Chapter 51 : The Last
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Disclaimer: Nah, I don’t own anything…except what you do not recognize. So, the one original character I have left…and the plot here.
This one…it’s interesting, that’s all I’ll say…for now.
FIVE MONTHS LATER
“Hey Lily! Come here!”
Lily had been putting together a salad to accompany dinner when James’ voice had rung out.
She dropped her utensils and headed up the stairs to the nursery.
Harry had grown spectacularly over the last five months. He already had a black tuft of hair that was proving to be as messy as James’ His eyes, however, had been blue at birth, just like all Caucasian babies, but as time elapsed, they turned to a deep, forest green, mirroring his mother’s.
“What is it?” she asked. “What’s wrong?”
James reached down into the crib where Harry was lying, and tickled the sides of his stomach with his fingertips.
Harry let out a gurgling squeal and chortled with laugher, looping his small hands around his father’ fingers in an attempt to push him off. When he did not succeed, he kicked his legs bicycle style and giggled some more.
James laughed, drew back his hands, and turned to face Lily. “Did you hear that? His laugh sounds just like yours.”
Lily grinned and picked up her baby boy. “Does he really?”
The couple had adjusted to parenthood nicely. Their child was their first and only priority. James found himself just sitting in the nursery, watching his little boy sleep. There was something oddly peaceful in his even breathing. It seemed to calm his thoughts.
James and Lily looked up to see Sirius and Emma standing gin the doorway, hand in hand.
“Is it all right we dropped by?” asked Emma.
Sirius walked forward. “All right, let me say hello to my Godson.” He took Harry out of Lily’s arms and nuzzled him with his stubbly chin. “My God, this boy is starting to look an awful lot like his papa.”
Lily smiled. “Yes he is.” She paused, and then said. “Why don’t we all go downstairs.”
After reaching the first landing Lily placed Harry in his highchair and pulled on her apron.
“So, how’re the wedding plans going?” she asked.
Emma grinned. “Perfectly. We’re thinking early April.”
“It’ll be beautiful then,” remarked Lily.
Before Sirius could agree, the back door slammed open and Emmeline Vance and Hestia Jones ran through.
“We’ve been sent to tell you of another attack, a big one,” said Emmeline, gasping for air. “They say half of the Death Eaters are there…and possibly You-Know-Who himself.”
“Where is it?” asked James, alarmed. “What’s the circumstance?”
“A family is having a get together. A boy is celebrating his eighteenth birthday. His family’s with him…and his friends and neighbors. It’s a madhouse.”
Something familiar clicked in Emma’s head. But no, it couldn’t be…just a coincidence. But she had to make sure. “Whose birthday is it?”
Hestia looked oddly flushed. “Um…the boy is Tyler Shalet.”
Emma gasped. “I’m going.”
Sirius reached out his hand grabbed her around the arm. “No you’re not. Half the Death Eaters are there!”
She wrenched her arm out of his grip. “Yes I am, Sirius! That’s my family! I’m not doing to sit back and do nothing.”
“But you could be killed,” cried Sirius. “I’m sure your family can handle itself.”
Emma glared at him. “Just because you don’t care about your family doesn’t mean I don’t care about mine.” She disapparated.
There was an uneasy silence after she left. James and Lily were both looking at the ugly look on Sirius’ face, afraid of what he was going to do.
Then he said in a low voice, “I’m going too.” He followed Emma’s lead, turned, and vanished.
Lily looked up to see James throwing on a cloak and stuffing his wand in his pocket.
“You’re not going too!” she cried.
“I have to! I can’t let Sirius just go into open battle like that…especially when he’s angry.”
“What about Harry?”
James paused. “Look, Lily, you have to stay with him. I’ll be fine. Love you.”
He kissed both his wife and son.
Then he clasped hands with Hestia and Emmeline. They all disapparated, leaving Lily standing alone.
