Chapter 5 : Grief and Accusations
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Sirius meanwhile, had long since arrived back at his childhood home, which now served as Headquarters to the Order. He hesitated at the front door, simply because there were countless people in that house at this very moment, who would be shattered to learn of James’ death. What seemed like an eternity later, he raised a shaking hand and tentatively lifted the serpent-shaped doorknocker.
All at once, he found himself stepping over the threshold of the house without waiting for someone to answer the door. He couldn’t handle the overwhelming pain that came from standing there motionlessly, on his own. Unfortunately, the very first person he saw upon entering the house was the one he’d hoped to avoid until later: Jessica Parker, James’ closest childhood friend and the girl who had secretly loved him through their entire time at Hogwarts.
“There you are Sirius!” she exclaimed, apparently not noticing anything strange at first; “Albus issued a call to your Order coin ages ago, where have you been? Oh that’s right, you were probably checking on Lily and Ja-!” he clapped a hand over her mouth to stop the incessant chatter, Jessica was renowned for her big mouth, but he really wasn’t in the mood for it at the moment.
“Listen to me Jess! Voldemort attacked Godric’s Hollow and now James is dead!”
Jessica’s eyes widened as he let go of her. “No,” she moaned desperately; “No, not Jamie! Please Sirius, say it’s not true!” she pleaded as her eyes filled up.
He was suddenly beyond all reason; harshly he produced the body from behind him and asked angrily; “Does this look like a lie to you?” She took one look at the corpse and fled, sobbing agonizingly the entire time.
Almost as soon as she was out of sight, he cursed himself for being so heartless. Obviously he was upset at the loss of his best friend, but there had been no need for him to take his feelings out on Jessica, what had she ever done to him?
Feeling disgusted with himself, Sirius grabbed James’ corpse and dragged it into the living room where the rest of the Order was waiting. There was a collective gasp of dismay at the sight of the body, but Sirius’ eyes strayed directly to Jessica, she was sitting with her head resting on her elder sister Nora’s shoulder and weeping in clear distress.
Sirius scrutinized his own two feet in shame as Nora glowered at him, but she held back any insults she wanted to throw at him after one calming glance from her old headmaster’s electric blue eyes. Moments later, Remus got to his feet and approached Sirius, shaking him out of his guilty reverie; “Where are Lily and Harry?” he asked his friend gently, yet with an urgent edge to his voice.
Sirius shook his head in an effort to shake himself out of his current daze and answered vaguely; “Lily wanted to go to her sister for help. She’ll come soon!” Many of the Order members looked shocked at his revelation; they all knew that Petunia was a Muggle and that she strongly disliked her sister.
Before any of them could say a word however, there was a thud in the corridor, followed almost immediately by a child’s cries. Upon hearing the noises in the hallway, Sirius and Remus went to investigate, only to return moments later; Remus supporting Lily’s every step and Sirius carrying his wailing godson.
As soon as Remus let go of Lily, she collapsed on all fours and crawled over to her husband’s body. Fresh tears made their way steadily down her flushed cheeks as she leaned over James and tenderly wiped a trickle of blood from his face.
Brought out of her shock by Lily’s sobs, Jessica finally pulled out of her sister’s comforting embrace and joined her friend on the ground, the rest of the room could only look on in silence, as the two girls who had loved James the most, turned to each other for comfort.
“Lily?” a kindly, familiar voice said her name eventually, making Lily look up for the first time. It was Madam Pomfrey; gently she pulled the distraught girl to her feet once more. Carefully she pulled her towards the couch and made her sit down; “Come on dearie, let’s have a look at you!”
“No,” she wailed desperately; “I’m fine, all I need is Jamie, please!”
Sirius intervened at that moment; “Lily, please listen to Poppy! You have to learn to let go of James now, it’s over!” Madam Pomfrey saw her chance to fix up Lily’s minor sprain, while the former was busy glaring daggers at Sirius.
“There, you see; that didn’t take long, did it?” she asked, smiling slightly. Lily had been too busy arguing with Sirius to even notice her administrations.
She looked down at her foot in mild surprise; “Thanks Poppy,” she said gratefully at last. Seconds later however, her attention snapped back to Sirius and her voice lowered menacingly as she said; “Padfoot, I’ve got a bone to pick with you and I’m not injured anymore so you better be careful of your argument! Just answer me this one question; how? How can you of all people tell me to let James go? Don’t you love him just as much as I do, hmm?”
Sirius’ head snapped up at her accusing tone, his voice shook with anger as he said; “Never say that again, understand? You don’t even know the half of what James meant to me you foolish girl, I’m just trying to be sensible, unlike you!”
Unable to bear the emotional tension any longer, Sirius got up and ran from the room, ignoring Jessica and Remus’ attempts to stop him. Jess rounded on Lily; “Was that really necessary Lil? Even you know that nothing you just said was true!”
Lily swallowed the lump in her throat with difficulty and shook her head slowly; “I don’t know where that anger was coming from, I have to find him!” She stood up so fast that the whole room started spinning and she was forced to sit down again.
Noticing this, Jessica grabbed Lily’s hand firmly and reasoned; “I don’t think you’re in any condition to go anywhere right now Lily, even if you were strong enough to go, Harry needs his mother right now! If anyone goes looking for Sirius, it’ll be me or Remus, understand?”
Lily slumped against the cushions behind her and nodded reluctantly. She knew Jess was right on both counts, she was too weak to leave the house at that moment and Harry did need her around after everything he had been through that day. Having thought her friends’ advice through, she said finally; “Just promise me you’ll go soon, I feel so guilty right now, I need him to come back!”
Jessica nodded hurriedly; “Don’t you worry Lil, we’ll go right now! Even we want to find Sirius before he does something foolish; you know how rash he is.” With that she hugged her friend one last time and then she and Remus headed out the door, leaving Lily with nothing to distract her from her guilty and miserable thoughts.
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