Expelliarmus. Stupefy. Shield Charm. Impedimenta. Disillusionment? Body-Bind…
A blot of ink fell on the parchment as James took his time trying to think of another spell to teach the kids. Or at least that's what he was trying to do, but his mind kept wandering to other things. For one, Paige had left him about an hour ago to yell at Sirius and James could only hope that the continued silence of the quarters meant that they weren't killing each other. Then of course there was still the idea of what James was preparing to do that demanded his thoughts…he was preparing to teach teenagers to fight, no, to protect themselves for the up coming war. And never more than as he was trying to come up with a list of spells someone needs to know in order to defend themselves, did James feel the true sadness of children having to live in a time of war. He and his friends never mourned the loss of their youth as they dived head first into work for the Order of The Phoenix and therefore the war, but at this moment he couldn't help but mourn for these children he'd be teaching to fight. Because this would be their first step toward diving into the war, whether they are aware of it or not.
"What is this world coming to when children feel the need to take the matter of protecting themselves into there own hands?" The twenty one year old said with a sigh too heavy for someone his age.
Confundus charm. Conjunctivitis Curse. Freezing Charm. Full Body-Bind. Trip Jinx. Tarantallegra.
"All I'm saying is that after everything we went through, I thought you'd be a bit more loyal." Sirius said with his arms crossed over his chest.
"Loyal?" asked Paige taking a step closer to the stubborn man in front of her. "You were in Azkaban for killing thirteen people! I couldn't exactly walk around the office saying 'Gee, I sure do miss Sirius.' Do you have any idea what I went through?"
"What you went through?!" Sirius yelled throwing his hands up into the air out of frustration.
"I was brought into questioning, 'cause since we were screwing I should have known you were evil." She finished ignoring Sirius' interruption.
"Aw, poor Paige. She was pulled in for questioning." Spat Sirius. "Do you have any idea, any idea of what I would do to be simply pulled in for questioning? You must know, since you did oh so much work to see it happen the first time around."
"Don't you dare! Don't you dare try and blame me for you not getting a trail," Said Paige, her voice cracking a little.
"How can I not? Did you do anything to try and help me?" Sirius waited for an answer but all he got was a tear falling down Paige's cheek. "I'll take that as a no."
"What could I do Sirius? They suspected me to have known about it, and if I pushed for anything in your favor I probably would have lost my job."
"Lost your job?" Sirius choked out, totally unwilling to believe she was this selfish.
"Yeah, there was that and the fact that I was having a rather large emotional breakdown, which slowed things down a bit. I needed something to hold on to, and my job was the only thing I had left.Yes, Sirius," She added upon seeing his reaction to her mention of a breakdown. "The man I loved was thrown into Azkaban for mass murder, and apparently had a part in the murder of my partner and his wife. That's the stuff breakdowns are made of."
A tense silence fell between them, each waiting for the other to say something.
"Don't blame me for it Sirius. I all but died that day," whispered Paige. Sirius started moving as though to take a step closer to her but stopped, unsure. When Paige didn't give any answer to his movement or hesitation he moved forward so he was standing directly in front of her.
"I should have told you we switched, and I should have gone to you first before going after Wormtail," He said staring down at her.
"Yes, you should have," she said quietly with a slight chuckle. They stood their simply looking at each other for several moments before Sirius became bold and brushed some hair behinds Paige's ear. An action he knew she loved, and in the past was always followed by a kiss.
"Where are we?" Sirius asked, knowing that Paige would understand he couldn't say 'where is our relationship now' aloud. Paige cleared her throat and took a step back from him.
"We're no where. I've moved on Sirius. I had too. And…there is just too much happening for anything to happen with us again." As Paige spoke, her voice became stronger with each word and Sirius could feel her pulling farther and farther away from him. "You have to get James and Harry to where they need to be, and you need to get your own life back."
"And you?" She smiled sadly at his question.
"Well see there are these evil nutters running around and I'm getting paid to stop them. Even if people don't believe they're running around."
There was once again silence between them and after a few moments Paige turned and left the room.
James awoke on the couch the next morning to the sound of voices, voices that were trying hard to be quiet, but voices never the less. His eyes snapped opened and the sight that greeted him was his son, Ron and Hermione looking over the list of spells James had made up the night before. Rubbing his eyes under his glasses, James checked his watch and it told him that these kids were up far too early on a Saturday.
"That's just a rough draft of the spells I think you guys should know," James said while trying to suppress a yawn. He chuckled a little when they all jumped at the sound of his voice. Harry started to say that they had tried not to wake him but James waved him off.
"You guys do know that it's a Saturday, right? Teenagers are supposed to sleep till noon on Saturdays."
"Today is the first Hogsmeade weekend," Hermione informed him.
"Ahh, I see." James got up to stretch out his muscles.
