A series of crashes and bangs followed the loudly screeched statement. Remus, Jessie and a rather peeved Sirius had awoken bright and early the morning of Celestina’s press conference. After a hurried breakfast of cold cereal and flying spoons, Remus had sent Jessabelle off to get ready for the day. He had then given Sirius a thorough lecture about why throwing spoons at certain singer’s faces at breakfast was inappropriate. He had then ordered Sirius, in a motherly fashion, to go upstairs and change out of his milk covered pajamas.
Currently the werewolf was sitting at the kitchen table, already charmed and transfigured into Jessie’s fabulous beezy Lulu ( complete with fuchsia robes and orange ascot), with Jessie’s manager Monroe discussing security protocol for the event. They were under strict orders from Dumbledore that Sirius was not to come along, even if that meant transfiguring him into a tea cup for the duration of the press conference.
Crash. Bang. Boom.
Monroe glanced at the doorway, wincing every time something crashed or banged down the hall. He looked at Remus, concern written on his face, “Are you sure we shouldn’t…”
“It’s J…Celestina. She’s not the most graceful person on the planet…” Remus trailed off, wincing as the sound of china breaking reached their ears.
“That crazy bint is the clumsiest person I have ever had the misfortune of meeting!” Sirius stormed into the kitchen, “She broke my mother’s china! The goblin made set with the family crest on them!” he lazily threw himself in the chair next to Remus. Monroe raised an eyebrow, so this was Sirius Black, what a charming lad.
“Not the clumsiest…” Remus mused aloud, Sirius cut him off with a sharp glare, “Don’t go there Remus Lupin. Don’t even.”
Remus had been attempting to bring out Sirius’ more loveable side since his meeting with Dumbledore. He had tried reminiscing with him about their Marauder pranks. He had attempted to cheer him up with mugs of his famous hot cocoa. His latest tactic was an attempt to coax it out with references to Jessie; a tactic which was proving to do more harm than good. Remus rationalized that Jess (later in their relationship) had always brought out the best in Sirius; and since he couldn’t use the actual living, breathing Jessie who was staying in the spare room, he might as well give her memory a go. Besides, he and Sirius needed to talk about Jessie’s “death” sooner or later.
Not once since Sirius’ escape from Azkaban, minus their little trip to Sirius and Jessie’s house, had Sirius referenced, mentioned, or alluded to Jessabelle Spring, the apparent “love of his life.” It just wasn’t healthy, Remus mentally sighed, Sirius was pushing it all away in an attempt to avoid having to let the “truth” that Jessie was dead sink in.
“Kindly remove the pole from your ass Sirius, we both know you’re only upset because you were planning one breaking the set piece by piece later this week,” Remus joked as Sirius continued to stare darkly at the floor.
Monroe surveyed the two men sitting across from him. Both, like Jessie, looked older than their years and had the pain of loss and heartbreak etched across their features; a permanent reminder of the horrors of their pasts.
Sirius Black especially interested Monroe. So this was the man that had caused his beloved Jessie to spend her nights drinking wine cellars dry and crying herself to sleep. This was the man who had broken his little Jess’ heart into a million tiny pieces. This man, the very man sitting across from him, was the man whose memory had nearly killed Jessabelle.
Monroe took him in. Long, Dark hair striped with grey. Deep, brown eyes. Lightly tanned skin marked with scars from the horrors of Azkaban. And yet despite all the terrors of his past Monroe could still see the proud, aristocratic boy in the man across from him. Maybe it was the way he was sitting; although Sirius was slumped in the chair, his shoulders were still held back and his head held high. Maybe it was the air Sirius still seemed to carry himself with; and air that all purebloods seemed to carry with them, no matter how rebellious or what side of the war they were on. Whatever it was, Monroe began to understand better who this Sirius Black was. He had been surprised by Sirius’ reaction to Remus’ passing reference to Jessie. He had expected Sirius to either recall his “dead” sweetheart fondly or begin to sob. He had not expected such a dark, murderous look to paint its way across Sirius’ features.
