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The Marauders Kiss by sweetprofanities
Chapter 73 : James' spontaneity.
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 16


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Remus stood outside the Potter residence, contemplating how he ended up there. He wasn’t having the greatest day. The full moon had just been a few days ago and he was in a slump in his life. He had been looking around for jobs, as he no longer wanted to be a burden on his parents. His sweet mother assured him he could stay as long as he liked, but he knew she was only saying that because she had to. It was a mother’s duty to love their children. And his had been more than accommodating with his monthly transitions. He wanted them both to have a break.

But how was he to leave their home when he had next to no money and no prospect of a job? It was a conundrum he wasn’t ready to deal with. He swallowed, lifting his fist to the door, ready to knock. But then he froze. Why was he at James’s house? It was like a second home to all of the boys, these days. Sirius’s flat, also. But since Ali had graduated, Sirius had fallen off the radar with her. While James and Lily were still highly infectious with their loving regard, they were a little more reserved in the presence of others now. It had been over a year since they started dating.

Yes, James’s house was a safe place. Seeing as he and Marlene barely saw each other anymore. He wasn’t even sure they were still dating? He was too scared to bring it up with her, because truthfully, he didn’t want it to end. It hadn't been the same since the day she found out about his… problem. They had spent long nights together but Marlene was withdrawn. She was trying, he could tell. But it was almost like a chemical reaction. Something neither of them could change, no matter how much they wanted to. It was just the way it was.

As he continued to stare at James’s front door, inches away from knocking, he wondered if he might be a burden, just showing up this way. He took a breath in, trying to think, and suddenly the door flung open with so much force he was sucked inwards from the wind that swelled in behind him.

‘Whoa there, cowboy!’ James laughed, grabbing Remus by the shoulders and steadying him.

‘Cowboy?’ Was the only word Remus managed to squeeze out, once they were both standing again.

‘Lily is teaching me a heap of cool stuff about muggles!’ James jumped right into his explanation, ‘It’s infinitely cooler than the stuff we learnt in muggle studies.’

Remus chuckled, ‘I know what cowboys are.’ He couldn’t help his smile. Remus adored his exuberant friend. James was contagious. He was always so confident and loud. Most would view his personality as obnoxious, which Remus had to admit was true at times. But he had so many other qualities that balanced out his affluent background.

‘Oh! Do you know about the war in the stars!?’ James pulled him further inside, ‘And were you about to knock? What have I told you about knocking?’

‘I heard about what happened with Padfoot. I’m not taking any chances.’ Remus narrowed his eyes and tried to cover up the humour on his face.

‘He asked for every one of those. And Lily’s not here, anyway.’ James confirmed, shutting the door behind them while Remus repeated the words “every one?” in a questioning undertone.

‘Were you going out there for any reason?’ Remus asked as they walked in and slumped onto the lounges in the sitting room.

‘Oh, yeah, but I forget why now.’ He shrugged, ‘Mum, Remus is here!’

‘I’ll make some snacks!’ Mrs Potter called out from somewhere outside.

‘You’re the best!’

As the morning went on and both Potter’s pampered Remus, as they always did, Remus slowly forgot about what it was that had made him so glum at the beginning. By the time Lily showed up the house was so filled with excitement and happiness, Remus felt himself relax so much, the muscle in his neck that had been giving him trouble over the past few days, noticeably loosened.

‘Well, as proud of all of as I am, I do worry about this Order business.’ Mrs Potter admitted as their conversation drifted towards their missions.

‘Why would you worry? Look at me! I’m practically the saviour of the wizarding world, Mum.’ James smacked himself in the chest and grinned. It didn’t take Lily long to whack him upside the head, while Mrs Potter and Remus laughed at the two of them.

‘You are a good boy, James.’ Mrs Potter stood up with that, moved towards the couch Lily and James were intermingled on, leant down and placed a kiss to her son’s forehead, which James inched into with a radiant smile.

‘I’m off to see Mabel! James, you’ll talk to Lily about what we’ve been discussing, won’t you?’

‘Yes, ma’am!’ James saluted her.

‘What are you two discussing without me?’ Lily pretended to be shocked, looking away from where she was trying to fix the front of James’s hair.

