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 #1: MWPP era: the quartet decides to play a secret santa and one of the pups ends up having to buy a gift for the other. However, he uses this as a chance to show the other just what he means to him. When Sirius tries to find the perfect gift for Remus, he ends up getting more than he ever thought possible in return.
Author Notes: I am eternally grateful to Daera23, irish_lily, and starstillwonder for their excellent beta skills and suggestions.
“This is why we never listen to James,” Sirius said, tossing the paper back on the table in disgust.
Around them, the Three Broomsticks was buzzing with the happy chatter of their fellow students, and not even Remus could find something positive to say at that moment.
“Are you sure you didn’t read it wrong? Maybe James is winding us up,” Peter said hopefully, checking the scores again. “He could have charmed the paper, or something.”
Remus pulled out his wand and cast a simple revealing charm. Unfortunately, nothing happened.
“Sorry, Wormtail. That’s the real deal there,” said Remus, shaking he head.
Across from him, Sirius slammed his bottle onto the table. “I knew it was too good to be true. Bloody Prongs, he should’ve known better than to trust that prat Bagman. I mean, he plays for the French, for Christ’s sake. They know bugger all about real Quidditch.”
“Well, what are we going to do now?” Peter asked. “That was practically my entire allowance for this month. My mum can’t send anything more and I haven’t even bought any Christmas gifts yet.”
Before Sirius could describe, in gruesome detail, what they were going to do to James, the front door slammed open, blowing cold air and snow inside.
“Oi, Potter, shut the bloody door!” Kingsley Shacklebolt shouted from the opposite corner of the pub.
James grinned at him, closing it with a flourish before crossing the room and dropping onto the chair next to Remus. He was flushed and happy and completely oblivious to the looks of death Sirius was shooting him.
“So, mates, are we rich?” he asked with a smile. Silently, Remus handed him the paper, and Sirius couldn’t help but feel a little better as he watched James’ fall face.
“Please tell me you’re joking. This can’t be right,” James stammered, “I mean Ludo, he said the game was in the bag, easy money. And, and they…”
“Got their arses handed to them?” Remus said, taking a drink and temporarily distracting Sirius from his plans for hanging James out the Gryffindor Tower windows by his toes. He was doing that thing where he licked the rim of the bottle just before he put it to his lips and…
No, Sirius thought, I can’t be thinking like that. We’ve just gotten to a place where things are normal again. No more lusty thoughts about Moony and his tongue. Or any of his other body parts for that matter. Quit thinking about Moony, full stop actually. We are just mates now, nothing more’ He came out of this one-sided conversation as James was tearing off four strips of the smudged newspaper.
“What are you doing now? Trying to destroy the evidence? I think all this time you’re spending with Evans has addled your brain, James. You should have seen this coming from a mile away,” he said, flipping a bottle cap idly between his fingers.
James rolled his eyes as he took a quill from Remus and wrote each of their names on a scrap of paper. “Didn’t see you lot complaining when you were handing over your Galleons. In fact, I seem to remember you waxing poetically about all the shiny new parts you could buy for the bike with that money.”
With a flick of his wand, James transfigured Peter’s empty bottle into a small box and dropped the names into it. He held it out to Sirius first, who eyed it suspiciously.
“Is it going to bite me?”
“No, you prat. Just pick a name and don’t say whose it is. Trust me,” he said, in his sweetest voice.
Sirius stuck two fingers in and snatched the one closest to the top. He didn’t entirely believe that the box wouldn’t bite. Remus and Peter followed suit and James took the last scrap.
“Are we changing our names again?” Peter asked. “If we are, I definitely like this one better than ‘Schnicklefritz’.”
“No secret identities this time, Pete. Although I still think you look like a Schnicklefritz,” James said thoughtfully. “But I digress. So, here’s how I see it. It’s the fourteenth of December and we’re all practically penniless. In order to make the most of the little we have, we only give something to the person whose name you drew. Since everyone is only giving and getting one thing, it’s even. I mean honestly, do we all need another book from Moony or sweets from Peter?”
“Secret Santa-style? James, I’m impressed. You really were paying attention when we did Americans in Muggle Studies,” Remus said, folding his scrap of paper and putting it in his pocket.
Sirius rolled his eyes. “He was not. Just nicked Peter’s notes after every class is all.” He unfolded his name as he took his last swallow of Butterbeer and just barely managed not to choke.
Well, there goes the not-thinking-about-him idea, Sirius thought to himself.
