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Daughter of a Squib by mrs_potter_13

Format: Novella
Chapters: 9
Word Count: 30,271
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Drama, Fluff, General
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Draco, Fred, George, Ginny, Luna, OC
Pairings: Ron/OC, Draco/Ginny, Harry/Hermione

First Published: 11/27/2010
Last Chapter: 03/02/2012
Last Updated: 03/02/2012

Summary:






Fabulous Banner by rawrjessie at tda ;) she's awesome!
My name's Maggie. I'm a hufflepuff.  I'm also the daughter of a Squib. On my mother's side. I never had a problem with my life at Hogwarts...Until this year.

**Under construction** (insert sounds of jackhammers and hard hats here)


Chapter 1: A Great Start
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Beautiful chapter image by trèsor at tda

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My name is Maggie Carlott. This is the story of what happened my 6th year. The year that I discovered I was more than just a Hufflepuff... Yes, I know. What the bloody hell is a Hufflepuff? I’m a Hufflepuff, thank you very much. The fact that I am a particularly good finder is beside the point. I suppose to start I should tell you I was born in London, but my parents moved to the United States when I was 7. When I got my letter to Hogwarts my mother wasn’t all that thrilled. She’s a squib, see? And my father’s family has been attending Hogwarts for nearly seven generations. Hufflepuff has been our house forever.

So my life at Hogwarts had been everything I had known since I was eleven. I had some friends in all of the houses. Well, pretty much. I occasionally talked to Greg Goyle. He didn’t hold the fact that my mother is a squib against me. She’s still, technically, a pureblood. Plus I practically saved his O.W.L. Potions grade. I don’t know why some people gave me grief for my mom being who she was. Or well… who she is.

I should start at the beginning, shouldn’t I? I’m probably confusing some of you.

My first day of 6th year started out as great as I wanted it to.

There was a bit of a bump, though.

I mean, before this year everyone could care less that my mom was a squib. Actually, now that I think about, not a lot of people actually knew that she was a squib. I never really told anyone. I didn’t think that it mattered. It was my mother’s business. I only knew because she was well… my mother.

But I found out the hard way that it did matter. And that it mattered to some very powerful people.


 

 


 

I was on the train. I had just given my trunk to the conductor and I was trying to find a compartment that I knew someone in, or Merlin forbid, an empty one, when I ran into Malfoy. Actually I bumped into him, and I fell to the floor.

"Sorry, I didn’t see you." I mumbled as I attempted to get up. Greg reached to help me up but before I could grab his hand, Malfoy shoved his arm back.

"Don’t help the blood traitor. You’ll never get the grime off your hands." He sneered. "Just like your mother, Carlott."

"What?" I was confused; I didn’t know what he was talking about. "My mom’s a squib, but that’s it. But I’m obviously not. I mean I’ve been in your classes forever, you know that I can use a wand." I pulled myself up off the floor.

He got in my face so fast I had to take a step backwards, coming against the wall. "That doesn’t mean anything, Carlott. Don’t think that it does. You are what your family is. And your mom is nothing but a blood traitor. Almost as bad as a mudblood."

"You watch your mouth!" I gasped. "What is the matter with you?"

"You’re the matter with me. I can’t stand filth like you. You’re disgusting. You’re almost as bad as Granger. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll stay out of my way." He slammed his hand into the wall beside my head, making me flinch.

"What’s going on here?" I turned to see Ron Weasley, another 6th year—a Gryffindor. "Malfoy, are we going to have problems?"

"No, Weasley." He spat. "No problem at all." Malfoy turned to me, a sneer on his face. "Right, Carlott?"

I nodded my eyes close to the point of tears. I watched him walk off and I slid down the wall. I could feel my heart race as I tried to comprehend what just happened. I closed my eyes, attempting to calm down. When I opened them I turned to see Ron kneeling next to me.

"Are you alright?” He asked. “You’re Maggie, right? You’re in Hufflepuff?”

"I don’t see why there’s a problem with my mother being a squib, there never was before. I don’t get it." I rambled, not even acknowledging his question, looking over at the tall prefect beside me. "I mean, what’s the problem? I’m a student. Why does blood matter so much to the Slytherins?"

"The problem is that Malfoy is an arse who doesn’t know what to do with his oversized ego." Ron put his arm around me, giving my shoulders a comforting squeeze. "Come on, you can sit with me and my friends. You look like you could use people who can make you feel welcome. I promise we don’t bite. Unless you suddenly turn into food. Then I make no promises."

I let out a noise somewhere between a laugh and sniffle and he smiled at me. He stood up and extended his hand. I smiled back, reaching up as he helped me off the ground.

"Hope you don’t mind a bunch of Gryffindors." He laughed. “We tend to be restless.”

"Nah, they’re alright." I laughed. Now that I think about it, we didn’t let go of each other’s hands until we got to the compartment. He did let go once we reached the door, however. Inside were three other Gryffindors, all reputable names throughout the school. Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom, and of course—Harry Potter.

"Hey guys, this is Maggie, she’s going to ride with us, if that’s alright." Ron smiled. I sheepishly waved and couldn’t help feeling like my life was in this decision. “Malfoy cornered her and I don’t want him to cause any more problems before we even reach the bloody school.”

"What happened?" Hermione asked, her brown hair pulled back away from her face and the most abhorrent looking orange… what I am assuming is a Tabby cat sitting in her lap. "Ugh. No bother, there’s no point in trying to figure out what the weasel does anymore. Hey, you were in my Ancient Runes Class last year and fourth year, right?"

I nodded. "Yea, you and I accidentally did our research essays on the same culture. South Eastern Viking tribes of medieval England and their ties to pagan witchcraft."

"Right! You and I got the only high scores in class. You’re quite smart for a Hufflepuff, no offense." She laughed. "But in all seriousness, I’d have pegged you for a Ravenclaw through and through. Oh! Please, sit!" She scooted over and patted the seat beside her.

"My father was a Hufflepuff, and every family member before him. My mother’s family was Ravenclaw." I explained, sitting down.

"Were Ravenclaw?" Harry spoke, and I turned to the famous teenager. His eyes were bright green behind his glasses and his hair hung haphazardly in his face, no doubt to cover the famous scar that everyone knew was there, regardless of his attempts to hide it.

"My mother’s a Squib." I replied. "Everyone in her family before her was in Ravenclaw."

"I didn’t know Squibs could have magical children." Harry said, leaning forward. "Is your dad a pureblood?"

I nodded. "Almost as pure as they come. But my family hasn’t inbred to the point where they are like the Malfoys or anything."

Neville laughed at that and I smiled at the shy boy. He had certainly grown since we first arrived at Hogwarts. He wasn’t the chubby boy hanging from the statue in broom training anymore. It was easy to see that he would be a heartbreaker soon enough. Ron sat beside me, putting me between him and Hermione. Which wasn’t a problem, I was having a great conversation with Hermione and I felt an odd sense of comfort with Ron beside me. We were all talking about anything and everything. It was like we knew each other forever. Ron and I really hit it off.

Harry was quiet most of the time. He was writing. It looked like a letter. We all took turns going to the lavatory to change into our robes. When Ron and Hermione left for their prefect meeting, Neville went to go find Luna Lovegood. This left me alone with Harry. In a very quiet compartment.

"Are you writing your family?" I asked him.

"No, well sort of. He’s basically the only family I have left." Harry replied. "What about you? Are your parents in London?"

I shook my head. "No, they live in New York City. I live in London with a…guardian. In other words, I live with a lawyer." I sighed. “It’s complicated.”

"Why don’t they live with you?" He asked, setting his writing aside.

"My dad wants to. But my mom… I think my mom is scared. She never believed that Voldemort actually died. And she doesn’t believe all the crap that the Daily Prophet spews out. Plus the fact that she’s a squib, she thinks… I don’t know I think she feels that she doesn’t belong. My mom hasn’t really talked to me since I got my letter 5 years ago." I looked up. "Oh, I’m sorry, I’m rambling."

"No, no. It’s fine, really." He smiled. "I don’t mind. I like hearing about other people. I mean their families, you know?"

I nodded. "I’m sure.” I looked at the teen across from me and I leaned closer, my elbows on my knees. “You know, Harry… I’m not going to pretend I know what it’s like to lose family, let alone my parents. I don’t know. I’m not sure if you like people saying sorry, but I’m sorry."

"Thanks." He smiled. "I’m glad you were honest about that."

I smiled back. We chatted for a while, about everything. He’s a really cool guy, and it’s understandable why he’s so quiet and reserved. Harry’s been through hell and back. I never fully understood what all he had been through. I had asked him about what happened during the Triwizard Tournament when there was a knock at the door.

Back from their prefect meeting the other Gryffindors walked in and Ron sat beside me, while Hermione sat across from me, with Harry. We talked some more and I felt like I had some friends this year. The fact that they were in a different house didn’t seem to matter. I mean, it didn’t seem to matter to me or to them.

Ron put his arm around me, and unconsciously, I leaned into him. He felt warm beside me and I felt safe. Welcomed. I didn’t have to worry about their thoughts of me. We stayed that way for most of the train ride. It started raining pretty hard outside and I was worried that we were going to be late. I was right. We had to slow the train down because the tracks were too wet and we didn’t want to risk the brakes sliding on the tracks.

Harry and Hermione went to go find the trolley after the famous boy’s stomach tried to serenade us with the song of Hungry Harry and Ron and I just sat in the compartment, watching the rain on the glass. He gently stroked my upper arm and I shifted against him.

"Am I making you uncomfortable?" He asked. I looked up at him and shook my head.

"Quite the opposite, actually. I don’t know why but Malfoy seriously freaked me out." I sighed, leaning closer to him, watching the rain against the window. “But for some reason I don’t feel freaked out anymore. I feel safe around you guys.”

"I’m wondering why I haven’t really talked to you before. I mean, we seem to get along really well." Ron smiled. I nodded, looking out the window again when I heard him clear his throat a little bit, as if to work up the courage to ask his next question. "W-Would you like to … maybe go to Hogsmeade with me sometime?"

"Sure." I smiled. " I’d really like that."

"Brilliant." He grinned.

The train lurched forward until we reached the school. We were a little late but not by much, really. The students departed from the train and the first years were led to the lake, as they had been every year.

Walking to the carriages is the last thing I look forward to in my return to school each year. I hate the Thestrals. They are frightening and they remind me constantly of death. But then again, that’s the only way that you can see them. So I suppose it makes sense that I am made uncomfortable by the notion of death.

 


 

“You can see them?” Harry asked.


 

 


 

I nodded. “Living in New York when I was little… I wasn’t exactly sheltered.”


 


"You don’t have to be scared of them." Ron whispered in my ear. "They won’t hurt you." He helped me into the carriage.

"They’re just kind of freaky looking, you know?" I replied, taking a seat beside Hermione.

Sitting beside me he grabbed my hand and squeezed. "It’ll be alright." I smiled.

We made it up to the castle and Ron walked me inside. Once we got to the Great Hall we noticed the long banquet tables were gone. In their places were several large circular tables, much like the Yule Ball set up from fourth year.

"Please, sit anywhere. Regardless of house. However, there must be at least one member of each house at a table. Leave four seats for a first year of each house. All first years, please proceed to the front to be sorted." Professor McGonagall stood at the staff table at the front of the Hall. "If there are students standing, we shall arrange the seating."

"Sit with us, Maggie!" Hermione smiled, walking towards a table with Harry. Ron sat next to me, and I felt like I was amongst true friends. We had two Slytherins at our table, Greg Goyle and a second year girl I didn’t recognize. My friend Sarah from Hufflepuff, and her brother Thomas. Luna Lovegood from Ravenclaw, and then myself, Harry, Ron and Hermione. The first years who sat with us were very quiet; there was a young girl who was now a Gryffindor, and three boys with the other houses.


 

 


 

Dumbledore rose to the Podium, an aura of regality around him, as had always been.


 

 


 

“This year we shall start a new tradition. One I hope will reign through Hogwarts for many generations.” He removed his glasses and walked around the podium.


 

 


 

“When I was a young boy, many many years ago, I looked around the Great Hall of this school. I noticed something. Something that I still notice today. Separation. Inequality. Outcasting. I’m tired of it, children. I am very tired of it. This is a school where we teach you how to harness your magical ability, but above all this is a school. Schools teach you so much more than the words between pages in a book, or spells and potions to be memorized. We teach you the meaning of friendship and inclusion.”


 

 


 

I looked around and noticed that many of the students were paying attention now. Then my eyes caught the stare of one Slytherin in particular. His cold grey eyes bore into mine and his slicked back blonde hair glistened in the candlelight. I felt a shiver down my spine until I felt a hand on my arm, I looked beside me to see Ron’s gaze had followed mine across the hall.


 

 


 

“There should never be a reason that we are so distanced from each other, again.” Dumbledore sighed. “I know that the houses have always competed against one another for the House Cup. That will still be a tradition amongst us. But we can’t constantly be in a state of competition.” The Headmaster paced between the tables, looking amongst the students who sat before him. “Competition leads to enemies. The founders of this school wanted its doors to be opened in the idea that camaraderie and friendship is as powerful as the magic within us all. And who knows, it could even be more powerful than all of our magic combined.”


 

 


 

He smiled, looking at a group of first years at a table who were watching intently. “But enough of this, I am sure many of you are hungry. Let the feast begin!” And with a wave of his hand the tables filled with food and drinks aplenty for everyone.


 

 


 

“That was a strange speech, don’t you think?” Harry asked, loading his plate with various dishes. “It seems there’s always a warning with Dumbledore. Friendship? Camaraderie? What is the point of all that rubbish.”


 

 


 

“Rubbish?” I looked over at him. “Is it rubbish to think that friendship is more powerful than enemies? I think it’s a noble thing to bring up, especially because of how distanced the houses have become since…” I glanced at the first years across the table from me. “You-Know-Who has officially returned.”


 

 


 

The first year Slytherin scoffed and I stared across the table at him. “Do you have something to add?” I asked. “My name is Maggie. You are?”


 

 


 

“I’m William Odenton. Does it really matter what the old bat says? No one is going to listen to him. He’s just some barmy old coot who wants everyone to get along with fuzzy thoughts of friendship. No thanks.” He sneered. “I don’t see what’s in it for me.”


 

 


 

“Well, William,” Hermione piped in. “For starters, the more friends you have the more help you’ll have with schoolwork. And trust me, it’s best to have friends who know how to study.”


 

 


 

“You’re Granger, aren’t you?” William asked, poking at something on his plate. “I can tell, my cousins warned me about the bushy haired mud-“


 

 


 

“You choose your words carefully, Mr. Odenton.” I frowned. “It’s best to not upset upperclassmen on your first day. Especially not me.”


 

 


 

“Or what? You’ll take points from me. It’s not like you’re a prefect.”


 

 


 

“No.” I smiled, looking at Hermione. “But she is.”


 

 


 

My friend smiled back and reached into her cloak to find a demerit pad and wrote up a slip. “I’ll make sure this gets to Professor Snape.”


 

 


 

“What for?!” He gasped.


 

 


 

“Oh, for using the derogatory term for Muggleborn. I believe it comes to five points docked now. Isn’t that what they said at the meeting, ‘Mione?” Ron laughed. “I suggested ten, but with the Slytherins tossing it left and right it shouldn’t take too long to add up.”


 

 


 

William slumped in his chair and resumed poking at his food.


 

 


 

Looking around at my friends I thought that this year might turn out fun, maybe even enjoyable. With more fun memories than fears.
 


 

 


 

But I was wrong.


 
 


Chapter 2: Things Get Odd...
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The amazing SwissMiss at TDA created this amazing artwork for me. She's awesome ;)

           
Once things had begun to calm down, now that the students had full stomachs, Dumbledore rose to the front of the Hall again.

"As some of you are aware, the Daily Prophet has finally admitted to Lord Voldemort’s return." A few students winced and I saw Hermione shake her head. "This is true. I was there. Please… do not be frightened. Within these walls I will do everything in my power to keep you all safe this year. It saddens me that many students have not returned to Hogwarts out of fear. But what makes me happier is to see so many new faces and seeing so many familiar faces."

He scanned the crowd, his familiar smile bringing a bit of relief to me.

"I am pleased to introduce a new face to our family. Professor Horus Slughorn will be taking over as Potions Master. Our own Professor Severus Snape will be serving as our Defense against the Dark Arts teacher."

"What?!" Hermione whispered. "Snape? He’s joking, isn’t he?"

"Snape might not be half bad at the job, though." Harry whispered back. "Consider his history; Dumbledore knows what he’s doing. He must have a plan.”

"At the request of Mr. Filch, as every year, I’m going to warn all first years, as well as my older students, the third floor corridor is strictly forbidden." Dumbledore’s eyes twinkled to Ron, Harry and Hermione. I looked next to me and the red head smiled.

"I’ll tell you later." He whispered.

I smiled back and returned my gaze to the wise wizard at the front of the hall.

"Although I promise you all the safety I can provide I must ask you to be careful. It is hard to trust everyone, in my shoes at least. I hope that your childhood innocence will help you see the good in people that I may not. Please, don’t let me ruin the night."

We turned back to our plates and I noticed that Ron was refilling his with one hand, the other guiding a fork to his mouth piled with what looked like a combination of mashed potatoes, Shepard’s pie and possibly carrots.

"It’s rather disgusting, isn’t it?" Harry asked. Hermione leaned across the boy to whisper to me. "I’ve seen animals that eat cleaner than him."

"Me too." I giggled, watching the red haired boy beside me. He looked up and with a full mouth attempted to say something along the lines of: “What’s so funny?” But I can’t be certain.

I felt a hand on my shoulder and I looked up to see Professor McGonagall.

"Hello, professor. How can I help you?"

"Ms. Carlott, I’m here to invite you to begin Animagus training. Professor Sprout has declined to teach and I have offered to teach you with a select group of Gryffindors. Would you like to be trained? I am only asking because once you start, you will not be able to quit." She looked over at Ron and raised an eyebrow.

I was speechless. "I’d … I’d love that, Professor!" I smiled. “Thank you!”

"Who are the other students?" Hermione asked.

"Yourself, Ms. Granger, Potter, Longbottom, Finnegan, Thomas and Weasley." She looked at the redhead beside me and grimaced at the food-ridden face of the boy.

