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Race Against Time by Unicorn_Charm

Format: Novella
Chapters: 3
Word Count: 6,022
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Contains profanity, Strong violence, Scenes of a sexual nature, Substance abuse, Spoilers

Genres: Drama, Romance, Action/Adventure
Characters: Harry, Dumbledore, Lupin, Snape, Moody, Arthur, Molly, Tonks, Sirius, OtherCanon
Pairings: Sirius/OC, Arthur/Molly, Remus/Tonks

First Published: 04/08/2015
Last Chapter: 06/19/2015
Last Updated: 05/29/2016

Summary:
Beautiful banner by leigh.dixon@TDA for The_Crookshanks_Saga and Maraudertimes' Banner Challenge | Written for Camp NaNo 2015




She felt as if their entire relationship was like a Race Against Time.

 

One they were doomed to lose from the start...



 

Sequel to Bruises

Emmeline Vance/Sirius Black 


Chapter 1: Chapter 1
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

It took a while, years really, but I finally did manage to get over him. I’ve learned to live with what happened, eventually moved past it and began to function like a normal human again. A month or so after Sirius betrayed James and Lily I was able to bring myself to return to work at the ministry. It was different. Even with the You-Know-Who gone, morale was still down for quite some time. We had lost so many. But I guess that is to be expected when you’re an Auror. Especially if you were an Auror who was a member of The Order of the Phoenix, like quite a number of us were.

Over time it got better. We gained some new members, started to genuinely laugh and joke again. Most of us completely immersed ourselves with our work, that way we wouldn’t dwell on what we had each lost. Years went by and I remained single. I couldn’t bring myself to let someone in only to be let down so horribly again. I had a nice flat in London, a job that kept me busy, my owl to keep me company and friends I loved. I led a simple, quiet life.

I woke up on a particularly hot day in July of 1993. Even with my window wide open and fan blowing on me, my hair was stuck to my face and neck. It must had been the uncomfortable heat that had woken me. I felt disgusting. After taking a cool shower and getting dressed, I made my way into the kitchen to make some coffee and a bit of breakfast. My morning routine has been the same for quite some time now. Very methodical and only focusing on the next step. Get up, shower, dress, eat, read the Prophet, then floo to work. It’s best if I don’t become lost in my head too much, as I used to so often years ago.

As I sat down with my sausage, eggs and coffee my tawny owl flew through the window with my paper. She hooted feebly as it seemed the heat had gotten to her, too. I pushed over a glass of water, which she dipped her beak into then nipped my finger in gratitude and took off to her dark corner of the living room. I flattened out the paper next to my plate. As I raised my mug to my lips, my hand began to tremble. He looked completely different, yet somehow still the same. Coffee spilled everywhere as I took in the picture on the front cover of the paper.

There was a shadow of the handsome man I once knew still there under the greasy strings of black hair, dirty skin, unshaven face and hollowed eyes. He bore his teeth and screamed violently, desperately trying to break free from his chains under a large black headline.

                                             
Sirius Black: First Person to Ever Escape from Azkaban Prison
Authorities Baffled


My heart felt as cold as ice. The breath seemed to be knocked out of me. “No!” I yelled out loud. My body felt like it had lost the ability to move. I was frozen. Tell me it’s not possible! I pleaded wordlessly. I knew that work would need me immediately, but it would have to wait. There was somewhere else I needed to go first. I needed to see the one other person who would understand. I quickly ran into my study, took out a piece of parchment and scribbled a quick letter.

 

Scrimgeour,

I’m going to be a bit late today. Personal Matter.

-Emmeline Vance

 

“Venus!” I called out after I had folded it and sealed the letter in an envelope.

She flew into the room and landed on my desk, hooting pitifully and looking at the envelope with disdain.

“Oh knock it off! I don’t have the time or patience for this right now!” I snapped.

Venus grabbed the letter out of my hand – taking time to clip my finger in the process and looked at me expectantly.

“Take it to the ministry, alright? Thank you.”

I didn’t wait to watch her leave, but ran out of the room and to my fireplace. I grabbed the pouch of floo powder off the top of it, took a pinch and stepped into the fireplace. I threw the handful of powder and called out “Remus Lupin’s!” through the green flames as I disappeared.

