“Did you fight against Voldemort?” Luna asked. “After you left Hogwarts?”
Remus nodded. “We all did. Harry's parents, Peter Pettigrew, and Sirius Black. Plus Neville's parents. We fought for our lives, and fighting was our lives.”
“But my mum never fought?” Luna said. She'd been preoccupied with this fact for the past two weeks, ever since Remus first mentioned it.
“No,” Remus said quietly. “But do not fault her for that. She was young and scared-”
“She wasn't that much younger than you.”
“Two years was a lot back then,” Remus explained. “When I started fighting, your mother was still at Hogwarts. By the time she graduated we were years into the war, and Voldemort disappeared only a year later.”
“That was a whole year, though.”
Remus smiled. “She couldn't have fought that year. She was pregnant with you.”
“But what was the reason?” Luna pressed. “You told me there was a reason.”
Remus sighed. “I'm really not the best person to tell you this.”
“My mum is dead,” Luna said flatly. “There's no one else to tell me.”
“He won't,” Luna said sadly. “He doesn't talk about her. It makes him too sad.”
Remus's heart broke for her. “Okay. I'll tell you.”
The castle was quiet when Remus, Sirius, and James walked through the oak doors a few minutes later. Eerily quiet. The silence put Remus on edge immediately, despite the fact that he knew it was perfectly safe, with all the wards Dumbledore had put up.
Remus, James, and Sirius agreed not to split up on their patrol, at least not until they found Peter, Alice, and Lily. They set off up the stairs, wands out, and began. It wasn't until they reached the third floor corridor that they finally found their friends.
“What's going on?” James demanded as soon as they reached the other three.
“No one knows,” Lily said. “Thank God you're okay.”
“We're fine,” James said. “You've heard nothing?”
“Nothing,” Alice said. “Frank sent me an owl about a half hour ago. He's going on the raid.”
“He'll be okay,” Remus assured her.
Alice nodded. “I'm trying not to think about it. Anyway, Dumbledore told us to tell you the plan-”
“We ran into him in Hogsmeade,” Remus said. “He said we're just supposed to patrol the corridors until further notice. I think he's going on the raid, too.”
“He is. Remus, he also said that he wants you in the Gryffindor common room to keep order. He wants a seventh year prefect in each common room and since James and Lily are Head Boy and Girl, that leaves you.”
“I'll walk you there,” Sirius said.
Remus nodded and they set off. He would much prefer patrolling the corridors to attempting to oversee the entire group of Gryffindors, but he wasn't one to dispute Dumbledore's orders. He and Sirius were quiet the entire walk up to Gryffindor, and merely nodded at each other when Remus entered the common room.
The entire common room quieted when Remus entered. Dozens of scared faces looked up at him and Remus was suddenly struck by the fact that he was the authority figure. He, Remus Lupin, the scared little boy with lycanthropy, was now the one everyone turned to in the face of danger. Even the two sixth year prefects were looking at him expectantly.
“Have you heard anything?” a fifth year shouted out.
“No,” Remus said. “Everyone is to remain here until further notice. Professor Dumbledore put me in charge, so I guess if you have any issues, come to me.”
Without his friends there to keep him company, Remus wasn't quite sure what to do with himself. He found an empty table in the back and sat down, silently thanking God that it wasn't near the full moon. The noise level in the common room slowly crept back up to normal and Remus relaxed a little. He didn't bother going up to his dormitory to get a book, since he knew he wouldn't be able to concentrate. Instead, he listened in on a few conversations near him. Nobody knew anything he didn't, but hearing everyone else's worries about what was going on with the raid somehow grounded him.
A half hour later the common room door opened and James appeared. The Gryffindors immediately quieted, as they had when Remus entered. James looked just as taken aback as Remus had felt, causing Remus to laugh.
“There's nothing new,” James assured them as he hurried over to Remus. He tripped over a few first years on his way, but he eventually made it to Remus's table. “Moony, I need to talk to you in the dormitory.”
Remus felt the eyes of every single Gryffindor on him as he followed Remus up to their dormitory. He knew what they were thinking. If there really was nothing new, why would James need to talk to him?
James shut the door after them and then turned to Remus. “Bulstrode and Crabbe have fled the grounds.”
Remus felt his jaw drop. “Wait, what?”
“Lily and I saw them. They walked right out the front doors and ran into the forest. I can only assume they Disapparated from there. And since they're both of age, I didn't bother to stop them.”
