Disclaimer: It's not mine. If it was, this would never have crossed anyone's mind and Pettigrew's father would have had erectile difficulties.
A/N: So I was wondering just what made Sirius and James think Lupin was the spy and surprisingly, there were a lot of things. Besides, it's about time I picked on Remus. Incidentally, all the traits that Sirius picks out I found in PoA during the scenes in the Shrieking Shack - look especially at his treatment of Peter.
He was like a small child when he slept. There was a beauty in Remus Lupin, a flawed and tragic beauty that seemed to radiate from him as he lay on their sofa, exhausted after another monthly trip into hell. His flawless skin, marred only very slightly by silvery and faded scars, seemed to glow. His very Italian features intensified by charcoal eyes, were dulled and he could almost pass for a giant of a cherub.
Sirius had to admit that he was a flatmate who was disturbingly easy to live with. He had been a quiet and shy child and later adolescent but he was always ready for mischief, the glint in his eyes forever betraying him during his milder lectures.
But now; now he immersed himself in literature and listened intently into conversations he had nothing to contribute to. He kept himself to himself and avoided Sirius as much as humanly possible when sharing a small space.
The notion that had deprived Sirius of sleep for the past month once more flashed in an overworked mind. Remus was the spy. He tried to shake off his suspicions but it was harder in the cold light of day to convince himself that he was paranoid. Remus wasn't capable of it. He was…no, he was very capable.
He was fickle.
"Good morning and which major world religion are we this morning?"
Lupin made an encouraging sound that Sirius assumed meant that he could push back the curtains. What he saw almost made him close them again. His best friend was holding an incredibly uncomfortable position. His chest and stomach were at least two feet off the mattress, supported by unshaken arms and legs. For some unfathomable reason, he was also wearing sunglasses at seven o'clock in the morning during the dullest, coldest winter they had ever experienced.
"What the fuck are you doing?"
"The crab," replied Lupin. He effortlessly relaxed his limbs and landed with surprising grace in the centre of the bed. "Today I am Zen Buddhist in his girlfriend's t-shirt."
Sirius laughed. "And the sunglasses?"
Lupin grinned back at him. "If I can't see you then you can't see me and I don't have to blush and admit that I decided to take up Yoga."
Sirius nodded mutely, failing to understand on approximately forty-four levels. "Remus, I thought you were a Catholic."
Lupin sighed. "I haven't been a Catholic since I was thirteen. Since-" he refused to finish that sentence. "Look, there are five major world religions and one God. The way I see it, if I try them all then I can't be wrong. Although I'm somewhat reluctant to practice Judaism. You know my luck, the day I snip my foreskin will be the day I need it." He smiled and announced his intention to shower, leaving Sirius alone to come to the conclusion that this girl of his was a remarkably bad influence.
He was manipulative.
Her will was obviously weakening at the sight of Remus' wide black eyes, staring deep into hers. She curled an ebony lock around her index finger and bit her full red lips. Personally, Sirius believed there to be no finer specimen in the history of the world but he had learned now to hold his tongue.
Emma Lupin sighed. "Sweetheart, I just think that maybe she's a little too old for you."
Lupin's eyes were no longer pleading and they held none of their former warmth. "You know, I'd at least try to show some effort if you wanted me to meet someone you cared about."
"I'm making the effort!" she protested. "I can't help it. She just strikes me as someone who wants something entirely different to you and I just don't want you hurt anymore."
He shrugged. "I'll see you next week."
"Remus, don't be like that."
Sirius looked away, whistling softly to himself and leaning on the ancient AGA. This was awkward enough without any interference on his part. Besides, they both seemed to have forgotten his presence in the kitchen.
"Like what?" His face remained emotionless, utterly unreadable. "Are you coming, Sirius?"
Sirius nodded grimly and made his way over to Lupin. "It was lovely to see you, Emma."
"Bye." His voice lacked the warmth he usually bestowed on his beloved mother.
"Alright!" she cried. "Alright! Bring her round."
Almost immediately, she was enveloped in strong arms and the scent of cinnamon. She breathed a sigh of relief and embraced her son so tightly that Sirius had the suspicion that Houdini wouldn't escape her.
"No, I shouldn't have said that."
They refused to let go of one another and Sirius began to regret agreeing to 'drop by and say hello'. He coughed quietly, loud enough for Remus to hear him and looked out of the window onto the wild and choppy sea.
"Sorry about that," said Lupin calmly, closing the front door behind him. "I don't think she likes the idea of Nancy very much."
He had a very off beat sense of humour; dark even.
"HE'S A WEREWOLF!"
