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I ran up the stairs to the Gryffindor common room and found Harry and Ron on the couch. "Harry, we have to go to Dumbledore! Now!"
"What’s going on?" Ron asked, standing up.
We needed to get to Dumbledore so I didn’t answer him; I just grabbed their hands and pulled them off the couch, towards the door, Hermione behind us.
"Maggie, what is going on?" Harry shouted as we ran down the stairs.
"I don’t know!" I shouted back at him, turning to him, my face red. "But something just happened to me and I want to know what is going on!"
I dragged the two boys until we reached the griffin. Hermione named off different candies as I was out of breath and ready to pounce on the stairs as soon as I saw them.
When the griffin moved I ran up the stairs, Harry and Ron still in tow. I opened the door and saw Dumbledore sitting at his desk, McGonagall standing behind him.
"Please tell me you can somehow read minds." I gasped.
"Ms. Carlott, what’s going on?" McGonagall asked, looking at the stunned faces of my friends.
I let go of the hands in my grasp and walked up to the desk. "I took a nap, wanting to calm down after we found out the dementors were coming…"
Dumbledore interrupted me. "How did you find out, Ms. Carlott?"
I shook my head. "That isn’t important! But when I went to sleep I woke up in a golden forest. Helga Hufflepuff and Godric Gryffindor were there! They told me that there was going to be a battle of the heirs." I pointed to Harry. "Gryffindor." I pointed at myself. "Hufflepuff."
"What about Ravenclaw?" Hermione asked. "Do we know that heir?"
"Luna Lovegood." I answered. "She’s apparently just like Rowena Ravenclaw, very day dreamy."
"I’m Gryffindor’s heir?" Harry whispered, sitting on one of the chairs in front of the professor and headmaster. "But, I thought that I wasn’t…I can’t be."
"It does make sense, Harry." Ron shrugged. "Think of everything that has happened, just the past two years."
"But…" Harry stared off.
"Harry, I have no idea what to do either, if it’s any consolation." I sighed.
"Was there anything else in the dream?" Dumbledore asked.
I nodded. "I was told that my blood would seal the fate of Hogwarts. She said that my mother’s blood would seal the fate of the school. I don’t… I don’t understand what that means."
"What?" Ron shouted. "Please tell me that she doesn’t have to die!" He yelled at the teachers.
"I don’t know Mr. Weasley." The headmaster stood, walking over to me. "Ms. Carlott have you ever seen a Pensive?" He asked.
"I’ve read about them."
"I would like to see if I can capture your memory of the moments with the Founders, if that is alright."
I nodded. The wizard pulled his wand out of his sleeve and placed it at the side of my head. "Please close your eyes and concentrate on the dream."
I focused on the memory. Focusing on the woods and the gown and the founders I ignored the surrounding people. I felt a tug near my temple and suddenly I couldn’t remember the forest at all.
"What happened?" I asked, opening my eyes. There was a long wispy string flowing from the tip of Dumbledore’s wand.
"This is your memory. I will place it in the Pensive and McGonagall will accompany me and we’ll try to see if we can answer any questions." He opened a cabinet with a large bowl and many small bottles and placed my memory in the bowl. My head of house walked over to him and they both disappeared after placing their heads in the liquid of the bowl.
I stood there dumbfounded as I waited for them to return. I heard sobbing and I looked over to see Harry crying in the chair. I walked over to him and kneeled in front of him, grasping his hands.
"I’m sorry…" I whispered. "If I didn’t have to tell you, I wouldn’t. But Harry, I didn’t know what else to do."
"Maggie, that isn’t why I’m crying," He smiled, looking up at me with foggy eyes. "In ten minutes you’ve given me more reasoning to the questions that I’ve had for years, than any amount of searching I’ve done." He fell out of the chair, wrapping his arms around me. "Thank you." He whispered.
I hugged my friend back, a smile on my face. "You’re welcome."
Dumbledore and McGonagall came flying back into the room and the Headmaster looked extremely frightened.
"Do you remember another man being there?" He demanded, running over to me, lifting me off the ground by my arms.
"No. It was just me, Godric and Helga." I gasped. "Why?"
"Slytherin was there, do you remember him being there?!" He shouted.
"No!" I screamed. "How many times do you need to hear it?"
"Albus put her down." McGonagall came up behind her friend, placing a kind hand on his shoulder.
