Author's note: hello! I wanted to let you all lovely readers know that this is the second to last chapter. There is only one more after this. I am super sad that we are almost at the end of this story. I have loved sharing it with you all, and your reviews and comment have made me happy to bursting :)
Let me know what you think of how all lose ends are tying up. You all know what happens because canon but it's still nice to hear your thoughts.
Jocelyn was still fast asleep, and I didn’t want to wake her up yet. I got out of bed quietly and made my way to the kitchen. I almost had a heart attack when I walked in and found Alastor Moody standing by the stove with an annoyed expression on his face.
“Alastor? What are you doing here?” I asked him.
“Ah, finally someone’s awake! You know, it was way too easy for me to get in here, what if I’d been a Death Eater?” he inquired.
“Alastor, you put up the protective spells. Of course you can get in,” I pointed out.
“Constant vigilance, Sirius!” he slammed his hand on the counter and I jumped a little, startled.
“Indeed,” I poured myself some coffee. “Coffee?”
“No,” he replied, making an impatient hand gesture.
“Why are you here?”
“Ah, right, yes. Remus has sent news from the wolfpack he’s with in Ireland, I thought you’d want to know he’s safe and sound and they’ve accepted him,” he explained.
I did feel a massive weight lift off my shoulders. We’d all been nervous about this; it was his first time trying to infiltrate a pack.
“That is great news. Thanks for coming all… Wait, you didn’t come all the way here just to tell us this, did you?”
“What… Good morning Alastor. Why are you in my house?” Prongs walked into the kitchen and went straight for the coffee pot. His hair was even messier than usual, and the bags under his eyes let me know he’d stayed up late.
“We have reason to believe Lord Voldemort is going to move on a committee from the American Ministry visiting next week. We need escorts,” Moddy said. I sighed.
“I’ll go,” I volunteered.
“No way, absolutely no way,” James shook his head. “You’ve gone on the past three missions already. Yesterday was the first time you saw Jo in two months. She’ll kill you if you get yourself re-assigned so soon. You are not going. I am.”
“We’ll go together, I’m not letting you go…”
“Go where?” Jo interrupted as she walked in.
I turned to look at her and the wind was knocked out of me. It hadn’t stopped amazing me that this goddess was all mine. She was wearing my shirt, which served like a dress on her small frame. Her chocolate hair cascaded down her back, and it was all I could do not to go to her and bury my hands in it.
“There’s a mission,” James replied. “And your crazy ass boyfriend wants to volunteer for it, again!”
“It’s here, in London. Escort and protection for the envoy of the American Ministry,” Moody told her. I knew what she was going to say before she said it.
“I’ll go,” she said.
“Absolutely not. Are you guys insane? Do you not want to take a little break?” James shook Jocelyn by the shoulders. “You just got back from Romania. You were gone two months, and all the while Sirius was in and out of missions like he was collecting detentions back at Hogwarts!”
“You can’t go, James,” Jo said softly. “You are getting married in two weeks”
He groaned in frustration. “I am not getting married so you guys can keep me out of every mission. That’s unfair.”
“We know. And you have gone on missions. Several,” I pointed out. “But I don’t think taking risks two weeks before your wedding is necessary.”
“Listen to Sirius, sometimes he talks sense,” Jo teased. She smiled at me, and I had to ask myself why I had even left our bed that morning.
“Well, this is all very honorable and lovely, but I need to report back. Who am I signing up, then?” Moody interrupted.
“Sirius and I,” Jo said. I nodded. Moody looked satisfied. I knew this was his plan all along. If it was up to him, Jo would be on every single mission. If I didn’t watch out, he’d work her into the ground.
“Report for duty on Monday at 8 a.m. sharp,” he said before walking out of the house.
“Good morning,” Jo’s small arms wrapped around my waist and she tiptoed to kiss me. I was still not used to this. Four-odd months later, it still felt like it was too good to be true.
“Lily is going to freak out when I tell her you two are off again,” James muttered, pouring coffee in a second mug and walking out of the kitchen.
