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FIC: When Remus Opens the Door and Smiles

Oh, I can’t resist posting. It’s one of the two drabbles I wrote today … or have written, as today’s not over. Criticism is most welcome. Rather predictably, so is praise.

Title: When Remus Opens the Door and Smiles
Characters: Remus/Sirius
Era: GoF (Lying Low at Lupin’s)
Rating: G
Word count: 100
Disclaimer: I disclaim.


When Remus Opens the Door and Smiles

When Remus opens the door and smiles, he’s all greying hair and hunched shoulders, and the wrinkles around his eyes are new and not from smiling.

Sirius’s been imagining this: himself knocking on this door, and Remus opening, and smiling, and saying “Hello, Padfoot,” as if it’s been a week and not a life. He’s been imagining stepping over the threshold and feeling warmth seep through his skin again, and filling all the empty places.

When Remus opens the door and smiles, Sirius knows it’s been too long and too wrong, and he feels like crying. Instead, he smiles back.

22nd of June 2007

Comments

( ( 10 ) — Comment )
paulamcg
Jun. 22nd, 2007 09:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, I can’t resist either. I just have to tell you immediately that I love this – so much. I feel like like smiling, and giving you detailed feedback, but I can do that later. Now I’m crying.
ishonn
Jun. 22nd, 2007 09:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much for telling me this, now! I cried myself when writing it, thinking myself silly. So perhaps I wasn’t. Again, thank you a hundred times for knowing what it means to receive this kind of feedback. I’ll gladly wait for further comments whenever you feel like offering them.
paulamcg
Jun. 23rd, 2007 06:09 pm (UTC)
I hope my brief comment didn’t make your other readers decide to limit their reviews to only a few lines, too. I don’t doubt that all R/S shippers can find this piece essential. Perhaps my age contributes to my being moved by this so deeply, but in a younger reader’s view thirteen years can more tragically sound like a whole life-time. In my case, however, there’s a special reason to take the first image here very personally. Now when reading here about the simple situation of opening a door to a friend I don’t see that, either, only as the familiar R/S scenario.

In any case this opening of the door is the perfect opening. The very first words tell us that something important happens, and immediately after you show to us in a vivid image what totally occupies your viewpoint character’s senses.

I admire your ability to focus on this single idea. This is how the 100 words are never too small a space for you, so you can move around the idea, let it breathe and develop. It’s wonderfully reassuring to explore the meaning of what Sirius sees, comparing this moment with his expectations. At the end I wonder if your Sirius is in admirable control of his reactions (while mine was perhaps more messed up), or if his smile is somehow an automatic reaction, and superficial. I’m surprised he also thinks that he knows, not just e.g. fears it’s been too long. It’s also fascinating to extrapolate what Remus is thinking and feeling. In any case I trust the empty places will eventually become filled with warmth.

After this wonderful glimpse I’ll still be looking forward to your writing more about lying low at Lupin’s.
ishonn
Jun. 23rd, 2007 07:50 pm (UTC)
I shouldn’t think any comment of yours could possibly have a bad influence on anyone, regardless of the length — they’re always perfect.

I’m always thrilled when a piece of my writing reflects some reader’s own experience or impressions; thank you so much for telling me about this! It’s also reassuring that the scene can be read in a wider context.

Your praise of the text’s structure is quite overwhelming; I’m so happy that it was a right choice to split up the description of the actual situation and give Sirius a moment for his dreams and hopes. Oh, the hundred words can be too little, as I’m beginning to think of my most recent works, but at any rate it’s wonderful to hear that here they’re just enough.

I’d say Sirius realises that it’s been too long. He’s been fearing this all the time, but still allowed himself to hope. But then, this one look lets the hopes die and confirms the fear. I’d say, it’s a smile of someone who’s lost. Thank you for your trust in Remus and Sirius, though, which I lacked.

