sam_storyteller: (Default)
sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2005-07-15 02:25 pm

Kaddish; G, Gen. (post-OotP)

Notes: Inspired by [ profile] reebchan and accuracy-checked by [ profile] heidi8 and [ profile] strange_selkie.
Summary: Remus, devout, still mourns.
Warnings: Canonical character death (James and Lily).

Also available at AO3.


Harry hadn't expected to see Remus Lupin until much later in the year, until the summer after the end of sixth year, in fact; he certainly hadn't expected to see him at Hogwarts, in the middle of the week, in June.

Remus had been gone most of the Christmas holiday on some business or other, and Harry hadn't gone to Grimmauld Place for the Easter holiday, what with the London Massacre having happened just beforehand and Dumbledore reluctant to let any half-blood, Muggle-born, or Order sympathisers out of Hogwarts. Harry had barely seen Remus since last summer, though they'd come to a sort of tentative peace with each other, Harry forgiving him for keeping him from Sirius, Remus doing what he could to fill Sirius' shoes, as advocate for Harry's interests at the Order meetings.

Harry definitely hadn't expected to see him in the doorway of McGonagall's transfigurations classroom.

"Professor McGonagall," Remus had said, respectfully. "Headmaster Dumbledore's asked me to fetch Harry."

McGonagall gave him a sharp look, but didn't object as she waved Harry on. Harry glanced at Remus.

"Leave your books with Ron, you won't need them," Remus had said, and Harry had heard snickering behind him from the Slytherins as he passed out into the hallway.

"Is it happening?" Harry asked.


"The end."

Remus blinked at him for a moment, then shook his head. "No, dear boy. No, not at all. you know what today is?"

Harry shook his head.

"I suppose exams have been quite distracting," Remus mused. "A year ago today we had the fight at the Ministry, Harry."

Harry stared up at him, uncomprehending for a second, and then bowed his head.

"I'm sorry I didn't -- "

"No, it's all right..." Remus sighed. "Dumbledore didn't send me for you, Harry, though he did give me permission. I'd like to take you off the grounds. If you're all right with that."

"Where off the grounds?"

"Godric's Hollow."

Harry paused. "Where my parents...?"

"To their house, yes," Remus nodded. "There's something I...go and do, and I thought you might come with me this year. It's not as dangerous as it could be; we'll be protected. Moody and Tonks will be watching to make sure no-one attacks us."


Remus pressed his lips together, and looked away; Harry sensed he was gathering himself for a reply, and spoke before he could. "All right. I'll go."

"Good lad," Remus murmured, and put a hand on his shoulder to guide him down the corridors, out of the castle. Tonks and Moody were waiting on the steps, holding their own broomsticks as well as two others, and whatever they were about to do, Remus had clearly told the others; they kept a respectful distance as they flew, and when they finally touched down in Godric's Hollow, the Aurors hung back, wands out, scanning the area continually.

There was an empty lot in front of them, a few chunks of cement and rebar grown-over with moss and ivy. What appeared to have once been a garden had overgrown, but it wasn't the usual scrub-ugliness one saw in an untended lot; the entire thing was carpeted in green, and roses grew at the far end, blooming wildly in the June heat.

"This is my parents' house," Harry said quietly.

"Was," Remus answered. "What's left of it. Dumbledore owns the lot. He's never let anyone build here. He's keeping it in trust for you, for after you graduate."

"Where was my room?" Harry asked impusively. Remus pointed in a general sort of way.

"There, off the kitchen," he said. "Your parents' room was just beyond it down a hallway, and the guestroom across the way. The first four weeks after you were born, Sirius lived with them, practically moved in -- " Remus swallowed, suddenly, and cut himself off. "He wasn't always very responsible, Harry, but he was always very responsible with you."

"Oh." Harry looked down at the bramble of shrubbery growing over the sidewalk, and kicked a stray stone. "Was this what you wanted to show me?"

Remus shook his head.

"A few months after your parents died, I -- " he paused. "No, that's the wrong way to start it," he murmured. "Did you know I'm a half-blood, Harry? Like you?"

"No," Harry answered.

"My mum was Muggle-born too. As a matter of fact she was a full Muggle, not magical at all -- there was quite a row when dad told her, apparently, not uncommon when a Magical person marries a Muggle...though that's neither here nor there, I suppose. It was worse for her because she was quite religious, you see, and she thought my dad meant he was some kind of -- something between a Satanist and a hippie, I suppose."

