Chapter 7 : It's Time
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“Remus?” said Arthur rubbing the back of his head, “are you alright?”
Lupin turned to face him, “They’ve got Harry!”
“I know,” replied Arthur grimly. He wouldn’t meet Lupin’s eyes, instead he bent down beside the twins.
Lupin pushed aside an over turned chair to find Kingsley lying there on the floor. Lupin checked his pulse. He was still alive.
“Ennervate,” he whispered and Kingsley’s eyes opened. “By Merlin! How did you get out of that one?”
“The Death Eaters disapparated,” replied Lupin the ghost of their last words still haunting him.
“Why?” asked Kingsley. It was strange that the Death Eaters would leave the battle when they were clearly winning. Another few minutes and they could have finished everyone off.
“The last thing I heard them say was ‘We’ve got Potter!’”
“They’ve got Harry?” gasped Kingsley.
Arthur came over followed by the twins. All three of them bared the signs of the recent battle though thankfully it looked like no lasting damage had been done.
“Listen we have to get out of here!” said Arthur casting nervous looks around the room as though he expected the Death Eaters to appear any minute.
“Prime Minister?” Kingsley called.
All five of them heard a muffled groan coming from nearby. They pushed aside the debris and found him lying on the ground under the window. Kingsley removed the Disillusionment Charm and heaved him to his feet. He looked shaken but other than that he appeared to be fine.
“Wh - what happened to to -” he asked.
“They are gone for the moment,” explained Kingsley, “I suggest you take a good long holiday, Prime Minister, preferably some where remote.”
“T - thank you,” stammered the Prime Minister, “if it hadn’t been…for all of you I - I don’t know what might have happened...”
Kingsley and Arthur stood back to back and waved their wands. The room repaired itself instantly and looked more or less the same way it had been when they entered. Lupin looked out the window. The sun was rising and casting a warm orange glow through the shattered glass.
“Tell Tonks we are sorry. I hope she isn’t worrying too much,” said Arthur.
Then all those thoughts about Tonks that Lupin had put to the back of his mind came to the fore again and he turned on the spot and disapparated.
“Remus!” gasped Tonks as she flung her arms around him the second he came in the front door.
He struggled under her weight obviously he had broken a good many bones in the battle. His nose throbbed as it continued to bleed freely. Tonks held him out at arms length, running her eyes over his many wounds and scars.
He walked into the sitting room and collapsed onto the couch. Everything hurt.
“Mum! Quick! Remus is hurt!” Tonks shouted and Lupin heard Andromeda coming down the stairs.
Both women fussed over him, cleaning up the blood and stitching up his wounds. He didn’t complain. As it turned out he had broken six of his ribs, his nose and his wrist. That was bad enough without mentioning the countless other cuts and bruises he had.
“What on earth happened? I didn’t expect you back so late! I was so worried!” said Tonks
Lupin jumped suddenly to his feet.
“They’ve got Harry!”
“Whose got Harry?” said Tonks confused by his sudden out burst.
“The Death Eaters!” replied Lupin, “Aberforth sent word that they were going after the Muggle Prime Minister so we were at Downing Street fighting. Then one of them said ‘We’ve got Potter!’ and they all disapparated.”
Lupin spent hours pacing up and down the living room his thoughts on Harry and whether or not he was alive.
“Remus, I think you should lie down for a bit. You’ve been up all night!” suggested Tonks.
“No,” said Lupin as he continued his pacing. He was agitated and restless. He could not stay still. He had not slept in a long while.
Where was Harry now? Was he already dead? Were they torturing him? Had Voldemort gotten to him yet? They say that he was abroad but how long would it take him to get back? For something important he could be back in seconds.
Lupin had the Wizarding Wireless Network News on all the time. So all that could be heard was the dreary voice of the boring radio host who was currently telling the world that everything was OK. Lupin listened to it as he paced the sitting room. He knew that if Harry were dead then it would be all over the news.
“Remus please eat something,” pleaded Tonks.
But Lupin continued his pacing as if she had said nothing. He then went and sat down in the armchair and then got up a moment later and continued pacing. He kept fidgeting. Tonks had never seen him like this before and it worried her.
“Remus,” said Tonks gently taking his hand trying to get him to stand still for a moment. “Remus, Harry is alive. I know he is.”
Lupin looked at her. Her eyes were swelling with pity. She was worried about him. It was then that he realised that he was being selfish. He was worrying her unnecessarily. The baby was due in about two weeks and she should be resting but she couldn’t because of the way he was acting.
“I’m sorry Dora,” he replied sitting down, “I’m just worried about Harry. I’m sorry if I’ve been upsetting you.”
“I’m fine Remus, honestly, now please eat something.”
