Labyrinth of Sin
Archiving: All FQF will be archived solely at this site until August 31st, 2007. 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: OCR2: The pups give the sex talk to Harry.
Author's Notes: Beta by tyleet27. Warnings for AU and language.
Sonnet XVII - Pablo Neruda
I - Waxing Gibbous . I hate having visitors on the days before a full moon. Which is why James and Sirius thinks it's funny to pop in for a visit a day or two before they have to spend a night curled with me in a dark corner of my cellar. They know I hate something and they do it. That's how they've always operated.
I get the door before they ring the bell.
I can smell them. Can smell him, ten miles away. I never tell them about the smelling bit. It's enough that they have to deal with my short temper. They like to laugh at the outbursts. My best friends. I smell cat urine on James' shoes and wonder how Sirius dealt with that. He probably jumped him and tried to wrestle the boot off. Ten quid says he talked the cat into doing the deed. I wouldn't put it past the mutt either. I wonder if it's McGonagall.
See, this is why I hate having visitors just before the full moon. I'm not myself. I ache for him more. More than usual. It's primal. I get irrational and distracted and possessive. And just desperate sometimes.
"James." I smile politely. "Sirius."
"Hello there Harry."
I smile at him and he smiles at me. We're good at pretending to like each other. But he's fifteen and I always feel like the biggest idiot keeping up a feud with a teenager. Worse is now when I'm close to the full moon. I can hear his teeth grind when I hug Sirius and he looks away with a sigh that should be imperceptible when his dad grabs me. I nod at him with another smile. I'd hug him too but teenagers like to say that they don't hug. Not older men who they especially can't tolerate anyway. Not anybody actually, except maybe the person who makes their palms sweat.
"Make yourself comfortable," I say dryly.
Sirius has already transfigured one of my best cushions into a recliner. James grins and grabs another cushion. I turn away as he pulls out his wand. I know what they usually spend the first ten minutes of their visits doing and something is going to explode soon.
"Anyone wants anything to drink?"
Sirius and James laugh out their no.
"Nothing we can't transfigure ourselves," Harry responds. He makes it sound like a nice, innocent, comment. I know him though. I wait for the rest. "If I lived in a place like this I'd be afraid of everything getting all moldy and spoil. I'd transfigure everything."
"Harry." James' tone is abrupt. "Stop being rude."
"It's just Uncle Remus." I turn to meet his gaze and he smiles innocently. "It's not like I pointed out that he's poor or anything."
"Harry!" James' voice snaps like a whip.
Harry sinks into the couch he's occupying, crossing his arms over his stomach and sulking. James and Sirius changes the cushions back and sits together on the largest of the three chairs. I wonder about getting the boy a cold drink. To cool him off. Or buy points.
"Moony relax," Sirius drawls as he rises from the chair. He can never sit still for long. Like me on the days before a full moon. Restless. "What were you doing before we barged in?"
He stands beside me with a huge smile. I suck in air saturated with the scent of his skin. Images flash through my mind of licking the musk off his skin and replacing it with sweat and sex, my skin pressed against his and me inside him.
He reaches out to suddenly, painfully shove me.
I growl low in my throat, but he doesn't understand the difference between my growls yet and it's been a while since I let an aroused one slip. He thinks I'm irritated and that just makes him laugh. I shove him back and give him an incredulous glare that says I can't believe that at his age he's resorting to five year old tactics. He just laughs even more and shoves me again. I grab him. Damn. He feels so good against me.
"Kitchen," I command into the shell of his ear.
He laughs again and nods.
I glance at Harry just as we turn to walk away.
The boy is glaring daggers.
II - Waning Crescent . "Oh, you're here now." He raises an eyebrow and sighs, but it's not his usual painful, angry sigh. "Is Uncle Sirius around?"
I nod, weary of the hormonal beast inside of him that can take him from a pleasant young man to a raging, spiteful little boy. I imagine what it must be like to live with him and pity James who has no Lily to take the motherly brunt of it all. Harry resents everyone for everything. He hates his father for saving him from Voldemort and not his mother. He hates Sirius for escaping into a world of black fur and four paws when the pressures of humanity are too great. And he hates me, for everything I am and everything I desire.
I indicate that he should sit, and he does so reluctantly, slouching in the chair as is his tendency.
"Visiting your Dad again, yeah? How is Hogwarts?" I ask to fill the silence.
"And your friends?"
"I heard about your last match. Caught the snitch just in the nick of time, right? Good for you."
Sirius comes into the room just in time to save me from the heavy silence after each of his clipped answers. Sirius' face lights up at the sight of his godson and my presence is forgotten. But I have always been comfortable outside of any spotlight, so I sit back and watch. Harry rises and jostles with Sirius as if they haven't seen each other in years. He is smiling too and it's not his usual cool, collected, arrogant little smile but a genuine happy grin.
"Dad said you were getting a new place all the way out here. I've come around just to take a look. It's nice." His voice is shy and this shyness makes him blush. "Dad says I can ask to stay here some time. If it's alright with you."
Sirius nods enthusiastically. "Of course! If it's alright with Remus too. We're roommates now."
The darkness comes then, clouding Harry's green eyes. I meet the flashes of anger in their depths and feel my limbs stiffen at his obvious displeasure. His emotions flicker so quickly from one state to the next that I'm always caught off-guard. I am always one step too late to build an emotional barrier that will save me.
"Right. Well it's fine. I'll just kip at Ron's house. It's no problem." His voice is controlled. The manners his father taught him wars with the impetuous nature of youth. "I'd probably be shitty company anyway."
Sirius deals with this change in Harry's character so much better than I do. Perhaps it is because he too has a volatile side and he remembers what it's like to be fifteen. I have been thirty five my whole life, even when I was only six, according to him. Sirius stayed seventeen for as long as he could before sheer boredom, I think, prodded him to act his true age.
He grins now in the face of Harry's irritation. "Yes. You go off all in a huff and when you're ready you can come on over here and we'll set up with you and pretend that you wouldn't rather go kip at Ron's place."
Harry turns crimson, looking away but a smile tugs at the corner of his lips. He fights it valiantly until he can't anymore.
"Alright," he says quietly. "Don't tell dad I cursed."
Sirius laughs. "It's not like I don't do it twice as much. I probably taught you the damn word."
