[identity profile] j-giles-band.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] remix_redux
Title: Winter Come and Gone (People are Strange when You're a Stranger Remix)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] melusinahp
Summary: Harry helps Sirius understand that there are fates worse than death.
Rating: R
Fandom: Harry Potter
Warnings: Mentions of character deaths, dub-con
Spoilers: OotP
Title, Author and URL of original story: Only The Sorrow Remains, [livejournal.com profile] gin_and_ironic, Link to original story Love to A. for the beta. Hope you like this, Gin, it inspired me to try things I've never tried before.

He supposes his name is Sirius, and he thinks he must be dead.

His memory is like a smear of grease – cloyingly thick in some places, thin and grey in others. He remembers soft, speckled light that gently warmed him to the core of his being and feels faded remnants of something like joy. Now, however, there is only the house, the boy and the dim, dusty air that tastes sweet, like rotting flowers and seems to swell inside his lungs like rough cotton.

The boy calls him "Sirius," so that must be his name.

He doesn't remember the house. He doesn't remember the boy. Both things feel heavy and intrusive in his mind. He longs to shut them out entirely and go back to the light. The boy – he’s called Harry, apparently – watches him. If they are in the same room, the boy is starring at him, his eyes sharp and full, searching, pleading. Sirius has no idea what Harry hopes to see in him. If he knew, he'd show him, just to get him to turn that burning gaze away for a moment.

He has only a vague idea why he is here, in this house with Harry. There had been a great wrenching away from the warmth and light, and he'd materialised, his body cold and heavy, the smell of brimstone sharp and hot in his nostrils. The boy had been kneeling before him, gazing upwards with shocked, red-rimmed eyes, one blood painted hand clutching his wand, the other a ridged knife with a wet and shiny blade. The blood seemed to be everywhere, its metallic scent competing with the smell of burning, and there were lines and circles painted in blood on the floor around Sirius feet. It wasn't Sirius' blood; it was the boy's. Sirius could see the leaking gashes carved into his thin, heaving chest.

After the weeping, the boy tried to explain. He'd gestured towards torn and crumpled pages torn from spell books, babbling about veils and war and never really thinking it would possibly work, but it did, and now…

Sirius settles in, but the house never feels like home. The house feels strange, the ancient carpets bristly, damp, and grimy beneath his feet as he paces his room, back and forth, back and forth until the door creaks open and the boy comes in.

Sirius turns on him, his teeth bared, and the boy stops in his tracks, trembles and flees.

Harry approaches him calmly the next day, his clothes neatly pressed, his hair combed into a semblance of order, his lips pale and the skin under his eyes very dark. They sit side by side in the library on a stiff, dusty sofa and the boy shows Sirius photos of dead people. Harry points and says their names, tell him stories that he doesn't have enough interest in to absorb. The smiling waving people in the photographs are strangers, and most of them are dead, killed in a war, apparently, so they'll remain strangers to him. The world is full of nothing but strangers.

“We used to love each other,” Harry says. “You were my godfather. You were my father’s best friend.”

Sirius just looks at him.

In the days that follow, Harry’s expression takes on an accusatory quality. His face looks pinched, angry, and increasingly desperate. Finally, he drags Sirius upstairs into the attic and begins searching through the mounds of dust-covered trunks and boxes. He yanks filthy sheets off furniture and throws aside bits and pieces, digging until suddenly he stops, having found the object for which he'd been searching. It's a latched wooden box. Harry clutches it in his fingers, swallowing, holding the box as if he's worried it will evaporate in his hands.

Back downstairs in the study, Harry takes Sirius to back of the room where there is a marble pedestal supporting a wide stone bowl. The boy takes one of the small glass vials he removed from the wooden box and empties its contents into the bowl where they weave and swirl like smoke and water. Sirius feels dizzy looking at it. The substance mirrors too closely the workings of his mind.

“Look!” Harry insists, forcing Sirius’ head down into the bowl. As he is falling, Sirius feels a sudden sensation of uncomfortable heat burst through his flesh. It's a shock to finally feel something, but he is desperately tired of this boy, this Harry, with his stares and his silent, never ending pleas, forcing these dusty memories upon him.

