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Author’s Note: *growl* I know the formating is demented but I'll fix it up later. This chapter is a little rushed and I'll fix that up too...




Recruiting Katherine


“Hey mate,” said Ron a little oddly. “Happy Birthday. I’ve got your presents at home.”

“Hullo Ron,” said Harry with a heavy sigh as he sat in the Ford Anglia.

“Happy Birthday Harry,” said Mr. Weasley, who was driving. “Hope it wasn’t too horrible there."

Harry opened his mouth and closed it, unsure how to answer.

“It wasn’t bad at all actually,” said Harry finally, thinking that it felt quite nice to say that after leaving the Dursleys. “Are we going to Grimmauld Place?”

Mr. Weasley’s face fell as he turned the corner and drove along the freeway.

“No, we’re going to the Burrow. You’re house has to be avoided until Flitwick can fix the Fidelius Charm. Professor Dumbledore was the secret keeper …we’re not sure if it will continue to operate or not.”

Mr. Weasley said no more of the Order. He went around a roundabout a few times, voicing his opinions about how muggles were brilliant. Harry and Ron didn’t say anything to each other and Harry had a feeling that Ron was angry at him. Soon, the muggle houses and bustling cities were replaced by farmland. After an hour, they reached the Burrow. Harry was delighted to see that, with all the extra money the Weasleys were getting, they had built an extension on there already lopsided house, which made it look quite grand in a Leaning Tower of Pisa sort of way. Mrs. Weasley came running from the house and threw her arms around him.

“Oh, Happy Birthday Harry! Seventeen…finally of age…I’m so proud…”

“Let him open his presents Mum,” said Ron.

After on last hug, Mrs. Weasley let Harry walk into the house. The smell of Mrs. Weasley’s cooking wafted towards them and Harry felt his stomach growl. Mrs. Weasley continued to speak animatedly.

“Hermione’s here. She’ll be so happy to see you. Ginny’s upstairs in her room. Don’t know what’s got into her…she’s a bit quiet.”

Harry’s stomach gave a guilty lurch. Ron was suddenly looking very sour. 

“Now, I’m going to finish making dinner,” said Mrs. Weasley. “I’m making something special for your birthday.”

Harry’s appetite had evaporated. Ron was glaring at him angrily.

“Cummon,” he said gruffly.

Harry and Ron climbed the stairs to Fred and George’s old bedroom. Mrs. Weasley had not removed any of the boxes full of tricks and jokes. It was either because she missed the troublesome duo or because she was afriad on of them might explode.

“Harry! Happy Birthday!”

Someone with rather bushy hair ran up to Harry and threw her arms around him.

“‘lo Hermione,” said Harry with a bemused smile.

“Ooh…just let me get your present!”

Hermione raced downstairs leaving Harry and Ron alone. Ron couldn’t contain himself any longer.

“What did you do?” asked Ron suddenly.

“I-What?”

Harry racked his brain, trying to figure out why Ron was so cross with him.

“Ginny,” snarled Ron. “What did you say to her? She’s absolutely miserable! She’s been crying all over the place!”

Harry’s heart sank. He tried to explain to Ron but he couldn’t find the words. ‘I don’t want Ginny to die’ might be a bit harsh.

“Well…I thought…because I was…looking for the Horcruxes…”

“What does that have to do with anything?” demanded Ron. “I do not want....Cho Chang for a sister!”

Harry felt his own face reddening. Didn’t they get it? How hard was it to understand? Surely by now someone would have noticed that the people that Harry tended to get close to ended up dead…

“Look, do you want Voldemort after your sister?” he growled.  “If he knows about us then what do you think he would do to her? Do you want her to end up like-” Harry stopped but Ron knew what he was going to say.

“Like Sirius, Dumbledore and your parents?” asked Ron, his anger fading.

Harry dragged his things into Fred and George’s old room. He put Hedwig’s cage on the desk a little too forcefully and she hooted angrily at him for the second time in so many days.

“You forgot Cedric Diggory,” he snarled.

Ron bit his lip.

“Harry, I see what you’re getting at…but Ginny…she doesn’t care about-”

Before Ron could finish his sentence, Hermione ran into the room holding a stack of presents. Ron seemed to have lost his nerve and retreated back to his room. Hermione began throwing the presents into Harry’s arms.

