The Sugar Quill
Author: Jem (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Free...Like Sirius  Chapter: Default
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Remus Lupin sighed, and looked around at the clouds, black, heavy and threatening

Free…Like Sirius


Remus Lupin paused on the path he was taking to survey the black, heavy and threatening clouds that were gathering around him. He briefly considered turning back to find shelter, but the fury of a raging storm appealed to his senses at the moment. It matched his mood. As if he really could find shelter anyway, he thought bitterly. There was no refuge from what he was going through. So he glanced at his watch, turned up his collar, and continued quickly down his path. Quickly for him, at least. Moving with purpose, with determination, was something he was having trouble doing. Finding purpose in any task had been difficult these last few days.

Today, he thought with some satisfaction, he had managed to pull himself together. For the sake of the Order. They had asked him to come, and he assumed that they must need him. People were counting on him, counting on his reliability, his control, his constancy. Even now, in the midst of his grief. After all, he couldn’t mourn forever, he reminded himself sternly. He would be there as requested, on time if he hurried, dependable as always. That was Remus Lupin.

He stared down at the familiar path he was taking as raindrops began to fall. Without warning a horrifying loneliness overcame him.

Oh, Sirius. How could you have died? Damn you, for leaving! This wasn’t the way it was supposed to work out – we were supposed to be in this together now. We were supposed to find some way to pick up the pieces, to make it all work out the way it had promised. Remember? For one, shining moment life had promised something…better…

And now? Remus swore under his breath, feeling as unstable as the sky above. Why was he always the one left to sort out the problems? Why was he the one who was responsible, who could maintain control, who was reliable? Why had he been chosen to be the grownup, when all his mates had indulged themselves in fantasy, in pranks, in belief that the world was an innocent place? If only you had all grown up! He raged at them, silently. If only you had been in control, NONE of this had to happen!

Thunder rumbled warningly out of the sky. Remus’ feet slowed along the path, his knees felt weak. He was on the verge of losing control, himself…and it was so alluring, the thought of losing control, the thought of just giving into the rage…the thought of being wild and free. Like Sirius.

He shook his head violently to rid himself of the idea. Being wild was something he worked to contain at any cost, because wildness contained him with cruel regularity. All it would take was one out of control moment, one stupid irresponsible decision – well. His life would never be in control again. He could not afford any lapse of sensibility. He had had some close calls when he had allowed too much laxity. And each time he had responded by tightening the screws down, even harder, on himself. If things worked out smoothly for him, it was only because he worked so hard at staying in control. The world he knew depended on him, then, on his control, his careful manipulation of fate. He had the power to keep things moving smoothly—or so he had deluded himself into believing.

Then why had it all crumbled before him?

He must have deserved this somehow. This was his lot in life. To suffer, to see his friends murdered and stripped away from him—one by one—to be left alone, never fully accepted. To be unacceptable at the core. Perhaps this was his penance for trying to defy the world with all its expectations. For putting others at great risk, just to try to be accepted…to have human contact…to live.

He sighed. And yet hadn’t it worked for a while? He had been accepted. He had been nearly whole. What he couldn’t be – spontaneous, carefree, lighthearted – he had found in his best friends. He had been able to live through them, to have a sense of a real boyhood. His friends were able to lift the weight from his shoulders ever so slightly. He could release a bit of the tension that goes along with knowing that a beast lurks within you, relentlessly present every moment; and that no matter how hard you work at staying in control, being dangerously out of control is an inescapable part of the rhythms of life. He had never been able to accept that. His mates had, but he could not.

Perhaps that was why he raged at Sirius now. He had lost part of himself, really. That playful, spontaneous bit of him, of Remus—that missing bit of himself that he found in Sirius—the accepting part, had been ripped away. Forever this time.

Oh, Sirius. Damn you! What do I do now? You gave me what I can’t give myself. You lived. You were free. Nothing could bind you down, in the end. Not Azkaban, not Dumbledore, not me. I tried to protect you, you know. I tried to control fate.

He stumbled at this realization, his senses reeling, as a flash of lightning illuminated the depths of the storm. I tried to control fate. That’s my prison, by god! My own, self- imposed prison— trying to control fate! Only Sirius escaped that; he got away. Sirius wouldn’t settle for that.

Remus stopped in his path, his carefully laid out path of the morning, putting his careful timetable in jeopardy. He stopped because he could not go on. He just could not go on. Without warning his knees gave way and he found himself on the ground, wet with rain while the storm began to rage all around him, sprawled in the middle of the path he had been taking. And he wept. He wept for the loss of his last remaining best friend, who had had the courage to live. To be free. To reject the chains which held him so safely.


And he uttered a silent prayer, that he too, might find the courage to be free. Like Sirius.




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