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‘The sack they had of Æolus, wherein the winds were kept’ - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
wemyss
wemyss
‘The sack they had of Æolus, wherein the winds were kept’

‘The sack they had of Æolus, wherein the winds were kept’

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GMW Wemyss

 

For the H/D Birthday Bash and the LITB Challenge

 

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Over the course of rather more decades than he cared to admit to, Draco Malfoy had come to recognise his – and others’ – besetting sins, and he had by now come to conclude that, of the lesser sins, the most dangerous, because the most unpredictable in its consequences, was an unregulated curiosity.  Recognising this and acting on it were, however, two different things, even now.

 

Harry, for reasons of heredity, early training, professional interest, personal taste, and general stubbornness, was of course the complete Elephant’s Child, and indulged his ’satiable curtiosity in the certainty that he’d prevail over whatever it invoked.

 

And of course, as a matter of common report, Scorpius and Albus Severus were Just Like Their Fathers: which, like most truisms, had attained to the state of being a truism by being largely true.  Unlike his father at that age, Scorpius’ besetting and ungovernable curiosity was not malicious, but it was ungovernable (not for nothing was his Animagus form that of a certain cat – lilac point, thank you); and Albie was a Ravenclaw, after all, and as sure of his own invulnerability as ever his father and grandfather had been.

 

Which is why, during the two months consecrated in their private calendar to the lengthy, intense, and highly personal celebration of their birthdays, Draco had given Harry a newer Graphorn-hide-and-Mokeskin Bottomless Bag (although he’d very nearly taken it back when Harry had proceeded, even whilst thanking him long, hard, and with enthusiasm, to make a series of outrageous jokes about ‘bottomless’: Harry really wanted, in Draco’s opinion, to be forbidden the internet and American-made porno).  The new Bottomless Bag had enchantments upon it that the old had not, as was natural enough: the pace of technomagical change nowadays was dizzying in comparison to the static days of their youth: the old bag however they kept, for if it was empty now, it was yet full to the brim, and perhaps a trifle over, of memories.

 

Al and Scorpius meant no harm by it: they never did, which was a goodish part of the problem.  If anything, they meant well.  They knew the old, retired rucksack, that had accompanied Harry through Norsworthy and the Staff College and Bradninch, was empty and that their fathers had made certain of it.  Fatally, they knew also that Draco had given Harry a newer one, reputed to be charmed and enchanted to a fare-thee-well (as old rustic neighbours still said), and their young and questing interest in all things could not possibly have resisted the temptation to study the old bag’s charms (a phrase that had diverted them for several hours, before they returned to their investigations, as Jamie’s latest entanglement was with a young woman almost a year his senior, and ‘studying the old bag’s charms’ struck them, under the circs, as hilariously useful as a dysphemism for Jamie’s current romance).  In the end, however, they succumbed to the lure of intellectual inquisitiveness.

 

Even the most Dursleyish of Muggles, transient in a succession of flats and digs, sometimes sense what Wizards know so well that they cease sometimes to remember it, that an impress of personalities and events can imbue and deeply dye inanimate surroundings and material objects.  Older houses, from cottage to castle, even in the Muggle world, still more retain a certain memory of those who have lived in them, and what has befallen there.  How much more, then, is this so for Wizards and magical artefacts.  Perhaps such considerations had stayed the lads’ busy, clever, prying hands had they remembered them; but quite likely not.  Aunt Hermione was first but not last in regularly declaring that neither of the young men possessed any sense of boundaries, or indeed discretion.  Be that as it might, Scorp and Albie did not stay their hands, being notoriously apt to meddle in mysteries.

 

The old, retired, veteran bag, discharged from service with honour, was, it must again be stressed, empty of all its long-cherished objects.  It could be handled and apprehended, although It Was Much Better Not.  All it wanted to show its memories was a touch by hands that were flesh of its owner’s flesh, and it had served years enough to recognise Draco as well as Harry as being in some sense its owner.

