The Original Trio of Tricksters Part Two: I Can Dim the Lights and Sing You Songs Full of Sad Things
Story Summary: Let it never be said that Harry Potter’s parents were ones to half-ass shenanigans. This is the story of the rise and fall of the original trio of tricksters.
This is chapter two! To start at the beginning of the story click here.
Disclaimer: Not mine yadda yadda please don’t sue me yadda yadda I don’t want to tap dance yadda yadda.
Author’s Note: Thanks to NaNoWriMo for making me produce content, and thanks to Transreal_Clouden and cyborg-goddess for making the content fit for an audience. (Particular shout to to cyborg-goddess for doing the dishes while I write fanfiction. You’re the real MVP.)
I Can Dim the Lights and Sing You Songs Full of Sad Things
“Welcome to the Order of the Phoenix.”
The last year had been hard on all of them. They hadn’t been exposed to the brunt of the war while at Hogwarts, but as seventh years, and adults, they hadn’t been as sheltered from it as the younger years were, especially James and Lily, who as Head Boy and Head Girl, were responsible for the younger years, and were responsible for the student population at large. They weren’t professors, but they also weren’t just normal students. They had responsibilities to uphold that meant that they were a bit more grown up than the average seventh year, but because they were also students, it was more comfortable to go to them if someone had a nightmare, or if someone was having an issue at home. And it was because of all of their connections that Lily and James were an important asset to the Order of the Phoenix, because they had the important attribute of being able to understand people and motivations and the younger generation in a way that many of the older members did not.
Although Albus Dumbledore was a professor and eventually Headmaster at Hogwarts, he tried to make a point to not recruit directly from his students with any amount of frequency. While most people had been his students at one point, of course, due to how long he had been teaching, Albus did his best to let children be children, as he felt that the burdens that they bore were not ones that should be placed upon them. And yet while he claimed he was particularly reluctant to place responsibility upon them, he was nevertheless aware of the potential that they could have, and as he got older, the lines that he was willing to cross got thinner and thinner, particularly as he got more and more desperate in his efforts to stop Voldemort, the boy he had failed to save, the boy who had turned so evil.
And so there he was, initiating barely-graduated Hogwarts alumni into his secret Order of the Phoenix. A symbol of hope, and the biggest hope in him was that he wasn’t leading these good young people to slaughter.
And yet he needed their skills. They were some of the most skilled charms, runes, arithmancy, and transfigurations students he had come across. He needed Sirius Black, James Potter, and Lily Evans.
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Lily, James, and Sirius were quite amused at what their ex-headmaster initially proposed, because they initially presumed that it must be a joke. I mean, it had to be, right? He couldn’t really mean for them to do this, could he? But actually, he was completely serious. Their mission, or missions, was to find a way to break into the houses and manors of death eaters, and steal the plans and schemes of Voldemort, all while potentially robbing him and them blind. And the headmaster didn’t want to know any more about it. He just wanted them to get in, get out, and do it as conspicuously or inconspicuous as possible. He said he wanted it completely unaffiliated with the Order; he wanted it to seem like a third party — fourth party depending on how you sliced it — had entered the game. He would fund, he would take in the information, but the rest of all of it was on them, the research, the takeaway. And he didn’t want them confiding in anyone else, any of their friends. It was bizarre, it was mad, and it just might work.
Once they had left the company of their ex-schoolteacher and now silent partner in what was surely many levels of illegal actions they were setting out to do, the young lovers set out with a plan. Because of course they were going to follow through. Sure, they were only eighteen, but they were some of the best in their year, had been studying and scheming for ages, and the prank work completed by the Marauders meant that they were used to sneaking in and around undetected.
“We’re going to need a cool name though,” James insisted.
“James, really, is it that important?” Lily asked with a raised eyebrow. “Why can’t we just keep it simple?”
“No, he’s right, it has to be something memorable, something that will stand out. If we’re supposedly a new faction we need to be bold and stand out. Besides, with a name we can craft personae. What are you thinking, Jamie?”
“I’m not sure, I just know we need a name.”
Lily sighed, and did her best not to facepalm. “Well, how about something to do with mischief? Since we are supposed to be mysterious and messing with plans?”
“Hmmm, I like it.” James hummed, “Including mischief is good.”
