You are viewing a story from harrypotterfanfiction.com


Jade Lestrange by Daazle

Format: Novel
Chapters: 21
Word Count: 50,603
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: General, AU
Characters: Hermione, Dumbledore, Lupin, Snape, Lucius, Narcissa, Fred, George, OC
Pairings:

First Published: 02/17/2012
Last Chapter: 04/09/2012
Last Updated: 04/09/2012

Summary:
Every time someone's told me how much I look like my mother I've fought the urge to punch them. Thanks for comparing me to a Death Eater you greasy git, did I mention how much you resemble a troll?

I hope Hogwarts is less annoying than my previous schools, but I sincerely doubt it.


Chapter 1: Chapter 1
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 1.


“…expelled…”

I really should have seen this coming.

“…complete lack of self control…”

I mean, I always knew America would end badly.

“…disrespectful…”

Any place where money was the main requirement for friendship was bound to go wrong for me. I hate the arrogant attitude that comes from most rich people and the idea of buying friends.

“…in all my years teaching and leading this school I never…”

Maybe I was naïve thinking my leave from here would be as quiet as Durmstrang.

“…dark curses…”

I really hate America.

“…several students in the medical building…”

Do all headmasters sound this obnoxious?

“…absolutely disgusting…”

Does Dumbledore?

“…I do not tolerate this kind of behavior…”

Hmm…probably not, you never know though.

“…assured me that her behavior in the past would not be repeated…”

Fighting every instinct in my body to curse this git, honestly what more could he do?

“…will be removed immediately…”

If I wasn’t so annoyed, I’d be more impressed that Lucius had gone this long without saying anything. Or maybe I’d be worried about how he’ll react once we’re back home.

“MISS LESTRANGE” I turned my attention back to the headmaster. “Have you been listening to a single word I’ve said?!”

“I may have zoned out after ‘expelled.’ I figured that was the main point of this.” He looked furious, I guess honesty isn’t always the best policy.

“Enough.” Oh how I was dreading going home yet pleased to be leaving this school. That one word told me how this night was going to end. Of course I would be expelled the one day Lucius is already furious. Though I suppose being owled for the third time about my expulsion from yet another school would make any one furious. However, that glint in his eye told me it wasn’t just about this. He had been in a mood when he arrived and was probably going to take all that frustration out later…on me. “I understand the problem Headmaster and I assure you that I am as disgusted by these acts as you are. I apologize for believing that my niece had gotten past her previous conduct. I will, of course, be handling this when we return home. I do not tolerate this kind of behavior.”

Fantastic.

“I highly doubt any school will accept her next year. Three schools in two year will give any Headmaster reservations. Do not expect me to sugarcoat her actions.”

“Of course not, I understand your reaction. We should be leaving though. Again, I apologize for this behavior.”

Always wondered how you stayed out of Azkaban, now I’m not surprised. Keeping calm in public and lying were two skills Lucius Malfoy had mastered years ago.

Lucius stood to leave and I followed, grabbing my trunk as we walked through the door. He said nothing but the way he walked told it all, he was not happy. Though I doubt anything short of gold, power, and using gold to buy even more power made him happy.

We stepped out of the Administration building, there were a few people outside, most heading to or from the library. Finals start tomorrow, I suddenly remembered. A few people looked my way but none were close enough to speak too. I suppose Lucius standing there with me discouraged anyone to bother coming closer. From the corner of my eye I saw him pull out his pocket watch and put it away quickly. He started walking briskly across the courtyard towards the small security building. I took one last look around, I wasn’t going to miss this place.

The security wizard didn’t look surprised to see me. Oh how word travels fast around here. He gave Lucius a nod and handed over a newspaper that had been laying on the corner of his desk.

“Ready?”

Lucius shot a glare at me and I grabbed a corner of the paper and held on tightly to my trunk. The security wizard lazily pulled out his wand and tapped the paper. It glowed blue for a second then I felt a jerk behind my navel.

We reappeared just beyond the gates to Malfoy Manor. Just Fantastic. Lucius dropped the paper as he started towards the gate. ‘Litterbug’ I thought as I turned to follow. He said nothing as he strode up the walkway to the house. This was going to be hell. As soon as we were inside a house elf popped beside us.

“Put her trunk upstairs,” Lucius ordered the elf without even glancing at it.

“Yes, master,” replied the elf. I watched the elf, slightly confused. I expected Dobby to be the one always serving Lucius, yet this was Milly. Usually she only served Narcissa and cleaned the house.

Lucius took no notice of this and took off towards his office. As much as I would have liked to walk away, outside, upstairs, really anywhere else, I followed knowing what was expected. I entered the room a moment after he did and turned to close the door. This was going to be a long night.


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


I landed on my knees as Lucius slammed the door shut. I sat there a minute while a few blood drops fell on the floor. Eventually I pulled myself up while trying not to use my left arm. Slowly I headed upstairs and went into one of the lesser used bathrooms.

After shutting the door, I leaned against the sink, taking in my appearance through the mirror. I looked like hell but that was nothing compared to how my shoulder felt. Figures that he would injure my bad arm.

Using my right hand I turned on the water and rinsed out my mouth. I washed most of the blood off my face and saw bruises already forming. I ignored it, my shoulder was the main concern at this point. I gently prodded it, I was pretty sure it wasn’t broken and I didn’t want to risk using a spell to be sure.

Someone knocked on the door, I quickly let go of my arm and Narcissa walked in. I was still staring in the mirror and refused to meet her eyes. After a short pause she closed the door and pulled out her wand. She unlocked the cabinet under the sink and retrieved two things, both that I recognized. When she held out the pain reliever potion I took it without words and downed the whole vial. The pain subsided some as I took a seat on one of the stools facing my aunt. Silently she opened the jar and began applying the cream around my eye. She finished there and began to apply some to my neck.

“You shouldn’t have pushed him.”

“Hmm”

“I didn’t realize how furious he was,” she said after another minute of silence.

“Pretty sure me breaking his jaw didn’t help matters.” Narcissa paused, looking surprised for a moment, then continued applying the cream.

“Was it worth it?”

“What? Punching him in the face?” She gave a quick nod as I pondered that. I had a cut lip, black eye, bruises all over my face and neck. Topping that off was a busted up shoulder that would take more than a few days and some pain reliever potions to cure. Had it been worth it for that second of watching him look stunned after my fist connected with his face?

“Yes.”

“Hmm.”

“You should try it sometime.”

She closed the jar and returned it to its proper place looking disappointed. “You shouldn’t have pushed him. I’ll leave the cabinet unlocked, take the pain reliever as you need it.” With that she left closing the door behind her.

I headed to my room. Before I’d taken the pain reliever I would have thought hitting Lucius back was a foolish and rash thing to do. After though, with the pain lessening, I honestly wondered why I’d never done it before.

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

I didn’t get much sleep that night, my mind was a muddled mess. The last 48 hours had been chaos. No, that was wrong. It was the past few hours bothering me, Salem seemed like a distant memory by now. Something about my fight with Lucius, it was nagging my mind. Like there was something I was missing, it seemed so close…but I couldn’t reach it.

I replayed the memory over and over…I was missing something and I wanted to know what it was.

I had been turning back around when I felt his hand hit the side of my face.

“Do you have any idea what you’ve done?” I’d said nothing. “Three schools. Three schools in two damn years!” He’d grabbed me by the front of my shirt and pulled me forward. “I will not have you ruin my family’s name.”

“Well it’s a good thing we don’t share the same name then.” Wrong thing to say.

I’d resisted the urge to reach up and check my lip after his next blow. I’d already felt that it was bleeding.

“Thousands of galleons spent to repair the damage you’ve done. This time I had to explain why I needed an emergency portkey to America. Do you have any idea what that’s like?”

“What, no one in the Transportation Department takes bribes?” That had been rather rash to say, thinking back on it.

With the next punch I’d staggered back a couple steps but refused to be knocked down.

“You should be thankful we took you in. Everything that you’ve done to this family and I still let you stay, I could have left you in the street. I could have left you for some filthy muggles! And what do you do in return? Manage to get kicked out of three of the top magical schools in the world! We put out reputations on the line and this is how you repay us?! You should be locked in the cellar, eating scrapes off of the floor like a filthy mudblood!”

Over the past 13 years I’d been insulted by Lucius several times. Hell I’d even been hit a few times, but this, this was different. Only a year ago I’d cost him a few thousand galleons worth of damage. He’d been furious then and given me a black eye. Considering the other pain throughout my body, a black eye hadn’t felt like much. Yet here he was raging today, worse than I’d ever seen him and I knew it wasn’t completely my fault.

Why?

Only a few things could work him up like that: Dumbledore, new Ministry laws, Dumbledore, the other school governors siding with Dumbledore, and Dumbledore. Lucius Malfoy spent a lot of time angry over something that Dumbledore had done or in some cases hadn’t done. One of those things was aggravating him and he was taking it out on me. Usually I let him get on with it so I could leave, but this time it was different.

My anger from America, the injustice of the past 36 hours, I’d let it get to me. I didn’t want to stand there and be his punching bag. Then I’d done one of the most foolish yet incredibly rewarding things in my life. I’d balled up my fists and without even waiting long enough to think about the consequences, I’d punched Lucius in the face.

There, a flash, I hadn’t noticed at the time. I’d been too worried about what was coming next but there was a moment of emotion that wasn’t mine. I shook my head. Being connected with my father too long was getting to me, I guess. I wasn’t connected to Lucius, I wouldn’t be feeling anything from him. No, something from my father had come through with odd timing. There wasn’t another option.

Of course what happened next wasn’t exactly pleasant. I’d either hit Lucius hard enough or surprised him enough that he’d lost his footing, taking a couple of steps back. He’d lifted his hand and felt his jaw as I’d stood there. He’d been dazed for a few seconds but even then, I knew what was coming next and I’d braced myself for it.

It didn’t take long. I’d been pushed to the floor with a strong blow. Unfortunately my left shoulder had hit it first and I’d felt an enormous amount of pain. I was still feeling it actually, I was delicately rubbing my shoulder while in bed. The pain reliever was wearing off.

I had barely let out a groan before I was dragged up. Another blow and then he’d shoved me against the bookcase next to the door. That time I’d heard a crunching noise come from my left shoulder. The pain had made my eyes water but I would never cry in front of Lucius. He’d wrapped one of his hands around my neck and put his face within inches of mine.

“If you EVER try that for a second time, I’ll make sure you can never walk again.” He’d whispered furiously. “Do I make myself clear?”

A hundred different responses had come to mind, but only one would let me leave without more injuries.

“Yes, sir.”

 


Chapter 2: Chapter 2
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 2


It had been 2 weeks since I returned to the Manor and I’d spent most of it shut in my room, reading. Draco was back for the summer, though I’d only seen him twice. Nothing had been said between us, that was nothing new. However I did notice Draco spending a lot of time in his room as if he was avoiding Lucius too.

Lying in bed one evening I wondered just what had happened while I was gone. All of a sudden a wild thought popped into my mind. ‘Where’s Dobby?’ Usually he was the one taking care of me, bringing me meals and checking in throughout the day. I hadn’t seen him once in two weeks, definitely something I should have noticed sooner. I got up gingerly, trying not to put weight on my left side. Yes, it still hurt after 2 weeks and copious amounts of pain reliever.

Heading downstairs, I decided to try the kitchen first. If Dobby wasn’t there I could at least find Narcissa or Milly and ask them. I hadn’t even gone half way when I spotted Draco sitting behind a pillar in the entrance hall. Before we could make eye contact he turned his head to look away. I could hear muffled voices in Lucius’ office. I went to sit behind another pillar, out of sight should Lucius open the door.

It didn’t take long to figure out who the conversation was about or who the people talking were. It was an argument between Lucius and Narcissa about me. I had no idea how long it had been going on.

“There aren’t any other options,” Narcissa said desperately.

“There wouldn’t need to be if she had shut her mouth and listened to Karkaroff.”

“I realize that Lucius, but now, no other school is willing to accept her. He might-“

“I refuse to ask that muggle loving fool for anything!”

Ah…so this was about Dumbledore too.

“I’m willing to take her myself.”

“Yes, because that worked out so well last time,” Lucius responded mockingly.

I cringed, Narcissa had been the one to charm the Headmaster into allowing me to attend Salem Institute.

“Lucius,” Narcissa tried again.

“I WILL NOT be in debt to Albus Dumbledore!”

“Then you’d need to hire a private tutor.”

“Oh yes, so I can waste a few hundred more galleons on her.”

“Something has to be done.”

“I will not have any Malfoy groveling at the feet of Dumbledore.”

“I do not grovel at anyone’s feet,” Narcissa retorted curtly. “She was born in England, her name has been down for Hogwarts for years. I hardly think pointing that out to Dumbledore leaves us in debt to him.”

“I’m not going to jump through hoops for him to allow this.”

“Neither will I, but I will need to meet with him.”

After a minute of silence Lucius responded. “If you must.”

I heard the door opening and pulled closer to the pillar so I wouldn’t be seen, Draco was doing the same. It was only Narcissa though. She spotted us after she’d walked a few steps away from the door and beckoned us both to follow her.

“Draco, send a letter to the Goyle’s inviting your friend over tomorrow. Crabbe also, if you wish.”

“Yes, mother,” he said before leaving.

I followed Narcissa into the library, she pulled out 2 pieces of parchment as she sat down. I leaned against the wall, avoiding my left arm which was starting to throb again. I needed another dose of pain reliever. After getting out some ink and a quill, Narcissa started writing.

“You should be ready to leave tomorrow,” she informed me without looking up.

“Shouldn’t we wait until he actually agrees to meet us?” I asked raising an eyebrow.

“I’m not giving him the option to say no,” she stated briskly.

“Part of your plan is forcing Dumbledore to meet with us?”

“Be ready to leave after lunch,” she said ignoring my question.

“Who’s the other letter for?” I asked. She had finished writing what I presumed was Dumbledore’s letter and had started another one. She ignored my question this time too.

“You can go now,” she said in a dismissive way.

If my arm hadn’t been hurting so much I probably would have stayed and asked more questions, especially about Dobby. Instead I left, drinking another vial of pain reliever before I went back to my room to lie down. I could always ask her tomorrow, without Lucius around she’d probably even give me an honest answer.

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

When I woke up the next morning my first thought was a long stream of cuss words. My shoulder felt like it was on fire. I must have been sleeping on it during the night. I fumbled around with my nightstand, pulling out a drawer. Inside I found what I was looking for-a small bottle that was nearly empty. It was a bit difficult to opening with one hand but eventually I got it and swallowed everything left inside in 2 sips. The pain faded after a few minutes and I sighed. That was the strongest pain reliever I had and without any more supplies I wouldn’t be able to make more. Perhaps after our meeting with Dumbledore I could persuade Narcissa to take us to get more ingredients.

I was sitting at my desk reading and eating a sandwich when Milly entered to inform me to be ready in 15 minutes. Ugh, time to put on a happy face and be the perfect picture of politeness. Let’s be honest, I don’t have a problem with Dumbledore. In fact, he’s probably a decent guy considering how much Lucius hates him. It’s just the idea of being nice to someone, purely because you want something from them, was far too much like Lucius. I didn’t really have much of a choice though.

15 minutes later, Narcissa and I were walking towards the Manor gates. My shoulder was beginning to ache even though I’d taken one of the weaker potions not even an hour ago. When we were beyond the gates, Narcissa took my right arm and apparated us to a small village, Hogsmeade, I assumed.

My shoulder had a few spasms of pain as we started walking and I reached up to grab it. Narcissa noticed this and stopped to pull a vial out of her bag. She handed it to me after opening it. Internally I sighed, ‘am I really so helpless that she doesn’t think I can open a vial on my own?’

“You should set your pride aside for the afternoon,” she said, taking off down the main road. She’s either getting to know me too well or I’m that bad at hiding my reactions.

“It’s not pride,” I muttered drinking the potion and catching up to her.

“Your pride was the reason you didn’t get along with Karkaroff.”

“The fact that he was a greasy git who would sell out his own mother made me not get along with Karkaroff. How he ever became Headmaster is a mystery to me. Plus he’s just overly obnoxious.”

“You think everyone is obnoxious.”

“Not everyone, 30% at the most. Half the people I’ve met are just idiots.”

“And the other 20%?”

“A majority of those people are obnoxious idiots.”

“Of course they are.”

“Speaking of obnoxious idiots, why exactly is Uncle Lucy in a mood this summer?”

“Jade,” Narcissa warned me.

“Right, right, sorry. Why does kind and dear Uncle Lucius seem to have a bee in this bonnet this summer?” I asked in my sweetest voice. She pressed her lips together as though it was some secret she wasn’t allowed to share. “Draco already knows,” I pointed out.

“He was removed from the Board.” Narcissa said after a few minutes of silence.

“Removed from the Board? The School Board?”

“Obviously.”

“For…?” When she didn’t answer I tried a different approach. “Does this have anything to do with Dobby?” I asked, though I couldn’t see the connection. “I haven’t seen him since I’ve been home.”

“He no longer serves the family,” she stated briskly, as though the elf’s state didn’t matter to her. Which I reminded myself, it didn’t.

“What happened?” I asked instantly, dreading the response.

“He was removed.”

“Removed?” Was this some sort of crude code for dead? There was no way the Malfoys would have willingly freed him.

We were walking through the school grounds now. If I hadn’t been so worried about Dobby I would have appreciated my first look of Hogwarts more.

Narcissa must have sensed that something was wrong and opened her mouth to explain. “I’m not completely clear of the details. However, Dumbledore and Harry Potter are involved in Dobby’s freedom. Though I haven’t got any idea how. Or why for that matter.”

“He’s free?” I asked hoping it was true.

“Yes.”

If anyone deserved freedom from Malfoy Manor it was Dobby. He had served them for as long as I could remember and was always being abused by Lucius. Though I would miss Dobby, he was the only elf who had been kind to me, I was glad he was free. Dumbledore and Potter had earned a bit of respect from me for managing to make it happen. Though I was still curious what had transpired here at Hogwarts last year that would cause Lucius to loose his position of school governor, I decided to put this curiosity aside and focus on my meeting with Dumbledore.

We were inside the school now, heading up different staircases and passing through several corridors until we came to a statue of a gargoyle. After standing there for several seconds Narcissa finally said “Cockroach Clusters” in a disapproving voice. I snorted even though the gargoyle had moved to reveal a spiral staircase heading up. “Be polite,” she reminded me sternly as we stepped on the stairs. “Or you’ll be headed to Uruguay this fall.”

“Uruguay? I hear the weather’s lovely this time of year. And the barbequed beef is amazing.” She glared at me and I relented. “I know, I know. Epitome of politeness. Got it.”

With a last glance at me she knocked on the door.

“Enter.”

We walked into a circular room and I found myself surprised. I’d previously been in three different headmaster’s offices. The one thing they all had in common was books. Lots of books. Dumbledore however, seemed to only have a dozen or so, on a side bookcase. Most of the room was filled with different silver instruments. I recognized over half of them but had no clue about the others.

Dumbledore had risen as we entered. He looked exactly like his chocolate frog’s card photo. “Mrs. Malfoy,” he greeted, though I noticed he didn’t shake her hand. “This must be Miss Lestrange,” he said turning towards me. I nodded as Narcissa closed the door. I put more strength into my mental barriers, I didn’t need Dumbledore reading my mind.

“Thank you for meeting with us,” Narcissa began.

“Your letter sounded rather urgent, but please, have a seat,” he gestured to the chairs in front of his desk. “Tea? Biscuits?”

I wasn’t sure if he genuinely offering or just being polite. I shook my head as Narcissa answered with a polite “No thank you.”

“Continue on then.”

“I wished to speak to you about a transfer student,” Narcissa told him.

“Miss Lestrange, I presume?”

“Yes, her name has been down for Hogwarts since she was born. She even received a letter before her first year even though my husband decided to send her to Durmstrang.” She continued delicately, “I realize it is not usual for Hogwarts to accept transfer students, hence why we are here in person to persuade you.”

Dumbledore looked thoughtful as he folded his hands on his desk. He said nothing for a few moments, and then began.

“I feel you are here less for the academics and more so because of the lack of options for Miss Lestrange.” I wasn’t sure how he could have figured out my problem in less than a day.

“That certainly does play a big factor.” I had to hand it to Narcissa, she had a gift for getting people to see her side of things. To charm them into agreeing with her ideas, but Dumbledore wasn’t your regular wizard. I was sure it was going to take more than this to convince him.

“Three schools in two years is quite a record, Miss Lestrange. Why should I allow you into Hogwarts?” he asked, turning his attention to me.

“I under stand your hesitation, sir. I’m sure if I was in your place I would be doubtful about allowing me to enter. All I can do is tell you that I understand my mistakes from the past. I don’t plan on repeating them, sir. If you allowed me to attend, I would of course, follow the stricter rules you would place on me. I would like the chance to prove that I can be a responsible student, but I would understand if you still saw fit to refuse me. Even though I’d appreciate the chance to prove myself to not only you, but the other teachers, as well as my aunt and uncle, if you believe the reputation of this school would falter with me attending, I would accept your decision, sir.”

Dumbledore nodded as I finished my impromptu speech. Well, maybe not impromptu, it was nearly the same speech I’d given at Salem a year ago.

“You have been raised by your uncle to say the right things when you need to.” I opened my mouth to disagree, but he cut me off with a raised hand. “I am not the first headmaster to hear this speech, but I intend to be the last. I will give you the chance to attend Hogwarts, however you will be held to a higher standard. I expect you to follow the rules and will not tolerate any attempt to undermine authority. If you agree with these terms we can set up another meeting to test if you reach the academic standards of a third year student.”

A part of me understood the reason behind this. I would be watched carefully and if I didn’t meet his standards I would be sent home. Somewhere in the back of my head though, was a sarcastic remark, waiting for be voiced. I wanted to test the boundaries, see just how far I could push Dumbledore. I shut that part out immediately. I need to follow his conditions, there weren’t a lot, if any, other options out there. I needed to be accepted to Hogwarts. ‘Is there really anything that you will learn here that you couldn’t teach yourself in half the time?’

Narcissa speaking interrupted my internal debate. “That seems more than acceptable Headmaster, thank you.”

Of course it was, I thought instantly. What had I been thinking before? Here Dumbledore was giving me a chance to attend Hogwarts. I had dreamed of coming here before. Wanting nothing more than to be able to escape Malfoy Manor and be sent to Hogwarts. ‘Dreams change,’ a nagging part of my mind said. I would be here with Draco, would I be able to see him everyday and keep my composure? What about-

It felt like a lump of ice had just formed in my body. Guilt mixed with nervousness, fear, and quite a bit of shame.

“He needs to know,” I said quietly. Dumbledore and Narcissa both turned to me as I repeated myself. “He needs to know.”

“Who?” asked Dumbledore curiously.

“Neville Longbottom. He deserves to know.” I felt guilty, not once had I thought about him. He should have been my first concern, not whether I could abide by Dumbledore’s rules.

Dumbledore was now looking at me thoughtfully, as if he was seeing me in a whole new light. “I was not aware that you knew of Mr. Longbottom,” he stated.

‘Not aware?’ How could I not know about the family my parents ripped apart? Something clicked a moment later and I understood. Dumbledore had expected me to be a spoiled pureblood, someone who felt entitled to everything and ignorant of the past.

“I…looked them up,” I finally said. “My grandmother…she mentioned them before, my parents, not the Longbottoms. I looked them up and found out why they were sent to Azkaban.” It wasn’t a complete lie, but it was the most I could say without causing suspicion.

“I see,” Dumbledore said, slightly frowning. “Do you have much contact with Ethel Lestrange?”

“No,” Narcissa cut in. “There were times when Jade was younger that Ethel wished to see her, but we haven’t seen her in 2 years.” Probably better not to mention that Howler Lucius got when he tried getting money out of her.

Dumbledore nodded, understanding. “If you pass the academic test I will inform Mr. Longbottom of your impending arrival. I feel you should know that he keeps the knowledge of his parents to himself, I would appreciate it if you would do the same.”

“Of course,” I agreed. I had no desire for people to know what kind of wizards my parents were.

“Our next meeting will be in one week. If you could bring your wand, I will clear it with the Underage Use of Magic Department. I assume young Mr. Malfoy has all of the books that will be necessary for you to know.”

I nodded as I stood up even though I knew I wouldn’t need any of Draco’s books.

“Thank you, Headmaster,” Narcissa said as she rose as well.

“Mrs. Malfoy, Miss Lestrange,” Dumbledore said as a farewell.

As we headed out of the Hogwarts gates I reached up to rub my left shoulder. Remembering what I needed to get I opened my mouth to ask about it, but Narcissa had already grabbed my right arm and apparated us away.
 


Chapter 3: Chapter 3
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 3


The pain in my shoulder flared, gasping, I reached up to grab it. “Thanks for the warning,” I muttered under my breath. I looked up and noticed we were not, as I expected, back at Malfoy Manor.

A sharp pain went through my head and out of the corner of my eye I saw two children lying by a river that was close to us. Another sharp pain in my head made me blink a few times while I rubbed the back of my head. I turned towards where I had seen the children but no one was there. Narcissa grabbed my right arm, making me jump.

“We should go quickly,” she said in a low voice. I wanted to ask where it was we were going but with the pain in my head I just let her drag me towards the town. I squinted, looking at the buildings, with a jolt I realized they were muggle houses. I glanced at Narcissa, finally taking in what she was wearing. It wasn’t quite something she would regularly wear and it wasn’t something most muggles nowadays would wear. It could pass as some sort of vintage dress I suppose.

I kept seeing the same two children out of the corner of my eye. One was a red haired girl, the other a boy around the same age with black hair. They felt familiar to me even though I knew I’d never seen them in my life. Every time I turned to get a good look they vanished. By the fourth time this happened I realized it wasn’t me seeing them. This was someone else’s memory slipping through. Maybe these had been two children he killed? I couldn’t think of why else my father would have a memory of two apparently muggle children. All I knew was that they were giving me a headache, I strengthened my mental barriers and tried my best to ignore them.

Narcissa seemed to be looking for a particular house but kept glancing back at me. It was really starting to get annoying. After several minutes she must to have found the right house because she knocked on the door. I took a closer look at the house trying to figure out why it felt so familiar. Like the memory of the children, it confused me. I didn’t have much time to ponder it though because the door opened and a figure I did know stood in the door way.

“Professor?” I asked, surprised.

He looked as confused as I felt but recovered from it quickly. “Mrs. Malfoy, Miss Lestrange.” He looked me over and stepped aside so we could enter the house. “I was not expecting you, I apologize.”

“I am sorry for the sudden visit Severus. It was urgent though,” Narcissa explained as Snape closed the door.

“I can see that.” I frowned wondering how bad I could possibly look. Dumbledore hadn’t seemed to sense anything, maybe Snape knew me too well.

We followed him into a sitting room of sorts, there were dozens of books though. Probably a couple hundred actually. The windows were completely covered and only an oil lantern and a few candles were lit. It was a very Snape-ish room.

“Sit,” he ordered, leading me to the single chair. As I sat down he prodded my shoulder. Of course I hadn’t been expecting it and cussed at him while pulling my body away.

“Jade!”

“It is no matter Narcissa,” Snape said waving his hand. He pulled out his wand and conjured a tank top. “She needs to put this on so I can look at it freely.” He handed the top to Narcissa and left the room.

With her help it only took a couple of minutes to change and I was looking at my scarred shoulder when Snape came back carrying several items in a cauldron. He looked displeased as he studied my wound.

“What happened?”

“Fell down some stairs. Those pesky house elves, always polishing the marble. Honestly, being efficient house cleaners, how dare they,” I responded in an offended tone. Too bad he saw through that lie. Did I mention that Snape knew me too well?

“Hmm. How long has it been like this?”

“Couple of days.” I answered.

“Two weeks,” Narcissa told him at the same time.

He ignored me and turned to Narcissa. “You should have brought her here days ago or at least owled me.”

I was about to speak up when he prodded my arm again, causing me to glare at him.

“Lucius has been…difficult this summer,” Narcissa explained.

Snape nodded and started mixing a plaster on the table next to the chair I was setting in. “Understandable,” he said as he added different ingredients to the cauldron.

So Snape knew that Lucius had lost his position of school governor. Maybe he also knew what had caused it too. I couldn’t exactly ask him at the moment with Narcissa here though.

“When was the last time you had a pain reliever potion?”

“Er…like an hour ago.” He glanced at Narcissa to confirm this. “Oi! I can at least tell time,” I said offended.

“You have a…habit of using euphemisms.” I raised an eyebrow at him. “That was a polite way of saying you tend to lie.”

“You’re never polite unless I’m dying,” I responded.

“You’re not dying,” he said firmly. “You’ll have to deal with Salem Institute another year I’m afraid.”

“Er…”

He stopped mixing and looked me in the eye. There was a look of disappointment that made me feel guiltier then Lucius Malfoy ever could.

“You were expelled.” It wasn’t a question.

I felt uneasy under his gaze and looked at one of the walls instead. “Dumbledore pretty much accepted me to Hogwarts,” I muttered.

He paused. “Pretty much?”

“I have to do some tests, practical spells I guess, to see if I measure up to the third year curriculum.”

“You should have no problem then. I am curious about what you said to Dumbledore for him to approve this though.”

“A bunch of rubbish that he saw through.”

“Of course.” After a few more minutes and some prodding of my shoulder he spoke again. “I can’t use magic to fix it.”

“It’s not broken,” I pointed out.

“No but it is dislocated. Also it will hurt more to fix it now.”

“You will be able to though, won’t you?” Narcissa asked worried.

“Yes, but it will have to be done the muggle way and without any pain reliever. That’s not including the damage that has already gone on for two weeks. You must have been in enormous pain. Did you not mention this to anyone?” he asked looking at me.

“She was using two vials of pain reliever a day,” Narcissa informed him. Inside I cringed knowing he would see through that.

“How much potion did you take a day?” he asked.

“Er…a few a day,” I answered evasively.

“Be more specific,” he demanded.

“A sip every hour or so,” I admitted.

“Something you made yourself?”

“Yes.”

“Which was?”

“Strongest pain potion I knew, without poisoning myself.” I heard Snape sigh.

“Jade! If you had told me, I would have brought you to see Severus days ago,” Narcissa scolded me.

“Yeah, because that wouldn’t have made Lucius suspicious at all,” I said sarcastically.

“I know how to handle Lucius,” she said curtly.

Snape cut off the bickering by conjuring a rope. “I’m tying you to the chair,” he told me. I glared at him again. “It’s safer than using magic at the present time.” I had a sense of foreboding as he tied my legs and arms to the chair. “It’s going to hurt,” he warned.

