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Trompe l'oeil for two - a Remus/Sirius ficlet

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Title: Trompe l'oeil for two
Pairing: Remus Lupin/Sirius Black, both post-war and canon-compatible through HBP! Also implied Ron/Hermione.
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Messrs. Moony and Padfoot are far from a still life, even if they're technically dead.
Warnings: same-sex hanky-panky, overly precious children arising from heterosexual union, humour/fluff. Absolutely no necrophilia, I promise.
Length: 1800 words, or, an Eloise-sized drabble.
Disclaimer: Although Harry Potter himself does not appear in any part of this story, all the characters contained herein are from the Harry Potter series. They are owned by J. K. Rowling, whose seventh book will definitely not be entitled "Sirius Black and the Lusty Lycanthrope Who Loved Him". All characters used without permission and without intent to profit.
Author's notes: This silly little ficlet is my attempt at reconciling Remus/Sirius with OotP without resorting to denial. Trompe l'oeil is a painting technique, literally French for "trick the eye", wherein extreme realism is used to create an optical illusion. My thanks to imogenelovelace, who is as good a beta reader as she is a wife, and that's saying a great deal!

Signing the last of the documents, the Minister of Magic thrust tired, bestockinged feet on the desk in front of her, and reclined in her chair, massaging her aching temples. She summoned a cup of chamomile tea and set it down on her very pregnant belly.

It had taken an infernally long time, but finally, she'd approved the commission to Dean Thomas to complete a gallery of war hero portraits.

Stupid bureaucracy... it was now just days before the twentieth anniversary of the victory against Voldemort, but fortunately she hadn't waited for approval and had convinced her former classmate to paint the portraits anyway, promising that the funding would eventually come through.

And now it had, and Hermione could finally get home to Ron and the kids.


Hermione cut the ribbon to applause and cheering, and ushered her family into the newly opened gallery. The crowd slowly filed behind them into the site of the final battle, the now-rebuilt Great Hall of Hogwarts.

The Minister of Magic smiled fondly at her family, all four children neatly attired and Ron extremely exhausted from the process of neatly attiring all four children. Looking at them now, on their best behaviour as a result of multiple bribes and threats, one wouldn't guess they were such hellions, being both extremely smart and excessively fond of breaking rules.

Ron couldn't wait until the twins went to Hogwarts in two years, when keeping them in line would be someone else's impossible burden. Though Ambrose, the oldest of the Weasley-Granger children, was now a first year in Ravenclaw, Hermione was sure (as certain as someone who didn't believe in Divination could be) that the task of managing Ava and Isaac would fall to the Head of Slytherin House. Ron fervently hoped this assessment of the twins' devious, scheming personalities was correct because it would really serve Draco Malfoy right. Hermione sometimes had the impression that this belief in karmic justice in the world was in good part responsible for keeping her husband so blithely cheerful while dealing with their brood on a full-time basis.

She nodded in cordial greeting at the hapless and unsuspecting Professor Malfoy, who was scrutinizing his own portrait. Hermione valiantly stifled a giggle when she noticed that Malfoy's portrait was insulting him: the real Malfoy was glowering and insisting loudly that his hair was highlighted, not grey. If Hermione were a gambling woman, she'd place her bets on the older version of Malfoy whose sneer had the advantage of being honed by some fifteen years of teaching.

Wanting to see if Dean had done such an uncannily spot-on job of capturing the rest of the Order, and knowing her services would predictably be called upon to spend the rest of the afternoon making speeches and delivering sound-bytes to the press, Hermione hurried on to the end of the hall to keep ahead of the reporters.

She became a bit misty-eyed as Dumbledore twinkled down at her, with Fawkes and a large jar of Lemon Sherbets next to him. Hermione was just leaning into the comforting arm Ron slung around her shoulders when a scream rent the air.

Of course, the source of said loud screaming just had to be a child of hers. Hermione peered through her the top of her bifocals, and confirmed that indeed, the ear-piercing howls were attributable to her youngest (though Hermione supposed she'd have to stop thinking like that, absently patting her pregnant midriff, which she vowed did contain the definitive youngest).

