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Bermuda, August 1993
When one confronts her past, things never go according to plan.
Bermuda, August 1971
It was as if nothing had happened earlier that evening and this was an unremarkable bath—just as unremarkable as every bath she took
September 1, 1971
They’re so much older than me, she thought as a brown-haired girl kissed a purple-faced boy on the cheek. Good Lord, purple faces! I doubt that soot will wash off their faces…and they don’t seem to care. Witchcraft is frightfully bizarre.
Hogwarts, September 1, 1993
"He's never thought highly of Muggles—"
Hogwarts, Late September 1971
Professor Binns’s monotonous voice droned on inside Althea’s ears, and created the soothing sound of honeybees buzzing about in multiple beehives.Mmm…honey, she lazily dreamed—slightly licking her lips.
Hogwarts, Late September 1993
Althea grimaced as she studied the photograph—a horrible caricature of her former self, a self she desperately wished to forget.
Hogwarts, Late September 1975
Everything she had been taught in Defense Against the Dark Arts suggested that the werewolf was a dark creature—one of the darkest of creatures—a damned soul.
Hogwarts, December 1975
“Am I not good enough for you?” she teased and Sirius bit the inside of his cheek. “Not enough of a Muggle?”
Hogwarts, Winter Fête, December 1975
Althea closed her eyes once more. So, this is my death, she thought as she tried to steady her breath.
Hogwarts, January 1976
Hogwarts, Halloween 1993
Professor Flitwick was very interested in Remus’s travels, and even mentioned Althea’s travels to the Congo, at which Althea coughed as she drank her pumpkin juice—Remus casting her a knowing look.
Hogwarts, Early February 1976
“This isn’t bloody funny.”
Hogwarts, February 1976
“Wow,” he began, leaning closer, “that is a serious accusation to a Slytherin...especially with the lot he’s been hanging round.”
Hogwarts, Late March 1976
“I’m not proud of what I did,” Lily said defensively. “It’s Mary’s fault.”
Hogwarts, Late March 1976
“Worse than last week when he coaxed the Fat Lady to change the password to, ‘Black is Brilliant.’”
Hogwarts, December 1993
“If I had done what he did, I couldn’t live with myself. I’d hope the dementors would Kiss me."
Hogwarts, May 1976
The thought that she felt anything other than hate or indifference toward Sirius caused Althea to shudder.
Northfield, Christmas Eve, 1993
“When it came to that boy you never were in your right mind.”
Hogwarts, June 1976
“He is, but his hair is too perfect. I’ve never seen it move,” Lily replied, resting her hands behind her. “I like hair—”
Hogwarts, O.W.L. Exams, June 1976
“Potter, Potter, Potter,” she said aloud as James ran his fingers through his messy hair. “You will never date Lily if you keep acting like a stupid git.”
Hogwarts, Evening after O.W.L. Exams, June 1976
Althea stepped forward, looking eye to eye at him. “You hang round people that think it okay to kill her,” she said and waited for a moment for it to register with Snape.
Hogwarts, June 1976
“It was all over,” she said and sighed sadly. “Pettigrew was under the table eating the cakes.”
Hogwarts, End of Term Feast, June 1976
"No, I had no idea,” she said and smiled nervously. “It must be a popular name…imagine that.”
Diagon Alley, August 1976
“So, you’re the one.”
Althea’s Birthday, Northfield, August 1976
“So?” Althea snorted, trying her best to impersonate Sirius. “There’s no law against it…yet.”
Hogwarts, February 1994
Out of her periphery, she noticed Remus had covered his face with his trembling hand. I won’t tell, she thought, grasping for Remus’s other hand.
Hogwarts, February 1977
Periodically, he would stop as if in deep thought—either scratch his head or fold his arms—and continue to pace again. His pacing continued for twenty minutes; afterwards, he returned to the comfort of his bed, which found its way onto the Hogwarts roof.
Hogwarts, February 1977
What she did know, however, was very important: never mention his family, never utter a bad word about James, and always be his Althea.
Hogwarts, February 1994
“I think he’s more miserable alive,” she said, stroking the cold windowpane with her index finger. “Always like him though, to escape that way—so pompous. ‘Like Sirius rising from Oceanus, brilliant and beautiful but full of menace for the flocks,’” she mused, pressing her thumb hard against the windowpane to leave a thumbprint.
Hogwarts, May 1977
Suddenly, Snape spoke, “Is it true there are ways of determining a werewolf other than the full moon?”
Hogwarts, June 1977
Sirius laughed. “They’ll never catch me,” he replied, grinning.
The Three Broomsticks and Hogwarts, April 1994
It did not matter if the Ministry had not ordered the Dementor’s Kiss. It happened twice that she could remember, or wanted to remember. The prisoners screamed, pleaded, and went silent.
Hogwarts, October 1977
“Lily Evans,” she said playfully, a smile emerging across her face. “Do you fancy James Potter?”
Hogwarts, Winter Fête, December 1977
“Yeah, it sort of does that,” he said, screwing up his eyes at his hair.
