Chapter 1 : Someone New
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He’s dead, he’s dead, he’s dead and there is nobody left to tell. Behind you lie thirteen years of emptiness, blank and cold and dark, but he made them disappear. He came back. Against the odds, against belief, against every rule book in every land, he came back. Hope, there is always hope.
You cling to Harry, your arms around his broadening chest, because now he is all that is left. He is all that remains of twenty years past, of empty grounds and roaring howls and the nameless, endless love that you called friendship. Without him, you might wake up in the morning and think them figments of your imagination; lies built on the strongest fears inside you. Unwanted, unloved, unreal.
You hold on and hold on and wait for everything that Harry is and was and will be to burst your grip apart, and you watch him run up impossible stairs, out of sight and something tells you to follow but you can’t. You can’t because Sirius is dead and you want to shout and cry and rip every pitying eye from its socket because there is nobody left to tell.
There are rumours, whispers which wash over you, that Voldemort was here and once again failed to put an end to Harry Potter, but you do not move. You cannot move because perhaps he might come back. It’s only a veil, for goodness’ sake, a curtain can’t kill somebody. He would be horrified if he came back and found people believing he’d been killed by a bit of cloth.
You almost laugh at the smile that floats out of nowhere in front of you, the twinkle of an eye growing brighter and brighter and you reach out a hand which stretches forward into nothing. There is nothing left, no-one left and that hurts so much more than the scream that rips itself from your throat like the rush of a hurricane. They have all left you, picked off one by one and deep inside you a snarl mocks the tears that trundle down your prematurely wrinkled cheeks. Your father, James, Lily, Peter, Sirius, your mother, and Sirius again: empty eyes, empty faces, souls without bodies, Peter a body without a soul.
Will he cry, you wonder, when the message spreads? The triumph of Bellatrix Lestrange, the murder of the cousin she had so desperately despised. Will he feel this ache, this constant heavy pain that shoots through every bone in your body? Will he see what he has become? Will you accept him if he does?
Everyone has gone, you have nothing left but somehow nothing seems better than Peter.
Kingsley’s voice draws your gaze in the way it always does and he places a hand upon your shoulder. You know you look a mess but he pretends not to notice, telling you of casualties, of jobs, of Dumbledore and Harry and the end of Cornelius Fudge. He leaves you standing in the Atrium, broken glass and glinting gold at your feet, and you feel like you are floating to the fireplaces which line the broken remains of the building you had once wished to belong to, in the days when you were whole.
You kick a piece of broken tile across the floor and it smashes against the wall with a sickening, satisfying crack. It is calming but you know that it will not solve a thing and you take your wand from your robes, wondering if it is possible to splinch memories as you Disapparate.
Three days later, he is still dead and there is still nobody to tell. You listen to urgent meetings, take instructions from the man you trust more than any other but Sirius is still dead and there is a new melancholia which looms in every look, every word, every touch. There is somebody missing and with it the life, the zeal, the humour that had lightened the load of the Order. You volunteer to break the news to her, pretending you cannot see their worried faces as you step into the flames, which remind you with a punch to the gut of Lily, and disappear.
She lies in a ward with honey coloured walls and a floor that glistens as you cross it. She is propped up, hair vibrant and nose small, reading through thick-framed glasses you didn’t know she wore. It takes her a moment to look up but when she does, she smiles the smile that lights up every room she sits in and you feel your heart warm a little more.
“Remus,” she says, her eyes dancing and hair ruffling a brighter shade of pink as she sees you. Drawing your wand in a sweeping movement, the curtains around you close and you sit on her bed and turn to face a faltering smile, a furrowed brow, the words that they all ask.
“I’m fine.” You are an adept liar now, the false words gilded in silver as they slither off your tongue. She does not believe you and the darkness that has overcome her makes you feel a hefty guilt that settles just above the heart you can’t remember feeling. “You look well.”
“I’d feel a damn sight better if they let me out of this bloody place,” she says and though you want to smile, you keep your lips painfully drawn in a severe line. You are here for a reason and you cannot let frivolity get in its way.
He is dead and you must tell her and so you do, with a hardened face and a steady voice and it has escaped everything in you that he was her cousin, her flesh and blood until you see her looking at you with the same stare as Sirius had when you whispered your forgiveness.
The sorrow, the pity, the apology glows in her and she says nothing because you know there is no need to. Her hand, clean and small, cups your cheek and you realise you have cried your way through the story as she collects drying tears against her thumb. Your eyes close and you feel her leaning forward, the heaviness of her breath like the roar of stolen life, kissing you, touching you, feeling everything you feel and taking it away.
You could push her back, lie to her, tell her you are okay but she is someone new, someone fresh, someone who understands everything you feel even in her youth and you need her. You need the whisper against your broken lips, the tender fingers through greying hair, the hush and harmony of grief’s greatest healer.
You need touch. You need to hear her. You need to taste and smell and see her, and when you draw away she is twenty-three with bubble-gum hair and Sirius’ eyes and a smile that is nobody’s but hers.
They are the past: James and Lily, your mum, your dad, Sirius. That love you know will stay with you forever but here, there is something new, someone to tell, someone to listen.
He might be dead but why does that mean you have to be alone?
A/N: Oodles of thanks as ever to Marina for looking this over for me and making me post. This is the first time I've ever written Remus so your thoughts are most welcome.