Pairing(s): Remus/Sirius, Remus/OMC, Remus/Tonks friendship
Summary: After the events of Halloween 1981, Remus Lupin finds himself alone. This is the story of how the world did not end that day and Remus learned to live with his Black Dog.
Warnings: This story contains musings on depression and anxiety. Also, I discovered that I am a lesbian who is deathly afraid of actually writing m/m sex scenes.
Word Count: 9450 (this part 5690)
Author's Notes: I have to admit, my writing style has suffered overexposure to the Ovidian practice of the tricolon and to the distinctly Mallorian style of parataxis - the result of a stimulating Classical education. My complusive need to switch POV is unexplainable, though my beta spaciireth assures me that the story is readable. This is my first Remus/Sirius fanfic and my first full-length fic.
Life is full of jokes, but hardly any of them are amusing.
The bite was cruel, isolation at a young age made me a poorly social creature. My intelligence became a curse in disguise, my sexuality a burden. Falling in love made me frightened, the thought of losing love made me sick. And friendship, it was the greatest prank of them all.
I shouldn’t be surprised that my three of my closest friends are... or that the man I... or that... I...
There’s a Ministry form in front of me, I’m sitting on an unforgiving wooden chair and the desk is uneven on its spindly legs and I feel like there should be something more wrong about this. There should be looming officials and dark colours and the heating should be too hot, or too cold. The room is not cheerful, but there is nothing foreboding about the imitation Van Gogh Sunflowers on the wall to my left.
My hand doesn’t even shake as I tick the boxes. Requesting financial assistance. Requesting housing allocation. Unemployed. Single.
12 days and 7 hours ago, he took his coat from the hook by the door on his way to see James and Lily. There was nothing in his expression, no indication... I didn’t see him again. I wonder if I had, whether I would also be...
Reason for change in circumstances: Residence owned by former housemate, a convicted murderer, and is now property of the Ministry, except in the unlikely event of the owner’s release. The owner was a friend and I payed no rent. My small income was from doing household jobs for the Alice and Frank Longbottom (now permanently residing in St Mungo’s) and Lily and James Potter (deceased).
There, not so hard. Cold and clinical.
Dumbledore’s comforting hand on my shoulder last week had tried to reassure me that it’s just shock. That it will pass. That losing someone we love in that way is difficult. Somewhere in the void of my present mind, a thought drifts that he wasn’t talking about James or Lily or Peter. That he was talking about the murderer. That thought comes and goes before I can even make the effort to comprehend.
I stand up and go to where a secretarial witch is sitting behind a desk that looks even more uneven than the one I was sat at. Oh, yes, look there: a couple of books are propping its right side up. Is that a copy of Elementary Charms? By the look of the girl at the desk, the book can’t have been out of use long. I must have seen her at school, surely. My mind draws a blank as I hand her the small stack of parchment I had completed. She glances over it quickly with a trained eye.
“Thank you, Mr Lupin. We’ll owl you sometime this afternoon with the results of your application. Tomorrow morning at the latest, if we get busy,” she gave me a look, and paired with the carefully veiled sarcasm, it suggested that busy was an unlikely state for the Department of Wizarding Welfare and Work.
I had hoped that it wouldn’t need to come to this. I mean, I had hoped I wouldn’t ever need to ask for a handout. I had never imagined that it would happen like this. I had never thought that James and Lily would really ... die. That was what we were for, friends and family and the Order. Friends betrayed, family moved away, stayed away, passed away, the Order failed.
As I wait for the lift as it makes it way from the lower floors, I can hear voices moving closer from within the shaft as the arrow points closer to my own level. No, just one voice. A woman and a voice that seems oddly familiar at that.
“ – the very last straw. I’m not sending you to another Muggle school again, so you can get that idea out of your mind. That’s the fourth time we’ve visited Muggle-Worthy Excuses this year. And you can forget about flying in the field on your Comet Junior for at least a month. Don’t you give me that look, Miss Nymphadora!”
I smile to myself. How many parents name their child Nymphadora? The voice must belong to Andromeda Tonks, Sirius’ favourite cousin. The pleasure I felt at the familiarity disappears as quickly as it came. I’m not ready to talk to anyone and, Merlin, she’ll want to talk.
My whole chest constricts as I struggle to start breathing again. I want to run, to hide, to be anywhere but here. My legs are as stiff as my chest and I find myself stuck to the floor where I stand.
