Chapter 7 : Divided We Fall
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Lily gestured for Aileen to sit down. She had decided that they should go to her room to prevent any eavesdropping on Sirius and Remus’ part, and just to further ensure that their conversation remained private, she put silencing spells and unbreakable wards around her room.
Aileen looked anxious. “Is something the matter?”
“I was actually able to talk to James earlier,” Lily began, watching Aileen perk up at the information. “He mentioned a few things that got me thinking and I just wanted to ask you a few questions.”
Aileen now looked considerably warier. “I see,” she said slowly.
“I would appreciate it if you answer honestly, Aileen.” Lily looked at her imploringly. “I know that I might be getting a little nosy and personal, but James’ life is on the line here and…”
Aileen shook her head. “No, I understand, Lily. James is my good friend too. Go ahead.”
Lily took in a breath. “Is James keeping a secret for you?”
Her eyes widened as if she was surprised that Lily had made such an accurate assumption. “Yes.”
“And does this have to do with why he was late to the safe house attack?”
The answer came a bit more hesitantly now. “Yes.”
Lily’s brows furrowed.
Aileen sighed and tucked a strand of blonde hair behind her ear. “I really didn’t intend for James to find out. He just… I don’t even know how he did. But he realized that I had a problem… and well… you know James. He just wouldn’t forget about it. He had to help.” Lily smiled then, nodding at Aileen’s words. It was just so James. “I asked him to keep it a secret for me because I don’t know what I’d do if it got out. I could lose my job and I really love being an Auror and…”
Lily’s eyes widened and she held up a hand. “Wait a minute. You could lose your job? What could be so bad as to…”
Aileen grimaced. “It’s pretty bad.”
Lily contemplated the next question, but then decided that she might as well ask. This was for James after all. “Would you mind telling me? Maybe I can think of a solution for you or…”
“Lily, I…” She paused then, as if she was having an internal debate about whether or not she should continue. “I just… I’m not really comfortable with talking about this just yet.” When she looked up, her azure eyes were wide with apology. “I’m sorry.”
Lily sighed. “It’s understandable.” She played with a corner of the comforter on her bed. “James refuses to speak and Moody already knows that James hasn’t told the whole truth. He won’t relent unless James tells, and even then, he might not agree to let him out of the room.”
Aileen’s eyes lowered to the ground and her shoulders tightened. It looked like she was fighting back tears, which surprised Lily. She distinctly remembered the Marauders telling her that Aileen’s emotional strength was unbeatable. But she supposed that being held by Death Eaters probably weakened a person significantly.
“Aileen?” she said quietly.
Aileen sniffed a little. “I feel like it’s my fault James is in trouble.” She lifted her eyes and Lily saw that they were watery. “I didn’t think he would still remember something so insignificant when we were all in such a frenzy, but he did. And now he’s in trouble for it.”
“Perhaps you can explain to Moody?” Lily suggested. “I’m sure he won’t tell anyone else.”
Aileen seemed horrified at the thought. “I can’t!” she cried. “He’d definitely suggest I take a break from being an Auror.”
“But what could be so bad? Aileen, you can trust me. I’ll try to help you like James did. We’re all friends here. And I’m sure Sirius and Remus and everyone else would…”
Aileen jumped out of her seat, nearly knocking the chair over. “Don’t you understand, Lily? I can’t! If I did, I’d be shipped back home right here and now. No one wants a dysfunctional Auror.” With a last look of despair, she threw the door open and ran out of the room, ignoring Sirius and Remus, who were posed by the frame.
Lily sighed and ran a hand through her hair, a habit that she had picked up from James back when they were still at Hogwarts. She had known Aileen would be stubborn about this particular piece of information, but she had thought that James’ reputation and life were enough incentive for her to at least reveal something so they could come up with a way to save him. But she hadn’t even attempted to…
Sirius strolled into the room and seated himself in the chair that Aileen had just vacated. “What was that all about?”
She shook her head. “I just wanted to ask Aileen something. It’s not important.”
He snorted. “Liar.” At Lily’s frown, he arched a brow. “We’re not daft, Lily. We know when something is up, and right now, your talk with Aileen spells pretty damn fishy.”
She was about to protest, but Remus interrupted. “Come on, Lily,” he said warmly. “We care for James just as much as you do and we already have a rough idea of what’s going on.”
“I don’t know the details either,” she said truthfully. Sirius’ brows furrowed and Remus looked contemplative. “I’m just assuming that the secret James is keeping has to do with Aileen. No one else fit the description.”
