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The Road Home by Harry_Potter_Mom

Format: Novel
Chapters: 23
Word Count: 89,967

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Mild Language, Strong Violence, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: General, Mystery, AU
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Molly, Ginny, Hugo, Rose, OC

First Published: 02/01/2008
Last Chapter: 08/28/2008
Last Updated: 04/26/2009


2008 Dobby Award Winner for Best Mystery/Suspense, Most Memorable Scene, and Best New Author
Finalist for Most Original Character  ||  Amazing banner by NevillesSoulmate

Caught between two worlds - the girl she once was and the witch she is becoming...
Can Hermione help solve the mystery of this young girl before the magic she carries consumes her?
A decision must be made - will Nyah live without magic or die with it?

Chapter 11: A Shift in Magic

~fantastic chapter image by chiQs09's~

… but for Nyah, the next few days would challenge everything she once was and everything she was becoming … it would seal her fate forever. 

Chapter 11 – A Shift in Magic 

There had never been a day at The Stewart Manor that captivated Nyah in such an amazing way that she couldn’t sleep … but here … there was the Burrow. Nyah was certain that there was never a better place on earth. She had been able to play the entire day with Rose and Hugo; getting dirty, eating a picnic lunch by the pond, and after a late dinner, Nyah got to help with the dishes.

Dinner at the Burrow was once again, a lovely time; Nyah was amazed as the vegetables were chopped, the sink washed the potatoes, and the dishes set themselves – all with a flick of Molly’s wand. Everyone laughed and talked, while Molly told stories of her children when they were young; especially the twins, Fred and George.

Unfortunately, Nyah would never get to meet Fred as he had died in the war against someone named Voldemort. She had wanted to ask more questions about the war, but Rose interrupted with a tale about Nyah’s first introduction to the garden gnomes, and the laughter ensued once again.

No one rushed to the fireplace as the time came to leave, but instead lingered… enjoying this moment with family. Nyah was especially hoping to stay a bit longer, but Hermione insisted on getting the children home and to bed. Molly gave everyone an extra hug and sent them off, promising to see them soon.

Once back at the cottage, Nyah climbed into bed while thoughts of the Burrow filled her mind. She committed each moment to memory in case there was never another day like it. I wish I had a journal to write it all down in, Nyah thought, hoping the details of the day would stay fresh and clear. Sleep had been driven away as the excitement stayed within the young girl.

She slipped out from under the cool sheets, her feet landing on the dark wood floor without a sound. The large window was open a bit and the pale pink curtains danced in the breeze as Nyah found herself wandering through the little room. She touched the walls, tracing the delicate flowered wallpaper as the small vines and blooms chased her fingers in a never-ending pattern. There was a faint scent of lavender, as if embedded in the paper itself, brought to life by the touch of the young girls’ fingers.

Aside from the bed and night stand, the room held a large dresser plus an old desk in the corner. Taking a seat on the small bench, Nyah ran her hand over the top of the wood … it was well-worn and shiny from use. She lifted the desk top and found parchment, ink, and quills – ready for use. Nyah had never used a quill and ink, and thought it best that she get some practice before school started, positive her classmates would know much more about magic than she.

At first, Nyah simply scribbled, getting a feel for the way the ink embedded into the parchment and fanned out a tiny bit if the quill lingered too long. She found that it was very similar to writing the Muggle way, but the quill feather seemed to provide some leverage and made the writing a little easier, except when her nose got in the way causing her to itch furiously. After nearly dropping the ink in her lap and onto the floor, she finally found a small hole for the inkwell to sit properly on the desk.

Quill writing was actually enjoyable, so Nyah pulled out another sheet of parchment and set about writing a letter to Anna, wishing her a happy birthday. She told Anna all about Rose and Hugo, her new bedroom with a view of Hogwarts, and the Burrow. By the time she was finished, two sheets of parchment were filled. Nyah stifled a yawn as she folded the papers. Perhaps Hermione would let her used Pig to send the letter to Anna, instead of the Muggle post.

Nyah giggled out loud at the thought of an owl showing up at The Stewart Manor to deliver the letter. She could nearly picture Catherine and Alexander’s faces if Pig arrived just as breakfast was served, perhaps even landing in the middle of the table.