We had been living with James and Lily at the Potters’ since graduation. Remus had been dispatched to join a werewolf clan rumoured to be supportive of Lord Voldemort and Peter had volunteered to live at the Order’s headquarters and ran most of the daily admin and errands.
“You were supposed to wait for me in bed,” I told Jo, who still had her arms wrapped around me.
“I’m not very good at doing what I’m supposed to be doing, am I?”
“You are not,” I agreed, picking her up and carrying her back to our bedroom. I dropped her on the bed and climbed on it with her. “Now, as James pointed out to me earlier, we have two months to make up for…”
We had promised the girls we wouldn’t get too drunk, but things had got out of hand by accident. One shot led to another and suddenly James was puking his guts out. ‘Jo is going to kill me’ I thought.
Remus helped James clean himself up and we woke Peter, who was dozing off on his chair, up.
“Right, marauders, I think we need to call it a night or there is no way Prongs will survive long enough to actually get married,” Moony, the voice of reason, took charge of the situation. Peter nodded and promptly fell back asleep.
“One more drink!” I shouted.
“Absolutely not, Padfoot. You’re going to be in enough trouble as it is!” he refused. I whimpered.
“But Prongs is getting married! It’s his stag-do,” I broke into a fit of giggles at that. “Stag-do, do you get it?” I laughed harder. Oh Godric, sometimes I am hilarious.
“It is your duty as best man to make sure he actually makes it to the wedding alive!”
“Wedding! My wedding! Oh, Merlin’s beard, what time is it?” James regained a semi-conscious state that moment and started shouting nervously.
“Chill, Prongs. You’re good,” I said. “That’s a good question, though. What time is it Moony?”
“It is nearly five in the morning,” he informed us.
“I am so dead,” I said at that. I had promised Jo we’d be back by one, absolute latest.
“How are you so whipped by someone so tiny?” James slurred his words so much I almost didn’t catch his question.
“I’m not the one getting married at 18. And, Lily is not much bigger than Jo. At least Jo packs a mean punch. Ask those bludgers,” I said waving a finger in the air to defend my manliness.
“Everyone is getting married at 18 these days,” James shrugged.
“He’s got a point. Why aren’t you?” Remus asked me.
“I refuse to make old Walbruga happy. Jo is pure blood. The hag would approve,” I said with disgust.
“Do you not think maybe Jo would like it if you married her?”
“Jo doesn’t care. All Jo wants - according to Jo - is for us to be together and win the war. I don’t think she’s ever even thought about marriage,” I thought this was dismissal of the topic enough, but Remus was inclined to disagree.
“Maybe not before, but I bet she’ll think about it when she walks down the aisle with you tomorrow to open her best friend’s wedding,” he said.
“Which won’t happen if we don’t get James back immediately,” I jumped out of my seat and grabbed James, causing us both to fall in an awkward heap on the floor.
Moony shook his head and helped us up. Oops…!
An hour later I was back in the room that Jo and I shared. I was feeling rather smug, convinced I had successfully avoided conflict when I got into bed next to her. But, as soon as my head touched the pillow, she turned to face me and gave me a look.
“Tell me James is in his room safe and sound and maybe I won’t kill you,” she said.
“James is in his room! We brought him back and tucked him into bed! I gave him a good night kiss and everything, I promise,” I replied nervously.
“How drunk are you, Sirius?”
“Ehm... not drunk enough that I can’t make it up to you for being late?” I tried.
Her smile betrayed her, and I seized my window of opportunity. I pulled her close to me and kissed her urgently, sliding my hands over her body. I got a soft moan out of her and I couldn’t stop myself from smirking a little. The last thing I thought before want and need and desire for Jocelyn took over was ‘whipped my arse, James’. Yup, life was good.
James and Lily’s wedding was a quiet one, but it was beautiful anyway. Sirius looked absolutely dashing in his suit and Lily’s wedding dress would have made Alice weep. Despite the horrors of the war we were fighting, that night nobody thought about anything bad. It was an evening to celebrate love and love alone. Both of James’ parents attended, but Lily’s didn’t. She said it was better this way, so they wouldn’t be a target. Remus gave her away to James, who could not stop smiling. We danced and drank until our feet couldn’t carry us anymore, and when the party was over, Sirius and I sat on the garden watching the sunrise together.
