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The Unravelling Chapter Seven:

An Unfortunate Truth

After her lunch with Remus, Chloe returned to work with a heavy heart. It was starting to bother her that all of her friends seemed to be disappearing as of late. She hadn’t heard from Nadine or Kathy in a long time. Even though they worked in the same building, Kathy decided to do the night shift so she could take care of her sickly mother during the day. Meanwhile Nadine was overseas for work purposes. But not a single letter had been sent to Chloe, no matter how many she sent to them. And now Remus was leaving, and she didn’t even know where.

“Why do you look glum?’ Albert asked, stopping in front of the desk where Chloe filling some chart out.

“Huh?” Chloe asked, looking up from her charts.

“You’re frowning,” Albert prodded.

“Oh, yeah,” Chloe said non-descript.

“Well, why?” Albert asked giving her an incredulous look.

“Remus told me he was leaving.” Chloe answered, still frowning.

“Where to? Did he find a job?” Albert asked, looking genuinely concerned.

“No, yes,” Chloe’s frown deepened. “It’s hard to explain really, but I wish he weren’t going anywhere.”

“Do you think Lily or James might no where he’s going?” Albert suggested.

Chloe’s ears perked up, as she thought about this. She could easily drop by Lily and James’s flat before going home and casually drop into conversation about Remus and how she’s worried about him etc. “I think you’ve just given me the best idea, Al.” Chloe grinned up at him.

Albert laughed, shaking his head. “I’m glad I could have been of service.”

When Chloe’s shift was over, she hurriedly got her cloak and Disapparated in the foyer just outside of Lily and James’s flat. When she first landed on solid ground, she took a moment to collect herself before knocking on Lily’s door. It was few seconds before she heard any movement, and heard Lily’s shuffling feet on the other side of the door. The door opened up with a loud crack, and Lily’s face appeared behind the door.

“Chloe, what are you doing here?” Lily asked, bewildered by her friends appearance.

“Oh, I finished work early and thought I should stop by.” Chloe smiled.

Lily gave her a suspicious look, and let Chloe in. “I just put a pot on, do you want some tea?”

“Sure that would be great,” Chloe said, taking a seat on the sofa in the sitting room. Lily quickly returned with a steaming put of tea, and poured a cup for Chloe and her.

“So anything new at St. Mungo’s?” Lily asked, getting comfy in the spot across from Chloe on the sofa.

“Not really, I worked on the maternity ward. You’ll never guess who’s expecting?” Chloe exclaimed.

Lily’s eyes danced with the question. “Besides me?”

Chloe laughed. “No, Alice Longbottom came in and did the test and she’s expecting. Almost four months pregnant, just like you.”

Lily looked surprised by smiled. “I can be sure that James will be coming home and gloat.”

“Oh, you didn’t go to work today?” Chloe asked, surprised.

Lily rolled her eyes. “I did, but because all I’m allowed to do is paper work now, I get to come home early. Moody has me stationed at my desk; ever since he found out I was pregnant. He doesn’t want anything bad to happen, I suppose. I’m pretty sure James put him up to it.”

“Perhaps it’s for the best. Magical pregnancies get difficult going into the second trimester. There is a lot a pressure put on the body because the fetus already has magical abilities.” Chloe explained.

“Wow, you really learn fast in maternity, huh?” Lily grinned.

Chloe shook her head. “No, I just learned that from my pregnancy. I had it a little harder since I was so young. After I saw my Healer she put me on all kinds of potions.”

“Really? I don’t remember you taking any while in school.” Lily said, trying to remember.

“Yeah, well I became pretty good at hiding things then. My whole life was hiding that I was pregnant from everyone.” Chloe explained. They fell silent, quietly sipping their tea, and Chloe thought it would be the best time to bring up her lunch with Remus. “Remus met me for lunch today.”

“Oh yeah, how’s he?” Lily asked.

“Fine, I guess. He told me he lost his job as an editor, and that Dumbledore has asked him to do some secret mission.” Chloe said it all at once, and didn’t give Lily to respond. “He of course won’t tell me what he’s doing, says its Order stuff, but I’m really getting sick of Dumbledore sending my friend away, and leaving me without explanation.”

“Chloe!” exclaimed Lily, sitting up. “Now I know why you’re visiting, you won’t to know information.”

