Baby, Baby, Baby
But first, an important word from the author:
This last chapter is dedicated not only to Enelya and Evalanis, who helped me greatly with many of the chapters and much of the content, but also to everyone who reviewed, without whom I may never have found the motivation to complete this brief installation of gasp song-based fics (based on the album Smile by the Jayhawks, thanks to them, too). And also, to J.K.Rowling, the inventor of those two young (in our hearts) men upon whom I've based this fic. And, I think it's important to note what Bottlebrush said in a review, about this magical world where a simple action or word could bind you. So: thank you, goodbye, and enjoy...
Remus stopped in the centre of the darkened room and stared at the tall, stone monument; testament to both mystery and to his grief. The fabric blew back and forth slightly, guided by its own breeze, its own reality and wind. Remus sat down and hugged his legs as he stared at the thing, listening carefully to see if he could hear the voices Harry had once spoken about, the indistinct whispers that were supposed to come from behind the veil. Maybe one of them would be his…
"Well," Remus began, "It's over."
He paused and frowned, and gave a bemused sort of laugh. This was absurd. Ludicrous, talking to a stone doorway, or whatever it was. Absurd. He reached out and let his hand swift past the fabric as it moved about. It was cold, much colder than the stones beneath him and the air around him. Remus let his hand drop.
"It's all over, now," he went on, some little part of him winning the mini-debate regarding the sanity of talking to a mystery.
"Voldemort's dead, Harry saw to that. The Death Eaters. Well, they're mostly captured by now. They knew it was the end proper, this time. Half of them just walked right into the ministry and handed over their wands. It was a hell of a sight. Bellatrix, though… she, well, Harry was… he was angry. At any rate, she got her come uppance, so to speak.
"You'd be proud of Harry. He was so strong through it all. He did everything he needed to do, and he did it all well. He had Ron and Hermione's help, of course, and his other classmates as well. The Order wasn't doing too well after Dumbledore was gone, but they did their part. Everyone, I suppose, did their part.
"And now it's all over. A new era, really. Everything, even the relationship of sorts that I had with Tonks. Dear Nymphadora. She's doing well, but she knew I was never really there, never really with her. I think, by now, everyone knows that I'm not really here. Whether or not they know where I am is another matter."
Remus crossed his legs and pulled up the little bag of things he had brought with him.
"I, uh. I collected a few things up, things that, well, you might like. Or… I don't know. I really don't know. I just brought some things with me to throw through the veil in the hopes that they might go somewhere and you might, wherever you are, feel better for that tiny little sacrifice. Really I just don't know."
He opened the bag and pulled out the first item, all wrapped in linen. He rubbed his thumb along the fabric, gently touching the sharp edges of what lay within.
"The mirror, firstly." He said. "Harry broke it, a long time ago. I gave him the other three in exchange for this one, for whatever reason. I won't unwrap it. That could be messy."
Remus reached forward and parted the veil slightly, shuddering at the nothing he found behind it. He threw the mirror in and let the curtain fall back to its original shifting position. It moved about a little more restlessly, as if shaking its fist at Remus for disturbing it.
Remus then reached back into the bag and carefully lifted out the next object, rolling it about in his hands as he admired it for the last time.
"You'd enjoy this one." He said. "The very last snitch James caught while we were at Hogwarts. He gave it to you, as you might recall, and then you gave it to me. I was going to pass it on to Harry, but, well, circumstances changed. So, here it is. From me back to you."
He tossed the snitch from where he sat and it disappeared swiftly through the curtains, going to a place Remus doubted he could even imagine. He sighed and sat back, still listening for the voices, half wishing that they would speak. He reached into the bag and pulled out the next object, smiling sadly and fondly.
"And here, my friend, is the very finest collection of photos I've ever seen. Of course, the first night you get a hold of a camera just happens to be the night of our seventh year Quidditch cup win for Gryffindor." Remus said, chuckling. "I think you've got some fine photos in here. Good memories, all."
He opened the lid and smiled at the first one he came across.
"James would have paid you plenty for this one." He laughed. "The first ever kiss James managed to weasel out of Lily. A fine moment in Marauder history, I feel." He reluctantly put the photo back on the top of the pile, not allowing himself to see the ones of him and Sirius that lay beneath it. He replaced the lid and tied a strong bit of twine around it before tossing it through the veil. He watched again as the curtains marked their disapproval with shifting and sweeping back and forth until they settled once more.
Then Remus reached for the final object that lay in the bag. He pulled forth a little box about the size of a shoebox, and amazingly tatty after all these years. He lifted the lid and looked sorrowfully inside at the four tiny creatures who still ran about as energetic as the day he first met hem.
"I am truly sorry to see these lads go, but I'm sure you could do with the company." Remus said as he watched the four critters playing like a bunch of teenage boys. "Wherever you are…"
"I've been so faithful." Remus said suddenly. "All those years while you were in Azkaban, all that time, and then again when you were gone for real. Not just faithful in person, but in spirit, in mind. I never once doubted you, not really, because you made a promise, and I felt bound to honour that. Of course, me the dreamer, I still don't believe or can't believe… I don't know if it's real. I've been true all this time because I've been living on a dream.
"I have always been a dreamer, Sirius. But a million of my dreams were resting on you, and a million dreams died with you. And I think, dear Padfoot, that I died too. Some part of me that was really you, and some part of me that relied on you, wholly and utterly. I died, Sirius, when you died. You and I and a million dreams.
"And I knew I had to move on. Tonks tried to help me with that, but it all went wrong. I couldn't do it, Sirius. I couldn't bloody do it. And, my most dear of friends, I don't know if I ever will. But in all things must we make an effort, so here's to effort."
He said this as he replaced the lid on the box, levitating it up and through the veil, ignoring the hideous thrashing of guilt and sorrow at parting with his tiny Sirius after all these years.
"In essence, Sirius, I've come to say goodbye, I think." Remus went on once the box had disappeared and the curtains had mostly settled. "I have no idea what happens after this, but what I came here for today was to say goodbye."
Remus pressed his fingers to his lips and kissed them, then pressed that kiss upon the curtain. He stood up and sighed as he stared at the curtain once more. He sniffed and tried to ignore his growing tension and growing tears.
"Good bye, my friend. I'll always love you." He whispered.
Remus turned away from the veil, and as he did he paused. Ever so softly, he could hear the quiet whispers of which Harry had spoken. They sounded so far away. He fancied they were singing to him, a sad song of loss, and a song of good-byes.
He swallowed hard and looked at the cold, unforgiving stones beneath his feet, wiping a tear away as he prepared to take the first step away from it all. As he watched the floor, he spotted a tiny black thing as it moved around his feet from behind him.
Remus choked a little as he bent down to scoop up the tiny black dog, the mini-Sirius from the floor. He sniffed and wiped his cheeks free of tears.
"I suppose I probably shouldn't have abandoned you to that veil, eh?" He asked, smiling sadly and swallowing.
"I should think not." Said a voice from behind him.
There's not a voice in the world that Remus would have been more pleased to hear, and when he turned around, his million dreams came rushing back.