Title: More Than a Day
Genre: Romance, fluff, general, MWPP
Other ships: None
Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns everything, as always.
Summary: A short, two-chapter fic in which Sirius discovers, with the help of Remus, more about himself than he perhaps ever cared to know.
Word count: 3282
He pokes his head out from between the hangings around his four-poster bed. ‘What do you want now, Padfoot?’
I carefully slide the scrap of silk on my bed onto the tip of my wand and hold it out. ‘Is this yours?’ I ask, caught between amusement, disgust, and fury.
Remus’ face turns a flattering shade of magenta. ‘No!’ he protests hotly, turning his eyes away from the knickers hanging off the end of my wand.
‘You sure?’ I insist, only half-heartedly trying to keep the grin off my face. ‘Because you know, you can admit to me that you’ve had a girl in here…only next time, I’d appreciate it if you two wouldn’t do it on my bed, it can get a bit messy to –’
‘PADFOOT!’ he bellows, his face turning – if it’s even possible – redder. His light blue eyes dart from side to side as he tries to look at anything but the shamefully scandalous article of clothing dangling off the end of my wand.
‘I’m only kidding, mate,’ I say lightly before tossing the knickers in the direction of James’ bed. ‘I know you’d ask permission before doing anything inappropriate on my sheets. I’ll have to talk to Prongs about this when he gets back from Head duties.’
By now, Remus has pulled his head back behind the scarlet hangings. I can hear him muttering something under his breath but I don’t bother trying to make out what it is. My daily need to embarrass Remus has been fulfilled.
Lying back on my bed, I can’t help but wonder why it is that Remus is so uncomfortable when it comes to talk of girls and dating. To my knowledge, he’s never had a girlfriend. Why this is escapes my comprehension. I mean, he’s good-looking enough. Those blue eyes of his could melt the coldest heart, and even if that wasn’t enough, his dear personality could secure the love of even the shallowest female.
I guess he just doesn’t have the courage to venture out there, what with his little lycanthropy problem and all. Every time a girl shows even the remotest signs of being interested in him, he runs away. When I confront him about it later, he always gives me the same unsatisfactory answer: it’s too dangerous for him to ‘get involved with someone’.
The door to our dormitory suddenly flies open. I look up just in time to see James and Peter enter the room and close the door behind them. They’re both covered in snow and laughing as though they’ve just had the time of their lives. Annoyed, I sit up a little and glare at James.
‘Where have you two been?’ I demand, eying their flushed cheeks.
‘Outside,’ James explains as he shrugs off his snow-dusted cloak and lets it drop to the ground. ‘I’ve been teaching Peter how to fly.’
‘Again?’ I say, raising an eyebrow. This must be the, what, fourteenth time James has tried to teach Peter how to fly? Needless to say, the thirteen previous attempts were all failures.
‘I’m actually catching on!’ Peter gushes. His round little face is shining with glee.
I ignore him and turn back to James. ‘Why didn’t you let me know? I would’ve gone with you two.’
‘You and Moony were busy talking,’ James explains. He sits down on his bed and begins to remove his boots. ‘Besides, Lily brought some of her friends along, and I know you hate seeing us together.’
‘Only because you two snog like a pair of walruses,’ I retort. Then, I remember something. ‘Speaking of you and Evans’ – I point my wand at the pair of knickers on the ground and flick my wrist so that they land at the foot of James’ bed – ‘might I ask what the two of you were doing on my bed that required the removal of these?’
James turns rightfully red. ‘Sorry about that. But we didn’t do anything on your bed. They just…happened to land there.’ He coughs, realising that he’s already said three sentences more than he needs to.
‘Evans will be wanting those back,’ I say lightly before placing my wand back on the cabinet by my bed. Then, I roll over onto my stomach to look at Remus’ bed. ‘Moony, you there?’
‘Yeah,’ he says quietly.
‘What’re you doing?’ I ask inquisitively.
‘Reading,’ he replies simply.
I click my tongue in a disapproving manner. ‘Enough reading! You already know all that material anyway.’
Remus finally draws his hangings back. He’s glaring at me. Ah, well, I’ve got used to it by now.
‘Sirius,’ he enunciates, employing the use of my real name (I take this as a bad sign, as he rarely refers to me, James, or Peter by our real names), ‘I don’t want to talk right now, okay?’
