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“Now Kristen, we’re going to be in Tahiti the next few weeks so if you have any problems, you’ll just have to call Harriet to owl us,” Emily Potter instructed her as they pulled up to her house on a frost December day.

“Ah, Tahiti? Why do we always go there?” James moaned.

Kristen hardly paid attention, her nose pressed to the window as her mother came rushing outside at the sound of the car. Kristen threw open the door and rushed into her mother’s arms, feeling the love she had been missing nearly all her life. And she couldn’t help it, she cried. As her mother rocked gently from side to side, her arms tight around her shoulders, she sobbed into her mother’s chest, just happy to have her mother back.

She barely noticed as the Potters drove away, her trunk, disposed of any incriminating stickers, left by her feet. Soon, she felt tears wet her hair, her mother obviously sharing her joy. “Come dear, let’s get inside.” She vaguely noticed her father behind her as he picked up her trunk and followed them inside.

Inside was a beautiful tree, decorated with the ornaments that had filled her childhood Christmases. She knew it so well, yet today, it was magical.

“Kristen!” Two girls screamed in delight, throwing themselves on her. She hugged her little sisters with force, laughing as they became entangled with one another.

Next was her father. She dashed to him as he came back down the stairs from putting her trunk up in her room. He held his arms open wide, the ones she had missed so much. His bear hug was just as good as she remembered it.

“Come, come, everyone, it’s time for Kristen’s welcome home dinner,” Her mother ushered them all into the kitchen good-naturedly. Inside was a table laden with a chocolate cake, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and rocky road ice cream. It was all of Kristen’s favorites, and she suddenly realized just how ravenous she was. “Dig in,” Her mother told her happily, allowing Kristen to go straight for cake and ice cream.

“It’s too bad your friend Sirius wasn’t able to come,” Her father mentioned partway through the meal, Kristen still helping her self to ice cream. “Shame about his father, I imagine he was quite distraught.”

Kristen nodded her head, not meeting his eyes. It had been hard to say good-bye to Sirius on the platform. He had looked so desolate, his brother sharing his face. As soon as his mother saw him she began screeching.

“Well, off to 12 Grimmauld place,” Sirius had sighed sarcastically before giving her one last look and following his brother.

She wanted desperately to follow him, to comfort him like he had done for her so many times. He had never looked this hopeless and defeated, and it shook her to the very core to see him this way. She had had to tear her watery eyes away from him though to leave, not quite sure why her heart was breaking at the sight of his face.

“Perhaps he could visit this summer, and your other friends as well. It’s bee ages since we’ve seen the Potters you know,” Her mother commented, dutifully eating the real food, unlike the rest of her family.

Kristen could hardly believe her ears; it simply seemed to good to be true. Just last summer, her mother had tried to bar her from Hogwarts, and wouldn’t let her see her friends at all. Now her mother wanted to invite them over! It was the best day of her life! Except for watching Sirius go, and leaving Hogwarts…so it wasn’t the absolute best day, but it ranked pretty far up there.
* * *
“Mum! I’m back!” Kirsten called, hanging her snow covered coat and hat by the door while trying to balance an arm full of presents. She had just gotten back from a Christmas Eve shopping trip with a muggle friend, Deana, and had picked out gifts for her entire family as well as her friends (They had agreed to exchange presents when they returned as most were going on vacation with their families).

She trooped up the stairs, struggling not to let all the presents fall to the floor. When she reached her door she stopped, not quite sure how she could manage it with letting go of her gifts.

It was then her mother opened the door, looking furious as she stared at her daughter.

At first, Kristen had no idea what she had done. She hadn’t slipped once to Deana, marking out the possibility that she had some how already called and ratted her out to her mother. And then, as her eyes flick past her mother’s shoulders, she saw her trunk, wide open, revealing her secret to all the world as her father looked in with obvious astonishment.

She dropped her present with a clatter, her face paling considerably. “Mother, I can explain!”

“I knew it! I knew it, you retched, Satan worshiping child!” Her mother screeched, grabbing her arm forcefully. As if the entire universe was working against Kristen at that moment, her mother’s touch caused Dark Mark on her arm to flare. It had been light, as of late, and Kristen had used a combination of make-up and simply shielding it from view to keep it out of people’s gaze. But when it flashed dark, no amount of makeup could cover it.