"Are the other houses training?" Harry asked, eyeing a few Slytherins throughout the hall.

"Yes, the other heads of house will be choosing the students at their own discretion."

McGonagall explained when we should be meeting and I would need to see her at the end of the feast to go over a few of the rules and prerequisites of the training. Usually this training is only offered to select seventh years, and never had I heard of a group this large being selected.

The rest of the feast passed without any excitement. When we were excused I stayed seated, figured it would be easier to find McGonagall after everyone had made their way to the dorms. Ron stood, but turned when he didn’t feel me stand behind him.

"What are you waiting for?" He asked, a few crumbs still on his tie.

"I have to meet with McGonagall. Remember?" I smiled. "You go ahead. I’ll see you in the common room."

"No. I’ll stay here." He sat next to me, a smile on his face. "It’ll give us some talking time, you know?"

"Sure." I smiled, wiping away the remnants of food from his uniform. We talked until the Hall was empty, mainly about our summers. Both seemed rather uneventful. Once the students had cleared out and a few house elves quietly began to clear plates from the tables we made our way to the Transfiguration classroom. The halls of the castle were quiet, the paintings talking indistinctly amongst themselves about the new students, the new teacher and the new set up in the Great Hall. Once we reached the classroom I could see the glow of a candle from inside. We knocked on the door and there was a cat on the desk. She was beautiful, a gray calico it looked like, very distinctive markings. I approached it, reaching out my hand towards the animal.

"Aren’t you a gorgeous little thing?" I pet the cats head and it purred. "I’ve always had a soft spot for cats."

"That’s probably a good thing." Ron said. "I’d step back if I were you." He gently tugged at my arm.

I did what he said and the cat jumped down from the desk and before it hit the floor McGonagall stood in front of me.

"Animagus?" I gasped. “I didn’t know that any of the teachers were. I’ve read about them.”

"Indeed, Ms. Carlott." The woman smiled. "Please, sit. Hello, Mr. Weasley." She gestured to one of the desks in front of her.

"Hi." Ron nodded, sitting next to me at the desk.

"Well, are you surprised, Ms. Carlott? This is quite the honor." The woman sighed, moving behind her large desk, sitting in her chair. "I do wish to say that I have slightly stricter rules than Hufflepuff. Our students tend to be…" She looked at Ron, "Restless."

"I understand." I nodded. “Why did you choose me, if I may ask, Professor.”

"I would have pegged you for a Ravenclaw, to be honest, Margaret." She linked her hands and set them on the desk. "You are one of my brighter pupils in class. In fact that is why I’ve requested that you, and Ms. Granger, attend my Animagus training along with the boys."

"I’m really excited." I grinned. “And I really appreciate the opportunity.”

The woman smiled. "Trainings will start next week, every Tuesday and Thursday for you and Ms. Granger and then every Tuesday and Friday for the Boys as to not interfere with Quidditch Practice."

"Awesome." Ron smiled.

"Are there any questions?" McGonagall asked. “I’m sure this is all a bit much for you, Ms. Carlott.”

"No, thank you." I smiled, standing from the desk.

"Your class schedule will change, as per mine and Professor Sprout’s wishes. I have great plans for you this year." She stood, extending her hand. "You’ll need to confer with my students regularly, so I am entrusting you with the password to our dorms. The password to the common room is Iron Mask, should it change I will make sure you are aware."

"Thank you, professor." I shook her hand. "And it’s Maggie, please. Call me Maggie."

She nodded and Ron and I walked out of the classroom. He held his hand out and I took it, intertwining our fingers.

"You know, you are full of surprises, Maggie. I wasn’t expecting the training thing." Ron smiled. "Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t be happier that you’re practically in Gryffindor now. This means I get the chance to know you more. I’ve never really liked someone like this before, at least not after only knowing you for nearly 6 hours, you know?"

"I know. I wasn’t expecting the training.” I looked up shyly at him. “I like you, too, Ron. I’m almost glad that Malfoy cornered me. Otherwise we probably wouldn’t have talked to each other." I sighed. "I’m really glad that we did."

Ron surprised me by pulling me into a hug. He laid his head on top of mine and I snuggled against his chest. I could see the rain outside, in the courtyard, slightly over filling the top of the fountain, causing it to spill into the bottom basin. Autumn leaves floated in puddles and the courtyard pattered with the sounds of the droplets.

"You won’t have to worry about Malfoy cornering you anymore. I’ll beat him to a bloody pulp if he even looks at you funny." He kissed the top of my head. "I promise. He won’t hurt you, Maggie."

"Thanks, Ron. That means a lot." He squeezed me tightly before letting go and linking our hands again.

We made our way to the main stairwell and up to the fat lady. "Iron Mask." I smiled.

"Welcome, Ms. Carlott." The painting said to me before opening up.

Ron led me into the common room where we were met with a huge crowd of people.

"Maggie!" I looked over to see Hermione and Harry sitting by the fireplace. We wiggled our way through, ignoring the different questions being thrown at me, wondering what a Hufflepuff was doing in the common room.

"You will never believe the news I have to tell you!" I said, letting go of Ron’s hand and sitting next to Hermione. She looked up at me, from a book no less.

"What? Besides the fact that you’re holding my best mate’s hand?" Harry replied, raising an eyebrow and glancing between myself and his friend.

"I’ve already asked her to Hogsmeade, mate. It’s no secret anymore." Ron smiled, placing his arm around me.

"Anyway!" I said, interrupting the boys, turning back to Hermione. "I’ve basically become an honorary member of Gryffindor. McGonagall gave me the password because of the training."

"Really? That’s…wow. Animagus is very strange course addition for students. I’ve read that they usually wait until after graduation. Why would they start us so early?" Hermione asked, furrowing her brow. “And I’ve never heard of a teacher granting permission to another student from a different house access to a common room before.”

"I haven’t the faintest idea. McGonagall said that we were chosen by her. We’ve got different training days than the boys because of Quidditch." I bounced slightly in my seat. "Isn’t this exciting?"

"It certainly is." Hermione smiled. "Here, I’ll show you the girls’ dorm. You and I will probably spend more time there."

"Okay." I grinned. Following the girl through the crowd up the stairs, I felt like I had been friends with her forever and we were on our way to exchange secrets. We made our way up to the room, giddy as six year olds who were staying away from boys on a playground.

Hermione opened the door and there were 5 beds. Hermione sat down on her bed and I sat next to her.

"These dorms are SO much different than mine. We have little coves in our rooms, and then a large fireplace in the middle. After 3rd year the years get separate dorms. The first through third years are all in one room. It’s not all separate like yours." I sighed, rolling over and propping my head on my hands. "I’m so excited. I mean this is a perfect start to a year."

As suddenly as I was comfortable we heard a loud screech and a huge splash. We looked out the window and we saw the giant Squid along the shore of the lake, a large gash in its side. Water splashed along the shore violently, the figures of fish and mermaids near the surface in confusion.

"NO!" I ran out the door, down the stairs two at a time and was out the door faster than I ever thought I could run. I could hear Ron yelling after me as I ran through the halls. I pushed my way through the main doors out onto the grounds, the rain pouring heavily around me, but I ignored it. I could hear the screeching from the mermaids, the commotion from the students behind me, but all I could see was the wounded creature dying on the beach

I ran along the side of the lake and found Hagrid and Fang near the animal. The gentle giant was stroking the Squid’s head, sobbing quietly. The squid was twitching, and there was a low moaning emitting from the creature. It laid there, a few tentacles frantically trying to splash water onto the wound. Fang gently licked the head of the squid, his friend.

"No. No." I whispered, shaking my head. Its eye shifted to me and a tentacle reached for me, gently curling around my arm. I dropped to my knees beside it and laid my head against it.

I had met the Squid my 3rd year, while swimming in the lake. It stopped me from swimming into the Mermaid’s territory, and certainly to my death. It made sure I got safely to shore, its tentacles curled protectively around me. It saved my life.

I sobbed as the Squid stopped moving. Its eyes closed and Hagrid began wailing. The tentacle around my arm became limp and fell to the ground as I started weeping. Ron came up behind me and wrapped his arms around me.

"Look!" A crowd had gathered and a first year had pointed up towards the sky.

The dark mark appeared above the lake, the rain falling on the surface of the water-distorting its reflection. I felt all breath leave my body as I tensed in Ron’s arms.

"No." He whispered. “He can’t be here.”

"Why would he do this?!" I screamed. "What’s the point?! WHY DID YOU DO THIS?!" I yelled at the top of my lungs towards the sky. “Why?!” I sobbed, my throat closing around the sound.

"Shh." Ron began rocking my back and forth. "It’s okay. It’ll be okay."

I sobbed into his arms, to the point where it was hard to breath. Harry came up behind Ron, with Hermione close by.

"I’m going to talk to Hagrid. Dumbledore’s on his way down." He whispered to Ron.

Hermione sat beside me, stroking my hair. She whispered the same thing as Ron. That it would be okay. Everything was going to be alright.

But things just got worse. Draco Malfoy had to open his mouth.

"Aw, does the freak miss her freaky little pet?" He mocked. "Boo-Hoo."

I lost it. I couldn’t hold back anymore. I wasn’t going to sit here and take this. Not this time. Not now.

"Will you, for once in your pompous spoiled life, shut up?! You’re an arrogant selfish pig who will end up nowhere in life on insults and degrading remarks!" I screamed, standing up, being held back by Ron. I didn’t care about the mud, I didn’t care about the slime from the squid still on my arm as I gestured angrily at him, trying to reach around the arms that held me back.

"You’re nothing, Malfoy! You don’t have friends; you just have cronies that do what you tell them because they are afraid of your father. Not you. They’ll never be afraid of you." I spat at him, and he jumped back. "You’re nothing but a fear driven coward!”

"You’ll pay for that." He reached into his robes and grasped his wand.

“I dare you! What are you going to do?!” I shouted.

"Malfoy!" I turned to see Snape at the front of the crowd. "You will put your wand away… now." I was in shock. Why was the Slytherin Head of House defending me… against one of his students?

"Sir. She insulted me." Malfoy growled.

"And I am ordering you as your Head of House." Snape retaliated. “Now, Mr. Malfoy.”

It took a minute, but Malfoy put his wand back in his robe.

"Apologize to Ms. Carlott." Snape kept a stone gaze on the blonde teen.

"What?" Malfoy turned to him. "You expect me to apologize to this--?"

"Yes." The Professor answered, cutting the teenager off. "Now. Or ten points from Slytherin."

The platinum haired student sneered at me before practically spitting out an ‘I’m sorry’ He turned and walked back into the crowd. Greg Goyle stopped for a minute and offered me a sympathetic smile before following Malfoy up to the school.

I turned in Ron’s arms and hugged him as hard as I could. I was so upset. I didn’t know how to function.

Dumbledore came up behind us and walked swiftly down to Hagrid, rubbing the Half-Giant’s back. "It’ll be alright, Hagrid. He isn’t suffering anymore. We will give him a proper burial."

The huge man nodded. He sniffled. He cried. And he wailed. This man’s pet was dead. I walked up to him, reaching for his hand. Hagrid knew what happened with me and the Squid. He had been there when I reached the shore. He had been flabbergasted due to the fact that the Squid hadn’t ever shown the contact towards a human as he had with me.

The teacher gently squeezed my hand and a sob racked his body. “I’ve… I’ve got to go, Mags.” I nodded my understanding as he walked towards his hut, Fang whimpering behind him.

My tears were still silently falling as Ron came up and help me from behind, wrapping his arms around me.

Dumbledore turned to all of us. "The Squid has been part of this School’s life since Hogwarts opened its doors. This is a sad night for us all." He pointed to the Dark Mark in the sky, anger etched into his aged features. "This is a cowardly attempt to place fear in the hearts of our students. They are attempting to send you away from a safe haven. Do not let this work!"

His shout echoed throughout the grounds. "Voldemort will not get away with this."

With that, Dumbledore ordered us back to the school. Ron walked me back to into the castle, his arm secured around my shoulder. Harry suggested that we make a pit stop to the kitchens. That maybe a cup of tea would help calm me down.

I really liked that idea. My mind was working too much.

We made our way to the large portrait of various pieces of fruit. Hermione opened the portrait and we were met by dozens of house elves, asking if we were alright and what they could serve us.

"Um, could I have a mug of warm apple cider?" I asked, sitting on a stool brought to me.

"Absolutely!" A small elf chirped, running towards a large stove near the back of the kitchens.

The elves began bustling as they brought four mugs, two teas for Harry and Hermione, a hot chocolate for Ron, and my cider.

"I don’t get why they would do this. What did the squid ever do to them?" I asked, sipping my drink.

"I don’t know, Maggie. I can’t think of any reason why they would blatantly attack a creature that has done nothing bad towards these students. Remember when it pushed that Creevey boy back into the lake after he fell off the boat?" Harry laughed. "I mean that thing nearly scared the wits out of me when I was in the second task. I only saw a part of it, but boy was that thing big."

"You never told me you saw it." Hermione looked at him.

"I didn’t really think about it. I didn’t think that it was very important." Harry shrugged.

“It saved my life.” I whispered and my friends turned to me. “My third year. I went swimming. It was in the spring. Just before we were to go home at the end of term, and it was just too beautiful a day to not go swimming. I must have drifted further in the lake than I thought because when I had dived down I saw a mermaid coming at me with pitchfork. Then the next thing I know there’s a tentacle wrapped around me and I was being pulled away… Back to shore.”

My cheeks hurt from the tears and my nose was still slightly runny. “It carried me gently, not once did I think it was going to hurt me. And now… it’s gone.”

“Maggie, I’m sorry. I can tell that it meant a lot to you.” Hermione reached across and patted the back of my hand.

We chatted for a while longer, all trying to get a sense of the situation. Theories were tossed, ideas. But nothing made sense.

I was starting to get a headache from the lights and Ron was beginning to notice.

"Want me to walk you back to your common room?" He whispered.

I nodded, sipping the last of my cider, setting the mug on the table. He set his cup down and held out his hand, I took it. I felt safe when I was with him. I feeling that I hadn’t realized I craved before.

"We’re going to head back. You guys going to stay here?" He asked Harry and Hermione.

"Yea, we’re going to try to figure out Voldemort’s thinking behind the Squid." Hermione nodded. "We’ll see you guys in the morning. Try to get some sleep, Maggie, it might help." She gave me a sympathetic smile.

"Thanks, Hermione. I’ll see you in the morning." I smiled back. Ron took my hand and we walked through the painting. A few elves said goodbye on our way out and told us to come back any time if we needed anything.

We walked in silence, Ron’s large hand keeping my much smaller one warm. The paintings were in a bustle, a few of them noticed us. One asked if I was alright, Ron told her that I was just a bit shaken up. She smiled sadly.

“We all are, son.” She sighed.

Once we made it to the Hufflepuff common room, I didn’t feel like going to bed right away. I invited Ron in and we sat on the floor, next to the stone fireplace that took up the majority of one wall. Plants flanked the walls, Ivy crawling up one and out a few windows while flowers framed many portraits. The fire crackled in the silence of the common room.

"Sickle for your thoughts?" Ron broke my concentration. I turned to him, his blue eyes bright in the glow of the fire.

"I’m just trying to figure out why. Why the squid? What has it ever done to hurt Voldemort?" I asked. "There’s no logic to it."

"Maybe he was just trying to scare all of us. Don’t know if he realized it, but the blighter might’ve scared a good bit of us. I’m pretty sure I saw a first year piss him." Ron smiled, attempting to make a joke. "You’re really torn up about this, aren’t you, Maggie?"

"I don’t know what to think." I replied. I lay down, resting my head on his thigh. He began stroking my hair and it was probably the most relaxing thing anyone could’ve done for me at that moment.

I stared into the flames. I kept trying to figure out why the Squid. Why would they attack the most peaceful animal at our school? Well maybe, besides Fang. I just don’t understand. There’s no reasoning behind it.

And why has Malfoy been targeting me lately? Did he have something to do with this? Maybe trying to break the spirits of all the students. But that wouldn’t make sense to target me. I’m not someone important. I’m just me.

But the way he saw me I was the daughter of a blood traitor. Could that be it? Now that Voldemort is back he’s targeting people that he doesn’t think are pure. Was Malfoy a Death Eater Trainee?

"Can I ask you something?" I questioned, staring into the fire.

"Sure." He answered.

"Does it matter to you that my mother is a squib?"

"Does it matter to you?" He asked.

"I asked you first, Ron." I smiled.

"No. It doesn’t matter to me either way. You could be the daughter of a unicorn, centaur hybrid thing and I could care less. You are you. Not your mother." Ron sighed. "Don’t let what Malfoy says to bother you. It’s not true. You aren’t scum and neither is Hermione. Malfoy’s got someone’s wand up his arse, and it’s been there for years."

"I didn’t even realize that he knew. Most people don’t. Dumbledore does." I chuckled. "He knows everything, though, right?"

"Pretty much." He laughed. “Maggie you can talk to me about anything. Whether it’s the squid’s death bothering you or that you just want to rave about a test that went sour. I’m here for you.”

We stayed like that for an hour or two. Just talking to each other. He kissed my cheek before heading back to his dorm. Sarah and a few other Hufflepuffs came in from the lake and we all went to bed. When I saw we all went to bed, I mean they went to sleep and I just lay in bed beneath the blankets for a few hours.

I couldn’t help thinking about what Ron said. ‘You are you. Not your mother.’

But what if I am?

Something has to be wrong with me. Most squibs can’t produce magical children. Even with the most pure of magical blood can’t ensure a magical child. What happened that made me who I am? There’s got to be something that makes me different. Why would McGonagall want to start Animagus training with me? I mean the Golden Trio makes sense.

They’ve been through so much; it makes sense to specially train them.

But why me?

I’m just the daughter of a squib.






 
 
 


Chapter 3: What Now?
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Amazing chapter image by the talented callisto at tda :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I finally fell asleep at about 3 in the morning or so. I woke up to Sarah telling me that they cancelled classes for the day; all of the school was going to attend a funeral for the Squid. I couldn’t really fall back asleep so I took a shower. I decided to curl my hair, for the funeral. My dirty blonde hair curled easily away from face and I lined my eyes with a charcoal grey, making my green eyes pop. I dressed in my school clothes, not caring if people judged.

