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blanketforts

Day 29 - Mountaintop

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Feb. 1st, 2006 | 07:34 am
posted by: safebox in blanketforts

Preparations
By safebox
PG, 650+ words

/Day 01/Day 02/Day 03/Day 04/Day 05/Day 06/Day 07/
/Day 08/Day 09/Day 10/Day 11/Day 12/Day 13/Day 14/
/Day 15/Day 16/Day 17/Day 18/Day 19/Day 20/Day 21/
/Day 22/Day 23/Day 24/Day 25/Day 26/Day 27/Day 28/



It’s a Hogmeade weekend. The Marauders wrap up warm, James taking particular care to arrange his scarf, which the others note, with resignation, signifies that he will be disappearing off with Lily as soon as they get there. The four of them stroll off together, utterly ignoring the evil eye of Filch as they leave, because it isn’t as if they don’t endure it the rest of the time. The caretaker may have muttered something about banned artefacts, but none of them paid any attention.

They enter the town, and unsurprisingly James’ mind is elsewhere. He quickly catches a flash of red hair and wanders off. Sirius shakes his head. ‘That boy… this will only cause trouble, you know.’

‘So,’ says Peter, rubbing his hands together from the cold, ‘where to first, Zonko’s?’

‘Sounds good to me,’ says Sirius, although he’s looking at Remus, who is staring off into the middle distance. ‘Moony? What is it?’

‘Hmm? Oh… it doesn’t matter,’ murmurs Remus vaguely, although a surreptitious brush against Sirius’ begloved hand suggests answers may be forthcoming later.

They enter the throngs of would-be pranksters, and Peter sighs. ‘They’ve not got a hope, have they?’

‘Amateurs all,’ agrees Sirius.

Sadly, Zonko’s has not updated their stock, and the trio have seen it all before. Sirius gets fidgety as Peter is accosted by a girl behind the counter.

Remus moves over. ‘Can we escape for a sec?’

‘Eh? We can’t just abandon him.’

‘It’ll only take a moment. I’ll Apparate you and everything.’

‘Alright then.’

Sunlight and cold. They’re suddenly standing on the mountains that overlook Hogsmeade and the school. The clouds are high, and the view is spectacular.

‘Wow, don’t think I’ve ever been up here in winter before. Apparating’s an improvement on climbing, isn’t it?’ Sirius says, eyes wide.

‘It is, a bit.’

‘So, err, any reason we’re here? I mean, it’s cold, and I’m sure we could find ways of keeping warm, but somehow I doubt that was your intention.’

‘Well, no, not exactly. Snow’s a bit too damp, really.’

‘Then what is it?’

Remus shuffles a bit, one hand tugging at the back of his scarf.

‘Oh, this is going to sound stupid, it doesn’t matter, we can just…’

‘No, no, what is it?’

‘I was just thinking that, well, maybe… oh, this really is stupid Sirius, forget it…’ But Remus withers under the glare and attempts to continue. ‘Only, if we’re going to be a war, then, we might, we could, maybe – I’m not saying that we will, but – we might die,’ he bursts out, quietly.

‘And so I thought that, before it begins, if we found somewhere – like this, here, today – and we said that if… if one of us does get killed, then maybe the, the other one could, come up here sometimes, and, oh I’m losing my thread…’

Remus pauses, collects himself, and gains a little more coherency, if desperation with it.

‘It’s not like you really die, completely so there’s nothing left, is there? Otherwise, ghosts wouldn’t exist, and they can’t be the only people to stay around. So I thought that if we both knew about the same place, then if the worst happened we could come back, and we’d know the other person would be trying to get here too, and it would just be… I thought maybe it would help.’

He stops talking, and shrinks into his coat, looking embarrassed and nervous.

‘Remus. We are not going to die. I’m going to beat Dumbledore at his own game, and I’ll be damned if I let anyone take you from me. But, just in case, if something did happen – and it won’t – then yes, this is a brilliant idea.’

***

Remus remembers a lot of things when he sits, with old and aching bones, on his hilltop – his and Sirius’ – but in winter, his mind is drawn most often to the kiss that followed that conversation.

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