Author: Kate of Kintail
Rating: NC-17
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 FM #05: The Slytherins slip both boys variants of Memory Potions--which have some rather odd side-effects.
Author Notes: This fic includes one new character and one massive hint from Half Blood Prince. Many thank you?s to my wonderful betas Meg and circe. All remaining problems/mistakes are completely my fault.

Sometimes Remus really didn’t understand Professor Slughorn. Not just because Potions was Remus’ worst subject, but because the professor frequently allowed partnerships during practical advanced Potions that seemed to encourage bad behavior. Not only that, but he turned a blind eye when mischief inevitably arose around his “chosen” students while punishing others instead. Remus vowed that if he ever became a professor, he would never show such favoritism and he would keep a much closer watch on his students than Professor Slughorn was doing just now.

Students naturally paired off with others of their own house. With small gangs of Slytherins and Gryffindors around the room, there was always quite a potential for things to go very wrong from the start. Among the Gryffindors, Sirius and James usually partnered up, leaving Remus and Peter with each other. It was the worst possible combination, as Sirius and James undoubtedly got into trouble when left together, unchecked, and Remus and Peter were always left to struggle with potions that never turned out right no matter how closely they followed the textbook’s instructions.

Today, however, there had been a bit of a squabble. On his way back from the supply cupboard, Snape had clumsily dropped several ingredients onto the workstation belonging to James and Sirius. Harsh words had been exchanged among the three, and it was almost reduced to duel right then and there. The Potions Master had broken them up and instructed them to take their sears. So there would be nothing more to disturb his nearby innocent star pupils like Lily Evans, he split up Sirius and James as well, right in the midst of the lesson. Unfortunately, this caused just as much aggravation for Remus. He had been paired with Sirius, which he might normally enjoy, but also thrown into the middle of a potion he’d had no hand in creating.

Remus now felt completely lost. The levitation potion James and Sirius had created was a dirty mustard color, whereas his and Peter’s had been split pea soup green when he had left it just moments ago. Remus had no clue what step they were now supposed to be on, and ran his finger along the written procedure several times while chewing unconsciously on his lower lip.

“Did you add the fluxweed already?” asked Remus, surveying the dozens of ingredients of various quantities on the table before them. He glanced worriedly around the room, unable to see all the cauldrons but spotting several with light blue solutions and some with still other colors. He saw that Severus’ was a beautiful green, however, and Severus was busy scribbling something in his textbook.

“Yeah, think so,” Sirius replied with a shrug. He put his hand on Remus’ thigh under the table where the movement wouldn’t be seen. “Don’t sweat it, all right? The potion’s fine. Mine always are.”

Despite Remus’ incredible trust in Sirius and his abilities, Remus wasn’t entirely convinced. He was certain something had gone wrong somewhere along the way, because it was quite a strange color for a levitation potion. But Sirius’ touch was a convincing addition to his words, and Remus soon found himself too distracted for his concern to resurface.

When it came time to test their potions, Remus was nervous, but he wasn’t a Gryffindor for nothing. He exchanged a look with Sirius as they dipped their goblets into the cauldron and tool liberal gulps until they’d consumed a gobletful each. They waited a minute. Two. And nothing happened.

Again, Remus looked around the room. This time, his fellow classmates were all defying gravity. Some, like Severus Snape, were nearly hitting their heads upon the ceiling, while others were only a few inches off the ground, like James and Peter. Remus and Sirius’ feet, however, were still firmly planted upon the floor.

“Bollocks,” Remus heard Sirius mutter. He looked over to see Sirius standing on his tip-toes, trying to encourage them to lift, but to no avail. Remus just felt sick. Literally. His stomach lurched and he cupped a hand to his mouth in fear. But instead of getting sick, everything rushed to his head. The world around him went dark and he felt the strange and sudden sensation of falling.

He was only out for a second or two, but it was enough time for him to feel silly as the majority of the class and the professor laughed at him. Remus’ cheeks flushed with embarrassment and he accepted Sirius’ hand in support, getting him up off the floor. “Sorry,” Sirius apologized.

