Chapter 31 : The Joy Amongst The Confusing
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A week had passed since Ruby had taken her first step and Sirius was still trying to convince her that playing in the Quidditch game was a bad idea, with very little success. He walked down the corridor towards the Hospital Wing, his thoughts on Remus, who had been incredibly quiet ever since the day before when he had walked into an empty classroom and found his now ex-girlfriend making out with a Hufflepuff seventh year mate of Annie’s boyfriends. Since the two had broken up, Thea had been spending all her time with Annie at the Hufflepuff table knowing that she couldn’t sit with Lily and Rainy and normally Ruby because they were so close to the Marauders.
Two days before when Robert and Emma had come to visit Ruby, wanting her to feel loved after everything that had happened with her own biological family, Sirius and Ruby had told them of their engagement. Emma had being thrilled, a ‘I told you so’ expression plastered to her face as she had hugged and kissed them along with her husband, both elated by the news.
Even when their world was in disarray, seemingly falling apart around them, the simplest idea, like an engagement brought so much hope and happiness. Sirius had the feeling that it gave them all an example to what they were fighting for, reminding them that no matter what evil threw at them, there was always a reason to fight back.
Sirius ruffled his short, dark hair slightly smiling at Ruby’s comment about his curls the other night, as he walked through the doors of the Hospital Wing. He froze, his eyes wide, a smile expanding across his features, his eyebrows rising as he shook his head.
‘You stubborn thing, Rocky,’ Sirius said gently a laugh evident in his tone as his fiancé walked towards him slowly. He could see the effort and concentration on her face but that didn’t stop the look of satisfaction that glowed in her eyes as she neared him. Sirius tilted his head to one side as she reached his open arms. ‘You brilliant, beautiful witch.’
Ruby beamed as Sirius hugged her lifting her off her feet and swinging her around slightly. He tenderly lowered her so her feet could touch the ground as his strong fiancé moved her arms to hold the sides on his face gently as she leaned forward and kissed him.
‘What?’ Sirius asked confused slightly. ‘She’s letting you go?’
‘She…is,’ Madam Pomfrey said smiling. ‘Ruby’s made a tremendous recovery, one I must admit I failed to see happening.’
‘You tough nut,’ Sirius said his arm around her shoulders as he kissed her forehead.
‘Now I want to see you twice a week, just to check up on you for a while, alright Ruby?’ Ruby nodded happily. ‘And take it easy, ok? You’re incredibly lucky to be alive.’
‘There’s just something about her,’ Sirius said softly looking at Ruby’s head, devotion in his eyes.
‘Yes, I believe there is. Professor Dumbledore did wish to speak to you after dinner tonight, Ruby, so don’t forget to head to his office later on.’
‘I won’t, thank you for everything.’ Ruby said before Madam Pomfrey smiled and turned back towards her office.
‘So you’re first Friday night of freedom in what 2 weeks, what do you want do?’
‘Just be with you guys,’ Ruby said. ‘Like normal.’
‘Ok,’ Sirius said his hand holding hers as she took slow, tender steps towards the exit. Sirius looked to the right, looking at his fiancé, her deep auburn hair spilling over her shoulders. She turned to look at him and smiled, feeling a freedom she couldn’t explain. Sirius paused for a moment turning so Ruby could get on his back.
‘You want to carry me?’
‘No, but you’re really slow,’ Sirius said smirking as Ruby hit him playfully before climbing onto his back. She leaned forward and kissed the side of his neck. Sirius shivered involuntarily as she continued kissing his neck.
They walked up to the Heads common room, to find it empty.
‘Where would they be?’
‘Check the map,’ Ruby said softly.
‘Why? Has one of them got it?’
‘No,’ Sirius said his voice thick with emotion.
‘It was dropped, and confiscated by Filch the night Prongs and Moony found you.’
‘What?’ Ruby whispered, shocked. ‘I’m so sorry, I know how proud you guys were of it, how long it took to make…’
‘Baby, it’s nothing compared to you. We didn’t even realise until after you’d woken up.’ Ruby shook her head, feeling horrible. ‘Hey, it’s ok, they chose you instead of worrying about a stupid map an you never know one day it might find its way back into a Marauders hand or even one of our kids,’ Sirius said smiling at the idea, stroking Ruby’s thigh.
‘So what’s the time?’
‘A little after 5,’ Ruby said looking down at her watch.
‘Maybe they’re in the Great Hall…’
‘But it’s early?’ Ruby said as Sirius turned around walking back down the corridor. ‘I love everything about this castle.’
