The Red Moon
James was walking past his father's study when he noticed the door stood a jar. "James – is that you?" Charlus called from inside.
James made his way into the study, "yeah it's just me dad."
"Ah, good. I wanted to catch you at some point," Charlus was sat behind his desk, his arms folded on the desk, "I need to talk to you about what happened in Hogsmeade."
"Dad – please don't force me to have an auror follow me around again," James whined slightly.
"No son that wasn't what I wanted to say. I want to know what Bellatrix Lestrange said to you. We believe that the attack was merely a diversion."
"She didn't say much," James thought out loud. "She just wanted to kill me."
"She didn't say anything at all?" Charlus asked, "Think James. There must be something!"
"Well she did say that we could always join them," James suddenly thought, "but as soon as we refused she was back to being a murderous bitch."
"James – you will not use words like that," Charlus scowled at his son. "Even if it is true."
"You think that's why they were there? To get me to join them?"
"I don't know," Charlus sighed.
"Tell me what you think father," James sat opposite the older version of himself.
"I think Voldemort sent her to kill you – you're still on their hit list after all – but I think she thought that if you joined, Sirius would too. Bellatrix isn't particularly sentimental but she knows that her family would prefer that she and Sirius weren't constantly duelling. So there are two options: 1 – she kills him or 2 – he joins her."
"She wants Sirius to join them?" James asked in surprise.
Charlus nodded, "I think so. I think that's why they've invited us to the wedding as well. If we go, Sirius will go… I heard a rumour that the whole situation is really upsetting Orion. He feels stuck between his wife and his son. Well Bellatrix is particularly fond of her Uncle Orion and Aunty Walburga."
"Do you think Voldemort will attend the wedding?" James suddenly asked.
"I doubt it but I'm certain Bellatrix has asked him to," Charlus laughed. "He wouldn't risk being in the open like that."
James nodded seriously, "dad can I ask a favour?"
"Of course you can son," Charlus smiled.
"I think Sirius has lied to his parents about where he is for the holiday. They think he's here. Can we go along with it? He's with his cousin Andromeda."
"I don't see why not," Charlus winked.
The day of the wedding quickly approached. Sirius arrived at the Potters' manor in the mid-afternoon. "Hello Mr Sirius," Milly welcomed him. "Come in!"
"Where's James?" Sirius asked.
"The family are outside in the garden sir," Milly answered.
Sirius made his way out to the back garden. James was sat with a book in his lap by the pond. Mr and Mrs Potter were sat near him, holding hands. When Mrs Potter spotted him, she jumped to her feet, "Sirius! Welcome dear," she kissed his cheek, "how did you get here?"
"Knights bus," Sirius answered.
"You should have said and I'd have come fetch you by apparation," Mr Potter sighed, shaking the thirteen year old boy's hand.
"I didn't want to cause a fuss," Sirius laughed.
"You could never do that dear," Dorea smiled, "are you hungry?"
"No thanks Mrs Potter," Sirius smiled. "I ate before I left."
"How is your cousin?" James asked.
"I think she's going to pop any day now," Sirius laughed, "she's huge!"
James laughed as Sirius began to demonstrate how his normally skinny cousin was now waddling instead of walking. Mrs Potter looked serious but there was evidence that she wanted to laugh in her eyes.
"Mum, why can't I just stay with Molly?" Alice complained as her mother pushed her towards the fire.
"You know why Alice," Mrs Prewett frowned. "See you on Christmas day Molly. I can't believe I agreed to have everyone round this year – the whole family."
"Will the Potters be coming on Christmas day mum?" Alice asked.
"Sadly no – they are having a small family dinner – just the three of them and the Jacksons of course. You know Nancy Jackson don't you Molly?"
"Yes I do. She lives just up the road." Molly nodded. "Very nice girl. Slightly eccentric but very sweet."
"Yes well the Potters practically adopted her and her siblings last year," Lucretia told them, "very good really. Especially after everything; her parents dying in that horrible incident."
"Chop chop Alice – say goodbye," Lucretia told her daughter.
"See you later Molly. Bye Charlie…"
"Alice – don't call him Charlie," Molly chasticed.
"Bye Bill," Alice continued.
"I give up," Molly sighed, "next time I'm choosing a name you can't shorten."
Alice laughed as she jumped into the fire, "The Prewett's Residence."
