Author's Notes: Thanks to Satori for putting up with me and my angst and giving me such wonderful feedback. Also, thanks to my adopted little sis who poked me and cajoled me into re-watching the second Harry Potter with her, which in turn inspired this (somehow…) Please let me know what you think … my email is suzumes_bum @ hotmail.com
By Darkangel Rose
He had become a ghost.
Harry flicked the lightswitch. Cue sickly yellow glow, chaos was thrown into sharp relief. There were two pillows lying on the floor: mashed & white. The blinds were tied shut.
Breathe in stale air, taste of dust upon his tongue.
Harry moved to the next room.
A stack of unopened mail, a clock whose face was shattered to match the spidery crack in the wall: Remus had covered the mirrors with bedsheets.
Harry pulled the excess sheet off the bed. Remus lay beneath it, unasleep and quiet. The bed beneath him was made neatly; his shoes were still on. He looked thinner than before, greyer. Harry closed his eyes and sighed.
Strong hands yanked the chord and blinds rose with a quick, jarring noise. Remus’ pupils shrank at the sudden flood of light. He rolled onto his side, facing away.
“Get up, Remus.” Harry commanded. The werewolf did not stir.
Harry ground his teeth. The sheet fell from the mirror to the floor quietly. The dust it stirred was caught by the light, illuminated as though it were something sacred.
Perhaps it was.
“Get up.” Harry repeated. Remus feebly covered his ears with his hands.
Harry tread through the mess: scattered, wrinkled clothes and discarded books. Harry glanced at one – the wizard equivalent of a scientific journal. Severus Snape’s name was there, along with a small picture. The article was old; it talked about how the Potions master had just discovered a new potion to alleviate the symptoms of lycanthropy.
Harry picked it up, closed it gently, and replaced it on the shelf.
“He would hate to see you like this.” Harry choked out. Remus looked pale and worn in the direct, white glare of the sun. Harry hated seeing him like this.
Harry swallowed; his hands were shaking. It was something about being there – about the smell of tears in the air and the way Remus’ hair had gotten longer in the past month.
He absolutely refused to cry.
Harry knelt, then, and began folding. Stack after stack, and he closed every book with tenderness.
Remus drifted to the bathroom, Harry heard the lock slide into place. Harry worked methodically – tried not to think about it.
Fold, stack, close the page on another snapshot of the scowling dead.
Beneath a thread-bare red vest Harry’s hands fell on a Muggle photograph. Severus was asleep on Remus’ couch, and there was a blanket covering him and an empty mug on the table behind his head. Harry knew, somehow, that it had once been filled with green tea.
Harry looked away, feeling his breath catch in his chest. He laid the picture at the foot of Remus’ bed.
“He loved you.” Harry said to the bathroom door, and his words were grief and anguish and bitter. There was no response, just the sound of muffled breathing.
Harry felt broken, like the face of the clock. His hands were shaking, his heart was shaking. He remembered graduation, Severus’ lips so still beneath his, so full of regret. He had seen the picture on Severus’ desk: Remus was asleep on Severus’ couch, and there was a blanket over him and a mug on flagstones beside him. Harry had known, somehow, that it had once been filled with hot chocolate.
There was a sob trapped in his mouth, and the taste of dust and yellow light. It was something about the way he looked into the mirror and saw a ghost of himself, something about the way that Remus wasn’t crying anymore.
Harry swallowed and headed out the front door. There was nothing sacred about death.
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