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Old October 14th, 2010, 7:13 pm
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gelowo93  Female.gif gelowo93 is offline
Fourth Year
Join Date: 15th February 2010
Location: England
Age: 27
Posts: 660
Re: Learning to Live Again

Well, here's the next chapter. I don't really like this one but I figured I'd have to get it wrote someday. Thanks to everyone who has reviewed so far, hope you enjoy this chapter.

Chapter 5

Lily didn’t know how long she had been in the basement before someone found her – she didn’t even know who it had been who had tried to comfort her, but then gave up and gently led her upstairs to the empty bedroom so she could have some peace and quiet. Over the next few weeks, she was like an empty shell going through the motions of everyday life without really living them, only speaking when spoken to and spending her days wrapped up in her pain and thoughts of the past.

“Lily. Lily. Lily.”

Lily looked up from the bowl of cereal she had been contemplating. She was sat at the small table in the kitchen with Sirius, who was watching her and attempting to feed Harry at the same time, and a newspaper that appeared to have grown a body, which she guessed was hiding Remus from view.


Sirius rolled his eyes. “Jeez, I never thought I’d have to ask a girl five times to come shopping before she heard me. Me and Remus are going Christmas shopping this morning and we need your help, coming?”

“Why do you need my help?”

“Because we’re guys; we can’t shop to save our lives. And even if you didn’t want to help us choose presents you could at least help us carry all the bags.”

“Forget it, Sirius,” Remus said, emerging from behind the newspaper and folding it in half. “If she doesn’t want to come then you don’t have to force her, and you’re not exactly making it sound like fun.”

“Dumbledore said to take her with us even if it killed us.”

“I know, but –” Remus began before Lily interrupted him.

“Wait – what? Dumbledore said to take me shopping, why?”

Sirius and Remus glanced at each other, unsure what to say now.

“Well?” Lily insisted.

“Well … he just thought it would be a good idea,” Remus answered. “To get you out of the house, I mean. You’ve not done anything for over a month and we thought it would be good for you to take your mind off it.”

“My husband died, Remus, what do you want me to do – skip around the house singing show tunes?” said Lily, bluntly. She couldn’t explain her sudden anger even to herself, all she knew was that they seemed to be blaming her for something that wasn’t her fault. Lily’s remark was all it took to set off Sirius’s own anger.

“And we lost two best friends in one night! But Remus and me haven’t been sat around not doing anything and not talking to anyone for weeks! We’ve had to look after you and Harry, keep Headquarters tidy and keep on track with what’s going on in the Order. I’m not saying it’s been easy but we’ve carried on with our lives while you’ve not even tried.”

Lily stood up.

“Give me Harry.”

“Because you’ve been such a great mum for the last few weeks? No chance.”

“Sirius!” Remus quickly got up and moved in between Lily and Sirius, as she looked ready to murder him. “Let Lily have Harry – he’s her son.”

Sirius reluctantly passed Harry to Lily. As soon as she had a good grip on him, Lily stalked out of the room and up the stairs.

Frank and Alice had stopped living at Headquarters after the funeral when Dumbledore had deemed it safe for them to leave, but had advised them to live with Frank’s mother so that Neville would be safe – apparently Voldemort hadn’t decided which child to attack next. Since then, Lily had been living in the main bedroom with Harry, while Sirius and Remus slept downstairs. The block of flats that they had been living in previously had been burnt down shortly after James’ death. No doubt the Death Eaters had thought that she and Harry might have been there so they targeted it.

Once in her room, Lily sat down on the edge of the bed and settled Harry on her lap. She looked around the dark room (she hadn’t bothered to open the curtains when she had woken up) and saw that the floor was littered with clothes, Harry’s toys that they had rescued from their old house and anything else she had not cared about enough to put away.


Lily looked down at Harry’s smiling face, and in that instant she knew that Sirius was right – she had been an awful mother to Harry for the last few weeks. She should have stayed strong for him but instead she neglected him while she fell deeper and deeper into her depression. Only Harry’s genuine happiness at her renewed signs of affection from her could have made Lily realise this because she knew that he would forgive her as he was too young to understand that she had abandoned him.

“Hi Harry, are you ok?” Lily started bouncing Harry on her knee and he began to laugh. “I know I’ve not been looking after you a lot but I will from now on, I promise. I love you.”

