Sirius Black (1978padfoot) wrote in dancingdays1978,
Sirius Black

Word Count: 5,321
Rated: G

Sprawled on his stomach in the common room, Remus measured his scroll again and scowled. Two inches short. What more was there to say about the ethics of forced treatment for werewolves, vampires, and other intelligent beings? There was plenty of his own personal opinion he could add, but from the beginning of the year he’d felt Professor Dinwort disliked him, and he wasn’t about to trust the man with his own personal feelings about it. Remus knew it was important for the Hogwarts Professors to know he was a werewolf, but he didn’t see why the Defence Professor had to be included in that, considering the Defence Professor was someone new every year.

He rolled over onto his back and groaned. When would the term end?

The portrait swung open, and two figures in Gryffindor robes zoomed inside, shouting abuse at one another. Sirius was hot on James’ heels, trying to hit James with a Quidditch bat, and fortunately for James, he was faster. Fortunately for James, Lily was also in the common room, and when he ducked behind her, Sirius had no choice but to skid to a halt and stop swinging.

Lily confiscated it and started in on both of them, but Sirius had caught sight of Remus when he’d run by, so he turned on his heel and loped over to his friend, ignoring Lily’s calls of, “Sirius Black! You bloody ape!” in favour of sprawling on the ground next to Remus and grinning in greeting.

Remus had propped himself up on his elbows to watch his two friends racing about the common room. When Sirius sprawled next to him Remus did his best to ignore the lazy roll his stomach did, and shook his head, grinning. “Getting in trouble with the Head Girl and the Head Boy, tsk tsk,” he teased.

Sirius tossed his head, watching Remus, his grin brightening. "Some pair they are. Still dunno how James managed that one, and the term's almost over. Lily doesn't scare me." She probably should have; she seemed to be scaring James, from the look on his face, but Sirius had a disturbing lack of fear. He crossed his ankles and shifted his gaze from James' sloped shoulders to Remus. "Merlin, Moony, I'll be glad when we're done just so I won't have to see you always working. Gets a lad down, all that working."

Remus scowled at him, trying to hide the twinge of hurt the familiar criticism always brought. “Look, not all of us are naturally brilliant at everything we do, all right?” he said, and if his tone was a bit short, hopefully Sirius would write it off to pre-NEWTs stress.

Sirius frowned, biting his lower lip, and glanced back at Lily and James. He hadn't meant to make Remus angry, and he didn't quite understand why it bothered him so much that he had. It was just a little thing, but he wasn't good at apologies.

Remus sighed and looked back at his scroll, marking out a few words and adding another sentence. A shriek of laughter came from where James was entertaining a group of people; it emphasized the stiff silence between Remus and Sirius. He looked up, feeling guilty. “Sorry, Padfoot,” he said quietly. “I just…I have to do well.”

"I didn't mean it like that, Moony." Sirius glanced back to him, still frowning.

Remus shrugged and smiled. “It doesn’t matter,” he said, and it was mostly true. “Listen, if I can finish this essay, we’ll go out to the pitch and you can pretend I’m worth scrumming Quidditch against, yeah? Or...or something.”

Sirius perked up a bit; he was still frowning, but it was more petulant this time. "Lily took my bat."

“Mmm. Can’t say I blame her,” Remus said, fighting a smile. “Well…we could go tease the Giant Squid, then. Won’t be able to do that many more times.” He felt his cheeks heat up as soon as he said it. That was a ridiculous suggestion. Somehow he never came up with fun things to do the way James and Sirius did. Peter and Remus just went along.

Sirius smiled a little. "We could. Or we could have broom races. And tease the Squid. Tentacle ducking!" He sniggered. "And if there are any Slytherins outside, we could dive-bomb them."

Remus stared at him. “And get hexed for it. Thank you, but no. No Slytherin-chasing.” The corners of his lips curled up, though. Sirius would never grow up, would he?

