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They looked at each other and then over. Nichole still had her eyes closed, but a weak smile on her lips. They were amazed an hour ago she looked close to death and now she lay their smiling. Opening her eyes, she tried to sit up with difficulty; Sirius rushed over and helped her up to sit against the back board.  “Thanks.” Her voice was weak and strained; they sat there mouths opened staring at her in shock.  She tried to hug them, only she couldn’t move the arm the curse had hit; it was fully bandaged to the shoulder.

 

Before they could move to help her, she had them in one handed a hug. “ I’ve miss you guys.” She released as she closed her eyes again and put her head on the wall. “We’ve miss you too.” Remus had managed to speak.

“How long have I been out?”

“Only a few hours.”

“Ok; good.” she opened her eyes and looked at Sirius. “Sirius you ok?” his eyes were filled with a mixture of joy and confusion.

“Yeah, fine… Nichole what happened?” he was staring at her arms and she looked down to notice he could see the scars.

“Crap, I know it looks bad, but it’s not what you think; it’s a long story.” She looked around frantic to find away around talking about this.

 

“We’ve got time.” Sirius started to push the matter; she looked nervous.

“How are you feeling?” Remus tried to change the subject, and she gave him a grateful look.

“Eh, ok I guess I’ve been better. I can’t move my left arm though.”

“Stay here I’ll get Severus.” He ran out of them room. The silence was awkward.

 

“Nichole?”  Sirius asked breaking the stillness the settled around them.

“Yes?”

“ I wanted to thank you.” She looked at him slightly confused, and sighed.

“Why?”

“You’re the only one who believed I didn’t kill all those people, and it meant a lot.”

“Don’t thank me, I knew this whole time and know one listened; you could have been out of there a long time ago.” She said quietly hanging her head; he came and sat beside her turning her head so she was looking at him.

 

“It just helped to know that someone knew the truth.” Tears began flowing down her cheeks as she cried into his chest.

“I’m so sorry, I tried but…., I’ve missed you.”

“Don’t cry; I’ve missed you too; Remus told me, and at least you tried no one else did.” He wiped her tears away, she meet his gaze fresh tears brewing in her chocolate eyes.

“The past fourteen years was a nightmare come to life; Lily and James were gone, you were in Azkaban, Remus and I weren’t speaking, then Harry got sent to his aunts. I had no one left; this war has turned my life into a living hell.”

“There were more people you could have talked to; you never had to be alone.”

“I know, but I was so afraid if I got close that if something happen to them too, I would have been be worse then I started.” They sat in silence as she tried to calm herself; her head resting on Sirius shoulder as Remus returned with Severus.

 

 

“You’re awake, finally.”  His voice flat as usual, she rolled her eyes. “Now leave, Black.”

“No! You greasy hair serpent! There is no reason I need to leave this time!” The two stared daggers at each other.

“Sirius, only for a minute ok?” Nichole pleaded with him; she didn’t want him to go it was engraved in her eyes, but she knew it was the only way to stop a potential duel.

“But…….”

“Only for a minute.” He sighed as he looked at her and slowly agreed.

“Fine.” He walked past Snape and to the door “If something happens to her while I’m gone I’ll have your head!” He snarls only loud enough for Snape to hear.

“Yes, because we both know how much you’ve been there for her in the past.” Sirius drew his wand; positioning it just above Severus heart, daring him to say another word. Snape looked down at the wand and pushed the wand away with the back of his hand; unaffected by the threat placed upon his life. Remus guided Sirius out of the room closing the door behind them.

 

“Severus; nice to see you. How’s everything?” He eyed her with disappointment and pity. He despised the marauders that was no secret; Lily and Nichole how ever where the only friends he had and was disgusted to see what Nichole had turned to after that night; in her eyes she lost everything. He had no problem with Black being sent to Azkaban; But he would never forgive him self for Lily and Nichole’s death. Even though Nichole is technically alive; she is only a shadow of what she used to be, if Severus had never told Voldemort about the prophecy then maybe none of this would have happened, and the happiness that use to surround her would still be there instead of the dark cloud of misery that replaced it.

 

“Complicated; I would ask you the same, but from the look of you I already know.” She looked away from him.

