Disclaimer: all characters from Harry Potter belong to JK Rowling.
He hated Tonks…god how he hated her! No that wasn't quite true. What was true was that she was possibly the only woman in the world who would ever love him. Remus sighed heavily as he looked out of the small window in his front room; the only room other than the bedroom, small kitchen and bathroom in the flat.
She was too damned young and one day when they least expected it he would hurt her. That was how it went; he always hurt his friends, if not by shredding their very bodies, then by not having faith in them…betraying them.
He looked down from the window again; 20 stories…if he jumped, there would be no way he would survive. Tonks was the only person who would care, her and perhaps Harry. But after the war Harry had moved up North with Ginny, everyone had moved away it seemed. He was left here alone…with Tonks.
They weren't suited, they had nothing in common and they would bore each other to death within one year of marrying. Still, it would be a fun year perhaps, at least not a lonely one. And could he really ask for more in a world where most people hated him for what he was…something he was not responsible for and could never change.
I am a werewolf.
The god of the wizards had granted him this chance to be with someone again. A friend and perhaps for a while, a lover. But he would almost be taking advantage of her, he certainly wasn't in love with her. He knew what being in love was…
Remus moved from the window as he did everyday and made himself tea and a sandwich. He ate it slowly and sipped at his tea. He then moved to the small desk in the corner and pulled out a book he'd been reading. Only ten pages left. Then what? He'd likely read every book ever published.
Tonight she would come by and they would have the same argument they had had every night since the war began. She would leave on a melancholy note, declaring she would never give up and he would kiss her cheek. He'd go to bed and then he'd awaken, stare out of his window, contemplate what it would be like to jump and then…eat a sandwich and sip more tea and then…
He sighed and quickly finished the book and then sat staring at its cover. His mind replaying memories of the past. He had no idea how long he'd sat there, but the next thing he knew he was lifting a heavy head from the desk-top, waking up to a loud rapping upon the door.
Remus stood up slowly and moved to the door. He noticed it was still daytime, late afternoon if he gauged by the light filtering in through the small window. It couldn't be Tonks so early, could it?
Remus opened the door and immediately froze. The small, rotund figure of Peter Pettigrew stood before him, smiling with brilliantly white teeth and with the face and hair of a twenty year old.
Remus blinked, confusion overwhelming his senses for a moment before he figured he must be dreaming. It wasn't that Peter looked young;
Peter Pettigrew was dead.
He'd seen Peter die with his own eyes; taken out by Voldemort as he tried to protect Harry.
It was a dream, he knew it. But since it was a dream and Peter looked to be only twenty, that meant he hadn't betrayed James yet! Even dream company was welcome at this point, he never dreamed.
'P-Peter,' Remus stuttered.
Peter smiled, but said nothing more.
Remus was still a bit too much in shock to know what to say next, so he merely stood and stared.
Peter started looking uncomfortable and that snapped Remus back a little.
'Peter, come in,' he said, stepping back into his house.
Peter suddenly looked very uncomfortable and began looking behind him in both directions, his face filled with distress.
'What is it?' Remus asked frowning.
But Peter said nothing. Instead,
'My god Peter, you must be the world's worst prankster known to mankind. You are clearly out of practice!'
Remus heard the voice seconds before he saw it's owner, but he didn't have to see its owner to know that beloved voice.
Sirius came swaggering up behind Peter, seemingly out of no where, a wild smile across his features and his eyes sparkling. He was old gorgeous self...like when he was about...twenty years old.
'Sirius!' Remus said in a breathless whisper. This dream, his only dream since he was a child was precious!
'Remy,' Sirius responded and moved forward knocking Peter aside as he enveloped Remus in a warm hug, too warm to be a dream.
Tears sprang to Remus' eyes, but he tried not to move very much, he didn't want to wake himself up. But the tight grip he had about Sirius didn't lessen.
'If you two love birds can manage to part for a moment, we'd like to do our bit of welcoming.'
Remus heard the voice and his heart skipped a beat. It couldn't be. He risked lifting his head from Sirius' shoulder and there before him stood a smiling James…and Lily!
'Oh god,' Remus managed on a sob.
'Nope, not god, just me and Lily.'
Remus laughed through his tears, he felt twenty years old again himself and come to think of it, James looked about twenty as did Lily.
Sirius released him and shoved him toward the couple who also enveloped him in a hug.
'Welcome to wizard heaven, Remy, we've been awaiting you.' James' voice was warm and emotive.
Remus' four visitors began laughing lightly at the bemusement in the werewolf's face. A joyous, warm and welcoming laughter.
Remus looked up with a slight frown, 'wi-wizard heaven?'
'It took you long enough,' murmured Sirius, 'I really thought you would come leaping through the veil a lot sooner.'
'Leaping through the veil?' Remus began looking around and then pinched himself, but the scene before him didn't fade.
James chuckled, 'our Remy is too valiant to kill himself, you know that, no matter how unhappy and depressed. He's a brave Gryffindor!'
Sirius smiled, 'my Remy.'
The others laughed and Remus' intense gaze met Sirius' laughing grey eyes for a moment.
'Welcome Remy,' Peter said softly.
Remus' eyes slipped from Sirius and he looked at Peter then at everyone else again, his face swathed in confusion.
Sirius approached and placed an arm around his shoulders, 'you died, Remus. You sat at your desk this morning and after thinking thoughts that brought even me close to tears, your heart just stopped.'
'My heart just…what?'
