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*has totally lost it*

Um, by any chance does anyone remember if I've already posted this Remus piece? I'm pulling an absolute total blank on it. Heeeeeeelp!

To Me You Are Beautiful
By Lola Ravenhill

Remus always supposed he got his love of music from his mother.

On particularly bad post full moon days, Elizabeth Lupin would haul the old gramophone into Remus’s room, drag in her record collection and spend the day in there. She would sing in a low, smooth alto that worked well with the big band songs, but not so well with The Who. She had no luck in imitating Roger Daltrey’s stutter.

It was almost always just he and his mother. Remus’s older siblings were off at Hogwarts with no idea what their brother the werewolf was dealing with every month. No one at school really missed him either; he attended a small muggle school along with the children of many local farmers, so absences were tolerated more than in other places. A sickly little boy missing a day or so every month wasn’t worth the double take when there were fields to be plowed, sheep to be sheared, and cows to be milked. So it was just Remus, Elizabeth, and a stack of muggle music as high as he was.

Being ‘a rather amazing muggle,’ as Elizabeth liked to call herself, the music she provided was always her type, hoping that at least one of her children would take after her in some way. She played the Beatles and Benny Goodman, The Kinks and Chuck Berry, Petula Clark and the Platters, Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, Tom Jones, and much much more. There were the old fashioned and the in-fashion, blurring together enough to take him away from his physical body, at least for a little while. It was a magic that wizards were still trying to nail down, Celestina Warbeck had the emotional range of a nail head and the screechy voice to match, at least in Elizabeth’s opinion.

During certain energetic songs Elizabeth would put her sewing down at the foot of Remus’s bed, get up and dance around the room. Her short skirt swirled around as she twirled, bobbed, and weaved, looking as if she belonged in a swinging club down in London, not stuck in the middle of pastoral Scotland with three kids and a husband. But as far as Remus knew, she was happy.

Remus liked most of the music she played for him, especially the swing songs. It just wormed its way into his bones and never escaped. It had a tendency to make him feel fully human, the elegant combination of horns and varying tempos having a soothing effect. When Elizabeth sang along with these songs he didn’t want to cover his ears and wince, but he could listen for a long while and drift off to sleep. When she sang those, she could make him feel like he had a beautiful soul.

“Bei mir bist du schön, please let me explain, bei mir bist du schön means that you’re grand…” It was the extent of his mother’s German skills, but she made the words flow, and he would close his eyes, just hearing music and feeling warmth, and not the growling of the wolf at the door.

“I could say bella, bella, even say wunderbar, each language only helps me tell you how grand you are…” When Remus opened his eyes, and it was the right time of day, he would see his father in the doorway, standing and staring at Remus and Elizabeth with a content smile on his face. Sometimes Remus thought they had no right to smile, because now that he was an evil creature smiling wasn’t allowed. But they did anyway.

Lovernios Lupin didn’t seem to be the type of man prone to breaking out into song, the extent of his musical likes were some wild Scottish reels and a type of wizarding music that always reminded Remus of church music—dull and droning. Lovernios seemed more like the type of man who should be spending his days and nights out on a hillside somewhere, communing with the natural world, the wild Celtic wizard of the mountain. He sported longish wild hair that was never quite as combed as it should be, and was slightly more sun-streaked than Remus’s light brown. His older brother and sister both had the dark features of his mother, but Remus was quite happy to be the spitting image of his dad. In fact, when Remus thought about it later in his life, it was puzzling how his mother, the stylish Londoner muggle seamstress, and his father, a strange Celtic-Roman mix who was happiest talking to wild animals deep in the woods, ended up together. They were happy though, that was undeniable.

Always, after the song was over, Lovernios would come and sit on Remus’s bed, getting his muddy and dirty boots over the coverlet, and wrap an arm around his shoulders. Elizabeth would holler back at him, even though she knew he would clean it up with a simple wave of his wand, then just give up and perch on the other side of Remus. Another wand wave would bring dinner zooming up to them, and they’d eat dinner in bed, with Elizabeth and Remus taking breaks to hum along at certain points, she to ‘I Can See For Miles’ and he to ‘Mack the Knife.’ Eventually Remus would fall asleep, with kisses on his brow from his parents and the pain in his bones reduced to a dull ache.

Sometimes the pain grew during the night, rousing Remus from sleep and sending him crawling into his parents’ bed. They always welcomed him, feeling the slide of his mother’s silky nightgown against his oversensitive skin and smelling the musky, woodsy scent that his father always seemed to exude. It was always the same, except for one notable night when he was ten that he never forgot.

He’d awoken from the aches, and as usual he made the walk down the darkened hallway to his parents’ bedroom. They were talking in low voices that became clearer as he crept closer.

“Lovern, do you think we were tempting fate almost?”

“Hmm?” His father was always a man of few words, saving them for when they mattered most.

“Do you think that by naming Remus what we did we were inviting this…tradition, curse, whatever it’s called?” This was the first he was hearing about the wolf being a tradition, and it sparked his curiosity. He listened just a little harder.

“I think Remus would have been caught no matter what he was named. That’s why my grandfather came to Scotland, to try and escape the good old family tradition, but it was a futile effort. With something as ancient as my family’s enduring heritage, location or name means naught.”

He heard his mother sniffle, and the creak of bedsprings. “I just can’t help but feel guilty. He’s my little boy.”

“Bette, love, it’s not your fault, nor mine, nor Remus’s. It just happened. If you would like, I could go down to Siena and see if I can search out some relatives of mine who are dealing with something similar. Or we could send him down there for a little while, if only for a change in scenery.”

What? They were going to send him away? But they always said—

“No. I want Remus here with me.”

“As do I.”

The sigh of relief from Remus was truly heartfelt.

Lovernios continued. “You know, it’s said that the Gods only give people what they can handle. Remus is strong, no matter how bad things get, he will be able to handle it and survive, because that’s just who he is. I don’t want to sound biased, but he’s the strongest of our children. Ronan has a great deal of intelligence, far more than you or I, but he resides in the clouds more often than not. Rosamund is delicate, and very empathic. While these are all good qualities, and that they will turn them into magnificent people, Remus is special. He is strong and brave, and knows that even though the wolf is inside him, it is only one part of the total human. He will be fine.”

There was a small sound, a kiss possibly. At ten years old Remus wasn’t at all sure what a kiss between a husband and wife sounded like. “Always knowing the truth of the matter, my Prince of Foxes. We must be quiet though, our little prince is sound asleep.”

At this Remus felt guilty, eavesdropping when his parents thought he was sleeping. He snuck back to his room and tucked himself in. He wasn’t sure how he felt about the idea of the wolf being a family legacy, but even so, he was still loved by his family, and that made everything better. He drifted off to sleep, his mother’s voice echoing in his ears.

“Bei mir bist du schön, please let me explain. Bei mir bist du schön means that you’re grand…”



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Dec. 10th, 2005 06:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, I definitely remember this because I loved it.

Whether you posted it here, I'm not positive. Could've been via IM or privately? Which doesn't help you at all, does it? Sorry.

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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