Chapter 53 : Chapter 53
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"You have a very bright future ahead of you, should you choose to go into this as a career, Mr Lupin...”
“No way!” Sirius exclaimed after I had broken the news to my friends.
“Remus, that’s brilliant!” Lily beamed. “Do you realise how big a deal this is?”
“I can’t quite get my head around it, to be honest,” I admitted.
“He was so impressed,” Severus grinned.
I felt my cheeks go red. “Gosh, Rem, that’s really great,” James nodded.
“He was impressed with you too, Sev,” I smiled.
“Well, yeah,” Sev dismissed me happily. “But it’s your work.”
“I can’t believe this has happened,” I said slowly. “We were just really lucky.”
“Luck has nothing to do with it,” Peter insisted. “You worked really hard on this.”
I suddenly felt shy. “Really, I’m grateful that Dumbledore saw any potential in it.”
Sirius reached under the table and took my hand. He squeezed it gently and smiled at me. I smiled back and for a moment we just looked at one another, as though we were the only two people in the room.
Then James coughed pointedly. I blushed and Sirius laughed, looking over at him. “Jealous, Prongs?”
Severus stared at us, confused, for a moment, then I saw him finally put two and two together. He turned to Lily, who glanced first at Sirius and then me. I nodded infinitesimally and she turned back to Severus. “Yes.”
He openly looked at us then. “You two are...?”
I smiled, a little embarrassed. “Go on, say it,” I encouraged.
He looked abashed then. “You’re together.”
We both nodded. “Don’t...well...it’s sort of...private,” Sirius said, swallowing nervously.
Severus half-smiled understandingly. “You don’t want me to mention it to anyone.”
I felt Sirius shudder with relief. “Please,” I murmured.
“We’re not embarrassed,” Sirius said, a little fiercely.
I squeezed his hand. “Of course not,” Severus agreed quietly. “But...difficult times. It’s best people don’t learn of your...weaknesses.”
There was a pause. Then, “Have you been...together...for a long time?” he asked delicately.
Sirius’ smile twisted slightly. “We got together before Christmas. There were a few...complications, all my fault. But we managed to work through them.”
James chuckled quietly. I threw him a questioning look. He returned with a ‘tell-you-later’ expression. I loved how easily we could all read one another after so many years of friendship.
“Well...” Severus hedged tentatively, before deciding to say it. “Thank you. For letting me in on your secret. It means a lot, that you trust me with it.”
I smiled fondly. “Thank you for keeping it.”
Eventually we bade Sev goodnight and returned to our dormitory, Lily joining us upstairs. We all settled on Sirius’ bed.
“So what exactly were you laughing at earlier?” I asked James.
“Yeah, I was wondering that too,” Peter added.
James grinned. “I was merely appreciating Padfoot’s honesty.”
Sirius scowled. “But it was my fault that -”
“No, I know that you had complications,” James cut in. “It’s just...you didn’t actually have to mention that to Severus. It’s just one of those great things about you, Si; you’re always so quick to accept blame when you’ve done something.”
I smiled as Peter grinned. “He’s right, you know.”
Sirius rolled his eyes. “Eurgh, don’t all gang up on me and try to tell me how fabulous I am,” he laughed. “I already know, thank you very much.”
I elbowed him in the ribs. “Blah blah blah, Black. It’s all just talk with you.”
Lily laughed as Sirius raised his eyebrows at me. “Oh really, Lupin?” he teased, dragging the vowels out and kissing me chastely.
Eventually, everybody climbed into bed. Sirius pulled the curtains around us while I performed the ‘muffiliato’ spell.
“So I think our prank went well today,” I smiled, putting my wand on the bedside table.
“Remus,” Sirius said, turning to face me. “That spell...I’m really proud of you.”
I felt the blood rush to my cheeks. “Thank you.”
He cocked his head, smiling his lovely crooked smile. “Mmm, you’re sexy when you blush,” he murmured huskily, smiling with satisfaction as I blushed even more. “Ahh, lovely little Lupin,” he teased, trailing a finger across my cheek. “Can’t take a compliment without turning a shockingly sexy scarlet.”
I felt an embarrassed smile cross my features and I looked down, unable to meet his gaze. He reached over again and tilted my chin up to face him.
“Have some faith in yourself, Rem,” he murmured fondly. “You have faith in everyone except yourself. You even manage to believe in me, time and time again. Goodness knows I don’t deserve it.”
I traced a line from his left temple to his chin with my fingertip. “You deserve the best,” I whispered. “The best of everything. I’ve no idea why you picked me...but then I suppose I have to try and have faith that I am the best thing for you...not that I believe it for a second.”
He smiled sadly at me. “I absolutely believe it.”
Reaching over, he undid the buttons of my shirt and slipped it down my thin arms. “Well goodness me,” he murmured. “Aren’t I lucky to have you...ridiculously clever and divinely gorgeous.”
I laughed hollowly. “I’m not sure who you’re talking about now.”
He leant over and kissed the hollow of my neck in reply, biting the skin until I gasped. “Yes,” he hissed, moving up to nibble at my earlobe. “I am definitely the luckiest guy alive.”
I pulled his tshirt over his head and threw it aside. “Not half as lucky as I am.”
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