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Chapter 36: Back To Diagon Alley
Sirius wasn’t sure how long they had been locked in the room trying to control Remus. The windows were blackened so the people outside couldn’t see in, so there was no way of telling how much time had passed.
The werewolf lunged towards him snarling, and Sirius raised his two front paws up into the air, shielding himself.
The chest of the werewolf collided with his paws and he pushed him away.
The werewolf fell back, growling as he collided with the wall. The stag darted forward and pinned the werewolf to the wall with its antlers. The black dog made sure the werewolf was securely trapped inside the two antlers, before transforming itself into a panting and sweaty Sirius.
He darted to the corner of the room where his cloak lay on a heap on the floor. He rummaged through the pockets and pulled out his wand.
He pointed it at the werewolf and yelled “Impedimenta!”
The werewolf stopped moving and went rigid. The stag did not move and kept it pinned to the wall.
Sirius knew that the spell was weak against werewolves and would only last a few seconds, but it gave him enough time to yell “Incarcerous!”
Rope appeared out of thin air and wrapped itself around the werewolf, trapping it’s limbs by it’s side, unabling it to move.
The stag stumbled backwards and Sirius sat down against the wall, panting.
James appeared beside him and lay his head back against the wall.
“He’s never been this vicious before,” James croaked.
Sirius was too out of breath to reply.
He watched as the werewolf struggled against its bindings. He knew from experience that the ropes would only hold for another few minutes. But it was long enough to allow them to rest and regain some of their strength.
The werewolf snarled and snapped at the ropes, trying to reach them with it’s sharpened teeth.
Sirius’ breath rattled in his chest. He head was beginning to pound.
“Let’s go,” James said, standing up and transforming, just as the werewolf wrapped it’s teeth around the rope and broke it apart.
A big black dog appeared where Sirius stood and he hurried across the room to his two best friends.
Spit and blood dripped from the werewolves mouth, and it’s eyes were red.
Sirius never remembered ever having to subdue were-wolf Remus like this before. At the beginning when they first started accompanying him he was very aggressive towards them, but that had stopped within a few weeks.
After that all they had to make sure was that he didn’t maul anyone whenever they snuck into Hogsmeade.
They had never ever seen him like this before. It scared him.
It seemed his medicine didn’t work after all. He felt a pang of guilt at the thought of how Remus would feel once he transformed back. If he ever did. The fact that he transformed in the day made Sirius wonder if maybe he would be stuck like this forever.
He looked into the snarling eyes of the werewolf and saw nothing but wolf. There was no trace of his best friend inside those blood thirsty eyes.
Both the dog paws and the stags hooves were pushing against the wolves chest and arms, trying to keep him pinned to the wall.
All that mattered to Sirius now, was making sure the wolf didn’t leave the room. He had to keep it away from Roxy. He did not want her to get hurt. He did not even want her to witness seeing the wolf from afar.
The beast pushed the stag aside and took a swipe at the dogs face. The stag skidded across the room, coming to a halt at the door. A loud bang resounded all around the room.
Blood dripped freely from above the dogs eye, blinding him.
The stag charged forward and drove it’s antlers into the upper arm of the wolf.
Sirius knew that James was trying hard not to hurt Remus, but they both knew at this point that they maybe did not have any other choice.
The dog staggered backwards, trying to wipe the blood from his eyes with it’s paws.
The stag looked back at him and nodded. Sirius knew that this was James telling him that he had everything under control for a minute or two.
The dog quickly transformed back into it’s human form, and Sirius once again picked up his wand.
He wiped him forehead and eyes with his cloak and felt his forehead, looking for the source of the blood.
When he found it, he pointed to wand to his head and muttered a healing spell.
He could feel the wound on his head shrink, but he could still feel a slight trickle of blood going down the side of his face.
He re-transformed into the dog and leaped forward, just as the werewolf gave a particularly large push against the stag. As Sirius’ paws collided with the wolf, it let out a shriek of agony and the back of it’s head hit the wall.
Beside him, Sirius felt James transform beside him and heard him yell “Stupefy!”
The werewolf went limp underneath Sirius’ paws, and Sirius backed away to where James stood, and returned to human.
The werewolf stirred.
“On three,” James said, raising his wand towards the werewolf. Sirius did the same.
“One, two THREE!”
“IMPEDIMENTA!” they yelled together, causing the werewolf to once again go limp.
They once again sat down against the wall to try regain their breath. Sirius wasn’t sure how much more of this he was going to be able handle. He already felt dizzy and drained.