I emerged from the fireplace into an extremely messy living room. Clothes, pizza boxes and empty spirit bottles were scattered all around. It was completely silent save for the faint sound of someone snoring across the flat. I marched straight towards were the noise was coming from, drew my wand and blew Remus’ bedroom door open. The smell of stale drink and smoke nearly overwhelmed me. I would have thought the noise of nearly blasting his door off the hinges would have woken him up, but he barely stirred. I assumed he drank himself into another stupor the evening before.

I walked over to the side of the bed, stepping over empty bottles and more clothes on the way, and looked down at what used to be one of my best friends. His head was under his pillow and one leg stuck out from underneath his thin, holey covers. The poor guy really never recovered - never truly moved on. But I couldn’t afford to feel sorry for him at that moment. I had to be the one to tell him first. I took a deep breath – which I immediately regretted due to the awful stench – and kicked the side of his bed.

“Merlin’s beard, Remus, get up!” I yelled.

Remus groaned and pulled the covers up over his head while rolling away from the side of the bed I was standing near. I almost felt bad about what I did next. Almost. I drew my wand and warned him.

“Remus Lupin. I’m giving you until the count of three to get out of that ruddy bed! This is important!”

Still no movement or any other sign that he was listening.

I gritted my teeth. “Fine. You’ve asked for it.” I pointed my wand right at where I assumed his head was. “Agumenti!” I cried out.

It had exactly the effect I was hoping for. He sat right up and began calling me many names. Mostly things you would not want your mother to hear you say – at any age.

When he finished with his tirade, I threw the first articles of clothing I could find at him.

“Get dressed and meet me in the kitchen, Remus. Something’s happened.”

As I turned and walked out of the room, I thought I heard him mutter. “Pleasure to see you again, too.” Which actually made the corners of my mouth turn up in a small smile.

While I waited for Remus to join me, I began to tidy up his apartment a bit. I waved my wand and sent the scattered clothes into a hamper, the trash into the bin and the dirty dishes in the sink. It saddened me horribly to see the conditions in which he lived. It was like he had just totally given up.

Just as I finished getting the last dish in the sink, a quiet voice called out from the doorway.

“You didn’t have to do that, Emmeline,” Remus said, his voice raspy.

My brow furrowed and I took in his disheveled appearance. His robes had patched holes in them, they were wrinkled and looked very, very old. I began to feel sorry about not checking in on him more often throughout the years. Once Dumbledore had found out where he had run off to after James and Lily were murdered – which took months, mind you – I went to see him. Occasionally I would pop by and see how he was managing, but I haven’t been by in quite a while.

“Don’t worry about it, Remus.” I sat down at his small kitchen table and gestured at the chair across from me. “I’d suggest sitting down. I’ve got something to tell you.”

Remus cocked an eyebrow and slowly made his way towards me, yawning loudly while stretching. As he slowly sat down, he swished his wand and conjured up two tea cups. “Tea?” he asked through another yawn.

I nodded then he began to make a pot for us and we sat in an awkward silence for a few moments. For one thing, it had been a least a year since I had seen him. That and, I just did not know how to begin. I bit my lip and twisted my fingers together while trying to find the right words, but sadly, there were none.

Once we both had our cups in front of us, Remus looked at me expectantly.

“So? What is it you have to tell me that you nearly drowned me over?” he smirked.

I took a deep breath and felt my heart nearly pound out of my chest. Slowly I pulled out the Daily Prophet I received that morning, and placed it in front of him. "This," I said quietly.

As he took a look at what I laid in front of him, I watched his reaction carefully. Remus’ face slowly lost all color. I could almost hear him grinding his teeth and I jumped as he slammed his hand on the table.

“NO!” He shouted and stood up quickly, knocking his chair to the floor.

“Yes, Remus. He’s escaped. I don’t know how, but he has,” I whispered. It was difficult to actually say the words out loud.

Remus grabbed at his hair with both hands and shook his head back and forth. “I kn-“ he began, but quickly stopped.

I got up from my seat, rushed over to him and placed my hands on his shoulders. “You what, Remus? You know how he got out?” I demanded. My heart pounded.