Hogwarts, June 1978
"How many others were there?” she asked, forcing her bottom lip to tremble. “After all these years, and you give it all up for a scratch behind the ears?” she asked and covered her face with her hands.
Hogwarts, April 1994
She never wanted to admit to herself that she had made a mistake dating Sirius—that she had mistaken his character so greatly. She never wanted to admit to herself, that Gran in all her infinite, but faulty wisdom was correct. In Sirius’s blood traveled evil, and no amount of praying, wishing, or denial could change him.
Northfield, July 1979
Althea gulped at the thought of Sirius and his future wife (she was always so kind and wholesome and so absolutely wrong for him) at a Christmas gathering with Lily and James, which left Althea—always the too busy Healer—alone.
Althea's Cottage, February 1980
The boyish, jovial look to Sirius’s face was gone. He grimly stared ahead of him. Althea acutely knew what Sirius felt for she felt it at St. Mungo’s after every raid and every attack—the futility in staving off death and the tenuous thread of life one clung to.
Althea’s Cottage, Late June 1980
Althea rested her hand on Lily’s stomach. “At least when you sneeze, you don’t explode any cauldrons,” she remarked and felt a strong kick by the baby. “Bloody hell, he’s not going to be a Chaser, he’s going to be a Beater.”
Althea’s Cottage, Early July 1980
“I know what you’ve done,” she said, pointing her forefinger at Sirius. “It won’t last. I won’t let it.”
Godric’s Hollow, Late July 1980
“Duty as a godfather,” she teased and ruffled his hair.
St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, September 1980
Althea knew that Memory Charms were powerful and the wizards in the Ministry were quite skilled, but she wondered that despite the modification of memory, if some small part of the true memory remained. How could a person go through all this unscathed?
The Cottage, Christmas Day 1980
“Look at you,” Sirius whispered, his moist breath warming her ear—Althea closed her eyes and smiled, “trying so hard to look holy.”
Hogwarts, May 1994
Another person might have felt slight pangs of guilt taking such a large sum of money from a poor schoolteacher, but the only pangs Althea felt were those of hunger. She delighted that his arrogance had made such a solid bet. Draco Malfoy was as capable as Regulus Black upon a broom—a load of gold from mummy and daddy and a greedy Housemaster.
The Cottage, October 1981
“Look at everything around you, Althea Rosemary. The Ministry is losing, Muggles and wizards are dying everyday; how can you expose your child to this?”
The Cottage, Halloween 1981
The Wizard Wireless rattled across the counter, spun, and fell to floor, leaving a pile of shattered and melted plastic.
The Cottage, November 1, 1981
It was the second night that week that Althea dreamt of her mother’s death.
The Cottage, December 1981
I wonder if he left them with something besides heartache.
Carpathian Mountains, Late January 1982
“Easily remedied,” she replied quickly and Althea’s eyes widened.
Themiskyra, Early June 1982
I’ve never forgotten that look, she thought, stepping forward. His last look.
Althea’s Cottage, October 1982
The man paused and smiled. He opened his mouth to speak, but all Althea heard was the static from a wireless.
Althea’s Cottage, November 1982
She had to look her best if she was to expose a murderess.
Number 8 Knockturn Alley, January 1983
At every meeting at Number 8, Althea built that tenuous trust between the two women—Althea an eager researcher of the Dark and Pulcheria a happy teacher.
Hogwarts, Late May 1994
“Such offense?” she said, her eyes widening. “God, I have such an urge to hoist you into the—”
London, October 1984
How strange the bounty on her head was more than the price he paid to stay out of Azkaban.
London, November 1984
You’ll see it good for you, she thought and pressed her lips covered with smooth lip gloss together. A fresh start for both of us.
Azkaban, November 1984
Uproar of applause from the crowd and a few nods from Wizengamot members caused Althea’s muscles to tighten. The verdict would be read soon and she would discover her fate.
Azkaban, November 1985
You have some comfort in our deaths, she thought, furrowing her brow. I don’t have that luxury.
Alexandria, November 1985
How could something so pure and perfect come from someone so broken?
Alexandria, April 1987
“Using your will to struggle against what is innate is futile,” Sister Margaret said. “A child of two understands this.”
Hogwarts, September 1987
Without another word, Snape turned and left her classroom. Lord, give me the strength not to blast him across a corridor and into something incredibly sharp and metal, she thought, looking up toward the ceiling.
Hogwarts, Early June 1994
“You understand what this means?” he whispered quickly, resting his forehead against hers. “You understand, don’t you?”
Hogwarts, Evening, Early June 1994
“I dare say I shall enjoy this public display of affection—”
Hogwarts, Morning, Early June 1994
He closed his eyes and winced as he spoke, “Peter was their Secret Keeper.”
Hogwarts and Hogsmeade, Early June 1994
“Couldn’t you have yelled something different?” he asked quietly, not looking away from the broken tank. “Maybe, ‘Remus Lupin, you forgot your lunch’?”
New York, Late June 1994
“A hippogriff in my guest room,” she said aloud and took a deep breath.
Bermuda, Late June 1994
“My God,” she whispered, covering her mouth, “I’ve killed him.”
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