They climbed the remaining stairs and crossed the landing, standing there for a moment.
“Hello?” Harry called, there was no answer, but the sobbing continued.
Heather walked to the drawing room door and opened it, Harry close behind her. Heather looked in to see someone cowering against the dark wall, trembling violently but with a grip on her wand.
“Ron!” Heather yelped, barely able to hold it back.
There lay on the dusty floor, in a patch of moonlight that fell through a window lay Ron, clearly dead. But then logic kicked in and she shook her head, it wasn’t right because Ron stood very much alive downstairs with his broom.
“Mrs. Weasley?” Harry croaked, diverting Heather’s attention away from Ron to the person on the ground, it was Mrs. Weasley.
“R-R-Riddikulus!” she sobbed pointing her shaking wand at Ron’s body. Crack! Heather looked to see Bill now lay dead on the floor, she stepped back, his eyes were wide open and he lay spread eagle on the floor. “R-Riddikulus!” sobbed Mrs. Weasley harder than ever. Crack! Mr. Weasley’s body now replaced Bills, with his glasses askew and a trickle of blood coming from his mouth.
Crack! Dead Twins. Crack! Dead Percy. Crack! Dead Harry. Crack! Heather…but she wasn’t dead, she was standing there, wand at the ready…her father cackling by her side an insane grin on her face.
“Mrs. Weasley just get out of here!” shouted Harry, staring at the scene before them. “Let someone else-”
“What’s going on?” Lupin had come running into the room, closely followed by Sirius and Moody could be heard stumping along behind them.
Lupin looked from Mrs. Weasley to Heather looking ready to kill next to her father, and seemed to understand in an instant. He strode forward and pulled out his own wand, standing before the sight and said very firmly: “Riddikulus!” There was a another crack and she and her father vanished, the moon now hover in the spot. Lupin waved his wand once more and it vanished in a puff of smoke, Mrs. Weasley them burst into a storm of crying her face in her hands.
“Molly,” said Lupin bleakly walking over to her. “Molly, don’t.” The next second she was sobbing her heart out upon his shoulder, “Molly, it was just a Boggart,” he said sympathetically patting her on the head, “just a stupid Boggart.”
“I s-see them dead all the time,” she moaned, “All the t-time, I d-dream about it!
Heather was unaware she was even standing until Sirius’ put a hand on her shoulder. She realized she still had been staring at the spot where her Boggart self once stood, horrified.
“Don’t tell Arthur,” Mrs. Weasley cried, “I d-don’t want him to know, Harry, I’m so sorry, what must you think of me.” it was then she caught sight of Heather and let out another sob. “Oh my dear, I don’t mean it, really I don’t.”
Heather shook her head, wiping the tears that streamed down her face with the back of her hand. “It-It’s a fear…Mrs. Weasley, n-not a want, a fear.”
“I’m j-just so worried,” more tears spilling out of her eyes again, “half the family’s in the Order, it will be a miracle if we all come through this, and P-Percy’s not talking to us. What if something dreadful happens and we never made up, and what’s going to happen if Arthur and I get killed, whose going to look after Ron and Ginny?”
“Molly, that’s enough,” said Lupin firmly, “this isn’t like last time, the Order are better prepared and we got a head start, we know what Voldemort’s up to.” Mrs. Weasley gave a squeak of fright at the sound of his name. “Oh Molly, it’s about time you go use to hearing it, look I can’t promise that nobody’s going to get hurt; nobody can promise that, but we are better off than last time. You weren’t in the Order then, you don’t understand, last time we were out numbered twenty to one, and the Death Eaters were picking us off one by one.”
Heather thought of the photograph she and Harry had seen, remembering her mother wasn’t in it. She realized that even if someone wasn’t in the Order they were in grave danger, it had made no difference. Sirius’ grip on her shoulder remained firm as she stood there then he said: “Don’t worry about Percy, he’ll come round. It’s a matter of time before Voldemort moves into the open. Once he does the whole Ministry will be begging us to forgive them and I’m not sure I’ll be excepting their apology.” he added bitterly.
