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 (March 1979)



 

“Shut your fat mouth, Black!” she shouted back into her flat, laughing as she approached the door for what was expected to be the Chinese delivery service. “And grab some pounds from the kitchen table!”

“What the bloody hell are pounds again?” Sirius shouted back. Dorcas rolled her eyes and swung the front door open. Her mouth dropped open slightly and the girl smiled at Dorcas shyly. “Here,” Sirius said, pushing some notes into Dorcas’ hands.  “Merlin! Look who it is, Doe!” he exclaimed, opening the door wider and motioning for the girl to come in.

“Hello Coraline,” Dorcas said darkly, slamming the door behind her younger sister.

“Cory! How are you?” Sirius slung his arm around Dorcas’ sister’s shoulder and walked her over to the couch.

“All’s well, Sirius,” she said, blushing as her sister’s boyfriend gave her a kiss on the cheek.

“You want to help out with your luggage?” Dorcas asked begrudgingly, picking up the two trunks her sister left in the hallway.

“Don’t make our guest work,” Sirius amended, waving off Coraline as she started to get up. “I’ve got it.” Dorcas grabbed one bag and he grabbed the other. “Be nice,” he muttered to Dorcas. She hit him in the back of the knee with her piece of luggage.

“So what brings you here Coraline? Did mum finally kick you out?” Dorcas asked rudely.

“No,” Coraline growled, her demeanor changing to match Dorcas’ quickly. “I have something to ask you, though,” she said nervously. Sirius swallowed as Dorcas crossed her arms and waited for her sister to ask. Coraline rubbed her thin, knobby knees, and the doorbell rang again.

“I’ll get that,” Sirius called immediately. He got up and grabbed the pounds back from Dorcas.

“I’m not using anymore, I swear.” He heard Coraline pleading with Dorcas from the couch. Sirius gave all the money to the delivery woman, and her eyes widened.

“Keep the change,” he said nippily, shutting the door on her surprised face.

“Sirius that was 50 pounds!” Dorcas said, slapping her leg and turning to glare at him.

“Sorry love,” he said nonchalantly. He hurried into the kitchen as she turned back to Coraline.

“No way,” Dorcas hissed. “It is way too dangerous!” she yelled at her sister. Sirius looked over at the two and pondered for a minute on how similar they were. Coraline had the same deep scowl as Dorcas. She had the same lengthy legs, and the same bright hair.

Anywhere is better than home!” Coraline leaned forward on her legs and put her face in her hands.

“It’s just not an option, Coraline! You do realize we’re going through a war, right?” Coraline started sobbing, and Dorcas rolled her eyes, got up, and headed over to the kitchen.

“Dorcas! Go back over there and comfort your sister,” Sirius whispered, holding the fried rice just out of reach.

“You of all people should not be giving me family advice,” Dorcas jeered back, leaning forward on the marble countertop. “She wants to move in with us.” Sirius sighed and put the rice back on the counter. Dorcas tossed the chopsticks aside and grabbed a plastic fork.

“What happened?” Dorcas ignored him and ate the rice irritably. “Whatever,” he muttered, walking over to the couch and sitting next to Coraline.

“Dorcas please! You’re the only one I have left!” she cried out, leaning on Sirius and letting him comfort her as she sobbed.

“You didn’t get kicked out Coraline!” Dorcas shouted from the counter. “I did!” she roared. “I am not allowed back in that house.” She stormed out of the kitchen and threw the rice across the room. “Don’t be such an ungrateful little bitch!” She continued sobbing on Sirius’ shoulder, and Sirius rubbed her back, glaring at Dorcas.

“No!” she yelled at Sirius. “Don’t play into her fucking victim act! She just wants drug money.” Dorcas pulled out her wand and pointed it straight at her sister.

“Dorcas!” Coraline wept messily. She rubbed her nose and cowered behind Sirius.

“Get the fuck off my boyfriend!” she warned dangerously as Sirius stood up in front of Coraline.

