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Marauder's End

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The war was over, they had won. But at what price came victory? What had they given up to get to this point? Their innocence. What had they lost? Their lives.

Families had been torn apart, friendships destroyed, leaving nothing but memories behind; memories of persons that should still be alive, but they are not.

Today they celebrate; today Voldemort is gone. Tomorrow they can mourn: tomorrow they can heal.

Just not today.

The rain was pouring from the sky.

A rat ran as fast as he could through the sewers. Once he had been human; once he had been Peter Pettigrew. Once he had friends; now he's just a rat – a traitor. He ran as fast as he could, to get away from what he had done: so he wouldn't have to remember the friends he had betrayed.

Not to think of Prongs, once so strong now dead. Not to think of Padfoot, once so full of life, now buried alive in Azkaban. Especially not to think of Moony, the one true friend who would have never betrayed, betrayed by all. Especially him.

Moony would be all alone now; the only friend he truly has is the one he believes is the traitor. He was never going back; couldn't go back, couldn't face his mistakes, could never accept what he'd done. With one act, one simple small act, he had destroyed the marauders, a brotherhood. He wasn't strong enough to face that, would never be strong enough to face that.

So he ran, as the rat he was, the traitor he was, the coward he was. He ran as fast and as far as he could. He ran so he would not have to face what he'd done, not have to think of the friend he'd killed, not have to think of the one paying for his crime.

The rat – Wormtail now, never Peter again, ran through the sewers.

All alone.

The rain kept pouring from the sky.

Far, far from where the rat ran, sat a dog in his cell, all alone; trying not to remember, not to think about it. But it was impossible not to. He could never forget Prongs; never forget the dead look in his eyes; never forget what he saw: his brother, lying dead. He just sinks on his knees, knowing he has done this, knowing it is his fault.

Best friend turned traitor, that's what everyone will think. They all believe it was him; he who betrayed Potters. That he had destroyed it all, but he hadn't. He hadn't betrayed them, yet it was all his fault. If only he had seen, if only he had realized, if only he hadn't switched places with Peter. If he hadn't done that, they'd still be here, Lilly and James Potter would be by his side, they'd be alive.

His fault. His own fault.

Tries not to think of Moony, one of the best friends he's ever had, one of the best friends he'll ever have. He who had never betrayed, never even thought of it, not trusted by any of them, betrayed by all. How could he have been so stupid? How could he not have seen?

The dog howled at the full moon, long and painful howls, trying not to remember a better time, not so long ago. When four best friends ran in the forbidden forest together – dog, stag, werewolf and rat. Together they had the time of their lives.

They believed they'd live forever; they didn't.

And still the cold rain kept pouring down.

Hours turn to days, days spent in a daze alone in his apartment; didn't want to leave, didn't want to see the happiness. Alone, is what he is. Alone is what he'd always known he would be; always thinking he'd die first; never thinking he'd die last. He buries his face in his hands, thinking of what he once was, thinking of who he once was: Moony one of the Marauders. Not anymore. The Marauders were no more, he was the only one left, nobody left to call him Moony, nobody left to remember with him.

Dumbledore came every day, to make sure he still lived. He didn't want to live. He had nothing left, all alone, a nobody. Black – not Sirius, not Padfoot, not Padfoot ever again, had taken everything from him; everything he ever had, everything he ever wanted. Best friend turned traitor, how did he miss it all? There was nothing he could do about it now. He had missed the signs, and he had paid the price. He hears Dumbledore talk, but the words never register, nor do the movements he makes, until he realizes he stands on his feet. He wants to protest. He doesn't want to go out, but he has no strength left to fight anymore, no strength to do a thing.

He doesn't realize where they are going, until they ever arrived. He didn't want to go to Hogwarts, Dumbledore doesn't seem to care. Everyone he knows, everyone that had fought on their side was there, and he doesn't know what they want from him. He just wants to get away, turn around and run and never, ever look back. But he has no more strength and nobody left to help him; he is all alone now, he can't fight anymore. His knees give in and he falls to the ground, buries his face in his hands and cries, cries for all he has lost, he cries for the Marauders.

He cries for the once so strong Marauders, who had fallen and never gotten up again.

They all watched. They watched as the once so strong Remus Lupin – strongest of all the Marauders, he who had suffered the most, he who could handle everything – they watched as he crumbles and falls. And they want to help, they truly do; but before any of them can move, someone is already there. The least expected. Everyone watches as Severus Snape – once enemy of the Marauders – walked towards him, sat down beside him, and just placed a hand on his shoulder.

And there they sat, once enemies now together, grieving. They were not friends, never would they be friends, but for one second they sat together, for one second they lived on the same page.

And yet the cold rain still kept pouring down.

