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10 October 2007 @ 01:12 pm
Ghosts  
Title - Ghosts (1/1)
Author – joely_jo
Characters – Remus/Tonks, Andromeda, Teddy
Rating – PG-13, for emotional subject matter
Prompts Used – A Day of Confession, Angst and location pic #33, which I have interpreted as ‘The Spirit World’.
Summary – Sometimes it takes something beyond our comprehension to get us to face our fears.
Author’s Notes – Partly inspired by the idea of the Resurrection Stone, partly by the All Hallows’ Moon header and the true nature of Samhain (the Pagan celebration at Hallowe’en) but also by the idea that sometimes it takes a familiar face to convince us of the truth. 
Many thanks to the lovely jadeddivafor a super-fast beta last night. 


Remus

The moon has vanished.

He’s been watching it all night, from his various vantage points around the house, as it has travelled its lonely path across the cloudless sky. Its pale, ethereal glow has been the only light they’ve dared to live by these last few nights, too dangerous are the times in which they all live. A light would give them away, protective spells or not, and betray their presence to the many watchers. And he cannot allow that at this time.

Two rooms away, Tonks is lying on their bed, bearing down in what will surely be the last hour of her labour. Thirteen hours of unbridled agony he’s watched his wife endure, but these last few minutes are suddenly beyond him.

He knows he should be filled with joy right now, but all he can feel is the harsh sting of anxiety. This moment should be perfect, but it’s not and he feels it press against him like a stranger in a crowd.

In a perfect world, the sky would be the colour she morphs her eyes after making love, the brightest, most incandescent blue he’s ever seen. There would be no chance of seeing the pale disc that rules his life, forever reminding him of its pull over him; instead there would be sunshine and fluffy white clouds and the scent in the air of honeysuckle on a warm night. His fingers would not be cold and numb and his heart would be open to the happiness he knows he should be feeling.

Guilt grips him like a vice. He can’t bear the not knowing, the possibilities and the truth he fears more than anything else. What if his child is tainted? It doesn’t seem to matter how many times he’s told of the science, the so-called facts and figures Tonks has quoted at him until she no needed the piece of parchment on which they were written, but knew them off by heart; what he fears is the possibility, the one in ten thousand chance that he might have passed his affliction onto his baby and condemned the child forever.

The grandfather clock in the hallway begins to chime and Remus counts the strikes. The floorboards creak. Above these ordinary, everyday sounds, he hears Tonks’ cries, and tries to stifle an overwhelming urge to go to her. Undecided, he turns away from the window and steps towards the bedroom door, then pauses. There is a shadow at the end of the hall, ghostly grey and indistinct. He squints at it, trying to make out its shifting form.

Its mouth is moving, but no sound is coming out. Slowly, the figure drifts into focus. His heart begins to hammer.

“Mum,” he says, out loud.

It can’t be true. For a moment he wonders whether he’s seeing things and blinks in an attempt to make the figure dissolve. “You’re not real,” he adds, and he moves to turn away.

The spectre continues to speak without sound.

Goosebumps rise on his arms, pricking like a shiver. A thousand explanations herd themselves in his mind – ‘a slight disorder of the stomach’ as Scrooge once said, a figment of his exhausted imagination, a mirage of hazed senses – because he knows that the dead do not haunt the living unless they have chosen to do so. And his mother died peaceful and contented, with no reason to anchor herself in this world.

“Remus, you worry me,” she whispers. He is as shocked to finally hear her as he was to see her. Her voice sounds at first like dead leaves being blown across a dry pavement. “Why are you standing out here alone when your wife needs you with her?”

He looks at his feet, then wonders why he should feel chastised by something not entirely corporeal. He moves towards the figure, and it solidifies in front of him. “Do not touch me,” she warns, as his hand reaches out. “If you touch me I will vanish.”

“Vanish?”

“Return to where I came from. I cannot stay long. I bartered this time with you and any disturbance on your part would break the rules of the engagement, so to speak.”

