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I'll Start A Riot

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I will march down an empty street like a ship into the storm

 

~~~

 

Running with Greyback’s pack has heightened Remus’ tracking abilities even when he’s human. By the silver of moon, he stalks across London after Sirius Black. It can’t be true , he thinks, leaping to the next rooftop. Please don’t let it be true .

 

By the time he catches sight of Sirius, Peter is already there. Remus stands, hidden in the shadow of a chimney, watching. Waiting.

 

“Lily an’ James, Sirius!” Peter’s voice is even higher than usual.

 

Sirius’ laugh is cold. “Don’t speak their names in front of me, Pettigrew.” Sirius raises his wand, and there is a deafening bang, but it’s not accompanied by the smell of Sirius’ magic. As the smoke drifts up, Remus smells Peter .

 

The distinct pops of Apparition fill the moment before the Muggles begin to scream. Remus silently slips down a fire escape. His nostrils flare at the scent of Peter’s blood, but as he turns to follow it, his ears are assaulted by the cold, maniacal laughter of one Sirius Black.

 

The Muggles and Aurors flood the streets, and Remus’ mind bombards him with the last time he heard that laugh-the last time Sirius lost a brother. It’s not true , Remus confirms to himself. It’s not Sirius. But before he can reach the other Marauder, Sirius has been handcuffed and Apparated away.

 

~~~

 

No surrender, no retreat

I will tear down every wall

 

~~~

 

“I’m sorry, Remus, there’s nothing I can do.” Dumbledore’s fingers are steepled on his desk, the picture of decorum.

 

It is all Remus can do not to snarl. “ Bullshit . What the hell are all those honors for then?” He gestures angrily at the wall behind Dumbledore, at the haughty pictures of Dumbledore receiving a half dozen different awards.

 

“Remus, I understand you are upset. We have had a trying few days, and  everyone is full of distress. Why don’t you just-”

 

SIRIUS IS INNOCENT!” Remus slams his fists onto the desk, causing Fawkes to squawk indignantly. Dumbledore’s eyes turn cold.

 

“James and Lily made their choice of Secret Keeper quite public. It would take at least a confession from the true Keeper to start the process of reversing Sirius’ arrest.”

 

“Well, then, catch the filthy rat and make him confess!” Catch the rat. Remus glares, but the back corner of his mind is already formulating a plan. Catch the rat. They stare at each other for several seconds, then, without another word, Remus spins around and stalks out of Dumbledore’s office.

 

~~~

 

Just to keep you warm

Just to bring you home

 

~~~

 

Sirius has never been to this flat. Remus cannot blame his visions on memories. They aren’t really memories anyway; they are projections of his fears about what is happening hundreds of kilometers away, on a tiny island in the North Sea.

 

Remus tucks himself into bed. Sirius curls up on a stone floor.

 

Remus stirs his tea. Sirius licks the condensation off a jug of water.

 

Remus stares out the window at the fattening moon. Sirius…

 

The sound of shattering ceramic tangoes with Remus’ panicked breaths. It is several minutes before Remus calms down enough to process what his brain is trying to conjure. Finally, he manages to extract the memory from the projection.

 

Sirius, entering the Gryffindor dormitory to find Remus glaring at the moon. “She’s getting quite fat, isn’t she, Moony?”

 

Sirius, dumping extra sausages on Remus’ plate the day of the Full and whispering, “I hope she starts her diet soon.”

 

Remus’ fingers flex, but he has nothing else nearby to break. He’s halfway to the street before he realizes there is no way for him to get to the North Sea tonight.

 

~~~

 

I will burn this city down for a diamond in the dust

I will keep you safe and sound when there's no one left to trust

 

~~~

 

The London Public Library brings Remus a kind of peace he hasn’t felt since Hogwarts. Everything is clean and organized. He knows what to expect. Having a flat in Muggle London has proven more and more advantageous as the War progressed, but this is by far the most fruitful side effect.

 

Yellowing maps are scattered across the table while Remus sketches furiously in his notebook. If half these tunnels are still there, there are too many variables for Remus to account for-- too many paths Pettigrew might have taken.

 

With a defeated sigh, Remus throws down his pencil and glances out the window. The moon is nearly ripe, and he can feel it reaching for him even in this sanctuary. Tomorrow , it whispers, pulling at his bones, making his muscles quiver. Tomorrow, you are mine .

 

Remus neatly stacks the maps and returns them to the librarian, blatantly ignoring his instinct to run . He strolls out of the building, hands in his pockets, then turns down an alley and Apparates to The Spot.

 

The Spot where Pettigrew disappeared. The Spot where Sirius was taken away. The Spot where it all went wrong.

 

Technically , he muses, noting the sewer grates and falling into step behind a rat in an alley, it went wrong before this. But I might be able to actually do something this time.

 

One last pull from the bulging moon, then Remus slips into the sewers, nostrils flaring as he sorts through the scents. He doesn’t notice the decay, doesn’t flinch when his shoulder is splattered with dripping liquid.

 

~~~

 

Will you take my hand?