‘Oh, nothing, really.’ Mrs Potter winked at her, ‘it was lovely to see you, Remus! Do come by more often!’

‘I certainly will, Mrs Potter. Thank you for the tea and biscuits!’ Remus called out to her retreating form.

When he turned back to James and Lily, Lily was nestled on James lap, still pulling her fingers through his unruly hair. They were talking to one another, loud enough for Remus to hear, but Remus just watched them for a moment without taking in the conversation. James was staring up at Lily like she was the most profoundly precious artefact in all the wizarding and muggle world. Lily was smiling down at him, shaking her head ever so slightly.

Remus was unable to feel sadness when he was around the two of them. They had the most intense love he had seen two people experience. It was funny to think of how crazy James used to be about Lily, and how crazy he used to make Lily. While Remus always really thought Lily had a bit of a soft spot for James, despite her name calling towards him, it was still perfectly magical to see how happy they were together.

James was now pulling his face into a sour pout while Lily laughed at him and Remus shook his head of his blissful expression and tried to pay more attention to their words.

‘I have to go.’

‘But I have to tell you something.’

‘Then tell me, James.’

‘But I can’t.’

‘Then I’m going.’

‘But then how am I going to tell you the thing?’

‘Well,’ Lily lent down and kissed him, ‘I know it’s tough. But you use your lips like this and push the air forth to make sounds. You’ll get the hang of it someday.’

Remus laughed at them as Lily kissed James again, while his pout only intensified.

‘You’ll have to cheer him up, Moony. I just came over to say hello. I already organised a day with Mary and Marls.’ Lily tried to pry herself away from James, but he was clinging onto her.

‘Oh, really? Well, I’ll figure something out.’ Remus assured her, trying to hide that he had no idea about Marlene organising to hang out with her. Boyfriends were supposed to know that type of thing.

‘Are we going to see your sister and her marshmallow husband again when your parents get back next week? Will he be bringing his car?’ James turned his nose up after his sentence.

‘No. Thank god. They really are a perfect match for each other.’ Lily sighed, ‘I still can’t believe he called you an out of work magician at the wedding.’ Lily’s face turned menacing and Remus watched as James jumped up and kissed her cheek.

‘Who cares? At least I’m handsome. He looks like a pig crossed with a goblin.’ James turned to direct his words at Remus, ‘you should see this guy, Moony. He’s about four of me. And he always looks angry. It’s so much fun riling him up.’

‘I bet it is.’ Remus could only imagine the fun James would have had with muggles. Especially from the stories he had been told about Lily’s family via James.

‘Okay, you boys have fun!’ Lily turned to James, giving him one final kiss, ‘Love you.’ And then disappeared.

James turned to Remus, standing tall, ‘okay. Now that she’s finally gone, we can do some boy stuff.’

James puffed up, looking around the room while Remus raised a brow at him.

‘Do you want me to get you a tissue? Are you going to cry?’

‘Sod off, you mangy wolf.’ James threw back as they laughed together.

*

‘Prongs, what are we doing here?’ Remus watched on as James’s excitable behaviour kicked into overdrive, walking through the streets of London.

‘I told you already, I’m buying you lunch and we’re going into muggle stores for fun.’ James repeated while Remus followed along behind him, observing the reactions of the city folk to James’s enthusiasm.

‘You don’t have to buy me lunch.’ Remus felt strange when James always offered to pay for things. He didn’t like taking advantage of him.

‘Calm down, Moony. I’m not questioning your manhood. It’s just lunch. How about here?’ James pointed up at a pub sign, coming to halt before him.

‘Well, you know the potatoes will be good anywhere with an O’Connor’s in the name.’ Remus smiled and they gave a quick glance around before ducking inside together. Once the boys were settled at a table and James was expressing his affinity for muggle contraptions while examining a napkin dispenser, a bar maid smiled at them and made her way over.

‘Hiya lads, what can I do ya for?’ She was a pretty, young muggle, and her smile lingered on both James and Remus equally.

‘Two butterbeers, please!’

Remus cleared his throat, ‘uh, he’s got a stutter. Just two pints of whatever bitter you have on tap.’

