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woldy in rs_small_gifts

Fic:"To Make a New Beginning" for fullmoon_dreams

Title: To Make a New Beginning
Author: woldy
Recipient: fullmoon_dreams
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: none
Word Count: ~2900
Summary: In which Remus struggles to fulfill his New Year's resolutions, James provides encouragement, and Sirius wears distractingly skimpy pants.
Author's notes: I tried to fit this with your third request, fullmoon_dreams , and I hope you like it! Many thanks to gryffindorj for betaing. All remaining mistakes are of course my own.


It takes Remus the best part of five years to figure out he's gay — definitely, undeniably gay — but the realization that he fancies Sirius is like a sudden Bludger to the head. One moment Remus is sitting on his bed flicking through his charms textbook, and the next he sees Sirius standing there without his shirt on, chest gleaming with sweat, and Quidditch breeches clinging to his body. Remus' brain seems to short-circuit and he just stares, caught like a deer in the headlights, as Sirius unbuttons his trousers.

He knows Sirius is saying something, but Remus can't process the words. He watches the lean muscles of Sirius' stomach flex as he peels off the breeches, revealing inch after glorious inch of muscular thigh, and then Remus' gaze slides up. Sirius has always claimed that boxers bunch up and chafe on a broomstick, but this is the first time Remus has noticed the skimpiness of Sirius' pants. As Sirius bends over to pull off the breeches, his briefs slide up to reveal the pale curve of his arse.

Sirius straightens up again, his hand going to the waistband of his briefs, and Remus' breath catches in his throat. Is he going to take them off? he thinks, and then, Fuck, please let him take them off!

Sirius pauses, giving him an odd look, and slowly waves his hand.

"Earth to Moony!"

"What?" Remus says vaguely, dragging his eyes up to Sirius' face.

"Are you all right? You look Confunded."

"I'm fine," Remus says, mouth dry. "Just, um, thinking."

Inside Remus' head an entirely different conversation is going on between the part of him that says, I'm lusting after Sirius. I fancy Sirius! and another part desperately insisting, No I don't! We're friends! It's just a physical thing. It could be any guy — it's nothing to do with Sirius.

Sirius frowns. "Sure you're not Confunded? Snivellus has been after us all since that last prank."

Remus shakes his head, trying to clear it, and focuses on Sirius' face. Maybe I am Confunded, says the voice of denial.

"I dunno," Remus says. "You could do a Finite to be certain."

Sirius turns to retrieve his wand from the nightstand, and Remus is treated to another view of his fantastic arse.

"Finite incantatem!" Sirius says, pointing his wand at Remus' face.

The spell washes over Remus like a cool breeze, and for a few seconds he thinks that it's worked. Then he looks down at Sirius' body again and knows that it hasn't. How did I not notice that he looked like that? a really unhelpful part of Remus' brain says. I could have been enjoying this view for years!

"Better?" asks Sirius, watching him closely.

"I'm not really sure. Maybe I'm just over-tired," Remus replies evasively.

Sirius' face relaxes, and he says, "I keep saying you shouldn't work so hard."

Remus watches Sirius fumble around in his trunk for some clean clothes, and then forces his eyes away. Fancying one of your mates is bad enough, but gawping at him when he's changing is just not on.

For the next few weeks Remus lives in hope that his attraction to Sirius will disappear as suddenly as it arrived. Sometimes he goes for days having only platonic thoughts about Sirius, but he inevitably gets blindsided by something: Sirius coming out of the shower, towel slung around his hips; the sight of Sirius' belly as he stretches in the morning; the stubbled line of Sirius' jaw as he laughs.

"You know," James says casually one night, as they're standing lookout for Peter and Sirius' attempts to steal a Devil's Snare from Greenhouse Four. "If there's a bloke you fancy then you can tell us. We won't act weird or anything."

Oh god, does he know? Remus thinks. He turns slowly to look at James, who is still scanning the horizon for teachers.

Remus scrutinizes James' face for a few moments, but he doesn't see anything out of the ordinary. If James has guessed that he fancies Sirius then he's not letting on.

"Good to know," Remus says.

"Invite someone to the New Year's party if you want," James suggests, eyes flickering over to him. "We're on your side — about your furry little problem, and about this."