Five-year-old Sophonisba had run ahead of them further into the hall but was now tearing back pell-mell and wailing hysterically. She reached her parents and promptly attached herself to Ron's leg like Velcro, but this didn't afford her much comfort as she carried on gabbling into Ron's knees, clearly terrified out of her mind. Hermione thought she could make out something about murder and the portraits killing each other, and began to worry that this might not be a routine case of unprovoked hysteria.

Ron made soothing noises and calmly stroked the shoulder of his daughter, who calmed down enough to gasp a complete sentence in between sobs. "But the bad man was attacking him!"

Hermione looked around at the paintings. Malfoy had moved on to the topic of weight gain but was still busy insulting his admittedly less pointy self. The argument hadn't yet descended to blows or vandalism, so there went the first portrait she'd suspect of bad behaviour. Headmaster Snape's portrait was hung next to Malfoy's, but he was peaceably smirking at his star pupil insulting his successor. Hermione supposed that meant that Snape's portrait hadn't started anything with say, Sirius, whose inclusion in the gallery Hermione had insisted on.

But, wait a minute...Hermione stared across the room. Sirius' portrait was empty, showing a motorbike but nothing else.

Her mind raced. Maybe Sophonisba wasn't overreacting, after all! Was some kind of dark magic afoot? Perhaps evil forces, long suppressed, were making a symbolic stance in a war long over... or maybe the faction that hadn't believed Sirius' innocence had abducted the portrait and was torturing his effigy somewhere? After his name had finally been cleared a few years ago, in Hermione's first act as minister, she'd thought that most people had moved on and let go of the long-standing grudges.

Hermione grabbed her wand from the pocket of her dress robes and strode forward decisively, past the portrait shared by Harry's parents, who were looking extremely amused by something, then past her in-laws, who were looking a bit horrified, but, Hermione reassured herself, not to the point of fearing for their lives.

Hermione rounded a table and collided with a shrieking Isaac and Ava, who, in a show of twinly solidarity, always threw their fits in stereo.

Hermione was momentarily extremely worried, until she noted that their screams were not of terror, and this was in fact a fit of giggling.

"Oh, eww!" Isaac squealed. "That's disgusting! Cooties!"

"But it's two BOYS! They have the SAME cooties!" Ava elbowed him.

"Is still disgusting!" her twin argued authoritatively.

Ava giggled. "Is SO."

Satisfied that it did not appear to be a matter of a death eater insurgency nor a lynch mob, Hermione thought she could investigate herself rather than try to interrogate the twins, which was a challenging proposition at the best of times, since the moment they realized they held exclusive dominion over important information, a complex set of bartering negotiations kicked in.

Peering down the hall, Hermione noticed that one portrait was rather overpopulated, so Sirius' disappearance was perhaps a simple matter of voluntary migration rather than abduction. She relaxed the death grip she'd been holding on her wand.

Striding closer, she noted first that it was Professor Lupin's portrait that Sirius had moved to. Relief flooded Hermione: the old friends would surely want to catch up after such a long separation.

The relief was however short lived, when she noticed that the old friends weren't talking at all, in favour of what appeared to be entirely nonverbal communication. No, thought Hermione, that couldn't be right at all! Professor Lupin really wouldn't be kissing Harry's godfather, would he?

Hermione moved closer, thinking that surely, her eyes had to be deceiving her - maybe the prescription of her spectacles needed updating - but she was only given an eyeful of greater detail for her trouble. Hermione was dumbfounded, but was able to answer her own question quite easily and leaving little doubt: apparently, Professor Lupin WOULD be kissing Harry's godfather, and was, quite enthusiastically.

Portrait Remus was sitting on his overstuffed chair the way the artist had probably intended, but Portrait Sirius was straddling his lap and grinding their hips together in a way that Hermione rather hoped the artist had NOT intended, or else Dean would be getting a howler from her tomorrow.

Hermione watched the scene unfolding before her, dumbstruck, since her brain was busy revisiting old memories in light of new information.

Completely ignoring their audience, either unaware or not caring, Sirius was snogging Remus with single-minded intensity, bracing himself against the bare shoulders of a shirtless Professor Lupin. For his part, Remus was actually tearing Sirius' robes in his haste to remove them and level the playing field. Hermione could hear buttons skittering across the floor, overlaid on the breathy moans and occasional whimper.