The pretty brunette was looking at James like he’d sneezed on her, but she nodded to Remus and then set off to get their drinks.

‘You’ll have to handle this stuff, Moony. Lily made me change some over, but I just have no idea how it works.’ James sighed, opening his hands after pulling them from his pockets and letting a small mound of pounds and pence fall to the table.

Remus almost choked on his own spit, realising how much money was now before them. He quickly bundled it into a pile and looked around to make sure no one had seen.

‘Honesty, Prongs. You don’t just throw money around like that. You’ll get knocked off in an alley when you leave.’

‘Oh? Is that a lot?’ James genuinely looked taken aback.

‘I can kind of understand why people call you obnoxious behind your back.’ Remus shook his head with a breath of a laugh.

‘They say it to my face.’ James mused, ‘Speaking of being obnoxiously wealthy, did I tell you Mum opened an account for me?’

‘No.’ Remus slumped slightly. He knew it was no fault of James that his family had money. He would never hold it against his friend for not knowing that talking about money in such a fashion probably wasn’t highly recommended around penniless company.

‘Well she has. She told me she wants to sell our house, and move back to the hollow now that Dad’s gone.’

‘Oh?’

‘Yeah. I mean, we only moved out to the country because Dad loved the gardens so much. And it’s just too big a house to keep for just her.’

‘Just her?’ Remus’s eyebrows disappeared under his sandy brown hair.

‘Yeah. She’s given me an account because she thinks it’s time I get my own place. Like Padfoot has, you know?’

‘She’s probably sick of you and Lily canoodling all over her furniture.’ Remus laughed, watching as the bar maid headed their way with two pints.

‘There’s more to it than that.’ James smirked, examining the coasters.

‘You wantin’ something to eat, lads?’ The bar maid placed their drinks down, smiling a twinkling, blue-eyed smile James’s way.

‘Just two serves of fish and chips, please.’

‘Fascinating.’ James picked the glass up that the bar maid had put down before him, and marvelled at the dark colour of the ale.

‘Is he all right?’ The brunette smiled at Remus and he returned it.

‘He doesn’t get out much.’ Remus supplied effortlessly and she left them to place their order with the kitchen.

‘Ugh, muggles don’t have tastebuds. Do they know this stuff is terrible?’ James pinched his nose after taking a decent gulp of the bitter ale and placing it back down on the cardboard coaster, ‘but as I was saying, Mum wants me to get my own place. And I was thinking I’d keep close by to her. I don’t want her getting lonely.’

This was the side of James Potter that most people were never entirely aware of. The soft, loyal, kind-hearted side that would fight for the people he loved and did anything he could to make others happy. He would get up to mischief at school just to entertain Sirius. He would dress up in fancy robs to appease his mother. He would do just about anything to put a smile on Lily Evans face. He was an exceptional wizard and Remus knew he was lucky to have bunked up with him in his first year. If it weren’t for James Potter, he surely wouldn’t have the friends he had today.

‘You’re lucky. Getting a place of your own. That would be amazing. Me, I can’t find any work. I mean, I know right now I shouldn’t really be looking. We’re spending most of our time with Order missions. But it’s weird, not having any idea what the future holds.’ Remus rambled looking off into the distance.

‘She’s got a smile for you, the girl behind the bar.’ He continued, turning back to look at James, but James had a stern look on his face.

‘You’ll get a job, Moony. You will.’ James had a determination on his face unrivalled by Filch on a mission to convict Peeves. Remus just laughed at him and took a sip of his ale.

‘So you think you’ll get a place, sorry… where?’ Remus changed the subject, not enjoying the conversation teetering around himself and his misfortunes.

‘The Hollow? Godric’s Hollow? You’ve never heard of it?’ James’s attention span was so easily swayed.

‘I think I have. In books.’ Remus mused.

‘Yeah. My family has lived there for generations. It's pretty cool. But the land aspects aren't nearly as big as ours. That's why mum and dad chose to move out to Tutshill when they found out they were having me. Sort of like a retirement slash we're having a baby kind of move.' 

