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Changes by Lupins_cub
Chapter 15 : Unexpected News
 
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Today was very quiet, a week had passed now and it was the day Harry went to the ministry for the hearing. He told everyone that he was attacked in an alleyway by dementors, his cousin Dudley as well; he used magic as his defense then was suspended. But somehow Dumbledore swayed him a hearing and he and Mr. Weasley had just left. The house was quiet today, practically the whole Order was gone, except for Sirius and Mrs. Weasley. Mrs. Weasley unfortunately decided that they all needed to pitch in and make Sirius’ house more habitable.

“You know…I don’t think the muggles have it right,” Kira said, “Couldn’t we just use Scourgify?”

“I did dear, that’s as far as every one of my spells went anymore and I would have blown a hole in the wall.” Mrs. Weasley said

Kira sighed, giving the wall a good scrub with the brush she had. “I think a hole would be better than this!”

“I hear you,” Heather said, polishing the frame of a picture.

Suddenly Isaac let out a shriek, “Get it off! Get it off! Get it off!” he was hopping around the room, madly grabbing at himself. It was then they could see what was attacking him, a small black haired creature.

“Hold still!” Sirius exclaimed to him over his shouting, he grabbed the back of his collar and sprayed the Doxy. The Doxy spotted scurrying over Isaac and fell to the floor with a thud. Isaac shuddered and ran to Heather and Kira, stilling swatting at his arms like there was something there.

“I hate…crawly things…” he hissed,

Sirius laughed throwing the creature into a brown sack. “Their harmless unless they bite you…then…well you’re kind of in trouble.”

“Can I scrub the wall now?” he asked,

“Here,” Heather said, giving him her sponge, “clean the frame,”

“Fine by me!” he said, giving her the sack of dead Doxies.

About an hour later they all heard the loud rushing of a fire, everyone dropped their cleaning things and ran downstairs to where Harry stood.
“I knew you would get off!” Ron said, punching the air. “You always get away with stuff like this!”

Hermione looked rather pale as she talked to Harry, Mrs. Weasley was wiping her eyes with her apron. Meanwhile Ginny, Fred and George did a sort of war dance in a circle, chanting ‘He got off! He got off! He got off!’

“That’s enough,” said Mr. Weasley, though he was smiling as well, then began to tell Sirius who they had seen at the Ministry.

It was apparently Lucius Malfoy, talking to Fudge, just a few paces outside of Harry’s court hearing; he told Sirius that Dumbledore ought to know and he agreed. Mr. Weasley then left to go take care of a vomiting toilet, he told Mrs. Weasley he would be late because he was covering for Tonks and that Kingsley might drop in for dinner. Meanwhile Ginny, Fred and George still pranced around the room chanting before their mother quieted them down. After that they all gathered round the large washboard table, even Kreature poked his head through the door to see what the excitement was about.

“Of course you got off,” Heather said to Harry, “With Dumbledore there it was a sure thing,”

“Yeah, he swung it for me,” Harry said, sounding very relieved and grateful, but that faded as his hand raced to his scar.

“Are you okay?” Hermione asked, looking alarmed.

“Scar…” Harry mumbled, “But it’s nothing, happens all the time now…”

No one else but Hermione and Heather noticed his pain, everyone was now helping themselves to some warm food on the table. Even now Fred, George, and Ginny were still singing happily as everyone discussed his narrow escape. Ron said excitedly that Dumbledore would probably come this evening for dinner to celebrate.

“I don’t think so, Ron,” Mrs. Weasley said, setting down a large roast chicken in front of Harry. “He’s really rather busy at the moment,”

“He got off! He got off! He got off!” said the Ginny, Fred and George next to her, but now Jacquelyn joined the group just next to George at the end with Isaac.

“Shut up!” roared Mrs. Weasley.