It was official. Sirius hated Christmas. It was a travesty that all this gift-giving rubbish had overshadowed what should be a peaceful and holy day. In fact, in his humble opinion, they should do away with it entirely and focus on the solemnity that the day deserved. Of course, when the group of third years he was lecturing to in the common room started asking him questions, he couldn’t remember exactly how many wise men there were or what a heavenly host consisted of, but that was besides the point.
He mostly hated Christmas because he still hadn’t found a present for Remus. He’d thought up and rejected a hundred ideas and he still had nothing. Books were too easy; anyone could buy him a book. Chocolate was out as well, since he’d overheard Evans telling James she’d already bought him the deluxe Honeydukes assortment. The other things he’d thought of seemed too much like a gifts he might buy for, well, for someone that was more than just a friend.
Which they weren’t, not anymore, and he was fine with that. Really, he was. But that still left him with nothing for Remus.
He couldn’t just give him anything. It had to mean something. Because he was still Remus and Christmas was his favorite time of year and Sirius would hate to disappoint him.
Disappoint him again, you mean, said a little voice in the back of his mind. Sirius shook his head and pulled his cloak tighter around his shoulders. The snow in Hogsmeade was coming down hard now and most everyone had already headed back to castle. He was still lost in thought when someone stumbled into him, hard.
“I’m so sorry,” the woman stammered. Her bags had spilled out on the ground and she looked frazzled. Sirius bent down and helped her gather scattered toys and books before they were ruined.
“My fault, I wasn’t watching where I was walking,” he said with a smile. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw something near his foot and they both reached for it at the same time.
“These must be yours,” she said, rescuing them from a small drift. The metal was freezing against his hand. He hadn’t even realized he’d brought those with him. And suddenly he knew exactly what he was going to give Remus.
Bags repacked, they stood up. “Well, have a happy Christmas,” the woman said.
“Yeah, you too,” Sirius replied distractedly, as he started back down the street.
Three trunks were stacked near the door and sitting in the middle of the floor was a pot of hot chocolate with four cups when Sirius came back from his last detention with McGonagall. She had let him go early, with a stern smile and what he was sure was only a half-hearted warning to behave himself in class next term.
Remus, who was sprawled out on his bed and flipping idly through a book, looked up as he shut the door.
“About time you got here. Peter was so antsy, James finally dragged him down to the kitchens to nick us some cakes to go with the cocoa,” he said with an easy smile.
God, he had missed that smile - it was so rare these days that Sirius couldn’t help coveting it.
“Sorry, you know how McGonagall is,” Sirius replied as he dropped his robes in a pile near the foot of the bed.
Remus reached for something and Sirius tried not to stare at the strip of pale skin between the bottom of his jumper and the waist of his trousers. Blinking, he opened his trunk and pulled out a small, square package wrapped in gold paper. It felt heavy in his hand, heavier than it really was. He felt like he wanted to say something else but before he could, the door burst open.
“Finally, Sirius! We’ve been waiting for hours,” said Peter, his arms full of fruit and small cakes. Behind him, James kicked the door shut.
“Pete’s a bit anxious,” James teased, as they settled in a circle on the floor.
To his credit, Peter only flushed slightly. “Shut it, James,” he said, taking the cup Remus handed to him.
Sirius was going to miss this, the easy back and forth bantering of his best friends and decided to enjoy it for as long as he could. They devoured the smuggled cakes and had an excellent laugh at James’ expense when the one of the oranges he was trying to juggle smacked him in the face and knocked his glasses off.
“Now that we’ve had entertainment, shall we open gifts?” Remus asked, as James bent his glasses back into shape. With a wave of his wand, four brightly wrapped gifts landed in front of them. “Who’s first? Peter?”
Peter reached for a flat package wrapped in shiny, red paper. Inside was a notebook with a dark red leather cover and a new quill.
“It’s a Never Lose Notebook,” James said. “The pages won’t come loose and it converts your handwriting to clear print so you can always read it. Figured it would be handy for exams this year.”
“It’s perfect, James. Thanks,” Peter said, smiling broadly.
Leaning forward, James picked up the box with his name on it and shook it carefully. “It’s not going to explode, is it?” he asked with a smirk.
“Just open it, you git,” Sirius said, elbowing him in the side. James pulled off the lid and revealed a pair of gloves.
“Excellent! Dragon-hide Quidditch gloves,” he cried, putting them on and flexing his hands. They fit perfectly.
“Lily told me you wanted them,” Remus said, leaning out of the way as James pulled out a broom out from under Sirius’ bed and tried out the grip.
“Thanks, Moony. These are great.” He left them on as he dropped a heavy package into Sirius’ lap. “Your turn, mate.”