Harry grabs him into a tight hug. I can feel the gratitude pour from his skin. It is gratitude for finding someone who understands him when he craves understanding. And for someone who tolerates him when his skin is too small for the things inside that are changing him into someone he can hardly recognize anymore.
He shuffles over to me now and I watch the monster retreat to grant me a moment with the boy who once loved me just as fiercely as he sometimes hates me now.
I pull him tightly into my arms. I understand. I cannot help what I am and who I want. I cannot make this realization less repugnant to him. But I am given these small moments and I savor them as I savor every memory I have of him from the first step he took to the first time he said my name. He is as much my godchild as he is Sirius'. I know now that he resents this too. But sometimes it doesn't hurt him quite so deeply.
"You take care," I say quietly. "And good luck with the rest of term."
He nods into my shoulder and slips from my arms. When he leaves he takes Sirius' blindingly happy smile with him. I sigh in the dark cave of myself where my dark desires are locked away. I can control myself. I always have.
But I resent him for knowing my secret shame.
III - New Moon . "It's not very nice," he says hesitantly.
James and Harry are over at Sirius' place again. It's my place too now but everyone refers to it as Sirius' which implies that I'm just a permanent guest. It's not something I mind. I carry little pieces of Sirius with me, and stroke them in the silence of my darkness. His smile. His voice. His smell. Mostly his smell because in his scent I can recreate his entire day. I always did that even when we were at Hogwarts together. I could tell when he had sex and with which girl. I could tell when James had managed to shove him into the lake again as a common cure for their boredom. I could tell when he had touched himself. The scent would curl like smoke in my stomach. Now it's worse, since I've allowed my curiosity to deepen almost to obsession.
The dishes clink gently together as I wash them, using my wand to orchestrate the task. Harry dries them with a towel because he cannot use magic outside of school. But the silence we work in is obviously too much, and so he begins to speak. His words, as usual burn me inside. I grab for my tainted little pieces of Sirius, even though they are the crux of the problem.
"I don't suppose he knows." He turns scarlet, bites his lip a little and looks away but still he speaks, "I don't think he'd like it if he knew."
How strange it is to have a child judge me.
"Can't you like Tonks instead? She likes you." He almost sounds as if he's begging me to do this, showing some rare vulnerability. "Dad says that Tonks has had a crush on you since her sixth year."
I look at him then, with the expression that made Pettigrew confess his betrayal. I've always known and accepted that Harry is aware that I'm in love with Sirius. I've never understood how he deciphered this when I am so good at keeping secrets, but I am always so ashamed of my desires that I accepted his disgust without complaint. But it occurs to me now that Harry is nearly sixteen and his own lack of knowledge must fuel his blind hatred of me sometimes.
I've never before considered this.
"Harry," I say gently. "I can't make myself fall in love with someone I don't desire."
His expression collapses into disgust and he hisses low, "Love?"
I can't really say I blame him.
Then James pokes his head into the kitchen and we both turn innocent eyes upon him.
"Hey Harry, are you coming?" he asks pointedly.
His son gives him a blank look. "Where're we going?"
"Yes. Oh." James grins at the eloquence of his offspring. "I have to pop by the office because Sirius here forgot to send off the quarterly budget report to the Minister. He just fire-called in a panic thinking he misplaced it."
Sirius hits him upside his head. I turn away to spare myself the sight of a tempting lock of hair brushing Sirius' forehead. Beside me, Harry shakes his head.
"No thanks then. D'you mind if I stay here a bit longer? I'll floo home when I'm ready."
I wonder what he's playing at now.
Sirius obviously suspects something too because as soon as James departs, he steers Harry towards the dining room and pours him a glass of orange juice. Harry accepts without a word. But, I see the glances that he shoots in my direction and the steel in his green gaze tells me that he's declaring war.
"Well out with it!" Sirius says with a grin. "What's so important that you had to send Prongs away?"
Harry loses his confidence. I force myself to sit down at the table with them.
"Nothing," Harry mumbles.
Sirius raises an eyebrow. I look away from both of them - the symbols of my love and my war - and wait for my secrets to fall from the lips of this man-child. Harry hesitates, glancing at me again, before taking a deep breath, turning a shade of crimson. And then he speaks.
"Can you - tell me - about the first time you had sex - with a girl. I mean woman. What was it like? Did you like it? Is it as good the second time? Do you remember the women? What were they like?"
Sirius laughs and slaps him over the back, giving him a wicked conspiring grin.
"The first girl I slept with was Alice Weedlemyer," he says slowly with a faraway glint stealing into his fathomless grey eyes. "She was in Ravenclaw but she had the body of a Slytherin. D'you know what I mean? Absolutely sinful."
IV - Waxing Crescent . "Hullo prude."
The night air is cold but the chill cannot pierce me. I stand on the widow's walk gazing far out at the sea, watching the broken moon dance on the glassy surface. I sip at the scotch that I've been steadily drinking to block out the sound of the conversation that never ends. Every name he conjures up burns another hole through me. I escape. And as always he seeks me out to rescue me from my brooding. Tonight the moon is a tiny slice on the wrong hemisphere. My senses sting and my body ache to have him so near.
"I am not a prude."
He laughs. I try to anchor myself to the horizon in hopes that its divide can rescue me.
"Shit Moony, it's fucking cold out here!" He moves to stand beside me. The whine in his voice is something I've heard my whole life and yet I am not immune. "Moony!"
"Go inside," I respond quietly, still not looking at him.
"You hate that I'm exposing him so much to the carnal side of life?" He sighs. "It's just sex Moony. The boy's going to shag a girl one day. At least now he knows what to expect."
"And you tell him everything. About every woman you've ever touched."
He shrugs. "I've been around. You know that."
"I didn't know the half of it."
He reaches out to take my hand in his as if it is the most natural, most heterosexual response in the world. Pleasure, so intense it hurts, shoots up and down my arm. I still don't look at him or his silver eyes that are so much like the moon I hate so much.
"Moo-ny," he says softly, teasingly, with the lilt in my nickname that only he ever does. Then in a falsetto, "You'll always be my best girl. Don't you know?"
I pull my hand away and give him a look worthy of hell. His amusement crumbles, but he's not angry. I don't remember him ever being angry at me. It has always been me trying to distance myself away from his wild side and his tempting grins.
He puts his hand beside mine on the railing but he doesn't touch me again.
