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The Broken Road Home by ilovedracoandharry

Format: One-shot
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 1,835

Rating: 12+
Warnings: Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme,

Genres: Angst
Characters: Lupin

First Published: 08/31/2005
Last Chapter: 08/31/2005
Last Updated: 10/12/2005

A special thank you to TomFoolery for the amazing banner...

The world is whole once more, evil no longer lingers in the shadows and the sun can now shine into the darkest hearts without pretence. Behind, and blinded by sorrow a man remains. Before he too can be laid to rest beside his lost friends he must take the first steps on towards a difficult journey home.

Chapter 1: The Broken Road Home
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A cold wind blew in from the north, chilling everything in its path with a continuous gale of hopelessness. There was nothing strange about this wind lately, it seemed to come around every so often and settle about the earth with mingled dread; it’s only purpose, he knew was to break his heart even further and to shatter the once hopeful images of a shining sun and clear blue sky that he once held close in brighter times.

Turning his worn, beaten and delicately wrinkled face to the indigo, star strewn sky he took it in for all its beauty. The moonlight especially entranced him tonight. For the majority of his life it had been his foe, suffocating him in pain. But tonight the sliver of the glowing half moon had provided him a steady and entrancing light which had guided him to the place which he know stood upon, on the top of the hill, looking over the village and all about him that same chilling cold wind mingling with the very tips of the oak trees which surrounded the ruins.

It saddened him to be here, not only dredging up the old memories from the depths of his heart, the further most shadowy corners of his mind but to see a place which had once been the perfect, loving home of his closest friends that he had once called his own in ruins almost shattered him into further, undistinguishable pieces that could barely be put back together into a sane man.

The spring rains, strong winter gales and searing summer sun had flattened, smoothed and perhaps healed the property and the crumbled stone that was once known as Godric’s Hollow. The sandstone which had once held the walls strong and tall, protecting it’s inhabitants from invaders were gone, pounded into the dark, muddy earth with over a decade of neglect. The remnants of windows were embedded deeply into the ground and when he had first traipsed carefully over the ruins not a space of rubble had shifted, for time had frozen it together with the help of the elements. In many places tiny, shoots of promising green grass had sprung up one spring, perhaps a long time ago or even the day before.

Nature had healed the broken land with its own method, restoring the rich grass around the edges, curling vines over the splintered wood and blooming flowers in the narrow gaps between smoothed over and worn shard of glass. Bordering the property, standing as proud and true as they always had were the ancient oak trees which he remembered fondly that Lily had adored and that had eventually swayed her in agreeing to stay in such a place.

Blinking up at the moon he ran a finger slowly over his scarred features and recalled the night it had been slashed across his face with a slight shiver. Turning somewhat on the spot his gaze wandered and finally rested on the smallest oak tree at the very back of the property were the grass began to slope slightly which was always blanketed in wild flowers in the spring. The same spring they had first sprouted, on a warm evening the five of them had gone out into the garden to admire the blood red sun, sinking into the shadows of the horizon and it was at that moment that James Potter, much to the amusement of his wife and gurgling young son had carved his name upon the lowest woody branch and had patted it affectionately, saying that it was going to stand tall and true forever more and be a much more useful friend than Peter was ever likely to be.

This memory was particularly vivid to remember and the irony of that perfect, casual moment he had always taken for granted. It was the little things, in such times that they had once described as war he would now call peace. The way the final rays had caught on Lily’s hair as James had kissed her softly on the nose and ran his hand through it, how Remus had turned away blushing slightly and Sirius had barked with laughter at the two of them, snorting in pretend revulsion and trying to encourage the young Harry to do the same.

At that moment he had also felt something else, a feeling that he rarely had ever felt in his life. One that he detested but at the same time could also understand the reasoning behind. It appeared at that moment that James Potter had everything that a person could ever ask for in their life. He had a house, though quite apart from his friends it was beautiful and grand and at the time it hadn’t occurred to Remus that this house was only their home because they were in such great danger and it was not a place of joyous upbringing. James Potter was happy; he had Lily, as delicate and pure as someone could ever hope for and although Remus had always reminded himself that he never felt anything more for Lily there was a gaping hole in his heart when she departed with her beloved husband, one that perhaps longed for something little more than friendship.

