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Chapter 23

“This is an outrage and I can not believe that the ministry is being such sexist pigs towards this!” Alice Longbottom yelled from Lily’s couch while Lily was sitting in the arm chair next to it knitting.

“Stuff it Alice,” Lily said rolling her eyes and counting to make sure the blanket was right. “It is almost March, you are five months pregnant and your belly is starting to show.”

“That doesn’t mean that have to shove me on maternity leave! I could have been pushed into paperwork!”

“Allie they tried that and you started screaming like a banshee, remember?”

“No one asked you wolf boy,” Alice snapped.

Remus began to laugh hysterically, “Hormones got your knickers in a bunch?”

“Don’t you blame this on bloody hormones! Men! You are all the same!”

“Allie dear, it is hormones.” Lily nodded, “Get over it, I have.”

“No!” Alice screamed and all the pillows on the couch blew up and feathers began to float all over the room. Lily and Remus’s eyes bugged out of their heads and Alice just began to laugh and cry so hard at the same time.

“You aren’t doing that yet, are you?” Remus asked turning to Lily.

“Only once or twice,” Lily admitted. “It was at the beginning of my pregnancy, now I am making things appear and disappear. I couldn’t find James for an hour the other night, I had some how locked in him the basement.”

“Merlin,” Remus laughed.

“Did…did I make those pillows blow up?” Alice asked as she was crying because she was laughing so hard.

“That would be a yes,” Lily nodded going back to her knitting.

“How?”

“What do you mean how?”

“I have never done that before.”

“Really?” Lily looked stunned, “I started blowing things up almost immediately.”

“Different pregnancies, different effects. Happens all the time,” Remus nodded.

“What time is it?” Alice asked looking around.

“Ten to two,” Remus said looking up from his watch.

“I’m going to be late!” She yelled as she jumped off the couch and the couch bounced up three feet. Alice walked to the fireplace and Flooed to St. Mungo’s for her doctor’s appointment.

“Your eyes didn’t pop out when Alice made the couch bounce?” Remus asked Lily as if this was just so weird.

“I am so use to things going crazy that it’s just come normal, you know all the crazy witchcraft. Besides I was a little worried.”

“Why?”

“All these crazy things that Alice is now going through, well I went through within my first few months.”

“Alice is finally making things go crazy?” A voice said from behind them and Remus jumped in fright.

“Hey Amelia,” Lily said never looking up from her knitting.

“Hey,” Amelia said sitting down and taking the spot where Alice had been sitting at before.

“Where did you come from?” Remus asked clutching his chest, “You scared me half to death.”

“Sorry,” Amelia said clicking her tongue. “I just got back from Mary’s house.”

“How is she doing?” Lily asked finally putting her knitting down.

“Trying to deal. I hired someone to clean the house up, and she’s putting the house up for sale. She found a cute little house in Scotland, I am helping her move the next few days.”

“What about work?” Remus asked.

“I have been given some days of leave,” Amelia gave a sad smile. “Mum and Dad’s funeral is tomorrow and Edgar’s is on Friday. Mary has been staying at my flat with me, she refuses to go home unless she really needs something from there. So I was telling the movers what needs to go where and what is going and what is staying.”

“Send her James and my love.”

“Thanks.”

“Mine too,” Remus pitched in.

Amelia nodded and apparated to her apartment.

An alarm clock that sat on the mantelpiece, but it always blinked 12:00 a.m. Now it was going off and the time was still and said 6:30 p.m.

Lily turned to look at the alarm clock and sighed.

“What’s wrong with that thing? Every time I have been around that thing only blinks midnight.”

“It’s a sign from Albus, that’s telling us we have an Order meeting at six thirty tonight.”

“Another meeting? That’s two this month, I thought we only had usually one a month.”

“You don’t have the alarm clock?”

“No,” Remus said shaking his head. “Sirius has a watch that goes crazy and then we know.”

“That’s right you moved in with Sirius at his flat. How long are you going to be staying there?”

“Until I can find my own place, Sirius told me not to rush it.”

“Is he lonely?”

“Ha!” Remus started laughing, “Yeah right.”

Lily walked across the room and got a quill, ink, and a piece of parchment. “He always has company over?” Lily asked as she sat down and began to write a letter on the parchment.

“Girls come in and out of the apartment. I know maybe a handful of their names. I have probably met fifty girls in the small amount of time I have lived with him.”

“How does he know so many girls?” Lily asked as she whistled and tied her letter to her owl, “James.” Lily said to the owl, the owl hooted as a way of saying, ‘No problem!’

“No idea,” Remus shrugged. “He has this drawer just full of names and Floo addresses. Contacts a new girl whenever he is board. I tell you what though, that Dorcas Meadows sure is smitten with him.”

“Is she now?” Lily giggled.

“Yeah, but she is just a good shag for him. You know he never stops talking about Amelia.”

