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31 March 2010 @ 09:19 pm
Fanfic: The Absence of Fear, ch 6  
Title: The Absence of Fear
Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: PG (includes a little violence)
Pairing: Remus/Sirius (OMG! It's actually turning into slash!)
Summary: Part six: in which Sirius receives advice and Remus get caught up in a dream.


 

Sirius found an amount of relief in the knowledge that his mother would not create a scene by fighting with him on the platform. Like what Cygnus had been doing for Andromeda, Walburga had been letting Sirius be for the most part, in hopes that he would “come around.” Since his cousin's disinheritance though, she had developed an attitude of “see what happens when you let them go free.” They'd spent a good portion of the summer arguing, mostly about his friends.

 

At the moment, they were having a quietly harsh discussion. Orion had gone off to help Regulus get settled—the two of them were in the habit of taking off whenever Sirius and Walburga fought—so she couldn't round on him for support, and he wouldn't be able to tell his son, “Sirius, listen to your mother” in the distracted way that said he wasn't paying attention. The argument was an old one.

 

“Sirius, I don't like you spending time with him.”

 

“I'm not going to stop being friends with him just because his mother is a Muggle.”

 

“I don't like it, but it's not what I'm talking about.”

 

Sirius' trunk gave a thump as he managed to lug it onto the train. He paused in the doorway and leaned on it, rolling his eyes.

 

“Not that again,” he said. “Just because the laws apply to you for once doesn't mean he's a bad person.”

 

“He's hiding something,” Walburga said, passing Sirius his owl cage. “It's never a good sign.”

 

“I'm not worried.”

 

“Oi, stop blocking the doorway!”

 

Sirius turned to see an annoyed sixth year glaring from behind. He mumbled an apology and they maneuvered around each other so he could head toward the compartment he'd seen his friends in. As he passed, he could see his mother following along outside. He gave an annoyed sigh. When he banged into the compartment, his friends turned in surprise. Their faces split into grins. Remus held the caged owl while James helped Sirius push his trunk overhead.

 

“Sirius!” His mother's voice drifted into the compartment.

 

Sirius moved over to the window and leaned out. “Goodbye, Mother,” he said pointedly, smiling sarcastically and waving.

 

“Just remember,” Walburga said. “'Les Loups doucereux, de tous les Loups son les plus dangereux.'

 

“'Les loups se mangent pas entre eux.'” Sirius snapped back, and banged the window shut.

 

James raised his eyebrows. “What was that all about?”

 

Nothing,” Sirius said, plopping next to Remus and rolling his eyes. “She's just throwing French proverbs at me. As if that'll make me a reformed character.”

 

That won't happen around us,” Peter laugh.

 

Sirius started grasping for a change of subject as the train began moving. He didn't feel like explaining and he couldn't lie. Remus was giving him a funny look. Sirius narrowed his eyes; there was something different about the werewolf.

 

Is your hair longer?”

 

Huh?” Remus touched his hair. “Oh, yeah, a little. I thought I might try growing it out a little, and I'll cut it if I don't like it.”

 

Remus' mum is a free spirit,” James laughed. “She likes it.”

 

God, I would never be allowed to do that,” Sirius sighed.

 

You do lots of stuff your parents wouldn't allow,” Peter said.

 

Yeah, well, they could actually enforce this one. I wouldn't put it past my mother to come into my room in the middle of the night and chop it all off then, if she had to.” Sirius grinned. “Your mum's right, Remus. It looks good.”

 

Sirius frowned as Remus flushed, then looked away tensely. A crack about his manly charms getting to Remus was on the tip of his tongue, but he didn't say anything. He looked at James, who was looking between them with a confused expression.

 

Okay...” James said loudly, half-smiling. “This is awkward...and I can't figure out why...”

 

Sirius is complementing me on my hair,” Remus said.

 

It is a little fruity, isn't it?” Peter asked.

 

Sirius kicked him in the knee. “Shut up, you.” He smiled anyway.

 

~*~

 

Despite the long journey and the feast which always seemed to put everyone into a sort of food-coma, Remus lay wide awake. It was nearly torture laying in complete darkness, so he left the curtain open, and he could hear Peter snoring and James mumbling in his sleep. It was the night before the full moon, and somehow he didn't think he'd get much sleep anyway.

 

Remus?” The whisper came from Sirius' bed. “You awake?”

 

Yeah,” he whispered back. It seemed that his friend had only been checking, since there was silence afterward. “Sirius?”

 

Yeah?”

 

Who's the Wolf?”

 

What do you mean?”

 

Your mother was warning about 'Wolves.'”

 

You understood that?” There was a funny note in Sirius' voice.

 

I've got family that's French.”

 

...She doesn't like that she can't open your Ministry files,” Sirius finally answered. “The connection was unintentional—she doesn't know anything about you. That's what bothers her.”

