Chapter 13 : Talking and Recovery
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“They’ll wake them up if they don’t shut up!”
“What are they shouting about? Nothing else can have happened, can it?”
Heather opened her eyes; everything was fuzzy like it had been before she fell asleep. She lay there and stare at the ceiling letting her eyesight clear, before she sat up and looked around. No one seemed to have noticed she did so for they were all looking at the door and whispering. She could see Mrs. Weasley at the end of Harry’s bed next to hers, now Heather could hear who she was listening to. It was Cornelius Fudge and McGonagall; there was shouting and running feet toward the wing.
“Regrettable, but all the same, Minerva-” was a loud Cornelius Fudge.
“You should never have brought it inside the castle!” yelled Professor McGonagall. “When Dumbledore finds out-”
Heather then saw the hospital doors open just where the screens ended on her side; it was then Bill pulled them back. Fudge came striding up the ward. Professors McGonagall and Snape were at his heels. It was then Lupin stood along side Mrs. Weasley as Fudge bustled towards them.
“Where’s Dumbledore?” he demanded of Mrs. Weasley.
“He’s not here, Minister.” Lupin said stiffly.
“This is a hospital wing, Minister, don’t you think you’d do better to-” Mrs. Weasley began angrily, but she was cut off by Dumbledore sweeping into the hospital ward.
“What has happened?” he said sharply looking from McGonagall to Fudge. “Why are you disturbing these people? Minerva, I’m surprised at you-I asked you to stand guard over Barty Crouch-”
“There is no need to stand guard over him anymore, Dumbledore!” she shrieked making Heather jump. “The Minister has seen to that!”
“When we told Mr. Fudge that we had caught the Death Eater responsible for tonight’s events” said Snape in a low voice, “he seemed to feel his personal safety was in question. He insisted on summoning a dementor to accompany him into the castle. He brought it up to the office where Barty Crouch-”
“I told him you would not agree, Dumbledore!” McGonagall fumed, angrier than Heather had ever seen her. “I told him you would never allow dementors to set foot inside the castle, but-
“My dear woman!” roared Fudge, who likewise looked angrier than Heather had ever seen him, “as Minister of Magic, it is my decision whether I wish to bring protection with me when interviewing a possibly dangerous-”
“The moment that-that thing entered the room,” she screamed, pointing at Fudge, trembling all over, “it swooped down on Crouch and-and-”
Heather knew as McGonagall stuttered what had happened to Crouch. The dementor must’ve administered its fatal Kiss to Barty Crouch. It had sucked his soul out through his mouth. He was worse than dead.
“By all accounts, he is no loss!” blustered Fudge. “It seems he has been responsible for several deaths!”
“But how will he be taken as evidence, he’s useless now he can’t say why he killed those people now! He’s nothing more than a soulless shell!” Heather snapped, a few noticing she was awake now.
“Why he killed them? Well, that’s no mystery, is it?” blustered Fudge. “He was a raving lunatic! From what Minerva and Severus told me, he seems to have thought he was doing it all on You-Know-Who’s instructions!”
“Lord Voldemort was giving him instructions, Cornelius,” Dumbledore said “Those people’s deaths were mere by-products of a plan to restore Voldemort to full strength again. The plan succeeded. Voldmeort has been restored to his body.”
They continued to argue, Fudge was appalled that Dumbledore actually believed Harry and Heather. Dumbledore wouldn’t allow Fudge to question either her or Harry that night.
“You’ve been reading Rita Skeeter, Mr. Fudge,” Harry said quietly.
It was then Ron, Hermione, Mrs. Weasley and Bill all jumped. None of them had realized that he was awake. Fudge asked of Dumbledore what would happen if he did find out he was keeping secrets about Harry and Heather from him.
“I assume that you are referring to the pains Harry has been experiencing in his scar? Or Heather’s astounding ability in Occlumen’s that she is able to perform?” Dumbledore asked coolly, he then tried to convince Fudge that Harry and Heather were as sane as him or Fudge. Fudge didn’t believe him, unconvinced that such a scar could be creating by a spell like that and act as an alarm.
“Look, I saw Voldmeort come back!” Harry shouted. He tried to get out of bed again, but Mrs. Weasley forced him back. “I saw the Death Eaters! I can give you their names! Lucius Malfoy-”
“Malfoy was cleared!” said Fudge, visibly affronted. “A very old family-donations to excellent causes-
“Macnair!” Harry continued.
“Also cleared! Now working for the Ministry!”
“You are merely repeating the names of those who were acquitted of being Death eaters thirteen years ago!” Fudge said angrily.
“Ling Wong and Nicolas Smith.” Heather said, the room went silent.
