Chapter 16 : Fighting Back
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The funeral had been attended by hundreds of wizards and witches who had nothing but good things to say about Judith and Christopher Potter. James, as it was expected, was a complete wreck and Sirius wasn’t much better. He kept forcing himself to look alright, to stay strong so his best friend wouldn’t have to worry about anything but grieving, which was worrying Mia a lot.
“You really should rest, Sirius,” Mia whispered to him they arrived to their apartment from the funeral. “You haven’t stopped for the past two days. Preparing the wake, the funeral…You must be exhausted.”
“James was in no condition of taking care of things,” Sirius replied in a low voice, sinking in the sofa.
“Well, neither were you,” she told him, sitting by his side. “I haven’t said a word yet, Sirius but you’re just as bad as James. Judy and Christopher took care of you for two years and you loved them like they were your parents. I am grieving and I wasn’t half as close to them as you are. I can only try to imagine how you are feeling.”
“I’m fine,” he said though his teeth.
Mia shook her head. “You’re not fine,” she whispered, reaching for his hand. “You know, a little less than eight years ago I was sitting alone by the lake in Hogwarts feeling pretty sad. But there was this boy that showed up and didn’t leave me alone until I talked about it. That made me feel a lot better. And now that boy is the one that is feeling sad… please let me do the same for him.”
Taking a deep breath, Sirius turned his face to her. He remembered that day – their relationship had changed from that day on and they had become sort of each other’s confidents. He just couldn’t deny anything from that pleading look in her eyes. “Everything was going so great,” he murmured, “We were together, James had gotten married and is having a kid, Remus found a job and Peter is probably dating someone, seeing as he is never around anymore… And then, he strikes again. You-know-who. He kills the only two great parents I’ve known. Will he ever stop? Will we ever have a chance to be in peace and happy?”
Mia looked him in the eyes. “I don’t know the answer for that, Sirius,” she whispered. “All I know is that peace won’t come just by itself; we have to fight for it. Dumbledore said something to me and Lily right after the funeral. There will be meeting in Hogwarts a week from today and he wants us to be there. I don’t know what that is about but, knowing him, I assume it must be related to some plan to bring him down. I want to be there, Sirius.”
He sighed and pulled her closer. Mia was right. If they wanted peace, they needed to fight for it. “We will be there,” he promised her. “We will.”
One Week Later
It was past midnight when Sirius and Mia arrived to Hogwarts. The week had passed rather slowly, probably because they had been so curious about this reunion called by Dumbledore. It had to be done very late in the night in or there would be the risk of running into some student.
The Great Hall was filled with about thirty people, some that young couple recognized, and others that they didn’t. Lily, James and Remus stood by one of the tables talking to Professor McGonagall, while Peter sat by their side, blushing like a tomato as Bertha Jorkins blabbed next to him.
“Hey, isn’t that Lulu?” Sirius asked his girlfriend in a whisper.
Mia looked to where he was pointing and was surprised to see her former nanny. “Yeah, it’s her. I had no idea she was coming.”
“She probably had no idea you were coming either. Why don’t you so say ‘hi’ to her while I go save us seats next to Lily and the guys?” he suggested.
“Tell them I won’t take long.”
Sirius nodded and kissed her cheek softly before walking in his friends’ direction, while Mia turned and started to approach Lulu. She was talking to someone but Mia couldn’t tell who – two redhead men were on the way. It took her just a few seconds to reach her former nanny and finally identify who she was talking to – Gabriel McKinnon.
“Mia, I had no idea you were here,” Lulu said immediately. Her face was a mixture of surprise and nervousness.
She chuckled. “I could just tell you the same,” Mia replied before turning to Gabriel. “It’s nice to see you, Mr. McKinnon.”
“Please, call me Gabriel,” the blonde man told her. “It is good to see you two. How are you doing? Lucy mentioned something about you being a trainee Healer.”
“I am,” Mia confirmed. “I’ve started the training last year.”
“I’ve always thought you’d end up making history research or something,” Lulu pointed out, “seeing how you liked history so much.”
Mia shrugged. “I like healing too.”
“I know, I know,” Lulu told her. “I was just saying… Oh, and, by the way, they are here.”
