The final stand was over, the battlefield quiet and dim. Harry could still feel the thrum of magic in the air, dark and light and every shade in between blending into a nauseating mix. The smell choked him, made his eyes water-and where were his glasses? Lost somewhere along the way-and his tongue feel like sandpaper against the roof of his mouth.
And then there were the bodies.
Death Eaters. Students. Orders and Aurors and those few Muggles that simply got in the way. Because the grand last battle hadn't been at Hogwarts or some far off epic field. Just a normal town with every type of person and Harry had found it fitting somehow. Now they were thrown across the streets and rubble, distorted features marring some faces while others seemed to merely be sleeping.
Harry couldn't tell which were victims of Death Eaters and who were casualties of a noble war. It probably didn't matter in the end. What mattered were the ones he recognized. People he had seen running to class. Mentors he had looked to for help.
Friends and family.
Red and black and blond and brown-matted curls. He could pick them out even under gore and dirt, from any distance.
He fought down the choking sensation once more, hand still gripping the splintered remains of his wand.
And that would be Remus. The only other person breathing on this suburban battlefield.
Harry wasn't sure whether to be grateful for every memory and reminder Lupin represented, the last one standing of his own generation. Relieved to have some last connection to the world of now and before or angry for the same reason, because weren't they the same now? Alone except each other and still left with nothing. Only silver memories that could be locked and preserved but never added to.
Remus would leave too, eventually and without Harry whether he wanted to or not.
And then what?
Grey hair with brown streaks, long and wild because the moon was almost full.
"Harry, it's over."
Harry, we're winning Hermione had said a moment before her heart stopped.
Remus looked tired. There was a limp in his step. His shoulders were slumped. Old and poisoned by everything life had thrown at him and each transformation tore a little more time out of him.
"It's over, Harry."
"Yeah. I guess it is."
Harry wasn't sure whether he was grateful or bitter for that fact.
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