“I swear to Merlin! I am going to find the idiot who invented heels and rip them into a billion tiny shreds!” Jessie exclaimed as she walked calmly into the room, “Monroe!” she hurried over to the older gentlemen and hugged him tightly, “Merlin, how I have missed you! Not that I don’t love you Remus, but you will never believe how horrible it’s been being crammed inside this bloody decomposing mansion with that thing sitting next to Remus!”
Monroe hugged her back tightly, over Jessie’s shoulders he could see Remus laughing quietly to himself and Sirius imitated a five year old and stuck his tongue out at Jessie’s back.
Jessie took the seat next to Monroe, “Are we ready to go then?” she inquired as she smoothed down her hair.
“We’re just waiting for the some of the Order’s Aurors to arrive,” Monroe stated. Jessie cocked her head to the side, “Is that really necessary? Monroe it’s just a press conference. Voldemort isn’t going to pop out of the sea of cameras.”
Monroe sighed, “J… Celestina my dear, Dumbledore…”
Jessie threw her hands up in the air, “Oh again with the Dumbledore! I’ve about had it with that man! Bloody, white bearded…”
“Celestina, maybe it’s just better to be safe than sorry,” Remus interrupted her as he checked his watch. Jessie shut her mouth and crossed her arms, she was about to continue her rant when the fireplace flamed green and two burly men, a pink haired woman and one Mad-Eye Moody arrived in the kitchen.
“Mad-Eye,” Monroe addressed his old friend calmly, “Are we ready to go?”
“Yea, just have to wait for the go from Albus.”
Jessie was far too busy attempting to keep her composure as Nymphondora Tonks slid into the chair next to Remus and indiscreetly eyed the werewolf up, to comment on the most recent mention of her beloved ex-headmaster.
“Not your best look Remus,” she giggled as Remus tugged uncomfortably at the ascot on his next. On Remus’ other side Sirius chuckled to himself, “Afternoon Tonks.”
She beamed back at her cousin, “Sirius.
“Alright we’re on,” Mad-Eye called out. He motioned to the two men that had come with him, “You two go first, then Monroe and Lupin, then Tonks will follow with Ms. Warbeck and I will take the rear. Black I swear on my mother’s grave, if you even think about following us through that damn fireplace I will dismember you.”
Sirius mock saluted Moody, “Aye aye Captain, besides why on earth would I want to go to that bloody…”
Remus slapped a hand over Sirius’ mouth, “Sirius isn’t going anywhere Moody. Behave Padfoot,” with one last stern look at Sirius he stepped into the fireplace.
Jessie and Tonks followed Remus as well as Mad-Eye and soon Sirius was left sitting in the empty kitchen by himself. He looked at the fireplace one last time as he got up, “Besides Moony, Sirius Black has a little investigating to do of his own.”
Celestina smiled at the crowd of photographers and journalists in front of her as she gracefully made her way to the podium. She waved calmly as the cameras began to flash.
The press conference was being held in the front hall of the glamorous Amour Palace, one of Britain’s finest wizarding hotels. A small stage and podium had been set up in front of the hall’s large fountain, which depicted cherubs flying about in clouds (all carved of silver.)
“Thank you, please be seated,” Jessie said softly. There was a loud commotion as the sea of people shuffled their way into the white folding chairs which had been arranged before the stage.
As soon as the noise died down Jessie began to recite the speech given to her by Dumbledore. In it she informed the press that she apologized for being so absent from the wizarding world. She went on to explain that the reason for her absence was that she had been hard at work on a new album.
All the while Lulu was seated behind her, Mad-Eye was inconspicuously standing to the side, Tonks was seated in the crowd, and the rest of Mad-Eye’s crew was patrolling the hall.
“Now that I have said my peace I welcome you to ask me any questions I have not answered for you yet,” Celestina smoothed down her jacket and awaited the first question.
“Ms. Warbeck, what is your opinion on all of this He-who-must-not-be-named nonsense? Is he really back?” squawked a short, balding, pudgy man in orange robes.
“Mr. Dun, why is it you always insist upon asking me political minded questions?” Jessie teased warmly, “I believe that if the rumors are true it would be very smart of the wizarding population at large to accept the truth and begin to prepare themselves and their families for what is sure to be a very dark time. Personally, I would rather be prepared for the worst rather than unprepared. Next?”
