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Chapter 1 : Legacy of the Marauders
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Legacy of the Marauders
Remus stumbled into the small bedroom, his heart hammering against his chest. He didn’t know why he felt this way- why he felt this sudden panic. He should have seen it coming- he should have seen it coming for a long time. Perhaps he had always known deep down that it would come to this. Perhaps he had known since that dreadful night- the night that started it all.
His throat felt dry, and beads of sweat were beginning to appear on his upper lip. Why the panic, he did not know. There was nothing to fear, no deadly consequences. For the first time since receiving the news, Remus paused, realizing that he didn’t have to do anything. What was the point? A silly schoolboy dream, that’s all he was continuing. What did any of this have to do with the war, with Voldemort?
Remus took a deep breath and closed his eyes; because, really, it had everything to do with Voldemort.
He gazed around the cramped room, which looked much as it had back in the summer of 1977- when four teenage boys had grouped around in a small circle on the floor, and made a promise. And Remus could not break that promise now- not after everything.
He remembered that day as one remembered a distant dream. It was ever present, yet hazy, and it carried the feeling of maddening importance, the feeling that it meant something that you had yet to figure out. Though there were some bits that were clearer than others- that stood out vividly in Remus’ mind. He supposed his self-consciousness had savored them, knowing how important they would be later on, however insignificant or worthless at the time.
“Why do we have to do this?” Peter had asked, leaning back on his fat little hands. “What’s the point, if we can just tell everyone what happened?”
James shook his head at the boy, his hair ruffled and his glasses slightly askew.
“But that’s the point, Wormy!” he said impatiently. “Someday we won’t be here to tell everyone. So we need to keep it like this, in writing.”
“I thought we only agreed to write in that stupid thing if we got to burn it at the end of our seventh year?” said Sirius lazily as he stretched back on the carpeted floor. “What happened to that plan?” James looked at him in disbelief.
“You want to burn it?” He repeated. “After seven years of groaning and grumbling, of hard labor and risking our lives and our manhood, you want to burn it?” Sirius sat up, looking a bit sheepish.
“Well, when you put it like that-”
“So what exactly are we doing again?” asked Remus warily. James pushed his glasses further up the bridge of his nose and held out the book in his hands.
“We’re going to hide it.” He said, and everyone looked at the tattered thing, with the words Legacy of the Marauders printed on the front in neat, lettered hand-writing- courtesy of Remus.
“Why do we need to hide it?” asked Sirius as he scratched his cheek indifferently. James scowled at him.
“It makes it more dramatic.” He snapped. “Now-” He cleared his throat. “We’ll have to find a safe place to put it, somewhere where no one will find it, and we can easily access it. Anyone have any ideas?” He looked like a young professor, eager to teach a not-so-enthusiastic class.
“Shrieking Shack?” Remus supplied, tracing the pattern on the rug with his finger.
“Why can’t we just stash it here?” asked Sirius. “Then we can hide it and go and get something to eat- I’m starving.” Everyone turned to James.
“Alright-” he said grudgingly. “We’ll hide it here.” Sirius let out an obvious sigh of relief and Remus rolled his eyes and tried to think of a place to hide the book.
“There’s a loose floorboard under my bed.” He offered at last, when everyone looked at him expectantly. James looked at him incredulously.
“This is the Legacy of the Marauders, Remus! It has daily entries written in everlasting ink for every day since January of our first year! We can’t shove it under a-” Sirius grabbed the book out of James’ hands, leaned over, yanked up the floorboard, and chucked the book in the crack, pounding the board back into place with his fist.
“There.” He said as he pretended to dust off his hands. “Problem solved.” James looked at him in disbelief.
“So, er, when are we going to take this book out of hiding, exactly?” Remus asked before James could get carted off to Azkaban for murder. The distraction worked, for James turned to him, looking excited to be talking about his plan.
“When everyone but one of us is dead!” There was a pause.
“Well that’s not morbid thinking at all.” Sirius said sarcastically as he leaned back onto the floor. “Are you planning on murdering us in our sleep or selling us out to Voldemort?” James laughed and Peter shifted where he sat.
“No, you know- there is a war going on, and you never know what’s going to happen…” There was a silence as everyone seemed to be thinking about the dark future that was spreading out before them like a never-ending road of night.
“Shall we place bets while we’re at it?” Sirius asked cheerfully. “I say that James is going to be the first to go, with all his morbid thoughts…suicide! He’ll walk right up to Voldemort without his wand!” He let out a bark of laughter.
“Yes, Sirius,” Remus said jokingly. “And seeing as you’re finding the thought of his death so funny, I’m guessing you’ll get locked up for his murder- now can we please get on with this? This is our last summer together before we officially join the Order.” Everyone nodded and James spoke again.
