A/N: Hey Everyone! This chapter won’t be as long as the others, due to pesky school, but I hope you enjoy it just as much! :) Let me know if you liked it or not, all the feed back is welcome! :)
Disclaimer: I do NOT own Harry Potter.
“Move your head Lupin, I can’t see through this window with your large head in the way!” I finally snapped, making Remus chuckle and move out of the way. We had been sitting outside of the pub for nearly an hour now and we still didn’t have enough information to report back to the Order with.
“Sorry, doesn’t matter anyways. If I can’t see anything there is no way you can.” Remus stated, leaning against the alley wall.
“Oh yeah? Why is that Lupin? Still feeling that Marauder manliness?” I joked, jumping off the crate we were using to look into the pubs’ window.
“Caught me.” Remus laughed, scratching the back of his head and looking around for an alternative.
“If you were really feeling like a Marauder you would be interested in something a bit more adventurous than standing outside of a dingy pub.” I stated, walking toward Remus. The look on his face was priceless and I had to stifle a laugh as he swallowed loudly.
“Like what Cas? You aren’t actually suggesting we crash this Death Eater party?” Remus exclaimed, pushing off the wall and walking to peek around the corner.
“You’re the one who said it, not me. Now lets pull some of that Gryffindor courage and get in there for the real details!” I pushed, whipping out my wand.
“And how do you think it will go down? You think you have been gone long enough that these two won’t recognize you? You have a death wish Cassie.” Remus continued, stepping away from me in protest.
“It’s Cas.” I snapped, and pushed my bangs back angrily. “Look Lupin, I am going in there with or without you. And to answer your question, it is called a disguise genius.” I could see Remus nodding along and my heart leapt with hope.
“Alright, let’s get this done. The moment it gets shady we leave, do you hear me? I don’t want you going crazy on me, some of us want to survive this mission.” Remus stated sternly, whipping out his wand as well. I nodded along, not really listening. Honestly he could say anything right now and I would go along with as long as it gets us out of this alley way.
“Let’s do this.” I waved my wand, bringing back my hair and style from back at Hogwarts but changing my hair colour as well. I saw Remus look at me from the corner of his eyes and his eyes open wide.
“I can’t believe I didn’t recognize you. Merlin Cas, I am sorr-” Remus started.
I cut him off.
“Shut that down right now Lupin, I didn’t tell people for a reason. Unfortunately this is the only disguise that I have mastered or you wouldn’t have seen this. If you breathe a word of this to anyone you are going to wish you were never born.” I snarled angrily, tying my hair back as I did so.
“I had no idea Cas, I didn’t.” Remus continued, I nodded stiffly and watched as he aged his face and lengthened his hair. He nodded once more before we pulled up the hoods of our cloaks and started towards the pub.
I felt this sudden coldness and looked back at Remus in alarm, he nodded quickly to the door and I followed him. Quickly following him to the back of the packed pub, finding a seat far enough from the Carrows to avoid suspicion.
We sat with our backs to the doors and our hoods still drawn. Remus nodded downwards and I looked to see that he still had his wand drawn under his sleeve. I followed suit and took that bit to look around. I noted the exits, one at the back, one at the front and a possible one behind the bar. If need be, that may be our last resort.
Looking around I jumped to realize that I recognized a few faces within the crowd. I looked at Remus in panic and watched as he casted a spell.
“Muffliato.” Remus whispered and I looked around to see who noticed our disturbance.
“That should do it.” Remus stated confidently. I looked at him in surprise and realized that there was no indication that anyone heard.
“What was that spell?” I asked curiously.
“It’s a spell the guys and I made up, it basically causes the people around us to have a fuzzy noise in their ears when they draw near to the one who casted it. Basically, no one can hear us.” Remus whispered and I nodded along impressed.
“Well, I may have some issues with the Marauders but I have to admit, that is some tricky bit of magic.” I agreed impressed, grabbing an empty pint from the table beside us. I slide one to Remus as well, and filled it up to look like we had always been int he pub.
“Good idea, recognize anyone here?” Remus asked, grabbing the pint with two hands.
