The day following the midnight attack on the Davies, could be no more different than the evening prior. The sun shone so brightly, it was nearly enough to make many forget the horrid weather that had hung over England for the past several months. In the hilly countryside, miles away from the bustling city of London, was a small cottage. To any muggle eye, this cottage appeared as nothing more than an old boarded up barn, leaving them incredibly uninterested. Those who mustered up the curiosity to get a closer look, would oddly lose their train of thought, and entirely forget why they were in the middle of the English countryside to begin with. This seemingly quaint, small cottage, was incredibly well hidden, miraculously protected, and contained two of the most powerful people of their age.
“Alice, love?” a voice echoed through the quiet cottage, grabbing the attention of certain short-haired brunette. She stuck her head around the corner, a cup of tea in one hand, while still reading the Daily Prophet.
“Hmm?” she replied, frowning at the largest headline. Death Eaters Attack in North London. Alice glanced up the stairs to her husband, who looked to be having a rather difficult time with his tie. He appeared flustered, his curly dark blond hair disheveled. Alice couldn’t help but chuckle at him. Frank was so level-headed in the most stressful situations, but it seemed something as simple as tying his tie properly was enough to break him.
“I can’t seem to find my cloak,” Frank started, throwing his hands in the air in frustration, “or my badge. I can’t tie my tie. That’s it, I just am not going to work.” He walked back into the bedroom at this, disappearing from the corridor. Alice waited patiently, a small smile on her face. After a few seconds of silence, Frank appeared back into the upstairs corridor and looked at her helplessly.
“Well aren’t you going to tell me I have to go anyways?” he asked her incredulously. Alice chuckled and walked back into the kitchen, setting the Prophet on the table as she passed it, and pouring herself more tea.
“You’re a big boy Frank,” she said cheerfully, listening as Frank bounded down the stairs and entered the kitchen. “I’m certainly not going to tell you what to do.” Alice turned back to find Frank looking incredibly pale.
“Aren’t you nervous about our first day?” he asked, almost fearfully. “Why aren’t you at all nervous?” Alice rolled her eyes with a smile and walked across the kitchen, placing a fresh cup of tea in his right hand, and attacking the task of tying his tie herself.
“Probably because I don’t have to worry about wearing a tie,” Alice said as seriously as she could, trying very hard to contain a smile. Frank still had a helpless look on his face, even as she finished fixing his tie to look like perfection. Alice sighed deeply and stood on her tip-toes to give him a quick kiss.
“You have no reason to be nervous. You’ll be brilliant like always,” she said encouragingly, shooing him over to the kitchen table and into a chair. “Now drink your tea. Eat your breakfast before it chills. And I will go upstairs and get your badge, which is in the pocket of your cloak, which is hanging on the back of the bedroom door next to mine. Right where I told you it would be.” Frank sighed with relief, while smacking his forehead lightly in embarrassment.
“Blimey, I forgot,” Frank said, looking over at his petite wife standing in the doorway. Not even a few months before, she had long flowy chestnut hair. But during Auror training, Alice deemed it a hassle and chose to cut it incredibly short. None of that would ever matter to Frank however, because he loved Alice with everything in him. And in times like these, that was all anyone needed. Frank chuckled lightly as Alice twirled in her light grey Auror robes.
“I figured you would,” she said with a wide grin, before she left the room and headed up the staircase.
“Have I mentioned lately how much I love you?” Frank shouted up the stairs as he took a bite of his breakfast, the main headline of the Daily Prophet grabbing his interest. There was no immediate answer, as Alice could be heard from downstairs rifling through a drawer, then making her way back down the stairs, two cloaks in hand. She draped them quickly over a chair in the sitting room, before entering the kitchen and taking a seat in the chair next to Frank.
“Mmm, perhaps you’ve mentioned once or twice,” Alice said, appearing to be thinking hard about the topic at hand. “You probably could do with reminding me more often of course.” Alice’s face turned to one of concern as Frank frowned deeply at the paper before him.
“Death Eater Marcus Avery was taken into custody in the early hours of Friday morning. He was caught fleeing the scene of an attempt on infant Roger Davies’ life, for his half-blood status,” Frank read. “Blimey, they’re even attacking half-blood families now.”
