Characters: Remus and Sirius and the black family
Word Count: 672
Warnings: This is a no Magic, AU story set in the Jane Austen era!
"And one and two and one and two, keep the time Sirius, do not rush the notes." Sirius Black's Piano tutor carried a ruler and tapped his hands to the time. When a mistake was made, Sirius' hands felt the tap.
"Sirius, as soon as you play the piece perfectly, by Mr. Wellington's standards, you may go out to the gardens and play with your new puppy, Padfoot." Lady Mira Black stated.
"Yes mother, thank you." Sirius was able to play better when he wasn't concentrating on the notes and the keys and Mr. Wellington's ruler. He thought about his new puppy. He'd gotten it from the head games man on his father's lands. Padfoot was a pedigree Labrador retriever, black as ebony, perfect except that one of his paws was slightly turned out, he wouldn't be a very good hunting dog, but Sirius loved him instantly.
Thirty minutes later, Sirius was teaching Padfoot to play fetch. He'd just frightened his baby brother Regulus into thinking Padfoot was already trained to be an attack dog. Sirius enjoyed torturing his brother. He was lucky that his brother wasn't as bright as himself.
Padfoot came trotting back on his misshapen paw, carrying the stick Sirius had thrown and being followed by a small brown mutt.
"Well, hello there little one. Who are you?" Sirius asked, petting the puppy.
"Oy, Moony, where'd you get off too?" A boy about Sirius' age appeared around the hedge. "Oh, pardon me Master Sirius. I didn’t know you were here. My puppy just got away from me. I'll get him out of your way." The boy scooped up his little brown puppy.
"Don't go. Padfoot and Moony, did you say, seem to be friends. It would be a shame to pull them apart." The boy set Moony down and swallowed hard, obviously uncomfortable. Sirius hated that his name and family inspired that emotion in everyone he ever met. It made making friends very difficult. "My name is Sirius."
"I know, Sir. I'm Remus Lupin. My father's your gardener and my mother's your cook."
"My name isn't Sir. There is no sir in my name at all. Please just stay and play with me. I don’t know anyone who's even close to my age besides my dim brother and he's too whiny to be fun."
"Actually," Remus said with a smirk, his nerves obviously gone. "You do have a sir in your name. How old are you?"
"I'm eleven," Sirius stated proudly.
Sirius and Remus talked and laughed as they watched Moony and Padfoot romping around the garden.
"Sirius, darling, time for tea." Mrs. Black called out into the garden.
Sirius stood and took a few steps toward the house before turning back to Remus. "Remus, I get done with my piano lesson about the same time everyday. My mother usually lets me come out afterwards," Sirius stammered nervously. "Would you be here tomorrow?" Sirius looked up at Remus expectantly.
"Sure," Remus replied with a grin.
The two boys smiled at one another again and headed their separate directions.
For weeks, the two boys met and let their puppies play in the gardens while they talked. Some days Sirius would finish early and he would wait in the garden practically holding his breath until he saw Moony bound around the corner, always followed closely by Remus. Other days, Sirius would be running late and he'd see Remus' face peeking in the window before the end of his lesson.
"You play very well."
"I hate it. Mr. Wellington is cruel."
"I'll hate your tutor too, but I can't hate hearing you play. I always do my best to get here before you're done. I like listening to the music."
Sirius blushed and tossed a stick for Padfoot. Both boys laughed when Moony got it first which caused Padfoot to tackle him.
The next day, Sirius made a point to play slowly. He waited to see Remus' face peeking in the window before he played the latest piece perfectly.