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Disclaimer: All that's not mine is JKR's. 

 

Chapter 7: Detonation

 

 

All the seventh year Gryffindor's had dressed rather warmly for the night's trip to Hogsmeade. They were bundled up, hats, gloves, and all. Peter Pettigrew looked perhaps the most ridiculous of the bunch. He had not been able to bewitch his clothes to keep him warm enough for the night and had instead resorted to wearing muggle winter garments. Of course, having very little knowledge of the muggle world, he didn't quite know how to wear them. He'd layered a down vest over a sheepskin coat, wore one pair of thumbless gloves with mittens over them, and a hat which Lucy swore was a swimmers cap lined with fur. She reasoned his dorm-mates had tricked him into the outfit. Out of desire not sour anybody's mood for the night, she didn't mock his attire. She even kept a straight face when she spoke to him about the possibility of lifting a few boxes of toffee from Honeydukes.

 

Sirius, however, could not keep a straight face for more than a minute. It seemed he had slipped a Gibberish potion into James' firewhiskey. Before they even got into Hogsmeade, James was not only drunk, but beyond understandable. He had no idea he was speaking gibberish. Even Lily pretended to understand him. And Lucy didn't mind sharing a laugh at his expense. He was too drunk to register what was going on anyway.

 

Almost all of the other Gryffindor's were either halfway to intoxicated or already there. Even Lily had a few drinks. Oddly enough, Sirius hadn't even picked up a firewhiskey or any of the muggle alcohol that had been supplied. Lucy, of course, couldn't drink, leaving them as the only sober two of the bunch. It was tense on Lucy's part because she was holding back on Sirius. But he was completely at ease, unaware of how guilty she felt.

 

After climbing out of the Honeydukes cellar (it had taken more effort than expected being that several bodies were required to help James out and most of them were drunk themselves) they headed straight for the Hog's Head. It was the only place shifty enough to not question the presence of a group of drunk Hogwarts students attempting to become increasingly drunk.

 

Sirius stopped Lucy before heading into the pub and pulled her aside. Waiting until everyone else had gone in he reminded her, “I have an apartment not to far away,” his eyes pleading her to come with him.

 

Had they both had anything to drink, Lucy would have thought it was an attempt to seduce her, but they hadn't. She knew that this was his attempt to speak to her, to connect to her, to bring her back to summer, and she wanted to go. Not to talk, not to confess anything, but to find herself in his arms again. To feel the comfortable silence they shared once more. The moment she nodded, signaling her agreement, he obliged, pulling her into his arms, burying his face in her hair, not saying a word. He kissed her without letting her out of his arms and she reciprocated. Their attraction had not been acted upon for too long and it felt right to pull themselves back to where they had been over the summer. It was her awareness of the secret she was keeping from him that forced her to pull away.

 

“Sirius,” she whispered guiltily, but too hypnotized to pull her eyes away from his. She should have said something more, but she had no words.

 

Sirius didn't force her to come up with them. He knew there was something going on with her and he didn't need her to explain. “It's okay,” he whispered, pulling her face to his chest once again. “Come home.” And Lucy knew what he meant. And she liked the sound of it. His apartment had become a home to her over the summer; and she wanted to go back. She smiled into his chest at the sound of those words and she knew he could feel it. When she looked she saw him smiling too, so she took his hand and let him lead her home.

~*~

As they closed in on his building, Lucy found herself fantasizing about when she had the baby. Sirius would know by that time, she was sure, and she hoped he would be willing to support it, and care for it, and let it live in that apartment, and let Lucy live there too. They would form their own family and forget the ones that had been born into.

 

As her fantasy grew more intense, her nervousness did too. When they reached the building, she was hesitant to go in. But she did, without even a pause, because she knew he needed to go back with her just as much as she needed to. And if she couldn't give him the truth, she could at least give him that.

 

The moment they walked into the apartment she was back in his arms, her lips back on his. And this time, she didn't pull away. She let him kiss her until he wanted to stop, let him keep her in his grasp, let him comfort her, let him protect her. And when he pulled away it was only to look at her, to register that all this was real. Sirius needed that confirmation as much as Lucy did.

