Remus opened the door to his bedroom like he did every night, with his hand shaking, his heart beating loudly and his lungs fighting to take the next breath. It was as if somewhere, deep inside, he still hoped one day, when he opened that door, his wife would be inside, waiting for him, like she used to.
It had been almost six months, and he still felt his heart break every moment of every day, every time he thought about her. Her clothes were still hanging inside their wardrobe, her hair brush, her perfume, the little make up she had owned, were still on the dressing table, exactly where she had left them. Moving anything would mean she was gone and he could not accept that.
His gaze rested on the bed for a moment, and he felt the tears dwell in his eyes. The world felt so cold without her, so empty. Every time he closed his eyes he saw her there, heard her laugh in his head, her voice, and that beautiful smile of hers, the one that was just for him.
It was so unfair; they had had so little time together. He had been a fool for too long, pushing her away, telling her he was too old for her, too poor, too jaded. She had insisted, had understood him so well. She had known those were empty excuses, born from the fear of letting anyone close, from the fear of rejection. She had been patient, standing by his side when he had needed a friend, giving him the time and space he had needed, stealthily making her way into his life, his heart, until he had realized just how much she meant to him, what he really felt.
He could remember the first time he had kissed her as if it had been the day before. She had had a terrible day at the Ministry, an unexpected Death Eaters attack that had left death and destruction, and a fellow Auror, a close friend to her, badly injured. She had looked so sad, almost broken, blaming herself for things she could not have prevented. He had seen the fire in her eyes that only a good battle could cause tainted by the sadness, the pain. He had seen she needed someone to talk to, someone who would listen, and he had sat by her side, letting her speak and respecting the silences.
He had seen how hard she was trying not to break down, to remain strong, and when a single tear had fallen from her eye he had instantly wiped it with his thumb, his hand lingering on her cheek, softly caressing her, and then, without thinking, he had leaned forward, his lips barely ghosting over hers, not sure why he was doing it, or if he should. Then her hands had cupped his face, and she had kissed him back, waking in him a passion he had never known existed, showing him with that single kiss hat they were meant to be together, for all eternity.
The part of him that was tired of suffering pushed those thoughts away, and he finally stepped inside the bedroom, closing the door behind him. He slowly walked to the wardrobe and hanged his robes, absently touching hers for a moment, noting how her smell still lingered on them.
That first kiss had marked the beginning of a new life for him. With her he had learnt what love was; he had felt desire and happiness like never before. How could something so strong last so little? A month after that day they had been married, and less than a year later she had been cruelly taken from him, the war claiming her life long before her time and leaving him alone again, only then it was worse, because he knew what happiness was, knew what life could be, and also knew he would never feel that way again, not without her.
He forced himself to close the wardrobe and step away, taking a moment to change his clothes before slowly slipping into bed, resting on his side, his hand moving to her pillow.
Memories of their last day together pushed their way into his mind, images of that sunny morning, when he had woken up to see her beside him, resting on her side, silently watching him sleep. As soon as he had opened his eyes she had smiled at him, her eyes shining as she leaned closer and kissed him softly, lovingly. He had had no idea when he had responded to the kiss, when he had pushed her back against the mattress, resting on top of her as his hands roamed her body, caressing every bit of skin they could find, that it would be the last time.
How was he to know that day it would all end, that he would never feel her lips on his skin, her hands on his body, making him feel loved, making him want nothing but her, nothing other than making her as happy as she made him?
He felt his hand shaking softly against her pillow as he thought about how much he had lost. She had been his entire life, and now he was alone again. He had lost so much, suffered so much during his entire life, and yet nothing could compare to this.
It was the little things that he missed most. He missed the way she would frown when she didn't agree on something he was saying and the way she could laugh, so carefree, no matter what was happening. He missed the way she walked, the way she moved, the way she could turn his body on fire with just a mischievous smile. He missed the way they would sit by the fire, those hours she had spent lying on the soft couch, resting her head on his lap, hours he had spent absently caressing her hair, and also the nights he would lie in bed beside her, watching her sleep, hearing her slow breathing, knowing that as long as he had her by his side, he would need nothing more.