As Remus finished divesting Sirius of his robes and latched onto his neck instead, Sirius threw his head back and exclaimed "Oh, fuck!"

Remus stopped biting long enough to growl, "Exactly, Padfoot!"

That highly purposeful statement finally jogged Hermione out of her reverie. Even if the idea that Remus and Sirius had been lovers made a goodly amount of sense, and Hermione was really quite happy to find they hadn't been as lonely as she'd always thought, there was really no need for them to do that, in public... especially not right now, with press representing the entirety of the wizarding world about to bear down upon them. It was a public relations fiasco waiting to happen!

Fortunately, it was Ron who first arrived on the scene, his progress slightly impeded by Sophonisba still clinging obstinately to his leg. He took in the painting before him for a brief moment, then hooted with delight, "Sirius, you sly old dog, you!"

"Oh, honestly," Hermione said as she glared at her husband.

Ron snickered in response. "Shrieking Shack, indeed!"

Hermione sighed heavily with the knowledge that restoring decency and order would, once again, be left to her.

"Come now, it's rather adorable, isn't it?" asked Ron, serenely.

Hermione huffed, "There is such a thing as entirely too much realism!"


In the end, Hermione succeeded in persuading Messrs. Black and Lupin into donning their robes again, no thanks to Ron, who had simply giggled furiously, not understanding the gravity of the situation for the future of her re-election campaign. She could not be seen peddling pornography to schoolchildren, even though her own offspring seemed to find the whole thing every bit as hilarious as Ron. Even Sophonisba had laughed once she'd been reassured that Sirius Black was not a vampire, and that although Remus Lupin was a werewolf, it really wasn't that kind of biting.

But not for nothing was Hermione a politician renowned for her great diplomacy and negotiation skills. Professor Lupin and Sirius reluctantly agreed to separate long enough for the opening ceremonies to wind down in exchange for being granted access to the painting in her office at the Ministry, which featured a quaint French beachscape with a small cottage tucked away among the dunes.

Hermione grinned smugly. She was going on maternity leave, but she'd always had her suspicions about her assistant, who'd be taking her place... maybe this was just what dear Percy needed to be jogged from the depths of denial.

The End, in which everybody lived happily ever after... even Percy.

(Read about Percy's particularly happy ending in the sequel, Plein Air For Two)

Current Mood:
bouncy bouncy
Current Music:
Chuck Berry - My Ding-a-Ling
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On October 2nd, 2006 10:55 pm (UTC), best_of_five commented:
hahahaha! perfect. -hearts your sirius/remus like whoa!-

and draco arguing with his own potrait? such a draco thing to do!!
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On October 2nd, 2006 11:07 pm (UTC), eloiselovelace replied:
Eeee! Thank you so much! My ego is going to explode.

R/S are just so much fun to write.

I can see canon Draco maturing into a really delightfully curmudgeonly type, given some time.
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On February 1st, 2007 12:01 am (UTC), visoka commented:
*snickers* That's brilliant - such a fantastic idea! And wow, Hermione's sure been keepig busy; I'm pretty sure Ron's not complaining too much if they had the time to make five kids :P And of course, yay, Sirius/Remus! Now to see what happens to Percy...*giggles*
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On February 1st, 2007 12:37 am (UTC), eloiselovelace replied:
What happened to Percy is that the drabble exploded. Into a novella.

This is why I worship people who write short things and then don't get sucked into a full on epic that covers from coming out to happily ever after. :)

As far as I'm concerned, Busy!Political!Hermione and Househusband!Ron is total canon. I'll be simply crushed if the epilogue in DH reveals more traditional gender roles. :)
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On February 1st, 2007 12:37 am (UTC), eloiselovelace replied:
Oh, and a big THANK YOU, of course! :D
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On February 12th, 2007 08:50 am (UTC), orngsnapdragon commented:
Oooh, this makes me happy on so many levels. It has so many of my favorite things. MoM/MumHermione! with her happy, immature, nonhomophobic househusband Ron! Sirius/Remus smut and afterlife happiness! Bizarre children's names! Karmic justice! Snarky, non-evil Draco and Snape! Secretly gay Percy! Evil twins! Atist Dean! And a wonderfully droll, smirky, unruffled and authoratative tone of narrative!