Harry grinned a little at the idea of any Lupin being considered a hippie.

"She accepted it eventually, especially after...well, after what happened to me...and she was very interested in the culture, but she also insisted that if I was going to go to Hogwarts, which was by no means certain, I should have a proper religious education as well. Dad thought it was only fair. I think she secretly wanted me to be a rabbi..."

Harry glanced up at him. "Your mum was Jewish?"

"Still is. As am I. It's rare for a Wizard to be religious, but it does happen."

"Do you -- " Harry caught himself before he could ask if Remus wore the funny hat, because clearly "the funny hat" was not what one called it. "Er...pray and all?"

"Not as often as I ought, I think," Remus said. "Which is, indirectly, why we're here. Do you know anything about Judaism?"

"Not really. Um. Hanukah."

Remus gave a funny sort of snort, and Harry saw he was a little amused.

"There's something we call the Kaddish, it's a prayer for the dead. It's said on the anniversary of the death. I used to say it for your parents, each year -- I came here to do it, when I could -- and I said it for Sirius after he died. I'm not exactly allowed go where he died, but this was where he was happiest at any rate."

Harry looked out across the green-covered ruin where his family had lived, once, and silently agreed that if ever there was a place to pray for the dead, this was likely it.

"I thought perhaps you might want to join me. If you don't, that's all right, most Wizards think religion's rather silly, but then most Wizards think trousers are silly too, and I thought -- "

"No, it's okay," Harry said. "That'd be...good. I guess."

"It's not really for the dead," Remus explained. "It's...well. It's a prayer for peace, I suppose. One asks for the establishment of a peaceful kingdom, abundance and a good life. And there's...praising and such. I'm not very good at explaining. Technically there's supposed to be ten people present, but...well. Anyway. It's no harder than learning a charm, you just repeat after me -- "

He stopped when Harry nodded, and Harry, surprised, felt warm fingers twine in his own, as Remus turned to face the remains of the Potter house in Godric's Hollow. The hand not holding Harry's rested on Remus' head as he bowed it.

"Yisgadal v'yiskadash sh'mey rabo," he murmured, and Harry followed a little behind, clumsily, but doing his best. "b'alma d'v'ra chirusey..."


[identity profile] 2005-08-07 04:35 am (UTC)(link)
depressingly that's a familiar beginning.

[identity profile] 2005-12-06 05:15 pm (UTC)(link)
I was browsing through your fics and recognized the title on this one, since my Dad's Jewish, and this was a really nice one shot.

[identity profile] 2006-03-19 11:25 pm (UTC)(link)
you're probably never going to see this, but i just had to read because i was curious as to how you'd handle the kaddish (i'm jewish myself).

that's just so... perfect. i can just picture young!remus bringing sirius around to his temple, introducing him to wearing a talis and teaching him how to pronounce all the ch sounds in the prayers.

it's been a while, but this just brought something home for me. it was a great read. :)

(p.s.- it was funny reading the s version of the pronunciation; i'm used to the t version - yitgadal v'yitgadash, etc... hee)

[identity profile] 2006-03-19 11:36 pm (UTC)(link)
*grins* of course I see it! I have comment notification enabled.

I'm glad you enjoyed the fic -- it took me a long time to figure out how to work the kaddish into the fic without going into some big long expository spiel. I liked this fic when I wrote it, because it seemed like it was sort of a reminder that wizarding isn't a religion, and religious wizards probably do exist...

[identity profile] 2006-07-05 05:09 pm (UTC)(link)
I liked this quite a lot... sad but with entertaining bits as well.

"'Not really. Um. Hanukah,'" was particularly amusing, since it's the most common reaction I get. And the points about yarmulkes (funny hats indeed) and wizards thinking trousers are silly were good as well.

