Disclaimer: All characters and places belong to JK Rowling, I'm not making any money out of this, and I really wish JKR would hurry up and write book 6. I neeeeeed it.
Author's Note: This is kind of movie!verse, based of that funky record Lupin plays in the Boggart lesson. Good taste in music, man. I heard that the song played was "Sing, Sing, Sing" by Louis Prima, and although I'm not sure if that is the one it's still a fantabulous song that makes me dance about a la Sirius in this fic.
So, this is best read listening to that song. Or any other swinging records you might have. J (I know that the smiley is going to turn into a J, so might as well just type J)
It was not a magic record, not in the way some are; the ones that put a charm on your feet making it physically impossible to stop dancing until the music stops, or the ones that curse you when you stop playing them. Yet Remus could never quite throw it away. He'd try, sometimes actually making it outside the house, the dustbin lid lifted—
And then he would replace it quietly, so not to disturb anyone, and crept back into the house.
Of all the possessions he had owned, this was the one he had clung onto for the longest. Everything else faded, but the record remained. When Grimmauld Place was empty and silent Remus dug out his old gramophone and played the record, head in his bowed hands.
The first time he'd heard its song had been at James and Lily's wedding. After the toasts and cake cutting (both events that Sirius managed to stay remarkably in control for; his speech had only contained two off-colour jokes) the newly-weds whirled around on the dance floor, smiling and laughing and so achingly happy and giddy in love that Remus felt a little choked up. He'd wondered if anyone would ever believe that James had asked Lily out forty-two times before she said yes, and even then she had ended the date by calling him an odious toad with the brains of a hamster. And now here they were, dancing gracefully and oblivious to everything else.
Sirius had sat beside him, humming cheerfully along with the music, his toes tapping. The band started to play something lively, something that bounced, something that swung. Remus had turned his head for a second to say something to Peter and suddenly, half the plates on the top table had crashed to the ground.
Sirius stood on the tabletop, dancing. Sirius could do many things, like forge signatures and chase rabbits, but he could not dance. But not being able to do something had never been a problem to Sirius; he did it anyway.
So he danced, legs flailing and arms waving around so much that several people wondered if he'd been hexed. And somehow he had seemed incredibly elegant, standing on a tabletop, kicking off any remaining plates, hands fluttering out at his side, his feet tapping and twisting, and Remus had never laughed so hard in his life; he had to lean on Peter for support.
Sirius had grinned down at them all, waving at James and Lily who had halted in the middle of the dance floor laughing and who waved back. Somebody shouted "up you get, Remus!" and Sirius had nodded, stretching out his hands to him. Remus, still laughing, shook his head and tried to get out of the way but Frank Longbottom and James had already rushed around to his side of the table and picked up his chair by the legs. Sirius grabbed his hands, pulled him beside him and swung him round and around. Had he thought about it at the time, Remus supposed he would have been terribly embarrassed, but he didn't think about it: he was too happy. James and Lily were in love and would be forever and ever; Remus and Sirius were in love and would be forever and ever. It was all perfect.
Perfection never lasts, reflected Remus. It was too fragile. Everything began to fall apart after that night.
Sirius had asked the band at James and Lily's wedding what song he had danced too, and then gone out to find a copy. When his possessions had been revoked by the Ministry after he entered Azkaban, Remus hid that record from their prying eyes. He did not know why; he did not think of it again until twelve years later when Dumbledore had written to him asking to be the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. He packed it into his suitcase along with dusty old textbooks and shabby robes. Perhaps he had been thinking about Harry, who he had not seen for so long and had never heard the stories of his parents wedding. He wondered, dully, if Harry even knew what James and Lily looked like.
Seeing Harry again had been more painful than he supposed; it was like looking at a miniature James with Lily's eyes. He could not bring himself to look at the boy's forehead.
In his third year class, Remus prepared himself to see Harry again, prepared himself to view the Boggart and his own worst fear. Thinking perhaps it would help with the atmosphere, Remus had carried the record carefully from his room to the classroom, set up the gramophone and when Neville was ready, he started the music.
He'd forgotten how loud it was, how fast, how… cheerful. There was something strange in the air, something not often felt in the Defence classroom; celebration. Remus had never defeated a Boggart so easily. He barely had to think of a happy memory because it was all around him, causing some the children to tap their feet absently.
Happier times. Could there be any sweeter memory than that of times gone past? Could anything be more bitter? When Sirius had finally come home again, Remus had played the record to him and though Sirius laughed and danced, he did not climb up on the table and Remus knew that his Padfoot had changed forever.
Two years after Remus had played the record to his third years (now fifth years; Merlin, how these children grew!) he sat alone in the darkest of houses, the gramophone needle wearing itself thin against the vinyl. He remembered brighter times, louder and longer laughs, kisses that tasted like wedding cake, crumbling sugar icing and mulled wine. He remembered Padfoot, dear Padfoot who could do anything, even die (though that had once seemed impossible).
Remus buried his face in his hands whilst the music died down and the house was filled by the empty scratch of the record finishing.