I don't know if I'm going to continue this arch. It's getting a little hard to keep writing it because I keep following these themes that are so damn depressing. If I get enough inspriation though, who knows what will happen. EDIT: The series continues!!!! Check out my profile for the rest.
A big Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! goes out to Eldonyx for fixing my horrid attempt at French.
Series so far:
Warnings: some not nice language, a little slash. You know--typically things you see in stuff by me.
Words I Could Never Say
Another day, another body count.
I don't know how many we lost today. All I know is we're losing—horribly—and no one wants to admit it. Denial. Like that's going to give us the victory we need. I still have blood in my hair. I'm still limping from a hex from Bellatrix Lestrange. Oh Merlin, if I could pay her back for everything she's done…
My footsteps echo across the hallway. The door to my son's room is slightly ajar. Teddy…the only person who truly loves me, but then again, he doesn't know about the things his daddy has done. If only it could stay that way, but life's not fair or kind or ideal.
Teddy's sleeping silently and undisturbed in the arms of his grandmother. Ah, Andromeda…you're too good to me. I never deserved your daughter, and we both knew it, but you still supported us…for a time anyway. Sometimes I wonder why. You look so much like your sister, but at the same time, not at all. You have the same thick hair that's black as night and full, voluptuous figures, but you're not made of ice. You're full of warmth and compassion, just like He was. Is it wrong that I still think about Him?
Silently, so I do not wake the last angels still in my life, I close the door and leave them to the care of Morpheus. He could care for them better than I ever could. He's watched over my Endymion for so many years; I'm certain he won't mind two more charges.
The whole of the house is silent. It's so strange after hearing screams of pain and rage bellowed at the top of the utters' lungs for the past few hours. It's a welcome sort of strange. What I would give to hear this silence every day. All I want now is a hot bath and to sleep. My wife (it still is strange to even think the word) won't come back tonight. I'd bet almost anything that she's with Charlie Weasley. I should be bothered by this, but somehow I'm not. It's not like I'm innocent to that sin, only mine are nameless, faceless in the night.
As soon as I open the door to my room I'm already undoing my belt and stripping off my robes. I toss them to the floor without bothering to put them into the hamper. At least my wife will have a reason to scream at me tomorrow now. Does that sound bad?
The last thing I expect to see setting on the bedside table is an envelope with my name on it, let alone an envelope with my name on it in Lily's hand. Why would she be sending me anything? After the last…argument…one would think she would have nothing more to do with me. I still can't remember why we started to argue, but we said to many things we shouldn't have. Merlin, why did she have to bring Him up? He's dead. He's been dead. Nothing's going to change the bloody fact that He's dead.
Curiosity eventually wins out and I tear open the letter. Quickly, I do a scan of the page. I'm mildly surprised to see the letter isn't written in Lily's usual careful script, but in a hurried scratch more akin to the way James writes.
Something's happened. Come to James' flat as soon as you can. Hurry.
Something's happened? What? Why would she go to James'? She shouldn't leave her parents'. So why there? She and James fight almost as much as my wife and I do. It has to be Harry. There's no other reason she would go to his flat.
The thoughts are racing as I yank back on my trousers and a shirt. I don't bother with shoes before I apparate out of my bedroom and snap into James' living room. I don't usually travel by apparating, but I'm out of floo powder. I don't know what worse actually—the nausea caused by spinning through fireplaces or the nausea caused by your stomach temporarily blinking out of existence. Each are equally distasteful.
The wards in James' flat are intricate and took weeks to put up. They're keyed so only we (obviously he, Lily, me, Dumbledore, and someday Harry) can apparate in and out. If anyone else tried they'd be dumped in the middle of a stretch of god-forsaken sand as far as the eye can see.
"LILY!" I bellow as soon as I touch down.
"In here Remus!" James calls back from a spare room. He comes out before I can even start walking over and closes the door gently behind him like there's someone sleeping in the room. "Thank Merlin you're here."
"What happened to Harry?"
"Harry? No, Moony, Harry's fine," he answers. There's a little more grey in his hair than there had been the last time I saw him. Not that I should talk of going prematurely grey. Whole chunks of my hair is more grey than anything else these days.
"Harry's fine? Then why the note demanding I come here?"
James sighs heavily and looks at me without much emotion. "Promise me you won't freak."
Last time he said that to me was just before he told me Lily was pregnant with Harry. Well, I wasn't excepting this. "You couldn't have waited until I showered before calling me over for that?" It's obvious to anyone who looks at me that I haven't bathed in a few days. I must smell pretty ripe by now. "I would have stopped for some kind of whiskey before I came over. When did you and Lily get back together?"
James looks confused. "What are you talking about?"
"You aren't back together?"
"What gave you that idea? No. No. Moony, I don't know what you're talking about, just stop it. Just…just promise me you won't freak out." He looks desperate. He's even biting his bottom lip. I haven't seen him do that in years.