Was Remus still in contact with him? Did he know of his plans to break out of prison? Was Remus a traitor as well? One who was never caught? A million thoughts ran through my head as Remus backed away from me. His eyes narrowed.

“Of course I don’t know how he got out, Emmeline! I haven’t seen him in nearly twelve years!” he growled.

I believed him.

Suddenly his features changed. His eyes widened and his expression went from furious to horrified.

Harry!” he barely choked out.

I haven’t even thought of that! He could be after Harry. If – it still hurt to think his name – Sirius betrayed Lily and James so You-Know-Who could get to Harry, maybe he had broken out to finish the job himself.

I looked Remus dead in the eye and said only one word. “Dumbledore.”

 

***

A/N - This is the first time that I've written for NaNo, or have written a sequel. I would love to hear your thoughts on this, especially if you've read Bruises. :D Thank you, Em, my wonderful BestestHPFFBFFSisterBrainTwin for looking this chapter over and offering me such wonderful advice. You're truly the greatest friend ever and I owe you until the end of time! 

Chapter 2: Chapter 2
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Minutes later, Remus and I found ourselves appearing just outside the grounds of Hogwarts. We nearly ran past the winged boar statues, through the Entrance Hall and all the way up to Dumbledore’s office. Since it was the summer holidays, a password was not needed to enter, so breathing heavily, we ran up the stairs and knocked at the large wooden door. 
Hunched over, I grasped at a stitch in my side and threw a panicked look at Remus, who stood with his hands resting on his knees. 

“Reck – Reckon he’s – he’s here?” I panted. 

“Hope so,” he answered. 

Remus knocked once more – a little harder and more urgently – and finally we heard a voice from the other side of the door. 

“Please, come in,” Dumbledore called out. 

Together, we opened the door and both quickly entered the office. I looked around at all of the little trinkets and instruments – some emitting little puffs of smoke – until finally, my eyes rested on my old Headmaster and friend, Albus Dumbledore. He sat at his desk wearing a polite smile and gesturing to two chairs directly in front of him. 

“Have a seat,” he offered. 

As Remus and I both sat down, Dumbledore leaned back in his chair and placed his hands upon – what I noticed was – a copy of the Daily Prophet on his desk. 

“Emmeline. Remus. I would say that this is a pleasant surprise, but due to the nature of the shocking news which has come out today, I would venture a guess and say this is more than a social visit,” Dumbledore said. 

I was astounded that he seemed so calm about a mass murdering traitor escaping from an inescapable fortress. 

Remus cleared his throat. “You would be correct, Albus. We’ve come to discuss… him.”

I turned my head to look at Remus and cocked an eyebrow. It seemed that I was not the only one who still had trouble saying that name. 

“I have surmised as much,” Dumbledore airily responded. 

I turned my attention back to Dumbledore. He leaned forward and placed the tips of his fingers together while watching each of us in turn very carefully. 

“I suppose the reason for this surprise visit, is because you are worried Sirius Black may be now looking for Harry Potter,” he simply stated, almost as if he were just commenting on the weather. 

Remus and I both looked at one another, his face mirrored mine. Eyes wide and his mouth parted slightly in shock. 

“Well-“ I began. 

“Yes. That’s exactly why we’re here, Albus,” Remus finished. 

“How did you know?” I wondered. 

Dumbledore chuckled softly – It was infuriating. Didn’t he understand how serious this was? 

“We shall just call it an accurate guess,” he winked. 

I sighed heavily. Truth be told, I like and respect Dumbledore very much, but at times, his enigmatic ways could wear on a person. 

“Albus, shouldn’t we possibly station a few-“ Dumbledore raised his hand to stop me. 

“My dear Emmeline, please rest assured that no harm will come to Harry Potter whilst he is at his Aunt and Uncle’s.” 

I opened my mouth to protest, but he stopped me once more. 

“I understand both of your concerns but Harry is safer than I think even he realizes under their supervision,” he tried to comfort us. 