“Do you want to get married?” he asked me.
“What? Where is this coming from?” I looked at him, but his eyes were firmly fixed on the orange sky above us. Not for the first time, I thought he was the most handsome man I had ever met in my life. Not that it mattered, I loved him for his bravery, and loyalty, and cleverness. But it didn’t hurt that he was a treat to look at.
“Things are getting worse, and I didn’t even know that was possible. We lost two members of the Order last week, who knows how many we’ll lose the next.”
“Do you want to get married?” I asked him.
“What I want is to be with you, always.”
“But you don’t believe in marriage, do you?”
“I always saw it as this horrible thing my mother wanted to force me into, so no, I’m not too keen on it,” he sighed.
“I don’t need to be married to be happy,” I told him. He put his arm around me, and we remained there in silence for a while.
It was one of the darkest nights I could remember. Not even the stars were twinkling, covered by a heavy blanket of grey clouds. I walked next to Sirius in silence, keeping to the shadows. This was a recon mission; we weren’t supposed to run into trouble.
Suddenly, he lifted a hand to indicate we were stopping. I pressed myself against the wall and waited.
“The Carrows are here,” he whispered in my ear.
“We can take them,” I said.
“No, we can’t. They are not supposed to know we’re here. We can’t engage,” he reasoned.
“I want to send them to Azkaban,” I insisted stubbornly.
“Jocelyn, please,” he said, taking me by the chine and pulling my face up so I had to look at him. How unfair. He knew I could never resist his eyes.
“Fine,” I put my wand away and we transformed.
In our dog forms we moved closer and listened to their conversation. They were discussing an attack on a member of the Ministry, someone who worked for the muggle artifacts department.
By the time Sirius felt we’d heard enough and was ready to move away I was trembling with anger. He took my hand in his as soon as we transformed back to human and led me away quietly.
“We should have blown them to bits,” I said angrily as soon as we walked into James’ house.
“So aggressive,” he chuckled, pulling me closer.
“I meant it Sirius! I hate them, it makes me angry. I want them all gone,” I said ferociously.
“You are so sexy when you’re angry,” he told me planting a kiss on my lips.
“Remember that next time I’m angry at you,” I teased him.
“You are never angry with me; you love me too much,” he smirked.
“I get angry at you when you’re being an idiot.”
“Alright then. But remember no arguments mean no make-up sex,” I said walking away slowly.
“I’ve changed my mind; you should be angry with me all the time,” he scooped me up from the floor and led me to our room.
I had found the perfect place. It had taken me three months, but I had finally found it. It was a small house south West of London with three bedrooms. I liked it because it had a big garden where I could park my bike and Jo and I could run around if we felt like it. I had enlisted the help of James, Alastor and Albus to put up every protection we could think of. Jo had busted so many attacks and helped send so many Death Eaters to Azkaban it was a miracle she was still breathing. When we felt it was safe enough, I prepared my little surprise for her.
“Lily, I really don’t think the pub you’re talking about is down here. I think we’re totally going the wrong way; this could be dangerous,” I heard Jo as she walked down the road towards our new house with Lily.
James and I were hiding under his invisibility cloak. Even after graduation it had come in very handy on missions and just for general and harmless mischief (we may or may not have pulled a prank or two on fellow order members at one point or another).
“I really think you need to stop spending so much time with Moody. You’re starting to sound a lot like him,” Lily replied. “Next thing I know you’ll be shouting ‘constant vigilance’ and hitting unsuspecting pieces of furniture at random times.”
“We are at war, you know?”
“I know. But even our fiercest warriors need a break. If not, how will you remember what you are fighting for?”
They were very close now, two doors away only and I started to feel very nervous. What if she didn’t want to live with me? What if she hated the place? What if...?
“Padfoot, you look slightly green. Relax, she’s going to love it,” James whispered. I nodded and swallowed hard.
