Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Warnings: SiRem-ish, Computer music references, maybe some violence, I do know…I'm sorry I have really checked out here. Maybe I'll be sharper as I go along.
looneyli: Hell yeah cellists unite! We need to or else the violins will take over the world.
Moonsign: Sorry for the long wait(I'll be saying that a lot). I hope this lives up to your expectations!
MissPixel: It's ok. Nerds need love too. especially classical musicain nerds. That's like the trifecta of needing love. Even though some get it from their instruments. Watching people like that is weird because it's like you get to see their O faces. most of the time, EWWW!
drastic diner: FINALLY!!! Chaper 9! I know I said it would be up before the end of the olympics and it is. Even though it's the winter olympics not the summer ones. (shifty eyes)
Charlotte Lazarus: I'm FOREVER SORRY ABOUT HOW LONG IT TOOK!!! (cries) I made it up to you at the end of this chapter. DON"T LOOK!!!
mortitia3: I have yet to hear one good euphionium song. is that bad?
kenzigirl: That's ok, flutes are like the violins of the wind section. Sorry to say this, but they always seem very bitchy. Maybe that's just me. There'll be plenty of tension in this one too. Preview: Sirius meets Sirius' dad with Remus watching.
yourmomismyheart: from now on you're going to be ymimh
ymimh: yay! more tension. And relaese of tension. (wink, wink) just kidding. (or am i?)
orange sheep of the flock: From now on you will be osotf
osotf: I do love music and I love being with people. So I REALLY love playing music with people. Thanks for saying that about my story, I try to not make it just a sweet/aww how sad/well written story. I want to make it an emotional and realistic story. most of what is in the story I have experienced in some form.
Paws4life: Don't worry, remus' luck changes for this chapter. Thoughit does get worse before it gets better.
arabellaw: Yeah, life sucks. life really sucks. it takes a holiday break for me to find time to add 2 pages worth of plot to my story. that's sad. no idea when the next one is coming out, so I hope I made this chapter good enough to carry my very loyal readers. especially you!
mandaxface: yeah sirius is a huge berk! here's somne more preslashiness for you. enjoy!
rekaneko: sorry about your bad dates. at least we know that remus and Sirus will end up happy in the end. Thank you for reviewing!
I would recommend Ravel's Cello & Violin Sonata and Evanescence's My Immortal for this chapter.
Andy descended the poorly lit stairwell keeping a pale hand on the cool cement wall to help guide her down. She lightly leapt over the third to bottom step because it was crumbling and unreliable. She always told herself to inform her mother, so Kiria would see to it that it was repaired, but never remembered. Besides it was rare for anyone to come down here.
She half-felt, half-remembered her way to the library entrance. It was nearly pitch black and the majority of light came reflected off the ceiling in the direction of the music librarian's personal area. Andy wove through the six and a half foot shelves that turned the library into a claustrophobic maze. She found who she was looking for and waited until she heard a pause in their incessant typing.
He looked up from one of the four flat screen monitors he had, his eyes slightly surprised to see Andy. He had always looked a little mouse-ish to Andy. Peter seemed to fit in perfectly with his little hole in the wall nest. He nodded in greeting, knowing that this was not a visit just because Andy had time. She sighed lightly then continued.
"Aesti is debuting our new cellist on Friday and we have decided to use Ravel's Sonata for Cello & Violin. We want you to arrange it so the first two movements are the same, the third is written for viola and cello, and the fourth is arranged for the entire quartet."
Peter paused thoughtfully a second before choosing one of his three mice and clicked away, looking for some file. He found a long list of pieces and their locations. He soon turned away from his screens to face the two walls that partially encompassed him. He began running his finger along what looked to be the spines of books. The walls were packed to the ceiling with external hard drives. Andy guessed there must be a couple hundred. They weren't cheap, but Andy's mother had never refused Peter anything he wanted in regards to his work.
