December 27th. This was not a good day for Lily. Although Christmas had been wonderful, she was still left with an unending loneliness. After sending her and Jimmy back to school, both her mother and father were too wrapped up in making amends to each other to take time and notice how alone she felt. Illyana, who had often made time for Lily was busy in Brazil; her brother was doing whatever Jimmy did when back at school with whomever he did it with; and the new members of her quite dysfunctional family, Remus and Harry, were to busy to be bothered with her. Yes, this year she was feeling hurt.
She made her way to the cafeteria in the still nearly vacant school, and after looking at what was offered as a meal, decided on eggs and pancakes, heavily laden with syrup. If she couldn't drown her depression in booze, sugar would do quite nicely. Lily then began to try to eat.
When the Owls arrived at first meal, as they always did, she didn't expect one, for really? Who would want to send a message too her? But a beautiful, strong, well maintained eagle owl landed in front of her plate, and if Lily didn't know better, the owl smiled at her through that beak of his.
"Well!" Lily smiled at the owl. "Who are you?" she asked the bird and tipped his beak, somehow knowing the owl understood.
The owl hooted softly then hopped gently around her plate, and nipped at her fingers, holding one leg out for her to retrieve the scroll attached to it.
Before taking the message, Lily stroked his chest feathers. Her mother never allowed her an owl, or any pet fearing the pet could be traced to them, but this owl, or bird, or pet, seemed to know Lily.
As she took the scroll from his leg, she absently scratched his feathers behind his ears (Much like a girl would do a cat) and found there was not one scroll, but two.
Smiling, Lily pulled the first scroll.
Forgive me for being so forward, but I felt it important for you to receive this invitation by my own hand. You see, my mother often shifts through my rooms, and upon finding your name she insisted you join our New Years party. Once again, I apologize. I did want to spend the New Year in your company, though not with my mother, and had intended to ask you without the pomp and circumstance that goes with my families gatherings. But once is done cannot be undone.
You will find the formal invitation in this parcel, but I hope you will regard it as I have. The older folk trying to reclaim their youth. As it stands there will be several of my friends at this celebration, so do not fear we will be the only ones of our age, however, I'd hope to have spent the New Year alone with you. Enclosed is a portkey that will activate at 2:45 on December 31st (7:45 here in London). If you wish to join me, take hold. If not, My New Year will be quite disappointing.
Most Affectionately Yours,
P.S. Do Allow Attila to stay with you this evening. He is a strong owl, but his journey was great. I would be most grateful for this courtesy.
Jimmy sat backwards on his sister's chair at her study desk absently bending the hanger the dress his twin was wearing had once been hanging, scrutinizing her and she spun too and fro in front of her full length mirror. She'd asked him there to help her find a suitable outfit to where to the New Year ball at Malfoy Manor. At first he'd seemed nearly infuriated that she'd even consider it, but after two days he'd come to her room to offer his help.
"You know," he said, bending the hanger once again. "If mom or dad find out about this they will kill you."
Lily spun on him quickly and snatched the hanger from him. "Then you'll just have to make sure they don't, won't you?"
Jimmy smiled at his twin and twitched a shoulder. "So long as you keep me out it when they find out, No hair of my nose."
Turning back to the mirror she smiled, and ruffled the long folds of her gown. "This should be okay, don't you think?" The formal dress had been borrowed from another dorm-mate, and although the length was appropriate and the small straps showed Lily beauty nicely, the pale pink of the gown and white lace trimmings around the neck and train were unsuited for Lily. Not to mention almost pedestrian to someone with the sophistication of a Malfoy.
When no response came from her brother, Lily looked over her shoulder and asked, "Well?"
Grimacing, Jimmy stood and slightly shook his head. "You look awful in pink. And I don't think Your Slytherin Boyfriend would appreciate it."
"Well don't hold back."