She took a deep breath and turned towards Harry. “Everything’s going to be fine. Daddy will be home soon…”
She seemed to be talking more to herself, for the baby just gurgled happily.
Lily then set forth cooking, trying to calm her thoughts. “They’ll all be home soon.
James, Sirius, and Emma. And we’ll all have supper together. Won’t that be fun? And pretty soon, Emma and Sirius will be married. I won’t be surprised if they make you the ring bearer.”
Harry gurgled again and began banging two spoons together.
Lily was tugging them away from her son when the door opened once more. It was Remus and Peter, both of them ashen faced.
“Moody said something about an attack,” said Peter. “Said to come here for information. The entire Order has gone to fight…and half the aurors in office are there.”
Lily frowned. “I was told that half of Voldemort’s Death Eaters are at Emma’s parent’s house.”
“Emma’s parents?” repeated Remus, looking confused.
Lily nodded. “They were having a really big party that apparently was crashed. So…Emma, Sirius, and James are already there.” Her voice shook with the last sentence. “And I have no idea what’s going on! How do they expect me to stay here when they all go to fight?”
She turned to Remus and asked bitterly. “And I suppose you two are going too?”
Remus nodded gravely, but Peter shook his head.
“I’m supposed to stay here,” he said nervously.
Lily took a step back. “Peter…I know it’s a lot to ask…but will you stay here and look after Harry? Just until I get back. It’s killing me not being there.”
“Sure, I’ll watch him.”
But Remus looked unsure. “I don’t know, Lily. James would kill us if we let you go.”
“It’s not his decision. I’m not going to sit here and do nothing.”
Remus bit his lip. “All right, but promise me that If things get too dangerous, you’ll come back here…for Harry’s sake.”
Lily understood what he was implying, and nodded her head.
She turned back to Peter. “Thank you so much!”
She kissed Harry, then grasped Remus’ hand, and turned into the darkness once more, leaving her son behind.
The battle was in full swing when they arrived crouched at the bottom of the hill.
About a hundred meters ahead of them, a tall, three story house stood, part of one side blasted away, as jets of red and green lights flashed from inside.
“You sure you want to go in?” asked Remus.
Lily, slightly paler than usual, nodded again. “You reckon we should you disillusionment charms?”
They took turns cracking each other over the head with the tips of their wand, and shivering as the coldness trickled down their bodies. They now blended in with their surrounding perfectly.
“They’ll probably still be able to sort of see us…but they’ll have difficulty recognizing who we are.”
“But then we might get hit by the good guys!”
“Shield charms on the ready. Let’s just use the charm until we get into the house. So they can’t attack us form afar.”
And together they set off up the grassy slope, slipping and sliding over the weeds and flowers.
The scene before them was utter chaos.
There were Death Eaters every which way. Some had masks, while most had lost them during the fight.
Lily caught a glimpse of Sirius and James running side by side, both dueling Dolohov.
Lily was instantly relieved to see that her husband was alive.
She let Remus drag her into a corner, where they removed their disillusionment charms.
“You ready?” he asked.
“Be careful. James will murder me personally if anything happens to you.”
“He worries too much.”
They ran their separate ways.
Emma was upstairs. She had been in the house for half an hour, and she had not seen any of her family anywhere. She knew they were around. Her brothers were not the type to abandon family.
Emma was confused as to why she was even there. She had always been an outcast in her family. Her four brothers had always gotten the higher praises. She had not even been invited to Tyler’s eighteenth birthday part. He must have graduated Durmstrang the previous summer.
However shunned she was from her family, she knew she had to come back to fight. She would have it no other way.
She ducked into a nearby alcove as she saw Rodolphus Lestrange walking down the hallway accompanied by Lucius Malfoy.
“So how is Draco doing?” Rodolphus was asking. “Four months now? Narcissa must be so proud.”
Lucius Malfoy muttered something that she couldn’t hear.
She was slightly appalled. They were talking about family while killing people?
