Disclaimer: Don't own Harry Potter. Lyrics are 'Little Lion Man' by Mumford and Sons.

Note: Submission for round two of 'Write The Wrong' competition. Piece had to be less than 500 words with at least five lines of dialogue and show a character going into a room and seeing something shocking, and they don't know whether to laugh or cry.


The Pack Is Gone

your grace is wasted in your face
your boldness stands alone among the wreck


Remus has nowhere else to go. Lily and James are gone and Sirius is missing in the worst way, and Dumbledore is the only one who will have any of the answers.

He stops at the door, and knocks.

There is no answer, but there are voices from within.

The wolf growls in his ear, impatience boiling with fury and grief, and for God's sake, he needs Dumbledore –

He turns the handle.

"Dumbledore, I'm sorry, I just – "

The words die on his lips.

Opposite Dumbledore, fists clenched, eyes rimmed red and the tight line of his shoulders ready to splinter, stands Severus Snape.

A hot lump swells in Remus' throat and any other day of the month the tears would come. Today, the moon and his grief quiet it. He will not cry.

"What is he doing here?" he asks. His voice shakes, so slightly.

Control. Keep control. You have little time left before you lose it completely.

He expects some bitter retort from Snape. It doesn't come.

"He is a spy," Dumbledore says, simply.

"He's crying." The animal in him is bold and demands that tonight, of all the nights in the world, Remus must be bold, too. "What does he have to cry about?"

Snape twitches.

"More than you realise," Dumbeldore replies, with a sadness behind his eyes that Remus does not understand.

It occurs to Remus, distantly, that the reason Dumbledore did not answer his knock, on this, the night of James Potter's death, is because he was busy consoling James' worst enemy. Wait outside, little werewolf, he will deal with the fact that your world is collapsing around you tomorrow.

Remus just thinks how damn funny that is.

"Sirius." It's the last thought he can hold onto, now. His eyes blur, and he can feel hysteria trembling through him. Outside, the world is changing at a breakneck pace, and the near-full moon reminds him he's fifteen hours from a dreamless oblivion. "Have you heard anything? Does he know?" He points at Snape.

Dumbledore shakes his head. "Remus," he says, heavy and severe and sorrowful. "I understand the pain you are feeling, but we must face facts. It seems that it could only have been Sirius who – "


Remus clenches his fists by his sides. It can't be. If it's Sirius who betrayed them, then this is all Remus' fault, because he's the one who should have spotted –

Snape still stands there, shaking, and what gives him the right to grieve?

"Sit down, Remus, Severus." Dumbledore looks very tired. "I am afraid that even now at the end of the battle, there is much to be done. I will explain as best I can."

Remus does not want to sit. He wants to run and howl and find someone who cares that his life is crumbling around him – but he has nowhere else to go.

He sits, and as Dumbledore speaks, he watches the moon.

Just this once, he will welcome the wolf.