Fandom/Genre: Harry Potter, Drama/Angst
A/N: For contrelamontre's claustrophobia challenge.
Remus picks it up.
Things are flowing, all flowing, all breathing, all fluttering—braided clouds, laced—coats and cloaks and robes fly, flee, flap away. The two figures dance around each other, then settle into a lock of eternal kiss…it is eternal…
Cameramen are the greatest opportunitists of the world. They wait along the ocean-side waves trying to arrest a moment—exactly as it is, exactly as the wind and sand and water and light are, exactly as things feel, look, smell—on glassplates, on empty space… It must be hard, to wait all your life for a moment, for the glory of a moment, because what if you fail? What if it slips down your fingers and trickles into nothingness? What would you do then…
(And maybe poets are opportunitists too, in a vague, vague way. Except they’re not trying to capture any photons or pigments or shadows, but darker things of the hearts that play no role in sight. That are deeper down on the scale of existence—almost always unrecognized, unseen.)
He puts it back down and sets it onto the table, it doesn’t stand by its own. Remus turns it over because he doesn’t want to see them anymore, moving like the nostalgia of the past. (The past that creeps up on Remus here and there in the pretence of a friend, but really there to sting him, with its memories and hopes and emptiness.)
Maybe he is being escapist, he realizes, unsurprised.
But autumn is flowing all around, being red and golden as of its wont—Remus wonders, is this what the season of harvest feels like? Because it hurts. It’s even mocking, with its faint tint of brown and death and delusions cast by a long, long winter. Yet autumn is so golden that you can’t resist it, you can’t help your feet that carry you over into the woods. Terrible, terrible woods, like some unsown thoughts growing back again, some uncouth call of the wild—something Tennyson tried to enrapture and The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood tried to beguile.
(Oh no, no. You have it all wrong. It is the land that calls out to your wolfish heart, much alike the longing for a lover, because winter is coming and instinct tells you to go home. Go home. Something tedious and poetic like that.)
And then, the knock comes.
And this is the moment, this is the moment of the panic, when his flesh is flustering with tension and nerve.
Eyes are the only things Remus sees when he opens the door, the same familiar (but cold and callous and worn) set of blue. Other than that, darkness hovers all around, blending into night and sky and hair.
And he does.
There is no rest in his movements, Remus notes and secretly sighs. There isn’t any greeting, any words, sounds. He stares. Remus stares back. The door is still open and the autumn wind howls into a near-song or requiem or whatever it is. Nothingness passes between them. Like some desperate loneliness.
Remus swallows something heavy down into his stomach, feeling it set, feeling it ossify, he says, “Hello,” but it sounds hopelessly impersonal to him and he is aware that something has changed. But what? He asks himself. (Perhaps it is some guilt inside him, some shame that’s hindering his thoughts. Or perhaps it is Sirius who has changed.) He wonders if he can keep this up as he closes the door. “Tea?”
But he stands there.
“Do you want some tea?”
But all of the answers he gets are in Sirius’ eyes, a sort of animalistic sheen under the id’s control. Nervousness crawls up Remus’ knees. “Sirius, don’t just stand there.” He means it as a demand, but it sounds more like beseeching. (Something ridiculous comes into his mind and it says Oh lover, do you still love me?)
Sorry is the first thing he says, sorry sorry sorry, (answer me lover, do you still love me?). Remus doesn’t even know what it means anymore, but he sees the irony there, laughing at him. Remus isn’t too sure who should be sorrier. But at least Sirius is sitting, coat left by the chairs, shoes at the door.
(Sorrow is in the air, surging from the chest, waving to and fro in the bitter wind.)
But something is wrong.
Remus can feel the past licking at him with its tongues of inconstancy, like flame-tongues. He can feel the past making its cage, its cage of acajou, swallowing him whole. He doesn’t know what is happening…
Trapped between the past trapped between the past…