He could remember their last kiss too, just as vividly as he remembered the first one. They had been informed of the attack, had been trying to decide who would go and what they would do, and when he had taken her hand, when he had asked her not to go in the first group, to stay with the others guarding the perimeter, she had turned to him, smiling, and had told him not to worry. She had told him she could not stay behind knowing he was there, and then she had softly caressed his cheek, asked him to be careful, and promised they would go somewhere for dinner when she returned. Then she had told him she loved him, the three words softly whispered into his ear, and she had kissed him. It had been a short kiss, barely more than a peck, as if they had the rest of their lives ahead of them, as if they had all the time in the world to be together; to kiss. He had thought that too; he had never imagined it would be the last time he would hear her voice, the last time they would kiss; that he would never have a chance to return her words, to tell her he loved her, to kiss her like he should have. So much wasted time, so many words unsaid, but he too had thought he had all the time in the world to say and do all that.
If only he had known, he would have stopped her, he would have kept her by his side, would have locked her up if necessary; anything to keep her away from the fight, to stop her from running to the heart of the battle, to stop the curse that had hit her, to erase that image from his mind, her looking back at him in the last second, her last breath, her last thought on him as she silently told him she loved him, that she was sorry, and then the life leaving her eyes, leaving only an empty body behind, all that was left of the woman he loved with all his heart.
He knew her death had been crucial to end the war, that it had distracted Voldemort enough for Harry to kill him, but if it had been his choice, he would have let the war rage on if that meant he could keep her by him. He did not care about how many lives had been saved, all he wanted was her, to have her in his arms one more time, to hear her laugh, to feel her heart beating against his again. What he wouldn't give for one last chance, for one more night.
He heard the door to the bedroom creak open, saw from the corner of his eye the dim light that filtered from the hallway, and a figure standing silently on the doorway. He didn't need to look, he already knew who it was, but still his gaze moved to the figure, only her outline visible against the light behind her, her short curvy figure, her bushy hair.
"What are you doing here?" he asked, sounding broken and resigned even to his own ears.
"I thought you might need some company," she replied in a low whisper.
"What are you doing here?" he repeated, sitting up slightly.
"I want to help you, Remus," she whispered back, stepping inside and closing the door behind her, leaving the room almost completely dark again, the only light the one that filtered through the open window, cast by the bright, almost full moon.
"I don't want help, I don't need it," he said, sternly. "I have told you time and time again, why do you insist?"
"Because I know that is not true," she said, walking closer to him. "Because I know you are in pain, and you don't deserve that."
"Please, don't do this," he whispered, watching her sit on the bed beside him but unable to stop her. It was not the first time she had gone to him over the last months, and as much as his mind had rejected the idea, his body had craved the contact. She always went to him just before the full moon, knowing those nights his self control wavered just enough.
Remus closed his eyes, his hands balled into fists as he focused only on staying where he was, on not moving, on not giving in.
"It is all right," she whispered by his ear, her soft fingers caressing his cheek, her body so close he could feet the heat coming from her skin.
"Don't," he repeated, but didn't push her away, didn't pull back when her lips ghosted over his. A part of him wanted to feel again, wanted to forget the loss, forget the pain, if only for a few minutes. It didn't matter that it was a lie; it was an escape nonetheless.
Her tongue traced his lower lip, making him gasp, and she seized the opportunity and deepened the kiss. He felt his instincts take control then, his hand moving on its own accord, his fingers burying themselves in the soft curls, pushing her head closer, pulling her body against him.
He kept his eyes closed all along, not wanting to see her, for even in the dim light he would easily find all the differences. Even then he would know that was not the smile of the woman he loved, that those were not her eyes, that the soft skin he touched was not hers; but maybe, just maybe, he would be able to push that knowledge away if he didn't see her; maybe he would be able to fool himself long enough to forget, long enough to feel something other than pain again.
He moved his hands to her shoulders, pulling her closer and then pushing her back against the mattress, moving to rest on top of her. He could not be gentle, could not be soft and caring; it was simple release, an attempt to escape reality, and she knew it; she did not expect anything different.
His hands trailed up her legs, pushing the nightgown up around her waist, his fingers hooking on the waistband of her knickers, hastily pushing them down her legs. He could smell her arousal and felt the wolf inside him resist, knowing that was not his mate, that it was not the woman he was meant to be with. It did not matter that she was gone forever, that changed nothing; the wolf knew she was the only one for him, and rejected this poor substitute. Still, Remus didn't care; at that moment, he did not care about anything, and that was exactly what he had wanted. Freedom, however faint and unreal it was.
He moved his hand between her legs, testing her readiness, and heard her moan his name, almost breaking through the blissful denial he had forced upon himself.
"Don't speak," he whispered, as he swiftly pushed his own clothes aside.
He moved his hands to her thighs, parting them further, but pulled back when he felt her arms around his neck, trying to push him closer to her. With a low growl he wrapped his fingers around her wrists, pushing her arms away and pinning them over her head. He heard her moan again at his actions, knew that she found his behaviour a turn on, but that was not the reason why he did it. The closer she was, the harder it was for him to ignore the fact that she was not the one he needed.
