Above and Beyond

Beyond the Battle (1)

JAMES

“Okay, that’s enough. I think it’s time to hit the hay.”

“Awww, Lilyflower, that’s not fair! One more game. Pleeeease?”

It was now past March and nothing has really changed. After Dobby’s visit, it became clearer to Lily and I and Sirius and Nikki that Harry really had a large support group of people who cared for him and believed in him and it made us a little more confident that he will succeed in what he was planning to do. However, over the past few months, more people continue to arrive, and almost every name shone from the screens in purple. It really was horrifying to see the number of murders that were happening all around the world and people were getting anxious and impatient for it all to stop.

We tried to live everyday normally and not focus on the horrors that were happening on Earth. To make it more natural, Sirius continued nagging Lily and doing things she didn’t want him to do while Nikki and I looked on with amusement. And even though she denies Sirius and his ideas almost every time, Lily loves him, deep down. “No, Sirius! I’m tired. I want to go to bed.”

Sirius snorted, “No you don’t. You just want to read that book by that git Gilderoy Lockfart you got from the library yesterday.”

I laughed quietly with Nikki at the name Sirius had taken to calling Harry’s old teacher. Lily blushed slightly when Sirius guessed her plan correctly, and then composed herself. “So what if I do?” she asked, glaring at him, “and it’s Lockhart, Sirius.”

“But Lils, you can’t go now! We were just about to start a new game!” he whined.

Knowing Sirius like I did, I could guess the game he was planning on playing. I looked at Nikki, who stared back at me warily obviously thinking the same thing. Lily sighed, falling for it, “What game?”

“Strip Poker!”

No!

I decided then that I did not want to watch Lily try to kill my sometimes infuriating, always immature best friend. I also wasn’t really fond of the idea of my best friend playing Strip Poker with my wife. “Padfoot,” I groaned, “just let her go to bed and read her crap.”

“James! It’s not crap.” Lily scolded me, “I know that it’s not true, not to mention completely factually incorrect,”—Sirius, Nikki and I all rolled our eyes— “but it still is a good story.”

I sighed, “Just go Lil, before Sirius starts crying.” We both looked at him, sitting on the floor, having slid out of his chair in over-dramatic misery and staring at the ground. Lily rolled her eyes at him, gave me a kiss on the cheek then went upstairs to read her Lockfart book. Sirius looked up at me hopefully when he heard the bedroom door close. “Do you want to play with me Jamesie? Nikki?”

“No, Sirius!” I burst out, highly disgusted, “I will not play Strip Poker with you!!”

“Neither will I, Siri.” Nikki said, crossing her arms, and looking rather mad.

“We can have a few Firewhiskeys first and then we won’t know what we are doing!”

“No!” Nikki yelled, “Sirius Black, I WILL NOT play a stupid game so that you can use the excuse to see me naked. That’s all you ever think about, and I am so sick of it! It may surprise you to know that women are not just objects that you can mess about with!”

Sirius and I stared at her, shocked at her angry outburst. Sirius had been getting on Nikki’s nerves more then usual over the past month and she seemed to have reach breaking point. I could just imagine all the stupid things he had said to get her in this mood.

“Nik, it was just a joke.” Sirius almost pleaded.

“No, it wasn’t Sirius! You are just as perverted as you were in school and it sickens me!”

“You dated me in school too! You can’t have thought I was that perverted!”

She shook her head, “I tried to ignore it at school. I tried to pretend that you hadn’t been a huge player, sleeping with girls for the fun of it. I pretended to ignore your effing fan club, all because I was in love with you!”

“What? Are you saying you’re not in love with me anymore?” He tried to hide the fact that that idea really hurt him, but I saw through it.

“No, Sirius, I do still love you, but I don’t know if you love me anymore! You seem to be more flirty to other women and distant, and I just don’t know if…”

“If what?”

“Sirius.” She looked up at his face seriously, “I don’t know if I can do this anymore. You just don’t seem to love me, and I don’t want a relationship based on a lie.”

I sucked in a quiet breath. Oh Merlin. Lily was right. They are breaking up. Nikki is breaking up with Sirius. This can not be good. I glanced anxiously at the stairs, but there wasn’t a movement. I wished Lily would come back down, I couldn’t handle it alone. Then again, I was glad Lily was not here for this, I didn’t thinks she could deal with having her fears confirmed.

“It’s not based on a lie!” Sirius was shouting, “How can you say that! You don’t know… you have no idea!”

