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Road of Sacrifice

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This story is No. 3 in the series "Roads Travelled". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: As the war against Voldemort continues, Buffy struggles with what it means to be the Slayer, while the Order has to do its best to find light in the darkness. Can a prophecy change the tide or will its existence result in more tragedy?

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > Multiple Pairings > ActionladyvisionaryFR1530231,87639419,60730 Jun 1131 Dec 12Yes

Memories

DISCLAIMER
This story is in no way associated with, or makes any claim to, Harry Potter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or any other fandom/celebrity/anything else you may recognize. It all belongs to their respective owners. No money is being made from this story which is purely written for entertainment.

Keira Knightley as Mandy Walker.

7 January

Remus entered the Lupin cottage, two shopping bags with food in his hands. “Buffy?” He yelled out, but got no answer. Shrugging, he went to the kitchen and began to unpack the groceries, figuring she was still at work. He had just closed the door to the freezer when heavy thuds from the basement reached his ears. Frowning in suspicion, he slowly made his way downstairs, wand outstretched. Remus eyes widened as he took in the scene in front of him, while lowering his wand.

Buffy, after sending a spinning kick at the sandbag hanging from the ceiling, turned to face her boyfriend, a smile on her face. “Remus, hi! I’d hug you, but I’m sweaty.”

Slightly bemused, Remus looked around the basement which looked quite different from how it usually appeared. In one corner of the room, there was a thick mattress. In another, a vaulting horse stood, and in a third, a large chest which contained a large amount of stakes and bottles of holy water.

From the ceiling, along with the sandbag, a pair of gymnastic rings hung. Fighting staffs of different sizes had been placed against one of the walls, and above those hung Buffy’s assortment of knives, crossbows and swords. Another wall seemed to have been made into something for target practice, painted as large dartboard.

Eyebrows rising comically high, Remus looked at Buffy in obvious surprise. “You’ve been busy I see?” He said, lips twitching.

Buffy scratched her neck in slight embarrassment. “I might have gotten a bit carried away in setting things up,” she admitted. “But I needed this. Need this,” she corrected herself. “To get over what happened in Diagon Alley, I’ve decided I need to go back to basics. And that includes a training room in the basement since we don’t have a library. Sunnydale thing,” she added when she saw Remus open his mouth to - without a doubt - ask why anyone would like to work out in a library.

“Huh. Alright then. Did you conjure all of this?” Remus asked. “Quite a feat, I’d say.”

“Ah…not exactly,” Buffy threw him an embarrassed grin. “I mean, conjured stuff doesn’t last forever. I actually bought most of this.”

Remus’ eyes bulged out of his head. “BOUGHT this?” He repeated, gawking. “Buffy…where did you get the money from?”

“I robbed a bank,” Buffy deadpanned. “Kidding,” she added when she saw Remus’ expression. “You know how I’ve been saving some of my salary from my work at St. Mungo’s for a rainy day? I mean the parts we didn’t need to get by on?” At Remus’ nod she continued: “Yeah, I figured the rainy day was here.” She threw Remus’ a pleading look. “I know, it’s excessive and I guess I don’t really need it all and I can return it, but it’s making me feel better. It’s…comforting. Familiar. Slayer-ish.”

“Buffy, there’s no need to explain,” Remus said, smiling at her. “I understand. And I’m not going to let you return it. It’s your money.”

“Still…” Buffy bit her lip.

“Buffy,” Remus interrupted. “I’m not going to let you feel guilty over this. Like I said, I get it. You need this. It’s fine. I do have a question though,” he added even as Buffy’s face lit up. And wasn’t that a sight for sore eyes, he mused to himself.

“Shoot,” Buffy a said, still grinning stupidly.

“Where am I going to spend the full moon now?”

Buffy’s smile promptly slid off her face. “I guess that little detail slipped my mind,” she admitted sheepishly.

Remus chuckled. “That’s okay. As long as you’re with me and we lock all entrances to the house, things should be fine. Moony is always calm in your company.”

Buffy nodded. “True. By the way, why do you do that?” She asked.

Remus gave her a confused look. “Do what?”

“Call the wolf Moony, like he’s a different part of you. Why do you separate yourself like that?” Buffy asked, inwardly wincing as Remus’ face became a blank mask.

