Chapter Twelve: Disaster Strikes Remus pulled Lily close to him so that her hands were placed on his chest. She could make out Remus turning his head around looking for a teacher. Unfortunately, the students found it unnecessary to bring their wands so they couldn’t use the lumos spell. Although they wished they had once they heard the blood curdling scream that sent shivers up everyone’s spine. Lily stepped closer to Remus, pressing her face softly against his chest. “LUMOS” they heard Dumbledore shout. ‘Why didn’t he do that earlier?’ Lily thought to herself. Lily squinted her eyes as a bright light expanded across the room. Lily heard more ear-piercing screams and turned her head around. What she saw on the other side of the Great Hall stunned her. A fourth year Hufflepuff, Maura Hanson, was laid out on the floor, murdered. Lily backed up into Remus who put his hands protectively on her shoulders. Dumbledore lit the candles with his wand and walked over to the lifeless girl’s body. He took a deep breath and closed the girl’s eyes with his two fore-fingers. Dumbledore stood up and shouted, “Professors, you know what to do.” All at once, the teachers began shouting. Lily glanced over to see McGonagall shouting for all the fourth and fifth year Gryffindors to follow her. Lily and Remus walked up to Kate and Matthew, Lily and Kate linking arms so they wouldn’t lose sight of each other. They followed McGonagall and the rest of their group through the castle, weaving their way through the murky corridors. McGonagall kept her wand close and always made sure the students her following her. As Lily was walking, she forgot to watch her step. She suddenly fell onto the floor, putting her hands out in front of her to catch herself. She felt a strong arm pull her up off the ground. Lily looked up to see James holding onto her arm. “James?” “Keep walking, Lily.” He said. Lily hooked arms with Kate again and kept following the group. “Are you ok, Lils? That was a nasty fall. Luckily James was there.” Kate asked worried about her friend. Lily nodded and watched as James, Sirius, and Peter walked up to the front, wands at the ready. They reached an unfamiliar corridor and followed McGonagall to a secluded door. McGonagall muttered a quiet password and the door slowly creaked open, revealing a small, damp room that looked like it could have fit all of them. “Get in quick.” McGonagall ordered, her voice crucial. They all sprinted into the room as fast as they could. McGonagall came in and said quietly, “No one is to leave this room. This is a serious matter. I trust that our prefects will make sure that no one leaves the room. Dumbledore will come for you when he thinks the time is right. I also suggest that you remain as silent as you can.” With that, McGonagall spun around on her heels and left the room. She closed the door and the students heard the gears in the door locking it shut. Lily and Kate both sat down on the cold, hard ground, arms still linked. Lily looked around her. She recognized everyone. James, Sirius, and Peter where in a small corner of the room. Remus slowly walked over to them and in hushed voices began talking to them. Matthew soon joined the group of boys. ‘What are they talking about?’ Lily thought to herself. In another corner, Rachel, Althea, and Elizabeth sat in a group, holding hands for support. The fourth years had divided into boy and girl groups, the boys located in a corner across from the girls. Remus and Matthew slowly turned around and walked over to Lily and Kate. Matthew saw down next to Kate and put an arm around her, Remus doing the same. Lily turned to Remus, terror unblemished in her green eyes. “What’s going to happen, Remus?” her voice was unmistakably cracking. Remus frowned and said, “I don’t know. But I think we’re safe. We’re in a pretty secluded spot, James and Sirius agree with me.” The silence was broken, however, as a loud screech was heard in the distance. Everyone looked up at the ceiling, sure that the sound had come from above them. The scream wasn’t close, but it still frightened them. Then they heard laughter. But It wasn’t happy laughter, it was laughter one would hear from a maniac. Lily situated herself on the floor a bit and looked up at James who was leaning against the wall, staring down at the floor. Why had he helped her up? Where was Remus when she fell? Out of no where, she felt sorry for the way she had treated James in the past. Maybe he was nicer and more sincere than she had thought. Lily leaned in towards Remus and whispered in his ear, “Why weren’t you behind me?” “I saw a few of the fourth year girls trailing behind a bit and so I walked behind them so they wouldn’t get lost. I saw you fall Lily. I’m sorry if I scared you when it wasn’t me who helped you up.” Remus replied, his voice sincere. “It’s ok. I understand. You were trying to help the