An Alternate Chain of Events

Chapter 13 - The End of the Year

Chapter Thirteen- The End of the Year

Sirius and Emilia had stayed at James and Lily's house the night Harry saved the Philosopher's Stone. Sirius fell asleep on the couch after he had read Dumbledore's letter and Emilia had covered him with a blanket. She couldn't sleep; she didn't know what to tell her husband. He thought that she'd gone to her mothers, so she couldn't go home. What was she going to tell him?

Emilia watched dawn come in, still deep in thought. Sirius stirred, it took him a few moments to work out where he was, but slowly everything came back to him, Harry's rescue mission and Emilia.

"Morning."

"Hi." Sirius croaked. "Have you been up all night?" He sat up and rubbed his eyes.

Emilia nodded. She was sat in the armchair hugging her knees.

"Em," Sirius said gently. "You don't have to tell your husband anything about last night, if you want we can pretend that it never happened."

"Is that what you want?" She shot back.

Sirius smiled wryly. "No. But I'm not married."

"I have to tell him." Emilia replied. "I don't want to be his wife anymore. I can stay at my mum's until I've sorted something out."

"Stay with me." The words left Sirius's mouth before he realised he was saying them.

"That's generous of you but I couldn't impose."

"Trust me, it's not charity." Sirius was looking at her like he did all those years ago.

"Can we really pick up where we left off?" Emilia said dubiously. "It's been so long."

"I'd like to try, if you would."

She was quiet for a moment, absorbing her situation. "I'd really like that." She was so deliriously happy that she could have cried. "I'd love that actually."

Lily and James returned home the evening that Harry had woken up. It felt like they'd been away a lot longer than three days.

"Back to reality tomorrow," sighed Lily. Hogwarts had been such a beautiful break from their lives, and in other ways it had shattered the protective armour between themselves and Voldemort.

"We should go on a proper holiday this year," James suggested. "It's been so great to get away for a few days that I think a week or two abroad would do us all so much good."

"That sounds ideal." Lily yawned. "I don't want to go back to work."

"We could always skive tomorrow?"

"We've already been away three days!"

"Who would know we weren't still at Hogwarts?"

"Dumbledore."

"He can't get us into trouble anymore."

"Want to bet?" Lily smiled at James's disappointed face. "We're adults now, remember?"

"Being a teenager there was just so much more fun."

"I think there are certain perks to being an adult though." She borrowed his most wicked smile and kissed him. "We should probably make the most of the house while we have it to ourselves."

"She's moved in with you?" James shouted incredulously. "Are you mad?"

"Thanks for shouting my personal life round the office, Prongs. You're as discrete as a rampaging hippogriff!"

"Sirius, this is ridiculous!"

"Why?" Sirius replied defiantly.

"You split up seven years ago," James ticked off the point on his hand, "and oh yeah she's married!"

"They're separating." Sirius retorted.

"And what did she tell him?"

"That she didn't want to be in the marriage anymore."

"Are you going to propose?"

"NO!" Sirius shook his head. "James, mate, calm down. We're just seeing where things go."

"But she's moved in with you?"

"It's temporary." Sirius assured him. "Until she sorts something out."

"Are you honestly going to tell me your sleeping in separate bedrooms?"

"Of course not."

"That's what lodgers do Sirius, they sleep in the other room." James looked at him in horror. "You'll end up permanently together, or you'll have another bad break up."

Sirius was slowly getting very angry. "James. This is none of your business! You had such a go at Lily for interfering so stop being such a bloody hypocrite." Sirius hissed. "It's my life to mess up."

James shrank back into his cubicle. "Sorry mate." He said meekly. "I'm just concerned."

"You don't need to be." Sirius sighed. "Promise me you'll try with her though, the way I did with Lily in the beginning."

"I will." James nodded. James instincts were telling him that this was a terrible idea. Sirius and Lily were remembering his relationship with Emilia through rose-tinted glasses, but James had never thought that they made a good couple. They consumed each other, it was toxic and dangerous. They brought out the very worst as well as the very best of each other.

"Look I've got to get on," Sirius said. "But let's drop this now, yeah?"

James nodded and Sirius left for another floor. James couldn't concentrate on his work at all. He passed an hour reading the same paragraph seven times and not taking a word of it. Finally at four O'clock, Kingsley came into the office.

James jumped up, he'd been waiting for Kingsley all day.

"You're back from your holiday then?" Kingsley asked him.

"It wasn't exactly a holiday," replied James. He looked over his shoulder, the office was too busy to tell him anything. "Can I –er- have a word, in private?"

Kingsley looked surprised but followed James into the empty conference room. James told Kingsley everything about Harry's escapades. Although Kingsley wasn't James's superior exactly, he was the most experienced Auror in the office, and someone whom you could not help but trust. James would not have trusted Scrimgeour with this information whatsoever.

Kingsley didn't say anything immediately. "So you-know-who was behind Gringotts." He shook his head. "Harry's a lucky boy. He's escaped him twice now." Kingsely took James's face in, there was nothing more important to him than Harry. "I'll keep my ears out for any funny rumours, and you'll be the first to know."

"Thanks Kingsley." James then added, "but you could you keep this quiet?"

"Scrimgeour has no need to know." He agreed. "But it's good that the office is in the loop. Dumbledore's always said he'd return one day. Take care, James, maybe you should take a holiday." Kingsley clapped him on the back as he left the conference room, leaving James alone with his fears.

"Promise that you'll write. Both of you." Hermione said as they disembarked from the Hogwarts Express.

"Course." Harry assured her.

"You'll both have to come and stay at mine." Ron added. "I'll send you both an owl in a week or so."

"And you two will have to come to mine for my birthday, oh come on Hermione." Harry looked bemused. "My parents aren't angry at you, you don't need to be nervous." But she still loitered in the background when they saw Lily and James on the platform, standing with Mr and Mrs Weasley.

"Busy year dears?" Mrs Weasley asked smiling, but from the pleasant look she was giving them Harry guessed she didn't know what they'd actually gotten up to.

"Not too eventful." Ron replied cautiously, while Mrs Weasley started fussing over the twins. His father tipped him an enormous wink, Ron breathed in relief.

"See you soon!" Harry waved madly at his friends as his parents led him out of the barrier. "I can't believe I have to wait the whole summer to go back."

"Charming!"

"Come on, mum, you understand."

"Course she does." James smiled. "But you'll have to let me watch a match next term."

"We'll see." Harry replied nervously.

"Can we at least have a quiet summer?" Lily suggested as they got to their car.

"We'll see." Harry grinned.

In the pouring rain and despairing cold of Azkaban, a mousy haired woman made her way past the cells full of screaming occupants until she came to the most heavily guarded prisoner in the place. Her chimpanzee patronus did not protect her from her fear of the Dementors.

The cell upon first sight appeared empty, there was only a rat curled up in the corner. It did not surprise the woman when the rat transformed into a small, dirty, watery-eyed man.

"Hello, Peter."

"How very nice of you to visit, Emilia."

That's all for volume one, but volume two is coming very soon! It will be added on the end of this rather than as a separate story. More about other characters and their side stories and memories! Hope you have enjoyed this! Please keep reading and reviewing! I'm very very grateful to you all!

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