The Perils of Honesty
Author: Kate's Brain (aka: Sheepybunbuns)
Rating: Hard R
Archiving: All FQF will be archived solely at this site until September 30th, 2005. After that, it's yours to do with as you will.
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. I do not own Harry Potter, its characters, or anything associated with it. I'm not making any money from this story, and I don't intend to.
Challenge & Summary: Challenge SS #05: Who knew that one of our boys had allergies during the springtime? When faced with an unexpected allergy, Remus and Sirius run the risk of having their secrets exposed-not that Sirius seems too bothered by this fact...
Author Notes: Features cross-dressing, and also the usual dose of bad language that seems to infect my stories. Big thanks go to Sue and Lee for checking this through for me.
Sirius was grinning. This in itself wasn’t an unusual occurrence, but on other occasions when he had injured himself, bad language was the most common reaction. Today, he grinned.
"Mr Black," Professor Tangleweed called out in annoyance as she hurried down to the end of Greenhouse Three, "have you not listened to a word I’ve said?"
Sirius replaced his previous smirk with a suitably meek expression. This was followed by a wince when she grabbed his hand and pulled him to the window to take a better look.
"There is a reason why they’re called Fanged Geraniums. Why weren’t you wearing the gloves, you silly boy?" She didn’t seem to expect an answer; instead, she flourished her wand to clear away the blood before continuing to study his hand, muttering under her breath as she did so. "It’s not too deep--all that blood just made it look worse than it is. Only two punctures, as well. You were very lucky, Mr Black.” Finally, she looked up, and this time, she addressed Remus. “Mr Lupin, would you please escort Mr Black to the Hospital Wing? And make sure he doesn’t get into any further trouble on the way.”
Remus gave Sirius a withering look for disrupting yet another lesson. It was all right for Sirius: he was able to pick up on missed work easily, but Remus had to work hard to get anything to stick. Remus cleared away his things and glanced up at the clock--there were only fifteen minutes of the lesson left; he supposed it could’ve been worse.
They hadn’t got further than the other side of the vegetable patch when Sirius gave Remus an unexpected shove, sending him tumbling into an overgrown area that had been used for vegetables the previous year.
“Sirius!” Remus protested, trying to get to his feet, but his efforts were hampered by the fact that Sirius was now sitting astride his waist. “What are you doing?”
“Oh come on, don’t be naïve, Moony. It’s been ages since we’ve had any proper nookie.”
“But your hand--”
“--is fine. Look, the bleeding’s stopped, and it didn’t exactly hurt in the first place.”
“You let it bite you on purpose,” Remus said in realisation, finally working out the reason for Sirius’s earlier grin. “But how did you know that Tangleweed would ask me to go with you?”
“I didn’t, but it was worth a shot. You know she wouldn’t trust me to go on my own; she certainly wouldn’t trust me and James together; Peter is well behind on the work; and you are such a goody-goody prefect.” He leant down to kiss Remus, persisting until Remus relented and kissed him back. “One of these days, I’m going to have to tell James and Peter about us – just so I can throw them out of the dormitory when I’m gagging for it,” he murmured, letting his bag hit the floor beside them with a heavy thud.
“I hope you’re not planning on us having sex here,” Remus said firmly, “because if you are, then you’re going to be sorely disappointed.”
“Oh, Moony! Please.”
“Just…. Oh, you stubborn bastard. Can I suck you off, then? I want to make you squirm in the open air.”
Remus was about to say no for a second time, but Sirius had slid a hand between their bodies and was doing his best to make Remus just as hard and horny as Sirius was. To Remus's disgruntlement, it was working.
“All right,” Remus relented with a moan. “Just a blowjob. Then I’m taking you to the Hospital Wing before you get us into any more trouble.”
Pulling off his robes, he undid his trousers and pushed them down to his knees, but then Sirius stopped him from undressing any further.
“Just your trousers,” Sirius said, brushing a hand over Remus’s material-covered cock, making Remus shiver. “You know I like you in your underwear.”
