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21 June 2008 @ 07:25 pm
fic 37 - and the damp patch in the kitchen and etc. [remus/sirius]  
title: and the damp patch in the kitchen and etc.
fandom: Harry Potter
pairings: Remus Lupin/Sirius Black
rating: R
synopsis: It's a year of long silences and questions which go unanswered because they were never asked.
author's note: Set, for the most part, during the year of OotP but with some later events. SPOILERS UP TO AND INCLUDING DH. I wrote this to counter-balance a horrendous assignment of around the same length. & I know there are one or two canon disprepancies. (e.g. the kitchen walls are really stone but we can pretend they stripped them aferwards, yeah?)
word count: 5200w approx.

And the days are not full enough
And the nights are not full enough
And life slips by like a field mouse
Not shaking the grass

— Ezra Pound

The damp patch on the kitchen wall looks like a bruise—the edges dim to a lighter shade of purple-brown than the rest of the plaster. Remus thinks of rotten apples. It is Sirius who sees the bruise. He can see a dark, violent bruise and the grand wallpaper that used to be there before the wall swelled with water and the paper peeled away in sheets. They’re trying to clean the place up a bit. Remus keeps saying that other people will be there soon and they ought to make sure that it’s at least inhabitable. Sirius had lived in the house when it was clean and presentable and found it hardly inhabitable then but he says nothing, he knows he’s stuck there and can only hope that scrubbing it clean will remove more than the dirt.

It still smells resoundingly of damp in the kitchen despite Remus’ best efforts. He managed to dry the wall out leaving only a small abyss in the corner above the sink. Sirius likens it to a lesion but Remus’ comparison to rotted fruit is little better. They don’t make any efforts to remove this last shadow as if both of them see it as symbolic of something within themselves.

If Remus is the kitchen then it is probably significant how he keeps it all clean and tidy, airs it by opening windows even when it’s bitterly cold, tries to scrub out everything that’s wrong and makes sure every chair is tucked in. But there’s a part of Remus that’s rotten and he knows it. He’s scared of what the rotten part can do to the rest of him but he can’t rub it out, can’t erase it in the same way that, despite all his Charms, that one damp rot stain remained.

If Sirius is the kitchen then perhaps it says something that he can barely stand being in it, puts his feet up on the table and only kicks the chairs under carelessly when he leaves. He leaves his dirty mug on the table, not even bothering to put it in the sink for washing. His kitchen is full of decay and the dark malignant lesion on the wall is the part that has already been eaten up, broken, decayed. He does nothing to try to heal the wound though. He’s given up on the thought of salvation.

For the first few days after they moved into the house on Grimmauld Place, Sirius had cracked jokes in much the same way, Remus imagines, that he would have given the chance to show him around the place when they were both still at Hogwarts. He gives Remus the grand, theatrical tour. Flings doors wide open and says, “Tada, the master bedroom, my dear old mum’s, can’t you just feel the hatred seeping out of every fibre of it. Go on, touch something, you’ll probably find you lose a finger.” And, after a dramatic pause, “Beautiful, isn’t it?” He’d present his best mock grin. When Sirius had been seventeen and reckless, such a grin would have appeared as it was supposed to, disdainful but charming, a good mask for how he actually felt. Now, in his mid-thirties, the grin is only emphasising how bitter he is, how much he hates it and how he’s stuck here. It’s almost pitiful. Crying might be better, at least Remus knows how to react to tears.

After the first few days of Sirius’ false smile and opening doors theatrically only to lose his nerve upon seeing the unveiled room again (he does this more than once), their conversation subsides. Remus feels awkward, he’s got nothing to say because he can’t possibly understand. He imagines going home to the house of his childhood, a much smaller affair, but knows it’s no comparison. Despite the looks his parents sometimes gave him—sometimes as if they pitied him and it made them sad to look at him and then other times the worried, frightened glances over at him on bad days or when he entered a room unbidden and they’d been discussing him—there was nothing to make Remus’ childhood home an uncomfortable place to be.

