|ms_jvh_shuh (ms_jvh_shuh) wrote in lupin_snape,|
@ 2009-03-09 17:51:00
|Entry tags:||fic: pg, holidays: lupin's birthday|
Birthday Ficlet: six ninths of forty-five
My world clock states that it's the March 10th already somewhere, so:
Title: six ninths of forty-five
Author: mayachain (ms_jvh_shuh)
Word Count: ~700
Summary: chocolate cake(s), Neville Longbottom, and a message from beyond the grave
Disclaimer: only the oranges are mine!
six ninths of forty-five
"The party won't start until later this afternoon, Longbottom, is there a reason you have chosen to come here hours beforehand?" Severus asked acidly from his place at the kitchen table, where he was currently peeling enough oranges to decorate six cakes.
Remus carefully stirred the casserole which was currently melting about fifteen chocolate bars, then leaned his back against the counter and watched the young man curiously. A long robe with a pattern of mostly read and green and the occasional blue and yellow squares billowed behind him as he paced.
"I - you know I teach at Hogwarts now, don't you?"
Remus and Severus both raised their eyebrows.
"Right, stupid, of course you know, I told you myself! It's just - this is weird." He reached into his robe and produced a battered-looking envelope, holding it up between two fingers and then fidgeting with it. "So I was going through some of Professor Sprout's stuff, and - well, I can only guess how it might have ended up there, but I found this."
He waved the envelope first in Remus' direction, then Severus', and Remus saw that it looked as if someone had tried to incinerate it. The three of them stared at it for a moment, before Neville caught himself and remembered that he had come to the house early to actually deliver it.
"Right," he said, and made a step towards Severus, halted, gazed at the writing for a few seconds and then held the envelope out to Remus instead. "I think - I think he tried to have Fawkes burn it," he said as Remus gingerly plucked it from his fingers, "but for whatever reason Fawkes didn't finish, and Professor Sprout had it because she found it or he or Minerva gave it to her or something, but in any case her office wasn't as likely to get searched as McGonnagal's..."
As the young man trailed off, Remus lifted the envelope up to his nose and sniffed at it. It smelled of Neville, and Professor Sprout's office, and somewhere beneath those scents there was still a hint of Albus Dumbledore, as well as Firewhiskey, and, indeed, the flames of a Phoenix.
Two names were written on the back of it in Dumbledore's distinctive penmanship:
Severus Snape, it said, crossed out, and
Remus Lupin had been written underneath instead.
Remus walked over to the kitchen table and, sitting down on a chair, put it down between himself and Severus. He heard Severus draw in a sharp breath but didn't look at his face, simply took a knife and delicately sliced through the top.
Inside was a single bit of parchment, about three square inches small. Blue ink formed not entirely steady words which not the Order of Merlin (First Class), not the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, not the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and not the leader of the Order of the Phoenix, but the tired old man Albus Dumbledore had been at the end had written on it:
No words can ever suffice
In the end, there is no good way to say
My dear boy
Severus made a choked sound, and Remus reached out for his orange juice stained hand and gripped it. The letter blurred a bit as his own eyes got wet.
Years, Remus thought, almost thirty years.
For a long time, they just sat there and stared at the parchment. Behind them, Neville quietly moved to mix the dough for the chocolate cakes, and eventually poured it into all six cake pans. Only when their rich, warm scent started to emerge from the big oven, did they come back to themselves.
"That was some birthday present," Severus breathed, letting go of Remus' hand to shakily start in on the last of the oranges. Remus laughed weakly and stood up to give Neville a hug.
"Thank you," he whispered and held on tight, even though the young Professor could never have known what would be in the envelope when he had found it: Something Severus had desperately needed, and Remus hadn't known he had craved.