He had Tonks once as well, he reminded himself. But that had also been a long time ago. Before her presence and memory settled into the dust like all those before her. Before her existence became nothing more than a mere day dream or the flicker of a smile at what she would say if at his side at a particular event or time of the day.

Sirius had smiled that very same day down by the tree when he had caught Remus looking at Lily and James. He had turned slowly in a knowing sort of way and had lowered his voice in a light and very uncharacteristic tone, promising Remus that he would never be alone, no matter what happened between them.

To this very day he had never understood what Sirius had meant. Did he mean that if James and Lily ran off together with their child Sirius would still be left back home, unloved and not included in their future? Because if that’s what he had meant, Remus realized with a strong feeling of resentment then Sirius had broken his promise. Remus was alone. And Sirius was dead. To him, it was as simple as that.

His hand held limply at his side he looked down at the single white lily which was clutched lovingly and protectively there. Raising it up, shaking slightly he let its soft petals brush his cheek before he released it, letting it fall onto the rubble beneath his feet and mere moments after a single tear followed it, ripping down his face and causing such a scar that was much deeper than the physical ones which were no longer his badges of honour and bravery in times of horror but marks of hopelessness and failure that he would carry with him forever.

The tear settled somewhere below him in the rubble, and he hoped half heartedly that were it fell one day a white lily may sprout from the one that he had placed beside it.

He had felt guilty at first, saving a lily from its rightful place on top of the marble grave stone. It had almost killed him to take it away, something so small and insignificant had ripped him apart with guilt until he had calmed himself down with reassurances that it was the right thing to do. That he had always wanted to visit the place that he had grown up in, where his parents had spent happier times and taken their last breath.

Stepping over the lily so as not to look at it; the beautiful thing that had fallen from grace, he made his way to the edge of the debris and onto the dewy grass where he could see out over the hillside. For miles in front and to the sides the beautiful green rolled out smoothly, though now blanketed in the heavy shadows that came with the night time sky. Far below in one of the valleys to the left of the miniature village, tucked behind a thicket of trees there was a large pond shimmering under the moonlight, shining a brilliant silver in the dim of the scenery around it.

Quietly and without much thought behind it he stretched out his hand to the smallest oak tree, keeping his gaze fixedly from the markings James had carved. Removing the first rich green leave he held it in the palm of his hand and let it go onto the wind, for one fallen friend. From the same branch he removed a second one, holding it a little longer and curling the edges gently before the cool breeze picked up and he let it go as well, for a fallen angel. Moving his hand down, closer now to the carving he gently plucked another leaf, rich in colour yet fading slightly now as autumn approached. A cloud moved out from in front of the moon as he was on the verge of releasing the third one when he looked up and saw it twinkling in all its glory above the saddened world below.

With a sad smile he held the third leaf up next to the star that was Sirius and let it go into the wind, watching it fluttering away into the darkness and shadows that encircled him. Closing his eyes he lowered his hands closer still until the very tips of his fingers connected with the trunk of the tree and feeling it gently he felt the unmistakable, uneven scratching of carving marks, tracing his finger over the looping letters he stopped as the final initial curled and felt a flutter of leaves at his wrist. Then taking a final one from beside the markings he picked it off tenderly and nursed it before opening his eyes, this time turning to face the moon in all its glory.

The wind picked up, whipping his cloak harshly around his ankles as a second salty tear fell, stinging his swollen eyes as it ran down his face. At this day, at this very moment the wizarding world was at peace. More peaceful than it had been in more than two decades. It was also the night, a mere twelve hours after their greatest hero had fallen and with triumph that could’ve only been achieved with death and as Remus Lupin released the final leaf for the fallen boy that had grown to be his son he felt his knees shake beneath him and a sob escaped his lips and into the harsh night where he stood alone, wondering why the people he loved the most had deserted him into a torturous world that he no longer wanted to live in.

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Hope you liked it and please leave me a review on your way out. ;-) Kate