“How did you know I was hiding the scars?” she glanced back at him pondering his face to see if any signs acknowledged that they were once friends. It flickered briefly; he always knew when she was hiding something even if no signs lead anyone else to see differently.

“My expertises do not only lie in potions Nichole, complex concealment charms have helped me in the past. Even so it does not take skill to figure you’d have some scars from the life you chose.” She nodded understanding that he was not pleased with her way of life; nor was anyone else. A spell emitted from his wand engulfing her in a white light.

 

 “The curse damaged your arm; a growth potion should have it up to some movement in a week.” He handed over a brown bubbling liquid. She eyed the mixture before drinking it; she grimaced and shuttered when she swallowed the disgusting brew. “I suggest you stay in bed, but I know too well that that’s not going to happen.”

“Well at least you’re not kidding your self.” He grunted in response. “Would it kill you to smile, Severus?” she questioned whilst a look of distaste for continuing to converse crossed his face.

“It just might.” He said and departed; He had made a joke; not one that made her double over in laughter, but a joke all the same the way he use to do when it was Lily, him, and herself; it was enough to make her smile. He was not gone for more then five seconds before Sirius came back in with Remus.

“I would tell you what Severus told me. If I didn’t already know you two were outside the door listening.” They wore a sheepish grin; she just stared at them half a smile playing on her lips.    

 

 

 

“Well since that saved us some time, why don’t you tell us what you’ve been up to for the past fourteen years?” She stiffed, the both knew she was trying to avoid that subject, but there was no way they’d let her.

“Does it really matter?” she sighed; she wasn’t stupid they didn’t care if it was important or not, they wanted to know why she arrived here on her last breaths.

“Does it happen to involve death eaters, and dark magic?” Remus used the information Snape had told them earlier to see if she would admit to it.

“Yes more so then you can imagine; look I know it looks bad, but I’m not quite the same person any more; I can’t say I didn’t go looking for fights ever know and then, and I didn’t exactly listen to what Dumbledore told me to either.” She was escaping with as little detail as possible, there was know doubt she was hiding something.

“Fine, I’ll tell you, ok now stop with the looks.  I sometimes did different tasks for Moody, and I took on the more dangerous tasks at work, but it was the stuff I did on my own that got me in trouble. I almost got myself killed at least three times not counting the explosion; I have lost all concern for my own safety; my own life even.” They didn’t expect her to confess to all that, but it was enough to set off Sirius.

 

“WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?” Sirius yelled; jumping off the bed.

“Nothing, like I said I didn’t care, like right now if you and Remus wouldn’t have found me, and I would have made it then I would probably be getting up; readying myself to fight tonight.” She was brutally truthful. What they thought was true then, she went to battle to get her self killed. Sirius was glad she listened to her morals against suicide or else she probably wouldn’t be here today.

“Do you ever stop to think someone would care that you were dead!?!” Remus joined the argument; they both looked hurt. Shame radiated in her eyes. She had no problem telling others what she did, but they were different. They cared and telling them was putting her life in a new light of what she was and what she had become.

 

 “Look you two aren’t the only ones who tried to stop me from this life style. Mad-eye, Dumbledore, Molly, Andromeda, even Severus. The war took over my old life, so I did what I thought I should do. I had no intention of dying, I wanted to live to see the end of this war, but if my life was the cost to become one step closer to that victory then so be it I didn’t care.”  She explained her voice soft and filled with regret softening their angry towards the mistakes she had made. She tried standing her legs were flimsy,

 

“This makes no sense if you’ve been fighting then why didn’t you come back and re-join the order then you would have had help.” Remus was trying to understand, Sirius was just pacing back and forth.

“I didn’t want help, and I didn’t come back because I couldn’t stand to re connect with everyone only to lose them later, it was easier on me to know that maybe if I did this alone then no one else would get hurt. Besides it’s not like I was never around.”

“Neither Remus or I have seen you in the past fourteen years what do you mean it’s not like you were never around!?”

“I was around even when you didn’t know it; I saw Remus two months ago.”

“Nichole if that was the case then why didn’t you come talk to me?”

“Remus it was a full moon. I was doing what I always did sit there making sure you didn’t hurt yourself like we use to do every full moon. Tell you the truth, I tried to be there any time I knew you would be alone.” She shrugged sitting back down on the edge of the bed her legs shaking slightly.