She raised an eyebrow in confusion. “They?”
“Your… er… Susan and Phillip,” her former nanny specified.
Mia shook her head in disbelief. “Well, guess this is my first chance to see them in two years. How nice.”
Gabriel coughed quite uncomfortably, forcing himself not to look at Mia.
“I think Dumbledore has just arrived,” Lulu whispered.
“Oh, I’m going to find Sirius, then.”
The meeting had been tense. The headmaster had proposed the creation of an organization – the Order of the Phoenix – whose purpose would solely be fighting Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Several questions had came up: Why wouldn’t the ministry act itself? How were they supposed to be organized? What made him think they could win? In the end, Dumbledore answered every single one of those questions, explained the risks (the very extensive risks) and informed them that those who wanted to join the order were supposed to come back to another meeting in the next day.
Mia had decided already – she wanted to be part of it. She was sick of hanging around just praying that the war would end without her doing anything for that purpose. That would change now. By her side, Sirius looked sort of nervous. She wanted to ask him what was wrong but maybe waiting for them to arrive home would be a good idea.
“Amelia,” a familiar female voice asked behind her. Mia turned on the chair to see Susan Davis standing there with her husband by her side. “What are you doing here?”
“Dumbledore invited me,” she said coldly as she got up.
Phillip coughed. “We haven’t seen you at home lately,” he pointed out. “Still at school?”
“I’m nineteen. I haven’t been in school for almost two years. You haven’t seen me at home because I moved out,” Mia told them. “I sent you a note but you probably missed it.”
“Probably,” Susan said simply, tuning her face to Sirius. “And you are… Darius, isn’t it?”
“Sirius,” he corrected her, getting up too.
“Oh, well, it was nice to see you two,” Phillip said. “We’re just going to say goodbye to Albus and leave.”
Mia looked away as they left one more time. She had actually hoped they would, for once, have a decent conversation when Susan had approached her but apparently that wasn’t meant to happen. “Let’s go home,” she murmured to Sirius, who nodded in response.
The worried look on Sirius’s face came back in the moment they landed on their doorstep. He opened the apartment’s door and the two of them walked in silently.
I was only when they arrived to their bedroom that Mia dared to ask anything. “What’s wrong?”
He bit his lower lip. “I… hum… I don’t…”
“Sirius, you don’t what?”
“I… you… you can’t get in the order,” Sirius told her.
Mia’s eyed widened and she looked at him in disbelief. “What?” she asked in an angry voice. “What did you say?”
“You know what I said,” he told her.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” she said though her teeth. “Sirius, you don’t have the right to tell me what to do!”
“It’s too dangerous, Mia! Can’t you understand?”
“It is dangerous to everyone,” she told him.
“Mia, I just… I don’t want you to be exposed to danger!” he said
“Oh yeah?” Mia asked furious. “Then maybe you should go someplace else because Merlin knows you might roll over me while we slept and I would choke to death. That might be dangerous. And by someplace else I mean not in this apartment, you chauvinistic idiot!”
“Oh, come on! You’re not serious!” He said in exasperation. “Is it so difficult to understand—“
She approached him, glaring at him menacingly. “You can bet I am serious and no, I don’t want to understand. If I were you, I’d leave before I use my wand and show you just how much non defenceless I can be!”
Sirius shook his head in disbelief as he left – she so was overreacting. Was it so hard for her to understand he just didn’t want her to get hurt?!
As he exited the house, Sirius wondered where he was supposed to go now. Moony’s place? It was miles away and he didn’t really feel like apparating that far. Wormtail’s? Definitely not, considering he still lived with his hag of a mother. That left Lily and James.
“Mia did what?” James asked as he and his best friend.
“She kicked me out,” he repeated.
“Obviously because you did something,” Lily said, entering the room holding two butterbeers. She gave a bottle to each of them and sat by James’s side. “What did you do?”
Sirius sighed. “I just told her I didn’t think she should join the Order,” he said.
Lily rolled her eyes. “You’re such an arse! Why shouldn’t she? She was pretty good at DADA, she’s a trainee healer, which is always someone good to have around in case someone gets hurt…”
“What if she’s the one who gets hurt?” Sirius asked. That was the whole point of his worry – he didn’t want her to be harmed in any way.
