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Chapter Nine: The hospital wing was the most boring area of the school in fact it made Professor Binns class seem a non-stop roller coaster ride by comparison. Yet Megan Hogan’s friends were there for the entirety of her stay. Sirius Black haunted her bedside and even Madame Pompfrey’s orders that he leave and at least get something to eat were met with a cold stare. “No offense meant, but make me.” Sirius had said almost tonelessly. He held Megan’s hand even during the time she was unconscious and Megan remained unconscious for a full day. “Should you wake her, Poppy?” Minerva McGonagall asked anxiously. “No Minerva, she’s fine.” Madame Pompfrey answered sadly, “She desperately needs the rest. I don’t think she’s been eating or drinking properly for ages. They’ll be time enough to talk to her when she does wake up.” Lily, James, Amelia and Remus were just as faithful as Sirius but they seemed to respect that Padfoot would not leave her side and wished to be alone with her. Peter begged off, saying that he was worried that he had somehow caused her collapse. The foursome would peer in at every opportunity and had become such fixtures in the hallway outside that Poppy had made the very real mistake of joking that she ought to turn them into decorative planters. Four pairs of eyes stared at her without a hint of a smile. Finally, McGonagall intervened when it came to others. “Take a walk, all of you. For mercy’s sake, off with you now. You can come back in an hour she’ll still be here.” As the teenagers turned to leave she commented softly to herself, “And so will he.” ::::::::: “I don’t feel much like walking.” Lily said listlessly. “Nor do I.” Amelia was equally without energy. James and Remus looked at each other, they knew that this behavior was good for none of them. “All right then,” Remus took Amelia’s hand. “It’s off to the herbology gardens with us. Come on dearheart, it will do us good.” Amelia look at him miserably but let herself be led away. “Where should we head off to?” James tried to sound pleased at the prospect. Lily looked at him. His hair was, as always, a mess. His eyes behind his glasses were so beautiful and kind. “Anywhere that features you, I suppose.” She tried to smile. “Let’s sneak off to Hogsmeade.” He said with a grin. “Hogsmeade?” Lily asked somewhat taken aback. “Yes, Hogsmeade. Why not? You know I’ve got the map. Let’s do it Lily, let’s go exploring.” He was shooting for enthusiasm but in truth, he did not feel it. “All right James,” Lily consented and James felt as if a feather could have knocked him over. “Let’s go and have tea in Hogsmeade.” When they finally emerged from the tunnel in the basement of Honeydukes they were covered in spider webs and slightly breathless. After a quick check around for the proprietor they were on their way to the tea shop which was blessedly deserted. “James, I love you.” Lily said as soon as they had ordered tea. “I love you too, more than life itself.” James answered, taking her hand in his own and kissing it softly. Then the moment was slightly spoiled when Lily began to cry. Seeing Lily cry was one of the worst things James could imagine. “Darling, what is it?” James asked. “She’ll be all right. Madame Pompfrey said that more than anything else it was exhaustion.” “She’s pregnant James.” Lily said but James had already worked that out for himself. “Yes, but you don’t think that Sirius would just leave her do you?” He was amazed that Lily could think such a thing of Sirius. “He’ll marry her Lily, and it will be just fine because he does love her you know.” “I know.” Lily said letting her tears just roll down her face unheeded. “But you and I both know that could have been us.” “No darling, it couldn’t. We made that decision.” James drew her close to him and didn’t care if the waitress look scandalized. Now Lily was crying in earnest. “Oh lord James, if I’d been a better friend. If I’d talked to her, figured it out sooner, maybe she wouldn’t have been so lonely.” “Lily, I know that she was lonely but you can’t forget that they do love each other. They joke around a lot but they’ve loved each other for months now.” James was distressed beyond words now, tears were pouring down Lily’s face. “Promise me?” Lily asked. “I’d promise you anything in the world.” James said and no man had ever been more sincere. “Promise me that we’ll get married and be together, and that whatever happens, no matter how bad we’ll be there for each other.” Lily was hiccuping gently with her sobs. James stared at Lily for a moment. “Lily, I promised that to you in my heart the day I asked you to marry me.” :::::::: Remus and Amelia’s walk was almost entirely silent. Remus made an effort though, he’d point out this flower, or that commenting on the various uses and occasionally the possible dangers. Amelia however was as silent as the tomb. Finally they reached the edge of the forbidden forest and Remus said that it was time to turn back. To his surprise, Amelia flopped down right on the cold ground and began to cry heavily. He sat beside her, holding her close and stroking her short hair. “She never asked a thing of anyone you know.” Amelia finally managed to gasp out. Remus nodded. “She always wants to help people and be kind.” Amelia sobbed. “Oh what’s wrong with us Remus?” “What do you mean?” He was puzzled but terribly concerned. “Why didn’t we think to try and give anything back to her?” “We all gave her our friendship.” He said honestly. “I think that was all she ever wants from anyone.” Amelia looked at the drawn young man beside her and wondered how