A Collection of Posts Re: The One True Way
Compiled by Corgi
Revision date: September 13, 2002
Remus Lupin and Sirius Black: The One True Way?
One of the biggest relationship debates in HP fandom -- after R/H versus H/H.
Are Remus Lupin and Sirius Black now, or have they ever been, a couple?
Why? Why not? Why do so many writers (and readers) find the idea so
(1/27/02 8:43:34 pm )
Not everyone writes what they believe, we write what we find interesting.
Sirius and Remus are two very dynamic characters with a lot of baggage and
unanswered questions surrounding them. They make a really intense and often
angsty pairing [:)] . Some of the best exploration I've seen of Remus'
and/or Sirius' characters have been in slash fics. That's why I read them,
as a matter of fact that's the only slash ship I read, I'm really just not
interested in the rest of them. There may be people who read/write R/S
slash because they think its going to happen in cannon but I don't think
that's the majority of us (I could well be wrong), many of us like
Remus/Sirius because of just that, its Remus and Sirius.
(1/27/02 9:14:20 pm )
I'm a huge fan of R/S- until I read one of these such fics I had a sort
of aversion to slash. I guess it kinda grew on me, because I'm hooked,
though I haven't brought myself to read another slash pairing. These
characters are so mysterious to us... the best part about R/S is that
it is BELIEVABLE. There is no canonical evidence to either prove or disprove
it, so as fanfic writers we have a lot of liberty there. Remus and Sirius
are my FAVORITE characters. They've been through a lot, both together as
best friends and apart. Their lives were shattered by the
same event. It seems very logical to me that there could be a romantic
relationship between them- they deserve each other, I think. It seems to
make their lives a whole lot happier if they have each other.
(1/28/02 3:06:15 pm )
The following is just my personal opinion based on having read fanfic in
a variety of different fandom communities for the past few years.
It seems that any close male relationship that appears in canon (whether
it be books, TV, movies, comics, etc.) is automatic romantic slash fodder
whether or not it's realistic. Since it seems I am not the only Highlander
fan on these boards, I will offer my "case study" from there.
Methos, Death himself, perpetual beer drinker, five thousand year old
Immortal. It's not a stretch to conceive of him having a same sex romantic
relationship in all his millennia on this planet, especially considering
that not every society in our planet's history has had the same
semi-Puritanical attitude about such things. (O/T: Peter Wingfield would be
a good choice for either Moony or Padfoot IMHO.)
Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod, Boy Scout, the Highlander, do gooder
extraordinaire. He is portrayed in canon as a ladies' man bar none. I have
difficulty seeing ol' Duncan finding himself a life partner amongst the
male of the species.
Like Circex said, I definitely see that Remus and Sirius love each other
as brothers and that bond is one which I think should be explored. If
anything, I think that would make a great story because of the fact that
such a relationship is not usually explored in fanfic. Actually, there's a
plot bunny for someone, I'm sure. No romance, just the kind of friendship
and connection that comes from having lived through what they've lived
through and how they've dealt with the cards they've been dealt and how
they finally, truly reconcile without the two of them getting too terribly
angsty and sappy. Not to break the male code of silence too much, but not
every traumatic experience automatically comes with tears, a complete
nervous breakdown, a muffled cry for comfort or any of the other devices
I've seen used in fics. Often as not, it's a cold mug of beer (perhaps warm
Butterbeer for us) in the corner of a smoky bar where we talk and vent
until 3 am, walking and smoking a cigarette with our best friend(s) all
hours of the night, shooting hoops for hours (playing Quidditch in this
case maybe) on end while we sweat out our frustrations, and most importantly,
it takes time. It doesn't all happen in one emotionally charged evening,
it's taken me weeks if not months to get entire stories from my friends before.
Just my perspective as a straight male who is not opposed to slash per se,
just slash which seems to be a instant reaction of many writers out there.
BTW, I'm still waiting for a good Angelina/Katie/Alicia fic with them in
the showers after a long Quidditch match. :)
(1/29/02 3:21:42 am )
First of all let me say that I sincerely hope the "eeew" and "gross"
comments were not intended to be derogatory toward homosexuals. I would be
utterly disgusted and disheartened if they were. If in fact JKR DID write
those two characters to be lovers, not only would she utterly groundbreaking
on yet another level, but it would be about damned time to have positive
gay role models in childrens books -- even if one them IS a werewolf :)
I think if Remus and Sirius were gay, it would TOTALLY ROCK!!