“Dorcas, stop it!” Sirius yelled. She pointed her wand at him more firmly, and he brandished his own wand.

“Please stop, guys,” Coraline said, cradling her head in her hands.

“Expelliarmus!” Dorcas shouted at Sirius, making Coraline cry out in fear again. Sirius waved his wand simply and deflected her spell.

“Really?” he asked Dorcas in frustration. He stalked forward to her and ducked another spell that she threw his way. A picture of the two of them shattered next to Coraline, and she clutched her head tighter. He grabbed Dorcas’ wand out of her hand and tossed it across the room. “Get a grip, Dorcas!” he said, shaking her by the shoulders.

Dorcas’ eyes glazed over as she saw Coraline cowering on the corner of the sofa. Her shoulders relaxed, and the couple stood still as Coraline continued crying into the arm of the couch.

“He hit mum again, Doe.” Dorcas felt as if her chest was caving in, and she pushed Sirius out of the way. Coraline looked to her sister, and Dorcas walked forward to her sister slowly. Dorcas stepped forward and she saw her dad picking up a bottle of whiskey. Another step and the bottle was smashed on the floor. A third step and Coraline was crying in her cradle. She shook her head and looked at the Coraline in front of her.

“I can’t deal with this right now,” she said quickly, making a sharp right and slamming the door on her way out.    

 








 

Remus looked up from his notebook as a rapid knock rang out on the door. He closed the journal and tossed it on the kitchen island.

“Marlene!” Dorcas whined, rapping on the door again.

“Shit,” Remus muttered as he headed to open the door.

“Leenie!” she called again, using her nickname for Marlene. Remus opened the door and Dorcas held her fist in mid-air. “Oh. Hi Remus,” she calmly, clearing her throat.

“Dorcas,” he said, stepping back and giving her room to come in. She walked through the doorway and tossed her bag on the kitchen bar.

“What are you doing in Marlene’s flat?” Remus blushed slightly and rubbed his neck.

“I was just coming over to, and she has work, so,” he mumbled grabbing two glasses and filling them with water from the tap.

“Okay,” Dorcas said, shrugging and grabbing the glass from him.

“So what’s up?” he asked as Dorcas hovered in the doorway uncomfortably. She shrugged again and headed over towards Marlene’s room. Remus followed her, and stood back as she peeked in. “What, you don’t believe me?” Dorcas looked at him skeptically. “She’s at work, Dorcas.”

“That’s not what I don’t believe,” she said suggestively. She pushed open Marlene’s door and sat on the unmade bed as if she’d been living there her whole life.

“What’s wrong, Doe?” Remus asked softly as she pulled out a small vial and tipped it back into her mouth. Dorcas scrunched up her eyebrows and tossed the vial out the open window.

“It’s nothing much. My sister came to visit, and of course Sirius took her side.” She sighed and flipped over onto her stomach. Remus jumped as a muffled but guttural scream came out of her mouth. She flipped back onto her back.  

“You know he hates it when you fight.”

“He hates that someone else has a problem.” Remus came into the room and sat on the edge of Marlene’s bed. “He likes to pretend he’s the only one with any,” Dorcas muttered angrily. She grabbed the pillow next to her head and threw it over her face.

“Dorcas, don’t be dramatic.” Remus went to pat her on the back, but withdrew his hand again as she hoisted herself up to sit next to him on the edge.

“I’m not dramatic, Remus. I’m not exaggerating.” She knelt on the bed and leaned against Remus, who had suddenly gone as straight as a board. “He doesn’t fucking listen to me when she’s around. She’s a bloody drug addict,” Marlene emphasized as she leaned into Remus and spoke into his ear.

“You should hear her out.”

“Hear her out?” Dorcas asked angrily, throwing herself down on the bed again, this time behind Remus. “I’ve been hearing her out for 17 years now. It’s the same every time,” she explained, shaking her hands in the air above her head. “Either she’s sick, mum’s drunk, dad’s drunk, dad hit mum, mum hit dad, dad fucked another woman, mum fucked another man, I don’t come home enough,” she rambled listlessly, counting off the problems on her hands. Remus cut her off by grabbing her hands gently and putting them down on her stomach.