‘Even the slimy Slytherins?’
‘Yep, they make Hogwarts home, don’t you think?’
‘Mmhmm,’ Sirius said thoughtfully.
‘I can’t believe we leave in like 5 months,’ Ruby said pouting slightly.
‘I can’t believe it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow.’
‘Sirius, I was being serious, what do we do after we leave?’
‘Sirius I’m serious.’
‘I know love that tends to happen when you spend too much time with me.’ Ruby shook her head, playfully punching his shoulder blade.
‘You’re infuriating,’ Sirius chuckled as he twisted her around so she was now facing him, her legs still wrapped around his waist as he continued to walk down the large marble staircase.
‘But you love me anyway!’
‘God knows why,’ Ruby said smirking.
‘Because I’m sexy,’ Sirius said his hand placed on her cheek.
‘Sexy? Nah,’ Ruby said kissing one side of his neck.
‘Cause I’m charming.’
‘Charming? Nah,’ Ruby said kissing the other side of his neck, his hands in her hair.
‘Cause I’m a Black,’ Sirius said a smartass look on his face.
‘Nope definitely not that,’ Ruby said looking at him. ‘It’s not your looks or your smartassness or your ability to do magic or smile up to your eyes or charm your way out or into any situation. It’s your soul.’
‘You mean the slippery sucker is what you, love?’ Sirius asked faking shock.
‘Yeah it haunts me,’ Ruby said before leaning forward and kissing him deeply. She pulled away and looked into his eyes as he resumed walking.
‘You're a spunk,’ Sirius said. ‘Remember that little dance you did for my birthday?’
‘Of course, afterwards you invited me into a broom cupboard,’ Ruby said giggling almost at the memory.
‘I did, did I?’
‘Yep but I refused,’ Ruby said her eyes glistening madly.
‘Stupid girl, you missed out on all the pole dancing that night,’ Sirius grinned at her and Ruby moved one hand into his hair, stroking absent mindlessly loving her best friend to the deepest part of her soul.
Sirius placed her down and took her hand, squeezing gently as they stepped inside the great hall. They both froze as they looked at the large sign spread across the end of the room above the staff table which spelt out ‘Finally, Congrats Are In Order!’ They took in the large number of smiling people and the change in tables from long and wooden to large round tables with delicate cloths in place. Ruby squeezed Sirius’ fingers before he let her hand slip from his grasp, instead snaking his arm across her shoulders.
The two of them were in awe as they heard the yells of love and happiness, taking in everyone who was there. Sirius saw his parents standing with the teachers and his brother, beaming at the expressions plastered on their faces.
‘What is all of this?’ Ruby asked as they reached their friends and family.
‘Well when your best mates get engaged after almost losing one of them, it calls for celebration,’ James said smartly.
‘But…How did you organise all of this without us knowing?’
‘Don’t sound so shocked you’re looking at the Marauders after all with some added servants thrown in,’ James said a smirk placed on his face as Lily poked his stomach smiling and shaking her head.
‘Congratulations Sirius and Ruby,’ Dumbledore said smiling looking at the couple before him. ‘Enjoy this evening.’
‘Thank you, Sir,’ Ruby said as Sirius winked at their professors.
‘Now can I have everyone’s attention!’ James said his voice amplified, gaining the concentration of every student in the room. ‘We’re here to party with the new couple and make sure they never forget, even when they’re married and arguing and Padfoot is kissing Ruby’s feet just to sleep in the same bed…’ At this Lily poked him again just as Ruby pulled on a strand of his hair. ‘Oi! I’m just keeping it real. Anyways where was I? Ahh yes, so when Padfoot is sleeping on the couch they can look back and remember this moment and all will be well again. So tonight if your single find someone to dance and snog with, and if you’ve got someone who you are willing to kiss up to, take something from this insane couple and live before it’s too late!’ James finished beaming as everyone cheered loudly.
Lily pulled out her wand and with a simple action a band appeared and music erupted around the room. It wasn’t long before Lily had a slow song playing and was instructing everyone to find someone they cared about to dance with and move to the dance floor.
‘You guys are so special,’ Ruby said kissing Lily’s cheek before hugging James tightly.
‘We know, now dance,’ Lily said and James smirked at how much that was exactly something he would have said.
‘Funny how someone you once hated, Sugar, changed you so much,’ Ruby whispered before Sirius pulled her backwards, twirling her around. Everyone was lost in their partner as the song played, until the last chorus, where people’s gazes were captivated by the true couples in the room.
‘If I had only felt the warmth within your touch.’