Remus shook his head, rather glad he hadn’t suffered more damage from his fall. “It’s all right,” he said, unable to stand the guilty look plastered on Sirius’ face. “It’s just one grade and I’m feeling fine again.” He smiled and tried to overlook the fact that all his Potions marks were bad or, like his last one, nonexistent due to his recent absence after a full moon night. Of course, he suspected that even if he’d finished the original potion with Peter he would have messed it up somehow to the same result or worse. It was far from the first time a potion had disagreed with Remus, and though he insisted he felt fine, Sirius made him sit down on one of the tall cushioned stools during clean-up. Remus spent the time admiring Sirius and reviewing the potion instructions in his textbook. A failure in practical, as Remus well knew, meant a lengthy essay for homework.

Lunch directly followed the lesson. Neither Remus nor Sirius felt very hungry at first, but then they slowly began eating and joining in on the conversation. The discussion around the Gryffindor table, and perhaps the whole room,revolved around winter holiday plans. As this was their last year at Hogwarts, the Marauders had planned on taking a holiday together somewhere, even if it were just a short trip.

“I’ve heard those ski vacations are loads of fun,” Sirius said, wrapping his arms around Remus and hugging him tightly with affection. Remus conjured up the image of snuggling with him in front of a warm fireplace as it snowed heavily outside. Remus chuckled and kissed Sirius with a quick peck. Having only recently gone public with their relationship, Remus wasn’t comfortable with much more than touching and quick kisses when they had an audience. Both James and Peter just stared at them. Unblinkingly. As though they’d lost their minds. “What?”

“You trying to be funny?” Peter asked, his face half screwed-up in confusion.

It was suddenly Sirius’ turn to look confused, and Remus felt more uneasy than he had in days. “No,” Sirius replied. “Why? Was I without trying?”

“We already talked about ski vacations, Sirius,” James explained. “Just now.”

Sirius looked from James to Peter, who was nodding. Then he turned to Remus, whose expression mirrored his. After one more moment of consideration, Remus’ face softened and he began to chuckle. “Oh, you nearly had us there,” he said,putting a reassuring hand on Sirius’ shoulder. Sirius joined in, chuckling. “They’re just having us on, Love.”

“No we’re not,” James quickly insisted. “We really did just spend the last ten minutes discussing it.”

“Yeah,” said Peter. “In fact, you two hugged when it was brought up the first time, too.”

Looks of confusion were back. They seemed unwilling to accept this news. Strange, awkward, uncharacteristic silence filled their section of the table.

Then Sirius reached for a cake from the tray in the center of the table and surveyed it closely. “Since when do they serve desserts before the rest of the meal?”

“I was just thinking that!” exclaimed Remus. “I’m not very hungry so I can’t see starting with a dessert just now… oohhh, unless there are some of those chocolate éclairs somewhere…” He craned his neck, looking down the table at the selection.

James groaned. “You’re not hungry because you’ve already had lunch!”

“Have I really?” Remus put a hand to his head, feeling slightly lightheaded and confused.

“We just ate,” Peter informed them. “And we were discussing where to holiday.”

“Oh!” exclaimed Sirius enthusiastically, practically jumping out of his seat. All eyes turned to him. “We should go skiing. I’ve heard those ski vacations are loads of fun.” He wrapped his arms around Remus, hugging and snuggling himclose.

James and Peter both let out groans of frustration and Remus and Sirius again looked confused. James gave it up. “We’ll just discuss this later.”

Remus nodded as Sirius shrugged innocently. “Good idea. We’ve got to get to History of Magic anyway. And then Potions.” Remus pulled a face at mentioning his least favorite class.

James threw his hands up. “But we’ve already been to both those classes today!”

Sirius reached into the center of the table and picked up a small cake, inspecting it. “Since when do they serve dessert for breakfast?”

Alarmed, Peter jumped to his feet. “I’m getting Professor McGonagal,” he declared. “And maybe Madam Pomfrey, too.” He looked uncertain.

“Wait,” said James, addressing Sirius and Remus. “Do you two really not remember this morning? Breakfast? Potions? Classes?”

“Remus fainting,” Peter added.

Remus looked highly disturbed, and James waved his hand at Peter. “Better get both of them,” he said gravely. “Right away.”

“Get who?” asked Sirius.

“Long story,” James replied, rubbing the back of his neck. “And you probably wouldn’t remember it if I told you.”

