A/N: I'm sorry this one took so long to get out. Writer's block again. But I hope you enjoy nonetheless.

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter nor anything that you recognize that came from JKRowling. The things that you don't recognize are a doing of my own.

Falling into Grace

Chapter Eight

Breakdown

It wasn't that Lily remembered, per se, but it was rather that she had images in her head of such an event where she had received the neat bite mark on her thigh, as if seeing a clip from a moving picture. She saw it as if it had been a nightmare from the night before, a fuzzy image, a blur of passion, and a hazy bit of pain.

She sat on her bed, rubbing her fingers over the mark and morbidly wondered what battle wounds Sirius came away with. She took off her own clothing and looked around for more wounds that she'd have to heal. She was so confused that tears started welling in her eyes. She was on the brink of crying before but this last just pushed her over the edge and her eyes became a fountain of salty, horrified tears.

Well, the verdict was clear. Guilty as charged, lock me up and throw away the key, she though, swiping at her eyes. She hated herself right now. She nearly wanted to leave the marks on herself, to wear them like a cross, to show them for penance. But James would see them, and for him to see her suffering was like condemning herself to hell.

She took her wand and bitterly healed herself with charms. She looked at herself in the full-length mirror. She had lost a little weight since she had been at school, but she liked herself this way. "To die for," the mirror said when she traced her fingers over her curves. Though James had always loved how full-figured she was. He always thought she was sexy.

She had to turn away from the mirror when she thought of that. She had given her body only to James. Now it had been desecrated. She didn't know what to think anymore. She only knew that she would never speak of this again, not to Sirius, not to James, nor to herself.

She excused herself from classes that day. She needed to recoup.

* * *

Remus elbowed James awake during History of Magic. James looked up alertly and then glared at Remus when he realized who had woke him.

"What is it? I was having good dreams."

"Where's Lily?" Remus asked.

James looked around to acknowledge that she wasn't by his side or anywhere else.

"Hmm…let me use my telepathy to call her," James replied sarcastically, placing his fingertips on his temples. Remus smacked the back of his head. "Seriously, I have no idea where she is, but she wasn't feeling very good this morning. Probably that time of the month or something." Remus nodded, wondering if that was why her hormones smelled different. Though she never smelled that way before.

"You don't think she's in – er – any other trouble do you?"

"Lily? Well, other than the fact that she's a woman, no. I mean, she's been distracted because of nightmares and school, stuff like that."

"You haven't been having any problems lately, have you?"

"No, not at all. Everything's been a dream." He narrowed his eyes at Remus. "She hasn't said anything to dispute my statement, has she?"

"No, no, not…of course not. I was curious because she's been closed off lately."

"We all have – it's the stress, mate," Jams said, running a hand through his hair.

"And everything's okay in the you-know-what department?"

James's cheeks flushed, the tacit pact broken. Their unspoken agreement was always never to ask about each other's sex lives. It didn't seem like a manly thing, not to boast, but as long as they were the closest of friends they would never brag about anything to each other.

"Well, um…it's been great," James said, his face burning. "I mean, she's a demon." He looked away in embarrassment.

Well, so that settled it. She was a demon in the sack and was using it to entice other people. Or just Sirius. But they didn't have any attraction to each other before. They were like brother and sister. Which was a nasty thought, he decided, so he settled on the thought that they were more like stepsiblings. But it didn't suffice. He just couldn't figure out why those two would do something like that.

He glanced at Sirius, who appeared to be sleeping, his head hidden in his arms.

If things felt complicated before, it was nothing compared to how it was at that moment.

* * *
The common room fire had reduced to glowing embers before James and Lily decided to call it a night from studying for a Potions quiz. Peter had long since dragged himself to bed, and Sirius and Remus were the only two left in the spacious room.

"Maybe we should get to bed, mate," Remus said. Sirius was watching Lily climb the staircase. He didn't answer. He hadn't spoken all day since his chat with Lily. Since then he hadn't felt a need to use any words - no words could describe how he felt. A few words came close - depressed, worried, still blindingly amazed - but none of them really fit. Nor did they come close to Mental Breakdown, how he thought he was be handling the situation.

It had at first seemed that Lily was simply denying the situation, but as he looked back upon it, he realized how shocked she had been to see him holding up her knickers, as if she really had no idea how he had gotten them. After that, it had truly hit him that she had had no idea what was going on. And he wondered how much of that was his fault. Had he done something drastic during his illness and had hallucinated Lily coming on to him, but had really done something horrible to her? Was it possible that he had forced her to be with him, and then erased her memory?

Sirius remained staring at the dark, empty staircase. Remus stared at him. Who the hell did he think he was? Remus wondered. It was always about Sirius. Always about how much he could get away with and not get into trouble. It was always about what he wanted; and when he wanted something, he took it, no questions asked. He always had to be the disturber of the peace. The home-wrecker.

