Title: Iridescent

Author: Girl Who Writes

Word Count: 944

Rating: PG

Prompt: 23. Crash; 26. Quiet; 27. The Staircase.

Summary: She turns her head away from him the last days before he leaves.

Author's Note: This story was written as part of rtchallenge at livejournal's February Ficathon. For Prompt 26. Quiet, I used three lyric-quotes from a Rachael Yamagata song called "Quiet". For everyone who was interested in the February Ficathon, it's being run again in April :)

I was also considering creating a livejournal just for my writing - there'd be a lot more updates, a lot more variety. Just wondering if anyone would be interested in such a journal

Why go, I asked
You know and I know why

She throws her tea cup at him when he tells her he's leaving for the werewolf pack, with dull eyes and in a hoarse voice. She throws her tea cup at the wall, and he watches the tepid liquid slide down the wall.

She's yelling nonsense at him, having walked a tightrope with him for months. He pulled away, and left her confused. He looks at her now with the saddest eyes she's ever seen, and she grabs the front of his jacket and begs him to stay, tears in her eyes and her hair lengthening and darkening, like someone has spilt ink down it. Her face is flushed with emotion, deep circles under her eyes for the memory of Sirius Black, for worry of one Remus J. Lupin.

The temptation to hold her is there as she buries her face into his thin shirt, and he rubs her back in a soothing manner and realises this is his fault. He should've turned back before he dragged her down with him. She clings to him and he realises he's made it worse. He pulls away from her and tells her he is expected somewhere.

He offers her a clean, white hanky with his monogram in the corner, and she sits at the table, a hand over her face and the hanky clutched in her fist. She's lost her cousin, and now he's walking away with every expectation not to come back and she wants to break things intentionally. But Dung has removed all of the good china from the dining room, and Molly Weasley would have a fit if she broke the mismatched china in the cupboards.

She wants someone to hug her tight and tell her something that sounds even the tiniest bit reassuring, but the only person who could really understand is the one who left her here in the first place. And the tears that were flowing silently are replaced by girlish sobs that make her realise that she really isn't that old and that just makes everything worse.

Don't expect anything

She turns her head away from him the last days before he leaves. Her hair is deep purple and short, and her eyes are grey, the circles underneath them black hollows and he wonders if her nightmares are about Sirius's death or her duel with Bellatrix. A small, selfish and giddy voice in his head demands to know if her almost sickly appearance has to do with his fate, but she owes him nothing. If she turns her back on him, he will deserve it, and that is that.

As he packs his bags, she lingers in the doorway. She morphs herself in rough facsimiles of Ginny and Hermione, lingering in the hallway and gives up after half a dozen morphs, walking into his room, sitting on his bed and bowing her head. The purple in her hair has given away to a dull, rust colour.

"I don't want you to leave," she says simply.

He looks up her, tired and still healing from the battle at the Ministry, and scared. He owes her many things, and he'll repay her this. A moment of complete and utter weakness to wipe that defeated look from her eyes just for a moment.

"I don't want to go either." He looks away as he says it, and sighs with relief when she leaves and doesn't cry, and hates himself, hates the moon, hates Albus Dumbledore and hates the world even more than he did when she first told him she loved him madly.

You may hate me, but I'll remember to love you.

He leaves mid morning, what he assumed would be the least conspicuous part of the day. Everyone would be out of the house, and he would be left to pick up his scant bag of belongings and swing the door shut on his way out.

Maybe he intentionally foiled his own plan, forgetting she was staying at Grimmauld Place while she healed from various curses and jinxes, where everyone could keep an eye on her. He barely acknowledges her at breakfast, absent-mindedly sipping tea, and putting documents in order before he sets out. Molly fusses over him, piling his plate with food and giving him three cups of tea in her worry.

He leaves his cloak and belongings in the hallway, in front of the portrait of Mrs Black for a reason that is illogical. Her yelling will break the quiet as he leaves the empty House of Black.

He washes up his tea cup by hand, a note of thanks to Molly Weasley and walks into the foyer. Where Nymphadora Tonks is sitting on the staircase, a resigned look on her face, her hands twisting something white.

He physically cannot acknowledge her presence; it would be cruel to hold her tightly now – it was cruel to let whatever they had get so far. He stiffly picks up his old, patched cloak. And as he goes to fasten the old, bent clasp, she is beside him, her smaller, deft fingers managing to fasten the old pin easily. She drops her hands down and leans into him for just a moment.

Remus moves away, and picks up his bag, ready to walk out. He turns to the woman in the hallway, whose arms are wrapped around herself for warmth, rocking back and forth on her feet.

He steps back, and presses a kiss to her temple, and walks out of the House of Black, looking back to see her silhouetted against the staircase in the shadows of the house, and leaves, the house quiet like no one is home.