The visions into which he's plunged are like more vivid and slightly more interesting versions of the photographs. He recognises some of the people now – the man with glasses who looks quite a bit like Harry, the woman with the long red hair, another young man with sandy coloured hair and tattered robes who makes his heart clench momentarily before the feeling evaporates along with the memory. It's shocking when he sees someone whom he assumes must be a younger version of himself, but the shock passes quickly. That young man is full of life and energy, his eyes shine and his mouth opens with laughter. Sirius doesn't relate to a single thing about him.

He's forced into more memories – a ragged black dog that makes him shudder, a younger Harry gazing up at a younger Sirius, his eyes hot and hooded burning with an emotion Sirius recognises from his currently daily existence. Finally, Harry shows him a vision of themselves entwined in the dark in one of the bedrooms above. Their limbs are white in the darkness and everything looks wet – Harry's face, the sweat on their backs, this other strange Sirius's eyes.

When he emerges from the Pensieve for the final time Sirius has to restrain himself from striking Harry. Harry's expression is so crumbled with disappointment, however, that Sirius holds back his fist. Instead, he storms out of the study, up the stairs to his room where he begins the pacing that will continue through the night until he collapses into unconsciousness.

For several days, Sirius doesn't see Harry. He hears him leaving and re-entering the house at odd times, but he doesn’t lay eyes on him once. Eventually, he smells something. Tart, acrid fumes seep under the door and Sirius emerges, following his nose downstairs to the kitchen.

Sweating over a small black cauldron, Harry's face is creased in concentration. Sirius shuffles in the doorway, and Harry jumps, then spins to look at him, his eyes wide. Sirius says nothing, watching as the boy's eyes then narrow and his lips press together with determination. Sirius notices that the boy's arms seem to be once again covered in his own blood. The Pensieve has been moved onto the kitchen table and appears to have blood trickling over its lip in several places.

Sirius feels something like vertigo and a queasy apprehensive sickness deep inside his chest.

Later, when the boy desperately gives him the beaker, he takes it with shaking hands and drains it of its dark, musky contents, just wanting change, wanting to be free of the boy's constant pressure, hoping blindly that this potion will give him a way out.

The desire wakes him suddenly. It's deep, tearing – a mixture of pleasure and horror. Being positively consumed with emotion is a shock after so much emptiness. Sirius knows the desire isn't his own, he knows it's the boy's, but he's nevertheless helpless against its power. He wants. He wants Harry more than he wants to eat, more than he needs to breathe. He feels that if he doesn't have Harry soon the little existence he has will crack, dry up and become even less than nothing.

He feels like he is nothing, and that Harry's thin body pressed close to his own is the only thing that will give him substance and make the constant ache go away.

So, when Harry creeps into his room and his bed in the middle of the night, Sirius lets him stay. He lets him slide his hands slowly up his chest, listening to the sharp way he sucks in his breath. He lets Harry nuzzle and lick his neck and move up to his mouth where he kisses him with slightly sour breath.

Harry sucks Sirius's cock and lets Sirius fuck him, and when Sirius comes his mind goes momentarily blank, and it almost feels like relief.

During the day the boy walks around smiling. One would think his smiles would be pleasant after all the scowls, frowns and grimaces, but they aren't. They are, in fact, much, much worse. They remind Sirius of the expressions on the faces in the paintings hung throughout the house; the eyes are wrong, they hold no joy.

In the evening, Sirius looks through a large, cracked, filthy window at the boy flying through the garden on his broom. Harry smiles as he flies, but his smile is fixed and stiff and never reaches his eyes. Harry's broom is shiny and new, his flight aimless.

Sirius wonders if he'll crash, if he'll hit a wall or the ground and break his neck or smash his skull. He wonders, if that happened, would he then be free to go back to the place of warmth and light be barely remembers, that is now so vague in his mind, he doesn't know if it was real or if he dreamt it?

The boy spies him peering through the window and waves at him, his smile growing and then fading away all together. Sirius waves back.

And then he goes to bed.