Somewhere up in heaven two persons looked down, Prongs and Lilly, who had once lived. He had belonged to the marauders, destined to be friends forever, yet now they were torn apart. All because one mad man had decided to start a war, a war they had won and yet they had lost. It pains him to look down and see the mess that is left behind. His eyes narrow and blaze in anger as he watches the rat run from the mess he himself created, from the pain he left behind. He watches his best friend, all alone in a jail cell, completely lost.

And he can't do anything else but watch as Remus crumbles to the floor and cries. He has never seen him cry, not once, and all he wants to do is go down and hug him, tell him everything will be okay. He can't do it, he is dead after all. He watches, it's all he can do, watch as the once so strong Marauders crumble and fall apart, and there is nothing he could do, nothing anybody could do. The war was over, they had won, but the price they paid had been high.

In the end they had lost, every single one of them.

The war was over, they had won.

The price they paid however was high. Many lives lost in the battle, many loved ones left behind. There is no way to turn back time and changed what happened, they couldn't go back. All they had left are memories.

Memories they hope will never fade.

The cold rain kept pouring down, it wouldn't stop, it hadn't stopped, not since the war had ended.

A rat ran through the sewers, once known as Wormtail, once known as Peter, now just a rat, like so many others. A rat, a coward, a traitor.

A dog sat in his cell, once known as Padfoot, once known as Sirius, now a believed traitor. All alone he sits there, nothing left but memories, painful memories he can't stop remembering.

A werewolf sat all alone in the shack, howling in pain and agony, screaming for the friends he had once had. Nobody would come tonight; there would be no dog, no stag, no rat. Nobody was left to come to him. Once he had been Moony, now he was nobody.

A stag looked down from heaven and watched it all, unable to help, unable to do a thing; all he can do is watch. Watch as what had taken them years to build, came crashing down.

All while the rain keeps pouring down.

The war was over, they had won.

Sometimes Remus wishes they hadn't won. Sometimes he wishes they were still at war. At least then his friends were by his side, at least then he was not alone. He wishes he could go back, but time can not be turned around, one can never go back.

What had they lost? Everything they ever had. What had they given up? Their lives. Sometimes he wishes he was dead as well, at least than they'd be together. Sometimes he wants to end it, but he doesn't have the courage to. He's a coward and he knows it.

They – the marauders – had given up everything they had so the world would be at peace, but nobody would remember them.

And still it didn't stop raining.

The rat sat all alone in the sewers, far away from other rats. He had no desire to make friends, knowing he didn't deserve them. Tears fell from his eyes, as he remembered what he'd done, what he'd lost. He cried for the friends he once had, the same friends he had betrayed.

The dog – now human – sat all alone in his cell, tears escaping from his eyes, crying is something he hardly ever did in his life. Now he can't stop, he cried for all he had lost, for the friends he once had, for not seeing the truth, he cried for the mistakes he made.

The werewolf sat all alone in his apartment, staring out the window, tears running down his cheeks. All alone, just like he'd always known he'd someday be, but had never been able to face. Everybody was gone, he cries for the only friends he's ever had, the same ones he had lost, he cries for the lost Marauders.

Somewhere far away, in Number four Privet Drive; far away from everyone else, a young baby boy cries. He had been crying for days, and nobody could stop him, nobody could calm him down. He cried for the things that had always been there, but he couldn't fin now, and he can't understand. He's too young to understand. He cries so hard, and never once stopped; it almost seemed as if he knew what he'd lost.

Somewhere up in heaven two souls look down, tears running silently down their cheeks, tears that turn to rain that poured down on earth. Tears from heaven.

The war was over, they had won, but what had been the price? Their innocence. What had they given up to get to this point? Everything they had. What had they lost? Their lives, their futures.

Families torn apart, friendships destroyed. Memories were all that was left, memories of persons who should be alive, but were not. Strong friends that turned against each other, betrayed each other, nothing was left of them, not anymore. Families torn apart, lives destroyed, futures ruined, and all because of one mad man.

The war was over, they had won, but the price had been very high.

If they had known back in August when they had all sat around the table just laughing at silly jokes, remembering better times at Hogwarts. If they had only known back then that that would be the last time the four of them would be together, the last time they would trust each other fully, maybe they would have said goodbye; but they didn't know, so they never said a word.

And if they had known, years ago, on that last night in the dormitory, when they tried to picture the rest of their lives; if they had known back then the future that awaited them; if they had known the tragedies that lied ahead; perhaps they would have never left the safety of Hogwarts. But they didn't know, so they did.

The war was over, they had won. They should be happy but they are not. The price had been high, too high perhaps; so many lives had paid the price.

Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs, once so strong friends now torn apart. Nothing remained of who they had once been, of who they thought they'd be, of who they thought they were. Nothing left but memories that would eventually fade, until eventually they would someday disappear, until nobody remembers who they even are. The only reminder that they had lived, the only reminder that their friendship had been real, lied in a map hidden away in a drawer.

The war was over, they had won, but the price had been high.

It had cost them their innocence, their lives, their future.

It had cost them the Marauders.