Lupin felt as though he was going to be sick. The silence was eerie. James and Sirius now stood beside one another, wands pointing straight at Snape's face. Even Peter had leapt to his feet and threw Snape a withering glance. Lily's hands shook.
Finally the silence was broken by Lupin's ex-girlfriend. Anna Lovett covered her mouth, emitting a whimper of terror. "I…You…We…" she stammered.
"We made love, yeah," Lupin told the crowd that had gathered to watch and emboldened by fury and a nerve he had never known he possessed added, "Well no, I made love. You had meaningless sex with me and then Mulciber only a few days later. Now that's what I call class."
A small nervous laugh escaped Peter's lips. James smirked but Sirius was deaf to all around him. The only thing that stopped him shooting an unforgivable curse at Snape was the fact that his best friend stood between them, addressing the crowd and apparently trying his hand at stand-up comedy.
"I suppose you think you had sex with a werewolf," said Lupin calmly, addressing Anna as though a crowd of terrified and interested schoolchildren had not encircled them. "Is that why you're so worried?"
"You're not even going to deny it?" she asked, incredulous.
"Why should I?" asked Lupin. "He hasn't got any proof. Neither have I. You want me to stand here at the reunion at the full moon with all of you staring out of the windows just in case? Merlin, this is ridiculous!"
Snape finally retaliated. "I saw you. You were in the Whomping Willow."
"I was in the Whomping Willow?" Seven years of frustration with lycanthropy and fear of what would happen should anyone in school find out, was coming to a head. Sirius and James couldn't have stopped him even if they had wanted to. "You know, Snivellus, the more you open your mouth, the more this is beginning to sound like The Wizard of Oz!"
He knew how to use people skills.
"We're really in for it this time, you realise this. You realise that we will be skinned alive," said Peter, staring down at the large swamp that had sprung up and bred in the forth floor corridor.
"Alright," murmured Sirius. "It was like it when we got here."
"Or we run," said James.
Peter shook his head and whimpered. "Filch."
Lupin clasped his hands together and spun round. "Ah, Mr. Filch." He smiled and turned back to the swamp. "I think you'll agree that this is quite a difficulty. Whatever shall we do?"
Filch practically snarled. "You lot!"
Lupin smiled. "I think you can see the predicament we're in, Mr. Filch. A man of your remarkable intellect must be able to acquire a decent solution. What would you do in our position?"
"I'd prepare myself for expulsion, boy."
Lupin gasped. "Now, Mr. Filch, I'm sure you're aware that the phrase 'Innocent until proven guilty' is very apt in this case. You have absolutely no proof and a man with your brilliant mind can surely see the flaws in your assumption?"
Filch growled. "You wait. Someone will have seen you!"
He stalked off leaving James to whistle admiringly. "Well, looks like we beat the rap there. Well done. Loop."
Sirius grinned and shook his head slowly. "You're a cunning son of a bitch, Remus, I'll give you that."
He was cold blooded.
"I'll kill him."
James risked a terrified glance at Sirius. He massaged Lupin's shoulders, attempting futilely to ease out the tension as Lupin sat at his mother's kitchen table. He didn't appear to be angry or even mourning his father, he appeared emotionless, detached. They knew he was screaming inside.
"Remus," Sirius interjected. "I understand that you're angry. I am too, but I think Travers is a big mistake. He'll annihilate you."
Lupin paid no heed. "I'll kill him."
James sighed. "You need to calm down. Moony, you need to grieve."
"I have grieved," Lupin said quietly. "I've grieved and now I'm going to track him down and I'll kill him."
"He's better with his wand, Remus. You're good, don't get me wrong, but you're no match for that man. I'm serious," Sirius pleaded. "Not alone. He's a sick bastard, Remus and he loves to kill. That's why you can't win. You can't win because your life's the prize. Do you understand me?"
Lupin did not react. "I'm not going to use my wand," he muttered darkly. "I'm going to work out what he did to my Dad and then I'm going to tear him apart with my bare hands." He smiled sadistically. "I might even use my teeth."
James removed his hands. "You don't mean it. That's your problem. You have to mean it."
The glint in Lupin's eyes told Sirius all he needed to know. He meant it alright. He really, truly meant it.
Lupin stirred in his sleep. It was impossible to believe he would have killed even Travers and just as James had said, he couldn't go through with it. He didn't look like a murderer. His fringe hung in his eyes and it used to endear Sirius to him. He was the little boy lost and butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. He was their fall back plan when they were caught. Remus' wide eyes and innocent expressions could fool even McGonagall. He was a brilliant actor.
Sirius felt the shiver up his spine. That's just what he was; an actor. A superb and dangerous actor. The perfect spy.