The Sugar Quill
Author: Nohwrah B.  Story: Explain the Night  Chapter: something that never comes
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Chapter one: Something That Never Comes

Author’s notes: First of all, I’d like to thank my amazing beta, Suburban House Elf. Thank you so much.


Secondly, ha ha ha Green Sweater, now you’ll have to read it. Hope you likes.

 

Explain The Night

 

Chapter one: Something That Never Comes

‘Turquoise?
Honestly, Sirius, out of all the dinner jackets and colours you could’ve chosen, you chose turquoise ruffles?’ said Remus. He really looks hideous in that suit, he thought. ‘What was wrong with your ochreous robes?’
Nothing.’
Then why-’
‘Well, Lily’s Muggle, isn’t she?’ Sirius huffed. ‘I thought it’d be a nice gesture towards her family. I mean, it’s like a white flag or something.’
‘I didn’t realise we were at war with the Evanses.’ Remus arched an eyebrow.
‘I am with Petunia.’
Everyone is at war with Petunia,’ said Lily, while joining them. ‘You enjoying the party a bit, boys?’
Both he and Sirius grunted while holding up their Firewhisky.
‘Nice to know,’ she smiled. ‘Remus, care to dance?’
You do know I’ll alert your husband that you’re already seeking to cheat on him,’ Sirius snorted.
‘Oh, do!’ said Lily. ‘He’s busy seducing that girl over there.’ She nodded at James and a very giggly brown haired girl and threw Sirius a mean smile.
Oi, that’s my date you’re eyeing there, Prongs!’ Sirius yelled across the ballroom.
‘I wouldn’t be eyeing any dates of yours if you took better care of them!’ James yelled back.
Sirius’ eyes narrowed. ‘So it’s all my fault, then?’
The groom merely shrugged laughingly and resumed his conversation with the girl.
‘Excuse me, ladies,’ Sirius sighed as he started to walk away. Remus rolled his eyes, would he never stop calling him lady? ‘I’d better go or I’ll be the one renovating your house without magic.’
’Exactly what is he talking about?’ Lily asked worriedly.
‘Didn’t James tell you?’ Remus said. ‘He and Prongs bet that he would dance every dance, even if he is too drunk to remember who he is… which will be in ten minutes from now.’
Lily laughed and tugged on his sleeve. ‘How about that dance, then?’
‘Gladly.’

He led Lily off to the dance floor as one of the songs of The Dancing Skeletons was put on. Even though he would’ve been glad just to listen and move to the rhythm of the music, he knew he had to say something.
‘You really do look fantastic, Mrs Potter,’ he said, feeling a sudden urge to slap himself on the forehead for being so cliché.
‘Why thank you, Mr Lupin,’ she giggled and followed suit. ‘You too, look devastatingly handsome.’
‘If only we could say the same about Sirius, over there.’
‘I know, turquoise really isn’t his colour, is it?’ she said with a smile.
‘Although I must say that those tight pants really do him justice…’
Remus let out a grunt that sounded too longing for his liking and quickly added, ‘Are you even allowed to notice that, now you’re married?’
‘I’m not sure, but I was hoping you had noticed it,’ she said conspicuously. When she saw Remus’ red cheeks she said, ‘Really, Remus, did you expect James not to tell me?’
I actually would’ve been rather disappointed if he hadn’t.’
‘Does your date know?’
‘Mary? No. I couldn’t… Well, Sirius went through all that trouble to get me a date and I couldn’t just say: sorry love, I’m gay.’
‘I could’ve guessed,’ Lily said compassionately. ‘Where is she anyway?’
‘I actually have no idea. She was talking to your cousin a few minutes ago. What was his name again?
Cary? Clarence?’
‘Karl.’
That’s the one,’ Remus said while shooting a glance at Sirius, ‘With a bit of luck, they’ll hit it off and I won’t have to feel guilty about abandoning her halfway through the evening.’
‘You’d really do that?’
‘I probably won’t have a choice,’ he snorted. ‘Who do you think will carry Sirius home?’
’I don’t know why you put up with it- Smile!’ she said as James’ father took a picture of them.
‘Sometimes I ask myself the same question and then I look at him and I realise,’ Remus sighed, ‘that he’d never make it to the toilet in time and he’d ruin our wall-to-wall carpet.’