My eyebrows skyrocket. This is groundbreaking news to me. I mean, just minutes ago we were chatting cheerfully and enjoying the absence of Peter’s incessant whining; now he’s giving me the evil eye and telling me to leave him alone. Talk about bipolar.
Of course, I have enough sense not to say all of this out loud. Instead, I drawl, ‘If His Majesty commands,’ and pull the hangings closed around me.
At long length, I hear James mumble something about meeting Lily for a homework date. I can’t help but roll my eyes, even if no one can see me doing it. The git is always going on ‘homework dates’…I’ll be damned if he and Lily do a shred of homework during those get-togethers. Oh well. At least they’ll be keeping their activities off of my bed this time around.
As James stalks out of the door, I call out, ‘You’re spending too much time with that woman, Prongs…’
He doesn’t stop or turn around as he responds archly, ‘Maybe if you’re nice I’ll try and persuade her to hand you one of her mates. You need a girl of your own, Padfoot.’
I grin. We both know perfectly well that the last thing I want right now is a romantic relationship that involves commitment. I guess in certain aspects, I’m rather similar to Remus. I’ve never really dated a girl. I mean, I’ve never been attracted to any of them. No, no, don’t get me wrong, I’m not gay. I’m just…let’s say, a free spirit.
Now, I may not be the most conceited man in the world, but I’m sure as hell not insecure. For instance, I’m more than willing to admit and acknowledge the fact that I’m quite possibly the most devilishly handsome bloke in school, and that every warm-blooded female who’s ever seen me has been attracted to me at one point or another in her school years. See, that’s what sets me apart from Remus: I consider myself above the common long term relationship, while he considers himself below it.
As I begin to ponder the reasons for this, I hear his voice say tentatively, ‘Padfoot?’
I open my mouth to reply, then remember that I’m supposed to be pissed at him for being a tetchy bastard earlier. I touch my finger to my lips thoughtfully as I begin to ponder ways to lay a guilt trip on him.
I could use the classic method of refusing to talk to him. That almost always works. Then again, I’ve done it so many times that he’ll probably realise my intentions after a second or so of silence. To be honest, there aren’t many other tactics out there. Remus may be incredibly sensitive and compassionate, but he’s not stupid either.
I suddenly find that I no longer have the heart to make him guilty, so I say placidly, ‘Yes?’
‘I’m sorry about earlier.’
Ah. That’s what I wanted to hear. He’s really a good kid at heart, Remus.
‘I know.’ I smirk, imagining him in lying on his bed with his hands behind his head (what can I say? He always lounges around in that position) and rolling his eyes at my flippancy. ‘Is that all you wanted to say to me?’
I frown, detecting the slightest hint of sadness in his tone. My curiosity piqued, I pull back the heavy hangings around my bed and roll onto my stomach so I can have a clear view of Remus’ bed.
He’s pulled back his hangings too. As I turn over to look at him, he says quickly, ‘Don’t worry, Wormtail is gone.’
I shrug. ‘I’d forgotten he was around.’
‘I’m not surprised,’ he teases with a small laugh. Then he pulls on a solemn facial expression again. ‘Can you come over here? It feels weird yelling to you from across the room.’
‘It’s not across the room,’ I remonstrate, but I obediently sit up, slide on my slippers, and plod over to Remus’ bed. I sit down heavily next to him, then turn to look at him. ‘Now what the hell is so important that I have to get up and walk over here to hear it?’
‘It’s nothing in particular. I just wanted to talk.’
I hope he’s not serious. I don’t think he is, but to be on the safe side, I give him my ‘Are you kidding me?’ look.
He shrugs in a very awkward manner. ‘I mean it.’
‘Moony,’ I try to explain with as much patience as I can muster, ‘talking about nothing is what…well, what the female half of our species does.’
He gives me a stern look and says shortly, ‘No, it’s not. Don’t be an insensitive prick, Padfoot.’
My mouth falls open slightly. I have to admit I’m slightly taken aback. I’ve never heard such foul language escape Remus’ mouth, so for the moment, I quiet down with my protestations and submissively listen to what he has to say.
He seems surprised that I’ve finally shut up; surprised, but pleased at the same time. He continues. ‘I – I sorta like someone…’
My slightly-open mouth drops a little more.
