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Chapter 40 : Chapter 40
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James watched as his girlfriend had her head in her hands and was shaking slightly as Sirius finished his piece of news. He felt so powerless; he couldn’t do anything as Lily sat there obviously petrified over something he had no control over. He put his hands on her shoulders and gave her a comforting squeeze because at that precise moment that was all he could do at the same time as processing everything that had just happened.
“Why does this keep happening?” Lily whispered more to the floor than to Dumbledore or the two boys, “Why do we keep hearing that we’re being targeted? When is this all going to stop?” she said pulling her head out of her hands and staring at the Headmaster.
James and Sirius looked up at Dumbledore, expecting an answer, expecting some sort of reassurance in his calm blue eyes. But Dumbledore just stared back at them, looking as lost as they did. He took a deep breath and shook his head.
“You three are three of the strongest students I have ever had in this school. You also seem to be the three that are going to be sorely affected by this war, more than most people. Sirius you have a Slytherin family who are determined to disown you or convert you to the dark ways. James you have a family history and connections that makes you almost untouchable by most people, but it seems that that makes Voldemort keener to have you on his side” he paused and turned back to Lily, “Lily, your blood status has made you a target ever since you were born whether you had been born witch or muggle, however due to your excellence in class and good reputation Voldemort may see you as useful despite your blood status” he stopped, and looked at them all, the calm look back in his eyes, “My point being that you are strong, strong enough to fight this. Strong enough to fight through this, despite all the pressure to join the other side you are strong enough to know what’s right”.
James looked at Sirius who was nodding slowly; nobody said anything for a while. He averted his gaze to another part of the room; James noticed a glass case with shining small bottles inside of it. He recognised it instantly; the pensieve glistened in the brightly lit office, James had seen pensieve before, infact he had used it before, but he had never seen as many memories stored as Dumbledore had.
Turning his gaze back to the centre of the room, he noticed the Headmaster’s eyes on him, he quickly regretted his nosiness and decided not to say anything, as he coughed awkwardly to break the awkward silence Sirius seemed to find his voice which he rarely lost.
“So what you’re saying is that we just need to be calm and patient and wait for our deaths” Sirius said angrily.
James shifted uncomfortably on the spot, Sirius had voiced what he was thinking but he would’ve never had dared to say it to the Headmaster. It was as if Sirius realised he had crossed a line when he averted his gaze straight to the floor. Dumbledore however did not get angry and stayed extremely calm.
He shook his head, “What I am saying Sirius, is that you three are strong enough to fight back, to fight for your lives” he told them, Sirius looked up and nodded slowly.
“Are you going to expel them?” Lily asked, “Any of them?” she asked, James assumed she was talking about Carrow and Avery, possibly Regulus and any of the Slytherin’s Remus, Sirius and Rosie had heard talking a while ago the day they got recruited for the order.
“The thing is Miss Evans” Dumbledore said, smiling slightly, “If I expel them I am encouraging them to join up to the death eaters, as they have no school obligations anymore. By keeping them here, even if it is only for a few more months I can still do the best I can to influence them to make the choices”.
Lily nodded understandingly, and for the first time James finally understood one of Dumbledore’s flaws. He was determined that everybody had good inside of them and he was positive that their good was stronger than their bad whether it was or not.
“Now” he said, clapping his hands together, his eyes lingering on James who realised he probably looked very distant, “I must bid you all goodnight, as in my old age you see I get more and more tired as the years go on” he chuckled softly as Lily stood up and joined James and Sirius, “Are you sure you wouldn’t care for a mint imperial?” he asked again, they all shook their heads, “Very well, pip-pip, sleep well” he said waving his hand as they made their way to the door.
It had been a very long day and the three teenagers were willing to see the end of it as soon as possible.
“Where were you?” Lily hissed, after she finished telling her friend the events of the day before. They were sat at the back of Professor Flitwick’s charm class, Alex hadn’t fully heard the whole events of the day before and she seemed to be very intrigued into what was going on, but Lily was more interested to know why Alex had been absent the day before.
“Lily, I was busy, it wasn’t anything important” Alex said, but she sounded distant and Lily knew better than to leave the conversation there, something was bothering her and Lily was going to get it out of her.
Lily snorted, “Alex what is going on? Were you sending a letter to your Mother?” she asked, remembering that it had been brought up whilst they were in wood, when they spoke of Alex’s absence.
“Yes” she said bluntly, not taking her gaze off of the front of the class to look her friend in the eyes, “I was, I’ve got some stuff going on with them at the moment. Don’t ask it’s too complicated, that’s how my family works, but it’s fine” she said reassuringly, turning to face Lily finally, she smiled at her but Lily saw right through it. But know she knew it was time to let her friend try to forget about it, “I’m fine, honestly” she added, flicking open her charms book on the page Flitwick had instructed.
“But?” Lily asked, she could tell there was something else bothering her friend too.
