(Wake Me Up) When the Bluebells are Ringing

A fanfiction written by Ryuko Ishida

Summary: For so long – too long – he had thought his best friend had betrayed them. Betrayed him. Now twelve years later, when amber met grey once more, everything had changed. Nothing had changed. The reunion scene in PoA written in Remus' perspective. SLASH.

Author's Notes: This is a short piece written for my English class that was suppose to explore an important scene of the book in another person's point of view – yes, I'm taking Children' Literature for one of my 4th year university courses. It's a pain in the arse, but still quite fun. Heck, anything that's HP-related is fun. The original piece got the slashy-ness toned down for the assignment, so I've rewritten some bits to fill my SBRL need. This is my first ever HP fanfic, so bear with me, people!

Disclaimer: The books belong to J.K. Rowling. I just love to mess around with it in my imagination. The title is inspired by Mr. Patrick Wolf's 'Bluebells'.

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A complicated mixture of emotions gathered inside his chest, threatening to suffocate him, as Remus Lupin stared down at the Marauder's Map, blinking a few times to make sure his eyes weren't playing tricks on him.

"How can it be?" he muttered to himself, his gaze never leaving the dot that was labeled so clearly: Peter Pettigrew. But Peter… Wormtail… he should've been dead! And yet, the map never lied. Then, his eyes shifted to another dot, and his heart gave a painful pang as memories from what seemed like eons ago appeared in the back of his mind.

"Sirius," the pale amber of his irises darkened. Among the four of them, who would've thought that the charming, black-haired prankster was the one who went to the dark side? For the past twelve years, Remus had believed that one of his very best friends was a secret supporter of Voldemort, a traitor, and a murderer. Not only did Sirius Black slaughter twelve innocent bystanders without hesitation, but he had also killed one – no, two – of his friends.

'Poor Peter', Remus had thought when he had first heard the news. So many long nights after that, he had dreams of Sirius, with a malicious, almost manic, glint in his dark eyes, and a cruel smirk on his handsome face, laughing coldly in the street washed with splashes of ruby and scattered with mangled bodies.

Sometimes – too many times than he wanted to admit – nightmares mixed up with suppressed memories from their school days. The bond that they shared during the last years in Hogwarts as defiant teenagers, and even some time after they graduated – it was closer than that of any brothers, both emotionally and physically. Remus remembered his touches, so gentle, warm but at the same time conveyed so much need; the intensity was almost brutal, the constant yearning was to a point of physical pain.

And then something in Sirius' eyes changed. Silvery grey had hints of ruby red – like blood. It was raw and wild, like nothing mattered but the man standing so nakedly in front of him. Like he had wanted to hunt, to kill. To kill anything. Everything. To kill him. Something buried deep inside of him – almost forgotten.

Wet, red paint – fresh blood – slashed carelessly across Sirius' pale, aristocratic cheekbones, and the rose-tinted dew settled on his lips, which were curling into a knowing smirk. With one firm hand, the dark-haired man held both of Remus' wrists above his head, and he lowered himself, eyes darkening with lust, want, and death.

Even now, years later, Remus would occasionally found himself wake up shivering in his almost-suffocating sheets, with cold sweat coating his skin and heart beating all over the place.

But these strange nightmares aside, Remus found it even more difficult to believe that it was Sirius who betrayed James and Lily; after all, James and Sirius were practically brothers, with the close bond that had bloomed beginning from their childhood – one was rarely seen without the other.

It was an agonizing realization at first, knowing that the one person you trusted throughout the majority of your life turned out to be a member of the dark force you attempted so hard to fight against. Remus was beyond feeling that blinding white, hot anger he had initially underwent; instead, it was just a slowly simmering sentiment hiding below the surface now. He wasn't sure if he would be able to control the urge to lash out that seething emotion if he were to meet Sirius face to face.

