Chapter 4 : Headquarters
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The reason he’d come back, against his will, was because Jaci and Kristie were going to be staying here, until the beginning of the school year. Jaci and Kristie, as a matter of fact, were standing right beside him looking at the house curiously. Harry didn’t want to open the doors, he didn’t want to see the house, and be reminded of Sirius, and even more recently, Dumbledore.
The door opened, and Ron followed by Hermione stepped out from behind the door. They looked at Harry, exchanged a rather worried look, and turned to him again. They both smiled at him innocently, and chuckled nervously. Harry raised his eyebrows, and the pair of them looked nervous again.
“Hello Harry,” Hermione said, with a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
“What’s going on?” Harry asked, looking at them curiously.
“W…well, we didn’t want you to feel uncomfortable here, with everything that’s happened,” Hermione started.
“We…we sort of have a surprise for you, mate,” Ron finished. “C’mon in, ok?”
Hermione waved her hand, and the door changed before their eyes. The door changed from being a dirty, rotten door, to a very clean door, with an oval shaped window in the middle. Ron opened the door as the charm made its way up the house, turning it into the same house, but with a different paint job. Ron held the door open as Harry led the way in. Jaci and Kristie were staring at the now clean brick walls that had replaced the dingy peeling paint.
As Harry walked past the door, he saw that the silver twisted serpent door knocker was replaced by crystal doorknob. The total darkness that had greeted him in the hallway the first time that he’d stepped into the house was gone. The walls were crème colored with sconces placed every few steps. The damp, dusty, rotten smell was gone, leaving a pretty airy fresh scent in its wake.
He walked out of the hallway. The derelict building feeling was gone. There were new frames on the walls, artwork in them. The threadbare carpet had been replaced with a red and gold carpet, leading the way to the drawing room. The chandelier and candelabra were beautifully sparkling, and the rickety table was gone, replaced with a mahogany lowboy. The moth eaten curtains were gone as well. In their place were red curtains with gold trimming. Even the troll’s leg umbrella stand was gone.
Harry looked around, not all that sure what to do, or what to say. He was very aware that he had a frown on his face, and that he probably looked very upset. He looked around the hall, before the turned to look at Ron and Hermione. Their smiled faded and looks of concern replaced their smiles.
“It’s not all that different,” Ron said quickly.
“We just added a bit of color, and a few knick knacks.”
Harry looked around again, before turning to his friends again. He grinned. “Oh, no, this is definitely different.” He turned to the drawing room, and then looked up the hall, at the portrait of Mrs. Black. He grimaced, and tuned to the drawing room again. “Did you fix the whole house?”
“Yeah,” Ron answered.
“We couldn’t get rid of some things, but we’ve fixed what we could.”
“Well, I’ll lead Jaci and Kristie to their rooms, and I’ll meet you in the drawing room, ok?” Ron and Hermione nodded.
Harry turned towards the no longer dark staircase. Where everything had been either black or gray, suddenly the staircase was painted white, while the walls were crème colored. The elves were still on the walls, but among the elves, there were blown up pictures of his parents, the marauders, his friends, the DA, and him with Ginny.
They reached the hardwood second floor landing. He passed the room that had been his and Ron’s, and led to the bedroom beside it. He turned to Kristie and smiled. He nodded once, and opened the door. Leading the way, Harry walked into the room. Jaci and Kristie followed him into the room.
The room was, of all colors, light lavender with crème colored trimming. The beds were still twin beds, but the frames were new, made of wood, and the mattresses were pillow topped and soft looking. Two armoires rested in either corner. In between them, crème colored curtains covered the two windows. There were also two vanities, on either side of the beds.
“You can stay here, Kristie,” Harry said, pointing to the bed in the far side of the room. “Hermione stays here too.”
“Where will I sleep them?” Ginny’s voice demanded, drifting into the room.
“We can share a room,” Luna’s dreamy voice answered, as everyone turned to the doorway.