The wizard looked at me for a moment, before doing what his friend asked. He used his wand to pull the memory back to my head, sliding it into my ear. "Slytherin knows. And that means that Voldemort knows… I need to see Flitwick and Ms. Lovegood." He sighed. "This is horrible…" McGonagall rushed out of the room to retrieve them.
"How can Voldemort know?" I asked. "I barely know how I was contacted."
"Tom is very powerful." Dumbledore laughed. "Always was. He probably knew of his lineage before he was a young boy."
"Who is Tom? Is that Voldemort’s name?" I rubbed my arms, bruises already showing.
"Yes. Tom Marvolo Riddle." The headmaster rubbed his forehead, removing his spectacles.
"Oh God…" I sat back down on the floor, Ron standing behind me, stroking my hair.
"Maggie?" Hermione came forward. "Did they say why your mother’s blood is needed?"
I shook my head. "No. Helga said that and then her eyes shot a beam of light into mine."
"Why do you ask, Ms. Granger?" Dumbledore asked.
"I’m just curious, I suppose. I’ve never heard of a sacrifice being chosen in the magical world before. Especially considering that her mother is a squib." She furrowed her eyebrows as she sat in the chair that Harry had been sitting in. The raven haired boy leaned against her legs as she did.
The word sacrifice brought so many fears to my mind that I didn’t know how to think. I leaned forward and hugged myself, making my body as small as I could. I didn’t want to die. I just wanted to do the right thing.
"I don’t want to die." I whispered. Ron knelt beside me, pulling me into his lap.
The door opened and McGonagall entered, Flitwick and Luna behind her. The young girl had on a bright orange hat with her uniform and a purple moose stuffed toy.
"Good evening everyone." She smiled.
"Ms. Lovegood, we have some news for you. I’m going to be blunt about it." Dumbledore cleared his throat. "You are the heir of Rowena Ravenclaw."
"Oh… That’s nice." She sighed. "That is some news, isn’t it?"
"You’re very calm about all of this." Harry commented.
"It is very exciting news, yes, but I shouldn’t get too worked up about it on an empty stomach." Luna smiled wistfully.
"We're doomed." I whispered. I turned to the headmaster. "The three of us are supposed to save Hogwarts?"
"We shall figure that out at a later time." Dumbledore sighed.
I shrieked. "You want to procrastinate about this? Is that what you are saying? Just put it off until the last minute, because that will solve all our problems!"
"Ms. Carlott!" McGonagall gasped.
"No! I am not going to sit here and let him tell me that we are just going to toss this to the side when there’s a war knocking down the doors of this school! I won’t let him tell us that we are just kids and that he will decide what to do." I walked over to the pensive, dipping my wand into it trying to get my memory back. Hermione came over and pulled it out for me, drawing the string back into my head.
"This is my memory!" I shouted. "My blood has to be spilt, remember? Not yours, not Luna’s, not Harry’s, mine. Don’t tell me we’re going to figure this out at a later time!" I ran out the door, down the stairs and into the corridor until I reached the astronomy tower stairwell. I could hear someone yelling behind me. I climbed the stairs, as fast as I could, ignoring the students coming down. I knew that there wouldn’t be another class tonight, Dumbledore was going to announce the Dementors and being at the top of an open tower wouldn’t be safe after dark. I stopped halfway up the stairs at a small landing.
"What am I going to do?" I whispered, collapsing against the wall of the tower.
"Margaret?" I turned and saw Papa standing on the stairs. "What’s wrong, sweetheart?"
"Papa!" I cried, running to my father and wrapping my arms around him. "Everything is all wrong, none of this is supposed to happen to me!"
"Margaret…what happened?" He stroked my hair and held me tight
I told him everything that had happened. I explained the dream, what the founders had said, Harry, Luna, everything. He was silent the entire time.
"Papa, what did they mean by my mother’s blood?" I asked.
"Sweetheart, your mother isn’t a squib." He sighed.
"What do you mean?" I pulled away from him. "She’s always been a squib."
"The woman you know isn’t your mother. She’s been obliterated; she was when you were born. I’ve managed to convince her that she is a squib. I did it to protect you." I stepped back.
"Sweetheart, you have to understand…"
"To protect me?" I whispered.
"If she knew that you were the heir, she would have killed you." He said, reaching for me.
"What aren’t you telling me?!" I shouted at my father, catching him off guard. I had never raised my voice to my father. Never.
