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Scars and Silhouettes by Noblevyne
Chapter 1 : The Underpants Charleston
 
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 33


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Rows of houses, all bearing down on me
I can feel their blue hands touching me
All these things into position
All these things we'll one day swallow whole
And fade out again and fade out

This machine will, will not communicate
These thoughts and the strain I am under
Be a world child, form a circle
Before we all go under
And fade out again and fade out again

Cracked eggs, dead birds
Scream as they fight for life
I can feel death, can see its beady eyes
All these things into position
All these things we'll one day swallow whole
And fade out again and fade out again

Immerse your soul in love
IMMERSE YOUR SOUL IN LOVE

Fade Out – Radiohead.


Mist curls around his ankles like fingers, he pulls his muggle coat tighter around his body in an attempt to fend off the biting chill of the night air, quite sure that if he stopped moving they’d find him here in the morning, frozen solidly to this very spot.

He’d long since left the paved road and was now descending unsteadily down a dirt path, with every step he took, it was a struggle not to run into one of those cosy looking cottages that he’d passed, their stacked chimneys, overflowing gardens and rich smelling roasts. He could almost make out the tinkering of laughter and imagine the shape of a family within.

But he doesn’t stop, he chatters and shakes and wishes he was better at warming charms, he doesn’t stop because he’d only have to turn back, this is an Apparition black spot, not nearly as fortified as Hogwarts, but it’s enough that he doesn’t make the effort. Besides, he’s been walking down here these past 16 years and apart from the occasional tumble it’s never hurt him. On his more self-indulgent days he’d have taken the hardship upon himself, but now it was as close to a pleasant stroll as he was likely to get.

He’d been a young man once, filled with idealistic notions of his own importance and ability, for years he’d been certain there must have been some way to know that it had been Sirius and he’d blamed himself for not noticing.

Clearly there hadn’t been as it was in fact Peter who he should have been noticing, and he already knew that he’d underestimated Peter. Really, they should have been clued into his duplicitous nature when his animagus form turned out to be a rat. Rats were generally not known for being the most loyal and noble creatures on the planet.

But they had been boys, stupid and foolhardy and they’d imagined themselves invincible. Smudges on their noses and frogs in their pocket, they had set out to conquer the world.

It pained him some that Harry had never been allowed that kind of blind innocence.

The end of the lane trailed off into something a little more precarious looking. Very few people ever came down here; the path was incredibly overgrown, but he managed to stumble his way down there with minimal falling flat on his face.

The house was rubble now; most of what had been left of their belongings had been taken by the Ministry or stolen by souvenir hunters. It used to make him angry that anyone would desecrate their graves, but he’d happened upon some kids one year, sitting around and telling ghost stories, recounting the last night of James and Lily Potter and he’d been reminded of four young boys creeping through the Founder’s cemetery, all trying to spook one another with tales of the living dead and malevolent spirits. He’d sat down with them and indulged them with a few tales about the legendary James Potter and his wife Lily Evans; he doubted that they knew who he was, probably thought he was just some drunkard: a misconception he dealt with often.

He made his way through the gutted house, finding a secreted little area out in what had once been the backyard; he vanished some litter from the area and stood silently in front of the headstones. It had once been a prettyish sort of garden, one that their Herbology professor would have been proud of. James had liked tending to it when he’d had the time; he insisted he could keep something alive. He, Sirius and Peter had laughed at him, pottering about in soiled clothes, carrying Harry around to introduce him to the flowers with all the pride of every new father.

He wondered if events had been set in motion even then, if Peter had been conveying their movements to Voldemort, murdering them even as he laughed and joked on those sunny days after Harry had first been born.

He bends down, his body not quite as compliant as it used to be. He tentatively wipes away the grime that covered the epitaph on the headstone closest to him.

James Cyril Potter
October 31st 1981.
Beloved father and husband.


It was a very simple epitaph; Remus hadn’t known what to have written on it. He had an inkling of what James would have wanted on his headstone, but he somehow didn’t think it would have been appropriate for public viewing.

He gave a brief smile as he grasped the headstone like an old friend, hauling himself back up. He needed to keep moving as his joints were protesting to the awkward position and the cold. He cupped his hands to his mouth and tried to warm them.

He remembered warm summer days spent at his home, Sirius, James and Peter fascinated by his mother’s muggle trinkets, constructing a tree house using magic (after figuring out the Ministry’s daft loophole) in the woods behind his house, never telling his parents that he was sneaking off into the very woods where Fenrir Greyback had attacked him.

So stupid, they’d all been such foolish boys; far too impressed with their own cleverness and much too confident. They hadn’t really lived long enough to ever doubt their immortality. He loved those boys in his memory, even Peter.

Or at least, James and Lily hadn’t. And Sirius had been stuck at the emotional age of 22, in his year out of Azkaban he’d reverted back to old mannerisms and beliefs; Primarily the belief that he was invincible.

James would always be the impish rogue he remembered; he’d never grow old, he’d never get the chance to see his boy grow up. From what Harry had told him of James’ final moments, he hadn’t even needed to die, it was Lily’s love that saved Harry, James had merely been an obstacle in Voldemort’s path.

Finding that out in his one year of teaching at Hogwart’s had brought back the misguided notion that was something he could have done, to save them. In 16 years he’d never allowed himself to be happy, that would have somehow soiled their memory, as though even remembering a time when he might have been happy was some great disrespect…

Remus felt old, his body ached, he was chilled to the bone, a strand of greying hair infiltrated his eyesight and he could feel every wrinkle on his face.