Having said that, here are my thoughts on the idea: Remus and Sirius are
part of a brotherhood -- a very closely connected union. They are not unlike
soldiers. If you ask a Marine or a police officer or firefighter how they
feel about their fellow colleagues they will tell you that they LOVE them
with all their heart and would do nearly anything to keep them out of harm's
way. Ask the firefighters in NYC how much they loved their comrades. Are
they all gay? Probably not. That's not to say that there aren't a few among
the ranks -- as it should be.
Remus and Sirius are a tight unit, but I cannot see them as gay lovers --
the idea, IMHO, is preposterous. I'll admit to having almost zero "gay-dar,"
but I just don't see the evidence. The Harry Potter stories are not about
lifestyles and sexuality -- they are about Harry Potter. Along those lines,
JKR said that there will be more boy/girl stuff and I hardly think that's
going to be about SEX. This isn't "Are You There God, It's Me Margaret."
It'll probably more like a bit of snogging and crushes and stuff -- but
I see R/S as war buddies. They've seen the worst of what Voldemort has
wrought on the wizarding world and have lived to tell about it -- they were
betrayed by a friend and they lost two others (and probably countless others
that we'll learn about later). I would submit that THAT alone would make two
people -- weather they be male or female -- as close as two can be without
I guess that's my rant for the night. I hope I didn't offend anyone.
(1/30/02 2:39:29 pm )
Ok, I understand how people are confused by my comment that slashing the
relationship degrades the quality, so I am going to attept to explain my
reasoning here. I would just like to warn everyone that I frequently reason
in ways that are rather wierd, so I always expect my ideas to be different.
The first thing we have to look at is what the STRAIGHT reading of POA
implies (by straight I mean with nothing in between the lines). I think
nobody would deny the following:
- Remus and Sirius had a very close relationship
- in this relationship there was a good deal of trust, but a trust that
was believed to be broken
- after a breaking of said trust the two still have a close relationship
(three breakings of trust: Whomping willow incident; Sirius suspecting Remus
is the spy; Remus suspecting Sirius was the spy)
- Both men know a lot of personal secrets about eachother and have shared
extremely emotional moments (discovery of lycanthropy, becoming Animagi etc.)
- Remus is clearly willing to forgive Sirius after a thorough explanation
and resume the relationship almost immediately
- Both men are willing to kill or die for their friends.
Unfortunately we haven't seen much more interaction between the two men,
so any further thoughts on what goes on between them is pure speculation. It
is rather EASY to jump to the conclusion that they are gay based on that
line of evidence. Societal expectations are that men are supposed to be
distant, they aren't supposed to discuss dificult personal issues. The
typical expected level of a relationship between two men is supposed to
revolve around such things as cars, sports, computers, porn and alcohol.
(Women, on the other hand are expected to be able to relate to eachother
in a much more intimate matter, between discussions of what color lipstick
they should wear of course) Now the obvious exception to this expected
reserved relationship are gay men, as society expects them to behave
differently than other men. In fact, quite frequently when a man acts in a
way contrary to this expectation he is believed gay and often subjected to
scorn and ridicule.
Looking at what we know about the relationship between Sirius and Remus,
it doesn't fit how two men are expected to behave around eachother, so
something has to be going on to explain this. The first explanation is that
they are gay and romance is the element, or at least one of the elements,
that has caused them to form a much closer relationship than is expected.
The other explanation is that they have been through so much together that
they had to have a closer relationship, that the unusually deep relationship
between them comes from shared experiences and memories and that is all.
Now maybe it is the optimist in me that I had thought was long dead, but
I like to think that straight men can have that close a relationship with
each other. To insist that they must be gay comes very close to saying that
such a relationship CANNOT be forged between straight men, and the romance
is the key element that makes it possible. After going through all this
reasoning, the thought of Remus and Sirius as just friends makes the
relationship even more special because of its unconventional depth.
I know that this has contained quite a few generalizations, and I know
people will disagree with me, but this is just what I think when people want
to slash these two characters and why I want them to not be involved. Then
again, it might just be a matter of taste.
