He arrived back at Grimmauld Place just in time to run into Tonks (someone he most heartily didn't want to see) and Bill. They were leaving for Hogwarts to patrol.
"I'm coming with you." He said suddenly, stopping them before they Apparated.
"You can't. If something happens and Death Eaters do show up your cover will be blown." Tonks argued.
"My cover's already been blown. That's why I'm back here. I need to feel useful, like it was worth it. Just let me come." He retorted.
Bill nodded and they Apparated. He paced the old corridors, filled with memories of his times at Hogwarts. As he passed a darkened corridor off the side of the Great Hall he smiled sadly. He'd proposed to her there the first time, before she'd left him.
Then all Hell broke loose. They ended up outside the Astronomy Tower in a heated duel. Curses were flying in every direction. He ducked just in time to miss a well-aimed Avada Kedavra. It was chaos. Somehow a group of students had joined in the madness. He saw Neville get hit with something and fall to the ground. He hoped the curse wasn't lethal.
An undeterminable amount of time passed, as he threw curses at any Death Eaters he had a clear shot at, until he saw her. They each seemed to turn from their previous duel at the same moment to face each other. The world seemed to shrink. No, the world seemed to disappear. There was nothing in this universe except them.
Her eyes were maddened, burning with rage and he knew that with every curse she'd sent flying that night, she'd hoped that it would have hit him. But she didn't move, she didn't utter a spell or flick her wand. Instead, they stood there, facing each other with their wands raised, lost in their own universe. They still had a chance, he told himself. He could still fix this.
Then the world reappeared. It came crashing back into existence as a flash of green light caught her unawares from the side. She still had a surprised expression on her face as she collapsed onto the ground. Her eyes were still looking at him; but they were blank now; soulless. He looked away, Tonks still had her wand raised. Tonks! No! How could she have done this? She was a bumbling idiot that could scarcely manage to string a spell together, but she had managed, somehow, to destroy everything he had. She'd just destroyed the only thing that had kept him going through all the dark moments in his life. The only thing that had kept him sane. And now she was gone.
He felt himself collapsing, his knees were on the ground before he realized what he was doing. "No!" He yelled, gathering her limp body in his arms. This couldn't be happening. Tonks could not have just murdered his Aislin.
Someone ran past him, he realized it was Harry, followed by a couple more Death Eaters. He didn't care. None of that mattered. His Aislin was dead. She'd been murdered by an Unforgivable from the wand of a clumsy, incompetent witch.
She was still there. She was watching him as though he'd gone mad or turned, which was even worse. This was his fault. If he hadn't blown his cover he could be snuggled in bed with her, losing himself in her. If he had turned she would still love him and she'd greet him with that mischievous smile as she beckoned him into bed. The werewolves did have a point, they were treated like some kind of dog with rabies. Why hadn't he seen? Why had this happened?
"Get away from me, Tonks!" He yelled, lashing out at her madly.
She stumbled away, he heard her footsteps echoing through the now silent corridor. He ran his fingers through her hair; it was still so soft. Nothing dead had this soft of hair, he told himself. She was just hurt; in a coma. She'd be fine. She'd wake up and she'd love him again. He picked up her hand and held it against his cheek, his tears running down her quickly cooling fingers. She'd wake up. She had to. Tonks just could not have managed to come up with the Killing Curse.
He'd marry her as soon as she woke up and they'd run away together. Dumbledore would hide them from Voldemort and they'd be happy and make little Remuses and little Aislins. They would. They could be happy. They could be happy! He was rocking her in his lap. He realized he was whispering all his plans to her. She'd know when she woke up. She'd know everything. He loved her too much for her to be dead. Love conquered everything, didn't it? Isn't that the lesson Dumbledore had tried to impress upon everyone he met. Love was what saved Harry from the Killing Curse. Couldn't his love for Aislin save her from what Tonks had done? Of course it could.
He heard a moan behind him. Someone was hurt. He should go to them, take them to the infirmary. But what if she woke up and he wasn't there? He couldn't leave her. What if she was scared when she woke up? She needed him. The person moaned again. He was torn.
Then logical, rational, sensible Remus returned. She was dead. Dead, he told himself. She wasn't coming back. But he could save someone. They were waiting for him to save them. He could redeem himself for betraying her, for driving her to fury by saving this person's life, couldn't he? Would she be proud of him for it, or scorn him? It doesn't matter. She was dead and he couldn't do anything more for her.
He could be a hero for saving this injured person. He pressed his lips to hers one last time, tears still streaming down his face. But he needed her! No, she was gone. She'd never save him from his agony again. He needed to help that person behind him. He laid her back down on the ground gently, closing her glassy, blue eyes. She deserved rest. She deserved peace. He could still save someone. He could still be useful.
He turned away from her, dragged himself away from her. There was blood, too much blood for the use of spells. He rolled the body over; it was Bill. His face was slashed open, scarcely recognizable. This wasn't the work of a spell, he knew. This was Fenrir's work. He'd seen it countless times during his stay in the pack. Fenrir would attack even when it wasn't the full moon.
But Bill could be saved. He could save Bill. He heaved the young man into his arms and stumbled down the corridor, careful to give Aislin's body wide berth. To step over her would be sacrilege. But he needed to save Bill, he could still save Bill. And he did. But he would never be happy again.