"Fine. I won't freak out. Now what the hell are you on about?" I ask.
"You wouldn't believe me."
Now where have I heard that particular phrase before? "What happened?"
"Just follow me. And remember you promised not to freak out!"
He's being stranger than he usually acts. He's even more upset by whatever happened than when it turned out Peter was the mole in the Order. May he rot. James walks ahead of me down the sort hall and stops to knock at the door. The door opens slowly and Harry peers out from inside.
"Dad," he says softly as he opens the door wider to let us in.
Lily is sitting in a chair close by, as is a man I've become very familiar with through my work with the Order. But why would Regulus Black be sitting in James' flat in one of his oversized armchairs staring at the bed—
It can't be! No! How dare she!
"Is this your idea of a joke, Nymphadora?" I growl. "Isn't it enough that our son has to listen to us scream each other horse? But no. How'd you get them to do it? Huh?" I shout.
There's a fury of movement from Lily and Regulus behind me, and Regulus is hissing something no doubt threatening about what he plans to do to me if I don't shout up, but I pay no attention. The only thing I can stare at is the woman I married wearing the face of my only love on James' spare bed. She's even wearing the same robes as the ones my beloved Endymion lie sleeping in.
"Remus?" she asks so softly. Merlin! She says my name just like He use to. Is fate really this cruel? What have I done to her to deserve this? How can she even know what He sounded like? How much did she bribe James and Lily into helping her?
"Don't you use His face!" I scream. The dark part of me whispers how nice it would be to hurt her like she's hurt me—to tear out her heart—, but James stops me with a quick body-bind jinx, but he left me free to speak.
"You promised," he reminds, his voice drawn and tense.
"You bastard! You absolute bastard!" I shout. "And you! There isn't words for this, Nymphadora!"
"Watch your words," Regulus cautions with a stone cold glare. He turns away and joins her on the bed, whispering something to my wife in…well, I'm not sure. He knows too many languages and is speaking too quietly to guess properly. She looks up at him with lost eyes. Oh, she's such a good little actress. A single tear escapes her now grey eyes that I want to stab out. I can't think of anyone who'd deserve it more. Regulus gathers her into his arms, the little harlot.
"Remus, please," Lily starts to say, "it's not Tonks, it's—"
"I don't bloody care! How dare you! Do you think this is funny? Let's play with the poor little werewolf's head a little bit more because obviously life hasn't screwed him over enough! I expected my wife was capable of something like this, but not you Lily," I snarl disgusted. If I wasn't stuck by James' spell I would have apparated somewhere far, far away from their lies. "I bloody trusted you!" I scream at my wife. Ha! Some wife!
She looks at me, but her eyes don't meet mine. Instead she looks down at my feet from under long, black lashes that grace porcelain cheeks. She parts lips of the boy I use to love more than life. How dare she use His lips! How dare she use His anything! "Please, Remus. I'm so sorry. I never meant to hurt you. I just—"
"Well it's too effing late for that, Nymphadora! I tired of your lies! I don't know what I ever saw in you. You disgust me."
Her face—Sirius's face that she has stolen—goes blank, but more tears well. She buries her face into Regulus's chest. Strange. Regulus never before gave her the time of day. He usually ignored her. Ah the things he'll do for a little revenge. It only took him twenty years.
"Can I hurt him now?" he demands of James harshly as he runs his hands through the black hair now so alike to his own. "I would really like to hurt him now."
I feel the same way. And people call me a monster! I can't believe they're still playing this sick game. I can't believe they would lie and tease about this. How dare they!
The floo bell blares from the living room fire place. So who else do they have in on their scheme?
"Harry, let them in," Lily commands. He rushes out of the room. Before he leaves my line of sight I can see a worried look on his face. He's confused by what's happening. I guess they didn't let him in on the joke, or if they did he's as good an actor as my wife. I bet James taught him the art of lying himself.
All four of them are silent until he returns with whoever they invited to join in tormenting me. Harry and whoever it is stand out of my line of sight. Damn them, whoever it is.
"It's true?" a woman gasps.
"Andromeda?" I demand. "What are you—"
"It took you long enough to get here, Cousin," Regulus remarks over me.
"It took ten minutes for your house elf to deliver your message," she remarks. "Is that really?"
"Damn it, Andromeda! Where's Teddy?" I demand louder as she finally steps into my line of sight. She's still wearing the house coat I saw her in before and her hair is still braided back. Her feet were bare, for once.
"Harry has him, Remus. Kindly stop shouting before you wake him up," she commands in the Black Voice she uses when she expects us to do as we're told.
"Yes, Andromeda," Regulus answers softly, still petting her head like she's a dog that just did a good job. She peers away from his chest to look at her mother, but there's no recollection in her eyes. She clings tighter to Regulus. Maybe I was wrong. Perhaps it wasn't to Charlie Weasley she was running to, but to Regulus Black, her own cousin! I wonder what his wife would have to say for the matter. The poor fool.