Sirius sighed. "If only we could get the Squid to attack the Slytherins. Then it can't be our fault. Wonder if James knows any charms to cover people in chum." He laughed at the image of that.

Remus blinked, then grinned. “Well, Padfoot if he did, I’d worry about what your reaction might be. Dog’ll eat anything, you know.”

Sirius frowned, then let out a little growl. "Now there's a thought. Could go around like that biting their ankles. Wouldn't know who it was."

“Oh, shite,” Remus muttered. He needed to stop opening his mouth. Every time he did, it just got worse. “Have you already finished the essay for Dinwort?” he asked, hoping he could at least finish his essay before he was dragged out into mayhem.

"Oh, yeah," Sirius said, nodding. "Is that what you're working on? Want to see mine?"

Remus frowned. "How did you get twenty inches, that's what I want to know," he said. Unless I put my own opinions in there, I'm stuck at eighteen."

"Um, just... did, I guess." Sirius shrugged.

Remus narrowed his eyes suspiciously. "You didn't write about me, did you?" he asked in a low voice.

"No!" Sirius' eyes widened. "I'm not stupid, Moony."

Remus snorted. "I know you're not stupid. You just...don't always think things through." But he grinned at Sirius and nudged him.

Sirius rolled his eyes. "You want to see mine?"

Remus sighed. "You already asked that," he pointed out. He didn't like to; it felt like cheating. But suddenly it occurred to him that he didn't even know why he bothered. He'd seen more than one anxious look directed at him by McGonagall and Flitwick, and it was painfully obvious that an education wasn't going to help. He was still just a werewolf. "Give it here, then," he said finally.

"I know, but you didn't answer me," Sirius pointed out. "Hang on, got to go get it." He bounded to his feet, smiled, and went for the pile of stuff he'd left in the common room earlier that day, before James had distracted him. He returned to Remus' side a few minutes later with the roll of parchment, and dropped it in front of Remus. "There you are."

Remus shook his head. "How do you ever remember to hand things in?" he asked idly as he scanned the essay. The first half wasn't terribly inspired or helpful, but in the middle Sirius went a different direction than Remus had, and--of course! How had Remus forgotten to mention the house elves? He have a disgusted sigh and cast a charm to give him some free parchment in the middle. "Bloody Dinwort," he muttered.

"Don't know," Sirius said honestly, amused, as he rearranged himself on the floor. "Dinwort's a git," he added in agreement.

"I don't think he likes me," Remus confided. He didn't know why he'd said it. Didn't matter, did it, the term was nearly over. But the words had spilled out, despite the fact that he usually kept such self-doubts very much to himself.

“Don't think he likes me either," Sirius laughed. Of course, in his case, Dinwort had good reason. All the professors had good reason, but usually he could charm them. Not Dinwort. And not Sluggy, either.

Remus sighed, then looked back at Sirius and grinned. Well. What did it matter, anyway? Sirius had a very comforting knack for putting things into perspective. "This will do," he said, looking down at the parchment with its scratched out words and corrections.

Sirius just nodded. "Sure. Anyway, what's old Warty gonna do even if you were short two inches? Fail ya? Too close to the end of the year for that, mate. It'll be fine."

Remus grinned. "Well, I've been managing O-level work all term. I don't suppose an E or an A will kill me." He rolled his scroll carefully and tucked it inside his satchel, along with his quill and sealed ink jar. "Now. Didn't you say something about teasing the giant squid?"

"I did indeed," Sirius agreed, grinning and getting to his feet. "Lemme get my broom."

"Bring mine down too?" Remus asked, smiling.

"Sure," Sirius nodded, glancing back, then headed up into the dormitory. He returned several minutes later, both brooms in hand.

Remus got to his feet. "Excellent," he said, grinning at Sirius. He led the way to the portrait hole, then ducked out in front of him. "Race you to the main doors!" And he took off running.

"Oi!" Sirius stared, then grinned after him and took off running.

