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     I do not own Harry Potter. Merely Meg and her generation(?).

                                                      Chapter 9 of Echo
Austin and Edward had found ‘Man, I Feel like a woman’ by Shania Twain and were belting that very line horribly off key. They had no idea Ginny, Harry, and I were watching them in mirth.

“Really, I was under the impression you were the type to go for girls, but I have been wrong before.” I said nonchalantly, shrugging, once they had stopped singing.

If, at that moment, you looked up ‘embarrassed’ in the dictionary, you’d have seen a picture of them. It was classic! They were all red and sputtering. I’ve always said I could accept dying of laughter that would’ve been the moment.

Edward recovered first, as always. “You have good taste in music.”

I bowed my head slightly to hide my tinged pink cheeks at his comment. “Thank you.” I proceeded to set up my slim laptop on the extra-large footrest in front of Dad’s armchair.

“Mum owled,” Harry started before I could explain the new muggle object to the neighbor boys. “They’ll be home soon.” He finished, taking Ginny by the hand and going outside to watch the sunset and most likely get in some good snogging.

Austin glanced out the large picture window before mumbling a curse and standing up. “We’re supposed top be home before sunset. Bye Mags!”

“Awwww, do we have to?” Edward complained but followed Austin out the back door anyway, calling his good-bye on the way.

I sighed. Now what? I thought. I heard a crack from the by the fake mailbox, with swearing right after. It was Dad; I just knew. I ran so fast to the backyard I nearly flew.

“Ginny,” I called breathlessly. “Dad’s hurt!”

Immediately, my brother and soon-to-be-sister sprang to their feet. “What happened?” Harry asked while running up to me, Ginny not far behind.

“No idea, but come on!”


We ran to the front room where Harry helped support Dad so he could be sat in his chair. Despite obviously being injured, Daddy still laughed, notwithstanding weakly, when he saw my laptop on the footrest.

“What happened?” Ginny asked, appalled, when she saw him.

Mum chuckled. “We found Malfoy.”

I can’t remember too much from that night, just that I felt at home. Even though Dad had to take it easy for a while, and Harry usually started pacing if he thought about our scars, Austin sent me owls asking random questions about me every five minutes, and Mum was working on a potion to help Uncle Remus that she’d started back in 1980, I felt like someone cared about me.

The next thing I knew, it was early June and Austin and Edward had just moved in next door.

Tap, tap, tap.

“Meg, can you open the window?”

I sighed. “Yes, Mum.”

Tap, tap, tap.

She looked up from the morning Prophet, raising an eyebrow at my out-of-character answer.

“It’s probably from Austin,” I explained, getting up and throwing open the window for the snow-white owl named Black Beauty. “See?” I pointed, indicating the owl.

“They must be getting close to being finished with their house.” Dad said logically. Oxymoron, isn’t it? The ever-joking James Potter, inserting logic somewhere. Don’t be too surprised, he did spend years behind the veil with Mum. Besides, war changes people.

Black Beauty settled on the back of Harry’s empty chair and held out her leg. I undid the scroll half-heartedly, expecting another random question. Instead, there were three words.

Follow the owl.

I was slightly confused by the abruptness, but followed BB up to my balcony. Austin was standing next to Edward on balcony directly across from mine.

“Um………wow.”

“Yup,” Austin exclaimed proudly. He turned and opened the double doors, where he shoved Edward, despite his loud protests.

I smirked. “Your room, then?”

He nodded. “We could practically touch from here.”

I jumped up to sit on the balcony rail. “Tomorrow the Hogwarts Express comes in,” I stated conversationally.

He seemed unperturbed. “Yeah, so what?”

I was surprised, but didn’t show it. “Means everyone will be over to meet me,” I looked out over the pasture where Sparrow and Casper were grazing contently. “It’ll get pretty boring…” I prompted again.

He grinned wickedly. “Been in contact with Fred and George lately?”

“We just got back from Diagon Alley.” Edward stated with the same I-know-something-you-don’t-know smirk as he came through the doors agan carrying a box.

“Get any fireworks?” I asked eagerly, slipping off the rail when I heard Dad call me for breakfast.

Their grins widened, which I took as a yes before I nearly skipped down to the kitchen.

The next day I tagged along with Harry who had promised, as the world’s perfect Godfather (yeah right!), to be there when Teddy came home for summer holiday.

“When’s it gonna be here?” I asked for the millionth time in the last five minutes.

“Soon,” Harry sighed in expiration. I knew he really loved my childish-ness by his smile.

We heard the whistle sound, indicating the train’s arrival.

“Finally,” I exclaimed, making Uncle Moony and Aunt Dora chuckle. Harry sighed in relief.

I looked around for kids who might be in my year, eager to make more friends of the magical sort. Austin and Ed were entertaining and all, but I needed some chick friends too. I spotted a blonde girl who seemed as if she was close to my age sitting cross-legged by the platform entrance. I poked Harry. “Can I go mingle with potential classmates?”

“Sure,” he said distractedly, “Don’t wander too far,” he added as an afterthought.

I sauntered up to the bored-looking blonde. “Are you going next year?”

She looked up at me, “Yes, are you?” her voice was slightly deeper than mine, but I was a red-head, we’re pretty high-pitched. She wore a simple Arrows t-shirt and jean caprice with brown running shoes.

“Yup,” I said, sinking down next to her. “What’s your name?”

“Amanda Strider.” She assessed my choice of Cannons tee and Bahaman shorts with orange ankle converse, “you?”

I turned towards Amanda to watch her reaction. “Meg Potter.”

