Went to the wake at the Three Broomsticks. Lots of people there, but the gathering was quiet at first. Subdued. Just telling stories, mostly, about our absent friends, both funny and sad. Seamus sang "I'll Be Seeing You" for Remus with tears in his eyes, but his voice stayed steady and true all the way through till the end. Things seemed to be loosening up a bit and getting rowdier as I was leaving, though.
After downing about three butterbeers to screw up my nerve, I headed over to the other side of the bar to speak to Draco Malfoy. I wanted to tell him how sorry I was about Pansy Parkinson. And I really was, too; she was always the nicest of all the Slytherins. When he saw me coming, though, he turned his back on me and walked away. Maybe he had better instincts than me. After saying something about Pansy, I might have tried to say I was sorry about his father. I'm afraid the words would probably have stuck in my throat. Which would have been far worse for both of us than saying nothing at all.
Have been thinking, ever since I saw it, about Sirius' post to the journals about what Remus told Lucius Malfoy at the end. It hits hard and it's awfully humbling to think that Remus did what he did and died for it, striking a blow for me. Well, not only for me, of course. He did it for other people, too: Mum and Dad, his friends James and Lily, and Sirius and Harry and so many others. But in a very small part, maybe, he did it for me.
I asked Sirius tonight if he knew whether Remus ever saw my last comment to his last entry, that of all the teachers I've had at Hogwarts, he'd been my favourite. Sirius didn't know whether he had or not. I'm glad at least that I told Remus what he meant to me. It hurts not to know whether he ever saw it, but whether he did or not, I'm glad I said it.
They said at the wake that though his life had been cut short, he believed in living so that he'd have no regrets. Since I read Sirius' entry, I've wondered what I could possibly do to live up to what Remus did for me, for all of us. But when I heard that, about living a life without regrets, I felt all at once as if I understood, as if everything sort of fell into place. And the decision I've been struggling with all month suddenly seemed easy.
When I was a kid, my family was afraid more than anything that I'd be a squib. But if I learned anything during those terrifying minutes under the Gryffindor table last Wednesday, it's that I'm meant to have a wand in my hand. I've spent seven years learning to become the best wizard I could be. It would be foolish to walk away now from all I've learned.
So I left the Three Broomsticks a little early to go up to the owlry and send out some notes. I sent one to St. Mungo's telling them I'm accepting the botanical/pharmacology position (assuming my N.E.W.T. scores are satisfactory). I also sent one to Mr. Takakura, turning down the assistant groundskeeper position at Heaton Hall. I can always have a garden wherever I live, and I'm sure I always will. But I need to work in the wizarding world, and I think that the job at St. Mungo's is the work I was meant to do, at least for now.
There was one other thing I had to do. Inside my note to Mr. Takakura, I enclosed another sealed letter, this one to Sara. I asked Mr. Takakura to get it to her.
I know that he will.