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Title: Five Small Victories for Professor Remus J. Lupin
Summary: It's time for a celebratory firewhiskey.
Word count: 600
Rating: Thoroughly G
Notes: For buckle_berry, who deserves a celebratory firewhiskey, too.



Having survived his first day as Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Remus Lupin has retreated to his rooms to celebrate with a glass of Minerva McGonagall's best firewhisky.

His door is closed against the chaos of the school, but if we slip past it, we'll find an exhausted, greying werewolf, putting his feet up at the end of a long day.

The fire is lit. It's only the first week in September, but the damp has already set in, and Remus has thrown a scratchy tartan blanket over his legs. Perhaps Minerva lent it to him. His pullover and trousers aren't quite warm enough, not in this stone-cold castle.

The old leather armchair is drawn up close to the fire, and Remus is sprawled across it. One of his hands is slowly massaging his temples. The other cradles the firewhisky. Both stocking feet are resting on the overstuffed ottoman.

Remus heaves a sigh, closes his eyes, and wiggles his toes.

Life is about the small victories, and Remus has had several today.

Victory the first: There are now only four more days to the weekend, not five, and the holes in the toes of his favorite grey wool socks do not in any way diminish the sense of accomplishment he is beginning to feel. No, not at all. The fire is warm. The firewhisky helps, as does the guarantee of an end-of-the-month pay packet. Before we know it, the weekend will be here.

Victory the second: His boggart had not turned into an entire classroom full of skeptical, reluctant students, as he feared, but a harmless silver orb he could vanish with a flick of his wand. Remus Lupin has conquered silver orbs every month of his life for as long as he can remember, and he's relieved to discover that even his subconscious agrees that the students are less threatening.

Victory the third: He saw a spark of Alice Longbottom in her son today, and if he can think of a good way to phrase it, he might put that on his c.v.

Victory the fourth: Severus Snape in a ridiculous green frock, an image that still makes Remus smile several hours later. Perhaps Snivellus has improved with age, or perhaps Remus has gone too long without a shag, or perhaps he's no longer used to quality firewhisky, but dammit, the old boy seems less unattractive by the minute. There will be sex this year, at last--or, failing that, at least a few more surreptitious jokes at Severus' expense. Remus will take either, at this point.

Victory the fifth: Have we mentioned monthly pay packets? Because nothing beats a monthly pay packet. Not the prospect of a shag, not new woolen socks, not even the look of surprise and delight on Neville's face when Severus emerged from the wardrobe, clad in that ridiculous green frock.

Although the look on Neville's face is a close second, Remus decides. The laughter of the third-year students still echoes in his ears.

Riddikulus!

They did well today, Remus thinks. All of them.

Revise that last item. Victory the fifth: a job well done.

Yes.

It's a good thing that Remus has finished his firewhiskey, because the glass has slowly slipped from his fingers into his lap where it lies, forgotten.

Pink-cheeked, breathing deeply, he nods twice, then three times, slowly wilting, until his chin touches his chest.

We'll set the glass on the table--Shhh! Don't wake him up!--and pull the tartan blanket up to his shoulders before we leave. It's half nine, and Professor Remus J. Lupin is asleep, flushed with the victories of his first day of school.

Comments

( 111 comments — Leave a comment )
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beckaandzac
Sep. 25th, 2007 12:30 am (UTC)
Awww, that's lovely, that is.
magnetic_pole
Sep. 25th, 2007 12:30 am (UTC)
That was quick! Happy first day of class to you, too! M.
(no subject) - beckaandzac - Sep. 25th, 2007 12:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - magnetic_pole - Sep. 25th, 2007 12:54 am (UTC) - Expand
westernredcedar
Sep. 25th, 2007 12:33 am (UTC)
This is going to sound insane, but I am actually extremely teary after reading this. Maybe it is because I am still so close to the start of the school year in my RL teaching, maybe it's how much I love Remus and the quiet way you wrote about him, maybe it is the bittersweet ending and the sad fact that there was really no one there to do that for him...whatever the reason, I like it, Maggie. No, love it.
magnetic_pole
Sep. 25th, 2007 12:38 am (UTC)
Aw, thanks. Somehow the beginning of the school year is such a bittersweet, emotional, difficult time if you're at the front of the classroom. (Ah, what the students don't know would fill a book.) Hope your year is off to a good start! M.
(no subject) - westernredcedar - Sep. 25th, 2007 12:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - magnetic_pole - Sep. 25th, 2007 12:52 am (UTC) - Expand
rufus
Sep. 25th, 2007 12:45 am (UTC)
naaawwwwww, that's adorable. *tugs the blanket over his shoulder.*
magnetic_pole
Sep. 25th, 2007 12:53 am (UTC)
Thank you! *dims the lights* Maggie
elsane
Sep. 25th, 2007 01:06 am (UTC)
Lovely. Thank you for giving Remus victories, however small.
magnetic_pole
Sep. 25th, 2007 02:27 am (UTC)
We all need some, don't we? Thanks for reading! M.
a_t_rain
Sep. 25th, 2007 01:06 am (UTC)
Oh, how very perfectly first day of school!
magnetic_pole
Sep. 25th, 2007 02:27 am (UTC)
Thank you! M.
celandineb
Sep. 25th, 2007 01:23 am (UTC)
Yay! You wrote fic!

