Chapter 4: Complications
A/N: Some of you are probably looking forward to kill me now. Sorry for not updating. If you read my journal or actually know me, you'll know how busy I've been. I have to get straight As (11 As) for my big exam this year. Poor me . Anyways, this story will have a few more chapters with a lot of angst and fluff. I hope you like this chapter, no matter how short it is. At least I'm trying, right? Thanks for the reviews J How about reviewing this one too? Until later, ppl!
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Lily Evans' POV
I was walking alongside the dim corridors of Hogwarts, looking for stray first years. Those young ones got lost in this big castle rather easily. Well, I did too in my first year. As a prefect, it was my duty to guide them. Eventually, I began to feel tired from walking so I decided to stop and stretch for a while. It was raining out there. I looked out of the window to get some view as the views I got from the castle were always marvellous. What I saw shocked me to the base of my core. James Potter… James Potter was standing in the middle of the Quidditch pitch, soaking in the rain and alone. Now, that was odd. I saw him wiping the water from his face a few times before sitting down onto the wet pitch, brought his knees up to his chest and buried his face in his hands.
I felt a slight pang in my heart seeing him like this. I've never seen him look so sad. He was always laughing and happy-go-lucky. I never really saw past his childish behaviours before. But now… He looked old. I ran top speed to the door that led to the pitch and conjured an umbrella. I walked up to him slowly as not to startle him. I conjured another umbrella and spelled it silently to hover over him. I guess I was lucky to be quite good in Charms. I bet he thought the rain suddenly stopped or that someone was beside him because he tensed. Wait, maybe he shivered from the coldness of the night. I was not really sure.
"Who's there?" He asked without turning to look.
"Hi…" That was all I said. I heard him chuckling. "Ah, Lily Evans… Here to humiliate me?"
He sounded tired; so out of character. "No. I was just curious as to why you're wallowing in whatever you're feeling here while the others are surrounded by the warmth of the fireplace and charmed blankets in the common room." There. I hope I didn't sound too harsh.
"I thought you'll like it when I'm not there annoying you."
Bugger! How do I answer that without making him feel worse? "Look, Potter, save this childish conversation and get into the castle now before you catch pneumonia. As nice as the thought of that is, I don't want Gryffindor to lose the Quidditch Cup." That ought to shut him up. He didn't say anything. Sighing, I offered him my hand. He's trying to hide the fact that he was shivering. After a minute, he finally took my hand and we walked back to the castle. I cast a charm to dry his drenching robe. His thanks were barely audible. He leaned against the wall and stared blankly at nothing. This is so unusual.
"Do you know how it feels to lose someone very important in your life?"
What kind of question is that?! "…No. Why?"
It was getting so weird indeed. Was he in love or anything? Or… Was it his family? Then he said, "He's dying, you know…"
"My sworn brother. Sirius. He's dying."
I was rendered speechless by the tiredness of his voice. I have not seen Black since breakfast. Well, I haven't seen Potter, Lupin and Pettigrew in good terms with Black for months too. I did wonder though. What in the world had happened to set them apart? In other words, what did Black do? The girls in my dorm had been talking about them almost every day. "Black's dying? How?" Instead of answering my question directly, he sighed loudly and said, "It's ironic how people feel the pain when someone they care about is going to leave forever. It's uncanny how nervous they'd feel when they know it is them who inflict pain into someone they care about. It's absurd how their actions could destroy that someone. All these, they never realise until it is too late. They are then left to wallow in self-pity, regrets, 'what if's and 'if only's. Amazing how people could be blinded by rage." I was stunned. I always know that he's intelligent but to hear those words from his mouth… I felt like I was talking to a man twice his age. A thought dawned upon me. "He didn't –" "No," he cut me off. "No, he didn't try to take his life. It was me…and Moony, and Wormtail."
One day, I am going to figure out the origin of their eccentric nicknames. "What do you mean?" "The Potion of Eternal Sleep." Oh. OH! That was a forbidden potion! "Oh…" I said out loud. Potter chuckled again. "Yes. Oh. We're going to bring him back tonight. We will." I was going to ask how but I trust that Dumbledore must be behind their plans. He straightened up and smiled at me. I've never seen such sincere smile coming from him. "Thanks for listening. I think I should go now. See you later, Li—Evans." He nodded and ran off. I could feel the strange sensation in my stomach that previously felt like a washing machine gone too. Strange…
I watched until he was completely out of my sight and murmured, "Good luck, Potter… James."
3rd Person's POV
By 11.50 p.m, James, Remus and Peter were lying in the Hospital Wing and were given last minute instructions. Remus had told James and Peter about the letter he found in the dungeon. It just made them felt guilty. Before they fell into a deep sleep, they could barely hear what Dumbledore was saying. A strange pain was followed by a gush of strong wind. The next time they opened their eyes, they were standing in the middle of a barley field. The golden colour was everywhere. "Where are we?" Peter asked. 'Hello boys,' they heard Dumbledore's voice. 'What you are seeing the place Mr.Black's soul now resides. Find him and convince him to get back. Good luck, my boys.'
