My Half of Heaven
Pairings: Sirius/Remus, implied Remus/Tonks
Spoilers: Deathly Hallows
Genre: drama, romance, angst
It didn't hurt. Remus saw it coming, the man, his wand. And there was that brief moment where Remus wished he could have done more, more with life, more with the lives of others, but it was just a moment, and it passed quickly because finally it was over.
He stood in an empty place. There was nothing around him, no one. Remus wondered if it was limbo and if he somehow got stuck on the way to wherever he was supposed to go. Wondered if maybe this horrible nothingness was the place where he was doomed to be. But then a voice called his name, and Remus barely had time to turn around before pink crashed against him.
"Nymphadora?" Remus asked, surprised.
"Oh, Remus," she cried, hugging him hard around his waist, hiding her face in his robes. "If you're here then that means..."
"Teddy," Remus finished the thought, biting his lip. I told you to stay behind, he wanted to say, but didn't. It wasn't her fault after all, and he hadn't really expected for her to stay behind and do nothing. Remus pressed a hand against her back trying to comfort her until she stopped sobbing. And when she finally did she stepped back away from his touch as she dabbed her eyes. It felt awkward somehow, like neither of them knew what to say, what to do. But then suddenly Tonks gaped at something behind Remus and stepped towards it.
"Dad?" she said, making Remus turn around to see a man not too far away.
"Dad!" Tonks cried and ran forward, passing Remus by and throwing her arms around Ted Tonks who welcomed her with a ready and warm embrace. Remus watched, a soft smile displayed on his lips at the happy reunion, but then his eyes suddenly widened as Tonks's hair grew a little longer and her stature seemed to shorten: a child in the arms of her father.
"Remus," called a voice from behind him.
Remus's breath hitched for a second, and he turned around slowly. He knew that voice more than anything in the whole world. Would recognize it anywhere at anytime.
Sirius, younger and more radiant than Remus had last seen him alive, smiled at him and slowly came closer until his and Remus's noses were just inches apart, the fingers on one of Sirius's hands pressing against the side of Remus's face. Remus leaned towards that touch as he released a breath he didn't know he'd been holding. It was warm, and he was so happy he could feel tears in the corners of his eyes. He knew that this was where he belonged.
"Sirius, is that you?" Tonks asked from behind them, and the hand on Remus's face disappeared. She walked around to face the two men. "You look so young! And Remus! You do too!"
Remus blinked and glanced at Sirius who smiled in return. So this is what happens, he thought briefly. You return to when you were happiest.
"Dora," Ted called. "It's time to go, dear."
Tonks merely glanced at her father and nodded once, stepping forward and grabbing Remus's arm. "Let's go, Remus," she said happily and pulled him towards where Ted was waiting. Remus had a moment to be struck by a sudden sense of fear he didn't quite understand that quickly vanished as soon as Sirius touched his arm and held him back.
"Dora," Sirius said very calmly. "I don't think Remus can go where you're going."
"What do you mean?" she asked, confused. "He's my husband. He belongs with me."
"Husband?" Sirius said, clearly surprised, and met the other man's eyes, Remus appearing wounded, regretful. "You got married?"
"Yes!" Tonks said cheerfully. "We have a son, too! He's so adorable, Sirius."
Sirius didn't say anything else and unconsciously let go of Remus's arm. Tonks noticed, and as Sirius was no longer holding them back, she gripped Remus's arm tighter and pulled him with more intent. "I'll tell you more about him later," she said to Sirius like it was an afterthought, then looked up at Remus. "Dad's waiting."
Sirius snapped out of his daze and reached forward, snatching one of Remus's wrists and pulling him back. "No!" he said fiercely. "Married. A son. That doesn't matter. Well," he stuttered, "it does—but to you—no—you know what I mean—I—I don't care. Remus belongs with me, and James, and Lily."
"James and Lily?" Remus asked with hopeful eyes.
"Yes," Sirius answered as he looked at him, Tonks momentarily forgotten. Remus smiled at hearing that. Home, his mind screamed at him, but his thoughts fizzled away as Tonks gripped his arm tighter and suddenly tugged him forward, closer to Ted.
She managed to force a few steps out of Remus before he stopped. "Dora," he called very softly. "You know what Sirius says is the truth." She kept her back to him, but her shoulders shook gently.
