(A/N: Here is something that
I was inspired to write at the spur of the moment. I hope you enjoy it! Please
Disclaimer: All the
characters mentioned in the following story belong to J.K Rowling. The plot is
Summary: After Sirius's death, Remus is forced to remember his past,
and the loved ones he lost a long time ago.
After the Flowers Are Gone *~*~*~*~*~*~*
'I stood in the back of the
room at James's and Lily's funeral. I didn't dare approach the coffins at the
front of the church any closer for fear that it was all true.'
'I think they call it
"after the flowers are gone" when you stop denying that the loved
ones you’ve lost are dead. I remember looking around the room, and pitying all
the occupants in it. Didn't they realize that this was all a clever scheme to
hide Lily and James? '
Many of the mourners were
from the Order. Dumbledore stood off to the side, looking stony faced and
stiff. I wondered if it had been Dumbledore who devised the plan to fake Lily
and James's deaths. I grew impatient with the priest performing the ceremony,
as I was quite sure Dumbledore would tell me where they were after the crowd
said their farewells.
I watched Frank and Alice
Longbottom for a while. Frank had his arm wrapped comfortingly around Alice as
she sobbed into his chest. 'Perhaps since Frank was an Auror, he'd helped in
setting up the security charms for James and Lily. Though, perhaps not. After
all, Frank was only a Staff Sergeant. Moody was more likely to have been involved,
being a good deal older and a Captain.'
"As we say farewell to
our brother and sister, James and Lily..." the priest continued saying.
I began to grow impatient.
'The sooner this guy finishes, the sooner Dumbledore will tell me where the
hell Lily and James are. Or, for that matter, Sirius and Peter. Surely, surely,
these people don't really believe Sirius would betray Lily or James. Or that he
killed Peter. If this was all Dumbledore's idea, I think he was being overly
'After all, Dumbledore said
himself that he didn't believe Voldemort was gone for good. Clearly, he was
trying to tell the Order something. I can't explain what happened. I suppose, had it not been the full moon, I would
have been let in on the plan. There are no hard feelings, though. I'm sure
Dumbledore will tell me where and when I'll get to see Lily and James again.'
"You must not mourn the
death of these two, for they are Angels watching over us in heaven..."
continued the priest.
'Several people threw furtive
glances at me. I'd like to see Sirius and Peter as well. I'm quite certain they
must be together. And Harry, of course, Harry is with his aunt for appearances’
sake obviously. I very much want to see him as well. I'm sure it can't be
pleasant living with Muggles...especially if they are as Lily described.'
'I allowed my thoughts to
disperse as a momentary contentment set over me. Soon, I would be seeing my
friends and loved ones. My gaze drifted over the other people in the room. Yes,
how silly of them to believe all this. But Voldemort may be watching. So
appearances must play into Dumbledore's plan.'
professors had shown up for the funeral as well. I saw McGonagall in the third
pew, sobbing and blowing her nose into a handkerchief. Flitwick was in the
front row (obviously, to see better), though I could not see his face. I saw
Sprout with a rarely seen sullen look on her face. I remembered that I had to
thank her for all the flowers she had provided for the showing. Hagrid stood in the back, a little bit away from me.
He was sobbing not too softly.'
"So I ask you now to
rise, and pay your last farewell. I understand one amongst you has prepared a
speech?" inquired the priest, his eyes flashing to me.
'It was true. Dumbledore had
asked if I wanted to make a speech to honor Lily and James. He had done so
tentatively, and I deeply suspect that he half-expected me to burden him with
this as well. However, feeling foolish about saying my final farewell to my
friends that I would see shortly, I accepted the offer.'
'Making my way to the podium,
I felt uncomfortable knowing that dozens of eyes were on me. I didn't dare look
at any one. Now that I look back on that day, I suspect I was terrified I would
see the truth if I looked into their eyes. I can still remember every word of
my speech. I go over it in my mind, remembering so many other things I could
"I have known Lily and
James ever since we were first-years at Hogwarts," I started out
awkwardly. I thought back to Sirius's humorous, but touching speech at James
and Lily's wedding. "Before I came to Hogwarts, I had no friends. The
first time I ever saw Lily and James was at the Sorting Feast," the speech
came more naturally as I looked around at everyone. "It was a familiar
feeling for me to be scared," I half smiled.
'Why does it hurt to
smile? I suddenly thought to myself.
Eyes shone at me from every direction. Everyone in the room was hurting.'
"James and Sirius
befriended me immediately," I continued. People tensed at the mention of
Sirius's name. But I kept going, as though I couldn't stop myself. "James
and Sirius were always fearless. And funny."
'My stomach began to collapse
under the crushing weight manifesting upon it. "I was a bookworm. Peter
was sorted into our house, and, like me, James and Sirius immediately took him
under their wing..."
"Remus, there is
something I need to talk to you about" McGonagall had said slowly. "There has been a death, Remus.
Lily and James...Harry survived. But Sirius..."
'My breath was caught in my
chest. No air could escape from my lungs. I began to feel as though I was
"Sirius and James were
always together. They never left each other's side."
'Tears poured down my face.
They felt like hot buckets of boiling water that had been slowly destroying the
lining of my stomach, desperate to get out.'
"Then Lily..." my
throat tightened. It was torture to speak, but I had to. I had to tell their
story. "She was the love of James's life. We all loved her, but she was
James's soul mate. She was like a sister to me. To Sirius..."
'I suddenly stopped, finding
I couldn’t carry on. I looked into Dumbledore's eyes. A tear leaked out of the
corner of his right eye and fell into his beard.'
"And Harry," I
whispered so softly, only I could hear. "Lily and James loved Harry so
much. They loved him with all their hearts..."
I was suddenly aware I was
clutching onto the podium for support. "How could you betray them, Sirius?
How could you?!" I yelled these words. I felt someone put their hand on my
shoulder, and realized Dumbledore had made his way up. As I looked into his
somber eyes, the reality of all I had lost fell upon me, and I continued to
weep, harder and harder. Dumbledore guided me out of the church. Everyone else
'There are five
stages of loss you go through before you're finally able to let someone go, at
least that is what people claim. I think
that’s bullshit. The only people who say that have probably never lost someone.
Eventually, if you're strong enough, you'll move on. You'll think of them less
and less on a daily basis. And you'll pick up a new routine, even if you don't
mean to. Denial always
comes first no matter how short it lasts.'
'Even if you pretend to
understand what you've lost, you don't. As for the other stages: bargaining,
anger, depression, and acceptance... I don't know that it's always in that
order. Or that you even go through them all.'
'People say that when you do
eventually accept the death of a loved one, or several loved ones, that you'll
feel complete again. But it isn't true. Not really. A part of you will always
miss them. They were a part of you, and you were a part of them. So when they
die, a piece of you dies with them.'
'So I guess the saying is
true. I reflect upon that moment, realizing that I have to relive it again now,
with Sirius's funeral. You don't realize what you've lost until after the
flowers are gone.'