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Chapter 15 : Reality
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Just wanted to say a huge thank you to regulus_lover on the forums, I got a review for this story which said I'd been recommended for Regulus/OC and so naturally I read it! It was very lovely, so thanks for that I really appreciate it! This chapters for you :)
I love you.
That was what we parted with, at the end of our week in paradise.
We'd been stood on the clifftop we would apparate from, going our separate ways for the next week until we were back at Hogwarts, and he'd blurted it out just as we'd had our final goodbye kiss.
I hadn't replied, I'd just stared at him with wide eyes and a gobsmacked expression. And then I'd laughed, a huge smile spreading across my face as I'd leapt into his arms and whispered those all-important words against his lips.
I love you too.
Two milestones within the space of a week. The holiday had undoubtedly been a success.
I sighed as I walked up the pathway to my home, knocking at the door and expecting Marlene and Grace to appear at the door, probably with David appearing behind them, yelling excitedly and throwing their arms around me.
I knocked again, this time slightly sharper, the panic already beginning to rise in my chest.
There isn't a Mark over the house, Adrienne, don't be stupid. They're fine.
I knocked again. Where were they? They knew I was coming home today, didn't they?
I performed a simply Alohomora on the front door and entered the house with my wand raised in front of me. The entrance hall looked the same, and a quick Homenium Revelio was enough to tell me I was alone in the house.
But why was I alone? Marlene wouldn't ever want me to return to an empty house, it just wasn't like her.
Dumping my trunk in the hall and wrapping my jacket tighter around me, I apparated to James and Lily's.
I knocked frantically on the door, biting my lip as I tried to keep down the panic that was eating me alive.
Lily answered the door.
"Addie?" she stared at me, shocked, before throwing her arms around me in a warm hug and pulling me inside. "... What are you doing here? We thought you'd be..."
"Where's Marls? And Grace? And David?" I asked her, glancing around at James, Sirius, Remus and Peter who were all lounging on the couches. "Where are they?"
"You don't know...?" Lily looked shocked, holding her hand to her mouth with wide eyes.
"...What? I don't know what?" I began to shout. "What's wrong?!"
"St Mungo's," Sirius spoke up quickly, crossing the room to put a hand on my shoulder. "David was attacked by Death Eaters yesterday."
I was speechless. David, attacked?
"Look, I'll take you Addie, don't worry," Sirius grabbed my hand and squeezed it. "Come on."
I closed my eyes and apparated with Sirius, arriving in front of the entrance to the hospital.
Sirius kept hold of my hand and led me past the reception and up to the Fourth Floor, Spell Damage.
"He's in this ward," Sirius led me to a pair of double doors, through which I could see endless white beds. "I'll wait outside for you."
He let go of my hand and I shakily pushed on the doors, entering the ward with a thumping heart.
I spotted Marlene almost immedietely, sat on a chair beside his bed and talking to David in hush tones on a bed at the end of the ward.
"Marls?" I called as I crossed to them, and watched my sister with a tight smile as she spun around and instantly stood up to wrap her arms around me as I reached the bed.
"I'm so sorry!" she sobbed into my shoulder. "I didn't realise that you were back today... I haven't slept... I meant to owl you but I forgot..."
"Shhh, Marls, it's fine," I replied soothingly, rubbing her back and conjuring her a tissue for her already red eyes.
"Afternoon Addie," David grinned half-heartedly from his slumped position on the bed.
"Are you alright?" I asked, detatching myself from Marlene to hug the man who was practically my brother in every way but lawfully.
"I'm fine," he sighed. "Don't look so worried... I survived didn't I?"
"I never thought it would happen... I just-" Marlene was cut off by her own hiccup and sniffed the remainder of her tears back as David gave her an unimpressed look.
He'd always hated people fussing over him.
"What happened?" I took a seat beside Marlene's and leant forward on my chair to hear their lowered tones.
"Cornered by Death Eaters during a raid on Ministry workers... they know I'm part of the Order you see," David shrugged. "I knew them. They were in my year at school. Dolohov, Lestrange and his charming wife Bellatrix."
