The Sugar Quill
Author: Nohwrah B.  Story: Explain the Night  Chapter: chapter two: just a single star I sing for
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Chapter two: Just A Single Star I Sing For

A/N: thanks again to my wonderful beta Suburban House Elf- you’re the best.

       Also thanks to everyone who reviewed.

 

Explain the Night- the song, is by Noa.

 

Chapter two: Just A Single Star I Sing For

 

‘Sirius, what’s the-’
‘That’s what I was about to tell you, Wormtail.’ Sirius smiled. He turned to Remus and started talking again. ‘Moony, do you remember our talks about the future? We said Wormtail would probably get a nine to five job at the Ministry and you’d be a teacher or a librarian or something.’
Remus blushed and nodded.
‘And Prongs would be an Auror, we said, and-’

‘You would become a famous rocker,’ Remus snickered, ‘touring with your band, the Serious
Blacks. That must’ve been the worst pun James ever made.’

‘Right.’ Sirius pointed at him and winked. ‘Since you three are well on your way of becoming what we thought you would, I thought it was time I did my part.’

‘You’re starting a band?’ Frank laughed.

‘Only for special occasions.’

‘Right, so how do we fit into the picture?’ Peter asked.

‘Well, seeing as the band is called the Serious Blacks- plural- I need several of me,’ Sirius pointed at three flasks standing on a table near them. ‘So I’d appreciate if you three fine men would drink some Polyjuice and help me out.’

Frank laughed again and Peter almost choked on his Butterbeer.

‘Sirius, I really hope you are well aware that none of us can play any instruments,’ Remus said.

‘Of course, I am.’ Sirius rolled his eyes. ‘I enchanted them. They’ll guide your hands to the right keys and stuff. So just relax and let yourself be led.

‘Okay, all right, I can see what you need them for, but why am I here?’ Alice asked.

‘You’re a very good singer, Alice,’ said Sirius.

‘I’m not. I mean, I did some singing on the Hogwarts Choir, but I wouldn’t say I’m good.’ She blushed.

‘You know you’re a good singer, so don’t pretend you’re not,’ Frank said sweetly, as he took his wife’s hand.

‘Plus, you’re the only one who knows the song,’ Sirius added.

‘What song are we talking about?’ she asked.

‘Do you remember that song you and Lily wrote, way back in fifth year?’

‘Explain the Night?’ Alice gasped.

‘That’s the one.’

‘But… We- we never put music to it, well, not unless you count those few notes we got out of Lily’s Muggle keyboard.’

‘I know,’ Sirius smiled. ‘Luckily, I do know how to play instruments. I haven’t changed the melody, I’ve only added a bit of piano, drum and guitar. The Prewett brothers helped me out. Turns out they’re pretty gifted musicians.’

‘So why don’t you make them take the potion?’ Peter said, looking rather scared.

‘I wanted it to be a friends thing. The Prewetts don’t know Lily and James that well,’ Sirius explained while walking over and grabbing the three bottles. ‘And they didn’t have much faith in my potion brewing.’

‘Neither do we,’ Remus laughed.

‘But you’ll do it anyway because we’re such good friends, right?’ Sirius waggled his eyebrows at him and winked again.

I’d even kiss Snivellus when you look at me like that.

‘Wait a minute,’ Frank raised his hands. ‘Now, I’m very much willing to do this, but you’re a lot taller than me, Sirius. I don’t want to tear these robes just yet, they’re brand new.’

‘Not to worry, I got us some outfits. Custom-made robes.’

‘They’re not turquoise, are they?’ Remus teased.

‘No, Moony, don’t panic,’ Sirius laughed and rolled his eyes. ‘They’re a nice golden honey kind of colour.’

He unpacked four very expensive looking robes and threw each of them one.

‘Here, put them on. You can keep them by the way.’

‘You really spared neither effort nor expense,’ Remus said, as he felt the soft silky fabric.

‘These must’ve cost a fortune.’

‘Just a small one.’

‘No, really, Padfoot,’ he said again. ‘The least we can do is pay you.’

‘It’s a gift. James and Lily get soul mates and you get nice robes, it’s only fair.’ Sirius had started to change robes himself and suddenly stopped and looked at Remus intently. ‘You know, they bring out your eyes. The robes, I mean.’

He flushed a little and hastily turned his back on Remus.

Had Sirius really just said that?

‘They’re too long!’ Peter huffed. ‘What good are robes that are too long?’

‘Okay then, you can give yours to Moony too.’

‘Absolutely not! It’s bad enough that I have to accept one pair of them,’ Remus panted.  ‘I’m not taking two.’

‘Don’t you like them?’ Sirius said, looking positively offended.

‘Of course I like them. That’s not the point.’