She gasped, “Really? I thought all those were just rumors!” she turned to face me as well.

“Nope. Here I am red hair and all.” I said brightly. I glanced around again. “Where’re your parents?”

“Talking to Grace’s friends’ parents, I expect.” Her tone was dismissive but she elaborated at my confused expression. “My older sister, Grace, is in third year.”

“No way!” I exclaimed. “Teddy’s in third year!”

“Teddy Lupin?”

“Yes! That’s who we’re here for.” I said, gesturing toward Harry and our aunt and uncle.

“Small world,” Amanda murmured. “Gracie complains about him all the time. She hates it when ‘he morphs every five minutes!’” She said the last part in a high-pitched, whiny tone.

We laughed together at her imitation of her sister. I could tell we’d be good friends.

“Meg, where’d you go?” Harry called just as the students started stepping off the train and crowing the platform.

“Gotta go, maybe I’ll see you in Diagon Alley sometime.”

“Yeah, our owl can find anyone; I’ll write soon!” Amanda called, running to her family before she got caught in the bustle of students.

“BYE!”

“BYE!”

I had a new friend already, I was confident about Hogwarts before, but a little more couldn’t hurt.

“Whoa, who’s the kid?” that was the first thing Teddy Lupin ever said to me, or more accurately, at me.

“They call me Meg, actually.” I stated making him raise his eyebrows.

Teddy had opted for a mini version of his dad, with his sandy hair and golden eyes. “This was Mum’s assignment?” he asked the adults, astonished.

“Yes,” Uncle Moony answered before I could get a word in. “Where’s your trunk?”

“Oh, yeah, here,” He pulled out his pocket-sized trunk, looking properly abashed for not putting it to the right size before he got off the train. Uncle Moony gave him a look, but enlarged it anyway.

While Teddy was filled-in, I looked around once more. I couldn’t believe I was actually standing on Platform 9¾! I noticed Bill, Fleur and Will talking to a platinum blonde girl. Victorie, I assumed.

“Is this her?” Victorie asked her dad as they walked up not a minute later. She looked weary, yet accepting.

“Yup,” I said, grinning so she would know it was ok.

She smiled. “Hi. I’m Victorie.”

“Hi.” Victorie, Teddy and I soon found ourselves standing in a circle, while the adults discussed something.

“What’s Hogwarts like?” I asked, excited.

They glanced at each other, clearly figuring out who would answer. After a minute, Teddy answered. “Big, grayish, cold sometimes, oozes magic. Why?”

I shrugged. “Why not, there’s nothing better to talk about.”

“Sure there is! What’s new with the wedding?” Now it was Victorie’s turn to be excited.

“Well, I’m the flower girl, for starters.”

“You are?” Teddy seemed surprised.

“Yup”

“Come on, kids.” Uncle Remus said, indicating the barrier.

I looked around one last time before Harry took my hand and we apperated home.

I inhaled again by our fake mailbox, just before sunset.

“What do you think,” Harry asked while opening the door, “about Ted and Victorie?”

I shrugged again. “They’re ok. Hey, after you and Ginny get married, would I be like, their aunt?”

Harry thought for a moment. “I suppose so, why?”

I giggled. “I’ll be a ten-year-old aunt!”

“Strange concept, huh?” he commented, chuckling.

“Are you hungry?” Harry asked when we entered the kitchen. “I can make something. Mum and Dad are working late tonight.”

“Eh, not really, I think I’m going to take Casper out on the trail. Don’t worry, we’ll be back in throwing distance before it gets too dark.” I added, seeing his face.

“I’ll have the map,” was his only reply.

While Mum and Dad were building our house, Moony, Padfoot, and Prongs were constructing a map similar to their map of Hogwarts, except it was of our house. I’ve only found a secret passage way from Mum and Dad’s room to the kitchen, so I don’t think the map’s purpose was to see people sneaking around the house. In fact, I’m almost certain it’s sole purpose is to make sure no one unwanted is outside he house. Maybe a bit of it is to monitor where I was, but that’s beside the point.

I’d saddled up Casper, our three-year-old pure white male, and had just mounted when a little brown haired girl with pigtails poked her head inside the stables.

“Hello, Alice,” I said, dismounting.

“Hi, Meg, Have you seen Eddie?” the four-year-old asked.

“Um, no, where is he?” I wondered briefly where Edward would ever go without him and Austin telling Alice.

Her little shoulders went up and down.

“Shall we look for them?”

She nodded; her eyes grew as big as plates when Emily trotted in.

Those boys let me out, Emily informed me as she lay down in Casper’s open stall.

Oh, great, I thought. They’re messing around by the pond. I looked back at Alice, who was tentatively petting Emily.

“I know where they are. Do you want to ride there?” I asked, causing her head to snap up to me and smile.

“Yes!” she squealed.

I smiled wide. “Ok, come here so I can lift you up.”

She readily ran over and held incredibly still. I grasped her small waist and, with some difficulty, lifted her on the saddle. I stuck my right foot in the stirrup and swung my left leg over to land just behind the smaller girl. Alice leaned back so she wouldn’t fall off; Take us to the pond, Casper, I neighed.

I kept the pace at a walk while we rode into the setting sun.

As it turned out, Austin and Edward had taken advantage of the fact that no one was in my house that particular Sunday. Instead of staying on their own pitch, the boys had decided to go swimming in our pond. That is all I’m going to say.

A few weeks after the little incident, Mum and Dad decided to acquaint me with all the Hogwarts-age relatives. Big mistake.

A/N: thankx for reading!  title of chapter by the wonderful real-life Amanda.

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