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beautiful chapter image by elixirchaos @ tda (isn't it beautiful??)

I awoke in McGonagall’s office, surrounded by professors.

"Maggie?" I looked up to see Papa standing over me, fear written in his face.

"She’s going to be weak." I heard Snape whisper to Dumbledore.

"Are you alright, Maggie?" Professor Sprout sat next to me on the bed.

I nodded softly, I couldn’t feel most of my body. "What happened?" My mouth felt dry and thick.

"Your mother poisoned you but your blood fought it. I’ve rarely seen anything that powerful." Dumbledore explained. "It’s the heir’s blood in you, and I think that you’re going to need more training. I’ve already discussed this with your father."

"There’s something else… Isn’t there?" I asked.

"Your mother has pledged her loyalty to Voldemort, my dear." McGonagall sighed.

"We’ve discovered that it was your mother who killed the Squid at the start of the term." Snape looked down at the ground. "I’m very sorry, Ms. Carlott, I know this must be hard on you."

"What happens now?" I asked.

"We just have to wait." Papa whispered before heading towards the door. "I’m so sorry your mother dragged you into this, Maggie."

"No you’re not. You knew this would happen. You should have turned her into Azkaban when you had the chance." Snape sneered. "You made Margaret a prime target for your wife, and you know it."

I looked at the professor in shock.

"Severus…" Dumbledore placed a hand on the shoulder of the Potion’s Master.

"No. She has a right to know why her mother thought she was a Squib all these years. Considering the fact he told everyone she was dead." The professor turned to me. "Your mother was the first Slytherin in her family. Her parents were instinctively … proud, they had wanted to be in Slytherin. And once the Dark Lord came into power he had quite an influence over your mother, as he did many of the students of that house." I noticed his gaze flash to his arm, then back to me.

"What are you saying, Severus?" McGonagall gasped.

"Your mother was training to be a death eater when she met your father. She let her allegiance to the Dark Lord wane when she discovered herself to be with child. After you were born she started to . . . I might say, imprint her beliefs on to you, even as an infant you resisted."

"Severus!" My father growled, startling me to look at him.

"Why… Why didn’t you tell me any of this, Papa?" I asked.

"Because it was all in the past. I erased her memory. I told her she had fallen and hit her head hard, and that the reason she couldn’t use magic was because she was a squib, she just couldn’t remember. What I did was broke her wand . I wasn’t going to let her destroy us. After I became an Auror I noticed her memory started to return. So I sent you to live in London after your first year because I couldn’t risk it. And it finally fully returned just after you left for school."

"Is my mother a death eater?" I growled. "Is she a monster?"

"Yes. She’s been branded. She left after I found out."

I felt the bile rising into my throat and before I could comprehend what to do a basin was conjured before me and I released the sickness of betrayal from my stomach. I saw it was Snape who conjured it, his face showings signs of pity. Was Severus Snape showing actual empathy towards a student? Towards me?

"Maggie…" My father stepped towards me.

"Leave." I groaned.

"What?" He stopped, his hand still outstretched towards me.

"Leave!" I shouted, making my head spin. "You should have told me. You should have known she would’ve tried to hurt me."

"I would’ve never suspected she would have done this to you. Never in a million years." He sighed. "Maggie, please."

"Leave!" I yelled again, pointing at the door.

He nodded sharply and turned on his heel, slamming the door into the wall.

"What happens now?" I asked, turning to the professors as my head of House rubbed my back soothingly.

"All we can do is up your training and watch for any developments." Dumbledore sighed. "I assumed that you knew he had told everyone that your mother was dead, or that she was training to be a death eater. I’m so sorry."

"It’s not your fault." I whispered. "Am I free to leave?"

"I want you to go straight to the dorms, young lady. You need you rest and I’m going to brew up some tea to flush any of that nasty hogwash your mother gave you." Professor Sprout smiled.

"Can Hermione come up?" I asked. "I need to talk to her."

"I’ll bring her up." McGonagall gave me a sympathetic smile. "Pomona, will you take her to the dorms?"

My head of house helped me stand, guiding me out of the office. Snape’s eyes were on me the entire way out of the classroom. I looked once more back at the Potion’s master and I felt sadness in his eyes before he turned back to Dumbledore.

"Dearie, I can’t begin to imagine what you are going through." The old woman patted my back knowingly. "But remember that there is always help here at Hogwarts."

I nodded, not saying a word until we reached the dormitory. The bronze décor with hanging shrubbery and flowers calmed me as I sat across from the ancient fireplace that once served as the brewery station for Helga Hufflepuff, herself. I could feel a strange power emitting from the stonework as my Head of House left me in the common room. I sat up in my chair, leaning towards the fireplace when I heard the painting open and in walked Hermione, Harry and Ron. McGonagall waved from the door. "Let me know if you need anything, dear."

Ron was at my side in an instant. "Are you alright?" He held my face in his hands, his own face ridden with worry.

"Just very weak." I smiled. "But alright."

"What happened?" Harry asked, sitting on a couch beside me, Hermione standing next to my chair.

"Mother’s been branded. She’s a death eater. Snape knew more about my past then I did." I sighed. "She poisoned me because she found out about me being the Heir."

"We’ve figured out how she holds the blood of all three. We split up to each search the bloodlines of the houses." Hermione informed me. "Ravenclaw was easiest. Turns out Luna is your cousin."

"What?" I asked, turning to my friend. "She’s not my cousin."

"She is. Her mother was your aunt. After she married Xenophillus Lovegood she was disowned from the family."

I nodded. "I’d believe it."

