Heather sat frozen, staring at the floor in horror. The trap door slammed shut as Remus left. Nobody made a sound. It was as if the air had suddenly thickened to such a state where it was impossible for anybody to move. Snape looked bored, and slightly pleased. Moody was looking around at them all warily, as if waiting to see if one of them would leap up in shock and start attacking them all. Only Dumbledore seemed strong enough to wade through the cold hard silence to find his voice.
“I would like to say that this will have to conclude our meeting for today, But I can not. I have yet to explain the presence of Severus Snape,” Dumbledore said, his voice scratchy and laden with disappointment. They all looked up at Snape, their hearts on their sleeves, their hatred of him thoroughly showing through. “The only reason that we have this information about Voldemort, is because of Snape. He came to me late last night and informed me that Voldemort was watching us carefully, planning his next move. I need hardly explain that this is a reason why I trust him enough to induce him into The Order.”
Complete silence still reigned, yet this new silence was much louder than before. “So, you’re saying that just because he told you that Voldemort knew about The Prophesy, you’re going to let him into The Order?!” James said.
“Don’t you understand, idiot boy?” Moody said, speaking directly to him. James looked startled, having only spoken to the man twice before, and already he had been called an idiot. “This Prophesy is the most important thing you will know in your entire life. This Prophesy will determine the outcome of the Dark Lord Voldemort! This is not some little useless piece of information! Anything that has anything to do with The Prophesy is highly valuable,” Moody said. James looked chastened.
“So...what do we do?” Heather asked, looking straight at Dumbledore, who sighed.
“We wait, Heather. We wait,” he said sadly. Walking over to them, he bowed his head in sadness. “I hope I do not need to explain my great disappointment in you all,” he whispered. Everybody averted their eyes. Heather’s heart was wrung dry, the guilt squeezing all feeling from it. “You may have lost a very good friend.”
Without another word to one another, everybody left. Not moving quickly, but slowly, sluggishly. The weight of their wrong-doing attempting to hold them firmly in one place. Only when they had reached the Apparition point did they even acknowledge each other’s presence.
“See you,” James said forlornly, holding Lily’s hand. In seconds, they were gone. Alice gave a tiny nod to Sirius and Heather, and departed with Frank. Peter, who looked the least upset of the group, actually gave a smile and said, “Talk to you guys later!” before departing sloppily. Now only Sirius and Heather were left. They looked at each other, and shook their heads.
“Let’s talk about it at home,” Sirius said, not wanting to discuss it standing in the middle of this forest. Heather nodded her agreement, and both disappeared as suddenly as if they had never been there at all.
Heather barely had time to blink before she was surrounded by the familiar smell and feel of her own home. Looking around at the small, one-story house, she felt heartened. It was a very nice, comfortable little house. She was currently standing in the living room, her favorite room. The walls were colored a dark blue, with a light, cream colored border, and bright yellow coreopsis flowers painted on by the best of artists. Of course, the paint that had been used was magic, so that when you turned out the lights, the flowers turned into silvery Moonflowers.
Giving a slight sigh, she sank onto one of the squashy white couches. Sirius, seeing her distress, sat down beside her. He put his arm around her, and she snuggled closer.
“What have we done?” she whispered. Sirius closed his eyes. What had they done? It seemed like they had been the worst friends possible. What ever happened to them? The Marauders were supposed to share everything! And now look at him, he had plotted with everybody else to keep Remus in the dark. True, he wasn’t sure why, but he knew that it certainly wasn’t because he was a Werewolf. In fact, he respected Remus because he was a Werewolf! Knowing that he had been quiet for much too long, he gave a sigh.
“I’m sure he’ll forgive us in the end,” he said, deciding not to answer her original question, and explain exactly what they had done. To do that would be to explain that they had most likely just lost a very good friend.
“I’m not so sure about that...” she said sadly. “What time is it?” she whispered. Sirius looked at his watch and frowned.