(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-25 10:08 pm (UTC)
such_heights: amy and rory looking at a pile of post (Sirius)
From: [personal profile] such_heights
Oh wow! This is so atmospheric and sinister, a really lovely story. The imagery with Harry steeped in his own blood is just horrible. And the emptiness of it all - you've captured it very well! Enjoyed thoroughly.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 06:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] melusinahp.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! I was so glad to see your review, heh. I'm really glad you liked it. :D

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-26 09:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] archon-mentha.livejournal.com
Oh wow, this is so wonderfully creepy. I absolutely love it!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 06:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] melusinahp.livejournal.com
Yay, thank you, darling! I'm so glad you liked it. Not my usual pairing at all, but interesting to write none the less. XXX

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-30 07:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] archon-mentha.livejournal.com
AHA! I should SO not be surprised. There are very few people who are capable of making me like this pairing. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-30 10:03 am (UTC)
megyal: (Default)
From: [personal profile] megyal
I like the way you overcame the squick. This was so dark and depressing, just the way I like it from you. Excellent job with the mood; I felt as if the whole house was filled with fog...

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-30 10:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] melusinahp.livejournal.com
"I felt as if the whole house was filled with fog..." That makes me happy, as that's the mood I was going for, as inspired by the original fic.

And, yeah, the angst was pretty thick. Hard to write this pairing in this situation any other way, lol. XXX

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-30 10:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lyras.livejournal.com
I think you did a brilliant job here of showing how uncertain (uncaring?) Sirius is about everything. I especially like the image of him reappearing, finding Harry in that scene (and oh, Harry, to have wanted him back so badly!).

Harry's broom is shiny and new, his flight aimless.

I love this. Wah!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-30 11:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] melusinahp.livejournal.com
I'm so glad you liked it. :) I imagined that what Harry had brought back was only a shadow of the original Sirius, sort of like a ghost made flesh though the use of Harry's blood.

I have to give credit to the original fic's writer for the inspiration for that particular line, as I was reworking an image she created.


(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-30 12:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daintress.livejournal.com
Absolutely haunting. Nicely done!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-30 12:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] melusinahp.livejournal.com
Thanks, lovely. :D

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-30 06:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apisa-b.livejournal.com
Like a particular bad nightmare.

But great writing!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-30 07:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] melusinahp.livejournal.com
Heh, thanks!

And the perfect icon to go with it. :D

(no subject)

Date: 2007-05-07 06:16 am (UTC)
ext_9613: (Default)
From: [identity profile] flamewarrior.livejournal.com

This is an amazing story. I love the way you create such a rich sense of Sirius' experience, the horror of it, Harry's broken mind and heart. Really amazing. ::applauds:: Brava!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-05-08 07:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] melusinahp.livejournal.com
Hee, thank you, lovely. I'm really glad you liked it. XXX

(no subject)

Date: 2007-05-07 09:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waterbird.livejournal.com
This was fantastic and beautifully written. There's such a palpable sense of restraint here on Sirius's part - you do a superb job of showing how disconnected he feels. His wandering through Grimmauld Place is a good example of this - very haunting. He and Harry are both ghosts of sorts.

Yet it's also incredibly rich and full of feeling, thanks to the memories Harry forces on him and also because of Sirius's own observations of Harry and of this world he's found himself in.

And, of course, the image of Harry bleeding over a cauldron, so desperate and broken, is chilling and tragic. And I love how, at the very end, Sirius is still referring to him as 'the boy'. You make it clear that Sirius is not going to come around eventually and give Harry what he really wants. *loves*

(no subject)

Date: 2007-05-08 07:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] melusinahp.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! Ah, I always love your reviews. :D

In my mind Sirius was a kind of ghost, but a ghost given flesh through magic and Harry's blood. He was never going to be fully human and never what Harry wanted.


(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-23 12:07 am (UTC)
ext_150: (Default)
From: [identity profile] kyuuketsukirui.livejournal.com
Oh wow, creepy. I liked this a lot.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-26 07:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] melusinahp.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! :D

(no subject)

Date: 2007-11-20 09:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] masha-shamraeva.livejournal.com
Brilliant! Fantastic!
Thank you for writing it!

Would you mind terribly, if I translate this fic into Russian language. I will state everywhere that I am just a translator and you are the author of the fic.
Please! )))

(no subject)

Date: 2007-11-21 10:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] melusinahp.livejournal.com
Thank you! Go ahead, I don't mind at all. :D Please be sure to mention that this is a remix of [livejournal.com profile] backinblack's fic, though.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-11-27 06:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] masha-shamraeva.livejournal.com
Thank you for permission!


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