A/N: This is not the next chapter. I decided to split chapter 11 in half and turn it into two chapters. So If you are reading this before I have a chance to move it up this is not the next chapter of the story. Sorry for the confusion.
And now, as long as I can, I'm holding on with both hands
'Cause forever I believe
That there's nothing I could need but you
So if I haven't yet, I've gotta let you know
Chapter Twelve: Promises
As January rolled on Hogwarts continued to seem less and less like, well, Hogwarts. Although Dumbledore insisted things continue as usual, the atmosphere of Hogwarts was diminished. Patrols had all but tripled with teachers, Prefects, and the Head Boy and Girl patrolling the halls during their every spare moment.
James, Remus, and Lily were rarely seen in the common room anymore. When they weren’t in class, eating, or, in James case, practicing Quidditch they were on patrol duty. This left Dominique, who normally studied with Remus and Lily, to study with Sirius and Peter. For the most part the three did not speak unless it was absolutely necessary. Sirius was worried Dominique would snap at him again, Peter had always been afraid of her, and Dominique didn’t feel like talking to either of them.
However as the weeks progressed Sirius and Dominique began to talk, a little at first then slowly they begun to have full conversations. Sirius was taking James’s and Remus’s advice of trying to be Dominique’s friend first. Remus who knew Dominique the best next to Lily suggested friendship as the best way to gain her trust and it seemed to be working.
About two weeks before the end of January James received the news he had been hoping for.
“Lily! Lily!” James yelled running down the hall waving both his hands with the letter flailing from side to side.
“What is it James?” Lily asked. James didn’t answer he ran to her scoping her up in his arms and spinning her around. “James what on earth has gotten into you?”
“He’s better! He’s better!” James chanted while continuing to spin Lily around
“Who is?” By no Lily was kind of dizzy
“My dad!” James set Lily down with a great big smile on his face
“James that is wonderful!” Lily threw her arms around James’s neck hugging him tightly
“Come on lets go find Remus and then tell the others!” James grabbed Lily’s hand and ran off down the corridor practically dragging her along with him.
After searching for over an hour Lily and James decided maybe they should go check the common room incase Remus had gone back there. As Lily and James rounded the corner to the Gryffindor Common room entrance they saw Remus backing out of the portrait hole.
“REMUS!” James yelled causing Remus to stumble backwards
“Shhh!” Remus shushed James as he picked himself up off the ground
“What’s up Remus?” James asked
“This.” Remus motioned for James and Lily to follow him into the common room
James’s jaw dropped and Lily gasped then quickly covered her mouth. Sitting on the floor of the common room by the fireplace was none other then Sirius Black and Dominique Watkins, together, not fighting. In fact they were far from fighting. The two of them were sitting playing Wizarding Chess together schoolbooks forgotten on the far table. Peter sat in one of the chairs watching with a looking utterly perplexed by what he was seeing.
“Am I seeing what I think I am seeing?” James whispered
“If you’re seeing Sirius and Dominique laughing together while playing Wizarding Chess than yes.” Lily said still in shock.
“When did this happen?” James asked turning to Remus
“No idea. I got here shortly before you did and they were already playing.” Remus said with a smirk on his face. “And he didn’t think our advice would work.”
“What advice?” Lily asked
“Let’s go down to the kitchens. We’ll explain everything there.” James suggested
“Should we get Peter or leave him there?” Remus said looking at the very confused Peter
“Try and get his attention.” Both Remus and James waved their arms trying to get Peter’s attention. Finally after two minutes he looked up and saw them. Peter was about to say something to Sirius but James shushed him and motioned for him to come with them.
“I-I’m gonna go to the library.” Peter stuttered
“Okay.” Sirius replied as he attacked Dominique’s castle “Looks like I’m winning.”
“Not for long.” Dominique said making her move “Beat that!”
“With pleasure.” Sirius shot Dominique a cocky smile
Lily, Remus, and James did their best not to burst out laughing as they left the common room. The four of them made their way down to the kitchen without saying a word. Once in the safety of the kitchens Lily, Remus, and James burst out laughing as Peter watched.
“So what was this advice that you gave Sirius?” Lily finally asked after she had caught her breath
“Well Sirius came to James and I after the New Years party, I am sure Dominique already told you what happened.” Lily nodded to verify that she knew the whole story, “As you can imagine Sirius was pretty upset. After spending who knows how long denying he was falling for the girl she shoots him through the heart.”
