Chapter 7 : Chapter 6
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The days were passing more quickly, in the mornings Remus and I would go into the neighboring town looking for work. I was surprised just how far his cabin was into the wood and it was a huge relief that my family hardly frequented shops outside of our own town square. Dorney had a range of stores, restaurants, and small businesses.
As we walked, I’d point out establishments to consider and Remus shot down each one. Mostly he said that it would require too regular of hours. We needed something where our shifts could get swapped around easily. At the moment we were only scouting out for opportunity. He said that getting the job would be no problem, it was a matter of keeping it.
During the afternoons and evenings, we would relax; Remus with a book and me organizing my room. Lily came over a few times with furnishings she claimed she didn’t need. Thanks to her generosity I could now fill a new wardrobe and dresser with my clothes and had a small, soft rug on the ground. By Thursday, it finally felt like a room of my own.
I was relaxing on the bed when the familiar sound of one of Remus’ friend’s arrival from thin air roused me from drifting off into space. I left my room to find Remus letting Peter inside.
“Hey Pete! You coming for dinner?”
“Ah, no… Holly, I was just dropping off a message for Moony.” He fidgeted a little, until I got the hint and returned to my room. A spell was definitely cast because normally I could hear any conversation in the house, but it was completely silent in the sitting room. It wasn’t long until Remus knocked on my door, then poked his head in, “Hey… Holly, sorry, Pete and I have to duck out for a few hours this evening. Don’t mean to leave you by yourself for dinner, sorry.”
Shrugging it off I waved bye to him and Peter and they disappeared into the night. I went to the kitchen and heated up some leftovers to eat for the second night in a row. Why could Remus just leave whenever he wanted and I had to stay?
I drummed my fingers on my thigh, trying to think of something to do. Standing in the middle of my room I realized that there was nothing more I could organize. None of the books on the shelf were beckoning to me as they usually did. Initially I was worried that Remus’ book shelves were entirely nonfiction but I discovered that one of the walls was full of fiction novels. I had opted to start from the top shelf and work my way down- seeing as I had plenty of time. I ended up sitting ledge of the bathtub and attempting to french braid my hair. When my arms were sore and my hair was sufficiently knotted- and not in the way I was hoping, I gave up and went to read on the couch.
I woke up to the door crashing open. It was pitch-dark outside- and at this point of year that meant it had to be the wee hours of the morning. I peeked over the edge of the couch to see Remus and James carrying Sirius and Lily pressing a makeshift bandage onto his arm. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, I was too focused on the scene visually to take in anything else. Sirius’ head was just lolling completely unsupported and I couldn’t tell if his eyes were open or not. James’ brow furrowed, but his mouth open in concern. Remus freed one arm and with a wave of his hand the lamps in the room lit up. I jumped off of the couch, “Oh! Oh my, what happened? Is there anything I can do?” I swept my blanket and book off of the couch and pushed the table away to give room.
They didn’t answer but instead focused on setting down Sirius and getting to work. Remus rushing back from the kitchen with vials and bandages, James throwing objects into the cauldron in the corner, Lily tourniqueting Sirius’ arm and then cleaning a gaping wound with whatever was in the vials Remus brought.
I stayed out of the way, feeling helpless to the situation. Then I took a deep breath and ran to grab a washcloth, soaked it in cool water, then went about mopping sweat off of Sirius’ brow. As I leaned over him, I realized he was conscious, but barely. I repeated my question from earlier, “What happened?”
The three of them exchanged looks and that’s when I realized that it wasn’t just Sirius who looked in rough shape. James had a cut up by his hairline and his glasses were broken, Lily’s hair was a mess and she looked as if she had just run a marathon- her cheeks blotchy and red, Remus had dirt and rips all over his left side. A collective “uh…” was the only answer I received for a bit, until Lily blurted out, “We were in a fight.”
“A fight?” There is no way that is the whole truth but I choose to accept it. “And what happened to him?”
“Not sure yet.” Lily leaned over Sirius once again, with her wand in hand muttered strings of nonsense words I could only assume were some kind of incantation. I watched as Sirius’ gash began to knit together and a strange purpley ooze dripped out of the wound. Remus rushed over and collected the discharge in a vial. Once the wound was sealed, James wrapped Sirius’ arm with the bandages he had soaked in the potion he brewed.
Lily hopped up and grabbed the vial from Remus, “I’m going to take this back and see if someone can figure out what it is. In the meantime, make sure he gets some rest and stops being such a reckless numbskull, okay?” She dashed towards the door. Then before ducking out she called back, “Bye Holly! Sorry we woke you up!”
I stared at the two boys standing across from me, “So, are you guys going to tell me how Sirius ended up like that?”
They shrugged, “We were in a fight.”
“James, come on, where were you guys that Sirius looks like he got shanked with a poisoned knife?” And then it hit me. James was just brewing a potion in a cauldron, Lily and Remus had just done all sorts of healing spells with wands, obviously wizards don’t fight with their fists. “Oh. Magic.” James and Remus cracked a smile.
I brought out blankets and pillows for James and Sirius who were sleeping on the couches. Then I followed Remus towards his bedroom. I leaned on the doorframe, clearing my throat to get his attention. “Should I wake them up in a few hours so they can get to work?”
Remus sat on his bed, rubbing his head. “I don’t think any of us will be working anymore.”
“Wait, why? Did this happen at work? Is that why Peter came and got you?”
“No, no… it’s more complicated than that. You’ve seen the papers, you’ve heard us talking, haven’t you?”
Crossing my arms, I answered, “Remus, you make sure I don’t overhear anything worth hearing.”
“Well, of course,” He smiled, “it is a secret.”
“Seriously, Remus? I already AM a secret, it’s not like I’m going to go somewhere to tell the press.”
He patted the end of his bed so I left my post at the doorframe and sat down, facing him cross-legged. His eyes were squinted as he carefully picked out his wording, “When something is going bad and the government can’t or maybe won’t do anything to stop it… what happens?”
“Geeze, Remus, I hate politics, I have no idea.”
A disapproving look from Remus is worse than any of the ones from my schoolteachers, it wasn’t a ‘come on you fool’ look but more like a ‘I know you know and I’m disappointed in you for not trying’ look. “Think, Holly, what would you want to do, or want done?”
Thinking it over, I answered, “Well, I’d want to try and stop it myself.”
Oh. So they were all some form of freedom fighters? Isn't that dangerous, I guess it is, I thought as I looked back out towards Sirius' form on the couch. “Remus, is what you guys are doing… illegal?”
A wide smile appeared on Remus' face, “No, of course not. Just think of it this way, we’re helping the aurors but we have to be discreet.”
I nodded. So, Remus and his friends were in some form of rebel group. Wow. I felt young compared to them. I wasn’t doing anything with my life- and here they were trying to put a stop to all the craziness going on in their world. I’d seen it in the paper each time James brought it over- people, families, even the muggles were going missing or dying and everything was reported as ‘believed to be the works of you-know-who or his followers.’ “So, that’s what you’re up to on the nights you’re out?”
Remus nodded in response, “Yep.”
I stood up to head back to my room, but before leaving his, I stopped “Remus?”
“So I guess our job search is over?”
The lines on his forehead disappeared when he started laughing, “Yes, Holly, at least for me, it is.”
“It’s not like I can just walk to town for work…” I continued walking to my room.
Remus knew I could still hear him, “You can decide for yourself after this week.”
I didn’t answer, I had already reached my room. Out of my window and through the dense wood, I could see that the moon was nearing full.
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