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It Cannot Last

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I'm almost hesitant to voice the sentiment out loud in case that somehow has ill effects, but I think that I am content with my life thus far.

I would be happy purely based upon the fact that I have survived the war, really. Ever since telling Albus Dumbledore that I would fight for his cause – ever since packing up my things and moving back to England – I have been able to sense my impending death just around the corner. To have that weight lifted from me is the epitome of joy. What they say about living every day as if it's your last isn't at all true; it's only now that I feel like I can properly enjoy life again.

My life for the last few months has been nothing but celebration and spending time with the people I love. Shockingly, my entire immediate family has been left untouched by the war. Well, we have all been affected in some way by what happened in those few years of merciless fighting and desperation. But we are still all alive, which is enough for me. Whatever problems we have to face now are insignificant in the face of that.

More particularly, I also have a lovely wife who is still not only living but also vibrant. We even have a child on the way. Some people frowned on us for getting married and daring to consider having a family in the midst of wartime. They said it wasn't a good idea, that children were a distraction. That would get us killed, they said, and then where would the poor children be?

I look at Harry, who is now as much a brother to me as Fred or Ron or the others. I know that he was one of those children they were referring to. It's all about Harry Potter in the end, after all. And they are right in part. Harry had an awful childhood. But whether they left him alone in those early years or not, Lily and James Potter still brought him into the world. The wizarding world would have been a much darker place without him in it, I think. I personally would have hated to never have known him. He may only be twenty years old, but he's already one of the best men I know, and he's certainly made a mark on the world.

When you can't be sure you'll live to see the end of the war, there's no point in delaying things until it's over. And even if I died and left my child to be raised alone by Fleur, who doesn't take such an active role in the war, I would at least have left my mark in the world. I imagine that, like Harry, my children will in some way make a difference; the world will be a better place because they are in it.

That worry is over now, though. And I watch Fleur's abdomen swell with pride and happiness. Had it not been for Fleur, I doubt I would ever have had children. I may once have been handsome enough to attract women, but that time has long passed.

Fleur says my appearance doesn't matter to her, though, and I'm inclined to believe her. Her eyes proclaim that it's not a lie, that she loves me despite my scars.

And I love her. That is perhaps the greatest contributor to my contentment of all.

But I know that it cannot last.

I know this not in the way that a man might suspect in the back of his mind that he'll eventually grow disillusioned at being tied down, or will grow tired of his wife's personality. I know it because even now, barely three years into my marriage, we are at the beginning of the end.

The worst thing is that she doesn't actually know it yet.

She doesn't know that when we make love it's not always her I'm seeing. Her face, ever flawless and beautiful though it may be, becomes another's. Those are the times that I cling to her afterwards to remind myself forcefully that I am with her, and that I want to be with only her. Those are the times that I bite down on my lip so hard I have to check for blood afterward so that there is no chance I'll call out another person's name.

Those are also the times I question my sexuality, because it's not a woman I unwillingly fantasise about.

I know the reason for it. I know that something deep within me – the same instinct that draws the need for blood and an animalistic wildness from me as the full moon nears – recognises him as kin, my kind. That doesn't make it any easier to justify to myself that I want him in all possible ways, though.

I know I shouldn't. I can't help it.

I dream of cornering him after dinner when we're all invited around to Mum's place – quite a common occurrence these days. I imagine how I will trap him against the wall and lick every inch of his face and neck until he begs me to just kiss him already. And then as I penetrate his needy mouth with my tongue I'll divest him of his clothing, not caring that anyone could walk in on us at any minute, even Fleur.

I'll bite over every inch of him, not caring that Tonks will see the marks later and know what we've done. I sink my teeth into his surprisingly toned bicep until the coppery tang of blood fills my mouth and undoes me. And unlike Fleur, he will not complain. He'll beg for more, because he'll understand the need that's inside me. He feels it too.

His breathy moans will undo me until I can barely stop to think about what I'm doing. I won't properly remember our first time. I'll be in over my head, and I'll love it. But I'll beg him through the haze of want to fuck me hard, and he'll understand that I mean harder than he would dare to fuck Tonks if she asked the same of him. I'm resilient. Not as resilient as he is, but I can still take it.

When I come, it'll be his name that I call out.

"Remus!"

And that will be the first time I've felt completely unguarded during orgasm since Fenrir Greyback first attacked me at Hogwarts.

When I realise that, it's not just my sexuality I worry about.

I find it hard to look at Remus when we're near now. I'm certain that if our eyes met he would see my wants and needs bared before him like a buffet, and I'm not certain that he would want it just yet. He seems happy with Tonks.

But that won't last either. It can't. For all that the recent werewolf rights campaigns declare otherwise, we aren't exactly the same as them. We have needs that can only be fulfilled by others of our kind.

I hate to think of how he's coped over the last several decades. He's been alone with his condition probably for as long as he can remember. I wouldn't have been able to stand it. I'm finding it hard enough after just a few years, with him right there to help me through things if I need it. And I'm not even a full werewolf.

I know that I can't possibly last much longer like this. I know that I'll need to take that extra step in his direction soon enough or risk driving myself mad with want.

And yet if I admit as much now, my life as I know it is already as good as over. I must at least make an effort to stay on track. I want to be there when my child is born and have Fleur look at me afterwards with awe rather than disgust in her eyes. I want my son or daughter to know me as he or she grows up.

It doesn't matter that I know that I will eventually fail. It doesn't matter that I know something is missing from my life. At this stage I can push that knowledge to the back of my mind where it will not make a difference. I'll live this life as long as I can.

For now I am a happily married man. I am content.

I must be.

~FIN~