Disclaimer: Not mine, though I'm having such fun playing with it.

Chapter 18 - Confessions and Attacks: Lily's plan had succeeded. Jazlyn and Sirius were back together. Unfortunately for Lily, James, and Remus, Jazlyn and Sirius weren't dumb. It didn't take long for them to put things together and realize that there had been a plot to get them back together.

"Should we prank them or thank them?" Sirius asked, wincing at the unintentional rhyme.

"Well, while I don't like being manipulated, we did need it," Jazlyn pointed out.

"Still... it's the principle of the thing." Jazlyn rolled her eyes at Sirius' comment.

"You just like pranking people."

"Well, no one's denying that."


"So, what are we going to do to them?" Sirius asked, his eyes lighting up. Jazlyn shook her head.

"I swear, sometimes I think you're 8, not 18."

Peter hadn't known about the matchmaking - they'd left him out in case he let something slip. He was equally unaware of the retaliation Sirius had finally roped Jazlyn into, but they did warn him to leave the dormitory early the day before they left school. Peter didn't know why, but he decided to follow orders. Jazlyn told Alice, Audrey, and Eliza (the other girls in the dorm she shared with Lily) to do the same. She and Sirius also left early. This drew James' and Remus' suspicions; after all, Sirius wasn't an early riser. But they wrote it off as Jazlyn's fault. As for Peter, he was just odd. Lily suspected nothing. Jazlyn usually left early. Though the others leaving too seemed a little weird...

James, Lily, and Remus didn't show up for breakfast. Jazlyn and Sirius, feigning concern, went up to get them. The missing seventh years were alone in the common room, covered in a mix of maple syrup and white feathers. "What did you do?" Lily shrieked. The girl could sound very banshee-like when she wanted.

"Well," Sirius explained, "while we were grateful that your meddling worked, you couldn't be allowed to just get away with it." Remus groaned.

"I guess this is better than you hexing me into oblivion," he muttered. James and Lily scowled.

"Can you get this off, at least? "James asked. "Scourgify didn't work."

"Not for you," Jazlyn said, "but it does for anyone else." She cast the spell at them; knowing Sirius, he would want to leave it for a while. The syrup and feathers vanished, and the five of them went downstairs.

The next morning, Lily, Alice, and Jazlyn were alone in the dorm; having heard what happened, Audrey and Eliza were now afraid to stay in the dorms for long. Lily was packing up her trunk when she suddenly stopped, looking at the other girls. "I can't believe we're actually finished," she said quietly. "I mean... I remember getting my letter; it was so weird, though I already knew."

"Did you? How?" Alice asked.

"Um... there was a wizard boy in my neighborhood. We grew apart though. Different interests." It was a vague way of saying that the boy had been Severus, and he was on the verge of becoming a Death Eater.

"Oh," Alice said.

Jazlyn said, "Well, I just remember being Sorted into Gryffindor. I wasn't happy. But I'm glad I was. I guess the Hat really does know what it's doing." The other two nodded.

"So, what do you guys want to do now that you're done school?" Alice asked. "Frank and I are both going to train as Aurors."

"Oh, you'll be with James and Sirius, then," Lily said. "I want to be a Mind Healer."

"And I'm going to be a journalist," Jazlyn put in. "Not like that woman Rita Skeeter," she added quickly. "I'm going to be the 'anti-Skeeter' as Sirius puts it." She rolled her eyes, showing that she found this title ridiculous.

"So what about Peter and Remus?" Alice pressed.

"Remus is going to work for Gringotts, and I don't think Peter's made up his mind yet," Lily said. "Why?"

"Oh, just curious, I guess. I was wondering what we're all going to be up to. I wish we could have some kind of school reunion, like the Muggles do. My dad told me about it."

"That would be interesting," Lily said. "See where everyone is in ten years."

"With luck, most of the Slytherins will be in Azkaban," Jazlyn remarked.

