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The Marauders Kiss by sweetprofanities
Chapter 56 : Message received.
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 15


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Dear Mum,

I just wanted to say, I’m sorry we haven’t been in contact. I’m sorry I yelled at you on the platform. You are so far from being a bad mother. I know we don’t always see eye to eye, but I love you. I love you for accepting me as I am, and for always being there for me. I love that I can talk to you about anything, and that you look after Dad and Tucker when I’m not around. I’m sorry for being a brat, and I want you to know, I appreciate everything you do for me.

All my love,

Ali.

Ali smiled down at the parchment with Sirius beside her in the common room. She’d woken up quite early, curled up beside him, his arm tight around her. She did her best to try and pry herself free of his grasp while not waking him up. She was almost home free, but he seemed to notice her absence once she was leaving the confines of the drapes and pulled her back down. As her stirring had woken him up, he’d gone downstairs with her quietly to write out the letter, as the rest of the room was still in a deep slumber.

Sirius yawned, holding onto her free hand and giving his hair a good ruffle with his other. They heard the stairs creak and looked over to see who was on their way down. Emily appeared at the bottom of the girls’ stairs quickly followed by Mary. Sirius started to cough a little with laughter but Ali was much too distracted by the strange appearance of the girls to figure out the source of his outburst. She had no idea these two were even friends.

‘Morning, ladies.’ Sirius offered as they passed by.

‘Morning.’ Emily smiled at them, but Mary looked a little worried.

‘M-morning, Black. Adams.’ Mary nodded to them and continued along. When she looked back at the two, Sirius spoke up.

‘Don’t worry Macdonald, this one is pretty slow when it comes to figuring out secrets.’ As he finished his sentence Ali realised the slow person he was referring to, was her. She frowned at him, but he was still watching the girls.

‘Hey Macdonald,’ he continued, and when Ali looked over to Mary and Emily, they were paused at the portrait hole, ‘check this out.’ After his words, Ali felt his hand rest under her chin and it guided her face back to him. He learnt forward and kissed her sweetly on the lips. Probably a little more deeply than she would usually allow when there were people around. Once he was done he turned away from her and grinned.

‘Sirius, what the bloody hell was that?’

‘It really is nice to be able to snog wherever you want to.’ He started to snicker and Ali was completely lost now. A groan came from Mary and Emily’s direction, and when Ali turned to them, she realised it was most definitely Mary who had voiced her disapproval. Emily was giggling.

Mary grabbed Emily and tugged her through the portrait hole while Sirius’s laughter grew louder.

‘Why was that funny? What am I not getting?’ Ali asked innocently.

‘Never you mind. I’ll tell you when you get older, kid.’ Sirius winked at her and Ali felt the sudden need to harm him in some way. Her thoughts of maiming her boyfriend were interrupted however when they noticed a very light tapping at the window. They both directed their attention over to windowpane and saw the Adams family owl waiting patiently. He seemed as if he had been nestled on the ledge for some time, as his feathers were puffed out in an attempt at keeping himself warm.

‘That’s strange. I heard from Dad just the other day.’ Ali stood and made her way over to let Sapphire in. He hopped through and glided down to safety before Ali retook her seat and extracted his letter. His little talons were freezing.

'Have you been out there all night? Why are you so cold?' Ali stared at the owl as he gave her no reply. 'You don't think he came to my window... but I wasn't there?' Ali looked at Sirius. Sirius just shrugged, still sleepy and mentally incapable of questions at this time of morning, and Ali eventually gave up on her reasonaing as to why the poor owl seemed to be suffering of frostbitten talons. 

When she unravelled the letter, she realise she and her mother must have been on the same wave length, because such elegant handwriting certainly didn’t belong to Christian or Tucker.

‘It’s from mum!’ She beamed over to Sirius and he smiled back at her.

‘You two are scarily alike, you know that, right?’ Sirius said, but Ali didn’t fully catch it. She was too eager to read the letter from her mother. It had almost been three months since they last spoke. It was the longest they had ever gone.

