Chapter 9. The Explanation, Part 2.
Harry blinked at Lottie, “He’s my cat too?” he asked.
For some reason, this bothered him. It was another thing that had been taken from him, despite not particularly wanting a cat for himself. He was perfectly content with Hedwig, but he decided it was the principle of the matter.
Lottie, sensing his irritation, nodded slowly but said nothing else. Her eyes glanced towards the table where everyone was watching them intently. She was trying to block them all out and would have preferred that it was just her and Harry in the room, but unfortunately, they were going to have to do this with an audience.
Harry huffed, turning his back to her and walked towards the table. He hesitated, looking between Ginny and Ron and Hermione, not wanting to sit with anyone. Finally, he relented and settled himself back down between Ron and Ginny.
“Harry…” Lottie said frowning, noticing the blood stains on the back of his t-shirt and neck. She stepped towards him, “Your head.” She squinted and could make out the blood in his hair. Her hand went to the back of her head where it had hurt earlier. She had felt the pain exactly where there was a bloody patch on Harry’s head. Her frown deepened and her mind was racing.
“Oh,” said Harry, raising a hand to his head. His hands were bloodstained. “It’s nothing…”
“Harry!” exclaimed Sirius with concern, standing up to get a better look.
“I said it’s nothing!” spat Harry, his temper flaring. He did not want to be fussed over, especially not by Sirius. Harry glared at his godfather.
Sirius flinched at the anger in Harry’s voice. He had never experienced this from Harry before. They had grown so close over the last three years and he feared that he was on the brink of losing that relationship. Slowly, Sirius sat back down, his eyes not leaving Harry’s.
Lottie watched the interaction closely. She could feel the pain between the two people. Perhaps this was the one that hurt Harry the most. Realising the one who was supposed to care about you, protect you had in fact betrayed you, was not an easy swallow. She could relate.
Lottie sighed gently and took a few more steps towards Harry until she was standing behind him. She leant forward between him and Ginny and placed the wooden box on the table in front of him. Standing straight, she hesitated, before waving her hand gently over his head. The blood from his t-shirt, neck and hands disappeared. His hair rustled slightly and there was no longer any sign of blood.
Harry’s hand shot to his head and he stared up at her. His head was no longer throbbing, and the lump and blood on the back of his head had disappeared.
“Thank you.” He said quietly, continuing to stare at her. Harry was curious, he could not deny that; he was certain he had not heard her say a charm. “How did you-”
“You’re welcome.” She said simply. Lottie looked up and noticed that all eyes were on her, sharing the same look as Harry. “What?”
Mrs Weasley cleared her throat and waved her wand so that everyone’s drinks refilled, distracting the curious stares away from Lottie. “Nothing dear.” She said, looking at Lottie curiously. Molly was certain that there was more to Lottie than she was letting on, but she was determined that she should be able to tell it to them in her own time.
Lottie gave her a small smile as another glass of elf made wine came zooming over to her. Lottie plucked it out of the air. “Thank you, Mrs Weasley.” She was grateful for her interjection.
Lottie turned from Harry and walked away to the end of the table and conjured a chair with another wave of the hand before sitting down. She did not want to sit with Remus and Sirius and make it look as though they were in on this together. Instead she was quite content with sitting where she could see everyone either side of her. Harry, along with everyone else in the room, just stared at her. She was starting to feel like a zoo animal.
Lottie said nothing. After all these years of preparing for this moment, it had played out so differently in her mind that she was not sure where to start. Instead she took a sip of wine and placed the glass on the table, watching it as she slowly turned it by the stem.
“Well?” demanded Harry. His tone startled Ginny, who placed a gentle hand on his forearm and looked at him, trying to soothe him. Harry brushed her hand away. Now that the pain in his head had gone, it had been replaced with the feelings of utter betrayal and confusion that he had been feeling before. He was not in the mood to be placated, he wanted answers and he wanted them now.
Lottie watched as Ginny’s face fell and stared back at Harry. “Harry, I understand you’re feel-.”
“Don’t” shot Harry, “Don’t talk to me as though you know me. Just start talking.”
