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Times Like These by iheartyou

Format: Novel
Chapters: 9
Word Count: 21,145
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature

Genres: Humor, Romance, AU
Characters: Lupin, Snape, Sirius, Lily, James, Arthur, Molly, Lucius, Pettigrew, OC
Pairings: Remus/OC, Arthur/Molly, James/Lily, Sirius/OC, Other Pairing

First Published: 10/03/2012
Last Chapter: 08/26/2013
Last Updated: 08/26/2013

Summary:


banner by abbynormal @ tda

Nova Prescott has a knack for breaking rules. Like her brothers' rules.

1. Don't go anywhere ten feet of any blokes
2. Stay out of any and all trouble
3. Most importantly, stay away from those ruddy Marauders


Rules are meant to broken, right? Specially as they include those incredible arms Remus has acquired, James quits asking Lily out and Sirius blocks out all but one girl.


Chapter 8: You People Reek

Chapter 8

 

“So you don’t think Sirius is fit?” Nita asked.

“Well…not in that kind of way,” Nova told her.

“You are bloody mental.”

Nova laughed. She had already put a silencing shield around the two of them so that Nora, Cecelia, Alice, Belle, and Guineverra wouldn’t overhear. “I mean, he’s got a fit body and all. He’s dashing as well, but I just don’t feel as…I don’t know, attracted to him? Do you know what I mean?”

Nita shrugged. “Who’ve you got a crush on, then, Nova? Does it perhaps rhyme with…oh I don’t know…Leemus Rupin?”

Nova snorted. “What, you just switched the initials? And hush up, I don’t need the whole school finding out.”

Nita rolled her eyes. “Whatever! Question is: what are you going to do about it?”

“About what?”

“Your bloody crush, of course! I’m thinking Three Broomsticks, eh? Eh? Ask him to Hogsmead for next month!” Nita nudged her.

“Absolutely not!” Nova gasped. “Are you mental? I will bloody well not ask him out to anything! Have you any idea how utterly humiliating the rejection would be?”

“Who says that there’s going to be rejection?”

Nova gave her a slight glare. “He hasn’t broken it off with the Ravenclaw girl yet. They’re just not on speaking terms right now. I’m not going to just jump right in.”

Nita rolled her eyes. “Your loss.” She then rolled over on her bed. “But really. You haven’t got one inkling of attraction towards Sirius? Not even just a little bit?”

Nova smirked a bit. “Nita, if I didn’t know any better, I would say that you’ve got an ickle little crush on Sirius!”

“I do not!” Nita gasped.

“I did say I knew better,” Nova reminded her. “But honestly, why are you hell bent on seeing to it that I’ve got some sort of attraction towards him?”

She shrugged. “You don’t though? You’re absolutely, positively sure?”

Nova nodded. “He’s too…blunt. But I mean, he isn’t so bad, you know?”

“What if, say, he were to ask you on a date? What would you do?” Nita pried.

“I suppose it’s all got to do with the circumstances, you know? I’d probably say yes, as long as I know it’s not all a big joke for him,” Nova explained.

Nita smiled, satisfied. This, she could work with.

***

“First game of the season, folks! Gryffindor versus Slytherin! Who’s rooting for Gryffindor? Let me hear you roar!”

Nova didn’t have it in her to show some spirit. She was losing her mind over the fact that someone was going to do something majorly destructive today and that someone could get hurt. Not just James, but other people could get injured in the process.

Lily was worse than Nova, but she didn’t show it as much as Nova did. The pair of them gave Nita quizzical glances when she groaned heavily.

“What’s wrong?”

“My sister,” Nita responded in a low voice, “is here.”

“Didn’t she graduate two years ago?” Lily asked. “What’s she doing here?”

Nita caught Nova’s eye, and Nova sighed, answering for her. “She’s here to find some dirty scoop for her articles.”

“That bitch!”

The three girls stayed in the stands, wands at the ready when the game began, to stop anything that looked suspicious that was going towards James. Sirius, Peter, and Remus were down by Professor Slughorn and Madam Hooch. They had made an excuse to be able to stay down there with them, and they were ready for anything that looked dangerously deathly.

They were an hour into the game, but still, nothing happened. Not one of the six people aforementioned had let their guard down, as they thought that this was just what the person behind it all had wanted. Even James had been playing it safely so far, but that didn’t mean he was letting the Slytherins take the ruddy quaffle.

