They're all broken.

And there's not a damned thing I can do about it. Naturally - it's too late for that, way too late for that. They're all broken beyond repair, and not one of us will ever be quite the same.

I always kind of figured we were all so interconnected that if something were to happen to one of us the others would feel the reprocussions. I always kind of knew that ours was a chain that needed all the links to stick together at all, and even one missing link might send us all tumbling. Like a house of cards built much too shakey; one wrong move, the slightest tap of one of the cards and it would fall. A circle missing even the smallest fraction is not truly a circle, because it's not endless.

I never really figured I'd be the one who'd break the circle.

I did, anyway. Not like I meant to or anything. Hell, no. In a way I suppose it was a joint effort from Peter and I - it was at our meeting point that the circle snapped. If I'd been along someone else, maybe it wouldn't have happened. Probably not. Point is, I was the weakest link and in snapping I took the rest of them with me.

Amazing, really. Circles can take a lot of pressure from outside forces, but in the end its the links that bond them that break. One of those internal demise kind of things.

It's also amazing how much you can think of to say to a person once you know you'll never have the opportunity. Denied the opportunity, you'll find yourself scripting an entire conversation you and your arch nemesis will never have. Friends turn into essays, long, unwritten, unpenned essays that will never be put into words apart from in your mind.

There's no real way to explain it apart from talking to a wall. Try to hold a conversation with one. It won't respond. You can say all you like, insult it, praise it, confess undying love, resolve your deepest secrets, and it won't even snort inaudibly. You can make up dialogue in your mind all you like. You can invent replies, create caustic snaps or chuckles or the way the wall would reply to that witty joke you just told it. Still, there'll be a nagging voice at the back of your mind saying it's not the same. No matter the personality you create for this wall, no matter that you tell yourself that is what the wall would say, goddamnit, there's still be the voice in the back of your mind telling you it's not the same.

That's kind of what it's like, except the personality isn't fabricated; it's the very character of those closest to you, closest to you and farthest from you all at the same time.

I know what I would say. I wish I had the chance.

I would apologize to Remus. I would apologize for the wrong assumptions, apologize for the previous three weeks, for the wary glances and the clipped tones. I would apologize for ever wrongly assuming it was him, I would apologize for not giving him the benefit of the doubt, and I would apologize for second-guessing how well I thought I knew him. I would apologize for being right the first time. I would apologize for not telling him the truth - and I'd apologize for keeping him in the dark. I'd apologize for not trusting him as much as he deserved. Most of all, I'd apologize for leaving him alone.

I would tell Peter, in however many words it took, what exactly it feels like to be stabbed in the back by one of your friends. I would explain to him what it's like to be sold out by someone close to you, whether or not he wanted to know. I would make him feel it, because I knew Peter - perhaps I don't anymore, but I did - and I know that he's not heartless. Selfish, yes, a coward, yes, a traitor, yes, but not heartless. If he can feel one thing he can feel betrayal, and so I would show him. I would show him that this is my cask of Amontillado. I would explain it until he fucking understood.

And I would redeem Sirius, because I know he won't listen to his internal monologue if it tries to do just that. I would tell him that this whole thing isn't his fault. I would make him realize that there was nothing he could have done, no way he could have known, and that he should never take responsibility for it. I wouldn't forgive him, as there's nothing to forgive, but I would make him forgive himself. I'd tell him not to be so hard on himself, I'd tell him not to let it ruin him more than it already has, and I'd tell him not to worry about Peter - he's not worth it. I would make Sirius forgive himself, and then I would thank him for being the best friend I ever had.

I wish I had the chance to say that to all of them, but as they say: if wishes were horses, beggars could ride.

The danger in packing too close together is that if one falls, the others do as well. It was like dominoes, stacked in a long, elaborate and intricate line; impressive from afar, strong together when standing, but the fall of one will be the fall of the rest.

We were dominoes, and I the first to topple, taking the others with me.

The first domino is the one to blame for the fall of the others.

I fell first.

It's my fault.