Harry’s remarks caused a few raised eyebrows. His words stung and Lottie felt her cheeks warm. If there was one thing she hated, it was being deliberately embarrassed in front of people, brother or no brother. At the same time, she could not understand why everything he said to her sounded as though it came from a place of hatred. He was trying to assert himself and she was not going to take it any longer. She narrowed her eyes at Harry before taking a breath.
“Okay,” nodded Lottie, standing up. She did not want to be in this room any longer. She did not need to be in this room. She could feel her temper rising, forcing its way through, overshadowing any previous emotion. She took a deep breath to calm herself. “Okay.”
Remus frowned. Lottie’s demeanour had changed. He, along with everyone else in the room, had noticed. In two words, her tone had changed to powerful and confident; it made everyone sit up a little straighter.
She walked over to Harry and took out the ring that sat on the top of her left ear. She glanced down at it before looking at Harry. “Everything you need is in that box.” She said, nodding her head towards it. Lottie rubbed the ring between her thumb and forefinger quickly and everyone watched as it transformed into a small, golden key. She held it out to him.
Harry looked momentarily confused before reaching out and taking it. His hand brushed against Lottie’s and there was a small spark of light. Both he and Lottie gasped, and their hands recoiled from it. Remus and Sirius exchanged a glance.
No one spoke.
Harry and Lottie watched each other carefully for a moment before Lottie gathered herself and walked back to her seat but did not sit down. Instead she picked up her glass of wine and looked at Mrs Weasley. “Is it alright if I take this outside?” she asked her.
Mrs Weasley, who had been watching Lottie and Harry, gave a startled nod. “Yes, of course dear. But aren’t you going to stay?” she asked nervously.
“No.” Lottie replied.
“What do you mean no?” demanded Harry.
“Open the box, Harry.” Lottie said plainly.
Harry frowned, still reeling from the visible electric shock, but did as he was told. He took the key and pushed it into the lock. He turned it slowly and all eyes watched with bated breath. The lock clicked and the lid lifted from the latch. Harry pulled the lid back slowly and was confused at its contents. Inside the box was a small, silver plate and one crystal vial. The plate glinted in the light and all around the edges were different carvings of runes and symbols.
“Wow.” breathed Hermione, leaning across Ron, to peer into the box. “A pensieve.”
Harry looked at her, almost forgetting he was angry with everyone, “Like in Dumbledore’s office?” he asked her.
“Why are you giving me this?” he asked Lottie, looking back at her.
“Because Harry, you’re right.” Lottie said, trying to steady the frustration in her voice, “I don’t know you. At least not past the number of books I’ve read that mention your name, or all of the newspaper articles written about you in the past five or six years.”
She paused for effect and was pleased to see that Harry had the decency to look uncomfortable.
“But, by that same admission.” Lottie continued forcefully, “You don’t know me either. So, in that vial are some of my memories.” She waved her hand at the pensieve and the runes and symbols glowed. A shimmery, silvery substance filled the plate. “Watch them and then we can talk.”
Lottie looked around the room, feeling the sense of eagerness radiating off everyone. It was a total shift change from before. They were all staring at the box, desperate to know the truth and they knew that they were moments away from it. They cared not for hers and Harry’s feelings, but instead for their need to satiate their thirst for answers. It annoyed and offended her.
She scoffed, making everyone turn their gaze from the pensieve back to her. Shaking her head, she looked at Harry. “Be mindful of who you choose to share these with. Be sure that you are content with everyone knowing the truth.” she warned him. “I don’t believe you should watch them alone, but I question whether or not you need an audience.”
Lottie resisted the urge to smile; she felt the mood change from eagerness to concern. They were worried if Harry would follow her advice and choose a select group of people to share these memories with.
Harry blinked at her and glanced around the room. She had a point, but Harry’s own stubbornness got the better of him. “I think I am perfectly capable of making that choice for myself, thanks.” He told her; his words laced with scorn.
Lottie shrugged and turned for the door.
Remus jumped up. “Wait, where are you going?” he asked her worriedly, “Don’t you think you should stay?”