"Seriously." Jimmy stood and pulled his wand from his pocket. "If you tried it in green," he said quietly as he flicked his wand and the dress deepened to a very rich green. He then stepped around Lily, slowly nodding his head. "And loose the 'I'm-a-twelve-year-old-isn't-my-lace-pretty' trimmings here." Again, Jimmy's wand flicked and the lace vanished. He cocked his head, and then shook it once. "No, the skirt's too full. Here, let's pull it in a bit," he finished then smiled in approval. "There. Now you might just pass as someone of their stature. You might also want to wear your hair up, instead of letting fall down your back like you usually do."
Lily was staring at her twin with something between shock and anger.
Spreading his arms, trying to look innocent Jimmy asked, "What is it?"
"Where did you learn to transfigure like that?"
Jimmy simply shook his head and shrugged a shoulder.
"Okay, then when did you become a fashion consultant?"
He shook his head and plopped back down on the chair. "Look, my over loving sister, you asked for my help. I may not be the best with magic, but anyone can do a simple transfiguration spell. And even though I am your brother I do recognize that you can be…Fetching when the mood suits you." He crossed his arms over the back of the chair and raised an eyebrow. "I do know that Malfoy family is one of the oldest in England, Probably as old as the Blacks and that means they have a certain standard of elegance. It's obvious you want to impress this Draco fellow. I may not know why you think you can trust this bloke, but for the moment I'll trust you." Then pointed at his twin and sniggered, "But you have to trust me when I say Pink is horrid on you."
Sitting on the sofa, Remus tried to block out the sounds coming from Sirius and Jen's room. Once Jen had sent the twins back to school, the two so-called adults could not stay away from each other. Before the youngsters had retuned to school they had been a bit more controlled, as they didn't want to traumatize Lily or Harry any further, and did not want Jimmy to witness what the former two already had. But once the children returned to their studies, they were insatiable.
Remus had tried for better than and hour to fall asleep. Though the beds were on opposing sides of the same wall and the couple had a tendency to get enthusiastic, so he gave up. He'd made himself some tea and was trying to reread "Hogwarts, a history" for the fiftieth time, but was continually being distracted. Not that the book itself was very compelling. It had been a gift from Hermione to Jimmy and Lily, as she continually tried to spark other people's interests in facts. However, she had failed once again as the twins had left the book when they returned to school. Unfortunately there wasn't much else to read around the place that Remus hadn't already read three times over during his extended stay in the "Lobby to Hell". The nickname coined by Ron on his first visit to the flat and they all used it when realizing it was time to return to the small, dank, crowded flat.
He slapped the book shut, finally giving up and abruptly tossed it aside. Whether it was the fact that it was so close to the full moon, he couldn't be sure. But the sounds coming from that room didn't help, only making him long to hear a woman making the same noises for him. He cleared his head and tried, again, to focus on the book, when the fire sprung to life.
"Remus?" He leaned forward and peered into the fireplace and saw Illyana's head. He set the book aside and crossed the room, kneeling in front of the fire.
"Illia?" he asked, and found he sounded a little too excited to see her. He cleared his throat and forced a more serious tone. "Is every all right? Do you want me to get Jen?" Remus started to rise, but Illyana's next words stopped him.
"No. I wanted to talk to you."
"Me?" He sounded shocked. "Why?"
"I was worried about you."
Remus cocked his head. "I'm fine, Illyana." He then smiled, trying to mask his confusion. Why would she be concerned about him?
"Well, you may be now, but will you be next week?"
He dropped back and raised a knee to sit on his hunches. The full moon was in five days, on New Year's Day. "Of course, I've been dealing with this every month for a very long time." Remus was assuming that she was talking about his werewolf affliction and not anything deeper.
"True," Illyana agreed and tilted her head. "However, I'm fairly certain that this the first moon that you've gotten it into your head that you're going to kill your best friend's son."
He looked at her disembodied head for several minutes before responding, completely dumfounded, "Illyana, I don't know what you think you know, but I won't risk-"
"Bullshit," she flat cut him off. When he looked at her offended, she continued, "You have no way of knowing what that vision meant or for that matter if it was a prophecy in the first place. And if it was a prophecy, there's no where you can run to prevent it."
