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Chapter 31: The One with the Sickness
A/N: Sorry for taking so long, but here's the newest chapter. There will be some interesting developments with a couple of our characters.
And for those of you that are still being ever so patient, I'm approximately 3/4 done with the next chapter of Free My Soul.
“What in the name of Merlin is that gut-wrenching smell?” Rachel groaned as she stumbled out of her room. She was wearing a pair of dark blue satin pajama pants with a matching pajama shirt. Through her outfit, you could see a bit of a baby bump. The baby was now technically three months along, although Rachel had only carried the baby for a month. The Healer’s prediction about the baby growing faster than usual had come through.
“Rachel, all you smell is eggs and toast.” Lily informed her, pulling out a couple of plates. Sirius, James, and Remus were sitting at the dining table, waiting patiently for her to serve them. “I take it you won’t be eating this lovely breakfast food, again.”
Rachel glared at her as she took the seat next to James. James offered her a big smile and said, “Good morning, Rachel.” He then kissed her belly. “Good morning, baby.” As he brought his head back up, Rachel was serving him a glare of his own.
“I have to agree with Rachel on this one, Prongs.” Remus told him. “That wasn’t a bit on the creepy side at all.”
Lily cleared her throat before asking, “So, what would you and the baby like for breakfast today, Rach. Is bacon a safe food again?” Lily was opening the freezer even as she asked the question. The safest food for Rachel the last few days had been bacon. Earlier it had been French toast, and the first few days that morning sickness showed up, the food of choice had been pancakes.
“I’m assuming that it would be safe. It has been since last Monday.” She replied, laying her head down on the table. “So, what do you and Maddie have planned today, Lily? She said something about spending the day together.”
“Oh, I had forgotten about that.” Lily chuckled as she placed a few pieces of bacon on the frying pan. “She has this date tonight with Carl tonight, and he’s introducing her to some of his actor friends. Well, she wanted a really elegant dress for tonight, but she doesn’t have anything that she likes. So, we’re going shopping today.”
“That sounds like fun.” Rachel said, but then her face paled. The smell of bacon had just entered the room, and it wasn’t having a good reaction. Without a word, Rachel pushed herself off of her chair and ran into the bathroom. The slam of the door signified the official morning sickness.
“Okay, who wants to be the one to calm her down?” James asked, glancing towards the bathroom. “I did it yesterday, so I think someone else should do it.”
“I’ll go.” Sirius volunteered. He stood up, and gently opened the door. Once she waved him inside, he entered the room and closed the door. “Here, Rach. I’ll hold up your hair.”
Even as another wave of sickness overwhelmed her, Sirius held her hair back and kept rubbing small circles on her back. After she got sick, she started to cry. He fetched a cloth, and ran some warm water over it. Once he had rung out the facecloth, he turned her face towards his, and he washed off the tears that were sliding down her cheeks. Her eyes looked away from his in embarrassment. Crying was a reflex from getting sick, but Rachel still hated it. It made her feel weak, and Sirius knew it.
“How about I stay home from work today and I’ll help you through these symptoms? Will that make you feel better?” he asked her softly. She nodded, tears welling in her eyes again, and he embraced her. Never before had he felt so at peace as he held her, tears soaking into his shirt.
“I’ll ring you when Maddie and I are done.” Lily called out as she left the apartment. Remus and James were left alone in the living room, while Sirius and Rachel were still sitting in the bathroom.
“What are we going to do today?” Remus wondered. “Neither of us has to work, and everyone else is going to be preoccupied today.”
James’s hazel eyes suddenly lit up. “I have my old Pensieve sitting in the closet of the guest bedroom. We could look at our wonderful times at Hogwarts.”
Remus agreed, and James brought him into the guest bedroom. He opened up the white closet doors, and floated the Pensieve out and onto the bed. They both sat down around it for a moment as James lightly shook the cauldron up, choosing a memory. Finally, James smiled, and said, “Time to relive the old days.” At the same time, they ducked their heads into the silvery liquid.
Rachel was guided out of the bathroom with Sirius’s arm around her shoulders. She was surprised at the empty room that had been occupied not too long ago. “Where’s everyone?” she whispered.
“I have no clue.” Sirius answered honestly. “Anyway, let’s get you down on the couch. You can rest your head on my lap.”
Almost moved to tears by his kindness and gentleness, Rachel accepted his offer, and felt the tension in her body relax as she rested on him. “You’re too kind to me, Sirius.”
“Oh, come on. You’re one of my closest friends in the world. I’d do anything for you.” He assured her with a warm smile that made her heart flutter.
‘This is where I’m supposed to be. Right here with Sirius.’ Rachel thought to herself as she felt herself dozing off.
It was September first of 1971, and James Potter had just entered the maroon colored train that would be taking them to Hogwarts. James had entered the train with a boy he met outside by the name of Sirius Black. The two of them had instantly hit it off, and decided to sit together in a cabin. The door to a cabin opened up, and James asked the two boys with sandy colored hair, “Can we sit with you?”
“Of course.” The boy on the left said. “I’m Remus Lupin. And this is Peter Pettigrew.” Remus indicated the boy next to him.