Lottie paused before slowly turning around. She fixed Remus with a stare that made the hairs on his arms stand up. “I have lived them once.” She told him quietly, with that same dangerous undertone from the previous night, “I do not need to relive them for everyone’s satisfaction.”
“But Lottie.” Remus began, sadly. He had so many questions, he did not know where to begin.
“I will be outside my tent.” She told him. “Let me know when you’re done, and I’ll answer your questions then.”
Remus frowned again, “How are you doing that?” he asked her.
“Just watch.” Lottie said exasperated, turning back to the door and opening it. She paused for a moment and then walked out of the kitchen, shutting the door behind her.
Remus stood still, looking at the door before turning back to Harry. “Well Harry, what will it be?” he asked him sombrely. “Are we permitted to watch these with you?”
Harry stayed silent, staring at the box in front of him. Moments passed, causing everyone to start feeling restless.
“Harry?” said Sirius cautiously, not wanting to push his godson any further away.
Harry lifted his eyes away from the pensieve and looked at his godfather. He felt a pang of sadness at the way Sirius had spoken to him. Everything was starting to feel insurmountable. He felt so angry and hurt. He could not understand how this was happening and as a direct result from those he cared about the most.
“Fine.” Harry shrugged.
Remus and Sirius both felt relief. Perhaps there was a way back from this.
Harry glanced down at the box and picked up the vial. A small amount of silvery fluid shimmered at the bottom. He unstopped it and paused. He suddenly felt quite nervous. Remus, who had sat back down next to Sirius, was leaning into the table with his hand over his mouth. He unsure of what they were about to see, but the fear of the unknown was making him tense. Everyone in the room braced themselves for the first of what looked like four memories.
Slowly and carefully, Harry poured the memory into the pensieve. What happened next shocked them all.
The pensieve reacted to the memory causing the runes and symbols to glow with a bright blue light. Out of the pensieve rose a swirling mist that spread out to form an oval.
“Merlin,” breathed Kingsley, watching the oval mist form into a more solid shape.
“That’s some powerful magic…” came Mad Eye’s voice.
“What?” asked Hermione, looking around confused. The older members of the order were looking at the mist in awe.
“It’s a reflective memory,” said McGonagall speaking up from the end of the table, opposite Remus. She looked at Hermione, “Not many witches or wizards can perform the spell Ms Granger.”
“What’s a reflective memory?” asked Fred, looking to his parents.
“Shh!” hissed Remus, pointing to the oval. Shapes and objects had started to form. Everyone fell silent and watched as the memory started to play.
A young Lottie was standing in the kitchen, holding a glass bottle of milk. She was carefully preparing some milk and chocolate chip cookies before bed. A ritual she shared with her parents after Harry had gone to bed. Lily and James were in the living room playing with Harry. He would be off to bed soon and then it would be her special time with them.
Harry’s heart soared at the sight of his parents. It was odd feeling, watching the memory as it played. It was as though the front of the house had vanished and they could see into each of the rooms of the house, seeing exactly what each occupant was doing and even stranger, what they were feeling. Harry suddenly felt very exposed, this was his life before it had been taken from him and everyone had a front row seat.
Lottie hummed to herself as she poured the milk into the three glasses. She had already placed a few cookies on a plate, she just needed a tray to put it all on so she could carry it into the living room carefully. Upon finding the tray, she froze in fear. She could hear something. She turned her head in the direction of the thoughts and dropped the tray.
“Lily, take Harry and go! It's him! Go! Run! I'll hold him off!” came James’ voice from the living room.
Lottie started to panic. “Daddy?” she called out frantically.
“Lottie, it’s time. You know what to do!” he shouted, “Go, I’ll come and find you in a minute! I love you!”
Lottie’s eyes grew wide and she launched into motion. She ran to the back door in the kitchen that led out into the garden. Plucked her rucksack from the hooks next to the door, opened it and bolted out into the night. She hurried to the largest tree in the garden and climbed up the wooden planks that had been bolted to it, to the safety of the tree house. She plonked herself down next to the window overlooking the house, reached into her rucksack and pulled out her father’s cloak and covered herself with it and waited. She stared out of the window just in time to see the kitchen window flash with a green light.