Remus Lupin watched, amazed at how simple it seemed to be for his best friends. He couldn’t help but feel his eyes drift towards where his Thea was dancing with her new Hufflepuff boyfriend. He was tall with dark hair and eyes that stayed on Thea the whole time his hands ran up and down her back. Remus tensed wanting nothing more than to take her in his arms and kiss her. He couldn’t believe how much he felt for her now that she wasn’t his.
‘If I had only seen how you smile when you blush, or how you curl your lip when you concentrate enough.’
James held Lily to him, her arms holding his body close to hers. She looked up into his eyes, the song lyrics reverberating in her ears as the music played and as she gazed into her boyfriend’s eyes. James Potter was to her the perfection she had dreamed about in all those muggle movies and books she had grown up loving. She slowly walked her fingers around his neck, playing with the ends of his hair at the back of his neck, making him shiver before kissing him softly.
‘Oh I would've known what I was living for.’
Ruby hugged him tightly, feeling his breath against her skin as they moved together.
‘It seems easy, doesn’t it?’ Ruby asked looking into his deep grey eyes.
‘Being here, now, just being together.’
‘It’s all going to change though, isn’t it? Everything we love will be at risk.’
‘Don’t worry about it, Rubes,’
‘I can’t help it, what if something happens to you?’
‘It won’t baby. I’m not going anywhere. We’re going to get married, live together, have kids, stop the bastards and grow old and wrinkly together.’
‘You make it sound way too simple.’ Sirius shook his head, wanting to make her feel safe and secure and to not worry about such things. Instead of speaking knowing her stubborn side was coming out, he leaned forward and kissed the tip of her nose, hugging her tightly.
‘Nothing else matters, Rubes. All that matters is that I love you and you love me and that’s all we need to think about baby, that’s all.’
Ruby had always been stubborn and that wasn’t a shock to Sirius, what shocked him was that she seemed more nervous than ever before. Suddenly she seemed ery aware of not only her own morality but of his.
As they danced, ate and celebrated, everyone in the Great Hall forgot what it meant to have evil threatening the very lives they cherished.
‘Where are you trying to go?’ Sirius asked watching as Ruby slowly walked in the opposite direction to their friends.
‘Right,’ Sirius said nodding like he had known this all along. He grabbed Ruby’s waist and picked her up, spinning her around before he carried her, bridal style up to the magical staircase. Sirius heard a noise coming up behind him and quickly moved Ruby so he could get out his wand, aiming in the direction from which they had just came, while his other arm held up Ruby who was balancing carefully on her feet.
Sirius’ eyes had narrowed dangerously as he leaned forward slightly to investigate before contact had to be made. Ruby had her wand out now as well, not that it made a difference seen as Sirius had positioned himself directly in front of her.
Just as quickly the other person appeared seeing the wands pointed at them and reacting instinctively, pulling out their own wand as they protected the person who was coming up behind them.
‘Prongs?’ Sirius announced shocked, beginning to lower his wand. Ruby looked away from her friends as Dumbledore appeared in the doorway, a look of shock on his face at the sight of the raised wands.
‘Jesus, Padfoot!’ James said whistling as they followed Dumbledore back into his office.
‘A bit on edge, are we?’ Albus said gently as he sat down in his chair looking across at the four teenagers.
‘Apparently,’ Lily said looking across at her boyfriend and Sirius.
‘That isn’t right and for that I am truly sorry…’
‘Professor, you shouldn’t be sorry for something that you can’t control.’
‘No, maybe you’re right but you have lost the beauty that came with childhood. Do you remember the innocence you felt a few years ago? When you felt safe in your parent’s bed and looked forward to Easter and Christmas because that was when the impossible became possible.’
‘Of course,’ Ruby said softly, her hand holding Sirius’ as he watched her lovingly.
‘Well that is why I called you here this evening; you four are very accomplished individuals. You each know what is right and are willing to fight for what you believe in. A few years ago I began a group, a group your parents are in, James, one made up of witches and wizards who like myself, wish to recreate the innocent magic that once existed. The Order of the Phoenix stands strong, but with Voldemort increasing his numbers from within these walls it has left us slightly hindered.’
The two teenage boys glanced at each other before looking back towards their Headmaster.
‘I wish to offer you a place amongst this secret society. I am asking if you would like to be a part of those help restore the innocence you once knew to the children of the future, your own children.’
Albus Dumbledore sat strongly in his chair, moving to lean towards his students who in his eyes were no longer students but very capable witches and wizards. His beard if possible seemed to glow in its whiteness as it touched the light of the candle on his desk, his eyes peering over his half moon spectacles into the youthful faces of the four brave individuals before him.