 

“What? Why? When? How come you never stayed then?” Remus sat down on the chair across the room and Sirius stop in his tracks. She was making no sense; she was acting like she belongs in a room at St. Mungo’s.

“I promised that I would be there to help when you needed me, and I was; I didn’t stay because it would have been too hard for me, ok?” Remus remembered sensing that she was there many times during the years, but he just passed it off that he was guilty at the way things ended and just missed what was.

“To answer your next question I wasn’t there last month because the girl with the bright pink hair had gone with you.” She looked out the window. “Can we go get something to eat I’m hungry.”

“I’ll get it you stay.” Sirius got up to leave.

“No I want to come.”

“You’re coming whether I tell you to stay or not aren’t you.”

 

“Yep, so come on.” She found part of her balance and began walking forward unsteadily. They lead her to the kitchen, where anyone who was in the house was gathered, over something on the table. Nichole stood behind Molly with out making a sound to see what they were looking at.

“Don’t touch the necklace seems to have some sort of Dark Magic incasing it, the rings I’m not too sure about yet.” Moody told everyone; on the table was a locket in the form of a rose, an engagement ring, and two wedding bands.

“Moody I think you’re losing your touch, you can’t even tell a few simple communications and protection spells from Dark Magic any more.” Heads turned, only now did they notice Nichole standing there. Molly turned around, screamed and they hugged each other.

“Molly it’s good to see you.” She said returning the hug.

“Nichole good to see you’re awake, if that’s who you really are, how do we know these aren’t some way to talk to the Dark Lord?” She sighed and began picking up the jewelry from the table.

 

“There is only one locket like this because I transfigured it myself in fourth year when the war began to pick up; It has been around my neck ever since and the one it is in communication with belongs to Lily Potter. These rings are my engagement ring and wedding band.” She put the locket back on her neck and the rings on her finger before addressing the second wedding band. “And this you may notice was the same ring stolen from the evidences room of the ministry fourteen years ago come November; The criminal left no trace and not even the great Mad-eye Moody could find out who had broken in.” she smirked as Moody nodded.

 

“I should have known; only someone who I taught would be able to come close to out smart me.”

She laughed. “Wow someone has an ego. I should have been caught; Who else would break in just for a ring?” She handed the ring to Sirius who was shaking his head. “I believe this is yours.”

“So you’re the one that stole it? Why does this not surprise me?” he half laughed half sighed looking at Nichole with wonder. It was this kind of unpredictability that made her so attractive to him, and he smiled knowing that after all these years maybe she still loved him. Molly’s yelling snapped him out his trance.

 

“I told you that your life style was going to get you killed, but no you don’t care you go run off, and…and…If you would listen to me……”

“Molly I think she gets it.” Arthur came over to stop his wife.

“Arthur, how have been?” Nichole asks hugging him and tries to start a conversation.

“Good, sorry about Molly it just……”

“No I deserve it, beside red heads love to yell at me.”  She smiles at Molly who just shook her head.

 

“You seem to be feeling better, so I need to ask why you didn’t attack Pettigrew?” The room fell silent all eyes on Nichole as she grimaced, who was silently cussing at Moody whose obsessive interested in details always made a situation awkward for her.

“Ok about that, I was expecting a deatheater just not Peter I thought it would be Malfoy or Lestange; so when Wormtail showed up I had to change my plan of action because no one sends him on his own; the order didn’t do it so most likely You-Know-Who wouldn’t do it. Taking on two or more deatheaters was out of the question, because in the end they would have gotten the information they wanted. So I had to distract him long enough to forget why he came. It worked.” She explained.

 

“O yeah it worked perfectly, except you almost killed yourself.” Sirius frowned at her, and she immediately turned her attention to some other face in the room.

“Key word almost, do you honestly think I’m proud of this? I mean to be killed by Peter is insulting; he can barley perform a patronus charm. Now are you done yelling at me now? I think you about covered the past fourteen years.” Nichole sat at the table.

 

 

 

“No, not any where close; you’re going to be hearing about this for a while.” Sirius took a seat on one side Remus on the other.

“Excuse me I’m a grown woman I can do what ever the bloody hell I want.”

