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Alone in Some Queer Sunless Place

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A B S O L U T I O N

This.

This is what they-

And Christ! Fuck! Jesus bloody-

Sirius’ hands skirting around the base of his thigh, Sirius’ breath ghosting over his stomach (making the muscles clench and flutter), Sirius’ tongue finding a long jagged scar (skin raised, rough, a seam knitting torn flesh), Sirius’ laughter loud and brash and full filling his ear.

And that moment just before, when his hands (no blood on them, no blood, and aren’t wands strange isolating things, no difference from guns really, and the lock, load, aim, fire might as well be a muttered incantation and swish of wrist) grip at Sirius, and the steady mass of him and the just Jesus-damn-christ-almighty-fucking beauty of the man.

“Moony.”

And, no, he can’t get enough of that.

Sirius saying his name, calling for him, at that moment, at that precise- screaming moaning convulsing –moment.

“Moony… Moony.” Soft sigh, and perhaps Sirius is coming down, coming back, re-finding life and the dead they buried that afternoon.

“That was…”

“Always is.”

And kiss.

Kissing.

Soft, warm, almost too wet. Lips sliding. Tongues darting, duelling, dancing.

And hands gentler, stroking and smoothing flesh flushed with blood, pulse near to the surface, skin a soft, pretty, mottled pink.

And more than that, which they both just arched and tensed and gave into with all the grace of young men (who love and are beautiful in ways far beyond the trivial aesthetics and make a regular addictive habit of), this (with all it’s quiet, breath-catching, ease) is what makes it worthwhile.

This is what they fight for.

What they believe in.

 

A W O R K I N G P A R T Y

A shabby mess.

Shelves collapsed (breaking and cracking as bodies smashed into them), books and papers strewn (littering the floor, wet human sap obscuring text, blood spit snot), sometimes the sight of an arm or leg or twisted expression (Whose? Who is that? Who is dead?)

He pushes back matted bloodied hair and looks into open, flat, sightless eyes.

It takes him a moment to remember who this is/was/is.

A moment to recall sitting next to him at a meeting, apologising as their elbows jostled, a wry joke and laugh.

“Remus.”

No place for nicknames, no place for warm butterbeer memories of kissing behind crimson canopy’s, or cheer in the great hall.

And it wasn’t like he knew the man from school anyway.

“Remus, love.” He spares a half-smile (and even that has a sense of the sacrilegious about it, that soft hint of sex life passion in a room that smells of blood and death) for Sirius.

“Did he have anyone?”

“Girlfriend.”

A nod.

Girlfriend. Perhaps she’ll keep his photograph (waving happily, messing about, blowing kisses) on the mantelpiece. Perhaps she’ll have forgotten him within six months.

He carefully smoothes thick creamy vellum pages, shuts the book gently. “Are the Ministry coming to…?” he gestures to the body (ripped trouser leg, grazed shin, fingers bent back awkwardly).

“Should be here soon.”

He picks up another book. Has a desperate urge to save the books. To gather them in his arms. To place them safe in a library somewhere, a place that has never known screams and the crashing horrors of war.

“We should go. Nothing more to do here.” Sirius’ hands, one catching his arm, the other sliding over the small of his back.

“Yes.”

“We’ll get them. Stop them.”

Last glance at pale distorted was-face. Breath of air that tingles with spells. “Of course.”

 

T H E K I S S

Posture as strict as if his spine were braced with iron.

Wand held out before him.

Voice yelling incantations (and, no, it doesn’t matter how loud he gets, must remember the right accent, the right emphasis, and to roll his R’s).

Sparks fly and he misses by barely an inch.

And then it is returned.

His opponent (enemy/adversary/foe) flicking his wrist, calling our words, flinging bright sparks at him.

(And his muggle grandfather was gassed in the Great War, and a great uncle lost his legs, and another shot before the firing squad, fifteen and a deserter.)

Sharp breath. Think of a counter. No time to waste. No time-

(And then the Second Word War, and his grandmother buried beneath brick and mortar in London, and Uncle John hit by a U-Boat, and Cousin George manning a big gun in North Africa.)

The counter hits and it seems as if a firework has exploded.

Remember, Remember,

Drop to a half crouch, send out another stunner-

The fifth of November

It hits and the man (deatheater/Voldemort follower/Nazi) falls.