"I don't accept that," Remus responded with just as much conviction. "There have been too may times this… this…" he stammered as anger started to surface. "This Goddamned curse has hurt people I care about. I almost killed Snape because of it; I prevented Sirius's exoneration for years because of it, because I was in the wrong place during a full moon. I won't take the chance. If there is anything I can do to prevent MY presence from hurting, or killing someone, I will do it."
"You are the most stubborn wolf," she snarled at him, and then disappeared back into the hearth and the fire died away.
For a moment Remus sat staring at the fireplace feeling shocked, and yes, hurt. Although the conversation had turned into something of an argument, he still wanted to talk to her. He didn't want the conversation, no the argument, to have ended so quickly.
He stood thinking, serves you right, idiot. Talking to a woman that way.
Then the hearth sprung to life again, and Illyana stepped from the flames. "You are an idiot," she confirmed his thought. "If you think Sirius will let you go, you've completely lost touch with reality." Although her voice was low, it held an air of reprimand. "He needs you right now, and to walk out on him is selfish."
"Selfish?" Remus barked back, forgetting his earlier chastise of himself for speaking to a woman so. "Who are you to talk about selfish? You're the one who ran out on them on Christmas!"
"Firstly!" She hissed through her teeth and thrust a finger into his chest, "they know exactly where to find me! And second," she pulled her hand back and raised a second finger, shoving them both into his chest, and continued her rant, "I have a family, a job and responsibilities in Brazil that I can't dismiss!" Illyana then turned to the 'girls' room.
"I wouldn't go in there if I were you." Remus grabbed her arm to stop her.
Illyana whipped her head towards him, "If I can't talk you out of this she can!" Then she pulled her arm away and started towards the door when she heard a low throaty moan come from the room. She stopped in her tracks, eyes wide and turned to Remus.
"Be glad you didn't make in there. From what Lily and Harry tell me it's something of a sight."
"Are...I mean…they..." Illyana's mouth dropped open and shut, trying to form a coherent thought. It was too soon for Jen and Sirius to be together! When another unmistakable growl came from the room, her head jerked towards the door, then back to Remus. "When?"
Remus grinned at her lack of ability to put together a complete sentence. "Pretty much all the time. At least since the twins and Harry left."
"That's not what I meant," she said, stepping away from the room and closer to Remus. "When did they, I mean, was first time?"
"Christmas Eve," he replied, still smiling. "We were all to go to a party at the Burrow, you remember, the one you refused to go to? Jen didn't feel up to it. Sirius stayed with her, so she wouldn't be alone. When we came back…" he trailed off remembering Lily's face. "Well, Lily found them in a compromised position." Remus watched her for a bit, giving her just a little time for this to sink in. When he felt she grasped the situation, he made his attack. "There have been only two reasons for me to stay. One was to support Sirius until Jen was ready for him, and the other was to run interference for Jen until she was. As both those reasons are so very obviously gone," he lowered his head and raised his brow, "I'm no longer needed here."
"Bullshit," she spat again.
"For a woman as brilliant as you, I'd think you'd find a better response."
"Don't be glib," she said and glared at him. "It doesn't suit you." She took a deep breath and looked away from him trying to put her thoughts together in way Remus would understand, ignoring the yearning growing between her hips thanks to the noises coming from her friend's room. Even though the full moon didn't have as strong a pull on her as it did Remus, the blood of the wolf was still the same. She shook her head, focusing on her personal mission. "You're also here because the Lennox's are still looking for you."
A cry from the bedroom echoed through the flat and Illyana and Remus looked at each other blushing, and then quickly glanced away. Illyana turned away from Remus, not wanting him to see her lust, and he turned from Illia, grasping the counter in his hands to try to control himself. Did Jen and Sirius have any Idea what they were doing to him? Did they care?
"Remus," Illyana said, a little short of breath, turning back to him. "You can't leave them. Somebody needs to be here, and I can't be here all the time. I need to know when I'm away you'll be here."
