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Valour by blackballet

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

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

banner by me 

Life goes on

But so does death


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

Chapter 22: The Loss in the Trust: Part I

 (May 1st, 1980)


“I don’t get why we can’t go together,” Dorcas whined as she touched up her deep red lipstick in the mirror across from her. Sirius stood on the other side of the door, and was waiting for her to be finished dressing.  

“Me either, honestly. It’s something to do with Marlene and I being Pureblooded,” he muttered, fiddling with his bowtie. “I don’t know how that’s going to help me at all anymore, but I suppose not everyone keeps up with the Black family drama.”

“How do I look?” Dorcas whipped the door open and stepped forward into the hallway. Sirius smirked slightly as Dorcas spun around in her long dress. The white gown slid down her frame with a syrupy resemblance, and her olive skin contrasted deeply with the color.

“Ravishing unfortunately,” Sirius said dejectedly. He reached forward, and Dorcas walked forward into his arms. The two swayed in the upstairs hallway. “I want to rip this right off of you,” he whispered into her ear. Dorcas smiled against Sirius’ cheek, but her smile turned down as she heard a knock on the front door. She leaned her head back and let out a small groan as Marlene’s fist hit the door again.

“Coming!” she yelled, kissing Sirius chastely and heading to the door in her thin stilettos. She tugged up the side of her dress and stomped down the stairs ungracefully. “The door’s open!” she called. Marlene opened the door and Peter stood next to her in a garb similar to Sirius’. The two walked inside, and Marlene locked the door behind her.

“It’s probably not too wise to leave the door unlocked,” Peter muttered to the side as Dorcas grabbed a shawl from the couch.

“Eh,” she said with a wave of her hand. “If they’re coming in, the door’s not going to stop ‘em.” Marlene and Peter glanced at each other, and he merely raised his eyebrows in confusion. “You looking smashing though, Leenie!” Marlene fluttered her eyes but smiled kindly.

“You trying to show me up, McKinnon?” Sirius asked from the top of the stairs. Marlene smiled again and chuckled silently, but avoided Sirius’ gaze.

“Thank you,” Marlene aimed to Dorcas, walking forward and meeting her friend to give her a hug. Dorcas still towered over her, even with Marlene wearing six-inch heels, and bent her knees to hug Marlene around the waist. “You look great, too! Where did you find this?” Marlene stepped back and kept her eyes trained on Dorcas as Sirius’ feet fell heavily on the stairs.

“This old thing?” she asked, flaunting her dress by sticking her leg forward. “It’s my mum’s, actually,” she said, dropping her pretense and smiling sadly.

“I’m sorry. I never got to say anything,” Marlene apologized, taking Dorcas’ hand and squeezing it softly.

“It’s nothing,” Dorcas said, shaking her head and clearing her throat. “Where did you get this?” she asked, her mood turning around immediately.

“I’ve had it since sixth year! You remember! We went to get it in Hogsmeade, but I never wore it.” Marlene had started her story in excitement, but her voice died down similarly to Dorcas’ as they reached a sensitive topic.

“We should get going, I think,” Peter said quietly. Both Dorcas and Marlene jumped as Peter appeared beside them sneakily.

“Peter’s right.” Sirius offered Marlene his arm, and she slipped hers through it. Dorcas towered over everyone in the room, but more so over Peter, and he shuffled to the side as her gown fell over his feet. “We’ll apparate over first. You guys follow up, alright? I can’t deal with Moody being mad at me again, and we’re not supposed to be seen together.” Peter and Dorcas nodded in agreement, but Dorcas pursed her lips as she saw Marlene and Sirius standing so close together.

“See you soon,” Peter inserted, breaking the awkward silence. Marlene looked between Dorcas and Peter, and upon noticing that Dorcas was chewing the inside of her lip, released Sirius’ arm.

“Good luck,” Dorcas said to the pair of retreating backs that were headed to the door.



Arrival was shaky at best.

