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Chapter 2 : Take It or Leave It
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“It isn’t healthy Jules…”
I rolled my eyes as I leaned back on my couch and flipped the pages of magazine in my hand. “Nik... You worry too much.”
“So am I! Dear lord. You’re my brother not my shrink.”
He scoffed negatively, “You need both.”
I put down my magazine, twisted my neck to see him and gave him a snotty look. I love Nik. I really do but he worries too much. As my older brother he sees it as his duty to look out for me in every aspect of my life. Eventually I turned away from my beloved brother and watched Renee. There she was, just sitting in the middle of our living room with a dress, a thread, a needle and a pair of scissors. She was too lost in her own little world to bother herself with our conversation. I decided she could work on her dress and defend me at the same time. Renee Ann Moss was good at multitasking.
“Renee? Help me out here?”
“With what?” She mumbled as she trimmed the bottom of the dress.
Nik sighed in slightly irritation. “You can’t ask her!”
“Why not?” I argued evenly.
“Because of course she’s going to side with you! She’s one of the most cynical people in the world!” He groaned, “All I’m saying is that your whole life shouldn’t be work!”
“What’s wrong with liking my job?”
“Nothing but you have to have something else too.”
I raised my eyebrows as I picked up my magazine and started reading it. “And what is that exactly?”
A snort of laughter echoed in my throat. “Okay Nik. Calm down there. Just cause’ you’ve lassoed yourself a wife doesn’t mean the rest of us have to lose our minds.”
“You’re saying I’m losing my mind by getting married? Mim would have a thing or two to say to you ab-”
“I would say that but I happen to like Chloe and I really don’t trust that she doesn’t have a temper. I mean she’s a redhead after all.”
Renee huffed from the floor. “Because you’re not generalizing at all.”
I smirked down at her, “Nope.”
Nik frowned thoughtfully, “Speaking of redheads.”
I furrowed my eyebrows in confusion and stood up to look where he was directing his speech. Lily Evans stood in my bedroom doorway looking as disoriented as ever. It took a great deal of effort to not laugh at her but then I remembered the circumstances in which I found her and I found it harder to keep my voice even.
“It’s Potter.” She snapped at me like a whip.
I wasn’t so much surprised but more condesending. “Of course it is…Look you had a stomach wound but I stopped it and cleaned the infection. You’ve been out for a good twelve hours from the sedative I gave you-“
“WHAT?! Twelve hours?! What did you do to me?” Her eyes dilated in horror as she accused me.
“I gave you a sedative so your body would have time to heal itself and you wouldn’t feel any pain.” I continued unconcernedly. “Now you are too out of it to apparate. So you have two options Evans-“
Her tone was sharp, “I told you its Potter.”
“Whatever.” I replied coolly and continued my business tone. “Now you either A) give me the name of someone who can pick you up and take you somewhere to rest or you can B) tell me a safe place where I can take you.”
She hesitated before giving me a fixed glare. “Why are you helping me?”
“Because it’s what Jesus would do." I sighed frustratedly, "Now what option are you going for?”
“Fine,” She scowled, “I have an address.”
I pulled on my shoes and threw a pillow at Nik’s face. “Renee, don’t forget about your appointment at five. Nik for the love of Merlin get out and do your job before you get some pre-mature wrinkles. I’ll be back later. I have to go.”
She looked absolutely repulsed at the thought of linking her arm with my own. It was amusing to say the least. I apparated her into the kitchen of the house and released her as soon as she could stand on her own. “Well Evans." I started awkwardly, "Watch it from now on.”
“How many times do I have to-?” She began icily but was caught off.
“LILY?!” James shouted as he and a bunch of others rushed into the room. “Are you alright?!” He demanded cupping her face with his hand affectionately.
I sighed, “That would be my cue to leave.”
“What are you doing here?!” James accused at me harshly.
Lily grabbed his arm. “James she saved me.”
“Why would she do that?”
Why is this such a hard concept to understand? I-Juliette Paxton-helped-her.
"It’s not that deep.”
He narrowed his eyes at me. “But why would a Death Eater help?”
I started laughing. “You people...” I couldn’t stop laughing their stupidity was overwhelming. “I’m going now.”
I apparated to the Ministry with a smile still present on my face. You know those people you knew back when you were young? Those popular people who thought they knew everything about everything because they were just soooo wonderful? Lily Evans and James Potter would definitely fit perfectly into that category. They always thought their little love/hate relationship was something important to everyone. When the truth was nobody really gave a shit whether or not they would get together we all -other then their popular friends- just wanted them to shut up. Now three years later I was limitlessly amused that of all the things that had changed in the world their oblivious arrogance had not. Me a Death Eater…I couldn’t think of a funnier statement. Of course since they knew nothing about me -except that I was sorted into Slythern- they fell safe in assuming I’m the complete opposite of what I am.