 

After, Scorpius, rather at the risk of sounding too like Cousin Hugo, could only retail his impressions as having been like music; for Al, they had been like sense and scent and the memory of inchoate dreams forgotten upon the rouse.  There was triumph like trumpets and garlands; dedication and hard work; danger sharp as spice: the first days after the War and the service in the rebuilding Aurory.  There was a threnody, of loss and regret transmuted into chastened peace and acceptance, woodwinds and lilies and soft green turves and the smell of rain.  There was an overwhelming impression of excitement, somehow peppery and cinnamon-redolent, with tympani and arpeggio strings; and there was the full orchestration of settled love, of marriage and children, Ginny all cloves and flute to Harry’s cor anglais and smell of saddle-leather, suddenly overwhelmed by crashing discords, the whiff of blazing metal, violence, battle, murder, and sudden death.  There was the long, slow lament, all cypress and myrtle, after; and then the quickening tempo, the new theme introduced, abandoned, introduced again and elaborated, fugal, in stretto, the sudden dance: a most uncanonical canon, emerging from the earliest notes that had seemed at best a ground, a figured bass, a chromatic harmony, the counterpoint now emerging as the primary motive: the unregarded underlying motive now made the theme of the final movement and its resolution in purest harmony.

 

Watched over by their unseen fathers, Albie and Scorp hastily dropped the old bag, which whisked away and vanished.  It would not, they realised, be left out again, and they were sufficiently moved – and embarrassed – to recognise the sense in that, and the lessons they’d been given: by its discovery and by its removal.  Without speaking, they clasped hands and walked slowly and thoughtfully away, back to their own wing of the house, pensive and suddenly more matured than when they’d started.  The music or the scent or the emotion that had stirred in them would remain with them all their days, and they would orchestrate their own variations upon it.

 

With a wry smile, Harry turned to Draco as they ceased to watch and ward their incorrigible sons.  ‘I quite like the new bag,’ said Harry, rather throatily.  ‘But you must admit, it wants some memories.’  He reached into the new bag, and closed his hand upon what had become one of Draco’s favourite toys.  ‘It being almost midway between our birthdays, why don’t we make a few memories, and give each other another gift, hmm?’

 

Draco laughed, and fell back upon their bed, dragging Harry down between his long legs, careless of the musical note the bag made as its unbreakable flasks jostled against one another.  ‘Why, Harry, you’re learning.’  He spread his legs with subtle wantonness.  ‘And I do so like presents, giving by receiving.  Let’s see what the bag and the day holds, shall we?’

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END

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23 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
monster_o_love From: monster_o_love Date: July 4th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
This was so incredibly Lovely and beautifully written!! <3
wemyss From: wemyss Date: July 4th, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you.

I'm obliged to you for reading, and taking time to comment, and I'm very pleased to know you liked it.
being_here From: being_here Date: July 4th, 2010 04:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I do love the dynamic you have between them, and I am deeply in love with your Harry. He has a strength and maturity that you don't often see in fic, and it fits him perfectly.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: July 4th, 2010 05:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you, very much indeed.

Most people do 'grow up' as they age, after all, although I've done my best not to do.
being_here From: being_here Date: July 4th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you, very much indeed.

You and me both!
dark0feenix From: dark0feenix Date: July 4th, 2010 08:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I loved both of your stories though once again I'm afraid many references were lost on me. :) It was great to see how your Harry and Draco are doing further along the road. They do seem to be very much at home with each other. Wonderful work!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: July 4th, 2010 08:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you.

Very much indeed.
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: July 4th, 2010 08:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
I do like the family dynamic here, and the evocation of memory stuff is beautifully done.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: July 4th, 2010 08:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you.

Al and Scorpius make everything better....
femmequixotic From: femmequixotic Date: July 5th, 2010 02:45 am (UTC) (Link)

I'm quite certain I can smell the harmonies.

