Ah, shoebox and UL updates, all in the same week...pure bliss. Oh, and terrible angsty feelings of inadequacy, but hey! That goes with the territory.
I think I could be utterly happy if they updated every week for the rest of my life. A big ask, though. And if anyone ever needed a reason to read Maya, this is IT:
This was shocking. When he'd been fourteen, he and his friends certainly hadn't run around the place assessing the kissing techniques of Slytherins. They'd been trying to fight evil, and - all right, he had been fixated on getting Cho Chang to come to the ball with him and getting Draco Malfoy ignominiously expelled, and Ron'd been torn between pulling Hermione's bushy pigtails and writing 'Mr Fleur Delacour' on his parchment, and Hermione - the quick study - had been seducing international Quidditch stars.
Or, indeed, this, should convert anyone to H/D. Imho:
"Do you love her?" Ginny's voice was very small, wounded and mortified. "Does she love you? I mean - does she really, really love you?"
Harry hesitated. He had taken advantage of Ginny, and he owed her the truth - and besides, the selfish part of himself whispered, he could bear it if Ginny turned away from him. She wasn't as important as Ron.
"I love him," he said. "He's not really bothered about me."
So I wrote a drabble, which, by comparison, is...crap. But compared to UL and the Shoebox, isn't everything? (It's a comforting thought.) Inspired by (or stolen from, one) an idea of coralia13's , again. Remus/Sirius, PG-13, 1328 words.
Sirius twisted his body around, trying, and failing, to reach a particularly nasty little cut in the small of his back. How it had got to be so small he couldn’t imagine; Mrs Black’s favourite cane was plenty large. However, he wouldn’t put it past her to have cursed the blasted thing.
Of course, he knew he shouldn’t have gone home for the weekend. Of course, he realised what was awaiting him there. Regulus had just taken the Mark, and this had been Sirius’ last chance to do the same, his last chance to redeem himself, to recover his place at the head of the Black dynasty and somewhere near the Dark Lord’s right hand. Within five feet of it, anyway. Sirius wasn’t sure if they’d actually intended on letting him go when he refused, for what? The sixth? The seventh? time, but thankfully the interconnecting flues between his bedroom’s fireplace and the one in the hall still interconnected. After they’d locked him in and after he’d regained conciousness, he’d made his bid for freedom by the glorious path of the chimney sweepers.
He’d had to go, really,, because a summons from the Black matriarch was as good as a death sentence, and because, when all was said and done, it was family.
He still hadn’t managed to get all the soot off himself; it had accumulated in the strangest places, such as the shell of his ear, in every follicle of hair, and between his toes. Besides, laying hands on some Murtlap essence had been of the, as it were, essence since he’d managed to Apparate back to the flat.
James’ room was empty, as was Remus’. Peter was passed out on his own bed, looking for all the world as if Snape had cast a Somnibus charm on him like he had back in second year. Sirius didn’t have the heart to wake him; he looked so peaceful. He assumed James was out with Lily somewhere; that was a pretty safe bet. Remus would be at the library, most likely, being chatted up by a librarian. It was a big library, and they had a large number of staff, nearly all of whom seemed to find Remus infinitely attractive - not that he ever seemed to notice, although he had stopped worrying when his books fell overdue, as they did at least once a month. He’d never got a fine from them in his life.
Sirius decided that the hand of fate was against him as regards that last cut. He stung, basically, all over; he’d heard about Muggle methods of healing, which were long-drawn-out and had a high failure rate, but one thing they had in common with wizarding ones was a tendancy to sting. If it didn’t sting, it couldn’t be working. Seemingly.
He took up a facecloth and edged into the living room with it; he had to sit down, because if he didn’t he’d simply fall over from exhaustion, but he had a short-term premonition that such a course of action was going to hurt like hell. Groaning, he bent his knees, feeling the healing cuts break and begin to weep slightly, and eventually creaking into a seating position. Methodically, with painful slowness, he rubbed at the soot engrained into his skin. One washcloth wasn’t going to do the job, not by a long-shot, but the best Sirius could do at the moment was show willing.
