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sapphic charms ✧・゚: * [mit ‘23] (Today at 6:03 PM)
@everyone the results of our annual meme contest are in and…drumroll please…the winner is the hilarious, the astonishing, the way too active @starman but like, COOLER! sirius dazzled the mods of AAC with his surrealist college admissions meme, and we’re proud to crown him as the meme king of this year’s halloween meme contest.

(as a side note, seriously, sirius, get more sleep.)

to claim your prize, please dm one of the mods! once again, congratulations to sirius, and thank you to everyone who participated!

padfoot (Today at 6:05 PM)
told you i was the meme king

moony (Today at 6:07 PM)
i guess you really are
congrats on the win lol

Sirius’s winning meme definitely fits the description of surrealist—it’s a deep-fried screencap of a Reddit post on r/collegeadmissions titled “Does college admissions make anyone else hate themselves?” Sirius has photoshopped in a skeleton wearing skull-shaped orange sunglasses and a speech bubble stating, “Joke’s on you, college admissions, I already hated myself!”

padfoot (Today at 6:07 PM)
thank you thank you
emmy being a judge probably helped
we basically have the same sense of humor

moony (Today at 6:08 PM)
what’s that?

padfoot (Today at 6:08 PM)
incredibly depressing

moony (Today at 6:08 PM)

padfoot (Today at 6:08 PM)
anyway on an unrelated note i finally submitted my yale application ten minutes ago
now all there’s left to do is wait and hope i don’t get in

moony (Today at 6:09 PM)
you know
you’re probably the only applicant who doesn’t want to get in

padfoot (Today at 6:10 PM)
if i don’t get in that frees up a space for someone else that actually wants to go

moony (Today at 6:10 PM)
i guess
congrats on submitting your first app though

padfoot (Today at 6:11 PM)

“Remus? Are you ready yet?” His mother’s voice, slightly muffled by the closed door, comes from the hallway, and Remus sighs. Honestly, he’d rather be hit by a semi-tractor-trailer truck and spend the rest of the week in the hospital than go to this Halloween party with Peter, but it’s not like he can back out now, less than twenty minutes before he’s supposed to leave the house.

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Remus is twenty-one years old, and he’s fighting a war.

He barely sees his friends anymore, and when he does, each one looks more exhausted, more hopeless, than the last.

One day in June, while Remus is bouncing Harry on his knee and Sirius is sitting on the couch next to him, cooing at the baby, and they’re feeling almost happy for the first time in months, James tells them “we’re going into hiding.”

He asks Sirius to be the secret keeper, and Sirius agrees, but Remus doesn’t miss the shifty look in his eyes. He hands Harry back to James.

Later, he asks Sirius why he seemed nervous.

Sirius tells him it’s because it’s a frightening thing, to be responsible for his best friend’s safety. Remus doesn’t push the subject.

They spend the next two months dancing around that conversation, Remus wanting to bring it up and Sirius dodging his questions.

Then, Sirius disappears for an afternoon and comes back looking almost relieved. He smiles at Remus when he comes back, and Remus can’t help but wonder where he was, what he did. He kisses him anyway.

He kisses him because he loves him, because loving Sirius is a habit he’s never been able to break, not in school when he thought that loving Sirius would kill him, and not now when he thinks that Sirius might kill them all. It keeps him up at night sometimes.

It’s late August when Remus is sent on his mission. He doesn’t know how long it will last. He can’t tell Sirius about it, isn’t allowed, just tells him that he’s leaving and he’ll try to send him an owl before he comes back.

Sirius looks at him like he doesn’t believe him, and Remus can’t find it in himself to care, but at the same time he cares so much it hurts.

“I love you,” he says. He touches Sirius’s cheek, and Sirius leans into it. His eyes are shining with tears. Remus knows that his match.

“I love you too,” Sirius whispers, and Remus hugs him with all the strength in his body. He worries that if he lets go, he’ll never hug Sirius again.

Sirius’s arms are so tight around Remus that he can hardly breathe. He doesn’t mind. It hurts a bit, but it reminds him that he’s real, that they’re both real, and that their love is real and good and worth fighting for.

