Dinner had been out for a while when Sirius finally came sauntering through the portrait hole and into Gryffindor’s common room. He had a lazy grin on his face, clear indication that he’d been ‘revising’ with Melanie, though the expression turned into something more lively when he spotted Remus on a squashy red couch. True to form, Remus was surrounded by books, but Sirius didn’t let this frighten him off. He sauntered over and dropped down next to his mate (or as close as he could get, anyway), and sprawled out comfortably. “Hi. Little late for light reading, isn’t it Remus?” He turned and tapped the cover of the nearest book, still smiling.
Remus would've glowered at anyone besides Sirius who had interrupted his revising (in fact he had glowered so long at two third-years playing Gobstones that they'd finally gone upstairs to their dorm). Since it was Sirius, he lowered his book and smiled tiredly. "I lost two days of revising thanks to the full moon," he said. "Have to catch up somehow." He shifted several of his books so Sirius could have more room, because Sirius always seemed to take up as much room as possible.
Sirius nodded his thanks and managed to somehow occupy all the space he had and all that Remus had made for him. “Yeah, but hey, it was fun though. Have you done much for Potions yet?” he asked, opening a random book’s cover and staring at the title page without absorbing anything. “I did some revising for Muggle Studies tonight, but you’re not in that class.”
Remus rolled his eyes. "Oh, I'm sure you did loads of revising for that class," he agreed. "Evans said she'd help me with revising for Potions. I'm not sure she's forgiven you from your last prank, though, so you might be better off waiting until I've revised with her."
“There was lots of revising, I’ll have you know,” Sirius insisted, though he didn’t seem too insulted at the insinuation. He made a scoffing noise when Remus brought up Evans, though, shifting so he was angled towards him and head craning was no longer necessary. “Evans needs to relax,” he added dismissively.
Remus lifted an eyebrow. "Revising whether Muggles snog differently than wizards, were you?" he said archly. "And you know, you ought to be nicer to Lily. Now that she's finally given him a chance, it'd be hard on him if his mates mucked it up, wouldn't it?" Remus grinned. "Anyway, you know I'll revise with you."
“No, that was one of the first questions I asked in class,” Sirius replied, grin turning mischievous. “And I’m completely nice to Evans. I wasn’t targeting her specifically; she knows that. I’m sure James told her that.”
Remus laughed. "You're incorrigible," he said fondly. "She'll forgive you eventually just because it's utterly impossible to stay angry at you."
“Exactly.” Sirius grinned, shrugging. “It’s my gift. Women cannot stay mad at me. Not even McGonagall.”
Remus reflected that he'd been referring specifically to himself, but decided there was no reason to point that out, since Sirius would likely just call him a girl. "Nice for some," he commented, looking back down at his book. "My mum adores you, of course. Always asking after you."
“Your mum’s great,” Sirius said, nodding. He watched Remus for a few moments, then asked, “So what are you revising?”
"Transfiguration," Remus sighed. "Some of these advanced theories just get me so muddled." He shifted and frowned, chewing on the end of his quill. "I can remember wand movements with no trouble. It's the theories behind them that I don't grasp."
“Ah.” This was probably the part where he should offer to help, Sirius knew, but revising was so… boring. And it was already getting late, he didn’t want to start revising, he wanted to unwind… some more. He eyed Remus for a moment, then said, “Might as well have a break, then.” Nevermind that it didn’t totally make sense.
"What?" Remus stared at him in bemusement. "Have a break because I'm confused? What, you want someone to make a kitchen run with you, is that it?" He told himself it wasn't just because he was a prefect and could get away with being out after hours.
Sirius brightened. “Cheers, Moony, that’d be ace.”
Remus shook his head. "Not until I can figure out the Third Law of Matter Adjustment," he said. "So see if you can sit quietly for ten minutes, if you won't explain it to me."
Sirius sighed, put out, and stared sullenly at Remus. Only a few moments later, he began to shift impatiently.
Remus serenely ignored Sirius' restlessness for five minutes--well, didn't ignore it so much as gave the appearance that he was ignoring it. But in the end, as always, he relented and looked up from his book early. "Reckon I've got it," he lied. "Come on, let's go." He never could deny Sirius anything, he reflected.
Sirius’ grin split his face and he bounded to his feet. “Cheers, Remus, you’re a real mate.”
Remus smiled wryly and shook his head, but didn't speak. He just stood up and headed for the portrait hole, trusting that Sirius would follow. At least Peter and James were suitably occupied, so it ought to be a fairly quiet and quick kitchen run.
Sirius did follow, then caught up to Remus outside the portrait hole and fell into step with him. It was lucky Remus was a Prefect; it was a long ways to the kitchens from Gryffindor tower. “So did I miss anything interesting after dinner?” he asked.
Remus snorted. "You missed Peter whinging about his Divinations homework--why he stayed in that class without us, I've no idea--and you missed James whinging about how much revising Lily's been doing. Then it turned into James whinging about how much revising I've been doing, and Peter whinging about where was Padfoot. Really, nothing terribly interesting."
"Glad I wasn't there, then," Sirius remarked, smiling.
Remus laughed softly. "You know, most of the time I can't wait until we're finished with N.E.W.T.s and can leave. But part of me..." He shrugged.
Sirius nodded. "I want NEWTs to be done, but I know what you mean. It won't be the same, not having the Marauders together."
"And you and James'll be busy with Auror training after," Remus said wistfully. "Wonder what sort of work I'll find." He kept dreaming that the Aurors would take him, but even though he was trying to pull all the NEWTs required for the career, he didn't hold out much hope.