“Then would you act like it. You may be a cat, but you only have one life!” Nichole slapped Sirius on the back of the head with her good hand.

“I’m a TIGER! Not a cat, that’s like calling you a Chihuahua!” Ever one burst into laughter.

“Ouch, that hurt.”

“Good, Now I have to ask.” She turned to address the teens sitting around listening; who she had just realized where there. “You guys are either up to something, or the most well behaved teenagers I have ever seen. Which one is it?”

 

“ Don’t let looks fool you, those two,” Remus said referring to the twins “ Are the biggest prankster to hit Hogwarts since we were in school, and these three have been in more trouble in the past four years then you have apparently in the past fourteen.” He’s talking about Harry, Hermione, and Ron.

“Ah, ok let me guess you four are Molly’s kids Ginny, Ron, Fred and George or George and Fred, sorry about that. I don’t think I know who you are.”

“Don’t worry about it…”

“...Happens all the time.”

 “I’m Hermione by the way.” She held out here hand.

“Nichole, pleasure to meet you Hermione.” They shook hands before she turn her attention to Harry. “I know who you are, if you didn’t have your mother’s eyes I could swear you were James.”

 

“Yeah, I’ve been told. So you were friends with my mum?”

“Yes, your mother was kind of like my mother at Hogwarts; ‘Nichole you can’t do that’, ‘Nichole you really should do your homework Quidditich can wait’. She was one incredible witch; you could tell her a spell once and she would almost always be able to do it perfectly. It frustrated the hell out of me.”

“Wow, the kind of sounds like Hermione; must be a muggleborn thing.” Ron laughed as Hermione smacked him across the back of his head.

“You played Quidditich. What position did you play?” Harry turned his focus away from his arguing friends and back to Nichole; a smile on his lips when he heard about his mum.

“Seeker.”

“Harry’s a seeker too.” Sirius told her.

“Ha, I knew it I think you owe me some money Sirius.” Harry wore a confused look; she laughed and filled the boy in. “When you were born Sirius, James, and I bet on what position in Quidditich you would play. Sirius said beater, James said chaser, and I said seeker. So for your first Christmas I got you a toddler’s first snitch; your father almost killed me.” She smiled at him.

 

“Did you and my dad not get along?”

“No, we got along fine, we just liked to irritate each other;I use to call him my annoying brother-In-law. Its good thing that we did get along or else I would have never pushed Lily to go out with James. Lily was a pretty good seeker for not playing on the team; I think it is because I always had her race me for practice and of course perfect Lily could master almost anything.” He seemed to understand. Nichole was amazed the more she looked at him the more she saw her friends and it set off a morbid feeling.

“Nichole, are you by any chance my Godmother?” the question startled her a bit.

“Yes I am. Harry look I know your Aunt is a bitch and your Uncle is a pompous asshole; So living with them couldn’t be beneficial to you, but you had to live with one of your Mum’s blood relatives and sadly they were the only ones. I am truly sorry for that I did try to reason with Dumbledore, but he swore it was for your own and with my new found life style it wouldn’t have been safe for you.” She told him she was not going to lie to the boy he deserved to know and keeping things from him would do know good; him being Lily’s son he would have found out some how. 

 

 

“Hey Nichole, I was thinking….” Sirius interrupted shooting Nichole a glare. She wasn’t suppose to tell him; Dumbledore told her he was to not know he had other options in the matter; and there fore not bring out his newly discovered temper.  

“O that can’t be good.”

“Ha ha, ok well anyway; what would you have done if it was Malfoy or Lestrange?” Sirius questioned her decision and she laughed.

“That conversation was ten minutes ago Sirius, but to answer; I was personally hoping for Bellatrix so I can repeat what happened in fifth year.” She smiled

“What happened in fifth year?” Harry asked.

“She beat Bellatrix to a bloody mess; it was the only time anyone had ever seen Bellatrix come close to crying.” Sirius answered proudly almost as if he had done it himself. The kids just looked at her.

 

“How did you do that? Bellatrix Lestrange is one of the most deadly witches alive.” Ron and Hermione had stopped fighting to listen.