(1/31/02 10:00:00 am )
To insist that they must be gay comes very close to saying that such a
relationship CANNOT be forged between straight men, and the romance is the
key element that makes it possible. After going through all this reasoning,
the thought of Remus and Sirius as just friends makes the relationship even
more special because of its unconventional depth.
bluemeanie (very cute handle, BTW ;) ), no one insisted they MUST be gay,
just that canonical evidence is such that they COULD be gay. As far as I can
see, stating as much in no way concludes that it's impossible for two straight men to have an intimate, non-sexual relationship.
Pensieve: ...The One True Way?
(12/5/01 7:30:22 am )
Remus and Sirius - the One True Way?
Okay, I promised to start this thread in the "pet peeves" thread below.
Several times I've seen comments on message boards that pairing Remus and
Sirius together as a couple in fan fiction somehow "cheapens" their friendship
or somehow gives the impression that men can't be very close friends without
being romantically involved. I'd like to challenge that viewpoint, and open
it up for discussion, since I know that there are many people around here who
agree with me and many who don't.
Let me first start out by saying that I doubt that Remus and Sirius will
run off and declare their love for each other in canon. Not because I think
it isn't a possibility, but because we don't know how much time JKR is going
to devote to Remus and Sirius as individuals, or how much we will learn about
their past or future. Sirius's long lost girlfriend may return to him in Book
V and speculation will end (although imaginations will not...)
I do, however, think that there is a possibility that they could be in love
with each other. If you assume that viewpoint and re-read the scene in the
Shrieking Shack, for example, it takes on a whole new meaning. (And my fellow
professors can stop laughing at me right NOW). The chemistry and tension
between those two in that scene is very, very strong. It's an emotional
situation anyway, and it may be just the joy of reuniting with an old friend
that is creating all of that chemistry, but the way that they both seem to
instinctively know how the other will act and react seems to me to be more
the action of a lover.
When I think of Remus and Sirius together, I think of two men who are each
other's only link to their past. I think of two men with a lot of trouble who
have seen a lot of hardship. They obviously care about each other, and they
were obviously good friends (although not good enough friends to stop one from
thinking the other was a traitor - that whole scenario could be interpreted
as love-induced paranoia - Honeychurch and Lallybroch NEED TO FINISH "THE
UNKNOWN WANT" RIGHT NOW!!!)
There is slash out there that is trashy, it is true. I'm not saying that
all stories with Remus and Sirius paired together treat them as two wise men
with a noble love. What is interesting is that it is possible to write a
really good, in character, believable story with Remus and Sirius as the
romantic couple. It's not necessary to change what we already know about them
to make it plausible for them to be in love each other. Their personalities
seem suited to fit together. Yes, they could just be really good friends,
but then, shouldn't people be friends first with their romantic partner anyway?
And there are equally as bad stories out there featuring heterosexual couples
(not at the Sugar Quill, of course!)
Someone who I was talking to brought up a good point - if either Sirius
or Remus were a girl, would that make a difference? Can you imagine the fan
fic that would be out there if that were the case? Would Ron and Hermione
getting together cheapen their friendship? Or even Harry and Hermione? Why
do we pair anyone up? Why can't they all just be friends?
And the books and fan fiction writers do show platonic strong male
friendships. Look at Harry and Ron. Look at James and Sirius - they were
the ones who were meant to be the best friends - but look how well Remus and
Sirius seem to understand and interact with each other after a twelve-year
separation in the Shrieking Shack.
I'm not sure if I'm doing too good of a job of explaining my viewpoint
here, and I hope others will step in.
Now, for some plugs ... If you want to read some stories that pair Remus
and Sirius together in a realistic, and romantic way, I would recommend
anything by Canis M., or what there is of "The Unknown Want" by Honeychurch
and Lallybroch. Lone Astronomer's "Promise" is another good one. Or look at
my story with Arabella, "After the End." Nope, everyone who reads it calm
down, I'm not saying anything . But I think it is a good example. No one
knows whether or not Remus and Sirius are together in our story. I'm not
sure whether or not we've sorted it out - there are, after all, two of us.
People are guessing, and all we're doing is trying to write Remus and Sirius
as "in character" as we can. But you see, it's easy to imagine more to their
relationship, isn't it?
