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Don’t make me sad, don’t make me cry.
Sometimes love is not enough and road gets tough, I don’t know why.
Keep making me laugh, let’s go get high.
The road is long, we carry on; try to have fun in the meantime.

Born to Die, Lana Del Rey
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Striding down the empty corridor, Loren slipped quietly around a corner, stopping at once to wait for the door to appear from nowhere. Grasping the doorknob, she entered the room that she had been coming to twice a week since the students had returned from break.


Large and small beakers filled the shelves- fountains, buckets and cauldrons littered the floor and in the center of the room sat a large stone basin- all filled at different levels with clear, crystalline water. Dropping her bag to the floor, Loren quickly removed her uniform and shuffled on a tank top and pair of shorts.


Picking up her pile of clothing and bag, she made her way around the maze of clutter and opened yet another door. Meeting the sight of her friends all perched on a large sofa that was settled in front of a crackling fireplace, she set her bag on a mahogany table. “Alright, everybody ready?” The four teenagers nodded standing, the followed Loren back into the first room. They all wore similar clothing.


“Okay, Lor- so far I've been able to teach you to manipulate the small beakers of water but we really do need to start accelerating your learning process. Dumbledore said to give you his personal apology in the letter he sent me but in case a war is started, it is better that you are ready. We want you to be able to use your power against the other side, not for them to use your power against you.” Lily shrugged, feeling terrible for having to push Loren faster than could go.

“I get it Lily and believe me, I would love to be progressing faster and I really am trying. I’m just so preoccupied and stressed. And before you say anything, I know there are no excuses when it comes to education.” Loren mimicked Lily’s most popular phrase to Sirius and James when it came to homework, earning a chuckle from the three boys standing towards the back of the room.


Truth be told, Loren was becoming aggravated with herself. It was the end of January and this was going to be her sixth session with her cousin and still, she couldn't work with more than a gallon of water. She had expected so much from herself that her short comings were feeling like a large failure.

Each session she worked to move the water from beaker to beaker, turn the gallon into a mini rainstorm and mold and throw water balls. She could do all of that with no effort but each time Lily had her move to the next largest beaker, holding two gallons; Loren could do nothing but slosh the water over the edges of the container which just created a large mess in the long run.

January had sped on and Loren’s list of worries and preoccupations lengthened significantly. The Professors had piled on the work in “pre preparation” for their N.E.W.T.S- their words, not Loren’s. The research and pseudo missions that Dumbledore had the friends doing within the confines of the castle were making Loren restless. The slightly more than platonic but far from romantic relationship between her and Sirius was becoming frustrating, and to add insult to injury, Loren had written Sebastian three times a week, each week and still hadn't heard a word from him and there, Loren knew, were the base of her anxieties.

More and more, Loren was worried about Sebastian. Every day that passed without a word from her ex-boyfriend brought on a whole new wave of terror. Where was he? How was he doing? Why wasn't he speaking with her? Loren just wanted to know that Sebastian was okay. She had thought about contacting his father but second guessed herself each time, rationalizing that she wasn't even sure of his name. The only family of Sebastian’s that Loren knew of by name was an older brother named Ben.

“Loren, honey, are you still with us?” Lily waved her hand repeatedly in front of her cousin’s face, pulling her back to reality.

Shaking her head side to side, Loren pushed her everyday worries to the back of her mind and smiled. “Yeah, sorry. I was just trying to get into the right mindset. I’m ready, let’s do this thing!”

Loren ran threw her normal routine, moving water from one beaker to the next, throwing small balls into the large basin that sat largely in the center of the room and trying desperately to move on to larger containers to no avail. “Lily, I can’t do it.” She whined loudly, kicking over the beaker and watching as the water spread across the floor.

“Loren, I’m sure you can. You just have to-“

“Nah, Lil. I don’t think she can.” James quipped. Nudging an elbow into Sirius’s side, James continued. “Actually, I’m pretty damn sure she can’t do.

“You’re right, mate. She just doesn't have it in her.” Sirius said, walking around the basin, he flopped to the floor and cheekily smiled.

An embarrassed flush spread across Loren’s cheeks and she cringed as the two continued mocking her. Angry tears pooled in her eyes and she turned away, hastily picking up the discarded beaker.

“What are you doing?” Lily whispered, her words coming out in a jumbled hiss.

Raising a single finger, James silenced his girlfriend “Just watch.”

“Ya know, Padfoot, I think she over thinks it too much. She can’t just let go and figure it out. I bet I could even do better!” James egged her on further, splashing some water at Loren’s legs with his hand.

“Like I said, when you’re right, you’re right. I thought she could do so much better.”

“I guess we were all wrong, Sir. Lily flower, you really should stop wasting your time.”


“I’m a bit disappointed, though. I thought this would be a better show, Prongsie!”