Sirius moves back, but his hands still rest on Remus’s waist as he stares at him, drinking him in.

“Stay here for a moment.”

Remus nods. Sirius gives him a small smile, then goes into the bedroom. He comes out a moment later holding his camera.

Remus raises an eyebrow.

“Please, Moony? I want––I need this. I need to remember you if––” He doesn’t finish the sentence, but Remus knows. If you don’t come back. It’s all everyone’s thinking about. If someone doesn’t come back, if they’ll have another funeral, if they’ll be left with nothing but memories of yet another classmate. Remus nods.

“Yeah, Pads, go ahead.”

Remus can’t manage a smile. All he can think about is how Dorcas keeps a picture of Marlene tucked in her pocket, proof that she did exist once, that there was a time before the war, before all of this hurt and grief. Remus wonders what Sirius will do if he doesn’t come back. He wonders what he’ll do if one day Sirius doesn’t come back.

The camera shutter clicks, and Sirius smiles at him. It’s a small, sad smile, and it’s the one Remus is used to now. It hurts to remember that there was a time when he had never seen that smile. He wishes he had never become so familiar with it.

Sirius kisses him before he leaves, pulls their bodies close, holds Remus tightly.

“Come back to me,” he whispers.

“I will,” Remus promises. “I will.”

It’s the last time he sees Sirius.

It’s November when he gets back, and Dumbledore tells him what happened. It’s a dark, cold, wet day when he bursts into the flat, unable to believe it, but Sirius isn’t there, and the picture of Remus is on the kitchen table, and on the back Sirius has written Moony, my love, and Remus starts sobbing, and he’s curled up on the floor as his body shakes and the rain pounding against the windows matches the tears pouring down his face, and all he can think is that they’re gone, they’re gone, James and Lily are dead and it’s Sirius’s fault.

It turns out that love is an easy habit to break when it turns into hate.

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Sirius thought he’d grow old with James. They joked that they were soulmates, “Platonic of course. Cant forget about lils.” Till death do us apart they’d say. he believed nothing could separate them. he never thought he’d have to live a life without him, nor did he know how to. when James died, it felt like he’d died with him too. he couldn’t accept it, his other half, gone. when he was sentenced to Azkaban he thought, this is better. in Azkaban he didn’t have to mourn James death. in Azkaban, he didn’t have to continue life without him. in Azkaban, he could focus on his hate, and anger at his weasel betraying old friend. in Azkaban, time was paused for Sirius black. in azkaban, he never fully accepted that James, his partner in crime, was gone. After he escaped it didn’t help that his Godson, harry, was a spitting image of James. When he spoke to harry it seemed he was speaking to a long lost best friend. But Molly was right, Harry wasn’t James. Still, Sirius couldn’t help but see his best friend in him. He was a lost puppy, without his bone. See, James and Sirius were inseparable, until death did them apart. Sirius wasn’t ready to live a life without his brother, the only person he called family. How bitter sweet it is that Sirius never did live a life after James, from 12 years in Azkaban, to trapped in a house he never called home, to his death. Sirius never really lived after James. He died still looking for his brother, but he’d find him later on.

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The next few months seemed to fly by. As soon as Professor Dumbledore left that day an owl landed outside their kitchen window, tapping with its beak to be let in. Attached to its leg was Remus’s Hogwarts acceptance letter. He reread it every night before he went to bed, still not sure if he should let himself believe that he was going.

Parcels started arriving, also carried by large tawny owls. Remus couldn’t understand how creatures that size could carry such heavy objects, and was stunned when he opened one particularly weighty parcel to find four thick textbooks inside. By July he had everything he needed to begin at Hogwarts, and spent the hot summer pouring over the textbooks he was given.

They were second hand, or perhaps even third hand, but Remus couldn’t care less. None of his possessions were bought new, and besides, it was what was inside that counted. Lyall had told his son very little of the wizarding world, and Remus wanted to absorb every last detail he could.

He was bursting to ask his father questions about Hogwarts, having read all eight of his textbooks cover to cover. It just wasn’t possible. Lyall was more withdrawn than ever, leaving Remus to prepare his own meals and keep himself busy. He would emerge every full moon, to ensure Remus was safely locked in his room, but that was it.