Remus nodded slowly. “So it is a secret.”
Sirius’ eyes had narrowed in thought. “But a secret regarding Aileen? What secret could she possibly have?”
They both turned to Lily and she shrugged helplessly. “I don’t really know. But it seems pretty serious. Aileen said she could potentially lose her job if it gets out.”
Sirius whistled. “That bad? Did she commit murder or something?”
Lily could only shake her head.
“And you talked to James already? What did he say?”
“He said nothing, Remus. You know how tight-lipped he can be.”
Sirius grimaced. “Which poses a problem for us.” He jumped out of his chair and started pacing the length of the room. “Why must he be so stubborn? Why can’t he just…”
“Because he’s James,” Remus said quietly. There was a tinge of fondness in his tone. “He won’t ever let any of his friends down, much less Aileen.”
Lily closed her eyes and rubbed her temples. “We’re going to have to act pretty quickly if we want to figure anything out. I have a feeling Moody won’t wait any longer, and even if he does, the real culprit might strike again.” She eyed them seriously. “One of us should ask around and see if any of the house elves saw James and saw what he was doing.”
Remus nodded. “I’ll talk to them in the morning.”
“Sirius, maybe you could…”
“I’m going to talk to Aileen.” He looked grim. “I love her like a sister, but if she’s the one bringing James down, I want a reason at least.”
As harsh as that sounded, Lily had to agree. And maybe Sirius had a better chance. After all, he knew her much longer than Lily did, and he was a well-known charmer who could probably talk his way into and out of everything.
“And I guess I’ll try to convince Moody to let James go in the meantime, even though it’s pretty futile.” She gnawed on her bottom lip thoughtfully. “I wonder if Alice would…”
Sirius shook his head. “We can’t risk bringing more people into this. It won’t be the least bit helpful to us if word gets out.”
Remus glanced at his watch and lifted an eyebrow when he saw the time. “Wow. It’s already three in the morning. We still have that meeting at eight tomorrow.”
Sirius groaned and fell flat onto the ground in spread-eagled fashion. Lily let out a light chuckle. He was always the dramatic one. “I hate waking up early,” he muttered. “Do you think I can be excuse from it if I tell Mad-Eye I broke a toe or something?”
Remus snorted and stepped over him as he headed towards the door. “You’re welcome to try, but you’ll probably end up with more than just a broken toe if you do.”
Sirius was still complaining when Lily shooed him out the door.
Frank was seated off to the side, his head bandaged and arm in a sling. Despite the scratches and bruises that adorned his face, he looked like he was in relatively good condition, at least compared to when Lily first saw him, tattered and broken at the safe house.
Alice was sitting right next to him, wary of every twitch and sound he made. Everyone else was scattered throughout the room, looking extremely tired. After all the hard work that they had gone through the previous night, Moody had called for a meeting at eight in the morning. It was no wonder no one was extremely eager to talk. And Lily would’ve been in the same situation if she weren’t wondering whether or not she should ask Moody to let James join in on the meeting.
She glanced at Sirius, who was snoring next to her, and gave him a little nudge. He suddenly jumped out of his seat and shouted, “I wasn’t sleeping!”
His voice was so loud that even Tris opened her bleary eyes to shoot him a scowl. “Do we care?”
Sirius looked around, disoriented. He blinked and glanced back at Lily. “What happened?”
She rolled her eyes and yanked him down. He sprawled onto the couch, his eyes only half-open again. “Sirius?”
“What?” he mumbled.
“Do you think I should go ask Moody if he’ll let James join us? He’s still part of the group and…”
His eyes widened at her statement and his brows furrowed as he gave her an assessing glance. “You know the chances are slim, right? When Mad-Eye’s gone mad, it’s kind of useless trying to bring him back to normal.”
Lily sighed. “I was worried you’d say that.” She turned to look at Remus, who was sitting on Sirius’ other side. “What do you say?”
He stifled a yawn. “I think it’s worth a shot, but don’t get your hopes up. I doubt Mad-Eye will be very lenient when it comes to this.”
Lily nodded. She had expected as much, but she knew that on James’ behalf, she had to at least try. He would want to know what was going on, especially since what they were inevitably going to talk about had to do with him as well.
She was just about to get up when Maxim’s voice stopped her. “Lily, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
She crossed her arms, her eyes narrowed. “And why is that?”
