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Chapter 10 : Dark Ultimatums
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“Oh there you are!” Chanel breathed in relief as Melody slid the carriage door open. “We were about to send out a search party!”
Melody smiled and settled her things on the luggage rack before seating herself primly on the seat beside Anna. “Sorry, I looked for you but it was so crowded. I could barely see my own feet.”
Anna scowled. “Ugh, everyone was practically sticking to one another.”
Melody frowned. “I just can’t believe it, only a few days ago we were talking to Rosier.”
“Is it really so surprising? I mean, I think we all saw this coming.” Chanel replied; uncharacteristically sober.
The girls fell silent, drowning in their thoughts.
“Julian Parkinson spoke to my father yesterday.” Chanel said softly, breaking the silence. Anna looked up sharply. “What did he want?”
“He was talking about recruiting for Lord Voldemort; they’re calling him the ‘dark lord’.” Chanel grimaced. Melody’s eyes were wide. “What did your father say?” She breathed.
“No obviously. My father would never join them...but, Parkinson was angry, really angry; threatened me and my mother.” She swallowed the swell in her throat and Melody rushed to her side.
“I was thinking, I mean, while we’re all safe at Hogwarts, what about our parents? They’re exposed to the danger.” Chanel choked and bit her lip tightly. Melody’s stomach dropped. She’d always counted on Chanel to be the strong one.
Anna frowned. “Stop it Chanel. If we all start thinking like that, we might as well roll over and give up. Parkinson was just trying to bait your father; he was trying to instil fear to make him join. It’s what they’re all doing. Do you honestly think half of the so called ‘death eaters’ have joined because they admire Lord what’s his face? It’s all fear and if we cave into it, we’re just as cowardly as them!”
Melody nodded vehemently and Chanel let out a breath. “You’re right, of course you’re right.” She threw Anna a small smile and straightened her shoulders. They would be alright, all of them.
Unbeknownst to Chanel and Anna, Melody’s head was whirling and her heart, breaking.
“Anything off the trolley dears?”
Peter stood up swiftly and licked his lips as he gazed at all of the sweets on the cart. James rolled his eyes. “One of everything, please.” He handed the trolley lady a few galleons and smiled. “Keep the change.”
The trolley lady gave him a gentle smile before handing a bag full of sweets to a drooling Peter and then walking off to the next carriage.
“Merlin Pete, my mother didn’t starve you or anything, did she?” James asked, leaning against the back of the seat as he went through Quidditch plays. Peter blushed. “You know I can’t resist anything with sugar in it.” He squeaked, stuffing a chocolate frog into his mouth before it had a chance to leap out.
Sirius muttered something which sounded like ‘can’t resist anything edible more like’. Remus and James coughed, masking their snickers. Peter remained completely oblivious, gazing tenderly at the bag of sweets, furrowing his brows at the thought of which one to devour next.
“Alright men, it’s time to-
The carriage door slid open at that moment and all four boys looked up to find the sneering faces of Lucius and Rudolphus.
“Is it just me, or do I smell murderous snakes?” Sirius asked lightly, the only hint of his anger, the hardening of his grey eyes.
Lestrange’s eyes narrowed and he scowled. “We need to speak to you, Black.” He spat, sounding like he wanted to do nothing of the sort.
Sirius snorted. “Like hell! The only thing I want to hear from you, is your pathetic sniveling when they carry you to Azkaban. Maybe you can keep Rosier company.”
Lucius frowned and stepped inside, Lestarange following suit. The Marauders stood swiftly, wands at the ready as Lestrange closed the carriage door shut.
“Rosier was a fool, he was careless and arrogant, he deserves to rot in Azkaban, and to be honest, he would do well to stay there. The Dark Lord is not happy with him and if he manages to be free... well, let’s just say Rosier will be begging for the dementors.” Malfoy hissed.
James’ face twisted in revulsion. “You have no loyal bone in your body do you? Hell, you’d probably sell your own mother if your precious ‘dark lord’ asked it of you. You sicken me Malfoy. Now get the hell out of this carriage before I make you.” He spat, and sparks shot from wand.