When McGonagal and Pomfrey arrived from the staff table, it took them merely a few minutes of questioning to determine there was something wrong afoot. Remus and Sirius were shuffled out of the Great Hall and towards the Hospital Wing. The adults led the way and James and Peter took up the rear to be sure their friends did not wander off along the way. Remus and Sirius walked side-by-side.

“What’re we doing out of bed in the middle of the night?” Sirius whispered to Remus as they walked. “Did we receive a detention I’ve forgotten about?”

Remus shook his head and took Sirius’ hand, squeezing it tightly in reassurance. “I don’t know. But it must have to do with classes, though. We’ve got all our stuff with us, and we’re wearing our robes. Better just play along.” Sirius nodded in agreement.

And play along they did, even if they’d since forgotten their plan to do so. They allowed Madam Pomfrey to give them a full examination and Professor McGonagal to perform a few counter-curses on them. Then they were told to remain wherethey were while the others conferred on the other side of the wing.

Sirius and Remus sat beside each other on the edge of one of the beds, swinging their legs back and forth in an alternating rhythm. Though they couldn’t quite remember what they were doing there, they sensed the need to stay put. Something felt unmistakably wrong, and as they’d already agreed that Remus’ time of the month was days ago, they couldn’t guess what else it might possibly be.

On the far side of the room, behind a thin while curtain, they could see Madam Pomfrey, James, and Peter discussing something, but only Remus with his slightly heightened sense of hearing was able to make sense out of the hushed voices.

“You were right to bring this one to our attention right away, lads. I’ve contacted Professor Slughorn at once, of course, but I am afraid all evidence of the potion Lupin and Black drank has been disposed of. Based on what we’re seeing, he doesn’t think it could have been anything they made using just the ingredients for the potion. Even with the worst of potion-making skills, it couldn’t have turned out with such side-effects. It had to be something elseentirely.”

“I think we can safely assume they didn’t do this to themselves. At least not intentionally,” said Madam Pomfrey.

“But what is it exactly?” Peter squeaked worriedly. “And are they going to be all right?”

“There is nothing to indicate that their condition is in any way permanent, even though our attempts to restore their memories of today have failed thus far. Until we have a better idea of what this is, I don’t know what course of treatment to recommend,” Professor McGonagal reasoned.

James spoke up. “Is there anything we can do?”

“Oh, of course,” Madam Pomfrey said, picking up on James’ need to feel useful. “You’ll need to keep close watch over both of them and observe the extent of the problem. We have no way of knowing how bad their memory loss might get. But there’s no reason they shouldn’t be allowed to go on with their lives as usual. So long as they’re being watched, they’re not a danger to themselves or others.”

Remus rested his head on Sirius’ shoulder and Sirius slid his arm around Remus’ waist. “I wish they’d just get over here already,” Remus said. “We’re missing classes right and left and I haven’t even done the reading on levitationpotions for class tomorrow morning.”


They looked up to see James and Peter approaching. “They say we can leave now.”

Confused, Sirius and Remus stood and followed their friends out. “But what were we here for?” Sirius asked as the Marauders spilled out into the empty hallway.

James and Peter exchanged looks, as though trying to decide on an answer.

The long silence was broken by Remus. “Why are we walking so slowly? Don’t we have to get to class?”

James smiled at the fact that he didn’t need to answer Sirius’ question. In fact, it seemed he could tell them anything without repercussions now. There seemed to be an upside to this memory loss after all.

“What’s the matter with Remus?” Lily asked James as they hung back while the rest of their class filed out of their Charms classroom. “He asked me when the next prefects’ meeting was then he seemed completely mystified by my Head Girl badge. Thought it might be some sort of prank James and Sirius had put me up to.”

“What did you tell him?” asked James gravely.

“Well, I said it wasn’t a prank and that I’d look into the meeting situation and let him know. Then I quickly excused myself. I didn’t know what else to say.”

James sighed. “Good.”

“James, what’s—”

“That mishap in Potions yesterday,” James explained. “We’re trying to keep it quiet but it did something to Remus and Sirius’ memories. At first it was short-term but now they’re losing huge chunks of time. They think they’re in sixth year now.”

“That’s awful!” Lily exclaimed. “Can anything be done?”

