The Sugar Quill
Author: Starbuckx  Story: She was there  Chapter: Default
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There’s pain, and then there’s putting it aside for the greater good, or even for the sake of sanity

She never turned to me, but suddenly
We had so much to share!
I never took her in my arms, but she was there
Oh, she was there!

 

 

There was pain, and then there was putting it aside for the greater good, or even for the sake of sanity. There was hurting, and then there was feeling broken, only to realize that some pieces were missing, and you could never put the puzzle back together again. Remus Lupin knew this better than almost anyone; in fact, he was almost an expert by now, so good at the fine art of hiding his feelings that for all intents and purposes this should have been a mere ache he could learn to sweep away, a tiny brush-stroke in the broad canvas of suffering his life had been.

 

He idly wondered then why his heart felt like it was being ripped apart in vicious, violent strokes that cut deeply into an already wounded soul. If this was what it felt like, then he couldn’t understand why people waited their whole lives to feel like this. If loving someone felt like this, then he didn’t want to feel at all.

 

And then there was Sirius, in the forefront of his mind, and what could honestly be said of a man who’d traded a normal, healthy conscience for the voice of Sirius Black in his head, whispering in that awfully conceited voice of his that this was right, this was exactly how he was supposed to feel?

 

That he knew just how to make it stop.

 

As he’d always done while Sirius was alive, his mind resisted the familiar voice no matter how much he wanted to listen to it, because he remembered all too well how following Sirius’s advice, although pleasurable, meant he would end up in more trouble than he knew how to deal with.

 

There were loved ones, and there was learning to banish them to one small part of your heart, shutting that part away. And then there were those who would never be shut down anywhere, who remained with you no matter how much you tried to push the feelings into a small corner, and banish them for good. Sometimes he felt that this was even worse, a constant reminder that they were gone, but in truth it was like a balm for his aching heart to be able to hear that beloved voice still, even if that meant he was, with every day he heard Sirius’s voice inside his head, one step closer to losing his mind.

 

Maybe loving her was another step, and in between that love and the ever-present voice in his head, he was going to end up in a padded white cell in St. Mungo's, stark raving mad, as he’d always promised Sirius he would if it were not for his friends.

 

But they had left him, and he’d survived. Three of his friends murdered, all thanks to the fourth, or so he thought, and he’d survived for twelve long years before feeling the warmth of friendship envelop him once again. All those years he’d survived, his mind intact, and the more he thought about it the more ridiculous it seemed that he, a man who’d survived so much would feel about ready to lose his mind over something almost everyone went through at least once in his life.

 

Except for the curious Ravenclaw Sirius had set him up with in sixth year, he didn’t really have a lot of experience with romantic love, and even she hadn’t been this vivacious, this understanding, hadn’t loved him so much. Oh God, loved him, of all people, loved him enough to take the chance, to let the future be …whatever it was going to be, as long as they could face it together.

 

His parents had loved him, he didn’t doubt that. But they were his parents, and for all the children he’d come across who’d been abandoned by their parents after being bitten, he never really gave any thought to the fact that they could have stopped loving him. They were his parents, and that was the end of that.

 

School had been different; his friends had been different. They had chosen to love him. No one had forced them to. They certainly could have found other friends, another partner in crime, someone other than Remus. But they hadn’t, and not only had they become his friends, they’d stuck by him once they found out the truth.

 

He often thought that without those seven years at Hogwarts, and the influence his friends had on him, he’d be an altogether different person, dangerous, more violent.  Without Sirius’s constant pestering he might have never developed patience, without James’s foolish daring he might have never learned that some rules were meant to be broken, and even Peter, yes, Peter, had shown him something important, for without Peter’s simple understanding he might have never seen his friends as what they were: his friends.

 

With their unshakable trust, they had taught him the most important lesson of his life. That he was worth something.

 

Perhaps his friends were the thing that set him apart from Greyback. Not that he was condoning Greyback’s viciousness, no. But deep inside, he wondered what he would have ended up being if it were not for one Albus Dumbledore, who allowed him into a magical place, and the friends he found there. 

 

They made him human, dismissed the wolf to the deepest recess of his mind, and even though he lost them, he grieved for them as a human, suffered as a human. The wolf would never gain control of him.

 

They’d left their mark on him. “Werewolf” would never encompass all that Remus Lupin was. He liked to think he was better than that.

 

In the end, they’d shared so much more than a dormitory during those years; they’d shared his life, for better or worse.

 

Remus never figured he’d find someone else who’d be willing to share his life for good.  And now that the opportunity presented itself to him, he found himself facing a situation he’d never really considered, unsure of how to act.

 

He could listen to the annoying voice in his head. Sirius had a good point; after all, this was his chance to grasp the happiness he’d always wanted. To have someone he could rely on. To build a family, a family of his own.

 

The rational part of his mind always caught up to him when he let himself fantasize about a family, complications started to mount, and soon he’d convinced himself it wasn’t really worth it. Even if he could endure it, he’d never put her through that.

 

He’d rather deny her from the beginning than have her decide, a few days, months or even years down the road that this wasn’t what she really wanted. That she’d made a mistake.

 

Because he wasn’t sure his frail heart could recover from yet another loss.

 

And not having anything looked infinitely better than having something for a precious moment only to have it taken it away when you were starting to feel you couldn’t live without it. He should know; he’d lived through it twice before.

 

Never again.

 

So he closed his eyes and steeled himself against the words he’d have to say, knowing that once he’d finally uttered them he’d be left absolutely nothing, except this pain, unbearable, because as much as he’d like, he could never learn to completely shut out his heart.

 

 

The End

 

A/N: This is me, rationalizing R/T, in her head. Set sometime after OotP, and before HBP, while Remus is still trying to convince himself that R/T doesn't work. I was right there with him, trying to convince myself. Obviously, I was wrong. So, here I am, making peace with my favorite character for being so far off the mark. FORGIVE ME, REMUS!

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