A note before you begin:

I'm afraid this story hits on just about every cliche inherent in the Lupin/Black slash fandom. But it's my first attempt therein, and I decided to share it mostly because, upon reading it aloud to myself, I realized I really liked the way it sounded. So, I give you an angsty Lupin monologue.




Linger
SnM



It seems like I've been walking forever. Honestly, I don't know how long it's been. I think it seems like a long time because everything seems like it takes ages, now. I don't know how to explain it . . .

Now that you're gone, it's almost like time has slowed down. I miss you. And memories are funny things, always lingering like shadows in the periphery.


The last time we made love, the edges of my vision started to blur. You leaned down closer and kissed my mouth and I felt like crying because I loved you so much.


I try to think that it's better to forget you. You are worse than dead now, isn't that enough for me? Isn't it enough that you're lost to me? Sometimes, it seems like it's not, like I have to make it worse by always remembering you.

No matter where I go, your memory is always with me. No matter how far north, south, east, or west I travel, I always find myself thinking of you.

At the grocer's, I pick out foods you'll like - Red lettuce, and certainly never zucchini - and then I stop, and reflect, and realize that you will never come home to eat salad with me again. Sometimes, still, when I magick plates onto the table, I set two places instead of one. Our bathroom - my bathroom - in London is still painted green, because you liked it that way, even if I thought it was garish. I talk as I cook, and it only occurs to me later that you are not there to listen. Is it sad that I talk to myself as I cook? But I'm not talking to myself - I'm talking to you.


Hand me the potatoes, would you?

You winced. You not making stew.

Well, I thought I might, I replied, smiling. Is there a problem?

You laced your arms around my waist and kissed my shoulder. No . . .

Good. The potatoes, Sirius.

You sighed, and released me. You're a vicious little cunt, y'know.

I laughed, cuffing you about the head. Bite the hand that feeds you, Padfoot, and see how much longer you're eating at this table.



It's a pretty poor substitute, really. I want you home, but I can't have you. Instead, I talk to you, shop for you, dress for you. I wake up, sometimes, late the night after the full moon and wonder why you aren't in bed with me.

Did you know that every time I get chills, I wonder if you're thinking of me? Are you? I don't even know if you still remember me. Is there room for our happy memories in Azkaban? Do you wake up in the middle of the night wondering where I am?

I miss you.

But of course I miss you. You're gone. You're dead. You're worse than dead.

I wonder if you know who you are anymore. I imagine that living in your most unpleasant memories would erode your sense of the present, until nothing at all was left of the real you, and all your thoughts were of the past. Even if you don't remember yourself . . . There is still hope that you might remember me.

But things have changed, since the last time you saw me. Sometimes, I start to forget who I am, too, Sirius, when I have spent too long asleep in a carriage, or have been waiting too long at a table in a restaurant. It helps to take a moment and remind myself of where I am. So let me take stock of myself:

Here I stand, a thirty-something wizard-werewolf, currently between jobs, mateless and chronically celibate. I read the Muggle papers, as well as The Daily Prophet, for the want ads alone.


The first winter we spent together, you lost your job. It wasn't your fault, of course, and I couldn't have blamed you, anyway, but . . . There you were, with an unlit cigarette tucked behind your ear, another one, lit, between your lips as you scanned The Daily Prophet.

I have never really understood why you smoked, but I tolerated it. I asked you why you did, when it caused cancer and lung disease. You looked at me, and laughed, and said that nothing could ever kill the great Sirius Black. And I laughed with you.



I have often wondered, am I wrong to love you so much? Am I wrong to want you to be innocent, to, maybe, just perhaps, believe that you are?

But, then, a great man once said you ought never take any stock in dead men, and I am tempted to agree. What good does it do me, believing in you - in your goodness - when you are beyond my reach? What good does all my love for you do anymore?

I have too many questions.


God, you were on the cover of The Daily Prophet that next day, caught, laughing forever, in a silent photograph. You just went on laughing, madly, helplessly, amidst ruined pavement and the spray from broken water mains.

I stared at you, grainy black and white, eyes wild, hunched over as you laughed. Your shoulders shook with laughter I couldn't hear, your shaggy hair wet and falling in your face. I was frantic, looking at you. I tore the paper to shreds and bits of you just kept laughing as they settled on the floor.








Notes:
This was largely influenced by several things:
First of all, Ballyharnon's series, which, I think, really got me hooked on the smoking, rogueish young Sirius. Secondly, the songs by Jonatha Brook and More Than This by Peter Gabriel (which, in my opinion, is just absolutely stellar). Originally, this was going to stay closer to the story told in I think, maybe, the theme still translated well. The story has absolutely nothing to do with More Than This, really, because I have never actually stopped to read the lyrics. In case it wasn't already entirely obvious, I lifted the title from the song,
Remus' line about never taking stock in a dead man comes from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Samuel Clemens, although I'm sure numerous other people have said it before and since.
The green bathroom was stolen from my Mistress in all Things (MiaT), Clarus.
I have to apologize for the way I skip tenses here - I wanted to do it that way, even though it's generally an awkward device, and I just couldn't think of a better way to do it.
Lastly, of course, Harry Potter, and all related characters, places, and plot devices belong to J.K. Rowling and her affiliates. I stake no claim, creative or monetary, to the characters. The text alone is mine.
SnM