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Chapter 6: An Unexpected Visitor
Sirius froze as the unfamiliar girl sagged in his arms. He hoisted her up, her head lolling onto his shoulder. He directed his feet towards the den, dragged her inside, and dumped her on the nearest couch. He looked down at her for a moment. She was still soaking so Sirius pulled out his wand and charmed her dry. The girl sighed softly and stirred in her sleep. Her long black lashes contrasted magnificently against her pale complexion. Her raven colored hair lay across her face and Sirius reached down and swept it away. As her hair fell away, Sirius noticed a heavy locket glinting at him from around her neck. He picked it up and bent down for a closer look. It was silver with an intricate design. In the center, there was a small glass sphere filled with a dark blue liquid. It looked remarkably like the amulets Dumbledore had passed around. Sirius felt the back of the amulet was not smooth and he flipped it over to see a message engraved into it. To my dear Mira, May this amulet shield you from harm always. With much love, Great-Aunt Cedrella.


“Sirius?” Harry’s voice said from the doorway. Sirius turned, the locket still in his hand. “Who was at the door?”


Sirius was still slightly upset with Harry but he knew that the wisest thing to do was to forget about it. It wasn’t Harry’s fault that he wasn’t his guard. He couldn’t control these things. “Mira,” Sirius answered, somewhat bitterly (he wasn’t entirely over it yet).


“Who?” Harry asked, stepping into the room. He caught sight of the still unconscious girl on the couch and stopped. “Who’s that?” he breathed, looking down at Mira.


“Mira,” Sirius replied, placing her locket back on her chest.


“She’s beautiful,” Harry said, gazing transfixed at Mira’s face.


Sirius raised an eyebrow, amused. “What about Ginny?”


Harry reddened and looked away. “I meant, she’s pretty, yeah…really pretty – but I’m not attracted to her! No, not at all! I just think she’s…pretty…”


Sirius laughed and threw an arm around Harry’s shoulder. “I’m joking. I think she’s pretty too,” he said. “I wonder who she is…”


“Sirius?” Harry asked, looking at Sirius sideways.


“Hmm?”


“Are you okay?”


Sirius face darkened. “Sure, I am. Why wouldn’t I be?” he answered, moving away from Harry to sit at the edge of the couch on which Mira was lying.


“Sirius…” Harry said, sitting down beside Sirius.


“Look,” Sirius said, cutting off Harry before he could begin. “I know it’s not your fault and that you can't do anything. It’s okay, really.”


“You’re not mad?” Harry asked cautiously.


“No,” Sirius sighed. “Just…disappointed.” Harry nodded and they fell into a silence. Harry looked at Sirius, who was fiddling with Mira’s locket again, then at Mira herself. She was still sleeping peacefully.


“Do you think we should try and wake her up?” Harry asked, breaking the long stretch of silence.


“You can try,” Sirius answered.


Harry reached behind him and took hold of the young girl’s shoulder and shook it gently. “Er – wake up,” he said. “What was her name again? Mira?” Sirius nodded. “Wake up, Mira.”


“Get Dumbledore,” Sirius said when it was certain Mira would not be waking.


Harry leapt to his feet and ran out the door. He was back just moments later Dumbledore, Remus, and Mrs. Weasley in tow. Sirius stood and Dumbledore automatically kneeled in front of the couch. He pulled out his wand and waved it over Mira. Nothing happened. Dumbledore frowned. He tried another spell. Then another. Five more spells later, Mira still slept soundly.


Dumbledore got to his feet swiftly, causing everyone standing so close behind him to stumble back. “She will not wake,” he said, pocketing his wand.


“That much even I could have told you.” Sirius rolled his eyes. “But why won’t she wake up.”


Dumbledore shrugged. “She is tired. She has come a long way and needs to rest. She will not awaken until her body is fully recovered.”


“So she’s dormant?” Remus asked. “She will sleep until her body is able to work.”


“In a way, yes,” Dumbledore said.


“But even if I’m beat and someone shakes me hard enough, I wake up,” Harry said.