Sirius bent down and started to suck through the material, all the while running his hands up and down Remus’s thighs, occasionally drifting upwards to tease at Remus’s balls. For a few seconds, Remus was in heaven; then he began to feel uncomfortable as a tingling sensation spread its way across his arse and the backs of his thighs.
“I think I’m lying on some nettles.”
“Nettles? Nah, there’s no nettles here,” Sirius insisted, and he looked up at Remus through narrowed eyes. “You better not be trying to tell me that I’ve become crap at giving head.”
“I’m not messing around, Sirius.”
Remus pushed himself up onto his elbows in an effort to move over, but Sirius promptly used one of Remus’s arms as leverage to roll him onto his front. With Sirius’s heavy weight draped across his back, Remus was pinned to the ground, and he could feel Sirius’s erection pressing into his hip. Then an insistent hand was working its way between his tingly arse cheeks and a finger pressed up against his entrance. Remus shuddered and pushed back with his hips, allowing the tip of Sirius’s finger to work its way inside.
“You said I could suck you off,” Sirius breathed across the back of Remus’s neck, stopping briefly to lick across the nape. “Maybe I’ll just stick with my original plan to fuck you, instead….”
Every now and then, Remus enjoyed being taken this way. And on that day, Remus probably would have let Sirius do it--Remus would’ve had a good moan later on about the risks of being caught, but he wouldn’t have resisted in the first place. It was just that the tingly sensation had spread to his front, including his cock, and it no longer just tingled: it was starting to burn.
With a lurch, he swore and jerked upwards, sending Sirius sprawling onto the ground next to him.
“Was that really necessa--?” Sirius broke off with a smirk as he took in the sight of Remus's body. “Your skin’s a bit on the red side…. And you’ve got little bumps coming up all over the place.” He looked down at the crushed plants beneath them and started to laugh. “But these aren’t nettles; it’s that stuff we used in Potions for the Veritaserum: Lunaria annua, remember?”
“I wasn’t in that lesson!” Remus snapped in irritation as he stood up. He was now had an intense desire to itch, but he didn’t dare, just in case it made the situation much worse considering what parts of him were affected. “It was the full moon. It’s so nice to know you miss me when I'm stuck in the Hospital Wing.” He glared at Sirius, who was now in the midst of a deep belly laugh. "What's so hysterical?"
“Moony, that plant’s also known as Honesty. You’re allergic to honesty! I think you’ve just made my day!”
“It’s not funny. Shit, shit, shit.” Remus started to pace in the hope that movement would take the pain away, but it didn't seem to be helping.
“How come the plant’s out here? I didn’t know Honesty was native to this part of Scotland.”
“Sirius! You’re not bloody helping!”
“But, don’t you think that’s weird--”
“For Pete’s sake! It’s probably just self-seeded from the plants in Greenhouse Three or something… I don't care. Sirius,” he whined, “it hurts.”
“I’m not surprised!” Startled by the change in Sirius’s tone of voice, Remus turned his head to have a closer look at his body, but Sirius had jumped up and grabbed him by the chin. “Don’t look! I don’t need you passing out on me.”
“What do you mean?”
“I know I’d pass out if my bits had swollen to even half that size.”
“Thanks for the sympathy,” Remus said bitterly as his eyes started to water. “God, it’s burning.”
“It looks like you’re crying.”
“I’m not,” he said abruptly. “It’s just the allergy making my eyes go funny.” But it had nothing whatsoever to do with the allergy; Remus was barely holding back from bawling his eyes out. “Help me.”
“I think we really should get you to the Hospital Wing.”
“You’re joking! I can’t see Pomfrey like this!”
Their very private affair had begun at Christmas. James and Peter had both gone home for the holidays, leaving Remus and Sirius to their own devices. Or--more precisely--leaving Sirius to try his best at corrupting Remus once and for all.
Towards the end of the last school year--once Lily had acquiesced and started to get her claws into James--James had stopped being quite so much fun. And now that he had been made Head Boy, well… life at Hogwarts had become distinctly boring for Sirius.