“Padfoot,” James started, “considering we are at a war, she may very well get hurt with or without joining the Order. If she does join it, at least she won’t be fighting alone.”
“I know that,” Sirius breathed. Of course he knew she could easily be killed by the Death Eaters. That was all he could think about since James’s parents had died – she might be a target because of her good-for-nothing parents who spent their whole time chasing after You-Know-Who.
“By telling her she shouldn’t join, you’re saying she’s not good enough to defend herself,” Lily said. She continued before he was able to protest. “I know you don’t mean it, but that’s what you’re letting out, Sirius. No wonder she is angry.”
“Look, all I want is for her to be safe,” Sirius explained. “Mia is my constant; she’s the one that made me who I am now. I just… I hate to think she might… I know Mia can do unbelievable things with her wand in a duel but so did a lot of people who ended up dead. I can’t lose her.”
“Then go tell her that,” Lily told him. “Merlin, you guys can be so dense. Tell her what you just told us; let her know you are worried. But you can’t keep her from fighting, if that is what she wants to do. Look, I am joining the order too. I want to help creating a world that is safe for my son. James is not happy with that but he respects it.”
“It scares the wits out of me,” James stepped in. “Especially because Lils is pregnant. Nobody likes to think their loved ones are in danger but sometimes we just have to let them go ahead and trust them. I know that I’m going to be there to protect her. Now, you get up, go home and talk to Mia.”
Sirius sighed. “She was so angry…”
“Well, that’s your own fault,” Lily pointed out. “Now, do your job and make it up to her because James and I need to sleep.”
“Yeah, get the hell out of our sight, Padfoot,” James told him.
Mia groaned when she heard the door of the apartment opening and closing. What part of ‘get out of this apartment’ hadn’t he understood? Telling her she shouldn’t take part in the order… might as well calling her a damsel in distress, which she certainly wasn’t. Stupid arse!
When she heard the footsteps outside the door, Mia shifted on the bed so her back was turned to the door – she wasn’t really feeling like facing him right now. He knocked on the door and, even though she hadn’t given him any sort of response, the door opened and he entered the room.
“Are you awake?” he asked in a whisper.
Mia didn’t turn to him. “Go away,” she replied in a very low voice
“I’m sorry,” he apologised.
She didn’t respond for a moment. “I am not defenceless. Is it so hard to understand?”
“I know,” he said. “And that was not what I meant, Mia. Lily had already lectured me for what I did. I’m sorry I made you feel angry.”
She sighed and shifted back on the bed, now turning to face him. “You’re an arse, Sirius.”
“Lily has already covered that one too,” he told her, sitting on the edge of the bed. “I shouldn’t have told you shouldn’t join the order. But I was… I mean, I am scared. I know you can defend yourself but so did Judy and Christopher and they are dead. I love you more than I love myself and if anything happened to you, if you died…” He couldn’t finish the sentence.
Mia looked him in the eyes and finally understood. He was terrified for her. “What would happen if I died?”
He shook his head. “I don’t even want to think of it,” he told her. “But I know for a fact that a part of me – the best part of me – would die too. I can’t bear thinking of living in a world without you there.”
She closed her eyes for a moment, fighting back the tears that were threatening to come out. “Don’t you think I feel the same?” she asked through her teeth. “Every time you leave this house I wonder if it is the last time I will see you. I can’t imagine how much it would hurt to live without you!”
Sirius lay down on the bed and pulled her to him, trying to comfort her silently. She rested her head on his chest and immediately felt relieved.
“This is why I want to fight – so the fear will be gone,” she told him. “I want to get in the Order; I will get in the order. But I will be careful because I don’t want part of you to die with me.”
She felt him nod and there were several moments of silence when he just caressed her hair. They were both scared… terrified of losing each other in that war. Fighting was just too… stupid.
“Am I forgiven for being such an idiot?”
Mia sighed. “Yes, you are.”
A/N: Very, very close to an end. Turns out, there are just two more chapters and then... sequel, which I have practically rewrote in the past few nights. Anyway, I hope you like this chapter. Review!
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