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Old February 3rd, 2011, 5:56 pm
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Fourth Year
 
Join Date: 15th February 2010
Location: England
Age: 26
Posts: 660
Re: Learning to Live Again

New chapter I really didn't mean for it to get so angsty at the end but it just sort of ended up like that. Hope you like it anyway.

Chapter 18

Lily, Remus and Sirius were still transfiguring the Orb hours later. It had gone from grey to black and white with flowers growing out of it, to gold and cube shaped, to tartan with waving green tentacles and to many more. Around nine o’clock, Sirius went to get a bottle of wine out of the cabinet, which had been one of the first things to be hit by the Orb. Sirius had fought with the tentacles growing out of it that wouldn’t let him open the cupboard doors and had ended up severing them. Now, after several drinks each, their aim was slightly awry and some of their spells were missing the Orb entirely, hitting the things behind it. Sirius was especially prone to this and Lily (who was sat opposite him) had to keep ducking to avoid being hit in the face.

Lily had just turned the Orb yellow so that it looked like a cartoon sun with the large pair of eyes Remus had constructed on it. With a flick of his wand, Sirius covered it with long spindly legs. The Orb glowed brighter for a second, giving them all a moments notice and Lily ducked just as it sent a jet of light her way. It missed her, but seconds later Lily could feel the long legs moving beneath her and against her back. She shrieked and immediately leaped off her chair and onto the sofa, almost squashing Remus. He and Sirius roared with laughter while Lily settled herself down with considerably more dignity onto the layer of grass that the sofa had grown. She looked over to the chair she had just vacated and saw that the legs covered it, and it had also grown the pair of eyes on the chair back and turned bright yellow.

It took Remus and Sirius a while to calm down enough to continue the game. Once they had done so, they managed to get through another few rounds without any casualties. Lily paused on her turn, running out of ideas. She stared at the chair with its rolling eyes, trying to think. Suddenly, an idea came to her and she flicked her wand at the now Puffskein-like Orb. It grew a massive pair of red lips.

“Nice,” Remus said approvingly. The sight of the enormous lips seemed to have reminded Sirius of something incredibly important because he cried, “Oh, no!”

“What’s the matter?” Remus asked.

“There’s three of us, that means someone’s going to have to go without a kiss at midnight.” Sirius looked devastated by this knowledge.

“No, it’s okay,” reassured Remus. “Lily will kiss both of us. Problem solved.”

“Hang on, don’t I get a say in this? What if I don’t want to kiss either of you?”

Remus and Sirius turned to look at her with what she supposed were puppy-dog eyes, except in Sirius’ case he actually turned into a dog. Lily laughed at their drunken attempts to look cute.

“Fine,” she said. Sirius transformed back into a human, but Lily hadn’t finished. “I’ll kiss both of you, if you two kiss.”

Lily watched, amused, as they eyed each other up. She could almost hear their brains working, trying to work out whether it would be worth it. After a minute or so, Sirius nodded.

“Okay,” he said slowly, “but this doesn’t leave this room. And no tongues,” he added.

“Deal.” Remus still looked dubious about the whole thing. He turned away from Sirius and said to Lily in a business-like tone, “We need to decide who you’ll kiss first.”

“Does it really matter?”

“Yes, it’s an important decision,” Sirius agreed. “How about the first person to be hit by the Orb doesn’t get the first kiss?”

“What if I get hit?”

“It’s the person after that. Does that sound fair?”

They all agreed and went back to transfiguring the Orb. Lily had just cleared all the other enchantments off it and turned it into a disco ball when it shone brightly again. This time, the jet of light was aimed at Sirius and, as his reflexes were significantly slower than they were when he was sober, it hit him straight on the nose. His skin immediately turned silvery and reflective.

“This really isn’t that comfortable,” Sirius said, but Lily could barely him; her and Remus were laughing too hard.

Sirius didn’t join in with the laughter, he just sat there with a murderous look on his face until Lily and Remus quietened down. However, that took a long time because every time Lily calmed down, she’d look up, see Sirius’ face and burst out laughing again. Eventually, they stopped laughing enough for Remus to speak,

“That’s settled then, I get the first kiss.”

“Is that really all you two think about?”

“Yes,” Sirius and Remus answered at the same time.

They continued playing, with Sirius as a living disco ball, until nearly midnight. By this time, Remus had become more amused at lighting his wand and pointing it at Sirius. The light reflected off Sirius’ head and onto the walls and ceiling, shimmering every time he moved.

After a few minutes of this, there was a loud crash, making them all jump in their seats. They all looked around to see what had caused the noise and saw that the Transfig-Orb had fallen to the floor. Lily watched it return to its original form and begin glowing faintly again.