This topic has also been brought up in other threads on this board,
including Regarding Slash
(12/5/01 12:58:29 pm )
Since Zsenya has made a number of good points (and borrowed some of mine),
I won't repeat them, but on this topic I feel obliged to put in my two yaps.
Regarding the notion of friendship being cheapened:
"Platonic, friendly, brotherly love is a far rarer type of relationship than
lust. That is all that you add when you slash Sirius and Remus, lust. Lust
is physical and fleeting, love is spiritual and lasting."
As quoted by Liz in the "Pet Peeves" thread, trepidatio -- is that correct? --
argues for platonic love vs. lust, and prefers the idea of a platonic
friendship between Remus and Sirius rather than a physical relationship.
My own argument, however, is not for love vs. lust, but romantic love vs.
platonic. When I posit a romantic R/S relationship, I am not merely
"adding lust" to a pristine friendship and thereby poisoning it: I am
charting the development of romantic love -- including physical attraction
-- that is profoundly based IN friendship.
There's no absolute proof in canon of either the platonic or the romantic
interpretation, and (like others before me) I doubt JKR will ever provide it.
If I were asked to explain my rationale for thinking that Remus and Sirius
would work well as a couple, I'd say: they have complementary personalities,
one of them being rather volatile, the other calm and steadying. They've
both suffered immensely, and are both uniquely equipped to understand each
other's problems and provide support. They have a long history together;
we know they were friends at school. There's the werewolf issue: even on
full moon nights, Remus will always be /safe/ with Sirius in a way that
he can't be with anyone else, unless that person too becomes an Animagus
for his sake. There's the fact (which I cannot overlook) that wolves and
dogs are, well, compatible species. Sure, all three of the Marauder friends
became Animagi, but look who turns into another canine. (If Padfoot were
a cat, I would rethink this whole argument, I assure you!) There's the fact
that Remus could have more or less assured Sirius' capture at any point
during PoA, but never did. Explanation to Harry aside, I can't help put feel
there was more behind that choice than fear of losing Dumbledore's esteem.
It is, of course, perfectly possible that all this equals nothing more
and nothing less than extremely devoted friendship. I recognize that. I'd
appreciate it if, in return, even non-shippers would be open-minded enough
to recognize that the relationship /could/ be a romantic one.
I hope those readers who insist on a "just friends" version of Remus and
Sirius do not mean to assert that romantic love can never or should never
emerge from a friendship that was originally platonic. Such an assertion
would negate any number of other ships, not to mention being quite contrary
to many people's actual experience of falling in love. When I say that Remus
and Sirius would be good together, I do not intend to belittle male
friendship: I'm making a specific judgement about the relationship of two
particular characters who happen to be men. That judgement is based on the
same considerations I'd apply to a male/female pair of characters--or a
female/female pair, for that matter.
For further clarification of my position, I refer you to my fics. ^^
- Canis M.
p.s. Let us not overlook the last (if not the most compelling) reason
that they belong together: they're sexy as anything. Ah-oooooo!
Potions Master and Crow's Nest Lookout
(12/5/01 1:55:04 pm )
You knew I was going to have to jump in on this, didn't you, Z? :) (And
what makes you think we were laughing at you? We would NEVER! Heheh.) This
will probably end up being a very convoluted post, but I'll give it a try anyway.
I'll say first that I'm not a One True Way shipper, but in this case I can
see both sides of the argument.
I disagree with the idea that Remus and Sirius being lovers 'cheapens'
their friendship. Like Z, I believe that romantic relationships are best
built on true friendship. I think that, if they were lovers, they would still
have a deep friendship between them. In my opinion, a romantic relationship
would only *change* their friendship, not 'cheapen' it.
That being said, I will now go on to say that I don't expect Remus and
Sirius to declare their love for each other in canon, either. [:)] And in my
interpretation of their characters, they *aren't* romantically involved.
However, one of the things I find fascinating about this debate is the fact
that their relationship *can* be interpreted in both ways, from the exact
same canon 'evidence.' I believe it is possible to keep them in character
with a romantic relationship, as well as a non-romantic one. Indeed, I think
that to even keep them in character at all, there needs to be a clear
understanding of how important they are to each other on a level completely
removed from 'romantic possibilities.' They are, to each other, the only
link to happier times - they are the only surviving members of a 'family'
that meant everything to the both of them. Whether or not they were ever or
will ever be 'romantically involved,' that special bond will always be there.
