I know I had promised you all more by March. And look, I'm only off by about 2 months! This is turning into a bad habit, I know, but I realized that this chapter and the next need to be posted in quick succession. Plus, this Pensieve business is dang hard to write! Seriously, I had more trouble with this chapter than with any I've written so far. Remus, especially is difficult. So, enjoy this little "blast from the past" section, and next chapter, which I'll have up soon, we can get back to Hadrian.
And for those of you frustrated with this long digression into the story of Lily and the Order...well, let's just say that there is much you don't know, and that you ought to keep reading. *makes mysterious hand gestures and fades into mist*
Once again, thanks for all of your follows, favorites, and reviews. You guys rock.
Hadrian nearly jumped when a knock at the door interrupted his thoughts for the second night, even though this time he had half-expected his guest. Not wanting to stand on ceremony, he unbolted the door and ushered the Order member into his poor excuse for a flat.
The man opened a large velvet bag and reached in, producing a large stone bowl and a few glass phials containing the silvery mist of memories.
Hadrian took a deep breath. He almost didn't want to believe it. A part of him had hoped that the man would not try to bring him any proof, that he could go back to peacefully recalling his mother as she wanted to be remembered, and not as these muggle-loving fools made her out to be.
"Before we begin," Lupin announced, "you should know that a few of the things said by some of our members are likely to offend you. Not all in our Order are as welcoming or as trusting as Dumbledore, and some people made comments, particularly on the night your mother announced her pregnancy to us, that...well, that do not show our organization in the best light."
"You're not making a very compelling case for yourself, Lupin."
He nodded. "I simply wanted you to be prepared. Surely there are Death Eaters serving your father of whom you are not particularly fond? No one is perfect, Hadrian no matter what side of this war they're on."
"Right. Can we get on with it?"
Lupin uncorked one of the phials and poured out its contents. When the silver mist had settled neatly, he gestured towards the Pensieve. "After you, Hadrian."
Hadrian stepped forward, looked down, and watched the world go white, and then fill up again with color.
He was in a small, plain room with black tile and white walls, in which the only notable feature was a roaring fireplace.
Floo-room, Hadrian concluded. Nearly all upper class wizarding residences had one.
His suspicion was confirmed when the fire flared up with a green glow and coughed out a young man of average height.
"Remus, it's you!"
"Yes, Sirius, of course it's me. I come here every Friday at this time," Lupin said, brushing soot from the sleeves of his jacket. The man certainly didn't look top-of-the-line, in an ill-fitting muggle jacket and worn trousers, but he seemed a bit healthier than the man Hadrian had met yesterday. He spoke in an impatient monotone which suggested that he went through this dialogue often. Looking up at his friend, he finally noticed the man's continued excitement and narrowed his eyes. "What is it?"
The other man—Sirius Black, if Remus's greeting and his familiar cheekbones and manic grin were anything to go by—only smiled wider. "You'll not believe who's sitting in my drawing room at this very moment!"
The young Lupin frowned. "Oh, won't I?"
Sirius shook his head in what seemed a combination of delight and disbelief. "I'd put at least galleon on it."
And then, from the next room, came a woman's voice.
"Sirius, I have to get back. Could you please–"
"Mum," Hadrian whispered.
And sure enough, a young woman came around the corner, her request freezing in her throat as she detected another person in the room.
Scarlett Sable was just as beautiful as Hadrian remembered her, if somewhat younger. Her hair, which had usually been pinned up, was falling out of its bun in loose waves around her face. Her face was pale, but her emerald green eyes, the same shade as Hadrian's, were glowing with emotion.
"Remus," she whispered.
She swallowed, then nodded. "Sirius, you could have warned me. No one else was supposed to know that I was here."
Sirius put a consoling hand on Lily's shoulder. "Come on, Lils. It's just Remus. Who's he going to tell?"
"It's not that, Sirius! Don't you think–" She paused. "Of course you don't. I'm talking to Sirius Black, after all."
"Hey, now!" The young man spoke in the most dignified tone of offense he could muster, but it was clear his affront was pretended.
"This isn't a laughing matter, Sirius, please! I need to get back. People will be wondering where I've gone!"
"Alright, alright! Just trying to lighten the mood."
"And failing, as usual," she retorted. "Please, Siri. I'm not expect anything, but–"
Sirius pulled his estranged cousin into a warm embrace."Relax, Lils. You can relax, now, it's fine. Everything will be fine, I promise."
Scarlett—Lily—did not return the hug, but flashed him a weak, half-hearted smile. "I guess we'll find out, won't we?"
She turned out of Sirius's arms to Remus. "I'm sorry, but I can't stay. It's...good to see you, Remus. I hope you're doing well."
