"If the fire burns out will it light up again ?
It's been so long since I've seen your eyes this cold.
When did you let them step in,
When did you let them take control?
So sound the alarm
There's gotta be a better way to break this spell,
Tell the whole world that I left without his love."
- "Unrequited Love" by Chasing Victory
As Neville approached Number 12 Grimmauld Place for the first time in months, watching the all too familiar shift as the houses around it expanded, groaning to accommodate the former house of Black, he felt a sense of apprehension. Ever since Remus had thrown him out a few months back without a word of explanation, Neville had been reduced to an unfocused pile of nerves. He hadn't meant to stay away for so long, determined to find an explanation for Remus' sudden and terrifying rage; had he done something to deserve it? Had Remus been hiding his loathing all along? The questions had flowed endlessly, and the days had blurred into weeks, stretching tensely into months of endless apprehension.
Ever since he was a boy, taking his first defense against the dark arts lesson with the lupine professor, he had harboured feelings for the generous man, and had attempted to stand by him when Professor Snape ( who still, despite Neville being grown, slightly terrified him), had outed him as being a werewolf.
After the war, Neville found that his friends had very little time to see him, settling comfortably into their new lives, filled with marriages, babies, and work; preoccupied with the mundane hustle and bustle of their day to day routines. Neville hadn't minded this abandonment, although it pained him to see how it bothered Remus, because it afforded him the opportunity to be alone with his former professor. Of course, Neville had his new greenhouses to tend to, but those visits were often the highlight of his week. They would sit on the couch, legs draped casually across one another, and talk over wine, often into the wee hours of the morning.
Neville sighed as he rustled in his pocket for the spare key Remus had given him. He had informed his assistant that he might possibly be out the rest of the week, camping out if need be in the drawing room until Remus at least gave him a plausible answer for casting him aside. Neville figured he deserved at least that much, running a hand self conciously over his slightly rounded stomach, musing that a wise, beautiful man like Remus couldn't possibly want a chubby herbologist. In Neville's opinion, Remus deserved better.
Neville sighed and fished the spare key out of his pocket, shoving it into the lock before he could change his mind.
"Gryffindor bravery, Nev", he reminded himself, as he turned the key slowly, the lock impossibly loud to his ears, and slid in through the door. His eyes were instantly drawn to a loud thumping noise and some mumbling coming from the sitting room, and then the house suddenly fell rather silent.
"Remus?" Neville called out, moving cautiously towards the sitting room and sliding the door open.
His eyes scanned quickly around the room before falling on the slumped form in the corner, noting the almost empty bottle at its side.
"Oh Remus, what have you done to yourself?"
Neville walked over and knelt down next to Remus, gently brushing the hair out of his eyes. He looked thinner than when Neville had last seen him, his cheeks more hollow and dark circles tainting the alabaster skin of his cheeks. He took a second to survey the man before him, before dragging him ungainly to his feet and wrapping himself around the slight frame of his former professor and dragging him to the couch, not venturing the stairs, and covering him with a blanket.
Neville hesitated for a second, and then placed a gentle kiss on Remus' forehead.
"Sleep well, Remus. We have a lot to talk about tomorrow".
Onto Part 3! http://balianblue.livejournal.com/2780.html