R/S

Fic: No Subtitles Available (Part 3-6/6)

Title: No Subtitles Available
Author: huldrejenta
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters & Pairings: Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, James Potter, Alice Longbottom, Frank Longbottom, Lily Evans, various HP characters, Remus/Sirius, background James/Lily and Alice/Frank
Rating & Warnings: PG-13, mentions of homophobia, very slight crossdressing, implied sex
Word Count: 12,000 (this part ~6,500)
Summary: Potter and Black have always been arrogant and selfish as far as Remus can tell. Having their own, very successful radio show, probably hasn't changed that one bit. But when fate, or more precisely Frank Longbottom, steps in, and Remus finds himself working with Potter and Black, he might have to consider that there's more to them than he's been giving them credit for.
Non-Magical AU.
Notes: Apologies for taking so long to finish posting this - I didn't mean to drag it out, but life has pretty much kept me away from LJ this week.
Written for Team Muggle at the 2014 rs_games.
The theme this year was the five senses, and there's one chapter for each sense (as well as one additional chapter at the end).
Thank you so much to the wonderful brighty18 for reading this and giving me your fabulous comments, and to the equally wonderful stereolightning for doing a great beta job on very short notice ♥

Part one


Scents

"So, Mr Slughorn, welcome to our show, it's a pleasure to have you as a guest. And it wasn't easy to get a hold of you, as you've really been in the spotlight lately."

"Yes, yes, Palmer, I most certainly have. Our chemistry lab has finally made it, I can't begin to tell you how exited we are!"

"It's Potter, actually. You claim you've produced a perfume that smells different on different people. How exactly does it work?"

"The theory is rather simple, Portman. It's the execution that's been giving us headaches. But no more, dear fellows, no more. You simply add a dash of our new perfume, or cologne for the gentlemen, and the pheromones we all unconsciously release, get mixed with the perfume, creating your own, unique smell."

"But wouldn't that happen with all perfumes?"

"Not at all, Black, not all. What's so special about this product, is our secret ingredient. The touch of love, we like to call it. It makes this perfume a lot more susceptible to your body's signals than other, similar products, and actually adds the pheromones and signals of people smelling it as well. Therefore, it does not simply create a different scent based on who's wearing it, but based on who's smelling it. What each person smells, can tell you rather a lot about their hidden desires."

"So if I use your cologne, it will smell different to James than it will to Frank, even though both of them smell it on me?"

"Precisely, Black, precisely. By the way, does your family still own that huge advertising network for expensive, upper class products only that your grandfather founded?"

"Er. I wouldn't know."

"What a shame, what a shame. Anyway, Powell, the noble art of chemistry and I go way back, but it's been a long time since I've been this excited about a product we've developed."

"I don't blame you, Mr Slughorn, it's certainly an intriguing notion and a bit hard to believe. Almost like magic, I'd say."

"Yes, yes, Podmore, it almost is. Chemistry, scents, love. Magic is a fine way of describing it."


*** ***

Remus is definitely going mad.

Not completely losing it like that Slughorn bloke on the radio, thank goodness (did he actually say he's got a perfume that blends in the pheromones of whoever's smelling it?), but Remus finds it's still pretty bad.

Sirius keeps his mouth shut all day, making Remus miss his voice with a strength he suspects is most unhealthy. What's even worse, he's started to notice the way Sirius smells. Good heavens.

"Have you eaten anything?" Remus asks the following morning, sounding remarkably like his mother.

Sirius half sits, half lies on the sofa, dressed in a white t-shirt with a faded design and some washed out jeans; his feet are bare. With James spending his Saturday with Lily, it's up to Remus to brighten the day. Standing here with his hands hanging heavily by his sides, looking at Sirius Black, wondering if it's Sirius who's changed this much since school or if it's his own perception of him that's very different now, hardly qualifies as being a supportive friend.

When Sirius doesn't even blink in acknowledgement he's heard the question, Remus carefully tries again.