The trio walked in silence until they saw an unexpected sight. There, across a wooden bridge, was themselves or rather, the quite transparent projections of themselves. The projections were laughing along with a certain dark haired guy. They looked so happy. "Sirius!" Remus shouted. The black haired guy stopped laughing and turned to look at the real trio. The look of shock in his eyes was evident. He kept looking back and forth between the real trio and the imaginary trio. The shock turned into something like sadness. "What are you guys doing here?" Sirius' voice sounded distant.
"Padfoot," James began. He could see Sirius tensed at the sound of his nickname. "Padfoot, you can't stay here."
"Why not? I'm happy here!"
"You can't stay here. You can't live in illusion, Padfoot," Remus reasoned.
"But I'm happy here…" The imaginary Remus squeezed his hand and smiled.
"You have to come back, Padfoot."
"I don't want to."
"Why?" 'Good question, Wormtail!' James thought.
"… No one cares for me there. I don't want to go back."
. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .
Silence. . . . .
"We care. We all care. We forgive you, Padfoot. I forgive you," Remus took a step forward, eyes pleading. Sirius' eyes widened in disbelief. James and Peter nodded. "We forgive you, Siri. We are not the Marauders without you. Come back with us, please?" James pleaded. Imaginary James flashed them a bright smile while imaginary Peter shrugged. There was a pregnant pause before Sirius managed to find his voice back. "You don't have to pretend this, you know… I know what I did was unforgivable. You don't have to pretend just because the Headmaster ordered you to."
"HE DIDN'T ORDER US! WE'RE DOING THIS ON OUR OWN FREE WILL!" James, Peter and Remus shouted in unison.
Sirius blinked. Imaginary Remus had his arms around Sirius' waist and was smiling at the trio. The real Remus took another step forward. "I… I found your letter in the dungeons and I… I..um.. I read it. I.. I've really forgiven you, Padfoot. Now I want you to please forgive me." At that, Sirius' gaze softened. "There is nothing to forgive, Remus. You were never at fault. You never did anything wrong." Their eyes met. Sirius was startled to see tears brimming in his love's amber eyes. "Re..Remus?" "I love you, Sirius," that came out as a choked sob. "I really do. I should have listened to you but I… I was and still am in love with you. That's why it hurt so much when…"Remus was openly sobbing now. Imaginary Remus released Sirius' waist and tapped Sirius' shoulder. Sirius could see Imaginary Remus nodded and took a few steps back, smiling. Imaginary James and Peter did the same.
"You love me?"
Remus nodded and sobbed some more. He didn't care if he looked like a girl right then. It didn't matter. He felt a pair of familiar arms wrapped themselves around him lovingly. He leaned into the embrace and returned it in full force. "I don't deserve you, you know? But I love you so much that it hurts." Sirius murmured into Remus' ear. James and Peter exchanged a look and went to turn the embrace into a group hug. "You're like my twin, Sirius. How could you think that I really hated you? I love you, dear brother," James whispered. "You're like my brother too, you know," Peter added. By then, no eyes were left dry. They all had tears of their own. "Will you come back with us?" Remus asked, again. This time, Sirius nodded. "If you are willing to give me a second chance, then I will." "Then you'll have to give us a second chance too," countered James. Together, they laughed. Their hearts swelled with happiness. They had not laugh like this in months. It was so good to be back together again. "Let's go home," Remus whispered contentedly. Sirius nodded and turned to have a last look at the imaginary trio. "Thank you," he murmured. The imaginary trio nodded before dissolving into glittering dust.
Suddenly, a bright light appeared from nowhere, blinding them. It was the same light that had brought James, Peter and Remus to Sirius earlier, they noticed.
"Huh?" James, Remus and Peter awoke with a start. When they were finally aware of their surrounding and what had happened earlier, they jumped out of bed and ran to where Sirius lied. Madame Pomfrey and Dumbledore were there as well. They heard Sirius groaned and opened his eyes slowly. He blinked a few times and sat up, wincing as his back ached. "Oh, Sirius! You're awake!!" Remus threw himself onto Sirius and hugged him fiercely. It took him a few minutes to realise that Sirius wasn't hugging him back. He looked up and saw Sirius gazing at him and then around the room, confusion clearly written on his face. "Where am I?" He croaked.
"You're in the Hospital Wing, dear," Madame Pomfrey answered, looking worried.
Again, Sirius looked down at Remus and frown. "Who are you?" That simple question caused Remus to release his arms from around his love and staggered back, eyes wide in disbelief. "Who are all of you?" Sirius asked again, looking at everyone with a deep frown. "Si…Sirius? Don't joke like that, mate. It's…scarry. "James stammered. "Sirius? Is that my name? Wait, who am I? What am I doing here? Why am I here?"
Everone exchanged a look. Peter clamped his hands to his mouth while James caught Remus as the young werewolf lost his consciousness. Dumbledore sighed heavily while Pomfrey looked like she was going to cry. "Oh, Merlin… His memories… They're gone."
==== To be continued ====
Mwahahaha! I am evil, am I not? I have to continue until James and Lily get together, duh . I'll try to update ASAP. Reviews, please??