"JAMES! Get down!" Sirius Black roared as a jet of green light nearly hit his best friend. James Potter slammed himself to the ground and covered his head with his arms. Sirius stunned the Death Eater who sent the curse and ran to James' side. "We're outnumbered," he said, sending curses in all directions. "We need to get out of here!"
"Yeah, well, I'm finding that kind of hard at the moment, Sirius," James yelled angrily, rolling on to his back, sending a Jelly-Legs jinx at a Death Eater directly behind Sirius.
Two bodies dove to the ground just beside the two friends. "We've got a plan," a blonde headed man said hastily. "You guys need to get everyone ready to Disapparate. We'll take care of the rest."
"What the hell are you talking about?" James yelled, rolling out of the way just in time. A crater appeared in the ground where James had just been.
"We're going to cause a distraction. Don't worry about it; just get out!" said a brown haired man before standing and pulling his brother from the ground. The Prewett brothers ran back to the battle.
"They're barking mad!" James cried.
"Always have been," Sirius muttered, watching the two men disappear in a hail of wand fire. "C'mon, we have to find Pete and Remus."
Together, Sirius and James ran through the hoard of dueling Death Eaters, Order members, and Aurors, sending curses rapidly towards the scattered enemy ranks as they went. This was the third battle against Death Eaters that month, and it wasn't even halfway through. Voldemort was steadily gaining power, and it was becoming harder to keep tabs on him. The young Order of the Phoenix members had their work cut out for them as they fought the battles, leaving the mission planning to the older members.
A group of Death Eaters surrounded two men - one a sandy-haired man with furious blue eyes, the other a short man with a rat-like look about him - trying to pin them against a farm house. The two men were fighting with all they had, the shorter man having a bit more trouble than the other due to his visible nervousness against the Death Eaters.
"OY!" Sirius yelled. The Death Eaters stopped their assault long enough to turn and throw a couple of stunners at Sirius and James. It was plenty of time, however; while James and Sirius dove in opposite directions to avoid being hit, the other two men quickly stunned the Death Eaters, bounding them and taking their wands.
"Nice one," the sandy haired man panted, wiping sweat from his brow.
"You too," James said. "You all right?"
The shorter man looked as if he was anything but all right, but nodded anyway. "They cornered us when we weren't paying attention. Pete tripped over a rock-" the sandy-haired man continued. Sirius snorted. "-and I was trying to get him up."
"We have to get everyone together," James said, turning and eyeing the battle behind them. "The Prewetts are up to something, and I don't think I like the sound of it."
"What are they doing?" the short man, Peter, squeaked.
"Some sort of diversion," Sirius said. "STUPEFY!" He added as a Death Eater aimed his wand at James.
The four friends rounded up their fellows and bound as many Death Eaters they could. They finally found the Gideon and Fabian Prewett amidst a group of five Death Eaters. Gideon gave Sirius some sort of signal - his fist opened and closed twice, and he gave a thumbs-up. Sirius nodded. "Let's go," he said quietly to his friends.
"What? They're outnumbered! We aren't leaving them!" James yelled, raising his wand.
"No," Sirius said firmly, grabbing James' arm. "We have to do this. Just… Just trust me on this, okay?"
It sounded to James that it was costing Sirius everything to do what he was doing, but James nodded. "Alright," he said. "This is insanity," he muttered, turning back to the large group. "Oh bloody hell," he added, staring off into the distance.
"What?" the sandy-haired man, Remus Lupin, said, turning quickly. They were in a field surrounded by large trees which were now shaking. "Giants," he breathed. "We have to go…"
"That's what I've been saying!" Sirius yelled. "You lot! Back to the Ministry!" he yelled to the Aurors. They didn't need telling twice; a series of pops and the Aurors were gone. "The rest of us… back to Headquarters…"
"Sirius, we can't-" James began.
"We have to. I'll explain later, just come on," Sirius said. With one final glance at the Prewetts - they were taunting the Death Eaters around them - Sirius Disapparated.
Lily Potter stared apprehensively out the window of a large white house, waiting for any news from the battle. She, along with Dorcas Meadowes, had stayed behind to help the injured as they Portkeyed or Apparated in, depending on the seriousness of the injury they sustained. Fortunately, none of the injuries were too serious - they could be mended with a flick of a wand - but Lily was still worried. She'd asked everyone who had come through how James was fairing, but none of them seemed to know. She had every ounce of faith that James would be all right, but she couldn't get the sinking feeling in her stomach to alleviate.
