Chapter 1 : The One and Only Chapter: Worse Than Death
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(A/N- these characters, setting, etc are all from the creative mind of J.K. Rowling and i hav no claim on them)
Tell me that you live for love.
That forever is never enough.
That you’ve waited your whole life to be loved and free.
Tell me that it’s not just me.
Rascal Flatts, Forever
A flash of blinding green light filled the slightly overclouded evening sky, and the world seemed to stop moving. I was almost positive that two voices had yelled those words at the exact same time. That meant that two people had just fallen dead. But until the little balls of light stopped popping into my eyes, I couldn’t see anything.
I shook my head, trying to clear it of the deafening silence. I closed my eyes, counting to myself, the way I did when I was little, trying to calm myself and slow down my heart. When I reached 10, I took a deep breath and started to count backwards.
When I reached 7 though, a loud noise broke through my thoughts and I snapped my eyes open. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny were enveloped in a group hug. Hermione was crying onto Ron’s shoulder, but her smile was evident even from my distance. Arthur and Molly were doing a kind of two-step, and Fred and George were bounding about like maniacs, having thrown their wands on the ground, which lay forgotten, some few yards away.
I glanced at the rest of the Order, who were shaking hands and patting each other on the arms and backs. Bill and Fleur looked as though they were trying to decide whose tongue could go further back in each other’s mouths, and I laughed openly at their public display of affection.
A few people were congregated around a patch of grass, where Voldemort had disappeared into thin air, leaving nothing but a pile of robes and a wand, which, in their jubilance, Fred and George trampled over and snapped into bits with their feet, doing an ungainly dance to the tune in their heads. I followed their movements with my eyes and as they danced past Harry, I was glad to see him and Ginny competing with Fleur and Bill in that they were wrapped so closely around each other, I couldn’t see whose face was whose.
Nothing made me happier, however, than the two standing next to them, wrapped in each other’s embrace. Ron and Hermione were sharing what I presumed to be their first kiss, for when Ron moved foreword and accidentally stepped on her foot, instead of yelling or wincing, Hermione laughed, a long, free laugh, full of life and youth. I smiled kindly at Ron who caught me watching and he grinned back at me, looking at me as though he was five and I was Father Christmas.
It was at this moment though, that something jogged my memory. There had been two voices that had yelled the curse, and someone was not celebrating with us. I looked around, counting the people, going through the Order in my head. I stopped, wishing I hadn’t thought about it. I recounted and double checked, triple checked. She wasn’t there. I closed my eyes, hoping against hope itself that it wasn’t true, and slowly, I turned around.
The world seemed to fall out under me. I closed my eyes tightly and prayed that it wasn’t true, that I was seeing things. I opened them again and tried to look elsewhere, anywhere. But I couldn’t. My eyes moved up her feet, legs, torso, arms, neck, mouth, and finally, her eyes.
They weren’t open, but were peacefully closed under the purple lids. I didn’t take time to consider why she’d put on makeup to fight Voldemort, but I noticed it all the same, right then. She looked like she was sleeping, like nothing had happened. Maybe she’d just been Stunned. I walked for what seemed like ages until I reached her side. Pulling out my wand, I held it to her heart and said, “Ennervate!” Nothing happened. I tried again and again, getting more desperate each time.
I pushed her gently, back and forth. “Wake up. Please wake up.” Nothing happened. “Please. PLEASE!” I stood up and backed away, putting my shaking hands to my face. I realized I was sweating. The relief that had flooded me when the light had cleared was now gone. I didn’t feel like we’d won at all. In fact, I’d rather Voldemort had lived, so that I could kill him myself. I wouldn’t even need my wand.
My insides were filled with ice, but I was burning with anger and desperation. I couldn’t ever remember feeling this way, except when Dumbledore had died. My head was pounding, as though someone was trying to break it open with a hammer. I covered my ears and closed my eyes, trying to count. But I couldn’t remember what came after four. I shook my head vigorously, trying to clear the thoughts. I heard a voice behind me.