Remus can’t even attempt to sympathise because he has no idea what happened in the house to make Sirius leave it in the first place. Sirius had never once spoken about his family without that sarcastic, covering tone which meant you never knew whether he was lying. And Remus had never managed to sneak a look at the letters Sirius had received when they were at Hogwarts, the letters he’d stuffed into his pockets with a sense of disregard upon seeing the familiar handwriting. He’d sometimes joked about burning the letters, unopened, over a candle at the breakfast table but he never did it. Remus never got to see him open any of the letters but he was sure Sirius read them, probably even kept them. Maybe, he should have asked back then exactly what it was that had turned him so resolutely against his family but he’d just assumed, everyone had just assumed, that it was because they were the Blacks and Sirius wasn’t one, really. It was simply a matter of Sirius’ not upholding the family values.

Sitting in the house where it must have all gone on, Remus is plagued by the fact that he doesn’t know what it was that had actually happened. Even if the reasons for Sirius’ running away and being disowned were simple, he couldn’t help but wonder about the build-up. In a sense, he’d watched it for five years. The way that in his first year Sirius went home for Easter and returned saying he wouldn’t go back for another holiday again, ever. They didn’t ask why. They thought they knew why. They’d thought that they knew everything back then. And it’s too late to ask now. Remus knows that Sirius would never answer. If he’d asked back then, he thought that maybe Sirius would have said something. Would have said that they’d ignored him the whole holiday, told him to stay out of their sight until the extended family came for dinner and he’d had to pretend that everything was alright, he was the heir, he was a Black and within the next ten years he’d be the one at the head of the banquet discussing how despicable it was that they allowed intermarriage and writing letters to Hogwarts complaining that a Half Blood got picked for the Slytherin Quidditch team over a member of The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black.

There are some rooms in the house that Sirius doesn’t put on show. At one point or other Remus becomes curious and climbs up to the top floor to have a look. When it comes down to it, he’s too scared to open either of the doors he’s confronted with. He goes as far as to reach for the handle of the first door before he decides against opening it. Regulus’ room with its sign over the door, forbidding his entry, upsets Remus a little. He knows Regulus would never have allowed him even to peer around the door and he’s unwilling to do something which would show such disregard for his memory.

He doesn’t get a chance to consider the other room because, as though he’d overheard Remus’ thoughts, Sirius appears through the other door and makes some comment about how Remus wouldn’t want to go in there and that, probably, the snake doorknob was enchanted to dig its teeth in when an uninvited guest touched it anyway, so he mightn’t get that far.

With a glance at the door on the opposite wall Remus asks, “Is that room yours then?”

Sirius’ answer is simple. “Yeah,” he says. The word echoes in Remus’ ears for many of the proceeding minutes.

Sirius walks past him and down the stairs leaving Remus wondering what ‘yeah’ means. He decides to think the worst, though he’s not sure what that is. Perhaps, since Sirius left the house they’ve removed all traces of his existence and his room is as vacant and burnt out as his name on the family tapestry. Or, maybe, it’s just the same as it was when Sirius lived there and the memories it recalls are worse, much worse, than the erasure of his existence. Sirius has left the bedroom door is ajar but Remus doesn’t look in, he wonders later whether Sirius left it like that on purpose so that he would look but Remus feels too guilty, even for having come up here, to do it now. He doesn’t ask Sirius about it either because by this point they aren’t speaking much. One of the few times they see each other is when they eat together in the kitchen but even then they barely talk. “I was thinking,” Remus said one evening, “Of cleaning out the first floor bedroom, for when the others come.” Sirius had nodded, or grunted, or said something along the lines of, ‘yeah, alright then’ but nothing more substantial than that. Somehow it’s easier that way. Neither of them is the same person the other shared a dorm with for seven years so it’s almost easier to act as though they are strangers or colleagues than as though they had once been best friends.

They barely even see each other around the house, as if each were avoiding the other. It is true that when Remus has to leave the house for one reason or other he does it as discreetly as he can, leaving before sunrise at times or sneaking out when he knows Sirius is in his mother’s bedroom attending to Buckbeak (to whom he pays much more attention than he ever does Remus), but Remus only does this out of consideration for Sirius. He knows Sirius feels trapped and claustrophobic and would do anything, even risk his own life, just to get out. He even does it sometimes. He doesn’t try to hide it like Remus, and goes out as a hulking black dog into the streets of London just to watch the world go by. The big difference, of course, is that Remus is only doing as he’s told when he steals out into the summer predawn and Sirius is doing the opposite when he proclaims loudly that he’s going out and heads triumphantly into the breaking dusk, foraging fish and chips on pavements as a substitute for the dinner he’s walked out on.

