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Valour by blackballet

Format: Novel
Chapters: 45
Word Count: 100,067
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Contains profanity, Strong violence, Scenes of a sexual nature, Substance abuse, Sensitive topic/issue/theme

Genres: Drama, Horror/Dark, Romance
Characters: Dumbledore, McGonagall, Lupin, James, Lily, Sirius, Pettigrew, Voldemort, OC
Pairings: James/Lily, Remus/OC, Sirius/OC, Other Pairing

First Published: 08/07/2013
Last Chapter: 06/05/2016
Last Updated: 01/12/2017

Summary:
banner by me 








Life goes on

But so does death

 

          Innocence and arrogance combine in a story about eight newly-graduated revolutionaries. 


Chapter 18: The Lies in the Loopholes

 (November 7th, 1979)



 

Dorcas sat at the round table in Alice’s dining room, tapping her nails against the polished wood. She looked around the large room, taking everything in. She’d never visited the Longbottoms’ house before, but she hadn’t expected it to be like this. They were Purebloods. They must have their money somewhere.

She just didn’t expect someone as free-willed as Alice to have such an orderly home. There were heavy burgundy curtains over each window, and the lights were dimmed slightly. There were sconces adorning the doorways, and high-backed, hand-carved chairs at the table. The table was set for six, even though it was only her, Alice, and Frank in the house, and the china cabinet was filled with delicate tableware and wines. 

“My mother did all the decorating,” Alice explained to Dorcas’ confused expression, leaning in the doorway.

“I really should get going,” Dorcas said nervously, collecting her bag from the table and swinging it over her shoulder.

“You sure you don’t want dinner? It’s been a long couple of weeks,” Alice said, chuckling and pushing back her hair. “I’d understand if you wanted to crash here,” Alice offered, yawning into the crook of her arm. “We have a spare room.” Alice’s cat leaped onto the table and then crept into Alice’s arms. She pet her cat lightly and yawned again.

“No, no, it’s okay.” Dorcas stood up quickly and shook her head again. “I have to go home, too. I have to see Sirius,” she explained away.

“Ah, young love,” she sighed, letting her cat jump out of her arms.

“Yeah,” Dorcas exhaled, rubbing her forehead and walking down the hallway to the foyer. Alice followed her and wrapped her shawl around her shoulders more tightly. “Hey can I use your floo? I have to stop in Hogsmeade.” Alice shrugged and led Dorcas to their large parlor.

“I’m proud of you, Dorcas.” Alice motioned to the fireplace, and Dorcas hunched in it awkwardly, rubbing her bare arms in the slight draft. “I know you’re usually more about the action, but I needed someone I could trust to attend these meetings with me. They can get dangerous,” she said, clapping Dorcas on the shoulder. “And I’m glad you were there just in case.” Alice embraced Dorcas quickly, wrapping her small arms around Dorcas’ waist. Dorcas patted her on the back as Alice’s face pressed into her chest.

“Thanks, Alice. It means a lot.” She released Dorcas and stepped backwards as she adjusted her bag again. “I’ll see you soon, Ali.” Alice smiled and passed a jar of powder to Dorcas. She took a handful, and threw it at her feet.

“The Three Broomsticks!” she yelled clearly.

 

Dorcas stepped out of the fireplace and dusted off her corduroys. There were only a few stragglers left in the restaurant at this time, and that made for an easy exit for her. She stalked towards the door and let it swing shut behind her as she turned the corner to Marlene’s flat.

It started drizzling lightly, and Dorcas cursed, jogging a bit faster to keep from the rain. “Come on,” she muttered as her hair began to frizz. She clenched her jacket closed over her shirt and ran up the steps to her front door. She squeezed herself close to the door to fit under the small awning that would protect her from the rain. “Leenie!” she yelled, slamming her palm on the door. “Mar-lene,” she emphasized, banging her hand on the door in rhythm with the syllables of Marlene’s name.

The door swung open and Marlene squinted in the dark early-morning light. She stepped back when she saw it was Dorcas and let her in immediately.

“Thanks,” Dorcas said quickly, stripping her coat off and hanging it on the hook to her left. “I have to talk to you about something.” She shoved her hair away from her face and breathed out heavily. Marlene’s mouth popped open.