Remus (Lulu) had to admire the way Jessie handled the questions thrown her way; calmly and graciously she answered every question’ from concerns about the newest hair potion to those pertaining to Dumbledore. He was still amazed by the transformation that seemed to overcome Jessie when she appeared to the Wizarding World as Celestina.
Slowly, far too slowly for Remus, Jessie, Monroe and Mad-Eye; the press conference was over. After being dismissed the reporters quickly cleared out of the hall. Jessie let out a sigh of relief as the last one walked out of sight. Mad-Eye, Tonks, and Monroe made their way onto the stage and grouped together with Jessie and Remus.
“All seems well, we should be able to get you home just fine,” Mad-Eye commented, his eye swirling, “Tonks here will get you lot back to headquarters just fine. I’m going to give this place one last sweep, make sure nothing is amiss.”
The four then walked off the stage and made their way to the lifts, once inside Tonks pressed the button for the executive floor and tapped her wand against the sensory pad.
“Access granted,” a soft woman’s voice said as the lift began to make its way upwards.
The fireplace in the executive suite had been chosen for a few reasons. One was that there would be nay another soul insight once they got to the floor. That said, Jessie still felt a little apprehensive as they walked off the elevator and down the empty hall towards the lone door of the suite. Remus and Tonks exchanged a look, “Wands out,” Tonks said softly as she pulled her wand out of her inner jacket. The other three followed suit.
Tonks opened the door to the suite. The lights fluttered on. Remus wrapped his hand around Jessie’s arm. Something wasn’t right. Monroe exchanged a glance with Remus as Tonks closed the door behind them.
“Remus…” she whispered, “Do you…”
“Well, well, well if it isn’t the Celestina Warbeck.”
All four turned around, behind them stood six dark cloaked figures with silver masks, their wands out and pointed at the four. The tallest of the group stepped forward, “Oh wait, allow me to correct myself; what I meant was, It’s a pleasure to see you again Jessabelle Spring.”
Jessie’s eyes grew wide as Remus’ grip tightened on her. The group remained speechless as they attempted to inch their way towards the fireplace.
The tallest Death Eater began walking forward again, “Did you really think no one would ever figure your little operation out? The Dark Lord knows all. It didn’t take him long to realize what was going on. You will be a wonderful asset to the Dark Lord Jessabelle.”
Jessie snarled, “Never. Now piss off Luciouse!”
Malfoy chuckled under his mask, “What was it that gave it away Jessie?”
“The hair you pompous git. Now return to your beloved Dark Lord and tell the slimy git that my answer to his request remains the same as it did last time he asked. I will never join your motley crew of cowardly murders.”
“A touching speech. The Dark Lord was afraid you would respond that way. He informed me that if you should be disinclined to accept we were to make sure you paid for it in your own blood. For real this time Jessabelle. No staged murder. No escape.”
Malfoy threw the first hex and soon the suite was filled with flying colors. Remus and Tonks were both taking on two Death Eaters at once. Monroe had one to himself. Jessie had gone after Luciouse and was flinging hex after hex at the blonde.
“You are the slimiest, most irritating prick I have ever had the misfortune to meet,” Jessie screamed as she dodged the green bolt of light that Malfoy sent in her direction. She flicked her wand and the overturned sofa flung itself at Malfoy’s head. Malfoy was barely able to put up a shield charm in time and the force of the sofa against the charm knocked him on his back.
“Awwww, did poor Lucy get a boo-boo?” Jessie taunted him, using the childhood nickname he had been given at one of the many parties the two had attended in their youth. Jessie laughed as Malfoy struggled to stand up. As soon as he did, two bolts of light ejected from his wand- one purple and the other blue. They twisted together as they soared through the air and hit Jessie square in the chest.
The last thing Jessie heard was Remus’ horrified scream as everything went black.
Two cliffies in a row, I am such an awful person. Don’t worry, the next update will arrive shortly! Yay for summer! Hope you are enjoying! Thank you for reading!
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