Chapter Twenty One: Falling to Pieces
The year following graduation was a blur. Lily and James were married a week after graduation followed by Alice and Frank’s wedding a week later. Shortly after the weddings Sirius and Isis moved into Sirius's London flat that he had purchased with money given to him when his Uncle Alfred passed away. James and Lily moved into their new house in Godric’s Hallow that had been given to them by James's parents as a wedding gift. Once they had received their N.E.W.T. scores Frank, Alice, Sirius, Isis, Remus, Lily, and James began their training as Aurors. Sekhmet wrote to her sister, Lily, and Alice often telling them all about California and school, but no matter how hard the girls tried they could not get Sekhmet, who had once been so open about her love life, to say if she was even interested in anyone.
Training to be Aurors under Alastor Moody was intense and there was no rest to be had. The problems created by Voldermort and his Death Eaters were never ending and stretched the Aurors thin. Moody had informed them that due to this problem they would get more hands on training then normal for beginning trainees. Two months after their training had begun Professor Dumbledore summoned everyone to his office at Hogwarts.
"Thank you for coming." Dumbledore smiled looking at his former pupils, "I am sure you are all very curious as to why I called you here." Everyone nodded. "The nine of you were the best students in your year possibly the best in a long time. You instructors in your current field have given you nothing but glowing review, yes even Alastor Moody" Dumbledore added seeing the look on Sirius's and James's faces. "As you know Voldermort," They all shuddered, "has been gaining an increasing amount of power and followers. The Ministry is doing its best to stop him, but as you can clearly tell they are having rather a lot of difficulties. I believe it is our duty as members of the Wizarding community and as qualified wizards and witches to do our part to help. I have established a group known as the Order of the Phoenix to help stop Voldermort and I would like each of you to join." Dumbledore ended his speech sitting back in his chair.
"We could die couldn't we?" Peter asked meekly.
"Yes Peter there is a strong possibility that you may as many others have. If any of you feel that the danger is too much I will not hold it against you if you choose not to join."
"I think we should." Lily said taking James's hand, "We might as well fight instead of sitting around waiting for something to happen. We’d be in no more danger then what we are already doing."
"If you're sure Flower." Lily nodded and James kissed her. "We'll help you."
"I agree with Lily." Isis said and Sirius quickly kissed her.
"We'll help too." Sirius said wrapping his arms around Isis.
"Someone has to keep an eye on you guys so I guess I'm in too." Remus smiled at his friends and then Dumbledore.
"Us too." Frank said as Alice nodded.
"Me too." Peter's response was quiet. It was obvious he did not want to but refused to be left behind by his friends.
"Thank you very much all of you. I will be in contact with you shortly as to the location on the meetings." Dumbledore smiled gravely at them.
Between work and the Order life was busy. Isis and Sirius attempted to plan their wedding but Sekhmet was making things difficult; she did not want to be around Remus. Isis was not about to get married without her sister and Sirius was not about to get married without one of his best friends, so both agreed that Sekhmet just needed a little more time, after all it had not quiet been a year yet.
November of 1979 brought wonderful news for the Potter's and the Longbottom’s, Lily and Alice were pregnant and they were glowing. Alice and Lily stayed in the Order until their growing stomachs made it impossible. As the girls got closer to their due dates Frank, James, Remus, Sirius, Isis, Mrs. Potter, and even Molly Weasley took turns keeping an eye on them. Mrs. Evans checked in on her daughter when she could considering the distance between them.
“I feel silly having to be babysat like this.” Lily half complained one day while Isis was spending time with her and Alice at Lily and James’s house.
“Well if it is that bad I can certainly stop giving you a pedicure.” Isis suggested as she ceased painting Lily’s left toenails.
“No no I wasn’t saying you should do that!” Lily protested while Isis and Alice laughed.
“Stop complaining then. Besides it would be awful if one or both of you went into labor and no one was around. Personally I would be too distracted to Floo and at this point Apparition is too dangerous.”
“Yes mother.” Alice and Isis laughed. “So I got a letter from my mother yesterday.”
“How are you parents?” Alice asked.
“They’re doing well. Mum wrote me to tell me that Petunia had a baby a few days ago. A little boy his name is Dudley.”
“What kind of a name is Dudley?” Asked Isis a weird look on her face.
“It is a rather odd name.” Agreed Alice.
“No idea. According to Mum Petunia and Vernon are ecstatic and spoiling him already.”
“Does your sister know you are having a baby?” Alice asked.
“Unless Mum told her no, Petunia and I have not been on speaking terms since I got married.” Lily looked out the window. The subject of her sister had always been a touchy one. Alice and Isis promptly changed the subject.