“I think I’ll survive.”

He looked like he wanted to reprimand me, instead he conjured a piece of wood about the size of a cob of corn. I looked at it confused.

“Bite down on it.”

“Not likely.”

“I would prefer if the muggles didn’t call the authorities claiming to hear your screams.”

“That bad?” I asked.

“You’ve had worse,” he reminded me.

Yeah, I’d been in worse shape more than once in the past. I bit down on the wood and waited for him. I looked at the wall and mentally started counting down from 100 in Arabic. Before I had even reached 90 there was a giant spasm of pain and I felt my bone pop back in place. My eyes watered and I jerked a bit in the chair but Snape and the rope stopped me from moving too much. Snape untied the rope and banished it away with a flick of his wand. I took the piece of wood out of my mouth and dropped it on the floor.

“Better?” he asked.

“Loads,” I said sarcastically.

“I assume it will get better within a few days. The curse damage however, is not possible to reverse. You do remember the warnings I gave you, correct?”

“I know.” How could I ever forget those?

“Next time anything like this happens, I expect you to contact me immediately. Lucius can be handled, with a memory charm if need be.”

“I understand Severus,” Narcissa said softly.

Snape started applying the paste he had made for my scar. I watched him work while trying to ignore that the purplish-black veins around the wound had crept over my body a little bit more.

“You should take Ancient Runes,” Snape said suddenly.

“Huh?” I asked looking up at him.

“Third year is when you start new classes. You should take Ancient Runes. It will put your linguistics to use,” he explained.

I nodded, that made sense. “Any other suggestions?”

“DON’T take Divination.”

“Will I start seeing omens of death everywhere?” I asked skeptically.

“You’ll realize it’s a pointless subject and start creating ways to torment the teacher.”

My mind drifted to Japan, but seeing as neither Snape nor Narcissa knew about the young seer, I responded with my usual sarcastic attitude. “Now you’re just encouraging me to take it.”

“Arithmancy and Care of Magical Creatures,” Snape said ignoring me. “Those would be my choices.”

“Care of Magical Creatures?” It wasn’t a class I would have picked out for myself.

“You need to do more than read-“

“I brew potions,” I said, cutting him off.

“Something that involves more interaction with living things.”

“Are you trying to make me befriend a fire crab?”

“I’m trying to get you to do more than read books.”

“Says the guy with a couple hundred books in his living room”

I heard him sigh in defeat. I was sure if Narcissa wasn’t here he would have said more.

“When’s your next meeting with Dumbledore?” he asked instead, while handing me my shirt.

“In a week,” Narcissa answered.

“A bit longer than I would prefer, however she should be fine until then. Visit after you’ve finished there, I will be waiting.” He handed me a small bottle from inside his robes. “Two drops only. One in the morning, one at night.” I nodded, putting it in my pocket.

“Thank you, Severus.” Narcissa said helping me slip my shirt over the tank top.

“Do try not to cause further damage, Miss Lestrange,” Snape said as we headed to the door. I could tell there was more he wanted to say. Probably wondering why I had been expelled, asking if I had a death wish or maybe just reminding me to be on guard around Dumbledore. Thankfully I didn't have to answer his questions now.

Narcissa and I were walking away from the house when a question came to mind. “How exactly do you know where Snape lives?”

Of course Narcissa ignored me and continued walking. I didn’t think she was going to answer, but as we reached the field where we’d apparated she said simply. “Never underestimate a witch on a mission.”

I smirked as she reached for my arm to take us back to Malfoy Manor.
 


Chapter 4: Chapter 4
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 4


I jerked awake from the cold. Colder than I’d felt in many years. I blinked a few times trying to adjust to the darkness of my bedroom. It was warm in here, well as warm as it could be at 3am. Merlin, is it really 3am?

I laid back down to process what happened. It hadn’t been me that was cold, it was my father. Normally during the night I was fine, but for some reason tonight was different. I tried to figure it out without letting down my mental shield.

Dementors were passing, something was different though. No, I was wrong, they weren’t passing. Several were outside of my cell. NO. HIS cell, I reminded myself. His cell. Wizards were there too, an unusual amount of wizards. Were they bringing in someone new? That was the only reason I could think of.

I turned on my side, annoyed that the Ministry had decided 3am was a swell time to bring in another prisoner, and tried to fall back asleep.

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

I was woken up by someone pulling on my arm and a voice calling to me. “Miss. Miss must wake up,” Milly was saying.

“Yeah, I’m up. What’s going on?” I asked sleepily.

“Miss must wake up,” she repeated.

“I sort of got that part. What’s going on?”

“Master is expecting miss downstairs in 5 minutes.”

“Why…?” Instead of answering me she disappeared with a pop. “Thanks for clearing that up,” I muttered to my now empty room.

Walking out of my room a few minutes later the first thing I saw was Draco emerging from his room. He looked as tired and confused as I was. We reached the stairs together and walked down them silently.

I heard voices coming from the living room and headed in that direction. If Lucius was in there that meant there were guests. Why I was woken up for said unknown guests was a mystery to me, Lucius usually let me avoid people who were visiting.

As Draco and I stepped into the room I noticed four visitors, three of whom I didn’t know. The fourth however, made me stop in my tracks. “What happened?” I asked instantly. Everyone turned to look at me but I kept my eyes on the familiar face.

“Draco, Jade, come sit down.” Narcissa motioned for us to sit. Draco headed over to the sofa and sat next to her. I stayed where I was until I saw Lucius give me a look that obviously warned me to sit. I sat in a chair opposite to the only guest who was seated.

“These are Mr. Amber and Mrs. Willow. They work for the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.” Two of the guests who were standing nodded when their names were announced. “This is Auror Bell.” The man by the fireplace nodded in greeting. “My name is Auror Shacklebolt.” I already knew that but it would have been just a bit suspicious if I mentioned that, considering it had been over a decade since I’d seen him. “We’d like to ask you all a few questions,” Shacklebolt stated.

“Yes, of course,” Lucius responded at once. “I too am interested in this unexpected visit.”

‘Maybe they found out about your hidden stash of illegal items and you’re going to Azkaban? Probably not the case but a girl can dream.’ I noticed the other three Ministry employees discreetly move. I recognized what they were doing almost immediately.

“Are you expecting us to attack?” I asked incredulously. The three stopped moving as Shacklebolt focused his attention on me again.

“What makes you ask that?” he asked in a calculating manner.

“You’re forming a basic, small scale, crowd control perimeter around us,” I pointed out in a bored voice. I saw the others share a look. Shacklebolt still seemed to be planning his next move.

“Didn’t realize thirteen year olds knew about these kinds of things,” he said at last.

“I read a lot.”

“I can assure you, no one in this house would have reason to attack a Ministry employee,” Lucius said smoothly while sending me a quick glare.

‘Yea,’ I thought to myself, ‘you’re as harmless as a bunny rabbit.’ I resisted the urge to roll my eyes.

“Would you mind answering some questions Mr. Malfoy?”

“Of course not. Anything I can do to assist the Ministry.”

Shacklebolt took out a pad of paper and a quill. “Where have each of you been over the past 24 hours?” he began.

Ok, one thing I’ve learned over my life is that being asked to account for your whereabouts is never a good sign. Also, Aurors don’t just pick a random house to investigate. Sure I bet with all the stuff Lucius was involved with at least half of it was illegal. And yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised if Aurors had shown up to question him. Something about this and my 3am wake up call made me uneasy though. Oh, Lucius is glaring at me again, in fact everyone was watching me now. Bugger, I had zoned out.

“I was here,” I said casually.

“You sure?” Auror Bell asked.

“Very sure. Why does it matter?” I questioned. Instead of answering me, Shacklebolt spoke again.

“No apparition, portkeys, or Floo calls?”

“Draco made a couple of calls to friends yesterday. Nothing more than that,” Narcissa told him

“Names?”

“Crabbe and Goyle,” Draco answered.

“Around what time?”

“Er…2-3 in the afternoon.”

“That’s it?”

“Besides receiving the paper, yes,” said Lucius, obviously annoyed. “Is there a particular reason for these questions?”

Shacklebolt looked up from his writing. He glanced at Bell before speaking. “Last night there was a breakout.”

“A breakout? Breakout of where?” Lucius questioned.

“Azkaban.”

I froze. Something inside of me felt paralyzed. ‘No, he couldn’t have…’ I opened my mental shield for a fraction of a second. Bars, cell, still in Azkaban. A bit of relief flooded my body knowing my father was still looked away. It was gone a second later when I realized who the escaped prisoner must have been.

“My mother?” I whispered.

Narcissa looked shocked and turned to Shacklebolt to confirm this. He was eyeing me with his calculating look again. I could sense suspicion and just the smallest touch of pity.

“Why do you ask about her first?” he asked.

I paused. Something about his tone felt like a trap. “Because you’re here,” I said carefully. “She has family here. You think she would contact us first.”

“Your father has family here too,” Shacklebolt pointed out.

I realized my mistake. I knew my father was still locked up and had dismissed him immediately, only questioning my mother. Saying I knew he was still in his cell wasn’t an option though. I should have voiced concern over both parents. ‘Come on, focus, that was an amateur mistake,’ I should have been smarter than that. Time to do some quick repair work.

“My mother has more reason to come here, my father doesn’t. He’d go elsewhere, the Lestrange Estate most likely.” That sounded reasonable.

“You think Madame Lestrange would help him?” Shacklebolt asked curiously.

“Without a doubt,” I responded instantly. “She’s a bit…you know…touched in the head. She’d probably throw a feast welcoming her precious son home.”

My grandmother really was a nutter. Thankfully I’d only spent a bit of time with her when I was younger. She adored her sons, believed they were superior wizards for the deep loyalty they had shown to the Dark Lord. She thought the only good muggle was a dead muggle and she wasn’t afraid to voice her pure blood elitist views either. Yeah, she was a real nutter alright. This was part of the reason I’d been sent to live with the Malfoys, even a decade ago someone at the Ministry had recognized that she was unfit to raise me. The years hadn’t mellowed her at all.

“A bit of an obvious place to go, isn’t it?” Shacklebolt asked skeptically.

Good point.

“I’m sure all those years in Azkaban muddled his brain. I don’t really know. I just can’t see any reason for him to come here,” I said honestly. I voiced my original question, “My mother escaped?

Shacklebolt glanced up at me. “No.” Ok, now I was as annoyed as Lucius.

“Then why are you here?” I questioned.

“We’re questioning all family or connections.”

“Who escaped?” an irritated Lucius asked.

“Sirius Black.”

‘They think Sirius Black….’ ‘Name’s Sirius Black’ ‘Sirius Black is responsible…’ ‘I want Sirius Black…’ ‘Find Black…’ ‘…Sirius…’ ‘…Black…’

I discreetly shook my head trying to clear it. It had been a long time since something like that happened. I focused on the conversation in the room while blocking out the echoes in my head.

“…still investigating the details,” Shacklebolt was saying.

“I see,” Lucius said. “I can assure you that no one in this house would assist Black.”

Shacklebolt said nothing but I had a sense he didn’t believe Lucius. It was reassuring that at least a few people in the Ministry had enough common sense not to trust him.

“You have wards placed around your house?” Shacklebolt asked.

“Of course.”

“Would you mind if we had a look at them?”

I had a slight feeling that Lucius would have liked to snap at them to leave. Maybe it was just all my years living here that let me identify his moods. He wasn’t however, foolish enough to flat out deny a request from Ministry employees, especially a pair of Aurors.

“Not at all,” Lucius said standing. “Our house elf, Pip can assist. He tends to the grounds.”

Shacklebolt stood as he tucked his pad of paper and quill away. “If any of you see or are contacted by Black or have any information at all, you will notify the Ministry immediately, correct?”

“Instantly,” Lucius answered. It must have sounded too offhand to Shacklebolt because he continued.

“If we learn about anyone that’s had contact, they will be charged with aiding an escapee and face time in Azkaban.”

Lucius sensed the underlying threat because he turned to directly look Shacklebolt in the eye and told him in a firm voice, “My family will not be assisting Black in anyway. We WILL inform the Ministry should we have any information.”

Both Lucius and Shacklebolt left the room and the two Department of Magical Law Enforcement wizards followed. Auror Bell lingered a bit longer and I felt his eyes watching me. I ignored him and after a minute he left with a quiet “Ma’am” to Narcissa.

Narcissa stood and called for Milly. The house elf popped into the room. “Mistress is needing Milly?”

“Make some breakfast.”

“Yes, Mistress,” the elf squeaked while bowing. She popped away again.

“They’re going to be watching the house,” I commented, looking out one of the windows.

“Yes, most likely,” Narcissa agreed.

I stood up and left the room mentally debating whether I felt more comfortable at Hogwarts with Dumbledore watching or here with the Ministry watching.
 


Chapter 5: Chapter 5
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 5


I woke up September first with an uneasy feeling. Yes, there was a bit of excitement, it wasn’t everyday that you started school at Hogwarts. That excitement was overshadowed by worry though. I was going to be sorted tonight. People would certainly question me about why I was a transfer student. Neville Longbottom would be there. Draco would be there too, something about seeing him everyday created a knot in my stomach. I hoped we didn’t have many classes together. During meal times I could at least face the other way and ignore him. It still bothered me though. I knew what part of the issue was, but I was still having a hard time coming to terms with it. There was also the whole Sirius Black ordeal. The Ministry still hadn’t caught him. The Dementors were supposed to keep prisoners subdued, but here was Black on the run for weeks. If they couldn’t handle him could they really control my parents?

I rolled out of bed knowing there was no point in laying here staring at the ceiling and dwelling on my worries.

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

Nothing good ever happens when it rains. I mean really, when people start telling you about one of their most amazing days it never starts out ‘well it was raining that day.’ That cliché ‘kissing the love of your life while you both dance in the rain?’ Totally unrealistic. The pouring rain should have been the first sign that today wasn’t going to end well.

Here I was sitting on the Hogwarts Express speeding off to a new school while the rain poured down outside. I was reading a charms book while doing my best to ignore the other four people in the compartment. The girl beside me seemed content to sit there and quietly read her magazine. The three across from us though were making small talk about what Hogwarts would be like. ‘Why did I have to be with first years?’ Their worries, rumors and questions about what they thought living at school would be like was annoying me.

No, you will not have a fight a troll. No, you will not get turned into a newt if you get in trouble. No, none of the teachers are hags. No, you will not have to duel Dumbledore to pass final exams. And finally NO, you will not be killed by Sirius Black as you sleep.

Apparently they had run out of things to talk about because one of them turned to me.

“What are you reading?”

“A book.”

“Well…I can see that. What kind of book?”

“Charms.”

“Is that a book for class?” another one asked.

“No.”

“Why are you reading it?”

“I enjoy reading.”

“HOW can you read that book?” the third first year asked.

“One word at a time.”

“It’s all squiggles!” the first one stated.

“It’s Arabic,” I said letting out a sigh.

“You read Arabic?”

“Yes, I do.”

“What class teaches that?”

“None.”

“How did you learn?”

“I taught myself.”

“Wow. Really?”

“Yes, really.” The stopped asking questions and I thought I would be left alone again. I was wrong.

“What’s Hogwarts like?”

“No idea.” That confused them. They shared a look with each other.

“How do you not know?” the middle one asked at last.

“I’ve never been there,” I answered in a bored voice.

“But you’re not a first year, are you?”

“You look too old.”

“I’m a transfer student.”

“Oh.”

“What was your last school like?”

“Like a prison with a bigger courtyard and stricter security guards.”

They frowned at this, not understanding my joke. The girl beside me had a small smile on her face though. I suppose she could have just read an amusing part of her magazine. The first years shifted their focus onto her.

“Have YOU been to Hogwarts?” one asked.

“Oh yes,” she said looking at them from over her magazine. They started pestering her with questions as I focused back on my book.

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

A while later I began to feel the train slowing down. I closed my book and glanced out the window. Still pouring down rain, a repelling charm is definitely in order. The girl beside me looked out the window and then at her watch with a confused look.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“I don’t think we’ve arrived,” she stated in a dreamy voice.

I raised an eyebrow and looked more closely out the window. It was pretty dark but I could tell we weren’t by any train platform. Confused I walked to the compartment door and poked my head out. Other students were looking into the corridor looking equally confused. The train jerked to a stop and a second later the lights went out.

‘We did not just break down in the middle of a field’ I thought, annoyed.

“Someone’s getting on the train!” I heard the voice of one of the first years say. I turned around and headed back to the window. The compartment door slid shut as I ran into a body.

“Ow!”

“Move,” I said impatiently, heading for the window. I tried wiping the fog off the window for a better view. Nothing. “Stay here,” I instructed them, going back to the door.

“Where are you going?” one asked with a hint of fear in his voice.

“To ask the conductor what’s going on.”

As I opened the compartment door a fierce cold gripped me. Letting out a quick gasp of shock I stepped back. An intense cold that made my whole body go numb, I knew what was happening. That’s when it appeared, cloaked in black. It was dark but there was no mistaking it. It was a Dementor.

I heard it suck in the air around us and my insides froze. I fell to my knees as my body went rigid. I had felt the Dementors before but never like this. My mental shields went down and I felt a pain in the back of my head. Hundreds of memories started flashing through my mind. I’d seen them before though they didn’t belong to me. Suddenly a memory of two people convulsing on a floor, screaming in pain. The Longbottoms. I’d had so many nightmares of this before. I felt a hand grab my arm and a part of me knew it was the Dementor. A flicker of fear and panic shot through my body. I knew what I would see next, memories that did belong to me. They started to form, lighting a spark of anger.

‘No. I don’t want to relive these anymore than I normally do. I won’t let this happen to me.’ I clung to that feeling and forced my mental shields back up. A flick of my wrist and I had my wand. The metal base felt cold in my hand but I had to ignore it. I focused on my happiest memory, letting it flow throughout my body.

“Expecto Patronum!” I shouted. A warm feeling came over my body as a small dragon shaped form appeared shining brightly. I’m not sure when the Dementor let go of my arm but I did see it retreating. I moved my wand directing my patronus. “Clear the front of the train, then make your way to the back, force all of them away.” It flew through the now closed door and headed right. After 30 seconds I saw it pass the door again flying at an angle so it could fully flap its wings.

Letting out some air, I attempted to stand. It didn’t go so well and I fell back, exhausted. I felt my head hit the wall below the window, it hurt but not terribly so. I closed my eyes just wanting to rest them for a few seconds.

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

I heard people mumbling and felt someone touching me. Considering I had just been attacked by a Dementor it seems reasonable that I would panic. My eyes flew open and I jerked my arm out quickly to grab whoever it was. They froze and my sight came into focus.

There were still the three first years and the dreamy girl. There was also a man bent over me. It was his arm that I was holding and he was looking at me in a mixture of surprise and worry.

“Who are you? I asked without letting go of him.

“Professor Lupin,” something about him bothered me and distrust him.

“What are you doing?” I demanded still refusing to let go of his arm.

“Merely checking to see if you were ok. Your fellow students said you had a rough time with a Dementor.” He pulled back and I slowly released my grip.

“I’m fine,” I said firmly while rubbing the back of my head. Slowly I stood up enough to fall back onto the seat. Lupin was still looking concerned.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

I looked him in the eye for a minute before scoffing. “You already know it,” I said in a demeaning manner.

He looked a bit put off by my rudeness but said nothing. It was times like these that I really hated looking like my mother. Adult wizards would see me and do a double take, thinking they were seeing a young Bellatrix Lestrange. The only difference was my deep blue eyes. They weren’t as cold looking as my fathers, but they were a distinct Lestrange feature.

One of the first years spoke up. “Those were Dementors?” he asked fearfully.

Lupin turned to him. “Yes, I’m afraid so. Are you alright?” He pulled something out of his pocked and unwrapped the foiling covering it. Chocolate. Ok, I understand I’m not exactly your average person, but who doesn’t love chocolate? And the way I was feeling, well I could probably eat about three of Honeydukes biggest bars. Still there was something about Lupin that just bothered me. He seemed…familiar. I’d never met him in my life though. He just…felt like someone I had known. Not being able to place it made me wary. He handed out pieces of chocolate to the others first, giving me the wrapper along with the last piece. I held it in my hand contemplating the odds of it being poisoned. When the others were eating and looking less fearful, Lupin continued. “What happened?”

“All the lights went out, then that thing came in,” one of the first years told him.

“It was so cold. Like…I’d never be happy again,” another chimed in, shivering at the memory.

“There was this weird sound too.” The last first year attempted to make the same sucking noise as the Dementor.

“Then she made it go away!” the first kid exclaimed. “It was this dragon made of light!” ‘Shut up kid’ I thought annoyed.

“Yeah and it flew out the door and scared the Dementor away.”

“Then she told it to fly through the whole train and get rid of all the Dementors!”

I wanted to hit my head against the window. It was too late for memory charms now that Lupin knew. I would have preferred if no one knew that patronus was mine.

“You managed a corporeal patronus?” Lupin asked me. His tone was a mix of curiosity, suspicion, and surprise.

“Yes,” I answered irritated.

“That’s a rather advanced spell.”

“Well nice to know I put it to use,” I said flippantly. “Shame if I had learned it and never got attacked by a Dementor. Would have been a real waste of time.”

Lupin was wearing the same look Dumbledore had when I’d brought up the Longbottoms. It was beyond annoying.

“You should eat that,” he said at last, indicating the chocolate.

“I thought it might be rude to run spells checking for poisons while you were still here.”

Lupin stood there taken aback, probably surprised that I had given him such a blunt answer. The first years looked a little frightened that they could have just eaten something poisoned. The dreamy girl however spoke up.

“It doesn’t taste poisoned, though I suppose the best ones are tasteless. It would seem very suspicious if the last students Professor Lupin had been seen with all died though. I’d imagine they’d see a pattern.”

I scoffed again and wrote a message in the fog on the window.

It was Lupin.’

Then I ate the piece of chocolate. I turned back to them. “Just in case.” Lupin had a slight smile on his face. Ugh. “You going to stay here till we reach Hogsmeade?” I asked sarcastically.

“No, I need to speak to the conductor. Are you sure you’re alright?” he asked again.

“I’m fine.”

He looked unsure but left anyways.

I rubbed my left shoulder as I tried to forget about my father’s memories. I stopped quickly when I realized what Lupin, knowing about my patronus, was going to do.

‘Damn it, he’s going to tell Dumbledore.’
 


Chapter 6: Chapter 6
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 6


When we finally reached Hogsmeade the first thing I did was cast a water repelling charm on myself before leaving the train. I saw other students getting soaked and rolled my eyes. ‘Idiots.’

“Firs’ years! Firs’ years an’ transfers o’er here!” a huge man was calling. I sighed while heading that way. “Firs’ years this way!” He looked down at me when I approached. “Transfer?”

“Yeah,” I said keeping my head down. I could see a few older students pointing and nodding in my direction. I really hate attention.

“Firs’ years this way!” the man shouted again over the rain. A group of new students gathered around him and he led us to a dock. About 20 boats were sitting in the water, waiting for us. “No more’n four to a boat,” the large man instructed.

I looked apprehensively at the lake. ‘It’s pouring down rain and we’re going to ride across a lake?’ Thankfully my repelling charm was holding up. I noticed the first years were all soaked. A few of them were looking at my dry clothes in confusion. I shrugged and got into one of the boats.

The large man climbed into one after everybody else and we took off across the lake. “Bit hard to see now, but that’s Hogwarts!” the man shouted over the rain. There was a dark, looming shape ahead, I could make out several windows shinning through the rain and darkness. I assume on clear nights it would be much more impressive. We reached another dock and climbed out of the boats. The large man led us to a castle door and knocked. The door opened but I couldn’t see anyone, I could hear a voice though.

“Oh yes Hagrid, the first years. Thank you.” We started to file inside and I cancelled the repelling charm.

“Professor McGonagall alright?” Hagrid asked.

“Yes, yes, just handling a few things.” Hagrid nodded and left us with this new person. “My name is Professor Flitwick,” he announced. Now that we were inside where the first years could spread out, I could finally see the tiny teacher. “Welcome to Hogwarts. Soon you will be sorted into your houses. These will be like your family for the next seven years. You will attend classes with them, eat meals together, and share a common room. Any rule breaking will loose your house points. You can also earn points for exceeding the expectations of your teachers. Now if you will all line up, we can proceed into the Great Hall.”

The first years lined up and I discreetly took a spot at the end. We followed Professor Flitwick into a huge hall with five tables and hundreds of candles floating in the air. I glanced up at the ceiling and saw a stormy night sky, a reflection of what the actual sky probably looked like outside. I started hearing whispering from the older students already seated. I cringed knowing that I probably stood out since I was at least a head taller than the rest of the students I was lined up with.

We stopped in front of the teachers table, and then were directed to turn and face the rest of the students. I didn’t want to look around the room at the sea of whispering faces. Instead I focused on the floor with my hands in my pockets. A stool with an old looking hat was brought out. I remembered seeing it in Dumbledore’s office during the summer.

That hat started to sing about the different houses and I began to feel nervous. I came from two Slytherin families and had lived with a different Slytherin family for most of my life. Would I be sent there like so many of them had? It had once been my dream to join Ravenclaw, that dream was gone though. It had died when I was eight years old and I didn’t feel right wishing for it now. Hufflepuff was about friendship and hard work. After two years in three different schools I had what, four friends? Only one of which was close to my age and still in school. I didn’t like people most of the time, most were unreliable or wanted something in return for their ‘friendship.’ No, I couldn’t see myself as a Hufflepuff. That only left one option-Gryffindor. Did I really live up those standards though?

The song ended and Professor Flitwick stepped forward. “When I call your name, please step forward so I can place the hat on your head for you to be sorted.” He unrolled a scroll and began. “Audrey, Michael!”

I waited until I heard the L’s start but my name wasn’t called. ‘Great. Dumbledore probably wants me to go at the end.’ A flare of annoyed anger shot through me. I really hated attention.

After the Z’s were done Flitwick turned towards the head table. I glanced around to see Dumbledore rising. “As you can see, we still have a remaining student,” Dumbledore announced to my great displeasure. I don’t need a bloody special welcoming. “She is a transfer student from Salem Institute in her third year. I should hope that the other third years, especially those in her house, will assist her.” Ugh, now he’s encouraging them to befriend me. “I’m certain you all remember how difficult your first month at Hogwarts was.” Dumbledore nodded at Flitwick as he sat back down.

“Lestrange, Jade!” Flitwick called at last. I sighed, stepping over to him. I had to duck for the tiny professor to reach but finally the sorting hat was placed on my head.

“Well this is very unique,” a small voice said after a short pause. “I’ve never had anyone quite like you. Hmm…I suppose ‘both of you’ is a more accurate account. One of you has already been sorted. Do you wish to follow him into the same house?”

I thought about it, really thought about it. Yes, it would be easier overall. And yes, I would have enjoyed being in his house. The idea of following into Slytherin though, I couldn’t get over it. It was the same house as my parents and Lucius. I didn’t want to be anything like them.

“No, no, I suppose you’re right. It’s not really the best fit for you. You have a brilliant mind. One of the brightest I’ve ever seen in fact. You could do well in Ravenclaw.”

Ravenclaw. That had been our dream, years ago. We’d planned it together, talked about it so many times. Then everything had changed. Something about being in there alone made my heart ache.

“If you’re sure,” the hat said. “You’re not exactly the Hufflepuff type,” it added bluntly. I agreed knowing there was only one choice left. “You know the ramifications of this?”

Yes.

“Are you willing to loose so much?”

‘I never wanted it in the first place,’ I thought bitterly.

“You’re braver than you think,” the hat said knowingly.

Or arrogant.

The hat laughed. “You don’t see it now, but someday. Someday you’ll know this is where you belonged.” I hoped that was true. “Enjoy your time in GRYFFINDOR!”

I heard the last word being shouted to the whole room and the hat was lifted off my head. I could hear a few teachers behind me whispering. Obviously they hadn’t expected this. The table to the far left was clapping and I headed over there, careful to pick a spot on the side facing the wall.

“Now that we are all seated I have a few announcements before we eat,” Dumbledore said, rising again. I zoned him out, focusing more on my own thoughts.

I wondered how many days I had until the impending letter I was sure to receive would arrive. I could already guess what it was going to say. I felt a heavy weight in my heart. Was I really upset about the letter? No. I wasn’t dreading that. No, the thing that bothered me the most was now that I would be wearing red and gold the likelihood of Draco ever talking to me again was down to zero.

During the feast I ate very little. Thoughts of the Dementors and becoming a Gryffindor kept my mind too busy. Thankfully after giving the people around me short, usually one word answers, they left me alone. I rubbed my shoulder thinking about how this first week of Hogwarts would turn out. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to it.

I sighed wondering if tonight, instead of nightmares about Dementors, I would be brought back to one of the few places I did enjoy going to. There’d been nothing for over two months, ever since I left Salem. I was back at school now though. Would I be brought back on the first night or later?

The rest of Gryffindor house, including myself, were making our way up the stairs. An older male student wearing a HB badge had insisted that I follow him with the first years. On the seventh floor we stopped in front of a portrait of a fat woman in a pink dress.

“Fortuna Major,” the HB boy told the painting. The portrait swung open and the students started flowing through. I looked skeptically at this. ‘We have to talk to a painting whenever we want in our room?’ Hogwarts was certainly different than the other schools I had attended. Nevertheless I followed the others through, stepping into the common room. I was rather surprised, everything seemed to have a similar theme-red and gold.

Apparently they take house colors very seriously. I wonder if going into the Hufflepuff common room is like being suffocated by a giant bee. Why have a badger mascot if you’re going to use bee colors? I suppose a bee would look rather measly next to a lion, snake, and raven. Maybe the founders drew straws for house colors and Hufflepuff drew the short one. Were there even straws back then?

“Lestrange?” I focused on the HB boy who was now in front of me.

“Yeah?”

“I said your room is to the left. It will say ‘Third Years,’” he said sounding annoyed, like me not paying attention was insulting to him.

I bit my tongue instead of pointing out that his information was rather useless. I could clearly see boys going up one side and girls up the other. I gave him a quick nod and went up the left side stairs, quickly finding the right room. I opened the door and saw three girls already there. With an internal sigh I stepped in, closing the door behind me.

A girl with bushy hair spoke first. “Hello, I’m Hermione Granger,” she greeted while holding an orange cat. “Jade Lestrange, right?” I nodded and headed towards the bed with my trunk sitting at the end of it. “Welcome to Hogwarts,” she said warmly. I’d heard about Granger before. She was supposed to be the smartest student in third year.