In the end, I think it really comes down to personal interpretation and
preference, because we really have been given very little evidence (insofar
as we've been able to SEE interaction between the two characters) in the books
to completely justify either possibility. However, when I first read the scene
in the Shrieking Shack, the actual image of 'embraced Black like a brother'
hit me very strongly -- I could see the kind of embrace it would be, and to
me it spoke of a fierce kind of friendship - but only friendship. I have seen
and known friendships so close that two people can predict each other's
actions, so I believe strongly that that kind of rapport can and does exist
between 'just friends.' That is the chemistry *I* felt in how the rest of the
scene in the shack played out. (But I won't deny that Z's passion on the issue
is very persuasive - you should *see* her talking about it. [;)] ) That was
simply my first impression and interpretation of their characters, and I've
never been able to shake it.
But even though I'm not a One True Way shipper, I can still appreciate a
good R/S slash story. All the stories Z mentioned are definitely excellent.
(12/6/01 4:09:38 pm )
I will try not to go on for pages, but I never considered them more than
dear friends, especially considering the "embrace like a brother." Infact when
I first read it, and image of a women grabbed me. A wife/sister, I don't know.
It was she that struck me. Who is she? Am I making her up.
I married a man and have a brother who had/have deep fraternal relationships.
Much like Sirius, Remus, James, and Peter. In all these relationships there
are histories of mischief, of sporting excellence, run-ins with the law,
long lost loves, burials of friends and family. The male bond in these matters
is deep and almost impenetrable.
Politics aside, we've had time on our hands, and no books to give us
insight. Thus we conjecture out of need. However, there is much in canon that
points to other possibitlies in my mind. Beginning with Chapter1 Book 1. When
Dumbledore asks Hagrid about the bike the answer is YOUNG Sirius Black, lent
it to me. This could easily imply that there is a Sirius Black, Sr. (I have
a whole list on why I believe this). Later on in PofA when Harry first gets
the map, he see's Dumbledore pacing in his office. Was Dumbledore reliving
the events, sorting the possibilities. Dumbledore has never accused Sirius,
he only says "I gave evidence to the ministry that he was the Potters
Secret Keeper." That in no way implies he believed the facts presented.
Later on in the Bar McGongal speaks of Sirius and James as the "ringleaders
of the group" Sirius being Harry's Godfather, and Madam Rosmerta comparing
them (Sirius/James) as brothers. Since we have Lily we never consider this
relationship. When Remus arrives at the Shreaking Shack he has 13 years of
information to unravel and feel in brief moments. If I had lost all of my
friends in a 48 hour period, and lost the battle I had so deeply been involved,
and was left alone to mourn the dead, sort the facts, and regroup on
unfinished business...AND then oh joy!!! I wasn't alone, it hadn't all
failed, we all or most were what we had been. A powerful loving, passionate,
tearful embrace is beyond appropriate. There wasn't time to ask more
questions, lives still hung in the balance, and work was to be done. The
image of the girl that crossed my mind was a sister, why I believe that I
am not sure. But in GoF when Sirius is explaining the dark days to Harry,
Ron, and Hermione he says, "We were scared, scared for ourselves, for our
family, for our friends." Sirius listed family above friends, he clearly
criticized Crouch's familial obligation or lack thereof. The Weasley's can
not be the only Wizarding "family", and most everyone else with single
children. Couldn't there be a family member also left in the balance, someone
Remus has watched over, a face that broke Sirius heart while he was in prison.
My final belief that this Sirius/Remus relationship will not come in canon
as conjectured goes to a statement Rowling made on Larry King Live. She stated
clearly her books were Moral, sighting that the story line was about good and
evil, she would not get into teen-pregnancy, or illicit drug use. This was not
the forum for those discussions. Thus preference will probably not be either.
I guess, not for political reasons, I believe the power of deep male
relationships without romance. Every relationship does not involve a bed.
Love is a plant which is nurtured by time, not romance. Many great
relationships would die if intimacy were required. Let's not cheat ourselves
out of a beautiful possibility.
(2/4/02 3:47:43 pm )
Okay, first off, a disclaimer--I am KNOWN in other fandoms for being
violently anti-slash, except where the slash is used as a basis for humor.