He had four top of the line ultra flat screen LCD computer monitors, three of the fastest computers known to man one was equipped with Finale, one with Sibelius and the third possessed a conversion program so he could switch the format. Three mice and three keyboards as well as two quick response and quick kickback keyboards rounded off his tools. He was singularly the biggest power user in the entire building. But no one could fault with him because he did his job and he did it better than anyone else.
Peter found what he was looking for and hooked it up to his Sibelius computer. Andy had never been able to figure out how he knew which hard drive was which. She guessed it was some well kept secret of librarians. He quickly found what he was looking for and smiled a little triumphantly.
"When will you be done?"
Peter glanced at her and then at his computer's clock. "Oh, hour to an hour and a half."
Andy nodded and left. She ascended the stairs quickly so she could wouldn't be late for the rehearsal.
The rest of Aesti trickled in over the next five minutes. Andy told them what she had done. Remus offered to go down and check to see how Peter was coming along. Sera nodded her permission.
Remus was in the library in under 30 seconds. He was incredibly comfortable navigating his way through the Steriae. He found Peter in the back of his musical labyrinth.
Peter didn't say a word or look up. He just pointed to a small stack of freshly printed papers on the farthest corner of his desk, closest to Remus. This startled Remus. He, Peter, and James used to be rather close.
Remus decided not to say anything about Peter's less than warm attitude. Instead he said, "Thanks, Pete." At those words he looked up.
"Oh, hey Remus." Peter gave a half smile. "How're things going?"
Remus smiled back. It was hard to fight Peter's contagious disposition. "I suppose most things are going about the best they can be." His thoughts turned to James, and more painfully to Sirius.
Peter sensed a slight change in Remus and decided to let him be.
Remus pulled himself out of his thoughts and turned automatically to leave the library.
The rest of the rehearsal went on without much of a problem. But the intense quiet between Sirius and Remus and the few stiff words exchanged between the two did not make the violinists more comfortable.
They went their separate ways, satisfied with how the music sounded and looking forward to the performance.
It was Friday night and the lobby of the Steriae was alive with a feverous crowd. Those who had known about the Aesti Quartet since it was first established were excited about meeting the new cellist, whose identity had been carefully hidden. There was rumored that no mention of his name or bio could be found in the program. This made the desire to figure out who he was even stronger.
Kiria was in her element. Flitting from conversation to conversation, laughing properly at jokes that weren't hilarious and lightly flirting with both single and married men.
As the crowd was filing in to the auditorium and taking their seats, the four musicians took advantage of the noise to set themselves up on stage. Once they were all well nested in their places, they all stood up and Sera nodded to a stage hand, who spoke into a hands free walkie-talkie.
A voice came over the speaker system. "Ladies and Gentlemen, the members of the Steriae Theater welcome you to tonight's performance and would like to remind you to turn off all cell phones and pagers, unless you are a doctor or superhero."
A light laugh spread across the theater. Remus couldn't help, but laugh himself. The announcer always had a little fun in coming up with new jokes for each major performance.
The curtains opened and there was a small collective gasp. Those who knew the Black family knew about their oldest son, and even those didn't know the whole story recognized his son. A gentle smattering of applause spread through the audience as the quartet sat down.
Sera gave the down beat and her and Sirius began the first movement. All through the first and second movement Remus could feel a burning form the audience. He knew it could only come from the center of the first row. He didn't dare look for fear of being incinerated instantly.
Cane Black looked calmly outraged at the fact of seeing his son before him playing an instrument. He found extra loathing to share with Remus. He split his glare between the violist and his eldest son. He began cursing his front row seats. It meant he was forced to stay for the whole performance and suffer though it.
Auriga looked on in a soft maternal pride. Like a mother watching her second grader play a tree in a school play. Regulus couldn't have been more appeased at seeing his brother playing his heart out on stage. It was only his Black raising that kept him from grinning brightly and jumping onstage and screaming at the top of his lungs how happy he was.
