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04 March 2010 @ 09:06 pm
Fanfic: The Absence of Fear, ch2  
Title: The Absence of Fear
Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: PG (includes a little violence)
Pairing: eventual Remus/Sirius
Summary: Part two: in which Sirius goes to school and meets an oddly familiar person.

 

Despite the grin on his face, Sirius was only just coming out of the shock of being sorted into Gryffindor as the food appeared on the table. He began to laugh, and James, who had made the girl next to Sirius scoot over when he was sorted, looked at Sirius as if he had lost his mind. Sirius gave a yell of delight.

 

“I have just made history,” he said. “I am the first Black ever to not be sorted into Slytherin.”

 

“Is that a big deal?” asked a boy across the table.

 

Sirius glanced at him, still smiling, and said, “Of course it is. My family has been in Hogwarts since it was founded, and they have always been in Slytherin.” He began to laugh again. “Mother is going to kill me!”

 

“You look awfully happy for someone about to die,” James said, starting to grin himself.

 

Sirius looked over the heads of the crowd. Several of the Slytherins were looking at him as if he had grown a second head. Andromeda raised her eyebrows at him across the Hall, and he gave a thumbs-up with a look at me expression. She gave a slightly nervous smile, then mouthed out the same words he had said a moment before: “Your mother is going to kill you.” He nodded gleefully.

 

Wait, you're one of those Blacks?”

 

Sirius turned his attention to the boy who had just spoken. He was short and rather chubby, with a round face and eyes that bulged a little.

 

“Yup,” Sirius replied. “You know us?”

 

The boy nodded. “Mum and Dad have been making their way into Society. You can't be part of it without knowing the Blacks.”

 

“What's your surname?” Sirius asked curiously.

 

“Pettigrew. Peter Pettigrew.”

 

Sirius thought for a moment before nodding. The name had been mentioned before; the Pettigrews were on the nouveau riche side, but his mother was warming up to the idea as the family had making a name as pure-bloods for the past few generations. Peter gave an overly-happy smile as he realized that Sirius knew his family.

 

He looked around at the rest of the table. The girl with the red hair shot him a nasty look. Another girl with blonde hair blushed when his eyes landed on her. He stopped when he looked at the boy who had asked about the importance of his House. He was thin and pale and somewhat sickly. His light brown hair covered his face as he looked down at his food. There was something itching at his memory, but he couldn't put his finger on it.

 

“Have we met before?” he asked.

 

The boy looked up at him, and seemed to be considering something. He was a little cow-eyed, and Sirius registered the particular shade of brown. He was almost positive now.

 

“I doubt it,” the boy said. “From the sound of it, you grew up in a rich little pure-blood bubble. There's no chance your parents would let you socialize with a poor, half-blood plebeian like me.”

 

Sirius narrowed his eyes. He hadn't done his own school shopping—they had people to do that for them—but there was the chance that they'd met in Diagon Alley at some other point. Sirius didn't generally like to think that his face was forgettable, but the boy could have met so many people that a chance meeting was nothing. The boy squirmed under his scrutinization.

 

“What's your name?” Sirius asked.

 

“Remus Lupin.”

 

The name was unusual enough to remember, but Sirius didn't recognize it. He shrugged and decided that he was just reminded of someone else he'd met somewhere. He turned away. James was looking between the two of them. Sirius shook his head, and James repeated Sirius' shrug.

 

~*~

 

Sirius wasn't sure he liked whether Remus Lupin. He was quiet, and it annoyed Sirius that he did almost anything that people asked of him. It was like he was desperate to have people like him. The first Sunday, he disappeared and didn't return until Tuesday, mumbling something about a sick mother he had to visit. Having been taught how to lie growing up, Sirius knew right away that he wasn't telling the truth. In fact, the excuse was a little pathetic.

 

Still, he had a feeling that he could grow to like Remus a lot. The other boy had strong opinions, he could see it in his eyes, yet he seemed afraid to voice them. It made Sirius want to annoy him until he finally snapped and yelled at him. Maybe if he got through that cool, polite exterior Remus would begin to grow a spine for himself.

 

Chubby little Peter Pettigrew followed Sirius and James around with a constant wide-eyed, adoring expression. Sirius wasn't at all surprised, he was used to people liking him, but it began to get annoying. The best word to describe the Blacks was 'hawkish', and Sirius was certainly no exception. He was not known for his patience, and tended to snap at Peter when it got to be too much. It brought out the subtle difference between Peter and Remus, in that while Remus had some sort of irrepressible need to please, he by no means worshiped Sirius and James the way Peter did, and made Sirius want to bring Remus out of his shell even more.

 

James was special in a way that the other two could never be. It was like they were long-lost twins. Sirius had never met anyone so like himself, and having someone agree with him on nearly everything thrilled him. He felt a little bad that he thought he'd rather have James for a brother than Regulus, who wrote to him three times a week, never having been apart from Sirius for longer than a day. He wondered if Regulus was lonely, with no one but their parents and his tutors to talk to, when Sirius was happier with James than he'd been with anyone in a long time.

 

To his shock, he didn't get a howler from his mother. Instead, she sent instructions for him to tell her who the rest of the boys in his dorm were, and he received an answer a week letter. She made a point to tell him that she didn't want him associating with James, as his best friend was a blood-traitor from a family of blood-traitors. This made James burst out laughing, which relieved Sirius; he'd been worried that James would hate him for what his family said. To no surprise at all, he was told to make friends with Peter. There was something worrying, though, about her words on Remus.