"Yeah," David huffed. "She's the one that cut half my side off," he motioned to the bandages around his midriff.
I winced slightly, imagining the state David must have been in when they found him.
"Was anybody else hurt?"
"Hestia took a bad curse or two, but she was sent home this morning," Marlene sighed, playing with the ends of her hair. "And Dorcas left just before they all arrived, she's with Grace now."
"The Order arrived within a few minutes," David winced as he shuffled into a more comfortable position. "They managed to prevent any further casualites."
"I'm so glad it wasn't any worse," Marlene sniffled, reaching out for David's hand and pressing a kiss to his lips.
I looked away, not wanting to intrude on their private moment.
"How long are you here for David?"
"A few more days," he frowned. "Marlene refuses to leave as well."
"Do you want me to get Gracie off Dorcas and take her home?"
"Well, yes actually. Dorcas has some Order related things to do tonight, if you could pop over in a few hours...?" Marlene smiled hopefully.
"Of course," I grinned. "I should go anyway, Sirius is waiting outside..."
"Pop in and check on Mum, will you? I haven't seen her in a few weeks, and I daresay she's desperate to see you," Marlene whispered as she hugged me.
"Sure," I stepped backwards, reaching to kiss David on the cheek before I gathered my jacket in my hands. "Take care, David. Shall I bring Gracie in to see you tomorrow?"
"Yes please," he grinned happily. "I should have healed up a little by tomorrow morning."
"I'll see you then," I waved as I left the bed and headed towards the double doors, spotting Sirius still patiently waiting where I'd left him.
"How is he?" he asked as soon as I reached him.
"Fine," I smiled. "He'll be home in a few days," I shrugged my jacket over my shoulders. "I've got to go see my Mum now, so you're welcome to go home, I'm only going to get Grace afterwards and head home anyway."
"Will you be at home alone?"
"Yes, Marlene doesn't want to leave David."
"Well then stay with us, I don't want you at home alone..."
"Don't be silly, Sirius, there isn't the room... I can't intrude on you all!"
"Fine, I'll kip on your sofa then," he replied stubbornly. "You shouldn't be there alone. Not when David's just been attacked... it's not safe."
"You're being ridiculous..."
"I'm being cautious," he rolled his eyes at me. "Because I care about you, Addie."
I pursed my lips and didn't reply. What could I say to that? If only Sirius knew that I was in love with his brother...
"Your Mum's on this floor isn't she?" Sirius broke the silence with a slightly apologetic smile.
"Just down the corridor," I nodded ahead and quickly paced down the white halls, stopping at the doors to the Janus Thickey Ward.
"Hello Margaret," I greeted the resident Healer on the ward as she opened the doors with a large smile.
"Adrienne! Hello sweetie! And I see you've brought a friend?" she winked at me as she pulled us into the ward, chattering away as she led us to my mother's bed.
"Adrienne!" Mum called with a large smile, holding her arms out to me for a warm hug.
"Hello Mum," I smiled, kissing her cheek softly. "This is my friend, Sirius Black."
"Nice to meet you Mrs McKinnon,"
"Oh, it's lovely to meet you too dear," Mum smiled mischeiviously, her eyes twinkling slightly. "And how do you two know one another?" she wiggled her eyebrows and I glanced away, sheilding my red cheeks from their view.
"School Mum, we're school friends. Sirius left Hogwarts last year, he was the year above me."
"Oh, how lovely. I suppose you were a Gryffindor too, Sirius?"
"Yes I was, Mrs McKinnon," he smirked proudly, sitting up slightly taller and puffing out his chest.
I rolled my eyes at him.
"How've you been Mum?"
"I've been wonderful thank you dear! I've been taught how to knit you know, look at what I've been doing..." she fumbled around in her bedside drawer and extracted a colourful, half-finished woolen scarf. "It's a Muggle thing, you know! So much fun, very theraputic..." she clutched the scarf to her chest.
"It's lovely Mum, well done."
"Do you think little Gracie will like it? It's for her you know, my first ever grandchild...imagine," she cooed. "She's so sweet isn't she? An absolute angel when she visits... I haven't seen her in a while though... or Marlene..." Mum trailed off, looking quite hurt.
