The Sugar Quill
Author: Queen_nerd06  Story: After the flowers are gone  Chapter: Default
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(A/N: Here is something that I was inspired to write at the spur of the moment

(A/N: Here is something that I was inspired to write at the spur of the moment. I hope you enjoy it! Please Review!)


Disclaimer:  All the characters mentioned in the following story belong to J.K Rowling. The plot is mine.


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 dramatic. '


'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.'


'Several Hogwarts 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 have said.'


"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 drowning.'


"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 followed suit.


'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.'






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