It wasn't until Sirius began his little solo for the third movement that Remus set his viola on his shoulder. Remus repeated the melody that Sirius had, as Sirius dropped an octave for a gentle, yet powerful harmony. The third movement was very contemporary sounding with its accidentals and less than perfect harmonies. But, as it went on, Remus realized how it fit his and Sirius' relationship.
Each measure turned slightly more distant and angry, yet the notes could not be separated from each other. If only the cello part was heard, it would be considered grotesque and unsuitable for performance, and if the viola played alone, the pitches would be whiney and obnoxious. But together, they fit perfectly and were gorgeously entangled in each other.
The movement ended too soon for Remus' taste and the fourth began in a flurry of excitement. All three chin strings exchanged the melody seamlessly, like a wave between the three of them. The piece was fast and violent, but it still managed to be beautiful. When the final chord soared out into the audience, the crowd exploded with sound. They rose to their feet and demanded more.
As the quartet stood to accept the audience's praise, Peter rolled the piano out onto the stage. Remus saw it out of the corner of his eye and then looked back at Sirius. Sirius smiled slightly and mouthed to him "Play."
Remus was in shock. He couldn't. Not now, it was too unexpected. However he found himself walking towards the instrument. The theater went silent as he sat down and settled himself in the chair Peter moved for him.
Sera and Andy moved to the side of the stage, leaving Sirius alone in the center. Remus began tapping out the broken chords to the piece Sirius had walked in on him playing that one day.
The cello entered gracefully and sadly. It sounded of desperation and a broken heart. The cello cried out mournfully through the chorus and no audience member had the breath to respond. The second verse was softer and weaker, and the second chorus even more faint. But the melody softly crescendoed through the bridge and after the piano pounded out each note of its melody, the cello entered with a final chorus, using every way knew of playing loudly and screaming out for help.
The cello trickled out the last few measures quietly, barely able to be heard. When the piano tapped out the final chord, there was not a dry eye in the house. The silence seemed to stretch out forever until the audience went wild and began shouting even louder than after the Ravel.
Sirius stood and took a deep bow before inviting Sera, Andy, and Remus back onstage with him. They took a number of more bows together and Sirius alone until the crowd was satisfied that they had fully thanked the musicians.
The curtains closed and the quartet walked off the stage with the high a performance leaves. They began leaving into the hall. Sera and Andy first, then Remus, and then Sirius. Remus turned a corner before looking back at Sirius, hoping to give him a congratulatory smile. But instead, the sight that greeted him made his blood turn cold and his flushed face pale.
Cane came up to Sirius, his stride controlled, but purposeful. He and Sirius were the same height, but Cane's anger gave him six inches. He was breathing heavily, just barely keeping himself in control. Remus quietly fell into the background, though he heard every word.
Cane took a deep, intense breath. "How dare you. How dare you spit on my face and trample on my appearance." His voice was quiet, yet like a snake, every stinging word was filled with venom. "You have disrespected me, my wife, and my son. I never want to see you again you-" From there he hissed in a language Remus didn't know, but Sirius apparently understood every word.
Cane said one last biting phrase and then turned away from the disowned cellist.
Sirius turned back and began walking away. He passed Remus without looking at him. Remus chased after him a few steps before grabbing Sirius' shoulder. Sirius closed on Remus' hand like a vice before whipping Remus around and slamming him to the wall with his arm pinned painfully behind him.
Remus gave a soft whimper as he felt white hot pain shoot from his right shoulder and elbow. He wasn't sure, but he thought he heard something crack. The pain turned into an ache as he felt himself released and he dropped to the floor. He got oriented in time to see Sirius' leather shoes disappear around the corner.
Remus righted himself with his left hand and the wall. His breath came in gasps as he tried to think outside of the throbbing all along his right arm. Before he knew it, a strong arm came under his left arm and began guiding him down the hallway. Remus heard a door open and close and was calmed by the instant coolness of the air.