"I'm sorry," he whispers, making my bones weak and the wolf buried inside of me claw at the cage of my ribs. "I mean I told James, but it makes you uncomfortable having me prattle on about my latest conquest. I know that. Remember when James first shagged Lily? And he told you? I swear you went red all over. And you've always hated hearing about my girlfriends. So I just didn't tell you about all of them. Besides, they were all years ago. You can't possibly judge me on my years as a teenager. Every guy wants a world record of women. Well - maybe not you."
"I am not a prude," I snap. "I just don't find it sexy to --"
"Be a man-whore," he finishes with a grin. "To fuck with every girl that wanted to say they slept with a Black or kiss all the girls who put me on a pedestal." He uses the tip of his fingers to lightly trace a path along my wrist. "You're right. Not sexy."
"Prongs would skin us whole if he knew we're giving his baby boy lessons on sex."
He laughs, softly this time. I love when he laughs like this. It's not his usual bark, it's softer and cleaner somehow.
"You give him too much credit," he retorts. "Prongs knows what Harry comes over here so often for these days. He'd rather he knows than not know and make a huge mistake."
"Harry isn't you," I point out. "Or James."
"Good thing too!" He nudges me. "C'mon. Let's go in. These widow's walks always give me the shivers and strangely enough make me feel mildly suicidal."
I drain the glass of scotch that I've been neglecting.
"Moony, come inside. It's colder than a fucking banshee's tit in December!"
I raise an eyebrow then save him any more gross exaggeration by casting a light warming charm on him. My reward is the smirk he shoots my way in gratitude and of course his quiet laugh again, as if I played right into his hands by exerting what little energy is necessary to make him comfortable beside me.
"Better?" I ask.
"Much," he responds, tracing the outline of his star with glowing, crystalline eyes.
I know because he always does this. I do it too. For him. The wolf inside of me curls in my stomach and whimpers softly at the agony of dissatisfaction. I step away from him and the maddening scent of his body, so near and yet an entire Kinsey scale away from me.
"Let's go in."
He shakes his head and looks at me with the expression of a five year old.
"Let's stay now," he begs softly. "It's nice out here."
I step back towards him, resting my hand at the edge of his as we hold on to the railing and stare out at the sea.
V - Waxing Half . It turns out that both Sirius and I underestimated the brilliance and shamelessness of our best friend, James.
"Prongs! What the - " Sirius shuts up just in time to notice that not only is James the one who rang our doorbell at eight in the morning but Harry is also with him. "Get inside then."
They convene around me while I sip my morning cup of tea. I notice that James has a hastily wrapped package in his hand and Harry keeps giving his father glares that could leave scorch marks in their wake. I give Sirius a look. He winks at me. Judging from the embarrassment seeping out of Harry, and the way James' eyes has the same look he got when Lily once gave him a glimpse down her blouse in front of us - sort of shocked and oddly amused - I have my suspicions about what the package contains. Sirius, I can see, is hoping that it's a lot more. I wonder at how James can do this to his son but we are his best friends and have always been there to take on the more embarrassing aspects of fatherhood for him.
"Don't think I'm not aware that he knows about sex," James says jumping right in. "So I thought you should have the honor too of telling him about what really goes on during the act."
Harry, poor sod, chokes horribly on a mouthful of tea. Sirius doesn't even blink. His eyes, I notice, are dancing in that way they usually do right before a particularly funny prank.
"The sex talk?" he asks.
The smirk on Sirius' face gets diabolical.
"Right then, where to start?" He clears his throat importantly. "When a guy and a girl falls in love they want to consummate that love. The bloke, if he's lucky, will remember that girls are delicate creatures who have ticking time bombs inside that if he's unlucky could very well result in an unwanted pregnancy. It's important for the bloke to then read up on the various potions necessary to prevent such an event. Most girls are already on the potion, unless they're the nice innocent kind who gifts you with their - "
"Oh for goodness sake!" Harry interrupts. "You're not really going to get into this tripe are you?"
He turns pleading eyes to his father. "Dad I swear, I don't need this talk. I know all about women."
"Yes, I know." James' expression becomes one that I never thought I'd see again. There's no trace of humor anymore. "It's one thing to know about women, Harry. It's quite another to respect them."
He unwraps the package, and just as Sirius and I thought, out tumbles a dirty magazine. Only this one has a wizard with a broomstick between his legs and a half naked witch standing behind him grasping the front end of the broom very seductively.
Sirius snorts and then begins laughing so hard that he sounds like he's choking. Calmly, James turns to me but I ignore him in favour of searching for something perhaps hidden in Harry's downcast face.
"Moony do you mind?"
"You know James, it wouldn't kill you to take a shot at this yourself," I snap, though not in particularly rude way. "I mean you are his parent. These talks are usually kept behind closed doors."
He shrugs. "I did try. He begged off in favor of letting the two of you have a go."
Sirius finds this even more amusing.
"C'mon Prongs, the boy was just curious!" he chortles.
"Curious is wanking in the shower with a silencing spell up," James response dryly. "Not having Ginny Weasley over at six in the morning, sneaking him porn."
"Fuck me, he didn't!"
I shoot Sirius a look but he never takes his indecent outbursts back and he obviously will not now. Instead he gives Harry an exuberant pat on the head. Harry goes ever redder while his staring contest with the tablecloth begins to set new records.
"Moony?" James asks again.
I cannot say no because I will not admit to my alternative views on this subject.
"Alright," I say quietly. Harry looks up to catch my eyes briefly, then he slumps again. "Get the immature dog out before he suffocates on his own tongue."
They leave without a word. Without laughter even. They just stroll out side by side, leaving me to my uncomfortable task.
"Harry," I say in opening. "It's okay to be curious. Sirius hasn't been helping much by telling you all about his sordid past."
His eyes snap back up, but he's still more embarrassed than angry.
"Ginny said that her brothers had magazines hidden everywhere," he mumbles. "I don't have any. I just wanted to see if it's something I'd want. It's not a huge deal."
I gather my thoughts and revert to a professional, detached manner. He interrupts before I can speak however, with fingers scratching at the tablecloth and still slouching in his seat. But his eyes rise to meet mine and they're open, hesitant, but so very innocent in their curiosity. I remember who he is. Still Lily's child. Still just Harry. Somewhere behind his bursts of hostility and spite is a good man.