Remus stares at her. She is more obviously his mother now, dressed in her favourite pale brown tea dress and her high heeled shoes. Her hair is partly secured with small clips but some tendrils still hang in sandy-coloured curls around her shoulders. She is younger than he remembers. She answers the question he has not given voice to, her eyes looking down at the floor, unseeing. “I’m here to stop you making the same mistake your father made.” She pauses and the wait is so long that Remus almost interrupts. “Go to your wife and son.”

“My s-son?” he stammers.

“Your son,” the shimmering form of his mother confirms.

He confesses simply, “I can’t…”

“You are not your father, Remus,” she says, ignoring his assertion.

And then she’s gone. Drifted away like a shadow caught in the corner of the eye. He’s left staring at the space she occupied wondering whether he’s dreamed the entire thing when he hears his name shouted from the bedroom two doors away. It’s Dora, crying out, and the sound stirs his legs into motion.

He will not become his father.

“I’m coming, darling,” he murmurs and strides to the door, to be with her.

****

Tonks

Walk-ins, her grandfather used to call them, his thick Scottish accent curling around the words and lengthening the consonants: neither here nor there, stuck forever in between the planes of existence for the sake of some unsettled business or traumatic event. Of course, her mother used to scoff at his ancient stories, reminding her that ghosts were wizards who chose to remain in the world of the living once they had died, but that didn’t stop her young mind from running wild with the possibilities. Perhaps there were Muggle ghosts as well as the ghosts of wizards, and perhaps these ghosts were the ones her grandfather spoke of, their silent shadows the subject of chilling tales the world over.

Her mother is fussing in the room with her, tidying the bottles and nappies and blankets for the hundredth time today, constantly clucking around her with the best of intentions but the worst of timing. “I went down to Diagon Alley today,” she tells her, chattering idly as she meanders to the bedroom window and adjusts the curtains. “I bought you some little romper suits, blue and green with broomsticks on them, and a couple of pairs of fur booties. He’ll grow fast so I got the largest size in them all.”

Tonks nods vacantly. Her mother potters a little longer, then turns and goes to the cot, where Teddy lies asleep with his hands raised up above his head like he has been flung carelessly on the mattress. Tonks swallows as she watches her mother touch her grandson’s fuzzy cheek and sigh. “I saw Dad,” she confesses, the words rushing out like water from a storm drain.

Her mother spins and stares at her, wide-eyed and confused. “What? You saw what?”

“I saw Dad,” Tonks repeats.

Andromeda’s face is a confused mixture of hope and dread; Tonks knows that she misses him and his blessed clutter – her tidying has been worse since the memorial. “When?” she asks.

Tonks draws in a breath. “Last night, while I was putting Teddy down. While Remus was talking with Kingsley and Arthur.”

After a moment, Andromeda shakes her head and dismisses the idea. She is too fond of her husband to think that he would have made the choice to haunt his family. “No, no, Nymphadora, he can’t have…” Her voice trails away.

“I saw him,” Tonks reasserts.

“You’re tired. Maybe you were asleep and didn’t realise it. We all wish he was here with us.”

“No, I wasn’t dreaming, Mum. It was real. He was standing there right in front of me and he said: ‘He will be looked after.’”

****

Early hours of the morning and the wind is growing. Tonks sleeps in the armchair in the nursery because she cannot sleep in the bed. It is too empty now that Remus has left to gather with the rest of the Order at the Weasley’s. She wakes to the sounds of Teddy’s gurgling cries, gathering strength like the gusty wind outside, and climbs to her feet, letting the dull light from the still burning candle on the dresser guide her to her son’s cot. She reaches down and lifts him up, her breasts aching to have him feed. Settling back into the chair, she parts her dressing gown and presses his mouth to her nipple, where he latches on, hungrily, and begins to suckle. Her eyes drift into the top of her head at the relief.

Eventually, Teddy falls away, sated and full of milk, and belches. She closes her gown and sits him up to rub his back. Another burp and then she rises and places her son back down in his cot, tucking the blankets over his already sleepy form. She steps back and her own eyes flutter closed with exhaustion. When she opens them, she starts back at the scene before her. A figure stands over the cot, staring down at Teddy. It is the same ghostly spectre of her father she saw the night before.

