Harry woke with a start. That dream had woken him up again. In the past three weeks, Harry had looked for his aunt, uncle, and Dudley, but he hadn’t been able to find them. Ever since he started looking for the, he’d been having the same dream over and over again.
It always started the same; Harry was making breakfast, with Aunt Petunia, screaming over his shoulder. Uncle Vernon and Dudley were laughing as Aunt Petunia scolded him for burning the eggs. When Harry turned, ready to throw the burnt eggs in her hair, it was always Bellatrix behind him. Goyle and Lestrange were next to her, wands out, and pointed at Harry’s heart. His family was on the floor, unmistakable blank expressions on their faces. The only thing that ever registered in his mind was the green light that jetted towards him, before he woke up with a start, always in a cold sweat.
With a shudder, Harry turned to get a glass of water, and yelped at the bright green eyes staring back at him. Harry sat up, with the knowledge that his wand was on the dresser, clear across his room in he'd rented at the Leaky Cauldron. Then the eyes, the ears, and the socks registered in Harry’s sleepy mind.
“Dobby!” Harry gasped. “What in the world are you doing here?”
“Dobby has come to collect Harry Potter, sir,” the house elf said, as he bowed. The five pointy hats, that had been precariously perched on his head, toppled to the floor. Dobby picked them up, and placed them on his head again. “Dobby has come to collect Harry Potter for Professor McGonagall. She has asked Dobby to remind Harry Potter that he is supposed to assist Professor McGonagall in the hiring of the new Defense against the Dark Arts professor, sir.”
“Right, yeah, I remember.”
“Professor McGonagall is in the downstairs, waiting for you, sir,” Dobby said, looking around the room. “Where is Mr. Weezy and Miss Grangy?”
“Who?” Harry asked, furrowing his brow.
“Harry Potter’s friends, sir.”
“Oh. I don’t know. I suppose that they’re still at the Burrow.”
Dobby disappeared with a snap and a pop. Harry sighed, as he grabbed his watch from the table. He grimaced. It was twelve thirty in the morning, and he’d only just gotten to bed, an hour ago. With a yawn, Harry got dressed. He walked down the stairs, and found Professor McGonagall talking to Tom the barkeep. When Harry stepped into the room, though, she turned to smile at him.
“Are Mr. Weasley and Miss Granger ready?”
“They’re not here,” Harry said, shaking his head. “I expect they’re still at the Burrow.”
“Why did you leave the safety of the Burrow, and all alone, at that?”
“I just…it’s a long story, professor. Let’s just say that I’m not comfortable there anymore.”
Her eyebrows rose, and she looked confused. He could guess as to her confusion. The Burrow had always been a second home to him. He was pretty sure that she wanted to ask the question: why was he suddenly so uncomfortable, uncomfortable enough to run from the safety of a crowded house, and go to the solitude of the Leaky Cauldron.
Truth was, the Leaky Cauldron hadn’t even been Harry’s original destination. Number 12 Grimmauld place had been the place Harry had been intending on going to. However, he thought that if Ron and Hermione decided to look for him, then that would be the first place they’d have looked. There was also the fact that he just didn't want to go back there, ever.
“Potter, I don’t think I need to stress on how much your safety is—”
“Professor,” Harry interrupted, with a weak grin. “If you don’t mind, could we just go collect Ron and Hermione, and go see this new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher?”
She nodded, and turned to tell Tom good-bye. Then she turned to face Harry. “Very well, Potter, do you know how to apparate?” He nodded. “Good, let’s apparate to the Burrow.”
Harry concentrated on the Burrow, and they both appeared just outside the house. Together, they walked up to the house, and Professor McGonagall opened the door silently. Ron and Hermione were up, and waiting in the living room. Dobby had begun to busy himself, cleaning and putting things right. When Harry and Professor McGonagall walked into the house, Dobby ran up to them, throwing his arms around Harry. Harry wasn’t sure what to do, so he hugged the elf back lightly.
“Harry!” Hermione said, as she rushed to him. She hugged him too, as Ron shook his hand. “We’ve been so worried about you.”
“You shouldn’t have taken off like that mate,” Ron said, with a stern head shake. “Mom’s been up and down the halls worried sick. She won’t stop muttering things like ‘Oh that boy’s going to get himself in trouble, I know he is.’”
Harry felt a pang of guilt. He’d never meant to make Mrs. Weasley worry. Of course, this was Mrs. Weasley. She’d probably worry, just for the sake of worrying. Harry sighed anyway.
“I’m sorry guys, but well—”
“We don’t’ have time for this,” McGonagall said, turning to the door. “If she gets wind of the fact that I’m looking for her, for a teaching post, she’s going to up and vanish!”
