Above and Beyond

Beyond the Battle (2)

LILY

As we walked back to Sirius’s place, we explained to Remus all about Above.

As we talked, I struggled to wrap my head around the fact that Remus was here. I had missed him, and it has been so long since I have seen him. He was the only Marauder that I had been friends with since the start of Hogwarts, because he was the quieter, caring one, that didn’t do as many pranks and was always concentrating in class. I know for sure that James and Sirius are overjoyed to have their fellow Marauder back because I didn’t think that they had looked so happy for years.

We eventually made the long walk back to Sirius’s house and sat down once again around the table. Sirius, James and Remus couldn’t seem to wipe the grins off their faces, and I had to smile with them.

“So…what were we saying before we were rudely interrupted by Moony here?” Sirius said.

Remus rolled his eyes, “Sorry for my inappropriate timing, Padfoot. Remind me to schedule my death for a more convenient time for you next time.”

Sirius grinned, “Sure will. Thanks Remmy ol’ pal.”

Remus sighed and moved his arm towards Sirius, but James said, “Ooh! Please Moony, let me have the honour! I haven’t done it for a while.”

When Remus laughed and said, “Be my guest.” James smiled and leaned over to hit Sirius over the head. I couldn’t help but laugh with Remus and Nikki as Sirius pouted and rubbed his head. The amount of times I had seen that in seventh year…

“ANYWAY!” Fred said loudly, to get everyone’s attention, “We were talking about the battle, before the next victim arrived.”

“That’s right!” James said, “We were talking about how Ginny had just arrived to fight. You were there, weren’t you Moony? What happened after that?”

He frowned, thinking it over, “Um, well Harry went with Luna to the Ravenclaw Tower to see if he could find whatever he was looking for…” I couldn’t help but nod. So Harry knew that the next Horcrux was Ravenclaw’s. I wondered if he had found the rest of them. “Then when he came back, he announced that we were fighting, and we all went into the Great Hall to get organised. Then we fought.”

“Was the battle and everything going…well?” I asked tentatively, “I mean, did we seem to be winning?”

“I don’t really know, Lily.” Remus sighed, “It was so hard to tell. It was dark, and there were flashes of light everywhere, spells being fired off at random. People were dropping, but I couldn’t tell if they were our guys or not.”

Sirius, Nikki, James and I nodded, understanding. We had been in similar fights ourselves before. But none to this standard.

“Not to mention the fact that there were giants stomping around the school, trying to tread on people and ripping apart the castle.” Fred put in.

“Did you ever find out if—” Sirius started to say, but there was another beep. We all froze. I couldn’t believe there was someone else we knew who was gone, so soon after Remus. I just hoped it was someone we didn’t really care about too much. No one moved. I sighed, “Alright, I’ll get it then.” I stood up and went into the living room.

I looked up and stopped dead at the name on the screen. My heart sank. But not for myself this time, for Remus. I couldn’t believe I had to break the news to him. At least now they are together…

I sighed again, feeling like I was bearing the worst news, and slowly walked back to everyone. It was quiet, and I could feel all their eyes on me. I looked up slowly at Remus, and he paled at the sight of my face. “Remus…I’m so sorry.” I said.

He stood rather shakily, and walked past me into the living room, to look at the screen that held the name, which is likely to break his heart. I was right.

“NO!” came the scream from him. It hurt me to hear such a broken sound come from my friend’s lips. He sprinted out of the room, looking heartbroken and ghostly pale, and ran straight out the front door. We all immediately followed behind him. Sirius ran up alongside me, “Who is it?” he huffed.

I just looked at him, “Who do you think it is? Can’t you think of one person that Remus would be heartbroken to lose?”

“No,” he replied almost immediately, frowning, “all I can think about are his friends, and we are here. Then there’s Tonks…oh.” He stopped running suddenly, and looked at me sadly. “Dora?”

