Remus/Sirius

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Pairing
Pairing: Remus Lupin/Sirius Black
Alternative name(s): Puppyshipping, H.M.S. Wolfstar, The One True Way, R/S, RL/SB, moonfoot
Gender category: M/M slash
Fandom: Harry Potter
Canonical?: No
Prevalence: Popular
Archives: Azkaban's Lair (closed November 2008)
Wolf and Hound
Other:
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The Remus/Sirius pairing became popular with the characters' introduction in Prisoner of Azkaban (PoA) and remains one of the Harry Potter fandom's most popular slash pairings.

Background

[needs more on pre-GoF fandom]

After the release of Goblet of Fire (GoF), one common trope of Remus/Sirius fanfic was Lie Low At Lupin's fic, in which Sirius goes to stay with Remus as Dumbledore suggests he do at the end of GoF. After this, Remus/Sirius was so popular as a secondary pairing in e.g. Harry/Draco fics that it was sometimes taken as a given, and wasn't always listed in the header.

With Sirius's death in Order of the Phoenix (OotP), the pairing became canonically doomed, but, if anything, only gained in fannish popularity. The pairing developed two main genres, one centering on Remus and Sirius as students at Hogwarts or shortly after leaving school (often called Marauders-era fic), the other on their reunion and time together before Sirius's death. Remus/Sirius denialfic AUs in which Sirius survives were also common in the wake of OotP, as were "Bring Back Black" stories in which Sirius somehow returns from the dead.

Some fans hoped Remus and Sirius would be revealed to be canonically gay. While suggestions that Remus/Sirius was a canon pairing were often meant jokingly, some fans argued that the Remus/Sirius subtext, especially in OotP, might be deliberate (their joint Christmas present to Harry was often mentioned).

The article Harry Potter and the Secret Gay Love Story, which contains reflections on this period in the fandom, says:

One of the definitive works of scholarship to come out of the summer of 2003 was a 7,800-word essay titled “The Case for R/S,” posted on LiveJournal by a British schoolgirl writing under the name elwing_alcyone. “Current mood: jubilant,” the essay begins (opening with one’s “current mood” was LiveJournal house style, the equivalent of the MLA header), and then proceeds to track, cite, and analyze every mention of Sirius and Lupin in the entire series. At one point she counts the lines of text that appear between two phrases: “Lupin’s eyes were fixed on Sirius” and “said Lupin quietly, looking away from Sirius at last.” The number is forty; Lupin stares at Sirius for forty lines’ worth of plot action. “JKR didn’t have to write that in,” she gushes. “I can’t think of any other examples of one character spending so many lines simply looking at another.” Current mood: jubilant, indeed.

It’s easy to forget how fully we trusted Rowling back then, how total her authority appeared when the series was still in progress and its ending known only to her. In those days, we were Talmudic scholars and she was God. “The Case for R/S” still holds up as a stunning achievement in Potterian exegesis, but what’s striking about it now is its unwavering faith in “JKR” and her control over her material.

Lupin, who was staying in the house with Sirius but who left for long periods to do mysterious work for the Order, helped them repair a grandfather clock …
OotP, p110, UK; p118, US
“Lupin, who was staying in the house with Sirius.” Not “Lupin, who was staying in the house to be closer to the Order,” or “Lupin, who was staying in the house because he had nowhere else to go,” or even just “Lupin, who was staying in the house.” He is staying in the house with Sirius.
JKR didn’t spend three years writing this book to shove in things that didn’t matter.

“Why?” elwing_alcyone writes at the conclusion of her essay. “Why has JKR left it so open-ended? She could have sunk this ship in a sentence. She didn’t, and now, the odds are that she won’t.”

The revelation of a romantic relationship between Remus and Nymphadora Tonks in Half-Blood Prince (HBP) caused a great deal of controversy in Remus/Sirius fandom. Some fans argued that this new canon made the Remus/Sirius pairing impossible[1], some felt that both pairings were possible[2], and some denied or hated the Remus/Tonks relationship. [3] After Remus/Tonks became canon, it became more common (but not universal) for Remus/Sirius fans to depict Remus as bisexual rather than gay.

"Apparently everyone is making these now, and I thought it might be a good time to remind all you lucky kids of what the Wolfstar fandom was like way back when. It was a simpler, angstier time. DISCLAIMER: I’ve never really been a Wolfstar shipper, but I’ve been in the fandom for over fifteen years (!) and it was inescapable, so I’m willing to volunteer myself as a fandom historian in this case. Some of these squares have crossover with other ships and with fandom today, but THIS IS YOUR HISTORY." [4]

Fanworks

Example fanworks

Classics

Back cover of Everyday life by Cherry Beans

Fannish Tropes

  • Lie Low at Lupin's, fics which depict what really happened during the months Sirius lay low at Remus' (usually set between GoF and OotP).
  • Bring Back Black, in which Sirius is brought back from the dead in some fashion or other
  • Beyond the Veil (trope), about Sirius in the afterlife
  • werewolves mate for life (used in other Remus pairings, but common especially in early Remus/Sirius fic)
  • Raising Harry, in which Remus and Sirius adopt Harry or otherwise become his surrogate family

Fan Communities

The SBRL mailing list was started in October 2000, and is still active; its associated archive is Wolf and Hound. Other Remus/Sirius archives included Azkaban's Lair, which closed November, 2008.

The primary Remus/Sirius community on LiveJournal is remusxsirus, founded in 2003, but there are numerous others, including packmates, shacking_up, two_boys, justpuppylove, starcrossedmoon, hbpandrxs, and the_kennel.

In 2005, possibly in response to the events of Half-Blood Prince, there was a surge in fannish activity, leading to the creation of Dog Days of Summer. It provided daily prompts during the month of August. Later it was followed by sibling communities Scarves and Hats (October), Blanket Forts (January) and Welly Muck (April).

shacking_up ran a Secret Santa exchange in 2004 and 2005, archived at shackinup-sesa.livejournal.com. From 2006, RS Small Gifts, founded by magnetic_pole and busaikko, has held winter art and fiction exchanges. The masterlist for 2006 is Winter 2006, for 2007 is Winter 2007, and for 2008 is Winter 2008.

Fests, Challenges and Exchanges

See also List of Harry Potter Fests & Exchanges and The R/S Library

Resources

Reclists

Further Reading/Meta

References

  1. Nistelle. comment thread in Spoiler Discussion for Book 6 post in the remusxsirius LiveJournal community, 16 July 2005, accessed 14 October 2008
  2. Selecasharp. Calm down! in the remusxsirius LiveJournal community, 16 July 2005, accessed 14 October 2008
  3. Cobalt_Violet. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt, 16 July 2005, accessed 14 October 2008
  4. (Apparently everyone is making these now, and I...), Archived version