“Moody has James confined for a reason. He wouldn’t make any false accusations unless he actually has some kind of proof.” At Lily’s look of fury, he sighed and rubbed his face tiredly. “Look, I understand that you want to protect James, but-”
She cut him off. “Just what is your problem with James, Max? You’ve never even attempted to be supportive of him and-”
“I have nothing against James,” he replied smoothly, “but if he’s a suspect, I certainly don’t plan to condone his freedom. He could get us all killed.”
Something in Lily snapped. She made to lunge at him but Remus hurriedly grabbed her arms to restrain her. Maxim took a step back at her sudden display of violence, his eyes alarmed.
“You know what I think?” she spat. “I think you’re the culprit. You’ve been accusing James ever since the very beginning. What did he ever do to you?”
Maxim shook his head. His expression suggested that he was disappointed in her. “I never expected this from you, Lily. This was one of the first things we learned during our training. Set aside personal issues when you’re working on the job.”
Lily’s face was so red from repressed fury that it was almost as red as her hair. And if Alice hadn’t cut in at that moment, Lily knew she would’ve said or done something that she’d regret.
“Not everyone can be as objective as you when it comes to human feelings, Max,” Alice said sharply. “If you have nothing positive to say, we’d appreciate it if you didn’t say anything at all.”
Maxim’s lips thinned. He eyed the other Aurors in the room, as if expecting them to back him up. After noticing a lack of reaction, he frowned and grudgingly slumped back into his seat. Aileen patted him on the back comfortingly and he settled into a brood.
Moody chose that moment to arrive. He hobbled down the stairs, magical eye whirling around to look at the room’s occupants. The eye rested on Lily for a split second longer before shifting to Maxim. He finally trudged towards the empty armchair and sank into it.
Lily was in mental turmoil. There was a part of her that really wanted to ask Moody if he would let James attend the meeting, but Remus’ hand tightened on her arm, as if he had guessed what she was about to do. A subtle shake of the head affirmed his thoughts, and finding the situation hopeless, she finally sighed and seated herself between Sirius and Remus again.
Moody was watching her with a careful eye, but after seeing that she had settled down, he turned his attention to Frank, who had remained silent up to that point.
“Tell us what happened, Longbottom,” he growled. “How could your group have let such a ridiculous thing happen?”
Frank sighed and ran his good hand through his hair. His face was drawn, and Lily knew that this wasn’t a particularly good memory for him to recall. “No one expected it and the timing was just so… perfect. We didn’t even have time to properly react to what was happening, and before we knew it, we were under attack.”
His story was chilling. The group had realized that parts of the wards surrounding their safe house weren’t functioning properly and they had just taken down the wards briefly to set up newer and more powerful ones when the Death Eaters struck.
“It seemed as if they were lying in wait all that time, as if they knew we were planning to bring the wards down temporarily,” he said.
Moody let out a low chuckle that sounded more like a growl. “It wasn’t a bloody coincidence,” he snapped. “Nothing in the world can be so perfectly timed. They bloody well knew your plans.”
“They could’ve been extremely determined,” Marlene suggested. Lily looked at her with faint amusement. She had always been the most optimistic of the group. “They could’ve been there for weeks for all you knew.”
“Not possible,” Dorcas said. “Death Eaters don’t have that much time on their hands to wait around for one Auror group to drop the wards. First off, there are way too many groups for You-Know-Who to send Death Eaters to monitor all of them. Secondly, for all they know, they could be waiting forever.”
Remus nodded firmly. “Dorcas is right. Frank’s group was targeted specifically.”
Aileen’s brows knitted. “But why Frank’s group? What does their group have that others don’t?”
All eyes turned to Frank. He blinked at the sudden attention he was receiving and frowned. Lily could literally see the wheels turning in his head, as if he was trying to come up with anything that could’ve inspired the targeted attack.
After five minutes of silence, he finally gave a defeated shrug. “I really have no idea. Other than the plans, I don’t see how our group was any different.”
“But every group had those plans,” Alice pointed out. She squeezed his hand reassuringly. “Don’t worry about it. We’ll figure something out.”
Sirius snorted and rolled his eyes. Alice glowered at him, but he ignored her and drawled, “I doubt that’d be possible at the rate we’re going at.”
Moody scoffed and smirked at Sirius, the scars cracking at a particular angle that made the Auror appear more terrifying. “Anything constructive to say, Black?”