A door slammed open behind Lily and she started, pulling out her wand automatically.
"EXPELLIARMUS!" She shouted at the shadows in the doorway. They ducked as the spell hit the door frame.
"Dammit, Evans!" a familiar voice called.
"Sirius?" Lily asked, lowering her wand.
"It's us," said the voice she had been hoping to hear for over an hour. She flung herself from the window sill and wrapped her husband in a tight hug. She could hear James chuckle into her neck as he hugged her back.
"Are you okay?" She said, pulling back from James, examining him critically.
"Fine," James said tiredly with a smile.
"How about the rest of you?"
"I could use a strong drink about now, but other than that, I'm okay," Sirius responded, accepting the hug Lily was giving him.
After Remus and Peter received the same hugs, Lily forced them all to sit and eat a large block of chocolate. "So what happened out there?" Lily asked quietly, noticing that none of the men would look at her or one another.
Sirius sighed and exchanged a glance with James. "Gideon and Fabian… It was their idea, really. They told everyone to get out," he began. Lily's eyes widened in horror. "Then the giants…"
"Giants?" Lily whispered, looking at James. He nodded. "Oh my God," she whispered, covering her face with her hands.
The door to the room opened again and Dorcas entered. "Dumbledore wants all of us downstairs…" she said, her cheeks stained with tears.
Remus sighed. "Okay," he said quietly. He silently led his friends through the darkened hallways of the large house that had been set up for Headquarters. It belonged to Alastor Moody, but he gave it to Dumbledore to use as a meeting place for the Order of the Phoenix. The house was old and, as Peter had said the first time he set foot in it, "creepy".
Down the rickety stairs the group went, taking a left to the living room where a dozen or so Order members were gathered around Dumbledore and Moody. The group stood beside the rest and listened to what Dumbledore had to say. "You fought well," he said somberly, looking at those who had been at the battle. "Unfortunately, we have lost two more tonight. Gideon and Fabian Prewett will be remembered as heroes. If it hadn't been for their act of selflessness, you would have all perished this evening."
Lily leaned her head against James shoulder and shook her head sadly. She'd known the Prewetts well; they had been a year above her at Hogwarts and were Prefects, though, they weren't above the occasional moment of trouble, much like Remus.
After a quick de-briefing, Dumbledore declared the evening over and sent everyone to their respective homes. Sirius was pulled away by Moody to a corner of the room while Remus and Peter moved closer to James and Lily. "So what now?" Remus asked.
"We wait for Sirius and we go home," James said. "Not much left to do tonight, is there?"
"I suppose not," Remus said resignedly. "What was all that about, anyway? The signal Gideon gave Sirius, I mean."
"No idea," James replied just as warily. Sirius returned not ten minutes later and nodded that he was ready to leave.
"See you at work, Padfoot?" James asked his friend. Sirius was never this quiet after a battle - his jaw was clenched tightly and his face was downcast.
"Yeah," Sirius grunted before Disapparating.
Remus and James stared with wide-eyes for a long moment before Peter spoke. "I - I have t-to go," he stuttered, looking anxious.
"You okay, Pete?" Remus asked, looking concerned.
"F-fine," Peter squeaked.
James raised an eyebrow. "All right, see you, Wormtail," he said.
"See you," Peter said before Disapparating.
Remus turned to James and Lily. "I'll see you guys on Friday night, I suppose," he said quietly.
James nodded. "Get some sleep, mate," he said.
Remus smiled tiredly before Disapparating behind Sirius and Peter.
"I want to see Harry," Lily said quietly, looking at her husband.
The street in front of Order Headquarters was empty again with the sound of two soft pops. Albus Dumbledore watched them disappear from the front door, though they hadn't seen him - he had his own ways of keeping out of sight.
They are too young to hold such burdens, he thought sadly. But they've proved themselves more than capable of handling such things. I have a feeling things will turn out just fine for them…
AN: I wasn't going to put this up until Sunday, but I'm impatient. This has been a story in progress for a few months, and it's been in my head for much longer. This chapter is pretty short, but they do get longer (Consequences length). I'll be updating Consequences once more on Sunday, and maybe on Wednesday, then I'm going to take a much needed break from that to work on this. Hope you guys enjoy this! And thank you for all your reviews on Broken!