“Yeah, there are a couple. Couldn’t remember their names but I have seen them in some of the lower levels. Not that involved but they are still here for a reason.” I added, twisting uncomfortable in my chair.
“Well I am hoping they are a lower level, if not they may question why we are here. I wonder when their meeting starts?” Remus asked, checking his watch. “We have to report back soon, I would hate to miss out on anything because of that.”
“Merlin, are you a Marauder or not? Do you ever break the rules or are you truly the good one?” I joked, tugging my pony over my shoulder. I was never good with social interaction, it never came easily and it never came naturally. I wish it did, would’ve made my Hogwarts experience ten times better. However, when speaking with Remus it wasn’t all too bad, I mean now that he remembered me a bit from Hogwarts it made me uncomfortable but as long as he didn’t press into it too much we should be fine.
“Don’t push Moody too much, he may not scare you but the man truly has a talent for scaring the bloody hell out of me.” I went to laugh until I noticed the majority of the people begin to file into the back of the pub. I nodded at Remus and inclined my head to the retreating group. We both got up and made our way, only for Remus to grab me by the elbow and pull me into the corner. My heart started to beat fast, I felt my cheeks warm and I swear my heart could be heard across the whole bar.
I looked down at Remus’ hold on my arm and gulped. Remus, finally noticing my silence, looked down and released me at once, blushing furiously. I cleared my throat and he put a finger to his lips.
“I have this cloak, well it is James’. It’s an invisibility cloak, if you want in on that meeting we do it my way. The safe way. Now get close, it isn’t as big as I want.” Remus explained, I nodded along and shook away my embarrassment for thinking Remus was advancing on me.
Remus looked around once more before throwing on the cloak and pulling me closer. I looked on in amazement as we walked and no one noticed. We slid behind the bar and just barely made it into the conference room without being locked out. Remus pulled us silently to the corner of the room and we stood, hunched, holding our breaths.
The one leading the meeting walked to the front of the room, ushering all to sit down. The room sat down and it wasn’t until they were all gathered in the same room that I noticed they were all families. Pureblood families.
“You all know why you’re here, and if you look around and don’t see your friends here that means they are going against the Dark Lord. To us, that means they are dead. If you see them you are expected to dispose of them, for the Dark Lord has no use for Blood traitors.” The leader started, his cloak still drawn. I recognized the voice, of course it was Amycus Carrow. Why wasn’t I surprised? At his words the group murmured their agreement, some even being brave enough to shout out in enthusiasm.
“Settle. We know we are of purer blood, that the weak are the ones with muggle blood pumping through their veins. They are weak, they are useless and they need to be put in their place. We are here to carry on the tradition, our blood right. Each of you have received a letter, one pertaining the future of your child in our organization. My dear sister will now collect those letters and we will start with our initiation.” Amycus continued, I saw a woman move from the left and start collecting the letters.
“Thank you Alecto,” Amycus bowed as he accepted the letters from his sister. “We will now take these letters as confirmation of your willingness to hand over your children for the greater good.”
I paled, I had to clutch onto Remus’ arm to stay stable. I know what this is. It is the Pureblood Birth Right Initiation Night. The same event that had my parents killed later on in life. Each pureblooded family was sent a letter, a way of showing their devotion to the Dark Lord by offering up their children to be added to their Potential List. Remus looked at me and his eyes widened in concern. I was literally watching the very process in which killed my parents.
These people in this room were parents who are willing to hand over their children to serve the Dark Lord. A basic death wish if Voldemort did not find them suiting. I felt tears fill my eyes and fingered my locket around my neck. Who could do this to their children?
Remus shook me a little and my mind snapped back to the present. I could not fall apart here, Remus counted on me, the Order counted on me, my parents’ counted on me.
Remus mouthed to me ‘Are you okay?’ and I nodded along, breathing deeply and trying to keep quiet. I tuned back into the process in front of me and watched on in disgust.
“Jugson, I believe you have a daughter? This sheet says the age of 14. She will be expected to be trained until she is out of Hogwarts unless further instructed.” Amycus continued, a hooded man to my left nodded and Amycus switched to the next letter.
