Title: They Were Golden

Characters: Emmeline Vance, Marlene McKinnon, Sirius Black, James Potter, Lily Potter and Albus Dumbledore.

Notes: This is a songfic of We Are Golden by Mika. They aren't the full lyrics, but I thought that these particular ones fit perfectly into the foolhardy world of the teenage First Order members. The one-shot on the whole is from the point of view of Emmeline Vance, but the lyrics are the collective view of the teenage Order. I hope you enjoy!


We are not what you think we are...

"Nice one, Black!" Marlene McKinnon calls as Sirius Black cackles, a sign of his inbred insanity. It makes Emmeline cringe.

"Not too bad yourself, McKinnon!" Black yells back easily, flipping the masked and hooded Death Eater onto his back as though he is simply a rag doll. Emmeline is caught between stopping this inhumane act, and laughing along with them.

"Oi! Padfoot, we've got a live one!" Potter says from behind them.

Black's grin widens.

"James, honestly," Evans admonishes, smiling at Emmeline as though she is the upmost symbol of maturity and motherly pride. She isn't. She's a little girl way over her pretty red head.

"Come on, Lil!" Potter calls her over, gesturing to the fallen, groaning Death Eater. "You're a healer. What's the best way to make him suffer?"

Evans rolls her eyes and gives a long-winded explanation of how she's a healer to heal their comrades, not harm little boys playing dress up.

We are golden, we are golden...

The battle had been alight with red and green and gold, lighting up the Muggle street. Now, only the street lamps light up the faces of those who remain.

"Madam Vance," Black bows low to her, a mockery of her authority and his pureblood upbringing. The smile she gives him in strained, but he doesn't notice, too caught up in his own sense of pride and power and laughter.

"Come on, Mrs Vance!" McKinnon tugs on her hand. Emmeline notices that her hands and nails are perfect, whereas her own are dirty and battle-worn. "Come join in the fun!"

Emmeline assures them that it's quite alright, and they should enjoy their victory. They don't disagree.

We are not what you think we are...

They're children.

That's all Emmeline can think as she watches them parade around the little Muggle street at night, mocking the Death Eaters, hovering their masks in front of them as though it's a game.

They're just out of school, with all the hopes of ruling the world and the responsibilities of nothing on their shoulders. They don't know love, not yet, not really.

Sirius Black is a whirlwind of laughter and childish nonsense; Marlene McKinnon is everything a young rebel strives to be; James Potter likes to ride in on his high horse and play the hero; and Lily Evans, soon-to-be Potter? She's the worst of the lot.

We are golden, we are golden...

She'll be the type to go down in history as this vision of a martyr, with a halo or a crown, a wedding ring gleaming gold on her finger.

She likes to think of herself as the best of the best; she's the nothing-can-touch-me thinker. She's a realist, not a dreamer, but her view of reality is so severely warped that there isn't much difference between the two, when it comes to Lily Evans.

Emmeline thinks that the quartet is the saddest bunch of foolhardy children she's ever seen.

Teenage dreams in a teenage circus...

She realises, with a shock, that they're all under twenty. They are children. They're teenagers, barely out of diapers. She, herself, has an almost-teenage daughter.

"It's a circus, Prongsie!"

Black and his best friend start to perform tricks on the broomsticks they had snuck in for the mission. Emmeline had been told that Potter had the ability to go professional in Quidditch, and Black seemed to have a natural talent in every else, so why not in flying also?

It was preposterous, these boys who had had everything handed to them on a silver bloody platter and had taken it with a wink.

Running around like a clown on purpose...

Dorcas Meadowes, a nice girl who was in the same year as the miscreants on her mission, had warned Emmeline once. She wishes she had listened.

"They're foolhardy, that lot," Meadowes told her once over a cup of Muggle-made tea. She had been a Ravenclaw. "They use tricks and pranks to hide what they're really feeling, to stress their hate and their anger and their love... They're not stupid, Emmeline. Just a little under-practised."

And oh, how Emmeline wishes she could've listened instead of nodding obliviously and sympathizing in her head with the professors of Hogwarts School.

Who gives a damn about the family you come from?

"It's Reggie."

There's a silence that breaks Emmeline from her stupor. She turns to see Black holding a Death Eater's mask in his clenched fist, looking down at a boy in front of him.

The circus feeling has gone now and Emmeline only feels very, very sad for these little Gryffindor boys.

"He's sixteen!" Black yells, kicking the Stupefied form of, or so Emmeline presumes, his brother. She had heard of the famous Black temper long before now. "He's fucking sixteen! What's he doing, playing about with these Slytherin thugs?"

Nobody knows how to answer him, except Potter. "He's not you, Padfoot." Emmeline doesn't understand the words, but it seems to calm the black-haired youth down.

No giving up when you're young and you want some...

"How's about we play with fire?" McKinnon suggests. Emmeline is about to intervene when McKinnon lifts up a perfectly manicured hand to stop her. "Relax, Mrs Vance. We know what we're doing."