Luna and Ginny were standing there, Ginny looked indignant, while Luna looked, like always as if she’d walked into the room by accident. Harry furrowed his brow.
“What do you mean share a room with you, Luna?” he asked. “How did you get here anyway? How did you find the house?”
“Ginny told me.”
Harry shot Ginny a glare. “What?” she asked.
“You know damn well that this was the headquarters Ginny. It’s going to be again, and you can’t tell just anyone.” He turned to Luna quickly. “Not that you’re just anybody, mind you.”
“I understand, Harry,” Luna said, in her dreamy voice. “My dad is a member of the Order.” Harry’s eyes widened. “He keeps an ear out for news, and provides shelter for any member of the Order. He told me to come and ask if I can stay here.”
“Sure you can,” Harry said, nodding. “You and Ginny can share the room right across the hall.”
Ginny turned in a huff, as she walked into the room Harry had pointed out, while Luna followed close behind. Harry turned back to Kristie and Jaci. Jaci was frowning. She looked down right upset. Slowly, she turned from where Luna had just been, and then turned back to Harry.
“Can anyone find this place?”
“When Sirius had been alive, along with Dumbledore, there was an unplottable charm on the house, and Dumbledore was the Secret Keeper for the Order of the Phoenix.”
“Right,” Jaci said, nodding. “I think we should re-charm the place. The headquarters should be unplottable. And I think you should be Secret Keeper, Harry.”
“Yes. Matter of fact, we can do it right now. Where is the heart of the house?”
“I guess it would be the kitchen. It’s in the basement.”
“Great, let’s get there.”
Harry led the way to the kitchen. Just outside he stopped, took a deep breath in, to prepare himself for the changes that Ron and Hermione made to the kitchen, and opened the door. The walls were a soft, almost white yellow, and the floors were hardwood. The cabinets were dark mahogany. The stove was a glass blacktop. Next to it, the fridge was silver. The plates were displayed on the counter, in a silver rack. They were red with gold trimming, while the bowls were opposite. The pots and pans were still hanging from the ceiling, but they were clean and new looking.
Harry looked around the room, and smiled. His friends were the greatest. The smile still in place, Harry turned to look at Jaci and Kristie. Kristie smiled as she looked around the kitchen. When she looked at him, she had the biggest smile on her face.
“Would you like me to make dinner?” she asked.
“You don’t have to,” Jaci said, looking at her sternly.
“Sure,” Harry said, nodding. “If you want to.”
Jaci turned to look at him. He looked at her curiously, and her eyes softened, as Kristie walked up to the refrigerator, and started taking out food. “She’s gonna…forget it. Let’s get this done.”
She pointed her wand up into the air. “Perdidosa.”
A jet of bright yellow sparks shot out of the wand. It seemed to engulf first Jaci, then her and Harry, before engulfing the house. When the sparks returned to her wand, Jaci turned to Harry.
“Ready for the Secret Keeper charm?”
Jaci pointed her wand at him. “Fidelius.”
The sparks were blue and white this time. “Harry, think about what you’re keeping secret. Number 12 Grimmauld Place is the Headquarters to the Order of the Phoenix.”
Harry thought it, thought about it hard. The sparks moved towards Harry, and entered through the temples on the sides of his head. Harry grunted, and gritted his teeth. The sparks started getting hot, and Harry groaned in pain. The heat grew in intensity, burning the inside of his skull. Harry screamed. A few seconds later, everything went black.
When he opened his eyes, Harry noticed that he was on his bed, in his room. Jaci was standing next to him. She smiled when she saw him open his eyes. Her right hand came out and tucked a few strands of wild hair behind his ear. She seemed relieved that he was ok. He relished in the feeling of having someone care for him, as a parent would. He sat up, with her help.
“Did it work?”
She laughed. “Yeah it did,” she answered, nodding. “Would you mind terribly if you let Kristie know what it was you have to keep a secret. She wants to make dinner, and she can’t find the kitchen. Hell, she can’t find the house.”