“Fucking hell,” James said, burying his head in his hands.
“I don’t know how much longer we can do this,” Sirius said, staring at the unconscious figure.
“We can do it for as long as it needs to be done.”
The werewolf stirred.
“Maybe we should take a different approach?” Sirius suggested quickly, “If we stay in our human form, we can use magic against it. It’s weak and it’s getting tired, so it will more vulnerable.”
James nodded, “I’ll shield us."
They both stood up.
“Protego!” James yelled, forming an invisible shield a few feet around them both.
Sirius concentrated, pointing his wand towards the wolf, and waited for it for wake up.
The werewolf raised its head and with one swift movement, bounded towards them.
“Petrificus totalus!” Sirius yelled.
The back two legs of the wolf snapped together, and he fell over onto his head. In other circumstances, it would no doubt of seen a funny sight.
The werewolf looked up angrily towards Sirius.
“Confundo!” Sirius yelled.
The werewolf looked around stupidly.
“Nice one,” James yelled to Sirius. His voice was shaking.
The wolf attempted to get up, but fell over. It lay on the ground for a few seconds, looking vacantly at the ceiling.
The werewolf wrenched it’s legs apart and got up.
“Obscuro,” Sirius yelled, blocking the wolf’s vision.
It stumbled around blindly, trying to rely on it’s nose to find them.
“Block his hearing, he can hear our breath!” James said, still trying to keep his shield charm functional.
The werewolf crawled around the room, trying to sniff them out. He stopped, just outside of James shield, he turned towards them, still sniffing.
As he reared up and leaped forward, Sirius yelled, “Levicorpus!”
A loud crack emanated around the room and the werewolf flew feet first upside-down into the air.
Two seconds later another bang resounded around the room from the direction of the door, causing Sirius to whirl around in shock, taking his concentration away from the wolf who fell onto the ground.
The door had flung open, and standing in the doorway with his wand raised was Albus Dumbledore.
“Impedimenta!” he roared. The werewolf stopped moving.
He waved his wand again and thick chains appeared, wrapping themselves around the werewolf.
Sirius and James lowered their wands.
“Are you two alright?” Dumbledore asked, hurrying inside.
They both nodded wordlessly.
“Mr. Mulroe,” Dumbledore said, motioning for someone to come inside. A middle-aged balding man came cautiously into the room.
When he saw that the werewolf was subdued, he rushed over.
He took a vial of green liquid out of his pocket, and with the help of Dumbledore, poured it down the wolf’s throat.
The wolf shuddered and then slowly and quietly Sirius watched as it transformed back into Remus.
“I am sorry I was unable to be here sooner,” Dumbledore said gravely, turning towards Sirius and James, “I am afraid I was somewhere where it was difficult for your poor owl to find me.”
“My owl?” James asked.
“Yes, Lily sent me a letter telling me what happened and requesting my presence immediately.”
Sirius felt a rush of gratitude towards Lily.
“You may go downstairs now. I do not think we will have any more problems for now. Is there anywhere where I can bring Mr. Lupin to rest?” Dumbledore asked James, who nodded.
"In the next room,” James said.
Dumbledore waved his wand and a stretcher appeared out of thin air.
“I advise you to put some ice on that wound of yours Mr. Black,” Dumbledore said.
Sirius nodded and Dumbledore shooed them downstairs.
“You may tell Mrs. Evans and Mrs. Decoy that they can come inside now.”
Sirius and James slowly made their way down the stairs, using each other for support.
Every part of Sirius’ body was throbbing with pain.
They went into the sitting room and James immediately collapsed onto the couch and Sirius stumbled into the kitchen to tell the girls they could come inside.
As he opened the sliding door, the cold wind whipped around him. It felt soothing.
The rain that was now falling splashed onto his face, easing the pain in his head.
As soon as Roxy caught sight of him, she ran over, almost tripping over herself in the process.
She ran up to him and wrapped her arms around her. The sudden impact of her sent another shock of pain throughout his body but he ignored it.
He wrapped his right arm around her and called to Lily to come inside.
Roxy helped him back into the sitting and he flopped down gratefully onto the couch.
“Are you ok?” Roxy said, examining the cut on his head.
Sirius nodded weakly. He could feel all his energy slowly draining away.
He lay his head down on Roxy’s shoulder, and he wasn’t sure if he passed out, or just fell asleep.
The next morning Sirius woke to see that he was no longer on the couch, but was wrapped up in Roxy’s bed. Roxy wasn’t beside him but he could hear her voice coming from downstairs along with James’ and Lily’s.