Over the next few days everyone seemed excited for Hogwarts, Kira couldn’t wait to see Neville and Isaac promised his little cousin he would write her about the whole school. But Heather felt different, even though she didn’t say anything, she really didn’t want to go back to Hogwarts. She figured if the Daily Prophet and Fudge were spreading all these lies and rumors about she and Harry lying, what would it be like at school? To be completely honest, she sort of like Grimmuald Place, yes it was in horrible shape and haunted by everything you could think of, but she liked that. It was quiet, you could hide away when you wanted to, which is what she was doing now. She was either on the third or fourth floor, a rag in her hand and some cleaner floating after her.

Usually though, Mrs. Weasley would send them all on cleaning tasks around the house well out of earshot of the kitchen and the extendable ears. But this time Heather was on her own, Kira had been writing to Neville and Isaac talking with his family, she hadn’t seen Lupin in a while. But she hadn’t really bothered with writing, it never worked, either Max would come back or she would get no response whatsoever.

At least, she thought, she wasn’t the only gloomy person around, Sirius had become rather subdued and didn’t talk much. He become surly and stayed shut up in his mothers room with Buckbeak for long periods of time. She had a feeling it was because Harry wasn’t expelled, yes she knew it was a horrible thing to say of him, but she could see why he wouldn’t be happy. He was alone in this old house a lot, well not really alone people were always in and out for dinner or a few moments. But that was it, they were in and out, he was completely trapped, in his own house. Heather felt as though she could understand, though she barely remembered the days in her foster homes and orphanages she did sense that she was trapped there most of the time.

“Heather?”

Heather jumped and heard the cleaner behind her drop out of the air, her concentration lost.

She turned to see Sirius pick up the can, “What are you doing up here alone?” he asked, “It’s nearly dinner,”

“Cleaning, what are you doing up here alone?” she asked, taking the cleaner from him.

He shook his head, “Just thinking, which I think I need to stop.”

Heather nodded, remaining quiet, before she said. “I don’t want to go back to Hogwarts…”

Sirius gave her a look, “Why in the world not? Surely you don’t want to stay here, cleaning and cooped up?”

Heather shrugged, “It’s just, think about it, The Minster of Magic thinks Harry and I are lying. It’s all over the Daily Prophet, I don’t expect the whole school is going to just call it rubbish, like the Order.” Heather shook her head, “I don’t know, maybe it’s because I like dark and dank places, being a vampire and all.”

Sirius looked at her sadly as they walked, before just sighing and continuing.

“What?” Heather asked

“Nothing, really.” he said, quietly.

“Tell me,” Heather said, “What?”

Sirius sighed again and stopped, “I expect you’ll hate hearing this, actually I know you will, but when you said that you sounded just like your father when he was your age.”

Heather’s stomach dropped, “R-really?”

“I’m sorry, Heather,” Sirius said after a long silent moment. “I shouldn’t have told you, but trust me that’s the first I’ve seen your father in you.”

“That’s my fear…” Heather whispered, “becoming like him…”

“Listen, Heather,” he said, placing a hand on her shoulder, “You may look like you’re father, but you’re more like your mother than you know. But the thing you must realize is you are going to be a lot like your father too, you just have to know how to handle it.”

“I don’t think I’ll go mad…” Heather said

“No, you won’t, you are like your mother and your father but in the end you have to take both of them and make yourself.” he said and that is what made Heather feel better.

“Thanks, Sirius,” she said, as they continued walking, “but still, I don’t think Hogwarts will be the same this year.”

“I think you’re right, but you got to hope for the best, eh?” he said, as they walked into the kitchen.

It was the next day they finally go their book lists, they had been really late this year, Heather wondered if they had forgot. Heather sat on her bed, Max flew from his cage and nestled himself onto her shoulder. She ripped open the envelope, two pieces of parchment sit there, one was the usual reminder that school started September first. The other was the long list of the books and supplies they would need for their fifth year at Hogwarts.

“Mmm, only two new books, I wonder who the new Dark Arts teacher is?” Kira asked allowed.
“Don’t know…maybe a friendly vampire…” Heather said and they burst out laughing, if a vampire was their Dark Arts teacher they would consider themselves lucky.