Though, slightly non-plussing is the complete lack of Harry. (Unless I missed it, I might have.) :o?

Ths line made me aw: Hermione was really quite happy to find they hadn't been as lonely as she'd always thought
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On February 12th, 2007 09:30 am (UTC), eloiselovelace replied:
Haha, you totally spotted the pink elephant in the room - the lack of Harry! My beta was all like, "So, uh, now that you've accounted for every single minor character, dude, where's Harry?" and I started wailing, "I don't know! Don't make me choose! Woe!"

My beta (being awesome) then talked me through the fact that I'm not at all sure that Harry isn't dead at the end of book 7. Having come to that realization, I didn't want to be all shoving that in people's faces because it would rather compromise the lighthearted comedic tone, you know?

I am kind of torn between the "Harry=horcrux and totally going to die" camp, and thinking that it's a children's book so that won't possibly happen. However, if you're asking me what happens in my head in an open Canon, Harry is dead, and on the off chance that he isn't dead, he is off nursing a drug problem abroad. Where this comes from in my general fluffy happily-ever-after worldview and my great fondness for Harry, I have no idea, but I continued to carefully avoid mentioning Harry in the sequel as well.

Anyway, I'm so glad you liked this, and thanks so much for listing all of the specific elements that worked for you!
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On February 12th, 2007 09:42 am (UTC), orngsnapdragon replied:
Ah, I know how you feel. I don't think Harry is a Horcrux, but I can't shake the feeling of "Oh, he is SO going to be dead."

I always just mentally pair him up with Ginny/Luna/Draco/Tonks/whatever character is at hand, then try not to think about it. )=

(The drug problem theory is interesting. I've never heard that one before.)

I am now goimg to commence on your sequel, because oliver/Percy do not get near enough love as tehy deserve.
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On February 12th, 2007 09:50 am (UTC), eloiselovelace replied:
Awww, Harry/Luna is my favorite! Yay! I also love H/D, but it's totally not going to happen canonically. Harry/Luna really had me being a convinced enthusiastic supporter for a while. Would be so sweet, really. I love Luna!

I suppose we'll find out this summer whether that unshakable feeling of Harry-doom is justified or not. I am taking the fact that there's an actual HOTLINE being set up for people to call because 2 major characters are dying, to be rather in support of Harry dying (horcrux or not). Because really, would there be a 1-800-I-MISS-FRED set up? Especially since past books have all involved supporting character deaths.

I hope you enjoy the sequel! I had so, so much fun with it because Oliver/Percy do not get the love they deserve!
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On February 12th, 2007 10:16 am (UTC), orngsnapdragon replied:
Surely you jest! A help line?! That's...well, here's hoping the two main characters who perish are Draco and Snape. They're major characters, right? RIGHT?!

Actually, I'm pretty sure Hagrid is a dead man, going by the patterns of the previous two books.
PoA: Sirius is big character. GoF: Sirius has, like, two cameos. OotP: Sirius is huge and then dead.
SS thru GoF: Dumbledore is big character. OotP: DD is out and about on business through most of book. HPB: DD is Harry's best friend, and then dead.
SS thru OotP: Hagrid is very important character. HPB: Hagrid isn't here; he's helping the giants! Book 7: ... I'm beginning to see a pattern here.

Well, I have to promise myself I'll be happy so long as it isn't Hermione and Ron...or Luna...or any of the Weasleys...or McGonagall...or Neville... or Tonks...or, well, any of the likeable characters really. Though, I'm torn between wanting Lupin to die and be reunited with Sirius or living and settling down with Tonks and being happy for a change. It's all so confusing.

Currently reading Plein Aire- very funny. :D

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On February 12th, 2007 10:49 am (UTC), eloiselovelace replied:
Sadly, no. I am not even capable of making something like that up!


I definitely agree Snape is going to die, but I don't know if he counts as one of the hotline-worthy deaths. I mean, Alan Rickman being ultra-hot aside, it's implied at the last book that Snape's a bad guy, although I think we're going to find out in book 7 that's not really the case, so I don't think it'll be more hotline-worthy than Cedric or Sirius or Dumbledore.

Draco - I kind of feel like killing him and Snape off is kind of redundant, in that they're the same kind of character with respect to the war.