“Thanks,” I muttered kneeling beside my trunk.

“You’re British,” she said after a short pause. I looked over at her, she seemed a bit confused.

“Yes.” I pulled a silver chain from around my neck, using the attached key to open my trunk.

“I just thought…well Dumbledore said you were from Salem. I thought you might be American.”

“Born and raised in England my whole life, except for a couple of years overseas for school.”

“Oh. How come you didn’t attend Hogwarts before?”

“Testing my other options,” I said offhand, hoping she would drop the subject. I was searching through one of the compartments in my trunk when I felt something brush up against me. I turned to see the orange cat rubbing itself against my leg. I reached out and began petting it. It started purring almost instantly.

“Oh sorry, that’s Crookshanks, my new cat.” Hermione said. I waved a hand showing it didn’t bother me. “He seems to like you quite a bit.” Crookshanks was now lying on his back as I rubbed his belly.

“What’s America like?” a new voice asked. I looked up and saw the other two girls watching me. “I’m Lavender by the way. This is Parvati,” one said, gesturing at the other girl as she introduced her.

“Er…” I assumed saying it was like a prison again wouldn’t go over so well. “I suppose it’s like a muggle boarding school or university. Lots of buildings for different things. Library, cafeteria, class rooms, boys and girls dormitories.”

“Did you see anything else though? I heard New York City is amazing,” Lavender asked.

“I only saw a bit of the Ministry of Magic and Celestial Mall,” I answered honestly.

“What’s Celestial Mall?” Parvati asked.

“Sort of like Diagon Alley, but all in a huge building. Different shops on different floors. Top floor is all food places. Fifth floor is all clothes. Third floor is where most of the school supplies are at. Most of the second floor is books,” I told them.

“What kind of books?” Hermione asked instantly. I saw the other girls roll their eyes.

“Er…quite a bit of everything. Large sections on history, charms, transfiguration, and defensive spells. Foreign language section. Cookbooks, beauty and fashion books, potion books, quidditch ones too. Pretty much everything really.” Narcissa and I hadn’t spent too long in there, mostly getting the items I needed for school and leaving.

“Why does your trunk have thirteen key holes?” Parvati asked, changing the subject.

I looked over my open trunk thinking the answer was rather obvious. “It has thirteen compartments.”

“You only have one key.”

“It’s based on passwords and the key.”

“Why do you need so many compartments?” Lavender asked.

“Why not?” I happened to be very fond of this trunk. It was midnight blue with silver fastenings. It had also been my first gift from someone not related to me or from Snape. I smiled remembering opening it Christmas morning and reading the letter Dimitri had sent. Outside of Snape, Dimitri was probably the person I looked up to and trusted the most.

“Do you really have all thirteen filled?” Lavender asked doubtfully.

“Well, not full. There’s something in all of them though. I suppose the one filled with school supplies is rather full.”

“What else do you have that takes up so much room?” Lavender questioned.

Are they really asking me about what I carry around in my trunk?

“Er…school supplies, books, clothes, things I’ve collected over my life, potions supplies, one is just filled with random items that don’t fit anywhere else, and my violin.”

“You play the violin?” Hermione asked quickly.

“Yes, only for the past 8 months though.” That too had been a gift, though not from Dimitri or the Malfoys.

“Do they teach you that at Salem?”

“There are some music lessons there, but I taught myself.” Teaching myself was usually faster.

“Wow, I’d like to hear you play sometime.” Realizing Hermione was being truthful and not just polite made me a bit relieved. There was at least one person I was sharing a room with that I might actually get along with.

I got ready for bed and closed my hangings around me. With the hope that I would soon be in a familiar place I closed my eyes and drifted to sleep.

It felt as if only a second had passed before I opened my eyes again. There was a brightly lit path lined in cherry blossom trees just beyond the gate in front of me. I stepped through the opened gate, happy to be back. I ducked the next second as a sword passed over my head. I turned right and saw a friendly face with a smile on her lips.

Welcome back.”
 

 

 

 

A/N: Wow only 5 chapters and 140 views, I'm impressed. Feel free to leave a review though, feedback is always appreciated (b'-')b

Also for the last line and all future dialogue between characters that's all in italics, that means it's in a different language. It will just be easier this way than me looking up how to actually speak a language then all of you looking for the translation at the bottom of the chapter.


Chapter 7: Chapter 7
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 7


The next morning I woke up around 5 a.m. My muscles felt a bit sore from not using them much during the summer. Thankfully I remembered my training lessons from last year or I’d probably have a few bruises.

Quietly, I got showered and dressed then went downstairs to the common room with the charms book I had been reading yesterday. I glanced around, the room was empty of course. I didn’t exactly want to be sitting here as everyone passed through later on. Shrugging to myself I headed out the portrait hole and down to the Great Hall.

There was no one here either so I slowly walked to the front end of Gryffindor table while staring up at the ceiling. The rain had stopped but it was still very cloudy out. I sat down facing the wall once again. After pushing the plate aside I pulled out my book and began reading.

After several pages I heard footsteps and the sound of someone speaking. As they got closer to the Great Hall I could make out a female voice. I wondered who the other person was because surely people didn’t just walk around talking to themselves out loud. I naturally assumed the other person was Dumbledore, he seemed like the kind of person who would wake up at the crack of dawn.

“It is rather unusual Albus,” told you it was Dumbledore, “you must admit.” I heard the woman say just before they entered the Hall. I kept my head down and continued reading.

“Minerva, I assure you-“ Dumbledore stopped suddenly, I imagine this was when he noticed me. “Miss Lestrange.” Yeah, that would be me. “I did not expect any students up this early. Did you sleep well?” I turned to look at them. ‘Minerva’ looked rather surprised and a bit guilty. Oh, so they had been talking about me.

“Yes, sir.” Politeness was probably the best approach. “I’m an early riser. Should I have stayed in the common room?”

“Not a problem at all. Though you may have to explain to Mr. Filch should be find you here or wandering the halls before six,” Dumbledore said pleasantly. He and Minerva continued towards the front table and I shifted focus back to the charms book. “This is Professor McGonagall by the way, Miss Lestrange. She is the Deputy Headmistress and head of Gryffindor house,” Dumbledore informed me before sitting down. I looked towards them and nodded at McGonagall.

“Ma’am.” Once again I turned back to my book. I could feel their eyes on me though. Ignoring it, I read another page before McGonagall spoke.

“Miss Lestrange,” she began. “I believe that perhaps you are not wearing the…correct school uniform.”

I looked down at myself feigning ignorance at her meaning. “Ma’am?” I questioned looking back at her.

“The female students are expected to wear a skirt as part of their uniform.”

I looked back down at my pants. I had expected this, even prepared for it. “I read the rules Professor. It states that all students are required to follow the dress code. Also that skirts or pants are part of the uniform. However, it doesn’t specifically say that girls must wear a skirt and boy pants. I think you’ll find my outfit is far within the guidelines, ma’am.”

McGonagall’s lips pressed into a thin line as she stared at me. “Using that line of logic, male students could claim they are allowed to wear skirts,” she stated sounding disapproving.

“I won’t tell them about the loophole if you don’t,” I responded instantly. She turned to look at Dumbledore for assistance. “Some female students might not feel comfortable wearing a skirt. Is it really that horrible for them to wear regulated pants?” I said before Dumbledore could speak.

He observed me over his half moon glasses. “Miss Lestrange is correct with the dress code. We shall however, hold her to the same standards as any male student.”

“Thank you, sir,” I said keeping polite.

I really hated skirts, dresses too. Growing up with the Malfoys there had been several parties. Only for rich purebloods or influential people of course. During them Draco and I would have to dress in the very best clothes. My dresses always had frills or something equally stupid. I really hated those dresses, but even worse were the adults who would comment on how precious or lovely I looked. Then I would have to pretend to be the most wonderful, polite witch on the planet, thanking and complimenting them in return. It was sickening. Those parties along with the ridiculous outfit I’d been forced to wear at Beauxbatons had ruined any desire for me to wear a dress or skirt ever again.

A few other teachers had joined us in the Great Hall now, Snape and Hagrid included. I wondered if Dumbledore would ask about the Dementors and patronus. Maybe he wouldn’t today just to keep me on my toes. The smell of food caught my attention, causing me to look up. A few of the dishes around me were full of your typical breakfast foods. I reached out, grabbing a chocolate chip muffin and began eating it. Flitwick and Lupin along with another teacher I didn’t know arrived next. Still Dumbledore said nothing, I had a feeling he was still watching me though.

I was finishing off my second plate when other students started arriving. I continued eating and reading until I heard two people sit across from me. Over 50% of Gryffindor table was empty and they sit across from me? I looked up and saw a set of red haired twins staring at me.

“Yes…?” I asked setting down my book.

“We were just wondering-“

“If it was really true?”

“If what was true?”

“That you’re the one-“

“Who made that dragon-“

“That chased away the Dementors.”

I groaned wondering how many others had heard this.

“Should we take that as a yes-“

“Or a no-“

“Or a ‘shut up and bugger off you gits?’”

“The third one,” I responded while rubbing my shoulder.

“Looks like we’ve got ourselves a joker over here George.”

“Who says I’m joking?” I said seriously.

“Ouch, Fred. Don’t think she appreciates us.”

“I’d appreciate you leaving.”

Both Fred and George put their hands over their hearts, acting like I had wounded them greatly. I scoffed at them but couldn’t keep a small smile off my face.

“Ah ha!” Fred exclaimed.

“She does have a sense of humor,” said George.

“Do you two rehearse your conversations before hand?” I asked raising an eyebrow at them.

They looked at each other and shrugged. “It’s a twin thing,” they said in unison.

“Doesn’t that drive your mother bonkers?”

“Course it does-“

“That’s why we keep doing it.”

“I’m sure she appreciates it,” I said sarcastically.

“After having Percy-“

“Who wouldn’t appreciate us?”

“Percy?” I asked curiously.

“Git always polishing his badge.” They gestured down the table to the red haired boy I’d met last night.

“Percy, huh? Here I was calling him Sir Snooty Britches.”

Fred and George choked on their food. “I like her already George.”

“I quite agree, Fred.”

“Though she hasn’t answered our original question.” I rolled my eyes.

“Yes,” I said grudgingly. I picked up my book again.

“Oi, what’s that?” asked Fred.

“A book.”

“What’s it say on the cover though?” asked George.

“Dual Spells. How to Curse two targets in half the time.” I gave them a very pointed look.

“Perhaps we should go Fred.”

“Yes, lots to do.” They stood up and gave me a quick bow.

“Farewell my lady.”

“Until we meet again.”

I watched them leave and take seats near the end of Gryffindor table. Those two were absolute nutters.

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

My first class at Hogwarts turned out to be Arithmancy. Hermione Granger and I were the only Gryffindors, the rest were Ravenclaws. Apparently Hermione had taken Dumbledore’s words to heart and insisted on walking with me to class even though she also had never been to the classroom before. She pointed out the Transfiguration and Charms classrooms along the way. I stored that information in the back of my mind so I wouldn’t have to follow her around to every class like a lost puppy.

Once we reached the correct room, Hermione headed to the desk right at the front. Normally I would have taken a seat at the back, but since Hermione was the only one I knew, I chose the seat next to her. She didn’t seem to mind, actually she looked more like something else was on her mind. I didn’t particularly care and I sat there silently during the hour, listening to Professor Vector welcome us and give us an overview of what we would be covering over the course of the year.

After class Hermione left, not before making sure I knew the way to our next class-Transfiguration. After assuring her three times that I would be fine she nodded, saying she’d see me there and went in the opposite direction. Rather than ponder her behavior I took off.

When I arrived, all of the other Gryffindors were already there, including Hermione. I sat down at one of the tables near the back of the room. I was curious about how Hermione had got here before me, but I brushed it off, probably some secret passage.

McGonagall seemed rather strict, someone you pay attention to or risk getting into trouble. However, every other Gryffindor kept glancing to the back of the class looking like their cat had just died. At first I thought it might be me, but I hadn’t done anything yet. Well besides the patronus, that hardly seemed worth all of this attention and it wouldn’t explain the miserable look, so it must have been something else. McGonagall caught on to the distracted class as well.

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

Two years ago if anyone would have mentioned Seers and prophecies I would have mocked them for believing in such things. That was before I had met a Seer though. Well, I suppose I hadn’t actually ‘met’ her. I’ve just been taken to her estate and trained by her lead bodyguard as I slept. I didn’t even know what the Seer looked like. There were things she knew though, things not even Snape knew, so I hadn’t doubted her abilities. Well after a week. The first week I thought I was going crazy.

Tsukino was more than a Seer I guess. Maybe that’s why it seemed so different than the ‘Seer’ at Hogwarts. I mean really, predicting Harry Potter’s death while Sirius Black was at large. That was less than impressive. Certainly everyone looking at Potter like he was about to keel over and die was a bit dramatic. How much garbage would these people believe? Only Hermione and I seemed to pick up on this though. The way Potter’s red haired friend was looking, he might as well start writing Potter’s eulogy. I rolled my eyes thinking about how ridiculous they were acting as I ate my lunch.

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

I clenched my hands into fists at my sides, nails digging into my palms. It took every part of my will power not to move as Draco was attacked. Why had he been so foolish insulting a hippogriff right after Hagrid had told us not to? Was trying to show off really worth this?

I watched Hagrid carry him up the lawns towards the castle. ‘It’s just a cut, he’ll be ok,’ I kept telling myself. Surely the mediwitch would be able to heal him quickly.

I went to bed early that night, not even attempting to start homework. Seeing Draco being carried away, covered in blood brought back a memory I tried to block out everyday. It made me feel helpless and frightened. Nothing was worse than the guilt though. ‘Some wounds never go away,’ I had been told once. As I rubbed my shoulder I wondered how, even after five years, I still seemed as useless at helping Draco as I’d ever been.
 


Chapter 8: Chapter 8
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 8


Thursday morning came and like my first two days at Hogwarts, I woke up at 5 a.m. Unlike yesterday though, I wasn’t excessively worrying about Draco. Yesterday, Pansy Parkinson had been fawning over him every time I saw them. After I’d seen that Draco was fine I started ignoring them. I wasn’t on speaking terms with Draco, I needed to stop constantly worrying about him. There were so many other things on my mind, one of them being Neville Longbottom.

During Herbology yesterday, I had learned he was a Gryffindor. I’d been so taken off guard when Professor Sprout called his name that I nearly destroyed the plant I was supposed to be pruning. I had known Neville was a Hogwarts student, even in the same year as me. In the same house though?

That guilt I’d always felt from being a Lestrange came back stronger than before. I tried not to look at him, the few times I had, all I could see were his parents. Now, even sitting at Gryffindor table felt wrong, like I was mocking their memory by being sorted into this house. I kept quiet during classes, choosing to sit alone. At meals I ate quickly and left. I spent the rest of my time in my dorm room, reading and thinking. My homework was quickly building up, tonight I really needed to get some of it done. With that plan in mind I sat down for breakfast.

Looking over my schedule I saw that today I had Potions. That shouldn’t be too horrible. Concentrating on a potion would be good. Unfortunately I also had Defense Against the Dark Arts after lunch. There was still something about Lupin that bothered me. Rubbing my shoulder, I grabbed a few muffins, determined to stay focused on eating first.

Too bad that didn’t last long.

Half way through the second muffin a giant black owl swooped down in front of me. After dropping my mail it took off. A red envelop sat in front of me. ‘Great, a Howler.’ I knew who it was from. Sometime between Draco, new classes, and Neville Longbottom I had overlooked this impending message.

I could see other students noticing the red envelope too. They were telling their neighbors at the table about it, pointing and nodding at me. I could even hear a few whispers. Why did it have to be a Howler? ‘Here goes nothing’ I thought, opening it up.

“HOW DARE YOU!” My grandmother’s voice caught the attention of every person in the room. “THIRTEEN GENERATIONS, THAT’S WHAT YOU RUINED! THIRTEEN GENERATIONS OF OUR PURE BLOOD BEING IN SLYTHERIN HOUSE AND I RECEIVE A LETTER SAYING YOU’VE BEEN SORTED INTO GRYFFINDOR?! YOU DISGUSTING LITTLE BLOOD TRAITOR! IF YOUR FATHER WAS HERE HE’D CURSE YOU SO EVEN THAT MUDBLOOD LOVING FOOL DUMBLEDORE WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO CURE YOU! IS THAT WHO YOU’LL BE WORSHIPPING NOW?! ALBUS A-DISGRACE-TO-PUREBLOODS-EVERYWHERE DUMBLEDORE! WILL YOU BE PLAYING NICE WITH THOSE MUDBLOOD BOYS, PLANNING ON TAINTING THE BLOOD OF THE LESTRANGE FAMILY?! DO YOU THINK I’LL ALLOW YOU TO USE THE LESTRANGE FORTUNE ON FILTHY MUGGLES?! I’D RATHER WATCH THE LINE DIE THAN HAVE YOU EVER SEE ANOTHER KNUT OF IT! YOUR FATHER AND UNCLE KNEW WHAT IT TOOK TO BE PROPER PUREBLOODS! THEY GAVE UP EVERYTHING TO PURGE THE WORLD OF MUGGLE FILTH! I WILL NOT STAND BY AND WATCH YOU DESTROY THAT! YOU ARE DISOWNED FROM THE LESTRANGE FAMILY! YOU WILL NEVER BE PERMITTED ON THE FAMILY ESTATE! IF YOU EVER TRY AND TOUCH ANYTHING IN MY FAMILY’S POSSESSION AGAIN, I’LL MAKE SURE THEY FIND YOU IN THE GUTTER, WHERE FILTH LIKE YOU AND THE MUDBLOODS BELONG!”

The Howler turned to ash and fell onto my plate. I sat there for a minute, glad to be facing the wall. No one was speaking but I could feel all of their eyes on me. Merlin, I hate attention, especially now. Running from the hall wasn’t an option, I wasn’t going to act as if I was distraught from the Howler. So I did the only logical thing I could think of, I swept the ash off my plate and served myself some eggs as I popped the rest of my muffin in my mouth. My movement seemed to wake the others up and whispering spread quickly throughout the Hall. Ignoring it, I poured myself some pumpkin juice.

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

The rest of the morning was a blur. One minute I was brewing a shrinking solution, the next I was at lunch, then off to Defense. No one had spoken directly to me all day but I briefly took notice of the stares and whispers that followed me. In fact it wasn’t until our Defense class entered the Staff Room and I heard Snape’s voice that I fully paid attention to my current surroundings.

“Leave the door open Lupin. I’d rather not watch Longbottom destroy anything else, unless Miss Granger is whispering directions in his ear,” Snape said snidely, standing up.

“Actually I had planned for Neville to assist me with my demonstration for the rest of the class. I am sure he will succeed remarkably against the boggart that has taken up residence in the wardrobe,” Lupin said kindly.

My mind narrowed in on the word ‘boggart.’ I cringed and carefully stepped to the back of the room. When Lupin turned around I quickly slipped out the door that Snape had just left through. I quietly closed the door and turned around.

“Bloody hell,” I whispered, jumping a bit. Snape had been about two steps behind me. He raised an eyebrow at me.

“Skipping class already?”

“Boggarts aren’t really my thing.”

He scoffed and headed down the corridor. He turned and beckoned me to follow him. When I caught up he tapped his wand on my head. I felt the Disillusionment Charm trickle over me.

We walked down to the dungeons and into his office. He ordered me to sit as he placed a locking charm on the door and silencing spells on the walls. As he sat behind his desk and I wondered what he would start off with.

“What happened at Salem?” was his first question.

“Isn’t that in my file?”

“I want to hear it from you, not what that dolt of a Headmaster said.” I couldn’t help myself, I smiled. “Why are you smiling?” he asked callously.

“Narcissa’s always telling me I’m rude and brush people off as obnoxious or idiots. Being around you makes me feel like I’m walking around passing out sweets and kissing babies.”

“Most people are obnoxious or idiots,” Snape responded.

“That, right there, is why I enjoy being around you,” I said as I looked around his office.

“Hmm…you still haven’t answered my question.”

“I ran into some obnoxious idiots?” I said turning back to him. He looked even more annoyed.

“More detail, if you will.”

“It’s a bit of a ‘rich kids get away with everything’ story. It’s not particularly original,” I told him while rubbing my shoulder and looking back around the room.

“Go on.”

“There are a bunch of rich kids. Of course they’re the most popular kids in school. Most of the other kids try to impress them. Others just try and stay out of their way. Unfortunately some kids get singled out. Their teeth are too big, they’re a bit chubby, or their clothes are old. Something that stands out enough to make them perfect targets for bullying.”

“You were one of those kids?”

“Me? No. I was in the very small fifth group of kids who just don’t give a damn. I kept to myself. Not like I care if a bunch of spoiled rich kids like me.”

“I see,” Snape said, indicating that I should continue on.

“One kid, Eddie Stewart, he was one of those kids who got picked on. Must have had a dozen or so pranks pulled on him. Course they never had enough information to punish someone, so the pranks kept happening. I guess one day he had enough. So he attacked a group of the rich kids. Managed to take down one with a nasty curse. Still though, three against one now, he didn’t really have a chance. So me, being reckless and naive, jumped in. I took out one, but the leader shot a dark curse at Eddie before I got to him. Taking out another one I got hit in the back and knocked out. I don’t know what spell it was, I had planned on looking it up this year actually, but it knocked me out for the day. When I woke up they were all telling the same story. I had attacked them all and used dark curses. It was the only way they could explain everyone’s injuries without them all getting in trouble.”

“And Eddie?”

“Went along with it. Got accepted into the cool kids club actually. Like I said, there was only one way they could explain everyone’s injuries without them all getting in trouble.”

“You didn’t say anything? Didn’t even try to defend yourself?”

“No. I’d watched all year and done nothing. When I do, it all goes to hell. Honestly I didn’t want to be there anymore. They were worse than the kids at Durmstrang and that’s saying a lot.”

“I suppose I can see your reasoning.” Snape sat in silence for a minute before speaking again. “What happened with Lucius?”

I tapped my fingers on the arm of the chair. “He’s Lucius, what else do you expect?”

“I asked you in the past if he was abusing you. You told me it only happened once.”

“You made me an excellent liar, what did you expect?”

“I didn’t teach you Occlumency so you could hide Lucius’s abuse.”

“I’m not afraid of Lucius Malfoy.”

“It’s not about fear. He dislocated your arm. Next time he could break a bone, puncture a lung, give you a concussion. How far does he have to go before you say anything? Or are you trying to die before your 20th birthday?”

“He only dislocated my shoulder because I broke his jaw,” I said defensively.

“You broke his jaw?” Snape asked, taken aback.

“Well probably not broke,” I admitted. “Hit hard enough to make him bleed though.”

“That still doesn’t excuse your injures.”

“There’s nothing else we can do about it. You and I both know we’ve gone too far to get anyone else involved,” I said bluntly.

Snape sighed knowing I was right. “You need to inform me of all injuries immediately,” he said firmly. I rubbed my shoulder knowing he was only trying to protect me. “Are you in pain?”

“Huh?” I looked at him confused.

“You’ve been rubbing your shoulder for the past three days.” I frowned realizing I had, in fact, just been rubbing it.

“Bad habit,” I said putting my hand down.

“Jade, if you’re in pain-“

“I’m really not. I’m actually sort of relieved and rather close to the verge of happiness,” I told him truthfully.

“You have a unique way of showing it,” Snape said dryly.

I rubbed my head as I tried to put my emotions into words. “I’m free. I don’t have to live up to her standards. I don’t have to read her letters about failing to live up to the family name. I don’t even have to see her again. Never step foot in that house again. It’s quite liberating. After me, the line just dies out. There will never be another Lestrange again. It’s a good feeling, being the last one.” I was surprised that being removed from the Lestrange family would have this affect on me.

“You realize the goblins will get all of the gold once your father and uncle die.”

“Let ‘em have it. Money doesn’t matter.” Snape looked me over as though I had taken one too many drinks. “I really feel great,” I assured him, laughing a bit.

“Perhaps you can use this feeling for your next patronus.”

“Look at you,” I said, in what I must admit was a very patronizing voice, “and your clever segues.”

“It’s an acquired skill,” he responded flatly.

“Lupin told Dumbledore?”

“Of course, did you expect different?”

“Guess not.”

“You have peaked Dumbledore’s interest.”

“That doesn’t sound creepy at all.”

“I assume your mentioning of Neville Longbottom and being sorted into Gryffindor didn’t help matters,” Snape continued like he hadn’t heard me. That familiar guilt of being in the same house as Neville came back. “DON’T” Snape snapped at me. I looked up at him. “You’re supposed to be happy, didn’t you just say that? Feeling guilty over Longbottom is a waste of time.”

“He-“

“You can have all the empathy you want for him. Guilt however, is useless. You did nothing wrong. You have no reason to be guilty.”

“I-“

“Were two years old. There is nothing you could have done to stop what happened. You already have your share of unnecessary guilt, stop adding the Longbottoms to your list.”

“It’s not unnecessary to me.”

“Of course, the ‘lone suffering hero.’ How terribly cliché for a Gryffindor.”

“You’re upset I was sorted into Gryffindor,” I said quietly.

He watched me for a minute then scoffed. “There wasn’t any other house for you. Ravenclaw and Slytherin were out for obvious reasons and with your personality, Hufflepuff never would have happened. There’s also the fact that being in Gryffindor is an advantage at the moment.”

“Advantage?” I asked, not understanding.

“Yes, definitely.”

“Feel free to expand on this.”

Snape looked bored with having to explain himself. “Granger.”

“What about her?” he rolled his eyes. “We don’t all live in a world were we plot diabolical plans at least every day.”

“Don’t let Gryffindor make you soft,” Snape said disgusted. “Your diabolical plans are half the reason I find you so interesting.”

“Here I thought it was my sunny disposition.” Snape rolled his eyes again.

“Hermione Granger never met a question she didn’t know the answer to. She has an annoying habit of regurgitating text books even when you deliberately don’t ask her a question.” Now I rolled my eyes, she didn’t seem that bad, though she did seem very fond of answering every question a teacher asked. “She gets the attention a know-it-all usually receives. I assume with her in all of your classes, you can keep a low profile and your grades will slip by.”

“I could always just dumb myself down,” I suggested.

“That doesn’t particularly help you though, does it?”

“Do you actually mean that or are you looking to knock Hermione down a peg or two?”

“Can’t it be both?”

“You’re jealous,” I said accusingly.

“Hardly,” Snape scoffed.

“She’s smart and in a different house. You could use her to pad Slytherin points,” I teased. Snape looked revolted. “Too many Slytherins with a troll or two lurking in their family tree?” I asked sarcastically

“You have no idea,” Snape said miserably. “I don’t even think half of them can read.”

“Pureblood breeding at its best,” I said laughing.

“Well I’m glad your happy mood is back.”

“Oh,” I said suddenly thinking of something. “The Ministry visited a few weeks back.”

“Yes, I received a visit also.”

“They were watching the house, probably still are.”

“I had assumed they were doing the same for me. Out of curiosity, who came by?”

“Shacklebolt was the only one I knew.”

“He is one of the better Aurors. I assume you were cautions.”

“He nearly tripped me up. I thought it was my mother who had escaped. I covered it well though.”

“Hmm…I would suggest more caution, especially around Dumbledore.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

“Speaking of Dumbledore, should you be called into see him or even McGonagall for that matter, I would appreciate being able to witness it. I may be able to see clues in their behavior that you cannot. Of course this is only if you can keep an Occlumency shield up against Dumbledore.”

I nodded. “Do I have to worry about McGonagall?”

“No. You should have something to tell Lupin when you return though. Something pity inducing. That is sure to disarm him.” From his tone I could tell that Snape had less than favorable feelings towards Lupin.

“I’ll think of something to tell him,” I said standing up. “I’ll make it believable.”

“You always do.”

“Always.” I grabbed my bag off the floor. “Hey, who did the Ministry send over to your place?” I asked curiously.

“Rufus Scrimgeour, Head of the Auror Department.” I thought about the name for a minute, trying to place it. I remembered walking by his desk over ten years ago. “Of course you remember him,” Snape said dryly.

“Always,” I said tapping my head.

I left his office and immediately used a Disillusionment Charm. After I made my way back up to the Staff Room I sat on the floor intending to claim I had been here the whole time. I didn’t have much time to think of a story before the class filed out. They seemed wound up and enthusiastic which was the last feeling I’d have after facing a boggart. Thankfully none of them spotted me. I stayed seated on the floor until Professor Lupin entered the corridor.

He glanced around and spotted me easily enough. It wasn’t like I was trying to hide from him. I knew even on his first day teaching this class he would notice a student missing. He frowned and took a few steps towards me.
 


Chapter 9: Chapter 9
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 9


“Miss Lestrange,” was all Lupin said. Something about his tone made me immediately think of Dimitri, which bothered me.

“Professor Lupin,” I responded, standing up.

“Perhaps we should discuss this in my office.” I nodded and silently followed him. I should have spent the walk thinking of a story. It would have been the smart thing to do. There was just something that nagged my mind about him though.

He indicated that I should enter his office first and told me to take a seat. I thought of what I was going to say, Snape said to use pity. It made me a bit uneasy that I would already start lying my first week here but I didn’t have a lot of choices.

“I was told Professor Dumbledore informed you that you would be held to strict guidelines.” That surprised me. Somehow being expelled from Hogwarts after three days for skipping a class hadn’t crossed my mind. Snape had made Lupin sound soft, apparently he was wrong.

“Yes,” I said contemplating the idea that Lupin might not be as easily manipulated as I imagined.

“You have no explanation for this?”

“It was better this way.”

“I hardly think skipping classes is better for you or your future at Hogwarts.”

“Did you make Potter face the boggart?” I couldn’t imagine any decent teacher letting the kid who had been stalked by the Dark Lord face a boggart. Can you say mass panic?

“How I teach other students is none of your concern.”

“Of course not, he’s Harry Potter,” I said bitterly. “I’m just a Death Eater’s kid.”

“Who someone’s parents are does not affect how I grade them.”

“You’re lying.” I knew it was true. It was always true. “You honestly think I didn’t hear the whispers after I was sorted? That I don’t see how adults look at me when they learn my name. Hell, some of them don’t even need a name, you certainly didn’t on the train. Not everyone gets the nice warm feeling in their hearts that Potter does when you’re told how much you look like your parents.” I stopped, I was being too honest. Far more than I wanted to be.

