marginalia: (neville)
disagree (1) ([personal profile] marginalia) wrote2007-07-31 10:34 am

Fic: Four Wizards Who Never Lived in the Attic Room

i am totally wearing crankypants today for a number of reasons, but i am going to try to ignore that for now in favor of fic. [ profile] twicetoldfandom has gone up here. there's no interface for feedback that i can see, though, so i'm crossposting all of it. for those unfamiliar with the ficathon, a number of authors were given the same image (mine is linked in the notes) and asked to write a story based off of it, to see how differently we might interpret it. how cool is that?

Title: Four Wizards Who Never Lived in the Attic Room
Author: [ profile] marginalia
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters: Sybill Trelawney, Remus Lupin, Neville Longbottom, Harry Potter
Archive: marginalia: fiction archive & Twice Told Fandom
Notes: Alternately, read it on the archive. Also check out the other stories based on this image, as that's the entire point.

Sybill Trelawney, 1983

"Take a term off, Sybill," Dumbledore had suggested. "Periodic sabbaticals are part of your contract, after all."

She was given a slight housing stipend, and after some thought, she took an attic room in a house full of other wizarding academics. The gentleman in the room below hers was a Squib, but he knew more magical theory than many fully-qualified wizards. They touched once, accidentally, while passing on the stairs, and his visions and memories of the war with the Dark Lord were so horrific that she was nearly overcome.

She hung a sachet at the window, full of mundane and magical herbs for calming her dreams. Sometimes it was better not to See. She considered slipping one into his room -- sometimes she heard him cry out in the night and now she understood -- but she had never been comfortable with memory modification on those who might not be able to tell the difference. Somehow she knew if she offered, he would refuse, offended.

Her schedule twisted around on itself, and she lay awake nights, staring up at and beyond the stars, clearing her mind and her Eye.

Sybill left the sachet on the window when she left, with a note: "For easier dreams."

Remus Lupin, 1993

Remus had found the advertisement in a free paper, and hoped they wouldn't check up on him much. He had a spotty history all around, but maybe students wouldn't particularly care.

"It's not much," the girl said, tucking her hair behind her ear. "But the light is good." She had tried with the room, Remus could tell, a few flowers in a plastic bottle on a table left by a tenant long gone, a sachet hanging from the handle of the window.

"It's perfect," he said, and meant it. It was clean, which put it far ahead of the competition already, and she was right about the light. He felt better just stepping into it. He had spent too much time in darkness, in flats that, if not windowless, might as well have been. He stamped out the voice that told him he belonged in shadows and asked how soon he could move in. He wasn't dead yet. Perhaps it was time he started believing it.

Nearly a year later, the owl tapped at the window with the request from Dumbledore. Parchment in hand, Remus paused for a moment of mental arithmetic. Lily's boy would be at Hogwarts now. The decision was made.

Neville Longbottom & Harry Potter, 2003

Harry and Neville surveyed the room carefully. The habit of scanning for traps and threats was hard to break. There were a few bits of furniture, which was good as neither of them had any, and a view of blue houses across the way. "What is that?" asked Harry, pointing to the sachet hanging from the window.

"Looks like something my gran would have," Neville said, reaching for it. He sniffed it experimentally. "Valerian. Lavender. A few others. Maybe a little hellebore? I think it's probably for dreams, or forgetting. Not that I need help with that." He shrugged. "Either way, it's too old to have any effect." Harry nodded.

Both had little to unpack. Everyone had lost so much in the war, and neither of them had ever had much to begin with. They shifted the bed to the corner under the window, and when night fell, lay listening to the sound of the rain pounding down on it. "Impervious," Harry said. "Just in case." He looked up into the black, stretched, and then curled himself around Neville. "Suppose I won't be slipping out it to fly tonight."

"Certainly not," muttered Neville, well on his way to dreamland in the attic room.

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