His skin is pale, his eyes filled with even paler light. He is a mere three paces from her and yet she cannot smell him. He moves not an inch. She’s seen ghosts before, but this is different, this feels like he’s somewhere else, as if he’s just a projection she’s seeing. His form twinkles like the heavens. “Dad?” she questions, wanting confirmation that she’s not dreaming.

“Yes, sweetheart?”

“I can… You’re…” She cannot find the words. Seeing him again has resurrected all the grief she’d thought had been laid to rest by the birth of her son. “Why are you here?”

His hand reaches out and he touches her cheek. It feels like nothing, not even a breath. Tears well up in her eyes. “Dad… answer me,” she tells him.

He seems to sigh. “I’m here to tell you that life is not so transient as you think. We will all see each other again. You need to understand that, on this night more than any other.”

Tonks stares at him, shaking her head. Her father’s form is wavering, like an ineffectual vanishing spell. He seems made of starlight. She moves towards him, wanting him to hold her once again, but before she can lay her hands on him, he fades away. “Dad!” she calls. “Don’t go, please. Don’t leave me!”

The tears fall as she realises she is alone again. She looks down at her son’s sleeping form and sees Remus in the lines of his face, her father’s words echoing in her head.

****

Andromeda

She has always tried to be a good mother. It’s not always been easy, especially when her urge was to overprotect and cushion her daughter from all the hatred and evil she knew boiled in the world in which they lived. It took her a long time to get to the point where she could relax and stop worrying; and now she’s back to square one, holding a squalling infant in her arms and feeling as if there isn’t a thing she can do to stop the baying hordes from spiriting him away.

She can’t believe she’s gone. The grief and anger is almost too much to bear. No mother should have to bury their own child, least of all their only child. She sees her face in everything: a cup left on the kitchen counter; a single trainer in the cupboard under the stairs; a Weird Sisters t-shirt in the laundry bin, and she feels guilty for every bad thought she ever had about her daughter and her unconventional husband.

It took her a long time to learn to trust Remus Lupin, but once that trust was won, he became just another member of the family – a man her daughter loved must, after all, be worth something more than what he seemed. Despite his name and his nature, it was obvious almost immediately that Remus was no wolf. It was not in him to hunt and tackle and kill. He was, she discovered, the antithesis of wolf. And it was that knowledge that comforted her.

Her daughter’s love for Remus Lupin knew no bounds and Andromeda hopes that perhaps a little of that blind passion transferred itself onto her son. Teddy looks up at her with wide adoring eyes, unaware of his parents’ sacrifice. Unlike Andromeda, he doesn’t understand that he is now an orphan. In these lonely days without her family, it is suddenly hard to see what was so important that it took this little boy’s parents from him.

It’s so unfair.

For the thousandth time in the last six weeks, she curses the fates that lead her here. Is this punishment for some sin she committed but has no knowledge of? It seems too dreadful to believe that it could be mere coincidence.

Out of the window, the first falling leaves of autumn are beginning to spiral from the trees and the normally delightful scent of warm earth and heavy dew fills her nose with a fretful sourness. She remembers the look in Nymphadora’s eyes when she revealed she was pregnant; the joy and already-unconditional love was obvious. How cruel that she was only allowed a few short weeks with her son. How wrong that it should be only Andromeda that gets to see that tiny face smile its first smile.

A hundred questions fill her mind: Will Teddy be tall like his father? Quietly beautiful like his mother? Will he stand up for what’s right and understand the meaning of the words sacrifice and duty and honour? Will he ever come to see that his parents pride is written in his very existence?

Andromeda sighs, her heart seeming full to burst. Taking her grandson from his cot, she quiets his cries with soft shushing and a gentle rocking, fitting his warm and boneless body into the crook of her arm. She takes the child to her bed and sits back against the headboard with him, wrapping the duvet around her and trying desperately not to cry again. This little boy has been bathed with her tears far too often in the last few weeks.