Slowly but surely, Loren’s anger bubbled up, her tears hot and scalding down her cheeks. Whipping around, she flung the beaker in the direction of the boys. “Will you two just shut up?” Loren screeched. The beaker crashed to the ground, shattering and sprinkling the room in shards of glass. “You don’t think I can do it? That’s nice; do you think I give a flying hippogriff arse?” A row of beakers shook as the water spilled over the top.

Loren stomped forward, her temper drowning in the depths of one of the beakers behind her. “If you want to sit in here and take the Mickey, then you can be my guest and just leave!” The water in the containers behind her surged forward, it formed a wall that swam and moved soundlessly at her back. It grew and still grew larger with each angry tear that fell from her eyes.

“And one more thing! If you want to run yourself ragged trying to protect my family and you think you could do so much better then be my guest.” Loren’s voice had reached a paranormal octave and the wall of water seemed to hang on to her every word. As her anger grew, so did the wall and as her last syllable broke through, the wall mimicked the action. Crashing forward, it arched over Loren’s head, skimming past Lily and Remus and breaking over James and Sirius.

The wall of water stayed together, pressing itself on to the two teenagers, swimming around them. It created a barrier that spiraled around them, enclosing them completely.

Loren held her breath, shock spiking throughout her entire body.


James and Sirius gasped, their mouths forming oxygen deprived “O’s”. Their arms reached and reached but the barrier forced them where they were, they were unable to move.


“Loren, breathe! Please!” Lily cried, running forward to the wall, she too was unable to move through it. “Loren, they can’t breathe!”

Loren was paralyzed as she watched two of her favorite people drown in front of her eyes. Sirius’s efforts slackened and his eyes rolled into the back of his skull, his fight to get away from the water sapping his energy quickly. Fear lanced through Loren.

Blinking twice, Loren took a haggard breath, her lungs relishing the feeling and as the anger ebbed away, the wall fell, splashing over Loren, Lily and Remus, leaving two soaked and gasping men in its wake. Lily and Remus quickly made their way to James as he pulled air into his awaiting lungs.


Standing in her place, Loren stood stock still, her eyes unable to leave Sirius. The color quickly came back into his skin and his chest rose and fell with each breath. Once he regained his senses, he glanced up searching, his eyes wide and wild.

Loren shook from head to toe, her angst pouring off of her in waves. She was unsure whether to run in the direction of the door or into the direction of Sirius and as if answering her unspoken question, Sirius held out his arms for her.

Bounding forward, Loren flung herself into Sirius’s outstretched arms. “I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I am so, so sorry, Sirius.” Clasping his face between her hands, she kissed every inch of his face. “Please forgive me, I didn't mean to do that!” she whispered between kisses. “Sirius, I truly don’t know how I did. I’m sorry,-“catching Loren off guard, Sirius pressed his lips to hers, silencing her apologies.

Gently placing a hand to her cheek and wrapping the other tightly around her waist, Sirius pulled Loren against his muscled frame. Deepening the kiss, his tongue persuasively found hers. Standing in the middle of the room, soaking wet and shaken, Sirius and Loren found comfort within one another.

***


Loren’s POV

Flopping down on to the mahogany bench, I gave an unenthusiastic grunt in the direction of the others sitting around me.

“Well, good morning to you, too, Loren.” Remus said, setting down his goblet. “What has you so out of sorts this morning?”

“ Couldn't sleep.” I mumbled through a mouthful of eggs, swallowing quickly and grabbing a piece of toast from the basket in front of me.

“Me either. I had a dream that I failed potions because my cauldron pulled me into the boiling water.” James shivered and pushed his half empty plate away from him.

“Oh, I don’t believe that.” Lily replied.

“Well believe it, Lil. He kept me up most of the night whinging on and on about it. He wouldn't even shower this morning. I reckon Loren gave him a right scare last night.” Sirius answered back, clapping James on the back while simultaneously rolling his gray eyes.

An unwelcome feeling of misery ran through me like a fissure, “I really am sorry, you guys.” I picked at my toast, deciding that James had the right idea. Pushing away my plate, I glanced down at the grain in the table and sighed.

“Loren, you’re going to need to stop apologizing sooner or later and beside, like we all told you last night- it’s just showing that you’re getting better with your power. You just need to work on using it whenever, not just when you feel like killing me or Jamsie boy.” Sirius’s smile reached his eyes and he gave my thigh a reassuring squeeze underneath the table.

A million butterflies bounced around in my stomach and my blood heated instantly. It almost amazed me just how wound up Sirius could make me feel with barely a touch at all.

The rest of breakfast passed slowly, the chink of cutlery and the hum of the students a welcome distraction to the melancholy I was feeling. My lack of sleep was already catching up with me and this was the kind of dog tired that even three cups of coffee couldn't touch. Letting my head find a pillow on Sirius’s shoulder, I shut my eyes and waited for the others to finish and announce that they were off to class.