"Nope." Sirius' voice is hoarse, like he hasn't spoken in some time. Which he probably hasn't. "I'd have to get up from the sofa. Walk all the way to the kitchen. Open the fridge, and quite possibly search through all sorts of leftovers to find something edible. Who's got the energy for all that?"

As luck would have it, Remus does. Before long, toast and tea are ready; not the black tea he normally favours, but the sweetened oolong tea he's smelled many times from Sirius' mug. Better not dive too deeply into that thought.

He sits down beside Sirius, bringing the food with him. A vague scent of morning flows from the man at his side, the stale kind rather than the freshly showered kind, and there's no reason at all for Remus to like it. When Sirius leans closer, reaching for his tea, Remus closes his eyes without thinking. There's a faint scent of cigarettes, and it distract him from what he wants to ask long enough for Sirius to beat him to it.

"How come you've got so much trouble finding a job?"

This man, Remus realises, does not feel the need to wait for the right moment before asking. He quickly dries up a few drops that ended up on his chin when choking on his tea, and tries to hold in a cough.

"Pardon?"

"Frank told us you've been unemployed a lot. You're a clever guy, and fun to be around. I can't imagine why anyone would hesitate to hire you."

Cheeks burning at the offhand compliment, Remus wishes he didn't have to answer. He rather likes this man that Sirius sees in him.

"I get... seizures, of some sort. Blackouts. Sick days. It scares people. Frank did me a huge favour by giving me this job, even if he won't say so."

Sirius chews his toast and swallows, sending Remus a narrow look. "People are easily scared, " he says before he sits back, putting his hands behind his head. "Doesn't seem to happen very often?"

Remus shrugs, though he suspects that Sirius sees right through it. "It's worse now than it was back in school. I've got good weeks and bad weeks. It's not been too bad recently, but it's always there. And so is the social stigma of having to deal with an illness like this, an illness that takes over my body and makes me lose control. I'm not a danger to anyone, but changing people's minds take time."

Sirius doesn't ask any more questions. He relaxes next to Remus, if anything shifting a little closer, and Remus could hug him for it.

"You're nothing like I remember you, Sirius," he finds himself saying later. They're on their way to the little corner shop close by, getting Sirius' weekly supply of tea and grapes and biker magazines. He doesn't actually read them, he confides in Remus, but he rather likes the ritual of buying them, checking out the model on the cover and revel in the fact that his parents would scrunch up their noses in disgust at such blatant waste of money.

"I'm not?" Sirius crosses the street without checking if it's clear; Remus really wants to hear what Sirius has to say and quickly follows. Even in the crowded city street, the scent of shampoo and leather from Sirius is strong enough to make Remus inhale greedily.

"I used to talk to Severus Snape after he'd had his run-ins with you and James." The words escape before Remus has thought them through, before the part of his mind that always worries about people disliking him kicks in. Maybe it's for the best. He's been getting on remarkably well with Sirius lately, is learning to like him (and perhaps then some, his mind unhelpfully supplies). Still, that doesn't make his memories of the past any less true.

Sirius stops walking as abruptly as if he just hit an invisible wall. "Snape, " he says through his teeth, and starts walking again. Apparently he disapproves of old school rivals as a conversational topic while heading for the shop. Or it might be Snape specifically he disapproves of.

No words leave Sirius' mouth. He scurries between the aisles, picks up a double Mars Bar and a six-pack, his original shopping list forgotten. Once they get outside, Sirius leans against the wall, paying no attention to the passersby as he puts his hand on Remus' arm, looks at it, then lets go. There's a shadow flitting across his face when he meets Remus' eyes, the same lost expression he had the day they met in Frank's office. He looks so very young.

"Is what happened with Snape the reason you were so cold to me?"

"Well." Sirius' eyes are wide, his mouth gives a slight twitch. A vague scent of motor oil reaches Remus' nose, and he really wishes to see Sirius smiling again. So he doesn't say what he would've told him only a few short weeks ago, he bites down the colourful variety of allegations he's kept inside for years. And he finds it remarkably easy to do so.

"I suppose it mostly was, " he says instead. "I never understood why two popular, outgoing boys felt the need to pick on someone who couldn't compete with that. Who probably didn't want to. And I still don't get it."