(Anyone know of the Sith Academy and Obi-Wan/Maul? Now THAT'S funny.) I won't
read fics labeled slash, and if it's covert slash I'll stop the minute I
notice. Mostly because almost all the slash pairings fall into certain
categories -- either simply NEVER gonna happen (Duncan MacLeod/Methos,
Sirius/Snape) or borderline incestuous (Obi-Wan/Qui-Gon and Sirius/Remus.
Well, okay there was that one fic that had OW and QG in a three-way with
a female smuggler...ah, never mind. That one was a bit weird in many, many
respects.) I have almost never seen slash, any slash, that I could buy as at
all possible in canon, and I do like my fan fic to sorta fit. That's my
Why Remus and Sirius in particular don't work as a couple, and I don't
think they would work even if one were female, is I just don't think their
personalities would work for a romantic relationship. Remus seems, to put
it mildly, fragile. He can be strong when he has to be, but physically he's
weak and I suspect he has guilt issues about being a werewolf. Sirius, on
the other hand, is not entirely stable, and I don't think he ever will be.
(I mentioned in another thread all the potential problems I think Sirius had
in PoA and probably will have for a long time.) Remember, this is the one
that even Dumbledore believed could end up a murderous psychopath, who behaved
like one trying to get to Peter. I don't think that he and Remus could ever
really do much good for each other romantically--and if for some reason the
relationship went south, it could get ugly.
And the animal forms? Canine, yes, but have you seen the way the black dog
is drawn on the back of the UK editions? Irish Wolfhounds are my favorite
breed and I know one when I see it. They're bred to hunt and kill wolves.
It makes sense--of all the Marauders' other forms, that one would have the
best chance of physically restraining a wolf when necessary, as he does in PoA.
Also, I mentioned that mentally it falls into the incest category for me --
I can see James, Sirius, and Remus as brothers, really, (not literally!) in a
sense -- James the eldest, the crown-prince/hero type, Sirius the roguish
next-eldest with more bravado than sense, Remus the quiet one, who kept the
other two in check. If James had lived I can even see the three ending up
like the three old men in "The Last of the Summer Wine," roving about town
and getting into whatever mischief they could manage.
I suppose that Remus/Sirius works for some people, but it doesn't for me.
Remus I can see with a woman, a gentle, stablising personality. Sirius for
some reason I have trouble seeing with anyone at all--at least anyone
remotely normal for HP. (I really hope that's not a comment on his survival
Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis ad capul tuum saxum
- I have a catapult. Give me all the money or I will fling an enormous rock
at your head.
(3/7/02 7:41:59 pm )
Don't you think we all have to concede that this is largely a matter of
taste? (another Obvious Statement of the Day, I suppose). I don't agree that
portraying the relationship of Remus and Sirius as a romantic one necessarily
cheapens or diminishes male friendship or implies that men can't love each
other without a sexual component. We're talking about the *these two specific
characters*, who are in no way supposed to be allegorical stand-ins for All
Men. The only way any one single fanfic could imply this is if EVERY pair of
close male friends in the story were getting it on, too--Ron and Harry,
Crabbe and Goyle, Dumbledore and Moody, etc. (I _have_ seen fics like this,
but they're usually parodies, intentional or otherwise).
Call me a Darn Good Way-er. It makes sense to me that they could be lovers,
it makes sense that they might not be. No, I don't think it'll ever be
announced that they are in canon. Does that really matter for fanfic purposes,
though? A lot of the enjoyment of fanfic for me is the joy of exploring the
big wild virtually limitless 'What if....?' _while still respecting the
creative limitations of characterization_. Nobody's gonna do canon better
than Rowling--the power of fanfiction is that it can do things that she WON'T
do. Or hasn't done. Or just isn't gonna. Or doesn't have the space, or has
her attention focused elsewhere. I can enjoy a story that has Remus and
Sirius as passionate angsty lovers and then also the next one I might read
right after which has them purely platonic and married to women. Neither of
them is 'canon' so if they're both well-written, they both carry equal weight
as artistic variations on the theme. That's how it works for me anyway.
Potions Master and Crow's Nest Lookout
(3/8/02 10:15:05 pm )
I know I've already put in my two cents on this topic, but today I was
overcome by an urge to further discuss it in writing, and so here I am.
Before I get started, I should say that, in the end, I think the
willingness, or unwillingness, to support R/S is purely a matter of reader
preference. So anyway, here are the reasons for my preference....