Fudge looked to her; he was fuming now, his face a blotchy red and a small sweat had broken out on his brow. “W-What?”
“Ling Wong and Nicolas Smith are Death Eaters; they were there when Voldmeort summoned them. Ling Wong knew who I was a year after he adopted me and has been planning this since then.” Heather said calmly.
Everyone was looking at her incredulously, until Dumbledore broke the silence. “I have two witnesses, Cornelius, both claim they have seen Voldemort rise again and his servants return to him.”
“It seems to me that you are all determined to start a panic that will destabilize everything we have worked for these last thirteen years!” Fudge cried.
Heather couldn’t believe it, it was widely known her father was a death eater and yet he still didn’t believe them. “He was there!” Heather snapped, her voice rose. “I saw him and my father, Voldmeort has returned!”
“Girl, you don’t even know what your father looks like…” Fudge hissed.
“He looks just like me I wager…” Heather hissed back glaring at him.
“Voldemort has returned,” Dumbledore repeated. “If you accept that fact straightaway, Fudge, and take the necessary measures, we may still be able to save the situation. The first and most essential step is to remove Azkaban from the control of the dementors-”
Fudge thought Dumbledore was mad, but he continued on to second measures like sending envoy to the giants. Fudge refused with even more venom, Dumbledore accused him of placing too much importance on purity of blood that he failed to recognize that it matters no what someone is born but what they grow to be.
“Insane…” whispered Fudge, still backing away. “Mad...”
“If your determination to shut your eyes will carry you as far as this, Cornelius,” said Dumbledore, “we have reached a parting of the ways. You must act as you see fit. And I shall act as I see fit.” his voice contained a hint of threat.
“Now see here, Dumbledore,” retorted Fudge, waving a threatening finger. “I’ve given you free rein, always. I’ve had a lot of respect for you. I might not have agreed with some of your decisions, but I’ve kept quiet. There aren’t many who’d have let you hire werewolves, or keep Hagrid, or decided what to teach your students without reference to the Ministry. But if you’re going to work against me-”
“The only one against whom I intend to work,” said Dumbledore “is Lord Voldemort. If you are against him, then we remain, Cornelius, on the same side.
The Minster didn’t seem to have anything to say to him, rocking back and forth on the ball of his heel. “He can’t be back, Dumbledore, he just can’t be…” he said with a hint of plea in his voice.
Suddenly Snape strode forward pulling up the left sleeve of his robes as he went and suck out his forearm and showed it to Fudge who recoiled. “There,” he said harshly. “There. The Dark Mark. It is not as clear as it was an hour or so ago, when it burned black, but you can still see it. Every Death Eater had the sign burned into him by the Dark Lord. It was a means of distinguishing one another. And his means of summoning us to him. When he touched the Mark of any Death eater, we were to Disapparate, and Apparate, instantly at his side. This Mark has been growing clearer all year. Karkaroff’s too. Why do you think Karkaroff fled tonight? We both felt the Mark burn. We both knew he had returned. Karkaroff fears the Dark Lord’s vengeance. He betrayed too many of his fellow Death Eater to be sure of a welcome back into the fold.”
Fudge seemed to have blocked out what Snape had just told him, backing away from him as well. “I don’t know what you and your staff are playing at, Dumbledore, but I have heard enough. I have no more to add. I will be in touch with you tomorrow, Dumbledore, to discuss the running of this school. I must return to the Ministry.”
He had almost reached the door when he paused. He turned around and strode back down the dormitory and stopped at Harry’s bed. “Your winnings,” he said shortly, taking a large back of gold out of his pocket and dropping onto Harry’s beside table. “One thousand Galleons. There should have been a presentation ceremony, but under the circumstances…” He looked to Heather who stared strait back at him in the eyes. “Yes, well…” he finished before cramming his bowler onto his head and walked out of the room, slamming the door behind him.
Heather then looked to the end of her bed, Kira stood there, just a few feet away with Isaac. She was staring at her incredulously, it was then Heather realized why but before she could say a word she placed a hand over her mouth and ran out of the wing.
“Kira!” Heather called and tired to get out of bed but Lupin stopped her.
“She will be fine…” he said, pushing her back to sit on the bed.
“I have to talk to her, Lupin, she has to understand!” Heather snapped.
Lupin sighed and kneeled down to her. “Heather, she will be fine, but right now you need to rest, recover your strength.”
Heather shook her head, tears streaming down her face. “But I’m her sister; he was my dad once too!”