He rolled out of bed and checked his forehead in the mirror. He figured someone had tried to heal it further as all that was left was a thin white scar.
Downstairs, Roxy and Lily were sitting around the table, facing James who had a copy of the Daily Prophet open in front of him. Remus was sitting in a chair in the corner with his knees pulled up to his chin and a big blanket wrapped around him.
“There’s going to be sheets to sign up for it in the Leaky Cauldron today at one,” James was saying from behind the newspaper.
“Sign up for what?” Sirius asked as he entered the room.
“Cleaning up Diagon Alley,” Lily answered ahead of James, “It was completely destroyed by the attack, so the ministry is urging people to come help put it back together. If enough witches and wizards pitch in it should be rebuilt in no time.”
“Are we going?” Sirius asked taking a seat beside Roxy and grabbing a piece of toast from her plate.
“I dunno, how are you feeling?” Roxy asked, examining his head worryingly.
“I’m ok, it’s ok, it’s fixed now,” Sirius said, glancing over at Remus. In truth it still throbbed a bit, but he would never admit it on front of Remus who was now pale white and staring blankly at the floor.
Roxy nodded, “Dumbledore fixed it up before he left.”
“What time is it at?” Sirius asked, giving Roxy a look of warning to change the subject.
She fell silent.
“One,” Lily said, peering around the side of the newspaper and checking the article.
“It’s twelve now, so if you’re coming then go get ready.”
Sirius had a fleeting urge to retaliate to her bossy behaviour, but shrugged it off as Roxy scooped eggs onto his plate.
“Eat first,” she said pushing it further towards him.
He ate, and less than an hour later they were standing in muggle London outside an old broken down, abandoned looking building. Remus had of course stayed home since he needed to recover. Mr. Mulroe assured Lily and Roxy before he left that it wouldn't happen again and that Lupin would recover with sleep. Pettigrew stayed to look after him.
They walked in one by one into a small dark pub.
Since the last barman was no longer around, a new one stood behind the bar.
James went over and made a point of introducing himself.
“M’name’s Tom,” he said, shaking hands with James, “Drink?”
“No, no, can’t, just passing through,” James said.
“You helping rebuild it too?” Tom asked.
“It’s an awful mess out there, you won’t believe it when you see it. But even at that I don’t know if there’ll be much for you to do because so many people showed up today."
They bade farewell and they all crammed into the small space in between the back door and the solid brick wall outside.
Lily took out her wand and tapped the appropriate brick.
The wall began to shiver and it slowly parted to reveal a sight Roxy knew she would never forget.
Hardly a building stood upright, and most of the streets and pavements were cracked.The trees were uprooted and lay in pieces. Various items from the shops were strewn across the broken roads and nearby their feet they saw the sign for the sweet shop.
The street was so full of people, that they were climbing over the rubble just to squeeze past each other.
“Over there,” Lily said, motioning to a lady standing nearby with a worried expression and a clipboard in her hand.
The group made their way over to her, and she forced a smile as she saw them coming.
“Hello, hello, are you here to sign up?” she asked, thrusting the clipboard and a pen into Sirius’ hands.
He signed it, slightly affronted.
He passed it to James and turned his attention back to the Lady.
“My name is Amelia Bones, if you have any questions about your task given, report back to me,” she said, picking up a folder from a table beside her and leafing through it.
She looked incredibly hassled.
“I better get that promotion after this,” she mumbled to herself.
“Ah, here we go,” she said, stopping at a page about half way through the giant folder, “Report to Layla Puddleton, outside the Apothecary, and she will give you further instructions.”
She grabbed the clipboard off them and shooed them away.
They made their way through the debris and using their memory more so than their sight, since nothing was recognisable, they stopped outside the potions shop, where a young woman was standing with the same clipboard as the first lady, and a much smaller folder.
She motioned them over and pulled out four pieces of paper from her folder. She gave one to each of them.
“That is part of our inventory which was taken only a day before the attack. Most of the items on it are very valuable, and if we manage to recover even a quarter of them, it will save the business a lot of money and hassle. What I need you to do is rummage through the rubble nearby, and see if you can find anything, and while you are doing that, try move as much rubble as you can into that pile over there.”
She pointed to a small pile of rocks a few feet away.
“If you,” she said, pointing to Sirius, “Could go around asking the other people with clipboards if they’ve found anything of ours, that would be helpful too, and you can bring it back to us and put it here on this table. Check the label and then tick it off this list here. If there is no label, report to me and I’ll be able to tell you what it is.”