I nodded. His eyes filled with tears at the thought of his cousin, and he started sprinting again with new found energy. He had always been a fast runner, and I was struggling to keep up. When we reached to the top of the hill, I could see a young woman standing there. Her hair seemed to be a mousy brown, and her shoulders were hunched. Remus was standing about 10 metres away, watching her, pain etched on his face. Sirius walked up to him quietly, and he murmured something in Remus’s ear. When Remus nodded, Sirius gave him a light push forward and Remus walked slowly towards Tonks, who had still not looked up.

“Dora.” Remus said quietly. Her head snapped up and she turned toward him. She gave a small, strangled cry at the sight of him, and propelled herself into his arms. He held her tight as she sobbed into his shoulder, new tears falling down his face.

I felt James come up and stand beside me, and take my hand, giving it a squeeze. I smiled up at him, through my slightly blurry eyes, and leaned into him. We both knew how Remus and Tonks were feeling right now, and they needed to lean on each other.

“Remus…Remus,” she was muttered between sobs, “I-I’m so s-sorry. I couldn’t stay b-back and wait for you. I’m so sorry.”

“Shh, its okay Dora, it’s alright.” He murmured, stroking her hair, which had now turned platinum blonde, I noticed with interest. “I’m not mad, but why didn’t you stay? I at least wanted Teddy to have one parent.”

“I know. But how do you think I felt, sitting at home, not knowing if you would ever c-come home…I had to know, I had to fight.” She broke down again. “I can’t believe you’re here.”

“I know, but it’s alright.” Remus repeated.

“I love you.” She muttered quietly, and he looked down at her, smiling slightly and gave her a gentle kiss.

“I love you too, Dora, and at least now we are together. I wouldn’t have come home anyway. And it’s not like Teddy will be alone. He will have your mum, and Harry, and Hermione, and all the Weasleys…well, not all the Weasleys…”

She lifted her head to look at him with her tear-streaked face, “What do you mean?”

Remus pointed towards us, to Fred who was stepping forward. She followed his gaze and when she saw Fred she ran to him and embraced him, new tears flowing. “Hi Tonks.” He said quietly.

“Oh no…Fred. I can’t believe…not you too…” she sobbed.

“I know. But I died for the same reason you did. For Harry and for the down fall of Voldemort. At least we died with dignity and fast, not like dying slowly like suffocating from many sprouted limbs or something.”

She gave a shaky laugh and wiped her eyes as Remus came up behind her, “You might not want to bother wiping your eyes, Dora,” he said, “someone else is here to see you.”

Sirius grinned and grabbed her from behind. She shrieked, but when she saw who it was, she gasped and yelled, “Sirius!” turning and wrapping her arms around his neck. “It’s so good to see you.” She muttered.

“You too, Dora.” He said, “And may I say that I couldn’t imagine you leaving earth in any other way, then in a duel with Death Eaters. It’s destiny for a feisty Auror like you.”

She laughed and said, “I guess so. And really, who better to kill me then our own damned cousin?”

“Bellatrix?” Sirius hissed.

“You’re good.”

“I’m so sorry, Dora. I know what it is like to die at the hands of a hated cousin, in fact, that very same one.” He said, hugging her again.

“Thanks Sirius, but it’s alright. She loved it though, I bet. She always wanted to get me in the end. But I’m okay.” She took a deep breath, as Remus came up beside her and took her hand. “I’m more then okay.” She amended as she smiled up at him. Her hair turned bubblegum pink.

Sirius laughed, “I know the feeling. And you look much better when you have your normal hair back.”

She grinned at him, “Thanks, Sirius.”

“Padfoot, don’t you have someone to introduce to your cousin? I’m sure Dora would love to meet her.” Remus asked, pointedly looking at Nikki, who was standing tentatively behind James and me, pointedly.

“Oh! Right.” Sirius cleared his throat, pulling Nikki forward by the hand, “Nymphadora, this is my girlfriend Nikki, Nik this is my cousin Tonks.”

“It’s really nice to meet you.” Nikki said.

“Likewise.” Tonks agreed, “Sirius used to talk about you all the time when he was at school.”

Nikki raised her eyebrows and looked at Sirius curiously, “He did, did he?”

