"You've got a spot."

Sirius felt a light touch at his jaw and immediately shoved the hand away. "I do not," he said, lifting his chin. "Sod off, Potter."

"James," said Remus crisply, "would have said you had a great boil on your chin."

Sirius didn't know how he could possibly have mistaken the voices. He turned and lowered his chin so he was looking Remus in the eye. "That's why James can't get into my trousers," he said, smirking.

"I wasn't aware he was trying." Remus, too, lowered his voice, his eyes darting around to see if anyone was watching them. He worried about things like that, more than anyone Sirius had been with. Though, if he was being honest, he'd never been with anyone quite like this.

Sirius reached out to tug Remus's tie loose, grinning devilishly. "Everyone succumbs to my charms eventually," he insisted. "It's only a matter of time."

"I think I should be offended by that," said Remus lightly, his eyes still moving until Sirius let go of his tie and grabbed his chin and held him still.

"No more than I should be for insinuating my face is anything other than perfect," he retorted, lifting Remus's chin with his fingers. "Have you got any more classes?"

"You know I don't." Sirius waited a moment, then let go of his chin to work on the tie again. "But that doesn't mean I've nothing else to..."

"You can think of something better to do than this?" He wound Remus's still-attached tie once around his hand and started walking backwards, down the corridor. "A few hours in the library with your dusty old books? Or perhaps you were thinking of watching the Ravenclaw Quiddich practice?"

That, finally, brought a smile back to his face. Sirius could even see the faint dimple in his left cheek, the shy one that almost never emerged. "Clive Connolly's arms," he said, and he didn't have to elaborate. They had, after all, watched more than one practice together.

"I'll show you something far more interesting than Clive Connolly's arms," said Sirius, backing them around the corner back to Gryffindor tower. "Just you wait."

"I won't be waiting long, will I?" Remus teased him, putting up only a token protest to being led away. "Oh... we're not going to our room, are we? James--"

"Is studying with Lily in the library."

"And Peter--"

"Is serving detention with Filch for the incident with the belching hex and the Hufflepuff girls."

"But that was you--"

"Yes, but you're the only one who knows for sure. We," he went on before Remus could get in a word of chastisement, "would be alone in the dormitory. For at least two hours."

Remus nearly tripped over his own feet in his haste to follow Sirius up the many flights of stairs, and Sirius never once let go of the necktie until they were through the common room and up more stairs and had slammed the door closed behind them.

"We're going to hear about that later," said Remus, glancing nervously at the door. Sirius shrugged it off and threw up an extra locking charm, just in case. It wouldn't keep anyone out for long, but it would at least give the two of them fair warning.

"We'll just say you were racing for the toilet."

"Why don't we say you were racing for the toilet, then?"

"Well," said Sirius with another nonchalant shrug as he resumed working on Remus's tie, "we could just tell them that we couldn't wait to get up here and shag, if you'd rather."

"You're joking!" said Remus, looking not at all confident that he was. "We haven't even told..." Sirius knew he had to be smirking, though he meant to keep a straight face. "You are joking. Prat. Besides, strictly speaking we aren't shagging."

"Well, we have two hours," Sirius reminded him, stripping the tie from his neck and dropping it to the floor. "We could. If you wanted."

Remus's robe followed, shrugged off shoulders that barely had to move to shake it loose. His lips were parted and he was speechless and that was as much of a yes as Sirius needed. He kissed the side of Remus's neck, right behind his ear, and gently nudged him towards one of the beds. Remus's, because Sirius's was unmade and covered with extra-curricular Transfiguration notes.

"Are you sure?" whispered Remus, running his fingers through Sirius's hair. Sirius didn't think Remus realised that he did that even when they weren't alone; he would never tell him for fear he'd stop.

"We're ready," Sirius assured him. "James and Lily already are, you know."

"Is that why you're--?"

"No," Sirius interrupted him. "No, we're doing this because we want to. Because we've waited long enough."

Remus had no argument with that, and started stripping off Sirius's clothes even as Sirius struggled with what remained of Remus's. Hogwarts uniforms were not made for easy removal, by design he was sure. Not that it had ever stopped any student from managing it.

"How do we go about this, then?" Remus asked, tugging Sirius up onto the bed by the waist of his trousers. Sirius's knee landed between Remus's legs, close enough to his groin that they both let out a sharp, nervous laugh.

