Ch. 22- The Beginning of the End

Take this razor and cut your palms

I'll do the same until a river of crimson begins to flow

Now drip your ruby red over the casket

A funeral for my once loved youth

My secret is fatally gorgeous

I'd die for you

But in this Bonnie and Clyde kind of romance

Tell me, what can you do?

But when your precious life is at stake

Tell me would you die for me too?

Black Dresses- The Spill Canvas

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"What's going on?" Sirius asked, as he and I climbed out of the grate to Dumbledore's office.

"Mr. Black, we have a situation upon us, it seems." Dumbledore said, standing up to greet us. "Voldemort is indeed after the Potters. There is a prophecy that I heard pertaining to them."

"What prophecy?" I asked, looking from Dumbledore to James and Lily.

"Well," He said, with a little hesitation, "there is a child that can stop Voldemort. He has power that can vanquish him. There are two babies that fit the description of this child- the Potter's and the Longbottom's. I had a tip off from one of our spies that Voldemort is coming after the Potters. So, we have to hide them, naturally."

"But how are we going to do that? I mean, Voldemort isn't exactly the easiest wizard to hide from." Sirius said, raising an eyebrow.

"By using the Fidelius Charm, Mr. Black. Mr. Potter you will need a secret keeper- this will be the person that holds the key to finding you. I would be honored to do it for you, if you wish." Dumbledore said, looking over his half- moon glasses at James.

"With all due respect, sir, I think Sirius would be just as good a choice as you." James replied, not wavering from Dumbledore's gaze. "He would rather die than betray us to Voldemort and I trust him with my life."

"As do I," Lily said, coming to stand next to her husband. I looked at Sirius and he had a sort of shocked and proud look on his face.

"Well, if you're sure, then there's nothing else I can do but perform the charm." He said, but there something in his voice that made it seemed like he didn't trust Sirius. "Nobody will be able to find you after the charm is cast except for those Mr. Black tells. So, Mr. Black, be wise with who you choose to tell."

"Of course, professor." Sirius said, with a nod of his head.

"To perform this charm you have to be at the place you wish to be hidden in and then say the incantation. The secret keeper will hold the information deep within himself and nobody can find the place unless he tells them personally or if he writes the location down on a piece of paper." He explained, handing a slip of paper with charm on it.

"Thank you professor," James said with a nod of respect to the old man. "This means the world to us."

"Of course, my dear boy, of course."

We left Hogwarts and went back to Lily and James'. As we sat talking about the prophecy and what this meant, it hit me that this war was becoming more personal with each passing day. In the beginning we had just been fighting for a cause, for the good of all wizards. Now we were fighting for our best friends and our families and the sake our children. The stakes were so much higher now than they were and the risks so much greater. The worst part was that it was toss up on which battles which side would win.

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Time passed by and slowly, but surely, we all got used to the new arrangement. Lily and James couldn't come to work anymore, but that wasn't a problem as James' parents had left him their entire fortune in their wills. They, sadly, had been killed fighting against Voldemort the previous year. Sirius hadn't given me the means to access the Potter's house- he hadn't told anyone. Even though I knew he trusted me, he just didn't want to take any chances and I understood. Especially if it meant that James and Lily were that much safer.

Pretty soon almost a year and a half had gone by and it was nearing Halloween. Sirius checked up on James and Lily once every few days, but other than that we kept to ourselves. There were killings almost every day anymore and you didn't know who you could trust. Sirius and I kept tabs on where the other one was for two reasons- if something happened then we knew where they were last and that way we could make sure we weren't double crossing each other. Which we never suspected each other of, but it was still something we deemed necessary for our safety.

"Hey, Sunshine, I'm running over to check on James and Lily, I'll be back in a bit." Sirius called, as he opened the door.

"Alright, bye," I called back.

"Bye."

It was the morning of Halloween and I was decorating the flat to distract from the bad news that seemed to be the only thing the Prophet ran articles about anymore. I had little jack-o-lanterns all over the place and orange and black candles floating in the air. I was conjuring bats from thin air to flap around when all of sudden I felt nauseous. I ran to the bathroom just in time to throw up.