‘So you fight against Him?’ James asked his tone firm.
‘Yes, being a secret group as we are it allows us more freedom than the limitations that can be upon groups like the Aurors. Now I know James, Sirius that you both wish to be Aurors and whether you chose to become a member of the Order will not interfere, the same goes for you Miss Evans.’
‘I would love to join,’ Ruby said looking at Dumbledore with a beam placed upon her features. ‘There are people out there who deserve to live, deserve to play, laugh and grow without worrying that their lives or their families lives could be cut short.’
‘You can take time to think it over Miss Mason; I don’t require an answer immediately.’
‘I don’t need to think about it, this is what I want to do. I didn’t know what career I wanted to be a part of now I know why I couldn’t chose, I had to be available to help you kick some seriously evil asses.’
‘Ruby’s right Professor, this is what you’ve been training me for.’
‘Are you both certain?’
‘Yes,’ the girls said strongly, feeling safe in their decision. Dumbledore now turned his gaze to the Marauders who looked as though they were going to burst, smirks placed on their faces.
‘Ever lady-like Rubes,’ James said before turning away from Ruby. ‘I’m in.’
‘I have to ask for your certainty, James.’
‘I’ve been asking what my parents do with you for years, I’ve watched them save people and I’ll be damned if I’m not with the man who can lead us all to victory.’
‘You can hear the Quidditch Captain in your voice, Mr Potter.’ Dumbledore said his eyes twinkling at the resilience that was these students. ‘Now Sirius…’
‘Do you even have to ask,’ Sirius said standing up and looking towards the portrait of his great, great grandfather. ‘I hate my family, I hate everything they stand for, their delusions ruined what was meant to be a childhood. And then they had the nerve to think that they could kidnap, torture and kill my Ruby…They’ll pay for the pain they’ve caused so many, muggle or otherwise. I will stand beside you, Dumbledore; I will fight till my death.’
Ruby was staring at Sirius her normal clear blue eyes glassed over as she listened to his speech. His eyes had locked onto Albus’ who nodded once, a look of pride flashing across his eyes.
‘I am honoured to have such brave people to one day fight alongside,’ Dumbledore said nodding at each of them in turn. Sirius had moved now to Ruby’s chair, standing behind her chair, his hands on her shoulders.
‘What about our friends?’ Lily asked her voice kind as she glanced at James.
‘For now it must remain between us, your friends I would imagine would be just as eager as yourselves. There are some other students from other houses who may join us, but I must be aware of who way be swayed and who will remain strong.’
‘They will remain strong,’ Ruby said indignantly.
‘Yes, Miss Mason they may but there is one within your group who I think will leave this community as soon as the chance appears.’
‘Annie,’ Ruby said gently, knowing the fear that resided in her friend that was more than the fear that was within herself.
‘Many are strong, not all are brave,’ James said quietly.
‘Robert has raised you exceedingly well,’ Dumbledore announced as he closed his eyes momentarily.
‘Please sir, if we mention it to some slowly or something?’
‘Please, trust me, soon I promise they will be welcomed to the Order if they choose it but for now if you were to leave significant people outside of this knowledge, friendships may perish. Friendships are the strength that you need to continue to fight, so I will not allow them to be ruined by my swift judgement.’
‘Yes, Sir,’ Lily said gently.
‘I will speak again with each of you soon; enjoy the rest of your evening.’ Dumbledore said watching as they got to their feet. ‘Ruby, Sirius, congratulations, you’re happiness is inspiring.’
‘Thank you Professor,’ Ruby said as Sirius placed his arm around her shoulders, walking slowly from the office. James had paused waiting for Lily who motioned for him to go on ahead, which he did hesitantly.
‘Wednesday evening again, Sir?’
‘Yes, Miss Evans, I will see you then. And thank you, you all give us such hope.’ Lily beamed at him nodding her gratitude before leaving his office, the door catching the lock gently as she moved down the staircase and into her boyfriend’s waiting arms.
Remus walked quickly towards the Head’s common room his head full of what he had just seen. He had unexpectedly walked in on Thea making out with her new boyfriend up against the stone wall. He couldn’t get the picture out of his mind, and even more so the hurt and shock that had swept across her face when she had pulled away to spot whose gaze was upon her.
‘Hey Rems,’ Ruby said as Remus sat down heavily looking across at Sirius who nodded his head to show his support. He looked around at his friends, Lily and James talking quietly between them, Ruby and Sirius now watching him carefully and Rainy and Peter who were talking, almost sad expressions on their features.