“Yeah, and?” Chloe put her tea down and gave Lily a meaningful look. “It’s information I think I should be allowed to know. Sirius’s idea of keeping me out is plain stupid; I’ve been playing along for long enough.”

“Well, I...” Lily heaved a deep sigh. “Chloe, you sure make this difficult.”

“I know,” Chloe grinned.

“Basically, what I know is that Dumbledore heard a rumour that the werewolves had in fact joined Voldemort to overthrow the Ministry, and he wanted Remus to go underground and find out the truth. Remus went with the pack for about a month and learned that Fenrir Greyback – the pack leader – had been approached by Voldemort three times, and had shared that Voldemort wished to give the werewolves’ free reign on Muggles and Wizard folk alike, as long as they didn’t infect any Purebloods. Remus left before the final decision was made – he understood that a vote would be taken and that anyone who would oppose would be killed. He left before it could be taken.” Lily explained; a grim expression on her face.

“And Dumbledore has sent him back!” Chloe said shrilly. Her heart was beating fast, and fear bubbled in her chest. Remus was going back, and she knew he would be killed. There was no way that Voldemort didn’t know about his part with the Order.

“What?” Lily looked concerned now. “What are you talking about Chloe? Remus hasn’t been sent back – I would know. Dumbledore would never send Remus back after he left the way he did. The other werewolves know he’s not on Voldemort’s side; they know how much Remus hates Greyback.”

“What are you saying? That I’m lying! Remus came to tell me today he was being sent away, by Dumbledore just like he had last time!” Chloe jumped up, running her hand through her hair as she tried thinking about her lunch with Remus, running through their conversation in her head.

“I didn’t say that Chloe, but Remus shouldn’t be going anywhere. There hasn’t been any discussion during our meetings – it’s impossible. Dumbledore understood the danger that was involved, he wouldn’t do that Chloe.” Lily was standing now, trying to force Chloe to look at her.

“Then why is he leaving?” Chloe asked, almost choking on the lump in her throat.

“Come on, let’s go talk to Sirius, he might know.” Lily grabbed Chloe, and pulled her to the fireplace. She grabbed a handful of Floo powder and threw it in. Green flames erupted in the grate, and they clamoured into the fireplace, standing side by side in the cool green flames.
“I’ll owl James as soon as we get to your house.” Lily said, speaking more to herself then to Chloe.

Together they said the address of Chloe’s flat, and zoomed through the Floo network passing various fireplaces before toppling out into Chloe’s flat, surprising both Sirius and Ryan who were on the floor playing with his toy trains.

“Mummy!” Ryan exclaimed upon seeing Chloe. He raced over to her, hugging her legs.

“Hello,” Sirius greeted, standing up. He was smiling until he saw the worried expressions on Chloe and Lily’s face. “What’s wrong?” he asked immediately.

“Remus has gone underground,” Chloe said quickly, as Lily started to shake soot off her robes.

“He hasn’t said anything about Dumbledore asking him to, has he?” Lily asked, giving Sirius a stern look that meant ‘don’t lie to me’.

“No, he hasn’t said anything to me.” Sirius glanced at Chloe. “What’s going on?”

“Remus told me at lunch today that Dumbledore was sending him away!” Chloe was starting to get scared now. She picked up Ryan protectively and he began jabbering about his days events, oblivious to what was transpiring between his parents.

“You mean sending him to live with the werewolves?” Sirius clarified. His face paled, and he walked over to the bird cage where his owl Alphard was sleeping. Chloe watched impatiently as he waved his wand absently, a quill and piece of parchment zooming into the room. “I’m writing Dumbledore, I can’t think of anyone else to ask. Remus is long gone, I know it.” Sirius explained as he scribbled a quick note. He rolled the parchment up, and opened the cage. Alphard woke up, and after casting a glare at Sirius, he hooted happily after Sirius gave him a treat. After tying the scroll to the owl’s leg, Sirius told him to go to Dumbledore immediately.

“I should get James,” Lily said, walking over to the door. “I’ll Apparate in the hall,” she said, and left without another word.

“Sirius, please tell me what’s going on?” Chloe asked, her voice strained. Ryan was hugging her tightly, having gone silent when he realized something was wrong. “Please tell me that Remus is okay.”

