Author's Notes: This story is a WIP, but chapters should be submitted regularly. Feedback is always appreciated in any form. Email me with suggestions, pleas, or criticism! The basic beginning premise of the story was vaguely borrowed, with permission, from the lovely Lady Feylene's story "Beautiful Stranger."
Taming the Beast
By Lady Grey
Remus took a few rapid strides toward the dog, who crossed the grassy space between them at a trot. The werewolf dropped to his knees to bury his hands and face in the lush fur, and the dog closed his eyes briefly in happiness.
“Padfoot,” Remus repeated. He pulled back to face the dog, arms still looped loosely around his neck. “What are you doing here?”
The dog silently glanced at Charlie, who had returned his wand to his pocket but was still standing awkwardly at a distance.
“Oh, that’s Charlie. It’s okay, he knows.” Remus replied to the unspoken question.
The dog looked skeptically at Remus, then back at Charlie.
“Why don’t I go back and work on dinner?” the redhead
proposed tactfully. “You two can take a walk; is that okay?”
”Thanks, love,” Remus responded. He blushed when the dog regarded him in canine surprise. Charlie smiled at his lover and strode quickly back to the cottage, shutting the door quietly behind him. Remus tilted his head toward the forest path and stood up. The dog followed closely as they walked wordlessly to the thick foliage. Once they were several meters into the trees, the dog looked around them cautiously before his shape blurred and shifted into that of a tall, thin man with wiry muscles and long, wild hair.
“Remus,” he said softly, gathering his friend into his arms. Remus gladly returned the embrace, hugging him tightly.
“Sirius, I’ve missed you.”
His friend knew Remus wasn’t speaking only of the few weeks since their last meeting. “Me too, Moony.” He gave the werewolf a friendly kiss on the cheek. “Now: spill. Who is this Charlie, why are you living with him, and what is going on between you?”
Remus blushed again. “Tell me why you’re here first,” he retorted.
Sirius let out a dramatic sigh that made Remus smile. “Shall we walk?” the dark-haired man offered. Remus acquiesced and the friends strolled down the overgrown path, arms linked. “I’m still in hiding, of course,” Sirius began, “but I move around a good deal, doing bits of work for Dumbledore and the like. I missed you, and since it was a full moon tonight I thought you might want company. But it seems you already have some?” He raised a questioning eyebrow and Remus flushed red.
“He can’t be with me during The Change,” the werewolf objected. “Thanks for coming, by the way. It’s been a long time since Padfoot and Moony have played.” Both men smiled at the memories. “But, well…er, you see…I don’t know how to phrase this.”
“Try the beginning,” Sirius suggested with an impish grin.
Remus rolled his eyes. “Thanks. The redhead is Charlie Weasley. You know the family?”
Sirius nodded. “Of course, Ron is one of Harry’s best friends.”
“Yes, and Charlie is his older brother. He’s a dragon keeper, as is fairly obvious, and he’s reputed to have amazing charm over all sorts of magical creatures. After I had to leave Hogwarts, I really had nowhere to go and no prospects. I would’ve stayed with you, but it was too dangerous for you, so…”
“So you showed up and asked him to charm the beast?” Sirius inquired gleefully.
Remus stuck his tongue out. “I believe ‘tame’ was the verb I used, but essentially yes.”
“He did. That was two weeks ago.”
Sirius nodded sagely. “And at what point did you stumble into his bed?” he asked with his best innocent expression.
Remus coughed. “Sirius!”
His friend looked at him. “Are you trying to tell me I’m wrong?”
“Well, no, not exactly…”
“I suggest you fill me in before I make up my own version of the story then,” he smirked. Remus sighed. “And no leaving out any of the fun details either!” Remus blushed for what felt like the millionth time.
“Fine.” Remus proceeded to relate the attraction, the mutual confessions, the decision to take it slow, and the day by the lake that destroyed the previous decision. “Since then, we’ve been just kind of drifting along in a semi-blissful state,” he ended.
“Uh uh,” Sirius protested.
“That’s not all.”
“What do you mean, that’s not all?”
“There’s more you’re not telling me.”
“Of course there’s more I’m not telling you, but do you really want to hear those details?”
“Yes, but that’s beside the point. There’s something else, something important. Give.”
Remus sighed. “Fine. He says he loves me. He told me the day by the lake, but I said I couldn’t say it yet, that I had to be sure.” He looked miserable. “Sirius, you should have seen how accepting he was of that! It practically broke my heart. Since then, well…” He related the story about letting the wolf out. “He really seemed fine with it, not nearly as upset as I was, but I’ve refused to try it again since. And…” He sighed.