“As of yet, there is no evidence that Avery had an accomplice—oh that’s bollocks, they always travel in pairs at the very least. When questioned by Aurors, Patricia Davies told her version of the events. ‘I was bound and forced to watch that horrible man (Avery) threaten my son’s life. When I had lost all hope—no.. Alice they actually put a bleeding description in here!”
“‘When I had lost all hope, a young woman with red hair and bright green eyes, swooped in and saved Roger and I. She managed to get my wand back to me so that the two of us could get away. I would love nothing more than to thank her personally for what she has done for us.’”
“There are no official reports of the heroine in question ever actually being present at the time of Avery’s capture and arrest. Investigation is underway to find the identity of this mystery woman.” The two sat in a stunned silence.
“I can’t believe that,” Alice finally said. “They might as well have added in Lily’s home address as well then yeah? Everyone on their side bleeding knows what she looks like now. And Avery’s in the innermost circle. Voldemort will not be pleased in the slightest.” Frank shook his head heavily.
“Albus will be positively furious,” Frank said, still gazing at the picture on the front page. It showed a completely destroyed town home, nearly reduced to nothing but ashes and rubble. “What’s worse, whoever was with Avery may not have gotten a good look at Lily at all. But now that her description has been published, there’s no getting around it.” Alice, being so very much Alice, shook this off and put on the cheerful smile that she was known for. With one swish of her wand, her husband’s breakfast dishes flew carefully over to the sink.
“Come on love,” she said with a smile, leaning down and pressing her forehead against Frank’s. “Let’s show them Death Eaters what we’re made of.” Even as light-hearted and carefree as it came out, both Frank and Alice knew that in the coming year, they really would. In ways they could never imagine.
Remus found himself sitting in a field. Looking around quickly, he recognized this field as one he had visited as a young boy, in southern France. The grass grew tall, nearly two feet, and flowed with even the lightest wind. Remus laid back stared up into the clear sky. There was not a single cloud in sight, only a single full orb. A full moon, and yet Remus was still just ordinary, human form Remus. He chuckled lightly, closing his eyes, enjoying the silence of the warm afternoon.
Remus was unsure of how long he laid there, in his peaceful serenity. He was unsure if there was any concept of time here. He heard a snap of a twig, only ten feet from him. Sitting bolt upright, Remus looked for the source of the sound. And there she stood. Just as he had remembered her. . . before. Before, she had long black locks that reached her waist, tan unscathed skin, vibrant, joyful golden eyes. She once told him it was inherited, skipping every five generations of Meadowes. It was rare. Her gaze was always so piercing, so intent, so full of life. But that was before.
She laughed joyfully, a large sunflower being twirled around her fingers. Even from so far away, he could smell her scent. Like a butterfly flower, just after a rain shower. Suddenly, the joyful image of her was distorted, as though he was viewing a filmstrip in high speed. She was walking towards him, slowly changing to herself now. Thin. Scarred. All he could hear was what he had heard that day in July.
“LET ME GO!!!” she screamed, struggling. He could hear the struggle, but he was powerless to do anything to stop it, just as he was the day it happened. He heard her screams over and over and over again. Begging him to help her. To save her. To do anything. But he couldn’t. There was nothing he could do to stop it.
Albus’ voice flowed through his head. “Dorcas Meadowes is missing. We suspect that her in depth knowledge of both the Ministry and the Order are what drew Voldemort’s attention. I’m sorry to say, we cannot know whether she will survive her capture. But as long as we are unharmed, and undiscovered, we know that she has remained loyal.” Remus felt his chest tighten, recalling the sole response.
Or we know that she’s dead.
She came closer and closer to him, her face only inches from his.
“You didn’t do anything,” Dorcas whispered in his ear, a cruelly kind smile on her face.
It wasn’t an accusation, but it also wasn’t forgiveness. It was inexplicably ambiguous and left Remus in utter confusion.
“REMUS!” a voice frighteningly echoed throughout the large bedroom. Remus sat upright so fast, it was as though someone had sent a Stinging Jinx at his rear end. He found a concerned looking Sirius at the end of his bed. Remus felt the blood drain from his face. Another attack? More deaths? Another abduction?
“Who is it?” he asked suddenly. Sirius gave him an odd look before handing Remus the front page of the Daily Prophet. He read through it quickly. It could have turned out much worse, but it’s not as though the situation was particularly good.
