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(Monday January 26th, 1979)

 

“Crucio!” He shouted, a smile twisting on his thin lips as Lily Potter writhed in her chair uncontrollably, the ropes tied around her wrists chaffing her skin. Another screech escaped her lips as Bellatrix Lestrange laid a second Cruciatus Curse atop Voldemort’s.

“If you just tell us where the Order of the Phoenix is meeting, we can leave peacefully,” Voldemort explained calmly, walking forward and pushing hair out of Lily’s face. She shivered slightly as he touched her face, but kept her mouth glued shut. Lily felt a line of blood slide down the side of her face, and struggled again as Lucius gripped her face roughly.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Lily said quietly. “I’m a secretary in the Ministry of Magic for the Department of Magical Law Enforcement,” she explained emphatically.

“Shut it, mudblood!” Bellatrix screamed, throwing a stinging hex Lily’s way, and laughing as her head jerked to the side in reaction. Lily gripped the arms of the wooden chair tighter.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she heaved through heavy breaths. Lucius snickered.

“Then what were you doing here?” He asked smarmily as if he’d figured out the whole plot.

“I was visiting my father-in-law! I was in the area, and we’ve been separated since the wedding.” Lily’s eyes moved to Narcissa’s, whose eyes widened in return. Voldemort paced around Lily’s chair, eyeing her subtly. Her nose twitched as he reached out to toy with her hair again.

“I have a proposition for you, Mrs. Potter.” Lily looked up at him fearfully, but felt her head being moved back to face the window with a flick of his wand. “You are a remarkably strong mudblood, and your husband’s lineage is nothing to scoff at.” Lily didn’t move again, but held her chin up higher.

The door suddenly whipped open, and James stood proudly in the doorframe. “Expelliarmus!” He shouted, his wand aimed at Voldemort. “Speak of the devil,” Voldemort said casually, letting his wand fall to the floor.

“Stupefy,” James exclaimed again, knocking Lucius back a few steps.

“Incarcerous!” Bellatrix hissed, tying James up in ropes similar to Lily’s. The wooden door slowly creaked shut once more, and Narcissa retrieved Voldemort’s wand from the floor.

“James,” Lily said in terror, unable to see him from her position, but able to see the reflection of a body hitting the floor in the window.

“Play easy, Bellatrix. We can’t exactly recruit the injured, can we?” Voldemort’s cloak swooshed as he crossed the room to face James. “What do you think, Mr. Potter? Care to join the winning side?” James said nothing, but glared heatedly at the figure in front of him.

“Now!” he barked randomly, the door slamming open dramatically once more, Sirius standing in the doorframe.

“Petrificus Totalus,” he yelled, aiming his wand at Bellatrix who was facing James, and was unable to see Sirius come in at all. Moody, Marlene, and Remus all flooded in after Sirius, and the chaos began.

“Lily,” Marlene said desperately, ducking as Lucius shot a curse towards her. “Relashio.” The cords that bound Lily came undone, and Lily nodded to Marlene in thanks. She ran to the corner where her wand lay, and grabbed it quickly in an attempt to arm herself, struggling to stay standing.

Voldemort was locked in battle with Remus and James after Remus unfettered him from Bellatrix’s ropes. Lucius was losing terribly to Moody, and Sirius was dueling seamlessly with Narcissa.

“You have quite the wand work, Potter,” Voldemort said calmly, knocking Remus down with a wave of his wand. Marlene took Remus’ spot as he fell, and managed to nick Voldemort’s shoulder with a stunning spell. Voldemort stumbled into Narcissa who fell forward, just missing Sirius’ last curse.

“It seems you’ve forgotten we were trained together, dear cousin,” Narcissa said calmly as she blocked yet another of Sirius’ spells.

“You haven’t got the greatest memory yourself, Cissa,” Sirius hissed back angrily. “Aresto momentum,” he bellowed, slowing Narcissa down considerably. “Stupefy!” Narcissa was stunned immediately, and fell to the floor next to Bellatrix.

“Band together, men,” Moody cried above the voices that cursed the opposing side. The members of the Order collected themselves on the North side of the house, each trying to separate from their duels.

Lucius helped Narcissa up gently, and rushed over to stand with Voldemort. Bellatrix lay still on the floor, and Lucius, Narcissa, and Voldemort stood on the opposite side of the room. A silence filled the air as both sides realized they were at a stalemate.

Another eerie smile crept up on Voldemort’s face in the silence. “Consider my offer, Potters,” he said mysteriously, grabbing Bellatrix’s hand and disapparating suddenly. The Malfoy’s followed suit, and soon there were only members of the Order of the Phoenix left. They seemed to let out a collective breath, and all looked to Moody who glared back scarily. 

“Let’s get back to headquarters,” he said with finality limping out of the room and slamming the door shut behind him.

Lily looked up at James and held his hand tightly, collapsing against his chest. “Thank Merlin,” she breathed out, relieved that it was over.
 








 

“Let me see that,” Dorcas said gently, reaching out to take Marlene’s shoulder in her hand. Marlene shrugged her off, wincing in the process.

“Don’t touch me,” she growled angrily. “Remus, will you come take a look at my shoulder?” she asked from her cot in headquarters. Remus made his way over to Marlene tiredly, and Dorcas switched with him, continuing the work he was doing on Lily’s wrists.

“You’ve got to forgive her, M. You know she was just looking out for you.” Marlene rolled her eyes, and placed her hand on top of Remus’.

