The Men of the Order Vs. Venus
(Premise and Introduction)
The men of the Order are fighting against more than just Voldemort (Though we'll see his influence as well, I'm sure). A crazy deity named Venus has just decided to make life a bit more difficult er – interesting. So who wins? The boys or Venus? You can vote at the end of each "Round." You can even vote at the end of the following Intro chapter, which follows from my last story's Intermission. This Intro chapter takes place in the summer before Harry's 7th year at Hogwarts (2007, I imagine). Dates will be very important from here on out, as several years will pass in this fic.
Additional information: Alright, after more than one request, I'm going to try to further explain the nature of the voting. Think of "men" as a general catagory of people. -Most of my readers seem to be female, but if you aren't, please don't take offense at this, because it is all in good fun and not meant to be cruel.- Men in general tend to shy away from commitment. I'm not talking about committing to a five year car payment, or even a thirty year mortgage. They seem to be able to handle those just fine. I'm speaking specifically about commitment stemming from love. Falling in love is often seen as a weakness or something. Listen once through to the song "Another One Bites The Dust," which has been traditionally requested by the best man at every wedding ever since it was written, and you'll see what I mean. The battle today is Sirius vs. Venus, which is the goddess of Love. The idea is that he's resisting falling in love. How well is he doing? Or has he already lost? THAT's what we're voting on. I hope this clears things up. I've had a lot of fun setting this story up for this purpose, and it won't be as much fun to read if it still doesn't make sense to everyone. Let me know - I hope that helps.
Sirius threw himself onto the chair in front of the fire. Remus had thoughtfully parked his immobile behind off to the side on a couch. Possibly because there was a lamp nearby. He'd been reading all day. Literally.
Sirius let out an exasperated sigh, which was promptly and thoroughly ignored. "Moony?" he asked finally.
Remus raised his eyes from letter number 47. Yes, he'd been counting. And the pile of unopened letters at his feet was still much larger than the stack of opened ones on the couch beside him. Mur had given him every letter she'd tried to send him over the last 15 years just before she'd gone to see Severus this morning. When she'd left, he'd seen her shrinking a stack of letters for her best mate as well. He was still astounded at how persistent she'd been. He was already becoming tired of hearing her requests for help with her father and arguments for why he should try to help Sirius, and suggestions about who he should contact at the Ministry. Nearly every letter was a declaration of his friend's innocence and a plea for Remus' help. He couldn't help but wonder if he would have believed her if he'd received any of these. He also couldn't help but imagine how peeved Severus was going to be if his letters were similar.
"I'm bored," Sirius said, when he knew he had his attention. This of course was not the truth. The truth was that he wanted desperately to know what was in those letters, but he was too proud to ask. Remus, who could imagine exactly what was going through his friend's mind, was perfectly aware of this. He was also aware that Mur had charmed each and every letter to do something awful if the wrong person tried to read it. That had been her habit when they were children as well, and even without the amusing warnings at the top of the parchment, he would have known better than to let Sirius read them. Sirius had apparently thought of this as well, as he made no attempt to take the letters.
"Does Molly need any help in the kitchen?" Remus asked, maddeningly ignoring the obvious hopeful look on Sirius' face.
"Tonks is with her."
"Does Molly need any help in the kitchen?" Remus said, in the same bored tone of voice. Sirius laughed.
"Probably. Come on, Moony!"
At this point Muriel, possibly drawn by Sirius' annoyed state of mind, came into the room carrying yet another stack of letters. Her face was very sad. She sat down wordlessly before the fire and began casting the sealed envelopes in, one at a time. The first thought in Sirius' head was that those were probably the ones she'd written to him, if she'd written him at all. This made her pause. She turned around just as he was getting up to leave in a huff.
"Marisa Ahles," she whispered. "Sev said it happened just after I left. He tried to warn her – "
Sirius felt the angry flush drain from his face. He remembered Marisa. He'd taken her to a dance once because he'd been too shy to ask Mur. Snape had warned the Order that her family was a target not two weeks after Mur's disappearance, but they had been unable to save her. The wards had been shattered, and by the time Sirius and James had arrived in response, the Dark Mark was already glowing in the sky. James had stayed to help the Aurors who arrived moments later, but Sirius had left to take the news to Dumbledore. He was thankful now that there were no images in his mind for Mur to glean. It looked like it was hitting her hard enough as it was.
He changed direction abruptly and sat down beside her, putting an arm around her shoulders. The letters fell out of her hands and scattered in her lap as she leaned into him, tears streaming down her face in silence. After several moments Mur could hear Remus shifting paper again behind her and she sat up again. Gathering up the remaining letters she tossed them all into the back of the fireplace. Then she looked at Sirius, who was watching them burn. "Thanks," she whispered.
He turned to face her and saw how sad she still looked. He pulled an encouraging smile and lifted a hand to push a stray lock of hair behind her ear.
"Mur!" The front door downstairs slammed shut and Severus' voice could be heard drifting up the stairs. Mur closed her eyes and shook her head as Sirius retracted his hand, already angry again.
"We're up here!" she called as he retreated back to his chair. She caught a glimpse of Remus shaking his head ruefully and winked at him. Severus appeared in the doorway a moment later.
"THIS is what you write to me when you've disappeared off the face of the planet?!" At this outburst Remus couldn't help but laugh. The disgusted look on the Potions Master's face was proof positive that his letters consisted of precisely the same thing as the ones she'd written to Remus.
"Oh sod off, Severus. I was desperate!"
"Yes, obviously," he retorted sarcastically with a demeaning glance at Sirius. It was clear that he thought she'd been desperate BEFORE she'd been banished. Sirius was standing before Mur had a chance to retort, but Snape managed to get another word in. Remus found himself wondering later if perhaps, in his own way, the cranky professor had purposely diffused the situation. "If you wrote the same drivel to Lucius you'd best not forward it. He was in no more of a position to help your pet pooch than I!"
With that he exited the room, quite possibly congratulating himself for not getting hexed. "Miserable git! You'd think he'd be grateful that I even BOTHERED to write to him, after the way he treated me after 6th year!" Mur said laughingly. A moment later she'd left Remus and Sirius alone, and Sirius was still more desperate to know what was in all those letters. But Remus wasn't talking.