‘I figured since you have a lot of…y’know, experience, you could tell me what to do.’
Remus looks very nervous now. Faintly, I wonder why. We’re best mates, after all; it’s okay for him to tell me this stuff. But instead of voicing this point, I say nothing and continue to listen to him in stunned silence.
‘You see, this person and I are friends, and I don’t want to risk our friendship by telling them that I like them.’ He clears his throat slightly and looks down at his clenched hands. ‘And I…I don’t know if they feel the same way about me.’
‘Moony, everyone feels the same way. Trust me, she probably –’ I begin to say, but he holds up a hand, indicating that I should shut up again.
‘It’s not like that,’ he says nervously. He’s still staring down at his hands. I follow his gaze and see that he’s tracing a long scar across the back of his left hand, a scar which I regretfully carved during one of our more chaotic romps around the Hogwarts grounds as a werewolf and a dog.
‘What do you mean?’ I ask bluntly, still watching the path his finger is making along the scar. I never really noticed how long his fingers were. I guess that comes with being a werewolf or something. Not that werewolves have longer fingers. I don’t think they do, at least.
‘I mean…I really don’t think they feel the same way about me…’
‘Putting the emphasis on a different ruddy word isn’t helping me understand you any better,’ I say irritably. I can’t help but wonder where Remus is trying to take this conversation if he’s going to keep repeating the same sentence over and over again.
I immediately feel terrible for being cross with him when he looks up at me with doleful eyes. ‘Sorry,’ I mumble. I lay a hand on his forearm in what I would’ve thought was a friendly gesture, but apparently Remus doesn’t think so because he jerks his arm away the moment my hand touches it and gazes at me with wide eyes.
‘Padfoot, what are you doing?’
‘Er…’ Goddamnit. Remus sure knows how to make a conversation awkward. He must think I was trying to make a move on him. Frustrated, I try to explain. ‘I didn’t mean it like that.’
He blushes and runs a hand through his messy hair. ‘No, that’s not what I assumed.’
‘Okay, good,’ I say, relieved, ‘because, y’know, I’m straight. Heterosexual. Not a shirtlifter.’
Remus nods. He suddenly looks as if he’d like nothing more than to crawl into a miniscule hole and die. I’m not surprised. The poor bloke; if he can’t even handle talk of dating, I’ll be damned if he can sit still and hear the word ‘gay’ without turning redder than a fire hydrant.
‘Do you think there’s a medium?
I raise an eyebrow. ‘A medium? Between what?’
‘Between being…’ His voice trails off and he’s silent for a few seconds before he says in a nearly inaudible voice, ‘straight and bent.’
A snort of laughter escapes against my own will. Quickly, I arrange my features into what I believe to be a convincingly serious expression and say, ‘You mean bisexual?’
Apparently the look on my face isn’t as believable as I thought it was, because Remus pleads, ‘Don’t laugh!’
The genuinely upset tone of his voice suddenly causes a horrifying thought to occur to me. ‘You’re not…you’re not wondering if you’re bisexual, are you?’ I ask, eyeing Remus warily.
He shakes his head furiously. ‘No! I know perfectly well what my sexual orientation is.’
‘Good,’ I say with immense relief, ‘because I’d be worried if you were one of those berks still trying to figure out whether they like men or women at our age.’ I stop and scrutinise Remus thoughtfully. ‘To answer your question, though, I don’t think it’s possible to be in the middle. The people who say they are are either confused, daft, or mental.’
Remus nods slowly. ‘But say someone is positive he likes girls. I mean, he’s kissed girls before and enjoyed it. Could he…well, is it possible for him to be…?’
I purse my lips. Deep thoughts by Moony again, I tell myself. Out loud, I answer truthfully, ‘I don’t know. I mean, I suppose if they’re trying to deny it, they could convince themselves that they are what they want to be.’
Remus seems to ponder this for a moment. ‘I guess…’ he answers, a hint of doubt in his voice. A few seconds of silence ensue, and then he asks quietly, ‘Have you ever looked at a girl and thought, “Wow, I wouldn’t mind spending the rest of my life with her”?’
‘Er…Moony…we’re only seventeen-years-old, I don’t think –’
‘I know,’ he interrupts quickly, ‘but have you ever just thought that when you looked at someone?’
