Chapter 6 : Prisoners of Pain
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Once outside, Jessica turned to Remus anxiously; “Moony, where do you think Sirius would go when he’s upset, because I honestly have no idea!” Remus hesitated for a moment, actually he knew exactly where Sirius went at times like this, but he had a feeling that particular place would be upsetting for Jessica under the circumstances.
“Maybe I should go alone Jess,” he suggested tentatively, already knowing she wouldn’t agree to that. Sure enough, she was fixing him with such an incredulous gaze it was almost comical; “Why on earth would you want to do something like this alone Moony?”
He thought for a moment, wondering how best to explain without upsetting her, when no good way of phrasing his reasoning came to mind, he said shortly; “Let’s just say Sirius and James were more alike than they realized, I’m sure you remember where James used to go when he wanted to be alone, right?”
She nodded and said; “Of course I remember he always went to his parents’ burial site when he was upset!” Almost as soon as she’d said the words, something clicked in her mind; “Wait a minute, are you saying that Sirius is at the cemetery right now?”
Remus nodded gravely; “I’m almost one hundred percent sure of it! He loved the Potters a hundred times more than he did his own parents and after they were murdered he visited the graves as regularly as James did.”
Jess swallowed hard, he had been right to try and discourage her from going, her own parents had been murdered not long after the Potters and were buried very close to them. This was not going to be as easy as she thought.
Shaking herself mentally, she blinked a few times and said slowly; “No, Sirius needs all the support he can get right now, I’m going with you!”
“Are you sure?” he asked, watching her in concern. She nodded firmly; “Of course I’m sure Moony, now stop arguing and let’s go you’re wasting time!”
“If you say so,” he replied with a doubtful expression, before taking her hand and Apparating to Godric’s’ Hollow. When the suffocating sensation had passed, Jessica opened her eyes and gasped; she had forgotten that Lily and James’ house was directly opposite the graveyard.
Seeing it sprung upon her in this ruined state was heartbreaking, Sirius hadn’t told them in detail how he found Lily yet, but even without knowing what really happened her imagination started painting horrific images in her mind.
Forcing back the painful lump forming in her throat, she turned her back on the ruin of the cottage and moved towards the cemetery gate. Remus broke out of the miserable reverie the sight of the house had sent him into and hurried after her.
“Hey! Slow down Jessie, what’s the rush?” The minute she heard his voice, Jessica quickly wiped away the tears that had successfully got the better of her and stopped in her tracks, waiting for him to catch up with her.
“Sorry,” she said in a strained voice; “I just wasn’t expecting to see the house like that so suddenly, I honestly forgot they lived right opposite the graveyard.” He nodded understandingly and gave her a hug; “Just think how hard it must have been for Lily, the house crumbled right before her eyes!”
“Yeah,” she agreed; “That must have been horrible.” For a moment she just stood motionlessly, staring over her shoulder at the ruin, but then she seemed to recall why they were there in the first place. “Come on Moony, Sirius needs us,” she said urgently, grabbing his hand and dragging him towards the Potters’ burial site.
Since they knew exactly where to look, it wasn’t long until they heard Sirius’ voice; “– and then she asked me if I didn’t love him as much as she did! How could she say something like that? She has no idea how much I cared about James, he was my friend even before she was!”
Jess and Remus hesitated to move closer as soon as they heard his highly sentimental tone, only when he finished speaking and broke down completely, did they throw caution to the winds and chance an approach. At the feel of a gentle hand on his shoulder, Sirius looked up; “Jessie, Moony? What on earth are you two doing here?”
Jessica rolled her eyes; “You didn’t think we’d leave you alone after what happened at Grimmauld Place, did you? Honestly, what are friends for Sirius?”
He took a deep breath and wiped a shaky hand across his moist eyes; “Thanks guys,” he whispered gratefully. Jessica and Remus smiled affectionately; “Anytime Padfoot,” they both said in unison, before pulling him to his feet.
The three of them gazed at each other without a word for a few minutes, until Jess finally broke the tense silence tentatively; “Sirius are you ready to go back to Grimmauld Place? Lily practically begged us to bring you back, she feels terrible about what she said to you!”
As if to prove her statement right, there was a silver flash of light and a leopard Patronus materialized before their eyes; “Jess, if you’ve found Sirius, please get him to come home now! Lily is getting very stubborn and she’s about to go looking for him herself!” it urged in her sister’s voice, before evaporating as quickly as it had come.
Remus gaped horror-struck at the place where Nora’s Patronus had been, while Jessica spun around to face Sirius once more, her eyes pleading with him to come home. “Come on Sirius, you know Lily is too weak to leave the house, but you’re the only one who can stop her now!”
Meanwhile, back at Grimmauld Place, Lily was getting more irrational by the minute; “Please let me go Nora, I can’t stand not knowing where they are, I feel so helpless!” she begged the older girl desperately.
But Nora was adamant; “No Lily, you heard Jessie before she left, Harry needs you here! Remus and Jess will find Sirius and bring him back, you should stop worrying so much, alright?”
“You don’t understand how I’m feeling right now Nora! A part of me knew Sirius was just being sensible, but I still yelled at him and now he’s even more shattered than he was before and it’s my fault! “
Nora sighed heavily; “Stop blaming yourself Lily, he would have left eventually even if you hadn’t said that, you know he’s never handled emotional situations well.”
Lily nodded reluctantly, those Parker sisters were right about so many things, it really was unnerving. “You and Jess have more common sense than is healthy,” was her first pathetic attempt at a joke since James’ death.
Nora nodded with a small smile; “We get that from our mother,” she replied shortly before the silence became complete once again.
“I need some air,” said Lily quickly, when the atmosphere became tenser than she could bear. With those words, she got up and headed out the door, doing her best to ignore Nora’s suspicious gaze following her.
Once she was in the corridor, out of Nora’s line of vision, Lily began to run. She didn’t have a fixed idea of where she was going; all she knew was that another minute in that house would drive her to the brink of insanity.
All of a sudden, she was overcome by another intense wave of dizziness, which rendered her unable to move. Utterly exhausted, she collapsed on the sidewalk and wept, not caring who saw her.
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