"So that explained Ravenclaw. Gryffindor, however, was very tricky." Harry sighed. "You’re gonna want to listen closely, or you’ll get confused. My grandfather was Charlus Potter. His mother was a witch who had… many children with many men. Who knows how many brothers and sisters my grandfather had. Anyways. One of her children married your grandmother and that’s that."

"And Slytherin?" I asked, almost nervous.

"That was my job." Ron ran his hand through his hair. "Your mother’s family were all Ravenclaws. All of them. Except for one. Her. She made friends with many people in Slytherin. Including Lucius Malfoy. He is the one who persuaded her to become a Death Eater. When he did that he brought her to Malfoy Manor one holiday, where Voldemort would be waiting for her, to evaluate her."

"How did you find this all out?"

"I asked Malfoy, mostly. I did a few reading up on your mother’s history. Every genealogical record of every student to walk through Hogwarts has been recorded into the Library. It’s so students have access to the source of their magic." Ron smiled. "I think I spent more time in that library today than I have in 5 years."

"Big shocker there." Harry smiled. "But tell her the rest."

"When he evaluated her, he could sense the blood of the other two houses. He asked her who her sweetheart was and she answered your father. He knew of your father’s familial connections to Hufflepuff so he formed a blood pact with her and ordered her to pursue your father and to bear a child. The perfect Hogwarts child. With the blood of all the houses."

"I was . . . ordered? By Voldemort."

"I-I wouldn’t say that." Harry stuttered. "Um… maybe I would. But you backfired on him. You resisted your mother’s Death Eater advances on you as a child. You refused to partake in any of the meetings."

"Meetings?" I laughed. "I was an infant."

"The mothers would bring their children and they would be watched by the Slytherin students, at the time."

"Great. Death Eater Babysitters." I sighed.

"Maggie. You fought it. You fought him." Harry reached over and grabbed my hand. "Don’t look at this as you were created for evil. Even if you were, you fought it. You beat it."

I nodded. "You’re right, I did."

"What happens now?" Ron asked, still kneeling beside me.

"I think now we just wait. Go about our daily business. Research whatever we can that will help Luna, Harry and I in the battle." I sighed.

"Battle?"My boyfriend looked up at me. "What are you talking about, love?"

"There’s going to be a battle." I flashed back to my dream. "The founders told me."

"Maggie! You never told us."

"Didn’t I?" I asked.

My three friends looked at me with faces that distinctively said ‘You have failed to disclose this information to us and we are confused.’

"All they said was there was to be a battle and that if I fight I can win, don’t fight and I will die." I sighed. "It’s a depressing thought. I can’t even begin to think of what would happen if a battle were brought here."

"I can." Hermione smiled. "Everyone would fight. We would win. Voldemort doesn’t even realize how much each student cares about this school. This is our home."

"It’s true." Ron laughed. "There are times that I forget that I go home for Holiday because it’s home."

"Trust me, Maggie. You aren’t alone in this." Harry whispered, gripping my hand. "We’re never alone at Hogwarts."

"So now we just wait." I whispered. I looked up at the badger painting hanging above the fireplace and the animal nodded at me. It turned and a Raven appeared, landing beside the badger. A lion came up behind them and sat, it’s tail creating a circle around the two smaller creatures.

"Harry." I nodded towards the painting.

"Yea, I see them."

"What could it mean?" I asked.

"Wit." The Raven cawed.

"Bravery." The Lion roared.

"Unity." The Badger barked.

"These are the true values of Hogwarts. Don’t let the cloud of hate hinder these truths any longer." The Lion spoke, it’s voice dripping with the wisdom of a thousand years.

"Our brother has fallen. A path his blood is doomed to roam." The raven cried. "Nothing can bring him back."

"Destiny is something that cannot always be rewritten." The Badger howled. "But you can alter your own paths."

"As heirs of the houses you have the power to protect this castle, to protect it’s students, to protect it’s honor." The lion lowered its head, it’s eyes cast against the ground. "Do all in your power to protect the castle. Protect your home."

The animals faded away and Ron turned to me. "I guess you have to fight, don’t you?"

Harry and I nodded. "We have no choice."

"They’ll have to take me before they take my home." I growled. "I won’t have that coward taking this beacon away from the world."

"I’ll help you any way I can." Hermione whispered.

"I’ll fight by your side, Maggie." Harry nodded. "You and I have a lot riding on us."

"I won’t stop fighting for you or the School."Ron pulled me up into a standing position and wrapped his arms around me. "I’ll put my all into protecting you."

I stood in his arms and I could see over his shoulder the figures of Godric and Helga in a painting near the door. They nodded to me, a look of pride on their faces. I smiled back at them before letting go of Ron and sitting back in the chair. I was still very weak.

"What’s the plan?" Hermione asked, sitting next to Harry.

"Training. I say that if there’s a battle coming we need to prepare the students. In the morning we go to Dumbledore and persuade him. If he doesn’t listen then I’ll prepare them myself." Harry answered. "I’m not having all these innocent students killed because they were unprepared."

"I think that’s a good idea, Harry." I nodded. "Could you train me on a broom?"

"What for?" He asked.

"I think it’s best to cover all my bases. If I knew how to fly on a broom, and be able to cast spells as well then it might just be one more upper hand that we could use."

"Good idea." He replied. "That’s a very good idea."

"I’ll do that." Ron raised his hand. "Harry you can teach evasive, you’re better at it. I can teach blocking and defensive. Although I can’t tomorrow. I have detention for going off the wall at Dumbledore the other day."

"I’ll work on the spells. I know that normal spells won’t have the same effect in the air." Hermione sighed. "It’ll be good to be doing real research again."

"I’m going to see what else my blood can do. There’s got to be something more to it." I looked at my friends.

At least now we have something to do. Because now all we can do is wait for him to come to us.

And oh, how I can’t wait for when he tries.


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