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Chapter 11 : End of the holidays
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The day before they had to go back to school, Allegra and Renee were having breakfast in the lounge. Terese had taken a few days off so she was pottering around, having planned to take the girls to Diagon Alley.
“Mum, I need some new shoes” Allegra said, stretching her arms behind her head.
“Really?” Terese asked, sceptically.
“Yeah. Honestly. I don’t like the ones I have”
“Allegra, I’m not buying you new school shoes just because you don’t like what you have. Buy them yourself if you must.”
Before Allegra could reply, the front door slammed.
“TESS!” Sirius’ voice rang through the hall. Terese looked alarmed.
“Lounge” She called back. Sirius came in, a caged look on his face. Terese immediately became alert and on edge. Allegra often thought that if her mother had been an animagus like her father and uncle, she would have been a cat. She looked tense and ready to pounce on any danger.
“What’s the matter?” She asked him.
“Have you seen the Prophet?”
“What’s going on, dad?” Allegra asked, curious. Renee was contemplating sneaking upstairs. She felt like she was intruding. Sirius didn’t answer his daughter, just pulled a newspaper out of his jacket pocket, opened it to the third page and showed Terese. She read the headline, almost expressionless. When she finished, she looked up at her husband, waiting for him to speak. When he didn’t, she rested a hand on his arm.
“So?” He replied.
“Has James seen it?” Sirius nodded.
“What’s going on dad?” Allegra asked.
“Nothing” he snapped.
“Sirius. Don’t take it out on Allegra.” Terese said quietly. There was a knock at the door. Terese looked at her daughter, indicating she should answer it. Allegra jumped up and ran down the hall. Renee followed quickly, feeling like an intruder. James, Lily, Remus and Tonks were standing there.
“Hi sweetie.” Lily said, smiling weakly at Allegra. “Hi Renee.”
“What’s going on?” Allegra asked, looking at James, who would usually give in to her.
“Prongs?” Sirius called through. James ruffled Allegra’s hair and they walked through to the lounge, shutting the door. Allegra frowned. She marched upstairs and, hidden in the back of a draw, she took out what looked like fleshy string.
“What’s that?” Renee asked.
“Extendable ears” Allegra said, walking out the room and easing them over the banisters.
“Are we really meant to care about this?” Sirius was saying. “We’ve had nothing to do with him for… what? 34 years?”
“But he’s dead, Sirius. Dead. And he was…” James began.
“He was a traitor, James.” Sirius barked back. “He was going to hand you two and Harry over to Voldemort. He was going to send Terese to Bellatrix when she was pregnant with your goddaughter.”
“Alright, Sirius. I remember. I was there when he had the veritaserum.”
“Look, for years before that he was our friend” Remus’ measured voice intervened.
“Oh yeah. That makes what he did so much better” Sirius replied sarcastically.
“Babe” Terese said softly. “You can feel something about this you know…”
“I do feel something. I wish he’s stayed alive for longer. Thirty five years with dementors just wasn’t enough for him.” He stomped out, slamming the door. Terese went to follow him, but James caught her arm.
“Leave him for a bit. Let him calm down.”
“How are you Jimmy? And Remus?” Terese asked. Allegra assumed her Uncle Jimmy shrugged and Uncle Remus looked uncomfortable.
“Fine, Raesey, it’s just a bit…” James’ voice trailed off.
“Sirius was right though, sweetie.” Lily said, with a hard edge to her voice. “He tried to betray us all. He would have let them kill my son”
“And my unborn daughter.” Terese’s voice was shaking as she remembered.
Terese and Lily sat at a table in the headquarters. Terese was heavily pregnant. James and Sirius were huddled furtively in a corner.
“Should we be concerned do you think?” Lily asked.
“I don’t know. They’re definitely up to something.” Terese told her. “Sirius has been on edge for a couple of days”
“So has James” Lily replied, as James shook his head, looking decidedly upset.
“Sirius hasn’t left me alone.”
Throughout the meeting, Sirius and James both remained anxious, and neither seemed to be paying attention. Both of them had grabbed their wives’ hands. After the meeting, they glanced at each other.
“Fancy having a drink back at ours?” Sirius said to James and Lily, Remus and Peter. James nodded.
“Sirius…” Terese said. She was exhausted and she knew they didn’t have a lot of food. He shook his head at her.
“Yeah ok.” Remus said, surprised. To say things had been strained between them all recently was an understatement.
“Sure” Peter said, furtively.
“What about Harry?” Lily asked.
“He can go in the spare room, can’t he?” James said. Sirius nodded. Lily looked at Terese with a raised eyebrow.
Later on, they were sitting around Terese and Sirius’ living room. Lily was anxious about Harry, not wanting his routine disrupted. Terese was wishing they would all go, even James and Lily, so that she could go to bed.
“You alright Wormtail?” Remus asked, alarmed. Peter was sitting on the sofa, his eyes glazed over. Peter nodded.
“Where are you?” Sirius asked.
“Your house” He replied in a dazed voice. There was a sudden pop and Dumbledore appeared, with someone Terese recognised as a ministry official.
“What’s going on?” Terese asked.
“Veritaserum” James said grimly.
“Peter.” Dumbledore said. “Are you spying for Voldemort?”
“Yes.” Terese and Lily gasped. Sirius and James looked on grimly. Remus looked on with shock.
“Were you told to hand over James and Lily Potter, and their son Harry?”
“Yes” Lily let out a sob.
“And what else?” Sirius spat.
“Leave a portkey here. Send blood traitor Jones to Bellatrix to get rid of her and the brat” he said, mechanically. Terese began shaking. Lily put her arm around her and guided her out of the room.
Before Allegra and Renee could listen to anymore, they heard a voice calling from the back garden. Allegra looked out the window and saw Tabitha standing outside. Allegra opened the window, and Tabitha began to climb up the drainpipe.
“Tabs. What’s up?” Allegra asked. Tabitha pulled a copy of the profit out of her pocket and held it out. They read it.
Peter Pettigrew, a friend of their parents’ at school, had died in Azkaban. He had been in there for betraying them all to Voldemort.
“Oh my god. No wonder Dad was in a mood!” Allegra said.
“I can’t believe we weren’t told about this” Tabitha stated angrily.
“So my mum and sister could have been killed before Cesca was born. And Uncle Jimmy and Auntie Lily, and Harry.”
“We wouldn’t be here Al” Tabitha said. They stared at each other in disbelief. Renee sat, looking between them. They sat wondering what would have happened if Pettigrew had succeeded.
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