“I’m not surprised if Dumbledore’s had trouble finding one, lets see, one sacked, one dead, ones memory removed and one locked up in a trunk for nine months.” Kira said, counting them off in their fingers.

It was then they heard a door bang across the way, both Heather and Kira stood, maybe something exciting was happening for once. The room of Harry and Ron was open, inside stood Harry, Fred, George, Hermione, who looked flustered, and a very pale Ron.

“Did you-Did you get-” Hermione said then spotted the prefect badge in Harry’s hand. “Me too! Me too!” she said, brandishing the letter in front of him.

“No!” Harry said hurriedly, giving the badge back to Ron.

“Me-What?” Hermione halted.

“No, Ron’s Prefect no me.” said Harry.

“Ron?” Hermione gaped, her jaw dropping. “But-I mean-”

Ron turned scarlet as he looked around at her with a defiant expression on his face. “It’s my name on the letter,” he said

“I-I-well…” Hermione said, looking bewildered. “Wow, well done Ron! That’s really-”

“Unexpected,” said George, nodding.

“No,” said Hermione, blushing again. “No, its not, Ron’s done loads of-he’s really”

Heather knew that blustering feeling as Hermione talked her way into a corner, though it was surprising, Ron…a Prefect. Heather could see why Hermione, but maybe if Harry was a Prefect he would think before he did things. Of course, Heather wasn’t a Prefect either and she knew she didn’t think before she did things. The only reasons she could come to was to protect Harry, Hermione and Ron being prefects meant he was under a watchful eye that obeyed the rules. Hermione was saved by Mrs. Weasley, who walked through the door behind Heather and Kira.

“Excuse me, dears, Ginny said the booklist had come eat last,” she said, sorting the robes. “If you give them to me, I can take them over to Diagon Alley this afternoon, and get your books while you’re packing. Ron I’ll have to get you more pajamas these are at least six inches too short, I can’t believe how fast you’re growing. What color would you like?”
“Get him red and gold to match his badge,” said George smirking.

“Matches what?” said Mrs. Weasley absently rolling up a pair of socks.

“His badge,” said Fred with an air of getting the worst over quickly, “his lovely shiny new Prefect’s badge.”

Fred’s words seemed to take a moment to sink in with Mrs. Weasley, “His-but-Ron-You’re not-” Ron held up his badge, Mrs. Weasley let out a shriek just like Hermione’s.

“I don’t believe it! I don’t believe it! Oh Ron how wonderful a Prefect that’s everyone in the family!”

“What are Fred and I, next door neighbors?” said George indigently, as his mother pushed him aside and flung her arms around Ron.

“Wait until your father hears, Ron, I’m so proud of you. What wonderful news you could end up head boy, just like Bill and Percy. It’s the first step, oh what a thing to happen in the middle of this worry. I’m just thrilled, oh Ronny!”

Fred and George were both loud retching noise behind her back, but Mrs. Weasley did not notice; arms tight around Ron’s neck she was kissing him all over his face which turned scarlet.

“Mum, don’t, mum, get a grip,” he muttered, trying push her away.

She let go of him and said breathlessly, “Well, what will it be? We gave Percy an owl, but you’ve already got one of course.”

“What-What do you mean?” said Ron, said looking rather incredulously at his mother.

“You’ve got have an award for this,” said Mrs. Weasley fondly, “How about a nice new set of dress robes?”

“We’ve already bought him some,” said Fred sourly.

“Or a new cauldron, Charlie’s old one is rusting through or a new rat! You always liked Scabbers.”

“Mum,” said Ron hopefully, “Can I have a new broom?” Mrs. Weasley’s face fell slightly, broomsticks were expensive, “Not a really good one,” Ron hastened to add, “just-just a new one for a change,”

Mrs. Weasley hesitated, then smiled, “Of course you can, well I better get going if I’ve got a broom to buy too, I’ll see you all later. Little Ronny…a Prefect-and don’t forget to pack your trunks- a Prefect…oh I’m all of a dither!” She gave Ron another kiss on the cheek, sniffed loudly then bustled from the room.