These occasions aside, living with Sirius is a lot like living with a ghost. Remus hears him sometimes from another room, moving things or just moving himself.

Sirius had laughed when Remus asked whether the house was haunted, he’d said, “Course it’s haunted, my family lived here.” Remus thought he’d meant that they’d probably left a good number of creatures, spirits, things, behind to haunt it but Remus knows that, for Sirius, it’d be haunted more by the presence of memories than anything.

Once or twice the more literal hauntings cause problems. A bewitched drawer in his mother’s dressing table gets hold of Sirius’ hand and begins to dye his whole arm black as if with ink and he calls, “Shit, Remus. Give me a hand would you!” through the caverns of the house. Remus, who is trying to vanquish an infestation of woodworm in one of the guest rooms, gets there only after the stain has spread up past Sirius’ sleeve. They manage to extricate his hand easily enough but the stain keeps spreading slowly for the next few hours whilst they rifle through books looking for a counter-curse with no luck, eventually finding the instructions for the brewing of an antidote which they neither have the skill nor the ingredients for.

Sirius insists that he’ll work out how to do it, if Remus will only get the supplies. Remus tells him not to be stupid and calls in Snape who sneers and calls them a pair of incompetents as he brews the mixture at the kitchen table with Sirius sat on the other side looking defiant in spite of the fact that the stain is creeping up his neck and his whole arm has the appearance of suffering from frostbite.

Sirius does most of the cooking. When Remus suggests, trying to be kind, that they do alternating nights Sirius protests, saying that it’s the only useful thing he can do, so he’ll do it, if that’s quite alright. Remus agrees to it and says that they’re probably both as out of practice as each other, anyway. Sirius’ response is defensive: he did quite a bit of cooking on his travels, actually. Remus feels as though this is the best conversation they’ve had since they’d arrived in Grimmauld Place even though Sirius cuts all his questions about what he did when he was on the run short and only answers with ‘this and that’s and ‘here and there’s. Remus thinks, at least he’s talking. He hates it when Sirius doesn’t talk.

Sometimes he can hear Sirius talking to Buckbeak, he never gets close enough to distinguish words but once or twice, leaving the bathroom on the same landing, he hears Sirius’ voice. It’s sort of reassuring to know that he’s got someone to talk to at least—even if that someone can’t answer back. It makes Remus sad to think that Sirius feels more of a connection to a hippogriff than to him but he supposes it’s got something to do with the fact they’re both convicts, under this strange form of house arrest.

Remus secretly thinks that he and Sirius have a lot in common, more than him and the hippogriff anyway. Remus has always thought this. Maybe it’s the hunted look in Sirius’ eye that he’d had even in his first year at Hogwarts but which is has now been made a hundredfold worse by Azkaban. Just the simple fact that Sirius was an outcast, the way the Slytherins jeered at him, was enough. Secretly, Remus wonders whether that’s why he made friends with Sirius in the first place.

The first time they have sex—and it is the first time, they didn’t even consider each other back then—it’s awkward but probably only because of their history. (It’s not as if they hadn’t seen each other naked often enough when they were unabashed and dorm-sharing. And Sirius has changed so much since he was at school. They both have.)

Some time in the lazy haze of afterwards, each lying on a different bed in a spare room which had only recently been excavated from underneath centuries of Black dust, Sirius says, “I don’t know why you didn’t tell us you were gay back then, Moony.” And Remus’ reaction is to think a lot of things but say none of them. The first thought is that there were a lot of things he hadn’t told them (rendezvous with Ravenclaw boys he’d caught reading certain works of Muggle literature). The second, I do—it’s because I’ve never been comfortable inside my skin. And, besides, I didn‘t want to be the other gay one, I didn‘t want them to think it had anything to do with you. The third, oh, he’s calling me Moony again. And he doesn’t know what to think about that.