The house is quiet, as it is so often these days. Lonely. She wishes that she could change the cards that have been laid out for her. Instead of sitting here alone, facing what seems an insurmountable task, she would be the matriarch of a burgeoning family, and Teddy would have his mother and father there for him every day, watching him grow and learn. Panic sets in and she’s suddenly not sure she can do this alone. How do you take the place of all that when you’re just one woman, growing older with every day?

Tears spill over and she allows herself a few moments of grief as the baby begins to fall asleep again, and she adjusts the pillows, getting comfortable. What does it matter if she allows him to sleep with her this once? After all, the bed is far too large for just one and she doesn’t feel like sleeping again. A minute or two passes. She counts the ticks of the clock on the bedside table. She makes no move to dry her eyes, using the emotional energy of her tears to ease her towards sleep. Eventually, her head droops and as she begins to slip, the pull of gravity makes her jerk fully awake. She draws in a sharp breath and looks up.

Oh Merlin…

Her breath stops in her throat and she almost cries out in shock. Before her, less than two paces from the edge of the bed stands the shimmering form of her daughter. She seems vague and indistinct, like she’s standing behind a veil of ethereal lace. Involuntarily, Andromeda reaches out, but her hand does not connect and falls away into nothing. “Nymphadora…?” she murmurs in question.

The figure nods. “Yes, it’s me.” Her voice is drifting and seems to come from everywhere at once. Andromeda fights the shiver that builds in her spine. “I know you don’t believe in these things, Mum, but right now you have to see that this is true.”

Andromeda opens her mouth to reply but finds herself speechless. It is too unreal. “I’m dreaming,” she says finally with a shake of her head.

“You’re not. I’m here. We can’t touch, but I’m here.”

She feels rather foolish talking to someone who seems to be made of smoke and stars. “You’re a ghost?”

“No… more like a visitor. A shade.”

Teddy snuggles closer to her as he sleeps and Tonks’ eyes shift to her son. Andromeda notices the glance. “He’s fine,” she tells her daughter. “He’s doing well.”

There is a long pause. She can see the craving to hold Teddy in her daughter’s eyes. Finally, she seems to gather herself and she looks at Andromeda’s tear-stained face. “Why are you crying, Mum?”

Andromeda startles, as if she had forgotten the tears she had shed. “I’m… I…” She sighs. “I don’t know if I can do this alone,” she admits.

Nymphadora’s face creases. “If I had any choice in this, I would choose you.” She looks at Teddy, then back to Andromeda. “I trust you.”

Shimmering, her form seems to shift and stutter, almost as if the spell is wearing thin. Andromeda is gripped suddenly by a desire to prolong their contact. She reaches out, but her hand touches nothing. She is intangible.

“Mum, I trust you,” Nymphadora whispers one last time, before she drifts away like a puff of vapour, leaving Andromeda alone again. Teddy stirs in her arms and coos softly and she passes her hand across his nectarine-soft cheek. She draws in a deep breath, calming herself.

“It’s all right, baby,” she soothes. “I’m here.”

****

Teddy

His father was a ghost at Hallowe’en.

In later years, when he looked back at the miracle that was his first and only sight of the man who gave him life he would come to see it as a gift to stoke the ailing embers of his heart. It was the love of those who had been left behind that had kept him strong throughout his sixteen years and it would be the love of those who had moved on that would keep him strong in the future.

The house is busy with the Samhain celebrations his grandmother has unfailingly put on for every year of his young life. Candles have been lit in every west-facing window, food has been prepared for days beforehand, places for his mother, father and grandfather set at the table, and a bonfire has been lit in the garden. Teddy is now standing on the patio as the final guests leave the house and his grandmother rushes around summoning empty glasses and plates from every corner of every room. It is cooler out here, the first fingers of frost beginning to settle on the garden wall, but he is grateful for the sting of the air.

At the bottom of the garden, the bonfire has burned to a mound of sputtering red coals and ashes. Its feeble light and heat drift over him now as he looks out across the immaculate lawn and glorious flower beds his grandmother keeps in memory of her long-lost husband. He kicks his legs, sitting on a decorative chimneypot and watching as a hawk moth flickers over the tongues of a honeysuckle that climbs up the side of the house.