Fred and George exchanged looks, “You don’t mind if we don’t kiss you, do you Ron?” Fred said in a falsely anxious voice.

“We could curtsy for you if you like…” said George.

“oh, shut up!” Ron scowled at them,

“Or what?” said Fred, ginning manically. “Going to put us in detention?”

“I’d love to see him try,” sniggered George,

“He could if you don’t watch out!” Hermione warned, but Fred and George only burst out laughing.

“Drop it, Hermione…” Ron muttered.

“We’re going to have to watch our step, George!” Fred said, pretending to tremble, “with these two on our case.”

“Yeah, it looks like our law breaking days are finally over.” George sighed shaking his head, and with another loud crack they both Disapparate to their room from which they could be heard laughing their heads off.

“Those two!” said Hermione furiously staring up at the ceiling. “Don’t pay attention to them, Ron, they’re only jealous.”

“I don’t think they are,” Ron said doubtfully also looking at the ceiling.

“Well, I wish you both the best of luck. But I do agree with Ron, it will be the day when I see Fred and George honestly behave.” Heather said.

“Have fun with your new broom,” Kira said, and they left the room to go back their trunks.

“That’s great that Ron is getting a broom, speaking of which why haven’t you gone out for the team?” Heather asked.

Kira shrugged, “I don’t know, I’ve always wanted to, just never had the time.”

That whole day they continued to pack their trunks, this time Kira had gotten rid of a few clothes that didn’t fit her and her trunk actually closed. Isaac’s little cousin Jacquelyn who had been abuzz around the house was sulking a bit, she wanted to leave for Hogwarts too. Isaac spent a lot of time with her, she had been through a lot he had told them, but his Aunt and Uncle wouldn’t say specifics.

“Thanks, Mrs. Weasley,” Kira, Heather and Isaac said in unison as they took their books from her.

Ron reached for his broom with excitement, “Don’t bother unwrapping it now, people are arriving for dinner, I want you all downstairs.”

The three packed their books away and went downstairs, a large scarlet banner hung over the basement, it read Congratulations Ron and Hermione New Prefects. Mrs. Weasley looked in a better mood than she had all holidays, less worried and more cheerful.

“I though we would have a little party, you’re father and Bill are on their way, Ron” she said, as Ron, Ginny, Fred and George descended the stairs with Hermione and Harry. “and they’re thrilled!”

Sirius, Kingsley, Tonks and Lupin were already there, and Mad-Eye Moody stumped in shortly after. As soon as he walked in Mrs. Weasley asked him about the Bogart in the desk in the corner in the drawing room.

“Prefect, eh?” Moody growled, “Well congratulations, authority figures always attract trouble. But I guess Dumbledore thinks you can withstand most major jinxes or he wouldn‘t have appointed you.”

Heather noticed that Harry had shuffled his way toward Sirius and Lupin where she stood, as Moody’s electrical blue eye rolled into the back of his head. She didn’t blame him, though, yes, this was the real Moody and no Death Eater that eye was still rather creepy. Ron though looked rather alarmed by Moody’s comment, but was saved to reply as his father and Bill arrived. Mundungus was with them too, though Mrs. Weasley rather disliked him she didn’t seem to care, for she was in such a good mood. Though Heather had a sneaking feeling that there was more under Mundungus’ cloak than just himself, as he refused to take it off.

“Well, I think a toast is in order,” said Mr. Weasley once everyone had a drink. “to Ron and Hermione, the new Gryffindor Prefects.”

Ron and Hermione beamed as everyone drank to them and then applauded,

“I was never a Prefect myself,” said Tonks frankly behind Harry, as everyone moved to the table to eat. Her hair was a tomato color and she could have been Ginny’s older sister. “My head of house said I lacked necessary qualities.”