Thanks and my adoration

[identity profile] 2006-10-26 04:17 pm (UTC)(link)
I read this story some months ago (and being incredibly computer-challenged, didn't get the point of leaving a comment. I'm still computer challenged, I'm afraid, but an educated one...) and fell for the idea of Jewish-Remus. In my mind it became a sad sort of funny, thinking of a Jewish-gay-werewolf (seeing that I'm a RSer with all my heart and soul, so the Remus in my mind is definitely gay). I didn't manage to make my current fic's Remus Jewish, but I managed to use the Jewish-gay-werewolf idea, even if it was for just one line (it was my Sirius who wanted to be Jewish, but the idea of circumcising kind of killed it for him...). And since it was your Kaddish that inspired me to write my Jewish Chapter in my RS fic (in a weird, indirect sort of way) I wanted to thank you and give you the weird, indirect credit (; And also- this story is beautiful. Being Jewish myself, and an Israeli Jewish at that, the ending made me very sniff-y. Oh my, this is way too long. My apologies.

Re: Thanks and my adoration

[identity profile] 2006-10-26 04:19 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for commenting, and it sounds like your fic was really excellent :)

Re: Thanks and my adoration

[identity profile] 2006-10-26 04:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Wow, you're quick! Oi, does that sound off? I'm bound to make embarrassing slangish mistakes in English. I meant- you reply quickly. Here's the link to my Jewish Chapter, but don't feel obliged to read it; I've seen Lion King many times and I know how the Circle of Life goes- you're a VIFFW (Very Important FanFiction Writer) and I'm a clumsy beginner- I read your stuff and the worms read mine. Or something. Highly educational, Lion King is.
Not Obligatory Link:

Re: Thanks and my adoration

[identity profile] 2006-10-29 07:09 pm (UTC)(link)
No! That wasn't off at all. :) Thanks for the link, I'll try and have a look at it.

And you know -- we all start out as clumsy beginners :) Even VIFFWs.

Re: Thanks and my adoration

[identity profile] 2006-10-29 08:55 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm still not quite sure about my comment's off-sounding, since you seem like a nice person, and nice people should not be trusted. They confuse us, Questionable-English People with their niceness. But oh well.
Really? You, the All Mighty Sam were a clumsy beginner? It's easier to imagine that you were born All Mighty. You probably even cried poetically as a baby. But it really is okay, I'm fine with my clumsy beginnerness, honestly. Being VIFFW must be a hard work anyway. You receive bizarre comments from people who shouldn't speculate about your poetic childhood (but do so anyway). It must be exhausting. So here ends this particular bizarre comment, with my best clumsy wishes.

[identity profile] 2006-10-27 10:42 am (UTC)(link)
*is Jewish*

I love this idea, of Remus being Jewish and saying Kaddish and all. It's just so...good. Perfect. I don't usually think about the religions of the whole Wizarding community, since I've sort of pushed it out of my mind how unfair it is that they've got Christmas but no Hanukah and whatnot. lol.

I love Harry's reaction, as well, because even in a public school with at least a third of the population being Jewish, Hanukah is really the only holiday that the non-Jews (and Jews, too, in fact) know.

Great fic. Great closure on said fic. &hearts

[identity profile] 2006-10-29 07:07 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I liked the idea too, and it was a very natural story to write. :)

[identity profile] 2008-05-27 04:12 pm (UTC)(link)
I love reading my own comments, I've decided. And I agree with myself, I have to say. :P

Still an amazing fic, and as someone above said, it still threw me off a little to hear the Ashkenazie/conservative/orthodox pronounciation with the 's's and the rabo, as I'm Reform and we use the Tzefardik/Israeli pronounciation with the 't's. Though I suppose a British Jew raised thirty years ago would use the ashkenazie, now that I think about it.

Wow. Ignore my Jewishness, please. I just noticed that I get overly technical and probably kind of obnoxious whenever I comment on anything with even vague Jewish references, and since your whole one-shot here was about Judaism you just got treated to a more intense version. Sorry. -.-

I still love the concept of Remus being Jewish, and as someone said above, Gay/Jewish/Werewolf is fabulous. Especially since I consider (Reform) Jews to be amazingly accepting, so I feel like if you're going to belong to a mainstream religion and you're a gay werewolf wizard, us Jews would shrug and ask for your membership dues at temple.

If I ever get around to writing the multitude of fic that circulate through my head, would you mind if I steal the concept of Remus being Jewish? I love that.