Sirius starts walking back home, slowly, biting his lips in an obvious effort to find the right words. "James and Snape..." He shakes his head, tries again. "James and I, and Snape... It was some sort of instant dislike I can't quite explain. It was just there. We were idiots, of course we were. Though it wasn't like Snape was the innocent victim here, it went both ways. But yeah... Mostly it was us. I'm not proud of it."

He stops again to meet Remus' eyes. "We've grown out of it, Remus. Please don't judge the man I am now because of the mistakes I made as a boy."

That, Remus admits, makes sense. He says as much out loud, registering the warmth creeping through him at the sight of Sirius exhaling, straightening, smiling. "Good, " says Sirius, bouncing ahead.

And that's pretty much it. They talked about it, now they're moving on. Isn't that something?

If they'd done this sooner, Remus might've been dragged into all consuming Sirius-sniffing right back from the day they met again. As it is, the fascination he had with scents connected to Sirius prior to their little heart-to-heart, now grows into something more. Something that makes him stop and inhale when he walks past the local bakery, instantly brought back to the sinful way Sirius devours his croissants at breakfast. It makes him lift the odd newspaper to his nose, letting the scent of ink evoke an image of how Sirius reads his (Sirius swears by The Guardian, for reasons known only to himself, flips through it, catching only the headlines from the looks of it, yet picking up enough to have plenty of input in any discussion of current affairs).

Remus even starts wondering what the cologne of that Slughorn guy would've smelled like on Sirius, if it would mean something different to him than to James. And if he put it on himself, what would it smell like to Sirius?

Because something is up with Sirius as well. Something that has nothing to do with planning the radio show, going to wine-bars or brooding over which family members hate him the most.

Remus isn't used to having beautiful men flirting with him. Or beautiful women. Or anyone flirting with him at all. Except women over eighty, they love him. Beyond that, it's been pretty scarce lately.

Which is why he doesn't notice it at first. The lingering looks Sirius sends him. The way he lets his finger glide lightly over Remus' when he passes him the coffee. How he sometimes stops talking in the middle of a sentence when Remus drags his hand through his hair or puts a Tic Tac into his mouth.

"You do realise you've caught the attention of the unconquerable Sirius Black?" Lily and Alice don't tend to beat around the bush, and when they're together, having a glass of wine and giving Sirius some rather sharp competition on being the chattiest person in the room, they're a force to be reckoned with.

"Hmm?" says Remus.

"Lily is right," says Alice. "He's always around, trying to make you laugh. Looking at you. By the way, Remus, have you done something with your hair?"

"I've never seen him like this before," says Lily. "You wouldn't think so, but he's actually a bit shy. Yes, Remus, something is different about you now. Is that jumper new?"

"He hides it well," says Alice, "but he really is. He's terribly outgoing as well, but I suppose you can be both. I know, Remus, you've had a facial! I love men secure enough of their own masculinity to do stuff like that. Yet another reason you'd get along with Sirius just swimmingly."

"He likes you," says Lily. "He likes you a lot. So the question is: how do you feel about him? Actually, Remus, I think it's your scent that's different. Have you been using a new shampoo?"

"Don't encourage him if you don't mean it, " says Alice. "He says 'I love you' to everyone he likes, but he's not one to fall in love easily. I think Lily's right, Remus, is it your aftershave?"

"He deserves to find someone," says Lily, "and so do you. Okay, Remus, I think I know what it is now! You've got a new belt on, there's nothing quite like the scent of leather. Mmm, nice!"

"Doesn't seem like you're completely indifferent to his charms, " says Alice. "Looking at you now, Remus, I'd say all the suggestions we made are true. Someone is making an effort, and I quite like the result!"

And Remus sees it now, he sees it clearly. Sirius likes him. Sirius likes him. Him, Remus Lupin.

Something resembling a strange dance is taking place between them in the days to follow, an agonizingly slow dance where they keep circling each other, eyeing each other, staying close to each other. They're like two boxers in the ring, waiting to see who'll make the first move.

