Chapter 4 : A New Home
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Authors note: Hello, this has been rewritten as of March 2014.
When Heather woke she didn’t sit up. Actually she couldn’t. She could feel a faint tingling of pain all around her body and the slightest push to move her body intensified it. She opened her eyes slightly to see Hermione turning away from her as she stood next to Harry’s bed. Around them were the cloth barriers which reflected the long distorted shadows of others outside them. The faint voices that roused her came clearer as her mind cleared.
“Shocking business…shocking…miracle noon of them died…never heard the like…by thunder, it was lucky you were there, Snape….”
“Thank you, Minister”
Heather flinched to the sound of his voice. The minster was here and congratulating Professor Snape! They continued talking about Harry being given special treatment, at which Heather wanted to laugh at. If being attacked by someone or thing on a regular basis was special treatment, she wanted to see what true Wizarding hero treatment was. She then realized that the voices were coming from outside in the corridor. They were overshadowed by the strict steps of Madam Pomfrey who came to stand between the beds. She tended to Harry, who asked how Ron was and she told him he would live, but she sat up as Harry did putting on his glasses.
“I need to see the headmaster.” he said sternly.
“Potter,” she said soothingly, “it’s alright. They’ve got Black. He’s locked away upstairs. The dementors will be performing the kiss any moment now-”
It was now Heather spoke as Harry jumped up from his bed. The voices that had been heard from outside now walked into the ward. Both Hermione and Harry began arguing with the Minister, Snape and Madam Pomfrey. Heather remained quiet as she executed all her willpower on getting out from bed, using this moment of invisibility to have no one notice how weak she was. Dumbledore then walked in from talking to Black as soon as she got to her feet and joined their argument.
“Peter Pettigrew was not in the Shrieking Shack, nor did I see any sign of him on the grounds.” Snape reported.
“But-” Hermione began.
“Miss Granger,-” Snape began as well but Heather cut in.
“You were knocked out,” Heather said leaning on the railing of the end of the bed for support, “Harry knocked you out with a spell. You only woke up at the willow because we had all gotten separated by Lupin. Harry and Hermione went after Sirius and I went after Lupin. Peter transformed and escaped into the Forbidden Forest. You would’ve done better to search there.”
Everyone was looking at her as if she had just appeared out of thin air, but Dumbledore broke the silence.
“The Forest has not been checked, for rats at least.” he stated.
“Do you really believe her?” Snape hissed, “There are probably thousands of rats in those woods and around the grounds. With her past and heritage I wouldn’t take her word.”
“I am aware of her past, Severus,” Dumbledore said firmly, “But it’s only fair, the shack was searched upon Harry and Hermione’s word, the forest should be searched upon Heather’s.”
“Surely, you don’t believe it professor, Black has shown his capability for murderer at sixteen!” he hissed quietly.
“Again, I am aware of the past Severus, but I wish to speak to these three alone.” Dumbledore said quietly.
With his word everyone left without another of their own. Heather had a feeling Professor Snape was going to be in a particularly bad mood for the remainder of the year and possibly the start of the next. Heather listened as Dumbledore talked to Hermione of where Sirius was locked, how she can save more than one life and that they must not be see. Heather stared at him, as well as Harry, with utter bewilderment. Dumbledore then beckoned her to the door and began to shut it as she made her way slowly outside, advising Hermione three turns should do it. He then stated if all doesn’t go well the task will be completed by another and shut the door.
“Professor Dumbledore, what-” Heather began, but in the same way Dumbledore began to talk quickly over her.
“You’ve heard where Sirius is locked away, Heather. I don’t expect Harry or Hermione to reach him in time. Picking the lock should get it loose; there is a ward in place for the dementors for a short while, very short. You don’t have much time and as well you cannot be seen,” he told her.
“Go,” he said urgently, “You haven’t much time, if Sirius is inside get him away from that floor and area immediately.”
With that he gave Heather a slight shove down a corridor and told her to go again, Heather understood but didn’t understand what Dumbledore wanted her to do. He wanted her to Flitwick’s office on the seventh floor in the west tower and get Sirius. But why? The only explanation that she could think of was that he was innocent and Dumbledore knew that. What could Harry and Hermione do while still locked in the hospital wing?
