“Isabella where could they be? They’ve been gone all day.” Lily asked pacing the living room.
“Lily, sit down you’re driving me crazy." I said. "It’s only two o’clock. It hasn’t even been twelve hours. They’ll be back when their back.”
“They’ll be back eventually. You two haven’t seen what their like when they shift. Especially when Sirius is upset. He’ll just run for hours at a time. They’ve probably run halfway across the country by now. They’ll be back eventually. Just have patience.” Remus said walking into the living room from the kitchen.
Just then the fire turned green and out stepped James. “Sweetheart your back.” Lily cried throwing herself into his arms. “Are you ok? Where did you run to? I was so worried.”
“I’m fine. We ran all the way to Hogwarts. Isa I finally understand what you mean by you can smell the magic. I smelled it tonight. One minute we were running full out the next we could smell it. It was the strangest thing.”
“James where is he? Is he coming back?” I asked, trying desperately not to burst into the tears.
“He’ll come back eventually. He just needs sometime to calm down. He’s still at Hogwarts. Dumbledore is letting him stay for a little while. You need to just let him be for the moment. Dumbledore should be able to bring him around, don’t worry.”
“Isabella come sit down. Lily get her some mint tea. It’s going to be ok honey. He’ll come home eventually.” Remus said putting his arm around me.
Just then Justice started crying. “Excuse me.” I said as I went to get my son. “Come here baby. Mummy’s got you. I love you so much my little angel.”
I looked down at my son as I sat in my rocking chair. I was so filled with love. I can’t believe he’s mine sometimes. It’s going to kill me to take him to Jenny, but I have to. I have to keep him safe. If I’m selfish and keep him close as Sirius wants, as I so desperately want he could get hurt or even worse killed. I can’t keep him here, not after what happened to David. If something were to happen to him it would kill me. I would never be able to forgive myself or Sirius. I’ve just got back the man I love, I can’t lose him, but more than that I can’t lose my son. Even though he’s fallen asleep again I can’t bring myself to put him down. Not when I’m going to be taking him to Jenny’s so soon. I look up to see Remus standing in the doorway. “Isn’t he precious? I love him so much. I can’t bring myself to put him down. Remus am I doing the right thing?”
“You love him don’t you? You would do anything for him wouldn’t you?”
“Yes I suppose so.”
“Then I would say so. We don’t know what this war is going to bring, but we know that before it’s over there’s a very good chance that more people we know will die. It’s very possible one of us will die. I know it’s tough to do this, but it’s the only way we know for sure to keep him safe from this war. Once it’s over we’ll go get him. We’ll bring him home, all of us. We all love him so much and even though Sirius is mad now he’ll realize that this is for the best.”
“Are you sure Remus? What if he never forgives me for this?”
“He will sweetheart. Some day he will. He’ll forgive you and realize that you did it out of love. That you did it to protect your son. After this war is over you and Sirius will go to America and be a happy family. James, Lily, and I will get to spoil our Godson. Hopefully Lily and James will have had a son or a daughter for Justice to play with. We’re all going to be happy and together after the war is over I promise you.”
“I hope you’re right Remus. I’m gonna put him back down and then take a nap. I’m exhausted. I didn’t sleep much last night.”
“Alright sweetie go get some sleep. I’ll put Justice down. Don’t worry about it.”
“Thanks Remus. Wake me up in about two hours will you?”
“Sure thing Isa.”
True to his word two hours later Remus woke me up. We went downstairs to find that everyone had gathered for the evening. “Hey kids, who wants to watch a movie?” I asked.
“I do! I do!” Came the chorus of young boy’s voices.
“Alright everyone go sit down. I’ll start it. How does The Rescuers
After getting the boys settled in with a movie and popcorn I went to join the adults in the kitchen. “So I’m sure everyone’s been filled in on what’s going on?”
“Isabella are you sure? Are you sure this is what you want honey?” Molly asked with concern in her eyes.
“I have to Molly. I have to keep him safe and I have this horrible feeling that if I keep him here then something really bad is going to happen to him. I love him too much to keep him here. Please Molly I thought you of all people would understand how it feels to want to do everything in your power to keep your child safe.”
“I understand. I really do. So what’s the plan sweetie?”
“Well Justice is going to stay here until the end of next week then I’m taking him to my cousins.”
“Actually Minerva had an idea earlier that I think everyone would be really interested in.” Lily announced. “Minerva thought that we could all use a break from the stress and the fear. She suggested that we all go to the States. We’ll take the kids. Go to some museums, play in the park, and maybe catch a show if we can find someone to watch the kids for an evening.”
“Actually I talked to Jenny there are a few kids in the neighborhood that baby sit. She said that we can leave the kids at her place and all have a night out on the town. There’s this little Italian restaurant not far from the theater distract that she’s been telling me about for months.”