 

“Don't stop,” Lucy quietly begged, trying to avert her eyes from his. She wanted to keep the truth from him and the only way she could ignore the guilt that came with it was to let him kiss her.

 

But Sirius had a different idea. He had brought her to his apartment in an attempt to really talk to her. He hoped that if he got her away from Hogwarts and from all the people and the judgement there she would open up to him as she had over the summer. And maybe, he could find the courage to tell her the things he was feeling.

 

He ran his fingers down her face and she leaned into him. He opened his palm to cup her face in his hand and she let her eyes close, rendered helpless by his touch. Lucy had wanted this since she saw him again at Hogwarts for the first time since the summer, but she was always too guilt ridden to let herself acknowledge those feelings. With him in front of her, the two of them isolated from the rest of the world, her feeling were vindicated and reciprocated.

 

“Please, Sirius,” she whispered, leaning further into his touch, keeping her body flush against his.

 

But he resisted, he needed to know what was going on with her more than he needed to feel her against him. “No, Lucy,” he breathed, and it took all the strength he had to push away from her. “You need to talk to me, tell me what's going on.”

 

Pain, guilt, and sadness flashed across her face after he issued those words. Pain for the hurt she was causing him, guilt for the secret she was keeping from him, and sadness for the inevitably difficult future that faced them. She knew he wasn't going to let it go, but she couldn't tell him just yet. She shook her head, trying to signal to him that it was too much for her to talk to him, but the expression on her face betrayed her. He could tell she wanted to stop keeping that secret from him. She wanted to share with him.

 

“Maybe I should talk first,” he suggested, trying to ease her apprehension, “Tell you all the things I've been wanting to tell you since school started? Things I only want to talk to you about, okay?”

 

Lucy nodded, finding comfort in his words. And without meaning to she crept back into his arms. He wrapped them tightly around her and she relaxed fully for the first time that night, not feeling the guilt.

 

He brought her to the kitchen and boiled them both water for tea. He'd done it before, over the summer, and she smiled at the familiarity of the gesture. They said nothing to each other as the water boiled and Sirius prepared the mugs. They only smiled, frowned, and exchanged a thousand sentiments with a few simple looks. When the tea was ready Lucy moved them to the couch, surprised at how comfortable she felt navigating through his apartment. They sat facing each other, connected by small touches, her fingers to his chest, his palm to her hip, her knee to his side. She longed to leaned further into him, but they were close enough for the time being.

 

He took a sip of his tea and she followed suit before he started talking. For a while she only wanted to listen to him, to watch his lips move, see his face tell a story and he let her do just that. “I miss you Lucy,” he started, “I miss being close to you, to holding you, and I miss trusting someone like I trust you.” She could tell it was hard for him to tell her this, she moved her fingers across his chest to encourage him. He continued, “I like that I can be honest with you, that I don't feel bad about voicing what I'm thinking, and that I don't feel ashamed at what I'm feeling. I'm at ease with myself when I'm with you. I want more of that, and not just in moment like this, not just in passing.'

 

Oh, Sirius, Lucy thought to herself, I want more of this too. But I know things you don't don't, things that might change your mind. She ran her fingers across his chest again, saying nothing, but keeping him talking.

 

'I finally feel like I have a family and it meant more when I had you to enjoy that feeling with, when we were together over the summer. All that's going on with You-Know-Who and people being Imperiused, I need to know that your by my side when all that comes to us because it will and I can't help but be afraid.' Lucy shuddered at the thought and he moved his hand from her hip, up her arm to comfort her. It worked.

 

'Things are getting worse and and I want you with me through all of what's coming. If you don't want to be together like we were in August, just be by my side through it all, be a part of my family. I need you to be open with, to hear what you want and hope for, to know you're afraid but brave enough to face it, to give me the strength to face it too. You can't keep pushing me away Lucy; we've shared too much to isolate each other. And I haven't been trying hard enough to keep you open and trusting, but I have to try harder Lucy. Because I need to have you by my side, in whatever way you want to be there.”

