Chapter 16 : You Are Not Alone
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If you don't read The Life Dissertation of Lovette Luclare beforehand, you'll be as confused as I am about why I just love the name "Scorpius". Isn’t it great? LMAO. You know I’m gonna have to write a story about him now...“AWWW, LITTLE BABY SCORPIUS!“...long story...
This is my longest cahpter yet.
Over 3600 words.
That’s like ten pages on Word.
And I really don’t even like this chapter all that much.
Its really bittersweet....
“So, let me get this straight- EXPECTO PATRONUM- he just left?”
“Yeah,- EXPECTO PATRONUM- basically.”
“That doesn’t sound like Sirius at all.”
“Of course it does! Damn it, can’t you just leave me alone you stupid Dementor?! EXPECTO PATRONUM!”
Two days after Sirius’ unknown departure, Lovette found herself and James fighting off Dementors in St. Ottery’s Catchpole. It had been the first time that the two had been together since the Order of the Phoenix meeting announcing Regulus Black’s death. James had yet to hear of Sirius’ reaction to his brother’s end.
“Go that way!” Lovette yelled at her lioness-shaped Patronus. The silvery cat then turned to the direction in which Lovette had pointed to where a Dementor was advancing upon her and James. The lioness then pounced upon the cloaked figure, sending it backwards to the ground.
“Is that the last of them?” Lovette asked, making her way towards James who had just sent his stag to the remaining Dementor.
“Yeah, I think.” James said, panting slightly as his eyes followed the Dementors gliding away, back to their commander.
“Well, that sucked.” Lovette put bluntly as she examined her new bruises and minor injuries. Dementors could be rather violent creatures.
“No kidding.” James said, watching as his stag became more and more translucent. When his Patronus finally dissipated, he looked over at Lovette. She had been absentmindedly digging the toe of her shoe into the fine dust of snow that had blanketed itself over the wizarding village.
“He’ll come back.” James said reassuringly to Lovette, putting a hand on her shoulder.
“That’s what I’m worried about,” Lovette confessed, hanging her head as she examined the indentations in the snow where her feet had been, “Sirius coming back.”
James furrowed his brow at his friend, taking his hand down from her shoulder.
“You don’t want him to come back?” James’ defensive tone getting the better of him. Although he and Lovette were close, James had more loyalty to Sirius.
“No.” Lovette returned calmly, knowing James would take that tone with her, “it’s his attitude I don’t want back.”
“Oh.” Was all James could muster.
“Well,” James added, “I think he has the right not to be upset over Regulus.”
“Of course you do.” Lovette muttered to herself, so James couldn’t hear.
“Nothing...but don’t you think he should have been a little upset? If one of my sisters died...I would die. I just don’t understand how he could hate his own brother so much-” Lovette tried to counter, but James cut her short,
“Listen, Lovette, you don’t understand-”
“’I don’t understand’! Of course I don’t understand! You know, if I don’t understand, maybe you people should tell me so I do understand! Is that honestly the best excuse you can come up with anymore?” Lovette fired up immediately. She was getting weary of the same defense every time.
“Lovette, please, Regulus has done things far worse to Sirius than you can comprehend. Just let Sirius get over this himself. This isn’t something you can help him with. I know you want to, but you just...can’t. Let him alone for a while.”
“But he’s the one that’s left me!” Lovette protested.
“I know. But when he comes back, don’t pester him.” James said calmly. Lovette rolled her eyes.
“So I’m just supposed to let him stew in his own feelings then?” James smiled wryly.
“Yes. Sirius gets over things different than you do. Just understand that, if nothing else.” Lovette huffed, pursing her lips causing James to laugh.
“What now?” Lovette barked. James continued to chuckle.
“Don’t ever do that again,” James said, grinning, referring to Lovette’s previous agitated reflex, “You look like-”
“Yeah, yeah, I know, my mum. Brenna’s already told me that several times.” Lovette snapped, rolling her eyes again from behind her glasses. But James continued to smirk.
“Actually, I was going to say you look like Lily.”
