Author: Aralias
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 #33: MWPP era. It's Sirius and Remus's first Christmas as a couple, and when Sirius visits on Christmas day just about everyone in Remus's enormous family has their own opinion about him. Remus supposes he ought to have warned his parents more thoroughly about the rather dangerous young man he has invited to the Lupins’ annual Christmas gathering, but he wants them to like Sirius and so he merely smiles quietly as Sirius shakes his father’s hand and presents his mother with a bunch of muggle tulips.
Author Notes: (If any) Rather dubiously linked to the challenge. I hope it's ok.

Sirius Black has always been charming. It’s a gift, or at least a natural ability fostered by years of careful training at the hands of the House of Black, and is something that Remus Lupin, like countless others before and after him, finds both infuriating and mildly irresistible, very like the look Sirius wears whenever he wants Remus to accompany him on another fool-hardy adventure that will probably end up killing them both. Remus always goes with him, of course, though he knows Sirius needs to learn that you can’t always have everything in life even if you are a Black, because when it comes down to it, it’s very difficult to say no to a Sirius who is swearing this will be the last trip and that he will personally make Remus a plate of crumpets and a cup of tea upon their return. James is charming, too, to a certain extent, but James’ charm is dishevelled and uncalculated; James charms people in the same way that small children charm young women, by appearing completely unable to look after himself. Like everything else about Sirius, his charm is pure-bred and meticulous and so, unlike James, who only appeals by accident and has therefore spent the last six years ducking heavy items thrown by Lily Evans who doesn’t find him charming in the slightest, there are very few who can withstand the onslaught of Sirius Black’s smile: to Remus’ knowledge, only Professor McGonagall and James himself, to a certain extent, have ever managed it. Remus smiles as he remembers that even McGonagall softened slightly when Sirius gave her a copy of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ for Christmas last year. How did he know she liked the Beatles? Sirius shrugs: It’s intuition and, he grins, doesn’t everyone like the Beatles?
It is annoying, especially if you’ve never learnt to dance and if your potions still insist on exploding over the professor, but there’s just something about Sirius that you can’t help liking. And worse of all, he knows there is.

Remus supposes he ought to have warned his parents more thoroughly about the rather dangerous young man he has invited to the Lupins’ annual Christmas gathering, but he wants them to like Sirius and so he merely smiles quietly as Sirius shakes his father’s hand and presents his mother with a bunch of muggle tulips. They’ve met before, of course, at the platform every year. Sirius is always polite and smiling as Peter manages to fall over his own trunk and James tries to say goodbye to Lily Evans who is trying to avoid him, but this time is different: This is the first time Sirius has been to Remus’ house and the first time he has met Remus’ parents since Remus announced to them last week that he’s planning on moving in with Sirius after the NEWTs are over. So they can continue to live together. As a couple.

To say this came as a shock to Mr and Mrs Lupin, who are already older than their years after finding out thirteen years ago that their only son had been bitten by a werewolf, would be an understatement, but there is no trace of that shock now. Sirius is a great believer in the power of unexpected gifts; even now he’s been disowned and no longer has the family fortune at his fingertips he continues to splash out on things nobody really needs like flying motorbikes and presents for people’s relatives. Remus’ mother blushes as red as the flowers in her hand and Sirius smiles and hopes she likes them. She does. Red is her favourite colour. How did he know? Sirius laughs and says Remus told him, which makes perfect sense, but isn’t true. Sirius just knows.
Remus raises an eyebrow and Sirius waggles his in return: ‘Shall we meet the rest of the family?’

Remus spares a thought for the thousands of aunts and uncles and small cousins and distant relatives he’s assured are related to him really, gathered in the front room, talking about their new curtains, presents, grandchildren, the war and who’s married to who; he imagines presenting them to Sirius who appears to be on good behaviour now, but who will undoubtedly cause something to explode before the end of the evening when he gets bored of being charming; he visualises the look on Aunt Maureen’s face when informed that the dark haired boy is not only a Black, but Remus’ boyfriend and decides… to hell with it.
‘Yes… alright.’

He takes Sirius’ hand and leads him towards the sitting room. The door is shut, but he can hear the sound of Uncle Ambrose’s booming laugh from here. Remus pauses. ‘But just be prepared: Aunt Maureen can shriek really loudly and the kids’ll spend all evening pestering you to do magic.’ The panic of before is beginning to set in again; better judgement pipes up with a number of interesting suggestions, most of which involve not opening the door in front of him and Remus continues to talk merely to fill in the gap as he thinks. ‘Granddad hates everyone so don’t worry about him, Uncle Colin can talk about salamanders for hours and Aunt Josephine always insists on kissing me… she’ll probably insist on kissing you too, I’m really sorry about that, I don’t think we can stop her-’
Sirius gives what is almost a leer. ‘No, that sounds great.’
Remus frowns: ‘She’s fifty-six, Padfoot.’
‘All the better,’ Sirius laughs. ‘I like older women.’
Remus smiles. ‘And there I was thinking you liked me.’
Sirius leans over and kisses his temple, words whispering against skin in a grin and an acknowledgement: ‘I like you more.’
‘Thank you.’
‘You’re welcome.' Sirius looks at him enquiringly. 'Are we ready?’

Remus looks back to where his parents are still watching him, his mother wearing the same slightly bemused expression of two weeks ago, flushes and squeezes Sirius’ hand. ‘Yes, I think so,’ he says and pushes the door open.

Enjoyed the fic? Let the author know!