“You want to say you love him too, but you’re afraid he’ll leave you after he sees you on a full moon,” Sirius supplied bluntly.
Remus laughed humorlessly. “You know me too well.”
“Remus,” Sirius said gently, “I don’t know Charlie, but from what you’ve told me, you have nothing to worry about. He seems to be genuinely, unconditionally in love with you. He knows what you are, and he’s seen the aggression and the attitude and he hasn’t freaked. Why would seeing you change forms for a night change his feelings?”
“Because,” Remus answered violently, “I’m evil for one night every month.”
“Remus!” Sirius said sharply. “Don’t say that! You’re not evil. You may have a darker side, but so do we all.” He shuddered. “I never told you some of the things I had to do to get out of Azkaban,” he said in a low tone, “but none of them were good.” He raised his voice again. “You are not evil, you obey your nature, that’s all.”
Remus smiled wanly. “You’re one of the few people in my life that’s ever believed that, Sirius.”
Sirius hugged him with one arm. “I know,” he said. “Fools, all of them. You’re amazing and wonderful, Charlie’s lucky to have landed you.”
Remus chuckled. “Would you like to meet him then?”
“Absolutely!” Sirius fairly bounced as they turned around and headed back the direction they had come. “I need to see if he’s good enough for my Remus! If I’m not intruding, that is.”
Remus shook his head. “Not at all. I’ll be glad for your presence tonight, in fact. I’ll be in the dragon pen, which has strong magical wards, but I’d prefer the extra security of Padfoot. Promise me you’ll protect him from me if I get out?”
Sirius nodded. “Of course.” He paused. “You really are in love with him, aren’t you?”
Remus looked at the ground, then at his companion. “Yes,” he said quietly.
“Are you going to mate with him?” Sirius asked carefully.
Remus smiled at his friend’s lack of tact. “I don’t know,” he answered honestly. “I’d like to, I think, and Moony certainly wants to, but…”
“But what?” Sirius interrupted. “Think about how amazing a thing that is! You’re in love, Remus, and that happens so few times in a lifetime! How could you possibly pass up that opportunity?”
“If you let me continue,” Remus chided with a small smile, “I would have said that I wasn’t sure how Charlie would feel about it.”
“Oh.” Sirius looked abashed. “Uh, sorry.”
Remus smiled again and poked him in the ribs. “It’s okay. It’s just good to have Sirius back again, even if he does put his foot in his mouth on a regular basis.”
Sirius made a face at him. “You know, sometimes I think neither of us have changed.”
Remus looked at him sadly. “I know exactly what you mean,” he said softly.
“Remus,” Sirius stopped walking just short of the clearing. “You know that no matter what, I love you, right? Through hell or anything else, you’re one of the most important people in my life.”
“Oh Sirius,” Remus replied almost inaudibly. “I know. I love you the same way.” He threw himself into welcoming arms and they stood wrapped together for a few moments. Finally Remus gave Sirius a chaste kiss on the lips. “Friends, always.”
“Always,” Sirius repeated. They smiled. “Remus, you’ve turned into a complete sap,” he teased. “Is that a symptom of being in love?”
Remus glared and smacked him lightly in the arm. “Come on, let’s go see Charlie.”
Charlie turned toward the door when he heard it open, wiping wet hands on the dishtowel. “Remus?”
“Charlie.” Remus beamed at him. “I’d like to introduce to you Sirius Black. Sirius, this is Charlie Weasley.”
Sirius stepped forward a little shyly and stuck his hand out. “Nice to meet you,” he said with a smile.
“It’s a pleasure,” Charlie answered, shaking his hand and returning the smile.
“Sorry about earlier,” Sirius apologized. “I have to be a bit paranoid.”
“Oh, I understand completely,” the redhead assured him. “You’ll stay with us a while, I hope?”
Sirius glanced briefly at Remus. “At least tonight, I hope.”
Charlie and Remus smiled. “Great,” Charlie said. “Moony will have a playmate then?”
Sirius grinned at the nickname. “Yup. It should be fun, it’s been a long time.”
“That it has,” inserted Remus. “Now did you have anything with you?”
“Oh, right,” Sirius remembered. “It left it hidden on the other side of the clearing.”
“Bring it in, then,” Charlie proposed. “Remus and I will get dinner started. Steak okay with you?”
“Sounds heavenly!” the dark-haired man declared before heading back outside.
