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Chapter 11: Baby, It's Cold Outside
Disclaimer: The OC's and parts of the plot are all that belong to me. Everything else belongs to J.K Rowling, I do not claim ownership. Thank you for reading.
For Cassie and her injured ankle.
Coralie, Lily and the three Marauders (James excluded) could barely contain their excitement when Dumbledore had informed them that they were finally going to attend their first Order meeting ever. In fact, Sirius had being so excited that he had decided to go out and get drunk the night before- while it had seemed like a good idea at the time, the others only laughed at him when he arrived at Lily and James’ the next morning half-dressed with a splitting headache.
Surprisingly enough, Sirius wasn’t the last one there. That award went firmly to Coralie who arrived twenty minutes later, though they had all decided to meet an hour earlier which meant they weren’t late yet.
“Hey, why are you so late? Nate keep you?” Lily asked, as the boys opened some bottles of butterbeer before they were all due to head off.
“Yeah, but not in the way you think.” Coralie replied, sending a knowing look to Lily who chuckled in response. “He had a job interview the other day, they just got back to him today.”
“And?” She asked with a grin.
“He got it!” Coralie exclaimed cheerfully. Lily’s grin widened and she threw her arms around Coralie in a celebratory hug.
“What are you both so happy about?” James asked, plopping himself on the couch next to Lily.
“Nate got a job.” Lily informed him.
“Oh, where?” Remus added.
“In the Ministry, Department of Magical Games and Sports.” Coralie replied, James’ eyes widened slightly as a smile crossed over his face.
“I might have to use some polyjuice and swap jobs your boyfriend,” James chuckled.
“Swap your girlfriends while you’re at it,” Sirius piped in, sending winks to Coralie and Lily who both sent him glares in response. “Ladies, no need to look at me like that. You never know, it could work.”
“No thank you, sorry James but I don’t think we’d even last the day together.” Coralie remarked.
“I don’t know, I think I could last better with Nate than I do with James.” Lily teased, sticking her tongue out at Coralie who sent her a mock-glare.
“You wound me,” James whispered solemnly, placing his hand over his heart and pretending to weep.
“Should we head off now?” Remus asked, standing up from his spot on an armchair and putting his empty butterbeer in the bin.
“Probably. Merlin- it’s going to be so good to finally be able to discuss the Order with you guys. Think of all the missions we’ll go on as partners Padfoot!” James gushed, sounding very much like a little girl.
“Let’s hope to Merlin that Dumbledore hasn’t lost all of his common sense and put them together for missions.” Remus quipped as James and Sirius practically skipped out of the apartment, leaving Lily, Remus, Coralie and Peter to follow closely, and more sanely, behind them.
“Oh, sweet Merlin. They’ll probably end up drunk and sliced to pieces, knowing them.” Peter added, speaking up for the first time that day.
“Are you alright?” Coralie asked, taking notice of Peter and his appearance which seemed to make him look very unwell. “You look very pale.”
“Yeah, I’m alright. Mum’s very ill, it’s a bit stressful to look after her- she’s about ten time more demanding.” Peter explained with a sigh. Coralie frowned slightly at him, throwing her arm around his shoulder and giving him a tight squeeze.
“If you need anything, you know we are all here to help you, anytime.” Peter nodded, smiling nervously at Coralie before she caught up with Remus and Lily, leaving Peter to trudge slowly after all of them.
Eventually, the six of them stopped in a little alleyway and apparated away to the destination James had mentioned. Once they all arrived, they turned to face a little shack. The shack itself looked like it had certainly seen better days, the dark timber had faded into a dirty grey and the two small windows were smashed completely. The grass around it had grown high and began to grow on the inside of the shack itself. Coralie though James was joking the moment he explained that the abandoned shack was the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix. From the looks on everyone else’s faces, it seemed that she wasn’t alone.
However, when the door opened, their faces turned to ones of surprise and excitement. Inside was made of the same dark timber, but unlike the outside it had not faded. The floors were not covered in grass, rather by light wood. The rooms were filled with comfortable looking furniture, red and cream in colour that created a cozy feeling. They were led into a dining room with a long table surrounded by enough chairs for at least thirty people.
At the very head of the table sat a tall man with a stern face that almost looked like it was carved out of wood, it was almost completely covered in angry looking scars that made Remus’ look like starches from a little kitten. What was most striking though was his eyes.
One of them was small and a dark brown, almost black, while the other was a big electric blue glass eye that darted between each of the six as they entered the room.
James wasn’t bothered by the man, instead he gave a small nod which was returned. The rest of them, however, took their seats without taking their eyes off the man.
“This is Moody,” James explained, the man nodded at them all before letting out an impatient grunt and standing up- it was then that Coralie noticed his wooden leg.
