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 (July 1st, 1981)



 

“No, I’m not saying I’m going to live here forever, mum,” Remus sighed into the phone. He played with an empty bottle of whiskey from yesterday. Or the day before that. He wiped the stubble that had formed on his chin as his mother spoke with him in her quiet voice that seemed to grate his ears.

“Yeah,” he answered without intention. He let her speak without interruption.

“I know.”

Remus tilted his head back as she talked about his father.

“That’s great for dad,” he said with as much vigor as he could muster.

“I love you too, mum.”

Remus twisted the pliable cord between his fingers, ignoring the sting of the freshest scars that graced his hands gave.

“G’bye.” He slammed the phone down on the hook and fell backwards onto Marlene’s bed. Remus turned his head to the left and stared at the neatly folded side. A long, dark, brown hair floated atop the dusty pillow on Marlene’s favorite side. He pursed his lips and blew it away. It fell off the edge of the bed, and Remus frowned suddenly, but did not get up.

He turned his head to the right and looked out into the hallway. Most of his clothes were packed away into his trunks. They stood by the doorway, even dustier than the bedroom. He rolled his eyes and turned his head to face the ceiling. His belongings sitting at the front door only reminded him that he couldn’t move on.

The flawless ceiling made him chuckle. How is it that a werewolf and a disowned Pureblood ended up living together in such a nice flat? And how is it that she could afford that?

Looking at such a spotless, seamless ceiling made Remus remember that he was supposed to have moved out by the end of the month. That day had come and gone, and Remus had gone and ignored it.

“I hate this bloody war,” he said aloud but to himself because no one else was there to hear him.

He probably needed to say it out loud. They all should, because war sucked. And the Order made it okay for them to pretend that they had purpose.

But they were children with a belief and Merlin knows if that ever did anyone any good.

Remus heard a strong knock at the door and closed his eyes.

“It’s the super!” A man’s voice called.

It was probably time for him to move out.

 




(August 1st, 1981)

The air outside was crisp and warm on the evening of August 1st. Children were playing outside in their yards, and Lily, James, and Harry sat in their own.

“That’s it,” Lily said with encouragement in her eyes as Harry stumbled across the yard towards James. James spread his arms out wide, and Harry broke into a slight run at the promise of a hug. Lily rolled her eyes knowingly, as it only took Harry a few seconds to fall over in his ambition.

“Just like his father,” she mumbled fondly, standing and walking over to Harry, who was poking his reddened knee with wild curiosity.

“You know it,” James said brightly, reaching his arms again so Harry would crawl onto his lap.

Lily took a seat next to her husband and leaned her head against his shoulder as Harry fell into James’ lap. She sighed and closed her eyes in the serenity. The children laughing, the sun setting,

“Tell me a story, James,” Lily said fondly as she cuddled into James’ side. He smiled, and pondered for a second as Harry clambered into his lap.

“Okay,” James said in preparation. “I’ve got it.” 

Lily smiled at her husband’s jovial voice.

“We were in fifth year,” he started confidently. “No sixth,” he corrected quickly, making Lily look up. He frowned, and his eyes tilted upwards as he tried to recall. “No fifth,” he said with a nod of his head. Lily smirked and closed her eyes again.

“So fifth year in the Gryffindor Common Room.” He put an arm around Lily’s shoulder and started stroking her hair. “We had just finished studying up for our O.W.Ls I guess.”

At this Lily scoffed.

“I want the truth, James,” she said insistently.

“We were!” he exclaimed. Lily waited a beat. “Okay, so Remus was studying and we were planning something.” James smiled as Lily did her best to hide one.

“But Lily, when I tell you what happened,” he said dreamily, ruffling his hand through his hair, “You are just going to be amazed. As a matter of fact, you might actually be sad that you missed out on Fifth Year James.”

Lily’s eyes popped open in surprise.

“Oh, will I?” she asked with doubt, pulling Harry into her lap as he began to crawl away from the pair.

“Let me continue,” he pouted, pulling Lily in closer to him. Lily bit her lip to keep herself from retorting, and James took that as a sign to go on.

“So we’re in the common room, and it’s around two in the morning at this point.” Lily peeked, and watched James explain with his usual animation. “Lily, Sirius was absolutely plastered. I mean beyond the point of coherence. And so naturally, we dared him to do something.”

Lily rolled her eyes in anticipation.

“Are you sure I haven’t heard this one before?” she asked skeptically. James snickered and smiled privately.

“Lily, I swear you haven’t.” Lily nodded, and James continued.

“Okay. So this was the year we had that smoking hot Hufflepuff Head Girl, remember?” James shrugged at Lily’s silence. “So of course we had to…”

“…dare Sirius to go and sneak into the Head Girl’s room and steal a pair of her knickers,” Lily finished in disappointment.

“Lily, my darling. You have not heard this story before,” James said firmly. Lily looked up at James, but he shook his head and smirked at his wife.

