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24 September 2005 @ 05:50 pm
new oneshot!  
I know, I know, I still haven't updated Silly Love Songs. Forgive meee?

On the bright side, I did manage to crack writer's block long enough to crank something out. Inspiration is a funny thing. There will be things I mean to write for ages that I'll never be able to crank out, and then one day a completely different idea comes to my head and just flows out.


Title: Lost and Found
Rating: This one is easyily PG.
Summary: At Peter's funeral reception, Remus is not in the mood to socialize. That is precisely why he has taken a secluded seat outside. And yet, despite his efforts, he ends up finding comfort from the strangest of sources.
Excerpt: They’re scared of us, he thought. They were scared of grief. Perhaps they thought it contagious.

Funeral receptions, he thought, were weird things.

They were full of people dressed in black, milling around, forcing a few smiles and laughs where they could. He’d always found them odd. He understood the human need to shove sorrow aside, he understood their desire to laugh and smile and comfort each other, but as it was, he could not imagine doing any of those things.

In a selfish sense, it seemed miraculous to him that people could still be happy.

And yet, they were – very happy, it seemed. He knew a good portion of the people present didn’t need to force the laughs and smiles as much as others. He knew that, even under their black clothes and their proper attitudes and the dimmer personalities, they were ecstatic. The war was over, they were not going to lose any more of their own. The family members they had now were staying – they wouldn’t lose any more friends, they would be able to raise their children in a happy environment.

He tried to be happy for them, but more than anything, he was envious, because he knew that at the end of a war, there were the grateful, the lucky, and those who had lost so much that whether the war was still raging or not meant nothing.

He felt guilty thinking it, but he placed himself in the third category.

For that reason he was seated outside, on the back porch, alone. It was not a particularly noticeable place – most everyone else was gathered inside, around the food, sipping punch and sharing stories. Nearly everyone had already found him to offer clipped condolences, and with that task done, they could go to sleep at night feeling as though they had helped somehow, and they could go back to avoiding him. They avoided Peter’s mother, too.

They’re scared of us, he thought. They were scared of grief. Perhaps they thought it contagious.

Shaking his head, he swirled the punch in his glass and watched the ice cubes bob around in the murky red liquid. This wasn’t how things were supposed to go. He wasn’t supposed to be at Peter’s funeral, because Peter wasn’t supposed to be dead. Certainly, he wasn’t supposed to be alone at Peter’s funeral – Lily and James weren’t supposed to be dead. Sirius was not supposed to be in Azkaban. Sirius was not supposed to be the traitor.

Closing his eyes and exercising another bout of self-control, he gulped another sip of the punch. As the carbonated yet otherwise bland drink made its way down, he felt another sudden pang of regret. He did not suppose that dying changed one’s sense of humour.

I should have spiked it, he thought. They would have. We would have.

“Why are you sitting out here?”

He practically jumped out of his skin at that. His eyes flew open, his posture straightened and the processing part of his mind struggled to put the voice to a face. It was young, it was high-pitched, it was girl. It was unfamiliar.

He glanced to his right. It was a child.

“I – pardon?” he asked dumbly, blinking and looking her up and down. She had long, straight black hair, a bold smile, and she couldn’t have been more than seven or eight.

He hadn’t the faintest whose child she might have been.

“I said, why are you sitting all the way out here?” the girl repeated, completely confident in a way most children were not. “Everyone else is in there, talking and things, but you’re just out here, all alone.”

“Oh,” he said simply, setting his cup on the stairs beside him and looking forward at the great oak several feet from them. “I don’t know. I don’t feel like talking to them, I suppose.”

“Oh,” she said simply, nodding. “Neither do I. They’re really boring.”

He snorted softly, watching her shut the patio door behind her and take a seat on the stairs beside him. Were she an adult, he supposed, she would have taken his words as a hint to get lost and leave him alone; as a child, he was sure she had no intention of leaving until she was quite through.

He was not sure whether he wanted her to leave or not.

“Ah, well, adults tend to be boring,” he agreed, frowning. “And it is a funeral, after all, you’ll have to forgive them.”

The girl giggled and nodded. “I know, I know. Mummy says funerals are very proper. That’s why I have to have this ugly black hair.” She scrunched up her nose and jerked her head, indicating the tresses currently adorning her head.

He looked at her again, tilting his head. “It’s not your real hair colour?”

“Oh, no,” said the girl emphatically, shaking her head. “My real hair colour is – well, I don’t know what it is. But not black. I don’t like black. Black’s icky. I don’t think Mummy likes it much either – she looked at me funny when I changed it.”