"And Lupin takes the lead early, cutting Black off at the gate! Black's generally been thought a strong contender but after a weak start like that he'll have to struggle to finish ahead!" Remus ducked around two Ravenclaw girls who giggled, then shrieked when they saw Sirius. "Lupin has a near miss with pretty girls and lengthens his lead!" he called back. "Oi, sorry, Spinnett!" He ran out of breath and clever commentary at the same time, and conserved his air for running.

Sirius was going full tilt.... was. "All right, Spinnett?" he called, slowing down to flash a grin at her.

"You're not, you're losing!" the girl said, mock-scowling at him. Her friends giggled. He made a show of looking for Remus, seeing him way up ahead. "Bloody hell!" he called and took off, making them all laugh again.

"Remus! Spinnett was asking about you! She says it's really sexy when blokes lose!" he tried, almost running down a first year but not paying him any mind.

"Good thing you've fancied Spinnett rotten for years, then!" Remus called back, wondering if Sirius was going to pummel him for that when he finally caught up. "Mind yourself, Yaxley!" Remus managed as a Slytherin contrived to get his way and knock him aside. Good job it hadn't been Snape, or Sirius would've insisted on stopping and punishing him. Remus swung around a corner into the stairwell and jumped over the two ickle girls who were sitting on the top step. He just had time to be grateful for his quick reflexes before he was tumbling down the stairs, bruising a hip and an elbow, but managing to land on his feet. "Merlin--" he groaned as he crashed into the wall, hoping Sirius hadn't see that.

Sirius had a sudden epiphany, jumping onto his broom and shooting forward, much faster than he could run. He heard someone shout something about 'not being allowed'.. to do something, and then knocked Yaxley over - not that he cared, when it was a slimy Slytherin. He zoomed down the stairs, letting out a shout as he sped past Remus, and pushing the broom faster when he heard a girl's voice shout, "Sirius Black I am a Prefect!"

"Oh, shite!" Remus exclaimed when he saw Sirius--"CHEATING!" he shouted after him--and took off running again, ignoring the stinging at his wrist that told him he'd left some of his skin back on the wall. Bugger. Remus dashed down a side passage, hoping, though not expecting, to cut Sirius off.

Sirius risked a glance behind him - some daft girl was chasing him! He was too far ahead, but he thought he recognized Ravenclaw colours. She'd get tired, soon. He took a tight turn down a corridor, felt his robes catch on rough stone, and realized that'd been a little too tight - but he could see the front gate just ahead. Now if these people would get out of his way! "COMING THROUGH!" he shouted, and just narrowly avoided getting hexed by none other than Severus Snape - though fortunately the red coloured spell had struck the wall behind him. "Work on those reflexes, Snivvy!" Sirius called back, laughing.

Remus burst out of the side passage just in time to have to duck back into it to avoid being hexed by Snape. "Fuck, Snape!" he swore, sticking his head back out. "Could've hurt someone!" He glared at him for a minute, then ran after Sirius.

"That was the point, wanker," Snape muttered, and Remus felt a sharp sting to the back of his head. He glanced over his shoulder and threw a hex back at Snape, then chased after Sirius, who was, sadly, long gone by now.

Sirius finally broke free of the castle, whooping with joy as the sky spread out around him. "Beat you, Moony!" he cried, leaving a jumble of angry students in his wake.

Perhaps this was why Sirius and James were the ones who came up with the ideas. It had sounded like a perfectly innocent game. Now, as Remus limped out the front gate, apologizing to people who'd been knocked over or shoved into the wall, it sounded more like a week's worth of detentions if McGonagall found out. Which...she was likely to do, since that looked like one of the Ravenclaw prefects marching over towards him. "Shite," Remus whispered, and decided this would be a good time to get on his broom and chase Sirius far away from the castle.

Sirius flew a ways out and then turned, hovering, to wait for Remus to catch up. His hair was tangled and windswept, he had a tear in his robes, and he was grinning like a madman.

"That," Remus said breathlessly when he caught up, "was cheating, Mister Padfoot. And you shall be subject to a beating as soon as I have enough energy."