It's Sirius who cracks first.

Remus is about to push the door bell to Sirius' and James' flat when he notices movement in the shadows. He's never thought of himself as the particularly suspicious type. But he's promised to keep an eye on things, and he dutifully steps onto the lawn, trying to distinguish anything in the semi-darkness. He's approaching the glow from the light bulb over the next entrance, only to find Sirius leaning against the wall, trampling on what might be the remains of a cigarette.

"Sirius?" Remus steps even closer, close enough to feel Sirius' breath against his face. "What are you doing here?"

Sirius exhales, there's no scent of cigarettes from him after all, only freshness and citrus and salt. He tucks some strands of black hair behind his ear. Remus follows the movement with his eyes without meaning to.

"Thinking," says Sirius. His pupils are enormous in the darkness, like vast oceans. Remus can only imagine that his own are the same.

"About what?" Remus' voice is hoarse and shaky, his hands are cold, but he really can't find it in himself to care.

"About someone I know." Sirius doesn't even blink, he leans a fraction closer. "Someone I like."

"That's nice." And here he was, thinking he was a tolerably smart guy, used to having a clever reply up his sleeve. Apparently not when he's one small step away from Sirius, beautiful Sirius, in his dark jeans and his t-shirt one size too small, and it's really bloody cold out here.

"I have a feeling he likes me back." There are goose bumps on Sirius' skin, the fine hairs rise from his forearms. Remus can feel it more than see it.

"He might." A raindrop falls on Remus' nose, but he doesn't notice until the drop gets company. "It's starting to rain," he says, quite redundantly. "We're getting cold."

"Does it matter?" Sirius is inches away from him, his hair getting steadily wetter, his t-shirt soon wet enough to become transparent, or so Remus imagines.

"Does it?" Sirius asks again, his warm breath mixing with cold rain and the scent of wet leaves on the ground.

"No." Sirius pulls him in before Remus has finished saying the word. Strong arms close around his back, and Sirius' lips find his; it's rushed, open-mouthed, erratic. For a few seconds, their lips move in a way that mirrors the chaos going on inside. And then, as if Sirius is reassured Remus won't run away, he slows down; his lips are warm and pliant, searching. It's raining for real now, they're both shivering, and it's the best experience Remus has ever had.

Later, they try kissing again inside, with dry clothes, with no clothes, checking if it's just as good without almost freezing to death. Luckily, it turns out that it is.

"I often lie here, listening to the radio." Sirius snuggles into Remus, putting his foot betwen Remus' legs. "I listen to sad music, and I think about you. Wonder where you are, if I'll ever see you again. Or at least I used to. Now you're here."

Yes, now Remus is here. With Sirius. Imagine that. He smiles and relishes the insistent sparks of happiness spreading through his body.

The first morning when they wake up together, warm and sated and heavy from sleep, Remus adjusts the covers around them, pulling Sirius even closer, pretending to have a cave of their own where the rest of the world can't reach them.

Which is why he almost misses the anxious look on James' face as he puts today's mail away.

*** ***

Touching

"As some of you might be aware, Sirius and I like to take part in sports and various challenges. This winter, we'll join in the radio station's annual charity treasure hunt, and I have a feeling it's going to be a whole lot of fun."

"I'm really looking forward to it. James and I are going to be the best team ever. We'll be like Bonnie and Clyde!"

"Except I doubt the network will let us rob banks, Sirius."

"Fair enough, we'll be like Harry and Sally, then!"

"Except there's absolutely no chance we'll end up together."

"We'll be like Thelma and Louise!"

"Except we won't die. I hope."

"What do you mean, Thelma and Louise died?"

"Have you actually seen the film, Sirius?"

"They don't die, James. They fly away to freedom!"

"Okay, if that helps you sleep at night. Anyway, it's going to be a lot of fun, and I do think it's very healthy as well to take part in events like these. But let's ask today's guest, doctor Poppy Pomfrey, what do you consider to be the most important elements in our lives to remain content?"

"Oh, that's an easy question, Mr Potter. Human contact. Without a doubt."