But did he have a choice? The wizard with pale tawny-grey locks falling haphazardly across his forehead widened his eyes in panic when he saw the dots depicting Harry, Ron, Hermione, along with Peter and Sirius were moving towards the Whomping Willow and were steadily progressing through the tunnel to the Shrieking Shack. A cycle of what ifs rushed through his overwhelmed mind. What if Sirius did want to take Harry's life? What if Peter was really still alive, and if so, why had he been hiding all these years? What if there was a chance that Sirius might be innocent…? So many questions whirled and danced in his brain, and each of them propelled him to get to the group as fast as he could.

Without a second thought, he dashed out of his room.

As he rushed down the stone steps of the castle and let the humid air of summer greet his face, Remus remembered that there were times, those short fleeting moments of weakness during the first few months after the incident, when he ha d refused to believe all the rumors he had heard around him, claiming that despite Sirius' revulsion for his pure blood elitist family, he had turned to the Dark Lord for his own gains.

'Foolish loyalty,' he had scoffed to himself so many times in the past, an ironic smile always tinted his young face. A vast amount of evidence was piled against Sirius that Remus could no longer deny the truth at the end. 'He had stopped being your friend a long time ago, idiot,' Remus told himself constantly as some kind of masochistic reminder.

He hadn't been in this passageway for a long time, yet he could remember distinctly the damp scent of soil and musty smell of rotten leaves as it drifted once again into his sensitive nostril. He pushed on, and finally reached the inside of the supposedly haunted house.

"WE'RE UP HERE! WE'RE UP HERE – SIRIUS BLACK – QUICK!" He recognized Hermione's voice and it was coming from upstairs. Wood creaked under his weight as he ran up, heart and head pounding in sync with the rhythm of his steps. When the door burst open to reveal the scene, his eyes first settled on Ron, with his leg at a strange angle, a frightened Hermione, and Harry, who was pointing his wand at… His gaze finally rested on the pathetic figure, ragged and bloodied in a heap on the floor at the mercy of a thirteen year old. Of course, Remus knew better.

"Expelliarmus!" He flicked his wrist, and the three remaining wands in the room flew to his outstretched hand. Stiffly, he walked further into the enclosure while still looking intently at the man who was once his best friend, his lover. Something he couldn't quite name rose from his gut, forming a lump in his throat so that he was finding it rather difficult to speak.

"Where is he, Sirius?" His voice was strangely tight, as if it was taking him a lot of effort to let those few words leak out from his lips. He could feel Harry's quizzical gaze on him, but he was still waiting for Sirius to answer his question. If the map wasn't mistaken… if Peter was still alive…

For some long seconds, it didn't seem like Sirius was going to reply, his eyes too dark and impassive for Remus to detect anything from them. Then slowly, he raised his bony finger and pointed towards the bewildered red-haired teen.

"But then…" Remus still couldn't understand, "… why hasn't he shown himself before now? Unless – " It finally dawned on him, the idea so surprising and shocking – so brilliant – that all of a sudden, he wanted to laugh. He wished he could laugh away the lie he had believed so surely for the past twelve years, the misery he had experienced knowing that Sirius was the one who had betrayed them all. The image was no longer fuzzy but was becoming clearer and clearer every second. " – unless he was the one… unless you switched… without telling me?"

Sirius' eyes were beginning to show the familiar light Remus was used to seeing when they were still kids, and he nodded his confirmation. It was as if a huge rock had been lifted off his shoulders, and he could breathe again.

"Professor Lupin, what's going - ?" Harry's unfinished question was left hanging in the air, as Remus closed the remaining distance between him and Sirius. Remus could feel his heat, smell his scent underneath all the grim and dirt – a kind of spicy musk that bathed around him once again, and realized that his memory had never really done it any justice – before they even touched. He pulled his old friend back to his feet, warm golden-brown eyes meeting – truly meeting since the tragedy – melted silvery ones, and simply embraced him.

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Another Author's Note: I've been reading this pairing for a few years now, but never really had the guts to write it. Plus, I didn't feel comfortable enough writing slash until a few months ago when I first experiment with the McFly fandom. Strangely enough, as much as I love them puppies together, I'm also a huge fan of Remus/Tonks. So hopefully, I get to actually see them interact more in the HBP movie (nope, haven't watch it yet, so don't spoil it for me please!)