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03 September 2010 @ 10:49 pm
Fic: To See Clearly  
Title: To See Clearly
Author: shimotsuki
Rating & Warnings: PG, mild profanity
Prompt: Auror, Peruvian Darkness Powder, drama
Format & Word Count: Fic, 4293 words

Summary: Remus risks his position in the pack, and maybe even his life, in a final attempt to stop Greyback's werewolves from aligning with the Death Eaters. And it seems he may be making another last, desperate stand as well.

Author’s Notes: This is intended as a stand-alone story, but it also fits into the Kaleidoscope series, following after Out of Sight and What It Takes.




To See Clearly

There was absolutely no reason why it should hurt this much.

Remus shifted his grip on the worn handle of the hoe he had salvaged from a landfill and hacked away at the lumpy soil. The muscles of his back burned, but he was grateful for that pain, because exhaustion meant he just might sleep without dreaming tonight.

It was the dreaming, not the gardening, that hurt too much. Even thinking hurt too much, if he let his thoughts drift in the wrong direction. It had been this way for weeks now. And that made no sense at all, because how had things changed, really? If anything, his position in Greyback’s pack had improved, now that he had a friend and proven ally in Matthias Malkin.

But six weeks ago, after the March full moon, he had finally stopped being a self-indulgent coward. He had finally found the strength to end his friendship with Tonks completely. Never again would he let himself string along her impossible hopes of something more than friendship, draining away all her colour, merely because he knew that he would be lonelier without her.

Six weeks ago—and it still hurt. As much as it had hurt to lose his parents, or James and Lily and the world as he knew it, or Sirius.

And this was, of course, completely ridiculous. Surely there was no difference at all between having a friend he never saw, because he was away on this accursed mission, and having someone he never saw who must no longer be called a friend.

He chopped with the hoe again, feeling its rusty blade bite into the earth. The handle chafed his hands, and his mind seized on the reprieve, focussing on blisters and bruises and muscle fatigue.

“Still at it, Lupin? You really think that mess you call a garden is going to grow anything?”

He looked up.

Matthias stood watching him, arms casually crossed, lip curled in carefully assumed derision. But once he had Remus’s attention, he added, under his breath, “Greyback’s friends are back. I think you’d better come see.”

“Just wait,” said Remus, pitching his voice to carry around the clearing where a half-dozen other werewolves were working or eating or dozing in the fitful spring sunshine. “Give it a few weeks, and it’ll be bursting with vegetables.”

The garden was at the edge of the camp, near the wood. He walked slowly over to an ancient oak and leaned the hoe against it before slipping into the cover of the trees.

Matthias was right behind him. “I was out checking snares when I heard them,” he said quickly. “They were heading for the clearing with the three boulders.”

Remus nodded, and began to jog in the direction of the clearing in question. “I don’t like this at all,” he muttered. “They’re here more and more often lately.”

Matthias kept pace with him easily. “And it’s not always the same ones, either. Something’s definitely going on.”

They slowed when they came near the clearing, a spot Greyback often used for private conferences. There was a certain thicket that could hide an eavesdropper quite well. The two of them crept carefully up to it and peered between the thorny branches.

Remus saw that Greyback had two “friends” visiting him today. They weren’t wearing white masks, but they were indisputably Death Eaters: Gibbon and a huge blond man Remus had seen once before with Gibbon and Yaxley.

“...Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder,” Gibbon was saying. “Great stuff, that. So useful to have a supply right in London now.”

Matthias looked a question at him, but Remus could only shake his head in puzzlement, making a mental note to warn Moody when he saw him next.

“Darkness Powder,” repeated Greyback, eyes narrowed in suspicion. “What’s that do?”

“Throw a pinch into the air, and no one can see anything at all.” The big man leered. “There’s no better way to throw the enemy into total confusion than to blind them.”

“So you see,” said Gibbon, “we can’t possibly fail. This will be an easy mission, all told—and if you want to come along, maybe you can have some fun along the way while you help us out.”

“Some fun, eh?” Greyback smiled, slowly, a hungry smile that made Remus feel ill. “All right, I’ll do it.”

“You’d better,” said the other Death Eater, in a low ominous voice. Greyback stiffened, baring his teeth, but as large as he was, the stranger was larger. “The Dark Lord is ready to see more effort out of you, you know—and your people. If you mean what you say about joining us.”