My personal theory is that at least one twin has to die (because, you know, having two of them is redundant, because they're so symbiotic and identical in personality as well as appearance... plus, the tragedy of the lone!solemn!joker!twin, would be so gutwrenching). Charlie is also on my WeasleyDeathWatch because he has gotten about 0 character development so far in canon, as fond as I've grown of him in fanon.

I am so totally into your pattern! And even before that rather stunning piece of logic, I kind of got the deathly-vibes from Hagrid anyway. Now I am totally sold on it.

I totally know what you mean with being torn about wanting Remus to live or not. I was all set to be a big Remus/Tonks shipper given that Sirius was out of the picture, but then I totally loathed the way it was handled in HbP. I'm hoping book 7 will give me a better view of their relationship dynamic, because really, I'm all for it as long as Tonks doesn't become all lame and passive-aggressive and Remus doesn't become all reluctantly capitulating.

Somehow I have to be able to make all of this death predicting into a betting pool with my immediate family. *schemes*

And so glad you're enjoying the fic! Yay! :D
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On February 12th, 2007 11:25 am (UTC), orngsnapdragon replied:
Wow. I truly hope to never be at such an emotional lowpoint that I have to call a hotline for help with a character death. :S (That's what I have fanfiction and AU for! Yay for coping mechanisms!)

I agree with you that Snape will end up being For The Good and that Alan Rickman is delectable, but I think he's more popular than you give him credit for. Snarky bastard though he may be, he has legions of adoring fans, a great portion of whom are probably the type to be needing mental health, because, let's face it, if you're that attached to someone who really isn't a nice guy-hotness of his movie avatar not with standing- than you have some definite emotional issues. (His fans quite scare me actually.) It's a similar case with Draco, though the idea of Draco and Snape essentially being the same person war-wise is quite intriguing. Though, on further thought, it seems to make sense that Snape and Draco will both end up redeeming themselves but Snape will die while Draco will not. Sort of the death of the old, new dawn kinda thing in which Draco has to take up the role abandoned by Snape. (Which I think is kinda what you were getting at.)

Speaking of redemption, I'm afeared that that is also going to Percy's killer. He has to be reconciled with his family, I know that, but it would be Oh So Very Damatic and Fitting if he did that through some great heroic act and never did end up with his One True Love. (Same with Peter, only a lot less people no one will care and he has no true love.)

Charlie, I s'pose I could live with Charlie dying as he is the least developed Weasley character. It would make more sense than killing off Bill, whose relationship with Fleur, while sweet and charming, played a larger role in the last book than it probably should have, and it would be an easier blow than Mr. and Mrs. W. or any of the other Weasley children. Killing off one of the twins would just be cruel-even for JKR- and I think the angst would curdle my insides. So my bet is no in that regards.

(And yes, Hagrid is clearly doomed. )= There's nothing to do but become deattached from him.)

Unfortunately for me, I became an R/S shipper about two weeks before HPB came out, so the emergence of Remus/Tnks (who I had seen as more of a mentor kinda relationship as Tonks was CLEARLY into Kingsley in OotP)only left me befuddled and confused. I wasn't sure how to handle the development and decided to be happy since it clearly meant Remus was going to survive because surely JKR wouldn't be so cruel as to offer him love and hope and a future only to snatch it away! I have since re-evaluated every part of that initial judgement-in large part thanks to the wonderful braiinwashing effect of the R/S fandom- and now, like you, can only hope that Tonks will Suck It Up, realize there's a war going on, and stop acting like a teenager and that Remus will realize that he deserves to be happy. (I think I would hate JKR forever if she killed off Tonks but not Remus. Except...not really, because..)=)

Hm... Tell me how that scheming works out for you, I might be able to implement one into my own family.

Finished Plein Aire, will now stop rambling and give proper review.
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On February 12th, 2007 06:58 pm (UTC), eloiselovelace replied:
To be fair, I bet the hotlines are aimed at the youngest readers. And, since you have been reading R-rated stories, it's probably safe to assume you're past your preteens (as am I!). But still, I find the idea intriguing because it implies someone the readers care about more than the previous deaths... And you're so right about the coping mechanisms. Yay, AU!