He hates this time of the year. It is not an anniversary, but still it seems like a time when every painful memory of his past surges to the forefront. For as long as he can remember, his grandmother has been big on musty rituals, saying that experiences have taught her to believe in the improbable, and Hallowe’en merely intensifies her desire to fall back on such things. He knows she has never really forgotten the family she once had, even though she makes it seem as if she has moved on, and Samhain is just an excuse for her to delve around in the past.

But he’s never believed in it.

His mind is a practical mind, one guided by fact and reality, not age-old traditions. He believes in what he can see. Even if that has sometimes left him wanting.

Above his head the sky is black and starlit. It’s the clearest night of the year so far and he finds himself staring up the darkness and thinking that it reflects the emptiness of his heart. He sighs. His grandmother will be finding spirits and sanctuary in this evening, but for Teddy it is a time of sadness, only reminding him of what he lacks.

A breath of wind draws his attention on this still and silent night and he glances to his right. Melting out of the darkness, a man walks towards him. His hair is dishevelled and looking in need of a cut, slightly too long over his ears and temples. His eyes are a soft hazel and there is kindness in their depths, and his nose the same nose that looks back at Teddy when he’s not goofing it into a pig’s snout or a raven’s beak.

Time stops.

“D-dad?” Teddy’s voice catches in his throat, comes out sounding nothing like it usually does.

Never before has his heart beat so rapidly. Slowly, the figure of his father smiles, and then nods a confirmation. “What a young man you are now,” he marvels, though his voice seems to come from somewhere far away.

Teddy stares at his father. His logical mind fills with contradictions and half-explained possibilities, each as unsatisfactory as the next. Ghosts do not just ‘appear’ in front of people years after a death. His father has been dead and silent for nearly seventeen years and, Hallowe’en or not, he isn’t about to make an appearance now. He closes his eyes, thinking that when he opens them again, everything will be back to normal and this will have been some kind of trick of his tired and emotionally fragile mind.

But Remus’ figure does not shift. “I’m real,” he says, when Teddy looks again. “You’re not dreaming.”

Teddy shakes his head. “Why… why are you here?”

A sad smile crosses his father’s lips. “I wanted to see you. Is that not reason enough? Your grandmother placed a candle in your window and that was enough to guide me here.”

Glancing up to his bedroom, he sees that the explanation is correct and a single yellow flame flickers behind the dark glass. “I heard your thoughts,” his father murmurs, “and they worried me; I wanted to tell you that you are not alone.”

Teddy frowns, still struggling with the concept. “How could you hear…?”

“Oh, nothing is secret to me anymore.” He smiles again, wider this time. “And I’ve been watching you for a long time.”

“Watching me?”

“Yes.”

“Really?”

His father laughs. “All these years you’ve scoffed at your grandmother, son, and she was the one closest to the truth.” He pauses. “A little hard to swallow, isn’t it?”

Teddy nods in spite of himself. He looks down at his shoes, suddenly finding the brown leather intensely interesting. When he lifts his head again, the figure is still there, still smiling at him. There is something both comforting and comfortable in the expression. This is his father, he realises.

“Dad…” he says, softly, in spoken acknowledgement of his acceptance. He takes a step towards his father, wanting to touch him, but the instant he moves the image begins to fade around the edges. Teddy starts. “What’s happening?” he asks, frowning. “You’re fading.”

“Yes. I only have a few minutes and my time is almost up.”

It’s too soon. Once again, he’s going to be denied what he really wants and the powerlessness chills him to his bones.

Suddenly gripped by a need to touch his father, Teddy reaches out, but his hand falls straight through the ghostly form. His mouth opens in shock. “Don’t go,” he pleads, forcing his voice through a hitch. He fixes Remus with his gaze. “I don’t want to be alone anymore.”

“I have to go,” Remus says, and the edges of his figure shimmer and shift, like the ripples on a stirring pensieve.