Sirius only laughed. "You can try." He studied Remus silently for a few moments, then shook himself. "I still won."

Remus grinned. "Werewolves," he reminded Sirius, "are stronger than humans." He paused, then added, "And if you win by Slytherin means, does that count as winning?"

Sirius' jaw dropped open. "Slytherin means?! A Slytherin would have just hexed you nastily from the start and bloody walked out the door! Like Snape tried to do when I passed him by, skinny little git. I'll get him back for that, too."

Remus reached up to scratch the back of his head thoughtfully and decided not to mention that Snape had managed to hit him. "Oh, leave him. You probably knocked him over when you went past, the way you did about a dozen other people I had to apologize to." But his tone and expression were amiable.

"He was on his feet. I didn't come anywhere near him, he was just trying to get at me when I couldn't retaliate." Sirius' eyes narrowed. "No surprise there, the way he loves to hex ya in the back. Sneaky little crawler." Sirius was scowling now, but at the thought of that stupid slimy little git, not Remus.

Remus shrugged. "Forget it. You remember that spell Flitwick taught us to stop bleeding?" He guided his broom lower. He was competent on a broom, but he wasn't the daredevil that Sirius was.

"Yeah, why?" Sirius asked, following Remus lower.

"I took the skin off my wrist," Remus said, holding it up.

"How'd you do that?" Sirius asked, brow creasing, though he pulled out his wand and took Remus' hand, pulling the sleeve of his robe back and then performing the spell.

Remus swallowed and kept his gaze on Sirius' hands. "Going around a corner," he said, proud that his voice sounded so normal.

"Way to go, Moony. Got that animal grace, I see." Sirius grinned and winked.

"Animal something," Remus muttered, then blushed. "Magnetism." He snickered.

Sirius sniggered too, watching Remus' blush. "Magnetism, really?" he asked dubiously, then realized he hadn't let go of Remus' hand yet and did so. "Got some bird you're not telling us about, mate?"

Right. "No, but the cats all seem to like me," Remus joked. He breathed a sigh of mixed relief and regret when Sirius wasn't touching him anymore.

"Won't ask why that is," Sirius teased, watching Remus dubiously.

Remus grinned. "Because I chase them less than a certain dog I know of," he said.

"Hope you don't chase them the way you chase birds," Sirius said maturely, though he didn't really recall Remus ever chasing birds, either, but that was hardly the point.

Remus felt his face heat up and shrugged. "I think you'll find that both cats and birds have claws if you annoy them," he said, hoping Sirius wouldn't pursue that line of conversation.

“Yeah, but birds have got tits and arses, and they let you touch them if you're good," Sirius pointed out, grinning.

Remus stared at him. "Right," he said. "Were we coming out here to fly or gossip?"

Sirius arched a brow at him. "Thought you might need a bit of a break there, Moony. You seemed a bit winded." He grinned.

"Not all of us are star Quidditch players who are unafraid to shatter the rules," Remus pointed out, grinning.

"Shatter." Sirius snorted. "I was kinda hoping Snape would come out after us. We could tease the Giant Squid with him."

Remus shook his head. "Why do you always go looking for trouble?"

"It's fun, Moony. Besides, Snape's a git. He drives me round the bend."

"I daresay you do the same to him," Remus said. "And trouble is only fun because I'm either in it with you or trying to get you out of it. It wouldn't be half as much fun if you were in it alone."

Sirius grinned. "Very true. I'd be bored if I were sitting up here avoiding that Ravenclaw Prefect all alone."

"Oh, shite," Remus said. "You do know she's going to light into me at the next Prefect's Meeting."

"Cheers, thanks a lot, Moony." Sirius smiled charmingly.

Remus shook his head. But it was impossible to stay angry at Sirius. "Merlin, it's hot out here. That big flat rock ought to be cool enough. Let's go see."