“What do you think guys?” Remus asked.
“I think it’s a wonderful idea.” Molly said, “We all could use the break and the kids would love it. There are some great parks for the kids to play in and the shopping oh girls the shopping.”
“So it’s settled then. We’ll all go to my cousin’s next Friday. She said that we’re welcome to stay there or we can stay in a hotel if we’re more comfortable. Remus would you mind contacting Kingsley and seeing if he can arrange a portkey for us? And James would you mind telling Sirius what we’ve decided maybe see if you can’t convince him to come with us?”
“Sure thing Isa. He should still be in his office. I’ll head over now and see if I can’t catch him before he leaves for the day.” Remus said stooping to kiss the top of my head on his way out.
“Dumbeldore’s given me permission to use his fire as needed. I’ll just head over now and see if I can’t talk him into it. I’ll be back in an hour or so. Arthur, Peter why don’t you come with me. Will you girls be kind enough to put dinner together? I’d love some pizza.”
“No pizza. We’ll have pizza in New York. The best pizza you’ve ever had. Trust me on this.” I said on a sigh. Remembering the food I had eaten the last time I had gone to visit my family.
“We’ll figure out some food while you lot are gone. Now shoo we can’t miss you until you’re gone.” Lily teased.
Friday afternoon found us all ready to leave for New York. With five minutes until we leave I’m still holding out hope that Sirius would show. “James he’s not coming is he?” I asked with tears in my eyes.
“I’m sorry sweetie. It doesn’t look like it.” James replied, “Here give me Justice, Isa. I’ll hold him when we go.”
“Thanks James,” I said handing him Justice. “Come here Percy you can hold on to me when we take the portkey.”
“Alright everyone grab hold. Kids hold on tight to an adult. Here we go in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.” Remus called out as the portkey turned blue and took us away. Before we knew it we were landing in Jenny’s backyard, some of us more gracefully then others.
“Isa!” Jenny exclaimed.
“Jenny!” I yelled as I ran to her.
“I’ve missed you. I’m so glad that you’re here. Which one of these beautiful babies is yours?” Jenny asked hugging me.
“Let me introduce you to everyone.” I said on a laugh, “This is Molly, her husband Arthur, and their children Bill Charlie and Percy. And the twins Fred and George. This is Peter and Remus. My best friend Lily and her husband James. And this little guy is Justice.” I said as I lifted my son from James’s arms.
“It’s nice to meet you all. Where’s Sirius? I was really looking forward to meeting him.”
I barely saw Remus and James running towards me. I woke up a few minutes later lying on the ground with nearly everyone crowded around me. “Justice?”
“Don’t worry Jenny caught him. Are you ok?” Remus said patting my hand.
“Yeah,” I said sitting up slowly. “I don’t know what happened. Jenny was asking about Sirius and then everything that happened over the last several months came screaming back and I don’t know. It was all just too much. I need to see Justice, please.” I begged.
“Alright I’ll take you. Molly, Peter, and Arthur took the kids inside.” Remus said slipping his arm around me. “Lean on me it’ll be ok.”
While Remus helped me inside Jenny hurried in front of us to open the patio doors. “Sit here Isabella. Peter will you bring Justice over?” Lily asked.
“Here you go Izzy. He’s fine I promise.” Peter said as he handed me my son.
“Thanks Pete. I’m sorry guys I didn’t mean to scare you. I’m fine I promise, stop fretting over me,” I said seeing the worried looks on my friends’ faces. “I mean it. If you don’t stop I’ll hex the lot of you. Jenny why don’t you show everyone where they’re going to be staying?” I implored of her.
“Sure thing Bells. Why don’t I take the boys with me and the kids? If I’m any judge of character Lily and Molly won’t be leaving you alone.” Jenny replied with a smile.
I watched as the kids, James, Peter, Remus, and Arthur followed Jenny. “Go on Percy. I’m ok. Go with your dad. I’m sure Jenny has picked out a really cool room for you. We’ll be up in just a few minutes.”
“Ok Aunt Isa. I love you.” Percy whispered as he hugged me.
“I love you too kiddo. Now off you go. Will you two stop worrying I’m absolutely fine.” I said looking at my two best friends. “I’ve never traveled by portkey well and everything that’s happened with Sirius it was just too much. I’m fine I promise you.”
“Don’t you ever do that to us again Isabella.” Lily said hugging me. “I was so scared.”
“I love you both. Now come on lets go see where Jenny’s put us all.” I said slipping my arm around my best friends’ shoulders. “This house is amazing. It used to belong to my aunt and uncle. It’s massive, plenty of room for all us to stay the weekend.”
We found our way upstairs to find it a mass of voices and confusion. I found Jenny standing in the middle of it all with a bit of a bewildered look on her face. “Over whelmed?” I asked hooking my arm around her waist.