Rubbing my eyes, I yawned and went to my desk. I wasn’t on duty but I didn’t want to wait to do all the paperwork tomorrow. The bitch of being an Auror is paperwork. I tie my shoelace on duty and I have to write a two page report on it. It’s outrageous but it’s necessary. I know I’ve looked back on past missions and drew connections to other cases through the simple act of writing down every single detail but it takes forever. So in spite of the tedious exhaustion that soon would be mine I sat down by desk and took out a quill. I got a good three pages in when Lorenzo walked in. He was shirtless –of course- and glistening with sweat.
“Paxton, do you ever stop working?”
“Nope.” I answered plainly without looking up.
“Look. I’m sorry-“
I held up my hand to cut off his speech. “Don’t. We’re fine.”
“Well I’m heading out.”
“When are you doing your report?” I questioned softly as he started stretching in my cubical.
He let out a groan, “...Later.”
“So…” I tried to start a conversation as it was clear he wasn’t going to leave until he stretched every possible ligament in his body. “How are the Cannons doing?”
“What’s the problem? No seeker?”
“No.” He yawned, pulled a shirt from his own desk and tugged it over his head. “Now we finally have a decent seeker but the keeper sucks.”
I put down my quill and smirked. “Does that mean you’ve finally accepted that they are just one of those teams that are just permanently doomed?”
“You know me well enough now Paxton to know that answer.” He grinned at me earnestly.
“Yeah you don't know when to get leg go off a lost cause when you see one.” I scouffed casually.
There was a flash of emotion in his eyes that i didn't recognize but it vanished as hepatted the top of my head. “See you tomorrow kid. Owl me if I’m needed.”
He left and I went back to work. It took me another half hour to make sure I catalogued down every single detail imaginable. Then I put it in my bottom filing cabinet and sealed it close. Leaning back in my chair I reflected on yesterday. I wasn’t angry at Lorenzo. I was angry at myself. She was there. I saw Bellatrix there and I let her get away. An anger I could never control seethed in me. That bitch ruined my life and took everything I cared about from me. Her horrible face flashed in my mind as I thought of her. Everyone in my house loved her. I always wanted to just deck her in the face.
Staring at my desk I looked at the few personal items I had in wonderment. There was a picture of me and Renee in thrift store clothes. The other one of me but this time I was with Nik i was seven he had to be somewhere around eleven. For a second I just starred at them. A snowy owl flew in and perched itself on the tip of the dividing wall. I was taken aback. Nik’s owl was black and Renee’s was grey. I’d seen this owl before. Curious I reached forward and grabbed the mail. My name was neatly printed on the front. I recognized the print style but I couldn’t pin point from where.
Dear Ms. Juliette Paxton,
I need to speak with you immediately. Please write down a date and time when you can meet me. This matter is urgent so I ask you to please respond quickly.
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore
Stunned in shock and astonishment I found myself reaching for a quill and responding. I told him I would meet him today at anytime. I’d never -even in my seven years at Hogwarts- spoken to Dumbledore personally. I generally assumed that he didn’t know I exist. Apparently I assumed wrong. My interest was sparked at this brief two sentence letter. What could Dumbledore want from me? Within an hour the same owl was back with an address. My face was blank as I put the note in my back pocket and apparated to the spot.
It was a Muggle park in south England. I sat on the bench and scanned my surroundings alertly. There was always a possibility that any lead of any kind could be a trap of some kind. This would be the only time I wasn’t completely suspicious. I mean anyone could make a polyjuice potion or learn how to write like someone else but no one could do that to Dumbledore. I may have never talked to the man but I know that much. In the distance I watched little children playing in the parks small playground. When I turned away there he was, in electrifingly bright white robes.
“Professor Dumbledore.” I put out my hand politely.
He smiled, “Juliette, nice to see you.”
“You wanted to see me?”
“Yes. Can we walk?”
I nodded, “Sure.”
“I just spoke with Lily Potter...”
“She thought I was a Death Eater.” I scoffed under my breath knowingly.
“Yes.” He chuckled. “I however explained to her and her husband that you are in fact an Auror. They send their apologizes for jumping to assumptions.”
I stuck my hands in my front pockets thoughtfully. “It’s okay... I’m used to it.”
“That however is not the only reason I asked you here.”
“What is then?”
Dumbledore stopped walking and gave me a look. I felt like my entire body, mind and soul was being x-rayed by this man. His blue eyes scorched into my black ones until he nodded to himself and looked away.
“Juliette there is an organization called the Order of the Phoenix.”
I squinted my eyes in memory. “Wait. Like the Greek order?”
“No," He smiled slightly at my odd knowledge, "But that is where the name is derived from… It’s a task force designed to bring down Voldemort.”
Dumbledore inclined his head in an affirmative motion. “And I’m asking you to join.”
Without any hesitation or questioning I nodded. “I’m in.”
Thank you everyone who reviewed! Thank you for reading and please continue to review! This one goes out to those eleven of you who reviewed! I got so excited I wrote another chapter immediately.
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