Of Sugar and
You stare at the pile of
unwashed dishes in the kitchen
sink, scrubbing spell on the tip of your tongue, but your arm unwilling
raise your wand. You just grip your teacup tighter and ask the sugar
bowl why. You would have thought that today
of all days, someone would at least give you a fire call to make sure
aren't hanging yourself, at least owl to let you know you're not entirely alone. But no, it's the same as
always. The fire burns uninterrupted, no hint of a face in sight. The
you've seen was the one that brought you the Daily Prophet, and no
one's come to your door in so long that you've all but forgotten what
The low growl in your blood adds
insult to injury, informing
you that the full moon draws near. You wonder if perhaps Severus will
your potion today. But no, he knows the significance of this date only
well. He'd sooner have you maul all of Hogsmeade than have to deal with
today. He'll wait until tomorrow, not that you'll be much better by
at least his pureblood etiquette won't obligate him to offer empty
It's not so much that they don't care; you
know that. It's
more that they can't understand what you went through that day, what
gone through every day since. They can't understand, and they're afraid
Even Harry, your comrade in mourning for so long, began to back away
told him the truth at last. He keeps his distance now, writing to you
occasionally. His letters always keep to "safe" subjects. You can't
say you don't mind, but you understand. One scarlet letter of otherness
possible to look past, but two is out of the question, you suppose.
It's just you and the sugar bowl. You begin
to wonder if it
might answer back. The delicate blue of the china makes you think of
and you begin to hate it. The hapless object meets a sorry end against
door. Take that. You vow to excise
that shade of blue from your life. It's
really too bad you can't break the sky so easily. Not that you've seen
the past few days. But you know it's there, and you hate it too.
You loved him. And then you hated him. You'd
only just got
to where you were falling in love with him all over again, and then....
It all came crashing down. The bastard.
And you hate yourself for feeling this way.
You know it's
childish, feeling sorry for yourself for an entire year without
know it doesn't do any good. You know that you have to go on. But the
you don't much want to.
"What you need is a rebound," Tonks said to
few weeks ago.
You sneered at her and informed her that what
you needed was
But you've since wondered if maybe she was
Your tea's gone cold, and it's getting late.
You shuffle off
to bed, not sparing a glance for the mess by the door. As always, you
tomorrow, it will hurt just a bit less.
Tonight brings sleep plagued by images of big
black dogs and
schoolboy pranks, of laughing blue eyes and stolen kisses. Tomorrow
dampness and a mercifully grey sky. You resume your place at the
and drink your tea without sugar.
Yes, today's date seems to have lifted some
sort of taboo.
Today there's a dinner invitation from Molly Weasley, along with one of
awkward missives. Today you muster the energy to charm the dishes to
themselves, and your teacup trembles just a bit less in your grip. But
leave the sugar bowl where it is.
Today Severus Snape is at your door. He comes
in, whether you
were going to invite him to or not. He looks at the pile of sugar and
china that is now attracting ants, and then he looks at you.
"Lupin, you look like hell," he
says, but his tone
You sigh and pinch the
bridge of your nose. "Hello to
you too, Severus." And you look at him now. As haggard as you know you
are, he doesn't look so sharp himself. His face is drawn and hollowed,
hair is carelessly pulled back. You've never known anything about his
appearance to be careless.
He hands you your potion,
and your fingers brush slightly in
the exchange. You freeze and lock eyes for a moment, and you'd swear
is the smallest hint of a smile playing at one corner of his mouth.
expression he was about to betray is quickly extinguished, though, and
leaves without another word, only a sound of acknowledgement at your
almost-whispered thanks. You watch out the window as he billows down
path and disappears.
You mutter "Reparo" at the
sugar bowl and hide it
away on the top shelf of the cupboard. Your tea's gone cold again, but
found that you don't much care.
2004 by Deirdre Riordan. Contact me at deirdre.riordan @ gmail . com