It was right there that it hit Heather, the shock had subsided and reality hit her like a rock. She buried her face in her hands and began sobbing; it was her father who was a death eater…a death eater. Everything flooded to her in one huge wave and was drowning her; it was bad enough knowing she was related to one. But now the person she had trusted throughout her whole life…was the most untrustworthy thing he could be! Heather felt the right side of her bed sink, then two arms wrap around her and she cried harder. Remus held her close there for a long while, until Heather calmed herself.
“Heather,” Dumbledore said, “I was in the process of informing Kira’s mother about her husband’s decision. I will have her find Kira and explain things, but right now there is work to be done… Molly…am I right in thinking I can count on you and Arthur?”
Heather listened as they made plans; Bill was going to alert his father and others at the Ministry. Professor McGonagall was to go get Hagrid and Madame Maxime into his office if they would. Madam Pomfrey was to go and take care of Winky. She stared into the darkness that was Remus’ robes, listening to the others around them; she then felt him rub her arm and asked “Alright?”
Heather nodded and pulled away from him, wiping tears from her cheeks and getting back into bed, knowing she wasn’t going to be let anywhere else. Remus remained sitting on the side of her bed, then once Madam Pomfrey disappeared Dumbledore spoke again.
“And now,” he said, “it is time for two of our number to recognize each other for what they are. Sirius...if you could resume your usual form.”
Heather watching, sitting back on her pillows as the great black dog stared up at Dumbledore before transforming into Sirius Black.
“Sirius Black!” shrieked Mrs. Weasley,
“Mum, shut up!” Ron yelled, “Its okay,”
“Him!” snarled Snape “What is he doing here?”
Dumbledore explained to him that Sirius was here upon his invitation as was Snape he reminded him. He told them both that he trusted them and wanted them to lay aside their old differences. Very slowly the two glaring at each other shook hands and let go quickly as if the other was diseased.
“Now I have work for each of you. Fudge’s attitude, though not unexpected, changes everything. Sirius, Remus, I need you both to set off at once. You are to alert Arabella Figg, Mundungus Fletcher-the old crowd and if he will have you, Sirius, lie low at Lupin’s for a while; I will contact you there.”
Remus turned to look at her sadly, “Bye…” Heather said quietly.
He smiled and hugged her again, “I will meet you off the train.”
Heather nodded; he stood and walked out of the ward after Sirius said his goodbye to Harry. Dumbledore gave Snape his instructions and he turned on his heel and left, Dumbledore then went downstairs to meet with the Diggory’s. Isaac walked back into the hospital wing, he sighed and sat on her bed; he had left a while ago to go see if she was okay.
“Is she okay?” Heather asked,
“I hope so, she was with her mother so I didn’t stay long.” he said quietly.
Suddenly there was a loud slamming noise, she looked to see Hermione standing by the window; holding something tight in her right hand. Mrs. Weasley had stopped hugging Harry and they both looked at her.
“Sorry.” she whispered
“Here, Heather,” Mrs. Weasley said, giving her a goblet, Harry was already asleep.
“Thank you, Mrs. Weasley.” Heather said with a feeble smile and drank the potion.
She set the goblet down and leaned against her pillows, Isaac smiled to her and she smiled; something about him comforted her. He was the last thing she saw as she drifted back to sleep and thought no more about what had just happened.
Heather didn’t remember much of those few days and hours before she fell asleep that night. Most were memories that stood out the most, the Quidditch pitch, Moody changing into Barty, the real Moody at the bottom of the chest and so much more. She and Kira mourned the loss of a father; Kira took it particularly hard; she didn’t want to believe it. She would often go off by herself, just to think, Heather wagered but never really knew. Within that month she began to bounce back but slowly and so did the school.
Isaac told her that the morning after Dumbledore spoke to the school and implored upon them not to question Harry nor her. After a while they began to talk of that night, but it usually resulted in either herself or Kira in tears; but either way it was better to talk about it then to let it bottle up.
“The end,” said Dumbledore, at the Leaving Feast. “of another year.”
He paused, and his eyes fell upon the Hufflepuff table. They had been the most reserved of the groups in the hall. “There is much that I would like to say to you all tonight,” he said, “but I must first acknowledge the loss of a very fine person, who should be sitting here,” he gestured towards the Hufflepuff’s, “enjoying our feats with us. I would like you all, please, to stand, and raise your glasses, to Cedric Diggory.”
Everyone stood, raising their goblets and echoed in one loud, low rumbling voice, “Cedric Diggory.”
“Cedric was a person who exemplified many of the qualities that distinguish Hufflepuff House,” Dumbledore continued, “He was a good loyal friend, a hard worker, he valued fair play. His death has affected you all, whether you knew him well or not. I think that you have the right, therefore, to know exactly how it came about.” Heather stared up at Dumbledore, waiting for his words. “Cedric Diggory was murdered by Lord Voldmeort.”