Tearing the sliver paper off, Sirius found a chessboard, black and red squares gleaming. Running his fingers over the grooves in the wood, he had to swallow hard. He didn’t know what to say, and he felt Peter’s hand on his arm.
“I know you left yours when you went to stay with James this summer. I thought you could use a new one to practice with so maybe you could finally beat me,” he said, with a grin.
“You’re on. First night you’re back, we play,” Sirius said. “Thanks, Pete.”
“I guess that just leaves one more, Moony,” James said.
Sirius took a deep breath as Remus began peeling the tape off the box.
“Can’t you just rip like the rest of us?” asked Peter.
Remus ignored him and finished unwrapping with precision. He flicked the lid back and a set of gold keys fell into his hand. The look in Remus’ eyes was unreadable, and Sirius felt his heart sink. He knew he should have gotten him a book. James was the first to speak.
“Are those what I think they are?” he asked incredulously. Peter was staring at him like he had three heads and Remus still hadn’t said anything. This was going from bad to worse. “Bloody hell, Sirius. I can’t believe you gave Moony keys to the Triumph!”
“Well,” he said defensively, “he’s the least likely of you lot to end up as road kill. And since most of my money from Uncle Alphard is still tied up at Gringott’s, my choices were a bit limited.”
Above them, the lanterns flickered indicating the seventh-year lights out. But all he could see was Remus, still turning the keys over in his hands. All he could do now was hope that Remus would understand the meaning behind his gift without him having to explain it in front of James and Peter.
“Too bad I’ll have to wait until after the holidays to try her out, Padfoot,” Remus said, sliding the keys into his pocket. He smiled at Sirius, and for a second Sirius thought he saw something there, something that sent a tingle down his spine. But as quickly as he saw it, it was gone again.
Sirius was lying on his back, wrench in hand when he felt the wards on the Shack vibrate. Sliding out from underneath the bike, he wiped the grease off his hands and reached for his wand. The wards were set only to allow certain people through them, but these days, you could never be too careful. He stood up and went to the door, only to find Remus on the other side of it.
“Hey,” said Remus. He was wearing a thick cloak that was dusted with white. With the boarded up windows, Sirius hadn’t even realized it was snowing.
“Hey,” Sirius replied, stepping back to let Remus step into the room. The sheet he used to cover the bike was crumpled in the corner and there were tools and various parts strewn all over the floor. “What are you doing here?”
Remus shook his cloak off and hung it on a hook near the door. “An old friend of my parents invited them to a New Year’s Eve party in Hogsmeade. Since the moon passed on Boxing Day, they figured we could go without too many questions.”
“And you just thought you’d have a bit of a stroll near the Shack, did you?” Sirius teased, tossing the wrench into the toolbox. He turned around to say more, but the words died in his mouth.
Remus was wearing a tight black t-shirt and dark blue jeans, nothing like the shapeless trousers and baggy oxfords he usually wore. For the first time in his life, Sirius couldn’t speak as he watched Remus swing one leg over the bike and pull out his keys. Who was this person and what had he done with Remus? Not that he minded, especially since they hadn’t gotten very far the first time around. Sirius’ complete and utter idiocy with Snape had stopped their relationship, or whatever is was, almost before it had begun.
“I was actually thinking I might take her out for a spin. These keys have been burning a hole in my pocket even since you gave them to me,” Remus answered with a grin, and with a flick of his wrist the engine roared to life. “What are you staring at, Sirius?”
Sirius was sure there had been a question, but he had no idea what it was. All he could think about was the way Remus looked at that moment – hazel eyes flashing dangerously, long, ink-stained fingers gripping the handlebars, and his lean body sitting on Sirius’ bike like he belonged there. Revving the engine, Remus leaned back and that tempting bit of skin was exposed again. Suddenly, every part of him wanted to cross the room and kiss Remus senseless.
But before he could do it, he saw Remus’ face falter. He cut the engine and stood up.
“I’m sorry, this was a stupid idea,” Remus said softly as he pulled his cloak off the hook. Sirius’ brain finally kicked back in and he grabbed Remus’ arm before he could open the door.
“Don’t,” Sirius said. Leaning close, he took the cloak out of Remus’ hand. “You never have stupid ideas.”
Remus turned his head and Sirius didn’t stop to think, he just kissed him. It wasn’t like their fumbling, furtive kisses from before. This kiss was fierce and almost too hard, but Sirius could feel it burning through him. It was like the entire world had narrowed to Remus’ mouth on his. Remus nipped at his bottom lip and Sirius pushed him against the wall, wanting to feel every inch of their bodies pressed together. When Remus leaned his head back, Sirius took advantage of it, kissing along the smooth line of his jaw. Remus’ hands were at his waist, those clever fingers of his teasing the skin just under the hem of his shirt. Sirius smiled inwardly and repaid him by kissing and sucking at the sensitive skin behind his ear. The way Remus shuddered against him sent heat shooting straight to his cock and he couldn’t help but moan.