“Alright, this is the agreement. If something should happen to the other three, the last Marauder standing must not let the Legacy die. He will come back here and take the journal and…” He paused and looked around.
“Well?” Sirius demanded. “Or haven’t you come up with anything dramatic enough?” James glared at him.
“Shall he give it to his son?” Remus suggested. “Or daughter…” He added as an after-thought.
“What if they don’t have one?” Peter asked, and Sirius laughed as he clapped him on the shoulder.
“What’s the matter Wormy? Don’t think anyone will reproduce with you? Well, you’d be right on, there…” Everyone laughed until James raised a hand for silence.
“If the Marauder in question does not have a child, then he will give it to the eldest of the Marauder, er, kin.” He finished lamely. Sirius rolled his eyes.
“Is that it?” asked Remus. “Can we go now?” Sirius stood up eagerly, but James motioned for him to sit back down.
“Not yet, we have to sign this first.” He pulled from his pocket a folded piece of paper and flattened it out and copied down everything that had just been decided.
“Now,” He said. “We sign.” James was the first to sign, followed by a reluctant Sirius, and backed up by Peter. When it reached Remus, he looked down at it for a moment, a flicker of meaning shadowing his mind, but it was gone the next instant. He signed his name at the very bottom, and looked at the completed parchment, ink still shining.
Remus continued to stare at the parchment, as he had done many years ago. The ink was now faded, and those happy days he had spent with this friends, that golden summer, seemed farther away than ever before. Remus didn’t feel the tear sliding down his cheek until it hit the parchment in his hands, the names of his friends crossed out, as if by a teasing hand, though really because of the spell James had cast on their signatures.
Remus wiped the tears from his face and set the parchment carefully on his bed, noting briefly that the order in which the names had been signed had been the order in which the Marauders had fallen. One by one, until Remus was the only one left.
He kneeled beside the bed and reached under. The floor was dusty- it had not been cleaned in weeks. Remus’ fingers fumbled with the crack in the floor, and it seemed like an eternity before he managed to pry it open. He reached into the space beneath the floor and felt around, his hand finally coming in contact with something solid.
He pulled out the Legacy of the Marauders, a feeling of numbness spreading throughout his body as he stared down at the cover. This idea of James’… it had seemed so stupid and pointless at the time- Remus finally appreciated it. He opened the book carefully, as if he might break the fragile connection he had found with the happy days of his years at Hogwarts. He turned to a random page. Remus recognized James’ writing almost immediately.
Not much happened today. I asked out Lily again, and she yelled at me. Yeah, I know, it’s normal- but she said something else too. She said that she hated me. Why does she hate me? I’ve never done anything to her. Well, I made fun of her on the train, and her entire first year, and the beginning of second, well, right up until I accidentally (I swear, it was an accident!) knocked her off her broom that one time. And, alright, I may constantly torture and humiliate one of her closest friends, and yes, I am friends with the bloke who broke her best friend’s heart, and I may have laughed at Alice Joyce’s clumsiness once or twice, and okay, I’m a bit egotistical and automatically assume that she is insane if she doesn’t like me, and I do get everything I want, and constantly annoy her and ask her out, and then try and blackmail her to get her to go on a date with me, and mercilessly attack her at random as we walk down the corridor to classes and try to snog her- but really… WHY DOES SHE HATE ME?
P.S. We’ll get married one day- you’ll see. And our kid will be one hell of a Quidditch player. (And good-looking, like me)
Remus couldn’t help but smile at the entry and flipped through some more pages, a warm feeling spreading in his chest that seemed to dispel the numbness. He was filled with a sort of happy glow as he read his old friends’ words, as if they were living on- inside of him.
Suddenly his eyes found a passage that he had written himself, at the very end of their first year. Remus remembered the day well enough without the journal. James, Sirius, and Peter had confronted him as he returned from a night in the Shack, and told him that they knew his secret. And instead of abandoning them, as he had thought they would, they stood by him- even helped him. And Remus had never felt more gratitude in his entire life.
My hands are shaking as I write this, and I don’t even know what I’m going to write. The others found out about my condition, and they aren’t going to abandon me! They aren’t afraid or disgusted by me! I couldn’t ask for a greater gift. They will never understand what they have done for me just by accepting me. I’m not even sure if I believe it. I don’t want to sleep for fear that when I wake up, it’ll all be a dream, and I’ll find they have left me. I can’t believe it- I have friends. Three of them! True friends that’ll stick by me no matter what, and I’ll do the same for them… I’d do anything for them. I will never forget what they have done for me.