"Good idea." Maybe they'd find things to throw at the Squid, too. Sirius flew down to the lake, dismounting by the rock. It was much cooler by the lake, with a nice breeze coming off the surface and rippling the water, and he leaned his broom against the rock and climbed up, stretching out and pillowing his hands behind his head.

Maybe that hadn't been a good idea, Remus reflected, feeling the sun-heated surface of the rock. But the breeze felt good, and after a moment's consideration he took off his shoes and socks and stuck his feet in the water. He leaned back on his hands, watching Sirius from behind half-lidded eyes. "So are you still planning on a flat in London?" he asked.

Sirius smiled, studying the sky lazily. "Yes of course. Said I was, didn't I? You're not backing out, are you?"

Remus shook his head, still watching Sirius. He hadn't been sure Sirius really meant it. Sometimes what seemed like a grand idea when conceived often became too complicated in the completion. "Just making sure you still want me along."

"Good. Where d'you think we should live?" Sirius asked, wondering if anyone lived in Diagon Alley besides the shopkeepers themselves.

"Em. I don't know much about London," Remus admitted. "D'you?"

Sirius frowned. "Surprisingly little, considering I lived there."

"Well, not Muggle London, of course," Remus agreed. "Hmm. We could probably find a book about where to live in London."

A book. "You're good with books and things, Moony."

Remus tilted his face up to the sun. "Or we could just go to London and look around."

"That might be a good time," Sirius said thoughtfully.

"If you make sure we don't get arrested," Remus said, the thought occurring suddenly.

Sirius blinked. "I would not get us arrested, Moony!"

Remus snorted. "Not intentionally," he said affectionately.

"Not at all! I know what's illegal. I'm not going to go breaking into flats or anything, sheesh!"

"Mmm," Remus said, reflecting that Sirius was taking Muggle Studies, after all, and perhaps it would be Remus who ended up getting them arrested.

"I am taking Muggle Studies, after all," Sirius pointed out. "I'm probably just as good with Muggle things as you are now."

"Very likely," Remus said equably. "You know about things like plugs and telly and driving cars and all that."

"Yes. And motorbikes," Sirius added, smiling a bit dreamily. "I want a motorbike."

"Considering the way you fly, I'm a bit nervous of you on a motorbike," Remus said. "You'd break your neck."

"I shall be brilliant at it," Sirius declared, raising a finger. "I shall get a motorbike and ride it around London, where we shall have our flat."

"And all the birds shall flock to us and we'll make piles of Galleons, right," Remus muttered, feeling suddenly a little depressed.

Sirius blinked and turned his head to watch Remus, because that had not sounded cheerful. "What?"

Remus shrugged. "Strange to think of us being grownups," he said, which wasn't it at all, but he couldn't put his finger on what it was, exactly.

"It'll be brilliant," Sirius said firmly.

Remus glanced at him. "Well, I suppose it'll be better with the two of us rooming together."

Sirius grinned. "Of course it will be! Moony and Padfoot, together. It'll be the dog house," he added, snickering.

Remus grinned. "Inspired choice of name," he joked.

"Well, I thought rescue centre was a bit pessimistic," Sirius admitted.

Remus laughed and flopped over onto his side to grin at Sirius. "Yes, have a bit of faith!"

“We’ll have our own two-man pack,” Sirius added, glad that Remus didn’t seem so down any longer.

Shaking his head, Remus kept grinning. "And call it what, the Mad Dogs?"

"Oi. I am not mad. We could be the Black Dogs." Sirius smirked.

"Except that I am grey and tawny and not in the least black," Remus objected.

"Literalist." Sirius nudged him.

Remus nudged him back. "Careful. You might fall in the lake if you pick a fight with a werewolf."

"Really." Sirius grinned. "You think you can take me?"

Remus snorted. "Please. Puny human." He grinned back.

"Who knows how to fight," Sirius added, arching an eyebrow.

Remus shrugged. "Instinct," he said succinctly.

"I still say technique has it over instinct most days."

