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Apr. 30th, 2007

Title: In The End
Author: jdbracknell
Summary: Sirius knows. Remus knows that he knows, but he hasn't quite decided how to handle it yet. RL/LE
Rating: PG
Word Count: 424
Author’s Note: Used the prompts first Hogsmeade visit and Paper wings, not real at all, But they took me high enough to really fall - Paper Wings, by Gillian Welch.

Sirius knows.

Remus knows that he knows, but so far he’s been acting like nothing’s wrong, because he hasn’t quite decided what to do about it, how to handle it.

He thinks that Sirius knows that too, that he’s lingering longer in his presence just to make him uncomfortable, fixing his gaze on him when he asks questions with double meanings – or double meanings for those with a guilty conscience.

Remus sets his jaw, and looks up from his text book, because he hasn’t done anything wrong.

Not yet, at least.

He’d always liked her, Lily, and so when she’d turned to him after some dreadfully dull prefects meeting, with a nervous look in her eye – Lily Evans, nervous, about something to do with him, he could still scarcely believe it – and the sunlight catching her hair, and asked if he’d like to go to Hogsmeade with her, he hadn’t been able to remember a single of the dozen or so reasons he knew existed for why saying yes was a bad idea.

She asked me, you know,” Remus says, forcing himself to hold Sirius’ gaze, though he dearly wants to look away.

Sirius’ frown doesn’t waver. “I know,” he says, his voice dangerously quiet, “but you’re the one who said yes.”

Remus frowns. Of course Sirius’ loyalty is to James – he always knew it would be, but he thought – hoped, maybe would be a better word, that Sirius would see this for what it was, that Remus hadn’t gone out of his way to make this happen – in fact, he’d gone out of his way to make it not happen, and yet it still had. “Of course I did,” he replies quietly, though he knows his voice lacks Sirius’ menace. “And you would’ve too if she’d asked you, and you know it.”

Sirius raises an eyebrow and his lips purse, slightly, as if he knows it’s a valid point, even though he’d never admit it. Truth be told, there’s probably not a boy in the school who’d say no to Lily Evans.

“What are you going to do then?” Sirius says, changing tack. “In Hogsmeade?”

Remus shifts slightly in his chair, not sure he wants to share his plans with anyone but the girl they concern. “A walk, maybe,” he says. “Through the edges of the forest, up to the Shrieking Shack, maybe.”
“Nice,” Sirius says, tone laced with sarcasm.

Sirius gathers his things and shoves them haphazardly into his bag, his eyes flashing. “I’ll take James to the Three Broomsticks,” he says.

“I’ll tell him – I don’t want to have to sneak around.”
“Why not?”

Sirius’ jaw tenses, the muscles of his cheek pulled taut. “Just don’t,” he says. “There’s some things you’re better off not knowing.”

Remus turns back to his book, guilt bubbling in his chest, and pretends to read.

He stares and stares and stares at the words until they’re not words any more, just splodges on the page.

For a moment, he thinks Sirius has gone, but then he says, so quietly that Remus has to strain to make sure he’s heard right, “She’ll choose James in the end, you know.”

Remus swallows, but meets Sirius’ eye with defiance. “Why are you so concerned about me taking her to Hogsmeade, then?” he replies.

Apparently, Sirius doesn’t have an answer for that, and so he just turns and leaves, even though Remus knows he hasn’t finished his homework.

The library descends into quiet once more, and Remus stares at his text book, but it’s still full of splodges, not the words and ideas that used to be there.

He wonders where the churning in his stomach has come from.

The thought flits across his mind that it’s because secretly, he thinks Lily will choose James in the end, too.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 30th, 2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
Oh, the angst indeed. :) Nicely done, packs a lot into few words, and both Sirius's and Remus's attitudes seem spot on.
May. 1st, 2007 02:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much :D.

I seem to have got a bit addicted to short, angsty one-shots ;).
Apr. 30th, 2007 11:24 pm (UTC)
Ooo, very nice. What a lovely little scene, with so much packed into it. I particularly loved but it’s still full of splodges, not the words and ideas that used to be there.

