Delicious Irony (And Other Acquired Tastes)
Disclaimer: Anything you recognize isn't mine.
Summary: A misunderstanding leads Remus and Sirius into playing a brilliant joke on the entire population of Hogwarts. Really, that’s all this is. A joke. And Remus is okay with that. Maybe. RLSB SLASH.
A/N: There is a quote in this chapter that I definitely stole from an icon I've seen floating around LJ. I have no idea who made the icon or where the quote originated from so I can't give proper credit, but if you can spot the quote and tell me who said it, I will credit the next time I post.
Sirius prowled slowly around the dormitory, eyes darting warily around the room.
He peeked into the bathroom. Suspiciously, he checked the shower stalls before backing out of the small room. He glanced at the drawn aside curtains on each of the four-poster beds; he lowered himself to the floor to look under the beds; he squinted into the crevices between the dressers and the wall. Looking relieved, Sirius crossed the room to his bed and plopped gracelessly onto it.
With one last cursory glance around the room, Sirius drew a deep breath and announced to the (definitely) empty room, “I’m gay.”
The two words seemed to hang in the air around him.
“No, wait, that’s not right,” Sirius said discontentedly. “I’m bisexual.”
He paused for a moment, replaying the words in his head. Groaning, Sirius flopped back onto the bed miserably. “That’s not right either,” he said in frustration. “I don’t know what I am.”
The door suddenly opened with enough force that it banged loudly against the wall; Sirius fell in a heap on the floor.
“That’s payback for yesterday,” James said conversationally as he strolled into the room. “Although it’s a far longer fall from a desk to the floor than the bed to the floor, so perhaps we’re not quite even yet.”
“You’re a prick, James Potter,” Sirius muttered as he pulled himself back onto his bed.
“Must be why I get along with you so well,” James replied cheekily, flinging himself onto his own bed.
Sirius snorted as he fell back onto his pillows. He listened as James settled back as well, hoping the other boy would say something to get his mind off of things. Sirius was even willing to listen to James prattle on about that ridiculous redhead. He sat in silence, biting his tongue rebelliously to quell the urge to spout out something stupid; it was like he was fighting a war with his mouth, traitorous thing that it was. The longer he waited out the silence, though, the more difficult it became to keep the upper hand.
“I’ve got a question for you,” Sirius said before he even realized his mouth had won the battle.
“No, you can’t borrow my Invisibility Cloak to go spy on the Prefects’ bathroom,” James promptly replied.
“Prat,” Sirius grumbled, “that’s not what I was going to ask you.”
“You can’t use it to scare Filch either. He’s onto us, you know.”
“You—would you shut up about the Invisibility Cloak? That’s not what I want to ask you about!”
“Well then, what was it you wanted to ask me?”
Sirius swallowed audibly. “This is purely hypothetical,” he stated. He shot a glance at James, noting the blank look on the other boy’s face. He cleared his throat uncomfortably and plunged forward. “Say there’s this person,” he started. “Just your average person. And this person liked this other person, and really only this other person, no one else. So this person couldn’t really be considered heterosexual or homosexual, now could he? Because he only likes that one other person. So what exactly would this person be?”
Sirius really didn’t like that blank look on James’s face.
Just as he was about to say, “Nevermind,” and flee the room, James started roaring with laughter.
Sirius didn’t like the laughter any better than he had liked the blank look.
“What’s so funny?” he demanded, sitting up on his bed to fix James with an angry glare.
James pulled himself into a sitting position too, obviously working hard to swallow down his laughter. He looked at Sirius with a wicked grin and answered, “You’re a lycanthrosexual.”
Sirius spluttered for a moment before he managed to say, “A what?”
James laughed again, obviously enjoying Sirius’s discomfort and confusion. “A lycanthrosexual,” James repeated gleefully. “You dig werewolves.”
Sirius’s mouth fell open; James laughed even harder. “What—I don’t—how did you know?” Sirius wailed.
“Oh, come on, Sirius,” James said flippantly. “After the way you and Remus have been dancing around for the past few weeks? Remus finally came out and admitted it, and I figured it was only a matter of time before you did too.”
