Disclaimer: I own none of this. Everything related to Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling. None of this is being done for profit and no copyright infringement is intended.
A/N: This was intended to cure the creative-block I've been feeling lately. It is a little bit sad. It's raining right now and I wanted to write about the rain (hence the first line) and I just kind of wrote. I don't really know how this came to me, but it's basically about Remus Lupin on a journey (I won't say where because of the way the story is structured). Reviews and feedback are, as always, appreciated. Enjoy…
Il A Plu
It was raining.
It seemed, he reflected as he walked into the gale pulling his ragged cloak tightly around his shoulders, as though the weather was reflective of his own feelings and emotions.
He shivered as tiny droplets of water spattered his face. He could not acclimate himself to open space and air on all sides. It was no longer unsafe to walk outside in the evenings, yet it felt alien and strange to him. There was too much air. Too much space. He felt exposed and vulnerable.
The smell of fresh, damp soil overwhelmed him, debilitating him. He had never liked the smell. It was too raw. Its acrid pungent stench assailed his nostrils and burned the very back of his throat. He resisted the strong urge to turn back. Unsure as to why he was here, how he was here, even if he was here, he compelled himself to blindly stumble onward.
The ground was soft and pliable beneath his feet. He left footprints in his wake and took care not to ruin his shoes, the only pair he owned, or to lose his footing as he wound his way towards his destination. The land around him was deserted save for the lines and lines of angular, unnatural stones that seemed to have sprouted from the earth. Remus Lupin had always considered himself to be of the formulaic sort, but something within him rebelled at the geometric arrangement of these stones. As he looked around, he wished vaguely that there was no order, no sense, no categorization to it all.
Through the rain and haze, he marveled at how the little stones looked like broken teeth. It was as though he was teetering on the very mouth, the very edge of the world itself.
He wondered what would happen if he allowed himself to be swallowed.
He knew that it was possible. He had seen it happen before. Friends, family members, even mere acquaintances had been taken. They had been swallowed down and made to mingle with dirt and stones and the parts of all others who had been ingested before them. He had made himself numb, accepting it as an unavoidable consequence of life and of war.
He almost wanted to be swallowed.
He carried his simple offering in both hands, outstretched in front of him, as though preparing to present it on some grand altar. Looking around, he felt suddenly and inexplicably foolish. The perfect waxy swatches of deep reds, bright yellows, and pure whites appeared to be artificial when compared to the wild, organic palette of deep grays, emerald greens, burnt umbers, and pale blues that were now surrounding him. He lowered his hands and felt his shoulders slump. Had he really thought that this would be good enough? Did he really think that this would be enough to convey all he had to say? Could the people he wanted to speak with even hear what he had to say?
A gust of wind cut through his bones like a sharpened knife. It stole his breath, compressing his lungs so that he could not breathe. In his struggle to hold his cloak to his body, he relinquished his grasp on what he held in his hands. He watched through squinted eyes as a few pieces of his gift were separated from the whole, reds, yellows, and whites, now swirling up to the sky and floating back down again.
He picked up what he had dropped, neatening them as much as he could. Many stems had been severed and several of the flowers had an oddly windswept look to them and were missing many petals. They were wild-looking and flawed. Tightening his hold on the bunch of flowers, he decided he liked them better this way.
He ground his teeth together and thrust his free hand, balled into a fist, into his pocket. Onward he pressed, winding around stones, slipping only once in his haste to reach his destination. He felt the cold and the wind swirling around his frame and felt a sudden urge to hurry, as though the place where he was headed might suddenly be swallowed into the ground, too.
Finally, he reached the place where he had been simultaneously dreading and yearning to be. The earth was softer here; it had been recently disturbed. There was nothing for it. He sighed and stepped into the sludge, realizing that preserving the spotless state of his shoes was subordinated to his need to be here.
He stared down at the spot where a massive stone stood, hot tears starting to leak from the corners of his eyes, mingling with the cold, cold rain on his face.
They had been two of the greatest people that he had ever known. He could still see them when he shut his eyes to the world. She, all green eyes and wide smiles, insisting that he stay for dinner- that he needed a decent meal, and he, wild hair and twinkling eyes, one of the few people who had ever accepted him for what he was.
He stood there for a long moment, his vision blurring, until all he saw was color. He could no longer feel the rain or the cold or the wind. He felt nothing but grief. Breathing raggedly, he wiped his eyes on his sleeve before realizing that his sleeve was soaked through.
Sniffling slightly, he inhaled deeply, feeling suddenly at peace though he couldn't explain why.
He lay the ruined bouquet down over their graves and groaned to himself, finally managing to find a wry smile within himself.
"I'm sorry," he said, still smiling softly, "it was the best I could do."
He hitched his cloak up around his shoulders and walked away, knowing that to them, it was enough.
A/N: I hope you liked it. Special bonus points to anyone who can point out the language the title is written in OR say anything about its ambiguity. Though, if you ask nicely, I'll tell you.