“I’m not sure ‘mischief’ is a good idea, just because of the slim chance that Moony or Wormtail might connect it to the map, and Dumbledore did say we shouldn’t let anyone , even friends in on the secret.” Sirius interjected. “What about something to do with tricksters?”
“The Tricksters?” Lily asked. “That sounds like a band name.” she wrinkled her nose.
“No, I think it works,” James replied slowly. “We’re a trio of Tricksters,” he said with a broadening smile, and for Lily and Sirius, well, James’s smiles really were infectious.
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It was a bit difficult for them at first, what with the needing to break in the idea of breaking in to places. James was the one who had the most difficulty, actually. Lily had always come across as a “good girl,” but the fact of the matter was that she had grown up in a rough area, even if it was one of the nicer parts, and she was aware of the dangers of the world in ways that James simply wasn’t. Similarly, Sirius had a familiarity with the ways of dark magic and dark mages that was something that James simply didn’t have a reference for, having grown up in a light household, even if it was a pureblood one. He did occasionally visit his aunt Dorea and uncle Charlus, who were a bit more traditional, Dorea originally having been from the house of Black, but they were also quite eccentric, and tended to experiment in ways that were dangerous for children, and so the elderly Fleamont and Euphemia kept a young James away from them for the most part, for fear that he would come to harm by visiting them and come afoul of some of their more precarious experimentations. “It wouldn’t be the end of the world if he had elephant ears for the day, Eu,” Dorea once said to his mother, and James had asked that they not visit his aunt again, for he had a quite serious fear of elephants, on account of a scary story he had once heard about an elephant with particularly large ears who was prone to singing and was forcibly taken from his mother.
In any case, the point of the matter was that the three of them had fairly balanced talents, because for all that James didn’t have some of the street smarts or experience with the dark families that they were going to be attacking, what James was particularly good at, and what was his specialty, was transfiguration, and the ability to create the items that they would need on their heists.
They had decided to start simple, because they didn’t want to get too big for their britches. The houses that they would be breaching had enchantments around them, yes, but none of them as old and powerful as Hogwarts, and as Marauders James and Sirius had proven that they could tap into the other magic and make it their own via the power of the Marauder’s Map. They encountered something very similar when examining the wards of the houses that they were going to be investigating, and found a goldmine in that they discovered that almost all of the places that they planned to hit used the same base ward that Hogwarts had, which was a human noticing homenum revelio spell, that baseline marked whether or not there were people within the wards so that they could track whether or not those within were hostiles. But as Marauders, two of the tricksters had long since learned that said ward could be corrupted to track not just whether or not that person was friend or foe, but who that person was, and where they were within the ward scheme. And so all they had to do was slip a low-grade ward clinger onto the ward, something barely noticeable that blended right into the schema, and they were able to create rough maps of the places they planned to loot.
Sure, it was a much more complicated affair to get in and out, past the occupants, subduing any house elves without harming them, freeing prisoners anonymously if any were found, and looting anything not nailed down, all while acquiring their actual objective — dirt on the dark side — but having dynamic maps of the places they planned to attack was not at all a bad start.
At the beginning it was almost like a game to them. Not that they really thought of it that way — they knew things were serious, they knew they were at war, they knew lives were at stake — but all the same, they were giddy at their initial success. They were making a difference, and the death eaters they were coming across were utterly unprepared for them. In a way they did get a little bit too arrogant. Flush with success, they brought the things that they learned to Dumbledore, and he was able to stop many attacks that the Death Eaters had planned, including one that would have unseated the Minister of Magic, via breaking up a ring of Death Eaters that was staging a carefully constructed coup. But unfortunately, after such a big break they were no longer just a minor annoyance that was robbing his followers of gold, and Voldemort himself decided to come after the trio. Granted, the way things had gone down made it seem as though plans had fallen through because a few key players were out of commission due to a lack of funds, and Dumbledore’s people had inconveniently stumbled into roadblocking them, but nevertheless, blame could at least be partially laid on the shoulders of the trio, even if it was only as opportunistic thieves.
It was while they were infiltrating the Rosier residence that he found them the first time, and offered them a place at his side, claiming that talent like theirs was wasted on the side of the light.
“What makes you think we have anything more in common with you than those fools on the light?” Lily scoffed with a false bravado that was actually surprisingly convincing. She appeared flippant, but her lovers could tell that she remained as alert as ever. The three of them were each desperately trying to think of a way out of the tricky situation they had found themselves in. “Why should we trust you?”
