Disclaimer: I own nothing—I live in Iowa for heaven's sake! I do own anyone you don't recognize though, like Morlock and Gallagher and all the yummy characters that are yet to come!
I hope you enjoy this next chapter. I had so much fun writing it. I realize that just reviewing just after you read isn't a huge interest, but I would sincerely appreciate if you just dropped a note telling me 'never to write again' or 'pack up, leave town, this crap sucks' or if you even enjoyed one small word in all the many. I love reviews, can't get enough of them, so please, hand out a few. GRACIAS. oh, and thanks for reading that paragraph. ;)
I'd like to make a correction that was pointed out to me in the 2nd chapter: When i said Lily was going home from downtown London to Birmingham -- I was suggesting that she would apparate. Hopefully that clears things up a bit.
This chapter is basically a filler to show daily life. I was going to make it longer, but that would mean you all would have to wait longer, and right now, I hold 3 jobs, 5 college courses, government, and soccer on my plate. my time is limited. I hope you enjoy this chapter.
Please Review, gives me hope! Abarraine. 28 April 2006.
X X X X
"What the bloody hell—" and the frivolous emerald stream of light made sure that man from Halesworth never swore again.
X X X X
"Honey, did you want ham or turkey? Yes, yes, just a moment, Avarie. Dear? Turkey?" Monroe Gallagher leaned over the counter to pour his seven year old daughter's milk. She had bright hazel eyes and soft strawberry blond hair that shimmered when the sun caught it. She had her mother's lips and nose, but her father's strong chin and powerful gaze.
"Abbie, Abarraine dear, turkey?" Monroe shouted out to his wife in the bathroom just off the kitchen. In the commotion to send his daughter off to primary school, make his wife's lunch, and collect all his work, they always seemed to be running, shouting, and occasionally snarling. However, Monroe wasn't one to complain. After twenty-three years of marriage to one resplendent and sensational Abarraine Bones-Gallagher, he wouldn't complain worth anything at all.
Avarie Clare had been an unplanned surprise. As Head Auror, Monroe's life was unstable. They were bound to move at least once a year, lately it had been more than that with the recent rise of the Wizarding world's newest serial killer: Voldemort. Monroe and Abbie hadn't planned on submitting a child to that kind of fast paced, questionable life. But now that Avarie was there, sitting just across the counter from him, he couldn't for the life of him understand why they had waited so terribly long. In the early years, there had been a span of time where the Auror's were more or less irrelevant in society. Everything was calm— it was almost unrealistic.
Abarraine sold reality. And today, she had a big client from Australia coming to tour one of the Potter's old mansions. Her commissions from the mansion alone would cover Avery's year of schooling, which was at the prestigious McAlister primary schooling of Wizardy and Witchcraft. She was dolling herself up in the bathroom, trying to cover her newly developed wrinkles. Not all were from nature. She wouldn't tell Monroe this, but she was terrified. Terrified of the way life was bound to change. Every day she read the papers that he brought home as he showered. She knew of the murders, the vicious, satanic murders. She knew of Monroe's connection and she feared for his life. The love of her life was a sitting duck— granted he was armed with over forty years of self defense; physical and spell training.
The wrinkles were a sign of her creased forehead's worry for her husband. And the thought of a catastrophe on her family. Little Avarie was well guarded each and every day, but threats were a mother's death. She applied her pale rose lip stick and puffed her hair. Staring into the mirror, she listened to her loves rattle off the number tables of addition. His gruff voice posing questions of feasible answer to the bright seven-year-old. Avarie's laugh was contagious; pure and naive.
"Monroe, I told you last night I was eating lunch with the client. You'll be needing the bologna, I suppose?" Abarraine laid a hand gently on Monroe's arm, unconsciously still loving the feel of his warm body. Just one more thing to reassure her of his safety.
"Damn, I alread—"
"Monny. Avarie." Abarraine reprimanded in a clipped tone.
"Aves, pumpkin, don't repeat that."