“I’m not the wolf, it’s that simple,” Remus said shortly. “I’ll go get started on dinner.” He hurriedly ran up the stairs, leaving Buffy sighing after him. She was finally facing her demons, but it seemed Remus was not even remotely ready to face his, if ever. Still, he had to accept the wolf as a part of him, or else he would never be whole: he would always regard himself as a monster (a monster he definitely wasn’t).



8 January

“Still no news on my sister?” Kelly asked, finally breaking the terse silence between her and Sirius. Since she arrived to the apartment from her hotel in hopes for an update, the two had done nothing but glare at each other in silent anger.

“No,” Sirius answered shortly and Kelly snorted.

“I’m glad to see your obvious concern for her welfare, Black,” the muggle snapped and Sirius’ eyes flashed in anger.

“You don’t know anything,” he said through gritted teeth. “I love Mandy.”

“Even if I believed you, your so-called-love hasn’t exactly helped her, now has it?” Kelly pointed out.

Sirius’ clenched his fists, trying to desperately rein in his temper. “Look, Kelly – “ He got interrupted by a flapping of wings and both he and Kelly turned to look at the black owl approaching his open window. The owl had barely landed on the window-sill before Sirius ripped the note from its beak. The bird let out an indignant hoot before it took off. With shaking hands, Sirius opened the letter.

“Well?” Kelly demanded. “What is it? Who’s it from?”

“It’s an address to a muggle hospital,” Sirius said, his heart beating wildly in his chest.

“And? What does that mean?” Kelly snapped out.

Sirius clenched his fist, scrunching up the letter, a dark expression on his face. “It means I’m going there.”

“You think my sister is there?” Kelly asked, looking hopeful. “That’s good, right?”

Sirius didn’t answer, only stalked towards the door, Kelly following, rapidly throwing question after question at his tense back, none of which got an answer.



Sirius and Kelly rushed up to the reception desk at the muggle hospital they had gotten an address to. Sirius slapped his hand down on the desk to get the attention from the woman behind it. The receptionist, who was speaking into the phone, barely glanced at them before she turned back to her conversation:

“…Uhu…no, honey, I promise, he’s not cheating on you! Yes, of course I’m sure! It is Matt we’re talking about…yes…uhu…”

“Hey!” Sirius snapped, and angrily grabbed the phone from the startled receptionist and hung up.”

“Excuse me,” the female receptionist said angrily. “I was talking – “

“ – During working hours,” Kelly cut in. “I wonder what your boss would say about that.”

The woman flushed. “Now, listen here – “

“No, you listen!” Sirius snapped. “I’ve had a very bad week, and you do not want to make it worse.” Steely grey eyes stared into the receptionist’s own and she swallowed, perhaps sensing the danger in those depths.

“Alright.” She put on a slightly too bright smile. “What can I do for you?”

“We’re looking for my sister,” Kelly said before Sirius could get a word in. “Brown hair, brown eyes, nineteen years old, around 5’7… Her name is Mandy Walker. Is she here?”

The receptionist rolled her eyes. “Look, a lot of people come through here. I don’t have time to – “

“ – Do your job?” A voice cut in and the female receptionist flushed again, turning around to face a rather handsome man in a doctor’s coat.

“Dr. Reilly,” the receptionist said, a simpering smile on her face. “I have things under control here, you don’t have to – “

“ – I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation,” the doctor turned to Kelly and Sirius smoothly, ignoring the receptionist completely. “My name is Dr. Thomas Reilly, and I think I may be treating the woman you’re describing. A Jane Doe, brought in a few hours ago?”

“Jane?” Sirius repeated in confusion. “We just told you, her name is Man – ow!” Kelly had elbowed him.

“It’s a placeholder name for an unknown person, dumbass,” Kelly snapped, before she turned to the doctor with an apologetic smile. “Could we see her? Check for ourselves?”

“Of course. This way,” Dr. Reilly said and walked quickly down the corridor. Kelly and Sirius hastily followed him.

Finally, after many twist and turns, they came to a stop in front of a hospital room. “I hope this is the person you’re looking for,” Dr. Reilly said, smiling at them kindly, turning the handle of the door and stepping inside.

Kelly and Sirius stumbled into the room, both closing their eyes in relief as they recognized the woman lying unconscious in the bed. “Thank Merlin,” Sirius muttered, walking over and carefully moving away a few strands of hair from her face, frowning as he took in the deep scratches, bandages and swelling covering her skin.