Sirius looked at her. He was standing by the window, having watched Alphard fly through the afternoon sky. “He’s safe, Chloe, for now anyway. I know Remus wouldn’t do anything to cause himself harm – I just...” Sirius trailed off, unable to think.

“You don’t think he did it because he thinks he’s useless or something ridiculous?” Chloe suggested.

Sirius shrugged, moving over to where Chloe stood. “Knowing Remus, I wouldn’t be surprised. Now tell me what he said to you at lunch, everything that you remember.” Sirius took Ryan from her arms, and sat Chloe down. He put Ryan on the floor and told him not to worry and play with his trains. Sitting next to Chloe on the sofa, he put his hand on hers.

“Well, he met me at work first of all. We got to talking, and he told me Dumbledore was sending him away – but I don’t understand? Both you and Lily say there weren’t any Order plans like that?” Chloe had tears in her eyes.

“Chloe, calm down. Remus may be ridiculous, but he’s smart. He won’t get hurt, not if I have anything to do with it. I just need to know if he said anything to you, any hints that might tell me what he’s thinking. He’s probably got into his head that he’ll be useful if he plays double agent, getting information on Voldemort’s plans and relaying it to us.” Sirius explained, trying his hardest to keep Chloe calm.

“He didn’t say anything like that. He just told me he had been given the mission yesterday by Dumbledore; he said he would be gone a month at least, he said he wasn’t sure if he could write me. Then he told me how he lost his job – he told me he would be leaving tomorrow – do you think he’s home at his flat? I know he rarely stays there, but maybe he thought to sleep before he leaves.”

“I don’t think so,” Sirius said slowly, thinking. “He could have just said that to avoid being honest. I have a feeling he was seeing you before leaving. What was he was wearing?”

Chloe thought about this for a second or two before remembering. “A traveling cloak, the heavy wool one. At the time I just assumed it was because it was getting cooler outside. And he was carrying rucksack with him. I can’t believe I didn’t think about it when I saw him, I was just so surprised to see him.”

“He probably felt guilty about leaving without saying anything to you.” Sirius mused. After a minute or two, Sirius stood up and went to the window. “I’ll tell you now Chloe, I don’t think Dumbledore told Remus to go.”

Just as Sirius said this there was a knock at the door. Before Chloe or Sirius could answer it, Lily and James burst through the door. James’s hair looked as messy as ever, and he looked from Chloe to Sirius with a concerned expression.

“Any word from Dumbledore yet?” Lily asked immediately.

“No, I’ve only just sent Alphard.” Sirius said, getting up from the sofa. Lily took his place next to Chloe, grabbing her hands, and offering a small unconvincing smile.

“We had better get Peter,” James said moving towards the fireplace.

“I only wish I knew what Remus was trying to accomplish,” Lily wondered.
“He thinks he’s being useful,” Chloe answered, sourly. Impatiently, Chloe stood up, grabbing Ryan as she went. She began fixing his shirt, struggling to hold him at the same time. Sirius stepped in, and took hold of Ryan, and gave her a meaningful look. She finished fixing his shirt, and Sirius let her hold him again. He could see that she was shaking, tears swimming in her eyes.

“Chloe, it’s all right, no need to fret. We’ll find Remus within the night.” James said. He had just pulled his head out of the green flames, and a moment later Peter appeared in the fireplace.

“What’s going on? All I heard was that Moony is missing.” Peter said, stepping out, sending another layer of soot on the floor.

“Yeah, he’s decided he’s more useful dead.” Sirius said, rather harshly.

“Sirius,” Lily scolded, giving him a hard look.

“No, he’s right,” Chloe interrupted, “Remus once again has put words in our mouths. I know he’s doing this because he thinks we’re all hinting that we think he does nothing to help while people are dying.”

Everyone was silent, but Chloe could see that they all had something to say. It was six seconds when Lily burst. “Chloe, I think you’re being a bit harsh. He is our friend after all, and we all make stupid mistakes to appease our friends. You lied to us about Ryan, remember? Because you thought we would all abandon you and look down upon you. Don’t be so quick to judge Remus, simply understand that he has been without a job for a month and a half now, and is likely to lose his flat in a few weeks when he can’t make rent; forcing him to depend on us for a place to stay, and has the weight of trying to be ‘useful’ for the Order against Voldemort. Remus may put some of these stresses on himself, but as friends we don’t judge him for it. That’s why we’re going to stop arguing about why Remus left, why Remus took it upon himself to do a – a practically suicidal mission, because he’s our friend. And we have to find him.”

