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...Remus...

Dumbledore is dead.

Snape did it.

And all I can think of is her.

Her, who is finishing her sixth year. Her sixth year.

It can't be right. It doesn't match up.

I shake my head to try and somehow make everything fit back into place. I don't want to think about what all this means for her; for me.

I have waited so long for...but now...have I waited for nothing?

When I had first lost her Dumbledore had assured me that she would come back to me eventually, albeit there would be somewhat of an age gap. I had trusted him. After all when is Dumbledore ever wrong?

Snape.

He was wrong about Snape...

I had even had my own doubts about her return after what had happened to James and Lily. "Surely if she had known she would have warned us, she wouldn't have allowed Peter to get away with it; she wouldn't have allowed Sirius to waste away in Azkaban for it. She just wouldn't.

And she was friends with Snape.

How could she be friend's with Dumbledore's murderer. Even if she had been told not to meddle with time, she didn't have to be friends with him.

And then there was just this. Her sixth year - over.

It should have happened by now.

She should have come back to me.

Maybe it has been too long. Maybe I am forgetting some small but crucial details. Maybe...maybe in the way she looked at us sometimes, so knowingly...maybe it could still happen...maybe..

But I know I am clutching onto false hope and oh but how I need that hope, more than air itself.

I mentally smack myself over the head for even having such a thought.

I know it is unhealthy to keep going like this.

I need to move on for my sake, and for hers.

It is so hard just to look at her, now, when she is so similar to my own, but just not quite the same.

I felt so paedophilic when I taught her in her third year - herself a smart and bubbly young child and myself an old and tired werewolf.

Would she have even wanted me if she returned?

I don't know anymore.

I feel so confused.

Through the mist of my thoughts, I feel someone place a hand on my shoulder.

Like an anchor it pulls me back into the conscious world and I realise I am still sitting in the same chair, in the hospital wing. And Harry is standing there looking at me in a way I have never seen before.

I know I must look a mess. Thank Merlin he will assume it is because of the news he has just told us, without knowing the repercussions of that news for myself.

The hand is still on my shoulder and with effort I bring my eyes up to see the worried and exasperated face of Tonks.

I sigh.

I know how she feels about me and I push her away with excuses of my age and my lycranthopy.

I see in her eyes that they will not hold much longer.

But then perhaps I shouldn't be pushing her away.

I need to move on, and it's not that I don't like Tonks in that way...I've just never allowed myself to.

Molly says that I deserve to be happy. I mentally laugh, as I imagine her face if I was to tell her which 17 yr old girl would make me happy.

But she is not an option. Not anymore.

The girl that I know is not the girl that I loved. She was lost in the folds of time. And now I must face the harsh truth that she will never be returned to me.

It is time to let her go.

I feel my heart constrict as if in defiance of my decision, as if it would rather kill us both than live without her. But I tell it, even if I'm not sure that I believe it myself, that there will be something else. Something else that will be worth living for, if we just hold on.

The hand on my shoulder tightens gently and Tonks is saying something to me...

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