“Well, that’s even worse!” Lovette said, smiling now.
The friends laughed, making their way through the village until James finally prompted,
“C’mon, let’s get out of this bloody cold!”
Cautiously, Lovette weaved her way throughout Remus’ flat until she reached the kitchen where she knew he was sitting.
“Hey.” She said, a small smile on her face as she took off her gloves and hat. It had also started snowing in London.
“Is it cold?” Remus asked, his voice a little vague. Lovette nodded, taking a seat next to him at the kitchen table.
Remus had, of course, not recovered from Brenna’s death. Lovette was not surprised, but that didn’t mean that she missed her Remus any less. But deep down, Lovette knew that Remus was never going to be the same.
He sat, somewhat disheveled, as though he had not properly cleaned himself up in the few weeks that Brenna had died. Remus had a mug of tea in front of him, long since cold with the hours it had been sitting before him.
“How are you?” Lovette ventured timidly, clasping her hands and placing them on the table in front of her. Remus looked over at her, a bitter smile on his features.
“How do you think I am?” Lovette bit her lip, suddenly interested in her hands.
“Sirius is gone too.” She said finally, peering over at Remus who had started staring into his cold cup of tea. He nodded slightly.
“At least you know he’s coming back.”
An awkward silence filled the room. Though Lovette was unsure if Remus felt it or not.
However, Lovette found it rather odd to be in an awkward silence with Remus Lupin. Never had she remembered being in such a hush as the one she was sharing at the moment with her friend.
“He’s not upset about Regulus.” Lovette said, trying her best to kill the still air. Remus nodded again, not meeting her eyes.
“That’s because he was always worried about you dating Regulus when we were in school. Regulus had always had a thing for you, and so did Sirius. Sirius was worried that Regulus would get to you before he could. That’s why he doesn’t feel bad about Regulus dying. He was always in competition with him.”
Lovette sat completely still, her mouth slightly ajar, though she was not aware. Had Regulus really been in love with her? And Sirius threatened by his own brother?
Had Lovette just been a game between the two?
A game that Sirius had finally won?
“Wow...” Lovette’s voice trailed off as she stared at the table. She could feel Remus’ eyes on her now.
“Don’t hate him for it. He loves you.” He said simply. Lovette shook her head, furrowing her brows.
“I don’t...I’m just...confused?” Remus rolled his eyes, smiling slightly.
Lovette bit her lip, still lost in thought. Could that have been the reason she ‘couldn’t comprehend’ (according to James) the reason for Sirius‘ aloofness? Had that little detail been so difficult to inform her about? Lovette sighed, trying not to fall too deep into the issue. She needn’t another problem to worry about. Nor another reason to be angry at the Marauders. Mainly Sirius.
Suddenly, Lovette perked her head up, a frantic expression on her face.
“What time is it Remus?” Remus raised an eyebrow at Lovette’s sudden mood swing.
“Two-thirty in the afternoon.” He said slowly, unsure of whether that was a good or bad thing.
Lovette sprung from her chair, collecting her gloves and purse.
“Crap, I’m late!”
“Late for what?” Remus ventured, standing from his seat as well.
“I have to baby-sit.” Lovette said, somewhat disdainfully. Remus looked as though he could have laughed. Lovette and children had never mixed all that well.
“Who?” He asked.
“Sirius’ cousin’s daughter or something...” Lovette returned, distracted as she tried to pull on her mittens.
“You mean his second cousin?” Remus said in a degrading voice, now smiling. Lovette grinned at the sight of a smile on her friend’s face...it had been so long.
“Shut up.” She said feigning anger, “Come with me! I’m gonna need help!”
Remus rolled his eyes again.
“Fine, fine. I’ll go help you ‘baby-sit’.”
“Right on time Lovette!” Lovette smiled meekly at Andromeda Tonks as she and Remus entered the small cottage. They had barely made it on time.
“Hey Andromeda. Ted.” Lovette said, nodded to each parent in turn. Ted smiled back, briefly hugging her and shaking hands with Remus.
“I see you brought a friend along.” Andromeda said, smiling at Remus as grabbed her purse and gloves.