Chloe blinked, shocked. She felt the cool, horrible sense of how wrong she had just been. Guilt filled her entire being, and it wasn’t until Ryan yelped that she realized she had been squeezing him in her arms. Sirius was at her side faster then she could even register it, and she put Ryan in his arms.

“You’re right; I’m being a complete git.” Chloe agreed, and looked to Sirius, James, and Peter. “You three had better get going; the full moon is in two days.”

“But where would he even be?” Peter asked, looking to James.

“I’m hoping Dumbledore will have the answer to that one.” James said, glancing at the window for the hundredth time.

“Well, I made some stew if anyone wants it.” Sirius suggested. Everyone agreed, but once they were all sitting in the kitchen, Sirius’s eye watchfully on the window, they all barely touched their food, eating slowly, trying to make plans.

“You two will stay here and watch Ryan. We should only be a few days, I’m sure Dumbledore has an idea where they are, and once we figure that out we can get to him immediately.” James was saying.

“Excuse me? Why do we have to stay here?” Lily asked sharply

“Lily, please, don’t do this.” James gave her a meaningful look.

“Just because I’m pregnant-”

“Only we can do this,” Sirius cut Lily off. “We can’t protect you when we’ve taken our animagi forms. You will be fresh meat to the werewolves, if they catch your scent.”

Chloe gave Lily a warm smile, for she knew exactly how she was feeling. How many times had she been left behind? Of course, it was for good reason. With Sirius away, there was no way Chloe could ever leave Ryan behind, not for anyone.

“So what’s your plan then?” Lily asked, breaking the silence. She looked from James, to Sirius, and then to Peter. “If I can’t go, then I would like to know the plan at least.”

“Once we find out where they are we’ll have to track them down,” Sirius said, and looked to James.

“We’ll have to be transformed the whole time. We can’t risk them catching sight us of or catching our scent.” James decided.

“Catching your scent?” Chloe questioned. “It’s not as if they are werewolves all the time, James.”

“When it’s this close to the full moon, their senses will be confused, intensified. Remus hated entering the Great Hall for mealtimes when it got to be a week or so to the full moon. He couldn’t eat anything but buttered toast, and tea. The smell of everything else would be too much and make him feel sick.” James explained.

Chloe was a little dumbfounded. She had never known any of that. Remus, of course, hadn’t told her anything, just explained through school it was because of his head. She knew he would get massive headaches (probably, now as she understood it because his eyesight and hearing became more acute than ever), and skip meals in order to get some sleep because they would keep him up all night.

“We should travel by night,” Peter suggested, “In case we run into Muggles, or even the werewolves, it will seem strange if they see us together.”

“Good idea,” Sirius agreed, nodding at Peter, who looked happy to have contributed something. “Now we’re just waiting on Dumbledore,” Sirius said absently, moving to the window. Chloe could feel the cool night air enter the kitchen, and she wished that Dumbledore would respond faster.

As she thought this, a burst of light appeared in the dark sky outside the window, and sped toward the open window. In a second the bright light soared into the kitchen, catching almost everyone off guard (Sirius and Chloe had both seen it coming). Chloe saw that it was a Patronus in the form of a phoenix, and before she could ask Lily answered.

“Dumbledore,” Lily breathed. The Patronus glided around the small kitchen, and Dumbledore’s voice seemed to echo all around them.

“Your assumption is correct. Last I heard, they were in the Queen Elizabeth Forest near Loch Katrine. Keep me posted.”

“That’s all he has to say!” Chloe exclaimed, a little annoyed at the process.

“He is a busy man, Chloe, and if he was more concerned, I would be afraid.” Lily patted Chloe on the hand.

“Well that gives our destination,” James stood up, and with his wand made his uneaten stew disappear. He went over to Lily, and pressed a lingering kiss on her forehand, before giving in and kissing her on the lips.

Sirius gave Chloe a comforting squeeze on her shoulder, and stooped down to kiss her briefly. As he pulled away, Sirius gave her a re-assuring smile and turned to Ryan. Kneeling in front of him, Sirius winked at Ryan as he told him to be good. Ryan pouted, but eventual gave his father a rueful smile.