There it was, at last. Greyback was planning to align the pack with Voldemort.

Remus stared at Matthias, seeing his own horror echoed in the other man’s eyes.

“Supposing I do join you and bring my people, what will I get?” Greyback growled. “You lot are all the same. You give me hints and pretty words. I want a straight answer.”

The big man spluttered, but Gibbon held up a hand to silence him. “Power,” he said. “A place at the table. You won’t have to skulk out here in the middle of nothing any more.”

“And how about less meddling?” Greyback pressed them. “Werewolves to hunt as we please at the full moon?”

“Of course,” said Gibbon smoothly. “The Dark Lord rewards those who are loyal to him.”

He was lying, Remus suspected. Even Death Eaters couldn’t possibly want to let werewolves run around unchecked every full moon.

But Greyback seemed to like what he was hearing, if his smirk was any indication.

The visitors stood and began to take their leave—ending the conversation while they had the upper hand, presumably. Remus nodded to Matthias and the two of them slipped away back through the wood.

“Well,” said Matthias, once they were certain to be out of earshot, “it looks like you were right about the Death Eaters trying to get all of us in deeper.”

Remus would much rather have been wrong. The little Montgomery boy had been the pack’s first victim on behalf of Voldemort, but if the Death Eaters had their way, he wouldn’t be the last.

“It looks that way,” was all he said. “I think it’s time to see where we really stand with Bess.”

. * . * .


Order meetings were getting shorter, Tonks reflected.

This one hadn’t quite lasted an hour. There were fewer members present these days—they had lost Emmeline, of course, and more people were away on extended missions now. Even the members who made it to meetings had less to report. Maybe the Death Eaters were losing ground.

Or maybe they were just getting better at hiding what they were up to.

Dumbledore himself seemed reluctant to leave Hogwarts without calling for a few Order members to patrol the grounds in his place. Tonks supposed that was something of an answer to her question, right there.

“That’s all, then,” rumbled Mad-Eye, who was chairing the meeting in Dumbledore’s absence. “We’re adjourned.” The Burrow’s kitchen immediately began to fill with chatter, gossip, and the savoury smells of Molly’s cooking.

Tonks peeled herself out of her chair and rubbed at her aching eyes. Too many night shifts, too many dementors lurking around Hogsmeade.

Too many Order meetings spent watching Bill and Fleur share those soppy little smiles.

She sighed. That wasn’t fair. She ought to be happy for them, with their upcoming wedding and all.

She was just so tired.

Turning away from the light and the bustle, Tonks made to slip away home before anyone decided to come over and try to cheer her up. She had almost reached the kitchen door when Mad-Eye’s gnarled hand closed over her arm.

“Just a minute, lass,” he said. “You’ll fill in for me while I’m away, won’t you?”

“Right,” said Tonks, pulling herself together and fishing in her memory for what Mad-Eye had said during the meeting, because she wasn’t so tired that she would make a mistake about a mission. “You’re off to Cardiff tomorrow. What do you need me to do?”

Mad-Eye huffed in surprise and pinned her with his magical eye. “Check the hollow tree in Greyback’s wood, of course. See if Lupin has any messages for the Order. You’re my emergency back-up on this mission, aren’t you?”

“But—” She stared at him. It wasn’t like Mad-Eye to forget a detail about a mission, either. “I told you, didn’t I? The last time I saw Remus, after the Montgomery boy was killed, he requested a different back-up.” She made an honest effort to keep the bitterness out of her voice. “He said he doesn’t feel he can work with me any longer.”

“Rubbish,” Mad-Eye snorted. “What, does he think he can do better than an Auror for his Order contact?”

Tonks grinned a little at her mentor’s theatrical indignation.

He shook his head. “No, lass, I haven’t forgotten what you told me Lupin said. But as he’s being a complete idiot, I’m overriding his request. I don’t want just anyone waltzing about so close to Fenrir Greyback, after all.”

“Okay,” she said stoutly. “I’ll check the tree.”

There was no reason for her heart to pound this hard, half in anticipation and half in dread. She’d only be going to check for messages, and Remus wouldn’t actually leave one unless there was some kind of emergency—it was too risky.

Most likely, he would never even know she’d be taking Mad-Eye’s place for a couple of days.

. * . * .


