Disclaimer: I know – I don't own anything from the Harry Potter books by JKR. You don't have to rub it in. But I do own Sara, Lizzy and the plotline you don't recognize – ah ha, take that!
Author's Note: Again, a huge thanks to my readers and reviewers who keep me oh-so motivated to keep writing this story! As for those who don't review – you should start. It'll help me to improve the things you may not like, or it'll reassure me to keep doing what I'm doing. That's what this site is for, after all! I hope you enjoy the fourth instalment of my five-part Sara/Fred Weasley fanfiction!
It's Not Over Before It's Too Late
"It's not over 'til you're underground; it's not over before it's too late." –Green Day
Chapter One: Sectumsempra
"Are you sure you'll be all right?" Dad asked; his hand was heavy on my shoulder. I had just informed my family that I couldn't visit home anymore. With the war beginning, I had many people telling me to cut off all ties with the people I loved. Fred knew I wasn't including him in that generalization. Our engagement symbolized more than a love unity; it was a unity of two people – body, mind and soul – and we'd be together until the end of this ghastly war.
"Dad, I'll be fine. I promise." My stomach jolted after giving such a promise I wasn't sure I could keep. "But you have to make me a promise now."
"What is it, dear?" My mother interjected. "Anything, we'll do anything." She was definitely in panic-mode now that the war was starting. Dad was the calm one.
"I need you to not owl me." They were shocked at the initial oddness of the request, but Dad understood. "I'm not your daughter."
"Why are you doing this?" The young voice I'd expected from Lizzy never came; the childish voice had been casually replaced by a more grown-up, feminine one. She was fourteen. I almost forgot.
There was a pit in my stomach, but I fought passed it. "I'm too close to the Weasleys now – who are like Harry's family... if they come after his brothers, they'll be after me, too."
"Why can't you cut Fred out instead of us?" Mum blabbered as quickly as her tongue could move.
"Jennifer," Dad had to calm her down. "She's got to fight with them."
"But..." she'd begun blubbering.
"Are you forgetting she's an adult now? Sara has to do this."
"It's for the good of wizardkind." I pointed out, trying to convince her. "I will be fine." With some last final hugs and wet, sloppy kisses, I stood unconfidently in the middle of the living room. "I love you. And I'll update you if anything happens, I promise." The last thing I saw before Apparating away from my home was the warm image of my father holding Mum and Lizzy – both of whom had tears in their eyes that just didn't seem to want to fall.
Instead of going to the shop in Diagon Alley, I'd been instructed to go back to the Burrow and meet everyone there. The pop my Apparation had made signified my arrival, and Mrs. Weasley came bustling into the kitchen.
"Sara dear, I'm glad you came." Her usual happy tone had been eradicated. "If you want any..."
"I'm not hungry, thanks Mrs. Weasley."
The shaky woman before me nodded shortly and led me into the living room. "They're all at Harry's aunt and uncle's house right now," she explained, sitting on the sofa next to me. "They'll be arriving shortly, I suppose." I couldn't imagine what she must have been feeling; her sons were out trying to get Harry here safely without Apparating (the Death Eaters were tracking every possible mode of transportation except flying) and she had no idea if they would return securely, if at all. My heart was probably racing just as much as hers, but my concern lay in a much different field. "How did it go with your parents?"
She knew. "Not well." I admitted, letting my head hang from my shoulders. "My mum was blubbering all over the place, Dad was trying to hold it together for her and Lizzy... it was just a big, hot mess."
"I'm sorry to hear that, dear. They'll realize eventually that this is for the best."
"Yeah, I suppose."
Mrs. Weasley wrapped her arms around me. "You know Arthur and I will always be here if you need a parental figure's say... you're practically our daughter already, aren't you?" She finished her spiel with a giggle, forcing one out of me.
"I guess I am." It didn't take long for my smile to be eaten up by the darkness in the atmosphere. Ginny came down the stairs and sat on the sofa adjacent to us, unable to look more terrified. We exchanged forced smiles and I turned back to Mrs. Weasley. "Where will everyone else be joining us from?"
"Harry's taking a Portkey from Tonk's place with Hagrid... should be here any..." Ginny was cut off by a whirring sound and a large bang. "Did that come from the kitchen?" She didn't wait for an answer before jumping up and running toward the sound; I followed quickly. Never before had I been so happy to see him.
"Harry!" I was surprised when he approached me first over Ginny, but I didn't speculate.
He wrapped his arms around me and squeezed. "Gods Sara, I didn't think I'd ever see you again."
"What happened, Harry?" Ginny sounded panicked as he gave her a quick hug and backed away from her. I didn't stick around long enough to hear, for the door had just busted open, revealing two very familiar faces. I'd only met Remus Lupin a few times while we resided in 12 Grimmauld Place, but I didn't need anyone to tell me what a Weasley twin looked like.
"George!" I dashed over to the door and was about ready to leap into George's arms, but there was an obstruction – Lupin held me back with the arm that wasn't supporting George. That's when I realized he wasn't okay. "What's wrong with him, Professor Lupin?"
"I'm no longer a professor, Sara; it's just Lupin." He explained as he helped George over to a sofa in the living room and lay him down gingerly. I never left his side. "George has been hit by a spell..."
"Sectumsempra." Hermione's voice only scared me because it was unexpected. "It was Snape." My stomach jolted again at his name; the professor I looked up to most was a Death Eater, had killed Dumbledore, and attacked my best friend.
"At least he only got my ear." George's ear had obviously experienced an attempted recovery, but it was probably a dark spell and therefore couldn't be fixed.
"Sweet Circe, George! There's a huge hole where your ear was!"
"I'm holey." He joked.
As a hand landed on my shoulder, Fred's voice sounded. "With all the ear-related humour in the world, you go for holey?"
"Is everyone here?" I asked, grasping Fred's hand as tightly as I could without turning around. "Everyone's okay?"
A silence after the question made my nerves have a fit. Hermione was the one to answer. "Mostly."
"Mostly?" I asked rather moodily. "Who...?"
"Moody." Hermione cut in sharply. "Moody got... attacked by Voldemort."
"At-attacked? Is he all right?" When no one answered right away, I didn't need them to. I just nodded and looked at the floor. Alastor Moody was one of the best Aurors I'd ever met. The fact that he'd been taken down led to an earth-quaking realization that things were about to get very rough.