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04 April 2010 @ 04:03 pm
Fanfic: Time  

Title: Time
Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: G
Pairing: Remus/Sirius
Summary: The obligatory post-Azkaban fic, in which Sirius goes to stay with Remus. Awkwardness ensues.


Most people would laugh if I told them that I was shy. They would be right, too. In fact, I could almost be called the antithesis of shy. Almost.


I can count the number of times I've ever felt shy on my hands. All of them involved receiving affection from another person. One was when we told Remus that we knew he was a werewolf, another during our third year I asked to see his scar; he's always been shy himself about it, and no surprise, with how horrible it is. After I left home I wanted to talk to my brother again—just to have a real conversation, something we hadn't done for ages before—but never had the nerve. When we were sixth years, I kissed Remus and felt terror that he might hate me; we became lovers after that.


When Harry was first born, I was afraid to ask to hold him for the first time; despite the fact that Lily wasn't really the Devil Woman, as I still called her from time to time, and James was practically my brother, Harry was just so small and fragile I thought I might break him. When I got out of Azkaban, and I asked him whether he'd want to live with me, I was scared he might not want to.


And now.


It's past midnight, and I'm laying on the sofa in Remus' house. He offered to let me have the bed—with or without him there—and I didn't want to just take it. The clock chimes, and I think of Remus being upstairs in the bed, and I suddenly realize how lonely I am.


I've been corresponding with him as 'Paddy'. He's changed so much, but it's not necessarily for the worse. In some ways he's still the Moony that I knew, and in some ways the Professor Lupin that we knew in our hearts he could become, and for a year was. My love for him hasn't waned, even though I was afraid it might. It's just changed with him. Despite the pain I'm sure he's been through, the years alone have made him self-reliant to the point I know with absolute confidence that I don't have to worry about him the way I used to.


I'm afraid, though, that his love has changed, too, and he might not desire me anymore. Maybe just as a friend; our past could never give us the brotherly relationship that James shared with us.


When we were much younger, and I needed to fake the platonic feelings, I found it was much easier when I was Padfoot. It took away the element of sexual desire. It's the best chance I have.


I transform before I climb up the stairs. The door to his room is slightly ajar, and I nudge it open the rest of the way with my nose. He looks up from where he's laying, and I trot to the side of his bed and jump up. When I lay on my stomach next to him, he gives a sleepy smile and puts an arm around me, burying his face in my fur. It's so similar to the way he used to that I feel myself automatically relaxing, and he gives a soft laugh when I sigh.




Remus' house is beautiful in the morning.


He told me once in a letter that he grew up in this house, and had inherited it when his mother passed away. The Muggle relatives pillaged everything they could get away with keeping. When he moved in there was nothing left but the grandfather clock in the sitting room, which they had planned on coming to get.


Looking around, I think of how nice of a childhood it must have been. The house isn't big—certainly not as big as the house I grew up in—but it's cozy, with its two bed and bath, and its separate dining room and kitchen. My home in London never got this much sunlight, despite its splendour, and he has a decent sized garden.


He's a short distance from the town, a little Muggle thing in which no one ever asks too many questions, but everyone but tells all the neighbors the news about each other. When I arrived an older woman was telling Remus about a friend who decided to get back in touch with nature in her old age, and the green hair would be very pretty if it didn't so resemble over-grown grass. When she saw me, she cooed over me for a while and asked Remus if I was his—I laughed a little inside and answered yes—and was he going to take me in. It made me happy that, despite his problems, he was leading a quiet life with people who were so friendly.


When I wake up, I am alone. Downstairs the clock chimes eleven. I never used to sleep this late, but it's the first time I've slept since I got out of Azkaban. Being in this nice little house with Remus next to me was so calming that I forgot the be alert for Aurors the way I have been. Now I'm refreshed.


I leave the room before I transform back. The shower is running; at least I'm not up too much later than Remus. I go to the kitchen to seek out some food. The cupboards are nearly bare, but I eventually find the tea that Remus always has around and start the kettle. I'm nursing my first mug when he enters the kitchen.