The light had just begun to fade when Remus followed Matthias back out of the wood. He collected his hoe and put it safely away inside the closest of the three derelict houses where the pack slept, the house where he kept his own bedroll. It wouldn’t do to have anyone go tripping over a rusty hoe in the dark.

When Remus emerged again, Matthias had sat down by one of the campfires to spit three of his rabbits for roasting. Everyone would come crowding around once they were cooked, but that was an hour or more away. At the moment there was no one else sitting near the fire but young Cathy, who was knitting, and Bess, who was washing contraband potatoes in a chipped enamel basin full of water.

Bess looked up at his approach, squinting hard until he was close enough for her to identify, and nodded a greeting. “Lupin. Still at it with that garden?”

Remus suppressed a sigh and smiled instead. No one, except possibly Matthias, believed anything would come of his garden project. But he had to keep hoping—maybe this was one small thing he could do, to improve conditions at the camp. To show that not everything they needed had to be stolen.

To convince himself that he was doing something useful on this mission.

“It’s coming along,” he said now, infusing his voice with confidence. “I think we’ll have the first radishes in another week or two.”

“I’d like to see some more of those new friends of Greyback’s,” said Cathy, counting stitches. “Did you get to have any of that roast beef they brought last week, Matt? That was better than radishes.”

Remus looked up to see Bess watching him with her shortsighted squint again.

“I’d be careful about getting involved too deeply with those Death Eater people,” he said, speaking carefully; his words answered Cathy, but he kept his eyes on Bess. “I’ve seen their tricks before. They bring you gifts, and promise you more, but in the end they only use you for their own purposes. And then, as often as not they turn on you, or abandon you to face the consequences alone when their plans fail.”

“Hmph,” said Bess. “I’d have to agree.”

Remus let his breath out slowly. Silently.

She shook her head, hard; the rough grey curls framing her face bounced a little. “They interfered, two moons ago. They were the reason the pack killed that boy, when Greyback was only planning to bite him and bring him in. I’m not so fond of that sort of thing, especially not with a child—” she glanced over at Cathy, who couldn’t possibly be nuch older than eighteen, and Remus knew she was no newcomer—“but bringing them in is better than killing them.”

“You’re right,” said Matthias, building carefully on this auspicious start. “They used us for their own reasons, because someone wanted that boy killed. Where will it end, if we let it start?”

“It’s not like we have any choice about it, though,” Cathy muttered. “Greyback likes them, and he leads the pack, so there we’ll all be. In deep.”

“Maybe it’s time for someone to challenge Greyback,” said Remus, very quietly.

He saw Matthias stiffen—this hadn’t been in the plan, and it was by far the riskiest thing he had done in the months he’d been here. Cathy might decide to go and tell Greyback exactly what he had said. He might wake in the night to find his throat being torn out.

But an opportunity like this might not come a second time, not before the Death Eaters had solidified their hold on the pack.

Bess was squinting at him again, trying to read his face. “You?” she asked, deeply sceptical. “You’re the newest of all of us. Even Matt wouldn’t stand a chance.”

“No...” Remus leaned toward her, hoping she’d be able to see him well enough to judge his sincerity. “I was thinking of you.”

The fire snapped and hissed as fat from the roasting rabbits dripped down from the spit.

“People do listen to you, Bess.” Cathy’s eyes were wide. “I reckon you could convince most of the pack not to go along with those Death Eaters, if you tried.”

Bess laughed, a sharp bitter laugh. “If I thought I could stand up to Greyback, child, I’d have done it years ago.” She shook her head. “Even if I made him back down at first, I wouldn’t be able to keep it up—I can’t watch people, read their faces, see what they’re thinking. Not with my eyesight.”

The stroke of inspiration hit Remus like a Stunning Spell.

What was it the huge Death Eater had said? There’s no better way to throw the enemy into total confusion than to blind them.

Surely the opposite was true as well.

Why had he never thought of this before?

Remus let the conversation drift on to new topics. At least it didn’t seem that Cathy was likely to turn on him; she seemed to be firmly on Bess’s side, whatever that turned out to be.

A few minutes later, when the women were busy arguing about something new, he got to his feet and casually wandered away into the darkening wood. He needed to talk to Moody. As soon as possible. That meant leaving a message in the hollow tree, where Moody would find it when he came to check tomorrow.

