Ad astra per Aspera
Ad astra per Aspera
If I could, then I would
I'll go wherever you will go
Way up high or down low
I'll go wherever you will go
patch of grass where Number twelve, Grimmauld Place used to exist for everyone,
and the towering trees and stony steps that led to the house only a few could
really see looked exactly as they had the last time Remus Lupin had stood right
in front of the house, and yet the world they belonged to had changed so
dramatically in the past few hours that Remus idly wondered how it was possible
for everything to look so damn normal.
And yet, here
he was, standing as close to the door as it was safe to do, looking calm and
collected as he waved Alastor and
vague assurances that yes, he would be fine. All he needed was a cup of tea and
a good night’s sleep. Only that and he would be fine.
however, he was screaming. Physical pain he could handle. He was used to it.
Mental anguish? Try twelve years of thinking all your friends were gone, killed
by the one person you always thought you could trust. But the dull ache that had
settled inside his heart, the awful emptiness that knowing the man who had
shared everything with him so many years ago, and then again for the past few
months, was gone, that, he wasn’t sure he could handle.
serene and collected, however, even as the pain he did not care to hide anymore
engulfed every word he uttered and every move he made. Mad Eye and Molly could
clearly see it, he noticed as he looked at them, and yet he refused to allow
their compassion to touch him. Sirius, and his mind almost refused to
grasp the concept, even though he had seen it, was dead. And he needed
time to grieve, alone.
quite sure you don’t want company, Lupin?” Mad Eye asked, his magical eye trying
to peer into Remus's soul with such ferocity that, if it were not for the
circumstances, he would have laughed. But the only one who could see through him
was now gone and magical eye or not, Mad Eye wasn’t welcome to the inner
workings of his soul.
all right, Alastor,” he said, and he had to fight to talk through the pain that
now seemed to be engulfing him, the sudden urge to cry, to scream, and to just
enter the house that Sirius hated so much, and tear it apart as a last present
to his friend. Yet, he waited.
“I could stay
with you if you like, Remus.” Molly offered, as Remus knew she would. They had
formed some kind of bond in the time the Weasleys has spent in this house, and
he knew Molly had come to respect and care for him as a brother. But tonight, he
didn’t want her compassion and tender care. His best friend was gone. Tonight,
he wanted to feel the pain.
absolutely no need for that, Molly,” he said with what he hoped was a reassuring
smile. “I’m going straight to bed.”
tenderly at him, and then engulfed him in the kind of hug she usually reserved
for family members, but he was too distracted by his own words to notice. The
words had rolled out of his tongue so quickly, that he hadn’t had time to stop
them, and being able to speak in a world without Sirius didn’t seem fair. His
heart clenched painfully at the thought, and he let go of Molly, eager to enter
the house, to be alone with his pain and his memories.
He looked at
Mad Eye and Molly one last time, gave them what he thought was a comforting nod,
and entered the house, shutting the door quickly. His eyes took in every detail
of the house as if seeing them for the first time, and he almost felt he was.
The sense of emptiness overtook him quickly, and he found himself on the floor
before he could take even one step, his throat dry and his eyes watering.
pressed tightly, he sat there for a moment, his eyes resting on a silver
chandelier, perhaps the only thing in this wretched house Sirius had loved, a
present from his grandfather, and a very useful thing for pranks, if one knew
how to use it. The markings were faded, but he could still see the place where a
young Sirius had carved their names into it, after declaring the artifact the
most useful thing in the world, after a wand, of course.
was like a knife through his heart, and he took a very deep breath to calm
himself down before gathering himself up. He would not break down here, not in
front of that wretched portrait.
He had met
Mrs. Black just a couple of times, but he, for one, had to admit that the
blasted thing did it justice. She hadn’t yelled those things at him, but for the
way she behaved Remus had been sure that if she had known what he was, she would
have done much more than yell.
standing, he let his hand graze the chandelier as his legs took him upstairs,
and he felt a sense of finality as he stood in front of Sirius’s room, his eyes
glazed. He ached for his own bed, a dreamless potion and a good night’s sleep,
and maybe, just maybe, when he woke up everything would be different. Sirius
would still be alive. And Bellatrix Lestrange would be very much dead.