The lift doors are opening...
And that was how he ended up in a warm parlour, with a large roast and all the trimmings in front of him, with a good glass of merlot in his hand and a cat wrapping itself around his feet as Andromeda and Ted Tonks relayed all of their troubles with their young daughter. Apart from an initial “How are you holding up?” in the lift, which Remus was fairly sure had nearly reduced him to tears, the conversation had been without a mention of anything he didn’t want to discuss.
Instead, a quick hello was followed by an introduction to a small child he had only read and heard of, then a lunch invitation and a conversation so rooted in domestics that it was as if the war hadn’t even happened. Remus couldn’t help but feel comfortable, although thoughts niggled at the back of his mind.
It wasn’t meant to work like this – there was supposed to be tears and anger and not the sound of eight-year-old Nymphadora singing a song about her mashed potato castle. But he didn’t mind.
Wondering if Ted had slipped something into the wine, Remus lamented that he never had the taste for these things. What was the Calming Draught? A bitter citrus or a sweet vanilla? He couldn’t quite bring himself to care though. This was nice, this was friendly, this was the first real meal he’d had in over a week.
Not only this, but the Tonks family genuinely seemed to enjoy having him there, and it was nice to feel like somebody – anybody – wanted to talk to him. Even about children problems.
“So, what we’re saying Remus, is that we just don’t know what to do now. We don’t want to move again and since the last incident, I’m fairly sure that no Muggle school in a hundred-mile radius will take her!” Andromeda bit her lip nervously.
“Oh, what a pity!” piped up Nymphadora with her childish sarcasm as she surrounded her potato castle with a gravy moat, drowning the invading green beans.
“Don’t play with your dinner, sweetie,” Ted removed the gravy boat from her reach and returned his gaze to his wife and guest. Andromeda sighed, her dark brown curls falling into her eyes a little.
“The Weasleys have their hands full with the new baby, and I know Molly had offered, but it’s just more on her plate to tire her. Everyone else we know is still in hiding or won’t talk to us since Walburga” – she pulled a face – “decided we were no longer family. I still get letters from Cissy sometimes, but I doubt her husband knows that we talk, and she’s getting more distant.”
Ted cut in, “Besides, it’s not like her Draco is our Dora’s age.”
“Draco is a titchy little baby. And he smells,” Nymphadora remarked matter-of-factly as she shovelled a mess of potato, beef, gravy and beans into her mouth.
“Sweetie, you met him once,” said Ted in his soft voice as he placed a serviette beside her which she eagerly wiped her mouth upon.
“He’s about Harry’s age, you see.” As soon as she’d said it, Andromeda looked at Remus worriedly and with good reason. He had gone white, whiter than he was already if that were possible, and his eyes glazed over a bit as he sipped his wine. He didn’t notice Andromeda and Ted exchange a significant look over the bread rolls.
The moment was brief though and quickly interrupted by a loud belch from Nymphadora.
And Remus laughed.
Andromeda, shooting daggers at her dear daughter, breathed an inward sigh of relief while Nymphadora offered a small smile and a quiet “’Scuse me”, which made Remus laugh even more as he reached over and flicked her pony tail, which had changed their colour from black to auburn to blonde to brown during the course of the meal.
“Dromeda, Ted, you’ve got a keeper here. She’s going to be a real heartbreaker one day!” Remus barely got his words out through his laughter while Nymphadora positively beamed. “She’s such a little angel! Who wouldn’t want to teach her?”
The little girl poked her tongue out and the young man poked his back at her, grinning taking another sip of wine as she crossed her arms and pouted. There was a brief moment of silence.
“Why don’t you teach her?” said Ted unexpectedly and Remus choked.
“How about it?” Ted looked from his wife to Remus, “You’re an intelligent young man, and you’re in need of a job. Without being cruel, your furry little problem makes you virtually unemployable...”
“How did you know?” the security that Remus had felt not long before was starting to disappear. This was not comfortable at all.
“Somebody told me a long time ago,” Andromeda placed her hand on Remus’ and he heard the name that she had obscured in her statement. Sirius told me is what she had meant. His heart started to constrict again.
“But you’re a good kid and we don’t think it should be held against you,” Ted explained, “Dumbledore certainly didn’t either. Dora isn’t exactly the most normal of children.” She obliged with a display as she changed her nose from the little button she had sported for the afternoon into a large aquiline and back again.