My dearest Ali,

I’ve been terribly stubborn not writing to you, and I’ve just come to realise how ridiculous I’ve been. I’m sorry if I embarrassed you on the platform. It’s not what I intended. I just want to make sure you’re safe and happy. You’re my baby girl after all. Watching you grow up into the fine lady you have become has been one of the greatest treasures of my life. I am thankful for you every day. If you think this boy is right for you, then I am certain he is. You’re one smart cookie, and you never do anything without weighing out every possible avenue. I should know. Please bring him over for the holidays. I’ll deal with your father.

Love you always,

Your mother.

‘Do you feel better now?’ Sirius spoke from the chair across from her. He was stroking Sapphire and keeping him entertained while Ali read.

‘Loads.’ Ali replied. She reached out to Sapphire and tied her own letter to his leg. ‘Could you take this to Mum, please? If you need any water or food, just pop up to the owlery on your way.’ Sapphire was a very easy owl. Much less temperamental compared to other breeds. He was purchased more so because Christian needed him for ministry work and also for urgent Order letters. But it was wonderfully convenient that he was easy to please and a fast flier. It wasn’t long before he was back out the window and on his way.

But then Ali felt suddenly guilty as she turned her attention back to Sirius.

‘Why do you look sad?’ He gave her a bemused smile.

‘Well, after what we spoke about last night. I don’t know. I wish you had this. A relationship with your parents, that is.’ She looked down, feeling guilt-ridden. Sirius reached out and took her hand, but gave her no reply.

‘Mum said she wants you to come over, on the summer break.’ Ali looked up and presented him with a smile. She was just as happy to read the accepting sentiments of her choices as she was to hear from her mother.

‘Really?’ Sirius bit his lip.

‘Yeah. No running away this time.’ Ali fixed him with a glare that made Sirius laugh. ‘What was all that with the girls about? Should I know something?’

‘If you knew anything, I’d be very surprised.’ Sirius barely finished his sentence before they turned to the stairs from the noise coming from the boys’ side. It sounded as if a stampede was on its way down.

‘Sirius! Sirius!’ James came flying out the bottom and rushed over to them. ‘There’s been a mass attack! They’ve hit London!’

‘What!?’ Sirius jumped up and met James half way, they both immediately started scanning over the copy of the daily prophet. They were heatedly discussing the front page article. Ali only managed to siphon out the words muggle and death eaters. They were talking much too fast for her to even bother trying to decipher it. She saw Lily coming down the stairs, looking white as a ghost. Ali stood up and made her way over to the redhead, who was being followed by both Peter and Remus.

‘Lily, are you alright?’ Ali asked touching a hand to her shoulder in an attempt to comfort her. She looked terrible.

‘Ali-’ Lily looked up, ‘Ali my parents, they could have been at this event. It was a muggle gathering for Easter. I haven’t heard from them in days. What if they’re- dead?’ Her teeth began to chatter and what little colour was left in her fair cheeks drained at the thought of her parents becoming collateral damage to an attack from death eaters.

‘Hey, don’t think like that. I’m sure they’re fine.’ Remus interrupted and rubbed Lily’s shoulder behind her. Ali was a little out of her depth. What was she supposed to say in a situation like this? It was actually highly likely that Lily’s parents could be dead. If it was an attack on muggles, Lily’s parents were in the firing range. Ali watched on as Remus drew Lily into a hug. Beside them James and Sirius were getting angrier and angrier about the article and voicing their attitudes. People were filing down from the dorms in the dressing gowns and slippers, looking around at each other.

‘You okay?’ Ali jumped a little at his voice and whipped around to come face to face with Peter.

‘Oh! Peter.’ Ali clasped her arms around her, ‘I- I feel bad.’ Peter was watching her, but thankfully he was the only occupant of the room that seemed to be. James and Sirius were furious. Remus and Lily had taken a seat together, and now even Marlene and the rest of the girls from their dorm were huddling around her.

‘Why?’ Peter asked, as they stepped out of the way of a few more students. Ali looked at Peter. She wasn’t sure if she should voice her feelings. She wasn’t sure if at a time like this, these feelings were important enough to merit attention.

‘I just feel bad.’ She shrugged, ‘everyone else seems to be dealing with stuff. Real stuff. And I’m upset about having a row with my mum.’ She shrugged again, ‘it’s just a bit ridiculous. I’m a bit ridiculous.’ She felt guilty again. Lily’s parents could have potentially been murdered. James had just lost his father. Sirius, as she had just recently found out, had grown up neglected in a house of physical and emotional torture.  Suddenly things that seemed so real and cosmic in her life were starting to look pathetic and unjust.