“What’s wrong with her, exactly?” Kelly asked Dr. Reilly.

“No internal bleeding, luckily enough,” the doctor said in an attempt to soothe the obviously distressed young woman. “But she has a few broken bones and some heavy cuts and bruising and the fact that she hasn’t woken up yet is disconcerting. I wouldn’t worry until another day or so has passed, though.”

Sirius only wished the doctor – albeit well-meaning – would shut up and leave, so he could take Mandy to some real doctors – healers. They’d be able to fix her up in no time, he told himself.

“You said you’re her sister?” Dr. Reilly asked Kelly, who nodded shakily.

“Yes.”

“Could you come with me to fill out some paperwork? I’d understand if you’d rather stay here…”

Kelly shook her head. “No, I’m fine. Let’s just get it over with.”

The moment the two left, Sirius reached for his wand in order to apparate himself and Mandy to St. Mungo’s, damn the consequences of them just disappearing from the muggle hospital. However, he didn’t find it, and Sirius let out an ugly curse when he realised he had forgot it in his and Mandy’s apartment in his hurry to get here.

Closing his eyes, Sirius took a deep breath to calm himself down. “You’re going to be alright,” he told his girlfriend’s still form. “I promised I would protect you, and I mean that. You’re safe now. There’s nothing to be afraid of here.” He swallowed to hold back his tears. “It’s okay to wake up.” He grabbed one of her limp hands. “You have to wake up. Please, wake up.”

As if hearing him speak, Mandy suddenly began to stir, and Sirius’ let out a hopeful gasp as brown eyes flew open, staring straight at him. “Mandy?” She blinked; once, twice. “Mandy? Can you hear me?” Sirius clutched her hands tightly, and Mandy swallowed.

“I - what...”

“You’ve been in an accident,” Sirius said, hurriedly explaining, extremely relieved Mandy was awake. “Voldemort...some Death Eaters took you...” But his relief turned to horror and all colour drained from his face at her next words:

“What...” Mandy’s face was filled with pain, fear and utter confusion. “Who are you?”



Dr. Reilly sighed as he closed the door leading to Mandy’s room behind him, and turned to look at the two equally pale-faced people standing outside, waiting, after he had insisted they leave while he examined Mandy after she awoke.

“Well?” Sirius demanded to know. “What’s wrong with her? Why doesn’t she remember me?”

“I have examined miss Walker again, now that she’s awake,” Dr. Reilly began. “She does seem to have some minor nerve-damage and her memory loss - “

“ - She’ll be fine, right?” Sirius interrupted before he could continue. “She just needs to rest, and she’ll be okay?”

“Why don’t you sit down,” Dr. Reilly suggested kindly, gesturing at some empty chairs standing in the corridor. Kelly nodded, quickly sinking down in one, but Sirius only crossed his arms.

“I’d rather stand, thank you.”

“Very well,” Dr. Reilly said. “It seems miss Walker suffers from memory loss. To be more specific, it seems to be a form of psychogenic amnesia.”

“In English, please,” Sirius snapped. “What does that mean?”

“In short, it means miss Walker has lost the memory of who she is; her identity; her past. She will be able to form new memories without any sort of trouble, as well as perform everyday tasks. Some patients who suffer from this have been known to also lose basic semantic knowledge such as reading and writing, but that is not the case here, which is lucky. She will be able to function normally.”

Sirius was pale. She didn’t remember him? Their relationship? Did she remember being a witch?

“How long will it take to recover her memory?” Kelly asked quietly.

“It is difficult to say because it varies,” Dr. Reilly said. “In miss Walker case, I would say her memory-loss is situation-specific. It’s a type of dissociative amnesia caused by severe post-traumatic-stress, which isn’t strange at all considering it is clear miss Walker’s injuries are not due to an accident, but rather abuse of some kind. If I didn’t know better...” Dr. Reilly trailed off.

“What?” Sirius asked. “What were you going to say?”

“If I didn’t know better, I would say someone has been torturing her,” Dr. Reilly finally said. “Her injuries...well, whoever did this to her knew what they were doing. There’s no permanent physical damage, no internal bleeding... The damage done to her wasn’t meant to kill – only to cause her horrible pain at the time.”

Sirius clenched his fists. “And what about her memory? You never said how long it would take to recover.”