Andromeda stood up and began to clear the dishes from the table. “You don’t have to say anything yet, Remus. It’s just a thought. Come on Nymphadora, you can help me with desert.”
And Remus did think. He thought about how nice it might be to have a job, to have even a little income. He thought about what it might be like to have people around him who appreciated him and liked him despite the things that generally made most run in the opposite direction. But teaching? Even with all of the joking about it back at Hogwarts, he had never seriously considered the gig.
A bowl of trifle and a cup of tea later, Remus was watching Nymphadora in the backyard running about with a washing basket over her head and crying “EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!” while the adults basked in the late afternoon autumn sun. Ted was snoring softly in his chair.
“I’ll do it.”
Andromeda was surprised at the conviction in his voice.
“Are you sure, Remus?” she said warily, “I don’t want you to feel that we pushed you into anything.”
“No, no,” he looked over at the miniature Dalek terrorising the cat, “I think I want to do this. But I think I’ve got a few things to sort first,” he looked back at Andromeda. “I’m still waiting to hear from the ministry. I need to find a flat, I’ve been staying at the Leaky Cauldron since...” he paused, “and I need to organize my full moon accommodation and I need to collect my belongings from the Aurors who are checking them for evidence. And the wills are being read next week, but I’m sure the ministry will delay them longer.” He sighed the sigh of a man of forty, not of twenty-one.
“Would you like to stay a few days while you find your feet again? I can make up the spare room for you.” Andromeda looked upon him with motherly concern as Nymphadora ran up, washing basket abandoned, and jumped into her mother’s lap, occasioning a groan.
Remus smiled, “You know, I think I might take you up on that.”
The spare room hadn’t taken long to make the transition to being “Remus’ Room”. In a matter of weeks, it was as if Remus had always been part of the family. And while things weren’t perfect for him, while he still had bad dreams and moments when he wanted to disappear through the floor and never be seen again, and while the ministry didn’t want to help him outside of the full moon and refused him any income support, life was settling.
A routine had formed itself around the family and their plus-one. Each morning, Ted put on the kettle and made the tea, then woke Andromeda, who would put on her dressing gown and start preparing breakfast. Ted left early for the Ministry, Andromeda brought Remus his potions to his room and Remus went back to sleep, to shortly wake again with the bitter taste of the concoction in his mouth and the noise of Dora making a raucous in the parlour. While Remus read the Prophet, Andromeda would don her travelling robe and her hat, kiss her daughter on cheek and instruct the two of them to be good while she was gone, at which point she’d disapperate to the Boutique. Remus would drink his tea slowly while Dora told him about the wild dreams she had had during the night which were maybe not entirely but maybe just a little made up but oh! Remus! It was so real!
They’d clear away the dishes and pull out the notebooks. Remus would read while Dora did her sums, then Dora would read while Remus corrected them. There’d be history and music and whatever Dora was fascinated by this week. They’d go for a walk into town when the sun was shining and when it was raining Remus would magic the rain to be repelled from them and they’d go anyway. Lunch was always simple and stories always followed, Dora aiding the narration by creating faces for each of the characters and switching to each as Remus did the funny voices, sometimes she’d draw what he was telling. Ted would get home first, Andromeda next and dinner would be made and Dora would go to bed and the adults would stay up a little longer, talking over the day’s news and maybe watching a little of the Muggle television that Ted’s family had given as a Christmas present the year before last, if they could get reception. Remus would take his other potion and go to bed. Sometimes he’d wish that James and Lily and Peter were still alive. Sometimes he’d cry a little, but the tears dried up as the months went on.
The thing that annoyed him the most, that necessitated the potions and that kept eating his heart up from the inside out, was every time something wonderful, something exciting or something new happened. Because all he wanted to do was to tell Sirius about it. But he’d take his potion and his heart wouldn’t hurt anymore and he didn’t even mind the blanks it created in his mind, because nothingness seemed easier to deal with.
Dora had surprised him though. With wisdom beyond her years, she had learned quickly that some days she needed to be a bit quieter. Some days Remus would need to sleep because of his illness, some days he’d need to sleep because of his black dog. His black dog, yes. But one dog had gone and the other would too.