“Of course you shouldn’t,” Voldemort replied, amused. “But one day you will regret defying me and rejecting my mercy. I’ll give you three days to make the right decision, and come to my side, before I destroy your everything.”
With a crack, the Dark Lord was gone, and the three tricksters took a split second to look at each other with wide eyes, before each apparating away in turn, going to separate and varied locations, each creating a unique Apparation chain across the country with at least ten stops before meeting at their rendezvous point.
“What the fuck was that?” Sirius gasped, his head in his hands, as he shook. Lily pulled him into an embrace, and James then encircled both of them in his arms, kissing each of their foreheads. “Lils, you just backtalked You-Know-Who . I’m not sure if that’s more badass or more suicidal.”
“I’m not sure either,” she replied shakily. “Did that really just happen? How did — I mean, will he be able to find us? I think my occlumency shields were enough to keep him out, but could he have gotten past, found out who were are? He said three days.”
“I think we should be safe,” James tried to reassure her. “Dumbledore wouldn’t have assigned us this mission if he didn’t think we could complete it.”
“Wouldn’t he though? Why did he assign this to us? We’re barely out of school, what kind of chance do we stand against someone like He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?” Lily asked.
“No, James, she’s right. Why would Dumbledore have us do this? I’ve been wondering this myself. Surely there could have been someone more qualified? I mean, I was honored to be asked — me, the son of a dark family. Given a chance to get back at them all. But am I really the best person? Or am I just the person most easy to convince?” Sirius asked forcefully, pulling away from the two of them and began to pace. “I’m starting to wonder about Dumbledore’s motives here.”
“You don’t doubt he’s against You-Know-Who?” James asked dubiously.
“No, of course not,” Sirius said dismissively. “I just wonder —”
“If Dumbledore can still see the trees in the forest?” Lily asked.
“Yeah, exactly.” Sirius said. “Are we people, to him? Are we individuals? Or are we just weapons to be wielded against the dark?”
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“I warned you when you started on this journey that it would be difficult and that I wouldn’t be able to shield you from dangers along your path.” Dumbledore told them in a sorrowful tone. “And that’s a large part of why we’ve kept you separate from the rest of the Order.”
“Yes, you did warn us, but at the same time, this is a damn big issue, and this is You-Know-Who we are talking about, not just some run of the mill Death Eaters,” James argued.
“I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that taking Voldemort’s offer would be an unwise move.” Dumbledore leaned forward and peered at them over the rims of his glasses.
“Of course you don’t,” Sirius snapped.
“As if we would ever!” James huffed, while Lily glared at the Headmaster with thin lips.
“But what should we do?” asked Sirius.
“Use your best judgment, my boy,” Dumbledore replied solemnly. “You are smarter and more skilled than you give yourselves credit for, and as I told you when this all began, I know nothing about it.”
Lily rolled her eyes, fuming, and spared Dumbledore naught but a nasty glance before grabbing both of her lovers’ arms and apparating out of the cottage that was currently being used as secondary HQ for the Order.
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The answer is no. We’re on our own side.
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Despite the fact that Voldemort now had it out for them personally, and Dumbledore was clearly not as behind them as they thought he was, the trio didn’t stop their efforts. It wasn’t as if there was much else they could do. They had no other real direction to go in — James and Sirius had access to a lot of information via their jobs as aurors, in that their junior position let them into areas without suspicion as they weren’t expected to be responsible for very much, but they could take advantage of resources that were incredibly helpful. Lily was pursuing a charms mastery with Professor Flitwick, and her ready access to Hogwarts allowed them to readily feed information to Dumbledore, reservations or no, because what were they going to do with the information they had gathered? They suspected he must have other cells working in secret factions separate from the Order, because the pushback against Voldemort wasn’t all attributed to the light side.
Voldemort, on the other hand, was furious at their rejection. He was paying much more attention to them, and they had several close calls, the closest being when James failed to apparate out at the same time as Lily and Sirius, and his lovers were left paralyzed in terror when he didn’t meet them at the rendezvous point for over half an hour, and when he did, it was with a mangled leg and crushed lung, having just barely escaped the Dark Lord’s wrath. After he was healed enough that they were sure he wasn’t going to die they all cried together, and once more seriously considered quitting entirely. They knew what they were doing was helping the war efforts, but at what cost? What price would be too high?