Dumbledore nodded. “Yes, but this girl—”


“Mira,” Sirius said quietly. “Her name is Mira.”


Dumbledore looked at Sirius. “Mira then,” he said. “Mira is different. What she has is very rare. When her body feels it is in danger – of any kind – it will, in a way, shut down. It may be fatigue, it may be a poison, it may be anything. We do not know.”


“Will she be okay?” Mrs. Weasley asked. She had sit down next to Mira and was pushing her hair back from her forehead. “Won’t she die of hunger? Or thirst?”


“Don’t worry yourself, Molly,” Remus answered. “I’ve studied this condition on detail. It interests me. When one is dormant, like Mira here, one’s body builds its own food. No one is sure how it happens but we are sure that it does happen. She’ll be fine.”


“We should move her to a more comfortable place,” Dumbledore said. “She may wake earlier then.”


“We can put her in one of the guestrooms upstairs,” Remus suggested.


“The guestrooms are hideous!” Sirius protested, pulling a face. “We can't put her in there!”


“I’ve re-decorated, Sirius,” Remus reassured Sirius.


“What? When?” Sirius faced Remus.


“A couple of weeks before my wedding,” Remus answered.


“You’re married?!”


“Yes, didn’t we – er – mention that?”


“No, I think you might have forgotten,” Sirius said.


“Oh,” Remus said. “Sorry. Dora and I married seven months ago. I thought you would have – um – noticed.”


“All I noticed was that Tonks had gain a lot of weight. I just thought she was eating too much or something. How was I supposed to know she was expecting.”


Remus laughed at the indignant look on his friend’s face. He clapped his hand onto Sirius’s shoulder and said, “You’re going to be godfather of a second child come June, Sirius.”


“Great,” Sirius grinned. “Godfather again!”


“Can’t you two talk about this some other time?” Mrs. Weasley interrupted. “We have to more her first.” She gestured at Mira.


“Right you are, Molly,” Dumbledore said and he flicked his wand and Mira rose a few inches off the couch and turned upright.


“Wait!” Sirius said, moving forward. “Let me carry her. She’ll be more…comfortable.” Sirius didn’t like the way Mira’s body was floating limp in mid-air. It reminded him much too much about the time Wormtail escaped from him and Remus; Snape was drifting along the ground in exactly the same way.


Dumbledore looked like he was going to object for a moment, but then lay Mira back onto the couch. Sirius scooped her into his arms; she was so light that it felt to Sirius like he was carry but a child. He turned to Remus. “Lead the way.”


Remus guided Sirius up the stairs and pushed open the door to the first guestroom he came to. Sirius entered it, looking around in awe. The room that was once dark and dreary was now frilled with bright lights and flowery bedspread. The large bay windows no longer held Dark ornaments; instead they were filled with large soft-looking throw pillows. Sirius lay Mira carefully on the bed and pulled the covers up to her chin. He stood back and looked at her.


“When do you think she’ll wake up?” he asked, rearranging her head.


“I don’t know,” Remus shrugged. “Could be a month, could be an hour. We’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, let’s get back to the others.”


Sirius nodded and followed his friend back downstairs and into the living room where the rest of the Order members were frantically trying to find out what had happened. Dumbledore had given them orders to stay in the living room as he ran out with Harry and Mrs. Weasley. No one was sure why he hadn’t stopped Mrs. Weasley. Maybe because he knew she wouldn’t listen.


“What’s going on?” Ron asked the moment Remus and Sirius stepped inside. “Where’re Mum and Harry and Dumbledore?”


“Everything is okay, isn’t it?” Mr. Weasley said, standing up.


“Is it a Death Eater?” Hermione asked, her eyes wide.


“Don’t be silly, Hermione,” Bill said. “How could a Death Eater find this place?”


“Sirius, are you all right?” Tonks’s soft hand landed on Sirius’s arm. He looked down to see his cousin watching him with her warm, honey brown eyes.


“I’m fine, Tonks,” Sirius said, smiling. “And why didn’t you tell me you married Moony?”


