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The Unravelling Chapter Ten:

The Meeting




Chloe didn’t go to work in the morning. Writing a quick note to Peabody she explained that Sirius had become ill in the night and there was no one to watch Ryan while she worked. It was a suitable enough answer, and a few minutes later she received a rather annoyed but consenting letter from Peabody wishing Sirius a speedy recovery. Pleased with the response, Chloe looked forward to her new found day off, even if it meant she would be nursing her injured friends.

First thing she did was check on James. He was awake and cracking jokes with Sirius, while Lily slept curled up next to him. Dumbledore had written shortly after breakfast to announce that he would be visiting to talk about what transpired the evening before. There was an emergency Order meeting to take place later that night, and Chloe was only left to wonder what would be discussed.

Ryan was happiest of all. After a day and a half without his father, he was quite happy to have his playmate back. As Chloe and Lily bustled around the flat making sure that James was healing well, and Sirius sat in the living room with Ryan playing exploding snap and Gobstones. It was early in the morning when Peter returned. He had healed nicely – probably with the help with his mother’s skills at healing. Peter joined Sirius and Ryan and was very amused, laughing like he was eleven again.

Despite the happy atmosphere, Chloe caught Sirius looking out the window or at the door more than once waiting for Dumbledore to appear. He hadn’t tried to bring up what he wanted to talk about the night before, and Chloe was extremely thankful for that. She really did not feel like arguing with him again.

“You would think this game would get boring after playing it for twenty years.” Peter laughed as the tower of cards exploded into hundreds of pieces, causing Ryan to shriek with laughter, Sirius erupting in his own barking laugh.

“Play again?” Ryan asked looking from Peter to his father.

“All right,” Sirius said, collecting the scattered cards. “One more game.”

Chloe smirked, as she put some books she had begun reading months ago and given up onto the shelf. “Did you want me to take him to my mother’s when Dumbledore arrives?” she asked.

Sirius looked thoughtful for a moment, but shook his head no. “You’ll probably have to stay to make sure that James is okay – who knows how long it’s going to take or when he’ll arrive. It could be too late.” Sirius explained.

“Oh, all right.” Chloe was a bit surprised. She wondered if this was Sirius’s way of letting her in on the Order without having to actual tell her anything from his own lips. Chloe smirked to herself, feeling a little triumphed for she had finally gotten what she wanted.

“Don’t look so proud of yourself,” Sirius teased.

“I haven’t a clue as to what you’re talking about,” Chloe laughed, going into the kitchen. She was brewing some more blood-replenishing potion as all of her stock had been depleted. It was a simple potion, one Chloe had concocted numerous times during school and training. It is essential for any Healer to know how to make the potion let alone have it in their kit.

“Do you need any help?” Lily entered the kitchen looking like she hadn’t slept in days. Her cheeks were blotchy from crying, and there were dark circles around her eyes. However there was a big smile on her face.

“No, no, I’m fine.” Chloe shook her head. Lily looked a little lost for a moment, and Chloe quickly changed her mind. “But you know what you could do? I’m running low on some sleeping draught, you could do that it you like.”

Lily brightened up at the prospect of making a potion and set to work immediately. Chloe was happy to give her something to do, and as an afterthought noted she would probably have the best sleeping draught in the whole of St. Mungo’s once Lily was finished. They worked beside each other silently, laughing whenever they heard Sirius and Peter exclaim in surprise over the cards exploding, followed by Ryan’s protests to play again.

“Have you thought about checking on Remus?” Lily asked, sitting at the kitchen table now.

Chloe shook her head, making sure to count her stirring as she did. When she finished she looked at Lily and sighed. “There’s no point, he’s probably locked himself in the shack refusing to let anyone near, even Dumbledore.”

“I know that, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.” Lily gave Chloe a dark look. “You only push when you want, I think we should push or we may lose him.”

Chloe narrowed her eyes. “You know why Greyback let him back into the pack. James told you didn’t he?”

Lily tried to hide it from her face, but Chloe saw through. Before she or Lily could say anything Sirius entered the kitchen, probably having overheard the conversation. “How are my two favourite women fairing?”