 

The name, she wrote, is very familiar to me. I'm certain he has noble lineage of some sort, but when I tried to find something on him, there was nothing. The Ministry should have some sort of record on his family, yet all I can find is that his father attended Hogwarts. His records have been sealed, and thus far your father and I have been unable to find a way to have it opened. This worries me, and I don't want you to have any serious interaction with him until I am able to find why the record is sealed.

 

Regards,

Mother

 

“She's trying to save me,” he told James. “She'll do anything she can, since I'm the oldest.”

 

James licked his lips thoughtfully. “Why do you think Remus' files are sealed? You think he committed some sort of crime or something when he was younger?”

 

Sirius frowned and shook his head. “My parents are really influential, normally they'd be able to see that kind of thing. And usually they can buy their way into that kind of thing if they have to.”

 

James shook his head. “Why am I not surprised your family is into bribery?”

 

“It's not bribery,” Sirius said, shifting uncomfortably. “It's receiving favors out of gratitude for making very large contributions.”

 

“Sirius, that's a nice way of saying bribery.”

 

Sirius found it amazingly hard having money. He'd never received pocket money before, because his parents could afford to buy for anything he wanted. It was true when Remus had said he'd been living in a bubble; he didn't realize exactly how rich he was in relation to the majority until he got to Hogwarts, and was surprised how embarrassed he was about it. James' family had money, and even Peter's family was fairly well off. Remus, however, made him feel bad.

 

It was with a red face that Remus admitted that he was almost unable to attend, and that his parents had to save up ever knut they could to afford his supplies. He told them that all his father's money seemed to go toward keeping his mother healthy, which confused Sirius; it was another lie, this time much less obvious, enough that their friends didn't even realize it. Yet Sirius couldn't figure why the other boy felt the need to lie about this. At one point he casually said that the secret to lying was to make sure it was something that the person wanted to hear, and that you didn't have to keep building on. Remus blushed down to his collar and looked worried. Once again, Sirius got the impression that he'd seen Remus before.

 

~*~

 

“Oi, Remus, let me borrow your homework.”

 

Remus looked at Sirius with those large, brown eyes, and sucked his bottom lip. Sirius could tell that he wanted to refuse. Maybe the other boy would try to talk his way out of it, but Sirius thought maybe he'd push a little harder today.

 

“Maybe you should ask James,” Remus said. “I'm sure he did a better job than me.”

 

“Oh, c'mon,” Sirius said, flashing a smile. “If it were Potions I wouldn't bother, but you're really good at Defense. Anyway, I don't think James has finished his yet.”

 

“It's due tomorrow.” Remus frowned. “Why haven't either of you done it yet?”

 

“We've been busy, Rem, you know that.”

 

Sirius watched with satisfaction as Remus flinched. He hated being called that. If someone had shortened Sirius' name, he would have hexed him—or more likely punched him, since they weren't much past throwing sparks around—but no, Remus had to let people do whatever they wanted around him.

 

“I don't—“

 

“What's the big deal all of a sudden?” Sirius put an irritated edge in his voice, then softened it apologetically. “I can pay you for it, if you want.”

 

Sirius had been raised to know how manipulate people with the way he spoke, but Remus obviously hadn't gotten the memo. He looked dumbfounded for a minute, then his eyes hardened and his jaw set. Sirius felt a little bad; his friend was very aware of the class difference between them, and tended to be touchy about it.

 

I don't need your money,” Remus snapped. “Go do your own homework. Maybe someday you'll learn that throwing your gold around will only get you so far in life.”

 

With a laugh, Sirius held up his already-finished essay for Remus to see. His friend tilted his head, and Sirius got the impression of a puppy that had just been told 'no' for the first time, and was trying to figure out why.

 

“You know, I think I like you better like this,” Sirius said with a smile. “You should yell at people more often. People who are nice all the time bother me.”

 

Remus wilted a little, then got a slightly wolfish grin that made Sirius lean back slightly in surprise, eyes wide and a smile spreading across his face. It was almost as if he had unleashed a monster in telling Remus that he liked when he was just a little paltry.

 

Sirius considered it a major victory.


Part Three



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(Deleted comment)
MissTeacakes: seakatamissteacakes on March 5th, 2010 03:09 am (UTC)
It's always so important to me to have a good, healthy mix of canon and fanon, so I'm glad that it's working out well. And backstories are always fun, so I like to try to stick them in without having to interrupt the plot.
Phisophiso_kun on March 8th, 2010 07:08 pm (UTC)
I like this very much! I read the first part a few days ago and didn't realize that you had updated until now; I'm pleased I noticed, though, because you're helping making a grey, rainy day a bit nicer.

The way Sirius seems to consider Remus is adorable. The way the subtle differences between Remus's and Peter's needs to be liked are painted are spot on, as well as Sirius's reactions to each. The embarrassment that comes with being rich is also interesting; you don't often read about that in stories about Sirius - instead we're usually under the impression that he spends it as ridiculously as he can for as long as he can just to piss his parents off - and it really is true for some people. I'm glad you included that.

Excellent job! Can't wait to read more. <3
MissTeacakes: aqueductsmissteacakes on March 8th, 2010 10:27 pm (UTC)
I'm glad I made your day better!

I think my perception of Sirius simply having money is partly out of the fact that I'm generally a supporters of the Blacks (because, as much as I love him, Sirius could be one of the most self-righteous s.o.b.'s in the books) and partially out of experience--I've met a number of rich people who can't seem to grasp the concept of not being able to afford anything they want.

Btw: Your icon for the win! (Don't I know about that >.< )
nathcoelhonathcoelho on March 16th, 2010 02:55 am (UTC)
second chapter is also very good! i like how sirius make remus snap his "trueself" xD
hihihi