“I imagine your life as been hard, I can understand-"

“No,” I snapped, “you can’t. Nearly every adult I’ve met in this country gives me one of two looks. Pity or suspicion. I am not going to give every student the chance to do the same.”

Lupin looked confused. A part of me was confused too. I was giving Lupin the truth about my second greatest fear. I usually kept these things to myself. Something about not being able to talk openly to Snape about the Longbottoms made me keep talking. Like telling Lupin would help ease the guilt I’d always felt about them.

“I know what they did to the Longbottoms,” I said quietly. “People think that death is the worst thing imaginable, but it’s not true. Never being able to recognize your family again, never watching your son grow up or even knowing you have a son. Losing yourself is far worse than dying. The same hate, same viciousness, the same evil that drove the Longbottoms into insanity is inside me. And it always will be. Nothing I will ever do will change that. When I see a boggart it will be my parents torturing the Longbottoms. My mother will look at me and her eyes will change to blue. So if you’re asking me if Neville Longbottom watching his parents get tortured, everyone else in class seeing who my parents truly are and having to face the fact that I could be exactly like them is worth skipping class and being expelled for, then yes. Yes it is.”

Lupin stayed quiet for a while. Inside I felt raw. I never admitted these things to people. I kept them to myself so people couldn’t use these truths to hurt me. Here I was telling Lupin more than I ever should. Why?

“You don’t have to be like them,” Lupin said quietly. “The sorting hat put you in Gryffindor for a reason. You get a chance to be your own person.”

“Frank and Alice Longbottom loosing everything so I could wear a red and gold tie seems like a pretty raw deal to me.” I said dully.

“Life isn’t always fair,” Lupin responded.

“Second rule I learned in life,” I said dismissively. Everyone always said life wasn’t fair, why do adults think that’s comforting to people?

“What was the first?” Lupin asked curiously.

“Don’t touch Malfoy heirlooms.” Lupin cracked a small smile.

“You’re stronger than you know.” I scoffed, now Lupin sounded like the Sorting Hat. “Most people would have cracked after that Howler. You pushed it aside and carried on with the day. You weren’t put in Gryffindor house on a whim. I imagine being thrown in here while everyone else has been friends for the past two years is difficult. And Mr. Longbottom being in the same house as well is likely making it seem worse. Give it some time, people will see who you truly are. And anyone who can’t look past your heritage, adult or not, isn’t worth wasting time on anyways.”

“It’s easier to say than do,” I pointed out.

“Most things are. You’re smart, I can easily see that. I’m sure you’ll overcome any obstacles you’re faced with in life.”

His sincerity was rather alarming and uncomfortable for me, especially when I’d grown up with people who were always so superficial on the surface. All I could do was mutter a quick “thank you.”

“I understand this is difficult for you, but you should be prepared to face a boggart for finals. I am here to assist you, but I feel you prefer to handle things on your own. I also expect you to be in class. This time I will let you off easier. The homework was for you to summarize the chapter on boggarts to be handed in on Monday. For your punishment I think a two foot paper on the Patronus spell will suffice.”

A two foot paper on something I already knew about? “Thank you Professor.”

I left Lupin’s office feeling rather confused and very wary. I’d been far too honest for sure. I just didn’t feel like Lupin would be sharing it with all the other teachers. There was also the fact that he was intriguing to me. He reminded me of Dimitri, yet there was something else about him that I wanted to learn.

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

The next day a new story was making its way around the school. Neville Longbottom’s boggart had changed into Snape. To make the boggart amusing, Neville dressed the boggart like his grandmother. I was torn between anger at most of the school for laughing about Snape and pity for Longbottom. No one should ever be afraid of their teacher that much. I wondered just how bad Snape treated him that would cause so much fear.

The only upside was that my Howler was becoming old news, at least for most of the students. Leaving Gryffindor tower for my next class I ran into Hermione Granger. “Oh, you’re taking Ancient Runes too?” she asked noticing my textbook.

“Yes.” How many classes was Hermione taking? I’d seen her with Divination and Muggle Studies books too.

“We could go together. We’re the only Gryffindors taking it.”

I nodded and we took off trying to find the classroom. It was quiet between us for a few minutes and then Hermione began talking.

“I’m sorry about your Howler,” she said delicately.

“Don’t be,” I said raising an eyebrow.

“Those were awful things to say to someone.”

“She’s a crazy old lady from an old pureblood family and believes 99% of the world is scum. Really not worth the effort in worrying about what she thinks.”

“Disowning you from your family though, that’s horrible.”

“I assure you, being around her and trying to make her like you is worse.”

“What will you do this summer?”

“I don’t live with her,” I explained, realizing Hermione’s false assumption.

“Oh,” she said sounding surprised. “I just thought…”

“I live with my aunt and uncle.”

“That must be more enjoyable. Er…no offense.” I didn’t bother informing her that a choice between Lucius and a nutter old lady was hardly ‘more enjoyable.’ “That Howler, it was from…?”

“My grandmother.” Hermione nodded as we reached the classroom. The first person I spotted was Draco. He was sitting with another Slytherin. Zabini, that was the guy’s name. The rest of the class was filled with Ravenclaws. Hermione headed to the front of the room immediately. Not having many…ok any, other options, I followed her.

“I’ve never had a class with two other houses before,” Hermione said quietly.

“Probably too few of us taking it this year to make two classes,” I responded.

Professor Babbling entered the room and took attendance. “Welcome to Ancient Runes. Over the next three years we will be studying runes from all different cultures around the world. Some of these will be more difficult than others, can anyone tell me why?” Hermione’s hand shot up. “Yes, Miss Granger.”

“The runes will be in the language of that culture.”

“Correct. English speaking countries will be easier for us. As we study runes outside of these countries, we will need to understand parts of their language as well as decode the runes. If you already have knowledge with the language, that will make things easier. How many of you speak a foreign language? Perhaps not fluently, but you understand quite a bit of it.” Hermione’s hand went up again. “Miss Granger?”

“French, Professor.”

“Ah, the most common one, good.” Babbling said while nodding. “Any others for French?” I raised my hand along with a few others. “Miss Lestrange, Misters Malfoy, Zabini, and Boot. Quite a few this year. Any other languages? Yes, Miss Patil?” I turned to see Parvati’s Ravenclaw twin sister.

“I know a bit of Hindustani from my grandparents,” she said.

“Really? Excellent. That will help more during your fifth year. Any others?” What had Snape said? Holding back didn’t benefit me. I partially raised my hand in the air. “Miss Lestrange, you have another?”

“Hindustani also.”

“Well you’re well versed aren’t you?” Babbling said looking surprised.

“And Spanish,” I continued. “German, Greek, Latin, Russian.” I kept going. “Mandarin, Japanese, Bengali, Hebrew, and Arabic.” I was sure the rest of the class was probably staring at me now, it was a bit hard to tell when you’re sitting at the front. Professor Babbling looked skeptical though, she obviously didn’t believe me.

“What would you say your proficiency level is?” she asked.

“Fluent,” I said instantly. “In all of them.”

“That’s twelve languages,” Hermione said taken aback.

“Thirteen if you count English,” I added helpfully. Ok it was a bit cocky, still I hardly ever brag, don’t hold this against me.

Not many teenagers are that well versed,” Babbling said in German.

I am not most teenagers,” I responded back in perfect German.

Quite an impressive feat,” she commented, switching to Mandarin.

I read a lot of books,” I told her.

“Well,” Babbling said, opting for English. “You and Miss Granger will certainly have an advantage on the group projects.” Then she continued with the rest of her first day lecture.

I noticed beside me that Hermione seemed a little put out. My guess was she was feeling a bit down about not being, from her point of view, the smartest kid in class. Not that I considered myself smarter for knowing more languages. I certainly hadn’t learned them to be smart. It was more of a challenge to myself. Facts and memorizing things were too easy for me.

You see, I had what people call a photographic memory. Every minute of every day, of every month, of every year. I could remember them all since I was two. Every moment of my life since my father had given me this curse on my shoulder. That hadn’t been his intention for sure. I wasn’t sure why it had happened either. Snape had looked into it also, he’d found that botched curses could have strange affects on people, though he’d never found anything similar to mine.

I’ve read thousands of books, from charms to architecture. Curses to poems. Potions to Ministry field manuals. History to plants. I remembered them all. The downside? It got dreadfully boring. That’s where foreign languages came in. They were one of the few things that challenged me. Some where harder than others of course, but that made it even more worth the time. With a new language, even more books were available.

It became a cycle. Focus on a new language and when I became fluent I would read more until I got interested in a different language. I was always reading or trying out new spells. I’m sure to most people I would have seemed obsessive, feeling that I needed to know about everything, not being able to put a book down once I started reading.

That’s not why I did it though. Forcing myself to keep reading kept my mind occupied so I wouldn’t have to think about other things. When you remember every minute of your life you don’t just get the good. You remember all the bad. Being the daughter of Death Eaters and living with Lucius Malfoy tended to give you quite a few bad memories. I’ll always remember how I screamed as the curse landed on my shoulder, the pain, the blood. Every time I look at it I remember. I’ll never forget the faces of Frank and Alice Longbottom. I see them every time I close my eyes. Every time I see Draco, that horrific day replays in my mind, the day that changed everything. Every spasm of pain I’ve ever had, all stored in my mind. And if my Occlumency slips at night, every bad memory will play over and over in my head unless I happen to slip into my fathers mind. Neither way is pleasant to wake up in the morning from.

Sometimes even books didn’t help, that’s when the piano and violin came in. If all else failed, I turned to them. With music you had to focus on the notes. It wasn’t entirely convenient to pull out a violin or find a piano all the time though. And then last year, I get contacted by some Japanese Seer, every other night I spend at her estate, training. I haven’t really got a clue what I’m supposed to be training for but it helps. Some days are worse than others but I make it through.

I didn’t expect being at Hogwarts to change me that much. Sure some things would be different, but I was still that loner kid. The one who reads too much and came off as a sarcastic jerk. ‘Bright, but a bad attitude’ that was how most people saw me. Was being under Albus Dumbledore’s rule going to change me? Probably not.

Huh, too bad I was wrong.


Chapter 10: Chapter 10
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 10


Adjusting to Hogwarts wasn’t that difficult, especially when I just kept to myself. The only classes where I sat next to someone were Arithmancy and Ancient Runes. Hermione tended to be so absorbed in the material that we didn’t talk much. I hadn’t spoken to Snape in weeks, the whole boggart ordeal had made him furious. In potions he was horrible to Neville, which made it difficult for me to keep quiet. I respected Snape, but he was going too far in my opinion.

Professor Lupin was still a mystery to me, now even more so. I’d written a letter to Dimitri and mentioned Lupin, saying they were similar. ‘I imagine we have quite a bit in common,’ Dimitri had written back. It felt like a clue, so in my next letter I asked directly about it. ‘If I told you everything, how would you learn? I also know how self loathing you would feel if you became dependant on me for information.’ I’d mentally cursed him at this point in the letter. ‘Those words aren’t very lady like,’ was the next line. Damn cheeky Russians. Had I really become that predictable? I put the Lupin mystery to the back of my mind, I had all year to figure it out.

Most of my spare time I'd spent reading the collection of Arabic books I’d ordered while still attending Salem. However now that I finished with them, I needed something else. With limited funds (I had been receiving twenty galleons a month from my grandmother), I moved onto the Hogwarts library.

I grabbed five random books and checked them out. The librarian, Madam Pince, had glared at me with whole time. After seeing her do the same to several other students I felt less offended. I left the library and headed in the direction of Gryffindor tower. As I was approaching a corner, two people ran into me, literally. The books fell to the floor and I let out a frustrated groan.

“Sorry, sorry,” said a voice I recognized, the Weasley twins. The next minute they had disappeared. I bent down to pick up my books as someone else came around the corner.

“Which way did they go?” I looked up and saw Mr. Filch, the caretaker.

“Who?” I asked even though I had a good idea who ‘they’ were.

“Students dropping stink pellets.” Now Filch narrowed his eyes at me. “What are you doing down there?” he asked suspiciously.

I gestured at the fallen books. “Picking up books, obviously.”

“Planning on dropping more pellets or a dung bomb, eh? What’s your name?” he asked accusingly.

“I just came out of the library,” I said standing. “There are about ten witnesses, even the librarian. Feel free to go ask them.”

Filch glared at me, deciding whether he believed me or not. “You see anyone run by here?” he asked at last.

“Yeah,” I said annoyed. “They ran left at the end of the hall. Looked like Slytherin sixth years.” Honestly I don’t know why I covered for the Weasleys.

“Hmpf,” Filch said taking off in the direction I’d mentioned after giving me a final suspicious glare.

I bent back down to grab my books when someone else reached down and grabbed a couple of them for me. It was Fred Weasley, George was there too. I stood back up, rolling my eyes at them.

“We are very sorry about that,” Fred said standing up, still holding two of the books.

“Truly sorry,” said George.

“Dropping stink pellets for Filch?” I asked.

“It’s part of a long term plan.”

“Uh huh, how’s that going for you?”

“Well the detentions are rather tedious.”

“But we’re willing to suffer through.”

“For the greater good.”

“The greater good?”

“Of course.”

“We’re trying to make Filch appreciate the little things in life.”

“Like stink pellets.”

“Dung bombs.”

“Fanged Frisbees.”

“Among other things.”

“I’m sure he deeply appreciates it,” I said sarcastically.

“Of course he does.”

“He just doesn’t know it yet.”

“Right,” I said holding out my hand to take the books back. Fred noticed the cover of one of them and looked at it curiously.

“What are these for?” he asked.

“Those are books. If you open them, there are words that you can read.” I said slowly.

Instead of being offended, Fred got a goofy grin on his face. “Books? Imagine that. George, did you hear? You can actually read these things!”

George looked astonished and grabbed the book. “Here I thought they were fancy paper weights.”

Something about their seriousness made me snort in humor. “You’re both idiots, you know that,” I said grabbing the book from George. I held out my hand to Fred now but he pulled the book closer to his chest.

“That’s rather harsh, especially after we confided our secret plan to you,” he said acting hurt.

I rolled my eyes. “I’m very sorry. You two are obviously the most brilliant people here, even Dumbledore looks up to you in admiration,” I said sweetly.

“Apology accepted,” George said. “Knew you’d see it our way.”

Quickly I grabbed the book from Fred and began walking away. “Oi!” I heard him yell. They followed after me, catching up fast, walking with me in-between them.

“Where you off to in such a hurry?” George asked.

“Gryffindor tower.”

“Why are you reading a cookbook?” Fred asked. Apparently he’d seen the title of the book he’d picked up.

“Are you going to cook us a meal?”

“Only if you’re very nice,” I said sarcastically, making them both laugh.

“So why the random books? Surely they aren’t for class.”

“Boredom,” I answered truthfully.

“You read books when you’re bored?” George asked incredulously.

“You really are like Hermione,” Fred commented. That made me stop.

“What?”

They glanced at each other before Fred spoke. “Er…sort of heard you were the…multi lingual version of Hermione.”

“I think the whole Snape thing overshadowed it though,” George added quickly.

“It’s not a bad thing,” Fred assured me. “There needs to be someone to learn all this stuff,” he said gesturing to my books.

I paused for a minute, I certainly didn’t feel like Hermione and I were similar, besides both enjoying books. “Hermione and I learn in completely different ways and for different reasons. It’s not really comparable.”

“Hmm…” Fred said thinking that over. “So if there was something, say more entertaining, you would do that to cure your boredom?” Something about his tone worried me.

“I’m not risking detention,” I said flatly.

“Well that narrows it down considerably,” George said.

“Surely though, we could figure something out.”

“Of course Fred, it’s what we do best.”

“We’ll get right on it then.”

“Yes definitely.”

“Till we meet again,” they said in unison before disappearing. I wondered what I had just gotten myself into.

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

Three days after a notice was posted in the common room about the Halloween Hogsmeade visit Fred Weasley found me. I’d been walking through a corridor when he popped up beside me.

“Hello,” he greeted cheerfully. I looked around.

“Where’s George?” I asked. Those two always seemed to be together.

“Ah, serving detention. Had a bit of trouble with the Slytherins during potions today.” I raised an eyebrow at this. “Apparently making a puffer fish eye fly up someone’s nostril is frowned upon, surprising, I know.”

“How are you two not expelled?” I asked failing to keep a smile off my face.

“Pfft,” Fred scoffed. “Who could expel us? We keep things interesting around here.”

“I’m sure the teachers will be mourning the day you graduate” When Fred said nothing I turned to look at him. He seemed to be doing some deep thinking. “What-“

“How’d you know I was Fred?” he asked suddenly.

“Er…because you are Fred?” I answered confused.

“Well yes but how did you know?”

“You look like yourself?”

“Most of our family can’t tell the difference. How did you?”

I tilted my head a bit. “You have subtle differences.”

Now Fred looked down at himself. “Like what?”

“Are you disappointed that I can tell you apart?” I asked amused.

“We can fool you,” Fred said confidently.

“No, you really can’t. I know what to look for.”

“Hmm…we’ll see,” Fred said challengingly.

“Is that really why you’re here? To play ‘Guess the Weasley?’”

“No actually, I guess we did get a bit off track. What are you plans for Hogsmeade?”

“Er…” I didn’t really have any. “Go look around the village?” I remembered Dumbledore saying Dementors were posted at the gates. “Or maybe just stay at the castle.”

“No, no. Definitely not staying at the castle,” said Fred. “Meet me and George in front of Honeydukes at eleven?”

“Why?” I asked, already suspicious.

“Because I asked nicely?”

“I would really prefer not getting detention,” I said frowning.

“Don’t you trust me at all? We aren’t going to get detention. You’ll have fun, promise.”

“Fine,” I said grudgingly. It was a bit pathetic that I would follow the twins purely because they were the two people, besides Hermione, who had talked to me the most over the past month.

“Cheers,” Fred said happily. “You should smile more, much more appealing.”

I stopped to glare at him, he grabbed my cheeks and attempted to make me smile. I quickly swatted his hands away. “Get off you creep,” I exclaimed, failing to keep a smile off my face.


Fred shot me a grin and bowed. “Until we meet again.” He turned and took off in the opposite direction.

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

On Halloween I woke up a bit apprehensive. Dumbledore’s warnings replaying in my head. Was I really that bored that I would risk expulsion for a prank by the Weasleys? I laid in bed a bit longer, considering the options. I could just stay here and read. I realized my Christmas and Easter breaks would be full of reading most likely. Enjoying Halloween would be nice. Figuring I would leave or talk my way out of it if things got too risky, I got up to get ready.

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

Hogsmeade really was a nice place, if you took out the Dementors. Passing them outside the Hogwarts gate was tough. I made sure I held up my mental barriers so they wouldn’t sense my father. I also kept my wand ready in case I needed a patronus. Thankfully in the village Dementors only patrolled the streets at night.

Looking around all the shops I was glad I hadn’t brought more than a galleon. Honeydukes and a book store on the main road were the most tempting. Pretty sure I’d be willing to snog Peeves for a giant chocolate bar. Does that sound desperate? There was also a small music store on one of the side streets. I spent a long time looking through the sheet music until I noticed it was five past eleven. I hurried back to Honeydukes to find Fred and George waiting in front, whispering to each other. Their faces lit up when they saw me and I was sorely tempted to turn around.

“Lovely morning,” George greeted me.

“Absolutely smashing,” I responded dryly.

“George here thought you might be a no show. I never lost faith in you though,” Fred said as he sent me a wink.

“I could still leave,” I pointed out.

“Nonsense,” said George. “It’s almost time.”

They led the way down past a few shops. We stopped at a corner by a shop filled with school supplies.

“He still in there?” Fred asked. George took a few steps, looking through the shop’s window.

“Yep, almost done though, we’d better hurry.”

“Here’s what we’re going to do,” Fred began as George rejoined us. “George is going to stand watch for us over there, out of sight.” Fred pointed to an alley across the street. “When he gives us the sign, you walk down the road, running into Percy as he leaves the shop.”

I run into him? I thought this was supposed to be your plan?”

“It needs to be you. You’re much less suspicious,” George explained.

“Anybody is less suspicious than you two.”

“You’re not going to get into trouble,” Fred assured me. I looked at him skeptically. “Have a little faith. We’re Fred and George Weasley, slipping pranks on Percy is what we do.”

I agreed to their plan as a voice in the back of my head said that Lucius might even be proud I got expelled while pranking a Weasley. Well, probably not, I doubt anything I ever did would make Lucius proud.

“Right,” continued George, “now make sure you hit him casually, but enough to turn him away from Fred so he can’t see what’s happening.”

“I’ll give you a thumbs up when I’m done. Then you just apologize and keep walking. Got it?”

“Yeah,” I responded and George took off.

Hiding slightly, but still able to see George, Fred and I waited. It wasn’t very long until I saw George give a signal.

“Now,” Fred whispered. I started walking down the street at a brisk pace, pretending to be searching in my pockets for something. I noticed Percy ahead out of my peripheral vision. I walked into him rather hard. The initial hit spun him a bit and I casually grabbed him, twisting his body around so Fred would have better aim.

“I’m so sorry!” I cried out. I looked up and made my eyes go wide. “Mr…Mr. Weasley,” I said feigning shock.

“What’s the meaning of this?” he asked rudely. Any guilt I might have had about doing this evaporated.

“I’m so so sorry. I was looking in my pockets, trying to find…I’m so sorry sir,” I said acting scared. I noticed Fred had stepped out but I kept my gaze on Percy so he wouldn’t get suspicious. “I should have been watching where I was going,” I said miserably.

“Yes, you should have been. Lestrange, isn’t it?” Percy said arrogantly.

“Yes, sir,” I answered, looking at the ground. “Are you going to take off house points?” I asked fearfully.

“Er…” Percy said awkwardly. “No, of course not, just…pay more attention to where you’re going next time.”

I looked up with a hopeful look on my face. “Thank you, sir.” I noticed Fred giving me a thumbs up. “You’re a really great Head Boy.” I told Percy admiringly. He puffed out his chest and nodded at me.

“You best be on your way.” With that he turned around and took off up the street.

I walked the opposite way, past a couple shops before I turned around. George was motioning for me to join him.

“What now?” I asked when I reached him.

“Now we follow him.”

We started discreetly following Percy up the street when Fred joined us. “Absolutely brilliant,” he said. “You should have seen her George, she was perfect.”

“What did you do to him?” I asked after I rolled my eyes.

“You’ll see,” Fred said gleefully.

Ahead of us, Percy met up with a girl I recognized as the Head Girl. “His girlfriend,” George informed me. She and Percy entered The Three Broomsticks.

“Give them time to get drinks and find a table,” Fred said, stopping outside the pub. We lingered outside for a couple minutes before George opened the door.

“Ladies first,” he said, gesturing me ahead. I looked around trying to act casual. Percy was no where in sight.

“He’ll be in one of the private tables, near the back,” Fred said from behind me. He walked up to the bar and ordered three Butterbeers. George was carefully walking around before nodding his head towards one of the corners. Fred handed me one of the bottles. “This way,” and he led us over to George.

We sat down at a table near the back, I could hear Percy already talking. I listened closely as I raised my bottle to take a sip. Fred stopped me though, and motioned for me to listen first. I was glad he had because what I heard next would have made me choke.

“I feel like a mongoose,” Percy said optimistically.

“Er…” I heard Percy’s girlfriend say, sounding confused.

“Like a mongoose swinging on tree waiting for a cantaloupe. That’s how you make me feel when I’m tangoing with you. It’s magical.” I looked at Fred and George silently laughing, feeling bewildered.

“Babbling jinx,” Fred whispered in my ear. “Undetectable one. He won’t even realize he has it on.” We listened in as Percy spoke up again.

“You don’t have any cantaloupes?” Percy said accusingly.

“Percy, I don’t understand-“

“How do you expect me to tango, Penny? This is just like that hospital in Belgium. I remember that day. ‘Cantina Cantaloupes’ the sign said. Ha! All they had were kumquats, but I showed them.”

“Percy, are you feeling alright?” Penny asked fearfully.

“Of course Penny. Penny. Peeennnnnnnny. P-p-p-penny.”

“Perc-“

“I once knew a girl named Penny, she was as pretty as a pastrami pie. Picking her way through parsley, chopping it up and letting it die.” Percy sang out of the blue.

The twins and I sat there for the next hour listening to Percy’s nonsense and occasional singing, by the end Fred and George had tears of laughter in their eyes. I have to admit, it was the most fun I’d had in a long time.
 


Chapter 11: Chapter 11
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 11


As I headed down to dinner that night I wondered if Percy would ever know about the Babbling jinx. Fred had been careful to remove it as Percy and Penny finally left the pub. I was also rather impressed that Penny had sat through an hour of crazy rambling and the occasional outburst of singing.

Overall it had been an enjoyable Halloween. I entered the Great Hall, which was fully decorated for the holiday, and took at seat at Gryffindor table. Fred and George sat across from me minutes later.

“Lovely day in the village,” George stated, glancing up the table. I followed his gaze and saw Percy chatting with an older student. I smirked remembering the songs Percy had come up with.

“I quite agree, George,” said Fred. “And how was your first visit to the village?” he asked turning to me.

“Memorable,” I said rolling my eyes. Fred and George Weasley were absolute nutters.

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

After dinner I made my way up the stairs with the other Gryffindors. I was ready to lie down and get some sleep. Unfortunately there was a hold up in the corridor near the portrait of the Fat Lady. People were grumbling, trying to find out what the problem was.

“Make way!” I heard Percy yelling. “Head Boy coming through,” he was calling out as he made his way forward. “Somebody get Dumbledore, now!” I heard him say when he was closer to the portrait. My curiosity peaked and I tried shifting to get a better view. Too bad I was near the back and couldn’t see anything.

Soon Dumbledore was here, pushing through to the front with much more success than Percy had. I couldn’t hear what anyone but the people around me were muttering until Peeves arrived.

“Saw her running through a landscape on the fourth floor, ashamed she was,” Peeves was saying. “She wouldn’t let him through.”

“Who?” I thought I heard Dumbledore ask. It was really annoying only hearing parts of the conversation. However I and every other Gryffindor student clearly heard Peeves’s last words.

“Nasty temper he’s got, that Sirius Black.”

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

Sleeping in the Great Hall with every other student is not enjoyable. Normally I slept with several charms on my hangings. A silencing and privacy charm at the very least. A cushy, purple sleeping bag was not an appropriate substitute. I stayed awake all night, watching the night sky on the ceiling. I closed my eyes whenever a teacher or Percy walked my way.

After a tense breakfast where Dumbledore announced that Black was no where in the castle or on the ground we were finally allowed to leave the Hall. Whispering and muttering broke out amongst most the student body but I ignored it, heading straight for Gryffindor tower. A new painting hung at the entrance, a knight with a fat pony. Sir Cadogan, the knight introduced himself as. One of the fifth year prefects gave him the new password and I followed several other students inside. Back in the third year girls dormitory I cast a few spells on my hangings and promptly fell asleep.

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

Over the next two weeks I heard so many rumors about Sirius Black, it was maddening. The most annoying part was that none of them were even possible. If you’re going to make up a rumor at least make it plausible.

Another constant was the miserable rainy weather. All of the school grounds were wet and muddy. Walking to or from Care of Magical Creatures was always annoying, yet alone spending the hour outside. At least in Herbology we were in a greenhouse. A cynical part of me considered that it was a conspiracy of the Dementors to keep the school as miserable as Azkaban was.

On Thursday I walked into Defense class and was surprised to find Snape instead of Lupin. I raised an eyebrow and caught his eye. I let a bit of confusion through my mental shield. Snape’s eyes flashed to an empty desk which I took to mean ‘sit.’

As I sat there waiting for class to start I wondered if this was usual. Does any available teacher fill in if someone is unable to teach? Looking around at the other Gryffindors I figured the answer was no. They all seemed surprised and wary of Snape’s presence.

“Silence.” Snape called as the bell rang. I quickly noticed Potter was missing, Snape noticed it too. “It seems Mr. Potter couldn’t be bothered to show up for class today. Ten points from Gryffindor and I shall deal with him personally later.” I saw Ron Weasley and Hermione give each other a worried look.

Dean Thomas had his hand up now. “Sir, where’s Professor Lupin?” Snape’s eyes flashed with anger and something I didn’t recognize.

“Obviously he is unable to teach today and I have been given the task of suffering through the next hour with all of you. Believe me when I say I take no pleasure in this.”

He was lying, I could tell that much. There was just a hint of excitement I could feel from him. Excitement? That’s a bit confusing and weird. I closed my eyes, focusing on that emotion, trying to find out why it was there. Usually the link between Snape and myself went one way. There were rare times though when I was sure I could sense something from him. I felt like I was tethered to my own mind and thoughts, slowly I reached away, trying to grasp Snape’s emotions. I could feel myself at the edge of my own mind, but so close to Snape’s. He remained out of reach.

This is where I usually stopped, accepting that Snape had access to my mind and knowing I could never see his. The Lupin mystery and Dimitri’s words echoed through my mind. I couldn’t give up, not when I was this close. In a last ditch effort I pushed myself farther.

I immediately fell off the edge. A blur of images raced through my mind so fast that I couldn’t make anything out. Panic flew through my body and I opened my eyes. The images stopped but the panic remained. My hands were shaking and the rest of the class was turned around, looking back at me. Snape was glaring.

“Lestrange,” he barked, “detention Friday after dinner for your inability to pay attention in class.”

I put my hand under my desk, trying to hide them from view. Hermione had turned around quickly and opened her mouth to defend me. I wish I could have told her to be quiet. Thankfully another distraction came. Potter burst through the door, apologizing for being late.

I tuned out the conversation, concentrating on getting my hands to stop shaking. It had been over a year since I felt like this. The last time I had accidentally set fire to Beauxbatons library. At least I hadn’t lost control that badly this time.

I heard Snape yelling at the class to turn to page 394. I did it slowly, my hands were shaking much less now. I looked at the page before me. Werewolves. Internally I cringed, I remembered my last encounter with a werewolf.

Ivan Volkov was one of the most vicious werewolves in the Eastern European/Russian area. I’d been unfortunate enough to come across him near Durmstrang my first year. In his human form he’d been deadly, I couldn’t imagine how unstoppable he could be in wolf form. I tried very hard not to remember him. It was impossible for me though. I could still remember his hand wrapping around my throat. Feeling my life slowly slip away, him hovering over me. It still sent chills down my spine. That feeling, it had been – I went rigid as I remembered – it had been the exact same feeling I’d had when I woke up with Lupin leaning over me.