“Oh sure. It’s one of my fondest childhood memories; Sirius coming over and blabbing on about his gorgeous girlfriend.” They laughed together looking at the embarrassed look on Sirius’s face and I could tell that those two wouldn’t have any trouble getting along.

“Dora,” Remus said, “There are two other very special people who I would really like you to meet. I know you have always wanted to meet them, and they really want to meet you.”

She looked at him questioningly, but let him lead her over to James and me. When she looked up and saw us, her eyes widened, and she smiled. “Dora, this is Lily and James Potter. Guys, this is my wife, Nymphadora Tonks.”

“You’re married?!” Sirius yelled, before James or I got the chance to speak.

Remus laughed, “Yes, Padfoot, we’re married.”

“Well, my belated congratulations.” Sirius said, smiling, “Moony, you scoundrel, you never mentioned that you are married.” He looked up at James, “Jamesie, can you believe it? Our Remmy is all grown up, married and all…” he sniffed dramatically, and wiped away a fake tear. Tonks giggled, and Remus gave a small chuckle, rolling his eyes. “I told you they would get together in the end.”

James grinned, “Moony, I am quite offended that you neglected to tell us this incredibly important news sooner. We could have thrown you a bachelor party, seeing as we Marauders are famed for our parties.”

I laughed, “Really? I always thought it was the pranks on the Slytherins and the huge egos.”

“Not to mention stunning good looks!” Sirius threw in.

“Ah, yes. How could I forget the looks and charm?” I said sarcastically.

“Well, okay.” James admitted, “The Marauders are famous for their cunning and genius pranks, their well-sized egos”—he threw a pointed look at me—“for their dashing good looks, gentlemanly charm, AND for their fantastic parties.” He frowned, looking at Remus, “is that it?”

“Pranks, egos, looks, charm, parties.” Remus repeated, counting them off on each finger, “Yep, that’s it.”

“My work here is done.” James smirked, “Now, Moony, about that bachelor party…”

I saw Nikki sigh and roll her eyes, “James, a bachelor party is for before the wedding. Not months after, especially if they are happily married.”

“With a son.” Tonks added.

What?!” Sirius yelled, stunned, “A kid? You have a son?”

“Yes, Sirius, Teddy is about three months old now.” Remus said in the same patient tone he had used on Sirius all through Hogwarts. “We named him after Dora’s father.”

“Aw, how cute!” I gushed, “Who does he look like?”

“I think he looks just like his daddy.” Tonks said

“But, he’s got your hair,” Remus added, “and your nose.”

“He sounds gorgeous.” I sighed.

“Congratulations.” James added.

“Thanks you guys.” Remus grinned. “Maybe we should head back now? We don’t want to stand here all night.”

We all agreed, and started to head back, before James stopped and turned to Tonks. “Sorry, we never got properly introduced. James Potter.” He extended his had with a smile.

Tonks laughed, and shook his hand, “Nymphadora Tonks. Actually, that’s not right. It’s now Nymphadora Lupin, but I hate my full name so you are welcome to call me Dora or Tonks, even though that doesn’t work anymore.”

“I’m Lily.” I said, “It is wonderful to meet you. Especially since you have won our very own Mr Lupin’s heart. We were very happy to hear that.”

She grinned happily, “Thank you. It is so amazing to finally meet you both. You should be so proud of Harry. He has grown into a great man, I really do care for him and I have a lot of faith in him.”

I smiled warmly at her. “Thank you very much. We have faith in him too.”

“And we are so proud, you can’t imagine.” James said.

“Well I now know how you too must have felt at first, having your young son down on earth, when you are up here. It is heartbreaking. I will never see Teddy grow up or go to Hogwarts…” her eyes started to fill.

“It’s alright.” I said, “You are still with them, in your heart. And there are different ways to find out his progress and everything, we can explain all that later. And Teddy will have your mother, and Harry and the Weasleys and they will all take care of him.”

“You’re right, I guess.” She smiled, “Thanks, I just can’t help but worry.”

“I know exactly what you mean, but you will see him again someday.” I said.

She opened her mouth to say something else, but then there came a yell, “DORA!”