"Tell me," he says softly. "About Sirius. How you knew. Tell me why it - why you don't feel - sick - knowing."
I pull together my broken shard of Sirius inside me, cradling them close to my heart.
"Not here," I finally say.
He looks away, towards the door where they could be listening. And he nods, as understanding rises like a mist within us.
'Don't tell Dad,' I can almost hear him whisper.
I'm good at keeping this particular secret.
VI - Lunar Eclipse . There is no way to explain it, this hunger for Sirius. It is not something I have ever tried to put into words because it is more than words. And while I always knew that I could mate with anyone I wanted, run wild with any other werewolf, even deny myself of food and water and air, I always knew instinctively that I really belonged to only one man.
I cannot explain the agony.
All I know is what I feel when I am near to him, from the second I saw him and allowed my desire for him to overwhelm every other need in me. Until he became the only god in my universe, and the only being I would tear myself limb to limb for. It is not a yearning. It is a possession. I ache for him. I cannot explain the way the wolf inside of me rip holes into my abdomen, leaving gashes of pain in its desire to get to him. Somehow, to be near him. I barely appease the yearning on a daily basis.
And on a night as special as tonight, my only defence is to hide from him. I feel the way the celestial bodies shift in the darkening sky. I feel their pull, their burn, and the wolf snarls angrily at me to do something to ease the yawning abyss that tries to suck all sense of reason and intelligence from my mind.
I sneak into his room and open his window.
I can see the ocean of black sky, inky and dark tonight. Hidden behind the thin veil of clouds I see the moon too. Bright, glowing like a diamond encrusted orb, perfectly round and whole tonight. Perfectly full. I resent this night although as a child I used to pray from them. I feel the madness building, rushing even now through my blood, but this is a magic that is born from the magic of the wolf and in this moonlight, whole as it is, I will not transform yet. At least not to a wolf. To an animal. To be bathed in pain so blinding that I'll tear at my own flesh to find the source. Yes. To be so lost in myself that I won't recognize myself. It is the Moonspell. The magic of the lunar eclipse.
His sheets smell of him. I am glad he is not in here with me.
What would I do if he was here? The answer comes to me in a rush of heat. Hold him prisoner to my strength, locking his arms and his legs away from his body. I would trace a path with my tongue from his clavicle to the tip of his penis, sucking him until his voice is hoarse from shouting for more. Sirius, I can't stop myself. I would tattoo my name into his flesh with my body writhing against him until his breath become gasps of air filled with the syllables of my name. Then I would use my hands to torment him, and slip my fingers inside of him to feel the hot, dark pit inside his body reserved for my invasion.
"No!" I growl past clenched teeth.
I need to get away from temptation but the farthest I can retreat is to the far corner, facing the window with the moon that is very slowly being overshadowed.
I sent him away today. I knew he didn't realize that tonight there would be an eclipse. I know because he spent the entire morning fire-calling James to confirm with him that we'd be without Prongs tonight, and asking about Harry. Sirius was eager about the full moon tonight, not realizing that the moon should be watched for another reason too. They expend so much energy following the charts and studying the stars and the planets' alignment that it always amazes me that they could miss anything. My best friends. They sacrifice so much for me. But they've never been through an eclipse with me. They might have read about the Moonspell but they've never seen me ensnared by it. So I sent him away today to spend time with James and buy surprise presents for Harry.
And here I am now, hiding in his room, because I need something of him near to me and because I cannot have him.
What would I do if he was here to see me like this? I'd climb on top of him, pressing him upon the fine silk sheet paid with Black money and into the mattress that would cradle him below as I would pin him above. Or perhaps I would switch our positions, holding him above me as my body rocked into him, his arse resting upon my hips, my fingers holding him prisoner to the pleasure I would lace through his body. To hear his ragged breaths of air each time I plunged inside of him or the deep moans every time I recede. His scent would be my poison, cloying and intense and palpable. His silvery grey eyes, stealing the light from the moon, would drown me and intoxicate me.
There is no easy way to explain being in love with Sirius, but I remember now how I tried to explain it to Harry a few weeks ago.
"Having sex with a man isn't that big of a difference from being with a woman. It's still tabs and slots, just slightly different. Different slot, same tab. It's the 'being in love' part that makes all the difference. I can love a woman who will inevitably relinquish dominance to me. But, I love a man who will fight me for that dominance. In my arms he would be hard and powerful. But, I am a werewolf Harry. It is a world of difference from what any ordinary wizard may want. And I, as Remus, didn't fall in love with a gender. I fell in love with a person. I want Sirius, Harry. I just do. It's not something I can help."
I see us now, as the wolf and the dog. I will have him in this way if not in my human form.
His voice is so loud it makes the moon become enflamed. The darkened orb is now a mass of red and orange. The colors, so gentle and so fierce, is indicative of the molten blood in my veins. He pulls me to my feet and I let him. How intoxicating he is to me, stroking my hair, his eyes wide and angry at the wounds I have inflicted upon myself.
I snap at him, growling with my teeth bare. I slam him into the wall, knocking the breath from his body in a clear whoosh of air. My fingers tighten around his neck, tighter and tighter until I coax the fear I need to see into the grey pools. But my fingers are human, and I am attacking him on two legs. My inside does not however reflect my outside. This is the magic of the eclipse. Animal and yet not. He smells like running and laughter, like musk and sweat and fear and horror now. He is so beautiful, so godlike to me.
I could kill him so easily. Kill him to have him. Kill him to be with him because I need him so much.
"Remus," he says now in a soft voice, as he tries to rein in his fear. "Let go."
My fingers loosen just a fraction, but it is enough for him to see that I'm trying to obey. He pries my hand away and I see the imprint of my fingers and nails on his neck. Then I am slamming him into the wall again, a cold smile alighting upon my face. He isn't afraid now, just curious. Don't Sirius. Don't trust me. I trace his lips with my fingers as gently as I can. My low growls are whimpers now. It hurts me to be so near to him and still deny my primal need.
"Remus?" He searches my eyes, trying to find a thread of sanity in me.
Outside, the darkness is receding from the face of the moon. The light that emerges tugs at the wolf and I feel it responding to the call of the full moon. I have to escape before I change. I have to leave before I tear him to pieces, trying to get inside of him.
