Author's Notes: For remusreads, like 'And Now My Heart Is Full' but this prompt was "How did Remus spend that first week, post-Halloween 1981?". Written for Ms. LB, my partner in crime in writing crack!fic. Oddly enough, you can connect it to the other story.
Longitude and Latitude
Calm in your ways/I know that something's wrong/When the heavens open for you/Hell never stops loving you/See the strangers come when you close your eyes/Haven't you had enough lonely nights/It's where we always go when we're almost gone/You need a sad song - Blue States 'Sad Song'
The first day after that day was a Sunday.
He wakes up in a cold sweat. The floors of the flat he has been renting for the past month are covered with papers that, a few hours prior, had been on his desk. The desk itself is broken: one of its legs is gone, or so Remus thinks until he finds it imbedded in his bedroom wall. Some of his clothes are torn, cups and plates broken, forks and knives littering the floor. Everything is a haze before he realizes that it wasn't a Death-eater attack, that he has vomit down the front of his button-down shirt, that he reeks of booze and fags and blood, that James and Lily are dead.
The last one hits him like a round-house to his temple, and he falls to his knees and tries to vomit but his stomach's empty and all that's coming up is acid, burning the back of his throat and making him gag even more. As he shakily pushes himself up, he notices an owl outside his window.
There's a message, from Dumbledore to him, saying that there's an Order meeting tomorrow night (he gathers its mandatory) and that the funeral is on Wednesday. Any purchases of new robes, etc, should be billed to Dumbledore – the Order takes care of their own.
Funeral. Wednesday. Fuck.
He tries to remember where he was last night, what he was doing. He was celebrating, at first, and the rest is blurry, tinged with sadness. He does remember, though, that he tried to swing at some git who said something at James and someone held him back. He has no idea how he got home – he suspects he'll learn tomorrow.
As he slowly picks up the remains of his apartment, shaky hands placing broken china pieces on the kitchen sink to repair later and folding his clothes, he realizes he can't find any of the money he had yesterday in the pockets of his trousers or on the floor or in the cushions of the sofa. Eventually he finds a Knut and realizes all of the money – it was payday, after all – had been spent on drinks the night before. He's out a couple Galleons and at the moment, he doesn't have enough saved up to pay rent.
He's still sitting on the floor, drinking tea made with a reused bag since he doesn't have much else around, when Monday dawns bright and early, the sun an angry red ball on the horizon line and the Daily Prophet arrives. Sirius' face is plastered on the front, and he's screaming and for a moment Remus wonders if he's still drunk and if Sirius is screaming at him. Scanning the article, he finds out that Sirius was the traitor all along. Sirius who accused him of being the spy, who punched him in the face when Remus told him that he'd never sell out the Order, and questioned why it mattered so much to him? Sirius-his-old-friend-Sirius, who turned out to be Black to the bone after all.
Remus is disgusted, and throws the tea cup across the room, not caring that it's broken into a dozen pieces again. In a moment of clarity, he compares himself to the tea cup, broken and shitty, but the moment passes as quickly as it came and he's back to this numb feeling that seems to be localized in his chest and stomach.
At the Order meeting that night, held in a room above the Hogs Head, he learns that the Aurors are on the trail of all Death Eaters, but the Death Eaters are trailing them too. Wizarding England is in chaos, and his friends Lily, James, and Peter are dead and little baby Harry is safe, but no one knows where he is. Well, Dumbledore does, but hell if he's going to tell.
He also learns that he had met up with Bones and Moody and Frank at the Leaky Cauldron and done shots and then Hagrid had stumbled in, a mess and Frank had helped him home.
But Voldemort is gone…at what cost, they don't know. He and Emmeline Vance take shots of fire whiskey out of a bottle in a corner booth, feeling absolutely shitty because Emmeline used to shag Sirius and she didn't know and Remus is getting kicked out of his flat and it's just a shitty world and before he knows it, her hand is down his pants and she tastes like whiskey and lipstick and it's so good that the world just pauses for a moment.
He goes home that night, sobers up, and packs some of his belongings into a trunk.