No. No, Lupin couldn’t be a werewolf. I froze-Dimitri. He said he had more in common with Lupin. Dimitri had known what Lupin was. He wouldn’t have said nothing if he thought Lupin was dangerous, that must mean Dimitri’s father had known Lupin.

Mikhail Pravdin, Dimitri’s father was apparently a rather well known werewolf in Russia, not for the same reason as Ivan Volkov though. Mr. Pravdin believed a person’s life didn’t end with a werewolf bite. He’d set up a community for other werewolves and their families. They abided by magical laws and helped others in their community, showing that not all werewolves were murdering beasts. Mr. Pravdin had even married a witch and had five children. Four girls and Dimitri. Thankfully none of the children had been born a full werewolf. Dimitri didn’t transform during the full moon but he did tend to be a bit moodier. He also had quick reflexes, heightened senses, and amazing strength. This made Dimitri perfect for the other plans his father had-capturing werewolves like Ivan Volkov.

Dimitri had been at Durmstrang, undercover, getting information on Karkaroff who, rumors had it, was in business with Volkov. I hadn’t learned all this until after Volkov had tried to kill me. Dimitri had saved me and handed Volkov over to some desolate Siberian prison. Karkaroff would have been headed there too except for one thing-me.

Karkaroff, being the slimy git that he was, had threatened Dimitri and me. He’d gotten to stay as Headmaster while Dimitri and I were forced to leave, or Lucius and others would be informed about the not exactly school or Ministry approved guidelines we’d followed.

Dimitri had also found out about my connection with Snape. Well I suppose he didn’t actually know that it was Snape’s work, but the risk of other people learning about it was too high. Grudgingly I had followed Karkaroff’s conditions. Dimitri promised me that someone would remain close to Durmstrang to keep an eye on Karkaroff. Lucius had been furious about my expulsion over ‘breaking several school rules and being incapable of controlling myself,’ but it was better than him knowing the truth.

Focusing back on Snape’s lecture I realized that he must know about Lupin. Surely Snape wasn’t the only person, though I was pretty certain students were not supposed to know. That would create a panic even if it was obvious to me that Lupin wasn’t one of the vicious werewolves. So why was Snape here, teaching about werewolves on the day of a full moon, basically shouting ‘hey dunderheads, notice how Lupin has the same symptoms as a werewolf?!’

Because he hated Lupin. Every moment Snape saw Lupin he glared at him, eyes full of fury. He’d been even more furious after the boggart. He’d punish students who mentioned Lupin or Defense class. Snape wanted others to know, he wanted Lupin to suffer.

No, this was Snape for Merlin’s sake. I trusted Severus Snape. He saved my life several times now. This couldn’t be intentional. Yes, Snape could be coarse and unapologetic, but this? I would have liked to claim ignorant bliss, like maybe he’d just done it on a whim without much thought. That wasn’t Snape though. He always rationalized things, considered every option. Snape was always thinking ten steps ahead. So why? Why do this to Lupin? A student’s boggart hardly seemed like enough motivation. I’d have to wait until my Friday detention to find out. Easier said than done.

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

Friday morning, around 2 a.m. I woke up. Instead of getting out of bed, I laid there, staring up. Over the past two and a half months my view of Snape had shifted. Instead of the rigid, calculating, brilliant, yet still caring Snape, I had come to see him like most of the students saw him, someone to tiptoe around. The teacher to avoid, making sure you kept your head down lest he turn his displeasure on you. It bothered me an unusual amount. It was easy to tell myself that he had to play his role more clearly here. That he had to be this way. A small part of me worried though, what if Snape had never been that caring? Maybe being with Rodolphus Lestrange and Lucius Malfoy had skewed my perception of what father figures should be like? If Snape didn’t really care, had my life for the past nine years just been an experiment in the Dark Arts for him?

Dimitri once asked if I was sure about Snape. I’d replied instantly and honestly-yes. Did I feel that way now? I wasn’t so sure.

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

At 6 p.m. Snape left the Great Hall. After waiting a couple of minutes I headed down to his office. Outside of his door I hesitated. My hand was half way up when the door swung open.

“In,” he ordered. After closing the door he told me to sit then started spelling his office. I sat there nervously waiting until he was finished. “Care to tell me why I was woken up at two in the morning with mind numbing sorrow and guilt?” he asked after he sat behind his desk. I cringed, I was supposed to be better at keeping my emotions to myself. “You’re doing it again,” he pointed out sounding bored. I put more into my mental barrier. “Please don’t insult me, I hardly need that when I can see the emotion on your face.” I made my face go into a neutral expression and turned to one of the walls. “Finally approaching the sullen and with drawled phase then?” he asked mockingly.

“Do you always have to insult someone when you talk to them?” I snapped back.

He leaned back in his chair, letting out a frustrated sigh. “You know this would be a lot easier if you just told me what was bothering you.” I said nothing. “You were far more enjoyable nine years ago,” he said scornfully.

“So were you,” I replied instantly.

“Ah, so this is about me. Well at least we’ve established that.” I sent him a glare. “You realize I can keep you down here all night.”

“Are you going to force me?” I asked snidely.

This made Snape pause and watch at me. “You know I wouldn’t,” he said at last. “I had believed this was a teenage thing, phase possibly, something that related to the other students. I see that I was wrong. I cannot and will not force you to confide me. I will however, point out that my loyalties have always been to you.”

“I feel like I don’t even know you anymore,” I whispered.

“Nothing about me has changed.”

“It feels like it has.”

“I was never a…nice person, Jade”

“You were never cruel.”

“I do not have the patience to deal with most of the students I teach. I am certain you are aware of that. I also hope you will appreciate that I do have a role to play, more so here. I do understand why you feel that my actions against particular students are rather harsh-“

“You’re trying to ruin Lupin’s life,” I bitterly cut in.

“I hardly think Lupin needs to be coddled,” Snape said briskly as is eyes flashed in rage. A flash of anger cursed through me and one of the jars on a shelf behind me shattered. “This is really just about Lupin?” Snape asked disbelievingly.

“Are you really trying to tell everyone he’s a werewolf because he got the job you wanted?” I shot back as another jar shattered. “Or because of Neville’s boggart?” Two more jars exploded behind me. “Or maybe you really are the cold” –shatter- “hearted” –two more shatters- “bastard” –five jars this time- “everyone says you are!” The rest of Snape’s jars shattered.

Snape sat there unmoving, which annoyed me even more. I wanted him to fight back. I reached for my wand but it was gone.

“I assume you’re looking for this,” Snape said lazily. He was twirling my wand in his fingers. “You and I both know you can’t attack me with this, it won’t work.”

“I’m smarter and stronger than you,” I growled.

“Smarter in some things, yes. Overall, perhaps. Stronger though? Doubtful.”

“Give it back and we can find out,” I said furiously.

“No,” he said, causing me to clench my fists. “Would you mind sitting back down so I can deal with you and not Rodolphus’s anger?” he asked in a bored voice. I hadn’t even realized I’d stood up. ‘Rodolphus’s anger’ also made me pause. “I can, in fact, recognize the difference between the two of you by now.” Was this really my father’s anger? Why was I mad at Snape? Lupin. Snape was trying to tell people about Lupin’s condition. Did I really just challenge Snape to a duel? “Sit.” He took a vial out of his desk, a calming draught. “Drink this,” he told me holding it out. I reached my arm half way and stopped, unsure.

Drink it, a voice inside my head said. I snapped my arm back. “You’re forcing me!” I accused him, filled with anger again.

“No I’m not. You aren’t even looking me in the eye,” he pointed out sounding annoyed. No, I wasn’t I realized. “Some part of you realizes this is what you need. Just take it. Please.” Snape was not one to say ‘please’ very often. I took the vial and swallowed it all.

I felt the effects almost immediately. Somehow I’d become enraged very quickly, that ashamed me. I was supposed to be able to keep my father out by now.

“I don’t know what I did wrong,” I said hanging my head while I rubbed the back of it.

“During Defense, you made a connection, I believe.”

“I was focusing on you.”

“Me?”

“You were excited to be teaching the class, excited you could give hints about Lupin being a werewolf. I tried to follow it, trace it back to you to find out more. I went too far,” I tried to explain. “I should have stopped. It was the same thing that happened at Beauxbatons, but I kept going,” I told him miserably. It had been stupid and reckless for me to try. I’d endangered everyone in the class, including Snape.

“Unwise as it was, I do understand your reasoning.” Snape held out my wand, but I hesitated. “I’m certain you are yourself now or I would not offer it back.”

“It was stupid,” I muttered, putting my wand away.

“Curiosity is not unheard of.”

“Your understanding and sympathetic tone is disturbing,” I said rudely.

“Ah, even more evidence of you being in control of yourself again.”

I sent a glare at him before looking away. We sat there silently for a few minutes. I couldn’t help but ask him the question that was nagging my mind.

“Why do you hate Lupin so much?” When he didn’t answer I turned to him, he appeared to be doing some quick thinking. “I would prefer an honest answer,” I muttered.

“I’ve never lied to you,” Snape responded quickly.

“I wouldn’t be able to tell if you were lying anyways.”

“You said you knew in class,” he reminded me.

“You weren’t doing a very good job at it,” I said rolling my eyes. “If you were truly attempting to, I wouldn’t know.”

“I suppose that is where trust comes into play.” Did I trust Snape? He risked his life to save me. He still risked prison every day if anyone were to find out. Yes, I trusted Snape. “I am…” he appeared to be finding the right word, “…sorry-“

“You’re never sorry,” I blurted out instantly. He glared at me.

“I am regretful that I put you in this situation and that I cannot give you a proper answer to your question. My lesson was perhaps…seemingly rash, from your point of view. However, I would ask that you trust me enough to let it go.”

“He doesn’t deserve to have his life ruined that way,” I said softly. I heard Snape left out a frustrated sigh.

“If you feel this strongly about it, then I will attempt to reign in my actions.” Snape didn’t seem too happy about this.

“Thank you.”

He scoffed then we sat there in silence for another minute.

“I expect you to repair my office.” I looked around at the shattered jars and their contents spilling over the shelves and floor. Guilt flowed through me. “Not more guilt,” Snape said in a sneering voice.

“Why do you have all of this stuff in here?” I asked, pulling out my wand and repairing the jars.

“It terrifies most of the students,” he said indifferently. “Rather efficient way of instilling obedience.” I hovered the items back into their proper jars. A few of them were small brains, from rodents most likely.

“Only most students?” These were rather creepy.

“You get the occasional oddball who finds it all alluring and mesmerizing.”

“I can’t imagine what house they’re from,” I said sarcastically.

“I’ll have you know one of them was a Ravenclaw a few years back.”

“Well it’s nice to know Slytherin isn’t the only place for creepy gits.”

“Hmm…”

“No offense to you,” I amended quickly. “You’re not a git.”

“Creepy?”

“You’re keeping rat brains in your office,” I pointed out.

“Fair point.”

 

 

A/N: Yes, I do realize Jade seems change moods very quickly. She is not quite…mentally balanced. She does have her father in her head and grew up with Lucius Malfoy though, that certainly doesn’t help matters. Plus the fact that mental instability does tend to run in pureblood families.
Also I’m pretty far in, but I should add this disclaimer that I don’t own any of the characters in Harry Potter.
Keep reading, I hope you enjoy the story. Feel free to leave a review. Let me know what you think.
 


Chapter 12: Chapter 12
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 12


On Monday I was very glad I hadn’t gone to the first quidditch game of the year over the weekend. Dementors had stormed the field and Potter had ended up in the hospital wing. Hufflepuff had won the match after several Slytherin players had fallen too ‘ill’ to play and claimed it was too close to the match to find replacements. Some of the Gryffindors still seemed upset about the loss. I didn’t particularly care either way to be honest.

Eating breakfast alone at the table I was surprised when the Weasley twins sat down across from me. They didn’t look quite their normal carefree selves, and then I remembered they played on the Gryffindor quidditch team. I figured I should at least say something nice.

“Er…sorry about the game.” They looked up at me.

“Could have really used that dragon of yours,” George said moodily.

“I’ll make sure I come to your next match,” I promised a bit awkwardly.

“You weren’t there?” Fred asked quickly.

“Er…no. Sorry.”

“You don’t like quidditch?” he questioned.

“I never really got into it,” I said honestly. Fred was frowning now. I felt like I should explain more. “I’ve never really been on a broom, that’s probably why-“

“Never been on a broom,” he repeated. “Why not?” I cringed, Snape had forbid it years ago, saying it was too risky, I could injure my shoulder. I couldn’t exactly tell that to Fred though.

“I’ve used those little kid ones that only go up a foot. I just never got into it enough to try a regular broom.” Fred was still frowning and I felt a little self conscious. “I have to get to class,” I said not having any other excuse. “I’ll see you around.”

On my way out of the Great Hall I turned back for a quick glance. George had a smirk on his face as Fred rolled his eyes. Suddenly George caught my eye and sent me a wink. With a confused look on my face, I headed to class.

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

The first Sunday in December Hogwarts was covered in snow. It was a great improvement over rain and mud I must admit. It was a little past seven in the morning and I was walking towards the library to return some books. Half way there Fred Weasley fell into step beside me. He looked very tired.

“Morning,” he greeted in a sleepy voice.

“Morning,” I said back. “I didn’t know you woke up this early on a Sunday,” I teased him.

“I didn’t know anyone woke up this early on a Sunday,” he said rubbing one of his eyes.

“Where’s George?”

“Sleeping.”

“What gets you up this early today?” I asked as we reached the library. Fred held open the door for me. After I walked through I noticed Fred hadn’t followed me in and turned back. “I promise not to let any of the books attack you,” I said teasing again. He looked at me, grinning and walked in. He gave a dramatic shiver and I shook my head smiling as I approached the return desk.

“What are you plans for today?” Fred questioned from beside me.

“Er…I don’t really have any,” I answered, quickly returning the books before Madam Pince showed up.

We left the library and headed in the direction of the Great Hall. “Mind doing something with me?” Fred asked.

“Just you? Planning something special for George?” I asked curiously.

“Not exactly. It is just with me though. Is that a problem?” The tone of his voice changed. I wasn’t sure why, I ended up sending him a confused look.

“No, its fine. Just hoping George doesn’t think I’m taking away his better half.”

“Better half?”

“It’s an expression. I’m sure you’re both equally horrible halves,” I said sarcastically. “I’m almost certain Percy agrees.”

Fred laughed, “Agreeing with Percy isn’t something to brag about.”

“Very true,” I said acting mortified. “What if my ego inflates and I turn into a pompous git?”

“No worries, I’ll be here to burst that ego.”

“I’m not so sure. You haven’t exactly cured Percy yet,” I pointed out.

“I assure you, we keep trying. He’s surprisingly resistant.”

I snorted as we entered the Great hall.

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

Fred had instructed me to put on something warm for outside as he went to his dormitory to get ready. It didn’t take long before I was standing back in the common room waiting for him. Hermione was down here too, pouring over a thick book. I gave her a quick hello as Fred returned. He was holding two broomsticks.

“Er…” I looked at the brooms awkwardly.

“Trust me.”

“Fred, I don’t- it’s not that I don’t appreciate the offer, but I really don’t know how to fly,” I tried to explain delicately.

“We’re not going to do crazy loops and dives. Just casual riding. You’ll be fine.”

I had always imagined what flying would be like. Looking down from above the tree tops. I had accepted long ago that it would probably never happen though. Still, it was a very tempting offer.

“Nothing crazy?” I asked, biting my lip.

“It will be one of the dullest rides ever,” he promised with his hand over his heart.

“You will make sure I don’t fall off, right?” That was the part that worried me.

“Promise,” he said sincerely.

Despite the fact that Snape would probably give me detention and a very long lecture if he ever found out, I agreed to go flying with Fred.

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

New experiences can sometimes point out phobias you never even knew you had. Flying on a broomstick had done that for me. When I was only six feet in the air a sudden fear of heights had set in. I’ve certainly been higher up than this, but only on solid structures. Being on just a piece of wood, held up by some spells was absolutely terrifying.

Of course Fred thought this was amusing. After I shot him a glare he’d slowly helped me raise a bit more. It felt like hours before we were twenty feet in air, slowly moving forward. I had no idea how anyone could ever play quidditch, they made it look so easy…well maybe not easy but not nearly as horrible as I felt. I was pretty sure a strong wind would be all that was needed to push me off.

A loud voice shouting “OI!” made me jump, nearly slipping off. Thankfully Fred was close enough to grab me and keep me steady.

“Bloody, effing brooms,” I muttered. I heard Fred chuckle as he helped me steer towards the ground. Once I was firmly back on solid ground I looked around spotting George. He had a grin plastered on his face.

“Having fun?” he asked after he reached us. I sent a glare his way.

“She’s er….not exactly the flying type,” Fred answered, unable to mask the amusement in his voice.

“How do people actually do this for fun?” I asked bitterly. Now both twins were smiling at my discomfort. “Gits,” I muttered, making them both laugh.

“How will you ever travel long distances?” George asked.

“Portkeys.”

“Unapproved portkeys, can’t imagine the Ministry liking that,” Fred commented.

“Who said they need to know?” The twins laughed again.

“And here you were saying you didn’t want to risk detention.”

“Anything is better than flying on that death trap,” I said glaring at the brooms.

“I suppose that means we shouldn’t count you in on any quidditch games, eh?”

“Never again.” I muttered as we headed back to the castle.

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

It was hard for me to believe it was lunch already. Fred and George had gone upstairs to put their brooms away and I was feeling a bit embarrassed. My flying had been horrible, I usually walked faster than the pace we’d been flying at. I guess it could have been worse, at least someone competent had been there so I didn’t break any bones or crack my head open.

The Weasley twins returned and took seats across from me. “So,” one began, “Fred tells me you can tell the difference between us.” I looked up and raised an eyebrow.

“When did you start talking about yourself in third person?” I asked. They looked at each other, confused.

“I’m George.”

“Nice try, but I can tell you’re Fred.”

“We’ll see about that,” they said in unison.

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

Over the next three weeks Fred and George kept popping up beside me, pretending to be each other. Sometimes they would even be truthful about who they were in an attempt to throw me off. Then they started transfiguring themselves, adding a freckle here and there, making their nose just a bit longer, or adding a couple of inches to their height. Sometimes they would come alone, sometimes together. After a while I just started greeting them by their real name in a bored voice. Each time they would walk away with a suspicious look on their faces.

McGonagall had also come around with a sheet for the names of students staying at Hogwarts for Christmas. I immediately signed it. I noticed Hermione, Ron Weasley, and Harry Potter had also already signed their names. Hermione and I could probably finish the partner project we’d been given for Ancient Runes.

There was also a Hogsmeade visit the last weekend of term. I needed to get some Christmas shopping done. It would be a bit difficult this year. Using my money sparingly would severely limit my options. I also had more people to shop for, I should get Fred and George something, though I had no idea what. Perhaps I should get Hermione something? I wasn’t sure I’d quite use the term ‘friends’ but she had always been nice to me. I could give her one of my books, plenty were in English and in nearly perfect shape.

Then there was Tsukino and Kuniye. Should I buy the Japanese Seer and her bodyguard (my teacher) gifts? I’d been having regular visits every other night and was told that I was improving quickly. Why they felt I actually needed this training was still a mystery to me. I couldn’t think of anything that would seem appropriate to give them. Plus wouldn’t Tsukino already see what ever I got her? That would make for rather dull birthday and Christmas gifts, already knowing what you’re about to open.

There was also Snape and Dimitri. Equally impossible to shop for. Buying gifts for people was hard enough, but with limited money? Ugh, this was going to be difficult.
 


Chapter 13: Chapter 13
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 13


The morning of the Hogsmeade trip I awoke at my usual time. I was showered and ready within thirty minutes, also part of my typical morning. However, when I returned to my bed there was something unexpected waiting for me.

It was a box. Nothing fancy, just a shoe box sitting in the middle of my bed. None of the other girls were awake and there’s no way I had missed it when I woke up. I sat down on my bed and picked it up. Nothing was written on the top or sides. Shrugging I took off the lid. Inside there was a letter and a smaller wooden box. This box was intricately carved with Japanese runes along the sides and a detailed design on the top. I set it aside and picked up the letter which had my name written on it.

Jade

I believe this box will contain exactly what you are looking for. Do not worry about the expense. I assure you I did not spend even close to what you believe these cost. You may think of them as a gift in return for the many nights I keep you away from home. Kuniye and I would like to remind you that gifts are not necessary even though you will buy them today. I am especially pleased with mine, very few people give me gifts as unique as yours. I will also inform you that Kuniye has a sweet tooth, even if she denies it.

There is an old expression, ‘If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. If you teach a man to fish he will eat for a lifetime.’ You will understand the meaning soon.

Lastly I ask you to be careful, the world is changing faster than most people realize. The choices we make today will combine with the ones we make tomorrow and then merge with the next days and so on until our world is vastly different from the one we knew yesterday. Friendship is a strong anchor for these tides of change. Appreciate what you have for tomorrow there is no guarantee that it will still exist. You are stronger than you know, I do not believe you will be blinded by the darkness that affects so many others. Learn to trust your instincts, not solely your mind but your heart. Life is not always easy, but I have faith in you. Far more than you could ever imagine.

Tsukino

P.S. You may leave our gifts on your bedside table, they will be delivered.


P.P.S. Your second assumption will be correct.

I sat there, eyes drifting over the note. Tsukino had never written me before. Any messages I needed were passed along through Kuniye. Why not this time? My first thought was that she didn’t want Kuniye to know. ‘Your second assumption will be correct.’ Ok then, why else would she send a letter? It obviously wasn’t so I would remember. I looked over the letter again, this time focusing on the gold symbol next to Tsukino’s signature. It stood out the most since the rest of the letter was written in black ink. It was the same symbol that was on the estate’s gates. There were several other places it appeared too, on a few of the doors that I’d never been through, a metal sculpture in the center of the garden, on the floor in an intricate seal in the main house. Kuniye told me this was Tsukino’s symbol, that it identified her and the ones who served her to the others. I’d never been told who the others were though.

Would this symbol prove that Tsukino had written the letter? That wouldn’t really matter unless I showed someone. In fact I’d been asked to keep these trainings a secret, even from Snape. ‘Your second assumption will be correct.’ This was my second assumption I reasoned, that should mean I’m right. Alright, so I had to keep this letter to show someone. I hoped I would be given a clear signal when that someone was here.

Well that dealt with that mystery, now for the rest. First there was the box. I set the letter aside and picked up the small wooden box. It was rather impressive with the intricate carvings and silver fastenings. I opened it and saw it was divided into six smaller slots. Each slot contained something different. Potion ingredients, ones usually located in Asia.

I looked closer at some of the petals in one of the slots. They were Phoenix Orchid petals I realized. These were rare-extremely, only grow in a couple of places in the world, rare. One petal alone would cost at least twenty-five galleons, there were at least ten in here. I closed the box quickly, stunned that I was probably holding a small fortune in my hands. ‘I did not spend even close to what you believe these cost.’ I sincerely hoped that was true.

It occurred to me that these would be the perfect gift for Snape. Until he asked how I got them. I couldn’t exactly say ‘oh you know, here and there.’ Didn’t he mention something about trust? If I really pushed for it, would he just accept them without assuming I stole them or robbed several people?

It was half past six and Hermione had begun stirring. I placed the letter and box of potion ingredients back in the original box and stood to store it in my trunk. I went through the letter in my head again.

The hint for Kuniye’s gift was obvious. The whole teaching someone to fish thing, no idea. I suppose it was more about teaching someone a skill. Also I was apparently going to find a unique gift for Tsukino. Great, I thought sarcastically. That wasn’t nearly as enlightening as I would have wished. Bugger it, I could worry more about it later.

You are stronger than you know.’ This was the third person that had told me that…well the Sorting Hat wasn’t really a person, but still, it had started this. ‘The world is changing faster than most people realize.’ That was a bit eerie. Choices and friendship, those were two very vague topics. You could have life altering choices or just choosing if you wanted bacon or sausage for breakfast. There was a big range in there, I’m leaning more towards the life altering option though. And friendship, friendship with who? Everyone? Or someone in particular?

First Christmas shopping, then decoding the philosophical jargon of a rather vague Seer.

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

Chocolate is a universal gift. No clue what to get someone? Grab a box of chocolate and you’re all set. Yes it’s very predictable, but I mean it’s chocolate, no reasonable person dislikes a box of chocolate. I filled two large boxes with an assortment of different items from Honeydukes, one for Kuniye and one for Victor. I grabbed a couple bars thinking it would be a good start for Dimitri’s gift too. Also a chocolate frog for myself, because you know, why not? I’m allowed to treat myself even if it drives me into the poor house.

I wasn’t sure where to go next, but passing a shop that had a fancy Christmas display in their window I figured I should get Narcissa a card. Usually I made her gift using transfiguration and charms. She had all the money in the world to buy what she wanted so I generally made her jewelry, something unique but classy enough that she could at least approve of it.

I picked up one of the more expensive cards and a nice box to send my gift in. Heading to the cashier I spotted something out of the corner of my eye. It was a calendar, one with a different page for each day of the year. The theme-wolves. Every page had a different image of a wolf. Some were howling at the moon, others running through the woods or just playing. Truthfully it was pretty lame. Which is exactly why I picked it up for Dimitri.

I had already decided on Hermione’s gift so all that was left were the twins, Tsukino, and something else for Dimitri. I began searching different shops for any inspiration. The fifth shop I entered had a display of wood carvings. One block had Hogwarts carved into it, another was a circular carving of Hogsmeade with little windows carved out and a light in the middle shining through. It was…well pretty amazing. I wondered how long it would take to create.

There were books on creating similar wood carvings with the display and I picked one up, flipping through. Dimitri had mentioned loving the architecture in St. Petersburg before. I could probably figure out how to carve that. Time was the issue though. Holidays started tomorrow and with virtually no social life, I was confident I could finish it in time.

Stepping back into the street I realized I had saved the most difficult gifts for last. I decided to start with Tsukino. It was supposed to be unique, something most people wouldn’t give her. Well let’s start with gifts you would give a Seer. Books obviously, Seer or Divination things were probably popular choices too. Chocolate and candy aren’t exactly unique. What else would the regular person give her? Trinkets most likely. That narrowed it down quite a bit.

What else did I know about her? She was young, under thirty. She’d spent her life learning Divination, Astronomy, proper etiquette and polite manners. Everything needed for the life of a dignified Seer. It didn’t sound particularly fun. Huh, fun. Maybe something fun for her.

Zonko’s immediately came to mind. Surely no one had ever given Tsukino something like that. They would deem it improper for her. Maybe something fun was just what she needed. I headed in the direction of Zonko’s wondering what exactly she would like.

I was browsing the shelves when I heard people approach me. “Shopping for our Christmas gift?” I turned around to see Fred and George there.

“I hardly think I need to give you more supplies to torment Filch with.”

“Ah, so buying yourself something?” Fred asked grinning.

“Deciding to risk detention?” said George.

“Not quite,” I said turning back to the shelves. “Gift for a friend.”

“Who?” one of the twins asked quickly.

“Er…one I made last year,” I answered vaguely. “I’m not sure what she would like though.”

“She?”

“Yes, she,” I said glancing back at them. “Any advice? I’m sure you two know this place better than anyone.”

“Very true.”

“It is our expertise.”

“Something along the lines of a dung bomb or something with a bit more class?”

“Definitely more classy.” Is there even such a thing as classy pranking supplies? The Weasley twins would probably be the right people to know if there was.

“Well let’s start over here.”

For the next hour Fred and George showed me items around the store. Sometimes they would point out ways an item could be better and more versatile or mention items they would have designed. I’d been unsure about a few things but they walked me through their uses and by the time I was paying I was sure I’d gotten a unique gift box of items.

“Are you staying at Hogwarts for break?” Fred asked as we exited Zonko’s.

“Yes, much preferable. And hoping Hermione and I can finish our Runes project.”

“Always with the studying and school work,” said George as he shook his head.

I rolled my eyes. “What about you two? I noticed your brother was staying.”

“We’re staying too. And Ginny. All avoiding Percy really. All this Head Boy business is making him unbearable.” I smiled wondering if the twins had ever found Percy tolerable.

“What’s he planning to do after Hogwarts?” I asked.

“Enter the Ministry.”

“Start off small.”

“Slowly claw his way up.”

“Until he becomes Minister of Magic.”

“And declares fun illegal.”

“And laughing, don’t forget laughing, Fred.”

“True, true, how could I forget that?”

“It’s very alarming that I can actually see that happening,” I said laughing. “What about you guys? What are you going to do after your days of wrecking havoc on Hogwarts are over?” I asked curiously.

“Joke shop,” they responded instantly, in unison. This made me laugh more.

“Never going to let Filch forget about you, are you?”

“You like the idea?” Fred asked seriously.

“Of course,” I said honestly. “It’s perfect for you.”

“Mum isn’t fond of the idea.”

I shrugged my shoulders. “It’s your life. Wait till you make your first hundred galleons and I’m sure she’ll change her mind. Plus, you should be doing something you love. You both know all about pranks and jokes. You’ll do great. Any special ideas for a product yet?”

“Er…” they shared a look.

“Well we’re trying to make edible stuff, but its proving a bit more difficult than we imagined.”

“Food and potions tend not to blend together easily.”

“Or in a non revolting way.” I thought of the different cookbooks and potion books I’d read.

“Also we’re working with different potion ingredients.”

“Experimenting quite a bit.”

“Snape doesn’t really cover what different items do.”

“So we’re finding out for ourselves.”

“It’s a long process.” ‘Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.’ An idea suddenly popped into my head. It was perfect.

“I have to go,” I told them.

“Oh, er…”

“I’ll see you later,” I said already planning the perfect gift.
 


Chapter 14: Chapter 14
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 14


Over the next three days I spent nearly all of my time in my dormitory. Wood carving was not horribly difficult, mostly just tedious for the amount of detail needed. Thankfully tedious, detailed work was a familiar thing for me and I enjoyed most of it. I made a circular skyline carving of St. Petersburg and even made small windows in the buildings. Then I placed a blue flame in an unbreakable jar in the center. I was impressed by it, I hoped Dimitri would be too. I packed it safely with the other gifts for him wondering if an owl or maybe two would be able to deliver it in time. I went to bed that night with it wrapped and sitting on my bedside table. The next morning it was gone. Replaced with a short note.

It will be delivered for Christmas.

I raised an eyebrow, eyeing the familiar handwriting. This was a rather convenient way to send packages.

It was Christmas Eve and I still had Narcissa’s and the Weasley twins’ gifts to finish. Narcissa’s was first. This was my fifth time transfiguring and charming metal into jewelry for her so it wouldn’t take too long. Most of the work was the different charms used to make sure the spells were permanent and sparkling.