"Maggie—my sweet Maggie—you don’t understand…" He tried to comfort me.
"No! I don’t understand, so why don’t you explain it to me?!" I shouted again, louder.
"I don’t know how!" He let out an exasperated sigh, running his hand along the back of his neck.
"You don’t want to." I sneered. "It might mean letting me know that you might not have been the good guy." I pushed past him, running down the stairs to the Great Hall. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Why does everything have to be a lie? Can’t I be a normal teenager?
This entire time I’ve been lied to. Lied to by the man I’ve looked up to the most.
"Maggie!" I heard someone shout my name and I turned around to see a Dementor staring at me through a broken window. The creature loomed beyond the glass, its robe billowing around it.
I saw Harry and Hermione run up beside me but I motioned for them to stay where they were.
The creature swayed, hovering mere feet away.
I felt an odd sense of power come over me as the creature loomed. I simply stared into the cloaked hood of the Dementor. Very slowly I lifted my wand from my pocket. It didn’t seem to notice the movement of my hand.
I began thinking of Ron. Feeling happy, alive and anything else nice would keep my soul in its place. With the fastest movement I could muster I held my wand in front of me, screaming a Patronus charm. I don’t quite remember actually saying the words. I felt as though my ears were full of water.
The badger lunged onto the creature through the window, biting it as the Dementor flew away, and its robes billowing behind it as the dog’s misty form chased after it.
I stood, in silence, at the quiet hallway. Hermione walked over to me and pulled me into a hug.
"Are you okay?" Harry asked.
I nodded. "Where’s Ron?"
"He was still yelling at Dumbledore when we left to find you. My guess is he either went to find you or to the Prefect’s bathroom to relax. He was really bothered. I thought he was going to kill Dumbledore." Harry sighed. "You want to talk to him?"
"Yea. I want to be with him right now." I smiled. "What’s the password for the bathroom?"
"The password is Thermos." Hermione offered a sympathetic smile. "We’ll talk tonight, right?"
I nodded. I headed towards the Prefect’s bathroom, my mind completely blank.
Reaching the portrait of the mermaids I said the password and they giggled, jumping into the water, as the door opened.
"Ron?" I yelled into the room. "Are you in here?"
"Uh, yea! Hold on, let me get a towel." I heard water slosh against tile and the gentle padding of feet. Ron came around the corner, a towel around his waist.
"Are you okay?" He asked, rubbing my shoulders.
"I just ran into a Dementor. No, don’t worry, I just used a Patronus and it left. But I wanted to ask you something. When we go to Hogsmeade tomorrow can it just be just you and me? No Harry, no Hermione, no Dumbledore, just you and me?" I sighed.
"Alright." He nodded.
I wrapped my arms around him, relishing in the feel of his warm body against mine.
"Maggie?" He asked.
"What if we can’t go to Hogsmeade tomorrow? With the Dementors and all?" I looked up at him. "I really don’t want to rain on your parade, but there is a possibility that Dumbledore won’t let the students go." He sighed.
"I don’t want to think about that. I just want to think about one day at a time." I laughed. "Thinking about the future gives me a headache."
He chuckled and hugged me tighter. "Then we’ll take it one day at a time."
Ron went and got dressed and we walked back to his common room again. The paintings were stirred into a bustle of movement. I saw the Dementors outside the windows, their robes billowing behind them. I shuddered as the creatures eerily floated past with a strange grace around them.
Ron grabbed my hand and squeezed it comfortingly.
We made it to the common room and Harry and Hermione were sitting on the couch. Hermione offered me a sympathetic smile as we made our way towards them.
"Dumbledore cancelled the Hogsmeade trips for the semester." Harry sighed.
"Bugger." I whispered.
"It’ll be alright." Ron smiled as we sat down. Other students came and went through the common room, the murmur of classes and dementors hung in the air amongst the worried faces of the kids.
Ginny came in, Fred and George behind her, and she sat on the floor next to me. The boys stayed standing behind her and they all looked shocked.
"What’s wrong, Gin?" Harry asked.
"Dumbledore called us in, Mum’s here." Fred sighed. "They’re closing the Ministry. No one in or out. Dad’s stuck in there."
"Why didn’t they call me in there? I would’ve liked to have known about it!" Ron was getting angry, but I just laid my hand on his shoulder.