With this confusion she came to the moving stairs and made her way upwards towards Flitwick’s office. The going was slow as she stopped every few moments to lead against a railing. Her whole body ached especially her right shoulder which was in a tightly bound sling. The pain wasn’t too bad but she knew it was more than likely being masked by a potion or salve applied to her by Madam Pomfrey.
When Heather reached the 7th floor and Professor Flitwicks door there were no dementors in sight. She reached the door to find it locked and with no wand she didn’t have many options. Searching her pockets she serendipitously found a bobby pin. She took it to the door and tried her best hoping to at least break the lock open. Listening to the lock click she turned the knob with a hard twist causing pain to run up into her shoulders. Stifling a yelp, subtly noting the medication was wearing off, she shuffled inside only to be grabbed by someone else. This unexpected action didn’t allow her to stifle a yell of pain.
“Heather?” Sirius’ voice rasped.
Meanwhile Hermione and Harry had just gotten Buckbeak and were in the castle, Hermione urging him to go back.
“We have to go back Harry,” Hermione said, “We have ten minutes we have to get there before Dumbledore talks to Heather then walks away. We can’t be seen,”
“But what about Sirius, we-” Harry began,
“We have too!” Hermione snapped. “Didn’t you listen Dumbledore said if we didn’t finish our task another would. Now come on!”
They set Buckbeak free and headed straight for the hospital wing. Back on the 7th floor Heather steadied herself as Sirius backed away releasing her from his grip.
“Come on, we have to get you out of here.” Heather said pushing open the door.
“No!” Sirius hissed, grabbing Heather as gently as he could and tugging her back. “Dementors are guarding the entrance’s, we’ll both be killed! How did you get up here?”
“No, no time, Dumbledore has set a ward to keep them away but if we don’t leave now we will get killed, come on!” Heather said.
Heather ran as best she could down a large staircase and out onto a landing where a fountain was moon lit by the night, otherwise it was vacant. What now…what now… her mind pleaded with her as she looked around.
“Heather, you can’t be doing this. The scratches-” Sirius began.
“I have…to.” Heather gritted but didn’t refuse as he held her arm to give her support.
Heather truly didn’t have any other options for Sirius when out of the sky Buckbeak soared, he wasn’t dead! Astonished she jogged haphazardly towards the bird and grabbed his chains. Sirius joined her and took the chains steering the bird back into the courtyard.
“Take Buckbeak and get out of here.” Heather ordered.
Sirius nodded, “Heather, you tell Harry I will see him this summer.”
“Okay, okay, but get out of here, fast!” Heather said.
He nodded mounting the bird, squeezing Buckbeak’s sides with his heels and soared off into the distance. Heather then began to make her way back to the Hospital Wing. The Dementors were now back swirling throughout the castle searching for Black. Heather was narrowly avoiding them but whatever painless potion that had been causing her body to tingle was now wearing off. Searing pain was shooting through her back, shoulder and straight to her head. She fought her way back downstairs and arrived just as Harry and Hermione did.
“Did he escape?” Harry asked,
Heather nodded “He told me to tell you that you will see him this summer.”
“Harry, help me. Heather needs to lie back down.” Hermione said.
Hermione opened the doors as Harry helped her in. Ron had woken up and was rubbing his head and asked.
“What happened? Where’s Sirius and Lupin? What’s going on?” Ron asked,
Harry helped Heather back into her bed and they both looked to Hermione stating “You explain,”
Noon the next day Harry and Hermione were released with minor injuries. Heather remained behind due to the extent of her injuries. A salve was applied daily to her scratches and the deep ones in her shoulder required semi constant bandaging with the sling being readjusted tightly.
The rest of the school was gone, the castle deserted as the students trodden around Hogsmead. Peter was never found in the woods, just average rats. Kira visited her everyday till the end of term. She caught her sister up on what happened that night at the Shack. Astonished Kira stayed day after day as Heather answered her unending questions.
“So Lupin knows you’re an Animagus?” she asked,
Heather nodded, finishing a last test question for Transfiguration. “He said my mother was a Raven and that I should be registered.”
Kira laughed, “You know mum will agree with that, do you think we should tell them?”
“No,” Heather said shaking her head knowing Kira meant their parents. “I don’t think we should tell anyone for now, Sirius is still a wanted man.”