“Lily and I were by the lake studying for O.W.L.S, Bellatrix decided to choose then to insult us, she did this so much that we didn’t pay attention to her any more, she got pissed and used some curse on Lily. I was furious; we began dueling, but when she disarmed me she let her guard down so I punched her, and that’s when I broke her nose it pretty much took off from there. Bellatrix was excellent at fighting with magic, but she is so absorbed with her pureblood ways that muggle fight was below her giving me the advantage. ”

 

“We walked over in time to see Bellatrix curse Lily and James ran over but before he could get his wand out Nichole was on top of Bellatrix punching her, it turned ugly fast. No one even thought about breaking up that fight.” Remus told them trying not to laugh.

“By the time it was over I had a black eye, a sprained wrist, a few bruises, cuts, and scratches. She had a swollen lip, a broken nose a fractured arm, and bruises; if she was a muggle she would have need stitches on her arms, cheek and neck.”

“Girls fighting and Guys fighting are to different things, guys throw a few punches and get bruised; girls try to kill each other. I would choose to fist fight a guy before I ever fought a girl especially this one.” Sirius found the whole event rather amusing.

“That night is when I first turned into an animagus, which is probably why the scratches she got were so bad.” She recalled.

 

“I remember that fight very well; it was the only time a full body bind need to be used on students.” The turned to see Dumbledore walked in peering at them over his half moon glasses.  “Even when those two were in my office they didn’t stop trying to finish each other off.”

“Professor Dumbledore, good to see you.” There was an edge of bitterness in her voice she didn’t even try to hide; she never even paid the Headmaster another glance

“Mrs. Black it’s good to see your well.” He said; she laughed sourly.

 

 

“Ablus, good to see you’re just in time for dinner.” Molly came out with a train of food following.

“Always a pleasure Molly, but I have to go take care of some things at Hogwarts. I just came by to see if Mrs.Black was awake and to drop by to tell you the next order meeting with be tomorrow. ” Nichole sat there happy that her life seemed to be looking up; for some reason she went to get her wand, the pocket was empty she franticly checked her other pockets, it wasn’t there.

“Hey, does anyone happen to have my wand?”

“I do, and I will give it to you if you tell me what kind it is.”  Moody came back, holding the object in question taunting his student.

 

 

“I just recited a part of my past in full detail and you still don’t believe it’s me! You’re paranoid old man; it’s a ten inch long, willows with a core of Demiguise Hair, now give it here.” She demands, he tosses her the wand.

“Next time hold on to it; you should have learned that your first day at Hogwarts.”

“O right sorry about that, I’ll try to remember next time I’m unconscious.” Moody just nodded and sat down to dinner. The meal went by with out anyone else asking Nichole what she had been up to so she enjoyed it; it was like she never left. After the meal the kids had left leaving everyone else free to talk.

 

The room was comfortable silent as Nichole tried helped Molly clean up. “So Moody, when can I go back to work?” everyone groaned.  “You’re joking right?” Sirius asked.

“Does it look like I’m joking?” Sirius could help, but begin to stare again; the admiration, the fire it was still there and every time he realized that he’d fall in love with her all over again. 

 

“I should make you just hide out here, but I know too well that’s not going to happen.” Moody told her; she laughed at him.

“Well it’s not like I can do anything at the moment any way; I have no use in my arm.”

“Hey then how come she has a choice?” Sirius whines.

“You don’t have to stay here; I mean if you want to go back to Azkaban.”  Remus told him as he begins to pout.

“No, thank you.” 

 

“You’re not seriously thinking about letting her go back are you?” A concerned Molly asks Moody.

“Molly, this has happen four times, I always go back and if I’m lucky when the death eaters find out I’m alive they’ll kill Peter.”

“You can’t cheat death forever Nichole maybe you should stay out of public view for a while.” Arthur suggests.

“I think I’ve done well so far, besides you all don’t have to worry about me, I can take care of myself.”

“But you don’t have to any more that’s why the Order was created so we can look after one another whilst this war is going on.”

“Arthur remind me to call you if I ever need a lawyer; I know that’s why the Order is here, but after what happen last time…I…I can’t do that again it took to long to rebuild from the last collapse of the Order and I don’t want Dumbledore thinking about….just never mind I can’t do it.”

 

“You don’t want Dumbledore thinking about what?”

