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| The Fall of the Mighty Roman Empire | - slow down you crazy child
you're so ambitious for a juvenile

Alice For Tea
Date: 2006-03-20 23:29
Subject: | The Fall of the Mighty Roman Empire |
Security: Public
Tags:fic, remus/sirius
Wrote this after I re-read OotP and HBP recently. Just had to. Those two books were emotionally packed, man.

The Fall of the Mighty Roman Empire | Remus/Sirius | R | 1953
The high blood pressure of being a Marauder and the friend of the two most temerarious boys in school would surely be the end of Remus J. Lupin, they had always said…



Part I

On a cloudless night in high June summer, when the days are lazy and the heat lingers into night and Remus J. Lupin is occupied in the library, Sirius Black will sit down at the kitchen table in No. 12 Grimmauld Place. As the streets give up the retained rays of sun, making the night warm and drowsy, Sirius will rummage through the cupboards. He had Mundungus smuggle in a few bottles in exchange for keeping quiet about some of the man’s doings—aha! His hand closes around the bottleneck.

He will wrench off the cap with a twist, and he will sink heavily into a hard chair that does nothing to ease his pains. The bottle does a better job of that.

Sirius feels the firewhiskey hit the back of his throat; he feels the slow burn. As the taste settles, he thinks about glory days: scandalizing the professors, winning Quidditch matches, sneaking girls onto the pitch late at night for rides on his broom, roaming the grounds of the school—every door open for him. Freedom around every corner. King of all that he knew.

When the bottle is just over two-thirds empty, he casts his mind deeper and thinks about James Potter. Awful, it is, that he’s become such a coward; he doesn’t even dare think of his best friend without the liquid courage of alcohol…

Sirius is too hard to cry. He stares into his muddy drink and then, at a sound outside, lifts his head and looks keenly out into the inky night. He strains to hear a familiar footfall, shoulders heaving oddly as his breath hitches and is stuck. He clears his throat, coughs, and feels the burning in his eyes.

When he finally hears some noise besides his hiccupping breath, he recognizes the sound as well. Moony is coming to find him. Sirius can’t face Remus like this; Remus has seen too much of the dark side of him. That bothers him. He doesn’t mind that Moony sees how much hate Sirius has for his cousins, how much he hates this house, how much he hates Snape coming over and sneering, how much he hates being ineffectual, how much he hates that James is gone.

No, what bothers him is that he is not the person who could go around pranking the bloody fuck out of everyone and having Remus look at him with that part scandalized, part resigned, part incredulous look so characteristic of good old prefect Moony. What bothers him is that he can’t just be so fucking careless and carefree, so fucking devil-may-care, and that is the boy Remus J. Lupin was smitten for. And every time Sirius presses a hand over his eyes, and Moony gets out of his chair and embraces him, turning his lips to Sirius’ ear, whispering that he, Moony, is never going to leave Sirius again, he feels like he’s cheating Remus.

No. He’s not going to let Remus see him like this, sitting alone at the kitchen table with a bottle. Fuck that.

Sirius shoves away from the table, tipping his chair dangerously. He catches a glimpse of himself reflected in the blackness of the window. He looks haunted, wild-eyed, desperate, a wounded animal unable to flee.

He ducks through the pantry just as Remus enters the kitchen.

He climbs higher and higher in the house, winding up and up. Good. He’s got to rebandage Buckbeak again anyway.

Moonlight glints off Buckbeak’s feathers, and he instinctively puts out a hand. Another wounded animal unable to give into speed.

“Sirius? SIRIUS! Sirius, are you there?”

Funny, it sounds like James.



Part II

Who would have guessed that he would be the last one? He supposed that it made sense; James and Sirius had always been so reckless, so heedless…and Wormtail, who was so very hopeless, whereas Remus was so cautious, the prefect, loved by all his teachers. But then they had joked that he would be the first to go, the high blood pressure of being a Marauder and the friend of the two most temerarious boys in school would surely be the end of Remus J. Lupin, they had always said…

He saw a lot of James in Harry. A lot of Lily, but there was James too; many people seemed not to realize the loyalty, the part of Harry that seemed to inspire feelings of trust, allegiance, and confidence in people, that had been a gift from James. Unbelievable that Harry could still be so much like James when so much of his life revolved around vengeance.

He had felt a little odd entering Sirius’ house at the beginning of summer when it was agreed that No. 12 Grimmauld Place would be the headquarters for the Order. They’d all gone over to Moony’s place before, Prongs’ of course, and Wormtail’s as well, but the place where Padfoot spent his summers and once his Christmas holiday had been a shadowy concept that Remus had never quite been able to fathom.

Remus looked around the room, Sirius’ room. All his belongings had been disposed of when he ran away, and Sirius hadn’t cared much to refurbish it. It was a sparse room, lacking dirty magazines, Quidditch periodicals, dungbombs, strewn clothes, suspicious containers, broom maintenance kit supplies, schoolbooks, love letters with girlish drawn hearts professing deep affections, chocolate bar wrappers, other toys and tools of the trickster’s trade. His hands ached empty, flexing in a long-acquired habit of picking something up, fixing, replacing.

Quarter moon shone down on the bare wooden floor, and the pale light illuminated a memory in the Shrieking Shack; the change had been particularly violent that time (it had still be rather early on after the other three Marauders had acquired their Animagus shapes), and gripped in the throes of transformation, he’d spun, clamped Padfoot around the neck and thrown him to the splintered floor. After that he’d become more docile, and that night they had decided to remain in the Shack, sniffing every corner, running under beds, overturning three-legged chairs. And a month later, when they trooped back for the next full moon, just before Remus changed, he had seen with a shock the sign of dark blood on the wood which had been so pale for all the dust that seemed to settle each month.