I didn’t really know what Dumbledore meant by that, but if Dumbledore said that he was safe, then I would have to trust him. Dumbledore wouldn’t lie, not about something as important as that. I nodded and looked at Remus, who still didn’t look very convinced. A crease formed between his eyebrows and he bit his lip slightly. 

Dumbledore exhaled and raised an eyebrow at Remus. 

“Remus, if it would ease some of your worries, I could most certainly use a new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor for the upcoming term.” 

Remus snorted. “You couldn’t possibly mean me, Albus. I mean –“ he gestured towards his disheveled appearance. “Look at me. I’m not- I’m not suitable teaching material at all.” 

Dumbledore and I both started telling Remus how wrong he was and how great of a DADA professor he would make when he cut us both off. 

“Are you both forgetting about my – my condition?” he snarled. “It would be far too dangerous – unsafe. No,” he shook his head jerkily. “No, absolutely not.” He glared at the ground and avoided eye contact with both of us. 

Honestly, I felt that Remus was being completely foolish. With the wolfsbane potion, his condition – as he put it, was more than manageable. It would be perfectly safe for him to be around the children and it was no secret that he was extremely advanced when it came to Defensive Magic and dealing with Dark Creatures. Not to mention, I know he would feel a lot better if he was able to be close to Harry while he was on the loose and possibly after him. 

I shrugged my shoulders at Dumbledore who smiled at me and shook his head softly. 

“Remus,” I began gently. I placed my hand on his shoulder and he quickly shook it off. 

“No!” he repeated. 

Dumbledore seemed to have enough, he slammed his hand down on the desk which caused both me and Remus to jump. I didn’t know about him, but I suddenly felt like a school child who was about to be scolded, once again in my life. 

“Remus, that is enough,” Dumbledore said firmly. “You are more than aware that your condition would be dealt with and you would be of no danger to the students of this castle. I will not hear any more of this. You will accept the position and I am afraid that I will not take no as an answer. You will report here on September the first, and that is final,” Dumbledore ordered. 

I sat rigidly in my chair. At times, Dumbledore could be truly frightening, despite his normally calm demeanor. Remus, it seemed, was not as easily intimidated by the man as I was. 

“And if I don’t, you’ll place me in detention? Take away my Prefect status?” Remus challenged with a smirk. 

My eyes went wide and slowly I turned my head towards Remus. I could not believe how rudely he was behaving. Dumbledore, however, seemed to find Remus’ words amusing. 

“Perhaps,” he chuckled. 

Considering the state Remus was in when I found him earlier that morning, I thought he would be foolish not to take the position. It would give him something worth getting out of bed for and something to take his mind off of the last however many lonely years of his life. Not to mention, the steady income I would assume would be welcomed as well. 

“Remus, I think you should do it,” I said quietly. “And I think,” I gulped. “Lily and James would be happy to know that you were watching over their son,” I added. 

I don’t know if he would have agreed without me saying that, but it certainly seemed like something clicked after I mentioned our deceased friends. He looked at me and I saw his expression slowly soften. His eyes teared slightly and a small smile appeared on his lips. His shoulders slumped and he exhaled loudly. 

“I – I supposed you’re right, Em,” he croaked. 

I winced at the sound of my old nick-name. No one had called me that since… since before.  

“Alright, Albus,” Remus conceded. “I’ll do it.” 

Dumbledore stood up and clapped his hands together. “Wonderful! Now I am terribly sorry, but I do have some business that I need to attend to this afternoon, and must say goodbye for now.” 

Remus and I both got up and said our goodbyes to Dumbledore and thanked him for speaking with us, since we both barged in on him unexpectedly. As we reached the door and went to leave, Dumbledore called over. 

“Oh, and Remus?” 

He turned back around, “Albus?” 

“If you would please, I would like for you to take the train with the students, on the first of September. I would feel a bit more at ease if you were there with the students.” 

Remus and I shared a puzzled look. What an odd request, I thought. Professors never take the train. Maybe Dumbledore was more worried about him than he let on. 

“Erm, sure Professor,” Remus slowly agreed. 

As we walked through the halls of Hogwarts I nudged Remus with my elbow. “So, Professor Lupin, teacher, huh?” I smirked. 

“I guess so,” he sighed. 