“They’ve been examined and the professors are looking into it. But for now Peter and I just have to keep close watch over them. They were a bit lost at first, but now we think we’ve got it down. Any time we try to explain what’s happening, they get anxious and confused so we’ve decided just to play along and hope to minimize the damage. Besides, every time we explain they just forget everything ten minutes later anyway.”

Lily considered the situation for a moment, then nodded. “I’ll look out for them as well. And I won’t tell a soul but… James… do you have any idea why the Slytherins would do this?”

James blinked, regarding her with curiosity and a bit of awe. “What makes you think they did this?”

“Oh, come now. Think about it! This was deliberate and not just some simple potion-making mistake. It has to be them, doesn’t it?”

The way Lily described it, it seemed so obvious that James tried not to look as though it was the first time it had occurred to him. “Definitely,” he replied. “This has Snape written all over it.”

“I’ll do some snooping. See what I can find out.”

He gave her a soft smile and leaned in a little closer, on his way towards a kiss. “Thanks, Lils. That would be—”

Sirius came bounding over just then, clapping James on the back excitedly. “Come on. We need to get to practice. You know how Bartly can be when we’re late.”

Lily looked sympathetically at Sirius while James racked his brain for an answer. As Quidditch Captain, he could call an impromptu practice together, of course. But Bartly had had graduated last year along with a few other players and Sirius would be constantly asking about the different makeup of the team. “Didn’t you hear? It’s been cancelled for today. Bartly and Collins are sick and in isolation in the Hospital Wing.”

“Oh,” Sirius nodded, accepting the excuse immediately. “Never mind, then. I’ll just go find Remus…” He froze, looking worried that he’d said something wrong, then quickly added, “I’ll just leave you two to your usual row, then.”

In Sirius’ absence, Lily looked terribly concerned. “Maybe I can crack open a few books and see if there’s anything in there that might help.”

“Thanks so much,” James said, wearing the same smile. This time she leaned closer as well and they met in the middle with a kiss.

Sirius began to make a deep moaning sound in the back of his throat as the kiss intensified. Remus’ hands traveled all over Sirius and the moaning grew louder until Remus finally pulled back, chuckling. “Hush, Pads. You’ll wake James and Peter. You don’t want them to find out about us by stumbling upon us snogging in bed together in the middle of the night, do you?” As only Sirius was an animagus and they were unable to borrow James’ invisibility cloak, they couldn’t sneak out to the shack for this sort of thing.

Sirius gave him a grin and playfully cupped his hand to Remus’ crotch. “I’d rather they find us doing something else, actually.”

“Sirius!” hissed Remus.

“I know, I know,” Sirius relented, taking his hand away. “Just kissing for now.” He ran his fingertips against Remus’ cheek, then down against the gentle chin and around the back of Remus’ head. He fingered the soft, short brown hair. “Just kissing.” His lips met Remus’ and he sighed through his nose. “I’m more than okay with that.” His lips parted, moving slowly and gently against Remus’. Remus plunged his tongue into Sirius’ mouth and stroked Sirius’. Several moments later, Sirius began to make a deep moaning sound in the back of his throat.

“Hush, Pads,” chuckled Remus, his breath heavy and warm against Sirius’ face. “You’ll wake James and Peter!”

It was late in the morning when Sirius woke and rolled over in bed. His body instinctively curved around the warmth in front of him, which made a happy sighing sound and snuggled up against him. Still sleepy and not at all a morning person, it took Sirius a few minutes to register what was actually going on. Then he came fully awake with shock and jumped back, nearly falling out of bed.

This woke Remus who immediately sat up and snatched up the blankets to cover his bare chest. “What are you doing in my bed?”

“Your—” Sirius broke off, looking around. “I don’t know! I remember falling asleep in my own bed after researching the ani… some transfiguration spells with James and Peter. Did I sleepwalk?”

“How should I know?” Remus asked, affronted. He looked around for something that might explain it, like a glass of water Sirius might have retrieved in the middle of the night but had retired to Remus’ bed mistakenly. In the midst of scanning, his eyes fell upon Sirius’ crotch. Even through the covers it was clear how hard he was. Remus’ hand snapped up immediately to his face to black that particular line of sight out of courtesy. “Maybe you should go take a shower,”Remus suggested. “We’ll figure this out later.”

Unable to think of any suitable reply, Sirius just nodded and, embarrassed, slipped away to the bathroom to relive his morning hard-on.