So, armed with a bottle of Old Odgen’s firewhisky, Sirius had hopes to make Remus loosen up a little. ‘A little’ would prove to be a bit of an understatement, for both of them, and not in the way Sirius had intended….
It wasn’t until halfway through the bottle that Sirius finally stopped moaning about the lack of excitement, instead falling into an easy drunken banter with Remus.
“You look like Maggie when you smile like that,” Sirius said as Remus gave him yet another foppish grin.
“Thanks a lot, Padfoot. I don’t think I’ve ever been paid a nicer compliment,” Remus said sarcastically as he took another swig from the bottle and passed it back, feeling his head swim as he leaned across. “She asked you out last week, didn’t she? Are you two dating?”
Sirius let out a disdainful snort and shook his head.
“Why ever not?” Remus asked. “She seems nice enough.”
“She’s also a pureblood.”
“I don’t want to risk doing something that might please my mother.” Sirius gulped back an excessive quantity, screwed his face up and shook his head as the whisky hit the back of his throat. “It’ll be a Muggle-born for me, or no one.”
“So, we could end up as bachelors together in our old age.”
“Oh come on, Moony, you never know what might happen--what young lady you’ll be able to trust with your furry little problem.”
“No, I don’t know what will happen, so I have no intentions of getting my hopes up."
“If I was a girlie, I’d have yer.”
Remus chuckled. “You’re full of it tonight. Anyway, I’m afraid I wouldn’t qualify, seeing as I’m only a half-blood.”
“I dunno…. I’m sure you being a werewolf could make up for any deficiency in your bloodline.”
“It’s so nice to know you care.”
Complete with a silly grin on his face, Sirius launched himself from his bed and ended up on his knees in front of Remus. Grabbing hold of Remus’s left hand and then swigging back on the bottle, Sirius said with mock solemnity, “Then be mine, darlin’. Say you’ll marry me.”
Remus could only collapse in a fit of drunken laughter at the spectacle that Sirius made, and he gasped, “As long as you’ll be the one to wear the dress, sweetheart.”
“Well, if you think I’ve got the figure for it.”
“Imagining you in women’s clothes isn’t the easiest thing in the world.”
He watched as a glint of mischief flickered across Sirius’s eyes. Sirius handed the bottle back to him and muttered, “None of the seventh year girls have stayed for Christmas…”
Before Remus could ask what he meant by that ambiguous comment, Sirius grabbed his wand and ran out of the room, leaving Remus to swig away at the bottle and contemplate the way the canopy of his bed appeared to be moving.
Several minutes later, the banging of the door as it swung open brought Remus out of his trance, and he turned his head to see Sirius holding an armful of girls’ underwear, which was promptly dumped onto the floor.
“Bloody security bloody measures on the bloody stairs,” Sirius moaned, rubbing his arse. “I had to use a Sticking Charm on my shoes.”
“What are you going to do with that lot?”
Without giving Remus an answer, Sirius proceeded to take his trousers off. Remus gaped and chuckled nervously in surprise as his friend picked up a pair of stockings and began to oh-so-delicately pull them up his hairy legs.
“Remus, see if there’s a suspender belt amongst that lot.”
Obediently, Remus hunted through the pile of underwear, wondering, as he did so, how Sirius was managing to put the stockings on with so much expertise. Then he abruptly stopped wondering as the image of Sirius in Mrs Black's clothes came to him – an image that would probably be branded onto his mind for the rest of his life.
“How come," Remus began, not entirely sure whether he wanted to hear the answer to his question, "you know so much about women’s underwear, Sirius.”
“You know I’m warped through and through, right? Well, let’s just say I’ve even got my own version of an Oedipus complex and leave it at that, okay.”
“You really scare me sometimes.”
“I only do it to turn you on,” Sirius said with a lurid wink as Remus handed over the lacy suspender belt that he had found.