She aimed her wand carefully and then cried. “Stupefy.” It caught Rodolphus Lestrange right between the shoulder blades. Lucius Malfoy whirled around, but he was too late, for he also crumpled under Emma’s spell.
Emma continued slowly down the hall, looking carefully into each room as she passed.
Then, someone put his hand over her mount and yanked her into an unaccompanied room. She tried to scream, but there was too much pressure.
Then, the grip loosened. “Emma?”
Emma looked up. “Tyler?”
It was her younger brother. His T-shirt was ripped and he was bleeding from a gash on his forehead.
“What are you doing here?” he asked
“You think I’d abandon my own family?” she spat, looking disgruntled. She knew they had little time together so she cut to the chase. “Why are the Death Eaters after you guys?”
Tyler frowned, his blue eyes flashing. “That creep thought just because I went to Durmstrang I wanted to be a Death Eater.”
Emma didn’t have to ask who the ‘creep’ was. “You refused and he got mad?”
“Something like that. I don’t think his Death Eaters realized that there would be so many of us. That’s why they called for reinforcement.”
“And now we have a full-fledged battle,” finished Emma. “Are those your guests downstairs?”
Tyler shrugged. “Some of them disappeared…but yeah, about half of them are fighting.”
“Where are mum and dad…and David, Charles, and Brian?”
“Fighting somewhere. David couldn’t make the party, but he showed up as soon as he heard about the battle.”
“Well, that’s what you did, too, right?”
Emma rolled her eyes and nodded.
There was a crash as the door flung open and Sirius and Lily stumbled in.
“What’s going on?” asked Lily.
“What’re you doing here, Lily?” cried Emma. “Where’s Harry?”
“Peter’s watching him.”
Tyler frowned and turned to Sirius. “Who are you?”
Sirius scowled. “Your soon to be brother-in-law.”
Lily cut them off. “Look, Voldemort’s brought more reinforcements. Fenrir Greyback, Rodolphus Lestrange’s wife, Bellatrix, Macnair, the Carrows…and I think he is here too, for sure.”
Emma’s face lost color. “Alright, let’s go.”
Emma walked with Sirius as the four of them left the room. “I’m sorry about what I said. It was wrong…and cruel.”
He looked at her. “It’s alright…your were right anyways.”
“It was still bad of me to say that.”
Sirius grinned. “It’s okay. Look, I want to show you something after the battle. Will you wait for me?”
Emma looked curious. “What is it?”
“A surprise. So will you wait?”
She grinned and took hold of his hand. “ I will wait for you.”
When they reached the bottom floor again they found out that the battle had only gotten more hectic. All four of them ducked out of sight as a set of stunners flew through flew through the air towards their heads.
“Close one,” yelled a man running by.
“David!” cried Emma. “You’re here!”
David Shalet was the oldest of the family. At twenty-eight. He stood over six feet tall and looked rather intimidating while holding a wand.
“Yeah,” he said. “So are you, Sis.”
They both lunged to the side as two more spells came their way.
Meanwhile, Lily and Frank were both dueling Macnair, who seemed to not only be strong with the axe, but with a wand too.
There was a blinding flash of light and both Lily and Frank were knocked backwards off their feet.
James watched in shock as his wife was blasted onto her back. He ran forward and put Macnair in a full body bind. He ran over and pulled Lily to her feet, deflecting a curse at the same time. “What are you doing here!? What happened to Harry!?”
Lily forced both their heads down as a killing curse spun by and dragged him to a more secluded area. “Peter’s back at the house watching him. I couldn’t stand not knowing what was happening. Harry’ll be fine.”
“No, Lily, you’ve got to go back! It’s dangerous—,”
“I know it’s dangerous!” she yelled over the noise. “And don’t you bloody dare tell me that I can’t be here. I have a right to fight!”
“Not when my son is at home alone!”
“He’s with Peter! And if you’re so worried, then you go back!”
He scowled, and Lily knew he wasn’t going anywhere.
