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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 25: The Seclusion in the Secrecy

 (May 25th, 1980)



 

Marlene liked how sunny it was. It was ever so sunny, especially for a May in Diagon Alley. She sipped her tea nervously, worried that he wouldn’t show. It was like him to be late. But Marlene was still worried he wouldn’t even show. 

She tapped her foot against the ground.

She hadn’t told anyone about Emmeline. Not one person. So now not only was she keeping she and Sirius’ secret, but Emmeline’s and Mary’s. Merlin. Mary. Her eyes began watering again as she thought of it. How could she be so cruel when they’d given up everything to dedicate themselves to the cause? And now she was just playing both sides as if it were a game.

It was eating her alive.

“Marlene?” Her heart soared as she heard her brother’s voice jumbled in with the rest of the crowd. She looked up from her seat and smiled tightly at Mark. He leant in for a hug, but Marlene receded back into her chair slightly, tucking a piece of hair behind her ear. Mark cleared his throat, but sat across from her without another sign of unease.

“Hello Mark.” Marlene kept sipping her tea, and Mark motioned to the waiter to bring him one as well.

“How’ve you been?” he asked, placing a hand over Marlene’s as she put her cup on the table.

“Well. As well as I could be.” Mark looked away from her murkily, and cleared his throat. “I heard you’ve been meeting with Black,” she accused, taking her hand off the table crossing her arms.

“Man, how is Sirius?” he asked, scratching his head in remembrance. “Last time I saw him…It must’ve been at least a year.” Marlene pursed her lips and raised an eyebrow.

“It’s been at least two since we’ve seen each other. That’s all you have to say?” Mark’s face fell, his dark eyes avoiding Marlene again.

“You know why I couldn’t,” he offered meekly. Marlene didn’t say anything. “Mum and dad have agreed finally.” He leaned in closer, but Marlene made no attempt to hear him. “Of course, they still blame you for having to go into hiding, but that’s beside the point.”

“Well thanks a lot, Mark. Truly.” Marlene let out a breath, and her nostrils flared slightly as Mark gave her an apologetic look. She leaned forward as well, and looked over her shoulder before whispering furiously at her estranged brother. “I don’t know how you were ever sorted into Gryffindor, you coward,” she spat. “I’ve had to defend our muggleborn friends all this time, and now that it’s convenient for everyone, you’ve jumped on the bandwagon.” Mark’s eyes watered as his older sister reprimanded him once again.

“Not everyone can be like you, Marlene,” he protested weakly. A tear fell out of his eye and onto the table, and Marlene scoffed as he wiped his face hastily.

“Always the victim.” The two sat silently, Mark sniffling periodically. The waiter finally brought around his tea, but Mark didn’t acknowledge him. The wind blew around them slightly, and Marlene leaned her head back over the edge of her chair, basking in the sun lazily. “I am happy to see you, Mark,” she finally explained. Mark’s eyebrows rose hopefully, and his mouth twitched up at the corners. “I’m just not in the position to trust it right now.”

“To trust what?” he asked desperately. Marlene dragged her head back up, and she clicked her tongue against the back of her teeth. Mark’s teeth bit his bottom lip worriedly and frowned at Marlene.

“Anyone else,” she muttered through her lips. Mark’s shoulders fell and his head tilted to the side, and Marlene adjusted her cloak awkwardly.

“But I’m family,” he breathed out, sadness tainting his voice. Marlene sighed and pursed her lips, but didn’t move to comfort him. “What happened to you?” Marlene closed her eyes and leaned her head forward into her hands. Mark simply continued scanning her face and body language for a sign that she cared. But he wouldn’t find it in her.

“War.”

 




 

(June 2nd, 1980)

 

“No Peter. I’m not doing this anymore.” Peter grabbed at Mary’s jacket, but she continued making her way up the stairs, not caring as it fell off her shoulder, over the bannister, and back into the basement. She slammed the door behind her in Peter’s face, but he slammed it back open and grabbed her elbow.

“Mare, wait!” Mary was shaking as she turned around to face Peter. Her cheeks were streaked with tears, her shoulders and hands shaking. “You’re too far into this to back out!”

