Chapter 13 : A Trick Of Mirrors
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Tonks looked up at him and nodded. "She should be coming to in a minute," she said, turning back to the older woman with an anxious expression. "She'll be fine when she wakes-"
Elle's fingers twitched and she opened her eyes. "Where is Agnes?" she demanded, as soon as her eyes focused on Remus.
"Fred says the Death Eaters caught her," admitted Remus.
Elle leapt off the couch, nearly losing her balance. "Why isn't someone going out there to find her?" she demanded, falling back on the couch.
Mr. and Mrs. Weasley and their sons entered the room, looking as if they didn't know what to do. The twins had been cleaned up and didn't seem permanently damaged. "Someone will be sent, Elle," said Mrs. Weasley quietly. "We just have to alert the Order."
"Something needs to be done now!" insisted Elle, working herself into a frenzy. "She's the only thing I have left! Someone needs to go now."
"I'm going," muttered Remus, moving towards the door.
"Are you crazy?" asked Tonks, grabbing his arm. "You can't go out there alone."
"I need to find her."
"Why?" asked Tonks. "You've only just met her."
"I need to find her."
"A search party will be sent tomorrow," insisted Mr. Weasley. "Remus, it would be madness to try to go by yourself."
"But it's my responsibility," said Remus, starting to get very frustrated. There was no way to explain this.
"Why do you always think that you have to take care of everyone?" snapped Tonks. "Anyone who-"
"Not just anyone," interrupted Elle. "His daughter."
"I knew it," said Mrs. Weasley, pointing at Elle. "I knew the moment she stepped into my house. She has his hair. His eyes."
"How long were you going to keep this from me, Remus?" asked Tonks, looking angry and hurt.
"I didn't plan on telling you," he said quietly. "I didn't think you needed to know."
"No," said Tonks sarcastically. "It's not important that your future wife knows that you fathered a child."
"I didn't even know myself until they first came to Grimmauld Place."
"You mean to tell me that your daughter has been alive for sixteen years and you never knew?"
"How could I when Elle hadn't contacted me that entire time?"
"He was the one who sent me away," said Elle, trying to get up from the couch.
"Stay where you are," said Mr. Weasley gently. "You're exhausted."
"I can't believe this," said Tonks, throwing up her hands.
"Tonks, you can't get worked up," pleaded Remus. "You'll hurt the baby."
"There is no baby!" shouted Tonks. "I made it up."
"I think we'd better go," said Mr. Weasley, grabbing his wife and leaving the room. Fred and George didn't need an invitation to join them.
Once the door had closed behind them, Remus turned back to Tonks, shocked. "What do you mean 'there is no baby'?"
"She still loves you," said Tonks, tears welling up in her eyes. "And I was losing you."
"What do you mean-"
"You still love her!"
Remus stopped for a moment, unsure of what to say. He hadn't seen Tonks cry since Sirius's death and never before that. It was fairly unnerving. "I can't even take this anymore," burst out Tonks, running to the door and slamming it behind her.
There was a moment of silence. "Don't say anything," said Elle quietly. "I just want to find Agnes. I'm sorry for ruining everything."
"Ruining it?" said Remus, sitting down beside her. "Yeah, well, I guess you did."
"Please, Remus, now is not the time for joking."
"We'll find her," he said, brushing her hair back. "And then we'll just have to see what happens."
Tonks had just come back to try to resolve things with Remus when she stopped to listen at the door. She could barely make out what they were saying, so she opened the door a crack. Remus was sitting next to Elle, with his hand resting against her cheek. "I can't lose her, Remus," said Elle, who was looking as though she would break down any second.
Remus leaned over and quickly kissed her forehead.
After seeing that small gesture of love, Tonks shut the door and leaned against the wall. She waited for the surge of jealousy that she thought would come. There was none. Something about that whole picture just seemed right.
Maybe it wasn't supposed to happen for us, she thought. He's always loved her. Maybe he just needed me to pull him back together. She had been used at someone's crutch. She wasn't sure if she should feel angry or... Not just 'someone', though. The man I love.
She looked back through the crack in the door to see her fiance holding the older woman. Love enough to let go.
Taking a deep breath, she swung open the door and stepped inside. Remus immeadietly let go of Elle and scooted to the other side of the couch. He caught his fiancee's eye and after seeing a glimmer of sadness, there was nothing but a blank expression. "I suggest we go to Grimmauld Place if we're going to find them," she said, not looking at Elle. "We should probably leave now."
"There it is," whispered Ginny, pointing in the distance.
It was a good thing that she had pointed it out because they probably would have missed it otherwise. They were looking at a tiny little shack, barely big enough to fit two people in. "That's where they are?" said Harry skeptically.
"Have we run into any other buildings in these woods, Harry?" snapped Ginny.
"Will you stop being so irritable with me?" retorted Harry.
"Please, just stop!"
The sound of Luna's angry voice shut the two friends up. They had never heard Luna raise her voice. "I'm sorry," muttered Harry.
Ginny was cut off as a piercing scream filled the air. "I guess you were right," said Harry, after jumping a foot in the air. "But where could they be?"
"They've got to be in there somewhere," said Neville, who still looked a big dizzy from being knocked out last night.
"We can't do anything but make some sort of plan," said Ginny.
"Fantastic," grumbled Harry, sticking his hands in his pockets. "Four of us against at least twenty Death Eaters and Voldemort. Why don't we just die now and be do-"
He stopped, feeling about it his pocket with a strange sort of expression on his face. "What is it?" asked Neville nervously.
Slowly, he pulled a small shining object out. He turned it over to reveal a mirror. "Sirius's mirror."