“Like I said, it is impossible to say. Some never recover fully, some do, but therapy and various relaxation techniques are known to help,” Dr. Reilly said as he saw the expressions on Sirius’ and Kelly’s faces. “Listen, miss Walker’s memories are still there, still inside her mind somewhere, just locked away. Even if she never remembers everything, it is likely that with time, at least pieces of it will return. Potential triggers are situations, people, places, things from her past...or things related to what happened to her, though I wouldn’t recommend exposing her to that on purpose, at least not yet.”

“Thank you, doctor,” Kelly said quietly, standing up, though Sirius’ only glared.

“Why are you thanking him? He hasn’t done anything to actually treat her!”

“Well, at least we know what’s wrong with her!” Kelly said hotly.

“And that’s so very helpful,” Sirius snorted. “I want to know how to fix her!”

Dr. Reilly sighed. “I am sorry, but there is no miraculous magical cure for this – “

Sirius snorted. “How do you know?” He muttered under his breath.

“ – I have told you all I can.” Dr. Reilly patted Sirius’ shoulder consolingly. “You are free to sit with her if you’d like, though she has fallen back asleep again.” The doctor left, and Sirius and Kelly both hurried back inside Mandy’s room, closing the door behind them.

“I’m going home for my wand, and then I’m taking Mandy to St. Mungo’s,” was the first thing Sirius said.

“St. Mungo’s?” Kelly asked. “What is that?”

“Our hospital,” Sirius answered. “You know, a place with real Healers - better Healers - that can actually help her.”

“Magic,” Kelly stated in disgust. “You want to treat her with magic?”

“Yes,” Sirius said.

“Magic is what did this to her!” Kelly exclaimed, pointing a finger at her sleeping sister. “You were supposed to keep her safe! You failed. I’m not letting you anywhere near her!”

“I’m her boyfriend!” Sirius hissed. “You can’t keep me away!”

“Try me!” Kelly snapped back. “I’m her sister, and what I say goes. You’re not her husband, or even her fiancé. Mandy is my responsibility. Our parents signed over that right to me, dad because he doesn’t care, and mum during one of her more sober moments. You don’t have any say.”

“Mandy belongs in the Wizarding World!” Sirius exclaimed.

“She doesn’t remember the Wizarding World!” Kelly retorted. “She doesn’t remember magic, she doesn’t remember being a witch, and she doesn’t remember you!” Sirius flinched. “You’re a complete stranger to her, Sirius,” Kelly said, a bit more calmly. “And yes, so am I, but at least I’m related to her. As soon as she is released from here, I’m taking her back with me to America.”

Sirius’ jaw dropped. “You can’t do that!”

“Yes, I can, and I will,” Kelly said, narrowing her eyes. “She will be a lot safer there than here, even you have to realise that.”

Sirius gritted her teeth. “She may not remember the Wizarding World, but you heard what the doctor said. Being around familiar people and surroundings may jerk her memory back. There is nothing familiar for her in America.”

“I know,” Kelly said coolly. “Which may be for the best.”

Sirius swallowed. “What are you saying?”

“I’m saying that maybe it’s better if Mandy doesn’t remember,” Kelly answered. “She has a chance to live a normal life, without magic, can’t you see that?”

“For Mandy, magic is normal!” Sirius exclaimed.

“She wasn’t born in the Wizarding World, Sirius,” Kelly said. “Until she was eleven, she was just like any other girl. I’m not saying Mandy losing her memory is a good thing, but now, she can start over and create a new life for herself, away from magic and away from danger.”

“You can’t just – “

“ - She will be safe,” Kelly interrupted. “Isn’t that what you wanted? If you truly care about Mandy, about her welfare, then you won’t fight me on this.”

Sirius swallowed. “I can’t...let her go.”

Kelly raised an eyebrow. “Are you truly that selfish, Sirius?” She asked. “Leaving is what is best for Mandy, and deep down, I think you know that.”

Sirius laughed hollowly. “And you, Kelly? What about you?”

Kelly frowned. “What about me?”

“Oh, stop acting!” Sirius exclaimed. “Stop pretending you’re not just as selfish as you claim I am. This is not about what’s best for Mandy, it’s what’s best for you. You resent me because you’re not the number one person in Mandy’s life anymore! You resent magic because you feel magic is to blame for your deteriorating relationship. Mandy losing her memory is the best thing that could have happened to you, never mind the fact that if Mandy had been fine, she would never have decided to go with you.”