I went downstairs with her and we made our way to the grand Staircase. She headed for Professor Sprout’s office while I headed for Gryffindor Tower. I found Ron on the couch and took a seat beside him. He put his arm around me and kissed the top of my head

"Are you doing alright?" He asked me. "You look beautiful."

I nodded against his shoulder. "Thank you. I wanted to look nice for the funeral. To look nice for Hagrid. This has to be hard for him, you know?"

"He is putting on a tough face." Harry smiled. "I think that’s the only way he knows how to deal with this."

We sat there, chatting for a while, before we decided to go get some lunch. I had slept right through breakfast.

During the meal I couldn’t help thinking about my mother. The whole Squib thing was starting to bother me. That’s all I could think about.

"Uh, Hermione, would you mind coming to the library with me? It might be helpful to have a second pair of eyes." I asked, between tiny bites of my chicken sandwich.

"Sure. What did you need to find?" She asked.

"I want to know how I was born." I replied.

Harry spit a very large amount pumpkin juice across the table. "Well, uh, Mags, you’re parents were very much in love and one thing led to another…"

"No! Not like that. I mean how I am born of my mother, a squib, and a wizard for a father. It doesn’t make any sense, logically." I laughed as Hermione helped Harry wipe up the juice from his chin and the table.

"Maggie, I told you, it doesn’t matter who your mother is." Ron grabbed my hand, turning me to him. "It doesn’t matter that she’s a squib."

"It matters to me, Ron." I put my hand up to his cheek. "I’ve lived for 16 years without questioning anything. But now I feel like I have more questions than a school book. I need to know."

I looked over to Hermione. "Ready?"

She nodded. I stood and kissed Ron on the forehead. "Please, don’t be mad at me."

Hermione and I walked out and I couldn’t help feeling a sense of guilt.

"Hey, are you okay, Maggie?" Hermione grabbed my arm, making me look at her. "I think there’s something more than you’re letting on. This isn’t just about your mother, is it?"

I shook my head. "It’s something Harry said. He didn’t think that Squibs could produce magical children, even if my father was a pureblood, I think Harry is right. I have a feeling… I think she might not even be my mother."

"Maggie… Miracles happen all the time. I mean, look at me. Muggleborns are perfect examples. Completely Non Magical parents and very magical children." Hermione sighed. "This doesn’t mean that she’s not your mother."

"It’s deeper than that, Hermione. It’s more than a hunch. You know the saying ‘Follow your gut’? Well my gut is screaming at me that there’s something different about me, and I have to figure out why." I smiled. "And I need a friend to help me."

She nodded and we walked to the library. I loved the smell of these books. Full of information and facts that can help you with anything.

And I certainly needed help.

"Let’s start off with what we know." Hermione suggested. "What do you know, Maggie?"

"Squibs are born of magical families. They have no magical ability whatsoever. They usually aren’t able to reproduce magical children." I answered.

"Okay. Well, let’s start with encyclopedias. They might help."

We went to work. The books didn’t offer much as to the genealogy of Squibs. They usually married muggles and that became the birth of Muggleborns. The magic just skipped a few generations. There was very little as to the magic of children of squids, if any at all. Hermione did find one interesting thing. That most squibs are not registered with the Ministry of Magic. They don’t really know any, and they probably don’t want to know. According to many magical journals Squibs are seen with just about the same amount of disdain as Muggleborns in the eyes of Purebloods.

When I read that, I smiled.

"Why are you smiling?" Hermione asked me.

"I’m just so glad that Ron is different, you know? He doesn’t seem to care at all where I come from." I smiled even bigger. "He just cares about who I am."

"That’s how Ron was raised. The Weasleys are such a kind family. They are accepting of everyone. Harry and I are practically related. They could care less that I’m a muggleborn. I’m sure Molly would absolutely adore you."

"I’d really like to meet her. Doesn’t Ron have a little sister?" I asked. "Uh… Ginny, right?"

"She’s a year younger than us, she’s a sweetie. She’s had a crush on Harry for years." Hermione laughed, flipping through more pages.

"What about you?" I wondered.

"What about me?" She raised an eyebrow.

"Do you have a crush on Harry?" I asked rather bluntly.

"What? No. I don’t have a crush on Harry. He’s … He’s Harry!" She stuttered out.

"Right, and Ron and I aren’t going to Hogsmeade together." I retorted. "Why don’t you guys date? You’d be perfect together."

"He’s my best friend, well besides Ron. But still, what am I supposed to do if things go sour?" Hermione sighed. "I do not want to lose him."

"I highly doubt you would. Really. Harry doesn’t seem like that type of guy, you know. Granted I have only known him for a day." I shrugged.

"You’ve only known Ron for a day." She pointed out.

"That’s different, Hermione and you know it. I like Ron. As in like him. And there's something different about him. I don't know why I'm so drawn to him." I smiled. "I’d say go for it, but it’s your choice."

"I know, I know." She bit her lip, going back to the books.

I was turning a few pages and she suddenly shouted.

"There is a way!" Hermione smiled.

"Quiet! Ms. Granger!" Madam Pince screeched at us.

"Sorry." She whispered. "Look, it says right here. Unless she had a child with an heir, there is no way you are her daughter. Wait…"

"What?" I asked.

"Look. It says right here. ‘Squibs are unable to produce magical children, unless they reproduce with someone of pure magic blood.’ Even Dumbledore isn’t pure, Maggie." She looked up. "Didn’t you say you’re father had always been in Hufflepuff?"

"I don’t know. I mean a lot of his family was. He only says ‘7 generations’. I think there’s probably more." I was getting really confused. "What are you saying?"

"I really think that you are related to Helga Hufflepuff. Makes all the more sense for your mother to be spiteful towards you. You’ve got some of the most powerful magic in you, and your mother doesn’t have any."

"That’s the only way that it would work?" I asked.

"Yes! You’re the heir to Hufflepuff!" She stood, grabbing my hand. "Come on! We have to find Dumbledore."

She dragged me out of the library, ignoring the yelling from Madam Pince. I couldn’t really comprehend all of this. She ran to the signature griffin that stood as the doorway to the Headmaster’s office.

Hermione began rattling off different candy names until the eagle exposed a staircase. She dragged me up those, too, before we burst in the door.

"Dumbledore!!" She shouted with joy as the old man came in sight.

"Yes, Ms. Granger?" He turned. "Hello, Ms. Carlott."

"Hi." I smiled.

"She’s the heir of Hufflepuff!!" Hermione shouted.

"That’s quite the news, isn’t it?" He smiled.

"You don’t seem very surprised, sir." I replied.

"I’m not, Ms. Carlott." He sat down at his desk, gesturing to the two chairs in front of him. We sat as he continued an explanation. "Your father has descended from a very long line of Hufflepuffs. You are from very long line that leads all the way to Helga Hufflepuff, herself. Helga was a very brave young woman. If she were to be sorted now, she’d be in the same boat that you are. The sorting hat might have had a hard time, and may have thought twice about its decision. Just like yourself, Maggie."

"What do you mean, sir?" I asked.

"The sorting hat confides in me about the outcome of its students. It has often wondered about its choices when it comes to the sorting of many witches and wizards throughout the ages. When Professor McGonagall offered to teach you, along with her Gryffindor students, the sorting hat wondered if she saw something in you that he, too, saw. You are a very brave young woman, and I can’t help but wonder if there’s a bit of Gryffindor courage in that loyal Hufflepuff heart." The headmaster smiled.

"I… I don’t know what to say about that." I sighed. "But I do want to say that I really hope my … my lineage doesn’t affect the fact that I’ve spent more time in Gryffindor. For the first time I actually feel welcome. I have friends in this house."

"Yes, Harry and Hermione seem to be very good friends to you. And Mr. Weasley, it seems, has been an even better friend." His eyes twinkled and I blushed.

"Yes, they have been great to me." I smiled. "So there isn’t a problem with this?"

"No problem. Now, if you ladies will excuse me, I really need to prepare for the funeral. I’ll see you ladies tonight. Try to make the best of today, alright?"

We nodded. We left the office and I couldn’t help but smile all the way to the common room. We didn’t find Ron and Harry, however. We did find Ginny.

"Hey, Hermione. You must be Maggie." She pulled me into a hug, which startled me for a second, but I did return it. "Not to sound like a jerk or anything, but please be nice to my brother."

"Oh, I plan on it. Do you know where he is?" I asked as I pulled away.

"It’s Monday." She smiled. "He’s ‘practicing’ on the Quidditch field with Harry and Dean."

"Thanks. Want to come down with us? I’ve got some news for Ron."

"Oh god, you aren’t breaking up with him, are you? I don’t even know if you guys are officially dating or not!" She whined.

"No, no, nothing like that." I smiled. "It’s good news. I promise."

"Okay." The three of us made our way down to the Quidditch field, but not before we were interrupted.

"Where are you going, freaks?" Malfoy sneered from behind a column, before coming into view.

"Honestly, Malfoy, can you think of a better insult?" Ginny rolled her eyes. "I mean really, it’s been 6 years? You can think of something with your schooling, right?"

We kept going, and so did he.

"Is that a comeback, Weasley?" He asked.

"No, it was meant to be a non-verbal slap to the face. Obviously, you didn’t get the picture." I replied.

"Shut your mouth, Squib." He spat.

"I’m not a squib. My mother is. Get better dirt." I growled. I didn’t want to bring too much attention to the fact that I was an heir to a Hogwarts house, especially to the Death Eater Trainee. But he was tempting me.

"You are what your family is." He stood in front of me, attempting to glare me down.

"So does that make you a coward?" Malfoy looked like he was about to kill us as Ginny sneered at him.

"Better than a blood traitor." He spat at her.

"What does that mean?" I asked. "Really. It’s hard to betray your own blood."

"You don’t deserve your magic, Carlott." He turned to Hermione. "And neither do you, Mu…" Malfoy didn’t finish his sentence as Ginny performed a very fast Silencio to the Slytherin.

I couldn’t help myself. "I think I do deserve my magic, being the heir of Hufflepuff, and all." His eyes went wide. "Oh, does that make me better than you? I hope one day you realize your bigotry will be the end of you, Draco. I really do. You might make a different person if you weren’t so brainwashed by your father’s hatred. Maybe even a better one."

Ginny lifted the spell, and we continued our walk down to the field.

"Are you really the heir to Hufflepuff?" The young red head asked me.

"Hermione and I thought so, and Dumbledore confirmed it. It’s the only way that my mom can be a Squib and I am a magical child." I sighed. "I wanted to keep it a secret, but if that's the only way to get that weasel off our backs I don't care if the entire school knows.

"That’s so cool." She whispered.

As we made our way down to the field we were actually met by the boys on their way back. I ran the rest of the way and jumped onto Ron, knocking him over.

"You’ll never believe what I found out!" I giggled.

"That you’re a great tackle?" He groaned.

"No!" I rolled next to him, helping him to sit up.

"What is it, Mags?" He asked, smiling.

"I’m the heir of Hufflepuff." I grinned.

"What?" Harry gasped. "Really?"

"Yes, really." Hermione smiled. "We were pretty sure and Dumbledore knew."

"Isn’t that cool?!" I asked Ron, hugging him again.

"That’s pretty amazing." He smiled. He hugged me back.

"There’s a lot of heirs going around, isn’t there?" Ginny asked.

I turned to her. "What do you mean, Ginny?"

"Well, isn’t You-Know-Who the heir of Slytherin? And some say that Harry is the heir of Gryffindor, and now you’re the heir of Hufflepuff? Isn’t that a rather large coincidence?" She shrugged. "It seems so to me."

"I don’t think I’m the heir of Gryffindor, Gin. I’ve thought about it, ever since the sword. But, with ‘Mione’s help I’ve done research and there’s nothing to suggest that I am. It might just be a coincidence. The sword comes to any Gryffindor in need, not just its heir." Harry replied. "I’ve got more fame then I want. I don’t want anymore."

"When did you do the research?" Ron asked.

"During the Tournament. Back when you were pissed beyond belief at me." Harry smiled.

"Oh, right." Ron laughed, pulling us both off the ground.

We walked back to the dormitories so that the boys could shower before the funeral. We girls hung out in the common room for a while.

"You and Ron have hit it off rather well, Maggie." Ginny smiled. "Considering how short of a time you've spent together."

"Yes, we have, haven’t we?" I grinned.

I didn’t really want to think about the fact that we’ve only known each other for less than 48 hours. This is too good to not be true, in my eyes. I feel safe with Ron. Safer than I’ve felt in quite a while living with some snotty paralegal who simply sets the house alarms if I’m not back by curfew.

The boys came down the stairwell and we made our way to the shore of the lake. There were bleachers set up along the water, four for each house. As the five of us made our way up the bleachers we noticed that there was a large ship in the middle of the lake, a canopy draped over the top of it.

"Is that the squid?" Ron asked, pointing to the ship.

"My guess is they are going to burn it." I nodded.

After the school had been seated, Hagrid came to the front of the podium.

"I want to thank you all for comin. It sure does mean a lot to me. The Squid has been here since before some of them paintings can even remember. It’s been a part of Hogwarts Legacy for a very long time. I’m glad that you are all here to respect that."
He stepped down, and I couldn’t help the fact that my eyes were starting to tear up.

The teachers gathered at the waterline, all dressed in simple black robes, and pointed their wands towards the ship. Silently, long jets of flames flew to the ship, engulfing the craft. The smoke turned into a large squid which swam up into the clouds.

I started crying harder, now. Ron put his arm around me, pulling me closer.

The ship burned quickly, the corpse sinking with it down to the bottom of the lake. I sighed. If Voldemort really wanted to scare us, I think he succeeded.

The students started leaving and Harry, Hermione, and Ginny made their way to the common room. I convinced Ron to go for a walk with me.

"Where do you want to go?" He asked.

"Just around the grounds." I shrugged.

We walked, hand in hand, around the different courtyards. At one point I found a rather large pile of leaves and decided to jump in it, dragging Ron with me. I needed to do something fun to get my mind off the funeral.

We rolled around in the leaves for quite a while. Laughing and giggling like small children. After we got tired, we were too lazy to get up, so we laid there for a while.

I snuggled against Ron’s chest as we lay amongst the leaves.

"You know, this is perfect." He sighed.

"What?" I asked.

"You, me, this very scratchy patch of leaves." He replied. I laughed and snuggled closer to him. "God, I’m lucky bloke, you know that?"

"Why exactly are you so lucky, Ron?" I smiled, looking up at him.

"Because I have a very beautiful, amazing girl in my arms." He smiled back at me. "That’s why."

I laid my head on his chest again, breathing in his scent that smelled like wood polish and butter beer. A very comforting smell, if I ever did smell one. It was perfect, Ron was right. I couldn’t think of one place I would rather be, than here, in his arms, on a perfect night.

"We should get back." He whispered, kissing my hair. "They might send Filch after us."

"Yea. We can hit the kitchens on the way back. Sneak a butter beer." I suggested.

"Maybe this weekend. I’m actually not in the mood for one." He smiled. "You’re sweet enough as it is. Let’s just head up to Gryffindor. Hermione’s gonna want some girl time with you." He stood up, extending his hands.

"You’re the sweet talker, Ron Weasley." I laughed as he pulled me up and helped me brush off the leaves.

We walked through the corridors and stairwells, noticing the somber faces of the paintings and the wailings of the many ghosts of Hogwarts We made it to the common room and we were met with many somber faces.

"What’s the matter?" I asked.

"Some Aurors have been attacked, just outside London. Three of them are dead." Harry replied, standing near the fire. "Voldemort is getting restless. He doesn’t know what to do so he’s trying to scare us into doing something stupid."

"Is that all?" I asked.

Hermione shook her head, tears streaming down her face.

"They’ve attacked almost every primary school in London. Every one of them that had a relative of someone here at Hogwarts. Homes were attacked, too. There’s a list of addresses. Not a lot of people were hurt and fewer were killed… But…"

"But what?!" I yelled. "Will you just spit it out Harry?"

"Every home they attacked was completely destroyed. Half of the student body doesn’t have a home to go to anymore." Harry sighed. "This is the only place that we have no. Our homes are gone."

Hermione handed me the paper, and I scanned the list of addresses. Mine was the 15th to be hit. And my guardian was dead.

"Hannah…" I whispered.

I looked around at my fellow housemates and they all had the same look on their faces as I did…

What now?


 


Chapter 4: Papa's coming?
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amazing banner by enchantress at tda:) she's amazing

 
I paced around the common room; most of the younger students had gone to bed. It was mainly 6th and 7th years gathered around the fire.

"What are we going to do? It’s the second day of school and everything’s gone to hell and back." I mumbled, rubbing my hand through my hair.

"Mags, please, sit down." Ron held his hand out for me and I sat next to him on the couch.

"I’m serious though. This is the second day of school. Merlin knows what Voldemort has planned for the rest of the term. What's going to happen when Christmas comes around? Where are we going to send people?"

"I doubt that Dumbledore won’t come up with some sort of plan, Maggie." Hermione sighed. "He won’t leave us high and dry."

"Has anyone here owled their parents?" I asked.

"I have." Dean Thomas spoke up. "They’re on their way to Paris, to stay with family. Mum says that the attack just came out of nowhere. One minute she’s making lunch and the next she’s running out of a burning house, with Death Eaters all around her."
 

"The bloody cods attacked in broad daylight!" Seamus growled. "They got me dad’s house, too!"

"I don’t get it. I just don’t get it, you know?" Harry murmured. We all looked to the Boy-Who-Lived who stood against the fireplace.

"Everything Voldemort does--there's a reason. It’s either to get at me or Dumbledore. What’s the reasoning behind it? He’s got to have someone working for him, someone here at the school. How else would he have access to records of who lives where and whose muggleborn of half-blood or not? It’s so complicated. I think the Squid was a distraction, I really do." Harry sighed. "I’m reinstating Dumbledore’s Army."

"What is that?" I asked.

"You didn’t know about it last year?" Harry turned to me. "Didn’t anyone mention it to you?"

"No. With Umbridge around no one talked to each other. They were afraid of something being used against them." I answered. "What is it?"

"It’s a student run organization." Hermione explained. "Harry, Ron and I basically taught the students how to defend themselves, because Umbridge obviously wasn’t teaching us anything."

"How’d you pull it off?" I asked, curious. "How did you not get caught?"