And he was thankful for every one of them.

A twig snapped behind him followed by the sound of someone slamming into the ground.

Remus smiled and turned around. “Hello, Tonks.” She picked herself up from the ground quickly, blushing furiously.

“Sorry, didn’t mean to interrupt.”

“You didn’t. How long have you been there?” He asked, brushing an errant leaf from her hair.

“I followed you out of the house,” she admitted.

“Ah.”

The Potter’s gravestones stand behind Remus like strange chaperones. Tonks can see that he’s wearied and cold, his threadbare coat not nearly warm enough for a night like this, she’s been wanting to buy him some new robes but knows that he’d never accept anything. The man is stubbornly determined to make it through life on his own terms, even if it means he catches an early death.

Good lord she’s sounding more and more like her mother these days.

She takes his hand and squeezes comfortingly; they both turn back towards the graves.

“Are you holding my hand? I can’t be sure, you see, I lost feeling in my hands about a half hour ago.”

She smiles deviously and presses an ice-cold hand to his face and trace amount of feeling he has left is not amused. He curses, the words not sounding as awkward and clunky as she’d once imagined it would.

The wind billows around them, twisting his coat and her robes around their bodies.

“Nice night for a walk,” Remus deadpans, offering her a grizzled smile.

“And here I thought you had a death wish.”

He sighs and his fingers briefly whisper through his hair. “I used to come here to beat myself up over their deaths, to run through everything I could have done to prevent them, all the opportunities I’d had to kill Sirius.” He turns to her, a tight, humourless smile on his face. “I used to think that I could have sacrificed myself for just one of them, maybe, then Harry wouldn’t have had to have grown up alone…I wouldn’t have been alone.” He draws the words out slowly and indifferently, as if they have no consequence or meaning and he’s still smiling sadly.

She clenches his hand tighter and feels like she should say something like ‘You’re not alone anymore.’ But it sounds like something out of one of those horrid ‘Bewitching Romance’ novels she and her friends used to giggle over and not something appropriate to say to a man who has just admitted a death wish.

She just stares at the gravestones with him and thinks of the young couple buried beneath her feet…or what was left of them anyway. It had been part of her Auror training to the events of October 31st 1981 and she’d seen the photos of the scene, they were kids, really, younger than she was now. Their bodies splayed in such awkward positions, eyes ever wide with fear, determination and strength. The Avada Kedavra curse does not mangle the body, but their house had fallen in on them, crushing extremities, bruising delicate skin and there had been a fire…

James Potter had made her laugh when she was a young girl, she even had a picture of he and Sirius that she’d kept under her bed for years after her mother had destroyed all images of her cousin: the traitor. She thought of the smiling James Potter, the one who had picked her up on his shoulders and conjured her fairies that lasted for days, it was how she wanted to remember him, but the image was always interrupted by the empty look on his face, the smear of blood at his temple and his glasses smashed beside him in the grass. His face is so still that you could be forgiven for thinking that the picture isn’t moving, but there’s a slight sway to the grass that gives it away.

She looks up at Remus who is staring resolutely at the ground now, she knows that he was one of the first on the scene the next morning, she knows that they had torn him kicking and screaming from their bodies for ‘interrogation’ (little more than torture in those days, especially for a werewolf). It had taken near two days for him to be released and only after they had captured Sirius for the crimes that Remus had been accused of.

He had lost all of his friends in a matter of days and they’d attended Dumbledore’s funeral just today, he was now the lone survivor of a dead generation. She couldn’t imagine anyone going on after so much loss…and yet he had, somehow. Although, some would say that Remus hadn’t really made it, that he was still stuck somewhere in his past.

It didn’t help that he had gone to visit a graveyard alone at night.

Remus looks back at her and sees the concern in her eyes, he tries to give her what he hopes is a comforting smile and reaches for her face with a hand that he hopes is slightly warmed from being in his pocket.

For the first time in his life, he’s not thinking of what could have been.

“I came to say goodbye,” he says quietly, his voice almost carried away by the breeze.

She gives him a confused look that verges on panic before she realises what he’s saying. “Oh.” She smiles tenderly at him and starts to move back towards the road, she turns back to face him, waiting.

Remus looks at her, everything about her exudes warmth, sensuality and sexuality. Possibility. He glances down at the graves one last time and let go, moving quickly up towards Tonks.

“Are you ready?” She asks tentatively.

He cups her face with both of his hands, craving that connection; she reaches up on her tip toes and wraps her arms around what little there is of him, he presses his lips to hers, his mouth tingles for a moment as the numbness starts to recede.

The kiss is brief and gentle, but it belies a passion that Remus has just allowed to be awoken.

The two of them make it back up towards the road, bundled up closely. Everything feels lighter, warmer. The craggy path isn’t nearly so daunting.

Treading a familiar path with a different stride, he moves on.

Immerse your soul in love
IMMERSE YOUR SOUL IN LOVE




A/N: Based on a challenge set by Lucid on the forums: Write a happy/uplifting piece to a sad song, which is very difficult in hindsight and this is my first Remus fic which just made it far more difficult. Kudos to all those who write him regularly, you're all insane.

Ever thanks to Linda/timeturner for her help, I don't think I'd be able to finish a thing with out her.

Song written by Thom Yorke, Radiohead just seems to fit with Remus, doesn't it?




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