A/N: And so, we come to the end of our tumultuous journey! This is by far one of fave fics I have written, I have enjoyed every minute of it and I couldn't have done it without you, thank you all.
Chapter Thirty: To Love Again...
There's this place in me where your fingerprints still rest, your kisses still linger, and your whispers softly echo. It's the place where a part of you will forever be a part of me.
The picture sat on the mantel piece. Remus was unable to look away from it, Sirius' face shone with joy from James' embrace. His eyes glittered with innocent happiness and Remus was struck once again by the powerful realisation that he was alone...he was alone...stuck with the living and he didn't want to be. He grabbed the picture and took a sharp breath before turning and throwing it against the wall.
The glass shattered, the frame bent. Remus stood, breathing heavily through the tears, he was afraid...he was terrified of the future because everything looked so dark, so oppressive without Sirius. He was losing it. His mind shattered each time he saw Sirius' face, frozen in shock and fear as he fell backwards through the veil. He had never wanted to join him more...yet something kept him from throwing himself off the church bell tower. He choked on his tears, falling to his knees and covering his head with his arms as if the ceiling was crushing him. He sobbed desperately, his heart shattering.
He could still feel Sirius' fingers on his skin, when he slept at night he would wake in the early hours and feel the warmth of another at his side, but when he reached for him and opened his eyes, the illusion was broken. Only cold sheets met his reaching hands, only a cold, scentless pillow lay where Sirius' head should have been.
He was plagued by guilt, it sat heavily in his chest as he sat curled on his bed gazing at the opposite wall. He had hurt Tonks...he knew he had, he hadn't meant to...he had acted on the darkness that filled the space where Sirius had been and he had hurt an innocent girl. He shoved fingers into his hair and squeezed his eyes shut tightly. "Sirius...what am I supposed to do?" He whispered into the empty dawn.
Time passed slowly, Tonks was depressed, she had lost control of her powers, becoming distant. Once when Remus visited the Burrow to leave a message for Dumbledore he was accosted by Molly, she fussed over him, forcing him to stay for tea and she pushed him into a seat.
"Look at you!" She admonished sternly, her gaze soft and gentle. "You're a state! When was the last time you shaved? Deary me, anyone would think you were falling apart..." Remus merely looked at her through his prematurely greying hair and she sighed sadly before sitting at his side. She put a hand on his arm. "Remus, you can't dwell on the past, you know you can't." She said softly.
"Molly, I'm fine..." He said without conviction and she gave him a look that said she plainly didn't believe him.
"If you live in the past you will forget to live in the present, there are people who need you and care about you, Remus. Come on, drink your tea and go home...get washed up and drag yourself from this pit before it consumes you."
When Tonks first confronted him since their last encounter she asked him why...and he couldn't answer her. He fobbed her off with excuses, she confessed her feelings to him and he pushed her aside. Because Love was painful. Love was too much. He couldn't do it again...it would end him.
He lived in a state of weariness so complete it was as if he was dreaming, his life was empty, when he gazed into the future all he could see was darkness and hopelessness...and yet...
Tonks' hand found his. The world was slowly waking to a dawn of grief and pain, a dawn where hope held on by a tentative thread that would snap as easily as a spider's web. The Pheonix was gone, his song lingering in their hearts and vibrating through their clasped hands. Remus turned to her, eyes filled with grief and a deep seated terror as he opened his mouth; "Is this...alright?" He asked softly.
Tonks could only smile in reply, her fingers tightening on his own. "I think it is." She said after a small silence.
Remus nodded and turned his gaze to the empty grounds, the noises of grief and fear still echoed through the castle, his bruises and cuts from the battle were no longer painful but there was a deep seated ache in his heart as he thought of Dumbledore...the man who had given him everything...the man who had given him a life, friends...a family...