“Oh – I forgot,” Tonks mumbled, blushing. “I don’t know how but I forgot…sorry.”


“Ah, no harm done,” Sirius said. “Except the fact that I believed you could eat a hippo in one bite.” Sirius laughed, and gave Tonks a one-armed hug.


At that moment, Dumbledore, Harry, and Molly returned to the living room. Everyone stopped talking and gave Dumbledore their undivided attention.


“I’m sorry for the interruption,” Dumbledore apologized. “We had an unexpected visitor. She is asleep at the moment, but you will have the pleasure of meeting her soon.”


“Who was it?” Fred asked, wincing as Eryn tugged at his hair to get her Uncle Fred’s attention.


“She is called Mira,” Dumbledore said. “We do not know for sure who she is. We wouldn’t have known her name either if it hadn’t been for Sirius. She must have told him her name when he opened the door for her, isn’t that right, Sirius?”


“Actually, no,” Sirius said. “I read it on the back of her locket.”


“May I see this locket?” Dumbledore asked.


“I don’t have it,” Sirius answered. “She’s still wearing it.”


“Ah.” Dumbledore turned to Ginny. “Will you run upstairs and fetch the locket for me, Miss Weasley? Mira is in the first guestroom.”


Ginny nodded and left the room. She returned less than a minute later, the locket clutched in her hand. She handed it over to Dumbledore who inspected it closely. “It is an amulet like the ones I passed out to you,” he said finally. “It must have been given to Mira by her great-aunt Cedrella.”


“That doesn’t help us much,” Bill said, locking Eryn in between his legs to keep her from tormenting Fred any longer. “All we know is that her name is Mira and that she has a great-aunt named Cedrella.”


“Unless she stole it form someone,” Ron pointed out. “That could mean that she’s not Mira at all.”


“She wouldn’t steal,” Sirius said.


“How do you know?” Ron said. “For all we know, she could be a mass murderer on the run.”


“She’s not!” Sirius said loudly.


“Then who is she?” Hermione asked, placing a hand on Ron’s arm to keep him from answering.


“Related to me,” Sirius mumbled. “There’s only one Cedrella. The last one died before Grindelwald was even born. Cedrella is my grandmother’s cousin. She married a Weasley so she was” – he mimed blasting something with a make-believe wand – “She was never invited to family parties or anything. I only saw her here and there when I was out. If she was this Mira’s great-aunt, she must be related to me. A second cousin maybe.”


Dumbledore nodded. “We will just have to wait until she awakens to see. I’m sure she’ll have quite a story.”

:: :: ::


A week had passed and Mira did not wake. Harry popped into her room throughout the day, hoping to be the one there when she opened her eyes. He wanted to know who she was and what made her do what she did. There was some sort of mysterious force drawing him towards her. It was a lot like the thing that made him watch Ginny as she ate cereal in the morning or play with Crookshanks on the living room floor. A part of him felt that it was wrong. He shouldn’t feel this way about Mira. He didn’t even know her, for God’s sake!


Harry made a decision on the seventh day after Mira arrived. He was sitting in the giant library, trying to find a mention of someone named Mira Black in the Black Family records. Maybe it’ll give him a clue to who she was. He had just snapped shut what seemed like the fiftieth book he looked through when the door creaked open.


“Harry?” Ginny’s soft voice called out into the darkness. “Harry, are you in here?” She stepped inside and tiptoed towards the corner where Harry was seated, unseen. “Harry!” she called again. “If I find you in here, I’ll—”


“You’ll what?” Harry stood up and placed his arms around Ginny from behind.


Ginny gasped and spun around. “Harry!” she breathed. “You scared me!”


Harry laughed and swooped down to kiss Ginny. “You’re easily scared.”


“I am not!” Ginny said indignantly. “I thought you might have been a—”


“A what?” Harry asked, grinning. “You were afraid I was a spooky, old monster out to eat you?”


“No!”


“Yes, you did,” Harry said. “And guess what. I am out to eat you!”