Remus bent down and continued to rifle through the garments, amazed at the selection that Sirius had 'acquired'. There were g-strings, satin knickers, tights and even a couple of baggy pants that were frayed around the edges; it was reassuring to know that girls had dodgy underwear, too.
“Oh, for fuck’s sake,” Sirius suddenly spat out. Looking up at Sirius’s outburst, Remus was shocked to find himself face to face with his friend’s crotch. “Give me that bottle back and help me with these bloody straps; I’m too pissed to deal with fiddly things.”
His hands shaking, Remus reached out and fastened the stockings to the suspenders, feeling relieved that Sirius had already threaded them underneath his briefs. Remus had never had his hand this close to another bloke’s cock before. He had seen James and Sirius messing around with their bits and pieces in close proximity before, without it being an issue for the pair of them, but to have his fingers only inches away from Sirius’s privates still left Remus feeling uncomfortable, despite all the alcohol he had consumed.
“It looks really fetching with the grey undies, Sirius.”
“What?” Sirius looked down and laughed. “Oh!” Then he brazenly took his briefs off, and dangling free, he scrabbled amongst the pile of underwear, picking up some maroon silk knickers that had lace around the edges.
“No, the black ones,” Remus blurted out in jest, pointing at a g-string on the floor.
Sirius glanced down and gave Remus a sly smile. “You kinky bugger, Mr Lupin.” He pulled on the g-string and spent a while trying to position his cock and balls so they wouldn’t poke out at the sides. In the end, he had to enlarge the material at the front with his wand to stop them from falling out every time he moved. “Now these knickers could be dangerous.”
With the thin line of black material now disappearing between Sirius's arse cheeks, Remus was sorely tempted to give him a wedgie. If it had been James sitting there instead of him, the risk of a painful injury for Sirius would definitely have been on the cards. But for Remus, it felt odd even thinking about getting that close voluntarily. In an effort to take his mind away from the temptation that was standing right in front of him, Remus grabbed a garter from the floor and shoved it in Sirius's direction.
Sirius, of course, took the little piece of elastic and lace without hesitation, and after putting it on, was inspired to prance around the room, pretending to be a pole dancer.
There was too much flesh and lace and legs being waved around for Remus's liking, and whenever he let his eyes sink lower than the ridiculous expression on Sirius's face, he had to admit to himself that he found it all disturbingly erotic.
“I guess these ones are for you, my dear,” Sirius said, throwing the maroon knickers in Remus’s face.
“What? I’m not putting those on!”
“Don’t be such a spoil sport.”
“I’m not doing it.”
But Sirius was never one to accept a negative answer. Within seconds, he had attacked, pining Remus to the bed.
Sirius was the smaller of the two by a clear foot, and if this was the only factor then Remus might have escaped. But Sirius was also a damn sight nimbler and Remus was feeling more than a little awkward having to wrestle Sirius in that attire. He didn’t know where to put his hands, and to his horror, Sirius had no such qualms. It wasn’t long before the cold air was hitting Remus’s skin as Sirius succeeded in yanking down his trousers and y-fronts, inch by inch, until Remus was naked from the waist down.
The first part of his task accomplished, Sirius leant over the edge of the bed and grabbed the maroon knickers from earlier.
“Trust me, Moony; you’ll enjoy it.”
The knickers swayed from side to side as they dangled from Sirius's finger, the material shimmering in the dim light of their room. Remus wondered what they would feel like to wear and was shocked to realise that he was seriously contemplating the idea of putting them on. Swallowing, he reached out to take the knickers with one hand and he grabbed at the nearly-empty bottle of whisky with the other, knocking back the rest of the bottle for courage before pulling on the knickers.
They were smooth against his skin, with not as much give as his usual y-fronts. Most of all, it felt illicit wearing an unknown Gryffindor girl's underwear, and Remus was in danger of getting a hard-on from it all.
“And these, too,” Sirius said, handing over another pair of stockings and a suspender belt.
