- Story Summary:
- Lupin thinks, in some way, Snape must be his to lose.
On certain mornings I refuse to read The Daily Prophet in case this should be the day they've found you. It's absurd, I know, to think it would make a difference, whether you turned up on Christmas or Lammas or St. Valentine's Day. But I am always aware of those mornings when I would prefer to cultivate blissful ignorance. Not to know now. Not to see.
You'd think I was mad if you knew, I suppose. If you are alive, I don't imagine that you ask yourself whether I think of you at all -- let alone on each holiday with a premonition of bad news. Everyone else seems quite certain that you must be dead. Draco, for instance, who was closer to you than I ever was. And his father, who cannot believe that you might be alive somewhere since you have never demanded any sort of compensation from him. Even Harry, who was standing near enough that night to see you fall...
But Harry has been wrong about you so many times. Perhaps more than myself. It gnawed at me, that terrible last year, how many things did not make sense. How Dumbledore simply could not have misjudged you so badly. How your actions toward Harry, which could hardly have been described as caring or affectionate, nonetheless seemed calculated to teach him what he most needed to know. You cannot have been only Voldemort's assassin, not all that time.
And something will not allow me to believe that you have passed on. Maybe it's only that I can't bear the thought of you and Sirius both gone before me, at each other's throats in whatever afterlife there may be, without me to stand between you, this time, and put a stop to your ridiculous feud for good. You would no more haunt this world as a ghost than Sirius, so it isn't that I think you may be dead but still present. I sense your living presence somewhere just outside my reach. I have tried on occasion to find you, though never with the full extent of my abilities. I think that, if you are dead, or if you do not wish me to find you, I would prefer not to know.
I used to dream of confirmation, always the same dream. I would open the newspaper and see it: your obituary, the headline, the photograph -- ministers and clerks moving at the margins with you unnaturally still at the center -- not peaceful, just immobile, an empty shell. I would wake shaking before I saw anything more, so I never knew how or why it happened. Tonks had a theory that I had the dream so often not because it was prophetic but because I found it comforting. She said it meant that I must believe, in some way, you were mine to lose.
Are you? Were you ever? How well I know that longing and hope can't bring back the dead... nor, oftentimes the living.
And still, I dream.