Remus is always on his last twenty dollars

Notes: The prompt asked what you would do with your last twenty dollars. For most of his life, Remus didn't have the luxury to decide that on a whim.


Remus is always on his last twenty pounds.

He can never waste them on tiny pleasures, on ordinary luxuries, on all the fripperies that make a home a home.

(He would like to take those soft blue curtains and hang them on his windows, but he'll have none if his rent is late.)

Once upon a time, it was been easier. He had friends who would buoy him, who would say the right words, who would slip galleons into his pockets when he wasn't looking and always act the befuddled innocents.

(Back then, he would still indulge his sweet tooth, live on more than the bare essentials.)

He had parents who supported him as much as he would allow, in everything he needed, everything he did.

(His mother gave him the sun to wear around his neck, and he repaid her while she wasn't looking.)

He had a purpose. A war to fight, a base to return to. Compensation, camaraderie, sanctuary – not pity. Not charity. He does not accept either and never will.

But the Order has dissolved, and the Marauders are gone, and his parents sacrificed more than they ever had before.

(Their funeral was held after the end, and he bought their favourite flowers, and charmed them to last as so many things do not.)

He turned his back on them anyway, soon after the end. Too many had been wary of him, suspected him (even Sirius, and it's no longer a surprise), and he couldn't deal with their jubilation regardless.

(He bought simple frames for the sacrificed parents and the unlikely hero; any images of the traitor are locked away.)

They had families and careers and futures to return to. They had dreams to fulfill.

Remus had dreams, once. He was going to be an Auror, a professor, a Healer, a librarian. He was going to revolutionise the way werewolves were treated. He was going to prove everyone wrong.

(He still studies, and finds second-hand books that he can almost afford, and sacrifices comfort for knowledge.)

He still tried, of course he tried. But he was alone, and it was difficult enough to stop from himself starving on the streets, and it was exhausting and frustrating and, in the end, hopeless.

(He would campaign, once, squander his meagre funds on struggling awareness and unwanted truths.)

He's helped individuals; offered guidance and protection and any support he could. Sent muggles to the sanctuaries his parents had helped create, so long ago; aided magical families in preparing future students for what lay ahead.

(He has bought gifts, before, trinkets too small to express what he wants to, but they seem to understand.)

It is never enough. He cherishes the joy and satisfaction and triumph, but it never lasts.

(They send him letters, and he saves enough to answer them.)

So he lives in a bare apartment, working any menial muggle job that will have him, as long as it will have him, and he survives because that is what he ought to do.

(He doesn't need immaculate robes or polished brooms; what he needs is priceless, and gone forever.)