Author: Regala Electra
Summary: While listening to some lovely swing music, Remus remembers or maybe he doesn't.
Disclaimer: I don't usually do these, but erm. Okay, J.K. Rowling is the creator of the wonderful Harry Potter universe. Her characters belong to her and only her. And erm. So yeah.
Author Notes: First HP fic ever. I am blaming the movie by the way. References to the movie, set after PoA.
He enjoys swing music because it is a relic of times past. And it is a relic of times that he has the fortune of not remembering.
He listens to it while drinking a cup of tea and perhaps the cold of his sparse apartment is lessened because the old recording is still as vibrant and lively as ever. The swing instruments are brassy and clear. The voice singing out of the recording has the fair, reedy sound of a woman who lived a rich life with more happiness in it than sadness, and she sings with the pride of those golden moments. She is, though nothing more and nothing less, a memory, a ghost living in apartment for the time that the song plays out, crystal and clear.
He listens with his curtains (battered and aged to a nondescript color, perhaps grey) drawn tightly across his windows, with the music turned up just so. It is loud, but not too loud and he closes his eyes. And doesn't remember.
That is the most harmonious part.
He does not remember anything. And in that, there is a peace, a peace he cannot quite place, somewhere beyond the memories and the pain.
And the record stops awkwardly, the sound of skipping as it waits. He pulls away the spindle and carefully puts the record back in its case, battered and dog-eared around the cardboard edges. It is as faded and worn as his apartment. Much like himself. He tries not to think about that.
Remus selects another recording, unfortunately not checking the title. As the song begins, he winces and the teacup, halfway to his lips, falls and it shatters.
He manages to murmur the spell to pick away the shattered remnants, but he doesn't move.
There is another reason, almost the real one, why he still has a fondness for swing music.
An image of Sirius comes into focus: so young, so damned bloody stupid, waving around Remus' prized, favorite record and he nearly dropped it.
And in apology, that rash, bloody damned stupid Black leaned over and kissed him. Bloody git, he was. "Sorry there, Moony. Won't happen again. Promise."
If Remus ever lost his mind, he'd pinpoint that moment as the true breaking point. Not the bite or the near misses, or the realization that he is and will always be alone. No, it was one of Sirius' impulsive, thoughtless actions that Remus always, always forgave. Until he thought the worse of an old friend and wasted years hating him for something that for once, was not his ultimate doing.
So many years and all for what? Remus can't let himself ever find an answer for that question. He isn't quite sure he'll survive the answer.
They were all so stupid. So painfully sure of themselves and Sirius had listened to Remus' collection, had approved of it, and somewhere along the way, they'd almost fallen in love and then, nothing quite turned out how it was supposed it.
"So why type of dancing they do listening to this stuff? Bet it's marvelous, eh Moony?"
"I'm not about to show you, Pads," Remus had mumbled, still remembering a kiss from days before.
"Aww, you will in the end. No one says no to a Black."
Remus had snorted at that. "That's why you never get detention, is it? Your charms?"
Sirius had grinned wide then and only said, "C'mon, it'll be fun." He leaned in closer.
It probably would have happened. That would have been a different memory, a different choice.
But Remus had muttered something about a paper then and whatever could have happened, hadn't and now, he listens to the song and remembers and can only feel the cold creeping in through the cracks.
And his clothes are threadbare and worn, and he feels every year he has existed and every year he has squandered and every year he has lost. If he's still enough, he can feel more of his hair turning grey. He is not a relic of times past, he is a relic of times lost.
He takes the record off, the song not finished and he lets go. It is too easy.
There is no spell to put it back together again.
Feedback is, as always, greatly appreciated.