Fandom: Harry Potter
“Are you a virgin?”
Remus looked up from his desk. “What?”
“You heard me,” Sirius said, chin resting on the arm of the couch, watching Remus. “Have you ever shagged anyone?”
Remus frowned slightly. “I don’t see what business that is of yours.”
“It’s just a question, Mooney. Besides, as your flatmate, I think I have a right to at least a sketchy idea of your sex life.”
“Fair enough,” he said coolly returning to his work. “In that case, no, I’m not.”
“No, you’re not having sex, or no, you’re not a virgin?”
“The latter.” He glanced up to find Sirius regarding him with wide eyes. “Oh don’t look so scandalized, Padfoot. I haven’t been living in a closet for the last twenty years.” Well, in a manner of speaking, he added to himself.
“The first time, you mean?”
Sirius let out a tiny yelp. “You’ve done it more than once?!”
In frustration, Remus set down his quill and looked squarely at his friend. “Yes, Sirius, in my life I have had sexual intercourse on three separate occasions with three separate partners. The first time was with a girl named Cecilia who was visiting her grandmother in the town ear where my parents lived. I was sixteen. I have not seen her since that summer. Do you require any further detail?”
Sirius was left blinking in the wake of Remus’ tirade. Slightly flushed, Remus returned to his work. A few moments later, Sirius spoke again.
“What about the other two times?”
Without look up, Remus said simply “You don’t want to hear about the other times.”
“Just....” Remus sighed. “You don’t. Believe me.” And I don’t want to discuss it, especially not with you.
“Why? What happened?” The concern in Sirius’ voice brought Remus’ gaze back up to find his friend with a deep, puzzled frown.
“Nothing,” he said quietly. “It was a long time ago.”
“Well it was obviously some-.”
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
This time, the silence lasted almost a minute before Sirius piped up again.
“Aren’t you going to ask me?”
“Remus set his quill down a second time and sat back in his chair. “Aren’t I going to ask you what?”
“Whether or not I’ve shagged anybody.”
Remus heaved a sigh and rubbed the bridge of his nose. “Sirius, how old are you?”
“Twenty-one in three weeks, you know that.”
“I do. And I hereby demand that you act your age, rather than harping on sexual exploits like a hormonal teenager.”
Sirius sputtered. “I’m not.... I don’t.... I just want to have a conversation,” he pouted.
Remus tried not to consider the appeal of Sirius pouting. “Then talk about something interesting, because, frankly, I’d just as soon not know how many girls you deflowered behind greenhouse four, no pun intended. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to bed.” He rose and walked steadily into one of the adjacent bedrooms.
He couldn’t be sure, but he thought, as he passed through the doorway, that Sirius said very softly “None,” followed, his enamored heart insisted, by something even softer and sweeter. Shaking his head, Remus never paused and brushed the supposition from his mind, letting it fall behind him like dust blown from an old book.
What his senseless hope had heard Sirius say, what he knew he had imagined and ignored, was “None. I was waiting for you.”
The next night, Remus was settled comfortably in their threadbare armchair, the Daily Prophet spread languidly between his hands. Sirius sat in his usual place on the couch, pretending to read. Eventually, his voice once again dropped into the silence.
“Was it a man or a woman?”
Remus’ continued to peruse his paper. “Was what a man or a woman?”
“Your second time.”
He looked sharply up at his flatmate and gave a hard glare. Sirius shifted uncomfortably, but met his gaze.
“I really don’t think that’s any of your business,” Remus clipped, looking back at the article in front of him.
“It was, wasn’t it. A bloke, I mean,” Sirius ventured. No answer. “Who? Was it someone at school?”
“What do you care?” Remus snapped. “Suddenly nervous about living with a poof?”
Sirius pulled at the hem of his trousers. “Shared a room with you for ten years, haven’t I? Much good it would do to start caring now.”
Remus snorted and attempted to return his attention to a newspaper that had suddenly become infinitely less interesting. He was interrupted again within moments.
“So was it someone at school?”
Oh bloody hell. He practically threw down his paper. “Why, after four years of sharing a flat, have you decided to take an interest in my sexual history? What do you care who I’ve slept with? It’s not as though I’ll be bringing them home to meet you.”