“How come you can?”
“Because I cast the spell,” Jaci answered. “Wanna tell everyone? I think they’re anxious.”
Harry stood up, and swayed. Jaci was quick to steady him. He smiled at her, and managed to stay on his feet. He made his way to the kitchen first. There he encountered a very bewildered Kristie. She was standing in the middle of the room, her brow furrowed, and a frown on her face. He touched her shoulder softly. She jumped, before she turned to face him. She grinned, and held up a package of spaghetti for him to see.
“I would love to get dinner started,” she said, chuckling, “but I can’t see anything but grass, trees, and clouds.”
Harry smiled, as he took a napkin from the table, a pen from the junk drawer, and wrote down what she had to read. He handed her the paper, and she read it. After instructing her to think about what she’d read, she looked around, and she gasped. With a smile, she made her way to the stove, and got a pot on the stove with water in it. While Harry went around the house letting everyone else read the napkin, Kristie started cooking dinner.
Screaming and hollering woke Jaci up, too early in the morning the next day. It sounded like someone was screaming obscenities at someone else. Doors opened, and people started shouting back. Jaci groaned, and threw the covers off of herself. By the time she got to the staircase, she could see everyone crowded around a portrait. As she got closer, she realized that the portrait was the one shouting at everyone.
“¿Que es eso? ¿Quien grita?” Jaci heard from behind her. (1)
Hermione and Kristie rushed to the stairs as Jaci made her way down. Apparently the two girls were the only ones not at the portrait. Jaci saw Harry look towards the stairs. Instantly his features turned into something akin to worry.
“Don’t run down the stairs!” he shouted. He rushed towards Kristie and Hermione. “Don’t you know that’s dangerous?” Harry surprised Jaci by taking Kristie’s hand. Then, as if he realized he’d done something intimate, Harry took Hermione’s hand as well. “Walk down the stairs. There’s no rush.”
“Who is screaming?” Kristie asked, as Jaci turned back to the portrait.
“Mrs. Black,” someone behind Bill Weasley said. Jaci frowned. She knew that voice, but from where. Suddenly, she froze. That was a voice she hadn’t heard in a long time, but not long enough in her opinion. Thoughts of this man brought pain to her mind, and she didn’t want to think about it. She turned away from the group of people gathering around the painting, and closed her eyes. She took a deep breath.
“Who might you be?” that same kind, soft voice asked. The voice of one Remus Lupin.
“Kristie Madrigal. And you, sir?”
“Remus,” he said, taking her hand. “M y name is Remus Lupin.” He hissed her hand, and smiled.
“You can see the house?” Ginny asked.
“No, which is why we woke up Mrs. Black,” a girl with bright green hair, and her arm around Remus’ arm said. “When did you re-charm the house, Harry?”
“First things first,” Harry said, pulling out the parchment he’d been passing around yesterday.
“Harry!” Mr. Weasley shouted, catching everyone by surprise. “He could be a Death Eater.”
“Mr. Weasley,” both Harry and Hermione said, looking at him as if he were crazy.
“He’s right,” Jaci answered, walking up to the group of people finally. Remus had the gall to smile at her. His eyes traveled her up and down, and his smile turned from polite to appreciative. Jaci inwardly shuddered.
“Who are you?” Remus asked.
Jaci reacted quickly. Her right hand came out and connected with Remus’ right temple, while her wand shot red sparks at the girl. Nobody moved for a few seconds. Then Harry took a step forward. He looked down at Tonks, and then at Remus, who was glaring at Jaci from the floor. He looked up at her, and took another step towards her. Kristie grabbed his arm, as he would have moved by Remus.
“Are you crazy?” he snapped. “What were you thinking! Why did you curse Tonks? Why did you hit Remus?” He was shouting, and Kristie, Jaci could see, was becoming apprehensive. She pulled on his arm, and Harry rounded on her. “Will you let go of my blasted arm!” he shouted, glaring daggers at her.