Her mother retracted her hand, looking as if she had been burned. “Oh my,” She whispered, looking at it with a sick sort of curiosity, as if it stirred some sort of memory. But that was quickly replaced with fury once more. “You have the mark of the devil! You are the antichrist!”

Kristen, realizing that her mother was to far gone for her to simply try and plead for forgiveness, snapped back at her. “Oh give me a break! I even know that the symbol for the antichrist is ‘666’! I am not a Satan worshipper either mother! I’m a witch! That’s all! I wanted to tell you since my first year at school but I knew you’d hate me!”

“Of course I hate you!” Her mother yelled, her eyes blazing. “Witch craft is the epitome of a Satan worshipper! Get your things and get out!”

Kristen wanted to snap back, but her mother’s words took her by such force. Hate? That wasn’t supposed to come from a mother’s lips. Sure, her and her mother had never been on the best of terms…but hate? And she wanted her to get out? It was Christmas Eve, and her very own mother wanted to kick her out of the house.

“Please,” Kristen whispered through her heavy tears. “Please mum…”

“Don’t you dare call me ‘mum’! The only parent you have is Satan! Now gather your things and go!”

“Dad, listen to me!” Kristen turned to him next, rushing into the room and kneeling at his feet. “Don’t let her do this to me, please!”

“I always defended you,” he murmured monotonously, still staring at the open trunk. “I always defended you, and yet all along…” His eyes flickered to his daughter, as she lay crumpled in the floor, completely weak, as her parent’s disowned her one after the other. “I’ll take your things down stairs, and give you some money. That’s all I’ll do for you.”

She watched in stunned silence as her father gently gathered her clothes and other items, stowing them into the trunk along with a check for an unknown amount of money. He then picked it up without a single glance at his eldest daughter and walked from the room.

“Get up! I will not have you desecrate my house any longer!” Her mother yelled.

Kirsten blindly did as she was told, still in utter shock over what had just happened. As she began the decent down stairs, her sisters shoved into her, Belle discreetly handing her a note, before they both trumped up to their room without a backwards glance. Kristen just shoved it her pocket, figuring that they had jotted down some scriptures that condemned her.

“Well, out you go!” Her mother ushered her out, not even giving her a moment to grab her coat. “Don’t come back! You hear? I don’t want you anywhere near my family!”

“Fine!” Kristen suddenly lashed out. “Fine mother! But know that when Belle and Bridget get their letters saying that they have this phenomenal power that they can use to save people and do great things, I’ll be back to make sure you don’t stop them!”

Kristen relished in the look of absolute horror on her mother’s face before she slammed the door, leaving her daughter out in the swirling snow.

Kristen quickly reached inside her trunk for her robes, having to maneuver around the presents she had just bought and her multitude of school supplies. She hugged it around her tightly before grabbing a handle on her trunk and dragging it out to the sidewalk.

Once she got there though, her plan ended. She had nowhere to go, no one to take her in. The only family she had was in Austria, and they were probably already aware of the tense relationship with her parents and be unwilling to take her in. And then there was the fact that she had absolutely no way of getting there. She cursed her self inwardly for leaving her broom at school; it surely would have been a great help right about now.

She held her wand nimbly between her fingers, very aware that if any adult wizard caught her doing this she would be in major trouble. But, as she was all too aware of, she lived in a very muggle neighborhood, and the likelihood of there being a wizard was as likely as Voldermort being her secret admirer.

Kirsten half heatedly waved her wand around, as if it would give her inspiration for some sort of spell she could use, though she wasn’t quite sure what she would do if she though of one, she wasn’t too eager to get expelled from Hogwarts, especially now.

There was a sudden bang, scaring Kristen so greatly that she stepped back and fell backwards over her trunk. A large purple bus was barreling towards, “The Knight Bus” blazed across the top.

“Welcome Miss!” A young woman said with enthusiasm, stepping out of the now stationary bus to help her stand up again.

“What is this?” Kristen asked with not very well concealed fright.

