020. colourless

The sky was colourless, as if the Creator had forgotten to lay paint to the grand canvas of the heavens. If He had forgotten to paint the sky, He certainly hadn't forgotten to paint the earth: bright leaves of all colours littered the ground in a dazzling autumn array. Remus Lupin kicked at them as he waded through their coloured sea. He looked down at his feet as he walked. He didn't need to look up; he knew where he was going. He was going to the very same place he had gone at least once a year for the past nine years. Sometimes he went often. In the beginning he had gone once a week, which had lengthened to once a month, and finally yearly.

The bouquet of lilies in his hand made a crumpled sound as they hit against his thigh. He paused for a moment, tapping the bouquet against his leg before moving towards the tombstone, head bowed. He crouched in the cool grass and set the lilies in front of the stone as if as an offering.

Cold fingers traced over the engraving in the stone. James Potter 1960-1981. Lily Potter 1960-1981. He closed his eyes and ran his fingers down over the rest of the engraving. Loving parents. Dear friends. And onetime Lover, his traitorous mind supplemented. He drew his hand back and climbed to his feet, tears stinging his eyes. He didn't think it would still hurt so much after all these years.

He wished he could remember James how he was before, instead of how he looked the night Remus found him, eyes open in shock, hair standing on end. He wished he remembered the boy with wild eyes and even wilder hair. He wished he remembered the carefree boy who could convince him to blow off Potions to kiss him behind the greenhouses. He wished he remembered…

A cool breeze blew and he gathered his coat closer. In the distance the laughter of children echoed over the cemetery. It was almost time for trick-or-treating. Time to leave.

As he is walking home he catches a glimpse of a young boy, maybe eleven, running down the sidewalk, laughing. He's dressed as a pirate with a patch covering one eye and a stuffed parrot on his shoulder. His tri-cornered hat falls off behind him and brown hair catches in the wind and stands on end. For a moment Remus freezes as the boy stoops to pick up his hat because he can't help but notice that he looks so familiar. The boy flashes him a smile which Remus can't help but return and as he runs off, no doubt to play a prank. Remus smiles and he remembers.