Still he stared at her, uncomprehending. “Changed it?”

She nodded. “Mmhm! I’m a metamofo—meta—morphing—well, anyway, I can change it.”

She scrunched up her face again, eyes screwed shut, and in a second the black had turned a brilliant blue. He blinked, sincerely startled.

Somewhere, in the back of his mind, something clicked.

“Oh!” he said a second later. “A metamorphmagus!” She nodded enthusiastically. “Oh, right, well, that would do it, wouldn’t it? That’s very neat, you’re going to have a lot of fun with that when you’re older.”

She laughed. “I already do.”

He glanced again over his shoulder and peered through the glass, down the hall at what he could see of the gaggle of people dressed in black, and then looked at the girl with blue hair, sitting outside with him. Somehow, he thought, she was much better company than any of them.

“Who’re you?” she asked without warning.

“My name is Remus Lupin,” he supplied with as much of a smile as he could manage. “What’s yours?”

“Nymphadora Tonks,” she said, reciting the information as only a little kid could and thrusting out one of her small hands.

It was as though he had suddenly been given an ice-cold bath and someone had dropped a toaster in the tub; she was Nymphadora Tonks. She was the daughter of Andromeda Tonks, née Andromeda Black.

She was Sirius’ little cousin.

“Are you okay, Mr. Remus Lupin?” she asked suddenly, tilting her head, and he realized that he must have fallen very silent and adopted a very peculiar expression. Shaking himself, he forced another lukewarm smile and nodded.

“Y—Well…” He hesitated, finding himself unable to say ‘yes’. “It’s just that I know your mother, I think.”

“Mummy knows you too, I think,” she said, looking to the crowd once more, looking to spot her mother. “She’s talked about you today, when we were coming here. Says it’s awful, what’s happened to you. That poor Remus Lupin, I wonder how he’s holding up. Really, Ted, Sirius, of all people? I can’t believe this.”

Remus supposed that Nymphadora, being the ripe age of seven, had no idea what ‘awful thing’ had happened to him, and he supposed that Nymphadora, being seven, did not understand the sharp stab of grief and a thousand other emotions that her words might inflict.

So he nodded wanly, warily, glancing out at the group of people too. “Yes, your mother would know me,” he agreed quietly. “I didn’t know she was coming.”

“Said she felt she should,” said Nymphadora, shrugging again. “That guy – um, man – I mean, er, Peter, was he your friend?”

“He was,” said Remus, doing his best to ignore the contracting feeling in his throat. “One of my best.”

“Oh,” she said quietly, simply. “That sucks.”

For the first time in days – weeks, perhaps – he laughed. To sum it up – to sum all of this, all of this loss and betrayal and hurt – to sum it up like that was absolutely ridiculous – and absolutely accurate.

“Yes,” he said, smiling in a remarkably sincere, albeit masochistic manner, “yes it does.”

“That’s too bad,” she continued, frowning. “That he died, I mean, and that he was your friend. Do you have a lot of friends?”

Again, he was struck by the remarkable childhood talent to cut with astounding accuracy right to the heart.

“I used to,” he said, his voice heavy with a burden the girl couldn’t understand. “I used to have amazing friends. Four of them.”

“Used to?” she repeated.

He nodded, his gaze lowering and focusing on a little ladybug that was struggling to climb up the large wooden stairs upon which he and Nymphadora were seated.

“Yes. Used to. I lost them.”

She tilted her head, uncomprehending. “Then find them again.”

He looked over at her, smiling sadly, and shook his head.

“Ah, Nymphadora, I wish it were that easy.”

“Whenever I lose something, Mummy tells me to go look for it. She says I always miss it, and usually, it’s right in the most obvious place, right under my nose.”

It was useless, Remus thought, and so he nodded. You could not explain death to a seven year old – and you shouldn’t, because no seven year old should have to know death.

“Well, thanks, Nymphadora,” he said lamely, unable to restrain a sigh of futility, “I’ll look for them.”

She simply beamed.

“Good! Maybe they’re in the most obvious place.”

He watched her curiously. Here was a girl who had known nothing but war her entire life. Ever since she had been born, there had been violent prejudices, sacrificial martyrs, propaganda, betrayal, loss, grief, death – and yet she was unscathed. Was she the exception, or were there many other children like this? Were children of war still simply children?

He thought of Harry. He wondered if, at the age of one, Harry had already lost his chance at childhood.

Nymphadora!” came a sharp voice. “I’ve been looking for you! I told you not to run off, I had no idea where you’d gone – and your hair’s blue, really, Nymphadora, that isn’t befitting of a funeral in the least, show some respect, please, and you’ve no doubt been bothering this poor man—“

Andromeda Tonks froze mid-rant and mid-child-scooping-up, staring at the poor man. For a second, she seemed completely paralyzed, completely stunned.