“And likewise, if any of you find something that is still sell-able, but does not belong to this store, then put it over here on this table.”
Lily immediately began to co-ordinate James and Roxy and tell them exactly where to look, and Sirius wandered off to find more people with clipboards.
He turned right, towards the crumbled building of Quality Quidditch Supplies, and spotted a young man with a clipboard, struggling with a large piece of wall of about six foot, which was threatening to topple over on top of him. Sirius stifled a laugh and rushed over. He helped push against the wall, and shoved it upright.
“You able to hold it?” the man asked. Sirius nodded, struggling.
The guy stood back and muttered a few spells. Sirius felt the weight being removed as the wall fixed itself steadily back into the ground.
“Thanks for that,” the guy said panting, wiping the sweat from his forehead.
“No problem,” Sirius said, panting slightly himself.
“Amos Diggory,” the man said, holding out his hand for Sirius to shake.
“Sirius Black,” he said, taking it.
The man frowned, a dark look forming across his face, “You’re not related to that Bellatrix and Walburga Black?”
Sirius scowled, “Not by choice.”
Amos nodded and his face turned kind again, “You didn’t seem much like them. They no doubt would of stood watching that dam wall crush me.”
Sirius didn’t answer as shame rose in him.
“Sorry,” he said, seeing the look on Sirius’ face.
Sirius shrugged it away.
“Have you found anything from the Apothecary? I have to collect anything from it that was found.”
The man shook his head. “We haven’t found anything from here except a couple of broken broomsticks. All the books seemed to be burned to a crisp. I’d hate to be the person cleaning up the Daily Prophet offices. I don’t know how they are still managing to release it daily.”
Sirius shrugged again, “I better keep looking. See you!”
He wandered off with his hands in his pockets, his mind now on his mother. Did everyone know what kind of people they were?
He walked past the stationary shop where he saw no one with a clipboard, and stopped beside Flourish and Blotts.
There was someone there who Sirius recognised. Standing holding the clipboard was Fabian Prewett.
Sirius ran over to him. A grin broke across Fabian’s face as he saw him.
“Sirius!” he squealed, giving him a hug, “I figured you’d be around here somewhere!”
“Yeah, I’m helping with the potions place!”
Fabian nodded, “My uncle owns this place, so I’ve been forced to help out here. Not that I mind of course.”
“Is Gideon around?”
“He’s over there,” he said, pointing to a guy who was bent over a pile of rubble.
“You find anything form the Apothecary?” Sirius asked.
“We did actually, it’s over here,” Fabian said, motioning for Sirius to follow him over to the table full of things.
He searched through it before pulling out a large jar of red liquid. Dirt was smudged over the label, making it illegible.
“Here,” he said, handing it to Sirius, “I think it’s Dragon’s Blood. The owner will be mighty pleased to get that back. A jar that big will be worth a hell of a lot.”
Sirius thanked him and pocketed it.
“What you’ve been up to?” Sirius asked him.
“Well, I was working here up until the riot. Then I start my auror training in September,” he said, grinning excitedly.
“Gideon too?” Sirius asked.
“Of course,” Fabian said rolling his eyes, “No matter how hard we try we just can’t get away from each other!”
Sirius laughed, knowing they were more alike than they wished.
“What about you?” he asked Sirius.
“Re-building James house,” he said.
Fabian frowned, nodding gravely. “I heard about that. Is he alright?”
“He is more so now. You should have seen him when it first happened. It was scary.”
Fabian shook his head sadly, “My cousin got badly injured when she was working here during when the riot happened. And that was bloody scary. I can’t imagine having to find out your parents died by something like that.”
“Unfortunately it looks like we’re all going to have to start getting used to that sort of thing.”
A group of people wandered over to them.
“Fabian?” one of them said.
“Yeah?” Fabian said, holding up his clipboard, “You here to help?”
“I’ll see you later,” Sirius said, waving goodbye and leaving him to deal with them.
The day continued like this, with Sirius tracking down lost items (some of which were found on the other side of the town. It scared Sirius to think the blast could have fired them that far away) and running into old school friends.
When he finished he wandered back to the Apothecary and marked off the labelled items, and giving the non labelled items to Layla.
When he was finished he turned towards Lily, Roxy and James, who were shifting rubble and panting.
Layla wandered over to them. “It’s getting quite late and it looks like rain.”
Sirius looked up at the blackened sky.
“You can call it a day. Can I expect you back tomorrow?” she asked.
They all agreed to be back at the same time tomorrow and they wandered back to Godric’s Hollow to see how Remus and Pettigrew were doing.