‘So you get that sometimes too?’ Peter asked quietly.
‘Yeah, of course, we’re surrounded by this lot,’ Rainy said softly, their conversation literally only between them. ‘They’re all so together; I think it would be odd if we didn’t feel left out.’
‘I miss my friends,’ Peter said mournfully. ‘We used to be together in everything we did and now they’re with their girlfriends all the time, and now it’s a fiancé as well. I think sometimes others have the right idea.’
‘Depend on no one except yourself and power then you won’t get hurt,’ Rainy looked at Peter, her head tilted to one side in concentration at his statement.
‘Maybe girls are different, my situation never seemed that bad,’ Rainy shrugged her shoulder slightly before she smiled gently knowing just who she wanted to set this awkward boy before her up with.
Rainy turned back to her other friends, watching how easily everything seemed for the couples before her. She loved each of them so much, each of them had such big personalities and it made for such entertainment.
She glanced at Ruby who was humming to herself a poppy little tune, bouncing her body slightly while she did so.
‘You crazy girl, what are you humming?’
‘It’s just being stuck in my head for the last few days and then I realised; it’s that cereal ad that I saw years ago and apparently its popped back into my head.’
‘I hate that, stupid song lines that get twisted up in that cauliflower inside our heads.’ Ruby smirked as Rainy pulled out her wand an idea springing to her mind. A moment later a cauliflower was sitting on her lap and she was magically writing her favourite song lyrics on it.
‘Such an artist you are,’ Ruby said chuckling as Sirius conjured a broccoli, breaking a part off and throwing it at Rainy’s head. On a second throw it missed Rainy instead hitting James’ forehead. James growled playfully conjuring a tomato and aiming it at Sirius, who ducked sniggering, conjuring his own means of defence as the tomato smacked Ruby in the side of the head.
They were laughing, hiding behind chairs and each other as they each conjured various fruits and vegetables to aim at their friends. Sirius leaned forward trying to grab Rainy’s cauliflower that she had been working on amidst the fight.
‘Leave my brains alone!’ Rainy yelled holding her arms up in the air, her cauliflower grasped delicately in her hands as she danced from one foot to the other dodging her friends.
Ruby laughed deeply as a potato hit Lily’s behind, feeling free as she conjured a zucchini and belted it at Remus, hitting him in the chest just as James conjured a watermelon. James grinned evilly as he held it above his head, lobbing it over and across the room towards Sirius who was chucking mushrooms at Rainy who was still dancing around using her bottom in an attempt to stop the mushroom attack.
Ruby stopped laughing for that moment, the banana she had been holding flying from her hand and landing nicely on James’ glasses as she moved forward as quickly as she could, tackling Sirius out of the way whilst wandlessly exploding the watermelon into pink mush that rained down on them as they both hit the floor.
‘Rocky?’ Sirius asked automatically panicked looking down at Ruby who was laughing hysterically, struggling to inhale. He reached forward and kissed her cheek, coming away with the taste of watermelon on his lips as he looked at his fiancé’s covered body before looking towards his friends, laughing deeply.
And it was contagious, before they knew it Rainy was the only who standing, one hand on her hip as she looked smugly at her cauliflower, still in perfect condition, to her friends covered in various fruits and vegetables.
‘And you said I was the crazy one?’ Rainy said indignantly as she grinned at Peter whose light hair was a reddish colour from the tomatoes that had been thrown. She nodded knowing in that second that what they had been talking about before only ever existed sometimes and was probably a figment of their imagination, because right then and there they were just as nuts as each other.
It was only as the laughter eased moments later that they felt that slight incompleteness descend upon them as they realised the absence of Annie and Thea.
‘Sugar, owl…’ Ruby said gently as she magically cleaned the others up.
‘Hmmm?’ Lily said flicking her hair back from where she had been leaning forward and spotting the black owl perched just outside the window. She moved forward not realising the attention she had gained from her boyfriend in standing back up straight quickly, opening the window and accepting the roll of parchment from the owl. She stroked it gently once before it flew off, letting her look down at her name written beautifully on the paper.
Lily couldn’t help but suck in a sharp intake of breath as she unrolled the parchment, walking up the stairs to her room, falling backwards onto her bed, her hands shaking as she rolled out the letter.
I know I am the last person you wish to hear from but there are things you must know about why I made the choices that I did.
