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FIC: Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures, Chapter 21 / 21 (PG-13)

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Jul. 20th, 2010 | 08:01 pm

Title: Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures, Chapter Twenty-One (or Twenty and Two Fifths): Reunions
Author: PaulaMcG
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: (subtly, eventually) Remus/Sirius
Chapter summary: Remus dares hope.
Word count: around 1,800
Disclaimer: Remus won't help me make any money.
Notes: This is the final chapter of the novel, considerably shorter than all the other chapters. At the moment I feel unspeakably blessed, having got the chance and edited these two brief scenes together with my incredible and credible ishonn, finally completing the work I started in September 2003. I want to thank my beta and sweet friend, and all of you who have met my Remus over the years or otherwise supported and inspired me and helped me believe that this story, which has meant a lot to me, can acquire true meaningfulness – through being received.

Chapter One can be found here, Chapter Two here, Chapter Three here and here, Chapter Four here, Chapter Five here and here, Chapter Six here and here, Chapter Seven here, Chapter Eight here and here, Chapter Nine here, here and here, Chapter Ten here and here, Chapter Eleven here, here and here., Chapter Twelve here and here, Chapter Thirteen here and here, Chapter Fourteen here and here, Chapter Fifteen here, Chapter Sixteen here, Chapter Seventeen here and here, Chapter Eighteen here and here, Chapter Nineteen here and here, and Chapter Twenty here and here.

Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures


Chapter Twenty-One (or Twenty and Two Fifths): Reunions



“There’s something Dumbledore gave me... Now I’m sure it’s yours.”

Harry muttered this hastily against Remus’s neck before pulling away from the welcoming embrace. Perhaps he was about to take something out of the big bag on his shoulder immediately, but Remus had to turn and urge all the boys and girls to enter.

Two flushed freckled faces passed him by with nods and quick smiles: Ron and Ginny hurried to where their father was sitting by the fireplace.

Arthur had still felt stiff and cold after his confinement and preferred to warm up in Remus’s house before any further travelling. Thanks to the demise of the director general who had surpassed her prerogatives, there was no such threat as earlier. Still, this time Remus would see personally to it that Arthur got back to the Burrow. And in this new, thrillingly safe situation Remus was happy to take him to the Wotton manor first, while also inviting his children and others from Hogwarts as soon as on the evening after the battle.

Stretching out his both hands, Remus managed to greet Neville and Hermione at the same time. Only after introducing Gumby to her did he look out through the door, which was still ajar.

Luna was standing there, peeking up at the eaves. “I can hear an amazanthine,” she said.

“Indeed, you can.” Remus stepped out so as to share with her a moment in the gloom and the frigid drizzle, where only the two of them could enjoy seeking wonders, finding beauty. This was how they had come to bond three years earlier.

“I’m so glad you get to live here with them.” Her eyes like open skies turned towards him. Frowning, she came to stand quite close to him and pulled her hands from the coat pockets. Her cold fingertips brushed his cheeks. “You look so much older than when you were my teacher, and younger, too.”

“I... wish you could catch up with me.”

“Oh, you’re catching up with me. You now know more about what’s real, like snorcacks and heliopaths, and love.”

When the two of them crossed the threshold, Neville was clapping Frank on the shoulder, congratulating him as a hero. There was no sign of Wormtail. Perhaps Peter not only resorted to both his animal form and invisibility, but also chose to stay aside, when Frank was with someone as close as his son – and when there were all these people around who had known him as Scabbers the pet rat. Perhaps he would never manage to – or even want to – live more fully than as a shadow of the man he had been before those horrors and crimes took place which he had now finally confessed and repented as well as he could.

Harry had evidently just introduced Hecate to Ginny and Ron, who now sat back down on either side of Arthur.

“And led the revolt in our village,” Hecate was adding with her playful and motherly smile. “There’re so many stories to tell.” She crouched in front of Arthur and patted his knee. “You must have reached glimpses of our old ones when you were behind Ice-Stare’s mind.”

“Yes, that was a good thing about the confinement.” Arthur grinned. “But the very best part was finding myself set free – surrounded by a circle of wolves under the full moon.”

Ron and Ginny glanced at each other.

“No, they would not present me with their ‘gift of transformation’.”

