sam_storyteller: (Default)
sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2005-07-15 03:32 am
Entry tags:

The Impressionist Mechanism

Title: The Impressionist Mechanism
Rating: PG
Fandom: Harry Potter (PoA film specific)
Summary: What possesses a relatively sensible grown man to buy spine candles for a children's classroom?
Warnings: None.
Notes:Written for a fic contest on FictionAlley, having to do with "visuals from the PoA film" which had just come out.

First posted 6.14.2004.

Also available at AO3.


Remus Lupin liked people. On the whole, he thought they were a good sort, but it wasn't just that he liked people because they were interesting. He liked the physical human body, the shape and strength of it, even though his body wasn't human anymore, not really. He liked watching people who talked with their hands, using gestures to emphasise words. He liked watching trained runners sprinting, and trained dancers dancing.

What he liked most was the shift and curve of the spine under the skin of a bare back, the way muscles rippled across it. Science classes, before Hogwarts, taught him that the spine was central to the nervous system, almost as important as the skull and brain. During one of his father's quests for a cure, Remus had learned a lot about the line of the spine and the way it affected the body's nerves, the way all muscles were interconnected, and how that connectedness altered during the transformation from man to beast.

Vertebrae themselves were lovely, weren't they? A perfectly functional interlocking set of bones that were formed in beautiful abstract shapes, like a machine built by an impressionist artist. As a student, rambling through the wilderness around Hogwarts, he'd once found a nearly complete skeleton of an owl who'd met some sort of unfortunate end. He'd studied the spine a long time before respectfully kicking a bit of dirt over it as a burial.

When Professor McGonagall took him into Hogsmeade for his first shopping trip as a proper Hogwarts Professor, she pointed out that the candles in the Dark Arts classroom needed restocking. One of their first stops was at Illumos, the Hogsmeade candle shop, since electricity didn't work in the castle.

"Something properly eerie, I think," she said, as they drifted through the shelves of plain white pillars, specially designed dribbly-candles, divining tapers, trick tea-lights, and other charmed wax creations. "Dark Arts does have a reputation to maintain, after all."

"Hmm," he answered, unwilling to purchase frivolous dragon-shaped candles or ones that shot two feet of flame in the air, even on the Hogwarts supplies expense account.

"Black is always effective, I've found," she was saying, but something on the overstock shelf in the back caught his eye, and he slipped past a large cabinet full of grinning skulls and house-elf heads to pick up one of the cut-rate candles, running his fingers over the sinuous shape appreciatively.

"How about these, do you think?" he asked, turning to her and holding it up. She raised an eyebrow.

"No-one can deny they're appropriate," she said reluctantly, "but perhaps a little too macabre..."

"Oh, I don't think so," he answered. "There's lots of them and they'll last a long time, and it's a lovely shape, and anyway they're dead cheap. Look," he added, "the vertebrae are even marked, so you can tell which one you're looking at. Light source and anatomy lesson all in one."

He lit one with a pinch of his fingers and a flick of the wrist, and grinned at her over the flame. She smiled back, the indulgent, I've-been-sweet-talked smile she used to give him when he made jokes to get his mates out of trouble, back when he'd been her student. She blew out the flame, and gestured at the shelves.

"Have them sent up to the castle, then," she said, and he made his way to the till. "Don't dilly-dally, Lupin, you've more supplies to buy..."

The shopkeeper smiled at him and agreed to box up all their spine-candles and have them delivered to the Dark Arts Classroom, Hogwarts Castle, care of Professor Lupin.

Pleased with his first act as a proper Professor, he followed McGonagall out into the late-summer afternoon, and onwards towards the Scholars' Shop, where he could buy a pot of red ink for marking student essays with.


[identity profile] 2008-11-01 02:41 pm (UTC)(link)
Comments on the original post, for archival's sake:

I really enjoyed this! It's so simple, but i can see Lupin taking lots of delight in finding something that quirky and fun for his classroom. I also love McGonagall's urging to get something to intimidate the children. A reputation to maintain, indeed.

Mmm, what a lovely concept. Intriguing images. I really like his sensual appreciation of watching people who talked with their hands, using gestures to emphasise words; liked watching trained runners sprinting, and trained dancers dancing.