 

He was offering her everything she wanted: a family, a friend, a promise to trust her and be someone she could trust. He had said everything she needed to hear, but she couldn't confess what she'd been keeping from him, not just yet. She couldn't take away the happiness and comfort he'd just given her. She wanted to live with it for a little big longer. “I'm scared too,” was all she said. And she hoped it would be enough to keep them together for a moment longer. She hoped he understood that it was the only promise she could give him, an unspoken promise that she would be with him in someway if he still wanted her there after she told him.

 

But of course, Sirius didn't understand that was what her words meant. He wanted more. He wanted her to open up to him, to tell him the truth. He looked at her and with his look he begged for more, begged for the truth. “I want those things too,” she said quietly, her eyes not leaving his. It was a confession for her, words that made her vulnerable. But she didn't mind feeling vulnerable around him. She felt safe with him. Pregnant, living in a war torn society and without a family, Lucy found herself feeling safe in the arms of Sirius Black.

 

She leaned further into him and he took her into his arms, feeling safe with her too. They were back in the bubble they'd built over the summer. All the problems that plagued them were momentarily pushed from their minds and they could just be together. “Let's not go back to the castle tonight,” Lucy begged. “Let's just stay here and sleep and talk and be away from everybody else.” It was all she wanted. She hoped he didn't think she wanted something else, thought that wasn't far from her mind. But she couldn't have sex with him while keeping her secret. He would never trust her again. She pulled him closer to her and he gave in.

 

“We'll stay here tonight,” he told her.

 

“Okay,” she smiled into his chest.

~*~

They lied in bed together. Lucy had taken off some of the layers she put on to protect herself from the cold and felt comfortable climbing under the sheets with him. He would keep her warm if she got cold. He told her about his year so far, filling her in on the details she missed. They laughed about the Halloween sketch. Sometimes they talked about light things like that, at others their conversation got deeper.

 

“When we graduate, and we're not protected by Hogwarts anymore, and the war hits us, what are you going to do?” Lucy asked him, drumming her fingers at the side of his ribcage, almost afraid to hear an answer to her question.

 

“I'm going to fight,” he told her.

 

“What does that mean?”

 

“I'm not going to try to stay neutral and try to get a job and pretend it's not affecting me. It already has. I'm going to give everything I have to bringing them down.”

 

“Sirius, tell me,” she implored.

 

“Tell you what?”

 

“How it's already affected you. I know it has; it's affected all of us. But I want to hear how it's affected you, not how it's changed everybody, but how it's changed you.”

 

Sirius took a breath before continuing. Lucy could tell it was hard for him to talk to her and she loved that he was willing to. She wanted to be there for him, to make it easier for him to tell the truth. “They got to my brother, or at least I think they did.”

 

Lucy was stunned, “You mean...you think he joined them?” Sirius nodded. Lucy still needed confirmation on what that meant. “Does that mean he's a...” She couldn't even say it. But Sirius could.

 

“A Death Eater. Yes. At least that's what I think. I know my family believes in all that pureblood superiority. They call me a blood traitor, I hear it in school even. Their influence reaches pretty far. And I know they support You-Know-Who, but I didn't think they'd ever act on it. I really didn't think they'd let Regulus join him.”

 

“Sirius,” Lucy whispered, taking his hands in hers. It was all she could say, all she could do to comfort him. Neither of them were a stranger to family problems, and she'd felt like he was feeling before, isolated and alone. All she could do for him was let him know he wasn't, that she was there with him.

 

“He's my brother, Lucy. And even though he's just like them, I guess I was holding out hope that he could still change. Still realize how awful everything they believe in is. How wrong it is. I guess I was hoping that someday I'd get him back, like when we were kids and we didn't know what any of this meant.”

 

He just wanted to be part of a family again. Lucy understood that's what he was telling her. But he really felt like he'd lost it for good. And despite that, he had people there for him. She needed to remind him of that. “You do have a family,” she reassured him. “You have James and Remus and Peter. And, Sirius,” she made sure he was looking at her before she she continued. She needed to know he was believing what she said. “You have me.”

