It's hard to describe it… I can't believe all this. I have Tonks in my life now, thank Heaven. She helps to fill the empty space, although she can never do it completely. I am the last surviving Marauder. And I mean this in the most literal sense.
Peter. Poor Peter. He was so very weak. I am certain he had bravery somewhere in there: the Sorting Hat saw it, so did I, so did Sirius and James – even if they often forgot.
His courage, had it been nourished, could have blossomed. I believe that it is, in part, our fault that it did not. If we had not been so patient and, I dare say, patronising with Peter, we would have forced his bravery to rear its tiny head. If we had not been so keen to protect him, he would have learned to stand up for himself, would have learned that he could be brave and protect us as well as us for him.
It sounds cruel, and it seemed so at the time. He was our friend, and we could not allow him to be bullied. But in retrospect, I suppose we removed the need for his bravery and he remained weak and afraid.
I am not saying he was a poor friend, a weak friend. I am merely saying that he was by no means brave when he turned to Voldemort. For a long time, a very long time, he tried to justify his actions to himself, not even brave enough to admit to himself that he was at fault – not brave enough even to allow himself to consider what the repercussions would be. And when they were dead, he told his heart that they would have gone for self-preservation, although somewhere inside, he knew that this was not the truth.
Moony. Wormtail. Padfoot. Prongs. Such names, such meanings, such loyalty. Where did it all go? How was it lost? It seemed impossible that our friendship would ever die – and yet it did, in such a terrible way. Peter betrayed James and Sirius. Sirius and James betrayed me by believing me to be the spy. I betrayed Sirius by thinking the same of him. How did this happen?
I could sit and think all night, but I am tired. I need to sleep. The transformation last night was harsh, and I did not know why until I heard the news.
The wolf in me knew. The wolf knew that Peter was dead. Peter finally knew in his heart what he had done, and he took his own life.
And the wolf mourned, as I do now.
You are sorry, Peter, and I am too.
AN: This piece arose from a strong desire to explore Peter and his journey from friend to betrayer. I wanted to live in Remus' mind for a night and examine the person who was once his friend. I chose Peter's death as a trigger for his thoughts, and the manner of his death as a catalyst for a train of thought following something that I always believed on some level, but could never quite understand on the surface.
Working with Tante again after many, many months (while my mind was occupied on creating the sequel to Much Love, Peace and Sunrises) has given me a huge swell of admiration for her all over again. This woman is, as I love to put it, my beta extraordinaire, and I can't imagine having anyone else. She is the beta and writer I aspire to be, and makes my work so much more than it started out as. I can't imagine how I failed to mention her in my last story, but here it is: Tante is the best. Thank you for your wonderful work.
If you are interested in the sequel I mentioned, it's over on my writing journal: idancewithwords.livejournal.com. Tante, I should point out, has had no hand in its writing, nor indeed have any other pre-betas, so every single mistake is entirely my own.
Finally, thank you all. The reviews for my last stories give me just the pick-me-up to salvage a terrible day or demolish The Wall of writer's block which constantly plagues me. If you have ever given me a review, or ever will, they are greatly appreciated. Thank you.