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Chapter 22—Lost Without You

"On my bed so cold at night
And I miss you more each day
Only you can make it right
No I'm not too proud to say

All I know is I'm lost without you
I'm not gonna lie
How am I gonna be strong without you?
I need you by my side"

--Delta Goodrem "Lost Without You"

"Peter?" Jessica called, in a small voice from her cell.

"Y-yes?"

"Could I ask you for a favor?" she asked, looking at him expectantly.

"Uh…I…"

Jessica shook her head, and opened her mouth to speak, overriding his stuttering. "Do you know if I could get a better pillow, cleaner, and also a cleaner and softer blanket? Oh and how do I get out of here?" she questioned, rushing her words out quickly, hoping that he didn't notice her last inquiry before he answered.

"T-those are the best that the Dark Lord is willing to spare to you. You should b-be grateful that he gave you any-anything at all. And I-I am not as s-simple as you would be-believe me to b-be." Peter swallowed and continued in a voice he hoped to be strong and menacing. "S-so yes I do know a way o-out of here, b-but I will not h-help you."

"Not even as a, say, a way to pacify Sirius, and make him go easier on you when he gets here. Because believe me when I say this Peter, Sirius will come for me. And it's obvious that you've done something that hurt and angered him greatly. I can see it in your eyes, and I know for certain that if he, scratch that when he, discovers that you helped to keep me from him, he'll be extremely upset. And add that to whatever you did to him in the past, well…" Jessica allowed her voice to trail off, as if illustrating that she didn't even want to mention the horrible things Sirius would do.

Peter stood in front of Jessica's cell, breathing harshly. "I-I won't h-help you…b-but how would he find out…" Peter asked himself in a quiet voice.

"I'd tell him," Jessica said, simply.

"Well maybe I-I should just s-shut you up," Peter said, in a harsh voice.

"I don't think your master would be pleased about that," she said, lording over his head the protection she had from both parties. Sure one of the males was unwanted and unwelcome, but that didn't mean she couldn't use the opportunity.

Peter looked at Jessica with a mad glint in his eyes, but she could see that he understood that no matter which way he turned he was sure to meet pain. So Peter did the only thing he could do in his situation…

Sirius sat in Grimmauld Place, clutching a bottle of Firewhiskey in one hand, and a glass in the other.

He was continuously peeved and annoyed at everything, especially the pitying looks and pep talks he was receiving from various Order members.

"Sirius, you've just to keep your head about you, and hang on. Dumbledore said that he would find where You-Know-Who is hiding her, and so he will," Sirius heard the booming voice of Kingsley Shacklebolt say.

Sirius nodded in irritation, while continuing his streak of silent brooding. He couldn't understand why everyone was constantly harping on him. He just wanted peace and quiet, he wanted to be alone, but most of all he wanted Jessica back in his arms. But it seemed that the one thing that he wanted most of all was the one thing that was farthest from his reach; and it continued to drift further and further away until he could barely remember how she felt in his arms.

Sirius stood from the kitchen table in Grimmauld Place, and took a look at his surroundings. He sighed softly, before turning to the man who he previously sat beside.

"Thanks Shacklebolt. I'm going to go, and…" Sirius didn't finish his sentence, but merely allowed his feet to carry him away from the chocking presence of his colleague.

The bald man looked after his friend with a grim expression on his face. Shacklebolt didn't take the abrupt departure personally; he understood that Sirius needed space and time to work through all of this. But Shacklebolt knew that the sooner Jessica was rescued from Voldemort's lair, the sooner Sirius would be rescued from his loneliness and guilt.

Sirius collapsed onto his bed with an exaggerated huff. He struggled to hang onto happy and hopeful thoughts. He could help his thoughts from running away from him, and spiraling down the road of pessimism.

'She could be hurt, damaged beyond repair. Oh Merlin what if they torture into insanity, oh God I'm going to lose her. Of all the women to fall in love with, I had to fall in love with the one that Voldemort wants,' Sirius sighed softly, running his fingers through his black hair making it messy.

'Voldemort could be doing who knows what to her…' Sirius thought sadly. He sat still for a moment before anger replaced the sadness. 'He better not be doing who knows what to her. I'll kill him,' Sirius thought, standing abruptly and hurrying down the stairs, to go seek the answers that he was tired of waiting for.

When Sirius made it to the bottom of the steps he collided into a solid body that was attempting to run up the stairs. The two figures bounced off of each other and collided with the steps and floor.

"Ouch, what the hell Remus?" Sirius questioned angrily, standing and rubbing the spots where his back and bum landed painfully on the stairs.

Remus stood, and mimicking the movements of his best friend, began rubbing the sore places caused by his body meeting the floor.

"Dumbledore is here Sirius, and he says it's urge…"

Sirius didn't wait for Remus to finish his sentence, before he walked quickly in the direction of the kitchen.

Sirius stepped into the kitchen to see Dumbledore already seated at the table where the meals took place at Grimmauld Place.

"Have a seat Sirius," Dumbledore said, directing Sirius in the direction of the chair opposite him.

Sirius sat in the chair immediately, and stared expectantly at Dumbledore.

"Sirius, I am sorry it has taken me this long to contact you," Dumbledore said, watching as Sirius waved his hand impatiently at him. "But I have finally come upon some news that I believe will be very significant to you."

"If it doesn't involve the location of Jessica I don't want to hear it," Sirius said avidly.

"It does in fact concern the whereabouts of Miss. Huxtable," Dumbledore said, reaching into his robes and pulling out a rolled up piece of parchment. Dumbledore slowly unraveled the parchment, and laid it upon the table for Sirius to view.

Sirius looked intently at the parchment that lay upon the table, and concluded that it was a map of Ireland.

"I believe that Voldemort is holding Miss. Huxtable here," Dumbledore said, pointing at a spot on the map. "It is in the upper region of Northern Ireland, in the middle of Ballycastle and Cushendun," Dumbledore finished, leaning back in his chair, and watching as Sirius took in the new information.

"When do we go?" Sirius asked resolutely.

"One week from tonight," Dumbledore said.

"No," Sirius growled, "I won't wait that long. We have to go sooner than that. I'm not fool enough to think we can go tonight. But we have within a few days time. Who knows what Voldemort has, or will do to her," Sirius said angrily.

"My dear boy, one week is the soonest, and safest day that we can go. That day is our only chance to safely retrieve Miss. Huxtable."

Dumbledore continued even as Sirius tried to argue more. "The Winter Solstice is on this day. And you know on the days of Equinoxes and Solstices that magic has a standstill, meaning no magic can be preformed for twenty-four hours. It is on this day that it will go and rescue Miss. Huxtable," Dumbledore said, in manner that let Sirius know that further argument would be futile.

"Fine," Sirius said, with a pout "until the Solstice."


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