Instead I lean into him, whimpering softly as his arms wrap around me. His tilts his forehead onto mine and I search for his mouth with my lips and my teeth. When I kiss him, it's orgasmic but the intense waves of pleasure makes me weak. I want more than his mouth. I want his body. My fingers scratch at his clothes before I realize that I'm tearing at his skin too. He is so still, so silent in my arms, that if it wasn't for his quiet breathing I would think he was a statue. Beautiful, but still.
"Don't Sirius," I whisper brokenly. "Don't just let me hurt you."
His arms release me. His eyes are cold. Or maybe confused.
I stumble away from him, catching a glimpse of the moon as I do. The eclipse is almost over now. I feel the spell releasing me from its compulsion, but my chosen mate is alive. There are tales of wolves who wake to find that the spell destroyed all their inhibitions and they in turn destroy everything. I didn't hurt him.
"Remus, I told James about the eclipse. He'll be here soon. Did you take the Wolfsbane potion?"
He knows my secret now. He knows how much I ache for him. He knows about my perversions and my desires and have probably realized that I've chosen him as my mate. I don't wait to see the disgust blossom on his face. I don't wait to hear him react the way that Harry predicted that he would and that I have always been afraid would be true. Instead I run away from him. I run as far away from him and his intoxicating scent as I can.
And in the light of the full moon the wolf explodes from within me, tearing my skin in places as it changes me.
VII - Full Moon . The strong jaws of the wolf snap threateningly close to Padfoot's face.
I watch how a quick twist and a slight skittle brings him back to safety. His dark eyes take in the sleek figure of the wolf and something primal races visibly through his skin. Moony's sharp eyes see the rustle of fur, but I know that Sirius will not be easily deterred. So while Moony thinks the dog will be an easy target, I am not so sure it's wise to piss Sirius off. I've already tested his patience twice tonight. Once in his room, now with only half the correct dose of Wolfsbane in my veins. I am barely Remus in the dark cavern of Moony's skin. I'm not quite sane and Padfoot has been smelling my wild streak since he followed me into the night. With a growl he advances but as the wolf, I am ready too. I snarl at him. A quick swipe has him retreating again. Back and back until we've reached the wall of the Shrieking shack. He chased me all night then trapped me in here. Moony is still smarting from the entrapment.
The wolf isn't snarling anymore now. The night is a blur to me, filled with the catharsis of running and then the chase. The dog and the stag had showed up and while I am, even now, relieved that they saved me from harming innocents, I also feel the indignation of having my night of freedom ruined. Sirius distracts me, not so much with his antics of keeping me in check, but his scent agitates me. Prongs left when Padfoot got the situation under control. The combination of my shame and impending rejection coupled with Moony's primal urges and agitation leads to misplaced anger. I attacked. Sirius took offence. The wolf and the dog have been fighting all night.
The moon is sinking quickly now and dawn is on the verge of breaking. For a second my eyes remain wolfishly gold but in a flash, it is suddenly my brown eyes that are gazing intensely at the dog. The wolf realizes that my human side is regaining dominance and Moony is not happy. Staring at Sirius in Padfoot form, my own frustration mingles with the wolf's. I bare my teeth, deliberately letting the mutt know that daylight may be lingering but this fight will go on. Still Padfoot is ready when I suddenly spring at him with a snarl.
Sirius growls and snaps, probably realizing that it's not only Moony who wishes to rip into him. Somewhere in the depth of his black eyes I imagine Sirius letting free a sound of frustration. I don't care. I don't know why dominance is suddenly so important to me. I only know that I need him submissive and beneath me, somehow. I attack him again, locking my teeth deep into his neck, yet surprisingly not tasting blood. This irritates me in an irrational way.
We roll around in a frantic ball of snapping jaws and growls. Claws swipe haphazardly, finally drawing blood. And it becomes more like a dance of instinct than a fight of dominance. I understand now what is driving me, but it doesn't change my actions. I realize that it's his refusal to bend to my will that intrigues me. Sirius' sexy, stubborn streak transcribes into a stubborn alpha male dog. I've always known the appeal of my mate, I just never realized until now how irresistible to the wolf his presence seems. And now it isn't about saving myself any more than it is about not giving in and letting him escape from me.
"Is that the best you can do?" Padfoot's eyes seem to taunt.
The wolf inside me reacts to this, as if in response to a direct challenge. But the coming dawn does not weaken Padfoot as it does to me. Almost too easily he pins my smaller body beneath his. He snaps at me, and I snap back, but that primal part of my brain knows that it is an act.
One of us has to be dominant and since I am already beneath him, it doesn't leave much choice in my mind of what should follow.
But the moon is still sinking, and soon it is gone.
Sirius howls in frustration conveying almost as much pain as I do when my form begins to shift. It is just me now, the wolf safely contained again, as I struggle against the agony of cracking bones and blistering skin. My own frustration is also very strong and evident in my changed eyes. I try to rip into my own flesh to calm the madness and the need that is now coursing through my body like a dancing flame. It's one thing to fight him for access to his body and another to have him close but deny myself the pleasure, as I have been doing for too long now.
My body aches for what I had come so close to doing.
Beneath him I begin to emerge as myself, shifting painfully from the shape of the wolf to the naked figure of my true form. I pant from exertion. Unfocussed at first, tallying my wounds as true sanity returns, I soon realize that I am still pinned beneath the big dog.
"Sirius," I choke out softly, almost pleadingly.
There is no way that Sirius can ignore this tone. No matter what it brings. Without a second thought he too shifts to his true form. For once, as if through sheer will, he emerges as naked as me. We lay like this, tangled, for a second. Only our eyes communicate. My eyes give permission. Beg him.
"Remus," Sirius murmurs so softly that it could have just been like a thought floating through both our minds. "What do you want me to do?"
Keeping my eyes locked with his I open my legs wide enough for Sirius to comfortably settle against my most intimate places. There is no fear in his eyes, not even confusion. As if he understands, he simply nods decidedly and then hesitantly he brings our lips together. His kiss is so delicious that it sends tremor through my battered body. He understands me, I realize. He is Sirius. He would do anything to make me feel better after the full moon. Even this apparently. My conscience prickle.
'Merlin help me. Save him from this vile decadence that hungers for him.' I silently plead.