“Hit to both his heart and his ego.” James added before Remus continued
“So anyways we told him that he was never going to win her over by simply asking her out or being nice, he needed to gain her trust. After all Dominique only sees him as the guy who loved to torment her.”
“Not that she was ever completely innocent.” Interjected Lily
“Be that as it may we told Sirius he needed to be her friend first and with the three of us being gone so much on patrols this has been the perfect time for Sirius to try getting to know Dominique a little better and vice versa.” Remus finished with a smile
“And it is working.” Lily noted
“Although we never expected it to happen this fast.” James commented
“I think something happened between those two at St. Mungo’s” Lily turned to James, “You remember when Sirius sent me that letter?”
“Yeah. Now that you mention it Sirius seemed happy but in a sad way. He never mentioned anything.”
“Neither has Dominique.”
“Well whatever happened I think it helped a lot.” Remus commented picking up his butterbeer, “I say we drink to Mr. Potter’s returned health and to good luck for our two confused friends.” Remus tried so hard not to laugh at the last part, as did every one else as they touched their glasses together.
January quickly faded into February bringing with it more deaths. Each day the numbers at Hogwarts seemed to dwindle as students left. No one, not even young children, were being spared, Voldemort showed no mercy. Even the excitement of Quidditch could not mask the terror and pain felt inside the once safe and shielding grounds of Hogwarts.
During the second week of February, on the day before Valentine’s Day, a storm had blow in reflect the schools mood. Alice, who had not been the same since school had started up, sat playing with her food. Lily and Dominique had given up on trying to convince her to eat. Mrs. Longbottom sent owls to Alice almost everyday ensuring her that Frank was fine, but never gave much of an update and that made things worse.
Somehow the anticipation of Valentine’s Day helped lighten the mood in the Great Hall that night. Even Lily felt a bit of excitement, but it quickly died when she saw the pain on Alice’s face. Up and down the tables girls were giggling and boys were talking nervously to one another and Alice couldn’t take any more. Pushing her plate away she stood.
“Alice please eat…” Lily begun
“I’m not hungry.” Alice cut her off
“Alice he will be alright.” Dominique said
“How do you know!” Alice cried, “No one knows!” The Great Hall grew silent, “He could die tomorrow and I wouldn’t get to say goodbye! So don’t tell me it is going to be okay! You don’t know!” with tears streaming down her face Alice ran towards the door running into to someone walking into the hall
“Oh my-” Lily put her hand over her mouth seeing who Alice had run into
“Alice.” The young man who had kept her from falling said gently, “Alice it’s okay.”
“Frank.” Alice looked up, “You’re-you’re okay.” She burst into tears and clung to him, “I thought you were going to die.”
“I’m fine I promise. It is going to take more than that to kill me.” Alice choked out a laugh as Frank brushed away her tears, “There’s the smile I love.” Frank softly kissed her lips
“Don’t ever do that to me again.” Alice whispered
“I won’t.” Frank pulled something out of his packet. Alice’s eyes widened as Frank got down onto one knee. “Alice when I woke up in the hospital I realized something. I realized that there is some one I needed and still need by my side and that person is you Alice. I want to spend the rest of my life with you by my side.” Frank paused for a moment, “Alice will you marry me?”
Alice’s eyes widened in shock as a great hush fell over the students and teachers, everyone was holding their breath in anticipation of Alice’s answer.
“Yes!” Alice cried as tears of joy streamed down her face. “Yes I will marry you!”
Frank’s face broke into a big smile as he stood and kissed Alice slipping the ring onto her figure. Dominique, Lily, Sirius, Remus, James, and Peter all jumped out of their seats and ran to congratulate the couple as the Great Hall broke out in applause even the teachers were standing. The girls hugged Alice as the boys shook hands with Frank.
The engagement celebration continued well into the early hours of the morning, even McGonagall didn’t come to stop them. It seemed that Frank’s return and than proposing to Alice was exactly what the school need to push away some of the fear and sadness that had been looming over the castle for far too long.
Yet as Dominique watch she couldn’t ignore the forbidding feeling deep inside her and the little voice that kept repeating that this happiness would not last much longer.
Lyrics: Never Gonna Be Alone By Nickelback
Beautiful chapter image by Lady Malfoy @ TDA