Remus strode up to the door, muttering 12 Grimmauld Place under his breath. The door appeared and he gave it a swift knock, supporting Elle with the other arm. She was still weak from shock and worry and had had a difficult time Apparating to this spot. Tonks and the Weasleys followed behind, looking over their shoulders every so often. There was a clunk before the door cracked open and Alastor Moody stood in the door frame, glaring at them.
With a grunt, he moved aside to let them pass, watching each one of them as they walked by, almost as if he was trying to detect any blackness in their hearts. "Wait," he growled suddenly, pointing at Remus. "Who's that?"
Elle looked up and met the grizzled old man's eyes, both of which were fixed on her. "We met once," she said softly. "I was a friend of Lily Evans."
Moody frowned for a moment before recognition dawned upon him. "And it's your daughter that's been taken?"
"Our daughter," said Remus, before Elle could say anything.
Nobody could miss Moody's false eye swiveling to look at Tonks after this last statement. The old Auror chose not to say anything about it, however, and instead, turned and headed down the hallway, his wooden leg clunking as he went. The others took this as a sign to follow him and soon found themselves in the kitchen. "Right," muttered Moody. "The first order of business is-"
"CAN ANYBODY HEAR ME?"
Everyone in the room stopped dead and heads turned towards the stairs. "What in Godric's name was that?" gasped Tonks, looking at Moody. "Didn't you check the place when you got here?"
Moody glared at her. "Of course I did," he barked. "What kind of fool do you take me for?"
"Fred, don't go up there!" cried Molly, as one of her sons headed up the stairs.
He glanced down at her and merely drew his wand before continuing up the stairs.
"Well, don't just stand there," snapped Moody. "Follow him."
The small group rushed upstairs and nearly barreled into Fred, who had stopped at the top of the stairs. "What are you doing, boy?" called Moody gruffly. "If you're going to inspect something, do it right!"
"Shut up, Mad-Eye," muttered Fred, under his breath. "Keep calling!"
There was a pause until someone shouted, "Look for a mirror!"
"That's Ginny's voice!" gasped Mrs. Weasley, pushing her way to the top of the stairs. "Ginny, where are you, sweetheart?"
"I'm here, Mum!"
Ginny kept calling over and over as Mrs. Weasley, closely followed by her friends, feverishly opened every single door until she found what she was looking for. Ginny's face, enlarged, was pictured in a large frame on the bathroom wall. "Ginny!"cried Mrs. Weasley, running towards the picture. "Ginny, I've been so worried and-"
Moody cut her off. "How are you doing this?" he asked suspiciously. "How do we know this isn't some Dark Magic?"
At these last two words, he thrust his wand towards the picture, ready to curse it. "Moody, stop!" interrupted Remus, throwing out an arm to stop him.
"Constant vigilance, Lupin!" shouted Moody. "This is obviously Dark-"
"Moody, it's a mirror that Sirius gave me."
Harry had just stepped into Ginny's place. "Where are you?" asked Remus.
About twenty minutes later, a plan had been formed, mostly by Harry, Moody, and Remus, and everyone was sitting around the living room waiting for the other Order members to show up. Elle was helping Mrs. Weasley try to throw together a meager meal for everyone. "It's a good thing I thought to grab some food," said Mrs. Weasley, lighting the stove. "Everyone would have been complaining about empty stomachs."
The kitchen door opened and the two women turned to see Remus entering. "Could you excuse us for a moment, Molly?" he asked quietly.
Mrs. Weasley stiffened up and glanced disapprovingly between the two of them. After a moment, she sighed heavily and left the pair alone.
"I want you to stay with Molly when we leave tomorrow," he said, not meeting Elle's gaze.
"Don't you remember what happened the last time you tried to protect me?" she said softly.
"Elle, that's not the point," said Remus, a hint of plea in his voice.
"She's my daughter, Remus," she said. "I need to do this." She smiled slightly. "Do remember when you shoved me under the table at Lily and James's wedding?" she asked. "And you wanted me to move in with you because you were afraid for me?"
Remus nodded. "But what's that have to-"
"You need to stop trying to protect me," insisted Elle, giving him a penetrating look. "Did you tell Tonks that she needed to stay?"
"No," said Remus guiltily.
"It's not your place to try to save me anymore," she said, heading towards the door.
As she opened it, he muttered to himself, "But maybe I need to."
Not long afterward, they were joined by the two eldest Weasleys, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Elphias Doge, Dedalus Diggle, Sturgis Podmore, Hestia Jones, and even Mundungus Fletcher. Elle greeted Sharon Vasa with a friendly hug and was told that more old school mates would be showing up soon. Old schoolmates consisted of most of James Potter's Quidditch team, Shelley Tambrin, Remus's girlfriend before Elle, who had become a very skilled Healer, and Chris Fletcher, the old Announcer in the Quidditch games. Although Chris had not become a criminal like his uncle, he was paid to think like one and knew all sorts of Muggle burglary techniques. On Harry's suggestion, the students from Dumbledore's Army were alerted to the situation and given the option to join. Most of the teachers at Hogwarts, with the exception of Professors Flitwick and Sprout, who were left behind to protect the school and mind the students, also joined the ranks of those gathering at Grimmauld Place.
"Will this be safe?" asked Mr. Weasley. "Allowing all these people into a place that's supposed to be secret?"
"We have no choice, Arthur," said Kingsley, shaking his head. "Besides, we do know that all these people are trustworthy. We've had this list for awhile now."
"This battle has been anticipated for ages," said Moody. "And now, it's finally beginning."
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