In fact, I have written another LLAL story, a longer one and focusing exactly on Sirius’s arrival at Remus’s place, too. It’s still waiting for some conclusions. I feel there’s something wrong about it, as if I had taken a shortcut and lost something essential in the process. It’s just occurred to me … Perhaps it’s the same problem as I have or had with many other fics, like “Regretting” or the horrible one I told you about at Mikko’s place. Perhaps it’s that I end up writing too concisely for some subjects I try to take up, I condense the fics too much in fear of waffle, and don’t let them ring out. Ha! I need to consider this, but the explanation appears to makes sense. Now back to the story I mentioned, “Coming Back”, I might decide to throw it out now, having written this drabble.

I can admit now that, having read your amazing LLAL stories and loving them so much, all my ideas about this period have seemed shallow or cliché to me. Which is good, actually, if it has stopped me from committing some awful banalities.
paulamcg
Jul. 1st, 2007 07:37 pm (UTC)
Perhaps Sirius could also have been too lost to know what to hope or fear. Still, suddenly seeing that Remus is (or looks) old could make him feel it’s been too long.

Have you now considered having – and/or letting me have – a look at “Coming Back”? I don’t think you had mentioned it before, and I’m so excited that I don’t understand why I didn’t reply here earlier. Particularly if that story is still waiting for some conclusions, I doubt you can have lost anything essential irrevocably.

Your ideas about the LLAL can’t possibly be shallow (any longer, after you’ve written this wonderful piece – and read my fics). Thank you for what you said about my stories set in that period. I still feel a bit uncertain, as you haven’t reviewed my main LLAL fic, just said that it gave you some funny thoughts or something.
ishonn
Jul. 1st, 2007 08:17 pm (UTC)
No, I must admit I haven’t given “Coming Back” a second thought since I mentioned it to you. (Now this is a story where nothing’s happening, trust me.) I have a similar problem as with “Choice”: I don’t know whether I believe it happened at all. In “When Remus Opens …” I eliminated the source of my confusion, and anyway I had less space to invent some rubbish about cottages and stuff. You see, this is important. In your LLAL, you know where Remus went and why. I don’t know any such things. I’ve read two million LLAL fics with Remus welcoming Sirius in lonely cottages and I can see it, and I could write it. But I have also read stories by one PaulaMcG and understood that, if I’m to write a good, wise story, I can’t just prattle away without thinking. It’s a different thing altogether when I write a tiny wee drabble, like the rainy ones, and I don’t need to know what the argument was about, or even a drabble like “When Remus Opens …”, because I don’t have to answer any questions about Remus’s past. “Coming Back” is a longer story and I need to know all these things. And I have no idea why Remus would live on the outskirts of London in a small house with … Well, I won’t say more, but I trust you’ll understand my point.

Why, I’ve just realised what it all means! What it means is, my doubts don’t let me write! Jolly good, I do have some responsibility! See? It’s you from whom I learned it. (I think I should make a list of things I’ve learned from you and keep updating it, and show you what an amazing person you are and how essential your writing is to me, in so many aspects.)

I expect I have understood what the problem was with “Let’s Go Home, Pads”. Actually … Actually, why don’t I go read it now? You’ll forgive me the delay with replying to your comments, won’t you?
mindabbles
Jun. 23rd, 2007 03:55 am (UTC)
I love the first line. It is such a complete description. The second paragraph is sweet and hopeful. and then, ouch. wonderful, intense drabble.
ishonn
Jun. 23rd, 2007 09:48 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I’m thrilled that the first line worked so well for you; I must admit I’m rather satisfied with it myself. It was painful to dismiss the hope at the end, but, well … In any case it’s great to know you enjoyed the drabble!
opheliet
Jun. 23rd, 2007 04:31 am (UTC)
Love, love, love. "Too long, and too wrong." That just aches. Oh poor, poor boys. That the moment they've both been imagining just wouldn't go right seems so perfect...perfectly angsty, and that's a compliment :)
ishonn
Jun. 23rd, 2007 09:50 am (UTC)
Thank you! I’m so happy to hear that you liked my favourite phrase so much. I understand what you mean by perfect, I think: would it be the beauty of sadness and melancholy? I’m glad you appreciate this notion so much; thank you again for the wonderful feedback!
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