At that moment Hecate noticed that Remus with his arm around Luna’s shoulders had approached her. She stood up to shake hands with her before responding. “And apparently we are all quite capable of not attacking a human at all. This insight would have worked against Ice-Stare’s and before him Iron-Fang’s agendas. Now I believe that what I said two months ago to you, Remus, was untrue as well. I said I’d lost my human soul a long time ago, and you protested. ‘I’ve felt it touch my soul tonight,’ you said.”

“The connection between us gave me that faith. Now after seeing Ice-Stare regain his human form in death, I’m even more secure in this conviction, or hope.”

“Hope,” Gumby’s voice echoed. He was joining the group hand-in-hand with Hermione, smiling playfully. “That’s something you can give each other even when you haven’t got it yourselves.”

Turning to Harry, he went on, “And you’d better remember that our enemies do have souls. You’ll hear rumours that your nemesis has split his, but no – mere humans can’t do something like that to themselves. Instead, in his attempts at mortality he’s lost his mind and his body. He’s got the body back, but the mind...”

“You’ll hear rumours about creatures like us serving him.” That was Jenny’s voice. She was hovering outside the circle of the firelight. “But without a sane mind he can’t have true followers. Hags are intelligent creatures. Just like werewolves. Some of them could join him for their own purposes. But not for his. He hasn’t got any purpose. Beyond the belief that he must kill you in order to live. That you must kill him to live. He’d kill himself in order to stop you from killing him – to make you die, too.”

Hecate strode to her and wrapped one arm around her waist. “Do you think such words can sound reassuring? You and your nightmares!” She dragged her to the light. “Some of us have contributed to deaths or will have to do that. But we go on living with our souls, albeit burdened with what we’ve done, and we don’t dwell on prospects of death. There are so many stories to remember and continue.”



When the two of them had climbed up to the privacy of the loft, and Harry immediately started pulling out of his bag something almost but perhaps not quite like a roll of parchment, Remus did not want to assume anything too special. Did he not dare to hope? He did, but he preferred a beautiful surprise to disappointment.

Lighting a candle on the desk gave him an excuse to look away. “You say you haven’t brought the Marauders’ notes back yet, and you must be right to keep practising. I’m thrilled that the animal you could be is stirring in you.”

He opened his left palm and blinked at such brightness of pure daylight that he had never before managed to conjure. These white flames were a response to his need to see clearly right now, perhaps to catch every nuance in some precious images of reality.

The roll held by Harry was unmistakably of that top-quality aquarelle canvas with special sensitivity for concealing and resurrecting line and colour which Remus had never used again after October 1981. Still, could it really be...?

“It’s the picture you describe in the last long letter. But he... Sirius only glances at me over his shoulder.”

Remus could not take his eyes off the rolled-up canvas in Harry’s hands. “I... always thought that all my old sketches and paintings were destroyed. And you understand now that I never wanted to lose that watercolour. I wonder why Dumbledore kept it.” It would be impossible for any words to convey the full strength of his resentment, even in case he chose to reveal it to Harry. “I doubt he thought back then that it could someday become valuable for you.”

“Or for you? But perhaps he thought you might... I don’t know – lose yourself or something, staring at the picture and asking yourself where things had gone wrong.”

The cautious promise revealed in the initial question gave Remus hope which helped him refrain from open accusations or demands. Harry’s hesitation made him now look the boy in the eye. “I doubt he... In any case it was not up to him to decide. This time I’m giving you only this piece of advice: advice is all you should accept from him, too – not decisions made for you. I assume he’s told you to keep the painting, and you’re going to only let me look at it.”

“No, it’s yours. Even if he agreed to turn and talk to me, this Sirius would be all yours.”

“Thank you.” He suddenly felt an overflow of warm gratitude, gratitude not only for the painting, which had in fact always belonged to him, but for something more – for Harry’s acceptance and understanding. “And don’t worry. I won’t lose myself. I think I’m ready to start painting new portraits – of friends, and of the young and the older werewolf who loves this man.”

Remus opened the roll just enough to check that he would hang the picture correctly, then used his wand to attach the upper edge to the easel next to his desk. Before letting the roll fall open he turned his head to gaze at Harry, who had withdrawn close to the top of the ladder.

“You can stay and look, if you want.”