“Don’t be long,” Ryan frowned again when Sirius stood up and went to the door. Laughing Sirius reached over and ruffled his hair.

“You’re sounding more and more like your mother every day bud.” Sirius teased.

“When do you think you’ll be back?” Chloe asked, getting up; she and Lily followed James, Sirius, and Peter to the door.

“Can’t say,” James admitted, “Will send a message in an hour or so.”

“Please tell us if you need help, send your Patronus and I’ll get the Order.” Lily ordered.

“There shouldn’t be that much trouble,” Peter said, looking a little worried. He glanced at his friends.

Sirius and James both nodded, glancing at each other. Chloe didn’t like the look on their faces, but couldn’t bring herself to say anything. For once she would keep quiet and trust Sirius and James to sort things out. As they put their traveling cloaks on Chloe leaned over to Sirius to whisper, “I love you so don’t do anything stupid.”

“When have I ever done anything stupid?” Sirius grinned, but softened when Chloe frowned. “I love you too; we’ll be home soon, with Remus. I promise.”

“You don’t have to promise, I believe you.” Chloe gave a small smile and Sirius gave her a quick peck on the cheek.

“We should go,” Peter said, and in less than a second the three boys left the flat, with a soft thud as the door shut behind them.

“And now we wait,” Chloe said in an exasperated tone, and turned to Lily, who was leaning against the wall with a bemused expression. “You still want to go with them, don’t you?”

“Of course,” Lily sniffed, “But I know they’re right, they are the only ones who can bring Remus back safely. And I know its better that I stay behind.”

“Welcome to my life,” Chloe smirked as she put her arm around Lily’s shoulders and led her back into the kitchen. “Come on, you can help me clean up the mess Sirius left for me.”

They spent an hour cleaning up the kitchen, and getting Ryan ready for bed, both doing well at avoiding the subject that weighed heavy on their minds. At any small sound they both twisted around wildly to look at the door and hope that the boys had returned. But it was silly to think it would be that easy. The boys would be going disguised, and would probably be waiting for the perfect moment when Remus was alone, to convince him to return home. Chloe wasn’t sure how long it would take, but she kept telling herself at best it would take the whole night.

Once Ryan was asleep and tucked into bed Lily and Chloe went into the living room, and sat facing each other on the sofa. Lily looked a little lost, as she flipped through a copy of Witch Weekly, and Chloe knew she was thinking about James, and what the boys were doing. Her eyes darted at the ticking clock on the mantle, and she would frown when she saw that it had only been a few minutes since the last time she looked.

“If you think about it, the time only passes slower.” Chloe told her, with a knowing expression.

Lily groaned, and slammed the magazine down in frustration. “Then, what do you suggest I think about it? I can’t stand just sitting here, doing nothing! It’s... it’s just plain terrible.”

“That was a bit dramatic, don’t you think?” Chloe teased.

“Shut up,” Lily snapped, crossing her arms over her chest. She face away from Chloe and stared into the hot flames in the fire.

Chloe sighed, and nudged Lily with her foot. “I was only teasing you, don’t you think I, of all people understand? I’m always the one to stay home, by myself! Now imagine that, sitting at home while everyone you love id out fighting for their lives, and all you have to take your mind off things is a sleeping four year old!”

Lily was silent for a moment, but eventually looked at Chloe and nodded. “I know, I know, I’m being a big whiney arse right now. I suppose I would be going crazy right now if it weren’t for you. Still, I can’t help but think of everything that could be happening.”

“I understand,” Chloe said. She knew there was nothing that could be said that would ease the worry, but she was thankful that for the first time she wasn’t alone. “How ‘bout some Firewhiskey?” Chloe suggested, standing up.

“Fantastic idea,” Lily agreed.

Chloe smiled and went into the kitchen. She grabbed two glasses, and reached for the bottle of Firewhiskey that was in the highest cupboard. When she returned to the living room, Lily was looking a little more chipper than before.

“It is so nice not to be alone for once,” Chloe admitted once she had sat back down on the sofa. She poured two shots of Firewhiskey in the glasses, and handed Lily one. “Here’s to our Hero’s safe return.”

Lily snorted, but held her glass in the air to Chloe’s. After a soft ‘clink’ they both downed the drink quickly. Chloe swallowed hard on the fiery substance, wincing as she did so. Lily made a disgusted noise, but when they both began feeling the effects of the liquor, they grinned at each other. The warmest of feelings coursed through Chloe’s body, and for a moment she completely forgot about everything.