I like this. It's so simple, but not "See Lupin. See Lupin buy candles." simple. Eloquent is probably the word I'm looking for. Fics are the best form of procrastination *frowns at gazillion of textbooks*.

You know you've read too much smut when "spine candles" are first thought of as "candles for dripping wax on the spine" and not "candles shaped like a spine. *facepalm*

I like Lupin's fascination with the spine--especially since that's such a prominent detail of his (movie) transformation. Even if I feel he should compare it to the Constructionists and not the Impressionists, but it's been awhile since I looked at either of them. Also, love the detail about the pot of red ink--maybe it should be pots? ;)

It's always nice to see Hogsmeade expanded upon; there's got to be more than a Post Office, a joke shop, a candy store, and two pubs. The Lupin/McGonagall interaction was cool, and immediately sent my mind back to your R/M 'fic. Which I should read again, because it was just that cool.

You're going to make me like Lupin. Don't want to like Lupin. Snape doesn't like Lupin. Except... Now I want Snupin fics.

[identity profile] 2008-11-01 02:49 pm (UTC)(link)

It is NANO. How dare you post fic!

... ... That said. :D ZOMG this is cute, so yay. And I love the interaction, the chemistry here, between Remus and Minerva; they really seem to work well together here.

*toddles off to get back to work on his NaNo*

[identity profile] 2008-11-01 03:08 pm (UTC)(link)
Love this. The imagery is brilliant and Lupin sweet talking McGonagall is adorable.

[personal profile] starkdependant 2008-11-01 04:17 pm (UTC)(link)
This was lovely! :)

[identity profile] 2008-11-01 04:23 pm (UTC)(link)
♥ Oh Remus, we love you so much.

[identity profile] 2008-11-01 06:21 pm (UTC)(link)
*sigh* I really love your Potter fic. Kinda wish you would write more of it . . .

Not that I'd want to loose any of the current fic, I just love EVERYTHING you produce and want more! :D

[identity profile] 2008-11-01 06:52 pm (UTC)(link)
I've missed your Remus terribly.

[identity profile] 2008-11-01 10:00 pm (UTC)(link)
Your Remus is my favorite. He's so complex and amazing!!!! Will there be more HP fics anytime soon?

[identity profile] 2008-11-01 11:05 pm (UTC)(link)
*Sigh* This was cute! I love your Remus so much. (Some more of him sometime soon would be nice... ^_^ )

[identity profile] 2008-11-02 02:19 am (UTC)(link)
That was adorable. Love your Lupin so much.

[identity profile] 2008-11-02 04:06 am (UTC)(link)
Short and funny. I like.

[identity profile] 2008-11-02 04:28 am (UTC)(link)
ahahha, loved it--and he was right, that's not too macabre at all; I'd have been fascinated by the things (though I suppose it helped that my mom was a nurse (LPN!)and still had most of the books from her courses^^)

[identity profile] 2008-11-03 03:43 am (UTC)(link)
Except he decided on green ink, b/c red is too stultifying.

I have all your found bits open in tabs on firefox, am going through them now, will see how long I last til the wourds start doubling. I love your HP.

[identity profile] 2008-11-03 04:21 pm (UTC)(link)
ext_2909: (susan)

[identity profile] 2008-11-10 10:56 am (UTC)(link)
Heh, I just watched PoA the other night and remember being bemused at the candles. Very nice explanation, and I particularly liked the vibe between Lupin and McGonagall.

[identity profile] 2008-11-11 11:22 am (UTC)(link)
This is exactly how I feel about anatomy, on the days when I'm not cursing it. *loves*
boxofdelights: (Default)

lovely shape

[personal profile] boxofdelights 2008-11-14 03:08 pm (UTC)(link)
I've got just the illustration for this:

Re: lovely shape

[identity profile] 2008-11-14 03:13 pm (UTC)(link)
AWESOME! Is that a real skeleton? Did you find it like that, or is it on display, or what? *fascinated*
boxofdelights: (Default)

Re: lovely shape

[personal profile] boxofdelights 2008-11-14 03:26 pm (UTC)(link)
It's a real skeleton, most likely a burrowing owl, and I found it just like that! Isn't it beautiful?

Re: lovely shape

[identity profile] 2008-11-14 03:42 pm (UTC)(link)
It's a great photo, and a great find :)