“Remus? Remus?” It sounded like Arthur. I didn’t respond. I couldn’t have if I wanted to. All I wanted to do was vomit. Maybe if I binged myself, I could stop my insides from churning so badly. So I did it. Well, my insides were now gone, but I didn’t feel any better. My body seemed to take advantage of the lack of weight and I started to shake uncontrollably. I turned around to face him, only to find everyone watching me. I turned back around. Let them watch. They’ll never know. They’ll never understand.
I spat on the grass, almost losing my insides again. I forced myself not to. I had to walk. Run. Something. Yelling. Maybe if I yelled as loud as I could, I might forget what was imprinted like a scar on my memory. So I yelled. I yelled as loud as I could. Now my throat hurt, and I retched again, shaking even worse. I turned back to her body, lying on the grass. She didn’t look at all like she had died. I ran to her and picked her up, convinced that she couldn’t be dead. If we got her to a hospital, she’d be fine. She’d live. St. Mungo’s was always open, right? I started to run with her in my arms, but Arthur stepped in front of me.
“Remus,” he said, “there’s nothing you can do…she’s gone.” I shook my head wildly, widening my eyes.
“She’s not! She’s not gone! I can help her! I can save her! I can! Move! I can help! MOVE GOD DAMMIT! I CAN HELP HER! I—
Kingsley Shaklebolt stepped in front of Arthur and tried to pry her from my arms.
“No! NO! Let go of her! LET GO OF HER!” I fell to my knees, her body still draped across my arms. Everyone was around me in a circle. I laid her on the ground and tried to wake her up again. “Wake up. Show them you’re not dead. Show them you’re not gone. I know you’re not! I KNOW YOU’RE NOT!” I felt someone trying to pull me off the ground, but I kicked at them and fought my way back to her.
“Don’t be dead. Please don’t be dead.” I leaned over her, willing her to look up at me, wishing to hear those words of comfort I longed to hear, coming from her. Wotcher, Remus. Say those words. Just say them and I’ll leave you alone.
She didn’t say them. I felt like my body was being drowned in a vat of acid, being eaten away at slowly. Like I would dissolve any second, and be with her. I leaned closer to her, until I was practically touching her nose with mine. And then it hit me. Maybe I could wake her up by kissing her. True love’s first kiss! Feeling elated for the first time in ten minutes, I leaned in and paused, right before our lips touched. Our first kiss. But something wasn’t right. She wasn’t waking up. She wasn’t moving. No “Wotcher, Remus.” No nothing. She didn’t respond at all. I pulled away and kneeled back down, feeling worse than when I’d realized it.
She was gone. Forever. I’d never hear her say another word. I wouldn’t need to be there for her to cry on. There was no her to cry. I wouldn’t be there to pull the curtains back when she tripped over the troll’s leg umbrella stand. There’d be no her to trip. I was hit with a sharp pang. Dumbledore was gone. Sirius was gone. James and Lily were gone. Peter had abandoned us. My parents were gone. And now…
Surely this was what Dumbledore had meant by, “there are things worse than death.” I knew he was right. I would certainly prefer to die than to experience this. I felt like I was suffocating. I was still shaking and my breathing was short and choppy. I tried to kiss her again, and again, and again. Nothing happened. Nothing at all. I closed my eyes and covered my ears, yelling at the top of my lungs, cursing Voldemort, and Greyback, and Peter, and everyone else who’d made my life a living hell.
I looked back down at her and kissed her one more time, not expecting anything, and feeling more in denial than I’d ever done before. My anger was replaced with depression, and I couldn’t stand. So I did the best thing I could. I lifted her torso and hugged her as hard as I could. I was rocking back and forth and her head was lolling on my shoulder, but I didn’t care what I looked like. The woman I loved, the one I’d fought to keep alive, the only one who accepted me for who I was…for what I was…was gone. And I blamed myself. I never told her how I felt. I never gave her any signs, nothing. I hadn’t known. Another thing that I now knew as true; you don’t really miss something until it’s gone. That was the understatement of the century. I missed her so much, I wanted to drown myself with misery.
