La-di-dah! Happy Yom Kippur! Jew pride. In any case, this’ll be a good chapter!
Chapter 14 – They’ve Got Him
James fell, sprawled on the ground. His glasses were digging into his nose, and his legs were splayed out at odd angles. Groaning with pain, he tried to stand, but a voice interrupted his action.
“Stop.” The voice was not of anyone he knew; it was low and sharp, like a police officer telling someone to put their hands up.
“Where-” James began to say.
“Don’t speak,” said another voice, venomous and low, like a sneer and a threat all at once.
James knew he was in no position to fight, especially without his wand (which he realized he no longer had), so he lay still, pain flooding his veins.
“This isn’t the right one!” shouted someone faraway, angrily.
“No?” asked the second man. A blurred face came into James’ field of vision. “What’s your name?” spat the old man.
“James,” he coughed, not lying in case of trouble. Angry yells came from a crowd of dark-cloaked figures that James began to distinguish. A large hand took the paper from his grasp.
“Where did this come from, boy?”
James tasted blood in his mouth, and slowly licking his lips, he answered. “Why?” Laughs echoed through the scene, like pirates about to see a prisoner walk the plank.
“Why, he says. Who wants to tell him?” came a new voice, high and cold. “Who wants to show him?” The old face was silent and stood up, away from the frightened teenager’s face.
“I will, my Lord,” said the sharp voice he had first heard. James heard someone striding through the thick green grass for a second, before whispering something. Then he was on fire. The pain was terrible, as if every imaginable cut and stab inflicted again and again. He winced but didn’t scream, for fear it would drive them on.
Sirius was worried. James wasn’t really going to go through with his plans… was he? Lily was the reason. Well, if it weren’t for the stupid ring, James would be fine.
Downstairs, Helena and Jack had just come from their room, armed with potions and their wands. When they reentered the kitchen they found the remnants of James’ departure.
“What’s this?” Helena said, turning quickly to her husband. He looked past her, noticing that the note was not where he had left it. Jack also recognized that cloak on the floor; it had once belonged to him, and he had entrusted it to James on his 11th birthday. James had promised to keep it safe, just as Jack had promised his father, and so on through the generations.
“James wouldn’t leave this lying around. I know he wouldn’t,” said Jack to himself, picking up the cloak and running it through his fingers. Helena bent over and took her son’s wand, confused.
“Where is he, then?” she asked. “Sirius! SIRIUS!” In a moment, Sirius came bolting into the kitchen, out of breath.
“Where is he?” Jack demanded. Sirius looked from the Potters, then to James’ wand and cloak.
“I don’t know. He was… going to follow you,” Sirius confessed, staring at his shoes.
“WHAT?” Helena shrieked. At that moment, an owl swooped down upon the windowsill outside the kitchen and pecked the pane.
“What the…” Jack strode to the window, and opened it with a swish of his wand. The official looking tawny owl stuck out its leg, and Jack torn off the letter tied there. He closed the window as the bird flew silently away. Ripping the letter open, Jack read it quickly with widening eyes. When he finished he swayed a little and had to hold on to a chair to stay standing. Helena rushed to his side, took the letter from him and read the notice.
“Dear Mr. Potter:
We have received notice that an unauthorized Portkey was used at your place of residence at quarter-to Midnight on the night of the 2nd of April. Any further notification of unauthorized Portkey use will result in a disciplinary hearing.
Improper Use of Magic Office”
“I don’t understand,” Sirius said. He had read the note over Helena’s shoulder, being a good three inches taller.
“It means,” explained Jack, slowly and shakily, “that they have him.” Sirius knew who ‘they’ were.
“How?” Helena exclaimed desperately.
“What’s missing?” asked Sirius wisely. They looked around them, as if hoping James was simply hiding in the corner.
“Where’s the parchment… oh, Helena, that’s it!” Jack said suddenly, sitting down and putting his face in his hands.
“But you’ve been carrying it around for days!” she told him.
“Never so late! Not tonight!” Jack replied sternly.
“We… we should go to the Ministry. Figure out a plan, stop the others!” Helena decided tapping Jack on the shoulder once to get his attention. Her voice was higher than usual, and Sirius noticed she was shaking slightly. Jack nodded, and two *pop*s signaled their exit.
Sirius stood, alone in the kitchen. James’ cloak and wand lay on the table, deprived of their owner. He put them safely in a drawer. Not being able to stand it any longer, Sirius left and stomped up to Lily’s room.
Originally, this chapter went on for a bit longer, but that is now… (dun-dun-dun) next chapter!!!
It will be short, but review this, then go on, eh? I will post again this weekend!
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