“Moody? As in Alastor Moody? The Auror?” Lily whispered over at James who nodded with a grin.
“Yes, the very same.” Moody interrupted with another grunt, looking cautiously at Lily, “and who might you be, girl?”
“Lily Evans, sir,” she responded, slightly nervously.
“Oh, Potter’s your lover boy then?” He asked, causing Lily to turn a shade of red and Sirius to let out his usual bark-like laugh.
“Stop picking on the poor girl Mad-Eye. They’re probably all petrified of you enough already.” A kind voice interruppted from the door, when Coralie turned towards it she noticed a very tall woman watching them with a smile on her face. Once she stepped further into the light, her dark brown hair and bright blue eyes became visible. She smiled at them again and took a seat across from the, “Emmeline Vance,” she introduced herself, “It’s nice to meet you again Miss Lily Evans, I daresay you have changed since I saw you last.” She turned to the other four, “You must be Sirius, Remus and Peter- you’ve all grown since I saw you last. But, I’m afraid I don’t remember you dear.” Emmeline smiled at Coralie.
“Coralie Bennett, I only attended Hogwarts for the final two years.”
“That would explain it, I would have just finished when you would have started. Gryffindor, I assume?” Coralie nodded with a frin. “I was a Ravenclaw myself, though I always admired the Gryffindor spirit.”
“We can save the nostalgia for later, it’s about time we started the meeting.” Moody growled. During their conversation with Emmeline, all the chairs had been filled except for one which was promptly filled by Dumbledore himself.
“Welcome all, before we start the usual meeting today we will first introduce the newest members- Miss Lily Evans, Mr Remus Lupin, Mr Peter Pettigrew, Mr Sirius Black and Miss Coralie Bennett. Please make them feel welcome. Now Gideon, I believe you and Fabian have news.” A pair of redheaded twins further down the table stood up and began to give a progress report of their latest mission- beside Coralie, Sirius was practically buzzing with excitement while they described the duel between a few Death Eaters and themselves.
A week had passed since Coralie’s first Order of the Phoenix meeting, she had yet to be given a mission while Sirius had been sent on his first one two days ago with James. Emmeline had explained they were waiting for something suitable for Coralie and Lily- something that involved sneaking around rather than face-to-face duels with Death Eaters right away.
Neither Coralie nor Lily minded much- it was so cold outside that they were both more than willing to give up the chance for a mission to be curled up inside with a blanket.
There was one week left until Christmas, and so Angus was returning the very next day. He sent Coralie numerous letters pleading that she cooked Christmas dinner that year rather than their mother- Marcelle was all too happy to agree.
Therefore, instead of being wrapped up inside, Coralie found herself braving the cold in order to pick up supplies. Despite the chill in the air, it would have been a lie to say that Coralie wasn’t looking forward to Christmas. This year was sure to be special- Violet, Allisyn and Haley were all going to be there, Angus was returning from Hogwarts, Nathaniel and his father were going to attend as well, but most importantly- Coralie’s own father was going to come.
It was tradition for Pierre Bennett to visit his children on Christmas day, it was the only day of the year they would see him and so he and Marcelle were sure to be on their best behaviour even if they couldn’t stand each other for most of the time.
It meant a lot for all of them, as much as the three eldest wouldn’t admit- they did enjoy seeing their father every year. However, Coralie and Angus had always been the most excited for his visit- after all, he had been absent from their lives the most.
In addition to this, Coralie was even more excited as it meant her father would finally be able to meet Nathaniel and Nathaniel’s father would be able to meet her entire family. She wanted it to be perfect which was why she was going completely out of her way to find the perfect roast and dessert. It was much more stressful than she had imagined.
Once she finally picked up all the food, she rushed across the street and headed back to the warmth of her home even if it was only for a few hours. She and Nathaniel were heading out for dinner with Sarah and Tyler later that night.
“Nate? One for yes…Two for no.” Coralie asked teasingly hours later, pushing herself against the front door.
“Three for maybe, and four for we need to work out a better system.” Nathaniel answered cheekily with a chuckle. Coralie grinned and swung open the door, letting Nathaniel inside. “Are my hands cold, sweetheart?” He asked, wrapping his arms around Coralie and placing a kiss on her lips.
“Are you ready to go?” Coralie asked, drawing back slightly.
“Am I ready to spend the night in the company of the sweet Sarah Barrow and very psychotic Tyler Angelo, I’m about as ready as I’ll ever be.”
Authors Note: Sorry about the wait on this one as well, it just wasn't working for me. Good news is though, twelve should be up soon! Thank you Kez and Cassie, again, for forcing me to actually finish this chapter. I'll see you all next time! Thank you for reading!