Her heart was racing. Suddenly, with a mighty bang, part of the house exploded in another flash of green light. It shook her to her core. She watched as a dark shadow came soaring out of the wreckage at speed, shooting past the tree house and into the dense woods behind their house. Lottie’s eyes shot back to the house where she stayed still, waiting for her father to appear and tell her it was okay to come back. But he never did.
All there was, was silence. Lottie wanted to move, but she knew she was not allowed. “Not until Daddy says so” she whispered to herself from the window.
The memory dissolved and another one appeared in its place.
Lottie was sat in the tree house, silent and unmoving. A shadow moved across the lawn towards the house which caught her eye. She peered out of the window, hopeful at first that it was her father coming to get her. But this figure was much taller and older. As the figure came into the light, she recognised him. The tall, old man with a long white beard, looked upon the house and then turned quickly to look up at the tree house. His eyes met hers, but how, she did not know. She was supposed to be invisible to everyone and everything. She watched as the man took his wand out and raised it. He muttered something and Lottie felt her entire body freeze. Unable to hold herself up, she fell backwards into the wall of the tree house unable to see out of the window. She could not move a muscle. She could only blink. She felt herself start to cry, but it was a strange sensation, she could not cry properly. What felt like a lifetime passed her by, until the familiar man appeared at the doorway to the tree house. He clambered in and moved towards her. Lottie was finally able to see him clearly. The old man waved his hand and she felt her body relax. She scrambled under the cloak.
“Shh, shhh!” said the old man, “Lottie, it’s okay, you are safe. I am not going to hurt you. I need to get you away from here… to safety.”
Lottie pulled the cloak down past her face so that her head popped out. She stared at the man with a tear-stained face. His bright blue eyes pierced hers and she immediately trusted him.
“But Daddy said I have to wait here for him.” she whispered; her big hazel eyes were wide.
“I know,” said the man, kindly, “but we have to go, you’ll be safer away from here.” The man held out his hand. “Come, Lottie, we do not have much time.”
Lottie glanced out of the window. She knew this man; he had been to the house a few times.
Reluctantly, she reached out her hand and placed it in his “But what about Mummy and Daddy and Harry and Oscar?” she asked woefully, standing up, clutching the now fallen cloak and rucksack.
“Do not worry about that now, come.” The man pulled her gently towards him. “Hold on tight.”
Lottie gripped the man’s arm and with a crack, they were gone.
The memory faded out again and a new one swirled into action.
Lottie was sat in the circular room, filled with trinkets and the most beautiful bird she had ever seen. She was sat in one of the big armchairs that faced a grand, mahogany desk. She had been told by the man to sit there, under her father’s cloak and to wait for him.
A few hours had passed, and she was growing restless and tired. She wanted her parents and Harry and Oscar. She wanted to go home. Suddenly the door swung open and the old man walked in. He walked around the desk and sat down. He placed his hands on the desk and peered into the armchair where Lottie was sat. “You can come out now, Lottie.” He said gently.
Lottie slowly removed the cloak and peered up at him.
“Lottie, do you know who I am?” he asked her, quietly. Lottie shrugged and shook her head. She did, sort of, but not quite.
“My name is Albus Dumbledore.” He told her, “I am a friend of your parents.”
Lottie blinked. “When can I go home?” she asked him.
“Not for a while yet,” he told her. “I must ask you to be brave. Can you do that for me Lottie?”
Lottie tipped her head to the side slightly. “Yes.” she whispered. “I can be brave.”
“Excellent,” he said with a smile “you’ve been very brave tonight. But there is one more thing we must do. But first…” Dumbledore reached inside of his cloak and pulled out a small, ginger kitten.
“Oscar!” Lottie exclaimed, jumping up and scuttling around the desk to take him from Dumbledore. The little kitten squeaked, and Lottie held him close, under her chin.
“I thought you might want him with you.” Dumbledore said. Lottie nodded.
Dumbledore stood up and held out his hand to her. “Pick up your bag, Lottie, we’re going on another journey.”
Lottie obliged, stopping momentarily to gently place Oscar in the front pouch of her rucksack. She zipped it up so that he was secure and put it on carefully. She walked back to Dumbledore and held onto his hand tightly.