“It’s nearly four,” he said, looking out at the scolding mid-day sun. Heather groaned. That meant Sirius had to leave for work in an hour. It was tough these days. Heather and Sirius had opposite schedules, meaning that they rarely got to spend time with each other. Heather worked from seven in the morning to three in the afternoon. She had taken off today, due to the meeting with The Order. But still, on normal days, after she came home at three, she only had two hours to spend with Sirius before he left for work at five. And normally he didn’t get back until midnight. He was on the Magical Law Enforcement Squad, and he loved it. Heather worked at St. Mungo’s and was a Healer, a job which she enjoyed also. But both enjoyed each other’s company more than any job.
“What do you want for dinner?” Heather asked dismally. Sirius noticed her tone, and looked thoughtful. He had never taken a day off from his job...
“How about we go somewhere fancy tonight?” he asked, his voice getting slick with charm. Heather looked up at him, bumping the top of her head on his chin. He grinned as her surprised face came into view.
“We don’t have time! You still have work today,” she said sadly. He shrugged.
“I don’t know about you, but I’ve been feeling really sick lately,” he said, a devilish grin firmly in place. Heather caught on and smiled in delight.
“Come to think of it,” she said slowly, looking him over seductively. “You do look a little pale...” He nodded.
“I thought so,” he said, getting up. A rakish grin still on his face, he walked over to the fireplace. Heather started down the hall to get ready, and as she did so, she heard Sirius coughing and spluttering quite convincingly. He was talking raspily about his horrible condition, and how so far, not even Heather, who was a Healer, could explain to him his illness. Controlling the urge to burst out laughing, she hurried along. Her heart was fluttering, for a reason she had never talked to anybody about. She felt selfish for thinking it, but she was hoping that tonight would be the night.... She and Sirius had lived together for a little over a year.... One of these days...she hoped he would ask her to marry him. It had been all she had been thinking about lately, and she felt extremely guilty about it...but at the same time...not. Taking a deep breath, she hurried into their bedroom. She saw her cat, Tyde, who was looking rather bored, laying on the bed. Heather smiled.
“Hello Tyde, you look happy,” she said sarcastically. The cat simply glared at her, blinking slowly. She picked up the fluffy white mass and set him on her lap. Tyde immediately stood and began rubbing his head against her hand, begging for attention. Heather laughed. She sat for a few minutes, stroking the cat, then stood up. She went to her closet, and brought out a sleek black dress that fell to about mid-calf. She quickly slipped it on, and went to look at herself in the mirror. She smiled, satisfied with the woman looking back at her. She looked quite nice, if she did say so herself, but there was something missing. She picked up her wand, and waved it. Her mass of rich brown curls quickly arranged themselves into a long french-braid down her back. A few wisps framed her face nicely, and she slipped on some earrings.
“What do you think?” she said, looking at Tyde, who merely sat there, looking rather perky now. “I’ll take your silence as a yes,” she said. The she turned back and closed the closet. But when next she looked back at the bed, she nearly screamed in fright. A terrified looking House-Elf was sitting on the bed. “Dobby...?” she said uncertainly. He was crying, and looking horribly upset. She hurried to him, sitting beside him. “What’s the matter?”
He let out a sob. “Miss Heather is always so nice to Dobby,” he said, wheezing. “I’m sorry, Miss, but they is my orders...” he wailed. Heather frowned, taking his hand. He jerked it back as if burnt.
“What are you talking about?” she said softly. “Just tell me what’s the matter. We can...” but she broke off as Dobby began speaking again. But it didn’t sound like he was talking to her. She saw he had something in his hand, and it looked like a mirror. She recognized it as a two-way mirror. “Dobby?”