“I am not surprised,” Lily sighed. “Those two have a very complicated love life.”

“You can say that again,” Remus sighed.

***

“What’s that?” Sirius asked James with a mouthful of mashed potatoes.

“Chew and swallow!” Dorcas yelled at him and rolled her eyes.

Sirius ignored her, which frustrated her and she stormed off.

“When are you going to tell her it’s over?” Frank asked, “Because she is really starting to get annoying.”

“She thinks she’s my wife,” Sirius growled.

“Then get rid of her,” James said as he finished reading the letter from Lily that had just arrived via their owl.

“I want to, but anytime I want a good shag she’s just a chimney away.”

Frank chuckled and finished eating his dinner.

“What is that?” Sirius asked James again.

“Parchment.”

“Yeah I know that!” Sirius rolled his eyes at James’s sarcasm, “Who wrote you?”

“Lily.”

“Duh Sirius, who else would write James.”

“Stuff it Longbottom,” Sirius said and then turned back to James. “So what does it say?”

“We having tea with the Dursley’s tonight at six thirty.”

Pumpkin juice squirted out of Sirius’s nose and he looked at James as if he had grown three more heads, “What?!”

“Isn’t that Lily’s in-laws?” Frank asked a bit confused.

“Yes.” James nodded.

“Then why in Merlin’s name are you and Lily agreeing to meet up with those horrid people!?” Sirius yelled, which got odd looks from everyone in the cafeteria.

“Keep your voice down Padfoot, and I’ll tell you guys.” James looked around and no one was staring at them anymore. “Come closer.” They listened to James, “That is our code for when I’m not home and Albus contacts Lily.”

“Oh!” Sirius and Frank nodded as they now understood that this was the way that Lily and James would say that there was an Order meeting and at what times.

“That’s a horrible way for Lily to let you know about the next meeting,” Sirius said scrunching his nose up.

“Actually that’s a pretty brilliant idea,” Frank said contradicting Sirius previous statement. “Everyone who went to school with us knew that Lily’s horrible muggle sister hated her, so for to invite over for tea is pretty odd.”

“Exactly,” James nodded. “Was all my idea, Lily thought I was insane at first. Until I explained it. She thought I was honestly suggesting that we go to Petunia’s.”

“Yuck!” Sirius said shuddering at this thought.

***

“Sorry to call you all on such short notice,” Albus Dumbledore said talking to all of his friends and colleagues.

Everyone was present and looking at Dumbledore oddly, they usually at least had twenty four hours worth of notice. They all sat on two sides of the room and to each row there was two seats.

On the right side, first row was: Frank and Alice Longbottom. Behind them was James and Lily Potter. Following that row was Sirius Black and Dorcas Meadows. The fourth and final row sat Rubeus Hagrid, who took two seats and so Alastor Moody had to drag a chair to sit beside Hagrid.

On the left side, first row was: Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew. Behind them Emmeline Vance and Benjy Fenwick. Following them Sturgis Podmore and Caradoc Dearborn. The forth row sat Dedalus Diggle and Elphias Doge.

“I am sad to say that I have called you all in on a very sad occasion,” Albus continued.

“Because of the murders on the Bones, correct?” Sirius asked and even though Dorcas didn’t want to admit it, there was a spark in Sirius eye there for Amelia. Even a tone of concern for her.

“Yes but not only them, I am afraid my friends there have been more deaths among us all.”

“What?!” Remus asked looking stunned, as if losing Cassidy and Gabriella had not been enough. Edgar Bones and his parents were gone, but now even more?

“We all just met two weeks ago,” Dorcas spoke up. “The night before the McKinnons went into hiding. We all took a picture together, we were all so happy and joyful.”

“I am sorry to say that being happy and joyful are hard to come by these days.”

“Who else has passed on?” Frank asked as he held onto his wife’s hand.

“Marlene and John McKinnon.”

“What?!” Dedalus Diggle yelled outraged, Marlene had been his younger sister. “When?! Where?! Why?! How?!” He began to sob.

“Early this morning, as soon as I got word of it today I contacted you all for this meeting.”

“Wasn’t there suppose to be security watching them? Marlene was six months pregnant! What has happened to my niece, she too is murdered with her parents I assume?!” Dedalus yelled.

“I am truly sorry for your loss Dedalus but I have had everyone from the Order taking shifts, except for Lily and Alice, to keep a watch out.” Albus explained.

“Then how did they find out where Marlene and John were?” Emmeline Vance asked, she had been Marlene’s best friend from childhood and she too had tears falling down her face. “How did they get past our security?”

“Our security was also murdered.”

“Oh Merlin!” Benjy Fenwick gasped.

“Who was keeping watch?” Sturgis Podmore asked.

