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[b "We do all have scars..but they make us who we are meant to be. They remind us that the past was real...both the good and the bad. And as you said...sometimes it is much harder to face that than others... And yes... Piper and I had both loved him very much... Friends in first year...lost by our seventh.."] Her words were quiet and held a sadness that most didn't hear from him. Most times she tried to push it aside and lock it away.
Her eyes went back to Willow as the other summarized and nodded slowly. It seemed she had been paying more attention than she had been letting on. Which if she was honest wasn't a surprise.
[b "You have to make sure you don't hear their screams..at least not up close. Easily are they fatal as a grown mandrake can be. You can use enchanted ear muffs to block them out, try a silencing charm or spell and pray you are quick enough,..or the only known effective way is a laughing potion.."]
Spoken like a true Gryffindor. Remus looked to her carefully giving a lopsided smile.
"It sounds as if you loved him," he spoke. The girls didn't look that good yet was trooping out here bravely that he admired. "At this point I believe there is a reason for our scars. Some days it's harder to say than it should."
Willow finished with the book, managing to get more spells, even more on her curse. This might cure the pain she'd be more normal.
"So...this village was attacked around 1600's by banshees, they were muggle in this part of the forest. And a wizard later collapsed and died..." She summarized.
"Yes. Do either of you know how to defend yourself against a banshee?" Remus asked.
She shook her head.
[b "I think when we are young we all think like that. We are invincible like nothing can or will end us.. But as you said...all of that..they were of different times. And I think are times we wish we could go back to."] She had not meant to let her words slip. But he was easy to talk to. And he understood the pain both she and Willow felt at losing someone so very dear.
A small smile came to her lips as he had moved the branch and she quietly thanked him. His next words again hit her hard. She was sure Willow was told similar things as she was and often too. [b "No...but as long as we remember they aren't truly gone... Remus thank you... And I am also sorry for the losses you had suffered too."] And this time she gave a soft and genuine smile to the man.
It was getting darker and the forest was seeming even more forboding in the midday. Blakely couldn't help moving even closer to the man, her hand at her hip so she could pull her wand if needed.
[b "It would be close to time for our O.W.L.S. They would huddle around and plot their next prank. One would be figuring the enchantment, Potter would be figuring the escape. It was different times then. We felt as if we'd never fade,"] Remus gave a rueful smile, moving a branch out of her way.
Giving her sad look he nodded . [b "I'm sorry for your loss. I can't say it will get easier, it won't. They're never truly gone, though, you have memories and their life inside you."]
It was midday and the forest was already growing darker as they got closer to the old village.
Green eyes rolled at the other. Willow clever as she was did let her attention wander and didn't always have the same interests. She did so like things like dough nuts and telly more than magical creatures and their histories. But despite that, the other girl was always someone dear. [b "Can't help but to worry about you sometimes. But if you insist."] Blakely said and had gone back to Remus' side.
The girl knew who the man meant and gave a small nod. [b "W...Piper is so very like that.. And well it's quite endearing really. She really was the top of our class when it came to Charms and the likes.. cursed objects and riddles too.. Magical Creatures, Defense and Potions had been my thing.."] Blakely admitted a little sheepishly.
And his next question struck her straight in the heart. She had to look away and shook her head. [b "No..there was another...and.. and he was killed about two years ago. Thinking about him still really hurts us both."] Her words were soft as she spoke them
[b "Stop worrying about me and go find out more. This is interesting to you and I just want to be watching the telly right now with some donuts,"] Willow answered honestly. As clever and stead fast as she was, she was also lazy and was burned out, doing nothing seemed the best way.
Remus glanced back to the pair before looking towards Blakely when she joined him again. [b "I take it this does not interest her? I had a friend like that. What he was interested in he took too very well, otherwise he was cocky and lazy."]
He didn't speak of Black often, but missed his friend dearly. He thought all his friends died that day. [b "It wasn't always just the two of you was there?"]
[b "I see you remember he likes sweets."] Blakely whispered to Willow quite amused. She couldn't help it really. And smiled at seeing the quirky smile the man had given the other. It was nice to see and as Severus seemed to have give the other sense of security she was not fond on, Remus seemed to do the same for her.
She was curious as they walked and was interested in what had been pointed out and explained. This time he was far more patient and she appreciated it. And was trying to take in what was told.