Once they had finished stowing away their luggage, James and Sirius introduced themselves while taking up the seats opposite Remus and Peter. They had only gotten to the fact that they were all first year students when the doors slid open again. A pretty brunette and a pretty redhead entered the cabin, and the guys allowed them to join the group. Lily, the redhead, sat down next to Remus while Rachel, the brunette, sat down beside Sirius.
“That was the day that we all met.” Remus whispered, grinning at James. “Look at how young and carefree we were.”
“I know.” James agreed, watching the group separate into smaller ones for conversation. “That was back before I fell in love with Lily. I only thought that she was pretty back then. We hadn’t started to fight quite yet.”
“That was before you two were going to be parents.” Remus added.
“Before Sirius and Rachel fell for each other and started their roller coaster ride.”
“When we were all terrified of being in Slytherin.” Remus chuckled.
“This was still before we met Maddie, and we were closer with Peter.”
Remus nodded, reminiscing about those times.
When Rachel woke up from her short nap, she found Sirius kneeling at the edge of couch, and leaning towards her belly. Confused, she sat up, and realized that he was talking to the baby. She smiled and announced, “Sirius, I have determined that despite your slight immaturity, you are very paternal.”
“Thanks. I’m glad you think so. I do intend on being a father one day, so it’s good that I’ve got a head start.”
Seeing Sirius acting like this almost made her want to tell him of their “almost pregnancy.” But she didn’t want him to feel the same disappointment that she had felt. Her smile grew even bigger as Sirius started to sing the Hogwarts school song to the unborn child.
The image of the Hogwarts Express faded away, and a new image was replaced. It was nighttime, and it was a full moon. An older James, Sirius, Peter, and Rachel were crouched behind a tree, watching the two figures of an adult and a student heading over to the Whomping Willow. They looked to be about in their fifth year of Hogwarts, and all of them had huge grins on their faces.
“I can’t wait to show Moony our accomplishment.” Sirius said gleefully.
“Is this the first full moon that you four spent with me?” the older Remus asked. His eyes were full of curiosity as he watched the students sneak to the next tree.
“Yes, that was one of the highlights of our Hogwarts career.” James added to his answer.
Rachel transformed into a cat while Peter changed into his rat form. They would be the ones to check if the coast was clear. A black and white cat and a small gray rat went running towards the moving tree. They were both sniffing around, when suddenly the cat’s tail started swishing around in a circular shape. The other two students went running across the grounds in the direction of the now dead-still tree. Peter and Rachel were in their human forms once more, and hurried into the passage inside of the tree.
The path that they followed as awfully dark and damp and some of them were starting to cough a bit right before they reached a door. Sirius reached forward, and slowly turned the squeaky silver doorknob, and the inside turned out to be a house of some sort. All of them followed the hallway that lead to a couple flights of rickety staircases. Tiptoeing with caution, all of them searched for any sign of Remus. Finally, they reached the top floor. Remus had to be there.
The four burst into a cobweb filled room, where Remus was sitting on a bed with a pale and anxious face. He jerked his head up at the sound of movement, and his eyes then filled with panic, fright, and anger. “You guys should not be here! You could get hurt if I transform before you leave!”
“But you won’t hurt us, Moony.” Peter assured him, excitement bubbling out of him.
“Believe me when I say that we’ve taken precautions so that you can have some company during a full moon.” James continued. “Alright everyone, let’s show him what we can do!”
Simultaneously, the four in front of the sickly boy changed into animals. Remus’ jaw dropped in shock. James was a stag, Sirius was a dog, Peter was a rat, and Rachel was a cat. “You became Animaguses for me? That takes years of work, not to mention how terribly dangerous it is if done incorrectly.”
“Moony, Moony, Moony,” Sirius sighed, “Don’t you think that we’ve already thought about that? That’s why we put three of the brightest minds in Hogwarts together, along with Peter.”
Smacking his shoulder, Rachel defended, “Pete helped us out a lot with this process and you know it.”
All chatting was ceased though when a small beam of moonlight touched Remus’ face, and he was slowly transforming before their eyes.
“Blimey, it looks as painful as it feels.” Remus snorted darkly. “I know I got a little angry with you guys that night, but I really did appreciate your gesture, and your presence was quite comforting.”
Giving him a one handed hug, James told him, “What are friends for if they can’t be with their friend while he transforms into a wolf?”
Maddie and Lily had just arrived back to the Potters’ apartment after two whole hours of shopping around for the perfect outfit. Finally, the very last store had the perfect dress, and Maddie was very excited. And since she had quite a few hours to kill before she had to get ready, Maddie was going to spend some time at the apartment.
Lily opened the door, and started to announce, “James, I’m home,” but stopped at mid-sentence. Rachel was sleeping on the couch, her head resting on Sirius’s shoulder. Sirius’s head was resting on hers, and a quiet snore was emitted from his mouth.
In a very quiet but ecstatic whisper, Maddie asked, “Are they back together again?”
In a peaceful voice, Lily answered, “No, I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure that there are some feelings, but I don’t either of them is ready to pursue a relationship with each other again. At least not yet.”
“Do you think it’ll happen again?”
“Yes, it’s inevitable. The only thing we don’t know is when.”