"hmm? Yes, pop." Avarie twisted in her seat and hopped down off her stool to grab her school bag. "Daddy? Are we gonna play 'xploding snaps tonight?" Her big eyes gazed at her father, tall and strong. If a child were to hold their father in esteem, Monroe was the epitome. He was powerful and gentle. An endearing paradox that Avarie had twisted around her littlest finger.
"Count on it Babes. Is Morgan here? I believe I see the limo in the drive. Come give mums and dad a hug." The morning went rather smoothly. An average Pureblood wizarding family relishing in the displays of affection shown. The world hadn't stopped turning just yet.
X X X X
"Jeremy, the fee's three sickles, try to remember that, eh?"
"Whatever Lily. If I have to pay you for whipping my arse, then you have to pay me when I whip yours." Lily's eyes twinkled.
"And you expect to make money that way, Jer? My, your monetary funds must be higher than I first presumed." Lily twisted behind a rather pathetic barrier which seemed to do it's job as she shot off another aggressive spell at her dueling partner.
"Oh, hardy har har, Lily. I could go into anything from that last comment." Jeremy rolled violently out of an oncoming hex and staggered to his feet only to be hit with another hex, suddenly turning his hair a deep aqua.
"Eff that Lily." Jeremy cursed as he twisted his bangs in his left hand, analyzing the atrocious color. He then skipped over a miscellaneous box and dove to the ground behind a dumpster all the while firing off several hexes into Lily's near vicinity which changed remarkably as she sprinted to the other side of the room, occasionally rolling and weaving.
"Oy, quit being narcissistic and bloody well hit me, Jeremy!" Lily jibbed. Then she cursed as her foot became lodged to the ground. "Bugger, now I bloody owe you three sickles." Lily twisted frantically in her position, as Jeremy stalked closer to her planted form, honoring their dueling code of never double hitting when the person is unable to defend. In her efforts to get away, she muttered several unheard spells and suddenly, extremely pleased with herself, vaulted behind the nearest dumpster. Surprising Jeremy into action.
"Trucatio!" The violet laser of light connected soundly with Lily's right shoulder, making her gasp, before falling to the ground in mid leap.
"Lily! God—" Jeremy's heart sped up as he ran to Lily. He hadn't meant to perform a real spell. She had just shocked the hell out of him when she somehow undid his hex. She was getting too advanced for him.
"It's alright, Jer. Just a small nick." Lily huffed, gazing at the pool of blood now growing on the floor. "But really, the cutting spell? Can't you be a bit less original? Didn't you try and hit me with that one just a week ago?
"Jeremy, just help me up." Lily ordered, tired of his paralyzed empathetic stare. Jeremy had the tendency to run through how a problem occurred before fixing the said problem. And in this case, staring at a grimacing Lily had put him into an analytical stupor. Lily was most accustomed to it. There are at least two types of people in this world: those who take action, and those who think about taking action. Lily was the first, and Jeremy the second.
As Jeremy tended to Lily, heaving her lithe bleeding body off the floor and encircling her waist with his brawny arm, Monroe Gallagher was kissing his wife of twenty-three glorious years goodbye and apparating to the old Phone Booth on Oxford Street.
X X X X
"James, just thought I'd come by, as I am one of immense maturity, to inform you that your fiancée is again becoming acquainted with the infirmary." Caedom Schipper leaned into James' office with a sympathetic frown.
James, however prone to injury Lily was, never could quite control the increase his heart rate jumped when he heard those words. Suddenly he was stalking across the room to meet with Schipper. He looked a might sight then, strong, powerful gaze full of immeasurable worry for his love. His hands forcefully made into fists, the clenching fingernails threatening to cut into his calloused palm. His muscular stature heaving as he subconsciously shook a bit with fear. And his always happy-go-lucky smile was painfully knocked off his face and replaced with a thin, unaccommodating line.