They appeared at the front steps of a large, double fronted house. There was a big front lawn surrounded by tall hedges either side and a tall fence at the front of the property. Lottie frowned, it was daylight here but she had just left where it was dark. Dumbledore gently led her up the step to a big front door. Upon entering, they were greeted by a stern looking woman. Lottie glanced to her left, where a big mirror hung on the wall. She noticed the reflection and looked to her right where she saw the words ‘Linden House; home for children’ above a large notice board. She looked up at the stern looking woman and swallowed nervously.
“I am Mrs Linden, welcome to Linden House.” said Mrs Linden, looking down at Lottie, unsmiling.
The memory twisted and changed pace, flashing different images out to its captive audience.
Lottie stood in her new, unfamiliar room, watching Dumbledore walking away, holding Oscar. Tears fell from her eyes.
Lottie asking for her rucksack and being shouted at by Mrs Linden to go away.
Lottie asking for her parents, tears rolling down her cheeks and being screamed at by Mrs Linden who said she had no parents.
Lottie standing in a grand school, being sorted into a house.
Lottie alone in a magnificent library, surrounded by books.
The memory sizzled away, leaving nothing but a gentle wisp of smoke behind before bursting into life and forming another.
A very skinny looking Lottie, who was now fourteen, was sitting in her room at the home, playing with Oscar on her bed. She heard the front door slam and jumped up to look out of the window to watch Mrs Linden walking down the path to the wrought iron gates. “Now’s my chance, Oscar!” she whispered.
Lottie ran from her room, ignoring the sounds of complete chaos coming from the floors above and below. As soon as Mrs Linden left to go on her daily walk, the other children ran riot. She was thankful of it this time, as it meant she would go unnoticed. She ran down the long corridor and rounded the corner that led to another set of steps. She launched herself up them two at a time to the third floor of the house. She ran down the corridor, stopping midway and looked up at the hatch to the attic.
Over the years, Lottie had learnt that this was where she kept all the other children’s possessions when they were brought to the home. She would search through them on arrival and take away anything that she deemed ‘inappropriate’. Lottie was convinced she would find what she was looking for up there. She glanced around to make sure that no one was watching and then raised her hand to the ceiling. She closed her eyes and muttered something inaudible and the door swung open. She jumped up with all her might and grabbed hold of the end of the ladder that was attached to the door. Her weight was not enough to pull it down in one motion, so she had to wriggle about to get it to finally slide down. Once the end of the ladder hit the floor, she scrambled up it. Her heart was pounding in her chest and ears. She had about fifteen minutes left before Mrs Linden returned.
Once in the attic, she looked around wildly, the place was overflowing with miscellaneous objects. Lottie paused, feeling the weight of hopelessness settle in around her. This was the furthest she had managed to get without being caught and now she did not know where to start. A faint rattling sound roused her from her thoughts, frowning she looked around for the sound. It was coming from the back of the attic. She carefully made her way across the multitude of possessions, all the while the rattling grew louder and louder until she found herself looking at a chest. She hesitated at first, three years at a magical school had taught her that you do not just go opening unknown boxes or chests; especially ones that made sound.
Lottie braced herself and slowly lifted the lid. When nothing came flying out at her, she lifted it back further and smiled. There it was. Her rucksack. She breathed a deep sigh of relief. She was not mad; she had been right all this time. She picked up the bag and hastily made her way back across the attic to the hatch. Clambering down the ladder she took a moment to listen. Chaos was still in full flow in the house. Relieved, she stepped onto the floor and with all her might, threw the ladder back up into the hatch. She waved her hand and the door swung shut. She made her way back to her room at full speed and as she did, her ears pricked up. The melee had disappeared. Her heart plummeted. Mrs Linden was back. She had a mere few minutes left. Picking up her pace, she sprinted down the corridor and skidded to a halt outside of her room. She ran in, startling Oscar, chucked the bag under her bed and then went and closed her door gently. She walked into the middle of the room and started doing star jumps. As she did, the door swung open with a bang, startling Oscar for the second time. He hissed at the harsh Mrs Linden, who was standing, breathing heavily in the doorway.