“Nott, a son huh? The Dark Lord is very interested in your family. We value your constant dedication and I am instructed to give you this letter from the Dark Lord to set up a meeting for you and your wife. Your son though, he will need to prove himself first. Attached to your letter is his mission, if he completes it he is in. If he doesn’t, well I assume you will be the one to dispose of him yourself. This task will take place a month today in Hogsmede, I suggest you start training him.” Amycus stated, handing a sheet over to a man presumed to be Nott.
Remus had already whipped out a quill and was quietly writing down the names given and their children’s task. Smart boy.
I felt ill as the meeting continued, so many children raised as live bait. Their futures set up for failure by their parents. In this moment instead of feeling the usual disgust, I felt pity. Pity for these children that didn’t have the same quality of parents I did. A pair who died trying to save my future and others like me. A pureblood family that could’ve went along with Voldemort, but refused to go against their morals even though they knew the consequences.
The meeting came to a close and I couldn’t wait to leave this room. If I had to stay there a moment later I would be taking these people out in body bags, a refusal of a direct order from Moody. The room cleared out and it seemed Remus had the same thought as me. We waited a few moments just to be certain and rushed out of the conference room, leaving the pub in haste.
I threw off the cloak as we entered the alley way just before I hurled my supper onto the cobbled ground.
“Oh shit.” I heard Remus mutter before rushing over and holding back my hair as I poured my meal out in front of me. I couldn’t contain my shakiness and my breath was coming out in big huffs.
I finally leaned back when I knew there was nothing left to heave up, I pushed Remus’ hands off my back and strode away to lean against the wall. I pushed my sweaty bangs out of my head and finally let the tears I held back earlier fall.
“Cas?” Remus started hesitantly, my eyes snapped open and I pushed away my tears in anger. I was still shaking as I answered.
“I’m fine.” My voice came out in a mumble and next thing I know Remus was walking towards me.
“You’re having a panic attack, you need to calm down. I use to get them all the time when I was little. Focus on your breathing, look at me. Cas! Look at me.” Remus grabbed my face in his hands and forced me to look at him. My eyes wild as I listened to what he said. I nodded and breathed out deeply, my breaths coming out short and shaky.
We continued to stand like that until my tears had stopped and my breathing became regular.
“Thank you.” I muttered and he nodded, releasing my face and walking away. He casted a patronus, finally reporting back to the Order. When we saw Moody, he would be beyond pissed.
“I am sorry, I was completely unprofessional. I shouldn’t have lost it like that, I have seen way worse.” I started, embarrassed at how I reacted and how calm Remus seemed.
“It’s fine Cas, I just don’t understand why.” Remus finally answered, turning around to look at me. I avoided eye contact and looked at my hands. Having that nervousness set in again, I remembered my disguise and quickly removed it. Returning to my more confident self.
“That in there, is why my parents are dead. They were sent a letter, and they refused. They refused to give me up and because of that they are dead.” I muttered, wiping my mouth free of vomit.
“Their deaths are not your fault Cas, Death Eaters killed your parents. You didn’t. You don’t think any decent parent wouldn’t do the exact same thing yours did? What you saw in there Cas? That is what sets us apart from them. And that is not a bad thing, sure it may alter our decisions. But isn’t that the best part of having people you care for?” Remus exclaimed heatedly, causing me to look up.
I let out a shaky laugh and soon after he joined in.
“Thank you again Remus” I choked, calming down from my laughter.
“Not a pro- oh there’s Moody’s patronus.” Remus interrupted, pointing to the slivery mist coming towards us.
“Come back immediately. That is a bloody order.” Moody’s rough voice spoke out, causing Remus to cringe.
“NEXT TIME YOU THINK YOU WILL LISTEN TO HER ORDERS OVER MINE BOY, YOU WILL LEARN TO REGRET IT.” Moody’s voice bellowed over the table. Everyone cringed and Dumbledore cleared his throat.
“Yes, that will do Alastor. However risky your actions were I believe these two have brought back some vital information. Cas? Care to elaborate?” Dumbledore started, cutting off Moody’s tantrum. I stared at the table, the scene from before numbing my senses.