“Okay Dorcas. So your sister’s a drug addict.” Dorcas took in a deep breath and let it out through her nose. “And your parents are alcoholics.” Dorcas nodded. “And your father is abusive.” Remus squeezed Dorcas’ hands as her eyes began to tear.

“Remus, it feels like my eyes are burning.” Dorcas frowned as the tears slipped down the sides of her cheeks.

“You’re crying, Dorcas,” he said, trying to hide his smile behind his hand.

“Don’t laugh, you prat,” she choked out through her tears, slapping him on the back. She wiped her tears off with the back of her hands, and hauled herself up back to sit on the edge of the bed. Remus turned to sit next to her and held her hand tightly.

“It’s going to be okay, Dorcas.” Dorcas leaned onto Remus’ slouched shoulder and closed her eyes.

“I know. I love her, but I every time I give her a leg she takes an arm, too,” she grumbled. Dorcas started crying again, and more tears fell from her eyes onto Remus’ jumper. She gripped his hand tighter, her thin nails leaving marks on the back on his hand.

“I am going to make some tea. Then we can complain about Sirius and Coraline.”  Remus stood up tried to release Dorcas’ hand. She only gripped tighter and followed him into the kitchen. The large moon ghosted into the loft, and Remus avoided stepping into the light. Dorcas avoided the moonlight too, although she wasn’t sure why.

“It’s sympathy,” Remus said simply. He waved his wand and two cups floated out of the cabinet. Dorcas let go of his hand and put the kettle on the stove. Remus flexed his hand as she let go, stretching his fingers out.

“What is?” she asked as she turned the gas on.

“Not walking in the moonlight.” Dorcas turned to face Remus, as he’d sat down on one of the bar stools surrounding the island.

“You must be joking!” she exclaimed. She chuckled awkwardly as Remus shrugged again. She shied away from Remus, turning and picking out a tea bag.

“I read it somewhere. It’s probably rubbish, though,” Remus said nervously. “I mean, I don’t even know why I avoid the moonlight. It doesn’t really do anything to me, I swear,” he spit out, shoving his hand under the skylight in the ceiling. Dorcas looked at him disapprovingly.

“You can’t seriously believe that I’d judge you, Remus.” He shrugged again.

“Sorry.” Dorcas picked up the kettle as it began hissing, and poured into their cups. She put down the pot and faced the counter for a bit, tapping her nails on the counter. Remus sat patiently and watched as Dorcas began tapping her foot as well.

“Damn right, you’re sorry,” she snapped out, tossing the cups in the sink carelessly. She turned back to Remus with a large grin on her face. Remus tilted his head at her warily.

“What’re you up to, Doe?” She grabbed his wrist and dragged him into the living room, which was empty all but a couch that spanned the length of the window.

“We are not going to talk.” She licked her lips, tucked a piece of hair behind her ear, and raised her fists dangerously. “We are going to fight.” Remus looked over to the sink and sighed at the lost prospect of tea.

“No, we are not. We are on vacation for us to recuperate, not so we can get bloodied up by each other instead of Death Eaters,” Remus deadpanned. He tried to lower Dorcas’ hands, but she punched his palms away.

“Itty bitty Remus is scared?” she asked mockingly, sticking lower lip out at him. Remus scoffed and shook his head.

“I don’t want to hurt you, Dorcas. The full moon is in a couple nights and-,” Whack! Remus stumbled backwards and clutched his nose gingerly. “Fuck, Dorcas!” he cursed as blood starting flowing out of his nose. “I thought you were a Healer!” Dorcas raised her wand from her pocket and mended his nose easily.

“I am,” she said easily, tossing her wand on the couch and raising her fists again. “Are you afraid of hurting me now?” She cocked an eyebrow and Remus shook his head at her.

