The Sugar Quill
Author: Katie Black  Story: Except the Past  Chapter: Chapter Two: Looking Back
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Disclaimer: The world of Harry Potter belongs to J

Disclaimer: The world of Harry Potter belongs to J.K Rowling. I do not own anything except for the plot and new minor characters. Such as Cassy and Melody. I want to thank everyone who reviewed chapter one and special thanks to Yolanda and Liz.

Chapter Two: Looking Back

      Remus Lupin sat in the single ragged, worn down chair in his flat. The wallpaper peeled off the sides of the walls, revealing a horrid yellow paint, which at one point had covered the entire house. The only light in the room was the thin sun streak that passed through a crack in the drapes, falling onto his mug of butterbeer.

 

Butterbeer, as most would describe it, was wonderful! It tasted warm and the foam would always tickle your nose as you took a drink of the warm mixture. Remus remembered his first butterbeer; he had been a rambunctious eleven-year-old boy. Not just any boy, but a wizard, not to mention a werewolf. That first butterbeer had warmed his body against the bitter blizzard that plagued the whole world outside of the Three Broomsticks as he sat and shared it with his friends, Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew, and James Potter. This butterbeer didn't warm his soul or tickle his nose; it tasted insipid and his soul was not warm, but an icy cold that nothing could temper.

 

His friends were gone, taken away from him in a matter of two days. How long ago was that now, he asked himself?  It might have been a year ago or a week ago, but the pain was fresh. It always would be there, plaguing his dreams with nightmares and his waking moments with persistent memories. Quidditch matches; balls; games of chess by the fire; playing pranks on the whole of Hogwarts; picnics by the lake; these memories cut into his heart over and over again like a sharp knife.

     He could end this, he thought to himself. End it all; be indulgent and save himself from his past. He lifted his wand out of the pocket of his robe.

     When Remus had joined the Order, a defense group against Lord Voldemort, he had learned a spell that could end his life and the incessant pain that consumed his soul. The spell was meant to end your life; taking any information locked in your brain with you, but would work just as well now.

     His heartbeat was erratic as his mind called back the spell, only to be interrupted from his thoughts by a large tawny owl coming through the window, pulling the drapes back further as it entered. Remus looked at it for a moment, considering if he should end it now or wait until he read the note tied to the owl's leg. Deciding to find out who was left to send him a note, he dropped his wand back into the pocket of his robe and untied the note from the owl's leg. It gave a hoot before turning, taking a sip of the butterbeer and pecking a nearby roll that lay upon the table before disappearing through the window from whence he came.

     Remus unrolled the letter; there was a note and three pictures attached. The photos were of Lily, his dead friend. Another was of Remus with James Potter (another newly deceased buddy), Peter Pettigrew (too brave for his own good, - going after Sirius to avenge James and Lily getting himself killed in the process), and Sirius Black. Sirius Black, the biggest prankster, the best man at James' and Lily's wedding, Harry's godfather, high-ranking member of the Order, Secret Keeper, spy, and killer. Sirius was the one to censure for this all, not Voldemort. While Voldemort was the one who killed forthright, Sirius was the one who killed from within. He had needed not a wand or weapon to kill Remus - he had done it through betrayal. 

     They were all on the Quidditch pitch, smiles on their faces, bouncing up and down. You could see the scars on James' hand from the night Remus, while in his werewolf form, had almost attacked Severus Snape. James had gotten in the way, almost getting killed. That had haunted Remus, but now it was of small measure compared to the recent events, which did not teeter on the brink of death but flowed over the edge.

     Before looking at the last photograph he decided to read the letter. It was from Nick, the ghost of Gryffindor Tower.

Dear Remus,

     I know the time is hard; it is for all of us. Everyone who knew Lily, James, Peter, and Sirius has in part died, but there is hope. In the darkness there is light, it may be hard to see now, but it's there in the distance flickering so we can see it. Your future will always be darkened by the past. Only by remembering the good times we have had can we face what's to come. Harry has a future, it may always be marred by what has passed before but he continues on and so must you. His family is gone, Remus. You have to be there for him when the weight of the past, both his and yours, falls on his shoulders. No one can truly be blamed for the past; the fates have a way of toying with us just to see how far we'll travel to get to that light. You must make it to the end of that tunnel to help the future and Harry. Keep the past with you.

                                                                   Sincerely,

                                                Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington

       Remus turned to the last photo; it was of him and the gang by the lake before they had left Hogwarts. Tapping his pocket, he felt his wand there. He put his wand aside for another day, the spell he put aside forever. He felt a tear fall down his cheek. They were gone from the world, but they would always be with him in his heart. They would always be alive in his memories, which would not haunt like inner demons, but remind him of what he had. For happiness, true happiness, is great no matter how long it lasts.

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