A/N: I am SO SORRY I haven't been able to update for such a long time! Thanks to all of you who reviewed, it really means a lot to me!
Chapter 23: Summer Tragedy
I glanced anxiously at my watch once again. Where could he possibly be? I looked out the window at the setting sun. Exhaling noisily, I slouched on my chair and twirled my quill around my fingers impatiently.
“OW! GEROFF ME!” Muffled shouts came from the living room. Grinning, I leapt up from my chair and darted downstairs. A strikingly handsome dark haired boy embraced me before swinging me around the room.
“Sirius!” I screamed ecstatically. After he had placed me back down, I looked up surprised to see James standing on the side, wearing an amused expression.
“What are you doing here?”
“Well, it’s good to see you too!” James feigned a look of hurt before enveloping me in to a hug.
I laughed, “Sorry, I wasn’t expecting you!”
James opened his mouth but I interjected before he could say anything, “No, Lily’s not here…” I smirked.
“I wasn’t about to ask about her…” James mumbled as Sirius rolled his eyes.
“Are you ready?” Sirius grinned as he held out his arm.
Stepping in to the fireplace, I was squished between Sirius and James, who seemed to have grown brawnier since the last time I had seen them.
A second later, a large living room came in to view. Grey colored furniture littered the room, covered in white sheets to avoid dust. Cardboard boxes were piled sky high in the hallway as we stepped on to the mahogany wood floors.
“Wow…” I gaped as I glanced around the room.
“WE’RE HERE!” Somebody shrieked. My face lit up when I saw Carisma and Lily standing expectantly in the fireplace.
“Welcome to my humble abode,” Sirius announced grandly before leading us around the house. It was definitely a family home, with four comfy bedrooms, a large kitchen, dining room, attic, den and study.
“Are you planning on marrying and settling down?” Carisma questioned as she peered in to the fourth bedroom.
Sirius furrowed his eyebrows, “Why do you ask that?”
Carisma raised her eyebrows, “Why on earth did you buy this place then? In case you haven’t noticed, this is far from a bachelor’s pad,”
As the group split up to wander around the house alone, Sirius wrapped his arms around me, “You still haven’t said anything…”
“I like it,”
“Something’s wrong, I can tell, what is it?”
I smiled, “Nothing gets by you, huh?”
“No, so don’t even bother trying,” A peck landed on my forehead.
“It’s nothing really, I was just wondering if you had made the right choice in buying this house,” I admitted softly. In all honesty, I thought it was an outrageous idea. Sirius wasn’t old enough to buy a house!
Sirius brushed a strand of hair away from my face, “I’m sure of it…I couldn’t stand living with my mother and I couldn’t bear causing the Potters any more hassle by living with them,”
I nodded understandingly, “I really do love it,” I leaned up and kissed him softly on the lips, savoring every moment.
Someone cleared their throat behind us; “Sorry to interrupt,” James blushed as we broke apart, “Should we get going now?”
“Yes, we probably should,” Sirius agreed as we all headed back down to the fireplace to floo back to my house.
* * *
“Can you believe this?” Frustrated, James tossed the Daily Prophet aside. The headline on the front page read: DEATH EATERS CLAIM ANOTHER!
“Will it ever end?” Carisma leaned her head against the cool window pane, “None of us are safe…”
I nodded silently and leaned in closer to Sirius, who automatically tightened his arms around me, “No…even the most powerful wizards and witches can’t stop him…he’s just much too strong,”
James let out of a chuckle, as all of us gaped at him in a confused manner wondering who on earth would laugh at a moment like this, “No, no, no, I don’t find it funny…it’s just that wouldn’t it be amusing if the marauders were the ones to stop him? I can see it now, the four of us being worshipped like Gods…” James had a faraway and dreamlike look in his eyes.
Sirius leaned over and thwacked him over the head, “You are such an idiot, Prongs,”
“Fine, if not us…our offspring’s then!” James sent a meaningful glance over to Lily.
“OH…that is revolting, you sordid git!” Lily exclaimed as she scampered to the opposite side of the room.
A terrible rainstorm had hit a couple of hours before, which gave us a reason to stay at Jen’s house for the night. As the rain splattered noisily on the windows, I was the only one up. Everyone else seemed to be fast asleep. Crawling out of my bed, I snuck over to one of the sleeping bags on the other end of the room. A head of untidy raven black hair poked out of the entrance. A smile slowly appeared on my face as I tilted my head to see James, sleeping peacefully. Leaning against the wall, I hugged my knees and gazed at him, trying to straighten out my thoughts.