“I warned you,” he said, feeling the bridge of his nose as feeling started returning to his face. Remus motioned for her to come forward and Dorcas charged at him recklessly. Remus ducked and hit Dorcas in her torso with his shoulder. He lifted her up by the thighs and tossed her back down onto the couch. Her head bounced back on the cushion and Dorcas let her head fall back as she let out a short laugh.

She stood back up and launched herself at Remus again, this time jumping on his back as he walked away from her. He grunted as she landed on his back without warning, and tried swatting at her as she flipped over his shoulders and landed on the ground in front of him. By the time Remus realized she wasn’t on his back anymore, she’d already punched him in the face again.

Dorcas aimed her fist a second time, and Remus ducked as she threw her punch. She punched him with her left fist when he ducked, and blood came spurting out of him mouth. Remus rested on his knees and spit the blood out of his mouth.

“Come on, Remus!” she yelled crazily at him, her eyes wide with enthusiasm. He stood up and put his fists in front of his face. “Hit me!” Remus shook his head again, but threw a punch towards Dorcas’ face. She caught his wrist and flipped him around so his back was pressed to her chest, his own arm now choking him. “Why aren’t you trying?” she asked angrily as he struggled slightly to get free.

Remus sent his free elbow back into Dorcas’ stomach and she let out a gasping breath. Remus freed his wrist from her grip. He flipped around on top of himself and grabbed Dorcas’ wrists, twisting them behind her back tightly.

She struggled against Remus, trying to find a way to either get out of the grip or injure Remus so he would let her free.

“Give up?” he asked, stepping an inch closer to her and standing on her feet. She clenched her teeth and looked up at the ceiling as his weight piled on her toes. She struggled against him some more, but that only made Remus tighten his grip around her wrists.

She looked back into Remus’ eyes and felt her heart pounding in her chest and her breath coming in and out heavily. He smirked slightly. It wasn’t like Sirius’ smirk. It was kind of soft. And knowing. And apologetic. But it was also still snarky and arrogant and a little bit sexy.

Remus felt his smirk appear on his face and did his best to hide it, but he was never the one with the poker face. That’s Peter. Dorcas glared at him, but he could see the pain behind her eyes. He tried to loosen his grip, but honestly, he was more afraid of what Dorcas would do to him if he let her win than what would happen if he didn’t let her.

And then Dorcas’ lips were on Remus’, rough and angry and tight and soft and buttery and lovely all the same. Remus loosened his grip on her wrists, and raised his hands up to hold her body closer to him. Dorcas breathed out as her arms were released. She broke apart from Remus and felt her chest rising and falling against his. Her blue eyes were electrified as she stared into Remus. He let out a heavy sigh and dropped his hands to her shoulders, letting his head fall forward.

“I’m sorry,” he said shamefully, dropping his hands and stepping back from Dorcas a bit. She grabbed his hand, and Remus’ breath hitched as she took his other hand too. They faced each other again, and Dorcas let go of his hands. Her fingertips lingered on his arms, and she traced her fingers up his forearms and over his shoulders. She rested her arms on his shoulders and leaned her forehead against his. Remus took in a shuddering breath and closed his eyes before kissing Dorcas firmly.

She tilted her head to the right and pressed her body up against Remus fully. Dorcas smiled against his lips as Remus bit her bottom lip carefully. She whined quietly and he ran his hands up the side of her body, unlinking her arms from behind his neck. His hands gripped the sides of her face, and Dorcas ground her body against his roughly. Remus broke apart from Dorcas suddenly and looked into her darkened eyes. He let his hands fall from her face to her neck, and his thumbs trailed along her defined jawline roughly.

“Remus,” Dorcas said firmly, holding her own neck above his wide hands.

“We shouldn’t,” he said suddenly, fear setting into his eyes as he thought of Sirius. He ripped his hands off her neck and walked past her to sit on the couch. Dorcas turned to face him, her mouth pressed shut.

“It’s not your fault,” she assured him. She walked towards him slowly and sat down, keeping at least a foot between them. 

“I should’ve known.” He shook his head and slouched forward, resting his head in his hands.