At the end of July Alice was the first to go to the hospital followed shortly by Lily. On July 30th, Alice gave birth to a baby boy whom she and Frank named Neville. The next day, July 31st, Lily gave birth to a baby boy whom she and James named Harry James Potter. Lily and Alice were moved into the same room upon request shortly after Lily had giving birth. On August 1st, everyone gathered in the large hospital room the girls had been given. As the new mothers and new grandmas fussed over the babies taking turns holding them, the boys chatted with the new grandpas by the door.
"So how does it feel to be dads now boys." Mr. Potter asked.
"I don't think it has fully sunk in yet." James laughed not taking his eyes off Lily.
"Oh it will soon believe me!" Mr. Longbottom laughed.
"Yes when they are crying in the middle of the night." Mr. Evans added smiling as his wife held their new grandson.
"I'm just scared I'll mess up." Frank confessed.
"We all were. No one, despite all the advice, knows what they are doing. You do the best you can and give them all your love." Mr. Longbottom put a hand on his son's shoulder, "You'll be a great dad son."
"As will you Mr. Potter." sad to James.
"And remember the girls are going to be just as scared as you, but together you will make it work." Mr. Evans added.
"And speaking of making great parents what about you and Isis?" Mr. Potter looked at Sirius, "Should we be expecting another grandbaby anytime soon?" Mr. Potter smiled as the other chuckled under the breaths at how red Sirius had turned.
"No. Not yet Mr. Potter I still have to make her my wife first." Sirius laughed nervously looking at his fiancée who was now holding Harry. "But she would make an amazing mother."
"Yes she would." James smiled at his best friend, "Speaking of you and Isis making good parents there was something Lily and I wanted to ask the two of you, from the look on Lily's and Isis's faces Lily already asked Isis." James turned to face Sirius, "Sirius Black would you be Harry's godfather?"
"Of course I will! I'd be honored!" James and Sirius gave each other a quick hug.
"I take it he said yes?" Lily asked smiling.
"Yes." James replied.
"Good because Isis agreed as well."
Summer turned to fall and then to winter. Both Alice and Lily rejoined the Order going out on missions only when they could find baby sitters. Isis and Sirius tried once again to get Sekhmet to come back for their wedding but she refused and the plans were once again canceled.
October 1981 brought awful news. Dumbledore informed Lily and James that they needed to go into hiding as they were being hunted by Voldermort. Arrangements were made for Sirius to become their secret keeper. Shortly after James and Lily went into hiding.
“How are they today?” Sirius asked as Isis gained her balanced after apparating into their living room.
“They seem to be in good spirits, but James is getting restless.”
“I’m not surprised James never liked being cooped up.”
“No and Dumbledore has his cloak so he can’t go out.”
“Wait how do you know about the cloak?”
“Lily found out from James and told me.” Isis shrugged.
“Ok. So why does Dumbledore have it?”
“James said something about Dumbledore being interested in its magical properties since it is not a normal invisibility cloak.”
“Isis! Sirius! Thank Merlin your home!” Remus’s wolf patronous appeared in the middle of Isis and Sirius’s living room startling them. “You need to get to the Order headquarters right away.” The patronus disappeared and so did Isis and Sirius.
The living room of the Weasley’s house was dead silent as Sirius and Isis walked in from the kitchen. No one spoke, but everyone was crying. Dumbledore stood staring into the fire.
“Wha-what happened?” Isis asked tensely.
“James’s and Lily’s parents were killed tonight.” Dumbledore answered quietly from his place in front of the fireplace.
“No!” Sirius collapsed onto the floor landing on his knees, Mr. and Mrs. Potter had been the parents he never had. Isis knelt down and wrapped her arms around him.
“Do James and Lily know?” Isis asked through her tears.
“No.” Dumbledore answered, “We felt that those closest to them should tell them, that is if you are able.”
Sirius nodded into Isis’s shoulder unable to speak. “We’ll go Professor.” Isis answered. Isis gave a quick flick of her wand and a small silver fluid cat appeared. “James, Lily. Sirius and I will be arriving in a few moments, this is urgent.” Once Isis finished speaking she flicked her wand again and the cat disappeared.
James and Lily did not have long to wait. Shortly after Isis’s cat patronous disappeared Isis and Sirius appeared in their living room. “What happened?” Lily asked seeing that both Sirius’s and Isis’s eyes were red from crying.
Isis looked to Sirius but he shook his head unable to speak, “I’m sorry but your parents were attacked tonight. They…they didn’t make it.”
“No! No!” Lily cried collapsing on the couch. Isis ran to her side well James looked to his brother.
“Please Sirius tell me it isn’t true.” James pleaded. Sirius shook his head crying again as he sank into a nearby chair as James, almost in a trance, sat down next to his wife taking her in his arms.
Isis heard Harry fussing upstairs. She knew nothing she said or did would make any difference and someone needed to see to the child. Isis caught Sirius eye and motioned that she was going upstairs, he nodded. Once upstairs Isis entered Harry’s room and found him standing in his crib crying, he had obviously heard Lily’s cries and became upset himself.