My argument against R/S as a romantic pairing has very little to do with
"evidence" about the characters themselves or their relationship to each
other, because I would be the first to agree that there is not enough
"evidence" to make a canonical conclusion either way. My argument is based
entirely on the "feeling" I get, not just from Remus and Sirius as characters,
but from the books and story as a whole.
Probably the most prominent and powerful theme in the books deals with
the power of friendship and family. Ron and Hermione and the Weasleys and
even Dumbledore become Harry's family. Moey once said that the books are
really just about Harry finding the family he never had, and I agree. What
we see embodied in the friendship between H/R/H is the bond and power of
brotherood - and I don't mean that in the "masculine" sense, but in the
sense of a 'brotherhood' as embodying unity, whether it's the brotherhood
of common love, or the brotherhood of a fight against a common enemy. The
books are about the power of unity, of the unconditional support given by
those who love one another, those who know what it means to love. The
brotherhood, the family, that Harry finds, is echoed in what we hear of the
love that existed between MWPP. Even when you include Lily in the equation,
the ultimate message is the same: the power of love to create a family.
When Remus speaks of his schooldays, he speaks of his freinds as a unit,
as a "brotherhood." The feeling of lives intertwined to create a whole that
*is* Friendship and Love and Trust - this is what underlies every theme in
the books, IMO. And it is seen very clearly in the parallel friendships of
MWPP and H/R/H.
I'm not saying that a more "romantic" love would not just as easily fit
into this overall 'theme' of the story, because it certainly can. I'm saying
that even a "romantic" love does not automatically mean a "deeper" love, and
in the case of the HP books I believe that any concept or example of "romantic"
love is definitely secondary in significance to the ultimate importance of
the love of a "family." Throughout the books, Harry stands upon the strength
of the love and support of his friends - his newfound family. Whether he finds
"true love" in the future or not has no impact on the support of that family,
or on the "message." And it is thanks to the strength of character gained from
the experience of learning what it means to trust a friend, an ally, a brother,
that Harry becomes a *whole* person, able to stand alone while at the same time
knowing he is *not* alone.
And that is exactly the kind of bond and experience that Remus describes in
the Shrieking Shack. For the first time he was not alone. He had friends, and
a *family*. Regardless of whether or not Remus had loving parents, it seems
quite clear that MWPP filled a familial kind of role that had previously gone
empty in Remus' life. And the truth is that I, personally, find the thought of
a love that can become *family* more powerful than the concept of the more
confused "romantic" love involved in an angsty love story. And if you want to
talk about the pain of a lover's betrayal and use it as fuel to fire the scene
in the Shack, I find it even more poignant to imagine a *brother's* betrayal -
because while a "romantic" love can definitely cause one exquisite pain, the
betrayal of family seems to me the deeper wound - because through good times
or bad, your family will always be your family.
Look at the relationship between H/R/H. Everyone (at least here at SQ [;)] )
agrees that Harry would fail without the support of *both* Ron and Hermione.
Neither can I iamgine Ron or Hermione coping without the support of *both*
of their friends. They are a family, and regardless of what comes to pass
between Ron and Hermione, they will always be a family beneath it all. And
yet, despite all this love and trust, there is still the possibility of
distrust and pain - look at the fights in PoA and GoF, in which all the
members of the trio played their own parts. Imagine something horrific
happening, something so seemingly damning that it could convince Harry that
Ron had betrayed them, perhaps leading to Hermione's death - as Remus was
"convinced" of Sirius' betrayal. And then, years later, the friends are
reunited, and Harry discovers that Ron had *not* betrayed them.... I think
the scene would have played out in a very similar fashion to that which we
saw between Remus and Sirius, and the feeling I would have gotten from the
encounter would have been the same - summed up again by these five words:
"embraced like a brother." (I'm not denying that you can interpret
that as a misconception from Harry's POV, because goodness knows that boy
has had plenty of misconceptions about people. But no matter how you look
at it, there is a lot of emotion put into that sentence, and for my part I
just can't put the wording of it off as a misconception.)
No, I do not believe that a "romantic relationship" between Remus and
Sirius would "diminish" their friendship, because, given what we *have* been
told of their past, I don't think the power of their friendship is in question.
