~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ONE YEAR LATER~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Heather and Sirius hurried along the gravel driveway, panting and out of breath. Sirius grinned widely as he saw the large, haphazard building come into view.
“Finally!” Heather gasped, stopping and laying her hands on her knees.
“Oh, come on,” Sirius said, also winded. “It’s not that bad! Lily and James had to do twice this in Auror training!”
“Frank said it was easy!” Heather said, smiling. “Or at least, he said he and Alice had no problems,” she said. Sirius shrugged.
“Come on, we’re going to be even later,” Sirius said, and they ran even faster toward the old hotel.
“I still,” she gave a pant, “don’t understand why,” she clutched her side, “why the apparition point needs,” she gasped again, “to be so....far away!”
“Safety!” Sirius said. They decided not to talk the rest of the way, saving their breath. As they approached the steps, they slowed. Heather looked up at the creaky wooden sign. On it was carved;
Heather sighed, and at the urging of Sirius, went through the door he held open. She didn’t understand why this meeting had to be on such short notice. Normally Dumbledore told The Order when to be when and where way ahead of time. Nothing went unplanned. Heather passed the old, unoccupied wooden desk with haste, and up rickety stairs. Up and up they wound. Five long staircases, to be exact. As they both reached the landing of the last one, Sirius leaned against the wall.
“This meeting better be a good one,” Sirius said. Heather, too out of breath to speak, simply nodded. “Come on, the door is right here,” he said, walking over. He ticked off numbers in his head. 107, 108, 109...111. He grinned. 110 was missing. Heather came to stand beside him. She closed her eyes, and remembered the location. Garlock Hotel, room 110. She opened them again, and no door appeared. Not at all surprised, she looked up in time to see a trap door appearing overhead, with the numbers 110 carved into it.
“You first,” Heather said, grinning. Sirius shook his head.
“Ladies first,” he insisted. Heather pursed her lips.
“Just don’t throw me through, like the last time, okay?” she said with a smirk. Sirius grinned devilishly. “I’m serious!” she said firmly.
“No, I am!” he said indignantly, crossing his arms. Heather rolled her eyes.
“You’re too funny,” she said sarcastically. “Alright, we’re already late. Just...”
“Alright, I won’t,” he said softly. Heather stared into his eyes for a second, and Sirius wanted nothing more than to kiss her right there. In fact, he might have, if a cheery voice hadn’t interrupted.
“Did you two forget the levitation spell or something?” The two looked up to see James poking his head down. Sirius rolled his eyes.
“Hey, James,” he said. “Wonderful timing,” he added lamely.
“I know!” James said with enthusiasm. Sirius pulled out his wand.
“Move, or else I’m going to smash your face in with Heather,” he said with a wink at her.
“Don’t you dare!” Heather said, laughing. In seconds, however, she was levitated through the hole in the ceiling. She turned and levitated Sirius up after her. They looked around, and an odd feeling of being home rushed over them. They stood in a brightly lit, large room. It was full of rich wooden objects, and was not at all what one would have expected from the dingy old hotel below them. Though, as Sirius and Heather had been told, nobody had known about this room for about seventy years. Only Dumbledore remembered it, and knew it would be perfect. The large room held a small group of people, as usual.
“Hey guys!” Alice said, running up to them. She gave Heather a hug, and was closely followed by Lily and Frank. “It’s been a long time!” she said. Heather laughed.
“Alice, the last meeting was only a month ago...” she said. Alice grinned sheepishly. Frank came to stand behind her.
“So, what do you reckon we’re here for?” Lily asked, grinning. “And how come Dumbledore invited Alastor?” she asked nervously, eyeing Alastor Moody, who was sitting alone in the corner, watching them with dark brown eyes.
“I don’t know,” Heather said, laughing at Lily’s dislike of Moody.
“He’s not that bad,” James said jovially.
“You like everybody,” Lily said rolling her eyes fondly. “Nothing makes you unhappy!”
“And that’s a bad thing? Just because I’m a generally happy person doesn’t mean anything!” he said indignantly. Lily shook her head, and they all laughed.
“I just don’t understand you sometimes...” she said with a small grin.
“What don’t you understand?” a nervous voice said from behind them. They turned to see Peter, closely followed by Remus.
“Hey you two!” Heather said, embracing Remus friendly. She merely smiled at Peter, who oddly smiled back.
“I see you were able to make it, away from the old ball-and-chain,” Sirius muttered quietly so that only Heather heard. She let out a laugh, and everybody stared at her. She quickly changed it into a hacking cough, turning bright red. Then she glared at Sirius for making her look like an idiot in front of everybody. Sirius stuck out his tongue.
“So, how has the marriage thing been going?” he said, looking at Lily and James and Alice and Frank.