"Hang on. I'm going to put your arm back in."
James! Alarm bells began ringing and every part of his mind was telling him to run as fast as he could away from this danger. But his body wouldn't respond. His arm may have screamed in pain when James grabbed his shoulder and upper arm, but it didn't motivate him to move in the slightest.
"On three ok? one-" He popped it back in. The loss of pain relaxed all of Remus' muscles, including his legs and he, against his will, fell into James.
James willingly took on Remus' weight and figured he may as well take his reward. No matter what he told himself he had never completely gotten over the fragile violist. He just unconsciously brought out the darker side of James. His petiteness made James just want to conquer and take advantage of the vulnerable musician.
Remus vaguely recalled a door opening before the weight above him disappeared and he heard the crack of knuckle on bone. He looked up to see Sirius holding James to the wall by his shirt with blood flowing out of his mouth, staining his tux shirt a striking crimson.
"You son of a bi-"
Sirius threw James to the ground before he could complete his sentence.
"Get out. If I ever see you by him again I swear I will break every one of your fingers and cut off your thumbs." Sirius sounded like he had no qualms with doing it so James took off leaving Sirius and Remus together.
Sirius turned to the slightly disoriented violist. "Come out when you're ready." He walked with a small hurt smile and closed the door behind him.
Remus was confused, and for the first time he realized he was in one of the private dressing rooms. He stood up and almost sat back down again at his own appearance in the mirror.
It would have screamed Sex God if not for the tear streaks on his cheeks and his slight grimace. His jacket lay on the floor and his shirt was half unbuttoned, exposing his pale, smooth skin, and inviting the loss of more white fabric. His lips were swollen and red and his cheeks were flushed as he breathed heavily. Remus managed a weak smile. He wouldn't have been surprised if Sirius took him right then and there if it hadn't been for the circumstances.
He splashed some cold water on his face as he felt himself calm down. With every button he rebuttoned Remus gained a little more control and when he thought himself respectable, he walked out and saw Sirius waiting for him.
Before he could say a word Sirius had his hands on either side of his face and was crushing his mouth on Remus'. Remus couldn't stop himself from reaching up and tangling his hands in Sirius' long hair, forcing their faces closer.
A silent message passed between them and they pulled away, but just enough for Sirius to talk with their foreheads touching.
"I'm sorry for what I said. I'm sorry for what I did. I'm sorry I didn't come sooner." With every sentence he gave Remus' mouth a short, heated kiss.
Remus could feel what Sirius wanted, and was willing to give it. Though slight confusion still floated in the back of his mind.
Remus woke with a start to find his bed stifling and his arm aching. He deftly detangled himself from the sheets and walked over to the window and opened it. Cool night air passed over him and hardened his nipples as he inhaled with a hiss. As the fresh air swept around him and into his room, he realized it didn't happen.
There was no great rescue, no James taking advantage of his weakness, no Sirius expressing his desire. The pain in his arm woke him from his romantic delusions. He laughed softly as he sighed. Of course. He would never get the one he wanted. He wasn't worthy.
Arms snaked around his waist as his right shoulder was coved in a curtain of black hair and a warm breath lightly grazed the hollow of his neck.
He tensed and the warm constrictions were gone, and Remus was cold again. He turned and saw a slightly confused Sirius behind him, glowing in the moon light.
Remus didn't answer immediately. He paused for a few breaths. "What happened?"
Sirius chuckled softly as he closed his eyes. When he opened them again, Remus was taken aback by their pure silver shine. "Not what you think. We came back here, but we're not idiots. We just lay together. If we had done anything your arm would be a lot worse."
Remus looked away and blushed at Sirius' words like a virgin school girl. Sirius smiled and brought Remus' mouth up and kissed him. It was soft and undemanding. He broke it just as gently and brought Remus into his arms.
"Now come back to bed. You're freezing and it's lonely without you."
Remus smiled into Sirius' chest and let himself be led back to his bed.