Bend, Not Break
More gen (!)
PG, 700 words
Summary: The peace of this break is suddenly shattered when Death Eaters attack London.
Remus wakes up slowly, sunlight drifting lazily in through a crack in the cheap curtains Lily got from her mother. Sirius is still asleep, sprawled luxuriously across most of the bed, such that Remus’ legs are forced in the wall. Sirius’ hand unconsciously brushes against Remus’ cheek, making him smile.
He idly wonders what the time is, then decides it doesn’t really matter. The debate is whether to get up and make tea, or steal a while longer here.
Downstairs, he can hear the radio softly, but there’s no other sign of movement.
He drifts in and out of dreams for a while, but then suddenly there are voices, urgent voices. Scraped chairs and hurried footsteps and now Remus is wide awake and shaking Sirius, who groans then opens his eyes and instantly jumps up.
Both of them are almost dressed with wands in their hands by the time James bursts into the room. He’s pale, but his eyes are burning.
‘Don’t need your wands,’ he says shortly. ‘There’s been an attack in London.’
They race downstairs, beginning to hear a very muddled newsreader.
‘We have nothing further to report at this time,’ she announces.
They enter the living room to see a flurry of owls tapping at the window. James lets them in, and all three of them start grabbing the notes and reel off names.
‘All the Weasleys are okay,’ says James, hastily scribbling a note on the back of the message and thrusting it to Errol, who takes off with more urgency than usual.
‘Andromeda’s fine,’ announces Sirius with a sigh. ‘Dora won’t stop crying, apparently.’
Remus flicks through his stack. ‘Marlene… Emmeline… anyone heard from the Prewetts?’
They all shake their heads, just as Lily and Peter come downstairs – Peter is trembling.
Remus looks up at a gentle tapping.
‘Dumbledore!’ He runs to the window and lets in a silvery phoenix. As soon as it is inside, Dumbledore’s voice floats out.
‘James, Lily, Peter, Sirius, Remus. I trust you are all together. At ten past nine this morning, there was an explosion in the heart of London, very close to where some Order members were doing vital work. They were unharmed, but over twenty Muggles were caught in the blast. The Muggle government is blaming it on a terrorist organisation known as the IRA. Naturally, we believe this to be the work of Death Eaters. Any Order member you haven’t already from is undoubtedly at the scene, trying to piece together what really happened. There is nothing you can do,’ – said just as Sirius had started to move – ‘we’ll let you know when we have more information.’
There is a pause as they digest the information, then the phoenix disappears.
Lily closes her eyes. ‘None of us. None of us.’
Peter suddenly sits down as though his legs have given out altogether.
Both James and Sirius are radiating fierce heat now, and Remus shivers in a strange, oxymoronic reaction to it.
As for Remus himself, he can’t react; he doesn’t react. These events, these horrors, must be wrapped up and stored away somewhere and only looked at from a distance. Remus can’t get angry, or upset, or worried because that’s not what he does, and that’s an end to it.
He switches the radio off – the report seems to be claiming the explosion was a Muggle accident – and takes a deep breath.
And suddenly, Sirius laughs, and the tension in the room begins to ebb away.
‘Good man, Moony.’
Remus nods and smiles, and wanders off into the kitchen humming ‘Rule Britannia’.
By the time he returns, James is speculating that Voldemort’s just hacked off England knocked Albania – official home of all evil according to Potter lore - out of the Quidditch World Cup and Lily is busy sorting out the blinds, letting the sunlight stream in.
They drink the tea, made slightly milkier than usual, send a note to Dumbledore asking him to let them know if there’s anything they can do.
‘So, what now?’ asks Sirius.
‘Don’t know – maybe we should stay in today,’ James says.
‘Nonsense, Potter!’ answers Lily briskly. ‘I’ll be damned if we get one day of this break ruined by Voldemort and his cronies!’
Remus swells up with pride. ‘How about the beach? Nothing like a good bit of sunshine.’
‘Alright then,’ concedes James, ‘beach it is!’
It is only then that Remus notices Peter hasn’t said a word.