Malfoy scowled. “We haven’t come here to duel Potter. We have come one last time to make you see reason. The dark lord respects all pure blood and he doesn’t wish to see any of it spilt senselessly, though he will not stand for betrayal. This is our chance, to prove to the world that we are superior. We will no longer have to hide from those pathetic muggles, while they go on about mocking us with their childish fantastical stories. You say loyalty Potter? We are the epitome of loyal to those who stand with us, to those who are loyal to the Dark Lord. Stand with us, fight with us and you and your families will be greatly rewarded. Most importantly, they will be spared.”
Instantly, two wands were pointed at Lucius Malfoy’s face. “Are you threatening my family Malfoy?” James hissed. Sirius’s jaw was clenched and he produced a feral growl.
Malfoy raised his wand-less hands slowly in the air. “Simply a message from the Dark Lord, join him and you will not regret it.” He turned his head to Sirius and frowned. “A message from Bella; think before you make a decision Black, she does not want to see you dead, you are family.”
Sirius shook his head fiercely. “Not anymore, I’m a Potter now.”
Lucius shrugged and stepped back slowly as Lestrange opened the carriage door. “Very well, it is, your decision...after all. Be warned.” With that, both Slytherin boys turned with a rustle of their cloaks and made their way to the back of the train, leaving behind a silent compartment.
“Dig in!” Professor Dumbledore called after his brief speech as food appeared magically across the four tables. Peter practically drooled and the unfortunate girl beside him grimaced, shifting away subtly.
“So when do we put operation kill the snakes in action?” Sirius asked as he shoved half a potato into his mouth. Remus scowled as he delicately forked his own potato.
“As soon as possible, tomorrow night the latest.” James answered briskly, shooting a dark look towards the aforementioned ‘snakes’. Sirius grinned. “Excellent.”
He turned to find a very blonde girl walking towards them, waving madly. He turned around quickly after flashing a brief smile in her direction. “Who the hell is she?!” He hissed as his mates snickered.
James shrugged. “Beats me, didn’t you sleep with her?”
Sirius shot James an incredulous glance. “Do you honestly expect me to remember every single bird I may or may not have slept with?!”
Remus, James and Peter stared at him blankly. “Yes.” They answered simultaneously.
Sirius muttered expletives under his breath and looked up just as the girl stopped in front of him. “Hi Siri! How are you? How was your break? Were you boy’s very mischievous?” She drawled in a sultry tone, winking at James before turning back to Sirius. James grimaced as he and Remus mouthed ‘mischievous’ behind her back incredulously.
Sirius cleared his throat, his expression one of extreme discomfort. “Umm, I guess it was good...er...Amy?” He tried, literally grasping at straws.
The girl beamed. “Oh Siri, its Ashley, but you were so close!” She gushed.
The boys exchanged disbelieving looks.
“So listen, since we had such a good time, I was wondering if you wanted to meet me again. Say, by the astronomy tower? At around eight?”
Sirius flinched and cleared his throat. “Listen...Ashley, I, er, really wish I could, but I’m...quite busy tonight.”
The girl’s eyes widened. “Oh, well, let me know when you’re free then.” She said and with one last provocative smile, she flounced away.
Sirius turned around with a grimace. “Good lord!”
James snickered. “Great show, you really know how to let them down easy.”
Remus smirked. “I think he’s perfected the ‘I don’t want you, but I don’t want you to know that I don’t want you’ excuse.”
Sirius glared and jumped as a hand clamped on his shoulder.
“Good grief Anna, I thought you were Amy- er Ashley, or whatever the hell her name was.” He scowled as they boys roared with laughter.
Anna watched them with a smile. “Never knew the day would come when Sirius Black denied a girl who wanted to get in his pants.”
Sirius frowned. “I have been known to turn girls away, I’ll have you know.”
Anna rolled her eyes. “Alisha doesn’t count.” She said, referring to a rather unfortunate looking girl. James cackled gleefully and Sirius glowered. “You’re not helping.”
