Remus Lupin was sitting on the front porch of the Potter house on that early morning of November 1st. The sun had not yet risen, but it soon would. Yet, there would be no warmth. Never again.
12 muggles dead? Sirius would have known better. He would have been more cautious, he should have known better than to expose the muggles to... No. He told himself firmly. Obviously, Sirius didn't care about anything anymore. Not muggles, not Peter, nothing. Only serving Voldemort... the bastard.
It was a hard thing to swallow for Remus, that his best friend - former best friend, was a two timer, a traitor, a murderer. He swallowed the emotion in his throat, feeling a new surge of tears, wishing they would disappear.
He refused to wipe the tears trailing down his cheeks. It didn't matter. Nothing mattered anymore. There was no more happiness. Only pain, mystery and the forever unanswered question of why?
Remus suddenly felt a hand on his shoulder, and he closed his eyes. He didn't need to see who it was; he already knew. The only person left that would dare set foot in the house after what had just happened.
"Why did this happen, Dumbledore?" he whispered, staring unwaveringly at nothing. "Why did my friends have to die? Why did Sirius betray them? Why did Voldemort kill them? Why?"
"I'm afraid I don't have all the answers, Remus." said the wise old man, taking a seat next to Remus on the front steps. "But if there's one thing I do know, it's that I don't think that things are truly the way they appear."
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Remus shouted. "Sirius was the Secret Keeper and he ratted them out to Voldemort. That bloody traitor sold them out to the devil himself and now my best friends are dead! He was supposedly our, friend, Dumbledore. Someone we could count on and trust... but he kills James, Lily and Peter..." Remus' voice broke as he spoke. "Poor, innocent Peter. He was probably defending James, and Sirius no doubt ripped him apart." Wiping angrily at the tears on his face, he softened his voice. "Now tell me Dumbledore, how could anything that clear be misunderstood?"
"The secrets of what truly happened here tonight go either to the grave or to Azkaban, neither place I'd go willingly. Perhaps with time, our questions will one day be answered." Dumbledore said.
Remus sighed and nodded. "Where's Harry?"
"With Lily's sister, Petunia."
"Lily's sister was a muggle." Remus commented.
"Indeed." Dumbledore nodded.
Remus nodded in agreement. "Best place for him, I'd say. For the time being anyway."
"Someday he'll come back to face he Wizarding World, but not today." Dumbledore said softly as he stood and prepared to leave.
"Dumbledore," Remus said, and the Headmaster paused. "Where's Voldemort?"Dumbledore slowly turned and looked at him solemnly.
"Do you hear all the noise in the streets, Remus? All the rejoicing and cheering? Those are the people that believe Lord Voldemort has been defeated by Harry Potter, who will go down in history as 'The-Boy-Who-Lived.'"
"But you don't believe he's gone for good?"
"What happened in that room, Remus, I cannot say. Voldemort's plan obviously backfired, marking Harry instead of killing him. My best guess would be he is weakened near to death, being nursed back to health by any remaining loyal Death Eaters. But yes, I believe some day, he will return."
"Is someone watching over Harry?" Remus asked with concern.
"I have two people currently on Privet Drive that will constantly be on the watch for Harry Potter."
"And what about... all this?"Remus asked, waving his hands around to mean the house."What about Lily and James belongings? Their house, their money?"
"Their money is in a Gringotts safe, to which my assistant Hagrid has the key. You may salvage what you wish of their belongings, but the house will be demolished before sunrise. I'll be here most of the night in the Hollow helping the Ministry; cleaning, erasing memories,moving all the important things from the Hollow to somewhere more secure within the Ministry."
Remus stood, and shook Dumbledore's hand. "Very well. Thank you Dumbledore."
"Good night, Remus."
He began walking aimlessly through the house as Dumbledore made his way down the street. Remus still found it hard to believe his two best friends had been murdered mere hours before in the very house he was walking in. He occasionally picked up a picture, or a treasured belonging that he would someday like to return to young Harry. James' Gryffindor sweater that Remus had gotten him for Christmas... someday Harry would fit it. The invisibility cloak that had served as such a valuable commodity at school... and as he made his way upstairs, he found the pocket watch that James had given him.
Even though the top room of the house was in complete shambles, the pocket watch remained unmarred. No scratches, no dints, just bight and shiny like the day it was bought. Remus stuck it in his pocket, with every intention of someday returning it to James' son, Harry Potter.
With a loud sigh and a heavy heart, Remus threw a bag of belongings over his shoulder walked out of the house, towards the sunrise. He was alone. Lily and James were dead. Peter was dead. Sirius was in Azkaban. He was a lonely Marauder, walking back into the world, trying to make a semblance of a life with the pieces he had left.
A/N: Well, there you have it - it's DONE! -cries-
I love you all for sticking with me when I wasn't here, for all your marvelous reviews and for loving my story as much as I did. I'm going to have to go back and read it all over again now that it's over, and see if I liked it. Let me know what you think. Please don't pick on me about tiny little details, I did the best I could.
Now, if you're only a Lily/James person, I'd love to hear what you thought of the story. But if you want the rest of the story, be sure to read "Before Tradgedy Strikes,"a short fic about Sirius' love life, which leads into "Daring Destiny," a fic set in Harry's 7th year. There's so much more plot that happens there so please be sure to check them out! -Coming Soon!-
Well, I don't know how to say goodbye. This fic has been a part of my life for almost year now, and I will miss it very much. But I'm going to basically be continuing the story line and many of the characters -coughRemusJoselynncough-so I'm not really too down about it. I will miss all my Lily/James readers, though. Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you allenjoyed readingthis story as much as I loved writing it for you. Many kisses and hugs, and a million thanks yous!
This is your last chance for reviews - make 'em count! -smiles and hugs-