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01 July 2008 @ 10:45 am
Price of Victory: November 17th, 1981  
This is just a kind of short, transitional chapter. The story will pick up next chapter I think. Thanks for reading, feedback is always appreciated!



November 17th, 1981


November 17th, 1981, approximately noon, Sirius Black drops Harry off at the Weasley House


He affectionately rubbed Harry’s head before releasing his hand and giving him a push towards the Weasley matron, who had a baby girl clasped in one arm and extended a hand to Harry. Harry’s green eyes grew fearful as he saw Sirius turn to leave.

“Say good-bye,” Molly Weasley told him in a low voice.

Sirius quickly turned and kneeled down to eye-level with the toddler, and smiled encouragingly. It was so hard to look into those eyes. But he smiled. “I’ll be back for you tonight Harry,” he said in a soft voice, rubbing a calloused hand gently across Harry’s cheek. “I promise. Remus and I aren’t going to be gone long. Then you’ll have your own room,” he said.

Harry smiled at that and gave Sirius a stumbling hug.

“Molly’s going to take good care of you,” he said, returning the hug gently and prying himself away so he could stand. “I’m leaving him up to you. He can be quite a handful, trust me.”

“I already have seven, he’s probably nowhere near as hard to handle as they are, with my brothers’ genes in them.” For a woman of just over thirty, she looked careworn and aged by hardship, but she smiled anyway. “Have a good time moving, if you need any help at all, I’d be happy to send Arthur,” she added.

“No, no, it’ll be alright, Molly. Remus and I can handle it. I’m sure you’re going to need all the backup you can get, anyway.”

Regulus was helping them move too, but he thought he could neglect to mention this to Molly.

They had picked the house outside of Plymouth, in a village called Polhawn, when they had found out the elderly witch selling it to them was a good friend of Dumbledore’s, and had told her of their situation. Even Remus’s lycanthropy didn’t dishearten her. She told them to pay her monthly until the value of the cottage (which was big enough for the three of them, but not huge) was totally covered. Neighbors were spread out, it was a spacious and clean neighborhood. It was close to the city but not too close, and convenient to the Burrow and the coast.

Sirius thought that they would have fun here. But he had one more stop to make before returning to his beloved flat to start the move.

--

November 17th, also approximately noon, Barty Crouch Jr. helps Regulus get ready for his departure.


Regulus’s luggage was beside the door, and all that was left was the waiting. After the awkward exchange four days prior, they had been rather chilly to one another. The word that today would be the day for Regulus to leave had come two days ago, and since then Barty had become isolated and snappish.

“I’m supposed to be gone by one,” Regulus said to Barty’s closed door.

Barty looked at the clock, and opened the door.

“Oh.”

“Not going to see me off?”

“I’ll see you off,” Barty said, scratching his chin. He looked as if he had just woken up. “You have all your things?”

“Yes. You have the address?”

He nodded. “I’ll write whenever you want me to.”

“Just keep me updated on anything important,” Regulus said, staring at the floor. “Visitors, attacks, anything. And if you’re in any kind of trouble, don’t hesitate to come down to Devon.”

“If they don’t treat you right, I’ll be in Devon without even blinking an eye.”

“They’ll be fine to me, don’t worry about it.” Regulus gave him a kind of crooked smile.

“Just keep your head.”

“I never go anywhere without it,” Regulus joked, sitting down on the sofa. He would miss the flat, but it was only a month and a half. Forty-four days to be exact, he had counted it.

That seemed a lot longer than it really was.

Regulus gave up and stretched his legs out, lying his head on the battered armrest and looking up at Barty. “Why have you been so stiff?” he asked suddenly.

“I haven’t been.”

“Don’t even bother trying to lie.”

Barty flinched. “I don’t know. The last few days.” He sighed heavily. “They’ve seemed really…”

“Tense,” Regulus finished. “I know. Are you mad that I’m leaving?”

“No. I want you to leave. It’s not about that. I don’t really know what it is.” Barty sat down, leaning against the side of the couch, the top of his head touching Regulus’s. “I don’t want you to leave but I know you have to,” he clarified. “I’m just being selfish I think.” Under any other circumstance, he wouldn’t have said any of that. But he would be bothered to no end if he didn’t say it. This was a situation that called for something more than evasiveness and less than the whole truth.

“I’m sorry.” His voice had become a lot quieter, a lot softer, than he had intended. “This is hard for me too.” The sofa creaked ominously as Regulus rolled over onto his stomach, his arm falling over the side of the couch where Barty was sitting.

The hand rested awkwardly on his shoulder for a second, before falling limp. Barty grabbed the hand with his own and squeezed it. “It’ll be alright.”

“I hope so.” Regulus returned the squeeze and neither of them moved for a glorious minute, Barty’s back to Regulus, holding his hand in a weirdly sentimental way.

A loud knock on the door brought them out of their stupor, and Regulus got up and rushed over, opening the door quickly.

“Hi,” Sirius said, looking very uncomfortable. “You ready?” he asked.

Regulus nodded, looking back at Barty and then grabbing his bag.

“Bye,” he said sadly to his friend, who finally stood and walked over.

Barty reached out a hand to grab Regulus’s shoulder, but Regulus turned around and Barty’s hand fell uselessly. “Bye,” he whispered, and Regulus hugged him.

Sirius made gagging motions behind his brother’s back and Barty shot him a rather rude hand gesture.

“I’ll write when we get settled in,” Regulus told him.

“Right.”

“Don’t let the place get too filthy.”

“I will,” Barty said as the two brothers finally made their way out into the corridor.