The smile lingered on her face as Nyah stood and stretched. She peered out the window into the stillness of the night, grateful that sleep had managed to impose on her. But there, in the corner of the yard, Nyah saw a distinct shadow. A wave of fear swept through her body, though she didn’t know why. She knelt down and continued to watch as the shadow moved along the fence line.

Nyah started for the door, bringing the candle along, careful to tiptoe so not to wake anyone. She crept down the stairs and towards the front room, when she saw two hooded figures walking slowly up the front path. Without hesitation or concern for noise, Nyah turned and sped back up the stairs, pounding on Hermione’s door.

“Hermione, Hermione!” Nyah cried, her voice filled with panic, “There’s men outside.”

The bedroom door flew open with Hermione’s hair flying wild, her wand held high. Glancing down the stairs and back to Nyah, she placed her finger over her lips and pointed down the hall to Rose and Hugo’s rooms. With a nod, Hermione moved silently down the steps, as Nyah sped to the children’s rooms.

Slowly turning the large brass doorknob, Nyah entered Rose’s bedroom first, which seemed to be very similar to her own, but decorated in Rose’s favorite shades of blue. The walls twinkled like moonlight hitting water, and Nyah paused a moment, expecting the sounds of waves crashing against the rocks to meet her ears.

Rose was wrapped in a pale blue knitted blanket that was nearly too small for her, but with a little stretching it just covered her toes. Nyah woke the little girl from a sound sleep, and pulled her towards the door.

Rubbing her eyes, Rose whined, “What’s going on?” She refused to move and shrugged off Nyah’s attempts to budge her from the warmth of the bed.

“There are men in cloaks - heading up the walkway,” whispered Nyah. “Your mum sent me to stay with you and Hugo. Now, come on!” Nyah beckoned her to the door.

Fear rising in her eyes, Rose grabbed a dressing gown and clasped tight to Nyah’s hand as they crept out the door and across the hall. Hugo was snoring loudly, undisturbed by the movement in the house, and unaware that the girls had come into his room. He was stretched out completely on the bed, his right foot hanging off the side and his arms reaching in opposite directions.

Hugo’s room was the smallest of the bedrooms, and was decorated in reds and golds; “Gryffindor colors,” Rose whispered as Nyah looked around. His bedroom window faced the front of the house, and the two girls peeked out looking over the yard. Rose gasped as she saw one of the men head for an open window.

“Get away from there!” Rose yelled, not realizing the danger she was in.

Nyah pulled Rose from the window as colored sparks flew by.

The downstairs erupted as Hermione took control and spells were fired at the intruders.

Rose ran out the bedroom door before Nyah could reach her. Both girls made for the stairs; Rose to her mother – Nyah trying to protect little Rose. They landed on the bottom step at the same time, Nyah insisting they stay hidden in the shadows.

The girls cautiously peeked around the corner, watching silently as Hermione stood unmoving in the shadows, barely visible. Nyah watched tentatively as a figure approached the door. “Bombarda!” echoed through the house as the front door was blown from its hinges, sending glass and wood splintering into the front room.

A scream hung on the air, as Hermione was sent plummeting to the floor. Before the dust had time to settle, the two hooded figures stepped into the home, one heading straight for the unconscious woman.

Ignoring the shards of glass penetrating her bare feet, Nyah ran to Hermione, begging her to wake up, but Hermione was unresponsive. Nyah’s breathing became erratic and the tingling quickly spread through her body. A heavy hand grabbed her arm, lifting her from the floor and dragging her away. Angered, Nyah found her footing and stood firm, causing the Death Eater to turn and look at her.

He was a short, stocky man that grunted when he walked, as though the sheer weight of his body was taxing his breathing. There was a dark mask covering his face, but it did little to conceal the numerous scars on his chin, nor the small amount of moustache that sat above his dark lips and yellowing teeth.

Rose had stayed in the shadow of the stairs, covering her mouth, fearing her sobs would reveal her presence. She couldn’t take her eyes off of her mum … lying there, unmoving. Just then, Hugo appeared at the top of the steps dragging his blanket, calling for Hermione.

The second hooded figure lazily raised his wand, pointing it at the little boy. Unexpectedly, Rose screamed and lunged from the shadow, taking the Death Eater by surprise. But she was so small, the cloaked figure simply grabbed her hair and looked in her face, his wand still pointed at the steps.