“Like what?” said Ginny,

“Like the ability to behave myself.” said Tonks

Ginny laughed and Hermione nodded politely, Heather grinned, it was then Ginny asked, “What about you, Sirius?”

Sirius laughed, “No one would have made me a Prefect, I spent too much time in detention with James, Lupin was the good boy, he got the badge.”

“I think Dumbledore might have hoped I would be able to exercise some control over my best friends,” said Lupin. “I need scarcely say that I failed dismally.”

Heather smiled, she was glad she wasn’t chosen to be a Prefect, she got enough negative attention as it was. Ron was now telling every detail of his broom to anyone who would listen, Heather had edged away from Lupin as Hermione talked with him about Elf rights. She really avoided the subject with Hermione, she agreed that yes it was a good cause but most house elves today weren’t treated poorly. She felt bad though for leaving Lupin with Hermione, as she sat down with Kira and Isaac.

“What’d you think Fred and George are talking to Mundungus about?” Isaac whispered to her.

Heather looked over to the three, who were huddled in a corner of the room, Harry then joined them.

Heather shrugged, “Something to torment people, or maybe for their new candy boxes they’ve been working on.”

“They better watch out, whatever their doing, Moody could be watching them.” Kira said,

It was then Kingsley voice the group of people, “Why Dumbledore didn’t make Potter a Prefect?”

Heather looked over to see Lupin was now talking to Kingsley, “He’ll have had his reasons,” he replied,

“But it would have shown confidence in him, it’s what I’d have done.” insisted Kingsley, “Especially with the Prophet having a go at him every few days.”

It was then Heather and Isaac were thrown into the conversations, Harry had walked away, apparently not hearing them.
“I would have thought Smith and Russell would have gotten the badges for Ravenclaw, is it?” Moody asked them, she and Isaac stood leaving the table.

“But why?” she asked, “We get into too much trouble.”

“Balderdash,” Moody said, “You get in no more trouble than Harry, Ron or Hermione does. Besides, look at yeh, yer as tall as Fred and George and got a creepy look to boot!” Moody laughed, “No one would want to run into you lot in the middle of the night.” He clapped her on the shoulder before winking at Isaac and walking over to the table that was ladled with food.

“Was my mum a Prefect?” Heather asked Lupin.

He nodded, “She was, it didn’t last long though, she was abruptly relieved of her role shortly after she started hanging out with Nicholas.”

“He caused a lot of trouble, I remember,” Kingsley said, “He and Snape, almost as bad at the marauders, it was like a war. Always trying to outdo the others.”

Mrs. Weasley had gotten up and disappeared up stairs, that’s what Heather wanted to do, disappear. Everything had always gone wrong because of her father, how could her mother have not seen it? Lupin patted her on the back as Kingsley walked away, he gave her a warm smile.

“So how’s your summer been since I’ve last seen you?” he asked

Heather shrugged, “Okay, I guess, we’ve been cleaning mostly,” there was a loud silence between them, before Heather asked him. “Where have you been?”

Lupin smiled, at which she knew he couldn’t tell her. “I will tell you later, Molly would have my head if it got passed along that I’ve told you.”

“You-You will tell me?” Heather asked

He nodded, “Later, It doesn’t effect you nor your friends directly,”

“What’s that you go there, Mad-eye?” Sirius asked,

Heather and Remus walked over, it was a wizarding photograph and the first order, Heather then realized why she just saw Harry leave the room. There were his parents, standing on either side of their own murderer Peter Pettigrew, Sirius and Remus in the bunch too. It was then as they went through the names Heather realized…her mother wasn’t there. Heather really didn’t want to ask why, she had a sinking feeling that probably no one would tell her. So, like Harry, she snuck out of the room and up the stairs, maybe now was a time that she could talk to him. It was then she reached the top of the stairs and heard crying, sobbing really, Harry was a few paces in front of her.

“What’s that?” Heather asked, Harry jumped he must’ve thought he was alone.

“I don’t know…” he said quietly, they went further down the hall, it was coming from the drawing room.


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