Kelly’s eyes grew cold. “You’re right. My motives aren’t entirely unselfish, but your point is moot, because it doesn’t matter. What Mandy would have done if she did remember doesn’t matter, because she doesn’t remember. Letting you take her, and expose her to your world, to a situation she doesn’t understand, even if it means she may suddenly recall bits and pieces of her past, is not just stupid, it’s outright foolish. Especially since your world is at war. Can you honestly say you would be able to take care of her, to protect her, to watch her 24/7? You didn’t do a very good job before, even when Mandy did have her memory – what makes you think you can do a better job this time?”

Sirius said nothing.

“You say Mandy would have decided to stay if she had been fine,” Kelly continued. “But she’s not fine. As such, deciding is up to me. And I’ve decided that we’re leaving. Now, you can either accept that, or not, but either way you won’t be able to change my mind. Considering the situation, leaving Britain is the best thing for her, Sirius, whether you like it or not.”



Lucius and Severus nodded to each other respectfully as the crossed paths while entering and exiting respectively, the Dark Lord’s throne room.

“Ah, Lucius, please, come in,” Voldemort smiled as the blonde aristocrat stepped inside

Lucius Malfoy bowed deeply. “My Lord.”

“I assume you had no trouble in leaving Walker at the hospital?”

“No, my Lord,” Lucius answered. “I dropped her off in the emergency room, and then wiped the memories of the people there. They have no memory of who left her.”

“And you sent the message to Black?”

“Yes, my Lord,” Lucius said. “Less than a minute after receiving it, he and another woman left for the hospital.”

“Excellent,” Voldemort’s eyes glinted. “That should teach Black not to cross me in the future. Well, the future he still has left, that is.” He smirked in satisfaction. “I have given Snape my word that he, and no other, can dispose of Black whenever and however he wishes. Pass that message around, would you?”

“As you wish, master,” Lucius bowed again.

“I have another task for you, Lucius,” Voldemort continued. “A pensieve. I want one. I assume, with your wealth and connections, that acquiring one for my personal use will be simple enough for you?”

“It will be done, my Lord,” Lucius answered.

“Excellent.” When Lucius made no motion to leave, Voldemort frowned at him. “Well, what are you waiting for?” The Dark Lord snapped. “Get to it!”

Lucius hurriedly bowed and quickly left, Voldemort snorting in derision. “Minions these days...”

Leaning back in his ‘throne,’ the Dark Lord let out a slow breath. It was just a matter of time before the cartographer broke and began to really try to work out the remaining three locations, now that he had the man’s family imprisoned. And though he had feared all the remaining secrets of the book had been lost when Regulus betrayed him and stole everything he had in regards to the book and its secrets, he had been wrong: it was all coming together. He had a way to get it all back. It was all accessible, still, though he hadn’t remembered that until recently. Even if he couldn’t recall it all at a moment’s notice, the full memories of his research was still buried inside his mind.

With a pensieve in his possession, he would be able to review them, each and every single little detail from his research and the book without any trouble, even though he no longer had the book in his physical possession. He would be able go over everything again and again, finish his decoding and figure out all the book’s secrets, at last.

His thin lips curled. Regulus had been a fool to think he could outsmart him. The Dark Lord had to admit though, that the youngest Black’s stunt had set him back, especially since he hadn’t thought to use a pensieve immediately. But it didn’t matter – he had thought of it now, and he had all the time in the world to figure things out.

Closing his red eyes, Voldemort let a smile play across his lips.

Yes, he had all the time in the world...it wasn’t as though anyone could ever hope to defeat him, other than Dumbledore, and he had had plenty of chances, without success. And once he found the power source, he would truly be unbeatable and immortal.



Snape stood across the street from Spinner’s End, the wind blowing in his dark hair. The Slytherin watched through the window as his father, Tobias, put the kettle on. Slowly, he walked across the street and stepped inside the house, banishing the snow from his boots with a flick from his wand that was hidden by his long sleeves.

Tobias stepped out of the kitchen and his eyes widened when he recognised him. “You!” The muggle exclaimed. “What are you doing here? I thought I’d seen the last of you once you graduated from that school of yours!”

“Nice to see you too, father,” Severus drawled.

“Get out!” Tobias hissed. “You have no reason to be here! You don’t live here anymore! And your mother has been dead for years, you know that.”