“Just fine,” Chloe bit back, turning away, beginning to clear the counter of unneeded ingredients. “I was just going to start supper.”

“Don’t go to too much trouble,” Sirius said in a loving voice. He placed a hand on the small of Chloe’s back and went to kiss her on the neck, but she moved away before he could. She didn’t mean to do this to him, it wasn’t his fault. It just irritated her that once again Lily knew more than she did. Lily always seemed to be one step ahead of her, and it did not seem fair. She was a mother, not fragile.

“Chloe,” Sirius said quietly. A chair scraped, and Lily mumbled something about checking on James, leaving them alone in the kitchen.

Chloe stopped doing what she was doing and looked at him apologetically. “I’m sorry,” she said, closing her eyes. “I’m just frustrated.”

“I know,” Sirius moved close to her. “You can take this one out on me.”

“No, I won’t. I shouldn’t have done that.” Chloe placed a small kiss on his lips. Sirius moved closer and held Chloe close to him, smelling her hair, nuzzling against her neck. “It won’t happen again.” She whispered, shivering a little as he placed soft kisses along her neck.

“He will tell you himself, and you’ll be happy to have heard from him on his own time. We both know James can’t keep things like that to himself. Once he’s feeling better Remus will go to you and tell you. You’re his oldest and best friend.” Sirius assured Chloe.

Still in his arms, Chloe shrugged. “I’m fine, I can wait. I’m pretty good at it.”

“Chloe,” Sirius growled.

“Okay, okay I’m sorry. Things aren’t coming out right today.” Chloe closed her eyes. “Can I just stay here forever?” Sirius chuckled, and let his hands run up and down her back.

Then, there was a knock at the door. Chloe pulled away from Sirius, gave him an unnerved look and walked out of the kitchen. Passing the living room she saw that Peter had picked Ryan up whispering to the boy to keep quiet, and watched as Chloe and Sirius made their way down the hall to the front door.

“It can’t be the Order or Dumbledore – we haven’t had any notice.” Lily whispered as she met them in the hall.

Chloe nodded, and aimed her attention to the peephole. Before she could look however, a gruff voice spoke from the other side that revealed the visitor.

“It’s Moody. Let me in.”

Chloe swung open the door, trying not to frown and let him enter. Moody stood in the front entrance, his one eye madly looking around the room analyzing everything. His long travelling coat was caked in snow, and his face was a bright red. A broom was in hand, and he shuffled into the flat without another word.

“Come from the North?” Sirius broke the silence.
Wildly, Moody turned on the spot and point his wand to Sirius’ neck. Chloe screamed, while Lily pulled out her wand from her robes and pointed it to Moody. Peter followed her action, stumbling to his feet.

“What are you doing?” Chloe shouted, moving towards Sirius, but he held his hand out for her to stop.

“What are the last words I spoke to you?” Moody said, his wild eye eerily still and directed at Sirius.

“Mind the leg,” Sirius joked, but Moody didn’t find it amusing. Instead he chose to stick his wand a little firmer against his neck.

“SIRIUS!”

“Qui craint de souffrir, il souffre déjà de ce qu'il craint.” Sirius obeyed.

Moody dropped his wand, and shuffled into his room, nodding at Peter and looking to Lily. “Peter, Lily, I hope you’re well.”

“Really was that necessary? Why not interrogate the rest? Just for good measure.” Sirius looked angry.

Moody turned on his heel. “We need to speak, in private.”

With the Moody was dragging Sirius down the hall, and Chloe heard their bedroom door shut.

“French? I never thought Moody could speak French.” Lily said, finding it hard not to laugh.

“What did it even mean?” Peter said looking from Lily to Chloe.

Chloe was more concerned as to why Moody needed to speak to Sirius privately.

“Chloe, you speak some French don’t you?” Lily asked, poking her friend in the side.

Chloe looked at her friend. “‘He who fears suffering is already suffering what he fears’. I’ll be right back.” She pushed past Peter and Lily who were both giving her odd looks. Ryan went to follow her, but Peter managed to grab him before he got too far.