“She was looking out for Sirius. She’s selfish.” Marlene struggled to sit up, and Remus helped her prop up against the wall of the old musty room.

“She’s scared. Give her a break. You know she meant well, and you know you love her.” Remus got up, and was about to leave Marlene when she stood suddenly and leaned on his shoulder for support.

“Why aren’t we at St. Mungo’s with the others, Remus?” He let out a slow breath and glanced at Marlene nervously.

“It’s something about Moody not wanting the press to hear about the fight. He wasn’t supposed to be there,” he said quickly, shrugging Marlene’s hand off discreetly and making his way to the small kitchen.

“None of us were supposed to be there,” Peter muttered from the kitchen table, sipping on a coffee and tapping his foot.

“And just where were you?” Marlene asked haughtily. Her hand went to her hip and Remus turned back to the stove to busy himself.

“I was keeping Mary occupied.” He took another large gulp of coffee before tossing his mug in the sink.

“Mary?” Marlene and Remus asked skeptically, following him out of the kitchen and back into the pseudo infirmary.

“She was sent to the Potter Manor when Charles showed up at St. Mungo’s. I’m not that great with dueling, but-“

“He’s the best liar I’ve ever met. Go easy on them, Marls. We all have jobs,” James interrupted. He ruffled Marlene’s hair and embraced her without hesitation.

“I know, James,” she mumbled into his shoulder.

“Guys, about Mary-,” Peter added.

“Wait,” Marlene said again. “The Prewetts are already at St. Mungo’s. Why does it matter if we go?”

“She’s right,” James agreed, scanning the room to see what Remus, Peter, and Dorcas were thinking. “Lily needs proper medical attention, sorry Dorcas.” Dorcas waved off the insult and went back to tending to Lily. Peter and Remus looked at each other uncomfortably and Peter nodded towards Remus, giving him a sign of consent.

“The Prewett twins were killed before they even got to the study where Lily was being held. Molly Weasley and Moody went back to St. Mungo’s to deal with the press there.” Marlene’s eyes glazed over in shock.

“The Prewetts were killed?” Lily asked from the other room. Dorcas helped her into a wheelchair and rolled her over to the group. Everyone looked at Lily strangely and Marlene gave them a look that clearly indicated that it was not okay to make a big deal out of it.

“She’s fine,” Dorcas reassured everyone. “After the adrenaline rush died down, her legs gave out. The ropes cut off circulation to her legs. She’ll be fine in a day or two.” Lily nodded sadly, rubbing her wrists absent-mindedly.

“I am fine. But Molly should not be at St. Mungo’s!” Lily exclaimed, slamming her fist down on the arm of her chair. “She needs to grieve properly.” Peter and Remus shared another look.

“That’s the reason Moody is there. He and Arthur aren’t so worried about everyone finding out about the attack.” Lily’s face softened sadly as she realized what was going on.

“It’s too hard to believe and the Daily Prophet wouldn’t print something so incriminating anyway. They’re trying to focus all the attention on the Prewett crisis.” Everyone’s gaze turned to the floor, and Peter sipped on another cup of coffee.

“It’s despicable,” Sirius said out of nowhere, heading back to the kitchen to grab a bottle of whiskey from the cabinet. Marlene glared at him pointedly, but everyone ignored it as Lily began crying quietly.

“I was with them not three days ago and now they’re dead!” She exclaimed through sobs, gripping her wheelchair tightly. Dorcas put her hand over Lily’s, and a tear slipped out of her eye as well. She wiped it away angrily.  

“It’s not our fault,” Marlene said suddenly, shaking her head and looking to the ground.

“Yes it is. It is our fault.” Everyone looked to Dorcas as she walked around the small table that they were crowded around to take the bottle of whiskey out of Sirius’ hand. “Somehow everything is our fault lately!” She slammed the bottle down on the table and it shattered loudly, making Peter cringe as he was seated straight across from it.

“Mary was right to ditch while she could.” The group looked around at each other uncomfortably and Peter opened his mouth to add something again, but shut it and slumped in his chair as Dorcas continued ranting. “We aren’t helping! Lily’s the only one who’s done any good, any actual maturing since Hogwarts. The rest of us are just little kids running around with wooden sticks.”

“Don’t be so negative, Dorcas,” Lily interjected through her tears. “We’re doing all we can.” James moved over to the left to hold Lily’s hand gently.

“No. You’re doing all you can, Lily. Marlene and I haven’t been right since Christmas, Remus doesn’t talk to us unless it’s about Marlene, Sirius just broke his month-long sober stint, Peter has been going to muggle gambling and I’m not supposed to tell anyone,” she went on, holding up a finger to Peter as he opened his mouth to protest, “and James only really pays attention when Moody is talking or Lily is given an assignment.”

Everyone either glared at Dorcas or looked away, realizing that she had exposed their less than helpful behavior. Silence fell upon the group as Dorcas took in a deep, unsettling breath. The pattering of rain on the small window near the ceiling of the basement was quiet, but loud enough to keep the silence full. Peter was about to open his mouth for the last time when the door to the basement creaked open gently. Everyone gripped their wands nervously.

“You lot are a mess.” Dorcas’ eyes widened in shock, and Remus’ mouth dropped open slightly in surprise as Peter smirked at the woman across the room. “Of course, you’ve always been a bit of a mess, I think.” Mary stood in the doorway.

 








 

A/N: I can't believe I got through to the death of the twins already! Don't worry, there will be acknowledgment of that in further chapters. As for now, you can contemplate why Mary is back! 

 

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