Remus launched himself at Sirius and had him pinned before Sirius had time to react. "Really?" he asked, grinning.

Sirius stared up at Remus, surprised for a moment. "That's reflex, not instinct."

Remus' grin widened slightly, showing more teeth than necessary, though he would probably end up riling Padfoot and having to play fetch for half an hour before Sirius would be a boy again. "Instinct," he growled.

That pulled a growl out of Sirius, and he suddenly found it too uncomfortable to be pinned like this while Remus was showing so much teeth. He tried to turn onto his side to displace Remus' hands, feeling a small fissure of adrenaline.
It occurred to Remus suddenly that he wanted to bite Sirius. He wanted to close his teeth very gently on Sirius' neck and-- Oh, God, he was getting hard, wasn't he? He twisted to hide that fact from Sirius while trying to keep from being pushed away.

Sirius twisted, but didn't go anywhere, and let out a whine that sounded a lot like a noise Padfoot made, continuing to struggle.

Remus grinned. "Werewolves are stronger," he said, and then released Sirius, rolling over onto his stomach to look out across the lake. It wasn't exactly comfortable, but at least it hid the evidence.

Sirius rolled onto his side when Remus finally let him go, annoyed with himself, at the way he'd reacted, like he was the dog. Usually it didn't bother him if Padfoot slipped in a little bit, but that was just ridiculous. He glanced at Remus, pouting, and wondered if he could get away with changing here. Maybe if he hid behind the rock facing a direction no people were.

Remus glanced at him after a moment. "Oh, go on," he said after a moment, knowing what Sirius wanted. Anyway, it might help with this annoying problem that was not going away.

Sirius didn't say anything, just slinked off the rock, scanning the grounds. He crouched out of sight, concentrated, and opened himself to the dog. A few tingling, odd moments later, a shaggy black canine head peeked over the edge of the rock at Remus, tongue lolling out in a smile.

Remus laughed and tilted his head to one side, then held out a hand to beckon Padfoot closer. "C'mon. I'll scratch your ears."

Padfoot jumped up onto the rock, walking over to Remus and laying down next to him. He put his head on his paws, just by Remus' hand. He loved having his ears scratched.

"You're dreadfully cute when you're a dog," Remus said. He felt safer with Padfoot, sometimes, than he did with Sirius. He grinned and scratched. "Pity you can't hang on to that when you turn back into a boy."

Sirius was definitely happier as Padfoot, but one downfall was not being able to make retorts when Remus said things like that. He growled, just a little, and tilted his head into Remus' hand.

Remus snickered and kept scratching. It was easy to be affectionate with Padfoot. It was safe. And, he thought, feeling his body starting to calm down, he wasn't attracted to Padfoot the way he was to Sirius. He rolled over onto his side and let his eyes slide partway closed, his fingers still working at black ears.

Sirius always found it sort of funny that even though Remus knew he was Padfoot, he seemed to forget and treat Sirius like a true dog quite often. And he certainly never said anything about it when he wasn't Padfoot; he was convinced it was the dog's influence, but there was no denying that he liked this easy affection Remus had with the dog. They could touch in ways that just wasn't possible when Sirius was a person, like this. They could lie next to each other, completely unguarded, and it didn't matter. He let his own eyes mostly close, relaxed, and analyzed the fascinating world of smells only the dog ever knew.

Remus yawned and shifted. "S'nice out here. I'm glad you convinced me to leave off my essay and come out here." He yawned again, shifting to the other ear. "I'm so tired of thinking about being a grownup, and wondering about You-Know-Who, and worrying about finding a job. Sometimes I wish we were all eleven again." He wouldn't have said that sort of thing to Sirius, either, but confiding in him like this, it seemed like Sirius wouldn't ever tell anyone. Wouldn't ever tease about it.

Sirius yawned and licked his nose and generally agreed in a lazy dog sort of not speaking way.

"I know you have plans," Remus said. He closed his eyes, his eyebrows drawn together. "I wish I did."