“Yes, Master...she is...here...” he sobbed, and then with a loud ‘crack’ and a snap of his fingers, Dobby’s anguished form vanished. Then, almost immediately afterward, another smaller popping noise followed. Heather saw two terrifying looking men standing before her. Damien Malfoy and another she recognized only from the Daily Prophet. It was Walden Macnair. Damien’s cool, collected manner filled the entire room. His back was tense and so straight Heather thought it might crack. Slowly, a menacing smile cut its way across his smooth, pale face. The end result was that of an ugly, evil glare that told Heather she would do what this man said or die. Heather, however, would rather die than become this man’s puppet, like her cousin. She started to run to the door, but Macnair caught her around the middle. She opened her mouth to yell for Sirius, but a large, cold-as-ice hand covered her mouth.
Heather fought with all of her strength, but the fact was that Macnair was a towering man with enough strength to make a bull run away in fright. She struggled to breath, for with the combination of having his hand over her mouth, and his arms crushing her against him, she was having extreme difficulties. She clawed at his forearms, drawing blood, but he quickly snatched both of her wrists in a large hand. Her heart was rapidly beating a hole in her chest, and both men knew it.
“Hello there,” Damien said smoothly, watching her struggle with Macnair. Heather let out a muffled yelp, as she was slammed against the wall. She felt as if all the bones in her wrists were being crushed as Macnair pulled her arms behind her and, with his wand, created a rope to bind them. Spinning her back to face him, and still keeping a firm hand over her mouth, he smiled as Damien closed the door to their room. Heather’s eyes were now watering with pain and terror, as the man roughly ripped her from the wall and picked her small frame up. He sat down on the bed, and pulled her into his lap like a child, holding her still.
“Now,” Damian said calmly, as Heather couldn’t move an inch. “I think you know why we’re here.” Heather only glared. “You are going to be very useful to me. Not only are you close to Dumbledore, but you are a Malfoy, which means you would make the perfect spy.” Heather shook her head viciously. Damien nodded to Macnair, and the grip over her mouth tightened as his free hand grasped her throat, squeezing hard. “That’s not the answer I want. Now, I’m giving you one, last chance. Spy for us...” Heather said nothing, and acted like she was thinking it over.
Damien saw this and smiled, encouraged. “Macnair is going to take his hand off your mouth, and you are going to answer me. If you scream for Sirius, I will kill him before he even enters the room.” Heather’s eyes widened in fear. His hand was lifted off her mouth. She did the only thing she could think of. She spat in Macnair’s face. He was so disgusted that he dropped her. She quickly ran to the door, and turned around, trying to open the door with her tied hands. But it was locked.
“Damn it,” she muttered. She wanted so badly to yell for Sirius, but knew that Damien would kill him.
“I didn’t want to have to resort to this,” he muttered. Raising his wand, he said, “Silencio.” Heather couldn’t speak at all. She was forcibly reminded of last year, when Snape had put that exact same spell on her. “Have you ever felt the Cruciotus Curse?” he asked, advancing on her. She backed up away from him, but with a loud hissing noise, Tyde ran under her feet, tripping her. She fell hard, and looked up at the two men who were now towering menacingly over her, all the hatred she could muster forced into her unbroken gaze. She breathed deeply. And to think, Sirius was just down the hallway, oblivious. Closing her eyes, she waited for the spell to fall. But all she heard was a loud knock.
“Heather, how long does it take to get ready?!” Sirius’ exasperated voice came from right outside the door. Damien looked daggers at the door. He wanted to kill Black, but knew that if he did that, he would have no leverage against Heather. Instead, he walked over to the girl and picked her up off the ground with practiced ease. He was used to being a bully. Holding her tightly, so that she could barely breath, he took silencing charm off her.
“Get rid of him,” he whispered, his smooth voice coated with venom. Heather threw the door a terrified look, swallowing hard.
“Uhh...Sirius. I’m...still getting ready,” she said, her voice shaking. Sirius noticed the tremor in her voice immediately, and stiffened. Was something wrong? He decided to test it.
“Ok, I was thinking of seeing if we could find a place where the Blood Bats are playing. Do you like them?” he asked tentatively.