On Tuesday, Andromeda Black – no, she's married - Tonks is pounding on the door of his flat. He doesn't know how she found him since they're not close friends; he shared a flat with Sirius for four months out of desperation and she'd pop in sometimes.
She's holding a newspaper in her hand, and her daughter – cute kid, looks maybe eight? – is huddled behind her, in the hallway, looking like she wants to be anywhere but here.
"Can we come in, Remus?" she asks, and Remus realizes that this is about Sirius and Peter and that he's only met her on several occasions, and he can't remember her daughter's name.
He nods, and opens the door wide and Andromeda walks in, her nose wrinkling at the stench of mold and mildew and probably vomit and piss (Remus can't remember, honestly, it's been a blur lately). A quick flick of her wand and suddenly everything smells lemon-fresh and clean. She raises an eyebrow and nods her head and her girl closes the door behind her.
"Dora, darling, tea might be nice," Andromeda says with a flick of her wrist towards the kitchen. The tea kettle whistles and Dora nods, running into the kitchen but trips over her own feet. When Remus makes a motion to help her, she jumps back up.
"I'm fine," she says, and blushes, embarrassed. Her dark brown hair turns red, root to tip, and Remus remembers that Dora Tonks is a Metamorphmagus.
"Did you know about this?" Andromeda asks once Dora is safely in the kitchen. She holds the paper aloft and Remus can see Sirius' screaming face. He shakes his head.
"We weren't talking," he says. "He accused me of being the spy…said I'd sell out the order for some sort of normalcy…" he laughs, because it's so ironic, actually. The werewolves that did join Voldemort are going to be rounded up and killed if they aren't already, and besides, Voldemort never really promised them anything that Remus would want to begin with.
He wonders what Voldemort would promise a Black, and he's tempted to say it as a joke to Andromeda but he realizes her sister's a Death-eater, so he says nothing.
He hears the tea-kettle whistle, and Andromeda sniffles. He realizes she's crying. For a moment, he's unsure of what to do, because he's been alone for a while and isn't used to comforting people. He thinks he should reach out, offer her comfort but he's afraid that she'll flinch and pull away. But he does anyway, more because he just wants to feel something. He's been numb and cold and he hasn't eaten, really, in a day or two.
But she doesn't pull away like she thought he would and so when Dora comes in with two cups, she's crying on his shoulder and he's crying and Dora's there too, holding her mother tightly. He touches Dora's head, lightly, and wonders about little Harry and what will become of him.
The funeral is Wednesday, and he's got his trunk in a room at the Hogs Head. Dumbledore's brother owns the place and remembers Remus from his school days and takes pity on him for a plethora of reasons, this being one of many. He'll shack up there the next night or three, and then head somewhere – anywhere – after that.
The funeral is at Godric's Hollow, in a tiny burial plot that houses mostly Potters and, oddly enough, a Black from days long past when the Potters may have given as much a thought to their pureblood ancestry as the Blacks.
The Order members are there, save the Longbottom's who have to work, and he stands between Moody and McGonagall. Emmeline won't meet his eyes and he knows she's realized her drunken indiscretion and he just wants to get the hell out of England. He's always wanted to get the hell out of England, lose himself in some town where people won't know what he is, but it's never worked out and now...now that he finally has the chance, he's not sure where to go.
Andromeda Tonks and her husband and their little girl hang towards the back, almost ashamed to be there but Ted was in Gryffindor, a fifth year when they were just starting out, and he got James on the Quidditch team.
When they start to lower the caskets into the cold soil, Remus wonders why wizards actually have cemeteries. It's an aspect –the only aspect, really – of Muggle tradition they seem to have adapted. It would be better to cremate or banish the bodies. Then he wouldn't have to watch this. He feels vulnerable and so astonishingly young. He thinks that this may very well be the first time in his entire life he's ever felt young.
After the burial, people mingle around exchanging condolences and he notices that Dora Tonks is sitting by herself on a raised tomb far from the rest. She's playing with her long hair, braiding it and unbraiding it. He considers approaching her, talking to her. He likes children, even though he knows he won't ever have any to call his own, and one day he thinks maybe he'll be a teacher. But not here, and not with wizard children, at least.