“Shhh…its okay Harry.” Isis lifted Harry out of his crib and sat down in the rocking chair. Isis sat rocking and singing to Harry for quite some time before the creaking of floor boards caused her to look up, Lily stood red eyed in the doorway.
“May I hold him?” She asked her voice a little shaky.
“Lily he’s your son you don’t have to ask.” Isis stood handing Harry to his mother allowing her to sit in the rocking chair.
“I know but you seemed so comfortable.” Lily smiled sadly at her son before looking at her friend.
“Don’t worry I won’t ask you how you are doing.”
“Thank you. How did it happen?”
“They’ve been on a manhunt for you and James since you went into hiding. We were working on a secure location to hide your parents; we were trying to get them out of England. I’ll understand if you’re mad Lily you have every right to be.”
“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t. My first thought was to say you should have moved faster, but I know better.” Lily could not keep all the anger and sadness from her voice. Isis could not think of anything to say.
Isis and Lily sat not speaking as rain begun to tap on the window. Silent tears streamed down Lily’s cheeks as she rocked her son. Eventually both girls fell asleep in their chairs. A gentel hand on Isis’s shoulder woke her. She opened her eyes to see Sirius, eyes even redder then before, standing next to her. Isis nodded knowing it was time to leave. Isis hugged James before her and Sirius apparated back home.
Isis and Sirius did not speak the rest of the night. Sirius went straight to bed the moment they arrived home. When Isis finally joined him she could tell he was crying again. Silently she slide into bed next to him and wrapped one arm around his waist.
The morning of October 31, 1981 was a beautiful crisp fall day. Isis spent the day running errands with Sirius since it was a weekend neither of them had work. Isis wanted to get candy for the tricker-o-treaters and pumpkins to carve. That evening after dinner and that had carved the pumpkin, Sirius went out on his bike to check on Lily and James while Isis stay to hand out candy. As the last of the tricker-o-treaters left Isis wondered why Sirius had not yet returned. Figuring it was because he was with James. Isis went about cleaning up.
"Isis!" Isis jumped as Remus's patronus appeared in her kitchen, "Lily and James have been attacked." Isis dropped the plate that was in her hand it shattered on the floor as Isis apparated to Godric's Hallow.
The sight that met her eyes upon arrival caused Isis fell to her knees. Lily's and James's house was in runes, Muggle firefighters were attempting to put out the fire as Aurors and other Ministry begin showing up using their wands to help put out the fire, the firefighters did not questions what was going on. Isis could hear them talking but it sounded so far away, two of her best friends were dead.
"Isis you need to get up." Remus's said as he gently pulled her to her feet, "You can cry later but right now we need to find Lily's and James's bodies."
"Harry." Isis whispered as Remus helped her steady herself.
"Hagrid took him to his Aunt and Uncles." Remus answered.
"Ok. I'll go and pick him up later." Isis felt numb as they searched the remainder of the house for her friend’s bodies. The only thing she wondered was where was Sirius?
The search team did not have to search long to find the bodies. Remus had to hold Isis up to keep her from falling again. They found James first laying in the entry way. Lily’s body had been found in Harry’s room in front of his crib. Thankfully the fire hand not touched them. It took most of the night into the early morning to place all the spells on the former house and to modify all the Muggles memories. The official story put out by the Muggles was that there had been a gas leak which caused the explosion, there were no survivors.
By the time Isis arrived back at the apartment she was so tired she almost missed the note on the table. Picking it up she read:
He betrayed them! I am sorry my love but I cannot forgive him. Please forgive me.
Isis sat down on the couch not understanding the meaning of Sirius's letter. What did he mean by ‘he’? Hadn't Sirius been Lily's and James's Secret Keeper? Who could this ‘he’ be? Isis sat and thought for a moment before it finally made sense. ‘He’ was Peter! Peter had been disappearing off and on for the last year and no one knew why. Now it made sense, he had become one of Voldermort's Death Eaters! They must have made the decision to have Peter be Lily and James’s Secret Keeper without telling anyone since Sirius was the obvious choice.
"How could he!" Isis screamed into the couch. Isis curled up and cried the letter clutched in her hand. There was nothing she could do but wait for Sirius to come home.
"WAKE UP ISIS!" Isis fell of the couch startled awake. "Finally you sleep like the dead woman!" Moody was standing in her living room.
"What?" Isis did not care that she sounded rude.
"You’re coming with me. Your fiancée has been found." The look on Moody’s face scared Isis.
"What happened to Sirius!" Isis demanded.
"Just take my hand.” Moody ordered holding his hand out. Isis took it and they Apparated.
