Disclaimer: Il ne pas le mien. Great. Now I've had to admit it's not mine in two languages.

A/N: A variation from my usual style. I'm wondering whether it was a risk I ought to have taken.

January 1997

It began at two o'clock in the morning - the crying, I mean. I hadn't meant to cry. I hadn't planned on it. I am a strong and independent woman.

No I'm not.

Because I'm crying over him. Because I can't bring myself to take off the charm bracelet he bought me the Christmas before last with the little money he makes. Because I can't rip the photograph in my hands into confetti and throw it out of the window. Because I can't burn his letters.

Because I love him.

I am a Metamorphagus. If I should choose, I can be Greta Garbo or Heddy Lamaar or Mae West or…anyone. He liked me. I've never been especially pretty. Naturally, I have mousy hair, a nose like the prow of a ship and a short neck. There's nothing attractive about me in my natural form. Except maybe my eyes. On a good day.

And yet, that was the form he chose to make love to me in. That was the form to make his eyes twinkle. To the rest of the world, he was the epitome of ordinary. He wore beige and corduroy for goodness sake! I should never even have been attracted to him in those trousers in the first place. To me, for the way he looked at me when I was at my ugliest, he was the most extraordinary man to walk the earth.

Now he's gone. He's off on some stupid and ridiculously dangerous operation for Dumbledore and for some bizarre reason (which he has chosen to keep to himself) I am not a part of that new life he's had to make. I don't get letters or Christmas presents anymore. He ignores my very existence.

I've tried to send him letters. I wonder if he even read them. Maybe he can't reply. Maybe he doesn't have parchment wherever he is. Maybe he's dead.

Merlin, let's not go down that road. I take it back. Just let him be all right. Please let him be all right.

Oh God, I'm hysterical. Is this what he's reduced me to, a gibbering, manic depressive wreck?

When I was in school, when people upset me, I would draw pictures of them on a kelpie going to hell. I have three of Remus. The last one is a masterpiece. It's the best thing I have ever put to parchment.

I think that if I make myself hate him, it'll get easier. I'll despise him so completely that I can't possibly love him because there's no room under all that hate. I'll meet his eyes and instead of wishing he would stride across the hallway, take me in his arms and snog me senseless, I'll look away, take a deep breath and batter him to death with that bloody umbrella stand.

I'm going to hold on to that thought. It's so damn beautiful.

I could kill him with kindness, but I'd have no idea where to hide the body. I crack myself up. I can't even laugh bitterly and tell myself I'm being childish because every time I laugh, I feel the tears pool.

I'm starting to think that maybe it's not Remus Lupin that I miss. It's the way he made me feel. It's a strange thing about him. He can make people feel like when he's talking to them, they have his undivided attention because they are the only person in his world.

Maybe I never loved him. Maybe I loved feeling important to a man who wasn't my Dad. Maybe I miss the sex. Don't let it get out, but I enjoyed the sex. I didn't think I would. I've never really been a fan of it. Maybe that's because I only ever seemed to have it with men whose egos, I found out far too late, were far bigger than their appendages - men who never saw the real me naked.

That doesn't apply to Remus because he doesn't have an ego. I showed him my fat thighs and my (admittedly tiny little bit of) cellulite because I was deluded enough to think our relationship was more than just shagging. Still, at least it was pretty good. He knew what he was doing anyway. He becomes a different man when he locks his bedroom door. He's decisive and deliberate. It's quite sexy actually.

No it's not!

Oh, all right. Yes it is.

I find it hard to read the letters he sent me during that time, especially the ones that allude to such locking of doors, because they make my heart ache when I realise I won't read any new ones. I can't bring myself to get rid of them because they are the only proof I have that the best six months of my life was not a dream.

I just want to crawl into bed, fall asleep and never wake up. I want to be free from the pain. The pain is like nothing on Earth. I've never experienced anything like it before in my life and it's unrelenting.

Would he find out? Would he mourn me? Would he never be with another woman for the rest of his life?

What frightens me is that I know there will be other men. I know I will find one who is safe and dependable and maybe he's even funny and good looking, but he won't be as funny as Remus. He certainly won't be as clever. He won't have those black soul-piercing eyes that see right through me and read my mind. So I won't be able to love him.

He won't kiss like Remus. His lips won't move the same way or apply the same pressure. Remus' lips are soft and his kisses are always passionate. If he doesn't have time to kiss me properly, he doesn't kiss me at all. I don't think he ever will again and I'll have to settle for Mr. Mediocre. I'll be Mrs. Mediocre and I think I'll just have to grin and bear it.

They say time heals all wounds. Maybe I won't feel like this by the time I'm ready to beat him with that umbrella stand.

But I know that's a false hope.

No matter where I am in my life, whether I am as famous as Mad-Eye or as distinguished (and perhaps batty) as Dumbledore or surrounded by as many children as Molly Weasley, if Remus Lupin gave the word, I'd run. I'd run away with him and I'd never look back at who or what I was leaving behind.

I think that's the saddest and most frightening thing of all.