I couldn’t possibly like James. Sure, that little comment about children did send butterflies in to my stomach, but…but…err…erm…OH this is terrible! I can’t even justify it! Finally, I got up and marched back to bed with my final decision.
I. Don’t. Like. Him.
The next morning, I woke up to find an interesting sight before me. There was James, sitting cross-legged across Lily, who was sleeping peacefully in her sleeping bed, her long red hair spread out angelically on the carpeted floor. James was gazing at Lily with such love, emotion and passion in his eyes. There was no doubt that he deeply loved her, even if Lily had been nothing but unpleasant to him. All of a sudden, James looked up and caught my eye. Blushing furiously, he looked away and stood up.
“Good morning,” James pretended to stretch and ignore the fact that I had just caught him in the act of staring adoringly at Lily.
“Morn--,” Before I could finish greeting James, someone had yanked my down on the floor. Sirius circled his arms around my waist and pulled me closely to him, “Sirius, what are you doing?”
“I need my Jennybear in the morning,” Sirius mumbled as he kissed me on the nape of my neck.
I chortled, “Sirius!”
“What?” He stared at me with innocent eyes.
“Jennybear?” I repeated, raising my eyebrows.
“Do you have a problem with that?” Sirius pretended to look insulted.
“No, of course not…Siri-pooey-piey-boo-boo,” I cooed as I pinched his cheeks, “How do you like that?”
“You win,” Sirius grumbled as I chuckled and I tore myself away from him.
* * *
“Can you believe that the next time we get on the Hogwarts Express will be the last time ever?” Carisma mused during breakfast.
“I know…time has just flown by, hasn’t it?” Remus added, “Hogwarts is my second home; I don’t think I could possibly leave it forever,”
“Look!” Lily gestured out the window at an approaching blob of grey. As it flew closer, we realized it was an owl, “Potter, go let it in!”
James got up immediately and pushed open the window at the exact second the owl swooped in effortlessly and landed on Carisma’s head. Dropping the letter on her head, the owl hopped around before taking off again, disappearing back in to the pink tinted sky.
“What is it?”
Carisma shrugged as she ripped open the letter. All of us watched her apprehensively as she read the letter slowly. A few seconds later, she flung her chair roughly aside and scrambled out of the dining room, hiding her face from view. Lily chased after her immediately, not bothering to wait for an explanation.
As James gasped out loud, I turned my attention back to James, who held the letter in his hand.
“James! That’s Carisma’s! You can’t read it, it’s confidential!” I protested. James shoved the letter in my face and ran after Lily. Sirius, Remus and I crowded around the letter and read it. A few minutes later, all of us were out in the garden comforting Carisma who was crying freely in Lily’s arms. None of us said anything. We knew it would only make things worst. Carisma had not only just lost a family member, but her best friend too.
The letter had been from her parents, who had just gone to collect her body. Carisma’s sister, Felicity had just been killed by a Death Eater. Her sister was an auror-in-training and had accompanied her trainer on a mission. Her trainer had escaped unharmed; however, her sister had not been so lucky. After suffering from two of the Unforgivable Curses, the Death Eater delivered the final fatal curse, immediately killing her.
“I have…to…go…home,” Carisma managed to utter between hiccups. I nodded and all of us helped her towards the fireplace.
“I’ll make sure she gets home safely,” James volunteered as he helped an extremely feeble and shaky Carisma in to the fireplace. I handed him some floo powder and they disappeared in less than a second later. It was a terrible sight to see Carisma like this. Carisma, who was rarely this upset, this depressed. She didn’t deserve this. No one deserved the fate that her sister did.
Lily had disappeared off to somewhere else. I ambled towards the large window and gazed out at the rising sun. Sirius came up from behind me and circled his arms around me, “Let’s not talk about it…” Sirius whispered, immediately reading my mind.
I smiled forcibly and nodded. After a few minutes, I murmured, “Do you think we’ll survive this?”
After a moment of silence, Sirius sighed, “I really don’t know…but do you know what I do know?”
I shook my head, still gazing out the window miserably.
“I’ll always be here, no matter what,” Sirius turned me around to face him.
“No matter what?” I echoed.
“No matter what…” He reassured me as he kissed me passionately, his hand caressing my cheek ever so softly.
Sirius and I broke apart a little while later, “Where’s Lily?” Sirius and I walked out of the living room and in to the dining room, not only astounded to see that James was back but that he was comforting Lily and Lily was actually allowing it. Sirius and I retreated slowly, leaving the two alone.
“Times are changing, my dear,” Sirius commented as I wrapped my arms around him and nodded silently.
A/N: Hope you all liked this chapter! Please REVIEW! Sorry again for the loong wait!