The door creaked open, and Remus came through. The moonlight was shining in strongly from the hall window - which was more of an arrow slit, really - and it fell on his light brown hair like an angelic coronet. He was, predictably, bent around a large collection of books, fumbling with his wand at the same time. In other circumstances, the notoriously lazy and self-centred Sirius would have jumped up to ‘help’, and make matters worse by causing Remus to lose his grip on whatever he was carrying or fudge the locking charm. It wasn’t surprising, then, that when he looked up he was startled to see Sirius sitting on the sofa.
‘Padfoot!’ Remus deposited his books on a table specially reserved for them, the only one in the flat free from coffee rings, general detritus, Peter’s half-eaten snacks and James’ cigarette butts. ‘I wasn’t expecting you back yet. How’s your uncle?’
Sirius stared at him blankly for a moment, before recalling the cover story of the illness he’d brewed up toprevent James from doing something rash, like coming to rescue him, and Remus from worrying, in case they found out where he’d really gone.
‘Oh, he’s fine,’ he replied, after a pause, his voice pulsating with extreme exhaustion.
‘You look wrecked,’ Remus told him forthrightly, switching on a lamp near Sirius’ elbow. ‘Is there any particular reason you’re dressed only in sooty boxers? We don’t even have a fireplace here.’
‘No, not really,’ Sirius said vaguely, wondering if any of his cuts were still visible to the naked eye. Remus frowned. Shrugging off his cloak, he sat down beside Sirius - who envied him his ease of movement - and felt his forehead.
‘You don’t look well, but you aren’t running a fever.’ Remus peered closer. ‘What’s that on your face?’
Sirius’ hand flew up self-consciously. It must be the cut where one of his mother’s rings had swiped him. Remus was starting to look mightily suspicious now.
‘You’re all cut up,’ he said flatly. ‘Where were you?’
‘At my mother’s,’ Sirius said, to save time. He always ended up telling Remus the truth, in the end; he had a face you just couldn’t lie to.
‘Oh.’ Remus’ voice sounded oddly distorted. ‘And you didn’t think we might, oh, like to know that you were putting yourself in mortal danger?’
‘Didn’t want to worry you,’ Sirius managed, grinning weakly. Remus did not grin back.
Snatching up the facecloth, he threw it over the couch, and half-shouted, ‘Scourgify!’ All at once, Sirius felt all the soot and dirt of the past two days vanish, leaving him feeling like someone had scrubbed him vigorously all over with a metal hairbrush.
‘You’re too tired to even cast a spell, or think of one, I presume?’ Remus didn’t wait for an answer. He hefted Sirius to his feet and began to haul him towards his bedroom. ‘Merlin, I’m so sick of you, Sirius!’
Sirius, who, if he had with the small childish part of his brain envisaged Remus finding out about this, would have expected great helpings of sympathy and tea, couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed, not to mention surprised.
Pushing Sirius none-too-gently onto his bed, Remus began checking him all over for cuts, healing them with brutal efficiency. Sirius vaguely remembered that Remus had done a course on Healing. Dark Creatures weren’t allowed to train as Healers, though, naturally. He picked up random phrases such as ‘completely irresponsible’, ‘selfish,’ ‘such a bastard sometimes, Padfoot’, ‘reckless’ and ‘I can’t stand this’.
‘Huh?’ Sirius felt suddenly more awake. ‘You can’t stand what?’
Remus looked discomfited. ‘I’m the one who’s meant to get cut up, Sirius, not you. Why do you bring this on yourself? Don’t try and deny it - I know someone’s been beating you every time you go home. I don’t know why you go home at all, now.’
For some reason, Sirius knew that it wasn’t what Remus had been meaning to say. He’d thought Sirius hadn’t been listening. His long, thin, scarred hands were beating a pattern against his wand, and he wasn’t meeting Sirius’ eyes. Besides, he couldn’t lie for toffee.
Sirius sighed, feeling half-delirious and half-asleep but all over quite, quite certain of what Remus hadn’t said. As he slid a hand around Remus’ neck and pulled his face towards his own, and felt how Remus started and yet didn’t pull away, he thought Remus might know that he couldn’t stand it either.
Sometimes love is easier when both are broken.
Trust me, I have no idea whatsoever what I'm doing messing about with this ship. Really, now.