Title: To Wipe Away Your Tears

Author: IceAngel

Spoilers: YES, MAJOR SPOILER FOR OoTP! So, don't read if you don't wanna know!

Main Characters: Molly Weasley, Remus Lupin

Pairings: Remus/Sirius

Summary: Story told from Molly Weasley's point of view about how she and Remus deal with the upcoming war and its consequences.

Disclaimer: Not mine! But if they were, the story would be A LOT different! I love you Padfoot!

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That night -the one with the boggart in the desk drawer? -hadn't been the first time I'd found myself in tears. It hadn't been the first time I'd sobbed into his arms. Remus Lupin had been there for me since the first night I'd cried out my pain, the night after Percy had left. Arthur had gone out in an angry fit, and Remus had arrived shortly after to collect us and bring us all to the new Order headquarters.

He'd come upon me, sitting on the kitchen floor, trying to collect all the pieces of the shattered dishes I had dropped. He didn't say a word, for which I was thankful, didn't mention the tears or the choked sobs escaping my lips. He just bent down and started helping me, stilling my shaking hands when it was clear that I wouldn't be able to hold anything without dropping it again. He cleaned the mess for me with a simple flick of his wand and then led me to a chair.

It was then, while he was kneeling down on the floor, that I noticed, for the first time, how gentle his hands were. Slim, with long fingers, they were musician's hands, pianist's hands. And for a moment I found myself wondering if he played at all.

"Molly? What happened?" The look in his eyes was enough to make me pour my heart out to him, tell him everything that had happened between my husband and my third child. My sobbing started all over again, and he took me into his arms and held me while I cried, wiped away my tears as they fell with those gentle hands. He didn't whisper empty words of comfort, didn't insult my intelligence with them. He knew, just as I did, that the future was not looking bright for any of us. He knew that the world would become much darker before any sign of light could be seen again.

So, he sat with me and held me while I cried out my pain, the kind of pain that follows betrayal.

The second time it happened was on the first night Arthur went out. Images of my love lying dead haunted my dreams, and I found myself sitting in the kitchen, alone, and crying again. It was the night after a full moon, and Remus had been sleeping for most of the day. So, when he walked in, I wiped away my tears and pretended to bustle about the kitchen, preparing some semblance of a meal he could stomach.

Once again, I found those hands resting on top of mine, stilling any movement, telling me not to worry myself.

"He'll be all right, Molly. Arthur can take care of himself."

But it wasn't just Arthur. Bill and Charlie had joined the Order as well, and they were on assignment. I knew that as soon as Fred and George graduated, they would want to join and be a part of the fight. My family was placing itself in harm's way, and all I could do was watch and pray that we'd all survive this war.

As if reading my very thoughts he said gently, "Your sons and daughter are some of the most talented wizards and witches I have ever seen. You have nothing to be worried about, Molly. Have faith in them. Trust them enough to take some time to take care of yourself as well." So I did. I did and I cried again, not bothering to hide my tears from him.

And he held me while I cried out my pain, the pain that comes from fear.

The third time was the night Harry had asked to know about what the Order had been doing. It was the night that Remus had, not so gently, reminded me that I wasn't the only one who cared for Harry. It was the night that Sirius Black had called me on the one issue that had bothered me for the past four years, the fact that Harry wasn't my son by blood.

I hadn't wanted Harry to know about what was happening in the world outside the walls of Number Twelve Grimmauld Place. I hadn't wanted any of my children to know, to endanger themselves even more. But I had been forced to stand aside as the rest of the Order had shattered any of my hopes of preserving the children's innocence, their last threads of childhood.

That night I found myself scrubbing away at the wooden banister in hopes of removing some of the dirt and dust that had piled on over the years. I took out my frustrations on the wood and rag, scrubbing harder than absolutely necessary, and it didn't surprise me when I felt tears mixing with the sweat on my face.

I don't know how long I stood there, scrubbing, but eventually I heard footsteps on the landing behind me.

"Molly?" I knew it would be him, and it didn't surprise me this time when his hands stilled mine. "You can't protect them forever, you know?"

I refused to meet his eyes, eyes that held warmth beyond imagination. All I could do was nod as I sniffled a bit and turned away. He pulled me to him this time, and that was enough of an invitation for me to cry my frustrations out to him.

He held me while I cried out my pain, the pain that grows from anger.

The fourth time was that night with the boggart. The night I saw every one of my loved ones laying dead on the ground. The fifth time was the night I found out about Arthur's injury. He'd found me sitting in the old drawing room, staring at the spot where the boggart had been.

"Molly? Don't do this to yourself."

I didn't insult his intelligence by feigning ignorance. I knew what he was talking about. I'd just spent the past two hours sitting and conjuring the image of my love's dead body in my mind. I'd pictured the life giving blood slowly flowing down the side of his face. I didn't have to tell him what I was thinking in order for him to know.

Gradually, I felt the tears begin to flow again, and I all but threw myself into his arms, crying out my pain, the pain that springs from acceptance.

When I received news of Sirius Black's death, I didn't know how to react. I'd never liked him, that was no secret, but I knew that he'd been everything to Remus that Arthur was to me. I knew that Remus was living through the worst of my fears, and for a moment I hated Sirius. For a brief moment I truly hated Sirius Black with all of my being.

But then I came to the somewhat startling realization that Sirius had been a good man. He'd been human, making the mistakes that the human mind and body are heir to; he'd felt the emotions that separate our world from the rest of the animal kingdom. He'd felt anger, and hate, just as I had, but most of all, he'd felt love just as I had.

I knew, for a fact, that he'd loved Remus Lupin, that he'd loved Harry Potter. He'd died for Harry, but he'd lived for Remus. Sirius Black had lived to be with Remus Lupin, and that realization was enough to clear his name in my heart. If Remus had loved him, then Sirius, his hot temper, recklessness, and all, had to have been a good man.

So, with that new found knowledge, I went in search of Remus, knowing that tonight, he was the one in need of comfort. It took me the better part of an hour, but I did find him eventually. He was sitting on the roof, gazing at the night sky. For a moment I thought he was looking at the moon, her silvery face a mere sliver tonight. But when I finally followed his gaze, my heart all but broke at the sight of it.

The Dog Star.

He was staring at Sirius's star.

I knew that the reason why he'd come up here was that he didn't want to be disturbed. I knew that he didn't want anyone to see him like this, to watch as he slowly lost pieces of himself. But after all those nights when he'd spent the time to wipe away my tears and to hold me while I cried out my pain, I knew that I couldn't leave him like this. So, against my better judgement, I made my way over to where he was sitting, and took a seat next to him.

Not one word was said between the two of us tonight. Not one. But for the first time since that night nearly one year ago, I was able to repay him for his kindness. Tonight I was the one who held his hands, I was the one who wiped the tears away, and I was the one who held him as he cried out his pain, the heart-wrenching pain that can only come from loss.

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