"Like usual, I suppose," said Sirius, happy to help strip the trousers and pants off and toss them across the gap onto his own bed. They hadn't had so many chances to get close, not like this, but those they had they'd taken full advantage of.

"If this were like usual," said Remus, biting down lightly on his earlobe as he drew them both flat onto the bed, "we'd be in robes still, rubbing up against each another in a storage cupboard."

"We can do the rubbing bit," said Sirius, trapping one of Remus's thighs between his own and grabbing for his wrists. Remus laughed and rolled his head back to watch Sirius press his arms into the pillows.

Remus's throat was a thing of beauty, long and pale and so seldom exposed to anyone, not like this. Sirius licked up from his collarbone to his chin in one smooth stroke, and felt Remus shudder beneath him. He did it again up the other side, sucked the curve between Remus's neck and shoulder gently, leaving no mark.

Sirius had never felt harder than this, not even when he and Remus had got each other off in the showers one night, soap-slick and squirming. He took a deep, ragged breath and began moving his hips against Remus's, face pressed tight to his neck.

"Oh God," breathed Remus, for the first time struggling against where Sirius had him confined. He could get free, if he wanted it badly enough, but he let Sirius hold him there, their bodies taking care of what their hands couldn't. "If we're going to..."

If they were going to do what they wanted to do, they had to stop this. Now. Sirius lifted his head first, then let go with his hands, then raised himself up onto his knees again with a loud groan. Remus grabbed for his wrist to drag him back but let him go just as quickly, falling back down onto the bed and panting.

"I've got some--" he said, letting his arm flop limply to point at his trunk, but Sirius shook his head and grinned down at him. And tried not to freeze right there, staring at Remus body splayed out for him on the bed, cock hard and breathing ragged.

"Yeah, I know," Sirius said finally, crawling off the bed for what he hoped was the last time before they really, finally did this. Every bloke in the dormitory had a pot of the stuff from the apothecary in Hogsmeade. "But I've got some... I figured we would do this sooner or later. I got someone to make me something good, for it."

"Just tell me it wasn't--"

"I'd sooner let Peter make it for me."

He looked back over his shoulder at Remus, who grinned as he reached lazily for his cock, stroking it with his fingertips. Sirius turned back to frantically go through the contents of his trunk, trying to remember where he'd stashed it.

"Not fast enough," he muttered, pulling his arms back out again. "Accio lubricant."

The pot of Gordon Grunton's Miracle Glide flew out of Remus's trunk and smacked into Sirius's shoulder.

"Bloody hell!" he swore, and tried not to glare at Remus, laughing himself sick on the bed. "Well," he said, picking up the pot, "at least we know this stuff works."

"Save your new stuff for once we're good at this," Remus advised him, propping himself up on his elbows. "I'm not sure we'd even notice this time."

Sirius clutched the lubricant in his fist and bounded back onto the bed, planting his knees on either side of Remus's slim hips and falling forward to kiss his lips. "It'll be good," he promised him, and felt as flushed as Remus looked, hot all over.

Remus rolled up against him, planting his hands on Sirius's thighs to hold him right where he was. "Are you going to give me that or aren't you?" he asked him before arching his head back again. And how was Sirius supposed to resist that?

He slapped the lubricant into Remus's hand as he dove in again, sucking at Remus's Adam's apple, licking his jaw, kissing the faint scar on his breastbone. "Do you know how to?"

"We looked at enough of those pictures together," he said, gasping as Sirius ran his lips along his collarbone. His hands tugged Sirius's legs further apart, pulled his knees up. It already felt awkward, but Remus's hands were all over him and that was always a good thing. He could sense the hands pausing behind him, see the hesitation in Remus's expression. Their eyes met and Sirius pushed his arse backwards and Remus's fingers were touching him again, slick and slippery and brushing against places that only Sirius's hands had been before.

"Do it," he said, bringing his face down against Remus's, pressing their lips together urgently. Remus's fingers touched him more deliberately, slid up and down, over his balls, over his arse, and then finally one pushed inside when Sirius was least expecting it, before he could tense up. "Oh!"

He was afraid Remus would stop when he heard that but he didn't, he nipped lightly at Sirius's lip and pushed inside again. And again. Like all those pictures they'd watched, except it felt even better. Once it got smooth and easy Remus used another. And another. Until Sirius was about five seconds from coming just from Remus finger fucking him for the first time.

And Remus knew it.