“I don’t understand why you couldn’t have just apparated,” Marlene grumbled. She pressed down the black, flowing fabric of her dress and stalked forward to the entrance to the Grand Hall of the Ministry.

“It’s a better laugh if you do it,” he explained, chasing up after Marlene. He caught up easily with his long strides, and Marlene slowed down after realizing it was fruitless.  “So who’s on your list?” Marlene stopped short, and tucked her hand under the skirt of her dress, making Sirius raise his eyebrows. She pulled out a small, crumpled piece of paper with a few names scrawled on it.

She looked up to Sirius whose face was still stuck in shock, and she rolled her eyes.

“It’s not my fault none of these dress robes have pockets.” Sirius shrugged.

“I’m not complaining,” he said suggestively. Marlene rolled her eyes again and pulled down the edge of her dress slightly.

“Anyway.” They started walking slowly to the main hall again, and the flashes of cameras became brighter, the voices louder as they approached. Marlene lowered her voice. “Allan Fawley, Julian Greengrass, and Andrew Selwyn.” Marlene tucked her note away and avoided Sirius’ approving eyes.  

“I’ve got the wives.” Sirius scanned his list quickly before stuffing it inside his jacket.

“Perfect,” Marlene said, rolling her eyes and sighing sadly.

“What?” Sirius slipped his hand in hers, and she didn’t protest. They were supposed to act as if they were together.

“I thought maybe I could have some fun,” she grumbled.

“Don’t you remember?” Sirius asked cockily. “I can make these stuffy old Pureblood balls a lot of fun.”

“No, Sirius,” she scolded. “This is important.” It was Sirius’ turn to roll his eyes, and he did.

“Alright, kill-joy. Just act like you’re happy to be here then. I’m sure you remember how to do that as well,” he said brusquely into her ear as they approached the long stretch of carpet that headed to the inauguration ballroom.

Marlene’s teeth shined as soon as the first flash hit her, and she waved lightly as Sirius walked swiftly through the gaggle of photographers. He took long, gliding steps in an attempt to avoid the cameras as much as possible. Marlene kept up with his hasty pace when realizing that they probably weren’t supposed to be at this event.

Marlene took a breath in as they walked through the curtain and into the more intimate ceremony space. Sirius nodded at Kingsley Shacklebolt, who was in charge of security for the event, and produced two slips of blank paper. Kingsley glanced over them, pretending to check them thoroughly, and opened the small gate for Marlene and Sirius.

“That wasn’t so bad, eh?” Sirius asked, rubbing his fingers against the back of Marlene’s hand. Marlene pulled her hand back as if it had been shocked and rubbed her fingers gently.

“It was alright.” Marlene said nothing more, but Sirius took her hand again, and they walked forward to their seats in the grand area where Bartemius Crouch was taking his position at a podium in the center of the room. The room rang out in applause for the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and he held up a hand, motioning for silence.

“Thank you, thank you,” he acknowledged shortly. “In times such as these,” he began, reading from an animated monitor in the back of the room, “it is important to have a leader who is both trustworthy and strong. With her countless efforts to stop muggleborn persecution and breaches in the Statute of Secrecy, I am pleased to announce my former Deputy Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, Minister Millicent Bagnold.” The decorous applause came from the audience as Millicent Bagnold walked out from the side in her dark blue robes, and hugged Crouch briefly.

“Thank you, Barty,” the middle-aged woman whispered into his ear. Crouch stumbled slightly as he walked past Bagnold, and Marlene and Sirius shared a quick glance as he exited the stage clumsily. “Good evening, everybody.” The chatter at Crouch’s awkward exit died down as the pristine woman smiled gently. “I am honored to start my term as Minister for Magic, and can promise that we will soon put an end to the terrible times we are in.” The frail woman was seemingly harmless, but Marlene watched her top lip tighten and was reminded of a certain Transfiguration professor.