“You didn't have any coffee, so I made tea,” I comment. It doesn't make so much difference. I can't imagine how I could be so picky when I was younger, now that I know what it's like to have nothing.


“When one has limited funds, one must choose one or the other,” he says mildly.


“I couldn't find any sugar,” I tell him.


“What do you think I am, a millionaire?” he says.


I look around to apologize, but his eyes are sparkling with humour. I relax and remind myself that Remus has never been touchy about not being able to afford this or that. He used to tell us that he wasn't that bad off, and anyway Sirius, there's no shame in being poor.


From what seems to be nowhere he produces a jar of sugar, and I begin so shovel it into my tea before I realize that, although he has it, he still has to afford more. He's moving around the kitchen, producing more food that wasn't there before. He eventually sits down and passes one of the plates in his hands over to me. It's eggs and toast. Once again, not much, but I won't complain when it's the first real meal I've had in fourteen years.


We're quiet as we eat, and as I watch Remus begin to clean up breakfast. I want to say something, but I don't know what's right. My impulsive nature takes over without my permission, and I say the first and last thing that I wanted to say.


“I love you, Remus.”


It seems the entire world has gone silent, except that damn clock in the living room—it just keeps ticking away. Remus is standing at the sink, holding one of the plates, and I want to see his face so that I might guess what he's thinking.




“Don't,” Remus snaps. I flinch. In a gentler voice, one I know to be sad and resigned, he says, “I don't want to end up destroying what we have.”


I don't know what to say, but speak anyway. “If you don't want me anymore, it's alright. I just thought you should know—I'd regret it my whole life if I never said anything.”


Remus sighs and turns around. “It's not a matter of me not wanting you,” he says, leaning against the sink. “It's a matter of you wanting a man that doesn't exist anymore.” Before I can interrupt, he continues. “I'm old for my age. I'm thirty-five, and look to be in my mid-forties.”


“Bite your tongue!” I say. “You do not look that old.”


“That's not all there is to it,” he says. “I am worn out. I'm tired. The life I live—the life I want to live—would not make you happy. I would be happy to spend the rest of my life living in my little house in the country, tending my garden. You need adventure. It's not something I can give.”


I get angry now, although I don't know at what. It's automatically directed at Remus, who is constantly underestimating himself, and in consequence often underestimating me.


“What makes you think you know what I need?” I ask. “Don't you think that maybe I've had enough adventure for my lifetime? I would love to be able to sit around and not worry about anything—not the Ministry coming after me, or my godson risking his life at every turn, or anything. It's fun that I want and--”


Remus starts laughing, irritating me even further. “Sirius, 'fun' and 'adventure' are synonomous for you. You may think you want a quiet life right now, but you'd get bored soon enough.”


“And what about you?” I ask. “Don't tell me you never got bored with your quiet little home.”


That shuts him up. It's something that I know to be true because, no matter how he denies it, all Gryffindors have that streak in them. Now Remus is looking out the window sadly, and I feel bad. I don't know what I intended to happen but it wasn't this.


“I've changed, Sirius,” he says quietly. I'm not exactly the man you remember.”


“I know,” I say. “I know that we couldn't say much to each other, really, but I could tell. Just your pattern of speech, the choice of words in your letters. You're not the same, but you are.”


“I'm scarred.”


“So am I.”


He picks at a thread in one of his sleeves and says, “I'm not turning this into some competition on who's been through more.”


“Neither am I,” I respond. I'm the one picking at my robes now. “What I loved in the first place—what I've always loved—it's still there. Your strength, patience, that ridiculous ability to be nice to the absolute worst people--”


“If you're talking about Severus, I preferred to have something of a civil relationship with him, seeing how we were working together.”


I roll my eyes. “You're calling him by his first name now. But that's not the point.”