“This one is too young,” the taller Death Eater said curtly of Rose. He cast her down and turned to face Nyah who was, by this point, watching him with fear. Rose crawled to her mother, moving the debris from Hermione as best she could.

The pain flowing through Nyah was almost overwhelming … but she held firm, not letting her captors aware of a potential weakness; the people she loved. Seeing them hurt was much stronger than any pain, and the magic in her shifted; it had found a purpose. The Death Eater’s grip on her arm tightened as he felt Nyah move.

“Best not to fight Nina,” he said with a sick smile on his face.

“My name is Nyah, and you need to let me go now,” she said, nearly growling at the grown men, willing herself not to cry. Her head was throbbing and the air held an electricity, not yet recognized by the two men.

The taller man snickered as he moved towards her, lowering his wand from the stairwell, forgetting about little Hugo for a moment. His long strides brought him directly in front of Nyah in three steps. He reached out, grabbing her hair and pulling it back, causing her chin to rise sharply.

A cruel smile spread across his face as he took in all of her features. “Yes, this is the one; she has her mother’s eyes,” he said to the stocky man. Then, holding Nyah’s chin, he clicked his tongue while scolding her, “Tsk, tsk … spending time in a mudblood’s shack … terrible choice, Nina, terrible. My father will not be pleased.”

“My – name – is – Nyah!” she screamed, stomping her foot, her fists clenched in defiance. The two men jumped away from the girl, shaking their hands as though burned by the ferocity in her voice. The shorter man, sensing impending danger, ran for the open doorway, but Nyah was past the point of no return. Her brown eyes pierced the mask, transferring the pain within her to the man running towards the door. He sank to the floor, holding his head.

Nyah’s hair was flying around her shoulders as she turned towards the taller man. He stumbled backwards, his hands held in front of him trying to shield himself from the girl’s power. He had no idea how to counteract the magic he was seeing in her. He again pulled his wand from his cloak, but instead of pointing it at Nyah, he chose another target … the sleepy little boy that had just gotten to the bottom of the steps … Hugo.

“No!” Nyah screamed, pushing her right hand towards the Death Eater as the left hand called Hugo to her.

Moments later, Nyah slowly sat up, having been thrown to the floor by the intensity of Hugo smashing into her. He looked at Nyah with surprise and said, “Did you see that? I just flew! Wait ‘till I tell Mum and Dad … this magic thing is brilliant!” He jumped off her lap and turned to his sister, who was still sitting on the floor next to Hermione.

Struggling to her feet, Nyah felt a tug on her pant leg as Hugo pointed towards the far wall. Nyah gasped when she saw the huge hole that had been blasted straight through the dining room wall, allowing the darkness to seep into the house. Just outside, lying unconscious, was the Death Eater that had drawn his wand. Nyah smiled, feeling no remorse. She turned to where the front door once was, realizing that the shorter man was missing.

“Nyah!” yelled Rose, pointing at the gaping hole. The Death Eather had dragged himself around the house and was reaching for the unconscious man. Looking straight at Nyah, he turned on the spot and the two men disappeared with a ‘pop’.

Nyah’s focus shifted at the sound of Hugo’s cries. The front door had landed directly on top of Hermione, splintering in the blast. The three children delicately moved the heavy boards, revealing an unconscious and barely breathing Hermione.

The noise from the attack had awakened the neighbors and they rushed to the small cottage, unprepared for the sight that they beheld. Mr. Baird, the elderly gentleman who lived next door, was the first to arrive. Taking a quick look around while Rose calmly and succinctly told him what happened, he walked to the fireplace and flooed away. His wife, Dorothy, stayed with the children.

Within moments, Mr. Baird arrived back at the house followed by two healers and two wizards to transport Hermione and the children to St. Mungo’s.

As soon as they arrived, healers took the children to a room together on the ground floor in an area for minor wounds, while Hermione was whisked away to a private room on the fourth floor. Rose and Hugo silently huddled on one of the beds, while Nyah sat in a tiny chair nearby, her head held in her hands, trying in vain to comprehend what had just happened.

The assigned healers took turns examining the children, jotting down notes, while Ministry officials barked out questions about the men at the cottage.