“Gideon and Fabian Prewett,” Albus said and Lily noticed right then that her old Headmaster was looking much older than he had just a year ago…in fact just two weeks ago. She figured it had to be with the stress of the Order, the on going war with Voldemort and his Death Eaters, and still being Headmaster at Hogwarts.

“Blasphemy!” Caradoc Dearborn yelled, “The Prewetts were two of the best Unspeakables we had!”

“It took five Death Eaters to take them down,” Albus continued. “They fought like the heroes that they were.”

“They were the best duelers I had ever seen come through Hogwarts,” Rubeus Hagrid spoke up.

“How could all of this had happened Albus?” Elphias Doge asked.

“One word,” Albus sighed.

“What word is that?” James asked.

“A spy is in our mist,” Alastor Moody said standing up from the back of the room.

“Codswallop,” Peter stuttered.

“How could there be a spy upon us?” Lily asked, “We all took an oath to protect one another and fight together to defeat the evil that is trying to take over our world.

“We did all take an oath,” Albus agreed. “Someone amongst us has betrayed us.”

“How do we know who is doing this?” Alice asked as she unknowingly put her hand over her abdomen at that same time Lily did the same.

“That’s the problem, we don’t.”

***

Spy, it was like a swear word. No one knew what to do or whom to trust.

On a Friday all the friends met up at the Leaky Cauldron, it was Alice to bring the subject of the spy up.

“Who do you all think it is?” Alice asked.

“Don’t start that again,” Frank sighed.

“What are you talking about?” Sirius played dumb, and no one else responded to Alice’s question. Amelia was helping Mary make the last preparations for the three funerals they would have to attend tomorrow and the following day.

“Oh come one!” Alice urged them all, we know it’s none of us. Peter’s left eye twitched a bit, but no one noticed.

“What about Dedalus Diggle?” Peter said trying to start the conversation.

“No I don’t think so,” Frank said shaking his head. “He seemed truly surprised and horrified over Marlene and John’s death.”

“What about Emmeline Vance?” Sirius suggested.

“No way,” Lily shook her head. “Emmeline also seemed distraught over Marlene and John’s murders. Besides Marlene and Emmeline have been best friends since they were kids.”

“Benjy Fenwick?” Remus suggested.

“Nope,” James said blowing that assumption away. “Benjy was a close friend of my parents and he was as against the dark arts as were Mum and Dad were. Besides Benjy lost his wife to Voldemort three months before Mum and Dad were murdered, Benjy wants as much revenge towards Voldemort as the rest of us do.”

“Sturgis Podmore?” Peter asked.

“Na,” Alice spoke. “He is an Auror, he was in class with me.”

“Still in class with the rest of us,” Frank spoke up.

“Caradoc Dearborn?” Sirius asked.

“No,” Lily spoke again. “Not only is he the Head Healer of St. Mungo’s but he also taught in my class. He lost his children and his wife on a Death Eater attack while he was away at business. Besides he’s been an old friend of Albus’s for years.”

“Defiantly not Hagrid,” came James’s voice. “Albus has been like a father to him for years, he would never go against him.”

“Elphias Doge?” Remus suggested.

“He just retired from the Wizengamot there is no way,” Sirius said with certainty.

“What about Dumbledore’s brother?” Peter said trying to find an escape goat.

“I think Dumbledore would know whether or not he could trust his own brother,” Alice snapped. She had been very snappish lately.

“Dorcas Meadows?” Remus asked.

“Sure suggest the chick I’m shagging,” Sirius said rolling his eyes. “Besides I think I would know if the chick I was shagging was evil.”

“Alastor Moody?” Peter said as he realized this was the last person in the Order.

“No way!” Frank, Alice, Sirius, and James said at the same time.

“Moody has been training us everyday,” Frank spoke.

“He’s been an Auror for years,” Alice said as if everyone should know this information.

“He’s one of the greatest Aurors to work for our Ministry.” James spoke as if this was obvious.

“There is no way he would ever betray Dumbledore or the Ministry,” Sirius said nodding his head to everyone else’s comment about Moody.

“Who else does that leave?” Peter asked anxiously.

“The dead people,” Sirius said sarcastically.

“Sirius!” Lily yelled, “That is terribly rude.”

“We have gone through everyone, but no one seems like they would betray us.” Alice sighed.

***

“What information do you have for me Wormtail?” Voldemort hissed at his lair with all the other Death Eaters present, including the Lestranges.

“They know.”

“Know what?”

“They know there is a spy within them.”

“Do they know that it is you?” Voldemort asked about to pull his wand out and kill Peter.

“They have no idea who it is but they know it is someone within the Order. With the murders of Edgar Bones, his parents, Marlene and John McKinnon, and finally the Prewett brothers.”

“Took them long enough to catch on.”

“What do I do know master?”

“Keep close.”

“How do I know that they won’t figure out that it is me?”

“You must convince your ‘friends’ that it is someone else. Find an escape goat, that is your next mission.” Voldemort cackled.