"What? Why are they closing it?" Hermione wondered aloud, her eyes staring off into space as her brain began contemplating different reasons as to the ministry’s methods.
"’Mione?" Harry turned to her. "What are you thinking?"
"The only reason why they would close the ministry is if there’s a rat." She whispered.
"A rat?" George cocked an eyebrow. "I don’t understand. They close it for a pest control problem?"
"No, a rat as in a snitch, George. As in a leak in information. Someone who is giving the secrets to the other side, someone that they don’t know. They’re going to eliminate every possibility until they have found them and the only way to do that is to go under a complete lockdown." Hermione ran a hand through her hair.
"This just gets better and better." I sighed. "What are we supposed to do now? Just sit here? I mean bloody hell, Hermione, I don’t know about you but that’s as farfetched as I’ve heard them come and if that’s what they think is the problem then what is their solution? Send the leak to Azkaban? Yea that’s a brilliant idea considering all the Dementors are here. This is far more serious than just a leak. There’s something big going on and I want to know exactly how we can fix it."
"We?" Ginny asked. "No, I’m not about to pull a last year, no way."
"What are you talking about, Ginny?" I turned to her.
The group of teens around me exchanged looks of concern and finally acceptance as they contemplated the choice of explaining to me what I wanted to know.
"We will have to tell her sooner or later, Harry." Hermione whispered.
The raven-haired boy sighed, scooting off the couch and sitting in front of me.
"Maggie, there’s a lot that you don’t know. Last year, after Umbridge went . . . missing a group of us went to the Ministry. We were sick of the crap that the prophet had been spilling into our brains. We knew that whatever the Death Eaters wanted was in the ministry. We flew the Thestrals to the ministry, and we had a full on battle with the Death Eaters in the Ministry of Magic."
"That’s what happened?" I asked. "You guys were the big fuss?"
Ron chuckled next to me and nodded. "Yes. We were the big fuss."
"Anyways, when we arrived the Death Eaters were already there. They were after a prophecy. One saying that I must fight Voldemort and that only one of us would survive." Harry explained. "After we had the prophecy a battle ensued. We fought in the ministry for an hour or so. My godfather… I lost him. He was thrown through a veil after he was hit by a curse by Bellatrix Lestrange. We have fought more than anyone would want to imagine in the past 6 years, Maggie."
Harry began to explain what had happened since the trio started their schooling at Hogwarts and I listened intently. From trolls to basilisks and so much more, these teenagers had seen more than their fair share of the odd and demented.
"Merlin." I sighed. "What if we did go to the ministry? Hypothetically speaking, Ginny."
"I’d probably be the same bloody mess as it was last year." She shook her head. "I love dad, but I can’t go back there. Last year we nearly lost Harry and Hermione. I’m not about to risk losing anymore of my friends."
I looked to Harry. "Lost you? What?"
"Hermione was hit by a Death Eater’s spell. She… We lost her a couple times. I was possessed for a minute or two. These people don’t care that we are kids, Maggie. They wouldn’t. I’m convinced that they have no souls."
"I have an idea." Ginny whispered. "But you guys are going to hate me."
"What?" I turned to the young girl sitting beside me. "Why would we hate you?"
"Give me five minutes." With that Ginny got up and ran out of the common room.
"That’s helpful." Fred commented.
"This is nuts." Hermione leaned against Harry and he put his arm around her. I smiled at the sight, biting my tongue.
We chatted for a few minutes, discussing different possibilities as to get Arthur Weasley out of the Ministry, when Ginny came back into the common room with a person behind her, a cloak over their head.
"He can help us." She smiled, holding the figures hand.
"Who’s he?" I asked.
The person reached up and pulled the cloak back.
Ginny Weasley was holding the hand of Draco Malfoy.
"What the hell, Ginny?!" I shouted, reaching for my wand.
"Don’t get your knickers in a twist, Carlott." He laughed. "I can explain."
"Yea, sure you can." Ron sneered, putting his arm around me.
"Will you hear him out?" Ginny asked, looking to Harry. We turned to the Raven haired boy and he got up, walking over to Malfoy.
"I will listen to you, but I don’t trust you, get that straight, Malfoy." He said, extending his hand. "No tricks, from my side or yours."
Malfoy shook his hand. "No tricks." He agreed.
Harry sat back down next to Hermione, Ginny and Malfoy sitting between me and Fred.
