Disclaimer: All characters and settings belong to JK Rowling. I just play with her ideas!

Remus, for Lady Bracknell

The Forgotten Christmases

If Remus Lupin were a Muggle, he's pretty sure he'd be an atheist. Because after the life he's had, the suffering he's gone through, and the losses, the deaths, of almost every living creature he's loved…

He'd be hard put to agree that a God exists.

So thank God he's a wizard.

But, and this is something that Remus struggles to understand, wizards and witches continue to cheerfully persist in their pursuit to celebrate Christmas. Remus supposes this is because (contrary, as far as he is concerned, to popular Muggle belief) Christmas has its roots in Yule. Which is fine, only, he doesn't understand why they can't just celebrate Yule itself, for Merlin's sake.

And for Remus' too.

Because in Remus' opinion, some things are best left forgotten.

Like Christmas.

Because no one is supposed to be alone at Christmas, and every year Remus finds himself inevitably flaunting convention.

His last official Christmas, surrounded by James and Sirius and Peter and Lily and Harry, six months old and already a force to be reckoned with, remains to his mind The Definitive Christmas.

It's been five years since they've all be gone.

That first year, After, Remus bought Harry a Christmas present (a desperate attempt at maintaining some normalcy, even in the depths of his denial) and attempted a visit, but his casual attempt at festivity ended abruptly when Lily's brother-in-law, snarling, blocked his entry and threatened to call the police.

In retrospect, after this incident, Remus decided that it was probably better for his life, Vernon Dursley's blood pressure and little Harry's piece of mind (and relatively poor chance at happiness) if he disappeared from his life altogether. After all, it wasn't like Harry could possibly remember his first, Remus' last, Christmas anyway. He wouldn't miss him.

He's been tempted to try and visit him a few times, but for the fact that as much as he loves Harry, it's not worth placing his life in the hands of two very unpleasant relatives to do so.

(Not when he'd probably only cause the boy pain, anyway.)

So instead, Remus prefers to pass his unfortunate bout of chronic aloneness in complete ignorance every year, which is very difficult as he's the sort of person to check his calendar every morning, if you know what I mean.

And simply removing the numbers that sit beside the progression of tiny moons, 31 in total, every single year just doesn't work as well as he'd like it to.

He supposes spending an entire month every year drinking – his scheduled stupor – is probably a bit unhealthy. After all, even if he is a scarred, starved, scruffy and thoroughly unemployable scrap of humanity, he probably should be making himself useful.

Dumbledore has always said it's only a matter of time before He's back.

So, for the first time in quite a few years, at one point or another in the general vicinity of December, Remus finds himself making a resolution in the name of an occasion he no longer believes in, just because it seems the thing to do.

This year, he'll do something useful. He'll travel. He'll read. He'll learn.

He'll live again.

If Remus Lupin could have one wish for Christmas, he'd forget it even exists – but then again, (just like Christmas) Remus is forced to acknowledge with a rueful sigh that wishing has never been a practical pastime.

Note: Yes, I'm well aware that Christmas has been and gone, but I've been on holidays, and this has been sitting in my notepad for some time now, so for the sake of this story, we'll forget about dates. (And sorry for the lateness, LB)

What did you think? I'm a bit uncertain as to this story (does it hit the mark?) so I'd love to hear your thoughts!