"True..." said Lily and Alice together.

Later, the Marauders, Lily and Jazlyn headed to the carriages for the last time. However, Lily suddenly ordered them all to stop. Then, snagging Ethan Thomas, she got him to take a photograph of the six of them. Ethan handed the camera back to Lily and walked away, muttering about demanding women. The six continued on their way. Once they reached the train, they all looked back, at the castle that had been their home for the better part of the last seven years. "I'm going to miss that place," Remus mused.

"Knowing you, you'll probably wind up teaching there eventually," James quipped.

Once they were settled in their compartment, the boys exchanged worried looks. "What?" Lily and Jazlyn said together. They looked at each other again.

"Well... there's something we've never told you." Remus looked upset. "There's a couple parts, but the biggest is me. I don't go home once a month, I go to a special place to... um... to transform. See, I'm... I'm a werewolf."

Lily's jaw dropped. "Oh... God, that's terrible. It must be awful for you, having to keep a secret like that." Remus was startled; he'd expected her to be disgusted. But she was Muggle-born, which might account for it... he looked at Jazlyn, scared.

"I already knew, Remus," she said quietly. "It doesn't bother me."


"I have a secret of my own. Finish your story, and I'll share mine."

James picked up from there. "We figured it out in second year. So, Sirius, Peter, and I decided to help. Obviously, we can't cure him, but maybe we stay with him. But we couldn't do that as humans."

"So we became Animagi," Sirius continued. "We didn't manage to pull it off till fifth year, but once we got it..."

Lily frowned. "You could get in trouble for that..." she muttered. "But what are your forms?"

"I can't show you mine here; I'm a stag and I won't fit. Neither will Sirius, he's a dog, but a big one. Pete, show them Wormtail."

Peter nodded and then transformed into a rat. Angel attempted to jump out of her cage after him and he quickly changed back. All eyes turned to Jazlyn.

"OK. Well, you know Parselmouths?"

"You're a -" James began.

"No. However... I can talk to cats. Mind to mind, not out loud. And I can also..." She smiled as she turned into Sage.

"Bloody Hell," James said flatly. "Damn, Padfoot, you picked a cat for your girlfriend!" he said as Jazlyn turned back. "That's just weird!"

"Shut up, James," said Sirius. He looked at Jazlyn. "I heard the Temaidas used to be able to do that, but I thought it was just a story."

"No, but I'm the first in generations to do it. Though I've always suspected my younger cousin Darius might..." She didn't like Darius. He was the eldest male Temaida, and he was also a necromancer. He was a definite Voldemort supporter, thanks to Bella.

"I think I might need to become an Animagus now," Lily remarked, sounding a bit put out. "Though I will register," she added imperiously.

"I'm a changeling, not an Animagus, so I don't have to," Jazlyn said.

"Why would we want to?" James said, speaking for Sirius and Peter as well. Lily scowled; Jazlyn and Remus shook their heads. Just then, there was a loud bang, followed by screams. "What the Hell?" James said, sticking his head out of the compartment. He gasped.

"What?" Sirius demanded as James pulled his head back in and drew his wand.

"Death Eaters! They're after the younger kids."

"Well, we can't let them do that!" And Lily yanked out her wand, standing up. So did the others, and then they went outside - into utter chaos. They were soon separated from one another as they tried to help younger students, and the chaos only got worse when Ministry Aurors arrived.

Jazlyn had just handed over a crying first year to an Auror when she felt someone push her into a compartment. Deja vu, she thought, looking at the Death Eater, who yanked off the mask .As she'd expected, it was Bellatrix. "Avada Kedavra!" she shouted.

