[identity profile] jammasterjayne.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] remix_redux
Title: Our Daily Bread (The Whole of the Moon Remix)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] krabapple
Summary: Remus has to cope with Grimmauld Place, too.
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Remus Lupin/Sirius Black
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: All belongs to J.K. Rowling.
Original story: Untitled Fic for Elanor Two by [livejournal.com profile] lacylu42
Notes: Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] such_heights for being a wonderful beta. Canon compliant through Order of the Phoenix.





Remus has a secret.

He's the one who does the shopping.

There is not a lot of shopping to be done with just the two of them in the house. Remus goes out two or three times a week, to the Muggle shops a few blocks away. There's the cornershop, where the girl behind the counter smiles at him and usually "forgets" to ring up an item or two. She helps Remus pack the shopping, grinning shyly and tossing her fringe out of her eyes. Remus is gentle with her, speaks softly as their hands disappear into brown plastic bags. He usually leaves a little cash hidden underneath a bag, so that it's visible only after he leaves. He doesn't want her to get offended that he doesn't take her discounts, but he can't bring himself not to pay her. Remus isn't sure what she does with the money after he leaves, if she puts it in the till or in her pocket; either way, he doesn't really care, but he takes her small version of affection and then puts it back when she's not looking, tucked away under thin plastic.

Then there's the tea shop across the street and two doors down. No young girls working there, just a tottering old man who disparages Remus' choice of tea. Remus usually purchases loose Darjeeling because it is Sirius' favorite. Remus doesn't think too often that Earl Grey, the tea the old man tries to foist on him every visit as vastly superior, used to be Sirius' favorite. Sometimes the smell of the loose leaves shifts Remus slightly, allows him to waver just briefly, remember strong black coffee for himself and wafting Earl Grey for Sirius, who never drank coffee because he deemed it too French. It was the attitude of a Black forced to condescend to various Malfoys, no doubt, but amusing to Remus nonetheless. It used to make Remus chuckle into his coffee some mornings, always sunny and summery and bright days in his memory, and Sirius always missed the joke, which only ever made Remus laugh harder: imagine prankster extraordinaire Sirius Black not getting the punch line. Remus would laugh until Sirius kissed him silent, mouth red and hot and seeking.

Most mornings now, though, Remus shakes his head, refuses to get lost, causing the old man in the shop to cluck some more about imports and purity and how muddled the Darjeeling market is. Remus doesn't speak, just pays for his purchases and pockets his change. Sometimes he smiles thinly and nods goodbye; mostly he just nods goodbye. A bell on the door chimes his departure.

A newsstand down the street is always Remus' next stop. He buys a newspaper or two for himself and a Muggle fashion magazine for when Molly stops by the house. Remus suspects that Molly doesn't really look at these herself; rather, she gives them to Arthur who finds the Muggle adverts fascinating. He then wills them to Ginny, who reads them and shares them with her Hogwarts friends. On one occasion, Remus even saw an old magazine he had purchased in Hermione's hands; he'd been surprised that Hermione would even look at them, but when he found her and Ginny on the stairs, he realized he shouldn't be that surprised. Lily used to pour over such magazines with Alice when they were both younger, sharing space on a couch in the common room. It used to baffle James, who would pontificate on girls and their habits, though Sirius shrugged it off with the raising of his right shoulder. Remus had once found a well-worn copy of one of Lily's old magazines in Peter's trunk while he was looking for spare socks to borrow. Peter had claimed it as research, stuttering and blushing before Remus could even get the lid down, and Remus hadn't cared, though it had made him wonder exactly what kind of research Peter was doing. He didn't tell James or Sirius, though, and Remus had once been young enough to believe that his silence had earned him Peter's loyalty.

Remus always chats with the owner of the newsstand, usually over the weather or Muggle politics, which Remus can follow mostly due to the newspapers he purchases there. Remus also buys chocolate for when Harry might visit, which he stashes away in a drawer in a corner of the drawing room. He buys taffy for Ron and lemon drops for Dumbledore, but leaves those out in the kitchen pantry.