As we walked towards the Entrance Hall, we passed a part of the wall that I knew to be not really a wall. You were able to walk right through it and end up near the Transfiguration classroom. It was a shortcut that I used to use quite often. Normally, when I wanted a few stolen moments with him before class. The sight of it brought me up short and my breath hitched. 

Before today, I haven’t really given the bastard much thought. Well, not actively. I made it a point to not really think of him if I could help it, but that didn’t mean that he still didn’t find his way into my dreams – or nightmares may be more accurate. 

I stopped suddenly and grabbed Remus’ arm. 

“What is it, Em?” he asked with genuine concern. 

I felt my chest tighten again at him calling me, Em. Unshed tears caused the corners of my eyes to prickle and I began to run. I ran out onto the grounds, passed the winged boar statues and off of the school grounds.  

A few moments later, Remus caught up to me and watched me carefully, like I was a bomb about to explode.  

“I – I just don’t understand how this could have happened.” And without warning, the floodgates opened and I began to sob. 

Remus hesitated for a moment, then awkwardly put his arms around me and patted my head. 

“Aww, come on now. It’s – it’s going to be alright, Em,” he tried to sooth me. 

I had spent so, so long after everything happened trying to shove down any sort of emotion – any sadness. I wouldn’t allow myself to breakdown after that last time. I couldn’t. And now – just knowing that he was out there somewhere. Not knowing if he would come for me, Remus, Harry. It was the not knowing and the thought of possibly having to face him again that caused such an ache in my chest I couldn’t not break down.


“Wh-what if – What if he finds me, Remus?” I finally voiced my worst fear out loud. “What if he tries to find me? How do I deal with that?” I cried. 

As an Auror, I have dealt with all sorts of the worst kind of Wizards, Witches and creatures known to our world, but something about facing him – I didn’t know if I was brave enough to do it.  

Not after he had betrayed me and shattered me so horribly. 

Remus squeezed me a bit tighter and buried his face in my hair. 

“I don’t know, Em. I don’t know,” he whispered. 

It didn’t take me too much longer to pull myself together. I backed out of Remus’ arms and smiled a bit ruefully. “I’m sorry about that,” I said hoarsely. “I’m normally in more control of myself.” 

I was honestly quite embarrassed of myself. But Remus smiled kindly. “It’s alright, Em. You’re not a superhero,” he chuckled. 

I forgot that Remus was a half-blood like me, which would lead to the Muggle reference.  I gave a shaky laugh and wiped my cheeks with the back of my hand. 

“No, I suppose I’m not. Although,” I smiled. “it would be cool to fly without a broom.” 

I watched as Remus’ smile slowly left his face as he studied mine like it was the first time he has really seen my properly all day. 

“Merlin, Em,” he exhaled. “You look like hell.” I opened my mouth to give a sarcastic remark about how I had just bloody bawled my eyes out, and how would he expect me to look, when he cut me off. “And I don’t mean because of that little episode you just had.” He put his hand on my shoulder. “It goes deeper than that. I can see it in your eyes. They – they don’t have that same spark – intensity they once had.” 

I shook myself out of his grasp and turned my back on him. I didn't know why, but that remark made me incredibly angry. Probably because I thought I had been faking it better than that.  

“Look, I’m managing the best that I can, alright?” I snapped. “It hasn’t exactly been easy, but” I turned back around and looked him up and down. “I don’t exactly have to tell you that, do I?” 

His shoulders slumped and he let out an exasperated sigh. “No. No I suppose you don’t,” he said quietly. 

Once again, he looked utterly defeated. It was horrible to see. Considering that I knew Remus when he was in his prime. When he was young, clever and full of life. There wasn’t even a hint of that man in front of me. 

“Listen,” I began. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have snapped at you. It was wrong.” 

“It’s alright, Em,” he smiled. 

I looked at my watch and saw it was nearly noon. I was really late to work. Scrimgeour would have my head. 

“Remus, I hate to leave you, but I really must get to work. They’re going to need everyone there today, and I’m already extremely late. I’ll – I’ll stop by later?” I asked. I did not want to be alone and I had a feeling he didn’t either. 