Arthur and Molly Weasley come for supper one evening. For once, Sirius lets someone else cook. Molly’s food is the filling, wholesome kind. Tried and tested. Rich stews and potato cheese. The kind of food which leaves your stomach feeling full and hot for hours. This is the sort of food they both need but which neither of them can cook. Remus doesn’t imagine Sirius ever had food like this at home. He can’t imagine anything so simple, honest and wholesome passing the lips of anyone in this house. Dishes from the continent, he imagines. Always stingy helpings of pasta, topped with decorative herbs and never quite enough so you filled up with bread. That’s what Remus imagines. But sat in the kitchen rather than the exquisite dining room, Molly’s cooking is perfect. She blushes when both of them compliment her on it. After a few mouthfuls, Sirius is already singing her praises. She leaves the leftovers, covered over, in their fridge—she always cooks far too much—and they eat off it for days never growing tired of it.

Once Molly and Arthur are back at home, Molly says she’s worried about them. Arthur says if it’s them starving that she’s worried about then she shouldn’t, every single man in England suffers that way if left to his own devices, they’ll be fine. Molly only adds with a sigh that she supposes they’ve both suffered worse. Arthur’s mantra is, there’s no need to worry, Molly, they’ll be alright and it has been since Gideon and Fabian.

Remus comes home (can we call it home yet?) smelling of London. He smells of muggle traffic and musky damp left over from the afternoon drizzle and of cigarettes from the pub where he sat for hours waiting for someone who never came. And Sirius thinks he can taste it on his skin. The closer he gets to Remus, the closer he gets to the world.

Sirius asks what the sky looks like out there. Remus replies that it looks the same as it does through the window because he doesn’t understand. But how does it feel, Sirius wants to ask, how does the wind feel? How does it feel to get the smoke of the real world in your lungs? Does the traffic exhaust sting in your eyes? Are there children running through the green spaces playing games that only they understand? These are the sort of questions he will never ask. Though, later, he will say to Buckbeak: “It’s not fair, is it, mate?”

Remus says the Weasleys will be here within a week or so.

Remus thinks things would be made easier if people paid a little more attention to each other. All you have to do is listen to the things they say and watch for the signs of what they don’t. But he thinks nothing of how Sirius has been in his father’s study for hours and there has been no sign of movement. And last week, when Sirius drank a whole bottle of claret, which he’d unearthed in the drawing room, and only got up the next day to cook the evening meal and hold a conversation with Remus which felt like a barrage of insults. Last week, Remus didn’t notice a thing. Not that he was nowhere to be seen or heard, not that every word that they exchange burns Sirius’ soul like attrition. But even if he’s a hypocrite, he’s still right.

The night before the Weasleys arrive, Sirius can’t sleep—but these two circumstances are in no way linked. He says it’s something in the sound of the rain outside that keeps him up. The way the wind is rattling the windowpanes is like the chattering of teeth. He’s taken to sleeping in his mother’s room, says it’ll save space when the others get there. His own room seems to be cordoned off to all the world, himself included.

Instead of lying in the dark and listening to the chorus of the elements on the window—the perpetual creaking of the house has never bothered him—he takes a shower, rummages successfully in the drawing room for blunt scissors and cuts his hair, wet and unbrushed, feet of it cut away so that what’s left barely brushes his shoulders. He does this in front of a bathroom mirror.

The mirror’s comments aren’t exactly useful but he ignores it, it’s a lot less malicious than the mirror on his mother’s dressing table at least. It says things like: Haven’t seen you for a while, dear. Thought they’d thrown you out. Oh well, no matter. That will look awful when you’re done with it, you know. You’re doing it completely unevenly. Really. It has a sort of clucky, motherly tone to it that Sirius can’t remember it having possessed in his youth but he supposes even enchanted objects get lonely and nostalgic.

After this, he changes into Muggle clothes and goes out. The rain on his skin feels like salvation and the loud, unfamiliar music and smell of smoke and alcohol in the only open Muggle establishment he can find make him feel awake for the first time since he returned to the country. He doesn’t go back home until closing time and even then he walks the longest way he can think of, through the worst of the back alleys where people are still up and drunk and singing.

He comes home to the sound of Remus trying to vanquish something or other from its residency under the dining room table. He thinks that Remus probably wouldn’t hear him if he just went upstairs without saying anything but he has a little more decency than that.

The confrontation that follows Sirius’ putting his head around the dining room door is bitter and leaves both of them regretting half the things they’ve said and done since they begun living at Grimmauld Place. (And some things which came long before.)