“DADDY!” she shouted, running and hugging the man that was running towards us. They stood there, having a quiet reunion for several minutes, as we all hovered, not wanting to intrude on their private talk. Eventually, both teary-eyed, they walked over to us.

“Remus, my good man.” Ted Tonks said, extending a hand to Remus, “Good to see you are taking care of my girl, wherever you are.”

Remus smiled dryly, “Of course Ted, I just didn’t take good enough care of her to still be on earth with her.”

“Don’t worry, as long as you are happy, it doesn’t matter where you are.” Ted said.

“Thanks, Ted.” Remus said.

“I was out for dinner, that’s why I only just realised that you were here.” Ted continued, “I came home, and you were both on the screen and I came as quick as I could. I wanted to ask you both something, if you could come back to my place. You can come too, Fred, you might know. It won’t take too long.”

“Of course, Dad.” Tonks said at the same time as Fred nodded. She looked at Remus, who turned to us.

“See you guys soon?” he said.

“Sure.” Nikki said, “Hurry back, dears!”

They laughed and headed off. “So, back to your place then?” Sirius said, turning to me and James, “I’m scared if we go to mine, someone else will pop up and we will come running out again.”

We laughed, “Alright Siri,” I said, “But no jumping on our bed.”

“Awww, Lilyflower!”

………………………………………………….

We had all just settled at the kitchen table, but of course, there was a sharp beep!

“Oh no…” we all groaned together.

“I’ll go.” James volunteered. He stood up and went into the living room. A few seconds later there came a “huh.”

“Who is it, James?” I yelled into the room. I really couldn’t be bothered to get up.

“It’s Snape!” he called back. “Murdered! Serves him right, bloody Death Eater.”

Sirius nodded, but I was secretly glad that they weren’t cheering or something. They had never liked Snape, but obviously they were good enough guys to not be happy that some one has died. Unless it’s Voldemort of course.

James walked back into the room and sat down again. I found that I did feel slightly sad that Snape was dead. He had been my best friend up until fifth year, and after that I grew to dislike him more and more. But he had been a good friend to me, and I never forgot that. “Just because he was a Death Eater, James, doesn’t mean that he can be treated like a monster.” I said.

They both just stared at me blankly. “Lily, DEATH EATER.” Sirius said, “He is a killer, and a follower of a killer, so really, he is a monster.”

James nodded, “A really slimey monster.” He added, and he and Sirius shared a smirk, obviously reliving all their past pranks on the poor boy.

Nikki and I looked at each other significantly and gave up.

There was silence. Which dragged on for several minutes.

“Soooo…..”

“Soooo…”

“Soooo…”

They all looked at me. I sighed, “Soooo…” They grinned. I sighed again. Sometimes they can be so immature.

Silence.

“What do you think is happening now?” I couldn’t help but ask.

“I don’t know Lils,” James frowned, “hopefully, it’s almost over. I don’t think I can stand waiting any longer.”

“Me either! I’m bored!” Sirius moaned. As if in response to his complaint, there was a knock on the door. We all frowned at each other. That was out of the ordinary, at least for tonight. Who would be at the door? We weren’t aware of having any visitors and Remus, Tonks and Fred only left with Ted Tonks about 5 minutes ago. They wouldn’t be back so soon. None of us moved.

Knock knock.

Both of the men look at me expectantly, I looked at Nikki for help, but she just grinned and indicated with her head that I should answer it. I rolled my eyes again and stood up, then started to walk slowly toward the door.

KNOCK, KNOCK.

Okay, okay, don’t get your wand in a knot, I thought, as I pulled open the door, and froze. The visitor looked up at me from between his curtains of black hair. He stared at me, tears filling his black eyes and a little bit of colour rose in is pasty cheeks. Not only had I frozen from the sight of him because he was the last person I have expected to turn up on my doorstep in Above, just the sight of his eyes full of tears was new to me.

Even after 7 years at school with him, I never have seen him cry. But as I watched the tears overflow, I still couldn’t find my voice. I heard footsteps come up behind me, and I then I heard Nikki gasp.

“Lily…”

Only when I heard him say my name, did it snap me out of my shock.

“What are you doing here, Snape?”


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