The children sat quietly as each one was treated; Hugo had a small piece of wood in his arm, and Rose had several cuts on her knees and hands. The healers applied a soothing ointment and gave each child a small potion, which Rose said smelled like Hugo’s old socks.

Nyah, however, suffered the most physical damage of the three children. The healer-in-training escorted Rose and Hugo to another bed, separated from Nyah only by a curtain. Nyah’s feet had sustained numerous lacerations from the glass and wood, and one of her palms was burnt. Both healers worked in silence with an occasional flourish of their wands and inaudible spells. Nyah was surprised and grateful at how little pain there was. She too, was given a concoction as the healer explained, “I’ve given you a bit stronger potion to help with the pain, but it will also make you sleep. We’ll be sending some home with you to use if needed.” Healer Sabinski asked if Nyah wished for Rose and Hugo to stay here with her or wait in the waiting area.

Rose was still crying, and Nyah said they should stay together. Both children managed to crawl up into the bed with Nyah; Hugo clinging to tightly to her neck. The healer simply offered a smile and moved to leave as a sea of red-haired people burst through the door into the room.

“Where are they? Rose? Hugo? Nyah?” Molly’s voice rang out. The room suddenly filled with warmth and voices as Mrs. Weasley, Mr. Weasley, along with two others came rushing to the children.

“Dad!” Hugo and Rose yelled in unison and they leapt into his open arms.

Nyah couldn’t help but smile as Ron grabbed both children, embracing them fiercely. After a few moments, he set Hugo down, looking at him closely and then tousling the little boy’s thick head of hair. Rose, however, did not let go as easily, and was crying again as her father sat down in a chair with Rose still in his lap. He wiped her tears, and whispered to her that ‘everything is fine’. And in all that, Ron still kept a hand on Hugo, not wanting to let either one go.

The little children took turns showing their dad the injuries they sustained, while asking constantly about their mum. Ron continued to comfort them, promising to see Hermione as soon as the Healers said it was all right. Once again, both children wrapped themselves in the arms of their father, thrilled he was home.

Nyah’s face fell a bit as she realized no one was there to pick her up … to tell her things were fine. Hot, angry tears fell from her eyes as an arm wrapped itself around her, enveloping her tightly. She didn’t resist, and allowed herself to be swept up… away from the misery and pain. A heavy hand touched the top of her head, its warmth spreading through her like pure energy; and again, her magic shifted – willingly – purposefully.

The potion was taking effect and Nyah felt herself slipping to sleep. She begged her mind to focus – to stay with this family, but it was no use … she slipped away to sleep … and to dream.

Mum was singing again, her red hair blowing in the breeze of the open car window … the voice Nyah loved that was now so familiar … ‘Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts, Teach us something, please!’

“Okay, okay, teach her something different” the voice of her dad said with a gentle laugh as he reached to take Mum’s hand …

“So, where are we going tomorrow?”

“I thought we’d head to central Paris and I’d take my girls shopping … unless you’d rather just stay in the hotel,” he said, winking.

“Oh no… I think our little one needs some new shoes and maybe even a dress for her very special birthday next week,” Mum said as she turned to look at the little raven-haired girl smiling in the back seat.

Nyah’s head felt heavy and her eyes fluttered, fighting sleep.

Suddenly, the car lost its footing on the road, swerving ...

She heard her mother scream – Nyah turned and saw the familiar flash of red hair … “Mum” … and again, only one word … ‘Harry.’ 

Nyah awoke covered in sweat and breathing hard … that was the most she had ever remembered. Her eyes felt groggy, and she reached up to rub them, the dream still lingering in her mind.

The sun had just started to peek through the magical windows of the hospital, and Nyah turned on her side, when she realized someone was sitting in the chair next to her bed, asleep.

The woman’s thick auburn hair fell over her face as she was leaning forward, resting on her arm, while her other hand lay on the bed next to Nyah.

The woman softly stirred from her sleep, taking a deep waking breath. As she sat up, her long hair fell back to her shoulders, and her brown eyes met Nyah’s – a soft smile landing on her full lips.

Nyah simply whispered … “Mum.”

Author’s notes: Thank you all for getting this far with me. I am encouraged by the wonderful reviews, as well as learning a lot about writing. I still love this story and there are quite a few chapters ready to post for validation.

Please leave a review, long or short, and let me know what you think! I answer each one and don’t mind ‘talking’ to you about the story!