there was a guest room that could house two and James’ room could easy bunk a pair, the friends did not like the idea of sleeping apart. Mrs. Potter allowed the boys to move an extra bed into James’ room so they could bunk together like they did at Hogwarts. James and Remus ended up sharing a bed which was more than okay with Remus. He wasn’t sure if he had been misinterpreting normal friend behavior for some sort of flirtation from Sirius but he didn’t know what to make of the actions or how it made his stomach feel warm and fluttery. While James kicked in his sleep, there wasn’t the risk of waking up with his hands somewhere private.
The next morning brought bright and cheery sunlight into the room as well as rather disgruntled bedheads. “Wormtail, how can you sleep diagonally?” Sirius asked stretching out. “I had about this much,” he held up his hands a few inches apart, “room to sleep.”
“You could have transformed to Padfoot,” James said brightly, being the only morning person of the group.
“But then I’d have to sleep next to dog breath,” Peter teased. “It’s bad enough when he’s a human.”
Getting out of bed, Remus said, “I should take care of my own dragon breath,” and went to brush teeth. It was fun to spend all his time with friends, but a few moments alone in the loo were quite refreshing. There’s only so much best friend exposure a person can take. That was until the bathroom door opened and Sirius sauntered in. “Isn’t the bathroom a private place?” Remus asked with his toothbrush in between his teeth.
“Not when there are four of us here. At least you still have pants on,” Sirius said as his eyes shot downwards for a moment. “Not a nudist like Reg always was.”
Remus spit in the sink before saying, “You might give people the courtesy of a knock.”
“That’s what locked doors are for,” Sirius said with a wink. “Don’t take forever on your beauty routine – Prongs says he wants to wander around the village with us.”
Sirius left Remus alone in the bathroom and wen to change into his clothes. Halfway through pulling his t-shirt off, Sirius stopped to think about the tall, lean werewolf who had just re-entered the bedroom purposely avoiding Sirius’ gaze. He felt a pull towards Moony that was quite distinct than the bonds felt towards the other two friends. Remus was more than shy when it came to flirting – he rebuffed advances from anyone who tried to get close. At times it seemed a small miracle that he had let James, Sirius, and Peter close enough to be the friends they became.
The main benefit to hanging about in a magical village like Godric’s Hollow was not having to hide or disguise magic. James wanted to show his friends the cemetery nearby as it was old and creepy – possibly haunted but it was hard to believe such things on a bright, sunny day. With another group of teenagers, this would have been a 20 minute walk through the cemetery but with these four it turned into a water fight.
James initiated the battle between them when he hit Sirius with a stream of water out of his wand. Turning about with his eyes wide in disbelief, Sirius had his wand on Peter who was guffawing and shot a jet of water at his face. “Remus, duck!” Sirius shouted pulling Remus behind a headstone to protect him from the liquid being showered toward him.
Their backs against the headstone of a centuries dead wizard, Remus and Sirius were shooting water at Peter and James who were a mere 10 meters away. “How did we get into this water duel?” Remus asked as he peered over the top of the marble stone.
Sirius shrugged, saying, “How do we ever get into these situations?”
“You and James think life is getting too dull and cause a bit of trouble,” Remus offered. He screwed his face up and muttered an inaudible spell that caused a wall of water to stand between them and the other two.
“Woah,” Sirius breathed looking at the immense wall of liquid. Then he too had a sudden look of concentration as he waved his wand, causing the wall of water to turn into the shape of a dog.
“Impressive,” Remus said grinning. “Is that you or me?”
“I can’t tell,” Sirius said squinting. “Could be both of us.”
The sight of a canine-shaped mass of water caused the fun duel to end as James and Peter extracted themselves from their hiding spot to admire the excellent use of charms and transfiguration. “Not bad, Padfoot,” James said reaching out to pat the water dog on its head.
“Oh, I just transfigured it. Moony made the massive wall,” Sirius said, running a hand through his black hair.
“Is that humility, Prongs?” Peter asked, laughing. “Though I see you made it in your own image,” he added, still laughing.
“It could be me,” Remus added with a grin.