“No idea of what, Sirius! Of your needs? Of your emotions?” Nikki screamed back, “It doesn’t matter, okay? Because I can’t do this anymore! There is no point in me putting myself through pain if you don’t love me. I may as well get it over with!”

She went to storm out the door, but Sirius caught her hand, and refused to let her go, no matter how hard she tugged and wriggled. “Will you stop saying that?” he said, his voice suddenly quiet, yet still somehow managing to cut through the tension and make the impact a shout would have made.

“What? That you don’t love me? Why? It’s the truth isn’t?”

“NO! It’s bloody not!”

She stared him down, “Sirius, don’t lie to me, I just want the truth.”

“Oh, you want the truth!?” he shouted, “Okay, here’s the truth! I have loved you since you exploded my potion in my face that time in fifth year. Yeah, that’s right I have loved you since then. And when I finally got you to go out with me I was the happiest guy in Hogwarts. And I’m sorry if you thought I flirted with other girls, I’m sorry if my fan club annoyed you. I don’t have any excuses for those things. I was young and stupid. But when you were taken from me, I was heartbroken, Nik. It killed me. I just felt like my heart had been ripped out and put in a goddamned shredder. It took weeks to even get used to the feeling of a hole inside me, the area your presence used to fill.

“I just didn’t feel like me anymore. When you were gone it felt like you had taken all the fun and life out of me with you. But now I’m here with you, and I keep thinking, ‘this is it. We can be together forever here, because there is nothing to stop us, nothing to stand in our way.’” He took a deep breath, looking at her intently. “I don’t know where you got all those silly ideas, but I’ve never stopped loving you Nikki, and I still love you now.”

She stared at him, I stared at him and if Lily was here she would have definitely stared at him. I had never heard him speak like that. It was weird to say the least. I had always thought that Sirius was not one to express his emotions, and he had always supported that theory. Until now, that is.

“But…what about you being so distant? It was almost like you were avoiding me.”

“I was just giving you some space, Nik. I know that it is weird for me to suddenly be here and you didn’t want to go too fast.”

Suddenly, she was laughing, “Not that slow, you sod. I didn’t mean at snail pace.” He laughed with her, trying to hide the intense relief as he hugged her. “So you really do love me, still?” Nikki asked.

“Of course I do! I’ve loved you since I was fifteen, and I always will.” He said, still laughing.

She beamed at him. “I love you too.” She said before he kissed her. I smiled at them, happy that they were still staying together and Lily and I could remain stress-free, but when they were still standing there, kissing after a couple of minutes, I began to get worried.

It was starting to look considerably more intense and there were a lot of roaming hands so I said, loudly, “Alright! If you want to take it further, take it out of my house!”

They laughed, “Okay Prongsie,” Sirius said, dragging Nikki by the hand out the door, “Night!”

I waved, then went to go lie down on the couch, shaking my head. I picked up a very old issue of Quidditch Weekly, realising that I had not finished reading it. I flicked through the pages, trying to find the scores of the last games, but I stopped on a page that was titled, Hogwarts Quidditch: Cup Final review.

It was the review on the Hogwarts Quidditch Cup Finals last year, and I already knew who won, but I read it anyway. It was a rather boring article, yet it one particular paragraph caught my eye.

It was a bad start for the Gryffindor team. They almost seemed at loss with out their captain, Harry Potter, who could not play because he had earned himself a detention and could not get out of it, much to Gryffindor’s frustration. And at first the team seemed to suffer without Potter’s star seeker skills. Yet after about 15 minutes into the match, Gryffindor seemed to get their acts together and played the rest of the match spectacularly…

Stupid Snivellus. I was extremely angry at him for making Harry miss the match. Though, as Dumbledore had pointed out, if Harry hadn’t missed the match, he mightn’t have got up the courage to kiss the girl of his dreams. Ginny Weasley, whose name was mentioned several times in the article because of her incredible flying, was that lucky girl. I also noticed with interest that there was a picture of her after catching the Snitch at then end of the match. She was on her broom, in the middle of the stadium, her arm extended to show the cheering crowd the Snitch. She was very pretty. Her red hair was flying around her face in the wind, her eyes sparkling as she grinned and waved at the camera. Harry certainly knew how to pick ‘em. Something he had obviously inherited from me.

I was just beginning to wonder how Ginny felt about Harry being away on his mission to defeat Voldemort when I looked at the clock, and realised that I had been reading and thinking for almost two hours.