With a sense of trepidation and after Sirius showed him how to work the stockings up the legs so that they didn't snag, Remus put on the rest of the underwear. He still managed to get a ladder up the back of his left leg, though, and Sirius took advantage of this, running a finger up the ladder. Remus cock twitched in response, and he felt a wave of panic rush through him at his reaction. But to his relief, thoughts of anybody else walking in and seeing him like this soon put paid to any further developments in that department.
“Gis a twirl then.” Sirius shoved him into the middle of the room, and Remus obediently turned around, feeling lanky and too angular for the clothes. “Cor, any man would be proud to have you as his wife!”
“Oi! I thought you were going to be the bride!”
“Yeah, but that was before I’d seen you like this.”
Remus did not like the implication that he was anything less than masculine through and through. He rested his hands on his hips and pouted.
"I am not a girl!" he insisted, the pout turning into a scowl when Sirius chuckled at him.
Annoyed that he had let himself become a spectacle for Sirius's entertainment, Remus moved his hands to the clasps of the suspender belt to take them off.
But Sirius launched himself at Remus, shouting, “Oh no, you don’t.”
And then they were tumbling across the floor, stockinged legs rubbing against each other, Sirius's hands all over him as Sirius tried to pin him down for a second time that evening. Then, to Remus's mortification, he grew completely hard to the point where he could feel the head of his cock poking out over the top of his knickers. He froze underneath Sirius, afraid that Sirius had felt it, but it seemed that his friend was too concerned with his own reaction to notice.
“Shit," Sirius said, his mouth curling upwards in amusement. "I’ve got a boner!”
“Glad I’m not the only one,” Remus mumbled, blushing furiously.
He wished he hadn't mentioned it. Instantly, Sirius shifted his weight onto his arms and looked downwards.
“Someone’s peeking at me! We'd better put him away.”
Then Sirius was reaching out with one hand. Remus flinched, wanting to escape, but unable to do so as he was still trapped underneath Sirius's body. When Sirius's fingers made contact with the elastic, Remus gasped and Sirius looked up at him with an evil grin, hooking his index finger under the elastic and giving it a couple of tweaks.
What should have been a second gasp came out as a breathy ‘Oh’ sound from deep within Remus's chest.
The evil grin faltered, and Sirius frowned. Slowly, he leaned forwards, his eyes briefly flicking down towards Remus's lips before placing a tentative kiss on Remus's mouth. Remus didn't know what the hell Sirius was playing at, but he did know that it wasn't helping with his erection. All he could do was stare in silence as Sirius drew back to study his face, now acutely aware of every inch of his body that was in contact with Sirius's.
“You're not gonna punch me or anything?” Sirius asked. “Last time I tried this, with Potter, I ended up with a black eye.”
Remus shook his heard, trying not to think about what Sirius kissing James would look like, and Sirius descended once more.
From there, they spent the rest of the evening experimenting, with Sirius leading the way and Remus gradually accepting that it wasn't part of some grand practical joke on Sirius's part. Sated and worn out, the pair of them ended up sleeping on the floor, tangled together and buried amongst the pile of stolen underwear.
The next morning, they were welcomed by James, who had come back early after his parents had had to accompany his gran to St. Mungo's. Luckily, they didn't run into him until after they had cleaned up, cleared away the underwear and had then made their way down to the common room, where James was lounging in front of the fire. Remus shuddered to think what would have happened if James had arrived the previous evening and found out about their dirty little secret. With one determined glance, Remus made it quite clear to Sirius that he was not to breathe a word about what they had been up to.
They never did return the stolen underwear.
“I think we really should get you to the Hospital Wing.”
“You’re joking! I can’t see Pomfrey like this!” Remus said, motioning towards the stolen stockings, suspenders and knickers that he was wearing--which had turned into a bit of a habit for both of them since Christmas. He had no intentions of letting anyone see him like this, let alone Pomfrey--the one who he'd have to face month in, month out. Although, she was usually pretty good about not asking questions, her opinions on the suspected behaviour of others was always written plainly on her face. Up until now, she had always seemed fond of Remus, seeing him as such a sweet young lad despite his unfortunate problem, and he had no intentions of shattering her illusions.