Remus nodded along, listening to James speak. It was nice to be able to have a day with just James. Most of their group’s interactions had now turned into meeting up at Order gatherings or on missions. Peter and Sirius were currently out on a mission to gather information about a family connected to Sirius's, concerning something that had intrigued Dumbledore. Lily was, as he had just found out, catching up with Marlene and Mary. He knew Ali was still running some kind of errands for Dumbledore, but he was never entirely sure what those errands were. 

Everyone had their place. But Remus was so unsure of his own. He was happy that the Order was fulfilling the need-to-help-others that was always quite dominate within him. But there were so many pitfalls in his life lately he was starting to lag under the despondency.

As the day continued on and the boys finished their lunch, James dragged them back into the throngs of muggles to go looking through stores. When Remus decided to take James across town on the underground, he had a hard time keeping him quiet while he marvelled at all the muggle touches, like the automated ticket stalls and vending machines.

Before they got to the station Remus was aiming for, James noticed something and slipped off the train, calling out to Remus to follow.

‘What is it?’ Remus asked, as they stood alone in an eerily empty platform.

‘I… thought I saw-’ James turned back and forth before shrugging, ‘must have just been a muggle in a long coat. Let’s have a look around anyway!’ He pepped straight back up and headed for the stairs.

Remus was too polite to mention that they were a good half an hours walk from where he was trying to get them and so he just chose to allow James his exploration. Once they were above ground, he realised they were in a place he hadn’t been before. They walked for a few blocks before a dazzling districted came into view.

‘Oh, I think this is Hatton Garden,’ Remus laughed, ‘this probably isn’t somewhere for you to grab some new shirts, Prongs.’

‘No, wait! That one, can we just pop in there?’ James face lit up as he noticed a sign that read “wedding rings” and Remus came to a halt.

‘James?’ He turned to look at his friend and James just lifted a finger to his lips.

‘Just having a look.’ He winked and headed for the store entrance. The smile that exploded on Remus’s face jittered as he laughed with his bubbling happiness. He knew James and Lily were perfect for one another. But they were still very young. He hadn’t expected this from James. But he certainly welcomed the sweet distraction from the chaos that was all of their lives.

*

By the time night had fallen, Remus and James were back at James’s house, with James’s pockets having returned a lot lighter than when they had left. James had acted as if they were just looking, but he had bought a ring in no time at all. He said it just “screamed Lily” and declared he had to have it. The whole process took a little longer than anticipated, as they had to return to Diagon Alley, to change over money at Gringotts. But they managed to get back before the store closed and needless to say the gentleman selling the ring almost lost his footing when James paid in cash.

Over the course of the day James had explained to Remus that he wanted to ask Lily to move in with him, if he was to be getting his own place. And as he knew Lily’s parents to be quite religious, he thought this would be the best way to go about it. Of course his mother was in on the whole thing. Them getting a place together, that was. James was going to surprise them both with the proposal. “Mum will get as much of a kick out of this as Lily will” he had put it.

The day had put Remus into a blissful state of mind and he realised he hadn’t stopped smiling since that morning.

Just when Remus was saying he was going to call it a day and head home, Lily apparated into James bedroom and collided with him.

‘Oh, Moony! I’m so sorry!’ Lily said from the floor, across from where Remus had ended up. Remus enjoyed that Lily had come to adopt their nicknames for each other, now.

‘Hey babe!’ James shouted, kicking up his sheets underneath him and making a fuss to run over to his desk. Remus knew it was because he was hiding the ring he had had out on the bed just moments before.

‘Don’t worry about it.’ Remus spoke softly trying to get back to his feet but Lily inched over to him and put a hand down on his shoulder.

‘Actually… can I have a word to you? Outside?’ Remus looked up at Lily. Her eyes were the most radiant shade of green. It was such a magnificent contrast to how dark red her hair was.

‘Uh, sure.’ Remus replied, thinking that whatever it was Lily wanted to talk to him about, it might give James extra time to get himself in order before they came back.

They got to their feet and left James behind in the room and walked out into the hall and down further to where the stairs were. Lily took a deep breath and Remus realised how concerned she looked.

‘Is anything wrong?’

Her eyes flickered up to him, ‘I just got back from Marlene’s house.’