"And, um…" Hermione glanced to Harry silently asking him to say whatever they decided needed to be said. Harry shook his head and went back to looking at the list of spells, leaving Hermione to do the dirty work.
"Well, we're going to meet with the kids that want to learn while we were there. Just to make sure they know what they're getting into and so that everyone is on the same page." James nodded his head.
"Good plan, doing it off school grounds. Where are you planning on having this meeting?" Hermione seemed pleased that James thought it was a good idea, and went on with a bit more confidence in her voice.
"Well, I thought some where that we wouldn't be bothered yet we're allowed to go. I asked Professor Flitwick, and he said that students are allowed into the Hog's Head so we'll meet,"
"The Hog's Head?" James cut her off. "Hermione, that's a shady place. And a place that you most defiantly will be over heard in."
"But," Hermione began "Surely its better then the Three Broomsticks, which will be packed with people."
"Which is what you want, Hermione." James said patiently. "It'll be so packed with people, students from Hogwarts especially, that no one will think twice if they see a group of students sitting together. And more over, with a lot of people comes a lot of noise and a lot of noise makes it hard to hear private conversations."
"Bloody hell," Ron said. "Did you come up with all that on the fly James?"
"Of course not," said James with fake sternness in his voice. "The Marauders used to have lots of private conversations."
"But there are going to be a lot more than 4 people," Hermione said. "If the group is too big, random people might join just to see what's going on. People might be even more inclined to see what's going on if you and Harry are part of the group. The center of the group more over, since you two will be speaking to them."
"Come again?" Harry asked at the same moment James said "You want me to be at this meeting?"
"Well, yes." Hermione said to James pointedly ignoring Harry's glare. "You'll be the one teaching us, shouldn't you be there telling them what the can expect?"
"Hermione, I haven't been in public since well, since I was in public," James was sure they would know he was referring to when he was pronounced alive and the press had a feeding frenzy. "You're right that having me there attract much unwanted attention. You'd be better off without me."
"But I thought you could explain to them,"
"Have Harry do it," Said James, gesturing toward his son who turned to look at him with wide eyes.
"Yeah, kid," chuckled James. "You're the connection between them and me; it would only be fitting if you were, second in command or something of the sort." Before James had even finished, Harry had started shaking his head.
"I can't do that. What do I know?"
"You know enough to be alive right now, and your peers know that." James said, becoming serious. "I've been thinking about this Harry, and it's really not right to lead this little rebellion of yours. I'll help you in anyway I can, but…I can't be the one leading these kids. They don't know me and I don't know them. But they know you and know what you've done."
"Most of the school thinks I'm crazy and doesn't believe all that stuff," said Harry.
"Not the ones that would be there Harry. Do you really think I would offer this to people who think you're off your rocker? They all believe what you're saying about You-Know-Who." Hermione said swiftly.
"See? There you go. You can feel them out at this meeting. Set them straight, explain to them that I'll help with anything you want me to help with but you'll be the one calling the shots." James said with a smile.
"What are you talking about?" Harry asked angrily. "Stop smiling! Nothing I've done had anything to do with learning the right spell. I got by cause I was lucky and help came at the right times! You were an Auror! Everyone could learn so much more from you. Luck, that's all I have."
"If you wont run this little rebellion, then I wont help."
James' words were met with a silence only interrupted by Harry's heavy breathing.
"It's not right for me to lead this Harry. This isn't my battle no matter how much I wish to fight it for you."
"You said you'd do it," Harry said, looking at James with eyes that screamed they were let down.
"Yeah, well, I can't not help you," answered James running a hand through his hair. "But really Harry, denying your good at Defense Against the Dark Arts is just like denying your good at Quidditch. The results will speak differently no matter what you say."
An uncomfortable silence once again fell around them. James hated that he was twisting this situation around on Harry, but he really felt that this was how it had to be. Ron and Hermione glanced between the father and son unsure of what to do with themselves.
"What would you do if I was in charge?" Harry finally asked.
"I would help you think of spells they should know, I would help you make sure everyone was doing the spells correctly, stuff like that." James said glad Harry's tone wasn't as angry. They were silent for a few more moments before Harry stood up.
"I'll talk to them today, but I still don't like the whole me being in charge thing," said Harry as he walked toward the door.
"Then we'll talk about it more when you come back," James said as Ron and Hermione stood up as well and followed Harry.
"I have homework I need to do when we get back," said Harry stiffly with his back still to his father.
"Maybe after that then?" James knew he was being punished for pushing Harry to do this.
"Maybe," and with that Harry left the quarters. Ron and Hermione gave James a sympathetic glance before following.