“No!” Teddy’s voice is sharp in its denial. “I don’t want you to go!” he calls.

“I have to.”

“Then take me with you,” he hears himself say, the words rolling off his tongue easily in the absence of real thought. “I need you.”

“I can’t. It’s not time yet.” There seem to be tears in his father’s eyes as he speaks. “You have to go on. Your time is not here yet.”

“But I want…”

“Son, you cannot always have what you want.” Remus breathes in deeply, his face pained at his son’s distress. “Be strong. Life is not so final when it ends. You will see us again. We are ancient souls and our paths will cross again, of that there is no doubt. Look at the stars…” He turns his head toward the heavens and points at the glittering lights. “We are with you always. When your road comes to an end, we will be together again.”

His form shifts and shimmers and Teddy is reminded of a distant, glorious nebula. “Dad…” he says, hopelessly. “Dad, I love you.”

“And I love you, too, son.”

And then he is gone, vanished like the stars in the wake of the dawn.

Teddy stares at the sky for a long time, his fiery eyes burning at the darkness, searching for the incredible in the blanket of the cosmos. A million tiny pinpricks glitter back at him and he knows… Quite suddenly, he knows…

He is never truly alone.


The End. 

 
 
 
author_by_night: Tomorrow by calico_icons/julibethauthor_by_night on October 10th, 2007 12:40 pm (UTC)
*Sobbing*

Very, very good! I liked how everyone had their own visitor, and that Remus and Tonks also became visitors.

I'd make this review longer, but I need a kleenex and I am not just saying that.
well, fancy that... it's joely jojoely_jo on October 10th, 2007 06:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm sorry! I knew I was going to make people cry... but that was my prompt, I swear! But, glad you liked it despite this fact! :)
Tonks: White hair textlesspinkhairedauror on October 10th, 2007 04:29 pm (UTC)
*sobbing too* Oh that was... beautiful!!!

Never truly alone. Never. None of them.

*sniffles* Thank you for writing this.
well, fancy that... it's joely jojoely_jo on October 10th, 2007 06:30 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry I made you cry... it was the prompt what did it, I swear! ;) Glad you liked it despite this, though. :)
metawolfmagusmetawolfmagus on October 10th, 2007 08:30 pm (UTC)
joely, this is just... amazing.
its perfect angst throughout but inspiring angst somehow... you're never truly alone. what a sentiment!
i starting sobbing around the time andromeda's part came around, harder even than i did when i read DH and the mention of their deaths came up, because you made it really hurt me!
i love it, wholeheartadly.
well, fancy that... it's joely jojoely_jo on October 10th, 2007 09:38 pm (UTC)
Ah... then I seem to have hit that prompt fairly well, then! ;) Even though it was difficult, I had to get a positive message in there somehow... angst is all right, but I think if it can be hopeful, it's easier to stomach. But, glad you liked it, even if it did make you cry! :)
hrymfaxehrymfaxe on October 11th, 2007 12:01 am (UTC)
What a sad yet strangely uplifting tale.. The spirits are a beautiful idea, and the reactions of those who see them are very believable. I feel for poor Teddy without his parents, but it is encouraging to see that he will choose to live his life and honor the past as his grandmother does instead of wasting his time being angry. Thank you for a wonderful (quite literally) story.
well, fancy that... it's joely jojoely_jo on October 11th, 2007 07:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I, too, thought it was tremendously sad that Teddy was left an orphan, so I have wanted to show him with some resolution to his situation... even if he has to go through the spectrum of emotions before this. Glad you enjoyed it. :)
drumher: one last kissdrumher on October 11th, 2007 01:42 am (UTC)
"Emotional subject matter", indeed! Each part is powerful in itself but the way they build upon each other until one reaches the sad, yet uplifting ending, is what makes this piece so incredible. You need to add a warning to the reader to have a box of tissue nearby. Excellent writing.
well, fancy that... it's joely jojoely_jo on October 11th, 2007 07:09 pm (UTC)
Oh, I knew I was going to make people upset with this one... *sighs* But, despite this, I'm glad you enjoyed the ending. The sadness is always balanced out eventually. :)

And what a lovely icon... Would I be correct in thinking it's one of your drawings?
Amy: R/T w/ Teddy Photoscarlett71177 on October 11th, 2007 07:18 am (UTC)
I was doing so good until I read that "I don't want to be alone anymore," and the waterworks started.