‘So you’re taking them.’ Sirius shot him a sly look. ‘That’s settled then.’

‘You can take mine too. I’m afraid I’m a bit more along around the middle than you two.’

All of them laughed at Frank, struggling to zip up his robes.

‘No, you’re not, Remus,’ Alice giggled. ‘No offence, but we’ve just bought a house and it’ll be a while before we can afford robes of this fine quality again. We can’t keep begging our parents for money, can we? Oh, stop puffing, Frank, I’ll look up a spell to make them a bit roomier.’

‘I wouldn’t have accepted them anyway.’

‘Can we get this over with, now?’ Peter asked in a high voice. ‘No matter how badly I want to be like Sirius, I can’t help but think that being Sirius is something completely different.’

‘He’s right, though. We’d better get a move on.’ Remus nodded at Peter. ‘Prongs will be wondering where we got off to.’

‘Just one more thing,’ Frank asked, ‘what happens after we’ve taken the potion? We change into you and then what?’

‘Ah, yes. Well, I’ll go and announce us,’ said Sirius, looking extremely handsome in his robes. ‘You all get on stage. Peter and Remus, both of you take the keyboards, Frank, you take the drums and I’ll play the guitar. When I start to play, the other instruments will start too. Just keep your hands on them and they’ll guide you to the right place.’

‘You’re a genius, Padfoot,’ said Remus, ‘How long will the potion last?’

‘I cut back on the ingredients, so it shouldn’t be longer than fifteen minutes, maybe half an hour.’

‘I can’t wait to hear what you’ve done with the song, Sirius,’ said Alice dreamily.

‘I just hope you still know the words.’

‘Oh, I could never forget them,’ she said, Remus noticed her eyes were a little glassy. ‘Never.’

‘Which reminds me, at some point, the mike might repeat some of your words,’ said Sirius, on his way to the door. ‘That’s normal. It’s kind of a background singer.’

‘Oh.’ Alice said, apprehensively.

‘Just keep singing,’ Sirius smiled and disappeared.

‘On three?’ said Remus. The other two nodded.

‘One. Two. Three.’

They drained the little bottles at once and Remus immediately felt his insides started writhing.

A burning sensation that reminded him a bit of his transformations surged through him.

The things I wouldn’t do for you, Padfoot…

His skin started to melt and change, he had trouble breathing, his shoulders stretched a bit. He felt too many kinds of pain at once to fully register them all. And suddenly, it stopped. Right in front of him were standing two Siriuses, looking at him with the same astonishment he felt.

Merlin, this is absurd. I actually am the man I love, right now.

‘Right.’ Remus heard Alice say. ‘Right.’

‘Has Sirius announced us yet?’ he asked. He startled when he heard Sirius’ voice instead of his own.

‘No, he only just got on stage,’ she said, looking bewildered. ‘Which Sirius are you?’

‘I’m Remus,’ he sniggered.

‘Right. Thought so,’ she answered. ‘I just wanted to make sure. Frank, come over here.’

One of the Sirius’ moved towards Alice and kissed her.

‘I never knew Polyjuice changes your kissing techniques too,’ she said, with wide eyes. ‘Wow… Almost makes me envious of Sirius’ date.’

Frank gasped in a very shocked way, but Peter giggled (which was very odd, because Sirius never giggled).

‘She’s spending more time with the toilet than with him.’

‘Then I’m jealous of whoever gets to kiss him.’

So am I.

‘-so I give you… THE SERIOUS BLACKS!’ They heard from inside the ballroom.

‘That’s our cue,’ Remus said.

As they walked out onto the stage, a wave of laughter and applause greeted them. James was laughing and clapping loudest of all as he yelled things like ‘Brilliant!’ and ‘Amazing, you bastards!’

‘Ready, Remus?’ Sirius’ voice whispered in his ear.

‘Sirius?’ he asked.

‘Obviously.’

‘No, I mean, the real one?’ he asked again.

‘Yes, the real one,’ he laughed. ‘So, are you ready?’

Remus winked and nodded. Sirius looked at the rest for confirmation and started playing the guitar.

Remus’ hands were immediately drawn to the keyboard he was standing in front of. At first, only Peter and Sirius were playing a very simple combination of guitar and piano, but as soon as Alice had started singing, his hands were moving across the board too.

Sirius had told the truth, Remus did not need to think about anything. His hands were moving of their own accord.

The drums quickly kicked in too and as soon as Remus had got used to everything that went on around him, he could really enjoy the music. It was not a slow song, as he had expected, but a kind of rock song, but it sounded fantastic just the same.

Frank and Sirius had been right, Alice really was a very good singer. Her voice fit the music brilliantly.

Most people in the room were still watching the band, but Remus could see that Lily and James were swaying very slowly to the song, holding each other tightly.