"Sirius?" Andromeda asks softly as she sinks down onto the bed beside Regulus.
"Oh for Merlin's sake! This charade has gone on for long enough!" I shout and glare at my wife.
"Potter, shut him up before I forget his value!" Regulus snarls. He turns back to her and kisses her forehead, speaking softly this time I'm certain in French. It's been a long time since I've even heard it spoken. I've forgotten most of it, but I'm almost certain that he is reciting the lines of a very old poem.
Lily murmurs from behind me, "Silencio," and no more sound comes from my mouth. I may not be able to move or speak, but I can still glare at the little liar, and my glares are something to be feared. She curls into herself farther and hunches as close to Regulus as she can get, hiding her face. She's now more in his lap than in his arms. Twenty years ago I might I have found the idea of the look-alike Brothers Black wrapped in each other's arms beautiful, but now the only thing the image conjures is rage.
"Sirius?" Andromeda asks again. "It's me, Andy. It's okay," she says softly, reaching to touch her back. Just as she does, Nymphadora flinches as if she weren't use to contact. She must have really prepared herself for this role. It's disgusting. Has she no respect for the dead?
Regulus keeps petting her as he whispers, "Ce n'est que moi, mon frère. C'est juste Regulus. Je te tiens, tu es en sécurité maintenant.*"
"What happens now?" Lily asked quietly.
Regulus looked at her with an unidentifiable emotion in his eyes. "He can't stay here." He doesn't stop his constant, soft petting. Though he is talking to Lily, all of his attention is still on my wife.
"The hells if you think you're taking him back to that house!" James hissed.
"The hells if you think you could stop me, Potter," Regulus responds. "The Potters have no claim over Sirius now. He is my brother, not yours."
"So now he is your brother?"
"He has always been my brother."
"Only since the day you had lost him! You never loved him! I loved him more than you ever did, and you know it! If he goes back there, you'll kill him!"
Nymphadora tenses farther as the two argue over her and whimpers low like a kicked puppy. She slides out of Regulus's arms and huddles, hugging her knees, with her back in the corner of the wall and headboard. Regulus and James don't notice, and neither does Andromeda. She is too bust watching the exchange with anxious eyes.
Regulus's sneer gets colder and harder as he says, "I think it is quite apparent why you cannot be trusted with my brother's safety. The last time you were he was almost lost to us evermore!"
"Regulus!" she reprimands, but he brushes her off with snarled, "Quiet, Woman."
"How dare you, you heartless little prick!" James shouts right back, and from the corner of my eyes I see him tower over the sitting Black.
A little sniffled sob comes from somewhere behind me followed by hushing from Harry. Oh Great. The two buffoons have woken up Teddy, the only one who is innocent in all of this.
Nymphadora on the bed looks up completely startled when the sound of Teddy's sob reaches her, but she doesn't show any recognition to the sound of her son. The heartless bitch. How has Nymphadora hidden this talent for so long? She's never been this good before.
Regulus and James keep snarling at each other, and Lily and Andromeda try to keep them apart, but the tempers of the two men make it impossible. They keep getting loader and angrier, now almost screaming. Their voices mingle, making it impossible to know who is saying what. Lily and Andromeda continue their useless struggle. Teddy adds his wails to the confusion. I swear hell is quieter than this. I should know. I've been living in hell since the day He did it.
The hunched shoulders of Nymphadora's borrowed form sake. She's mumbling to herself lowly, but I can still hear it. French. Strange. I didn't know she could speak it.
"Ce n'est pas vrai. C'est juste un autre cauchemar. Ce n'est pas vrai. Ce n'est pas vrai."#"
Her form flinches as the sound of the smack of flesh-on-flesh snaps across the room. Regulus has once again physically unleashed his wrath onto James. How I hate this spell James has put on me. I can't move my body, but I can comprehend everything happening around me. I hate most this sensation of time stopping, but everyone still continues like it hasn't. It almost seems like time spends now.
She looks pained as her sham is falling apart around her. Good. Maybe now she's feeling only part of the torment I am. Did she really think this would work? She's trembling. To think years and years ago I would have killed with my bare hands whoever dared to upset Him like this; now I want to make the one who dares to be Him pay.
Suddenly, the image of Sirius she has wrapped herself in changes. Dark cloth melts away into inky black fur. The long artisan's hands curl into paws. The beautiful, delicate, and sharply angled jaw lengthens into a muzzle. The eyes still stay the same grey. Where had been the impersonation of Sirius was now a dog.
Nymphadora can't morph into animals.
*"It's just Regulus. I've got you, you are safe now".
#It is not true. It's just a another nightmare. It is not true. It is not true.