Her words fell away as blood began to thump in his ears. He was trying to listen to her but the wolf, or the moon, or maybe even the man he was himself, was pulling at his self-control. All he could focus on was the curve of her mouth. The brown of her eyes. The bronze of her skin. The black of her hair that almost seemed blue. The smallness of her body. She was so close to him. He could smell her so clearly. Was it desire he smelled on her that he was trying to shove aside? No, it was the moon, he reasoned. She couldn't want him, and yet, not only had she flooed to speak to him; she also jumped from Brazil to England. The wolf- no the man took over.
Before she could finish her thoughts, his lips were on hers. He pressed down on her mouth, his tongue slowly tasting hers. She drew a hand up to his neck holding his face firmly on hers with her other gripping his shoulder.
An aching was building in him and he pulled her waist against his, as he slid his tongue more deeply into her mouth. A soft moan escaped her throat as she gripped him closer and slid her hands over his firm arms and shoulders. Without quite realizing it, he had lifted her and was stumbling towards the wall.
They were both so lost in the sudden lust they neither one noticed when they knocked the small plant stand over, nor did either hear the pot crash and shatter. Remus was quickly drowning in the softness of her breath and the warmth of her mouth. Illyana was no better. He held her so firmly, so possessively she felt she could completely come undone with him.
"Remus! Are you-" Sirius's voice brought them both crashing back. "Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were alone." He was slowly inching his way back to the room. "When I heard the crash I was just going to…"
"Illyana!" Jen had just stepped from the room wearing one of Sirius's oxford shirts. "What are you doing here? Is something wrong?"
"No," Illyana answered breathlessly, and then realized she and Remus were standing so closely she could still feel his breath on her face. "I mean yes." She stepped away from Remus who leaned a hand onto the wall where he had been holding her. She tried to straighten her mind but found it difficult as the wolf and the woman were stumbling and tripping over each other. "He's going to try to leave."
"What?" Jen asked, confused.
Illyana looked at Remus, who was still leaning on his hand breathing deeply. "Remus. He thinks he's going to kill your son. He's going to try to disappear." She looked at Sirius and pled, "don't let him."
Sirius shook his head, and then nodded slowly to reassure her. He wasn't sure what he'd just interrupted but he could feel the tension building between the two. "I'll keep track of him."
"You're not staying?" Jen whimpered.
"No." She turned towards the hearth. "I have to get back. I just came to make sure he wasn't going anywhere." Then looked back at her friend. "But I'll be back next week, before the moon." She then lightly touched Remus's shoulder, "I'll be back next week."
Still not turning from the wall, Remus slightly nodded his head. With a few swift movements, Illyana had disappeared into the flames.
"Remus?" Jen started to make on him, but Sirius held her back.
"No Jen, not now." He gently pushed her back towards the room. Then he looked at his friends back. "Is everything alright?"
Remus nodded at the wall then stood straight. "Yes. I think I'll go to bed." Then turned and went back into his room.
Remus stood in the small kitchen preparing a pot of tea. He could hear murmurings coming from Sirius and Jen's room. Since Christmas Jen had almost completely recovered. She wasn't as timid or jumpy as she had been up till then, and between the potions, spells, and Sirius, almost all her wounds had disappeared both inside and out. He knew emotionally she was still on that road, but Sirius had helped her overcome the greatest obstacle. Quite enthusiastically.
It also seemed that after Illia visited him two nights ago he was beginning his own trip down an emotional road. Remus was trying not to think too much on it; however he had to take some action. Tonks did not deserve to be misled, but he wasn't ready to give her up. She had always been there for him and to just…dismiss her? His stomach ached by the thought of it. Illyana had been there for him as well, though not as closely or for anywhere near as long. And being trapped in this little flat, this 'Lobby', wasn't helping him to work through things.
Academically Remus understood why Sirius and Moody insisted he and Jen stay protected and to travel nowhere alone, but it didn't make being confined to this small flat any easier. In the midst of all the concern for his friends he'd forgotten that he was just as wanted by Etienne Lennox as Jen. If Illyana hadn't reminded him of that, he may just have slipped away into danger. Although given more freedom than Sirius had at Grimmauld that first year, Remus couldn't help but feel restless and even a bit trapped. But still, he could understand why he'd been asked to stay.