“Yeah, with dad working at the Ministry in all,” Kira said logically, munching on some left over cockroach clusters she got from her last Hogsmead visit.
“Kira,” Heather said slowly,
“Yeah?” she asked,
“What would you say if I didn’t want to stay at our house this summer?” Heather said quietly, listening to her drop the paper bag.
“Well, I don’t know Heather, Where would you go?” she asked levelly.
“It’s not you or mum or dad, Kira, I love you all I really do, it’s just, Lupin offered me a place for the summer, sort of.” she said
“Sort of?” Kira asked,
“Well he said he planned to tell me at the end of the year, that he gave me my locket then offer a home, I think it stills stands now.” Heather said, “I mean maybe he knows more about my mother and father and who-or what-I am.”
Kira sighed then nodded, “I don’t mind, really, it’s not like we aren’t going to see each other. But its dad…with his negative attitude towards vampires, well, werewolves came with it.”
“I know that,” Heather said, noting her father’s subtle but abundant discrimination. Heather had told her about the conversation she overheard and his attitude towards her had changed slightly.
“I know mum will be okay with it too, once she talks to Lupin…” Kira trailed off,
Heather smiled, “Don’t worry; I’ll miss your snoring.”
“Hey, I do not snore!” Kira said, throwing a pillow at her. Heather laughed and threw it back but Kira interrupted their fun. “Does Professor Lupin know about you accepting this invitation?”
Heather shrugged and winched slightly forgetting her shoulder. The truth was she hadn’t seen him since the night he brought her to the Wing.
“That is why I said I think the offer still stands. He hasn’t come to see me at all.” Heather said quietly.
Kira nodded leaving the teenagers in silence to think. Kira left her that evening as she still needed to pack her things for the train the next morning. She had helped Heather with her things but most of her stuff had been moved to the Hospital Wing for her recovery. Madam Pomfrey was now packing the salve into her truck.
“This is to be applied as needed but as you know it’s pretty powerful as is. Now how is the movement this evening?” the nurse asked standing to her right examining the shoulder in the sling.
Heather had been instructed in exercise to do as the blunt force of the werewolves strike had dislocated her shoulder. Madam Pomfrey had gotten it back into place but as she said daily that was only half the battle.
“It still hurts.” Heather stated causing the nurse to sigh.
“Teenagers, you all say the same.”
“I seem to remember still saying that same thing to you later on in my life, Madam Pomfrey.”
The nurse turned to Professor Lupin who had just stepped in the ward, she couldn’t help but smile at the former student. “Well, some students do never change. I shall leave you two to speak.”
Madam Pomfrey habitually tucked the blanket back over her lab and adjusted her pillow behind her back. She then went back into her office leaving the door only cracked and allowing Lupin to sit in the chair next to her bed.
“Hello, Heather.” he said softly sitting down.
“Hi,” she quietly returned and realized for once in her life she was nervous but wasn’t talking.
“How are you feeling?” Lupin asked.
Heather shrugged and winced, again. “I’m alright.” She assured as he smiled back at her but she could tell her wasn’t convinced. “So…will I see you next year?”
“No, I’m afraid not. I’ve resigned.” He stated.
“But why, you’re a wonderful teacher, the best we’ve had.” Heather told him sitting up straighter now despite the pain in her lower back. “Wait, they don’t think you were in league with Black do they?”
He shook his head and motioned with his hands for Heather to keep her voice down. “No, Dumbledore managed to convince Fudge that I was trying to save your lives. That was the final straw for Severus. I think the loss of the Order of Merlin hit him hard. So he, sort of, accidentally let slip that I am a werewolf this morning at breakfast.”
“What?” Heather exclaimed but quickly quieted. “That doesn’t matter though; you don’t see people freaking out because I’m a vampire.”
Lupin smiled wryly, “That’s because you’re harmless Heather, and you don’t drink blood or pose a threat to the students around you.”
“Neither are you!” Heather countered.
He smiled again, “This time tomorrow, the owls will start arriving from parents…They will not want a werewolf teaching their children, Heather. And after last night, I see their point. I could have bitten anyone of you, you especially coming after me like that….That must never happen again.” Heather tried to think of another argument but none would come, “Dumbledore told me that you helped Sirius escape, along with Harry and Hermione?”