You are my best friend, Lily. You’re beautiful and intelligent and I hated that amongst everything I was weakened by you, by my feelings for you. I know that you’re with Potter and that you’re happy and I’m glad. But I miss you and I am truly sorry for everything that has happened between us. Sorry for calling you such a horrible name, that I don’t even think applies to you. Sorry for hurting you on the train and trying to hurt Potter.
I’m not proud of anything that I have done. I am proud however that I saw you at Christmas, I think with everything that happened that I remembered who I was when I had your pure goodness in my life. I know that I can’t ask you to forgive my actions but I apologise for everything and I hope one day you will once again see what you saw in me when we first met and when you fought for me to stay away from those you knew would lead me astray.
If you’re still reading thank you and know that this very moment and every moment to follow I am thinking of you.
Lily felt her eyes welling up; she couldn’t believe the affect that he had on her. How could he expect her to forgive him after what he had done? But he knew her; he had been her best friend after all.
‘Sugar?’ Ruby said gently as she slowly continued up the stairs, her fingertips attempting to grip the stone walls in support.
‘Yeah?’ Lily said sucking back the sob that threatened to escape her lips as she smiled at Ruby who sat down beside her heavily. ‘How you feeling?’
‘Good.’ Lily raised her eyebrows. ‘I’m good, Lils, very content, just a little tired but food fights do take it out of you.’
Lily chuckled easily before she pursed her lips before passing Ruby the letter. She read it quickly taking in the meaning that could be seen from his choice of endings.
‘I don’t know what to think, Roo.’
‘Think that he loves you and maybe seeing you at Christmas when he wanted to be there for you made he realise just how much he misses you in his life.’
‘You don’t believe that though, do you?’
‘I do, Sugar. I know he loves you, you can tell, but he was and always will be a Death Eater, one who would befriend you and then sell you down the river.’
‘You’re right, I’ll ignore it,’ Lily said nodding to confirm it in her own mind.
‘Just let it lie and see what happens,’ Ruby said tugging affectionately on a strand of her hair. ‘Don’t let it bother you, Lils, focus on your boy.’
‘How are your thoughts since the dream?’
‘I’ve had a couple more,’ Lily said smiling. ‘I feel really connected to him, Roo. I want him.’
‘Man I know the feeling,’ Ruby said smirking. ‘When you’re ready he’ll be at your mercy.’
‘I do love him.’
‘I know,’ Ruby said seeing how frazzled Lily was by Snape’s letter. ‘You don’t have to prove anything to me or him.’
‘He gets to me.’
‘I know, but don’t let him. Tonight go to sleep with James and just relax, feel safe in his arms. He’ll always be there to catch you.’
‘You’re very sentimental tonight.’
‘I know, it’s scary,’ Ruby said pulling a face and laughing before Rainy knocked on the door. Ruby subtly passed Lily the letter and watched out of the corner of her eye as she slipped it away.
‘Sirius wants you,’
‘So now he’s sending my friends to do his dirty work,’ Ruby said huffing as she jumped up taking Rainy’s hand. ‘Goodnight, Lils.’
‘Night, Roo and thanks,’ Lily said as she watched her friends leave, taking the opportunity to change into her pyjamas.
Thea nibbled gently on her lip thinking of Ruby as she did so. Her gaze was on the back of someone’s head, the deep light of the fire eliminating the empty common room. It was a little past two and Thea couldn’t sleep, her thoughts haunted by that moment a few days ago when Remus had walked in on her and Damien kissing. Her hand was against the cool stone, holding her body from feeling the chill as she leaned against it.
She felt her foot slip off the bottom step and gasped slightly as she attempted to regain her balance. Remus turned quickly around, reaching for his wand. His face relaxed and tensed at the same time as he noticed Thea.
‘I’m sorry to disturb you, I couldn’t sleep,’ Thea whispered and Remus nodded, sitting back down, his back to her. She moved then towards a seat opposite him, looking to her right at the dying fire. ‘Do you mind if I sit here a while?’
‘No,’ Remus said uncomfortable.
Silence filled the room for a moment as Thea wringed her hands slightly, breathing deeply.
‘How have you been?’
‘Good,’ Remus said glancing at her familiar face. ‘You?’
‘Alright,’ Thea replied nodding gently. ‘I’m sorry, Remus, really I am.’
‘I know,’ Remus said gently. ‘Me too.’
Silence fell upon them again, Remus staring deeply into the embers.
‘I miss you,’ Thea whispered. Remus remained silent wanting to say something about her new boyfriend not keeping her entertained enough but he couldn’t bring himself to hurt her any more than he already had.