“Do you think they went to join the fight?”
“Yeah, I do. And not the right side, either,” James said quietly.
“And Regulus?” Remus asked.
“He wasn't with them, thank God. Can you imagine what Sirius would do if he did? He'd probably go after him. Snape wasn't with them, either.”
Part of Remus was relieved that Bulstrode was gone, but the other part of him was vaguely unsettled by it. “Do you think Dumbledore will let them come back?”
“I don't think they will come back. They don't need their N.E.W.T.s to become Death Eaters, and I don't think Voldemort exactly requires top marks and interviews for Death Eater positions.”
“They're already Death Eaters,” Remus pointed out. “So is Snape.”
“And they probably left him and Regulus here to continue training the younger ones,” James muttered.
“You've heard nothing else?”
“No. Alice expects Frank will owl her as soon as it's over. I just wanted to let you know about Bulstrode and Crabbe.”
James left the room in order to continue his patrol, but Remus sat down on his bed and thought about Bulstrode. Bulstrode, the bloke who had been the reason Remus's seventh year started off so horribly, had officially joined the ranks of the Death Eaters. While he was quite happy not to have to deal with him in school anymore, the thought of yet another Death Eater out in the real world was terrifying.
When Remus returned to the common room a few minutes later he was met by the expectant eyes of his fellow Gryffindors. They all hoped James told Remus something he could then tell them, but they were wrong. Remus answered their gazes by averting his eyes and returning to his solitary table. None of them pressed him for information. The younger students were probably too afraid to and the older students knew the severity of the situation.
Minutes passed, and then hours. The Gryffindors grew restless and Remus had to break up a fight between two second years. More than a few students disappeared to their dormitories, just for a change in scenery, yet others remained in the common room, amusing themselves by making paper airplanes and playing round after round of Exploding Snap. Homework and studying, it seemed, were the last things on anyone's mind. Even Remus, never one to pass up an opportunity to study for his N.E.W.T.s, didn't even bother attempting any homework. There were far more pressing things on his mind.
He couldn't help but wonder where Bulstrode and Crabbe were by now. Were they in the thick of the fighting? Or had they gone elsewhere to wait for orders? Remus knew his own friends would be out there fighting if given the opportunity. Did Bulstrode and Crabbe see fighting as Death Eaters the same way that Remus and his friends saw fighting for the good side? Were they really willing to give their lives for Voldemort?
Evening had fallen by the time James next returned to the common room. Remus hoped that this time, James would say they could leave. It was long past dinner and more than one student had asked him when they'd get to eat.
James face was hard and unreadable. He didn't make eye contact with anyone and made a beeline for Remus. Remus stood and the two boys headed to their dormitory, without James even asking.
Once the door was shut James sat down on his bed and stared at the floor for a full two minutes, before looking at Remus.
“Is it bad?” Remus asked. “Is Frank okay?”
“Frank is fine,” James said quietly. “He's being treated for minor burns at St. Mungo's. But yeah, it was bad. Frank said there were deaths on both sides, but he couldn't give specifics in an owl. Everyone can go to the Great Hall for dinner, but Dumbledore wants to see us in his study immediately.”
“I'm surprised he's here,” Remus said.
“He can't stay long. We'd better hurry.”
They returned to the common room and James told everyone they could go to dinner. The Gryffindors made a beeline for the portrait hole and a few first years were nearly trampled in the mass exodus. Remus and James brought up the rear, but instead of going to the Great Hall, they went to Dumbledore's study.
Remus had been expecting to see the rest of the prefects gathered in Dumbledore's study, but only Lily, Peter, and Sirius were there. Dumbledore was pacing the room with his hands clasped behind his back. He stopped when he saw Remus and James standing in the doorway.
“Ah, Remus, James,” he said as he strode to his desk. He rested his hands on top of the desk, but didn't sit. “Please, have a seat.”
Remus and the others sat in the six chairs in front of Dumbledore's desk.
“I've elected not to inform all the prefects of what happened this evening, due to the fact that the names of the dead have not yet been revealed,” Dumbledore began. “However, you six are more heavily invested in this war than the rest of the students, so I believe you deserve to know what happened.”
Remus swallowed hard. How many people were dead?