“Wait, Dorcas, I can explain,” Marlene stuttered. Dorcas frowned and tilted her head to the side, but realization dawned on her face and she raised an eyebrow.

“You’re here again?” Dorcas asked skeptically.

“What?” Marlene asked, looking over her shoulder.

“Hello, Dorcas,” Remus said, yawning into his hand and stuffing his head into a shirt.

“What are you doing here? Again!” she said in vexation, throwing her hands up and letting them fall and hit her side. “Is there something you want to tell me?” Marlene crossed her arms over her chest, and Remus rubbed his neck.

“No, Dorcas, there isn’t. Now can you let us get some peace?” Remus asked irritably. She chuckled and looked to Marlene for backup.

“Do you hear yourself? It’s not a big deal if you two want to date!” Dorcas shook her head in disbelief.

“I’m going back to bed,” Remus mumbled. His hair stuck up in the back, and Marlene snorted as he walked away.

“No, Remus. Get back here,” Dorcas said, aiming her wand at his back. “Levicorpus!”

Remus flipped upside down automatically, and Dorcas twisted her wand, rotating him to face her.

“Now are you going to behave? Or do I have to drop you on your head?” Marlene laughed into the sleeve of her sweater, and Remus yawned again.

“I’ll cooperate.” He crossed his arms as Dorcas nodded to Marlene, who grabbed her wand from the counter.

“Wingardium Leviosa!” she said happily to Remus, taking control of him as Dorcas released her spell. Marlene flipped Remus back right-side up, and he landed on his feet. He fumbled with his shirt, pulling it back down, and sat at the table in the dark kitchen.

“Now I want a straight answer,” Dorcas said threateningly. Marlene’s smile faded from her face as Remus looked down at the table and fiddled with his fingers. “Are you two fucking?”

Marlene burst out laughing, and Remus chuckled quietly along with her. Dorcas’ eyes turned to slits in skepticism. Marlene shook her head and put her hand on Remus’ arm for support. Remus clenched his jaw, and grinned briefly at Dorcas.

“No, Merlin no, Doe,” Marlene said between laughs.

“Then what is Remus doing here all the time?” Marlene’s laughter died out, and she looked to Remus sadly.

“We just get put on a lot of missions together,” he explained, glancing at Marlene and urging her with his eyes to go with it.

“That’s just a bad lie, Remus.” Dorcas pursed her lips and tapped her foot against the leg of her chair. Marlene and Remus stayed silent as Dorcas’ line of sight flip-flopped between the two. She let out an extended groan, but they held their ground from the other side of the table. “Tell me!” She shook Remus’ arms, and he ripped them out of her hands moodily. Dorcas frowned at Remus’ sudden hostility.

“I’m staying with Marlene until I can afford my own place, are you happy?” The sentence streamed out of Remus quickly. He cracked his knuckles and avoided Dorcas’ eyes. Her face softened as she came to the realization, and looked to Marlene for help. “Look, you can’t tell anyone, okay?”

Marlene nodded at Dorcas earnestly.

“I’ve been hearing that a lot lately,” Dorcas mumbled. “I’m so, so sorry, Remus,” Dorcas added apologetically. He rubbed his eyes of the sleepiness that plagued him, and waved his hand at Dorcas.

“It’s not your fault. You’re just curious.” Dorcas put her hand on his and stroked the back of it gently.

“I don’t want to pry, but,” Dorcas trailed off as she rubbed Remus’ hand. “Never mind, I do want to pry. Why didn’t you ask James for a loan? You know it’d be done in a second,” she reasoned as Marlene got up to retrieve some waters for the three.

“Are you joking?” he asked roughly, slipping his hand out from underneath Dorcas’. “I already owe James everything,” he muttered.

“Coffee?” Marlene asked, raising the pot. The sun was now coming up slowly, and the sky dusted the apartment with a slight glow.

“Please,” Remus said thankfully as he yawned again.

“You’re crazy, Remus. You know he’d help you!”

“Exactly. You have no idea what he’s done for me.” Marlene looked over at him as she set the coffee water. “I can’t ask for anything more. Besides, Marlene loves having me around, don’t you?” he asked jokily. She smiled politely at him.

“Would you grab the mugs?” she asked feebly. Remus got up and, towering over Marlene, reached the top shelf easily. “You giants are good for something, at least,” she said moodily. She took a mug from Remus’ hand and filled it with water for herself.