"We did." Harry chuckled. "They broke down the bloody walls. There’s a secret room called the Room of Requirement. It only becomes available to people who truly need it."

"That’s incredible!" I gasped.

"It is. Harry taught me more than any of the past teachers." Dean smiled. "I didn’t even really know what a Patronus was until he showed us."

"You can create a full Patronus charm?" I asked, and many different heads around the room nodded. "That’s amazing."

"It’s amazing and most people thought that it was impossible." Harry sighed. "We should get to bed. There isn’t anything that we can do tonight. We can talk to Dumbledore in the morning, I’m sure he’ll have something to tell us. It’ll be a bloody miracle if they don’t close the school."

"They won’t do that, will they?" A first year girl stood at the bottom of the stairs, her eyes big and frightened.

I rushed over to her and pulled her into a hug. "No sweetie, they won’t close the school. Professor Dumbledore won’t let them."

"You promise?" She sniffled.

"I promise." I pulled back, brushing one of her stray hairs behind her ear. "What’s your name sweetie?"

"I’m Emily." She smiled.

"Well, Emily, I’m Maggie. And I promise no one is going to hurt you, okay?" I whispered, kneeling down in front of her. "Because I don’t let people hurt my friends, alright?"

She nodded, smiling. "Thanks Maggie!" She hugged me again, and ran back up the stairs.

"You shouldn’t have made that promise, Mags." Harry sighed. "You have no way of keeping it."

"Dumbledore won’t close this school. He can’t close this school. This may be the only place that some of these kids have to go anymore." I retorted. "It’s the only place I have to go anymore."

"We’ll figure it out in the morning." He put his hand on my shoulder. "But there’s nothing we can do tonight."

I nodded. Most everyone went upstairs. Harry, Ron and Hermione stayed in the common room with me. I stood and looked out the window, watching some children making their way to the carriages.

"Maggie, are you alright?"Hermione asked.

"I’m fine." I answered.

"I don’t believe you." Ron said, standing up and walking over to me. "Your guardian just died and your home was destroyed. I don’t know about you, but I’d be going out of my mind right now."

I turned to him and I hugged him. "I’m going out of my mind because I’m worried about these kids. Most of my friends in Hufflepuff were muggleborns and I recognize some of the names in the paper. Some of them have nowhere to go anymore. I can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen to them now."

"I don’t know, but Harry’s right. We can’t do anything about it tonight" Ron leaned his forehead against mine. "We’ll deal with what we can in the morning, love."

I nodded. He leaned down and lightly kissed me, making my heart skip a beat. "Don’t worry about a thing right now."

He hugged me one last time before we parted ways and I made my way down to the Hufflepuff common room.

I turned to my left and saw the Fat Friar beside me.

"That was really sweet of you, what you said to that little girl." He smiled. "I think it meant a lot to her."

I nodded. "I hope so. I don’t want her thinking there’s nowhere to go, or that there’s no one here for her." I sighed. "I’m not going to abandon anyone."

"You’re definitely loyal; I’ll give you that, Mags." He laughed laughed.

"You know who I am?" I asked, shocked.

"Of course I do, dear. You’re my mother’s heir." He smiled. "You truly embody what she always hoped Hufflepuff House to be. She never wanted the house to be lost in the meaning. She wanted it to bring out the qualities of its students. It’s not the name that makes you loyal, Maggie." He stopped floating in front of me and pointed at my heart. "It’s what is inside you that makes you loyal, not only to your housemates, but to your school."

I smiled at the ghost and he escorted me to the dorms. "I may have left the wizarding world behind, when I gave my life to the church, but I’ve always remained forever faithful to the castle. I’m glad my spirit is here. Its home to more than just its students, Maggie. Remember that. This place is home for the feelings that Hogwarts imposes on its students. Safety. Happiness. Trust. Remember this. You’ll need to."

"Need to what, Friar? Remember it for what?"

"You and I both know that something dark is coming, child." He sighed. "It takes the jolly laugh out of me every time I think about it."

With that he left, leaving me alone outside of the Hufflepuff common room. I made my way in, the room empty and quiet. Heading down the hall towards the dorms I could hear the slow steady breathing of my housemates.

I tossed and turned a bit, but all in all, I slept pretty well. The gravity of the situation finally hit me when I realized just how many kids went home the night before. We had lost most of the first years, a couple second and third years and nearly all of our seventh years were gone.

"I don’t get it." Ron whispered at breakfast. "Why would they leave?"

"Most probably wanted to be with their families, I’m sure they’re scared out of their minds." I whispered back.

He nodded, poking a bit more at his breakfast.

I heard the screeches as the owls brought in the morning mail. I saw my father’s owl, Egeus flying gracefully towards me. He landed on my shoulder and dropped a note into my lap.

The parchment felt heavy as I opened it


Margaret,


If you are reading this then I’m sorry to inform you that your mother has left me. She said that she felt betrayed that she didn’t get any magic and that you got more than you deserved. I gave her the choice of taking that back or leaving. She chose the latter.
I’m on my way to England. Dumbledore has requested I fill an empty teaching position and I feel that in these times I cannot refuse him. I’m sorry that Hannah’s gone. I’m sure that you will miss her.
Dumbledore told me that you discovered that you are the heir of Hufflepuff. I was going to tell you when you were out of school, but I guess fate will choose its own course. I’m sorry that I didn’t tell you. I just didn’t know how to. With your friends in Gryffindor, I am even more at ease as to your future.
I will see you in a few days, darling.
Love Always,
Papa
"My dad’s coming." I whispered.

"What?" Ron asked.

"My dad… Dumbledore asked him to fill in a teaching position. He knew all along that I was the heir. He knew all along. And my mom…" I looked back down at the paper. "She left him…"

"Why?" Hermione spoke. "Were there problems?" Egeus hopped down to the table and began pecking at my oatmeal.

"No. My father loved her. He basically worshipped her. But she… she said I had more magic than I deserved and it wasn’t fair because she didn’t have any." I sighed, tears coming to my eyes. "I wouldn’t think that anything a mother said could be as hurtful as that…"

Ron put his arm around me. "She might just be a bit overwhelmed with everything." He suggested. "Moms do that."

"Not my mom. She always keeps her cool." I folded the paper up, putting it away inside my potions book. I reached over and pet Egeus as he ate what was left of the oatmeal.

"She’s just being dramatic, I guess." I tried to reassure my friends… I think more than anything I attempted to assure myself.

My mom never really liked to talk to me, you know? She didn’t seem to love me after my magic became apparent.

I was six… A dog had scared me and I turned him into a flower. It was a total accident. But it happened, none the less. My mom went absolutely livid. I thought she was going to kill me.
I guess she really did think that I didn’t deserve my magic.

"Maggie?" I turned to see Emily standing next to me, her schedule in her hand.

"Yes, sweetie?" I asked.

"Can you help me find my first class?" She held the paper up to me. "I don’t know where Professor Trelawney is."

I smiled, getting up. "I know right where her class is. Come on, I’ll show you."

"I’ll come, too." Ron got up, coming beside me and taking my hand.

"Is he your boyfriend?" Emily asked.

I nodded.

"Doesn’t he have cooties?" She scrunched her nose.

"No, I make him take a shower every day and cooties don’t like clean boys." I winked.

"Oh, okay. I’ll remember that." She nodded.

"I don’t have cooties." Ron whispered in my ear.

"I know, love." I whispered back, kissing him on the cheek.

He smiled as the three of us made our way up to the Divination Tower. Emily hadn’t ever seen that part of the school and she was in awe as we made our way up the winding stairwell.

"She’s not scary is she?" The first year asked me.

"She’s… different. She likes to theatricalize things." I smiled.

"That isn’t a word." She laughed.

"There aren’t really many words that she can use to describe Trelawney." Ron explained.

We dropped her off at her first class and made our way back to the Gryffindor Common Room. Ron and I had free period while Harry and Hermione had Advanced Arithmancy.

"So you never did tell me what your dad’s coming to teach." Ron stated as we sat on the couch.

"He didn’t tell me." I shrugged in reply. "I assumed that he didn’t know yet."

"I don’t know of any other teachers who have quit or anything, you know?" He sighed, wrapping both arms around me.

I cuddled against him and breathed in that scent that I absolutely loved.

"Did you mean what you said, to Emily?" Ron asked.

"You don’t have cooties, Ron." I smiled.

"No, you said… You said I was your boyfriend." He whispered. "Did you mean that?"

"I was kind of just assuming, you know?" I grinned, looking up at him.

He smiled back at me and we spent most of that free period cuddling on the couch. I really liked the feeling of being in his arms. I felt like how those cheesy teen romance novels describe. Safe, loved, wanted. I don’t care if it is cheesy, to be perfectly honest. All I know is that I feel perfectly content.

Hermione and Harry came into the Common Room after class, and we chatted for a while before making our way down to Ancient Runes.

Ron and Harry were going to drop us off at the classroom while they went to Divination.

As we all walked down the hall, my hand secure in Ron’s, I saw Sarah. She glared at me before turning away.

I was really confused by this, and kind of hurt.

"I’ll be right back." I mumbled before running after her.

"Sarah!" I yelled as I saw her long brown hair turn a corner. I ran after her, finally catching her in the Astronomy Tower stairwell.

"What’s wrong?" I asked, out of breath.

"You! That’s what’s wrong!" She yelled, startling me.

"What?" I gasped.

"You! You’re so perfect, aren’t you?" She growled. "What was Hufflepuff not good enough for you? You have to go and pretend you’re a Gryffindor? You aren’t your mother; you know that, I know that—Stop trying to prove it to everyone else!"

"I’m—I’m not, Sarah. I’m not pretending--these are my friends. What is your problem?!" I cried.

"You’re just trying to prove you belong. You don’t belong anywhere, you bitch." She sneered. She ran up the stairs, leaving me crying at the base.

"Maggie?" I turned to see Neville, coming up the stairs. When he saw my crying he rushed up. "Are you alright?"

I shook my head and ran all the way to Ancient Runes, crying the entire time. Ron was waiting outside the classroom. I stopped when I saw him and I just collapsed against the wall. He was by my side in a second.

"I haven’t changed!" I cried, punching the ground.

"What are you talking about, love?" Ron asked.

"Sarah! She says that I’ve changed and I haven’t!" I wailed. "How could she do this to me? I was there for her for everything…" Sobs overtook my body and I could feel anger and betrayal boiling in my blood as I cried on the cold cobblestone floor. I felt strange. My body felt like it was attacking me with all its power.

"Maggie…" He almost sounded like he was crying, too. "What’s wrong?"

Everything was so much… The Squid, Hannah, Sara… I couldn’t handle it. My body felt like an army, and I was the battleground.

I passed out in Ron’s arms.

Apparently Professor Babbling came out when I was screaming and she ordered Ron to take me to the infirmary. He carried me the entire way.

I woke up to an overly sweet smelling powder being rubbed on my upper lip. I opened my eyes to see Madam Pomfrey and Ron, Harry, and Hermione. Dumbledore was standing at the edge of my bed.

"Maggie, are you alright?" Ron asked, grabbing my hand.

I nodded. "I’m really sorry." I whispered.

"For what?" Harry sighed. "You are stressed beyond belief; it was only a matter of time before you passed out."

"He’s right." Hermione nodded. "There’s nothing really that you could’ve done to prevent this breakdown. Not that you had a mental breakdown or anything. Well you did, but at the same time you didn’t—Never mind, I’m just really glad that you’re okay." She smiled.

"May I have a moment with Ms. Carlott alone, please?" Dumbledore asked.

"Can I stay?" Ron asked, still holding my hand.

"I would really like him to." I added.

He nodded and Harry, Hermione, and Madam Pomfrey left the room. He looked back at us and sighed.

"I have some news that may be rather shocking, especially considering your condition, but you must know." He came around the end of the bed and sat down on the adjacent cot.

"Your father is on his way here, and I know you already know this, but what you don’t know is that your father is coming here to be reinstated as an Auror. Your father will be among the many Aurors around the school, here to protect the students."

"What?" I was beyond confused. "My dad said that he was coming here to teach a class. My dad isn’t an Auror."

"Your father was among the first to capture the Death Eaters after Voldemort’s fall when you were a baby. But your mother didn’t like the idea of him fighting dark wizards, so she asked him to retire." Dumbledore sighed. "And you know better than anyone how faithful he was to your mother."

I nodded. "He’d do anything for her."

"He’ll be here any minute." The headmaster smiled. "He already knows that you’re here." He stood up and made his way towards the door.

"This just keeps getting weirder and weirder." I whispered.

"Oh!" The old wizard turned. "One more thing, Professor McGonagall has asked me to remind you of your Animagus training tonight."

"Wait, she said it wasn’t until next week." I reminded him.

"She changed it." He smiled.

"Professor?" I asked.

"Hmm?" He turned back towards me.

"Before I passed out I felt as though… I don’t know, as though my magic was attacking me. It really scared me and I don’t quite understand it."

"You will, Ms. Carlott."
Dumbledore then turned and exited the wing.

"That ought to be fun." Ron mumbled.

I turned to the red head boy at my side and I couldn’t help but stare. Right then, at my bedside, Ron looked as handsome as I had ever seen him.

"What is it?" He asked.

"Nothing." I whispered. I leaned down and kissed him, putting more emotion into it than I probably should have. He kissed me back, as much passion as I, and something more. He held back just enough as to not pressure me into going farther than that kiss.

I pulled away and leaned my forehead against his.

"Bloody Hell…" Ron smiled.

"I really like you, Ron." I sighed.

"I really like you too, Maggie." He grinned, kissing me again, but we were interrupted.

"Care to introduce me, Margaret?" I turned to see my father standing a few beds away.

I hadn’t seen my father in a little over a year. He was still as regal looking as ever. He had very defined features and a resonating voice. He had gentle blue eyes, and a slight scruffy jaw line.

"Papa, this is Ron Weasley. Ron, this is my dad." I gently brought my legs to the side of the bed, and was about to stand when Ron stopped me.

"Pomfrey gave you a muscle relaxant. You wouldn’t be standing for very long." He smiled. I stayed sitting while he went over to shake my father’s hand.

"It’s very nice to meet you, sir."

"I know your parents. Good people. I hope you’ll treat my daughter well. You don’t want to know what I can do to you or where I could send you if you broke her heart." My papa smiled.

"Don’t tease him. He’s a good person, papa." I laughed.

"I know, sweetie." Papa winked.

"I’ll leave you two alone." Ron came back over to me and kissed my head. "I’ll be outside."

He nodded to my father as he walked past him. When he was out of the wing my father came and sat down on the bed with me.

"Are you alright?" He asked.

"I’m just stressed, papa." I explained. "With everything that’s going on and all of the new things that I’m learning about myself, it’s hard to stay fully aware of everything around me, you know?"

Papa nodded. "Maggie, there’s nothing to be afraid of. With me here you don’t have to worry about anything anymore. I won’t let anyone hurt you, or your friends. That’s why Dumbledore asked me here. I’m going to help Hagrid with Care of Magical Creatures and Severus wants my help with DADA. The other Aurors will simply stand post on the grounds. We can’t risk a battle at Hogwarts."

"A b-battle?" I stuttered. "Is that what Voldemort’s planning."

Papa flinched at his name. "The minister thinks so. We can’t risk it."

I nodded.

"I’ll go ask Pomfrey for a potion that will at least allow you to walk. That way you can get to your Animagus training." Papa winked. "Hopefully if you’re anything like your old man here, you’ll be a courageous Panther."

He walked into the office of the Head Healer and I sighed.

I hoped that he was right, that I didn’t have to worry about so much now that he was here. I knew that my Papa would protect me. I knew that Ron would, too.

I just don’t know if I can protect them.
 


 


Chapter 5: A Sign
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Chapter Image by SwissMss @ tda :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ron and I made our way to Professor McGonagall’s classroom; I was still slightly tipsy from the muscle relaxant. We walked in to find Hermione and Professor McGonagall and the teacher seemed slightly shocked to see him there.

"Mr. Weasley, you aren’t supposed to be here until tomorrow night. You and Mr. Potter aren’t going to train with the girls on Thursdays." She sighed.

I’m just here to make sure Mags is okay." He replied. "Is it alright if I sit in?"

She pondered the request for a bit. "Very well. But no disruptions." She warned.

He nodded and sat down at one of the desks in the back.

Hermione came over to me, putting her hand on my shoulder. "Are you okay?"

I smiled at my friend, putting my hand over hers. "I’m fine. Really. I’m just getting used to the feeling of being on my feet again."

She nodded as McGonagall walked back over to us. "Alright, now I know that you can perform a Patronus Charm, Ms. Granger, how about you, Ms Carlott?"

I shook my head.

"Alright, well we’re going to have you do one, your Patronus Charm will take the form of an animal and that animal is also your Animagus form. Now I don’t expect you to form a full animal on the first go-around. It takes many years, but we do need to start training as soon as possible." She waited for me to get my wand out. "Are you ready?"

"Yes." I whispered.

"I want you to think of your happiest moment. The time in your life where you have felt the most at peace." She instructed. "The spell is Expecto Patronum. Don’t be disappointed if you can only manifest a mist."

I sighed, closing my eyes, trying to think of a memory where I was happiest. I could only think of one.

When Ron and I were lying in the leaves after the funeral. I felt safe in his arms as we laughed with each other. There wasn’t anything in the world that could’ve made me feel un-happy.

I raised my wand—Nerves running through my body faster than I could think.

"Expecto Patronum!" I shouted, aiming my wand at the ceiling. A blue mist escaped the tip of my wand as I focused on lying with Ron in the leaves.

A figure began to form from the mist, a small animal, possibly. As it became clearer I could distinctly tell that it was a badger. The creature bounced around its misty form wobbling slightly.".

"Interesting." I heard McGonagall whisper.

I lead the creature around the room, guiding it over to Ron. "Look, it likes you." I smiled.

He ‘pet’ the mist formed badger smiling at it. I lowered my wand and it walked over to me, sitting down before it disappeared.

"Very impressive!" Hermione commented.

"Thanks." I answered, sitting next to Ron.

"Impressive, indeed, Ms. Carlott." McGonagall smiled. "You must have a very happy memory, and a very strong willed mind."