That night on
the Shack, what seemed like ages ago, he had hated Peter with a passion he never
thought to find in himself. He had hated him, for getting Lily and James killed,
for landing Sirius in Azkaban, and for leaving him alone, and miserable, not
knowing the truth for twelve years. That was a bigger crime than Bellatrix could
ever hope to commit, his mind reminded him, and yet the hatred the felt for that
woman at the moment was bigger than anything he had felt in his life. So big, in
fact, that it threatened to consume him. For a moment, he idly wondered if the
hate hadn’t reached a point where he could have cast an Unforgivable at her were
she standing in front of him, but as he pushed the door that led to Sirius’s
room and looked inside, he as quickly ashamed of his thoughts. That wouldn’t be
what Sirius’s would have wanted, of that much, he was sure.
amazing how such a good and noble heart could come out of a family so darkened
by prejudice and hate, he thought, not for the first time. Having learned of
Sirius’s lineage, he had quickly tried to create some distance between them
early on, but Sirius had refused to let him get away with it. He smiled, his
face a mask of pain. Sirius had often refused to let him get away with many
close behind him, and now that he was inside Sirius's room he felt his composure
ebbing away. As a last conscious thought, he pulled out his wand and muttered
“Silentio” as he headed for Sirius’s bed. There, on the table beside the
bed, he caught sight of something that made his heart beat faster, and he held
his breath for a moment, speechless.
front of him, stood a recent looking picture of him and Sirius, their faces
laughing, caught in a moment of unguarded glee. His eyes were dancing as he
tried to explain something to Sirius, who was smiling broadly, as if he liked
the idea. They certainly didn’t look carefree, and young, as they had once
looked, but their faces radiated certain warmth, and it they looked so
unmistakably happy to be reunited, that his heart ached. Could he ever look like
grasped the picture silently, and he traced his fingers over it before turning
it over, and the two simple words written there made his throat contract, as the
tears he had been holding back for so long started falling, a few of them
falling into the photograph where the names Moony and Padfoot were
once falling slowly were falling harder now, his entire body clenched by sobs
and he collapsed for the second time in the day, but this time he made no effort
to get up, or to control the terrible sobs that came out of him.
wasn’t a man of tears. The last time he had completely broken down and cried had
been when confronted by his friends with the knowledge of his lycanthropy,
nearly twenty years ago. The news of James and Lily’s murders and of Sirius's
supposed betrayal had brought bitter tears, but they had also brought resentment
so big that those tears had felt tainted somehow, and he hadn’t let them fall
again. So tonight, he cried, for Sirius, for James, for Lily, and even for
little Peter, who had betrayed them. For all he had lost. For all he was, and
could have never been without his friends.
turned into minutes, and minutes into hours, and when the first rays of sunlight
hit Remus’s pale face and puffy eyes, only then, did he allow himself to look
away from the picture, and into the day that was just starting. Tears still
rolling down his cheeks, he stood up slowly, his legs wobbly and his heart
heavy, the photograph clenched tightly in his fist.
said you’d be a bright start, Padfoot," he whispered slowly to the morning light
outside, somehow sure that, wherever he was, Sirius was listening to him. And
for that matter, so was James.
are, I know you are not alone.” His voice was hollow and empty as he muttered
the words, even as a small flicker of hope was entering his heart. “Tell James I
said hi,” he continued, grasping the picture more tightly, “And tell him and
Lily that I intend to keep my promise, to the three of you. Harry won’t be
day, not so far from now, we’ll all be together again, the Marauders. We’ll
wreak havoc again, in death. Too bad it can’t be today.”
photograph clenched tightly in his fist, he took a deep breath, looked once more
upon the room and departed quickly, heading for his own room. Tomorrow, maybe,
he would be back, to clean up after Sirius, but right now it was just too much
to handle. Sleep would be good.
“Try not to
have too much fun without me," he whispered slowly into the hall before closing
the door that led to his room.
And as sleep
overtook him, in a room not unlike the one had had previously occupied, the two
friends in the photograph he still hadn’t let go of continued laughing, while on
the nightstand a faded photograph showed four young boys laughing, their faces
alive with joy.
A/N: This is
a weird little piece, isn’t it? It sort of took a life of it’s own after the
first couple of paragraphs, and this is what it came out. I hardly think it
comes close to showing how miserable Remus must be feeling at the moment, but I
tried my best. I hope you enjoy. Kat, this if for you. And of course, for you
too, Ami dear.
means: To the starts through difficult places …I just felt it was fitting, for
Sirius. May he rest in the peace of the fictionally dead. Amen.