‘You deserve to be with someone better, purer.’ Thea’s mouth slipped open, hearing suddenly Ruby’s voice yelling inside her head for her to argue, to convince him that what he had just said was false.
‘There is no one better than you,’ Thea said as she moved off the chair she was on, kneeling in front of Remus. She felt the confidence that had washed over her the first time she had kissed him as she reached up and brushed his hair back off his face. ‘I love you.’
Remus looked up at her then, wanting to see her eyes, see whether she meant it, but instead found Thea’s sweet lips against his own. He gave in to her for a moment as Thea pushed him backwards onto the sofa, taking control. Remus pulled away from her lips, his hands on the side of her face.
‘Thea, I can’t, you’re with him.’
‘Don’t you love me?’
‘I do, you know I do.’
‘Then kiss me,’ Thea said, almost daring him to and Remus gave in because she was so unlike herself so confident. She was Thea as always but the Thea who knew exactly what she wanted so he ran his hands through her short hair, holding her head close to him as they deepened the kiss. Thea grabbed his arms twisting him so his body followed, rolling on top of her as they relaxed into the cushions of the couch.
She grabbed at the base of his shirt puling upwards, running her fingertips against his skin as she discarded it. He hesitated as she tried to pull her own shirt off, feeling undeserving of the second chance that she was giving them.
‘I love you, I love all of you,’ Thea continued to whisper these words to him as she exposed her top half, continuing to kiss him until she got to the point where he let instinct take over and they moved together.
‘Oi Prongs!’ Sirius yelled as he walked into the Head’s common room.
‘What?’ James asked as he came out of his room, his hair dripping onto his glasses.
‘Thea cheated on her new play thing.’
‘What?’ James asked angrily, his protective instinct over his friend creeping up.
‘Yep they just had a massive blow out in the Entrance Hall.’
‘But guess who she cheated on him with!’ Sirius said excitement etching into his tone.
‘Yep from what I can tell a Gryffindor walked in on the leftovers of a busy night in the common room.’
‘Woohoo!’ James said excitedly. ‘Finally Moony gives it up!’
‘You’re one to talk,’ Sirius said laughing as Lily exited the bedroom, fully dressed.
‘Morning Black,’ Lily said as she kissed James’ cheek gently.
‘Red, looking fine today,’ Sirius said smirking as she left.
‘Something happened last night…’
‘What did two Marauders get lucky last night?’
‘No…Wait you and Ruby…?’
‘Nah, she’s not strong enough.’ James nodded and shrugged before ruffling the back of his hair up.
‘So, what happened last night?’
‘Well Lily talks in her sleep.’
‘So you get the inside knowledge,’ Sirius said his eyebrows dancing at the crude thoughts that were crossing his mind.
‘No, she started talking about some bloke called Harry…’
‘She’s cheating on you?’ Sirius said glaring slightly.
‘No, Lily wouldn’t do that. It started her talking about how much she loved him and then suddenly she was yelling that she had to protect him.’
‘Don’t worry about it, it was probably just a nightmare,’ Sirius said shrugging as he moved towards the portrait hole.
James nodded, accepting that for now he just had to trust her and not worry about what happened in a dream.
The two made their way down to the Great Hall, seeing Remus and Thea sitting together, arms around each other, a fresh look of lust on their faces.
‘Look at that,’ Ruby said smiling as Sirius took his place beside her watching his best mate.
‘James, we have that meeting remember, you to Remus, an hour,’ Lily said smiling as James nodded easily. And just as easily he followed her to a classroom for their Prefect meeting. They sat together on a desk waiting for majority of their prefects to arrive. As they did they moved to chairs, situated around desks readying themselves for the final details for the fair.
‘So is everyone happy with how it’s coming along?’ Lily asked watching as the others nodded.
‘Has everyone finalised their ride or stall or whatever?’
‘Yeah I think most of us have, there are just a few things here and there that need to be put together,’ a sixth year Ravenclaw called Harley said sweetly. ‘Like numbers for some of the stalls.’
‘Ok well…’ Lily was cut off however as the whispers from the seventh and sixth year Slytherin prefects became louder and more disrupting. ‘Well James has organised the bands to play throughout the day with other versions in between the live music. We’ve also got the various food, drink and knick knack stalls all sorted don’t we?’
The eight fifth years’ started talking, letting their Heads know that their stalls were sorted as Lily kept a watch on the older Slytherin’s out of the corner of her eye.
‘So how many rides are we having?’
‘Well there’s nine rides technically but there’s all those extra activities too,’ Harley said again, eager as always.
