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A/N Thanks Melihobbit for the wonderful banner!
Enjoy (and review!). More chapters coming...
You can read the same story from Harry's point of view (Thoughs II under my pen name)

(This is rather a prologue in; the next chapter starts in sixth year)

"To suffer is to be alive"

Hogwarts, Defense Against the Dark Arts Classroom. Begining of Harry's third year.

He was sitting alone at his desk in his now empty classroom. It was the end of the day, the first day of school since the beginning of term, and Remus contemplated the bare wall in front of him. Silently. He didn’t move, didn’t mutter anything to himself, just stared ahead blankly. He didn’t want to get up and walk to the Staff Room, where he was sure to meet Snape; in fact he didn’t want to go anywhere. He just needed to think. Alone. Think and maybe, when the time came, find a way to forget.

The shock had been a lot greater and much harder to overcome than he would ever have thought. Seeing Harry was more than seeing the image of James, it meant having to live again every second of the nightmare that had followed that terrible night. Seeing Harry on the train the previous day had reopened the wound that had tried to close over the years. Reopened it, and deepened it.

Remus closed his eyes.

What did I do to deserve this…?

He would never forget the look on Harry’s face when he had first set his eyes on him. It was James. With Lily’s eyes. Instantly, Remus had felt sick. Sick because Harry had, in an instant, reminded him that he, Remus, was alive, whereas James and Lily were not. Sick because he knew he should have been the one to die in their place, sick because deep inside he knew he was guilty. Now Harry had no parents. What a waste.

And it was his fault.

Well, not entirely.

Not entirely? You could have changed some of it, Remus, you could have avoided James’s death.

He was sure he could have influenced James in his choice of Secret Keeper, even proposed himself instead of Sirius.

Thinking of Sirius made him feel even more ill. Never, ever would he have thought Sirius would have gone to Voldemort.

God, Sirius. You knew better than that… You hated the Dark Arts! What’s happened to you? What’s happened to all of us?

The truth is that you were fooled, weren’t you Remus? He fooled you for all these years.

No he didn’t.

Yes he did. And you saw none of it!

What should I have done?

Reacted. Found it out. Accused him.

Are you mad? I knew this man. He was my friend.

Really? What do you mean? Are you actually admitting you care about what he's become?

Yes. Of course it matters to me. HE WAS MY FRIEND!



Lupin shook his head almost violently.

He remembered his initial shock after discovering Sirius had betrayed Lily and James. At first, it had been incomprehension that had struck him. Incomprehension, and total disbelief. It had taken him months, years to start believing it, just like everyone else. His mind refused what his eyes saw. But the evidence was there. Slowly, despite himself, he had had to accept. And now he was enraged for having not found it out before, for having trusted Sirius all those years.

Now only he knew that Sirius was an Animagus. Incredibly, he didn’t want to reveal it to anyone. Not Dumbledore. Not the Ministry. It was even a fight inside himself, a fight to know whether or not this mattered, whether or not this would make him even more guilty than before.

He also wondered how he was going to get over the idea of having Harry in front of him every lesson. Get an everyday remembrance of what had happened then─ he wasn’t sure he wouldn’t lose his nerve at some point. It wasn’t Harry’s fault, of course not. But having to face him during class time, having to set his eyes on Harry for long hours, unable to see anything but him... it was torture. Through him he saw James, through him he saw the Marauders and what they had been… through him he saw everything that had happened. He wasn’t sure he was capable of teaching, coldly, distantly, and professionally, as if he was just a teacher teaching a class of third years.

Lupin closed his fists tightly together. He wanted so much to be someone else at the moment, anyone, anywhere… alive, or dead. Better to be dead than to have to dwell on those thoughts over and over again. He wanted to escape his life, his responsibilities, himself.

But he’d always be Remus. Just Remus. Lonely, miserable, depressed. And guilty.

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