“Sounds an awful lot like Lily to me,” Remus said simply, a bit lost for words as the remnants of his dream floated in the back of his mind. Sirius rolled his eyes.
“Of course it’s Lily you dolt,” Sirius said impatiently, snatching the Prophet from him. “Only Lily would be out in the middle of the night and by chance stumble upon a Death Eater attack. I’m more concerned about what’s happened to her. I haven’t heard any word from the Order. That could be good or bad, it’s rather hard to tell…” Sirius trailed off in his own thoughts. Remus swallowed thickly.
“Do you think James knows?” he asked quietly, concern now filling his voice. He and Sirius looked at each other for just a second, before they were both bounding out of the room and out of their flat. Sirius banged on James’ door rapidly, both he and Remus still pajama-clad.
“James! Mate this is important wake up!” Sirius shouted, still slamming his fist against the door repeatedly. The door swung open suddenly, revealing a certain red-headed woman. Sirius’ hand hung in the air in mid knock on the door that was there just moments before. The two men stood gaping, causing Lily to laugh rather loudly. That is, until the two of them crashed into her with hugs.
“You’re alright!” Sirius shouted hopping up and down, relieved. Lily winced horribly, though maintained a smile as she withdrew from the two of them and beckoned them in.
“I’ve got a few broken ribs, and a lovely shiner, but I’ve been much worse off,” she said cheerfully as she closed the door behind them. Lily turned back to the two of them. “Well? Sit down then. I’m making pancakes.” Sirius sat down without question, as did Remus, though he was a bit more hesitant.
“Lily, what are you doing here?” Remus asked, settling into his own chair. It was usual for her to be at James’ around lunch time and dinner, but never this early. James seemed happy to answer for her, as he had just stepped into the kitchen.
“She’s my new roommate!” he said excitedly, looking uncannily similar to a toddler on Christmas. Lily rolled her eyes at his excitement and retreated to the stove top. Unfortunately, because of this action, Lily missed the look exchanged between Sirius and Remus. James shook his head fervently, trying to shush them before they made the comments he knew they wanted too. Or atleast he knew Sirius wanted to. James was so afraid of Lily regressing back to thinking him immature the way she did in school, that he tried to avoid innuendos. He was just afraid of her reaction. Sirius, however, ignored him quite blatantly.
“So when you mean roommates,” Sirius began, now ignoring the death glare he was receiving from James, “do you really mean roommates?” James winced prematurely, preparing for the worst. Lily however, seemed unfazed by his remark and served them pancakes.
“Oh yes of course I do Sirius,” Lily said quite seriously. As she walked around behind Sirius, she winked at an incredulous looking James. Ah I see, he thought to himself. “You didn’t know James and I were dating?” Sirius sputtered into his tea. Remus however, caught on and kept quiet, smiling slightly into his own cup of tea. James shook his head, a mock look of disappointment on his face.
“How did you forget mate?” he asked, sounding rather hurt. “I told you ages ago.” Sirius looked utterly helpless.
“It’s been going on for a while now,” Lily said as though it was obvious, taking her own seat. James sat as well, gazing in a ridiculously lovey way at Lily, though it was very likely genuine.
“Blimey Sirius we’ve even started planning the wedding,” James said in a dreamy voice, trying to hold back his laughter. Lily nodded in agreement, though stopped at the blank look on Sirius’ face.
“Didn’t we tell you?” she asked, feigning confusion all too well. Remus couldn’t take it anymore, ducking his head under the table and shoving his hands over his mouth to muffle his laughter. Sirius however, missed this entirely, still looking stunned.
“You can’t be serious,” he said blankly, looking between the two.
“You’re right, because you’re Sirius,” Lily said evenly, before taking a sip of her orange juice. This set even James off into uncontrollable laughter. Sirius finally seemed to shake out of his stupor and frowned at both of them, his mouth twitching in attempts to hold back a smile.
“Well played Evans,” was all he could manage. He seemed quite traumatized by the whole experience. The other three’s laughter was interrupted suddenly by a silver phoenix that had just shot through the ceiling in a mist.
“Remus, you are needed at headquarters for duty assignment in one hour,” Albus’ voice floated dreamily through the room. Just as the phoenix disappeared into a silvery wisp, Remus shot out of his seat.