We finished our lesson with McGonagall and Hermione and I headed to the common room, Ron heading to the Quidditch field to get something.

"You know, my Papa’s here now." I sighed. "I don’t really know what to do."

"What do you mean?" Hermione asked.

"Everything is going to change. My Papa is here now, my mother hates me." I confided. "I just am not sure what exactly to do."

"Everything will be fine." Hermione assured me. "If anything having your father here will help you feel all the safer."

I stopped walking. She looked back at me. Ron knew that the Aurors were coming. Should I tell her? I don’t see why not, but at the same time I don’t want to tell too many people and start a panic.

I decided that I can trust Hermione. I grabbed her arm and pulled her into a broom closet.

"There’s something else going on, isn’t there? Something more than just your father being here isn’t there?" Hermione sighed, sitting on a small stool. "Maggie, what is going on? You can tell me, I’m your friend."

"I know, Hermione. I just don’t want people to panic. My father is an Auror, I just found out. He and most of the other Aurors are going to be here to protect the students, but no one is supposed to know. I don’t know if Dumbledore is going to tell everyone or not." I sat down across from her. "Ron already knows, Dumbledore told me and him when I was in the infirmary."

"Wow, I guess that makes sense." She sighed. "I’ll bet this has to work."

I smiled. "You aren’t panicked or anything?"

"No! I’d rather have the Aurors here than the dementors like third year." She shuddered. "My god, that was horrible."

I nodded. I was overly happy that she understood. We walked out of the closet and headed back to Gryffindor Tower. We walked into to see my father talking to Harry.

"P-Papa?" I questioned.
They turned to me. Papa smiled at me and I knew nothing was wrong.

"Your father and I were just talking about how many Aurors were going to be here." Harry explained. "He is going to be co-teaching with Snape for Defense against the Dark Arts, plus he’s gonna help Hagrid."

"Snape’s actually letting you co-teach?" Hermione asked.

"No, Dumbledore’s letting me." Papa came over and kissed the top of my head. "Is something bothering you, sweetie?"

I shook my head, wrapping my arms around him.

"Just think about it this way, only two more classes today, only three tomorrow and then we’ve got Hogsmeade on Saturday." Harry smiled.

I nodded. "I’m gonna go find Ron." I let go of Papa and I turned back out of the common room.

I walked down the stairs towards the great hall. I ignored most everyone around here and I felt an overwhelming sense that I was about to vomit uncontrollably. I wrapped my arms around myself and headed through the doors, looking around for the signature red hair. When I didn’t see it I turned, heading towards the main entrance.

But I ran into someone else.

"Oh, sorry." I looked up to see Fred and George Weasley.

"No problem, say I don’t recognize you and I know most students." One of the twins smiled.

"You must be Maggie. The lass that stole my brother’s heart, right?" The other winked.

I nodded. "Um, if you’ll excuse me, I need to find him."

"That’s alright; we’re here to see Dumbledore as it is." The first twin patted me on the shoulder.

They walked through the hall, heading towards the teacher’s table.

I turned right, heading towards the main doors when I saw Ron walking through them. I smiled, walking towards him. He wrapped his arms around me and I smiled against him.

"You alright?" He asked.

"Yes, I’m alright." I nodded. "Actually I would love to go for a walk, Ron. I frankly don’t care if I’m late to class, if I even show up."

"Okay." So we made our way out onto the grounds, Ron’s arm around my shoulder.

We walked around until we were near the forbidden forest. I sat on a log, Ron sitting in front of me on the grass. He sat between my legs as I rubbed his shoulders.

"I want it to be Saturday." I whispered.

"Me too." Ron smiled.

I had him scoot forward so that I could sit between him and the log. He leaned against me and I wrapped my arms around his chest. I could feel his heartbeat against my chest, his warm back against my body.

I didn’t want anything more to happen. The kids leaving, the squid dying, what else could happen to the school? I don’t understand what Voldemort gains from not having people here. This is what most of these kids have ever known.

"What are you thinking about?" He asked me.

"I’m just wondering I guess…" I shrugged.

"I figured that sweetie. I was just wondering about what." Ron turned to face me, his eyes worried. "What is it?"

"I still can’t figure out what exactly He wants with all this." I gestured around the grounds.

"Maybe he’s an avid golfer? We’ve got some lovely green here." He smiled, rubbing the grass.

"This isn’t really funny, Ron. I don’t mean to be a downer but I don’t want anything else to happen." I sighed, reaching for his hand. "I really don’t want to lose you. I know I sound like some cheesy teenager, but you’re probably one of the best things that ever happened to me. I don’t want anything to happen to you."

"Hey, nothing’s going to happen." Ron leaned forward, holding my face in his hands. "You don’t have to worry about me. Harry’s going to reinstate Dumbledore’s Army, and we’re all going to be fine. There are only a handful of students left at Hogwarts, so it will be easier to keep it under control."

He leaned in and kissed me. I wrapped my arms around his neck and leaned into him. I wanted to get lost in this moment. I needed to get lost in this moment.

"Ron, uh mate, find a closet." We broke apart to see Harry standing in front of us.

"Oh, shove it, Harry." Ron murmured. He stood, helping me up.

"We should, uh, get to class." Hermione came up behind Harry, her books in hand.

"Oh, Ron. I saw your brothers. Fred and George. They said that Dumbledore wanted to talk to them."

"That’s odd." He shrugged. "Oh, well. Come on; let’s get to Hagrid’s."

We made our way down to Hagrid’s hut, I didn’t know if Papa would be starting today. I slightly doubted it. I’d expect that Dumbledore would want to get him settled. I was right, Papa wasn’t down there, instead there was a Unicorn standing beside Hagrid, near the edge of the forest.

"This here, kids, is a Unicorn. One of the most magical creatures in the world, the Unicorn has blood that will keep you alive on the brink of death."
I noticed Harry flinch and I put my hand on his shoulder. "Are you alright?" I asked.

"I’ll tell you later, Mags." He sighed, patting my hand. "There’s a lot of stuff I doubt you know."

I was confused. I mean Dumbledore tells us everything that’s going on, doesn’t he? I haven’t heard of much going on here, ever. But then again, being a Hufflepuff didn’t get me all the latest news updates.

"Is the unicorn a male or female?" Parvati Patil raised her hand, breaking me from my thoughts.

"This one’s a girl. About 6 years old, so she’s pretty young. Very calm though." Hagrid smiled, petting the creature’s mane. "One thing you must know, and this is very important. It is a severe crime to kill a unicorn. You will end up in Azkaban, and that will be the least of your worries."

Suddenly a first year Ravenclaw came running down the hill, panting the entire way. He pushed his way to Hagrid, a piece of paper in his hand.

"It’s from Professor Carlott. He said it’s urgent." The boy squeaked before running back towards the castle.

Hagrid read the note in his hands and swiftly shoved it in his pocket. "Alright everyone, class dismissed. Go back to the castle and stay in your houses." He shooed the Unicorn back to the forest.

"Don’t worry; I’ll have her back for class in no time."

"What’s going on, Hagrid?" Harry asked.

"It’s nothing, ‘Arry. Don’t you worry." The half-giant smiled. "It’ll be worked out in time."

"What will?" I asked.

"Nothing. Just go on back to the castle." Before we could say anything Hagrid turned and went to his Cabin. But the note fell out of his pocket and I grabbed it before he could notice it.

"What’s going on?" Hermione asked.

I opened the note. It was from Papa.


Hagrid-


Send the children back to the castle. Get your things and come up as soon as you can. Dumbledore is preparing a room for you. Warn the Centaurs if you can. They’ve sent the Dementors Again. This time they’ll patrol the grounds directly.
No. No. No. This can’t happen again. I could feel all the blood rush from my face, and I turned to Harry.

"We need to get inside." I whispered. "You need to get inside."

"What?" He asked. "What are you talking about?"

"The ministry doesn’t think my father and the Aurors are enough. They’re sending the Dementors again."

"What?!" Ron shouted.

"There’s no time for questioning, Ron." Hermione sighed. "Please, let’s get back to the common room and we can figure things out there."

"Last time the Dementors weren’t allowed on school grounds, they could only patrol the perimeters." Harry smiled. "Dumbledore won’t let them.

I shoved the note at him. "Look! Do you see what it says?! They will patrol the grounds!"

"Alright." Hermione put her arm around me. "Let’s go."

I dropped the note to the ground as her and I made our way up to the castle.

"I was just trying to warn him. I remember what happened during the game 3rd year." I whispered. "I don’t want them coming after you guys."

"Harry knows what he’s doing; he knows how to take care of himself." Hermione assured me.

"Does he? Does he, really? Hermione, he’s a teenager! I understand that he’s been through a lot, but all of this at once?!" I screamed. "I am not going to lose everyone that I know and love because they think they can handle themselves!"

"Maggie!" She grabbed my shoulders, staring at me with concern on her face. "You aren’t going to lose us. Not only can we handle ourselves, but we handle each other! We watch each other’s backs because we are only as strong as those fighting with us."

"I’m sorry, but we are just kids! And soon this war is going to be ours, if it isn’t already. I want to know that I can take care of my friends so that we can fight this with all of our might because we all depend on the outcome of this!" I shouted. "There is nothing any of us can do dead!"

"You’re right." She spoke firmly, a tight grip on my shoulders. "But right now you have to accept that you are in the company of people who know how to take care of themselves and the people around them. Now listen to me, Maggie. Your friends love you and they care about you. We are not going to let anything happen to you. You have to understand that! You are not alone in this fight, sweetie."

"I feel alone." I whispered. And I did. I felt like I had to protect everyone. I couldn’t let anything happen to them. I didn’t think that they would help me in this. I wasn’t used to people helping me. I was used to being on my own and protecting my friends because they were the closest things I had to family here.

"Hey! Guys!" I turned to see Ron and Harry coming up the path.

Hermione turned me back to her. "You aren’t alone." She smiled before the boys reached us.

"We talked to Hagrid a bit about the squid. He says he doesn’t know how they managed to get it to the surface but he does know that someone used a spell that cuts the skin and major blood vessels nearest to the impact point." Harry explained.

"I’ve never heard of that spell, Harry." Hermione furrowed her brow. "I’ll look in the library, but I don’t know of any spell that does that."

"I have." He sighed. "It’s in a potions book that I found in the dungeons. I think it’s still down there. We’ll head down there and see. I’ll get my cloak." The two of them headed up towards the castle and I could see the figures of the dementors against the setting sun. I gasped and Ron turned to see what I was looking at.

He grabbed my by the arm and dragged me inside the castle. I heard Hagrid behind us and as soon as we got inside the school the large man was behind us, closing the large doors and releasing the wooden locks.

Ron stood in front of me, but my eyes were glued on the door, the sounds of hollow cries echoed against the walls.

"Are you alright, Maggie?" He asked. "Maggie!"

I was startled out of my trance. "I’m sorry for blowing up. I just…I don’t want someone to get hurt because I wasn’t doing all I could to protect them, especially you and Harry and Hermione. You three are so precious to me." I felt tears well in my eyes as I turned slightly towards him. "I’ve lost my mother already, and I can’t lose you."

He frowned. "What makes you think that you are going to lose me?"

"This is all so dangerous, and I wasn’t expecting it. How can we expect to feel safe when everything is collapsing all around us?"

"Maggie… you aren’t going to lose me. I’m not going to let anything because you anymore pain. Can’t you trust me?"

"I trust you, Ron. I do. I just don’t want to risk anything." I sighed. I turned towards him fully, reaching for his hand. He took it, pulling me into a hug.

"Maggie, I won’t let anything happen to any of us. Harry and I are going to call a Dumbledore’s army meeting tonight with the remaining members." He rocked me back and forth in his arms. "We’re going to do everything in our power to ensure that the students are prepared. Especially with the dementors coming."

"I hate them." I shuddered.

"They aren’t exactly the most desirable guests for tea, are they?" Ron kissed my forehead. "Come on, Love. Harry and Hermione might need extra eyes for that spell."

"You go ahead; I’m going to go lie down. I’ve worked myself into a spell." I smiled. I squeezed him tightly before leaning up to kiss him lightly.

"Alright." He laughed. "You go lie down; I’ll see you at dinner?"

I nodded and walked back towards the Hufflepuff dorms while he went through the corridors to get to the dungeons. I made my way to and it was rather empty, besides a first year asleep at one of the tables, a book for a pillow. I grabbed a blanket off the couch and covered him with it. I walked up the girl’s stairs and opened the door to the dorm. There was a house elf cleaning up the room and she apologized for something, not quite sure what and asked if I needed anything. I told her to keep cleaning, and that it wasn’t a problem.

I climbed into bed, drawing the curtains around the bed. The small elf began humming to herself and I nudged my shoes off and placed them at the end of the bed. I closed my eyes and drifted very quickly into sleep.

I woke to a bright light, peeking through the curtains of my bed.

"Hello?" I asked. "Is someone there?"

When no one answered I opened the curtains and found myself in a golden autumn wood. The sun was shining through the yellow and orange leaves of the tree, illuminating the forest.

"I’m dreaming." I whispered.

"You are, in a way. This is more than a dream. This is a forewarning." I turned around to see a beautiful woman standing beside a large oak tree. "I am Helga Hufflepuff. You are my heir, Margaret. "

"Yet…" A man came from behind the tree and stood next to her. "You are welcomed in my house, more than in your own. The house of Godric Gryffindor. There is one other thing you do not know. Your mother is not a squib. She holds the blood of the three other houses. You hold the blood of all four houses."

"Oh my god." I murmured, reaching for my shoes so that I could get out of bed. But instead of seeing the sleeves of my jumper I saw the sleeves of an intricate gown. Looking down only confirmed what I saw. I was dressed in an amazing cream colored gown.

"What’s going on? How is all of this possible?" I asked.

"We are here to warn you, Margaret." Gryffindor explained. "Something very terrible is going to happen this year. You have met my heir, Harry Potter."

"Harry doesn’t think he is the heir. He thinks it’s just a coincidence." I replied.

"He is, however. I know the hardships that young man has been through, and I hate to impair him with another burden, but it is already so. It seems that the heirs have all been reincarnated." Gryffindor smiled. "Rowena’s heir has, too, been born. I believe you know her, her name is Luna Lovegood."

"I do know her. I’ve met her a few times. She tends to stare off into space." I laughed.

"She’s a chip off the old block." Hufflepuff nodded. "Rowena was the same way."

I stood, the gown flowing around me. "I have so many questions."

"Please, ask." Hufflepuff encouraged.

"Why is all this happening, now?" I asked. "Why have all the heirs come now?"

"Voldemort has unleashed an evil unlike anything else ever seen. He is an heir, and the other heirs had to be born to counteract this evil." Gryffindor sighed. "We hate to do this to you, child, but you, Harry, and Luna hold the key to defeating him."

"But we’re only teenagers. How are we supposed to defeat one of the most powerful wizards who has an army behind him?" I questioned. "I don’t mean to fight anyone, and I’m not ready for a war."

"A war is already upon you, Margaret. Whether you like it or not, you are part of an army." He put his hand on my shoulder. "If you and the others do not defeat Voldemort, the world will fall into a darkness that will encase both our world and the muggle world as well."

"What?" I gasped. "No, that’s not possible, what would he want with the muggles?"

"An infinite amount of slaves, Margaret." Hufflepuff frowned. "He’d force them to do anything he wanted at his mercy, or at the mercy of his followers."

"That’s horrible." I sighed. So much for a normal 6th year. I looked at the majestic sorcerers in front of me. They contacted me for a reason. They warned me for a reason.

"I’ll do whatever I can, I promise."

The two looked at each other, then back to me. Hufflepuff stood in front of me, her yellow eyes glowing.

"Your blood will seal the fate of Hogwarts. Your mother’s blood. Fight in the battle. Fight and you can win, or don’t fight and you will die." A beam of light shot from her eyes into mine and I bolted awake, Susan Bones in front of me.

"Maggie?" She asked. "Are you alright?"

I turned to her, tears flowing, and a cold sweat enveloping my skin. "No, I’m not." I whispered. I bolted out of bed and I ran from the Hufflepuff dorms to the Grand Staircase.



Carlott


 


Chapter 6: Their Plan
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chapter image by &thenboom at tda :D


I ran up the stairs to the Gryffindor common room and found Harry and Ron on the couch. "Harry, we have to go to Dumbledore! Now!"

"What’s going on?" Ron asked, standing up.

We needed to get to Dumbledore so I didn’t answer him; I just grabbed their hands and pulled them off the couch, towards the door, Hermione behind us.

"Maggie, what is going on?" Harry shouted as we ran down the stairs.

"I don’t know!" I shouted back at him, turning to him, my face red. "But something just happened to me and I want to know what is going on!"

I dragged the two boys until we reached the griffin. Hermione named off different candies as I was out of breath and ready to pounce on the stairs as soon as I saw them.

When the griffin moved I ran up the stairs, Harry and Ron still in tow. I opened the door and saw Dumbledore sitting at his desk, McGonagall standing behind him.

"Please tell me you can somehow read minds." I gasped.

"Ms. Carlott, what’s going on?" McGonagall asked, looking at the stunned faces of my friends.

I let go of the hands in my grasp and walked up to the desk. "I took a nap, wanting to calm down after we found out the dementors were coming…"

Dumbledore interrupted me. "How did you find out, Ms. Carlott?"

I shook my head. "That isn’t important! But when I went to sleep I woke up in a golden forest. Helga Hufflepuff and Godric Gryffindor were there! They told me that there was going to be a battle of the heirs." I pointed to Harry. "Gryffindor." I pointed at myself. "Hufflepuff."

"What about Ravenclaw?" Hermione asked. "Do we know that heir?"

"Luna Lovegood." I answered. "She’s apparently just like Rowena Ravenclaw, very day dreamy."

"I’m Gryffindor’s heir?" Harry whispered, sitting on one of the chairs in front of the professor and headmaster. "But, I thought that I wasn’t…I can’t be."

"It does make sense, Harry." Ron shrugged. "Think of everything that has happened, just the past two years."

"But…" Harry stared off.

"Harry, I have no idea what to do either, if it’s any consolation." I sighed.

"Was there anything else in the dream?" Dumbledore asked.

I nodded. "I was told that my blood would seal the fate of Hogwarts. She said that my mother’s blood would seal the fate of the school. I don’t… I don’t understand what that means."

