Chapter 1 : Number Six, Moorfield Gardens
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.....Whispers haunt the air about the whereabouts of evil. The divide line has been set but it's not clear which side everyone is on. Trust no one and assume nothing. It's the only way to survive in this world that's turning against itself...........
Where Your Loyalties Lie
Chapter One: Number Six, Moorfield Gardens
The moon loomed as a ghost ship tossed upon cloudy seas. Chased by the bitter Autumn wind as it folded the clouds in on themselves; to escape the cold.
A chain of stars blinked from their secluded postition, trapped in the bruisy sky - lost in it's vast expanse. Like fire flies paralysed on a never ending sheet of black blanket.
The dusty light emitting from the delapidated street lamps faintly illuminated the drops of falling rain that were tumpling rhythmically. The houses were asleep, curtains drawn in a vain attempt to block out the unwelcome stare of the outside world. Even the alley strays tredded cautiously down the streets.
A seemingly desolated house set in the middle of Moorfield Gardens had been empty for years. But number six never seemed to be sold or, indeed, house a [i]'For Sale'[/i] sign in it's wildy grown garden. Passers by now took it for granted that this building saw no inhabitants. Or wanted to.
Cracked windows and poor brick work was visable to the eyes that refused to see beyond that, so some said. Those who had been inside, those who knew. Those who understood.
A huge barn owl that had been perched innocently on a cobwebbed street lamp, scoured the empty road with it's ever watchful eyes that lit up the night air surrounding him. Suddenly, he unfurled his gigantic wings and swooped out into the chilled atmosphere.
Tied to his claw was a pale role of parchment, bound roughly with brown string. The owl soared to the house who's number 'six' had been covered by over grown ivy crowding it's visibility. The bird flew round to the side of the house, hovering infront of the huge kitchen window and tapped it's beak sharply against the glass.
Remus jumped, startled. And then hurried to the window, wrenching it open in one swift movement. The two others who had been sitting in silence for uncountable minutes, suddenly held their breath in anticipation.
"What does it say? Are they alright?" Lily stood up, clenching her hands so tightly that her finger nails dug painfully into her palm.
Lupin scoured the note with his pale grey eyes and breathed a sigh of relief. "They're on their way back."
Tears welled up in her bottle green eyes and she smiled nervously. "Thank goodness," she whispered, running a shaking hand through her long red hair. "I know it's the same everytime he goes out, but you always think... what if?...." She cut herself short, feeling a lump rise in the back of her throat.
"But it didn't," Remus reminded her, putting the letter down on the table he came over to her. "Don't think like that." He put his arms around her comfortingly.
Peter stood up, scraping his chair back. "Well that's a relief," he forced a small grin. "I always knew James and Sirius would pull through again, they all ways do," he added under his breath.
"I know," Lily wiped under her eyes, looking to the two of them. "But it doesn't make it any easier. I'd far rather be out there fighting with them than left waiting for news. That's not what I joined the Order for."
A low rumble echoed through the air and Remus glanced out the window, frowning. "I told him not to ride that thing! He may as well send up flares telling everyone this address!"
The flying motorbike could be heard skidding to a hault on the cobbles of the front path and a few seconds later the front door opened wide.
"Are you ready to greet the heroes?" Sirius called down the corridor.
Lily ran out and into James's arms, relief flooding through her.
"Hey, careful!" He laughed but he held her close. "I came back in one piece practically, I'd hate for you to break my ribs now!"
She smiled, standing back to look at her husband. His hair was even more tousled than usual and there was a cut on his cheek but a warm smile on his face. She raised an eyebrow. "You and those glasses of yours, they're almost perminantly broken," she scolded, pulling out her wand. "Octimus reparo!"
James's dented frames straightened immediately and his shining blue eyes could see properly once again. "Thanks," he wiped a stray strand of hair from her face and kissed her gently.
"Right, Moony old chap," Sirius winked. "James has had his kiss, so where's mine?"
He shook his head, laughing. "In your dreams! Where's the rest of you? Dumbledore coming over too?"
"Yeah, we left the rest outside the edge of Malfoy's. All masked obviously, doubt we'll have managed to catch many. Though Moody wasn't giving up easily," Sirius nodded, glancing at himself in the hall mirror. "Oh dear, I look like I've been dragged through a hedge backwards," he winced, examining a rather deep gash on his chin.
"Er, that's because Nott did drag you through a hedge backwards," James reminded him.
"Ah, yes," he grinned, straightening up. "I don't think he likes me much. Pity, I quite liked him actually.... well, I would have liked him... if he were strung up and stuffed. I think he would make a superb gargoyle, what do you say James?"
"Couldn't agree more Padfoot, my friend," he nodded. "Couldn't agree more."
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