Chapter One: Aftermath
Harry Potter sighed and got to his feet. It had been such a long night… Sleep would be welcomed at a time like this. He had been offered a bed by several students, and had been tempted to accept, but despite his exhaustion, there was a fervent restlessness about him that prevented him from taking even a short break. Who was he to sleep, he thought, while others were still downstairs mourning the dead?
"Harry," said Ron, when Harry expressed these feelings, "you kind of just defeated Voldemort. I think you're allowed to sleep now."
The laugh that fell from Harry's lips was hollow; he wanted to agree, but there were some images that wouldn't dissipate from his mind's eye… So many lives had been claimed tonight, and the sight of those bodies lying in the Great Hall were enough to make him physically ill.
He wanted to cry for them, all of them, but was too exhausted. He wanted to do something to make their deaths seem more meaningful, more justified, but his mind was too clouded to come up with a fitting tribute. His head ached.
Minerva McGonagall had told him to get some rest. Maybe she was right…
But then Harry heard something, something that made his heart sick. As he wandered the corridors with Ron, looking for something useful to do, a few choice words caught his attention: "…did you see Professor Lupin? I heard he got attacked by Greyback, but I didn't see any bad wounds…"
It struck Harry that he had not bothered to find out how Remus and Tonks had died. He could have asked Remus himself, if he hadn't been so preoccupied with his own impending death… Had Greyback really finished the job he had started when he first bit Remus all those years ago?
He had to find out.
He searched, frantically, for anyone who might have witnessed their deaths. Remus and Tonks, the new parents of Teddy Lupin… Teddy deserved to know how his parents had died, didn't he? But who could Harry ask about it?
He returned to the Great Hall, despite his hesitation to see the rows of dead bodies lying so unnaturally still beneath the enchanted ceiling, which was beginning to glow with pre-dawn streaks of pink. Harry looked over to where Lupin and Tonks still lay, side by side, as it should be. There were a few people standing in front of them, including professor Flitwick and, Harry was dismayed to see, Andromeda Tonks.
She looked horrible, with lines of slow-falling tears framing her still-pretty face. Her eyes were pink and puffy, and she could not seem to take her eyes off the body of her daughter.
Harry felt dreadfully guilty, seeing her like this.
He approached, and realized that professor Flitwick was talking to her.
"You'd have been so proud of her," he was saying. "She was so loyal to Remus… and so brave… It was tragic to see them go, but at least they died valiantly, as we would all expect."
Andromeda seemed deaf to Flitwick's words. She continued to stare, blankly, at her daughter.
But Harry was interested in what Flitwick had to say. He moved forward, unnoticed, and halted in front of Flitwick, who took one look at Harry and beamed.
"Oh, Mr. Potter," he said. "I don't believe I've had the honor of congratulating you yet."
"Thanks, professor," said Harry hastily. "Please, I just wanted to know… did you see what happened to Remus and Tonks?" Harry avoided looking at their bodies as he spoke their names.
Flitwick's face fell and he cast a sad glance at Andromeda, who was still pale and unmoving beside them. "Yes, I saw the whole thing…" he said quietly. "Remus was fighting, and managed to temporarily knock out Dolohov before Tonks arrived. Of course, I had my own battles to attend to, but I saw Fenrir Greyback attack Remus just as Tonks appeared." Flitwick took a breath to steady his voice. "It was a quick scuffle, then Greyback fled, leaving Remus lying on the ground, crushed and bleeding. Everyone continued to battle around them, and Tonks tried to clean him up, but of course it was too late…" Flitwick's voice broke. "Remus was… obviously in pain. Tonks held him, trying to comfort him. I didn't see much after Remus finally died, I'm afraid, but I know that Tonks tried to avenge him and was hit by a Killing Curse by Bellatrix Lestrange before she could reach Greyback... And that's all I know."
Harry nodded, but inside he felt numb. Andromeda had turned to listen and was watching him intently, her face still shining with tears. Harry let out a breath, then turned to face her.
"I think it's time I met my godson," he said.
"I quite agree," she replied softly.
A/N: Yeah, yeah, I know, my version of Remus and Tonks' deaths was a little off from what JKR said happened, but I did write this before that chat transcript came out, and anyway, I believe my was slightly more fitting - for me, anyway. I guess we'll have to accept that this is slightly AU. I'd still like to thank everyone who has reviewed. Lol, really, I love you guys.