In sinlge file, they walked out of the house. “Do both you and Mr. Weasley know how to apparate?” Professor McGonagall asked, looking at Hermione. Hermione nodded, but Ron shook his head. “Very well, Mr. Weasley you come with me, while Miss Granger you and Harry will apparate here.”
She handed Harry a photo. Harry and Hermione both studied the muggle picture, curiously. It was a photo of an apartment building, all the signs around it in Spanish. Hermione’s gaze turned confused, but the signs weren’t the only thing that had Harry worried. He looked up at Professor McGonagall. Somehow, he didn’t think it was going to be that easy.
“Professor, will concentrating on a photo actually be enough to transport us there? Will we really apparate there?”
“Of course!” she answered. “That is the point of apparition.” She turned to Hermione. “Be sure and take Harry’s hand. You have to have physical contact.”
She blushed, but nodded. Harry held the photo up in front of him, and took Hermione’s hand. They disapparated with a pop. When they appeared in front of the building, they looked around at their surroundings, Harry in shock. When Hermione gasped, Harry turned to face her, wand at the ready. She ran to the road sign, that was still in Spanish, and studied it. Then she turned to look at the apartment building.
“Oh, Merlin's beard, I don’t believe this!”
“What?” Harry asked, looking at the apartment building. “What are you gasping about?”
“We’re in Spain!”
“So?” Harry asked, an amused smile.
She turned to face him, and exasperated expression on her face. “We’ve apparated country to country! Do you know how dangerous that is?” Harry shook his head. “This is clearly advanced magic! I can’t believe that Professor McGonagall asked us to apparate to Spain.”
A moment later, Professor McGonagall and Ron arrived. Professor McGonagall turned to her right, and then to her left, a worried expression on her face. When she spotted Harry and Hermione, she smiled.
“I knew you two could do it.”
Harry and Hermione walked up to Ron, while McGonagall looked at the building. She turned to look at Harry, with weariness and concern in her eyes. Harry could tell that, despite McGonagall’s strength and willpower, these last months at Hogwarts, without Dumbledore were starting to strain her.
“Right,” McGonagall said, with a curt nod. “I better go and ring her.”
Ron looked at her curiously, but Proessor McGonagall was already at the front door. She pressed the button to the intercom, and it buzzed. She turned to look at Harry, rather bewildered. Then a small sound came form the intercom, followed by a very soft female voice.
“Departe de quien?” (On behalf of who?)
McGonagall turned to look at the group of students, as if she were asking for help. Problem was, neither of them knew Spanish. Defeated, she turned back to the intercom. With a sigh, and a look bordering on hope, she answered.
“I’m looking for the hit wizard, Jaci Leza. I am Professor Minerva McGonagall. Could I talk to Jaci, please?”
“She does not wish to meet anyone prefixed professor.”
Professor McGonagall looked affronted. Harry felt like growling. There was no way in the wizarding world, or the muggle one for that matter, that he’d been woken up after an hour of sleep, tricked into performing very advanced magic, and was shivering in the unnatural for summer chill outside, just to have them turned away. He walked up to Professor McGonagall.
“Is it the one with the light on?” he asked. Professor McGonagall nodded. “Be right back.”
Harry moved to the back of the building. There, he found the fire escape. It was a very long way up to the sixth floor window, but he could manage. He took out his wand, and placed a silencing charm on the ladder. Harry then summoned it down to him. When it was down, Harry began his slow crawl up to the top. The metal was cold in his hands, reminding him that the August chill was very unusual. Suddenly, a cruel wind whipped his face, and he turned away closing his eyes. When he opened them, he could see the long plummet to the ground. His stomach turned. Grabbing a firm hold on his fears, he turned back to the ladder.
Finally he made it to the window, only to find it locked. Once again, he took out his wand, and pointed it at the window. “Alohamora,” he whispered.
The window clicked open, and he pulled it up. Quietly, he climbed into the apartment. It was small, he observed, as he landed in the living room/dinning room. The sofa set was mixed, with a brown leather loveseat, a tan suede couch, and a black, comfortable looking, cushy chair. The hallway to the right led out of the living room. To the left, Harry could see a small round table, with two chairs.
Harry turned to the hallway, and walked out of the living room. a door immediately to the right led to a bathroom. The next two doors led to bedrooms. The only doorway left led directly to a kitchen area, where clinking sounds could be heard. Next to the doorway was the front door.
Instead of going to the door, Harry made his way to the kitchen. He could see the back of a girl, with waist-length brown curly hair. She was humming softly, as she washed dishes the muggle way. Harry leaned against the doorway, looking at her.
“Hello,” he said.
She jumped up, and yelped, before turning to face him. She trembled slightly, and her big brown eyes widened. She moved her right hand behind her, and Harry noticed, just in time, that she was reaching for her wand.