And, just as urgently, he had to stop himself from secretly wishing that Tonks would find his note and come in Moody’s place. Tonks had no connection to this mission, not anymore.

He had made certain of that.

If only it would stop hurting.

. * . * .


From her sheltered position just outside the clearing where the hollow tree stood, Tonks gauged the angle of the sun. It was still climbing.

One hand held her wand, up her sleeve out of sight but at the ready. The other was in her pocket,
clutching a crumpled piece of Muggle notebook paper.

Remus’s handwriting was recognisable, but uncharacteristically sloppy, slanting across the blue ruled lines as though they weren’t there. She thought he must have been writing in the dark.

M.—

There’s been a bit of a breakthrough in my work here, and there’s something I need you to get for me. If you can, meet me here at midday tomorrow and I’ll explain. If you can’t be here tomorrow I’ll come again the day after. It’s rather urgent.

—L.


“Midday,” for people living in the forest with no timepiece, meant “when the sun is at its highest.” Tonks was glad she had followed Moody’s usual schedule and come to check the tree in the morning. Waiting these few minutes for Remus to appear was hard enough. If she’d missed him today, she would have had to wait a whole day to see him.

Her jaw twinged—she was clenching her teeth. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes for a moment, and forced herself to relax.

Remus wouldn’t be happy to see her here, not when he’d specifically told her not to come again.

Her jaw gave another twinge. She wrote relaxation off as a lost cause.

Leaves rustled, then. She saw Remus step out into the clearing, followed by his friend Matthias Malkin.

“Moody?” called Remus quietly.

Tonks took another deep breath and left the shelter of the trees. “Wotcher, Remus, Matthias. It’s me today.”

She saw a first startled flash in Remus’s eyes, but then the walls slammed into place. He was completely calm, bland, expressionless.

Cold.

She raised her chin. “Mad-Eye is away on a mission. Coming out here, to Greyback’s territory, isn’t trivial, and he said he wanted an Auror for it.”

Remus said nothing.

She scowled. “Would you rather have Molly? Or Dedalus Diggle, for Merlin’s sake?”

“There are plenty of competent people in the Order,” Remus countered. “I simply think that, given—everything—it’s best that you and I not work together any longer.”

Tonks glanced guiltily at Matthias, who was trying his best to be invisible while the two of them had it out. But she couldn’t let Remus say things like this and not push back.

“You know what I’m going to say, because I’ve said it about a million times already.” She crossed her arms and faced him squarely. “You keep insisting that it’s better for both of us if we forget that there are any—feelings—between us. But I love you, and I know you love me, and things are hard enough right now without us making them harder for ourselves.”

She meant every word, a million times over. But the exhaustion that she always seemed to be fighting these days had pulled her under again. Even she could hear how flat and dead her own voice sounded.

And Remus’s face might have been stone, for all the effect her words had on him.

“Bloody hell,” she whispered, stung. “If you really feel you can’t let yourself love me, at least let me keep your friendship. I don’t see why that has to change.”

“You say that you think I love you.” His voice was as hoarse as she had ever heard it. “But I haven’t told you that.”

“You did, that night in Hogsmeade—”

“That was almost a year ago.” His jaw was set. “Things change.”

He looked right at her, then, but there was nothing to read in his eyes at all.

Listen to me,” he said, harshly. “You have got to stop seeing only what you want to see.”

Only what I—What? She stared, shocked into silence.

“Until you can stop imagining things,” he pushed on, relentlessly, “we really shouldn’t have anything to do with one another.” He shook his head. “Goodbye, Tonks. Malkin, finish this, would you?”

And Remus Lupin turned his back on them and stalked off into the wood.

Tonks realised that she was gasping for breath, as though she had been punched in the gut.

She’d never once doubted Remus’s love, no matter how hard he protested that things could never work between them. She had seen love in his eyes, heard it in his voice, felt it in the way he asked after her or worried about her.

Hadn’t she?

Because it was true that he never had said he loved her, not in words. Not since that one choked “yes” a year ago.

What if he was right, and her own emotions were leading her to see things that weren’t there?

“Tonks?”

She blinked. Matthias. Focus, girl.

“Sorry.” She cleared her throat. “Erm—I hear there’s urgent Order business?”

Instead of answering, Matthias tilted his head and looked at her. “You know, Lupin has a muffler. Stripes—bright colours. It’s a bit lumpy, so I think it’s handmade.”