"What?" Ron shouted. "Please tell me that she doesn’t have to die!" He yelled at the teachers.

"I don’t know Mr. Weasley." The headmaster stood, walking over to me. "Ms. Carlott have you ever seen a Pensive?" He asked.

"I’ve read about them."
"I would like to see if I can capture your memory of the moments with the Founders, if that is alright."

I nodded. The wizard pulled his wand out of his sleeve and placed it at the side of my head. "Please close your eyes and concentrate on the dream."

I focused on the memory. Focusing on the woods and the gown and the founders I ignored the surrounding people. I felt a tug near my temple and suddenly I couldn’t remember the forest at all.

"What happened?" I asked, opening my eyes. There was a long wispy string flowing from the tip of Dumbledore’s wand.

"This is your memory. I will place it in the Pensive and McGonagall will accompany me and we’ll try to see if we can answer any questions." He opened a cabinet with a large bowl and many small bottles and placed my memory in the bowl. My head of house walked over to him and they both disappeared after placing their heads in the liquid of the bowl.

I stood there dumbfounded as I waited for them to return. I heard sobbing and I looked over to see Harry crying in the chair. I walked over to him and kneeled in front of him, grasping his hands.

"I’m sorry…" I whispered. "If I didn’t have to tell you, I wouldn’t. But Harry, I didn’t know what else to do."

"Maggie, that isn’t why I’m crying," He smiled, looking up at me with foggy eyes. "In ten minutes you’ve given me more reasoning to the questions that I’ve had for years, than any amount of searching I’ve done." He fell out of the chair, wrapping his arms around me. "Thank you." He whispered.

I hugged my friend back, a smile on my face. "You’re welcome."

Dumbledore and McGonagall came flying back into the room and the Headmaster looked extremely frightened.

"Do you remember another man being there?" He demanded, running over to me, lifting me off the ground by my arms.

"No. It was just me, Godric and Helga." I gasped. "Why?"

"Slytherin was there, do you remember him being there?!" He shouted.

"No!" I screamed. "How many times do you need to hear it?"

"Albus put her down." McGonagall came up behind her friend, placing a kind hand on his shoulder.

The wizard looked at me for a moment, before doing what his friend asked. He used his wand to pull the memory back to my head, sliding it into my ear. "Slytherin knows. And that means that Voldemort knows… I need to see Flitwick and Ms. Lovegood." He sighed. "This is horrible…" McGonagall rushed out of the room to retrieve them.

"How can Voldemort know?" I asked. "I barely know how I was contacted."

"Tom is very powerful." Dumbledore laughed. "Always was. He probably knew of his lineage before he was a young boy."

"Who is Tom? Is that Voldemort’s name?" I rubbed my arms, bruises already showing.

"Yes. Tom Marvolo Riddle." The headmaster rubbed his forehead, removing his spectacles.

"Oh God…" I sat back down on the floor, Ron standing behind me, stroking my hair.

"Maggie?" Hermione came forward. "Did they say why your mother’s blood is needed?"

I shook my head. "No. Helga said that and then her eyes shot a beam of light into mine."

"Why do you ask, Ms. Granger?" Dumbledore asked.

"I’m just curious, I suppose. I’ve never heard of a sacrifice being chosen in the magical world before. Especially considering that her mother is a squib." She furrowed her eyebrows as she sat in the chair that Harry had been sitting in. The raven haired boy leaned against her legs as she did.

The word sacrifice brought so many fears to my mind that I didn’t know how to think. I leaned forward and hugged myself, making my body as small as I could. I didn’t want to die. I just wanted to do the right thing.

"I don’t want to die." I whispered. Ron knelt beside me, pulling me into his lap.

The door opened and McGonagall entered, Flitwick and Luna behind her. The young girl had on a bright orange hat with her uniform and a purple moose stuffed toy.

"Good evening everyone." She smiled.

"Ms. Lovegood, we have some news for you. I’m going to be blunt about it." Dumbledore cleared his throat. "You are the heir of Rowena Ravenclaw."

"Oh… That’s nice." She sighed. "That is some news, isn’t it?"

"You’re very calm about all of this." Harry commented.

"It is very exciting news, yes, but I shouldn’t get too worked up about it on an empty stomach." Luna smiled wistfully.

"We're doomed." I whispered. I turned to the headmaster. "The three of us are supposed to save Hogwarts?"

"We shall figure that out at a later time." Dumbledore sighed.

I shrieked. "You want to procrastinate about this? Is that what you are saying? Just put it off until the last minute, because that will solve all our problems!"

"Ms. Carlott!" McGonagall gasped.

"No! I am not going to sit here and let him tell me that we are just going to toss this to the side when there’s a war knocking down the doors of this school! I won’t let him tell us that we are just kids and that he will decide what to do." I walked over to the pensive, dipping my wand into it trying to get my memory back. Hermione came over and pulled it out for me, drawing the string back into my head.

"This is my memory!" I shouted. "My blood has to be spilt, remember? Not yours, not Luna’s, not Harry’s, mine. Don’t tell me we’re going to figure this out at a later time!" I ran out the door, down the stairs and into the corridor until I reached the astronomy tower stairwell. I could hear someone yelling behind me. I climbed the stairs, as fast as I could, ignoring the students coming down. I knew that there wouldn’t be another class tonight, Dumbledore was going to announce the Dementors and being at the top of an open tower wouldn’t be safe after dark. I stopped halfway up the stairs at a small landing.

"What am I going to do?" I whispered, collapsing against the wall of the tower.
"Margaret?" I turned and saw Papa standing on the stairs. "What’s wrong, sweetheart?"

"Papa!" I cried, running to my father and wrapping my arms around him. "Everything is all wrong, none of this is supposed to happen to me!"

"Margaret…what happened?" He stroked my hair and held me tight

I told him everything that had happened. I explained the dream, what the founders had said, Harry, Luna, everything. He was silent the entire time.

"Papa, what did they mean by my mother’s blood?" I asked.

"Sweetheart, your mother isn’t a squib." He sighed.

"What do you mean?" I pulled away from him. "She’s always been a squib."

"The woman you know isn’t your mother. She’s been obliterated; she was when you were born. I’ve managed to convince her that she is a squib. I did it to protect you." I stepped back.

"Sweetheart, you have to understand…"

"To protect me?" I whispered.

"If she knew that you were the heir, she would have killed you." He said, reaching for me.

"What aren’t you telling me?!" I shouted at my father, catching him off guard. I had never raised my voice to my father. Never.

"Maggie—my sweet Maggie—you don’t understand…" He tried to comfort me.

"No! I don’t understand, so why don’t you explain it to me?!" I shouted again, louder.

"I don’t know how!" He let out an exasperated sigh, running his hand along the back of his neck.

"You don’t want to." I sneered. "It might mean letting me know that you might not have been the good guy." I pushed past him, running down the stairs to the Great Hall. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Why does everything have to be a lie? Can’t I be a normal teenager?

This entire time I’ve been lied to. Lied to by the man I’ve looked up to the most.

"Maggie!" I heard someone shout my name and I turned around to see a Dementor staring at me through a broken window. The creature loomed beyond the glass, its robe billowing around it.

I saw Harry and Hermione run up beside me but I motioned for them to stay where they were.

The creature swayed, hovering mere feet away.

I felt an odd sense of power come over me as the creature loomed. I simply stared into the cloaked hood of the Dementor. Very slowly I lifted my wand from my pocket. It didn’t seem to notice the movement of my hand.

I began thinking of Ron. Feeling happy, alive and anything else nice would keep my soul in its place. With the fastest movement I could muster I held my wand in front of me, screaming a Patronus charm. I don’t quite remember actually saying the words. I felt as though my ears were full of water.

The badger lunged onto the creature through the window, biting it as the Dementor flew away, and its robes billowing behind it as the dog’s misty form chased after it.

I stood, in silence, at the quiet hallway. Hermione walked over to me and pulled me into a hug.

"Are you okay?" Harry asked.

I nodded. "Where’s Ron?"

"He was still yelling at Dumbledore when we left to find you. My guess is he either went to find you or to the Prefect’s bathroom to relax. He was really bothered. I thought he was going to kill Dumbledore." Harry sighed. "You want to talk to him?"

"Yea. I want to be with him right now." I smiled. "What’s the password for the bathroom?"

"The password is Thermos." Hermione offered a sympathetic smile. "We’ll talk tonight, right?"

I nodded. I headed towards the Prefect’s bathroom, my mind completely blank.

Reaching the portrait of the mermaids I said the password and they giggled, jumping into the water, as the door opened.

"Ron?" I yelled into the room. "Are you in here?"

"Uh, yea! Hold on, let me get a towel." I heard water slosh against tile and the gentle padding of feet. Ron came around the corner, a towel around his waist.

"Are you okay?" He asked, rubbing my shoulders.

"I just ran into a Dementor. No, don’t worry, I just used a Patronus and it left. But I wanted to ask you something. When we go to Hogsmeade tomorrow can it just be just you and me? No Harry, no Hermione, no Dumbledore, just you and me?" I sighed.

"Alright." He nodded.

I wrapped my arms around him, relishing in the feel of his warm body against mine.

"Maggie?" He asked.

"Yes?"

"What if we can’t go to Hogsmeade tomorrow? With the Dementors and all?" I looked up at him. "I really don’t want to rain on your parade, but there is a possibility that Dumbledore won’t let the students go." He sighed.

"I don’t want to think about that. I just want to think about one day at a time." I laughed. "Thinking about the future gives me a headache."

He chuckled and hugged me tighter. "Then we’ll take it one day at a time."

Ron went and got dressed and we walked back to his common room again. The paintings were stirred into a bustle of movement. I saw the Dementors outside the windows, their robes billowing behind them. I shuddered as the creatures eerily floated past with a strange grace around them.
Ron grabbed my hand and squeezed it comfortingly.

We made it to the common room and Harry and Hermione were sitting on the couch. Hermione offered me a sympathetic smile as we made our way towards them.

"Dumbledore cancelled the Hogsmeade trips for the semester." Harry sighed.

"Bugger." I whispered.

"It’ll be alright." Ron smiled as we sat down. Other students came and went through the common room, the murmur of classes and dementors hung in the air amongst the worried faces of the kids.

Ginny came in, Fred and George behind her, and she sat on the floor next to me. The boys stayed standing behind her and they all looked shocked.

"What’s wrong, Gin?" Harry asked.

"Dumbledore called us in, Mum’s here." Fred sighed. "They’re closing the Ministry. No one in or out. Dad’s stuck in there."

"Why didn’t they call me in there? I would’ve liked to have known about it!" Ron was getting angry, but I just laid my hand on his shoulder.

"What? Why are they closing it?" Hermione wondered aloud, her eyes staring off into space as her brain began contemplating different reasons as to the ministry’s methods.

"’Mione?" Harry turned to her. "What are you thinking?"

"The only reason why they would close the ministry is if there’s a rat." She whispered.

"A rat?" George cocked an eyebrow. "I don’t understand. They close it for a pest control problem?"

"No, a rat as in a snitch, George. As in a leak in information. Someone who is giving the secrets to the other side, someone that they don’t know. They’re going to eliminate every possibility until they have found them and the only way to do that is to go under a complete lockdown." Hermione ran a hand through her hair.

"This just gets better and better." I sighed. "What are we supposed to do now? Just sit here? I mean bloody hell, Hermione, I don’t know about you but that’s as farfetched as I’ve heard them come and if that’s what they think is the problem then what is their solution? Send the leak to Azkaban? Yea that’s a brilliant idea considering all the Dementors are here. This is far more serious than just a leak. There’s something big going on and I want to know exactly how we can fix it."

"We?" Ginny asked. "No, I’m not about to pull a last year, no way."

"What are you talking about, Ginny?" I turned to her.

The group of teens around me exchanged looks of concern and finally acceptance as they contemplated the choice of explaining to me what I wanted to know.

"We will have to tell her sooner or later, Harry." Hermione whispered.

The raven-haired boy sighed, scooting off the couch and sitting in front of me.

"Maggie, there’s a lot that you don’t know. Last year, after Umbridge went . . . missing a group of us went to the Ministry. We were sick of the crap that the prophet had been spilling into our brains. We knew that whatever the Death Eaters wanted was in the ministry. We flew the Thestrals to the ministry, and we had a full on battle with the Death Eaters in the Ministry of Magic."

"That’s what happened?" I asked. "You guys were the big fuss?"
Ron chuckled next to me and nodded. "Yes. We were the big fuss."

"Anyways, when we arrived the Death Eaters were already there. They were after a prophecy. One saying that I must fight Voldemort and that only one of us would survive." Harry explained. "After we had the prophecy a battle ensued. We fought in the ministry for an hour or so. My godfather… I lost him. He was thrown through a veil after he was hit by a curse by Bellatrix Lestrange. We have fought more than anyone would want to imagine in the past 6 years, Maggie."

Harry began to explain what had happened since the trio started their schooling at Hogwarts and I listened intently. From trolls to basilisks and so much more, these teenagers had seen more than their fair share of the odd and demented.

"Merlin." I sighed. "What if we did go to the ministry? Hypothetically speaking, Ginny."

"I’d probably be the same bloody mess as it was last year." She shook her head. "I love dad, but I can’t go back there. Last year we nearly lost Harry and Hermione. I’m not about to risk losing anymore of my friends."

I looked to Harry. "Lost you? What?"

"Hermione was hit by a Death Eater’s spell. She… We lost her a couple times. I was possessed for a minute or two. These people don’t care that we are kids, Maggie. They wouldn’t. I’m convinced that they have no souls."

"I have an idea." Ginny whispered. "But you guys are going to hate me."

"What?" I turned to the young girl sitting beside me. "Why would we hate you?"

"Give me five minutes." With that Ginny got up and ran out of the common room.

"That’s helpful." Fred commented.

"This is nuts." Hermione leaned against Harry and he put his arm around her. I smiled at the sight, biting my tongue.

We chatted for a few minutes, discussing different possibilities as to get Arthur Weasley out of the Ministry, when Ginny came back into the common room with a person behind her, a cloak over their head.

"He can help us." She smiled, holding the figures hand.

"Who’s he?" I asked.

The person reached up and pulled the cloak back.

"Hello, Potter."

Ginny Weasley was holding the hand of Draco Malfoy.

"What the hell, Ginny?!" I shouted, reaching for my wand.

"Don’t get your knickers in a twist, Carlott." He laughed. "I can explain."

"Yea, sure you can." Ron sneered, putting his arm around me.

"Will you hear him out?" Ginny asked, looking to Harry. We turned to the Raven haired boy and he got up, walking over to Malfoy.

"I will listen to you, but I don’t trust you, get that straight, Malfoy." He said, extending his hand. "No tricks, from my side or yours."

Malfoy shook his hand. "No tricks." He agreed.

Harry sat back down next to Hermione, Ginny and Malfoy sitting between me and Fred.

"I’ve been a double agent for Dumbledore ever since fourth year. I told him about the plan for the Tri-Wizard tournament, but he didn’t believe me. He didn’t think that a Moody incident would happen." Malfoy explained. "Ever since he has trusted me. I’ve been leaking information from my house to Dumbledore for years. After this year I will be given a new identity and be staying here at the castle. My death will be faked and I will never be able to see my family again."

"Why?" I asked.

"Because after this year I am supposed to become a Death Eater. I will not let that monster brand me." He spat. "I hate him. He took my childhood away from me."

I felt an odd sympathy towards Draco Malfoy as he spoke that. I knew what it felt like to lose a childhood because a parent didn’t care.

"But I know what’s going on with the Ministry. It isn’t a leak, Granger, but good guess. The Death Eaters are there. They’ve locked down everything. Only the Auror’s wands work and a few members of the Order of the Phoenix. Apparation doesn’t work. No one can charm a Portkey, nor can any existing ones work."

"They’re there?" Harry asked. "How many?"

"I only know bits and pieces before I was cut off from my mother. My guess is all of them. This is huge. It’s an all out battle within the walls of the Ministry." Malfoy sighed. "I’m done with this. I’m choosing a side, and it isn’t the one of my heritage. I’m asking if you’ll trust me. I don’t want you to forgive me. Because I know that the things I’ve done to you will not be forgiven. But I am asking that you’ll let me help, whatever the plan is."
 

"This is extremely unlike you." Harry commented.

"Wait." Hermione stood, running up to the dormitory. I got up, following her.

Going through the door I saw her rummaging through her trunk.

"Hermione, what are you doing?" I asked.

"I have some veritaserum in here somewhere. I bought it this summer." Amidst the clothes and books flying out of her trunk I saw Egeus sitting on her bed, the window next to it open.

"What are you doing here, buddy?" I asked, walking over to the owl. I noticed a scroll attached to his leg. I untied it and was about to read it when Hermione grabbed my arm.

"I found it!" She smiled as we ran out the door. I held onto the small scroll, attaching the leather band that Egeus had been tied to around my wrist.

"Malfoy, if you want us to trust you will you drink this?" She asked.

"Veritaserum?" He asked.

I nodded. "I’ll take it, too. To ensure you that we aren’t tricking you."
Hermione handed me the large vial. I took a small sip. It tasted like Asparagus. I hate Asparagus.

"What is your name?" Hermione asked me.

"Margaret Carlott." I answered.

"Who was your first kiss?" Hermione asked.

"Jeremy Gould, he was my neighbor when I was six." I looked over at her. "This stuff tastes like crap."

Ron laughed. I stuck my tongue out at him.

Malfoy grabbed the bottle and took a drink. His face showed the same disgust that I had experienced. "Tastes like crap doesn’t it?"

He nodded.

"What is your name?" Harry asked.

"Draco Malfoy."

"Where are the Death Eaters?" I asked.

"They broke into the Ministry of Magic. The ministry has locked down." Malfoy answered. "You couldn’t put a flavor charm on this?!" He turned to Hermione.

"Malfoy." Harry snapped his fingers in the blonde’s face. "Focus."

Malfoy turned back to him.

"Why are they in the Ministry?" Harry asked.

"There’s an artifact that they are after in the Muggle Studies department. It’s called a goon?" He sighed. "They’re supposed to be able to blow holes into people without a wand."

"A gun?" I asked.

Malfoy nodded and my stomach dropped.
"They’re looking for guns?" I whispered. "Oh my god."

