What Happened

What happens when you love someone so much, you would pretend to be someone else for them? Change, irreversibly, irrevocably… maybe even into someone you yourself despise. What happens when you lie to the world, just to coax the one you hold dear into some pale imitation of the emotion that binds you? What happens, when amidst friendliness and happiness, you fall in love with the one person you can never have, and you do everything to have her, and everything to keep yourself away… while still, you will never be good enough. What if, somehow, between trysts and unconditional promises, she falls in love with you too? What happens when the one thing that is so right becomes a nightmare, and turns everything you ever worked for in your life against you?

What happens? I asked. And I got my answer, agonizingly clear. What happens?

An entire world comes crashing down around you.

I hold your hand, and whisper in your ear.

"I love you, Lily."

You smile. A real smile, and a rare one. The stars above us reside within you. I see them. They sparkle in your eyes. Brush my lips with a butterfly kiss. Sigh.

Sigh for you. Cry for me. Weep for what we can never be.

Rain falls gently, caressing our bare skin. Your clothes are damp. Mine are dripping, the fallen drops beating out a steady rhythm on the wet ground. You look so lovely in this summer rain. A house stands behind you. A home. I think to the future. To a beautiful home I wish I could make with you. But it is not to be.

Watch the life you wanted fade away. Watch the girl you will always need turn her head.

Seeing you today was amazing. Swinging slowly on those rusty old things. The edge of panic in your face as you jumped off, the relief in your giggle when I caught you. Because I promised I would. Laughing as we ran round the tiny children's playground, indulging in something we are far too old for. Too mature to still love. I am the same way with you. Like a child sneaking out of the house, I glory in these stolen moments with you. Stolen… I steal what I can, because I know… in the end, I'll be left with nothing.

Swing slowly. Fall to the ground. Know that no one will be there to catch you.

It's a familiar pathway. All cobblestones, this bumpy road to safety. You're lurching about on old twists, falling to my lap on these ancient turns.

The carriage stops, they run ahead. We fall behind. Stroll together; watch the world pass us by…

You walk along, hand in mine, and I don't dare to believe my luck. We are alone. Stopping at these great oak doors. The close is drawing near. But I shan't give you up yet. Our time is not done. And I savor every second. Catching memories like butterflies, placing them in a drawer, storing up these time-worn love stories. For a lonelier time. Because you will leave soon. You will, I know.

I fall behind the world, just to be with you.

I changed for you, these two years. I changed during those short hours, those fleeting meetings in broom cupboards. I changed, slowly. We laughed it off, chastising each other for lack of originality; we sought out those same spots where Sirius and James would take their girls after hours. Many times we would sit… on buckets and rickety old stools, in the kitchen with house elves running all about us, in each other's arms in the Room of Requirement… and we could just talk, bodies entwined. Though, we didn't have to touch… we could feel simply in spirit.

And you saw me as no one else did. You saw something better, I'm sure, or you would not have given me these shining moments… these two best years of my life. Maybe I was someone else… someone better, someone worth loving… But only when I was with you.

Hold fast to your waist, run my hands through your silken hair. Softer than a newborn dawn, your lips on mine. Your body in my arms, our souls shivering, press together. Bound to one another, alone in this world of endless ocean, free and alive. Your eyes brighter than the moon, greener than any emerald…

Secrets, lies, a delicate web spun of barest silver threads… Shimmering, glimmering in the afterglow of a love purer than any before. Stronger than any to come after.

Such things are never made to last.

You never understood why we must remain a secret. Why? When something makes a person so happy, is it not to be shared, explored, sought after, even celebrated? But our happiness was never meant to be spread. Our joy was contained, and in secret we sought one another out, to kiss and laugh and joke and make like everything was okay.

I try to make myself believe. You are lovely in your naiveté. Our world is a cold place to bring so much light to. You are lovely, but never ready. For you are yet to be broken.

So beautiful, even in desperation. Even in this dark depression.

"Why?" You ask me.

"What happened?" I fear I will never know the answer. Some false compulsion. This has to be done.

What happened, Remus? What have you done? Shout at me, burning from within. Drying, breaking, freezing up inside.

"I hate you." These words are fierce, cutting into my skin, but they do not touch me… they can't. There's nothing left to touch. My heart is shattered into a million more pieces with every tear that falls from those once-radiant eyes.

I hate myself today. Never, never again will this world be warm. Never happy. Never bright. You will turn away. Turn to him, and things will be as they should. Turn away, go. Never look back.

I shall never live again.

You look happy. Are you?

Are you happy with him? It is something steady and real. He is your future. We have all known for years. Even you, I think. Everyone saw this, since the beginning.

Your eyes are glow greener now. Yet, they have not that same luster of our childhood. They never will. I loathe myself, for being the one to douse that passion. Putting out the fire. For being the one to break you.

Well suited, gorgeous in your bridal white. Happier, by your side in his black dress robes, eyes only for you. Laughing, one of us on the outside, a man who saw it coming stands by your husband's side.

Why should it kill you to see the woman you love happy?

This is what you planned. What you said you wanted. Despite everything, you walked away. You have no right.

So why does it hurt at all?

Dark, gray, cold. The skies are closing.

A hole is open, gaping wide, empty as my soul. Damp, dirty, bottomless.

A coffin. Shut up inside a long thin box. Remember being locked away on our own, in the dark. But I was there to hold you. You are in there alone, now.

A glowing headstone. White, weeping gracefully. Tears fall thick with the passing rain. Remember your skin, pale pink from kisses and blushes, as you splashed around in my arms.

Head bows. Mourn. I am the only one here tonight, beside you and your husband. Resting, side by side. Dying, side by side. A son together, a fight together, a terrible death together. Together for eternity.

Eternity is an awfully long time to love someone. Longer still, if you cannot tell them. Longer even, if you know… they will never love you back.

I never deserved you. I stole kisses, I told lies. What happens when you try so hard for something you should never even attempt? What happens when you desire something so fiercely, you defy everyone and everything that stands in your way? What happens when you are too weak to stand up and shriek? The world is ready for you, and she is there with you, and they are waiting, and everything is set... save for you. What happens when you lose faith and let it all go? What happens when you can't handle it? What of the time when you have to watch something that makes the rest so happy, but tears you apart inside?

I take one last long look at the solemn grave and another flood of tears threatens to rip forth. I wrench my gaze away. Eyes turned to the gate at the entrance, I stand on shaky legs. I should have kept you, loved you, and never hidden you away. Never broken you. Who ends up hurt? Is it both of us, damaged to such an irreparable extent? What happens when you are too weak, Remus, to give and feel and expose yourself the way it needs to be done?

You lose everything that matters.

Truly, when I could not love fully, I was lost. Stand alone, an empty vessel.

Hollow... With nothing left inside.

What happens when you cannot love? What are you left with in the end?

A shattered soul. A broken heart. A fragment of a memory.

Author's Note: Jumpy. I know. All over the place. Redundant and all that. Still, I would love to know what you think, so please drop me a line!

Dedicated to: WritingRamblingRavenclaw, a true inspiration and an incredible writer.