“Yeah. I made it for him.” Tonks tried not to think about how pleased Remus had looked when she’d surprised him with it. How warm the light in his eyes had been. “A long time ago.”

“I thought so.” There was a touch of smugness in his voice that pulled her back to the present. “He wears it at night, you know.”

Of course she didn’t know any such thing.

“Every night. He won’t go to sleep without it.” Matthias was watching her closely with an odd, crooked smile. “It’s not that cold at night, this time of year.”

“Oh,” was all that Tonks could manage. Something was stirring that might be hope.

“Here’s what I think,” said Matthias quietly. “I think Lupin is acting cold and angry because he’s afraid he doesn’t have it in him to keep telling you no if you keep pushing.”

Tonks searched the dark blue eyes. They seemed entirely sincere.

“I’d say, if you really love him, don’t give up. Wait until he’s finished here and gone back home where he belongs—and then keep pushing. Wear him down.” Matthias grinned. “I don’t think it will take long at all for him to give in when it’s something he obviously wants so much.”

Tonks swallowed. “Damn.” She tried a small laugh. “I hope you’re right.”

Was there any other reason for Remus to be wearing his muffler when it was practically June?

“Okay.” She breathed in, then out. “Tell me what you need from the Order.”

. * . * .


Remus spotted the owl about mid-morning. It kept him in sight, flying from tree to tree, but it didn’t come near as long as there was anyone else with him.

He managed, barely, not to stare at the owl and draw everyone’s attention to it. But it wasn’t until after lunch—a shriveled winter apple and a piece from a hunk of cheese that Cathy or Boggs had nicked from one of the grocery stores in town—that he finally had a chance to head off alone into the wood. The owl fluttered along behind him until they had rounded a bend and were fully out of sight of the camp. Then it swooped down and held out its leg.

“I’m sorry,” said Remus softly, untying the piece of parchment that the owl was carrying, “but this is all I have to give you.” He pulled the core of his apple out of his pocket.

The owl hooted once, apparently satisfied, and began to peck at the apple core while Remus unfolded his letter.

Merlin, it hurt just to see that familiar handwriting.

R.—

I got what you wanted, and I’ve left it in the tree.

Thank M. for his tip about the Powder. I don’t know what it means yet either, but we’ll be working on it from this end.

As for non-business matters, I only want to say: that was not the last conversation we will have on the subject.

—T.


Damn, but she was stubborn. Not the last conversation, indeed. Remus ground his teeth, fanning the flames of his irritation. Anger was much, much safer than—

—than seeing it all again, the way her face went white, the way all the colour and light and life faded from her eyes.

He went straight to the hollow tree, and there it was—a small oblong parcel. He unwrapped it carefully and pulled out the pair of magical spectacles, Charmed to adjust to the vision of the first person who wore them.

He wrapped them up again and walked back toward the camp, trying to think of the best way to slip them to Bess. He would have to pretend that he had stolen them, of course.

And yet—as hard as he tried to keep his mind on the politics and hierarchy of the werewolf pack, it was impossible not to think about the fact that Tonks had been here, right here, mere hours ago. What if he had happened to come out here early this morning, and found her at the tree? What if he had apologised for his hurtful words, and touched her hand?

What if he had taken her in his arms?

He emerged from the wood back into the camp, locking away the little voice in his head that was whispering just think how warm she’d be—think how tightly she’d cling to you, if you let her...

That was not something he could ever afford to hope for.

Hope, now, was for practical things. Hope for the chance that Bess with spectacles might be a serious obstacle to Greyback’s plans.

Or hope for his little seedlings, which might one day soon be radishes and carrots, potatoes and runner beans. If he kept the weeds cleared.

Remus picked up his hoe from where it leaned against the oak tree and began again.

But it hurt.

. * fin * .
 
 
 
chococoffeekiss: R/Tchococoffeekiss on September 4th, 2010 04:16 am (UTC)
I was hoping we'd get another Kaleidoscope story!!!

Matt, Bess and Cathy are some of my favorite OCs ever, I love the scene around the fire, the carefully chosen words.

And, just as urgently, he had to stop himself from secretly wishing that Tonks would find his note and come in Moody’s place.

That just broke my heart, when I read the argument between them in the forest. Matthias's encouragement makes up for it, though!