You have this awesome ability to tell a story and your prose is always so spectacular. From the plot all the way down to the word level it's just fabulous.



Aim
well, fancy that... it's joely jojoely_jo on October 11th, 2007 07:10 pm (UTC)
I think I really should have put a warning on this, I'm starting to think... but the sadness is always balanced out in the end. Glad you enjoyed it, despite the waterworks! :)
JD: Bravolady_bracknell on October 11th, 2007 02:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, that was wonderful. I really loved the way you bookended it with Remus - once being the one on the recieving end and once being the one making a visit - I thought that gave things a really nice sense of perspective, in a way, that once, he'd have felt as Teddy did and now he knows that death isn't the end.

I loved the tone of this all the way through - it read to me in places like a proper old fashioned ghost story, and I really liked that, and I just loved the idea of Andromeda - and maybe other witches and wizards celebrating Halloween as the day of the dead, with all the traditional trappings.
well, fancy that... it's joely jojoely_jo on October 11th, 2007 07:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I have always loved MR James and so on, and some of his stories were on my mind when I started writing this. And there had to be a hopeful end... it might have been an 'angst' prompt, but we all have to have hope in the end. Glad you enjoyed it. :)
mous1elousi3princesstopaz on October 12th, 2007 03:56 am (UTC)
Read this earlier, only just getting around to reviewing and have to say that this was tragically beautiful, haunting (mind the pun ;)) and poetic. It made me want to cry so bad. Well done.
well, fancy that... it's joely jojoely_jo on October 12th, 2007 10:16 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed it. It's always difficult to write angst, I think, because we all inherently want to be amused or comforted, and angst, by its nature, does neither of those things. But, I tried to get a positive message in there at the end... I really tried! :)
(Anonymous) on October 15th, 2007 02:06 pm (UTC)
That was just lovely. Heartbreaking and inspiring all at the same time, which I think all angst needs to be able to accomplish, or else it's just depressing, isn't it? I love your Teenage!Teddy, because he is such a great mix of logical coolness and vulnerability.

Very well done! I enjoyed it immensely. :)
phoenixfyre13phoenixfyre13 on October 15th, 2007 02:07 pm (UTC)
Okay, sorry, apparently I have forgotten how to sign in...oops.
(no subject) - joely_jo on October 15th, 2007 08:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
jncar: R/T Teddyjncar on October 15th, 2007 02:37 pm (UTC)
So lovely and sad, but sad in a good way. It was wonderful that they all had a beloved visitor to comfort them in their time of need, and to reassure them that lost love is never truly lost.

I loved the soft, subdued tone throughout. None of the visits were loud or angry or frightening--everything was so peaceful. I really liked that.

This was touching and difficult, but inspiring at the same time. Thanks for sharing.
well, fancy that... it's joely jojoely_jo on October 15th, 2007 08:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I actually find angst difficult to write because I feel that it's a fine balance between too much sadness and losing the realism. So, I suppose what I'm trying to say is that I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)
Bratanimus: Pathbratanimus on October 15th, 2007 04:00 pm (UTC)
*sob* I couldn't see very well to read the last scene because of the tears in my eyes. That's a good thing. ;)

This story is just perfect. I love how each ghost comes just at the right time, to provide reassurance and comfort when things are looking the darkest for the person left alive. And even though this is "angst," it's really a story of hope.

I love that Tonks shares with Andromeda the message from Ted: ‘He will be looked after.’ Because in that simple act, Andromeda also gets a visit - and a vote of confidence - from Ted, even though at the time she doesn't believe it or realize it.

