Author: Kati-Lara
Rating: PG
Archiving: All FQF will be archived solely at this site until January 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 #50:Remus really shouldn't have opened his gift from Sirius in front of his parents. Remus receives and unexpected gift from Sirius that has some strange effects on his parents.
Author Notes: None.

Standing on Platform 9 3/4 two weeks before the start of term after the Christmas Holidays Remus Lupin can breathe again. It had been a long break. Not only did he miss his friends, but he was glad to be away from his parents again and feeling like an independent person. They had spent the whole break doting on him. He thought that he should be used to it by now, because they had been doting on him his whole life. But now, after having been away at school for six years, it just irritated him. And Sirius’ present hadn’t helped the situation.

As the Hogwarts Express pulled into the station and people bustled to get on, Remus hardly seemed to notice. He was plotting. There had to be a way to get Sirius back for making the last week of his break so uncomfortable. His father wouldn’t look him in the eye and his mother kept making nonsensical comments about grandchildren. There were no more delusions about weddings and family visits; their son was a poof.

Settling down in an empty compartment he thought about the conversation he’d had with his father before he had been dropped off at the station. His father didn’t understand, but he didn’t hate him. What his father hated was that his son had taken up with a Black. It had been made very clear that even had he taken up with a female black there would have been disapproval. After all, a Black was a Black, didn’t Remus understand that much?

But dad, Remus thought, Sirius is Sirius. Don’t you understand that much? He smiled and fingered the cause of his recent bout of troubles.

Christmas morning there had been an extra present waiting for him under the tree. The Potter’s owl had brought it the night before just as his mother was finishing in the kitchen. Since he had already received a large amount of Chocolate Frogs and other goodies from his friends before leaving Hogwarts he couldn’t think of what it could be. His parents were both in the kitchen preparing Christmas Dinner when a loud crack brought them running to the living room.

Remus had opened the card that accompanied the box, only to be dazzled by the pyrotechnics which spewed from it. There, in midair between he and his parents, was a glittering star circling a glowing moon. The flashing letters underneath proclaimed, Moony and Padfoot: toujours pur. His mother looked downright confused but his father only grimaced. Apparently the play on the Black family motto had not impressed him.

What made things worse was that no matter how they tried, the sign of Sirius’ affection refused to be removed from the space it had exploded into for three days. Normally Remus would have found it charming. It was just like Sirius to produce something as obstinate and high profile as he was. What was less than charming was the way his father’s mouth drew into a sharp line every time he walked into the living room for those three days, and even for sometime after it had faded.

Inside the box there had been a small, pewter thumb ring crowned with a moonstone. It wasn’t something Remus would have ever thought to buy for himself, but it was a truly beautiful piece of work. He had slipped it on quietly while his parents were still staring at the display that hung between him.

They may never have noticed the ring at all had his mother not come into his bedroom one night to collect his laundry and seen him gazing into the stone’s surface, lost in thought. The conversation that followed had been good for both of them, but Remus couldn’t help but wish he had never had to have it. He had never thought of himself as gay, and had been attracted to girls in the past. Because of this he hadn’t ever thought of what to say when coming out to his parents. He’d tried to make them understand that it wasn’t men he loved, it was Sirius, but that just muddled things and made his father more upset. Still, he had taken to rubbing the ring absentmindedly whenever he was lonely. It made him feel like Sirius was near.

When he got off the train in Hogsmeade there was a large, black dog waiting for him. The thought that Sirius had snuck off the grounds just to meet him thrilled Remus.

Because it was slightly before the official start of term there were no carriages waiting to take him up to Hogwarts, so he walked, the dog bounding along side him. About halfway he stopped behind a tree to the side of the road. The dog licked the hand he was wearing the ring on and then transformed into his friend.

Sirius smiled and pulled Remus into him, kissing Remus in a way that made him sure Sirius had missed him as well. Remus stepped back and regarded Sirius for a moment with a bemused expression on his face. Encouraged, Sirius closed his eyes and leaned forward for a kiss. When he opened them again he was laying on the ground staring up at Remus, and his temple throbbed.

“You great prat!” Remus beamed down at him, arms back at his sides.

“I take it the card worked,” Sirius smiled back up at him.

“Yes it did. I’ve had several very awkward conversations in the last week and the way I see it they’re entirely your fault.”

Sirius sat up and crossed his legs in front of him, still looking up into Remus’ face. “Love you too, Moony.”

Remus sighed. “You know I do,” he reached a hand down to pull Sirius up. Sirius grasped it, and giving a hard tug, pulled Remus onto the ground with him.

“So what do your parents think about their poof of a son?” Sirius asked, pulling Remus in close and wrapping his arms around him.

“It’s not me they don’t like,” Remus said into his neck.

“Eh,” Sirius said, tilting Remus’ head so he could reach his lips. “I’m used to it.”

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