“True,” Severus mused, stepping further into the house, looking around with a grimace. “But I thought I’d move back in. I’ve got so many fond childhood memories of this place,” he told Tobias sarcastically.

“I don’t want you in my house,” Tobias hissed.

“Well, that’s just the thing,” Severus said, fingering his wand slowly. “This is not your house. Not anymore, at least.” He turned cold eyes upon his father, his wand pointing straight at him. “AVADA KEDAVRA!”

Tobias Snape fell dead to the floor, his eyes permanently frozen wide in shock and fear.

Slowly, Severus lowered his wand, inhaling deeply through his crooked nose. It was over. His father was dead. Nothing could hurt him anymore. He’d avenged the abuse done to his mother. The terror of his childhood was gone, at long last. Soon, Black, and then Potter, would follow. And then, he would have her. They could rebuild, he and Lily, in this house, together. So many times, they had played outside. The bad memories this building held would be erased by new ones, he told himself, of love, and laughter.

The Dark Lord had made him a promise. So far, he’d kept each and every one of them.

It was just a matter of time before he would have it all.

Taking another deep breath, Severus erased every trace of his own presence in the house, including fingerprints. Then, he levitated his father outside and dumped his body in the river, which was filled with blocks of frozen snow and ice-chunks. Another flick of his wand made it look like his father had gone for a walk, had slipped and fallen in – a drowning accident. A second flick erased all of his own footsteps in the snow, and then, he apparated away.



9 January

“Memory loss?” Lily echoed dumbly, staring at the miserable-looking Sirius, who was sitting with his head bowed in hers and James’ living room.

“Yes. And since Kelly has decided to take Mandy back with her to the states, with nothing to connect her to her old life, it’s unlikely she’ll ever remember.” Sirius bit his lip.

“And you’re just going to let her?” James demanded to know. “This is Mandy we’re talking about!”

“I know!” Sirius exclaimed, jumping to his feet. “Don’t you think I know that? But Kelly is her sister – I have no legal say.”

“What about illegal?” James said, earning himself an elbow from Lily.

“James!” The red-head hissed.

“What?” James exclaimed hotly. “Mandy is our friend, Lils, and sister or not, Kelly can’t just decide to leave with her!”

“Well, what do you suggest we do?” Lily asked sarcastically. “Wipe Kelly’s memory of ever having a sister and send her on her merry way, while we kidnap Mandy?”

“That’s one idea,” James said, only half-joking.

Lily rolled her eyes. “God, sometimes, you’re just so...GAH! I don’t even have a word for it.”

“What am I going to do?” Sirius whispered heavily. “Mandy’s...she’s my life. I don’t know what I’ll do without her.”

“Well, we’ll just have to convince Kelly not to leave, then,” James said. “Somehow.”

Sirius’ shoulders slumped. “It’s no use, Prongs, I’ve tried. There’s no changing her mind. It’s over. Look, I have to go. Could you tell Buffy and Peter what has happened? I can’t...” He swallowed. “I’m going to have to tell Lucan and Belinda and that’s going to be bad enough.”

“Of course,” James said immediately. “What about Remus?”

Sirius just stared at him with cold eyes. “I don’t really care what you tell him.” With heavy steps, he left the room.

Lily and James stared at each other. “Merlin, Lils,” James whispered. “Everything’s falling apart.”

“It’s been falling for awhile now, James,” Lily said heavily, placing a hand against her stomach in a protective gesture she found herself doing more and more for everyday that passed.

“Then we’ll just have to find away to rise up,” James said determinately, placing his hand above hers, the slight swell beneath Lily’s palm a reminder of what they were fighting for. “We’re the marauders, Lily. You, me, Buffy, Remus, Sirius, Mandy, Peter...”

Lily snorted tiredly. “What does that even mean these days, James?”

“Everything,” James muttered. “Marauders don’t fail. We don’t surrender. And we don’t give up. And above all, we believe in good and in each other. We’ve just...temporarily lost that belief.”

“And where will we find it?” Lily asked weakly.

“I don’t know yet,” James muttered.



“Sirius!” Belinda greeted him cheerfully. “What a surprise. Please, come in.” The blonde gestured for Sirius to enter the modest, but nice looking, house that she and Lucan had moved into after their marriage.