“About putting me in Mungo’s again. Molly thanks for dinner I’ll be around the house some where.” She said quietly before running out of the room ashamed she had never fully admitted to her self that that’s what almost happened; to say it out loud just proved that maybe she wasn’t sane. How could she be if Dumbledore was the one that wanted to send her? She had made the mistake of telling him that she thought her necklace had glowed red meaning Lily was trying to talk to her; the thought that maybe Lily was trying to talk to her was comforting, but proved that maybe she was mentally ill. The pain that night had caused, took control of her thoughts some times; she was only human and she just couldn’t handle it.

 

As much as she wanted to believe she wasn’t invincible.   “No, you’re not insane; broken, depressed, and scarred not insane.” She had told her self again and again, but when she laid in bed at night the same thought always surfaced. “What if I am insane? Alice and Frank are there threw the effects of this war; if I go and there’s no reason then what does that make me?” tears rolled down her cheeks as she roamed the house, she entered a room filled with names and burn marks. The Black family tree; she didn’t know why, but she choose to stay in here; maybe it was seeing all the people who went against what they were told and made a difference; it didn’t matter, in some way she was comfortable here.

 

“That explains why she lost all contact with people.” Remus sighed, Dumbledore had told him she was going threw a difficult time, but never had he mentioned that she was this impacted by what had happened. He felt anger towards the old man, he would have looked for her if he had know this and made amends; he just thought she needed her space to grieve. “She didn’t want anyone to think she belonged in Mungo’s.” Sirius fist and jaws were clenched; none of this would have happened if it wasn’t for Peter. He made plans to speak to Dumbledore the next chance he got. Was this all because she believed he didn’t kill those people?

 

“The poor dear; she used fighting as an excuse to get away, I knew there was no way someone could be that set on going to battle without a reason; I just thought it was for revenge.” Molly sat at the table shaking her head.

“The only way we’ll know for sure why she did what she did, is to ask her which I don’t think is a good idea at the moment.” Arthur tried claming everyone down, but it didn’t to seem to work.

 

“I’ll go talk to her.” Sirius left the room; he had no idea where she would go, it would be easier if they were at Hogwarts when ever something went wrong she would be sitting on a rock at the edge of trees by the lake.  For some reason he decided to check the black family tree; he wasn’t quite sure why but something was telling him to, and there she was just sitting with a candle lit staring blankly ahead. The dim light shading her face enhancing the distress she was feeling.

 

“Nichole.” He came and sat next to her. “You okay?”

“I don’t know any more.” She sighed and glanced at him then back at the wall.

“Is there anything I can do?”

“No, I’m beyond anyone’s help.”  Her voice quiet as a tear glistening in the candle light rolled down her cheek.

“Don’t say that, there’s nothing wrong with you.” He tried to convince her, but she didn’t believe it.

“I’m glad someone thinks that.”

 

“Really after all this are any of us completely sane?” she closed her eyes and rested her head on his shoulder. Even after all those years in Azkaban he was still the same man she had fallen in love with; his personality, his smile, everything she longed for all these years was still there. Nichole didn’t understand how anyone could even think of him as a killer; he was to gentle and loyal to his beliefs; the only way she could see him come close to kill anyone is if the hurt his friends or certain people in his family.  

 

“Nichole I wanted to ask something about us.” She looked at him, but this time he looked away “Are we still married? After all this time I figured you had moved on…..and if you have that’s fine I won’t interfere; I just need to know.” She threw her good arm around his neck. The smile that appeared touched her eyes for what seemed like the first time in years they sparkled with genuine happiness.

“Sirius, I broke into a Ministry evidence locker, stole your wedding band and am still wearing my wedding band and engagement ring; and still go by the name Black. Unless you have moved on then….” He kissed her.

 

“Never, because you’re all I have ever been able to think about these past years and I would be a bloody fool not to realize how much I need you in my life. I love you.” He said softly.  They way she felt was indescribable it was as if she had been re awaken. The person that she used to be that was stored away in the essence of memories had finally broke threw the melancholy fog that had in cased it for so many years. 

“I love you too.” She spoke; the joy that she felt radiated in her voice. Her life will never be what it once was, but this was sure better then what it had been.

I need reviews in order to continue writting and please I don't mind criticism, but just tellng me it sucks doesn't help so if I need to change something then tell me what it is. THANK YOU!!

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