“A little. I’m not used to so many people being in the house at once. Especially not so many children, but it’s wonderful. I’m so glad you’re here Bells. I’ve missed you so much. I wish you had been able to come for the funeral.” Jenny said on a sigh.
“So do I Jenny. I’m so sorry I missed it, but it was right before my finals. I couldn’t leave school. Believe me I would have given anything to have been there for you. I loved your parents so much they were always so good to me.”
“They loved you too. I completely understand. You’re parents were a huge help and your letter was a great comfort. I’m sorry to have missed your graduation, but I couldn’t get away. But let’s not talk of past regrets. We’re together now and that’s what matters.”
“You’re exactly right Jenny. I hope you’ll like my family. I know they can be over whelming at times, but their amazing. The kids are so wonderful.”
“I can already tell that I’m going to love them. I saw how worried they all were when you fainted. What happened Bells? I was so worried about you.”
“I’m fine. I’ve never done well traveling by portkey and well Sirius is complicated. I’ll tell you all about it later. I assume I’m staying in your room.”
“Of course where else would you be staying," Jenny said on a laugh. "I’ve put a crib in there so we can keep Justice close by. I also put cribs in Molly and Arthur’s room for the twins. I put the kids in the room across the hall from their parents. Remus has the last room on this hall. Peter’s in the guest room upstairs and I gave Lily and James my parents’ old room. I thought once everyone got settled we could go for pizza and then take everyone to the park in town.”
“Sounds great. James wanted to order pizza the other night, but I wouldn’t let him. Not when I knew we were going to be coming here. We’re probably going have to order for them since they’ve never had pizza like this. Their used to ordering whole pies not slices.” Noticing that the noise had quieted down some I decided to take advantage of it. “Sonorus! (Page 102 Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire.
) Everyone has ten minutes to finish settling in then meet in the living room. We’re going out to lunch and then the park. Remember to grab jackets. Quietus! (Page 116 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
) There that should do it. Come on I want to unpack a little.”
Laughing the two of us headed into Jenny’s room where she had already deposited my suitcase. While Jenny played with Justice I quickly unpacked my bag. “You didn’t bring much of Justice’s things with you?”
“No, I didn’t. There was too much of it to bring by portkey. Mum and Dad are at the Manor this weekend packing up the rest of his things. They’ll ship them over. They should be here by the end of the week with any luck. Come on it should be time to meet the others. Please tell me we’re going to the little place in the village they have the best pizza.”
“That’s what I was planning. I thought we’d drive since there’s not really a place for us to apparate to. Does anyone else know how to drive besides you and me? I rented a few cars.”
“Lily might, she's muggle born. We can ask her. What kinds of cars did you get?”
“A minivan and an SUV. I figured with the sheer number of us the more space the better. The SUV has five seats.”
We walked into the living room to find everyone already gathered. “Looks like everyone’s here. Good before we go we’re going to go over some ground rules. First, Lily can you drive?”
“Yep. My parents taught me over the summers. They thought it would be a good idea for me to know how.” Lily said with a smile.
“That’s good. Jenny rented two car plus hers so we have plenty of room to get around. We’ll be driving when we’re in the suburbs. Tomorrow we’ll apparate into the city it’s faster that way. As for ground rules. Kids no magic. I know you can’t always control it, but while we’re in public please try your best. Also I know we don’t go out much, but please try to stay close to the adults especially when we’re in the city tomorrow. Other than that everyone on your best behavior and we should be fine. Any questions?” I said looking around the group, “No, alright lets go. Jenny do you mind driving the minivan?”
“Not at all. I borrowed car seats for Percy, Justice, and the twins.”
“Ok in that case. Molly you’ll go with Jenny and the kids. With the car seats there won’t be enough room for another adult.” I said nodding to Molly. “Lily, James, Arthur, and Peter will go in the SUV. And Remus, Justice and I will take Jenny’s car. Now let’s move out everyone. Lily will you help Molly and Jenny buckle the kids in?”
“Sure thing.” Lily said smiling at all of us.
“Why do I have to ride in a car seat?” I heard Percy whining to his mum.
“Come here Percy.” I called, “You have to ride in the car seat because you’re still small yet. In another year you won’t have to, but we don’t want anything bad to happen to you. Will you do it for me?”
“Ok Aunt Isabella.” Percy said clearly still upset about having to ride in the car seat.
“I’ll tell you what Percy. If you ride in the car seat without complaining all weekend when we get back I’ll take you to Honeydukes Sweet Shop in Hogsmeade. Do we have a deal?” I asked kneeling in front of him.
“Deal.” Percy cried as he flung his arms around me.
“Alright off you go.” We all piled into the cars and headed into the village.