“Oh. Remus. It’s you.”

He smiled faintly, nodding, watching Nymphadora struggle to disentangle herself from Andromeda’s motherly restraint.

“Yes, it is.”

“I’m sorry if she’s been bothering you,” said Andromeda hastily. “She--“

He cut her off by flicking a hand. “Not at all,” he said. “I was enjoying her company.”

Andromeda smiled; Nymphadora beamed.

“See, Mum? I’m not annoying! We were—“

“I wasn’t calling you annoying,” said Andromeda hastily, sending Remus a knowing glance. “I was merely saying that a funeral is not typically a great place to start making friends.”

Nymphadora folded her arms over her chest. “I don’t see why not. He needs some, anyway, Mummy, he told me he’d lost all his.”

The silence that followed between Andromeda and Remus was nothing short of excruciating. Andromeda, unable to meet his eyes, fiddled with the buttons on the back of her daughter’s dress; Remus, unwilling to meet her eyes, stared at his hands.

“We should go, I think,” said Andromeda finally. She lifted her head and gazed across at the man in front of her, frowning. “Remus, if there’s anything—“

“There isn’t,” he said simply, glancing up at her and offering a smile. “But thank you, Andromeda.”

“Not at all,” she said, flattening her daughter’s hair and opening the patio door. “Thank you for watching her.”

“Not at all.” He raised a hand to wave. “I’ll see you around Andromeda, Nymphadora.”

Andromeda smiled and nodded, tugging her daughter inside. “Good-bye, Remus.”

For a second, Nymphadora broke free of her mother’s hold and shoved her torso out the door again. “Bye!” she cried cheerfully, beaming again, before her mother had her around the waist, she was pulled inside, and mother and daughter were gone again.

He stayed out there for a while longer, not wanting to return to the conversation and chatter of the household, instead choosing to lean against the railing of the porch and stare at the Pettigrews’ backyard. How often had the four of them, as young and naïve children not so different from Nymphadora, terrorized this lawn and the neighbors in the summer? How often had James and Peter – who had been friends since they were even younger than Nymphadora – attempted to climb the tree and fallen? How often had they succeeded?

When was it that the four of them had stopped being like the little girl with the bright blue hair? When had they made the transition from child to adult? Had it happened overnight? He knew it had happened, but he couldn’t remember realizing it had happened. It was one of those truths, the kind you know so well you cannot remember not knowing it.

Eventually, as would be expected, he lifted himself from the stairs, went back inside, and drifted through the social group on his way to the door. They had changed little, from what he could see; they still talked, they still laughed, they still exchanged meaningless stories. They still avoided those in real grieving.

Most of them, he noticed, stepped out of his way as he passed them.

As he passed the table laden with food, he noticed the punch bowl, charmed to refill itself, and paused. Without being entirely sure of his own reasoning, he slid forward, pulled out his wand, and with a subtlety and mastery of stealth that could only be managed by a Marauder, he added alcohol to the concoction.

As he walked away from the punch, from the room, and from the house, he smiled faintly. It was what they would have done, when they had been bouncy and boisterous and happy, as Nymphadora had been.

It’s what we would have done. That, in and of itself, was a greater comfort than he could have imagined.

Maybe Nymphadora had been right. He hadn’t lost them – all he had to do was look.

The end!

Hmm. Review if you liked it, please? Or if you didn't, actually, either way. =)

Current Mood: happyhappy
Current Music: masquerade ; phantom of the opera
entirelytoo on September 24th, 2005 11:43 pm (UTC)
Oh my.

How wonderful!

Though I'm quite sad now. I just want to jump in there and be like, "It wasn't Sirius! It was Peter!!!"

But of course...that's not possible, to my infinite remorse.

Anywho, I loved how you incorporated the innocence of children into this. Kind of bringing Remus comfort by having a child be absolutely blunt without meaning to.

And I nearly cried when he spiked the punch.

I did find it kind of odd having the little seven year old kid being Tonks. I don't know the exact math, but you're probably right about her age. It's still weird to think about though. Considering all we learned in HBP and all the Remus/Tonks fanfics I've read.

Ach, weird.

Anywho, obviously I loved it. Totally original, and a great interpretation of a scene that would really have happened at some point before the first book was written. It's nice that you wrote in that era and still stayed true to the books. You're right to be pleased with this one.

Jolly good Kali m'dear!