But then McGonagall calls to him, and he walks across the frozen soil to her. After all, he didn't know what he'd say to a little girl anyway.
Thursday is spent deep in Order business, tying up loose ends with Moody in the cottage the Order has been using as headquarters. They shuffle through boxes, packing and organizing and trying to make sense of all their intelligence reports. They make red crosses on the pieces of parchment of those that are deceased and Remus' hand trembles as he holds all the information about Peter.
Dumbledore comes in at one point and tells them that Sirius is going straight to Azkaban without a trial. He then asks Remus if he wants to come and watch. He's not really sure why, because he figured most in the Order knew they had a falling out and it just seems morbid. So he shakes his head, No, thank you, I'd rather not.
An hour later, Remus stumbles upon a box full of information about suspected spies, and finds information about him. Apparently, the Order had him trailed for the better part of the last month by some young Auror and the report is dated two days prior.
He feels nauseous, and Moody glances over his shoulder and comments, casually, "We had to be careful, son. Constant vigilance. Anyone could have been the leak."
He nods, putting the papers down and going outside. First he loses the contents of his stomach, and then everything goes upside down and he's sobbing. He hasn't cried this entire week, and it feels odd to be crying because someone – well, someones– didn't trust him. But it hurts like it always does whenever someone thinks of him not as Remus Lupin but as that werewolf. Did James and Lily think he was the spy? He doesn't know the answer, doesn't want to know because the truth, that their child's bloody godfather sold them out is so much harsher than fiction.
He thinks he'd like to punch Moody and scream and rant. He wants his friends back – it's so hard to believe that James and Lily, oh Lily are dead and gone and one week ago they were all here bullshitting and Harry was on Lily's lap and it was so simple then.
Sure, he and Sirius weren't talking but they always had their arguments. James used to call them 'lover's spats' because they always settled their differences in a timely manner; the truth was that Remus and Sirius were so different and that they disagreed so often they needed to establish a way to move on quickly.
He wonders why Sirius would do that to his best friend, and he doesn't understand it. He just feels a cocktail of emotions that fucks with his head chased by betrayal, lingering and fading to a bone-deep weariness that he's felt all week and expects to feel for the rest of his life (which he now hopes will be blissfully short, because it's not like he's going to have friends like Lily and James and Peter again).
He doesn't go back inside, but chain-smokes some fags he finds in the cottage – Peter's – and then he goes home. Moody doesn't ask any questions.
On Friday, he goes over to the Tonks house for dinner.
He was surprised when Ted invited him on Wednesday, because he didn't think Ted remembered him, and Andromeda and he have a loose relationship based around Sirius. He can tell that they're all worried about him, even little Dora, and he wonders why he's there.
"Dora thought you could use friends," Andromeda whispers to him as she takes his coat.
Conversation is not as stilted as he thought it would be, as they discuss things like Quidditch, which Ted played in school and Remus is an avid fan of, and so they discuss their favorite teams. They also talk about Muggle things, as Remus is a half-blood, and about Dora's schooling, since Remus is a teacher sometimes.
But dinner is different. Dora drops the potatoes en route to her mother, and she's crying so suddenly that her father upends his drink and Remus is left to wonder what exactly he's supposed to do in this situation.
He does nothing but waits until the ruckus dies down, and then he finishes eating, joins them for coffee and says goodnight. He doesn't expect to ever see the Tonks' again, and he's grateful as they're just another painful reminder not only of what he doesn't think he'll ever have, but of the life Harry could have had.
Saturday, Sirius goes off to Azkaban, and Remus sleeps until one in the afternoon. Later, he finds a Daily Prophet. Sirius is calm, so incredibly calm, and smug-looking. It's unsettling, and so he crumples the paper up and throws it away.
He packs up his remaining articles, and takes out an atlas. Dumbledore's slipped him some money, just to get him started because he knows that Remus needs to leave and go somewhere new. Remus still hasn't decided where to go, but by the time the sun rises on Sunday, and it's been a week, he's gone.