I stood up, and was about to go to bed, when Sirius burst through the door, scaring me so much that I fell back onto the couch. His face disarmed me. It wasn’t grinning as I had come to expect, but an odd mixture of shock, pain and anger. His hair looked quite messy, his shirt was open and his belt was loose. I was immediately worried. Whatever it was must be important if he was missing out on something that I would rather not think about. “Fred Weasley.” He choked out as if it explained his abrupt intrusion.

“What? Sirius, what are you doing back here?”

“Fred Weasley.” He repeated. I was beginning to wonder if he had hit his head.

“What? I have no idea what you’re talking about Sirius!” I yelled, standing up again. “Shouldn’t you be with Nikki?”

“James, what are you yelling about? Oh, Sirius are you still here?” Lily said, coming down the stairs, book in hand.

“No, Lils,” I replied, “Sirius had left ages ago, but he just burst back in here then and now he is talking nonsense.”

“I’m not talking nonsense James!” Sirius yelled, “Fred Weasley is Ron’s older brother! One of the twins. He’s just arrived!”

“What?” Lily burst out, and I wondered randomly how many times that has been said in the past few minutes.

“What do you mean what?” Sirius said. Okay, now he was just saying it to annoy me. “You heard me. Now come on!” He bolted out the door, and Lily and I hurried to follow. Nikki joined us, doing up the top button on her jeans as she ran. We were halfway up to The Diamond Gates when we saw a woman holding a young boy’s hand, walking back down the hill. The boy looked about 16 and he was crying. The woman next to him was murmuring to him, “It’s okay Colin. It will be alright. You are such a brave boy. I know Harry is so grateful that you fought for him, so that You-Know-Who can be defeated…”

I almost stopped and went right up to them, to ask why this young boy was fighting for Harry, but Sirius was still running and I had no time. When we got to the top I could see a man standing there, looking sadly in the boy Colin’s direction. From his look I could tell that he knew him somehow. Then Sirius yelled, “Fred Weasley!”

Fred looked our direction, and upon seeing Sirius, he broke into a big smile. Sirius ran up to him and they hugged. Seeing him closer, I recognized Fred as a Weasely with his bright red hair. I know that both Arthur and Molly were redheads when we knew them from the Order. I also noticed that his face was streaked with falling tears. He clutched onto Padfoot like a lifeline. When they broke apart Fred said, “Well, well Sirius, long time no see. You look younger.”

Sirius chuckled, “it has been a long time Fred. But I wasn’t expecting to see you for at least another 50 years. What happened?”

Fred sighed and shook his head at Sirius, smiling slightly, though it was a hard smile. “Sirius, you know that wherever there are Death Eaters, there is death.”

I heard Lily gasp softly and I suddenly felt an overwhelming pity for Fred. “Death Eaters?” Sirius asked. “And you were fighting them? Was the Order there? Was Harry?”

Fred nodded and opened his mouth to say something, then he noticed me, Nikki and Lily standing there, behind Sirius. He closed his mouth again, and frowned at us. Then he looked back at Sirius. “I don’t think you have introduced me to your friends, Sirius. How rude of you.”

I couldn’t help but smile slightly, and Sirius turned around to look at us, “Oh yeah, sorry guys. Forgot you were there.” He grinned and Lily rolled her eyes at him.

“Thanks Padfoot,” I said sarcastically. He just laughed then said, “Fred Weasley, this is Lily and James Potter.”

Fred walked forward to shake our hands, looking sort of stunned, but smiling, “It’s an honour to meet you.” He said. “I have always wanted to meet you both, well at least since I met Harry.” He grinned, “Though I’m pretty sure most of the Wizarding World does.”

“Why?” Lily asked.

He shrugged, “You’re Harry’s parents. You are the reasons he is still alive, fighting Voldemort. I had the great privilege knowing him well, almost like another brother. I went to school with him, played Quidditch with him, fought with him…for him…” he trailed off, his face falling.

Nikki walked up behind Sirius and gave a small cough. He turned around, “Oh, yeah. And Fred, this is Nikki.”

“M’lady.” Fred said, taking Nikki’s hand and bowing. She giggled and looked at Sirius pointedly.

“See Sirius, this is how you treat a lady.”

He sighed, “Fred, I’m going to have to ask you to step away from my woman. You are raising the standard a little bit too high, I’m afraid.”