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It had been two months since James’s injury, and he was now fully recovered. The three of them were incredibly worried that Voldemort may have made the connection between James Potter’s sudden contraction of wizard flu and his traumatic injury to one of the Tricksters, especially since James was never taken to see a professional at St. Mungos, but it was the best they could come up with in a short amount of time. The three of them were visiting the elder Potters for dinner and to catch up, since they hadn’t spent as much time with Euphemia and Fleamont after graduating and moving into their own place. And yet, when they got to James’s childhood home they immediately realized that something was wrong, because the wards were down. Cautiously entering the house, wands out, they saw the Potter parents sitting on the sofa in the living room. Or rather….
Lily let out a horrified gasp, and James and Sirius both felt incredibly ill as they realized that the limp bodies in the living room were those of their parents. Looking around they realized that almost the entire house had been stripped bare of valuables, in the same manner that they had now done to dozens of homes, and they realized with a sick anger that this was exactly what they had done, in a horrific reversal.
“I did warn you.”
They all snapped to attention at the voice of Voldemort, because of course it was him, leaning against the banister of the staircase that James had always dashed down on eager Yuletide mornings.
“Monster,” James spat, literally spat. Lily was too furious, and too sad, for words, but she took James’s hand and glared at Voldemort with the same defiance. Sirius felt broken, but pulled himself together before James and his fury got them into a situation they couldn’t get out of, and took his other hand.
“Oh, I’ve been called worse,” Voldemort feigned a yawn before lazily flicking out his wand and pointing it at James. ” Crucio. “
Sirius pushed James out of the way, submitting himself to the curse. It was pain, worse than he was expecting, but not worse than he could handle. Still, he writhed for enough dramatic effect that Voldemort was pleased, and it gave Lily and James just enough time to grab onto him and activate their emergency portkey to Hogwarts.
They landed in the middle of Dumbledore’s private quarters, and Lily immediately called out for a house elf, who brought Madame Pomfrey, a newly hired mediwitch who was a part of the Order and knew both how to keep a secret and how to treat the Cruciatus curse.
“You’ve been under this curse before, haven’t you, my dear?” She asked Sirius sadly.
Lips tight, he simply nodded. Lily and James each thought back to the words he had told them when they started all this.
“If we’re ever in a situation where someone starts throwing around the Cruciatus curse, let me take it. I’ve built up a tolerance.” He told them bitterly. “There was more than enough hate on the part of the people who called themselves family for it to work.”
Even though they knew that he had chosen this, both Lily and James couldn’t help but wish that it hadn’t been necessary. Sirius was a self-sacrificing idiot, but he was their self-sacrificing idiot.
Later, as Lily and James wearily held hands at the bedside of a sleeping Sirius, finally lured to rest by a dreamless sleep potion, they were disturbed by a startled Alice Longbottom, a few years ahead of them, recently married, an auror on loan as the DADA professor, and also a member of the Order, who was leading into the hospital wing…
“ Petty?” Lily shrieked in surprise, jolting James out of his listlessness, and Sirius out of his sleep. Lily rushed to the woman that Alice was carrying, and who Lily was now certain was her sister, badly burned but under stasis spells, and James called for Madam Pomfrey.
“What happened?” Lily demanded of Alice, as the matron took over Petunia’s care and declared that she would be fine, with a few spells and potions.
Alice explained that she and her husband, Frank, were assigned by Dumbledore to look in on Lily’s family after what happened to the Potters, and found that Lily’s childhood home was being consumed by fiendfyre. They had barely been able to pull Petunia out alive, and Frank was currently trying to identify the bodies of the other four people in the house. According to Alice, they’d had to restrain a man who identified himself as Vernon Dursley, and was trying to get into the house, insisting that his wife, parents, and in-laws were inside. He was now safe and sedated, until such a time as they could confirm that Petunia was in fact alive and his wife.
Lily, in shock and furious, insisted that Vernon be brought there immediately, not fully able to grasp the fact that her parents were gone, but knowing that Vernon and Petunia, as unpleasant as they were to deal with at times, shouldn’t have to go through their pain apart from one another.
