Title: The Remains of the Day
Characters/Pairing: Peter-centric, James/Lily, slightly vague and painful Sirius/Remus
A/N: I have no idea where this came from, only that the trailer is now making me cry, and I've never written a Peter!Fic before. :D More of a vignette than anything else. Crossposted in my own journal.
The Remains of the Day (with apologies to Kazuo Ishiguro)
Peter remembers Lily, slim and glowing with the still-invisible swell of her belly, and James, proud and childish, still, fixing the beret on her head, nose to nose, hand in hand, scarves intertwined, leaves parting on the ground where they walked.
Sirius had brought his camera, stowed like a precious secret - marauder’s bounty - under his thick wool jacket. He stayed close to Remus, Peter remembers, and he thought this was strange, until Remus told him - pale, still very thin, crouching by the pond with the ducks flapping, quacking, the water lipping the edge of the concrete - that it was all right again. Sirius had apologized again. Again, Peter thought, he always apologizes, even when he makes you feel curled up and horrible, and full of the dark things he’s too afraid to admit we all carry, when he makes you feel so disgusting, even when he doesn’t know what he’s saying, when you’re both so angry and scared you can’t even breathe, even. And you’ll always forgive him, won’t you? But Remus cupped crumbs for the ducks, reverently, and Peter felt his heart shudder a little, and only nodded.
And then Sirius stuffed a handful of leaves, cold and crisp, down his collar, and he yelped and almost fell into the pond, but Remus grabbed one wrist and Sirius the other, still laughing - barking, black and wild - and they hauled him back.
Peter remembers that James and Lily were dancing by the fountain, because Lily had been singing James’s favourite song, and James was James and never could contain what came to him like the wind, and so he whirled her by her hand, his hand, their joined hands, and by her waist, scarves whipping, laughing like the song of winter birds. And Sirius pulled the camera from his cloak and took photographs. Photographs that lost babies cherish, thinks Peter; that lost, clinging animals place into dusty boxes and pretend they cause them less pain than they do. Photographs he would burn, or sob over, shed blood over, clench in his fist; feel shivers of exultation, want to caress.
There was one of Remus standing still and standing quiet, where the only movement is a sometimes-momentary sweep of his old coat, long pale fingers curled deep in his pockets. Sirius took it, standing still and standing quiet - for once. His expression, Peter wants to sneer, like a reverent plunge off a cliff, and a distance between them shaped by something no one talked of, but that the developed brown paper, dull with age, shudders with. Peter knows he never showed it to anyone. And there is him, pudgy and short and his hat too big, smiling like a loathsome idiot, like a simpering fool. He is alone. He burned it long ago. And then there was the one of James and Lily, dancing, brilliant, like the sun on the horizon. His handsome face and untamed hair and foolish strength, scarf like a lion’s mane. And her red hair, red hair, like the fall of leaves, sheaves of appleblush; like a flow of blood down her shoulders, and a smile to the autumn sun.
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