"I can just finish you like this," he offered breathlessly, free hand pushing between them to take hold of Sirius's cock.

"No!" he said, tensing up at the thought. He wanted it so bad it ached, but he wanted something else more. "No, do it now. Put it in me now."

He pushed himself up as Remus pulled his fingers out and it was so hard, so hard, to stop. And harder still to all but move off so Remus could slick up his cock with a huge dollop of lubricant from the pot. "Don't want to hurt you," he murmured at Sirius's curious look, but Sirius wasn't worried about that. He just wanted to take Remus inside and ride him and finally feel what he'd been wanting since before they'd first kissed in the tunnel to the Shrieking Shack.

A few moments later he did, gasping at the pain, then gasping at the sensation deep in his gut, a closeness he'd only really imagined. And imagination was a poor imitation.

"Oh God," groaned Remus once he was inside, balls deep and shaking even though he hadn't begun to move inside him yet. "I can't last."

Sirius was the one to move, bracing himself on his hands and rolling against Remus's body. His body felt exquisite, his brain couldn't quite believe he was actually finally doing this.

"Sirius, stop, stop," said Remus but Sirius didn't, moving faster, rising and falling and letting Remus's cock hit a dozen different places inside him. And then Remus came suddenly, bucking up hard and pulling down on Sirius's hips and nothing had ever come close to being that deep inside him before. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry," he said once he'd rode it out, groping clumsily for Sirius's cock. It barely took a couple pulls before Sirius was coming too, spilling over Remus's hand and onto his stomach.

They both stilled for a few moments until Sirius couldn't help laughing, leaning over with Remus still buried inside him and pressing his forehead against Remus's shoulder. "I'm sorry," said Remus again but Sirius shushed him with a finger to his lips.

"That was brilliant," he said, lifting himself off, letting out a soft groan when he suddenly found himself empty. He flopped down on the bed next to Remus's body and kissed him again and again and again. "Just bloody brilliant."

Remus finally grinned back. "It was, wasn't it."

When Remus was sprawled across the bed, fast asleep and trusting he'd be woken before either of the other boys got back, Sirius crept out and stared at himself in the mirror and thought maybe he looked a little older.


Sirius had been gone for two days this time, which was longer than he'd hoped and about as long as he'd expected. Remus was waiting for him, or so it looked, sitting out front of his cottage and looking out into the distance, rising to his feet when a large dog came into view. Sirius wondered for a moment if he'd done that every time a stray had come near the yard these past days.

He was tired and he was filthy but he was also satisfied, and very glad to be approaching a place he could, however temporarily, call home. Remus opened the door for him without a word; Sirius repaid the courtesy by shaking off his fur outside the door, even if he still left muddy footprints on the clean kitchen floor.

"Where have you been this time, Padfoot?" Remus asked as Sirius stretched out on the floor and started to tug a couple of twigs out of his fur with his teeth. He didn't seem to expect an answer, though, even though he waited a few moments for one. "Any luck?"

He reached down and scratched behind Sirius's ears before turning back to whatever was simmering on the stove. It smelled absolutely heavenly, especially compared to what he'd scrounged up to eat the previous night, barely fresh enough not to poison him. After giving it a good stir Remus sighed and poured a dish of water from the tap, setting it on the floor.

"Just let me know when you're ready," he said, and didn't specify for what. Sirius lapped up the water quickly before laying himself back down at Remus's feet and chewing the last of the tangled bits from his fur. Except for the ones that Remus absently tugged out as he stood there against the counter, scratching his head again.

When Remus turned back to the sink to wash his hands, Sirius pulled himself back to his feet and shifted quickly back into his human form before he could change his mind. Remus didn't seem startled, not even when Sirius wrapped his arms around his waist and stood pressed up against his back for as long as he dared. Which wasn't nearly as long as he wanted.

"Not so many of the old crowd left," he said finally, when he found his voice. "That's the last of them. I suppose now all we can do is wait."

Remus nodded. His hair was starting to get long again in the back, the way he'd kept it a long time ago, when Sirius had known him last. Only right now it wasn't as much fashion as lack of a pair of scissors; maybe he would trust Sirius to do something about it later. Maybe.

"You're staying, then," said Remus when Sirius let go again, tugging off his filthy shirt and contemplating what to do with it. It would probably be better off burned, but he had nothing to replace it with.