"What choice have you got?"
"I'll go back to the dormitory first, get changed," Remus said, convincing himself that he would be able to make it to the Hospital Wing without collapsing, curling into a ball and sobbing his heart out at the soreness that suffused throughout his groin.
"Just for the sake of an embarrassed ego? I think you're nuts." Sirius shook his head, and then took Remus by the elbow. "Well, we'd better get a move on if you don't want your bits to drop off completely."
They were drawing close to the castle when they could hear James's voice bellowing out behind them.
"Oi! Wait up, you two."
"Shit," Remus muttered, and he kept on walking as best he could, keeping his face turned away from the others as James and Peter ran to catch up with them.
"Jenkins knocked over a bag of bouncing bulbs, and Tangleweed let us go early because we were only getting in the way of collecting them," James explained with a laugh that made it clear just how unhelpful James had probably been.
Not wanting to turn around and comment, and hoping that he could make it back to the dormitory without James getting a good look at his face, Remus gritted his teeth and then lengthened his strides in order to stay a couple of feet in front of the others as they walked. But he had only taken a few paces before James had grabbed him by the elbow and spun him round.
"What on earth has happened to your face?"
"Nothing," Remus mumbled at the same time that Sirius proudly announced, "Remus is allergic to Honesty."
James stared at Sirius uncomprehendingly and with a look that clearly questioned Sirius's sanity.
"It's a plant, Potter, you idiot."
"But, on his face? How did he…?" James trailed off, glanced between Sirius and Remus and muttered, "Sirius, you're evil", before continuing to march towards the castle doors.
Much to Remus's annoyance, James and Peter accompanied him and Sirius to the Hospital Wing. James led the way with the other three following in silence: Peter staring with a worried expression at Remus's face, Sirius occasionally snickering to himself and drawing dirty looks from Remus, who mostly had his face screwed up in concentration--he was determined not to let it show just how much pain he was experiencing
With every step they took closer to their destination, Remus hung back further and further. He couldn't risk Pomfrey seeing him like this: if she caught sight of his face, he'd be hauled into the Hospital Wing in an instant, and then she'd get to see a side of him that he'd rather keep hidden.
Finally, he couldn't take it any more; they only had to turn one more corner before they'd be in full sight of the Hospital Wing doors.
"I'll see you all back in the dormitory," he croaked, fervently telling himself that it wouldn't be long until he could get rid of the damned underwear and then he could come back for the treatment that he so desperately needed.
"You're not seeing Pomfrey?" Peter asked in surprise.
"No…I…. I'm all right really." Remus tried to think of a valid excuse, but having his balls swollen to twice their usual size and a prick that felt as if it was on fire was not conducive to well-thought-out escape clauses. "It feels like the rash is starting to go down…. Honestly!" he added when the other three pairs stared disbelievingly in his direction.
"Looks like it's got worse to me," James said.
"But it doesn't feel so bad. And if it does start to get worse, I… I can come back later."
Without waiting for another comment, Remus turned on his heel and hobbled as quickly as he could back to the Gryffindor common room.
He was grateful that the allergy did not have an adverse effect on his common sense, and so he chose to lock himself in one of the cubicles of the boys' toilets in order to take off the offensive clothes. Barely five minutes later, James was knocking on the door.
"Remus, are you sure you're okay? I can get Pomfrey here if it's--"
"No!" Remus shouted, his voice a much higher pitch than usual. "I'm…. It's nearly gone down completely…. Let me go to toilet in peace. I'll be out in a bit."
At the sound of the outer door clicking shut behind James, Remus let out a loud sob. What was he going to do? What could he do?
The swelling had got worse--so much so that his plans to change his underwear were now completely infeasible. With his trousers pooled around his ankles, he swallowed back a lump of bile as he stared downwards at the mess that was his groin and legs.