“Horrible!” they all said at once, jokingly. Then they all burst out laughing, hugging each other.
“Ahem, I hate to break up what is surely a much needed reunion, but I have important news that I must tell you all,” said Dumbledore, coming from out of the trap door. They all greeted him with smiles, but the smiles were quickly ripped viciously from their faces as another person stepped up after Dumbledore.
“SNAPE?!” James roared, whipping out his wand. So did everybody else in the room, other than Dumbledore and Moody.
“James,” Dumbledore said reprovingly.
“He’s a Death Eater!” Heather roared, shaking with rage. She hated Snape, and with good reason. Sirius remembered what he had done to Heather last year, and his anger grew. He gripped his wand even tighter.
“I’ve been waiting, Snape. I’m going to...” Sirius started, but Dumbledore stopped him.
“That is enough!” he said loudly. Everybody stopped, staring at Dumbledore. It was a rare thing to hear him raise his voice. Moody stood up, and walked over to the glaring Snape.
“I think you were right, Albus,” Moody said, raising a gnarled brow.
“They simply don’t understand, Alastor,” Dumbledore said calmly. And then to everybody else he said, “please sit,” and pointed to the squishy armchairs that had been placed on the sides of the room. They all went to sit down, and Heather exchanged tense looks with Sirius.
“What’s going on, Professor?” Lily asked, her eyes narrowed. Dumbledore actually smiled.
“Lily, it’s been nearly a year. You don’t have to call me Professor. You never did, come to think of it. I have many names for a reason! Pick one, though I would prefer Albus to Wulfric, Percival or Brian." There were a few chuckles. “Now, to business...” he said, and sat down as well. “I have just received information that Voldemort knows a part of The Prophesy, and has since I heard it in the Hog’s Head. He is waiting...watching,” he said to an empty silence.
“What’s The Prophesy?” said a lone voice. Guilt clouded everybody’s vision. “What’s The Prophesy?” Remus repeated to the deadly quiet room. Dumbledore raised his brow, and Alastor looked questioningly at him.
“You...don’t know?” Dumbledore said, in a rare moment of surprise. “You didn’t inform him of The Prophesy?” he asked the others. They all exchanged guilty looks. Remus looked around, astonished.
“Am I the only one that doesn’t know?” he demanded, hurt. Nobody spoke. “Answer me!” he practically yelled. Still silence.
“It might not even apply to us...” James attempted. But Remus cut through him.
“But whatever it is, it’s obviously something that Voldemort can’t know, but everybody but me can!” he said, standing up in anger.
“Remus...” Sirius said, standing as well.
“No, I know what it is...you don’t trust me. You haven’t trusted me since I helped Heather cheat on you. I know that,” he spat angrily.
“That’s not true,” Sirius said firmly.
“‘Oh, don’t tell Remus, he’s a Werewolf!’” Remus said cuttingly, mocking them all. Lily stood up, walking towards Remus, whose eyes were sparkling.
“Remus, you don’t understand! It wasn’t like that!” Lily said, her eyes also wet with tears.
“Lily, I’ve lived my whole life an outcast. I’m a friggin’ Werewolf! How could I not?! Everybody thought I was untrustworthy, everybody was afraid of me, even my own father...until I met you guys. I guess it was just my hopeful imagination. I wanted so badly to be accepted, and now, after years of a false friendship, I realize I’ve just been being lied to,” he said sharply. He glared at them, shaking with the hurt roiling around inside him.
“Well, it’s not as if you didn’t keep things from us!” Peter reminded. Everybody went silent. “You’ve never told us the truth! Why do you live with your grandparents!” he said, his voice getting nasally with excitement. Remus turned slowly to Peter, and Dumbledore wondered if he should step in, or let them work it out on their own. Remus let a tear slip down his face.
“You want to know the truth?” he said softly. Peter looked taken aback. Remus? Crying? He opened his mouth, but then shut it, unsure. “Fine,” he said venomously. “Not long after I got bit, my father came home drunk, as usual,” he said. Everybody exchanged shocked looks, but nothing could have prepared them for his next agonized words. “He killed my mother.”
“Happy now?” he practically sobbed.
Nobody moved or made a sound. He snorted in disgust. “Sorry, Dumbledore,” he said, and with a last disgusted look at his ‘friends,’ he left.
A/N: This was a very difficult chapter to write. Not only was it picking up from a year from now, but it involved quite a lot of drama. I wanted to make sure I got all the information in there without losing the plot. I realize that this chapter was short, but I didn't want to get into the next part of the story quite yet. So you'll just have to wait for the next chapter, in which characters you might have forgotten about show up. Can you guess who they might be? Also... a little...well alot...of action in the next chapter, so you can look forward to it=) Please review!
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