Soon she did drop back to Willow's side. [b "How are you holding up?"] She whispered with Remus still leading them
"We have chocolate from Honeydukes," Piper chipped in unexpectedly.
Remus couldn't help that quirk of a smile come to his face. It had been many years since he had gone there and even then still quite missed it. "I would take the chocolate willingly. Thank you, Piper."
The three of them must have looked like hell together but at least they were together.
Remus pointed out the different things to Blakely and answered the questions she had. He was tired but far more paitent than before.
Wllow had found the book she borrowed from Severus but forgot. While walking she wrote a quick note on paper and placed it back in her bag. She'd ask Remus to deliver it back when they were done.
Blakely was at Willow's side and gave the other's arm a gentle squeeze. It was her way to let the other know not to take it too personally. This was him before they had known him. And a small smile came to her lips as she looked at the man.
[b "Thanks for taking this up so soon, Remus... And I'm sorry it's been asked..but we don't have much time.."] The only explanation she gave the man. And then she fell into step once more beside Willow, giving a nod to Remus as he said they should be going.
When entering there was something of a shantytown. The houses were fine enough, but she knew it was a simple spell. Following after her she spotted a man that looked like their old professor only with less wrinkles. There was still that weary but confident look in his eyes.
He looked like hell though, tired and worn down completely. Dumbledore had asked him to do a task and he would do it.
"You're back so soon?" He asked stretching his neck. "Well, it is the best time to go into the forest. And--"
"Hello, uh..sir..I'm Piper," Willow held out her hand.
Remus gave it a small shake but turned around. "Let's go then."
Seeing Dumbledore alive and the office ALMOST the same as she remembered had tears threatening to fall and a lump form in her throat. After he had been gone it was hard seeing the man alive again and looking so.. well.. God it stung knowing what was to come.
Blakely listened to the words spoken but kept her mouth shut. It always amazed her how he knew. And the words he spoke at the very end to send them off with happened to strike. A sad smile traced her lips and she nodded. [b "Thank you sir... I am sure the both of us will keep that in mind.."] It was all her brain could function enough to say.
Her hand slowly took Willow's as Dumbledore lowered the spell that stopped apparating in the school. And soon they appeared outside the commune that Blakely had first come to. A faint smile traced her lips. [b "Like Snape.. Remus is also different...more guarded.."] The strawberry blonde said quietly.
To wake up at Hogwarts, see the robes, the corridors it was shocking. Sometimes she still saw the bodies and the ruined building. Grounded in she couldn't let it affect her even if she only wanted to scream at times.
[b "Come in,"] the kind voice said. The office was exactly the same with less trinkets but barely. [b "I understand your mission leads you into the Black Forest. I'd like for Remus to help you. There is no one more I trust in the forest than Remus, other than Hagrid naturally."]
Willow nodded, not asking how he knew. [b "Thank you, sir."] She said knowing it would be the last seeing him alive.
[b "I would like to leave you with some kind farewell words before you go,"] he paused looking to them with those knowing eyes. [b "The journey matters little unless you keep those close to you and learn from the lessons that were given. Otherwise it was all for naught."]
Blakely had not slept much during the night. She still was having nightmares even thought it had been two years since everything. But it all felt very fresh and new. So in the earlier morning when Willow was up, Blakely had been as well. She had helped as much as she was able to.
[b "Honestly.. no. But don't have the choice in this either. We have to be if we expect to get anything accomplished."] Her words were soft as they walked up the to the headmaster's office. And when they got there, the young woman took a breath and knocked.
"We were just trying to adjust and did it wrong. It's okay," Willow nodded to her. There had been so much guilt, the loss of Brian had been too much. "We should try and sleep."
The morning was hard but they woke up early, her arm killing her. She grimaced as they gathered all the items starting to Dumbledore's office as he requested.
"Are you prepared for this?" She asked knowing it was hard.
[b "We can't stay you know.. As much as we have seen and knowing what comes.. It would not only alter the future but we would not be able to last here. We're both already suffering terribly, Willow.."] Blakely whispered safly. She was going on emotions that both seemed to have.
The young woman has turned to look at the other. [b "I'm sorry for everything...And it really is good to have you back.."] She just had to tell the other.
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