“It must give up after a bit if you stop using it,” Remus reasoned.

“When do the rest of the enchantments wear off?” Lily asked, staring around the parlour. The rest of the objects still wore their enchantments; possibly the eeriest was the chair with its eyes, which flickered rapidly around the room.

“In about half an hour or so.”

“Great,” said Remus, and he lit his wand again, pointing it at Sirius’ face. Specks of light appeared on the walls and ceiling again.

Sirius wasn’t amused by this and tried to divert the attention to a radio that he had found earlier. He switched it on and the booming voice of Otto Bagman filled the room.

- Now less than five minutes to the New Year, everyone.” He paused, allowing a crowd to cheer. “And to help me bring us into 1982, is none other than the man who plays beater for the Wimbourne Wasps and England’s Quidditch team, and is my own brother, Ludo Bagman!” More cheering. “Welcome, Ludo.”

Hi, Otto.

Wow, the crowd has just gone crazy, Ludo, completely crazy.

Oh, I usually have that affect on people-” He laughed. “It’s great being here, it’s a great atmosphere. There’s no better way to bring in the New Year!

We didn’t even have to pay him to say that, folks. Now, Ludo, it’s a big year this year for you, isn’t it?

It sure is, Otto. We’ve got the World Cup in Japan this summer and –

“Ugh, I hate him,” Sirius said loudly. “Just because he’s the best beater in the country he thinks he’s better than the rest of us.”

“True that,” agreed Remus.

“I bet he’s an arrogant little –”

“Shut up you two, we’ll miss the countdown.”

“Sorry, Mum.”

“Don’t even go there, Sirius. Do you remember what happened last time we duelled?”

“Ha, I let you win that time,” Sirius scoffed.

“Whatever, you just don’t want to admit that you lost.”

“What was that you said about missing the countdown, Lily?” asked Remus with a smirk.

“- There’s now less than thirty seconds to the New Year. Okay everyone, we’re going to ask you to help us out with the countdown … Here we go: ten! … Nine! … Eight!” The crowd shouted with Otto and Ludo.

“Aren’t we supposed to have champagne at midnight?” said Lily. The other two shrugged.

“It’s too late now.”

“-Three! … Two! … One! … Happy New Year everybody!

Cheering and the sound of fireworks going off came from the radio. Lily leaned across the sofa, kissing Remus on the cheek.

“Happy New Year, Moony.”

“Happy New Year.”

“Aw, is that all we get? I was hoping for a proper snog,” Sirius teased. He got up from his chair and squeezed in between Lily and Remus on the sofa, puckering his metallic lips.

“I’m sorry to disappoint you.” Lily kissed him on the cheek. “Happy New Year.”

“Happy New Year,” Sirius grumbled, then turned to Remus. “Come on, then, let’s get this over with.”

“Happy New Year, Padfoot.”

“Yeah, whatever.”

They both looked vaguely disgusted as they leaned towards each other. Lily watched, silently laughing. She could see Remus scrunch up his face and their lips met very briefly. In less than a second, it was over. They both pulled away, pretending to gag.

“You know, they say that the way you start the New Year is how it’ll be,” said Lily, failing to keep a straight face. Sirius and Remus looked at her and she immediately thought that, if looks could kill, she’d be dead several times over.

“If we find out that you’ve told anyone about this,” Sirius said, and Remus was nodding his head vigorously behind him, “then we’ll – we’ll –”

“Oh come on, I won’t tell anyone if you don’t want me too. At any rate, we probably won’t remember it in the morning.” Lily’s eyes rested on the three empty wine bottles on the table.

“I don’t know about that, I’m traumatised,” said Remus. “I’ll be having flashbacks to it for the rest of my life.”

“And you’re clearly not drunk enough, Lily,” Sirius said, swaying slightly as he got up and went to get another bottle. On his way, he passed the radio, which was playing an awful song that Lily thought was by Celestina Warbeck. He turned it off with a tap of his wand. “If you can say that you won’t remember something then you almost certainly will. It’s the first rule of alcohol.”

“There are more rules of alcohol?”

“Sure.” Sirius tapped the cork in the bottle with his wand and it flew out. He began pouring the wine into their glasses. “It’s just basic stuff, really. No matter how much you’ve had to drink you still can’t hit on your friend’s girlfriend, don’t mix drinks, because no one else wants to be cleaning up your sick -”

“We only had to add that one because of you,” Remus pointed out.

“How did you lot even get the alcohol at school?” asked Lily.