Reaching her bedroom door, Chloe didn’t feel the need to be invited. The door was unlocked, and she entered without trouble.

“...you’re risking everyone’s lives by writing to him-”

Moody stopped talking and turned to look at Chloe. She avoided Sirius’s stare.

“What is going on? You burst into my house, and threaten Sirius’s life – our child was in the room! Last I checked we should be checking if you are who you say you are! What is the meaning of this?” Chloe finished by crossing her arms over her chest.

Sirius chose to provide her with the answer. “I’ve been writing Regulus, to convince him to leave the Death Eaters.”

Chloe looked at Sirius. “What?”

“This has nothing to do with what happened last night.” Moody said. “I only discovered an hour ago that your husband-”

“-we’re not married-”

“-has been corresponding with his brother Regulus-”

“-I wouldn’t say correspondence-”

“-a known Death Eater. Your husband will eventually lead us to ruin and-”

“-didn’t I just say we weren’t married?”

“Stop interrupting me!” Moody shouted, and both Chloe and Sirius looked sorry that they had spoken. Turning on Sirius, Moody moved so close that their noses almost touched. “Your letters stop now. It won’t be long before the Dark Lord discovers the link and uses the owls to discover your whereabouts along with half the Order. This was incredibly reckless and stupid – I would expect something like this from Peter.”

With that Moody clutched his broom to his side, and banged out of the room leaving Sirius and Chloe alone.

“You’ve been writing him? And you didn’t think to tell me? You didn’t seem to think that it’s a big deal!” Chloe shouted the last part.

Sirius walked over to her, looking very serious and whispered, “I haven’t been writing him. He wrote me once, to tell me that he knows about our son, that Severus told him.”

“And?”

“He was warning me Chloe. If we’re not careful-”

“Sirius, we always knew that there was a risk in being together. Especially because Severus knows. You may believe your brother is warning us, but I think he’s doing it to cause you panic. He knows that without me you’re an easy target – don’t give me that look! If I wasn’t around to keep you in check all the time you would be making a lot of stupid decisions.”

“But when I’m with you, you become an easy target.”

“We’re not arguing about this anymore Sirius. Family sticks together. Now you are going to go find out when the Order is arriving, while I am going to check on James. And please find something for Ryan to do.” Chloe finished. Giving a quick peck on the cheeks, Chloe turned towards the door. Sirius caught her by the arm and swung her around meeting in a kiss.

Pulling away, Chloe gave Sirius a bemused look. “I think I’m in love with you.” Sirius smirked.

Chloe couldn’t help smiling back. “Shut up you tosser.”










As the minute hand ticked closer to midnight, Chloe found herself holding her breath. There was an unease in the room, as everyone sat or stood in their place waiting for the flames to blaze green, and the Order members to arrive. Moody had told them that Dumbledore was planning for only a small meeting that would take place this evening. Chloe was thankful for the late time slot for after dinner she and Sirius were able to get Ryan to settled down and to sleep. After placing a charm on his room so that he would not hear the grown-ups conversations, Sirius and Chloe took their places in the living room.

James was sitting with them, having recovered enough to walk. After the meeting he and Lily would be returning home. Peter, meanwhile had already gone home to see his mother, and would be returning later that evening. They were all to explain the events that had occurred in the forest, Chloe knew that much, and she had to admit she wanted the full story as well. She couldn’t help think of Remus and wonder if he would be coming to the meeting. The only reason not to come was if Dumbledore did not ask him to.

Green flames burst into the fireplace, and everyone but Moody was startled. As he moved closer to the fireplace, the first figure appeared. Chloe recognised the man from the party, but the name was a mystery. He was older, probably in his late forties, his black hair peppered, and age lines on his face. He wore dark purple dress robes with a silver ‘W’ that made him look important and he carried a brown brief case.

“Edgar,” Sirius greeted shaking the man’s hands. That’s his name, Edgar Bones. He was a lawyer and a member of the Wizengamot (that explained the robes) and was probably the most influential member in the Order after Dumbledore.

“I apologise for the robes, I’ve been at the Ministry all night.” Edgar said. He had a commanding voice that would almost sound terrifying if it weren’t for his kind face.

