Order Gen, really
Summary:It is a strange victory as November dawns.
Notes: Title from the Wilfred Owen poem 'Autumnal', the prompt for this day.
Victory cries ring through cities and rivers, and magic itself seems to have a new joy. Fear has been lifted, an oppressive mask ripped away leaving former victims exultant in oxygen.
Andromeda Tonks thrums with mingled grief and joy. Joy that her daughter, her beloved Nymphadora, can grow up in a world without knowing what it means to be afraid to return home after a journey. But grief, too, so much grief, for a war that has destroyed all family she might have once held onto. Ted cannot understand - how can he? - but still he holds her and she is no longer so bereft.
Minerva McGonagall openly weeps, she is not ashamed. The brightest stars of her teaching life have vanished, blazing out in beautiful supernovas, but gone. The hope they left behind is hidden now, given to a family that Minerva knows will never love him as he deserves, as he has already earned. She thinks of Sirius, Peter and Remus, those poor, poor boys. What on earth are they going to do now?
The Order holds in a wake in remembrance of all those who gave up their lives. It is grimly triumphant, refusing to be bowed in the face of tragedy when such great goodness has also resulted. Heartfelt toast after toast is proposed – to the Prewetts, to Marlene, to Dearborn and to all those who have died. Lastly, and the tears flow as freely as the wine now, to James and to Lily so that their son might live. Later, when the news arrives, they will toast Peter too, but this time their drinks will taste bitter in their mouths and they will not toast the traitor, though he is as good as dead.
Remus is not at the wakes. They find him two days later, still in the flat he once shared with a man that no one can bear to name any longer. Sprawled on the kitchen floor and muttering third year Transfiguration theory to himself, he has to be helped out of his home by three people, and there to St. Mungo’s, where he does not emerge for many months. Not in that time, nor in any time since, does Remus cry. To do so would undo him utterly.
Sirius is still laughing when the iron bars clang shut in his cell. He laughs, because nothing else could begin to comprehend what has happened here. There is no room for tears in Azkaban. Then the Dementors arrive, and all is storm.