As 1st September drew closer, Remus’s excitement slowly faded into anticipation, and then dread. He lay awake late at night worrying - what if nobody liked him? What if he was rubbish at magic? What, and this was the worst one, if someone discovered his secret? From the little he understood about the wizarding world, he knew that werewolves were outcasts of society. They had to sign the Werewolf Registry, and turn themselves into the Ministry of Magic every month for the duration of their transformations. Remus dreaded to think how he would cope if that happened to him.

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Sirius, trying to flirt: People tell me I have a unique way of lighting up a room.

Remus: Sirius that’s called arson and those people are witnesses.

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Remus: Can you do me a favour?

Sirius: I would literally cover up a murder you committed, plant my DNA at the crime scene, and take the blame for it if you asked to

Remus: Can you wash the dishes?

Sirius: No.

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i’m thinking about why i’m so drawn to narratives of sirius black that depict him as asian, and i’m fairly sure it’s in part because of the incredibly problematic depictions of asian men in popular media throughout the past two hundred years.

asian men in popular culture are often depicted as unattractive, awkward, and more—there is a long tradition in which asian men are shown to be continuously rebuffed by their romantic interests. the subjects of “yellow fever” (which, i must say, is incredibly terrible to be faced with as an asian-american woman—i still remember how devastated i felt when i realized that my first quasi-boyfriend was only attracted to me because of it) are usually asian women, not asian men. 

(as an aside, that is not to say that writers should, as a result, bend over backwards and have asian men subjected to yellow fever as well. that is exactly what one should not do. doing that lands you firmly into the eleanor and park territory of incredibly problematic and racist narratives. it is actually extremely possible to write someone as romantically desirable without having the primary reason for their desirability be their race.) 

and then there’s sirius black. sirius, in harry potter canon, is handsome and charming. he is sought after. even after the horrors of azkaban, he is attractive. he might just be the most attractive person in the harry potter series.

and thus a subversion exists in writing sirius as asian, i think. to present the most attractive character in harry potter as an asian male is to dispel still-entrenched stereotypes regarding asian men.

anyway, maybe this is just my roundabout way of saying that i’d love more stories that depict sirius as asian. i’ve written several in which sirius is singaporean chinese, half-chinese, and chinese-british—mostly because i am chinese myself—but i would love to see this become a broader trend in fandom.

a word of caution—if you do so, again, please, please don’t do what rainbow rowell did in eleanor and park, in which she tokenized park instead of trying to give him any characteristics besides “half-korean.” also, please don’t use kpop idols as faceclaims. most asian people don’t look like kpop idols, many of whom have undergone extensive plastic surgery, subsist on extreme diets, and must adhere to rigorous beauty standards. 

but as long as you do your research—which isn’t that hard! if we can research the lunar cycle in 1978, we can do research to accurately depict the ethnic backgrounds of characters—i would absolutely love to see more stories in which sirius is explicitly written as asian. 

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Time is a funny thing. Sometimes it feels as though it doesn’t behave in the way it should. It can play tricks on your mind and distract you — resulting in time passing in a rather unconventional way. Occasionally, seconds seem to melt into minutes, and those into hours, and you become hyper-aware of the ticking of a clock, constantly checking the time to see if it has sped up or fallen back into sync. Time drags on. You almost question whether your mind is playing tricks on you, or if it’s true that only five minutes have passed since you last checked the time.

Often, time zooms past, dancing away from your fingertips even if you reach out and try to make it slow down. You almost begin to realise how fickle life is, how short, after it flies past in the blink of the eye and it slowly dawns on you what has been lost. When time is behaving in that way, it’s always a shock when you check the clock and realise that hours have vanished before your eyes, in what feels like a matter of minutes.

Sirius often found that time never did what he wanted. Time was a disobedient mistress, preferring to do as it pleased rather than benefitting him in any way. When he couldn’t wait for something to be over, it would drag on, and on, and on. When he needed more time, it snatched itself away, leaving him reeling in the emptiness. That night, when he was stood in the smoking area, chatting to Remus Lupin, time seemed to be doing the latter.

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