Heather nearly smiled in relief. It was his way of asking if she was alright. “Umm...no. I hate the Blood Bats,” she said loudly and firmly. Damien, who didn’t know what was going on, looked impatient while Macnair looked eager. But outside, Sirius was already worried. Heather’s favorite band was the Blood Bats. She was trying to tell him that something was wrong.... Slowly, he bent down, and looked under the door. He saw three sets of feet. Heather’s, and somebody much larger than her, who seemed to be holding her a few inches off the floor. Then standing beside them, were another pair. He felt rage pulsing through his veins, and his eyes narrowed to dark slits.
Sincerely hoping that Sirius had gotten the message, she looked back at Damien, who, after hearing nothing, decided Sirius must have left. He threw Heather back to the ground, where she landed in a pained heap.
“Silencio,” he said again, and Heather’s voice died in her throat. He walked to her and looked enraged. “What do I have to do?!” he whispered furiously. He kicked her around the middle. Heather felt as if she were going to throw up, and all the air was knocked from her lungs. Vaguely she noticed that her skirt was riding up her thighs, and struggled to cover herself. Damien noticed and laughed. “So that’s what scares you?” he said, grinning. “I see...well, I think we can work this then. Macnair,” he said, nodding to the man. Macnair knelt down beside her, and looked fixedly at the exposed thigh.
“Get away,” Heather mouthed, but nothing came out. What was he doing?!
“Now, then,” he said, laying a finger on her hip. She struggled to get away, but the finger suddenly turned into a clenched hand, stopping her escape. “We’re going to play a little game,” he said, practically crawling on top of her, his hand still resting on her thigh. She was terrified. “The rules are, you agree to spy for us, or we have a little fun...” he broke off, his hand moving towards the inside of her leg, slowly moving upwards. Heather let a tear slip down her face, praying Sirius would come soon. “Either way, I win,” he said with a laugh, and with his free hand, he slipped off one of the shoulders of her dress off. “You are a pretty thing,” he whispered, his mouth coming to rest on one side of her neck.
Heather thought she would pass out in misery. It was as if she was reliving the memory of last year all over again. She faintly heard Damien laughing in the background. “You’re scared...I can tell,” he murmured, watching her tear-stained face. “Now then,” he said, as he started chewing on her lower lip. “What if I were to tell you,” he said, knowing that if he kept this up, she would agree. “That if you don’t join me,” he slowly began to move his hand up...up...“I will ensure that you never want Black in your bed again?” he finished, watching her face as he moved his thumb around in disgusting circles on her thigh.
“I WOULD TELL YOU TO GO TO HELL!” Sirius screamed, grabbing Macnair around the throat and lifting him off her. Damien looked utterly bewildered, and then went to join the fight. Sirius slammed his fist repeatedly into Macnair’s deserving face, yelling oaths and curses. He pulled out his wand, and yelled as many spells as he could think of. Soon Macnair was on the ground, panting heavily. Damien, however, had snuck up behind Sirius. Heather tried to warn him, but her traitorous lips said nothing. No voice could be heard. Damien hit Sirius hard in the back of the head with a disarming spell, sending him flying forward. His wand flew out of his hand, and he lay on the floor for a few seconds, collecting himself. It was those few seconds, however, that gave Damien the upper hand.
“CRUCIO!” he screamed in fury. Sirius yelled and writhed, his body twisting in all different directions. Heather saw Macnair starting to move. He stood up, and picked up his wand. Heather’s ears heard only Sirius’ agonized screams. She yelled in silent horror for Damien to stop, but to no avail. She saw that Macnair was about to add his own spell, giving Sirius a double-dose. She wouldn’t let that happen, however. She stood up, and just as Macnair’s lips formed the spell, she slammed into his arm, causing him to miss and hit Damien instead.
Damien at first didn’t realize why he was in so much pain, but after a few split-seconds, he didn’t care, as the spell took hold. It took Macnair a while to realize that Sirius had stopped yelling, and it was Damien that was now on the ground, wriggling in agony. Heather rushed to Sirius, trying to free her hands.