“And as for whose going to be looking after Ron and Ginny if you and Arthur died,” said Lupin smiling slightly. “What do you think we’d do, let them starve?”
Mrs. Weasley smiled tremendously, “Being silly,” she muttered
It was a few moments later Heather abandon the scene, she heard Harry’s door close about five minutes later. She now sit on her bed, looking at her trembling hands, she never knew that Mrs. Weasley shared her fear, but she never imagined it would materialize right before her. It was then she stood up and decided to check over her trunk, just for something to do, but as she did a sudden dizziness came over her. She sat back down, feeling like the world had just tilted, everything had become hazy and she felt like she was being watch.
“No!” she gasped, standing, grasping the bed post for support. “I won’t let you in…” she muttering, shaking off the feeling. “I won’t…”
It was a good twenty minutes later and Heather still sit in her room, pondering and stroking Max absentmindedly. She then heard a knock on her door and stood, Max sprang off her shoulder and into his cage.
“Heather?” it was Lupin, she walked to the door and opened it, he smiled at her then said pointedly, “I have something to tell you,”
Heather smiled, finally something about the Order, maybe of what’s happening, she remembered what Lupin said, they knew what Voldemort was up to. Heather followed him up to the third floor, Heather kept looking down, keeping and eye out for extendable ears. Lupin then sat down at the top of the stairs and Heather joined him.
“Werewolves,” he said, Heather looked at him, “that’s what I’ve been up to, trying to get into a secret society of werewolves, to see what Voldemort’s up to.”
“A secret society…like the ones Fenier Greyback had once started?” Heather asked, she had read about the wolf, back way, way back he had started rallying werewolves, against vampires in a war of some sort.
“The very same,” Lupin said, “Fenier was the werewolf who bit me, my father insulted him. He purposely positions himself near victims and plans it all, ensuring that they are bitten. He usually targets younger children, wants to create enough werewolves to overcome wizards, we think Voldemort is helping him.”
“That’s awful…” Heather said,
Remus nodded, “He targets children because he can raise them away from their families to hate wizards. Which is exactly what you father is doing as well, but in different terms.”
“What do you mean?” Heather asked,
“He’s rallying clans and families that he knows believe in the old ways of pure blood. There was a war along ago between werewolves and vampires, it was settled but many believe that a truce was a cowardly way to end it.”
Heather laughed, “Well, that explains my father’s shock when he saw me in my Animagus form.” she smiled, pleased that she had disappointed her father.
“Which is mostly the reason, I haven’t written you back,” he said, “I have to keep in hiding and at times I’ll be around many who are in those communities and I have to shoo Max away.”
“But sometimes a letter doesn’t come back just Max and no reply either.” Heather said
“I do get your letters at times when I’m alone, but I can’t reply very often.” he told her
“You never reply,” she said, feeling slightly childish.
“I just don’t want to tell you where I am just to have that owl intercepted and be discovered.” he explained, they sat there silent for a moment, Heather stared down at the steps at their feet. “Still shaken by the Boggart?”
Heather looked to him and then realized her hands were still trembling quite noticeably, she had been the same way just after her fourth year. Heather shrugged, “I never thought I would see it, right there before me.”
“So you share the same fear?” he asked,
Heather nodded, “I don’t want to be like him.” she said firmly.
“You won’t be,” Remus said, just as firm. “You’re not your father and you’re not your mother.”
“That’s what Sirius said,” she told him, “and I know that. But I can’t help but…well worry, like Mrs. Weasley.”
Remus wrapped an arm around her and said, “We all worry, but you can’t let it get to you. Just listen to what Sirius said. Trust me, Heather, I don’t believe for one minute you’ll ever turn into your father.”
Heather smiled, knowing he was right, she then looked up to him. “So what is Voldmeort up to?”