As glad as Remus was to have him go, the thought having Sirius in his bed startlingly made him grow hard as well. And, with a hand down his pajama bottoms and a face buried in his pillows, Remus was especially glad Sirius was gone.

“But, Prongs, recon’s my thing,” Peter practically whined.

James nodded. “I know, but Lily really wanted to help. Besides, if it really is Snivellus I’ll need you to go down there anyway and figure out what he’s up to and what he did.”

Cheerfully, “I’m definitely your man for that!” Peter said. “Or your rat, I should say.” He knew, of course, that it would be difficult for even him. While stealth was his specialty, memorizing and repeating word-for-word were not.

“You still remember that voice modification spell, right?” James asked. “And you’ve got the plan straight?”

Peter nodded. “They won’t suspect a thing. So…” he dropped his voice down to a whisper and looked around with paranoia simply because of the subject matter. “Do you have any idea why they or anyone would have done this?”

James shrugged. “Could just be a normal prank. Get us off our guard, cause mayhem and confusion. Sirius and Remus are certainly in a much weaker state than usual, aren’t they? All we really know for sure is that if we don’t figure out what did this to them, there won’t be any way to reverse it.”

“The professors still don’t have any solutions?” Peter asked worriedly.

Shaking his head, “I just talked with McGonagall a few hours ago. They’ve tried all the cures they can think of, without knowing precisely what was in that potion they drank. They’re just about to the point where they’ll send the pair of them to St. Mungo’s for long-term care.” James and Peter both looked stricken.

“I hate to ask the obvious, but have they considered a Pensive?” Lily asked as she sat down beside James and Peter.

The three of them had arranged to meet in one corner of the common room that afternoon to discuss the situation. Sirius and Remus sat on the other side of the room, working on a homework assignment. They were using a Standard Book of Spells, Grade Three text from Remus’ personal stash of textbooks. James wondered whether they had sat so close to each other as this back in third year, or whether they sensed something of their present day attraction to each other, even with their modified memories.

“I asked,” said James. “Professor McGonagal said it wouldn’t work in this case because it’s not just a few memories but whole chunks of time— possibly a whole lifetime. There aren’t enough pensives to hold all that and not enough time to deposit it all. And a few memories aren’t going to be useful without context, anyway. Memories of seventh year when they think they’re in third, for example, will only confuse them more.”

“Tell her what Madam Pomfrey said yesterday about the block,” Peter suggested.

James nodded. “Just about to. She said it’s not that they’re actually losing their memories. It’s just thatsomething’s happening because of the potion to block their access to the memories. Their minds are still intact; they just can’t get to everything they should remember.”

Lily looked rather horrified at that. “Maybe they should be taken to St. Mungo’s then.”

James nodded again. “The professors have already been in contact with healers there. It’s just that the hospital’s so busy lately with all the Death Eater activity. The specialists are all wrapped up in important projects.”

There was another pause as they all reflected on the war and the scores of recent casualties. In comparison, two underage wizards, who were quite healthy seemed rather unimportant in the grand scheme of things… even with the fact that they were slowly losing a whole year of their lives every handful of hours.

“We’ve got to do something, then,” Peter declared plainly. “Did you find anything out, Lily?”

Lily blinked back tears and nodded. “I overheard some of the girls talking about some great prank the Slytherins had pulled that didn’t seem to be working right. Which leads me to suspect that they have something else planned. I mean,think about it. What’s the point of a prank which takes memories away? It doesn’t really accomplish anything, does it? Apart from just causing confusion.”

“Isn’t that enough?” asked Peter innocently, recalling his conversation with James just moments before.

James shrugged and said, “Lily’s right. They haven’t gotten anything out of this yet. There’s got to be some phase two to their madness. Something they haven’t been able to do since we’ve been keeping such a close watch on Remus and Sirius… or something they’re waiting for before they make their move. So it comes right back to needing to know what was in that potion. Then we’d be able to get this fixed before anything more goes wrong.” He turned to Peter. “I think this is a job for you.”

Peter nodded with understanding and stood. “I’ll do my best.” He glanced over at Remus and Sirius, then headed out of the room.