Nova sighed in relief when she saw the Gryffindor seeker chasing around what seemed to be thin air, but in reality must have been the snitch. She wiped her scarf under her nose when she felt her nose running a bit.

Lily squeezed her arm when the seeker was stretching his arm out to grab the snitch, while the Slytherin seeker was close behind on his tail.

The Gryffindor Seeker curled his hands around the snitch and all the Gryffindors shot up onto their feet, cheering, including Nita, Lily, and Nova. Nita suddenly pulled Nova back. “Nova!” she shouted. “Your nose! You’re bleeding!”

“What?” Nova shouted, putting a finger under her nose, seeing the blood.

“Your head!” Lily shouted over the noise. Blood was pouring from everywhere. Her nose, her hairline, her ears, out of her mouth. It seemed like more blood was pouring the longer the time went. Lily screamed so loudly, causing all the Gryffindors to stop cheering and look at her, then Nova, in horror.

From the pitch, Sirius, Remus, Peter, and James turned around to see what the commotion was about, and watched in horror as Nova seemingly passed out from lack of blood, falling down from the stands.

When they were expecting a dangerous attack, this was not what they had in mind.

***

“It makes sense, now,” Remus muttered. “Whoever wanted revenge on us saw that we were all close to Nova, and they chose to go after her instead of us.”

“Because it affects us all,” Sirius finished. The pair of them had been pacing back and forth in front of Nova’s spot in the hospital wing.

Peter had been using Dumbledore’s pensieve to map out the people around Nova, the people closest to where she had been sitting, to narrow down the suspects. James had been listing down the people who would have even the slightest reason to hate any one of the four of them, while Lily and Nita stayed by Nova’s side.

The whole while, Nova hadn’t stopped bleeding. Madam Pomfrey was trying to collect every last bit of blood, but it wasn’t helping when Nova lost as much blood as she had.

They needed to do something to make it stop, and quickly.

“Petrificus Totalus!” Remus suddenly shouted, aiming his wand at Nova.

All eyes fell on him. “What the bloody hell did you do that for?” James cried.

“Hang on,” Remus said, watching Nova intently. “Look. The bleeding’s stopped. Temporarily, of course.”

Sirius looked from Remus to Nova’s still body, and back to Remus. “Remus, you bloody genius. This buys us more time to figure this thing out.”

Tonks stumbled in, struggling as she hauled in six fat books from the library. “Matthias, Nole and Sarah are bringing more, but they’re going to take some time. I’m stronger than they are.”

Remus amusedly watched her drag the books toward the cot, and then toss a book at Nita, Lily, Sirius and Remus. “Start reading,” she commanded. “I’m going to fix her if it’s the last thing I do,” she stubbornly added.

Sirius caught Remus’ eye and doubled over laughing, which caused Remus to laugh. It spread like a disease; soon enough, the room was filled with laughter.

“Why are you laughing?” Matthias asked with an annoyed tone. “We’ve got an unconscious and bleeding person here, people.”

 

With that said, they all cracked open the books and read up on anything that looked like it would help. Remus cast countless amounts of spells at Nova to help slow the bleeding.

The day passed and Nova still hadn’t been healed. Professors from every department tried to help, but nobody knew what spell could cause such damage. Even Professor Dumbledore was stumped.

Madam Promfrey was having a mild heart attack at the thought of not being able to help a student in dire need of her.

“It’s quite commendable,” Professor Dumbledore told Professors McGonagall and Slughorn. “What they are doing.”

None of the students in the hospital wing had left Nova’s side for even a second, spare to go to the bathroom. Remus and Sirius read at a faster pace than any of the others, as they continued pacing. Even Madam Pomfrey hadn’t the heart to kick them out.

Some first years brought food for everyone. The seventh years didn’t even know who they were, but they assumed that they knew Nova, since she was hell bent on helping every first year that there was in Hogwarts.

Peter and James eventually finished their tasks of narrowing down the list of suspects, and started up on reading the books as well. They continued on well into the night. Remus had managed to cast a spell that would slow down the blood loss to only a drop an hour, but it was the best that he could do.

At some point, a few professors had entered and helped going through the books, but they dozed off by twelve thirty in the morning. Everyone was sleepy, but nobody allowed themselves to sleep until they found the solution.

It wasn’t until four in the morning that Tonks suddenly gasped, causing all eyes to fall on her. “Bloody Hell!” she shouted, causing the professors to jump awake.