Lily laughed and hit him on the shoulder. ‘Can’t you be serious for once?’
Remus opened his mouth, but Lily quickly cut him off.
‘Oh no,
Lupin, don’t you say that someone beat you to it. I’m way too sober to appreciate those jokes yet.’
‘Actually, I was going to ask whether you thought this was an appropriate time to be serious.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘It’s your wedding day, Lily. Between the war and school or work, we have so little time to have fun. Why spoil it now?’
‘That’s a whole different kind of serious, Remus Lupin and you know it.’ Lily tapped Remus on the nose and pulled a stern face. ‘But if you don’t want to talk about it then I respect that.’
‘You’re going to be one heck of a mum, one day, Lily Potter,’ said Remus. ‘The
kind of mum that understands and cares and loves and-’
‘I know. So when are you going to tell him?’
Unfortunately, also the kind that doesn’t know when to let something rest. You do know that children hate it when their parents do that.’
‘Well, seeing as I’m neither your mother nor your father, I can’t see the problem.’
Remus rubbed his eyes absently. Women
‘I’m not going to tell him,’ he sighed and dipped Lily. ‘He’s very straight and I think he might really like this Jill-girl.’
‘You mean the girl who is so horribly pissed she’s being dragged off to the toilet?’ Lily asked, while looking past her dance partner.
Remus spun around very quickly, but the only thing he could see were Jill’s golden shoes disappearing in the doorframe.
‘Don’t worry, it wasn’t Sirius dragging her,’ Lily whispered in his ear. ‘He’s the one finishing her Firewhisky. That’s how much he really likes her.’
‘Oh,’ Remus said, feeling a bit relieved.
‘But, well… he might be too drunk to remember he has to help her.’
‘Isn’t he always?’ said Peter, giving Remus a slap on the shoulder. ‘Mind if I cut in?’

‘Not at all, Wormtail.’ Remus offered his place gallantly to Peter and silently retreated to the bar.
Firewhisky… I need Firewhisky.
He drank it while stealthily watching Sirius talk to James and a startlingly pretty girl. From the gestures he was making and the number of times he hit James on the shoulder, Remus could clearly deduce
Sirius was telling either the story about how he and James had won the Quidditch cup five years in a row or the one about how he had got Lily and James together. Neither was as spectacular as Sirius made them.
‘Say cheese!’
A violent flash of light suddenly blinded him.
‘Will you never stop taking pictures, Leonard?’ Remus smiled while trying to see again.
‘As long as I’ve got a camera and a roll of film, I’m a happy man, Remus,’ he answered.
‘Well, go take pictures of Sirius then, he looks a lot nicer on film.’
‘That’s what my wife said when I took a picture of her, too,’ James’ father muttered. ‘What is it with women and that Black boy?’
‘If only I knew.’ Remus shrugged, not feeling very comfortable with the topic of conversation.

‘I’ve lived with him, they should see him in the morning with his tangled hair and bags under his eyes,’ Leonard Potter huffed, ‘You’ve shared a dormitory for seven years, Remus, you must know.’
Remus didn’t even bother to tell him they were also sharing an apartment.
‘I’m afraid girls would only find it endearing to see him in such a state.’
Especially if they saw him after his morning shower, with his thick, wet, shiny hair and tiny droplets of water running down his spine making him shiver as he hangs out of the window of Gryffindor tower to smoke his cigarette.
‘What does he have that we don’t? I mean, look at him!’ James’ father pointed at Sirius with his camera.
I’d rather not, thanks.
‘I know…’ said Remus, while absently scratching his shoulder blades.
‘No, really, look at him, Remus!’ said Leonard again. ‘He can’t even dress properly!’
Finally, he looked over to Sirius.
‘I know,’ he barely managed.
Boy, those trousers really are tight.
’Well, I’m going to take a picture of Karl and that girl he’s smothering. You don’t happen to know her, by any chance?’
‘Yeah, yes. She’s my date, Mary.’ Remus hadn’t yet looked away from Sirius, who now had his arm wrapped around that beautiful girl.
Really tight trousers.
He suddenly realised Leonard still was watching him and he quickly added, ‘Or was my date, at least. I’m afraid I’ve lost her.’
James’ father laughed and even before he’d walked away, Remus’ eyes were focused on Sirius again.
Really, really tight trousers.
He ordered another Firewhisky and drained it in one swig, which was way too fast for Remus. He almost fell over and staggered a bit in his attempt to stay upright.
‘Wow, Moony. Careful now,’ James laughed as he tried to stabilise his swaying friend. ‘We need someone to carry Sirius home.’
‘It looks like he’s already found someone else,’ Remus slurred, while pointing lazily at the girl Sirius now was dancing with.
‘Who? Coby?’ James asked. ‘Fat chance. She’s Lily’s cousin. Karl’s sister. Only just got engaged.’
‘She doesn’t look very engaged to me,’ Remus said, making a pass at James’ Butterbeer.
‘Now, I’m serious, Moony,’ he said.
‘Get pissed if you want to, but make sure you’re sober by the end of the party, because I won’t be here to get you back to your apartment. Lily and I are leaving in a few hours and I don’t think Wormtail can get both of you home safely. Come to think of it, I’m not even sure if he could get one of you home safely.’
Make Sirius stay sober then.’
I’m afraid it’s a bit too late for that. I give it half an hour before the black-outs kick in.’
‘Alright,’ Remus said, ‘what if I don’t want to carry him?’
What a load of rubbish, Remus John.
‘If that is what you want to believe, mate, then do so,’ James sighed, ‘but others among us are not so easily fooled.’
‘Which reminds me, you told Lily.’
‘As I’ve told you so many times, Moony, Lily’s not thick. She knows what longing and smouldering glances look like and you’re not very stealthy, either.’
‘That’s not what she said,’ Remus pointed at the hanky in James’ robes and tried to push him over with one finger, ‘She said you told her.’
‘Well, she kind of caught me by surprise,’ James said as he remained remarkably in his place. ‘We were checking the corridors for students back in seventh year and she just said: ‘They’re
gay, aren’t they?’ You know I can’t lie when being asked something unexpectedly.’
‘Good thing Lily never asked who Juanita was then,’ said Remus.
‘Incidentally, who is Juanita?’ they heard a female voice ask.
Remus sniggered as James turned various shades of red, none of which really suited him.
A thing of the past.’
Sirius joined them, looking a bit ragged, but no one could deny it made him even sexier.
Lily smiled and wrapped her arms around James’ middle, leaving Remus with the burning desire to do the same with Sirius.
Instead he asked him, ‘And what about that girl you were dancing with?’
Her too.’
James threw Remus an ‘I-told-you-so’ look and kissed Lily on the forehead.
‘Where’s Wormtail?’ Sirius asked suddenly.
‘I think he’s dancing with Margereta,’ James said, scanning the ballroom for his friend.
‘I need to ask him something, excuse me.’ Sirius lit himself a cigarette, bowed gallantly and walked toward the dance floor.
Remus just stared after his friend and barely realised the newlyweds next to him were talking.
‘I kind of like the direction Padfoot went in, Lily. Would you do me the honour of dancing with you?’ James asked solemnly.
‘And leave Remus here, all by himself?’
‘He’s a grown man.’
‘Would you mind, Remus?’ Lily asked anyway.
It took him a while to realise they were talking to him.
‘Excuse me?’
‘Honestly Moony, are you planning on watching him for the rest of your life? When are you going to tell him?’
Lily giggled as Remus merely shrugged and ran a hand through his hair.
‘I take it that’s a-’
‘A never. A not even on his death bed. Not even on my death bed. A not even if it would end the bloody war.’
Really?’ James asked, perplexed. ‘Not even if it would defeat You-know-who?’