Sirius cringed, looking like a scolded child. He mumbled an apology and dropped his eyes, still worrying at his trouser cuff. Remus immediately felt a pang of guilt. There’s no need to be so short with him. He doesn’t know; he’s just asking. With a sigh, Remus said quietly “Do you remember my first job? At that used book shop?”
“The muggle place?” Sirius lifted his head, eyebrows knitted together.
“Right.” Remus took a deep breath. “D’you remember the man that owned it?”
He imagined he could see Sirius digging through old boxes of memory. “I think so. Dark headed chap, wasn’t he? Bit creepy.”
“That’s the one.”
After a few beats, the clicking of Sirius’ brain caught up to the conversation, and a sort of understanding and revulsion dawned on his face. “Him?”
It was Remus’ turn to cringe. Seeing that disgust on Sirius’ face bruised something inside him. Still, he nodded slowly. Sirius sputtered. “But... he... he was....”
“Old? Perverted? Disgusting?” Remus supplied. “Believe me, I know. It wasn’t my choice.”
Again, he watched Sirius’ thoughts click into place. Only, this time, instead of disgust, a look of pain and horror grew in his friend’s eyes. “He forced you?!”
Remus let his gaze fall to the floor. Don’t look at me that way, please.... “Well, not exactly, but....”
“That bastard!” Sirius was on his feet, practically shaking with rage. “Why didn’t you tell anyone?! I’d rip out his bloody throat!”
“Sit down, Sirius.” Remus’ voice was calm and even. “He didn’t hurt me.” Not really.
Almost in spite of himself, Sirius did sit down, an automatic reaction to Remus’ soothing command. His fists, though, remained clenched and trembling. Eyes flashing, he looked up at Remus. “Why didn’t you tell anyone?”
Remus sighed. “Because it wasn’t.... It wasn’t rape.” His mouth stumbled quickly around the word that wasn’t right for what had happened. “I didn’t want to, but I let him. I know that’s terrible, but... but he didn’t force me and he didn’t try to hurt me.” And then I came home and stood in the shower for an hour and a half because I felt so dirty, wishing the water were hot enough to burn away my skin, wishing I were brave enough to cut it off myself.
Silence fell, and Sirius gaped. A thousand reactions tumbled through his grey eyes, and, eventually, he blurted out “But, why?”
Because when the majority of the wizarding world won’t touch you with a ten-foot, spiked pole, you take physical affection where you can get it. Remus shrugged. “What was I supposed to do? Tell him to fuck off and lose my job?” Even if I did quit the next day.
Sirius narrowed his eyes. “You’re not some cheap whore. You can’t just let some old ponce have his way with you just so you won’t get sacked.”
“Thank you for the moral guidance,” Remus growled. “Unfortunately, I haven’t the luxury of heeding it.” He decided it was time to leave before this conversation got any further out of hand.
As he passed the couch, mumbling a goodnight, Sirius reached up and caught hold of his robes. “No. I want to talk about this.”
“Well, I don’t, Sirius.” I’m not a whore. Please don’t think of me that way. “Think about it. Would you want to talk about something like that?”
Sirius’ grip on Remus’ robes loosened and Remus stalked angrily through the door. This time, he was certain he didn’t hear Sirius whisper. He knew the soft voice pulling at his ear could only be imagination filling silence with what he wished Sirius would say. It couldn’t be true, so he walked on, leaving the words suspended like cigarette smoke, acrid and bitter in the doorway.
Certainly Sirius would never say something so maudlin as “You deserve so much more than that.” Especially not to Remus.
This is very well written. It started out well and got better. Both of the puppies are so needy in their own ways but I love that they haven't gotten together yet. All of these lines are sharp enough to cut yourself on:
And then I came home and stood in the shower for an hour and a half because I felt so dirty, wishing the water were hot enough to burn away my skin, wishing I were brave enough to cut it off myself.
Because when the majority of the wizarding world won’t touch you with a ten-foot, spiked pole, you take physical affection where you can get it.
I’m not a whore. Please don’t think of me that way. “Think about it. Would you want to talk about something like that?”
This was a nice story :)
I really like how you made Remus' 'history' be revealed by Sirius, because that seems pretty likely, and least awkward for Remus.
And the last line. That really had some kind of impact to me, because after I read it, I sort of got all wriggly for reasons I can't explain.
Anyway, I'm not a very good reviewer, but I just wanted to drop a note about how much I enjoyed the story. Thanks for sharing it :D