Disclaimer: All of this is based upon the lovely J.K. Rowling's work

Warnings: Character death and slight language.

Part One: Choices

"Don't do this! Please don't do this! Remus, please!" I beg with him; I plead. I glance around, taking in all around me… the dead, the dying. I turn back to him. "Think about it about, it isn't his fault. All told, he has far less to do with it than even we do. Please, don't do this Remus!"

I begin to surreptitiously look for my wand. Where is it? It should be around here somewhere.

Yet, all the while, I continue to plead to Remus, "Please Remus! We have to get help for the others." While begging, I finally spot my heartwood wand. It is just lying there about 15 meters away, next to a cloaked – and quite dead – Death Eater. Most unfortunately, it is broken, crushed into so many pieces that I know even Ollivander could never put it together again.

I grind my teeth together slightly; now it's on to plan B. I twitch my wrist slightly and feel warm wood touch my skin from within its holster. Good, my secondary wand is still there.

I step slowly toward Remus. "Please, we have to get help." But still Remus does not listen. There is a metal gleam of some nameless emotion in his eyes as he looks, not at me, but at the body lying on the ground a few meters away.

Remus turns to me. "No," he states simply. "No, we don't. Look around the others will be fine. Most are simply unconscious, only he…" Remus spits the word out, "…is in danger of dying." He almost looks giddy at the thought. "No less than he deserves," Remus whispers to himself.

It takes me a few minutes, but I finally realize what is burning in his eyes: madness. Madness caused by grief. I knew that Siri's death was causing him great pain – it was painful to us all, but I never realized it was this bad. I should have known.

How did I not know?

"It's his fault, you understand," Remus continues blithely, grief consuming his every word. "He caused it all." His voice was slowly gaining in strength and volume. "If he had only stayed put. If he had only listened to his elders, to his betters." The gleam in his eyes is growing. "If he had just thought it out for a moment. He made this happen!" Remus is now shaking in fury. "He murdered Sirius!"

"But he didn't," I put in smoothly, trying to calm Remus. "…he didn't kill Siri. He didn't know what was happening. He tried to save Siri. He loves…"

Remus cut me off with a snarl and stomps toward me. "That bastard does not, did not, and never will love Sirius. Not now, not ever. He murdered my brother!" I thought for a moment that Remus would strike me in his rage. "He deserves to die!"

I look up at Remus in horror. I know now what I must do. I flick my wrist, causing my wand to fall into my palm from its holster. Within a second of it touching my hand, a spell was already on my lips. "Stupefy."

A jet of blood red light hits Remus square in the chest, but, instead of crumbling to the ground in unconsciousness … he grabs my wrist and pries my wand from my trembling fingers. With unnatural speed he snaps my secondary wand and tosses it to the ground before seizing me with both hands. Both of my wrists are now secure in his hands.

"That was not a wise move, Nymphie." He growls in my ear, his breath hot on my face. Wolfish eyes stare into mine as he applies pressure to my joints, making me wince.

How is he still standing after that stunner? I put as much power into it as I could.

I glance at the sky for but an instant and mentally curse myself. The moon is almost completely full; I should have remembered. Werewolves are faster, stronger this close to the full moon… so strong, in fact, that a stunner won't even work.

I want to cry but I can't. We have to get out of here, we have to get help. Our friends need us. Harry needs us. I see him just beyond Remus, laying there on the blood soaked earth. He is breathing, and I don't know how badly hurt he is, but I have to get him out of here.

"I know that you are hurting, we all are," I again try to reason with Remus. I try to appeal to the man that I know is in there. "He was your brother, your best friend. But he was my cousin and Harry's godfather. He meant so much to us as well." Harry shudders violently, but Remus doesn't notice.

I glance around secretly, looking for an escape.

"You have to choose," Remus tells me. "You have to choose, him or me."

My eyes widen but I don't say anything. Rather unexpectedly, he gently transfers both of my wrists to his right hand and uses his left to caress my face. The mad metallic gleam dims for a moment.

"Please, Nymph. You know me. You know that I would not do this unless he deserved it."

On the pretense of thinking – or maybe embarrassment – I avoid his eye, but I am really still searching for a way out…

And I have found it. There, just a few meters away, lying next to Nott's body. It's an unbroken wand.

Oblivious Remus continues, "You have to know the way I feel about you, Nymph." He runs the pads of his fingers over my lips.

I look at him. "Don't make me choose, Remus. He is just a boy."

"No, he's not!" Remus retorts angrily. But he looks at me with sudden calmness. "No, he's not. He's a murder who needs to be punished." He again caresses my cheek, his fingers returning to my mouth. "You have to choose."

Harry again shudders as he lies in a growing pool of his own blood.

I know what I have to do.

But I have to tell him before I end it. "I love you, Remus, more than I have ever loved anyone." Remus looks at me with mounting hope, a question written on his face.

I have come to a decision. I close my eyes and nod. I know that Remus has smiled – even though I can't see it. He leans forward and presses his lips to mine, and I squeeze my eyes together even more tightly, letting myself enjoy this for just an instant as I kiss him back.

Why does he have to taste so good? Like nature untamed and wild but gentle and loving at its greatest.

Our kiss ends, and I feel his hands leave me. I hear him turn.

My eyes snap open, now is my opportunity. I eye Nott's wand laying there perfectly on the grass as Remus walks away from me toward Harry. I draw up all of my courage, all of my skill burned into me by Auror training. I have only one shot at this. Even as I am preparing, Harry's life is ebbing away. If I fail, it will be too late.

I inhale sharply and dive toward the wand. Hearing me, Remus turns to look, but I am already there, and the wand is in my hand. His eyes widen in sudden understanding, and he charges at me … but he won't be fast enough – even with his superior speed. I look at him and don't even hesitate…

I say the worst two words in the world… and just a step away I hear a great thud, the sound of a body hitting the ground.

I look down and there he is … the love of my life. And he's dead, a look of pure surprise on his face. I couldn't stun him and trying to knock him out would not have worked due to that cursed pale orb's influence.

I had no choice, but it feels like I could have done something else. I should have done something else.

I sigh but don't even give him another glance as I race to Harry. He is bleeding badly and is near death. But he'll make it. He has to.

"Let's get you out of here, kiddo," I whisper with tears in my eyes.

Noxius: culpable, guilty, responsible, blameworthy

Ever Hopeful,