[identity profile] 2008-06-04 02:17 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm glad you're still enjoying the fic! :)

You're absolutely welcome to use the concept -- it's not like I invented it!

thought provoking

(Anonymous) 2006-12-13 03:47 am (UTC)(link)
I loved this story in my heart I've always imagined most of the characters as one religion or another and a Jewish Remus just seems to fit so perfectly. I always imagined Remus as the man of quite but deep faith the story was just perfectly written I've always been intrigued by the
Jewish faith I was brought up a Christian but in a church that loves the Jewish people because without you guys there would be no Bible people tend to forget that Jesus and most of the apostles were practicing Jews. I especially loved how you ended with the first few lines of the Kaddish I've always found Hebrew to be a beautiful language I wish I could learn it especially after going to a church where the pastor teaches about the Jewish roots of Christianity and often includes Hebrew word studies and teaching on Jewish customs and beliefs about different subjects anyways I love to listen to someone speak it and reading it is just a nice so the ending was an extra nice touch

[identity profile] 2006-12-31 03:28 pm (UTC)(link)
I sometimes envy religious people, they have more avenues for closure than people who aren't. Remembering and letting go at the same time would have to be good for your soul.

I loved the imagery. Very well done, but then your stuff always is. If I ever read anything of yours that didn't evoke some strong emotion, I'd immediately wonder who had stolen your ID to post. :o)

(Anonymous) 2007-02-05 01:23 am (UTC)(link)
I just wanted to say I loved this. Granted, I love all of your stories but this was beautiful. As a Jew, it's nice to see customs and traditions integrated correctly for once...heh. Funny hats indeed, Hanukkah, it all works and it's all true. And the Kaddish is also very familiar, though I am used to the t version. Thank you Sam, for doing things right and for writing this. Keep it up!
-Gathering Crows

(Anonymous) 2007-12-03 09:18 am (UTC)(link)
That was really beautiful.
I am amused by the idea of Remus being jewish. That said, he would probably make an excellent rabbi.
Well done on the research (not that I would expect anything else from you), from the knowledge that Kaddish isn't about the dead at all (in fact, there is this running joke that it's a good thing it's in Aramaic, because if people knew what they were saying they might not want to say it), to the use of the "s" version.
And while I have mustered up the courage to post- I love everything you write (but shy about posting feedback because not very articulate)and I'm eagerly waiting for you to complete jack_and_ellis so I can read it all in one go.

Awesome Story

(Anonymous) 2008-04-30 07:13 am (UTC)(link)
That's the beauty of JK Rowling's world. It's the idea of another world with a different culture and society that a talented writer like you can elaborate exponentially on.

I've been reading a lot of your other stories and I especially love how that when you characterize Remus, you always explore lycanthropy's place in society and the financial issues that come with being a werewolf. You always have this link between Rowling's world and our world (like diseases like AIDS or just being disabled).

In Kaddish, the part where Remus talks about how wizarding culture doesn't quite accept trousers from muggle society reminded me a lot about of how developing countries try to emulate other more modern cultures but at the same time feel their traditions are threatened by it. How wizards are fearful of muggles and how religion kind of factors into that really kind of parallels reality.

[identity profile] 2008-07-21 06:45 am (UTC)(link)
This was so cool! I was just browsing your HP fics and I saw the name. I'm so glad to find story that incorperates Judaism, and you did it so well!

I loveed the "funny little hats" - I've had so many people aske me about that when I say I'm Jewish, despite the fact that I don't wear a kippah because I'm a girl...

And cos I'm a dork, I read along with Remus at the end :)

[identity profile] 2008-08-02 06:44 am (UTC)(link)
Wow Sam. this was beautiful and heartbreaking.

It just got linked at [ profile] stilljewish, and I couldn't believe that I'd never seen it before. I'm so glad I found it now, though.

[identity profile] 2008-08-02 06:23 pm (UTC)(link)
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it :)

[identity profile] 2008-08-09 11:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Word this.

[identity profile] 2008-08-07 03:28 am (UTC)(link)
heee, whenever I get hormonal and moody, I like to read depressing remus fics, and cry at the tragedy that is his life.

it's very satisfying

So naturally, I read all of your stories, and for some reason I passed over this one.

It's really beautiful, I'm pretty immersed in judaism, so I really just connected to it.

ps...I continued saying the kaddish from where the story left off, and it took me a bit to realize I was saying it for a fictional character

(Anonymous) 2011-05-16 08:18 am (UTC)(link)
I'm Jewish myself, so I saw the title and I just HAD to read this, and well. Goosebumps. All over, dear GOD.
This was lovely in a way I can't even express in words. Thank you.