others.” Lily smiled at Remus and rested her head on Remus’ shoulder. “I’m scared, Remus.” Remus looked down at Lily and said, “I know. We all are. I think it’s best not to think so much on it.” Lily nodded slowly and took a deep breath. For a long time she sat there, looking down at the floor. She nodded off a few times but the image of the poor girl had planted itself in her brain, keeping her awake. She looked around the room. The fourth year girls were asleep in their corner, Kate had fallen asleep next to Matthew (her face red from crying), the fourth year boys were sitting in a corner, talking silently. Lily turned her attention to the corner where James sat. He had sat down on the floor quite a few hours ago but was still concentrating hard on the floor. He looked up and Lily caught his eyes. Lily smiled reassuringly. James smirked back at her and continued staring at the floor. Lily looked over to see Remus’ head leaned against the wall. He had fallen asleep a few hours ago when he thought Lily had fallen asleep. Lily eased out from under his arm, got up, and walked over to James’ corner, where Sirius and Peter were snoring beside him. Lily sat down next to him and quietly, she said, “Hey.” “Aren’t you tired?” James asked. Lily was taken back by the question. Does he care? “I can’t sleep.” Lily admitted. “Neither can I.” James replied, his concentration fixed on a small stone. Lily leaned her head against the wall and sighed. She closed her eyes trying to blink back the tears. Lily hung her head and turned her head away from James trying to hide her tears. James glanced over at Lily and frowned. “Are you OK?” James asked. “No. I don’t know. I just can’t stop thinking about….about…” Lily started before she allowed the tears to pour forth and splash on the ground. She hastily wiped away her tears and turned her body away from James, and pulling her legs up to her chest. Lily cried silently as she hung her head. She sprung her head up once she felt a strong, warm hand on her shoulder. Lily turned her head to the side and saw that James had sat down next to her, putting a hand on her shoulder. She looked up at him, her eyes brimming with tears. “Shhhh, it’s OK.” James said slowly wiping away a stray tear with his thumb. Lily chuckled, “You must think I’m such a baby for crying.” She wiped more tears away as James said, “There’s a right time to cry and a wrong time. I’d say that this is a right time.” Lily lifted her head to look James in the eye. “Why are you being so nice to me?” “Well, you’ve never really given me a chance to before. And I figure it’s about time that I give you a reason to like me. I know I can be a bit big-headed.” James said making Lily laugh and respond, “I’m sorry I haven’t been that civil over the past years. I guess we’ve both been acting really childish, huh?” James smirked, “I think you’ve matured more than I have, Lily.” Lily smiled gratefully. “Now, what can’t you stop thinking about?” James asked scooting closer to Lily. Lily situated herself so that she was sitting Indian-style next to James, who was giving her his full attention. She wiped away a few tears and turned to James, who was holding out a small white handkerchief. “You need it more than I do.” Lily smiled and took it gently into her hands. She saw that a large ‘P’ had been sown into the left corner. Lily ran her finger over the stitching and said, “I can’t take this James. This is personalized for you.” “Take it, I don’t care.” James said. “Now what were you going to say?” Lily dabbed her eyes with the handkerchief. It smelled like James. She erased the thought from her mind quickly and said, “I was thinking about that poor girl upstairs. I kept thinking about how close I was to death myself. And I kept thinking about all the people I would have left behind. Everybody that I love. And I just can’t stand the thought.” Lily had let all the tears loose, and they were now streaming down her cheeks. James pulled her closer to him so that her head was resting on his shoulder. He brought his other arm around her so that he had her completely enveloped in his warm embrace. Lily calmed down a bit and stayed silent as she slowly stopped crying. “That’s exactly what I was thinking about.” James said thoughtfully. “Really? You where?” Lily asked shocked. “Yeah. I had these images of my mom crying. My dad was holding her up…she was….so weak with grief. Sirius, Remus, and Peter were all there.” James started. “You were there.” Lily sprung up her head. “I-I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you.” James stuttered. “No, no, I was just….shocked. Why, of all people, was I in your visions?” Lily asked. James took a deep breath and said, “Because of all people, you’re the most beautiful.” James hung his head embarrassed and looked away, wrapping his arms around his knees, pulling them to his chest. Lily was