“Dear, Dumbledore is speaking to you.” Molly’s voice woke me from my thoughts, I blinked and looked around before Remus saved my ass.
“Sir, if you don’t mind me interrupting. What we saw was a little shaking, but we recorded a list of names and their missions. The meeting itself seemed to be an initiation, pureblood families were given letters. The letters were a request for-” Remus started.
“For them to hand over their children to serve Voldemort.” Sirius finished roughly. I looked up and for a moment I forgot that I hated him. We locked eyes and there was an understanding, we were both affected by this. Why fight each other when we had so many enemies against us already. I nodded and turned back to Dumbledore.
“Thank you, I understand that this information may come to a shock to most of you. However, we need to start thinking that there is nothing they won’t do to build their army. Thank you for your information, I understand tonight was a tiring night, we will pick up where we left off at tomorrow’s meeting. That is all.” Dumbledore announced and I laid my head down on the wooden table.
“Tea?” I heard Molly ask, I peeped out a ‘no thank you’ and closed my eyes. Feeling exhausted.
“How about something a little stronger?” I heard Moody grumble, sliding a bottle towards me. I opened my eye and nodded.
“Haven’t changed a bit, have you Lass?” Moody laughed, pouring firewhiskey into my glass. I nodded and gestured for a bit more, before accepting it.
“Is this where you yell at me?” I asked, tossing back my glass in one gulp. I grabbed the bottle and added more to my glass.
“I think you’ve had a rough night on its own, remind me tomorrow.” Moody joked, trying to make me smile. My lip twitched and I nodded. Moody sighed and poured himself his own glass.
I tossed back my second and moved onto my third and fourth. We finished off the bottle that night, passing it back and forth in silence. Finally around one Moody coughed, breaking the silence.
“They would be proud you know?” Moody said roughly. I nodded, the tears returning to my eyes.
“I just miss them so much.” I mumbled out, Moody was silent and I looked up to see his eyes misty as well.
“Me too Cas, me too.” And in that moment I knew we weren’t just talking about my parents, but his Evelyn as well.
Moody left the table and I continued to down my glass. I had all the best of intentions to go to sleep, we had a very early morning. But when I saw the bottles of firewhiskey on the counter I couldn’t help myself.
I sighed and grabbed two bottles and headed out, not wanting to be loud when people were trying to sleep. I walked through the Weasley’s garden, popping open the bottle with my teeth and spitting it at a gnome. I heard it squeal from impact as I kicked open the garden gate, heading toward the lake off to the left of the house.
I took another swig of the bottle and found myself by the picnic table. I laid down on my back and continued to drink myself into a numb state.
I started to sing softly at first, but then it, well it sorta escalated until I was on top of the table and screaming.
From the moment my parents died I hadn’t let myself let go like this, never wanted to. But tonight, I danced for my parents, I danced for those poor pureblood kids with their fates chosen for them, and finally; I danced for myself.
“Cause nothing lasts forever and we both know hearts can change. And it’s hard to hold a candle in the cold November rain.” I slurred, an hour later. My throat numb from singing loudly. I stood shakily on the table and swung my hips slowly, letting my hair down from my tight pony.
“Did anyone tell you that you’re a terrible singer?” I heard a voice call out, followed by a group laughing.
The noise startled me and I almost fell from the table.
“Oy, no need to jump off the table now. Padfoot was being a tad harsh, it wasn’t too terrible. I know we all enjoyed the dancing.” James voiced bellowed out followed by another round of laughter.
They finally came into view, the Marauders and Lily stumbling toward me like we were old time friends.
I quickly got down from the table, gathering my bottle and my abandoned cloak off the ground.
“No need to clear out because of us!” Remus stated, stopping me from picking up my cloak, I stumbled over his foot and almost fell to the ground if it wasn’t for James’ quick reflexes.
“Oops.” I giggled, removing myself from his arms. He looked at me like he was shocked until finally Remus said something.
“Are you drunk?” Remus asked, I shook my head wildly before laughing and agreeing. They all burst out laughing and grabbed the bottle from my hand, checking the emptiness of the bottle and laughing all over again.
