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FIC: Through the Rain

This drabble, together with the one to be posted next, was inspired by a rain photo prompt over at sirius_remus100, unfortunately too late to take part in the challenge. Although the two pieces deal with the same prompt and can be interpreted as picturing two different outcomes of the same situation, I’m posting them separately — for order’s sake.
Comments are, as always, loved dearly, constructive criticism in particular. (I’m somewhat uncertain about the repetitions …)

Title: Through the Rain
Characters: Remus/Sirius
Era: post-Hogwarts
Rating: G
Word count: 100
Disclaimer: I disclaim.

Through the Rain

What happens next is rain: light, silvery curtains that close around them with soft patter. They don’t move for a while yet, staring at each other with their fists clenched and the harsh words burning their throats.

Finally the rain puts these out with a hiss, and Remus closes his eyes and lifts his face and hands to accept it. He exhales slowly, then shakes his head, sending droplets of water flying.

He can hear Sirius smile through the rain and he opens his eyes to see him lift his face, too.

“Let’s go home,” Sirius says into the sky.

22nd of June 2007


( ( 14 ) — Comment )
Jun. 23rd, 2007 07:19 pm (UTC)
I actually like the other rain drabble better. This one is very nice, too, but the imagery seems to be conflicted. You describe the rain as something beautiful, light and delicate. The boys, however, are pissed off, and it seems strange that they would perceive the softness and the beauty. I stumbled over this or rather, I couldn't really feel what's going on. *feels a little incoherent*
Jun. 23rd, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for telling me so clearly about your doubts! Trust me that there’s absolutely nothing to apologise for.

The boys are, indeed, pissed off. They’re standing there, in the middle of an argument, which for some reason happens outside. They’re standing there and staring at each other, chewing the next harsh words they want to throw at each other. And then the rain starts to fall. And after a moment, all this becomes ridiculous: their fight, their anger. Water’s dripping down their noses and suddenly they’re equal in this being wet and cold. They look around, they focus on the rain, and the anger passes. They realise it made no sense from the very beginning.

Of course, all this explanation is, let’s say, illegal. The text either can work or not; in your case it’s the latter. Your comment made me wonder whether the hundred words didn’t prove too few this time, while paulamcg below says it did not. Perhaps it’s just — or as much as — personal experience and attitude. In any case I’m most grateful for your thoughtful explanation; it truly inspired me to some more considering!
Jun. 23rd, 2007 08:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, I think you handle your space wonderfully in these rain drabbles, too. And I admire and enjoy them both.

This one is just… dreamlike. Now I’ve decided to read this as a dream. For once I manage not to believe in this as reality, even though you state explicitly that this is what happens. The beauty of the rain is like a benediction, and only after closing his eyes Remus can hear Sirius receive it with a smile, too.
Jun. 23rd, 2007 08:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for reacting so quickly and reassuring me that also here the hundred words is quite enough. I’ve just read the drabble again and enjoyed it even more than before.

I like the idea of a dream. Perhaps it is, and only the second drabble depicts reality? (Am I being particularly pessimistic recently or it’s just my impression?) You describe the rain’s meaning so beautifully and perfectly that I must admire the image again myself, and once more, with Remus, smile at the sound of Sirius’s smiling.
Jun. 23rd, 2007 11:48 pm (UTC)
I hope you are not pessimistic in other respects, but I’ve now accepted the negative outcome of this situation, and I enjoy the positive one just as a dream or wishful thinking. I do like the explanation you give in your reply to pforte, too, but your 100 words did not convey such a story to me. I’d have nothing against the boys feeling equal in being wet and cold, but I didn’t get that image. Instead, the rain remained gentle and its impact on the boys somehow surreal. Perhaps that’s not at all what you intended, but in my case it was fortunate that you didn’t have the space to spell out your intention more clearly. In this way I can, in the end, receive both pieces and reconcile them as parts of Remus’s experience, even though one part is only what he wishes had happened.