He always reaches for gum for Sirius before he stops himself, remembering that Sirius can no longer chew gum, his teeth still not strong enough even after several dental charms. Sometimes Remus can't stop himself, placing a pack in with his other purchases. There are stacks of gum in his sock drawer, hidden in the very back. He's not sure he would give them to Sirius even on a day when the dental work is complete, but there are times he can't hold back, so he buys the gum anyway.

Sometimes there are stops in other shops. The bookshop owner knows Remus well enough to say hello. Remus rarely buys books for himself; they're too expensive – he uses the library or sometimes treats himself at flea markets or sidewalk sales. The books are for Sirius, who is working his way through literary classics: Tolstoy, Dickens, Joyce. Remus has bought four copies of Ulysses because Sirius keeps losing them. Remus isn't sure how that's possible, exactly, though in Grimmauld Place nothing much surprises Remus; there might even be some kind of magic or charm that makes the books disappear. The library could be eating them for all Remus knows.

Sirius likes his books long and thick these days; no pithy comedies or murder mysteries for him. Anything too violent usually turns his face red and his mood dark. Remus, however, reads these castoffs, knowing they're fiction, usually two or three steps ahead of the narrator anyway. Jane Austen makes Sirius laugh; the first time Remus looked up to see Sirius laughing over Pride and Prejudice they had both ended up doubled over, nearly rolling on the kitchen floor. Sirius had kissed Remus brightly on the lips, leaving Remus breathless from laughter and his cheeks pink from Sirius' mouth.

If it's not the bookshop, it's the small clothes shop. Remus bought Sirius shoes for his birthday; Sirius goes barefoot most of the time anyhow, as he doesn't leave the house, and the shoes Dumbledore procured are too small. Remus likes Sirius barefoot though he doesn't say so. The naked feet peeking out from underneath Sirius' robes or frayed trousers or jeans look just the same to Remus now as they did in Hogwarts, and they make Remus smile, feel lighter. The new shoes are hidden in the closet in Mrs. Black's old room. Remus had felt foolish for buying them, knowing that the corner of his heart where he actually believes that Sirius will use them soon had fueled the purchase, and he's a bit ashamed of that part of him, the part that still believes. Remus thought he'd rid himself of it years ago, but Sirius Black has proven Remus wrong once again.

Remus also, when he can, buys clothes for Harry – a jumper here, a pair of socks there. It's Sirius' money, in reality, and Sirius never misses it. Remus also knows Sirius would want to do it himself, and can't. So Remus does, bundling up the purchases when he gets home and sending them off by Muggle post, to be picked up by owls outside of Hogsmeade. Sometimes he even takes them directly to the little post office ten blocks down, the magical one sandwiched between the toy shop and the Chinese restaurant, and owls them directly to Harry before he even gets home, signing Sirius' name to a generic white card.

Finally, always, there's the bakery. Remus visits the bakery last so that the purchase can be as fresh as possible before he takes it back to Grimmauld Place. He only ever buys one major thing here, but it's the most special on his list; the clerk working the counter knows his order by heart, and Remus doesn't even have to say anything when his turn comes up.

Remus buys fresh bread. It isn't even sliced yet when Remus opens the door. The clerk does that for him while he stands there, breathing in the aroma. They wrap the bread up in wax paper, slip it into a bag, and hand it to Remus. On cold mornings, Remus buys a hot cinnamon bun, too, and that they don't wrap up for him since Remus eats it on the way home, fingers sticky by the time he gets back to the kitchen of Grimmauld Place.

Most days this winter, Remus licks his fingers clean one by one as he puts the shopping away. He always manages to be up, gone and back before Sirius even stirs. Sirius has always been a late riser, and lately he's been waking later and later. He's often in a foul mood, throwing shoes or books upon his entrance, or making as much noise in the kitchen as possible, slamming cabinets shut and leaving the kettle to whistle longer than necessary.

