You’re a Little Late (Letters Never Sent Remix)

~2200 words :: Harry Potter :: Sirius/Remus :: 3/25/05
Remus knew where he stood with Sirius. Had known for years. (Note: This is a remix of Jaebi Lit’s Oi, M, written for Remix…Redux III.)

“Would you two bloody stop it?”

James and Sirius froze, blinking at Remus as if they’d forgotten his existence. Sirius used that opportunity to snatch the crumpled parchment back from James and stuff it into a pocket.

“Yeah,” Peter whined. “I can’t concentrate.”

“Yeah, James, we’re trying to revise here.” Sirius glared at James and then flopped back down in his chair, pushing his hair out of his face. Remus found himself staring and quickly looked back down at his notes.

“Like you were revising,” James muttered.

Chewing his bottom lip, Remus tried to focus on the arithmancy formulas in front of him rather than on the small crease between Sirius’s brows, which he could see was still there if he looked out of the corner of his eye just so.

Sirius was looking at James. Of course. You didn’t think he might be looking over here, did you? he chided himself. Sighing, he scooted around a bit so he couldn’t see Sirius unless he turned his head all the way – which he wasn’t going to do – and looked back down at his parchment. Right. Arithmancy.

“So…James said you finally asked Marlene Dorset out.”

“Um, yeah, Saturday next,” Remus said, and then frowned, looking up from his book. “What do you mean finally?” It wasn’t a word Remus would associate with a girl who might as well not exist when they weren’t in lessons together.

“Finally as in, I noticed you staring at her all the time in double potions last year and you’re just now getting around to asking her out.”

Remus just stared at Sirius for a long time and then started to laugh. It began slowly with a slightly hysterical giggle and ended with him clutching his sides, barely able to breathe. Staring! At Marlene!

“What’s so funny?” Sirius bristled, lower lip jutting out. God forbid anyone laugh at him when he didn’t mean them to do. “Oi, I asked you a question.”

Remus just shook his head, pushed himself up out of the chair. “Nothing, Padfoot. It’s” everything “nothing…”

Only the fact that it didn’t even occur to you I might be looking at the person on the other side of her. He shook his head again. “Where is James, anyway?” Of course it didn’t occur to you.

“Badgering Evans again,” Sirius said, still sulking. “And Peter’s got detention, so I was thinking-”

“Well, you’ll just have to entertain yourself,” Remus said tightly. “I’ve just remembered I left my notes in the library.”

Sirius didn’t even offer to accompany him. Which was just fine with Remus. He knew where he stood with Sirius. Had known for years. It should have made it easier to walk away.

Remus was drunk; they all were. Of course they were. Leaving was something that deserved a proper celebration, after all.

It was nearly dawn when they stumbled back from Hogsmeade, the four of them and Evans. She’d tried a sobering charm when they left the Three Broomsticks, but as she’d mistaken a quill for her wand, it hadn’t done any good. Remus didn’t think she was as pissed as she was making out to be, though; there was something calculated in the way she kept tripping on her robes and ending up in James’s arms, but either he hadn’t noticed or – more likely – didn’t care.

By the time they reached the Gryffindor common room, it was just Remus and Sirius and Peter left. They walked with their arms slung around each other’s shoulders, and Peter kept getting squished against the wall as they made their way up the stairs. It was probably because Remus was leaning on Sirius more than was strictly necessary.

Without even bothering to get undressed, Peter made a beeline for his bed and collapsed into a heap. He was out like a light within seconds.

“Typical.” Sirius snorted, and Remus realised with a start that Sirius’s arm was still around his shoulders and that somehow his own had found its way around Sirius’s waist. He pulled away, suddenly self-conscious.

“I think Wormtail’s got the right idea…”

He waited for Sirius to say something, but the only sound was Peter’s snores. What did you expect? Weaving a bit as he crossed the room, he sat down heavily on the bed and started pulling off his shoes.

And then Sirius was sprawled out on his back beside him. “You’re not really turning in now, are you? Come on, it’s early yet.”

“Early morning,” Remus laughed and tried to pull his robe off over his head.

“Won’t work if you’re sitting on it,” Sirius pointed out, grinning.

“Bugger.” Flopping back, Remus stretched out next to Sirius. “Maybe I should just go to sleep like thi- Sirius? Oi,” he said, rolling onto his side and sliding closer. He propped himself up on his elbow and poked Sirius in the ribs. Sirius drooled.

“So much for it’s early yet,” Remus muttered. “And you’re in my bed, you know.”

A vague idea was forming in the back of his mind, and the more he thought about it, the more convinced he became that it might be – was – his only chance. Wrapping the end of his sleeve around his hand, he wiped the drool from the corner of Sirius’s mouth and, hesitating only briefly, leant down to kiss him. It was meant to be quick, just a peck, but Sirius moaned and reached up, clutching Remus’s sleeve, and that was all it took. They were kissing, really kissing, the way Remus had only ever kissed Marlene and Eunice, neither of whom had reeked of firewhiskey or given him stubble burn.

Neither had been this demanding, either. Sirius’s tongue slid against his, their lips crushed together, and Remus kept forgetting to breathe. His cock was hard and aching, trapped awkwardly in his pants, and if he shifted just a bit closer – there – he could rub against Sirius’s thigh.

He ran his hand over Sirius’s belly and down to his cock, brushing his fingertips over it hesitantly. Groaning into Remus’s mouth, Sirius bucked his hips, and Remus hitched up his robe, eager now, and wormed his hand into Sirius’s pants. His cock felt hot, like his mouth, like his breath coming in short puffs against Remus’s sweaty skin.