She and Moody apparated to a street in London, Isis gasped Sirius had Peter up against a wall wand pointed at his heart. Muggles and Muggle police were everywhere and so were the Aurors. Everything happened so fast. Peter yelled at Sirius for betraying Lily and James and then without warning the street blew apart the force of the blast blew every off their feet as derbie flew through the air. As the air cleared Muggle and Ministry law enforcement rushed forward, Moody held Isis back.
As the rest of the smoke cleared two Aurors lead a laughing Sirius forward. Isis managed to break free from Moody’s grasp and ran towards him. Two Aurors grabbed her, but not before Sirius saw her. He looked her straight in the eyes he had stopped laughing instead he looked sad. "I love you!" Sirius yelled before the Aurors holding him apparated away. Moody gently grabbed Isis's hand and led her away. As they walked away Isis heard someone yell that they had found one of Peter's fingers and nothing else, Sirius had killed him.
The next morning Isis arrived at the Ministry early hoping to catch Dumbledore who was to testify at Sirius's trail. Sirius was being tried for being a Death Eater and for the murder of Peter Pettigrew. Isis had the letter that proved Sirius did not betray Lily and James. Isis waited on the bench for what seemed like hours.
"My dear why on earth are you here so early?" Isis looked up Dumbledore had finally arrived.
"I wanted to catch you before the trail. Sirius didn't betray Lily and James it was Peter."
"That's impossible Sirius was their Secret keeper not Peter."
"They switched letting people believe they had gone with the obvious choice."
"Did Sirius tell you this?"
"No, but he left me this just before he went after Peter." Isis handed Dumbledore the note.
"I'm sorry but this proves nothing. This could be another part of his plan; he is, after all, a very clever man." Dumbledore handed the letter back.
"But Sir Sirius could never have betrayed his friends! You of all people should know this!" Dumbledore said nothing but walked into the courtroom.
Isis felt helpless as she watched the trial from the balcony with Remus. The trial was quick there was no doubt in everyone’s mind that Sirius was guilty. When Barteimus Crouch read the guilty verdict the moment Sirius was brought in the chamber Isis collapsed against Remus crying. Not only had they declared him guilty but Sirius was also unable to have visitors so Isis would not be able to see him. Remus helped Isis home where she collapsed on the couch one again.
After two hours Isis got up and began to pack. She could not stay here. Her fiancée was in jail for a crime he did not commit and two of her friends were dead, there was nothing left. Isis planned on leaving the next day after Lily and James's funeral. Then she remebered she had made a promise to Lily and James to take care of Harry if anything happened and she was going to do just that.
Lily's and James's funeral was the next day Isis and Remus sat in second with Alice and Frank. Dumbledore presided over the funeral, as he spoke Isis noticed he looked old, not that he was not, but she had never seen him look old. After Dumbledore Isis and Remus both gave speeches to remember their fallen friends, Isis managed to hold herself together during her speech but once she sat down there was no stopping the tears. Remus held her as his own tears silently flowing. After the funeral Isis asked Dumbledore if she could speak to him privately.
"What can I help you Miss Croft?" Dumbledore asked his voice still very heavy with sorrow.
"I'm not sure if you know this or not, but James and Lily asked both Sirius and myself to be Harry's godparents."
"Yes they told me."
"I know you had Harry sent to Petunia's but Lily and James wanted Sirius and I to take care of him. Even though Sirius is-" Isis voice caught in her throat, "Even though Sirius cannot help I will still fulfill the promise I made to my friends. I am willing to raise Harry. I will raise him and love him as if he were my own son. He will be well taken care of and want for nothing."
"I am sure you would make an excellent parent to Harry, but I am sorry the answer is no."
"But Sir why-" Dumbledore held his hand up.
"I will not argue this with you Miss Croft nor will I explain my reasoning. All I will say is that Harry will be protected where he is."
"Voldermort is gone Sir." Isis was confused.
"I do not believe he is permanently gone and therefore the answer remains no."
"But Sir I promised! They wanted me to take care of him!"
"I think it is best if you go and live with your sister."
"No! I refuse to leave Harry!" Isis could not believe what she was hearing.
"This is the best for everyone Miss Croft." Dumbledore looked around picking up a small cup tapping it. "Now please take this. Your items have already been sent to your sisters." knowing she could not win and that somehow Dumbledore was right, though she would not admit it, Isis took the cup and was sucked into the vortex of a Portkey.
Sekhmet ran from her room, where several bags had just appeared, to living room when she heard a loud thud.
"WHAT THE?!?" Sekhmet yelled seeing her twin standing in the middle of the living room grasping a small cup.
"Dumbledore sent me." With those words Isis collapsed in tears on the floor.
A/N: We hope you enjoyed reading the first part of the Twins's story. The sequal will be up shortly and will be tilted Just Breath. Please leave a review after you finish reading we love hearing from you!
Amazing image by Jazzi @ TDA thank you for all the amazing and beautiful images you have done for this story!