She looked over to see that Lily was crying now, and James had joined them on the lounge with Sirius. Everyone was talking loudly. Students were throwing theories back and forth. There were a select few names of casualties being read. But Peter just touched a hand to her shoulder, drawing her attention back to him.

‘Just because other people are dealing with really hard stuff, doesn’t mean whatever it is you’re going through isn’t real. Your problems matter, too.’ Peter smiled at Ali, and she gave him an appreciative smile in return. But the moment was interrupted by a loud and overbearing voice Ali knew all too well.

‘-Cattermole? Does anyone know a Cattermole? What about Edgecombe? They were a couple of the magical names in the casualties list. It says here that they’ve sent in a team of advanced healers and ministry officials to start dealing with the damage. “Obliviators will be on the scene within the hour”.’ Both Peter and Ali watched as Nay Aswad read out a specific part of the newspaper to the growing crowd of gryffindors.

Nay caught his cousin’s eye and jumped down from the table he had climbed upon, parting the crowd easily. Ali and Peter watched him stride over until he was directly before them.

‘Al, isn’t Uncle Chris an obliviator?’ Nay asked, seeming quite concerned.

Ali shook her head, ‘No. No he’s not working in the department of accidental magical reversal anymore. He was promoted to magical law enforcement ages ago.’

Nay sighed loudly and launched his hand forth to smack Ali on the shoulder, causing her to crumple from the weight.

‘That’s a relief! Wouldn’t want him having to go into that scene. It sounds gruesome.’ Nay finished as Ali tried to steady herself, with Peter’s help.

‘Are you related to him?’ Peter asked quizzically. Ali noted that Sirius seemed to be scanning the room for her.

‘He’s my cousin.’ She said as she raised a hand to draw Sirius’s attention over to them.

‘Really? That’s- I honestly would not have guessed that.’ Peter sounded a little dumbstruck which made Ali smile.

‘Thank you. That’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.’ They both looked at one another from a moment before they started laughing together as Sirius made it over to them.

‘You know, I’m starting to wonder about you two.’ Sirius surveyed them shrewdly but Ali interrupted instantly.

‘I have friends too, Black.’ She then reached out and grabbed a hold of his hand with a smile, and Sirius had never looked so shocked by her actions. ‘How’s Lily?’

‘Uh- she’s pretty shaken, but we’re taking her to the owlery now so she can write home and see about the reply. That’s first priority before we go asking around to the professors. Listen, Ali-’ Sirius gave Peter a smile, but dragged her away to talk in private. ‘I know you want to keep this thing secret, but look at what’s happening. People are dying. Can’t you just tell me what this society is doing? Are they even fighting against you-know-who? Anything? We just want to help.’

‘Sirius.’ Ali stared into his eyes. She wanted to tell him no and to move along. But his eyes, they were so helpless. She could see how desperately he wanted to do something. Anything he could to help. Ali sighed. ‘Okay, listen. I’m not going to be the one to tell you, but what if we go directly to Dumbledore? If you ask him, maybe he’ll fill you in? You are graduating in three months after all.’

Sirius crushed her in a hug so tight it forced her to cough on expiration and grab a hold of him to stablize herself afterwards. He grabbed onto her hand and pulled her by Peter and a few more students. They were out of the portrait hole before Ali knew what was happening.

‘Sirius don’t be ridiculous, Dumbledore might not even be in the school! It’s the holidays after all.’ Ali was laughing at his eagerness.

‘Doesn’t hurt to try!’ He replied, and they were weaving by tapestries, and running through corridors and down staircases before Ali could even form an argument against it. She supposed it was probably okay. Surely Dumbledore wouldn’t have minded? He had been all for her being filled in when she had asked.

‘Nitwit.’ Sirius spoke to the stone gargoyle and rushed by him as the moving staircase appeared before them. He was on a mission. When they got to the oak door, Sirius knocked twice. No reply came for a moment, and he knocked once more the door opened on its own.

Ali felt a twinge, a strange feeling, like maybe they shouldn’t have been there.