“Not followed, I trust?” Moody asked, always the voice of concern.

Edgar chuckled. “I took three fireplaces to get here, the last being the fireplace of my deaf Mother.”

“I think we count on her to keep the secret, Moody, don’t you?” James smirked up at who would be his boss. Moody grumbled.

Edgar proceeded to greet everyone individually, and when he came to Chloe he bowed his head as he shook her hand. “I believe I owe it to you for letting us use your home for this meeting.”

Chloe shrugged. “There was no reason to say no, I have a fair amount invested in the Order.”

Edgar glanced at Sirius who was watching them from the other side of the room, Peter chattering happily next to him, and turned back to Chloe. “A man should be lucky to have you as his partner.” He said, and bowed his head.

Chloe blushed as Edgar turned to Moody to say something quietly in his ear. The flames burst green again, and this time a woman exited the flames. Alice Longbottom was greeted from an over excited Lily, their matching bellies a source of entertainment. Chloe wanted to join them, but she almost felt like an outsider. Soon a few more members arrived; Dorcas Meadows, Fabian and Gideon Prewett, and Elphias Dodge. While everyone chatted waiting for Dumbledore to arrive, Sirius has escaped Peter and came to stand next to Chloe, placing a hand on the small of her back.

“He’s not here Sirius,” Chloe said, giving him a worried look.

Sirius hushed her. “He will be; when Dumbledore arrives Remus will be with him.”

“So I won’t be able to talk to him until after the meeting?”

“Be patient Chloe, don’t try to push him right now.” Sirius warned.

Chloe grumbled, but said nothing. Sirius pulled her close, and they stood watching the fireplace in silence. It hurt Chloe that in the last year she and Remus had become increasingly distant. After graduating from Hogwarts they had regained much from what they lost when she left in sixth year. But as the war became more serious, and Remus was inducted into the Order he had pulled away and turned into himself. Often the only time Chloe saw Remus was when Sirius would drag him back to their flat. Chloe tried not to take offense to his resistance, but it was becoming harder each day she thought about it.

Chloe jumped in Sirius’s arms when a loud knock came at the flat door. Sirius squeezed her should as he went to answer. Everyone knew that it was Dumbledore, and Chloe watched with impatient eyes as Sirius unlocked the door and allowed his entrance. Chloe sucked in a breath as he entered the room. Remus was not with him, he had come alone.

Everyone stopped chatting and waited to be greeted by Dumbledore. He was wearing a set of electric blue robes that matched his clear eyes. As he surveyed the room, there was a small twinkle in those eyes of his, glad that everyone had made it safely. But there was no smile on his lips, and there was a very serious look on his face.

“Dumbledore, where is Moony?” Sirius asked as he shut the door. Dumbledore ignored his question. With a concentrated look, Dumbledore held out his wand and Chloe knew he was placing protective charms over their home. After a few seconds of this, Dumbledore looked to Sirius and then to the rest of his audience.

“Remus Lupin will not be joining us tonight, he some other business to attend to for me tonight.” Dumbledore said in tone that meant do not question.

Fabian Prewett seemed not to have noticed. “What could be more important than a meeting about his discoveries?”

“I will be acting as messenger of the information, Fabian. He has told me all that there is to be said tonight.” Dumbledore explained, walking into the centre of the room.

“And what information is that?” Dorcas Meadows asked in a bemused tone. She stood near Dumbledore, and did not look happy that Remus was not present.

“That the Dark Lord has gained an ally with the werewolves, and at a high cost. They have been convinced that they will gain equal rights in return for their allegiance. We all know that will not happen but there will be allowances. Greyback is planning a series of raids on small Magical villages and plans to prey specifically on children who have magical ability but do not fit into the Dark Lords plans.”

“Children?” Alice said looking horrified.

“Greyback has a long history of targeting children, Remus was one of his first.” James confirmed, a dark expression on his face.

“It’s a scare tactic? Greyback will do whatever You-Know-Who wants at the chance to turn a Wizard or Witch. And if Greyback is threatening you to do what you-know-who wants or you or someone you love will be turned into a werewolf – well you’re not going to think twice.” Lily looked from Dumbledore to James.