“Bye.”

Something in his last brief look had ignited something in Barty, he realized as he shut the door. The hug hadn’t, the brief, unusual spell of handholding hadn’t, but that last, downcast look had lit some sort of spark.

Forty four days seemed like a really long time.

But was it long enough to figure out something Barty had minimal experience with?

Something like real, genuine feelings?

--

November 17th, 1981, approximately 1:30 PM, Remus Lupin (finally) gets everything packed


Remus looked around the bare sitting room proudly, admiring his handiwork. He had managed to shrink every piece of furniture in the place and pack them into boxes. Each box was labeled to indicate what room all the furniture in it was going it. Remus had to have separate boxes for all of Sirius’s pictures and posters and books.

He had managed to fit their entire life into seven boxes.

Remus stopped to wonder when they had stopped living separate lives.

The door opened and Sirius flounced in, following by Regulus, who was walking with noticeably less flourish.

“Bang up job on the packing, Remus,” he said, lifting one of the small boxes. “This won’t take long to Floo to the new place at all!”

“I didn’t think so either. But aren’t you flying your motorcycle out there?” Remus asked him.

“Yeah?”

“Well then you can take a few on your motorcycle, and your brother and I can Floo the rest. It’ll take less trips.”

“Right then. I can do that, I suppose.”

Remus gave Sirius the things that were the least fragile, and told him to get a head start.

“You got rid of him quickly,” Regulus noted, shifting the bag on his shoulder and carefully picking up one of the remaining boxes.

“It’s a long fly, and not a long Floo. I figured by the time he actually got there, we could have your room set up and you wouldn’t really have to deal with him.”

“I don’t mind dealing wi-”

“It’s been five years,” Remus said simply. “And Sirius can be hard to swallow. You should have some time to yourself to adjust, I think. This will be different. I don’t think you and your brother should become best mates immediately. And a young child in the picture doesn’t help-” Remus paused. “I know he’s a fucker, but you should give him a chance.”

Regulus laughed. “I guess I have to.”

“He cares, you know. Even though he pretends not to.”

He just rolled his eyes.

“Let’s get all of this stuff to the new place. The address is ‘Number Seven Pits Lane’,” he said as Regulus grabbed some of the Floo powder and walked to the fireplace. He clambered in and recited the destination, disappearing in a whirl of flames.

Remus grabbed the remaining two boxes, and did the same (with a bit of difficulty), and climbed out of the fireplace that led to the empty sitting room of the little house they were going to be living in.

“It’s bigger than the flat,” Regulus noted.

Remus looked through his boxes and found the one labeled ‘Remus’, setting down the other and walking to one of the bedrooms.

“You’re going to sleep in my room,” he told Regulus, opening the door and gesturing for Regulus to follow him. He opened the box and pulled out the tiny furniture. He set it the general positions he had in mind for his room and returned them to their normal size. Then he walked to the wardrobe and pulled all of his clothes out of it. “So put your clothes in there, I can put mine in your brother’s room or leave them in the sitting room.”

“You don’t have to-” Regulus started.

“Just do it,” Remus said simply. “I’ll be fine on the sofa.”

“Thanks.”

“Not a problem.”

Regulus handed over the box he had been holding somewhat awkwardly, and then hurried to putting his assorted clothes in the now empty wardrobe.

He had been carrying Harry’s things, and so Remus went to setting up that room next. It was across the sitting room from his bedroom, but adjoined to Sirius’s. He put the crib on the opposite wall from a large window, and pulled out an endless number of toys and put them in some kind of order.

He took a break, sitting on the dark red carpet of the sitting room and just relaxing a little. The remaining box they had brought was Sirius’s bedroom, which he would let Sirius set up himself.

After about a quarter of an hour, the low rumble of an engine indicated that Sirius had arrived. The man in question burst inside and began setting up the kitchen/dining area with no hesitation. It only took him about five minutes, and he began working on the sitting room with the same kind of wanton enthusiasm.

Remus would have to rearrange after a good night’s sleep.

Sirius left the bathroom box with Remus and went about doing his bedroom.

He clambered up onto the newly regrown sofa and began dozing nearly instantly. He didn’t feel Sirius drape a blanket over him or hear him leave to go get Harry, but when he awoke later that night he heard Sirius creeping out of Harry’s room, back into his own.

Smiling to himself as he fell back asleep, Remus felt a strong surging of affection for ‘that fucker’ Sirius Black.
 
 
Current Mood: bouncybouncy
 
 
 
Leeny: Alwaysk_leeny on July 1st, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
Awww *huggles Barty*

Can't wait for more action.
moonypadsmoonypads on July 1st, 2008 05:26 pm (UTC)
Aww you're making me love Barty! Although I was sort of forced to since is my David.

Another lovely installment! I can't wait until these fools accept their feelings for each other!
Beccarev02a on July 1st, 2008 06:01 pm (UTC)
"Remus felt a strong surging of affection for ‘that fucker’ Sirius Black."

That cracked me up. Totally ready to see Remus off the couch and in that fucker's bed. Ha!
Inga: plantfiny on July 1st, 2008 10:01 pm (UTC)
Pretty awesome story so far.
I never thought of Regulus/Barty as a pairing but it's super super interesting how you write them.
They are not the good guys but really sympathetic. In Rowling's books it's a little too black and white for my liking but your view of the things is really nice!
Miss Nina Catmsninacat on July 2nd, 2008 09:23 am (UTC)
Very nice! I like how you're letting the brothers try to bond again. Can't wait to see what's next!