shocked. After all these years she had thought that he had pursued her just to be added to the list of girls who had their hearts broken by him. Now he was telling her that he thought she was beautiful. Lily didn’t know what to say. So she settled with, “Thank you, James.” James looked up at Lily and smiled. Just then, the door to their room opened abruptly. James and Lily stood up, James positioned himself in front of Lily with his wand ready. The rest of the room had been awaken as well. Sirius, Remus, and Peter stood next to James as Kate and Matthew went to go stand by Lily. Dumbledore walked in from the dark hallway, his expression grave and tired. The students relaxed. They were safe. “Professor…” James said silently. “Mr. Potter, students.” Dumbledore looked around the room. “After a long night of searching the grounds and numerous duels, the Professors and I have driven the Death Eaters from our castle.” Everyone was shocked. They didn’t know what to say. “Professor?” Lily said pushing her way between James and Sirius. James smiled at her as she spoke again. “How are the other students?” Dumbledore took a deep breath. “The majority of your classmates it made it to their safe spots.” Dumbledore shook his weary head sadly. Lily looked down at the ground and asked, “And….and what about the rest?” “I’m afraid….that 13 students were injured. They have been taken to the infirmary to be treated by Madame Pomphery.” “Was….was anyone else killed, besides the girl in the Great Hall?” tears were coursing down Lily’s porcelain cheeks. Behind her, Kate stepped back into Matthew and felt his arms being wrapped around her. “Oh no…” Kate whispered as she cried silently. Sirius noticed quickly and with a wave of his wand, he conjured a handkerchief. He handed the soft fabric to Kate and said, “Here, you keep that.” Kate looked from the handkerchief to Sirius. Slowly she reached out and took the handkerchief. “Thank you, Sirius.” Sirius smiled and said, “What are friends for?” They smiled at each other and focused their attention back on Dumbledore. “Seven…I’m afraid. Seven were killed in the night. There was nothing we could do to save them, regrettably. Voldemort had gotten to them before any of the professors were able to save them.” Lily clapped her hand over her mouth and turned around to face Remus, who pulled her to him and held her close as she cried into his shoulder. Kate turned around quickly and wrapped her arms around his neck and sobbed. “Voldemort….” James whispered. “It was clear what his orders were. He had told his followers not to kill any students. It appeared that he wanted to do the killings himself.” “Professor?” a fourth year girl stepped out from a dark corner. “Yes, Kelleigh?” Dumbledore said turning around. “How come Voldemort couldn’t find us?” “This hallway is hidden, hidden from those who wish to release evil upon its occupants. There are many hallways like these in the castle. Once a Professor leaves and says the password, the door vanishes from sight and only the Headmaster will be able to open it again, unless something were to happen to the Headmaster, then the Deputy Headmaster, or Headmistress, would take charge.” The students nodded, but remained silent. “You may go to your dormitories to rest. A memorial for those lost will be held at dinner. I will understand if you find that you are not able to come.” Dumbledore walked out of the room, leaving the students in the room, shocked and frightened. One by one, the fourth years left, followed by James, Sirius, and Peter. Kate and Lily walked out together with Remus and Matthew behind them. The door to their hideout closed slowly, creaking noisily. Without a word, the four made their way to the Gryffindor tower. Though they doubted they would get any rest after the night’s happenings. Dinner About half of the school body showed up that night. Before allowed to come to dinner, everyone was to remain upstairs as mourning parents came to say their final good-byes to their lost children. At seven o’ clock, McGonagall came up to the Gryffindor common room, something the Head of House rarely did, and explained to the students that it was time for dinner. Lily and Kate walked down to the Great Hall together and sat down at their usual spot. The once cheerful hall was now a place of mourning, sadness, despair, and heartbreak. Slowly more and more students came down. Matthew and Remus came down and sat across from Kate and Lily. James and Sirius came in, James sitting next to Lily and Sirius next to Kate. Lily looked over at James through teary eyes and smiled weakly. James smiled and said, “It’s ok, Lily. Everything will be alright.” Lily nodded and went back to staring at the old, wooden table. James looked around the Great Hall. Parents were sitting at the professors’ table, many of them crying, and many of them in shock. Dumbledore sat