“What are you doing!” she spat at Lottie.
Lottie stopped jumping. “S-Star J-Jumps” she said, struggling to catch her breath. “It’s good exercise.”
Mrs Linden narrowed her eyes at her but bought the lie. She slowly backed out of the room and slammed the door shut.
Lottie collapsed on her bed, astonished that she had managed to get away with it. She looked at Oscar and scratched behind his ears. “Not long now, Oscar. We’ll be out of here by tonight.”
The memory twisted in on itself before unfolding and a new scene started playing.
Lottie was sitting by a fire, wrapped in a blanket. She was in a very cosy looking room, surrounded by piles and piles of books. A kind, old lady walked in with a tray, holding two cups and a teapot.
“I am so glad you are safe from that horrid place.” She said, placing the tray on a table by the fire. “You stay here as long as you want.”
“Thank you, Oma.” Lottie said, taking a cup of tea from the tray.
“Will you go back to school?” asked Oma, taking a seat in one of the armchairs. She raised her hand and the other cup of tea floated across to her.
“No.” said Lottie sadly. “I hate it there. I want to stay and learn here until I can go and search for Harry.”
“But darling, you were doing so well at school. You’ve won countless awards for your work.”
“Precisely Oma, I’ve won all of the awards. Nothing there challenges me anymore. I’m totally alienated from my peers, no one talks to me because they either think I’m a crazy liar, an insufferable know it all or both!” Lottie said. “It’s exhausting. I could learn so much more here and from you, than I ever could at that school.”
“Very well.” Oma said, taking a sip of tea. “I will do my best.”
“And I can help you in the shop” added Lottie carefully.
“You know that’s not necessary. I do not need any help my love.” Oma said kindly.
Lottie raised an eyebrow.
“Well, maybe a little help.” Oma smiled.
Lottie smiled back and for the first time in years, finally felt comfortable and safe.
The memory started flashing images out again.
Lottie was sat reading and studying in the cosy room full of books. Then she was practicing spells with Oma. They were smiling and laughing.
It was pouring with rain and Lottie was standing at a grave under a large black umbrella, tears falling silently down her cheeks. She was alone, all except for a man who walked over to her and handed her an envelope. She opened it and read the deed to the bookstore. She fell to her knees.
Lottie was working in the bookstore. She was much older and was standing behind a tall desk, selling a book to a couple. On the desk, was an issue of The New York Ghost. A circle was around one of the articles on the front page which read: Harry Potter: The Boy Who Lived to start at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Lottie was standing in a busy street. A big red bus went rumbling by causing her hair to rustle in the breeze. She looked down at the piece of paper, where she had scribbled the name of the place she was headed to. ‘The Leaky Cauldron’ she looked up and there it was. She made off in the direction of the pub. Standing in front of the door, she pushed it but it would not open. She pushed and pulled and nothing happened.
Lottie stood outside the busy train station and waited. She watched the crowds of people pouring in and out carefully when her heart leapt. There he was. Eleven-year-old Harry walking alongside the largest man she had ever seen. She approached, but as she did, she was blocked by something invisible. She called out to him but he did not turn.
The memory, once again disappeared into a haze of smoke, before sparking again and forming a new scene.
Lottie, who was now an adult, stood in the bookstore, feeling frustrated. She was watching her customers when a familiar face walked into the shop. Lottie stared at him. She scoffed and picked up a pile of books and walked away towards the bookshelves. The man followed her and placed a hand over the book she was trying to put away.
“We need to talk, Lottie.” He said.
“You are not welcome here, Albus Dumbledore.” Lottie shot back.
“Please.” He begged. Lottie looked at him, not expecting him to sound so, sorrowful. She looked at the hand that was over the book she had halfway back onto the shelf. Her eyes widened in shock.
“What happened to your hand?” she asked before she could stop herself.
“It is what we need to talk about.” Dumbledore replied quietly.
The memory evaporated and a new one appeared in its place.
“So you mean to tell me, this was all part of your plan?” Lottie asked incredulously, pacing around the back room of the store. There was a lit fire in the fireplace which was crackling away in the background.