“These are from Fred and George and this is from Tonks…”

Harry didn’t hear anything Hermione was saying. It felt amazing to him that he thought that this birthday was going to be better than the others. His heart sank even further when Ginny’s bedroom door opened. The moment she caught sight of Harry, Ginny went back inside and slammed the door. Hermione winced, forced the rest of the presents back into Harry hands and left. Harry picked up a plain blue card. The writing on the inside was very familiar.

I decided not to give you another singing card this year. The Death Eaters might hear it. 

 Happy Birthday.


Harry slowly put the card down and looked up at the door Ginny had just slammed.

“I’m sorry,” he shouted at the door.

When there was no reply, he returned to the room he was staying in and slammed his own door.

*


A rush of ‘Happy Birthday’ flooded Harry as he entered the kitchen. Half the Order had come to the Burrow. Mrs. Weasley had placed an extending charm on her dining table and they all sat around comfortably. Ginny nodded to him and he nodded back. Ron and Hermione sat on either side of her and looked rather uncomfortable.

“Happy Birthday Harry,” said Lupin.

Harry forced a smile and sat next to his old Professor.

“Thanks Professor,” said Harry.

Lupin gave him a pat on the shoulder.

“Tonks wanted to wish you for your Birthday,” said Lupin, “but she’s on business for the Order.”

Curiosity overcame Harry’s melancholy mood.

“What business?” asked Harry.

“Nice try, Harry,” said Lupin with a grin. “Did you think I’d fall for that one?”

“No, but it was worth a try.”

Lupin’s smile faltered a little. He pulled something out of his pocket.

“Harry…Sirius wanted you to have this when you turned of age…”

Harry’s mouth opened as he took the envelope in Lupin’s hand. He opened it with shaking fingers.

Hey Harry,

I know you’re not exactly related to me (and I’d be really concerned if you actually wanted Bellatrix for a cousin) but you’re as good as my son. 

I know I haven’t been much of a Godfather. I should’ve stayed with you instead of running after Peter. I realize that now and I’m sorry. If I didn’t go after him, I wouldn’t be a fugitive now and you wouldn’t be staying with your own Merlin awful relatives. (Hey, maybe Bellatrix isn’t so bad after all…sorry, bad joke.)

On my seventeenth birthday, your father and I polished off an entire bottle of fire whiskey and Molly will murder me if I even think about giving you a gift like that. 


"Too right she will," growled Mrs. Weasley.

...Instead, I’m giving you a gift that will last a little longer and won’t result in a hangover. I have some words of very little wisdom but I hope they mean a lot all the same. I spent a while thinking about this. I had a lot of time on my hands so I wrote this a few years ago. Hey, I had to do something other than listen to my mother going on!

So here is my advice…

You are a man now. You are the head of this noble house. I know you will make me proud…just get into a little mischief while you’re at it.

From your Godfather,

Sirius


Harry tipped the envelope and in his palm were two rings. His parent’s wedding rings. Harry swallowed and put the rings in his pocket along with the locket he had found in the cave with Dumbledore.

“Thanks Professor,” said Harry again, his voice unsteady.

“You okay Harry?” asked Hermione.

“Yeah,” he said.

“Well, dig in everyone!” said Mrs. Weasley.

Harry forced another smile and helped himself to the rather tasty looking roast beef. Little was said during dinner. Harry felt a little better after eating the wonderful meal Mrs. Weasley had prepared. When everyone had eaten their fill, Mrs. Weasley got to her feet.

“Cake!” she said happily.

With a flick of her wand, a cake in the shape of a snitch appeared on the middle of the table. It was considerably larger than a snitch.

“This is wonderful,” said Harry, who could help grinning now.

“Isn’t it?” said Mrs. Weasley. “Ginny made it all by herself.”

The grin vanished. Ginny shuffled uncomfortably. 

“Thanks…Ginny,” said Harry. “This cake is really-”

“You didn’t think I’d just give you a card, did you?” she said so only he could hear.