There will be sex this year, at last, or, failing that, at least a few more surreptitious jokes at Severus' expense. Remus will take either, at this point.

*giggles like a mad thing*
magnetic_pole
Sep. 25th, 2007 02:30 am (UTC)
I did! We shan't mention what didn't get written today, but there is fic!

Poor Remus. We'll pretend he has sex rather than jokes in his future. Thanks for reading! M.

mindabbles
Sep. 25th, 2007 01:45 am (UTC)
Oh, just lovely. The atmosphere you create at the beginning and then pick up at the end is vivid and charming. Love Remus counting the small victories and love his pleasure at what he saw in Neville. The Snape mention made me giggle. The very end is just a bit sniffly.
magnetic_pole
Sep. 25th, 2007 02:32 am (UTC)
Sometimes I forget that this is the Remus I first fell in love with, the ever-so-modest, down-at-the-heels Remus of PoA. Glad he worked for you. Thanks for reading! M.
onehundredmoons
Sep. 25th, 2007 01:50 am (UTC)
This is making me miss my old classroom, and I can give your no higher praise! *smiles*
magnetic_pole
Sep. 25th, 2007 02:32 am (UTC)
Thanks, sweetie! (And what a lot of teachers and former teacher on the flist!) M.
kyasuriin
Sep. 25th, 2007 01:59 am (UTC)
oh I really loved this *snuggles Remus* This phase in his life is such an important one and is one most often overlooked by writers (myself included). You've written it beautifully.
magnetic_pole
Sep. 25th, 2007 02:47 am (UTC)
It *is* overlooked, isn't it? As I was saying above, this is the era that first drew me to this character. I'm not sure why we all don't write more of it. Thanks for giving it a try! Maggie
melayneseahawk
Sep. 25th, 2007 02:45 am (UTC)
Aww, sweet.
magnetic_pole
Sep. 25th, 2007 02:48 am (UTC)
Thanks! M.
arethinn
Sep. 25th, 2007 03:03 am (UTC)
*nicks the rest of his Firewhiskey*

(I'm a bad girl, I am.)
magnetic_pole
Sep. 25th, 2007 01:55 pm (UTC)
No worries, he's out like a light and won't notice. Thanks for reading! Maggie
tarteaucitron
Sep. 25th, 2007 06:42 am (UTC)
There will be sex this year

*punches air*

aw. this is exactly my idea of lupin.
magnetic_pole
Sep. 25th, 2007 01:57 pm (UTC)
He was lovely once, wasn't he? *grumps* Thanks for reading, sweetie! M.
(Anonymous)
Sep. 25th, 2007 08:30 am (UTC)
aw, sweet.
He certainly deserves some quality firewhisky, our weary greying werewolf. It's somewhat saddening, the victories are such small things - no defeating Voldie here. And yet its a great spirit that can take such comfort in the small things in life.

Thanks for writing!
/m
magnetic_pole
Sep. 25th, 2007 02:00 pm (UTC)
Re: aw, sweet.
Ah, but life is all about the small victories, isn't it? Remus is on to something here; defeating Voldie is for the kids. Thanks for reading, /m. Maggie
liseuse
Sep. 25th, 2007 10:44 am (UTC)
Aww! I wish I'd read this tonight, instead of now because it makes me want to curl up and read a book instead of going to work. That is more a criticism of myself than of you, because this is wonderful.
magnetic_pole
Sep. 25th, 2007 02:01 pm (UTC)
I want to curl up in front of the fire, too! Too bad it's 10:00a and ninety degrees today, and there's quite a bit to do. *wry smile* I suppose that's what fic is for. Thanks for reading! M.
nevermindirah
Sep. 25th, 2007 11:17 am (UTC)
Small important victories indeed. The narrator's voice, like leading a group of children, surprised me and added a lot to the mood and cohesiveness. I love that Remus is cv-level proud of Neville. His casual plan for sex or snark amuses me to no end.
magnetic_pole
Sep. 25th, 2007 02:05 pm (UTC)
His casual plan for sex or snark amuses me to no end. He's an optimist in his own modest way, isn't he? Thanks for the lovely comment! Maggie
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