James countered Lily’s curious stare with a smile and an inquiry about whether or not she might be able to help determine if a potion Peter found could have the sorts of effects they were seeing in Remus and Sirius. Lily seemed confident she could. Then they worked on a list of ingredients that were already in the levitation potion and in what order they had been added.

Peter returned about an hour later, slightly out of breath and red in the face. Used to walking in on Remus and Sirius snogging, he rolled his eyes to find James and Lily in a similar position. He cleared his throat to break them up. Then he pulled out, along with another dessert he’d nicked from the kitchens on the way back, a list of potion ingredients scratched out in tiny, terrible letters. “I think I got it all. The words ‘Modified Memory Modification Potion’ were written at the top.”

“Snape?” James asked. Peter nodded. James grinned. “Fool.” He skimmed over the list then passed it to Lily to do the same. It was ingenious, really. Nearly all of the ingredients listed were part of the levitation potion. But there weredefinitely a few extra ones that should not have been there.

“He was talking to a few of the other Slytherins. I could only see their backs from where I was, but I could guess if you wanted me to. They said something about wanting to get you and Sirius to start from scratch so that they could persuade you to be on their side. So that you’d do something for them or with them… or something. Really that’s all I got. I was trying to memorize the ingredients.”

“That’s enough,” James said gratefully and quickly before Lily could ask how Peter found out any of this. He was glad Peter hadn’t mentioned where he’d found the Slytherins. “Let’s recopy this list so that it’s more legible then get it to Madam Pomfrey right away.”

Remus lay awake at night, alternating between reading his Transfiguration text and worrying. Like most nights leading up to his transformation, he went through a myriad of excuses in his mind, trying to determine which would best explain his absence during the full moon and arouse the least amount of suspicion.

Peter seemed to accept most anything Remus told him without questioning. And Sirius always looked sympathetic whenever Remus used excuses like being sick or having to visit his sick mother. But Remus suspected that deep down Sirius was as suspicious as James, who always prodded a little too deeply with questions. But he found it easier to get out of situations with Peter and James. With Sirius, he almost always had some nagging desire to confess, believing that for some reason pureblood, mischievous Sirius would actually understand. Usually that urge to confess passed quickly, however, and he was right back to thinking up excuses.

At the start of his first year, Professor Dumbledore had given him a long list of possible excuses, which had been very kind of him, even if Remus suspected it was more for amusement than to really help. He couldn’t see himself actually claiming that he was working as an undercover agent for the muggle government and needed to report in at random intervals. But it was nice that Dumbledore could make the situation a little humorous, as opposed to Remus who just felt terrified about the whole thing. It was almost easier not to have friends than to constantly worry about losing them when they found out about his problem.

Listening to Peter’s oblivious snores, Remus sighed. He’d have to use the visiting his ill mother excuse again. Now that it was early winter, the nights were so much longer and the transformations took much more out of him. He needed a more plausible excuse than just a bad sore throat. Of course, this meant tomorrow he’d have to send himself an owl. He’d write a letter and use a spell to disguise his handwriting, just in case any of them read over his shoulder. And then he’d pack up his trunk and stow it in the Hospital Wing before Madam Pomfrey escorted him to the Whomping Willow.

Remus closed his textbook and put it away. Then he closed his eyes and tried his best to fall asleep.

When Remus woke the next morning, his transformation was the furthest thing from his mind. In fact, everything was the furthest thing from his mind. He sat straight up in bed, eyes wide, unblinking. Somewhere to his right there was a man yelling but Remus’ reaction was to hug his pillow to his chest and close his eyes. He rocked back and forth, hoping it would all go away. He could hear the commotion clearly.

“What’s the matter, Sirius?” a man’s voice asked with unmistakable kindness.

Remus pulled back his hangings slightly and peeked over. He saw one young man crawling backwards up his bed until he was crouching atop his pillows, against his headboard. There were two other young men standing at the foot of that bed,looking quite concerned.

“Who? What’s going on?” said the one in bed, sounding quite panicked. He looked from one of his visitors to the other. “Who are you people? Who am I?”

“Merlin!” the shorter, pudgier standing one exclaimed. “Now he’s completely lost his memory!”

“What? Why?” the man was alarmed, and though these two others seemed to know what was going on, he didn’t seem to be so quick to trust them.

“The Slytherins,” the standing one with glasses started to explain.