Remus has the feeling he should say something, but before he can choose the right words Peter comes barreling out of greenhouse with a plant wrapped around his neck .

"It's got Sirius," Peter splutters, as they wrench the Devil's Snare off him.

James plunges into the greenhouse to rescue Sirius, and any chance of continuing the discussion is lost in the ensuing mayhem.

Remus feels better for James' words, but he still doesn't invite anybody to the New Year's party. He can't invite Sirius, because...well, Sirius will be there anyway, and it would involve telling Sirius how he feels, which Remus isn't brave enough or drunk enough to do. Remus briefly considers inviting someone else, just to prove James' point, but it seems stupid to spend the night flirting with somebody else when Sirius is on the other side of the room. He's dimly aware that the preoccupation with Sirius is a bad sign, but tries not to think about it.

As it turns out, Sirius spends most of the party with his tongue down Lucy Hopkirk's throat, and by the time the fireworks go off at midnight his hand is inching up her skirt. The other revelers are grabbing one another, kissing, or dancing, or singing, or all three, and Remus quietly withdraws to the kitchen to pour himself another drink.

He finds James standing in the kitchen doorway, watching Lily and Marlene sing Auld Lang Syne with their arms round each other's waists.

"No luck for you either?" James asks.

Remus shrugs, and James pats him on the shoulder.

"Next year," James says, with an air of finality. "By this time next year I'll have snogged her, or else I'm giving up."

Remus reaches for the bottle of firewhiskey, pours a generous amount into his glass, and tops it up with ginger beer.

"What about you?" James asks. "Got any resolutions?"

Remus glances back into the living room, where Sirius has tipped Lucy back onto the sofa and seems to be trying to unfasten her bra.

"I'll think on it," he says.

* * * *

Diary of Remus Lupin, Jan 1st 1975

Resolutions:
1. Don't let James, Sirius or Peter talk me into any pranks involving either: a) mortal danger, or b) underpants.
2. Stop slacking off in Ancient Runes.
3. By the end of the year  make a move on Sirius       tell Sirius I fancy him.        do something about this Sirius situation, because it's driving me slowly mad.


* * * *


Remus is packing his trunk for the Christmas holidays when the dormitory door flies open, hard enough that it bounces off the wall, and James bursts into the room.

"I kissed her!" James exclaims, wild-eyed. "I kissed Evans!"

"Just a snog?" says Sirius, who hasn't looked up from his book. "I thought you'd at least feel her up before yelling to everyone about it."

"You don't get it, Pads! I was going to give up. If she didn't kiss me by New Year then I was going to stop asking."

"Maybe that's why she's interested now," Sirius suggests.

Remus does his best not to hear about Sirius' love life — or perhaps it's just a sex life — but word in the castle is that Sirius adheres to a treat them mean, keep them keen philosophy.

"It doesn't matter why," James declares. "She kissed me! And she's coming to the New Year's party! This is it!"

Remus has a brief flashback to standing in James' kitchen during the last New Year's party and remembers James asking "Got any resolutions?". Didn't I make a resolution? he thinks. Something to do with Sirius?

"Well, now you're sorted, what are we going to do about Moony?" Sirius asks, giving Remus a speculative look.

The unhelpful part of Remus' brain volunteers several thoughts about what Sirius could do to him, none of which could be uttered in polite company.

"Moony will sort himself out," James says firmly.

Remus meets James' eyes, and James' expression confirms that he knows Remus fancies Sirius.

"He's just getting his strategy right, aren't you, Moony?" James continues.

Strategy? Remus thinks. Who said anything about a strategy?

"You've got ten more days," James tells him, holding Remus' gaze. "That's plenty of time to put a plan into action."

"If you're going to make a move on someone then New Year's is the night to do it," Sirius says, in a tone that suggests he's an authority on these things. "Is he gonna be at the party?"

"Er," Remus says, mentally cursing James. "He is, yes."

"Excellent! Then just give him a few drinks, find some mistletoe and bob's your uncle."

You wouldn't be giving me this advice if you knew who I fancy Remus thinks.

"There, you've heard it from the man himself!" says James, which Sirius obviously takes as a confirmation of his expertise, because he preens.

Perhaps, Remus thinks, I should go into hiding until January 1st. There are some caves around here, aren't there?

"Thanks for the advice," he says.

