[personal profile] marieldraconis
This is one of my favorite writings from NaNo. Not my favorite--that honor goes to one which I'm sure is good and has follow-ups. This one I'd like to be good and might find myself inspired to write more of the same style. I'm not sure.
This goes halfway to a stream-of-consciousness trend in my recent writing. I want to know if it's working, although this isn't my most extreme example of it (which is also my favorite piece from NaNo--the main character is trying to find a reason to live after having achieved his life-quest for vengeance). Anyway, this one has been slightly, spontaneously renamed, so let's see what you think about:

On Pack Dynamics
He should have seen it coming. In a way, he had, when he first met them at age eleven.
Remus had tried to sense people’s ranks in a pack for as long as he had been...what he was. It was the one interesting thing about his condition. He could tell that that boy, there, was a clear omega, easily dominated and willing to do whatever he was told. That girl with red hair would take no orders, no advice, and would only choose a mate as capable of leading as she. And that boy with the greasy black hair would take no pack, hating to lead and to follow but loving to appear superior to all he surveyed.
The downside to this was Remus’s tendency to act on what he sensed. The wolf in him needed a pack, and tried to form one at every opportunity. They had been rebuffed violently the first few times he tried to make a pack. Remus’s parents refused to join a pack for fear of making Remus’s wolf more dangerous. He hadn’t met any other people for years. And so, when the boy with the wild hair stormed into the compartment and sat down, Remus wanted to roll over and bare his throat. This, this boy was the strongest alpha he had ever met. This could be their alpha, the wolf suggested. This boy could form their pack.
“What are you staring for? Oh, hope you don’t mind my sitting here, my name’s James Potter.” The first clause made Remus avert his eyes, the second sounded more statement of fact than request, and the third was a demand for information, which he found himself giving.
“I’m Remus Lupin.”
Remus heard a noise in the hall, and Potter leapt up and out the door again. He hadn’t said to stay or join him, so Remus convinced the wolf that they weren’t needed. A pack would mean revealing his true nature. Remus knew surnames, and he knew a Potter could destroy them if he found out the truth. Better to remain safe, and alone, and at Hogwarts, than risk it all for a pack. The wolf felt differently, of course. Remus hoped Potter wouldn’t come back and make him choose.
But Potter did return shortly thereafter, a mousy-looking arrival in tow. This one didn’t strike Remus as having any particular place in a pack, but then, many humans didn’t. If they all did, they wouldn’t put so much effort into finding themselves a place in society. The new boy introduced himself as Peter Pettigrew and sat between Potter and Remus. Remus debated whether to ask what had happened. Before he could decide Potter proceeded to relate the story.
Apparently some older scions of the Black family had taken a disliking to little half-blood first years. Remus was privately grateful he hadn’t met them, yet another risk of discovery. Pettigrew had been trying to hold his own against several fifth-years, when—
“There was someone else, too. Helping me. He disappeared when you arrived.”
Potter frowned. “Black hair, grey eyes, about my height?”
“That was Sirius Black, the stupid idiot. I told him not to do it, I told him that he should at least try for one night of sleeping peacefully in the dorms before they harassed him—“
“Is this...Sirius Black...another Slytherin?” Remus felt uncomfortable asking, but he was curious about the boy who would defy this alpha’s orders. A rambunctious beta, perhaps, too desirous of fulfilling his alpha’s goals to worry about the exact plan. Remus wanted to meet the beta, and knew then that these would become his pack. Potter would lead him, and the wolf wanted to follow. He had no choice, as he had no choice but to listen as Potter spoke of the beta.
“Nah, he’s a first-year like us, but he’s going to be. His whole family went that way, and no wizard in England would put Sirius Black anywhere else.” James Potter decreed this, as he did everything else, with an air of utmost certainty. Remus found himself once again resisting the urge to shrink back and bare his throat.
Several hours later, Remus caught his first glimpse of the infamous Sirius Black. The boy was second to try on the Sorting Hat. The first, a girl whose haughty disposition and general air seemed to indicate her close relationship with Sirius Black, was put in Slytherin. Now, the seconds were passing, and—“GRYFFINDOR!!”
The house tables remained silent, though Slytherin had cheered on getting their first new member. But Potter cheered fit for the rest of the hall, cheered until the Gryffindors picked up the cry, and then, his voice slightly hoarse, whispered to Remus and Pettigrew, “Now he’s well out of it. He can do whatever he likes to them.”
Shortly thereafter, Remus found himself seated across from Black. The other Gryffindors clearly had their doubts about this Black in Gryffindor, but Remus’s shock was greater than their worries. This boy stood as Potter’s beta?
“What? You don’t think I belong here, either, do you?” the boy challenged, though no challenge was needed. Remus shook his head.
“It’s only—”
It’s only that we can’t understand why a boy like you, an alpha in your own right, would follow Potter. Maybe you don’t. Maybe he’s just imagining things.
Remus was surprised, then, when Pettigrew and Potter joined the table, and he saw how Potter and Black congratulated and toasted each other. He thought he could see, finally, what was going on. You rule all of us, Potter, as long as Black lets you. But should he ever remove his support from you....

Remus had seen it, that day, but later he became convinced otherwise. In his fifth year, he believed the day would never come when Sirius would challenge James.
“A...dog?” Remus had been picturing something a bit more majestic, like James’s Prongs stag. Sirius’s form implied a willingness to follow others around that Sirius never demonstrated, even with James.
“I know...cool, huh? I thought it was leaning towards wolf for a bit, but I didn’t think that would be fair, you know?”
Remus found himself unable, once more, to comprehend Sirius Black. The boy was capable of so much more, yet he willingly gave it all up for the comfort of his friends. Few humans would act that way, and Remus thought he could see why Sirius took a canine form and had gone to Gryffindor instead of Slytherin. Though even canines would never be quite so selfless...

It had seemed too good, and it was. Remus had learned that a year later, and he would have remembered it, but Black had gone back so quickly to being, well, Sirius.
He had thought it was all broken, that full moon. Snape lived and Remus had murdered no one, but the rest could not be fixed. He was, finally, sure about Black. He had finally pinned him down.
And when James and Sirius disappeared the day he came back, Remus waited anxiously for their return. He knew the outcome already—one or the other would win the fight. The victor would become or remain alpha. The pack would force the loser from the group, as in a wolf’s dominance battle.
But their pack had never been normal, and when Sirius and James returned, both had bruises, as expected, but Sirius also had streaks of tears running down his dirty face. Both were dirty—the Map said they had gone to the Shrieking Shack, which Remus had found fitting as a place for them to fight for the future of the pack. But that was not what they had gone there for, it turned out.
Sirius was suddenly kneeling in front of where Remus lay on the couch. “Remus—I’m sorry. I was a stupid idiot. I know you can’t forgive me—but try? Please?”
Forgiveness had come in time, and it quickly became clear that both troublemakers had learned from what was later known as The Prank. Sirius still felt that Snape deserved whatever he got, but the pranks they played took on a decidedly more harmless tone, and the two alphas became more mature, more caring.

Or so Remus had thought. But now he was staring over Lily and James’s graves, and wondering where they had gone wrong. When had Sirius desired to claim more than his role in the pack? What had caused him to grow discontented? And why hadn’t Remus seen it?

Date: 2007-03-01 04:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chalavienne.livejournal.com
did you change it much from the original? because seems mostly like the first one...which I thought was good as a stand-alone piece, though probably wouldn't work if it were part of a larger writing endeavor.



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