There was as a deafening crack overhead and the nit of ceiling they were standing under caved in.
Both Lily and James jumped in opposite directions.
Lord Voldemort had joined the fray. He was sending curses and jinxes every which way he could reach.
His back was to James.
James ran up behind the man that called himself ‘Lord’ and pointed his want carefully trying to think of the right spell.
Before he could do anything, though, there was a great shout of, “Expelliarmus!”
James felt his wand fly out of his hand and out of sight. It had been Lucius Malfoy. But when James turned around, Malfoy was gone. That was definitely not good. He was in the middle of a raging attack with no wand.
A ways away he saw Sirius and a man he recognized as one of Emma’s brothers fighting the Carrows.
Then, Voldemort who had his back to James, pointed his want at Sirius’s back as he continued to fight, oblivious to the fact that he was a new target.
James didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t disarm Voldemort without a wand…or could he?
James did the first thing that occurred to him.
He pushed off the ground and caught Voldemort in a flying tackle. It was probably one of the stupidest things he had ever done, but it worked. Sirius was no longer in danger.
But as for James…Lord Voldemort did not take kindly to people who grabbed him around the waist and pulled him to the ground.
There was a scream of fury, a flash of blue light, and James was soaring threw the air.
The next thing he knew he was being forced into a sitting position.
“Thank God you woke up. Lily would kill me if you didn’t.” It was Remus.
“How long have I been out?” asked James groggily.
“Only a few minutes. You sort of slammed against the wall and lost consciousness. Oh, and I got your wand.”
James took the thin piece of wood and stood up, slightly unsteadily. “Thanks Moony.
You think this battle’s going to let up soon?”
“Well… Dumbledore just got here…so maybe.”
They ran in the opposite directions as a killing curse spiraled ahead of them. About ten feet away from James there was a loud ‘thud’ and a scream.
Emma came running past James over the fallen body. She turned him over to reveal her eldest brother, David.
“NO! David, David…wake up!! Ennervate! Ennervate!” But her spell did nothing except singe his shirt where her wand touched it.
Suddenly there was a great roar of “Reducto!” and the wall above Emma and her brother’s corpse crumbled away, burying both of them.
“No!” James yelled, running forward. He began throwing chunks of stone and rubble out of the way, trying to find Emma’s body.
He was not going to let her die this way. He had to get her! He rubbed his hands raw pushing the concrete out of the way.
Then it hit him to use his wand. The spell he chose pushed all the debris out of the way.
James rushed forward and dragged Emma’s body out of the dust and out of the way.
She seemed to be breathing but very shallowly.
James put the tip of his want on her chest and said, “Ennervate.”
Her eyelids fluttered open and she tried to sit up. “God, my head hurts…”
Before James could respond, there was a cry of, “They’re pulling back!”
It was Kingsley Shacklebolt.
And it seemed to be true. The Death Eaters were recognizing their losses and scampering.
But that didn’t stop them from yelling last minute curses as they went.
Directly in front of James and Emma, there was one last couple dueling. It was Bellatrix Lestrange against Surgis Podmore. The two of them danced and whirled, dodging each other’s spells.
James tried to pull Emma out of range of the duelers, but he paused in the process when he saw Surgis stumble. Bellatrix took advantage of this fact and suddenly a bright flash of green light that issued from her wand blinded all of them. There was a great rushing sound and James knew the worst was coming for Surgis.
When the light had cleared away the first thing he saw was Bellatrix running towards the exit and disapparating like the rest of her comrades. And then there was Surgis Podmore getting to his feet. James stared in shock. He must’ve dived out of the way at the last second, dodging the killing curse. It was miraculous.
“Did you see that, Emma? He d—,”
James looked down at Emma and let out a strangled gasp. Her eyes were wide open and glassy, staring off into nothingness.
It seemed that Bellatrix’s curse had found a target.
James got down to his knees and lifted up one limp hand, shaking it.
