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Sunrise by ButterflyRogue
Chapter 1 : Sunrise
 
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A/N – Written in response for JLHufflepuff’s challenge, “The Lost Years of Remus Lupin”. The assignment was to write a scene or more of them about Remus’ pre or post Hogwarts years – basically any moment that is not described in the books already or that does not center primarily on his Hogwarts years. As I absolutely adore Remus, I simply couldn’t miss out on this… :D And I chose to reflect more on his time after Hogwarts with some past references.
Might be a bit confusing, though, since I’m trying myself in a more reflexive way of writing so… We’ll see how it’ll work out… Hope y’all enjoy!
And no, I am not a
Remus/Sirius shipper nor a slash shipper in general. I simply like to think that maybe Remus and Sirius could relate the most to each other out of the Marauders (as FRIENDS) because of their pasts, thus this idea was born.

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Sunrise

-----------xxxxxxxX --by: ButterflyRogue-- Xxxxxxxx----------




No sunrise lasts all morning...
A glimpse of brilliance, blinding ribbons of pale blues and calming honey-yellows and within moments the explosions of colorful clouds are gone leaving the dull mistiness of sky.

The mirror reflection of him gazing back in the hazy room he had found himself in looked up warily, the markings around once gentle eyes giving him the age he had no rightful reason to claim. Emptiness from the inside appeared in the hazel of his eyes, the shadows in them not lightened by the blinding gold and vibrant pink of the rising sun.

The realization doesn’t help one bit, though.

Particles of dust dance through the sunshowers.
The air is thick, heavy, the smell of humidity clinging to old surfaces of ancient wood, being absorbed in the heavy tapestries, its musky scent remaining in the room for more eternities to come.

He remembers being as hopeless once.

He remembers feeling so empty, remembers cold fear buried deep down, gripping him tight and making him revel in desperation.

He remembers an eleven-year old boy, his eyes wide and filled with terror as he clings to his mother’s hand watching people move around the mesmerizing red of the steaming locomotive. He can feel his hands shaking and he tries to keep a brave face so his father wouldn’t notice.

“…useless boy …only the weak fear …when are you going to grow up? ...”

There are more, much more people that he had ever remembered seeing and everyone is running somewhere, always in a hurry.

“…excuse me …you’re in a way, kid! …hurry up, you’re going to miss it! …”

The children packed up in the train like restless ants in a matchbox, everyone talking at once, everyone waving and yelling their goodbyes, some laughing with their peers, some crying, but everyone being so unbearably loud.

The only thing on his mind than was that gripping fear. Fear of a castle full of faceless strangers with whom he will be forced to share every waken moment with, halls full of loud people who could never understand anything but their petty childish problems, fear of being away for a whole year and than every year after this one until he would finally be of age.

And suddenly he knew he would never again be displeased with his parents’ little cottage at the outskirts of Manchester, the rare occasions upon which he would be taken on a short trip to the city and empty promises of a concert of his mother’s favorite band in Liverpool.

He knew he would never again feel imprisoned in that little place of his. In fact, he makes it a promise with stubborn childish determination.
And the lump in his throat is getting heavier and heavier and the scribble on a piece of parchment he holds tightly in his fist could hardly even be recognized as the words ‘Look for professor Dumbledore’ anymore because his palms are slippery and sweaty and overly warm.

“Lupin, Remus…”
And he remembers skipping timidly towards the small stool, his face burning up with shame for every eye in the room seems to look directly at him. Not that he fears it would ever happen again, though. He is, after all, too irrelevant to be noticed.
“…Gryffindor!”
And he is not sure whether to be happy or sad nor does he understand the ramblings of that old hat placed on his head saying stuff of ‘intellect worthy of a Ravenclaw’, but ‘deeper meanings of character’ and ‘great potential dragging toward a different House’. He had never been told about the Houses of Hogwarts so he has no idea whether to grin and say ‘Yes, this is just what I wanted!’, or to look longingly towards the table in front of a blue curtain as he walks towards the clapping sea of scarlet and gold. The patting on the back and the handshakes and the smiles are temporary and he is alone yet again as everyone turns to witness another sorting, and he is trying to slip on a bench being as more unnoticeable as possible.

“Why hello there, friend!”
He is turning at the sound of the voice, but it’s not directed to him.
Of course it isn’t.
A dark haired boy seated at his left is greeting his bespectacled friend who had just been sorted himself, the table roaring with applause once again. They sit together and laugh and tease and they look so happy, so careless, so normal.
And he does not fit the definition of normal.

So, he is genuinely surprised when, after his little talk with the rather kind old man by the name of Dumbledore, he stumbles in the Tower where his common room is said to be and finds it crowded with chattering people that greet him as he is one of their own. He is even more surprised when he is not left alone with the book he had found laying seemingly abandoned on a nearby table.

“Hi.”
“Umm, hello.”
“I’m Sirius Black and that’s my book you’re having here.”
“Oh, sorry. I didn’t know.”

The book is in his outstretched hand. Dark creatures - basics of defense.

“That’s alright. You can borrow it if you want. I’ve already read it anyway... So... what’s your name.”
“Remus… Remus Lupin.”
“So, Remus, you find yourself as if you don’t really belong here, don’t you?”

He is stunned, naturally. Pierced by this boy’s icy glare, the maturity of his statement astonishing, his eyes seeming to understand what it is like not to be normal. It is funny how, to Remus, he seemed as a perfect image of an ordinary, normal, schoolboy mere hours ago.

“That’s alright. I don’t really belong here either. Not to this House anyway... So it seems to me we’ll just have to make ourselves fit than. Make ourselves be accepted and find people willing to see behind something as trivial as a… name, for example.”