"Well, I'm looking after Gracie tomorrow whilst Marlene and David are... busy," I shot Sirius a quick glance. "So maybe I could bring her for a little visit? She says she really enjoys coming... she says she wants to be a Healer when she grows up."
"Ooh, does she really? What a sweetheart!" Mum grinned happily. "Well I would absolutely love that! And you're welcome to come along too, Sirius dear," Mum nodded to Sirius, who smiled politely back, looking quite amused.
"Well we best leave Mum, I've got to collect Gracie from Dorcas, Marlene's friend... but I'll see you tomorrow?"
"Of course dear," she accepted my kiss with a smile. "See you then!"
Sirius and I left the ward in silence, and continued down the stairs until we reached the main reception.
"I think your Mum likes me."
"I think she does too," I replied with a wry smile. "She seemed awfully keen to set us up..."
"Oh shut up," I rolled my eyes, shoving him in the shoulder jokingly.
"Why, wouldn't you like that?" Sirius stopped, giving me a serious look.
"I..." I inhaled a shaky breath. "Not now, Sirius, please."
"Mad Eye?" Sirius stopped in surprise as we floo'd into the sitting room, having collected Grace from Dorcas', to find Alastor Moody sat on my sofa. "What're you doing here?"
"Setting up some defences for the house... make it a bit safer," he answered gruffly. "Dumbledore's instructions."
"Thank you," I smiled, setting Grace down and letting her clamber up onto the sofa.
Mad Eye shrugged and didn't reply, instead strutinising me for a moment. I narrowed my eyes at him.
"You have a letter," he held out a piece of tightly folded parchment. "Came with a pureblood looking owl... I checked it for dangers."
"Thanks," I replied cooly, not really trusting that Mad Eye hadn't actually read my letter as I took it from his grasp.
"It seems to be written all in code. Very short. Seemed odd," he sent me an odd look again.
"You read her letter?" Sirius exclaimed, sounding baffled.
"Constant viligance," Mad Eye replied, frowning as Sirius barked out a laugh.
"You're truly one of a kind, Mad Eye."
"Hmmphhh," he scratched his nose. "Behave yourself Sirius," he turned to look at me, where I'd settled myself on the couch with Grace. "Will you be alright tonight? I hear Marlene and David are staying at St Mungo's for the next few nights."
"I'm staying with her," Sirius replied instantly. "To make sure she's alright."
"Good enough," Mad Eye nodded. "Keep an eye out, will you?"
With that he left, leaving Sirius, Grace and I alone in the house.
"Come on then Gracie," Sirius grinned, plucking Grace out of my arms. "Let's go make some dinner... I make a mean pasta and sauce," with a wink to me, Sirius left me alone in the sitting room with my letter.
My letter. Why had Mad Eye been so odd about it? Surely it wasn't from...
Oh. After all I'd said, Regulus had owled me. Why would he have done that? It wasn't safe.
Slowly, I fumbled with the parchment and unfolded it, smoothing out the creases to reveal a few short lines in sentences that barely made sense to anybody but me.
Missing you. Although only a week until I'll see you, I know it will drag. I heard the news. Stay safe, you're loved remember.
It was signed with a single kiss, and I quickly threw it into the fire, which I lit with my wand and leant back into the sofa.
Why had Mad Eye acted so oddly? It was only a simple letter, one that was obviously from a boyfriend or something from school... which really wasn't suspicious.
Unless... unless he'd recognised the owl? Regulus would probably have used his own, which definitely looked like a 'pureblood owl' with it's haughty attitude.
But Mad Eye could only suspect... not prove.
I knew what I'd have to do though. Convince them that I was interested in Sirius to throw them off the scent.
I didn't want to hurt him, or use him... but it wouldn't go that far. Just... overly friendly - that was all that was needed...
I know, I know... the update took ages :( Sorry! A-levels are hard... and friends/boyfriend are demanding (they need attention). ANYWAY - here is your update, I hope you all like it, don't forget to leave a review :)
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