Sirius spends the remaining early hours watching the sunrise out of the window of Regulus’ bedroom. From tomorrow, he thinks, the last person to have slept in here won’t be a dead person. But somehow he doesn’t feel anything.

Remus spends the same hours still in the dining room, imagining that, somehow, doing productive things will stop him from thinking and maybe make him feel a better person, (maybe).

They almost forget that the Weasleys are coming until the portrait of Sirius’ mother starts screaming. She keeps it going for what seems like hours whilst the whole family bring in their luggage: five trunks and assorted pets, broomsticks and other assorted possessions make for a lot of noise. Ron leaves his trunk in the middle of the hall as he talks to Remus and his father trips over it with a loud crash. No-one, in such a moment of excited upheaval, remembers—even after Sirius silences her for the third time—to keep their voice down.

They almost have her quiet when Sirius spots Hermione and asks where Harry is. The news that Harry won’t be coming until later that summer provokes a loud, affronted response from Sirius who then looks around, imploringly, for an explanation. Remus looks away, shamefaced, and says nothing. It falls to Arthur Weasley to explain that it’s on Dumbledore’s orders and to Molly to make him tea and bicker with him about Harry’s safety.

Sirius doesn’t speak for days after this but no one seems to notice.

From the moment the Weasleys arrive the house becomes a hub of activity. Not only because Molly has her children purging the house the same way Remus had tried to force Sirius to for weeks but also because more and more members of the Order are gathering there. The Order members come and go like a stream running through the house, making the place feel fluid and alive.

Remus and Sirius drift apart, as if by a tidal current. They stop sleeping with each other. The only exception is when Remus goes to meet with his fellow werewolves and, on coming home, hides away in an as-yet-untouched room, crying. He doesn’t do this right away, though he would have liked to. He only retreats after Sirius responds to his account of his experiences with “Well, at least you got to go outside.” Remus had wanted to scream that at least Sirius had a place to be. (It’s not true but Remus, in a fit of selfish upset, thinks it is.)

When Sirius discovers him, his response is to hold him and whisper meaningless things in his ears, feed him alcohol and sleep with him. He pretends it’s a solution but it’s only consolation. It’s only ever trying to trade places. (Remus smells like the world and they’re both thinking ‘I wish I were you. I wish I was anyone but me. I could even be you. If you’ll be me, maybe I can take your place. Maybe, I could be you.’)

But they don’t talk. And they don’t talk. Sometimes they sit around a crowded table, seats away from each other, both contributing to the same discussion. But their eyes never meet and they never address one another. And they never get a chance to ask the questions that have burnt in the back of their throats for years. And it’s like not asking about Sirius’ family over again. It all just seems too late. Even if Remus stretched a hand across the dining room table on one of the few nights they were alone together, across the gulf of silence, and rested it on Sirius’, the toughened skin on both their hands would be barrier enough to prevent any real sensation. He thinks that anyway.

Later, retrospectively, he decides that at least it would have been something. Even if Sirius had taken it wrong or not taken it to heart at all, it would still have been something. He would have tried. It was like Harry, rushing to save Sirius when he’d believed him to be in danger, it was the very fact that he’d done something. Remus thinks that his whole life has been marked out by not doing things. It’s all about what isn’t said. What isn’t done. It’s about the things that aren’t there. It’s about the words on the tombstone which doesn’t exist.

Harry writes him a letter asking about Sirius. What was he really like? You spent this year with him, was he OK? Was he ever OK? I’m not sure I ever saw him really smile. Remus writes several replies to the letter. The only one he ever even considers sending is four feet of reminiscences, all of them coloured with the terrible idealism of memory but its last words, like a footnote or a disclaimer of imperfection, read: But I’m not sure I ever saw him really smile either.

Remus doesn’t know whether he ought to be sad or not when the Order moves headquarters and he no longer has any reason to be there (in the house on Grimmauld Place). He’s not sure he has a single fond reminiscence linked to the place and yet, it seems, it’s a chapter of his history he doesn’t want to leave behind. There was something attractive about it, about being in Grimmauld Place, like sucking at a burn—almost the thing that would heal it but, really, just a stinging pain, the coaxing of a memory, reminding you that you‘re broken, you‘re burnt.

When Teddy is born, Remus goes back to Grimmauld Place. It’s not the first time but it’s the first time he’s been alone there since it had just been him and Sirius and he thinks Sirius might as well be there. It’s no different, feels no different from Sirius’ lurking in rooms he knows Remus doesn’t like going in.

