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HP: More Motion Than Meaning (Remus Lupin)

c0untmystars requested three things I believe about Remus Lupin.

Title: More Motion Than Meaning
Author: voleuse
Fandom: Harry Potter
Character: Remus Lupin
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Surrounded by a furious grace that doesn't shimmer so much as it shadows.
Notes: Spoilers for the entire series

i. he fell in love three times

There were occasions where time flowed together, like an hourglass twisting on a chain around his neck. Nymphadora twining her fingers through his hair, Sirius whispering hot behind his ear, Lily tugging at his collar, as if anything could make him as presentable as the rest of them. He could close his eyes and pretend Lily never died, Sirius never fell, and Nymphadora--

--she was there when he opened his eyes again. She tilted her head up, eyes unblinking, and he felt that wish curling against his tongue, one of those requests you never made of present lovers when thinking of the past. There were some things, he knew, she would refuse him, but the unspoken request wasn't on that list.

The moment passed, and it was her again, just her, unwreathed of the hauntings he carried.

"Want to give the Underground another go?" she asked.

"Again?" Remus chuckled, and her fingers tickled the back of his neck. "Why?"

"I like the sound," she murmured, rubbing her cheek against his scarf. "Clickety-clickety-clickety-clack."

"What about the Order?" he asked, darting his gaze at the clocktower in the distance.

"We can pop out if it gets too late," she replied. "Please?" She tugged on his lapels, grinning.

"Clickety-pop?" he questioned.

"Clickety-clickety-pop," she affirmed.

He spun them around on the pavement, and she tucked her arm through his as they descended to the tunnels below.

ii. they asked him twice before they asked peter

Remus pressed his head back against the alley wall, watched the sky desaturate and darken. He thought about his flat, dingy and warm and bespelled for silence, and the chain James had installed next to his bed.

"I know you," a woman purred, and Remus started, because people never caught him off guard, not when the moon was so close, so beckoning--

He cleared his throat and looked at the woman. She was familiar.

"You're a friend of dear Sirius," she said, her fingernails tapping against the brick. "The werewolf."

"You know Sirius?" he asked, hiding his clenched fists behind his back.

She lifted her shoulder in a half-shrug, scratched her fingers across the brick until they reached his shoulder. "It's difficult, isn't it," she mused. "Outside of Hogwarts, in the cold world. Not even a galleon to your name."

Remus pushed away from the wall, took another step back, away. "I don't know what you--"

She pulled her hand back, fingers curling into a claw. "There are people who would help you. Who wouldn't care about your," she paused, tongue darting to the corner of her mouth, "lifestyle."

He shook his head, a chill racing down his spine, like a spell tickling against his defenses.

"Maybe next time," she said, and vanished.

Remus bolted the door to his flat, then checked the spells on the hinges, on the window glass, on the ceiling of the loo. When he finished his circumnavigation, he walked into the front room and found Dumbledore's image flickering in his almost-purely-decorative hearth.

"Professor," he said, not stammering.

"Albus," Dumbledore said, "please."

"I'll manage that someday," Remus replied. "How are you, sir?"

The image's smile wavered and disappeared. "You received an offer this evening, I believe."

"Yes." Remus frowned. "How did you--"

"The next time they inquire," Dumbledore continued, "I'd like you to consider saying yes."

iii. happiness made him feel guilty

One of his earliest memories was of his mother, bent over their accounts, scribbling numbers in the margins and muttering how many galleons were in a pound, murmuring how many pounds they'd need for groceries the next month. His father swept in from the hearth, shaking ashes from the cuffs of his coat, and he put a hand on her shoulder, squeezed it.

She looked up at him. "What did they say?"

"It's not a cure, but it might calm him more than the last," he replied. He looked around, spotted Remus curled under a blanket on the sofa. "A new potion," he announced.

Remus groaned, half-playfully.

"This one doesn't smell like cats," his father said. "Come, now." He pulled packets of herbs from his pockets, and a vial of something purple.

"How much?" his mother whispered, but Remus heard as he approached.

His father glanced at her, shook his head.

She bit her lip and nodded. "If it works."

"If it works," his father repeated. He uncorked the vial and swished the liquid around.

Remus wrinkled his nose at smell, which at least wasn't like cats. His father placed the vial against his lips, and as Remus tipped it back, he saw his mother close her eyes, her mouth forming around a please.


A/N: Title and summary adapted from Michael Conrad Dickman's 4. Muhammad Ali Underwater. Link courtesy of breathe_poetry.

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