“What?” Remus cried. “Did you find something?”

She shook her head, no. “What if this isn’t a spell?” she exclaimed. “What if this is a potion? Or even a muggle thing?”

“What if it was muggle poison,” Lily breathed out, “mixed with a magical potion.”

“Exactly,” Tonks said, snapping her finger at Lily. “That would explain why we’ve never seen anything like this before. Maybe whoever did this had put it in her breakfast or something. Hurry up, any one of you-what did she drink for breakfast?”

The seventh years racked their brains as they tried to remember, but Peter ended up using the pensieve again. After a few minutes, he shouted, “Tea!”

Remus breathed in heavily before running out the door. Sirius ran out after him, but nobody questioned it. The professors were merely impressed that a first year had figured this out when even they couldn’t.

“Horace,” Dumbledore said after a brief moment of silence. “Would you be able to create an antidote to this?”

“I-I…Albus-”

“I can,” they heard from the entrance to the hospital wing.

Lily gasped as she saw that it was Severus. “You!” she shouted. “You did this! How dare you? How dare you?”

“Miss Evans,” Dumbledore interjected. Lily fell quiet. Dumbledore turned to face Severus. “Severus, I must know: Is the accusation that Lily Evans is speaking of true?”

Slowly, he shook his head. “I wouldn’t,” he said in a small whisper. “I couldn’t.”

“Then let me ask-how is it that you may make the antidote to something as such?”

“I know the potion she was fed,” he said in an even smaller voice. “I can make the bleeding stop.”

Dumbledore led Severus Snape out and down to the Potion’s room to start on the antidote. Lily began thinking out loud to Nita. “If he can make the antidote to the magical potion, then all we have to do is get the poison out of her.

Nita’s eyes met Lily’s as she asked, “And how do we do that?”

Taking a deep breath in, Lily said, “We pull it out of her blood. With magic.”

***

“You got the poison out of her blood?” James asked. Lily nodded in franticness. “Snape’s got the antidote; he’s almost done with it.”

By this time, it was ten at night, and Lily had finished separating the poison from Nova’s blood half an hour previous. Snape had been working on the antidote with Slughorn, Tonks, and Lance Abbott, who had come at six in the morning, when he found out from the gossip mill that it was a potion mixed with poison.

McGonagall hadn’t stopped biting her nail for the previous two hours and the first years looked beyond stressed out. It took ten minutes more until Lance ran in, holding a vial with clear liquid. Remus’ hands shook slightly as he held it. “You’re positive that this is the antidote?” he questioned. Lance nodded before holding his hands on his knees and panting from running so far and fast. “Hold her mouth open,” he said to anyone who would do it. Sirius held her cheeks and chin, so that her mouth would remain open, while Remus poured the contents of the vial.

After a short coughing fit from Nova, a little bit more blood coming out of her mouth, and a minute or two, her eyes finally cracked open.

She gave a weak smile as everyone in the room, including McGonagall, pounced on her to give her a tight hug. “You people reek.”

James snorted. “Because of you. We haven’t left this room except to go take a piss.”

McGonagall gave him a disapproving look, but he only beamed at her.

Everyone backed off but Remus and Sirius. She patted their heads awkwardly. “I missed you too, but I’m sure it wasn’t that bad.”

“OUT!” Madam Pomfrey shouted. “She needs rest! She needs blood! No visitors! LEAVE.”

“Ah, but Poppy,” McGonagall sighed. “Surely, I may stay-”

“OUUUUUT!” Pomfrey screeched.

James winced, covering his ears. “We’re going, we’re going!” he whined. “Merlin, you brutal woman.” McGonagall stumbled out, following James, trying to get as far from Madam Pomfrey’s loud and ear piercing voice. Sirius was the last one to come out, and had to be shoved out by Madam Pomfrey herself.

As they entered the portrait hole, James asked Remus and Sirius where they had gone earlier after Tonks asked what Nova drank for breakfast.

Remus exchanged a glance with Sirius. “The kitchens,” he explained. “To find out if the house elves knew anything about who put it in her cup.”

“Did you find anything?” Nita asked.

Sirius nodded. “Get this,” he said, “It wasn’t a Slytherin. It was a bloody Ravenclaw.

What?” Lily cried. “Who?!”

Remus sighed, shifting his weight from his left foot to his right. He stared up at the ceiling, twiddling his thumbs as he finally said, “Kirsty. Kirsty Abbott.”

 
 


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