Remus grinned, “That is for another time,”
He said then walking back down to the kitchen, Heather sighed, couldn’t blame her for trying. It was the next morning she woke early to knocking on her door and Mrs. Weasley telling them to get up. Heather sat up and sighed, rubbing her eyes, Kira groaned and turned over before heaving a large sigh and sitting up.
“Why, why does it have to be morning?” she groaned, throwing off her blankets and hitting the shower first.
Heather smiled and got out of bed too and grabbed some clothes from her trunk and threw them on her bed. She then noticed Isaac hadn’t gotten up, his head still buried under his pillow, his blankets rising slowly as he slept.
“Isaac, get up.” Heather called, across the room the bedding moved slightly before settling again, rising to his breaths. “You know you have to get up, sooner or later.” the bedding didn’t move. “Fine you leave me no choice.”
Heather ran a short way before jumping onto Kira’s bed and leap onto Isaac’s. He let out a yell as she landed on top of him, Heather laughed as he squirmed throwing the pillow off his head and glaring at her. Heather grinned back, leaning back on her arms as her legs sat over his lower back.
“Morning’ sunshine!” said Heather smiling.
Isaac glared at her before giving a sleepy grin and said, “You and Kira have a weird way of waking people up, yesterday I was nearly tossed out of my bed as she ripped the blankets out from under me.”
“Ah yes, but it makes it more fun, don’t you think?” Heather asked, climbing off of him.
“Oh yeah, loads of fun,” he grumbled getting out of bed and pulling on a shirt as they waited for Kira to shower.
Isaac was the last to show, so Heather decided to bring down her trunk with Kira, but as they opened the door two trunks flew past them. They narrowly missed Heather’s nose but plowed right into Ginny sending her toppling down two flights of stairs. By now Mrs. Black and Mrs. Weasley were screaming at the top of their voices.
“You could have done her a serious injury, you idiots!” was Mrs. Weasley voice.
“Filthy half-breeds! Besmirching the house of my fathers!” screamed Mrs. Black.
Hermione had just rushed down the hall, Hedwig swaying on her shoulder as she ran into Ron and Harry’s room. Heather, looking both ways before entering the hall yet again dragging her trunk downstairs and to the front door. She noticed Mad-eye arguing that they couldn’t leave until Sturgis Podmore was there.
“Why do all these people have to be with us?” Heather asked as she and Kira walked back upstairs.
“Because of you and Harry I suspect,” Kira said as they reached their room, Isaac was closing his trunk, his hair still a wet black mess atop his head.
“Will you lot get down here please!” Mrs. Weasley bellowed.
Max, who had seemed to sense the urgency was already in his cage, but as Mrs. Weasley shouted at them and Heather closed his cage he screeched at the door irritably. Heather grinned and began to follow Isaac downstairs, who was running a comb through his knotted wet hair.
“Mudbloods! Scum!” screamed Mrs. Black as they hurried by.
Heather reached the bottom of the stairs to find a large black dog sitting there, his tail wagging.
“Sirius?” she asked the dog whined as Mrs. Weasley turned.
“For heaven sakes Sirius, Dumbledore said no!” Mrs. Weasley said, Sirius had now sat by Harry’s side as he clamored over the trunks. “Oh honestly, well, on your own head be it.”
She then wrenched open the front door and stepped into the cool morning, the door slammed, as Mrs. Black screeched louder. They waited at least ten minutes, Mr. Weasley had now gone with Hermione and Ron. Remus was getting ready to leave with Ginny, Fred, and George, Moody still waiting for Sturgis.
“Well, Remus, looks like I’ll have to tack these three on with you.” Moody growled, looking at his watch as he pulled on a strange bowler over his eye.