Fred grinned and released Nikki’s hand, which Sirius then took firmly. “Your woman, Sirius? I didn’t know you could get such good looking ladies.”

“There is a lot you don’t know about me, Fred.” Sirius huffed indignantly.

“Yeah,” I laughed, “bet you don’t know, Fred, that Sirius was quite into the ladies at Hogwarts.” Sirius and Nikki glared at me for bringing up the touchy subject, but I ignored them, looking at Fred who raised an eyebrow.

“Oh, really?”

“Indeed, I think that he must have hooked up with most of the girls in our grade, except the Slytherins, and at least half in the year below. But, then fateful one day he fell in luuurve, and became a one-woman man.”

“Interesting…” Fred mused, “And who, pray tell, was the unlucky maiden.”

Sirius frowned at him, but Nikki laughed, “That would be me.”

“Oh, high school sweethearts! How romantic.”

“I’ll tell you what’s even more romantic,” Sirius grinned, “once Nikki and I started going out that forced Lily to spend more time with the Marauders because Nikki happened to be one of Lily’s best friends. And incidentally, Lily’s other best friend, Mary, was also dating our buddy Remus, so Lily had to spend time with us because her two best friends were. And this was very convenient for Jamesie, because he had been madly in love with Lily since kindergarten—”

“First year.”

“—and she had been refusing his advances since then, so he was incredibly happy that he could spend more time with her, get more obsessed, and eventually prove that he was actually an okay guy.”

Fred, who had been listening intently during that whole speech, nodded. “Yes, I see. So Lily found out what a good guy James was and finally agreed to go out with him.”

“Yep.” I said, “And the rest is history.” I hugged Lily closer, who wiggled out of they way, smiling.

“Between you and me, Fred,” she stage whispered, “I don’t know what I was thinking. Now I’m stuck with this wanker forever.” Everyone laughed while I pouted.

It was quiet then, until Sirius sighed, and came up behind Fred, putting his arm around his shoulders. “I can’t believe you are here.” He said quietly, “I would have never expected… everyone will be so torn up. Your family will be devastated. And George…well, he’s lost his other half.”

Fred’s eyes filled with tears again as he muttered, “I’ve l-lost mine too.”

“And Harry never wanted you to die Fred, it will kill him. He will think it’s his fault.”

“He didn’t want you to die either, Sirius.” Fred pointed out fairly, “But Voldemort does that to people and everyone they love…Harry knows that all too well. We all knew that. We knew that some people weren’t going to live through it. So many have been lost this year already…” he shook his head, as if to dispel some bad thoughts. Then he looked up at us with a small grin. “Man, Harry owes me for this.”

We laughed, and began walking down the hill. As we walked, we explained to Fred where he was, what it’s like, and everything in between. As I’m sure you can imagine, it took us the whole trip home to explain everything. We all sat down at Sirius’s kitchen table, still talking about family, old times, Hogwarts etcetera and until then, the mood had been relatively light. Of course it was Sirius who ruined it.

“Fred,” he began, “Why are you here? I mean, what is happening down there?”

Fred sighed, “What do you think is happening? We’re fighting. For Harry. For freedom.” We just stared at him in shock. He looked down at the table, as if afraid to see our faces. “Harry, Ron and Hermione arrived at Hogwarts this afternoon.” He said quietly, “It was a bit of a shock. Nobody has seen them for more then nine months! They told us they were there to look for something, something important. We wanted to help, and at first Harry didn’t want us to… he didn’t want to get anymore of us involved or we could get hurt, you know how he is, but eventually he gave in. And because the Death Eaters are at Hogwarts, and have been for the whole year, we had no choice but to fight them. Everybody.”

“Everybody?” Nikki repeated in shock, “As in the school kids as well?”

“No, not all the students, just the older ones, but a lot of younger ones snuck back to fight.”

“Was the Order there?” Sirius asked, “Remus and Kingsley and Tonks? All your family?”

“Yeah,” Fred nodded, “even Ginny. She didn’t go back to Hogwarts after the Easter Holidays because it was getting too dangerous for her. With Ron suspected of being with Harry and just being a Weasley, it wasn’t safe for her anymore. Well, really it hasn’t been safe for any kids unless they are Death Eater children. But when Ginny heard that Harry was back and that we were fighting, she wouldn’t take no for an answer. You know her Sirius, she’s stubborn.” He shook his head sadly, but smiled. “Mum was so mad.”