Jazlyn didn't have time to duck, but suddenly, a streak of black shot between her and the spell. It was her cat, Angel, who had somehow been freed of her cage. Bella shrieked in fury, but then smiled. "That's fine," she said calmly, a little too calmly, considering the wildness in her eyes. Jazlyn felt a chill. She'd always known Bella was unstable, but this seemed worse. "Crucio!" she shrieked, and Jazlyn screamed. She didn't want to, but she couldn't help it. The pain was worse than anything she could imagine. She still held her wand, and managed to whisper, "Sectumsempra," when Bella let up a little. The spell hit Bella's leg, and she fell to her knees. But this didn't stop her from continuing her Cruciatus on Jazlyn.

"Stupefy!" Sirius Stunned his cousin from behind and ran to his girlfriend, helping her up. "You OK?"

"Yeah." She looked at Angel, tears welling up. For years, Angel had been her only friend. She walked over and knelt, stroking the black fur for a moment, before whispering, "Incendio." The body was consumed instantly. Then she left the compartment with Sirius.

By this time, the fight was nearly over. A camp of sorts was set on the side of the tracks for people to be healed, collect their things, and meet up with their companions. Remus caught up to them, quickly, as did Peter. But they couldn't find James and Lily. Jazlyn turned her eyes to cats' eyes to see better. "There they are," she said, pointing. The four ran over. James and Lily sat with Frank and Alice. All four were ghostly pale.

"What happened?" Remus asked. James answered.

"It was him. Voldemort. We... we all saw him and tried to curse him. He'd've killed us, only an Auror showed up. He killed the Auror and left. He must've forgotten us."

"Lucky for you," Sirius said. "Not that I'm saying you were wrong to curse him. But he... I hate him, but he's dangerous, and we all know it."

"I can't believe you had the guts to try to fight him directly, when you've only just finished school," Jazlyn said.

"Neither can we," said Lily shakily.

"Practice, I suppose, or living up to what we want to do," Frank said quietly.

"Though maybe more than we should want," Alice added.

"It'll do everyone better if you live to be Aurors," Remus observed.

Three hours later, they were all brought to Platform 9 3/4 via Portkeys. The Evans looked confused; the Potters, Lupins, Pettigrews, and Andromeda all looked worried. Lily kissed James quickly and hurried to reassure her parents. Remus, James, and Peter went to their parents to do the same. Andromeda strode over to Sirius and Jazlyn. "Are you alright?"

"Better than James and Lily. They faced Voldemort himself, but they got lucky. He forgot about them," Sirius said. Jazlyn nodded.

"We're all fine, though," she added. She noticed Andromeda's jaw tighten as Narcissa walked past with Regulus. She put a hand on her cousin's shoulder. "Andie..."

"It's fine, though I don't see Bella."

"She escaped with the other Death Eaters, after torturing Jaz," Sirius said harshly.


"I'm fine," Jazlyn insisted. Just then, James walked over.

"You coming, mate?" he asked Sirius.

"Yeah," Sirius said. "Take care of my girl, Andie," he told Andromeda, who shook her head. Jazlyn gave him a mock glare.

"I'll see you soon," he told her, before kissing her good-bye.

"I know," she told him. He grinned at her and walked over to the Potters, who were now talking to the Evans. Lily and Remus both hurried to Jazlyn to hug her; James and Peter waved.

"We'd better go," Andie said. "Ted's been worried too, and so has Nymph, though I'm not sure she really knows what's going on." Jazlyn nodded and followed her cousin out of the station. It turned out, she mused as they headed for Andie's car, that the Sorting Hat had been right after all. Smiling slightly, Jazlyn wondered what the future held. One thing was certain, it was going to be a lot more interesting than her past had been.

A/N: So, this is the end of In the Absence of Tears. I will post a notice on this story when the sequel is put up, though. As for that sequel... well, you can expect to see our favorite crew at work, joining the Order, and trying to make a decent life for themselves. We'll also eventually get around to weddings, and then... the births of Ambryn and Harry. Parenthood is going to be a new subject for me, so if anyone has any experience, drop a PM my way. Or an owl, but I don't think my relatives will like that.