“Merlin, this is the strangest thing I have ever seen. Prongs, am I dreaming?” Sirius joked, pinching himself. James, taking the question seriously helped with the pinching before they were full out beating each other up on the ground.
“Boys, put the rulers away, this is no contest.” Lily joked, quickly coming to my side and rolling her eyes, as if we are in on a joke together. I laughed and laid down on the ground, finding the extra bottle beside me and some how being poured into my mouth. Oh wait, that was my doing.
“Oy! Lils! Lilyflower! Lilypad! You know I don’t need a ruler to prove the size of my-” James started.
“That’s enough! Merlin. Personally, I think it is awesome that Cassie is letting loose! You have too much on your shoulders, let’s get a bit crazy. Break a few rules.” Lily stated excitedly, this mischievous glint shining in her eyes. I am starting to see why James fell so hard for this red head, she had a very reckless side to her that no one usually saw.
“Sounds good to me Lils, let’s go to the patio!” James suggested proudly, puffing his chest out at his idea. The group laughed and started up towards the hill. I lingered back, fingering my locket and staring after them. I was about to go back to the Burrow until I heard a voice calling over to me.
“Get your bloody ass over here Cas, let’s go!” James called, making me laugh. I grabbed my cloak and ran to catch up, who knew where this night was going?
“I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY, I WANNA FEEL THE HEAT WITH SOMEBODY” Lily cried, dancing to the wizard radio propped up at the “patio”.
“Isn’t she a beaut?” James stated dreamily, propping his chin up with one hand.
“Sure mate, birds a loon.” Sirius joked, earning a slap from James.
“Stuff it Pads, just because your hand is the only thing keeping you warm at night when I get sweet, beautiful Li-”
“James!” Lily squealed, cutting him off before dancing over to him. She giggled as he picked her up and started cuddling her neck.
“Get a room.” Remus muttered, looking away in disgust. I laughed and moved to the door way of the “patio”.
The sacred patio, apparently was a known location off the Burrow’s grounds. Its where they always snuck off to after hours, when they didn’t want to be caught by the members. It was a simple gazebo, with two picnic benches and carvings covering the wooden walls of it, but to the Marauders it was majestic.
I stumbled a bit and had to hold onto the wall for support, giggling as I did so. I swayed to the music and hummed to myself, looking up at the stars. I misjudged this group a little, and I was starting to feel guilty for it. I liked how they didn’t force their friendship on me either, they let me be. Well, almost left me be.
“Pretty isn’t it?” I heard a voice behind me, I looked back to see Sirius and nodded. Still hurt from his words.
“Remus told you didn’t he.” A statement, not a question. Sirius sighed and rubbed his face with his hand.
“I’ll take that as a yes.” I muttered, shifting awkwardly, even in my drunk state.
“I couldn’t believe I had forgotten, Cas. I was immature, and literally thought I was a God’s gift sent to earth to better the people in it.” Sirius confessed making me laugh a little.
“I’m not saying that makes up for what I did to you, because I know it doesn’t. I was cruel and acted like the type of person we are fighting against now. I’m not asking for your forgiveness right away, but just for a chance to show you I’m not a prick anymore.” Sirius continued. I raised my eyebrows at him and he laughed a little.
“Okay, I’m not as big as a prick anymore. I can’t fully shake what I am Cas, but it’s pretty tame now. I know right from wrong at least, and how not to be carried away by other’s influence. That bird, Sherry, well. To be blunt, she is a real cow. I got caught up in her and it influenced how I acted. I know it wasn’t all her faul-”
I cut him off.
“I get it, I do. I was a easy target and it sure made you more popular, if that was possible. A chance is all I can promise, the rest, you will have to earn.” I stated as firmly as I could in my current state.
“Deal. I promise I won’t let you down. Friends?” Sirius asked, putting out his hand.
“Civil?” I corrected, he laughed a bit and nodded taking my hand in his. My fourth year self making me giggle and fall back against the doorway.
“Do people who are civil dance?” Sirius asked, gesturing towards his friends wildly dancing.
“Tonight they do.”
A/N: WELL. There it is, she is letting loose a bit. FINALLY. Let me know what you think!