“Yes,” Lovette said, nodding again, “this is Remus Lupin.”
“Hi.” Remus said a little shyly.
It was Ted and Andromeda’s anniversary and Lovette had “volunteered” to baby-sit their ten-year-old daughter, Nymphadora. Really, they had asked Sirius, but he had claimed that Lovette was way better with children than he was. And so, Lovette had been drafted. Though somewhat unwillingly on her part.
“Nymphadora, come meet Lovette and Remus!” Andromeda called to her daughter as she pulled on her gloves.
A small brunette-haired girl glided from the staircase leading to the second floor of the house. But, as she reached the bottom step, she tripped and fell forward onto the carpet. Lovette snorted back a laugh as Nymphadora stood up again, brushing off her jumper as though nothing had happened out of the ordinary.
“Klutz.” Ted said, chuckling as he kissed the top of his daughter’s head in farewell. Andromeda rolled her eyes, also giving her daughter a kiss on the cheek.
“Dora, this is Lovette and Remus.” She said, motioning to the two twenty-year-olds standing in the foyer.
“Wotcher Lovette.” Nymphadora addressed Lovette, having met her second cousin’s fiancée before.
“Right back atcha.” Lovette returned, nodding. Nymphadora smiled, then turning to Remus.
“I’m Nymphadora. But don’t call me that because I hate it. ‘Dora’ or ‘Tonks’ will do just fine.” She and Remus shook hands, Remus slightly chuckling from her business-like tone.
“Okay, well, we have to leave.” Andromeda announced, finally making it towards the front door.
“We’ll be home by eleven.” Ted stated, opening the door for his wife.
“Owl us if there’s a problem.” Andromeda added, “And don’t destroy the house Nymphadora!” She called to her daughter, finally being ushered out of the house by her husband.
“You know I will anyway!” Nymphadora called to her mother as the door shut behind her parents.
“So, what shall we do?” Nymphadora addressed her baby-sitters, rubbing her hands together eagerly. Lovette and Remus exchanged lost glances. Neither one of them had really had any experience in watching a child. Nymphadora looked between the two, expectantly, finally guessing their dilemma. The child rolled her eyes, saying,
“You don’t know the first thing about kids, do you?”
“So, you’re going to marry my second cousin, Sirius?” Nymphadora asked Lovette, feigning a scandalous tone. Lovette rolled her eyes.
“That’s the plan.”
Nymphadora had proved to be a rather mature ten-year-old. She engaged both friends in meaningful conversations and wasn’t one of those annoying children that always wanted to play a game. Although, she knew how to play a mean game of Death Match Pillow/Wrestling. But she did take Lovette’s pointers quite seriously and the two girls beat out Remus, hands down. The house had been covered in feathers and mutilated pillows.
But now, the three were eating dinner, complements of ordering Muggle Chinese food and having it delivered to the house. They sat in the kitchen, eating and enjoying light conversation.
“When?” Nymphadora asked, cocking her head to the side as she devoured and egg roll. Lovette seemed to contemplate her answer for a moment, clicking her chopsticks in the air.
“Whenever he finds his way home.” Lovette said, shrugging as she dug her utensils into her rice. Remus rolled his eyes this time, but on the contrary, Nymphadora was intrigued. Her eyes grew wide as she raised one of her eyebrows.
“You lost him?” Remus nearly choked on his chicken, he was trying so hard not to laugh. Not only did the young girl seem so serious, her tone suggested one of a mother who had just learned that her daughter had lost one of her most prized pieces of jewelry.
“I didn’t lose him. I just don’t know where he is.” Lovette tried to explain, but Nymphadora was shaking her head.
“You did lose him!” The little girl said triumphantly, pointing her finger at Lovette. However, Lovette shook her head.
“If I had really lost Sirius and didn’t want to tell you, I would have given you the crappy excuse that I ‘misplaced him’ because ‘misplaced’ pretty much means ‘lost’ but I would have hoped that your ten-year-old mind would have been confused by the synonym.”