Alex looked at her, a guilty expression on her face, “But i’m not coming back this Easter” she mumbled, Lily gaped at her and Alex shrugged, “I’m coming to the wedding, I’ll apparate in the day before, but Lily I’ve got so much to catch up on. I’m not you, I don’t know any of this. Plus I’ve got so much going on, I swear I’ll be there for the wedding, and definitely the campout, Louise has told Remus and Peter, they’ve agreed and Rosie’s coming. There’s just one problem” Alex squeaked.
“What?” Lily frowned.
“I haven’t asked Sirius to the wedding or the campout yet” she said awkwardly, grabbing her quill and scribbling down notes. Lily had her eyes on her best friend, she tutted slightly, and Alex looked up, “I’m sorry, I never know how to bring it up”
"Just do it soon" Lily whispered as Professor Flitwick requested silent work as they wrote out notes from Charming Charms for Seventh Years.
Alex looked at her a mischevious smile on her face, Lily knew that look Alex had an idea, an idea Lily would not agree with it, but to Alex it would be a master plan. Alex's eyes flickered to the blank piece of paper in front of her and she dipped her quill into the ink.
"Don't you dare" Lily breathed, her eyes on Flitwick, "That's cowardly" she muttered.
"It's Sirius" Alex replied in a quiet sing song voice.
"Alex, no way you are asking by note. Ask him face to face" Lily hissed.
Alex looked at her with puppy dog eyes, the same expression both Sirius and James wore when they wanted something, but she shook her head stubbornly, "fine" Alex muttered bending over the paper.
we need totalk
Alex crushed the paper into a ball and when Professor Flitwick's back had turned to help a Ravenclaw who's book seemed to be flying off the table everytime she touched it, Alex seized the opportunity to throw the ball of paper at the back of Sirius Black's head. To both girls delight he actually rubbed the back of his head as if he was in pain. They noticed him and James lean over the note, the boys exchanged a look before Sirius scribbled on paper and threw it over his head without even turning around.
Lily exchanged a look with Alex it was obvious Sirius was now worried about the upcoming conversation. Alex sighed and cursed under her breath before scribbling back.
it's just about Lily's sisters wedding
Again she screwed up the paper and threw it back at him but this time it landed infront of him and James they opened up the paper and Lily noticed Sirius relax slightly and he turned around to grin at Alex who smiled shyly back. Lily rolled her eyes, she caught James's eye, he grinned and poked his tongue out at her before turning back round to copy stuff out the book, she smiled slightly to herself, maybe this wedding wouldn't be so bad after all.
Saturday the seventh of April came by quicker than expected, it had all been sorted out; Sirius and Alex were to apparate to the Evans household for five o clock Thursday evening, Lily and James were to apparate from Devon back to Cokeworth to side along apparate with them so they could all attend the wedding on the 13th, Remus, Louise, Rosie and Peter were to apparate to the hotel in Devon Sunday night or Monday morning as Rosie knew the hotel, they would then camp out planning on returning to school on either the Thursday or Wednesday.
Lily had, of course, briefly informed her parents on all of this, they seemed happy enough and the more Lily was out the way the happier Petunia would be so it worked out for everyone.
So Saturday morning both James and Lily (already packed) bade goodbye to their friends and made their way down to Hogsmeade where they would catch the Knight Bus which would hopefully transport them to cokeworth.
"Looking forward to it?" James asked her after the payment of the Knight Bus was over and the pair had finally gotten used to the jolting of their stomachs everytime it turned a sharp corner or everytime it moved.
Lily snorted but smiled at him all the same, "Petunia's wedding? It's going to be hell and back, but in a weird way i am" James smiled at her but looked slightly confused, "You'll see" she said with a smile.
It was early evening when they reached Cokeworth, Lily had spend most of her journey dozing on James's arm whilst he hummed to himself or talked to her half-concious self. She had however enjoyed hearing his mumbling in her ear and was slightly disapointed when the journey ended.
The conductor threw their bags off the Knight Bus and the bus disapeared with a bang. They hadn't brought their trunks but both had big bags packed full of clothes. James picked up both of their bags and smiled warmly at her.
Lily smiled reassuringly back before bringing her hands to his face and kissing him deeply on the lips, she felt him drop the bags as he returned her kiss, his hands hooked to her waist he quickly decreased the space between them and held her close to him. She wrapped her arms around his neck and smiled against his gentle touch, he opened his mouth allowing their kiss to deepen much to her liking. After a moment or so much to Lily's displeasure James pulled away, he shot her a cheeky grin and picked up the bags again.
"What was that for?" he grinned as they started to walk towards Lily's house at the end of the street.
She shrugged, "Just to thank you for coming" she said shyly,"and for being you" she smiled.
He grinned in the darkness, "Come on Red we don't want my head to inflate anymore" he said quoting the phrase she had used many times over the years, she tutted at the nickname but rolled her eyes good naturedly.
Lily stopped as they reached the end of the road, "We're here" she murmured.
She stood infront of a very modern looking house, it had a very pretty garden full of many different flowers, a few roses and a lot of tulips but on the porch was a vase filled with crisp white lillies.
This house is where our story really begins, this house is where a relationship between a girl and her sister will be brought to surface, where a couples relationship will be brought to the test and where a choice will have to be made. But importantly this is the house Lily Evans grew up in and this is the house Lily Evans will move on from.
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