“The who? Would someone just please tell me what the Hell is going on?”

Remus took a deep breath, then got up off what he assumed was his bed and walked towards the voices. The dark haired young man cowering on the far side of the bed looked just like Remus felt. Nonetheless, Remus tried to speak quickly andreasonably. “Apparently someone did something to both of us to make us lose our memories. These people know who we are and what’s wrong. So for the moment we have to assume they are friends and can help.” Remus sat down on the bed,closer to the panicking man than the others were.

The other two exchanged looks. “We are friends,” one assured them. “James and Peter.” He motioned. He was the one called James. “Your confusion is exactly what the Slytherins had been planning to use to their advantage. But you’re safe and among friends now. We’re already working on the problem. The professors should have an antidote fairly soon.”

They nodded back, not knowing what else to do. The explanation seemed to have calmed them both down considerably.

“We’re going to talk to the professors now. So you two should just stay here,” said the one named Peter.

They nodded and James and Peter turned to leave. “Wait!” Remus called out, making them turn back around. “What are our names?”

James smiled. “Remus Lupin and Sirius Black.” Then they left.

Remus and Sirius sat alone together, in silence. Things grew awkward and worrisome the longer the silence continued, and Sirius was clearly starting to get jumpy and twitchy again as they heard noises outside the room. Other people were walking by and talking though neither of them could make out the words.

To break the rising tension, Remus extended his hand. “Remus Lupin. Nice to meet you.”

Sirius heavily lifted his hand and took Remus. “Uh, I think he meant you’re Re… oh.” He smiled. “Never mind, I get it. I’m Sirius Black. Nice to meet you, too,” he said.

Remus couldn’t help but notice how attractive Sirius was when he smiled. Though if he was honest about it, Sirius was quite attractive to begin with. Dark, jet black hair. Light, mysterious, grey eyes. Strong chin. Smoldering good looks. Remus instinctively found himself being drawn to Sirius’ mouth with its thin, kissable red lips and—

“God, I want to kiss you,” breathed Sirius heavily. He quickly clapped his hand to his mouth at the shock of hearing those words out loud.

Remus, however, only smiled shyly. “Can’t very well do so with your hand over your mouth, can you?” He reached up and eased Sirius’ hand down. Then he leaned to the side. Their lips slowly puckered and their heads slightly tilted. Theireyes fluttered closed and their breath faded away. Until, suddenly, they were kissing.

Remus was sure that even if he’d had his memory, this would have been the greatest kiss of his lifetime. It was strong and sweet and didn’t stop when it was supposed to. It felt so right that they kept going, opening their mouths and touching tongues. The kiss deepened, Remus breathing hard in and out of his nose so he wouldn’t be forced to break the kiss.

Sirius finally pulled away, rather breathless himself, but smiling. In a low voice, “It seems that a kiss like that should have jogged our memories at least.”

“Something’s jogged,” Remus replied, moving in closer, somehow knowing that Sirius felt the same as he. And what he felt was hot. And needy. Not wanting to lose the moment, Remus hurriedly kissed Sirius again.

When they pulled back this time, they were both trembling with anticipation. “This is so strange,” Remus muttered as he began to unbutton Sirius’ pajama top with shaking hands. “We don’t even know who we are… for all we know, we hate each other.”

“Don’t think so,” Sirius said, undoing the drawstring of Remus’ pajama bottoms. “Don’t see how I could want you so badly just by chance. Do you?”

Remus shook his head and kissed him again. It seemed a suitable response to any question. This one sent them back against the bed, stripping out of their clothes. They were both a bit surprised at the sight of Remus’ body, covered in scars, but it didn’t stop them from continuing on.

If anything, they went faster. Sirius kissed each scar they discovered, trying to heal wounds neither understood. All they knew for sure was what was right there in front of them. And this was all they could really trust. Sirius did not want it to stop. “What if they come back?” Sirius asked as his tongue traces an especially long scar up Remus’ chest.

“We’d better hurry,” replied Remus. He fingered Sirius’ nipples. The deep, throaty sounds Sirius made only turned Remus on more. He wrapped a hand around his cock and pulled until Sirius was close to bursting.

“Wonder which one of us is the top and which is the bottom,” mused Sirius as he automatically rolled Remus over and caressed the pale arsecheeks before him.

