Remus' thoughts and fleeting memories. Post Order of the Phoenix.
By The Way
12 Grimmauld Place was, and never had been a happy place. Maybe the Christmas before, when it was filled with cheery, celebrating members of the Order it had, for once in its long and dark life let in a little light but now the shadows had crept in, the cold had worked its way back through the cracks and crevices to chill the rooms. Remus Lupin sat in the half light, only the faint glow of a flicking street lamp outside the window breaking the shadows that decorated his pale face. There was a soft tap and slowly he stood up, walking, almost stiffly and opening the door to see Albus Dumbledore standing on the landing.
His silver hair sparkled slightly in the darkness as the light bounced gently from his half-moon spectacles. He looked increasingly grave as he looked at Remus, his light blue eyes picking up on every strand of already prematurely greying hair.
"I'm about to lock Sirius' room Remus." Dumbledore told the former teacher quietly "I suggest that if you wish to fetch anything you do that now."
Remus nodded, not looking up at the wizard, afraid that, as always his eyes would give him away.
"Call me when you're ready." Dumbledore told him simply, before sweeping back down the stairs, probably to tell Tonks, the only other occupant of the morbid house, not to disturb him.
Sirius' old room was littered with random objects. He'd never really understood the uses of wardrobes and the few clothes he'd managed to acquire during his short stay at his childhood home were scattered across the floor and draped over the chair by the window. Pieces of dusty parchment, covered in Black's swirling handwriting were sprawled everywhere, lying over tattered school books from their time at school. He'd lost most of his old possessions when Lily and James had been killed and then more when he'd gone to Azkaban but it was amazing how much he'd managed to dig out from the rest of the house - scavenging what his mother hadn't burnt when he'd run away.
Remus smiled fleetingly as his eyes came to rest on his friend's old broomstick, propped up in one corner by the side of the bed. It hurt to look at it, dusty and out of use but still filling his mind with dancing images of stormy afternoons, rain sleeting down as he'd stared out into the thunderous sky to catch a red and gold glimpse of James or Sirius. He could hear them whooping with glee every time James had caught the snitch, smell the sweat and the contagious excitement that had radiated from both of them.
His eyes drifted across the room and stopped, almost with surprise as they came to rest on a small stereo, sitting on the bedside table, piles of random CDs heaped untidily around it. Sirius had always had a strange obsession with Muggle music - Remus had always assumed it almost made him feel a little rebellious, especially as a teenager, to come home to his pureblood family and sit in his room pumping out Muggle lyrics and feelings into the house.
Wandering over, his mind still lost in better times he picked one album up and not sure why, he absentmindedly put it to play and flicked through a few tracks, not paying attention until he landed on one. He wasn't listening as he sat down heavily on the bed, putting his head in his hands but for it didn't take him very long before the lyrics caught his attention.
What did I do to make a scene so gory?
Old habits die hard
I always end up hating the end
Fractures of words and phrases began to drift around his brain, sparking fears and buried memories, tears and smiling faces, snow fights and the stench of dungbombs dropped in newly swept corridors. Late night adventures and daredevil ideas, detentions and essays and exams and homework, potions that went wrong and James' robes bursting into flames in a spell of Peter's that backfired. Teasing Snape, hot summer evenings watching the water dance of the lake and Sirius. Great black dogs and laughing grey eyes, another stupid prank and bruises after every summer holiday he spent at home.
I'm in the middle of a breakdown
Watching you scream
Remus opened his eyes, taking a deep breath as he tried to stop the memories that were slowly and steadily invading his mind. The familiar twisting sensation came back to the pit of his stomach as Mrs Black's angry voice fleetingly rose over the notes of the song, her scream at Tonks flooding his memory with all the things he shouldn't have known about Sirius Black. That he shouldn't have known that he cried, shouldn't have known that he screamed, shouldn't have known about the nightmares.
Speechless and frozen
Uncomfortable silence again
But then there was silence and nothing else interrupted the song, as it echoed feelings that for Harry's sake at least he'd tried to bury. The moment Sirius had disappeared through that curtain was a moment that Remus would never get rid of, that would always dwell at the forefront of his mind. But Harry mattered more; Sirius wasn't coming back and for Harry's sake Remus wasn't allowed to lose his mind. He wasn't allowed to scream and wasn't allowed to cry. When Harry had left the Ministry, when he'd looked back at Remus, the werewolves' eyes misting over and already hollowing he'd expected and received a smile, a promise that it would be alright, that Sirius might come back. And now he had to keep it up.
Don't say I didn't warn you
That I'll always stay the same
Sirius had always said, that out of all of them Remus could forget most easily. He would bury himself in a book, or lose himself in a complicated spell or a Charms essay. He hardly ever kept a grudge, preferring to lose his worst memories at the back of his mind and never bring them back up again. He'd worked on it, over the twelve years that Sirius had been imprisoned and James and Peter had been dead. He'd convinced himself that it was the end, the end of the Marauders and that he really was the last. Then Sirius had come back and flipped his world upside down. For those two years, he hadn't been alone anymore. He'd had loyal, dryly sarcastic and still annoyingly adventurous Sirius back and even though he wasn't the Padfoot he'd known at Hogwarts - ruined forever by Azkaban - he was still Sirius.
Still enough to bring Remus back to the real world, back to the land of the living. Where happiness and content and dreams were possible again.
Battered and bruised
This time we both lose
Now he was really, completely and utterly alone again. James and Lily were dead, Sirius was dead, and Peter was as good as. He had Harry, of course he had Harry but he was only a pale reflection as the glory of Remus' three friends. As much as he cared for him, as much as Remus saw James in him, Harry wasn't them. He never would be.
And now, thanks to Sirius, Remus couldn't lose himself. He couldn't forget and bury the last two years back under again. His eyes drifting around the room, full of the smells and the mess and the still lingering sense of the suppressed and frustrated feelings of a man who never should have been old enough to die, he felt tears welling up. This time he couldn't stop them either, and after the first crystal drop had rolled down his cheek, the other burst like rivers, flowing between closed lashes as he fought back sobs.
It wasn't fair. It wasn't fair that he was the last one. Wasn't fair that Sirius and James had died. Wasn't fair that Peter had betrayed them. Wasn't fair that for the last year before Sirius had been arrested he'd suspected him. Wasn't fair that he was alone.
No more blood brothers, no more Marauders. No more Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs.
Only Moony. Only Remus.
P.S. So what made you think you'd have it your way?