“Yeah. A lot, actually.” He straightened in his seat in one smooth move and tipped his head back slightly. The arrogant gesture dared Moody to contradict him. “I want to know why we’re locking up an innocent and letting loose the actual criminal.”
To Lily’s shock, Moody remained calm. “I advise you to get your mind off Potter, Black. He’s in there until he or anyone else can prove me wrong.”
Lily opened her mouth to protest, but Aileen was the one who spoke. “Even if you think James has done something wrong, locking him up isn’t-”
“Enough,” Moody snapped. He magical eye whirled dramatically, focusing on each Auror in the room before zooming to another. His posture was tense. “We’re here to discuss more important matters than Potter’s innocence or his well-being. I don’t want to hear another word about him in this meeting.” He gave them all a piercing glare before focusing his gaze on Frank. “Do you have anymore ideas on possible reasons?”
“No. Not yet, at least.”
“Why don’t we send a team over to do some investigations?” Alice suggested. Her eyes were wide with excitement. “There’s still bound to be some sort of evidence left in that safe house.”
Dorcas shook her head. “There’s nothing suspicious within the safe house. We checked when we were cleaning it up.”
Alice seemed to deflate at this, but Marlene perked up. “We didn’t check the outside perimeter! There could be forgotten wands or dropped items that we didn’t see. The Death Eaters did flee pretty quickly.”
There was a period of contemplative silence, occasionally interrupted by a small snort or mumble from Tris, who had fallen asleep. Interestingly enough, Moody hadn’t forcefully woken her up. It was a side of him that Lily rarely got to see, but it proved that he cared about them despite the crude front that he constantly put up.
Alice suddenly jumped up, breaking the silence that had formed. “Well then, what are we waiting for?” She turned to Moody. “What do you say?”
Moody looked pensive. Lily knew there were dangers to Alice’s decision. Since it was clear that the Death Eaters had planned out the attack on Frank’s safe house, there was a possibility that they were still there, knowing that it was custom for Aurors to return to the site of attack to do further research on the event. And if they were there, Alice would be pretty much throwing herself into a fire pit. But on the other hand, it was the Aurors’ duty to go back, and weren’t they pretty much trained for all situations?
There was another period of long silence. Finally, after what seemed like a good half an hour of thought, Moody made up his mind.
“Longbottom,” he commanded, “you take four people back to the safe house to see if you can find anything.” He turned to the rest of them. “The rest of you. Find contacts or information on anyone who could’ve been around when the attack happened. See if you can get anything out of them.”
There were nods around the room. Tris had finally woken up and was blinking blurrily at everyone, her eyes narrowed as if she was trying to figure out what had happened over the past thirty minutes that she was out.
Moody spared a glance at her before turning back to everyone. “Recheck our wards and make sure there are no loopholes that the Death Eaters can use. For safety measures, survey our perimeter. We don’t want any possible lurkers out there.”
“I can do that,” Sirius volunteered. Lily hid a smile. He had never been fond of researching of any kind.
“All right. The rest of you, figure out your own jobs.” He stood up and left, giving Tris a rough pat on the arm as he did. She scowled lightly and rubbed her bruised appendix.
“If we don’t get killed by Death Eaters, we’re surely to get killed by him,” she huffed.
Dorcas rolled her eyes, but Lily could see her amusement. “If you were all that fragile, you probably wouldn’t live till today.”
Maxim cleared his throat and conjured a parchment and quill with the flick of his wand. “So who’s on what task?”
“I’ll go with Frank to check out his old safe house,” Alice announced.
“Dorcas and I’ll go with you guys,” Marlene said. She looked around the room and her eyes landed on Tris. “Do you want to come along? I doubt you’d be interested in interviewing people.”
Tris’ blue head bobbed eagerly. “You know me all too well, Marl.”
Marlene frowned. “That’s a horrible nickname.”
Maxim cleared his throat again when he saw that they were getting off topic. “So Alice, Dorcas, Marlene and Tris are heading with Frank out to the safe house. I’m suggesting we leave at least three people here to survey the perimeter and check the wards.”
“I’ll stay,” Lily said. Maxim looked at her and their eyes locked. She knew that he saw the reason behind her wanting to stay, but interestingly enough, he didn’t say anything and merely wrote her name down on the list.
Remus nodded towards Maxim. “I’ll stay as well.”
“I guess this leaves Aileen and me to interview?” When Aileen confirmed this with a nod, he rolled up the parchment and tucked it into his robes. “All right then. Everyone report back by midnight.”