“I’ll have to grab a shower and head over there then,” he said in a rush. “Thank you so much for the breakfast Lily, it was lovely. Good to see you’re safe and now a neighbor as well. I’ll see you lot later.” And with that Remus was out the door with a snap. Lily looked at the two men left at the table in confusion. They both just shrugged, one not sharing his suspicions, the other, his lack of them.
On the streets of London this curiously sunny day, you would see the hundreds of pedestrians wearing light-weight clothing. Most would be in a cheerful mood to match the weather. Restaurants had opened their patio tables for customers. You wouldn’t see a cloud in the sky. One particular man, saw none of this. Remus Lupin was hurrying down yet another alleyway in a serious panic.
He hadn’t seen more than a glance worth of Dorcas since she had returned. He had passed her as he had approached the entrance to headquarters just a week before. It was so unexpected, that he hadn’t even known it was her looking at him, with her golden eyes, until a moment too late.
Remus had been distracted by the impending meeting he was to have with Albus about the upcoming full moon. He was week, shaky, sickly. As he reached the bookstore, he bumped into a woman. Remus had murmured a quick apology and finally met her eyes. She was bundled in a large black hooded pea coat. Black gloves. Black hat. Short, cropped black hair. Her face was only visible. Her delicate bone structure, and golden eyes. Dull golden eyes. It was as though she was hiding herself from the world. She was hiding. They shared only a glance, and then she was gone again.
Remus wasn’t even sure that she would be the one on duty with him. Was he panicking all for nothing? Would Albus even want them on assignment together after what happened the last time? Remus ran a nervous hand through his hair as he approached the dreaded bookstore. He stopped before the door, taking one deep breath before entering.
A frail looking Marlene McKinnon sat behind the front desk, filling out paperwork of some kind. Marlene had been viewed as a small girl in school, her dark blonde hair contrasting dramatically with her snow-white skin, but now she looked even gaunter. It was most likely because of the attack on her family at the start of the summer. They had escaped just in time, but it had to be stressful to move your family so often. Marlene was quite a secret weapon in the Order. As frail as she looked, and as quirky as her personality was, few would expect that she was fiercely powerful with her magic. Most would never see it coming.
“I’m looking for a book on Phoenixes,” Remus said quickly before she even had to ask. Marlene looked up to a man standing behind Remus and nodded curtly before turning back to her paperwork. Remus turned to meet Kingsley’s penetrating gaze.
“Good day Remus,” he said in his deep, calm voice, before allowing Remus to step past him towards the entrance to the upper floor.
Remus had to calm himself. “Deep breaths,” he kept saying over and over in his head, as he walked up the hidden staircase. Remus finally stepped into the main room, in the middle of which as small table was placed. Facing him was Albus, who, the instant he saw Remus, vanished a large marble basin that had been sitting on the table before him. On the other side of the table, facing away from Remus, sat a woman with short black hair that barely reached her shoulders. Albus peered at Remus over his spectacles with his vibrant blue eyes.
“Ah, Remus,” he began dreamily, “please join us.” Remus gulped a bit too loudly, looking away from the woman as he stepped forward slowly and took a seat beside her. He was almost too afraid to look. To meet her gaze.
Remus pulled together the little courage that he had, and finally did glance over at her. Dorcas’ eyes seemed to be glazed over, her expression stony. She looked the same, though a bit more scarred. She was thinner, her hair cropped incredibly short in comparison to what it once was. The color was in her face. She looked healthy, just not the same as before. He understood, but it hurt his heart to see her like that all the same. Albus cleared his throat, causing Remus to look away from Dorcas and turn his attention back to the white-bearded man.
“Onto business then,” Albus said rather cheerfully, opening the closed folder before them and pulling out multiple photographs. Dorcas was now very attentive. “These are the most recent targets of Voldemort’s wrath.” Remus frowned looking at the three moving photographs.
“Albus,” he started quietly, “these two are only kids.” The first photo showed a young girl with straight brown hair and pale green eyes. The second showed a very similar looking older girl, though her own hair was much curlier, and a lighter brown. The third showed a dark-skinned man with a short buzzed haircut.
“They are,” Albus said in agreement. “They have also witnessed their parents’ deaths, including the last young man. Voldemort considers them as threats because the Death Eaters involved in these crimes seemed to have discussed incredibly valuable information at the scene, unaware that there were witnesses to these discussions. This information, in the wrong hands, our hands, could lead to the end of Voldemort’s power.” Albus slid the pictures of the two girls forward first.
