Broken Fragments

She wakes slowly, almost as if some part of her is fighting the inevitable, trying to remain sleeping, rather than face the day.

Some may say that Sleeping Beauty was lucky – a hundred years passed by, bringing her no pain or fear or sorrow.

But she wakes eventually, and wonders, in the moment before consistent, rational thought returns, why her heart feels heavy, why the skin on her cheeks feels oddly tight.

Then she remembers. It's because Remus left her, it's because she cried angry, bitter tears until she fell asleep.

A hand wonders down to her abdomen, of its own accord. And she thinks, with fear and awe and disbelief, that there's a life in there. A whole other person. A piece of her.

She removes the hand suddenly, as if just realising it was there, or as though the touch burned her skin.

Not just a piece of her. A piece of Remus. And she can't bring herself to touch it.

He won't be there yet, she thinks. He'll have been followed, the second he stepped from the house, with her choked cries following him. Someone will be following him, and he won't go to Harry until he's lost them.

She thinks bitterly that isn't it just so Remus to run away to help Harry, and leave his own child behind.

"Do you think they'd thank you?" She whispers, aware that no one can hear her, least of all Remus, who wouldn't listen to the words if they did reach him. "Do you think Lily and James would thank you for abandoning us for Harry? Do you think they'd do the same?"

She sighs a little, because by the end of her little speech she'd been shouting, and after all the shouting last night she'd decided to abstain from it, for the baby's sake.

Right there, in that moment, despite however much she loves him, she hates him. Because not only did he leave her and their precious, un-birthed miracle, but he used Harry, the son of two of his best friends, a boy he claimed to care for, as an excuse. And she tells herself that if that's the kind of man he is, she's better off without him. They're better off without him.

Being a mother will be weird. Good weird, but weird all the same. She's never had anyone depend on her before.

She stumbles, finally, from her room, because she realised she'd been stood still for too long. And into the shower, because crying always leaves her with a groggy feeling, and sleeping in her clothes leaves her with a dirty feeling, and a shower erases both. So she lets the hot water cascade over her, and pretends that it isn't tears that are running down her face, it isn't fear that's settled on her heart.

She'll be fine.

"We don't need him. We never did." She murmurs, then forces a smile, a joke. "Well, I guess you needed him, kiddo, but not anymore."

She climbs from the shower eventually, despite not wanting to, and dries off automatically, before wrapping herself in an old, ratty robe. (There's a new, plush one in her room, but Remus bought her it, so she can't bear to look at it.)

She hates walking through the house. His things are all still here, his books and clothes and photographs. A life-times worth of junk. Less than the average man his age would have accumulated, but Remus doesn't seem to like holding onto things. (Well he proved that, didn't he?)

It would have been easier to close her eyes, pretend none of it was around her, but she was clumsy enough with her eyes open. Adding blindness was just asking for trouble.

Her gaze travels – even though she tries to control it – to the one photograph he has on display. He's just a teenager in it, with James and Peter on either side of him, Sirius next to James. She asked him, when he displayed it, if it hurt him seeing Peter there. But he told her that, this way, he could remember the person Peter had been, not the person he became. He could remember what they had.

She looks at Remus' face, younger, happier, and thinks that there was a time when he smiled at her like that, with pure joy.

Then she remembers his face as he told her he was leaving, his face when she asked if he even loved her, his face when she accused him of not caring about the baby.

She isn't aware of making it do so, but her arm swings out suddenly, swiping the picture to the floor. The glass cracks, between Remus and James. Separating the living from the dead, she thinks, still surprised that she did that.

She looks at the face of her cousin then. He wouldn't have let Remus go, she thinks. He'd have talked some sense into him. Remus always listened to Sirius.

"Sirius would go mad." She mutters, once again speaking to her absent husband. "He'd go mental with you, you know. He might even hit you."

She moves away from the picture, without picking it up. It can stay there forever for all she cares. The whole house can fall apart for all she cares. Remus could never come back, for all she cares.

She sits at the kitchen table, staring blankly at the cup sat upon it. It's been there all night, and the last remains of the coffee in it have dried. She should wash it. Wash the stains until it's all clean, until this particular reminder of Remus is erased.

But she doesn't. She stares at it and thinks that if she hadn't told him about the baby, he might have stayed. Of course, she couldn't have hidden the baby forever, but still. If she hadn't gotten pregnant, he might have stayed...

She pushes the thought away, angry with herself, because she wants this baby, with or without Remus. She loves this baby.

She isn't aware of it this time, either, but her arm moves again. Slower, this time, gentler, and the cup slides painstakingly towards the edge, then crashes to the floor, shattering instantly.

She looks at the pieces, and wonders if there's any point in repairing it.

The cup isn't important. She is; the baby is. The cup can remain in pieces forever, but she'll get her damn life fixed.

"If this is what you have to do, Remus, then do it." She whispers. "I don't need you, we don't need you. If you want to come home, you better come soon."

She lowers a hand to her abdomen again, almost as if to check that her precious cargo still resides there, then chooses a random number. "Three days, huh kid? If he's not back here in three days, begging for forgiveness and bearing chocolate, then he's not allowed back in our lives, right?"

The baby doesn't reply, predictably, but she's already set her mind.

She doesn't bother repeating herself, louder, for Remus. If he doesn't know, doesn't figure it out, then it just proves he doesn't love her, right?

It doesn't matter, they really don't need him. This time, his rejection won't mess with her abilities, with her heart, with her personality, because this time she has something more important to her than he is.

Her hand remains on her abdomen, despite it still being flat, keeping her child a secret. No more tears, or shouting, or breaking things. She has everything she needs.

The broken fragments remain on the floor, the broken glass remains in its frame, her broken marriage has only days before it dies forever.