“Yeah. Yeah that sounds good. I’ll make dinner,” he announced proudly while puffing out his chest.

I smiled and patted him on the shoulder, agreeing to have dinner with him later on. I turned on the spot and with a pop, disappeared into the crushing nothingness.

 

***

A/N - EM! Thank you so, so much again for looking this over!! You're the bestestestest!! <33

 

Since these chapters are being written mighty quickly (for NaNo), I'm not quite sure how I'm feeling about them. I would love to hear your thoughts! Possibly in a review...? *wiggles eyebrows*



As soon as I appeared in the Atrium of the Ministry, I could feel the tension in the air.  

People were standing together in small clusters of three to four. They whispered and glanced over their shoulders while they quietly discussed what was flashing across the front page of The Prophet. It was almost like You-Know-Who had come back from the dead; the way people were behaving. Which I guess was understandable. It wasn’t every day a bloke broke out of Azkaban.

Hoping to avoid speaking about it with anyone, I quickly made my way towards the lifts. I jolted slightly when I thought I heard my name and was shocked to see a few people look or point at me as I walked past. I began to hear some of the things people were whispering.  

“Reckon she knows anything?”

“Yeah, that’s the one.”

“Look at her coming in late. If she didn’t have anything to do with it, I’ll eat my wand.”

“His girlfriend at the time, mate.”

My heart constricted painfully at the mention of once being his girlfriend. I took in a sharp breath and felt like a bucket of ice water was thrown over me. I should have figured – especially with coming in at the time I had – people would talk. That they may suspect I had something to do with his escape. I know that if it had been anyone else who had broken out, the first person I would have interviewed would had been the spouse or partner of the escapee. But I wasn’t going to let them get to me. I hadn’t had anything to do with it – I had nothing to hide.

While I stood waiting for the lift, I felt someone grab me by the elbow and tow me aside. My stomach did a summersault and I let out a small squeak of surprise as I was dragged into a small corner, away from the curious glances of the other Ministry employees and guests. I looked into a pair of concerned brown eyes and watched my best friend tuck a stray piece of her short brown hair behind her ear.

“Before you say anything, I have to ask. Did you know anything about this?” Amelia Bones asked, her jaw set and her eyes pierced through mine.

I flinched and took a step back, away from her. Anger pulsed through every inch of my body. I honestly could not believe that she would have considered, even for a moment, that I had anything to do with his escape. I narrowed my eyes and crossed my arms tightly.

“Of course I didn’t!” I hissed.  

The right corner of Amelia’s mouth lifted while she nodded softly. “I knew you didn’t, but like I said,” she shrugged. “I just had to ask.”

I snorted and made to push past her; I was actually pretty pissed off. Before I could get too far, she grabbed my wrist and spun me back around.

“Look, Emmeline, I’m sorry. But that wasn’t why I needed to talk to you,” she whispered quickly.

I cocked an eyebrow and waited for her to continue. I knew I was behaving like a petulant child, but I was sort of giving her the silent treatment at the moment.

She exhaled loudly, clearly realizing that I wasn’t speaking to her and rolled her eyes. “Listen, Scrimgeour is on the warpath right now. He’s livid. And I heard him say - well, " her mouth twitched," maybe more like snarl your name when I walked by his office earlier.”

My stomach dropped.

“Are you serious?” I groaned.

“Dead serious,” she nodded.

I ran my hand through my hair and exhaled loudly. This was just perfect, I thought to myself. In hindsight, I probably should had went in to work first, before going to Remus’ then Hogwarts to see Dumbledore.  

“I know how hard it is for you to talk about him, Emmeline. And – “ Amelia looked around, presumably making sure our private conversation was staying just that – private. “They’re – they’re bound to ask questions about him, you, your relationship…” she trailed off.

She was right. They were bound to. I turned away from her, faced the wall and stared intently at a small marking that very much resembled an eye. I shuddered - It made me feel like the Ministry was watching me.  

Could I handle that all again? After he had been arrested back in eighty-one, I was questioned. For hours they interrogated me. Of course, as his girlfriend, I had to be checked out. They had to make sure I was not a Death Eater spy myself. It was horrible. And now that he’s escaped…

I'll never forget how I felt that day - scared, sad, angry, confused, and empty. I was at my parents' house, since there was no way I would return to the flat he and I shared.  