She stroked Petunia’s hair, her long, soft blonde hair that her sister had always treasured, which now was crispy at the edges, and used a very small amount of wandless magic to trim away the burnt bits. It was a silly spell to learn wandlessly, used mostly to get rid of split ends, but it had been a dare between the three of them to each find the most useless (as in rarely-needed single-purpose) spell they could and learn it wandlessly, and the winner didn’t have to do any household chores in their flat for a month. Lily chose a spell for trimming hair, Sirius a spell for tying one’s shoes, and James chose a spell for cleaning out one’s belly button. (James won, and was annoying smug about it.) Still, silly competition or no, in this case it was actually a quite useful thing to know how to do. So in a way it was she who had won after all. Except, now she, James, Petunia, and Vernon were all orphans. Sirius too, because the Potters were his parents in every way that mattered. They had brought him into their home on a short term basis every holiday since the one after their first year, and he completely moved in with them after their fifth. And now they were gone, and the last vestiges of childhood had been stripped away.
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December 1979 — Christmas
The holidays were a somber affair that year. Their parents were gone, Petunia and Lily weren’t on speaking terms — the former blaming the latter for the deaths of their parents, and with good reason, in both of their opinions. Sirius wasn’t on speaking terms with his family, and he had heard that his father and brother had both died over the summer, leaving only his mother, and she was the one he liked least. He exchanged Christmas cards with his cousin Andy, who had married a muggleborn, but she had a young child, and they hadn’t spoken in years, not having much in common other than being the white sheep in the family, and even that wasn’t really enough to breach the distance of age and gender roles.
So for Christmas it was the three of them at their flat, though they invited Moony and Wormtail, who they hadn’t seen much of since graduation, and each of them declined spending Christmas Day, but agreed to come on the day after, and spend Boxing Day with them. Remus spent the majority of his time caring for his ailing mother and failing to find steady work due to his condition and inability to work regular hours between that and being a caretaker. Meanwhile Peter had secured a position as a clerk at the Ministry, checking people’s wands as they entered, and was seeing a witch who worked in the floo department. It was with dismay that the trio realized that, wrapped up as they were in each other and in the mission that Dumbledore had given them, they had lost track of their friends. They didn’t even know the name of the witch Peter was seeing (Clarissa) or that Remus’s mother’s condition had worsened to the degree it had. All things told, it was a relief when the three of them were alone again, but also lonely too.
They were the three of them lying on the bed, each quietly contemplating their own thoughts when Lily said, with a hint of trepidation, “I’m pregnant.”
Instantly, both James and Sirius, who had been sleepily playing with Lily’s hair on either side of her, sat up, wide awake.
“You’re what now?” Sirius asked.
“You heard me,” Lily grumbled, sitting up against the pillows. “I’m pregnant, and one of you tossers is the one to blame,” she was putting on a tough front, and trying to sound gruff, but her teeth were chewing her bottom lip in the way they did when she was anxious, and they could tell he was on the edge of tears.
“Well,” James swallowed, “it, er, doesn’t really matter which one of us is to blame, does it? I mean, we’re going to raise the baby together, aren’t we?” he reached for Lily’s hand hesitantly, and she burst into tears and flung herself at him. He tumbled backwards from where he had been kneeling on the bed to now lay flat on his back, feet at the pillows and being squashed by his, apparently pregnant, girlfriend. Sirius leaned over to lie beside them and stroked Lily’s hair gently as she continued to sob on top of James.
“I’m just — I’m o-only nineteen, I-I don’t know how to take care of a ba-baby and I just — I want to talk to my mum but I can’t because she’s dead and it’s all my-my fa-fault!” Lily wailed. Sirius and James were quite equally at a loss of what to do. Lily had never really been one of those girls who cried very often. If anything Sirius and James were more likely to get overly emotional, and James was the most likely to burst into any kind of tears, albeit behind closed doors. Lily almost never lost her cool. She was the one who always kept it together and stayed strong for the three of them, and now it was clear to see that she was also filled with raw devastation, and fear in a way that they hadn’t really seen before. In the end they decided to go with comforting noises and cuddling, because really they had no real frame of reference for where to go from here.
