After the War [oneshot]

For Trissie, 'cause I suck <3.

-- this oneshot is filled with inside knowledge, and would probably only be understood by my nearest friends, so I apologize for any inconvenience.

1. x

Remus Lupin was a tired, worn out man. And he no longer tried to hide the fact that he simply had given up, even from his dearest friends. Or, what was left of them.

Opening the door in front of him, Remus walked into his apartment, with no memory of the ride home. He didn't even bother calling for his fiancee or taking off shoes or cape, before sinking down in one of the chairs, in the small kitchen.

Life was hell. It had been like that for two months now, and Remus feared that that would never going to change. Nothing could push away the sorrow from the loss of all of Remus' dearest friends. First it had been Marlene McKinnon. In his school years, Remus hadn't known the girl that well, but when joining the order, the two old Gryffindors became good friends. Hearing about her death had been a big push into the cruelty of the real world, and even though Lily took it the hardest, it had also been a great loss for Remus.

After Marlene, the rest of the order had slowly began to fall apart, as it members was either assassinated or killed in battle. But even in the tough times, Remus had never expected the worst to happen - yes, a lot of good people had died, but never could Remus even had imagined, that this would happen to his friends. All of them - Sirius, James, Lily, Peter - they where immune to the killing that was happening. A stupid thing to believe, but that was what he thought. At least until that horrible night, where everything had fallen apart.

Remus still remembered sitting in the couch, listening to the wireless with Oweline in his arms and a cup of tea ind his hands, when Sirius barged in, a face filled with horror as he fought with the words, before finally telling them;

'They're dead. Both of them. Lily and James, dead and gone.'

He had then collapsed in the doorway, shaking and sobbing. The following twenty-four hours had been a nightmare, that none of them could wake up from.

Sitting now as he did in his small kitchen, Remus wished that he could have had predicted his old friend's next move, maybe stopped him from doing what he did - but Remus couldn't even see the fact that Sirius wanted to kill James and Lily, only saw the horror and sorrow in his eyes, when Sirius fell apart in the doorway. How could he had predicted, that Sirius afterwards would go kill Peter, the only one who knew who Sirius really was. A monster.

"Remus?" A gentle voice brought Remus back to reality, as a women figure in a bathrobe made her way from the bathroom over to Remus. "I didn't hear you come home. Long night?"

"Yeah, you could say so," he answered, looking away from the spot outside the window, he had been staring at for the past ten minutes. His fiancee, Oweline Robson, looked at her boyfriend with worry. Her long, dark hair was wet from the shower she just stepped out of, and she was shaking from the cold in the kitchen. Remus followed her with his eyes, as she walked passed him over to the counter to make coffee.

There was an uncomfortable silence in the room, as the couple waited for the coffee to be ready. Finally, Oweline said:

"Remus, I can't go on like this."

"Go on like what?" He said weary, even though he knew exactly what she was talking about.

She bit her lip and looked away, hid her shaking hands from Remus by placing them on the counter in front of her. "With this... this wall between us. You're shutting me out. Ever since Claire died..." She choked in her tears, and turned back to look at her husband. Remus didn't meet her gaze. "We never talk anymore. You answer in short sentences, and never starts a conversation yourself. You should think that the two of you planned this... this, giving up-".

"I'm not giving up!" He interrupted, slamming a fist down at the kitchen table in front of him, making the old teacup standing on it, rattle. "I just..."

"You just what?" Oweline continued, brushing away the tears that now streamed down her face. "You're letting me go! And... and I'm not ready to let you go as well."

"You just don't understand," Remus continued, his voice shaking now. "I lost everything after that night. First James and Lily, then Peter... and when Sirius was sent to prison and Claire went out to find those Death Eathers for Merlin-knows-why, I just--".

"I lost everything as well, Remus - they were my friends too!"

"It's not the same!" He yelled.

"How is it different?" She screamed, then, calming herself, continued: "Remus, how is it different?"

Only when Remus lifted his hands to frustratingly run them through his hair, he noticed that he was shaking. "It just is. I--I just..." He shaked his head. He couldn't explain it. The silence filled the room once again, only broken by the sound of shattering glass, when Owl dropped a coffee mug on the floor, caused by her shaking hands.

Remus was the first to talk, when the silence was broken again. 

"I need to leave... for a while."

Oweline looked up from the shattered glass, which she was picking up from the floor. "Leave? What do you mean?"

"Dumbledore doesn't believe that Voldemort is gone. Mad-Eye suggested that someone should go spy on some of the remaining Death Eathers, see if they know something we don't. And since I'm the perfect subject for that cause - werewolf and all - I... volunteered."

There was quiet in the room. Then: 

"You can't do that. It's too dangerous."

"It's the only way we'll know for sure..."

"To hell with that! Remus, it's over - the war is over. He is gone, and wont come back. Risking your life like that, it's just. Selfish."

"Selfish?" Remus said, even though the surprise didn't overcome his tired, indifferent tone. "How come?"

"It's a selfish thing to do against me. It's to risky, I'll just end up losing you, and I can't... I couldn't bear that. I love you."

Remus looked away, not returning neither the words nor the gaze he got from his fiancee. Here it comes... "I think we should split."

Out of the corner of his eye, Remus could see the shock in Owelines face, as she tried to handle what he just said. "You-- you what? Want to split. Why? I love you" Her 'I love you' was no more than a whisper, and yet it was still echoing through Remus' mind, as he tried blocking away all feelings.

"It's for the best. We need some time apart. And with my mission and all, the time is right, and..."

"Remus," Oweline interrupted. "That's not a real reason. That's not good enough."

"You don't want to hear 'the real' reason, Oweline, you know it..."

"Just... tell me. Tell me that you don't love me and I'll leave. H-hell, I'll even give you the ring back!"

He sighed and didn't dare to look up. Just the sound of her voice, so broken, wanted him to rush to her side and just hold her tight. So he didn't look up, but just said; "Fine. I don't love you Oweline, and I haven't done that in a long time."

There was a long silence. He then heard the door to their bedroom open and then slam close. Remus sat there, motionless on the uncomfortable kitchen chair, until he heard the door open again.

"I don't believe you." 

He looked up, to see Owl standing by the front door, now fully dressed with a bag thrown over her shoulder. Her expression was hard, though you could still see traces of tears, down her cheeks. She raised her hand up in front of her - the ring Remus had given her still placed on her finger. 

"You'll get it back when you convince me."

Then she was out of the door.

To believe that this was Remus Lupin's fiancee's last words to him, is unbearable - but true. What is worse, is that even now, in death, he never found out why she never returned to their little apartment. Did she change her mind, decided to believe his words? Had she never even planned on returning, even for a proper goodbye? Or had she stumbled upon a couple of well-known Death Eathers, when she decided that she would never depart with the love of her life like this?

Remus Lupin would never know what happened to the first love of his life, and, unfortunately, death made sure that he would never find out. 

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