They look even more in love than usual. Well done, Padfoot.

When the song had ended, Remus walked over to the happy couple. When Lily saw him, she rushed over to him and hugged him. Remus noticed she’d been crying.

‘Thank you,’ she whispered. ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.’

‘Don’t thank me.’ He smiled, but he hugged her back anyway. ‘We just did what Sirius asked us. It’s him you should be grateful to.’

‘Oh,’ she said, looking around the room. ‘Which one?’

‘The one with the guitar who’s talking to James.’

‘So, you are…?’

‘Remus. Peter was the other one on the keyboard and Frank played the drums.’

‘I never knew you played the keyboard, Remus,’ said Lily.

‘I don’t.’

‘Oh. He used Polyjuice, right?’

‘Yes- Lily, are you all right?’ he asked worriedly. ‘You seem a bit shaken.’

‘I’m fine,’ she said, while staring at the ground. ‘It’s just- I haven’t heard that song in ages. We wrote it so very long ago and it sounded so wonderful just now. It really was so very beautiful. It sounded so… right.’

Remus looked at her and nodded.

‘We wrote about something we thought was ideal, something extraordinary. I never thought I’d actually find it. Yet here I am, with James and it’s just so… It’s so…’

‘Come here,’ Remus sighed, as he pulled her into another hug. ‘That’s a good thing, Lily. Not something to cry about. I wish I could say the same, really.’

‘You can, you just have to say something else first.’

‘Which is?’

‘Sirius, I love you.’

‘You’re saying it to the wrong one,’ a voice suddenly said. ‘I’m Sirius.’

‘So am I,’ Lily said, looking at Remus.

‘No, you’re not,’ said Sirius, as he handed both of them a glass of Chamber’s Chancy Champagne. ‘I am. And he looks like Sirius for another four minutes.’

‘Only four?’ Remus asked. ‘I’d better get changed again, then.’

‘No!’

‘Why not, Padfoot?’

‘Because-’ Sirius ran a hand through his hair and pointed at Lily with his glass. ‘Well, tell him Lily.’

‘Your hair’s starting to change back,’ she giggled. ‘And your eyes are brown again.’

‘Which are very good reasons to not change, I’m sure,’ Remus smiled and took a sip of his champagne before setting it on a table near them. ‘But I’d feel more comfortable in my own robes.’

‘I’ll change too, then,’ Sirius sighed and he emptied his glass.

‘You’re not really changing back into that horrible tux, are you?’ Lily asked.

‘Really, Padfoot, these robes look much better on you,’ said Remus, trying to keep the longing out of his voice.

‘But not as good as they look on you,’ he smiled cheekily. ‘so, I’ll leave wearing them to you. Let’s go.’

Remus rolled his eyes as Lily laughed and pushed them away.

They walked over to the little room in which their clothes lay.

‘Seems like Frank and Wormtail already changed. Bloody bastards threw my clothes all over the room.’

Suddenly, Remus thought of something.

‘Padfoot?’

Sirius grunted while looking for his jacket.

‘How did you know it was me?’ His friend looked up with a cocked eyebrow.

‘When we got on stage,’ said Remus, ignoring the flutter in his stomach. ‘You asked me if I was ready. How did you know it was me you were talking to?’

‘I told you to take the keyboard.’

‘There were two,’ he said, while changing shirts. ‘Peter was using one too, how did you know it was not him?’

‘Your eyes,’ Sirius said, looking at him intently.

‘Peter had those eyes too, Sirius. They were your eyes.’

‘No, not entirely. Yours were different.’ He shrugged as he gave up the quest for his jacket. ‘Want to get back to the ballroom? Mr and Mrs Prongs are leaving in forty-five minutes.’

‘Not changing entirely, then?’

‘This’ll have to do.’ Sirius looked down at himself. He had left his shirt almost completely unbuttoned, exposing his bare chest. ‘It’s too hot in there anyway.’

It will be, with you walking around like that.

‘James loved the band, by the way.’ Sirius grinned as he held the door open for Remus. ‘I take it Lily did too?’

‘Oh yeah-thanks.’ Remus smiled. ‘She even cried. It did sound fantastic, Padfoot, you did a great job.’

‘Of course I did,’ Sirius said as he slapped Remus on the shoulder. ‘Now, have you seen my cigarettes?’

‘I think they’re in your jacket,’ he answered. ‘Really, can’t you get on without a cigarette

every ten minutes?’

‘I had my last half an hour ago, so there’s your answer.’ Sirius scratched his earlobe and bit his lip. ‘I’m going to go look for them. Order two Firewhiskys, would you? And get something for yourself too.’

‘Drunk.’

‘Not yet, Moony. Not yet.’

With that, Sirius ran back to that little room, and Remus watched his every move.

//
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