“Wait, wait,” he said quickly. “Look, I’m lowering my wand. I’m defenseless now.” She seemed to relax a little as he placed his wand back into his pocket, but her eyes never left his. “I’m not going to hurt you.”
“Quien eres? Que quieres aqui?” (Who are you? What do you want here?)
Harry shook his head. “I’m sorry. The only thing I speak is English. And Parseltongue,” he added, with a sheepish grin. “You’re not a snake, so I can’t understand you.”
Her brow furrowed, as a smile played on the edges of her mouth. “Who are you?” she asked, a little more afraid that Harry would have liked. “What are you doing here?”
“Well, we’re here to see Jaci.”
“Who are you?” she repeated, trembling. She backed up against the counter, and Harry remembered something about Jaci being a hit wizard, and figured they would have a lot of enemies.
“My name is Harry,” he said, holding out his hand for her to shake. “Harry Potter. Yours?”
She furrowed her brow again, but relaxed, and actually took his hand. “I’m Kristie Madrigal.” Her gaze never wavered from his. “Why are you looking for Jaci?”
“We’re here to hire her as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, for Hogwarts.”
Kristie smiled, as she shook her head slightly. “She won’t do it,” she answered.
Harry was so dazed by her smile, he almost forgot what they were talking about. “Why not?” he asked, once his mind was clear.
“Because she’s always too busy.”
“What does she do?” Harry, asked, thinking it wise not to let her know he knew too much about Jaci, lest she think he was actually there to get rid of them.
“She works for the Magical Law Enforcement Squad. She’s a hit wizard.” Kristie shook her head again. “You’re going to have to do some fast talking to convince Jaci to take the job.”
“What job?” Harry heard from behind him.
Harry turned rather quickly, and got a bit dizzy. However, he couldn’t help but look at the woman in front of him. She looked so familiar. She looked at Kristie, before turning to regard him, then turned back to Kristie. Kristie had a smile on her face, and it lit up the entire room. She ran up to Jaci, and hugged her. She squealed, as Jaci smiled hugging her back. Harry took the moment that the girls were lost in their reunion, to look at the pair of them.
Kristie had waist length light brown curly hair, while Jaci had shoulder length chestnut brown wavy hair. Jaci had bright green eyes, with little brown specks littering her eyes, while Kristie had soft, warm honey brown eyes. Jaci was older than Kristie, a few years. Probably like Remus and Harry.
Both girls however, looked similar enough for Harry to deduce that they were related. They had the same warm smile, and the same full lips. They were the same height, a few inches shorter than Harry. Both of them were beautiful, Kristie with a young radiance, and Jaci with a maturity beyond her years.
“I thought you were going to be away longer!” Kristie said, as she took a step back.
“No, I was able to get my job done quickly. I managed to get it over with, and remembered that you don’t like being alone.” She looked at Harry and grinned. “Apparently, though, you figured out a way to have company, ri—”
Jaci’s eyes narrowed on Harry for a second, before they widened. She looked shocked, before they narrowed again. She turned, first to the right, then to the left. When she didn’t find what she was obviously looking for, she stomped through the living room, then the bedrooms, and finally the bathroom. Suddenly, Jaci reappeared.
“Where is he?” she growled.
“Who?” Harry asked, debating whether he should pull Kristie behind him. The look on Jaci’s face could scare a corpse.
A knot formed in Harry’s stomach, as he remembered that awful night. Dumbledore was the person that he was going to miss for a long time. Without Dumbledore’s wisdom, Harry wasn’t sure how he was going to figure out everything he had to figure out. He cleared his throat, to get rid of the lump residing in his throat, before looking up at Jaci.
Jaci’s eyes widened. “He’s what?”
“Dead.” Harry cleared his throat again. A hand came down on his shoulder. He turned to Kristie’s honey brown eyes, and smiled, before turning back to Jaci. “My friends are downstairs waiting. Can they come up?”
Absentmindedly, Jaci nodded. Harry walked to the door, and buzzed the intercom. After telling them to come up, he turned back to the two girls. Jaci was looking at him, an unaccustomed to warmth in her eyes. Harry wasn’t sure what to do, or to say. Luckily, knocking on the door saved him from making conversation. He opened the door, and Hermione, Ron, and Professor McGonagall stepped in.
“Ah, Jacqueline Michelle Leza,” McGonagall said, as she spotted Jaci.
“What is this about Dumbledore being dead?” Jaci asked, looking like she was still in shock. “Who? When?”
“Three months ago,” McGonagall said, looking away.
“Who?” Jaci asked, raising her voice.
It seemed that nobody was going to answer, so Harry took in a deep breath. “Snape.”