There was no response.
“Emma?” he whispered. “Emma? Come on. No time for jokes. Sirius is going to be here any moment…” But her head just rolled to the side.
There was a scream and James looked up to see Lily running towards them, her eyes already filling up with tears.
But she was outstripped by Sirius, who reached Emma’s side first.
He cradled her head in his lap and held one of her icy hands in his own.
“Who did this?” whispered Lily.
James swallowed the lump in his throat. “I-It was B-Bellatrix.”
Now other people were coming. Remus, Frank, Alice, Emmeline. They all stood in a mourning silence behind Emma.
Sirius sat there staring down at the woman who had almost walked down the alter towards him.
“You said you’d wait for me.”
Sirius and James sat side by side in the folding chairs.
Emma’s funeral was being combined with her brother, David. They would be buried together in the family tomb.
Sirius started stared straight ahead. He had hardly uttered a word since the battle two days ago. And James did not blame him. No one had said too much. James had spent most of the first night comforting Lily as she cried on his shoulder.
Emma’s passing had made them all hit rock bottom. It made them all realize that no one was safe.
It had hit Sirius the second time, just because now he knew it was real. The first there had been the small doubt. A doubt that she was really dead. But now…her body was evidence enough. She had looked so beautiful, even in death.
Lily stood up from where she had been sitting. It had been requested that she talk about Emma, followed by Tyler speaking on David.
Lily managed to remain fairly steady as she took place in front of the podium. The whole of the Shalet family had taken up the first two rows. They had lost two member of their clan family on the same day—their eldest son and only daughter.
Sirius was directly behind them, James on one side and Remus and Peter the other.
Lily looked down at them all, a new wave of tears replacing the old ones. She closed her eyes for a moment, and when she opened them again, she seemed to have better composure over herself.
She opened her mouth, but nothing came out.
She waited a few seconds and then tried again. “I-I don’t want to pretend that I knew Emma the best. There are people in this room that probably knew her better than she knew herself.” Her gaze lingered on Sirius’s bowed head. He would not look up. “But I do know,” Lily continued, “that she would not want us to stop the world because of her. She wouldn’t want us to spend a year of mourning her. She’d want us to continue living and having fun…because that was the kind of person she was. Self-less and modest…never wanted to impose. I can see her looking down at us and saying, ‘They should go home.’
“But we’re here to pay our respects to Emma Shalet, one of the best friends I ever had, I’ve known her since we were eleven years old. I’ll be twenty-one in about a month…so nearly ten years.
“We shared a dorm room at Hogwarts, so she was with me through everything. She was a brave fighter. She was captured by Voldemort several years ago…and managed to escape. It seems that this time she wasn’t lucky,” Lily muttered bitterly.
She looked down over at where her friends were sitting. James was smiling at her encouragingly, Harry sitting on his lap. Behind the Marauders sat Frank and Alice, their son, Neville, was also with them.
Peter and Remus were both staring straight ahead, sorrow was clearly written all over their faces. Sirius was still looking at the floor, his face pale and emotion less.
“We’re all going to miss her…a lot.” She paused. “I don’t know what I’m going to do if I lose any more of you guys,” she whispered, stepping off the stage to join her husband.
As she sat down, Sirius turned to face her and finally spoke, “Thank you Lily.”
She gave him a sad smile and squeezed his hand. “I’m sorry she had to go.”
He squeezed back. “Me too.”
A/N: Ahhhhhdfslskjdf, it’s so sad! I’m really really sorry. Truly, honestly…and I know a lot of you saw it coming.
Okay, back when I wrote this…I was really rushed…and I didn’t include too much about when Emma was gone…and Sirius’ reaction—unlike when Emma left the first time. So, about a week ago, I devised a one-shot/song fiction that takes care of that. I just posted it. It’s called Endless…and if you want some more…go there and check it out and review.
Anyways, thanks so much for the reviews last chapter. You rock!
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