Blue is for Betrayal

"Nice suit, Moony!"

Remus ducks back into the doorframe. A wolf-whistle greets him, courtesy of Sirius, bare feet splayed on the table, a newspaper in his hands and his chair back leaned against the atrociously-patterned cornflower blue wallpaper. His low-slung pyjamas bottoms reveal an indecent trail of black hair that points infernally toward his groin.

Remus takes a deep breath, then exhales. "When are you going to get a bloody job?" he asks in as scolding a voice he can manage given that his eyes are drawn inexorably toward Sirius's lap.

"All in good time, Moony, all in good time." Sirius drops his wide feet and the chair legs to the lino floor with loud thwump!ing sounds. "Blue's a good colour for you. Should wear it more often."

Remus runs his fingers down the too-wide lapel of the secondhand jacket. "It's navy." He sniffs at a sleeve. "And crap."

"Navy is blue. And nothing is crap if you're wearing it," Sirius says, winking at him and taking a sip of coffee, a new habit he's picked up since they've been in London. Which strikes Remus as odd, because Sirius has always seemed like such a tea kind of bloke. But perhaps coffee goes better with cigarettes, another habit Sirius has picked up, as though he's nothing but a magnet for anything except endeavours which actually earn money.

"Flattery will get you buggered," Remus warns, pretty sure Sirius is mostly paying attention to his crossword puzzle.

"Buggered, eh?" Sirius takes a deep drag on the cigarette. Remus looks at the pack on the table, the turquoise concentric circles diminishing like a bulls-eye under the plastic wrapper.

"Didn't think you were listening. Yes, well, if you're lucky." Remus adjusts his tie and gives Sirius a wry smile. "'Course, you're the luckiest chap I know."

"No, that's you." Sirius grins, his eyes the colour of a summer-lit loch. "Get to be with me."

Remus makes a retching noise. "Merlin, I swear I've never met anyone with an ego like yours. Good thing you have other redeeming aspects to your personality."

"Such as?" Sirius, all lake-eyes and beckoning y-shaped chest hair, leans on the table.

Can't, can't, must go to work. Remus wills his desire to wane. "Tell you later, if you've cleaned up the flat," Remus says, levering away from the doorway.

"You'll tell me anyway!" echoes gleefully in his ears as he trots down the stairs and into the bustling streets.

The sun is shining in a painfully clear cerulean sky, and Remus Lupin is happy. It's a banner day, and all he's done is managed not to shag Sirius senseless quite yet and gone off to work. Not bad for eight-thirty, considering.


A couple of years pass. Remus is both surprised and incredulous when Sirius suggests that they go to a club. The war has escalated and they're both entrenched in their respective pursuits for the Order and occasional babysitting duties for James and Lily, who continue to offer assistance as much as possible given their new infant.

"Oh, c'mon," Sirius pleads from Remus' side, where he's planted himself after pushing Remus' report down. "Muggle place called The Lagoon. Supposed to have wicked drinks and a pretty decent band. We never do anything anymore."

"There's a war on, Sirius."

"Yes, but we're not dead yet, are we?" He's scraping at the label on his empty ale bottle, nestled between his knees. Sacrificial aqua shreds fall, confetti-like, on to his pants.

"If that's supposed to be a joke, it's pretty bloody poor." Remus picks his report back up, then in an abrupt change of heart, decides that as crassly as it was worded, Sirius has a point.

"Never mind," Sirius says, sulking. He brushes the paper bits to the floor.

"No, you're right, Pads. Let's go. I'll just go change trousers."

"Really?" Sirius' pale eyes light up. "Brilliant, Moony. I even know of an Apparating point near it. And I'll shout the first round."

Remus smiles at Sirius' exuberance. He's almost forgotten how the expression transforms Sirius's already handsome face to positively devastating. "You're quite a looker," Remus says, raising his hand to stroke the shadowed cleft of Sirius' chin, a couple of days of shaving oversight becoming noticeable.

"You're no eyesore either," Sirius rumbles, placing his hand so his fingers curve dangerously near Remus' groin.

Remus wonders if this is an invitation. They don't do this as often, as the constant threat of danger has dulled the edge of their libidos. "Sirius?" Remus questions, gauging the potential in the blue eyes. A thumb runs over the low swell below his belt as Sirius leans in.

"Very serious," Sirius breathes hotly on to Remus' lips.

The excursion to The Lagoon is delayed.


The scalding water isn't purging enough, so Remus switches it to cold. He tries to bear it as long as possible, but he's shocked into far too much sensation, skin screaming with the rapid change. He wrenches off the water and stands, shivering in the shower, teeth beginning to chatter. Instinctively his arms are clasped across his chest, trying to conserve as much heat as possible.

It's simply too much and he barely makes it to the toilet before he vomits, bashing his ankle on the upper edge of the tub in his haste. His muscles contract again and again as he expels what little food he's eaten until he's wilted over the bowl as the dry heaving subsides.

Once he feels strong enough, he pushes away from the porcelain, his center of gravity clinging desperately somewhere behind his navel as he fumbles his way up the wall and pulls at the chain, and the loo flushes. Unsurprisingly there's a foul taste in his mouth, so he scoots tentatively over to the sink and turns on the tap, cupping his hands under the flow of water. He rinses, and spits.

It's a few moments later, or hours, it's hard to say which, when he sits at their - at his - kitchen table. Remus wears old tracksuit pants, an undershirt, a plaid flannel monstrosity that he can't quite place and at this time, he really doesn't have the memory reserve to delve into his mind and remember the shirt's origin in his world. He idly traces the midnight blue track in the plaid, clinging to anything that is stable, and angular, and -

Oh Merlin. Everywhere he looks, he sees him. Feels him. Senses him. Smells him.

Whimpering, Remus caves onto the table, the back of his head covered by his hands, forehead resting on the stained, smooth surface. James and Lily - dead. Harry - alive, but confiscated by Dumbledore, of all people. Peter - dead. Sirius -

His stomach begins to roil again, and Remus knows that now is not the time to think of how long Sirius must have planned, how many nights he slept innocently, one arm flung over Sirius's waist, the other clasped under his pillow, Sirius all angles and elbow jutting against goldenrod of morning or soft greyshadow of night; Sirius shut it all out. He hated being woken up.

Remus gets up unsteadily from the table and pours himself a generous heaping of misery manifested as bourbon. He drinks it, pours a bit more, knowing he'll be sick again, later, but he's clever and he warded the flat because while he's reassured beyond belief that Harry's still alive, he's lost his packmate, who was a liar and he's loved someone who was a stranger and going off to…




Remus softly pounds his head against the table.

Blue eyes and wicked grin and 'What could this be, Moony?' as he does the crosswords and he fucks so tenderly and with intimate everything and -

Remus needs to focus on something. Anything. A pack of matches with a pond printed on the outside beckons to him from across the table. He pulls the box to him, sitting upright. The Lagoon. They were there, a few weeks ago, but it could have been a decade. He pulls out a match, stares disbelievingly at the wood with its blue tip, and is hazily surprised when it bursts into flame. He's done wandless magic before, but not unintentionally. He licks his fingers and puts out the match and drops it to the floor. Staring at his hand, which doesn't seem to belong to him, he takes out another match, stares at it, and thinks. It bursts into bright blue, then flickering red flame. He holds it, then drops it to the floor, not bothering to put it out. Again and again, he lights the matches and tosses them to the ground.

Flames begin to lick greedily up the blue wallpaper as he walks unsteadily out of the flat.

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