“Anyways, that’s not what I came to talk to you about; I just wanted to warn you. I overheard your fan girls, you want to be careful. They’re on the hunt for information about you and the family.”
Sirius’ eyes darkened.
“There are all sorts of rumours, though none of them know for sure and no one’s too keen on telling them, so they think they can get it out of you while...well...you know.” She grimaced uncomfortably.
James keeled over in laughter and Remus cringed.
Sirius nodded. “Thanks Anna.”
Anna flashed him a small smile. “Just a friendly warning; well, I’ll see you boys later.”
James raised his brow as she left. “So have you guys had the conversation then?”
Sirius grimaced. “No and I’m not particularly rushing to. I was hoping we could just forget about it and move on.”
Remus shook his head. “When has that ever worked?”
“And besides, do you want her to think she’s just like another girl to you?” James added.
Sirius frowned. “But she isn’t and she knows that.”
James raised his brow. “Does she?”
Sirius thought about this and sighed. Girls were so bloody difficult.
The girls were sitting in the common room that night when the Marauders boisterously stepped through the portrait. Chanel rolled her eyes as she flipped through her magazine. “Do you mind?! I’m trying to read!”
The entire common room fell into a flabbergasted silence. Anna gave a lingering sigh. “A magazine people!”
The world made sense again.
Sirius was the first to reach them, plucking the magazine from Chanel’s hands. “What is this garbage? ‘Luscious lead singer gets dumped’- is this the garbage girls spend time reading? Who bloody cares about-
He glanced once more at the page and frowned. “’Mandrakes Are Alive’.” He grimaced, as did Remus and Peter. James had excused himself to speak with another member of the Quidditch team.
“Really? What dolt gives himself such an idiotic name?”
Chanel gave a feral growl before snatching her magazine back. “You’re one to talk, Sirius Black.” She scoffed, giving him the dirtiest look she could manage.
Sirius smirked. “Touché my dear friend- touché, but I can’t really be held responsible for the misfortune that is my name.”
Chanel flipped him the bird.
Remus gave a subtle ‘hem hem’ and Sirius took a deep breath as he turned towards Anna. He opened his mouth before quickly closing it. “Well I’ll be off then.” He gave a high pitched laugh and before he could make his escape, Remus smacked him upside the head. Cursing angrily under his breath, he steeled his shoulders and opened his mouth again.
“Er, hey Roberts-
She looked up expectantly and Sirius gulped. “You mind, if I talk to you for a minute?” He nearly hit himself when his voice cracked like a pubescent boy.
Anna raised her brow and gave a lingering sigh. “I guess, this had better be good Black, I have a test to study for.”
Chanel looked up curiously and snorted at Sirius’ oddly flushed complexion. She muttered something that sounded like ‘idiot’, under her breath.
Sirius nodded and cleared his throat again. “Yeah sure, it’ll only take a few minutes.”
Remus and Peter were struggling not to laugh and Sirius threw them a dark look before following Anna towards the portrait hole. The last thing the others heard before they disappeared was Anna’s say, “By the way Black, what the hell is wrong with your voice?”
“So? What did you want to talk to me about?”
Sirius glanced over Anna’s inquisitive expression quickly, his resolve threatened to falter. What if she took this as something else? It was obvious Anna had put this behind her. What if bringing it up again only made things awkward? Sirius didn’t understand how he let Remus push him into doing this.
“That night, new years eve...” He chanced a look at Anna before continuing.
“I just wanted you to know that I’m sorry. I... respect you and I didn’t...I don’t...” He trailed off. This was officially the most awkward moment of his life.
He took another breath. “I’m really not as bad as you think. Most of the time I just go along with it-
He cuffed his foot against the floor.
“In fact I’m more attracted to girls who aren’t easy-
He cringed. “Not that you are-I mean...” He groaned. “Anyways, just wanted you to know that what happened New Years Eve, it shouldn’t have happened...but I don’t regret that it did.”
She raised her brow.