Four hours later I was sending a pair of earrings off using one of the school owls. I also sent Snape’s, I guess I really could have just walked down and given it to him. This was more discreet and probably a better idea though.

Back in the dormitory I wrapped three more gifts. Kuniye’s and Tsukino’s I left on my bedside table wondering just how they were taking and leaving items. Hermione’s I placed in my trunk, I would add it to her pile of gifts in the morning.

It was only noon, I had at least twelve hours left for the twins' gift. Using a spare bit of parchment I made a quick outline. There was a lot of information to write and I wanted to be sure it was easy to follow. An hour later I was ready. I pulled out the blank book I purchased at Hogsmeade and began writing.

At nearly 2 a.m. Hermione was already asleep and I was putting the finishing touches on the twins’ gift. I glanced at my bedside table thinking I should head to bed soon. It was already Christmas morning in Japan.

The next morning I deliberately ignored any and all gifts, I headed straight for the bathroom, showering and dressing for the day. When I returned to the sleeping quarters Crookshanks was laying on my bed. I sat down to pet him, he seemed to do this quite a bit. I didn’t know whether it was because I was the only one ever up this early or he just liked me for some bizarre reason.

Eventually I turned my focus towards the gifts at the foot of my bed. Growing up with the Malfoys I hadn’t been gift-less, though I certainly wasn’t showered in presents. This year it looked about the same as last year.

The first thing I grabbed was wrapped in simple green paper. I didn’t even have to check to know who it was from because he’d been using the same paper for nine years. Inside were two large books. One was Defensive spells the other Offensive spells which were border line dark spells. I flipped through a few pages, it all looked complex and incredibly difficult, oh Professor Snape, you know me so well. Don’t get me wrong, I have no desire to use dark spells on people, but learning something new and complex? That was what I enjoyed. There was also the fact that being able to recognize dark spells was always an asset. I was looking forward to reading these books.

The next gift I opened was a rather large box wrapped in red paper with gold ribbon. I recognized Dimitri’s writing. Inside the box were several things. I started with the letter wishing me a Merry Christmas. He also asked about the wrapping, if I liked the colors. I rolled my eyes, weird Russian nutters. There was a small book of Russian children’s stories and some homemade fudge cooked by his mother. I was happy that Dimitri was home for Christmas, that would be much more enjoyable than spending it chasing down werewolves. Near the bottom of the gift box there was a small but very thick book of charms, in Russian of course. The writing was miniscule, this book would take some time to get through. The last item was a thin, flat box with a bracelet made of seven smooth white beads inside. I looked at it skeptically, I don’t really wear jewelry. There was a note with the bracelet. It said you could store a simple spell in each of the beads, using them later without needing to use a wand.

Following the instructions, I tapped my wand to one of the beads, muttering Lumos. The bead turned black and I set down my wand. The instructions said now all I had to do was focus on the spell in the bead. Concentrating, I rose my hand a bit and muttered Lumos again. A bright light filled the room, startling Crookshanks and waking Hermione.

“Sorry,” I said quickly, lowering my hand. The light disappeared and the bead changed back to white.

“What was that?” Hermione asked, sitting up.

“Er…Christmas gift. Didn’t know it would be that bright. Sorry,” I said awkwardly.

“It’s fine, Happy Christmas,” she said yawning.

“Happy Christmas,” I responded, standing up. I pulled a wrapped gift out of my trunk. “For you,” I told her, handing it over.

“Thanks. I have something for you too. I wasn’t sure what to get you, so I owled mum and dad to ask them to pick this up.” She handed me a rectangular gift that I opened. It was a book of short stories. I flipped through, not recognizing most of the names. “Muggle stories,” Hermione explained. “I didn’t think you would have read them before.”

“I haven’t. Thanks,” I said truthfully. Some of the names sounding a bit odd, but it would be a nice break from all the spell books.

“Oh!” Hermione exclaimed, she’d just opened the gift I gave her, a charms book. “I haven’t heard of some of these.”

“They’re mostly advanced American ones, though I’m sure you’ll have heard of some of them before.”

Hermione started flipping through the pages, looking extremely please. There was a knock on the door. Both of us turned towards it as a red haired girl poked her head in, it was Ginny Weasley, the twins’ younger sister.

“Er…mind if I join you?” she asked.

“Of course not, Ginny,” Hermione answered instantly. “Happy Christmas.”

“Happy Christmas,” Ginny said coming in and dropping her unopened gifts on Lavender’s bed.

“Ginny, this is Jade Lestrange. Jade, this is Ginny Weasley.”

“Happy Christmas, nice to meet you,” Ginny said while opening a gift.

“Happy Christmas,” I responded while grabbing another gift.

Inside was a long letter, some chocolate and a Bulgarian dictionary from Victor. Well that’s a subtle gift. I guess he had been hinting for a while that I should learn his native language. Plus it’s been a while since I learned a new one, why not. I flipped through the first few pages until I spotted Ginny holding up the gift she’d just opened. Hermione had one too.

“What’s with the sweater?” I asked curiously.

“Oh, er…mum knits them for us each year. Hermione and Harry get one too,” Ginny explained a bit awkwardly.

“Huh, I can’t imagine my aunt ever doing something like that,” I said out loud. It was a nice gift, something very motherly, just not something that would be natural for Narcissa. To be honest, I’d probably get worried if I found out she took up knitting.

“What does your aunt normally get you?” Hermione asked.

“Me? Usually money. My cousin tends to get more personal items.”

“That doesn’t seem fair,” Hermione commented while frowning.

“It’s preferable. Rather have money than something I don’t want.”

“She doesn’t even bake anything for you?” Ginny asked.

“Merlin, no,” I said laughing. “I don’t think she even knows how. An elf takes care of that.”

“You have a house elf?” Hermione asked, surprised.

My uncle has a house elf, two actually. I’m not technically part of his family so they don’t obey me,” I corrected her.

“Wow, two elves,” Ginny said. “I bet mum wouldn’t mind having one to help out around the house.”

“Make sure you don’t get one of the nutter ones,” I warned as I ate a piece of chocolate.

“Nutter ones?”

“Yeah, some walk around insulting you, thinking you can’t hear them. Or they try and poison unfavorable members of the family.”

Ginny cringed. “Mum’s probably fine now that we’re all in school or off on our own.”

“Smart thinking.”

I picked up another gift, two boxes tied together with a ribbon. Inside the first one was a small box with tree branches and blossoms painted on it. In this box was a metal medallion. On the front was Tsukino’s symbol, on the back there was a phoenix. I flipped it over in my hand, admiring it. There was a small note inside. ‘For emergencies.’ Followed by instructions on how to use it.

Inside the larger box was a belt buckle that could transform into a knife without using a wand. Raising an eyebrow at this I put it down quickly before Hermione or Ginny could see. It would be a bit difficult explaining who I had gotten it from or why I received it. There was also a glass sphere with the buckle. I lifted it carefully. There was a miniature cherry blossom tree inside of it. Several petals were floating around as if there was a gentle breeze inside. It also wasn’t a perfectly round sphere, the bottom was flat so it could sit on a surface without rolling away.

“Is that a snow globe?” Hermione asked curiously.

“Er…I’m not sure what that is.”

“Oh, it’s er…well a globe filled with water and these small flakes of…stuff. You sort of shake it and it’s supposed to look like snow…” Ginny and I shared an amused look. “It’s a muggle trinket.” Hermione explained.

“I’m sure,” I said getting up and handing the globe to Hermione. She’d be careful not to break it I was sure. Ginny got up and moved beside Hermione, both staring at the tree.

“It’s very pretty,” Ginny commented.

“Who’s it from?” Hermione asked as she handed it back.

I paused. “Friend I met last year,” I answered, setting the globe carefully on my bedside table.

“I wonder how difficult it is to make,” Hermione said admiring it.

“I don’t have a clue,” I responded as I grabbed my last gift.

Inside this box was a range of items. There were normal things like Chocolate Frogs and a box of Bertie Bott’s Beans. Then there were dung bombs, stink pellets, even a couple of Filibuster’s Fireworks. I sorted through the different prank supplies rolling my eyes. There was also a book near the bottom, I snorted when I read the cover. 101 Pranks for the Mischievous Mind. ‘You’ll never be bored again!’ the tagline read. I wondered how long Fred and George spent looking for a book that ‘cured boredom.’

Hermione and Ginny were looking at me curiously. I held the book up for them to read the title.

“That looks like something from Fred and George,” said Ginny.

“It is.” Of course only the Weasley twins would give me a box full of restricted items. Which reminds me. “I need to go give them their gift.” I put all of my gifts, except for the charms book from Dimitri, in my trunk and grabbed the twins’ gift before heading down to the common room.

Fred and George were sitting on a couch by the fireplace wearing blue knitted sweaters. They stopped talking and turned towards the girl’s staircase when they heard me coming down.

“Happy Christmas,” they said in unison.

“Happy Christmas,” I automatically responded.

“Did we actually manage to wake up before you?” Fred asked amusingly.

“Afraid not, I’ve been up since five, opening gifts with Hermione and your sister.”

“Always awake at the crack of dawn,” Fred muttered.

“You know, I received an interesting gift,” I began.

“Oh really?” George said. “Go on.”

“It was a box filled with items that I know for a fact are not permitted on school grounds.”

“Those are really the best kinds of gifts,” Fred pointed out.

“When you wake up with a dung bomb booby trapped under your bed I hope you remember this conversation,” I told him, hitting the back of his head.

“Oi!” he exclaimed. “How will you know which bed is mine?”

“I can always tell which one is you, even when you’re sleeping.”

“What are you going to say if someone catches you in a boy’s dorm in the middle of the night?” George asked.

“Huh,” I said sitting down in an armchair. “Think it would be believable if I said I was in there snogging one of you?”

George let out a bark of laughter and Fred quickly elbowed him. George kept a smirk on his face as I raised an eyebrow at them.

“He’s an idiot, ignore him,” Fred said, glaring at his twin.

“You’re both nutters,” I said rolling my eyes. “Happy Christmas,” I said again as I held out their gift. They stared at it skeptically before taking it from me. “This is where you open it,” I told them in a patronizing voice.

With each of them holding onto a cover, they opened it. As they read a confused look formed on their faces. They shared a look and flipped through a few pages.

“Is this-“

“Sort of a-“

“Cookbook?”

“Sort of. Look at the table of contents. The different sections are divided. There’s also a page near the front explaining the different charms I placed on the book. Along with several blank pages at the back for you to add things, recipes and such that you’ve invented.”

“How come we’ve never heard of most of these things?” asked George.

“Oh the benefits of being multi-lingual.”

“There’s a whole sections on potion ingredients!” Fred said excitedly.

“And their affects,” George pointed out.

“How to brew them correctly.”

“Bloody hell, this is amazing.”

“How’d you know all this?” Fred asked, looking up at me.

“I have a very good memory,” I said mysteriously. I was glad they loved their gift.

Hermione and Ginny came down to the common room while Fred and George were reading through their new book. Hermione was carrying Crookshanks while Ginny had a container of fudge.

“I’m going to see if Harry and Ron are up yet,” Hermione said, heading immediately up the boy’s staircase. Ginny sat down, eyeing the twins.

“Never seen you two look so happy reading a book.” They looked up at her, scandalized.

“This isn’t just a book,” Fred said offended.

“It’s a work of art.”

“That we must cherish.”

“For the greater good.”

With that they turned their attention back towards the book. Ginny gave me a confused look. “They’re nutters,” I said shrugging

“Least you don’t have to live with them,” she muttered.
 


Chapter 15: Chapter 15
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 15


The twins kept reading until Hermione, Harry Potter, and Ron Weasley joined us. Potter was carrying a broom and he and Ron looked overjoyed.

“Fred! George!” Ron said excitedly. “Guess what Harry got!”

The twins looked up and glanced towards Potter’s hands, their eyes went wide.

“Is that?”

“No, it can’t be.”

A Firebolt?!”

They excitedly invited Potter to sit down and the four boys sat around talking about the broom. Even Ginny asked about it in between shooting Hermione confused glances. Hermione, I could tell, did not approve of Potter’s gift and I was curious why.

“Who sent it to you?” I asked. Potter looked surprised that I had actually spoken to him.

“Oh, er…there wasn’t a card.”

They went back to talking about their chances for the Quidditch Cup. I met Hermione’s eyes, knowing exactly who she thought had sent it-Sirius Black.

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

I walked a few steps beside the Weasleys, Hermione, and Potter to lunch. I was wondering how Sirius Black could manage to gift a broom while on the run. Obviously he didn’t walk into a shop and order it. He would definitely have enough money to afford it though. He’d also managed to slip in and out of the castle on Halloween. Someone inside Hogwarts had to been helping him. I supposed it didn’t have to be someone who necessarily shared views with Black, maybe just someone he’d paid. Lucius bribed people all the time who valued money more than morals.

In the Great Hall my thoughts on Black disappeared as I paused in the doorway. Instead of the regular five tables there was one. Dumbledore, McGonagall, Snape, Filch, and Hagrid were already seated.

“Happy Christmas,” Dumbledore greeted us warmly. “Since there are so few of us I thought it would be more enjoyable to eat together.”

Hermione, Potter, and Ron quickly grabbed seats by Hagrid. Ginny took the last chair on that side, next to Hermione. There were only three chairs left now and one was next to Snape. Fred and George shared a look and headed for the seats not next to Snape. Before he sat down though, Fred looked back at me and the chair next to Snape. I rolled my eyes and took a seat. Sitting beside Snape certainly didn’t bother me. Fred looked at me with a sorry look on his face.

I grabbed a Christmas cracker and held one end out to Snape. “Happy Christmas Professor,” I said brightly. He gave me a disgusted look and eyed the cracker, glaring at it, then me. “Right then,” I said, still using a cheery voice. I held the cracker out to Fred who immediately pulled on one end while grinning. A couple of chocolate frogs, a chess set, and hat popped out. I took the hat first, it was a black fedora with some lace hanging over the brim and a red rose on the side.

“I like it,” I said out loud. “Except-" I pulled out my wand and tapped the rose. It turned bright blue. “Much better,” I commented, putting it on.

“Is that really your wand?” Ron Weasley asked from across the table.

“Of course,” I answered, twirling my wand in my fingers.

“I’ve never seen an Ollivander’s wand like that,” he said next.

“It’s not one of his.”

“Who made it?” Potter asked.

“A very old monk who lives in the mountains of Japan.”

Hermione gasped. “You have a Mineto wand?” How exactly does Hermione manage to learn these things in between taking a million different subjects? “Those are very rare and valuable. I read he only makes one wand a year!”

“That’s what Ollivander said.” I examined my wand now. I had grown to love its uniqueness, I suppose in a school where nearly all of the wands were made by one person mine did stick out. The handle was silver, adorned with –

“Are those real diamonds and sapphires?” Hermione asked disbelievingly.

“I assume so.” There were eight small alternating stones on each end of the handle. The rest of the wand was made of two different types of wood, ebony and rowan, twisted together. The core was from a rare golden white phoenix.

“Must have cost a fortune,” Ron said.

“No, regular price. I guess Ollivander had to agree to sell it for his normal amount.”

“Mr. Mineto is very careful about the owners of his wands. I imagine we will see great things from you,” Dumbledore said in a mysterious voice.

I would have liked to ask if he meant Dark Lord ‘great’ or Dumbledore ‘great’ but someone else entered the Great Hall. It was a woman with huge glasses that magnified her eyes and a glittering green dress. She reminded me instantly of an insect.

“Sybill,” Dumbledore greeted her.

I turned my focus back to my wand, remembering the day I had gotten it.

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

Lucius, Narcissa, Draco, and I were all at Diagon Alley, shopping for Draco’s and my first year. Lucius had already arranged to send me to Durmstrang instead of Hogwarts. Ollivanders was the last shop we visited. Draco had gone first as I stood back against the wall silently watching the Malfoys and Ollivander discuss wand choices. There had been two suitable wands for Draco. Wanting to please his father, Draco had chosen the one Lucius favored. However I could tell that Draco had preferred the other.

Then it was my turn. I stepped forward as Ollivander gazed at me.

“How incredibly similar you look to your mother,” was the first thing he said to me. I sent him glare, already knowing the type of woman Bellatrix Lestrange was. “Eyes like your father though,” he continued, not noticing my annoyed face. He started measuring me then pulled boxes off the shelves, giving a description of each wand.

After the 20th box the description got shorter. After the 50th one Lucius let out a frustrated sigh. Ollivander still seemed perfectly cheerful, he would just hand me a wand now, let me try it and snatch it back before trying again with the next wand. Around the 100th one Lucius was twisting his walking stick impatiently in his hand. Narcissa, noticing this, spoke up.

“Lucius, I can stay here, you can return home. We will return shortly I imagine.” Lucius considered this and nodded. He paid for the two wands and headed towards the door.

“Come Draco,” he commanded. Narcissa hadn’t intended for Draco to leave with Lucius, she generally never left us alone with him but she couldn’t insist that Draco stay. She gave Draco a gently push towards the door after giving his shoulder a reassuring squeeze.

“We’ll be home soon dear,” she promised.

My attention turned back to Ollivander who had twenty more wands for me to try. Unfortunately none of them worked. I must have waved two hundred wands by now, even the one sitting on a pillow in the shop window. By the 300th Narcissa had taken a seat. After the 500th I was convinced that no wand was made for me. Ollivander seemed to be enjoying himself at least.

After I tried every wand in the main part of his shop, Ollivander started pulling out unfinished wands from the back room. None of these worked either.

“I wonder…” Ollivander muttered, disappearing to his back room again. He came back with several very dusty boxes. “Perhaps one of my wands is not meant for you.”

“Is there someone else we should see?” Narcissa asked.

“I would like to try these first.”

“I thought you said none of yours would work,” I interrupted.

“These wands were not made by me,” he said opening the first box.

That much was very obvious when I saw the first wand. It looked nothing like the others I’d tried. There were little runes carved around the handle, which was very flat. This wand didn’t work either. The next wand had miniscule sea shells embedded into the handle. It didn’t work. There were a couple tribal looking wands that Ollivander said were from Africa. A few of the wands were even painted, others had more carvings on them, one had a bulb at the base that looked like it was full of blood, and one even had a shimmering green material twisting up the wand. None of these worked though.

Finally we came to the last box. Ollivander paused slightly before opening it and showing it too me. It looked amazing and when I grabbed the handle I knew. This had to be mine, it felt so right. Blue sparks erupted from the end when I gave it a wave.

"Are those stones…real?” Narcissa asked surprised.

“Yes, real diamonds and sapphires embedded into the silver handle. The wood, ebony and rowan, crafted to fit perfectly together, containing a feather from a rare golden white phoenix. How curious that this wand would be meant for you.”

“Curious?” I asked, still admiring the wand.

“Very curious,” Ollivander said. “Years ago I received this wand from one of the most renown wand makers in the world, an old monk by the name of Mineto. He lives on a remote compound in the Japanese mountains. He tends to the wand trees there himself. Makes friends with the bowtruckles too. His wand cores are as unique and rare as his wands are. He spends an entire year crafting a single wand. With this wand I received a letter. Mineto told me he’d had a dream about a wand unlike any other, a wand that must be sent to me, for this is where its owner would come. I was told to keep the wand pure and safe from others. For all these years I’ve kept it safely in the back, waiting for you.”

I stared at the wand wondering one thing. Why me?

“There was another part to his letter,” Ollivander told me. I looked up wondering what more there could possibly be. “Mineto also sent a feather from the same phoenix used for your wand. He told me in his dream that I too needed to create a wand using the feather. Brother wands, made from two different people who were thousands of miles apart. Of course I immediately began work on this wand and a good thing too. Not half an hour after I applied the final polishing coat, a young boy entered my shop. Like you, he tried every wand out here, none were his though. I thought of the newly finished wand and brought it out for the boy. It was a perfect match for him. Astonished, I gave it to him free of charge. It is nice to know the wand’s brother has found its home at last. Now,” Ollivander said, changing his tone, “I believe that you are quite ready to head home.”

I placed the wand back in the box and tucked it under my arm as Narcissa thanked Ollivander. We’d only gone a dozen or so steps before I’d stopped.

“Jade?” Narcissa questioned.

“I’ll be right back, sorry.” I swiftly headed back into Ollivanders shop. He was still behind the counter and looked up curiously after I closed the shop door. “The other wand, that matched for…for Draco. Can I buy it?” Ollivander tilted his head curiously.

“Of course,” he answered, quickly fetching it. It took nearly all of the gold I had, but I bought it. With my hand on the shop door, I turned back around. Ollivander was still watching me.

“The boy,” I started, “the boy who bought the first phoenix wand. Who was he?” A part of me dreaded the answer, but I had to know. Was it my father?

“His name was Snape. Severus Snape.”

Relief flooded my body. “Thank you,” I called, leaving the shop again.

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

The next time I’d seen Snape I told him everything Ollivander said. He’d been rather surprised, apparently he hadn’t been told anything when he received his wad. He’d asked to see my wand, which I handed over immediately. In a snide voice he said it was flashy and exorbitant, making me laugh.

The other wand I had kept a secret from everyone. I wasn’t sure why I’d bought it, it had just felt like the right thing to do. I still had it, stored in one of my trunk compartments under various other things. I never used it though sometimes I would take it out  just to look at it.

I jumped a bit when I felt someone elbow me. I turned my attention back to the Great Hall.

“Huh?” I said looking around. Everyone was looking at me strangely.

“Er…sorry,” Fred said from beside me. “Your eyes were sort of glazed over.”

“Oh, sorry, remembering something,” I said awkwardly, putting my wand away.

“An owl brought that for you,” I looked at Fred and then were he was pointing. It was an envelope sitting on my plate. “It has a Gringotts seal on it. Do they normally send you Christmas gifts?”

“I don’t think they like anyone enough to send gifts,” I said, picking up the letter. I flipped it over, seeing the Gringotts seal. Curiously I opened it, inside were two letters and a key. One of the letters had my name written on it. I recognized Narcissa’s handwriting and opened this letter first.

Jade

I have transferred ownership of my Black family vault over to you. I am certain you are mature enough to handle it on your own. It is not the largest family vault but I trust you have enough restraint to make it last throughout your Hogwarts years. That being said, you are free to spend it as you wish. Transferred vaults require stricter security, so do not loose your key. There may also be undesirable ramifications with this family vault in particular. I am sure you will use it responsibly.

Narcissa

This family vault in particular.’ I assume that means the Black family, considering who’s on the run. ‘Undesirable ramifications.’ That could mean the Ministry is paying closer attention to the Black family’s gold. Still though, its not everyday you get your own vault. It was a rather generous Christmas gift.

“What does it say?” George asked.

“I got a vault.”

“A vault?”

“So it would seem,” I said, pulling out the key.

“Someone gave you a vault for Christmas?” Ginny Weasley asked skeptically.

“My aunt transferred one to me.”

“I thought your grandmother cut you off,” Hermione said curiously.

“Different family,” I said waving my hand. “Not a Lestrange one, my aunt’s family vault.”

“That was a very generous gift from Narcissa,” Dumbledore commented.

“Suspiciously generous,” I muttered. This was a rather extreme gift.

“Do you trust anyone?” Fred teased.

“Not particularly,” I answered instantly. There were some people I trusted, Snape and Dimitri. Tsukino and Kuniye, well I knew those two were holding something back, but I trusted them some. Of course I couldn’t say that here. “Everybody lies,” I said honestly. That was a universal truth.

“Everybody?”

“Everybody.”

“That’s a rather pessimistic view of the world,” Hermione said frowning.

“It’s a very realistic view of the world,” I countered. “At some point in their lives, everyone will lie because being honest all of the time isn’t an option while living in this world.”

“So you’re saying you lie too?” Potter questioned.

Everybody lies,” I repeated.

“A Gryffindor admitting they aren’t perfect, how exceedingly rare,” Snape said snidely.

“A Slytherin mocking a Gryffindor, how exceedingly cliché,” I said matching Snape’s tone perfectly. I heard the Weasleys, Hermione, Potter and Hagrid snort, even McGonagall and Dumbledore appeared to be smiling. “No disrespect, Professor. You seem like a wonderful chap.”

“You do realize, Miss Lestrange, that you can still receive detention, holiday or not?” Snape threatened.

“Detention on Christmas? Can I bring Christmas cookies?”

“Can I bring Mr. Filch’s thumbscrews?” Snape retorted. Filch looked far too happy upon hearing this.

I put my hands in front of me, examining them. “Thumbs are overrated anyways,” I said in a carefree voice.

“Remarkable how well you’ve adjusted to the usual Gryffindor attitude in four months,” Snape said dryly.

“I do remember the Sorting Hat mentioning obnoxiously arrogant in his song.” Bantering with Snape was always enjoyable.

“You realize you still haven’t looked at the other piece of paper in that envelope,” Snape pointed out in a bored voice.

“Oh, right,” I said, pulling it out. “That was almost polite of you Professor.”

“I assure you, that was not my intent,” he said using a disgusted tone.

I unfolded the note, it was from Gringotts and shorter than Narcissa’s.

Jade R. Lestrange

As of December 23rd, 1993 vault 710, previously belonging to Narcissa I. Black née Malfoy, has been transferred to your ownership. Your key has been enclosed. You may access your vault at the Gringotts, London location. You may access limited funds at any Gringotts worldwide location.

Bakarcor
Gringotts, London Manager


The current balance of vault 710 is 1,517 Galleons and 9 Sickles.

My eyes went wide at the vault balance. “Holy –"

“Miss Lestrange!” McGonagall snapped when I swore.

“And there’s your Christmas detention,” Snape said flatly.

“Right,” I said folding up the note quickly. “I have to go.”

As soon as I stood up ‘Sybill’ let out a strangled cry. I turned towards her. “The first to rise when thirteen dine shall be the first to die,” she said in a terrified voice. I looked around the table, noting that there were thirteen of us. She was looking at me as though I had already died.

“Thanks for the heads up,” I said casually, and then I left the hall.

The idea of having 1.5 thousand Galleons was daunting. I’d been content with 10 Galleons a month, now all this at one time. Of course the Black family probably had several thousands of Galleons in total. The Malfoys had well over 100,000, probably closer to half a million or more based on the way Lucius gave it away for future favors. Still 1.5k for myself? That was rather alarming.

Of course suspicion set in. Why would Narcissa be giving this all to me? She would know about my grandmother disowning me for sure. This much money seemed like an extreme pity gift.

Last throughout your Hogwarts years,’ she had said. Lucius wasn’t going to pay for my things any more than Ethel Lestrange was I realized. This was all the money I had until I found a job. Four years, that was over 300 Galleons a year. That was more than enough to cover school supplies. There was also the summer before seventh year. I’d already assumed I wouldn’t be going back to Malfoy Manor after I became of age. I’d have two months to myself. Two months of finding a place to stay and feeding myself too. I could take a trip, I wonder if Victor would mind me showing up in Bulgaria. Or I could go to Russia, maybe even Japan. The choices were endless as long as I didn’t waste money on frivolous things. A sudden thought crossed my mind.

I could leave. Leave England for good after Hogwarts. Go to a place where no one had ever heard of the Lestranges. Snape. I couldn’t leave Snape, I needed him. Ok, so leaving the country permanently was out. I could still buy a small place to live in the middle of nowhere and become a hermit. Not having to see much of the wizarding world wasn’t an ideal plan but it was a start. I had over four years, I didn’t need a concrete plan today. Having an abstract plan that didn’t involve me living off someone else was a comforting thought though. I laid in bed, pulling out the small Russian charms book. I was determined to make the money last.

 


A/N: 0 hours to get validated >_< I should have had the rest of the story ready. It’s coming soon I promise! Thanks for all the reviews, keep letting me know what you think so far.
 


Chapter 16: Chapter 16
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 16


The rest of the holiday break I spent between the library and dormitory. Ron Weasley and Potter weren’t speaking to Hermione because she had reported Potter’s Firebolt to Professor McGonagall. It seemed a poor excuse for being mad at her. Really she hadn’t wanted to risk Potter being injured by a tampered broom so they decided not to speak to her? Great friendship they had going there. Hermione kept to the library and dorm too, occasionally going for walks with Ginny Weasley.

Ginny, I found out, was the youngest and only girl out of seven. It was a bit surreal imagining what growing up with so many people would be like. Ginny seemed nice enough though, telling Hermione that she’d made the right choice by reporting the broom and that boys were stupid and Ron would see what a git he was being. She also didn’t mind spending hours in the library, but I could tell she wasn’t a huge fan of studying and books like Hermione was.

Ginny did seem interested in Ancient Runes, she would ask me how to say different words and phrases in various languages. Today she was asking about Arabic, her brother Bill worked in Egypt and knew a bit of the language.

“I hope I’m not annoying you with all these questions,” she said sounding guilty. I looked up from my History of Magic essay.

“Course not,” I said truthfully.

“Must be hard knowing all these words. I’d get them mixed up all the time,” she commented. I’d never really had that problem but I assumed most people would.

“After a while I think it just becomes second nature. Sometimes I’ll find myself thinking in Latin or be planning a sentence in French for an essay.”

Ginny’s face turned thoughtful, like she was trying to imagine thinking in a different language. “Weird,” she muttered after a minute.

“Just a bit,” I agreed, turning back to my essay.

“How do you do that?” Hermione asked five minutes later from beside me.

Both Ginny and I turned towards her. “Do what?” I asked, noticing she was looking at me.

“Your essay. All of them actually.”

“Er…” I was confused, this was always how I did them.

“You never use any books,” Hermione continued, “for any essay. You just…write.”

“Oh.” It hadn’t occurred to me that it was odd. “I just remember it I guess,” I responded casually. “I’m certain you could do it too, you remember these books by heart.”

Hermione frowned, I was saved from having to explain any more by Snape appearing behind us.

“Professor,” Ginny said startled. Both Hermione and I turned around.

“Weasley, Granger, Lestrange,” he greeted in a displeased tone. He glared at us before speaking again. “I’m here to inform Miss Lestrange that her detention will be tomorrow at eight a.m. I expect you in my office at that hour precisely.”

“I’ll be sure to pencil you in between reading and more reading,” I retorted sarcastically. I heard Hermione inhale a sharp breath and Ginny’s eyes went wide.

“Five points from Gryffindor for your cheek,” Snape said narrowing his eyes at me.

Of course being me, I opened my mouth to respond but Hermione stomped on my foot. With one last glare around the table, Snape swept out of the library.