“Why the Knight Bus of course! I’m Andy and I’ll be your hostess this evening,” the woman with spiky black hair told her with a wink. “Wingardium Leviosa!” She said lightly, holding out her wand to levitate the trunk inside. “Well come on Miss, no need to stand out here and catch your death!”

Kristen hesitantly got on the bus, looking around quickly at the beds that lined the sides and the withes and wizards that filled them. “Go ahead, sit, sit,” Andy pushed her into a bed close by. “Now what’ll you be takin’? We’ve got the ride and hot chocolate for seven sickles, and you could do with a bit of warming up!”

Kristen flushed at the though of her feeble pounds in her pockets. “Um… I only have muggle money.”

“No problem at all, that’ll be eleven pounds.” She said happily, waiting as Kristen dug the excess money out from the shopping trip out of her pocket and handed it to her. “Thanks my dear, now, where are you headed?”

Before Kristen could reply the bus suddenly lurched forward, sending Kristen off the bed and into the floor but not moving the hostess at all. “You get used to it,” she laughed good-naturedly while helping up her young passenger. “Now, destination?”

“I don’t know yet,” Kristen admitted a bit reluctantly, still stunned that she had managed to find a mode of transportation.

“That’s alright, there’s quite a few ahead of you, it’s Christmas Eve after all. Oh, and here,” she pulled a handkerchief from the look of pants and handed it to her. “Dry your eyes. No tears on Christmas.”

Kristen gladly took it and wiped away the remnants of her parent’s hate, watching out the window as the countryside flew past. Soon, it was nearly nine o’clock, and almost all those that had been on before her had departed.

“What’s it going to be dear?”

“Number 12 Grimmauld Place in London,” Kristen whispered, that being the only place she could come up with, and the only place she really wanted to be.

“You know the Blacks?” Andy asked her quite sharply.

“Yes, one of them is my best friend. Do you know them?”

Andy looked away, her demeanor turning distinctively cold. “Of them. I know only a few of them personally, and I wish I didn’t.”

After that, Andy wasn’t nearly so cheerful towards Kristen. She ignored her for the most part, finally shoving a hot chocolate at her with only minutes left to go of her ride. “You know they hate muggle borns. That’s what you are, right? We did pick you up in a muggle neighborhood.” Andy shot at her, still looking angry for some reason.

“Not my friend,” Kristen snapped right back. “He’s not like those other cows, okay? So lay off, would you?”

Andy slowly smiled at her. “Sirius. You must be a friend of the infamous tattle tale!”

“Are you…are you his cousin?”

“Yes!” Andy grinned widely and plopped down on the bed beside her. “My real name is Andromeda, have you heard of me?”

“Um, yeah, you have a daughter, right?”

Andromeda shook her head excitedly. “My little Nymphy, she’s only four. I can’t believe you’re one of his friends! You must not be as bad as I thought you were! But why are you going there, surely not for my uncle’s funeral.”

“I just need to see him,” Kristen said quietly, looking out the window, she wasn’t too eager to go into the whole story of her parents.

The bus jerked to a stop, throwing Kristen forward for what was surely the fiftieth time that night. “I can levitate your trunk to the steps, but I’m not allowed anywhere near the house, strictly speaking.” She smiled widely, obviously proud of the fact. “That’s what happens when you marry a muggle in the Black family!”

Kristen exited the bus with a promise to give Sirius a hug from his doting cousin, feeling exceptionally nervous as she slowly made her way to the door, her trunk already planted beside it. Her nerves only increased when there was a loud bang and the bus vanished from view.

She breathed heavily as she stood in front of the huge door. She was making a huge mistake, she knew that. His mother would likely kick her out, she knew that. She was going to have to lie a lot to get through however long her stay with Sirius would have to be, she knew that.

She had to see Sirius, he was the only one who could calm her down, and make her feel worthy of having a place on the earth.

She was absolutely sure of that.

A/N So this chapter is dedicated to the awesomness that is Deathly Hallows, absolutely my favorite in the series. Also, if you are a wiccan or any other person that performs a version of witch craft, I do not think that it was makes a Satan worshper, her mother is a little unhinged, please forgive her. And now that that is said, I humbly ask for your reviews, your comments on DH, or anything that just might drift across your mind while looking at that nice little comment box straight below.

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