The New Year's party is in Sirius' new flat in London, partly because James' parents objected to the mess they made last year, and partly because Sirius insists it won't feel like home until it's a bit trashed. It's clear to Remus as soon as he arrives that Sirius spent as little as possible on the furniture, and he realises why when he sees the drinks cabinet — some pubs contain less alcohol than that.

"The booze is here," Sirius says, gesturing at vast array of bottles, "glasses are in that cupboard, and the mistletoe is there and in the hall there."

"This really isn't necess—" Remus begins, but Sirius cuts him off.

"Being a good host is all about anticipating the needs of your guests," says Sirius, and something about the way he says 'needs' makes Remus' heart skip a beat.

"Loosen up, Moony," Sirius concludes, handing him a beer.

The fleeting brush of Sirius' hand against Remus' fingers makes his skin tingle. This, Remus thinks, is going to be a nightmare.

As these things go, the party is pretty successful. By eleven-o-clock Sirius' flat is crammed with people, and Remus notices that James has his arm around Lily's shoulders and a constant smile on his face. Peter is flirting with a Hufflepuff in the year below them and seems to be making progress, but Sirius isn't showing romantic interest in anyone. Whenever Remus looks over at him, which is more often than he should, Sirius is giving tours of the flat or offering people drinks.

Maybe, I can do this says Remus' inner optimist, as he swigs his third butterbeer. What if I just stay near Sirius around midnight, kiss him, and see what happens? I'll be lucky to get the chance, his inner pessimist replies. Sirius is bound to give in to temptation sooner or later.

Remus' hopes rise as he watches several girls try flirting with Sirius and get brushed off. At a quarter to midnight he pours himself a firewhiskey for courage, and squeezes onto the couch close to where Sirius is discussing Quidditch tactics with the Gryffindor Keeper. Then the twin Chasers from Slytherin step through the Floo, both baring a great deal of leg and cleavage, and descend on Sirius like lionesses moving in for the kill.

"Sirius, darling," one says, entwining herself around Sirius and placing a kiss barely to the left of his mouth.

"I'm so glad you invited us," the other girl says, pressing against Sirius' other side and kissing his jaw just beneath the ear.

Sirius grins, wrapping an arm around each girl, and replies, "Lovely to see so much of you both."

I'm doomed Remus thinks, as one of the twins slides her arm around Sirius' waist.

"Get a room, why don't you," mutters the girl sitting beside Remus.

"Yes, let me give you the tour," Sirius offers, and Remus decides he can't stand to watch any more of this.

"Excuse me," he says to the people on the sofa, and pushes his way through the crowd until he reaches the hall and, at the end of it, the steps up to the roof.

The rooftop is empty, and colder than he expected. Remus briefly considers going back for his cloak, and then rejects the idea — it would be just his luck to see Sirius ushering the twins into his bedroom.

Remus walks towards the edge of the roof, stares out over the endless rows of houses, and wishes that he fancied someone else — anybody in the world apart from Sirius.

There's the sound of someone climbing the stairs, and a voice that sounds like James says
"What are you doing up here?"

I should start smoking, Remus thinks, Then I'd have an excuse.

"This is no time to give up," James tells him, in a tone that is probably meant to be heartening.

"You should go back to Lily."

"Lily is right here," says a female voice, "and for once I agree with James. Sirius might be the most self-centered person at Hogwarts, but he's not going to realize unless you tell him."

"I don't think this is the right time," Remus says.

"That's what I used to think when this idiot asked me out," Lily replies. "But there's never going to be a perfect time, and the way things are going any of us might be dead in a few years."

There's another clunking of feet on the steps, and a voice that is unmistakably Sirius says, "It's nearly midnight. What are you three doing on my roof?"

"None of your business," Lily tells him. "Come on, James, I need another drink."

James and Lily thump back down the stairs as Remus prays that Sirius didn't overhear their discussion. He doesn't turn around, and there's an awkward silence.

"I put up the mistletoe just for you," Sirius says.

"I don't care about the mistletoe," snaps Remus.

There's another silence, and faintly Remus hears someone downstairs shout "One minute to go!"

"Come back downstairs," Sirius says quietly.

"You go. I've had enough of watching drunk people get off with each other."

"I'm not going anywhere unless you do," Sirius answers, and at that Remus turns to face him.

"Don't you have twins to shag?"