‘You were organising a photo person weren’t you?’ Tom Jenkins asked his body situated away from where the Slytherins sat automatically.
‘A photographer, yeah, so that everyone can have photos with their friends, for free obviously like the whole day, but then they can look back and…’
‘Mudblood,’ Asteria whispered sitting beside Snape who tensed at the word he detested deeply.
‘You have something to say, Asteria?’ Lily said her back strong as she glanced curiously at the sixth year before her.
‘I don’t see why wizards should be having a day that is full of disgusting muggle customs.’
‘She’s right, we shouldn’t lower ourselves to this trash,’ Haymich Wintin said his tone deadly.
‘If you’re unhappy with the plan then leave,’ James said now standing, facing the Slytherins. Snape looked at the situation feeling his fellow Slytherins expectations weighing on him to stand and speak, knowing he couldn’t risk the plan.
‘Maybe we should! Leave this crap to the mudbloods and the mudblood lovers.’
‘You scum…’ James started to say feeling Lily stand beside him, just as Remus did, his hand on his wand. Lily gently unclenched James’ hands, slipping her own into his grasp as she spoke.
‘You’re welcome to leave; the fair will still go ahead as planned with or without you.’ The Slytherins remained were they were glaring at Lily and James. ‘Ok guys, that’s enough for today, we all know what we’re doing so I’ll see you the weekend after the Quidditch match so we can put this plan together.’
Everyone smiled kindly at Lily leaving happily, glares following their backs as the Slytherins followed them out. Snape looked over his shoulder at Lily who hugged James tightly, breathing in his comfort. Snape’s nostrils flared as he followed his housemates, believing in that moment that Voldemort’s plan was perfection.
‘Good evening, Sir,’ Lily said as she entered Dumbledore’s office.
‘Evening Lily and how are we tonight?’
‘Very good and yourself?’
‘Content,’ Dumbledore said bowing slightly as he smiled. ‘How are the plans for the fair coming along?’
‘They’re all in place and waiting to be put into action,’ Lily said smiling as she removed her cloak. ‘I think that the protection around the castle grounds needs to be doubled just in case.’
‘I’ve been thinking that myself. How are the meetings?’
‘They’re tense at the moment; some think a fair is very muggle for wizards and witches to participate in.’
‘I expected as much, yet on the day I believe even they will enjoy themselves. It was a very clever idea.’
‘Thank you, Professor; they’ve all worked very hard to put it together.’
‘Just as I imagined they would. They respect you and James, Lily; it is incredibly easy to see that in most students.’
‘Thanks,’ Lily said blushing slightly as she played with the tip of her wand. ‘Professor, I…’
‘I had a dream the other night.’
‘What kind of dream?’ Dumbledore asked his concentration increasing.
‘I was in a child’s bedroom with James and I had this beautiful baby boy in my arms and we were watching him and James said not to worry that we could protect him…Then the image changed and I was lying on a couch with my son sitting on my chest, bouncing and a little girl’s voice came asking if Harry could play but before I could reply green light filled the room and Harry was on the floor sitting there crying as someone took him away…’ Tears were filling Lily’s eyes as she remembered the reality that seemed to be her nightmare.
‘Did it seem truly real, Lily?’
‘Very, I’ve had nightmares before like everyone even about my parents and they seemed real enough but this seemed like I was awake and watching from the edges.’ Lily said calmly now. ‘Is there a chance that it was a warning or something?’
‘It is possible, but I wouldn’t worry about it Lily, there may be elements to it that may happen one day but I wouldn’t put much trust in something that is controlled by your subconscious.’
‘So I could have a son one day, called Harry?’
‘Maybe, was the girl your daughter from what you could tell?’
‘She definitely looked like Sirius.’
‘Again elements like that, the names and the existence of such future children may happen but as to the protection of Harry, it could mean more than simply the literal sense. It could simply mean that a part of you needed to see what could one day exist.’
‘Ok,’ Lily said nervously. ‘Let’s train.’
‘Don’t focus on it, Miss Evans, you are incredibly talented, there is no need to worry.’
‘Is the Order are group of only talented witches and wizards?’
‘Yes and no, you’ll find out soon. Now the spell today is to freeze your opponent’s thoughts.’
‘Always a handy thing to know,’ Lily said smiling as Dumbledore’s eye twinkled.
A/N: The song used is again from this time and not the late 70's but it's so beautiful that i had to use Turning Pages by Sleeping At Last. Thank you all for reading and i hope you enjoyed the fun little chapter i was trying to write for you all before the break in validation. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read and review constantly :)
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