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[a/n: Hello everyone! Welcome to chapter seven! *throws confetti* Anyway, as most of you can probably tell this is not my native fanfiction site, and I'm still fairly new around here. I've slowly been getting less reviews for this story and was wondering if my lovely readers had any suggestions as far as boosting the number of reads? Please let me know! It's not exactly a gigantic problem, but I just love suggestions! Hope you enjoy the chappie!] Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, and if you don’t know that by now SOMETHING is not working right up in your brain!! Chapter 7: The Daughter of Death Eaters After Claire had woken up from her nap that evening and was handed another large bar of chocolate from Madam Pomfrey, she learned that she would be spending the remainder of the weekend in the hospital wing along with Harry, and some other girl who had passed out during the match. Ordinarily, Claire would have thought this very fortunate; she would easily be able to see what Harry was up to. But under the circumstances of being seen with a dog Harry believed to be no better than the Devil himself, Claire didn’t think it was a smart idea to get terribly excited about this. However, she didn’t remember anyone else besides Harry passing out at the match... “Who else besides me and Harry Potter passed out, Madam Pomfrey?” Claire asked, innocently enough. “That’s really none of your business, Miss Woods,” the nurse answered. “Honestly, the girl is embarrassed enough! Asked to have the curtains drawn around her bed and everything! I’m not here to fill your head with ridiculous rumors, only mend your injuries!” And with that she bustled off to a bed down on the other end of the wing, covered with slightly shabby grey curtains. “How’re you feeling, Claire?” asked a voice from just opposite her. It was Hermione, sitting with her legs crossed next to Harry’s bed, a book propped open in her hands. She wasn’t taking her eyes off Claire, and neither was Ron, who was sitting on the other side of the bed. Harry lay asleep, clutching the bag that contained his beloved broomstick. “Er—just fine, thanks for asking,” Claire said, feeling a little apprehensive. She didn’t like the stares she was getting. “Your friend just left,” Hermione commented, returning her gaze to her book (to Claire’s great relief). “She said she’d be back after dinner.” “Oh,” Claire replied, unable to think of what else to say. “Thanks, Hermione.” The next few minutes passed by in a rather strained silence. Claire simply stared at the ceiling, trying to ignore the fact that Ron and Hermione kept glancing up at her every now and then, and a few times even looked at each other and had rather animated, mouthed conversations. A few times she came close to smiling, but used all her self-control to contain it. She didn’t want them thinking she was any crazier than they probably already thought. “Oh, you’re awake!” Bethany said happily, entering the hospital wing holding a few cookies on a napkin. She ran to Claire’s bedside and handed them to her, saying, “Thought you might want some of those. Madam Pomfrey tends to not allow too much sugar in here if she can help it.” “Thanks, Bethie!” said Claire thankfully, happy to have something else to eat besides chocolate. As she gratefully stuffed a sugar cookie into her mouth, she asked, “So have I missed anything exciting since I’ve been asleep?” Bethany shook her head. “Nothing that I’ve noticed.” “Well, perhaps we should double check? What do you think? Hmmm?” Claire asked, winking furiously. Eventually, Bethany caught on and said she’d be back in a second. Five minutes later she returned with The Prisoner of Azkaban. “Much thanks!” Claire said, taking off the cover and stuffing it under her pillow. She didn’t want Ron or Hermione to catch sight of it and grow curious as to why the name of their best friend was on the cover of a book this peculiar girl was reading. “I take back what I said before about nothing exciting happening,” Bethany added, as Claire began flicking through the book. “Ginny’s sitting in the common room with a piece of parchment, annoying the heck out of everyone! The parchment keeps jumping up on the table and screeching! When I went over to ask her if she needed any help, she just crumpled it up and said no. Weirdest thing—why are you laughing? I mean it’s funny, but not that funny!” Claire couldn’t contain herself. Obviously Bethany was referring to the get well card Ginny was going to bring to Harry tomorrow. It had been a few hours since Claire had found anything remotely amusing, so she laughed a bit harder than necessary or wise. “Sorry,” Claire replied. “Anyway, there’s one other thing,” Bethany said, lowering her voice before she continued. “Nobody’s seen Robin since before the match. I noticed she wasn’t in the common room and started to ask around, and no one knows where she is. Is anything in there about where she went—I mean now that people have noticed they’re starting to think she had something to do with the dementors—” Claire was shocked. Robin Gregory—a second year—having something to do with bringing over a hundred dementors into the quidditch stadium?! The very thought was not only impossible, but a horrible thing to even consider! Why would anyone want to go anywhere near those things—regardless of whom their parents were? She opened her mouth to say all these things to Bethany...when her eyes suddenly fell on the curtains on the other side of the room. Suddenly she understood who was behind that curtain, ashamed to be seen. And as realization hit her, she was surprised at the words that came out of her mouth. “No, I don’t know where she is, Bethie.” ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Claire sighed. Hermione, Ron, and Bethany had long since been shooed out of the hospital wing and Madam Pomfrey had long since retired to her office. She had been sitting there, staring at the book in her hands for probably a decent hour, still unable to believe what she saw: Harry’s eyes snapped open. He was lying in the hospital wing. The Gryffindor Quidditch team, spattered with mud from head to foot, was gathered around his bed. Ron and Hermione were also there, looking as thought they’d just climbed out of a swimming pool. It was though Harry’s memory was on fast forward. The lightening—the Grim—that girl—Crookshanks—the dementors... She sighed again. That entire part of the story had now been altered. But it wasn’t exactly that particular part that freaked her out the most: “That girl,” Harry nodded towards the girl in the bed opposite him, “was in the top box with a dog that looked exactly like the one I saw on Magnolia Crescent when I left the Dursley’s last summer. It looked like—like the grim...” “What’s your name, honey?” Hermione asked the girl in a tone of someone not wanting to frighten a small puppy. “Huh?” the dark-haired girl asked, as if she didn’t understand the question. “Er—Claire. Claire Woods.” And it went on further still! Right before Harry received the news about his broomstick there was a paragraph on his thoughts: Harry couldn’t help but agree with Ron about Crookshanks now. At first he was sure it was just another frivolous fight with Hermione, but now that he’d seen the cat with the grim—he didn’t want to have anything to do with him. He turned to interrogate Claire Woods further, when suddenly Professor Flitwick came hurrying in... She snapped the book shut. She was now a character in the Harry Potter books! She hadn’t even paused to think that by talking with Harry, Ron, and Hermione at such a pivotal part in the story would surely end up in the book! She knew she should be far more careful the remainder of her time in the hospital wing, or the trio would soon discover that the girl they already thought was dumb and suspicious was much more unusual than they thought... She jumped when she heard someone cough. It’d been so silent in the room that this simple noise simply caught her off guard. She looked down the row of beds to the one that was covered in shabby grey curtains, and saw that its occupant, thinking everyone else in the wing was asleep, had lit a candle. Struck by a sudden, small idea, Claire threw off her covers, slipped her feet into a pair of slippers next to her bed, and grabbed a candlestick off her night table. She did this as silently as possible, picking up her wand and pillow in her other hand and walking down the row with her nightgown grazing the floor underneath her. When she reached the bed, she looked over her shoulder to make sure everyone was asleep. Seeing that it was so, she turned around to draw back the curtains—and nearly jumped out of her skin when she saw a pair of rather hallow eyes gazing back at her, instead of the shabby hangings that had been there but a moment before. “Can I help you with something?” asked the girl, not taking her eyes off Claire’s. Having just barely stopped herself from crying out in fright, Claire took a moment to catch her breath. The girl glaring back at her had indeed been Robin Gregory, with her long, coarse blonde hair and eyes as dark and cold as any Claire had ever seen. She was the sort of person who just looked like a loner, the kind that trusted no one. Claire gulped. “I just wanted to see if you were alright,” Claire said, lighting her candle with the tip of an ignited wand and stuffing the slender piece of wood into the pocket of her nightgown. “I saw your light come on and—well, I thought maybe you needed something—” “We’ve been in classes together and shared a dormitory for the past year and a half,” Robin replied coldly. Claire wished she would blink or something, she was starting to feel rather uncomfortable. “All this time you’ve never spoken two words to me. And now all of a sudden you care? How touching. Did this sudden change of heart happen because you couldn’t see who I was? Is that why you came over here?” Claire was taken aback. She was getting this kind of speech just from asking if Robin was alright? Her surprise must’ve been all over her face, because Robin said, “That’s what I figured,” and made a grab to draw the curtains once more. “Wait!” Claire said, throwing out her hand to stop her. “Don’t shove me off so easily! I knew you were over here the entire time! I was just looking for a decent excuse to come over and talk to you.” “Oh really?” Robin replied in a cynical tone. “And since when have you become a Divination expert?” “You couldn’t pay me to take that class!” Claire said with a horrified look. “Trelawney is far to freaky for my liking. Besides, who wants to know what the future holds in store anyway? But I knew you were over here when Bethany said you weren’t in the common room.” “There’s a million other places I could’ve been besides the common room,” Robin continued, still keeping those dark eyes on Claire. “Why assume I’m over here? There’s the library, or the Great Hall, or the bathrooms—” “Ordinary people don’t pass out from dementor attacks,” Claire replied coolly. This was the right thing to say if she wanted Robin to look away, but the wrong thing to say if she wanted to befriend the girl. To Claire’s