Wonderful to see Remus standing up to Sirius, even through his guilty conscience, and challenging him in return (“And you would’ve too if she’d asked you, and you know it.”). Note that Sirius cannot deny it. Loved Remus' plan to walk to the Shrieking Shack (a bit of self-sabotage there?), as well as Sirius' response to it ("Nice."). But I think my favorite bit was the last two lines of dialogue: “She’ll choose James in the end, you know.” and “Why are you so concerned about me taking her to Hogsmeade, then?” Sirius' statement, to me, could almost be a warning to Remus to protect his own feelings, as well as a defense of James'. And Remus' response is just heartbreaking; it makes sense in a practical way, i.e., what harm will it do?, but it's also so wistful, i.e., why can Remus not have one blasted day in Hogsmeade with her?



May. 1st, 2007 03:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much :D.

I really wanted to write something like this, since I've written Sirus and Remus lots, but never really with this kind of tension between them. I'm really pleased you thought there was a note of warning for Remus in Sirius' 'she'll choose James in the end' line, because that's what I'd intended - that although his loyalty is first and foremost to James, he can see Remus getting hurt too, which he doesn't want (although obviously, being Sirius, he can't just come out and say that, he's got to try and put Remus off some other way).

I really wanted to write the actual date, and James' reaction to finding out, too, but I ran out of time. Maybe one day... ;).
May. 2nd, 2007 10:43 am (UTC)
I really wanted to write the actual date, and James' reaction to finding out, too, but I ran out of time. Maybe one day... ;).

I'm all for that. ;)
May. 1st, 2007 02:01 pm (UTC)
So few words, so much said. :)

I loved the start because, of course, Sirius would know and Remus would know that, and want time to think about it all, and Sirius would put pressure on by lingering and hovering so that he doesn't get that. Really like how Sirius plays this, as well, because he hits all of Remus' weak spots so perfectly - pouring cold water on his date plans, telling him not to tell James but not why, rubbing in the guilt and self-doubt factors. My favourite part, though, is Remus' sterling defence, where he hits a few of Sirius' in return, and the heartbreak of the end. Like bratanimus says, why on earth can't he go to Hogsmeade with her?

Lovely read and characterisation. And go for it, Remus! ;)
May. 1st, 2007 03:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much :D.

I always saw Sirius and Remus very much as people who instinctively see through each other, and ergo can push each other's buttons if they want to. I really wanted to write them with some tension, for once, and Lily's a great catalyst for that. And I couldn't resist having Remus throw a bit of logic back in Sirius face - if fate has ordained that James and Lily shall be together, what does it matter what he does with her? Poor Remus.

Glad you liked it. May you have Lee-tinged dreams in return for your kind words ;).
May. 3rd, 2007 04:14 am (UTC)
There's not much I can add that others haven't already said. I really like the battle of wills between Remus and Sirius, and the hint of a suggestion that Sirius, knowing that one of his two friends has got to lose, is torn between them -- which, honestly, how could he not be -- even if he is closer to James, we know he cares about Remus too.

I really wanted to write the actual date, and James' reaction to finding out, too, but I ran out of time. Maybe one day... ;). -- I hope you do; I'd love to read a continuation of this.
Jun. 17th, 2007 11:59 am (UTC)
Missed this, somehow....

Glad you liked it. I think Sirius would have Remus' interests in mind, even if he can't say that and chooses bluntness instead of something more sympathetic.

I really want to write more James.... If only there were more hours in the day!

Belated thanks for your thoughts :).
May. 13th, 2007 11:54 pm (UTC)
This is so heartbreaking and yet another glimpse into why Remus sees himself the way that he does. Of course, Sirius feels the need to stand up for his best friend, because that is so naturally Sirius (there is no neutrality in that man, I swear), and Remus knows that that friend is not him. How horrible must it be to have to live with and accept that realization over and over? Oh, so sad.

It felt like a punch in the gut: She'll choose James in the end, you know. Ouch. I know that in a way, Sirius was trying to keep Remus from getting hurt, but that doesn't make it sting any less.

Great job, wonderful angstiness!
Jun. 17th, 2007 11:57 am (UTC)
Missed this, somehow, sorry!

Glad you liked it. I think Sirius knows it's a no win situation for Remus, but obviously rather than saying that, he's just blunt about it.

Anyway, belated thanks for your thoughts :).
Jun. 17th, 2007 12:34 am (UTC)
*smiles* I like the dialogue, the way both know who Sirius's loyalties lie with, and how Sirius doesn't refrain from saying something about it, even though he would've done the same.
Jun. 17th, 2007 11:55 am (UTC)
Thanks! I think Sirius is a lot more observant than a lot of people give him credit for, and I think he would have Remus' interests in mind, too, that it's a no win situation for him.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )