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04 October 2009 @ 06:44 pm
Like Wrecks of A Dissolving Dream  
Title: Like Wrecks of a Dissolving Dream
Author: [info]mercury_rose
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1,242
Summary: Of recovery. Of those who are still left, after everything is over, in the aftermath of the first war. Drabbles on how the world rights itself (or fails to do so), after everything is over.
Author's Note: The characters belong to J.K. Rowling, while the poem at the beginning was written by Percy Bysshe Shelley, not by me.

The world's great age begins anew,

The golden years return,

The earth doth like a snake renew

Her winter weeds outworn:

Heaven smiles, and faiths and empires gleam,

Like wrecks of a dissolving dream.

- Percy Bysshe Shelley


the mourner

He loses count of how many drinks he’s had tonight.

Getting pissed, becoming so inebriated that everything begins to blur wildly – this seems more like something Sirius or James or Peter would do, not him. Maybe that is why Remus asks for another glass, slurring his words together, why he drinks it. They are not here, but he is.

He never knew that the world could fall apart in one night. He never knew that in the course of an hour or so, his three best friends would all be lost to him.

Others are celebrating. There are fireworks outside, and cheering. And yet tears are streaming down his cheeks. Others are thinking about what has been gained, what has been won, but all Remus can concentrate on is what he has lost, and that innocence, that hope, that he will never regain.


the cleansed

Once they hear the news, they wash themselves clean.

Lucius puts away his blood-spattered robe and his mask into a small cabinet, as well as all of their Dark Arts artifacts. Narcissa stores all the photographs she has of Bellatrix in the attic, taking them off display. They vow to put everything behind them, erase the slate and create a new life.

They transition from darkness into light easily. He is no longer called away in the night to be an assassin, and she does not spend those nights sleepless, waiting for him to return to her. There are no more secret prayers and days of fear. Their lives are filled with love and hope, for each other and for their son.

There are parties to attend again, instead of Death Eater meetings. Red becomes associated with wine again, rather than blood.

The photographs and artifacts rest out of sight, and they almost forget that they are there.


the hermit

Rumors circulate around the Wizarding community after the war is over, and her son Sirius is taken to Azkaban. Some say that she has become mad, while others declare that she has a secret lover. All they know for sure, though, is that she has closed her door to society, and since then never attended another event. No one knows of anyone that had been invited into Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place, from that fateful day burned into the collective memory of the Wizarding world.

In reality, every day, Walburga Black speaks to her ghosts. She conducts elaborate conversations with her husband and sons. When speaking to them in death, she is just as volatile as in life. She screeches at Sirius, both because he left and because he left, shut off forever in Azkaban. She yells at Regulus for dying, for being a fool, and at her husband Orion for being too weak to stay alive. The next day, she voices apologies, that she could never bring herself to make in life.

It isn’t that she is mad, exactly. It is more that the people who made up her life left before she was done with them, and this is the only way she knows how to react.


the sinner


He scrambles, desperately, to find some. It was one thing to contemplate their deaths, in the abstract. It is quite another to have the world be completely devoid of James and Lily Potter, and to have himself be responsible.

James could be cruel. Lily, in some ways, split apart the Marauders. They took him for granted. Any reason he can conjure falls flat. James hadn’t been truly cruel since fifth or sixth year, he knows. And age, growing up, maturity, leaving Hogwarts, those were what made them begin to live separate lives. It wasn’t Lily’s fault that without James and Sirius and Remus, Peter didn’t really know who he was anymore. And it wasn’t that they took him for granted – it was that they accepted he would be unconditionally loyal, because that’s what one expects of a friend. And he took that trust and spat on it, and there can be no excuse for it.

He realizes that in one terrible miscalculation, he ruined his entire life and that of anyone who ever cared about him. It is his fate to live with it now, to try to save his own life that he condemned his own soul for.

His own life, his own pursuit of whatever power he can find in this world, is all that he has left. His pride, his friends, his humanity – they are all gone.

It wasn’t just the Potters, he realizes, that died this night.


the faithful

Nymphadora Tonks has nightmares.

She dreams of blood and prison, of Dementors that afflict Sirius Black. She stubbornly refuses to believe that Uncle Sirius, as she calls him, is a traitor. She cries for him shut behind Azkaban walls, as her parents foolishly disclosed to her, unaware of the effect that these words would have on her. She cannot believe that Sirius, who took her on his motorbike and played games with her for as long as she wanted, is a murderer. She can’t. In her world, kindness and handsomeness walk side by side with nobility. She cannot imagine him doing anything so bad as betraying his friends.

In her mind, she has to believe that Sirius is good, because if he isn’t, then she is wrong for caring about him. For her, it is that simple. Because she loves him, he is good.

