Written for Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Class: Career Planning
Task: 4. Professor: teacher! AU
Word Count: 1820/4500
You're The Song I Play In My Heart
He had always had a huge crush on the slightly older man, but as he listened to Remus ramble on about his prospective date, bitterness clogged his throat.
"I want to surprise him, that's all," Remus murmured, his shoulders slumping at Regulus' tone. "If you don't have the time or energy to do it, then it's fine. I'll hire someone else to teach me the piano."
Regulus Black glanced up when he heard a soft knock on his classroom door. "Come in," he called out, turning back to his piano. One of his students had spilt their coffee on the piano's keys, and Regulus was still miffed about it. This is why I tell them not to eat or drink anything in my class.
"Is this a bad time, Regulus?" Remus Lupin called out from the doorway, and Regulus dropped the washcloth onto his lap, grimacing at the feeling. Great, now I'll have to wash these trousers when I get home.
He looked up at Remus and shook his head. "Oh, no, not at all. I was just cleaning this. Some incompetent fool dropped their cup of hot coffee on the piano."
"Ah, the piano… It's always been your first love, hasn't it?" Remus teased, pushing his hands into his pockets.
Regulus' heart skipped a beat when he saw Remus' outfit. As an English teacher, Remus was expected to wear a tie and collared shirt to work, but Regulus knew — on a personal level — that Remus preferred dressing in semi-formal clothes on a daily basis too. He secretly loved watching Remus come to teach in a comfortable turtleneck sweater and dress slacks that fitted his toned legs.
"It has." Regulus gave Remus his full attention and asked, "What can I do for you, Mr Lupin?"
Remus grinned, amused at how formal Regulus was while they were working. They had known each other since they were children, having grown up and gone to the same school together. Sirius, Regulus' brother, was the one who had introduced them — quite excitedly, might Remus add.
"Well… I need to ask you for a favour," Remus admitted, walking closer to him. He reached his hand up and scratched the back of his neck, and Regulus wondered why he seemed so nervous.
"Go on, I'm listening."
"Okay, um… I know this sounds really weird, but could you teach me how to play the piano?"
Regulus blinked once, and then, twice. "You… want me to teach you how to…"
"Play the piano," Remus said quickly. He let out a deep sigh. "It's just that… Well, there's this man I'm interested in, and he really loves the piano, so I thought I might be able to impress him if I learned it too, you know? I mean, I know I won't be as great as he is, but I figured if I could show him I was interested in learning a few songs for him, he'd see that I was a potential life partner. He's like… like Bach… or Beethoven... or that Clair de Lune man."
"If he's so great, why don't you ask him to teach you? Why are you here with little ol' me?" Regulus knew he sounded jealous, and he was. He had always had a huge crush on the slightly older man, but as he listened to Remus ramble on about his prospective date, bitterness clogged his throat.
"I want to surprise him, that's all," Remus murmured, his shoulders slumping at Regulus' tone. "If you don't have the time or energy to do it, then it's fine. I'll hire someone else to teach me."
"No!" Regulus cried, suddenly jumping up from the bench. "I mean"—he cleared his throat, trying to look calmer—"that you don't have to ask anyone else. I'll teach you."
"You will? Oh, that's great!" Remus rushed up to him and wound his long muscular arms around Regulus' shoulders. "Thanks, Reggie! So, when should we start practising? Could we start now?"
Regulus' mouth watered when Remus' woodsy scent wafted to his nose, and he tried to hide the fact that he was discreetly sniffing him by sniffling loudly. "Unfortunately, no, we can't start now — someone's violated my piano."
Remus' hearty laughter resonated in Regulus' ears and made him wish he could listen to it on repeat. Remus' laughter was the most glorious sound in the world to him — and he was a music teacher!
"All right, then. How about we meet here tomorrow after school ends? I'll grade the rest of my students' essays by tomorrow, so I'll be free."
"Okay, I can do that."
"Great," Remus said, beaming down at him. "It's a date."
With that, Remus strolled out of Regulus' class whistling a merry tune. Regulus tried not to gawk at him, bewildered by his last sentence. A date? What did he mean by that? I'm just teaching him how to play the piano! It's not really a date, is it? No, no, it can't be.
Later that night, when Regulus got ready to sleep, he still kept on thinking about Remus' words. It's a date. It worried him so much that Regulus began to pace in his room. Finally, he decided to talk to the one person he could always count on. His brother.
Picking up the phone, he dialled in Sirius' number and waited. When someone finally picked up the phone, he said in a high-pitched voice, "Sirius, I need to talk to you. Are you free?"
"I'm sorry, but he's busy at the moment. Would you like me to take a message for him?"
