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What It Means To Me

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It has been twenty years since Remus and his friends had graduated from Hogwarts. Twenty years since they had left the comfort of what had been like a home to them for seven years. They had been excited to see what the future had in store for them. And at first, it had been exciting. Remus had brought his best friend, now his partner, Sirius, home to tell his parents about their relationship. They had welcomed him to the family, and Remus couldn’t have been more relieved. It had only been weeks, until Lily had found them a place to live, and they had moved out. She and James had taken one of the bedrooms, Remus and Sirius the other. It hadn’t been the nicest apartment, but it had been nice enough. Remus would have lived anywhere, as long as he could live with his friends. It had been exciting, and they had had a great time. Especially when Lily and James had gotten married, things had looked up. Their futures had all seemed as bright as can be.
But once Lily and James had moved out, things had changed. Remus had noticed a change in Sirius. Sirius had gotten jealous, he had become suspicious. Whenever Remus would come back from assignments for the Order, Sirius would ask him about his day. But not in a kind, interested way. It would be like he was interrogating him. Trying to catch him in a lie. It had started to grate on Remus, and they had gotten into arguments about it. Still, they had been in love, and they couldn’t imagine not being together. But one night, Sirius almost hit Remus, only just stopping himself in time. That’s when they knew that it wasn’t working anymore. It had stopped being fun.
Three years after they had graduated, Remus’ life had fallen apart. Lily and James had just had a baby, Harry, and anyone could see how much they had loved the little boy. He had watched Sirius hold the baby in his arms, and it had made him feel something which he hadn’t felt for a long time. It had made him fall back in love with him all over again, watching him be his old self again, the happy young man, full of excitement, full of joy. He had been planning to tell him, but then it had all come crashing down. Lily and James had been murdered by Voldemort, Sirius had been arrested for murder, including that of their former friend, Peter. Lily had invited him to the wedding, and slowly but surely, afterwards, they had accepted him back into their lives. But the minute Remus had heard about what had happened that night, about Sirius betraying their friends, he knew that something about it wasn’t right. It had to have something to do with Peter. But Peter was dead. So were his friends. And Sirius was gone, off to Azkaban. He had lost them all.
For years he had wandered, trying to make sense of it, trying to find a purpose, to find his place in the world. But nothing seemed to make sense, not without his friends. It wasn’t until Albus Dumbledore had invited him back to Hogwarts, to fill in a position, that he had felt a sense of purpose in his life again. Not only did coming back to Hogwarts give him the chance to have the potion that would change his life, that would keep his condition under control. But it also gave him the chance to meet Harry, Lily and James’ son, whom he had not seen since he was a baby. Life had finally started to make sense, and he had finally looked forward to the future. But there was also the issue of Sirius escaping from Azkaban, and people saying that he was coming after Harry. Remus didn’t believe the lies, because Sirius would never hurt Harry, but he could tell that people looked at him differently. They knew that he and Sirius had been friends, and he could tell that people wondered if he knew something. If perhaps, he had helped the murderer escape. But then Peter had turned out to not have been murdered at all, and he had indeed turned out to be the one who had betrayed their friends. Sirius had come back to Hogwarts, but not to hurt Harry, to protect him. It had nearly broken Remus, to see Sirius again, after all these years. But there had been no time to let himself think about it, because it had been a horrible night, where his condition had nearly killed Harry and his friends, and he had hurt Sirius. And before the night was over, Sirius had gone. Severus Snape had told everyone about his condition, and he had felt like he had no choice but to leave Hogwarts once again. He couldn’t stand the judgement. The fear in people’s eyes.
The Order had been reinstated, and Remus had, horrible as he felt about it, been glad to have a purpose again. He would take on everything, small or unimportant as the assignment might be. He just needed to have something to do. He needed to have things make sense. But he was still wandering, he still didn’t feel like he had a place in the world. And when he had to come home, he had realised that he had had no home. Members of the Order would go and stay with Sirius at Grimmauld Place 12, so, nervous as he was, one night he had knocked on the door, to ask for a place to stay. Sirius had invited him to stay for as long as he wanted, and Remus had been more than grateful. But there had also been an awkwardness between them, which neither of them would mention. They had a past, but with everything that was happening, with the danger looming, it didn’t feel right to mention it. So they had kept quiet, and whenever there had been an awkward moment, they had simply laughed it off, or ignored it all together. They figured that one day there would be time to talk about things.
But then came the battle at the Department of Mysteries. Remus had felt strong, he had felt confident, as he had stood there, duelling, with his friends by his side, most new, but one his oldest and very best friend. It had made him feel more confident that they were going to win this war, than ever before. But then it had happened. Bellatrix Lestrange, Sirius’ own cousin, had murdered him. Sirius had disappeared through the veil. Within seconds, he was gone. Remus had watched it happen, and his legs had nearly given out. But then he had seen Harry, and the thought of losing that boy as well, it had given him a new surge of strength. He had been able to stop him from going after Sirius, but all he had wanted to do, was go after him himself. Because when he lost Sirius, he lost a part of himself.
Nymphadora Tonks, another cousin of Sirius, had actually been the one to help him, after Sirius’ death. She had been there for him, and she had listened to him. She had been the one who held him, when he had broken down, unable to deal with the pain. She had been the one to get him back on his feet. She had become a great friend, and without her, Remus wasn’t sure he would have coped.
But two months ago, his world was torn apart all over again. All of their lives had been torn apart, during the Battle of Hogwarts. So many lives had been taken that night, so many people having lost their friends, their brothers, their sisters, their children. It had been slaughter. And they had all seen things which they will never be able to unsee. Remus had fought, and he had nearly been killed. But somehow, he had survived. His wounds should have killed him, but somehow, something had kept him alive. He had lost many of his friends though, including the woman who had saved him after Sirius’ death. She had died, protecting students. Her death, it had made Remus feel cursed. Everyone around him died. His friends, they died. If he had stayed away from them, then maybe, they would have survived. Maybe they would still be okay. The guilt had nearly torn him apart, and it had made him decide to leave. Because the thought of losing more people, of hurting the people he loves, it is unbearable.
He had moved into a small cabin, out in the country, and although it could do with some fixing up, it is good enough. He doesn’t need much. As long as he is on his own, unable to hurt people, he will manage. He has gotten used to the loneliness by now.

But currently there is a lot of noise outside, and he gets up to look out of the window. There is a group of people, and they are huddled together, looking at something on the ground. Remus grabs his wand, and goes outside.
“Who are you?” he asks, ready to fight if he needs to. But then he sees what they are looking at. His skin starts burning up, and there is a sick feeling in his stomach. “No…”
“We found him,” one of the men says, a look of shock on his face. “We finally found him.”
“No, he died. I watched him die,” Remus manages to bring out, as he watches them pick up the wounded man from the ground. “Who are you?”
“We work for the Ministry, we…”
“No, Kingsley, he… he would have told me,” Remus says, but he can feel his legs wobbling, as the group walks past him, into his house.
“It was a secret mission. We had gotten a tip, and we have been looking for him ever since,” the first man says, and he puts a hand on Remus’ arm. “It’s him, Remus. Sirius is alive.”