“No I am not!” she yelled raptly, wiping her face with the heels of her palms. “I am trying to stay alive. You,” she said raggedly, pointing at Peter and backing away from him slowly, “are betraying your best friends.”

“I’m saving my mother!” Peter yelled back desperately. Mary’s lip trembled as she stumbled over her own feet. Peter walked towards her carefully, but she eyed his waistband where his wand stuck out. Mary sobbed suddenly as she saw Peter reach for his pocket, and she clutched her chest.

“She doesn’t want to be saved! She wants to die, Peter!” Mary said angrily over her sobs. Peter shook his head furiously, and reached for his wand again. Mary cringed suddenly, and let out a small whine. He took a step back as she cowered away from him and looked to his hands as if her blood flowed over them.

“She’s just tired,” he pleaded. “She didn’t know what she was saying.”

“That’s a lie.” Mary choked on another sob as Peter stepped forward and crouched in front of Mary. “She’s been saying it since the moment I met her,” she said, shaking her head as Peter shut his eyes tightly and balled his hands into fists.

“I can’t let her just die,” he whispered to the floor. Mary’s sobs subsided, and she eyed Peter carefully again.

“You’re…you’re not doing what’s right.” Mary stood up as Peter continued muttering into the ground. She took a deep breath and blinked several times before speaking. “I don’t understand you, Peter.” He looked up from his crumpled position on the floor, his eyes reddened slightly. “Your defining trait as a person is courage. And…you’re doing this,” she said quickly, holding her hands out with her palms up helplessly.

“I’m doing what I can.” Mary let out the sigh she was holding, and her eyes began tearing again as Peter stood up, leaning his hands on his thighs and jutting his chin out.

“I can’t help you anymore, Peter.” He put his hands in Mary’s, but she pulled back and let her arms fall to her side. “Being a part of this, it’s insane,” Mary said, clearly frazzled. “I-I can’t go on this way.” She looked towards the door again, and headed towards it instantaneously.

“Mary,” Peter growled. He grabbed her wrist tightly and ripped her back towards him roughly.

“Peter!” Mary tripped forward and gasped as she felt her wrist twist unnaturally. She sucked in a breath, and Peter let go of her as she fell to her knees, clutching her swelling wrist with her other hand.

“I’m sorry. Let me fix it.” He bent down in front of Mary, but she scuttled back on her heels away from him.

“Don’t,” she warned, putting a finger to his face and leaning as far away as she could. “You’re just like them,” she whispered to herself. Peter leaned forward and touched her knee gently, but Mary took in a horrified gasp, making Peter back away immediately. “You really are,” she said crazily.

“Mary,” he pleaded again, pulling down the sleeves of his shirt as Mary scanned his forearms. Mary’s eyes darkened and she pulled her wand out of the holster on her arm.

“Back away from me or I will hex you, Pettigrew. I promise.” Peter’s face dropped as Mary lost all pretense. He took his gaze away from her and backed into the kitchen, falling against the chair. It clattered to the floor. “Don’t move,” she warned again, lifting herself up from the floor and wincing as she leaned on her enflamed left wrist. Mary leaned against the wall and pushed her bangs back away from her forehead. Her breath fell heavily in the sticky air, and Peter watched her warily, not daring to move a centimeter.

She finally stood up on her own two feet and glanced back at Peter, who still had not moved at all. “Don’t write,” she stammered quickly, stalking out of the house suddenly. Leaving her jacket in the basement stairwell.    

 

Marlene slammed the door behind her and leaned against it hazily, clutching her work apron to her chest. She breathed in heavily, inhaling the scent of her homey apartment. She smiled, reminiscing, and a hand flew to her cheeks as she felt herself blushing. She couldn’t figure out what was different about this time. It was still him. Maybe it’s because after the induction she hadn’t had the chance to smile. He always somehow managed to change that.

“Satisfied?” Remus asked moodily from the couch, flipping through a book aimlessly. Marlene opened her eyes quickly and crossed her arms upon realizing she wasn’t alone.

“What are you aiming at, Remus?” He scoffed and folded the corner of his page down.

