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Coming Out Stories II: I Understand

2. 2. 2008

They were sitting on the floor in common room, the four of them, playing cards, when they realized how quiet Sirius really was.

 

He hadn’t said more than few words for the whole time, while the other Marauders talked about homework, teachers, schoolmates, Quidditch, girls… The last topic was only actually discussed by James and Peter. No one noticed Remus didn’t join in conversation as he never had before.

 

“What happened to you, Padfoot?” James turned to his brother of honor, who was staring into his cards with a depressed look and who forgot to react to the explosion in Peter’s hands.

 

“Nothing,” the black-haired boy muttered without looking up.

 

“You are awfully quiet,” pointed out Peter.

 

“Slytherins?” Remus asked. He knew he was right by how Sirius clenched his teeth.

 

It took less than a week for the whole school to know Gryffindor's hottest seventh-year student was into males, which wasn’t that surprising considering he didn’t even try to hide it. A lot of people didn’t care, a few girls were disappointed and a few found it hot. Suddenly he seemed to have more female friends than just a few days ago. He got a couple of invitations for a date, some people were a bit surprised or shocked, but they had let him be…. Slytherins, though… There was not a single Slytherin that wouldn’t use a chance to make a nasty comment.

 

Everywhere he appeared, alone or accompanied by friends, he would be teased and insulted. Mostly by his little brother and his friends, who were less scared and more turned against him since the start of the year. (“He’s not my brother,” Sirius would growl before stabbing potatoes on his plate furiously.)

 

 

From time to time even students from other Houses let Sirius know they were not all right with “his unnatural taste” but usually they quickly remembered what the Marauders were capable of.

 

“Who else?” Sirius, reaching for card.

 

“Is it that bad?” James rested his hand on the black-haired boy´s shoulder and the other smiled slightly.

 

“It’s tiring,” he sighed. Remus knew what he meant. It was always the same. Hearing all those insults and trying desperately to ignore it or to make the moron shut up. With no effect. Only a few days ago he himself had spent the night cleaning the floor in The Great Hall because he punched some idiot who said especially nasty things to Sirius.

 

Being gay himself, knew very well how it felt to listen to all that nonsense. And it wasn’t even meant to insult HIM!

 

No one knew it bothered him so much. He had not found a chance to come out since the start of the year. It was not like he could say: "Guess what? I am gay, too." He was not able to find suitable words or even situation. He was definitely a loser.

Not to mention that the whole time he wanted nothing more than to hug Sirius and hold him. Though Sirius usually laughed and smiled and seemed happy and comfortable with himself, while he hugged and pecked all Marauders (“Merlin, Padfoot, you are not a dog!” they would laugh.), there were times like that particular evening. Or days when he was too careful not to touch his friends too much, believing it made would make them uncomfortable. They made Remus wish he was not such a coward. He wished nothing more than to help his friend, to hold him, to kiss him… No, this wasn’t the time to think about THAT.

 

“And I can’t hex them!” Sirius continued. “I wish I could… No, not hex them… not satisfying enough. I would rip their throats very very slowly… scratch out their eyes… and bite off their noses…” With every word his fists clenched tighter and his eyes shone with hatred. Just then he noticed Peter. “Wormtail, you ok?”

 

The blonde boy nodded, though he looked a bit green. Has a good imagination, that one.

 

“Anyway… what I mean is I can’t stop them and that’s what annoys me most,” he sighed and shook his head, his earring flashing, thanks to light from the fireplace. “Minerva would kick me out of school sooner I could say: They deserved it!”

 “That’s quite a long sentence,” James winked, but Sirius didn’t even smile.

 

“You should go to Dumbledore or McGonagall,” Remus offered. Padfoot looked at him with raised eyebrow.

 

“You really believe they would help?” he asked skeptically.

 

“It’s kind of bullying,” Peter agreed with Moony.

 

“I won’t rat,” Sirius grunted. “Anyway, I can’t go crying to Minnie after all these things we did to people… And she wouldn’t care, anyway.”

 

Remus sighed. “Headmaster would,” he reasoned. “He doesn’t like things like this. And he likes you…”

 

“Oh, of course,” Sirius said sarcastically. “´Specially after I almost killed his favorite… sorry.”

 

The black-haired boy’s face faded even more and he went quiet. A long time ago they agreed they wouldn’t talk about it.

 

Remus shook his head and smiled a little. He forgave Sirius a long time ago and it was nothing he wanted to think about right then.

 

“C’mon, it’s not that big a deal…” James said, probably also unable to see the point in turning to authorities. “They are just being stupid, the Slytherins.”

 

It was really fascinating how calm Prongs was. Since the start of the year they had been noticing he had changed a lot – they all had, but he was the most obvious (well, if you didn’t read messages on T-shirts, because then Sirius definitely would take first place). James had actually grown up. Not physically - he was emotionally more mature, more calm and serious and hard-working and… and Evans had started showing interest in him suddenly.

 

A year ago he would be already be planning a prank to get revenge on Slytherins.

 

“Not a big deal?” Sirius asked unbelievingly.

 

“I don’t understand it either,” Peter mussed, “of course, it’s annoying, but… Hell, it’s not like they actually did something to you! They tease me all the time!”

 

Sirius’s eyes shone dangerously. “But they don’t insult you because you love… Never mind….” His voice was full of anger. He put the cards down, literally slamming them against the table. “Of course you don’t understand. None of you does. You have no idea how difficult it is!”

 

He stood up.

 

“I’m going to sleep.”

 

For a second they watched him walking through the room with his head raised high, before Remus put his cards down as well. “I’ll talk to him.”

 

“There’s no use… you know how he is in this mood.” James tried to stop him, but Moony ignored him completely.

 

He reached Sirius right in front of the dorm’s door. “Padfoot, wait!”

 

The black-haired boy stopped with his hand on the knob and turned around to face Remus.

 

“I…” he never felt this nervous in his whole life except that day other three Marauders told him they KNEW. “I understand.”

 

Sirius raised his eyebrow. “You do?”

 

Remus nodded.

 

“Your disease…I know. It’s even worse, isn’t it?” Sirius adopted a sympathetic look. He seemed to be less angry, or at least not angry at Remus.

 

The brown-haired boy blinked and realized his friend was right. The thing was he didn’t think about it too much, since the other three had found out. Because they didn’t make a big deal about it, he never again considered it a big problem himself, except for the full moons, which reminded him how horrible it really was. He hid it carefully to avoid another disaster and he was aware of difficulties it would cause in his life, but still he was more comfortable with it than with his sexuality, at least around his friends.

For a moment he consider agreeing as Sirius could possibly react badly to Remus' other secret. It wasn’t easy to admit, not even to him. Especially not him as Remus' feelings for his friend seemed to be more than a crush.

 

He shook his head instead. “Nah… I… I do too. Kiss boys, I mean.”

 

It was Sirius’s time to blink. “You do?” he repeated, this time even more unbelievingly than before.

 

“Yeah… well, not really… I have never kissed anyone… but you get it, don’t you?”

 

Sirius smiled slightly and nodded. Moony didn’t know where to turn his gaze and somehow he ended looking into the other boy's eyes. For a moment they just stood there, air around them filled with something Remus couldn’t identify. His stomach was invaded by some little dwarves that tickled him restlessly and mercilessly from inside.

And his imagination was playing tricks on him because for a moment he could see Sirius leaning in slowly, but the next second he shook his head and smiled, a real smile this time, a little uncertain but not faked.

 

“I’m glad you told me,” Padfoot hugged the other boy tightly. “It means a lot to me.”
 

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