Sirius looked up blurrily, and saw Heather’s face wrought with fear. She was trying to say something, but either his ears weren’t working correctly, which he could have easily believed, or Heather had been put under a silencing spell. He then saw that Macnair was torturing Damien, and realized what Heather must have done. He took a deep breath, and tried to steady his vision. Sitting up, with his head pounding, he looked around. He saw his wand and snatched it up. He grabbed Heather’s arm, and as he stood up, brought her with him, pulling her against him for support.
“Give me a wand!” Heather was trying to say, but Sirius couldn’t hear her. “Let me free and give me a wand, I can help!” she said, getting frantic. Looking around, however, she saw that there was no time for that.
Sirius watched Macnair’s face as he realized what he was doing. He raised his own wand, and tried something he had never tried before. He had never wanted to try it before. He had never wanted to bring somebody excruciating pain before. But now, at the memory of Heather laying helpless beneath this man, he did. “CRUCIO!” he yelled, allowing the memory of Heather, tear-stained and terrified, to wash over him. He was filled with a rage as he had never felt. His eyes seemed to darken in color, and Macnair looked frightened. But, as Sirius’ wand wasn’t used to the spell, only a broken puff of bright yellow light flew across the room, to slam into Macnair’s head. He yelled out in a brief moment of pain, and blood trickled from his nose. “Damnit!” Sirius yelled, seeing that it hadn’t worked. Damien began laughing.
“Can’t even do the curse?” Damien said, standing, and giving Macnair a look that said that after this mission, he was in trouble. “Well, I think we’ve had enough of both of you. Black will die, and Heather will join. That’s that,” he said, raising his wand and pointing it at Sirius.
“No!” Heather mouthed, and went to stand in front of him.
“Get out of the way, idiot girl!” Macnair said, rolling his eyes and coming forward. He tried to physically move her, but before he got a chance, Sirius slammed his wand right into the man’s eye. Heather stared in horror, as the man dropped to the ground, pulling the wand out and sobbing in pain. “My eye! My eye!” he wailed. “I got to get it fixed!” he danced around, and it was really a pathetic sight to see, as blood oozed from the socket. “My eye!” he yelled once more, before he vanished. Damien stared in disbelief.
“The Dark Lord will hear of this,” he said softly, and then rounded once again on Heather and Sirius. “You will both die then. I’ve had enough of you, girl. You’re not worth it. I’ll find another spy!” With that he raised his wand. Sirius grabbed Heather’s hand behind her back, and pulled her into a kiss. There was no way they could get out of this one. The Avada Kedavra curse couldn’t be stopped, and Sirius would be dead before he got to his wand.
“I love you,” they both whispered. Damien let out a snort.
“You two really are disgusting,” he said. Then he opened his mouth to deliver the fatal curse. The two waited with baited breath, staring intensely at each other. It seemed to take an eternity for Damien to deliver the blow. In fact, they were still waiting...waiting. Sirius looked around at Damien, who was still standing there.
“Are you going to kill us or what?” he said, irritated. But, in response, Damien dropped to the ground. The two did a double-take. “Umm... yay?” Sirius said uncertainly, pulling Heather behind him protectively and walking forward. He picked up his bloody wand, and tapped Damien with his toe. “What the hell just happened?”
“I did,” said a morose voice from the corner, making them both jump. Sirius put his arm around Heather, his wand pointed at the corner. A tall, sleek figure stepped from the shadows, her wand out. Heather’s eyes popped out of her head. Cordelia?!
“What are you doing here?” Heather said, forgetting that she still couldn’t talk. She looked to Sirius, who had also forgotten. He jumped and quickly muttered the counter-curse. Then he untied her hands. As he did so, his heart broke. Her wrists were badly bruised. “Thanks,” she muttered hoarsely, still rather shaken. Sirius pulled her into a hug, feeling her entire body relaxing with relief. He closed his eyes, trying not to think about Macnair’s beefy hands on her. Remembering that Cordelia was still standing there, Heather quickly turned to her. She was looking at them reproachfully.