Like jdbracknell, I love the bookend structure of Remus as the visited and the visitor. Just lovely. I adored that Remus was drawn there by the candle. And for some reason this line just tore me apart: “D-dad?” Teddy’s voice catches in his throat, comes out sounding nothing like it usually does. *sniffle* Oh, and Teddy asking Remus to take him with him was just heartbreaking, and so real.

The language and pace you use throughout this piece is so subdued and quiet, even though the emotions are running very high (well done!), so that when the ghosts appear it's not in the least shocking, and they DO provide a salve for the emotional wounds that run so deep. Very good work.

*cheers while crying* ;)
well, fancy that... it's joely jojoely_jo on October 15th, 2007 08:42 pm (UTC)
Oh, I feel awful for putting people through the emotional wringer with this one. But, it was necessary evil... ;)

Andromeda was the hardest character to write, because I envisaged her as someone very down to earth and straightforward... and that meant she would have to be taking a real leap to believe that she was being visited by a spirit.

I'm glad you enjoyed it, even though it was a difficult read. And thanks for letting me know... :)
Lioness of Ravenclaw: Lioness Leavesravnclw_lioness on October 15th, 2007 05:22 pm (UTC)
Wow. Very powerful, but also very positive considering we're dealing with ghosts here. I really loved the different points of view. It emphasized each characters insecurities, but we also know that most of them were able to put them aside for the larger picture. The emotions you gave Teddy were absolutely heartbreaking. Asking Remus to take him with him was a wonderful portrayal of how lonely he must be. The hopeful ending worked very well too!
well, fancy that... it's joely jojoely_jo on October 15th, 2007 08:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Glad you... well... enjoyed it. It wasn't the easiest of reads, I know, so I'm really flattered that people stuck with it. And that was why I had to get a positive message in there somewhere - to make sure you weren't completely broken at the end! Thanks for letting me know your thoughts - it means a lot. :)
shimotsuki: metamorfic_moonshimotsuki on October 16th, 2007 04:10 am (UTC)
Oh, this is beautiful. There's so much hope here, despite the angst, because of the way that everyone in the story gets a visit in a moment of need, to reassure them that people are still loved and looked after even after death. And the small, scene-setting details, like Tonks's dressing gown or the hawk moth in the honeysuckle, work wonderfully to make the images concrete.

Loved this:
"I wanted to see you. Is that not reason enough?"

And the last line made me tear up even on the second reading!
well, fancy that... it's joely jojoely_jo on October 30th, 2007 07:58 pm (UTC)
Ooh, sorry for the late reply on this. I forgot I had comments still to respond to on this one.

Glad you enjoyed it cos I enjoyed the write. :)
Calyndra Rallinecalyndra on October 20th, 2007 01:56 am (UTC)
This is such a beautiful story. Sadder than melted ice cream, but beautiful. I love how you captured several moments with a visitation, each setting the precedent for the next, in a way.

Thanks. :)
well, fancy that... it's joely jojoely_jo on October 30th, 2007 08:00 pm (UTC)
Sorry for the late reply on this - I forgot I still had comments to respond to on this one.

But... glad you, well, enjoyed it. I know it isn't always satisfying to read angst, which was why I had to get a positive ending in. :)
What's Taters, Precious?: The Lupinsmrstater on October 26th, 2007 02:53 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry it's taken me an age to get to this! I couldn't read anything properly when I was working on mine because it was always niggling at the back of my brain and distracting me, but now I've finally had a chance to sit down and read...

Anyway, it was well worth the wait. You've done some lovely writing here, as always, and I must echo what everyone else has said about what a lovely and sad idea this is overall, to have everyone visited by the ones who've gone before and to both long for them and be comforted. For some reason the thing that got me most was Remus noticing that his mother looks younger than he remembered; it made me get all teary thinking how young he and Tonks are. :(

Great use of your prompts and as always such moving work.
well, fancy that... it's joely jojoely_jo on October 30th, 2007 08:03 pm (UTC)
Don't worry about it! My reply is late as well, and I have no excuse, unlike you...

But, glad you enjoyed it, well, relatively speaking at any rate. I know it's not a treat to read angst. :)