“Wuv you,” copied Harry. Lily smiled and pulled out her wand, planning on amusing Harry by conjuring the puffs of coloured smoke that he had always been fond of. Harry tried to grab them for a few minutes until he suddenly stopped and turned to look up at Lily.

“Where dada?”

Lily sighed. She knew that he would ask eventually but had hoped that he would ask someone else. Her eyes began to water but she fought them back instead of allowing herself to succumb to them. Lily took a deep breath and replied,

“Daddy has gone away.”

This wasn’t good enough for Harry, though. He patted Lily on her arm to keep her attention.

“Where?” he asked.

“He’s gone to Heaven.” Lily closed her eyes, trying as hard as she could to not cry. This seemed to have satisfied Harry because he didn’t ask anymore questions and Lily could feel him playing with her hair. They sat like that for a few minutes before Lily heard the sound of the door opening and she opened her eyes.

Sirius was standing by the door. When he saw Lily looking at him, he walked over to the bed and sat next to her.

“I’m sorry about before,” he mumbled, not looking at her. “Moony made me come up and apologise. He said everyone deals with grief in their own way and I shouldn’t have shouted.”

Lily stayed silent for a moment before replying,“No, you were right. I shouldn’t have gone off like that and ignored everyone.” Lily looked down at Harry while she spoke, not really wanting to admit to Sirius that he was right. Instead of gloating about it like he usually did when he was right, Sirius put his arm around Lily’s shoulders.

“Are you going to come then? Shopping with Remus and me? We really do need your help, you know.”

Lily smiled faintly. “Of course you do. Go on, I’ll go with you – if Dumbledore says it’s a good idea then it probably is.” She struggled to stand up as Harry was stood up on her legs as if he was trying to climb onto her shoulders.

“I’ll get him,” Sirius said, reaching over and picking Harry up. Almost immediately, he started trying to pull Sirius’ hair out. Lily laughed, stood up and walked downstairs with Sirius.

Remus was sat in the living room, waiting for them. He looked around when they entered, a look of relief on his face.

“I didn’t hear shouting – I thought you might have killed him,” Remus grinned.

“Oh haha,” retorted Lily. She wondered slightly at the lighthearted attitude that both of them had been displaying but decided that it was probably just a façade so Harry didn’t get upset. “When are we going shopping then?”

“When Alice gets here. She has the day off and said she’d look after Harry so that he and Neville can play –”

“Lily!” interrupted Sirius. Lily turned to look at him to see that he was struggling to prevent Harry from pulling at his hair. Remus chuckled quietly but stopped at the glance Sirius shot at him. “How do you stop him from attacking me?”

“I don’t know. He always did that when we wouldn’t let him play with the cat and I had to give him to James –” A lump had risen in Lily’s throat that stopped her from speaking. There was an awkward silence where no one seemed to know what to say, before Lily swallowed hard and muttered, “Had shorter hair.”

She sat down quickly, avoiding Sirius and Remus’ gaze. Out of the corner of her eye, Lily could see Sirius watching her and she was about to ask him why he was staring at her when he knelt down to sit Harry on floor and transformed into a great black dog.

Harry clapped and pulled Sirius closer so that he could play with him. Lily and Remus watched as Sirius ran around the room, tail wagging, and Harry attempted to chase him. Sirius had rolled over onto his back and Harry was tickling him when they heard the front door open and a few seconds later Albus Dumbledore and Alice Longbottom, who was carrying Neville, had walked into the room.

They froze in the doorway and so did Sirius on the floor. Lily watched as Dumbledore registered the large black dog on the cream carpet and she winced, anticipating him to be angry. Instead, he turned to Remus and spoke calmly, looking at him over the top of his half-moon glasses,

“I didn’t realise we were allowing stray dogs into Headquarters.”

In less than a heartbeat, Sirius had transformed back into his human form and sat up. Alice gasped in shock and even Dumbledore looked surprised.

“Who are we calling ‘stray’?” Sirius asked in a mock angry voice. Remus was fighting a smile while Lily had had to clamp her mouth shut so that she didn’t laugh at the look on Sirius’ face. Dumbledore didn’t find it amusing, however. He locked gazes with Sirius, who had the decency to look ashamed of himself.

“When were you planning on saying that you were an animagus?”

“Wait, you never told him?” Lily asked before Sirius could answer. “I thought you were going to ages ago!”

Sirius looked thankful that he could delay answering Dumbledore’s question and turned to Lily.

