I don't own HP.

For the One Word Challenge. The only allowed piece of dialogue - "Whatever."


"When The World Comes Crashing Down"

The dry pages rustle as they flutter to the floor, his hand no longer able to hold The Evening Prophet. As he stumbles backward, the small part of his brain not frozen in shock muses about how unfair it is that he should find out like this. His back hits the wall of the entryway of his tiny flat, and he slides down it, unable to hold himself up. The familiar face stares up at him from the paper, head thrown back in hysterical laughter. He looks insane.

This can't be happening, Remus thinks.

You-Know-Who Vanquished, the paper proclaims. Traitor Sirius Black Arrested.

The words spin around and around in his head. Traitor Sirius Black Arrested. Traitor Sirius Black. Traitor Sirius Black. Traitor. Sirius. Traitor. Sirius. Traitor. Sirius. Traitor traitor traitor traitor.

He puts his head between his knees, trying to stop the budding nausea. He breathes in deeply, but the air tastes wrong. His mind is stuck, unable to reconcile the images in his head. Sirius is still a laughing teenager in his memories – reckless and happy. The fiercely loyal kid who proclaimed that, despite Remus's 'furry little problem,' the Marauders were brothers. The twelve-year-old who worked harder than he'd ever worked before to become an Animagus so that Remus didn't have to suffer alone. That doesn't fit with traitor.

But he was their secret keeper, and Lily and James are dead. There's no other way it could have happened but betrayal.

Remus's breath catches in his throat. He can't breathe. The world spins.

Breathe, Remus tells himself. Just breathe.

Things visually settle into some semblance of normality, but it feels more out of place than the spinning did, because it doesn't seem right. The world shouldn't look fine when it just came crashing down. It shouldn't.

The realization that he is entirely alone hits Remus hard. He has no one left. James is gone, Lily is gone, Peter is gone, and Sirius is as good as. Remus is the only one.

How do I do this? he thinks. I don't know how to do this.

Remus isn't sure how long he sits in the entryway to his flat, letting that thought, among others equally as depressing, wash through him.

Eventually, though, he hoists himself out of the deep hole of self pity and stands up.

It doesn't matter, he tells himself. Life goes on. This doesn't matter.

This is whatever, he thinks. Whatever. But he's not convinced.

"Whatever." He says it aloud, firmly, so that maybe he'll believe it.

He doesn't.

I can do this, he thinks to himself. I can get through this.