“Sirius,” Remus murmured hotly in his ear, “upstairs.”
By the time they got there, Sirius had managed to lose his shirt and was still kissing Remus as he toed off his boots in the doorway. He was surprised he remembered to take them off at all, really. Breaking away from Sirius to catch his breath, Remus went and pulled open the curtains, letting moonlight fill the room. Sirius kneeled on the bed, tugging Remus towards him by the belt loops. He kissed his throat and could feel Remus’ pulse hammering under his lips when he began to push Remus’ shirt up. His stomach was flat, with three long scars just under his navel. Sirius traced them with his fingers and Remus shivered.
“Tickles,” Remus said softly.
When Sirius looked up, the shirt was gone and he could see the thick, silvery scar on Remus’ collarbone. His eyes met Remus’ and he saw silent permission before he pressed a wet, open mouthed kiss along the rough, raised tissue and felt Remus shiver again.
Abruptly, Remus shoved him back onto the bed and kissed him hard. A stray thought about the scar and being so near the moon skittered through his head until he felt Remus’ hips rocking against his. He felt Remus undoing his fly, cool fingers on his hot skin. He was so hard and the friction was so good that he almost lost it right then, but there was still something he wanted to do. With a swift motion, he flipped them over.
“What are you doing?” Remus asked, his voice only slightly pained.
Sirius needed to take a deep breath and get himself under control, but Remus looked so debauched - mouth swollen, hair a mess, a purple-red bruise on his neck, fly undone – that he had to grin wolfishly.
“You’ll see, Moony,” he answered with a chuckle.
Leaning over, he pulled Remus’ jeans and pants off his hips and tossed them on the floor. Sirius trailed his hands back up his thighs and he could feel the muscles tensing underneath as he lowered his head to Remus’ cock, his tongue darting out to taste him.
Remus shifted and moaned as he did it again, slower this time. “Sirius, you don’t have to…” he started, but was cut off by Sirius taking him into his mouth.
Careful of his teeth, Sirius slid his lips down as far as he could. Remus’ cock was hot and heavy on his tongue, and as he moved up and down he could feel Remus’ hand on his head, setting the pace. As he came up to the tip, he flicked his tongue back and forth, making Remus moan and curse. His own erection was painful now, pressing hard against his half open fly. But he didn’t care, as long as he could get Remus to say his name like that again. Like it was a prayer, cried at the top of his lungs. Remus was thrusting into his mouth now, faster and harder and Sirius knew he was close. He opened his eyes, wanting to be able to watch his solid, serious Moony shatter. But with great restraint, Remus stopped moving.
“What’s the matter?” Sirius asked.
Remus didn’t answer right away, he just pulled him up so they were face to face, and hissing as the rough fabric of Sirius’ jeans rubbed along his cock.
“I want to see you, that’s all,” Remus answered, his hands helping Sirius wiggle out of the last of his clothes.
“No pants, Padfoot? You are a bad boy,” he whispered as Sirius settled on top of him.
Sirius bit back a gasp as his cock came into contact with Remus’. It was so much better than he had imagined, all slick skin, sweat, and God, Remus, that he didn’t know how much longer he could hold out. And the way Remus was moving against him, shifting his hips just so was driving him mad.
“Remus,” he said brokenly as he felt Remus’ hand on him, stroking in time to his own thrusts. He kissed him hard, losing himself in wave of heat crashing through him. A second later he was coming, spilling over Remus’ hand and stomach. He was still shaking as Remus followed him with a strangled cry.
Sirius looked down, feeling an ache in his chest, and he almost panicked before he realized it wasn’t the sad, painful one he’d been feeling since the prank. This one was warm and simple and it had everything to do with the beautiful, disheveled, glowing boy looking back at him.
He was in love with Remus.
For all the lies he had told himself, the truth never seemed clearer than at that moment. He had given him the keys as a sign of trust, as a peace offering, but he had ended up getting so much more than that. Before he could become overwhelmed, Remus leaned up and kissed him lazily, a hint of a smile on his lips.
“Suddenly, I’m extremely glad I told my parents I wanted to go back to school a bit early,” he said, rolling out from underneath Sirius and lying on his side. There was still a smudge of grease on his forearm, but Remus didn’t notice it as he whispered a cleansing spell over them both.
Sirius lay down beside him and reached for his hand. “Me too, Moony. Me too.”