Before they could discuss the watery statue, an elderly wizard started shouting at them for befouling the ancient graveyard. “Almost a millennium of wizard history beneath your feed and you yahoos are treating it like a – “ the man paused as if trying to think of a severe enough word. “Like a muggle,” he finally said. Sirius, James, Peter, and Remus filed past the old man hearing him mutter, “no respect,” as he shut the gate to the cemetery.
“Does he know your parents?” Peter asked nervously once they were out of earshot of the man, who had stayed by the gate to prevent re-entry.
“Dunno,” James said glancing back. “I don’t recognize him.”
“Let’s head back to your place and get washed up,” Remus suggested after pushing aside his wet hair.
If the Potters heard about the various escapades in the village that day, they did not let on when the boys got home that afternoon. Mrs. Potter had snacks waiting for them. “Looks like you had an eventful day,” she commented as the four boys went to go change. “I hope the garden is still in one piece,” she called after them.
Over the next few weeks, Sirius and Remus drew slowly closer to one another like two celestial bodies being pulled in by the other’s gravitational pull. It was a collision course that neither realized they were on. One balmy night, when James and Peter had already passed out, exhausted by the day’s exertions, Sirius suggested they sneak out to ride his motorbike.
“Do you know how to operate that thing?” Remus asked as Sirius rolled the vehicle away from the Potter residence. He didn’t remember agreeing to go on this journey, yet he was mere steps behind Sirius.
“I’m a pro, Moony,” Sirius assured Remus as he mounted the bike. “Sidecar or behind me?”
The sidecar looked too small to fit anything other than a large rucksack and Remus was a rather tall teenager. “I’ll get on back,” he decided before tentatively swinging a leg over the bike and wrapping his arms securely around Sirius.
Both teenagers reacted to being so close together. Sharing a dormitory, they were used to seeing each other naked and being in close quarters. However, this was the first time since their confusing feelings were aroused that Sirius and Remus were so close to intimate contact. “Ready?” Sirius asked turning his head to catch a glimpse of Remus.
“As ready as I’ll ever be,” Remus said wearily.
With a kick and a roar, the bike came to life and Sirius took off into the night with Remus’ strong arms around his waist. They flew up over the tree line and went southeast from Godric’s Hollow. A while later, after passing into less populated land, Sirius began to make a decent into a field next to a pond. There wasn’t a road for them so the motorcycle had a bumpy landing.
Stumbling off the bike, feeling a bit numb from the ride, Remus asked, “Have you been here before?” He couldn’t help but wonder if this was a place Sirius went to be alone as he had seemed to know where he was going.
“I’ve been here a few times,” Sirius admitted. “Always alone though,” he added looking around the field. Next to the pond there was a tall pear tree that was as tall as most houses. Flitting through the tall grass in the field were fireflies with their flickering yellow lights. Remus captured a handful to show Sirius.
“When I was a child, before I was bitten, I used to go out at night and try catching these during the summer,” he said, letting the insects fly in his cupped hands.
It was easy for Sirius to imagine a version of Remus, a few years younger than he was they first met, free of scars and an aversion to socializing, going out to capture the seemingly magical bugs. “I think they like you,” Sirius said as he watched more fireflies light around Remus’ head. It almost looked like he had a halo with the soft lights flashing around his head.
“It’s the pheromones,” Remus explained, glancing around to see just how many bugs he attracted.
Somehow, Sirius was inches from Remus with his face a less than a polite distance away. “I don’t think it’s just hormones,” he said quietly. Remus froze as Sirius reached up, brushing a few stray hairs from Remus’ brows. “It’s much more than chemistry.”
Time seemed to slow down as Sirius’ hand weaved into Remus’ hair and he leaned in, slowly letting their lips touch. He wasn’t sure how Remus would react but was pleasantly surprised when Remus returned the kiss with passionate pressure. A friendship changed that night from confidant to lover and would never be the same.
A/N: Let me know what you think! This story will be three chapters long and each chapter has a different theme (which you can guess at if you read the intro paragraph!
“Engine? You mean they aren't powered by giant hamsters on wheels? I was misinformed.*” is from Michael Grant and I do not own it.
This story is inspired (thematically) by Pique Dame by Franz Suppe.
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