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Five Years by Tala

Rating: G. Created: January 7th, 2007. Updated: January 7th, 2007. Read Reviews (20)
Disclaimer: Characters, the magical world, etc, is property of J. K. Rowling and Warner Bros, not the owner of this fic.

This is the first fic that I'm posting on UR.org.  I would love to hear what everyone thinks about it and how I can improve. 

 In case it is confusing, the story is being told by one of Lily's dorm mates. 

 

I almost wished I hadn’t come. I should have known that a five-year reunion would be a bad idea after the war. It brought back too many memories. Hogwarts was exactly the same; the Great Hall hadn’t changed at all. It was the only thing that hadn’t. My classmates looked older, much older than the passing of five years would account for. The war had left them aged and haunted before their time. At least they looked well fed and happier now; almost a year after the war had ended.

The gathering was small - too small. Another effect of the war; half our generation was gone. Three figures sat close together at the Slytherin table, ignoring the whispers and glares of those around them. Old prejudices die hard, and I didn’t believe that it was a coincidence that Slytherin was the only house with more people in Azkaban than dead and buried. Only about eight Ravenclaws had shown up, but they were the largest group. I was sitting with some of my friends at the Hufflepuff table, where there were only about seven of us eating in silence.

It had been a tense feast, not at all like reunions were supposed to be. Everyone was only too aware of the spaces that should have been filled. If all the old students were staring angrily at the Slytherin table, it was only to avoid the sad gaze of the professors, fixed on Gryffindor table. I had my back turned resolutely on my old house. Gryffindor courage be damned. I couldn’t sit there, I wouldn’t. The sight of the table alone left me feeling sick and empty - as empty as the benches alongside it. The long benches where I had spent so many hours now held nothing but ghosts. They had been alive last time I was here, laughing, hopeful, brash…

It hurt to think about them, but I couldn’t stop. They came back to me in flashes of long suppressed memory. Lily Evans - Potter I reminded myself - green eyes sparkling as she threw her head back and laughed. Her red hair whipping around her face when she screamed down the table at a tall boy with messy, black hair. I remembered James and Sirius, their black heads bent closely together, whispering. The way that the clear laughter of all four boys broke through the commotion as candles exploded above our heads. Lily’s blush as she slipped in beside James for the first time and his incredulous, delighted grin.

I could almost see Peter running into the Hall late, pink and breathless as he sunk down into his seat. Or Audrey Ramsey, idly flicking peas at Lily and me as we hurriedly finished our assignments over lunch. Sirius’ roar of laughter at Remus’ whispered comments echoed around the room like a ghost. The memories were coming faster now. Peter, decked out in red and gold on the morning of a Quidditch match- dead; Audrey, sucking pensively on a sugar quill- missing; James, running his hand through already messy hair- dead; Lily, helping a first year with Charms- dead; Sirius shooting sparks across the hall at Slytherins- Azkaban; Remus, looking sick and pale. Remus grinning down the table in a way that meant trouble.

I wasn’t exactly surprised that Remus hadn’t shown up. Maybe he didn’t see a reason to be there. I hadn’t seen him since Lily’s wedding, but I knew him well enough to know that the deaths of his friends must have hit him hard. That Sirius’ betrayal must have hit him hard. It had shocked us all.

As if in answer to my thoughts, the doors at the end of the Hall swung open. All eyes turned towards the thin, grey figure that made its way slowly to the Gryffindor table and sat down wearily. He looked sad and small, less real than the ghosts that surrounded him and taunted him with their vitality. I wished that I had the courage to walk over there and join him, but I remained where I was, turned around in my seat, staring at him.

It wasn’t until he began eating that conversations started up again around the hall. Most of the whispers were about him, about Remus Lupin, who looked lonely as he never had in school. About Remus, who had the courage to come here and remember, and sit alone at the Gryffindor table. I still couldn’t move, I couldn’t join him. He must have felt me staring at him, because he looked up to meet my eyes and gave me a friendly smile. I turned back to the Hufflepuff table, ashamed.

It came as a surprise when the puddings exploded; leaving everything they touched dyed red and gold. Laughter rang nervously across the hall. The Slytherin’s mottled faces were furious as they turned reflexively towards the Gryffindor table along with everybody else. It was at that moment that chaos broke out as every candle suspended about our heads was transfigured into a pixie. They rushed around the room, pulling people’s hair and throwing food across the room. It was only when the chaos finally cleared and every last pixie had been frozen, that we noticed the words scrawled in huge letters across one wall: “The Marauders Were Here”.

I stared at Remus Lupin in shock, and I swear he winked before grinning and bowing to the entire Hall. He stared around for one last moment before throwing a small object into the air. He then turned and walked out of the Great Hall as suddenly as he had come. I could swear, however, that I almost heard gales of ghostly laughter coming from the Gryffindor table, rising to flutter around the rafters with a rather old and battered-looking golden Snitch.

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