“I didn’t know at first,” James admitted. “I mean, you’re you. You’ve been with more girls than you could possibly count. But then I thought about it, the way you’ve been acting lately and that whole April Fools’ thing, and it seemed pretty obvious.”
Sirius stared at James for a long minute before huffing, “Why is it that everyone seems to have figured it out before I did?”
“Because you’re you.”
“Right,” Sirius said flatly.
“Cheer up, mate. At least you did figure it out. I was afraid I might have to bring it up soon.”
“Er, actually,” Sirius said uncomfortably. “Uh, I kind of had some help. From Landon Mathers.” Sirius blanched slightly and then hurriedly added, “I don’t really want to talk about it.”
James quirked an eyebrow at Sirius’s reaction but decided not to press the issue. Yet. “Well, so long as you know now. You going to tell Moony?”
“How? What would I say? ‘Hey Moony, I recently discovered that I rather fancy you. Exploding Snap?’”
“How the bloody hell have you managed to get so many girls?” James said indignantly. “You’re even worse than I am!”
“This is radically different from getting a girl to go out with me,” Sirius snapped. “It’s Moony, who’s, you know, a boy, and—and it’s just different, okay?”
“Because you like him a lot more than you’ve liked any of those girls.”
“I didn’t say that!”
“Didn’t have to,” James said with a gentle smile.
Sirius swallowed his anger, feeling somewhat touched at how understanding James was being. “Am I really that obvious?” he asked with a sigh. “How did I not notice before?”
“You are, and you didn’t because you didn’t want to,” James said. “You can be awfully stubborn, Pads, even if it’s all subconscious.”
“I can’t believe this,” Sirius groaned. “It’s…it’s…surreal.”
“I can only imagine,” James chuckled. “Realizing you like your male best friend? Very surreal.”
“Not just that,” Sirius said. “The fact that you’re being so damn perceptive.”
“Hey!” James protested. “I notice things!”
Sirius snorted. “Sure you do.”
“You know what? Your cruel words mean nothing to me. Because you are clearly so distraught that you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Sirius snorted again, but a grin flitted across his face and James knew that Sirius wasn’t so upset or angry anymore. A not-so-very-uncomfortable silence settled over the two friends.
Sirius waded through his many, muddled thoughts, trying to figure out the hows and the whys of the whole situation. How had he not noticed? How had James noticed? Why did he suddenly have these not-so-platonic feelings about his best friend? Why hadn’t anyone told him sooner, if it was so very obvious?
And the biggest question of all, the what that stood out amongst all the hows and whys: What was he going to do?
“So,” James’s voice cut through the haze of Sirius’s mind, “what are you going to do?”
Sirius contemplated the question. He thought of all the many ways he could deal with this, some solutions much scarier than others. The more he thought, the more he realized that Remus was going to be a very, very big obstacle.
Even if Sirius went to Remus right now and confessed his feelings, he knew Remus wouldn’t believe him. Remus could be as stubborn as Sirius himself sometimes, and that logical brain of Remus’s wouldn’t easily let the boy come to terms with the fact that maybe Sirius was a huge lycanthrosexual (and he was going to have to kill James for that term because it was never, ever going to leave his head now). He couldn’t prove himself to Remus by kissing him, because he’d already done that in a way and look how well that had turned out.
There was really only one thing to do, one way that could even begin to penetrate Remus’s stubborn mind. One way that could truly be considered the Sirius Black Way.
Sirius smiled at James and answered with cryptic simplicity, “Be me.”
Remus was up quite early despite the fact that he’d slept very fitfully. After Landon had charged out of the Library, Remus had spent the better part of an hour hiding right where Landon had left him. Once he figured enough time had gone by, he’d set out to find the boy; he wasted a good forty minutes before remembering the Map was still in his bag, but by the time he’d fished it out, Landon was safe in his dormitory, and Remus was left not knowing what had happened.
Oh yes, he had slept very fitfully.
Remus quickly washed and dressed himself before slipping out of the dormitory to eat an early breakfast. He knew Sirius would be angry with him for the avoidance tactic, but it was still too soon for Remus to be able to face him.