"Why couldn't you choose me?" she whispered, so lowly that Remus almost missed it. Then all at once her calm face changed, her eyes hardening. "No," she proclaimed and without warning grabbed Remus's arm and once more started walking towards Ted.
Sirius reacted quickly, closing the distance between them and taking a firm hold of Remus's arm again. "Let go of him, Dora," he said warningly.
"Why?" she screamed at him. "He belongs with me!"
Sirius stared at her, the curve of his mouth turning into a frown. "If Remus belongs with anyone, it's with his family. Me, James, Lily. We are his family!"
"He's my husband!"
Sirius's eyes grew larger, and for a moment when Sirius next spoke, Remus saw the rowdy, unabridged teenager Sirius had once been. "He's been mine for far longer than he's ever been yours!"
Tonks glared, a rare moment where the Black bloodline seeped through her pinkish visage. She didn't respond to Sirius's words and without further warning gripped Remus's arm securely and hauled him forward with all her strength, dragging him nearer to her father.
At a point, more physically distant from Sirius than he'd been since they had reunited in this stark place, Remus abruptly felt something pass over him, felt the atmosphere change as though he'd crossed into a different environment but with the same scenery. It stopped him on the spot while Sirius screamed behind him. Then silence and nothing.
"Remus?" Tonks asked when he didn't move any farther. She looked at his eyes, which gazed steadily forward yet seemed empty. "Remus?" she asked again, her voice on the edge of panic. Remus blinked once, twice, then slowly turned his head towards her.
"Hey, Dora," he said with a smile, much in the same way he'd always greeted her.
Tonks's expression shifted from worried to delighted almost instantly, and she took Remus's arm with an intent to finally reach her father. "Let's go," she said.
"Where?" Remus asked almost mechanically.
"Where my father is," she said, grasping his arm with an unyielding strength. "Say goodbye to Sirius."
Remus squinted. "Who is Sirius?"
Tonks frowned a little and before she could say anything, she was struck speechless as Remus's hair shortened, became grayer, and the lines on his face reappeared. "Remus..." she said very slowly, sadly. "You really don't know who Sirius is?"
"No," he replied lifelessly as he met her eyes. "I don't."
Tonks closed her eyes for a second, then she slowly raised a hand and ran her thumb across Remus's cheek. "Then why are you crying, Remus?"
Remus's brows furrowed in confusion. "I'm not—" he started to say but stopped when he reached up and touched his own tears. "Why am I crying?" he asked her, his face suddenly stricken, saddened, in pain.
"Remus!" Sirius yelled, his voice muffled, barely an echo, as if he was behind a glass wall. Remus's hand flew to his chest.
"It hurts," he said as he clutched at his robes. "I don't understand."
Tonks shook her head for a moment, looking like she would burst into tears any second, but she held them back and gently touched Remus's arm as she slowly turned him around. "You see that man over there?" she asked, and Remus nodded. "Go stand beside him. He knows how to help you."
"But what about you, Dora?" Remus inquired innocently.
"I'll be fine, Remus. My father—my family—is here. I'll be fine."
"I'm sorry," Remus said without knowing what he was sorry for.
"Go," she said with finality, "and, Remus," she added as she grabbed the sides of his face and gave him a soft kiss on his cheek, "be happy."
After staring at her blankly for another brief moment, he began walking towards the man who waited nearby. Remus hesitated just three feet from him until Sirius offered his hand. "Take my hand," he said, and Remus moved the last steps towards him, slowly intertwining their fingers together. Sirius squeezed Remus's hand and guided him forward, back to where he was. Remus felt a rush of air go through him, and it was as if his body had passed beneath an invisible waterfall, his youthfulness returning to him and more tears collecting in his eyes, spilling over.
"I forgot," he said to Sirius as if every syllable was a needle pricking his skin. "I forgot."
Sirius wiped the tears away from Remus's face, not needing to say anything, and pulled him forward until their lips met, kissing him slowly and thoroughly, making sure Remus knew everything was forgiven—even if there was nothing to forgive.
"Don't cry, don't cry," Sirius's voice was scarcely a whisper. He kissed Remus's eyelids, his hand, clasped it so hard. "Let's go."
Remus stood very still. "Where?"
Sirius just smiled and leaned forward at the same time as he pulled Remus to him, embraced him completely and fully, whispering words that Remus knew were true, that held the promise of forever with them.