Kali_thirty2flavors on September 25th, 2005 03:08 am (UTC)
I went by the lexicon for that, and by their timeline, Tonks would have indeed been seven or eight. That makes for about a fifteen year age gap between her and Remus. I did find it sort of odd when I was writing it -- him being so mature and her being so young and knowing the eventual outcome -- but I thought that put a neat spin on it.

I felt awful for Remus the entire time I was writing this. Poor thing.

And after just watching Finding Neverland, the whole piece seems much more melancholy. Oh my. Beautiful movie, but it does put you in a mood, ah?

Glad you liked it.


entirelytoo on September 25th, 2005 03:34 am (UTC)
*bursts into tears* FINDING NEVERLAND!

Oh I have so much love for that movie. I can't allow myself to watch it whenever I'm working on a humorous or happy piece. Because it just turns out all wrong after that.

But yes, poor Remus. Jo really did make him have a rough time of it, didn't she? What with him being the only Marauder left and a werewolf to boot.

*shakes head* Poor guy.
Mands: Toiletwhite_tulips on September 24th, 2005 11:58 pm (UTC)
Aaaaah so good! I'd say more but I feel absolutely awful, so typing while scrunched up in a ball in my chair is rather difficult.

But anyway, I loved the way that Remus met Tonks and the way that she kind of helped him with his grief. I was also really touched with the way that Remus was able to remember his friends by simply spiking the punch. I loved how it was so simple, yet it meant volumes. Well done.

Camilla: Padme // ethereal_iconsmo_chan on September 25th, 2005 04:26 am (UTC)
Awesome story, top of the line, really smashing stuff. A good filler until you get around to more of Silly Love Songs, but it can also stand on its own as a story, and that is a very good thing.

Poor Remus.
Austinjohnmayergirl23 on September 25th, 2005 07:26 pm (UTC)
Icon ... Is that Padme Amidala-Skywalker? Or do mine eyes deceiveth me? It's cute no matter what.
Camilla: Ryo // SunTemple.orgmo_chan on September 26th, 2005 01:28 am (UTC)
Why yes, yes it is. And thank you for the compliment, though I cannot take credit. Check out the LJ community "ethereal_icons" if you'd like to see more amazing stuff.
Lael Adairlaeladair on September 25th, 2005 05:11 am (UTC)
I've read the Harry Potter books, honest! I just have a real hard time keeping all the names and people straight. (I swear Tonks just appeared in book 6! Didn't remember her at all.)

So, when I say that I REALLY liked this short piece that means that statement counts for double...maybe even triple because it took me a while to remember who all the characters were. My favorite part had to be the end when he spikes the punch. I also like how you tied in Tonks' childish analogy to the story as a whole, since I was hoping you'd do it the second I heard, "I'll look for them." Are you going to post it?

Long time no see, by the way! Your livejournal is sad and lonely :( Hope all your writing endeavors are going well!
kirreakirrea on September 25th, 2005 03:23 pm (UTC)
That was absolutely lovely. The wisdom of an innocent child is greater than one of an adult's sometimes. I really liked how you showed just as a realy child her age would've been like, with the screwed up nose, the hard time they have with pronouncing long words, and the simple way they see life. It was the sweetest thing I've seen.

I loved you connected all the different points you had in the story, the simple sweetness in all of it, and how you ended it with him spiking the punch just as they would've done, and how all he had to do was to look for them to find them. And although I can't really explain it, I love the line where he says "They’re scared of us, he thought. They were scared of grief.". It really does seem true, because people are always uncomfortable when people are greiving.

It was lovely, it really was. Major love to you for it! the title was absolutely fabulous as well. very fitting.

(Anonymous) on September 25th, 2005 04:06 pm (UTC)
wow that was the little ray of sunshine i needed today. it rocked my socks
Austinjohnmayergirl23 on September 25th, 2005 07:25 pm (UTC)

Lovely. Quite sad. Makes me want to write a funeral fic. In Remus's pov, of course, since that's what I always write.

Lovely ficlet, though. Nymphadora was glorious. Sort of icky to think of their relationship as of HBP when you think of this ficlet. Great story.

My nitpick: Tonks is Sirius's cousin once removed. Her mother is his first cousin.

Loved it though!
Kali_thirty2flavors on September 25th, 2005 08:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, I know she's not his first cousin -- but she's a cousin, nonetheless, and somehow, the effect certainly seemed lost if I said 'She was Sirius’ little cousin once removed.'

=) Glad you liked it, though.

Annabernaner on September 25th, 2005 07:34 pm (UTC)
OH Remus you crazy pedo. Teehee.

Oh well, he's still my hero.