“Alright, everyone say close.” he said
He opened the door and they followed him outside, Heather looked back as she closed the door behind her. The black paint, she imagined once was brand new and shining was now chipping off and revealing the wood behind it. The silver knocker still hung firmly on it, a silver coiled snake, the door knob had no key hole, no letter box was in the door either. The stone steps ever cracked and worn disappeared as she stepped down and followed Kira away. For some reason as it disappeared Heather felt she was leaving a sanctuary, a safe house, and really wanted to go back inside.
Nothing dangerous, scary or threatening happened between the house and Kings Cross, Heather felt the guard was a bit useless at that moment; but maybe it was just her somber mood. They passed through the stone archway and found Moody was already there, the cart holding their trunks almost unloaded.
“Heather, Kira,” she and Kira both turned to the voice to find their mother.
“Mum!” Kira gasped, receiving her hug. “I thought you were going for that job at the Ministry?”
“I did, I got it!” she said happily pulling Heather into a hug. “I had just enough time to get here, the Russell’s too.”
Heather looked to her left just to see Isaac catch Jacquelyn in his arms and saying goodbye to his family. It was then a loud whistle on the train singled the last call, it was then after shaking hands with everyone Remus came to Heather last.
“You too,” he said, hugging her, “be careful, don’t go wandering off as-well, your inner self.”
Heather grinned, “Oh what’s a midnight stroll everyone once I a while, mm?”
Remus smiled at her, but his eyes gave her a look of ‘don’t even think about it’.
“Come on, Heather!” Kira called as the very last whistle blew.
“Oh!” Heather said, forgetting the time. “Bye!”
Heather gave him a last quick hug before hopping onto the train with Kira and Isaac as it pushed off from the platform. Isaac leading the way they trotted down the narrow aisle of the train to find a compartment. Once inside Isaac was beaming and seemed rather giddy, then he said: “Look what my Uncle got for me!”
Heather was just shoving her trunk in the overhang when she heard Kira shriek and turned around. Isaac was holding a small wooden cage in one hand and in the other a large hairy tarantula. Kira was now squatting on the chair pressed against the window, she was deathly afraid of spiders. Of course, Heather didn’t blame her, the spider was quite large and barely fit in Isaac’s hand. But he seemed rather proud of it as he petting it, it was black with yellow stripes here and there. Heather wasn’t particularly afraid of spiders, she remembered back at their house that when Kira wanted to kill one they found, she would take it outside.
“How the hell can you hold that thing?” Kira hissed,
“What?” Isaac asked, “She’s not going to hurt you, she’s defanged anyway.”
Kira shuddered and sat down, but remained very far from the spider, Heather looked to Max who was eyeing the spider with a hungry look.
“Oh no!” Isaac said, “I’ve seen what he does to his food,”
“Where’d your Uncle get it?” Heather asked
“Says she’s from Mexico, but he didn’t have time to say what she was.” Isaac said as the tarantula climbed up his arm and nestled comfortably on his shoulder.
Kira shuddered as Heather asked her, “What are you going to name her?”
“Mmm, how about Arachne?” Isaac said after a moment, “I remember it means spider in Greek.”
“Go for it,” Kira said flatly.
“Alright before anything more, I found out bit of what Remus is up to in The Order,” Heather said
“Really?” Kira asked, seeming to forget the spider.
“What’s he doing?” Isaac asked
“He’s with werewolves, they are rounding up people to create and army of some sort. Fenrir is the leader of it, he thinks he’s working in close quarters with my father who in turn in rounding up vampires.” Heather said
Isaac nodded, “That’s right, that’s why we left. Just like families here, they are turning to evil, like the Malfoy’s.”
“But you’re family isn’t vampires, only you.” Kira said
“That’s just it, we left because of me, you see my father wasn’t a vampire my mother was. My Uncle is my father’s brother, my mother is a Death Eater.” Isaac said
“Do you think she could be involved with your dad, Heather?” Kira asked
Heather shrugged, “I don’t know, Remus didn’t give me much.”
