Hallelujah! Not Jo, but an author with a finished story!
He had been watching. He had seen the werewolf through Lucy's eyes. He had seen – creepily enough – his motionless body, surrounded by a glowing shield of light. He had seen both James and his father come, his father step into the circle and raise his wand.
He knew what was coming. A tug behind his navel and he was pitching back into the Crossroads. This time, however, the gate to the Waking stood wide open.
Sighing in relief, he stepped through.
It was past midnight when the foursome found their own beds again.
James had smuggled them back into the castle through a secret passageway, after Evan's father had mended Lupin and patched up a battered-looking Ptolemy.
Clutching his now-purring pet to his chest, Evan remained mutinously silent on the subject of his mysterious shield. James led the way, white-faced, with one arm firmly clamped around Lucy's shoulders, casting occasional puzzled looks over his shoulder at Evan. Lucy was clinging very tightly to her father's shirt, which was sweet, Evan thought. Draco and Hermione were just behind him and his own father was bringing up the rear, thoughtfully providing light.
It was his father who quietly settled Evan in his four-poster. Ron Weasley appeared to be snoring quietly, but he half woke and snorted as the pair walked past.
James had walked Lucy to the foot of the stairs to her dormitory and – for the first time in ages – hugged and kissed her goodnight before leaving her and Hermione in each other's capable hands.
Lupin – head of Slytherin House – had been left in charge of getting Draco back into bed undiscovered before creeping back to his own chambers.
Severus ruffled his son's hair and quietly left the room, collecting James on the way past. They made their way to Hogsmede through the passageways without speaking much. They both had a lot to think about.
James couldn't quite get over the fact that he had almost lost his daughter; that his little girl had almost been killed by one of his best friends. And who had swapped the potion, if it had been swapped? Why? Whatever, whoever, he made a promise right then to clean up his act. If ever there was a reason to be a good father, this was it.
Severus had never seen anything like the shield his son had raised when Lupin had stupefied him. Somehow, of the little group, only he and Lucy had been able to walk through. To the others it had been a solid barrier. And when Evan woke up, the light went out quick as a blinking, before he had opened his eyes.
He knew that nobody could answer those questions except his son, and Evan did have answers. Even without using Legillimancy, he could see it in his eyes. But Evan wasn't talking and until he was ready…well.
And he was absolutely sure he had sent Remus the right potion. Somebody had swapped it. Somebody had wanted there to be a werewolf within the walls of Hogwarts that night. Was it to make him – and St. Mungo's - look bad? Or something even more sinister? He could only wonder, and thank Merlin that Remus had fled to the forest in time and seen Evan before his transformation was complete.
Things might have been very different otherwise.
And what of James? The man had been much more useful than he had for a long time. It was almost like having the golden boy of Gryffindor back again, in the days when the Order fought.
Maybe, if Potter was truly ready to pull his head out of his arse, he could help him find a more settled path to follow.
He only knew he had never come so close to liking the scruffy-haired man who walked beside him, who had somehow known that something was wrong, who hadn't panicked, who had Flooed him and Lily to let them know.
In bed, Evan pulled his blankets tight, finally beginning to warm up. He didn't fall asleep though.
He found the idea a bit scary, now he knew what he could do.
Want more? Please check out my one-shot follow-up Voices in the Dark