“Oh,” I snap, then sigh. “People change Moony, I know that. I knew that when we were younger, and I told you that I wanted you to move in with me. I was ready to deal with it, the same way James was ready to do so with Lily. I...wanted it...”


I look up without raising my head to see Remus looking at me with a strange expression. He opens his mouth to speak, then seems to change his mind. I can tell he's not quite sure what to say. It always came as something of a surprise when he shows just as much trouble with discussing emotions as any other man, and this time is no different. Every time I felt like laughing, and I would now if it weren't so serious a situation. After a few more moments of silence between us, during which the clock chimes, he speaks.


“Are you telling me,” he says slowly. “That you wanted...”


“Well, it's not as if we hadn't already picked out curtains,” I say, laughing nervously. “Listen, Remus, I'm not trying to push you into anything. But...”




I sigh. “Before I ran away from home, I asked Alphard what I should do. He told me to live without regrets. I always tried to do so, even if I failed miserably. I know, though, that I would regret it for the rest of my life if I never told you how I feel. I needed it.”


He closes his eyes again, but this time he doesn't look sad or annoyed or pained, but neither does he look particularly happy. It's a peaceful look, though. When he opens them again, he looks at me with a soft expression, and I feel my hopes rising as I recognize the look. He gives me a small smile.


“Give me a little time, Padfoot,” he says, and I feel almost weak with happiness hearing the nickname after this whole disagreement. “I...just a little time.”


I want to tell him I'll wait forever, but I know that I can't really. I'm an impatient person. I always have been, and most likely always will be. But a little time...that I can give him.

Notes: This was used in a meme I did yesterday.

I have actually never written post-Azkaban before. I thought I might try it, and this seemed like a good practice scenario. I have a feeling I'll probably stick with school/pre-Azkaban.


Magnolia Moonelady_luthienne on April 4th, 2010 10:52 pm (UTC)
I can count the number of times I've ever felt shy on my hands. All of them involved receiving affection from another person.

This is a great opening, and, I think, very true of Sirius.

I like the little joke about the sugar, and how Sirius almost misreads it. The post-Azkaban awkwardness is well done, mixing remembered intimacy with all their new insecurities and uncertainties.
MissTeacakes: fucknomissteacakes on April 6th, 2010 03:07 am (UTC)
I can't see the Sirius' parents as being the type of people to show affection, so I can see Sirius being a little weird about it.

Poor Sirius, I've realized just how out of touch with he is dealing with people!
brighty18: RL + SBbrighty18 on April 4th, 2010 10:59 pm (UTC)
I am a HUGE lover of Post-Azkaban and you really crafted this well. I loved Sirius here - his shyness, his adorable hesitancy, and his flat-out honestly. And I can very much see how he would be more comfortable as Padfoot sometimes.

The love between these two is clear to the reader even if it isn't to Remus.

Well done!
MissTeacakes: despairmissteacakes on April 6th, 2010 03:00 am (UTC)
I think the reason I don't really write Post-Azkaban is that it's way out of my comfort zone. It's hard to write happier stuff, which I prefer to do, especially since I know what's coming >.<

But I'm glad you liked it.
brighty18: RL + SBbrighty18 on April 6th, 2010 04:36 pm (UTC)
No, I totallly agree with you about Post-Azkaban. I tend to write almost all hurt-comfort, adventure, humor, or fluff from that period. I, too, am uncomfortable with too much angst.
remuslives23: sirius/remusremuslives23 on April 5th, 2010 12:13 am (UTC)
I loved the awkwardness here, that push and pull of them trying to figure each other out. Lovely.
kramtomatkramtomat on April 11th, 2010 11:46 pm (UTC)
That was heartbreaking! They are adorable. It really breaks my heart to think about the short time they got together...

The fic was very nice though, thanks!
MissTeacakes: riffcainmissteacakes on April 11th, 2010 11:48 pm (UTC)
That's exactly the reason I have such a hard time writing Post-Azkaban. But I'm glad you liked it!