I Love You More than Myself Part One

Chapter 72

"If I had a rose for every time I thought of you, I'd be picking roses for a lifetime."-Swedish Proverb

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*Remus's POV*

The day of the last O.W.L. is a beautiful one. So beautiful.

"All right, everyone. Quills down!" Professor McGonagall calls at the front of the Great Hall. Several people clap as the scrolls are whisked off our desks and into McGonagall's arms. "Congratulations, everyone. You're officially done with the O.W.L.s." The whole hall breaks out into applause and cheering. I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders as we file out of the Great Hall and back up to the common room. Even the dreary, rainy weather can't dim our high spirits.

Sirius whoops down the hallway, throwing his papers and scrolls about, screaming: "I'm out of here, bitches!" James and Peter walk slightly behind, talking excitedly about their new found freedom. Tonks and I lag behind, hands intertwined. She beams, breathing slow and even, watching the others. I can't take my eyes off of her.

"Feel good?" I ask, nudging her.

"I think," she says, sighing. She turns and looks at me. "You?"

"I'm confident," I admit. "Although it won't do much for me."

"Don't say that," she urges, giving me a saucy look. "We're not giving up. On anything. Your career, the war, us. Not going to happen."

"We never will."

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The end of year ball is spectacular, as always. This year, it's even better because we fifth-years feel as if we deserve it. We worked our asses off for months, and now we just get to dance the night away; the lights twinkling overhead, the music, the pretty dresses and charming tuxes.

Sirius took Scarlet again this year. I've been suspicious about the two of them for months now, and I would say my suspicions have been confirmed. James accompanied a girl on his Quidditch team named Eva. She's pretty, but they don't seem to be having a good time. James was pretty upset again this year because Lily went with Dean. Again. Lydia went with Bennett, and Peter went alone. Poor chap will never get a date.

I could dance with Tonks for the rest of my life and still be content. I love the feeling of her body against mine; her heat, her shape. We sway in time to the music; we fit together like a puzzle piece and know what the other is going to do before they do. We're a perfect fit for each other.

We end the night on the couch together. James and Peter went to bed already, and Sirius is out in the castle somewhere with Scarlet. The common room is empty, the fire slowly dying. I have my tux draped across the back of the couch, and my white button-up is open, revealing my scarred chest. Her curled, shiny brown hair flows across my body, her head nestled in the crook of my elbow. Her puffy black dress takes up the whole end of the couch. It even invades where my feet should be. But, I don't really care; she looked gorgeous in it. I couldn't take my eyes off her glowing, beautiful figure. Her eyes alive and sparkling, her smile shiny and white. I love seeing her all dressed up once a year. She looks like a goddess, and I can't get enough of it. I don't know how she's comfortable, all the scratchy fabric and beads on her body.

I think she's asleep, her breathing slow, peaceful, and even. I watch her, her long, elegant eyelashes laying lightly on her face, her arms draped over her chest. She moves in her sleep, letting out a long sigh, subconsciously nuzzling deeper into my arm. I smile down at her, my mind wandering.

I would marry this stunning woman in a heartbeat. I've been in love with her since the day I met her, almost five years ago. I know most people don't believe in love at first sight, but I most certainly do. I can still see clearly in my head the little 11 year-old girl offering her hand for me to shake.

The thing is, would she want to marry me? Would she want to dedicate her life to a poor lycanthrope like myself? I don't know who would. But, I can't see ourselves growing old with anyone but each other. What does the future have in store for us?

I sigh, placing my arm under my head as sleep starts to overcome me. I need to stop thinking about the future. I need to live in the moment, this moment. My beautiful girlfriend curled up at my side, O.W.L.s done, my wonderful friends.

"Goodnight," I mutter groggily to sleeping girlfriend, closing my eyes contently.

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The day I return home for summer break isn't a good one. Kevin comes to the train station to pick us up with our parents, and the feuding begins almost immediately. Oliver and Kevin get in a shouting match in the car, over me of course. I sit quietly, trying very hard to ignore them, staring out the window at the countryside flying by. Libby sits next to me, twiddling her thumbs. Everyone is so concentrated on Kevin and Oliver that no one even thinks to ask her how her first year went.

When we arrive home, I lock myself in my room and write a letter to Tonks. I vent about the entire day, and tell her how much I've cried. I want so badly to be out of this family, out of this house. I want to be 18, ready to leave and go off on my own; marry Tonks, have kids, have a job of my own. I just want out of this hellhole I'm in.

The afternoon wears on into the night, but I can't bring myself to go to sleep. The whole house is silent, my parents and siblings fast asleep. The sounds of summer in full swing can be heard out my open window; the creek, the crickets, the wind whistling through the leaves on the trees. A breeze drifts in, ruffling my light brown hair, and cooling my sweaty face.

I get up from my desk, where I am reading a book on defense against Grindylows, and change into a comfortable pair of sweats. I throw my ratty t-shirt to the ground and leave it there, flopping down on my bed and burying my face in my pillow. I lay there for several minutes, just existing, listening to the comforting sounds of the outside world. Suddenly, I hear a loud thump and a curse from Oliver's room down the hall. I sit up slowly, cocking an eyebrow. What could he be doing up at this hour?

I slide out of bed and peek out my door down the hall, trying to be as quiet as I possibly can. Indeed, the light is on in Oliver's room, and I can see a shadow moving about in it. I pad quietly down the hall and knock softly on the door. The clamor immediately stops on the inside.

"Who is it?" Oliver calls.