Ginny rolled her eyes and hit Harry’s shoulder. “Whatever you say, Harry.”


“No, really,” Harry said. “I want to eat you. I wonder what Ginny taste like.”


Ginny frowned at Harry. “Are you feeling okay?”


“Roast Ginny with mashed potatoes,” Harry said. “Ginny a la soup.”


“God, Harry!” Ginny said, laughing. “Haven’t eaten yet?” She took him by the hand and started to lead him to the kitchen. Halfway there Harry tugged on her hand.


“Stop,” he said. “I want to ask you a question.”


“Here?” Ginny asked, looking around. They stood in a dark corridor on the fourth floor of the house. No one ever came up here unless they had to find a book. Even then, they usually asked either Hermione and Lupin who, combined, had memorized almost every book in existence.


“Yes, it can’t wait.” Harry stuck his hand into his pocket. “Ginny, I’ve wanted to ask you this for a long time but I just got the nerves to do it.”


“What?” Ginny asked perplexed. “Just ask. You know you can tell me anything.”


Harry nodded and pulled his hand out of his pocket, clenched tightly to something. “Ginny?” – he dropped to one knee. Ginny’s hands flew to her mouth – “will you marry me?” He reached for her hand and slipped on the ring.


“Oh my God,” Ginny whispered, gazing at the gold ring on her finger. “Harry!” She threw her arms around his neck and sobbed into his shoulder.


“Is that a yes?” Harry asked.


“Yes!” Ginny cried, laughing.


“Yes!” Harry whooped, spinning Ginny around and knocking over about six vases. He laughed and set her back onto her feet. “Should we tell everyone now or later?”


“Now,” Ginny said, taking hold of Harry’s hand once more and proceeding to drag him downstairs into the kitchen where everyone else was having a late lunch. Mrs. Weasley looked up from chopping vegetables for dinner that night and smiled at the couple.


“Why don’t you two take a seat?” she said, gesturing towards the nearly full table. “You’re just in time for the pasta.” She ladled a large heaping of pasta into a bowl and set it on the counter.


Harry slid into a seat between George and Tonks. Tonks smiled at him and went back to her soup, one hand resting on her large belly. George looked up and sighed heavily. A piece of pasta was hanging from his hair.


“You want to do it?” he asked, motioning to Eryn who was happily tossing pasta onto her uncle’s head. “She doesn’t get that you put it in your mouth – not on my head.”


“Erm – no thanks,” Harry replied, glancing at the pasta, which fell onto the table.


Ginny perched herself on Harry’s lap and pulled a bowl of soup towards her. “You wanted soup, right?” she asked, picking up a spoonful and holding it up to Harry’s mouth.


Harry swallowed the hot soup then smiled. “Sure.” He let Ginny feed him some more soup than whispered, “Are we going to tell them?”


Ginny nodded and slid off his lap. She took his hand and pulled him to his feet. “Is everyone here?” she asked, looking around the room. “Harry and I have something to say.” The room fell silent. Ginny glanced at Harry. How should she say this? Harry smiled and held up Ginny’s left hand, showing off the sparkling ring on her finger.


“We’re engaged,” he said simply. The room exploded in a burst of noise.


“Oh my God!” Hermione squealed, flying out of her seat and attacking Harry and Ginny.


“My baby!” Mrs. Weasley cried, dropping her kitchen knife and pulling Ginny into a hug.


“Congratulations!” Sirius said loudly, clapping Harry on his back.


“When iz the wedding?” Fleur asked, floating up to the couple.


Harry found Ginny’s face in the crowd that had gathered around them and smiled. “Soon.”


A/N: I'm sorry for the long wait! I don't really write this story much. I can't guarantee fast updates for a few reasons. First and foremost being I'm not going to be in the country for a while. And second being I have two other stories I'm working on which I like rather more than this one. =) Sorry to everyone who likes this story and I hope I can finish it - if not soon then later. Well, I'm hoping that you enjoyed this chapter at least. Tell me whether you think there is anything that you think should be changed. =]

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