After he left, Remus turned to his lover. “Are you fine with Sirius being here?” he asked frankly.
Charlie smiled at him and leaned forward to give him a quick kiss. “Absolutely,” he assured the werewolf. “I’d love to get to know him, plus I’m eager to hear about the stories of your childhood you didn’t want to tell me.” He smiled mischievously. “I’m sure there are a ton.”
“Millions,” teased Remus.
“Ah good, I expect to hear them all.”
Remus smiled predatorily before wrapping his arms around the other man’s waist. “Kiss me.”
Charlie didn’t bother to answer verbally. He settled his hands on Remus’ shoulders and pressed his lips against his lover’s. Remus deepened the kiss and they stood there, kissing, for several minutes before Charlie finally broke the contact.
“As much as I’d love to continue this,” he said breathlessly, “I think Sirius would be disconcerted to come in and find us fucking on the dinner table.”
“Damn,” Remus swore.
“It’s best for you to save your energy for tonight anyway, love.” Charlie said as he turned back to cleaning vegetables.
Remus just growled in response.
“Remus, growling does not count as communication,” Sirius mocked as he walked back in carrying a worn cloth sack.
Charlie laughed and Remus glared. “Just throw your stuff in the bedroom,” Charlie said.
“Hey,” Remus protested as Sirius did just that. “That’s what you told me when I showed up! I hope you don’t have similar designs on Sirius.”
Charlie winked obviously at the dark-haired man who was grinning broadly. “Well, he is quite attractive…”
“As is the redhead…” Sirius played along and stepped across the room to stand next to Charlie.
“And there’s no harm in variety…” He slid an arm around Sirius’ waist.
“None at all…” added the escaped convict melting closer to the dragon trainer.
Remus let out an indignant squeak, which caused the other two men to burst into laughter.
“Was that the official big-scary-werewolf squeak?” Charlie managed finally.
“Remus always was the alpha wolf,” Sirius added through his laughter.
The lycanthrope glared at both of them, but couldn’t repress a smile. “Gods, I should’ve have known you two would be like this together.”
The mischief-makers grinned at each other, wiping tears of laughter from their eyes.
Remus rolled his eyes. “All right, but Sirius, you are not sharing our bed.”
Dinner was a rowdy affair with Remus hyperactive in anticipation of the night’s activities and Sirius and Charlie hitting it off splendidly. Stories of schooldays past flew around the table, and Remus was provoked to violence only once, throwing a spoon at Sirius after he told the story of the werewolf inadvertently streaking an astronomy class.
But when the sun finally descended below the horizon, a quieter, more serious mood settled onto the three men. Eventually Remus interrupted the subdued conversation with “I think we should go outside.”
Everyone immediately stood up and followed the pale Remus to the dragon pen.
“Sirius, you and I will be inside the pen. The wards should keep anything living from leaving, but should anything happen, you’re first priority is to keep me away from Charlie until he can get to safety. Understand?”
Sirius acknowledged the orders with a nod. “I’ll just check all the barrier wards one last time,” he volunteered, slipping into the entrance and shimmering into Padfoot. The black dog started to walk carefully along the perimeter.
Remus, looking less than healthy, turned to Charlie. “Charlie, listen to me one last time. Under absolutely no circumstances are you to enter the pen or let me out until I have returned to my human form tomorrow morning. Promise me.”
“I guess that’s it then.” He glanced at his feet. “Keep an eye on Padfoot, will you? It’s been a while since he’s met Moony and I’m worried about him. If I start to be too much for him, stun me and get him out of the pen.” Charlie nodded again. “I shouldn’t be any danger to the dragons. That’s all.” He started to walk into the pen, but a hand on his arm gently restrained him.
“Remus,” Charlie said softly, turning the werewolf to him. “I love you,” he whispered, leaning forward to brush Remus’ lips with his own. “Please be careful.”
Remus looked into the blue eyes and his resolve broke. Throwing his arms around the redhead, he buried his face in Charlie’s neck. “I will,” he murmured. “Thank you Charlie.” Before the redhead could answer he turned around and entered the pen. Charlie closed the entrance magically behind him and stood uneasily outside the wards, looking inside at the darkness.
Padfoot trotted up to Remus and nodded his assurance. Remus patted the big head with a wan smile then straightened up, shedding his clothes carefully. Charlie smiled a little as he watched the former professor fold his robe and underwear before setting them near the side of the pen. Then the lycanthrope returned to his upright, solitary stance and stood, arms crossed over his chest, waiting.
The Change started before Charlie saw the moon.
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