His skin bulged outwards where it had the opportunity to do so, in red, bulbous lumps that were covered in hives, and the pattern of roses that ran down on side of his stockings, protruded obscenely, stretching the petals in a grotesque parody of flowers. He could see neither the tops of the stockings nor the straps of the suspenders because of the way his flesh had swollen, and when he tentatively tried to push at the swellings to gain some sort of access to the underwear, he was left hissing and swearing in pain.
As far as he was concerned, all he could do was stay in that cubicle and wait until the rash went down by itself. He'd made it this far without Pomfrey, surely he could continue to do so.
"Remus, are you still alive?" It was Sirius, back from the Hospital Wing already, banging on the cubicle and chuckling to himself. "James said you've been in here for ages."
Remus let the door swing open and the situation speak for itself.
"Holy fuck," Sirius breathed, his eyes widening in horror at the sight before him. "Stuff the underwear; I think it's time you saw Pomfrey." Remus adamantly shook his head. "Remus, if you're going to persist at being stubborn, I'll have to cut them off you…. Don't look at me like that! I know I'm not fantastic with the Cutting Charm, but you've got that pair of Muggle scissors that I could use--"
Remus braced his hand on the edge of the door, ready to slam it in Sirius's face. If he was certain about anything, it was the fact that Sirius and scissors and treasured body parts did not mix.
"Don't you dare come anywhere near me with those scissors, Sirius Black. It's fine…. I'll be fine. It's not hurting so much, and I'm really sure it's starting to go down."
And for the first time since being rolled in Honesty, Remus truly believed what he was saying. Yes, it still hurt, but it was more of a dull throb than a sharp, stinging pain, and he could see a glimpse of a suspender strap peeking out from between two swollen lumps of thigh.
Just then, Remus heard the outer door to the bathroom click open, and in a panic, he did slam the door in Sirius's face.
"Ouch, you bastard!"
"What? I only came in to let you know it's time for dinner."
"Not you, Prongs. Remus has just shut the door on my bloody fingers."
Remus listened to the sound of Sirius swearing loudly, followed by James suggesting that the allergy had affected Remus's brain. It wasn't long before he was being pestered to join the others for dinner. With the rash finally going down and his stomach churning in hunger, he reluctantly agreed to go.
Remus received a few funny looks as he sat down in the Great Hall, but Peter assured him that his face didn't look half as bad as it had done earlier.
It was going to be all right. After what seemed like hours, he finally had a little room to move inside his trousers. He didn't doubt that it would be easy to remove the underwear once they had returned to the dormitory, and he was very glad that it would soon be over.
"Are we still up for raiding the Potions cupboard tonight while Sluggy has his arse-licking club?" James whispered across the table to Sirius as he pushed his empty desert bowl away and stood up. When Sirius nodded enthusiastically, James gave a quick glance at Remus. "I hope you're still not taking your Prefecting duties too seriously, Mr Lupin."
"Oh, we don't ever have to worry about that," Sirius said, grinning widely. "I have plenty of blackmail material to keep us going until the end of the seventh year, at least. Ain't that right, Moony?"
Sirius said this last part with a hearty slap to Remus's shoulder just as Remus was standing up from the bench, knocking him off balance and onto the corner of the table.
Remus froze in horror as his trousers caught on the edge and he both felt and heard his trousers rip open down the seam of his right leg. He then felt the entirety of his trousers landing softly on his feet, and it was this that prompted him to movement. Hastily, he pulled the material back up his legs, clasping it to him in a desperate attempt to hide all the sins that lurked beneath, but it was too late: he could already hear the other students in the hall beginning to stir. There were gasps of surprise, laughter, comments on the state of his skin, but the worst had to be the sudden shout of recognition that came from further down the Gryffindor table.
"They're my stockings--the ones that went missing at Christmas!"
"I bet he took mine, as well."
Remus's instinct was to run very far away. He managed to cover all of a few inches before he was intercepted by McGonagall.
"What is going on?" she demanded in a crisp, no-nonsense tone.