After the nights they share a bed Remus knows that the late mornings and the dark moods are because it's often pre-dawn before Sirius even drops off to sleep, memories and nightmares finally fading, his breathing evening out and becoming steady. Sirius going to sleep always wakes Remus, the shift in Sirius' breathing sparking something behind Remus' eyes. Remus wakes and holds his breath briefly, letting it out only when he realizes that Sirius' slow breathing means he's asleep – that the breathing is slow, not stopped completely. Once he is sure of this, Remus can go back to sleep, rolling over and curling an arm around Sirius' waist or chest, his fingertips catching on Sirius' ribs, making sure Sirius is all warmth and softness, the hard lines of his face gone, the angles of his body muted by shadow.

Remus holds on, and sleeps, and in the morning he goes and does the shopping.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-23 12:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] penknife.livejournal.com
This is lovely -- I love Remus in this, doing this thing that's so hard and never really showing the strain. Just perfect.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-05-04 11:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] krabapple.livejournal.com
Thank you! The feedback was lovely; I'm happy you enjoyed the story!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-23 01:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lacylu42.livejournal.com
Wow! Thank you so much! This is so bittersweet and so very Remus. I especially love the line, "but he takes her small version of affection and then puts it back when she's not looking, tucked away under thin plastic." Pure poetry.

Thank you! I'm all awash in giddy. This is the best remix I've ever gotten! :x

(no subject)

Date: 2007-05-04 11:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] krabapple.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you! I am so very, very happy that you liked the story! The original ficlet was so wonderful, I just hope I did it justice. You wrote me such a wonderful Remix last year, and this isn't even close to that, but I am glad you liked it all the same. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-23 01:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] celandineb.livejournal.com
Wonderfully detailed -- one gets engrossed in the particulars of Remus' morning chores for their own sake, and then there's the sudden realization that Remus, too, focuses on those details because they're the only thing to hold on to.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-05-04 11:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] krabapple.livejournal.com
Thank you for the lovely feedback!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-23 07:01 pm (UTC)
such_heights: amy and rory looking at a pile of post (Moony grr)
From: [personal profile] such_heights
Absolutely lovely!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-05-04 11:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] krabapple.livejournal.com
Thank you! :)

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-23 09:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] topaz-eyes.livejournal.com
I love the simmering emotion beneath the surface here, as Remus does the shopping. He's just as trapped as Sirius is, but he gets through. This is a lovely companion to the original.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-05-04 11:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] krabapple.livejournal.com
Thank you so much for the lovely feedback! I'm so glad you enjoyed the story.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-24 03:18 am (UTC)
ext_38381: (remus and padfoot)
From: [identity profile] melandry.livejournal.com
Wonderful how you find the meaning and the poetry and the sadness in everyday life, here. Poor, quietly hopeful Remus.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-05-04 11:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] krabapple.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! That was really the tone I was shooting for, so I'm so happy to hear that it's the tone you heard. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-24 04:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] secretsolitaire.livejournal.com
Mmm, this is quiet and wistful and lovely. The title is perfect -- daily bread being such an everyday, ordinary sort of thing, but yet something that gives us the strength and sustenance to go on...just like these daily chores do for Remus. Wonderful fic.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-05-04 11:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] krabapple.livejournal.com
Thank you for the lovely feedback!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-26 06:48 pm (UTC)
paranoidangel: PA (Default)
From: [personal profile] paranoidangel
This is so beautiful

(no subject)

Date: 2007-05-04 11:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] krabapple.livejournal.com
Thank you!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 08:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] riko.livejournal.com
That was awesome! Beautiful with so many little, loving details that might seem mundane but mean so much more in this context. Perfect.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-05-04 11:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] krabapple.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the story!

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