Heather nodded, telling the story and how confused she had been. When she finished he was smiling again. “Yes, Harry should be seeing a bit of Sirius if we’re lucky,”
“Professor…” Heather began, he looked to her expectantly, “You-You said before that you were going to offer me another home, I-I-”
“Wondered if that offer still stood?” he asked the rambling girl, who nodded. “Yes, the offer still stands. I just didn’t think you wanted too.”
“It’s not that I don’t want too, I do, but I don’t want to hurt my family. Plus my father…well he has slight prejudice towards vampires and werewolves though he doesn’t show it…very much. I don’t think he would be particularly happy with me living with one.” she said, biting her lower lip knowing how awful it sounded.
Lupin nodded thoughtfully, “Well, maybe I’ll talk with your mother and father before,” Lupin reached into his pocket and held out her locket. “Here, I brought this up from the shrieking shack.”
“Thank you.” Heather said with a smile as he replaced it around her neck for her.
“You’re welcome. I assume you’re parents are coming here directly tomorrow to take you home?”
“That is correct, Remus.” Madam Pomfrey answered as she reentered the ward. “Although I must admit I would feel better if Miss Smith was with someone more qualified to care for her in this condition.”
He smiled at the stern nurse, “I see your concern, Madam. Heather, I shall talk to them and we will see how it goes tomorrow, how does that sound?”
“Okay, that sounds good.” Heather said decidedly.
“Right then and I assume it’s time for bed.” He noted as Madam Pomfrey began extinguishing lamps.
“According to her…” Heather muttered.
“She is allowed to read but she underestimates her exhaustion.” The nurse commented.
“I see, well I will leave you to it. Good night, Heather. I shall see you tomorrow.” Professor Lupin gently gave her had a squeeze before leaving the ward.
Madam Pomfrey extinguished all the lamps but one around her and as usually Heather picked up a book. She wasn’t sure how she could sleep after all that had just happened. Questions swirled in her head at how her parents would react and if that reaction was bad would she ever see him again? Her mind didn’t allow her to dwell too much before she drifted off to sleep just as the school nurse predicted. That morning she woke, showered, dressed and packed all her things in her trunk. Kira arrived at the ward in the afternoon since Professor Dumbledore didn’t see the point of her taking the train when her parents were coming to the school for Heather.
“Have you spoken to them? Do they know?” Heather asked anxiously when she arrived.
“Miss Smith, sit still. Now.” Madam Pomfrey ordered as she retied the students sling to her shoulder. “You just received a new dressing this morning and I am not redoing it on account of your excitement.”
Excitement was hardly the word for it; Heather recalled it more as a nervous twitch. It was about 30 minutes later when the fire place in the ward roared to life with green flames. Her mother, father and Professor Lupin all stepped from the green flames. Her mother’s face brightened immediately.
“Heather, dear!” she cried. “How are you feeling? My you just look absolutely peeky!”
Heather smiled and assured her mother was fine but couldn’t take her mind off the look on her father’s face. He was furious no doubt, Kira gave her a sideways glance as she noticed but greeted her father warmly in hopes to break the tension.
“Heather, we’ve been talking to Remus, Mr. Lupin I mean and-“ her mother began.
“Heather, where did you get these injuries?” Her father sternly cut in.
“This is my fault,” Heather told him, “I went after Professor Lupin in the woods. I knew he had been distracted by something while not in his right mind…I…I wanted to protect him or whatever he was chasing.”
Heather decided that explanation wasn’t far from the truth but still it hadn’t been easy to think that fast on her feet.
“I won’t let my daughter living with the same werewolf that did this to her.” Mr. Wong snapped at Professor Lupin.
“He’s not dangerous!” Heather snapped back at him earning a shocked looked from Kira.
“Why did he take that potion then and why did you go after him? What was so worth defending and why was he worth protecting?” he asked.
“Because-” Kira began but stopped with a look from Heather that said, do you want to freak out mum?
“That is now in the past. I understand both of your concerns, but in all fairness, I suggest that Heather decided. I know she has been weight the issues.
That’s not important,” Lupin said, “But in all fairness, I suggest that Heather decide. My goal is not to remove her from your lives but help her develop and understand her own.”
Authors note: Please read and review.
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