It was weird because I hadn't felt sick at all until just then. And as soon as I was done heaving, I felt completely normal again. I shook my head and went back to decorating, blaming it on leftovers that had been in the fridge too long.

Sirius didn't come back until later that afternoon, which in itself was kinda weird. He usually wasn't at the Potter's for longer than an hour and he hadn't said he was going anywhere else. But I was just glad that he was still in one piece to care too much.

"Wow, this place looks great." He said, sliding his hands around my waist as I put cobwebs in the corners of the living room.

"Thanks. I thought we could use some sort of distraction and it is Halloween. I mean, if we can't throw some sort of party, the least we can do is pretend that we are." I replied, turning to look at him.

"That's true," He said, laughing and pecking me on the lips. "Hey, look, I've got to go check on Wormtail tonight. I won't be gone more than half an hour- it's just that he got into a spot of trouble and he's laying low. I told him I'd come by later to make sure he was alright."

"Okay- need company?" I asked, and he shook his head.

"Nah, it'll just be a quick looksey and then I'll be back to have my way with you." He replied, wriggling his eyebrows suggestively.

"Well, then, I shall be awaiting you." I said, shaking my head at him.

But it didn't quite work out that way.

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Sirius left the flat at seven sharp and by eight he still hadn't returned. I was starting to get worried when there was a knock at the door. I opened it and Remus was there.

"Remus, what-" I started to ask, but he cut me off.

"Joie, where's Sirius?" He asked, urgently.

"He went to go check on Peter. He said he'd only be half an hour, but that was an hour ago." I said, thoroughly confused. "Why? What's happening?"

"Voldemort found James and Lily. C'mon, we've got to go!" He said, grabbing my arm and apparating us to Godric's Hollow.

The sight we beheld we horrendous. James and Lily's house was torn to shreds and there were people all around shouting and screaming and crying. It was chaos, but all I cared about was getting to the house.

"We're too late!" I said, moving various pieces of debris out of my way.

"We don't know that- they could've gotten away." Remus was saying, following closely behind me.

"No, I don't think they did," I said, stopping dead in my tracks. At my feet was James' lifeless body. He deep brown eyes were wide open with absolutely no emotion- they were just blank.

"Merlin!" Remus said, but I was already moving farther into the house. I found Lily under a fallen wall. She was in the same state as James and I couldn't stand to them this way.

"Remus, how could he have found them?" I asked, turning to where he was a few feet away. "Sirius would have never told where they were."

"I think he would have Joie." He said, quietly. I just stood there looking at him, shocked, for a minute.

"Remus, this is Sirius we're talking about. He was like James' twin!" I exclaimed, my voice getting louder and louder.

"Yes, but can you really be sure that he wasn't a double agent just pretending to be on our side. I've my suspicions for a while now." He replied, shaking his head sadly. "And he was their secret keeper. There's no other way."

"No! I won't believe it- he would rather die than give up where they were." I screamed, angry tears spilling down my cheeks.

"Look, Joie, I know you don't want to believe it, but-"

"Don't Remus! I know him better than that and I thought you did too!" I said, angrily. "Now, if you don't mind I'm going to go look for him."

And with that I left.

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I searched all night into the next morning, but I couldn't find Sirius. I couldn't believe that he turned them over. After all, wouldn't he have done it a lot sooner than he did? I mean, we'd known about the prophecy for well over a year. It just didn't make any sense.

By that afternoon, I'd given up on finding Sirius and was heading back to the flat when a commotion caught my attention. There was a large group of people crowded around an opening and as I pushed my way to the front I couldn't believe what I saw. There was Sirius- and he had Peter, as well as a dozen muggles- backed into the wall of a building.

"Don't deny it, Sirius!" Peter was shouting frantically. The muggle cops were just standing by, looking on helplessly, and I could already see Aurors apparating around them. "You sold Lily and James out! You handed them over to Voldemort!"

"What kind of bloody bull shit is this?" Sirius yelled back. "I should have never trusted you Wormtail! Never!"