There was a short silence after Lovette’s long dissertation. Nymphadora looked at the young adult, a disbelieving expression on her face.
“Now,” Nymphadora finally said, twirling a noodle around one of her chopsticks, “now you’re just trying to screw with my mind.”
At that point, Remus lost all self-control and started to laugh hysterically at the two.
“Shut up Remus...” Lovette said, defeated, as she stabbed at her vegetables. Nymphadora reached across the table, patting Lovette’s hand consolingly.
“Its okay, I lose things all the time.” Lovette couldn’t help but smile at the girl.
“Ooh, guess what I can do!” Nymphadora exclaimed randomly, bobbing excitedly in her chair. Lovette rolled her eyes again, smiling at Remus who was still recovering from his fits of laughter.
“What?” Lovette ventured, stuffing a piece of chicken into her mouth.
Before, Lovette and Remus had been sitting across from a ten-year-old girl with light brown hair and dark brown eyes. Now, however, they found themselves in the presence of a girl with prominent blue eyes, dark black hair and a pixie nose.
Nymphadora had changed into a striking similarity of Brenna Rhys Flynn.
Sitting next to Remus, Lovette could almost hear his heart breaking at the sight of the girl resembling his love. But there was no denying it, looking at Nymphadora, Lovette couldn’t help but see the likenesses between the young girl and Brenna. Lovette could feel her mind slipping into the memory of her first encounter with Brenna...
Lovette sighed, resting her head on the palm of her hand. It was merely the third day of her first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and she was already bored out of her mind. It didn’t help, however, that she was sitting through her first-ever History of Magic lesson. Lovette knew, though five minutes into the class, that this would not be her subject. At all...
Leaning back in her chair a bit, Lovette took in her surroundings. She had this class with her fellow Gryffindors and Hufflepuff. She spotted Sirius Black some far away, sitting next to a boy with dark black hair that stuck up in all directions. James Potter. Lovette had known him even before Hogwarts though, his parents were Aurors and so was Lovette’s dad. They had already met on several occasions. And although Lovette did not usually mind the rowdy boy, she was annoyed at the fact that he had taken her seat next to Sirius.
Some friend he is... Lovette thought, pursing her lips as she watched Sirius trying not to laugh from a joke James had cracked. Lovette and Sirius had already established their “bad-at-making-friends bunch”, and now he had abandoned her for James Potter?
Boys are so stupid...
Lovette scoured the class again. Briefly spotting that Remus kid she had met earlier (though she was unsure of his last name, she hadn’t really been paying attention during their introductions...). Her brown eyes also caught a small, blonde boy with watery eyes and a girl with auburn hair sitting next to him. She didn’t know either of these classmates, but was sure that sooner or later, Lovette would make some kind of communication.
However, Lovette had not noticed the dark haired girl sitting next to her. Mostly because the girl seemed to be half-asleep at the droning voice of Professor Binns. She was a Gryffindor as well, Lovette guessed, judging by the sliver of Gryffindor patch that was visible on her robes. The girl was sitting at such a weird angle, Lovette couldn’t make it out that well.
The black-haired girl was lying her chin on the desk that she shared with Lovette. Her elbows were on either side of her, her hands reaching out to either edge of the table, gripping it. She looked bored out of her mind.
Lovette leaned down, so she was level with the girl. Hey, if she was going to suffer in this class for the rest of her life, why not have a familiar face?
“This class is so dull.” Lovette whispered to the girl. The girl merely nodded, her eyes still half-closed over her bright blue eyes, “Do you know how dull this class is?” Lovette asked the girl. The girl looked over at Lovette, shaking her head in response. Lovette smiled.
“This class is so dull, it couldn’t even stab and kill me properly. Honestly, just put me out of my misery!” Lovette ended dramatically.
However, Lovette’s joke did not get the response she had hoped it would. Usually, someone would laugh at a joke like that, seeing that it was true that the class wouldn’t be able to kill anyone. But instead, the girl looked at Lovette for a moment, contemplating the jest.
Finally, after several, painful minutes, the girl started to laugh riotously.