Eventually, once the sobs had quieted, Sirius kissed Lily’s brow and said: “I don’t think any of us are really prepared Lils. I don’t think any of us really know what we’re doing. But you know what? My parents thought they knew what they were doing and they knew fuck all. We have a solidly low bar to jump over there,” he quirked his lip at her small giggle. “But we can figure it out together, yeah?” She nodded and kissed him gently, before also kissing James, who had been silently nodding along, and then laying her head down and closing her eyes.
“I’m so, so tired,” she whispered. “And I’m so scared for this baby. What will people say, when they’re born out of wedlock? I never really looked into what the wizarding world thinks about that sort of thing, because it just doesn’t seem to happen that often.”
Sirius and James looked at each other with “do you want to field that question?” expressions, and Lily narrowed her eyes at them. “What aren’t you telling me?” she asked.
“Well, it’s like this,” Sirius began awkwardly. “My family hates muggleborns. Hates them. Andromeda got away with marrying one because she’s a female not of the main branch. But this summer, when my brother died, the heirship of the Black family reverted to me, and when my father died… I’m the head of the Black family now, though I haven’t formally claimed it because that’s a lot of attention I didn’t want to have drawn on me. And if word gets out that I have a child with a muggleborn, it’s not even just a question of You-Know-Who being after our child, because even when he’s gone, the entire Black family will be in uproar that the heir to our house is a halfblood. That said, I’m totally going to the ministry and filing my claim as the head of the Black family tomorrow just to lock all this up, but in the meantime, the point of this is all to say, I think it will be safer if, at least in the short term, you and the baby are both Potters.”
Lily stared at Sirius, confused. “Why… I don’t, I don’t want to marry James and not you!” she paused. “Sorry, that sounds bad, I just mean, I don’t want to marry one of you and not the other!” she continued in protest.
“It wouldn’t be — look, Lily, we’re not asking you to marry me and not Sirius, because I don’t want to marry you and not Sirius either,” James said firmly. “What Sirius was trying to explain — badly, I might add — is that we should make it look like you are married to only me, via changing your last name to Potter legally, and giving the baby the last name Potter. We can leave marriage completely off the table, or we can perform a triad marriage ritual, if the two of you want to marry me, that is, hope you’re enjoying this surprise marriage proposal by the way, but either way, the point is that, to the public, it should look like only the two of us are together, to protect you and the baby from Sirius’s wackadoodle relatives.”
“And you both came up with this plan when? I just told you I was pregnant like an hour ago,” Lily asked with disbelief.
“When my father and brother died and I realized that, as the head of the Black family, my partner would be under a ridiculous amount of scrutiny and, while I wasn’t thinking it would be so soon, we were thinking of protecting any future children.”
Lily pursed her lips. “And you didn’t mention this to me because…?”
James shrugged. “It wasn’t a priority, and we were all so shaken up by our parents’ deaths and the fact that You-Know-Who wants our heads on a platter that it just didn’t seem all that relevant until now.”
Lily sighed, before resting against James again. “Fine, I’ll forgive you for now.” She adjusted so that she was laying more on her side rather than on her stomach, with a faint grimace. “I forgot, I’m not supposed to lay down flat on my stomach anymore, it’s bad for the baby.” This time, as she spoke, a faint smile was on her face. “I know it’s terrible that we’re bringing a child into this war, and that we’re super unprepared, but… it’s kinda cool that we’re making a human.”
“Technically you’re doing most of the work,” Sirius pointed out. “James and I definitely enjoyed our part of the baby making, but the actual contribution took a few minutes, you’re the one who has nine months of creation going on in your body. Our external contributions are all about the comfort, care, safety, and the wellbeing of you and our kid.”
Lily rolled her eyes. “I think those external contributions are also pretty important, but we can split hairs later. In the meantime, can we arrange ourselves to that our heads are at the pillows instead of our feet? I’m very tired, and I’d prefer to snuggle under the covers.”
Author’s Note: I want to note here that this fic does, in fact, fall into the realm of “canon compliant if you squint” so I figure you all know what’s coming next. If you want a happy ending, stop here. If you actually want to know the nuance of how everything goes to shit, there will be an epilogue posted next week. Warning: it is probably one of the saddest things I’ve ever written, but was also kinda satisfying in a twisted way?
FIC RECOMMENDATION: If you’ve read the main fic, sorry for the repeat recommendation, but this chapter was so influenced by Faery Heroes by Silently Watches on FFN that I couldn’t not make it the recommendation for this chapter.