Aftermath: When the battle ends, Remus is left alone, the last of the Marauders. Remus/Sirius implied friendship or slash, depending on your view. Remus/Tonks comfort. Oneshot.

Disclaimer: All characters, locations, and bits (with some exceptions) are property of J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. The author is receiving no compensation except for your comments and reviews.

Notes: I had a dream that went something like this. It comes from working too hard on my current MWPP fanfic I think. It's kind of a companion piece to 9 Years with the Marauders, if you have read it. And if you haven't, it's still a nice little oneshot (but you should go read 9 Years with the Marauders anyway *wink*). Apologies for the angst. xD

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He's gone.

He's gone.

He's gone.

HE'S GONE!

Remus had to keep saying it over and over again, because no matter what he did, he couldn't make himself believe. His hands fisted in his hair, and he relished the pain, physical pain that could detract from the aching of his heart.

"Remus?" A high-pitched, worried voice came from the other side of the door.

As soon as they had returned from the Ministry Remus had locked himself in his room, as soon as he could, as soon as he could get a moment alone. Alone, alone, Sirius was gone... GONE.

He collapsed into the bed. Gryffindor posters stuck permanently to the walls looked mockingly at him, and a picture on the far wall, four boys, and he was now the only one left. He alone was the last Marauder, the only one still alive. Peter didn't count, where ever he was, hopefully he was dead too. He lost the title long ago.

James, smiles and charm and messy hair and an obsession with redheads. Peter, so trusting, so scared, traitor, "Murderer!" He heard himself scream out loud, but he wasn't sure if it was about Peter or about Bellatrix. A beam of red light, and Sirius was falling backwards.

Hadn't Harry realized? Hadn't he known? Did the boy know that Remus wasn't only holding Harry back, but himself as well? Oh wouldn't he love to fall into that veil, to see that smiling face. "Wotcher, Moony?"

"Sirius!" He yelled, desperately, as though the door would open, and the man with the shaggy black hair and soft grey eyes would smirk at him from the door, and ask what the heck Remus was doing, and then everything would be okay again, and they could go downstairs and eat dinner and life would go on.

"Remus!" The door did open, and for a moment he was confused, as he saw not Sirius at the door, but Tonks. Her hair was a dull brown, turning black now, as she inched into the room, looking at him in confusion. "Remus, everyone's downstairs, we need to debrief about the battle..." She trailed off as she saw the man, for the first time since they had met he was crying, hunched over on the end of the bed.

She hurried closer, and Remus resisted at first, but then she gripped him tightly and he fell against the younger woman, sobbing into her shoulder. Gentle hands smoothed hair from his face, and she made shushing noises, and Remus felt an outpouring of emotion that he hadn't felt since two years ago when he had seen Sirius again for the first time in thirteen years and known he was innocent.

"I hated him!" He was saying, but he doubted that Tonks could understand a word. "I hated him for thirteen years! For killing James and Lily, for nearly killing Harry, for killing Peter. I was ashamed to have been his... friend, to have been so close to a traitor! And then everything was okay again, and he was alive and real and he forgave me, and things were how they were supposed to be… and now, and now he's GONE. Just like that, death is nothing, blackness, meaningless, you're there one minute and then you're not, and every part of me screamed but I had to stop Harry and..."

Tonks seemed to comprehend. "You were best mates in school, weren't you?" She looked around at Sirius' old bedroom, eyes alighting on the picture. "You and Sirius and James... oh Remus, I'm sorry. It must be hard to lose someone you've known that long, especially Sirius, we only just found out he was innocent."

His tears had stopped, but she was still holding him. She didn't quite understand, but her comfort was relished. He had never been able to get comfort like this from anyone really. Sirius was always... well he was Sirius, dealing with pain meant laughter and jokes and tricks, or anger, deep dark anger. He couldn't just let it all go and then be all right, he bottled it up or hid it under hundreds of layers. Remus had always been one to bottle up as well, but how could he ever bottle up something like this? The pain engulfed him again, and he held Tonks, and she held him, and stroked his hair.

He's gone...