"I can't believe you're trying to pin this on me! Me, one your best mates!" Peter shot back. And before anything else was said there was a big BANG! And then, once the smoke had cleared I could see the bodies of the muggles lying there- dead.

"Sirius Black! You are under arrest for the murder of James and Lily Potter, as well as the casualties you have just cause." A deep voice from behind me said. I turned and saw Kingsley Shacklebolt coming through the crowd. Sirius turned and looked at Kingsley and then turned back to the remains of the building that had just been blown apart.

"I didn't murder anyone," He said, but didn't object when Kingsley cuffed him. "In fact…" His voice trailed off and he seemed to be thinking about something. Then, he started laughing, maniacally. "Of course! It's so simple!" He said, still laughing. I tried to say something, anything, but no sound came out of my mouth.

I watched as they took him away. I couldn't believe this was happening. James and Lily were dead, Peter was dead, Remus thought Sirius was a spy, and Sirius was probably headed on a one ticket to Azkaban. It seemed to me that my whole world had just fallen apart in the less than twenty-four hours.

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I found myself at Hogwarts a week later, arguing with Dumbledore.

"He's my godson! He should go to me if he goes to anyone!" I shouted at him.

"I understand your concerns, Miss Emerson, but he will be much safer with his aunt and uncle." Dumbledore replied, looking over his half-moon glasses at me.

"Have you ever met Lily's sister? Cause I don't think a sane person who has met that horse would ever place any child with her!" I retorted slamming my fist on his desk. "Look, he'll be just as safe with me! Honestly, I disappear from the face of the Earth if I have to!"

"Joie, why are fighting so hard for this?" He asked, calmly.

"Harry is the only thing I have left- he's the closest thing to family." I said, quietly. "Sirius is in Azkaban, Remus just disappeared on me, and well, the rest of them are…" I couldn't bring myself to say it.

"Look, I know it seems that way, but Joie, you have to trust me. This is for Harry's best interests. He will be safer with his aunt and uncle than anywhere else." Dumbledore said. I looked at him for a few minutes and then caved in.

"Fine, but they better not hurt him." I said, firmly.

I stalked out his office and went back home. I felt so completely and utterly alone. I just sat staring at the wall for what felt like an eternity. An owl tapping at the window broke me out of my reverie.

Miss Josephine Emerson-

It is with the deepest regret and sorrow that I inform you of this terrible news. Your father has been killed in the line of duty. We are sorry for the loss of your family and would just like to say that he was a great man and a great fighter.

Sincerely,

The Australian Ministryof Magic

I set the letter down and resumed my staring. Now not only were three of my best friends dead, so was my father. One of my best friends had upped and left with no explanation of where he was going and the one person I depended on the most was locked away in a place that gave me nightmares just thinking about it. I was truly alone. I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to get through my life without them.

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The next month was hell. I didn't want to get up the morning, but it seemed like clockwork that I would anyways at around seven. I was either sick or nauseous and I had the weirdest cravings. Like for peanut butter- I'd never really liked peanut butter all that much until very recently. And I felt like I was carrying a lot of extra weight around- it was starting to show, as well. So, finally I decided to get checked out by a healer at St. Mungo's.

"Well, Miss Emerson, you're not sick. In fact, you're as healthy as can be." The healer said, looking me over. "But, I think I might know what the problem is. Just one quick spell and that will tell me for sure." She added, and she whipped her wand out. She waved it around a bit and all of a sudden the area around my stomach glowed a light pink.

"Well, my suspicions were right," She sighed and the light went away.

"What does that mean?" I asked, very confused.

"Miss Emerson- you're pregnant."

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A/N: well, here it is everyone, the last chapter of this story. I hope you have all enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed writing it. thanks to everyone who has read it and everyone who has reviewed, you have made this all worthwhile for me. I'm not quite sure when the sequel for this will be out, as I like to be about four or five chapters ahead of where the updated story actually is. So, depending on whether or not words start to flow from fingertips it may be a while. But I will definitely have it up as soon as I can. anyways, as always, please review and thanks for reading my fic:p