A surge of panic rushed through the Great Hall, many looked to Dumbledore in disbelief and horror. But he couldn’t have looked calmer as he watched them utter themselves into silence. He explained how the ministry didn’t wish they know who really murdered Cedric. He said their parents may not believe what he says and refuse to believe Voldmeort has returned but believed that truth was better taken in than lies.
“There is someone else who must be mentioned in connection with Cedric’s death,” Dumbledore went on, “Two in fact, I am talking, of course, about Harry Potter and Heather Smith.”
Heather was very aware of all the eyes upon her as a kind of ripple crossed the Great Hall. She looked over to the Gryffindor table and caught Harry’s eye, before Dumbledore spoke again.
“Harry Potter managed to escape Lord Voldemort,” he said, “He risked his own life to return Cedric’s body to Hogwarts. Heather risked her own life to save them both by trying to escape the death eaters. They showed, in every respect, the sort of bravery that few wizards and witches ever shown in facing Lord Voldemort, and for this, I honor them.”
Dumbledore stood and raised his goblet first to Harry then to her, everyone followed in suit murmuring their names. He continued explaining the Triwizard Tournament’s aim was to further and promote magical understanding. He welcomed back all the guests that now sat in their presence.
“I say to you all, once again-in light of Lord Voldemort’s return, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort’s gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open
“It is my belief-and never have I so hoped that I am mistaken-that we are all facing dark and difficult times. Some of you in this Hall have already suffered directly at the hands of Lord Voldemort. Many of your families have been torn asunder. A week ago, a student was taken from our midst.
“Remember Cedric. Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldmeort. Remember Cedric Diggory.”
Heather and Kira were sifting around their dormitory, looking for lost socks, quills and little trinkets such as that.
“Remember the ball?” Kira asked, holding up and earring she wore to it that she thought she had lost.
Heather smiled, “Yeah, that was so fun,”
“How you were just unreasonable with me on dresses?” Kira asked
“I was not,” Heather said, “I was opinionated,”
“Unreasonable…opinionated what is the difference with you?” Kira said, trying to close her trunk.
“Here,” Heather walked over and they both slammed down on the lid, but it popped right back up.
They both looked to each other and nodded and climbed onto the bed and sat on it, Kira closed it quickly but despite that it flew back open sending them flying to the ground. Clothes went flying everywhere, Max screeched and they landed laughing with a loud thump onto the floor.
Heather sat up, “We have to do that again,”
“Agreed!” Kira said giving her a high five, they sat there and laughed for a bit before Kira said, “wow…it feels good…”
“What?” Heather asked, helping her stand.
“To-To laugh…I never thought I would again…” she said, heaving a sigh.
Heather nodded, “Does feel good…”
They both looked to the trunk and smiled; it looked like it had just thrown up, shoes everywhere and shirts hanging off the canopies of the beds.
“Again?” Kira asked
“Again!” Heather said with a smile and they started to pack the trunk again.
Finally they were all gathered on the Hogwarts express, Neville was sitting with them this time around. It was a good train ride full of sweets and cracking jokes as well as talking about what had happened. But even though it hurt to speak of it, Heather choose to, she felt if she didn’t tell those who were the most close to her, would could she talk to? It was then the train stopped and they got off, saying goodbye to their friends.
“Write me okay?” Heather asked Isaac, “You never do!”
“I won’t have to,” he said
“Why?” Heather said
He grinned, “You’ll see!” he kissed her on the cheek before running to his family and waving goodbye to her.
“Well, Neville will write this summer, what about Isaac?” Kira said pushing her cart up next to hers.
“I don’t know…” Heather said, “He said he wouldn’t have to…”
Kira shrugged, “Come on, there’s mum,”
Heather pushed her cart along, still baffled by what Isaac said and wondering what he meant.
“Hello, sweetheart,” her mother said hugging her tightly.
“Where’s Remus?” Heather asked,
“He’s not here and asked me to come get you, you will be staying with us for a bit of the summer.” she told her
“Is he okay?” Heather asked anxiously,
“He is fine,” she said,
“Well, what is he doing?” Heather asked
“Some errands,” their mother said.
“Where?” Kira asked
“Places, now come we have to catch a cab home and then-” their mother said rather quickly,
“Is this something to do with the Order thing?” Heather asked,
“Heather!” snapped her mother, “what have you been nosing in? You shouldn’t know about that, you-” their mother stopped and looked around,
“What?” Kira asked, “Tell us,”
“At home, but come now, at once, go, go!” she said, ushering them along.
Heather and Kira looked to each other as they followed their mother off of platform nine and three quarters; they had a feeling this summer was going to be more exciting than the last.
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