“This is Gwenog and Hestia Jones. Gwenog is only ten years old; Hestia is sixteen. Their parents were murdered just before the start of term at Hogwarts, and have been on the run every since. Luckily, Hestia is a very talented witch, and was able to apparate, though illegally, from the scene with her sister, just as they were discovered.”
“In a very similar case, Edwin Thomas witnessed his entire family’s murders. Edwin is eighteen, and is believed to be wandless, therefore having very little ability to defend himself against any Death Eater. I believe that these three are now on the run together, as the murders happened in a very short time span in the same community. There have also been several sightings, by some of our undercovers, of a man, resembling Edwin, accompanied by two young girls matching the Jones’ descriptions.” Remus sighed heavily, taking in the information given to them.
“You want us to bring them back,” Dorcas said determinedly. That was the first time Remus had heard her voice, her real voice, since the day his world fell apart. It was an odd sensation for Remus. A combination of joy and immense guilt filled his entire body. Albus nodded.
“They were last seen in Southern France. Though they’re most likely hiding in the countryside now,” he said, reading from the folder. Remus shook his head suddenly. He looked between Albus and Dorcas in confusion. Albus met his gaze, a twinkle in his eye. “Everything alright Remus?” Did he know? How could he know? Remus maintained eye contact with the mysterious man.
“Absolutely,” Remus said with a shrug. “Just wondering when we leave.” Albus smiled widely and gathered up the papers strewn about the desk.
“Tomorrow morning at precisely 7:30, you two shall meet me at the Hogshead bar in Hogsmeade,” he said calmly. “From there you two will apparate to the coordinates that I will give you. I want you to be as covert as possible, don’t look too inconspicuous, don’t look too obvious. You will search for these three, and when you find them, explain who you are, that you are there to help them. Dorcas, Hestia will recognize you from school, so she will trust you. As soon as you have a hold of the three of them, you’re Order i.d. bracelets will turn to Portkeys, which will take you, and only you five, straight to headquarters. Understood?” Dorcas nodded, as did Remus. Albus let out a sigh of relief.
“That is that then,” he said, leaning back in his seat. “Dorcas you are free to go, as you know I have to speak with Remus.” Remus looked between the two, trying desperately to catch Dorcas’ eye. She stared ahead pointedly, nodding at Albus and gathering her coat quickly.
“Dor—” Remus started, as she took her first step down the stairs. Dorcas froze, for only an instant, but she seemed to sigh, and continue down the stairs. Albus cleared his throat.
“No time for that now Remus,” Albus said in a cool, yet comforting voice. “There is another matter far more important.” Remus turned to Albus, finding him pulling out a single vial, filled with a silvery gassy liquid. He set it lightly in Remus’ outstretched hand. Dorcas Meadowes was scrawled on the label.
“I know that doing this mission with Dorcas may be difficult, for the both of you,” Albus started, keeping Remus’ gaze. “She seems to be handling her situation as well as can be expected. What you may find to be an issue is her inability to discuss it.” He sighed slightly and held his hands together beneath his chin.
“I feel that you two will not be able to act as a team if you don’t have a full understanding of each other, or yourselves. In this vial, is an assortment of Dorcas’ memories, ranging from the day she was taken, to as recently as last week. Dorcas has agreed that this is the best way for you to understand her experience, and therefore cope with it as well.” Remus could do nothing but gape slightly at him, now staring at the vial before him.
“You will take this home with you and view these memories immediately, as they will take time,” Albus said, looking quite serious. “They should give you some clarity before the journey ahead of you.” Remus delicately placed the vial in his coat pocket, and stood quickly. Albus stood as well, shaking Remus’ hand tightly. With that, Remus left headquarters, entering the streets of London, once again oblivious to the abnormally good weather.
A/N: Regarding Edwin Thomas: According to J.K. Rowling, Dean Thomas real father was a wizard, left his family to protect them from Death Eaters, and was killed at some point. Dean’s mum remarried and took the last name Thomas, leaving Dean to believe that he was Muggleborn. I have tweaked this slightly, in that Dean’s real father’s (cough Edwin cough, if you didn’t recognize the last name Thomas, what are you doing on this site?! (: ) surname was Thomas, etc. etc. So basically, all I did was switch a name haha. Hope you enjoyed!