Both she and Sirius watched the door opening curiously, and peered their heads around to see inside the office. Dumbledore stood inside, before his desk. He was joined by a curious creature. It took on the shape of a fox. It was an illuminated and beautifully see-through fox and Dumbledore was speaking to it. Dumbledore didn’t look like he had slept. Nor did he seem to have been very comfortable. It was as if he had just gotten there. Which was strange, as apparating within the castle walls was known to be impossible.

The strange luminous fox vapour turned to look directly at Ali and Sirius and that’s when Ali realised what it was.

‘That’s a patronus.’ Ali whispered to Sirius. Then something clicked, ‘that’s my father’s patronus actually.’ Sirius turned to look at her, but then they realised the headmaster was making his way over to them. They both straightened up as he approached and the fox seemed to vanish into thin air.

‘Sorry headmaster, we didn’t mean in intrude.’ Ali noted that Dumbledore didn’t seem to be himself this morning. He seemed older than usual and heavy with something unknown. He reached out and took Ali’s hand within his own and that’s when she noticed a singular tear glide seamlessly down his weathered cheek from under his half-moon spectacles.

‘Aaliyah.’ Ali was shocked. She had never seen Dumbledore show such emotion in her life. She had grown up around their headmaster, and not once had she ever been aware of him crying. Sirius was watching on and Ali started to feel very out of place.

She looked up into Dumbledore’s bright blue eyes and they were glistening. There was a deafening silence around them before he continued.

‘I’m so sorry my dear.’ Dumbledore’s iron resolve was barely faltering. But it was faltering, and Ali was suddenly petrified. It was as if she could feel something bad coming and the sound of white noise started to fill her ears. ‘It’s your mother. Your mother was killed last night, providing aid to muggles at the attack.’ Dumbledore’s hands gripped her singular one tight within them.

The white noise in her ears was overpowering. It almost consumed her. She had to think on what Dumbledore had just said, to let it settle in her brain. She could feel his tender old hands gripping her own. Her head and body felt light as if she were about to float away. She swayed momentarily as the gravity of the words smashed into her like a tidal wave of anguish.

She wanted to vomit.

Her eyes started to widen with the realization of her headmaster’s solemn words. Time started to slow down. Ali could hear Sirius breathing beside her. She could feel her heart beating. Everything seemed frozen. She could hear that Dumbledore was speaking now, but she wasn’t registering it. Suddenly her throat tightened. Her chest swelled with the breath she wasn’t aware she was taking. Her heart started to pound. Hard and fast. It was almost painful. She was shaking. It was like someone had smashed two cymbals together at the base of her neck and the reverberation was slowly causing an echo effect to travel up her head and down her body. She couldn’t stop the shaking.

She could hear nothing but the white noise. It was becoming unbearable. Tears were forming in her eyes. She could feel them just barely starting to overflow and cascade down her cheeks. She was still shaking. She couldn’t stop the shaking. Her heart was pumping so fast she feared it might stop. She couldn’t move. She had to will herself to move. Suddenly her breaths became harder and harder to draw in. She was suffocating, she couldn’t breathe. Her arms launched up from her side and out of Dumbledore’s grasp to cling at her throat. It felt as if she was choking.

She looked around, wildly confused. Her vision was so blurred from the onslaught of tears. Someone grabbed a hold of her and she let go of any ambitions to keep herself standing. She crumpled to her knees and her body shook violently with the sobs she couldn’t hear and the breaths she was fighting to take. She tried again and again to scream out. To tell someone she couldn’t breathe. She was surely dying. She was going to disappear into the blackness swelling around her.

She couldn’t hear anything. Was no one there? She needed someone. Anyone. She needed help.

She kept her eyes shut tight as a warmth surrounded her. She was still shaking, but there was something forcing her to stop. Her fingers gouged into something soft and she clung to it for dear life. Even though there was warmth all around her, she felt so cold. So alone. She tried to scream again for help. But still nothing came out. She couldn’t hear anything going on around her. Why was her voice failing her at such a time? Everything was black around her. She needed air. Time and time again she attempted to voice her terror and pain but nothing. It was like she was being forced to sleep, but all she wanted was to awaken from this horrible nightmare.

And then suddenly she was set free of her anguish along with everything else. The pain. The fear. The cold. Everything disappeared and her body went limp.


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