Their wedding was small. A quiet, no fuss affair and when he leaned down to kiss his new wife he felt the buzz of what could have been happiness...yet he couldn't be. Confetti swept around them and he heard the soft applause from the small gathering. He walked his wife down the aisle, she was beaming, her face glowing with joy and yet his smile remained stiff...because every time he touched her, every time her skin met his he felt nothing but a burning agony in his chest and he wanted to scream, to fight, to do anything to stop himself from falling again...but once begun it was impossible to stop...
He tried to pull away. He tried to leave her...terrified of the familiar feeling of contentment. He tried to run when she told him she was going to have his child, he couldn't handle it. His mind was full of terror as he thought about what kind of monster would spring from his loins, he tried to push her away, make her hate him but...
He came back.
He always came back.
His son was perfection personified and when he saw him, lying in his mother's arms he felt such an intense surge of love for the boy he couldn't help but feel tears sting his eyes. The emotion was powerful and painful and yet he held Teddy gently, one arm wrapped around his mothers shoulders and cried silently into her hair.
The joy wasn't to last. He said farewell to his wife and child as they stood on the doorstep of their house, as he walked down the path he looked back at them. Tonks standing in the doorway with tears on her cheeks and his son with bright turquoise hair fast asleep. He turned away for what he thought would be the last time...
Light slammed into him, he flew backwards, smashing into the wall. Air was driven from his lungs as he fell forward onto hands and knees, his wand a few feet away, he watched in detached horror as a booted foot stamped on it, snapping it in two. Slowly his eyes rose, the masked Death Eater was grinning, his wand pointing directly into Remus' face.
The scream was a woman's. Remus turned to see Tonks flying towards them, shooting a curse at the Death Eater who deflected it. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion, Tonks ran to him, their hands found each other...fingers reaching, grasping desperately...eyes wide with mingled fear and joy as they finally, finally held each other...Remus looked into her eyes, he grabbed her, holding her tightly, attempting to protect her from it all...
The light was bright...
A gorgeous green flash and he was thrown into darkness...
Swirling mists surrounded him, whispers haunted him. He flew through it all, hardly aware of what was happening. His body felt odd, light and empty. Emotion was a memory...
Then he heard it. A voice. Gentle yet insistent...
He opened his eyes and gazed up at bright white mist. He was surrounded by nothing and yet he had to be on something, he could feel something solid beneath his body.
That voice again, so close and yet so distant, he sat up, looking around and saw the mists part slowly, swirling aside as soft laughter reached his ears. He pulled himself to his feet seeing two figures emerge.
Sirius stood there, a big, goofy grin on his face. Remus blinked, unsure if he was really seeing it. Sirius' face was handsome, as handsome as it had been in their youth, he looked like the seventeen year old they had left school with and then his eyes alighted upon another figure. His knees gave way and he fell. "James..." He gasped as James smiled, pushing his glasses further onto his nose. "S-Sirius..."
Sirius stepped closer, crouching down, his eyes filled with a softness that broke Remus' already bruised heart. "Mr. Padfoot and Mr. Prongs would like to welcome Mr. Moony home..." he whispered, his fingers sliding through Remus' hair.
"Yes, welcome home, Moony." James said, holding out his hand as he bent at the waist.
Remus felt a smile stretch his lips, he reached up, taking James' hand and he was dragged into a warm embrace as Sirius embraced them both. He laughed. A loud relieved laugh that echoed through the weird mist, tears of joy fell down his face and his heart soared...
"Remus, I never stopped." Sirius whispered into his hair. "I never, ever stopped..."
"I know." Remus replied, smiling into Sirius' hair. "I know."
You've come to journey's end
And dream of the ones who came before
They are calling
From across the distant shoreWhy do you weep?
What are these tears upon your face?
Soon you will see
All of your fears will pass away
Safe in my arms
You're only sleeping
The Lyrics are taken from Annie Lennox's song 'Into the West', a beautiful song that sums up death for me. :) Hope you enjoyed reading this, much love to you and my eternal thanks for all your wonderful reviews and support! Feel free to check out my other stories! (Shameless self promotion! Lol)