“I still think you should tell James.”

“Of course you do, Dorcas. You’ve never had to ask for anything, people just give to you,” Remus said, leaning his head on his fist and closing his eyes as the sun streaked in brightly.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” she asked in defense, pushing his elbow out from under him. He caught himself, and rolled his eyes at Dorcas.

“You’re pretty. I’m boring.” Marlene stole Remus’ mug and started doling out the coffee. “And damaged.” He nodded at Marlene when she gave him his mug back, and took a sip.

“Oh you’re pretty too, Remus,” Dorcas soothed sarcastically. He snorted in his throat but said no more. “But honestly. You know no one cares. We’re all here to help!”

“Once again, Dorcas, you listen to no one but yourself. You and Sirius really are perfect for each other.”

Marlene coughed on her coffee, and Remus stood up. He placed his mug down and stretched out his arms.

“Thanks for the coffee, M. I’m having a shower,” he said to Dorcas. “See you later.” Remus stormed out of the kitchen, and Dorcas stuck her middle finger up at his retreating back.

“Merlin, he’s infuriating!” Dorcas said into her mug before taking a gulp. She relished in the burn that hot coffee gave her.

“He can be. Especially at 6:30 in the morning,” Marlene explained. She took Remus’ seat across from Dorcas. “So what did you have to tell me?” she asked, scanning Dorcas’ face for a sign. Dorcas didn’t look up from her mug.

“Nothing. It’s not important,” she snapped out suddenly. Marlene looked at Dorcas cautiously, but asked nothing more. “But tell me you’ve never thought about it,” she added as Marlene pursed her lips.

“Thought about what?”

“You know…” Marlene opened her arms and shook her head in confusion. “You and Remus!”

“Oh,” Marlene said, in surprise, shaking her head in small, rapid twitches. A small smile appeared on her face and she sputtered while trying to find the words to explain herself. She finally leaned forward on the table, looking back over her shoulder to make sure the water in his shower was still running. “Don’t be ridiculous, Doe. He’s like my brother!”

Marlene opened up the cabinet, and tapped her fingers against the edge of it.

“But, you know he likes you, right?” Dorcas asked plainly. She sipped her coffee and Marlene turned her head, raising an eyebrow. Dorcas didn’t say anything more, but raised an eyebrow back at Marlene and smirked unashamedly. “He’s basically a mix of Mary and Sirius, anyway.”

“Dorcas!” Marlene warned squeakily, letting the cabinet swing shut as she pulled out a box of cereal. “No he is not.” She poured the wheat bits into a cup and sat back down. “And that’s beside the point! I don’t like either of them anymore,” she muttered sheepishly, picking the pieces out of her cup and munching on them hastily.  

“Oh please. Maybe you’re over Sirius, but Mary? You two were inseparable in sixth year!” Marlene rolled her eyes and shook her head. She swallowed some more wheat crisps and licked her lips.

“Hmm,” Marlene responded feebly. “What were you going to tell me?” The shower turned off, and Dorcas leaned over the side of her chair to see Remus stepping out of the bathroom, a towel around his waist. He snuck quietly into the guestroom on the other side of the hallway, and Dorcas sat back up in her chair promptly as he shut the door with a click.

“Nothing.” Dorcas smiled smugly and wiggled her eyebrows provocatively. “Remus is quite fit, isn’t he?” Marlene reached over the table and smacked Dorcas’ arm as she leaned to the side and searched for Remus in the hallway again. “Fine.”

Dorcas stood up from her seat and downed the rest of her coffee quickly.

“I better be off, then. I suppose Sirius is mad at me. It’s a wonder he’s lasted this long at all without sex,” she murmured, checking her watch. Marlene choked on her cereal and pounded on her chest suddenly. Dorcas looked to her strangely, but shook it off as she grabbed her now dried jacket from the hook.

“Say hi to Sirius for me,” Marlene added as Dorcas opened the door. She nodded her head at Marlene, and pulled a cigarette out of her pocket.

“Bye Remus!” she yelled to the back end of Marlene’s apartment. Remus poked his head out of his door, and waved at Dorcas. He still was not dressed, and upon closing his door, Dorcas winked at Marlene, and Marlene blushed slightly, shaking her head as Dorcas closed the door behind herself.

 


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