PG-13, 1100 words
Summary: Sirius is asked for dating advice, Remus resists photography, and Grimmauld Place is made to hold some happy memories.
Note: Sirius quotes a line or two from "These, I, singing in spring" by Walt Whitman.
April 11th, 1977. Mid-morning.
Sirius had to chuckle, really. It was a nice feeling, actually genuinely beating James Potter in something as important as love. Not that Prongs had any idea, of course, and Sirius kept putting off properly contemplating when, or even if, he was going to have to say anything about him and Remus. But James was the Golden Boy of Hogwarts, these days, and he, Sirius, known mostly as the-one-who-got-disowned, was the troublesome one that earned far less respect from the professors, and rather more fear from the first couple of years. He liked to think this was because he was the one that had retained his ‘edge’, but it felt a little sad all the same.
So, a chance to help James, to flaunt his superiority, to tease him just a little bit? Absolutely.
‘For who but I should understand lovers, and all their sorrow and joy? And who but I should be the poet of comrades?’ said Sirius by way of reply.
‘You what?’ James looked exceedingly confused.
‘Poetry, my dear heathen sod, poetry. And believe me, that’s just the beginning.’
‘It is? Oh…’ gasped James, suddenly going pale, ‘I’m going to have to get her flowers, aren’t I?’
‘Yes, yes you are. Now, fear not my young novice – we are going to make a dateable man out of yet. Sure you still want Evans, though? Because believe me, it would be easier to set you up with, oh, anyone else on the planet.’
‘Is it that bad?’
‘Yes, I’m afraid it is. But, it will be a good learning experience for you! Something to tell the children, who may or may not have red hair, depending on how this goes.’
‘I swear, Pads,’ said James, with a sudden dash of seriousness. ‘If she’d just give me a chance, just one, I’d never let her get away from me again, you know? I just need that one shot.’
‘One shot, you say? One shot, young sir, I shall get you.’
April 11th, 1979. Afternoon.
‘What on earth are you doing?’ blinked Remus, taken by surprise and temporarily blinded by Sirius’ flashbulb.
‘I was thinking of calling it Marauders: The Collection, or maybe even The Greatest Hits.’
‘Sorry, did we form a band while I wasn’t looking?’
‘No, but that’s a brilliant idea! I can see it now – The Marauders, an extremely attractive four piece fronted by the very dashing Sirius Black, have just gone in at Number One with ‘Mischief Managed’ – oh, wouldn’t that be great?’
‘Sirius…’ Remus just sighed.
Right, off the subject, sorry. I am attempting to capture our best bits through the medium of photographs. So, obviously lots of pictures of everyone, but I’m trying to capture the essence of Marauderdom. Therefore, I’ve already got me and Prongs with a big pile of dungbombs, Wormtail looking, well, Wormtail-ish – I’m hoping to persuade Lily to get pissed off with Prongs so I can capture one of those wonderful moments.’
‘He’ll kill you,’ warned Remus half-heartedly.
‘Maybe, but he might forgive me when he sees a lovely one I got of him and Lily earlier – of course, it’s really quite sickening and foul, but he’ll think it’s cute anyway.’ Sirius passed over the photograph for Remus’ inspection, who smiled appreciatively.
‘Naturally, I also need the Remus Lupin montage, which will probably go something like this: Moony with a book, Moony with another book, Moony looking disapproving, Moony reading, Moony writing, for a bit of variety, Moony in the library, Moony being snogged by yours truly just to stop all the damn reading.’
Remus raised an eyebrow. ‘Do not mess with the bookish; they have powerful weapons at their disposal.’ He wielded a dictionary to prove his point.
SNAP. ‘Perfect, two in one go there!’
April 11th, 1996. Night.
‘Sirius?’ asked Remus, bleary-eyed in the glare of the kitchen. ‘What are you doing up?’
‘Can’t sleep,’ he sighed. ‘Well, I can, but I’d rather not.’ He turned to Remus, face drawn and anxious. ‘I just – I get these dreams, Moony, they’re worse than being awake. It’s James and Lily, all the time, all the time, saying I killed –-‘ he broke off, looking for something in Remus that Remus wasn’t sure he had.
Remus worried about all Sirius, all the time. He didn’t seem to be sleeping at all, and he went for whole days without looking Remus in the eye – until, like now, he stared with an intensity that was nothing like their younger years.
Then, a smile flickered on Sirius. ‘I found this, though,’ he said, holding up a battered old photo album.
‘In my stuff, you mean.’
Sirius looked shifty and grinned, and Remus felt unspeakably relieved.
‘This is my favourite, I think.’ Sirius pulled out Remus flailing his book, forever nineteen, with an eternal smile toying with the corners of his mouth.
Remus reached forward, and pointed out James and Lily, a photograph he couldn’t bear to part with when Hagrid had sent out requests a few years ago – this picture had, probably unwittingly on Siruis’ part, caught the couple in their most perfect form, and Remus had often found himself looking at it, watching them move, never getting old, or tired, or angry, just in love for as long as the photograph existed.
‘See? Your project paid off.’
Sirius stared at it for a moment. ‘Yes, that’s - that’s perfect, isn’t it?’
‘Do you rememeber?’ Remus started, and at an encouraging nod from Sirius he started a tale he hadn’t told for a while, of that infamous time in Sixth Year when James had climbed onto the Great Hall table in order to ask Lily out.
‘At your suggestion!’ he laughed, and Sirius looked abashed.
‘Well, I couldn’t let it go without one cheap shot, could I? Prongs should have known not to ask me for help.’
It wasn’t that Sirius couldn’t remember the stories, he always said, it was more that the memories didn’t feel like his own – he could see James proclaiming his undying love, but it was like peering in through dirty glass – how did he feel at the time? Where was Remus at that moment? And so Remus filled in the gaps for him, and joined up all of the ragged edges and seams, as they tried desperately to recreate a life.
Remus continued to talk, and watched Sirius’ face become lively and animated, and instantly lose ten years. They’d keep trying, he thought to himself. They’d keep trying – at least they had a shot.