"What is a gun?" Fred asked.

I turned to Harry and Hermione. The three of us had grown up in the Muggle world. We know exactly what a gun is, and more particularly, what it can do.

"A gun is a muggle weapon. It’s a . . . chamber mechanism. A small . . . projectile is loaded into the chamber and a small sort of explosion shoots the projectile out of the chamber at a speed that will instantly go through a person." I explained. "No person can stop a bullet without a bulletproof vest. However, knowing the Death Eaters, they are going to find a way to ensure the bullets will penetrate no matter what."

"Bullet?" George asked.

"The projectile."

"This is bloody perfect." Ron sighed, standing up.

"That’s what they want." I felt my stomach tighten and I was going to be sick. I made my way to the garbage bin right as I puked into the container. Ron came up behind me and held my hair as I emptied my stomach.

"This will be bloodier than you can imagine." I whispered.


 


Chapter 7: Poisoned
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beautiful chapter image by CoCo786 at tda ;)

"Well should we go to Dumbledore?" Ginny asked, sitting on the floor, Malfoy sitting next to her.

"No." I sighed, leaning my head against the wall beside the garbage bin. "I don’t want to go to Dumbledore for anything."

"Why not?" Malfoy asked. "Didn’t you lot have Dumbledore’s Army last year?"

"This lot had Dumbledore’s Army last year." I corrected, gesturing to Harry and Ron and Hermione.

"Maggie?" Ron asked, looking at me cautiously.

"Forgive me, Ron, but right now I don’t want anything to do with that man." I laughed. "I don’t want anything to do with any adult at this point."

"Maggie, what happened?" George asked.

"Dumbledore’s an ass. That’s what happened." I snapped. I put my hand over my mouth as soon as the words came out. "I’m sorry." I gasped.

I got up and ran up the stairs to the girls’ dorms, my head spinning. I realized that I was still clutching the scroll in my hand. I opened it and recognized my mother’s handwriting.


Maggie
By now you’ve probably been the biggest bitch to your friends. If you are reading this before you talk to your friends, you’re going to be a bitch. I figure you deserve it. Once your father obliterated me I knew that there was something wrong with your magic. I didn’t expect you to be a bloody heir. I can’t stand the fact that you are more magical than I am. Oh wait. You aren’t. I have the blood of all four houses. I have more magic than you can imagine. Are you wondering how I remember this? The Dark Lord can be very helpful when it comes to reversing spells. Don’t even think about going to your father about this. That idiot wouldn’t know what to do. Right now a small amount of poison has leaked into your system and will be slowly turning you into your exact opposite. It’s reversible, of course. I’m not that cruel. But you’ll have to contact me. In person. Think about it. If you want your personality back, that is.
Love
Mother Dearest


I cried as I read the words on the parchment. I crumpled the paper, screaming at the top of my lungs as I lunged myself off the bed, running back down the stairs. I stormed past the others in the common room.

Harry grabbed my arm, turning me towards him.

"What’s wrong?" He asked concern in his eyes.

"Let go of me." I growled, jerking away from him. "Back off."
I jumped through the portrait hole, walking down to the dungeons. If anyone knew what to do, it would be Snape.

"Carlott!" I turned to see Malfoy at the top of the stairs. "I assume you’re going to see Snape. The dungeons are exactly a hot spot late at night."

"Leave me alone, Malfoy." I sneered, turning back to the hallway. I could see the Dementors outside the castle, and I gasped at the overflow of magic from the poison.

I entered the dungeons, making my way towards the Professor’s cambers. I opened the heavy door shouting as I did.

"Snape!" I yelled. "Where are you?!"

The professor walked in from his bed area, an emerald robe around him.
"Ms. Carlott. You better have a good reason for your interrupting my sleep, or its 50 points from Hufflepuff." He yawned.

I laid the parchment on the nearest desk, flattening it out. "Don’t touch it."

He cocked an eyebrow, leaning over the desk to read the letter.

"You’ve been poisoned?" He asked, jerking his head towards me. "By your mother?"

"Can’t you read?"I sneered, crossing my arms and Malfoy walked into the classroom.

"Mr. Malfoy?" The professor was stunned.

"I was on my rounds and I saw Carlott come in. Just wanted to make sure things were all right." Well, I guess he is a good liar.

"Everything’s fine. Return to your dormitory." The professor instructed, waving his arm.

When the blonde teenager left Snape began collecting different ingredients from around the room. He set them on the table, taking out his wand and waving it over the paper, mumbling strange words.

"Your…mother has poisoned you with a specific root from Burma. It will change the personality of a magic person into something unrecognizable before killing you. You were right to come to me, Margaret. Please, sit." He gestured to a desk. "I need to have access to your blood, so this will hurt."

Snape pulled out a large dagger, dipping it in water, before dragging the blade down my arm. I hissed as the metal cut my skin. My blood began running down my arm, a crimson stream staining my pale skin. He opened a jar and pulled out a long green leaf. He put it in his mouth, chewing for a few seconds, pulling the pulverized plant out and placing it in the wound.

"AH!" I screamed as my blood began to boil, a yellow steam rising from the wound. My blood began to change to a golden color.

"I know this hurts!" He shouted at me. He reached back to the ingredients on the table, opening a vial of bright blue liquid. He poured it on the wound and it lit on fire.

"There’s nothing I can do for the pain!" He yelled. I felt as though I was going to die. I screamed and squirmed in the chair before falling to the floor.

"Just breathe, Margaret." He instructed, kneeling next to me. He conjured a cold cloth and placed it on my forehead. "Do you know why your mother would do this?"

"Because I’m the heir of Hufflepuff!" I shouted through gritted teeth.

"She knows?" He whispered. Snape stood up, running to another cabinet. He waved his wand over the handles and the doors swung open.

The pain was becoming unbearable, and I was drifting in and out of consciousness.

"Carlott! Stay with me!" The professor shouted as he returned to my side, holding a vial of yellow liquid.

He opened my mouth and poured the liquid down my throat, holding my nose shut to ensure that I swallowed. The liquid numbed my throat and I felt the cool liquid hit my stomach.

"Don’t you dare pass out, Carlott." The professor growled, holding my head straight as my body continued to convulse. "If you pass out your body will continue to convulse and your neck will finally break."

"Then tell me what to do!" I yelled. I was beginning to feel a strange shaking sensation crawling up my legs, and soon I couldn’t feel them at all. I felt pain, but it wasn’t in my legs, it was as though it simply stopped. I tried moving them but I couldn’t tell if they were there or not.

Snape could tell that something was wrong by my facial impression. But there wasn’t anything he could do. I had to ride out the pain as best I could.

The door opens and Dumbledore bursts in. I can see Malfoy behind him.

"What’s wrong Severus?" The headmaster asks as he kneels beside me.

"Poison." I could still feel nothing in my lower limbs and that non feeling was spreading towards my stomach.

I tried talking but there was nothing. I could only release garbled sounds and moans. I was becoming frustrated. I was starting to see glimpses instead of full images. I could see Draco in the doorway, his normally scowling face etched with concern and worry.

Then a figure slowly came up behind him. It was my mother.

I started to panic, but no one noticed.

I tried screaming. I could scream, but Snape and Dumbledore didn’t notice.

"You’re hallucinating. Or, at least they think you are. Don’t fight it. You’ll wake up eventually. I was hoping you weren’t smart enough to come to Severus. You really are your father’s daughter. Disgusting." She sneered, her perfectly aged face gave her an elegance most women her age have to buy. Her long blonde hair, my long blonde hair, had begun to take on the color of sand and her thin lips were almost permanently pressed into a foul sneer.

"Why are you doing this to me, mother?!" I screamed. "What the hell did I ever do to you?!"

"You raised your little wand!" She shouted back, kicking me in the ribs.

"You said I had to contact you! In Person!?" I thrashed in the arms of the professors, attempting to get away from the projection of my mother.

"Her ribs are breaking!" Draco shouted. "Do something!"

"There’s nothing we can do, Mr. Malfoy, we have to wait for the plant to work." Snape grunted as he continued to hold me down.

I felt pain like no other as my mother pulled out her wand and pointed it at me. She murmured something that wasn’t quite English. Suddenly I felt every rib in my chest crack and begin to stretch. But then something happened. I felt my body become full of magic, the electricity of it all was coursing through my body, and my fingertips were beginning to glow. My mother began to back away from my body, fear evident on her face.

"Severus?" Dumbledore nervously stuttered.

"Let her go!" The Potions Master shouted, leaping away from me. I felt my body arch off the floor as the room filled with the light I had seen in the dream, blinding my mother and causing her to disappear.

"What’s happening?!" Draco screamed.

"It’s her blood!" Dumbledore yelled. "It’s fighting the poison!"

I felt a tug near my navel, almost like a Portkey. My blood seemed to flow through me with incredible speed, hunting the poison. I fell to the floor with a heavy thud and felt my body go limp as everything went black.


 


Chapter 8: Now We Wait
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beautiful chapter image by elixirchaos @ tda (isn't it beautiful??)


I awoke in McGonagall’s office, surrounded by professors.

"Maggie?" I looked up to see Papa standing over me, fear written in his face.

"She’s going to be weak." I heard Snape whisper to Dumbledore.

"Are you alright, Maggie?" Professor Sprout sat next to me on the bed.

I nodded softly, I couldn’t feel most of my body. "What happened?" My mouth felt dry and thick.

"Your mother poisoned you but your blood fought it. I’ve rarely seen anything that powerful." Dumbledore explained. "It’s the heir’s blood in you, and I think that you’re going to need more training. I’ve already discussed this with your father."

"There’s something else… Isn’t there?" I asked.

"Your mother has pledged her loyalty to Voldemort, my dear." McGonagall sighed.

"We’ve discovered that it was your mother who killed the Squid at the start of the term." Snape looked down at the ground. "I’m very sorry, Ms. Carlott, I know this must be hard on you."

"What happens now?" I asked.

"We just have to wait." Papa whispered before heading towards the door. "I’m so sorry your mother dragged you into this, Maggie."

"No you’re not. You knew this would happen. You should have turned her into Azkaban when you had the chance." Snape sneered. "You made Margaret a prime target for your wife, and you know it."

I looked at the professor in shock.

"Severus…" Dumbledore placed a hand on the shoulder of the Potion’s Master.

"No. She has a right to know why her mother thought she was a Squib all these years. Considering the fact he told everyone she was dead." The professor turned to me. "Your mother was the first Slytherin in her family. Her parents were instinctively … proud, they had wanted to be in Slytherin. And once the Dark Lord came into power he had quite an influence over your mother, as he did many of the students of that house." I noticed his gaze flash to his arm, then back to me.

"What are you saying, Severus?" McGonagall gasped.

"Your mother was training to be a death eater when she met your father. She let her allegiance to the Dark Lord wane when she discovered herself to be with child. After you were born she started to . . . I might say, imprint her beliefs on to you, even as an infant you resisted."

"Severus!" My father growled, startling me to look at him.

"Why… Why didn’t you tell me any of this, Papa?" I asked.

"Because it was all in the past. I erased her memory. I told her she had fallen and hit her head hard, and that the reason she couldn’t use magic was because she was a squib, she just couldn’t remember. What I did was broke her wand . I wasn’t going to let her destroy us. After I became an Auror I noticed her memory started to return. So I sent you to live in London after your first year because I couldn’t risk it. And it finally fully returned just after you left for school."

"Is my mother a death eater?" I growled. "Is she a monster?"

"Yes. She’s been branded. She left after I found out."

I felt the bile rising into my throat and before I could comprehend what to do a basin was conjured before me and I released the sickness of betrayal from my stomach. I saw it was Snape who conjured it, his face showings signs of pity. Was Severus Snape showing actual empathy towards a student? Towards me?

"Maggie…" My father stepped towards me.

"Leave." I groaned.

"What?" He stopped, his hand still outstretched towards me.

"Leave!" I shouted, making my head spin. "You should have told me. You should have known she would’ve tried to hurt me."

"I would’ve never suspected she would have done this to you. Never in a million years." He sighed. "Maggie, please."

"Leave!" I yelled again, pointing at the door.

He nodded sharply and turned on his heel, slamming the door into the wall.

"What happens now?" I asked, turning to the professors as my head of House rubbed my back soothingly.

"All we can do is up your training and watch for any developments." Dumbledore sighed. "I assumed that you knew he had told everyone that your mother was dead, or that she was training to be a death eater. I’m so sorry."

"It’s not your fault." I whispered. "Am I free to leave?"

"I want you to go straight to the dorms, young lady. You need you rest and I’m going to brew up some tea to flush any of that nasty hogwash your mother gave you." Professor Sprout smiled.

"Can Hermione come up?" I asked. "I need to talk to her."

"I’ll bring her up." McGonagall gave me a sympathetic smile. "Pomona, will you take her to the dorms?"

My head of house helped me stand, guiding me out of the office. Snape’s eyes were on me the entire way out of the classroom. I looked once more back at the Potion’s master and I felt sadness in his eyes before he turned back to Dumbledore.

"Dearie, I can’t begin to imagine what you are going through." The old woman patted my back knowingly. "But remember that there is always help here at Hogwarts."

I nodded, not saying a word until we reached the dormitory. The bronze décor with hanging shrubbery and flowers calmed me as I sat across from the ancient fireplace that once served as the brewery station for Helga Hufflepuff, herself. I could feel a strange power emitting from the stonework as my Head of House left me in the common room. I sat up in my chair, leaning towards the fireplace when I heard the painting open and in walked Hermione, Harry and Ron. McGonagall waved from the door. "Let me know if you need anything, dear."

Ron was at my side in an instant. "Are you alright?" He held my face in his hands, his own face ridden with worry.

"Just very weak." I smiled. "But alright."

"What happened?" Harry asked, sitting on a couch beside me, Hermione standing next to my chair.

"Mother’s been branded. She’s a death eater. Snape knew more about my past then I did." I sighed. "She poisoned me because she found out about me being the Heir."

"We’ve figured out how she holds the blood of all three. We split up to each search the bloodlines of the houses." Hermione informed me. "Ravenclaw was easiest. Turns out Luna is your cousin."

"What?" I asked, turning to my friend. "She’s not my cousin."

"She is. Her mother was your aunt. After she married Xenophillus Lovegood she was disowned from the family."

I nodded. "I’d believe it."

"So that explained Ravenclaw. Gryffindor, however, was very tricky." Harry sighed. "You’re gonna want to listen closely, or you’ll get confused. My grandfather was Charlus Potter. His mother was a witch who had… many children with many men. Who knows how many brothers and sisters my grandfather had. Anyways. One of her children married your grandmother and that’s that."

"And Slytherin?" I asked, almost nervous.

"That was my job." Ron ran his hand through his hair. "Your mother’s family were all Ravenclaws. All of them. Except for one. Her. She made friends with many people in Slytherin. Including Lucius Malfoy. He is the one who persuaded her to become a Death Eater. When he did that he brought her to Malfoy Manor one holiday, where Voldemort would be waiting for her, to evaluate her."

"How did you find this all out?"

"I asked Malfoy, mostly. I did a few reading up on your mother’s history. Every genealogical record of every student to walk through Hogwarts has been recorded into the Library. It’s so students have access to the source of their magic." Ron smiled. "I think I spent more time in that library today than I have in 5 years."

"Big shocker there." Harry smiled. "But tell her the rest."

"When he evaluated her, he could sense the blood of the other two houses. He asked her who her sweetheart was and she answered your father. He knew of your father’s familial connections to Hufflepuff so he formed a blood pact with her and ordered her to pursue your father and to bear a child. The perfect Hogwarts child. With the blood of all the houses."

"I was . . . ordered? By Voldemort."

"I-I wouldn’t say that." Harry stuttered. "Um… maybe I would. But you backfired on him. You resisted your mother’s Death Eater advances on you as a child. You refused to partake in any of the meetings."

"Meetings?" I laughed. "I was an infant."

"The mothers would bring their children and they would be watched by the Slytherin students, at the time."

"Great. Death Eater Babysitters." I sighed.

"Maggie. You fought it. You fought him." Harry reached over and grabbed my hand. "Don’t look at this as you were created for evil. Even if you were, you fought it. You beat it."

I nodded. "You’re right, I did."

"What happens now?" Ron asked, still kneeling beside me.

"I think now we just wait. Go about our daily business. Research whatever we can that will help Luna, Harry and I in the battle." I sighed.

"Battle?"My boyfriend looked up at me. "What are you talking about, love?"

"There’s going to be a battle." I flashed back to my dream. "The founders told me."

"Maggie! You never told us."

"Didn’t I?" I asked.

My three friends looked at me with faces that distinctively said ‘You have failed to disclose this information to us and we are confused.’

"All they said was there was to be a battle and that if I fight I can win, don’t fight and I will die." I sighed. "It’s a depressing thought. I can’t even begin to think of what would happen if a battle were brought here."

"I can." Hermione smiled. "Everyone would fight. We would win. Voldemort doesn’t even realize how much each student cares about this school. This is our home."

"It’s true." Ron laughed. "There are times that I forget that I go home for Holiday because it’s home."

"Trust me, Maggie. You aren’t alone in this." Harry whispered, gripping my hand. "We’re never alone at Hogwarts."

"So now we just wait." I whispered. I looked up at the badger painting hanging above the fireplace and the animal nodded at me. It turned and a Raven appeared, landing beside the badger. A lion came up behind them and sat, it’s tail creating a circle around the two smaller creatures.

"Harry." I nodded towards the painting.

"Yea, I see them."

"What could it mean?" I asked.

"Wit." The Raven cawed.

"Bravery." The Lion roared.

"Unity." The Badger barked.

"These are the true values of Hogwarts. Don’t let the cloud of hate hinder these truths any longer." The Lion spoke, it’s voice dripping with the wisdom of a thousand years.

"Our brother has fallen. A path his blood is doomed to roam." The raven cried. "Nothing can bring him back."

"Destiny is something that cannot always be rewritten." The Badger howled. "But you can alter your own paths."

"As heirs of the houses you have the power to protect this castle, to protect it’s students, to protect it’s honor." The lion lowered its head, it’s eyes cast against the ground. "Do all in your power to protect the castle. Protect your home."

The animals faded away and Ron turned to me. "I guess you have to fight, don’t you?"