The Order sang Happy Birthday (with Moody and Mundungnus slightly out of key) and Harry cut the cake. Harry could barely hear the Order singing. The cake tasted dry in his mouth even though it was actually very tasty.

“The cake was wonderful Ginny,” said Lupin with a smile.

She shrugged.

“I’m not responsible for any food poisoning,” she said with a little laugh. “You eat at your own risk.”

McGonagall gave her a stern look but she couldn’t hide a slight smile.

“Off to bed you lot,” said Mr. Weasley heartily. 

Mrs. Weasley cleared up with another flick of her wand. Feeling rather tired, Harry was the last out of the kitchen. As he turned the corner to walk upstairs, Harry saw the Weasley twins crouched by the doorframe with a small box of extendable ears. Harry frowned at the twins. They were supposed to have flooed themself back to London by now.

“What-”

“They’re having a meeting,” said Fred, adjusting the ear.

Harry’s frown deepened. 

“Aren’t you two old enough to join the Order?”

“Old McGonagall thinks we lack the…what did she say Fred?”

Fred sucked in his lips and sat up straight in a very good impersonation of McGonagall.

“You lack the maturity required for a member of the Order,” said Fred, putting on a Scottish accent and wagging his finger at George.

Harry grimaced.

“Where does she get that idea?” he asked.

“No idea,” said the twins in unison. 

“You listening or what?” asked George, handing Harry an extendable ear.

“Of course I am,” said Harry, putting the ear in his own.

“…the fact remains, we need a spy in Voldemort’s circle,” came McGonagall’s voice. “Without Snape, it’s like playing chess in the dark.”

Harry’s blood turned cold at the mention of Snape. Lupin sighed in exasperation.

“Minerva, we no longer have Snape on our side. There’s nothing-”

“There is a girl in the employ of the Ministry,” said McGonagall with a hint of uncertainty.

“A girl?” asked Moody. “How can a girl…” 

Moody trailed off. McGonagall took a breath before speaking.

“Well…she’s a half-dementor who guards prisoners in Azkaban.”

The effect of that statement was immediate. Mrs. and Mr. Weasley, Hagrid and Bill gasped, Mundungnus woke up with a start, Flitwick squeaked and fell of his chair, Moody’s eye fell out of its socket and rolled on the floor, Kingsley and Lupin cried out and Fleur screamed. Bill was the first to break the deafening silence that followed. 

“Wait,” he said, shaking his head. “Did you say half...dementor? How is that even possible…”

There was a collective shudder around the table.

“Didn’t she go to Hogwarts?” asked Flitwick, climbing back onto his chair. “I don’t ever recall teaching a girl with…unnatural abilities.”

“She was not taught at Hogwarts,” said McGonagall. “Severus went to Azkaban to teach her magic.”

Snape taught her in Azkaban?” cried Kingsley.

“Dumbledore has been known to make exceptions for certain students.” Lupin said bitterly. “Was she too dangerous to come to Hogwarts?”

McGonagall seemed to think that statement was a little rich coming from Lupin.

“She had not yet learnt to control her abilities and the ministry was refusing to let her out of Azkaban,” she snapped.

“Minerva! The girl's a half-dementor for pity’s sake!” cried an exasperated Mrs. Weasley. “How do you know you can trust her?”

“I have also taught Katherine on several occasions and I trust her,” said McGonagall. “She is an extremely gifted witch and with her abilities, Voldemort will not hesitate to trust her as well.”

“You sound like Albus when he talked of Severus,” said Mrs. Weasley very quietly.

There was silence in the kitchen. When McGonagall spoke again, she struggled to keep her voice under control.

“Severus was…is a Death Eater,” she said quietly. “Katherine was never one. I have met Katherine and believe me when I say she will never join Voldemort.”

“Professor McGonagall’s right,” said Hagrid. “I don’t see why any o’ yeh shouldn’t trust her cause of her folks.”

"Quite right 'Agrid," said Fleur. "There are many part 'umans in ze Order."

Harry couldn’t help feeling that this Katherine could not be trusted. He had seen too many dementors to trust her as much as McGonagall and he could not help feeling that Mrs. Weasley had a point. The Weasley twins looked rather pale at this news. Rushing upstairs, he told Ron and Hermione what he had heard.