I hugged her for a while. The sun had set and the sky was navy blue, and I felt that the black I was wearing couldn’t have fitted my mood more perfectly.
As I hugged her, something sharp poked my skin. I released her and plunged my hand into her robes, searching for the object. Nothing would hurt her now. She’d already been through enough. I’d already been through enough. I searched through the pockets, and was just about to give up, when in the last pocket, I found an envelope. I touched a corner and it pricked me. I turned it over in my trembling hands and read the front. Remus This was to me.
I ran my finger along the opening and a piece of parchment slid out.
I’m writing this in my room here, at the Order of the Phoenix. You’re downstairs helping Molly make dinner. I’m writing this, but I’m never going to give it to you. I’m going to keep it in my robes pocket, in case something happens to me, because I know you’ll find it. I have a few things to tell you, that I know you don’t want to hear, but they’re true.
I saw you for the first time when I was 7. You were 18. I saw you the day you graduated from Hogwarts. My dad went to help with the ceremony, remember? I was standing at the edge of the lake, and I saw you and 4 other people with you. Now I know who they were. I saw Lily and James, hand in hand, talking with you and Sirius (drop dead gorgeous). And I saw Peter, standing a little apart from the group. I didn’t like him. But I watched you, and I watched you that whole day. By the time I left, I knew you were going to be the one I was going to fall in love with.
19 years later, here I am, in love with you. But something happened in my beautifully crafted plan. You didn’t seem to love me back. It wasn’t a problem for a while. I figured you were just too busy to notice me. But then we spent more time together, and I realized, maybe you really didn’t love me. My self-confidence went down. I went into a stage of depression. I was heartbroken. Dumbledore was doing the best he could to help me, but nothing worked. When he died, I just exploded. All the pain and misery I’d been feeling since Sirius died went out on you.
I’m sorry for that. I didn’t mean to embarrass you (even though in the process I made a complete arse of myself in front of everyone else). But that must have done something to you, because you agreed that we could start seeing each other. And now, I’m here, writing my best attempt at a love letter for you. If you’re reading this, then I’m not with you anymore. But I’ll always be with you in your heart. Werewolf or not, that’s just a state of being, not a state of mind. I fell in love with you for your brain, personality, and complete cuteness.
The pain you’re feeling now is unbridled, I know, and there’s nothing I can do. I wish I could help you, but I can’t. You’re going to have to let me go. But I wanted you to know that I love you. So much, my heart wants to burst. And I’ll always be with you no matter what. Got it?
I broke down into tears, sobbing on her shoulder, hugging her tighter than ever. A gust of wind blew up and the piece of parchment was whipped from my hand. I stood angrily and chased after the letter, crying in vain and frustration, trying to bring it back and keep it close to me forever. I should have known there was nothing I could do. I finally stopped chasing it and watched it being carried away by the wind. I couldn’t do anything.
I let it go. Just like Dumbledore. Just like Sirius. Just like Lily. And just like James. And I realized that there really was nothing I could do. Nothing I could say that would change the past. I trudged back up to the field and passed everyone. I could hear their words of condolence, and Molly even tried to hug me, but I pushed her off. As I approached the top of a hill, I broke into a run. I wasn’t trying to run away, because I knew I never could, but I was going to run until I lost myself. I knew what I had to do.
I just had to let myself go.
((A/N- Hope you liked it. That was really hard to write, and it might be a little unrealistic, but I got really teary at some parts, and the whole thing fits together now…I may not write one like that again though. It was difficult. A good challenge. I recommend trying sometime. It took me a good straight 3.5 hours. Please r&r!))