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I

Remus Lupin sat huddled on the rigid stone floor of the dark and clammy room, shut out from the rest of the world. His ashen body was plastered in a drenching sweat, causing his greying hair to stick to his face and mingle with the glistening tears which had left tear-stained marks on his cheeks. His eyes were slightly closed as he drifted in and out of a painful consciousness. The fowl stench of muggle alcohol secreted from his pores as his mind became hazy. A faint odour of aftershave lingered around the room, burning his eyes.

His aftershave

Remus lay back onto the cold, dusty floor and pulled his legs up to his chest. Breathing heavily, he closed his eyes and wished for the pain to pass. The immense pain that had filled his soul for many years. A pain which had now been coupled with an immeasurable loneliness and suffering.

Since that night

His body shook uncontrollably as the pain swept through his veins. His head was pulsating as his arms fell limply to his side. He had forgotten who he was. He did not know what his soul bared anymore, except for vast emptiness.

Without them

His head ached. His whole body throbbed and convulsed, yet he fought against the tiredness. He fought against pain as he pulled his profound body into an upright position and reached across to the dusty, aged file. He ran his fingers slowly over the spine, a familiar motion from long ago. The cover was torn yet Remus hardly noticed as he flipped open the file to the inside cover. The simple words;

“Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think”.

Remus smiled, a motion that was long since strained and distant as a solitary tear trickled down his pain-drenched face. He remembered him writing it. He remembered the ink he wrote in, the quill he himself had given him, but he could not remember the time he had wrote it.

Time was timeless...
…forgotten


He sighed, a deep, pitiful sigh and turned the fading page over.

II

A Year, Ten Years from now, I will remember this moment, not why, only that we were here like this together…

Remus cursed stridently, tears falling from his red eyes, burning his pale, emaciated face.

I can’t, Sirius, I can’t…

The photos in the folder were unmistakable, yet no matter how hard Remus looked, he could not imagine the scenes that he once lived.

He hurled the folder across the rotten floorboards and slumped on the side of the bed, closing his tired, sodden eyes. He struggled to conjure up the past, see his friends, James…Sirius…

Nothing

Almost immediately, without conscious thought, Remus drifted into a much needed deep slumber, his eyelids twitching with nightmarish dreams, the moisture on his face, quickly drying. His body was feverish and sweat corroded from his pores, yet he was more relaxed than he had been for a very long time.

“Moony…What took you so long?”
“Wha…?” Remus looked around, his mind confused. “Where?”
“Where have you been, you look as though you have been pulled through a bed backwards!”
Laughter filled Remus’ ears. Recognisable laughter. Remus shook his head vigorously and tried to capture some sense.
“You know, James, I think that our Moony has been hit too many times over the head with your antlers”
More laughter surrounded Remus like Church bells through the night.
“Padfoot…?” Remus whispered his voice wavy and unrecognisable. “Prongs…?”
“Oh my! I think he has finally learnt how to talk”
“Bless the day! Well at least we know that she left you alone long enough for you to recapture your senses my dear Moony”
“Yep! Now we can stop worrying about having to share the shack with another wolf”
Remus looked up to see his two friends, smiling with love at him.
Suddenly he felt his knees give way. As he fell towards the snow covered ground, he felt strong, warm arms grasp him lovingly around his waist.
“Crikey my dear Moony, are you sure you haven’t been in that muggle pub? What have we told you about that?”
“No Padfoot, I can’t smell alcohol on his breath, unlike someone else I know”
“Oi! I’ll have you know that I only had the one – and they didn’t even serve it in a two litre glass”
“Ah, diddums!”
Remus watched the scene as if it were in slow motion, unsure of what he was seeing, or where he was, yet a wash of emotion filled his entire body. Emotion that seemed to flow warmly through his veins. For the first time in a long time, Remus felt…happiness.
“Come on now dear Moony, or we will be late”
Remus looked at his friend, his eyes gleaming with tears.
“Now what are you all emotional for?”
“It must be my handsome face…that always does it!”
Remus let himself smile and wiped his face free of tears.
“I missed you guys”
“I think he has concussion Padfoot”
“Must have. What are you on about Moony? Crikey, you are only a few month older than me but if this is how old age goes, I’m not planning on turning eighteen”
“But…I haven’t…you’ve been gone…both of you…so long”
“I think we should take him to St. Mungos. What d’you thinks Prongs?”
“Moony, no more muggle alcohol for you. We only saw you a couple of hours ago you idiot! And it would have been a lot sooner if you hadn’t been so tardy!”
“A few hours?”
“What, has his hearing gone now as well?”
“No…it’s just…”
Remus looked at his two friends and laughed.

"Somewhere there is someone that dreams of your smile, and finds in your presence that life is worthwhile, so when you are lonely remember it’s true, someone somewhere is thinking of you."

“Come on then old man”
Sirius pulled Remus to his feet, laughing, as they set of arm in arm down the snow-covered track towards Hogwarts…


III

A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.

“I found him here not five minutes before I called for you, like this. My guess is that the poor chap has been like this all night.”
Albus Dumbledore nodded as the healer pulled the blanket over Remus’ body.
“Thank you sir” he said quietly, his eyes without their usual twinkle.
“Sir” the man nodded as he turned to walk towards the door, stopping as he held his hand on the door handle.
“Such a horrible way to go, alone” he whispered before sighing and leaving.
Albus Dumbledore looked at Remus’ still body and smiled faintly.

He will never be alone again

Albus smiled at the healer as he turned and left the room. Left Remus to be at final peace.

"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." (Martin Luther King Jr)

END

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