“I received an anonymous tip about an abandoned warehouse in Northern England this afternoon,” Dumbledore continued. “After discussing it with a few colleagues and consulting with the Auror department, it was decided that a raid was necessary. There were probably about twenty of us all together. Aurors, myself, a few colleagues.”
Remus had a strong feeling that these “colleagues” Dumbledore kept mentioning were members of the organization Addy's brother belonged to.
Dumbledore sighed. “We can take some consolation in the fact that the raid was not fruitless. The abandoned warehouse was in fact Voldemort's headquarters. We were met by strong opposition, but I believe we could've taken them, had the warehouse not exploded-”
“Sir?!” James interrupted. “It exploded?”
“Yes,” Dumbledore said. “The Ministry will be conducting an inquiry, but I believe there were some unstable potions being housed in the warehouse, causing the explosion. Most of us were able to escape, but a few weren't so lucky. A few Death Eaters were also killed.”
“And Voldemort?” James asked.
“He Disapparated as soon as we arrived. He values his life more than his followers' lives.”
“Do you know who was killed?” Remus asked quietly.
“Yes, but I cannot release their names until their families have been contacted. I expect their names will be in the Prophet tomorrow. Please keep this between the six of you until the article is out. I need to be returning to the Ministry. I suggest you get something to eat.”
Remus nodded and got up. His friends followed. They said good night to Dumbledore and left the study. Remus's stomach was churning; he didn't think he'd be able to eat anything. It was quite possible that Addy's brother was a part of this raid.
Remus awoke early for a weekend the next morning after a very sleepless night. He'd gone to bed early to avoid probing questions from his fellow Gryffindors, but rather than sleep, he laid awake for hours, thinking about just how far the war had gone. When he finally did fall asleep, his dreams were muddled confusions of Hogwarts life and fighting Voldemort himself.
James, Sirius, and Peter were still asleep and rather than wake them up, Remus decided to go to the Great Hall by himself. When he arrived, the room was mostly empty. Despite the fact that it was nine o'clock, hardly anyone was eating breakfast. Remus wasn't surprised, as it was Sunday. However, it wasn't hunger that had driven Remus to the Great Hall at the early hour. It was the Prophet.
An unclaimed copy lay next to a jug of pumpkin juice. Remus's heart sped up as he sat down and picked it up. There it was. A front page article.
YOU-KNOW-WHO'S HEADQUARTERS RAIDED
Few details are being released about an
evening raid conducted by Ministry Aurors
yesterday. A wizard wishing to remain
anonymous received an anonymous tip
yesterday afternoon, informing him of an
abandoned warehouse in Northern England,
claiming that it was being used by
You-Know-Who and his Death Eaters as a
headquarters. The tip was immediately
given to the Auror Department.
Aurors and volunteers rushed to the
scene, where they discovered the warehouse
in question was in fact the headquarters of
The Auror Department refuses to give details
of what transpired, or whether You-Know-Who
himself was, in fact, present. The warehouse
exploded a few hours into the raid, for
reasons currently unknown. An inquiry is
Two Aurors and five volunteers were killed
in the explosion, along with an unknown
number of Death Eaters. The Auror Department
does wish the public to know that You-Know-Who
was not killed in the explosion, and still
presents a great threat. Four Death Eaters
were taken into custody and are being held
at Azkaban prison, awaiting trial.
The list of the Aurors and volunteers killed
in the explosion can be found on page three.
The deceased Death Eaters are still being
investigated and therefore their names have
not been made available to the public.
No new information, Remus thought. He doubted the Prophet would tell him anything new, since he'd heard about the raid directly from Dumbledore. He did find it amusing that Dumbledore was not listed as the source of the tip, and the fact that the Aurors raided with “volunteers.”
Remus's hand shook as he flipped to page three. Knowing was better than not knowing, he thought. He had to know.
Remus's hand jerked and he knocked the entire pitcher of pumpkin juice over, spilling its contents onto the Prophet. Without even bothering to clean it up, Remus shoved away from the table and ran out of the room, leaving the pumpkin juice dripping on the floor.
He didn't stop running until he reached the Ravenclaw common room. It wasn't until he arrived that he realized he wouldn't be able to get in. Even if he did guess the riddle correctly, wouldn't the room know he wasn't a Ravenclaw?
The door opened and a boy stepped out. Remus vaguely recognized him as someone from Addy's year. He was wearing a bizarre dried plant around his neck, as if it was a necklace, and his face was covered in ash. He didn't seem to notice Remus.