Once, her mother loses control one night after Nymphadora wakes up screaming about Dementors and losing one’s soul, and says, in a harsh, hurt, broken voice, that Sirius does not deserve any of her sympathy, and they both cry together.


the haunted

By all accounts, she should be considered lucky. The family that loves her and accepts her has escaped mostly unscathed, yet she cannot force herself to forget the hidden tragedies underneath the surface of her life. The names of the haunted float to her mind when she least expects them to: Sirius, Bellatrix, and that of Regulus, the fallen angel.

“I still can’t believe it’s all over,” one of her friends muses to her when eating dinner together one day. “Comparatively, you know, we’re lucky.”

Andromeda thinks of piercing gray eyes and black hair, of exuberant laughter and uncontrollable passions. She thinks of the triumvirate that fell far too early. She doesn’t say anything, but just nods and looks down at her plate.

If this is lucky, I’d hate to know what unlucky feels like, she thinks to herself, and a chill rises up her spine.


the survivors

Every day is still a miracle to Arthur and Molly Weasley. Every day, when the sun rises, it is a small wonder. In the morning, there is the realization that they are alive, shortly followed by the remembrance that the war is over.

Every day they rise from their bed to go about their normal duties, it is a blessing. They know that they are not wealthy, that compared to others, they do not have much, but they have each other. They are intact.

And at night, when they lie in bed, encircled by each others’ arms and making love, they are aware of the serendipitous turn of events that have led them here, to each other. Every night, when they sleep together, hands clasped, they understand the sheer unlikelihood of survival in a hostile world.

They never forget, even as the years go by.

Any kind of feedback would be lovely!
Current Mood: okayokay
Current Music: in our bedroom after the war - stars
(Anonymous) on October 5th, 2009 01:30 am (UTC)
i like the format: each snapshot a little piece of a larger triumph and tragedy. nice work, i definitely enjoyed this.
Evamercury_rose on October 8th, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
chocoluvrchocoluvr on October 5th, 2009 03:44 am (UTC)
Good story in showing the different characters in how they react to the end of the war.
Eva: katemercury_rose on October 8th, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your review :)
a jester: boots; smoky seven-leagueharktislark on October 5th, 2009 04:19 am (UTC)
I love the short, searing bits of insight you give. Particularly the drabbles about Lucius/Narcissa and Peter. There's not much from Peter's point-of-view out there.
Eva: katemercury_rose on October 8th, 2009 07:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I wasn't sure about writing Peter, he's definitely not one of my favorites or anything, but he was a survivor too, and his story is still pretty tragic and interesting.
ariana789: b&wariana789 on October 5th, 2009 07:33 pm (UTC)
As always, so wonderful! The last one especially was touching. I think you really tapped into the core of their relationship - that beneath the superficial bickering, there is this intense love for each other, the depth of which really is revealed in times of war. And I think you captivated the way, even with times being hard, they think they're blessed. They aren't bitter about being poor, because they know from experience and living through a war that money isn't important.

But all of them were excellent. The Andromeda one was definitely sad, given how much she loses later. And the Walburga one was suitably creepy!

(Also, Romantic poet love! I'm more of a Keats girl, myself, though.)
Eva: katemercury_rose on October 8th, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you! That's what I was going for with the Weasleys. In general I don't think I'm great at writing them, but I do quietly appreciate Arthur/Molly and wanted to give it a shot.

You're a Romantic poet fan too? I'm not huge on Keats, but I lovelovelove Byron and Shelley. Byron especially...a good analogy would be that Byron is the Black family for me, and Shelley is everyone else...sometimes I get enamored with someone else but sooner or later I always return to the Black family (Byron). And that's just the way it is...and thus ends that super dorky analogy.
(Deleted comment)
Eva: slytherinmercury_rose on October 8th, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC)
Awww, thank you!
amelia: incessant blatherer: snowwhitemeelsie_love78 on October 6th, 2009 05:46 am (UTC)
Here via the Quibbler:

This is an exceptional piece of writing! I've still got chills. I particularly liked the Malfoy piece, Andromeda's and the Weasley piece at the very end, but all of it is beautifully written and terribly evocative.

Lovely, lovely work! Thanks for sharing :)
Eva: sawyermercury_rose on October 8th, 2009 08:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reviewing! I'm so glad that you liked it.
(Deleted comment)
Evamercury_rose on October 12th, 2009 01:39 am (UTC)
Thank you! I mean, I'm sure she wasn't a nice person by any means, but we do have to consider that Sirius, as much as we love him, is biased about his family...and the woman lost her husband, and both of her sons really, in a very short amount of time, and anyone would feel grief and sadness and maybe it's not too much of a stretch to say a little regret?

I like to think Sirius and Andromeda (and her family!) kept in touch! I feel like the Black family is something that always kind of haunts you, and it would have been nice to talk to each other because they both understand and have had similar experiences. Obviously that's quite a bit of theorizing, but I think it works!

Anyway, thanks again, and I'm glad you liked it!
dariclone on October 12th, 2009 12:28 am (UTC)
These are abaolutly wonderful and true to each of the characters. You do a great job at capturing them.
Eva: bellatrixmercury_rose on October 12th, 2009 01:39 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! :)