‘Is this how you feel about your girlfriend?’ I asked, amused. Remus sure is more romantic than I would have thought for someone who avoids females like the plague.
‘The person isn’t my girlfriend,’ he protests, flushing again. ‘And, well, yeah…I suppose that’s how I feel about them. Sirius, answer my question, please.’
Uh-oh. He’s using my real first name again. I bite my lip thoughtfully and lean back against one of the bedposts as I consider Remus’ words. Have I ever thought that about a girl? I mean, as I said earlier, I don’t really commit myself to long-term romantic relationships. I’m more of a snog-then-dump kind of guy. But I've never even wondered what it'd be like to live with a girl for the rest of my life. I mean, I'd have no problem living with, say, James or Remus for a while (on a strictly friendly basis), but a girl?
‘Nope,’ I say out loud. ‘You know how I am with females, Moony. I don’t like the idea of settling down with one.’
‘You’ll have to eventually, though,’ Remus points out patiently. ‘And a lot of people I know met their future spouses while they were at Hogwarts. And Padfoot, don’t get me wrong, but you do take your anti-relationship thing a bit far sometimes…I mean, everyone in our year has dated someone for at least a month by now.’
‘But I’m not just a regular person, am I?’ I say good-naturedly. However, I have to admit that Remus’ words do worry me slightly…okay, maybe more than slightly. He’s right. I do need to settle down. Or at least try keeping a girl for more than a day. It’s probably good practice for when I’m older and more mature, or something.
Remus is looking at me with those frighteningly blue eyes. He seems to be pondering my last words. ‘No,’ he finally says in a sad sort of voice, ‘you’re not just a regular person.’
This snaps me out of my frantic thoughts about living alone for the rest of my life. ‘Moony, what’s got into you today?’ I ask, eying him suspiciously. ‘Honestly, a girl can’t have done this much damage to you. Is it the full moon? Because you know that’s in a week, and usually you don’t get symptoms this early…’
‘It’s nothing,’ Remus says firmly. To my surprise, he actually looks a bit more cheerful than he did earlier. ‘Thanks for listening, Padfoot.’
‘Yeah, sure, whatever,’ I say breezily. ‘Anyway, speaking of the full moon, it’s my turn to –’
‘Shhh!’ Remus hisses, clapping a hand over my mouth. He looks around furtively. I know he’s checking to see if anyone is eavesdropping on our conversation. Yeah right…if I heard two blokes sharing relationship advice, I’d probably hightail it out of there.
‘Okay,’ Remus finally says, removing his hand. ‘Go ahead.’
‘These precautions are ridiculous,’ I whine. It’s amazing how much I can sometimes sound like a dog even when I’m in my human form. ‘But as I was saying, James and Peter can’t make it next week, so it’s just going to be you and me.’
‘Okay, well, we have to make plans.’
‘Plans for what?’ Remus asks warily. ‘Padfoot, you know we can’t go running around the grounds or anything like that. Dumbledore would expel me in the blink of an eye.’
‘We’re not going to do anything of the sort,’ I say impatiently. ‘I just meant plans for what to bring there while we’re waiting and such.’
‘I’ll sneak down to the kitchens with Prongs and grab some food.’ Remus looks like he’s about to lecture me on why it’s wrong to harass the house-elves into giving us food, so to appease him, I add quickly, ‘The house-elves expect it around this time by now, so they won’t mind.’
He still doesn’t look convinced, but with a sigh, he says, ‘Okay. Why don’t we just bring our homework? This time we know to put it away before the moon comes out.’
‘Oh, come off it, Moony, you don’t really expect me to do my homework during the one chance I get to go off grounds every month?’
Remus just glares at me sternly and silently.
‘Right, then,’ I say brightly. ‘I’ve got some work to do, so I’ll see you in a bit.’ I can’t help but smile at him because the moment I tell him I’m leaving, his face sort of falls. I suppose I have that effect on a lot of people.
‘Bye, Padfoot,’ he says sullenly.
‘Bye, Moony. See you at dinner.’
And with that, I bounce off his bed and head off to look at every girl I can find and hope that the idea of marrying one happens to cross my mind.
By the way, my friend Amy helped me a bit with the plot, so much of the credit goes to her.