Remus had tried looking at the situation from every angle possible, had thought up all sorts of solutions that were each as improbable as the next. Sirius wouldn’t let Remus avoid him, but Remus couldn’t be around Sirius as often as Sirius would like. Sirius would never be able to return his feelings, but Remus couldn’t get rid of them. The entire situation was just conundrum after conundrum. He had forced himself to accept the fact that no matter what he or Sirius did, neither would be happy. There was no good solution to this problem.
The cold truth made Remus feel more miserable than he’d thought possible.
I’ll leave, Remus thought to himself. After graduation. Maybe I’ll go to Portugal, or Ireland, or Australia. I’ll tell Sirius it’s for work. He’ll still be upset that I’m leaving, but what choice do I have? It’s just too awkward otherwise. Best to leave and let us both move on.
Now Remus was truly more miserable then he’d thought possible.
But what else could he do? He couldn’t watch Sirius continue going through girl after girl, and he certainly couldn’t accept what Sirius had offered him the other night. Someday, when he’d had a chance to get over Sirius Black, he would return, and maybe they could pick up where they’d left off.
Remus groaned pitifully as he sank onto a bench at the Gryffindor table. “Why does this have to be so bloody complicated?” he muttered as he reached for the toast.
He’d gotten through two slices of buttered toast and half of the generous helpings of eggs he’d heaped on his plate when Sirius strode into the Great Hall.
Remus gulped down the mouthful of eggs he’d just put into his mouth, coughed as he choked on the hastily swallowed food, and then drained his goblet of pumpkin juice to clear his throat. He watched Sirius glance critically around the Great Hall, which was fairly full for nearly eight o’clock on a Tuesday morning. He looked quickly away when Sirius’s gaze fell on him, and when he chanced a glance back up, saw Sirius striding purposefully towards the Hufflepuff table, a determined look on his face.
Remus saw Landon out of the corner of his eye, looking rather smug. He was a bit worried that Sirius was going to talk to Landon—they’d already talked last night, what more could they have to say, especially since Remus still didn’t know what had happened last night—but that idea was nixed when Sirius pulled himself on top of the Hufflepuff table.
The sound of hundreds of conversations slowly died down as people began to notice that Sirius Black was once again standing on a table during mealtime. Clearly, everyone was wondering what stunt Sirius could possibly be pulling this time. Remus was fairly certain his pulse was beginning to race as he wondered the same thing.
“Students of Hogwarts!” Sirius called out, and the few conversations that had still been going on were immediately broken off. “About this time last month, I was announcing to you all that I was a gay man. And then about two weeks after that, I told you I wasn’t. And now I’m going to tell you all that while I’m not gay…I’m not exactly straight either. Because I rather fancy Remus over there, and I suppose the fact that he’s a boy makes me a bit of a poofter.” Sirius turned to grin at Remus, who was quite certain his heart had stopped altogether at this point. “I fancy you, Remus Lupin,” Sirius declared, “and I think it would be smashing if we could discuss this in private. Meet me outside the Hall.” Sirius turned his gaze back to the general population of Hogwarts. “Ta, everyone! Until the next time I have a sexual identity crisis!”
And with that, he leapt off the table, gave Remus a pointed look, and swept out of the hall.
Remus’s fork clattered onto his plate.
“What just happened?” he whimpered.
He received no answer even though every single student in the Great Hall was discussing nothing else.
Chapter One: Misconceptions and Consequences Thereof
Chapter Two: A Rather Complicated Situation
Chapter Three: The Kind Of Plan That Never Fails
Chapter Four: The Stealing of James Potter's Thunder
Chapter Five: Plotting Solo for a Change
Chapter Six: Provocation and It's Appeal
Chapter Seven: Bursting the Metaphorical Bubble
Chapter Eight: The Nervous Game
Chapter Nine: Hot and Bothered
Chapter Ten: How The Story Ends, Part One
Chapter Eleven: Three Awkward Conversations
Chapter Twelve: Dinner and a Show
Chapter Thirteen: Mates, Dates, and Dungbombs
Chapter Fourteen: The Climax and the Conclusion
Chapter Fifteen: Ruined For Anyone Else
Chapter Sixteen: Any Solution But That One
Chapter Seventeen: Of Advantages Not Taken and Being Stupid
Chapter Eighteen: Figuring It Out