"The End is Heaven"
Part 01 – 'the one left behind'
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairings: Sirius Black/Remus Lupin, Ron Weasley/Hermione Granger, Harry Potter/Ginny Weasley
Spoilers: Books 1-7
Genre: AU, drama, romance, angst, tragedy
Summary: Remus Lupin survives the Second War and is left to raise Teddy alone.
Dolohov was in front of him. Taunting and arrogant. His wand high above his head. 'Avada Kedavra' rolling off his lips like it was the only word he knew. Remus blocked him successfully again and again. His senses sharp, his movements swift. He tried getting the upper hand, but Dolohov always managed to dodge his attack while still keeping that sardonic grin on his face that made Remus wish he was close enough so he could use his fist to smack it off the Death Eater's face.
Bellatrix Lestrange's pitched laughter suddenly reached his ears then, distracted Dolohov for that second Remus needed. He was now close enough to wipe that smirk of the Death Eater's face. Dolohov turned his head suddenly towards Remus realizing his mistake. But his surprise was only momentary and even as he was at Remus' mercy, the grin reappeared wider and even crueler than before. Remus barely had time to think about it before there was another flash of light and his world went dark.
Something wasn't right.
Remus realized this as soon as he gained consciousness.
Not right at all.
He was alive.
"He's woken up!' the voice was female and loud in his ears. Remus recognized it. Hermione Granger.
"Remus?" Another voice asked. Harry.
"Don't touch him!" This was Hermione again.
"You're going to give him a headache if he doesn't already have one," a new voice warned. Ron Weasley.
"Professor Lupin," Hermione called again, softer this time. "Can you open your eyes?"
Remus found that he could. He saw three concerned faces by his side. Looking exhausted and wary, but relieved. He also recognized the familiar, pasty walls of St. Mungo's.
"Is it over?" Remus asked.
"Voldemort is dead." Harry answered.
Remus closed his eyes again as he processed the words. He was amazingly relieved. Voldemort was dead. Harry was alive. The war was over. But still something bothered him in the corner of his mind, the feeling that something wasn't right.
"Remus," Hermione called again, almost carefully. He turned his head to look at her biting her lip, clear that she didn't want to say what had to be said. "Tonks is dead, Remus."
He blinked. His face still. Calm.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione seem to wait for something, but Remus just turned his eyes back towards the ceiling and said, "I see."
He couldn't see their faces, but he felt their surprise to his reaction or lack thereof. Harry said his name again, but Hermione hushed him. From the corner of his eyes Remus saw her shake her head and Harry looking shocked, almost horrified. They waited for a few minutes in silence, probably waiting to see if Remus would break down. When he didn't Hermione came closer.
"Remus," she said clearly, forcing Remus attention towards her. She struggled with her next words and Ron suddenly stepped beside her, taking her hand softly, helping her just by being there. "I don't think you understand what's happened-"
"I understand," Remus cut her off, his voice calm, emotionless. "Nymphadora is dead. I am a widower." Again. "I understand perfectly."
Harry's face distorted slightly again, turning into something horribly sad.
Remus suddenly knew he didn't want to handle whatever came next and, with his voice still calm, asked the three if they could please let him rest and they reluctantly obliged.
Being alone gave his thoughts permission to run rampant. He had survived. He was alive. Against all odds. He had survived the Second War.
The first thing he felt was gratitude. He hadn't become another casualty, another person for Harry to mourn. Then suddenly the faces of those that he, Remus, had to mourn, still mourned, flashed before him. Remus felt the bitterness rise in him like poison. The unfairness of it all. He tried to keep the dark feelings under control, but they were overpowering and unstoppable. He knew it wouldn't be easy to get over this, but he also knew, like always, that he had too. It was inevitable. He thought of Teddy then, innocent and helpless. Teddy needed him. He had no choice.
Remus took a deep breath, realizing his throat was dry and that he wanted water. He found his wand by the bed, grabbed it, and sent a call for a healer with it. As he settled to wait for his water, the sinking thoughts resurfaced along with the other persistent feeling in the back of his mind. One that Remus now realized wasn't a feeling at all but more like knowledge. Knowledge that something wasn't right and had to be fixed.
The funeral was quiet. It took place during a clear afternoon in a muggle cemetery where most of the Tonks family rested. Andromeda cried through it all, her hand held tightly by her sister Narcissa who had appeared unannounced and much to everyone's surprise and displeasure. At first Andromeda has threatened to send her estranged sister to the afterlife, but she had, surprisingly, calmed down and even accepted and seemed to appreciate Narcissa's presence after Harry spoke briefly with them both.
Remus sat quietly near the front, Teddy sleeping comfortably in his arms, his hair a pale brown to match his father's. Remus eyes were set downwards to the ground, he had barely spoken a word all afternoon, hadn't shed a single tear.
Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Ginny sat behind him. Their faces concerned. They had met the day before to voice their worries for Remus's stoic behavior, but couldn't reach any viable conclusion except that they would just have to wait and see. Hermione had tried to put herself in Remus' shoes and it made her heart ache terribly to think of everything he had gone through and lost. He had lost friends and family, so many loved ones, and now he was alone with a baby to take care of.
Teddy started crying near the end of the service, his hair a bright shade of furious red. Remus tried to calm him, but his efforts were clumsy and inexperienced. Andromeda started to rise from her chair, but Remus stopped her with a clear look and then rose himself muttering a soft apology on Teddy's behalf as he walked away.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione's eyes followed him until he was far in the distance, watching him trying to calm Teddy down, his face looking more lost by the second.
The three looked at each other.
Teddy screamed louder.