Etienne Lennox was enraged by their escape and had indeed set a price on both he and Jen. After the initial meeting with Charles and the other's at Hogwarts, Charles hadn't been heard from. Snape had said Mendez was fine but was unwilling to risk being exposed. Remus couldn't fault him for that. But he longed for his own freedom.
The murmurs pressing themselves through the walls turned into giddy laughter. Remus looked towards the sounds and sighed. No matter what arguments Illyana had made, he knew his presence was a danger to them. He couldn't stay, he wouldn't jeopardize them. He was going to miss his friends, once he was gone.
Although Sirius seemed to have forgotten what had happened at Grimmauld, he had not. Sirius had done nothing to prevent anything he saw in the vision with the twins. He still knew something had to be done; He knew he had to do something. Whether the 'vision' was accurate or not, as Illyana so deftly pointed out, Remus would not take the chance of hurting any of them. And killing Jimmy was a fate he simply refused to allow.
"Hey there, sexy man." Jen stepped from the room and grinned at Remus. She was again in that tattered old set of sweat clothes and was pulling her hair off her face into a tail. The smile on her face was positively giddy. "What are you doing out here all by you lonesome?"
"Hey there, groovy chic." Remus smiled at Jen as he filled the teapot with steaming water. "Staying as far away from trouble as possible."
"Well," Sirius chimed in from behind Jen, wrapping his arms about her waist and nuzzled her neck with such affection Remus blushed. "You've picked the wrong roommates!"
"Yes, I know." Remus tried covering his thoughts with a smile, consciously pushing the thought of Illyana away, and set the tea on the table, "That seems to have always been my problem! Dating as far back as to when I was just a Pup! And I've never been able to choose them!"
"So," Sirius said and rubbed the whiskers on his chin with his fingers and thumb, posing for serious thought, "You were bit when you were eight, and didn't meet me until you were eleven, Hmm…" He furrowed his brow and looked to the ceiling, "So I can't be held responsible, now can I?"
"Let's see," Remus mocked Sirius with the same posed gestures; "I never served detention, no foul marks on my record, always the best example of an ace student. That is, until I came to Hogwarts…" He looked at Jen with a wicked grin, "I think that bite was barely an inconvenience compared to what he brought me." Then sniggered and pulled a chair back for her to sit at the table with him. "I don't know how you managed." He paused and eyed Sirius for a moment. "In fact, I'm still curious as to what spells must have been cast, and by whom, to get James named Head-boy!" Finally he sat across from the two of them and started to fill three cups with tea.
"Are you okay?" Sirius asked him.
Knowing Sirius was referring to the incident he'd stepped in on two nights ago, Remus nodded. "Yes. No worries."
"June fifth," Sirius changed the subject. "Do you have plans on June fifth?"
"June?" Remus tilted his eyes up over his brow at his friend. "I don't know. Today is December 29th. It's such short notice." He shook his head at them, and then continued, "I don't know that I'll have time to clear my schedule."
"We want you to stand up for us." Jen shifted closer to him and kissed his cheek.
"Stand up?" he tried to sound confused, but knew exactly what they meant.
"Please," Sirius said with the utmost forthright and determined voice. "It would mean so much for you to be there for us."
Seeing his seriousness, Remus took a deep breath and looked at his friend. "I would love too, but I'm not James." He tilted his head. "Wouldn't Harry be a better choice?"
"No." Jen said and kissed his cheek again. "And he's not James either."
"And he's not you," Sirius said, looking at his friend. "I want my best friend standing with me." He pushed Jen back and turned Remus to face him. "You are my best, dearest friend. Please do this for me and witness my marriage."
Before Remus could reply, the fire in the hearth sprung to life, and Rick stepped forth, followed shortly by Thomas.
"Thomas!" Jen slowly rose and looked at her brother in surprise. "What in the heavens are you doing here?" she asked, then quickly crossed the room and gathered him into an embrace. "I thought you were supposed to be watching my apartment."
"Is Bill here?" Rick asked quickly as he laid a comforting hand on Jen's back.
"Weasley?" Sirius asked as he joined them in front of the hearth. "Should he be?"