Lily stopped right outside our house and pretended she’d dropped something a few feet back. Jo rolled her eyes at her friend as she went to get it. With nothing else to do, Jo looked around and she saw it. First, she noticed the front garden had three rose bushes which I had enchanted (with some help from Red) to grow black. Then, she noticed the little plaque by the door that read: “This is the home of epic”. She took a few steps forward, her eyes fixed on the words.
“What do you think?” I circled my arms around her from behind and tilted my head down to whisper in her ear. I felt her tense for a second before relaxing against me.
“What is this, Sirius?”
“It is our house. If you agree, of course,” she turned around inside the circle of my arms and looked at me with her impossibly blue eyes.
“You got us a house?”
“I... I did?”
“How? When? I…” she closed her mouth, then opened it again. It wasn’t often that one managed to render Jo speechless.
“Do you like it?” I asked her.
“It’s perfect,” she smiled, and I let out the breath I had been holding.
Living with Jo was the easiest thing I ever did. It was also the best idea I ever had, since we were out on missions so much it was hard to spend time alone together. However, every time I walked in covered in grime and dust from a raid or another, it made me the happiest man alive to see her there, perched on a chair or another waiting for me. There was nothing I loved more than getting in bed next to her.
Similarly, when it was Jocelyn the one coming back late at night, I never ceased to give me enormous pleasure that she would fall asleep with her head on my chest and her arm thrown over my stomach.
We tried to get some sort of routine going for those days when we weren’t out fighting. I started joining her on morning runs, and she’d go riding with me on the bike in the evenings. Neither of us was very good at cooking, but Jo’s parents sent a House Elf over to our place a couple of days a week and we got by on the meals they cooked, and leftovers. We also ordered pizza a lot.
Autumn 1978 was a time of uncertainty and fear for the magical community, but for me it was a time of discovery. I had never known that I could find such joy in the small things like watching Jo read by our fireplace or waking up to the smell of fresh coffee. Just like we had done when we were beaters for Gryffindor, Jo and I fell into perfect synchronization with each other. And, even though I never thought I could love her any more than I did when she first agreed to go out with me, I found my feelings becoming so much more every day that I wondered if there was a limit to how much one person can love another.
We spent Christmas at the Order’s headquarters with all other members. Even Dumbledore was there. We had lost a few comrades the previous month so the mood was a bit dampened, but we still celebrated because we were alive, and we could when so many could not. The marauders got outrageously drunk and told everyone some hilarious stories from their time at Hogwarts together. McGonagall confirmed their suspicions that nobody had ever accrued more detentions than they had, and they made her swear that if anyone ever got close she’d inform them so they could personally congratulate the mischief-makers.
On New Year’s Eve, Sirius took me to New York via Portkey. It was the first time we took some time away from England since we had joined the Order full time after graduation. We had never been to New York before, and spent the day walking around Central Park and kissing in every corner. It was one of the most romantic days of my entire life. If it hadn’t been New Year’s Eve, I would have dragged Sirius to the hotel we had for the night right after dinner. But as he pointed out to me, there was no way I’d be happy if we missed the countdown to the new year.
So, instead of going to our hotel to indulge in our favorite pastime, we stood in Times’ Square and watched the ball drop. When the clock stroke midnight, Sirius kissed me and went down on one knee. My hands started shaking as realization sank in, and I struggled to hear what he said next, drowning as I was in the voices in my head shouting at the top of their lungs how much we loved this man.
“Jocelyn Silveway, I know I told you I didn’t believe in marriage and that I was happy with how things were, but I realized that I have been too busy being a rebel against everything I associated with my family, and I was missing out on the chance to make an everlasting vow to always find my way to you. So, Jo, will you marry me?”
I couldn’t stop the tears from falling, but I didn’t think I needed to. I threw myself against him, nodding and saying ‘yes’ as bystanders clapped and cheered. I thought it was fitting, seeing as our getting together had also been a rather public affair.
Jo and I didn’t get married straight away. There was too much to do and we were always busy volunteering for one mission or the other. The war was claiming lives almost every day now. Friends turned on friends, families broke apart, nobody knew who to trust. We tried to arrange the wedding for the spring but then Peter went missing and it didn’t feel right to get married until he was found.