My hands bind him to my body. I move my body, seeking the hard flesh between his legs that I desire so much it makes my insides bleed with need. I inhale the scent of him. He is close enough now that I can smell myself on him. Echoes of 'Remus' and 'Moony' and sweat and heat escapes from the surface of his skin. My mouth gives over to his assault of tongue and teeth. And I'm drowning, moaning, writhing, while inside I am silently tearing apart beneath him.
'Don't regret this,' I beg silently. 'Don't tell me that this is just the wolf and the night and the moon.'
I see his eyes then. It's just a glimpse before a wave of passion clouds the grey, but it is enough. I catch a reflection of myself in his silver eyes, wide with lust and hesitation. I will contaminate you. The thought pours like ice through my veins. I gasp out a soft whimper. Inside me the wolf wails out a keening howl. My fingers clench from the pain that bathes me. You can't have him. My nails bite into the ground, scratching at the stone floor. Yet, even as I fight the wolf's instinct to allow this mating, my body arches into him. His warmth, his questioning gaze and gently stroking fingers, only strengthen my resolve.
I struggle, pulling myself away from him and collapsing into a heap before I can get far enough to escape. Fractures and wounds all over my body protest my decision to move, but I am resolved to find some way of leaving.
"You don't know," I whisper. My voice is so laced with self-hatred and torment that even I want to stop myself from speaking. But I struggle on. "You don't know what I'm asking of you."
His eyes soften and he reaches out a hand. "I do. Moony I do know. I want to. I want you too."
"No." I shake my head. "It's not human. What I'm asking for is not human, Sirius. It's --" It's primal and dark and dangerous and, "--savage."
"It's just sex," he says softly, smiling even. "Remus, neither of us are virgins here. Granted, it will be a little different for me, but it's nothing I'm seriously against doing. With you, especially."
His words are like a drug floating over to me tantalizingly. I very nearly launch myself at him. Can even imagine what having him inside of me would feel like. All sin and satin, hard and strong. I clench my teeth together, fighting the wave of desire. I want to join my body with his. I want to belong with him.
Instead I grab my clothes and my wand and stumble into the secret passage of the shack to escape him.
VIII - Waning Gibbous . It is nearly two months later that we have anything resembling a true conversation.
I traipse around the house careful not to stay within the same room with him for more than minutes and though he tries everything from peace offerings to locked doors, I manage to remain in my glass world of cold silences. Near enough to touch but farther and farther away each day as I flinch away from his apologies or confused anger. We've been like this before, but never for this. I am the one who crossed a line that I cannot forgive myself for this time, and yet he is left once more to gather the pieces of our friendship and spell it back together. I don't deserve him. I have never deserved this beautiful man. The realization hurts like ripping muscles off my bones and I feel my body weaken, ache, and beg to be healed by him.
"James flooed a quick message just now. He and I have to leave for an assignment for about a week. Hogwarts is out of course and he doesn't trust Harry alone in the house. Can you watch him here till we get back?"
I don't even look up from the book I am reading. Instead, with a nod of my head I respond, "Of course. Tell James it's no problem."
His fist comes down on the coffee table, or perhaps he kicks it. The strength of the blow is enough to send my cup of tea rattling in its saucer, and a stack of post slides off and onto the floor at my feet. I ignore his dramatics, but when he kneels before me I can no longer ignore the scent of his passion. Even when he's irritated he is alluring to me.
"This is shit," he says low and between clenched teeth.
I silently agree with him. The unfairness of the situation sends spasms of guilt coursing through my body. I don't know how to explain that disgust is my only defence against the memory of his kiss because as surely as the wolf would have claimed his body that night, I would tear my way past his soul to get to his heart, so that I can treasure it. The sheer force of my love for him is monstrous, but he refuses to face this and so I have no choice but to build barriers around myself to protect him from me.
His fingers on my cheeks force my attention upon his face. I look into his grey eyes and see storm clouds gather there. If only I knew how to harness the power within him.
"Remus I don't know how to make you understand," he begins quietly. "Being with you wouldn't be the worst decision I've made in my life." He sighs exasperatedly then tries again, "Damn it. I'm not saying this right."
I decide to spare him the torment.
"Sirius, just go on your assignment. I understand what you mean," I say to him.
His fingers retreat and he shakes his head, sighing as he rises to tower over me. I can see a thousand different reactions flitter across his face but he hold them all in. And then he is robbed against any other following opportunities because the fire flares green and a notice from the Ministry comes flying out. He deftly catches it, reading it quickly just before the edge of the paper sparks and the small piece of paper rapidly burns away.
I frown. He doesn't usually wait until the very last second before he tells me he has an assignment to leave on.
"I have to go now," he says, frowning too but more annoyed than angry. "James arranged to have Harry dropped off after his visits with the Weasleys. He should be coming around eight or nine this evening."
I nod again, wanting him to stay so that I don't have to fight this battle inside anymore, yet wanting him to leave and take my shame with him.
He snarls out a sound of frustration.
"Don't think this is the end Moony," he warns. "As soon as I return we're getting this sorted."
When he leaves I retreat outside to clear my head of his presence and consider what I want from him. It's not difficult to realize that I stand in the way of my own happiness but I also know that I would live and die a million lifetimes without him than to bear the brunt of his rejection. If this makes me a coward I do not know how to save either of us. But I can't stay with him pretending anymore that I don't want him when I have admitted the truth without words, and the thought of never seeing him again is not an option I am willing to consider just yet.
As promised, Harry arrives in the evening with a loud chime of the doorbell.
I rush to open the door, grateful for company outside of the maddening swirl of my own thoughts. Surprisingly it is not Mrs. Weasley, as I had expected, who accompanies Harry but Professor Severus Snape. I hide my intrigue behind a wide smile and watch as the ever present scowl darkens on the Potions master's face.
"Severus, how kind of you to fetch Harry," I say cordially. "I'm sure that James is very grateful."
Severus' lips curl in disgust.
"Potter can shove that gratitude up some place wretched for all I care," he snaps. "Kindly inform him that I am not hired as his damn nanny and the next time he needs someone accompanying his son out here he'd better bloody well take the time to do it himself."
I decide against protesting any distance he's referring to although Padfoot and Prongs accompanied me to Hogsmeade a few nights ago and it barely took us a few hours to run there and back before the moon sank. Still I know Severus and I would bet that his mood is not entirely a reaction to James' indiscretion. I watch Harry's response to this show of temper and am once again surprised for the evening.