"Is that what you want?" Sirius asks.

"Why does it matter what I want?"

"Matters to me," Sirius says, taking a step forwards.

Do it! Just kiss him! shouts the optimistic part of Remus' brain. This is going to go so badly wrong, warns the pessimistic part.

"If I've done something then you should just tell me—"

"Shut up," Remus says, lunging for Sirius, and kisses him on the mouth.

Below them, Remus hears the chant of "Ten! Nine!"

For a moment Sirius freezes, and Remus thinks his inner pessimist is right. Then Sirius' lips part, tongue darting against Remus lower lip, and fingers tangle in Remus' hair.

"Eight! Seven! Six!"

In the endless hours Remus spent lusting after Sirius he imagined doing this, but his imagination never captured the way it feels to kiss Sirius now - deep, greedy, and possessive. Remus steps closer, feeling the heat of Sirius' body against him, and Sirius makes a small appreciative noise.

"Five! Four! Three!"

Sirius' hand slides over the sensitive skin of Remus' neck, and he gasps. Sirius smiles; lips curving beneath Remus' own.

"Two! One!"

"Sure you shouldn't be downstairs?" asks Remus breathlessly, as shouts of "Happy New Year!" ring out beneath them.

"Certain," Sirius says, pulling Remus closer.

* * * *

Diary of Remus Lupin, Jan 1st 1976

Resolutions:
1. Really stop slacking off in Ancient Runes. NEWTS are in six months!
2. Thank Lily and James.
3. Never again let Sirius talk me into having sex anywhere that could be construed as public.

Comments

I can't even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this! I'm always game for a good pre-relationship fic, especially when there is a conflicted Remus involved. Your Sirius is just cocky enough to be Sirius without making him a complete arse, which I love. It's a hard balance to achieve, so well done! The imagery you've presented here was beautifully rendered (Sirius in his Quidditch trousers: yes, please!).
I'm glad you liked it! I worried that Sirius in his Quidditch trousers was gratuitous, but once that scene occurred to me I couldn't resist including it ;-)
*laughs* I fell in love exactly like this, when I was that age. Charming! M.
Glad you enjoyed it :-)
GAH this was soooooooo cute! And yummy!
Glad you liked it!
Oh. my dear, this was awesome. Three cheers for Remus' (rather unhelpful but vastly entertaining) brain.

Poor Remus. Is it bad to say how much I enjoyed his pain? I adore a dryly witty, put upon Remus and you write him well. Honestly, the build-up to this was fantastic. Bits like this: The spell washes over Remus like a cool breeze, and for a few seconds he thinks that it's worked. Then he looks down at Sirius' body again and knows that it hasn't. How did I not notice that he looked like that? a really unhelpful part of Remus' brain says. I could have been enjoying this view for years!

"Better?" asks Sirius, watching him closely.

Really emphasized both Remus' lust and Sirius' potential lust.

James and Lily were also particularly great here.

Well done!
Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for the lovely comment!
This was absolutely perfect, just the sort of story that I wanted. Thank you so much.

I especially liked the very last resolution there. It didn't take long for Sirius to lead Remus astray in a whole new way, did it?

Thank you again for such a lovely story.
I'm really glad you liked it! It was a great prompt and I had a lot of fun writing for you.
I adored this--James being subtle and supportive and just great, Remus helplessly lovestruck, and Sirius being Sirius. Wonderful read. :)
I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Hahaha. remus' last rule number three made me snort out loud.
LOVELY fic. I just adore fics where one is pining after the other.
I'm glad the story worked for you :-)
Heeeee! Oh, Remus. &hearts This was adorable. :D
Glad you liked it!
This was charming! I always enjoy a pining Remus -- glad he had James to give him the kick in the pants he needed. And your Sirius is delicious.
I'm glad it worked for you. Remus' POV was really fun to write :-)
Glad you liked it.
Lovely! I quite liked James in this, especially when he says, "Moony will sort himself" in response to Sirius' "What are we going to do with him?" I really like that James lets Remus keep his secret (even if it's a secret to no one). What a fun read :D
I'm glad you enjoyed it!
HOW did you know I wanted a new Remus/Sirius New Year's fic?!! And this one is soooooo much fun!