“Is Lucan home?” Sirius asked, his hands in his pockets. He was not looking forward to this, not at all. Mandy and Lucan had been friends since their first year at Hogwarts. That Sirius now had to tell him that Mandy had been hurt - that she didn’t remember him, or even magic...it was awful.

“Yes, he’s in the kitchen,” Belinda said, leading Sirius through the foyer and into the kitchen. “Lucan! Guess who’s come to visit!”

Lucan Davis looked up from his place on the stove, checking on something boiling in a pot. “Sirius!” He exclaimed. “Good to see you! Is Mandy with you?”

“Umm...no,” Sirius said. “Look, Lucan, I – “

“ – She’s not, huh?” Lucan continued, shaking his head ruefully. “Typical. I imagine work keeps her busy. In her last letter, she made it very clear how much she enjoys curse-breaker training.”

“We were actually planning to visit as well,” Belinda cut in. “But you beat us to it. We have some news, you see.” She exchanged a happy look with Lucan.

“Yeah?” Sirius asked. “What is it?”

“I’m pregnant!” Belinda beamed at him and Lucan wrapped an arm around her.

“Congratulations,” Sirius said weakly even as he felt his stomach plummeting. Merlin. How was he supposed to tell them about Mandy now?

“Thanks,” Lucan was grinning widely. “We found out about a month ago, but we wanted to wait a bit before telling our friends. It takes awhile before it really hits you, you know?”

“I can understand that,” Sirius said quietly, and finally, it seemed Belinda and Lucan something was wrong.

“You seem down,” Belinda noted carefully. “Is something wrong?”

“You could say that,” Sirius mumbled. Exhaling, he continued: “Look, the reason I came by...you may want to sit down for this.”

Belinda and Lucan exchanged worried looks but dutifully sat down, their attention focused solely on Sirius’ tired and drawn face. He swallowed. “A while ago, during Christmas, there was an attack on Hogsmeade...”

“Yes, we read about that,” Lucan nodded, fists clenching as a feeling of dread rose in his chest.

Sirius licked his lips, even as Belinda gripped Lucan’s hands in hers, her eyes filled with concern. “Mandy was there.” Sirius finally continued. “And she was taken by the Death Eaters.” The pot on the stove was boiling over, but neither Lucan nor Belinda seemed to notice: their eyes were wide and fixated on Sirius, neither of them sure what to say.

“What?” Lucan finally hissed. “But you’ve found her, right? She’s okay?”

“Yes, we’ve found her. Only yesterday, actually.”

Lucan and Belinda let out identical sighs of relief. “Thank Merlin,” Belinda breathed. “Is she at St. Mungo’s? Can we visit her?”

“She doesn’t remember anything!” Sirius blurted out, not able to force himself to break it to them slowly. Belinda and Lucan’s faces abruptly lost all colour.

“What do you mean, she doesn’t remember?” Lucan’s voice was deadly calm.

“Just that,” Sirius said. “We found her in a muggle hospital – she’s got something called psychogenic amnesia. She doesn’t remember who she is or anything about her life. Her sister refuses to take her to St. Mungo’s. She doesn’t trust magic.”

Lucan’s lips pursed. “It doesn’t surprise me. I know Kelly – I’ve met her once, while I was visiting America with Mandy during a summer. She’s stubborn like hell, and not very comfortable with Mandy being a witch at all.”

“She insists on taking Mandy back to America with her,” Sirius said quietly, and Lucan’s eyes closed.

“I can’t blame her,” he finally said after some thought. “And she’ll probably be safer there. But...to not even try to heal her magically?”

“That’s what I said, but she refuses to listen,” Sirius muttered. “I don’t know what to do.”

Lucan laughed hollowly. “And I do? Bloody hell, Sirius. The only contact I’ve had with Mandy since Hogwarts are letters, and when we saw each other at my wedding. Why was she even in Hogsmeade on Christmas in the first place?”

Sirius’ shoulders slumped. “We...well...someone...heard about the attack and called us to help.”

Belinda and Lucan stared. “You’re involved in the war, aren’t you?” Belinda said quietly. “And not just because you’re an Auror... There’s that group of Dumbledore’s...what’s it called...the Order of...something. Are you and Mandy in it?”

The look Sirius gave her answered it all.

“Damn it!” Lucan swore, standing up. “I told Mandy not to get involved. I told her it would end badly.” Just as it seemed he was about to work himself into a full rant, all air seemed to leave him and he sank back onto the kitchen chair. “I think you should leave, Sirius,” Lucan finally said, voice tired.