Harry did not reply. Perhaps he would choose to leave discreetly; he was on the verge of absence. Still, in the magical daylight he was fully solid, here and now. Before facing the easel Remus revelled at the sight of his vivid presence: of his winter-pale skin adorned with a few pimples and with dark hairs in the corners of the upper lip; of the casual disarray of his fringe, partially revealing the scar; above all, of his quiet smile, perhaps belying how deeply touched he was by the significance of the moment.



The leaves of his birch trees are trembling in wind and rain. This is not what he painted first, and Sirius is not here. At least the leaves are still green and holding firmly to the branches, giving him some hope.

A darkness falls – or Remus closes his eyes, and when he opens them, mist is scattering and new colours emerge: the yellows and golds and finally the dimmer shades of bronze. From beyond this thinning veil of autumn, perhaps, someone has returned to him.



He looks at the trees as intently as ever. Their glow is in his eyes. He’s always made me more receptive to things like these colours, made me slow down and live: sense the blessing in the chill of the wind and in the brightness of the leaves, in the warmth of his gaze. He’s made me long for his touch.

Now his work’s finished. I’ve taken the last drag of the cigarette and flicked the butt over the railing, turned fully towards him. With our voices at least we’ll reach out and celebrate the wonder that we are together.

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Comments {2}

kellychambliss

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from: kellychambliss
date: Oct. 15th, 2010 07:55 pm (UTC)
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Oh, how I hate to leave everyone, but I must say, you've crafted a very fitting epilogue (unlike canon!) All the important people are present and are shown so believably. I like that you haven't given us too happy an ending: life and beings are too complicated for happily-ever-after. But the current moment of closure is very satisfying and well-done.

“Indeed, you can.” Remus stepped out so as to share with her a moment in the gloom and the frigid drizzle, where only the two of them could enjoy seeking wonders, finding beauty.

Yes, indeed -- an excellent moment. And I love this line: “Oh, you’re catching up with me. You now know more about what’s real, like snorcacks and heliopaths, and love.”

"There are so many stories to remember and continue.”
I think this line just about sums up everything, one way or another.

Of course, you end just as you ought: with love, with the art, with a genuine closure for Remus and also a strong sense of continuation and of new beginning. Great line: "And don’t worry. I won’t lose myself. I think I’m ready to start painting new portraits – of friends, and of the young and the older werewolf who loves this man."

The leaves of his birch trees are trembling in wind and rain. This is not what he painted first, and Sirius is not here. At least the leaves are still green and holding firmly to the branches, giving him some hope.

A darkness falls – or Remus closes his eyes, and when he opens them, mist is scattering and new colours emerge: the yellows and golds and finally the dimmer shades of bronze. From beyond this thinning veil of autumn, perhaps, someone has returned to him.


Wow. I've read these lines several times; impressive.

What a glorious journey this story has been. Thank you!!

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PaulaMcG

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from: paulamcg
date: Nov. 20th, 2010 10:27 pm (UTC)
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I trust you forgive me for having postponed my reply to this final comment. I’ve felt reluctant to do what will possibly mark the end of me as a writer. While thanking you in detail for the other feedback you posted in mid-October, I’ve tried to express what your wise and sensitive reception and overwhelming praise have meant to me, but I’m not sure I’ve succeeded. Perhaps you can imagine how it feels: having worked on a story for seven years, doubting that more than two readers (including the beta reader) have followed or will ever follow it until the end, and then to be offered this treasure!

I’m immensely happy to know you’ve found my epilogue satisfying. I was determined to craft something completely different from “Nineteen Years Later”, also because I’d never want to deprive my potential readers of the right to continue the stories of my characters from this temporary closure – soon after the final action – onwards.

It’s particularly wonderful to hear that the moment with Luna works for you so well. My beta had some doubts about it, but I couldn’t resist tying “Challenges Like These” (which she doesn’t like that much, I suppose), too, to the main story.

Finally, you make me overjoyed by telling me how impressed you are by those lines you say you’ve read several times: the last two paragraphs written in Remus’s voice before, for the very first time in the novel, at the last moment, I change perspective. As far as I know, you are the first one to reach this closure soon (and not two years) after reading about the painting in Remus’s letter, and it’s wonderful to see your reaction. I feel blessed you’ve come along to share this moment – the closest to consummation that my Remus can reach in love and in art – as well as the whole of the journey. Thank you for everything!

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