“Are you trying to get more detentions?” Hermione whispered frantically.

“I had a really good comeback I’ll have you know.” Hermione sent me a quick glare.

“He already doesn’t like Gryffindor. You don’t need to give him more reasons to take points off,” she said stiffly.

“But that’s what makes it so fun,” I responded wistfully. Hermione frowned and went back to her essay. I caught Ginny’s eye, she was smirking in agreement with me. Huh, another enjoyable Weasley.

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

The next morning I arrived at Snape’s office fifteen minutes before eight. I knocked on the door but nothing happened. I tried listening for any noise, still nothing. The lights weren’t on either. I considered the consequences for a minute before I took out my wand. Snape had a spell on his door, several in fact. They were all intertwined and rather complicated. I doubt students could get it unlocked in under a day. Me on the other hand, it only took ten minutes. I walked inside, replaced the spells on the door and sat on the chair opposite Snape’s desk. I waited for a few minutes until I heard approaching footsteps. They stopped outside the door and two minutes later the door was opening.

“Morning,” I said cheerfully. Snape visibly jumped then glared at me, then the door, then me again.

“How the hell did you get in here?” He asked rudely.

“I don’t think that kind of language is acceptable for a teacher.” After another glare Snape closed the door and added some privacy spells then sat behind his desk. He sat watching me intently. “It wasn’t really your best work. Creative though, I’ll give you that much.”

“I didn’t realize how obnoxious inheriting a vault would make you.”

“I’m trying to live up to your Gryffindor expectations.”

“You’re exceeding them,” he said annoyed.

“My apologies then. Did you like your gift?” I asked curiously. This caused Snape to look more annoyed. “I thought it was nice,” I said frowning.

“It was a thousand Galleons worth of ingredients.” Damn, I hadn’t realized it was that much.

“You’re worth every Knut,” I said using my cheerful voice again.

“Where?” Snape demanded.

“Here and there,” I answered vaguely.

“Did you steal them –“

“Oi!”

“Or the money for them?”

“Thanks for thinking so highly of me,” I said offended.

“Jade,” he warned.

“They were obtained legally, thank you very much, and at a bargain rate.” Free was pretty much the best rate.

“How?” he asked looking less annoyed.

“Isn’t that where trust comes into play?” Oh, now he looked annoyed again. “Really, I didn’t steal them. They are legitimately yours. Can’t you just trust me on this one?”

Snape scoffed. “Rather frustrating that you’re able to keep things like this away from me.”

“You’d be surprised what I can keep from you.” Russian werewolves, Japanese Seers and ninjas, need I go on?

“Like your blossoming friendship with the Weasleys?”

“Huh?”

“You’re not nearly as discreet as you imagined. You are spending more time around them.”

“Well Ginny is spending more time with Hermione during the holiday. And Ron’s in my year so I don’t think that particularly counts.” Snape raised an eyebrow at me.

“Not the Weasleys I meant.”

“Oh, Fred and George?” I took Snape’s eye roll as a yes. “They’re alright, interesting enough.” Honestly I liked the twins, it was nice being around people that seemed so carefree and enjoying life.

“They’re obnoxious.” Now it was my turn to roll my eyes. “Oh Merlin, you actually like them,” Snape said sounding disgusted.

“It’s nice being around people who can…make others laugh and who enjoy life.”

Snape was eyeing me in a critical and calculating way that I wasn’t used to. “Hmm.”

“Hmm? That’s your response?”

“For now,” he said in a mysterious tone that annoyed me. Suddenly he changed topics. “What of Narcissa’s gift?”

“She gave me her Black family vault.”

“Yes, but that seemed to bother you.”

“It’s a lot of money.”

“I’m certain you will restrain yourself and not go on a spending spree for useless items.”

“It’s fifteen hundred Galleons.”

Snape paused for a minute, digesting that. “Perhaps a spend spree is acceptable then.”

“Wanting more petals?” I teased.

“For yourself. There are plenty of potions that I could make now. It truly was a rare gift.”

“I’m still not telling you how I got them.”

“I can make you write lines all day,” he threatened.

“Bring on the parchment and quills.”

“Such a Gryffindor attitude.”

“I do try.”

“Happy birthday by the way.”

“That’s not for two days.”

“I’m saying it early.”

“I don’t think that counts.”

“Shut up and start your lines.”

“Are you allowed to talk to a student like that?”

“Lines.”

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

New Years day I woke up only expecting one birthday gift. The same gift I received every year. It was on my bedside table, unwrapped with no card, the same as my last five birthdays. I picked up the chocolate frog box, examining it from every angle. It was a bit depressing knowing this was all that was left from a previous happier time. It was also comforting knowing that there had been a happier time and it wasn’t all just in my head.

Carefully I opened the box, being sure I didn’t rip it. I ate the frog and took out the wizard card, then closed the box again. I got up, noticing two small packages on my trunk. I set them on my bed and opened my trunk. In the third compartment I pulled out a box. I added the empty frog package to the other five and slipped the card into a small booklet I kept in here. I returned the box to the compartment and dug around the other items. At the bottom I found a long rectangular box. I pulled it out and opened the lid.

I’m not sure how long I stood there, staring at the wand but eventually Crookshanks brushed up against me. Startled, I closed the lid and sat the box back down and closed my trunk. Six years. I wondered if that sharp pain in my heart would still be there in sixty years.

I spent most of the day outside, eating only the two small cakes I received. One from Dimitri the other from Japan. In the late afternoon I heard someone approach me from behind.

“This seems a rather unfavorable spot to spend your birthday.” I turned around quickly to find Dumbledore there.

“I like it,” I responded as I turned away from him.

“Why is that?”

I shrugged. “Does there have to be a reason?”

“The reasons affect our choices. Our choices make us who we are.”

I sat there silently considering that. “You think I’m like him,” I finally said. “Like Sirius Black. Waiting in Gryffindor, baiting my time.”

“You seem to know quite a bit about him.”

“The result of being a curious child.”

Silence again.

“Are you like him?” Dumbledore asked sounding genuinely curious.

I could have given him a witty, sarcastic answer, I could have said yes just to see his response, I could have even said nothing at all. Instead I gave him the truth.

“I don’t know who I am. Isn’t that part of the reason for all this?” I said gesturing around me. “Seven years to figure out who you are.”

“It is,” Dumbledore said softly. “You should return to the castle, it will be dark soon. Perhaps we should stop by the kitchens for a mug of hot chocolate. I find that warms me up nicely on days like this.”

Not having anything better to do, I followed him. Plus knowing where the school kitchens were would be convenient.

 


Chapter 17: Chapter 17
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 17


A few days later the rest of the school returned and classes began. Hermione still spent a lot of time in the library, usually working on school assignments but sometimes I would find her pouring over old law books. Curious, I asked her about them. Reluctantly she told me the hippogriff that attacked Draco was being investigated at the request of Lucius. I knew Lucius well enough to know that if he had pushed this far for a trial, he was counting on winning. I told Hermione I would help her and spent all my extra time looking through old law books as well. Most of the time it was boring, every now and then I would find something useful and jot it down though.

Today it was the Ravenclaw/Slytherin quidditch match. It was only six in the morning so I was sitting on one of the common room couches reading a very musty book, looking for anything useful. Not thinking anyone would be up for a few hours, I was surprised to see Fred Weasley stumble down the boy’s staircase. He was still wearing his pajamas and his hair was disheveled. He plopped down on the couch beside me.

“Do you ever sleep?” he asked rubbing his eyes.

“It’s been known to happen once or twice a month,” I lightly teased.

“What are you doing?”

“Helping Hermione with something.” He mumbled something incoherent. “Huh?” I asked tearing my eyes away from the book to look at him.

“I said ‘do you know who I am?’”

“Here I thought I had won ‘guess the Weasley.’” He kept watching me, something about it sent a jolt through my stomach. “Yes Fred, I know who you are,” I said turning back to the book.

“Tell me how you know.”

“Subtle differences.”

“Plural then. Tell me one.” I sat back against the couch, watching him again.

“Your freckle.”

“Which one?”

“By your eye.”

“Which one?” he asked again with a small smile. I rolled my eyes and reached out to touch said freckle, right above his cheek bone.

“This one. George doesn’t have one.”

“Your hands are cold.”

“Sorry,” I said instantly drawing it back to my side thinking that I actually felt rather warm.

“Not complaining. Tell me another.”

“Mmm…George’s left ear sticks out a bit more than yours.”

“I’m always telling him that,” Fred said with a light chuckle. “Another?” I raised my eyebrow. “Last one, promise.”

“Your ring finger is longer than your pointer one, George is the opposite.”

Fred put his hands out in front of him, examining his fingers. “Who notices that?” he asked in an amused voice, causing me to blush a bit.

“This is why I don’t tell you,” I said reopening the book I’d been reading while frowning.

“Remember what I told you about smiling,” Fred teased, bringing up his hand to my cheek. I swatted him away.

“Nutter,” I muttered.

“Isn’t that why you like me so much?”

“Keep telling yourself that.”

“Going to the game today?”

“Gryffindor’s not playing.”

“Still, you could come. I could tell you the rules.”

“Just because I’m not into flying doesn’t mean I don’t know the rules,” I pointed out.

“Hmm…how about you just come for the joy of not having to read for a while?”

I rolled my eyes again. “You really don’t care for books, do you?”

“They’re boring. You can’t find reading an old musty book that’s a hundred times older than you that interesting.”

“One, I’m reading to help Hermione. Two, it’s only fifty times older than me.”

“Come to the quidditch match,” he insisted again. I looked at him again, he was grinning at me.

“Damn you,” I muttered. He laughed knowing he’d convinced me.

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

By the beginning of April, Hermione and I had gone through nearly all of the law books in the Hogwarts library. I’d even gone through books about how the trial would play out and created a guideline for the evidence we’d complied. There was one serious problem though, and I didn’t have the heart to mention it to Hermione – money. No matter how much evidence Hagrid had backing him up, Lucius had something stronger. It was unfair, corrupt, and completely out of our hands.

Lucius didn’t even care about the hippogriff or Draco I was certain, he just wanted to win. It frustrated me so much that I’d even given a fleeting thought to how many votes could be bought with 1.5k Galleons. No, I wasn’t really going to sink to Lucius’s level.

Hermione desperately needed a break. She was still not speaking to Weasley or Potter. Mostly Weasley it seemed. His rat had disappeared, presumably eaten by Crookshanks. Hermione should have watched her cat more, yes but throwing away your best friend because her cat had eaten your rat? This is why people annoyed me.

The amount of homework she had wasn’t helping matters either. I got stressed just looking at all of those books, charts, essays and random bits of parchment. Thankfully the Gryffindor/Ravenclaw match was close and she’d get at least a couple hours of free time.

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

Walking to the Great Hall, a figure appeared on each side of me.

“Coming to the match?”

“Yes George.”

“Excellent.”

“We’ll keep it exciting.”

“Just for you.”

“Don’t make it last all night, Hermione will go crazy not doing homework for that long,” I warned.

“You won’t be able to tell us apart while we’re flying,” Fred said smugly.

“You’re number four and George is number five.”

“How did you – “

“Oh, wouldn’t you love to know. Have a good game boys. I’ll be cheering for you.” I clapped their shoulders and left them standing there. Thank you Ginny Weasley for that small tidbit of information.

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

People are insane. I’m sitting in the stands and even I feel in danger. Honestly somebody was going to break their neck. How is this sport allowed but Fanged Frisbees aren’t? Bloody lunatics playing this game.

“You’re not very big on quidditch, are you?” Ginny Weasley asked half laughing. “You’re perfectly fine in the stands.” Oh hell, apparently I’d been talking out loud. Hermione looked amused as well.

“I don’t understand how broken limbs and concussions can be fun.”

“I guess you just have to try it,” Ginny replied shrugging.

“I’ll pass.” I’m not bloody likely to get on a broom again.

The game seemed pretty normal until three figures, robed in black, entered the field. They were dressed like Dementors, but it was obvious to me that they weren’t. A silvery mist from above hit the figures and they fell over. Yeah, obviously not Dementors. The next minute the game was over, Potter had caught the Snitch.

The figures turned out to be Slytherins, Draco being one of them. McGonagall had been laying into them as the Gryffindor house headed back to the common room for a party.

Parties, like dresses or skirts, aren’t really my thing. I sat in the far corner near Hermione who immediately began working. I was just watching other people. Everybody was congratulating Potter. I’m not sure why but it annoyed me.

“You’re supposed to be smiling. It’s a party after all.” I turned to see Fred Weasley holding out a Butterbeer. “For you,” he said.

“How in the world did you get all these Butterbeers?” I asked genuinely curious.

“Oh, wouldn’t you love to know,” he answered with a huge grin plastered on his face.

I rolled my eyes and accepted the bottle. “Git,” I muttered, making him laugh.

“Why are you over here?” Fred asked as he balanced on the window seat beside me.

“I’m not huge on parties.”

“What? Everyone loves a good party.”

“I’ve been to far too many sophisticated and proper parties. They kind of ruined the mood for me.”

“Ah, you definitely need to come to a Weasley party. Nothing proper or sophisticated about those.”

“I can’t imagine Percy enjoying those,” I said laughing.

“That’s what makes it even better.”

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

The party ended late and only when McGonagall had ordered us to bed. This meant I was late meeting Kuniye, she didn’t mention it though. Tsukino probably knew I would be late anyways, come to think of it. Halfway through a set of drills Kuniye stopped.

You need to go,” she said suddenly.

What’s happening?” I asked instantly.

It’s on your end.” I froze wondering what had happened. “Go now.

I sprinted to the estate gate, once I was clear of it the world dissolved and I woke up in my bed. I removed the spells from the hangings to open them. Hermione and Lavender were sitting up in their beds, Parvati was at the dormitory door. I could hear other girls and the sound of distant, confused voices.

“Something’s going on in the common room,” Parvati said. “Everybody’s heading down there.”

I walked past her and down the stairs, I could hear the other three behind me. Down in the common room were nearly all the Gryffindor students and McGonagall was speaking to Sir Cadogan.

The portrait had allowed Sirius Black to enter Gryffindor tower.

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

Everyone sat in the common room until dawn, when McGonagall returned. Sirius Black had escaped again. Some of the students went back to bed, too exhausted to stay awake. Others started whispering to the people around them. Not wanting to overhear any more ridiculous rumors, I went back to bed to lie down. I couldn’t sleep.

Twice Sirius Black had entered the castle, at least. It seemed probable that he was after Potter. Surely there were easier ways to kill someone. “Surely?” Who am I kidding, I could think of twenty ways right now that didn’t involve me entering Hogwarts. Something about Black’s behavior was off, I just didn’t know what.

An alarm went off, signaling that someone was pulling open my hangings. Quickly canceling the spells, I opened them myself and came face to face with Hermione.

“Oh,” she said startled. “I didn’t mean to wake you, it’s just Professor McGonagall said she needs to see you.”

“Yeah, ok,” I said sitting up. “I need five minutes to get ready.” Hermione nodded and left the room. As fast as possible I got dressed and headed down the staircase. I ignored the people in the common room and went straight for the portrait hole.

There were several teachers here and Filch. The portrait of the fat lady was leaning against the wall. McGonagall spotted me and summoned me over.

“With me Miss Lestrange,” she said sounding rather awkward.

I didn’t recognize where we were going until we were nearly there. She was leading me to Dumbledore’s office. Panic set in. A hundred things went through my mind, but nothing close to what awaited me.

McGonagall opened the Headmaster’s door and four people were already waiting. Dumbledore was there of course, and a man I didn’t know. Shacklebolt was there also but the last person, that was what set off every internal warning signal. It was Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic.

Effing hell.


Chapter 18: Chapter 18
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 18


Thank you Severus Snape for teaching me patience because honestly, my first thought was to pull out my wand. Reason set in thankfully, pulling my wand out would definitely not be taken well. I needed to wait, to play this carefully. Yeah, we’ll see how long that last.

“Miss Lestrange,” Dumbledore greeted in a solemn voice. He looked tired, like he hadn’t slept much, which considering the circumstances, was probably true. “Would you please have a seat.” I sat down in the chair he gestured to. McGonagall took a seat beside me, she didn’t appear pleased about the situation. “I should introduce our other guests. I’m certain you recognize Minister Fudge. Rufus Scrimgeour, head of the Auror Department. And Auror – "

“Auror Shacklebolt, I remember him,” I said, cutting off Dumbledore. Shacklebolt was sitting, notebook in hand. The Minister was also seated. Scrimgeour however, was leaning against the fireplace mantel, watching my every move.

“Yes, well Miss Lestrange, you will understand that we’d like to ask you a few questions. Considering the circumstances,” the Minister said, glancing between me and Dumbledore.

The circumstances being that my parents are Death Eaters, making me the perfect scapegoat because you’d never admit that maybe, just maybe the Dementors aren’t as competent as you tell the press they are. I had a very good idea where this conversation was going. I needed the upper hand, how though, that would take a bit. I was willing to patient…sort of.

“You can’t,” I replied in a bored voice.

“Excuse me?” Fudge seemed confused. How did he ever end up as Minister?

“I’m under seventeen. There are no parents and or guardians present, so no, you can not officially question me.”

“Yes, Shacklebolt mentioned you had…extensive Ministry regulation knowledge. I can see that includes Ministry laws also,” Scrimgeour said in a calculating voice. I disliked him immediately. This conversation slipped into a game, one I wouldn’t let the old Auror win.

“Are you requesting a guardian Miss Lestrange?” Dumbledore asked. I didn’t know which side Dumbledore was on, maybe he was just here to referee. McGonagall didn’t seem to be taking sides either. Three Ministry employees versus me? I could handle that, Lucius would only get in the way. So no, I did not want him here.

“I haven’t done anything wrong and I have nothing to hide.” Ok that was a lie. “So unofficially you’re more than welcome to ask away.” Fudge sent a small nod to Scrimgeour, now I knew my main adversary.

“How do you feel about your mother?”

“What?” How did that relate to me allegedly conspiring with Sirius Black?

“How do you feel about her? Would you like to see her again? Do you miss her?”

“I don’t know her. How can I miss her?” Seriously, I’d spent basically zero time with my mother. She wasn't the maternal sort. Most of what I knew about her was from my father's memories.

“Do you wish she was free?”

“She’s a lunatic who tortured people into insanity –"

“She’s still your mother. She gave birth to you, that creates a rather strong bond. Wanting to be with her, it seems natural. Most people would understand that.”

Did he really want to play it like this? It’s awfully amateur.

“There’s no motherly bond there. No lingering fantasies of a happy life with a caring mother because she doesn’t exist. Bellatrix Lestrange is a psychopath who will do anything and everything to get what she wants. She’s exactly where she belongs, where she deserves to be.”

“What would you do if she escaped?”

“What would I do as me or what would I do as you?”

Scrimgeour looked a bit surprised with that answer. “What would you do as yourself?”

“Me? Nothing. It’s not my job to keep criminals locked away, I’m fourteen. I’d be more worried about your efficiency at keeping people in prison.”

Scrimgeour was frowning now and watching me with narrowed eyes. “And if you were me. What would you do?” he asked next.

Not let another Death Eater escape? Seems like a good place to start,” I responded a bit sarcastically.

“What about your father?”

“What about him?

“Feel the same way about him as you do your mother?”

“Yes.”

“You didn’t ask about him when Auror Shacklebolt questioned you during the summer.”

“I’ve already explained that to Auror Shacklebolt. If you want to know, read his notes.”

“I want to hear it from you.”

I really wanted to roll my eyes at him. Annoying Ministry stooges trying to pass the blame. In my most bored voice I reiterated the summer conversation I’d had with Shacklebolt.

“My mother has more reason to come to the Malfoy Manor, my father doesn’t. He’d go elsewhere. The Lestrange Estate most likely. To which Auror Shacklebolt said, ‘You think Madame Lestrange would help him?’ Without a doubt, she’s a bit, you know, touched in the head. She’d probably throw a feast welcoming her precious son home. ‘A bit obvious place to go, isn’t it?’ I’m sure all those years in Azkaban muddled his brain. I don’t really know. I just can’t see any reason for him to come here.”

Scrimgeour looked pleased. Something about that small glint in his eye worried me.

“You’ve attended four different schools, correct?”

“Yes,” I answered unsure of where he was going with this.

“Expelled from three of them?”

“Yes,” I answered bitterly, refusing to break the eye contact between us.

“Why Hogwarts now?”

“There weren’t a lot of choices left.”

“You managed to get into Gryffindor house.”

“I was sorted into Gryffindor house.”

“Remarkable feat after the long line of Slytherins in your family. From your mother’s and father’s side.”

“Well every family needs its social outcast.”

“Your grandmother disowned you. Did that upset you?”

“No, she’s a nutter. I don’t care what she does.”

“Have you made many friends here?”

“I prefer solitude.”

“Why?”

“I don’t think that’s any of your business.”

“Do you want back in your family? To be accepted?”

“As I said, I don’t care what my grandmother does or thinks.”

“Maybe helping Sirius Black would change her opinion of you. Make her feel like you were worthy of the Lestrange name. Maybe if you help Black, he agrees to help you. If he can break out of Azkaban surely he can help your parents. You’d be considered a hero to them, no matter what Hogwarts house you were in. You already know enough Dark Magic to make them proud, you showed that at Salem. You have destructive streak, you showed that at Beauxbatons. You hate authority figures, you showed that at Durmstrang. You didn’t know Black would break out of Azkaban the year you started at Hogwarts, but it benefited you. He’s the means to your goal. Just as you’re the means to his end game.”

“Stop,” I said firmly.

“Why? Do you not like –"

“You’re embarrassing yourself. It’s depressing to watch. Anyone can pick and choose what evidence supports your theory. You want me to be this person, you’ll blindly ignore anything that goes against your view of me. Maybe the reason Sirius Black keeps escaping is because of your incompetence rather than some farfetched idea of me helping him.”

“You are the only one who benefits.”

“From what? Black has nothing I want. There’s no happily ever after, no fantasy of love and praise from my parents. I’m not a naive little girl waiting for mommy and daddy to swoop in and take me away.”

“I never believed for an instant there was anything naive about you. You know the procedures and regulations of the Ministry. You know the laws and you even know the exact spell to fight the Dementors back. Most of the wizarding population doesn’t fully understand one of those things, let alone all three. The fact that you can recite the same speech, nearly verbatim, about your father tells me one thing. You’ve practiced it over and over. Any time you’re questioned about it, you’ll always have that answer, a shield that protects you from suspicion. You’ve slipped up though, three times. Durmstrang, Beauxbatons, and Salem. The shield came down and when they saw a true glimpse of you, they removed you from their school.”

This was the most absolute, ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. And may I remind you, I’m a Lestrange who lived with the Malfoys nearly all my life. I’m used to hearing some crazy things. How anyone could string this together…well I guess it wasn’t unheard of…IF I WAS A COMPLETE NUTCASE. Unfortunately for Auror Scrimgeour I was not this delusional. Now, how do I gain the upper hand? Snape wasn’t going to like it, but you know what. The hell with it. Let’s go for something unconventional.

“Third cubicle from Moody’s door, right side.”

“Excuse me?”

“Twelve years ago, that’s where you sat. Third cubicle from Alastor Moody’s door, right side. Do you still have that photo of your wife and son at Paris? What about the one with your son at Platform 9 ¾?” Oh look, I managed to surprise Scrimgeour into silence. Too bad I didn’t have anything for the Minister, I did have something for Shacklebolt though. “Shacklebolt, fifth cubicle, left side,” I said shifting my attention to him. “It was raining that day, not a lot but your robes were damp. You were the third Auror to enter the Lestrange house, but the first to find me. I was hiding under the piano in the formal living room. You crouched down, held out your left hand because you had your wand in your right and told me that I could come out. That I didn’t have to be afraid anymore because you were the good guys. I asked about ‘mum and da,’ you told me they were gone and I said thank you.”

“How do you remember that?” Shacklebolt asked, sounding stunned.

“It’s the same reason I know every Ministry procedure, regulation and law. Why I can remember and repeat what I said months ago, verbatim. Every spell, jinx and charm, including the Patronus Charm. It’s also why seeing you at Malfoy Manor made me stop in my tracks, because I knew you were an Auror. And Aurors don’t just stop by to make small talk over tea.”

“You have a photographic memory,” Dumbledore said, sounding like he’d just figured out the last piece to a puzzle.

“Every memory since I was two.” I turned back to Scrimgeour now. “Your whole theory is based on me wanting my parents back, wanting their approval. Do you think I want the people who cast a Cruciatus Curse on me so I would stop crying back? Do you think I ever want to see them again? I saw the Prophet the next day, I still remember what Frank and Alice Longbottom looked like before my parents were through with them. Do you? You think it doesn’t occur to me everyday that if it wasn’t for my parents they would still be a happy family? I don’t want Bellatrix or Rodolphus Lestrange back, I hope they die in Azkaban. That’s what they deserve, along with every other Death Eater, including Sirius Black. And until then I hope they have to relive every bad memory just like I do.”

I kept telling myself I was only saying these things because I needed to. They were half truths, because surely I wasn’t as damaged as I sounded. I’d done the same thing with Lupin, hadn’t I? It was part of some diabolical plan, right? It didn’t matter what I said as long as I got through Hogwarts. I did this to keep the wolves at bay. Keeping the connection safe, protecting Snape, that’s what truly mattered. The knowledge of my photographic memory was a bone for them to chew on. I made myself look helpless and broken so I could slip away. No body suspects anything if I play my role correctly. Manipulation at it’s finest. Even Lucius Malfoy would be proud. And they made it so easy, only weak and feeble minded people are manipulated this easy. Seizing power was easy this way, and I could have so much power. I only needed to break free. Freedom from emotion – then I could have it all. All –

“Miss Lestrange?” Dumbledore’s voice was like being thrown in freezing water.

“Sorry. I haven’t slept yet, or eaten today come to think of it.” I need Snape. Now.

“Understandable. I believe you are finished here. Would you like Professor McGonagall to escort you to the Great Hall?”

“I’d prefer to go alone. I guess finding solitude won’t be a problem after tomorrow. Everyone’s going to know the Ministry thinks I’m helping Sirius Black. Thanks for that,” I said sarcastically as I stood up and faced Scrimgeour. “Friends are overrated anyways, right?”

Leaving Dumbledore’s office, feelings of claustrophobia and fear started setting in, making it hard to walk. I was glad that nearly the whole school was eating dinner. It would have been difficult to explain why I was stumbling around the corridors.

I’m not sure how I made it down to the dungeons. I was sliding down the steps by the end. I just knew I couldn’t risk anyone else finding me and taking me to the Hospital Wing. Near Snape’s office I slid to the floor, desperately sending out a mental call for help.

My eyes closed and I fell half asleep. It only felt like a few seconds had passed before I was being pulled to my feet. Alarmed, I tried to fight the person off.

“Stop,” a firm voice commanded. “It’s me.”

I looked up. It was in fact Severus Snape. He looked extremely worried. I should have said something, explained how I felt, what happened in Dumbledore’s office, anything that would help him understand. I could only manage two words though.

“Help me.”



 


A/N: Huh, fear and feeling closed in. I wonder who’s feeling that right after Sirius broke into Gryffindor tower. Also 3 more chapters, I’m very excited to start posting the 2nd story. Karkaroff, Moody, more good times with the Weasleys. Look for the first chapter within a few days.
 


Chapter 19: Chapter 19
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 19


I woke up on a firm bed in a darkened room, a familiar empty feeling in my body.

“You did it again,” I whispered, not even knowing if he was here.

“It was necessary,” came a response from my right.

“You keep worrying about my arm being injured and it killing me. Truth is, I’ll probably end up killing myself just to escape from the chaos.”

“I won’t let that happen.”

“You’ll just keep taking more until you die? What happens then?”

“I’m not going to die,” Snape said in an annoyed voice. It was comforting hearing him sound back to normal. “Who the hell is Dimitri?” Well damn.

“What time is it?” Yes, I was stalling and Snape probably saw right through it.

“You weren’t out very long. It’s only three in the morning.”

“Less than ten hours?”

“As I said, you weren’t out very long.”

“I don’t know what happened. One minute I was convincing Scrimgeour I wasn’t helping Black, the next it was a whole different me. After I left Dumbledore’s office I felt…trapped and terrified.” My mood changes aren’t that drastic over a short period of time unless something is seriously wrong.

“I have some theories, none of which I can prove definitively.”

“Dumbledore knows about –"

“I know.” Of course you know, you always seem to know.

“I’m sorry.”

“You have no reason to be.”

“I said too much.”

“You told the truth.”

“I said what I had to.”

“No. You told the truth.” There was a long silence before Snape spoke again. “You’re not damaged goods.”

“Huh?”

“You believe you are…damaged. Broken, unfit for the regular world. That’s why you try and isolate yourself –"

“That’s not true –"

“We both know it is. You fear if you get too close to someone they will see how damaged you are and abandon you. You’re allowed to let people in. You’re a good judge of character. You’ll know who’s worth the extra effort and who isn’t.”

“You sound like Dumbledore,” I muttered.

“If that’s what it takes to convince you.”

“I socialize with people.”

“Other damaged people.”

“So you’re damaged then?”

He paused before answering. “Yes,” he paused again before continuing, “Jade, don’t become like me.”

“There’s nothing wrong with you.” I responded instantly.

He let out a frustrated sigh. “Don’t become like me,” he repeated.

There was another long silence between us.

“I don’t know how to stop…this,” I said awkwardly. I wasn’t sure what this was, a nervous breakdown? Mental overload sounded better. I assumed Snape would know what I meant.

“I believe not bottling your emotions will help,” he replied.

“I can’t afford to be rash.” Hadn’t Snape always tried to get me to contain my emotions, why the change now? “You’re not making any sense. You’ve always told me to check my emotions, make sure I don’t let them override my mind. Isn’t that the key to mastering Occlumency, learning self control?”

“Yes, however during your teenage years, emotions are more…unstable. Keeping everything in, I believe that is affecting you. You shut everything down but it keeps building up. Eventually when you do allow some through, it overwhelms you.”

“Wouldn’t it be better just to never allow it through?” I asked in a small voice.

“No. It’s not practical. You know it’s not.”

“These aren’t just my emotions,” I pointed out, remembering how I felt during the last few minutes before Snape found me.

“No, they are not. That adds to your more volatile mood swings. You need to find something that acts as an outlet. That should lessen the more serious reactions.”

“Like something…physical?” Didn’t I already do this every other night? Of course Snape didn’t know about that. Running, meditation, even sparring. I’d been doing this for over a year. Tsukino knew, she had to know. Was that what this was for, to keep me sane? Annoying Japanese Seers.

