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Notes: Dedicated to Penknife, and inspired by the Poetry Challenge.
Night closed my windows and
The sky became a crystal house
The crystal windows glowed
shown through them
- Lawrence Ferlinghetti, The Plough of Time
Night Closed My Windows
Remus finds Harry in the attic, running shaking fingers over Sirius' photographs. The smell of hippogriff and dog still lingers here, fur and feather and damp--and Remus well knows how dangerous it is to sit here, to lose oneself in that scent, because Remus has done it himself. It is, in some perverse way, a lot like Erised.
The scent of tears reaches his nose, sharp almost as the scent of blood. Saltier. Remus kneels on the carpet, like he's supposed to, and reaches out to touch Harry, tentatively, like he's supposed to.
Harry's shoulder is a tight knot under his fingers, hot and scalding under the thin cotton shirt. Harry's face is hot too, and wet, when he finally turns around to bury it in Remus' neck.
Startling. The boy's not used to intimacy. The boy's not--
'I hate him,' Harry says, brokenly, and Remus doesn't bother asking him if he means Sirius or Voldemort. The answer is obvious.
'I hate him,' Harry says again, and Remus only tightens his arms, like he's supposed to, and leans his chin over the top of Harry's head. Remus doesn't say what he wants to. He doesn't say If it weren't for you James and Lily would be alive, and Sirius would be alive, and if it weren't for you I'd have--I'd still have-- No. Of course Remus doesn't say that, because that's not what a professor's supposed to say, a guardian's supposed to say.
'I fucking hate him.' Harry's voice is thick with crying that has already been done--and his face is calm, almost, when he pulls back to search Remus' eyes. He must see something there, something of what Remus really feels, because Harry's face asks what his mouth can't: Do you hate me? And Remus doesn't reply, of course, although by the way Harry flinches against him, it is quite obvious that Remus' face has already answered Yes.
Remus expects Harry to blow up at that, to shout, to scream the way he does whenever Snape comes over to Grimmauld Place and delights in making snide, knife-edged little comments.
But Harry only loosens, suddenly, as though that knot in his body has been untied. He is still in Remus' arms, and his eyes are closed and his breath is even, when Shacklebolt opens the door.
Kingsley tries to ask with gestures--something about Harry being all right--but Remus only whispers, in an odd and heavy voice, 'Leave us alone.'
Only he's not alone. Night falls, since it was only late evening when Remus came anyway--and the moon starts to come out, still not whole but enough to start a shiver under Remus' skin--but Harry doesn't leave him, Harry doesn't move away, and his breath is warm, moist, human, against Remus' neck.