"One: he's sitting on my
chair. Two: he's wearing my clothes. Three: his name's Remus Lupin."
There are currently sixteen drabbles on this page. They are in chronological order of writing, but any new ones will be added at the top, if that makes sense.
Challenge #5 - The Patronus
Sirius looks up and sees them. The Dementors.
Crushing, debilitating cold, fear, icy despair, beneath his skin, behind his eyes, he’s falling, he’s drowning, but he knows what to do…
There’s the memory, brief and bright; a summer night, Camden Market, punk rock glory, Remus Lupin, laughing, golden wolf’s eyes smudged with kohl, long hair spilling glitter, pink and silver, god save the queen and the fascist regime, that’s his Moony in all his savage, glittering beauty…
The creature is off and away, gleaming silver and full of grace. Sirius wants to laugh. It’s a wolf, of course.
Challenge #10 - Crossover week
Crowley groaned. After a long day’s tempting humanity, he wasn’t in the mood to cope with angelic eccentricities. “Aziraphale,” he said, “we’ve been over this. They don’t exist. Wizards and witches and all that. Fairy tales, nothing more.”
“We exist,” said Aziraphale stubbornly. “So why not wizards and witches?”
After a while, he went on, “Fine. Don’t believe me. See if I care if you get eaten.”
Crowley blinked. “Eaten?”
He was answered by a pale, long-haired human standing close by. “Your friend means me, I imagine. Tonight is the full moon.”
Crowley blinked… and angel and werewolf were gone.
Challenge #22 - owls
A French-English boy sits by a window with no glass, and looks out at the clear blue sky. The owl comes rushing down in a flurry of feathers and drops the letter in his lap. All he knows is it is addressed in green ink; he cannot read. Only one man in the village can.
The priest will read it and shudder. The boy is being invited to study witchcraft. Witchcraft.
And what is more, the letter is in a woman’s hand.
In the castle, Rowena Ravenclaw laughs delightedly as she writes the child’s name. He is the first one!
The air is full of warmth and spices and the sounds of the bazaar. Sirius watches as tropical birds wing by overhead, flying straight from light into darkness. Lanterns and naked flames dance at the edge of his vision. There is no twilight here.
Owls must be northern birds, he decides; he hasn’t seen a single one since he arrived here.
He writes on paper, not parchment. The moon is waning gibbous; someone he used to know will be in need of a friend.
Wish you were here, Moony.
With a delicate rush of brightly-coloured wings, the letter is gone.
Somewhere in the north of England, Remus Lupin is asleep on the floor. He is awoken by rapping on the window. He opens it for a gorgeously-coloured macaw, flying in and dropping a scrap of paper into his hands.
Wish you were here, Moony.
He considers what to say. The bird is tired; he has time to write as long a letter as he likes. After twelve years apart, there is a lot for them to say.
After a moment, he smiles and writes his answer.
Even when the bird is gone, the bright colours stay with him.
[a group of owls is called a “parliament.” Just so you know]
They sit in solemn conclave in the dark of night, weighed down by the troubles of two worlds. Feathers are ruffled; time to begin.
This is democracy in its most ancient form.
A tawny owl is speaker for the house.
The war. Both wars. The Order of the Phoenix. The Hutton Inquiry. The Boy Who Lived. The walk in the woods.
The meeting is soon over. One by one, they swoop through London and away.
At Grimmauld Place, a white hand smears against the window, opens it, lets the owl in.
At Whitechapel, the same.
Challenge #23 - dreams
Harry doesn’t sleep much at night. Now, in the quiet, sunlit garden, he’s dozed off, arms around a dog’s neck.
Two dogs, actually – one big, black and cuddly; the other, not-so-cuddly, with pointed ears and grey fur, but Harry loves them both. “I dreamed I was famous!” he tells them. “I dreamed I had magical powers!”
They leap on him. “Snuffles! Moony!” he yells, and laughs.
It feels good to laugh.
His eyes rest on the wall-plaque – “St Brutus’s Secure Centre” – and it feels good to know it was just a dream.
Maybe now he knows that, he can go home soon.
Lysergic acid diethylamide. Even the name is pretty.
Sirius laughs and laughs as it takes hold; they’re there together in a world where they’re alone, drowning in hypnotic swirling illusion that’s so real and so not, and now, they’re crossing over, hearing colour and seeing sound and so in love that it burns…
Flashbacks, years later. Moments of terror as he falls back into that night.