The days crept by and there was still no news on Harry. Molly and Arthur had to move everyone out of The Burrow and into Auntie Muriel’s as the Death Eaters knew that Ron was on the run with Harry now instead of at home with spattergroit. They had also taken Ginny out of Hogwarts, as they believed that she could be the Death Eaters’ next target.
Molly and Arthur were also worried about Ron, all the Weasleys were. If the Death Eaters had indeed got Harry that means that they had taken Ron and Hermione as well. Lupin still checked the Daily Prophet everyday for any sign of them but never found anything.
They had heard nothing until one evening in April. There was a knock at the door and Lupin drew his wand.
“Who is it?”
“It’s me! Kingsley!” was the reply but Lupin didn’t move. “The last words Albus Dumbledore said to the two of us, Remus, were ‘Harry is the best hope we have. Trust him.’”
Lupin opened the door and it was indeed Kingsley facing him.
“I have good news!” he said finally.
He brought Kingsley into the sitting room and they sat down. Andromeda was sitting in the armchair staring absentmindedly at the ceiling.
“How are you doing?” asked Kingsley kindly.
“Much better thank you,” she replied but she still seemed to be daydreaming.
Kingsley turned to Lupin, “I’ve just been to see Aberforth. Harry escaped!”
“He did? Tell me everything,” said Lupin feeling relived at the news.
Kingsley sat down and took the bottle of butterbeer that Andromeda offered him.
“Well as it turned out a group of Snatchers picked up the three of them. It seems that they had fallen victim to the Taboo. Anyway the Snatchers took the three of them to the Malfoy Mansion. That’s where the Death Eaters have their headquarters. Oddly enough, Harry some how managed to contact Aberforth using Sirius’s enchanted mirror.”
Lupin smiled at this as he remembered how James and Sirius used to use that mirror to talk to each other when they had been placed in separate detentions at Hogwarts.
“So Aberforth sent a house elf to rescue them,” Kingsley continued on, “but he heard nothing back for a while until last night. He over heard the Death Eaters talking. They said that Harry and his two accomplices escaped along with several prisoners. Apparently You-Know-Who was furious!”
A huge relief descended down upon Lupin now. The tightness in his chest was easing off. He placed his head between his knees and breathed deeply for a moment. He felt as if a huge weight had been taken off his shoulders. For the first time in weeks he began to feel tired. He was worrying so much that he had forgotten that he hadn’t been sleeping properly.
“You have to tell Molly and Arthur,” said Lupin.
“They already know,” replied Kingsley, “Bill told them, a while back actually.”
“What?” cried Lupin in indignation. “Why didn’t anyone think to tell us?”
“With the move to Muriel’s and being hunted by Death Eaters the Weasleys weren’t exactly able to send an owl or come and visit were they?”
Lupin was still angry. Arthur or Molly or Bill could have at least sent him a message via patronus. He had been worrying for days about Harry, and during all that time they had known he was safe.
“I think we should do a Potterwatch broadcast,” Kingsley continued, “We should tell everyone that Harry is safe.”
Lupin knew that it was his duty to do that but he was tired and he did not want to leave Tonks right now. Then again Kingsley couldn’t do a broadcast by himself.
“There’s something else as well,” began Kingsley, “Pettigrew is dead.”
Lupin didn’t know how he felt about this. Finally after all these years James and Lily had been avenged. Justice had been served. However Lupin felt neither happier nor sadder at this news. He knew killing Peter would not bring James back but in some small way he half expected it to.
Furthermore he was now the last marauder. When they were at Hogwarts together they said they would be together forever and would die side by side in some glorious battle but now Lupin, Moony was the last one left. Why him? Why was he the last one? What was so special about him? Well if it hadn’t been for him and his condition there probably wouldn’t have been any marauders in the first place. Even still was there some reason why he got left behind?
“Remus?” said Kingsley staring at him in a strange way. Apparently Lupin had been daydreaming for the last few minutes.
“Wait here,” he replied, “I’m just going to check on Tonks and see how she is doing.”
He headed out of the sitting room and up the stairs, his mind still on the four marauders. He knocked on the door and entered. Tonks was in bed reading Quidditch Through The Ages.
“Wotcher Remus!” she said happily.
“How are you doing?” he asked as he walked over to her.
“Me? I’m fine,” she replied beaming at him.
“Listen Dora, Kingsley is down stairs and he was talking to Aberforth and Harry did escape from the Death Eaters! You-Know-Who never even got a chance to touch him!”
“What did I tell you Remus?” she said smiling at him, “there isn’t a witch or wizard alive that can catch Harry Potter!”
Lupin smiled at this then the phrase he moves faster than Severus Snape confronted with shampoo entered his mind.