But not all days were bad and after a year most days were good. When Dora had turned nine, she outgrew the need to change her appearance and get lost in Diagon Alley to frighten Remus and her parents. She had also gained an obsession with mythology and most of the time her hair was long, straight and blonde like her favourite Holyhead Harpy player. For months, this mane of blond could be seen buried in a history book or Quidditch magazine as its owner chattered on to her tutor about the origin of various family member’s names or the terrible fuss over a move that so-and-so had pulled in the Cannons-Tornado’s match at the weekend.
Remus, inspired by Dora’s sudden interest in mythology, had tried and failed to catch her attention with the Latin language. All he achieved was to get her to recite “amo-amas-amat-amamus-amatis-amant” without quite understanding why and without breath. He settled instead for selecting sections of Ovid to recount to her.
“Let’s have a nymph story today,” Dora said as she spread jam on her bread at lunch, managing to get more jam on her shirtsleeve and the tablecloth than on the sandwich.
Remus grinned, “A nymph story for Nymphadora...” “Don’t call me that!” “...For Dora, then.”
He told her of Echo, the talkative nymph who had angered Juno, the queen of the gods, and been punished by the loss of her voice – the only power of speech she had left was the ability to repeat what others had said. He told her that Echo had once seen a beautiful young man in the forest and that she fell in love as soon as she had seen him. He told her how the man had been so beautiful, but that he rejected anyone who showed interest in him. He told her how the man had got lost in the forest and called out to his friends, and how Echo had waited for words that she could send back to him and tell him of her love – “Is anyone there?” said he and she replied “There!” and he said “Let’s meet here together!” and she said “Here together!” – she ran from her hiding place and threw her arms around his neck, and he pushed her away and told her “I would die before I love you!” and she says back “I love you”, running back to cave – and Echo wastes away with the love that didn’t even die by rejection, until she was only a voice.
Dora looked at Remus, pencil still poised in her hand over a sketch book page covered in tall trees and a fleeing girl in a billowing chiton. “That’s really sad.”
“I didn’t say that it would be a nice nymph story. But it’s a beautiful tragedy.”
“How?” replied Dora, frustrated. “She was rejected, she can’t get over him and she dies. It’s stupid, actually. What happened to him?”
“Ah, that’s where the tragedy comes in.”
He told her of how the young man once wearied from hunting, found an untouched spring with silvery water in a clearing and had lay down in front of it. He told her of how the man saw a beautiful boy in the water and fell in love... but when he realised that his own reflection, he felt tricked and betrayed and also could not gain the one he loved. So he melted away, burned little by little by the fire in his heart like a candle flame melts wax. And Echo sounded back his tears and his sorrow and when he cried out “Oh! The boy I loved in vain!” she called it out too. And when he bid the world farewell, she did the same to him.
Dora had now drawn a young man and a pool of water on a new page, a ghostly figure in a tree looking down and the words “Farewell” traced lightly in the sky.
“That’s marvellous.” Remus picked up the picture. “You have such a talent.”
Dora beamed in her fashion and Remus looked over the pencil lines carefully. “Who did you model your Narcissus on?” He frowned.
“I kind of thought of one of the young men in Mummy’s photo album, I think it was one of the cousins. He’s very pretty, isn’t he?”
Remus felt his face go into that closed expression he hated so much, as he dropped the page back to the table. “How about you colour that one in? It’s brilliant. Really.” He felt his voice break a little. “I think I need a cup of tea.”
And with that wisdom Dora had, she erased the face and redrew another. She didn’t mention that young man again.
When Dora reached ten years old, she used to spend Wednesdays with the Weasleys while Remus when to the hospital to participate in The Study. She liked the Weasleys, especially Bill and especially, especially Charlie who was just her age and called her Tonks and wanted to play Quidditch. The Study was inconclusive, but Remus was having even fewer dog days. They happened mostly with the moon days now.
And as her eleventh birthday approached, Dora began to wonder what would happen when she went to Hogwarts. Whenever she asked her parents, they told her to ask Remus. And Remus would say “Oh, nothing’s set yet” and she just knew that he was planning something. But whatever that something was, she was never expecting that he would leave the little cottage with the steep staircase and the warm parlour and the fields outside and on the edge of the little Muggle town she loved so much.
It was now midsummer, three weeks after her birthday and three weeks until she was off to Hogwarts. Remus had conjured a small swimming pool under the big blossom tree next to the house and they were both sitting in the cool water.
“Will I make friends at school, Remus? I mean real friends? Other than Charlie, I mean.”
“Probably,” he replied lightly, “Most students do. I did. The war changed that.”
