Spells kept coming from every direction, and the castle collapsed at their backs while they were running. He took her hand and they found themselves back to back, cursing every Death Eater that showed up with incredible aim, protecting each other. They knew each other so well already they could both dodge the spells at the same time without their hands ever breaking apart. Explosions were everywhere and the sound of battle was growing louder and bigger, but for a moment they thought safe, they turned to face each other.
Remus brushed back a lock of her fiery red hair softly, not losing the grip of his wand in the slightest. Despite all the noise and obvious danger, he just looked in her eyes, the eyes that gave him hope and made him fight - those constantly changing eyes that were always the same for him – those same eyes that had taken him out of his misery and told him to keep moving forward. He watched carefully as they turned light green, as always when they were about to kiss. He followed her guidance and started leaning forward, not closing his eyes to fully live every second they could spend together, and make it last forever. He felt her warm breath in the cold atmosphere, and wanted to tell her how much he loved her, now that he wasn't afraid of admitting it out loud. He wanted to tell her everything was going to be okay, that they'd keep fighting, as he kept leaning towards her. That they'd make it through, as he looked at the face he loved the most. He wanted to tell her so many things, but at the same time not say them aloud, for only her to hear them, and kiss her.
But his thoughts were abruptly interrupted when her eyes suddenly grow wide as she probably felt the danger he saw behind her back, and reacted as every loving human would have. He felt his inside wolf taking control of his body and moving fast towards her back again, the adrenaline hitting him hard to hurry. But despite this spontaneous discharge of energy, everything went unbearably slow. He felt like he was running in a deep pool with heavy clothes on, and even with those unexplainable time deformations, he didn't have time to cast a protecting spell or throw himself to the ground with her, as every move he made cost him a cry of pain to go faster. So he stood there instead, protecting her from the two green jets of light that hit him full in the chest.
For a moment he felt their hands brush, but then he didn't feel anything.
And suddenly, he wasn't him anymore. From the sky, he glimpsed himself falling in the battlefield, followed by Tonks, as if he was up on his broomstick for a second, watching himself die. He saw the guilty unidentifiable Death Eaters being rapidly killed.
He lost focus of the interminable scene as another image came out of the blur.
It was his son's.
Lupin looked into his eyes, light electric blue under his intense short blue hair, even though he didn't have much yet. He smiled at his innocent gaze, and Teddy laughed gleefully. As for the odd tiredness of the body that didn't quite feel like his own, he could tell the full moon had been just a few hours ago, and so his son hadn't inherited his monstrous condition. He caressed his flushed cheek, but it didn't quite feel like touching it. Tonks arrived next to him and he hugged her with an arm, still not understanding what was happening. It looked so real, yet it didn't feel so. He lost support of the door frame, and the image faded like it had been a water reflection.
But as he focused a new one, Tonks didn't disappear. Or at least, she was with him once more. They were lying on their bed, hands entwined. He knew now, he had just come back from his werewolf form and was sweating jets. He turned to face her again, and she smiled at him reassuringly. He saw her gently squeezing his hand but didn't fully feel it as the image faded once more.
Like tears falling in the calm water of a lake, little sprinkles of happiness chained to older ones, making his soul smile.
Moments as simple as Sirius turning Butterbeer into hard candies with his wand, just like when they were younger and wanted to sneak some into the common room, making them both laugh with nostalgia. Moments like Tonks's insistence that their differences didn't matter, and him finally throwing himself to kiss her passionately.
He shouldn't have kissed her, he thought, he should have protected her. But he bitterly knew that they couldn't possibly live without each other.
He was falling to the close stone ground without any control of his body, but the memories were an eternity caught in a second. Just like their love had been.
He saw Harry making a Patronus, and chatted with him like in déjà vu. But he didn't care about feeling repetitive, because it made him happy.
He got the chance to laugh again with his old friends in the grounds of Hogwarts, and saw James's cheeky grin once more, with their map in hands like in the good old times. And then it hit him, as if his breath was caught in his sore throat, and his heart skipped a beat, except it wouldn't beat anymore, he suddenly realized. And that was it. The last Marauder would be gone, and gone forever. He tried to hold to life with the remains he had, but there was no way of stopping it. It wasn't his head or brain aching, but his soul, desperately shouting to survive.
He wouldn't feel his wedding ring pressing his tired finger anymore. He wouldn't hear his wife's sweet singing in the shower, nor see his son smile in his arms again. He wouldn't blink under the bright moonlight or breathe the cold fresh air of the forest he had gotten married in. He wouldn't help anyone else like they had helped him. It would be over.
But if he was still thinking, didn't that mean he was still alive? Abandoning the idea of surviving himself, he tried to give his last beats to Tonks. To at least save her. There had to be a way, some pure strength, essence inside him to give away.
He'd never take Teddy's tiny soft hands anymore.
James's joyful image turned into Harry's, and Remus remembered him. He knew he'd make it - he'd finish this, and then take good care of Teddy, raising him to be a great man like Harry had become. And in time, Teddy would learn that his father had done his best for him, and had fought for a better world.
And eventually, he would join him.
You've lived, Remus, and lived well. You learnt what you needed to and changed what you could. You've been happy and you've loved. Let someone else have this privilege now,
he thought. And he knew that if he could've talked, those words would have tasted bittersweet in his mouth.
He finally hit the ground and bounced lightly, his wand falling from his hand and rolling on the floor. But he wasn't able to feel it, even as Tonks found rest next to him.
He walked into the immense and incredibly white castle after he had put some white clean clothes he had found floating beside him. As he entered the impotent building, he smiled and waited for his wife, knowing that no matter where he was now, they’d watch over Teddy.