"Really? Not eating healthy? Exercising? Getting enough sleep?"

"All of those things are important, Mr Black. Very important. But without human contact, we lose something essential. And by human contact I do mean having a good time with other people as well as physical touch. It doesn't at all have to be the sexual touch, although that may be a part of it. I speak in more general terms. Touching a person you care about, and being touched, holding them. A good hug. Being held by someone who makes you feel safe is the most reassuring thing in the world when we're children, and I don't believe we change all that much when it comes to this."

"That makes a lot of sense, and it's an important reminder to all the ladies, gents and trans persons listening to us. You've heard it from the brilliant doctor and frequent guest at any self-respecting TV show dealing with health issues, Poppy Pomfrey, that touching each other is a good thing."

"I don't encourage frivolity of any kind, Mr Black. But yes, human touch is a good thing, as long as it is mutually voluntary, of course. Being close to someone you care about can put the most restless soul at ease."


*** ***

Sirius is getting undressed.

Remus sits in an armchair, watching. His corner is dimly lit, though he suspects Sirius can see his half open mouth, his blushed cheeks, his hungry eyes.

Sirius unbuttons his shirt. Taking his time. It's a white shirt, long and lush, with silver cufflinks. He pulls it down his shoulders, letting it fall down onto the floor, revealing flawless skin.

Deft fingers move towards his leather pants; he opens it at the front, pulling it down below his hips. He elegantly kicks off his shoes, before letting the leather pants fall all the way down. He's standing naked in front of Remus.

"Will you touch me, Remus?"

Remus gets up from his chair and walks closer. He lifts his hand and lets it glide through Sirius' hair, revelling in the contrast between black curls and pale hand, he touches every surface of skin he can reach. Narrow hips and lean thighs flow beneath his fingers, or maybe it's his fingers that move across them, he really can't tell at this point.

He's about to lean in, to push his lips softly against the spot where neck meets shoulder, when something lying on the floor captures his attention.

"Would you wear these for me?" He smiles, nearly laughs, a happy laugh full of trust and joy and amazement; this is happening.

Sirius smiles back, he's looking rather predatory, which really is a great look on him. "Of course." He lifts his red, high-heeled shoes from the floor, steps into them with exaggerated grace, looking utterly ridiculous and ridiculously hot.

"Why do you like wearing them?" Remus had asked once. Sirius had shrugged, smiled and simply answered "I just do. Every now and then. I'm through with doing things I don't want to just to please other people, and I'm through with not doing what I'd like to just because I'm afraid of what others might think."

Beautiful, brave, fun Sirius. Remus can't quite believe how lucky he is, can't imagine what he's done to have captured this man's attention. He quickly takes off his own clothes, shyness forgotten, and they leap onto Sirius' bed.

Hours later, Remus hurries back into the bedroom. He's just been to the kitchen, getting them something to drink, but he ends up standing in front of the bed, watching Sirius stroke the sheets in obvious invitation.

Sirius is so warm. He's got the most delicious feet Remus has ever seen, and he has this strange way of making any problem seem small, irrelevant.

"Come back here." Sirius' voice is low and inviting. "I want to spend the entire weekend in here with you."

"Won't James start to wonder?"

"Hah, he probably won't even notice. He's lying low with Lily. I much prefer to lie low with Lupin."

His face is too cheerful for Remus to remain silent. What starts as a smile, quickly leads them into fits of laughter. Sirius clasps his hands together, he sits up to breathe and pulls the covers to his chin, making Remus laugh until he has to lean against the chair to keep himself standing. They look at each other, Remus has no idea what's so funny, and it doesn't matter one bit. It's getting unbearable, tears leak out from their eyes, and Sirius buries his head in the covers only to come up again just as quickly. Remus finally falls down onto the floor, body shaking in unstoppable laughter.

"Sirius Black!" Remus wipes his eyes and sits up, still sensing something bubbling inside. "You'll be the ruin of me."

"Quite the opposite, Remus Lupin. Now will you please get back into bed with me?"

