Summary: Remus grieves.
Notes: Thanks a billion to librae and tatooine for the betas, and dandelion_black for kicking my dialogue into shape.
Author you were assigned: storydivagirl
If there was one thing Remus was accustomed to by now, it was being alone. He spent many years after Hogwarts, after James and Lily were murdered and he thought Sirius had betrayed them all, hiding away from others. It was easier that way. But coming back, being reunited with Sirius, and getting to know Harry… something had changed. He wanted to be around others. He craved the support and energy. He came to count on it and in a war that was a big mistake. Because there he was again. Grieving for another friend while trying to be strong for Harry.
Remus goes into the Department of Mysteries with the understanding that some of them may get out alive. He knew the odds, the chances. As it turns out, understanding something and accepting it aren’t the same thing.
You’d think it’d be easier to lose another friend. Especially if you’ve had practice.
“Oi! Lupin, you look horrible!”
“Thank you, Dung. I appreciate it.”
“It’s just that no one’s seen you in ages. An’ you don’t send out any owls. An’…”
“It’s quite all right. I don’t get out much.”
“Where’ve you been?”
“I doubt that’s any of your business, Dung.”
“Jus’ wondering. So whatda you need?”
Remus sees Harry off to the train station, along with other members of the Order. He doesn’t say much to him; there’s nothing he can offer except platitudes and his own grief. Harry looks so angry.
Remus can’t bear to tell him that when the anger fades, all you’re left with is pain.
“Ah, Severus. How are you tonight?”
“Anything I can do to help?”
“It’s hard to be comfortable when there is a mass murderer on the loose. ”
“Not very pleasant, is it?”
“Especially when there may be someone helping him.”
“ I was, of course, thrilled when he killed James and Peter and Lily.”
“You were still his friend.”
“Sometimes, Severus, I believe you forget that he hurt me more than he could possibly have hurt you.”
“I would not presume that if I were you, Lupin. Good night.”
Remus sits quietly in his bedroom in Grimmauld Place. The others are downstairs, eating dinner. It would be best to go down and join them. He would be surrounded by people who cared.
He stays in the room and doesn’t eat until the next morning.
“Do you actually want to stay here?”
“Of course I do, Sirius. It’s much nicer than any place I could afford.”
“It’s a horrible place. Kreacher is incredibly unpleasant.”
“He’s always been unpleasant.”
“You only met him once, Remus.”
“He was unpleasant then.”
“I’m glad you’re here, Moony.”
“I’m glad to be here, Padfoot.”
“Just like old times, eh?
“It’ll never be like old times, but it’ll be something, Sirius. It’ll be something.”
“Molly told me that you refused to see anyone.”
“When I was in Azkaban. You refused to see anyone.”
“The war was over. There was no need to see anyone.”
“You were alone.”
“You were alone, too.”
“Besides, we’re not alone anymore, are we? We have each other, the Order, and Harry.”
“ That reminds me, I have to write a letter. Feel free to settle in. If Kreacher comes by, you have my permission to hex him.”
Remus leans over an old desk (presumably some kind of Black family heirloom) in the library and tries to write a letter Harry. He knows how much Harry treasured those old letters from Sirius. It’s the very least he can do.
The words refuse to come out, and the parchment remains blank.
“No matter what, we’ll always be friends, right?”
“Of course we will, Remus. Marauders forever. Right, Peter?”
“You guys are a bunch of sentimental nitwits.”
“You’re just dumb, Sirius.”
“You’re one to talk, Prongs.”
“Yes, I am.”
“Wouldn’t it be great if we could live forever?”
“We will live forever, Moony. We’re invincible.”
Remus is given half of Sirius’ possessions, the half that doesn’t contain anything important to the Order. He goes through them by himself, though Tonks and some of the Weasleys offer help.
They think his isolation is merely grief, but it’s also a protective measure.
“Molly and I would like to move into the headquarters, if that’s alright with you and Sirius.”
“It’s perfectly fine. Sirius and I would love to have you over.”
"The weather's doing pretty well, isn't it? We haven't seen rain for a stretch."
"I hear in other parts of the world, two days without rain isn't considered a stretch."
"Right. Of course."
"Are the children moving in as well?"
““Oh, yes, they are.”
“How are they doing? I haven’t seen any of them in a while.”
“The twins are up to more mischief than usual. Bill’s back.”
“That’s good to hear, though. I’m glad they’re happy.”
“I think Hermione may want to come along as well.”
“The more the merrier. I think Sirius is about to climb the walls, being cooped up here with me.”
“Well, he was always the restless type.”
“Any news on Harry?”
“Ron says that the Dursleys are still absolutely wretched.”
“I hope he does get a chance to stop by before school starts.”
“I’m sure he will.”
When Remus sees Harry again, very little has changed. Harry is still angry, and Remus is still quiet. They sit together in front of the fireplace, in the chairs where he and Sirius used to relax together after fighting off dark wizards and an uncooperative house. Harry asks to hear stories about Sirius and his father and their life together at Hogwarts.
Remus tells them.