The trouble is, they killed Harry Potter years ago.

Remus feels a painful smile pull at his lips. Dumbledore had always known and they'd made the decision and Hagrid had cried and Sirius hadn't been able to look anyone in the eye for weeks. They'd caught Peter and thrown him into fucking Azkaban for helping kill Lily and James and he'd told them what he'd known and he'd known quite a bit and they'd caught tons of Eaters and Voldemort was gone. No chance to return.

He's been living in America for nearly eight years and no one of importance to his former life knows he's here. He lives in a little gated community in upper Indiana. He works entirely from inside his house, lives mostly in only one room where he has a small fridge and three computers. His wand is somewhere in the attic and once a month he goes up to the lake and locks himself into a cabin he's bought.

It'd taken quite a bit of effort to work up the money to get things so...cheery...but a few computer classes had gone a long way and his inner bookworm had flourished with glee.

He hasn't spoken to Sirius in eight and a half years and he's never cared to contact anyone else. No one. He doesn't want to remember the Order...They're rather like that group of people from Murder on the Orient Express...Each took their metaphorical knife and stabbed it into an infant who had the misfortune to be housing a part of the Dark Lord.

Remus' vision blurs. He's a little bit high on allergy medication, there's something moldy growing on one of his computer desks and he's not motivated enough to do anything about it. He reaches to his right, past several mice and their various cords, for a can of soda. The thing clangs emptily against the processor. He's completely addicted to caffeine and it's only thanks to his were-metabolism that he isn't one of those stereotypical obese Americans...and he does think of himself as an American now.

He has a made up story about it...He grew up in Ohio...moved around quite a bit. Father was a professor of Social Work. Mother stayed at home...Never really settled anywhere...He has a made up wife who died giving birth to their son, who died when he was two from pneumonia...

He's lied a lot since then. Gets people to leave him alone. Thinks he's a 'poor dear'. Widower. Blah-blah.

One night, three years ago, he had on the radio...'Late nights with Alice Cooper' and he heard the song and it made him ill...

Dead babies...

Oh, God.

He blanches and goes back to writing the latest program he's been asked to write.

Sometimes he does technical manuals too.

The occasional thesis paper.

And one book under a penname.

It didn't do well mainstream.

The critics proclaimed it a cult-classic for people with strong stomachs and a mental disturbance.

Remus agrees wholeheartedly and he wonders if Sirius has read it.

He wonders if he should send him a copy.

Maybe Arthur as well, but if Molly found out. It would be hell.

He's dizzy now. The dehumidifier hasn't gotten rid of the mold. He should just get a new desk. He'd have to go out...Or online. Yes, that'll do. He's heard he can get his groceries delivered if he orders online as well...That would be nice.

He hears a motorcycle roar past down at the road.

Not the sky, Remus.

He spins his chair around. His head hurts and he can't look at the screen any longer. When he bought the house it was a 'unique fixer upper' that he never bothered to fix. The carpet is stained, the walls are dingy, a smoker lived there, and the paint was sloppily done to begin with. There's a futon, two empty book shelves, the computers, a phone, and his moldy computer desk.

He sleeps in here usually...

It's so empty. He's considered putting up pictures, but he doesn't have any Muggle ones...The moving would be distracting and that's a lie too. He doesn't want to look at their faces. He wonders if the ones of Lily and James will still be able to smile at him.

Or if Harry will still squirm contentedly in his crib or would he lie there still...?

Remus rubs the heels of his hands into his eye sockets and lets out a weak little cough. His sinuses are exploding and his ears are ringing. He grinds his teeth and finally gets up. He stumbles through the house in search of caffeine and more medicine.

One day, in a desperate bid to make the explosion of his head stop, he took four little red pills and spent the rest of the day talking to giant bees. Where was his damn werewolf metabolism and immune system when he needed it? Can't get fat but he can be subjugated by mold and giant bees.

God laughs.

Remus thinks he needs a dog. Something to remind him that he isn't an extension of the computer. That he isn't just a thing that the publishing companies and the software companies turn on and off when they need him.

A dog would remind him too much of Sirius.

Sirius had whined like a kicked puppy when Harry stopped breathing.

Remus' stomach is churning. He leans over the sink and splashes lukewarm water into his face. Just being out of the hot room where the mold is growing and the computer fans are whirring and the dehumidifier is buzzing is helping his head, but he's going to go back in a minute anyway.

He has a damn program to write...

...and he hopes the computer has made some progress on reformatting his life.

Last time he checked it was only at 12 percent.


I don't own Harry Potter.