After a moment they lapsed into silence, Heather couldn’t keep herself from thinking what school would be like this year. Meanwhile Kira was reading but keeping a sharp eye on Isaac’s new pet, who he loved and was watching her crawl around him. Heather then got up and announced she was going to see if the Snack Cart was close by. She collected some money and orders from her friends, including some cockroach clusters for Arachne. Heather walked down the train for about ten minutes. She saw Cho Chang just ahead with a cauldron cake in her hand and knew that she was on the right track. It was then she passed and open compartment and got splattered with a rancid green gloop that went everywhere.
“Ugh!” Heather gasped, seeing that half of her whole body was cover in it.
It was then Neville’s voice floated out of the compartment. “S-Sorry!” he gasped, “I haven't tried that before… didn't realize it would be quite so… don't worry, though, Stinksap's not poisonous.”
It was then Cho had made her way up the aisle and was staring at Heather she then looked inside the green covered compartment. “Oh, hello Harry,” she heard her say. Heather looked into the compartment as well, she saw Ginny sitting with a head covered with green goo, Harry and Neville seemed to have gotten the worst as they were drenched in it. She then saw a plant in Neville’s hands where the Stinksap’s-she thought she heard Neville say- had come from.
“Oh, Hi,” Harry said blankly, after cleaning off his glasses a squirming Trevor in his hands. “um, well, just wanted to say hello, bye then.”
Cho Chang closed the door, Heather smiled at her and continued walking on, in a rather bad mood worse than before. When Heather walked back into the compartment Kira looked up and jumped and she heard Isaac say: “Ugh, what is that stuff!”
“Something called Stinksap from your boyfriends plant,” Heather said to Kira.
“Oh…the Mimbulus mimbletonia,” Kira said, “I remember him telling me about that, he was really happy with it.”
“I bet…” Heather said, giving the food to Isaac and sat down.
“Here,” Isaac said and took out his wand. “Scourgify!”
With a wave of his wand the stink disappeared and the Stinksap was gone, the left half of Heather’s robes once again clean. While munching on their snacks and listening to Isaac trying to guess what species his spider was when Kira asked.
“Have you guess seen the headline on The Quibbler?” she asked
“You read The Quibbler?” Isaac gaped at her.
“No, but a name on it caught my eye.” she said and pulled the magazine from her trunk.
She handed it to Heather who read the headlines on the top aloud: “Sirius Black: Villain or Victim? How Far Will Fudge Go to Gain Gringotts?”
Heather went to the page about Sirius and read the article, according to a women by the name of Doris Perkins he wasn’t even at the scene at all. She told the Quibbler that Sirius Black was a false name and his real name is Stubby Boardman. Stubby Boardman was an alias of the singing group Hobgoblins, whom of which had retired after being struck in the ear by a turnip. At this Heather laughed, the whole magazine was utterly garbage, it seem to be a spoof on what the Daily Prophet printed. Isaac then took the paper from her and read on and laughed aloud too.
“Apparently ‘Stubby’ wasn’t at the murder scene at all,” Isaac said, “he was have a romantic candle lit dinner with Ms. Perkins here.”
The article on Fudge was creepier, about how Fudge had a hate for goblins and things he had done to them according to a Ministry insider.
“Cooked in pies?” Heather asked, stopping Kira from reading.
“That’s what it says,” Kira said, putting the paper away. “I just grabbed it because of Sirius’ name, I wonder if he knows about it?”
“Probably, they are always bringing in papers and things about Sirius and about Harry and you lying.” Isaac said, indicating Heather.
“So who do think the other Prefects are?” Kira asked getting of the subject of the ever odd Quibbler.
“I heard Anthony Goldstein and Padma Patil are Ravenclaws, we know Gryffindor, but I havn‘t heard of the other houses.” Isaac said
“Oh you’d be surprised…” Heather said, because she had just looked to her right where she could see Draco and his goons walking toward their compartment. She saw the shine of a Prefects badge pinned upon Draco’s chest.
“Well, well, look who we have here, the ever confident half-breeds and their mudblood friend.” he sneered.