For some reason, Harry thought that she didn’t seem all that surprised. Angry though, she was. She turned to look at McGonagall, shook her head, and growled deep in her throat. Never had Harry remembered McGonagall to be at a loss for words. However, it seemed to Harry that she wanted to say something to Jaci, but she couldn’t think of what. Jaci looked at her again.
“I’m gonna kill him,” she hissed. Even though Harry had just met Jaci, and he didn’t know her all that well, he was inclined to believe her. “I’m gonna find that lousy, greasy haired, no good, Death Eater of a git, and I’m gonna kill him!”
“I have another job for you,” McGonagall said, her voice low. “I need you to fill in the role of Defense Against the Dark Arts professor this year.”
“You’re not closing Hogwarts?” Jaci asked, looking at every face in the room, except for Kristie.
“Of course not.”
“I can’t go.”
“Jaci, there are people attending Hogwarts that need you,” McGonagall said, looking at her rather pleadingly.
“I swore that I would never return to that place. My worst memories are there.”
“Your friends need you.”
“Friends?” Jaci asked, sounding incredulous.
“Tonks, Remus, Molly, Arthur. As well as new friends.”
Harry studied Jaci. “Why don’t you want to go back?”
Jaci turned red, and she shook her head. McGonagall smiled, a glint in her eyes. “Your godson needs you.”
“Don’t Minny,” Jaci said, her voice a clear warning.
“You’re the only person he has left.”
“I seriously doubt it.”
“You have a godson at Hogwarts?” Harry asked.
“Yes she does,” McGonagall answered.
“Harry James Potter, meet your godmother, Jacqueline Michelle Leza.”
Jaci groaned. “Why can’t Sirius watch him?”
“Because he’s dead too,” Harry answered looking at her curiously. “Don’t you read the Daily Prophet?”
“It’s a load of rubbish,” Jaci answered, looking at Harry. That warmth seeped back into her eyes, and Harry noticed for the first time that it was the same look Jaci threw Kristie’s way every now and then. “I can’t believe how much you’ve grown,” she said, with a weak smile.
“You’re my godmother,” Harry whispered.
For some reason he didn’t feel so alone anymore. Sure Sirius and Dumbledore were gone, and he would never, ever, ever forget them, but suddenly he had someone who would care for him the way Sirius had.
“Yes, I’m your godmother.” She rolled her eyes, and grinned at him, before engulfing him in a hug. Harry hugged her back, tightly. “Your parents would be so proud of you,” she said, once she’d let him go. “I might not have been able to watch over you the way Dumbledore did, but I kept tabs on you. Everything you’ve accomplished, everything you’ve been strong enough to handle. You’re definitely Lily’s son.”
That was interesting. Whenever anybody compared him to his parents, they always said you're just like your father. This was the first time he was compared to his mother. Harry found that he liked the idea of being like her.
McGonagall cleared her throat. “About the job.”
“Minny, you know why I can’t go back.”
Suddenly, Harry realized he had more reason to want her safely away at Hogwarts. She was one of the last remaining links to his parents, and he couldn’t lose her. “Please take the post,” Harry said, his voice pleading.
“Harry, you don’t understand,” Jaci said, shaking her head. “There are families there that hate me.”
“May I say something?” Kristie’s low voice said, but she was looking at Harry. He nodded. “I think that Jaci should take the post. She would make an excellent teacher.” She turned to look at Jaci. "And it isn't like there aren't families everywhere that hate you."
“Give me one good reason to go back!” she hissed.
“I have to make sure that my friends are looked after, while I do some things that need doing,” Harry answered, hoping it was reason enough.
“You’re not going back to Hogwarts?” Jaci asked, looking at him sternly. Harry shook his head. She turned back to McGonagall. “What families are there? Slytherin house still there?”
“Of course it is.”
“This is the catch. Kristie goes with me. She’ll be in Gryffindor. I want her in the same dorm as her,” Jaci pointed to Hermione. She then turned to Harry. “And I want you there. If the pure-blood families find out that I’m back, and that Kristie is my cousin and my charge, then they’re gonna send word to their kids there. She’s gonna be taken advantage of. You’re there to protect her.”
“You don’t understand. I have to—”
“Learn more magic,” Jaci interrupted. “You’re powerful, Harry, more so than your dad, but you’ve still got a ways to go. I’ll help you. I’m your godmother for a reason, you know?”
Quite suddenly, his plans to go to Godric's Hollow were put on hold, as he looked at Jaci and at Kristie. She was looking at Jaci with pride, and Harry started to wonder about her. He shook his head, to get it back on track. Ok, so he’d go and protect Kristie, after all she seemed like the kind of person who was too nice, and too trusting. The first chance he got though, he’d be looking for those horcuxes, and he’d be destroying them.
A/N There you have it tell me what you think of the latest chapter!