*the plot and OC's are mine, the rest belongs to J.K.
Awkward. That is the only word that could describe the situation Shay got herself into. She hadn’t planned on remembering her whole life that morning. Neither had Sirius or Remus. Unfortunately for Remus, who sat across from Shay with an expressionless face, her remembrance affected him negatively.
“I’m so sorry Remus. You deserve to know the truth and that’s why I wanted to tell you right away,” Shay said and soothingly caressed his hands with her fingers.
She was surprised he didn’t pull away.
“Shay, I’m not surprised. I think subconsciously I knew all along. Nothing is going to keep you two apart. It doesn’t mean I understand it though,” Remus said calmly though his eyes didn’t show it.
“I don’t understand it either. I almost wish it could be different, but he’s the one. We all have one.”
“Not all of us,” Remus replied bitterly.
“Maybe you haven’t found her yet. Everything happens for a reason. Even the worst possible events can have a silver lining,” Shay said with a meek smile.
Remus scoffed and let his eyes wander out the window.
“Do you remember telling me that we will always be friends, even if I choose Sirius?”
Remus nodded his head slightly.
“Are you going to keep your word?”
Remus took a second to mull over the question.
“What was it like when you were captured?” Remus asked instead of answering.
Shay was a bit put off by his question. She really wasn’t prepared to share the story yet. If it were anyone but Remus who asked her, she probably wouldn’t have answered.
“It would have been a lot harder if I felt that I had something to live for when I was captured. All the torture, all the starvation and dehydration, I felt as if I deserved it. Before I was captured I was turning into a bad, selfish person and I felt as if no one really cared about or loved me. There were so many times that I wished you-know-who would just get it over with but I was very valuable to him. You know how stubborn I am and I knew I was getting out of there. Severus and Courtlyn saved me. But they could only protect me so much. I saw into his mind before I left. It was pure evil, Remus. I don’t remember the details of what I saw but it will affect me for the rest of my life. But the hardest part was when I slept. I would dream about home and the way things should be. That’s what nearly killed me,” Shay said shakily and realized she was crying.
She wiped her eyes and stood up to leave. She was embarrassed for some reason. She didn’t want to use what happened to her to keep Remus from being mad at her. She deserved his anger.
Shay quietly walked to the door and was going to say goodbye to Remus when he finally spoke up.
“It’s going to be tough Shay. You have to understand that. My relationship with Sirius is very damaged and that is not going to help our friendship at all. But I’m going to try like hell. Anyone who can go through something like that and come out of it a better person deserves the world. I’m so proud of you and so happy I can call you my friend. You know I love you and I know you love me in some way. Give me time, but I promise you that I will be your friend as long as I have a say in it.”
Shay ran over to her old friend and hugged him like she should have when she first came back. She hugged him because she remembered who Remus Lupin was and what he meant to her.
“Have you heard?”
Shay entered Albus Dumbledore’s office without notice. Of course he didn’t show any surprise.
“This is a great day Shay. You are completely back and the Order couldn’t be happier. How do you feel about all of this?”
Shay sat in a chair in front of his desk before continuing.
“It’s been rough. I’m happy to be me again but being me kind of sucks,” Shay said with a grimace.
“Struggles make us who we are. You’re one of the best people I know Shay. We are lucky to have you. Doing the right thing is not always easy, but that’s what make you, you.”
“Thank you Albus. Speaking of doing the right thing, I want to be an auror,” Shay bluntly stated her point of being there.
“I don’t think that’s the best way you can help the Order, Shay.”
“Why not? I’ve wanted this for so long. After losing Cillian and after being captured I can’t think of a better time of doing this. You have to understand; I want this more than anything. I won’t rest until I become an auror.”
“This isn’t going to be easy Shay. Sirius couldn’t get into the auror program because of his family background. You may have the same problem. There’s also the fact that there are many people that won’t want you to become an auror. However, I do have a proposition for you.”
“I’m listening,” Shay said.
“Come teach at Hogwarts.”