Padfoot let out a whine and nuzzled Remus' hand.

Remus didn't open his eyes, but the line between his eyebrows disappeared. "You're my best friend, Sirius," he whispered. "I'm glad I've got you."

Padfoot licked Remus' fingertips. It never stopped surprising him how different his senses were as a dog, not to mention his apparent instincts.

Remus smiled.

Padfoot's tail thumped against the rock.

It was easy, with the warm sun, the cool breeze, and Padfoot's easy affection, to fall asleep, and Remus did so.

Padfoot stayed awake, keeping guard over him. He felt a certain odd possessiveness of Remus as he watched him sleeping, the same one that had prompted his idea that they share a flat together. He had no idea where it came from; he didn't feel that way about James or Peter.

Remus didn't sleep long, and when he woke up, his arm was asleep. "Padfoot, you asleep?" he asked, his eyes still closed.

Padfoot thumped his tail and licked Remus' hand in answer.

Remus grinned. "Well, is it time to go back for dinner? D'you think the uproar will have quieted?"

He didn't want to change back, but Padfoot lifted his head and glanced around the grounds, then nodded as best he could.

Remus yawned and sat up, scratching his fingers through his hair. "Right, then."

Padfoot got up, shook himself, and disappeared behind the rock. He reappeared as Sirius again, stretching, and let out a sigh. "On your guard at dinner; I may have upset some people that haven't got over it yet."

Remus sighed, too. "I suppose so," he said, holding out a hand for Sirius to pull him up. He always felt better after spending time with Padfoot. It was Sirius, but without all the confusing physical bits getting in the way. He'd never asked to be attracted to his best mate. He grinned at Sirius. "You're lucky I put up with you."

"What?" Sirius scoffed. "I'm your mate; you don't mind." He pulled Remus off the rock, rather a bit harder than was required, to get him back for earlier.

Remus was pulled to his feet faster than he'd expected, and he shot up and crashed into Sirius. "Ouf!" he managed, and then stared for a moment at the shoulder in front of his nose before he backed away and looked up again. "Thanks."
Sirius had meant to step out of the way, but that didn't exactly happen, and he grunted when Remus crashed into him. They stood against each other for a moment, and then Sirius looked down and blinked, feeling awkward again. "Um, yeah. Sorry about that." He stepped back, blinking, and decided to just head inside.

Remus sighed. So much for staying relaxed. He scooped up their brooms and caught up to Sirius. "Let's walk around the lake instead of flying," he suggested. "It's nicer than it was."

"Alright," Sirius said, realizing he'd completely forgotten about his broom, and blamed it on Padfoot. A lot of things got blamed on Padfoot.

Remus grinned at him and started out at a comfortable pace.

Sirius fell in step with him, watching the grass go by under his feet as they made their way.

"If you get me detention," Remus said, "I'm going tell James about that time you set Lily's essay on fire."

Sirius gasped, and gave Remus a wounded look. "You weren't the one on a broom, Moony, I'm sure you won't get in trouble. ...You won't really tell James about that, will you?"

Remus grinned at him and didn't answer.

"Moony!" Sirius glowered at him.

Remus began to whistle.

Sirius gathered his strength and bowled into him.

Remus went down for the--Merlin, how many times was it now, today? He held on to Sirius, laughing. "I wouldn't, you know that," he said.

Sirius landed on top this time, which pleased him. He propped himself up and gave Remus a Very Stern Look. "You'd better not. That'd be dissention in the pack. Can't have that."

Remus' body decided breathing was optional and he looked at Sirius with something that was almost fear in his eyes. "Right," he said vaguely.

"Good." Satisfied, Sirius got to his feet.

Remus sighed and stood up to follow him in.

Sirius glanced back at Remus, grinning. "Maybe after dinner we can steal my bat back from Lil."

Remus laughed. "Haven't you had enough trouble for one day?”

"Trouble." Sirius snorted. "It'll be fine."

Remus shook his head. "Famous last words."
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