Sirius laughed, “I’ll bet she was. Did she let Ginny fight?”

“Well, she told her that she had to stay in the Room of Requirement, but I think she knew that Ginny would leave eventually. She is determined, that girl. She won’t give up for anything, especially her friends and family…” he trailed off, and a single tear fell onto the table.

“Fred,” I said, trying to keep his mind off his family, “do you know if Harry found what he was looking for yet?”

He looked up at me in surprise, “No, I-I don’t…” then his eyes narrowed slightly, “You know what he is looking for don’t you.”

“Maybe…”

“How do you know? You guys should know the least!”

I looked at Lily for help, “Dumbledore told us.” She murmured, “he thought we should know everything.”

“Can you tell me?” he asked, suddenly animated, “I’m not down there anymore, and I have wanted to know for almost 10 months.”

I hesitated, “I don’t know…it is really hard to explain.”

“Please? Just briefly. I can only absorb small pieces of information at a time anyway.” He grinned and tapped his head, “my brain was only built to remember jokes and useless, funny facts. It doesn’t hold many serious and important things.”

I grinned back, “I think Sirius would be the person to understand that the most here. His brain does the same thing. Though it doesn’t hold many jokes either. Actually, I’m not sure there’s really anything in there at all.”

Fred laughed and said, “Oh, I know,” and Sirius said, “Hey! You’re mean Prongs.”

I opened my mouth for a witty comeback, but I was interrupted by an unexpected beep. Lily muttered, “Oh no,” while Sirius frowned and got up to go see who it was. Fred turned to me, “Does that mean that someone else has arrived that you knew?”

I nodded, waiting for Sirius to yell or come and get us. I wanted to see who else it was. But it was oddly quiet. “Pads?” Nothing. “Padfoot, who is it?”

It was silent. “SIRIUS!?” Nikki yelled.

“Prongs,” I heard him say, very softly. I got up slowly, but he yelled again before I could even leave the kitchen, a lot louder this time.

“JAMES!!”

I ran into the living room, saying, “Sirius, who-” I stopped suddenly when I caught sight of the name on the screen, I felt like the bottom of my stomach had dropped five feet all of a sudden. The name REMUS LUPIN was glaring at me in purple, and I felt like I couldn’t tear my eyes away.

Then it hit me. Moony.

“LET’S GO!” I roared at Sirius who was still staring at the screen in shock. He turned so quickly that if I had blinked I would have missed it, and we both streamed out the door. I could vaguely hear Lily, Nik and Fred running behind us.

“James!” Lily yelled, “Who was it? What’s going on?”

“It’s Remus!” I shouted back over my shoulder, “It’s Moony!!”

I heard her give a surprised and sad whimper behind me but I was still trying to keep up with Sirius. We had reached the top of the hill and I could see him. He looked not a day older then the last time I saw him. A wave of sadness suddenly crashed over me and I had to stop running for a moment. I watched as Sirius ran right up to him, yelling, “MOONY!!”

He turned around just before Sirius got to him. They embraced fiercely, and it looked like they were both crying from where I stood, still too stunned to move. Tears filled my eyes as I watched my two best friends reunite. They didn’t say anything for a long time. They just stood there, crying, obviously so happy to see each other. “Sirius,” Remus eventually muttered, tears rolling down his cheeks, “It’s so good to see you.”

“You too, Remus,” Sirius replied, “I missed you, mate.”

“It seems like it’s been forever,”

Sirius laughed, “It does, doesn’t it? But it’s only been two years.”

Remus sighed, “I know.” After a few moments he pulled back to look at Sirius, “You look good, Padfoot. Happier…and younger.”

Sirius laughed again, “You know Moony that what I look like on the outside never ever resembles what my brain age my brain is.”

I managed to get a hold of myself then, “Damn right,” I said, as I walked towards them slowly. “Your body may get older Sirius, but I think that you will act like an immature four year old forever.”

Sirius pouted and stuck his tongue out at me, and I smirked at him, then I looked up at the stunned face of my friend who I haven’t seen for 16 years. My throat got choked again. “Hi, Remus.”

“James,” he muttered before giving me a strong hug. I couldn’t keep the tears in and I could tell that Remus was having trouble doing the same. I know we were thinking the same thing. It’s so good to see each other again. It has been such a long time, and we never even got to say goodbye.

“It’s so good to see you,” I said though the blinding tears. “I mean, you shouldn’t be here for a while, but I’m really happy you’re here all the same.” I swallowed heavily, “It’s been too long old buddy.”