But you know, if book 7 kills Percy (oh I hope so much that you're wrong, even though it's a very appealing argument!), I'll at least enjoy knowing that the hotline is there. :)

Your assessment of the Snape situation made me laugh, and it's also dead-on. (No pun intended.)

I rather suspect that Snape will die and that Draco will just be redeemed (maybe taking over for Snape with some essential thing, etc., what have you). Draco really *has* to be redeemed, after he spent the last book being emo in the bathroom with Moaning Myrtle, whom even Harry derides. Poor lad. Although if he died, it would definitely be hotline-worthy.

I totally thought Bill/Fleur was one of the highlights of HBP as the only well-handled romantic relationship. It may be slight over-identification with her mother-in-law issues, but ha, when Fleur managed to simultaneously lay the smack down upon the British, their cooking, and the Weasleys while also declaring her love for her fiance, all in one elegant sentence, she totally *won* the best female character award.

The inside-curdling angst (great phrase! You must write fic, yes?) of the twin-death is what makes me find it almost hotline worthy although they are more peripheral characters. You're right that it would be cruel... but it would be so uber-angsty!

Right now I'm thinking the family betting pool might involve putting together a Lives-Dies-Dies-Lives-Dies set of predictions for *all* of the characters, and then the person who gets the most right, wins... but it's more fun to place bets on an individual character. Hmmm. Maybe we can do both. I think I'll have a hard time finding anyone in the spouse/siblings/parents/in-laws circle who doesn't think Harry is going to die, though, because we've all been conspiring together. :)
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On February 13th, 2007 06:03 am (UTC), orngsnapdragon replied:
*cough* Yes, not a pre-teen. << >> In all honesty, I think the hotlines are aimed at people my age (mid teens) because I'm not sure anyone under, oh, twelve would really know about the hotline or know how to use it. (I actually have this AU kicking around in my head where Voldemort died when he was born and everyone's alive and I'll shut up about the AU now or else I'll never stop.)

Here's hoping I'm wrong about Percy. D: If not for us, then for Oliver.

I'm not sure Draco will ever live down Moaning myrtle. Half the fandom now finds him poor and misunderstood and really a Good Boy on the inside, and the rest of us just find him ridiculous. your comment about him being emo made me laugh. ^_^

I adore Fleur, but I'm too much of a Hermione to give her best female award. And ending!Bill is Le ugly! scene with Fleur and Molly? Win! Except for the whole, um, Tonks thing.

Ha, yeah, I write a little bit. Not in a couple months and none of it is any good is anything I'm really comfortable with. Mostly Sirius/Remus or Alice/Frank. There is (hopefully) more to come.

Twin uber angst= bad. That...that would probably be hotline worthy. XD x_x

Hm...sounds like a good idea. *implements and prays for Harry*

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On February 13th, 2007 09:23 am (UTC), eloiselovelace replied:
Yeeeaaaah, okay, I think you're right and the hotlines are aimed at mid-teens and anyone else who's in a fragile state because their favorite character has just been killed off. I have no idea where they'll be advertised, though - nor how they'll be advertised without being hilariously bad. The entire concept does boggle my mind a bit, though! I would so prefer reading your AU, for example. :D

It's all about cranking out the fic before this summer before one's ships have a chance to be sunk, clearly. R/S is pretty much the only ship that doesn't have to worry about DH.

Ah, poor Draco. The Moaning Myrtle thing was the most adorable thing ever! I wasn't even the slightest bit sympathetic to the character before that, but suddenly I was all like "OK, kleenex please."

Word to "Win! Except for the whole, um, Tonks thing." Hahahah. So true. Go Fleur, go... even if she is not Hermione!

Oooh, I look forward to reading, because R/S is obviously brilliant, and Alice/Frank is such a sweet, tragic pairing. Aww.
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On November 20th, 2010 02:39 am (UTC), yamipenguin commented:
Padfoot portraits...
*nearly dies* Priceless! I pity the Arthur and Molly portraits. I doubt they wanted their grand-kids to see the Padfoot and Moony show...I really wanted to see Harry's reaction to his god-father's sexual orientation...But i don't think Dean knew that Sirius and Remus were gay-when he painted their portraits. James and Lily-on the other hand-it would explain why they were so amused...I'm with the kids-too funny! Cooties-indeed! *LOL*
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