This doesn't calm Emmeline, not in the slightest. It shocks her to learn that they truly believe this, that they know what they're doing. She wants to scream at them, tell them to stop looking at the war-hardened world through rose-coloured glasses and grow up before their childish ways kill them all.

She doesn't, though, because she knows that there's no stopping them now.

Now I'm sitting alone, I'm finally looking around...

Emmeline finds a bench and sits on it, resting her aching head in her grubby hands. Her wand is tucked behind her ear.

She looks up and sees something being set on fire in the Muggle street that the teenagers have claimed. She doesn't know if it's a robe or a Death Eater or Sirius' motorcycle, because if it can fly, then it's probably fire-proof too.

If not, then it just proves the theory that one day, they'll all fly too close to the sun and they'll burn.

Left here on my own I'm gonna hurt myself...

She muses if it's really safe to leave them alone. She muses if it's safe for her to be left alone. She's a temperamental witch, after all.

But Emmeline is always the quiet one at the back of the class who tales notes in History of Magic and idly wonders what it would be like to hex the new Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, just for the pleasure of laughing at them.

She never did hex any teacher, in her school days and beyond.

Maybe losing my mind...

There's another burst of laughter from down the street. Emmeline tries her hardest to drown it, and her own thoughts, out. It'll leave her empty if she doesn't.

Because all she can think is that Sirius Black's laugh is too much like Bellatrix's, and that James Potter's wand hand is always a bit too itchy, and that Marlene McKinnon's smile is too much like a shark grinning at its prey and that the little girl who calls herself Lily Evans will one day get herself killed.

Emmeline wonders exactly when she started to care.

I'm still wondering why, had to let the world, let it bleed dry...

"Just try, Mrs Vance," Potter tells her earnestly, tugged on her robe.

She rises, gracefully as ever, and walks over to where they have a Death Eater, no more than twenty-five, pinned to the wall of a Muggle house.

"You might even like it."

And that's exactly what she's afraid of. She doesn't want to like it. She doesn't want to be the foolhardy child she might've been if her father hadn't died when she was young, and her mother hadn't left as soon as she graduated. If she had been allowed to live a foolhardy life at all.

We are not what you think we are...

Emmeline looks at the Death Eater. He was blue eyes, like herself, but they lack her own powerful quality. His are almost dreamlike, but narrowed with malice and broken pride.

"You're a Death Eater," she states for no apparent reason. Maybe it's to remind herself that's he's not a good person.

He says nothing.

"Who do you think we are?" She asks. She gets exactly what she expected in return; nothing. "Hmm? Are we the enemies? Are we stupid? Childish, maybe?" She steps forward with every accusation. "Maybe even sadistic." She glances left and right and finds that the children are unsure. It spurs her on.

We are not what you think we are...

"Are we blood-traitors, maybe?" Emmeline asks of him. "Do we disgust you?" His eyes are locked on her, unblinking. She wonders if he's Stupefied when he breathes deeply.

"Are we your enemies?" Potter starts to move beside her, but she raises her hand as McKinnon had once done to stop her.

"We are not what you think we are..."

"Mrs Vance..." The Evans girl says, her voice fading away in a warning. Emmeline laughs before stepping away from the Death Eater. She doesn't take away the charms that have him stuck to the wall of the house; it's a clever insult.

"You're a scared little child who just has a few wrong ideas," Emmeline tells the unnamed man. "As they all are." She waves her hand at her accompanying guard. "As I once was."

We are golden, we are golden...

"You're free to leave," Emmeline says, before stepping backwards, undoing the charms and Disapparating right there.

She returns to the Order of the Phoenix Headquarters, a disclosed location in Muggle Manchester. Albus stands up to greet her from where he waited at the long wooden table, but she waves him down absentmindedly.

"They're children, Albus," she says wearily, sitting down opposite him. "What were you thinking?"

Running around again... running from running...

"They're not what you think they are, Emmeline," the Hogwarts Headmaster says in way of response. The foolhardy, Gryffindor child inside of her roars and tantrums, knocks over chairs and attempts to overturn the table.

On the outside, Emmeline simply nods and leaves the room with barely the sound of a footstep to echo off of the plain walls.

Silly little reckless Marlene McKinnon is the first killed. She lasts two years after their mission, and Emmeline isn't really surprised. She herself only gave the girl six morbid months.

Poor, sensible Dorcas Meadowes is killed a month later. Emmeline cries for her, the Ravenclaw who taught her more than any number of years at Hogwarts could.

It's only in October, 1981 that Emmeline Vance sees the fall of Lily and James Potter, and that the laugh of Sirius Black becomes famous. She can't say she's surprised, really. They were teenagers caught up in the idea that the world was a circus and they were the stars of the show.

Two things have surprised Emmeline Vance in this life; the death of Dorcas Meadowes, and her own foolhardy downfall.

Simply because they were two golden things that she never thought to run from.