But I do think that it would diminish the poignancy behind the theme of the
books as I see it - that the love of a friend, and the love of a family, is
strong enough to create light in any darkness. No matter how hormones and
'soul mates' may fly about the books (and they do, both of them), I will
always feel that all of that is secondary to the importance of the "family."
Harry has found his family. Remus and Sirius are all that is left of theirs.
It is the power of brotherhood and unity between people that shines forth
as the greatest magic in the books.
I'm not saying that one kind of love excludes the other. I'm just saying
that, for *me*, in the end it is all about that "feeling." I think that R/S
can make a really amazing romantic love story, but I will always find it more
powerful to imagine all of that love and pain and endurance as stemming from
the bond of two men lucky enough to find that most precious of all things: a
true friend. And anyone who has been that lucky will know what I mean.
Hmmm.... then again, maybe, in the end, it all just comes down to the fact
that I'm a total sucker for the "male-bonding" thing. Men forced to acknowledge
that they really love their buddies is just the cutest. No offense meant to
the guys at all. [;)] The male-bonding just tickles my fancy, as evidenced by
all the times I've read Lord of the Rings and Guy Gavriel Kay's books. [:)]
And now I end this, having rambled on more than enough and not actually said
p.s. I would like to add my voice the chorus of demands for the rest of
The Unknown Want. [:)] After all, as others have said, R/S is still, despite
my "feelings", the only HP slash pairing I can really see and really enjoy.
So bring it on, ladies!!! And also, anyone looking for fantastic R/S slash,
or just fantastic Remus and Sirius anything, should go read Canis M's stuff. :)
(4/11/02 2:33:33 am )
One thing that I keep pondering about Sirius thinking Remus was the spy,
is how clever manipulative people can make trouble where none was. If Peter
wanted to keep anyone from realizing he was the spy, then it would behoove him
to spread mistrust between his friends. He could blow up little disagreements
into full blown conflict, or sow the seeds of fear between them.
Sirius alludes to this in GoF "Padfoot Returns" when Ron asks him to try
and discribe how it was at the hight of Voldemorts power.
Another aspect, if one is an R/S shipper is to remeber that in the late
70's-early 80's it was a big deal to come out and admit to being gay. In many
places it still is a big deal to come out, but back then it was much worse.
They may have only been coming to the truth of how they felt and be at that
vulnerable time where they aren't sure the other is really comitted. It's not
like het relationships. If Hermione dates Viktor then later dates Ron, big
deal, she'll date a nice fellow and settle down, everyone expects that.
If Remus and Sirius fell madly in love and wanted to date, they either
must admit to the world they are gay, or hide their relationship. I could see
that choice of whether to be out or not as a huge place for conflict to build.
Imagine, Sirius wants to show off his lover to the world yell his devotion
from the rooftops and be OUT! He seems to have a level of audacity that would
make him the more likely to want that.
Remus would want to be quiet about it. Remus would go for the "confirmed
batchelors" sharing a flat. Being a werewolf he'd not wish to draw attention
The wizarding community has some rather old fashioned notions and Remus
is painfully aware of that. Sirius is more likely to want to push the envelope.
Peter could exploit that tension beween them.
my 2 knuts,
(5/11/02 9:18:34 am )
I like the term "alt" very much.
(5/11/02 10:44:31 pm )
I do too. I love alt, but slash isn't my thing. I want the characters as I
know and love them, not just 'any-two-hot-guys'.
(5/16/02 7:57:44 am )
On my first reading i assumed that they had that incredible brotherhood that
you see in military units, willing to die for one another, the closeness that
comes from sharing stress, the possibility of death and sacrifice. There is
no greater love than that a man lays down his life for his brother.
Whenever it is Remembrance Sunday and they interview the old men (and young)
who talk about the comradeship, and they begin to weep (I'm tearing up just
thinking about it) then I'm reminded by how strong that bond is, and that it
is a different kind of love. deeper than friendhsip, but not a romantic love.
When Sirius says 'we would have died for you' that comradeship is what I
He aint heavy he's my brother. (but unfortunately that always makes me think
of that ghastly Hollies song).
but having said all of the above, they do seem right together as lovers, it's
the same tenderness of parted lovers that makes the thought of them together
seem to be the one true way. Maybe i just don't want to see them with new
female characters, and there is no-one really suitable as yet?