Disclaimer: I own nothing but part of the plot and some characters of my own creation.

Author's Note: Hello, once again. Sorry it has taken me awhile to get this chapter out. I've been busy with other stuff and haven't really had any time to be open to inspiration. Please excuse this REALLY short chapter, but I really wanted it to end there. If you hate me, feel free to express your rage at me in a review. I'll even accept nice ones occasionally. :)

Not the Last

Chapter 10-Responsibility to Take Action

Bennett moved swiftly down the walk. He was glad to be leaving. It had nearly ripped his heart out to see Holly cry on his behalf. Of course, this hadn't been the first time he had made a girl cry, just the first time he actually felt apologetic about it.

You told yourself that you would leave when the time was right and that moment has come. If you want this to work you have to leave NOW, Bennett repeated in his head, trying to convince his heart that he was doing the right thing.

He burst into Remus's house and ran upstairs. Once in his sort-of room, he grabbed the duffel bag he had packed the night before. He stood in the doorway for a moment. Staring at the room that had been his home for the last month or so, he felt a pang of regret. However, he quickly pushed this feeling away, assuring himself that he just wanted to have one last look to see if he had forgotten anything.

Bennett sauntered back down the stairs and found Remus waiting for him in the living room.

"I thought I heard a good bit of shuffling and movement from your room—I figured the time had come," Remus voiced his assumption.

"The time I have chosen has come, but I'm still questioning if it is the right one," Bennett admitted.

"I think we both knew that this time would come when it best suited everyone."

Bennett noted the indirect reference to Holly.

"Well, I just want to thank you for everything, Remus. I'm glad I got the chance to see you again and I hope I wasn't too much of a burden."

"Neither your friendship or presence have ever been a burden."

Bennett extended his hand, which Remus grasped tightly. They looked at each other for a pregnant pause and silently bid each other a good-bye. To say farewell was difficult and both knew just how hard it was leaving friends and wondering when they'd ever see each other again.

And then, Bennett withdrew his hand.

With that, he opened the front door and began quietly down the walk. Remus watched from the door until his old friend had exceeded the distance that his eyes could still make out his figure in the mid-afternoon light.

Bennett was lucky enough to get back to his lonely little shack not long after nightfall. He would never admit that after having lived there for years, he was still a little unnerved when the empty blackness of night crept inside the cracks and gaps between the woodwork.

He found that nothing much had really been altered except for the fact that the inch of dust that had resided on everything had increased in his absence. He dropped his bag next to the door, figuring he would unpack in the morning. The only thought loaded on his mind was the haziness that comes with exhaustion and now what he desired most was just to sleep.

He crawled beneath the blanket, shut his eyes, and fellinto the best slumber he'd had in ages.

But Bennett hadn't been asleep long before he was disturbed by an urgent knocking on his door.

He groaned angrily.

Who would be mental enough to call on someone in the dead of night? Who even knows I'm here?

Bennett all but fell off the bed. He stumbled around blindly in the dark trying to find the doorknob. Much to his annoyance, the knocking did not stop or lose its urgent feel.

After much cursing and stubbing of toes, Bennett was able to find the door and wrench it open in desperation to stop the knocking that was starting to give him a headache. His mouth opened just to curse or say something awful—

—But what he found before him did nothing to calm his already unsteady nerves. Barely visible in the light of a crescent moon was the figure of the elusive Sirius Black.