He chuckled quietly through his sobs. “Indeed, James. 16 years is a long time. It was so hard…you died, then Sirius was in Azkaban…and I thought Peter…well, I thought I had lost all my friends.”

I closed my eyes, willing myself to keep it together.

“You were the only ones who really accepted me and cared about me and I…I really, really missed you.” Remus whispered, his voice breaking.

“I missed you too Moony,” I muttered, “You have no idea. I missed your big brain, I missed you always reading. I even missed your furry little problem.” I added with a chuckle.

“I’m glad you did.” He said sarcastically.

“Aw c’mon mate, we had fun on those little late-night adventures!”

“I’m sure you did Prongs, it just wasn’t as fun for me.”

I grinned through the tears, it was so good to hear my old nickname coming from him again. After all, he was really the reason we became Animagus in the first place. I pulled back and put my hands on his shoulders. “But seriously Moony, I did really miss you. And I’m so glad you were around for all the years I wasn’t. Someone had help Harry grow up maturely.” We both laughed, and then Lily walked forward.

“Lily!” Remus yelled, grabbing her and pulling her into a hug. “I missed you too. So much.”

But my attention was diverted from Remus’s reunion with Lily and Nikki by Sirius, who was yelling at me, “Hey! I was there to help Harry grow up!”

I rolled my eyes at him, “Yes, Sirius, but I said grow up maturely. And as I recently stated, maturity will always be one of the many things you’re brain struggles to comprehend.” I grinned at him.

He glared at me for a moment, before nodding, seeming to agree with me. Suddenly, Remus grabbed us all into a very random group hug. “My old school friends!” he said happily, tears still pouring down his face. We all laughed, and I, personally completely agreed with him. Finally I had all the people I loved most in the entire world with me again. Well, not everyone, and I knew I had to wait a long time for that final person. But right now, I could well be the happiest person in Above.

We stood there, still crying, but smiling madly for what seemed to be a forever. But a small, impatient cough soon interrupted us, and we all turned to look at the moment-ruiner.

He was smiling slightly, “Sorry to break up the little reunion, but I would also like to see your friend, not that it has been a very long time.”

I looked Remus who was stared for a long moment in shock. “Fred…” He sounded like he was finding it very hard to speak, “not you too.” before giving him a hug.

“It seems so, Remus.” Fred muttered. They just stood, seeming too shocked to say anything for the moment. They eventually stepped back and just looked at each other.

“I can’t believe this,” Remus muttered sadly, tears still in his eyes, “I can’t imagine the Weaselys without you, Fred. And George. It just won’t be the same.”

Fred sniffed slightly, “I know, but I died for Harry and for Hogwarts, and I know that is a great way to go.”

“They will be so proud of you.” Remus smiled gently, “Everyone. But you know Harry, he will think it’s his fault. He will take the blame.”

“I know, but that’s just him. Plus, when he finds out you’re gone too, Remus, he will be torn up. He loves you, you know.” Fred added quietly.

A few more tears fell from Remus’s light brown eyes. He looked down, mumbling, “I-I know. I just hope he knows that I love him too.”

“And Tonks…she won’t know what happened. She will be heartbroken, mate.”

Remus gave a small sob, and Nikki moved next to him and gave him a comforting hug.

“She was so worried about you. She couldn’t stay at home, she said, not knowing… she tried to find you but—”

Remus’s head jerked up. “Wait! She was there? At Hogwarts?” he groaned softly, “I told her to stay home, with Teddy. She should have stayed safe. I wanted him to have at least one parent…”

“Well, really Moony, what did you expect?” Sirius cut in, “Fiery girl like Tonks. She would never have been happy to just sit at home waiting. That’s just not like her.”

“I know, I just didn’t want to worry about her as well. I was already worried for Harry and Hermione, and all of the Weasleys, and look how that turned out. I just didn’t want to have to think about her, and what I would lose, what she would lose, if I didn’t come home.” He gave a strangled sob again, Lily was also crying, though silently. Even Fred’s cheeks were awash with tears. It saddened me also, to realise that Sirius was right—you have no idea how rare that is—and that Tonks was the one for Remus, but that happiness and love was so short lived.

We all stood in silence, not knowing what to say. Eventually, Remus managed to calm himself down and he looked up at me, his eyes still leaking the occasional tear, but smiling slightly, “So,” he said, “Tell me about this place.”


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