“I can see why people get addicted to this stuff,” Lily mused, as she poured herself another shot.

“Yes, a perfect remedy to a troubled mind.” Chloe agreed.

“Well, almost perfect; it would be better if people didn’t end up wasting their lives away on it.” Lily looked very serious, Chloe had no idea where the thought had come from. “Have another one,” Lily quickly said, when she noticed Chloe staring at her.

“All right,” Chloe said, and poured herself another shot.

“On the count of three,” Lily instructed, “One... two... three!”

They downed the substance again, this time much easier than before. Chloe hiccoughed, and laughed at Lily who had made a face. “We’re a bunch of buffoons!”

Lily laughed. “That may be, but at least we’re doing it together.”

They had a few more shots, but stopped when they felt it go to their head. Now lying on the sofa, Chloe noted that it had been three hours since the boys left. “Like I said, if we keep our minds off it, the time passes a lot faster.”

Lily nodded from her spot on the sofa. She was staring absently in the flames, her mind in deep thought. Chloe watched as her eyes watered from staring too long without blinking, and gently nudged her in the arm. “I’m not loosing you again, am I?”

Lily glanced over at her, and made a small smile. “No, it’s something else. I just... well I suppose I should tell you.” Lily sat up.

Chloe followed suit; she had no idea what Lily was talking about. “What should you tell me?”

Lily looked at her hands, picking at her chipped nail polish. “It is sort of embarrassing, Chloe. Really, I don’t think you would understand.”

Chloe made a face. “Try and explain I might surprise you.”

Lily made a pained expression. It was a few seconds later that she made a sound. Taking a deep breath she looked at her friend, a sad and uncomfortable look on her face. “Severus wrote me this morning.”

“Severus Snape?”

“The only,” Lily looked at her hands. “He wanted to meet.”

“You said no?” Chloe hoped.

Lily’s green eyes flashed. “I haven’t spoken to him since school; I haven’t been friends with him since fifth year.” She fell silent. Chloe hated the idea of Lily ever talking to Severus, but that was due to her own bias views. She hadn’t forgotten that he had tried to blackmail her at Hogwarts. This of course was only one of the many reasons she didn’t like Severus, the main being that he was after all a Death Eater, and responsible for many death from his powerful hex.

Lily was in tears. Chloe reached over, and patted her hand. “Lily,” she finally looked at Chloe again, her eyes sparkling. “Don’t be ashamed, just tell me.”

Lily heaved a breath, and wiped the tears from her eyes. “I’ve been feeling so guilty about it, Chloe. I turned my back on him, for good reason, but, still he was my friend. He wants to see me; I only assume he heard about the engagement. I can’t imagine what he did when he found out – it scares me too much to think about it really. I know he is going to try and convince me to leave James, he hates him so much. We never saw eye to eye, Severus and I about James. He blames James for why we don’t talk anymore, why we aren’t friends. I know deep down he knows the real reasons, but he’s so damn proud he’ll never admit it.” Lily waited for Chloe to answer.

“I never really did understand your friendship with Snape. I knew you had known each other before Hogwarts, and just left it to childhood loyalties, but I know it runs deeper than that. You understand Snape better than I think he knows himself. But hear me out, Lily, you shouldn’t go see him. For all you know it could be a trap.” Chloe advised.

Lily rolled her eyes. “You sound just like James.”

“You told him?” said Chloe, surprised.

“No, I haven’t, but I know that’s what he would say.” Lily explained. “It’s what Sirius would say, if he were being nice, and Remus would just... just give me that look.”

“Peter would have no idea what to say.” Chloe smirked.

“That’s what I mean, Chloe, they are all pre-disposed to distrust Severus.” Lily said.

“So you’re going to meet up with him?” Chloe asked, wanting to clarification. “And you’re not going to tell James.”

“Yes and no. I meet him tomorrow; we’ll be meeting in an old park near our childhood home. I’m hoping it will clear some things up, I hope I can change his mind about Voldemort.” Lily explained.