"No," Remus added, still sitting at the table. "He's supposed to be in Los Angeles with Moody."
Thom pulled back from Jen's embrace looked at Rick, who slowly shook his head back and forth. "How is it we beat them here?"
"Knowing Moody, he made another stop first," Thom said to Rick.
Looking between Jen's family suspiciously, Sirius stepped closer. "What's going on?" he demanded.
"Wait for them," Rick said to Thom sternly. "You really need to wait for them."
Thom nodded in compliance, but Jen demanded, "No, I don't think waiting is a good idea. Having Sirius Black edgy is a bad thing. Having your sister distraught is even worse. I think you should speak." Then there was a rapping on the door. "You should hope this is them."
Sirius strided to the door and opened it, revealing Alastor Moody with Bill Weasley. He pulled the door fully open and gestured them both in, then firmly shut the door and turned to them. "This has started out to be a wonderful day, tell me you're not here to ruin it."
Moody ignored Sirius and asked Jen, "How are you faring?"
"I'm just fine," Jen responded, suddenly caught up with a bit of fear. "At least up until about two and a half minutes ago. What is the matter? Why are you here?"
"We should sit," Bill said as he sat himself next to Remus at the table. "I think its best that we all sit."
Moody immediately took Bill's cue, but instead of sitting, he stood behind Remus. First Jen, who sat across from Bill, then Thom, who sat at the table's head, then finally Sirius who hovered behind Jen, all reluctantly followed him. Rick leaned on a wall, leaving the Magicians to sort through this business.
Moody began, first addressing Sirius, "The wards are securely in place at Grimmauld. You need only to find a new secret keeper. Have you?"
"Yes, of course," Sirius responded, suspicion still in his voice. "We'll cast the spell tomorrow."
"Good, good." Moody nodded his head approvingly. And then he slowly turned to Jen.
Before he could frame a question, she volunteered, "I've picked a secret keeper as well. She won't be back for another week or so, but we'll cast the spell then."
Moody's mouth opened, but words escaped him. He looked at Bill who was toying with one of the forgotten mugs. He closed his mouth then opened it again, feeling slightly guilty. "I don't think that will be necessary."
Sirius didn't like the sound of that at all. Those simple words conveyed too much meaning. He leaned across the table, looking directly at Bill. "You will tell me what has happened." It came out like a threatening growl.
Bill, still focusing on the mug to avoid eye contact with any of them, shook his head. "I'm not sure exactly."
"Waitaminute." Jen muttered and leaned across the table to match Sirius, though her attention was on her brother. "Thom, why are you here? What has happened?" she demanded in a voice that no one could deny.
"It's you apartment, Jen." he quietly said as he slowly raised his head and looked at his younger sister. "I'm so sorry. We left it just a few hours to go prepare Rick's theatre, and when we came back it was gutted."
Jen dropped back in her chair; Sirius leaned further onto the table and asked, "What exactly does 'gutted' mean?"
"I believe it means to destroy or remove ones insides," Moody defined, his eye swirling abnormally. "Which is exactly what happened to your flat." He looked sympathetically at Jen. "Everything is gone."
Jen lowered her head, looking at the table, shaking her head slightly still forming a reaction.
Sirius however, already had his formed. He hunched his shoulders and balled his fists, the growled very low, "What do you mean everything?"
"Everything," Bill replied. Seeing Sirius's obvious concern, he tried to elaborate. "There was scarcely anything left, and what was left was destroyed. They came in and, as Thomas said, gutted it."
"Everything?" Jen's voice cracked.
Bill nodded. "Clothing, furniture, dishes. Everything."
Quietly listening, Remus took it all in. Although not identified as to who 'they' were, it was unspoken they all knew Jen's family had done this. He shook his head and was about to reach a comforting hand to Jen when something occurred to him. He lifted his head and looked at Bill. "Everything?"
Bill looked at him and nodded.
A panic started to rise in Remus. He ran through all the other possibilities, but found one refused to leave his head. Quietly, as if he didn't want to scare a cornered animal, he asked softly, "Hairbrushes?"