"As long as you'll let me," he replied without looking up. If he didn't see any rejection in Remus's eyes, he could pretend it was never there.

"For as long as you can," said Remus, and turned to curl his hands firmly around the balls of Sirius's shoulders. The fingertips felt rough even as the palms were soft and gentle. "It's not much, but..."

He was wrong. It was everything, in this world where nothing was as he left it, where he looked in the mirror and saw a stranger. Sirius was finally coming around to believing that it was real, but he still couldn't look up to meet Remus's eyes.

"We have an hour before the stew's ready," Remus went on finally when Sirius wouldn't speak. "You could take a bath."

"I'll go splash in the pond," Sirius offered. "I won't be a bother." He took a step backwards and shifted into his animagus form again as soon as he was out of Remus's hands. This skin was so much easier to take. It took only a few moments, though, to realise that Remus had no intention of opening the door to let him out.

"No," Remus said, arms crossed in front of his chest. He looked less frail when Sirius had to look up at him like this. "Don't do this, Sirius. Come back." He whined and pawed at the door but Remus wouldn't cave. "You can't keep on like this."

Sirius was fairly sure he could, really; it had worked for him so far. And it would certainly make living in the same space as Remus again a lot easier than it could be. He could bear those distant, wary looks if they were directed toward a dog, and not a broken man.

"Sirius, I don't want to see that mutt again until the full moon. I mean it."

Remus didn't ever talk about him like that unless he really did mean it, and when Remus was serious there was no budging him, no matter how hard Sirius tried. The years seemed to have only made him firmer.

Still, he let the stand-off last a few more moments before he shifted back again, lounging with his back to the door. "'Mutt', Remus?" he said, finally. "You could be kinder."

"That was kind," he insisted, and maybe he really did believe that. He certainly looked like he did, his eyes gentle when Sirius finally made himself look. "Let me wash you, if you won't. You'll feel more like yourself again."

Sirius wasn't sure that was a good thing, but he let Remus take charge of him anyway. The bathroom was at the end of a short hallway, cramped but adequate, just enough room for Remus to turn away was Sirius stripped off his trousers and socks. The forced closeness was as much a relief as it was intimidating; he didn't have to find any excuses to touch, but he had no excuses not to.

He sat on the lid of the toilet, hunched over, as Remus ran the washcloth all over. Tiny rivulets ran down his spine and dripped off the back of the wooden seat to the cracked tile of the floor. It was the nicest thing he'd felt in longer than he could remember, better even than the first dip he'd taken in the ocean, just past dawn the day after Buckbeak had flown him to safety.

Then Remus was tugging gently at his hair and it was almost like it had once been between them. Sirius crossed his arms over his thighs and let out a soft laugh that sounded more like he was choking. The first time he'd been turned on in ages and it was with someone he didn't dare show it to, not anymore.

"We should just cut this all off," Remus said after a few moments. "Start from scratch."

"Why not," said Sirius easily, tilting his head back to chase down Remus's hands as they pulled away. Until he realised what he was doing and bent over forward again. "But not right now."

"No, I suppose you'll want to eat right now," Remus agreed, laying a threadbare towel over his shoulders. "It'll be a little raw yet, but if you can't wait..."

"I can wait," said Sirius, and threw the towel over his lap and hoped that Remus wasn't watching him too closely. But then, Remus had done almost nothing else since he'd returned. "If I could lie down in a corner somewhere..."

"You'll lie down on the bed," Remus interrupted, "the same as last time."

"Last time you had to go away on Order business," Sirius reminded him. "I know there's only one bed, Remus. It's all right. I'm used to it."

"Which is precisely why you should take it." Sirius was shaking his head but Remus took his chin to still him, lifted it to meet his eyes. Eyes that showed neither loathing not disgust. Far from it, in fact. "There was once," he went on after a long silence, "a time we would have shared it."

And there it was.

"I do remember it," said Sirius, finding he had to look away again. "I remember what I was like then. And it's not--"

"I remember what I was like, too. It's been thirteen years for both of us, Sirius." Remus tugged the towel away again, draping it back over Sirius's shoulder. "I've missed you."

"I missed us," said Sirius, staring intently at Remus's hands, then at his own.

After another awkward silence, Remus took them. "Will you come, then?" he asked, forcing Sirius to look up at him again. At first Sirius didn't understand, then he saw the familiar look in Remus's eyes and he did.