Regulus paled when he realized who was on the other end. Remus. What was he doing there? With Sirius? He tried to remind himself that Sirius and Remus were best friends and could be found at each other's houses most of the time, but he couldn't help but conclude that Remus' secret crush was Sirius. How had he not seen the signs before? Every time he had been around Sirius and Remus, he had seen the latter often blush and shoot little glances at Sirius now and then.
"No, thanks," Regulus squeaked out and slammed the phone down. He fell back on his bed, his arms splayed on either side, and he whispered, "I'm so obtuse. A complete retard."
He knew he should allow Remus to find happiness — even if it was with his older brother — but Regulus just couldn't do it. As he stared at the ceiling, which was covered with musical notes and the glimmering stars in the night sky, a villainous scheme formed in his mind. I shouldn't… but I will.
"So, which song should we start with?" Remus asked excitedly, sitting closer to Regulus than he should have.
Regulus' breath hitched when he smelt Remus' cologne, and he wondered if Remus was going to see Sirius later that evening. Instead of asking him, he cleared his throat and answered, "We'll start with a simple one. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."
"Okay, you're the boss," Remus said, cracking his knuckles. He grinned at Regulus playfully, and Regulus tried not to let it affect him. Remus is not yours.
"I've already written the letters on the piano, so what you'll do is recite the notes as you play the song. The notes are CC GG AA G," Regulus said, his face expressionless. Remus carefully pressed the keys, playing the notes as Regulus had instructed him.
"Good, now the next notes are FF EE DD C." Remus played the next line and looked at Regulus with hopeful eyes, which almost melted Regulus' resolve.
"Next, play GG FF EE D, and after that, it's CC GG AA G."
"Woah, slow down, Reg," Remus said as he tried to memorize the letters. "Is that the first two lines again?"
"Yes." Regulus was curt, trying to let Remus see how he was affecting him with his closeness and his long slender fingers caressing the piano keys.
"Okay, now let me show you my magic," Remus said with a grin. He cracked his knuckles again and winced at the loud sound.
"You don't have to do that," Regulus said. "It'll loosen up your bones and give you arthritis."
"According to a study, that's not true," Remus argued, but he shut up when he saw the small smirk on Regulus' lips. "Aah! I won't fall for your tricks, Mr Black."
Regulus rolled his eyes and said, "Start playing the song, will you?"
But when Remus started playing, it wasn't the song Regulus had just taught him. Instead, Remus started playing a more difficult song, and Regulus recognized it. He's playing John Lennon's Oh My Love.
Regulus stared at Remus' fingers flying over the keyboard with disbelief. When Remus finished playing the song, Regulus whispered, "What the fuck was that?"
"I'm sorry," Remus whispered, shyly gazing at Regulus. "I wanted to surprise you, but I couldn't wait long enough."
"I don't even know if you feel the same as I do, but I couldn't wait any longer. If there's even a hint of attraction from your side — for me — will you please go out with me? Sirius thinks we'll be perfect for each other… And you know no one ever bets against your brother — and I agree with him. I'm already head over heels for you, and —"
"You learnt that song for me?" Regulus needed him to clarify; he couldn't believe his luck.
"Yeah, last night. Sirius taught me on this virtual piano online, and I — don't grimace like that! It was the only thing we had at that time!"
"It's… really sweet of you," Regulus admitted, smiling at him. "I thought you were interested in Sirius."
"God, no! He's nothing like you!"
Regulus' ears reddened at the indirect compliment, and he asked, "So… what was your plan?"
"Well, my initial plan was to milk this as much as I could. I'd ask you to teach me everything, and then, one day, I'd ask you out and play the songs for you."
"That sounds nice," Regulus said, unable to stop smiling. "I, on the other hand, was planning on teaching you the wrong notes so that you wouldn't be able to impress Sirius."
Remus burst into guffaws and asked, "You were jealous of him? Don't you know he's been trying to get us together for years?"
"What? Really? No!" Regulus had never thought of it like that.
"Yes, how many times has he suddenly left in the starting of dinner because he had 'something urgent to do'?"
"Oh… Wow." Flabbergasted at his brother's encouragement, Regulus had to reevaluate his entire life.
"I didn't think he was being subtle, but you actually didn't realize it?"
"No, not really," Regulus mumbled, his cheeks almost as hot as the sun.
"So, what should I tell him? Did he… succeed or fail in his… mission?" Remus sounded nervous, and Regulus smiled.
"Let's not tell him he succeeded," Regulus said, turning to face him.
Remus beamed as he placed his hands on Regulus' face, cupping it gently to communicate to Regulus how precious he was to him, and asked, "May I kiss you?"
"Yes, please," Regulus whispered, his voice higher in pitch. And Remus leaned forward, their breaths mingled deliciously, before he did just that.
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