Remus felt his blood boil. He had been upset with Sirius before, but nothing had ever come closer to pissing him off more than this situation right now.

"I don't know what you think you're doing," Remus said quietly, ominously, "but you've got to end it right now."

Sirius looked at him sharply.

"What do you know?" Sirius hissed. He was filled with panic, and he felt anger grow inside him because he knew now that his suspicions were true: Remus did know about last night with Lily. And what made him even more angry was the thought Remus knew more about the situation than Lily did.

"I know that she doesn't love you." Sirius gave him a look of pure ice. "And that you don't love her."

He was right. Sirius loved Icilyn, not Lily. There was a deep affection for Lily, an affection that could be compared to the love of a sister or dear friend; and for Icilyn, there was real love, the kind of love that made Sirius want to be with her all the time, that made him think about her all the time. They were two completely different types of sincerities, and Sirius had often wondered how he could have gotten the two confused when thinking about Lily.

"I'm going to bed," Sirius said, hoisting himself out of the squashy armchair. He traveled up the spiraling stone steps to the seventh year boys' dorms, wondering if it was a blessing or a curse that Remus had put two and two together.

* * *

Remus sat staring in the direction of the spiraling staircase tot he girls' dorms that eventually led to the room James and Lily resided in.

He felt anger inside him. An anger for Sirius deeper than any hatred he'd felt for Sirius or anyone else. Not even when Sirius sent Snape into the tunnel under the Whomping Willow had he been this hacked. It was almost as if he, Remus, was the controller of the smooth operation of everything, and Sirius had gone and messed with his doings of peacekeeping. It was an odd analogy, but that was the kind of annoyance he was feeling.

To his surprise, Lily came walking back down the staircase he was staring at. She was in a nightgown with a dressing gown pulled carelessly over. She spotted him and looked mildly surprised.

"Oh, Remus, I didn't know you'd still be down here. What are you doing up so late?"

"I should be asking you the same question," Remus replied, raising an eyebrow a few millimeters.

"I couldn't sleep," Lily replied simply. "I was going to get something from Madam Pomfrey."

"I'll accompany you," he said, standing and holding out his arm in a gentlemanly fashion.

He'd be damned if he was going to stop keeping the peace even with the current situations.

* * *

Lily found it rather odd that Remus was still up when she had gone back down the stairs to the common room. She had been hoping to get up to the seventh year boys' dorms, but had been stopped by Remus and had been forced to make up an excuse. The excuse wasn't a lie - she really couldn't sleep. But she was put out by the thought that she'd have to wait for another time to talk to Sirius, to apologize to him for being a bitch, and most of all, for not remembering.

She smiled bitterly in the darkness of the corridor. It had been the night of Sirius's life, but she didn't remember a thing. She felt bad for him, but she couldn't help but feel he brought that upon himself. How was she supposed to feel guilty about it when it probably wasn't her fault in the first place. But she felt guilty when she thought of blaming Sirius. It takes two to tango, her mother always said, and somehow it had to be her fault because she got herself into the mess in the first place.

Before she could drive herself crazy by thinking about whose fault this mess was, Remus stopped for a second, then turned into an unused classroom.

"What's wrong, Remus?" Lily asked, staring at him through the darkness.

"I should be asking you the same thing," he replied. "Lily, I'm not going to pretend to you that I don't know what's going on. I know that something has happened between you and Sirius, but what I'd like to know is why."

Lily pushed Remus away and backed up a few steps, crashing into a stack of chairs, then sank to the floor.

"Nothing," Lily lied. "Did he tell you something?"

"No," Remus said, walking towards Lily cautiously, watching her facial _expression of fear in the darkness, smelling her panic, smelling her. "I have a knack for human scents." He could see Lily knit her eyebrows in confusion, so he explained, "I smelled you, I smelled him, I smelled sex, Lily."

He stopped and sat next to her. She couldn't see him, but he could see her with his wolf eyes, her saw her in yellows and greens with a slight reddish aura that was the heat emanating from her. He almost felt that he had the advantage to the situation.

She had placed her head in her hands. When she felt Remus next to her, she scooted away, feeling that if he touched her, she'd dirty him too, like she had with Sirius. She started to cry silently, but Remus knew.

"What happened, Lily?"

"I...I don't know what happened," she said, sniffing.

"What do you mean you don't know?"

"I can't remember." She swiped at her eyes. Remus reached over and wiped a tear off her cheek.

"What can't you remember?" he asked, staying calm.

"I can't remember a goddamn thing, that's what," Lily said harshly. "I don't know what the hell is wrong with me. It was just such a shock when Sirius came up to me and mentioned something. I thought he was joking. And then....and then...."

"And then what?"

"And then I remembered. Not remembered like you do when you think back on something you did a few days ago, but I remembered like it was something I had read in a book, or seen in a film. It was like it didn't happen to me, but to someone else that looked like me."