Fantastic as usual, my dear. :)
shimotsuki: kaleidoscopeshimotsuki on September 6th, 2010 01:31 am (UTC)
Aw, thanks so much! I'm so glad to know that you enjoyed it, especially the OCs.

As for Remus, he is in deep denial just now. ;) (The attack on Hogwarts is only days away.)
sspring92: Reviewersspring92 on September 4th, 2010 04:31 am (UTC)
I really wish I was still in school and more in tune with dissecting a story and its nuances! I just know that this was a really lovely, angsty piece! It really highlights the pain they were both in with Remus' self imposed exile.
Nice touch with the muffler in June. ::gah:: Thanks for posting!
shimotsuki: rtshimotsuki on September 6th, 2010 01:35 am (UTC)
Wow, your comment really made my day -- it means a lot to hear that you think there's something in here that might be worth dissecting!

Late May nights in the woods are probably a little chilly, but not freezing. ;)
Sophiesolochan on September 9th, 2010 03:59 pm (UTC)
You don't know how much I love this story, it's so nice to see this side of the werewolf packs that Greyback owns, and in such a different way to what people expect. I was actually reminded of your story when I saw a pub in Bristol the other day called 'The Full Moon' a dingy old thing, and it reminded me of your take of Remus's infiltration into the werewolves.

Well done I really can't wait to find out what happens next!
shimotsuki: ordershimotsuki on September 10th, 2010 01:58 am (UTC)
Oh, goodness, thank you so much! These werewolves are the only major OCs I've really written, so I'm really glad they keep you interested!

That pub sounds like the kind of place Greyback would choose to hang out in, doesn't it? Heh.
more_ruthless: wingfield1more_ruthless on September 11th, 2010 10:06 pm (UTC)
Very very nice addition to your series. I was wondering how Bess was going to work in, and the glasses were perfect. If only Remus could get a pair of glasses to open up his eyes. Thanks for sharing! I look forward to more in this series.
shimotsuki: rtshimotsuki on September 13th, 2010 03:25 am (UTC)
Thank you for the encouraging words! I've been setting up the werewolf pack all along to be able to use giving glasses to Bess as a turning point, so when I got the Darkness Powder prompt it was clearly time to write that installment. ;)

If only Remus could get a pair of glasses to open up his eyes.

YES, heh.
bookish_brownie: Remus Tonks IIbookish_brownie on September 12th, 2010 04:55 pm (UTC)
There are so many elements that I like about this piece. I think the theme of pain, both physical and emotional, throughout the piece really ties it together. It's dark, but it's also interesting to see the dynamics of the werewolf pack and the continued action of the Order. I really appreciate how Tonks is not completely sunk in despair; she's sad, but she's still first and foremost an Auror who is doing her job, which is consistent with what we see of her in the books. And, of course, Moody is secretly a Remus/Tonks shipper :). Really well done!
shimotsuki: ordershimotsuki on September 13th, 2010 03:30 am (UTC)
Thank you!

My Moody is definitely a R/T shipper, lol.

I'm glad you liked this version of Tonks; what you point out about her still doing her job despite her sadness also strikes me as a major aspect of her canon characterization in HBP, and I wanted to bring that out here.

Pain was definitely a theme I wanted to work with here. I have to push Remus pretty close to the breaking point to get him ready for the hospital-wing scene, after all!
gilpin25: Stationgilpin25 on September 12th, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC)
The only fault with this fic is it ending where it does! Never mind leaving the reader wanting more, this particular one needs to find out what happens when Bess gets the spectacles, may not forgive you if my favourite OC Matthias comes to any harm, and as for Remus and Tonks being only days away from you-know-what at Hogwarts... I really think you should have made this a two-parter, to put me out of my misery. ;)

Everyone seems to be hurting very badly here, both physically and emotionally, but one of the things I liked most was that everyone is still doing their jobs, and that concentrating on them are giving them something else to think about (though it seems even that has failed Remus by the end). He might not be seeing clearly when it comes to Tonks, but his vegetable growing reminds me of Professor Lupin and the practical, interest-sparking ideas and solutions he came up with.

The argument between them is a very understated and yet heart-breaking piece of writing. There's no raised voices but then there doesn't need to be: I felt so much for Tonks when he makes her doubt herself, and loved that he can't help but give himself away - and that someone else knows exactly what it means. A good job too: she and I needed to hear that.