"We can't be what we once were," he protested, but a moment later he let Remus coax him to his feet, fully exposing the harsh reality of what he'd become.

"No," Remus agreed, and he looked at him. Really looked at him. "We'll have to be something else." He waited, then when Sirius didn't protest he led him out into the dim hallway and towards the single bedroom. Sirius couldn't find it in himself not to give in.

"Well," he said finally, as Remus let go of him inside the room, "it's not as though I can tell you I'm not up for it." He caught a glimpse of himself in the cracked mirror on the back of the door and quickly closed his eyes, imagining himself as he once was and not forced to acknowledge again what he'd become.

The door clicked shut and Remus was pulling him away, across the room. Whether he knew what Sirius was doing or whether he was just anxious to get him to the bed, Sirius couldn't tell. But he did open his eyes in time to see Remus smile at him, pulling out his wand to throw out quick cleaning and drying charm before Sirius touched the bed.

"Lie down," said Remus, putting his hand in the middle of Sirius's chest and pushing him gently back. Sirius didn't care much about the bed, he just wanted to feel that hand on him again, no matter what it was doing. "Just let me take care of you, Padfoot."

The bed squeaked under their combined weight, even little as it was these days, but it held solid. Nothing possessed by Remus Lupin would ever break.

As Sirius dragged himself on his elbows backwards to the head of the bed, Remus stripped off his two layers of robes, laying them carefully on the floor next to the bed. He had as little as Sirius did to replace them with right now. Then he braced himself on the bed and bent over Sirius's body, running his hands over his chest and down his sides and over sharp hipbones.

"You must know I want you," he said, but he didn't have to say it out loud. Sirius may have lost many years of human contact, but he knew desire when he felt it, when he saw it. He let his arms fall to his sides again, laying back flat on the bed and letting Remus touch him the way he needed to.

He didn't smile very often anymore but he smiled for Remus, drawing him closer and closer until they could finally touch lips. Sirius closed his eyes again and remembered canopied beds and clumsy groping and spontaneous laughter which, in the end, was what had given them away.

"Let's do this the easy way," murmured Remus, his wand still close at hand. The lubricant he produced with it was always a little too floral for Sirius's taste, but it would work, and just the feel of it dripping onto his body brought back memories he thought he'd lost, of the most exquisite pleasure.

"On my back?" he asked, but that was obviously the idea and he was already spreading his legs, bending his knees up, as Remus settled himself between. He set his wand down carefully beside the pillow and caressed Sirius's cheek with one hand as he used the other to explore between Sirius's legs, lightly over his aching cock and further back.

Sirius could smell the cooking stew and his stomach rumbled just as Remus pressed a finger inside. He couldn't help it, he laughed, and the look on Remus's face as he did was so astonished and joyous that Sirius wanted nothing more than to push back against him, get Remus inside.

"Don't wait," he encouraged him, but Remus was still so careful with him, his face lined with worry even as his eyes lit up at each little sound of pleasure. Sirius almost felt like crying when Remus finally entered him, but he didn't know how to cry anymore.

Remus cupped his cheek again as he thrust, his other hand pressing the back of Sirius's thigh, holding him high. "My God, my God," he moaned, and Sirius could see the lines vanish from his face as he relaxed into the motion.

Sirius wrapped his hand around his own cock, desperate suddenly to have this moment together, or as close as they could make it. Remus pressed in hard and close and they were kissing, mouths open and wet and it felt better than he could have imagined.

His hips kept moving and moving, then abruptly he pulled his head back and gasped, his thumb pressing into Sirius's cheek. "Oh Sirius," he breathed, then his hand was gone from Sirius's leg, moving between their bodies and wrapping around Sirius's hand, around his cock.

"Just a little longer," whispered Sirius, but with Remus's hand there, with his focused attention, it was more little than longer. A few moments, Remus's callused fingers brushing his stomach as he stroked, and he was coming, and he couldn't remember anything quite so lovely as that.

Remus didn't pull his hand away for a few moments, finding Sirius's eyes again and staring into them, frozen. Then he was grinning, and Sirius started laughing again, and they collapsed against each other as they tried to untangle and sort themselves out.

"Food'll be ready soon," Remus murmured to him as he rolled over onto the pillow. "Go ahead and get yourself some. I'm just going to... rest, for a while."

When Remus was curled against the edge of the bed, clutching at his wand, Sirius crept out and stared at himself in the mirror and thought maybe he looked a little younger.

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