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Old September 22nd, 2010, 4:12 pm
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Fourth Year
 
Join Date: 15th February 2010
Location: England
Age: 27
Posts: 660
Re: Learning to Live Again

I know I said I wouldn't be updating much but I pretty much had this chapter done when I posted the first, and I'm about halfway through the third so that could be up by the end of this weekend. Also, I'm trying to keep the chapters short so it makes it seem like I've done more but I think it makes it easier to read as well though.

Chapter 2

As the Order members passed Lily they muttered their condolences; she just stood there, accepting them and not looking anyone in the eye for fear that she would break down in tears again. All she really wanted was to sit down in privacy and spend some time with Sirius – he was, she thought, the only person who truly understood how she was feeling.

The room had gone silent and Lily looked up to see that Dumbledore and the Longbottoms were stood up. Sirius was still sat at the table but had taken his head out of his hands and was staring blankly forward.

“Unfortunately,” Dumbledore began hesitantly. Lily was surprised – he was always so calm and collected that it was unexpected to hear him hesitant, “we only have one bedroom here so someone will have to sleep on the sofa. I’m sure Frank and Alice won’t mind if you want some privacy, Lily.” He turned to them and they were nodding their heads fervently.

“No, it’s fine, I’ll sleep down here. I don’t need a big room – you two should have it,” Lily’s voice cracked as she said it. The two of them had each other and she had no one. Voldemort had seen to that.

“If you’re sure?” Lily nodded. “And Sirius … ?” The sound of his name seemed to break his reverie; Sirius turned to Dumbledore and stood up.

“I’ll stay here, sleep on a chair or something. Don’t feel like going home tonight.”

Dumbledore just nodded and strode into the living room. They followed, trance-like, and saw that he had conjured two sleeping bags and a cot for Harry. He then turned to Lily.

“ I am, truly, sorry. James was a good man and he deserved to live a long life with you. But he died protecting you and Harry and I’m sure he wouldn’t have it any other way. If there’s anything you want, we’re all here for you.”

Lily nodded; she didn’t seem to have much energy left after the events of the evening. Dumbledore checked his watch and frowned.

“I’m going to have to go soon. I’ll just sort out Frank and Alice upstairs and then I’ve got a meeting I need to get to. Take care” He peered over his half-moon glasses to look at Lily and Sirius for a moment, then motioned to Frank and Alice to follow him upstairs. Alice hesitated for an instant.

“If you want, we’ll look after Harry tonight. Just so you don’t have to worry about him waking up or …” Alice trailed off, uncertain whether to carry on or not.

“Thanks but … I’d rather stay with Harry. Thanks anyway.” Alice smiled timidly, then followed her husband and Dumbledore out of the room and upstairs.

Lily took a great shuddering breath once Alice had left and felt Sirius put his arm around her shoulders. Grief threatened to engulf her again, but she held it back as she gently shrugged off Sirius so that she could put Harry to bed. Even though he quickly dozed off, Lily sat down on the sofa next to the cot and watched him sleep. He looked so much like James; Lily knew that she wouldn’t be able to look at him without thinking of her husband.

Sirius seemed to know what she was thinking because he sat down beside her and put his arm around her for a second time. This time, however, she didn’t shrug him off but leaned on him and her grief overwhelmed her. Lily started sobbing quietly so as not to wake Harry, although soon she had lost control and was crying hysterically. She felt something dripping on her head and knew that Sirius was crying too. They sat in silence for a while, grateful for each other’s company while they grieved.

Eventually, Lily’s sobs began to quieten and before long she had cried herself out. She looked up at Sirius and found him staring blankly forward again. His expression scared her – Lily had never seen anyone look so helpless. Although, she thought she must have looked terrible when Dumbledore had found her crying in the hallway.

After a few minutes of silence, Lily started to worry about what Sirius was thinking. She cleared her throat to get his attention; he blinked a few times and then looked at her. His face was still blank of all emotion. Wanting to distract Sirius from thinking about whatever he was and to take her mind off her own thoughts, Lily decided that the best thing to do was get him talking.

As Lily was thinking about topics to talk about, she wondered how Sirius had found out about … what had happened, if the message hadn’t mentioned anything. She had wanted to talk about something completely different but thought that anything was better than nothing.

“H-how did you f-f-find out? Emmeline … s-she said the message didn’t tell you a-anything.”

Sirius let out a long sigh, but didn’t say anything. They looked at each other for a few moments before he began to speak.

“I was supposed to be checking on Wormtail today,” Sirius’ voice was steady, but detached. “I was going to go this morning but I got sidetracked. When I got to where he was staying he wasn’t there. But it was all tidy – no sign of a struggle. I could tell something was up and that was when I got the message. I knew that it meant that something was wrong but if I had come here then I knew Dumbledore would have stopped me from doing what I wanted. So I ignored it. I went straight to your house. When I got there, it was in ruins. Voldemort must have been pretty angry when you escaped so he blew the house up. I don’t know if there’s anything left –” Sirius paused – even though his voice had started emotionless it had become more and more so until it was too much for him to bear. When he spoke again it was in a whisper, “I tried to find him. I checked everywhere I could think of but it was no good. I was searching for about an hour before I remembered Dumbledore’s message.”

Lily had been watching Sirius as he spoke, but once he had finished he turned away, refusing to look her in the eyes. It was only now that Lily could guess what he had been thinking about all evening.

“It’s not your fault, Sirius.”

“I told you to use him. If I’d checked on him earlier like I was going to I might have stopped him.”

“We trusted both of you, no one could have known that he was going to betray us.”

Tears had begun to run down Sirius’ face again. Lily sighed.

“No one forced us to change to Peter, and you didn’t force him to tell Voldemort. You’re not guilty of anything, Sirius.”

Sirius turned back to look at Lily, as if he was seeking reassurance that she didn’t blame him. Lily’s eyes began to droop while they stared at each other, he noticed this and made to get up.

“Where are you going?”

Sirius smiled meekly, “You’re tired, I’ll let you get some sleep.” He stood up and dragged one of the sleeping bags over to a chair.

Lily couldn’t argue – she was tired. She climbed into the other sleeping bag and made herself comfortable on the sofa while Sirius settled into a chintz chair, turned off the lights and closed the curtains with his wand.

The room was pitch black except for a strip of moonlight that allowed Lily to see Harry sleeping peacefully through the bars of his cot, and she wondered whether he understood what had happened that evening. He would never laugh as his father amused him with puffs of coloured smoke again – it was unlikely that he would remember James at all. Silent tears ran down her cheeks as she thought of James never seeing his son grow up, and she was still crying as she fell asleep.
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