“What are you talking about? You were there half the time in seventh year!” Sirius handed them all their glasses back and sat down on the armchair that didn’t still have legs coming out of it.

“I know I was drinking it, but you refused to tell me how you were getting it. I don’t suppose the house elves gave it you?”

“No, did they heck. Two of us would sneak out into Hogsmeade under the Cloak and Aberforth would provide us with our drinks.”

Lily was momentarily stunned at this; it was one of the stupidest things she’d ever heard.

“How was that ever going to be a good plan?”

“What do you mean? We never got caught!”

Lily laughed.

“Aberforth is Dumbledore’s brother! You don’t think he’d tell him when a bunch of students were sneaking out for alcohol?”

Remus and Sirius stared at her in silence. Remus, who’d raised his glass to his lips to take a drink, slowly lowered it again. After a moment, Sirius shrugged.

“We still never got caught.”

“You’re the biggest bunch of idiots I’ve ever met.”

“There’s only two of us here, Lily. I don’t think that classifies as a ‘bunch’,” Remus said quietly.

His words were met with silence. Lily blinked and looked around, as if realising for the first time that it was only the three of them in the room, and it would only be the three of them ever again. She had been cheerful and having fun mere seconds ago, but Remus’ words had sobered her up almost immediately.

“Right,” she said numbly.

Sirius raised his glass and downed the drink in one go.

“How did we get to this?” he asked nobody in particular. “This wasn’t supposed to happen, we shouldn’t be here! We were supposed to be at your place-” He nodded in Lily’s direction. “- In Godric’s Hollow. It was going to be the five of us, we’d been talking about it.”

No one else spoke, just letting Sirius’ words wash over them. His voice was full of anger, but beneath that, the pain and anguish could be heard as raw as they had been when he had stormed into headquarters that night. Sirius carried on talking, not caring that nobody was listening.

“Stop it, Sirius.” Lily spoke in a pause in his monologue. “I don’t want to listen to this. It was your idea to move here, just stop it.”

“Why? I don’t want to forget about him, why do you? It’s not fair, Lily!”

Lily pushed back the tears that were threatening to overflow, but when she spoke again, her voice shook.

“I-I know it’s not fair. And I’m not forgetting about him, I just –”

Various loud pops interrupted her. Around them, the enchantments left over from the Transfig-Orb vanished. The grass on the sofa retracted back into it, the eyes and legs on the armchair disappeared, other mutations vanished and objects returned to their usual colours. Sirius’ skin went from silver and metallic to its regular pale flesh. He stood up and stalked out of the room, leaving Remus and Lily behind, stunned.

“I’ll make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid,” Remus said. He rushed out into the hallway and then Lily was left alone.

She put her wine glass on the coffee table and buried her face in her hands. But she didn’t cry. Lily sat like that for a while, wrapped up in her thoughts. No, it wasn’t fair, and she did still miss James terribly, it just wasn’t at the forefront of her mind all the time anymore. Was Sirius really upset about that? That she seemed to have forgotten about her husband?

Lily heard the door open and looked up. Remus was stood there, looking at her warily. He seemed to have decided that it was okay to approach her as he came over to sit beside Lily.

“He’s gone up to his room. At least, the door was locked and I could hear someone in there.”

Lily nodded once.

“You don’t think it’s weird,” she started tentatively, “that I don’t want to dwell on it all the time?”

“I think that was the drink talking, not Sirius. He had more than either of us. But no,” said Remus, “I don’t think that it’s weird. James wouldn’t want you to be sat here moping about it.”

“He would a bit.” Lily attempted a smile, but it didn’t feel right. Remus’ lips twitched. Lily took a deep breath, realising as she did so that her eyelids were drooping and she was exhausted. “I’m going to go to bed. Don’t want to have to be up early with Harry with only a few hours sleep.”

She stood up, and nearly fell back down on the sofa. Remus caught her and helped Lily right herself.

“I’ll help you up there.”

“No, I’m fine. You don’t have to take me up.”

“I might as well go up now, anyway. No point in staying down here on my own.”

Despite Lily’s assurances that she didn’t need help getting up the stairs, she really did feel unsteady on her feet and allowed Remus to put an arm around her as they made their way up. They didn’t speak on their way to the second floor, for fear that they would wake up the portrait of Sirius’ mum.

Remus took Lily right to the door of the bedroom she had chosen because it was on the same floor as Harry’s. He let go of her but Lily put her arms back around him, hugging him.

“I’m sorry,” Remus said.

“What for?”

“Ruining the evening.”

Lily shook her head. “It wasn’t your fault. ‘Night.”

“ ‘Night.”
___________________________________________

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