"I'm sorry about the inconvenience Professor Snape. Thank you very much for accompanying me anyway."
I wonder when the volatile creature that was Harry Potter became the figure of charisma and calm that stands before me. In months he has become a man, and he is a man that I can recognize and admire even as I search his eyes and face for clues to his transformation. But, he is sixteen now. Perhaps his demons have finally been laid to rest and his skin no longer itches and bleeds in unfamiliarity.
Without a word Severus turns and walks away, apparating with a sharp popping sound mid-stride. On Harry's face there is a glimmer of a smile. I raise an eyebrow and look to him for an explanation, but as his cheeks redden slightly I know and finally, I truly understand his expression.
"Give him until you graduate," I comment lightly once I've settled him near the fire with a mug of hot chocolate to sip. "Right now I think you're scaring the hell out of him."
He laughs, soft and light, without the weight of condemnation to taint the sparkling green of his eyes.
"I'll give him as long as he wants. I can wait. Now that I admit to the strength of what I feel, it's not some stupid crush that's going to disappear."
I want to believe him, but sixteen is such a young age. Still, I remember about my own plight and I realize that I am the last person at liberty to judge him. So I nod, neither condemning nor accepting his words.
As if he realizes my reluctance to offer any advice, he rises to walk over to the mantle above the fireplace. He takes down my favorite picture and walks back over to me, tapping the frame to indicate the moving figures within. There is a dog and wolf sitting on the edge of a cliff together, the dog nuzzles the wolf and sometimes the wolf tucks his head under the chin of the huge black dog, while at the edge of the picture there is the shadow of a stag keeping watch in the light of the huge full moon that shines above.
"He loves you too," Harry says softly.
I nod. His eyebrows furrow in confusion.
"I don't understand then. I thought he didn't. I thought you were forcing him to be like you."
I wonder how much I can explain to him, and if it would even make sense to anyone else.
"We've been in love with each other since before we even understand that what we felt had a name." I look away from his piercing emerald gaze into the fire. "It's not something we ever had to admit to. Even his animagus form, as you well know, corresponds with my form as a wolf."
"Why aren't you together then?"
I laugh. "It's not a destiny thing. It's not as if he is my one true mate."
He sighs. "Right. But you do love him, yeah?"
I frown. My reservation has never been whether or not he could love me but whether he really should.
"Yes," I finally answer quietly. "But I am a creature of darkness. I cannot have him forget that."
IX - Waning Half . "I nearly died two days ago."
Two days ago Harry returned home and James stopped in to tell me that Sirius had to be rushed to St. Mungo's Hospital in critical condition. There was some mention of the Cruciatus Curse being cast repeatedly, something about being hit squarely in the chest by a severance charm then falling to break both legs and cracking four ribs while blood gushed from his body and onto the ground, where he laid before James managed to apparate them both to safety.
Now, as he strolls out of the open floo connection looking none the worse for wear, I casually look up from the novel that I'd been reading while I waited for this exact entrance.
"I see you made it back in one piece however."
His grey eyes narrow. "Barely! And do you know why I managed to get my arse kicked by a group of wizards not smart enough to be out of nappies much less declare themselves as an organized crime group? It's your fucking fault that I was so distracted I nearly died!"
That gets my full attention. I raise an eyebrow, not yet getting to the point of anger as I'm much too curious about his reasoning.
"Remus," he says in a voice too soft to be anything but serious. "This is shit, and I can't stand for it any longer."
He kneels before me just like he did before, as if the conversation never got interrupted ten days ago. This man who would crawl into my bed when we were children, even though we knew it was no childish matter that we were asking the gods to overlook, has always had the power to destroy me.
"If it was simple I would have given up on fighting a long time ago," I point out with a false calm that I cannot feel. "But this is just another challenge that you just have to take on."
He hisses out an irritated gust of air, seeming to give up as he rises to join me on the couch. The air between us sizzles with tension. Neither of us speaks and I don't have the energy to pretend to be too preoccupied. I wonder what he's thinking. Then he looks over at me and I drown in the depth of his eyes.
"I need air," he mutters. "Come with me outside."
The moon is divided tonight, with darkness and light perfectly balanced. The wolf is calm inside me. My footsteps are loud to my own ears, falling like a troubled heartbeat and I wonder if his ears can discern the rhythm too. He leans against the railing of the widow's walk and doesn't turn around when I approach. In the distance the ocean is a flowing, molten mass of shadows and glow, stealing the reflection of the moon to keep its secrets hidden. Sirius moved out here because the city makes him claustrophobic. He has a strange connection with the ocean. In another life it might have even saved him. Not in this life. But something in the tempestuous ebb and flow of the tide, calms the demon in me too and he knows this.
"Remus, it's not just --"
I sigh softly. "I know, Padfoot."
He glances over at me for a second, shaking his head then turning away. "If it's not what you --"
"Sirius, you've only ever been with women," I preempt him again without much thought. "This might not be what you want."
He looks at me again, holding my gaze this time as he turns to face me. A corner of his mouth turns up in a half smile as his good humour returns. I prepare myself for anything from a tackle to a quick grope, knowing that I don't have the energy to truly fight him. If he really wants to be with me half as much as I need him, then I'm fighting a losing battle against the inevitable. And in truth, he has already poisoned me for anyone else.
"Moony," he says quietly. "I know that we've done everything possible to lead good, wholesome lives as just friends but it's not what is supposed to happen between us. You can argue until the moon turns blue, but even when we were children there was this attraction between us. I fought it and accepted it, hated it and denied it, but I've never been ashamed of it. I'm not afraid of what you are."
"You should be."
He traces his thumb across my lips as if I'm made of porcelain and as fragile as glass, as if I couldn't snap his spine in a fit of anger on any full moon night. I glare at him, moving away from the hypnotic glide of his fingertip, and he laughs softly. I want to bury myself in his confidence and hide my tainted pieces among the shards of his impurities. I want to be with him, even as I fight him with every ounce of my intellect.
"It's different with a man." My tone is light but weary. "It's even worse with a werewolf."
"D'you think I don't know that Remus?" His eyes narrow. "I know that you're not just going to lie down all docile and take it up the arse. But I know that sliding deep inside of you will shatter any prior convictions I've had about sex. I don't need to have you naked against me to feel you Remus."