“Alright! Go on,” she said with a sigh.

So we dared Sirius to go and steal her knickers.” Before Lily interrupted again James continued in that voice that no one could interrupt. “Except…Sirius did not know where the Head Girl’s room was.” James let that sentence marinate in Lily’s head.

“No,” she whispered, imagining what she thought was the worst imaginable.

“I swear on my life, Lily dear, that the following is the truth.” Lily’s smile brightened as James’ did, and she hugged Harry closer to her chest.

“Sirius Orion Black snuck into Minerva McGonagall’s window that night, waking up our poor head of house in the process.”

Lily then let out a cackle that rivaled Sirius’, and a snort that rivaled Peter’s.

“And I jest not,” he said seriously, quieting Lily suddenly. “Peter Pettigrew is now, as far as I know, in possession of a pair of dear Minnie’s knickers.”

Lily laughed uncontrollably at the thought of a drunken Sirius filing through their Transfiguration professor’s undergarment drawer. Harry looked up at his mother curiously, and climbed out from under her arms as her palm slammed on the ground as she attempted to catch her breath.

Lily sat back against James again, who was chuckling slightly out of amazement of Lily and slightly of the memory. A tear slipped out of her eye as she laughed silently, and another, and another until she was no longer laughing. Only crying. James’ face fell slightly at Lily’s sudden change in temperament.

Harry held onto the edge of Lily’s sundress hopefully, trying to get his mother’s attention. Lily picked him up and raised Harry above her head happily as she now cried in streams of tears.

“Lily, what is it?” James asked with concern. He traced his arms up hers, and took Harry from her, cuddling him against his own cheek. Lily shook her head, looked down at her lap, licked her lips, and looked back to James.

She took another breath, and gazed upon James and Harry.

“I’m pregnant.”




 



(September 1st, 1981)

 

Mary actually waited for a rainy day to visit Marlene’s grave. She kept telling herself it was because less were people would be out during a storm, and she was less likely to be spotted. But she knew it was because she liked the aesthetic of it. She didn’t bring an umbrella, because she would rather be punished at least a little bit for her own part in the death of two old friends.

“Hi Marlene,” she said as she entered the marble mausoleum for the McKinnon family. She stood in front of Marlene’s plaque, trying her best to stop her hair from dripping on the floor. She tucked it into her raincoat, and relished in the cold tingle that fell down her spine.

“I hope you’re doing okay. I hope you and Dorcas found each other,” she said tearfully, placing a hand on the cool stone. She traced Marlene’s name with her fingers, and smiled sadly.

“You know, I’m sorry I chose the wrong side.” Mary held her breath as the words flew out of her mouth. She’d been holding it in, hiding it away for so long, that saying it almost felt dangerous. Mary let out her breath, and gazed down at Marlene’s name again, trying to find some familiarity to tie a tether to.

“It’s not all happening poetically, you know,” she said absently. “Maybe you were just afraid. That’s okay,” Mary assured Marlene, assured herself. “I mean, you were definitely afraid.” She thought about Bellatrix and Voldemort and all the other people who had threatened her. “I’m afraid.”

A foot step fell behind Mary, and she turned around with a jumpiness in her body.

“I am sorry, too,” Albus Dumbledore said from a more shadowed part of the mausoleum. He had a large umbrella, and zipped it shut promptly, leaving it by the entrance as he walked forward to Marlene’s stone.

Mary stepped to the side and tilted her head down. She hoped it was discreetly. She hoped Dumbledore hadn’t heard everything.

“Had I been more involved perhaps,” he pondered. He paused for a bit. Had he not said ‘too’ Mary would have thought he didn’t notice her. “I am but a guilty man. I am looking for something to make me feel less guilty.” Dumbledore took a step backwards and bowed his head.

The two stood there in silence for some time. Dumbledore seemed to be thinking something, so Mary thought, too. About how she ruined Marlene’s life for as long as she’d known her.

The rain poured on through their silence. Mary couldn’t help but think that Dumbledore was also fond of the dramatics. How big of a coincidence was it that the two came on the same exact day, months after Marlene’s death?

“Isn’t that right, Mary?” Dumbledore asked aloud. Mary kept her mouth shut, thinking about how this would go down. Would he take her in? Would they duel?

“Sorry?” she decided upon, hoping to keep herself vague.

“We are guilty people. Looking for peace.” Dumbledore turned his head, and so did Mary. She swallowed audibly, stickily. His piercing blue eyes hit her. Mary immediately knew that Dumbledore did not mean any harm. He never had. She looked at him silently for three seconds more before responding.  

“I think so, sir.”

 






A/N: I cannot believe that this is finally over! It has literally been years in the making, and I'm thankful for every bit of it. Please let me know everything you're feeling below. Because I'm feeling a ton, too!!! 






blackballet

 

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