“Something that won’t cause suspicion. I’m sure you are more than capable of finding something to do.”

“I should go back to Gryffindor tower.”

“That is perhaps…unwise at the moment.” I knew that tone.

“What happened?”

“Security trolls are posted by Gryffindor tower. For the fat lady’s protection.”

“What aren’t you telling me?”

“Portraits tend to frequently…gossip,” he said reluctantly.

“Everyone knows, don’t they? They think I’m helping Black.”

“Anyone who believes that isn’t worth the effort anyways.”

“I think I’d like to punch something now.”

“Unfortunately Scrimgeour and the Minister have already left.”

I snorted, “I think assaulting a high ranking Ministry official is a serious crime.”

“That doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.”

“You take Scrimgeour, I’ll take Fudge. We can have cells right next to each other.”

“A tempting offer.”

“It’s nice to know spending ten months of the year with kids hasn’t made you go soft.”

“Soft?” Snape scoffed. “If anything it has increased my disdain for people.”

“You’d never make it as a Hufflepuff.”

“Look who’s talking.”

“Touché.”

“You still haven’t told me who Dimitri is.”

Damn.

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

The next day whispers followed me around, well usually whispers. Some of the students were more vocal about it than others. Next to Ron Weasley being ‘attacked’ (is it really an attack if you're not even slightly injured?) by Black, me being questioned by the Minister of Magic was the most popular topic in school. Slightly altered story though, the Minister had barely said anything. I guess Minister out trumps head of the Auror Department.

After classes I skipped eating in the Great Hall, the kitchens were less annoying. Plus the house elves were happy to help me. I really appreciated Dumbledore showing me this, especially after my fourth helping of pudding. Imagine how fat Crabbe and Goyle would get if they knew where the kitchens were.

After eating one night I headed straight to the girl’s third year dormitory. I preferred to do my homework away from annoying stares and whispering voices. Using my history text book as a hard surface I began my Defense essay. Half way through Crookshanks jumped on my bed, meowing for attention. After a bit of shifting I was able to pet him with one hand and use my other to keep writing. Next I started my Charms homework. I was nearly finished when Hermione walked in.

She stopped when she saw me, looking surprised. “Sorry, I didn’t know you were in here,” she explained awkwardly. She retrieved something from her trunk then sat on her bed, eyes on the floor, biting her lip. Something about it made me feel uncomfortable.

“I didn’t,” I said suddenly. Hermione was one of Potter’s and Weasley’s best friends. She’d also been one of the few people who’d actually been friendly to me. I didn’t want her thinking I was helping Black get to Potter.

“Sorry?” she asked, looking up at me, confused.

“I didn’t help Black get into Gryffindor tower,” I said with a bit of a sigh.

“Oh of course not. I mean, how could you? You were with me nearly all yesterday and well, since Christmas really. Plus they questioned Sir Cadogan. You haven’t been sneaking out of the tower during the night. There would have been some proof if you’d been helping Black.”

Somehow, poking holes into her defense seemed like the wrong thing to do at the moment…or ever. Instead I replied with a sarcastic, “I don’t suppose you could inform the rest of the school about that.”

Hermione scoffed, “They’ll believe anything. It will die down in a bit when a new story comes along.”

“Sooner the better,” I muttered. Hermione was biting her lip again, like she wanted to say something else but didn’t know how. “Just say it,” I told her bluntly. She looked surprised again.

Why did they think it was you?” she finally asked.

Sometimes Hermione was too smart. Instead of wasting her time with rumors, she would be wondering why one student in particular was being questioned. Especially if one of the people questioning me was the Minister himself. I leaned back and let out a sigh, there was no reason to lie.

“My parents, they weren’t exactly…model citizens,” I admitted.

“They’re questioning you because of who your parents were?” she asked sounding appalled.

“As you can tell from my grandmother, the majority of my family has been, well not model citizens.”

“That hardly seems fair to –"

“Life isn’t fair.”

“Still, you shouldn’t be judged by how your parents were. I’m starting to see how unjust and hypocritical the magical world can be,” she said frowning.

I let out a derisive laugh, “Oh, you have no idea.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Over the next week nobody but Hermione and Ginny Weasley spoke friendly to me. I also noticed Ginny glaring at the people who would whisper and stare at me wherever I went. A bit curious, I asked Hermione about it privately. Apparently Ginny had something similar happen to her at the end of last year, after the whole Chamber of Secrets ordeal.

First a giant snake petrifying people then an escaped convict? With Hogwarts and my luck mixed together, I’ll be surprised if the school is still standing by my seventh year.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

On Sunday morning, just two very long weeks since my meeting in Dumbledore’s office, I headed down to the common room. I normally stayed here until seven, when I would go to the Great Hall for an early breakfast. Not paying much attention while I was reading, I sat down on one of the couches. It was lumpy and let out a groan, I jumped up immediately. It was Fred Weasley, sprawled over the couch. I’d just woken him up.

“Why are you sleeping on a couch?” I whispered furiously.

He rubbed his eyes and tilted his head. “No worries about squashing me then.” I sent a glare as he stood up and stretched. “Morning to you too,” he said sarcastically. He fell back on the couch with a yawn.

“Why are you on a couch at six in the morning?” He squinted, looking back up at me. Then he patted a spot beside him, indicating that I should sit. Rolling my eyes I sat down at the far end of the couch. “Happy?”

“You’re very hard to catch, you know.”

“Excuse me?”

“You, I’ve been trying to catch you for two weeks. Bloody impossible to find. I even went to the library, got kicked out before I went too far in though –"

“What were you doing to get kicked out?”

“This time? Nothing. Honestly, one dung bomb and she never forgets –"

“You set off a dung bomb in the library?”

“Well no, it was George the last time –"

Last time?

“There may have been one or two previous incidents. We’re getting off track though. What’s with the two minute meals and spending the night in your dorm?”

“Seriously?” I asked annoyed.

“So everyone thinks you’re helping a psychopath,” Fred said shrugging. “It could be worse.”

“How?” I asked sarcastically.

“Hmm…I could slip Percy some love potion with essence of you. Pretty sure fighting off a lust driven Percy is traumatic enough.”

I scoffed, “It would be funnier if it was Filch.”

“You want Filch lusting after you?” Fred said sounding disgusted. I reached over and slapped him on the back of his head. “Oi!”

“Percy after Filch, you git.” The grin on his face told me he’d known what I’d been talking about the first time and was playing with me. I went to hit him again but he quickly grabbed my arm and pulled me over to him. His other arm came around my shoulders and I was pinned against his chest. The action surprised me so much, I froze.

“That was not very nice,” he said in a patronizing tone. “You could have hurt me.”

“It would take a lot more than that to damage your thick skull,” I replied, making him laugh. He has a nice laugh. My face warmed at this thought and I was glad he couldn’t see it from this angle.

“I reckon, if you stopped worrying about the detentions, you’d be an excellent prankster.”

“Not going to happen.”

“Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday you’ll see,” he said confidently.

“Don’t hold your breath.”

“Hmm…” I could feel his head on top of mine. Suddenly, “Your hair smells delicious.”

“It’s coconut, you nutter,” I said half laughing.

“It’s making me hungry.”

“Fred?”

“Yes?”

“You’re acting creepy.”

“Huh.” There was a short pause, then the sound of him taking in a giant whiff of my hair. I burst out laughing, then quickly remembered that the rest of the house was still sleeping. Laughing with me, Fred let go and I moved back to the end of the couch.

“You’re such an idiot,” I said, still smiling.

“Thank you,” he said sincerely, putting a hand over his heart. He was quiet for a minute until he finally asked, “So, what was it like?”

“What?”

“Being interrogated by the Minister.”

“He hardly talked,” I answered, rolling my eyes.

“Oh? Dumbledore then?”

“Aurors.”

“Aurors? Bloody hell, mum would skin us alive if that happened to us.”

“I’m not helping him,” I said quietly. At the moment, Fred believing I wasn’t a criminal seemed very important.

He turned to give me an odd look. “Course you aren’t, you’re not a lunatic.”

I sent him a small smile. “Thanks. That’s three so far, rest of the school to go.”

“Four counting George and I’m sure there are more. Everyone will forget about it soon enough, don’t worry. Last year everyone thought Harry was the heir of Slytherin for a while. You’ll be fine.”

“Thanks,” I muttered, feeling a bit warm. “Did you really sleep on a couch all night just to talk to me?”

“You’re worth it,” he said as he sent me a wink.
 


Chapter 20: Chapter 20
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 20


Fred and Hermione had been right, by Easter break everyone was talking about the final quidditch match of the season and not me. Hermione had also made up with Ron Weasley and Potter. She began spending most of her time between them and school work. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit disappointed, but I knew they were best friends and shrugged it off.

There was an advantage to Hermione’s absence. I was able to disappear easily after dinner. Tsukino had told Kuniye, who then told me that yes, she did know that a bit of a workout in the physical world would be beneficial. It was frustrating that something was being held back from me, however I doubted they would tell me anytime soon and I was in no position to force it out of them. I could also appreciate that physical strength was important. Dimitri used his for an advantage. I’d never be as strong as him but being able to survive if I lost my wand? That’s what I was aiming for.

A handy spell that would summon a small punching bag and a pair of gloves had been conveniently left on my bedside table one morning. I began using it every night, just starting small because apparently all the work I’d done while sleeping didn’t transfer over to the real world very well. Had it been all useless then? Well not quite, according to Kuniye, it helped memorize movements and drills so I could anticipate what I needed to do next. Now I just needed to get my body up to the same level. Running would have been a good choice too, more stamina was never a bad thing, but with all the security for Black, it wasn’t an option. During the summer I could run, Malfoy Manor certainly had enough property.

Not everything was looking up though, Hagrid had lost his case. I knew he would, that didn’t make it any better. What had Hermione said? The magical world was ‘unjust and hypocritical.’ With people like Lucius who could buy their way through life it certainly was a corrupt place. There was nothing I could do, if Buckbeak just disappeared one night they would obviously assume it was Hagrid. Plus, how do make a hippogriff understand that it has to go into hiding? Stupid Lucius Malfoy, wish I could summon a punching bag shaped like his head.

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

Tomorrow was the big game and everyone was acting crazy. It was kind of funny in that awkward ‘what the hell is going on, did that person just sprout leeks from their ears,’ funny. Little fights were breaking out all over during the past few days. Some Slytherin seventh years had even tried to curse me as I was walking to Gryffindor tower.

They ended up in detention when Professor Flitwick caught us. I’d lost twenty points but Flitwick did mention it was a rather nice piece of wand work. Thank you Russian Charms book for teaching me how to make hair and skin flash bright red and gold alternately every second. Changing their uniforms into diapers was also enjoyable. The best part had to be when Flitwick had said he needed to speak with Professors McGonagall and Snape about the incident. Before he cancelled the spells, the Slytherins had been forced to stand in the entrance hall while Flitwick retrieved our Heads of House from the Great Hall. Quite a few other students had walked by, gawking and laughing. Someone even took a photo.

Fred and George were delighted and blew up the photo, hanging it in the common room. They told me twenty points was definitely worth it. Fred grabbed me from behind and told me proudly that he knew this day would come. I pushed him away smiling and telling him to bugger off. It hadn’t dampened his spirits though. Tonight he and George were making even more of a ruckus than normal. I wonder if anything really upsets them.

Walking into the Great Hall the next day I was surrounded by a sea of red and gold. Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff were cheering for Gryffindor too. Heading for a seat at Gryffindor table I saw the Weasley twins and the rest of the quidditch team leaving.

“Good luck,” I whispered to the twins as they passed. They both nodded and George slapped Fred of the back while smirking. I turned and noticed George whisper something in Fred's ear.

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

This was a rather dirty game, even I could tell that. The Slytherin team was doing whatever it took to win, usually ending up giving Gryffindor a foul shot. When Draco grabbed Potter’s broom I narrowed my eyes furiously. Did Draco resort to cheating to win now? The Weasleys were getting a work out too. Bludgers were flying all over the place. Finally the snitch was caught, by Potter of course. A small part of me was disappointed that he had until I remembered the dirty plays by the Slytherins.

The party in the tower that night went on and on. Even Percy was having a good time. Fred and George set off a few fireworks and brought up a ton of food from the kitchens. I watched them from the corner of the room, they always seemed to be entertaining people, enjoying being the center of attention. Honestly I hated large groups of people. I preferred to be silent in the background. Maybe growing up with lots of siblings made you more likely to crave attention.

I leaned my head against the window beside me imagining what it would have been like growing up in the Weasley household. A lot more fun I’m sure. Not having to act so proper, you could talk freely to your parents. Your money and public image weren’t as important as love and acceptance. It seemed like a bizarre life to me, I guess I’ve spent far too much time with the Malfoys. Letting out a sigh, I reached up to rub my shoulder.

“Why do I always find you frowning?” I turned to find Fred beside me.

“I’m not sure,” I answered. Ugh, I sounded pathetically depressed, I didn’t want that. “Don’t worry about it. Enjoy your night. Congratulations on the win,” I said in a fake cheerful voice. This made Fred start frowning. “Really, I’m fine. Thank you for being concerned though.” Then I sent him a smile.

“You’re a horrible liar.”

“I’m an excellent liar,” I responded instantly.

“Tell me why you’re upset.”

“You didn’t bring any cheesecake,” I said thinking up a quick answer. Fred looked at me skeptically, ok maybe that wasn’t my best lie.

“Come on,” he said holding out his hand. I looked at him, confused. “Trust me.”

I didn’t grab his hand but I did get up and follow him. He led us out the portrait hole and past the security trolls who leered at us.

“This is a horrible idea,” I whispered through the dark. “It’s eleven at night, teachers are bound to be patrolling.”

“We’re not going to get caught,” Fred replied as he pulled me behind a tapestry.

“One of your secret passages?”

“Course.” We must have walked down several floors, though I wasn’t sure how many exactly. We came out in a dark corridor that I couldn’t make out clearly. “Nearly there,” Fred assured me. He stopped in front of a statue at the end of the corridor. “Loki,” he whispered, making the statue move. “Ladies first.” He gestured me to slip in the gap then slid inside after me. The statue moved back in place and Fred started leading the way again.

“Well no wonder you never get caught,” I said sarcastically, making him chuckle. This passage was much shorter and flat. We came out in a dimly lit hall that I did recognize. We walked towards a familiar fruit bowl painting.

“Now this, this is one of George’s and my greatest secrets.”

“Tickling a pear?”

Fred looked me with narrowed eyes. “Well if you’re going to ruin the moment.” He tickled the pear which turned into a green handle. He opened it and indicated that I should go in first.

“Sorry for ruining some of the mystery,” I said as I walked past him.

“How’d you find out?” he asked curiously, following me inside and closing the door.

“My secret.”

“Hmm,” he said suspiciously. A handful of house elves approached us. “Could we get a cheesecake? And two forks?” Fred asked them.

“Did we really just risk detention for some cheesecake?”

“Pfft, you’re the one who wanted it,” Fred said, sitting down at one of the tables. I sat down beside him and the elves placed a whole cheesecake in front of us along with two forks.

“Thanks,” I called out as they retreated. I picked up a fork and dug in on the opposite side of where Fred had started.

“So…cheesecake,” Fred pondered while taking another bite. “Does your mum make this for you?”

“No,” I answered harshly.

“Right, don’t mention her again I suppose,” Fred said delicately.

“I don’t live with her,” I explained, feeling slightly guilty for snapping at him.

“Ah…dad?”

“They’ve been gone since I was two,” I said, reaching up to rub my shoulder. “I live with my aunt and uncle.”

“Oh, er…sorry,” Fred said awkwardly.

“Don’t be, I’m not.” Rather pitiful life when you prefer Lucius Malfoy over your own parents.

“You don’t miss them?”

“No.” I really didn’t like where this conversation was going. “You know you’re missing your own party,” I stated, attempting to change the subject.

“You’re more interesting to talk to.” I scoffed. “You are! You with your endless wisdom. You’re discreet about it, but I’d bet all my gold you’re even smarter than Hermione.”

“I did say before, we aren’t comparable,” I told him, rolling my eyes.

“I’m still trying to figure that part out.”

Dumbledore already knew, along with McGonagall. I guess Fred and others knowing didn’t particularly matter any more. “She has to work at remembering things. I just need to see it,” I explained.

“See it?” he asked confused.

“Photographic memory. Once I see it, I never forget.”

“Never?” he questioned skeptically.

“I can repeat that book I made you word for word if you’d like.”

“Bloody hell,” he said impressed. “You never have to study, useful gift to have.” Everyone always thought of the positive first, never considering that there may be things in your life that you want to forget. “You’re frowning again,” Fred pointed out, bewildered.

“Sorry. Bit of a habit.”

“Frowning is a habit?”

It develops when you have a less than stellar life. “Really, that’s just how I look when I’m thinking.”

“What were you thinking about?”

“Slytherins,” I blurted out. Really? That’s the best I could think of?

“I can definitely understand the frowning now,” Fred said seriously. “What about them? Not those blokes who were trying to curse you?”

“No, not them. Their quidditch team. They were playing dirty, nearly cheating. Where’s the joy in winning if you cheat for it?”

“Huh, they are Slytherins. Normally they just care that they do win, not how,” he responded thoughtfully.

“Still, I don’t know, I just can’t see the ends justifying the means.”

“And that is precisely why the Sorting Hat placed you in Gryffindor.” Both Fred and I jumped and turned around quickly.

“Professor Dumbledore,” Fred exclaimed, sounding worried.

“Mr. Weasley. Miss Lestrange,” Dumbledore greeted pleasantly. “I must admit, I’m surprised to find the both of you down here. I’m sure the rest of Gryffindor house is partaking in a rather eventful party.”

“Ah, well cravings Professor,” Fred joked, indicating the half eaten cheese cake.

“I see. I must admit that is the reason I am up at this hour as well,” Dumbledore responded while taking a seat across from us. “Perhaps a slice of what they are having,” he told the elf who approached.

It was beyond strange sitting here in the Hogwarts kitchens in the middle of the night, eating cheesecake with Dumbledore. Fred seemed to be adjusting to it well. “Congratulations on your victory Mr. Weasley, I have not seen Professor McGonagall so overjoyed in many years.”

“Thank you sir. Oliver’s probably as overjoyed about it too.”

“Yes, Mr. Wood’s dedication is unmatched by most of the quidditch players I have seen lately.” Silently I wondered if Fred had many late night meetings like this or if he was very good at acting casual. “And how are you Miss Lestrange?” Dumbledore asked.

“I haven’t been questioned by Aurors in a while so pretty well I suppose.”

“Yes, well Rufus wanted to be sure about any possible assistance being given to Black. He prefers to question people first hand even though I informed him that I did not believe you were helping Black.”

“You told him that?” I asked doubtfully.

“Of course.”

“I don’t get you,” I said after a minute of silent eating.

“Hmm?” Dumbledore asked inquisitively.

“Normally I meet people and I can tell what sort of person they are within ten minutes. You? I can’t figure you out at all,” I replied honestly.

“Perhaps we are cautiously trying to figure each other out.”

“And what have you figured out about me?”

“That you are not what I expected. What might I ask, have you figured out about me?”

“That you enjoy midnight snacks.” Fred choked on his food, laughing. Dumbledore smiled and seemed to ponder my observation.

“I should do a more thorough job, you are clearly ahead of me,” Dumbledore said thoughtfully. He finished his slice of cheesecake and stood. “You should return to Gryffindor tower. I believe Professor Snape is prowling for any students out of bed. He’s taken this loss very hard.” Fred and I finished the last bites and stood as well. “Good night,” Dumbledore called as we went our different ways in the hall.

“Bloody hell,” Fred said as we slipped into the first passage way. “That was surreal.”

“You can tell your children someday about the night you sat eating a midnight snack with Dumbledore,” I teased.

“Long as mum doesn’t find out, she’d probably go bonkers.”
 


Chapter 21: Chapter 21
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 21


I was used to this part of the year. Everyone huddled over notes, trying to remember various dates and wand movements. Hermione seemed to handle it the worst though, especially with all of her classes. People quickly learned not to bother her or the table she spread all of her work over. I wonder how she’s going to act before the O.W.L.s. Speaking of studying for the O.W.L.s.

“A sure sign of the end of the world if you two are studying,” I teased, standing over Fred and George.

“Ugh,” George mumbled, tossing down the notes he’d been reading.

“We need at least one O.W.L. or we have to repeat,” Fred said miserably.

“Don’t suppose you’d lend us that gift of yours?” George asked me.

“What classes are you planning to take next year?”

“As few –”

“–as possible.”

“Of course,” I said rolling my eyes. “Hmm…joke shop. Charms and Herbology. I’d go for Care of Magical Creatures too. I’m sure Hagrid will have some interesting things for N.E.W.T classes. Potions would –”

“No Potions,” they said firmly in unison.

“You didn’t even let me finish.”

“NO –”

“–POTIONS.”

“I was going to say you could learn easier out of a book if you followed the directions correctly, making Potions not worth the effort.”

“Anything would be better –”

“–than two more years –”

“–with Snape.”

“Defense might be a good choice. I’m sure Lupin’s prepared you well enough. Transfiguration, although interesting, would be quite a bit of work,” I suggested.

“Probably.”

“So Charms.”

“Herbology.”

“Care of Magical Creatures.”

“Defense.”

“Sounds good.”

“Only four.”

“That’s two each.”

Both of you in all four,” I said, interrupting their conversation. They looked at me like I was mad. “Four O.W.L.s will go over easier on your mother than two a piece.”

“Fair point.”

“Four it is.” They tossed the unrelated books and notes aside.

“How did you even get these notes?” I asked.

“Nicked ‘em,” they responded in unison.

“Of course you did.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I didn’t have much trouble with most of the finals, alright, I had no trouble. McGonagall’s did have some rather advanced questions on it, some of which I knew we hadn’t discussed in class. Defense Against the Dark Arts was the only one that provided any issues. Lupin had set up an obstacle course outside. We had to make our way through it, avoiding the traps the creatures tried to lure us into. I was doing fine until the end. A boggart. Thankfully no one else was able to see it.

The first thing I did was strengthen my mental barriers. Of course that had no affect, stupid boggarts. It quickly changed into Draco who opened his mouth to speak. I froze. If the boggart was really talking or not I had no idea, I was fixed on the eyes, Draco’s eyes. Accusing eyes. I always avoided looking Draco in the eyes, I was too much of a coward. I didn’t want to see that look in his eyes, a look that screamed ‘it was your fault.’ Here that boggart was looking at me with those eyes, it broke my heart.

Use your bloody wand,’ a voice that sounded suspiciously like Snape sneered. It snapped me out of my trance. “Riddikulus,” I said, aiming my wand at the Draco-boggart. I left, trying to put what happened out of my mind. This seemed to be the end of the course since Lupin was waiting here, grade book in hand.

“Well done,” he said kindly.

Potter was with him so I gave a quick nod, muttered “Thanks,” and left.

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

There were whispered conversations all throughout the Great Hall. And I mean all throughout. Wondering what it was about, I sat across from the Weasley twins.

“What’s going on?” I asked immediately. They shared an awkward look.

“Er…Professor Lupin.” I went rigid, fearing the worst.

“Turns out he’s a werewolf,” Fred said.

“What happened?” Surely he would have been taking Wolfsbane, making him harmless, but something could have gone wrong.

“Er…everyone knows that he’s a werewolf?” George said unsure.

“Is that it?”

“Wait, you knew?

“It was a bit obvious. Now answer the question,” I said briskly.

“He’s quit.”

I frowned. “He didn’t attack anyone?”

“Well no, there was a bit about Sirius Black –”

“What about him?” I asked instantly.

“I guess they caught him, then he escaped again.”

“The Dementors are gone too, they tried to attack Ron, Harry, and Hermione I heard.”

“What?!”

“Yeah, crazy, I know.”

“How does Lupin fit into all of this?” I asked, trying to work out everything they were telling me.

“No idea. Slytherins found out about Lupin this morning –”

“How did they find out?”

“Snape –”

“Snape?”

“Er…I guess he let it slip.”

“Yeah, ‘slip’ that’s rich. You can tell he hates Lupin, the greasy git.”

“I have to go,” I said, standing up even though I’d only been sitting for five minutes.

“There’s a Hogsmeade visit today –” I didn’t hear the rest.

Quickly I headed to Snape’s office, growing more and more furious. The door burst open before I even touched it. I slammed it shut behind me. Snape glared at me from behind his desk.

“Knock before –” he started angrily.

“How dare you?!”

“Do not –”

“You let it slip? Is that what happened? You just ruined a man’s chance at a normal life because you slipped up?!”

“Do not presume to have all the facts,” Snape snapped at me.

“All the FACTS?! Which ones are those?! That you hated him?! That you tried before to tell everyone?!”

“What I do is not your concern.”

“You destroyed a man’s life! You may not have liked him but he was a good man,” I said furiously.

“Stop coddling Lupin.”

“Showing someone respect isn’t coddling!”

“He doesn’t deserve any respect, from anyone. I refuse to show him any.”

“He’s been one of the best teachers all year!”

“Yes, learning about monsters from another monster. How lovely it must have been,” Snape mocked.

“He is not a monster! He deserves to be judged on his actions, not on one thing he had no control over! You think he wanted to be like this?!”

“He deserves to be locked in a cage!”

“Oh, you’re one to talk, look at what you’ve done! Should we all judge you based on that?!”

“DO NOT COMPARE ME TO THAT MONSTER!”

“YOU’RE RIGHT, IT’S NOT COMPARABLE! LUPIN DIDN’T HAVE A CHOICE IN THE MONSTER HE BECAME! CAN YOU SAY THE SAME?!”

I stormed out of Snape’s office, slamming the door again on my way out. I headed up the stairs, filled with rage. Snape had no right. Lupin wasn’t a monster and he’d never have a normal life all because of Snape. The other students were right, Snape was a greasy, bitter old man. He didn’t deserve freedom, if anyone was dangerous in this school it was Snape. He should be rotting with the other Death Eaters in Azkaban.

I found myself in front of Lupin’s office. I knocked rather hard and didn’t wait for an answer before opening the door. Lupin was packing his belongings and looked surprised to see me.

“Miss Lestrange?”

“Don’t let him win.”

“Him who?”

“Snape. The other students. Anyone actually, anyone who thinks less of you because of who you are.”

“How long have you known?”

“Months.”

“I see. I should thank you and Miss Granger for keeping it to yourselves.”

“You’re one of the best teachers here.” Lupin stared at me a minute before responding.

“I knew Frank and Alice Longbottom, not as well as I should have, but I considered them amongst my friends. I remember reading what happened to them in the Prophet the next morning. I remember feeling guilty that Neville would never know his parents like I had. And I remember hating the Lestranges. Voldemort was gone but lives were still being ruined, it shouldn’t have been that way. Not once did I think about you. I don’t think many, if any did.”

“Dumbledore told us, all the teachers, about your transfer to Hogwarts. He told us to watch you. I thought you would be like them, your parents. You look so much like your mother. On the train you surprised me. When you were sorted into Gryffindor and when we spoke in here you stunned me. Harry Potter and to an extent Neville Longbottom will always be judged by the brave acts of their parents. People will try and judge you based on yours. Don’t let them, you are nothing like them. Yes, you’ve made mistakes, everybody has though. You have so many options with your intelligence and character. Don’t ever let someone hold you back because of where you came from. If you keep working and keep your integrity intact, your last name won’t matter anymore because people will just see you and what you’ve worked hard for.”

“I’d say that this isn’t fair but I think we both know life isn’t fair,” I said with tears rolling down my cheeks.

“No. No it is not,” Lupin replied with a sad smile.

“You have more integrity than most of the people I’ve met.”

“Thank you. I would say the same goes for you.”

“Here everyone’s been telling me that being expelled reflects badly on me,” I said sarcastically.

“Ah, well,” Lupin said with a light laugh. “You’re still at Hogwarts, that counts for something.” Lupin stuck out his hand. “It was a pleasure teaching you this year, Miss Lestrange.”

“I enjoyed being your student,” I said shaking his hand. “I’m glad you didn’t poison the chocolate,” I added as an afterthought.

“I’m glad you had a plan for if I did,” Lupin said with a laugh.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I wandered mindlessly down a few corridors before I came to a stop in front of a large window. I rubbed my eyes and sighed while staring out over the grounds.

“Miss Lestrange.”

“Sometimes I get the impression that you’re following me, Professor Dumbledore,” I said, not bothering to even turn around.

“We do seem to run into each other quite a bit,” Dumbledore replied as he moved beside me. “You know, there was once a boy from a family very much like yours. He too was sorted into Gryffindor and later disowned from his family. He also could not escape from the prejudice held towards his last name.”

“Doesn’t this story end with him becoming a Death Eater and killing thirteen people?” I asked in a bored voice.

“For a long time, I thought it did. I was very wrong, we all were. I am determined not to make that mistake again, Miss Lestrange, with you or anybody else.”

“Huh, not a Death Eater after all.”

“You don’t sound surprised.”

“When they came to question us, Lucius’s behavior, it was off. Narcissa’s too. I suspected they knew something. Didn’t realize what though.”

“You are rather perspective for your age.”

“I try.”

“Why were you really expelled from Durmstrang?” I turned to look at Dumbledore, surprised by his question. I considered lying to him, but the hell with it.

“I broke about half the school rules finding out how much of a greasy git Karkaroff really was. I didn’t want Lucius to know, so I took the expulsion. A friend promised he’d have someone watching Karkaroff full time so he wouldn’t get away with anything unpunished again.”

“I see,” Dumbledore said thoughtfully. “Thank you for your honesty. I do look forward to seeing you next year,” he said sincerely.

“I look forward to unraveling more of the mystery around you next year, sir”

Dumbledore nodded. “You know where to find me. I do enjoy late night snacks.”

As I watched him stroll down the hall, I couldn’t help but admit, out of all the people I’d met over the past year, Dumbledore was by far the strangest. But you know what? I kind of liked it that way.
 

 

 

A/N: Yes, that is the end. I might have been too lazy to think of a King's Cross ending, I don't think this is too terrible though. There's no Sirius Black in this story, I'm sorry if you were expecting him. Jade is more on the outside of the main Harry Potter events going on. Next year I promise she interacts with the trio a bit more. I'm actually submitting the first chapter of the next story right after this so check on my page for part 2, Jade Lestrange: A Death Eater's Daughter.

Leave a review, let me know what you think and thanks for reading (b'-')b


http://www.harrypotterfanfiction.com