There's a sentence Remus doesn't hear every day, and he hauls himself to his feet. Sirius pulls away the covers completely, letting his hand glide across his stomach, making no effort to hide the effect Remus has on him. Grey eyes run across Remus' body, and the remains of their laughter kick in again as Sirius not so subtly fixates on a point below his navel.

"Hey there," says Sirius, blinking at him, and Remus laughs. Sirius isn't the only one enjoying their joyful exchange.

"You're wonderful." Something soft and warm spreads through him, something that makes Remus want to stay here forever.

Naked, and with the utmost dignity, he crawls into bed.

*** ***

Tastes

"We're so excited about our guest today! We give you Rolanda Hooch, well known and highly respected pioneer for women's participation in organized sports. You've faced a lot of prejudices and hardship during these years, especially back when you started. How do you find the motivation to keep going?"

"A lot of people have asked me that question, and many people seem to think that it's the taste of victory on the field that is my main incentive. Of course, hearing the name "Rolanda Hooch", or in your case "Sirius Black", being announced as the winner, is fantastic. Addictive, even. But more important is the sweet taste of accomplishment. Of making a difference."

"And you have certainly made a difference. When you think back to the way it used to be, when women weren't allowed to compete in a lot of sports because grumpy, old men claimed it wasn't healthy for them, how do you feel about the situation today?"

"A great many things are so much better now, James, no doubt about that. But we've not reached the finishing line yet. Let me give you an example. It's not at all long ago that women weren't allowed to have their own ski jumping competition in the Olympics, and the excuse used by men this time was that it could hurt women's ability to procreate. I kid you not! I have to ask if being a man, with your reproductive organs firmly placed outside your body, wouldn't put that particular ability at a much greater risk."

"You would think so, yeah. I never stop being surprised by the length some people will go to in order to control others. Good thing we have people like you to expose all that crap."

"Well, thankfully it seems to me that you two, young gentlemen are also doing a fine job exposing crap, as you so delicately put it, Sirius. I'm certain you get the taste of it too every now and then; the taste of winning one small battle at the time."

"And a sweet taste it is! Tell me, though, what kind of experiences in life have the most bitter taste to you?"

"Oh, that's a harder question. I suppose the worst isn't to realise that a project or something I've been working hard for won't succeed, not if there are valid reasons for failure. Far worse is it when you think you've accomplished something, when you think you have something important to you within your grasp, only to see it snatched away."

"How do you cope when that happens, Rolanda?"

"It depends, and my way of dealing with it may not be your way. If it's something really important to you, Sirius, then you fight. Fight for what you want."


*** ***

Alice is quiet, looking serene and focused, bending over her briefcase, searching for something.

"She's in work mode." Frank nods in her direction, waving Remus inside. The office seems much smaller than the first time he came here, it's hotter, stiffer, like the air moments before thunder takes over the sky. He turns around to find them all entering the room. James, Lily and Sirius. Frank pours them coffee, and Remus wishes Alice would hurry whatever this is along.

"I'm glad you're here." Alice in work mode is as effective and to-the-point as Alice in wine-bar mode is chatty and full of laughter. "New information has arrived concerning the threats against James and Sirius. Or rather, I've been able to go through everything I found to be related to the case, and some interesting patterns have emerged."

She opens her laptop and finds her presentation, goodness, she really knows this stuff. "It's fortunate for you guys that you have me around. I'm afraid the police force still won't or can't prioritize this. I've tried building something of a profile of whoever's behind this, I'll get to that later. For now, I'll point you to some interesting facts that I didn't notice at first. These threats have arrived in many forms, from hand-written letters to messages on Twitter, and there has been no real effort made to systemize them.

"But I've done just that now, and the findings are interesting. It looks like something happened a few weeks back, because the number of threats rapidly increased. A lot. It may be a long shot, but can either of you recall anything out of the ordinary taking place around that time? Something you said on the air, perhaps, that might've provoked this increase?"

Remus can't think of any useful input to contribute with. He never listened to the radio show before he started working here, and he looks around, waiting to see if anyone has some ideas.

But the room is silent. Tense.