“It is not without fear that I begin my era, but we need not waver. I am sure as sure as the rain in London is that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named will be defeated by the end of my reign!” There was more polite applause, and the fear reflected in their caution. Bagnold let a smile fall on her face as Rita Skeeter pulled out a camera from her satchel and snapped a photo. “Now please. This is a ceremony! Enjoy!” she said happily. She raised her arms, and the tables set themselves ornately.

“Wine?” a voice asked from behind Marlene suddenly. A man dressed in a standard black suit held a bottle of dark red wine next to her head, and she shook her head no, waving him off as Sirius looked away pointedly.

“No drinks for the young couple?” an older man asked boisterously. He pointed to his glass, and the younger waiter filled his glass until the man’s hand cut him off. “Should we be expecting a new addition to the Black family?” Marlene looked down and shook her head no again quickly.

“Nothing like that,” Sirius said grimly. “We like to have our wits about us.” Marlene put her hand on Sirius’ leg and dug her nails into his thigh.

“Just being careful,” she amended, smiling nervously at the large man across from her. “Marlene-“

“-McKinnon.” The man guzzled down his drink after finishing her sentence. “I’d know those pretty green eyes anywhere. I went to school with your mother!” The man extended his hand and shook Marlene’s. “Andrew-“

“-Selwyn,” Marlene countered playfully. “Mother spoke very highly of you.” Selwyn smiled toothily at Marlene and released her hand.

“Well, well, well, beauty and brains. You sure know how to pick them, Mr. Black.”

“Hmm?” Sirius said, dragging his gaze from Dorcas’ bare back across the room.

“Thank you, Mr. Selwyn,” Marlene acknowledged, fluttering her eyelashes at him. “So are you anticipating Madame Bagnold taking office as well?” Marlene asked smoothly, grazing her fingers across her collarbone. Selwyn watched her hungrily and licked his lips.

“You know. Can’t stop the government, but she’s better than that hack Dumbledore.” Sirius eyed him angrily, and Marlene dug her nails into his thigh again.

“I know what you mean,” Marlene breathed behind her hand as she leaned forward into Selwyn. Andrew burst out laughing again, and Marlene nearly grimaced as his chin jiggled. “If you’ll excuse us,” Marlene said politely, taking Sirius’ hand and dragging him up to stand with her. Selwyn took another drink of his wine and didn’t acknowledge her.

Marlene waited a second for his response, but when he turned his attention back to the waiter, Marlene knew she was free to escape. “Let’s go,” she whispered angrily at Sirius, gripping his hand painfully under the table.

“Where are you going?” Selwyn asked suddenly as the two stood up. Marlene opened her mouth, and smiled tightly as she searched for the answer.

“Dance,” Sirius said rigidly. Marlene’s grip loosened as Sirius’ old, practiced aristocratic smile appeared. “This is Marlene’s favorite song.” Marlene let out a shaky laugh and leaned against Sirius’ side.

“Can’t resist,” she choked out as Sirius swept her away hastily. “What was all that about?” she muttered crossly the moment they turned away from their table.      

“I hate old codgers like that. They think they’re better than everyone with their money and status.” Sirius was fuming, but wrapped his hand gently around her waist. Marlene placed one hand on his shoulder, and the other in his free hand, and they joined in the waltz easily.

“For someone who hates it all so much, you haven’t missed a step,” Marlene countered, looking Sirius up and down as they danced smoothly.

“I do enjoy the dancing,” he pondered, making Marlene scoff as Sirius slid his hand further down her back.

“Well, regardless, you have to act like you love it.” Marlene gasped slightly as Sirius dipped her back and the song ended. She arched back up and brushed her hair to the side as it fell over her eyes. “We were put on this for a reason.” Marlene grabbed his hand as he attempted to head back to their table. “No,” she warned. “Your lecture is not over.” She rose up on the balls of her feet and peeked around Sirius’ head to make sure Selwyn wasn’t looking for them.

Sirius rolled his eyes and looked over his shoulder as Marlene dragged him through the crowd and to the nearest loo.