“Lily, you know as well as I do there is no way that Snape would join us. He has the mark, and as long as you’re with James he’ll never be able to stand by you.” Chloe took a moment before she pursued her next thought. Lily still had the same pained expression, but Chloe knew there was only one way to say it. “Snape is in love with you, Lily. It’s been that way, since... since forever. There is not a doubt in my mind that he would quit all the nonsense if you told him you loved him and would leave James for him. But that isn’t the truth. There isn’t a thing you can do that will change Snape, you will always love James; you’re going to be married and have a child. You know why it can’t be, so please just, for your own good forget all this nonsense and don’t meet Snape. Nothing good can come from it.”

Lily didn’t speak for a long time. She had turned away from Chloe with a scathing look. But Chloe knew that Lily had heard and understood every word she had said. Lily knew Chloe had spoken the unspoken truth. Not even James dared to speak of Lily and Severus’s relationship. He didn’t understand it, he wouldn’t admit if he did, but he never questioned it. It was the reason why Lily finally let herself fall in love with him.

There was a faint tapping at the window, and Lily and Chloe were pulled out of their silence. No longer teary-eyed, Lily questioned who the owl belonged to when Chloe stood to receive it. “I don’t know – I’ve never seen it before.”

When Chloe the window, the owl swooped in wildly. Chloe reached for the letter, but before she could the owl dropped it and gave an indignant hoot.

“It’s wild,” Lily realized.

Chloe went to get an owl treat, but before she could even move an inch the owl flew up into the air and out the window. “Strange,” Chloe said, but when she looked at the letter in her hand she understood. It was from Sirius, his neat scrawl on the front reading Chloe. “It’s from Sirius,” Chloe said going over to the sofa.

“Read it,” Lily prodded.

Chloe nodded as she opened the letter and read:

Chloe and Lily,
We’ve found them. They are still camped in the Queen Elizabeth woods, closer to the village of Gartmore. James saw Remus, but we haven’t been able to get close. They have a great bonfire going; we’re going to wait until they are asleep and send Peter in since he’s the smallest. We have a plan that he’ll plant a letter in Remus’s cloak, asking him to meet us further away. Hopefully he will; we’ll be watching anyway. It looks like we’ll be camping out for a day or so. Don’t worry we’ll keep in touch.

All our love,
Padfoot, Prongs, and Wormtail

“I should write my mother, see if she can take Ryan while I work tomorrow.” Chloe says, handing the letter to Lily to read.

“I can watch him; I’ll just write Moody and tell him I’m not feeling well. I have to explain for James’s absence anyway.” Lily suggested.

Chloe smiled. “All right, sounds good.”

Lily quickly read through the letter, then yawned. “I suppose I should get some sleep if I’m to watch Ryan tomorrow.”

“Oh yeah, he’ll be very excited to spend the whole day with his aunt.” Chloe gave a wicked grin.

“Great,” Lily sighed, and stood up. “If you don’t mind, could I sleep in the spare room? I don’t trust myself to Apparate.” Lily asked.

“Yeah, I was just thinking the same.” Chloe said. “You can borrow some pyjama’s from my room.”

Lily nodded and went down the hall to Chloe’s room, mumbling goodnight. Chloe doused the fire with her wand, and made sure to leave the window open in case Sirius would owl her again. Her head had begun to ache, and she could hardly think about anything. She knew she should go to bed, but it seemed impossible. Not with her friends troubles on her mind. Exiting the living room she went into her bedroom. The lights flashed on, sending a warm glow throughout. She crawled into bed without changing. Her body ached. She stared at the spot where Sirius slept, and felt with a pang in her heart at how she missed him, and he’d only been gone for a few hours. Perhaps it was the worry that she might not see him again, or because she just wanted him around for comfort.

Curling up under the covers, Chloe set her alarm clock and shut her eyes. “Please fall asleep,” she muttered to herself.

A/N: There isn’t much I can say, but I am so sorry for the long wait. I was having some minor writer’s block, even after I wrote the entire chapter outline for this story. Needless to say, I’m back on track and writing again. I really want to get this done by the time summer if over, but don’t hold your breath. With University in September, I might disappear again. I’m really sorry, you can send all the hate mail you want! But I should have this story finished before 2011. I promise. It’s so weird to even think about 2011, but anyway, please review! Let me know what you think of this chapter! It was a bit bland, I’ll admit that. And I know you’re all thinking: “Does Chloe always have to stay behind?” But it will get more exciting, I assure you.

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