Remus can sense the exact moment when the thought creeps into Sirius' mind. He sees the stiff posture, hears the sharp intake of breath, and he knows. He knows that in this moment Sirius Black is doubting him. In this moment Sirius Black wonders if maybe, just maybe, Remus Lupin is able to betray him.

He doesn't need to hear the "it's about that time that Remus started working here" or the "how good a friend was he with Snape, actually?" or the "he acted all jealous of us even back in school". He knows.

Sirius slowly turns to look at him, but he stops halfway, focusing on James instead.

"A few weeks ago?" James leans forward, squinting to get a better look at Alice's numbers. "About the time that Remus started here?" There's no suspicion in James' voice, he's simply asking to clarify, or so it appears. Still, the thought is out there, it's only a matter of time before someone says it out loud, and Remus can't bear it.

Sirius starts talking, shakily wondering aloud, but Remus doesn't want to hear any more than he has to. He gets up and leaves the room. Oh yes, of course Sirius will see reason soon enough, James will too if he's having the same thoughts. They'll realise how stupid it is, that he has no reason to do it, they'll know that he's not that kind of guy.

But it won't undo the fact that in this moment, Sirius asks himself if Remus could be capable of such a thing. Sirius wonders if Remus is a man to be holding grudges, nursing them, letting them grow big and heavy and dark in his mind. Sirius considers the idea that maybe, just maybe, Remus is hateful enough to do this, to keep plotting to get close to Sirius, and just maybe, Remus is able to live with all the secrecy.

It can't be undone, and the thought makes Remus want to throw something really heavy and really valuable against the wall.

Instead, he goes home. He lies down in his bed without bothering to get undressed. He pulls up the covers and puts on the radio, tuning in until he finds appropriately sad music to accompany his state of mind.

Two days later; two days where Remus has called in sick for no legitimate reason and kept his mobile off, ignoring the loud and repeated pounding on his front door, someone calls in a bomb threat to the radio station. Alice shows the results of her work to her finally attentive superiors, she shows them every letter and every message left online, telling them about her profile and her suspicions.

As it turns out, the police are capable of being remarkably efficient when prodded, and it comes as no surprise to anyone when Sirius' cousin Bellatrix and her husband get arrested.

Remus receives a letter with the words Please read this! scrawled across the envelope in huge, shaky writing. He throws it into the bin without opening it. The taste of victory feels awfully far away.

*** ***

Try

"Today's show will be a little different from what it usually is. We have no guests with us, and we have some rather serious issues we need to address. As I'm sure many of you are aware, Sirius and I have been receiving threats these last couple of months. There have been letters, phone calls, messages on social media, with vivid descriptions of how horrible our opinions are and what would happen to us if we didn't stop broadcasting them."

"Vivid is indeed the correct word, James. Threats from narrow minded, hateful people who for some reason feel they have the right to dictate how others should live their lives and who they get to love. A few days ago, the police arrested two persons and have charged them with making these threats and planning an attack. We hope this will be the end of this particular chapter. But there are others out there. The fight isn't over."

"Speak up when you hear homophobic comments. Say something if you overhear badmouthing because of people's race, gender or religion. Disguising bigotry as a joke doesn't make it any less dangerous. If you meet someone who's made choices you don't approve of or don't understand, revel in the fact that we're all different and that they are able to be who they really are. Because being honest about who you are, is such an important thing, and we should all be lucky enough to experience it. Another important thing is admitting when you've been wrong about something. Which brings us over to an apology. Sirius?"

"Yes, thank you, James. A-hem. Dear listeners, my name is Sirius Black, and I've made a mistake. And I mean that, a terrible, idiotic mistake I desperately wish I could take back. So this goes out to a certain someone, and I can only hope you're listening. You know who you are, and the fact alone that James hasn't budged in with some comment about how often I make mistakes and how this is just one of many, should tell you how heartfelt this is."

"Even I possess some minimum of decorum, Sirius."

"We can dissect that particular statement some other time, James. Okay. I've hurt someone I care about. Someone I'm falling in love with. I let suspicion and fear cloud my judgement for a moment, but please believe me when I say that it was only a brief moment of madness."