The group dispersed.
Lily tagged Aileen’s arm before she could leave and pulled her towards the kitchen. Aileen looked wary, but to her credit, she didn’t resist. She regarded Lily with faint concern. “Is there something wrong?”
“I’m going to try to persuade Moody to let me talk to James again. I know this is a sensitive topic for you and I respect that, but I’m still hoping that you can consider talking to someone.”
Aileen sighed. “Lily-”
“I know,” she cut in. “But I’m still going to keep my hopes up for James’ sake. I’m just asking you to do the same.” She gave Aileen’s hand a reaffirming squeeze before she headed out to look for Sirius and Remus.
She found them congregated outside, talking in low undertones. They gestured her over when they saw her. “Moody’s heading to the Ministry today to report the situation to them,” Remus told her.
“And you’re thinking of breaking James out.” It wasn’t a question.
Sirius nodded. “Of course. This is the best time.”
“Moody’s still going to find out,” Lily pointed out. “He’s not stupid. He’s going to find out one way or another.”
“The fact that he knows and he’s still leaving is saying something,” Remus said quietly. His brows were furrowed. “He’s letting us do it.”
Lily was confused. “But why would he…”
Sirius shrugged. “We’ll worry about that later, but now, we’ll concentrate on talking to James first.”
They managed to get into the room with little hassle. To their surprise, the room was locked simply, easily opened with an Alohomora. Lily was beginning to think that Remus was right. Moody had known that they’d come to see James, and from the lack of protection spells on James’ door, it appeared as if Moody was only concerned with keeping him in the room.
Sirius practically lunged himself at James, who was sitting on the couch, his head tilted back and eyes closed. His eyes flew open at the war cry Sirius made and rolled to the side right when Sirius would’ve landed on him.
Sirius groaned when he hit his mouth on the hard back of the couch. “Bloody hell, Prongs,” he grunted. “What was that for?”
James’ eyes were wide. “Padfoot? What are you doing here? And what the hell were you trying to do?”
“He was trying to express his love for you,” Remus said wryly. He smiled when James turned his attention to him. “It’s good to see you again, Prongs.”
Needless to say, James was shocked. His wide eyes fell on Lily and she gave him a small smile. “Moody went to the Ministry so we decided to come visit you.”
They filled him in on everything that had happened in the meeting. “Frank just took Alice and them back to the safe house to see if there’s anything still there,” Lily finished.
James looked thoughtful. They were sitting in a circle, and Remus had locked and placed spells on the door to keep anyone from listening in. Lily was aware that Moody was probably hearing every word of their conversation even though he wasn’t in the safe house, but as far as she was concerned, he could’ve listened in all he wanted.
“I don’t think they can find anything,” James finally said. “From what you’re saying, the Death Eaters had already planned everything. I doubt they’d leave room for possible error if they had time to think things through.”
“But there is room for mistake,” Sirius said. He was sprawled in an armchair, leg dangling over one armrest.
James shook his head. “The Death Eaters wouldn’t have brought anything with them that would’ve given any of their plans away if they knew this was going to be an attack. And even if anything is found, it could very well be a fake. It’s very possible to plant evidence.”
Lily blinked. For some reason, this had never occurred to her before, and from the looks on Sirius’ and Remus’ faces, they were in the same boat as her.
“So we can’t trust anything they bring back,” she said slowly.
“Now I wouldn’t go that far,” James commented. “Just be extra careful about what you find. Don’t believe anything on face value.”
Lily exchanged a look with Sirius and Remus. She personally found it rather amazing that James could think through the information so thoroughly given the short period of time that he had access to it. It was a trait that she would always be in awe of, and she supposed that it was something that made James… James.
He seemed to detect her pent up frustration and rested a hand on her knee, his expression concerned. “Lily? Is something the matter?”
She blinked. “What?” Truthfully, she hadn’t expected him to notice. But then again, he had always noticed everything that had to do with her… and more. “I’m just a little frustrated with Max at the moment.”
Now it was James’ turn to frown. “Max? What did he do?”
“He’s just being a bloody ponce,” Sirius drawled, flicking his fingers disdainfully, as if he were brushing off a few dust particles. “He keeps going on about how we should all listen to Mad-Eye and keep you locked up and confined like a bloody prisoner.”
James’ eyebrows rose. He looked skeptical. “Max? Really? I’ve never done anything to him. Why would he be on my case?”