*


The next morning, Harry, Ron and Hermione crept towards the front door. Fred and George were already there.

“Extendable ears and eyes,” whispered Fred. “New product. We’re only testing them so don’t blame us if you’re all as blind as Harry afterwards.”

They took what appeared to be a pair of swimming goggles and the usual extendable ears from the twins. Harry had to take of his glasses but the goggle instantly adjusted and his vision cleared as he zoomed in on McGonagall at the front door. There was a clear, ringing knock. McGonagall answered it and spoke a few works to the people outside that even the extendable ears could not pick up. After a few moments, in came a woman with a heart shaped face and shocking pink hair, Nymphadora Tonks, and a cloaked figure.

“It’s nice to see you again Katherine,” said McGonagall with a smile. 

Katherine lowered her hood. Harry expected to see a tall figure with scabby skin and a piercing stare but the girl at the door was none of those things. Her eyes were grey, almost white. They were cold and empty, devoid of emotion and energy. Katherine's dark hair was thin and wispy and she had a thin mouth not unlike McGonagall’s. Her face was so pale it would have put Narcissa Malfoy to shame. She was very slight and only looked about fifteen. Katehrine had long, tapered fingers and slight wrists. She had the look of a porcelain doll that would shatter if you dropped it. In each hand she held a small, black trunk that looked more secondhand than anything in the Weasley house.

“Hello Professor McGonagall,” she said in a faint voice that seemed to echo off the walls. “You can call me Kit. The dementors do at least.”

McGonagall didn’t move for a few moments. Harry, Ron and Hermione exchanged confused glances. The dementors call her Kit? 

“She’s got to be barking mad!” whispered Ron. “Dementors don’t talk! How the bloody hell did they give her a nickname?”

“Shh!” hissed Hermione. 

“Alright…Kit,” said McGonagall. “Mrs. Weasley has prepared a room for you. I’ll give you this evening to settle in and tomorrow morning I’ll brief you on your task.”

“Thank you Professor,” said Kit with a slight nod.

McGonagall nodded back and headed out the way Kit came. Tonks gestured upstairs.

“Well, this way then,” said Tonks brightly, taking one of Kit’s cases and heading upstairs.

Kit did not follow. Tonks looked at her inquiringly.

“I’m curious as to why Professor Snape is no longer considered a member of the Order,” she said.

Tonks’ features lost its warmth. Kit seemed unfazed at the sudden change of atmosphere.

“He murdered Albus Dumbledore!” cried Tonks. "How can you even ask that?"

Kit crossed her arms and glared at Tonks

“Where’s the proof of that?” she hissed.

Tonks was getting steadily red in the face. Her shocking pink hair flickered black like a faulty globe.

“Harry Potter saw him do it!” 

“And we’re just going to take Potter’s word on this?”

At this point, Harry was just about ready to storm in there and shout at Kit. Hermione put a restraining hand on his shoulder and he bit back his anger. Tonks continued to glare at the pale teenager before her.

“I trust Harry,” said Tonks firmly.

“I don’t,” snarled Kit. 

Tonks hair turned completely black and she seemed to have grown a few inches. Kit was undaunted.

"I’ve too many of your kind suck the souls out of living people to trust you,” whispered Tonks.

“I’ve seen too many of your relatives to even dream of trusting you,” Kit whispered back. “I look forward to putting the lot of you back into Azkaban.”

“Oh no she did not…” whispered Ron angrily. 

“Are you accusing me of something?” asked Tonks dangerously.

"Did I strike a nerve?”

“Just get upstairs dementor!” 

“Very well,” sneered Kit. “Goodbye Black.”

Tonks thrust Kit’s case back into her hand.

“It’s Tonks!” she shouted.

Kit gave Tonks the condescending leer that usually came from Snape.

“Woops…” she whispered, making it very clear that it was not an accident at all.

Kit ascended the stairs and left Tonks in the kitchen seething. Harry yanked the extendable eye and ear away from him with more force than necessary.

“I don’t like her,” growled Harry.

Ron patted Harry’s shoulder.

“I think the feeling is mutual,” he said. “Snape did a good job on her.”

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