Oh. Oh. I'm sitting here stunned, dearest, at how beautiful this is, how evocative the memories. I lost myself in them. And the music! Memories as music and emotion--that whole paragraph describing the scents as musical notes gave me shivers. the long slow lament, all cypress and myrtle...oh. That just went straight through my heart. I love how you twined music, emotion and scent...that's the essence of memory, is it not? So very beautiful and so very beautifully written.

(And I adore Scorpius's Animagus form.*g*)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: July 5th, 2010 01:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

Music of the spheres?

At least I avoided Frogs dapping biscuits in their tea.

But enough foolery: thank you for your kind response, and I'm so glad you liked it.
femmequixotic From: femmequixotic Date: July 5th, 2010 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Music of the spheres?

Well if they're dapper Frogs... :D

I adored it. I think it's an absolutely brilliant piece of work.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: July 5th, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you.

I simply try to keep up to yr standard.
femmequixotic From: femmequixotic Date: July 5th, 2010 04:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you.

You are a sweetheart. <3 And I shall continue to be delighted in your writing.

(Sleeping dragons are rather lovely, aren't they?)
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 5th, 2010 02:46 am (UTC) (Link)

Quick, now, here, now, always

Redolent of music and echoing with memory, the truly veteran bag encompasses past, present, and possibility.

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.


And the sudden dance, the counterpoint forming the final motive - ineffably right.

(And Scorpius and Albus are the children in the apple tree, to me)

Words tracing scent and note and nuance. Heavenly.

(And Tch! on the joke about James's girl, but a hearty laugh)
noeon From: noeon Date: July 5th, 2010 02:47 am (UTC) (Link)

Quick, now, here, now, always

Redolent of music and echoing with memory, the truly veteran bag encompasses past, present, and possibility.

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.


And the sudden dance, the counterpoint forming the final motive - ineffably right.

(And Scorpius and Albus are the children in the apple tree, to me)

Words tracing scent and note and nuance. Heavenly.

(And Tch! on the joke about James's girl, but a hearty laugh)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: July 5th, 2010 02:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

Through the unknown, unremembered gate....

Thank you.

Be it here (and England) or in the Dartmoor Eclogue or in anything, I cannot, it seems, get away from Mr Eliot's quartets.

Thankfully, you also like them.
noeon From: noeon Date: July 5th, 2010 02:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Time present and time past/ Are both perhaps present in time future

Why should you ever want to get away?

It is all beautifully woven and the Four Quartets are a gleaming thread. Your final motive and the analogy of the fugue in Harry's memories reminded me of an analysis of that final movement of the Quartets as the massive poetic fugal recapitulation and resumption of all of the themes. (Costing not less than everything)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: July 5th, 2010 03:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

To be redeemed from fire by fire.

Yes, well, quite. On all counts.
catsintheattic From: catsintheattic Date: July 7th, 2010 02:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

‘The sack they had of Æolus, wherein the winds were kept’

Though I'm pretty sure that I didn't get most of the references, I enjoyed the humour of your story, the idea that the bag was discovered by Albus and Scorpius, and the representation of memories as scent and music. It was lovely to see Harry and Draco as adults, so comfortable around each other, so much in love.

Thank you for taking part in the LITB-challenge - it's delightful to see the different perspectives on Harry's, Draco's or their shared bag(s). :-)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: July 7th, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you, very much indeed.

And most of the references, I imagine, are mere filigree anyway, and I suspect you caught more than you credit yrself with doing.
pearljamz From: pearljamz Date: July 14th, 2010 01:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

A very beautiful story for a summer day

How I wish my bag would bring me down to the Memory Lane! Now it is just sitting there as stationary as ever...
wemyss From: wemyss Date: July 14th, 2010 01:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you, very much indeed.

I only wish my memories were half so pleasant, actually; they're all too present as is.
23 comments or Leave a comment