surprise, Robin looked away with eyes full of tears. She didn’t sob or allow her lip to tremble; her features were as stony as ever. It was as if watching a statue cry: rather extraordinary and slightly alarming. Claire didn’t know what to do. “I’ve never passed out seeing them before,” she said. If Claire were blind she wouldn’t have known she were crying, but the tears were now flowing down her pale cheeks. “I’ve seen them dozens of times before today—but I’ve never passed out.” Without further ado, Claire climbed onto Robin’s bed, sitting cross-legged across from her, hugging her pillow in her lap. “As far as I’m concerned, this is the first time we’ve met,” Claire said in the tone of someone apologizing, when really her statement was rather ironic. She extended her hand and added, “My name is Claire Woods, and I’ve never passed out in my life until today.” Robin stared at Claire’s hand for a few seconds. She seemed to be thinking rather hard. Finally she said, “Oh—what the hell!” and grasped Claire’s hand. “Nice to meet you,” Claire said with a smile, letting go of Robin’s hand and using her wand to magick the candle she was holding into the air. “You said you’ve seen the dementors before this year?” “Yeah, bet it doesn’t surprise you at all,” Robin said, lying back on her pillows with a rather evil smirk Claire would’ve thought only capable of a Slytherin. “I’m sure there’s a rumor going around the House that I was sent to Azkaban at the age of seven, or something like that...” “But why would people say such a thing?” Claire asked, puzzled. Robin cocked an eyebrow. “Do I really have to answer that question?” Claire felt the heat rising in her face. “If you mean your parents—” “That’s exactly who I mean,” Robin said in an icy tone. She looked away and let out a short laugh before she continued, “The daughter of death eaters in Gryffindor House—whoever heard of such a thing? Certainly not anyone you know—you were there in the Hall the day I was sorted. You know something—I didn’t want to be sorted into Slytherin, but after the way things have been the past year and a half I almost wish I was. At least there I would’ve been respected—” “You shouldn’t say things like that, Robin,” Claire said in a concerned voice. “You got sorted into Gryffindor because of who you are, not because of who your parents are—” “Were,” Robin corrected, not taking her eyes off the spot in the drapery she was staring so contently at. “My parents are dead.” Claire felt her breath catch in her chest. She hadn’t counted on that. “I’m sorry to her that,” Claire said in the most sympathetic voice she could manage. “No you’re not,” Robin replied. “No one is. My parents worked for the Dark Lord. They tortured and murdered several innocent people. Most people say death is the only fitting thing for people who do things like that.” Claire was quiet for a minute before she asked, “How old were you when they—you know...” “Died?” Robin said, turning her head swiftly to stare at Claire again. “I was five. Someone knocked on the door of our house one day and I answered the door. I’ll bet there were about five or six dementors standing there. Of course, I’d never seen anything like ‘em before, and I was scared stiff. I just stepped over to the side and they came in and took my parents away. I just sat there for the longest time, until an Auror came and took me to the Ministry of Magic.” Claire just sat there, completely stunned. She couldn’t even begin to imagine how traumatizing this ordeal must’ve been, especially if Robin was so young. Claire was trying to think of something to say or ask when Robin suddenly go the urge to continue. “So I had to sit there through the entire trial process. It took weeks. I had no idea of anything my parents had done, seeing as I was born after the Dark Lord’s downfall. I think my parents even changed their names so that they wouldn’t be found. They hid everything well from me, even the tattoos on their arms. I remember how completely amazed I was seeing those in the trial...” Her voice trailed off and she looked up, suddenly realizing she had an audience. Her tone grew cold once more, as opposed to calm and remembering. “Why am I telling you this?” she asked aloud. “You’re just another Gryffindor. What do you care about why I passed out?” ”Because I did, too,” Claire replied. “And by the looks of it, we can both use a friend who can understand that.” Robin seemed to dismiss the idea immediately. “Look, Robin, I know people have treated you badly in the past because of your parents’ mistakes,” Claire said, “but you had nothing to do with them. And if people actually gave you a chance, they’d know that. I’m giving you a chance, Robin, can’t you give me one?” Robin simply stared at her, not moving a muscle. “Well, think about it,” Claire said, standing up, grabbing her pillow, and jumping lightly off the bed. As she did so, something fluttered onto the bed and right into Robin’s lap. Claire froze. It was The Prisoner of Azkaban cover she’d stuffed under her pillow hours before. Robin picked it up and studied it. Claire couldn’t move for fear as she heard her ask the worst question she’d ever heard in her life: “What is this?” [a/n: DUN DUN DAAAAAAAAaaaa! How can this POSSIBLY bode well on a blooming friendship?! Just HOW much trouble has Claire just landed herself in?! Will there ever be a NORMAL day in this story?! Well, probably not...but until the next chapter I’m gonna be mean and leave ya hanging! MWHAHAHA! Thanks for reading everyone, please take a moment and leave a review!]

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