But Remus isn’t afraid; he holds onto the wisps of unreality from behind closed eyes. In his highly-coloured, beautiful dreams, they’re still lying on the floor laughing at nothing, they’re still together, in love.
Challenge #24 - wizarding photographs
A black-haired boy has his arms wrapped around another whose head is thrown back, clear eyes staring straight at the camera. Long hair falls into eyes, lips are slightly parted with laughter, loose beauty in a moment.
The picture is turned, slowly, carefully. There is the neat handwriting of the boy who will grow up to write marks out of ten on Harry’s Defence essays.
Hogwarts, June 1975 – Padfoot and me.
Just In Case
It’s a very strange newspaper. He’s only read a couple of pages before he’s decided it someone’s idea of a joke. Articles about magic and witchcraft! Advertisements for exploding custard creams!
And there’s a picture on the front. It’s a picture of a skull made of stars, hanging in the sky like a green firework, and somehow, it twinkles.
When he gets home, he sets fire to it.
Just in case.
Challenge #25 - Hogwarts Holodeck, or the Room of
Sirius and Hermione ripped it from a Muggle newspaper. When he couldn’t clean away memories and she couldn’t clean away fear, they sat with pencils and worked on it together.
They consulted Chamber’s, Webster’s and the good old Shorter Oxford, all to no avail.
Finally, Sirius had to tell Hermione a secret.
The room was where he’d said it would be. She entered to find it empty, except for a slip of paper on the floor. She read it, gave it to an owl to carry, then laughed all day.
At Grimmauld Place, Sirius unfolded it.
“Thirteen across. Answer – Lupin.”
Challenge #26 - Muggle-wizard relations
People have their own ideas about the young man on the ground floor. It’s just not natural, do young people good to remember Sodom and Gomorrah, what’d they expect, depraved perversions, shared needles or God-knows-what, but it’s so obvious. He’s always pale and wide-eyed, and he looks so fragile. Like he could break.
His name is Remus Lupin. He suffers from a terrible illness.
He lives years longer than they think he will; but when at last he disappears, they’re sure they know what’s finally happened.
However, no-one dares break into the flat.
Because the windows are smeared with blood.
Challenge #31 - the alternate lives of Death Eaters
The light flashes dully in the grey daylight. “Next.”
Four figures in black cloaks shuffle across. The woman smiles a brittle, artificial smile. “Tell me, Mr Malfoy,” she says sweetly, glancing down at the name, “is this your first time signing on?”
Severus Snape lays out cards. They sit in tidy rows. He’s good at the game; he has the patience for it.
He’s thinking. He’s thinking more deeply than he has ever thought in his life.
Queen on king, jack on queen.
The werewolf crashes through the window and he looks up. He recognises the pale, drawn features, smells the Unforgivable, knows Lupin has been tortured.
He reaches down, kicks away the silver, brushes away the blood from the man’s eyes.
Lupin is bleeding over the cards, but Snape knows one day, he’ll finish the game.
Challenge #41 - birthdays
On Severus Snape’s seventeenth birthday, he held out his arm and was marked forever.
On Remus Lupin’s seventeenth birthday, he fell fifty feet from a flying motorcycle and landed on top of someone.
On Minerva McGonagall’s seventeenth birthday, she woke up as a cat.
On Sirius Black’s seventeenth birthday, he fell forty-nine feet from a flying motorcycle and a werewolf fell on his head.
On Tom Riddle’s seventeenth birthday, he changed his name.
On Draco Malfoy’s seventeeth birthday, he made a choice and went out to fight.
And by Harry Potter’s seventeenth birthday, they had all lived and died.
On Harry’s nineteenth birthday, in the afternoon, Ron’s owl taps against his window. He opens it and lets the bird fly in.
The message is breezy, happy, ultimately pointless; a letter from one friend to another. It speaks of Ginny’s upcoming departure from Hogwarts, of the twins’ latest stock market venture, of Hermione’s meetings with her publishers.
Harry smiles as he reads, then puts it aside.
He throws a bag over his shoulder and goes down the stairs. Flies buzz through the still air.
The front door opens, Harry walks down Privet Drive in the summer, and calmly leaves forever.
compliments, rotten tomatoes