Sirius smiled, but found it difficult this time. "Maybe you'll be with us..." He hoped it, but he knew it might be difficult for Remus. It wasn't fair, he thought, because he wanted to keep them all together, and he'd have James, yes, but what about Remus? Of course Peter was important to the group, too, but... what about Remus?
Remus shrugged and smiled. He didn't want Sirius or James to know just how badly he wanted to be an Auror. They'd only feel bad for him if he failed, and that would make him feel worse. "Maybe," he said. "Are you going to go stay with James after leaving school? He's been fairly quiet about what he's going to do."
“Not sure what James is doing, but, I’ve decided that I’m going to get a flat in London,” Sirius said, after a few moments. “Actually just decided; haven’t told anyone else yet.”
Remus grinned. "You just decided?" he repeated. He wondered if Sirius meant it, or if it was just an impulse. "What part of London, d'you think? Somewhere in Diagon Alley?"
"Donno," Sirius admitted, glancing to Remus with a grin. "I just decided. But I've got that money my Uncle left me that I haven't done anything with, you know, and I don't want to keep living with James - well, living with James and his parents."
Remus chuckled. "It's the parents part you really don't like, isn't it?" he said, pausing as they reached an intersection of corridors to be certain there were no teachers out. He was allowed to be out after hours, but it was still better not to be caught.
Sirius paused with him, and didn't speak again until Remus started moving again. "They're nice, I just... I don't need parents."
"I understand," Remus said. His mother's last letter had been full of all the things she wanted Remus to do when he left school, helping with the garden and weeding her herbs and all sorts of things that he did every summer. But this wasn't just another summer holiday. He wanted it to be different.
Nodding, Sirius watched Remus for a moment. "You know, we should get a flat together," he said slowly, voicing the thought immediately as it occurred to him.
Remus glanced over at him, then stopped walking so he could stare. It was a brilliant idea--and it was a horrible idea. He'd be able to stay close to Sirius. He'd be the one Sirius talked to. He'd be able to bicker with Sirius about whose turn it was to take out the rubbish and what they were having for tea. And, he told himself, you'd get to watch him get ready for dates. You'd have to listen to him talk about all those birds he dates. You'd have to answer his awkward questions about why you aren't seeing anyone. He bit his lower lip, thinking. Sirius would ask that anyway. They all would. One of these days he was going to have to figure out a way to tell them he fancied blokes, even if he took to his grave the secret of which particular bloke he'd first fancied--which particular bloke he'd fancied for two years. Finally he sighed. "Sirius, I don't even know if I'll get a job when we leave. I wouldn't be able to pay rent."
Sirius stopped walking because Remus did, blinking in surprise at what serious consideration he was giving it. He didn’t know why it was such a big thing, but he did know that he would still keep in touch with James and probably Peter, but he didn't want Remus to go away. He didn't want things to change any more than a fun sense would permit.
"Sure you will," Sirius insisted, and he wasn't particularly interested in the 'what if he doesn't' in regards to rent, anyway. "We're grown men, Remus, can't have you living with the APs. And in any case, I will have, and I've got all that money left from my uncle, so there's nothing to worry about!" He slung an arm around Remus' shoulders and gave him a grin.
Merlin, that grin did odd things to Remus' stomach. He smiled reluctantly and shook his head. "It's easy for you to say that," he protested. "You're used to having money. I don't even know what's going to happen once I leave school. The Aurors probably won't want me, so I'll be stuck looking for work at Dervish and Blotts or something."
"Even if they won't, you'll find something," Sirius said firmly, as if doing so could set it in stone. "You're taking what, a hundred NEWTs? Bloke that intelligent, you'll be able to find something." He thumped Remus' shoulder and let his arm drop. "You're worrying too much."
Then, Sirius remembered, and pulled out the ultimate weapon - the puppy eyes. They always worked on birds, and some blokes too, though James just usually laughed and hit him. Remus wasn't like that, though, Remus was... susceptible. Sirius frowned and widened his eyes and pouted. "C'mon, Moony, we may never see each other again after we leave school..."
Remus bit his lip. He never could resist when Sirius looked at him like that. He sighed and turned to continue towards the kitchen. "You're going to regret asking me," he warned, but there was already a smile starting across his face.
Sirius let out a restrained shout of triumph - didn't want to attract undue attention, after all - and threw an arm around Remus' shoulders again, grinning. "Brilliant! I won't regret anything and neither will you, it'll be ace!"
Remus' smile widened. "You probably only glad because you don't know how to cook." He had no idea if Sirius knew how to cook, actually, but it didn't make sense that a Pureblood wizard would do. Remus' mother, however, had been insistent on Remus' knowing how to do everything the Muggle way as well as the magical way.
"Hadn't even crossed my mind," Sirius insisted, which was true - but that didn't change the fact that he didn't know how.
"What sort of place are you thinking of getting?" Remus asked.
Sirius coughed, his grin stalling a bit. "A...cheap...place?"
Remus snickered. "Right. A cheap place somewhere in London. Oh, this is going to be brilliant," he teased.
"Oi," Sirius protested sharply, though his smile had come back, "I just came up with the brilliant plan, alright? Haven't worked out the details yet. Besides, now I have Moony, master planner of practical things, I shall be able to decide."
"Master planner of practical things," Remus echoed. "What a title." He grinned back and reached up to tickle the pear. "After you, O thinker of brilliant plans."
"Cheers," Sirius said, and stepped inside when the opening appeared. Immediately house elves swarmed him, eager to please, and with a grin for his audience, Sirius began ordering a sweets feast.
Remus watched in amusement as the house elves fell over themselves to fulfil Sirius' every wish. Honestly, was there anyone who wasn't charmed by Sirius Black?