Remus’s jaw squared at that. He had never been over to Marlene’s house. She had gone to his now and then. But mostly they had dated at school and this second time around wasn’t exactly conventional dating. Remus just thought Marlene was defensive of her home.

‘I’ve never been before.’ Lily continued, ‘I’ve never met any of her family besides little greetings on the platform at the start of terms. I just… when we were there today, I met two of her brothers.’

Remus knew Marlene was the only girl out of her siblings. She never went into detail about her family members. But Remus had figured out that she had three older brothers.

Tears welled in Lily’s eyes, ‘I know why she- she freaked out. When she found out about… you.’

For the time being, Remus had lost his words. He just watched on as Lily held her emotions at bay and slipped her hand inside his own.

‘Remus, one of her brothers... one of her brothers was killed by a werewolf. When they were all little. He was the eldest. I saw a photo of all of them together and when I asked who the two I hadn’t met were… she was off with Mary. Her brothers told me. They said she doesn’t ever talk about him. They were really close before it happened and-’ Lily’s words trailed off as the tears began to streak her cheeks.

Remus felt every morsel of happiness the day had brought him being beaten into a ball inside him and attacked. His nostrils flared as he tried to think of something to say. Nothing was coming to mind. He felt the ache in his neck returning and realised he wasn’t breathing. He drew in a rattling breath.

‘Thanks for letting me know,’ Remus nodded to her and Lily tried to put a smile on her face in an effort to comfort him. But they both knew that there was no point.

This information had delivered the final nail in the coffin. He felt as if someone had taken a bucket of guilt and doused him in it. He bit his lip to the point of it drawing blood and swore.

‘Sorry. I think- I think I’m going to head off.’ He offered her a smile, but it was the hollowest smile he had given all day.

Lily just nodded at him before Remus concentrated enough to disapparate and reappeared in his bedroom alone.

He felt tears stinging his eyes as he sat down on his bed. He lifted his hands up and pulled his fingers through his hair before letting out an almighty curse, allowing his anger to boil over.

‘Honey?’ His mother opened his door and peered inside.

‘I’m a monster, Mum.’ Remus pushed his palms into his eyes and tried to keep his emotions in check around his mother.

‘You're not a monster, Remus.’ Hope bit back, coming further into the room.

‘I am! I am. I’m just like the others. The murderers.’ Remus felt his hands being pulled away from his face only to see his mother hunched down below him, looking up into his eyes.

‘You are no murderer. You are a kind boy with a darkness. That darkness doesn’t control you.’

Remus, in his moment of weakness, sank down off his bed onto his knees and closed his arms around his aging, but still beautiful mother.

'My sweet boy, what's brought all this on again?'

‘Her brother was killed by someone like me.’ He whispered, clutching her, ‘She could barely stand to touch me. I should have known.’

He felt his mother’s arms grip him as she deciphered the information he had given her. It didn’t take her long.

‘Remus John Lupin. You are not, and will never be, the shortcomings of those that share your condition. You are my baby boy. And you are just as perfect now, as the day you came into this world. My heart breaks every time you pin yourself down and try to bare the weight of every other misfortune around you. The only thing you should be taking from this, is that Marlene loved you enough to try and see past losing her brother, to be with you.

               ‘So maybe it’s time for you to both stop torturing yourselves. You haven’t been happy for months and can I be selfish enough to say, I just want to see you smiling again?’ Hope pulled her son back and brushed the hair from his face, the same way she used to when he was just a tiny boy and was crying about his fear of the moon.

‘This isn’t either of your faults.’ She continued, kissing his forehead, ‘and you’ve both tried.’

Remus nodded, shutting his eyes and curling back up into his mother’s warmth. Hope’s bottom lip trembled with the pain she could feel radiating from her son as she pulled her finger tips up and down his back, trying to utmost to calm him.

‘You both tried.’




A/N; So now that we know so much about James's parents backgrounds, I'm so glad I never gave them actual names. I knew they weren't the ones on the Black Family tree! But yeah, just trying to reel that back to the info we now have. And now you all have a better idea about Marlene's weirdness. I will go into detail a little more from her POV, later. Sorry for the filler-ish chapter!


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