Top of Form 1 Chapter 21 ~ I Would Choose To Be With You March, 2011

"I would choose to be with you,

That's if the choice were mine to make.

But you can make decisions too.

And you can have this heart to break.

And this is why my eyes are closed.

It's just as well for all I see.

And so it goes, and so it goes.

And so will you soon, I suppose.

But if my silence made you leave

Then that would be my worst mistake

So I will share my love with you

And you can have this heart to break.

And so it goes, and so it goes.

And you're the only one who knows."

Remus stood with his forehead against the door as the eerie song floated out to meet him. He hadn't heard her sing at all since she'd joined the Order. He'd forgotten that she even could. He took a deep breath and pushed open the door. It squeaked and she looked up.

"Remus?"

His eyes took in the backpack she was holding, and the robes she'd donned. She was coming along. Suddenly he didn't know what to say. She walked over to him slowly, leaving the bag on the chair at her desk. She'd sat at that desk every day for four years. Remus couldn't imagine that she wouldn't be sitting at it tomorrow. This was his fault.

He felt her hand on his shoulder and turned his head away from her desk to look into her eyes. She'd been crying. "I'm sorry," he whispered, remembering why he'd come back upstairs. She smiled, then.

"I know. It's alright." That's what she'd told him every time he'd pushed her away. But she was wrong. He couldn't remember far enough into his infancy to recall the last time it had been alright. If it were alright, he wouldn't have to be so afraid of this.

Her arm was around his waist, and he was suddenly aware of her body against his. He felt his control slipping. He stepped back, afraid. When he lost himself to anger, he could feel the wolf inside him, struggling, raging to do the things his conscience would never forgive him for. What if it was the same when he lost himself in her? What if his passion took him beyond control?

She stepped forward, her hands on the buttons of his shirt. How could he tell her no? It would hurt her just as badly, maybe worse. He took his wand from his pocket. "Nox," he whispered.

The candles in the room went out, but a moment later her hand was around his. "Lumos," she said, her voice the same tremulous whisper as his. He closed his eyes, waiting.

She slid his shirt from his shoulders, but the gasp he expected didn't come, only the feel of her lips on his left shoulder. Behind his eyelids he saw himself, as a wolf, thrown into the air by Prongs. It was an old scar that she kissed but not a forgotten one. He felt her lips next on his chest. Unbidden, the memory came of himself, lying on the floor of the shrieking shack, before his friends had become animagi. He had caused that scar himself.

He knew what she was doing. She was accepting him. His raw emotions were so near the surface that he nearly wept. When he opened his eyes, he realized that he didn't have to. She was spilling the tears for him, for his hurts, for his loneliness. But there was more than sadness in her eyes as he looked down at her.

"Don't," he whispered, wiping her face gently. A moment later he realized his fatal mistake. With his eyes closed, tilting his head just so, she hadn't been able to reach his lips. But as he looked down, she caught him in a kiss that melted his resistance before he could think. He felt his body respond, and gave in.

Her robes fell to the floor, somehow he heard the whisper of the material. He put his arms around her waist. Something thin and smooth was still between them, and his callused hands snagged it. She was walking backwards now, and he followed her, desperate not to let her lips escape his.

Her fingers were cold against his navel, fumbling with the button on his trousers. A moment later, she had pulled her lips away. He opened his eyes to find a shadow of a smile on her face.

"Did you put a locking charm on those?" she asked quietly. It took him a minute to figure out what she meant. His eyes were still focused on her lips. Finally he shook his head.

"Then maybe you could help an out-of practice seductress before she embarrasses herself."

Finally he smiled as well. He took in the burgundy satin nightdress that barely covered her nipples. Gryffindor's color. Time seemed to blur and the next thing he was aware of was the feel of her lips against his again. He took another step toward her, toward the bed he knew was behind her. And then he was looking into her bright eyes. She was lying beneath him and he couldn't remember how they'd gotten that way. His hips were pressed hard against hers, and he'd never felt anything like it.

He tried to tell himself that it didn't matter how they'd gotten there, but his mind ran ahead of him. Had he pushed her? Had he been gentle enough? He couldn't be sure.

She moved under him, bringing his attention sharply back. He watched as she squirmed out of her night dress, pulling it over her head. He watched his own hand carress her, still unsure. 'I can't hurt her,' he thought desperately as she lifted her lips to his again. 'I can't.'

"I can't," he echoed, unconsciously. She pulled away, as he realized what he'd said. For a moment he was sure she would look away, ask him to go. But she only smiled sadly as her hands ran down over his thighs. He shivered as she took him in hand and guided him to where she wanted him to be.

It was better than his inexperienced imagination could ever have made it. He shook as he lowered his face into her hair, careful not to crush her, then nearly laughed when she wrapped her leg around his and rolled him over. He was still inside her, though his passion was spent. His hands roamed her body as she took her pleasure and then collapsed, as tired as he, into his arms.

Before sleep took him he wondered fleetingly how he could have ever thought he would hurt her. She was all he had ever wanted.

Two hours before dawn, Sirius crept into the room and shook Remus awake, before heading back downstairs. It was time.

Remus dressed quickly and silently. He went upstairs to his room to get his bag. The others were whispering by the fire downstairs. By the time he arrived, she was standing among them. He took her aside. "What are you doing?" he asked, trying to keep his voice calm. She smiled up at him.

"Where you go, I go," she said simply. He shook his head, but she put a finger on his lips. "I may not know what's going to happen, but I know what's not going to happen. This is it. Either both of us come back, or neither of us do, but I'm not going to wait here for news this time, Remus."

There was a hardness in her eyes and a certainty in her voice that he dared not defy. He nodded. The prophesies had run out, and the end of the war was here. A moment later, Harry and Draco arrived. Then one by one, they flooed to Hogwarts to begin the end.

FIN