Harry and I nodded. "We have no choice."

"They’ll have to take me before they take my home." I growled. "I won’t have that coward taking this beacon away from the world."

"I’ll help you any way I can." Hermione whispered.

"I’ll fight by your side, Maggie." Harry nodded. "You and I have a lot riding on us."

"I won’t stop fighting for you or the School."Ron pulled me up into a standing position and wrapped his arms around me. "I’ll put my all into protecting you."

I stood in his arms and I could see over his shoulder the figures of Godric and Helga in a painting near the door. They nodded to me, a look of pride on their faces. I smiled back at them before letting go of Ron and sitting back in the chair. I was still very weak.

"What’s the plan?" Hermione asked, sitting next to Harry.

"Training. I say that if there’s a battle coming we need to prepare the students. In the morning we go to Dumbledore and persuade him. If he doesn’t listen then I’ll prepare them myself." Harry answered. "I’m not having all these innocent students killed because they were unprepared."

"I think that’s a good idea, Harry." I nodded. "Could you train me on a broom?"

"What for?" He asked.

"I think it’s best to cover all my bases. If I knew how to fly on a broom, and be able to cast spells as well then it might just be one more upper hand that we could use."

"Good idea." He replied. "That’s a very good idea."

"I’ll do that." Ron raised his hand. "Harry you can teach evasive, you’re better at it. I can teach blocking and defensive. Although I can’t tomorrow. I have detention for going off the wall at Dumbledore the other day."

"I’ll work on the spells. I know that normal spells won’t have the same effect in the air." Hermione sighed. "It’ll be good to be doing real research again."

"I’m going to see what else my blood can do. There’s got to be something more to it." I looked at my friends.

At least now we have something to do. Because now all we can do is wait for him to come to us.

And oh, how I can’t wait for when he tries.


 
 
 


Chapter 9: Seperate Slytherins
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"We have a problem." Harry sighed, sitting beside me at a table in the Great Hall.

"And that would be, what?" I laughed. "Give me some more bad news, why don’t you?"

"We can’t teach you to fly. Not here. The dementors roam the grounds. The Quidditch pitch is flooded with them."

"Bugger!" I slam my fist onto the table. My head spins. "What are we going to do?"

"I’m going to see how big the Room of Requirement can get. If it can get tall enough then we shouldn’t have a problem."

I nodded. "You’re better than I am at figuring out the paths of this school. I have no idea how anything works around here."

He put a hand on my shoulder. "Are you gonna be alright, Maggie?"

"It’s strange, Harry. Ever since I found out about having the blood of all four houses I’ve felt my magic moving inside me. It’s almost like it is my blood now."

"What do you mean?"

"Like I can feel it. I can feel the three houses fighting the Slytherin inside of me." I sighed. "This is starting to get painful."

"I’d go to Snape." Harry nodded. "He’d probably be more helpful."

I shot a look at my friend sitting next to me. "Are you crazy?"

"You said he knew more about your mother and her past than you did."

I stared at him a while longer, before realizing he was right. "I suppose that’s the only choice that I have isn’t it?"

Harry cocked an eyebrow at me.

I chuckled. "I’ll talk to him after potions today."

"Good. Do you want one of us to go with you?" He asked. "I mean Ron has detention but Hermione or I could go."

I thought for a moment.

"I want Malfoy to go. If anyone would know about dealing with life as the child of a Death Eater it would be him."

Harry nodded sharply before scanning the Great Hall, looking for our secret informant. He made eye contact with the Slytherin, and nodded towards the doors.

I followed my friend outside of the great hall and towards the Hufflepuff/Kitchens corridor. We waited for a few minutes near the portrait of fruit before Malfoy came into view.

"This is dangerous, Potter." He growled.

"I need a favor, Malfoy." I whispered.

His eyes jerked over to me, sympathy on his face. "Are you feeling better?" He asked.

I was taken aback at his question.

"I am. But I need to talk to Snape more about my mother. About my blood. I’d like… Would you go with me?"

He stared at me for a moment before nodding. "I’ll go."

"Does Snape know about your plans? At the end of the year?"

"Snape is the one who came up with the plan. He knew what my father was planning. He is the one who told Dumbledore I wanted out. I owe him my life." Malfoy sighed. "I think you and I both do."

I took in what this young man was saying to me and he was right. If it weren’t for this man knowing who my mother was and what lies my father had told me than I’d be dead on the potion’s room floor.

"I was planning on staying after Potions today and talking to him." I shrugged. "I don’t know any other time it would be alright for me to stop by."

Malfoy nodded "I’ll wait for you there." He nodded at Harry. "Let me know if there is anything you need for getting in the… you know."

He looked at me one more time, placed a hand on my shoulder and then walked away.

"He’s going to take some getting used to." Harry murmured. "But I do think we can trust him."

I was surprised at the Slytherin’s actions, but had to agree with my friend beside me. "It’s definitely not what I would expect from him, but you’re right. There’s not much that we can lose, is there?"

My friend stared blankly at me for a moment. "There’s a lot we can lose. We could lose each other. You could lose Ron and I could lose…" He trailed off for a moment and I saw something flash in his eyes. Something I recognized.

"You could lose Hermione." I smiled.

He just nodded.

"She cares about you too. Do me a favor, Harry. Don’t wait for her and don’t let her wait for you. I know when two people care for each other and don’t pass up the opportunity to let someone in."

He shook his head at me, but I could see in his face that he wanted what I was telling him.

"Don’t tell me it’s because you could lose her. Either way you could lose her. But do you want her to continue on with her life not knowing how you feel?"

"It’s not that, Maggie. It’s really not. I just can’t lose anyone else. I’m so afraid of getting that close to someone."

"Why? What’s the worst that could happen?"

"She’ll die. Because I got selfish with my feelings."

"That’s a stupid answer, Harry Potter." I shook my head at him. "The only thing you are allowed to be selfish with are your feelings."

"Who told you that?"

"It doesn’t matter who told that to me. It’s something my father was told." I poked him hard in the chest. "By your mother."

He blinked several times at me. "You never told me that our parents knew each other."

"Does it matter?" I asked, crossing my arms. "Now you tell her, or I will."

He stared at me. "That’s not fair."

"No, it’s not." I said, and I decided to walk away, leaving him to think about what I had said. I probably struck a nerve but if it took him seeing how much he means to Hermione, than so be it.

"Maggie!" I heard him shout behind me. I turned to my friend just in time to be pulled into a suffocating hug.

"Thank you." He whispered. "You’re right."

"I know." I patted his back. "Now go find her. She’s probably in the library, knowing her."

He nodded.

"Don’t lose her, Harry." I smiled, pulling back. "Nothing is worth that."

I watched my friend run off and I noticed a chill in the air, I turned sharply, thinking another Dementor had made it through a crack in the castle but I noticed the Bloody Baron behind me, a smirk on his translucent face.

"So you’re the one who’s supposed to save us all. I thought glorious Mr. Potter had that job. He’s already worn the ‘hero’ label on his forehead for years." He chuckled. "Literally."

"Do you have anything of merit to say to me?" I asked, starting to turn away from the Slytherin mascot.

"Please… I’m sorry. Forgive the Slytherin mentality in me. It means a lot to know that the school once again has all four houses in one witch."

"Again?" I stood straight up.

"Yes. You did not know?" He quirked an eyebrow and he lowered himself so that it was easier for me to look at him. "Come with me, please."

He floated towards the kitchens and warped through the painting, it opened shortly after. I stepped through and quietly hushed the house elves clamoring over themselves trying to do everything in their power to make sure that I was served. The Baron laughed at the creatures and I shot him a glaring look that was as polite as I could make it.

He led me to the far side of the kitchen and pointed at a stone that looked slightly different from the others.

"What do you think that is?"

"A stone." I shrugged. "It looks like a rock that got wet."

"Why hasn’t it dried yet? Or why aren’t the other stones around it wet?"

"It’s special?" I tried.

"Touch it."

"Beg pardon?" I laughed.

"Just touch it."

I hesitantly reached my hand towards the stone and instantly the stone became as dry as the stones around it. Once my hand made contact with the wall an opening began to form.

"What is this?"

"This is the hall of houses. The ghosts know of it. Dumbledore knows of it. Only an heir can enter."

"What is its purpose?" I questioned, leaning into the darkened hallway and noticing the damp smell that came from it.

"Its purpose is… curiosity." I looked up at the ghost, confusion clear in my face.

"No one can figure it out, can they? No heir has ever found it." I stopped.

"You never showed this to Voldemort?"

The Bloody Baron lowered his head. "I regret the tormented soul that you call Voldemort. I stand for what Slytherin stood for… In the beginning. Not all Slytherins are bad, Ms. Carlott."

I nodded, my mind wandering to the new friend I held in that house.

"I can understand the ideals of Salazar Slytherin when he first opened the school. The fact that they opened a school specifically for magic must have been frightening, and the founders must’ve wanted to keep this place a secret." I sighed. "But his message is lost."

"Please, just do what you can to stop the destruction of this school." The ghost flew past me, through the kitchen door so fast that the painting swung open.

I shook my head, taking in this new information. I looked back down the hallway and decided that it would be better if I came here with someone else.

I cautiously placed my hand on the side of the opening and the wall began to merge back together. I sighed, and started back towards the Great Hall.

I made it to the hall but was met with someone I had been meaning to talk to.

"Oh hello, Maggie." Luna Lovegood stood before me, her large blue eyes looking sleepy.

"Luna!" I laughed. "How are you?"

"I’m quite tired, actually. Not sure why, I’ve been able to sleep rather well." She yawned. "Professor McGonagall told me to find you. Apparently we have something to talk about."

I eyed her up and down. Normally she was never this sleepy. But even when she found out about our bloodlines she was in pajamas and it wasn’t very late. Her eyes were blood shot and an unnatural darkness lined the skin beneath her eyes.

"Are you feeling alright? Other than tired."

"I feel rather down in the dumps, as the Americans say."

This wasn’t like her, and cousin or not I knew enough of this girl to know that she was never ‘down in the dumps’.

"Let’s get you to Professor Flitwick." I sighed.

Add one more thing to think about today.

I put my arm around her shoulder and walked her towards the charms classroom where the small professor stood at the top of a tall podium, hanging some intricate looking crystals.

"Professor?" I asked.

"Hmm?" He turned around towards us. Upon seeing Luna he literally jumped down from his spot and came rushing over to her. "Ms. Lovegood can you hear me?"

"Professor?" I stepped away from Luna as he waved his wand and many different streams of light circled her, many of them turning a dark blue.

"What happened, Ms. Carlott. Do you know?" The small wizard asked.

I shook my head. "I don’t know! I figured with you being head of house that it would be better for you to see her."

"You were right to bring her to me."

I simply stared at the professor, still thoroughly confused. The dark bags beneath Luna’s eyes were growing to a nearly purple color as the lights encircled her. Her dreamy look was replaced with one of anger and fury.

I took a few steps back and the movement got her attention as she turned sharply towards me.

"You’ve poisoned the blood of my school!" A strange voice came from Luna, one I did not recognize, a mans.

"Excuse me?" I asked, subconsciously gripping my wand, tighter. "Who are you and what have you done to Luna?"

"I’m Salazar, you silly little fool." She scoffed, Luna’s personality completely eclipsed by an evil and malice I’ve never seen before.

"I’ve been told you were good once. A fair and decent man who became blinded by prejudice." I growled. "Now tell me what do you want with Luna?"

"She is the heir of Ravenclaw, is she not?" He asked, running Luna’s fingers through her hair. "If it weren’t for this hair, she’d be an exact image of her. My lovely Rowena."

"What do you want?" I asked again.

"I’m tempted to kill her and take her for my own." He smirked.

"Why?" I asked, my anger growing, as my grip on my wand nearly broke the item in half.

"Because. I feel I deserve something after Rowena toyed with my heart."

"So you’ll take an innocent child?" I growled.

"Innocent! Ha!" Luna’s face twisted into an evil laugh, her eyes blank and lifeless. "Don’t you realize that you heirs are the exact personality of us Founders. The only thing changed is appearance. But like it or not, you are us. And I want her back."

"You can’t have her." I raised my wand. "Leave her body."

"Tsk Tsk Tsk." He chuckled at me, waving his finger. "You shouldn’t do that."

"Professor?" I asked, but Flitwick was still waving his wand around Luna. He couldn’t see what was happening.

"Figured it out, yet?" Slytherin smirked. "You’ve got a gift. Comes from the purest of bloodlines. You talk to spirits and souls. Doesn’t matter who. You could contact anyone. Didn’t you realize that when my dear friends paid you a visit."

"Can I give it back? I’d rather not be able to talk to the likes of you." I rolled my eyes. "Let my cousin go. Now."

"Cousin? Oh now that’s a surprise. Two beautiful girls holding the fate of Hogwarts?" He laughed.

"Oh please, you knew this entire time. You know what runs in my blood, and it makes me sick that what flows in my veins once flowed in yours. Your message has been lost, even to you. This school has never turned its cheek to those who need it’s guidance and bloodlines will never be a deciding factor for those chosen to walk these halls. The world is more accepting than ever before, it’s no longer the dark ages that you remember, Salazar."

"It’ll always be about blood." He grinned, Luna’s face twisted and evil. "Everything is about blood right now, isn’t it? The blood of the houses, trapped in your body. It wants to get out, Dearie."

"Don’t call me endearing names, you snake." I growled.

"You have no idea what I could do to you, what my magic can do to you. All you know is that you can feel it. You can feel my power inside of you. It’s chasing you, inside of your own body." He laughed. "You can’t run from me now."

"I make no plans of running. I make plans of fighting, of destroying all the evil that comes with you."

"You’ll never defeat me! Slytherin is the most powerful house that Hogwarts has ever seen! It’s students are stronger…"

"Yet your heir was defeated by a baby. An heir, but nonetheless a baby." I sneered. "You’re logic is faulty, sir."

His anger grew, I could see it. Luna’s body was twisting and I could see that Professor Flitwick was noticing. I was drawing him out.

"Your house is nothing! It’s weak. It’s no longer pure. You can only filter down so much!" I shouted. "Your blood may be in my veins but I can look past a title and I can feel a greater power than you, or anyone in your house has ever known!"

"No!" Luna’s body shouted and a form flew out of her to stand before me. He was a handsome man, brown hair, striking green eyes and features that were as handsome as they were deadly.

"My house will always be powerful. My house will always be pure." He growled at me. He reached a hand to strike me but my body deflected the hit with a powerful surge of magic that nearly knocked the breath from my lungs. "There is no way that you can hold any of the power of my house."

"You and your house are no match for me. I’m Hufflepuffs Heir. I am more powerful than you have ever dreamed." I raised my wand to him.

"You can’t harm me." He gasped. "Who do you think you are?"

"The only person not afraid of you." I summoned my Patronus and the Badger circled the Slytherin founder, confusing him. "You have no power here."

The room became suddenly deafening. Magic was surging through my body at an incredible rate and the being in front of me was showing signs of fear. I could see Luna behind him, her body beginning to recover as she took in the sight before her.

"Fight me, coward!" I screamed.

He groaned, his eyes beginning to emit a burning light of emerald green. "I will destroy you!" He threatened back.

"I’d love to see you try!" We both turned to Luna who seemed recovered and had her wand pointing at him.

"Take on two heirs at once, even you aren’t that powerful." She spoke with an anger in her voice I’d never heard from her before. "You are going to leave now."

He walked over to her, his tall body towering over her. "I’ll have you again, Rowena." My badger was still circling him, but he paid no more attention to it. It slowly began to disappear as I realizes it was no more use.

"My name is Luna. You will never have me. I’d rather die."

He reached out to stroke her face and she jerked her head away as I stepped forward. "Leave now. I don’t care where you go, I don’t care how you get there. But you will not come near us again."

I slowly brought myself between him and Luna, I refused to let him near her.

"There is no reason for you to be here. Leave."

He looked at me one final time.

"Why can I sense so much of you?" His eyes roamed through mine.

"Because I hold the blood of all Houses." I growled, my blood beginning to boil. I could feel pure, raw magic emitting from my body. The room began to glow a golden color and it no longer caused me pain. My body didn’t need to fight my blood anymore. A purer Slytherin power flowed through me, more so than the being in front of me.

"You’re… You’re the Castle Heir?"

He began backing away from me, his face confused and his eyes angry.

"No!" He shouted before evaporating in an emerald green mist.

"Girls?" I turn to see Professor Flitwick standing near the door, behind a desk. "Are you alright?"

I nodded, feeling my power recede into my body and the glow in the room fading.

"Good. I’m not." Then the professor fainted just as Harry, Draco and Professor Snape burst into the room.

"What’s going on, Ms. Carlott?"

"Slytherin knows. He invaded Luna’s body and controlled her. Said something about Rowena Ravenclaw playing with his heart."

"Ah yes. Ever wonder why the Bloody Baron is called that?" The professor sighed, coming over to Luna and looking in her eyes while checking her pulse.

I shook my head, sitting down, my body weak as my magic began to revive itself.

"When he was a graduate of Hogwarts he spent many years here as a professor. I believe it was as the Arithmancy teacher. Well Slytherin knew that he would make a great house ghost. But he needed to die. But what would be make this man submit his life for the Slytherin House?" Snape pulled out his wand and cast a few shimmering beams around Luna.

"What happened?" Harry asked.

"Salazar Slytherin tricked the Bloody Baron into believing that he was in love with Helena Ravenclaw. Because Salazar had been denied by Rowena so many years before, he knew it would be no difficulty convincing the vulnerable young man that she had tricked his heart. Well, naturally, Helena denied his advances and this angered Slytherin and the Bloody Baron. The Blood you see is the Blood of Helena Ravenclaw."

"He killed her?" Draco asked. "Because Slytherin told him to?"

"Slytherin made him kill her. And once the Baron was free of his spell he realized what he had done. He had taken the life of an innocent young woman and couldn’t begin to forgive himself. So he took his own life, wearing the bloody clothes so he could forever live with his sin."

"That’s horrible." I sighed. "I’m really starting to hate this man."

"If you can even call him that." Harry whispered.

"What happens now?"

"Slytherin is weak. I could feel it, his house is rebelling against him, I mean look at Draco." I gestured to our new ally.

"Slytherin is splitting between blood and house. We can use this."


 


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