Using one hand to keep both her arms pinned, he moved the other between them, guiding himself inside of her. He stilled for a moment, giving her time to adjust before he started moving, thrusting hard into her, loving the feel of having another body so close to him, even if it wasn't who he wanted.
Still, it was not right, it did not feel right. His body was too close to hers, much too close to ignore her scent, even if his closed eyes allowed him to ignore her appearance.
With a groan, he pulled himself away from her, his hands on her hips easily turning her around, so that he could thrust inside of her again, but from behind.
Burying his hand in her curly hair he moved fast, hard, hearing her moan his name as her muscles tightened around him. Even as she came, her inner walls mercilessly clamping around him and pulling him with her, he did not make a sound, focusing only on the feeling, on the physical satisfaction she was giving him, not able to feel anything else.
He took a moment to recover before pulling back, slipping out of her body and rolling to the side, resting on the bed. He finally opened his eyes again, his gaze fixed on the ceiling as he heard her breathing slowly go back to normal.
Why did he continue to do it, why did he accept her in his bed, when they both knew she was not the right one? She gave him a few moments of relief, a time in which he could push everything else away from his mind, moments in which he could pretend it was his wife that was touching him, pretend it was her body surrounding him, that she was still there, with him, but then it was over, and reality came back, and then there was no more fooling himself, no more escape, only pain.
After a moment he felt her sit up on the bed by his side, her back to him. He knew he should say something, knew he was hurting her with his silence, but he couldn't bring himself to speak.
A few more seconds passed in silence, and finally she stood up, fixing her clothes before turning to face him.
"It doesn't have to be like this," she whispered, and he tilted his head, his eyes meeting hers at last.
"You know it won't change; why do you keep coming back?" he asked. It didn't matter that his wife was dead; he still felt he was betraying her.
"Because I love you, Remus," she said. "I know you are in pain, but you have to move on."
"I cannot make you happy; I am not the right man for you. I know deep inside you are aware of that, so why are you here?" he asked, his gaze leaving her again.
"Because I can't stand to see you like this," she whispered, and he remained silent. "She's gone, Remus; she is not coming back. Maybe it is time you start living again; maybe it is time you see what is standing right in front of you."
He turned to her again, and even in the dim light he saw her curvy body begin to slim, her long, bushy hair shortened in a matter of seconds.
"Why can't you move on, why can't you give yourself another chance at life? She would have wanted that; she would have wanted you to be happy."
"Just leave, Dora," he said, sadly. "Don't make this harder for you. You deserve much better than me, and one day you will see that. And when you find the right person for you, when you feel true happiness, then you will know. You will understand what she and I had, what I lost, that without her I am not myself; without her I am nothing. I cannot move on, because my life ended with hers. That curse didn't just kill her, it killed us both."
She opened her mouth to speak, and then closed it again, shaking her head. Without another word, she turned around and walked to the door, silently stepping outside and closing it behind her.
He reached for his wand, performing a quick cleaning charm on the room before lying back on the bed again.
She was wrong; he could not move on, he could not live again. The day Hermione had died, the day he had lost his wife, his friend, his partner, that day he had died too. He was only a shell of what he had once been, and there was nothing left for him, nothing life could give him. All he cared about was her, all he wanted was to have her.
He remembered a time when he had lain in bed at night next to her, thinking about the future, about forming a family, about growing old by her side. They had talked about it more than once, imagined how their house would be, how many children they would have, what they would name them. She had wanted to wait until the end of the war to start a family, not wanting to bring children into the world they were living in; would her decision have changed, if she had known she had so little time left? Would his life have changed, if he had not been alone, if he had had a part of her still with him? There had been a world full of possibilities ahead of them, a future brighter than he had ever imagined, and then life had cheated him so badly. It had given him a taste of paradise, and then had ripped it away from him, making his world so dark, full of pain and despair. How could he ever move on, how could he continue to live?
It was a matter of days, maybe weeks, but it would not be long; he could feel it inside of him. He would join her soon; he would leave the pain behind at last and follow her. He would find her, wherever she was, and they would be together again, for all eternity, like they were meant to.
He had often wondered if someone could die of a broken heart; now he knew he would. It was a slow, painful death, but one he would welcome nonetheless; anything to be with his love again.
Well, this was my very first attempt at writing Remus, so I was (and still am) a little nervous about it, lol
Hope you enjoyed it, and please don't forget to review and let me know what you think!
Thanks for reading:D