This entire conversation is becoming ridiculous and I tell him as much.
"Why d'you always have to resort to melodrama? A simple statement of fact would suffice."
He laughs for the second time in as many minutes before reaching out his hands to pull me into his arms. His scent explodes around me, and I shatter into a million splinters of need and desire before his lips are upon mine, stealing my last gasp of air. As I have always known, our bodies mold into and around each other perfectly.
"This could potentially destroy you," I tell him.
"I want to see you try," he responds with a grin. "I've been in love with you since I was eleven, Moony. You're mine."
"Cocky bastard," I murmur against his lips.
He grins a wicked smile before pulling me back into a hard embrace, chanting softly into my ear. "My Moony. All mine."
Lost somewhere between common sense and a hunger to be near him, with both darkness and light tugging at my soul, I cannot find the will to disagree with him. And so I don't argue. I kiss him. I taste him, breathing him in as air and fire until he seeps out of every pore in my skin while he maps my body with tongue and teeth, nails and flesh.
And later, in the safety of his room, I pull him into me, redefining sex for him, branding him, claiming him as mine.
"Do you understand now?" I ask softly.
Even if it is love and sex, it's still different for men.
I grant him permission to surround me and he curls against me, invading me and somehow manages to tame that savage part of my soul that has terrified me since I was six. His body is a weapon and a gift, pulling strands of darkness out of me and infusing me with the strength to believe that I can really keep him near to me.
"I always did," he whispers back. "Always, Moony."
X - New Moon . "I can't believe you invited him Prongs!"
"I can't believe he came, but then, he would wouldn't he?"
James' house smell of lilies and carnations, just like it always does. Milling around, carrying on various conversations filled with laughter and encouraged by wine and snacks, are various professors from Hogwarts, a few Seventh Year students, close friends of us Marauders and, I swear, the entire team of Aurors and Hit Wizards working for and at the Ministry of Magic. The celebration, I've been told, is in my honour but I know my best friends well enough to know that they've been itching for entertainment and I've only just provided them with an excuse to indulge.
When I find them peering out into the yard, crawling as it is with visitors, and yet entirely focussed upon the two solitary figure sitting beneath a tree away from all the noise, I'm hardly surprised that James and Sirius has resorted to whispering together like school boys.
If Harry notices his father and godfather spying on him and Severus he keeps his calm well. The two sit together, side by side and rarely speaking. In fact every once in a while Harry pretends to read by turning a page of the text in his hand while Severus pretends to be anywhere but at the Potter's house, sipping red wine and keeping his student company. But then, their eyes would meet or one of them would move their lips in semblance of a conversation and the tension between them was charged and unmistakable. Still, Harry is nothing if not gracious and mature, while Severus sits straight-back and dignified. I can see, I can feel, everything that lay between them, having been in that position myself.
"Tell me you're not spying on the boy," I intone dryly. "It's rude and immature."
James' heart speeds up in shock but outwardly he hides his surprise.
"He's lucky that all I'm doing for now is watching," he practically growls. "I hope the prat remember that Harry still has two more months to go before he graduates. If the bastard thinks I'd stand for him abusing my son -"
I cut him off before he truly gets into his role as a concerned, neurotic parent. "He hasn't done anything yet even resembling impropriety, really. Give Harry some credit James, and Severus too for that matter. They've handing their attraction very well these past two years. If I didn't tell you, you wouldn't even know Harry liked Snape."
The one thing James has learned and knows not to deny these past two years is that his son is truly in love. And I see the admiration on his face as he glances back at the quietly conversing figure. He loves his son, not only as his child but as a person too. He respects him because Harry, for all his quiet strength, is a good man, even at seventeen. Still, Prongs wouldn't be himself if he didn't give some sort of reaction to the idea of his boy becoming a man. So he glares at Sirius and me with amused accusation dancing in his eyes.
"Don't look at me!" Sirius chuckles, "I swear I've only ever given him sexual advice on women."
Then he winks at me, tugging me into his arms. I nuzzle his neck like a puppy, loving the scent of his skin, nipping and kissing him as I resign to my position as his prisoner. I can play the docile, submissive partner for now, but he and I both know that our relationship is far more complex and dynamic that this.
I snarl a sound not entirely human in a low voice into his ear. He knows what it means and his response is a teasing smirk.
Beside us, James pulls out his wand with the speed indicative of a trained Auror, and steadily points it at us. His face is a mask of outrage, amusement and a weariness that sends a sharp pang of sadness through me for him. Still he knows how to miss Lily with everything in his soul and yet somehow manage not to be caught in the past.
"Go away now," he says in a decisive tone. "I've just seen enough to put me off food for a month. Dirty old sods."
Sirius belts out a laugh, releasing me to tackle James. I take the moment to glance outside again. Harry's attention is riveted on the book he's skipping through with one hand, as his body is turned to face slightly outwards. Yet, the fingers of his other hand are intertwined with Snape's. Though I can't be entirely sure I just make out the rhythmic way that Severus' thumb draws erratic, invisible patterns across Harry's skin. He faces the other direction, calmly sipping from his glass of wine and generally scowling at the chatting mass of people walking in and out of sight. Nothing too person. Nothing even too obvious. Still I wonder just how many butterflies are right now trying to burst through the boy's skin at this small show of reciprocated attraction. And I find myself smiling for them.
"Bloody bastard almost broke my damn nose," Sirius gripes, drawing my attention back to the men before me.
James has a wicked grin on his face that speaks of victory.
I pull Sirius away from the mad gleam in James' eyes. I know my best friends enough to recognize some sort of competition brewing and since I wish to keep Sirius is one piece and James preferably not turned into a rhesus monkey as Sirius is apt to do when his crazy streak takes hold of him, I join the crowd of people that are flowing from the living room out into the yard, and back. We find a quiet, relatively secluded spot to ourselves.
"I'm glad you'll be working at Hogwarts next year," Sirius says quietly.
I give him a look of suspicion. "Won't do you much good, Black. Harry will already have graduated."
"Your faith in me is inspiring."
I glare at him, but his hand brazenly sneaking over my crotch, ruins the effect.
"Sirius!" I snap. "What the hell --"
His lips on my mouth stop anything else I might think to say. Before I can fight him, the world contracts around us and I find that he has apparated us home.
"Now," he murmurs in a ragged whisper. "I really need to have you in inside me."