The reason he goes is to look at the tapestry. He wants to fix it. He wants to lay the ghosts to rest. And, even if Sirius had said he was glad he wasn’t on there, Remus thinks that Sirius needs to be recorded somewhere. Remus hates the idea that he might be forgotten.

The tapestry is such a wonderful legend and it reminds him, perhaps misguidedly, of the map—the Marauders Map. Almost the whole of wizarding history is rendered here, somewhere. The same way that almost every wizard passes through Hogwarts and, will therefore, be written, at least fleetingly, on the map. In a part of the tapestry, far detached from its central strands (of the members of the family still called Black), Remus spots a great-uncle of his, married to a woman whose relation to Sirius he cannot even begin to fathom.

He searches out the place where Sirius should be and looks at it for a long time. Then he starts trying to fix it. The magic of the tapestry is complex, he realises, automatic, so that the removal of a person is violent and must break it, somehow. He thinks of the Map. He thinks of how they enchanted every inch of paper to recognise the presence of a human being in the space it represented, to find out who that person was and name them. He wonders if this is the same. He wonders if this is how Sirius had known so much more than the rest of them, initially, about this kind of magic.

It takes him hours to heal the wound in the tapestry where Sirius’ name had been blasted away but, when he does so, he watches it right itself. It writes his name, his date of birth, and then, Remus holds his breath, awaiting the addition of his death date. He thinks that, maybe, the tapestry ought to die, wilt, stop working. It ought to at least acknowledge that the line was broken, Sirius had been the last of the Blacks. Maybe, it will write a new heading beneath him, stating the end of the ‘noble line’. But, as he waits for Sirius’ death to become embellished, a new line forms. Its thread is a broken, sparse running stitch showing the tenuous link, but it leads to a new name, ‘Harry Potter’ and a little crown appears above his name, indicating, Remus supposes, his position as the new head of what the tapestry itself calls ‘The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black’.

Remus isn’t sure why he’s surprised by this, he’d known Harry had inherited the position through Sirius’ will but that this tapestry, the record of pure-blood-only members of the family, had chosen to write Harry in of its own accord made his heart lurch. It’s only after he sees this that he decides to restore Tonks’ mother’s name and as he does so a whole stream of lines spread out from it. He watches his own name embroider itself there and, beneath it, his son’s. It is as if, somehow, in the writing of these names on the ancient hanging, the whole chapter has been written. As if, the world ought to understand, just from that. That is the way it is. That is the simple truth, hung on a wall. It says nothing about spending the first weeks of summer in a state of silent warfare with a man who’d be dead within a year and, yet, he thinks, it does. Somehow, Remus thinks, like the Marauders Map, that the tapestry knows every footstep, every move in the life of every person whose name it bears. He thinks it knows about how they played chess at stalemate, all those months. Sirius reckless, he himself more politic and careful, neither playing to win. He’d thought that the house itself, its walls, the creaking floorboards, knew these things. He’d thought the damp patch on the kitchen wall could speak louder than words but, in the end, he thinks, really, the tapestry tells a better story, thinks that it, like them, knows everything that happened but won’t ever show a sign or say a word.

moonypadsmoonypads on June 21st, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC)
Oh that was wonderful! It was so heartbreaking throughout. And the last few paragraphs are just incredible! I gasped when Harry's name appeared on the tapestry. I teared up just a little bit at the end, picturing Remus there carefully fixing the tapestry. Oh, wonderful!
i r i s: Roadijustwishiwere on June 21st, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I actually wrote at least four different endings before settling on that one so I'm really glad it worked out. & thanks again for such a lovely comment.♥
lhazzie on June 21st, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC)
Bloody hell. Is the entire world conspiring to overwhelm me tonight? That's the third seperate thing that's brought me nearly to tears.

This is beautiful, it really is. Completely laced with the tragedy that is their lives, but at the same time so wonderful. It destroys all possibility of hope -except not, because there never was any for them. And it so perfectly fills in the unwritten scenes with bitterness and despair.

...I hope it was meant to :s Lol!
i r i s: Roadijustwishiwere on June 21st, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC)
The world has a terrible habit of ganging up on us suddenly like that some nights and leaving us feeling all barren and empty on others. And I can never decide whether it's a good thing or not.