Kristie’s reaction was instantaneous. She jumped back, dropped his arm, and averted her eyes to the ground. Jaci felt the blood in her veins boil. She took her wand, turned to Remus, and stunned him. Harry’s angry eyes glared at her, and Jaci stared right back. She walked to him, and reached her hand for Kristie. She hesitated, and looked over at Harry.
“¡Con una chingada, Kristie, no nesesitas que un hombre te de permiso para que te muevas!” Jaci shouted. (2)
Frustration appeared in Kristie’s eyes. “¡No todas somos tan insolente como tu!” she shouted back, before turning around, and running to the stairs. (3) She stopped short, turned to look at Harry, and walked up the stairs. Jaci turned to Harry.
She sighed. “Don’t shout at her,” she said, gently. “Don’t give her orders, no matter how politely they’re worded. She has no choice but to obey when a man tells her to do something.” She glared at Remus, before turning back to Harry. “And that’s not Remus, and that’s not Tonks.”
“How do you know?” Ron asked, looking from Remus to Jaci.
Jaci shook her head. “He’s someone else. Remus knows who I am. There’s no way he wouldn’t remember me.”
“He knows you?” Harry asked, looking at her rather shocked.
“Yes I do.”
Everyone turned to the front door. Remus, bloody and looking furious, was standing there. He had Tonks in his arms, and looked as if he was on the verge of losing consciousness. Harry and Ron rushed to take Tonks from him, while Jaci cautiously walked over to Remus, and helped him into the living room. Fake Tonks began to change, and was regaining consciousness. Hermione quickly incarcerated her in ropes. Before their eyes, Tonks turned into Bellatrix. Hermione then tied up fake Remus too, and waited. Harry shook his head, as he placed Tonks on the couch across from Remus.
“You know that’s the third time we’ve been fooled by the polyjuice potion.”
Jaci looked up at him. “That wasn’t polyjuice potion,” Jaci said, as she walked over to Tonks. “Well, in Remus’ case it might be, not in Tonks’ case.”
“What do you mean?” Hermione asked, levitating a struggling Bellatrix into the living room, while Ron brought in Lucius Malfoy.
Jaci shook her head sadly. “She was, in essence, taking Tonks’ life.”
“Trading lives?” Ron asked.
Jaci shook her head. “You know what a horcrux is, right?” The trio exchanged glances, before nodding. “This is almost the same thing. Imagine taking someone’s soul, and putting it in a jar, and using it to transform into that person, whenever you wish. You wouldn’t have to worry about the resemblance fading, like polyjuice potion, and you wouldn’t have to worry about not knowing a vital part of information, because that person is literally in you.”
“Wait,” Harry said, looking from Jaci to Tonks. “But if that’s how Bellatrix changed, then how come she turned back into herself.” He looked at Tonks, and furrowed his brow. “What happens to Tonks now?”
Jaci placed a hand on Harry’s shoulder. He looked up at her, before turning to the couch again. Remus had moved from the seat he’d been taken to, to the one where Tonks was on. He was unconscious, but he had a firm grip on Tonks’ hand. Jaci turned to look at Harry.
“Bellatrix turned back into herself, because the spell wears off when you sleep. The second you wake up, you’re you again. Tonks, however, is dead,” she said softly.
“She can’t be dead!” Harry said, jerking away. “With a horcrux you can’t die unless all of them are destroyed. You said it was like a horcrux.”
“The difference, Harry,” Jaci said, as she grabbed his arms, “is that a horcrux is part of the soul. Here, the entire soul is taken. She’s dead, Harry. I’m sorry.”
Jaci hugged the shocked boy. She felt her shoulder dampen, and Harry moved away from her. He turned to the stairs, and ran up them. Jaci shook her head. It wasn’t fair. Harry had already lost too many people in his life. She would make sure he didn’t lose one more person.
1. What is that? Who is screaming
2. Damn it Kristie you don't need a man's permission to move!
3.We're not all as insolent as you!
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