"Remus," I say, leaning up against the doorframe. "What the hell are you doing?"

The door swings open. Oliver grabs my shoulders and throws me inside, quickly shutting the door again. I stumble and grab his dresser for support.

"What do you want?" Oliver asks angrily, strutting past me and over to his bed.

"What's your matter?" I ask, walking over to see what he is doing. My jaw drops open when I see an open suitcase laying there, already half-filled with his possessions. I look around the room and see all his dresser drawers have been open and emptied. Things lay strewn about, all his Hogwarts stuff, all his clothes. I turn back to the frantic figure of my brother, horrified. "What's going on?"

"We're running away," he says, refusing to meet my eyes as he throws a pair of jeans into the suitcase.

"Who's we?"

"Me and Alisa," he explains. "I can't stay here any longer."

"You're running away?" I ask in disbelief. This can't be happening.

"Yep," he assures me. "Far away. We're going to get married."

"Oliver, you can't-"

"Yes I can!" he practically shouts. He freezes, his hands bracing the sides of the suitcase. He stares down, almost shaking with anger. "I have to leave."

"Take me with you," I beg, a sudden idea coming to mind. "Please."

"I can't, Remus," he says, still not moving. "We have to go out on our own."

"You can't leave me here alone," I plead. Oliver resumes his frantic packing.

"Remus, you'll be off to Hogwarts again in two months," he says.

"A whole two months, Oliver," I retort, my voice breaking. He stops and looks at me, his face softening. "What if you two get hurt? There is a war going on, you know."

"I'll protect her," he says, his grip on the suitcase relaxing. "Nothing will happen to us."

"Oliver, you're the only person I have here," I plead. "You can't leave me."

"Remus, I have to," he says, somewhat sadly. "I have to leave. I can't take anymore of our family's bullshit with lycanthropy and 'mixing bloods.' I can't take another minute of it."

A tear leaks out of my eye and down my cheek as I look with him in disbelief.

"Whenever you graduate, you can do the same," he explains, trying to comfort me. "You and Tonks can run off and get married and have a happy life. You can forget about this part of your life. You can move on. It's just my time. I have to go."

I don't say anything as I watch him pack up the last of his possessions, slowly closing his suitcase with a snap. He stares down at it for a moment, deep in thought. He reaches for his pocket and hands me an envelope.

"This is for Mom and Dad," he explains. I take it, not daring to look at it. "It'll explain everything."

Again, I don't speak; I don't think I can. Oliver looks up at me curiously, his eyes about to spill over with tears.

"This is it, brother," he says, opening his arms to me.

"I can't believe you're leaving," I say, throwing myself into my big brother's hug.

"This isn't goodbye," he says, patting my back in a comforting way. "I'll see you again, I promise."

"When?"

"I don't know," he admits. We break and he just looks at me, pain riddling his face. "Good luck with your girl. I know you two are going to be very happy together."

"Thanks," I say, my voice breaking again.

"Tell Libby that I love her, and that I'm sorry for leaving her."

"I will," I promise.

"And to you, little brother, I'm sorry the most. I know how hard it's going to be. Just never give up."

"I won't," I vow, placing the note inside my pants pocket. He looks at me one more time before picking up his suitcase.

"Goodbye," he says, a tear leaking out of his eye. "I love you, brother."

"I love you, too," I mutter, wiping away another tear with the heel of my hand.

With a crack, he's gone.

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Weeks pass with no word from Oliver. When my parents first found out, they were furious. They wouldn't let any of us read the letter he wrote them; apparently it said some pretty nasty stuff, stuff I would probably agree with.

I've never felt more alone or scared. I can't bring myself to come out of my room and participate in life. I sit on my bed all day, reading, writing letters, practicing spells. I didn't even get excited when my O.W.L. results came back, telling me I earned an O.W.L. in Defense Against the Dark Arts, several O's, E's, and one A. I couldn't bring myself to celebrate as Tonks did in the letter she wrote me when she got her scores back. She got O.W.L.s in Charms, Transfiguration, Potions, and Defense Against the Dark Arts. She did exceptionally well, putting her on the fast track to achieve her goal of Auror.

Besides from that wonderful news, the summer is fairly quiet. I barely get any letters from James and Sirius, but in one I heard that Sirius was moving into the Potter's house. Apparently, he ran away from home and the Potters took him in. He's tired of his family life, too, I suppose.

Not having Oliver in the house is like having a hole in your stomach. I feel empty and alone; sitting at the dinner table, going out, anything that's being done with the family. Yes, I prefer sitting locked up in my room, my books and letters to keep me company.

With all this going on, the war continues to worsen by the day. People being killed, tortured, captured. Lord Voldemort's followers are gathering, becoming stronger and more confident every day. The Ministry is doing their best to keep it all under control, but even some of their people are getting attacked; Aurors are dropping like flies. The rumor is that Hogwarts is the only safe place left. Maybe it finally is.

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Hey guys! Transition chapter, I know! ;p I hope it was a good transition chapter though! ;)

So that's all I have to say! Have a lovely weekend! PLEASE REMEMBER TO LEAVE A REVIEW! I will love you forever if you leave a review! I will send you your own personal mini-Remus! Or Sirius! You choose! (Gosh, how I wish those were real!)

xoxo

Ps, Any Shane Dawson fans out there?! His Christmas music video came out earlier today. It was AMAZING. I've never cried at a YouTube video before, but I bawled at this one! And the song I soooo fantastic! It's been stuck in my head all day! If you want to check it out, it's called "Maybe this Christmas." (:

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