But, thank you, that's exactly what it was meant to be. ♥
Sheeshagoodbyesheesha on June 22nd, 2008 12:54 am (UTC)
Hey, you posted this!

I don't remember what I said last time I read this... I still love the opening. The entire first page is my favourite, I think.

And I wish I'd been online when you were today, but I was too busy being the worst friend ever.
Iris! *clings* I need a hug!
i r i s: Brand New - 142ijustwishiwere on June 23rd, 2008 08:17 pm (UTC)
I think you said something like that the first time too.♥

I will try to be online at better times. I just need to create a new schedule for myself now that I have all this shiny freetime.
*hugs* Poor Sheesh. Everything will turn out face, 'kay?
like wonderbread:  nice, but tasteless: bullshittheyreonlyword on June 22nd, 2008 07:41 am (UTC)
I really loved this. I have no words to describe how beautiful it was. You've left me speechless. Good job!
i r i s: Jesse Laceyijustwishiwere on June 23rd, 2008 08:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you.♥ I'm really glad you enjoyed it.
brighty18: RL + SBbrighty18 on June 23rd, 2008 07:23 pm (UTC)
Oh, this was lovely and very moving. You capture the mood so well and create such a sense of sympathy for both of them!

This really got to me: When Sirius discovers him, his response is to hold him and whisper meaningless things in his ears, feed him alcohol and sleep with him. He pretends it’s a solution but it’s only consolation. It’s only ever trying to trade places. (Remus smells like the world and they’re both thinking ‘I wish I were you. I wish I was anyone but me. I could even be you. If you’ll be me, maybe I can take your place. Maybe, I could be you.’)

Very well done!
i r i s: Roadijustwishiwere on June 23rd, 2008 09:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you think that I managed to capture the mood since atmosphere was my focus when I started out writing this.
& Thanks for commenting.♥
scarlettfreudian_fuckup on June 27th, 2008 07:36 am (UTC)
oh good god, i think i'm going to cry. no, seriously, my whole face hurts. that was heartbreaking. just lovely.

i am a marauder-era girl myself, and i usually have SO little patience for trio-era angst, but this was just wonderful. elegant language, beautiful shifts in perspective, and, rarest of all, a take on their relationship that i've never seen before (which is saying something).

and the ending. oh gods, the ending. i... i really am going to cry. but it's a good cry. like it's too beautiful and beautifully sad for my eyes to not just make lots and lots of tears, no matter what my brain says on the matter.

in short (or long, rather), i love this.
hravan_maranwe: Jesse and Sherrihravan_maranwe on July 19th, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC)
Sorry it took me so long to read this. Life's been a pile of crap lately.

My favourite things in this piece are:

This description:
"There was something attractive about it, about being in Grimmauld Place, like sucking at a burn—almost the thing that would heal it but, really, just a stinging pain, the coaxing of a memory, reminding you that you‘re broken, you‘re burnt."

The description of the Marauder's Map as a fleeting record of all the wizards that have passed through Hogwart's (beautiful, really! I wish I'd thought of that!)

and, as everyone else has already said, the healing of the tapestry.

Really, this is a gorgeous piece. I love it a lot. The only HP fan-fiction I get into is that which involves the Marauders (esp. Sirius/James, but I'm not picky). Thanks for this! I'm starting to watch "Supernatural", right now. When I get further into it, I'll go back to read your SPN fic. posted before this one.
i r i s: yet but earkissingijustwishiwere on July 20th, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
No need to apologise~ I should be thanking you for bothering to read & comment even though life's not been treating you so well lately.♥

I'm really seriously glad that you loved it. When I wrote it I was really apprehensive about it because I loved it (in a way that I rarely love my own stuff) and I thought that probably meant that it must be dreadful. It took me months to build up the courage to post it.

And I've always wanted to write Sirius/James but I've never quite managed it. Maybe I should give it another shot?

I'm such a bad influence if I've made you watch Supernatural though. & I'm sorry for the terrible lack of fic lately. I have a few things I ought to be posting soon though.

Thank you so much for reading and leaving such a lovely comment. I hope your life starts looking up soon.
(Anonymous) on February 11th, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC)
vuitton bag
Very amusing idea