Remus J. Lupin
Remus smiled to himself as he read the small entry that had been scribbled years ago by his excited little hand. He traced his signature with his finger and felt tears threaten to fall again. I’d do anything for them. And it was true. He would do whatever it took to avenge them- he paused- even Wormtail. He would kill the evil that corrupted him in the first place. Because friends stuck by each other no matter what.
“Remus, oh Remus, come quickly!” Remus’ head jerked up as he heard his mother-in-law’s frantic voice. He jumped up and strode to the door, pulling out his wand, ready for anything…
“Dora! Dora’s having her baby!”
Remus’ eyes widened as he met the frazzled witch in the hall and grabbed onto her. Together they turned into darkness, and Remus thought that he might just have one final entry to write before he gave the book to its rightful owner.
“Tonks!” Remus yelled as his opponent fell to the ground in a heap. “What are you doing!? Teddy-”
“Teddy’s fine! He’s with mom- look out!” Her wand was out, and she was immediately engaged in a duel with another faceless enemy. Remus wanted to help but he was faced with an enemy of his own, and could only edge backwards towards the spot where he knew she was fighting.
He finally managed to escape from his adversary and looked around to find Tonks kneeling beside the body of a younger girl, who appeared to be school age.
“Tonks, you have to go- you have to get out of here-” The temporary lull on the grounds was unnerving, the only sounds were the explosions and wandfire coming from the castle and near the greenhouses.
“I’m not going anywhere.” Tonks said angrily as she stood. Remus looked around nervously, the dreadful feeling of being watched upon him.
“Please! If anything ever happened to you, I’d never forgive my-”
“And how do you think I’d feel? Sitting around at home, waiting as others died fighting him- it’s what I do, isn’t it? It’s my job! And you know you could never ask me to be subject to that misery- you know what it’s like.” Remus knew that there was nothing but truth in her words. “I’m sticking by you, no matter what-”
There was a loud bang, and Remus’ world was blown apart. Pebbles and dirt rained down upon him, and he threw his hands over his head and heard Tonks’ scream. There was a flash of green light and a chilling laugh, and Remus was thrown onto the ground.
He lay still for a moment, and it was a while before he noticed the feel of another body lying against his. He sat up, head pounding, and looked down at Tonks, her glassy eyes staring without seeing, reflecting the small fire burning in the nearby bushes.
“No…” He moaned, pulling her into his arms and cradling her, trying to protect her from anything, everything… “No…” There was a cruel laugh from behind, and Remus turned to see Bellatrix and Dolohov standing there, crude grins on their faces.
The wand in Bellatrix’s hand was still pointed where Tonks lay, her eyes alight with elation and her features twisted into a look of wild delight. Remus could feel his anger pounding through his veins, and all he wanted was to rip that woman limb from him. He made to draw his wand, but Dolohov was faster, and took it out with a flourish, pointing it directly at Remus’ chest.
Remus could’ve tried- he could’ve tried to over-power the two deatheaters standing in front of him. He could’ve stormed into the battle-field in a terrible rage, cursing everything that ever dared to proclaim allegiance with Voldemort. But he couldn’t. He didn’t have the strength to leave Tonks, his only source of warmth in the dark labyrinth that was consuming him.
But even her body was beginning to lose heat, and Remus felt a surge of helplessness wash over him as he stared at Dolohov, waiting for the deadly blow. He gave up. He let out a sigh of relief and knew that death had crept from the corner, where it had been waiting for a long time- where it had been waiting all along. It came for him like it came after the rest- it came with hate, with cruelty- it came to tear the world apart.
Only this time it wasn’t only tearing- it was rejoining. Remus realized that the Marauders would once again tromp through the grounds together, talk and laugh, and just be… for the first time in sixteen years. The Marauders would be reunited at last. And the Legacy would not die- Remus had left the journal in plain sight with Andromeda. She would know what to do. Remus had fulfilled his duty, his obligation. He had accomplished what he had set out to do- what he had set out to do from the beginning.
“Kill him.” Bellatrix ordered. Remus knew what would happen next- Dolohov would point his wand and his lips would form the words that had killed so many, and Remus would be no more.
“Any last words, scum?” Bellatrix hissed. Remus looked up and smiled.
Yeah, I know- it’s not very good- and extremely short. But I was in a writing mood and felt like writing a quick one-shot just to get inspired for my other stories, and this one’s been floating around in my head since the release of Deathly Hallows, so I figured I’d better just get it out of the way- one less plot bunny cluttering my mind.
On an interesting note, I just wrote down a couple (a couple) of the plot bunnies that I’ve had bouncing around for the last couple of months (some, longer) and I’ve come to a total of twenty-three- and those are just the ones I’ve written down. Thanks for reading- please review!
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