We can make our stand

 

~~~

 

Remus hardly recognizes the person curled up in the corner of the cell. It looks like Sirius-- it’s only been a week, after all. But the Sirius who slept in the next bed, the Sirius who snuck into Professor Sprout’s private greenhouse to steal ingredients for potions, the Sirius who nearly got expelled for duelling twice -he doesn’t curl up in the corner of a stone cell, shoulders hunched in defeat.

 

“Sirius?” Remus’ fingers curl around the bars, instinctively trying to get closer. For a moment, there’s no reaction. Then, instantly, Sirius is pressed against the bars, reaching, touching, searching. His fingers brush against Remus’ coat, seek the edges of his clothing, send electric shocks every time he brushes skin.

 

When Sirius finally speaks, his voice cracks from disuse. “Are you real?”

 

For the first time in months, Remus smiles. “I found Pettigrew, Sirius. I’m going to get you out of here.”

 

A flash of life flickers through grey eyes, and for a moment they look more like hematite than granite. Remus’ fingers skitter from Sirius’ wrist to his forearm, pushing away the rough fabric of his prison shirt. He presses their foreheads together, the cold bars digging into the sides of his face while the warmth of Sirius pours between them.

 

“I’m going to get you out of here.”

 

~~~

 

If your world falls apart

I'd start a riot

 

~~~

 

Kingsley’s office is definitely smaller than it was this morning, even though Remus is still counting the same three strides across it before he pivots and strides back. He glances at the clock and a small part of his brain registers that he hasn’t eaten all day.

 

There is a sharp rap on the door and it creaks open, causing Remus to jump. The man standing there is tall like Kingsley, but far too pale-and has too much wild red hair. Arthur Weasley edges into the office holding a large bag.

 

“Molly sent lunch.”

 

He sets the bag down on the desk, then stands awkwardly, looking at Remus.

 

Right. Remus runs a hand through his hair, a gesture that instantly floods his mind with memories of Sirius and James, and ties his stomach in knots. People. Manners. Civilization. “Thank you.”

 

“You’re welcome.” Arthur heads to the door, pausing with one hand on the frame. “It’s going to be alright, Remus. Don’t you worry.”

 

The bag of food is untouched when Kingsley returns hours later. He looks exhausted . Without saying anything, he strides around his desk, pulls out a bottle of firewhisky, and pours two glasses. He downs his and refills it.

 

“Pettigrew confessed.”

 

The shackles around Remus’ chest break, and he breathes his first full breath in months.

 

Kingsley nudges the other glass toward Remus. “The Wizengamot is calling for an investigation. They’re saying they have two confessions now, so it’s possible Sirius and Pettigrew were working together.”

 

The glass shatters before Remus’ fingers touch it.

 

~~~

 

If night falls in your heart

I'd light the fire

 

~~~

 

Remus rings in the new year on a little boat, sailing out to a cold island in the North Sea. He barely notices the Dementors at the gate, brushing past them in a half-blind panic. Sirius is lying on his cot as Remus slams into the bars, and when he jumps, Remus breathes a sigh of relief.

 

“Remus?” Sirius stumbles across the room, reaching through the bars.

 

“I’m here, love.” He folds himself against the bars and can’t stop running his hand over Sirius’ chest, feeling his heartbeat, proving that Sirius is still alive.

 

“Last moon…” Sirius’ voice cracks, and Remus cannot tell if it’s from underuse or overuse. “It went okay?”

 

Remus runs his hand back up Sirius’ chest and tangles his fingers in matted black hair. “The Minister thought you’d died,” he murmurs. The Dementors wouldn’t let you go. I thought it was too late.

 

Sirius’ thin fingers dig into Remus’ hip. “Are you hurt, Moony?” His grey eyes are wide, and it takes several heartbeats for Remus to comprehend that Sirius is reliving his worst memories again.

 

“I’m getting you out. I’m working on it.” They have seeds of doubt, now. They have to let you go.

 

“We didn’t let you out of our sight, Moons.”

 

Remus closes his eyes, allowing Sirius’ fingers to search for injuries. “I know, Pads. Madame Pomfrey fixed me right up.”

 

I’ve got to get you out of here. There has to be somewhere else to keep you until I can bring you home.

 

~~~

 

In the dark, when you sound the alarm

We'll find each other's arms

For your love, all you are

I'd start a riot

 

~~~

 

They won’t let Remus escort Sirius to the low security prison.

 

“You aren’t an Auror, Remus.”

 

They won’t let Remus visit him that night, either.

 

“He won’t arrive until after visiting hours.”

 

So instead, Remus curls up under a blanket on his sofa, staring at half a moon. It had taken another month to convince the Wizengamot that moving Sirius to a regular jail cell was the politically correct thing to do.

 

Remus bites his cheek as residual anger floods him, his lip curling in an snarl. They don’t care about the morality of it. The war isn’t over, it’s just changed enemies. This isn’t a war of blood and teeth, but one of wit and persuasion-the only kind Remus used to be good at.

 

Someone-for once, it wasn’t Remus- leaked to the press that Sirius might have been framed. The only people he can think of who would do that are dead. In the end it doesn’t matter who did it-only that it was done, and that the press of public image was enough to sway a change of heart.

 

The clock chimes eleven and the fireplace roars green. Kingsley’s head appears. “Remus? Ah, there you are. He’s here, safe and sound. You may visit in the morning.”

 

The moment Kingsley disappears, Remus downs his glass of firewhisky and pulls over a stack of law books.

 

~~~

 

I will wade through the fire and smoke like sunlight through the haze

I will fight till the flag waves white until my dying days

Through the bombs and blasts

We will take it back

 

~~~

 

Remus watches as the guards return Sirius’ wand, as Sirius pulls on his worn leather jacket, even though the weather is really to warm for it now. When he finally emerges from the building, his grey eyes blink painfully at the bright sun before settling on Remus.

 

Every shackle on Remus’ heart shatters as Sirius walks straight into his arms. They’re both too thin, too pointy to be twenty-two and not fifteen. Still, they cling to each other as Remus Apparates them home together.

 

~~~

 

If your world falls apart

I'd start a riot