No one expected Bellatrix Black to have a normal wedding and they weren't disappointed. The wedding took place at 3am in the middle of the Lestrange's grounds. Their family home was only slightly smaller than that of the Potters'. There was barely any lighting and everything had a dark, creepy feeling to it. James had decided to wear dark navy dressrobes. Sirius wore plain black whilst Charlus wore a dark purple set. Dorea had decided on a purple sleeveless dressrobe that matched her husband's dark purple set. They sat quietly several rows from the back on the bride's side. Sirius could see his parents talking animatedly with several guests. His father smiled briefly at him before continuing his previous conversation. His mother, however, completely ignored him, choosing to pretend that Sirius wasn't there.
There was a spell cast upon the sky above that caused the moon and the stars to shine red as if they were tinged by blood. Rodolphus stood at the front with his brother – and best man – Rabastan. They were wearing matching burgundy dressrobes. James looked around, trying to work out how many of the guests were death eaters.
"Most of them son," Charlus whispered in his ear.
Dorea smiled, "There's your Uncle Pollux," Dorea began to tell James, "my brother."
The man that Dorea was pointing at looked terribly miserable. He had a scowl upon his face and his eyes looked angry. "He looks perfectly evil!" James remarked.
Dorea smiled, "he's looking old. He must be sixty now you know." Dorea dropped her voice slightly, "I wonder where Cassiopeia is. It would make this so much more bearable if she were here."
Dorea frowned sadly as she looked around for her sister. "Who else can I show you? Most of the people I like in this family are either dead or not allowed to attend." She scanned the large space. "There's Callidora – Cedrella Weasley's sister."
A lady in the distance, smiled happily. "She doesn't look evil," James commented as he watched the older lady. The fifty eight year old woman had friendly eyes. She looked like she smiled regularly and she wore pretty yet simple green dressrobes. She made her way over to them, "Dori!" She practically screamed. "It's been too long. This must be James! Nice to meet you," she said to the young boy. She looked remarkably like Dorea, except her hair was less dark and her eyes were a deep blue.
"How are you Calli?" Dorea asked.
"Very well. Thank you," Callidora replied, "I can't say I'm a fan of these Black things but I promised mother I would come. Ever since Father died, she's been driving me mental. I'm fifty-eight for crying out loud, you'd think she'd croak already," Callidora laughed gently.
"As if Lysandra Yaxley would ever die to convenience someone else," Dorea laughed.
"Indeed," Callidora laughed.
Her husband frowned, "now now dear!"
"Harfang, you know I don't mean it," Callidora smiled. "I just wish one of my sisters were with me. Did you hear about Charis, Dorea?"
"No dear, what happened?" Dorea asked her cousin.
"She died," Callidora said dramatically, "it was an accident apparently. Wand backfired."
"Oh dear, what an absolute shame," Dorea sighed. "She was only fifty four wasn't she?"
Callidora nodded, "and of course Cedrella isn't welcome at these things because she married a Weasley. At least I was sensible – married a Longbottom. Respectable enough that the family will not disown me but still disagrees with the fundamentals."
Dorea nodded knowingly. For many Black women marriage was the only way to escape the expectations of the family. If they married a respectable pure-blood then they would be let off the hook. The men were not so lucky. They had a duty to maintain the family's principles and values. The Prewetts arrived and joined the Potters' row. Lucretia smiled at Dorea, "isn't this just dandy?"
"Indeed," Dorea replied sarcastically. She turned back to James, "that's Alphard; my favourite nephew."
"That's funny," Sirius commented. "He's my favourite Uncle."
The man was slightly eccentric looking. He waved towards them before continuing a previous conversation. He wore bright cobalt blue robes and Sirius could see his mother shaking her head at him in exasperation. They were siblings but had never really gotten along. Regulus was stood talking to Lucius Malfoy. "There she is!" Dorea suddenly brightened. "That's my sister." An older woman was walking towards them. She was wearing simple black dressrobes. She didn't stop to talk but she did wink at her sister. She smiled widely before taking a seat towards the front.
"She goes along with everything the family believes but she's really lovely," Dorea told them. "Very kind. Although I wouldn't want to get on her bad side."
James laughed. "You know Cygnus and Druella – Bellatrix's parents." She pointed towards a set of particularly sullen looking people. They were younger than many of the other Blacks but they were haggard with something James thought might be resentfulness. Neither one looked particularly happy that their eldest daughter was getting married.
"Pollux and Irma are Sirius' grandparents of course," Dorea continued. "His other grandparents are over there… Arcturus and Melania."
The music suddenly changed and everyone stood to see the bride enter. First came Narcissa Black in a burgundy dress carrying deep blood red roses. She had an expression on her face that made her look like she really didn't want to be there. Following her was Mr Cygnus Black and his daughter Bellatrix Black. They both wore jet black. Bellatrix had never desired to have a normal wedding.