“I’m very sorry for you, Remus,” her voice had taken on a soft seriousness. “Is that why you’re going away, to make some new friends?” She splashed a little with her outstretched feet.
“Maybe, a little bit. I need to get away from England for a while.”
“Maybe the black dog won’t be able to follow you if you go far enough?”
Remus nodded silently.
“I hope you make some good friends.”
“I hope you do too.”
“And do come back.” Dora looked at him resolutely. “You’re not allowed to not come back.”
“Don’t worry – you’ll be at school you won’t even notice I’m gone. I’ll send you owls and you’ll just wish your uncool tutor would leave you alone.” He smiled.
There was a long moment of silence punctuated by only the sound of Dora’s feet splashing in the foot depth of water.
“I’m going to miss you, Remus.”
“I’ll miss you too, Nymphadora.”
And by Monday, he was gone.
If I had known that it would be as simple as getting away from England and meeting someone, I would have done this the day you walked out the door.
Thing is, whenever I say it that way, people just assume that we were together. But we weren’t, and that’s what made it so much harder in the years past. It was never resolved was it? You knew that I was keen on you at school and we talked through it then. You laughed it off and told me that I wasn’t your type, being male and all, and even though I was devastated in my sixteen-year-old way at the time, I knew that our friendship was worth more. So I worked at it, and you worked at it, and we didn’t talk about that Hogsmeade trip again.
I find myself wondering too often if that was the problem between us, your Janus act aside, that not only did we not talk about that Hogsmeade trip but that it became the biggest hippogriff in the room and that we skirted around it for years. And I’ll admit it now, I pined a little, even when I had you for all my own and we were living in the wretched little flat above that bakery. But I never complained when you brought Muggle girls from the club around, and you never raised an eyebrow when I brought men back. But the tension never went.
And that’s what confuses me, now when I look back with clearer and more scrutinising eyes. Why did you choose to live with me if it was going to be an Issue with a capital “I”? The only answer I have been able to satisfy myself with, and not a pleasant one at that, was that it added to your trustworthiness as a member of the Order. I was your cover-story, wasn’t I?
My chest doesn’t ache when I think of you, my stomach doesn’t flutter with nerves, my arms don’t need you to complete them, my head will be better off without you.
I miss you though. I didn’t, not for years, but I do now. When I started to travel, I saw so many wonders – big things and the little ones too – that I longed to share with you. I wrote a letter to little Nymphadora once a week, adding in a gift when I could afford it. She must be nearly seventeen now, but she’s still a child. I can’t share my wonder with her as I could a true friend – maybe I will one day. I realised all this not as a learned to become a walking cliché in Paris, nor travelling the country roads of Spain.
The moment I started to miss you was the day I stumbled across your family’s holiday home in Venice. It looked just like the pictures you sent me and I swear that I hadn’t gone looking for it! I was making my way along a laneway, kicking at the cobblestones and subsequently tripping little over my own feet. As I picked myself up and cursed myself for the Tonks clumsiness being contagious, I looked up and saw the crest over the door. My heart skipped a beat ran as fast as I could away from the place. I was ashamed and I was angry at myself for... I didn’t even know what. That was when I knew.
It was better after that. I felt that I had the better of the sadness’ hold over me and when I saw things that I wanted to show to you, I just thought “It’s a pity that he’s a murdering bastard”. Perhaps not a healthy frame of mind, but it worked. I’m a cold wolf at heart, you know that.
The full moon has been difficult while I’ve travelled, but I’ve never been once tempted to floo back to London and return to that containment centre. Four years’ moons I had to spend there. Do you know what it’s like? I can’t imagine that it’s an improvement on Azkaban, honestly – tiny cells with magically reinforced concrete walls and floor, iron bars on the doors and a few holier-than-thou Ministry Officials who use the time to lecture us on our poor life choices that led us to contract Lycanthropy. It is utter bullshit, if you pardon my language, because half of the lot I met in the centre were like me, turned when they were small by Greyback and his followers. We all tended to drift in and out, I was one of the few regulars, and I only attended because there was no convenient Shrieking Shack in your cousin’s backyard. I tried our Shack once, but the memories hurt more in the morning than the gashes on my back did.
In a way, that brings me to why I’m writing this letter to you. And honestly, I will probably burn this as soon as I have written it, so even if you ever left Azkaban, you’d never see it anyway.
