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As Good as Gone...





Harry couldn't bring himself to believe what was happening. Some piece of this mental puzzle just didn't fit.

"You can't... I won't let you!" Harry shouted, Sirius had a panicked look, Harry could tell he didn't want this to be a big event.

"Harry you have to understand... there's nothing to be done."

"DON'T SAY THAT! THAT WAS EXACTLY WHAT LUPIN SAID WHEN HE FOUND OUT WHAT WAS TO HAPPEN, YOU KNOW IT'S NOT TRUE!"

"Harry calm down" Sirius whispered desperately, looking around to make sure no one had been attracted by the noise, but it was too late. From the other end of the hall soft, uneven foot steps could be heard approaching.

Sirius took one last look at Harry, placing both hands on Harry's shoulder. It appeared that he had no words left to say, or no time left to say them. Sirius pulled Harry into a tight hug before moving to go out of the heavy front door.

"What's going on?" Lupin said suspiciously eyeing Harry in particular. While Sirius turned around to address Lupin, Harry dashed in front of him, blocking his escape.

"Harry-" Sirius began, but was cut off.

"What's going on?" Lupin repeated, this time with a bit more force.

Harry's heart continued to pound, and considering he hadn't done much in the last few moments he was surprised to find how out of breath he was. Lupin's gaze continued to rest on Harry, so he pointed at the prophet still lying innocently on the table. Harry watched as Lupin turned and looked at the roll of paper. His gaze was drawn immediately to the title of article printed in bold writing on the front page. Harry never thought that four words could have so much effect on a grown man.

BLACK RESURFACES AT LAST!

Harry saw Lupin go pale, and could help but notice that the strained man looked exactly how he felt, he couldn't even begin to imagine how Sirius must have felt. Lupin's calm placid nature disintegrated as he read through the article.

This morning the minister for magic Cornelius Fudge announced that he received a tip from an 'extremely reliable source' saying that Black had been sited in that very building. Other things in relation to Black were disclosed as well, authorities are seeking him already. For any who are not aware or who's memory needs refreshing; Black was convicted for the murders of twelve muggles and one wizard. It was the attempted heroism of the Peter Pettigrew that bought the poor souls there final moments of precious life. It is to this day unknown what caused the sudden madness within Black but the results stand to show that these things can happen. At the time Black's parents said to witnesses that they themselves always thought there son to be a dangerous maniac. Just a few days ago this 'reliable source' said to have received information that Black allegedly 'disappeared' and has now returned by means only know to him. Even though it is evident that not all of the information known was shared, the Minister said to his staff that he is confident that it is sufficient to obtain the wizarding worlds most wanted convict.

When Lupin had finished Harry saw his legs start to give, but he managed to keep himself upright. Lupin's keen amber eyes, now brought into sharp relief by the paleness of his face, lifted to take in the handsome, and slightly shaking features of Sirius.

"No" he said, sounding breathless as well. "Please don't-"

"You know I have to leave Remus."

"Please-"

"I'm endangering all of you by staying"

"Sirius don't-"

"Stop pretending I wasn't the reason you-"

"Oh you know I would never hold that against you!"

"Remus listen to me-"

"NO YOU LISTEN TO ME SIRIUS!" Harry could tell Lupin was desperate to be heard. "Sirius... I need you here, I'll come with you!"

"No! I've endangered you enough! You stay safe, if anything gives my happiness while I'm in hiding it's knowing that you're safe."

Lupin's legs were starting to shake, the old cane that had been leaning against the side of the sofa had made a reappearance in his hand.

"I won't let them take you Sirius" Lupin lifted a shaking hand to wipe a single tear off his cheek. "I lost you already, please don't leave me. I need you, you're like a brother to me Padfoot, you are my brother."

By now Sirius was struggling to control his emotions as well. Harry had never seen such a desperate plea, and it broke him to know that it was all because of a lie, his lie.

In a few quick steps Sirius had crossed the room and embraced his last true friend in a brotherly hug that reduced Hermione to tears.

The hug seemed to last for ages, Harry didn't have the heart to break it up. The twp of them seemed to fit together so perfectly, in that moment Harry felt pang of guilt for making them go through all of this. In that moment he realized how much these two friends had done for each other, and how much more they were likely to do. He was going to fix all of this, he would tell them the truth.

Harry was so wrapped up in his thoughts that he didn't notice when Sirius said his final goodbye to Lupin. Harry's head snapped up and he had reached the door just as Sirius had exited it.

"Sirius I-"

"Harry... take care of Moony for me" Sirius said in a choked up voice before closing the door.

For a few moments Harry could only stand at the door that his Godfather had just exited. Sirius now believed that he had killed Lupin, and Lupin was now alone, again. Harry didn't know what to do, he had changed something, and everyone else was paying for it.

Harry turned to Lupin, Hermione was beside him helping him to sit on the couch. Of course Harry thought, it's the full moon soon.

"Remus" Harry began, not even thinking about what he was saying. Everything came pouring out.

"It's my fault, Sirius wasn't the reason this all happened, it wasn't him! Please don't ever hold that against him! It's my fault he's leaving, I changed something! I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry..."

The expression on Lupin's face went from vacant to a look of mild surprise, which quickly turned into suspicion.

"Why would you do that?" was all he said, and his voice was strangely calm, it frightened Harry more than any werewolf could. Harry stood still waiting for that calming half smile always there for reassurance, but it never came.

The frightening look upon Lupin's face didn't leave, Harry stood in some sort of paralyzed awe. Lupin got up and walked up the stairs without another word to either of them. Harry had never seen Hermione look so terrified.

Harry turned to her, "What just happened..."

Hermione looked frozen to the spot, "What're we going to do? Lupin's mad, Sirius is gone, things are going all wrong..."

At that moment Molly walked in the room, soot from the fireplace she had just traveled through still lingering on her worn velvet green robes. "What's going on I heard a door slam?" she asked innocently, looking between Harry and Hermione, who were still plastered to the floor.

Harry turned around, away from Mrs. Weasley, and said quietly to himself, "I think I just killed Lupin."

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