“Yes master.”

“Master,” spoke a voice that Peter knew too well.

“I thought you said that Wormtail would be able to help me plan the next Mudblood attack since you have my husband helping you and Lucius on your master plan?”

“Right you are Bellatrix, my love.” Voldemort turned back to Peter, “Do you think your simple mind could handle two missions?”

“Yes sire.”

“You better not let Bellatrix down.”

“Trust me master, he won’t.” She purred.

***

“I think Pete has a girl again,” Sirius spoke up at the dinner one evening that Lily and James had invited him to, Remus was also present. Alice and Frank were on vacation at his parents house, much to Alice’s arguments.

“Why do you say that?” Lily asked from the stove as the three guys were sitting at the table.

“He hasn’t been around a lot lately.”

“Doesn’t he have a consuming job?”

“Yeah right Lils!” Sirius laughed a bark like laugh, “He is a waiter at the Leaky Cauldron for Merlin’s sake!”

“No he got a new job at the Ministry.”

“Did he?”

“Lily’s right,” Remus nodded. “He is sending out notices for Magical misuse.”

Sirius was rolling now and James shook his head in laughter, “You mean he is sending out those annoying messages telling you that you performed magic as you are under aged?!” Sirius was laughing even harder now.

Lily turned around from the stove, “Stop it!” Lily yelled, “Stop it now!”

Lily’s hormones kicked in and Sirius was hanging upside down up in the air.

“Oops!” Lily giggled as she covered her mouth with her hand.

“Lily!” Sirius whined, “Why would you do this?!”

“She didn’t do it on purpose,” James said getting up and pulling his wand out. “It’s her hormones from the baby.”

“Evil baby!” Sirius yelled.

“No!” Lily howled and now Sirius was bouncing up and down in the air as she ran out of the room.

“You should have done that,” Remus said laughing as James attempted to get Sirius out of the air.

***

After ten minutes, James finally got Sirius out of the air. Lily had ran out of the living room and James figured she was in the bathroom crying, again.

“What is that smell?” Sirius asked looking around.

“The food is burning!” James yelled.

“Take it off!”

“I don’t know how.” James opened the oven to take the pan out, “Ouch!”

“Move!” Remus said waving his wand and the casserole soared out of the oven and into the sink.

“What’s that smell?” Lily said as her face was tear stricken.

“The casserole burned.”

“Oh no!” Lily howled as the tear works started all over again.

“It’s fine,” James said rushing over to his hormonal wife. “Sirius upset you, it’s not your fault. In fact we will go out to a Muggle restaurant, how does that sound?”

“Okay,” Lily smiled from ear to ear.

“Go wash your face and we will leave in ten minutes,” James said kissing the top of her head and then she walked out of the room.

“Gag, gag, vomit, vomit.” Sirius said looking ill.

“Stuff it,” James rolled his eyes. “In fact it is your fault that Lily is so upset, so stuff it.”

Then James got an evil idea, “Do you have any toilet paper with you?”

“Why?”

“Muggles don’t keep toilet paper for guests, only for themselves.”

Remus was chuckling silently in the corner as he caught on to James’s evil plan.

“Do you have some I can borrow?”

“Go get some from the bathroom and you have to bring your own silverware too.”

“Oh okay, I’ll just shrink it all and put it in my pockets.”

“No,” James said shaking his head. “Remember you can’t do magic in front of Muggles.”

“Oh yeah!” Sirius’s eyes got wide, “But how can I bring all that with me?”

“You’ll have to put it all in a bag and bring it with you.”

“Okay…can I borrow a bag and silverware too?”

“Sure,” James shrugged.

“Wait where is yours?”

“Lily will bring mine and hers.”

“What about you?” Sirius asked turning to Remus.

“Lily has mine too, I asked her to keep it for me as we go out to lunch all the time.”

“Oh,” Sirius nodded and walked out of the room to get a bag and some toilet paper.

“You know once he realizes you lied to him, he’ll kill you because of embarrassment.” Remus laughed.

“I think he’ll be too embarrassed to kill me.”

***

“I can take your bag sir,” the waiter said bowing to Sirius.

“No!” Sirius yelled, “I brought my own toilet paper and you can’t have it!”

The waiter looked at Sirius oddly, as did everyone else in the restaurant except for Remus and James as they tried to stop laughing.

“What are you going on about?” Lily hissed as the waiter walked away still looking at Sirius oddly.

“I know about you Muggles!”

“What?!” Lily asked flabbergasted.

“You don’t like to share your toilet paper or silverware.”

“What?!” Lily asked again totally flabbergasted, “How much have you drank today?!”

“James told me all about….Hey! Wait a minute!” Sirius said turning to James to see his best friend red in the face and laughing so hard he was afraid he would urinate on himself.

“Prongs!”

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