Chapter Fourteen:

Molly stared at the man sitting silently in the rocking chair, his legs drawn up to his chest, his jaw clenched, his lips pressed tightly together. He stared unseeingly out the window, had been for several hours now. His eyes were glazed and unfocused, and every once in a while a shudder ran through his thin frame, shaking him.

"Remus?" She asked uncertainly.

He didn't answer, gave no sign that he knew she was there.

She tried again. "Remus?" Her voice was stronger this time, more determined. He hadn't eaten, hadn't slept since the battle at the Ministry.

He had seemed fine at first, claimed he was simply tired. But his actions had spoken otherwise.

And at first she had left him alone, he needed time to grieve, time to deal with what had happened. But he had only gotten quieter, more withdrawn, more distant. Now she was worried.

She had very rarely seen the man upset, and certainly he had always seemed capable of dealing with things. Of course, he had always had Sirius before, to make crude jokes, annoy him, and basically drag him out of his bad mood before it got this bad.

Remus wasn't one to give personal information to anyone, save perhaps Sirius. The fact that he had no one else he felt he could talk to only made things worse.

Well, Molly had promised he wouldn't be left alone a year ago, and had determined not to many times since then. She walked over to the man, and placed a hand on his shoulder.

"Remus?" He looked up at her this time, and his eyes focused on her. Eyes filled with sorrow, anguish, fear, and even despair. He was lost, she realized. And alone, at least in his mind. "I'm sorry." She said, and found that in spite of all their arguments, all the times she had been absolutely furious with him, she actually was. "I really am." She said.

He swallowed, the tears forming, and blinked, trying to hold them back. "I am too." He said, and he shook, a sob escaping from him. And all at once he was crying, his body shaking as he did so, that side he tried so hard to hide coming through.

He was alone, lost, hopeless, and miserable. Whatever hold he had on life was strained to the point where he no longer had the strength to go on.

She pulled him gently forward from the rocking chair and wrapped her arms around him. "Shhh." She said as his head fell on her shoulder. "It'll be alright. You'll see. It hurts, I know, but at least there is pain. At least he was there."

They stayed that way for hours, Remus silently crying, shaking, sobbing. And Molly stood with him, holding him up, there for him.

As he finally calmed a bit she led him to the kitchen. She set him down at the table and fixed him some tea and some soup. When he made no move to touch it, she sat down beside him.

"You need to eat, Remus." She said softly. "It won't bring Sirius back to starve yourself. You know that. He'd want you to eat." She sighed.

He nodded, and almost mechanically started on the soup. Not a word was said while he ate, and the silence continued as he finished the tea.

It wasn't until Molly took the empty dishes away that he looked up. "Thank you." He said weakly.

"You aren't alone, Remus." Molly said in reply. "Don't ever think you are."

He nodded, slowly, and managed a ghost of a smile.

Author's Note: Sorry if this ending seemed kind of abrupt, I was really having a hard time figuring out how to continue it or any other way to end it. At any rate, I hope you've enjoyed it.