PG-13, 1000 words
Summary: Three scenes, two people, one playwright.
Notes: So, prompt's a little dubious here - the music made me think of the Tudors make me think of Shakespeare made me think of this. Various quotes within.
April 15th, 1975. Late morning.
Sirius flopped down companionably next to Remus, nearly squashing him completely. He seemed to have developed a habit of doing that recently. Very peculiar, Remus thought.
‘What’re you reading?’ he asked, because Sirius always asked that, presumably out of some sort of friendly politeness – Remus wasn’t entirely sure.
‘Shakespeare,’ he replied, feeling reasonably sure that would kill the conversation completely.
Sirius looked blank, as expected. ‘Never heard of him, Muggle bloke?’
‘Well, actually…’ Remus started, but then Sirius twitched in that way he always did before his eyes glazed over, and so he refrained from going into the heated academic debate about whether Shakespeare was, in fact, a wizard according to new evidence revealing early manuscripts of Romeo and Juliet featuring the use of ancient blood magic and many scholars believing the potion used in Midsummer Night’s Dream was in fact an early version of Amortentia.
‘Yeah, yeah, Muggle playwright, very famous, very good.’
‘So, what’s it called, what’s it about? Educate me!’
‘Well, it’s called Much Ado About Nothing, and it’s a comedy, it’s all about setting people up and general merriment, I suppose. It’s good though, and some of the characters remind me of, ahem, certain people.’
Sirius laughed. ‘I say, do reveal your scandalous literary gossip allusions.’
‘Well, I’m sure Prongs would at least hope that Lily is like Beatrice – she’s this character who supposedly hates this bloke Benedick, but she doesn’t really.’
‘And they live happily ever after?’
‘Yeah, pretty much.’
‘Well, I think Prongs is going to disappointed in that regard. Evans really hates him. So who am I, then?’
‘Err… I don’t know, haven’t thought about it.’ Remus attempted to hide in the corner of the chair and escape Sirius’ rapidly approaching face. Sirius just plonked his chin on Remus’ shoulder.
‘Yes, please, do use my shoulder as a useful headrest, by all means make yourself comfortable.’
‘Ha, you should feel privileged! It’s quite the honour, you know.’
‘Right, yes, anyway,’ interrupted Remus, because a babbling Sirius was something he just couldn’t be dealing with currently. ‘You sort of remind me of Benedick, I suppose – he’s all witty and about the camaraderie and things, although I have to say I’d be a bit surprised if you ended up with Lily.’
Sirius’ eyes went dreamy for a moment, much to Remus’ horror.
‘Sorry, sorry, just imagining the look on Prongs’ face. It’d make it almost worth having to put up with her, I believe. So, what other stuff has he done? Anything good? Please tell me it’s not all sappy love stuff.’
‘No, not at all. Although the love stuff isn’t sappy, it’s good. You should read Romeo and Juliet sometime, I think you might like it – lots of fighting and tragedy and things.’
April 15th, 1979. Afternoon.
Remus was re-arranging his bookshelves. Again. Sirius watched him, bemused yet strangely content. Loopy, that Lupin, you know, but rather adorable with it.
‘So, what thematic organisational system are we going with this week, then, Moony? Indexed by the length of the closing chapter, perhaps? Moving through from least to most pretentious? Or have you decided to abandon this foolish notion that having some nifty way of sorting your books is going to make you look intellectual and chosen instead to go just put matching colours together?’
‘Shut up, you prat. I’m doing it by time period – so up here at the top we’ve got all of the ‘old fart’ stuff you hate, and down at the bottom there’s all of new tacky Muggle thrillers and motorbike magazines you insist on buying. It’s symbolic, you see.’
‘You,’ laughed Sirius, grabbing Remus and steering him away from the books and towards the kitchen, ‘need to just leave those books along once in a while – the poor things are going to be very confused, shunted around like this.’
Sirius pushed him against the counter, laughing. I don’t hate all of your ‘old fart’ stuff, you know. I had a huge Shakespeare phase back in fourth year.’
‘Sirius, you hadn’t heard of Shakespeare in fourth year.’
‘No, not until you told me to go read Romeo and Juliet. I did, you know. Memorized whole speeches just in case I could ever pull off saying them to you – thought that would be a sure fire way to your heart.’ Sirius laughed to himself, feeling unaccountably embarrassed.
Remus looked at him, a little mystified. ‘Really? That would have worked, you know. I, um, may have done the same thing.’
Sirius stared, then shook his head. ‘We were so ridiculous, weren’t we?’
‘I think we still are. Still, not too late I suppose.’ Remus leant up, and murmured against his neck. ‘”Take him and cut him out in little stars and he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night”. I always liked that the most – reminds me of you.’
Sirius held the moment, just a frame of it, and stored it away somewhere for a rainy day, for this, this was why. Why everything.
And then he stopped Remus’ mouth with a kiss.
April 15th, 1995. Night.
The pile of books had become one of the fixtures of Sirius’ life. He wavered between feeling additions to the pile were hopeful or merely symbolic of the way everything was getting on top of him. No, no, he wasn’t supposed to think like that, Remus said. He wasn’t in the mood to sleep, and so he reorganized the pile yet again, hoping something might appeal.
Shakespeare. He smiled with warm memory – blurred but perhaps the better for it. It was nice to remember everything Before as good, his weary and ragged head clung to the notion it had all been wonderful, with that potent mixture of youth and love that the stories always said was all you needed.
He remembered taking Remus to the theatre once – he couldn’t remember what they saw, mainly because he spent about half of the time just watching Remus’ face, as he seemed to transcend where Sirius was, and find somewhere quite different just through some words on a stage. Sirius, though enthralled by the concept, was very glad when Remus came back to him again.
A soft pad of feet. ‘Ah, Shakespeare. An excellent choice.’
Sirius returned to the present. ‘You and your Shakespeare, I don’t know. What’s this one about then?’
Remus looked at the cover. ‘A Winter’s Tale? It’s about second chances.’
Sirius nodded. ‘Sounds good to me.’