“That was fun,” she said with a very uncharacteristic snort. “I want to live my life, and not a life Damien picks out for me. And what did I do?” she said, seeing them test if he was still conscious. “Well...I killed him. I’ve done the world some good, at least,” she said, her long blonde hair waving slightly. “You won’t be hearing from the Death Eaters anymore, once they think that you’ve killed Damien. He’s one of the toughest Death Eaters there is...or was. You’re not worth it to them anymore,” she said waving her hand about casually.
“Uh...well, thanks,” Heather said, smiling. Then Cordelia looked at the dead body of her husband, and did something Heather had never known her to do; she smiled. It was the oddest thing Heather had ever seen. It was like having a rock smile at them; it was unnatural.
With a rather joyful nod, Cordelia pointed her wand at the body, and Damien disappeared. Smiling even wider now, she took a deep breath, and Disapperated. Heather and Sirius stared in shock for a few seconds, and then looked at each other. Sirius saw Heather’s face was still wet, and led her over to the bed.
“Are you alright?” he asked as she examined the floor.
“Thanks to you,” she muttered sadly. “I shouldn’t be here.”
Sirius thought this such a silly thing to say, that he actually laughed. Heather looked affronted. “You have no idea how wrong you are,” he said, pulling her close.
“But...I’ve caused you so much trouble! I almost got you killed tonight!” she said.
“And I would do it a hundred times over for you, Heather,” he said softly. “In fact, after seeing that brute on top of you, I enjoyed the fighting,” he said honestly. Any pain he could bring to somebody that tried to hurt her brought him great amounts of pleasure. But as the memory began to make him mad again, he decided not to think about it. “I’m just glad you’re alright,” he said earnestly. Heather laid down, and tried to put her hands behind her head, but the immense pain reminded her of the gorilla sized bruises on her wrists. Sirius saw her wince, and pulled her hands toward him. Anger broiled around inside him at the sight, and he wished he could have done more than just get Macnair in the eye.
“Careful,” Heather said, getting jumpy as his hands moved towards the bruises. Sirius’ touch, however seemed to make the throbbing stop, and all the pain ebbed.
“Can’t you do something to heal it?” he asked, his heart in his eyes. Heather nodded, biting her lip.
“There is some Essence of Murtlap in the bathroom,” she said starting to get up. But Sirius had already bounded off the bed. In seconds he was back. Heather stuck her wrists in the bowl of sloppy Murtlap, and immediately felt its effects. “Thanks,” she said, smiling. Sirius looked around the room, and saw, with a slight laugh, Tyde stick his furry white head out of the closet. He made an inquiring mewling sound. Heather laughed too.
“I don’t know what I would have done if Tyde wouldn’t have been there to hide in the closet,” she said, and they both started laughing. After awhile, Heather took her hands out of the bowl, and they both agreed to get some sleep. Heather groaned.
“What?” Sirius asked, concerned.
“I don’t want to go to work tomorrow,” she said, grinning at her own complaining. It was odd to hear herself complain, and a rare thing indeed.
“Well, that’s good,” he said, laying back on te bed.
“Why so?” she asked, confused. She laid back on him, and they snuggled closer.
“Because tomorrow is Saturday,” he said, kissing her forehead.
A/N: Alright, I've decided that, instead of notes at the ends of each chapter, I'm going to just put previews for the upcoming chapters. Let me know what you think of this change. Should I keep the notes, or should I just put previews?
Preview for chapter 29, "Surprise!": “Hello, Remus,” Lily said in false cheerfulness, standing up. Remus glared at her. She moved to give him a warm hug, but he moved out of her grasp sharply, causing her to almost fall over. James stood up in anger. Lily looked crushed.
“There is no need to treat her like that, she was only being nice,” James said, walking around the couch to stand beside her. Remus focused his gaze on James.
“Really? There is no reason at all?” he said, disgusted.
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