Still, he never thought to be alone, because he could well remember fuzzy socks, chocolate, butterbeer, the making of the Map, the teasing, the taunting, the pranking, the chaos, the roaming of school and night, the Invisibility Cloak, the gleaming motorcycle, the points, the girls, the holidays, the drunken songs, the cover-ups, the discovery of adventure.

Remus could see Sirius: the tanned skin, from Quidditch practice and occasional trips to the Black’s summer house in southern France, the cocksure grin, the easy smile, the thrust of tongue in Remus’ mouth, the lazy look, the sly look, the adoring look, the hands always up to something, pranking, hiding, tangling in Remus’ hair. And he could see Sirius: the sadness, the weariness, the smile when he looked at Remus and out the window again, commenting lightheartedly, the moon’s out in a week…

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a writer now: [hp] house of black
User: katshakespeare
Date: 2006-03-21 00:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:[hp] house of black
*heavy sigh*

That was really well done. Very nice. I think I'll go read it again.
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Alice For Tea: plot bunny
User: alicefortea
Date: 2006-03-21 00:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:plot bunny
Thanks a lot for reading <33 :D
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The God Cerridwen: Always
User: cerridwen666
Date: 2006-03-21 01:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Always
This has to be the most light hearted of the things that have been appearing here lately. Lovely bit of work.

*sighs*
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Alice For Tea
User: alicefortea
Date: 2006-03-21 08:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you! I didn't mean to go the slightly angsty route, I just wanted to work with canon, and canon just happens to be really freaking sad for them :S
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The God Cerridwen
User: cerridwen666
Date: 2006-03-21 08:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
*wibbles* This is why I read Sam! Oh...*eyes widen* I hope Sam doesn't kill Sirius if he ever gets to book five...I would die... *cries*

Okay...I've upset myself...I'm going to go work on my research paper. Lovely story once again and some icon love as well. ^_^
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User: melandry
Date: 2006-03-21 01:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Remus and Sirius
Ouch. The first part cut like a knife. But in a good way. And then the end of part two, to see that Remus thinks of those things as Sirius, too- how poignant.
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Alice For Tea: wasted on you
User: alicefortea
Date: 2006-03-21 08:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:wasted on you
Thank you very much for saying that! :)
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strike up the band!
User: yetunknown
Date: 2006-08-05 12:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Those two books were emotionally packed, man.

indeed they were. *sigh* I think I walked around in a state of shock after Dumbledore was killed. although OoTP was slightly boring (to me).

but yes, beautiful piece of work as always. am now slightly depressed (in a good way. maybe).
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Alice For Tea: books
User: alicefortea
Date: 2006-08-07 09:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:books
Hey! sorry for the last response :P I was flying back home and the past two days have been spent in packing.

Yeah, the Dumbledore death came as a total shock to me - I had avoided spoilers and just could not believe she'd do that. And what struck me the most about book 6 was the part at the end when Harry was like, "He's dead." and Remus is just stricken, and I felt that sense of, Remus Lupin is the last one, really. Both his best friends are gone, and Dumbledore, whom he respected and owed so much to, is gone. That was the high tragedy part for me :P

Thank you so much for reading this :)
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jen: draco- DEATHLY HALLOWS!!!
User: pardonthelitany
Date: 2007-02-24 19:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:draco- DEATHLY HALLOWS!!!
ohmy

As the taste settles, he thinks about glory days: scandalizing the professors, winning Quidditch matches, sneaking girls onto the pitch late at night for rides on his broom, roaming the grounds of the school—every door open for him. Freedom around every corner. King of all that he knew.

</i>What bothers him is that he can’t just be so fucking careless and carefree, so fucking devil-may-care, and that is the boy Remus J. Lupin was smitten for. And every time Sirius presses a hand over his eyes, and Moony gets out of his chair and embraces him, turning his lips to Sirius’ ear, whispering that he, Moony, is never going to leave Sirius again, he feels like he’s cheating Remus.</i>

Who would have guessed that he would be the last one? ...ohmy

And a month later, when they trooped back for the next full moon, just before Remus changed, he had seen with a shock the sign of dark blood on the wood which had been so pale for all the dust that seemed to settle each month.

Still, he never thought to be alone, because he could well remember fuzzy socks, chocolate, butterbeer, the making of the Map, the teasing, the taunting, the pranking, the chaos, the roaming of school and night, the Invisibility Cloak, the gleaming motorcycle, the points, the girls, the holidays, the drunken songs, the cover-ups, the discovery of adventure.

Remus could see Sirius: the tanned skin, from Quidditch practice and occasional trips to the Black’s summer house in southern France, the cocksure grin, the easy smile, the thrust of tongue in Remus’ mouth, the lazy look, the sly look, the adoring look, the hands always up to something, pranking, hiding, tangling in Remus’ hair. And he could see Sirius: the sadness, the weariness, the smile when he looked at Remus and out the window again, commenting lightheartedly, the moon’s out in a week…


this is beautiful. absolutly beautiful. you capture the emotions of the fifth and sixth books perfectly- especially the way that they sort of jump up and dowm on my heart.

that bit with Lupin at the end of book six, "No!"- that has ALWAYS stood out in my mind. it was like lupin had the same feelings about it that i did. and i am really really hoping that Lupin will have a huge part in the seventh book, because you're right... He is the last one.

this is very well written. powerful, poingant, and just plain heart-wrenching. you make me feel nostalgic for their past and you make me see the tragedy in it all. it's fanfiction like this that makes me look forward to the next book. you write remorse so well because you write it with hope.
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