in his usual seat, comforting a middle-aged witch beside him who sobbed into her hands. Once Dumbledore gave into the fact that the other students wouldn’t be joining them, he stood up, holding the hand of the woman next to him. Dumbledore’s voice echoed through the silent hall, “Tonight we mourn the loss of our daughters, our sons, our brothers, our sisters, our friends, our classmates, our students, our mentors. They helped us through the worst of times, they were there with us during the good times. They were there, singing with us, laughing with us, writing with us, crying with us, and sharing their most beloved thoughts with us. Tonight, we remember those lost in a desperate escape from evil and know that they have gone to a much happier place. A place where there is no hatred, no cheating, no evil, no darkness. A place filled with light, hope, faith, and above all things, love. Tonight, we remember.” McGonagall stood up and unrolled a piece of parchment. In the background, a choir sang: “We remember how you loved us to your death And still we celebrate for you are with us here. And we believe that we will see you When you come In your glory We remember, We celebrate We believe.” McGonagall then began to say the names of those lost: “We remember Maille Smith. Third year. Hufflepuff house.” The choir started singing again, their voice ringing through the hall. “We remember how you loved us to your death And still we celebrate for you are with us here. And we believe that we will see you When you come In your glory We remember, We celebrate We believe.” “We remember Audrey Johnson. Sixth year. Gryffindor house.” Again, the choir sang: “We remember how you loved us to your death And still we celebrate for you are with us here. And we believe that we will see you When you come In your glory We remember, We celebrate We believe.” “We remember Amedee Davis. First year. Slytherin house.” “We remember how you loved us to your death And still we celebrate for you are with us here. And we believe that we will see you When you come In your glory We remember, We celebrate We believe.” McGonagall continued to go down the list, everytime saying a name, the choir would sing. Kate, Lily, Sirius, and James all joined hands and remained silent as they remembered their fellow classmates. Once McGonagall had finished, Dumbledore stood again. “Let us also be aware of those injured. Let us hope that Madame Pomphery will be able to heal them.” Then, looking out at the students, he said, “Good night all.” Chairs squeaked as the students stood up and walked out of the hall solemnly. Kate and Lily still held hands and walked up to the common room to try to get the rest they were sure they wouldn’t get anyways. Lily couldn’t fall asleep at all. Her mind was filled with images of her parents mourning and all her friends crying for her….and an image of her fallen body. Lily sat up in bed, beads of sweat pouring down her forehead. “Lils?” she heard Kate asked from her bed. “Kate? What are you doing up?” “Nobody else is sleeping. I didn’t expect to get any sleep anyways.” “I know. It’s been a horrific night.” “I talked to Matthew.” Kate started walking over to lie down next to Lily. “His parents are coming to pick him up in the morning.” “What? Oh no! Kate, I’m sorry! What did he say?” “He told me that we both knew that a long distance relationship would never work out. He’s to go to Beauxbetons. His parents are afraid of what might happen to him if he were stay at Hogwarts.” They were silent for a while. Then Kate said, “Maybe it’s for the best. I mean, it’s not like I saw myself being with him for the rest of my life, ya know?” Lily nodded. “Don’t you want to be with him?” “More than anything but he says he wants to pack alone first. Then he said he’ll come down to the common room.” Lily bit her lip and said, “Kate? Can I tell you something?” “Anything.” “Well, when we were down in the hideout, I started talking to James. Everyone else was sleeping. He, um, he told me that he saw images of his parents and friends mourning and he saw himself, well, dead.” “That’s awful.” “Yeah.” Lily agreed. “And then he told me that I was in his images as well.” “You?” “Yeah, I was shocked at first too.” “Did he say why?” “I asked him, yes. He said it was because he thought I was beautiful.” “Wow.” “Yeah.” “Are you going to tell Remus?” “Do you think I should?” “I don’t know. It’s not that bad, I mean, it’s not like he kissed you or anything.” “Yeah.” “I think I’m going to go wait for Mattie downstairs. I’ll talk to you later.” “K. Night.” “Night. See you in the morning.” Kate climbed out of Lily’s bed and walked out the dormitory room. Lily turned over on her back and took a deep breath. Why would James tell her that? Lily forgot about it and closed her eyes, hoping to get some more rest.
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