Another lovely addition to the series, and I enjoyed reading it immensely, as you can tell! :D
shimotsuki: hufflepuffshimotsuki on September 13th, 2010 03:42 am (UTC)
Sorry about inflicting misery, lol, but it makes me very happy to hear you're interested enough in the characters and the pack dynamics to want to know more. :) (And writing this just may have caused me to move the hospital-wing fic higher up on the WIP list...even though it scares me!)

I really wanted to show that both Remus and Tonks are very close to their respective breaking points here, to get them well set up for the coming confrontation. But I did also want to show that they are still keeping up with their various responsibilities, and not sliding completely into despair, because they're both the kind of people who keep fighting.

Thank you so much for the words of interest and encouragement. :) (And don't worry too hard about Matthias -- he's a very adaptable Slytherin!)
jobey_in_errorjobey_in_error on September 15th, 2010 02:59 am (UTC)
"And this was, of course, completely ridiculous. Surely there was no difference at all between having a friend he never saw, because he was away on this accursed mission, and having someone he never saw who must no longer be called a friend."

*headbang* Oh dear God, Remus. Spare my poor head a bit. I can't entirely bring it to believe you're that stupid.. ;-)

This was a great job with both of them, though. They're under so much personal stress -- the line "She was just so tired" made me want to hug her myself, and Remus is driving himself almost mental -- but they're still Lupin and Tonks, and still they fight and stay on their toes. Which is awesome. (Though I think that, on the flip side of the coin, it's really disappointing -- but very telling -- that Remus lost it to the degree that he left before telling Tonks about the Powder, and that this had to be left to Matthias.)

I wanted to cheer when Remus got the spectacle idea (he really deserves a light bulb moment, after the year that's been described in Kaleidescope!) and the interlude with Tonks and Mad-Eye was great, just great -- those two were so good together.

OCs were pretty greatas well. Matthias is not quite as cool as he was during the previous, but Bess more than made up for it. But you're killing me, because I do want to see how this bid plays out! (I presume it works -- and that this is how your verse is going to deal with all the ambiguity that canon left us in concerning the matter of the Greyback mission? But presuming isn't good enough, I do want to see it awfully. :-)

Congratulations on finishing another installment. Loved the read. :-)
shimotsuki: kaleidoscopeshimotsuki on September 19th, 2010 02:17 pm (UTC)
Oh dear God, Remus. Spare my poor head a bit.

Hee! I don't think he's doing a very good job of convincing himself, either.

Thanks so much for the feedback. I'm glad you thought the characters were still recognizable even in this kind of extreme emotional situation. And I'm happy you liked Bess (maybe when I revise this I should think about Matthias's characterization a little more, so thanks for the comment there too).

it's really disappointing -- but very telling -- that Remus lost it to the degree that he left before telling Tonks about the Powder

Oooh, I'm really happy that you picked up on that. I wanted to show that Remus is *this close* to losing his control completely, to the extent that it's starting to make him a little unprofessional (at least where there's no immediate danger concerned -- he can still focus when he's spying on Greyback!). In this ficverse, this is part of the buildup to Remus's change of heart after Dumbledore's death. I think it also fits in with the Harry argument scene in DH, another time when strong emotions of guilt and worry and self-denial lead Remus to make bad judgment calls.

I presume it works -- and that this is how your verse is going to deal with all the ambiguity that canon left us in concerning the matter of the Greyback mission?

For years, I've been too chicken to write the last HBP piece of my series, but now I'm thinking I'll try to tackle it this fall. And let's just say I've always found it interesting that Greyback never seems to have much of anyone from his pack along with him when he's seen with the DEs...

Thank you so much for reading and commenting. :)
Mannahooves on January 30th, 2012 06:05 am (UTC)
Awww, this one was really good. He really snaps here, so that's a great leadup to DH I think.

And I do so love gardening even though it requires a lot of patience to make things grow. *Lol* All those months to wait for tomatoes nearly kills me every year!

But I absolutely CAN see Remus being the gardening-capable type!

Anyway, Matthias is again a great guy, though personally I might have expected he'd let off at the comment re: the muffler and not say more. It always seems awkward when people add their two cents in, if that makes...sense. But it didn't seem too bad for Matthias-- I think he's found a good pal in Remus. :D