“How are we going to stop that from happening?” Peter piped up.

“That is why I’m here, isn’t that right Albus?” Edgar asked, stepping into the centre of the group.

Dumbledore nodded his head once. “Correct, Edgar. There needs to be a push to equal the rights of werewolves in the magical world. Anti-discrimination laws need to be put into place to allow many of Greyback’s followers back into the Wizarding world. Many followers follow Greyback because they cannot survive without him.”

“You remain an optimist Dumbledore,” Moody argued. “His followers have been turned away from society – making it illegal to discriminate against werewolves will only solve the legal issues.”

“He’s right, half these werewolves have been abandoned by their families. They won’t have a home to go to.” Dorcas added.

“Remus may be on our side, but I haven’t met another werewolf who was good. There’s a reason why people fear them.” Fabian pointed out.

“This doesn’t seem an important issue, Dumbledore.” Gideon decided, crossing his arms over his chest.

“But we have to try don’t we?” Chloe burst. She didn’t like the way they were talking. As if there was no point at all to try. “If not for this generation, but for the next. You call yourselves the Order, yet you stand around here arguing against change. Something needs to change or we’re just as bad as him!”

Sirius was smiling next to her, but the rest of the room was silent, looking at her and then to Dumbledore too stunned to say anything. Chloe felt her cheeks flush, but she did not shy away, and continued to look at each and every person in the room. Lily and James were both smiling at her, and when she reached Dumbledore’s eye she saw that a smile had finally reached his lips.

“It is not going to be easy, but if we don’t take these steps to change as Chloe has pointed out we are no different from those who support the Dark Lord. The reason why you have all been asked to come because you are the ones who are able to make this change happen.” Dumbledore revealed.

As Dumbledore began to explain his plan, Chloe noticed that there was a flash of something silver in the hall. At first she believed it was Ryan, but she knew better. As everyone discussed Dumbledore’s plans, Chloe managed to slip away from Sirius and to the hall.

“Chloe,” Remus growled.

“What are you doing?” Chloe whispered. It was clear that he had James’s cloak, but was struggling to stay hidden as he was a few inches taller.

“Dumbledore’s idea – come, let’s talk somewhere else.” Remus suggested, and Chloe felt his hand on her arm and she let him drag into her bedroom.

“Remus, what on Earth-”

“Dumbledore wants their honest opinion. He needs to hear them without me around to influence it. I still wanted to be a part of the meeting so I got Dumbledore to borrow the cloak.” Remus explained without removing the cloak.

“Remus, take off the cloak.”

After a few seconds where Remus did nothing, Chloe reached out and grabbed the cloak, pulling it away from him before he could catch it. “Chloe!” he exclaimed, but it was too late. Chloe discovered what he was trying to hide.

“Remus, your face!”

“It’s nothing, it’s healing.” Remus went to cover his face with his hand, but Chloe caught it before he could. Stepping close, she scrutinized the deep scratch marks on his cheek.

“Did you do this to yourself last night?” She reached touch it, but he swatted her hand away.

“It was during my transformation – it was a hard one probably because I’ve been living with the pack for so long. I’ve already taken care of it, the scar will be minimal.” Remus rushed to explain.

“Are you okay Remus? We didn’t get to talk last night... before you left I mean.” Chloe crossed her arms over her chest. He didn’t seem to want her anywhere near his face.

“Chloe, I had to leave. Unless you wanted me to transform in your home.” Remus reminded.

“I know that, so that’s why I just want you to know I’m here to talk to.” Chloe watched as he thought about this. Clearly something troubling him. The circles around his eyes were dark despite that he had turned the night before. He looked more exhausted than she had ever seen him, and a part of her wanted to put him to bed immediately. But she knew it was no use, no matter how much Remus slept he would never be able to sleep away the exhaustion and sickly complexion.

