Don't let me darken your door
That's not what I came here for
No it's not what I came here for
A knock startles Remus out of his own mind.
He had been sitting in front of the fire in his old run down cottage, attempting to read, but his mind had kept wandering. Tonight was the final task of the Triwizard Tournament. He would have gone, had wanted to go to support Harry, to protect him, to see him and tell him it’s all going to be okay, but the full moon was the previous night and he is still feeling shaky.
Although, Dumbledore had instructed Snape to provide Remus with the Wolfsbane potion free of charge even after Remus left Hogwarts, Snape, unfortunately, did not always deign to do so. And so, for June’s full moon, Remus had suffered alone and in agony, trapped in his own basement, clawing and ripping at his own skin in a desperate attempt to sate his own thirst for sweet flesh and hot blood.
The knocking comes again, hesitant. Knuckles rap a stuttered rhythm on the weather beaten wooden front door. With his werewolf hearing, Remus can almost hear the peeling red paint flake off in chips beneath those bony knuckles and float like snowflakes to the gravel pathway beneath.
Inhaling the smoky scent of the crackling firewood, Remus stands. His wand dangles loosely from his right hand. He hopes he won’t need it. He doesn’t think he will. He has enough defensive spells and enchantments around the cottage to keep away anybody who would intend to cause him harm. Yet, harm can be caused without any intention at all. Remus has learnt that well enough in his lifetime.
Remus makes his way quickly and stealthily to the door, mere feet from his worn green armchair in front of the fire. The person, whoever they are, has ceased knocking now. They are simply waiting. As if they hadn’t already done enough waiting.
Silently, Remus waves his wand over the door, undoing his enchantments, unlocking it with an unspoken Alohamora until it creaks open ominously.
In the doorway stands a dark figure.
His grey eyes gleam in the reflection of the almost full moon in the sky above.
Sharp green eyes stare back.
With that, Remus steps back into the room, holding the door open to this expected guest, and Sirius puts one foot uncertainly into the room.
“Moony,” he whispers, his voice cracking.
A frown of slight confusion appears between Remus’s eyes and he closes them momentarily.
“No, Moony. Remus. It’s him, it’s Voldemort,” Sirius relates in a detached voice, “He’s back. Properly back. Harry saw him tonight. They tried to kill him. He saw James, Remus.”
At this, something in Sirius’s eyes flickers and his lip wobbles. His voice cracks a second time and he falters before gathering himself again.
“Dumbledore told me to find you. I don’t mean to intrude,” he says.
Remus sighs. “Sirius, you could never intrude. Don’t be an idiot.”
The echo of a fond smile flickers between them.
And I won't hear you cry when I'm gone
I won't know if I'm doing you wrong
I never know if I'm doing you wrong
Time seems to freeze as he falls back towards the Veil.
Shock had rendered the scene silent, like a photo, animated but soundless.
Around him, blasts of coloured light dance in the darkness of this vast chamber. His peripheral vision takes in reds and greens and oranges and blues, all spraying forth like fireworks. All flying, all moving, but him. He is frozen. His body has become numb, paralysed in every way. He can still feel the manic grin on his mouth, his lips stretched wide and his teeth on show, muscles in his cheeks aching as they lift in an expression that has recently rarely been used.
Except for with Moony of course.
His eyes, the only mobile part of him, flicker urgently to him. To him. To Remus. There he is, standing, clutching at Harry, his face turned toward Sirius.
It is in his eyes.
His hazel green eyes stretched wide in fear, and in loss and resignation.
It is Remus’s eyes that tell Sirius he was gone.
A constant reminder of where I can find her
A light that might give up the way
Is all that I'm asking for
without her I'm lost
But my love, don't fade away
Remus lies in a bed, what bed, some bed, not a bed. It is a floor, a den, an underground cave in the back of some broken down building block and eerie snuffles and snarls fill the air and black mould gathers in the corners and Remus’s joints crack as he stretches on the stony ground.
His dreams are fading fast, like they always do.
Sirius’s face, youthful and glowing, fiery and emotional, and dramatic and open.
The colour seep out of the image. Sirius’s face becomes older and duller, sadder and bluer, but none the less dramatic.
Sirius floats away into darkness. Like he always does.
So I watched the world tear us apart
A stoic mind and a bleeding heart
You never see my bleeding heart
A memory of old:
They always say wars raged but this one didn’t. Do wars ever rage? Do they rage with anger and heat, white hot and red and colour and flame? Or do we just say they do? Do we just say wars are warm colours to console ourselves? To forget the reality of the coldness?
Because wars are cold. Wars are fear and emptiness and loss and betrayal and greys and blacks and blues and darkness.
Wars creep along slowly, like a snake in the cool misty dawn, slithering and slippery and silent, so silent you don’t even notice until suddenly you realise that you are questioning your every move. You are keeping quiet and you are mistrusting your closest friends. Suddenly, the man lying next to you is a stranger.
Suddenly, blood runs cold and hearts freeze.
Emotions are best kept well away from sleeves.
And your light's always shining on
And I've been travelling oh so long
I've been travelling oh so long
It’s later. It is so much later. And life has changed, but life has not changed at the same time.
Remus is walking. He’s been walking for hours and he knows it’s not safe. Not in these times. He wonders whether it will ever be safe, whether it has ever been safe.
But maybe that’s for the best. Despite what Harry has said, despite what Dora has insisted and what Molly has cajoled. Remus doesn’t think he is good enough for her. He could not save Sirius. Who on this godforsaken earth would think he is good enough for a wife and child?
He feels old. And tired. He’s been walking for so long. He’s been running for so long. Hiding, then fighting, surviving, living. His fire has run out, Remus thinks, ‘my fire has run out’.
With a laugh, he turns his head up towards the sky.
Up there, Sirius is shining on.
A constant reminder of where I can find her
Light that might give up the way
Is all that I'm asking for without her I'm lost
Oh my love don't fade away
Oh my love don't fade away
In the midst of the battle, Remus is still thinking of him. As the castle crumbles beneath his feet and walls are blasted to smithereens, Remus can’t help remembering moments.
Covering that classroom in toilet roll.
Frantic kissing in that deserted corridor.
The iciest, most painful argument of his life in that stairwell.
And as he reaches his hand out to pull a blond-haired student out of the way of a falling block, it hits him.
His vision is green green green.
But then it fades back to Black.