“Nothing at all, Marlene,” he muttered bitterly. Marlene frowned and looked at Remus as he walked across the apartment to the pantry, taking some chocolate from the top shelf. Marlene uncrossed her arms and shook her head, making her way over to him.

“So that’s where you’ve been hiding all the chocolate,” she grumbled, holding out a hand. Remus broke off a piece and gave it to her, but made his way back to the couch without a word. “What are you doing up so late?” Marlene asked, throwing her apron on a chair and following him to the living room.

“How’s Sirius?” he rebuked. Marlene laughed shortly, and sat next to him on the couch awkwardly.

“I was meeting Mark, Remus,” she said. There wasn’t much she could do to hide the defensive tone in her voice.

“I can smell Sirius’ cologne from a mile away,” he deadpanned. “And seeing as you’re the only one he’ll see lately. Oh, I guess besides Dorcas.” Marlene looked over her left shoulder away from Remus and clenched her teeth. “You know Dorcas, right?” Marlene’s eyes clouded suddenly, and she avoided Remus’ eyes as he stood above her and finished his chocolate. “About yea high,” he motioned, holding his hand next to his head, “your best friend, Sirius’ live-in girlfriend?”

“Funny, Remus. I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Marlene said stonily, turning her head to look at Remus. Her eyes pierced his strongly, but he didn’t recoil.

“Do you think it’s not just sex?” he accused again.

“Remus, stop it,” she said, shaking her head. “Just stop-“

“Because that’s all it is. He doesn’t love you, and he’s going to hurt both of you in a bit, you watch,” he said casually, leaning into one hip.

“Just shut it!” she exclaimed, shooting up to standing and facing Remus directly.

Remus snorted.

“What are you going to do about it? Going to run to Sirius and tell him about the big, bad werewolf in your house?” Marlene reached her hand up towards Remus’ cheek, but Remus caught her wrist before she made impact. “Nice, M.” Marlene’s face reddened again, and Remus threw her hand away from his face.

“You are crazy! Go to bed, Remus,” she reprimanded weakly, pointing to the hallway.

“I’m crazy? At least I’m not still pining after some teenage crush!” Some of his spit flew at Marlene’s face, but she didn’t flinch. She only smirked.

“Oh, you’re not?” she asked darkly, swallowing as Remus’ gallant behavior faltered. “I can’t believe you think I don’t know.” Remus swallowed deeply, and Marlene watched his Adam’s apple bobble in his throat. She sucked her lips into her mouth, forbidding herself to take back what she said or apologize or anything of that sort.

“What the fuck has he done to you?” Remus murmured to himself, turning away from Marlene, who was now tapping her foot against the ground. Her eyes brimmed with tears as he began to walk away.

“Remus wait,” she breathed out against her better judgement. Remus flipped back around as Marlene placed her hand softly on his shoulder. He tilted his head to the side to avoid her gaze, but walked sternly towards her. Marlene found her knees pressed against the edge of the couch.

“Marlene, I just-“

“I’m sorry,” she said quickly, shaking her head at Remus as he searched for the proper words. “I didn’t mean it.” Marlene glanced up at Remus, waiting for a response. He simply shut his mouth as the tears that filled her eyes finally fell across her cheeks. Marlene stuffed her head into his neck, standing on her toes to reach her arms over his shoulders. Remus did not move for a moment as Marlene cried into his shoulder silently. “Remus?” she asked quietly into his shirt. When he didn’t answer, Marlene gripped him tighter.

He finally put his arms around her back, and squeezed her slightly. “It’s okay, M,” he sighed out plainly. Marlene blinked, her eyelashes sticking together in a mix of tears and mascara. She backed away, and Remus let her back away from him. He took a step backwards, and watched her as she rubbed her eyes with the back of her arm.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with me,” she squeaked out quietly. Remus held his hand out next to her cheek, hovering closely but not touching her. “Remus.” She leaned her head into his hand, and looked up at him sadly. She shook her head as Remus rubbed his thumb over her cheekbone, and put her hand over his to remove it. Her lips pursed, and Remus frowned slightly as she took his hand away from her face.

“I guess I’m going to bed,” he said finally, putting his fist to his lips and walking out of the living room before Marlene even had chance to think.

 


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