chapter thirty-two Redheads
"What are you going to do now that you've graduated and inherited all of your uncle Albert's money?" Jessie asked Sirius a week before she entered her final year of school as she watched him throw his things from the Potter's manour into a suitcase.
"I'm buying a flat with James so we can get out of Mum and Dad's hair. Then, we're joining the Order of the Phoenix." Sirius winced. "I shouldn't have said that."
Jessie shrugged. "I already know a little about Dumbledore's secret organisation against the Death Eaters; I've heard him and Auntie Minerva talk about it. What I don't know is why you're joining. You hate rules, and people in the Order have to follow them."
Sirius hesitated and told her, "A few Death Eaters attacked a Muggle neighbourhood on Voldemort's orders yesterday. It was Lily's hometown and Lily is still living with her parents, so James was there visiting her. Hearing some noise in the street, they went out and drove the three masked dark wizards they saw away, but not before gits had done some damage. Also, there was a hidden fourth Death Eater that did something awful before the coward disapparated."
"How many total people did they kill?" asked Jessie quietly.
"Since it was Lily's hometown did she know any of them?"
"Her sister, Petunia, married a walrus and moved away last year, but her parents..."
"Oh, Merlin, were her parents murdered?" She knew the answer to her question before Sirius said it.
"Yes. That was the fourth Death Eater's doing."
Jessie hugged Sirius tightly. "That's horrible!"
Sirius could only nod because Jessie had not left any air in his lungs for him to speak with.
"Why didn't she talk to me about it?"
He had to push her away and take a great gulp of oxygen before replying; "She isn't talking to anyone about anything because after she mailed Petunia a letter with the news of their parents' deaths she disappeared. James is going to find her and make sure she doesn't do something stupid."
"I hope he can do it."
Sirius grinned. "My best mate can do anything."
"Sirius, come along!" Mrs. Potter called from downstairs.
He looked at Jessie. "They're taking me to Order Headquarters."
"Dunno." He kissed her cheek. "See you." Sirius bounded down the steps loudly.
Mr. Potter slipped on his velvet jacket. It had fit him properly once, but now it was a wee bit large, which was unsurprising since old people shrink from bone loss, and he and his wife were definitely getting old. They had been old when they had first birthed James and believed that it had been a miracle they'd finally had a child, so they spoiled him, which made James conceited.
"Does Jessie need floo powder to get home?" asked Mr. Potter.
"No," Sirius answered. "She was so happy when we won the Quidditch Cup that she's on her broom every chance she gets."
"All right. Let's go." Mrs. Potter pushed her white hair that had been a light auburn colour in her youth away from her face.
As they walked Sirius glanced at Mr. Potter. If his hair were still black instead of grey he would look exactly like James. "Dad, did your father look like you?"
He raised an eyebrow at the randomness of the question. "Yes."
"Was your mother's hair red?"
"Indeed." Both eyebrows were raised now.
"So, all Potter men look the same and marry redheads!" declared Sirius.
Mrs. Potter thought of her son and Lily, who had visited them twice over the summer, with a smile. "It would seem so."
"How is that delightful lass?" Mr. Potter asked.
"She's been better," replied Sirius darkly.
He was saved the effort of elabourating since Mrs. Potter stepped in front of a small house and announced, "Here we are!" She walked up to the door and knocked with her husband and foster son behind her.
An attactive young boy opened the door and when his eyes met Sirius' they both gasped, "You!"