 

Oh.” Remus was quiet or a moment. What he wanted to ask would take a little courage. “Did you mean what you said? About us...about us being alike?”

 

There was a paused, and Sirius gave a quiet laugh. “Yeah, I did. I suppose we're both dark creatures, in a way, you know? You and I...we're not like James and Peter—we hide fur under our skin.”

 

If it were anyone else that told Remus that, he supposed it would hurt. But instead, his heart was pounding so hard he thought it might just stop altogether. He felt he could do a hundred things, but what he wanted to do most was tell Sirius he loved him that very moment. Laying there in the dark, anything felt possible. He touched his wrist, as if he could feel the red string tied around it, and wrapped himself farther into his covers, smiling happily.

 

~*~

 

Remus felt like an idiot. He'd spent the last couple months in a blissful haze, dreaming away about love and soul mates. The higher the jump, though, the harder the crash back to reality.

 

Sirius came bouncing into the dorm wearing a face-splitting grin and announced that he had a date with a pretty sixth year. James and Peter looked dumbfounded that he'd gotten a girl two years older than them. Remus felt like he had a crack in his chest. Somehow he managed to put on a fake smile and congratulate Sirius.

 

Later he grabbed a textbook and told his friends to leave him alone and he was going to study. Once he had his bed curtains drawn, he allowed himself a few deep breaths. He felt the tears coming and wiped them away angrily. He didn't know what he expected; Sirius had been ogling girls for the past two years with James and Peter. He'd shown all the signs of being a normal, straight boy, and Remus had decided to ignore it all within a few minutes. Just because Sirius said they were alike didn't mean that they were meant for each other, no more than Sirius being like James meant those two were.

 

After a while, Remus found himself laying splayed out on his back. There was a strange dry, stretched feeling that came after a good cry, and his head was aching. And he was hungry. He wondered if James would mind if he took the cloak for a midnight food excursion. If he did that, he should ask, which meant would be an invitation for the others. He didn't know if he wanted to face Sirius just yet.

 

Oh, buck up, Lupin,” he murmured. “People don't meet their soul mates when they're six years old. And it's not as if he's the only bloke in the world. I'm sure there are plenty of great gay guys out there. Don't be selfish.” He sat up. “Right. Food.”

 

He ripped the curtains open, and stopped to check his reflection in the window on the way down to the common room. He didn't look too much of a mess, but it would be nice if the others were feeling particularly insensitive that night. Seeing his three friends still sitting around laughing in the common room, which was nearly empty, made him pause. He gave a sad sigh when he saw Sirius gesturing widely, laughing. He'd just have to take what he could and try not to ask for more.

Part Seven


Notes: Sorry it's been taking forever--I'm dealing with end-of-the-semester stresses...

A couple notes on references. The first French proverb translates (in the most basic terms) into "The Wolves that are gentle are the most dangerous of all." I feel I should get extra points for this one--the cute little rhyme that it's in was written by Charles Perrault at the end of the French version of Little Red Riding Hood, back when French courtiers liked to go slumming and bringing back stories. In context, it's actually a warning about sexual predators. Sirius replies with "Wolves don't eat each other." The Blacks seem like the types who can pull these
pretentious little sayings out.

It used to be said (I think it was Russian) that werewolves simply wore human skin, and so you could tell them by simply cutting away skin to see if he had fur underneath.

The red string is a reference to East Asian legend that two people are bound together by the Lunar Matchmaker god; it can be stretched and tangled, but can't be cut even by death. If the Blacks are pretentious, then Remus is enough of a romantic to know those stories.



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Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
 
 
 
charcharberrycharcharberry on April 1st, 2010 11:22 am (UTC)
awww so sad! i want to see if he does get some gay guy, and then sirius gets protective and jealous! nice job, well written !
MissTeacakes: on your shouldermissteacakes on April 2nd, 2010 06:44 pm (UTC)
Mmm...I haven't decided about that yet...I guess I should think about that soon, though, huh? ^_^
kochi08 on April 2nd, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
You are completely drawing me into this story! I love how much of a Romantic your Remus is, and Sirius is great as well! Also, just the writing in general and the little details like the red string are really amazing=)
MissTeacakes: wingsmissteacakes on April 2nd, 2010 06:41 pm (UTC)
I love using symbolism and folklore and stuff in stories. I think it's cause I'm a romantic myself. I'm glad you're liking it so much!
_jenc__jenc_ on April 5th, 2010 07:11 pm (UTC)
Hi there,

I haven't posted anything on this site for soooo long but your lovely story has pushed me to do so. I adore it and can't wait for more. I understand semester stress but I am sending you *chocolate and tea* in the hope that you'll be able to post more soon :)

MissTeacakes: huggiesmissteacakes on April 5th, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC)
Ooh, two of my favourite things! Thanks! ^^ Don't worry, I'll try to get some work done.