‘It’s highly unlikely that my telling Sirius I love him would destroy the most evil wizard of all times.’
But hypothetically speaking, you-’
‘Why should I answer that?
‘What if’s and ‘if only that’s are not going to win us the war or give us any certainties,’ Remus grunted.
‘So not a happy drunk then,’ said James.
‘The only thing I know is that when I tell him, a perfectly good friendship will be ruined. Therefore I won’t tell him.’
James and Lily looked a bit put out and Remus knew they were about to argue with
what he said.
‘And I trust you as my friends, not to tell him either. I can trust you, right James?’
The groom looked positively offended. ‘What are you asking me for? You know I won’t tell him. If Lily hadn’t asked if you two were gay I would-’
‘You two?’ Remus gulped. He hadn’t stopped to think about it earlier when James had said,
They’re gay’.
‘Well-’
‘Do you know something I don’t?’
‘No,’ said Lily. ‘Only that things might turn out completely different than you expect if you do decide to tell him.’
Has he- Has Sirius told you something?’ Remus quickly asked.
‘No. It’s just…’ Lily continued. ‘Look Remus, I don’t know anything for sure and I can only trust my instincts-’
‘Her very accurate instincts,’ James added. ‘She knew I was a prat all along.’

Lily smiled and slapped her husband affectionately. ‘And I still married you, so don’t shower praise on me.’
Remus eyed both of them impatiently.
‘As I was saying, before James felt the need to interrupt, I can only trust my instincts and I don’t know… I saw from the very beginning that the friendship you and Sirius share is something different from the one you and James or James and Sirius have.’
‘Well, I’m not in love with James,’ said Remus. ‘No offence, Prongs.’
None taken.’
Yes, and I know James and Sirius are best friends, but there’s something completely different about the way Sirius cares for you. I’ve never seen him act like that around anyone else,’ she said. ‘I don’t know what it is, exactly, but he takes care of you and you take care of him. Even though he and James are so close, he comes to you with his problems. And the fear and worry I see in his eyes after your transformation, that’s something I can only imagine me feeling for James.’
Remus was shocked, confused. Lily had always been the first to get people. She’d figured out fairly quickly that Remus was a werewolf, too. But was she right about this? She had insisted that Snivellus was a good guy too and he now turned out to be a Death Eater.
‘Well, now that my dearest wife divulged all her knowledge, d’you mind if I steal her for just one dance, Moony?’ James smiled.
‘By all means, steal away.’
‘That’s the second time you’ve passed me on to someone else, Remus,’ Lily sniggered.
He laughed and shooed her off, when he suddenly heard Sirius.
‘Moony! Come over here, I’ve got to talk to you a sec.’
Gulp. After another quick Firewhisky, Remus followed his friend into a little adjacent room.
‘Moony, I’ve prepared a little something for our newlyweds and I need your help,’ he said, while closing the door behind him.
‘Actually, I need all of you.’
Remus cocked his head and felt just as confused as Peter and Frank and Alice Longbottom next to him looked.

 

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