“Well, we were going to a bit ago but I’m pretty sure that was the meeting that we found out Voldemort was after Harry, so we got distracted.”

There was a silence in which Lily fidgeted awkwardly and stared at her hands, slightly guilty for not having told Dumbledore herself. She glanced up and saw that Remus looked incredibly guilty and was also avoiding everyone else’s gaze. Dumbledore had moved to sit down in an armchair.

“Tell me the worst,” he said, still peering at Sirius over the top of his glasses. Sirius took a deep breath and launched into the story of how he, James and Peter had become animagi.

Lily zoned out – she knew why, when and how the three of them had learnt to transform themselves into animals and didn’t need to hear the story again. Plus, she didn’t want to feel the heartache everytime his name was mentioned, especially now that she was trying to stay strong and not fall back into the numbness of the past month.

To keep her mind from brooding on unhappy thoughts, Lily watched Harry as he tried to divert Sirius’ attention to him. However, this turned out to be a bad idea. Harry’s untidy black hair and thin face reminded Lily of James every time he turned his head – the only difference was her own green eyes that were copied directly onto his face.

The sofa sank slightly as Alice sat down next to Lily. She placed Neville on the floor and quietly encouraged him to go play with Harry before turning to Lily with a solemn expression on her face.

“How are you?” Alice whispered, for Sirius was still talking. “You look better today.”

Lily looked into Alice’s friendly round face and felt that it was a shame that she was apparently not interested to hear how three fifteen year-olds managed to illegally become animagi right under Dumbledore’s nose without him knowing, because she really did not want to have to talk about how she was feeling. But, Lily thought, she would probably have to have this conversation at some point so she might as well try to get it over with. Lily’s long silence appeared to have made Alice uncomfortable because she opened her mouth to apologise, but Lily started to talk before she could get the words out.

“I – I think I feel better,” whispered Lily back, uncertainly.

“Well, that’s good,” Alice encouraged. “We were worried about you, I mean, you weren’t talking to anyone or doing anything! But I’m glad you feel better.” Alice seemed to realise how her words would have sounded to Lily because she quickly added, “Not that you’re going to forget about him, but at some point you’ll start to be thankful for all the good times you had, instead of concentrating on him not being here.”

At this, Alice glanced at Harry and Neville playing on the floor. She turned back to Lily and smiled faintly. Lily smiled back, even thought she felt that it came out as more of a grimace.

Sirius had stopped telling his story, so Lily thought it safe to look away from Alice. No one seemed to have moved except Harry and Neville who were pulling silly faces at each other. There was silence for a few minutes broken only by the giggles of the two toddlers, until Dumbledore spoke.

“I think the most we can say about that is that at least nobody was hurt, although how you managed to do it without anyone finding out is beyond me. It would be a good idea if you went to the Ministry this afternoon and registered – I know you have a shopping trip organised for this morning.” Dumbledore smiled slightly and looked up at Lily. “It’s good to see you up and about a bit more.”

Lily nodded, unsure what to say back. Fortunately, Sirius got to his feet loudly, which saved her from thinking of something.

“Right, well, we really need to get going.” He looked pointedly between Lily and Remus and they quickly followed suit. They all said goodbye to Dumbledore and Alice, Lily also thanked the latter for agreeing to baby-sit Harry.

“It’s no problem, and it gives Neville someone to play with as well.”

“Okay Harry, be good for Auntie Alice.” Lily knelt down to kiss him goodbye. “Mummy will be back really soon.”

She straightened up, taking her cloak from Remus and only remembering to snatch her wand from the coffee table at the last minute, not being used to going out for the past month. Sirius ushered them into the kitchen and shut the door behind him.

“Thanks for letting me take the brunt there, Moony,” Sirius said, clearly annoyed.

“What did you want me to do? And it’s not like I forced you lot to become animagi – I had no say in it whatsoever.”

“Stop arguing, you two, you’re like an old married couple,” Lily interrupted, stopping Sirius from retaliating.

Sirius mutely grabbed a handful of floo powder from a jar on the counter and stepped into the fireplace. He said “Diagon Alley”, dropped the powder and was whisked away as if he were smoke. Remus motioned for Lily to go next, she copied Sirius and soon the warm flames had engulfed her, spinning her through the network of fireplaces.

Feedback is welcome as always.


Images taken from
Do not anger the kitty!Avengers.

Learning to Live AgainOne shots
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