Heather stood, “Now Draco, you don’t want another last year now do you?” she asked placing her hand on the door, Draco jumped back before resuming his speech.
“Now what’s it I hear of you and Potter running into Voldemort last year, making up things to get attention, eh?”
“You should really stop listening to your father Draco, he’s a bad influence as well as an idiot.” Isaac scoffed from his seat.
Draco stepped forward face to face with Heather, “I’d watch out this year Smith, talk like that could get you and your friends in worse business than detention.” he hissed, “You saw what happened to werewolves, speaking of which how’s you godfather doing without a job?”
Heather’s anger flared to a boiling point at which she transformed, growling at Draco who now stood shocked in the doorway. Draco took a step back, now he was silent, Heather barked and took a chuck of his robes, he squealed and fell back; a loud rip indicated Heather had torn his robes. It was then someone grabbed Heather by the collar and pulled her back and she heard Kira muttered: “Obliviate!”
Heather watched as Draco’s and his friends faces went pleasantly blank for a few moments. Taking this moment, Isaac let go of her and Heather transformed into her human form just as they became alert again.
“Why was I here again?” Draco asked, standing up.
“Telling us you were Prefect,” Kira said, her wand behind her back now.
“Oh right-wait-I’m a Prefect?!” he asked, rather confused as they all nodded. “Right-um, yes and don’t you forget it. Come on, Crabbe, Goyle.”
They group stalked off the other way and Heather reached out and closed the door, Kira stood there arms crossed before saying. “Are you daft? You are so lucky I’ve been working on that charm or your secret would have been out.”
“I know, I know, I just wasn’t thinking…” Heather said, sitting down.
“You better start,” Kira said, looking rather frustrated, “people are going to change this year, Heather, and them finding out that you have a secret power isn’t going to help those rumors in the Prophet.”
“I know, Kira!” Heather snapped, “I’ve been told by you, Sirius, Remus and everyone all summer, I know!”
“Then start acting like it…” Kira muttered,
The rest of the train ride was held in an uncomfortable silence, one that Isaac dare not try to break. Heather didn’t speak to Kira as they got off the train and headed towards the carriages, she thought of all people Kira would understand the pressure she was under. It was then a voice floated to her ears, it wasn’t the hearty one of Hagrid, but a slightly higher pitched one of a women. She looked over the heads of the students to see in the lamp light held over head was Professor Grubbly-Plank, who had taken over for Hagrid a few years back. This puzzled her, Isaac had told them Hagrid was in the Order because he had heard his voice, but what was his reason for not being at school?
Heather followed Isaac who lead the way up to the carriages, but this year there was something different about them. Instead of them pulling themselves they were being pulled by some sort of reptilian horses. But in a way, they weren’t horses, they had black skin that clung to every bone in their body. They had large bat like wings and ghostly white eyes which made their heads-which looked like Dragons-even more creepy.
Heather couldn’t help herself and asked, “What the hell are those?”
Kira gave her a funny look and finally spoke, “What are what?”
“Those,” Heather said pointing to the large black horses, wondering how Kira couldn’t see them, they were huge.
Kira gave her a strange look before saying, “Heather, I don’t see anything,”
Kira then proceeded to walk up to the carriages, but Heather was still shocked and in a way panicking; if she was the only one to see these things what was wrong with her?
“There’s nothing wrong with you or Kira.” said Isaac by her side quietly, “They’re called Thestrals, you can only see them if you’ve witnessed death.”
“You can see them too?” Heather asked, relieved.
Isaac nodded, “I saw my father die from the closet…”
Heather then realized, as she followed Isaac up to the carriages, that she had almost forgotten, she saw Cedric die. The haunting images of her dream not too long ago came back to her, but she bluntly ignored them and took Isaac’s offered hand into the carriages. She hadn’t even taken one step into Hogwarts and already things had changed, Kira was barely speaking to her and she now saw creepy creatures reminding her of that night Voldmeort returned.