Remus offered him a sympathetic smile. “Max is a little uptight sometimes. I heard he was a model student back at school. It’s not surprising that he follows Moody with a little more dedication than the regular Auror.”
“It just doesn’t make much sense,” Lily said. She poked absently at James’ hand, ignoring his grin when she accidentally hit a particularly ticklish part. “I remember Dorcas when she was at Hogwarts. She was an outstanding prefect, but you don’t see her shadowing Moody’s footsteps.”
James smiled and gave her shoulder a light squeeze. “It could just be his personality, Lily. Don’t worry too much about it. I don’t want you to get into a fight with him because of me.”
She sighed. She knew that what he said had an ounce of truth in it, but at the same time, she didn’t feel a particular urge to treat Maxim with friendly courtesy. His actions and words had gone a little overboard, and it just didn’t make sense that he didn’t even attempt to back James up. They were in the same group. They were all Aurors. Aurors were supposed to…
Lily was abruptly snapped out of her thoughts when James pressed his lips gently to hers. She blinked and pulled back, shocked. It was then that she noticed the room had vacated till she was the only one left with him.
He gently tugged on a strand of her hair. “What’s on your mind? You were so lost in your thoughts that you didn’t see Padfoot and Moony leave.”
She offered a faint smile and grabbed his hand, lacing her fingers through his. “I was just thinking about Max.”
James blew out a breath. “Do you really think Max has something against me?”
“I’m just not sure,” she confessed, rather troubled. “James, something just isn’t right about this whole thing. First you get accused of being a traitor, then Aileen won’t say anything when she clearly could help you, and then Max refuses to speak in your favor.
“Maybe I’m reading too much into everything, but does this seem like a conspiracy to you?”
James suddenly burst out laughing. The sound was so startling and unexpected that Lily nearly jumped out of her seat. “Oh Lily. A conspiracy? You really are thinking too much.”
His smile dropped slightly and he looked solemn again. Lily watched as he stood up and tucked his hands into the pocket of his trousers.
“Truth is, I’ve been doing a bit of thinking with all this free time I have. The only way the Death Eaters could’ve received information to evacuate early and to know when to attack is through owl.”
“We use Patronuses sometimes,” she reminded.
James shook his head resolutely. “Not possible. Patronuses are way too obvious. The shape defines the caster.”
“And if it’s through owl, there has to be a considerable amount of parchment spent on sending the messages.”
She was confused. “Are you saying you want us to do a parchment check for all the Aurors? See who used the most?”
James looked amused. “No, that’s not what I meant. Mad-Eye tends to keep track of all information. But besides him, who else does it?”
Lily frowned in thought. It was a valid point. Who was in charge of all the information? Both James and Sirius were extremely active and didn’t bother with paperwork. Remus, while he sometimes took on the responsibility of recording things down, was never in charge of the information. Tris never bothered, Dorcas and Marlene were more interested in heading out than keeping track of data. That left…
There was suddenly a loud crash outside, followed by hasty footsteps and furious mutterings. Lily jumped out of her seat and was out the door in an instant, her wand drawn and posture ready. She ran down the hall and turned a corner… and stopped in her tracks.
Maxim and Aileen were there, expressions angry and tense. He was gesturing wildly, his brows knitted together. She, on the other hand, looked absolutely furious. Both suddenly stopped their conversation when Lily rounded the corner.
Maxim looked as if he had been caught in the act while Aileen just looked properly shocked. Lily’s eyes trailed down to a stack of parchment that was in her hands and her eyes narrowed.
It suddenly dawned on her that while Maxim often had the habit of recording everything down, Moody had given Aileen the role of being a historian for the group, keeping everything filed away neatly so that things would be easier to reference if necessary.
Lily stared at them accusingly. “What are the two of you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be out interviewing possible witnesses?”
“We were… we were just…”
And the seconds ticked on by.
Author's Note: Hey! Yes, I know, late chapter. Humbug. For some strange reason, this story is just difficult to write. I think I packed in too much plot into it or something, but I even get confused sometimes and then I have to think through all the twists to make sure they make sense and connect together in the end. And in the end, I came up with this chapter. I agree that it's kind of a filler in a way, but as uneventful as it may be, this chapter is pretty much necessary to continue the story. Hope you all don't fall asleep reading this ;)
Thanks to all of you for reviewing for me! Please do continue! I want to know what you guys think, and if you have anything to say, please feel free to voice your comments :)
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