“No. It’s my fault, Remus,” she stated directly. She picked at the ripped hem of her shirt. “I haven’t had sex with Sirius since the Prewetts died,” she said bluntly. Remus looked to her with his wide brown eyes and raised an eyebrow.

“And you thought I’d do just as well?” he asked in disgust.

“I came here looking for Marlene,” she rebuked angrily. “At least we solved that mystery,” she mumbled, tumbling a broken thread in her fingers.

“What does that mean?” he demanded. Dorcas smiled sadistically.

“You’re definitely not fucking Marlene.” Remus leaned his head against the back of the couch and laughed freely.

“No. I am not fucking Marlene.” Dorcas turned her head to look at Remus and found him rubbing his mouth gently and checking the back of his hand for blood. She rubbed under her nose and glanced at her finger.

“Oh we’re not, Remus?” The door slammed behind Marlene as she let it fall out of her hands. She rose her eyebrow and tossed her keys in the bowl by her door. Dorcas stood up and ran to Marlene, giving her a great hug, and Remus blushed darkly from the couch.

“Thank Merlin, Leenie. I’ve so much to tell you.”

“So we’re talking now?” Marlene asked Dorcas bitterly.

“Yes. This is important. It’s about Coraline!” Dorcas whined, tugging on Marlene’s jacket. Marlene rolled her eyes and walked by Dorcas to put her groceries on the counter.

“Alright. Help me make dinner and we’ll talk.”

“Dorcas!” Remus hissed suddenly, grabbing her arms and dragging her towards the bathroom.

“I guess I’ll be back,” Dorcas said in exasperation. Marlene simply shrugged without looking up from chopping up the celery she’d just purchased. Remus shoved Dorcas in the bathroom and slammed the door shut behind them.

“What?” Remus turned on the faucet and grabbed a hand towel from the rack.

“You’ve got blood on your mouth,” he griped, wiping the bottom half of her face softly with the towel.  

“Oh,” she said, muffled through the towel. She raised her hand up to Remus’ face and rubbed his cheek gently. She began scratching at his cheek with her nail, and Remus swatted her away from his face.

“Well you’ve got a glob!” she clarified as Remus looked at her disapprovingly. Dorcas held out her hand for the towel, and Remus handed it to her. She began rubbing his face, too, until all the blood had disappeared.

Dorcas turned to the sink and started rinsing out the wash rag. She twisted it in her hands until the water ran clear and then handed it to Remus. He took it from her and turned to leave the small bathroom.

“Wait, Remus,” Dorcas said quickly. Remus turned around and leaned in the doorway.

“What Dorcas?”

“Episkey,” she spat out. Remus sucked in his teeth as the considerable swelling in his cheek came down. “Sorry. It’s better when you don’t know it’s coming.”

“It is, is it?” Remus glanced at her and smirked again. Dorcas’ lips parted.

“I’ve never had any complaints.” She swallowed dryly and actively looked away from Remus as he peeled off his jumper. He wore a thin, white tee shirt that dipped lower than Dorcas liked and was torn in more places than she could stand.

“Merlin. I liked this,” Remus muttered to himself. He came back to the sink ran his jumper under the faucet, trying to take out the dried blood. He angled the sweater, and splashed himself accidentally, and Dorcas sat down on the toilet seat cover as her knees gave out.

He began to take his shirt off and Dorcas yelped uncontrollably. Remus looked at her in a mixture of pity and fear.

“Don’t take that off Remus,” she warned. “I can’t be held,” she gulped again, “responsible.” Remus’ eyes widened and he blushed quite darkly.

“Dorcas come help me!” Marlene yelled from the kitchen. Dorcas stood up, breaking from her spell. She shook her head to get her hair out of her face and looked at Remus directly.

“Coming!” she yelled to Marlene. Dorcas looked back at Remus quickly, and then rushed out to the kitchen.

Remus gulped. This war brought a lot of pressure.

 






 

A/N: Loving it or hating it? Please let me know! 








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