Remus knitted his eyebrows. That was something he hadn't expected. His brain was turning swiftly with all the ideas of what could have happened. He wondered if she didn't actually slept with him, but that wasn't possible - his sense of smell was never wrong. But, perhaps if Lily was going crazy, then the world could be capable of falling apart. She was always the proverbial rock that was the foundation for the house, she was always knew the method to the madness, and knew how to make everyone sane again. If she was capable of coming unglued, perhaps the whole world was too; making him, for once, wrong.

"Is it possible that it didn't happen?" he asked.

Remus could see her shaking her head, and she answered with, "No. Everything that occurred is proven with marks and other things." She swiped at her eyes again. She was beginning to shake, whether from fear, or from grief, Remus didn't know. He moved closer to her again, and wrapped his arms around her.

"I've been turned upside down, lately," she said. "I don't know what's been wrong with me. I don't sleep, I don't eat, and everything's not right, but it is right at the same time." She wanted to add, but thought it would sound too awkward, It's like I've been told to do these things, and I do them, but I don't know why.

It was a strange story, but Remus believed her. He knew that Lily took responsibility for her actions at all times, and seeing her broken up like this was proof that she was trying to take responsibility for her actions, but couldn't, because she still couldn't believe that she had done the action in the first place.

"Lily," he whispered quietly in her ear, "I believe you. I know you love James more than anything in the world. I'm going to help you find out what happened that night, and what's been going on with you lately." He kissed her cheek very lightly, then helped her up. "But first, we're getting you some Dreamless Sleep potion, so you can stop having nightmares and finally get some sleep."

He took her hand in his and led her out of the classroom and back down the hall towards the infirmary.

* * *

Over a thousand miles away, Icilyn Garicky sat in an understuffed armchair, nervously twiddling her thumbs. She knew what she was doing in this house, and she knew how she had found it and had gotten there, but what she didn't know was where she had gotten the courage to come here, and what she was going to do if she wasn't believed.

The door to the left of her opened, and entered a figure with a black cloak and a silver mask. He did not bow, nor greet her, as the one who had led her to this room, but he did smirk behind the mask and say, "A woman," as if it had been a while since he had seen one and was ravenous for female touch.

Icilyn drew herself up straight in her chair, bound not to be put down or shut up until she knew the truth, or until they killed her.

"Requesting to be recruited?" the man asked, stepping towards her and touching a lock of her midnight hair.

"No, sir," she said, pushing back the uncomfortable feelings towards the situation.

"Offering services to the wizards of our cause?" the man inquired, now running a finger up and down her neck.

"I have come to speak with the Dark Lord," Icilyn said calmly, collectedly - completely the opposite of what she was feeling.

"Everyone who comes to see my Master goes through me," he said silkily, his fingers now tracing towards her chest. But her next words made the man jump back, as if a snake had bit him:

"Then you can tell him his daughter is here to see him."

* * *

A/N: I'm sorry it took so long to get this chapter out. I had a major road block frequent my way, and it took ages to get over. I even thought about giving this up. But I decided that I couldn't leave the story like this, and not letting you know what was going to happen. I figured y'all would murder me anyway. So, here it is. It's a little sticky, a little slippery, but it's here, and I've got lot of ideas for chapter nine, as the plot starts growing thicker.

* * *

THANK-YOUS

* * *

Whitney

Madeline

not sum 1 u know

Stormy1x2 - Yep, the night of Siri's life and Lily can't remember a thing. Thanks for saying that and giving me a good line to add into the story! :o)

Samantha

everblue3 - Aye! Maybe I didn't explain it well, but that's stupid on my part. I meant that Peter's father was part of the Russian Ministry of Magic. Not the Muggle ministry. But thank you for pointing that out to me - I'll have to go back and fix that and repost that chapter. And I know what you mean about people thinking their story more credible if they have more facts. That's not what I was trying to do. Did the Russian Muggle ministry have problems in 1977? How the hell should I know? I just added that part in because the Potters had to have a reason to get killed, right? ;o) It just worked out that way. Thank you again for letting me know about that, and sharing your feelings, I really appreciate that!!!

Aileron - Yes, I like to start innocently at first, then work my way up. It shocks the readers rather nicely, I think. Drop me a line as soon as you get your new email set up, or as soon I learn your new one I will, because I miss chatting with you!

high?D

SoccerGirl2005

Quack Quack 88

tash

UnforgivenChild

Killer Angel

Zetta - Yes, I find it a little creepy that Sirius is walking around with women's underwear in his pocket. But hey, at least he's not walking around wearing them, right? :o)

* * *

Thank you all you wonderful people who reviewed chapter seven!

Well, it's time for me to go, dearies. I must start working on the next chapter, as there is much to write about.

Happy Writing and Reading!

~Lavender hpfan04@yahoo.com

MWPP fan? Lazy? Come join us procrastinators over at the Lazy MWPP Writers Unite! (click the link in my profile) Hope to see you there!