I’d been travelling for four years when I reached Istanbul, drawn by the lure of the busy and ancient city, the promise of spell-book stores and the rumour of a thriving community of people like me – werewolves and half-breeds and all sorts who desire to live normal lives as far as possible. I had more money than I had ever had in my life after a particularly profitable summer sailing the Aegean with a cruise company in need of general staff and who assumed I got into brawls on my monthly leave (not an unusual situation in the cases of some of my co-workers). Having arrived fresh off the boat, I wasted little time in establishing myself in a grand boutique hotel in Beyoğlu and spent a couple of weeks playing Agatha Christie, sitting in my room and attempting to write something wonderful whilst sampling the wafting aromas of the cafes in the streets.
It didn’t take me long to track down the people I was searching for. The community was, sadly, not as close-knit as I had been led to believe, though I made a few useful contacts that were able to point me in the direction of apothecaries and healers suited to my condition. Armed with an address and the assurances that not only could the men speak English, they hailed from the motherland.
I was surprised to find the place in a particularly sunny end of town, a tall shop-front that reminded me a little of Muggle London and looked at the same time nothing like I had ever seen before. I got the distinct feeling that I was the only person on the street who could see it – much like the Leaky Cauldron from the street, you know? When I pushed the door open, I was even more surprised to be greeted by Damocles Belby. Do you remember him? He was the Ravenclaw who sat with Peter in potions, back in second year, when we were too scared to. Hair down to his knees, now!
He and his eldest brother Actaeon had moved to Istanbul a couple of years earlier and I was shocked to discover that it was for a similar reason to my own. They had started research into a cure. At first I wondered... the compassion they felt for my kind was so unusual – the only others I had known to share their views had been my Marauders. Did you know that Damocles had a sister? She was turned the summer I was, but she wasn’t found as quickly as I was and she bled out. Their family lived in denial for so long – their brother Gaius, Julia’s twin sister, still acts as if she never existed. Actaeon and Damocles were embarrassed by their parent’s attitude and, feeling helpless to do anything for Gaius, they went out in search for something to prevent, if not alleviate the suffering of the Lycanthrope. So this is how I met the two of them, in their little apothecary, selling potions and herbs to sustain themselves while working on their research.
And really, I’m getting to the point of my story, if only you’d hold out a little longer. There was something different about Actaeon, you see. I know I never troubled you with my boys, but you need to understand, he was gorgeous. It wasn’t his looks – in fact, on the surface he appeared kind of plain – but he had the most amazing mind. I started spending a lot of time in the apothecary, helping with him with the customers while Damocles was elbow-deep in pond scum and Merlin-knows-what. I’d stay after they’d closed up shop and he and I would stay sitting there behind the counter and talking for hours on end. Sometimes I’d stay for dinner, making my way up the spiral staircase in the back of the shop to their home on the second and third floors.
It was Damocles who first suggested that I stay longer than dinner, that the library could easily fit a bed. I have to admit that by this point, the cost of the hotel was starting to severely dent my savings, and I had no desire to leave the city, so I said yes. I won’t bother you with all the gory details, but suffice to say that the library never saw a bed grace its threshold. Perhaps I rushed into this thing with Actaeon. If I did, I don’t really care, mostly because he adores me.
If I have a bad dream, I wake up now with a warm body holding me close and telling me that it will be fine. He’ll stay up with me until dawn while I tell him my theories on how the world should work. He bears my cooking and sometimes even pretends to enjoy it. For the first time in years, I woke up from the full moon to someone tending my wounds and wrapping me in a warm blanket. He has for thirteen moons now and he still kisses me goodnight.
What I felt for you back in school and during the dying years of the war was every bit as intense as this is. But this is bringing me joy and reciprocity, not denial and confusion and betrayal. I love Actaeon and I feel marvelous.
With almost two years in the once place after twice as many years travelling I have the itch to move again. Damocles thinks that he is close to a breakthrough and wants to return to Britain to publish his findings, so we’re packing up shop. Actaeon and I will finish the world tour that I had once set out to make before we return home ourselves. I’ve already got the gold clinking in my pockets for the deposit on a little cottage somewhere and the idea of settling down with someone I love at the end of it all is almost as exciting as this trip.
True to my word, I can’t quite comprehend now why I felt that you needed to know this. So, once the boxes and the bags are packed, this is going onto the bonfire with the rest of the bits and pieces we want to leave behind in Turkey. This is where I am leaving my Black dog, my Sirius.