[identity profile] dmx-men.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] remix_redux
Title: The Edge of the River (The Hudson Palisades Remix)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] cedarlibrarian
Summary: On a cliff overlooking a great city, Sirius has one last chance to say goodbye to Remus before he goes into hiding.
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Remus/Sirius
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling lets me play in her sandbox.
Original story: The Shores of the Sea by [livejournal.com profile] such_heights
Author's note: Thanks, loffly beta! What are the Hudson Palisades, and what are they doing in this remix? Find out here!



The Edge of the River



First, he changes.

"Remus?"

The name dissolves and is absorbed by the thin fog that hangs over the river dividing the cliffs from the city. There is a strong wind that ruffles Sirius's hair and makes the surface of the water choppy. The sun is just beginning to rise but the light is somehow painfully bright, blinding Sirius as he walks near the ledge over the vertical drop. He watches the rays disperse through the metal buildings. The swish of cars over the pavement below is an envelope of white noise and there is nothing now but him and Remus and the sparkling city across the river.

"You shouldn't have come here," Remus admonishes, his tone no harsher than the mist. "You're too weak. It's not safe. The Ministry has operatives here, too," he says. He stares out over the river, gesturing towards the city in an attempt to prove his point.

Sirius knows this, but he doesn't care. It was worth sneaking into the Floo network to reach Remus in this secret place, half the world away in a place that reeks faintly of petrol. The uphill climb was difficult even in dog form but the sight of Remus, the last one he might have for a year or more, makes up for the sharp rocks and having to dodge the traffic. He takes a seat on the flattest piece of rock he can find, leaving Remus standing. Pulling his knees to his chest and folding his arms on top, Sirius sits in silence.

He feels rather than sees Remus sit down next to him and draw a breath.

"I resigned, you know. I'm now part of that fine curse of one-year Defense teachers. But I saved some of my wages and I'll be able to get by on that for a while." When he shakes his head the light catches the stubble on his jaw, reddish-gold. "But that doesn't matter, not really. Luck of the draw, that's all." Sirius rests his chin on his forearms. "You look terrible, you know," Remus adds with a grin. It falls away as he says, "Sirius, I've been talking to myself for years. Look at me, please."

Leaning back onto his wrists, Sirius turns to look across his shoulder. He can't help but smile at Remus. Despite the toll of lycanthropy Remus is still as Sirius has known him for so many years, gentle and charismatic with an indestructible loyalty. This venue is appropriate for their meeting, he thinks, a border between one miracle of water and rock and one of steel and glass.

For a moment the lack of emotion in Remus's face unnerves him, but when Remus responds to his smile the sun seems to rise a little higher behind the pointed towers.

"I'll be leaving soon, don't worry," Sirius tells him slowly. "Just want to make sure Buckbeak's ready to go."

A nod from Remus. "Okay." After a few moments he laughs at something far from funny and says, "Sorry! I don't know what to say."

This worries Sirius. Remus has always known what to say, even if he doesn't say it aloud. Sirius can do nothing but bark a laugh in response. "It's all right. You don't have to say anything. You're here."

"Yeah. I am. But you came all this way."

Sirius's gaze pans right and left across the river. "It's tempting to stay here. It'd be easy to get lost in the city. Millions of people. Thousands of dogs."

As the sun continues to rise, now almost to the top of the tallest skyscraper, they stop speaking. It is Sirius who resumes their conversation after a helicopter passes overhead.

"I forgot about you in Azkaban sometimes. Jamie and Harry…and Peter…there was so much there for them to feed on. But all of my memories of you, they took them. Or I hid them away in a place that was too safe for them to reach, but also too deep for me to remember."

"I hated you," Remus replies.

Remus's words turn Sirius's stomach, but he has to tell Remus this, the last thing he might ever get the chance to tell him. "But then I got out, and it's taking a long time, but I'm remembering again, stupid things, really. Like that summer we all went to the seaside and you got that daft stripey sunburn."

"Entirely your fault," Remus says dryly.

"I'm sure."

"I don't want to know where you're going. I'm sure you understand. I probably won't be able to meet you anywhere, either, and don't even think about doing what you did today, trying to find me in a place that's supposed to be secret. I talked to Dumbledore before I left. There are a lot of questions. Severus is dying to put the blame on me, as you can imagine, and you know no one's going to believe me regardless of what I say." He snorts. "Some things haven't changed."

"Clearly." Sirius is infuriated, but he is too weak to do anything to express it. Even if he wasn't, this is a terrible place to fight. It's a long way down from their cliff into the slate-gray river.

The fog is disappearing, and Sirius can see the top of the bridge that connects the city to the outlying suburbs. "Some things have, though," Remus says. "Peace time, Sirius. Can you imagine? We didn’t fight for nothing."

Sirius sighs. "Is it going to last? I can't see that. Can you?"

Shrugging, Remus replies, "I don't know."

"I've heard a lot...." Sirius curls into a ball resignedly, shielding his eyes from the sun. "We'll see."

"If it comes, we'll be ready this time," Remus reassures him.

In the moment that follows, Sirius feels as though he barely has the strength to breathe, much less to argue with Remus. He bites his lip. "Fat lot of use I'll be in hiding."

"It won't be forever." Remus stands. "Come on. You have to get out of here."

"I know." Sirius extends his hands and allows Remus to help him stand. He starts to mentally plan his trip back to Buckbeak's hiding place. Down the cliffs in dog form. Down should be easier than up. Sneak back into that stone house with the doggie door, and through their fireplace back to England. It's less than dignified, but it's the only way. He doesn't trust himself to Apparate, not yet.

Still holding Sirius's hands, Remus says, "You know I'd come with you, if you asked."

Sirius nods, pulling Remus towards him, embracing him as the sun warms his back. "Remus...," he begins.

"Don't!" Remus shuts his eyes for a minute and takes a deep breath. "We'll have time. Later," he says, his voice just above a whisper, nearly lost in the sounds of the awakening city. "But you have to go now."

This might be his last chance, Sirius thinks, and he leans in to kiss Remus, a kiss light enough to dissipate in the rising morning. As weightless as the kiss is, it lifts twelve years of tension and wondering from Sirius's shoulders, and in his relief he sighs against Remus's neck. He takes a step back and smiles. "I'll just say goodbye, then."

"Goodbye." Remus smiles back but there is a slight tremble in his lower lip, which Sirius almost misses. "I'll see you soon."

"Yeah." Then Sirius changes and heads down the jagged cliffs, taking one step and then another into the concrete unknown.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-22 05:33 pm (UTC)
such_heights: amy and rory looking at a pile of post (Default)
From: [personal profile] such_heights
*beams*

Thank you thank you, secret Remix author! Your choice of this one is something of a pleasant surprise.

I really like this - the change in setting works very well, I think, because it rather cleverly creates a whole subtle shift in tone, and combines nicely with the POV shift. I like the title change, too. =)

Right, off for a re-read! I'm really quite fascinated by this. Thank you once again!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-24 03:14 am (UTC)
ext_38381: (Jeune homme nu)
From: [identity profile] melandry.livejournal.com
Lovely and quiet.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-26 06:35 pm (UTC)
paranoidangel: PA (Default)
From: [personal profile] paranoidangel
I really like this, it's quite sad and hopeful at the same time.

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