Sirius only nodded and slowly turned to leave the room.

“Mandy has always been stubborn,” Lucan added and Sirius paused in the doorway. “No one forced her to fight. It was her choice. But Mandy’s my best friend and to hear she’s as good as gone...it’s hard. But I’m not mad at you. I don’t blame you.”

“That doesn’t keep me from blaming myself,” Sirius mumbled silently, and before Lucan or Belinda could say anything else, he fled.



14 January

“Kelly, wait!” Sirius shouted, and Kelly abruptly stopped, turning around to look at Sirius tiredly.

“Sirius...our flight leaves in less than fifteen minutes.”

Sirius glanced down at Mandy, who was sitting in a wheelchair and giving him a curious glance. “I know,” he said. “I just...I can’t just let you leave.”

Kelly let out a noise of frustration. “Sirius, we’ve been over this!”

“I’m not going to try and convince you to stay,” Sirius hurriedly corrected. “I just meant...I can’t just let you leave without...”

“Saying goodbye?” Kelly filled in.

“Sort of. I...I have a couple of things for Mandy,” Sirius said, pulling out the memory cube she had gotten from James on her birthday, as well as the turquoise necklace he had given her. “I...just want her to have these. As a...well, I guess ‘memory’ is the wrong word, considering, but...” He bit his lip and Kelly’s look softened.

“I get it,” she said, and took the cube and necklace from Sirius. “But I won’t let her have this until she’s better,” she held up the cube. “I know what it is and what it does, and while viewing memories of her past might help her eventually, it would only be confusing right now. She can have the necklace though,” Kelly added, quickly fastening it around Mandy’s neck.

The brunette immediately grasped the turquoise pendant in her hand, cocking her head to the side, feeling sudden warmth spread through her entire body. Since waking up with no memories in the hospital, she had felt nothing but cold, even when the woman who introduced herself as her sister discharged her and began to tell her things from her childhood.

But this necklace...it made her feel warm. And she was sure what she was feeling was somehow connected to the dark-haired, sorrowful man standing beside them now – he made her feel strange. Strange but safe. Loved. Something was nagging at her mind, but just like everything else, it was out of her reach.

“Look, Sirius,” Kelly sighed. “I don’t think it’s a secret that I don’t like you a lot, and that feeling is mutual, I’m sure.”

Sirius snorted.

“But we both care about Mandy, and I understand that us leaving must be extremely difficult for you,” Kelly continued. Her lips quirked. “I can honestly say I have no idea of what your magic is capable of, but I have no doubts there are ways you could have used to take Mandy and gotten me out of your life. That you haven’t says a lot about you. I appreciate that, and I understand what you’re sacrificing, and I’m grateful that you realise that this is what Mandy needs.”

Sirius swallowed. “You two should probably leave,” he said hoarsely. “Or you’ll miss your flight.”

Kelly nodded. “Goodbye, Sirius.” Kelly walked away, pushing Mandy’s wheelchair ahead of her, towards the gate.

“Who was that man?” Sirius heard Mandy ask Kelly, her voice a mixture of confusion and curiosity.

“Nobody,” Kelly answered, and Sirius inhaled sharply. She was right. Without Mandy, he was nothing. His heart broke a little more when Mandy turned in her wheelchair to look back at him, one of her hands still clasped around the pendant tightly.

The two sisters turned a corner, and then, they were gone.



Trivia

- We know from Deathly Hallows that Severus’ parents often argued, and it is hinted that his father, Tobias, doesn’t like magic – or anything, much. From this, it is not completely unlikely to draw the conclusion that Tobias may have been abusive. Since we see Snape live at his childhood home in 1996 during Half-Blood Prince, this chapter shows a version of how that might have come to happen.
- Mandy’s fate: Bellatrix’ torture of Mandy with Crucio was extensive enough to cause memory-loss, but not extensive enough to cause permanent insanity or death. Will she appear again? Perhaps, perhaps not... Also, all I know about psychogenic amnesia comes from various TV-shows and Wikipedia, so if I got anything wrong, I apologize.
- The memory cube and the turquoise necklace Sirius gives Mandy were mentioned in Road of Carnage chapter 29, along with a more detailed description.
- The episode art features Keira Knightley as Mandy Walker.



Published: 14/07 -11
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