“I don’t care,” Remus said. “Just check for lube and get inside me.” He laughed to hear himself say it, but watched anxiously as Sirius pulled open the drawers of his nightstand simultaneously. There was a bottle of lubrication in both, in fact, and Sirius grabbed the closest one. He wasted no time in slicking up his cock and slipping into Remus. Remus gripped the sheets and buried his face in the pillow. Sirius’ scent in it was strong, and felt both comforting and familiar to Remus.

Neither could deny how right it felt as they fit together. Sirius flattened himself on top of Remus and bucked his hips, thrusting in and out repeatedly. Remus moaned happily and closed his eyes. In the absence of identity, he was desperate for some genuine feeling, some real sensation, some trustworthy memory. He let Sirius take him over entirely, and Sirius threw himself into it for the very same reason.

It did not take long for them to come, with Remus muffling his cry into the pillow as his cock was pinned against the bedsheets. Sirius, however, cried out unrestrainedly, tensing at his last thrust and riding it out, savoring the feeling of being with Remus as completely as he could.

Sirius wore a broad smile as he pilled out. He kissed Remus’ cheek and rolled off onto his back, chest rising and falling with deep breaths. Remus turned and snuggled close against Sirius’ side. “I hope it’s as good as that when we get our memories back,” Sirius said.

“If it’s not, I’ll single-handedly track down whoever did this to us and demand he do this to us again.” He looked up to see Sirius smiling at his words and melted again with a sigh at the sight.

They were dosing together, still naked, when they heard people entering the room. Embarrassed, Remus yanked the bed curtains closed and scrambled for the pieces of their pajamas. James threw robes at them through the parting of the curtains and they dressed hurriedly, then scrambled off the bed. James and Peter had been joined by two adult women, and one rather fat and balding man.

The man held two small vials of a misty purple substance and handed them over immediately. “There you are, Boys. Drink it up all at once now.”

Standing side-by-side, Remus’ hand found Sirius’ and squeezed in support. They gulped the potions down and then froze, waiting for something to happen.

It took a few moments for the potion to kick in. But then Remus and Sirius broke apart. Their hands flew to their heads, holding tightly in an attempt to control the sharp, stabbing pains in their temples. Remus nearly passed out again, but leaned back against the bed and managed to remain upright and conscious. When the feeling passed, Remus blinked, then looked over at Sirius. He didn’t need to ask if Sirius had his memories back as well. Sirius’ smile easily told that much.

Though already overwhelmed with relief, Remus immediately looked up at Professor Slughorn in hopes of having a little more. “Sir, about our marks on the last potion—”

Slughorn stopped him, laughing. “Not to worry, my boy. It’s already been stricken from the books. You two can come in and redo your potion any time before the end of term.”

“Thank you,” sighed Remus.

Everyone looked just as relieved as Remus felt, and Professor McGonagall was beaming. “I want you two to take it easy for the next few days. And if anyone notices another slip of the memory or side effect you’re to go down to see Poppy at once, do you understand?”

Remus and Sirius nodded in agreement and thanked the professors repeatedly until just the Marauders were left in the dormitory room. There wasn’t even a moment of silence before Sirius spoke up. “Let me guess: Snape?”

James nodded and Peter explained. “I went down in the Slytherin common room and waited until Snape was there with a few other sixth and seventh years. Then I hid behind a couch, transformed back into a human, and disguised my voice. Itonly took about two minutes after I’d managed to start up a few discussions around the room on the subject of your recent strange behavior before he caved. Snape started boasting about what he’d done and how he’d done it.”

“That slimy git!” Sirius exclaimed, making a fist. “We are so going to make him pay for this!”

James grinned. “Looks like Padfoot’s back to his old self. Moony? You all right, too?”

Remus nodded. “I remember everything, including what went on during the last few days. Sorry for putting you two through so much. And thank you for helping to cure us. ”

“Not a problem, Mate,” said James, still grinning. “Just glad to have you both back so we can get down to the important things once more.”

“Yeah,” said Sirius brightly. “We still have that holiday trip to plan! You know, I’ve heard those ski vacations are loads of fun.” He leaned to the side and wrapped his arms around Remus with a hug. Then he ducked to avoid a pillow James had thrown at him. Remus just smiled and snuggled into Sirius.

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