“What about Ron and Hermione? Are they OK?”
“Yes. They're fine too. They are with Harry,” Lupin replied before adding, “Is it alright if I go out for an hour to do a broadcast? If you want me to stay here with you I will. You come first, everything else can wait.”
“Is Kingsley going to have to do this broadcast alone if you don’t come?” she enquired.
“Yes,” said Lupin though he felt a little strange once he had answered that question. It was almost as if he was a kid again and he was asking if he could go outside and play.
“You go with him Remus. I don’t think it’s a good idea for him to do a broadcast by himself.”
Then seeing the look on Lupin’s face she added, “Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine, mum’s here and everything. Just hurry back won’t you?”
“I will of course!” replied Lupin kissing her on the cheek. “How’s our baby doing?”
“Oh, the baby is fine,” said Tonks beaming at him.
Lupin hugged her goodbye and kissed her again before heading back downstairs to Kingsley.
“I’m sorry about this, Remus. I wouldn’t ask you what with the baby due soon but I can’t do a broadcast by myself and I have no idea where Lee has gotten to and it’s not safe for the twins to leave Muriel’s.”
With that the two men walked out into the garden.
“Do we have a location?” asked Lupin.
“Well my former Muggle neighbours are on holiday. I was thinking at we could use their house,” suggested Kingsley.
“Sounds good,” replied Lupin, “but it’ll have to be a short broadcast. I don’t like leaving Tonks for too long.”
Lupin now found himself facing a large red-bricked Muggle house. The two walked up the driveway casting the usual protective enchantments. Kingsley placed a Freezing Charm on the alarm system and they went inside.
The place was spotlessly clean and nothing was out of place. Photographs lined the walls but none of the people in them were moving. Each was staring at him with the same cheesy smile on their face. There was something creepy about them. Lupin didn’t know how the Muggles could stick staring at exactly the same picture every day.
They moved into the kitchen. It was too clean for Lupin’s liking and a strong smell of lemons lingered in the air. All the strange Muggle electric contraptions were gleaming at him giving the room a sort of alien look.
“Have you got the equipment?” asked Lupin.
“Yes I do. But I am going to need your help setting it up. I still can’t work out where some of the wires go.”
So the two of them spent the next three-quarters of an hour fiddling around with switches and wires. Arthur had suggested that it would be best to go all Muggle. The whole thing ran on electricity not magic so it would be much harder for the Death Eaters to trace it.
Finally after a lot of tweaking the controls and several burnt fingers they were up and running.
“Good evening listeners,” said Kingsley, “unfortunately River was unable to make it tonight but I am here with Romulus to bring you a special report on the Boy Who Lived, The Chosen One, Harry Potter! I will now hand you over to Romulus with the details.”
“Thanks Royal!” replied Lupin, “well listeners over the past few weeks there have been rumours flying around that Harry Potter was captured and murdered by Death Eaters. We can tell you now listeners that these rumours are false. We have just received word from members of the Order of the Phoenix that Harry Potter was indeed captured by Death Eaters but he escaped and I for one personally believe that it would take more than a couple of Death Eaters to stop Harry Potter, wouldn’t you agree, Royal?”
“I do of course, Romulus. I doubt if even the Chief Death Eater himself could stop The Boy Who Lived. After all Harry Potter has fought him on a number of occasions and has always come out on top!”
“You’re dead right there Royal! Well that’s all the news we have for the moment listeners,” said Lupin. He wanted to end this quickly so he could get back to Tonks.
“We don’t know when we will be on the air again but you can be sure that next time River will be joining us once again. So for now keep twiddling those dials: the next password will be Fawkes. Look out for one another. Don’t give up hope. Good night.”
Kingsley turned off the broadcasting system and began to dismantle it. But then he stopped and pulled two butterbeers out of his cloak. He handed one to Lupin and then raised his own in the air.
“To Harry Potter!” he said and Lupin copied him.
Lupin took a sip from the butterbeer and then put it down. He folded his arms on the table and rested his head on them. He just needed a moment to think. He felt worn out, drained and absolutely exhausted. Everything seemed to be reaching breaking point. He worried constantly about Tonks and when he was not worrying about her he was worrying about Harry. Lupin felt older than he actually was. He just longed for this war to be over. He did not want his child growing up in a world like this.
“How’s Tonks doing?” asked Kingsley.
“Tonks? She’s fine. She went to see a Healer last week. He said that the baby is nice and healthy, should be born any day now -” He broke off, something silver was running towards them. Suddenly a patronus burst into the room and landed right in front of Lupin as it materialised into a large silver wolf. Then Tonks’s soft voice whispered to him.
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