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Grief, Unchecked and Apple-Flavored

by Twinkledru J.

     Date: Tuesday, June 24, 2003 11:53 AM
     Title: Grief, Unchecked and Apple-Flavored
     Author: Twinkledru J.
     Rating: PG
     Fandom: Harry Potter
     Notes: Major 'Order of the Phoenix' spoilers.  Basically, I
     wanted to do this before everyone and their mother started to.
     Disclaimer: Rowling, not me.
     Summary: Remus rents a room he's stayed in before, and this
     time there's only his flask for company.
     Feedback: Please.  But to the email above, rather than on-
     list, just to save space.
     Archive: Anywhere, just let me know.

The dying sunlight floats in unchecked and scarlet through the window, and Remus wonders, irritably, why someone does not close the drapes and end it all right now, just let the room itself grow dimmer and dimmer until it's over.

He takes another sip of the apple-flavored burningly strong stuff in the flask he brought with him, and remembers just why no one is going to close the drapes, and, conveniently enough, it all ties in to the same reason he rented this room in the first place.

When they graduated from Hogwarts, the five of them had rented adjoining rooms above the Leaky Cauldron, as was a tradition for many Gryffindors, and proceeded to drink themselves stupid every night, laugh once more over Snape's face when James had been named Head Boy, and be glad that childhood was basically over and done with. Lily and James, more often than not, would be the first to leave, to much teasing and catcalls, and Peter would stumble down to his room at the end of the hall after that. And one night, while Sirius was still bitching about the fact that he hadn't managed to find a girl in Diagon Alley that day, he had thrown himself down on the half-asleep Lupin's bed and proceeded to kiss him in a sloppy, drunken manner.

It really should have woken Remus up more than it did, but instead it just explained, in his firewhiskey-addled brain, why Sirius was lying so close to him and dozing off with his arm around Remus.

It's dangerous for anyone to be alone in Diagon Alley these days, just as it was then, but Lupin rented the same room anyway, and tries to smell Sirius in this room, or at least some of that firewhiskey, because the five of them had drunk enough that there ought to have been some trace of it remaining.

But there's nothing, for this is an inn, and it's undoubtedly cleaned regularly, and even if it isn't, there must have been so many patrons in the years since graduation that there is nothing remaining of James or Lily or Sirius, nor the Remus who let his friends get away with murder, nor the Peter who was just inept and nervous rather than treacherous and cowardly.

The light filters in, and Remus stands, snaps the drapes closed himself, and lies down on the same bed, even moving over to make room for the man he knows is never going to fall down next to him a little too perfectly for it to be an accident. The heavy, dark green drapes block the light effectively, and only a few feeble crimson rays get in now, lighting up the dust motes drifting idly through the air.

Remus closes his eyes, wondering vaguely when sleep will take him, and wonders vaguely if he could remember all the kisses that they shared through the years.

Somewhere around James and Lily's wedding, he falls asleep, and all he remembers is an irrational frustration with himself because he knows that there are some in there he's missed, and a vague sense that his frustration is misplaced but that he doesn't want to face that right now.

If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to Twinkledru J.

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