He stepped into the first room, the one with the many doors, and allowed the entrance to close behind him with a soft snick. He stood in the utter darkness. It was so complete as to echo what was inside of him now. Then he closed his eyes and focused on the room he wanted to enter. The room that had stolen the last of his best friends.
There was a tremor beneath his feet as the doors shifted, moved, acquiesced to his request. He opened his eyes and grasped the handle of the door directly in front of him. It opened soundlessly. He stood upon the top step, staring down onto the dais, where the thing that had been haunting his dreams reposed.
He wasn’t sure how long he stood there, gazing down, unseeing, at the arch, before his feet carried him, partially unwilling, to it. He could hear the voices now, the soft, unintelligible murmur in his head. The veil shifted, fluttered, as if moved by the force of so many breaths against it.
His hand rose, trembling, to touch it. The curtain was harsh, coarse, beneath his fingertips. He made as if to push it aside, to peer in at whatever it was concealing, but something stopped him. An inner voice cried out to him. What if to do so meant he would be swallowed by it as well? Could he, in all conscience, leave Harry? He, who was the one remaining person whom had known Harry’s parents best. Would he willingly, selfishly, sever the last link Harry had to the people whom had given him life? He shook his head softly in answer and stepped back.
As he turned to leave, though, he stopped, stunned. One lone voice had risen, distinguishable from the rest. A voice he knew as well as his own. Better perhaps, as he had heard it more often. Sirius?
He mounted the steps again. His hand wasn’t shaking this time as it rose to push the veil aside. His conviction that, if he did so, he would be met with the face of the man he loved above all others carried him past his doubts.
He felt odd as he stared at it. He could not see through to the other side of the archway. It was filled, from top to bottom, with a kind of swirling mass of smoke. Grey. Opaque. Impenetrable. But interspersed with points of life, some growing brighter as others faded into the background.
The voices became a cacophony in his skull. Thousands of wailing words, meshed together into noise. He covered his ears with his hands; trying to muffle them, drown them out. But the din was still present.
He turned again. He would go this time for sure. He couldn’t even really say what had brought him here to begin with. Closure perhaps? The need to say one final goodbye, without the mass hysteria of Death Eaters and Aurors and injured children to contend with? Whatever had motivated him, he now wanted to leave. There was a sense of oppression, a weightiness that had descended upon his chest, and he wanted to escape it.
His feet carried him fleetly up the stairs. He was at the doorway. His hand was upon the knob. A voice cried out, stopping him. A familiar voice rang out in tones of desperation, “Remus? Get me out of here!”