Jo was one of the fiercest warriors of the Order, and we made a magnificent team. So did James and Lily. By the time the autumn came, with still no news from Peter, Jo and I had faced Voldemort himself twice. James and Lily had been face-to-face with him three times. We had received offers to join his ranks, even Lily. She was such a formidable opponent Voldemort was willing to overlook her muggle parents. Naturally, we all refused.
Peter was found near-dead after a raid on a known Death Eater house at the end of October. He was transferred to St. Mungo’s and nursed back to health over the course of a month. Jo and I set our wedding day for December 8th 1979. But then, Lily and James announced they were a few months pregnant and a prophecy was made, forcing them to go into hiding. Jo refused to get married whilst there such a threat looming over Lily and her unborn baby, so we postponed it again.
We didn’t have a Christmas celebration that year. Jo was on a mission with Moody, and Remus and I were in Scotland. James was on Ministry duty in London so he could stay close to Lily, who was no longer allowed to join any missions to protect their baby.
“What if we eloped?” I asked Jo not for the first time one morning during the spring of 1980. We were lying in bed, naked and content after sex. I never seemed to get enough of her.
“Lily would kill me,” she replied, giving me a kiss. This was one of those rare occasions when we were both home for more than a few hours. It had been heavenly to be able to take our time with each other, not rushing because we had to go somewhere, nor tired because we’d just come back.
“We’ve been engaged for over a year, I worry you’ve changed your mind and are finding excuses so you don’t have to commit to me,” I teased her.
“Never, Sirius,” she looked at me intensely. “Married or not, I love you. Always and forever.”
“I love you, too,” we kissed, and it soon became desperate and urgent again, like everything was those days because death was around us and even though we burnt as bright as we could, darkness was looming.
The idea of eloping was becoming more and more tempting as time went by. It was summer and Sirius and I still hadn’t managed to find the right time to get married. I felt as if there would never be a right time. Lily was due any day now, and I was worried. The prophecy pointed either to Lily and James or to Frank and Alice Longbottom. Sirius kept saying there was a fifty-fifty chance, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that something horrible was going to happen.
“You look somber,” he whispered in my ear. Three years later and he still gave me butterflies when he hugged me from behind.
“I am worried,” I admitted.
“About Prongs and Red?”
“I think we should add more protection to their place. A fidelius charm,” I said.
“Talk to Albus, I think he’d agree. It’s a good idea,” he kissed the top of my head.
“Is that all?”
“Not sure I can handle any more, to be honest.” I sighed. “We’ve been fighting this war since we were at Hogwarts. Losing Alice almost made me go insane, but we’ve lost so many people since then I feel numb now. What a horrible world we live in that one can become numb to the death of friends?”
“Hey,” he turned me around so he could look into my eyes. “Don’t give up, Jo. If you give up, what’s left for the rest of us?”
I couldn’t answer him, so I just hugged him tightly. With my head against his chest I could hear the beating of his heart, and I worried, like I did every single day, that it might stop beating one of these days and I wouldn’t know how to carry on without him.
“Kiss me, Sirius. Kiss me like nothing else matters,” I asked him. He didn’t ask what I meant, because he knew. He always knew.
Lily and James had a baby son and named him Harry James Potter. They made me his godfather. I didn’t know I could love anyone any more than I loved Jo and James, but it turns out I could. When the baby looked at me with those green eyes that were an exact copy of Lily’s I knew I’d do anything to keep him safe. The christening was a very small ceremony. Not even Jo could make it. She was on a mission again, somewhere in the north of England with Moody. If I didn’t know better I’d be jealous. She was so good at martial magic that Moody had recruited her as his right-hand woman. She was practically a senior officer in the Order.
When Jo came back from that mission, I decided I didn’t care who was or wasn’t there, I was marrying Jo as soon as she was out St. Mungo’s. It had been too close again. Moody had lost an eye, and Jocelyn’s leg had been cut open with a poisoned blade that left a scar behind even though it was treated with Fawkes’ tears. Lily and James helped me convince Jo, and so almost 18 months after I proposed to her, we were set to be married at the end of the summer 1980.
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