“Er, hello?” Remus asked, stepping in front of him.
He was a few inches shorter than Remus and nearly bumped into him. Stepping back, he lifted his head and wrinkled his forehead, as if surprised someone had talked to him.
“Sorry,” Remus said. “I was wondering if you knew whether Addy Mosley was in the common room.”
“Addy?” the boy asked. “No...no, I don't think so.”
He wandered away without another word. Remus groaned to himself. Of course Addy wasn't in the common room. Her brother was dead. She would've gone home last night when it first happened.
Remus wandered around the castle for the rest of the morning, his mind elsewhere. There was a gut-wrenching pain in the very center of his body, a physical manifestation of the sorrow he felt for Addy. She spent the past few months worrying about her brother and now her greatest fear had come true.
First Peter's dad and now Addy's brother. How many more loved ones of Remus's friends would die before this was over? Or, how long until it was one of Remus's loved ones? His parents. Neither of them were involved in the war, and it would remain that way. No matter how much his father wanted to be involved, Remus knew he'd never do it. He'd never do that to his wife. But Remus would. Remus had. He was already involved, and if his mother knew, she'd be terrified.
More than anything, Remus wanted to talk to Addy. He wanted to be there for her, to comfort her, to listen. He didn't want to tell her everything would be okay, because it wouldn't. His experience with Peter had taught him that. No, there was absolutely nothing anyone could do or say to make this okay.
Eventually Remus wound up back at Gryffindor tower and decided to see if his friends were awake. The common room was crowded, but the general atmosphere was very subdued. It was clear that yesterday's raid was still on everyone's minds. Ignoring the rest of the Gryffindors, Remus ran up to his dormitory.
James, Sirius, and Peter were clustered on James's bed, talking quietly. All three stopped talking and looked over to Remus when he walked in.
“Where have you been?” Sirius asked.
“You got an owl a few hours ago,” James said. “The letter's on your bed.”
Addy. Remus ignored Sirius's question and hurried over to his bed. He grabbed the letter and ripped the envelope open, nearly ripping the actual letter in the process. His hands shook as he unfolded it. It was damp with tears and the ink was smeared.
Patrick's dead. He died in
the explosion. I went home
and I don't know when I'll
Remus sat down on his bed and continued to stare at the letter. She was home. Her world had shattered and Remus was unable to even attempt to comfort her.
“What happened, Remus?” James asked, joining Remus on his bed.
“Addy's brother,” Remus said quietly. “He was killed in the explosion.”
“Oh my God,” James said.
“That's awful,” Sirius said, coming over to Remus's bed.
“But how?” Peter asked, joining the other three. “He's not an Auror, is he?”
Remus sighed. He supposed he might as well tell them about Patrick's belonging to a secret organization. It didn't much matter now that he was dead. “You know how Dumbledore keeps talking about his colleagues?”
“Yeah, he's been a bit vague about that,” James added.
“Addy told me a few months ago that her brother joined some sort of secret organization that's fighting the Death Eaters,” Remus explained. “She doesn't know much about it and she told me I couldn't tell anyone. But I'd bet my entire savings that Dumbledore is in charge of it.”
“So he was there, fighting,” Sirius said. “Poor Addy.”
“She hated that he joined,” Remus said. “She's been afraid that he'll be killed and now he has been.”
“It's not fair!” Sirius shouted, suddenly standing up. “First Pete's dad and now Addy's brother?”
“And with you two becoming Aurors, we're going to be lucky if we all come out of this alive,” Peter said quietly.
Remus had been thinking the same thing. “I just hate that there's nothing I can do for her. She and her brother were really close. Kind of the opposite of you and Regulus, and Lily and Petunia.”
“Did she tell you when the funeral is?” James asked.
Remus shook his head. “I don't know if I should ask. If she wanted me there, she'd tell me, right?”
“I don't know, mate,” James said. “Maybe you should ask Lily.”
Remus nodded. He wanted to be there for her. He wanted her to want him to be there. But what if that wasn't what she wanted?
“This whole war sucks,” Sirius said flatly. “It just sucks.”
That really was the only way of putting it, Remus thought. Everything about Voldemort and his Death Eaters just sucked. A/N: Even though this chapter is awful and sad, it's one of my favorites. I hope you all enjoyed it. Thanks so much to everyone who has read and reviewed!
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