I’m so glad my first comment made you, too, admire the image again. The sound of the smile now makes me think of the warmth of Samir’s smile my Remus feels with his eyes closed at the end of Come Up With Me, but your wording is even more unpredictable.
Jun. 24th, 2007 10:21 am (UTC)
Well, it seems that yesterday I was pretty pessimistic about much of everything, the subjects of my writing included.

I can’t help wondering why you’d take my word for it so easily and exclude the possibility that both of these situations are real. Frankly, I’m beginning to lean towards this interpretation: these could have been two different days, two different rains. Perhaps two different years; wouldn’t that make sense? The rain has changed and so have Remus and Sirius; they’re giving up.

No, of course my text does not convey everything I assigned to it in my explanation above. It’s just an interpretation, which I hoped to belatedly convince pforte that the whole idea made sense. I wouldn’t say it was even clearly my intention, no. I can see and appreciate your point: the surreal quality of the rain and its influence on the situation.

Thank you for your comparison and beautiful praise of the smile. I’m happy the wording met the right balance.
Jun. 24th, 2007 01:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Smiling
I think I was the first one to decide that this is a dream. Of course, this could have happened on another day.

But particularly after reading mindabbles’s praise, I want to believe that the extraordinary opening is not coincidental. Does it make any sense that I feel that the affirmative phrase would not be necessary, unless the narrator needed to focus on building up the illusion that this is real?

Perhaps there once was something like this situation and it did not end badly. But who can be sure that the rain was truly beautiful like this, that the positive change in atmosphere and interaction was truly magical like this?

Remus is reaching for an image he wants to treasure (so he hasn’t really given up). It’s captured in these words as I read them, and it is as real as I can wish.
Jun. 24th, 2007 01:44 pm (UTC)
Ah, it seems that I failed to speak clearly in my previous comment … I’m sorry.

Yes, definitely it was your idea that the scene was a dream. I was referring to my remark in the original entry that the two rain drabbles “can be interpreted as picturing two different outcomes of the same situation”, while now I’m becoming more convinced that these are two similar situations at two different moments in Remus and Sirius’s life.

I’m afraid I can’t quite follow your comment about the opening phrase. Do you want to suggest that, if the beginning were something like “Then it started to rain …”, the scene would seem less like a dream to you? I just don’t see the connection between the narrator’s trying to build up an illusion, which you mentioned, and the particular form of the opening sentence.

No, of course Remus doesn’t give up in this drabble. I was just comparing this situation with the scene in “Through the Rain”, where they both give up (in my view). I’m happy to know that this moment, whether a dream or not, can be real enough for Remus and for you.
Jun. 24th, 2007 02:21 pm (UTC)
I’m not so sure anything I say makes any sense either. I didn’t clearly remember what you said at the beginning of the original entry, but it seems I can’t easily change my ideas of what actually happened and what didn’t. I read the second drabble immeaditely after this one and was convinced that the ending of the second one was the real outcome. Perhaps that’s why, despite the present tense, I feel that the viewpoint character in this one is dreaming, or (because I’m not usually interested in playing with alternatives) working seriously on an illusion, and he’s doing that after the second drabble’s situation, having not given up.

I still don’t know why the opening is so compelling actually. Did you know, to start with? Or is it a coincidence, or did you add some unnecessary words to make the 100?

I do hope you are feeling less pessimistic today, and I should write more to ask what has changed and what you changed etc.
Jun. 24th, 2007 03:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you for explaining your idea to me again. I think I understand it better now, and I love it even more. I can really see Remus imagining this scene: how it could have, should have been. Now I feel tempted to write one more rainy drabble, where Remus, having not given up, tries to make this imagined scene happen after all.

No, I didn’t add anything to the first sentence at all in the process of editing (but your question suggests you see some unnecessary words there — do you?). All I know is that once more I attempted to make the readers find themselves immediately within the scene, to provoke them to build up what has just happened by themselves. With this first sentence I wanted to set the scenery, too: show that Remus and Sirius are somewhere outside and let the rain start working its wonders. Would that answer the question?