 

His eyes widened and then he kissed her for the first time since they'd climbed into bed and that kiss made them both hunger for proximity. Not the kind that came from the lack of clothes, but the kind that came from trusting one another. Lucy felt so guilty that she was holding out on him, she pulled away.

 

Instead of telling Sirius what she so desperately wanted him to know, she tried to reciprocate by being open with him. By telling him exactly what he'd just told her. “I hear it too, you know,” she began, not letting go of his hands. “The taunts that they use to try to bring us down. It comes from all of them: the ones that joined up, the ones that have yet to, and the ones who just believe it. Half blood, mudblood. Things more derogatory than even that. They want to let me know they're after me. But they don't need words. I can see it in their faces.” She felt Sirius squeeze her hand, doing exactly for her what she'd done for him just moments ago: reminding her she wasn't alone. She was glad for his presence, comforted by it, and she had to tell him what she knew. “I've heard it from so many people, Sirius, not just Slytherins, not just students. But I've never heard him say it. Not to me, not to anyone.”

 

Sirius knew who she meant, but despite her attempt, she didn't make him believe. “I wish you were right,” was all he gave her. It was a confession in itself and even if it wasn't what she wanted to hear, she was glad he was willing to share it with her.

 

Lucy shuddered, thinking about all that was facing them. There was a war and they were both direct targets. Their close friends would be too, and they would have a baby unable to protect itself, innocent of any crimes, and still someone the Death Eaters would try to kill. At the thought, the guilt overcame her. The guilt for keeping it from Sirius, the guilt for not loving it properly, and the guilt for feeling happy when it might never have that chance.

 

“Tell me, Lucy,” Sirius begged, echoing her words from earlier. “Tell me what you're holding back, what's causing you pain. Please, bring me in.”

 

And Lucy wanted to, so badly, but she needed to lie in his arms a little longer, feel him trusting her for another night. “In the morning,” she swore. “Right now, let's just stay like this.”

 

“But you'll tell me?”

 

Lucy nodded against his chest and he let her have it. She knew for the moment it would be enough for him. And they fell asleep holding each other, him slightly unnerved by Lucy's sensitivity whenever he brought up the subject; her guilt ridden from keeping it a secret. But they let themselves succumb to their exhaustion, let themselves have one more night surrounded and comforted by each other, one more night to just enjoy the ignorance.

~*~

When Lucy work in the morning withSirius's body draped over hers, she knew she'd have to make good on her promise. She slipped out from underneath him, letting her fingers linger on his frame a moment too long, knowing it was the last time that she could touch him without feeling only the anger than was to come. Quietly, she left the room, heading for the kitchen.

 

The only solace she could find was in a cup of tea. She clung to it, barely putting the mug down between sips. All she could do was wait for him to wake up and demand to know what she'd promised to tell him. In vain, she tried to think of the best way to say it, but there was no best way.

 

Sirius woke as Lucy was preparing her second cup of tea. Her hands were shaking, her body weak, and her face was tear stained. Sirius saw it immediately. He read it as fear, though he didn't know what of. He didn't know she was afraid that he would reject her, hate her, hate their child. Lucy's mind was occupied only by that fear: the fear that he would stop trusting her. And that fear was present with every motion she took. The tea kettle seemed too heavy, the mug seemed too hot and the seat seemed to high; she couldn't handle it without losing control of her body. Hoping to ease her fears, Sirius wrapped his arms around her, keeping her from collapsing to the floor.

 

“Tell me,” he pleaded. “Tell me so I know how to help, know how to fix it.”

 

Feeling his arms around her, Lucy regained her composure, stood up straight, and returned his embrace, knowing it might be the last time she got the chance. “You can't” was all she said to him as she pulled herself out of his arms.

 

“Why not,” he protested. “Tell me why not.” He was still begging for her to share and she wasn't going to deny him the truth. She promised she wouldn't once and she'd meant it.

 

“Because I'm pregnant.” She dropped her words like a bomb because that's what they were. They were a bomb that would set the room ablaze, blow them apart, and, ultimately, destroy them. 

 

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