I was in the sitting room, wrapped in a blanket and sipping on some tea when they arrived. Aurors came knocking - to put it lightly - at the door. When I answered, Dawlish, who I've never cared for much since, and one of the newer recruits - Kingsley Shacklebolt, who actually has become a good friend -  came barging in.  

Dawlish tried to intimidate me. He threatened my job at the Ministry; he claimed he was in good with the Minister at the time. A bunch of rubbish in my opinion. I remember him slamming his hand down on my coffee table loads of times, like that would frighten me or something. The twat.  

Kingsley was a bit more professional. One of the reasons I respect him and have come to genuinely like him. He asked the questions I would have asked, if it were me doing the questioning.  

He wanted to know why I went to the Potters', that it seemed suspicious. How I could have basically lived with him and not have known of or seen any Death Eater activity. If I had suspected anything. Things of that nature.  

Finally Kingsley and that dolt Dawlish realized that I had nothing to do with Peter, James or Lily's murders and left. That was it; it was over as abruptly as it began and my name was completely cleared. Until now.  

I should have realized that it would happen again. I was, after all, the last person he ever had contact with. Well, the last person who is still alive that he had contact with.
I flinched slightly when I felt Amelia’s hand rest on my shoulder.

“Emmeline – “ she began. “It’ll be alright. Just – you don’t – You know you have nothing to hide. Don’t worry. It will all be okay,” she tried to reassure me.

Again, she was right. It would be. It wasn’t like I was going to get locked up in Azkaban, or anything like that. That wasn’t what I was worried about. It was going through all the intimate details of that relationship again after so long, and when it was entirely too painful to do so.

I exhaled loudly; my shoulders slumped.
“This whole situation is just nothing I would have ever anticipated,” I whispered.

“No one would have,” she answered just as quietly.

I looked down at my watch and saw that it was nearly one o'clock now. I knew I had to get to the office sooner rather than later, especially if I were to be interrogated  – I'm sorry, I mean questioned.

***
I stood outside of Scrimgeour’s door with my heart pounding and my palms beginning to sweat. I did not want to do this. At all.

I heard him talking loudly – probably to his Quick-Quotes Quill, as he normally does in the early afternoon. I took a deep, steadying breath and knocked quietly on the door.
Deep breaths, Vance. You're an Auror for Merlin’s sake. You can handle this. You've got nothing to hide.

I nearly jumped out of my skin when I heard him bark, “Come in!” from the other side of the door.

I inhaled deeply, squared my shoulders and kept my head up as I confidently walked into his office.

The look in his black eyes, as I stood in front of him, was anything but friendly. Granted, he usually wasn't the warmest man in the world, but right in that moment, he looked downright hostile. I felt my shoulders drop a bit as I lost just a tiny amount of that confidence I tried to strut in with.

He glanced towards the stiff dragon hide chair in front of his desk, “Sit,” he ordered firmly.

I gulped and tried to remind myself that I was not guilty of anything as I sat down. Even if his glare and tone of voice almost made me feel like I was.

 

 

A/N - Hey lovelies! Sorry for the uber short chapter here, but I (and my HPFFBFFSOULSISTERBRAINTWINFRAND; Em aka Pointless-Proclamations, who once again looked over this chapter for me, because she is amazing! Really, she's incredible. You should probably go check out her work, like right now. I'll wait... Ok good, you're back! Isn't she great?! I just knew you'd love her stuff!) felt that it was a great place to leave off. A bit of a cliffhanger, if you will. ;) As always, (even if I haven't been so great with responding to them lately. I'm going to do a binge respond day soon, promise!) your reviews mean so, so, so much to me. I love hearing your squees, CC and overall thoughts. What do you think of Emmeline so far? Is she coming off as a realisitc and relatable character?  How do you think it's going to go with Scimgeour? Where would you like to see things go? Just feed that hungry little box down there and all of your questions (well, probably just some of them; spoiler free zone and all) will be answered! ;) Thank you all so much reading! Tons of love! 

xoxo Meg


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