“I don’t mean it in the way you probably think I mean it...that is...well...oh bollocks, now I’m just screwing it up. What I mean to say is, I had a good time, as much as I can remember and I was glad- if it had to be anyone- that it was you.” He ended somewhat anticlimactically and buried his hands in his pocket. “Anyway, that’s about all I wanted to say.”
He waited for the pain to come, but was pleasantly surprised to see a smirk play at her lips. “You really have a way with words you know?” She rolled her eyes. “I guess, painful as this is to admit, I had a good time too. I may have over-reacted. What’s done is done anyway, right?”
Sirius looked back at her wide-eyed and nodded eagerly.
“Good, now that that’s out of the way. We can put it past us, just a couple of friends who got drunk and made out.” She smiled.
Sirius had to admit, he was a little taken aback. He was also disappointed for some reason. Sirius shrugged this thought away. “Right, friends.”
Anna narrowed her eyes curiously. “Something wrong Black?”
Sirius gave a nonchalant shrug and shook his head. “Nope, not at all.”
Anna sighed. “Well I should head back, like I said, I have a test coming up and I’ve barely started.”
With that said, she turned on her heel and stepped back inside the common room.
Sirius watched her leave, a thoughtful expression resting on his face.
“I was beginning to think you weren’t going to show. Are you ever on time?” Lily teased as James sprinted down the staircase and into the almost deserted common room.
He smirked. “Sorry, I’m genetically programmed to be fashionably late.”
Lily rolled her eyes. “Well, come on then.”
James raised his brows. “So you aren’t going to give it to me now?”
Lily gave a playful smile. “I don’t exactly think my gift will…work…in the common room.”
James’ eyes lit up with curious excitement, but he kept silent as Lily led him out of the common room and into the empty corridors. He looked around in confusion when they reached the paved enclosed entrances leading to the training grounds.
The sky was surprisingly clear, though the air was still cold, and a biting wind blew through their hair.
Lily grinned and crossed her arms for warmth. “Summon a broom.” She said simply. She gave a sheepish smile when James stared back dumbfounded.
“No.” He exclaimed in astonishment. His face broke out into a large grin and his eyes shone excitedly. “Are you seriously?!”
Lily nodded, her teeth nibbled nervously on her bottom lip.
James laughed. It was no secret that Lily Evans was afraid of flying. After breaking her arm during their first year flying class she’d vowed never to sit on a broom again.
James and Sirius- who were both avid fans of the sport- tried effortlessly in their earlier years to change her opinion. It was always to no avail.
“With everything that’s going on, it seems pretty stupid to be afraid of flying. If I can’t face a broom, what hope do I have of becoming an auror?”
“You want to become an auror?” James asked. He was mildly surprised. Lily nodded.
“It’s been my dream since third year.”
He felt an unexplainable feeling in his stomach.
“I never got a chance to thank you for the beautiful necklace.” She patted the golden chain gently. “The letter and the meaning of the necklace- it was very beautiful. It’s hard, being a muggleborn when having pure blood is so important. People always wonder why I’m so eager to learn and be the best at everything. I just want to prove myself. I want to prove that even though I may not come from a family with magic, I still have magic flowing through my body; so thank you, for reminding me that I have a right to be here, just like everyone else.”
James gazed at her tenderly and stepped closer so that they were almost touching. “You have every right and no one can tell you otherwise. Don’t you forget it.”
There was a moment of silence before James blinked and stepped back- goofy smile intact. “So, are you up for conquering that completely misplaced and senseless fear of yours?”
Lily nodded; a nervous excitement shone through her eyes. She smiled shakily and James threw her an encouraging wink.
“Accio training broom!”
A/N And we are rolling! Sorry about the wait, it wasn't to bad...was it? *Hides in the corner in fear*
Anyways, we're finally getting some Lily-James time, tell me what you think. And what about Anna and Sirius, cute or no?
Let me know in that little box below, you won't regret it! And again, if you have any questions, feel free to visit my meet the author page! :)
Disclaimer: I don't own the Wizarding World, nor do I own anything that comes with it.
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