<333 I love this. Like anything produced by the writing section of your brain, it is completely hot. Mmm, oneshot.

I enjoy how you slipped in 'metamofo.' That was great. (8

- Anna
Beemagical_poof on September 25th, 2005 11:23 pm (UTC)
Aww... That's so adorable, and sad at the same time. I really love this piece! Your one-shots are amazing! (Not to say Silly Love Songs is bad, but you haven't updated, and I'm ready to claw your eyes out... ^_^)

Anyway, this is fabulous, and I love all the elements you blended together into this.
queenofhearts17 on September 26th, 2005 12:36 am (UTC)
What I love most about this is how you've depicted Tonks' innocence as a child. It was so sweet and so true - I think it's an amazing piece of work. Well done!

*waves pompoms*
Lulustarryeyedreams on September 26th, 2005 02:19 am (UTC)
not only would the effect have been lost had you said "cousin once removed", but I don't think a lot of people actually go through all that... at least I know I don't unless someone asks for my exact relation to a "cousin"

I loved the way you depicted the raw emotion. It flowed really well and made me want to cry.

two things I wondered... first... if Tonks was old enough to remember entire lines her mother said, I wondered if she knew and was close to Sirius? And if she was, how did they explain Sirius "disappearance" to her?

then second thing was... It'd be interesting to know if Tonks would **remember** this moment when she comes across Remus later on as an young adult...
(Anonymous) on September 26th, 2005 03:04 pm (UTC)
Love it!
I thought it was beautiful! Can't wait for more Silly Love Songs...or more one shots if they are as wonderful as this!
(Anonymous) on September 26th, 2005 11:21 pm (UTC)
OK, now I really want to cry. Marauder fics always make me want to cry when I remember how they turned out, but this one especially.
I nearly lost it at the "He needs some, anyway, Mummy, he told me he’d lost all his" line, and also when Remus was thinking about spiking/actually did spike the punch. And now you've made me want to go read angsty Remus fanfiction when I really should be studying. Curses.

Hope you update "Silly Love Songs"--I'm just going to keep lurking creepily the shadows of your livejournal until you do.

Kathollymuse on September 27th, 2005 03:55 am (UTC)
“See, Mum? I’m not annoying! We were—“

“I wasn’t calling you annoying,” said Andromeda hastily, sending Remus a knowing glance. “I was merely saying that a funeral is not typically a great place to start making friends.”

Nymphadora folded her arms over her chest. “I don’t see why not. He needs some, anyway, Mummy, he told me he’d lost all his.”

You. Are. My. Best Friend.

I was in tears by the time I finished reading this. I've never seen anyone in the fandom really take what Remus Lupin went through at face value. To realize that your best friend was just carted off to Azkaban after brutally murdering your other two-- nay, three best friends? I don't know how anyone could get through that and make it out alive... and I know that he's a fictional character and all, but I have huge respect for this guy.

On a much lighter note, it really amused me to remember that about 15 years after this took place these two because... more than friends, if you know what I mean and I think you do. The whole "too poor, too old..." argument really plays in, donn'it? ;)
Tracey: Remus Lupin Trying to Readtraceria on September 27th, 2005 04:45 am (UTC)
Oh wow.

For starters, this was a funny bit in a heart-wrenching story: "It was young, it was high-pitched, it was girl. It was unfamiliar."

And despite my allergies going haywire, I swear to you that my eyes teared up when Tonks said "he told me he'd lost all his" and that it was not related to histamine irritation. Really, you captured that childhood innocence so perfectly. And I know that children pick up all sorts of things, prejudices included, but I think you also touched on their NATURAL tendency to not have or show prejudice. While everyone else avoided him, little Tonks didn't give talking to him a second thought.

What a refreshing and moving story. I'm glad it helped some with your writer's block!
Oh blahnitwitinperil on October 4th, 2005 02:11 am (UTC)
Gah, Kali. I just sent you an invite to a certain place... I sent it to the myway address you have listed on ff.net. I hope you get it. :s
Kali_thirty2flavors on October 4th, 2005 10:16 pm (UTC)
I did, I did. Thank you thank you thank you. <3 Er, sorry about that 'why won't my password work?' email. I did figure it out: I am not, in fact, thirty2flavors, but rather, thirty2fla[n?].


Thank you veeeeeeeery much. The site looks lovely.

get_over_urselfget_over_urself on October 7th, 2005 10:31 pm (UTC)
Awww, that was beautiful. Horribly sad. When he spiked the punch I wanted to cry...(not something you hear every day...)

Hmm, I find it really difficult to write Remus and you did an amazing job. I love your one-shots *sigh*