Title: Just A Run Down Shack
Pairing: Nil, but implied S/R.
Word Count: 889
Items used: Beer bottles. Piano. Rug on landing.
Note: Written for the Shack_Challenge. Many thanks to randomalia for extensive beta.
Remus tried for disapproval, but he ended up with mild despair instead.
Peter stared for a long while and turned to his left for guidance as to what to do next.
James just looked and grinned.
After all, a very significant amount of butterbeer had just entered the Shack, along with Sirius Black.
Sirius smirked. Wait till they see the magazines, he thought.
Two hours and four butterbeers later, Peter found that he was not as drunk as he had expected. Things had been going much better beforehand and the room had been swerving about in an impressive way, much like the boats that had brought them to Hogwarts in their first year. The funny thing was, it was awfully easy to become sober. He didn't know if it was always like this, but when Sirius had said all that stuff to him, everything seemed a lot sharper and he was a lot steadier, the delightful fuzzy feeling slipping away.
Now he stared at the fraying carpet between his knees and the slightly swaying stairs below. Whatever. They could sway if they wanted. You can't just go and say things like that and not expect... Well, not expect something at any rate.
His thoughts were far from clear on the subject and now that he thought about it, it really would help if the stairs stopped swaying. He couldn't think, and he never had a clever retort or a good enough glare. They should pick on Remus, no one ever picked on Remus. Bloody Remus.
The butterbeer, at least, was nice and it soothed his throat, making everyone further away. Better that they stay there anyway.
It made everything ok. Not for always, it didn't wipe away the fact end of year exams were only a month away, or that in a few months he'd be alone, again. But just for this moment, he could recline on the bed, stretch out to his ever greater length and watch them - jostling for space at the piano or hexing each other for amusement, or gaze at Peter who was gloomy again and sitting on the stairs. It didn't really matter what they were doing, because it was so many worlds better than lying on this same bed by himself, staring at the canopy and waiting for the Change.
Remus's head was abnormally heavy and it was too hot and Sirius had brought too much butterbeer. One could only consume so much evidence before the evidence itself started to show. And plus, it was really warm. Sirius was warm too, he'd taken his top off and James was once again defeated in their posturing muscle displays. Not that Sirius was terribly bulky, instead he just looked... vigorous. Remus's thighs startled to tingle again, which must have been the butterbeer. The best course of action was clearly more concealing of the evidence.
He took another swig and watched as James lost another arm wrestle to Sirius. The black haired boy was still glaring like the night at his opponent, despite being victorious.
"I can and I will."
"But you won't."
"Just watch me, Potter."
"You do it then."
Sirius damn well did, plonking himself down at the piano with the grace of a troll and banging out another deliberately incorrect version of Chopsticks. It served James right for trying to teach it to him in the first place, Sirius thought. But James was keen on justice and launched himself at Sirius, sending them both smacking into the wall.
"Get off me Potter!"
"You watch yourself, inbred!"
"Get off or I won't show you the magazines..."
James paused, looked over at Remus and then back at Sirius. "I bet you don't even have any soddin' magazines".
Sirius just grinned.
Half an hour later, James still hadn't managed to win an arm wrestle, so he was none the wiser about whether or not there were any magazines in Sirius's bag of goodies.
The howls of delight from James when he peeked in the bag weren't enough to pry Remus from his bed. This may have been because the lewd exclamations from James told both Peter and Remus exactly what sort of magazines that Sirius had brought for them. It was only when Sirius had leapt on top of him and tried to smother him with his half-naked and slightly sweaty body that Remus figured that joining James on the floor was definitely the safer course of action.
As for Peter, no matter how much Sirius cajoled or heckled, he refused to budge from the landing. But when Sirius pulled the final magazine out of the bag and both James and Remus started rolling about on the floor in dusty laughter, Peter's curiosity began to get the better of him. A few of James's beckoning gestures later, and he ambled over to join the others.
The butterbeer bottles were amber flares in the flickering firelight, wild muggle music licking up the rickety walls. Even above the howls of the shack, you could hear the cackling laughter of the four boys. Eventually, even the pin-up poster featuring a gyrating, Veela-esque Snape lay forgotten on the floor. The chill night began to gently close around the Shack, as faint echos of settling laughter faded away into the surrounding forests.