Yes, I am feeling much better today, thank you. I can’t really express what our exchange yesterday meant for me, as it was more than a fascinating and thought-provoking discussion. Once again you made me see more of myself than what was best visible, and trust that it was important. Perhaps I should have written a letter, but I wanted to avoid spilling these brooding, completely self-centred thoughts beyond the angry poems — although I know you would have understood, as always.

The change was slight and proved most significant: I smiled.
Jun. 24th, 2007 05:42 pm (UTC)
I’m so glad that my idea could be understandable and lovable, after all. And I would like to see Remus act to make it happen.

I talked about unnecessary words only because you gave the impression that you thought you could as well have written something like, “Then it rains”, and that would actually say the same in fewer words. “What” and “is” could be considered unnecessary, and “happens” does not carry any very specific meaning either.

This must mean that language is not words. When I break the opening into words like this, you seem to have wasted words. Still, the phrase works perfectly. And that’s why I was curious whether you knew why.

In theory the mere “then” would imply that something has happened before and we must imagine it. But the phrase you wrote can effectively make us believe that we’ve actually been there wondering how things are, what we’ve ended up doing, and what will happen next. In my case, due to all the context (including the other drabble and your notes), it made me believe that I had also already been there to see an unfortunate outcome, and I wanted to make it different from this point.

I’d never mind your spilling any thoughts. But I end up spending so much time on continuing each bit of discussion that it is reassuring to know we can feel comfortingly visible to each other and ourselves in this way, too.

I’m so happy you’ve posted My Ever. Now I just have to admire it, wondering what I could say in a comment. I just thought about it yesterday when checking which entries I still haven’t commented on.

Writing those four poems yesterday must be remarkable, too, even if they are angry ones and for some reason you don’t want to post them yet. But… Oh, oh… Now that your smile is not any abstract notion to me – when I’ve seen and I can see vividly what a difference it makes, I’m thrilled it has started to play a role, which must be significant, in the challenging situation. You know I’m wishing you all the strength you need, even though I’m so slow to word it.
Jun. 24th, 2007 06:34 pm (UTC)
I hope to show you Remus acting as soon as tonight, if I find the courage.

I didn’t realise I was giving the impression that the first line could have been anything but what it is — it absolutely couldn’t. Anyway, I must laughingly admit that your taking the sentence to pieces virtually freaked me out. No, fortunately language is not words, and I can sleep peacefully, reassured that my sentence is a necessary whole.

You spell out my (conscious) purpose better than I did: to convince the readers they’ve been there with Remus and Sirius all the time was precisely what I wanted.

Please don’t feel compelled to reply to anything immediately, or to comment on the poem — while of course it’s always brilliant to hear what you think. I realise you can’t possibly devote all your time to these exchanges, and I must be irritatingly overproductive ;-) In any case I’m very, very glad to have pleased you with my last entry. It’d been on my mind all the time.

Thank you so much for the comfort you keep offering, for not only being there yourself, but making me be in a different way. On a realistic sidenote, I made a screen wallpaper with some of our photos, so that your exact image is just a few layers of open programmes away.

The sheer number of four is remarkable, and as for the content— They have stopped burning, but I still must let them go out completely to see whether I can trust them.

You might say you’re slow, but never too slow. Thank you for all your wishes and trust in my smile. I hope you’re well, too.
Jun. 24th, 2007 03:39 am (UTC)
I seem to be admiring your first lines lately. I loved 'what happens next is the rain...' and the image of the space around them becoming close and private. I have had experiences like this, where one shift in atmosphere or surroundings changes the dynamic in such a profound way. Lovely.
Jun. 24th, 2007 09:44 am (UTC)
Thank you for this lovely feedback! It’s wonderful to know that you appreciate the idea of the rain closing them in this separate space. For some reason this image appealed to me greatly and it was fascinating to watch its impact on the boys, as it is to learn now that you have had similar experience. Again many thanks for reading and commenting!
( ( 14 ) — Comment )