He remembers staring blankly at the boy, positively not believing what he had just heard. He remembers smiling. Actually genuinely smiling and nodding lightly.
He remembers a cocky smile he gets in return. Youthful, careless, the perfect image of a normal schoolboy.

“Oi, James, I found the fourth one from our dorm!”



It is true.

Memories tend to change.
Happy covert to bitter and there is some almost perverse joy in those anxious ones.
And he longs no more for his little cottage and promises never fulfilled. He was always more mature than his peers so he converts to forgetting his own promise as he had witnessed grown ups doing many times before.
He finds home elsewhere, where he is not being hidden from everyone, where he is not being ashamed of.
And where, even at those most torturous sunrises, he is greeted by a stag, a dog and a rat that refuse to abandon him even at the most painful of times.

He had thought the war would not harm their friendship. He had truly believed with childish naïveté they would never allow the grain of doubt to take reign in their minds.

He had been wrong.

“You can’t really believe Moony is…”
“I know what Peter said he heard. You don’t suggest he’s lying?”
“No, but he might have misheard something. You know Wormtail tends to blabber before he confirms the actual information.”
“Well, I sincerely hope so Prongs, you know I do. I want to believe Remus is not involved with them werewolves as much as you do, but one can never be careful enough and he had always been having it hard with his condition among…normal people. You also know how the situation is these days. And Lilly had just given birth a couple of months ago and for some reason, Voldemort is taking far too much interest in it. You have to be more careful than anyone. You have the most to lose…”

He would have never thought it was him.

Even though Sirius was the one to suspect him the most when it was doubted there was a traitor among them, he never returned that favor. He never suspected in him instead.

“What happened?”
“He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named found the Potters! Black betrayed them! James and Lilly are dead, Remus! They are dead!”

And he wasn’t even granted some time to grieve in peace, to digest the information and allow it to sink in so he could even give a chance to his praised logical abilities to comprehend the gravity of this situation, to ponder upon the destiny of little Harry who was now left all alone, without his parents, his godfather. Why, Remus would have taken him in immediately if only… if only he had the means to raise him. If only he was normal.

But he didn’t get as far in his thinking.
Not even a day later, another news floated towards him.

“They captured Black. He went crazy, though, when he heard of the Dark Lord’s defeat, cursed the whole alley when he heard. They’re all dead. Twelve Muggles and a fellow wizard, his school friend – Peter Pettigrew. The sentence will be read to him this afternoon.”


The mirror reflection stares blankly at the dusty room.
It still seems so unreal. It still seems like some kind of a horrific nightmare where his friend, a brother of his, betrays their second brother and than kills the third leaving him alone, with nothing at all once again. It seems as a type of a nightmare at the where they would all positively laugh their heads off at a mere thought of such impossibility some years before, neither doubting in the firmness of their friendship.

However, it did happen that in a sole night he had lost everything he once didn’t even hope to have.

And now he is standing here, this young old man, barely over twenty, in this dusty old room, and learning how to be alone all over again seems as a mission more impossible than any before.



The trip he takes to the Ministry is the least he can do as a first step, to look at the last piece of his youth in the eye and attempt to let go. Attempt to live that life he was destined to live, anyway. Without getting close, without friends and family, for it was not normal for his kind to even have something as trivial as friends.

“Mum…”

A bright red bow strikes in the eye while set upon the reddish-brown head of curls which, under the shimmering sunlight, takes a sudden fuchsia hue. A girl is pulling at her mother’s arm, trying to get her attention, while the tall woman holds her gaze fixed on the Ministry entrance.
He had been gazing upon the small family absentmindedly while trying to collect enough nerve to enter the Atrium.
Quite unbeknownst to him, the woman was doing quite the same.

“Now ‘Dora, behave yourself. Your mother has a lot on her mind right now.”

The slight girl, possibly looking younger than she actually was, pursed her lips a little but didn’t protest to her father’s scolding. The bow at the top of her head became even more strikingly noticeable on the curls that had turned fair, reflecting the golden colors of the sun.

However, the woman does not enter the Ministry when he does. He doubts she even enters sometime after him because he sees her later again, still standing at the same spot, possibly still reminiscing some past times, while her husband and daughter are nowhere to be seen.

“…due to all the evidence listed above, I hereby proclaim this man here, Sirius Black, guilty by all charges for the crimes he had committed and that have been read here, in front of the selected members of the Magical Law. He is denied any form of trial and is sentenced for the maximum punishment – to spend the rest of his life in Azkaban.”

He is sitting there motionless, his head bowed, his hands bound to the chair in the centre of the room, acting oddly calm regarding the stories he had heard of him screaming and fighting like a madman while the Aurors were attempting to take him away. For a moment he looks up and Remus meets his eye. Despite the shadows, there is a spark of recognition in those cold, grey eyes, a spark of an apology unspoken, a spark Remus hopes is simply a glint of insanity and not a final thread of hope for an innocent man wrongly blamed, missunderstood. And a memory of two eleven-year olds sharing a moment of understanding, promising a future of friendship and brotherhood flees through the room as a passing pretty thought, sucked up by that Dementor standing as a faraway shadow, waiting for his prey.



He is still standing in his corner even minutes after they had taken Sirius away. No one notices he had lingered.

No one ever notices.

The sun is already turning to west when he exits the Ministry. The purples and bright oranges and intense bloody reds follow him as he returns to the small room he had rented in a fairly cheap London motel. The sunsets are too intensive, announcing the region of pale moonlight by giving it far too much of an importance.

No, he had always preferred the gentle vibrancy of a perfectly pink sunrise.

And now all it takes is getting used to the life he had lived ten years ago, the life he was supposed to stick to all along.

Because, by the time of the next sunrise, he will be alone once again.





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