"It's true, he started moaning and complaining about how stupid he was no more than ten minutes after this person left the room."

"To my special someone. I didn't really believe you could've done such a thing. My mind has a tendency to go places I don't want it to. I'm so, so sorry. And now I'm going to sing."

"I'm afraid so, people, and trust me on this one - Sirius can't sing. At all."

" Background music, please. Thank you. A-hem.
- Please, please forgive me! I know I made a mess of things, please forgive me!
- I'll do anything to make it up to you - and I'll definitely want to lie low with you – "

"As you all undoubtedly can tell, Sirius can't sing even a little bit, and he has no talent whatsoever when it comes to composing lyrics."

"But I can apologize. Please, my love. Let us try again."


*** ***

Remus lies in his bed, not bothering to get up. He's hungry, but so far the hunger isn't strong enough to make him abandon lying under the covers, having the same, dark thoughts flying through his head again and again. So instead of getting up, he listens to the radio.

He listens to Sirius Black making a spectacle of himself to goodness knows how many people. He listens to Sirius apologizing on the air, singing a surprisingly terrible song with a surprisingly terrible singing voice. Because he's sorry. Because he misses Remus. Because he loves him. Sirius had used that word, and something soft is stirring inside.

Can he forgive Sirius? Remus believes that he can. Goodness knows he's made plenty of mistakes himself, some of them being more similar to Sirius' mistake than he likes to acknowledge - making assumptions about people without knowing the whole story.

Can he move past this and look ahead, look at a future for the two of them? Remus hasn't found the answer to that question yet. Sirius doubting him, hurt. It hurt a lot. And yet... This won't be the last time Sirius sticks his foot in his mouth, of that Remus has little doubt. But it also won't be the last time he makes grand gestures, willing to do whatever it takes to show Remus how much he cares.

Quickly, with more energy than he's felt for days, he gets up, heads for the shower and gets dressed. In a haze he jumps onto the bus taking him to the Sirius' place, he should be home by now, and before he's had time to talk himself out of it, he pushes the door bell.

He has no idea what to say. When someone picks up the door phone inside, his heart rate speeds up and his mouth goes dry. Then he hears Sirius' voice.

"Hello?"

"Er, hello. It's Remus."

"...oh. Are you here for me?"

And yes, Remus supposes that he is. "Mmm. Will you let me in?"

He pushes the door open and walks inside, struck by how much like home this feels to him. It's not the building or the flat; it's the man. Remus would be a fool to let him go.

Sirius is waiting in the doorway, he looks tired and anxious. "I'm so sorry."

"I know. We'll work it out, starting right now." He closes the door behind them, pulling a sobbing Sirius into a tight embrace. "We'll work it out," he says again. "Shh. We'll work it out."

And somehow, with Sirius' hear tickling his nose and the already familiar warmth of Sirius' arms around him, he believes that they will.
So glad to be able to read the rest of this. I really like the way the interviews fit in with the story -- they're fun and often amusing glimpses of different characters, which you make fit into this AU world in interesting ways. And the interviews also drop little hints about what's about to be important in the story...

I'm glad Sirius found a way to get through to Remus. And I like Remus's thoughts at the end -- that they probably will have arguments and misunderstandings again, but that Sirius is worth it.
Sorry for the late reply on this!
Than you for lour lovely comment. Ah, yes, Sirius is absolutely worth it to Remus, as well as the other way around :)
Lol, it was fun having various HP characters make an entrance :)
Really wonderful the way Sirius and James are fighting for a good cause just like they are in canon!
I love the way Remus discovers all these different sides to Sirius, also the bad ones, and how he puts it all together into really seeing a man he's falling in love with.

Naked, and with the utmost dignity, he crawls into bed.
Best sentence ever, lol :-)

All the guest in the show are great too!
Thank you so much :)

I love the way Remus discovers all these different sides to Sirius, also the bad ones, and how he puts it all together into really seeing a man he's falling in love with.

This comment made me happy, since this is an important part of what I wanted to show in the story :)