I'm here for our swap!
I really, really like this.
You capture a lot of big concepts in the microcosm. I really appreciate the way you hone in on how a lot of the societal prejudices around same-sex relationships do deeper harm in much broader circumstances than people necessarily realize on the surface. It's not just about the hate crimes or your family disowning you or big gestures like that - it's about things like not having your grief really recognized or respected in the face of such an incredibly painful loss.
I love the way you capture Remus here - you combined what we know about his character from the books and your own creative spin into someone who's both original and very believable. We saw a heartbreaking side to what's generally perceived of as a good quality (both in him specifically and in general): responsibility. He hates that about himself in some ways, especially in the face of this loss - and given that he also feels like his impetuousness got Sirius killed, I feel like he's only going to double down going forward.
Also? Remus and Sirius aside, you did an amazing job at showing the different ways people experience grief. He held it together - almost like he was on autopilot, it sounds like? - until he was alone, and then all the feelings came out. That's something that isn't necessarily easy to capture - it's not the obvious, tearing your hair out grief, but I think it's often more relatable.
Wonderful, wonderful job.
I really like the way Remus tries to remain strong for everybody else. It fits so well, both with his personality and with the fact that he spent a year as a teacher. One thing about teaching is how you have to try not to be upset or shocked or anything like that in front of students. Even though Harry and the others are no longer his students, it is unsurprising that Remus would still feel that, as the adult, it is his job to remain calm and reassure them.
The fact that he still feels like a rash teenager deep down also makes a lot of sense.
Hmm, that is interesting - your implication that the relationship between Remus and Sirius was against the law during the First War. I wonder if that later changed, as it did in the Muggle world or if their relationship would have been illegal into the 21st century. It's not something that's ever addressed in the books, so it is hard to know whether the wizarding world is more conservative, more liberal or similar to the Muggle world on this issue.
I am reminded a little of Roger Casement in Ireland. When his "black diaries" were leaked, the assumption in Ireland was that they were forgeries meant to discredit him. I don't think the fact he was gay ever seriously damaged his reputation. De Valera (always associated, though not ENTIRELY fairly, with conservative Catholic Ireland) gave the oration at Casement's grave when his body was finally returned to Ireland.
I really like the attention this story draws to how important the right to marry and perhaps more importantly, the freedom to be open about one's relationship, really is. People do treat a widow very differently than they treat the boyfriend of somebody who died.
Ouch, my heart. </3
I really love Remus/Sirius as a ship, and I’m always interested to see folks explore different parts of their relationship. Sirius’s death from Remus’s perspective is always a gut-wrencher in these stories, and this is no different. I love the Soulmate AU angle as well, where Sirius says the words and Remus just KNOWS that it’s coming. That would be so harrowing, spending your life anticipating that moment when you’re going to lose them, and then hearing the sentence uttered and just feeling powerless about what’s about to happen.
I liked how you brought us into the scene in OotP where Remus is trying to reason with Harry, to convince him that Sirius was gone and that running into the veil himself wouldn’t bring him back. Thinking about that scene again from this angle gave it a whole new perspective as I thought about what Remus must have been feeling as he tried to be strong for Harry. And then the revelation that Sirius may have taken the metaphorical bullet on purpose to spare Remus. Ugh. I feel like my sadness is looping now, too. *Knife in chest, twist, repeat.*
I think this story is relatable to a lot of queer relationships that are, for whatever reason, kept secret, or even just not given the same respect as cishet couples. One of the first things it reminded me of was stories I have heard from partners who were left after their spouses died prior to marriage equality, and that feeling of being in a position of having all the emotional trauma of a widower without being actually recognized as one. I cannot imagine losing my person and then not being able to adequately mourn them in the way I needed to, simply because we were on the same side of the gender spectrum.
I honestly can’t think of a single critique I would give for this story. It’s well done, and you managed to pack a lot of emotion into such a short piece. Thanks for sharing it with us, and for making me feel all the feelings.