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April 2008

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[theatre] who ever loved

sophieisgod in rt_challenge

FIC: The Book

Title: The Book
Author: sophieisgod
Format & Word Count: Ficlet, 525
Rating: G
Prompt: prompt 1, poem
Warning: Um, DH spoilers? Do we still need to put this?
Summary: Remus Lupin: unexpected scrapbook enthusiast
Author's Note: Thanks to the lovely bishwop for the beta! ♥


One day, he brings home a book. The binding is smooth; the parchment stiff, unblemished, full of possibility. Turning to grin at him as she leafs through the large blank pages, there is a sudden warmth in her fingertips. It is the perfect book in which to write a life.

Even before Teddy is born, they fold themselves into the pages, etch their hope into the wide leather spine with laughter and whispers. He produces a camera from somewhere - it’s old and it smokes and everything has a slightly more orange hue than is normal - and the book fills up with pictures. Speckles of sunshine, yellow in her hair as they paint the nursery walls. Her mother, wrapping a tape measure around the ever-expanding bump. The pair of them, doubled-up on the floor, surrounded by a veritable ocean of tangled wool, bright and fluffy and uncontrollable.

(There’s a photograph in the book that neither of them knew existed. Lit by the flickering fire, they lie slumped on the couch together; she reaches up to kiss his sleeping face, over and over.)

The leaf that lodged behind her ear during an afternoon walk finds its way into the book, tucked between an advert for the new Celestina Warbeck album (he protested, and was duly overruled) and a recipe for carrot cake (it’s the icing - completely addictive). He wants to write things down, spends hours trawling musty volumes for inspirational quotes; smiling to herself, she folds paper cranes and carefully presses them into place.

He blinks, slightly stunned by the sheer volume of glitter that she trails across the pages, tracing patterns with the tip of her wand. She catches sight of his face and bites back a chuckle; dark eyes twinkle as she flicks the gold dust at him, making the air dance and sparkle until he is forced to wrap his arms around her, lifting her off her feet so that she squeals.

When Teddy is born, he gets slightly carried away. He shows her the obscenely large gold letters embossed onto the front cover, a sheepish grin on his face until he realises she is sobbing.

“You’re an idiot,” she says, but she clutches the book to her chest and her smile through the tears is the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen. Later, he will notice the splash of the saltwater on the leather.

Three sets of handprints stain the page with paint that flashes like Teddy’s eyes, and suddenly their life spills over the bright smudges, beyond the constraints of words scrawled in the margins with a hasty quill, outside the edges of the photographs jammed in at odd angles. The book is too small for them, now; it can’t contain this messy expanse of joy and sleeplessness and terror and peace that their life has suddenly become.

***

With dry eyes, Andromeda fastens them in, her Sticking Charm as steady as it ever was.

A lock of long-ago hair; faded pink.
A small blue sock; not quite finished, the ends of the wool unravelling.
A photograph of a turquoise-haired baby, brandishing fat fists at the camera; slightly crumpled.


"Don't cry
--the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says
we are for each other:then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph
And death i think is no parenthesis"
from e.e. cummings' "since feeling is first"

Comments

Oh that last paragraph just made me want to cry
Oh, that was lovely! I absolutely love the last sentence.

I am thoroughly in love with the idea of Remus as a scrapbook enthusiast. Beautiful description at the beginning - well, throughout the whole thing, really - and all of the pictures so vividly described, especially the gorgeous one of them by the fire (*treasures*). I love the sudden twist where the book is too small for their lives, and then the ENDING...I had a feeling it was going to end up there, and still: *sniffles*
The ending killed me! Lovely job, I loved it.
This is really pretty!
Oh, this is gorgeous, this is -- the patterns of words leave me with a sense of colour and jumbled-together-ness, like the scrapbook itself. And then the last bit just wrenches the heart straight out of me. Splendid stuff.
This just made me cry.

Very, very moving.

Blimey.
Absolutely beautiful.

The last line does you in. It's the photograph from the pocket in Remus' jacket. *sniffle*

shivers!

Wow! This is so creative. You have imagined a true treasure, and, in describing this book, have commented touchingly on the lives of Remus and Tonks and their dreams and expectations. The last with Andromeda fixing up the book gives me shivers. Brilliant work!
THE GIRL DONE GOOD. XD

You know what I think of this already, my sweet! It's just THE IMAGES! Gorgeous. Delicious, tasty gorgeousness!! MWAH.
This is absolutely, faultlessly beautiful! I love it, among the tears! Love it a LOT!
Wow, I love the idea of Remus as a scrapbook enthusiast. And you've made me cry with that last few paragraphs; on my second read I realised that the picture of Teddy was the one that Remus showed everyone at Shell Cottage

*breaks down in fits of tears*
This was beautifully done - just marvelous. I love the idea of the book and you've got some truly love language in it. The descriptions are glittery just like Tonks's pages :)

The end of course is the perfect bittersweet coda to that, all the more effective because of what you did before.

Brava!
This is absolutely beautiful. I love the details, like the smoky old camera with its orange images... Your characterization is masterful, simply in the way each of them adds things to the book -- Tonks with her glitter, Remus with his searching for quotes at first, and then his joy and pride leading to giant gold lettering. I also like Andromeda's secretly snapped photo, and the handprints...!

The book is too small for them, now -- I love that, and I really like the way this piece lets Remus and Tonks have had a few weeks of overflowing joy before the battle.

And the spare restraint of the ending makes it all the more powerful.
Wow.

I'm sobbing here. That was very moving, that's all I can say right now.
Oh this was so lovely! I love the use of a book, to memorize their time and leave sth behind for teddy, though they didn't realized that at that time.
Sad and beautiful at the same time!
sniff :-( That was beautiful.