Sirius’s eyes were slitted, his cheeks flushed, hair plastered to his forehead. Every once in a while the tip of his tongue flicked out over his lips and it made Remus want to lean in and catch it with his own, but he didn’t feel coordinated enough to manage both wanking and kissing at the same time.

The angle was awkward and his strokes were uneven. Half the time he’d suddenly notice that in concentrating on thrusting against Sirius’s thigh, he’d forgotten to move his hand. It was nothing like his fantasies, but it was real. Sirius was panting, arching off the bed, his fingers digging painfully into Remus’s bicep, and it was brilliant. Then Sirius stiffened, mouth falling open in a gasp, and he was coming in Remus’s hand.

Remus felt frozen in place, unable to do anything but watch, and then Sirius was the one fumbling with Remus’s robe, tugging it up and pushing his pants down and wrapping his hand around Remus’s cock. He kissed Remus, too, and he wasn’t at all uncoordinated, and Remus couldn’t help but wonder who else he’d done this with. Not that it mattered. All that mattered now was that his orgasm was hovering just out of reach, but each stroke, each brush of his foreskin over that spot was bringing him closer until he was there, shouting loud enough that later he was surprised it hadn’t woken Peter.

It wasn’t long before Sirius was asleep again, one arm thrown over Remus’s waist. Remus, on the other hand, was wide awake, staring up at the ceiling. Sirius was drunk; that’s all it was. No deeper meaning. It made his stomach hurt to think about it, but there was no way that after seven years of staring at James, Sirius would suddenly notice him.

Squirming out from under Sirius’s arm, Remus slid off the bed and padded over to Sirius’s. If anyone asked, he’d pretend to have mistaken it for his own. He’d pretend he was too drunk to remember anything that happened tonight. Maybe if he was lucky, he really would forget.

Things were never the same between them after that. They hardly talked anymore, not just the two of them, anyway. James was always there, or Peter. If they were alone together, one or the other would soon find an excuse to leave. Remus had never thought he’d lose Sirius’s friendship, and he’d never realised how much he would miss it when it was gone.

And then Sirius was gone, too, to the Death Eaters, to Azkaban, taking James and Lily and Peter with him, and Remus was left alone again. He should have been angry – everyone else seemed to be – or grieving, but where grief and anger should have been, there was just…nothing.

So he soldiered on, did what he was told. There were things to be taken care of, after all, things that couldn’t be ignored. There was Harry. There was guarding against the Dark Lord’s return. There was no time for mourning, and that suited Remus just fine.

And if he dreamt of Sirius sometimes still, he couldn’t be blamed for that, could he?

Remus was never sure which part of himself he hated more: the part that had believed Sirius capable of betraying them, or the part that had wanted him even so.

They had a fragile balance now, and one that Remus would do anything to preserve. It wasn’t quite the easy friendship of their school days, but at least the awkward tension between them was gone.


Then there were nights like tonight.

Remus looked up from his book to find Sirius watching him. He’d known this was coming, and he knew where it would end up. There’d been an Order meeting earlier, which meant another row about Sirius being let out of the house, followed by a drinking binge when he inevitably lost the argument.

Sirius wasn’t a happy drunk. Instead he’d stalk around the house, glowering, and eventually settle in whichever room Remus happened to occupy at the time. Tonight it was the drawing room, and Sirius sat sprawled in a chair across from the sofa where Remus was reading.

Their eyes met, and Remus was the first to look away, pretending to go back to his book, though in truth, he’d been reading the same page for the past half hour. He could hear Sirius getting up, crossing the room, and then Sirius was looming over him. Planting one hand on the back of the sofa, he cupped Remus’s chin, tilted his face up, and leant in to kiss him.

Remus closed his eyes and wondered if he’d ever taste Sirius without the alcohol.

It’s been months, but this is the first time he’s been able to make himself go inside. There’s a visible layer of dust over everything. He should have come before, when it still looked lived in, or later, when it won’t hurt so much anymore.

He’s not even sure why he’s come at all. There’s really no need to go through Sirius’s things; it’s not like he had much. He tells himself it’s for Harry, and gathers a stack of books to give him.

A small cloud of dust puffs up when he drops them on the bed, and the topmost book slides off the stack, falling open. Something moves; a photograph Sirius had used as a bookmark, he assumes, plucking it from the pages.

There’s a piece of parchment with it, too, but it’s the picture he can’t stop staring at. It’s himself. Fifteen or maybe sixteen, sitting under a tree and smiling half-heartedly at the camera. The Remus in the picture squints up at him and then looks away, back down at the book he’s reading, but every once in a while he glances back up, as if when he thinks the picture taker isn’t looking.

The parchment is old, worn along the creases as if it’s been folded and unfolded many times. I feel like a bloody poofter, confessing my feelings to you and all that rubbish that girls go on about, it starts out, and it’s addressed to him.

He skims over the rest, pausing at I love you, and again at I’m pretty sure you fancy Marlene Dorset in Ravenclaw and won’t want to see this. It makes his gut twist and he has to blink back tears. But even in a love letter, he can’t hold Sirius’s attention.

Prongs would tell me I’m being a coward.

Prongs is getting suspicious and he keeps trying to steal this parchment.

I have to go thump Prongs for nearly ripping this in two when he tried to grab it.

Folding the parchment back up, he stuffs it and the photo in his pocket and picks up the books. He pulls the door shut behind him, wonders if he can believe any of it.

He supposes it doesn’t matter anymore.