Sighing heavily, Remus met her eyes. “We should sit down.” They moved to her bed, and Chloe waited patiently as Remus prepared himself to tell her whatever it was that was troubling him so greatly. He sat with elbows on his knees, hunched over so the he was looking at the carpet. Every time he tried to speak, he would stop and rub his face or scratch his head, clearing his throat pointlessly. She knew that saying anything wouldn’t help, so simply she squeezed his shoulder and at last he calmed down. Leaning on his hands he began to explain.

“The werewolves aren’t all bad. Abandoned by their families, unable to get a proper job, they were left to streets, and Greyback offered them a place to live and food to fill their stomachs. They aren’t there to fulfill Voldemort’s Pureblood world. The Muggles don’t understand, they are kept separate from the wizards, who are the worst. They’ve had the hardest go of it, I suppose. The ones who are part of Greyback’s experiment to be turned as a child are so wrapped up Greyback’s world it’s all they know. They never attended school, and have no hope in either the Muggle or Magical world.

“It was convincing him and his second in command that was the hardest part. Fenrir is my maker and since the day he made me he’s been waiting for me to join him. The last time he took me without question. He had heard that I lost my job, and I had James and Sirius spread rumours that they weren’t speaking to me. I made it seem like I had lost everything. But I couldn’t continue on that rouse, I had to do something to convince them that I had truly returned to them as an honest follower. I had to-” Remus cut himself off, coughing hard on the lump in his throat. He was shaking, and whatever he was holding on to him had him tight by the throat.

Chloe moved close, and he finally allowed her to touch him. She put her arm around him, and her head on his shoulder. With his head in hands she knew there were tears in his eyes.

“I had to turn a child or they would kill him.”

Chloe wasn’t shocked. It felt as if she had already known. Holding him tighter, she let him continue.

“I had to do it – Fenrir plays with his food, I couldn’t do that. He was terrified, looked at me as the monster I am but I knew Fenrir’s fate would have been worst. And I knew if I didn’t turn the boy Fenrir would have after torturing him. I couldn’t – I couldn’t let that happen.” Remus stopped talking, and sat completely still his head still in his hands. He was breathing hard and Chloe let him go so he could calm himself down.

Her stomach was in knots. She didn’t like seeing Remus in such a state, and she especially didn’t like the reason why either. The anger reappeared and replaced the previous shock she had felt.

“It’s absolute madness – that you have to do that to some poor boy and out they’re arguing the merit in even trying to change the rights of those who have the curse. As if you’re actually lower than us? It’s a bloody disease! If they knew what it was like for you-”

“They would hate me, Chloe. It will take more than a few laws to change anything. We’re still monsters during the full moon, we still have no control, we still kill.” Remus was looking at her now, looking older than ever before. “Chloe, you don’t understand. These men and women don’t have anything to live for. They have killed countless time, some have killed people they love. People get stupid, people underestimate. What I have is rare. The pack is their family, and a lot of them are happier to live in that world than try and live in the magical world where they have to battle discrimination everywhere. The only reason I try is because I have you, and Lily, and James and Sirius and Peter. I wouldn’t have anyone if it weren’t for you.”

Chloe nodded. She understood but it frustrated her. She wished that it was an easier fix, but in reality this was no easier than stopping Voldemort, that the issues went hand in hand. They were the same. The Magical world was so full of discrimination, it was terrible. She watched as Remus got to his feet, and flapped his arms out next to him to get rid of the shakes. It was a minute when he finally had calmed down and he turned to look at her. “The meeting should be ending soon. You should be out there.”

“Will you come?” Chloe asked. Her voice sounded so small.

“Yes, but I’m still wearing the cloak. Dumbledore has probably told them some wild story that I’m holed up in the dungeons of Hogwarts re-cooperating after my transformation.” Remus guessed. He picked up the invisibility cloak and after playing with it for a second, Remus disappeared.

Getting to her feet, Chloe walked to the bedroom door and opened it. She let Remus pass first, the sound of his body passing through her signal that he was in the hall. Following him, she shut the door quietly and rejoined the meeting where it seemed that their plans to equal rights had been made. Before Chloe was out of earshot, Remus caught her arm and whispered into her ear.

“Thank you for understanding.”

“Thank you for trusting me.”

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