All eyes shot up and looked first at Remus, then to Thom. "Oh, my god." The comment was enough of a confirmation.
For a moment the world seemed to stop spinning as all eyes glanced from one to another. The deafening silence was enough to hold them all frozen.
Except Jen. Her eyes remained trained on her brother. "Hairbrushes?" she repeated, and when Thom nodded the world began to spin again, though it seemed much more quickly. Jen abruptly stood from her chair, knocking it back into Sirius. Knowing what the response from the others would be, she held a firm, strong voice. "I'm going," she said then swiftly tried to move from the table, being stopped by Sirius grabbing her arm.
"No," his voice was as firm as her actions. "You won't know."
She jerked her arm from him and shouted, "They are MY children!" She shouted, "I will know!"
"Jennifer," Moody said with a placating voice in an attempt to gain control. "You wouldn't. Polyjuice is illegal for a reason," He tried to explain. "I'll go. I know the effects of Polyjuice intimately."
"I should go," Remus added, looking at Sirius, then Moody. "I know their scents. Polyjuice can't hide that."
"I don't know what you complaining about!" Jimmy hissed at his twin. "I never get called to see the headmaster unless it because of you!
"I haven't done anything!" Lily defended herself. "We haven't been back long enough to get into trouble!"
"I'm sure Professor Dubois will find that excuse acceptable," he said flatly, and then knocked on the door to the Headmasters smaller office. "You better hope this isn't about Draco Malfoy, or I swear to god, I'll kill you myself."
"Come in," Came the deep reply.
"It couldn't be!" Lily hissed in a whisper. "No one's seen the note but me, and Stephanie won't have known I borrowed her dress until she gets back from Florida, and that's not until the third!"
The twins looked at each other briefly, then pushed the door open. The Headmaster stood from behind his desk and signaled them both in, "Come in, come in."
The two walked timidly into the office and took their seats in the appointed chairs in front of the Professor's desk. "I trust you both had an enjoyable holiday?"
Jimmy and Lily exchanged a quick look; both thinking this was some kind of set up. That they had done something wrong but the Headmaster was giving them a chance to come clean first. Lily's mind raced back over the last few days trying to think of anything she may have done to warrant a trip to Professor Dubois.
"Yes sir," Jimmy was first to reply.
"You're getting acquainted with your father?" he asked as her rounded the desk and settled into his chair.
"Yes," Lily replied trying to sound neither suspicious nor guilty.
"That's wonderful," Professor Dubois said and smiled at them both. "I had a meeting with your parents before the holiday. Sirius does seem to be a good man. I'm happy for the two of you having this opportunity to get to know him." The Headmaster leaned back in his chair leaning his elbows on the armrests, and then tented his fingers in front of him.
"I'm sorry, sir," Lily began, trying to hide the tremor in her voice. "Are we in trouble for something?"
The Professor smiled. "I'm not sure. Sometimes it's hard to keep an eye on you two." He tilted his head and smiled lightly. "Have you done something wrong?" Neither of the students noticed their headmaster glance over their heads.
The twins both shot straight up in their chairs, "No!", "I didn't mean,", "It's just that," they stuttered over each other.
After a few moments, the headmaster held up a hand to silence them. "You've done nothing wrong. I know this is a time of great change for you both and I wanted to make sure you both were coping well," he soothed and discreetly glanced over them again.
They both significantly relaxed.
Again, the Headmaster smiled. "Now unless there is anything you'd like to discuss?" The twins shook their heads. "You may go. But do remember my door is always open for any reason."
They nodded and quickly stood and left to office.
"This doesn't feel right." Mad-eye Moody said appearing from beneath an invisibility cloak.
"I agree," Professor Dubois concurred. "That did not sound at all like James."
"It shouldn't have," Remus said also appearing from beneath a cloak. He tossed the cloak over Jimmy's vacant chair and looked first at the Headmaster, then to Moody. "That wasn't Jimmy."
So there ya go! Now pelase take time to give me a little review! You know I love them! and thanks to all of you who have stuck with me and kept encouraging me to write. It means alot.