Gunpowder, treason, and plot

Falls and lies still.

Deep breath. Flooding breath. Strokes his wand (ten inches, supple, cherry wood, core of centaur tail-hair). Looks at the motionless form. Turns away.

Wand, and spell, and person.

Entwined.

 

B E F O R E T H E B A T T L E

Merge of hush and noise.

Panting breaths, low groans, stifled cries.

Rhythmic squeak and stridor of soft-springed mattress.

Slap of skin on skin

And the things that go unsaid, and the avoidance of eyes, and the clumsy kisses that miss their target and go off-course.

Speed and cadence and rock and thrust.

And, no, he can’t quite recall it ever being like this before, can’t remember a time when hurried became desperate, and intense became severe.

But that doesn’t mean anything.

It’s a new phase, a new evolution.

A grip of hair and he’s arching up, mouth open, twisted (contorted/buckled/skewed) with a rush screaming through him.

And then boneless.

Looking down at Sirius, still caught in the moment prior (eyes shut, face tense, black hair sweat-soaked and falling into his face.).

And then watching the beginning of that grimace on Sirius’ face, and the violent jack-knife of his body, and the low keen he makes.

And brushing away the heaviness of that long hair, and smiling-

And having Sirius blink, breathe, and look away.

And the hush weighs more heavy and he feels a soft careless kiss pressed to his cheek and his hand finds Sirius’ and he squeezes as hard as he dare.

“Love you,” he ventures.

“Love you too, Remus.” Sirius glances towards the open window, it’s early October and the weather has begun to cool. “You know that.”

“Of course,” he whispers back, “Of course.”

 

T O H I S D E A D B O D Y

And the word ‘no’ does not have the resonance.

And the dry eyes do not symbolise.

And the truth is not acceptable.

And he knows he is being spoken to, a hand resting on his shoulder, and he nods in the right places, and reassures-

“Yes, I’ll be fine.”

And the first sip of firewhiskey falls like rain on the desert.

And it isn’t possible.

So much cannot vanish as if it had never been.

Cannot just not be here anymore.

And the second sip of firewhiskey burns and quenches.

And what is left now?

Him.

And an orphaned child, who will never remember.

And the third sip of firewhiskey comes with the knowledge that some sorrows will not drown.

The alcohol fills him.

He is nothing but a vessel of fermented spirits and all that they cause-

Anger, depression, violence.

He has put his fist through a mirror (Sirius, brushing his hair, checking his outfit, grinning mad at his reflection) and thrown books across the room (Sirius wrestling a book out of his hands, laughing as they grappled, pinning him to the floor and demanding a kiss as his reward) and collapsed on the bed they shared-

And this is the truth.

This is what it all comes down to.

This bed on which they kissedandfuckedandlaughedandtickledandgaspedandsharedofeachother was nothing but a lie.

 

T H E Y

The winter has grown cold.

Sharp draughts tear through the cracks in the house and the rents in his clothes.

Outside in the thin streaks of the sunlight he sees people smile and laugh and celebrate, wearing their best, most bright, most glorious robes.

He feels as if he were a sketch in grey.

He feels paper-thin, transparent, and worn.

Owls arrive infrequently-

Remus, Haven’t heard from you recently, How are you?

Remus, You know we’re here if you need us.

Remus, Perhaps a holiday would be in order? You must not brood, it won’t do any good.

All have the same message, the same concurrent thought-

Are you falling apart?

He has begun to throw the missives in the fire unopened.

And when he wakes in the pale pre-dawn he sometimes thinks he can smell the light scent of Lily’s perfume, or hear James laugh at some new antic of Harry’s, or see Peter duck his head and blush as Lily proudly nurses her infant.

Or feel Sirius’ hands upon his body.

Or taste Sirius in his mouth.

And he twists from these reveries.

And busies himself with books and research and all manner of trivialities.

And doesn’t remember how Sirius would lick and nip at that point where his throat met his collarbone.

And doesn’t think on how Sirius would stroke his hair and whisper soft after the full moon.

And he doesn’t wish for days when they were all children still and wars were snowball fights and pranks played on Slytherins.

And the sun ascends and descends, and the moon shines stolen light, and Remus soldiers on.