Schipper moved to allow Potter to pass before falling into step beside him. The two men created an ambiance in the hall forcing people to watch as they passed. These were two of the Ministry's greatest Aurors. The power they evoked was nare a thought to them in their daily lives. They thought no more of themselves than others, however, in their stance, you could tell they were trained for commanding and illustrious things. And thus, they were held in high regard.
"She was training with Draeger." James huffed, fixing his erratic gaze on a stout woman groping through her purse near the far elevator. "I'm not sure what the extent of her injuries are, but Draeger was messy."
"That's a completely optimistic thing to tell me Schipper. Appreciate it. I really do." James muttered, his voice barely heightening in pitch due to his fears. His pace quickened as he pictured his Lily "messy" and in pain. She was always the tough one, both mentally and physically. Her strength, he knew, came from years of oppression and degradation. She had to find a way to live in two societies that bashed her at every turn. James started to grin, despite his fear, when he recalled all the ways Lily had lived up to her strength.
Just entering the Wizarding world. Voicing her discomforts to others, rather than selfishly holding them inside, just waiting for the pending burst. She stood tall to "mudblood" and delved heartedly into her studies just too keep up. He knew it was hard for her. But she hid it well enough. He couldn't imagine coming into a new society and not knowing anything, absolutely nothing at all. It was like walking through Spain. Words, signs, even currency was almost unattainable knowledge to a small, quaint eleven-year-old girl.
In third year he remembered her pounding frantically on the portrait opening as Filch sped to stop her from entering much past curfew. The thought of being out late made James respect Lily, not any more an introverted bookworm, but someone worth knowing. He remembered the way her eyes glowed when Malfoy snarled and she threw back an even cruller intellectual, humiliating word that left him in a torpor. He remember her volunteering to handle the "deranged" Hippogriffs when no one else would in Care of Magical Creatures. He remembered the way she held her head high as she walked down the aisle at Petunia's wedding and grinned despite the directed hatred she was undoubtedly receiving. He remembered how she had blown that Death Eater away with a curse she had created weeks before, but never been tried. Its success showed initiative and power.
Lily Evans was strong; strong-willed, quick-witted, and stubborn. There was no way he should be this worried about her, he tried to reason with himself. But a large portion of his heart always hurt when she wasn't with him, even when he knew she was safe.
She was always falling, always tripping, always smashing into things. She claimed it was a lack of balance. He knew it was because she just had one too many things flowing through her beautiful head simultaneously.
Lily was his epitome of multi-talented. She could chug her coffee while reading the mail and cooking James his eggs, sunny-side-up, all the while singing to the newest pop song on her radio and pouring shield hexes throughout the kitchen to keep Sirius from destroying anything of value. Like James' own wand, for instance. That was a fearful day.
She could take apart spells, she could delve into their layers and reform them. She could take your primary levitating spell and rework it to only fit a certain element in a person; be it their age, ethnic background, or, as she was working on now, the amount of power they held inside them.
She could strip spells and find why they issued from the wand purple or rose colored. She could explain why one had to be spiraled while the other had a harsh undercut when preformed. She even stripped away all the frivolous words within a spell and left you with the harshest impact.
Lily was exceptionally intelligent. Alone she had transfigured over eighty spells. Diligently she'd work, rattle off hexes and charms to undo layers. Explosions would emit — she almost lost her wand arm once when a spell imploded. He remembered her words when she'd regained consciousness: "What the hell was I thinking. To have two 'noxes' that could overpower one another. I was bloody asking for a prosthetic limb. God James... this hurts."
And there she was, seemingly trying to snuggle into the unaccommodating hospital bed. Well, snuggle was a very forgiving term at the moment because it looked as if she wasn't pliable enough to even squirm. Stiff as a board she sat, frowning, next to the cheeky Jeremy Draeger. Whom James had very little patience or amity for.
"James, welcome to my dominion." Lily quirked, trying to play down the situation. But James, he was nowhere near a fool which Lily knew. The effect: he read her eyes, she gave it her all to play actress and then the two smiled at one another.