anyone so young could be so mature. ::::::: Megan’s eyes fluttered open and immediately took in Sirius his head was down on the blanket covering her, his hand firmly in hers. “Where’s the wake?” Megan said with a weak smile. “I just fainted you silly boy.” Sirius looked into her eyes and his breath caught in his throat. “Megan?” She looked at him kindly. “I’m so sorry. I can’t believe I let this happen to you.” “I was there too, you good looking fool.” Again she smiled. “I knew we should have done something to keep us from making a baby, but I just plowed ahead.” “You know then?” Sirius asked. “I do now!” She smiled triumphantly. “Oh God.” Sirius’s head dropped down to the blanket again but he felt Meg’s fingers tugging at his hair and he raised his head. “I want to marry you Megan. I want to spend the rest of our lives together.” She was three weeks shy of her seventeenth birthday and the rest of her life stretched far ahead of her. At least, she thought, in theory. “Are you certain about that? Because if you aren’t Sirius, it’s all right. I’ll not think the less of you.” “Megan ever since we started…” His voice faltered. “Do you think I could have kept going back to that room with you if I wasn’t certain?” “Been know to happen.” She said. “Well, it didn’t happen this time.” Sirius’s chest actually hurt from the effort to keep from crying. “I was with you because I love you, and I am with you because I love you.” “Ah then, won’t we make the handsome couple?” Megan smiled in delight. “You looking like the most handsome devil on earth, me looking like the size of a rotund little elf. Then there will be the baby….” Sirius flinched and in her heart, Megan knew exactly what he was going to say but for the tiniest moment, she hoped she was mistaken. Please, just this once, let her be entirely mistaken. Sirius sat on the edge of the bed and pulled her gently into his arms. “Megan, I love you and I want to marry you, right now if you’d have me but there isn’t going to be a baby.” “No baby?” Megan’s voice sounded far off to her own ears. “What happened?” “You had a miscarriage right after they brought you in here. Madame Pompfrey isn’t sure why, maybe it was exhaustion and too much stress. It might have been a fall you’d taken…” Sirius started as he saw Megan visibly cringe. “But we lost our baby.” “It wasn’t exhaustion and it wasn’t a fall.” Meg was angry. “It was seeing all those deaths, it drove the life right out of me.” “What?” Sirius was baffled. “Nothing, it’s nothing.” Megan was crying now, softly, just a few tears rolling down her cheeks. “You’d have to be a fool to want a baby at this age, during this time. I don’t know what’s the matter with me.” “Megan…” Sirius said and touched her cheek gently. “I still want you to marry me.” “No.” The answer was cutting and rather cruel but for once Megan Hogan didn’t care. “I won’t marry you.” Sirius stared at her, dumbfounded. “Never?” She opened her mouth to say that it would be a cold day in hell when she realized that tears were splashing down Sirius’s cheeks. What was wrong with her? She did love Sirius and not simply because she could touch him frequently without the terrible barrage of feelings, sounds, sometimes even sights. She loved him because of a thousand reasons. “I won’t marry you now, my love.” Her voice softened. “But I will marry you someday, and then we’ll always be together.” He gathered her close and nearly broke her heart by whispering, “Thank you.” In her mind she heard the hysterical laughter and felt the numbing cold again. She hated lying, she hated it with a fiery passion. But it hadn’t all been a lie, she would love him always, she knew that. But if she saw nothing but cold, empty loneliness stretching on for years, what did it mean? :::::::::: “Did you hear?” Montague was laughing. “Hear what?” Severus asked. “That Mudblood Hogan tried to trap Sirius Black by getting pregnant.” He sneered. “The joke’s on her though, she lost the idiot baby. She’s up in the hospital wing now.” Severus thought for a moment about the kind eyed girl who had told him he would live. It was on the tip of his tongue to ask if she was all right but he couldn’t do that. “Filthy Muggle whore, serves her right.” He said with ice hanging from every word. Montague leered in appreciation. “Too right.” Severus bent back over his studies. There would be nothing left of him when this was over, he was certain of it now, whether he lived or died. Strangely though, he found himself hoping that Hogan lived and lived unchanged. :::::::::: Madame Pompfrey and Professor McGonagall had tried to be kind. This sort of behavior was not tolerated at Hogwarts, ever but McGonagall new these were different times and special circumstances. They told her kindly about the different birth cotnrol spells she could use, Madame Pompfrey even instructed her in how to conjure them. If either of them noticed that the young woman in the bed simply stared sadly at them, they tried to ignore it. She’d had a rough time of it, after all. :::::::::: “Ablus, should we try and keep them apart?” Minerva asked with concern. “No Minerva.” Ablus Dumbledore “In this time and place, I’ll have nothing done to prevent love, whatever form it takes. “Whatever should we tell her parents?” “Tell them she fainted but that Poppy has taken care of everything.” So they both ignored the fact of the necessary room. When Megan left the hospital wing with Sirius Black there were no attempts to separate them. These were not children any longer, these were soldiers in a war, and they must make their own decisions.

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