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    Zenia and Harry headed back to their houses as the sun began to set. Their conversation had turned to a heavier topic.


    There was a slight pause as Harry thought about his next question. “Are you a witch?”


    “Yeah. Well, kinda.”


    “Kinda?”


    “It’s complicated.”


    “Care to explain?”


    “Not really. Not yet anyway. I want to get to know you better.”


    “Okay. Fair enough.”


    They went up to Zenia’s front door. “Bye.” Zeke chattered his goodbye. Harry leaned over and kissed her on the cheek.


    “Tomorrow right?” Zenia asked smiling.


    “Yeah. Tomorrow.” And Harry ran across the street.


    ~~~~


    Zenia slipped into the house and quietly up to her room. The room was big and white. Very boring. Her bed had been set up and took up most of the wall opposite the two windows near the door. The hangings for the canopy were on the floor around the bed. Three gallons of paint stood at the end of the bed along with painting supplies. Zeke hopped onto his living space on the oak dresser. He chirped, as he made sure everything was in its place.


    Zenia checked the colour of her paint and accessories. Every thing was in its place. Her parents had talked to Albus Dumpledore and had gotten her sorted before the summer holiday so she wouldn’t have to be up on stage with all of the first years. She was in Griffindor and had requested that her room be decorated in a similar fashion to the dormitories so she wouldn’t feel out of place or homesick when she got to school. Zenia’s parents had agreed, giving her funds to buy new furniture and decorations. Dumpledore had even given her a poster of the Griffindor house Quidditch team for her wall.


    Sighing Zenia picked up a paint roller. Knowing she would never get to sleep that night she resigned to painting her room Griffindor gold.


    ~~~~


    Harry opened the door expecting a reprimand. He was right. Vernon Dursley stood right inside the door and grabbed the collar of Harry’s oversized shirt dragging him into the family room. Petunia Dursley sat on the couch with her lips pursed over her horsy teeth.


    “Boy, you are grounded to this house for the rest of the summer. You are to have no contact with the neighbours and no contact other than the necessary notes to those freaks to say that we are treating you right. Now go to your room. Tomorrow we will discuss the chores you will be doing for your aunt and what you told the neighbours about us. Go!”


    Harry’s temper flared. He stood up defiantly. “You ground me and I tell my friends that I am not being treated properly and they will come in full force and take me away.” He turned and started towards his room. Part of the way to the door he turned around and yelled even louder. “And it doesn’t matter what I told her because she and her parents ARE magical you idiot Muggles.” And he stormed up to his room leaving his stunned aunt and uncle in his wake.


    Harry slammed his door hard enough to break the frame. He stalked past Hedwig and grabbed a quill. Papers flew about as Harry looked for a spare bit of parchment on which to write his note. He opened his bottle of black ink and scribbled a quick note to Lupin:


    Dursley’s grounded me for talking to my new neighbours. Their past groundings usually meant that I didn’t get a ton to eat and had to do chores all day. Just thought you should know. Please come to get me as soon as possible! If there’s anyway the girl across the street could come with us then that would be great. From the sound of it her dad may be part of the Order. Her name is Zenia and she hates Voldemort too.



    Come get me!



    Harry



    Harry took Hedwig out of her cage and talked to her as he tied the note to her stuck out leg. “Take this to Remus okay? I’m not sure where he is. Check headquarters, check the Burrow. If you can’t find him at those two places then leave the note with the Weasley’s and bring back a reply with the day they are coming to get me. Peck them if you have to.” She nipped his hand affectionately and took off into the night with a single silent flap of her ghostly wings.


    Harry began throwing things into his trunk. Almost two days into summer term and he hoped that he was getting taken away with in the week, hopefully tomorrow.

    He stopped for a second and looked at his horrible packing job. Several books were open and laying over the sides and among a tangle of school robes. The Monster Book of Monsters struggled so hard at it’s bond near the bottom of the trunk that they whole thing had begun to shake. One tie lay haphazardly half-in half-out of the trunk looking more like a maroon and gold snake than a necktie.
    He sighed and took everything out then began repacking the trunk with his cauldron on the bottom, his books stacked neatly so he could read the titles.

    All of the glass containers of ink including his neat one that changed colours as you wrote were tucked inside of socks, as were all of his left over potion ingredients. They sat at the bottom of the cauldron with his robes and uniforms folded neatly on top. His ties lay on top of that and his civilian clothes on top of those. Harry made a mental note to take Zenia shopping so he could buy some clothes that actually fit and weren’t four sizes too big.


    ~~~~


    Zenia woke up in a tangle of sheets and comforters on her mattress. Her room was painted and the hangings were up around her bed. She had to have been up till six in the morning to get everything done. Of course she might have used some magic along the way…but no one would ever know…


    She threw on a dressing robe and followed her nose in the direction of breakfast. Her mother was in the kitchen cooking. Her father sat at the table with no less than four newspapers in front of him. He was sipping a cup of coffee and analysing the latest stock jumps for his clients.


    Zenia went and poured herself orange juice as she waited for bacon and pancakes. She snagged The Daily Prophet from her dad’s pile of already read papers and stared at the front page.


    FUDGE SACKED! NEW MINISTER INSTATED read the headline. A picture of a lion-ish looking man stared at her with a smirk on his face. The caption read: Rufus Scrigmore, successor to former Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge. Zenia scanned the page and decided that having a new Minister of Magic was a good idea in theory but doubted that Scrigmore would do a better job than Fudge. He may be stronger and believed that Voldemort was back and had a purpose but he probably couldn’t tell a Death Eater from a cabbage and would probably let the wealthy ones pay him off. She had just flipped to the next page when her mother set down a plate of bacon and pancakes in front of her.


    “A letter came with the post owls this morning,” her mother said.


    “From who.”


    “The Weasley family.”


    “Qui?”


    “The Weasley’s are a family that work in the Order with me. Arthur and Molly went to Hogwarts with me.” Zenia’s father put down his paper. “They asked if you could come to their house this summer. They live in northern England.”


    “Why would they want me to come this summer? They don’t even know me.”


    “Molly thought that you would like to meet some kids your age. Her son Ron is having some friends over. He and his sister are in Griffindor so it might do you good to meet them. They are ever so sweet.” Her mother smiled and sipped her morning tea.


    Zenia pondered this for a moment. “May I see the letter?”


    “Of course.”


    Zenia read over the letter. Yes, there was what she was looking for. A list of Ron and Ginny’s friends that were coming. Two. Two. Some girl named Hermione and Harry. Her mind perked up at that. Harry? As in Harry Potter? The hunk that lived across the street with the messy hair and gorgeous green eyes? The guy she was crushing on? “Yeah, I’ll go. Sounds like it might be fun.”


    “Okay. I’ll take you tomorrow. Harry is going next week.”


    “Cool. I’ll see you later. I’m going to go talk to him.” Zenia got up. Her mother put her hand on Zenia’s arm.


    “Darling. You can’t see him today. Part of the rules about getting him out undetected. Albus is coming to get him next week. You’ll see him then.”


    “Fine.” Zenia rolled her eyes at the stupid safety rules that had been instated in the past couple of days. “I guess I’ll just go pack.”

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