'Stopped. And that is when we moved in. You are with us now. Normally, wizards are eased into our world with a bit more decorum…but we asked permission to be there whenever it happened to you and James-'
'James?' James cried, his tone incredulous and his eyes wide as he regarded Sirius.
Sirius smiled a little, 'okay, me and James decided it would be much better to prank you into the after-life. You know, being as you are a Marauder and all. But Peter mussed it all up!'
'I – I d-died?'
'Yup! And we were all overjoyed that you would be joining us! Really Remy, at the rate you were going, we would have had to wait another seventy or eighty years. Thank god for your over-burdened wolf-heart.'
'But my home…this is my flat.' Remy looked around, this certainly wasn't heaven. It couldn't be!
'Yes it is,' Lily said gently, 'we are on earth still, that is how it is always done, we bring you home from here. Helps wizards adjust…but not when you have knuckle heads like your good friends Sirius and James waiting for you. I tried to tell them not to do it, but they insisted you wouldn't want it any other way...pranked into the afterlife...indeed.' She scowled a little at James and Sirius.
Remus was still filled with disbelief. This couldn't be happening…but if it was…
Lily smiled once more at her friend, 'come Remus, we will prove it to you.'
Remus followed his friends into the house, watching James and Sirius elbow one another on the way in.
Lily took Remus into the bathroom and stood him before the mirror. Remus stood in shock, seeing himself as he was at twenty. His face with no lines, but more than that; he didn't even have the scars his face had held since he was a child.
'Hold on,' Lily said.
Remus didn't have an opportunity to ask what she was talking about; everyone had gathered around him and suddenly the apartment began to fade from view. The next thing he knew he was in a dim, rather cold room that looked very sterile.
'Here,' said Lily, pointing to a figure lying on a bed-slate.
Remus moved closer to the figure, rather horrified to find he was looking at himself, his old self anyway. The older more mature Remus of…this morning. The one with the lined and scarred face…the one who was clearly dead.
Remus turned from the sight and his friends immediately gathered round again.
'Don't worry, Remy,' Sirius said softly, 'in a moment, all of that will seem of very little importance.'
Sirius was right. Only moments after accessing wizard heaven, it felt like all of the troubles Remus had known before that moment had faded into a dim memory.
It was beautiful and yet in ways very like earth. There were houses, stores, nature, animals and an incredible number of people about. But there was something else that he realized upon arrival. He really had died.
Sirius hugged him again the moment they arrived, 'very much like earth, eh?'
Remus nodded slowly a little in awe. It was all much more lovely than he could have imagined and he had arrived! No more troubles, no more worries and no more...well anything! That brought a thought to his mind.
Remus looked at Sirius with curiosity in his gaze, 'am I still a…wolf?'
'Whenever you want to be, it is like an animagus form here, but without the pain, torture and desire to kill.'
Remus' eyes were shining, 'and you?'
'Same for me…and James and Peter too.'
'I'm going to love it here.'
'Yes you are, everyone does. All your troubles are left behind,' Sirius cleared his throat, 'but some things here are still the same…Lily and James are still a couple…' Sirius said softly, his voice full of innuendo.
And Sirius still loved him! A smile crossed his face that could have lit up a sunless world.
'Yes, I still love you, Sirius,' Remus answered the unspoken question at once, his voice trembling a little.
Sirius grinned broadly and hugged him again tightly, 'thank god,' he declared, a soft growl escaping his throat as his lips came in contact with Remus' neck. 'I'll always love you; I'm your mate for eternity if you'll have me.'
'As if I'd consider anything else,' Remus whispered in response.
After a few long moments in warm, loving arms, Remus suddenly shoved Sirius away and began looking around at his friends, a grand smile lighting his features.
'So, you thought you'd prank me in welcome to our new home, eh? Perhaps you should have thought twice about that. When you least expect it…expect it!' he declared wildly.
The other four laughed uproariously.
'The Marauders are reunited at last!' declared Peter
'The Marauder's plus one!' Lily said a little crossly.
James turned quickly and pulled her into a hug, 'we wouldn't have it any other way, love.'
'Of course!' declared Sirius immediately.
'Naturally,' agreed Peter.
'A Marauder you are then,' Remus chimed in.
Sirius captured Remus with one arm and pulled him close, 'poor Lily, she doesn't yet realize that most of the pranks we pull are on one another.'
Remus laughed shaking his head sadly, 'she'll learn soon enough.'
The five moved off toward Sirius' house to get Remus settled in.
There was an air of excitement about them as they moved through the pristine streets of Broom Town in wizard heaven. The world immortal was at their fingertips and they had forever to be together. The Marauders were finally together again.
Tonks and her husband walked through the small graveyard and she stooped to place a flower on one of the graves.
She smiled fondly, knowing the first man she had ever loved was likely more happy now than he could have ever been with her. A warm feeling burst in her chest at the thought that Remus had inadvertently left her with the greatest gift of all. Her husband, the man who had comforted her when Remus had passed away years before.
'Let's go then Percy,' Tonks said brightly to her love, 'we promised the kids a trip to Hogsmeade and you know they will never let us live it down if we are late.'
Percy leaned in and kissed his wife. 'Mommy and Daddy might have to be a little late,' he said hugging her tightly.
She sent another small thought of thanks to Remus as she gazed fondly at her husband. The love she felt for Percy was greater than any she had ever known and her happiness knew no bounds. She knew somehow that Remus had too found those things…
And she was quite correct.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------