Lovette grinned as the class looked in the direction of the girls, and Professor Binns continued his lecture. By the time the whole class’ attention was in Lovette’s hands, the dark-haired girl fell out of her seat, still laughing. At this, everyone else started doubling up, Professor Binns’ monotonous voice being drown out by the laughter.
As the laughter quieted down, Lovette helped the girl back onto her chair.
“I’m Lovette Luclare.” Lovette said, shaking hands with the girl.
“Brenna Flynn. Nice to meet you.”
“Same to you Brenna.” Lovette returned, grinning.
“And you,” Brenna said, smiling, “are my new best friend.”
And the two girls could not stop giggling.
“How do you do that?” Lovette asked, trying to keep her voice calm. At the recollection of Brenna, Lovette felt as though she could cry. But crying for no reason would definitely scare Nymphadora, something Lovette didn’t want to do. She liked the little girl and didn’t want Nymphadora to think Lovette mentally unstable.
“I’m a Metamorphmagus.” Nymphadora said proudly, nodding.
“A Metamorphma-what?” Lovette said, struggling with the name, “What is that?”
“Something you’re clearly not.” Nymphadora said coolly, a smirk coming onto her Brenna-like features. Lovette could feel Remus shift uncomfortably in his seat at the girl’s smirk. Even that mirrored Brenna.
“Metamorphmagus can change their appearance...they’re really rare.” Remus explained, his voice a little constricted as he stared at his plate, unable to look at Nymphadora.
“Oh.” Was all Lovette could muster.
“I’m not a fan of black hair.” Nymphadora said, staring at her reflection in back of her spoon. Screwing up her eyes in concentration, her hair changed from a dark raven color to a vivid pink.
This however, was no relief. Brenna’s favorite color to dye her hair had always been a bright pink as well. Lovette watched as Remus looked up at the child, and then quickly back down at his plate. He felt the same as Lovette; the amend was no reprieve.
“How about you try a nice red?” Lovette suggested, wanting to be rid of the Brenna look-alike. Nymphadora nodded enthusiastically, shutting her eyes tightly again, causing her hair to become a fiery red.
“There that’s better.”
“I’m gonna miss you guys. I had so much fun tonight!” Nymphadora whined, clinging on to Lovette and Remus at the same time.
Ted and Andromeda Tonks had finally arrived home from the anniversary celebration, meaning Lovette and Remus had finished their job as baby-sitter.
“Aww, Dora, we had fun too!” Lovette said, kneeling down in front of the girl and giving her a hug.
“Will I see you guys again?” Nymphadora asked, looking from Remus to Lovette.
“Yes, Nymphadora, you’ll see us again.” Remus said smiling, but Nymphadora crinkled her nose in disgust.
“Don’t call me that Remus.” But Remus merely chuckled.
“Thanks again guys. Apparently Dora has really taken to you.” Andromeda said, watching as her daughter continued to cling to Lovette. Lovette smiled again, finally pulling away from the little girl.
“It was no problem. Actually, it was fun, wasn’t it Remus?” Lovette said, nudging Remus. He nodded.
“Definitely makes me like kids now.” The four adults laughed as Nymphadora continued to pout.
“Usually she has a reverse affect on the baby-sitters.” Ted said, chuckling.
“Well, we have to head out.” Lovette finally announced, buttoning her coat and pulling on her mittens, Remus mocking her actions.
“Bye.” They exchanged farewells and soon enough Remus and Lovette found themselves outside the cottage, the snow falling lightly in their hair.
They started down the lane, the snow crunching underneath their feet as more fell from the darkened sky.
“Look, Remus...I know it must have been hard with Dora-” Lovette started, but her speech was cut off by Remus, who knew she was about to go into a long exposition about Nymphadora’s resemblance to Brenna.
“Nymphadora is a sweet child...she reminds me of Brenna. And...that’s a good thing.”
But Remus let the subject go there, not wanting to dwell on the fact that Brenna was no longer with him. Lovette watched her friend as he looked up at the night sky and smiled, knowing what he was thinking...
She still is here.
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