"A few people, Hermione?" Harry asked hoarsely as more people pulled chairs around the table Harry, Ron and Hermione were sitting at. The trio had been in the Three Broomsticks for five minutes when people began bring chairs closer to their table. First Neville stumbled over to them, ginning nervously and with him came Dean and Lavender. No sooner did they start shifting their chairs did the Patil twins, Cho and one of her friends, and all three of the Gryffindor chasers walk over to them through the crowd. Hermione glanced around, stood up and walked over to a neighboring table and asked if they would move so that the large party could fit. They only left when Hermione offered to buy them a round of butterbeers. This tactic had to soon be used on another table as the Creevey brothers, Ernie Macmilan, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Hannah Abbott, and another Hufflepuff girl walked through the door and headed straight for the growing gathering. Just when Harry thought there would be no room for anyone else, three Ravenclaw boys, Ginny, a boy from the Hufflepuff Quidditch team, and lastly Fred and George Weasley with Lee Jordan pushed their way through the group and managed to find an edge of a chair to sit on.
"A lot of people liked the idea," Hermione said happily looking over at the group.
"Rosmerta," Fred called over to the barmaid. "Could we please have, oh lets see," he paused to count the number of heads around the three tables. "Twenty-four, no sorry, twenty-five butterbeers?"
"Oh my," Rosmerta laughed good-naturedly looking around the large group. "Quite a gathering you have here." Fred winked wrapped an arm around his twins shoulders and said,
"Have to tell our jokes to someone, don't we Madam?" Laughing she walked away to get the butterbeers. "Alright cough up your money everyone, we're not treating you lot."
Harry watched as the group talked amongst themselves, and handed the butterbeers out among themselves when Rosmerta came back with a loaded tray. He then took a moment to glance around the pub and saw that were glances sent their away a few times from some different customers but they were just glances. James was right; no one would pay them too much attention here. It was only then that Harry realized the group had become rather quite and they were all staring at him. He glanced at Hermione, who understood that his glance meant "you started all this, you start this little meeting."
"Well, hello everyone," Hermione said in a voice that was a bit higher than normal. Everyone's eyes flicked over to Hermione.
"Okay, well you know why we're here. I had the idea that – that it would be good for people to really learn – and I mean really learn – defense against the dark arts because we are clearly not getting it from Umbridge. So for us to learn real defense against the dark arts, we'll have to take matters in our own hands." Pausing to breath, Hermione glanced at Harry.
"This will also have something to do with wanting to pass your defense against the dark arts O.W.L, I'm sure," said one of the Ravenclaw boys, Michael Corner.
"Of course I want to pass, but it's more than that," Hermione said. "I want to be to be able to defend myself because…because Lord Voldemort is back."
A witch sitting at the bar who was carefully watching the group laughed at everyone's reaction when Hermione said Voldemort's name, even though the witch too gave a bit of a shudder. Taking a swig of fire whiskey, the witch pushed the Extendable Ear a little further into her ear to make sure not a word was missed.
An hour or so later from then found the "witch" sitting in the kitchen of Grimmauld Place reliving the kids meeting to Remus Lupin.
"So all the kids jump when that girl says You-Know-Who's name," Mundungus slurred still sitting in the dress he was forced to wear to keep from being recognized, "Right funny sight that was."
"It's not right for you to make fun of them Mundungus when you can't say Voldemort's name yourself," Remus said with a slight smile.
"Yeah well, anyway. So this one berk starts running 'is mouth how all the 'You-Know-Who is back' talk is just based on what 'Aarry says, 'n there isn't proof for it or some bullocks of the sort. 'Arry told 'im off, 'e did." Dung paused to take a puff on his grimy pipe. "Then they all asked 'Arry if all the stuff the 'e's done was true, 'e said it was. Next they get into who's gonna be teaching 'em. 'Arry was sayin' James, and that bossy girl was sayin 'im and James would be doin it together. The kids loved that, started askn' 'Arry 'bout his dad, boy was right uncomfortable. The annoyin' kid started runnin' his mouth 'bout some dead guy teachin' 'em. 'Arry nearly hex 'em. After that they were tryin' to work a place for it to happen. Didn't get no where, the bossy girl said they'd think on it. Had 'em sign some thin' sayin' they wouldn't tell no one nothin'. Left after that, they did. Wanted to grab 'em twins, but they were off first."
"Thanks Dung," Remus said, closing his ink bottle since he had finished taking notes on what Mundungus had to report. Mundungus simple puffed on his pipe and summoned a bottle of Sirius' fire whiskey toward him.
Remus got up, walked around the table, and made his way to the fireplace while reading over the notes he had just made. Once in front of the mantle, he reached into a jar upon it and grabbed some Floo Powder. Stepping into the fire he said, "James Potter's Quarters, Hogwarts School," dropped the powder, and with that he was gone in a whorl of green flames.
A.N- Thoughts and feelings? Please, please share them with me. Let me know what you're thinking in a nice lengthy review, because that will make my day.
Till Next Time.