Shay laughed at the notion but realized quickly that Dumbledore was serious.
“I could never be a teacher, Albus. It’s not for me.”
“How would you know? You’ve never tried. Shay, I want you to be the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. I can’t think of a more qualified person. Since the job opened, you have been on the top of my list. It would be a dishonor if you said now,” Dumbledore said with a small smirk.
“I want to be an auror.”
“What if you teach until the war is over? Then you can go on to be an auror.”
“I can be the most help if I’m an auror. Albus, isn’t this what you trained me for?” Shay asked in frustration.
“No. I trained you to help save our world. We both know the Ministry is dirty right now. Shay, you have the ability to teach what you know to the future of our world. I can’t think of a more important job.”
Shay sat in silence and mulled over the decision for a few minutes.
“I guess I can do it until the war is over. I never thought I would be a professor at Hogwarts. People are going to think you’re senile,” Shay said with a smile.
“Shay, people have been thinking that for years.”
Shay apparated into Sirius’s living room and saw a completely different room than she had seen previously. It actually looked livable.
“I’m glad you’re here. I wanted to ask you about some things,” Sirius said with a grand smile as he entered the room.
“I love what you’ve done with the place. I haven’t seen it this nice since last February,” Shay said and started to walk the room.
“It’s a new beginning for us Shay. We get to start all over, right?” Sirius asked and slowly approached her, as if he was afraid she would disappear if he moved to quickly.
“I took a job today,” Shay said suddenly.
“Oh, really? What is it?”
“I’m going to be the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. Dumbledore ask me today.”
“Oh,” was all Sirius countered with.
“You’re not happy for me?”
“No, it’s not that. This is a great opportunity for you and there’s no safer place than Hogwarts, but I thought you were moving back here,” Sirius said and seemed a little hurt.
“That’s moving really fast, Sirius. We still have a lot of things we need to work on.”
“Like the fact that you slept with Remus last night?” Sirius attacked quickly.
“Or the fact that you cheated on me and have been lying to me about it since I got back. But let’s not start pointing fingers,” Shay quipped quickly.
“Quit apologizing. It’s not going to change what happened. I love you and I want this relationship to work. We have to start moving on from what has happened in the past year,” Shay said and sat on the couch.
“How are we going to start that?” Sirius asked and sat next to her.
“We need to start with Cillian. We never actually talked to each other about what happened. To get any where, we need to be able to do that.”
“I don’t want to do that,” Sirius said quietly.
“You never wanted to talk about it. How many times did I plead and beg for you to open up to me about it and I would just get shot down? This terrible thing happened to our child; a piece of you and a piece of me was ripped from us that night. We’re never going to get over that, but we need to be able to cope with each other if we plan on being together at all.”
“I never thought anything would ever happen to him. As parents, we inherently worry about our children, but never think anything is actually going to happen. In a perfect world, every child will grow up, unharmed, have good health, get good grades, have great friends and live a happy life. We both know this world isn’t perfect, but our child was murdered. How can anyone justify that?” Sirius asked.
Shay noticed he was physically shaken.
“Nobody can justify it, Sirius. He was taken from us because of what we believe in and what we represent. We both would have given our life to protect him. He was innocent but he was still punished. There is nothing less justifiable. I didn’t know what true pain and loss were until Cillian died. Unfortunately, we both know that feeling now. And that’s why we need to lean on each other to heal what we can.”
“I really am sorry for how I acted after Cillian died. I should have been there for you no matter how hurt I was. I’m sorry about Amélie. I didn’t want to deal with what was in front of me, so I ran away. I don’t know how I’ll ever make it up to you and I’ll understand if you can never forgive me for what I did. But the fact that you’re giving me a second chance makes me want to do whatever I can to make you happy.”
Shay scooted closer to Sirius and rested her head against his shoulder and intertwined her fingers with his.
“The only thing we can do is try. If we don’t, we’re always going to wonder ‘What if?’ and with this war now’s not the time to sit around and wonder. Now’s the time to act.”
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