It takes Remus the best part of five years to figure out he's gay — definitely, undeniably gay — but the realization that he fancies Sirius is like a sudden Bludger to the head. One moment Remus is sitting on his bed flicking through his charms textbook, and the next he sees Sirius standing there without his shirt on, chest gleaming with sweat, and Quidditch breeches clinging to his body. Remus' brain seems to short-circuit and he just stares, caught like a deer in the headlights, as Sirius unbuttons his trousers.

He knows Sirius is saying something, but Remus can't process the words. He watches the lean muscles of Sirius' stomach flex as he peels off the breeches, revealing inch after glorious inch of muscular thigh, and then Remus' gaze slides up. Sirius has always claimed that boxers bunch up and chafe on a broomstick, but this is the first time Remus has noticed the skimpiness of Sirius' pants. As Sirius bends over to pull off the breeches, his briefs slide up to reveal the pale curve of his arse.


What an opening! And this was just as delightful all through!
I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'm a sucker for New Year's stories, so this prompt immediately appealed to me and it was great fun to write.
I really do love Remus pining after Sirius. This was wonderful in every way and I just adore Remus' personal diary.
I'm glad you enjoyed it!
This is adorable. I love James' help and the last resolution.
I'm glad you liked it :-)
*hearts*
Glad you enjoyed it!
Love, love, love. I adored James and his part, and Lily too. That moment of realization for Remus was beautifully and charmingly done. Sirius is wonderfully characterized. The kiss is so romantic and sexy and perfect. And I LOVE the new year's resolutions. Thank you!
Glad you liked it! I had fun with this story, and after a year of writing very little R/S it reminded me how much I love this pairing.
I am very glad you came back to the pairing for this fest. I admit that I have been rather slack in the R/S department this last year as well. I did a new fic for NaNoWriMo which still isn't finished/posted online, but other than that I only came back for this fest as well.
Ah, this is lovely! I like the awkwardness that comes with fancying someone and they can't ever know, the insecurities (which you've handled so well! I can actually feel that teenage longing and the slightly funny aspect of it. I definitely loved the humour), the well-meaning friends... And of course, how can I not love that first scene where Sirius takes off his trousers? Hmm-mm.
I'm glad you enjoyed it, and thanks so much for the lovely comment :-)
This. THIS WAS BRILLIANCE.

It was funny, sweet, and really, honestly true to what it's like when it comes to liking the wrong person. That unhelpful part of your brain is always goading you on, whereas the more rational part of you is counterproductively pessimistic. And of course, when Sirius is surrounded by hot people, things become difficult.

And James? James deserves a round of applause. This is why I love James.

I love it I love it I LOVE IT. <3333 I cannot express this enough.
I'm glad you enjoyed it! Remus' internal dialogue was fun to write, and I must admit I drew on my own experiences there. Thanks for the lovely comment :-)
I really liked this! The minute Sirius got to the roof I thought, "Perfect!" :)
I'm glad the story worked for you!
There is SO MUCH to love about this story.

"It's got Sirius," Peter splutters, as they wrench the Devil's Snare off him. = lol!
"By this time next year I'll have snogged her, or else I'm giving up." = Oh hopeless James! <3
"There, you've heard it from the man himself!" says James, which Sirius obviously takes as a confirmation of his expertise, because he preens. = ohgod :D

I was so so nervous throughout. Yes, ridiculous, but alas, the power of your story. :p Brilliant!
I'm really glad you liked it :-D
Oh, I absolutely adored this - so wonderful!
Glad you enjoyed it!
SO FUN! It was a little confusing to me that Sirius has a flat while they're in school, although I'm now realising it's from him running away from home, but I thought he lived with James after that? Just a thought. Anyway, your characters are so good, and I love that your Lily is not best friends with Remus, and that really James plays that encouraging role. Well done!
I'm glad you enjoyed it, & thanks for taking the time to comment!

My interpretation of canon is that Sirius went to the Potters on the night he ran away (when he was 16), but got his own flat at some point before leaving school. Sirius refers to his Uncle Alphard being burned off the Black tapestry for giving him a bunch of gold after he ran away, and I've always imagined that he spent some of that on his own flat. It made sense to me that he'd have his own place once he was legally an adult in the Wizarding World, but that's just my take on canon :-).
No, the bit about the flat totally makes sense. It just threw me a bit. I don't think through things as well ;)