I had two free periods before class today and although I should probably use it to catch some rest, I hadn't written Sebastian yet this week and maybe it was just a hope, but I believed that if I bothered him enough, he would eventually grow sick of me and write back. That was the only idea I was currently allowing myself to entertain, any other thoughts of Sebastian and his whereabouts, I had locked away in a box in the back of my mind that I only opened when I wanted to be self-loathing and worrisome.

“So, Sirius- what was with the tonsil tennis last night after Loren almost killed us?”

Sitting up quickly, I narrowed my eyes at James. Remus choked not so discreetly on his orange juice and Lily’s face quickly turned 40 shades of puce.

“I think I’m late for class!” Sirius announced, jumping up and grabbing his bag.

“Yeah, yeah- you’re quite right. I completely lost track of time.” Remus doubled.

Nodding quickly, I motioned to Lily and clambered away from the table, quickly joining my cousin and following the two guys from the Great Hall, leaving a laughing James Potter by himself at the Gryffindor table.

“Loren, can I talk to you about something?” Lily pulled me into the girl’s lavatory and glanced underneath each stall individually, finally leaning against the door and letting out an uneasy breath.

And as selfish as it may seem, I really didn't want to waste time in the bathroom. I wanted to get to the library and write Sebastian and maybe even take a short nap. “Of course, Lily” I lied “What’s on your mind?”

Pulling at a loose thread at the hem of her skirt, Lily bit her lip impishly. “I think I want to… you know… go all the way with James.” An uneven blush covered Lily’s face and she covered up her scarlet face with both hands.

Blanching for just a second, I attempted to compose myself as I was a bit blown over by this unexpected conversation. Actually, I was more than a bit blown over- you could send me flying to America with the flick of a feather. “You want- you want to have Sex with, with- with James Potter?” I stuttered foolishly and lowered myself to the floor, my back leaning against a stall door.

“Well yes, that is the James that I was referring to.” Lily sat down across from me and sighed heavily. “Did you go all the way with Sebastian, or even Sirius?”

“Please stop calling it anything but sex, Lil!”

“Okay… did you have sex with Sebastian or Sirius?” She folded her arms and then unfolded them, looking for something to do other than look me in the eyes.

This had to be the most exasperating conversation in the world. “No, Lily! I haven’t had sex with Sebastian, Sirius, or anybody else for that matter. Don’t you think that’s something I would have told you?”

Lily tensed, an emotion that I couldn't read seemed to radiate off of her body. “Well we didn't talk for a long while. I thought maybe then… I figured it wasn't that absurd to think of.”

“Well it was, Lily! I wasn't speaking to Sirius at all and Sebastian and I were on our way out. I don’t think making a habit of shagging either of them in that situation would have made anything easier.” I rubbed the creases that formed between my eyes. “Lily, listen to me, if you want to have sex with James and you think you are ready for that- please, for the love of Merlin, don’t let whether or not I've had sex impact your decision. We've grown up doing everything together but this doesn't have to be one of those things. This is going to something that connects you and James, not you and me!”

“I know this is scary to think of, but just because I haven’t gone through with it doesn't mean I haven’t thought about it multiple times. Make this decision based on what is best for your relationship. I can’t tell you what’s the right or wrong thing to do. Please, just remember to think it through- this is something that can be taken back, this is yours and his first time we are talking about and it isn't something to throw away.”

Lily’s face softened instantly and she nodded, throwing her arms around my neck and squeezing me gently. “I know, Loren! I know, I’m just so nervous. Everything usually comes so easy to me and if it doesn't, I most certainly have a book that can help me but not here. This is so new to me. But thank you for listening, thank you for always being there. “

I smiled widely and stood, grabbing my bag and making my way to the door. “Good look, Lil.” I opened the door but turned back quickly. “If you do have sex with him, use a contraceptive, right now isn't the best time to bring another life into the world.”

The thought of any of us having a child to protect rendered me scared and nauseous. The war that was brewing was lapping at our toes; I couldn't even entertain putting something so innocent into a world so corrupt. The thoughts swept my breath away and I had to grip the door handle hard to bring myself back to the moment at hand.

“But if by some chance it does happen and it’s a girl, name her Charlotte! If it’s a boy, name him Harry” I winked at Lily and slipped through the door quickly, hoping my desperate attempt to lighten the mood and my own thoughts worked.

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A/N
- Well, there you are. This is the filler of all fillers and I'm going to say it once, I am so sorry about the wait. This story has become so incredibly lengthy in the time it has taken to get chapters out and that is nobody's fault but my own. When I came into this story, I was young, my writing was pretty horrid and as I got better and more into the story line, I completely threw out the original plot and now I'm just going with the natural flow. I've had HORRIBLE writers block but once in awhile, I get into it. I'm hoping that that can be said for my time now. Anyway, I don't blame those that were dedicated to this story if they up and left, hell, I would have. I'm just hoping that somebody comes along to the end. Now with that said, I'm almost finished with the next chapter. So at least you'll see some activity from me? Yeah, I know, I'm horrible. I want to see at least ten more chapters from this story, so I guess we'll see where I go with it, won't we?

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