“Lottie, you have to understand, I thought it was for the greater good.” Dumbledore implored.
“All these years!” she shouted, her eyes welling up “All these years, I was made to believe that I was going crazy!”
“Albus, I truly believed at one point that I had made it all up in my head! You left me there at that wretched place! You have no idea what you have done!” Lottie screamed at him, tears falling from her eyes.
“Lottie, please forgive me,” Dumbledore pleaded.
“Forgive you?” She asked in utter disbelief, “Forgive you? You have just told me that you willingly took me away, left me in another country and have stopped me from getting to Harry every time I’ve tried for the most outlandish and quite frankly outrageous reasons and you expect me to forgive you?”
Dumbledore said nothing.
“I HATE YOU!” She yelled at him. The fire roared to life, lighting the room with its fiery glow, alarming Dumbledore who took out his wand and flicked it, calming the fire.
“I do not doubt that” Dumbledore said quietly, still looking at the fire. “But I’ve come here not only to give you the truth but because I need to ask you to do something.”
Lottie scoffed, shaking her head “You’ve got some nerve, old man,”
“It’s about Harry” He replied simply, “He needs your help.”
Lottie narrowed her eyes at him. “Does he even know about me?” she asked.
“No.” said Dumbledore sadly. “Another part of my plan that has failed so miserably. He does not know about you. No one does.”
Lottie’s eyes grew wide. It explained a lot. “I see.”
“It is why no one came for you.” Dumbledore explained, “They believe that you are dead.”
“You are not helping your cause, Albus.” Lottie warned him, her voice laced with a dangerous calm.
Dumbledore ignored her and continued on, “Harry is in grave danger from the Dark Lord. Every day, he grows stronger and Harry is going to need your help.”
“My help in what?” asked Lottie.
“In defeating him.” Dumbledore said simply.
“You ask too much of this family, Albus.” She shot at him.
“You are right, but it is written in prophecy. It cannot be undone.” He told her. “You hold a great power, one that I know, when the time comes, will be crucial for Harry to succeed.”
“When the time comes? What are you saying?” demanded Lottie.
“I am saying that you must help your brother, be there for him and support him when he needs it.” Dumbledore said. “The next year will, I hope, uncover a great deal in helping our efforts to destroy Voldemort, but he will need you.”
“Oh, so now it’s okay after you spent a great deal of time and effort preventing it…right” she said, sarcastically. “Because its for the greater good, yeah I know.” She turned away from him, trying desperately to digest everything she had been told.
“It is not polite to look into people’s minds without their permission Lottie.” Dumbledore said.
“Oh because you don’t?” she spat at him, turning to face him.
“I am no where near as skilled as you when it comes to the art of Legilimency,” He said humbly. “You can see thoughts as though you can hear them, can you not? You feel people’s emotions as though they were your own.”
Lottie shrugged. “And what of it?”
“It is an incredibly rare skill, one you were born with. And that is not all, is it?” he asked. “You do not own a wand, yet you can perform some of the most complicated magic, wandless and wordless.”
“How do you know that?” Lottie asked, shocked.
“I have kept my eye on you. There is not much I do not know about you.” Dumbledore said. He looked ashamed.
“Get out.” Lottie said forcefully. He had overstepped and she was done with the conversation and him. It was too much.
“Not before I have your word that you will help Harry.” He replied simply.
Lottie scowled at him. “Of course I will!”
“Thank you.” Dumbledore said. He reached into his robes and pulled out an envelope. “I must tell you one more thing.”
“Just the one?” she questioned, mockingly.
“You will not be able to approach Harry until the week of his seventeenth birthday.” Dumbledore said, handing her the envelope. “The details of where to find him are in here. Do I have your word that you understand?”
“I understand.” She replied, snatching the envelope from him. “Now get out of my bookstore.”
Dumbledore bowed his head and disappeared with a loud crack.
Lottie stood in the room, clutching the envelope before letting out a loud sob and crumpling to the floor in a heap.
A/N: Thank you to everyone who has been asking about this and have been so patient! Part 3 coming in hot tomorrow, but I hope you're enjoying it so far! I'd love to hear what you think!
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