Remus could feel his jaw working, but nothing was coming out. What could he possibly say to make this situation go away? McGonagall's eyes glowered furiously between the four of them. Somebody was going to have to say something, and Remus was willing Sirius to come to his rescue, but to Remus's surprise, it was James who spoke up first.
"It was a dare," James said simply, and then he added, "Peter didn't have anything to do with it; he didn't even know about it."
McGonagall pursed her lips, flicked her wand in Remus's direction to repair his trousers and said, "Very well. The three of you, my office, now."
Remus followed Professor McGonagall in a daze. He couldn't understand why James would say what he did, or why he would get Peter off the hook but not Sirius. One thing he was quite sure of, though, was that James would not be letting him forget this incident in a hurry. James was currently refusing to meet his gaze, and Remus looked across at Sirius, who shrugged with about as much concern as he seemed to show for most things.
"Where did you get the clothes from?" McGonagall asked as soon as they were inside her office.
Even though she was staring at Remus, yet again it was James who answered her question, his face expressionless as he spoke.
"We found them stuffed in a cupboard on the third floor last week."
At the effortless lying on James's part, Remus was left standing there in awe. But McGonagall didn't seem to be so impressed, though, and she studied each of them in turn, as if waiting for one of them to deny what James had just said. When it became evident that this was not going to happen, McGonagall spoke up once more.
"Those…garments you are wearing, Mr Lupin, were reported as stolen at Christmas. Seeing as you have taken it upon yourself to wear them instead of handing them in, they will have to be replaced. Did you find any other underwear in this…cupboard?"
Both Sirius and Remus replied in the negative at the same time that James said, "Only what Sirius should have on," this time with a distinct smirk upon his face.
"What are you wearing, Mr Black?"
It seemed to Remus that Sirius had shared their secret with James, despite Remus asking him to keep it private. Remus glared at Sirius, and Sirius glared at James before brazenly dropping his trousers to show McGonagall the black g-string and fishnet stockings that he had put on that morning.
"Five points from Gryffindor for each of you," she said curtly. "Your next Hogsmeade weekend will be spent buying replacements. In the meantime, Mr Lupin, will you please go directly to the Hospital Wing: that rash looks particularly nasty."
Sirius nodded, and Remus immediately began to plan a detour so he could get changed before seeing Pomfrey. At least taking off the underwear would no longer be a problem.
"Oi, James, what did you think you were doing, telling McGonagall about me?" Sirius asked once they had left McGonagall's office.
"Oh, so that's the thanks I get for hauling your sorry arses out of the shit?" James said with an unimpressed snort. "You owe me. Both of you. For the rest of your lives."
Remus threw another dirty look in Sirius's direction for telling James something so personal, but to his surprise, Sirius began to stutter at James.
"But…? But when…? How did you know?"
"Just promise me, when you two are…" James paused and wrinkled his face up in disgust, "doing things with each other, that you'll never leave the bedroom door unlocked--even if you think I'm on holiday. I'm going to need therapy for the rest of my life after coming back early at Christmas and walking in on you."
Not waiting for a response, James turned tail and marched off down the corridor without them. Both Remus and Sirius could only stand there gaping and wearing matching expressions of mortification. It took a few moments for Remus to process the information, to process the fact that James had come back the night before, he had seen him and Sirius doing what they had been doing at Christmas. He could feel his face heating up. It wasn't fair. Hadn't he been through enough torture that day? Surely it was time for him to have a break from embarrassment?
"Why are you two still here?" It was McGonagall who had joined them in the corridor, making Remus jump. "I told you to get to the Hospital Wing, Mr Lupin, and yet you are still loitering in the corridor." She tutted and then seemed to make her mind up about something. "Well, seeing as you can't be trusted to follow simple instructions, I shall take you myself; I'm going in that direction, anyway. Come along."
And so Remus followed, feeling morosely confident that his day of humiliation was far from over, and wishing that Sirius would bugger off and be overtly amused at his expense somewhere else.
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