"She'll be ready to leave Thursday noon—" The head healer began, only to be rudely cut off by the one injured female.
"I will not. I'm perfectly capable to leave right now, Saras, see." Lily then attempted to climb off the bed, which, in her eyes, seemed to grow the size of Britain. Her vision swirled due to the excruciating pain in her right shoulder, the bone having been severed along with her delicate skin. She trembled slightly when she felt James' calloused hand on her left forearm, steadying her movements. She leaned into his arm, dying just a little bit for his warmth.
"Alright, but Wednesday at the latest." Lily muttered, eyes still closed. James had moved to sit on her bed and pulled her towards him at an angle so as not to cause her more pain. Her breathing became deeper as her head founds it's normal position on his strong, broad chest. His chest reverberated his calming heart beat, lulling her out of her pain and into peace. As she lived in the world of James, she faintly heard Healer Saras, James, and Jeremy speaking about her.
"What happened?" That was James. She could feel his voice resonating.
"She split her right shoulder. The bone was completely severed, it's lucky the hex wasn't that strong or Lily—"
"Hex?" James hissed. No doubt was he glaring opening at Jeremy. For some reason unbeknownst to Lily, James had never liked Draeger.
"Er—well, we were—uh—" Was James that domineering? Lily wondered as she felt his arms tighten around her. God, was he soothing.
"What Draeger? Can't find something that's not bloody incriminating of you? Working through a way to blame this on Lily." James' voice was cold. Lily rolled her eyes behind her lids and elbowed James in the gut gently, trying to tell him that was uncalled for. Granted it was sweet – her left brain was currently melting due to his amount of evident love, but her right side continued with its soliloquy of the accident being half her fault.
It takes two to duel and they both were heavily competing. And sometimes – most times – slips occur. It's pure habit of nature. Sure, Jeremy was the sort to jump the gun and be found with an immense lack of self discipline and common sense, but he was a great dueler. Not too proficient in aim, but his mouth was quick to fire. Too bad his cons were too big of factors to allow him into the Auror's Elite, which James was a member.
Lily could feel James' eyes on her as she stopped jabbing him. As much as she longed to open her eyes and defend Jeremy, she couldn't for the life of her force the weight off her eyelids. She murmured as he began drawing circles on her lower back.
Jeremy was speaking again when Lily turned her focus off of the designs James was making.
"... her sudden movement when I had planted her with the foot-locker hex surprised me enough to just throw out any random hex."
"Mr. Draeger. Please try to remember that you train with co-workers. Injuries should never occur. I've enough to deal with with the battle-worn Aurors, I don't have time for those merely training. Now here me out, son, we're fighting a war. Capture a handle on your emotions." Madame Saras reprimanded.
James' hands seemed to dance along her spine, causing Lily to shiver in his grasp.
"Yes, Ma'am, sorry." Jeremy stated plainly.
"Draeger. We'll have words later." James' gruff voice reassured Jeremy in an ominous way.
"Come. She needs sleep."
"G'mornin' Mr. Gallagher. Wand please." The quiet ministry worker confronted Monroe at the wand checking station in the Ministry.
"Yes. It is quite lovely. Trees starting to bud." He responded as she went about the habitual task of measuring and de-spelling his wand.
"This is true." She replied. She gazed up at Gallagher's rough face and smiled brightly before turning to retrieve his daily ministry post. "Hardly realize that the world's haphazard at the moment."
"hmm." People were milling about, heading to their routine work places. Several had briefcases, others rolls of parchment. All had name tags and their department labeled on their breast pocket. The majority were men.
"Here's your post, sir."
"Thank you kindly. Enjoy your day Daniella." And he strode away with a slight spring in his step. That is, until he was confronted on the third floor with the most ominous news he could have imagined.
Halesworth was under attack.
And no one was there.
No Unspeakable had mentioned it...
X X X X
I know... a bit elusive. Don't worry, if you have questions: ASK! but i will be trying to pull things together more in the following chapter.
thanks for reading.
enjoy your day