"I’ve been a double agent for Dumbledore ever since fourth year. I told him about the plan for the Tri-Wizard tournament, but he didn’t believe me. He didn’t think that a Moody incident would happen." Malfoy explained. "Ever since he has trusted me. I’ve been leaking information from my house to Dumbledore for years. After this year I will be given a new identity and be staying here at the castle. My death will be faked and I will never be able to see my family again."
"Why?" I asked.
"Because after this year I am supposed to become a Death Eater. I will not let that monster brand me." He spat. "I hate him. He took my childhood away from me."
I felt an odd sympathy towards Draco Malfoy as he spoke that. I knew what it felt like to lose a childhood because a parent didn’t care.
"But I know what’s going on with the Ministry. It isn’t a leak, Granger, but good guess. The Death Eaters are there. They’ve locked down everything. Only the Auror’s wands work and a few members of the Order of the Phoenix. Apparation doesn’t work. No one can charm a Portkey, nor can any existing ones work."
"They’re there?" Harry asked. "How many?"
"I only know bits and pieces before I was cut off from my mother. My guess is all of them. This is huge. It’s an all out battle within the walls of the Ministry." Malfoy sighed. "I’m done with this. I’m choosing a side, and it isn’t the one of my heritage. I’m asking if you’ll trust me. I don’t want you to forgive me. Because I know that the things I’ve done to you will not be forgiven. But I am asking that you’ll let me help, whatever the plan is."
"This is extremely unlike you." Harry commented.
"Wait." Hermione stood, running up to the dormitory. I got up, following her.
Going through the door I saw her rummaging through her trunk.
"Hermione, what are you doing?" I asked.
"I have some veritaserum in here somewhere. I bought it this summer." Amidst the clothes and books flying out of her trunk I saw Egeus sitting on her bed, the window next to it open.
"What are you doing here, buddy?" I asked, walking over to the owl. I noticed a scroll attached to his leg. I untied it and was about to read it when Hermione grabbed my arm.
"I found it!" She smiled as we ran out the door. I held onto the small scroll, attaching the leather band that Egeus had been tied to around my wrist.
"Malfoy, if you want us to trust you will you drink this?" She asked.
"Veritaserum?" He asked.
I nodded. "I’ll take it, too. To ensure you that we aren’t tricking you."
Hermione handed me the large vial. I took a small sip. It tasted like Asparagus. I hate Asparagus.
"What is your name?" Hermione asked me.
"Margaret Carlott." I answered.
"Who was your first kiss?" Hermione asked.
"Jeremy Gould, he was my neighbor when I was six." I looked over at her. "This stuff tastes like crap."
Ron laughed. I stuck my tongue out at him.
Malfoy grabbed the bottle and took a drink. His face showed the same disgust that I had experienced. "Tastes like crap doesn’t it?"
"What is your name?" Harry asked.
"Where are the Death Eaters?" I asked.
"They broke into the Ministry of Magic. The ministry has locked down." Malfoy answered. "You couldn’t put a flavor charm on this?!" He turned to Hermione.
"Malfoy." Harry snapped his fingers in the blonde’s face. "Focus."
Malfoy turned back to him.
"Why are they in the Ministry?" Harry asked.
"There’s an artifact that they are after in the Muggle Studies department. It’s called a goon?" He sighed. "They’re supposed to be able to blow holes into people without a wand."
"A gun?" I asked.
Malfoy nodded and my stomach dropped.
"They’re looking for guns?" I whispered. "Oh my god."
"What is a gun?" Fred asked.
I turned to Harry and Hermione. The three of us had grown up in the Muggle world. We know exactly what a gun is, and more particularly, what it can do.
"A gun is a muggle weapon. It’s a . . . chamber mechanism. A small . . . projectile is loaded into the chamber and a small sort of explosion shoots the projectile out of the chamber at a speed that will instantly go through a person." I explained. "No person can stop a bullet without a bulletproof vest. However, knowing the Death Eaters, they are going to find a way to ensure the bullets will penetrate no matter what."
"Bullet?" George asked.
"This is bloody perfect." Ron sighed, standing up.
"That’s what they want." I felt my stomach tighten and I was going to be sick. I made my way to the garbage bin right as I puked into the container. Ron came up behind me and held my hair as I emptied my stomach.
"This will be bloodier than you can imagine." I whispered.
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