And, before he could say anything in reply, she apparated away with a loud 'CRACK'.
Everything faded for a moment into white mist. Hadrian was about to pull himself out of the memory and insist to Remus that this proved absolutely nothing, when the white swirled again into colors, forming an entirely different setting.
This room looked like some sort of conference room, with low, wood-paneled ceilings and a central oval table. The ornate style made the room look as though it belonged to a pureblood manor. In fact, if the walls had been painted green, Hadrian would have been tempted to say that it looked like his father's drawing room.
At the head of the table was a man whom Hadrian had never seen before in his life, yet had no trouble recognizing. How many times had he heard his father and his father's lackeys complain about this man? His calm demeanor, his crooked nose which poked into everyone's business, and his crystal blue eyes which seemed to miss no detail gave the man away entirely.
"Albus Dumbledore," Hadrian whispered.
"Naturally," said a voice behind him, and Hadrian nearly jumped, irrationally wondering if one of the figures in the memory had heard him speak before remembering that Lupin had, presumably, followed him into the Pensieve.
Around the table were seated about fifteen other men and women of varying ages. Hadrian had no idea who most of them were, but some of the facial features gave him a guess. A heart-shaped face and rounded eyes suggested an Abbott, or maybe a Macmillan. Ears as large as his eyes were small hinted that a man near the center of the table was a Longbottom. The fiery red hair in the far corner belonged, no doubt, to a Weasley or a Prewett. But there was one face he did not see.
"My mother's not here, Lupin."
"Wait a moment," Lupin insisted.
And then the door directly across from where Hadrian stood swung open.
"I'm sorry, I know I'm late! I was afraid you'd have finished by the time I got here."
The young woman who had just entered the room was, undoubtedly, the younger version of Hadrian's mother. This time, though, she seemed almost as lively as he remembered her. Bright coppery hair twisted up in a traditional pureblood fashion, wearing robes of a deep grey adorned with what were probably expensive pearls, she seemed a bit out of breath, but at the same time bursting with barely-contained energy.
"No need to apologize, Lily," one of the men at the table said.
"But there is! There's a reason I haven't been able to get out to meetings recently, and it's something you need to know."
Dumbledore frowned. "What is it, my dear?"
His mum—Lily, here—took a deep breath. "I saw a healer, about two months ago now. I'm pregnant. Twins."
Murmurs broke out around the room.
"So he finally did it," Hadrian heard a man in front of him whisper. Looking down at him, Hadrian immediately recognized the younger and slightly less worn-looking Lupin.
"Dumbledore, this must be what the prophecy spoke of!" a man at the end of the table spoke up.
Lily's brow furrowed in confusion. "Prophecy? What prophecy?"
Dumbledore sighed and, closing his eyes, began to intone:
"The one with the power to match the Dark Lord approaches...born to one who has dared defy him, born as the seventh month dies...and the Dark Lord will mark this one as an heir—this one shall have power the other knows not...and the Chosen must side with sire or with others for those left without him will not survive...the one with the power to match the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies..."
She shook her head. "The prophecy said the seventh month. I'm not due until early September, the healer said."
"And he or she surely also mentioned that twins are often born premature?" Dumbledore returned, seeming almost kindly.
"And if she's having twins, it explains the line we couldn't understand. 'One shall have power the other knows not.' The other must mean the other twin!"
A man in the corner snorted. "'The line we couldn't understand.' As though the rest of the bloody thing is crystal clear!"
"Friends, please," Dumbledore said, quieting the table. "Lily, the prophecy obviously refers to your child."
"Children," Lily insisted.
"How do you know it's twins already, dear?" a matronly looking woman interrupted. "You said you saw a healer two months ago? You don't look very far along, if you don't mind my saying so."
Lily flushed. "I'm not. Less than three months, actually. But the healer told me when she first saw me that they were twins. She could see their cores already."A small smile lit up her face for the first time since she had entered the room.
"Lily," Dumbledore tentatively began, "does the Dark Lord know?"
"Of course he knows. Why do you think I've missed so many meetings for the last two months? He'll barely let me leave the manor with an escort!"
"He knows that you're carrying twins?"
Lily nodded, her brow furrowing.
Dumbledore studied her for a moment before looking away. "Well, I suppose this news gives us all enough to think about for one night. If there is no other urgent business?"
The table remained quiet.
The old man nodded. "Then I bid you all a good night."
As the men and women seated around the table rose to depart, Dumbledore fixed Lily with a look. "If I could have a word with you, my dear?"
She followed Dumbledore through a door at the back of the room, the grey silk of her robes fluttering behind her...
...and the warm colors of the Order's meeting room blurred to white mist, and again to the stained browns of Hadrian's rented room.